Spencer and Mohamed Elibiary on deception in Islam

I met Mohamed Elibiary at the America’s Truth Forum Symposium in Dallas a few weeks ago. Elibiary is the President and CEO of the Freedom and Justice Foundation, which he cofounded in 2002 to “promote a Centrist Public Policy environment in Texas by coordinating the state level government and interfaith community relations for the organized Texas Muslim community.” He has commented at Jihad Watch now and again under the name of “enlightener” — primarily in connection with the 2004 Dallas conference lauding the “Great Islamic Visionary” Ayatollah Khomeini, at which he spoke, and his subsequent acrimonious discussions with Dallas Morning News columnist Rod Dreher, to whom he issued what looked to many, including me, like a threat.

Anyway, Elibiary and I had an impromptu exchange at the end of the America’s Truth Forum Symposium, about which he wrote here, in a post in which his contempt for the proceedings apparently outweighed his concern for accuracy. His account of our exchange is fanciful but entertaining, and overall I thought he was an interesting individual to talk with, so I was glad when he dropped in here again, on this thread.

That was a post about a Hamas spokesman saying, “A Muslim is permitted to say things that oppose his beliefs in order to prevent damages or to be saved from death.” Elibiary, as you’ll see from his first comment here, objected to my posting it, and to my pointing to Qur’an 3:28 and 16:106 as justifying religious deception. So I accordingly asked him to produce some evidence that what I wrote was inaccurate — some indication that what the Hamas guy said was wrong, and that religious deception was not permitted in Islam. Elibiary did not ever do so, but we had a long exchange that I’ve decided to post here on its own because it is illuminating in many ways. I’ve just reproduced here the posts by him and me; others intervened, and you can read the whole thing on the original thread. In one of his responses below I removed a portion in which he was answering someone else, so that all you see here is what went back and forth between Elibiary and me.

Anyway, here is yet another example of a Muslim critic telling me that what I’m saying is inaccurate, and then, amid forests of obfuscation, never coming up with any actual evidence of the inaccuracy. Awhile ago I wrote a post entitled “Why Can’t Muslims Debate?,” and here is yet another example: where is the Muslim spokesman who is willing to discuss jihad-related issues on the level of evidence, without diversions, detours, deception, and/or personal attacks? I’m still looking.
1. Elibiary to Spencer:

Now Roberto, you now better then to promote a covert political movement as a theological source or any authority. You’re making militants the spokespeople of Islam again, and presenting Islam (ex. Quran) as the problem when you know very well that if we are to get anywhere it’ll be because Islam is the solution.

Plus you know that verse 16:106 doesn’t refer to anything Israel or Abbass are doing, ever did or will ever do to meet the requirement to say something against Islam in a life or death situation as the verses states.

Please treat Islam fairly and accurately, otherwise a real conversation can’t begin. An Ad-Hominem/Polemic attack on Islam simply returns one against you as an Islamophobe. Tennis is good exercise, but our nation deserves better on this subject.

Salaam,
Posted by: enlightener [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 7, 2008 4:34 PM

2. Spencer to Elibiary:

Dear enlightener:

Now Roberto, you now better then to promote a covert political movement as a theological source or any authority. You’re making militants the spokespeople of Islam again, and presenting Islam (ex. Quran) as the problem when you know very well that if we are to get anywhere it’ll be because Islam is the solution.

If Islam is to be the solution, it will only be when Muslims begin to confront interpretations like this — which come from other Muslims, instead of blaming me for reporting about them.

The people in Hamas who say this are Muslims. Whether or not they are spokesmen for anything, you are doing nothing to refute their Qur’anic intepretation by acting as if it’s something I made up.

Plus you know that verse 16:106 doesn’t refer to anything Israel or Abbass are doing, ever did or will ever do to meet the requirement to say something against Islam in a life or death situation as the verses states.

I’m sure many Palestinians would differ with you on this.

Please treat Islam fairly and accurately, otherwise a real conversation can’t begin. An Ad-Hominem/Polemic attack on Islam simply returns one against you as an Islamophobe. Tennis is good exercise, but our nation deserves better on this subject.

Can you provide any actual evidence that I’ve said anything inaccurate here? So far, you haven’t. Can a real conversation begin when you make unsubstantiated accusations and blame the messenger instead of acknowledging that there is a problem and working to resolve it?

Cordially
Robert Spencer
Posted by: jihadwatch [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 7, 2008 5:30 PM

3. Elibiary to Spencer:

Roberto, this is my responce:
Bear Abuse with Patience
“Bear patiently with what they say (against you) and leave their company in a polite manner.”
The Holy Quran, 73:10

[…]

Salamaat pashas,
Posted by: enlightener [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 7, 2008 10:24 PM

4. Spencer to Elibiary:

Mohamed,

Thanks for your answer, but I must confess that I don’t understand it. Can you please explain to me how Qur’an 73:10 refutes Hamas’s claim that deceit is allowed in Islam? If a Muslim quotes the verse about not taking unbelievers as awliyat unless you’re doing it to guard yourselves against them (3:28), and invokes the hadith quoted in Ibn Kathir about smiling in the faces of some people while cursing them behind their backs, would you in response quote 73:10 to them?

And how exactly would that show them that they’re wrong in employing deception?

Looking forward to your clarification on this, and thanks for it.

Cordially
Robert Spencer
Posted by: jihadwatch [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 8, 2008 8:20 AM

5. Elibiary to Spencer:

My apologies on the delayed response but we had a dear Sheikh to me die Friday in Medina and work wouldn’t let up.

jihadwatch (Robert), I wouldn’t quote 73:10 to someone misunderstanding 3:28. I was quoting 73:10 to the folks on this thread above saying stuff like Islam is filthy or cursing Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) since as you know Islam (don’t have the verse # handy but its in the Quran) says to not sit down or hold discussions with those cursing the Quran or Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) so I simply have to ignore them. That rule is not going anywhere and I hope that folks on Jihadwatch, if they are desiring a civic discourse of ideas, would drop the blasphemy talk. Muslims like myself never shied away from anyone wishing to discuss the Quran or the Sunnah with anyone, so long as the discussion’s civil and respectful. Apparently for some Christians its hard acting “Christian” now a days.

Answering the Hamas guy quoted, if its accurate, is futile because the upper management of Hamas wouldn’t back such non-sense. He’s way over-reaching and if he’s using 3:28 as his rationale, then he’s a misguided fool. You can grab any properly educated Islamic Sheikh in his West Bank village and have him tell this guy that:

1. 3:28 refers to taking non-believers as awlia (political patrons or higher lever then you political allies) “against believers”. Something any rational person understands is not any different then what other faith communities preach to increase brotherhood amongst their flocks.

2. Now the second half of the verse allows for taking the political support of non-believers if you fear for your security from other believers. (An example of this would be Saudi Arabia allying with the US in the Cold War and later in the 1st Gulf War against Nasser’s Egypt and Saddam’s Iraq respectively.

3. In Islamic Law their’s something called “al-walaa wal baraa”. It covers the issues dealing with what Locke would term the “social contract” in “al-walaa” and how to deal with (folks) the varying degrees of weak belief and disbelief “al-baraa” (whom to get close to and whom to distance oneself from). All the major scholars both inside as well as outside would label Mahmoud Abbass as “walie amr” (ruler/guardian) of the Palestinian people. This is a fact that senior Hamas officials don’t question and that’s why they publicly have made statement over and over that if Abbass negotiates a peace deal and its backed in a referrendum then they’ll accept it.

According to the ‘Ikhwani’ school of thought on when its allowable to overthrow the ruler, the present circumstances doesn’t allow religiously for a number of reasons. But according to the “Islamic Jihad” school of thought, as laid out by Qutb, Al-Zawahiri and others often quoted here Abbass meets the eligability for overthrow and therefore all kinds of things kick in at that point least of which is lying to him.

So in short you can tell this hamas member that if his logic is based on 3:28 then he’s bastardizing the verse and trying to use it for a different situation then it was reveled for. Second you can get senior Hamas officials to “re-educate” him for his misunderstanding of company policy. And finally the mainstream Islamic scholars could be called upon to roll back this seditious fitna, again if the story’s true.

Simply lying to your “waliee amr” or political ruler because you’d like to carry out a public policy that falls in the ruler’s sphere of decision making (war/peace) borders on if not crosses into causing mischief in the land or “hiraba” which the Quran defines as the worst of physical crimes because its against God and punishable by the worst of capitol punishments.

Islam is a divine religion, not a Machiavellian cult cutting corners according to every individual self-described Muslim’s ijtihad to build some territorial empire. The hadith you’re quoting about smiling while hating is to my recollection not of Prophet Muhammad but of a companion’s opinion so essentially one man’s opinion and a “baraa” opinion not endorsed by the Ikhwan when dealing with other Muslims (Abbas in this case) so not relevant to this Hamas guy’s comments. If I’m wrong let me know and I’d be more than happy to look it up again, but that’s what I remember of the gazzillions of hadiths and commentary on the hadiths over the past 14 centuries.

Just a few thoughts off the top of my head. Wallahu Alim (God knows better)
Posted by: enlightener [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 9, 2008 9:03 PM

6. Spencer to Elibiary:

Dear Mohamed,

Thanks for your reply.

Answering the Hamas guy quoted, if its accurate, is futile because the upper management of Hamas wouldn’t back such non-sense.

So are you saying that Khaled Meshaal etc. would reject religious deception on principle? Can you please point me to some evidence for this?

1. 3:28 refers to taking non-believers as awlia (political patrons or higher lever then you political allies) “against believers”. Something any rational person understands is not any different then what other faith communities preach to increase brotherhood amongst their flocks.

Actually, I’ve been attending Christian worship regularly for about 25 years, mostly Catholic but also Orthodox, and have never, ever heard a Christian preacher say anything like this. Can you please provide some evidence of this principle being taught in other faith communities?

2. Now the second half of the verse allows for taking the political support of non-believers if you fear for your security from other believers. (An example of this would be Saudi Arabia allying with the US in the Cold War and later in the 1st Gulf War against Nasser’s Egypt and Saddam’s Iraq respectively.

Actually Ibn Kathir and the exegetes he quotes take it to mean that Muslims may do this if they fear for their security from unbelievers. Can you please supply me with some references to Islamic sources that take your view?

3. In Islamic Law their’s something called “al-walaa wal baraa”. It covers the issues dealing with what Locke would term the “social contract”

Are you possibly thinking of Rousseau?

…in “al-walaa” and how to deal with (folks) the varying degrees of weak belief and disbelief “al-baraa” (whom to get close to and whom to distance oneself from). All the major scholars both inside as well as outside would label Mahmoud Abbass as “walie amr” (ruler/guardian) of the Palestinian people. This is a fact that senior Hamas officials don’t question and that’s why they publicly have made statement over and over that if Abbass negotiates a peace deal and its backed in a referrendum then they’ll accept it.

But only as a temporary truce, without having discarded their overall goal of destroying Israel utterly, no?

According to the ‘Ikhwani’ school of thought on when its allowable to overthrow the ruler, the present circumstances doesn’t allow religiously for a number of reasons. But according to the “Islamic Jihad” school of thought, as laid out by Qutb, Al-Zawahiri and others often quoted here Abbass meets the eligability for overthrow and therefore all kinds of things kick in at that point least of which is lying to him.

Are you an Ikhwani? In any case, whether you are or not, the Ikhwan is engaged in a program of asserting elements of Sharia in the U.S., until it is the only law of the land — or at least so Ikhwan leaders say in documents that came to light during the HLF trial. So they have the same goal as what you term the “Islamic Jihad” school, just different methods, no?

So in short you can tell this hamas member that if his logic is based on 3:28 then he’s bastardizing the verse and trying to use it for a different situation then it was reveled for.

Under what circumstances would deception be permissible, if any?

Second you can get senior Hamas officials to “re-educate” him for his misunderstanding of company policy. And finally the mainstream Islamic scholars could be called upon to roll back this seditious fitna, again if the story’s true.

Simply lying to your “waliee amr” or political ruler because you’d like to carry out a public policy that falls in the ruler’s sphere of decision making (war/peace) borders on if not crosses into causing mischief in the land or “hiraba” which the Quran defines as the worst of physical crimes because its against God and punishable by the worst of capitol punishments.

This assumes a Muslim waliee amr, whereas the verse seems to assume a non-Muslim waliee amr. Can you please point me to an Islamic source for your perspective on this verse?

Islam is a divine religion, not a Machiavellian cult cutting corners according to every individual self-described Muslim’s ijtihad to build some territorial empire. The hadith you’re quoting about smiling while hating is to my recollection not of Prophet Muhammad but of a companion’s opinion so essentially one man’s opinion and a “baraa” opinion not endorsed by the Ikhwan when dealing with other Muslims (Abbas in this case) so not relevant to this Hamas guy’s comments. If I’m wrong let me know and I’d be more than happy to look it up again, but that’s what I remember of the gazzillions of hadiths and commentary on the hadiths over the past 14 centuries.

Yes, Ibn Kathir says it’s Abu Ad-Darda. He also quotes Al-Hasan approving of taqiyya. Why does Ibn Kathir regard these as worth quoting, if they contradicted Muhammad’s view? How do these quotes square with Muhammad’s statement that “war is deceit,” and allowing for lying between a husband and wife and during wartime?

Just a few thoughts off the top of my head. Wallahu Alim (God knows better)

Thanks very much for them. I look forward to your further clarifications on this.

As for Dreher: does his fading career, if it is fading, justify the threat you made to him?

Cordially
Robert Spencer
Posted by: jihadwatch [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 10, 2008 3:51 PM

7. Elibiary to Spencer:

Robert,

Re: So are you saying that Khaled Meshaal etc. would reject religious deception on principle? Can you please point me to some evidence for this?

I don’t know whether Khaled Mishal would “reject religious deception on principle” or not. I’ve never met the guy and in my trip to the Holy Lands I’ve purposely stayed away from the tours that would have allowed me to meet the Hamas or Hizbullah senior leadership. Look how panicy the Right gets when I dare speak out that our understanding of Islam and Islamic movements is misguided, can you imagine if I sat down and discussed public policy with designated terrorist groups. Plus I’m interested in building bridges and our government’s not interested in bridge building with Hamas or Hizbullah. Our national policy is that we’d like to see those two groups extinguished off the planet, not negotiate with them. Khaled’s email is hoood88@hotmail.com if you’d like to email him and ask him, or you can contact any number of think tanks both in DC, London or the Middle East that could get you to him.

That wasn’t my point anyways. I said that Hamas’s public policy is that they accept Abbas’s rule over the entire Palestinian people, therefore their “walee amr”. The article you posted gave us a situation where a Hamas member used “religious deception” as you called it against another Muslim believer. One of two options here, if one accepts Abbas as his “walee amr” then he can’t lie to him simply to advance a political agenda. If this local Hamas guy’s intentions were to mislead Abbas (a possibility none the less) then its not something that can be justified by 3:28 or any verse according to any “religious interpretation school” unless he removes Abbas as his “walee amr” but then he’s no longer Hamas but Islamic Jihad. And if he (the local Hamas guy) does that, then that’s counter to official Hamas policy and the Islamic religious establishment.

Re: Actually, I’ve been attending Christian worship regularly for about 25 years, mostly Catholic but also Orthodox, and have never, ever heard a Christian preacher say anything like this. Can you please provide some evidence of this principle being taught in other faith communities?

You’ve seriously never heard a Christian Priest/Pastor/Minister preach for Christians to increase their interactions and partnerships with other Christian believers whether in the socio-economic or political spheres? Come on now, where’ve you been.

Re: Actually Ibn Kathir and the exegetes he quotes take it to mean that Muslims may do this if they fear for their security from unbelievers. Can you please supply me with some references to Islamic sources that take your view?

Did I miss something, why is everything Ibn Kathir here? There are gazillions of tafsirs, all with some good and some outdated interpretations. You are aware that each generation is supposed to develop its scholars to review the original texts (Quran and Sunnah) then interpret it for their time and place. I don’t know the exact time, Ibn Kathir is like from a thousand years ago or something.

You asked for religious sources to support the examples I gave you that the verse allowed for the KSA (Saudi Arabia) seeking political support from the USA in the Cold War and the 1st Gulf War. Not only the KSA Religious establishment of course supported this, but during the 1st Gulf War I recall one of the highest global Sunni Scholars at the time (Shk. El-Sharawy of Egypt) also did so there you have Salafi and Traditional. So there are plenty of mainstream Islamic religious authorities that say you can seek the political cover of a non-muslim nation in opposition to a hostile Muslim nation to your security. Right now isn’t that the position of the KSA’s religious authorities vis-a-vis American protection in the Gulf from Iran?

Re: But only as a temporary truce, without having discarded their overall goal of destroying Israel utterly, no?

Look I’m not looking to play political games here. If you’re as well read as you claim, then you’re aware of Prophet Muhammad’s hadiths that a Muslim doesn’t break a peace pact/covenant and even protecting emissaries/diplomats from enemy nations even during times of war. And you should be aware of the numerous Quranic verses dealing with peace and war issues commanding Muslims to accept peace when an enemy sues for peace even if its to the Muslim’s disadvantage.

Shk. Yaseen, the assassinated spiritual guide of Hamas and senior MB leader in Palestine at the time (they’re not the same thing), presented Israel with a Hudna (temporary truce as you called it) for 100 years. Any analyst with real understanding of the Middle East region would tell you that a 100 year hudna is worth more than the 30 year “secular” camp david peace deal Israel got with Egypt. It seems to me that Israel’s being short sited and Machiavellian in their negotiations at the moment, too dependent on their military might but that balance won’t last anywhere near 100 years.

Israel wants the West Bank, and until it makes up its mind to give it up for a Palestinian State we’re going to continue the charade that the Palestinians aren’t responsible peace partners and the propaganda campaign to sell that to the American people through targeted campaigns with their varying rationals to the different segments of American society. Now I’m not a lobbyist on the Israeli/Palestinian issue, but I did tour it first hand and that’s my assessment- Israel’s not ready to give up the West Bank and it isn’t about security.

Didn’t you write a book or something on the Crusades? Sorry I didn’t read it, assumed it to be historical revisionism (not too proud to admit I stereotype too). Saladin didn’t start the final battle at hittin, it was the neo-con wing of the Crusaders who thought they can egg him into a fight before he’s too strong for them to defeat – devastating gamble for them in hindsight. In today’s context that’s futile because it would require an American-Israeli axis to keep the entire “Greater Middle East” as Bush calls it weaker militarily then Israel forever. Good luck sustaining such a policy without the American people’s support.

Re: Are you an Ikhwani? In any case, whether you are or not, the Ikhwan is engaged in a program of asserting elements of Sharia in the U.S., until it is the only law of the land — or at least so Ikhwan leaders say in documents that came to light during the HLF trial. So they have the same goal as what you term the “Islamic Jihad” school, just different methods, no?

No I’m not now, nor have I ever been an Ikhwani or a member in any organized group. I am totally moved by my convictions, an open book and if convinced with rational have changed views in the past and would likely do so again in the future. For the record I come from the Elibiary (paternal) family and Basiouni (maternal) family of Egypt. Both families are large, well known and contain some very respectable folks and some goofy folks (so just like everyone else in the world). To the best of my knowledge I’m not aware of any of my family members in Egypt ever voting, much less joining the Ikhwan. Even two generations ago the members who fought the British occupation forces of Egypt did it under secular nationalist groups and not the Ikhwan. My family is religious and conservative but stays out of politics, so I’ve met and known numerous Ikhwani members and leaders over the years here and oversees. I don’t hide those and have even put it in published Op-Eds I’ve written like this one for the DMN after the HLF trial that I attended and reviewed all the evidence for: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/viewpoints/stories/DN-elibiary_31edi.ART.State.Edition1.420f259.html

My op-eds sometimes get reprinted on everything from other newspapers around the country to the Columbia School of Journalism, the Texas Democratic Party website (note: I’m not a democrat) and even on the Muslim Brotherhood’s Official Website like here: http://www.ikhwanweb.com/Article.asp?ID=14497&SectionID=81
All that’s is not anything I control. I’ve spent many years studying various Islamic movements over the past couple of centuries from Nigeria to Indonesia and will be receiving an accredited college certification by summer in all that stuff. I’ve always loved history, so studying the Contemporary Ideological Islamic Movements is a hobby.

My personal opinion on the Ikhwan is that they are severely misunderstood by many Muslims as well as non-Muslims. Some people give them way more influence then they are really responsible for. Other people fear their agenda to the point where they’re really talking about something other then what the Ikhwan are really advocating for. And then others don’t really understand the structure of the Ikhwan, their curriculum and that there are really multiple Ikhwans. The Ikhwan themselves haven’t necessarily wanted to clarify the picture for outsiders either, because of their precarious state in most countries they operate in. I don’t mind discussing them or any Islamic movement, but as I wrote in my op-ed above the Government and by extension many on the Right here in America are mis/under-informed on this topic, and I’d simply refer them to the Mark Twain quote I put above. About half of Americans hold the same view that you stated Robert that there isn’t any difference between the Islamists and the Jihadists for lack of better terms. I think that is quite shallow and I’m not trying to insult you, because from your website I take it that you present yourself as an expert on Jihad and not Islamic Movements.

Re: Under what circumstances would deception be permissible, if any?

I would assume the common sense one of when your trying to save a life since the Shariah protects life, but that’s not a fatwa. You should probably search for writings by mainstream jurisprudence authorities like Al-Azhar’s Fatwa department or others to explain the mechanics. But I want to say that when you present it as “deception” then I have a problem with that, because obviously every Abrahamic religion doesn’t promote deception. Religion obviously helps us to work towards our values, and Islam helping us to work towards the shariah (life, religion, mind, etc.) is no exception.

For example one time not too long ago I heard a man deliver a sermon at a Mosque where he was trying to promote mending fences amongst bickering spouses so he said that a Muslim should always try to mend fences to promote harmony in the home and that means you can go to the disgruntled wife and say that the husband told you that he misses her and loves her a lot. You can then go to the husband and tell him that his wife misses him and is sorry. The Khateeb (sermon giver) then said that it was ok to lie to bring folks together and left it at that.

After the sermon I talked with this man privately and told him that while telling Muslims to help mend fences between bickering spouses is good just saying that its ok to lie and leaving it at that is not a well thought through fatwa and not how scholars would approach it. Obviously the social ramifications of a thousand folks hearing the sermon then running around thinking its ok to lie if their intention with their limited and ad-hoc mental thought processes is to bring people together could end up causing more problems then it ever fixes. He agreed with me and agreed to change his khutbah (sermon) moving forward. Now I don’t look at this khateeb as promoting “religious deception”, I look at as a well intentioned individual who over stepped his expertise level and issued a poorly thought through religious edict from the mimbar at a Mosque.

Re: This assumes a Muslim waliee amr, whereas the verse seems to assume a non-Muslim waliee amr. Can you please point me to an Islamic source for your perspective on this verse?

The verse doesn’t mention anything about who a waliee amr is. As an fyi the waliee amr in the case you presented of a Palestinian Hamas guy is always a Muslim, who else would you present as a waliee amr, the Israeli PM? The verse talks about taking non-believers as “awlieaa” not as “waliee amr”. You can have multiple “awlieaa” (political allies/guardians) but you can only have one “waliee amr” in the war and peace issues. It gets more complex here in America since we’re a religious minority and that’s why some smart Faqihs (Islamic scholars) did a lot of work many decades ago in a field called the “Fiqh of Minorities” so that Muslim minorities growing up here in America and the West like myself have even clearer guidelines.

Re: “war is deceit”

I’d like to know of anyone from Sun Su 2500 years ago to Clausewitz who hasn’t taught that war is about deceiving your enemy. You send “bait” troops up an enemy’s flank to have him shift his forces and drive up the middle to slit his forces in half and kill them for example. Now isn’t that deceiving him with that flank attack?

Much non-sense has been made of this statement, but you should be asking yourself if Muhammad would approve a covert war against civilians. What are the rules of warfare that Muhammad preached and the Quran mandates? Is there a current state of warfare according to Islamic Jurisprudence at this moment in time between Islam and America? Who has the authority to declare such a war? If their isn’t a declared state of war according to Islam, then what is the status of a group of individuals (ex. Al-Qaeda) taking the lead in declaring such a war? And finally how do you deny and role-up groups that hijack an authority not theirs in the first place to declare war?

Re: As for Dreher: does his fading career, if it is fading, justify the threat you made to him?

Now come one, who’s libeling whom here. I never threatened Rod and I don’t think I have to say anything more than what I wrote on JW previously and his Beliefnet Blog comments. Rod’s a hating bigot with a clear agenda for anyone who’s looked at his full record from his participation in a forum on whether its a good idea to “nuke Mecca” to describing Muslims as “termites” on his blog to the way he puts forward half-truths about the radicalization problems and deamonizes any Muslim who dares to say he’s wrong and here’s why. I guess the best thing I can say that every mainstream political and media authority from Dallas to DC knows what Rod’s all about and they’ve decided to ignore him and move on. America wants solutions, not a Crusade.

Salaam,
Posted by: enlightener [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 10, 2008 11:12 PM

8. Spencer to Elibiary:

Mohamed,

I don’t know whether Khaled Mishal would “reject religious deception on principle” or not. I’ve never met the guy and in my trip to the Holy Lands I’ve purposely stayed away from the tours that would have allowed me to meet the Hamas or Hizbullah senior leadership. Look how panicy the Right gets when I dare speak out that our understanding of Islam and Islamic movements is misguided, can you imagine if I sat down and discussed public policy with designated terrorist groups.

Now, you made an assertion about Hamas leadership. I asked you to back it up, and you start telling me how perilous it would be for you to meet with them. Yet you don’t have to present firsthand evidence. You could have pointed me to something Meshaal said or wrote. It’s good, if you’re going to make assertions, to be able to back them up with evidence, no?

You’ve seriously never heard a Christian Priest/Pastor/Minister preach for Christians to increase their interactions and partnerships with other Christian believers whether in the socio-economic or political spheres? Come on now, where’ve you been.

All over the country, for 25 years, and no, I’ve never heard this. I suspect you are extrapolating from your experience within Islam, but in any case, there is no verse like Qur’an 3:28 in the Christian Scriptures.

Re: Actually Ibn Kathir and the exegetes he quotes take it to mean that Muslims may do this if they fear for their security from unbelievers. Can you please supply me with some references to Islamic sources that take your view?

Did I miss something, why is everything Ibn Kathir here? There are gazillions of tafsirs, all with some good and some outdated interpretations. You are aware that each generation is supposed to develop its scholars to review the original texts (Quran and Sunnah) then interpret it for their time and place. I don’t know the exact time, Ibn Kathir is like from a thousand years ago or something.

Look at what I wrote: “Can you please supply me with some references to Islamic sources that take your view?” In other words, I was asking you for alternatives to Ibn Kathir’s explanation of 3:28. In response, you assert that such exist, but don’t give me any. Can you please supply me with even one specific reference to a tafsir for Al-i-Imran 28 that bears out your view?

Meanwhile, why am I asking about Ibn Kathir? Because he is the one who clearly says that religious deception is permitted. Am I to understand that those Muslims who say that his is one of the four most important Sunni tafasir, and that it remains one of the most popular of all tafasir, are wrong?

And as for your assertion that interpretation must be new in every time and place, it contradicts the prevailing notion that the gate of ijtihad has been closed for 1000 years or so. What would you say to a Muslim who told you that the gate of ijtihad was closed, which is, after all, the mainstream view?

You asked for religious sources to support the examples I gave you that the verse allowed for the KSA (Saudi Arabia) seeking political support from the USA in the Cold War and the 1st Gulf War. Not only the KSA Religious establishment of course supported this, but during the 1st Gulf War I recall one of the highest global Sunni Scholars at the time (Shk. El-Sharawy of Egypt) also did so there you have Salafi and Traditional. So there are plenty of mainstream Islamic religious authorities that say you can seek the political cover of a non-muslim nation in opposition to a hostile Muslim nation to your security. Right now isn’t that the position of the KSA’s religious authorities vis-a-vis American protection in the Gulf from Iran?

Can you point me to where I can find scholarly rulings on this? I know that part of Al-Qaeda’s critique of the House of Saud has rested on Qur’an 3:28 and 5:51 (don’t take Jews and Christians as your awliya) precisely because of this. How has the House of Saud answered them on Islamic, rather than simply pragmatic, grounds?

Look I’m not looking to play political games here. If you’re as well read as you claim, then you’re aware of Prophet Muhammad’s hadiths that a Muslim doesn’t break a peace pact/covenant and even protecting emissaries/diplomats from enemy nations even during times of war.

What about Hudaibiyya?

And you should be aware of the numerous Quranic verses dealing with peace and war issues commanding Muslims to accept peace when an enemy sues for peace even if its to the Muslim’s disadvantage.

I am also aware of the numerous modern commentators, including S.K. Malik (“The Qur’anic Concept of War”), Abdullah Ibn Humaid (“Jihad in the Qur’an and Sunnah”), Imam Nyazee (“The Methodology of Ijtihad”) and many others, who say that such cessations of hostilities are temporary, and do not override the imperative to spread the rule of Islam (and Sharia) over the world by whatever means, including but not limited to violence. If you oppose this, how would you answer such arguments when they are advanced by your fellow Muslims?

Any analyst with real understanding of the Middle East region would tell you that a 100 year hudna is worth more than the 30 year “secular” camp david peace deal Israel got with Egypt.

“Any analyst with real understanding of the Middle East region” — that’s an empty argument from authority. In any case, I have no respect for the hollow and self-defeating Camp David accords.

It seems to me that Israel’s being short sited and Machiavellian in their negotiations at the moment, too dependent on their military might but that balance won’t last anywhere near 100 years.

Are we looking at the same Israel? Ready to negotiate away half of Jerusalem?

Israel wants the West Bank, and until it makes up its mind to give it up for a Palestinian State we’re going to continue the charade that the Palestinians aren’t responsible peace partners and the propaganda campaign to sell that to the American people through targeted campaigns with their varying rationals to the different segments of American society. Now I’m not a lobbyist on the Israeli/Palestinian issue, but I did tour it first hand and that’s my assessment- Israel’s not ready to give up the West Bank and it isn’t about security.

I was there not too long ago myself, but never mind. What I am wondering is, why was there no push for a Palestinian state when Egypt had Gaza and Jordan the West Bank, 1948-1967?

Didn’t you write a book or something on the Crusades? Sorry I didn’t read it, assumed it to be historical revisionism (not too proud to admit I stereotype too).

“Too”? I don’t.

Saladin didn’t start the final battle at hittin, it was the neo-con wing of the Crusaders who thought they can egg him into a fight before he’s too strong for them to defeat – devastating gamble for them in hindsight.

“Neo-con wing”? A bit anachronistic in this context, no?

In today’s context that’s futile because it would require an American-Israeli axis to keep the entire “Greater Middle East” as Bush calls it weaker militarily then Israel forever. Good luck sustaining such a policy without the American people’s support.

Clearly my Crusades book is not all you haven’t read. You apparently have no idea what I have written about Bush’s Iraqi democracy project.

About half of Americans hold the same view that you stated Robert that there isn’t any difference between the Islamists and the Jihadists for lack of better terms. I think that is quite shallow and I’m not trying to insult you, because from your website I take it that you present yourself as an expert on Jihad and not Islamic Movements.

I didn’t say there was no difference. I said, when the goals are the same although the means differ, people should take note of the goals. I stand by that.

After the sermon I talked with this man privately and told him that while telling Muslims to help mend fences between bickering spouses is good just saying that its ok to lie and leaving it at that is not a well thought through fatwa and not how scholars would approach it.

I trust you know that there is a hadith in which Muhammad says that lying is permitted to help mend fences between bickering spouses.

The verse doesn’t mention anything about who a waliee amr is.

Maybe not, but Ibn Kathir (why him again? Because, as I explained above, he is the one who says this, and I’m still hoping you’ll point me to contrary tafasir) assumes a non-Muslim waliee amr.

As an fyi the waliee amr in the case you presented of a Palestinian Hamas guy is always a Muslim, who else would you present as a waliee amr, the Israeli PM?

Hamas seems to have been referring to Israel and the West, yes.

Is there a current state of warfare according to Islamic Jurisprudence at this moment in time between Islam and America?

Certainly many Salafis and others would answer yes to that question.

As for your continued libels of Rod Dreher, they are beneath contempt, and don’t speak well of your professed interest in honest discourse. Nonetheless, I’m still here.

Cordially
Robert Spencer
Posted by: jihadwatch [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 11, 2008 8:55 AM

9. Elibiary to Spencer:

Robert,

I never made a statement that Hamas doesn’t believe in deception in principle, so don’t build up a straw man here. I would even assume that as a covert political movement that its part of their field manual operationally speaking on some level. What I said is that Hamas accepts Abbas as the entire Palestinian people’s “walee amr” so deceiving him is not allowed under any circumstances on issues related to war and peace. Now if your not aware of their acceptance of Abbas as the “walee amr” of the Palestinian people and Arafat before him, then that’s a different issue and I’d point you to the State Department, Arab League and Palestinian press where they’ve many public pronouncements accepting the rule of the PLO’s Chairman.

Don’t know where you lived but here in Dallas and everywhere I’ve seen Evangelicals, one sees them trying to grow their movement by promoting Christian inter-cooperation. If you ever come back to Dallas you can go check out the Christian Brothers Automotive Shop in my neighborhood and then tell me they don’t exist.

Look as the resident expert on Jihad focused tafsir, I would have expected you to be aware of all the major tafsirs out there so I’m shocked that you focus so much on Ibn Kathir and his commentary on other simple people’s opinions (heart hatred and whatever). Though it isn’t my responsibility, here’s two major and mainstream tafsirs of the 3:28 verse you keep misinterpreting:

1. Tafsir al-Jalalayn from about five centuries ago is well respected globally by scholars and laymen alike for its simplicity to understand when reading it. Here’s the english translation of the tafsir on 3:28:
http://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=1&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=3&tAyahNo=28&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0
“Let not the believers take the disbelievers as patrons, rather than, that is, instead of, the believers “” for whoever does that, that is, [whoever] takes them as patrons, does not belong to, the religion of, God in anyway “” unless you protect yourselves against them, as a safeguard (tuqātan, “˜as a safeguard”, is the verbal noun from taqiyyatan), that is to say, [unless] you fear something, in which case you may show patronage to them through words, but not in your hearts: this was before the hegemony of Islam and [the dispensation] applies to any individual residing in a land with no say in it. God warns you, He instills fear in you, of His Self, [warning] that He may be wrathful with you if you take them as patrons; and to God is the journey”s end, the return, and He will requite you.”

2. Tafsir Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi is another well known tafsir from about a thousand years ago done in the classic style of tafsir science:
http://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=1&tTafsirNo=86&tSoraNo=3&tAyahNo=28&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0
(Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers”¦) [3:28]. Said Ibn ‘Abbas: “A group of Jews including al-Hajjaj ibn ‘Amr, Kahmas ibn Abi al-Huqayq and Qays ibn Zayd used to keep close company with a group of Helpers to try to make them renounce their religion. And so a group of people comprising Rifa’ah ibn al-Mundhir, ‘Abd Allah ibn Jubayr and Sa’id ibn Khaythamah said to this group of Helpers: ‘Stay away from these Jews and beware of keeping their company lest they drive you away from your religion’. The group of Helpers refused to stop seeing them or keep their company, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. And al-Kalbi said: “This verse was revealed about the hypocrites: ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy and his companions. They allied themselves with the Jews and the idolaters, supplying them with information, hoping that they will have the upper hand over the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse, warning the believers against acting like them”. Juwaybir reported from al-Dahhak that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “This verse was revealed about ‘Ubadah ibn al-Samit who was among those who took part in Badr and a trusted man. He had allies from among the Jews. And when the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, marched to the Battle of the Confederates, ‘Ubadah said: ‘O Prophet of Allah! I have with me five hundred men from the Jews, and I am of the opinion to take them with me to impress the enemy. Because of this, Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers)’ “.

______________________________________

As you can see from above, the verse you keep quoting is from a specific instance and Jalalayn’s tafsir is very straight forward to understand for the modern man and is rational. If I had my way on updating the works of Asbab Al-Nuzul, I would just change the last sentence to say “guardians” instead of “friends” but Ibn Kathir and Yusuf Ali’s translations make the same mistake there too.

You’re not wrong that Ibn Kathir is still popular, but where I think your take’s different then a normal Muslim is that you give it too much weight. If an Imam was to stand up and issue a fatwa only based on Ibn Kathir or any single scholar’s commentary then it’d be seen as a weak fatwa and not even considered by mainstream authorities. He’d need to conduct a comprehensive study of the entire Quran, Sunnah and all the major tafsirs of the Quran and the ahadieth before his fatwa could be considered as properly researched for consideration. Would we take a Law Professor’s commentary on the Constitution from centuries ago blindly now, or is there a rigorous academic review process before any Brief’s written?

I maintain relations with hundreds of Mosque authorities, Imams and Scholars from around the globe. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t accept that time, place, culture and other factors are to be considered when reviewing and publishing fatwas today. I hear online about the doors of ijthad been closed for a thousand years or whatever, but I really haven’t come up against any closed doors on any issues involving my life. Perhaps you can point to something specific that “interpretation by scholars” is forbidden today on?

The House of Saud didn’t answer Al-Qaeda’s religious argument, and couldn’t if they tried anyways. The KSA’s religious establishment, Wahhabi scholars as some call them here, is who answered the charges and these guy’s don’t base their arguments on pragmatism, they use theology. I don’t have any clue right now where one’d get the fatwa where they refute that, but I’ll ask and see. Remember though that in my post above I also said that next to the KSA scholars, Al-Azhar and Shk. El-Sharawy at the time also endorsed it.

What about Hudaybiah? During that time the Muslims were essentially a tribe in a tribal society governing structure. They had tribal peace pacts with other tribes for security. The Muslims kept their end of the bargain and the treaty collapsed when a non-Muslim tribe allied with the Muslims’ enemy murdered an allied tribe of the Muslims thereby canceling the treaty and relaunching hostilities. Hostilities that Muslims won with the nearly 100% peaceful take-over of Mecca. Where’s the problem here? I know that some try to paint Hudaybiah as a temporary pact until Muslims are strong enough to take over, but that’s historical revisionism because there is no proof and even counter-proof like the Hadith I quoted above exist that Prophet Muhammad was going to break the treaty himself. Now I’m aware of media reports that Arafat said that the Oslo Accords were his Hudaybiah in Arabic though I never heard it, but if its true then my response would be that the man is better off being straight forward. Arafat is also a secular and not a religious authority by any means.

Yeah its the same Israel, just different halves of the population I guess.

I wasn’t around in 1948-67, but I assume it was because the Arabs hadn’t decided to let Israel be yet but thought they could remake the region’s borders unilaterally with Soviet support through Pan-Arab Nationalism. After ’67 things changed and it took half of Israel till 1993’s Camp David Accords to recognize that the Arabs wanted to negotiate so they can move on to their bigger goal.

I would argue that their is a difference in the end goal of the Islamists and the Jihadists. Seeing their end goal as simply “Islamic Rule by Shariah” is superficial, because the devil’s in the details. Like for example the structure of government, any checks and balances, independent judiciary or simply a centralized autocratic system calling itself Islamic. Other differences would include the role of religious scholars in the development of state legislation, is it advisory or guardian. And one could go down the list, so after examining it all one finds that human liberty simply can’t exist in one at all and is promotable though the other though using a different methodology then the liberal west is familiar with.

You keep on saying that Ibn Kathir assumes a non-Muslim “waliee amr” and that’s not correct. Ibn Kathir’s interpretation assumes non-Muslim “awliaa” not a non-Muslim “waliee amr”. I would refer you to my last post where I said that one can have multiple “awliaa”, but ultimately has one “waliee amr” or “Amir” if your familiar with that term. Check out the famous Asbab al-Nuzul tafsir I pasted above, it narrates for you the specific instance this verse was revealed for. In that instance the 500 Jewish military allies of Ubadah ibn al-Samit would be his “awliaa” not his “waliee amr”. His “waliee amr” would be Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Look Robert there is no denying that there is a huge geo-political struggle between America and various allies verses Muslims but it isn’t because America is at war with Islam in its totality. In 2005 I had the Saudi National Satalite Channel call up our foundation and request an interview to discuss this very issue. After much deliberation we hesitantly approved it and I gave the interview in our foundation’s office with a copy of the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence hung up behind me that was broadcast during Ramadan (mega sweeps month) in Saudi Arabia. We could write volumes on this, but the rule for declaring a “war” in Islam are clear and they have not been met.

Now is UBL trying to usurp authority not his, of course he is and that’s their Achilles heel not a philosophical/theological discussion on deception, Jihad or what have you. For example in UBL’s last video much of the media punditry were talking about his beard being dyed. They focused on frivilious observations like the guy looks younger. The reality is that the classical era scholars had said that dying your beard is not allowed unless for “Amir el-Moomineen” or “Walie Amr” of the Muslims. UBL was never granted that title, though he indirectly tries to usurp it via political arguments that as amir of Al-Qaeda and Al-Qaeda itself being the “vanguard defending Islam”. Its actions like this where these political activists (ex. UBL) over-reach and are slapped down by Salafi scholars like Shk. Sulayman Odah and others.

Concerning Rod, there’s nothing contemptible in what I say about the guy. He’s a bigot, simple as that. He can choose to reform his approach and stop trying to play the grand inquisitor of American Muslims like we’re 2nd class temporary residents and I’ll stop using the bigot word. I know you two are buddies, but with hundreds of reporters I’ve met over the years and many I don’t care for Rod’s the only one I’ve ever locked horns with and called a bigot. I really have nothing more to say about Rod, and I’m not his latest problem anyways. His latest fight’s with another Mohamed, I don’t talk to Rod anymore anyways. I just can’t accept 2nd class status for my kids in this country. Non-negotiable. I’ve got a long track record and I’ve never denied anyone their freedom of speech, so Rod could discuss whatever topic he’d like without the hostile bigotry and he’d never hear from me or any American Muslim for that matter. I never threatened him or anyone, even commentators on JW/LGF figured out the Eddie Murphy analogy and saw the humor in it. Rod choose to pretend he was threatened because he’s got no responses to the arguments presented with and had a platform to run and say what he’d like without any editor checking it. It was only folks pre-disposed to hatred of Muslims who reprinted Rod. As an fyi, before any flareups happened between myself and Rod I had offered to take him to lunch and answer his questions but he was never interested to sit down with anyone. The only Muslims he’s ever sat down with, he’s run after the meeting and published misquotes of what they said in order to defame Islam and his bosses can verify that for you. Gotta love the age of the internet, wasn’t it Benjamin Franklin who said pre-internet that while the truth’s putting on its boots a lie’s half way around the world.

Salaam,
Posted by: enlightener [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 11, 2008 12:18 PM

10. Spencer to Elibiary:

Mohamed,

Here’s what you said on February 9 at 9:03PM regarding the claim in the main article, “Hamas: We’re allowed to lie”:

Answering the Hamas guy quoted, if its accurate, is futile because the upper management of Hamas wouldn’t back such non-sense. He’s way over-reaching and if he’s using 3:28 as his rationale, then he’s a misguided fool.

That’s in your comment here:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/019850.php#c507529

Then on February 11 at 12:18PM you wrote this:

I never made a statement that Hamas doesn’t believe in deception in principle, so don’t build up a straw man here.

That’s in your comment here:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/019850.php#c508134

All right. If you didn’t mean by your February 9 statement that the Hamas leadership rejected deception in principle, what did you mean?

All your talk about Hamas not deceiving Abbas is irrelevant, because aside from this article, the larger issue is their deceiving Israel, the EU, and the US.

Don’t know where you lived but here in Dallas and everywhere I’ve seen Evangelicals, one sees them trying to grow their movement by promoting Christian inter-cooperation. If you ever come back to Dallas you can go check out the Christian Brothers Automotive Shop in my neighborhood and then tell me they don’t exist.

I don’t know. I’m not an evangelical, and I don’t claim to know much about them. But even if what you’re saying is true, it doesn’t amount to what Qur’an 3:28 says, as interpreted by Ibn Kathir and (as we shall see) others about deceiving unbelievers. No warrant is given for that in any sect of Christianity.

Look as the resident expert on Jihad focused tafsir, I would have expected you to be aware of all the major tafsirs out there so I’m shocked that you focus so much on Ibn Kathir and his commentary on other simple people’s opinions (heart hatred and whatever).

I’ve already explained this to you: I focus on him because he makes a clear statement about religious deception. I’ve asked you to come up with some tafasir that reject religious deception on principle, which question comes from the fact that you initially came into this thread complaining that I was unfairly generalizing from the Hamas statement (which, incidentally, wasn’t true either). That’s all. And instead of a straight answer from you, we get paragraphs and paragraphs of detours.

Though it isn’t my responsibility, here’s two major and mainstream tafsirs of the 3:28 verse you keep misinterpreting:

No, Ibn Kathir keeps misinterpreting — unless you can demonstrate that I’ve said anything beyond what he says. Can you?

Why do you wish to pretend that I’m originating this material, instead of acknowledging that it exists in Islamic texts, and dealing with it accordingly?

1. Tafsir al-Jalalayn from about five centuries ago is well respected globally by scholars and laymen alike for its simplicity to understand when reading it. Here’s the english translation of the tafsir on 3:28: http://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=1&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=3&tAyahNo=28&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0″Let not the believers take the disbelievers as patrons, rather than, that is, instead of, the believers “” for whoever does that, that is, [whoever] takes them as patrons, does not belong to, the religion of, God in anyway “” unless you protect yourselves against them, as a safeguard (tuqātan, “˜as a safeguard”, is the verbal noun from taqiyyatan), that is to say, [unless] you fear something, in which case you may show patronage to them through words, but not in your hearts: this was before the hegemony of Islam and [the dispensation] applies to any individual residing in a land with no say in it. God warns you, He instills fear in you, of His Self, [warning] that He may be wrathful with you if you take them as patrons; and to God is the journey”s end, the return, and He will requite you.”

Thanks for the lesson. You seem to want to pretend that I never heard of the two Jalals — or, before you accuse me of setting up a straw man, at least that is the impression I get from this statement from you, and your explanation of what the Tafsir al-Jalalayn is, above: “Look as the resident expert on Jihad focused tafsir, I would have expected you to be aware of all the major tafsirs out there…”

While it is common for Muslim spokesmen to accuse me of ignorance, this assertion always seems to founder on the facts. In reality, I quoted this exact passage from the Tafsir al-Jalalayn here at JW on May 24, 2007. Here is the URL:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/016608.php

Also, I’ve quoted the Tafsir al-Jalalayn copiously in my Blogging the Qur’an series, which you can find here:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/articles/bloggingtheq.php

But to the point: I was asking you for tafasir that contradicted Ibn Kathir. Instead, you give me the two Jalals, who confirm Ibn Kathir and uphold the principle of religious deception: “you may show patronage to them through words, but not in your hearts.”

All right, so let’s try the second one. You quote at length from the Tafsir Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi, but your quote only deals with the part bout not taking unbelievers as friends in preference to believers, and doesn’t talk about religious deception at all.

So we still don’t have a tafsir that contradicts Ibn Kathir, whom you reject, right?

As you can see from above, the verse you keep quoting is from a specific instance and Jalalayn’s tafsir is very straight forward to understand for the modern man and is rational.

Please point to anywhere in the Tafsir al-Jalalayn on 3:28 where it says anything about restricting this to a specific instance. They seem to be saying that anytime you’re in this situation, you can act this way. No?

You’re not wrong that Ibn Kathir is still popular, but where I think your take’s different then a normal Muslim is that you give it too much weight. If an Imam was to stand up and issue a fatwa only based on Ibn Kathir or any single scholar’s commentary then it’d be seen as a weak fatwa and not even considered by mainstream authorities. He’d need to conduct a comprehensive study of the entire Quran, Sunnah and all the major tafsirs of the Quran and the ahadieth before his fatwa could be considered as properly researched for consideration. Would we take a Law Professor’s commentary on the Constitution from centuries ago blindly now, or is there a rigorous academic review process before any Brief’s written?

Fine. That’s why I asked you for material contradicting Ibn Kathir. I’m still waiting.

Perhaps you can point to something specific that “interpretation by scholars” is forbidden today on?

Sure. The rulings of Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafi’i, and Maliki fuqaha about jihad against unbelievers and their subjugation. Who is reopening the discussion of such issues, and in what forum, and with what authority?

I know that some try to paint Hudaybiah as a temporary pact until Muslims are strong enough to take over, but that’s historical revisionism because there is no proof and even counter-proof like the Hadith I quoted above exist that Prophet Muhammad was going to break the treaty himself.

Then why does the Shafi’i school — and others — teach this? Why has the teaching establishment of Islam succumbed almost universally to this “historical revisionism”?

Here is Islamic scholar Majid Khadduri, no “Islamophobe” he, in War and Peace in the Law of Islam: “The Hudaybiya treaty established the precedent that Muslim authorities might come to terms with polytheists, provided it was only for a temporary period….they all agree that a temporary peace with the enemy is not inconsistent with Islam’s interests.” Where did Khadduri get this idea? Was he a historical revisionist?

Now I’m aware of media reports that Arafat said that the Oslo Accords were his Hudaybiah in Arabic though I never heard it, but if its true then my response would be that the man is better off being straight forward. Arafat is also a secular and not a religious authority by any means.

Sure. But he knew his audience would understand what he meant, and they seemed to, didn’t they?

I would argue that their is a difference in the end goal of the Islamists and the Jihadists. Seeing their end goal as simply “Islamic Rule by Shariah” is superficial, because the devil’s in the details. Like for example the structure of government, any checks and balances, independent judiciary or simply a centralized autocratic system calling itself Islamic. Other differences would include the role of religious scholars in the development of state legislation, is it advisory or guardian. And one could go down the list, so after examining it all one finds that human liberty simply can’t exist in one at all and is promotable though the other though using a different methodology then the liberal west is familiar with.

Sorry. If I am to be subjugated, with a boot on the face, I am not interested in which brand of boot.

You keep on saying that Ibn Kathir assumes a non-Muslim “waliee amr” and that’s not correct. Ibn Kathir’s interpretation assumes non-Muslim “awliaa” not a non-Muslim “waliee amr”. I would refer you to my last post where I said that one can have multiple “awliaa”, but ultimately has one “waliee amr” or “Amir” if your familiar with that term. Check out the famous Asbab al-Nuzul tafsir I pasted above, it narrates for you the specific instance this verse was revealed for. In that instance the 500 Jewish military allies of Ubadah ibn al-Samit would be his “awliaa” not his “waliee amr”. His “waliee amr” would be Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

This is just hairsplitting. What is clear from Ibn Kathir is that he is talking about deceiving unbelievers, not fellow Muslims.

Now is UBL trying to usurp authority not his, of course he is and that’s their Achilles heel not a philosophical/theological discussion on deception, Jihad or what have you. For example in UBL’s last video much of the media punditry were talking about his beard being dyed. They focused on frivilious observations like the guy looks younger. The reality is that the classical era scholars had said that dying your beard is not allowed unless for “Amir el-Moomineen” or “Walie Amr” of the Muslims. UBL was never granted that title, though he indirectly tries to usurp it via political arguments that as amir of Al-Qaeda and Al-Qaeda itself being the “vanguard defending Islam”. Its actions like this where these political activists (ex. UBL) over-reach and are slapped down by Salafi scholars like Shk. Sulayman Odah and others.

Actually, Qaradawi and others say that black dye is allowed only for jihad, but is not restricted to the Amir el-Moomineen, and in any case, Osama has never claimed to be the Amir el-Moomineen. In fact, he engineered the proclamation of Mullah Omar as Amir el-Moomineen in Kandahar in 1996.

Concerning Rod, there’s nothing contemptible in what I say about the guy. He’s a bigot, simple as that.

To be perfectly candid with you, I’m tired of this name-calling. I get it all the time, and I see how it’s effective and why you and your friends do it, but it does nothing to counter the substance of the arguments I make or Rod makes. Without answering our arguments, it’s just empty character assassination. And people of good will can see that. It shows you to be weak. And people are waking up to that.

Cordially
Robert Spencer
Posted by: jihadwatch [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 12, 2008 5:58 PM

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Comments

  1. says

    “I have to say that Robert did strike me as easier to debate with than I ever thought possible based on what I knew of him. He knows enough to cut through the B/S and debate practicalities when engaging with informed individuals (religious, philosophical and socio-political). But I assume he doesn’t speak like this in public because its bad for business and because Muslims aren’t really looking to engage him either.”

    http://muslimmatters.org/2008/02/06/what-would-you-say-to-america%e2%80%99s-leading-islamophobes-if-given-the-opportunity/

    Their is a lot of hate for RS out there, I encourage Muslims to find fault with his approach if they dont like mine , but they wont reason at all.

  2. says

    In the future, and in the spirit of honest and respectful debate, people like Mr. Elibiary should refute an assertion with proof that is relevant to and directly debunks that assertion or simply concede the point and move on.

    Baseless disingenuine attacks, empty bravado, and name-calling are valueless.

  3. says

    One exchange with one slick apologist could fill an entire book, and still not make one substantive point.

    I don’t even think the evasion is done consciously. After a millenia-and-a-half, it is just second nature.

    Point to a Quranic verse that justifies deception towards kufirs, and the “response” is a story about how an imam said that it is okay to trick a feuding husband and wife to come together again. That is not a “response”, that is frantically throwing sand in our face in the hope of distracting us.

    I obviously lack the patience and grace of Robert. If I tried to respond to any of this, the top of my head would explode from frustration.

    So, I’ll restrict myself to one tiny example that illustrates the “honest effort” that this apologist makes in the “debate”:

    Roberto, this is my responce: Bear Abuse with Patience “Bear patiently with what they say (against you) and leave their company in a polite manner.” The Holy Quran, 73:10

    Note the vaguely dismissive “Roberto” in his “responce”. Then,

    jihadwatch (Robert), I wouldn’t quote 73:10 to someone misunderstanding 3:28. I was quoting 73:10 to the folks on this thread above saying stuff like Islam is filthy or cursing Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) since as you know Islam (don’t have the verse # handy but its in the Quran) says to not sit down or hold discussions with those cursing the Quran or Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) so I simply have to ignore them.

    So, he is responding to blasphemers, which I guess is why he addressed it to “Roberto”. And he says he has to ignore the blasphemers, which he apparently does by responding to them. This exchange, like the rest of Mohamed’s postings, make no sense.

    How Robert is able to find some way to even make an effort to respond to it is beyond my comprehension.

  4. says

    Robert Spencer – I respect you even more & can’t believe you can put up with such rambling on & on, and even try to rationally deal with it. You are so patient and gracious. Unfortunately, it probably produces NO effect in the mind of that illogical, la-la land “debater” (using “debate” very loosely), but we do trust that the effect of seeing such non-reasoning vs. careful & factual analysis WILL have some effect on other observers. We hope. very strongly…

    Thank you for standing up for truth in any case!!

  5. says

    From Elibiary’s account of his experience at America’s Truth Forum Symposium:

    Oh and how could I forget the Indian Hindu nuclear engineer Moorthy Muthuswamy and the Egyptian Coptic MD Monier Dawood thrown in for their brilliance and eloquence respectively. The former outlining his brilliant strategy to combat “political Islam” by outlawing the existence of Mosques first in America, then India and eventually Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The latter was helped off the stage for showing up late, rambling about Egyptian pop singers in the early 70s, discriminating against Christians by celebrating the ’73 war with Israel, by crossing the Suez Canal as done by a fictional Egyptian named “Mohamed” as opposed to a “Boutrous” or “Gerges” (George) and offending his strongly Zionist hosts by even mentioning any wars against Israel without first condemning them.

    Muthuswamy is a nuclear engineer? Anyway, I’ve see his opinions, and didn’t know that he’s into abolishing mosques in Saudi Arabia, or even Pakistan (unless he happens to want it to get re-annexed to India, which not too many Hindus could possibly be wanting, given how that would Islamify the while country even more). As for Monier Dawood, did he actually condemn his Zionist hosts?

    The second was from Robert Spencer. Though I went to this Symposium intending not to engage anyone in debate, Robert coming over to my table after circling around a bit, made my non-debate plan obsolete. In response to my assertion that I saw him as part of the problem and didn’t care for his approach which made Islam the problem, Robert responded with several rapid-fire responses about everything from the bogey-man (Muslim Brotherhood) to “Islamic Supremacist” (apparently Sheikh Qaradawi) obviously meant to test my intelligence. At one point, in choosing to define myself as a reformer, Robert leaned into me, and suggested,”reform something then”! Later on in our discussions I told him that with a beard like his, he should just go ahead and convert to Islam.

    See, Robert, those of us who have been advocating that you shave, or at least ‘convert’ your Islamic-looking beard into a goatee, do have a point 😉

  6. says

    ‘where is the Muslim spokesman who is willing to discuss jihad-related issues on the level of evidence, without diversions, detours, deception, and/or personal attacks? I’m still looking’

    Good luck with that! In order to debate, they would have to be logical. Logic and religion simply don’t mix!

  7. says

    “Sorry. If I am to be subjugated, with a boot on the face, I am not interested in which brand of boot.” By Robert Spencer

    Should be made bold…highlighted…underlined.

    The goal is the same: Non-Muslims (like me) get the Timberland mark impression on our forehead no matter what. Do you really care who does it, or what means they used? Does an African-American care if a member of KKK wants segregation by peaceful means? Should that make him/her think better of that KKK savage?

  8. says

    I sense that Mohamed Elibiary is not an Ikhwanist, but he knows Islamic leadership is suffused with them, in this country and abroad. He may even respect the First Amendment’s Non-Establishment Clause, but doesn’t aknowledge that the aspirations many–arguably half–of his fellow Muslim Americans implicitly conflict with it. Jizya in America–that such may be sought and imposed by his co-religionists anywhere on Earth is no cause for dismissive ridicule.

    He refuses to acknowledge the social exclusivism and separatist impetus supported by Qur’anic citation; even suggesting that this implies the opposite–brotherhood in Christian conception radiates from within the fold outward; not, as the citation suggests, withdrawing inward into the fold from those outside it.

    Which leads to a dualism that divides humanity into two irreconcilably warring camps that are inherently alien to each other, a cosmic war of eschatological necessity, clearly manifested by mandated temporal struggle to the point of striking blows, of literal combat. Sun Tzu and Clausewitz never address the transcendant aspects of warfare. Modern non-Islamic Civilization can’t comprehend mandated, ultimately expansionist religious warfare as anything but an inherently inhuman concept.

  9. says

    At one point, in choosing to define myself as a reformer, Robert leaned into me, and suggested, “reform something then”!
    -From Robert’s friend’s write up linked above.

    Good line. Thanks for fighting our fight. Note:

    “…in choosing to define myself as a reformer…”

  10. says

    This is Moorthy Muthuswamy

    I concur with Robert Spencer’s observations about Mohamed Elibiary.

    I am a nuclear physicist, not a nuclear engineer. The point is, Mr. Elibiary could have taken the effort to give an accurate description of my credentials, but he didn’t.

    I called for shutting down mosques in America (they represent power structures of the predatory political ideology of conquest called Islam), but not in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia. Obviously, shutting down mosques in a Muslim majority state is not possible, unless a non-Muslim power occupies it.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Elibiary doesn’t seem to get his facts right…

    It looks like I too got on Mr. Elibiary’s nerves. This fight is far more than a mere white Christian/Jews vs. brown Muslims. About a billion Indians are cornered by Islam and will take the fight to the jihadists and their sponsors. Trust me, Geneva Convention is the last thing in their minds.

    I met Robert for the first time at the Truth Forum symposium. I came away even more impressed with the man. He has a very good “feel” for Islam and Muslims. I mean, his instincts and insights are right on the money, much more than just about anyone else I have met.

  11. says

    MoorthyM, I hope we hear more about your work. This is the first I’ve heard of you (I’m not nearly as “with it” as Infidel Pride), and I like you already.

  12. says

    The fact is this whole arguement is silly. The dogma of Islam is rigid, but every Muslim seems to have some singularly authoritative view on what Islam permits. Reminds me of Bhutto claiming that no “true” Muslim would kill her because she is a woman. The fact is Islam is silly. No matter for me I can see no benifit for having this sort of insanity woven into our cultural faberic. Seems our government is unconcerned about this. Tic toc tic toc time is ebbing for rational solutions. Anyone ready for a milita yet?

  13. says

    The fact is this whole arguement is silly. The dogma of Islam is rigid, but every Muslim seems to have some singularly authoritative view on what Islam permits. Reminds me of Bhutto claiming that no “true” Muslim would kill her because she is a woman. The fact is Islam is silly. No matter for me I can see no benifit for having this sort of insanity woven into our cultural faberic. Seems our government is unconcerned about this. Tic toc tic toc time is ebbing for rational solutions. Anyone ready for a militia yet?

  14. says

    Robert, STOP MAKING SENSE! It’s not fair to the jihadis. Can’t you just let them wage militant jihad and then deny that their religion is barbaric?

  15. says

    RS has recommended a number of sources, written by Muslims, usually translated by Muslims, representing the Muslim mainstream, and intended only for Muslims.

    These sources say lying is not just acceptable for personal goals (such as maintaining family peace), but is obligatory for the bigger goals of the umma.

    {
    “Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law” (al-Misri, translated by Keller):

    r8.0: LYING
    r8.1: …Primary texts from the Koran and sunna that it is unlawful to lie… are both numerous and intersubstantiative, it being among the ugliest sins…

    PERMISSIBLE LYING
    r8.2: The Prophet… said, “He who settles disagreements between people to bring about good or says something commendable is not a liar.”

    This much is related by both Bukhari and Muslim, with Muslim’s version recording that Umm Kulthum added, “I did not hear him permit untruth in anything people say, except for three things: war, settling disagreements, and a man talking with his wife or she with him…”

    This is an explicit statement that lying is sometimes permissible for a given interest, scholars having established criteria defining what types of it are lawful. The best analysis of it I have seen is by Iman Abu Hamid Ghazali, who says: “Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible…, and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory. When, for example, one is concealing a Muslim from an oppressor who asks where he is, it is obligatory to lie about his being hidden…”
    }

    {
    The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s “Sirat Rasul Allah” (A. Guillaume):

    p. 367
    “The apostle said… “Who will rid me of Ibnu’l Ashraf?” Muhammad b. Maslama… said, “I will deal with him for you, O apostle of God, I will kill him.” He said ,”Do so if you can.”… The apostle said, “All that is incumbent upon is that you should try.” He [b. Maslama] said, “O apostle of God, we shall have to tell lies.” He [apostle Muhammad] answered, “Say what you like, for you are free in the matter.”
    }

  16. says

    Hugh posted, concerning Robert’s apparently bottomless patience when ‘debating’ with Muslim interlocutors:

    “Stamina. In addition to everything else, it takes that. To take that”.

    After reading through the archives, and observing the avowed Muslim Disruptors who periodically appear there, and participating in some exchanges myself, I second Hugh’s point. It’s awesome to watch.

    There is something else.

    What Robert Spencer is doing is dangerous; not just in the simple physical sense, death threats and suchlike.

    It is dangerous psychologically and spiritually, both for himself and for his interlocutors. In many ways, what he is doing is tantamount to the work of an exorcist, or a neurosurgeon who opens up the brain to tackle a tumour, to attempt to separate healthy from unhealthy tissue when they are interwound almost inextricably. In both cases, unless the operator knows exactly what they are doing, things can go terribly wrong.

    Spencer is challenging Muslims – those who are, or present themselves as, decent people – to face the fact that much in the Sira-Hadith-Quran, much of the ‘sharia’, directly contradicts their own humanity, that it is inimical to that part of any human being which *does* desire truth, which longs to love and be loved, which resonates to the ‘golden rule’.

    He is forcing them, therefore, relentlessly (but with a relentlessness driven, I think, by charity) to a point where they have to either consciously recognise and renounce those evil aspects of Islam, in order to save their own humanity; or consciously choose to keep Islam just as it is – which means choosing evil and annihilating their own humanity. He would not do this, I think, if he did not believe that the former option was impossible. Those Muslims who debate with him are encountering, at one and the same time, love and judgement.

    Peck, looking back on ‘charlene’, a patient whom he was ultimately forced to recognise as evil, reflected that had he realized that at the beginning, he would have acted differently. He writes, in ‘People of the Lie’:

    “I would begin with my confusion. I know now that one of the characteristics of evil is its desire to confuse. I had been aware of my confusion within a month of beginning work with Charlene, but assumed it to be my stupidity. I never entertained the notion in the first year that possibly I was confused because she wanted to confuse me. Today I would make that as a possible hypothesis and begin to test it quite quickly…Might not such a cool competence in dealing with her case have driven Charlene right out of treatment? Yes, it is a distinct possibility” (p 204).

    We see that same cool competence in Spencer’s writing, and in his debating. He can’t be confused; if he suspects his interlocutor is attempting to confuse him, he does as Peck describes – he tests. And very often, encountering that ‘cool competence’, his Muslim interlocutors flee ‘right out of treatment’. They may stay for a while, compelled by a desire to ‘beat’ him (Peck concluded that ‘charlene’ had kept coming back for psychoanalysis purely in order to enjoy the sensation of power she got from keeping him confused, trying to ‘outwit’ or ‘beat’ him). But in the end, when they realize he sees right through them, they flee.

    Peck also notes: “I have learned these past years that evil – be it demonic or human – is surprisingly obedient to authority. Why this is so, I do not know. But I know that it is so.”

    “Let me stress that authority over the power of evil does not come easily. It is gained by enormous exertion in addition to knowledge. Such exertion can be born only in love.” (p. 205).

    Now, there is a benefit to the non-Muslim observers who watch ‘Spencer debating a Muslim’, as ‘thatisall’ noted above, but I don’t think Mr Spencer is just putting on a show, or conducting an expose, I think he is patiently, persistently trying to get through to, wake up, the ‘human-ness’ of his Muslim sparring partners.

    Over the past year or more I have received the strong impression that Spencer has precisely that authority, which derives from real love – not the wishy-washy kind, something much tougher. (I see the same soul-strength in Bat Yeor, who is Jewish: the same resolute will to delight in what is good, ‘bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things’ – and I do not think she gained it easily, either).

    I wish Mr Spencer a blessed Lent that will clarify his mind and recharge his batteries.

    Those of us who are Christians should be praying for him.

  17. says

    The latest conspiracy theory just in case you haven’t heard it before:

    A friend of mine who owns a travel agency had some Iranians in this morning who told him that the New York Jooozzz scrificed 6 million of their own in the holocaust just so they had a justification to steal Israel from the Palistanians…

    Yep. That must be it….

  18. says

    “every Muslim seems to have some singularly authoritative view on what Islam permits. ”

    We don’t have the luxury to indulge in the wonderful mosaic of Islamic diversity about how they interpret lawful jihad against their “enemeies”.

    While Spencer and others argue about theological fine points, we remain vulnerable to horrific attacks against us by Muslims.

    I guess we’ll just have to wait until after millions of us die before we finally take rational action.

  19. says

    Good luck with that! In order to debate, they would have to be logical. Logic and religion simply don’t mix!

    Posted by: Aardvark at February 13, 2008 5:33 PM

    Could we change your last sentence to: “Logic and islam simply don’t mix?” Muslims are incapable of rational logic as we understand it. They are alien creatures that exist in a parallel universe where good is evil and evil is good. They are all INVETERATE LIARS; lying comes as naturally to muslims as breathing.

    I believe that mendacity is thoroughly entrenched in the muslim ethos as a defense mechanism. IF they ever stop lying to themselves and us, they will be forced to face and confront islam’s malevolence and asininity. If islam is perfect, why must they lie about its hideous doctrine?

    Muslims are human insofar as they possess the physical attributes of homo sapiens, but that is where all similarities between them and us end. They are on a different wavelength than normal people; their thoughts, perceptions, and desires are formed by their total immersion in islam and ignorance and avoidance of any real interaction with the non-muslim world. Most muslims are oblivious to or misinformed about what exists beyond the narrow confines of islam. They are little more than ultra-fanatical rubes with severe tunnel vision.

    The imams and mullahs know that the only way to keep the flock faithful is to keep it terrified, enraged, and segregated from outside influence and contact with the non-muslim world. Lies, lies, lies—-islam was borne of lies, deception, and savage brutality. It is a house of cards that cannot be sustained without violence, fear, anger, and lies.

  20. says

    Everyone:

    I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Moorthy Muthuswamy, but I would only be in favor of shutting down mosques in America if mosques refused to allow monitoring of sermons and other activities, and refused to be absolutely transparent about their speakers, sources of funding, etc., and if they refused to renounce and teach against the jihad ideology and Islamic suprmacism.

    Of course, absolutely none of this is part of the public discussion about jihad violence and supremacism at this point.

    Cordially
    Robert Spencer

  21. says

    I would only be in favor of shutting down mosques in America if mosques refused to allow monitoring of sermons and other activities, and refused to be absolutely transparent about their speakers, sources of funding, etc., and if they refused to renounce and teach against the jihad ideology and Islamic suprmacism.

    Since all of us know that none of that will happen (unless they manage to pull off an elaborate taquiyya exercise), you and Dr Moorthy (and we) are on the same page. (Of course, Elibiary thinks that we’d like to chose them down in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan as well.)

    Conditions, shmonditions….

  22. says

    Robert Spencer says:

    “if they refused to renounce and teach against the jihad ideology and Islamic suprmacism.”

    If Islam as an ideology was designed for conquest, while paying lip service to spirituality (as part of an elaborate deception), all bets are off, is it not?

    Not just Islamic history and the ongoing Islamic conquests around the world, Bill Warner’s (CSPI) statistical analysis of the Islamic trilogy too hits home the point that Islamic ideology is dominated by the politics of its founder and is designed for conquest.

    They couldn’t really teach anything else in mosques, could they?

    I am sure Robert Spencer knows this too well. His is a smart way of making Muslims themselves say bye to their mosques and get on with life, like the rest of us:)-

  23. says

    dumbledoresarmy,

    You give me an insight into that Muslim cognitive dissonance I see and sense, but cannot understand and take hold of.

    Susanp,

    You give voice to things I suspect but can’t accurately express, can’t articulate, can’t fully fathom.

  24. says

    john c, and others –

    I have just re-read my posting above, from Feb 13 9.53 pm and realized that I need to correct one sentence.

    For “He would not do this, I think, if he did not believe that the former option was impossible”, read “He would not do this, I think, if he believed the former option was impossible”.

    You never know, until you’ve tried, who is a brick wall and who isn’t.

  25. says

    Moorthy Muthuswamy,

    All bets are not off. Only an absolute pessimist would declare that Islam, based on its historical roots, canonical texts, and countless recent words and actions by the Islamic Jihadists themselves, could render Islam as a lost cause.

    I cannot speak for Robert directly, but I can give my opinion, as to what I perceive his position to be.

    Islam has inherent problems that need addressing. Robert is merely the messenger who tirelessly (and it appears, thanklessly) tries to alert western non-MuslIms to the reality of the threat we collectively face today from Islamic Jihad and global Islamic supremacism.

    Other religious ideoligies have undergone the neccesary changes in interpretation, to “keep up with the Jones’s”, per say. Robert simply calls for that, specifically in the Muslim community, as a prerequisite for any meaningful change to occur, in the Islamic faith.

    He also regularly points out what the West SHOULD do to protect itself from the obvious onslaught of Islamic infiltration and expansion, again, taken as a mandate from the Islamic texts, but usually falling on deaf ears in the West, but the fact of the matter is, he and his brethren are making a difference. Things are changing.

    Do I, like many other nameless, faceless, useless commenters at this site, believe that Islam is reformable and compatible with the West?

    Hell, no.

    That being said, I dare not speak for Robert’s position, who has probably forgotten more about the subject of Islam, than I will ever know. And, that is not Robert’s position either, that Islam is lost and must be eradicated, at least im my estimation taken from about 200 + postings of his.

    You attempt to comprehend Robert’s mind, as an insider, contrary to everything he has said and everything he has done publically.

    My advice, Mr. Muthuswamy, is to re-think that position.

    Regards,

    awake

  26. says

    All bets are not off. Only an absolute pessimist would declare that Islam, based on its historical roots, canonical texts, and countless recent words and actions by the Islamic Jihadists themselves, could render Islam as a lost cause.

    Not just an absolute pessimist. A realist as well. If there is no historical evidence to support that Islam has ever been moderated, to assume that it’s possible is putting too much faith in theory, rather than practice (or as Mike Huckabee says, miracles rather than math).

    Historically, not only did the Arabs spread Islam and all the vitriol that’s inherent in it, but when hitherto tolerant people – be it Persians, Turks/Ilkhanate Mongols, Indians, et al Islamized, they became less tolerant. And given the history of everything that’s happened whenever Muslim rulers/leaders ever tried to make Islam more tolerant – a reversion to the more fanatical brands – it’s too much of a stretch to assume that Islam is reformable.

    I think that Moorthy is suggesting (he sure can speak for himself) that instead of giving Islma the benefit of the doubt by assuming that Islam is reformable, we put the onus on Islam instead to not let its fans and apologists down. That way, we don’t keep getting disappointed every time such expectations don’t materialize, and by adapting a game plan of presumption of guilt until proven innocent, we put the pressure on Muslims to reform, instead of changing the yardsticks to the point that a mere refinement of taquiyya is all that’s needed.

  27. says

    Infidel Pride has said:

    “Not just an absolute pessimist. A realist as well.”

    Indeed!

    I would go further. Objective analysis shows Islam as an ideology designed for conquest. Why should we assume that it can be reformed?

    We have to move beyond merely pointing out the problem, toward solutions. From a risk management view time is not on the side of America and the rest of civilization, with demographical trends favoring jihadists.

    In light of available evidence and based upon the idea of preemption, the natural thing is to help liberate Muslims from this ideology by taking meaningful steps. This way, as Infidel Pride puts it, we put the onus on Islam and its supporters…

    Correction: It is not my intention to (or attempt to) speak for Mr. Robert Spencer. In my previous post, I would have rather used the phrase “I bet Robert Spencer knows this too well”, than the one I ended up using: “I am sure Robert Spencer knows this too well”. My intention was to indicate that, in my mind, Robert Spencer understands this problem very well.

    When I had said “His is a smart way of making Muslims themselves say bye to their mosques and get on with life, like the rest of us”. This was my interpretation of the consequence of what he had said in his post. As Awake points out, Spencer’s positions could be (and are probably) different from mine.

    I regret the choice of words and the impression I may have given, of trying comprehend Robert Spencer’s mind as an insider. I want to assure everyone, including Robert Spencer that, this was and is, not my intent. As a highly regarded scholar Robert Spencer has his own ideas and positions and myself as a published author, have my own views and ideas.