"In an exercise of intellectual honesty it would have been appropriate to link to Salam Al-Marayati's entire column instead of selecting one quote then launch into a rant. It would have been even more appropriate if Al-Marayati's latest column on Rifqa Bary, your most recent 'Let's-Save-the-Muslim-Teen-Girl-From-the-Bloodthirsty-Muslims' poster child (Mmm, it's always teen girls, isn't it?), was included." -- from a Jihad Watch poster here.
If what I had selected to discuss had been a passage ripped out of a context that endowed it with a meaning different from what it so clearly is, then this charge might, just might, have some validity. But the passage in question, that I chose to hold up for inspection, was not ripped out of such a context. It was, in fact, a perfect example of an attempt to deceive Infidel readers, the readers at the Huffington Post for whom Al-Marayati has such contempt. For he assumes they not only do not know, but will remain so permanently incurious as not to be moved to find out, the relevant contents of the Islamic texts -- Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira -- and the rulings of Muslim jurisconsults. His attempt to wrap-Islam-in-the-flag-of-American-patriotism is absurd, for in Islam Believers are inculcated with the clear idea that they owe their allegiance, their sole allegiance, to Islam, and to fellow members of the Umma.
By Muslim I mean the many True Believers, and not the handful of those who are merely "cultural Muslims" -- that is, those who no longer accept the faith, and refuse to believe much of it, but nonetheless, for obvious reasons (fear or filial piety), do not declare that falling-away. You cannot be a True Muslim and a true patriot who is loyal to the legal and political institutions of whatever Infidel nation-state you happen to live in. You may describe yourself as working for the "betterment" (ah, what a word for Salam Al-Marayati, or whoever helps him with his prose, to use) of that nation-state, but that must mean, if you take Islam to heart (and Salam Al-Marayati certainly does), that you will work to make America a place where Infidel ways, and Infidel obstacles to the spread of Islam -- including the Constitution of the United States, which the spirit and the letter of Shari'a flatly contradict -- are swept aside.
For another example of such a contradiction, at a transnational level, compare carefully the individual rights that are guaranteed -- freedom of speech, freedom of conscience -- in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with the "Islamic" version that was concocted in order to offer the world a version that seems to suggest that Muslims, too, believe in similar guarantees. But the Cairo Declaration, as any careful comparison of the two documents will show, substitutes for the most important guarantees of individual rights other, collective rights, and only those that conform to the Shari'a. That means that the most important parts of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are, in the Cairo version, now screamingly absent.
And then the Jihad Watch reader quoted above makes the demand -- this is all by way of not answering a single one of my points, but merely engaging in the usual rhetorical distraction -- that I should also have included another column by Al-Marayati, one which I had not seen and was unaware of. This column is about Rifqa Bary, and the reader argued that I should have included it on the grounds that... well, on the grounds that that topic has been discussed at JW. It has, but not by me -- I haven't written a word about it, not because it is not of interest, but because I tend to write on other issues, those that most affect the construction of policies that attempt to deal with, or refuse to deal with, the matter of Jihad -- that is, the struggle to remove all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam. That is why I tend to write about Iraq and the squandering there, Afghanistan and the squandering there, Pakistan and the squandering there. I am under no obligation, in making a point about the colubrine hiss of Al-Marayati's huffington-puffingtons, to discuss in the very same article this and that aspect of his Defense of the Faith.
But since the reader mentioned his column on Rifqa Bary, let us examine it. It is written in that pseudo-casual tone that is designed to make unwary non-Muslim readers think that the whole story of Rifqa Bary is simply one of quite unnecessary hysteria whipped up by the usual suspects, those mad-dog Christians (the story is titled "Rifqa, the Reverand [sic] and Apostasy" and not, as it should be, "Rifqa, the Qur'an and Apostasy").
Let us hold up for inspection one of Salam Al-Marayati's assertions in this piece. It is intended to deflect attention from the Islamic source for Rifqa Bary's fear, and her imperilment.
First, of course, there is the obvious hint, and more than a hint, of Tu Quoque:
Fathima Rifqa Bary, who goes by Rifqa, is a 17-year-old from Columbus, Ohio who ran away from home -- not an uncommon occurrence for 17-year-olds.
Got that? Lots of 17-year-old girls run away from home. They don't have to be Muslim to run away from home. Everyone's doing it. But here's the point that Salam Al-Marayati wants you, as you read his sly little piece, to forget: No non-Muslim girl is running away from home because she believes she is being threatened with death, a mortal punishment to be inflicted by her own parents, because she has given up the faith she was born into through no fault of her own. That is the key point, and that is what Salam Al-Marayati wishes you to overlook.
And then there is a second bit of Taqiyya, in which Salam Al-Marayati tries to liken death for apostasy to the death sentence that non-Muslim countries mete out -- after lengthy investigation and trial -- for treason during wartime. Here is how Salam Al-Marayati puts it:
Centuries ago, the apostasy law was actually a treason law, created to address what should happen when a soldier in a Muslim army converts to the other side and then fights against a Muslim country. That's the equivalent of an American working for the Soviet Union during the Cold War, or for the Nazis in World War II. Under U.S. law, treason is punishable by death. Now, state authorities in Florida and Ohio will have to clear up the mess and determine Rifqa's residence. Her father, Mohamed Bary, has a strong endorsement by Sgt. Jerry Cupp of the Columbus Police Department. Cupp told the Associated Press that Bary "comes across to me as a loving, caring, worried father about the whereabouts and the health of his daughter."
Notice two things. Al-Marayati wants you to believe that the "apostasy law was actually a treason law" -- but that was "centuries ago." The clear implication is that that is no longer the case. But it is still the case, and Al-Marayati knows that perfectly. The law of apostasy in Islam has not undergone some transformation; it remains exactly what it has been during the entire 1350-year history of Islam. When Salam Al-Marayati writes that "centuries ago" such and such was the rule, he is deceptively holding out hope that the Islamic law of apostasy has changed. But it hasn't. And if he wishes to make the argument that it has, he will have to deal not with the contributors to this website, nor with the Western scholars of Islam -- see, e.g., Samuel Zwemer's The Law of Apostasy in Islam, nor with the many brave apostates who have dared to tell the truth about Islam in the relative safety of the West (though Wafa Sultan has, disgracefully, not been provided by the American government with guards and must live largely in hiding).
No, it is not even with Wafa Sultan, or Ibn Warraq, or Ali Sina, or Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or Magdi Allam, or hundreds of others less known, or tens or even hundreds of thousands of former Muslims, now apostates, who may speak only to a few close friends about the physically dangerous choice they have made, with whom Salam Al-Marayati must reckon. What he must reckon with is Muslim scholars in the West -- not apostates -- such as M. Cherif Bassiouni and many others. For Bassiouni has affirmed that the traditional position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence is that apostasy merits death.
And then, too, Salam Al-Marayati has to tell us how his attempt to disguise, through the practice of such arts of dissimulation as Taqiyya and Tu Quoque, the punishment today (the same as the punishment yesterday, or a thousand years ago) for apostasy from Islam would be regarded by imams and muftis and Islamic scholars all over the Middle East, when they address, as they mostly do, audiences of fellow Muslims, and are not carefully tailoring their words for eavesdropping Infidels.
But beyond the Tu Quoque, the most important, and certainly the most disgusting, part of Salam Al-Marayati's article on Rifqa Bary can be found here:
She argues "it's in the Quran". No it's not, sweet little Rifqa. It's not in the Quran. Whoever told you that is either ignorant or a liar. You should look it up yourself before claiming it's in the Quran. Rev. Lorenz is then quoted in a local television station report saying that if a Muslim leaves his religion and does not return to Islam in a couple of days, then he must be killed. He claims that someone showed him the verse. There is no such verse, Rev. Lorenz. In every faith, apostasy is shunned but ultimate judgment is left to God, not people.
Note the obscene condescension -- Al-Marayati, safe and sound, holding up for mockery a 17-year-old girl who has every reason to believe her parents, and her mosque, of that phrase "No it's not, sweet little Rifqa. It's not in the Qur'an."
In the first place, Salam Al-Marayati knows better than anyone that something need not be literally in the Qur'an, in words that cats and dogs today can understand, to be regarded as "in the Qur'an" by the Islamic jurisconsults who, more than a millennium ago, before the Gates of Ijtihad were slammed shut, declared that apostasy was punishable by death. And if Salam Al-Marayati wishes to take up the matter with someone well-versed in Shari'a, he need only call up M. Cherif Bassiouni, Distinguished Professor etc. at an American law school, who will no doubt repeat to him what he wrote to Robert Spencer some weeks ago: that all four schools of Sunni jurisprudence uphold the notion that an apostate can and should be punished by death. For apostasy is, in Islam -- and not only in the early years of Islam (any more that marriage to a nine-year-old was valid only "in the early years of Islam"), but for all time.
But in any case, Salam Al-Marayati is wrong. It is in the Qur'an. And he knows exactly where. He knows 4.89 and 2.217. He can't claim ignorance. Nor is he unaware of the Hadith, or of the rulings of the jurisconsults that lead such a scholar of Islamic law as M. Cherif Bassiouni, Distinguished Prof. etc., to unambiguously conclude -- even if he, M. Cherif Bassiouni, wishes it were otherwise -- that Islamic law is crystal clear on the subject of apostates.
Now Salam Al-Marayati knows all this, knows it perfectly. He is not some innocent, some recent convert or "revert" to Islam who has been kept in the dark about Islam. Nor is he some lapsed Muslim, or a Muslim who has never read the Qur'an in Arabic. He knows this all, as well as any imam.
But what he, Salam Al-Marayati, is counting on, is that his non-Muslim readers (and perhaps even some of his more ignorant Muslim readers, especially the non-Arabs who have never been exposed to the violence with which the Qur'an in Arabic is instinct) will not know any of this, will not take the trouble to find out.
He has contempt for his readers.
I, on the other hand, think that readers -- even readers of The Huffington Post -- are far more capable of finding out about the texts and tenets of Islam than the al-marayatis of this world think. This is the very opposite of the condescension with which Salam Al-Marayati lies, so immediately and directly, to the readers he assumes can be taken in. I don't know which is worse, and which would be my grounds, were I running, or reading, the Huffington Post, to insist that such an obvious promoter of falsehood, such a deeply sinister practitioner of taqiyya and tu quoque, be dropped from the columnist list.
Meanwhile, I'd like to remind readers that when Salam Al-Marayati claims, with his poker-face, that "in every faith, apostasy is shunned but ultimate judgment is left to God, not people" he is lying about what Islam so clearly prescribes, and a dozen or a hundred or a thousand apostates could set us immediately straight.
Salman Al-Marayati has to be asked whether the people who assassinated Farag Foda in Egypt a few years ago for his apostasy had misunderstood Islam, and if so, in what way? And the same question should be asked about those who threatened to kill, many decades ago, in the same Egypt, the great scholar Taha Hussein, for apostasy? And why is it that Ayaan Hirsi Ali has to go about accompanied by four or five armed guards whenever she makes a public appearance? Is she doing it just for effect, just to make herself, phonily, into a martyr? And why is Wafa Sultan now in hiding? And what causes Ibn Warraq and Ali Sina to use aliases? And what about the guards whom the government of Italy supplies to accompany Magdi Cristiano Allam? And what about the sentencing of Abdul Rahman to death in Afghanistan, not so long ago, for apostasy?
Have all of these people, and have all of the Muslims who are intent in carrying out what they believe the sentence for apostasy is, all collectively misunderstood Islam? And if Salman Al-Marayati wishes, we could fill up this page with the names of those who have been threatened with death, or killed, because they are charged with apostasy, and could fill up a book with the names of those Muslim scholars of Islam, living and dead, who believe that the proper punishment, the punishment according to the Shari'a for apostasy from Islam, is death.
So whom should we believe? All of those scholars, Muslim and non-Muslim, who set out, with the Qur'anic verses, and quotes form the authentic Hadith, and details from the life of Muhammad, to insist that Islam continues to punish apostates with death, as it has for 1350 years? Or should we believe what Salman Al-Marayati tells us, when he is such a sly, and yet at the same time for the vigilant and well-informed reader such a transparent practitioner of Taqiyya and Tu Quoque, who treats his non-Muslim readers with such contempt (and knows that his fellow Muslims will say nothing at all to spoil his effort at deception), whether at the Huffington Post, or wherever else he manages to ingratiate and insinuate himself among those who are ill-prepared to understand his methods and his goals?