Journalistic bias, Islam’s death penalty for apostasy, Hamas-linked CAIR, and the freedom of speech

After Miami Herald reporter Jaweed Kaleem incorrectly identified me rather than Pamela Geller as the head of SIOA in the original version of this article, I corrected the record here. Kaleem was kind enough to send me this note this morning:

Robert: my mistake in incorrectly identifying you in the article. I’ll get that fixed online. FYI the decision to remove the ads was a last-minute one; I did not know of it when I interviewed you via email.

I responded with this:

Thanks. I appreciate the correction. Why didn’t you mention CAIR’s unindicted co-conspirator status, links to Hamas, and terror convictions of its officials in your article? Why didn’t you mention the many apostates from Islam who have been murdered or threatened with death around the world in recent years, or the fact that all the sects of Islam and schools of Islamic jurisprudence teach that apostates from Islam should be killed? I would be happy to supply you with data on these or other matters for a follow-up article. Let me know — I’d be happy to help.

And Jaweed Kaleem answered:

The answer to most of your questions is that my articles usually have a local focus. I have written about the South Florida chapter of CAIR for a few years now and have never seen or heard them advocate terrorism. I don’t write about the national CAIR organization. Re: the apostasy issue, I have heard of many of these incidents in abroad, but have heard of few in the U.S. and none in South Florida. Sure, I’ll take a look at your data. If you can provide me with a former Muslim in South Florida who has been threatened for leaving the religion and who would have appreciated the help of the ad, I can look into a follow-up interview.

Well, unfortunately, in South Florida Muslims read the same Qur’an and follow the same Sharia that other Muslims read and follow in other parts of the world. They may not, for any number of reasons, live it out in the same way, but there is no South Florida Islam that is distinguished from Islam in other parts of the world by any significant doctrinal difference. Nor is there any coherent reason to believe that CAIR-South Florida differs in any substantial way from CAIR national. Accordingly, the information I provide here for Jaweed Kaleem is not restricted to South Florida — but it holds true there as well. And I decided to do this publicly rather than in a further email, since the information here may be useful to others besides Jaweed Kaleem.

First, re CAIR: CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror, and that CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Honest Ibe Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements.

And regarding apostasy, Kaleem quotes CAIR’s Muhammad Malik saying this: “Islam guarantees freedom to and freedom from religion….[We] reject as un-Islamic any extremist interpretation that sanctions the killing of any individual because she decided to ‘leave Islam.'”

So evidently Muhammad Malik and CAIR reject as “un-Islamic” these words of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam and supreme example of conduct for the Muslim (cf. Qur’an 33:21): “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, then kill him.” (Bukhari 9.84.57)

Evidently Muhammad Malik and CAIR reject as “un-Islamic” the Tafsir al-Qurtubi, a classic and thoroughly mainstream exegesis of the Qur’an. About Qur’an 2:217, Qurtubi says this: “Scholars disagree about whether or not apostates are asked to repent. One group say that they are asked to repent and, if they do not, they are killed. Some say they are given an hour and others a month. Others say that they are asked to repent three times, and that is the view of Malik. Al-Hasan said they are asked a hundred times. It is also said that they are killed without being asked to repent.”

Evidently Muhammad Malik and CAIR reject as “un-Islamic” the teachings of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, since they all teach that a sane adult male who leaves Islam must be killed. They have some disagreements about what must he done with other types of people who leave Islam, but they have no disagreement on that.

Evidently Muhammad Malik and CAIR reject as “un-Islamic” the internationally renowned Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has been praised as a “reformist” by pseudo-academic John Esposito and who has said this about Islamic apostasy law: “That is why the Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-`ashriyyah, Al-Ja`fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed.”

Meanwhile, although it’s just dandy that “Islam guarantees freedom to and freedom from religion,” Muslims all over the world seem to misunderstand Islam on this point. There are many killings of apostates and threats to their lives that take place frequently in the Islamic world.

Click on every word — each one is a story about an apostate being murdered or threatened with death. Now, isn’t that odd? Why did all these Muslims misunderstand Islam’s protection of religious freedom? Why are so many Muslims misunderstanding Islam in just the same way?

But none of this was fit to print in the Miami Herald. I think it almost certain that Jaweed Kaleem didn’t even ask Muhammad Malik any hard questions. Maybe he will get another chance as our lawsuit runs its course.

Hamas-linked CAIR crows over denial of free speech to Florida religious liberty bus ad campaign, defames freedom fighters
We're suing Miami-Dade Transit for killing our religious liberty bus ad campaign -- please help us fight for the freedom of speech
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Comments

  1. says

    Robert, give your readers the Miami Herald’s website and phone number and encourage action. We will put pressure on the media. Non-violent of course.

    Bryan

  2. says

    Robert, Jaweed Kaleem is a moslum name –

    worth a read
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/16/1582279/ads-deemed-offensive-to-islam.html

    Ads deemed `offensive’ to Islam removed from buses
    Miami-Dade Transit is pulling from 10 buses an advertisement that South Florida Muslims contended were offensive to Islam.
    The ads, which went up Tuesday, said, “Fatwa on your head? Is your community or family threatening you?” and directed Muslims to a website encouraging them to leave Islam.
    Robert Spencer, head of New York-based Stop the Islamization of America, which purchased the ads as the first step of a national campaign, said they were “offered in defense of religious liberty.”
    Miami-Dade Transit spokeswoman Karla Damian said Thursday that the ads were accepted because an outside company sells ad space on buses and the transit agency does not routinely review them.
    The South Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said they promoted “bigotry” and made false statements about Islam.
    — JAWEED KALEEM

  3. says

    I will gladly send email and make phonecalls if I know that we are doing it as a focused group. I’m tired of emailing and calling media agencies and being ignored. We have to make it so they can’t ignore us. Of course that is when the powers in charge will try to shut Jihadwatch down.We have to stress that we want truthful reporting. We do not want anyone to use any sort of violence. If muslims become violent because of our words, then we must demand our leaders to deal with their violence. There is nothing I say that justifies violence. Some people believe speaking the truth justifies violence. I will not keep from speaking the truth in order for muslims to remain peaceful. Jesus Christ is my King. Anyone can say whatever they want about Jesus or me in believing what I believe. That is a blessing to me if I’m persecuted for Jesus. Jesus is truth.

  4. says

    Well after reading the author’s name no wonder he doesn’t want to co-operate, he’s under the spell too.

    Bryan, I email and call too and never get any answers to my mail. You’re not alone. Don’t let frustration stop you from continuing please!

  5. says

    Jaweed… I have written about the South Florida chapter of CAIR for a few years now and have never seen or heard them advocate terrorism.

    No kidding…You mean they don’t take you aside and tell you everything? You must feel left out…

    And this…And regarding apostasy, Kaleem quotes CAIR’s Muhammad Malik saying this: “Islam guarantees freedom to and freedom from religion….[We] reject as un-Islamic any extremist interpretation that sanctions the killing of any individual because she decided to ‘leave Islam.'”

    Yes, I too noticed the ‘she’…I also noticed that Malik was lying, and Jaweed was eating it up…

  6. says

    Kaleem:
    “The answer to most of your questions is that my articles usually have a local focus. I have written about the South Florida chapter of CAIR for a few years now and have never seen or heard them advocate terrorism.”

    You gave a very good answer to the above, Robert. About Islam and Muslims being not so different across the world.
    (by contrast Islam-apologists try to emphasize different circumstances in countries around the world, so as to exonerate and protect Islam).

    I think Muslims exploit the weakness, divisiveness of Westerners who only “have a local focus”. You, however have a worldwide focus, in your maybe unrivalled, great Jihad Watch! As have by far the most Muslims themselves.

    Maybe a relevant question to all Muslims would be; where lies your highest loyalty? Take this Kaleem; yes, he writes articles with a local focus, but is his LOYALTY also locally focused?!

    The ignorant, busy Westerners, THEY do have both local focus and loyalty. But I suspect Muslims like Kaleem have a worldwide Ummah-loyalty and then use a local focus, in an area where Islam has no power, so Muslims have to adapt. And he is careful not to give a worldwide context. Which is the only relevant focus I think, because the proof of what Islam really is, should be how Muslims act when in power and majority!

  7. says

    This bus ad campaign may be seen by CAIR and other Muslim groups as an attempt to provide help and protection to apostates. Providing help and protection to disbelievers such as apostates violates the Quran, in which Allah states that the disbelievers (including apostates) will have no protectors or helpers on earth, and will have no escape in the earth, and will be punished in this world (46:32, 11:20, 9:73-74), not just in the hereafter. Some apologist Muslim spokesmen in the West, to non-Muslim audiences, claim that only Allah will punish apostates, but the Quran states that Allah can punish the disbelievers through the hands of Muslims (8:17, 9:14). The official Saudi website al-Islam.com quotes the passage including 9:12 to 9:14 as Quranic support for the death penalty for the apostate who insults/reviles (i.e., criticizes) Islam and Muhammad publicly.

    Muslims are expected to regulate the affairs of real people in the real world. Verse 2:251 indicates that Allah uses some people (believers) to keep others (disbelievers) in check; otherwise the world would be full of corruption/mischief. Verse 57:25 indicates that Allah “brought down iron” so that Muslims may use it to administer Islamic justice on earth. Verses 7:157-158 order Muslims to command the “right” and forbid the “wrong.” Verse 5:3 and others (5:44-49, etc.) make Islam lawful for all time. The true believers are those who strive for Allah and Muhammad (49:14-15, 9:20, 4:95). In short, Muslims are expected to carry out Islamic duties and obligations on earth, in the real world, with regard to real people. Disbelief is the worst crime, according to the Quran. Given these premises, logically, Muslims have to actively struggle against the worst forms of disbelief, such as public apostasy, to fulfill their duty to Allah and his prophet Muhammad, to protect Islam and make it victorious and supreme, dominant over all religions (9:33, 48:28, 61:9).

    In addition, publicly apostatizing constitutes a violation of the person’s former covenant or agreement with Allah (9:11-14; also see the passage following 9:73, for example), and such a violation breaches any peace agreements (4:89-91; 9:6) that might have previously protected the person. Such breaches, according the Quran and Islamic law, are considered grounds for killing. Dhimmis, for example, could be killed if they criticized Islam or Muhammad. War captives and slaves, including women and children, could also be killed for “waging war” verbally against Islam. It seems highly doubtful that Muslims in groups like CAIR, who say they hope to one day establish sharia law and governance in the United States, regard public apostates and critics of Islam, as protected and to be treated by the same standards as fellow Muslims.

    In any case, removal of protection is an earthly penalty, i.e., the removal of the normal protections that human beings might be expected to have in orderly societies that uphold freedom of expression and freedom to change one’s religious beliefs. In keeping with the Quranic principle of allowing no protection for apostates, in Islamic law there is no penalty for killing a public apostate. This is essentially saying that public apostates and critics of Islam are fair game for offended Muslims to kill with impunity. Verses 5:32-33 give an exception to the prohibition on killing, whereby those who spread mischief/corruption can be killed or punished severely.

    It seems to me that CAIR is carrying out what it sees as its Islamic duty to defend against apostasy and the enabling and encouragement of apostasy. This idea that Muslims have to battle disbelief (i.e., anything other than “true” Islam) and the leaders of disbelief is dealt with in the Quran, the Hadith, the Sira, and in Islamic fiqh. A Muslim is obliged to command the right and forbid the wrong, to the extent that he or she is able, and in the best interests of Islam. Muslims are encouraged to struggle against the disbelievers, hypocrites, and apostates (5:54, 9:73-74). Abu Bakr, the first “rightly-guided” caliph and close friend of Muhammad, waged war against apostates to bring them back into full compliance with Islamic doctrines and obligations (e.g., paying the zakat).

    Islam has the death penalty and other harsh penalties not only for the crime of public apostasy, but also for the crime of enabling or encouraging others to apostatize (e.g., there are laws against non-Muslims proselytizing to Muslims). Islam also has the death penalty and other harsh penalties for anyone who criticizes Islam. These bus adds clearly violate Islamic law in a number of ways, but CAIR knows that it is not currently in a position to kill or punish harshly those who made the ad and those who published it. It would be bad for Islam, at this time, in the U.S., for Muslim groups such as CAIR to enact harsher punishments against Islamic critics and those who seek to aid apostates. From a public-relations, Islam-preserving and Islam-promoting da’wa perspective, that would be too much, too soon. CAIR is promoting a kind of temporary “Meccan Islam,” which, as the historical progression goes, is to be followed by a harsher “Medinan Islam” once Muslims attain greater power in the West.

    Yet CAIR’s current non-violent jihad against disbelief, blasphemy, and apostasy can hardly be considered peaceful. They are aggressive activists who seem to have a hand in regulating just about every major media story related to Islam in the past several years. They engage in vicious propaganda campaigns against apostates and critics. In addition, their tactics are helped indirectly by the presence of some Muslims who are more than willing to threaten and carry out violence to “defend” Islam in America. Everything that CAIR does must be seen in light of the larger context, which includes the fear, among non-Muslims (including apostates), that violence or other forms of punishment will be carried out against them if they are deemed to have offended Muslims. CAIR does nothing to discourage these threats of violence and incidents of violence, while CAIR points out and hurls accusations against those who the violent Muslims in America would like to punish through vigilante means.

  8. says

    Jaweed Kaleem said to Robert, “If you can provide me with a former Muslim in South Florida who has been threatened for leaving the religion and who would have appreciated the help of the ad, I can look into a follow-up interview.”

    According to the South Florida CAIR site, “In September, Malik became the director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ South Florida chapter, the Muslim civil rights group that covers Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, home to about 75,000 Muslims.”

    If Kaleem is as interested in the local scene as he suggests, why can’t he do a bit of investigative journalism and find some apostates, publicly declared ones or those who wish to remain anonymous, and report on what he finds. Have they ever been threatened? After all, Kaleem has the opportunity to do this, given his location and his role as a journalist who has now found himself involved in the issue. He has the opportunity and the ability, but does he have the motivation?

    Somehow I don’t get the impression that Kaleem is someone who wants too much attention brought to the plight of apostates from Islam, or those who leave in fear of declaring their apostasy. But I could be wrong, and maybe we’ll see a story by Kaleem on the apostates amongst those “75,000” Muslims in the South Florida region.

  9. says

    oops. My “those who leave in fear” should say those who live in fear of declaring their apostasy. According to Ibn Warraq, there is, for obvious reasons, a significant percentage (I can’t recall his specific estimate) of undeclared apostates amongst the Muslim population.

  10. says

    …Back to Jaweed Kaleem request to Robert, “If you can provide me with a former Muslim in South Florida who has been threatened for leaving the religion and who would have appreciated the help of the ad, I can look into a follow-up interview.”

    If the person receiving the emails for the billboard had any apostates writing in who were willing to be interviewed by Jaweed, it might be possible to arrange such an interview.

    A bit of googling reveals that Jaweed has met some former Muslims in South Florida in his work as a religion reporter there, though he doesn’t say anything (in what I’ve read) about having asked them detailed questions about the nature of their apostasy, whether they made it public, whether they explained why the rejected Islam, and so on. Perhaps Jaweed didn’t ask. Interestingly, I read this in an article by Jaweed about a “controversial” atheist billboard in Broward County, South Florida [Atheists use billboard to preach their message Thursday, August 20, 2009 BY JAWEED KALEEM The Record]:

    Excerpt:

    “[…] Over beers and burgers, non-believers, agnostics, skeptics and lapsed Jews, Christians and Muslims talked about everything from science and philosophy to politics and current events.
    The feeling, many said, was liberating: being able to speak casually and openly with like-minded people without fear of being disliked or distrusted.
    I still go to the mosque every once in a while because I’m under pressure to, but usually I tell my Muslim brothers that I pray at home,” said Yahya, a 65-year-old former Muslim. “I don’t want to pretend to be a believer, but I have to because I like some of these people.[…]”

    End of excerpt.

    Here Jaweed himself reports at least one former Muslim (murtad) who says he is under pressure to go to considerable lengths to maintain the appearance of being a believer. That is, like untold numbers of apostates, “Yahya” is also a hypocrite (munafiq). If there is no compulsion in religion–or as CAIR’s Muhammad Malik fantastically claimed “Islam guarantees freedom to and freedom from religion”–then people like Yahya would be under no pressure to hide their true views. (In addition, Islam criticism would be a lot more prevalent in public discourse). In any case, Jaweed already has at least one candidate for a follow-up interview. He ought to be able to find many more. As to whether Pamela and Robert’s bus ad would have directly helped Yahya (as distinguished from a general indirect benefit of the ad from its raising of public awareness about the issue of apostasy from Islam), or whether Yahya received threats, I can’t say.

    There, Jaweed Kaleem, the ball is in your court.

  11. says

    Jaweed Kaleem also has written an article that seems to gloss over or ignore the problems with imam Foad Farahi, who is described in some more detail elsewhere [see Miltant Islamist Monitor, and then see Kaleem’s article on Farahi in Miami Herald, March 28 2009]. Foad Farahi is reportedly a fan of Yusuf Qaradawi, who advocates the killing of apostates, and some other hardline Muslim scholars.

  12. says

    For further information on Satanic Islam and the times we are living in, please read the following books:

    1. “The Islamic Anti-Christ” by Joel Richardson. Former Muslim who converted to Christianity. The book came out in the fall of 2009. Can be purchased at Barnes & Noble, World Net Daily http://www.wnddaily.com and Amazon.

    2. “Muslim Mafia” by P. David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry. CAIR is the central focus. The book also came out in 2009. Can be purchased at World Net Daily http://www.wnd.com

    Both are real eye openers.

    Bryan—Jesus is my King too. Amen

  13. says

    CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror, and that CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Honest Ibe Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements.

    Robert,

    Why is CAIR un-indicted?
    The FBI has confiscated all the paper data of the Muslim Brotherhood from David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry.
    Yet we haven’t heard anything about a case against CAIR, ICNA, ISNA or any other Muslim Brotherhood operations concerning this indictable information. Why?
    Why do they get away with this criminal behavior?
    The Mafia wasn’t untouchable. The mob was brought down and, even though they still operate, they are not nearly as powerful as they used to be.
    Why are these criminal Islamic organizations getting away with what they do?

  14. says

    “Well, unfortunately, in South Florida Muslims read the same Qur’an and follow the same Sharia that other Muslims read and follow in other parts of the world.”

    With a name like Jaweed Kaleem I’m absolutely positive he already knows this.

    “If you can provide me with a former Muslim in South Florida who has been threatened for leaving the religion and who would have appreciated the help of the ad, I can look into a follow-up interview.”

    Not so fast Kaleem. Robert is not going to offer up South Floridian Muslim apostates so you and your CAIR weenies can give them the Rifqa Bary treatment.

  15. says

    Kaleem said “If you can provide me with a former Muslim in South Florida who has been threatened for leaving the religion and who would have appreciated the help of the ad, I can look into a follow-up interview.”

    In other words he knows some who have left Islam. But most Muslim apostates would not reveal their apostasy. There is too much stigma attached to it plus they will be ostracized by the ones they love and friends. I think that while some Muslim come over to the west for economic reason others come because they are secretly apostates and want to live a free lifestyle even if there are Muslims in name only. These bus ads would help some who have very strict Muslim parents and fear being killed or thrown out without support for their apostasy. These ads are similarto ads for shelters for abused females. an abused female would at least know where to go when threatned or abused.

  16. says

    “I will not keep from speaking the truth in order for muslims to remain peaceful.”

    That’s saying a lot in a few words. It describes where Europe is now; truth is now hatespeech. It describes where we in the US are headed if we give in. As they grow in numbers, Muslims find the mere threat of violence a useful tool.

  17. says

    Thanks for the links, Schnellmann.
    I especially like this one: fatwa No. 696, 811, 1240
    http://islamqa.com/en/ref/696/apostasy

    It applies perfectly to the bus ads.

    The punishment for apostasy (riddah) is well-known in Islaamic Sharee’ah. The one who leaves Islaam will be asked to repent by the Sharee’ah judge in an Islaamic country; if he does not repent and come back to the true religion, he will be killed as a kaafir and apostate, because of the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever changes his religion, kill him.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 3017).

    It is well-known in Sharee’ah that the punishments (hudood) are not carried out on minors, because they have not yet reached the age of responsibility; but in the case of those who have reached the age of responsibility, the punishment (hadd) applies, without a doubt.

    The person who knows the truth and believes in it, then turns his back on it, does not deserve to live. The punishment for apostasy is prescribed for the protection of the religion and as a deterrent to anyone who is thinking of leaving Islaam. There is no doubt that such a serious crime must be met with an equally weighty punishment. If the kuffaar do not give people the freedom to cross a red light, how can we give freedom to people to leave Islaam and disbelieve in Allaah when they want to?

    It seems that the intention of the teacher mentioned in the question was to shock the students with news of this ruling, in order to mislead them from the way of Allaah. You must respond and explain to him and the other students as much as you can.

    May Allaah make you and us bearers of His Message and defenders of His Sharee’ah.