Robert Spencer: Countering Muslim Disinformation
Posted by Robert on February 23, 2013 11:01 AM
Over at  Atlas Shrugs I cut through yet another example of Islamic supremacist lies and distortions:
According to Islamic supremacist hate groups such as the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), no one would have any problem with Islam if it weren’t for bigoted non-Muslims who irresponsibly “link Islam to terrorism” – and this link, they claim, gives rise to acts of violence against Muslims. Hamas-linked CAIR and its allied groups have for years now been pumping out disinformation designed to “clear up misconceptions” about Islam and set the record straight. On its website Hamas-linked CAIR says that it was established in order to “promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America,” and declares that “we believe misrepresentations of Islam are most often the result of ignorance on the part of non-Muslims and reluctance on the part of Muslims to articulate their case.”
However, the cure offered by American Muslim groups may be worse than the disease. All too often these groups construct a “positive image of Islam” out of smoke and mirrors. Instead of dealing forthrightly and constructively with the concerns and questions that non-Muslims have about Islam’s relation to jihad terrorism, Islamic supremacist groups in the U.S. are more interested in throwing sand in our eyes.
A quintessential example of this is a publication of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a Muslim Brotherhood group: “Q & A on Islam and Arab Americans,” which originally ran in USA Today and circulates widely. It’s a handy compendium of many of the chief claims that Islamic supremacists make in order to lull non-Muslims into complacency and confuse them regarding the nature of the jihad threat.
1. Islam means peace. The flyer notes that “the Arabic word for ‘Islam’ means ‘submission,’ and it derives from a word meaning ‘peace.’” Indeed, in Arabic, Islam and salaam (“peace”) share the same linguistic root, but this in itself is virtually meaningless. All sorts of words share the same roots, and can still have quite divergent meanings — such as the English word love and the related Sanskrit word lubh (lust). Noting the derivation of the word Islam in this brief information flyer can only be an attempt to lend credibility to oft-repeated claim that Islam is a religion of peace. But that idea glosses over Islam’s doctrines of war and subjugation, with the IIIT does not address and pretends do not exist.
2. “Jihad does not mean ‘holy war,’” says the IIIT. “Literally, jihad in Arabic means to strive, struggle and exert effort. It is a central and broad Islamic concept that includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, struggle in the battlefield for self defense or fighting against tyranny or oppression.”
This was a precursor to Hamas-linked CAIR’s deceptive and misleading “#MyJihad” campaign, which attempts to convince non-Muslims that jihad is about making friends and getting exercise. To its credit, the IIIT goes farther than Hamas-linked CAIR by mentioning the battlefield, and in this it is more accurate than CAIR’s preposterously innocuous farrago. Islamic theology distinguishes between the “greater jihad,” which involves “struggle against evil inclinations within oneself,” and the “lesser jihad,” which is hinted at here as “struggle in the battlefield for self defense or fighting against tyranny or oppression.” Still, left unmentioned is the fact that throughout history, Muslims have not stopped at self-defense or fighting against tyranny. One manual of Islamic law — certified as conforming “to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community” by Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the most prestigious and influential Islamic institution among Sunni Muslims worldwide — calls jihad “a communal obligation” to “war against non-Muslims.” It is an obligation to make war upon “Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians” until they “become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax,” and to fight “all other peoples until they become Muslim.”
3. Islam condemns terrorism. The “Q & A” asserts that “Islam does not support terrorism under any circumstances. Terrorism goes against every principle in Islam. If a Muslim engages in terrorism, he is not following Islam. He may be wrongly using the name of Islam for political or financial gain.”
This is a problem of definition. Islamic spokesmen routinely refer to the actions of Israel and the U.S. as “terrorism,” but to those of Hamas and Hizballah as justified acts of “resistance” against “oppression.” For example, the late Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, was a foe of terrorism of such renown that President George W. Bush quoted him at the United Nations in late 2001 as saying that “terrorism is a disease, and that Islam prohibits killing innocent civilians.” But Tantawi also called suicide bombing “the highest form of Jihad operations,” and added that “every martyrdom operation against any Israeli, including children, women, and teenagers, is a legitimate act according to [Islamic] religious law, and an Islamic commandment.” His understanding of what constituted “terrorism” was quite different from that of most Americans.
 There is more.
Article printed from Jihad Watch: http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/02/robert-spencer-countering-muslim-disinformation.htmlURLs in this post: