[...] Another law-enforcement source tells me CAIR and other groups have been worse than useless: To this source's knowledge, US Muslims have played virtually no role in foiling local plots.
Indeed, in some places, imams have reportedly withheld useful info and threatened to oust congregants who aid law-enforcement. Officials say Ahmad Afzali, the Queens imam helping agents probe Najibullah Zazi (the coffee vendor charged in a New York terror plot), later double-crossed them and alerted Zazi.
"I know of no investigations" in which Muslims have been helpful, Rep. Peter King (R-LI), the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, tells me. He says law-enforcement and counterterror officials invariably tell him Muslim cooperation doesn't exist. Sometimes agents say they're met with hostility.
For folks who "understand the nature of the threat" and watch officials from "CAIR and the Muslim Public Affairs Council on major [TV] networks, it's incredibly demoralizing," a former FBI special agent says.
A reluctance to even acknowledge pro-terrorist sympathies persists even beyond official Muslim groups. At universities, for example, Muslim students have blocked speeches by people like Nonie Darwish -- an anti-terror activist who calls herself a "former Muslim" and who speaks about the Islamic links to terror. In the last two months, scheduled Darwish talks at Princeton and Columbia were canceled at the last minute, after Muslim objections. At Boston University, someone lit a fire in a building where she was to speak.
Darwish says she and other former Muslims regularly face death threats. And though she's asked American Muslim groups to sign a pledge opposing fatwas that condemn former Muslims to death, "not one organization" has done so....
Recently in Muslims against terror Category
A message from the Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism:
Resolution of Condemnation by Muslims Against Al Qaeda, ALL Suicide Bombers and other Terrorists
On Friday, March 11, a remarkable thing happened in Madrid, Spain. A large number of clerics from the Islamic Conference of Spain issued a very tough fatwa (religious opinion) which condemned Osama bin Laden as an "apostate" and as a "kafir" (an infidel) and for violating the teachings of Islam.
This public and formal condemnation goes much farther than the Bush Administration or any other government has gone to date.
We, Muslims in America and Canada appreciate this courageous step by the Spanish Muslim clerics and we seek to support them and go one step further by offering a road map to winning the ideological battle against all terrorists who justify their crimes by relying on a fascist misinterpretation of Islam.
At present, al Qaeda and its clones call their murderous cause "Jihad" (Holy War), their assassins "mujahiddin" (holy warriors) and "martyrs" and their destiny Paradise. All too often, these are the same words that we (including virtually all Governments,
academia, media and assorted other "experts") carelessly use for them -- thus tending to confirm their patently false terms of self-sanctification.
The use of words with positive meanings is deadly and has helped many terrorists market their evil and criminal acts as acts of good and justice. We seek to define these evil criminals with negative terms rather than let them define themselves with positive terms. The Islamic labels that must be applied are those of "Hirabah" (unholy ar) by "mufsidoon" (evildoers) on their way to "Jahannam" (eternal Hellfire), instead.
By rejecting the terms used by terrorist suicide murderers we can go a long way in winning the ideological war against terrorists.
Now that these faithful and brave Spanish clerics have broken the ice and have declared an authentic Jihad against the al Qaeda evildoers, other terrorists and suicide bombers, we request the Muslim clergy and Muslims in general to reiterate their support for this condemnation without equivocation or explain their refusal to do so.
In redefining Bin Laden, all terrorists, including ALL suicide bombers as criminals we offer the following Resolution of Condemnation:
a) we denounce the ongoing attack on America, the West, Muslims and all innocent people of the world. This attack is not "Jihad" (Holy War) but a heinous crime and a mortal sin of Hirabah (Unholy War which is a forbidden "war against humanity");
b) we label those who are fomenting and waging this forbidden type of warfare as mufsidoon (evildoers) and muharibun (unholy warriors) and not as the mujaheddin (holy warriors) or the shahiddin (martyrs) they falsely claim to be;
c) we affirm that unless these evildoers cease their evil ways, turn themselves to the proper authorities, we will oppose them, expose them, fight them with writing, speaking, and organizing for they are criminals, and enemies of Muslims and all civilization;
d) we proclaim that this forbidden slaughter of innocent people, fomenting of hatred among religions, communities and nations, and condemnation of everyone but themselves as "infidels" and many other violations of Quranic law are not the will of God but rather, criminal acts and the evil deeds of those who wants to play the role of God;
e) we conclude that such blasphemy and crimes against humanity-- by Al Qaeda, ALL suicide bombers and other terrorists no matter what their cause may be is an unholy war by evildoers and criminals who are placing young Muslims, and themselves, in mortal danger of eternal damnation and world-wide condemnation;
f) we conclude that the death, destruction and mayhem perpetrated by Al Qaeda, other terrorists and ALL suicide bombers have not been approved by the merciful, compassionate and just God of us all but, rather, by a hate-filled and violent group of criminal fascist cults which are plainly shaitaniyah (satanic) in nature;
g) we affirm that it is a moral, ethical and Islamic duty for all Muslims to uphold these declarations by aiding and abetting established authorities around the world in apprehending these mufsidoon (evildoers) and muharibun (unholy warriors).
h) Let it be known that this resolution of condemnation does not solely represent the beliefs of the authors. This resolution is inspired by the Islam we know and our holy book, the Koran as we understand it. The Koran has many paragraphs that support our beliefs and this resolution. In one chapter for instance, the Koran reads that "whoever slays a soul...is considered like slaying all of humanity and whoever save a soul shall be considered as saving all of humanity." In another chapter the Koran reads that "Wars are not holy in anyway when Lives are lost." With this resolution we are merely affirming the Islam we know and rejecting the misinterpretation of Islam by the terrorists. With this resolution, we seek to take our religion back from the criminals who hijacked it and encourage all Muslims around the world to stand up to the terrorists, fanatics and extremists because no Muslim can afford to remain silent. The civilized world is counting on us.
Finally, we offer the following "bill of particulars" which fully justifies our resolution of condemnation against Al Qaeda, ALL suicide bombers and other terrorists:
* Wanton killing of innocents and noncombatants, including Jews, Christians, Muslims and people of other faiths
* Decapitating the bodies of the living and desecrating the dead bodies of perceived enemies
* Committing and enticing others to commit suicide bombings with the false promise of paradise as a reward for their terrorism. Committing suicide is a sin in Islam with no exceptions
* Fomenting hatred among communities, nations, religions and civilizations
* Ruthless warring against non Muslim-nations in which Islam is freely practiced
* Issuing and inspiring unauthorized and un-Islamic fatwas (religious opinion)
* Forcing their version of Islam on Muslims, when the Quran clearly says that there shall be "no compulsion in religion"
* Distorting the word "infidels" to include all Christians, all Jews and many Muslims, when the Quran calls them all "People of the Book" (the Old Testament ), "Sons of Abraham," and calls Jesus one of God's primary messengers and the Messiah. Moreover, the Quran specifically says that Christians, Jews, Muslims and others who believe in God and who do good work for mankind are destined for heaven
* Deliberate misreading, ignoring and perverting of passages of the Quran to suit the arrogant and soul-less ambitions
This resolution has been endorsed by Muslims in America, Canada and the Middle East. We ask all Muslim organizations, mosques and Muslims in general to sign on this resolution by sending an email to Kamal Nawash at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we receive a complete list of endorsers, we seek to publish this resolution in various news papers and web-sites catering to Muslims. Will you join us and help take back our religion for the terrorist and evildoers?
Of course, I am all for this, and so it is only with great reluctance that I point out a few problems:
1. Thomas Haidon noted about the Spanish fatwa, "This seems to be a positive development. I would like to see, however, the analysis undertaken by the Ulema Council in reaching their decision. Is it just a statement? I want to see the steps taken to arrive at that decision. Without them this fatwa is worthless." The same thing applies here: without detailed reasoning from Islamic sources, the assertions about Islam made in this document are just that: assertions. Without Islamic sources to back them up, they will do nothing to convince the jihadists that what they are doing is wrong on Islamic grounds. And if they can't do that, what purpose do they serve?
2. The same thing applies to FMCAT's statement that "the use of words with positive meanings is deadly and has helped many terrorists market their evil and criminal acts as acts of good and justice. We seek to define these evil criminals with negative terms rather than let them define themselves with positive terms. The Islamic labels that must be applied are those of "Hirabah" (unholy war)by "mufsidoon" (evildoers) on their way to "Jahannam" (eternal Hellfire), instead." That's great, but where is the Islamic theology to back it up? This reminds me of a non-Muslim gentleman who has contacted me several times, asking for my support in getting people to stop calling the acts of Osama and his ilk "jihad" and call them "hirabah" instead. I told him that I'd be happy to do so if he could provide grounds from Islamic theology to do so. Of course he couldn't, but that hasn't stopped him from getting a platform at State, the DoD, the DHS, etc.: he tells them what they want to hear. As for me, I will stop calling it "jihad" when Osama and Co. stop doing so -- because they are convincing Muslims to join their ranks by appealing to Islamic teachings, and until we acknowledge that, we cannot defend ourselves adequately against it. Calling it by another name will do nothing -- unless you think that if Churchill had stopped calling Hitler's men "Nazis" and started calling them "Dumbheads," he would have compelled the Germans to lay down their arms.
3. There are, of course, a couple of texts presented here to support this resolution: "The Koran has many paragraphs that support our beliefs and this resolution. In one chapter for instance, the Koran reads that 'whoever slays a soul...is considered like slaying all of humanity and whoever save a soul shall be considered as saving all of humanity.' In another chapter the Koran reads that 'Wars are not holy in anyway when Lives are lost.'" Now, I have read the Qur'an countless times and I can't remember ever seeing the latter verse. Also, I just searched for it and can't find it either. Can someone please point out to me where it is? Wherever it is, it seems to contradict numerous other verses, such as this one: "To him who fighteth in the cause of Allah,- whether he is slain or gets victory - soon shall We give him a reward of great (value)" (4:74). If a war is not holy when lives are lost, why would someone who is slain or gets victory in a war be rewarded by Allah?
And as for the former verse, it has never been understood in Islamic theology as a prohibition of jihad warfare -- in fact, it comes in the context not of a universal principle, but of a warning to the Jews that they will be punished if they reject Muhammad. Thus I hope that Kamal Nawash and FMCAT will explain why they think this verse takes precedence over others such as 9:5 and 9:29, and how they plan to convince their fellow Muslims of that fact. Ibn Kathir, the great Qur'anic commentator, explains it thusly: "The Ayah states, whoever kills a soul without justification -- such as in retaliation for murder or for causing mischief in the land -- will be as if he had killed all mankind..." How would FMCAT reply to a Muslim who said, in line with this, that modern terrorist attacks are a legitimate retaliation for murders allegedly committed by Americans, as well as for "mischief in the land" perpetrated by the Great Satan?
4. Same question with suicide bombings. The Qur'an guarantees Paradise to those who "slay and are slain" for Allah: "Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth" (9:111). On what grounds, then, does FMCAT call this a "false promise"?
Again: I am all for this in principle. But unless it is strong enough to convince Muslims that violent jihad is not the way, it has no value. Thus I hope FMCAT will strengthen it in view of my questions here.
Professor Daniel Pipes in search of moderate Muslims.
When the American Islamic Forum for Democracy organized "A Rally against Terror" on April 25 in Phoenix, its head, an Arizona physician named Zuhdi Jasser, said his goal was to give Muslim moderates "an opportunity to speak out publicly." And Jasser presented the rally as a robust response to the many criticisms that American Muslims had not produced a "groundswell of condemnation" against terrorism. In fact, he asserted,
"The killing of innocent people out of revenge, out of hate or out of retribution is against the absolute laws of Islam. Suicide is against the absolute laws of Islam. People can justify their actions all day long, but we as Muslims are here to say clearly their actions are against everything we believe."
Jasser wrote an oped in the Arizona Republic where, as a Muslim, he took responsibility for the mistrust directed toward American Muslims, rather than merely blow this off as prejudice:
"It is impossible as an American not to feel the growing palpable distrust toward the Muslim community. With attacks targeting innocent civilians across the globe, it has sadly at this time gone far beyond the initial prideful question of "Why are Muslims being singled out?" It is time now only to rally and provide an unmistakable resounding reply. "
With this in mind, he set out two goals for the rally:
We want to reassure the American public that the great majority of Muslims condemn the targeting of innocents by virtue of the tenets of our faith. We also want to give hope and inspiration to faithful Muslims all over the country that this type of rally is possible.
Jasser found support for his efforts as close as the Arizona Republic, which correctly judged this event to be "the nation's first Muslim rally against terrorism," and as far away as the country's capital, where a Washington Times editorial ended with, "We salute Dr. Jasser, American patriot."
The Muslim community of Phoenix is estimated at 50,000 persons; Jasser worked strenuously to reach out to the Valley Council of Imams, Valley mosques and major Valley Islamic organizations; and the Arizona Republic, the leading newspaper of Phoenix, gave the rally its full-fledged support. A head of steam behind him, Jasser optimistically predicted that 500 to 1,000 people would attend the event.
But then the event was held (an audio of the 50-minute long event can be heard online) and reality set in. Estimates vary. The Arizona Republic counted 250 in attendance, the police 400. The number of Muslims, I heard, was between 30 and 100 persons. Most participants were not Muslim but (the Arizona Republic recounts) "people like Michael Fischer, 18, of Glendale, who wanted to denounce the stereotyping of Muslims; and Grace Clark of Apache Junction, who wanted to promote peace." One correspondent of mine judged the event "a total disaster."
Iqbal Sacranie (BBC)
What? You mean they haven't been doing this all along? From ABC:
Britain's Muslim leaders are urging followers of Islam to cooperate with the authorities to fight terrorism.
There is fear in the Muslim community that it will be stigmatised following the arrest of eight suspected terrorists and the seizure of half a tonne of the bomb making ingredient ammonium nitrate fertiliser.
The Muslim Council of Britain is concerned the public is already linking terrorism to followers of Islam.
I appreciate this concern. The MCB would have an easier task ahead if there weren't so many Muslims linking terrorism to followers of Islam.
General Secretary Iqbal Sacranie has reiterated that attacks like the recent bombings in Madrid are not sanctioned or supported by the wider Islamic community.
He is calling on Muslims to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities to police.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has congratulated Mr Sacranie for his public appeal.
Here's a feelgood story from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle about clearing away post-9/11 misconceptions about Islam. Of course, the main misunderstanding is about jihad:
On Sept. 11, 2001, just after he watched the World Trade Center towers fall on television, Aly Nahas received a call from a rabbi offering him shelter.
The rabbi was a friend of Nahas' who was worried that people might take out the horror of that day on local Muslims. But rather than seek shelter, Nahas rushed to the Islamic Center of Rochester, where he was a volunteer.
When he got there, his rabbi friend, two priests and a minister were waiting. Within two hours, the group held a news conference to assure the public that the Muslim community condemned the attacks. In the year and a half after Sept. 11, Nahas gave 45 lectures on Islam. . . .
Carman hopes that the two-hour sessions, which include an hour lecture as well as time for questions, help demystify Islam. One important misconception, he said, is about jihad. The Egyptian-born Nahas said that jihad, often used synonymously with terrorism, essentially means to strive to better oneself.
That's wonderful. I am sure that Nahas's non-Muslim audience will go away feeling reassured. I hope that the Rochester paper will run a follow-up story about Nahas's activities among Muslims, in which he convinces them that the radical understanding of jihad as violence against unbelievers is wrong on Islamic grounds. I wonder what Nahas would say about the almost daily stories posted at Jihad Watch in which Muslims commit violence and call it jihad. Until those Muslims are confronted and that understanding of jihad definitively refuted, dialogues like the one described in this story are essentially meaningless.
"We demand that all criminals, whether they are Saddam [Hussein] loyalists or al-Qaeda members, be chased and tried for their crimes against the Iraqi people," said Ali Sahib, an Iraqi who "lost his daughter in a recent suicide bombing."
This was the most encouraging statement in a BBC report about the Iraqi anti-terror rally, in which "hundreds of Iraqis have marched in the capital, Baghdad, to protest against 'terrorism' and continuing violence."
The BBC persists, however, in placing the word "terrorism" within sneer quotes. If they don't know what it means, they should ask Ali Sahib.
Is Saudi Arabia coming to its senses? According to IMRA, "on November 30, 2003, Dr. Muhammad Talal Al-Rasheed, columnist for the English language daily The Saudi Gazette, wrote an article titled 'Senseless Violence, Senseless Death.' The article is in reaction to the murder of Saudi Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Rasheed of Hail by 'Islamists' in Algeria. The following are excerpts from the article:
"We have bred monsters. We alone are responsible for it. I have written as much before my personal tragedy and will continue to do so for as long as it takes. We are the problem and not America or the penguins of the North Pole or those who live in caves in Afghanistan. We are it, and those who cannot see this are the ones to blame.
"Castrated as we are, we look to America. Why? Because they went into Iraq and made a difference. Better or worse is another point. Once America has demonstrated its willingness to do something, the moral imperative is that it should not stop at the first station along the road. The majority of us are sick and tired of this carnage and President Bush, wrong on just about everything else, is right on this one. Does he have the (courage) to finish the job? I wonder.
"I don't think this will be published in the Arab News, as it should be. If not, I understand their point of view and their perpetual selectiveness. But one thing is sure, we are here to stay even if it takes giving our best to the madness of religion and the wrong of fanaticism. Nothing, but nothing, is worth the life of an innocent... may the Americans add Talal to their list of loved ones lost to the same indiscriminate madness that took 3,000 on a certain day in September."
Middle East Newsline reports that "Bahrain plans to impose a series of measures as part of a long awaited crackdown against Islamic unrest.
"The Bahraini Cabinet has drafted legislation meant to impose stiff penalties on those convicted of what was termed terrorism. Officials said the new laws would be in accordance with those of other countries that have joined in the war against Al Qaida and related groups."
Great. I hope they will wage the ideological war against radical Islam as well. If they don't, a new generation of jihadists could emerge from the madrassas.
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