Here is a personal attack on me and on Jihad Watch from Amir, a Muslim in Britain. (Thanks to Harry.) I get attacked all the time, and ordinarily wouldn’t bore you with the details, but this one is interesting. Look at why this guy is angry:
AoA. I hope there isn’t a Muslim in the whole world who stumbles across “Jihad Watch” and falls for the crap Robert Spencer is pumping out. Him and his loyal band of anti-Islamics (who flood his article comments with Islamaphobic preaching) have dedicated time and effort to make an influential impression on people, mainly Muslims, to re-write the meaning of Jihaad and make people believe it. Mainly Muslims.
Spencer hasn’t necessarily studied Islam for the purpose of calling people away from it, he isn’t a fanatical enough of a Christian to be doing that, he’s instead studied Islam for the purpose of convincing Muslims to adopt incorrect Islamic concepts — namely on the issue of jihaad. From the Muslim perspective it’s not as bad as apostasy, but still pretty damn bad.
Leaving aside his characterization of my own religious faith, look at what he says about jihad. In his view, evidently, violent jihad “” warfare against unbelievers “” is the correct Islamic concept, and when I call upon Muslims to reject it I am asking them to veer close to apostasy.
Here is an example of the depths of deviousness his tactics and styles droop to. Muslims recognise that Islam is not a secular religion, that it is not just a bunch of worship rituals and is in fact a lot more than that — Islam is a complete ideology. An ideology that must be implemented in a state. An Islamic state. Thanks to Islamic groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir and al-Muhajiroon, to name a few, the majority Muslims are aware of the need and Islamic obligation of the Khilafah State. But, to cast doubt and fear in the hearts of some unaware Muslims, here we have Spencer slyly attacking the Muslims in Canada advocating the notion of re-establishing the Khilafah as something sinister because “That’s the Islamic state that Osama bin Laden and other radical Muslims around the world have declared their intention to restore.”
So Hizb-ut-Tahrir and Al-Muhajiroun, two groups that forthrightly call for restoration of the caliphate and full implementation of the Sharia (including the oppression of non-Muslims as dhimmis) have the right idea, eh? So Al-Muhajiroun, a group that has praised the 9/11 highjackers and Osama, has the correct Islam?
Note that he is not angry with me for talking about the Islamic roots of modern-day jihad violence, as are the pseudo-moderate American Muslim advocacy groups. Instead, he is angry with me for trying to stop this jihad.
This is the great challenge that anyone who calls himself a moderate Muslim faces: to convince people like Amir that their “correct” version of Islam is actually incorrect. This was what I emphasized at UNC Tuesday night. It will be interesting to see if anyone even attempts it in any significant way.
UPDATE: Here is a response from Amir. It speaks for itself, and only underscores the point I have made in three books now: that radical Islam has the intellectual ascendancy in the Muslim world, and that, as Ibn Warraq put it (as I quote him in Onward Muslim Soldiers): “For every text the liberal Muslims produce, the mullahs will use dozens of counter-examples [that are] exegetically, philosophically, historically far more legitimate.” This guy is proving that Ibn Warraq and I are correct.
Now: among the UNC Muslim students to whom I spoke the other night was a young man who maintained just the opposite: that moderate Islam is accepted everywhere, and that Amir’s kind of radicalism is just a lunatic fringe. I did not agree with him then, and my praise for the openness of some of the Muslim students did not constitute (contrary to the apparent understanding of many posters here) a pollyana-like endorsement of the idea that militant Islam is really nothing much to be concerned about, or could be reformed easily. In fact, I have been one of the few public spokesmen to dare to discuss the gravity and enormity of the problem that terrorism poses within Islam.
But when Muslims claim to denounce Amir’s position and refute it on Islamic grounds, I am willing to listen. I would ask the UNC student to whom I referred above, if he reads this, to respond to Amir. I would also like to hear from those self-proclaimed moderate Muslims who have taken me to task over the years for finding a connection between Islam and violence to show Amir where he is wrong: Ibrahim Hooper, where are you? Hussam Ayloush? Asad Abou Khalil? Salam Al-Maryati? Hussein Ibish? Now is the time to put up “” show us some of your moderate Islamic theology “” or shut up.
Anyway, here is Amir:
“Leaving aside his characterization of my own religious faith, look at what he says about jihad. In his view, evidently, violent jihad – warfare against unbelievers – is the correct Islamic concept, and when I call upon Muslims to reject it I am asking them to veer close to apostasy.”
Jihaad can be practised in a number of ways, by one’s speech, by one’s actions and even by one’s intent. The correct way to practise Jihaad is to look at the reality and situation being faced and then reacting accordingly. I am in Britain; here speech is the correct Jihaad to be practised, unless the reality changes. My Muslim brothers and sisters who are in Palestine, where their land is being illegally occupied by the illegitimate state of Israel, Jihaad in the form of action is correct. The Jihad Watch project is all about looking at the case of any Muslim undertaking actions of this nature and then insulting them, ridiculing them and slandering them for the sole purpose of enforcing the concept that Muslims should be pacifist and phase out Jihad completely and remould Islam to something that the non-Muslims, like those at Jihad Watch, approve of.
I wouldn’t know what Spencer’s 20 years worth of studying Islam is worth, but if it was worth much he would understand that if a Muslim abandons a clear Islamic obligation for a man-made alternative option, it is sinful for the Muslim. Like I said it’s not as bad as apostasy but it is still, nonetheless, very bad and must be avoided (it is a sin referred to as “like denouncing Islam”, which highlights the severity of it). Studying Islam and caring about Islam are clearly two very different things, eh Mr Spencer?
“So Hizb-ut-Tahrir and Al-Muhajiroun, two groups that forthrightly call for restoration of the caliphate and full implementation of the Sharia (including the oppression of non-Muslims as dhimmis) have the right idea, eh? So Al-Muhajiroun, a group that has praised the 9/11 highjackers and Osama, has the correct Islam?”
“Correct Islam” is Islam as demonstrated by RasoolAllah (saw) and the Prophets companions. Any Islamic group that makes a sincere effort, clearly indicating its evidences, work and motivation to be genuinely and exclusively from Islam, is following Islam correctly. Al-Muhajiroon is more hard-line compared to Hizb ut-Tahrir, and although both these groups have the correct objectives, it is only their methodologies that need some attention paid to (for an individual to deduce which is stronger). The answer to that question is, however: the establishment of an Islamic State with Shar’ia rules in full implementation is an obligation for Muslims to actively work to re-establish by following the method shown to mankind by RasoolAllah (saw). This is clearly evident by numurous daleels.
Indeed it is, Amir, and I have caught hell hundreds of times from Muslims for pointing it out. Thanks for going to bat in my defense in this way, Sir!
Usama bin Laden and the 9/11 hijackers did nothing less than hand the US administration the right to invade Muslim Lands on a silver plate — that was their biggest crime.
“This is the great challenge that anyone who calls himself a moderate Muslim faces: to convince people like Amir that their “correct” version of Islam is actually incorrect. This was what I emphasized at UNC Tuesday night. It will be interesting to see if anyone even attempts it in any significant way.”
Once again the same rhetoric comes in to play by the propagandists. If there’s any Muslim reading this who calls him or her self a “moderate Muslim” ask yourself what that really means? Are you trying to say you are proud of the fact that you pick and choose what to believe and practice from Islam? You are proud or pleased of the fact that you moderate what chunks of Islam you adopt and what chunks of Islam you decide to reject?! You think its right to say “God got this wrong, but the rest is okay”?! You don’t realise doing this is putting your own intelligence above that of your Creator’s?!… This is a sin referred to as “like denouncing Islam”, which should highlight the severity of it.
I would ask the same questions. In other words, any moderates out there should show this guy where he is wrong “” if you can. As I have said many times, and people still don’t seem to understand the point, I have known innumerable moderate Muslims, but I have yet to see a convincing, comprehensive presentation of moderate Islam. Get the difference?
The same goes for the labels “fundamentalist”, “radical”, “extremist”, etc. These are incorrect labels to put on yourself or other Muslims, simply because one is not even a Muslim unless one submits holistically to the deen of Islam and follows all that which is required of and leaves that which is required to be left. Using these labels are an insult… but that is exactly why the West insists on using them on Muslims, and encouraging us to use them.
I use “radical” to denote someone who acts on Amir’s views, and “moderate” to refer to Muslims who, even just ostensibly, opposes them. But those moderates need to show how to refute Amir’s theology, or there will be more and more radicals recruited in mosques every day. To date, they have not done so.