The question directed this week to the National Security Council press office was straightforward: “Has the Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani met with any American official, either military or civilian, since the U.S. invasion in 2003?” The answer reveals the extent to which the Bush administration is now, and always has been, out of its depth in Iraq. – From this Bandar Beacon (Washington Post) article, October 27, 2006.
What should have been an obvious question about why Sistani never ever met with Bremer or any American official save for Khalilzad (a Sunni but still a Muslim in Shi’a eyes — the reverse is not always true), was not asked in the so-called Major Media (Bandar Beacon, New Duranty Times, etc.) until a few days ago. No one wanted to puncture the comforting balloon of illusion. No one thought that perhaps the Shi’a Lobby that had been so successful could have been mistaken. No one thought that the claque that had applauded the Great Sistani at My Weekly Standard (Gerecht and Schwartz, especially) and National Review (Lowry) could possibly be leading them astray. (That claque also included certain Shi’a commentators, such as the too-influential Fouad Ajami. In his tellingly mistitled “The Foreigner’s Gift” – it should have been “The Infidel’s Gift” and Ajami, if he reflects, will admit at least to himself the correctness of that observation – he tells of how deeply impressed he was with Sistani, who of course had no objections to meeting with fellow Shi’a Ajami.)
Now the Shi’a Lobby has had its day, having through a whole series of charming and plausible and of course westernized and secularized and deeply unrepresentative men (Makiya, Chalabi, Allawi, and others) managed to charm and inveigle those making American policy into invading Iraq, as the Shi’a very much wanted. They have also made sure that nothing was done early on to prevent the transfer of power, through whatever means necessary (even that purple-thumbed affair, about which the Shi’a were so enthusiastic, and for such obvious, but apparently not obvious enough, reasons), to the Shi’a. And now, although the Shi’a Lobby — Taheri, and Rend al-Rahim, and Vali Nasr — are still in there manfully pitching their woo, it is the time of the Sunni Lobby to step forward.
And it is. It is headed by Turki al-Faisal, ambassador of Saudi Arabia, and ably assisted by James Baker — whose Commission will offer a face-saving way to get out of Iraq, if only Bush will take it. But it will also offer the same dreary and dangerous mixture as before, complete with doing the bidding of the Saudis, and making sure the Sunnis in Iraq are protected instead of welcoming the natural growth of Sunni-Shni’a hostilities, and not only in Iraq. And, not to be overlooked, it will recommend renewing pressure on Israel by means of that idiotic (because ignorant of Islamic triumphalism) policy of pushing that “two-state solution” — a policy that squares with the four who make up that infamously windy “Quartet.”
Visitors to Jihad Watch knew all about this long ago, and were told serenely the truth about Sistani, even when the likes of Tom Friedman were suggesting that Sistani was just the man to receive the next Nobel Prize for Peace. Remember? Or have you forgotten?
If you have, here is one among many discussions of Sistani that sustained you all along:
MARCH 21, 2005
Fitzgerald: Sistani for Nobel?
Everyone will have his own startling encounter with Islam — the real thing, not what Muslim apologists, hoping to give everyone a carefully-circumscribed “peek into the Koran” (and let’s make sure that none of these unwary Infidels manages to read anything beyond the Michael Sells “Approaching the Qur’an” and by all means, keep them from looking into the Hadith or the Sira), have on offer. It is almost always limited to highly selective quotation from the Qur’an. The Hadith, and the Sira — sorry, off limits for now.
One keeps being surprised at how little people think they need to know before making grand pronouncements. Yesterday, amused by the latest display of vacuity and portentousness by Tom Friedman, nominating — modestly — Ali al-Sistani for the Nobel Prize — I went to www.sistani.org to look around. There, between Sistani’s complete banning of chess (and to think that checkmate is merely the Persian “shakh mat”), and his discussions of all the usual subjects that inquiring Muslims wish to know about, from whether it is okay to marry the sister of a man you have sodomized, or who has sodomized you (I forget which) to whether your canonical prayers count if you haven’t performed the wudu (ablutions) correctly — you know, all the stuff that you want to know, was something else, and that something was all about what is considered by Sistani and those who seek his guidance to be “Najis” or “unclean.”
If you click on “Muslim Laws” on the left, and then, once a list comes up, click on “najis things,” you will get a list — #84 — and if you then go a little further, and click on the menu where, among those unclean things, the “kafir” (which is to say, the Unbeliever, that is to say — You and I, Dear Reader) you will get a further discussion of how, in the wonderful, “moderate” Islam of the al-Sistani variety, the Unbeliever, the Infidel, the Kafir (guilty of “kufr” or “ingratitude” for failing to receive the Revelation of the Last of the Prophets in the right, accepting, submissive way) is viewed.
So here, for everyone out in Ames, Iowa, is just a little sample of what you are missing, and what one suspects that Mohammed Fahmy, and Tariq Ramadan, and Hamid Dabashi, and Zeinab Bahrani, and a cast of hundreds of millions, would prefer that you not inquire into too deeply. And please, whatever you do, in order to accommodate them, at least promise that you will NOT read the websites www.dhimmitude.org and www.faithfreedom.org and www.co-jet.org and www.jihadwatch.org, and certainly do NOT read anything by Bat Ye’or, but especially do not read “Islam and Dhimmitude” or “The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam.” And do not read Ibn Warraq’s “Why I Am Not a Muslim.” And let’s not even talk about Robert Spencer. These books will only confuse you. And never pay attention to a man named Ali Sina or any of those ex-Muslims who appear at his website. Never google the name “Habib Malik” to read what he has to say about the historic relationship of Islam to Christianity; never read a similar article by James V. Schall, a professor at Georgetown.
Here is what you can find at www.sistani.org:
“84. The following ten things are essentially najis: 1. Urine 2. Faeces 3. Semen 4. Dead body 5. Blood 6. Dog 7. Pig 8. Kafir 9. Alcoholic liquors 10. The sweat of an animal who persistently eats najasat [i.e., unclean things].
108. The entire body of a Kafir, including his hair and nails, and all liquid substances of his body, are najis.
109. If the parents, paternal grandmother and paternal grandfather of a minor child are all kafir, that child is najis, except when he is intelligent enough, and professes Islam. When, even one person from his parents or grandparents is a Muslim, the child is Pak (The details will be explained in rule 217).
110. A person about whom it is not known whether he is a Muslim or not, and if no signs exist to establish him as a Muslim, he will be considered Pak. But he will not have the privileges of a Muslim, like, he cannot marry a Muslim woman, nor can he be buried in a Muslim cemetery.”
So who wants to second the nomination of Al-Sistani for the Nobel Prize? Anyone out there in Ames, Iowa?