They have no alternative message. There is no active missionary work among the youth telling them, do not become jihadis. They do not use media means as much as the jihadis. They simply “” they”re reactive and they don’t seem to be able to compete with the jihadis. And every time there is a debate between a real jihadi and, say, what we have decided to call moderate Muslims, the jihadis win. Because they come with the Koran and quotes from the Koran. The come with quotes from the Hadith and the Sunnah, and the traditions of the prophet. And every assertion they make, whether it is that women should be veiled, or Jews should be killed, or Americans are our enemies, or any of that, they win. Because what they have to say is so consistent with what is written in the Koran and the Hadith. And what the moderates fail to do is to say, listen, that’s all in there, but that wasn’t meant for this context. And we have moved on. We can change the Koran, we can change the Hadith. That’s what’s missing. — Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the New Duranty Times
This has been said, repeatedly, by Robert Spencer from the very beginning of this site, in October 2003. It was insisted upon by him before the site came into existence, in articles, books, and speeches. It is not a complicated point. It should be obvious. Islam is a powerful, coherent, all-embracing Belief System. It rests on several texts: the Qur’an, which is the uncreated (that is, it has always existed, forever) and immutable word of God.
Any internal contradictions are, through the interpretive doctrine of “naskh” or abrogation, settled in favor of the later, much harsher verses. The full meaning of the Qur’an can be gleaned from what Muhammad said and did, as recorded in stories written down (the hadith, plural ahadith) about what he said, and did, and even when he was silent.
Those stories, the tens or hundreds of thousands of them, were collected and studied. Their isnad-chains (A told B who told C etc. — well, who was C, and B, and A, that make us trust, or not trust, their versions?) were examined this way and that, until finally the hadith-scholars or muhaddithin could finally assign different levels of “authenticity” and winnow down the vast number of hadith to those deemed “authentic.” Of all the collections of Hadith, six are deemed most reliable, and two in particular — those of Bukhari and Muslim — deemed particularly authoritative.
When someone, for example Karen Armstrong, quotes a hadith in support of her crazed view of Islam, for example that Muhammad returned from a war to home saying he had come from “the lesser Jihad to the greater Jihad” (i.e., the “Jihad” of mastering himself at home), few stop to ask — and Karen Armstrong clearly has no idea — where that hadith appears, and what level of authenticity has been assigned to it by Bukhari, by Muslim.
In fact, it appears in neither. Nor does it appear in any of the other hadith collections Muslims deem authentic.
This excerpt from the interview simply makes clear what all those who have left Islam know perfectly well. For what Ayaan Hirsi Ali says here would be said and has been said by Ibn Warraq and Ali Sina and hundreds of others. It has been thought by tens or hundreds of thousands of apostates who have gained their mental freedom, and possibly thereby the ability to lead not double-lives riddled with deception and self-deception — among others who are now fellow Infidels, and no longer those enemy Infidels from whom one must at all costs hide the reality of Islam.
And it has been said by Robert Spencer, whose perfectly straightforward view is immune to the concerns that cloud the vision of others — the vanity of some, desire to keep getting well-paid audiences by others, or an inability to come to grips with the problem because of this or that personable Muslim whom one knows, likes, cannot bear to alienate, or any number of other reasons, including careerism of every sort. By now visitors to this site are able to distinguish the unswayable from those who were swayed long ago, with their their book deals, and their lecture fees, and their think-tank or university appointments that must be kept, and those donors to one’s empire-building who must under no conditions be scared off.
And that is why there are so very few, outside of the apostates, on whom one can thoroughly rely.