UPDATE: Victory! Everett college officials decline to cancel talk by writer Raymond Ibrahim (thanks to Mackie). Thanks to all Jihad Watch readers who wrote to Everett officials in Raymond’s defense against Hamas-linked CAIR.
They always howl when someone exposes the truth about the global jihad and Islamic supremacism. The Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) consistently opposes anti-terror measures, has misrepresented the political and supremacist nature of Sharia in efforts to combat anti-Sharia legislation, and more. CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Honest Ibe Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements.
This is the group trying to dictate to Everett Community College on its choice of speakers, and defaming a freedom fighter in the process. Free Americans should not let this unsavory Hamas-linked gang of thugs get away with this.
“EvCC event could undermine clear understanding of Islam,” by Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of the Washington State chapter of Hamas-linked CAIR, in HeraldNet, May 4:
As part of its yearlong “Islam in America” lecture series, Everett Community College has invited the controversial speaker and writer Raymond Ibrahim to give a lecture on Thursday. This series of events, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, gives a much-needed boost to the understanding of Islam, but I fear that this particular event will go a long way toward undermining that goal.
Indeed, by inviting a known conspiracy theorist with a history of making unfounded claims about Islam, the college is doing a disservice to the public and risks creating a hostile learning environment for its students. Mr. Ibrahim’s views have been questioned elsewhere. He resigned under pressure from the Library of Congress for using his title of research librarian to promote his arguments. His strategy is similar to that employed by Minister Louis Farrakhan who, in his latest book, used the contents of the Talmud to support his anti-Semitic theories.
Note the irony in Bukhari’s use of Farrakhan, whose antisemitic statements are routinely echoed by imams in the Islamic world. And Raymond Ibrahim did not, in fact, resign under pressure from the Library of Congress; he resigned of his own free will.
In reality, Raymond Ibrahim is supremely competent to speak about Islam at Everett Community College or anywhere else. He is Middle Eastern by origin (Bukhari can’t call him a “racist”); he is fluent in Arabic (and studied in the Center of Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University, where he got straight A”s); his M.A. thesis was about Islam; and he worked in the Near East section of Library of Congress. He is the author of The Al Qaeda Reader, and is currently associate director of the Middle East Forum. He has served as a guest lecturer at the National Defense Intelligence College in Washington, DC, and has testified before Congress on “extremist ideologies.”
Mr. Ibrahim often supports his anti-Muslim theories by taking Islamic teachings and skewing them to support a point. That’s why over 60 Puget Sound area interfaith and community leaders sent a joint letter to the college calling on them to cancel the event.
Despite this, the college has decided to go forward with the event, so in order to enable the reader to attend this lecture from a knowledgeable position, I will address several of Mr. Ibrahim’s misleading claims.
Mr. Ibrahim has suggested that Muslims must be disloyal to America because Islam contains a “mandate for Muslims to be loyal to fellow Muslims and Islam.” In reality, Muslims must obey the laws of the land they live in, unless Islamic law specifically prohibits following a law. They may challenge unjust laws, but only through peaceful, and, in essence, democratic methods.
Yes, we see the peaceful, democratic methods that Muslims are using all over the world these days to affect change, from Indonesia and Thailand and the Philippines to Nigeria, not to mention Iraq and Afghanistan. And “Muslims must obey the laws of the land they live in,” but in classic Islamic theology this is only a temporary stage, corresponding to Muhammad’s Meccan period: when Muslims are weak and the infidels are strong, Muslims must obey the laws of the land. But in Medina, after moving from Mecca, Muhammad began to wage defensive jihad and then offensive jihad — and traditionally the various schools of Islamic jurisprudence have taught that Muslims must obey the laws of the land until they gain sufficient power to impose Islamic law.
Moreover, according to a 2007 Pew Research Survey, American Muslims have a positive view of American society and are highly assimilated. Indeed, American Muslims work as paramedics, firefighters and police officers, and more than 3,700 American Muslims serve in the U.S. armed forces.
Irrelevant. None of that indicates in any way that they don’t want to impose Sharia when possible, and the many stealth jihad initiatives in the U.S. demonstrate that many of these paramedics, firefighters and police officers have just that on their minds.
Nonetheless, Mr. Ibrahim has argued that when devout Muslims move to America, “this invariably will compromise what many of them profess to be their ultimate priority: living in accordance to the divine laws of Allah.” The 2007 Pew Survey challenges this assertion, showing that most American Muslims believe that Muslim immigrants “should try and adopt American customs, rather than trying to remain distinct from the larger society.” And nearly two-thirds don’t see a conflict between “being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society.”
Note Bukhari’s sleight of hand: Raymond Ibrahim is saying that Muslims believe they must live “in accordance to the divine laws of Allah,” and Bukhari invokes poll data showing that Muslims think they should “try and adopt American customs.” Yet “customs” are one thing and “divine laws” another. Is Bukhari saying that Muslims should set aside what they believe to be divine laws in favor of American customs? Somehow I doubt it.
Not only that, but devout Muslims who regularly attend mosque are more likely to participate in politics and to see Islam as compatible with the American political system than less religious Muslims, according to the Muslim American Public Opinion Survey conducted by researchers at the University of Washington and Harvard University. Plainly, American Muslims don’t see a conflict between living in America and practicing Islam.
Fine. But do American Muslims see a conflict between the U.S. Constitution and practicing Islam? Bukhari doesn’t say.
Another of Mr. Ibrahim’s unfounded claims is that “Islam is to be at perpetual war with the non-Muslim world, until the former subsumes the latter.” This claim can be rejected on its face: There are more than 1.6 billion Muslims on Earth and clearly the vast majority of them are not engaged in a violent battle for domination.
“I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah, and he who professed it was guaranteed the protection of his property and life on my behalf except for the right affairs rest with Allah.” — Muhammad (Sahih Muslim 30)
“Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war…When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them….If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.” — Muhammad (Sahih Muslim 4294)
In light of such teachings (and there are many more like them) from the prophet of Islam, the supreme example of conduct for the Muslim (cf. Qur’an 33:21), what is the significance of the fact that “there are more than 1.6 billion Muslims [actually fewer] on Earth and the vast majority of them are not engaged in a violent battle for domination”? Does it mean that this vast majority doesn’t believe that “Islam must dominate, and not be dominated,” as Muhammad also said? Maybe some don’t, but others live where Islam already dominates (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Indonesia, etc. etc. etc.) and so there are few infidels around to try to subjugate. Others may simply prefer to deal with other things in their lives, but this doesn’t mean that Islam doesn’t teach warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers, any more than the fact that many Christians don’t love their enemies means that Jesus didn’t tell them to do so.
Still, there are many people, including Muslims, who engage in terrorism and I join Mr. Ibrahim in wholeheartedly condemning all terrorist attacks, regardless of who commits them.
However, a narrow focus on acts of terrorism committed by Muslims contributes to the false impression that Muslims are the leading perpetrators of terrorism. In fact, a 2005 FBI report on terrorism shows that between 1980 and 2005, only 6 percent of U.S. terror attacks were committed in the name of Islam.
And even if this were true, which it isn’t, would this small percentage mean that it would somehow be improper to examine and understand the motives and goals of the perpetrators of those 6 percent?
In addition, American Muslims are victims of both terrorism and hate crimes. More than 50 Muslim first responders and office workers were among those killed in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In the last six months, there have been 10 documented anti-Muslim hate crimes in the Northwest alone.
Given Hamas-linked CAIR’s track record of publicizing fake hate crimes, I take this with a large grain of salt.
It is misleading claims such as Mr. Ibrahim’s that cause American Muslims to be looked upon with such fear and uncertainty. The reader would do well, when evaluating his lecture, to ask whether his claims would be acceptable if they were made about Jews, African Americans, Mormons, or any other minority group — and whether it would be appropriate for a college to give a platform to someone known for making such claims.
Yes, I remember when Jews, African Americans, and Mormons were committing terror attacks and making supremacist statements, and claiming victim status whenever anyone looked into why this kept happening.
Raymond Ibrahim must speak at Everett Community College. And when he does, I hope he exposes Hamas-linked CAIR.
CONTACT the college to ask that it not cave in to Hamas-linked CAIR’s efforts to intimidate them into rescinding Raymond Ibrahim’s invitation to speak.
Dr. David Beyer
President Everett Community College
Office of the President
Mail Stop 400
2000 Tower Street
Everett, Washington 98201
Copy to: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com