“only if you were able to remove the Koran from Muslims’ hearts.”

“O America,” Adnani said. “Would we be defeated and you be victorious if you were to take Mosul or Sirte or Raqqa? . . . Certainly not! We would be defeated and you victorious only if you were able to remove the Koran from Muslims’ hearts.”

Thus reports Robin Wright in her latest New Yorker piece, After The Islamic State, without comment. I am wondering whether this is her clever way of getting the message out there without falling foul of the censorship that Western media have imposed on themselves in respect of Islam, or laying herself open to attack by the “Islamophobia” mobs.

Adnani was a terrorist and, alhamdullillah, he is now working his way through his allotted 72 virgins. As this blog, and so many others have been saying repeatedly, if you want to see Islam, look no further than ISIS. No one knows Islam better than ISIS. No one is more honest about Islam than ISIS. And Adnani, evil as he was, was right. There have been may ISISes down the centuries. One by one they’ve been defeated, and one by one they arose again. Why? Because the victors had failed to, “remove the Koran from Muslims’ hearts.”

If you are not wondering about how to achieve that, then you cannot claim to be serious about solving the problem of Islam, its terrorism obviously hasn’t affected you too badly yet, and you’ve not yet tasted Shari’a.

Islamic apologetics stands firm in the face of Muslim terrorist car rammings and knife attacks

The Star Tribune is not my go-to paper for social critique, and I was not surprised to read a particularly puerile piece of apologia, History abounds with contributions of Islam to civilization, by the “writer and social activist” Omar Alansari-Kreger on its website today. The piece has all the signs of having been thrown together in haste, and I wonder whether the recent spate of terrorist car rammings and knife attacks perpetrated by Somali youths, of whom Minneapolis, the Star Tribune’s base, has a significant number, was the impetus. This is how Alansari-Kreger sets things up.

Islam has been portrayed as something reprehensible. …There exists an impression that Muslims are inherently oppressed by virtue of their faith, portrayed as a religion with little tolerance for dissent, and quick to liquidate detractors. …Certainly, extremists [read: critics of Islam] …help preserve the slanted narrative that drives the modern-day perception of Islam.

He then juxtaposes this with:

Yet, how many outsiders ask the simple questions: What is Islam? What are the beliefs of Muslims? And what are Islam’s core contributions to the world?

Does he then proceed to answer these “simple questions” that many outsiders are supposedly so loathe to ask? No. Instead, he takes his readers back more than a thousand years to what he perceives as safe territory, Islam’s Golden Age, and a safe aspect of the then culture, scientific discoveries and technical inventions. “Contrary to conventional belief,” says Alansari-Kreger, “the Islamic civilization of centuries past was the world’s premier intellectual superpower.”

Not only are Muslim scientists’ and engineers’ contributions to the world not in dispute, the irrelevance of this red herring couldn’t be clearer than from Alansari-Kreger’s own words: “modern-day perception of Islam,” to which he offers, “Islamic civilization of centuries past.” This is how Alansari-Kreger hopes to salvage the damned reputation of his religion (and it might work; if his readers are as willing to be manipulated as he assumes them to be).

Let’s just briefly look at what he does have to say about the world’s premier intellectual superpower of centuries past. He mentions the contributions of three individuals, Hasan ibn al-Haytham, Abbas ibn Firnas and Fatima al-Fihri, by no means amongst either the most important or the most prominent. Nevertheless, almost all of the examples can just as easily serve to answer the begged question that Alansari-Kreger does not ask, “What went wrong?” If Islam was the world’s premier intellectual superpower centuries past, why is it no longer? The answer might lie in the lives of these accomplished individuals themselves.

Hasan ibn al-Haytham was unquestionably a brilliant man. He had the perfectly sensible idea of damming the Nile at what is today Aswan. But his site analysis revealed such a project to be beyond the superpower’s technical abilities at the time. Rather than revealing this truth to the caliph and risking a beheading, he had to pretend to have gone mad and thereby managed to save himself, an effective self-beheading, one might say.

The only reason Fatima al-Fihri had set up her University of Quaraouiyine in Fez is because her family had to flee the bloody persecutions of the Aghlabid Emir in Qayrawan, capital of the then Emirate of Ifriqiya (present-day Tunisia), vassal of the Abbasid Caliphate. So large was the influx of refugees from Qayrawan into Fez, that that part of the city now bears the name Karaouiyne, as does the neighbouring Andalous from the influx refugees from one of the other jewels in the crown of the Islamic superpower, al-Andalus.

One such Andalusian refugee who spent his final years in Fez was none other than the great philosopher and jurist Abu al-Walid ibn Rushd (who died in Marrakech in 1198). He fell foul of the caliph after having spent years trying to reconcile the Qur’an with reason, and coming out on the side of reason. Alansari-Kreger’s “premier intellectual superpower” of centuries past was destroyed by Islam itself, exactly as it is trying to destroy today’s the premier intellectual superpower. Islam’s Somali foot soldiers are ramming cars into students on university campuses and then knifing them to maximise the killing.

…all of which makes me wonder what Alansari-Kreger is really up to.

A challenge to peaceful Muslims and to Islamic apologists

I find it very hard to believe that Robin Wright has actually read Rumiyah, Issue 2 of October 2016. A Muslim ploughed a car into pedestrians at Ohio State University, then got out and attacked the horrified pedestrians with a knife. Of course it was a Muslim terrorist and there was every chance of a connection with ISIS. So tracing his actions back to an actual ISIS source counts to Wright’s credit, though this, too, is a no-brainer. Input: Knife attack + America + ISIS. Output: The Hand Of Isis At Ohio State. Sure enough, ISIS’s knife attack instructions are there on pages 12–13, in all their glorious barbaric detail, and Wright is accurate in her account of those instructions. But how did she miss the conclusion, at the end of page 13?

The overall objective of any just terror operation is to bring horror and misery to the enemies of Allah, and to remind them that their efforts to wage war against Islam and the Muslims will only lead to more and more mujahidin appearing in their very midst, ready to strike them mercilessly on their own soil. So, “Let them find harshness in you” (At-Tawbah 123 [Chapter 9 of the Qur’an]). And remember that Allah’s Messenger said, “Never shall the kafir and his killer be united in the Fire” (Reported by Muslim from Abu Hurayrah [A hadith]).

Maybe it was too general, as in, not specific enough, unlike the meticulous knife murder instruction. Maybe. But Robin Wright has been a contributing writer for newyorker.com since 1988, with a string of other major media outlets to her name. Did this passage that she quoted not at least strike her as uniquely mediaeval?

Many people are often squeamish at the thought of plunging a sharp object into another person’s flesh. It is a discomfort caused by the untamed, inherent dislike for pain and death, especially after ‘modernization’ distanced males from partaking in the slaughtering of livestock for food and striking the enemy in war.

Wasn’t she even tempted to take just a peek at the rest of the thirty-eight pages? If she had, she’d have found the very first paragraph to say:

When mentioning the obligation of jihad for His cause, Allah indicated that some people would have reservations towards this noble commandment. He said, “Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it contains that which you dislike” (Al-Baqarah 216 [Chapter 2 of the Qur’an]). He then reminded the believers to place their trust in Him, by deferring to His infinite wisdom instead of relying upon their limited knowledge. “But perhaps you dislike a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah knows, while you know not” (Al-Baqarah 216). He further taught them that if it were not for jihad, the world would be filled with corruption. “And if it were not for Allah curbing people by means of others, the earth would become corrupt, but Allah has much bounty for the creation” (Al-Baqarah 251).

Three times in an eighty-nine word opening paragraph, the Qur’an is quoted directly as the prelude for what is to follow. And what follows is page after page of incontestable demonstration that not only is the hand of ISIS on the knife, as Wright correctly reports, but the mouth of Allah is behind the commandments that the knife fulfils. ISIS is meticulous (to PhD standard; not just “slick,” as Wright describes, although it is that, too) in demonstrating exactly which command, chapter and verse, is being carried out by which terrorist action. Rumiyah is nothing if not the Qur’an made flesh. Yes, my words are deliberately chosen, for although Wright mentions the blood-covered knife on the cover, how could that picture score over two beheading action shots (pages 22 and 37), and a quadruple-beheading trophy pose (page 24)[1]? How is it possible to miss that all this grotesque carnage is the direct outcome of doing as Allah commands? How is it possible to write a 953-word piece on Rubiyah and not say a single word about the initiating role of the Qur’an in all this?

So here are my two challenges. My first challenge is to peaceful Muslims: it is your holy book that is causing all this — that has been causing this for fourteen hundred years — whether you know that or not, whether you ignore that or not, whether it hurts your sensibilities to be told that or not, your Holy Qur’an is doing this to our world. Your Holy Qur’an creates and sustains these monsters. Straight out of the Qur’an, mass murder is unleashed onto our streets.

You claim to be peaceful. You want the world to be nice to you. You want to get along with everybody. All of that is fine. We would like that, too. But tell us why anyone should believe that you are peaceful? The onus is on you to prove it: you are the one with the holy book that commands you to murder everyone else. Why should we believe you when you hold in reverence the book that commands you and ISIS alike? How can anyone trust you, if you are not prepared to show, like those of us who are not Muslim, that we not only abhor ISIS and its ilk, but that we abhor the source of the commandments they obey (commandments that you, too, are obliged to obey). How peaceful can you be, when you protect the very book responsible, directly or indirectly, for all the beheadings, the crucifixions, the enslavements, the amputations, the rapes, the knife rampages, the throwing off from cliffs and high buildings, the whippings and lashings, the ploughing of cars and trucks into pedestrians, and planes into buildings, and on, and on, and on? You may object that you do not do any of these things yourself, even that they repel you, and you may even be sincere, yet your first reaction to any Muslim terrorist mass killing is always to worry about your religion’s precious “good name,” while the rest of us rage for the victims, and exercise ourselves on how this mediaeval madness can be stopped. There are no ideas forthcoming from you, no suggestions, ever.

You hold silly little talks and quaint little eat-ins to show us how nice Muslims are. We know there are nice Muslims. We are not stupid. We want to stop the mass killings and you are not helping; yet it is your holy book that’s doing all this [2]. What are you doing about that? If nothing, then you should not be surprised to be sidelined when others go about solving the problem in the way they see fit, including treating you as part of the problem. Furthermore, you cannot complain when national governments, such as Hungary, Japan, Slovakia, India, Bulgaria, Switzerland, etc., take blanket actions against you, whether with or without ulterior motives. Your prevarication invites this and, given the overriding priority (for us) to save lives, makes such measures legitimate. By saying, “this has nothing to do with Islam,” you’re saying, “this is not our problem.” I’m sorry: it is your holy book; it is your problem.

The howls of indignation from Islamic apologists in response to such national measures merely bring into focus your apparent insensitivity to what your religion is doing to the world compared to your hypersensitivity to how that religion is viewed. I’m afraid not everyone shares your peculiar blend of sensibilities. Scottish law differentiates between guilty, not guilty and not proven, which is one obvious answer to the simplistic and much abused “innocent until proven guilty,” notion. For as long as you adhere to a holy book that exhorts you to murder, ipso facto, you cannot be proven innocent; the most you can hope for is not proven. When a Japanese Muslim responds to his country’s public safety measure by complaining, “They made us terrorist suspects, we never did anything wrong,” he may well be right about his second statement, but about the first he is wholly wrong. It is not government surveillance measures that make you a terror suspect; it is your adherence to a terror manual that makes you a terror suspect. So far, your best performance has been to keep that suspicion alive, at least amongst those of us who are not naïve or co-opted. You’ve not yet shared whatever knowledge you may have on how to tell the difference between Muslims who live and let live, and Muslims who die to kill. They all adhere to the same Qur’an, the same mass murder manual. Governments cannot be expected to sit idly by while their citizens get slaughtered. In the absence of anything better, blanket treatment is what you’re going to get.

My second challenge is to the Islamic apologists: You’re educated, right? So read Rumiyah and prove to us that what ISIS says about the Qur’an isn’t true. Otherwise, please keep out of this because, whatever your agenda, you’ve done enough damage. Your whitewashing and denials of the Qur’an’s compulsion to terrorism are an affront to the thousands of deaths resulting almost daily from it. Better still, get out of the way altogether so that those who are willing, can at least do what they can to arrest this headlong descent into an epochal nightmare. What? You’re appalled and outraged that a humanist should rely on Right-wing political parties? Do you know any philosopher-kings who are prepared to deal with this problem? Besides, it’s a strange objection, coming from you.

An oft-quoted version of Occam’s razor is, “Everything should be kept as simple as possible, but no simpler.” Robin Wright started out at the simplest possible, and unfortunately made things simpler. If she’d taken into account the rest of the publication, she might’ve done better than the inane, “the event could have come straight out of the Islamic State’s manual—and it appears to have inspired him.” She might’ve realised that the Qur’an, too, advises on when to strike, and which parts of the body to attack, and how, and that the Qur’an, too, glorifies killing and promises great rewards for doing so. She might’ve realised that the passage she quoted flows directly from chapter 2 of the Qur’an. The Rumiyah opening paragraph makes the connection explicit. Knowing this, she might, instead, have said, it came straight out of the Qur’an through the Islamic State’s manual—and it appears to have exhorted him. Inspired? No—that’s the wrong word. Inspired implies an independent creative act. This was nothing of the sort. Islam is nothing of the sort.


 

[1] It’s interesting how this photo is cropped to cut off the heads of the murderers. Who says there’s no art in Islam?

[2] What are we to make of “counter-extremism” think tanks that won’t even touch the Qur’an?