“Islam needs Islamophobia right now”

I share this piece about the recent mob murder of journalism student Mashal Khan at a university in Pakistan. There’ve been many other reports on this over the past few days. How far are we from seeing such actions at Western universities, one has to wonder. I also share this to help the growing coming-out of ex-Muslims and the publicising of their views. It is well past time that this constituency gets the airtime it deserves.

If this triggers a debate amongst readers, all the better. For the next two weeks, though, I shall be too snowed under to contribute myself, and will call in only to moderate.

Update: 25 April 2017

This debate amongst Muslims, out in the open, is long overdue. Here is a contribution from Ambreen Zaidi. Will the Islamic apologists try to rubbish this, too?

Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!

Source: https://youtu.be/h7q6QWF9EDo

In 2013 Sherif Gaber, a 20-year-old student at the Suez Canal University, was arrested for starting a Facebook group about leaving Islam:

I started to see the contradictions between the Quran and scientific facts, and day by day for 2 years after searching and reading I knew the truth. Then I became an atheist and hid it for a few months. Then I admited it despite knowing that I might get killed any moment…
… Even though I’m not afraid to say I’m an atheist to everyone who asks about my religion… To die for the truth is much much better to live in a lie!

Fellow students denounced him and the School President filed a complaint to the local authorities for contempt of religion.
He was arrested by National Security and later told Daily News Egypt that, during this detention which lasted till December 2013, he was subjected to severe abuse and electrocution from the security officials, who “punished every part of me”.’
While released on bail, he escaped and was sentenced to one year in prison.

Source: http://www.siawi.org/article14308.html

Muslim terrorists are always motivated by religion

Much ink and airtime are expended on whether Muslim terrorists are motivated by religion, by politics or by socio-economic conditions, the latter two often taken together as a single motivation. See, e.g., this debate between Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Manal Omar. These motivations tend to be cast in either/or terms and often entire characterisations are made of a commentator on the basis of which motivation underlies their response to Muslim terrorism. The either/or construct then also comes to serve as a way of debunking the motivation not supported. Thus, for example, when it is argued that Muslim terrorists are motivated to commit mass murder by their experience of US or Western imperialist actions or by the miserable conditions under which they live, this is done not not so much to prove that the terrorists are politically or socially motivated, but principally to disprove religion as a motivation. The logical fallacy must be plain. Whether political/social motivation is actually proven becomes secondary. In the case of Hirsi Ali versus Omar, above, Omar purportedly sets out to make precisely that case by presenting us with a string of arbitrary assertions that sheds no light at all on terrorist motivations. But even if she had proved that Muslim terrorism is motivated by political/social experiences, this would still not prove that they are not motivated by religion. In order to prove the latter, Omar, or anyone else, would have to engage with the religious motivation declared by terrorists themselves, and show these declarations to be false. She does nothing of the kind, nor generally, do others who wish to disprove religious motivation. In short, more often than not, the political/social motivation thesis is not about proving political or social motivations, but about disproving religious motivations.

On the other side, proving religious motivation is rarely about disproving political or social motivations. It is either explicitly to prove religious motivation, such as Hirsi Ali above, neither proving nor disproving political and/or social motivations (although, in this case, recognising the latter), or it is proving religious motivation and showing how such motivation interacts with other motivations, including political and social motivations. The late Christopher Hitchens, a good example of the latter, also provides a far more thorough examination of US foreign policy crimes than any anti-imperialist sloganeer ever seems to see the need to. Proving religious motivation is, of course, extremely easy: Muslim terrorists make this link themselves. The only way to disprove this link is by showing that the terrorists are lying about their religious motivation. The only way to do that is by showing that the terrorists’ religion doesn’t say what the terrorists claim it to be saying. This cannot be done without directly comparing the utterances of the terrorists with the actual text of the religion, something that the religious motivation deniers must avoid at all costs, for that way lies their undoing.

To every Muslim terrorist, the most valued act of terrorism, the most keenly sought after, is one that leads to the terrorist’s death. Martyrdom is the Muslim terrorist’s highest ambition. Martyrdom is a 100% religious motivation aspired to by 100% of Muslim terrorists. The Qur’an praises martyrdom as the highest form of praising Allah and numerous times urges its followers to seek precisely that. Martyrdom has zero political content. This is not to suggest that Muslim terrorist may not have other motivations flowing from politics, social-economic conditions, culture, etc., but none of these, no matter how numerous, are motivations for martyrdom. Furthermore, such additional motivations are not necessarily progressive. The additional motivation may be racist (“Kill the Jews!”), homophobic (Chechen gay concentration camps), xenophobic (bombing churches, desecrating crucifixes), sectarian (Sunni terrorists blowing up Shia mosques), etc. The proponents of political/social motivations for Muslim terrorism never address these intensely reactionary social motivations. To do so would, of course, devalue the victim status of the terrorists, the sine qua non of the anti-imperialist thesis.

In the end, attempts to deny the religious motivation of Muslim terrorists amounts to a cynical recasting of a tragic psychic condition in which the victim, who may otherwise be free of the pathologies that lead to suicide, actively seeks death for themselves (and for as many others as possible). In fact, martyrdom is not suicide. It is murder of the self.[1] Whereas suicide seeks to end life, martyrdom seeks to enter death. Only religion can do this to an otherwise healthy brain. Regardless of imperialism, etc., denying the religious motivation of Muslim terrorists is an evil in itself.

 

[1] Of course I am distinguishing between seeking death for one’s faith, on the one hand, from dying for one’s faith when one did not wish to die, on the other. The Christian controversy over the “martyrdom” of Saint Thaumasius, the former monk Ammonius, illustrates the difference between Christian martyrdom and Islamic martyrdom. Fifth century monk Ammonius was tortured to death for assaulting the Prefect of Alexandria, Orestes. In other words, although he died for his faith, he did so by his own actions. Bishop Cyril of Alexandria, in a brazen act of political opportunism, declared Ammonius a martyr, but soon after was forced to revoke the martyrdom and derecognise the monk’s sainthood. In Islam, Ammonius would unquestionably have been a martyr.

“Islamophobia” – the blasphemy accusation of Western liberals

Readers of this blog will know that I hold Islam to be irreformable. My basis for maintaining this is the Qur’an itself, which I understand to be future-proof. Its guarantee against its own reform is the combination of its claims that Islam is the final religion, Allah’s word may not be challenged and the command (many commands) to those who adhere to the Qur’an to kill anyone who attempts to alter the Qur’an in any way. Calls for an Islamic reformation are, therefore, a threat to Islam and therefore themselves are taken as a call to jihad — this debate amongst ex-Muslims runs beneath the surface of world events.

It is commanded of all who obey Allah to take up arms in defence of Islam. Some do so openly, others secretly. Some bide their time pretending to be peaceful, while yet others who are genuinely not interested, suddenly wake up one day and realise they’ve not been obeying Allah as they should. Some (many) reach the end of their peaceful lives never having fully submitted to the will of Allah. Meanwhile, the taking up of arms in defence of Islam, “in the way of Allah”, is everyday aided and abetted by the kafir jihadis of the West. Their weapon is “Islamophobia”. In my inbox this morning I find Kacem El Ghazzali’s piece on “Islamophobia” from which I quote:

it’s totally absurd that those who are critical of these demands are accused of “Islamophobia”. A reliable method of censorship, Islamists frequently apply this phrase to quickly dispose of any logical or reasoned arguments, while simultaneously making their opponents appear dishonorable. …What’s perplexing is that many Western liberals fall repeatedly into this trap. When it comes to Islam, under the banner of multiculturalism and misplaced tolerance, they’ve come to represent a regressive and even reactionary position.

I wonder how many terrorists got through, how many acts of terror were carried out, and how many people died, because someone feared being called “Islamophobic”. Maasha-Allah, you fuckwits.

Society has no better defence against terrorism, than its people knowing the source of it. “Be one of those people.”

Before you read this post and view the video, please allow me to remind you that I follow this guidance from the Muslim philosopher, Abu Yusuf Yaqoob ibn Ishaq al-Kindi:

We ought not to be embarrassed of appreciating the truth and of obtaining it wherever it comes from, even if it comes from races distant and nations different from us. Nothing should be dearer to the seeker of truth than the truth itself, and there is no deterioration of the truth, nor belittling either of one who speaks it or conveys it.

I do not care that he was a Muslim. He was telling the truth. Likewise:

I put the caveat at the top simply to avoid the tiresome reactions I got for daring to acknowledge a truth that Winston Churchill had spoken. If you’re going to have a go at me for daring to quote one of your pet personae non gratae, don’t bother.

By the way, the four deaths and fifteen injuries resulting from yesterday’s terrorist attack in Stockholm bring the total so far for the first seven days of April alone to 292 deaths and 221 injuries. Sweden: the most generous nation on earth. A tiny nation of 10 million people who opened their hearts and their country with such welcoming humanity that they called their immigrants “New Swedes”. Of the whole 1.7 billion Muslims in the world, is there not one, not a single one, who will say, “Islam did this. I am ashamed”? If you are one of the 1.7 billion and you sense that Muslims are not doing nearly enough, you might want to consider the actions of Kacem El Ghazzali’s mother.

How does the humanity of 1.7 billion Muslims weigh up against the humanity of 10 million Swedes?

How does the humanity of 1.7 billion Muslims weigh up against the humanity of 10 million Swedes?

The incredibly slow crawl towards self-evident truths about Islam

Douglas Murray once remarked on how incredibly slowly our societies crawl toward self-evident truths. It is an open question as to whether that crawl has been in any way accelerated by the brave and ceaseless efforts of ex-Muslims to bring our societies closer to those truths. It’s been hard to judge, not least because of the pervasiveness of the “Islamophobia” slur. In the Muslim world, ex-Muslims have been up for slaughter for a long time, in fact, since the beginning of Islam. Today, though, they bear an added social responsibility: turning that slow crawl of free societies towards the self-evident truth about Islam into a sprint. We are frustrated. Ex-Muslims are frustrated in that, by and large, Western opinion-makers, policy-makers, analysts, commentators, etc., are still not sufficiently interested in those self-evident truths — most remain not at all interested — though, thankfully, there have been some healthy developments of late. There’s been an increased readiness to look the truth in the eye after the social meltdowns in Scandinavia, Germany, the Netherlands and France, and especially after the latest artistic twist of ploughing vehicles at high speed into pedestrians. And now, in direct response to forcing an ex-Muslim citizen of a free country to cancel her speaking tour of another free country, thereby also forcing the free citizens of that free country not to listen to someone they’d freely chosen to listen to.

Please note that I’m not here referring to fear of violent Muslim reprisals (real as those are), or irrepressible mea culpa compulsions on the part of white liberals and leftists for the deeds of their fathers. I’m talking about the simple human reluctance to countenance uncomfortable or even nasty possibilities about other people’s religion. After all, we have freedom of religion, something we’re proud of and hold dear. It’s worked well up till now, on the whole. Why are we, ex-Muslims, so hell-bent on bad-mouthing Islam? Most commentators are not so foolish as to suggest that we don’t know what we’re talking about, although remarkably, some are. Nevertheless, it is a hard fight to get a word in, for most ears tend to be engaged in prior echo-chamber commitments. In light of all this, I would like to share another ex-Muslim’s frustrations:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN5Qv_c15Gw (Jajabor the nomad)

Update 8 April 2017: In the video above, Jajabor predicts that:

If we let Muslim lands be covered by Shari’a, they will unite and then they will start attacking us, because attacking non-Muslim lands, subduing them, these are all part of the Islamic faith.

Today, in my inbox, I find this report on the Saudi proposal yesterday, 7 April, for a single military force for all Muslim countries, as the Saudi minister for religious affairs, Sheikh Saleh bin Abdul Aziz, put it:

the KSA-led military alliance is for the protection and triumph of Islam, and for the elimination of the enemies of Muslims. He said this alliance will respond to all threats to Islam and fight against all those coming in the way of Muslims.

Make no mistake, every word means exactly what it says, especially “coming in the way of Muslims.”

“coming in the way of Muslims.”

In Islam’s propaganda war, the front line falls back

In evidence amongst Islamic apologists lately is the panic of the cornered animal. One by one their lines of defence, all built on lies, intimidation and guilt-manipulation, have been breached and we are facing the citadel itself. In commenting on the recent Muslim terrorist attack in London, in a rare outbreak of truthfulness, Mehdi Hassan admitted that

[the] claim that “Islam is the problem” has now gone mainstream.

Indeed. The corresponding panic also means that Islam’s 50-cent army of “peaceful Muslims” will increasingly be pressed into service, such as we’ve just seen so obscenely done in Australia. It is interesting to see wide boy Mehdi Hassan starting to go through the same unravelling as had his “gentle” predecessor Tarik Ramadan, when people started seeing through his bullshit. Hassan, to his dubious credit, at least used to be slick and, in his own way, entertaining. As far is bullshit can be coherent, Hassan’s bullshit was coherent and delivered in quick-fire succession that left his opponent no time to respond to any of it. There are many who find confirmation of their prejudices in that kind of cheap showmanship (look at any Zakir Naik speech). Thus did Hassan dominate the rhetorical space. And like the programmed machine, it’s the only way he knows. He is unable to turn himself off, even in conversation with Irshad Manji, who’s supposed to be on the same side as him. She had to call him out for his behaviour.

Now that “the problem is Islam” has finally gone mainstream, Hassan’s bullshit isn’t coherent anymore. It’s even lost its edginess. It has all the signs of a drowning man casting around for anything that might save him. A straw, a straw! My kingdom for a straw! And yet Mehdi Hassan is not the worst. That distinction has to go to The Guardian‘s apologist extraordinaire David Shariatmadari, who, in the same narrative meltdown, makes the kind of admission that would get anyone else shot down for “Islamophobia”. Says Shariatmadani, “We cannot look simply to theology to explain recent Islam-inspired terrorism.” I had to read that twice. So now there is such a things as Islam-inspired terrorism. Will the “Islamophobia” witch-hunters now apologise to all those they have slandered and attacked for making this very point? I wouldn’t advise anyone to hold their breath.

But back to the point: if it can no longer be denied that Islam inspires terrorism, then the fallback position seems to be to spread the culpability. “Don’t look simply to theology,” says Shariatmadari. Mehdi Hassan’s equivalent to this is: “converts do it too.” The whole thrust of the piece in which he admits that the problem of Islam has gone mainstream, is to latch onto London Muslim terrorist Khalid Masood’s being a convert to Islam, and to bleed every once of bullshit that he could out of that fact. If it cannot be denied that the terrorist is a Muslim, then it might still be possible to exonerate Islam. It’s a rhetorical load under which no wagon can hold onto its wheels. Shariatmadari, in another sign of the apologetics meltdown, admits that people who want real answers are now converging on the Qur’an. He offers a typical example of those pesky, now mainstream, questions: “We do need to have a discussion about the Qur’an …how do we deal with those difficult suras [chapters] which are full of these tetchy pronouncements.” He even admits that these are, “the kind of people who think it’s not good to generalise, and that there are definitely lots of nice Muslims, but still…” In other words, people who want real answers are no longer the crazed rightwing bigots that the “Islamophobia” Inquisition has hitherto insisted that they are. That’s the second apology we won’t be getting any time soon. He even goes so far as to admit, “In fact, it’s not an unreasonable thought, if you’re unfamiliar with Islam,” (my emph.). Reasonable people want to have that discussion about the Qur’an, admits Shariatmadari. They want to know what those verses say. But Shariatmadari still has some kick in him, albeit feeble. “Who knows (or can be bothered to find out),” he asks, “what those verses say, and how they have been interpreted?” Does this mean he’s urging us to go ahead and read the Qur’an for ourselves? Not on your life. “The fact is, however,” says the man who is familiar with Islam, “that a proper explanation isn’t to be found here.” Sorry, David Shariatmadani. This is not a fucking madrassa. We will read whatever we like and we will make up our own minds for ourselves. The cowered liberals have given you a false understanding of how free people’s heads work.

The UDHR and the CDHRI: Their Ideals and Ours

It is one of the enduring myths of the great liberal delusion that all people aspire to the same values as the values of the Enlightenment. Our ideals, flowing from the Enlightenment, include universal Human Rights and equality for all. So firmly is this ideal built into our psyche that we measure our societal worth by our insistence on pursuing this ideal without exception (barring exceptions, of course). It should not be necessary to point out that these are my ideals, too. I may further add that I hold these ideals to be superior to anything else humanity has hitherto devised.

It is, however, inescapable that Human Rights and equality for all are not ideals that all people share. What is more, significant sections of humanity are actively opposed to them. Indeed, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the ideal of equality for all human beings are so strongly opposed by so many, that no fewer than 45 states signed the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI), adopted in 1990, expressly to challenge the universality of the UDHR, and specifically its applicability to Muslims, and to instead safeguard the pre-mediaeval and inhuman Shari’a as the framework for human relations and interactions. It is neither a slight nor an insult to say that Muslims do not hold to the UDHR as an ideal, on the contrary, it is an affirmation.

The signing of the CDHRI may, on the face of it, seem like a retreat from a universal ideal, but to the 45 signatories and their famed 1.7 billion co-religionists, it is anything but. Their action is the safeguarding of a far higher ideal, one ordained by none other than God himself. Muslims hold to the ideal of their supremacy over all others and the subjugation of all others to them, whether they violently strive to realise this ideal, or merely avoid the degradation of contact with non-Muslims. To give some idea of the flavour of this supremacy, for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman is to elevate her, and the children she might bear, to Islam. For a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man is to relegate her, and the children she might bear, from Islam. It is therefore a logical impossibility since a woman’s children belong to her husband, and no one can ever leave Islam.

Muslims are not equal to non-Muslims and there is no need for anyone, especially non-Muslims, to do anything about that inequality. Muslims are already superior. They are already supreme. God made it so fourteen hundred years ago. If reality deviates from this, then there is something wrong with reality and it is incumbent on Muslims to put right such abomination. If they are not in a position to put it right, then they must avoid sullying themselves by unnecessary involvement with that reality. You do not need to invade, occupy or oppress a Muslim country to trigger such “putting right”. Your mere existence will suffice.

So, for non-Muslims to offer equality to Muslims, even if those Muslims find themselves in the most abject of conditions, is a deeply humiliating presumption. Should Muslims condescend to accept such Human Rights and equality with non-Muslims, it would be so as to exact revenge for the affront of having had Human Rights and equality offered to them — forced on them, as they would see it — while they were in no position to spurn it. It is this that underlies the trashing of generous and humane Sweden. It is this that underlies the never-ending demands for special treatment where everyone else accepts equality (special treatment is nothing more than the rolling back of such integration as they’ve been unable to avoid). Muslims will never let go of their supremacy and the inferiority of all others to them, even if they live peacefully next door, regularly offer you food across the garden fence, and have nothing to do with jihad. You are a lesser being and will forever so remain, unless, of course, you do the wondrous thing of converting to Islam.

Another enduring myth of the great liberal delusion is that the violence of Islam is confined to terrorists or “radicalised” Muslims. Men who beat their wives, parents who kill their daughters (filicide is legal in Islam), teachers who inflict falaka on their pupils, fighting as the first resort to settling disagreement, beating as the reflexive response to the smallest transgression, public whipping and caning of women by any male stranger, amputations for petty thefts, beheadings, stonings, etc., are normal parts of everyday peaceful Islam. Where any of these are not practised, it is not because we have a “peaceful Islam”, but because another ethos is powerful enough to impose itself on Islam, whether that is through the institutions of state, or the personal ethics of Muslims in that society.

If you do not recognise these horrors from your own Muslim upbringing, then Alhamdulillah. The serenity of the meal in Ramadan, the edifying musicality of the athan (especially at fajr), the smell of cinnamon on potato fritters, a roomful of giggling women dressing one another before a wedding, the waft of incense from a house, making a mess sucking the vermicelli from the bubur to avoid the cardamom, etc. — we want these beautiful things to numb us to the barbarism at the heart of this faith. And they might well do so, but those horrors remain very much in place, and integral to what makes Islam superior. Naïve liberals need these beautiful things so as to maintain their delusion. I suspect that people who distinguish themselves as “cultural Muslims” may be seeking a Muslim identity free of these unsavoury components, but recognise that the faith is irredeemable.

“HR” in CDHRI means something entirely different to “HR” in UDHR. The piety with which many in the West react to the question of Human Rights and Muslims is both absurd and suicidal. It is also callous. Our pompous, ignorant self-righteousness is costing us dearly, and is abandoning those thousands upon thousands of people in the Islamic world, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, victims of Islam all, who aspire to exactly the same ideals as those who inherited Human Rights and equality for all from the Enlightenment.

 When gangs of rampaging Muslim men rape our women and reduce our cities to ashes, then, from their point of view, well would we deserve it for daring to presume ourselves equal to them. And this is still to say nothing of either Shari’a or terrorism. Many an educated liberal will simply steer well clear of all this and prefer to stick to the mantras of universal Human Rights and their absoluteness. It is a cop-out.