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For those who don’t know the difference between a Muslim and an Islamist

I often get people asking how one knows the difference between a Muslim and an Islamist.

It’s easy.

It’s the difference between a Nazi and a German; a member of the British National Party or the English Defence League and a Briton; a Christian versus a member of the Klux Klux Klan or Christian Voice.

And this is how I know that the members of the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) who came to the Dublin Atheist Conference the first weekend in June are not some pious Muslims but Islamists and there to promote Islamism in all its vileness. It’s a gut feeling really. I can see them a mile away.

But for those who are not so sure, there are a couple of giveaways.

Firstly, they are members of an Islamic organisation but since Islamism is so reviled they usually give their organisations benign names like Islamic Education and Research Academy (an oxymoron in my opinion) to dupe the public. If one wants to, though, it isn’t hard to find their links with Islamism.

Also, their aims make it quite clear who they are. Just take a look at their website to see what I mean. You don’t need to go further than their ‘About Us’ section to get a clue to the nature of their organisation. The section recites a verse of the Koran saying: ‘Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good; enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, they are the ones to attain felicity. [3:104]” And they say they are a “global Dawah organisation committed to presenting Islam to the wider society.” Dawah usually denotes the preaching of Islam and literally means summoning or inviting, like a missionary. This may sound innocuous enough if one falls for the Islamists’ double speak but for the rest of us, we know what ‘forbidding’ and Dawah means during an Islamic inquisition.

Furthermore, you can always tell the nature of an organisation by the friends they keep. A far-Right group will invite Geert Wilders on their platform because they share an affinity with him and his anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim perspective and belong to his movement. And the iERA will always have fascist Islamists on their platform and as heads of their organisation for the very same reason. Here are a couple of examples:

In an essay on his website entitled, “Terrible and brutal Islamic punishments or wise and just guidance from Allah?” iERA’s chairman Abdur-Raheem Green argues that homosexuality and adultery are “inexcusable, and justly punished with severity.” For this he stipulates death: “a slow and painful death by stoning. It is indicative of just how harmful this crime is to society.” He also calls for the prohibition of ‘free mixing between sexes’.

Their senior ‘lecturer’ Hamza Tzortzis argues: “Some people object to Islam making the public expression of homosexuality a criminal act. This is subjective and only strikes a chord amongst those who cannot escape the social constructs in their own societies. There are societies past and present which accepted paedophilia and cannibalism as normal parts of human life and they would find Western society oppressive preventing them from carrying out these practices.”

There are many more examples but I won’t continue listing them here for fear of losing my lunch but please feel free to do your own search.

Thanks to Adam Barnett for the below links on the iERA in case you are a glutton for punishment:
Ibis Hotel hosts anti-gay hate preachers
Bigots and extremists in a panic
Changing the World through Dawah

As an aside, I am not for banning Islamists or deporting them to countries that are already suffering under and struggling against Islamism. I say, if they have committed a crime (and again that’s not hard to spot either) – arrest them and put them in jail where they belong. But that is I suppose another story…

Comments

  1. says

    While you have pointed out views of 'Islamists' on homosexuality as an example to put forth your view- I feel it will be only fair that the author of Bible is equally condemned and criticised for suggesting stoning to death for the homosexuals.

  2. Anonymous says

    2:10 In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease: And grievous is the penalty they (incur), because they are false (to themselves).
    2:11 When it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth," they say: "Why, we only Want to make peace!"
    2:12 Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realise (it) not.
    2:13 When it is said to them: "Believe as the others believe:" They say: "Shall we believe as the fools believe?" Nay, of a surety they are the fools, but they do not know.

    Tis best you concentrated your energy on something else…Muslims are here to stay!

  3. tim says

    Ms Namazie

    You are in danger of being a hate preacher – cool down and be fair.

    You just hate Islam because you never knew what Islam was – as most people dont when you come from Iran

  4. removedasz says

    I subscribed to your blog after reading your presentation from the Ireland convention. (Somehow via PZ Myers)

    I wanted to post and let you know I greatly enjoy your blog.

    I know you won't be dissuaded by addle-minded peons quoting ancient books or ignorant statements about what you do or do not know.

    I like to submit comment at least once when I start reading a blog and like it. I find your posts very enjoyable, well written and presented.

    I don't comment often, but I'll be reading every post.

    Thank you for doing what you do.

  5. Anonymous says

    Hey, Anonymous 2:19 PM – The Book of Holes, Chapter 1 states, "For they knew not their holes from an ass on the ground."

    Capisce?

  6. Anonymous says

    "anonymous 5:38pm"(15:2) The time is not far when the same people who have today refused to accept (the Message of Islam) will regret and say, "we wish we had surrendered to it!"

    (15:3) Leave them alone to eat, drink and be merry and to be deluded by false hopes. They will soon realize it.

    btw, if Allah wills that you become a muslim you don't have any choice but become one!!!

  7. says

    To those who wish to criticize, chastise or otherwise want to attack Maryam for her position – best you perhaps become even more familiar with your own text first:

    2:6 As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe.

    2:7 God hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur).

    If Allah is going to go out of his way to make one of us an unbeliever and obscure the truth from us, well, what chance did we ever have?

    Instead of criticising us, perhaps you should be turning instead to your God, and ask Him why He has decided to obscure his (allegedly) plain truths from us benighted unbelievers.

    Because it seems that the Qu'ran is telling us that Allah has deliberately hidden the truth from us. Given the kind of lip-smacking punishments that are delivered to unbelievers in hell… How exactly does such behavior line up with a wise and compassionate entity? It seems downright cruel and vindictive – pushing someone into the mud, then punishing them for being dirty.

    As an unbeliever myself, it's very hard not to take this kind of thing personally (to say the least).

    So no. Hold your criticism from us and demand some better answers from your Islamic teachers, texts and God. Particularly as to why an allegedly all-powerful God would choose to condemn people to unbelief and then punish us for an action that is (allegedly) His.

    And if you find that troubling? Well, perhaps it's high time you reconsider, yes? Take another close look at what you believe, and why, and what the text says, and how it operates… And if you really, truly care about what is true in the universe, are any of the answers to these questions really good enough?

    Methinks not – but look again, for yourself.

    Think about it. Think critically.

    Maryam

    I've been enjoying your blog. Like removedasz, I came through here from PZ's linking.

    I was wondering about the term Islamist, so the expansion here is definitely welcome.

    Although I'm still hugely uncomfortable with using the term myself… There's a background in my ancestral history of using perjorative labels to dehumanize others, so I've got to be cautious before adopting the use of a new label.

    Picking up 'Islamist' and running with it would be all to easy, as I am certainly no friend of the beliefs, ideology, texts, politics, and legal systems that come parceled together under the label of 'Islam'.

    And I can see how a new term to distinguish Muslims – who I expect just pray at the specified times then get on with raising their kids and looking for the next dollar just like the rest of us – from the more radical factions.

    The distinction between Christian/KKK was a good example that worked for me…

    Although German/Nazi gave me pause to reconsider. Nazi's seem to be the universal bogey-men of moral discourse. Whenever someone mentions them it raises all of my skeptical red flags. I'm not saying that I don't think that particular analogy is justified – perhaps it is. I genuinely don't have the information to make an informed decision. In the absence of information, I must be cautious.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I've subscribed to your blog and I'm finding your speeches and articles to be interesting and thought-provoking. I still have more than a few reservations (of course) but am very interested in hearing you discuss these subjects further.

    I look forward to hearing more from you.

  8. Anonymous says

    @tim:
    I find it hilarious that you claim Maryam never knew Islam because her views are different from yours. As far as "hate" goes, it's obvious that you're the one who's filled with hate.

    @Aisha:
    If Maryam disgusts you so much, why don't you go elsewhere? If you have nothing to contribute to the discussion, why don't you keep your hatred to yourself?

    Maryam, I also stumbled upon your blog as a result of PZ's page. The words of ignorant people cannot eclipse the brilliance and eloquence of your writing. It's always a pleasure to read your posts.

  9. Anonymous says

    "Maryam this is extremist, provocative language."

    And wanting homosexuals stoned isn't?

    Here's some language for you, you prick – fuck off.

    Islam is savagery. Any "religion" which proposes ampuations and stonings etc for innocuous crimes is utter shit. How can quoting the savagery and stupidity of muslims be hate speech whereas the actual words of the muslim freak must be respected?

  10. Anonymous says

    This life is a test, we don't know the answers just like any other test in this life, we have to wait for the examiner to mark it. If God just put us in heaven and hell according to what he knows we would say he was unfair and that "we would of done it differently given the chance" God made humans with free will…we choose our destiny, every decision we make effects our lives later on. Its up to you to investigate and find out the truth yourself.
    God is compassionate he has allowed atheists like maryam to curse and try and cause huge mischief towards a billion people only because they don't agree with "her" way of
    thinking making her no different from those mad EDL/facist leaders. She left islam, that's fine but to try and capitalise from it is just down right low. using words like nazis and islamism to make her point just makes me think the woman is an opportunist. what will happen if muslims suddenly became the dominate power will she then come back proclaiming she has seen the light? Allah (swt) says in the quran about these types of people:
    (2:14) When they meet those who believe, they say, "We, too, are believers", but when they privily meet their evil geniuses, *15 they say, "Indeed we are with you: we are only mocking at these people".

    I urge you to research islam if only to understand us. I urge you to read about sharia law yourself with an open mind. don't take from maryam she her self is only here to make a name for herself why else has she chosen to pick on muslims!

  11. says

    What's the difference between a Muslim and an Islamist??
    IS there any difference with Muslim and Islamist as i have known both parties were praising in one god and that is Allah.So what's the difference?

  12. says

    I was present at a debate organized by a University Islamic Society in February of last year (2010). Hamza Tzortzis, who I understood to be an academic political theorist, was the speaker for Islam and against liberalism. The other party to the debate was an elderly white humanist, who had been invited to debate 'liberal secularism'. Tzortzis however addressed only liberalism and 'western individualism', and lambasted the humanist speaker for addressing secularism, forcing the humanist to read out his Email of invitation in order to defend himself. Tzortzis's manner throughout was heated; he overran his allocated time on more than one occasion; and repeatedly interrupted when it came to the 'conversation' stage of the debate. He was over assertive to the point of aggression in the question and answer stage, and at one point barked at the humanist speaker 'I'm trying to educate you here!' (having earlier accused him of being patronising). I did not know of his link with iERA, but it doesn't surprise me.

  13. Anonymous says

    My friend 'anonymous', I have researched Islam, and lived and worked in Muslim countries for over ten years. And the conclusion I arrived at was that it has nothing to offer any decent thinking human. It offers only rules and fear and threats for weak-willed people who worship brute force and like being led around.

  14. Anonymous says

    you researched and came to the conclusion that it is only rules and threats? I don't believe you researched it properly with an open mind. regarding rules, the whole of the universe adheres to rules. every atom, every creature and every secularist has to adhere to rules! and as for threats if you don't follow the rules you will have to suffer the consequences. living in an islamic country does not teach one about islam!

    Allah is telling mankind to research and find out the truth.

    Read: In the name of thy Lord Who createth, (1) Createth man from a clot. (2) Read: And thy Lord is the Most Bounteous, (3) Who teacheth by the pen, (4) Teacheth man that which he knew not. (5) Nay, but verily man is rebellious (6) That he thinketh himself independent! (7) Lo! unto thy Lord is the return. (8) Hast thou seen him who dissuadeth (9) A slave when he prayeth? (10) Hast thou seen if he relieth on the guidance (of Allah) (11) Or enjoineth piety? (12) Hast thou seen if he denieth (Allah's guidance) and is froward? (13) Is he then unaware that Allah seeth? (14) Nay, but if he cease not We will seize him by the forelock – (15) The lying, sinful forelock – (16) Then let him call upon his henchmen! (17) We will call the guards of hell. (18) Nay, Obey not thou him. But prostrate thyself, and draw near (unto Allah). (19)

  15. Anonymous says

    trofim: “Say: He is Allah, the One; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him.”[Surah Al-Ikhlas 112, Verses 1-4]

    stop thinking everything acts like a human!

  16. Anonymous says

    I know Hamza personally. He is an incredibly open and generous soul. Very approachable to all and very loving. Once when he was too busy to make a meeting I joked that the only way he could make it up to me was by buying me a kilo of galaxy chocolate.

    About a week later I received a telephone call from him. He was outside my house with a bag full of galaxy bars and an apology.

    Maryam it's totally up to you if you choose not to be a Muslim any longer. But please have the decency to speak fairly about those who choose to practice Islam.

    If we stay back we are accused of failing to integrate. If we engage, we are accused of Islamism. What exactly do you want from Muslims?

    Presumably you would be the first to object to injustice- so how can you stand to inflict it?

  17. Anonymous says

    It seems Ms Namazie devotes an inordinate amount of blogspace on the Islamic faith and not entirely enough on the faith system in general at all. A 'true' Athiest – i think we would all agree – would have an argument against all faiths and not just the circumstantially 'weaker' one. In fact, it's becoming quite a boorish task to read Ms Namazie's blog as all it seems to have become in the last few weeks is a vitriolic hate-filled rant against a single group of people. What a whining kvetch…move on Namazie theres a whole world of religion out there. I would challenge you Namazie to stop following the system and – if you truly own a backbone – to find fault in Judaism and Christianity and prove us all wrong and until you do, you will never be accepted among the ranks of Dawkins et al.

  18. Anonymous says

    Oh, indeed one can tell something about someone by the friends they keep. For example, Maryam Namazie is a confessed Communist, a supporter of the second most murderous system in history, and also of the ones who put the Ayatollah Khomeni in power.

    Given that record, maybe you could try to show a little more understanding why Geert Wilders is doing what he is and why he is supported?

  19. says

    Your comparison between the couples Islamist, Muslim on the one side and Nazi, German on the other side doesn't seem right to me. Islamists and Muslims share the same faith even if they give not the same interpretation to it. As a Nazi you also have some faith in being superior etc. Being a German is a nationality wherein you were born. Says nothing about your beliefs. You can be German and at the same time Catholic or Muslim or Islamist or Nazi or even atheist.
    Why is only the latter written with a lower case? Says something about touchiness, I suppose.

  20. says

    Maryam Namazie Zindabad!

    You’ve nailed it sister. I am a Muslim and my enemy is the Islamist. These fascist members of a death cult are threat to human civilization while my late mother who read the Quran everyday and prayed five times a day hated the mullahs.

    From her to you; thank you.

    Tarek

  21. N says

    Excellent article, if I may call it that. You’ve shown that the way to tell Islamists from Muslims is by checking Maryam Namazie’s gut feeling on it, and also that Islamist groups are are religious groups who a. have a name, b. preach things. Brilliant. Just brilliant. I can see what Richard Dawkins sees in your writing.

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