Tag Archives: Islamism

#Syria: Al Qaeda Forcing Druze to convert

Syrian branch of Islamist terror group reportedly has forced 14 Druze villages to Islam – or die.

 

Syrian rebels from Al-Qaeda are systematically forcing Syrian Druze communities to convert to Islam – or die, Walla! reported Monday.

Syrian opposition forces have reportedly declared to the Israeli daily that at least 14 Druze villages have been forced to convert to Islam by the Islamist group so far.

The information has apparently leaked from representatives of the villages, who declared that they had no choice but to convert and had been threatened with death.

The specific group responsible for the attack is the Al Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS). The group has seized large sections of Northern Syria and has reportedly been implementing Sharia law there.

ISIS officials have openly declared that they plan to turn Druze places of worships in mosques and change the entire region to a fundamentalist Islamist state.

Israeli Druze leaders stated Monday to the daily that they have been aware of ongoing issues with Islamists near their Syrian communities, and that they have pledged to help Syrian Druze as much as possible.

Map: Idlib province, Northern Syria Google Maps
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The UK Confronts Islamism

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klA century ago the murder of a British soldier in broad daylight in London would have been an act of war. In this post-imperial and post-everything age, an atrocity leads to a task force which produces a report which is then filed in a desk drawer by the undersecretary for something or other.

Like clockwork, the murder of Lee Rigby led to a task force and to a report. The report is 7 pages long. It’s possible to read it in much less than the twenty minutes that it took London police to respond to the murder in progress. You could even get through it a few times in real time while a Muslim convert who describes himself as a soldier of Allah saws away at a fallen Englishman’s head with no one to stop him.

There is a thing that organizations say when they know that they are hip deep in a crisis. They say that “we are taking this seriously.”

The report, “Tackling Extremism in the UK” certainly takes matters seriously. The evidence of that is not so much in the report, as in the task force which included the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, four Secretaries of State, three Ministers, one Chancellor, one Lord Chancellor and a partridge in a pear tree.

Like so many of the more “serious” and “sincere” efforts at tackling the biggest threat to civilization in the twenty-first century, the report mixes occasional good ideas with politically correct absurdities. It starts off by equating Islamophobia with Al Qaeda and rolls out a plan to fight back against Islamism.

“As the greatest risk to our security comes from Al Qa’ida and like-minded groups, and terrorist ideologies draw on and make use of extremist ideas, we believe it is also necessary to define the ideology of Islamist extremism,” the report states. And then it goes on to carefully avoid defining it except to contend that, whatever it is; it is not Islam.

“This is a distinct ideology which should not be confused with traditional religious practice. It is an ideology which is based on a distorted interpretation of Islam, which betrays Islam’s peaceful principles, and draws on the teachings of the likes of Sayyid Qutb.”

The mention of Sayyid Qutb is startling considering that the UK seemed to be pretending that the Muslim Brotherhood was a “moderate” group. Say what you will about Cameron, but I don’t see Obama chairing a task force that would produce a report denouncing the Muslim Brotherhood’s evil genius.

But Qutb’s mention feels like a random aberration thrown in by someone a little too knowing. Beyond that the only further definition of Islamist extremism is that, “they seek to impose a global Islamic state governed by their interpretation of Shari’ah as state law, rejecting liberal values such as democracy, the rule of law and equality.”

In other words, Islamists are seeking to impose Islam on everyone. But then they aren’t a distorted interpretation of Islam. Islamism is simply the organized political implementation of Islam in the same way that Nazism was the implementation of National Socialism and Marxism is the attempted implementation of Karl Marx’s ideas.

Apologists can argue that Marxism distorts Marx and that Islamism distorts Islam, but those remain unconvincing defenses. Implementing a set of ideas always distorts them, but realizing ideas is the only truly objective way to assess their merit by seeing their consequences.

What the report is clumsily getting at is the idea that Islam is legitimate in private practice, but not in public imposition. It’s Islam when a Muslim goes to a mosque or avoids alcohol, but Islamism when he harasses barflies or chops off heads under the dictates of Islamic law. Unfortunately this distinction has no meaning in Islam which was never rewired to function as a private religion in a secular state.

America dealt with the clash between religion and tolerance by separating church and state allowing churches to retain their full doctrine while secularizing the machinery of the state.  Europe dealt with it by secularizing and liberalizing national churches to such a degree that they no longer had any religious content that anyone could object to.

Islam was absent from Europe when this rewiring took place. Unlike its Christian and Jewish antagonists, it hasn’t been liberalized or secularized. And it insists on being a public religion because theocracy is what it was built to do. Islam was not the religion of the oppressed. It was the religion of the oppressors. It equates morality with authority. If it doesn’t control the public square, then it has no function.

To Europeans, the infringement of religious values on public life is considered extremism. More so than blowing up buses. But Islam is dedicated to doing exactly that. It is an unreconstructed theocracy.

The Extremism report talks around these basic facts.  The solution of all the extremism projects is to combat Islamic theocracy by having governments distinguish “good Islam” from “bad Islam”. It’s a silly and awkward solution because it creates a government religion in the name of combating a government religion.

The difference, as in countries like Egypt or Russia, is that it’s supposed to end with government riding herd on religion instead of the other way around. But it’s not likely that the UK will have the stomach for the confrontation and repression that Egypt or Russia carry off with a shrug. And so Islam will ride it.

When Western governments talk about countering extremism, they mean picking and choosing between the obvious Islamists who march around with “Sharia for the UK” banners and the slightly more subtle followers of Qutb who promise to fight extremism with their moderate front groups.

True to form, the UK report tries to fight Islam with more Islam. It rightly calls for more thorough inspections of religious schools and urges universities to choose their speakers more wisely, but then it throws in proposals to equip every university and prison with more Muslim chaplains.

It never asks why, if Saudi-trained Imams are the solution to extremism, Saudi Arabia, which has more Imams per square metre than even Tower Hamlets, also turns out more Muslim terrorists than even Tower Hamlets.

Nowhere on earth has an increase in the number of Imams led to a decrease in theocratic violence. It’s like trying to slow down left-wing violence by importing more Communist agitators. It can’t ever work.

In totalitarian movements, the difference between the moderates and extremists lies only in the paths that they take to the same final goal. The radicals want action now. The moderates are willing to wait until the demographics are firmly on their side. The radicals want to blow up buses. The moderates want to expand immigration numbers. And both totalitarian paths ultimately lead to Londonistan.

Both the moderates and the extremists are Islamists. They both want an Islam that is a public religion. And that is not only a public religion, but the public religion.

It is not only the extremism of means by those who wish to make Islam into the religion of the state rapidly and violently that ought to concern Cameron; but it is also the extremism of ends that is Islam regardless of whether its rule is achieved by the bomb or the ballot box that ought to worry him.

The unlicensed beheaders are the short term threat. But the long term threat is a Britain in which the beheaders are licensed by the state.

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Sharia on Tour

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Siraj-WahhajIf you live near Baltimore, Houston, Atlanta or Rochester and want to see a Sharia-promoting show, you’re in luck. The Islamic Circle of North America and Muslim American Society, two groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, have announced four conferences featuring rock stars of the Islamist movement.

ICNA is identified as one of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends” in a once-secret 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo. It explicitly states the network’s “work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within…”

The organization is a derivative of the Jamaat-e-Islami group in Pakistan. One of ICNA’s former leaders, Ashrafuzzaman Khan, was recently sentenced to death in Bangladesh for his involvement in Jamaat-e-Islami’s war crimes. Unsurprisingly, ICNA is upset at the ruling.

The 2010 ICNA handbook advocates a gradualist strategy that culminates in a “united Islamic state, governed by an elected khalifah in accordance with the laws of shari’ah (Islamic law).” The Islamist leaders that the handbook looks to for guidance include the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Brotherhood’s current spiritual leader and the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami.

MAS was “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America,” according to federal prosecutors in a 2008 case. Last year, a former U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader testified that “everyone knows that the MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Both groups have held rallies to protest the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi in Egypt.

Houston is the first stop on the ICNA-MAS Sharia tour. From November 29 to December 1, they will be holding their joint South Central Convention at a JW Marriott Hotel. The overall theme is, “Blueprint for a Lasting Legacy.”

One of the speakers is Imam Khalid Griggs, the chairman of the ICNA Council for Social Justice. Former CIA case officer Clare Lopez found out that he used to be involved with the Islamic Party of North America, a group that explicitly preaches “a revolutionary Islam.” Its inspirers include Khomeini, Qutb, Qaddafi and Maududi, the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami.

Another speaker is Sheikh Omar Suleiman. According to his bio, he studied under Sheikh Salah As-Sawy and Dr. Hatem al-Haj. These are two Salafist clerics that lead the very radical Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America. The closest the organization can bring itself to foreswearing violent jihad is to oppose it because “the Islamic community does not possess the strength to engage in offensive jihad at this time [emphasis added].”

On November 30, ICNA is holding its first conference in upstate New York at Rochester Riverside Convention Center, themed as “Islam: The Pursuit of Happiness.”

Speakers include the notorious Imam Siraj Wahhaj, whose version of “pursuing happiness” includes violent jihad and replacing Western democracy with Sharia Law.

Wahhaj has an undeniable, documented record of extremism that would make any genuinely “moderate” Muslim group sprint away from him. He’s had to tame down his anti-Americanism and support for violent jihad and theocracy in the post-9/11 atmosphere, but that doesn’t mean his beliefs have changed.

At the 2011 ICNA-MAS national convention, he advised Muslims to avoid talking to non-Muslims about Sharia because “we are not there yet.” More recently, the NYPD revealed that it had evidence that the security team at Wahhaj’s mosque was involved in illegal weapons trafficking, anti-police martial arts training and paintball trips described as preparation for jihad. Of course, Wahhaj and his allies accuse the NYPD of “racial profiling.”

Another speaker in Rochester is Jamal Barzinji, one of the founding fathers of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network. His home was raided in 2003 because he “is not only closely associated with PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad]…but also with Hamas.” The Justice Department reportedly cancelled a planned indictment of him in 2011.

If you live in the Atlanta area, you can get your dose of Islamist indoctrination at the joint ICNA-MAS Southeast Annual Convention on December 27-29 at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel. Its preachers include the aforementioned Wahhaj, Suleiman, Griggs and many others.

ICNA and MAS also announced that their 39th annual convention will be held on May 24-26 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Maryland. Its speakers have not been decided yet but if the convention’s past content is any indication, then be ready for some subtle and not-so-subtle Islamist preaching.

As mentioned above, the 2011 convention included Wahhaj’s message to avoid conversations about Sharia for the time being. His recommendation was similar to another speaker at the 2002 convention who said, “We may all feel emotionally attached to the goal of an Islamic state…[but] we mustn’t cross hurdles we can’t jump yet.”

At last year’s convention, radical cleric Zaid Shakir preached that the U.S. Constitution had failed and Islam (meaning Sharia) provides a superior model of governance because it denies equality. He said:

“Secularism says we keep religion out. Why? Because if we have religion and religion is the basis of membership in the community, we can’t have perfect equality. We can’t have perfect equality. If Islam is the basis, the kafir won’t be equal with the Muslim. The Christian or the Jew will be a dhimmi. They won’t be equal with the Muslim.”

The Islamists are going on tour but if you miss them this time around, don’t worry—they won’t be retiring anytime soon.

The Institute on Religion and Democracy contributed to this article.