The Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy announced on Monday that it would no longer sponsor a course for law enforcement officers which was ostensibly focused on counterterrorism, but which would have been taught by an anti-Muslim activist with a history of spreading conspiracy theories. A brief press release from the academy announces that “[a]fter careful consideration and consultation with other law enforcement agencies and academies, having firsthand knowledge of this training, the Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy will no longer be offering Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services in-service training credit for the upcoming seminar ‘Understanding and Investigating Jihadi Networks in America.’”
The training was to be hosted by the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office. Late last week, Sheriff Scott Jenkins said that he does not plan to cancel the training session, despite outcry from civil rights groups that the event features an anti-Islamic speaker. According to a letter from 15 civil rights organizations and religious interest groups, John Guandolo, a former FBI agent and the featured speaker at the training event, “is closely affiliated with ACT! for America, a known anti-Muslim hate group, and he makes baseless, irresponsible and dangerous statements revealing his animus about the American Muslim community” — including claiming that “American Muslims ‘do not have a First Amendment right to do anything.‘”
Though the training may still go on without accreditation, Ibrahim Hooper with the Council on American-Islamic Relations told ThinkProgress that he is satisfied that it will not be attended now that the academy has pulled its sponsorship, adding that law enforcement officers attend these kinds of seminars because they require continuing education credits — but they will no longer receive those credits following the academy’s decision. In Hooper’s words, “why would people show up for three days if they don’t get credit?”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Guandolo accused Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan of bringing “known Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood leaders into the government and into advisory positions,” and claimed that Brennan did so because he “converted to Islam when he served in an official capacity” in Saudi Arabia. Weeks later, Guandolo expanded this conspiracy to include President Obama, claiming that the president has “made a significant effort to protect known members of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood inside this government.”
In 2009, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that Guandolo resigned from the FBI in 2008 before the bureau’s Office of Professional Responsibility could question him regarding allegations that he had “an intimate relationship with a confidential source.” According to a court filing by the federal government, a “cooperating witness” in the investigation against former Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) told FBI agents that “she had sexual relations with now-former FBI agent John Guandolo during the time that Mr. Guandolo served in an undercover capacity as her driver during the pro-active phase of this investigation.”
On Saturday, the Roanoke Times reported that Sheriff Jenkins plans to move forward with the training regardless of concerns over Guandolo. As of this writing, the Culpeper County Sheriff’s office has not responded to an inquiry from ThinkProgress asking if they have changed their mind.
As Glenn Greenwald noted in his book “With Liberty and Justice for Some,” equality before the law is an illusion in the United States. If you are wealthy and have political clout you are most likely to get away with breaking the law and committing crimes, such as “material support” of terrorism.
We reported in July of last year that many politicians from both parties were working with and receiving money from a US State Department designated terrorist organization, the MEK. A group Islamophobes are also quite fond of at the moment.
It was then revealed that the US and Israel have been supporting the MEK to carry out terrorist missions in Iran. Now it has been revealed by the trailblazing investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh that the Pentagon has been training the MEK in Nevada for years, starting in 2005:
The intrepid Seymour Hersh reports at the New Yorker that the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) of the US military gave members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK or People’s Holy Jihadis) training in signals intelligence at a facility in Nevada during the Bush era. The MEK was then and is now on the US State Department’s terrorism watch list, so the Pentagon’s deployment of this group was quite illegal.
The MEK was given a base in eastern Iraq by Saddam Hussein, who used the some 4,000 guerrillas who gathered there to harass the Islamic Republic of Iran. The MEK had its origins in an Islamic-Marxist guerrilla group of the 1970s that fought the forces of the Shah. It joined in the revolution against the Shah in 1978-79 but broke with the Khomeini regime and turned to a massive campaign of bombing and sniping against it. In return, the regime killed some 10,000 suspected MEK members, many of whom it just shot down in the street. The group evolved into a political cult, with insistence on glaze-eyed absolute obedience to the leader, Maryam Rajavi, and cult-like practices such as forced marriages and divorces (not to mention the long history of violence inside Iran).
When the US occupied Iraq, some in the Pentagon adopted the MEK at Camp Ashraf near the Iranian border for use against Iran. The MEK has bought a lot of big American politicians and seems to have promised the Israelis it would recognize Israel if it ever came to power in Iran; figures connected to the Israel lobbies have hypocritically campaigned to have the MEK delisted as a terrorist organization, despite it long and bloody record of attacks on civilians. As recently as this year, NBC quoted unnamed US government officials alleging that the MEK has been assassinating Iranian scientists in Iran.
Hersh reveals a trail of blatant hypocrisy on the part of the US government. “Our” terrorists are not terrorists even if they have blown up non-combatants, but national liberation groups such as Hizbullah in Lebanon are designated terrorists. Government officials have even brandished the word “terrorism” to describe perfectly peaceful protesters and dissidents inside the US, while JSOC was flying dyed-in-the-wool terrorists to Nevada for training.
The USG Open Source Center translated a report in the MEK newspaper regarding the hobnobbing of Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton and others with the MEK leadership in Paris recently:
“– On 24 March, the NCRI secretariat website published a report on an international conference held in Paris to address MEK concerns and issues, which was attended by NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi as well as former high ranking officials from the United States and Europe including Rudy Giuliani, Tom Ridge, John Bolton, Patrick Kennedy, and Colonel Wesley Martin.. According to the report, the issues raised included the adoption of a “decisive policy” against Iran’s regime, protection of the rights of Camp Ashraf and Liberty residents, and the elimination of MEK’s “terrorist label.” Rajavi said that “the only way to prevent an Iranian atomic bomb or the occurrence of an unprecedented conflict” was “regime change” by the Iranian people and resistance. On the issue of Camp Liberty, Rudy Giuliani said: “Let us go there. Let us see it with our own eyes.” He added: “Currently the enemy of stopping Iran becoming nuclear is appeasement. This wrong perception has made Iran more determined in becoming nuclear. Let us stop appeasement. Let us stop the efforts for negotiations. Stop writing letters to the ayatollahs. Let us rise up and say as Americans that we are for regime change in Iran and we will take every step necessary to stop Iran becoming nuclear” (National Council of Resistance of Iran in Persian — Website of an exiled political umbrella coalition of Marxist and Islamist organizations — Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK or MKO), National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA), People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and Muslim Iranian Students Society (MISS); on US State Department’s list of terrorist groups since 1997; URL: http://www.iranncr.org/).”
As Sheila Musaji points out, lots of American Muslims are in jail for ‘material support of terrorism,’ but American politicians and pundits get a free pass for actively supporting the MEK– which, remember, is definitively on the terrorism watch list.
Note to the US government and the Neocons: George Orwell’s 1984 was a dark political satire, not a blueprint for how you should do things.
Robert Spencer had a “debate” at Thomas More College recently with a former professor (and ping pong partner) of his, Catholic Theologian and apologist Peter Kreeft. It was quite evident that the two were friends and they were quite chummy with one another, in fact it was pointed out by Kreeft that this wasn’t a debate as much as it was a “dialogue” or “discussion,” I thought of it more as good ole’ Muslim bashing.
The resolution being debated was that “the only good Muslim is a bad Muslim.” Imagine the reaction if it had been “the only good Jew is a bad Jew” or the “only good Christian is a bad Christian.” Of course yours truly Robert Spencer, affirmed the resolution, defending it with the usual canard of ‘any Muslim who truly practices his faith is potentially dangerous and a threat to society.’ The “debate” was interesting as it exposed even more vividly the inherent biases and prejudices held by Spencer, the deep lack of understanding and knowledge of Islamic theology, belief and history as well as his limited command of the Arabic language.
Kreeft who didn’t provide much of a challenge to Spencer and who showed brightly his Ultra-Conservative Catholic belief essentially agreed with 95% of what Spencer was saying. While it is clear that Kreeft regards Muslim devotion to, and confidence in their faith in high esteem he nevertheless believes Islam is a “primitive,” “defective,” and “false” religion that has caused “more bloodshed” than Christianity.
Instead of challenging Spencer’s consistent distortions of Islam and Islamic teaching (he deferred to Spencer as an “expert on Islam”) he pivoted the argument to say that the greater threat to Catholicism is the Enlightenment and the Sexual Revolution.
Surprisingly, Spencer agrees with Professor Kreeft regarding the Enlightenment being a threat to Catholicism though he didn’t explicitly say that Islam was less of a threat. I can see how Ultra-Conservative Catholics may rail against the Enlightenment, it was the era which saw a secularist revolt in the name of Reason against the Catholic Church and which led to formulas for the Separation of Church and State, it also witnessed the decline of the power of the Catholic Church in the temporal realm.
However, it is quite hypocritical for Spencer to agree with such a premise, especially considering Spencer claims to be a defender of the West. Agreeing that the Enlightenment is bad is like saying that the Separation of Church and State is bad, or that Constitutional government is bad, all the things that Spencer claims to champion! (but which we have frequently shown is just a front for his own anti-Freedom supremacist beliefs).
A few other points were likewise revealed in this debate:
Spencer’s terrible command of Arabic and very poor articulation of Arabic. This has been revealed on other occasions such as when Danios slammed Spencer and one of his JihadWatch groupies‘ faulty understanding of the word dhimmi, which Spencer was trying to pass off as meaning “guilty people.”
Spencer said during the course of the dialogue on the topic of Islamic views of marriage that,
In Islamic marriage the woman is essentially chattel, and actually the word for marriage in Islam is an obscenity in Arabic, I am not making this up, the theological word for marriage in Islam is not a word that people say in polite company.
(Gasps from the crowd)
It’s because its a very degraded idea.
In this instance Spencer says that the theological word for marriage in Islam is actually an obscenity! A ridiculous notion that underscores the willful and deliberate ignorance of the so-called “scholar of Islam.”
The word that Spencer is likely referring to is *”Nikah” which simply means in Islamic theological terminology “marriage.” In claiming that “Nikah” is an obscene word that cannot be uttered in polite company, “scholar” Robert Spencer is committing a laughable gaffe that underscores yet again the shallow nature of his knowledge of Arabic and Islamic terminology. He is confusing a classical Arabic word Nikah, with the colloquial word (“Neik”), a different word, just because they sound similar. This would be like Spencer suggesting that Richard is an obscene word, because a colloquial subtract “Dick” is used as a derogatory word for penis. Well, here Spencer is arguing that Richard is an obscene word. That’s your scholar.
Also, when Spencer attempted to say Arabic words such as madhab, nasikh, mansukh, etc. it sounded like an Arabic 101 student struggling with pronunciation, it was quite embarrassing.
Kreeft, in one of the rare instances where he pushed back against his buddy Spencer said,
Kreeft: Doesn’t the Qur’an say that you can only have four wives if you respect them and treat them equally?
Spencer: It doesn’t say respect all of them, I have it here, it says you can have four wives if you treat them all equally, in other words if you treat them all the same, if you’re beastly to all of them then you can have them. It doesn’t say anything about respect.
Here Spencer reveals more of his biases and readings of his own prejudice into Islamic text. He believes the Qur’an calls for men to treat their wives “beastly.” Can he provide us a quote, a single verse that says anything remotely near that claim? In fact his claims are belied by the fact that the Qur’an and Islamic teaching specifically call for love, harmony, and respect between a husband and wife.
Take this verse (30:21),
“And amongst His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you love and compassion. Indeed in that are signs for a people who contemplate.”
or this one (2:228),
“And they (women) have rights similar to those (men) over them in kindness…”
or this (2:187),
“They (women) are your garments and you are their garments.”
or take the saying of Prophet Muhammad,
“The best amongst you, are the best for their wives”
So much for all that chattel nonsense.
More disturbing was when the question shifted from one in which Islamic belief is questioned to questioning the mere presence of Muslims in the West.
In reply to a commenter/questioner from the audience who basically asked “what will we do with Muslims in the West, since they are in our midst now,” Spencer replied,
Anyone who professes the Islamic faith, if he delves into the teachings of his own religion, he can end up being someone who is very dangerous to us. Now that doesn’t mean that people should be round up into camps and such but we need to enforce our own laws about sedition and formulate some sane immigration policies and recognize that this is an ideological conflict and not a problem of racism.
Oh thank heavens! At least Spencer isn’t calling for camps! Though his buddy Michelle Malkin does. Muslims need to *just* be aware that for merely professing to follow Islam they can be convicted of sedition! That is really the import of what Spencer is saying, he is calling for Muslims to be locked up and denied entry to the USA. Very Geert Wilders-esque.
The moderator asked the horrid question earlier to Kreeft and Spencer,
Couldn’t we learn from Muslims what we need to learn from reading their books but nevertheless energetically fighting their attempts to assert themselves in American society, restricting their entrance into our countries and just generally fighting political Islam, protecting our own religious freedom and our own political freedom by aggressively imposing our own values on our own societies. In other words, not permitting them polygamy, not permitting them honor killing, or wife beating or any of the other aspect of Sharia that they are asserting. In other words couldn’t we get all this from your book, your book tells us what we need to gain from Islam, and so, ok, fine, they can go home now?
The framing of the question is terrible, which Muslim or Muslim group is asserting Sharia? Who is calling for polygamy and honor killings? Then look at the condescending way in which the moderator asks “why don’t we tell them to go home now?”
So I ask you who is for freedom? Democracy? Who is viewing the “other” as foreign and not belonging?
Kreeft who is supposed to be the “counter” replied,
the long and complete and nuanced version of my answer to your question is ‘yes.’
Spencer answered the question without any caveats simply saying,
Spencer also asserted that there are “20-30,000 polygamous groups of Muslims in the USA” but he didn’t provide any independent evidence. This is in fact all conjecture to further the “stealth-Muslims-in-our-midst-who-are-trying-to-advance-creeping-Sharia’ conspiracy theory.”
To cap it all off a Thomas More student who is joining the Israeli Army said,
You’re probably familiar with the supremacy clause in the Qur’an, “In order to honor Allah you must kill all the infidels, first the Saturdays and then the Sundays.”
Spencer replied accurately (he had no choice) for once, thereby sparing himself further ridicule from us that “such a verse doesn’t exist in the Qur’an,” but unable to help himself he went on to say,
There is a hadith, it isn’t in the Qur’an that says the Muslim must kill the Jews, and the Jews hide behind trees and the trees cry out and say, O’ Muslim there is a Jew behind me come and kill him, that is an authenticated hadith, and so it is considered to be a laudable practice for a Muslim to kill a Jew because it is something that hastens the coming of the end times in which all things will be consummated, but its not specifically in the Quran like that.
Unbelievable. A colossal falsity, an absurd statement that ventures on the ridiculous and is certainly slanderous. In this instance Spencer is attempting to advance the notion that a tenent of Islam is that the End Times can be hastened and brought quicker by killing Jews.
In fact, Spencer should focus more on his Christian brethren in the Evangelical movement who believe they can hasten the second coming of Christ by planting the seeds of the second Armageddon.
Such a theological precept doesn’t exist in Orthodox Islam. In fact it runs counter to Islamic theology to say that one can hasten the End Times, and if anyone were to claim they could they would be immediately considered a heretic. However, I will deal with this claim in more depth in a future article. Suffice it to say that it is a despicable statement that underscores Spencer’s profound ignorance of Islamic theology and belief.
Dawood, one of our Loonwatchers points out,
“nikah” (نكاح) and “neik” (نيك) are completely different words, having no relation to each other in structure. As can be seen above (for those who don’t speak Arabic), only 2 letters are the same (ن ك). Unless Spencer is implying the Arabs simply decided to drop off a letter, which is something I have never heard of before!
The root term for “nikah”, means union, or the coming together of two things. He is obviously implying that it is a term meaning the sexual act, and in a lewd way, but it simply is not. It could definitely allude to it – as you can see from the meanings above – but it can also mean, as most people understand it, the coming together and union of two people in marriage. If we check the major lexicons, such as Hans Wehr and Hava, even the older texts such as Lane’s Lexicon, they support this interpretation clearly.
As you know, Dr. Tariq Ramadan – Muslim scholar, writer, and thinker – has had his visa to enter the country reinstated, and he used this to his advantage: speaking at various engagements across the United States. We here at LoonWatch alerted our fellow citizens of the arrival of the “stealth jihadist,” coining the terminology of Robert Spencer. Yet, we didn’t want to stop just there. We wanted to report on what this man was saying.
So, we were able to secure a confidential LW operative to infiltrate the CAIR-Chicago Annual Banquet, his first public speaking engagement since being allowed to come to the U.S., to report on his speech. This operative approached us initially, telling us that he would be attending Dr. Ramadan’s speech. He posed as a regular member of the Muslim community and took clandestine notes and reported them back to us. This was a unique opportunity as Dr. Ramadan was speaking to an audience largely composed of Muslims, and so he can “let loose” and not show his “taqqiya,” as he would if he were speaking to non-Muslims. We could not pass this up.
In the beginning of his speech, he thanked those who helped him come back to the United States, such as the ACLU and others, and he said that he was blocked from coming to the United States because he spoke his mind, especially about the war in Iraq (on which, it turns out, he was correct). He said that people cannot confuse a government with its people.
He mentioned that there was one Islam: unified in its principles and beliefs, but many different cultures, interpretations, and schools of thought. It is an accepted diversity in Islam’s application. At the same time, however, he noted that there was a crisis in the understanding of Islam among Muslims, and that there were many challenges within the Muslim community that needed to be addressed. The main problem with Muslims is psychological in his opinion: he affirmed the need of Muslims to examine what is wrong with themselves, but they should also acknowledge the enormous strides Muslims – especially those in the West – have made in the last 30-50 years.
He urged Muslims to become more involved in their communities and differentitate between victimhood and having a “victim mentality.” He urged his listeners to struggle (aka “jihad”…dah dah daaaaaaah!!!!) against the victim mentality. He reminded the audience that whenever you work for justice, you will be opposed. Whenever you talk about love, he said, people will respond with hate.
Dr. Ramadan also touched upon spirituality, which is more than just praying. It is being strong from within. He quoted the verse about the parable of a good word:
Are you not aware how God sets forth the parable of a good word? [It is] like a good tree, firmly rooted, [reaching out] with its branches towards the sky, yielding its fruit at all times by its Lord’s permission. And [thus it is that] God propounds parables unto men so that they might bethink themselves [of the truth]. (14:24-25)
The roots of the tree are your heart, and the fruits of the tree are your actions, he said. An activist without spirituality is an agitated man, he said. He then gave advice about how to speak to fellow Americans: speak to them softly, and he advised the audience to behave like the “The Servants of the Most Merciful”:
And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk on the earth with humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, “Peace!” (25:63)
God is Beautiful, and He loves beauty, Dr. Ramadan said. Muslims’ mantra must be this: By serving the people, I serve Him. He also said that he does not like defining Islam as “submission.” In his understanding, Islam is entering into God’s peace, as the verse proclaims:
O you who believe! Enter into Islam [“peace”] whole-heartedly, and follow not the footsteps of Satan, for he is to you an avowed enemy. (2:208)
One of the first things the Prophet Muhammad said, he reminded the audience, when he entered Medinah is, “Spread peace.” That is what Muslims should do. No Muslim should say that you can’t love your neighbor if he is not Muslim. This is your home, he told the American Muslim audience. Americans are your people; you cannot call fellow Americans as “them.” When American Muslims say “we,” it must be an inclusive “we,” including all Americans. Spreading peace, justice, and ethics is the purpose of Muslims in America, not to convert non-Muslim Americans to Islam. Muslims are here to make society better; the hearts of the people are not their concern. That is the realm of God.
Now comes the “smoking gun” (pun intended): Dr. Ramadan spoke of Jihad! (dah dah daaaaaaah!!!)
Jihad, he said, did not start with fighting, or qital. The first act of Jihad in the Qur’an was knowing how to use the Qur’an against those who opposed the message:
Hence, do not defer to [the likes and dislikes of] those who deny the truth, but strive hard against them, by means of this [divine writ], with utmost striving. (25:52)
He then ended his speech by turning a critical eye toward the Muslim community itself, which, he said, is very important. He bemoaned the many divisions in the Muslim community: divisions along ethnic lines, cultural lines, class lines, and economic lines. He said that there should be “Americans” in the mosques: people from all cultures. Muslims from different cultures should mix together, he said. He pointed out that many African-American Muslims feel like they are second class Muslims, and many converts feel they have to Arabize, and he criticized both phenomena. Muslims must also improve in their treatment of women, as well. If you want America to be better, he said, then Muslims must start in their own communities.
His final words were this: Never forget that you Muslims are American. He urged them to speak about Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine, and do so as Americans, not Muslims. Moreover, Muslims need to institutionalize their presence in America: Muslims need institutions, and they must work with all people. The key is confidence and humility: be confident about your position, but be humble at the same time.
There you have it, folks. Those were the words (paraphrased by our operative) of Dr. Ramadan at his speech to the CAIR-Chicago banquet. As you can see, it was full of intolerance, hatred, Islamism, and Jihadism. What was the American government thinking when it let him in?
Here's praying that Islam and Muslims face the blame for Fort Hood
Since news of the heinous Fort Hood massacre at the hands of Major Malik Nidal Hassan first broke out, “Islam Scholar” Robert Spencer, of f**kislam fame, has been like a gluttonous kid in a candy shop, frantically blogging over three dozen times with one goal in mind: slap down the blame on Islam and Muslims at large.
That is precisely the line that every sane responder has warned against. Whether it was the American Muslim leadership, the US military leadership, the mainstream media, or the President of the United States. But to Spencer who is rubbing his hands praying that a massive backlash could befall the American Muslim community, the sanity that he is hearing and seeing from mainstream America is cause for anger, bitterness, and complaints.
For the “Islam Scholar,” everyone including the US Military leadership are “dhimmi” wimps afraid of the Mooslims. Fancy that, a sedentary blogger who barely gets off his backside where he sits day and night punching away at a keyboard sees fit to accuse those who venture on the war frontiers risking their lives to protect this country (including his) of being cowardly sell-out wimps.
As pretentious and downright sick as that is, Spencer who is drenched in his own bias and deafened by the screeching sound of his own propaganda will likely fail to take notice.
Spencer’s mad response of course is entirely predictable, after all he has shown tremendous consistency and undying loyalty to a line of arguments whose sole agenda is to drive a wedge between America’s faith communities and make a compelling case for the widespread hate of Islam and distrust of Muslims.
Accordingly, only moments after news of the shooting was made public, the opportunistic preacher wasted no time getting on his e-pulpit and positing that the shooter was carrying out a legitimate Islamic Jihad, a religious requirement of all Muslims (unbeknownst to you and them for that matter). Since then, he has immersed himself in whipping out a flurry of dishonest and sinister propaganda posts, cherry picking items to strengthen his case, and completely ignoring those that do not.
For example, Spencer seems to the be the only one who missed the tremendous outpouring of support from the American Muslim community and their organizations of whom CAIR, MPAC, ISNA, and virtually every registered Muslim organization – if not Mosque – in the United States were quick to issue condemnation and condolences as they expressed that such action has no support in their Islamic faith. Some even started support networks for the victims. Not a peep from Spencer. Instead, all the expedient Spencer could see was that one 18 year old kid and this one Imam in Yemen (condemned by Muslim orgs in the US and refuted by American imams) who supported the killing. Oh and wait, there is a radical web forum out there too. “Aha! There you have it, it’s a MOOOSLIM thing! It’s Izlaahm! Am I lying about anything I posted?”
Lying by highly selective reporting and glaring omission, yet another example of the objective scholarly ways of the “Islam Scholar” Robert Spencer.
Spencer’s three dozen posts on the Fort Hood massacre fall into one of three rants:
1) Incriminate the faith of 1.5 billion Muslims who had nothing to do with Hassan’s actions, and 7 million American Muslims who condemned his act (moved ironically by their faith to do so). Question the loyalty of Muslims in the military, ignoring that there are 3500 active Muslim service men and women in excellent standing.
2) Cherry pick any instance of support for the massacre regardless of how off the beaten path they are while turning a blind eye to the zillions of instances of more credible and representative Muslim voices condemning it.
3) Whine when others take a pass on your loon rants. Throw a temper tantrum at the mainstream media, the US military, the public and everyone else; respond by ridiculing them as dhimmis and wimps. (Take solace in the fact that at least Lou Dobbs and slimey Senator Joe Lieberman may come through for you).
Here is a fun little exercise for our wonderful readers, see if you can match each of Spencer’s posts below to its appropriate category above:
In the wake of Fort Hood jihad, Houston authorities try to assure non-Muslims that steps are being taken to keep them safe — no, wait…
AP: “Anti-Muslim Backlash Immediate” — but offers not even one example
Muslim vets group: No reports of harassment of Muslim soldiers. None.
“Everybody knows Islam is a Religion of Peace”
Muslims in New York celebrate the deaths of Americans in the Fort Hood jihad
DHS Secretary warns that Fort Hood jihad must not be repeated — no, wait…
Muslim at Islamic Community of Greater Killeen, Texas: “I honestly have no pity” for victims of the Fort Hood jihad
U.S.-born Islamic cleric: Nidal Hasan “Did the Right Thing”
Fitzgerald: A Nest of Ninnies
U.S. government vows revenge after jihadist commits mass murder at Fort Hood — no, wait…
Why He Shouted “Allahu Akbar”
It wasn’t jihad, it was heartburn
U.S.-born Muslim cleric praises Fort Hood jihadist
Lindsey Graham: “At the end of the day this is not about his religion — the fact that this man was a Muslim”
U.S. Army General: Lack of diversity in Army is worse than mass murder
Playing the victim card: Florida mosque requests extra police protection, even though it wasn’t threatened
Fort Hood jihadist’s coworkers saw warning signs, but said nothing for fear of seeming bigoted
Muslims at Fort Hood blame army command for jihad massacre
It’s getting harder by the minute to say he just “snapped”: Fort Hood jihadist linked to 9/11 jihadists
In the wake of Fort Hood jihad, Houston authorities try to assure non-Muslims that steps are being taken to keep them safe — no, wait…
Fort Hood shooter regularly described war on terror as “war on Islam”
Fort Hood shooter taught Koran when he was supposed to be giving a medical lecture
Just before his jihad
Al-Qaeda last week called for attacks on “any crusaders whenever you find one of them, like at the airports of the crusader Western countries that participate in the wars against Islam, or their living compounds, trains etc.”
“A person behind counter stood up, and he said, ‘Allah Akbar!’ And just opened up on everybody”
Fort Hood jihad shooter handed out Korans the morning of his attack
Fort Hood jihad shooter was disciplined for Islamic proselytizing
Spencer: Jihad at Fort Hood
Fort Hood jihadist is alive
Fort Hood shooter a devout, observant Muslim
Fort Hood jihad shooter said “Muslims have to stand up against the aggressor”
Jihad at Fort Hood? Shooter: Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan
Islamic Awakening Forum on Fort Hood shooter: “What a brave mujahid”
Fort Hood shooter was member of Homeland Security Panel advising Obama
The Islamophobic blogosphere has gone buck-wild. Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and the rest of the goof troop are pretty ecstatic that Major Nidal Hasan, a Muslim American, killed thirteen U.S. soldiers at Fort Hood. Nothing makes a neo-conservative happier than an attack on American soil; as the family of the victims mourn the dead, the anti-Muslim ideologues gleefully co-opt the situation to market their hate-filled beliefs.
The Islamophobes claim that Major Hasan was simply “being a devout Muslim” when he opened fire on his fellow soldiers. According to them, this is a part of Jihad, an obligation in Islam. As such, the enemy is not just extremists, radicals, or terrorists; but rather, it is Islam itself. It is not then a gross perversion of a religion by zealots that result in such horrific attacks, but rather the exact opposite: it is a faithful understanding of the Islamic religion which results in terrorism. That’s what they claim at least.
There is, according to these anti-Muslim bigots, a conspiracy by Muslim Americans to overtake the country from within. The tactics to do so can be non-violent (“Stealth Jihad”) or overtly violent (such as 9/11 or the Fort Hood Massacre), but the goal is the same: to overthrow the U.S. government, rip the Constitution to shreds, and enact Sharia (Islamic law) in the West. It is for this reason, you–the average American Joe–need to fear your Muslim neighbor.
The Covenant of Security
But experts of the Islamic legal tradition say differently. The Islamic religion commands believers to obey the laws of the land they live in, even if it be one ruled by nonbelievers. Muslim jurists consider citizenship (or visa) to be a covenant (aqd) held between the citizen (or visa holder) and the state, one which guarantees safe passage/security (amaan) in exchange for certain obligations (such as obeying the laws of the land); covenants are considered sacredly binding in Islam. The Quran commands:
And fulfill every covenant. Verily, you will be held accountable with regard to the covenants. (Quran, 17:34)
The Quran condemns those who break covenants as not being true believers:
It is not the case that every time they make a covenant, some party among them throws it aside. Nay! The truth is most of them believe not. (Quran, 2:100)
The Islamic prophet Muhammad described the religious hypocrite as follows:
When he enters into a covenant, he proves treacherous. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
Citizenship (and visa) is called in Islamic legal parlance as a “covenant of security” (aqd al-aman). For over a thousand years, Muslim scholars have rigorously affirmed the binding nature of the covenant of security. This covenant of security can be of two types: (1) a contractual agreement or (2) a customary understanding.
Naturalized citizens in the United States enter into a contractual agreement with the government when they declare the oath of allegiance, as follows:
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…”
A Muslim is obliged to keep to his word, and thus this oath is religiously binding upon him.
Natural born citizens, on the other hand, do not utter any such oath, so they fall under the second category under Islamic law. The covenant of security is considered for them a customary understanding, in the sense that even though they did not physically say an oath or sign a document of loyalty, it is understood that there exists between the citizen and the government a covenant of security; this, i.e. customary understanding, is considered by Islamic law to be just as binding as the contractual agreement. There is no difference between the two.
Betraying the Covenant is Forbidden
What the 9/11 hijackers did was a violation of Islamic law for multiple reasons. The most obvious of these is the prohibition of killing civilians, but it should also be pointed out that they violated the covenant of security between them and the United States, which granted them visas to enter the country. Using Islamic lingo, the U.S. government granted safe passage (amaan) to the 19 hijackers, and thus they entered into a covenant (aqd), which they subsequently violated.
The United States government granted them visas with the understanding that they would come to the country to study, or seek medical treatment, or for sightseeing, etc., but not for waging war within their lands or killing their citizenry. Even if a Muslim country is at war with a non-Muslim one, it would not be permissible for a Muslim fighter to enter into enemy territory by requesting safe passage (amaan) and then subsequently killing enemy troops once he crosses over.
The classical Islamic jurist, Muhammad al-Shaybani (died 805 A.D.) expounded:
If it happens that a company of Muslims pass through the enemy’s front lines by deceptively pretending to be messengers of the Muslim’s ruler carrying official documents–or if they were just allowed to pass through the enemy lines–they are not allowed to engage in any hostilities with the enemy troops. Neither are they entitled to seize any of their money or properties as long as they are in their area of authority.
Both the 9/11 hijackers and Major Nidal Hasan violated this sacred principle of Islam. They gained the trust of those whom they considered their enemies, and then when those they consider enemies were caught unaware, they killed them. In other words, these criminals took advantage of the fact that they had been trusted, and violated this trust. Such a thing is considered unacceptable in Islam.
(It should be noted that Muslim Americans don’t see themselves as living in “enemy territory,” but the point is that even if Nidal Hasan saw the U.S. in that light, then he still wouldn’t be allowed under the Islamic belief system to do what he did. Of course, the point applies even more to those Muslim Americans who see themselves as distinctly American and who love the country.)
The Quran does say that if the believers are being oppressed in some land, then the Muslims should come to their assistance. But it forbids fighting against those with whom a covenant exists. The Quran says:
If [your coreligionists] ask for your aid in religion, then you must help them, except against people with whom you have covenants with. (Quran, 8:72)
A Muslim American Must Obey the Constitution and Never Rebel Against the U.S. Government
A Muslim must abide by his covenant, which includes obeying the laws of the land he lives in, no matter how he entered into the country, be it by birth, legal (or even illegal) immigration. (Entering countries illegally with forged documents is considered forbidden in Islam, but if one commits this sin, he cannot commit the further sin of then using it as an excuse to violate the laws of the land.) Salman al-Oudah, a senior religious cleric, says:
[Islamic] scholars have stated that those who enter non-Muslim countries have to adhere to their respective laws and regulations even if they entered those countries illegally, and they have no excuse for breaking those laws, since they were entrusted to abide by those laws upon entry into those countries…As long as [a Muslim] agrees to live in a non-Muslim country, he is never to rebel against the people living in his choice of residence, even it seems too hard for him to endure.
From a religious angle, Muslim Americans are forbidden to rebel against the U.S. government. They are not allowed to seek to overthrow the government, rip up the Constitution (which they gave an oath to uphold!), etc. They are not allowed to cheat on taxes, steal from anyone, kill or harm any of their fellow citizens, etc. Instead, they should be law-abiding citizens–according to the Islamic religion and the consensus (ijma) of the Muslim clerics since the last 1,400 years, in spite of Al-Qaeda’s reinterpretation (perversion) of religious doctrine.
Even if hypothetically the U.S. law were to stipulate a condition which was against Islamic teachings, the Muslim American would still have to follow it, as the Islamic cleric I quoted above says:
[Muslims] have to avoid whatever contradicts Islamic teachings. In case they are obliged by law to uphold something contrary to Islamic teachings, they have to adhere to the minimum that the law requires of them.
This idea–that Muslim Americans should uphold the laws of the land–is taught in mosques across the country with great unanimity, so the Islamophobic fear mongering is ill-founded.
The actions of Islamic extremists–such as the 9/11 hijackers and Major Nidal Hasan–flout the normative tradition of Islam and the teachings which millions of Muslim Americans follow. It is therefore inappropriate to conclude that the religion of Islam itself advocates such things, or that these attackers were simply following their religion. Such a thing is offensive to say and quite frankly inaccurate.
In any case, it is too early to say with any level of certainty what Major Hasan’s motivations were. Was he an extremist or simply a guy who lost his marbles like so many other shooters? Whatever the case, one thing is for sure: his actions do not reflect the Islamic teachings nor the millions of law-abiding Muslim Americans.
UPDATE: I recently found a similar article to mine found here, from BBC News.
SECOND UPDATE: Another article that raises some good points can be found here, this one by a Muslim cleric specifically about the Fort Hood Shooting.