The Islamophobes Latest Fantasy Rape Fatwa

The Islamophobes Latest Fantasy Rape Fatwa

Sheila Musaji

Robert Spencer wrote Syria: Christians flee rebel areas as fatwa authorizes rape of non-Sunni women.  He introduces an article from Independent Catholic News with his own comment: “According to the sheikh, capturing and raping Alawi or Christian women is not contrary to the precepts of Islam.” Imagine the outcry if a Christian cleric had said that capturing and raping non-Christian women was not contrary to the precepts of Christianity. But no one will take any particular notice of this.”

The same story was peddled by Raymond Ibrahim on David Horowitz’ Frontpage Magazine.  (Spencer’s Jihad Watch site is also a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.)  Ibrahim even brings up again the “gang rape fatwa” claim of another such fatwa by Muhammad al-Arifi which has been thoroughly debunked by Ali Abunimah in the article How AlterNet and Salon fell for “gang rape” fatwa peddled by Islamophobes.

Such false stories spread by the Islamophobia rumor mill have become common, and whether or not to respond to them has been a serious discussion within the Muslim community.  As Robert Crane said in Gang Rape and Global Ethics: The New Challenge of Phobic Orientalism

… The question is whether the power of the internet to expose Islamophobic disinformation and delegitimize it is greater than the power of the internet to promote falsehood either deliberately or innocently, as in the case of Muslims who spread the now debunked myth of a Saudi shaykh legitimizing gang rape.

The Qur’an states that whoever is guilty of spreading defamatory tales about another person without proof is just as guilty as is the originator. But does this apply to one whose objective is to attack the story in order to bring out truth and support justice?

…  The media industry of Islamophobia has been in full swing ever since the collapse of Communism almost a quarter century ago. One question is whether it would it be better to ignore it and instead explain enlightened Islam, or whether the emphasis should be on exposing and thereby spreading the lies of the Islamophobes as a means to stop it?

Perhaps there is no answer to this factual and moral question, but the power of evil going viral in the era of instantaneous communication by individuals to millions of other individuals makes this issue increasingly important in the new era of global ethics and normative jurisprudence, once termed “moral theology” in traditional Christian philosophy and now in Islamic jurisprudence called the maqasid al shari’ah.

Sheikh Musa Furber looked into the “facts” behind this latest story.  He writes Latest Episode in the “Gang Rape” Fatwa Frenzy:

Earlier I wrote about the media’s (and public’s) infatuation with scandalous fatawa, like the“gang rape” fatwa currently making its rounds. This latest fatwa story made its way into English via an article in [Human Events] which attributed the fatwa to “Salafi Sheikh Yasir al-‘Ajlawni,” currently residing in Jordan and formerly in Damascus. Another piece by the same author links to a March 12 article on tayyar.org as its source. Ten minutes of digging produces an earlier March 11 article in Jordan News, naming the Salafi Sheikh as “Yasin al-‘Ajlawni,” currently residing in Irbid, Jordan. The article includes comments from a “Yasin Ahmad Yasin al-‘Ajlawni” who explains the backstory of his fatwa. He explicitly denounces calling for the rape of Syrian non-Muslim women and states that his fatwa called for protecting Syrian women from the rapes committed by the Syrian army itself.

The latest development comes in an April 7 article in Independent Catholic News concerning Aleppo’s Christian community. It includes the following:

Fr David [Fernandez, a missionary of the Institute of the Incarnate Word] said: “Yesterday, Yasir al-Ajlawni – a Jordanian Salafi sheikh, resident in Damascus, released a fatwa on Youtube, declaring that it is lawful for opponents of the regime of Bashar al-Assad to rape “any Syrian woman not Sunni. According to the sheikh, capturing and raping Alawi or Christian women is not contrary to the precepts of Islam.”

There is much wrong with this claim. First, the Jordanian Salafi would be “Yasin al-Ajlawni” not “Yasir al-Ajlawni.” Second, he is a resident of Irbid, Jordan, not Damascus, Syria. Third, Yasir al-Ajlawni denied making such a fatwa. Forth, the fatwa he referred to predates April 6 by many weeks.

There is a story here. But the story is not about actual gang rape fatwas but rather the use of hoax fatwas in the propaganda war against the Syrian opposition.

Are there some extremist Muslim scholars, and some who have issued fatwas that require a response from mainstream Muslim scholars.  Absolutely!  Are mainstream Muslim scholars attempting to counter these extremists with clarifying fatwas and statements?  Absolutely!

Continuously coming up with these “fantasy fatwas” as part of an effort to demonize the entire Muslim community does no one any good. I have long wondered why it is that if Muslims and Islam are so terrible, why do Islamophobes find the need to make up so many lies in order to prove that allegation?

The fact that these “news stories” and articles are simply wrong doesn’t change the fact that they are “out there” and that they will be read and believed by many of the same folks who believe the supermarket tabloids.  They will be forwarded or passed on, and commented on, and the stories will grow and more and more people will accept them as “facts”.

When Muslims are charged with something the word Islam or Muslim is attached to whatever crime they are accused of, and the story makes the front page headlines, when they are found not guilty or innocent, that goes somewhere on the back pages in small print.

The comments left on internet sites by the readers of these sorts of articles show the sort of response this sort of propoganda provokes.  What I don’t understand is who gains by such demonization of an entire faith.

See also:

About that Supposed Egyptian Necrophilia Law & fatwa, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/about-that-egyptian-necrophilia-law
About that “wear a veil or be raped story”, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/about-that-wear-a-veil-or-be-raped-story
Crucifixions in Egypt & Al Azhar Fatwas Encouraging Violence?: More Islamophobic Nonsense, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/crucifixion-story
Cucumber “fatwa” seems to be only shoddy reporting, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/cucumber-fatwa
Exhibit A in How an Islamophobic Meme Can Spread Like Wildfire Across the Internet, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini http://www.alternet.org/world/exhibit-how-easily-islamophobic-meme-can-spread-wildfire-across-internet
Fatwas & Statements by Muslim Scholars & Organizationshttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muslim_voices_against_extremism_and_terrorism_part_i_fatwas
Gang Rape and Global Ethics: The New Challenge of Phobic Orientalism, Dr. Robert D. Cranehttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/gang-rape-and-global-ethics-the-new-challenge-of-phobic-orientalism
Pamela Geller Wrong About “Sexual Jihad” Fatwa, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/pamela-geller-on-sexual-jihad-fatwa
Geller and Spencer Fantasize About “Muslim Rapists” in Norway, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/geller_and_spencer
Holier than thou: extremism against Islam, Sheikh Musa Furberhttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/holier-than-thou-extremism-against-islam
Islamophobes See “Jihad” Everywhere, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/jihad-everywhere
The Media’s Infatuation With “Gang Rape” Fatwa, Sheikh Musa Furberhttp://musafurber.com/blog/blog/2013/04/04/the-medias-infatuation-with-gang-rape-fatwa/
Resources for dealing with Islamophobes, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/there-is-a-reason/0019403
Sharia, Fatwas and Women’s Rights, Asghar Ali Engineerhttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/sharia_fatwas_and_womens_rights
Syrian rape ‘fatwa’ hoax exposed, Alexander Baron http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/347521
What everyone “knows” about Islam and Muslims, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/what_everyone_knows
What is a fatwa? Who can give one? (supposed Al Azhar fatwa authorizing violence against protestors), Sheikh Musa Furber http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/what-is-a-fatwa-who-can-give-one
Yes, MEMRI, there is a Fatwa from Khamenei forbidding Nukes, Juan Colehttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/yes-memri-there-is-a-fatwa-from-khamenei-forbidding-nukes

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RESOURCES FOR DEALING WITH ISLAMOPHOBIA SUMMARY

The Islamophobia Industry exists and is engaged in an anti-Muslim Crusade.  They have a manifestofor spreading their propaganda, and which states their goal of “destroying Islam — as a culture, a political ideology, and a religion.” They produce anti-Muslim films.  They are forming new organizations and coalitions of organizations at a dizzying speed, not only nationally, but also internationally.   They have formed an International Leadership Team “which will function as a mobile, proactive, reactive on-the-ground team developing and executing confidential action plans that strike at the heart of the global anti-freedom agenda.”

Currently, the Islamophobia Industry is engaged in a full-scale, coordinated,  demonization campaign against American Muslims and Arabs. In just the past few months we have seen a series of inflammatory provocations:    There was the Innocence of Muslims film Titanic, a German satire magazine plans an “Islam” cover article to be published later this month.   Charlie Hebdo, a French satire magazine published an issue with inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.   Newsweek published their ‘Muslim Rage’ cover.  Terry Jones held a “trial of Prophet Muhammad”.  SION held a “global” gathering in NYC to plan propaganda strategy.  A group in Toronto publicized a “walk your dog at the mosque” day.   AFDI/SIOA has run a series of anti-Muslim ads on public transportation across the country.   AFDI/SIOA are planning to run 8 more anti-Muslim ads.  There are three more films on Prophet Muhammad in the works by Ali Sina, Mosab Hassan Yousef and Imran Farasat.   They are even bringing their hate messagesinto public schools.

Daniel Pipes is encouraging publication of “A Muhammad cartoon a day”, and says “So, this is my plea to all Western editors and producers: Display the Muhammad cartoon daily, until the Islamists become accustomed to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.”.  Pipes joins Daniel Greenfield (aka Sultan Knish) who published an appeal on David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine Is It Time for ‘Make Your Own Mohammed Movie Month’?.  And, both are following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Pamela Geller, who promoted just such a plan back in 2010 with her promotion of Draw Muhammad Day, even after the cartoonist who drew the first cartoon and suggested the idea, Molly Norris apologized to Muslims and asked for the day to be called off, and American Muslims had issued a defense of free speech.    None of this is surprising as one of the Islamophobes laid out their strategy as “The Muslims themselves have shown us their most vulnerable spot, which is the questionable (though unquestioned) character of the ‘Prophet’ himself. We need to satirise and ridicule baby-bonking Mo until the Muslims fly into uncontrollable tantrums, then ridicule them even more for their tantrums, and repeat the process until they froth at the mouth and steam comes out of their ears.”

The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, it is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism, and it has predictable consequences.   The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.

Sadly, the Islamophobic echo chamber has been aided by some in the Jewish and Christian clergy, and even by some of our elected representatives, particularly in the GOP.

The claim that the Islamophobes are “truth-tellers” and “defenders of freedom” who actually “love Muslims” and have never engaged in “broadbrush demonization” or “advocated violence”, or thatnothing that they say could have had anything to do with any act of violence,  are nonsense.  The claim that they are falsely being accused of Islamophobia for no reason other than their legitimate concerns about real issues and that in fact there is not even such a thing as Islamophobia, or their claim that the fact that there are fewer hate crimes against Muslims than against Jews or that some Muslims have fabricated such crimes “proves” that Islamophobia doesn’t exist,  or that the term Islamophobia was made up by Muslims in order to stifle their freedom of speech, or that anti-Muslim bigotry is “not Islamophobia but Islamorealism” are all nonsense.

These individuals and organizations consistently promote the false what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims (including distorting the meaning of Qur’anic verses, and distorting the meaning of Islamic terms such as taqiyyajihadsharia, etc.).

The most commonly repeated false claims about Muslims and Islam are that:

Everyone “knows” that most or all terrorists are Muslims, and there are no Christian and no Jewish terrorists (or terrorists of any other religious stripe), and that Muslims are all militant, inherently violent, more likely to engage in violence against civilians, and more likely than other Americans to be radicalized.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are not interested in dialogue.  That Muslims don’t helpChristians in need.  That Muslims can’t have Christians as friends, and are anti-Semites,Holocaust deniers, and intolerant of other faiths.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t unequivocally denounce terrorism, that American Muslim leaders have not responded to radicalization in their community,  that mosques are the sourceof radicalization, that 85% of mosques are run by radicals, that Muslims don’t cooperate with law enforcement.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are not equivalent to real Americans, that they are the enemy within, and a fifth column,  that good Muslims can’t be good Americans, that Muslims are notloyal to America, that they are not a part of our American heritage,

Everyone “knows” that Islam itself is the problem and makes Muslims “backward”, that Muslims have made no contribution to the West, that Islam is “of the devil”, a Crescent menace, a“green peril”, that was spread by the sword,  an “evil encroaching on the United States”, andnot a religion.

Everyone “knows” that this is a Christian nation, which the Muslims are trying to take over, starting with getting an Eid stamp which is the first step towards shariah law which is a threatto America, and a threat to our judicial system, by purposefully having more children than others to increase their numbers, and they will be the majority in this country in 20 years.  Muslims are a threat to America

Everyone “knows” that Muslims have no respect for the Constitution, they don’t obey the laws of the United States,  that they are opposed to freedom of speech, don’t allow and freedom of religion.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are given a pass by the elite media.  It’s “us versus them”.

Everyone “knows” that the Muslims’ goal is world domination under a Caliphate, and the proposed Cordoba House in NYC is a demonstration of supremacism and triumphalism, and that Muslims planned to open it on the anniversary of 9/11.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t speak out against extremism or terrorism, and even those Muslims who do speak up or seem moderate are simply lying or practicing taqiyyah.

Everyone “knows” that the Qur’an is uniquely violent, that the Islamic concept of God doesn’t include God’s love, and does not include the concept of a Golden Rule,  that Allah is a moon god.

Everyone “knows” that Islam is a monolith and all Muslims are the same, like the “Borg”.  This means that every act committed by an individual who is a Muslim is directly attributable to Islam, and never because the individual is crazy, criminal, or perverted.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t have a sense of humor

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are like the Fascists and Nazis and that in fact they supported those movements.

The problem is that what “everyone knows” is wrong.  These self-righteous and incorrect statements are usually followed by a demand that the Muslim community do something about whatever is the false flag of the day or face the inevitable consequences.

Islamophobes falsely claim to see “JIHAD” PLOTS everywhere, particularly where they don’t exist.   They, like Muslim extremists, don’t understand the true meaning of the term jihad.  The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of “shocking”, non-existent Muslim jihad plots.

Islamophobes generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.    Islamophobes consistently push demonstrably false memes such as:  – we are in danger from creeping Sharia, – the Muslim population is increasing at an alarming rate, – 80% of American Mosques are radicalized,  –  There have been 270 million victims of “jihad”  –  There have been 17,000+ “Islamic terrorist” attacks since 9/11    – Muslims in government are accused of being Muslim Brotherhood plants, stealth jihadists, and creeping Sharia proponents and should be MARGINALIZED or excluded.  Muslim and Arab organizations and individuals are connected to the infamous Muslim Brotherhood document or theunindicted co-conspirator label, or accused of not condemning Hamas, telling American Muslims not to talk to the FBI, of being “Jew haters”, etc.

When Islamophobes are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence.

There is a reason that many, even outside of the Muslim community see such demonization of Muslims as Islamophobic.  There is a reason that the ADL has stated that Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE)  are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.  There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that these individuals are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.  There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured prominently in: — the Center for American Progress reports “Fear Inc.” on the Islamophobia network in America and Understanding Sharia Law: Conservatives skewed interpretation needs debunking. — the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  — the NYCLU reportReligious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  — the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  — The ACLU report Nothing to Fear: Debunking the Mythical “Sharia Threat” to Our Judicial System — in The American Muslim TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.   There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature.   There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

See Resources for dealing with Islamophobes for many more reasons that these people cannot be trusted.

Sheila Musaji is the founding editor of The American Muslim (TAM), published since 1989.  Sheila received the Council on American-Islamic Relations 2007 Islamic Community Service Award for Journalism,  and the Loonwatch Anti-Loons of 2011: Profiles in Courage Award for her work in fighting Islamophobia.  Sheila was selected for inclusion in the 2012 edition of The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims published since 2009 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan.    Biography  You can follow her on twitter @sheilamusaji (https://twitter.com/SheilaMusaji )

Pamela Geller’s False Claim that Muslims Curse Christians and Jews in Their Daily Prayers

Pamela Geller’s False Claim that Muslims Curse Christians and Jews in Their Daily Prayers

by Sheila Musaji
Pamela Geller said Now I also believe that a true translation, an accurate translation of the Koran, is really not available in English, according to many of the Islamic scholars that I’ve spoken to.  That’s deeply troubling.  And I don’t think that many westernized Muslims know when they pray five times a day that they’re cursing Christians and Jews five times a day.  I don’t think they know that. in a 10/8/2010 article in the New York Times.

Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic wondered about the accuracy of this statement and did a little research:

I sent some of Geller’s quotes to my friend Reuel Gerecht, a genuine expert on Islam, to see what he thought of them. Reuel, as many of you know, is no apologist for radical Islamism; quite the opposite. He believes we are at war with a dangerous ideology. But he also has respect for Islam, and a great deal of knowledge of it. Here is what he says about Geller’s assertions:

I have to plead an embarrassing ignorance about Pamela Geller.  I was well aware of the Internet-driven opposition to Feisal Abd ar-Rauf’s Ground Zero/Park 51 mosque, but had not entered her name into my memory.  I don’t read blogs much—except Goldblog and those that publish me—and I was more than a little taken back when Jeffrey sent me a note containing comments by Ms. Geller about English translations of the Qur’an.  The intersection of politics, public policy, and scholarship isn’t always pretty, and we are most often fortunate that scholars don’t write our domestic and foreign policies.   However, there is a certain deference that activists must give to scholars when they tread on what is clearly academic terrain.  A good cause—and Ms. Geller’s general concern about the harm that violent Islamic militants can do is an estimable fight—is no excuse for agitprop and what amounts to a slur against some of the greatest scholars of the twentieth century.  According to the New York Times, Ms. Geller has stated:

Now I also believe that a true translation, an accurate translation of the Koran, is really not available in English, according to many of the Islamic scholars that I’ve spoken to.  That’s deeply troubling.  And I don’t think that many westernized Muslims know when they pray five times a day that they’re cursing Christians and Jews five times a day.  I don’t think they know that.

Let’s take the Qur’an first, Muslim prayers second.  Concerning the translation of the Muslim Holy Book, who might these Islamic scholars be?  Since Ms. Geller is without Arabic, it’s impossible for her to compare the original to a translation.  She must depend upon others, who, if I follow Ms. Geller, are involved in a conspiracy to hide the ugly truth about Islam.  If the translations were more “accurate,” we would all see what’s apparent to Ms. Geller, who ascertained the truth despite the blinding scholarly conspiracy.  One has to ask whether Ms. Geller has perused the translation masterpiece by Cambridge’s late great A.J. Arberry or my personal favorite, the awesomely erudite, more literal translation and commentary by Edinburgh’s late great Richard Bell?  Both gentlemen are flag-waving members of Edward Said’s most detested species—Orientalists.  Now if you look at these translations—especially if you look at Bell’s, which is blessed with exhaustive notes in a somewhat complicated formatting—even the uninitiated can get an idea that Muhammad had trouble with Christians and especially Jews during his life.  If you look at the Qur’anic commentary by Edinburgh’s late great William Montgomery Watt (another Orientalist), who was always attentive to Muslim sensibilities in his writings, you can also find in clear English Muhammad’s unpleasant ruminations about Christians and Jews.

Now what all of this means to contemporary Islamic militancy is a very long discussion, for which I suspect that Ms. Geller doesn’t have abundant patience.  Islam has been having awful problems absorbing modernity; its travails so far—let us underscore—have been less bloody than what we witnessed as Christianity modernized.  Any non-Muslim certainly has the right to study, question, and criticize the Islamic faith, as Muslims have the (well-exercised) right to let loose against what they see as the imperfections of Christianity, Judaism, and humanist secularism (the West’s dominant faith).   As Iran’s robust, astonishing intellectual wars over the last twenty years have shown, it’s good for Muslims and non-Muslims not to pull their punches.  Muslims should never be treated as children, which is a debilitating disposition found widely now on the American Left.  (President Obama has not helped.)   But the great Islamic scholars of the past did not lie.  There is no conspiracy.  We are blessed with illuminating English translations of the Muslim Holy Book.  Ms. Geller might consider blogging less, and reading more.

And about Muslim prayer:  I certainly have no perfect way of knowing what Muslims think when they pray, but I really do think they know what they’re doing.  If westernized Muslims are facing the Almighty, they know what’s in their hearts.  Devout Muslims need not hate Jews and Christians to worship the Creator.  Christians have slaughtered Jews through the centuries.  But it would be theologically atrocious to believe that the Christian message requires Jewish blood. (Christians’ killing Jews so often did provoke some Christians to question the foundation of their faith—a theologically estimable exercise.)  The Prophet Muhammad is certainly a different kind of historical figure than Jesus, but it should not be startling to discover that Muslims through the centuries have not seen the prophet’s slaughter of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe in Medina as a mainstay of their creed.  In my experience—and I’m intuiting here—most Muslims do not think about Jews and Christians at all when they pray.  Suffering, in all its merciless variety, takes center stage, I suspect.   When I’ve watched Muslim pilgrims come to Sunni and Shiite tombs and sacred sites in Egypt,  Turkey, and Iraq, I’ve not seen a conquering people.  I’ve usually just seen misery and the human hope that good fortune will come with a better heart.   I’ve seen fraternity among a men who live in lands where fraternal behavior is rare.  Ms. Geller would do well to travel more.   It’s a very good and essential cause to fight jihadism, but such a struggle should not incline us to maul Islamic history or to treat Muslims as if they were merely a walking version of this surah or that legal treatise.   Christians and Jews and atheists are much more than the sum of their parts.   So, too, are Muslims.

After this exchange, Geller’s partner, Robert Spencer published a defense of Geller’s statement in which he brings in “translations” like the Hilali-Khan, commentaries and interpretations as if they represent what most Muslims (or particularly American Muslims, or “westernized Muslims” as Geller calls them) understand about the meaning of Surah Fatiha.  The Hilali-Khan translation is an extremist interpretation of the Qur’an produced in Saudi Arabia and given out free.  I wrote about the Hilali-Khan translation at length here.  Here are a few passages from that article:

The number of comments in parenthesis in this particular translation is more than excessive, and instead of clarifying the text or explaining a word or phrase that cannot be easily translated into English, these comments make the text very difficult to follow and often distort rather than amplify the meaning.

The appendices contain discussions of Christian versus Muslim beliefs that read more like a polemical debate and really do not belong as part of a translation.

I will give just a few examples of the difficulties with this translation.  Sadly, I could give many more examples, but these should sufice to show the extremist character of this translation.

Beginning immediately with Surah Fatiha 1:1 (the opening chapter of the Qur’an) we find a translation not to be found anywhere else:

“Guide us to the Straight Way.  The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who have earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).” (HK translation 1:1-7)

This can only give the impression to any non-Muslim or Muslim who either does not have fluency in Arabic or access to individuals with competency in Classical Qur’anic Arabic that the Qur’an denounces all Jews and Christians.  This is a great untruth.

This unique translation is then followed by an extremely long footnote which justifies this hateful translation based on traditions from texts that go back to the Middle Ages (Ibn Kathir, Qurtubi, Tabari) as if these are the only interpretations, and without any discussion of the history of these commentaries and the hadiths on which they are based.

…  In the interests of preserving the purity of the Qur’an as much as possible for non-Arabic speakers and also as a means to combat the tirades of professional Islam bashers and Muslim haters, I would strongly recommend that every copy of the Hilali-Khan translation be removed from every mosque in the U.S.  …  This current crisis (and many others), I believe is a direct result of such translations as the Hilali-Khan which have been responsible for influencing some Muslims with extremist interpretations (and also providing them “justification” for criminal actions), and for providing Islamophobes with “proof” of the supposed “savagery” of Islam.  Basically, this translation (and others like it) are propaganda coming out of Saudi Arabia which attempts to spread their particular supremacist, divisive, bigoted, and very dangerous interpretation of Islam.

There are only two groups who equate jihad and terrorism – the terrorists and the Islamophobes.

Across the world, even in countries where Muslims and their non-Muslim neighbors have lived together for centuries in peace, we are seeing violence against churches and against minorities, and seeing violent non-Islamic responses to the provocations of Islamophobes.  Why?

I believe that propaganda such as the Hilali-Khan translation and other materials coming primarily out of Saudi Arabia are one of the root causes.

We need a counter-narrative, not only to the Islamophobes, but to the Muslim extremists, and our scholars and community leaders need to help get the message of traditional Islam out to the masses.

I believe that it is time for ordinary Muslims to go into their local mosque or Islamic bookstore and see if this translation is there, and if it is to ask the Imam or mosque leadership to remove it immediately and dispose of it in the appropriate Islamic manner.  And, it is time for the leadership of national organizations to speak out loudly and clearly condemning such translations and materials.  The Saudi’s may provide “free” copies of this translation, but there is a cost, and we are all paying it.

Here is a transliteration and translation of Sura Fatiha by Shakh Kabir Helminski of the Threshold Society:

Bismillaah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem
Al hamdu lillaahi rabbil ‘alameen
Ar-Rahman ar-Raheem Maaliki yaumid Deen
Iyyaaka na’abudu wa iyyaaka nasta’een
Ihdinas siraatal mustaqeem
Siraatal ladheena an ‘amta’ alaihim
Ghairil maghduubi’ alaihim waladaaleen
Aameen

In the name of God, the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful.
Praise be to God, Lord of all the worlds.
The Compassionate, the Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning.
You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help.
Guide us on the straight path,
the path of those who have received your grace;
not the path of those who have brought down wrath, nor of those who wander astray.
Amen.

Here is the introduction to this verse from the translation by Muhammad Asad

THIS SURAH is also called Fatihat al-Kitab (“The Opening of the Divine Writ”), Umm al-Kitab (“The Essence of the Divine Writ”), Surat al-Hamd (“The Surah of Praise”), Asas al-Qur’an (“The Foundation of the Qur’an”), and is known by several other names as well. It ismentioned elsewhere in the Qur’an as As-Sab’ al-Mathani (“The Seven Oft-Repeated[Verses]”) because it is repeated several times in the course of each of the five daily prayers.According to Bukhari, the designation Umm al-Kitab was given to it by the Prophet himself,and this in view of the fact that it contains, in a condensed form, all the fundamental principleslaid down in the Qur’an: the principle of God’s oneness and uniqueness, of His being theoriginator and fosterer of the universe, the fount of all life-giving grace, the One to whom manis ultimately responsible, the only power that can really guide and help; the call to righteousaction in the life of this world (“guide us the straight way”); the principle of life after deathand of the organic consequences of man’s actions and behaviour (expressed in the term “Dayof Judgment”); the principle of guidance through God’s message-bearers (evident in thereference to “those upon whom God has bestowed His blessings”) and, flowing from it, the principle of the continuity of all true religions (implied in the allusion to people who havelived – and erred – in the past); and, finally, the need for voluntary self-surrender to the will of the Supreme Being and, thus, for worshipping Him alone. It is for this reason that this surahhas been formulated as a prayer, to be constantly repeated and reflected upon by the believer.“The Opening” was one of the earliest revelations bestowed upon the Prophet. Someauthorities (for instance, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib) were even of the opinion that it was the very firstrevelation; but this view is contradicted by authentic Traditions quoted by both Bukhari andMuslim, which unmistakably show that the first five verses of surah 96 (“The Germ-Cell”)constituted the beginning of revelation. It is probable, however, that whereas the earlier revelations consisted of only a few verses each, “The Opening” was the first surah revealed tothe Prophet in its entirety at one time: and this would explain the view held by ‘Ali.

Here is Asad’s translation and commentary

In the name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace:
ALL PRAISE is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds,
the Most Gracious,the Dispenser of Grace,
Lord of the Day of Judgment!
Thee alone do we worship; and unto Thee alone do we turn for aid.
Guide us the straight way, the way of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings,
not of those who have been condemned [by Thee], nor of those who go astray!

According to most of the authorities, this invocation (which occurs at the beginning of everysurah with the exception of surah 9) constitutes an integral part of “The Opening” and is,therefore, numbered as verse 1. In all other instances, the invocation “in the name of God” precedes the surah as such, and is not counted among its verses. – Both the divine epithets rahman and rahim are derived from the noun rahmah, which signifies “mercy”, “compassion”,“loving tenderness” and, more comprehensively, “grace”. From the very earliest times, Islamic scholars have endeavoured to define the exact shades of meaning which differentiate the two terms. The best and simplest of these explanations is undoubtedly the one advanced by Ibnal-Qayyim (as quoted in Manar I,48): the term rahman circumscribes the quality of abounding grace inherent in, and inseparable from, the concept of God’s Being, whereas rahim expresses the manifestation of that grace in, and its effect upon, His creation – in other words, an aspect of His activity.

In this instance, the term “worlds” denotes all categories of existence both in the physicaland the spiritual sense. The Arabic expression rabb – rendered by me as “Sustainer” -embraces a wide complex of meanings not easily expressed by a single term in another language.It comprises the ideas of having a just claim to the possession of anything and, consequently,authority over it, as well as of rearing, sustaining and fostering anything from its inceptionto its final completion. Thus, the head of a family is called rabb ad-dar (“master of the house”) because he has authority over it and is responsible for its maintenance; similarly, his wifeis called rabbat ad-dar (“mistress of the house”). Preceded by the definite article al, the designation rabb is applied, in the Qur’an, exclusively to God as the sole fosterer andsustainer of all creation – objective as well as conceptual – and therefore the ultimatesource of all authority.

According to almost all the commentators, God’s “condemnation” (ghadab, lit., “wrath”) is synonymous with the evil consequences which man brings upon himself by wilfully rejecting God’s guidance and acting contrary to His injunctions. Some commentators (e.g., Zamakhshari)interpret this passage as follows: “… the way of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings – those who have not been condemned [by Thee], and who do not go astray”: inother words, they regard the last two expressions as defining “those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings”. Other commentators (e.g., Baghawi and Ibn Kathir) do not subscribeto this interpretation – which would imply the use of negative definitions – and understand the last verse of the surah in the manner rendered by me above. As regards the two categoriesof people following a wrong course, some of the greatest Islamic thinkers (e.g., Al-Ghazali or, in recent times, Muhammad ‘Abduh) held the view that the people described as having incurred “God’s condemnation” – that is, having deprived themselves of His grace – are thosewho have become fully cognizant of God’s message and, having understood it, have rejected it; while by “those who go astray” are meant people whom the truth has either not reached at all,or to whom it has come in so garbled and corrupted a form as to make it difficult for them.

And, before Pamela Geller gets too attached to her specious claims, she should consider that the Blessing/Benediction recited each morning by Orthodox Jews is the following“Blessed are you O God, King of the Universe, Who has not made me . . . ” and conclude, respectively, “a goy [Gentile],” “a slave,” and “a woman.”
UPDATE 6/1/2011

Another Islamophobe, Andrew Bostom has jumped on this bandwagon of insisting that the Hilali-Khan translation/commentary reflects the meaning of Surah Fatiha.

UPDATE 1/29/2012

Geller again raises this spurious issue saying: “The Muslims refer to Christians in their daily prayers as “those who are led astray” (Muslims curse Christians and Jews multiple times in daily prayers). This madness validates their contempt and supremacism.”
UPDATE 2/11/2013

Geller is nothing if not consistent.  Today she published Hamas-CAIR leads Arizona State Senate in anti-Jewish, Anti-Christian Prayer raising this same debunked issue yet again. She says:  “How many people actually know that every time Muslims get down on their knees, posteriors in the air, they are cursing Christian and Jews? Obama says, “respect it!”

All of this fury on the part of Geller (and her partner in hate Robert Spencer) was because an Arizona Imam, Anas Hlayhel, who is also the Chairman of the Arizona Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations CAIR-AZ led the Arizona State Senate’s prayer invocation with a reading of Surah al-Fatiha.

Is the U.S. Military “at war with Islam”?

 

Is the U.S. Military “at war with Islam”?

by Sheila Musaji (theamericanmuslim.org)
Here is the article that we previously posted on TAM on this issue:

The Currency of Words, or the Coin of the Realm?
by Mikey Weinstein

On Tuesday, April 24th, 2012, the nation’s top soldier, Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) General Martin Dempsey, initiated a truly seminal message. He finally generated the long-overdue, mandatory edict that all training and educational materials throughout the U.S. military must be immediately reviewed within one month’s time to ensure that no anti-Muslim or anti-Islam references or content remain. Henceforth, officers and enlisted members will no longer be taught and institutionally indoctrinated that “the United States is at war with Islam and we ought to just recognize that.”

According to reports, this unprecedented top-down review is the result of a belated discovery at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) in Norfolk, VA.  In the elective class “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism,” officers from all four branches of the military were indoctrinated with vile Islamophobic programs masquerading as “anti-terrorist” education.  In June 2007, Islamophobic extremist and shady Lebanese fundamentalist Christian, Brigitte Gabriel, delivered a lecture before the JFSC where she stated that there is no such thing as a “moderate Muslim” and that “America and the West are doomed to failure in this war unless they stand up and identify the real enemy: Islam.” According to reports, this lecture was presented “as part of the school’s Islam elective.” It is worth noting that Gabriel is a Southern Lebanese Maronite Christian expat and speaker with the pro-Israeli Likudnik Hasbara Fellowships, who has for decades made a career of grossly oversimplifying the contradictions inherent in Middle Eastern affairs as a problem of good people dominated by a monolithic Muslim threat.

In February 2008, self-proclaimed “ex-terrorist,” “ex-Muslim,” fundamentalist Christian minstrels Walid Shoebat, Zachariah Anani, and Kamal Saleem were paid $13,000 to speak before the 50th Annual Academy Assembly at the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, CO on the topic of “Dismantling Terrorism: Developing Actionable Solutions for Today’s Plague of Violence.” At this USAFA conference, as confirmed by many eye witness accounts, Walid Shoebat disgustingly stated “We have to kill Islam.”

Like Brigitte Gabriel, these bigoted stooges have made lucrative careers for themselves by peddling over-the-top, pathologically prejudiced perspectives on understanding the Muslim and Arab world while selling their own fabricated histories as “reformed” terrorist caricatures. Amazingly, they all claim to have abandoned Islam and embraced fundamentalist, evangelical Christianity. To call this heinous crew of dubious characters “con-artists” would be far too kind. Our civil rights foundation, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which represents approximately 10% of all Muslim American service members, responded by demanding equal time to counter these transparent frauds. This ultimatum resulted in speaking appearances at USAFA for MRFF Advisory Board Member and renowned Islam Scholar Reza Aslan, MRFF Board member and former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, and myself, MRFF founder and President Mikey Weinstein.

What JCS Chairman Gen. Dempsey seeks to investigate is a heinous curriculum of systemic, anti-Muslim hatred that has warped the cultural competence of United Staes service members, leading to grim results in combat theaters within which the U.S. has been engaged since 9/11. In 2012 alone there have been reports of bodies being urinated on by U.S. Marines, the proud and brazen display of the Nazi Waffen-SS banner by U.S. Marines, soldiers posing with corpses, and most insultingly, the burning of copies of the Qur’an at Bagram Air Field. Most recently, the Beaufort, South Carolina-based Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 (VMFA-122) renamed themselves the “Crusaders” (a phrase which literally means “taking up the cross”) and adopted the iconography of the crusading, medieval Knights Templar. In a poor, strife-ridden nation such as Afghanistan, people have little to hold on to beyond strong familial and tribal bonds and a firm sense of national, ethnic, cultural and religious dignity. Sadly, racist and dehumanizing indoctrination by America’s own war machine has transformed all too many American war fighters into arrogant, marauding crusaders.

The long-overdue review of the appalling Islamophobic materials used to train our servicemen and servicewomen is a classic case of the proverbial closing of the barn door long after the farm animals have left. President Obama’s surprise visit to Afghanistan on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 starkly illustrated this fact. The ink had barely dried on the Strategic Partnership Agreement signed by himself and Afghan President Hamid Karzai before car bombs and gunfire rattled Kabul in a daring Taliban attack centered on the high-security Green Village compound.  The faux triumphalism of Obama’s visit, meant to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the killing of archfiend Osama Bin Laden, was meant to prop up the illusion of impending “victory” in strife-torn Afghanistan. The foreboding warning of Rudyard Kipling presciently echoes through history and seemingly confounds present American efforts as it damned all others heretofore; “Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires.”

Any casual observer with even a rudimentary understanding of modern military history understands how the Commander-in-Chief’s Kabul pep talk is in stark opposition with the gritty combat reality on the ground. Insurgent Taliban forces, in addition to wearing down the U.S. military in a steady process of attrition, are flat out winning the battle for the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. Additionally, attacks on U.S./NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) personnel by allied Afghan soldiers and police officers have been consistently on the rise despite deliberate and pernicious underreporting by NATO officials, with the deaths of 19 ISAF service members this year alone due to “fratricide-murder incidents”. In hindsight, the Department of Defense-sanctioned anti-Muslim training programs have proven to be a quintessentially formidable propaganda asset in the Taliban fight against the “Crusading” NATO forces. Indeed, they provide grist for the mill of regional resentment and strain alliances to a breaking point. Far be it from the graceful and idyllic exit strategy fabricated by the Pentagon and championed by Obama just days ago in Kabul, many of us anxiously anticipate an Afghan departure that, at best, will resemble the Soviets’ feckless abandonment of its puppet “allies” in 1988. At worst, the U.S. exit may yet resemble the humiliating, frenetic scramble to evacuate the U.S. embassy during the Fall of Saigon in 1975.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the old adage “better late then never” still applies. Those who allowed for these egregious violations of DoD-sponsored Islamophobia to take place must face stern and swift discipline for their complicity in the dissemination of bigoted disinformation that has placed American lives at dire risk. It is too late to regain lost ground on the Afghan war front. By ordering this comprehensive review for “taught hatred,” General Dempsey is signaling that within the Department of Defense he is apparently and allegedly serious about defending Constitutionally-guaranteed American civil rights and values. The General so signals with the easy currency of words. It’s yet to be seen whether these mere words will be followed, as is rarely the case in these “religious” matters at the Pentagon, with the substantive and true coin of the realm; deeds.

Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein is president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and an honor graduate of the Air Force Academy. He previously served as White House Counsel in the Reagan administration and general counsel to H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corp. He is the author of the recently released book, “No Snowflake in an Avalanche: The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Its Battle to Defend the Constitution and One Family’s Courageous War Against Religious Extremism in High Places” (2012, Vireo).  Source:  Alternet
UPDATE May 10, 2012

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) just sent this update after the information from Spencer Ackerman at Wired was released:

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation ( http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/ ) is disgusted by the shocking revelation that officers from all four branches of the U.S. Military were instructed at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) in Norfolk, VA, that the “option” of waging total war on civilian populations of the Muslim faith in a manner similar to the “historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki” should be openly embraced and explored. The suggestion that the norms of international humanitarian law, as enshrined by the Geneva Conventions of 1949, are no longer relevant is a reprehensible and criminal concept that has no place in U.S. military doctrine.

U.S. Military Taught Officers: Use ‘Hiroshima’ Tactics for ‘Total War’ on Islam: WIRED Danger Room, May 10, 2012: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/05/total-war-islam/

“We have now come to understand that there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam’…This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction.”

Such phrases, as uttered by JFSC faculty member Army Lt. Col. Matthew A. Dooley, constitute openly genocidal hate speech—the likes of which have led to some of the worst horrors in modern history. What is most troubling, however, is the fact that such abhorrent sentiments were allowed for years to permeate the lecture halls of the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) in Norfolk, VA (see below link for an Op-Ed on Anti-Muslim course content at JFSC, written on 5/08/12 by MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein). MRFF has long been aware of Islamophobic content taught at JFSC, including the use of pathologically bigoted and sectarian figures such as Walid Shoebat and Brigitte Gabriel, who were allowed to pass off their poisonous hatred as “expertise.” In spite of the recent cancellation of such content, as ordered by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. William Dempsey, the gravity of these new revelations makes one wonder how the culture within the U.S. military’s institutes of higher learning could become acclimated to such murderous concepts as the waging of total war against approximately 1.57 billion Muslim men, women, and children around the globe. Such sufficiently advanced incompetence is completely indistinguishable from willful malice.

MRFF calls on the Pentagon to expeditiously take concrete steps towards purging itself of exceptionalist, Christian supremacist, and sociopathic ideologies that have been allowed to bewitch influential figures within the highest echelons of military leadership. Firm countermeasures must be put in place to prevent the further propagation of criminal tactics and military strategies, as exemplified by the hypothetical destruction of Mecca and Medina (the paramount holy cities of the Muslim faith), and the reduction of Islam “to cult status” at the hands of a global “anti-Islamist” coalition bizarrely envisioned by JFSC faculty member Lt. Col. Dooley. Warped and racist perspectives which fail to distinguish between peaceful, civilian practitioners of religious faiths and the militant extremist adherents thereof must be decisively rooted out of U.S. military culture and academia. MRFF calls for the immediate dismissal of Lt. Col. Dooley, as well as an immediate condemnation, deeply probing investigation, and swift trial by courts-martial of those responsible for allowing content advocating genocide to be used to indoctrinate future leaders within the U.S. armed forces. It is high time that bloodthirsty, amoral, and nation-destroying concepts be stamped out of the educational institutions of our nation’s military, and that the time-honored, lofty traditions of our armed forces be restored to their proper place.

Pamela Geller and other Islamophobes are offended that the military is reconsidering such training and that Gen. Dempsey found it inappropriate.  Geller goes so far as to say that she sees the pulling of this course as “Islamic supremacist groups and their operatives have infiltrated the senior level of DoD, DoS, DoJ. They are disarming our military and law enforcement, and deceiving the American people through their operatives in the media.”

Geller’s partner (and fellow leader of SIOA which was designated as a hate group by the SPLC), Robert Spencer is also unhappy that the military is re-evaluating its’ training materials, but his real gripe seems to be with the fact that his name has come up as one of those spewing anti-Muslim hatred disguised as scholarship. Spencer finds no problem with the training material (although he says he hasn’t read it) but is angry that Spencer Ackerman made it public.

And, if anyone has any doubts about the effect such training materials have on those exposed to it, here is a comment under Spencer’s article:

“They hate everything you stand for and will never coexist with you, unless you submit,” the instructor, Army. Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley, said in a presentation last July for the course at Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va. The college, for professional military members, teaches midlevel officers and government civilians on subjects related to planning and executing war.

This is as accurate statement as any ever made about Islam. Muslims refuse to accept any non-Allah made law, explaining why no Muslim should ever be allowed to become a citizen or serve in the military because each such person is required to take – and mean from the heart – an oath to the US Constitution.  Muslim hate for everything we stand for is riddled throughout all of their (Muslim) dealings with us infidels”.

If anyone has “infiltrated” the military and law enforcement it seems to be the Islamophobes, and they are spreading exactly the same message as al Qaeda.  For far too long the military and government have relied in many of their training programs on a veritable who’s who of Islamophobes in America to provide innaccurate  and biased information.  Gen. Dempsey is correct, such training is “totally objectionable”.

Devon Chaffee discussed today on the ACLU blog why such anti-Muslim rhetoric aids no one but the real enemy – al Qaeda:

This is why Paul Stockton, Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense, had no patience for members of Congress who pressed him to articulate a so-called “Islamist Extremist Threat” at a hearing last December. Instead Secretary Stockton made clear that any articulation of U.S. enemies as Islamic was harmful to U.S. security stating:

“I’ll make it as clear as I can. We are not at war with Islam. [ ] Al Qaeda would love to convince Muslims around the world that the United States is at war with Islam… That is a prime propaganda tool. And I’m not going to aid and abet that effort to advance their propaganda goals.”

Given the blatant disconnect between the materials’ teachings about “total war” with Islam and Secretary Stockton’s strategic analysis, we have to ask: what are government agencies doing to reverse the impact of the anti-Muslim disinformation campaign that infiltrated their training? One would think that it would be in the United States’ interest to take immediate and effective action to remediate the counterproductive effects of biased training.

Yet, yesterday, FBI Director John Mueller defended the FBI’s recent review of its training materials before the House Judiciary Committee. Mueller minimized the scope of the problem and noted the creation of a new screening process. But for hundreds if not thousands of personnel already subjected to the biased training, the damage has already been done and continues to spread because the FBI has refused to withdraw intelligence products that further the same flawed concepts. Still Mueller, like Pentagon officials, has made no reference to whether he will pursue corrective training to counteract the impact of anti-Islam dogma.

Nor has any agency undertaking the White House-mandated review of training materials yet indicated that it will take steps to hold those responsible for biased trainings to account. In fact, there are some members of Congress urging agencies to get the bias put back into training materials. If there is no accountability, how will the relevant agencies ensure that trainers who were paid government funds only to propagate racial stereotypes aren’t awarded more training contracts in the future?

As more and more information about the biased trainings is made public, U.S. officials need to acknowledge that pulling the problematic materials is not, on its own, sufficient to repair the damage these trainings have caused. Corrective training and accountability are needed if these damaging past mistakes are to be remediated and avoided going forward.

Richard Bartholomew also published an article today that neatly lays out the history of how we got into this situation with anti-Muslim training, and provides numerous links to the original sources.  He says

Dempsey ordered a review of teaching materials last month. The story is now being reported widely – it’s even made its way onto the BBC Radio 4 Today programme (with input from Lawrence Kolb of the Center for American Progress – go to 2hr 46m 25s).

Yesterday, Wired reported on some of the material included in the course:

…For the better part of the last decade, a small cabal of self-anointed counterterrorism experts has been working its way through the U.S. military, intelligence and law enforcement communities, trying to convince whoever it could that America’s real terrorist enemy wasn’t al-Qaida — but the Islamic faith itself. In his course, Dooley brought in these anti-Muslim demagogues as guest lecturers. And he took their argument to its final, ugly conclusion.

…Dooley lays out a possible four-phase war plan to carry out a forced transformation of the Islam religion… International laws protecting civilians in wartime are “no longer relevant,” Dooley continues. And that opens the possibility of applying “the historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki” to Islam’s holiest cities, and bringing about “Mecca and Medina[‘s] destruction.”

Improper training on Islam for military and law-enforcement is a subject that has come under increasing scrutiny over the past year and a half: a critical article appeared in the Washington Post in December 2010, and there was a lengthy article in the Washington Monthly in March 2011 which prompted an expression of concern from Joe Lieberman, in his capacity as Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman. A report by the progressive Political Research Associates also appeared in spring 2011, while the summer saw critical pieces on CNN and NPR, as well as an earlier report in WiredWired also ran a second piece in October. This year has seen troubling stories involving the NYPD and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department in Tennessee.

The latest Wired piece has details of some of the guest lecturers used by Dooley, with links to original sources:

Shireen Burki declared during the 2008 election that “Obama is bin Laden’s dream candidate.” In her Joint Forces Staff College lecture, she told students that “Islam is an Imperialist/Conquering Religion.” (.pdf)

Stephen Coughlin…. suggested [link] that al-Qaida helped drive the overthrow of Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak and Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi. It was part of a scheme by Islamists to conquer the world, he added. And Coughlin mocked those who didn’t see this plot as clearly as he did, accusing them of “complexification.”

…Former FBI employee John Guandolo told the conspiratorial World Net Daily website last year that Obama was only the latest president to fall under the influence of Islamic extremists… Guandolo’s paper, titled “Usual Responses from the Enemy When Presented With the Truth“ (.pdf), was one of hundreds of presentations, documents, videos and web links electronically distributed to the Joint Forces Staff College students. Included in that trove: a paper alleging that “it is a permanent command in Islam for Muslims to hate and despise Jews and Christians“ (.pdf). So was a video lecture from Serge Trifkovic, a former professor who appeared as a defense witness in several trials of Bosnian Serb leaders convicted of war crimes, including the genocide of Muslims. A web link, titled “Watch Before This Is Pulled,” supposedly shows President Obama — the commander-in-chief of the senior officers attending the course — admitting that he’s a Muslim.

Most of these names are familiar: in 2010, Coughlin took part in an unofficial “Fort Hood Memorial” event alongside Gen “Jerry” Boykin, Walid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem, and Robert Spencer; Guandolo was the focus of last summer’s NRP piece, which focused on police training in Ohio. In 2009, Trifkovic took part in a “Preserving Western Civilization” conference organised by Dr Michael H. Hart, an astrophysicist who claims that human history should be interpreted by considering differences in racial IQs – I discussed this here.

Eurasia Review notes that

For the better part of the last decade,

href=”http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/09/fbi-islam-domination/”>

a small cabal of self-anointed counterterrorism experts has been working its way through the U.S. military, intelligence and law enforcement communities, trying to convince whoever it could that

href=”http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/09/fbi-islam-qaida-irrelevant/”>

America’s real terrorist enemy wasn’t al-Qaida — but the Islamic faith itself. In his course, Dooley brought in these anti-Muslim demagogues as guest lecturers. And he took their argument to its final, ugly conclusion.

As an American Muslim who loves America and loves Islam, I can only pray that the voices that are heard are those of people like Gen. Dempsey, and the Elected Representatives & Government Officials Who HAVE Questioned Islamophobia, and not Islamophobic voices like Ret. Gen. Boykin or Pamela Geller and her fellow bigots.  The extremist voices on all sides need to be marginalized.  As an American Muslim I am fully committed to a war against al Qaeda, but refuse to participate in a war against Islam. In fact, I see a war against Islam as a war against Muslims, myself included.

After Rep. King’s hearings on Muslims in the military, I said

Put this sort of accusation together with:
— the possible indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens,
— Halliburton’s push to outfitFEMA and U.S. Army camps or internment/detention centers around the United States,
— the fact that our law enforcement agencies and personnel have been fed a steady diet of anti-Muslim propaganda,
— the fact that many of our elected representatives have expressed anti-Muslim views including the possibility that Muslims are not protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution,
— and Rep. Rick Womick’s call to ban Muslims from the military.

All of these developments taken together are particularly alarming as they might relate to the American Muslim community.

I am not only concerned but frightened.  It is difficult to maintain any sense of humor with all of this going on, but my husband suggested to me that perhaps we don’t need to worry so much about our retirement as the government may be developing an “American Muslim retirement plan”.

I am certain that I will not be the only one in the American Muslim community who will be watching how all of this plays out to see just how frightened we should be.