A Defending Crusader…

The best defense is to be good and offensive…or something like that.


Posted by Godefroi on July 25, 2007

I had read an article at American Thinker titled “Moderate Islam and Its Muslim Enemies” that I planned on dissecting, but another author has done a much better job than I could have.  The article text is normal…the riposte is colored.

Thanks to Amil Imani for addressing Mr. Schwartz’s tripe.


Moderate Islam and Its Muslim Enemies

By Stephen Schwartz

On Sunday, July 15, The Washington Post published a landmark article in its history — admittedly inconsistent — of legitimizing radical Islamists.  Signed by staff writer Michelle Boorstein, it was titled “From Muslim Youths, a Push for Change”.  The reporter covered a meeting, grandly titled the National Muslim American Youth Summit, and sponsored in Washington over the weekend by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).  As Boorstein noted, MPAC has, of the organizations lobbying in support of Islamist ideology in the U.S. , gained the most substantial and consistent access to federal and other government officials.   The Post trumpeted MPAC’s role as an adviser to the authorities, describing it as “having the coziest links to law enforcement and the Bush administration among the handful of major Muslim American advocacy groups.”MPAC used this inflated view of its clout to arrange meetings between participants in the “summit” and representative of the U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and State.  But while the Post text empathized with young Muslims purportedly seeking to take leadership of their community away from their elders, the article also unintentionally disclosed the extent of extremist influence present among American Muslims today. 

The fissures in the American Muslim community are not exclusively generational; the Post account of the MPAC youth summit included other curious elements.  The trainees in civil participation reveal alarmingly radical trends: 

“they have questions unique to them and to today… What is the overlap between Islam and the U.S. Constitution? Can they maintain credibility with their peers if they team up too much with an administration many Muslim and Arab Americans see as hostile?”

A disparity between Islam and the U.S. Constitution?  Since when is this an issue for anybody but the most radical fundamentalists?   Muslims have flourished under the protection of the U.S. Constitution for generations.   To assert an “overlap” between the two is to open the door to the outlook, driven by advocates of radical Islamic law, that Qur’an and sharia are superior as legal sources for America , to the founding document of the nation.    Who knows how many of MPAC’s youngsters have been indoctrinated in this anti-American posture, antithetical to traditional Islam?  Obviously, enough have for it to be a topic of MPAC discussion. 

But at the center of the Post article was a truly amazing prize: controversy over the term “moderate Muslim.”  Many young American Muslims, we are told, do not want to be considered “moderate.”  To them, to be a “moderate Muslim” is to function as something like an “Uncle Tom” in the history of the African American community.  The Post account also embeds an essay “making the rounds” at the MPAC event and purporting to explain such disdain for “moderates.”  Written by a graduate student in the United Kingdom , Asma Khalid, and titled “Why I Am Not A Moderate Muslim,” this bizarre exercise in the abasement of the Muslim intellect in the West was printed in The Christian Science Monitor on April 23, 2007, and may be read here.

Asma Khalid’s effusion is filled with arrogant and unproven claims.  Khalid alleges, “‘Moderate’ implies that Muslims who are more orthodox are somehow backward and violent.”  In reality, the term “orthodoxy” is not used in traditional, classic, and even conservative Islam, since the faith of Muhammad, prior to the usurpation of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina by the radical Wahhabi sect, had institutionalized pluralism of theological opinion.  “Orthodox” principles in Islam, if they exist, lack rigidity, but are apparently unknown to Asma Khalid, notwithstanding her study toward a Cambridge master’s degree in Near Eastern/Islamic Studies.  Those interested in examining the essential principles of mainstream Islam are welcome to consult a defining summation of them, almost 1,100 years old and known as “Aqida al-Tahawiyya,” accessible in English here.  One of its concluding clauses is an excellent statement of Islamic reason and moderation:  “Islam lies between going to excess and falling short…  between determinism and freewill, and between sureness and despair.”

In my opinion, none of this is true and it is a source of Schwartz’s tortured logic.  Muhammad was evicted from Mecca in a much more polite and humane way than Muslims have ever treated Christian, Hindu’s, Buddhists, Persians or pagans.  He was threatened with death if he did not leave, for it was he who mocked and disrespected the pagan Meccan religion.  21st century Muslims would cut your throat for a fraction of Muhammad’s offenses, apparently belying the notion that people were generally less civilized in the 7th century.  So off he went to Medina , holding a grudge that would be eventually settled in Meccan enslavement and slaughter.  It was in Medina , where Muhammad positioned himself between two rival, warring families to establish himself as ruler.  From that point on, it was as if he had sold his soul to the devil.  There were no Wahhabists telling Muhammad to order mafia style hits on poets and women who parodied him. 

Muhammad went from raiding caravans to creating an anti-Jewish, anti-Christian warrior culture that was sanctioned by Allah.  It was a system in which you either joined up to fight the next city-state, or you were slaughtered, your wife raped, and your children and women sold into slavery.  If you enlisted into this dark cult, which you did by uttering a simple chant “there is no other god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet”, you were entitled to steal, rape and enslave in like manner to what happened to your village, as long as you gave 20% of your booty to Muhammad for governance and personal wealth.  It was a bloody Ponzi scheme that even Hitler could not have conceived of.  None of this can be denied, as it is codified (probably by Muhammad’s eunuchs since in all probability he was illiterate).

It is on this ethical and political paradigm that Mr. Schwartz has invented a brave new world of lies upon which to rest his revisionist insanity.  Schwartz claims it is just as likely as not that “orthodoxy” does not exist in Islam.  Does this sound like the mind of a scholar?  Since the definition of “orthodoxy” is: “approved form of any doctrine, philosophy, ideology”, he is literally saying Islam as a doctrine has no meaning whatsoever, since nobody has figured out what it means.  I’ll leave it to more creative intellectuals to come up with an “orthodox” description of that kind of nihilistic thinking.

Here’s what Muhammad said about the “rigidity” Mr. Schwartz believes is as firm as pudding.  “None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?   Also translated as:  Whatever divine communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We (without fail) bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?” Quran 2.106

This means that as the angel of Allah (ostensibly Gabriel) was delivering divine revelation to Muhammad…revelation such as, “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter.” Quran 5.051, the only way in which this and each former or subsequent message could be changed or abandoned is if it was specifically replaced with another verse that contradicted it…then the former would be modified or removed from ORTHODOXY!  This is how all Muslims understand the principle of abrogation, and it is the only way to comprehend Islam as a coherent theology.  Since everybody except Mr. Schwartz understands this, one has to wonder if this man is either wholly unqualified to be discussing the doctrine or is purposely deceiving the reader.  I’ll tell you what, let’s get real Muslim clerics (as opposed to apologists pretending to understand Islamic Law) to see if they agree with Schwartz.  And if they don’t agree with him, I’d expect that we should ask him to henceforth study other “peaceful” religions, perhaps Aztec culture.

Unfortunately for Mr. Schwartz, the foundational principles of Islam are not contained in “Aqida al-Tahawiyya”.  They are codified within the Quran and Hadith.  This is why Mr. Schwartz failed to invite the reader to browse the Quran, available here http://www.muslim.org/english-quran/quran.htm:  And while Mr. Schwartz parses these texts (like WC Fields, when asked why he of all people was reading the Bible, he replied, “looking for loopholes”—you provide the accent), such as taking the words of the Quran as loose allegories and recommendations, or scripture applicable only to limited time spans, Muhammad had already anticipated such apostasy, when he said: “He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:” and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.” Quran 3.007

Muhammad was referring to the scripture he was delivering to the people, which he referred to as “the discrimination”, or the way to determine what prior scripture was truth and what was false, and in both this and the previous verse mentioned, he was condemning Jews and Christians for what he felt was their aptitude for verse-shopping (a valid criticism by the way) and mis-applying revelations.  But what Muhammad did was to shut down any argument over what is being said for all time.  If Muhammad told the tribal men to stone unchaste women to death, he damn well meant it.  Even as Jesus, some 650 years prior in a book well established all over Africa and the Arabian Peninsula said…nobody may stone an unchaste woman to death unless he is without sin himself…period.  So we have Schwartz’s opinion, or we have Muhammad’s clear commandments about how to accept orthodoxy.  Hmmm.  I don’t know.  Sorry, Schwarz, I’m going with Muhammad on this one…you remember him?  Or is he left out of the “Aqida al-Tahawiyya” too?

As to the rejection of “moderate” as “impel[lying] that Muslims who are more orthodox are somehow backward and violent,” Asma Khalid provides no evidence for this absurd assertion, which exists exclusively in the minds of people seeking to combat moderation.  Moderate Muslims oppose the radicalism of the Saudi-financed Wahhabis and the extreme Shias because these developments are destructive of Islamic tradition.  Moderate Muslims argue over aspects of the Islam existing from Morocco to Malaysia and from Bosnia-Hercegovina to Botswana , and may seek progressive changes in aspects of the faith.  But they, not the “orthodox,” represent the majority of believers, and, with some exceptions, do not fight against classical Islam.

Asma Khalid goes on to complain that “To be a ‘moderate’ Muslim is to be a ‘good,’ malleable Muslim in the eyes of Western society.”   Does this mean that an “orthodox” Muslim should be “bad” – again in the manner of some African American protest — and refuse to adjust to the customs of the West, if that is where one lives?  Or seek to preserve an intransigent Islamism in the Muslim world?

Such views would be profoundly un-Islamic.  Islam is a religion and enjoins doing good. 

But it is the definition of “good” that is what we need to understand, Mr. Schwartz.  Don’t make me quote Bill Clinton on definitions.  Tell me how the following clear, unabrogated commandments can be considered “good” by an impartial witness?

“Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): ‘I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.’” Quran 8.012  Allah who we are told is all-knowing, all-wise, most compassionate, and omnipotent, commands the Muslim to put Allah’s terror into effect by cutting off the fingertips of the Nonbeliever!  What should ring in your ears forever is the promise “I will instill terror” and asking Muslims to commit acts so brutal as to be the agents of Allah’s terror mentality.

“Thus (will it be said): ‘Taste ye then of the (punishment): for those who resist Allah, is the penalty of the Fire.’”  Quran 8.014

“O ye who believe! when ye meet the Unbelievers in hostile array, never turn your backs to them.”  Quran 8.015

“If any do turn his back to them on such a day – unless it be in a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own)- he draws on himself the wrath of Allah, and his abode is Hell,- an evil refuge (indeed)!”  Quran 8.016

The above three suras are in uninterrupted succession, meaning Allah is declaring that he way he will punish the unbelievers for “striving against”…meaning those resisting his onslaught.  His punishment is effected by the faithful Muslim taking the battlefield.  He exclaimed these things as a rallying charge to his storm troopers who were attacking innocent villages!  And this is how history records that within 70 years of his death, the Muslim hordes conquered all of the Middle East and Africa, as well as Spain !  Is this all just a coincidence?  Did all these nations attack Islam and lose?  Or is Scwartz being consistently foolish in his interpretation of Islamic doctrine?

How about this one?

“Against them (the unbelievers) make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.” Quran 8.060

Or these two concurrent verses:

“If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way.” Quran 4.015  Here’s how they really feel about women’s rights.  Starve the little harlots to death.  Has this passage been abrogated?  And if so (and if not) how can the Koran be divine?

“If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful.” Quran 4.016

These two verses above prove a different system of justice for men as opposed to women.

Islam can’t be good, for crying out loud!  This is evil we’re looking at.

Why would the good conduct of Muslims be wrong because, by opposing violence, they elicit the approval of Westerners?  Good is good, and nothing else, in all religions: promotion of peace, mutual respect for one’s neighbor, and personal dignity.

Respect?  You mean like these holy words?

“Those who reject our signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire: as often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty: for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.” Quran 4.056

Hadith: 4:73 Muhammad said, “Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords.”

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 48: Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “The example of a Mujahid in Allah’s Cause– and Allah knows better who really strives in His Cause—-is like a person who fasts and prays continuously. Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will return him to his home safely with rewards and war booty.”

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 179: Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Turks; people with small eyes, red faces, and flat noses. Their faces will look like shields coated with leather. The Hour will not be established till you fight with people whose shoes are made of hair.”

How tolerant and respectful are your standards, Mr. Schwartz?

Here’s a little news flash for you::

…the Iman of the Mosque of Mecca in Saudi-Arabia called Jews “pigs and monkeys”.  Even though Islam no longer has a caliph — a figure of eminence like the Catholic Pope — the imam of the mosque of Mecca would seem to come close.   After calling Jews “pigs and monkeys”, he took after the West in general:  “Their course is supported by the advocates of credit and worshipers of the Cross, as well as by those who are infatuated with them and influenced by their rotten ideas and poisonous culture among the advocates of secularism and Westernization. News article by John Gibson – June 4, 2002

But where did the Imam get such an idea to insult an entire race of people?  Could it be this sweet little thought?

“Say: ‘Shall I point out to you something much worse than this (referring to the previous verses), as judged by the treatment it received from Allah? Those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath (Jews), those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshiped evil;- these are (many times) worse in rank, and far more astray from the even path!’” Quran 5.060

And this from a religion that erupts in a worldwide pretense of vicious violence when one dane publishes one cartoon of Muhammad with a bomb on his head.  Mr. Schwartz, you sicken me.

Further, traditional Islam calls on the Muslim immigrant to a non-Muslim land to accept the customs of the country to the degree they do not directly conflict with Islam — and no country in the world either bans the practice of the Muslim religion, or compels people to drink alcohol or eat pork.  From the legitimate Islamic viewpoint, Muslims are required to show a positive example of themselves and of the faith if immigrating to a non-Muslim country.

Oh, and I might add they’re doing an exemplary job of showing  their true colors.  If there are so many moderate Muslims out there, why do we need a man named Schwartz to explain their perfect record of moderation to us.  1 million French Renault owners want to know!

Continuing with her anti-moderate polemic, Khalid states, “True orthodoxy is simply the attempt to adhere piously to a religion’s tenets.”   It thus becomes clear that Khalid has no conception of basic Islamic beliefs. 

Khalid is perfectly correct on this point.  And as such, an extremist with respect to orthodoxy would be Mr. Schwartz, who masquerades as a “moderate”, a term which represents a nonsensical, chimerical absurdity.  Schwartz is confused, again.

No Muslim except a radical speaks of “true” Islam, because the judgment as to whose Islam is “true” was always believed to rest with God, not men.  

See the above.  The Quran was delivered according to the man who wrote it (as opposed to the authority who presumes to speak for all of Islam, Mr. Schwartz) as a way for men, humans, people, mankind to know what is true and what is false.  It doesn’t sound like a group therapy session here.  It’s black and white. And that is exactly what Islam is.

This is why, in its classic period, Islam fostered pluralistic debate and discouraged accusations of heresy.  In two of the best-known hadith or oral comments, the Prophet Muhammad himself compared the illumination of Muslim scholars to the heavenly bodies in the night sky.  He said, “The simile of the scholars of knowledge on the earth is the stars in the sky by which one is guided in the darkness of the land and the sea.”  He also said, “my Companions are equivalent to the stars in the sky; whichever of them you point to, you will be guided, and the differences among my Companions are a mercy to you.”

In addition, the call for “piety” in Islam represents a non-mainstream conception.   Since the time of the 11th-12th century Islamic thinker, Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali, considered the greatest Muslim theologian after Muhammad, Muslims have recognized that intentions — the beliefs of the heart — are superior to punctilious observance of religious rituals.  Asma Khalid demands to be called “orthodox,” not “moderate,” and such a message is complacently conveyed to the Western public by mainstream media like The Christian Science Monitor, but the arguments presented in her anti-moderate op-ed are those of a fundamentalist, not of a traditional Muslim.

Why is Schwartz constantly avoiding quoting Muhammad, you know the man who invented Islam?!  Is he trying to avoid something…something terrible, dark and disgusting.  He strains himself.

Deterioration of Muslim discourse is further visible when Asma Khalid.writes, “The public relations drive for ‘moderate Islam’ is injurious to the entire international community. It may provisionally ease the pain when so-called Islamic extremists strike.”  Islamic extremists are merely “so-called”?  Does this mean they do not exist?  Khalid blares on, repeating her tortured and illogical claim that moderate Islam “indirectly labels the entire religion of Islam as violent.”  These exercises in mental acrobatics become, eventually, tedious.  How could distinguishing the category of moderates within a religion label the entire faith?

If you tire of acrobatics, Mr. Schwartz, take off your leotards and begin to define terms.  Stop lying and start quoting the long list of current and past Islamists who would completely disown your metaphorical burning of the entire Quran in a quest to purify the religion of hate.

Khalid wants it both ways, suddenly announcing, “The term moderate Muslim is actually a redundancy.  In the Islamic tradition, the concept of the ‘middle way’ is central. Muslims believe that Islam is a path of intrinsic moderation, wasatiyya. This concept is the namesake of a British Muslim grass-roots organization, the Radical Middle Way .”  Here we proceed from truth straight to disinformation.  It is quite accurate that Qur’an defines Islam as seeking moderation.   Why then, attempt to disavow the term “moderate”?  But the infamous ” Radical Middle Way ” project, which was financed by the British government, consisted of a roadshow in which “ex-radicals” and other fundamentalists attempted to ameliorate extremism among young Muslims.   A laudable goal – but why define it in terms of a self-contradictory title like the “Radical Middle?” 

Whose semantical pretzel is worse?  Yours for denying every unabrogated verse in the Quran and quoting other prophets over Muhammad, while you define “good” as “good”, or Khalid?  The term hypocrisy comes to my mind, but that’s just my own mental gymnastics.

Asma Khalid also exhibitionistically describes herself as “hijabi,” i.e. a woman who covers her head.  But hijab is a practice among those who go out in public, not a matter for boasting about in print.  Ideas, including Islamic ideas, should not he defined by the garments around the skull, but by the contents of the mind. 

Actually to deny this notion is to once again eradicate what is written in the Quran.  Schwartz is now appointing himself arbiter over what is and is not official Islam.  Can you say megalomania?

Please go back and paste these pages into your rather abridged version of the Quran, sir.

And say to the believing women that they lower their gaze and restrain their sexual passions and do not display their adornment except what appears thereof.a And let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms.b And they should not display their adornment except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or guileless male servants,c or the children who know not women’s nakedness. And let them not strike their feet so that the adornment that they hide may be known. And turn to Allah all, O believers, so that you may be successful.

The head-covering required by Islamic law conceals the arms, the neck and the bosom, as also the ornaments worn in the ears or on the neck or over the bosom

Khalid concludes with an emotional endorsement of Sheikh Abdallah Ibn Bayyah, a Mauritanian participant in the ” Radical Middle Way ” hoax alongside alleged “moderates” like the well-known Tariq Ramadan and the ultra-extreme speechifier-turned-“Sufi” Hamza Yusuf Hanson.  Ibn Bayyah is Mauritanian by origin, but now teaches in Saudi Arabia , the bastion of Wahhabi bigotry, enthusiasm for Al-Qaida, and incitement to terror in neighboring Iraq .  Concluding a maudlin evocation of the sheikh, Asma Khalid declares, “The sheikh, not bin Laden, is the authentic religious scholar. But to call him a moderate Muslim would be a misnomer.”   Still, to emphasize, what of the many respected Muslim scholars, from the North Africa to Indonesia , who choose that title for themselves?

Since Asma Khalid, with her chatter about “orthodoxy” and “piety,” and her self-advertising hijab, turned to the Mauritanian-born Ibn Bayyah for guidance, let me conclude by citing Tierno Bakar, one of the greatest of the West African Sufis, born in 20th century Mali

“the conduct of which I most disapprove and for which I have the most pity is that of the ridiculous hypocrite.  Such are those individuals who, with turbans carefully wound eight times around their heads, and a miniature copy of Qur’an in a fine case around their necks, walk with unnecessary dependence on the shoulder of a disciple and wave a cane that appears more like a fetish than a pilgrim’s staff.  Such a person pronounces the declaration of faith with more noise than fervor, and preaches with an ardor motivated by nothing so much as immediate attention.  Such an individual corrupts the spirit and perverts the heart.  He is a thousand times worse than the murderer who only kills the body.” 

Haters of Islamic moderation may not slay Muslims or non-Muslims physically, but they may kill the soul of a great world religion.

Lying apologists who have are either hideously ignorant or desperately deceitful are killing everyone everywhere, as Islam continues the perpetual, world war it started when Muhammad felt the need to seek revenge and satisfy his lust for blood.

According to the Historian al-Baladhuri, writing only 200 years after Muhammad, the prophet said:  “Peace be upon the one who follows the right path! I call you to Islam.  Accept my call, and you shall be unharmed. I am God’s Messenger to mankind, and the word shall be carried out upon the miscreants. If therefore, you recognize Islam, I shall bestow power upon you. But if you refuse to accept Islam, your power shall vanish, my horses shall camp on the expanse of your territory and my prophecy shall prevail in your kingdom.”

I have a suggestion for Mr. Schwarz:  Open the Quran are take a black permanent marker and remove all the passages you believe are not part of the “good” that is Islam…like the ones quoted above, and hundreds more like it.  Then show your handiwork to the average Muslim in Dearborn , Michigan and see what kind of consensus you receive.  You’ll want to update your legal papers before attempting this.

One last quote that covers deceivers like Schwartz:

“Self-deception is nature; hypocrisy is art.” –Cooley Mason

Amil Imani

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