The Yom HaShoah Reflection
“…[the] Arab and Palestinian view [is] that Zionism is a historical aberration that will not – and must not – last….[the “palestinian” Arabs] continue to believe that even if they lose a battle, the war isn’t over. And if the war isn’t over, there’s no need to admit defeat, no need to sign an agreement of surrender.” – Einat Wilf, Spring 20116-17.
Two days ago, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported that Saudi Arabia had offered Mahmoud Abbas $10 billion if he accepted the upcoming Trump deal of the century. Abbas is alleged to have retorted that would have meant the end of his political life.
Knowing what we do about Islamism, Abbas could also have added that that would also have meant the end of his physical life.
Elsewhere on my blog, I have written about the farce that is the two-state solution. I have also written about the rise of Islamism in the Middle East now going under the lawfare name of “Palstinian Right of Return”.
My focus today is on the support that Islamism has garnered in America and Europe, despite clear calls by others about its spread in those countries.
Islamism as Jihad against the Kafir
As background, I would like to state that Abbas’ refusal to buy the peace plan is rooted in Muslim ideology. That ideology, as reflected in its hard-line AND “moderate” practitioners, is that all non-muslims are kafir.
The word, Kafir, is usually translated as “unbeliever” but this translation is wrong. The word “unbeliever” is logically and emotionally neutral, whereas Kafir is the most abusive, prejudiced and hateful word in any language. The Koran says that the Kafir may be deceived, plotted against, hated, enslaved, mocked, tortured and worse.
To give you some context, Islam devotes a great amount of energy to the Kafir. The majority (64%) of the Koran is devoted to the Kafir, and nearly all of the Sira (81%) deals with Mohammed’s struggle with them. The Hadith (Traditions) devotes 32% of the text to Kafirs. These three central pillars of the Muslim faith as they pertain to kafirs thus make up about 61% of the trilogy.
But what of the Islamist line that Jews and Chrisitians are People of the Book and thus have a special place in the broader scheme of things?
You have to be well versed in the Koran and the Hadiths to realise that in Islam you are a Christian, if and only if, you believe that Christ was a man who was a prophet of Allah; there is no Trinity; Jesus was not crucified nor resurrected and that He will return to establish Sharia law. To be a true Jew you must believe that Mohammed is the last in the line of Jewish prophets.
Verse 5:77 of the Koran makes this clear: “Oh, People of the Book, do not step out of the bounds of truth in your religion, and do not follow the desires of those who have gone wrong and led many astray. They have themselves gone astray from the even way.”
But in case one felt there was some wiggle room here, verse 9:29 of the Koran states: “Make war on those who have received the Scriptures [Jews and Christians; emphasis mine] but do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day. They do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden. The Christians and Jews do not follow the religion of truth until they submit and pay the poll tax [jizya] and they are humiliated.
The sentence “They do not forbid…” means that they do not accept Sharia law; “until they submit” means to submit to Sharia law. Thus, Christians and Jews who do not accept Mohammed as the final prophet are Kafirs.
And over and above this, Islam strives for the dejudeaziation of Christianity where the Four Gospels are touted as written by Isa (jesus), a “ great Muslim prophet and Islamic teacher”. By divorcing the biblical Jesus from Christianity, Islam strives to co-opt and Islamisize unthinking Christians by assimilating Jesus with Isa, the Muslim Palestinian prophet as affirmed by Arafat at the United Nations in 1983.
On the other hand, and as a side note, there is no sense of the ridiculous in this thesis where Muslim Arab “Palestinians” claim they lived in “Palestine,” on the basis of Jewish and Christian scriptures that they reject.
What is Political Islam?
Avi Melamed (2017) defines political islam as movements and parties in the Muslim world having the following things in common:
- Their ultimate goal is to create a global Islamic cultural, political, and religious entity known as Khalafa / Caliphate in which no other independent or sovereign state exists.
- The Khalafa should be governed and ruled by Islamic law; the Shari’ah (literally translated “the path”).
- Shari’ah, the moral and religious law, is the Master Plan given by Allah (literally translated “the God”) to mankind. Accordingly, the Shari’ah should be the only source of legislation and the supreme governing authority, and should govern all areas of life – public and private.
- Any other man-made political philosophy or political system (communism, democracy, socialism, etc.) is unacceptable because they are in defiance of Allah’s will.
- They are willing to participate in [western-style] government as a temporary stage towards fulfilling their ultimate goal – to create a global Khalafa [such is the case with the MB in recent years as witnessed in Egypt under President Muhammad Morsi in 2012 or with the sharing of power with secular and liberal elites as in Tunisia after the Arab Spring].
- Political Islam opposes, and is in direct conflict, with Western values such as gender equity, homosexuality, liberalism, pluralism and secularism which are seen as an imminent and existential threat to Islam.
- They create their support and cultivate their power base through creating economic, educational, social, and welfare programs that benefit the broad MUSLIM public, especially people on the lower end of the socio-economic scale (Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen and Gaza…..) [In keeping with the strategy of political islam of using “stop-gap” western constructs of democracy to further their own aims, it can be seen that electorally successful parties in Arab countries typically have a track record of successful provision of social services].
- Absolute and uncompromising opposition to the existence of the State of Israel. The animosity towards Israel is justified on the basis that Judaism, as a religion that was once a valid religion, betrayed the Divine Mission that they were given by Allah, – to spread Allah’s rule and justice upon the land. Therefore, the existence of Israel is a direct defiance of Allah’s will.
How is political islam spread?
All ideologies, including political islam, need methodical organisation if they are to spread their influence and beliefs.
The most prominent representative of political Islam is the Jamaat al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin – the Muslim Brotherhood, the biggest mass movement in the Muslim Sunni world. The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt at the end of the 1920’s by Hassan al-Banna, an Egyptian teacher and Iman (preacher) who was alarmed by what he perceived to be a western threat to Islam and an attack on Islam’s codes, morality, and values – such as male-female social interaction, movie theatres, music, western dress, women’s liberation, etc. He created the Muslim Brotherhood as a revolutionary group to restore the Khalafa [Caliphate], through education, preaching, indoctrination and proselytization of the masses – a term known as da’wa (literally translated as “call” or “an invitation”).
Political Islam in Europe
It can be said that present-day Europe (read France and Germany) results from decisions taken in October 1973 in reaction to PLO terrorism and the OPEC oil boycott of countries friendly to Israel. These two pivotal factors altered Europe’s course and determined its political choices, despite the warnings of cautious other EU member states in Europe who did not kowtow to Arab Muslim pressure.
Nevertheless, the EU concluded an alliance with Arab League countries in 1974 which concomitantly triggered the development and dissemination of an anti-semitic/anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian culture propagated by the very organs of the European Community.
Forty three years later, it does not become difficult to see how and why antisemitism mainstreamed across Europe to the extent that Jew-haters can throw elderly Jewish women from their balconies and it is only through the expenditure of much capital that yet another Shoah is not precipitated.
For myself, and despite some micro-explanations by some academics, I use the term Islamism and political islam interchangeably here essentially because both have the same goal: broad acceptance of Sharia law either through economic burden (the jizya) or outright violence (jihad as it is explicated by Sunni MB and al-Qaeda today). The objective of both is to fulfill political aspects of Islam according to the example of prophet Mohammed in his interactions with the Kafir, and BOTH are guided by the trilogy of Islam I referred to above.
I do not accept European whitewashing of their vote-valuable muslim constituents when their politicians say that their various Muslim organisations under the umbrella organisation known as the New European Brothers (NEBs, and yes, THAT Brotherhood), are merely cultural interlocutors for Europe’s fastest growing demographic. Without exception, all of Europe’s disparate security services point to a constant discrepancy between the NEBs’ internal and external discourses as a sign of their duplicitous nature. In the media and in dialogues with European governments, NEB leaders publicly avow the group’s dedication to integration and democracy, tailoring their rhetoric to what they know their interlocutors want to hear. Yet when speaking Arabic, Urdu or Turkish before fellow Muslims, the NEBs often drop the veneer and foster an ‘us versus them’ mentality that is the antithesis of integration and tolerance. Even as NEB representatives speak about interfaith dialogue and integration on television, the movement’s mosques preach hate and warn worshippers about the evils of Western society. In the words of Alain Chouet, former head of French foreign intelligence, ‘Like every fascist movement on the trailof power, the Brotherhood has achieved perfect fluency indouble-speak’ (Chouet 2006).
The Netherlands AIVD and Belgium’s Sûreté de l’État concur.
In fact, Netherlands’ domestic intelligence agency, is even more specific in its analysis of the NEBs’ tactics and aims:
“Not all Muslim Brothers or their sympathisers are recognisable as such. They do not always reveal their religious loyalties and ultra-orthodox agenda to outsiders. Apparently co-operative and moderate in their attitude to Western society, they certainly have no violent intent. Butthey are trying to pave the way for ultra-orthodox Islam to play a greater role in the Western world by exercising religious influence over Muslim immigrant communities and by forging good relations with relevant opinion leaders: politicians, civil servants, mainstream social organisations, non-Islamic clerics, academics, journalists and so on.”
Today, about 5% of Europe’s inhabitants today identify themselves as Muslims. Numbers wise, this represents 25.45 million residents who identify as Muslim. Thus, there is an increasing presence of Muslims and Islam in European society, and this has caused an increase in their presence in politics.
In America, according to 2017 census figures, there were 3.75 million Americans who identified as Muslims (1.6%) and this statistic is set to become the second largest religion in America in another 20 years time (2040, by PEW projections).
What happened in America?
Political Islam did not attract serious attention from American officials until the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. But the event that set the tone for U.S. policy toward Sunni Islamist movements (Muslim Brotherhood et al) was the Algerian parliamentary election of 1991. Here, the FIS won 2/3 majority required to change the constitution.
The Clinton administration became concerned that Islamists coming to power through the ballot box would have been a case of “one man, one vote, one time.” In other words, Islamists would make instrumental use of the ballot box to capture the state, only to subsequently dismantle democracy. I have highlighted this precise strategy above.
In 1995, again under Democrat Bill Clinton, Washington ceased all contact with the Muslim Brotherhood at the request of Egypt. After the massacre of Americans in 2001, Bush’s invasion of Iraq and America’s 2006 refusal to accept Hamas electoral victory in 2006, Islamists were convinced that America was unwilling to let Islamists govern even though they used the edifice of democratic elections to come to power.
However, with the Obama administration’s Presidential Study Directive in 2011, focusing on the normalization of Islamists as political actors, things changed rapidly. Where previous administrations were wary of the Muslim Brotherhood Islamists, Obama used the language of “moderate Islamists” to describe the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and he called Iran’s President Rouhani, a “moderate” reformist, despite the rise of human rights violations in Iran on Rouhani’s watch.
Obama’s red line in Syria was nothing but a ruse to please Tehran and ensure the success of a near-disastrous nuclear deal. Given that the Muslim Brotherhood appeared to be an important and growing partner for Iran, the Obama White House pandered to thr MB islamists to protect Iranian interests and the potential for the nuclear deal at all costs.
Where George W. Bush had affirmed that the U.S. was not at war with Islam, Obama drove home the point in numerous ways: purging military and intelligence training materials of any mention of Islam in connection with terrorism; employing the might of the Justice Department to win special accommodation for Muslims in workplaces and schools; and lending the prestige and power of his administration to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s efforts to compel Western states to criminalize criticism of Islam.
The Obama Justice Department quietly dropped terror finance prosecutions against CAIR and other Islamic supremacist groups. Contact between the Obama Administration and Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups extended to just over 14,000 documents. Obama even changed the mission of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), directing it to turn from space exploration to–of all things–Muslim outreach.
Obama’s administration blamed a video that portrayed Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, in a negative light for the murderous jihad attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
Caroline Glick (2009) noted that:
“From President Barack Obama’s intense desire to appease Iran’s mullahs in open discussions; to his stated commitment to establish a Palestinian state as quickly as possible despite the Palestinians’ open rejection of Israel’s right to exist and support for terrorism… to his plan to withdraw US forces from Iraq and so give Iran an arc of uninterrupted control extending from Iran to Lebanon, every single concrete policy Obama has enunciated harms Israel.”
Also in 2009, Obama sent his Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett to give the keynote address at the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA) convention, indifferent to the fact that this group was created by the Muslim Students Association, a subsidiary group of the Muslim Brotherhood, godfather to al-Qaeda and Hamas.
In April 2010, the New York Times reported that Obama was reaching out to unnamed “Muslim and Arab-American advocates” groups in the United States to accommodate their views on “air security”. This led to the scrapping of a policy that subjected airline passengers from Muslim countries to greater scrutiny and AFTER the foiled December 25 2009 bombing plot to detonate a bomb aboard a jetliner over Detroit…
In March 2013, the Department of Homeland Security was set to give air passengers entering the U.S. from Saudi Arabia “trusted traveller” status, which would enable them to bypass normal passport controls despite the fact that fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudis.
So, was Islamism in America solely a result of the Obama administration policies? Certainly not.
But it is incontrovertible that between 2009-20017, the tacit as well as explicit pandering to Muslim Brotherhood interests in the White House from the leader of the world’s most powerful nation was a welcome starting gun for the (till then) largely covert American Islamic radicals and their attempts to change American domestic and religious and social culture. Barack Hussein Obama had indeed converted their audacity of hope into legislation.
It would be a mistake to ignore the fact that there is today a global Islamist movement determined to achieve a worldwide obeisance to Islam fully committed to use all means at its disposal – not just terrorism – to bring America and the West under its control.
I make no distinction whatsoever between jihadist islamism and institutional islamism of the sort advocated by the Muslim Brotherhood and CAIR in America and elswhere. Both jihadist and institutional Islamism pursue the same goal of an Islamist state, but disagree fundamentally on the strategy for achieving it. Whilst jihadism is committed to the idea of a (violent) Islamic world revolution, institutional Islamism embraces political institutions as a means to an end. Either way, it has no place in any western state, nation or country.
We like to think that liberal democracy is the most powerful force on the face of the earth, but liberal democracy is only 200 years old, and is very difficult to implement, whereas Political Islam is 1400 years old and is quite easy to implement. All one needs is a commitment to Sharia (the path).
And, as McCarthy (2010) states, “…sharia is the corpus of Allah’s law, prescribing a comprehensive legal and political framework….Sharia, not terrorism, must be our bright line because it reliably divides Muslims who embrace the West from Muslims determined to Islamize the West.” And, quite honestly, nobody has any issue with Muslims who, like Hindus, Buddhists, Jews and Brahmins acculturate but still retain their unique religious and cultural identities. It is the very backbone of a successful multicultural policy in today’s global village(s).
And so, on this Day of Remembrance for 6 million Jews who were killed because they were Jews, it is only prudent to, once again, warn of the dangers of hate-filled antisemitism emanating not from Europe per se, but rather from a coalescing of a broad coalition of anti-semites exploiting the West’s inability to demarcate red lines about the changed demographics caused by Muslim expansion into Europe and America.
As Bassam Tibi, Professor emeritus (retired) of International Relations, University of Goettingen (Germany) memorably reminds us, in Islam peace only exists between Muslims, and not between Muslims and non-Muslims.
And that, dear kafir reader mine, will always and everywhere, mean YOU.
Islam demands it.