Sunday, March 27, 2016

An Ahmadi Night Out - Hugh Fitzgerald

by Hugh Fitzgerald

There have been more than 28,000 separate terrorist attacks by Muslims since 9/11/2001. These have often accompanied by the Islamic war cry of “Allahu akbar” – the supremacist “Our God Is Greater” — or by the chanting of verses from the Qur’an.

Faith Presbyterian Church and Ahmadiyya Muslim Community host program in Indianapolis to fight fear of Islamic faith with knowledge.” So says the article “What you need to know about ISIS and Islam,” Olivia Lewis, Indianapolis Star, March 19, 2016:
The best way to disband fear is to educate, said the hosts of a faith-based event on ISIS and the Islamic religion.
The best way to educate oneself about Islam is to read and re-read, with appropriate commentary, the Qur’an and Hadith and Sira. The least good way is to limit oneself to the taqiyya-and-kitman of Muslim apologists. Educating oneself about Islam, its texts and teachings, is more likely to increase alarm than to “disband fear.” In particular, the realization that the Qur’an contains 109 so-called “Jihad verses” calling for warfare against non-Muslims, until they convert to Islam, or are killed, or accept the permanently inferior status of “dhimmi,” and that this Qur’an is regarded as immutable, is hardly likely to relieve Infidel worry. The more you learn about Islam, the more worried you become.
More than 100 people were at Faith Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis on Saturday for an event with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Indiana to condemn the violence of the Islamic State, or ISIS, and to inform others of the peaceful intent of most in the Muslim community.
“We want to tell everybody that those terrorists and extremists do not represent Islam,” said Muzaffar Ahmab, spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Indiana. “They have a distorted view of Islamic teachings.”
How many terrorist attacks by Muslims, all over the world, would it take for a person of common sense to come to the conclusion that “those terrorists and extremists” do “represent Islam”? There have been more than 28,000 separate terrorist attacks by Muslims since 9/11/2001. These have often accompanied by the Islamic war cry of “Allahu akbar” – the supremacist “Our God Is Greater” — or by the chanting of verses from the Qur’an. Triumphalist manifestos have been issued by the Islamic State, justifying its murderous behavior by citing verses in the Qur’an. And what conceivable peaceful interpretation could be given to such Qur’anic verses as “We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers (Jews and Christians). They serve other Gods for whom no sanction has been revealed. Hell shall be their home; dismal indeed is the dwelling place of the evil-doers.” (Qur’an 3:149), or “Do you fear the unbelievers (Jews and Christians)? Surely Allah is more worthy of your fear. If you are true believers make war on them; Allah will chastise them through you and humble them. He will grant you victory over them and heal the spirit of the faithful.” (Qur’an 9:14) or this one, chanted while mass beheadings are being filmed: “Satan has gained possession of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) and caused them to forget Allah’s warnings. They are the confederates of Satan; Satan’s confederates shall assuredly be lost in hell. The Believers are the confederates of Allah (Hizbollah); and Allah’s confederates shall surely triumph.” (Qur’an 58:19).

Yet we are asked to please ignore all that and a hundred sundry verses more, and allow ourselves to believe Muzaffar Ahmab: “Those terrorists and extremists do not represent Islam.”
In a two-hour presentation, speakers from both the Muslim and Christian communities spoke about peace, prayer and their beliefs. David Carlson, a professor of religious studies at Franklin College, spoke about the political differences between the U.S. and the Middle East. People often try to speak with him after his presentations.
“A lot of people say ‘I realized I don’t know anything about Islam,’ ” Carlson said.
Ahmab, treasurer of Ahmadiyya, said the organization partners with churches to host events like this to counter the message of Islamic extremists.
Ahmab said there is a misconception that all Muslims are the same and that ISIS is targeting Christians and Jews. However, Ahmab said the extremists have also killed Muslims who say they don’t agree with the violence.
“Organizations like ISIS are a threat to the safety and security of this world, of our country,” Ahmab said.
During the question-and-answer period, Yahya Luqman, an Imam for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, told the crowd that verses from the Quran that are quoted in the media are often taken out of context, which relay a false perception of violence.
The problem is not some misconception that “all Muslims are the same,” but that the core text of Islam – the Qur’an – is violent, does preach and teach the need to hate and fight the Infidel, and is a text both immutable and uncreated, which all Muslims are supposed to accept as authoritative. And the figure of Muhammad as presented in the Hadith and Sira is perhaps even more disturbing. For Muhammad, presented as exemplary for all time, as the Perfect Man, al-insan al-kamil, the Model of Conduct, uswa hasana – turns out to be a blood-drenched warrior who watched with pleasure and participated in the cold-blooded killing of 600-900 bound prisoners of the Banu Qurayza, had people murdered for mocking him in verse (Abu Afak, Asma Bint Marwan), attacked the inoffensive Jewish farmers of the Khaybar Oasis so as to seize their property and their women, and consummated his marriage to little Aisha (betrothed to him at the age of 6) when she was all of nine years old. And that is only part of what the exemplary Muhammad left as his legacy.

When the Ahmadi apologist Ahmab implies that it is a “misconception” that ISIS is “targeting [only] Christians and Jews” because “extremists have also killed Muslims,” he is merely repeating standard Muslim apologetics: Muslims, too, have been killed in terrorist attacks, so the terrorist attacks, it is claimed, could not “represent Islam.” Muslims who worked in the Twin Towers died on September 11, 2001. But they were unavoidable, and incidental, not intended victims; there was no way for Al Qaeda to filter out the Muslims working at the World Trade Center in advance. The latest bombs in Brussels may have killed a Muslim or two, along with many non-Muslims, but this does not mean that Muslims, too, were targeted and therefore the bombs “did not represent Islam.” And when ISIS deliberately kills Muslims in Iraq and Syria, it is not “because they are Muslims,” but because ISIS, or Al-Qaeda, or other takfiris, have concluded that these were not real Muslims and could be dealt with – tortured, killed – as non-Muslims.
Luqman read part of a verse from the Quran that referenced “kill them wherever you meet them … drive them out where they have driven you out,” he read. Then he read the lines preceding and a line that followed, completing the verse.
“It actually means only commit violence as an act of defense,” Luqman said.
Qur’an 2:191-2:193 is about the offensive war to be made on the Meccans. At the time Muhammad was securely in control of Medina; no one was about to attack him there. Verse 190 refers to those who, in Mecca, continued to resist Muslim rule. It is the Muslims who are on the offensive, preparing to drive the Meccans out of their city unless they accept the rule of Allah. From the website The Religion of Peace:

Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing…but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun(the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)” (Translation is from the Noble Quran) The verse prior to this (190) refers to “fighting for the cause of Allah those who fight you” leading some to believe that the entire passage refers to a defensive war in which Muslims are defending their homes and families. The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, however, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries. In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did). Verse 190 thus means to fight those who offer resistance to Allah’s rule (ie. Muslim conquest). The use of the word “persecution” by some Muslim translators is disingenuous (the actual Arabic words for persecution – “idtihad” – and oppression – a variation of “z-l-m” – do not appear in the verse). The word used instead, “fitna”, can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation. This is certainly what is meant in this context since the violence is explicitly commissioned “until religion is for Allah” – ie., until unbelievers desist in their unbelief.
The Imam said Muslim means peacemaker and Islam means peace. Luqman said the people committing the violent acts of ISIS and other extremists groups should not be calling themselves Muslims.
This is a standard and deliberate mistranslation by Muslim apologists. “Islam” does not mean “peace.” It means “submission,” and the Muslim is the one who submits to the dictates of Allah. No matter how often the correction is made, the deliberately soothing mistranslation continues to be offered by apologists, and to be accepted by too many of their incurious Infidel auditors who don’t bother to consult — it’s a click away — an online dictionary. (Hint: try asking all-knowing Google “what does Islam mean?”)
“It’s important for us to show to people, especially those who are unfamiliar with the Quran, what is happening in the Middle East and other places with these horrendous acts, and violence and bloodshed.”
The Imam wants to show those – “especially those who are unfamiliar with the Quran,” who thus will find history is silly putty in his hands – that all these ISIS atrocities, these “horrendous acts and violence and bloodshed” have nothing to do with Islam.
Fareeha Rehman of West Lafayette traveled to Indianapolis for the event. She brought her three daughters and their friend.
Rehman said her family, like other American families, fear extremist groups like ISIS. She and her husband own a grocery store in West Lafayette and two of their four children attend Purdue University.
Rehman said she brought her daughters to the event to encourage them to spread the message of peace in Islam. However, Rehman said she also wants her children to be able to stand up for each other when their peers express fear.
“People in the United States think we are different, but we are the same as you,” Rehman said. “We are American citizens, we love America because we live here and this is our home. We don’t want this, we discourage this.”
Does someone’s merely living within a given geographic area, and attaining the citizenship associated with that geographic area – living in the United States, say, and acquiring American citizenship through naturalization or birth– mean that that someone is “the same as you”? What does it mean to “be an American”? Would it not mean, in the most important and irreducible sense, that you subscribe to the Constitution, that document at the heart of our civil religion, which means to subscribe to a shared set of beliefs? And these beliefs would include the individual’s right to the freedom of speech and to the freedom of religion, and a belief that the legitimacy of any government depends on its reflecting, however imperfectly through elections, the will expressed by the people. Islam, on the other hand, insists on limiting the freedom of speech (if, for example, such speech is held to blaspheme Muhammad or otherwise call aspects of Islam into question) and the freedom of religion (punishing apostates even with death), and ascribing legitimacy to a government or ruler insofar as that government or ruler reflects the will expressed by Allah in the Qur’an, rather than—as in the American system — the will expressed by the people through elections.
Laurel Toney, an Indianapolis resident, said she attended the event to learn more about Islam. The 71-year-old said she learned of the “horrible positions” Muslims and American soldiers have been put in when faced with child soldiers due to the ISIS regime. She also said she learned about the difference between the religion and the extremists.
“The biggest takeaway is that we really need to pray for our fellow Muslim Americans and Muslims throughout the world,” Toney said.
“Hopefully they’ll be praying for us, because we need to build relationships with each other. That’s the best way to defeat the extremists.”
Laurel Toney innocently chose one of the least trustworthy venues to “learn about Islam” – an evening of sly taqiyya, by the most presentable and persuasive of Muslims, the Ahmadis. Though they are persecuted by other Muslims in Pakistan (where, for example, Ahmadis are not allowed to list “Islam” as their religion on official documents, are subject to the same mistreatment as Christians and other full-fledged Infidels), and are persecuted and have even been killed for their beliefs in more than a dozen other Muslim countries, in this country Ahmadis have taken it upon themselves to become the stoutest defenders of, and apologists for, Islam. These are the unorthodox Muslims to whom Laurel Toney came to “learn more about Islam” that night. She was told things she lacked the background or desire to question: she “learned about the difference between the religion and the extremists” (that was easy, that was quick), and that “we really need to pray for our fellow Muslim Americans and Muslims throughout the world,” and that if we “build relationships with each other,” that’s the “best way to defeat the extremists.” If only Homeland Security had thought of that.

In other words, like all the other well-meaning Infidels who showed up that night, Laurel Toney was subjected to interfaith-healing racketeers well-versed in cozening the gullible, and left full of the feelgood notion that we should all, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, be praying for one another. If the Muslims were to pray for non-Muslims, the only prayer they might conceivably offer would be that the non-Muslims see the error of their ways, and “revert” to Islam.

The question arises: did other Muslims, the real Muslims, refuse to come to this evening because they did not want to show up with Ahmadis and seem to be endorsing the Ahmadi claim to be real Muslims? Or could it be that the Ahmadis who organized the meeting didn’t want to appear side-by-side with the real Muslims who, they knew, might express doubts as to the Islam-ness of the Ahmadis, or even treat them publicly with contempt? It would be wonderful if non-Muslims who have educated themselves about Islam were to attend these gatherings, and insistently question the Ahmadis about what Ahmadis believe, why Ahmadiyya Islam is regarded by other Muslims as something other than the real thing, and how, as a consequence, Ahmadis are mistreated all over the Muslim world. Now that would have provided what the organizers of this evening claim to have wanted all along — that is, an “education in Islam.” And that’s something devoutly to be wished.

Hugh Fitzgerald


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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