Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Raymond Ibrahim: Islam More ‘Like the Mafia’ than Bill Maher Knows

The following is Part One of a three-part series examining the many parallels between Islam and the mafia.

by Raymond Ibrahim, Front Page Mag — October 17, 2014

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). 



During a recent debate on HBO’s Real Time, host Bill Maher declared that Islam is “the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”

[See also this article discussing Maher's follow-up show in which he uses Pakistan's death penalty for blasphemy to prove his point.]

Maher was apparently referring to Islam’s “blasphemy” laws, which ban on pain of death any “insult”—as found in a statement, a picture, a book, etc.—to Islam and especially its prophet, Muhammad.

While Maher has been criticized for his “Islamophobic” assertion, he and others may be surprised to learn that the similarities between Islam and the mafia far exceed punishing those who say, draw, or write “the wrong thing.”

In the following three part article, we will examine a number of these similarities.

In this article, Part One, we will look at the relationship between Allah, his messenger Muhammad, and the Muslims, and note several parallels with the relationship between the godfather, his underboss, and the mafia.

In Part Two (forthcoming), we will examine the clannish nature of the mafia and compare it to Islam’s concept of “Loyalty and Enmity”—including how in both Islam and the mafia, those members who wish to break away, to “apostatize,” are killed.

In Part Three (forthcoming), we will examine how both the mafia and Islam have historically both profited from the “protection” racket.


Allah as Godfather; Muhammad as Underboss

The padrino of larger mafia organizations and families—literally, the godfather or “boss of bosses”—has absolute control over his subordinates and is often greatly feared by them for his ruthlessness.  He has an “underboss,” a right-hand man who issues his orders and enforces his will.  The godfather himself is often inaccessible; mafia members need to go through the underboss or other high ranking associates.

Compare this with the relationship between Allah and his “messenger” Muhammad (in Arabic, Muhammad is most commonly referred to as al-rasul, “the messenger”). Unlike the Judeo-Christian God—a personal God, a Father, that according to Christ is to be communed with directly (Matt 6:9)—Islam’s god, Allah, is unreachable, unknowable, untouchable.  Like the godfather, he is inaccessible.   His will is enforced by his messenger, Muhammad.

If the Judeo-Christian God calls on the faithful to “come now, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18), Allah says “Do not ask questions about things that, if made known to you, would only pain you” (Koran 5:101).  Just follow orders.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Muslims raid, demand jizya from ancient St. Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai

Yet another example of Muslims applying the Quran's commands literally:

Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth [i.e. Islam] among the people of the Book [Jews and Christians], until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Sura 9:29)

via
BEDOUINS ATTACK AND LEVY A TAX ON ST. CATHERINE'S MONASTERY ON SINAI
Pravoslavie — October 14, 2014



The most ancient St. Catherine’s (Katherine’s) Orthodox Monastery situated on the Biblical land of Sinai peninsula has been once again persecuted by Muslim extremists and local authorities, reports the Linga news portal with the reference to Copts Today.

For today Arab islamists, who lead a seminomadic way of life in the Sinai desert, pose the main threat to lives of the monks and condition of the monument of the world architecture.

Specifically, Dr. Iyhab Ramzy, a prominent lawyer, related the following details of the crimes committed by the extremists against the monastery and its monks, to the journalists:

“Recently some residents of Tala district attempted to take the monastery by storm—and eventually they managed to demolish the gate and took two monks hostage. The monks had to submit to the raiders and agreed to pay them a tax in exchange for end to the attacks. Nevertheless, the islamists are still threatening all the clergymen and monks with violence, this time because of the monastery territory that they claim had been illegally occupied”.

The lawyer stresses that in spite of the numerous complaints and appeals the law-enforcement agencies did not react to the existing situation at all, remaining outsiders and, in fact, accomplices of the above-mentioned offences. “The only pseudo-juridical instance in the desert is the Arab tribes’ court that has levied a tax of 150,000 Egyptian pounds (about 21,000 USD) on the monks,” notes the expert.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Raymond Ibrahim: The Islamic State and Islam

Using traditional Islamic criteria to determine if the Islamic State is truly Islamic.

by Raymond Ibrahim — October 17, 2014

What relationship does the Islamic State have to Islam?

“Absolutely nothing” is the answer almost every Western politician gives.   For example, U.S. President Obama adamantly stated in a televised speech that the Islamic State “is not Islamic.”
This begs the question: How does one determine what is—and is not—Islamic?

The traditional answer, the Islamic answer, has been as follows:

What do the core texts and scriptures of Islam say about the thing in question, call it “X”?  Does the Koran, believed by Muslims to contain the literal commands of Allah, call for or justify X?  Do the hadith and sira texts—which purport to record the sayings and deeds of Allah’s prophet, whom the Koran (e.g., 33:21) exhorts Muslims to emulate in all ways—call for or justify X?

If any ambiguity still remains concerning X, the next question becomes: what is the consensus (ijma‘) of the Islamic world’s leading authorities concerning X?   Here one must often turn to the tafsirs, or exegeses of Islam’s most learned men—the ulema—and consider their conclusions.   Muhammad himself reportedly said that “My umma [Islamic nation] will never be in agreement over an error.”

For example, the Koran commands believers to uphold prayers; accordingly, all are agreed that Muslims need to pray.  Yet the Koran does not specify how many times.  In the hadith and sira, however, Muhammad makes clear believers should pray five times.  And the ulema, having considered all these texts, are agreed that Muslims are to pray five times a day.

Thus, it is most certainly Islamic for Muslims to pray five times a day.

But while both Western politicians and Islamic apologists readily accept such methodology to determining what is Islamic—prayer is in the Koran, Muhammad clarified its implementation in the hadith, and the ulema are agreed to it—whenever the thing in question deals with anything that makes Islam “look bad,” then the aforementioned standard approach to ascertaining what is Islamic is wholly ignored.

Let us consider some of the most extreme acts committed by the Islamic State—beheadings, crucifixions, enslavements, sexual predations, massacres, and the persecution of religious minorities—and put them to the test, see if they fill the same criteria, see if they are Islamic or not, especially in the context of jihad, which has its own set of rules.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Does the Islamic State Really Have 'Nothing to Do with Islam'?

The below article presents a thorough refutation of the position taken by Islamic apologists in the West, as well as by government leaders and media outlets, that the actions of the Islamic State, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, the Taliban (which has now pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State/ISIS) and other jihadist groups are a distortion of Islam or "have nothing to do with Islam."

Sadly, there are many voices in the Christian world, including Orthodox Christian priests, educators, bishops and even patriarchs, who make the same absurd claim, confusing the faithful and abusing the truth in the process. I cite some examples in my book, Facing Islam, but here are some more recent instances:

“The religious feelings of people, in particular, Muslims, are now exploited to cause these people to commit radical actions. Many people indeed genuinely take the horrible path of terrorism, thinking that by doing so they serve God.” However, Islam does not teach anything of the sort and this interpretation is caused by “a complete lack of religious awareness.” — Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia (Source
"The roots of historical conflicts between Christians and Muslims are normally in politics and not in religion." — Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (Source
"It’s high time for Muslim scholars and religious leader to prove to the world that these groups do not represent true Muslim teachings." — Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch (Source)

Alas, "these groups" — ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Hizbollah, Hamas, the Taliban, etc, etc. — most assuredly do represent "true Muslim teachings." However, in spite of the well-intentioned but erroneous statements cited above and others like them, thank God, there are some brave Orthodox Christian voices willing to speak the truth:

"Islam is at its core anti-human... Reading the Quran, you will see that all of this [extremism] lies at the foundation of Islam. One must look truth in the eye: this is all anti-human, it is directed against humanity... Yes, there were times when Muslims tried to live in peace with their neighbors, they even acknowledged that we Christians are people, too. But for many, those times have passed, and now they reveal who they really are."  Archbishop Mark (Arndt) of Berlin (Source)

"We are against the presence of Islam in Thessaloniki. We have already lost so much… When the Turkish minister entered the Church of Holy Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessaloniki in our city, he announced at once: 'Here is a suitable mosque for Turks'. Another Turkish official came to the historical Greek province of Thrace and called this region ‘a severed hand of Turkey’.” — Metropolitan Anthimos of Thessaloniki (Source)

"Your children will surely be slaves of Muslims. Greece is disappearing, faith is disappearing… Keep the flame of the motherland and faith. Globalization is not knocking at our doors any more – it has already entered our home.” — Metropolitan Amvrosios of Kalavryta and Aigialeia (Source)

"Among those who call themselves Orthodox, I have met such strange people who say that Fr. Daniel should not preach to Muslims, that one must respect their religion, and that there is no benefit from his preaching. But Fr. Daniel thought, as did the Lord, the Apostles, and all the saints, that one must respect mistaken people but not their mistakes. Truth is one, that which contradicts and negates truth is a lie, and respect for a lie is contempt for the truth."Deacon Georgi Maximov, co-laborer of Holy New Martyr Fr Daniil Sysoev of Moscow (†2009). (Source)

That is all I have ever tried to do with my book and this little blog: to side with the Orthodox saints and martyrs, to keep the flame of Christian faith alive, and to share the truth, warning about the heresy and danger of Islam. I hope some have profited in some small way from this effort.
_______


Analysis: Does the Islamic State Really Have 'Nothing to Do with Islam'?
by Jeffrey M. Bale, Special to IPT News — October 10, 2014

Note: This analysis has been excerpted [and published by IPT], with the approval of the author, from a much longer scholarly article that will be published in an academic journal.

"Which will come first, flying cars and vacations to Mars, or a simple acknowledgement that beliefs guide behavior and that certain religious ideas – jihad, martyrdom, blasphemy, apostasy – reliably lead to oppression and murder?"
Sam Harris, Sleepwalking Toward Armageddon

The Islamic State: Beheading in the name of Islam
As is invariably the case these days in the wake of the terrorist violence, brutality, and atrocities carried out explicitly in the name of Islam, a host of dissimulating Islamist activists, other Muslims in a state of psychological denial, and apologetic Western pundits insist that the actions of the terrorist group calling itself al-Dawla al-Islamiyya (IS: the Islamic State) have little or nothing to do with Islam.

Not long ago, many such commentators also argued that the horrendous actions committed by the Nigerian jihadist group Jama'at Ahl al-Sunna li al-Da'wa wa al-Jihad, better known as Boko Haram (Western Influence is Sinful), had nothing to do with its members' interpretations of Islam.

"The perpetrators of these violent actions not only proudly insist that their actions are inspired by the Qur'an and the exemplary words and deeds of Muhammad, but explicitly cite relevant Qur'anic passages and the reported actions of their prophet to justify those actions."

In all such cases, however, the perpetrators of these violent actions not only proudly insist that their actions are inspired by the Qur'an and the exemplary words and deeds of Muhammad himself (as recorded in the canonical hadith collections), but explicitly cite relevant Qur'anic passages and the reported actions of their prophet to justify those actions. Therefore, to argue that jihadist terrorists are not directly inspired and primarily motivated by their interpretations of Islamic doctrines and by clear precedents from early Islamic history, one must stubbornly ignore what the actual protagonists keep telling the entire world.

But why ignore the claims of the perpetrators and instead rely on Islamist activists, who are often peddling outright disinformation, or on Western commentators, most of whom know little or nothing about Islam or Islamism, for explanations of this behavior? These pundits are prone to minimize the central role played by Islamist ideology and erroneously ascribe the actions of jihadist terrorists to assorted subsidiary causal factors, such as garden-variety political grievances, poverty, lack of democracy, psychopathology, greed, or simple hunger for power.

Needless to say, most of the commentators who keep insisting, against all evidence to the contrary, that the actions of jihadist terrorists cannot be attributed to their interpretations of Islam do not also argue that the violent actions of other types of extremists cannot be attributed to their ideological beliefs. On the contrary, whenever other types of terrorists carry out gruesome attacks, many of those same commentators are quick to ascribe their actions primarily to their proclaimed theological and ideological beliefs – and justifiably so.

Ground Blessing for St Nicholas National Shrine at WTC today (Sat. 10/18)


To be broadcast live via satellite feed, antenna satellite TV network, and Internet simulcast on the special internet page at www.stnicholaswtc.org



Video invitation from Archbishop Demetrios, with additional videos documenting the St Nicholas National Shrine at the official site.

The broadcasts will begin at 11:45 a.m. and conclude at 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Four Islamic State jihad terrorists arrested in Texas last week

And their motivation is?  Islam, Allah, Muhammad, and their feverish apocalyptic expectations.


JW Confirms: 4 ISIS Terrorists Arrested in Texas in Last 36 Hours
Judicial Watch, October 8, 2014 (h/t Jihad Watch)

Islamic terrorists have entered the United States through the Mexican border and Homeland Security sources tell Judicial Watch that four have been apprehended in the last 36 hours by federal authorities and the Texas Department of Public Safety in McAllen and Pharr.

JW confirmed this after California Congressman Duncan Hunter, a former Marine Corp Major and member of the House Armed Services Committee, disclosed on national television that at least ten Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) fighters have been caught crossing the Mexican border in Texas. The veteran lawmaker got the astounding intel straight from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Homeland Security agency responsible for guarding the 1,933-mile southern border.

Islamic State’s magazine shows its flag flying over the Vatican

via Jihad Watch — October 13, 2014

The Islamic State — extremists! No other Muslims think this way, right?

Sheik Ali Al-Faqir, former Jordanian minister of religious endowment, said this on Al-Aqsa TV on May 2, 2008: “We proclaim that we will conquer Rome, like Constantinople was conquered once…” 

Hamas MP and Islamic cleric Yunis Al-Astal said this, also on Al-Aqsa TV, on April 11, 2008: “Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesized by our Prophet Muhammad.”

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most prominent and renowned imam in the world, in writing about “signs of the victory of Islam,” referred to a hadith: “The Prophet Muhammad was asked: ‘What city will be conquered first, Constantinople or Romiyya?’ He answered: ‘The city of Hirqil [i.e. the Byzantine emperor Heraclius] will be conquered first’ – that is, Constantinople”¦ Romiyya is the city called today ‘Rome,’ the capital of Italy. The city of Hirqil [that is, Constantinople] was conquered by the young 23-year-old Ottoman Muhammad bin Morad, known in history as Muhammad the Conqueror, in 1453. The other city, Romiyya, remains, and we hope and believe [that it too will be conquered]. This means that Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor, after being expelled from it twice – once from the South, from Andalusia, and a second time from the East, when it knocked several times on the door of Athens.” And last May a Kosovar Muslim in Iraq said: “We shall conquer Jerusalem from you, oh Jews! We shall conquer Rome and Andalusia, Allah willing.”

ISIS magazine shows its flag flying over Vatican 
ANSA, October 13, 2014:

(ANSA) – Vatican City, October 13 – The black flag of Islamic militant group ISIS is shown flying above St. Peter’s Square on the cover of the group’s magazine Dabiq, which called in its latest issue for a war against the Catholic Church.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Today in History: The Battle of Tours

October 10, 732Western Europe was still Orthodox, part of the "One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church," and it was clearly targeted by the very first Muslim jihadis to be conquered  and subjugated by Islam. The parallels with today's Muslim warriors are shocking — and revealing.

by Raymond Ibrahim — October 10, 2014

The Battle of Poitiers, by Steuben

Precisely 100 years after the death of Islam’s prophet Muhammad in 632, his Arab followers, after having conquered thousands of miles of lands from Arabia to Spain, found themselves in Gaul, modern day France, facing a hitherto little known people, the Christian Franks.

There, around October 10-11, in the year 732, one of history’s most decisive battles took place, demarcating the extent of Islam’s western conquests and ensuring the survival of the West.

Prior to this, the Islamic conquerors had for one century been subjugating all peoples and territories standing in their western march—including Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. In 711, the Muslims made their fateful crossing of the straits of Gibraltar, landing on European soil. Upon disembarkation, the leader of the Muslims, Tariq bin Zayid, ordered the Islamic fleet burned, explaining that “We have not come here to return. Either we conquer and establish ourselves here, or we perish.”

'A plague of Saracens wrought wretched devastation and slaughter upon Gaul.' — Venerable Bede

This famous Tariq anecdote—often reminisced by modern day jihadis—highlights the jihadi nature of the Umayyad caliphate (661-750), the superpower of its day. Indeed, as most historians have acknowledged, the Umayyad caliphate was the “Jihadi-State” par excellence. Its very existence was coterminous with its conquests.  Its legitimacy as “viceroy” of Allah was based on subjugating lands in the name of Allah.

Once on European ground, the depredations continued unabated. Writes one Arab chronicler regarding the Muslim northern advance past the Pyrenees: “Full of wrath and pride” the Muslims “went through all places like a desolating storm. Prosperity made those warriors insatiable… everything gave way to their scimitars, the robbers of lives.” Even far off English anchorite, the contemporary, the venerable, Bede, wrote, “A plague of Saracens wrought wretched devastation and slaughter upon Gaul.”

Strange anecdotes also find their way in the chroniclers’ accounts during this time. Muslim historian Abd al-Hakem reports that, after landing on an island off Iberia, one of Tariq’s squadrons discovered that the only inhabitants were vinedressers. “They made them prisoners. After that, they took one of the vinedressers, slaughtered him, cut him into pieces, and boiled him, while the rest of the companions looked on.”  This incident resulted in a rumor that Muslims feast on human flesh.  (Nearly 1300 years later, in the year 2013, a Muslim jihadi ate the organs of his slain enemy to surrounding cries of “Allahu Akbar”.)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Turkish Textbooks: 'Christians are Instruments of Hostile Forces'

Rapidly Re-Islamizing Turkey applies Quranic teachings in its supposedly 'secular' schools:
Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth [i.e. Islam] among the people of the Book [Jews and Christians], until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Sura 9:29) 
Let believers [Muslims] not take for friends and allies infidels [non-Muslims] instead of believers. Whoever does this shall have no relationship left with Allah — unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions. (Sura 3:28)

Turkish Textbooks: 'Christians are Instruments of Hostile Forces'
Pravoslavie — Istanbul, September 19, 2014

The Ministry of Education of Turkey is continuing to carry on an ideological and intensified struggle against Christianity and Christians using history textbooks, reports the Copts Today news portal with the reference to Agos Armenian newspaper.

According to the study published by the media, school textbooks describing the Turkish history of the 19th – 20th centuries avoid any talk on the subject of the genocide of the Armenians, referring to the victims as well as nearly all Christians in the world as to “the instruments of hostile occupant forces, intended for undermining the state.”

Monday, October 6, 2014

Professor at Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome: Islamic State not un-Islamic, 'Model is Muhammad himself'

This brave Roman Catholic professor sounds amazingly like St Gregory Palamas in the 14th century, or Archbishop Mark of Berlin in our own day. 

Hierarchs and leaders of the Orthodox Church, take courage from such bold voices and speak out against the heresy of Islam and its demonic assault against Jesus Christ and His Body, the Church! The flock will follow if you speak truth and lead with righteousness!


Professor at Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome: Islamic State not un-Islamic, “model is Muhammad himself”
Posted at Jihad Watch — October 6, 2014
Translation via 10news. For more translation, newsletter and support: 10news.dk.

Where is the border between Islam and Islamism? The media says that the two are different as night and day; Islam is a religion of peace, and the Islamists have stolen the name. Others believe that Islamism represents the traditional, pure Islam, true to the Koran.

This latter view is advanced, remarkably enough, by a theologian Martin Rhonheimer from a university endorsed by the Pope. He is a professor at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome and wrote an essay on this particular distinction in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

You do not hear many official Muslim voices condemning Islamic State, says Rhonheimer. And when it finally happens, it is usually only to condemn the bestiality because it harms Islam’s reputation. The Islamic State is no heresy, but “a recurring pattern in the history of violent expansion. The model is Muhammad himself.”

“Islamic State’s legitimation finds its basis in the Koran and Islamic law, the Sharia,” believes the Catholic professor. He states: “You will find no arguments within Muslim theology that can be used to condemn Islamic State’s behavior as un-Islamic.”…