|Hoda Muthana (2012 yearbook photo)|
The Western Muslim response is deeply concerning and not to be automatically trusted.
by Ralph H. Sidway
For the backstory on Hoda, see my earlier post: Alabama Muslima Joins Islamic State, Like Thousands of other Western Muslims
See also this story from the Daily Mail UK: Hoda Muthana who fled to Syria to become ISIS bride now radicalizing others
|Hoda's Late Husband, Suhan Rahman,|
aka Abu Jihad al Australi,
killed in March 2015. (Facebook)
A correspondent of mine from Alabama wrote me today about the young Muslim woman who successfully journeyed to Syria and joined the Islamic State Caliphate, and how the news is rocking the Birmingham area:
Local Islamic leaders are speaking out against this girl. Saying she does not represent the Muslim community, and that they oppose ISIS and the horrible actions, etc.
They have been all over the local news disassociating themselves from her. She went to Hoover High School and UAB.
This is a hot story, and an important one, as it reveals so very much about the popularity of ISIS, and raises serious questions about Islam in America, Muslim culture in America, mosques in America, how Muslim spokespeople present themselves to the media following these ever more frequent events.
I quickly typed out a response to my correspondent, and rather than spend a lot of time wordsmithing it, I’m simply pasting it below, with minor editing, chock full as it is of helpful links and info:
1. Regarding the statements by Muslim leaders “disassociating themselves from her”:
Unfortunately, they are being deceitful at some level. I watched the WBRC-6 video report included in the story by The Blaze. The Muslim spokesmen are claiming outright that ISIS "is not Islamic at all," and that they are "violating the tenets of their faith."
As to their statement that the Islamic State “is not Islamic,” space doesn’t permit a full rebuttal of this canard here, but if you haven’t yet seen it, read Graeme Wood's landmark article in The Atlantic, where he concludes:
The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic… The religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.
Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail.
2. The Popularity of the Islamic State among Muslims
These Muslim spokesmen in Alabama, and indeed all Muslims in the West, cannot be unaware that ISIS has become immensely influential and is winning the battle for hearts and minds throughout the Muslim world, including in America and other Western countries (including Australia), precisely because they are basing their message completely on the Koran and the life of Muhammad, with the backing of centuries of Islamic scholars, for its claim to be the new caliphate.
ISIS is saying the time is now for Muslims to be true Muslims, and to come join them in their apocalyptic jihad against non-Muslims and against apostate Muslims (who reject jihad and the Koran's commands). Muslims around the world agree, as recent polls show:
- 80% of London Muslims Support ISIS
- 27% of Young French Muslims (1.62 million) back the Islamic State - Poll
- Newsweek: 16% of French Citizens Support ISIS, Poll Finds
- 92% of Saudi’s believe that ‘Islamic State conforms to values of Islam’ - Poll
- New Poll of Muslim Countries Finds Double-Digit Support for Terrorists
3. Red Flags regarding the Muslim Response to Hoda the Mujahideen:
The first warning flag is that they immediately brought in as their main spokesman a representative of CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, which is linked to Hamas and was named by the Justice Dept as an indicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism funding trial:
Alabama Muslima joins Islamic State, Hamas-linked CAIR spokesman says family “extremely traumatized”
This means they knew this was a serious event, which could not be trusted to the family alone, nor to the mosque, nor to even the Birmingham Islamic Society by itself. They needed someone who could present a consistent narrative and was used to dealing with the media.
The second warning flag is that the girl's parents were from Yemen, a hotbed of radical Islam, where the Sunni (ISIS) — Shiite conflict is raging. Not a good sign, and should lead to congressional investigations of our immigration policies, hopefully freezing all Muslim immigration.
Deeply concerning also is the unknown factor, namely, what does Hoda’s mosque teach and preach, and what sorts of books, media and educational materials does it promote? We cannot accept at face value CAIR’s statements offered to a completely uncritical mainstream media. Especially in light of the following reports.
4. ISIS and Islam in North America
- The reports about ISIS in America are ominous: Islam Analyst: ISIS in America - Estimated 1.5 million practicing Muslims present real internal threat to U.S.
- Mosques themselves are part of the problem: Four separate studies over the last several years have consistently documented that upwards of 80% of mosques in the U.S. preach violent jihad and Islamic supremacism, or promote books and materials that do so. These studies also address foreign funding of mosques by Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and other exporters of extremism. If you wish to examine the source documents, here they are:
- 1999 - State Dept Open Testimony,
- 2005 Center for Religious Freedom Study,
- 2008 Mapping Sharia Project,
- 2011 Survey of American Mosques.
- A recent article by Ryan Mauro of The Clarion Project documents Muslim Brotherhood links to mosque initiatives in Oklahoma and — surprise — Alabama.
- And we're still in the early stages of Islamic uprisings in America. Did you see the story of the South Carolina Muslim teen arrested recently?
- And news of Muslim supporters of ISIS all over the country, just in the past week or so:
- San Diego: Muslims who tried to join Islamic State held without bail
- Muslims in Minneapolis, San Diego arrested in jihad terror probe
- Ohio Muslim who waged jihad in Syria indicted: discussed attacking Texas military base and killing U.S. soldiers
- Eastern Michigan U: Muslims disrupt “American Sniper” showing, force cancellation
- And this about an ISIS training camp in Mexico just a few miles from the El Paso TX border:
5. What are the lessons to be drawn from all this?
- That we who have been warning about Islam (and Orthodox Christians have been doing so since St. Sophronius the Patriarch of Jerusalem in 636AD, immediately after the death of Muhammad, and St. John of Damascus in the 8th century, and St. Gregory Palamas in the 14th, and New Martyr Fr. Daniel Sysoev in the 21st) are correct and our warnings should be heeded. Supremacism and violence are innate to Islam, embedded in its holy books, the life and example of its prophet, in its very spiritual DNA, if you will.
- We Christians, and especially we Orthodox Christians, have the answer to every evil, including Islam. That answer is Jesus Christ and the Life in Him. We must be repenting and striving to live the fullness of the Christian life, as best we can in our circumstances, so that we may be prepared, by the grace of God, to provide faith, hope and love — the Way, which is Jesus Himself — to all seekers, including perhaps especially Muslims, who may come to us in shock and fear of what they are learning about their false religion.
- Those who feel compelled to labor in the public sphere for the security of our nation and our freedoms must do so with civility and patience, remembering Him who holds all things in His providential care.
- Message to Muslims: Time for Some Serious Questions
- Challenging Mosque Expansions: The Time Is Now
- Challenging Mosques: Tools for Education and Legal Resistance
We’ll all be thinking and writing about these issues for some time to come. These are some spontaneous thoughts, and are not intended to be exhaustive or comprehensive in any way.
And lest we forget why we’re here: Christ is Risen!