The relentless whitewashing of Islamic imperialism and supremacism in history is insulting and demeaning to anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the history of Islam. Today, the Wall Street Journal stooped to a New York Times-esque low, running an oped piece:
"Islamism is not Islam" by Maajid Nawiz
"The furor over the inaccurately dubbed 'Ground Zero Mosque' has done nothing but reinforce al Qaeda propaganda."
If concretes are not the foundation of an argument, well then, just say anything, and Nawiz most certainly does. The premise of Nawaaz's argument flies in the face of over a millennium of jihadi wars, land appropriations, cultural annihilation and enslavements. The terrible fact is Al Qaeda (arabic for headquarters -- think Centcom) is made up of devout Muslims who follow pure, original Islam. Muhammad would be proud.
Nawaaz's piece in the WSJ is superlative taqiya (the religious mandate in Islam to lie, deceive to advance Islam) but it is patently untrue and deceptive, mirroring much of Imam Rauf's rhetoric to the English press (versus the recently discovered audio tapes exposing Rauf, in which he echoes al Qaeda's message).
David Yerushalmi, the legal expert handling (and winning!) FDI/SIOA's lawsuits against NYC MTA, Detroit SMART for violation of free speech, and the trademark office (denying SIOA trademark status because it offends CAIR), and in another matter suing the US government for funding sharia finance, penned this letter to the editors at WSJ on the UK effort to justify Ground Zero mosque.
Yerushalmi cogently argues:
I write in response to Maajid Nawaaz’s oped in Saturday’s WSJ (link here) in which he attempts to draw a distinction between Islam and Islamism. While there may indeed be such an argument if “Islam” means any given Muslim’s personal, subjective approach to the divine and “Islamism” means Sharia-adherence and –advocacy, this is not the argument Nawaaz presents. In fact, Nawaaz never really tells us what he means except to slide into an argument that Islamic “traditionalists,” impliedly devout and even Shariah-adherent, reject the political and hegemonic aims of the “Islamists.”
In other words, Nawaaz wants us to believe that there is a good “traditionalist” Shariah and a bad, modern (20th century) “Islamism” that has perverted Shariah by its demand to control the political institutions of state power.
Nawaaz seeks to prove that this “traditionalist” Shariah-adherence never sought political power by calling upon what he calls “the social sciences.” You know you’re in trouble when the answer lies in the “facts” of “social science,” notorious for its inability to discover any truth other than there is no truth.
So, Nawaaz tells us that these social sciences demonstrate that throughout the more than millennium of a hegemonic Islamic empire known as the Caliphate, only rarely was Shariah imposed as state law and typically only used as a rationale for religious wars. Even if this statement were entirely true, and it is not, it would simply mean that Muslim political leaders are as subject to debauchery and the exploitation of religious fervor as the next tyrant. It does not tell us what Shariah demands.
Indeed, even Nawaaz concedes that there were times when Shariah was state law. The question of course is how could that be if Shariah demanded as a theoretical matter to be separated from the political sphere. Does the Islamic traditionalist’s Shariah adopt the extant Christian doctrine of “render unto Caesar” or does it not? Anyone who would argue publicly that doctrinaire “traditionalist” Shariah demands anything other than political power in a hegemonic Caliphate either knows literally nothing of Shariah or is engaged in deception and propaganda. All one needs to do is open up the most authoritative text on Islamic law available in English today, Reliance on the Traveler. It has the imprimatur of Al-Azhar University in Egypt, the Harvard of Shariah. Turn to the Book of Justice—where else? Once there, turn to the sections on Jihad. There you will learn the when, where and how of the law. It isn’t what Nawaaaz says it is by a quite lengthy stretch.
Moreover, the argument can be made persuasively that only since Ataturk’s now failing Turkish experiment to secularize the remnants of a dismantled Ottoman Empire and the manifestly dismal autocracies created by the Muslim nationalists who took power after the end of colonial rule in the Near East and South Asia was there any hope of defanging Shariah and its lust for political, indeed, hegemonic political power. That experiment in secularism is failing in Turkey as the Kemalists are on the run and it is also collapsing in the rest of the Muslim world as the “traditionalists” flex their muscles in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Gulf region, Gaza, Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon, Egypt, North Africa, East Africa, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bosnia, Chechnya, and even in Europe. It is no coincidence that when given a chance to really vote, whether at the polls or in surveys, Muslims in the Muslim world overwhelmingly embrace a very strict and very political Shariah. (See World Public Opinion Poll: http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/apr07/START_Apr07_rpt.pdf.) This table speaks louder than Nawaaz’s assertions:
If Nawaaz wants to make an argument that there is an “Islam” residing in the hearts of hundreds of millions of individual pietistic Muslims embracing a kind of Islamic version of Protestantism, fine. But the “traditionalists” within the Islamic religion go back to Mohammed and the Four Righteous Caliphs and the Shariah law which developed out of a very political, very militaristic tradition. That political, imperialistic tradition was codified within the ijma (consensus) of all of the legal schools we know as Shariah. “Traditionalist” Muslims know this quite well, which suggests a rather dubious motive behind Nawaaz’s subterfuge.