Climbing over the hundreds of thousands of bodies, victims of jihad, comes yet another dissembler to spew jihadist revisionism in what increasingly looks like a new al qaeda forum, The Huffington Post.
Next up at bat, another Muslim woman tying herself in knots to make the mass murder in the cause of Islam into "a specifically defined term of art." Uh, yeah, OK. Tell that to the hundreds of millions of victims of jihadi wars, land appropriations, cultural annihilations and enslavements. Ali-Karamali doesn't speak to the extermination of Christians in Muslim countries, the Islamic Jew-hatred in the quran, New York, Washington, DC and Shanksville on 9/11, Madrid on 3/11, London on 7/7, Mumbai, Beslan, Bali and the over 20,000 deadly Islamic attacks since 9/11, all by declared jihadists. Like a true operative, she just ignores the devastation and incomprehensible inhumanity in the cause of jihad.
How appalling. How hard Sumbul Ali-Karamali works in spite of the rivers of blood, the towers of decapitated heads, the millions of clitorectomies, forced marriages, and horror of the sharia and jihad.
It's really very simple. She says that jihad by the sword can be fought "only in self-defense or to overthrow an oppressor." The problem is that in the Qur'an and Islamic tradition any non-Muslim rule is considered inherently oppressive. That's why Maulana Maududi, the influential 20th-century Pakistani Islamic supremacist politician and Qur'an commentator, declared in his commentary on Qur'an 9:29, the verse that enjoins Muslims to wage war against and subjugate Jews and Christians, that non-Muslims have "absolutely no right to seize the reins of power in any
part of God’s earth nor to direct the collective affairs of human
beings according to their own misconceived doctrines." If they do, "the
believers would be under an obligation to do their utmost to dislodge
them from political power and to make them live in subservience to the
Islamic way of life."
When Sumbul Ali-Karamali says that jihad is just to fight oppression, it sounds impressive to credulous non-Muslims. But it ultimately amounts to a call to wage jihad against any non-Sharia government.
Every day the Huffington POS runs this subversive propaganda and refuses to run one of my rebuttals.
This is but another taqiyya article in what is now a rather long line:
- The Huffington Post on the AFDI Pro-Israel bus campaigns ...
- Huffington Post's jihad ...
- American Thinker: Huffington Post's Pro-Jihad Propaganda ...
- Confronting the Huffington Post
- Huffington Post Proselytizing for Islam for Christmas
- Huffington Post Makes Up Story: Supports Honor Killings
Who Are You Calling a Jihadist? Sumbul Ali-Karamali, The Huffington Post
Jihad, Jihadi, jihadist, even -- most ridiculous of all -- counter-jihadist. These labels are used by laypeople and journalists alike, often using jihad as a synonym for "any violence undertaken by Muslims." An extreme example is the ad campaign posted a few months ago on New York City buses, equating Muslims to savages and any opinion not supportive of Israel as "jihad." In fact, the ads -- the creation of Pamela Geller, who is the head of what has been deemed a hate group -- equate savagery with jihad, as well.
More recently, another set of bus ads have hit Chicago -- this time, trying to counter some of the hate. The first features a young family with the caption, "My jihad is to march on, despite losing my son. What's Yours?" On Twitter, too, check out the #MyJihad hashtag, where statements vary from the inspirational ("My jihad is to build friendships across the aisle") to the humorous ("My jihad is not to eat the whole box").
So what does jihad really mean, then? The media and anti-Islam manipulation of the word has so obscured the actual meaning that confusion is inevitable. I even encounter, alarmingly, a reluctance on the part of journalists and lay people to believe Muslims who try to explain their own religion and what jihad actually means.
Well, I'm a Muslim woman, an American, and a former corporate lawyer, and I know my religion pretty well, as I've not only been a practicing Muslim all my life, I have an additional degree in Islamic law. So let me explain what jihad, a specifically defined term of art, means in Islam.
The word itself means "effort" or "struggle." Generally speaking, jihad can be divided into two broad categories: the internal jihad and the external jihad. The internal jihad is the struggle to make oneself better -- more just, more fair, more compassionate. The external jihad is the struggle to make society better -- more just, more fair, more compassionate. Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, who died in 632, once famously described the internal jihad as the "Greater Jihad" and the external jihad as the "Lesser Jihad." The most difficult struggle and the greatest, in other words, is the struggle to improve our own selves.
The external jihad can again be divided into further categories. How can we improve society? First, by "jihad by the word" which is using verbal persuasion to try to correct an injustice in society, such as letters to the editor or petitions. If that doesn't work, then Muslims may use "jihad by the hand," which is doing good works to correct an injustice in society, such as volunteering in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. And the last resort is "jihad by the sword," which is taking up arms to correct an injustice in society.
But here's what vast majority of Islamic scholars, for centuries, have decreed when it comes to jihad by the sword: it can be exercised only to overthrow an oppressor or in self-defense. That's right: only in self-defense or to overthrow an oppressor.
Some scholars over the centuries have even contended that the jihad doctrine does not allow the overthrow of a mere run-of-the-mill oppressor, but only one who is actively preventing people from practicing their religion.
Other Islamic scholars, however, disagreed with this opinion; they said that invading a country and oppressing its people was sufficient reason to fight back (I suspect that's what Americans would do if we were invaded), and that no suppression of religious practice was necessary. But, even so, they confirmed, jihad must be exercised only in self-defense or to overthrow an oppressor.
What about al Qaeda's version of jihad? It's not jihad. Terrorism has never been allowed in Islam, not in 1,400 years of history, and in early Islam it was severely punished.
Using religion as justification for violence is not unique to any one religion. Religion was used to justify the Crusades, as well as the Spanish Inquisition, and the attendant killing of tens of thousands of Muslims and Jews. In modern times, the Serbs' genocide of Bosnian Muslims and the massacre of thousands of Muslims in Gujarat by Hindus also were at least partly, by some, justified by religion. But no religion condones murder or genocide.
To the Pamela Gellers of the world, a Muslim living in the U.S., going about his or her business and living everyday life as an American, is practicing jihad. But if that means that Muslims are trying to make themselves better people, then that's a good thing. If that means that Muslims are trying to make their societies better by working within the law to correct injustices, then that's a good thing. And it's no different from what most of us are trying to do, regardless of our religions.
UPDATE: Atlas Flashback January 2012: (thanks to Kamala)
About three years ago, I stumbled upon a book called The Muslim Next Door. Written by Sumbul Ali-Karamali, an American-raised, Stanford-educated Muslim woman, this book aims to "clear away the misconceptions about Islam." The back cover effuses: “What if you could sit down at a kitchen table with an American Muslim mom and ask anything you wanted about her faith and religious practice?”
After reading the book, I was left with only more questions. The Muslim Next Door is filled with patently false, wildly misleading, and fully unsubstantiated claims about the very concerns many Americans have about Islam. Taking her at her word, that she would be open to answering questions about Islam, I prepared ten detailed questions regarding problematic aspects of her book. Perhaps, I thought, these were honest mistakes or omissions. Perhaps she would acknowledge and address the flaws in her book. The ten questions can be read here. They cover a wide range of topics, including:
- Ali-Karamali’s claim that Muhammad had sex with his favorite wife Aisha only when “she was well past puberty … somewhere between twelve and sixteen,” even though the most respected scholars of Islam – including one that she herself calls a “highly respected luminary” – quote Aisha as having said that her marriage was consummated at age nine.
- Her claim without citation that Muslims make up 3% of the US population, a grossly inflated figure in comparison to even the most optimistic credible estimates.
- Her explanation that one of Islam’s definitions is “peace,” a falsehood that even the Muslim Student Association of the University of Southern California labeled the “#1 Misconception” about Islam.
At the time, author Robert Spencer was kind enough to post a link to these questions at his web site, Jihad Watch.
- Her argument that female genital mutilation and honor killings are antithetical to Islam, despite mountains of contradictory evidence, including rulings in an Islamic manual of law certified by Al-Azhar University in Egypt, which Ali-Karamali herself calls “one of the great centers for Islamic studies.”
I politely asked Ms. Ali-Karamali several times – via both her publisher and another mutual contact who assured me that the message was personally delivered – to respond to the questions. Each time, I got no response. One person who had read my questions and also wanted some answers went to one of Ali-Karamali’s numerous promotional San Francisco Bay Area appearances and asked her, face-to-face, to address these questions: "I spoke with Karamali following her Commonwealth Club speech yesterday. She said she's familiar with this article but that it's affiliated with Jihad Watch, which is a hateful organization, so she won't answer the questions."
So much for getting the questions answered. At least, I thought at the time, Ali-Karamali didn’t seem to be getting increasing levels of exposure – unlike some other truth-challenged apologists for Islam.
Fast forward to 2012.
Sumbul Ali-Karamali’s book is about to become the centerpiece of a four-month-long, government-sponsored initiative called “Silicon Valley Reads.” An annual program in the San Francisco Bay Area, 2012 is the 10th anniversary, and its sponsors “are celebrating with an outstanding selection of books and events focused on the theme, 'Muslim and American: Two Perspectives.’” Ali-Karamali’s three-year-old book is featured as (ostensibly) one of those perspectives.
(The second “perspective” is delivered from another American Muslim woman, Willow Wilson, who converted to Islam and wrote a book called The Butterfly Mosque. While not even an attempt to address non-Muslim concerns about Islam, Butterfly Mosque’s view of Islam is hardly inconsistent with Ali-Karamali’s or those of other contemporary apologists for Islam. For Wilson, the “parts of Shari’a law that were premodern and problematic” were “no more so than the Old Testament. Islam had all the hang-ups, along with all the potential for resolution, of any ancient faith.” Wilson pins any negative impressions of Sharia on the Wahhabis, a common response from apologists unwilling to admit to the vast agreement among Muslim scholars (and Islamic schools of jurisprudence) about the most despicable aspects of Sharia. Wilson also dishes out disdain for “self-righteous” apostates who risk death to leave Islam, denigrating “the Ayaan Hirsi Alis and Wafaa Sultans who had made their fortunes by rejecting Islam.")
Back to Ms. Ali-Karamali, just look at the publicity and exposure that this program will bring her:
- January 25: On-stage interview with columnist Mike Cassidy ([email protected]) of the San Jose Mercury News, to be recorded and broadcast on KLIV Radio February 1
- January 31: Guest of the Santa Clara County Office of Education (a government organization) Materials Fair, open to all teachers and school librarians
- February 2: Discussion of her book at the Saratoga Library
- February 12: Discussion of her book at the India Community Center
- February 22: Television interview on CreaTV Channel 30 in San Jose with Janice Edwards ([email protected])
- March 10: Discussion of her book at the Morgan Hill Library
- March 16: Interview with Dale Bryant ([email protected]), Executive Editor of Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, at the History Club of Los Gatos
- March 29: Presenting “What I’d like Teachers to Know about Islam and Muslims” at the Santa Clara County Office of Education
- April 29: On-stage interview with columnist Sal Pizarro of the San Jose Mercury News ([email protected])
And those are only the events Ms. Ali-Karamali will be directly attending!
Four discussion groups focused on The Muslim Next Door are scheduled throughout February and March at Bay Area facilities.
There will even be an “Essay Contest sponsored by the Cupertino Library Association,” to share the “lessons you have learned” from both Ali-Karamali’s and Wilson’s books.
Beyond just the focus on Ali-Karamali and Willow Wilson, this program is filled with other events promoting Islam: films, art exhibits, poetry readings. And of course, an almost obligatory panel on “Islamophobia,” including Muslim Brotherhood-linked Wajahat Ali. Do you think the panel will be discussing the origin of the word "Islamophobia"?
This impending whitewashed onslaught of Islam is being sponsored by local Bay Area governmental organizations (tax dollars at work!) and major corporations such as Southwest Airlines and Comerica Bank. “Community partners” include the Muslim Community Association, a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organization promoting Sharia.
Ultimately, it is up to the public to contest this crashing wave of politically correct Islam.
Contact the individuals, organizations, and corporations involved. Let them know their support of this program is not appreciated. Ask them to either withdraw support, or to at least sponsor genuinely contrasting views and events.
And if you live near the San Francisco Bay Area, come to Ms. Ali-Karamali’s scheduled events. Ask her to respond, once and for all, to the fundamental questions about the falsehoods in her book – the scaffolding of lies supporting this entire “Silicon Valley Reads” charade.