They are just further along in Norway, but the path is the same in America.
Thanks to Claud for the video.
Norway: Muslims affirm that Sharia punishments not "extreme," they're just Islam By Robert Spencer
Watch this video. Norway Muslim leader Fahad Qureshi asks the assembled Muslims if they're "extremists," or just ordinary Muslims. They affirm that they're all just ordinary Muslims. Then he asks them if they support Sharia punishments -- stonings, amputations, the execution of gays, etc. -- and they all affirm that as well. This is an audience of Salafis, to be sure, but the problem is that we do not see Muslims who reject this perspective standing up and countering it in any significant numbers.
This video is from last May, but it was brought to my attention only today by Jihad Watch reader Benedict, in alerting me to this post, "Qureshi in Norway," by Sarah Brown at the U.K. Leftist dhimmi blog Harry's Place. Harry's Place ostensibly opposes jihad but much more energetically opposes all those who really oppose it, except for those who play similar games such as the Communist Jew-hater Maryam Namazie. It enthusiastically supported the banning of Pamela Geller and me from the U.K., while remaining silent, of course, about the factual basis of what I said to get banned, as well as about the implications of the fact that just days before we were banned, the British government admitted Saudi Sheikh Mohammed al-Arefe. Al-Arefe has said: "Devotion to jihad for the sake of Allah, and the desire to shed blood, to smash skulls, and to sever limbs for the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion, is, undoubtedly, an honor for the believer. Allah said that if a man fights the infidels, the infidels will be unable to prepare to fight." Harry's Place makes a show at finding people like al-Arefe distasteful, but it is clear that it considers people like Geller and me to be the real threat -- without, of course, ever bothering to explain exactly why.
Anyway, today Sarah Brown, the egregiously dishonest individual who runs Harry's (she has made outrageous false claims about me that I will not repeat, failing -- of course -- to offer any evidence when asked), wrote this about the above video:
...this is a particularly surreal example of the oft-noted mirroring between Islamophobes and their main targets. Fahad Qureshi’s script is straight out of Jihad Watch. I am, of course, more than happy to acknowledge Muslims who find such views appalling, to take at face value those who claim that they sincerely believe such punishments are unislamic, and welcome polls which show that most British Muslims are proud of the way our country treats gay people. It’s good to note that Qureshi’s views may not be quite as widespread as that self-selecting audience might suggest. However the first response to Qureshi, and those who agree with him, should not be to worry whether or not his views are representative, but to insist that, whether representative or not, they are barbaric.
True. And they are barbaric, although to enable herself to say so Brown has to hedge them away from the Islam that she imagines to be the genuine article, and to attack Jihad Watch for shedding light on what Islam actually teaches and how Islamic authorities throughout history and today understand those teachings. What is simply confirmation that I have reported accurately on Islamic teaching she takes, blinkers firmly in place, as a validation of "Islamophobia." A commenter over at Harry's summed up what was wrong with this, addressing the comment to Sarah Brown:
Fahad Qureshi asked and his Muslim audience answered. Do you think there is some kind of secret, ersatz Muslim society that attends ostensible Muslim events in lieu of actual Muslims? Where do you think your supposed, authentic Muslims are hiding out? From whom do you suppose they are hiding?
Not only that but you propose a false, factually untrue moral equivalence between the principals of Jihad Watch and Fahad Quereshi. The principals of Jihad Watch defend the rights of free speech, freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, without reserve or qualification. They defend the rights of people to love and live as they choose.
And for this you suggest that Jihad Watch and Fahad Qureshi are equally dubious and equally undeserving of your polite company?
And then, you close with this nifty:
"However the most important point to make in response to Qureshi, and those who agree with him, is not that his views are unrepresentative. It is that, whether representative or not, they are barbaric."
Well, are his views representative or not representative? You already know the answer, but until you are willing to admit the truth I suggest you quit wasting everyone's time with your narcissistic hand-wringing. The world is not about the emotional discomfort you feel about being unwilling to take sides. You despise Jihad Watch precisely because Jihad Watch says what you know to be true but won't say: that the mainstream of Islam is barbaric.
If peaceful Muslims want to change that perception, they need to direct their efforts against the likes of Fahad Qureshi, refuting him on Islamic grounds, instead of whining about "Islamophobes." After all, they don't even need to bother with the "Islamophobes" -- Sarah Brown is taking care of that for them.