Just who are the Muslim Brotherhood


They certainly haven’t infested every branch of American government or life that many of the Islamophobes claim.  I found this excerpt revealing

It has become accepted wisdom in some circles that the Muslim Brotherhood is a force for progressive change, even democracy, in Egypt. Since the mid-1980s when the Brotherhood entered electoral politics in a coalition with the allegedly liberal Wafd party, its leaders have embraced the rhetoric of political reform. On the eve of the 1990 parliamentary elections, the Brotherhood’s then Supreme Guide Mohamed Abul Nasr penned an open letter to President Mubarak in which he boldly stated, “Freedom is dear and it is preferable for you to avoid your nation’s anger and riots. It cannot be imagined that any people will remain under subjugation and repression after hearing and witnessing surrounding nations achieve their freedom and dignity…A nation’s power is derived not from material power, but from the entire citizenry’s liberty, the people’s trust in the government, and the government’s trust in the people.” Those are reassuring (and prescient) words–even 22 years after the fact–but the Brothers have always been rather fuzzy about what democracy means to them, falling back on the concept of shura or “consultation,” which could or could not be the foundation of Egyptian democracy. They have also been vague about shari’a. While Morsi and Brotherhood big wallas have said that they will implement Islamic law, members of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party told the American foreign policy establishment during a visit in March that they support “the principles of shari’a, but not necessarily its particular legal rulings.” I guess that sounds fine to the uninitiated, but the statement amounts to nothing more than obfuscation.

It is entirely possible that the Brothers are democrats despite themselves. Here is the theory: Hammered as they are between the military, which still controls the guns, and other political forces including revolutionaries who mistrust the Islamists and thus can stir up trouble, the Brotherhood could determine that their only source of power is through the ballot box. As a result, the Brothers will seek regularly scheduled, free and fair elections as the only way to legitimate their power. In time, this will transform the Brothers into committed democrats. Never mind (cliché warning) that elections don’t make democracy, but this is roughly what happened in Europe and how theocratic parties of the 19th century became today’s Christian Democrats. There are many insights to be gleaned from Europe’s experiences, but it is important to remember that history can be a guide, but it is not a blueprint.

In the end, the intellectually honest answer about the Brothers’ commitment to democracy is, we just don’t know. It’s an empirical question. Let’s pay less attention to what they say and focus on what they are doing.

The last line is especially insightful and mature given the topic at hand.

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Major props for the Defense Dept’s Navy Seals


First there was this

When you’re a Navy SEAL on the front lines of urban combat, the bad guys might be anywhere: inside an elementary school classroom, behind a soda machine at the bus station, cowering next to a hospital-room bed.

They might even hide in the bathroom.

Anything is possible, which is why the Navy special warfare community is excited about the $11.5 million training range dedicated Monday at Fort Story. The facility features 52 rooms spread over 26,500 square feet, an area about the size of a grocery store. Groups of local SEALs will use it as a live-fire range – the ammunition in their guns will be real, even if their targets are life-sized cut-outs zipping across a built-in track.

 

Then there was this

The Navy will not use a target depicting a Muslim woman holding a gun at a new training range for SEALs in Virginia Beach.

The announcement came hours after the Council on American-Islamic Relations asked the Pentagon to remove the target. A picture of the cardboard target, which shows a woman in a headscarf holding a pistol, was published in The Virginian-Pilot on Tuesday. The image shows verses of the Quran hanging on the wall behind the woman, which also generated criticism from the group.

…Late Friday, Lt. David Lloyd, a spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Group 2, said the materials in question would not be used on the close quarters combat training range, which was dedicated Monday at Joint Expeditionary Base Fort Story.

“We have removed this particular target and Arabic writing in question from the range in the near term, and will explore other options for future training,” Lloyd said.

Major respect to those responsible for removing targets that blur the distinction between training and ethnically targetted violence.  Of course there are plenty of targets one can use to get a good sight picture for close quarters combat….

 


 

This is what the scare tactic of governance gets you


I’m sure this scene plays out in cities and towns across America.  It’s frightening and terrifying for citizens who go through it and something I don’t quite get is why law enforcement types don’t get that yet……or is it they simply don’t care?   In today’s America however, where everyone and every circumstance is enough to justify even the most strident militant response from ‘officers of the law’, it might be a good thing that municipalities are cash starved and considering layoffs of their law enforcement personnel.  I for one am a firm believer that people are responsible for their own protection and police’s role in society should be one of monitoring, reporting  and assisting citizens when needed.

Police bust in to a house that had a teenaged girl and her grandmother, looking for someone who had used the internet to issue threats against the town’s police department. In none of the reports that I read about this tragedy was there any link to the threats made besides a mention that they were personal in nature and that was enough to make the  police department  embark  on a course of terror against its citizenry.   Unfortunately for the  victims of this story, their internet connection is on an unsecured router that anyone can use to receive and post information.  But what’s regrettable   for the citizens of Evansville, Indiana is their police department personalized insults and uncivil language that was on the internet  to intimidate and infringe on the rights of the citizens of that city.  In other words speech that some may see anonymous and even protected was used by the police department of Evansville to justify  physically intruding upon and even potentially harming people who had no relationship with that speech at all.  Instead of carefully determining who were the residents of the house, police decided based on the accusation that threats were made to raid the  house in a manner befitting any shock and awe operation run during the Iraq war.  Later on, realizing the error of their ways, police went to a second suspect’s house in a much more appropriate manner…..knocking on the door, which possibly yielded more promising results.  Check out the video below

 

There was a lot of news about the New York City police department spying on Muslims in the NYC area and now I understand what motivated  the police department.  Like others in government who have reaped immense financial rewards from America’s war on terror, WOT, the NYPD has too!  With money funded by the federal government they have acquired a state of the art helicopter they say will help them in the terror fight.  They claim that they are becoming increasingly more dependent on helicopters, a very high ticket  item for fighting terror…and in order to justify such huge expenditures they ,NYPD , have to conjure up a threat sufficient enough to get governments, local, state and federal, as well as tax payers to want to appropriate the funds necessary.  That bogeyman for the NYPD has been the tri-state area Muslims. 

The New York Police Department monitored Muslim college students far more broadly than previously known, at schools far beyond the city limits, including the elite Ivy League colleges of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania.

Police talked to local authorities about professors 480 kilometres away in Buffalo and even sent an undercover agent on a whitewater rafting trip, where he recorded students’ names and noted in police intelligence files how many times they prayed.

Detectives trawled Muslim student websites every day and, although professors and students had not been accused of any wrongdoing, their names were recorded in reports prepared for the New York police commissioner, Raymond Kelly.

This helicopter is supposed to be able to detect radiation and any other kind of threat from the sky…..and I’m sure the mantra will be if it makes us secure it’s worth the investment, but the question to ask is at what cost to American citizens do we want to get our hands on this type of equipment?  How far in demonizing one group of Americans, lying about them and their existence among us all the while stretching the limits of time worn freedoms and privileges do we want to go to justify getting our hands on this?  The point has been made with alarming alacrity there is no threat to America by American Muslims; in fact they are the least threatening group to inhabit our shores, yet time and time again imagery of an Islamic terrorist threat is used and its end result is usually the investment of large sums of money to those who sound this exaggerated  threat, much like the communism scare of 50 years ago which resulted in a lot of empty  bomb shelters and a cold war atmosphere that saw America spend money and fight wars against a virtually  impotent and even non-existing enemy.  The sons of the leaders of America’s cold war with communism are now leading the war against Muslims with almost the same empty results.  Is it no wonder if we don’t learn from history we are doomed to repeat it?

Two recent terrorism cases


Some people made a big deal about Hani Nour Eldin, a member of Egypt’s dissolved parliament, getting a U.S. visa and meetings with U.S. officials despite his membership in Egypt’s Gama’a al-Islamiyya, which the State Department deems a “foreign terrorist organization.”  It didn’t matter to those same people that the group Gama’a al-Islamiyya renounced violence  at around the turn of this century.  Nor did it matter to them  that the group’s renounciation was accepted by our ally, Egypt’s Hosni Mubara.  The problem was/is  the US State department, now headed by the dreaded and hated spouse of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton that the Right has pilloried ever since their appearance on the political stage had gone over to the Islamist/terrorist  side.  But as in most things that originate from the right side of America’s political spectrum these days, there really wasn’t much substance to their concern for America…..it did give the right the opportunity to sling mud at its two biggest political existential threats, the Obama Administration and Muslims.

It’s little wonder that members of the Right were silent about this bit of news. The Syrian government’s Muslim religious leader,  Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun was quoted last October as saying, ‘I say to all of Europe, I say to America, we will set up suicide bombers who are now in your countries, if you bomb Syria or Lebanon. From now on, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ The as dreaded as the Clinton’s State Department, CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) in today’s America wasn’t going to let that kind of rhetoric go unnoticed and protested

We urge you to deny entry to Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun, who has threatened our nation’s national security with calls for suicide attacks and whose state-appointed function is to provide a religious veneer for a brutal regime that has killed and tortured thousands of its own people…

Hassoun’s entry into the United States would only serve to provide credibility for his false claim that the ongoing revolution against the Assad dictatorship is inspired by foreign interests, instead of the Syrian people‘s clear desire for peace, freedom and the rule of law.

By allowing Hassoun entry to the United States, we would send a contradictory and counterproductive message to the beleaguered people of Syria at time when they are suffering such hardships at the hands of the regime’s forces.

No doubt CAIR’s diligence is due in no small part to criticism about how Muslims do very little self-policing of themselves which CAIR did to a rather successful conclusion but it will do little to stem the name calling they are part of a larger Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy.  They needn’t worry about that however, since it seems EVERYONE is a part of the takeover of America by the Muslim Brotherhood. Neither should CAIR expect anyone from the Right will give them credit for the organization’s  outspokenness on an issue that they, the Right  likes to call its own….pointing out or highlighting religiously connected terrorism.  By co opting the Right’s  issue of choice, CAIR has made the Right irrelevant.  At the least they deserve an ‘attaboy!

Not many terrorists left in Gitmo Bay


We’ve talked a lot about the non-existent threat of Islamic terrorists on the main land because of the absence of any Muslim terrorists here, except for those dredged up by the federal authorities whenever they need to distract America’s attention away from more pressing issues like the economy or the encroachment on our human and civil rights and focus it instead on the latest boogey man story of the day.  Well it’s looking like there aren’t many terrorists in Guantanamo Bay either, not that there ever were.

We’ve spent an inordinate amount of money housing people we picked up in various places all over the world, and it’s starting to look like a lot of them are completely innocent.  The latest batch from Algeria turned out that way.  El Houari Abar, in his forties, and Ahmed El Abed, aged over 50 were detained at Gitmo Bay for six years and charged with being members of a terrorist organization.  One was captured in Afghanistan and the other in Georgia.  They were released to their country, Algeria in 2008 which only  acquitted them of the charge and are now free.  Six other Algerians held by the US military in Gitmo have also been similarly cleared of charges in Algerian courts, which says something about the importance of a transparent legal system and being brought to trial.  These two have been denied their freedom for the last 10 years ostensibly for something they didn’t do.  For too long America has been dispensing old style western justice where the military arm of the government was the police, the judge, jury and executioner, most likely of a lot of innocent people.  The two mentioned in this story have no legal redress with the government that captured them and took six years from their lives unfortunately and that taints our image all the more within  the international community.

Muslims hate everything Americans stand for and will never coexist with (them)


English: mecca from jabal al nur

English: mecca from jabal al nur (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s what people in the US military are being taught

The US military has been offering a course which teaches that its enemy is Islam in general, suggesting a Hiroshima-type massacre to obliterate the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina in what can be seen as another instance of promoting Islamophobia in the United States.

he course, titled “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism,” was offered five times a year since 2004, with about 20 students each time, meaning roughly 800 students have taken the course over the years before it was removed in late April after protests.

“They [Muslims] hate everything you [Americans] stand for and will never coexist with you, unless you submit,” the instructor, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley, said in a presentation last July for the course at Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, the Associated Press reported.

The college, for professional military members, teaches mid-level officers and government civilians on subjects related to planning and executing war. Dooley, who still works for the college, also presumed, for the purposes of his theoretical war plan, that the Geneva Conventions that set standards of armed conflict are “no longer relevant.”

“This would leave open the option once again of taking war to a civilian population wherever necessary (the historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki being applicable…),” Dooley said.

His war plan suggests possible outcomes such as “Saudi Arabia threatened with starvation…Islam reduced to cult status,” and the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia “destroyed.” In his July 2011 presentation on a “counter-jihad,” Dooley asserted that the rise of what he called a “military Islam/Islamist resurgence” compels the United States to consider extreme measures, “unconstrained by fears of political incorrectness.”

A copy of the presentation was obtained and posted online by Wired.com’s Danger Room blog. The college didn’t respond to requests by the Associated Press for copies of the documents, but a Pentagon spokesman authenticated the documents. Dooley also refused to comment to the AP, saying “Can’t talk to you, sir,” and hanging up when reached by telephone at his office Thursday.

This is not the first such incident as only last year the FBI was forced to discontinue a lecture that was hostile to Islam. The instructor of the course had told agent trainees in Virginia that the more devout a Muslim is, the more likely he is to be violent.

The report comes less than two months after the US forces, in a blatantly Islamophobic act, burned the copies of the Holy Qur’an and other Islamic materials at the US-run Bagram Airbase in the province of Parwan in northeastern Afghanistan.

Islamophobia is systematically promoted and financially supported in the United States. An in-depth investigation into Islamophobia carried out by the Center for American Progress in the United States dubbed as ‘Fear, Inc. The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America’, sheds light on the collective efforts of the Zionist groups funded by the United States in pedaling a hatred for and a fear of Islam in the form of books, reports, websites, blogs, and carefully crafted talking points.

According to the report, these wealthy donors and foundations also provide direct funding to anti-Islam grassroots groups.

The project of Islamophobia which has cost more than $40 million over the past ten years has been funded by seven foundations in the United States: 1. Richard Mellon Scaife Foundation; 2. Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; 3. Newton and Rochelle Becker; 4. Foundation and Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust; 5. Russell Berrie Foundation, Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald; 6. Family Fund; 7. Fairbrook Foundation.

I’m looking at all the people responsible for this hate and see a lot of them with the word Family in their names.  You’ve got to wonder how much family and family values have to do with hating a group of people because of their religious preference.  Someone once suggested that Islamophobia closely resemble anti-semitism in nature and I’d have to agree.  The raw hatred promoted by such propaganda within the ranks of the US military makes it easy to see why and how atrocities which we’ve witnessed in Afghanistan and earlier Iraq can be so easily swept under the carpet, or not reported at all.

Look what we have here


Islamophobes really need to read and listen to what American Muslims say about their religion instead of relying on what some other Islamophobe says about it.  (Peter King are you listening?) I was directed to this rather extraordinary website by the excellent website The American Muslim.  Apostasy and Islam was put together by a Muslim American academic Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq, whose main purpose was to authentically refute  the notion that Islam condemns killing Muslims who convert to another religion.  That assertion has been one of the main cries of Islamophobes who claim that Islam, contrary to the religious texts, is not a religion of freedom but of coercion, force and fear.  Farooq will have none of that…having compiled 100 sources that directly refute the claim.  Take a look

As presented in excerpts from numerous sources below, and links to works available online, there is no worldly punishment solely for apostasy [i.e., changing of one’s faith/religion] mentioned in the Qur’an. ……

…..there is no hadith confirming punishment or retribution solely for apostasy. In every single case, where punishment has been meted out, riddah involved treason or rebellion. The following is an example of how the Prophet dealt with solely apostasy.

A bedouin gave the Pledge of allegiance to Allah’s Apostle for Islam. Then the bedouin got fever at Medina, came to Allah’s Apostle and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Cancel my Pledge,” But Allah’s Apostle refused. Then he came to him (again) and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Cancel my Pledge.” But the Prophet refused Then he came to him (again) and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Cancel my Pledge.” But the Prophet refused. The bedouin finally went out (of Medina) whereupon Allah’s Apostle said, “Medina is like a pair of bellows (furnace): It expels its impurities and brightens and clears its good. [Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 9, #318]

Notably, as Dr. M. E. Subhani explained in his book: “This was an open case of apostasy. But the Prophet neither punished the Bedouin nor asked anyone to do it. He allowed him to leave Madina. Nobody harmed him.”

Or there is this

Some people accepted Islam during the period of Umar bin Abdul Aziz, who is called the fifth rightful caliph of Islam. All these people renounced Islam sometimes later. Maimoon bin Mahran the governor of the area wrote to the caliph about these people. In reply Umar bin Abdul Aziz ordered him to release those people and asked him to re-impose jizya on them. [Musannaf Abdur Razzaq, pp. 171-10, cited in M. E. Subhani,Apostasy in Islam (New Delhi, India: Global Media Publications, 2005), pp. 23-24. Abdur Razzaq ibn Humama (d. 211 AH). This is the earliest musannaf (a hadith collection arranged in topical chapters) work in existence.]

From Egypt, which just recently elected an “Islamist” president comes this pronouncement

“The Islamic Research Department of Al-Azhar University has called the penalty for apostasy as null and void and has said that the ways of repentance are open for the whole life. … So an apostate can repent over his mistake anytime during his life and there would be no fixed period for it.” [Al-Alamul Islami, the weekly organ of Rabita Alam al-Islami, 23rd August 2002, quoted in Dr. M. E. Subhani, Global Media Publications, 2005, p. 25]

From one of the sons of the dreaded Muslim Brotherhood, the much maligned organization that is pointed to in order to show extremism, comes this tidbit from Tariq Ramadan

I have been criticised about this in many countries. My view is the same as that of Sufyan Al-Thawri, an 8th-century scholar of Islam, who argued that the Koran does not prescribe death for someone because he or she is changing religion. Neither did the Prophet himself ever perform such an act. Many around the Prophet changed religions. But he never did anything against them. There was an early Muslim, Ubaydallah ibn Jahsh, who went with the first emigrants from Mecca to Abyssinia. He converted to Christianity and stayed, but remained close to Muslims. He divorced his wife, but he was not killed.” [Interview: Tariq Ramadan]

From the equally maligned American Islamic organization CAIR comes this

Islamic scholars say the original rulings on apostasy were similar to those for treasonous acts in legal systems worldwide and do not apply to an individual’s choice of religion. Islam advocates both freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, a position supported by verses in the Quran, Islam’s revealed text … ‘Religious decisions should be matters of personal choice, not a cause for state intervention. Faith imposed by force is not true belief, but coercion. Islam has no need to compel belief in its divine truth. As the Quran states: ‘Truth stands out clear from error. Therefore, whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks.’ (2:256)

Finally, Muslims living in America have this to say about apostasy in Islam and what if anything should be the punishment

…the Qur’an is the definitive clear authority for protecting the rights of an individual in expressing himself in faith and supercedes any of the distorted interpretations of the hadiths in question. Executing a person because of conversion to another faith contradicts the Qur’an, the ultimate source of Shari’ah.” [The Ruling on Apostasy]-(Muhammad Hanooti)

The Quran states categorically and unequivocally, there shall be no coercion in matters of faith. (2:256). This cornerstone tenet of Islamic faith is violated when an individual is put on trial for converting away from Islam. This verse, very clearly teaches that faith is a personal matter between the individual and God. (Islamic Center of Long Island, New York)

Discussions of Islamic law by non-Muslims (and, all too often, by Muslims as well) suffer from confusion between the concepts of apostasy and treason. The majority view is that the death penalty applies only to treason during wartime, including providing aid and comfort to the enemy, rather than mere conversion. According to the Constitution [Article III, section 3], treason consists only ‘in levying war against [the United States], or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.’ That Muhammad shared this view can be seen in the fact that he never executed apostates except when they made war or propaganda against the Muslims. (Dr. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad President/Director, Minaret of Freedom Institute, Maryland, USA

 

One could go on and on, but the evidence is there on the printed page for all to see and it clearly dispels the notions put forth by Islamophobes that people in the West should be fearful for their lives if they leave the Islamic religion.  Surely there are some who believe that but there is no substantive textual evidence that justifies killing someone because they have stopped being Muslim.  This literature is vast, authentic and easily available.  One should ask the question why is it not mentioned by the detractors of Islam; what else is it they don’t want you to really know about the religion of Islam?