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March 07th 2017 print

Peter Smith

No Islam Without the Nasty Bits

When liberal-minded Muslim scholars 'did a Luther' by nailing their call for change to the door of Washington's Islamic Centre one of the first responses was a death threat. That's the thing about a warlord's creed: no hope of reforming what believers revere as Divine perfection

danish cartoonNear the end of 2015, thirteen leading (renegade) Muslims — six based in the US, five in Canada, one in the UK, and one in Denmark — signed and publicised a two-page Muslim Reform Movement (MRM) declaration of principles akin to a ‘charter’.[i] Several of their number (no doubt with Wittenberg and the year 1517 in mind) pinned a copy on the doors of the Islamic Centre in Washington, DC.

Earth shattering is not the way to describe the aftermath. Unlike Luther’s ninety-five theses, the MRM charter has not spread like wildfire. This is unsurprising.

For one side, it is nothing less than blasphemous, as I will explain. For the other, comprising Islam apologists, it opens the door to uncomfortable truth. To face up to this truth would be “Islamophobic” and therefore cannot be contemplated or debated in politically correct company. It is sufficient to know that Islam is already “the religion of peace” and, therefore, who knows what these renegade Muslim cranks might be on about?

Prominent among these cranks is Dr Zuhdi Jasser. He is one of the founders of the MRM. Jasser, of Syrian parentage, is an all-round good guy in my view. I have seen him often on US TV. I believe he is sincere. He is a physician and former officer in the US Navy. He is also a pitiable pipe-dreamer.

I don’t want to labour the point, so I will take just four statements from the charter and follow each of them with a discordant Koranic (Pickthall version) injunction. But, bear in mind that to your average imam, I imagine that the whole charter, every free-thinking word of it, looks like the works of Shaytan, the Evil One.

1. “We support the UN Declaration of Human Rights.”

Where to start? How about this:

So choose not friends from among them [disbelievers]…if they turn back to enmity [apostasy] then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend or helper from among them (4:89)

2. “We reject violent jihad.”

I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite their necks and smite of them each finger (8:12)

3. “We support equal rights for women, including equal rights to inheritance.”

Men are in charge of women…scourge [rebellious wives] (4:34). And call to witness, from among men, two witnesses. And if two men be not at hand then a man and two women (2:282). Allah chargeth you concerning the provision for your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females (4:11).

4. “We…consider all people equal…Every individual has the right to publicly express criticism of Islam”

Fight against those who have been given the scripture as believe not…until they pay the tribute [jizya] readily, being brought low [dhimmitude] (9:29)

Fine, you might say, but most Muslims do not live out their scripture. True enough. Should that quieten concern? No, it shouldn’t; not while potential rabble rousers, aka imams, muftis and the like are repositories of fundamentalism and can stoke religious passions at the drop of a hat. And this doesn’t just happen in predominantly Muslim countries. You might recall Muslims rioting in central Sydney in September, 2012, using the preposterous and puerile pretext of an obscure (US-made) YouTube movie on Mohammed.

Earlier this year Dr Jasser was interviewed for an article in The Federalist.[ii] He explained that the MRM had reached out to 3000 Mosques in the US (who knew there were so many) and to over 500 prominent Muslims. And how many replies did this outreach produce?

“We received only 40-plus rather dismissive responses from our outreach, and sadly less than ten of them were positive,” said Jasser. “In fact, one mosque in South Carolina left us a vicious voice mail threatening our staff if we contacted them again.” So, the positive hit rate was about 0.3%. It is safe to say that MRM’s charter has not been well received. Only pitiable pipe-dreamers would have expected otherwise.

Let’s get this straight before we all succumb to pipe dreams. It is not hard to find oddball Anglican clergy who doubt the  Resurrection. Find an imam who will question the Koran? Now that really would be a find. Islam cannot be reformed. Islam is Islam, warts upon warts, and we better all start understanding that.

I have said this before and it is worth saying again. Give me a radical imam any day (and they are very easy to find). At least you know where you stand. Well inentioned as they are, people like Jasser and his twelve co-signers of the MRM charter are a menace. They lull many into a false sense of safety. They will never have a skerrick of influence inside their religion. They are heretics and blasphemers; and, indeed, well-meaning Muslim cranks to boot. They wouldn’t last two seconds in any self-respecting Islamic republic.

It is ridiculous to think you can have Islam without the bad bits. Mohammed was not a freethinker and neither is Allah. So when Jasser signs on to his secular charter and, at the same time, says he loves his religion (as he has stated) I wonder what religion he is talking about. It is certainly not Islam. Whatever it is, it is a pure distraction from a fourteen-century long problem, which shows no signs of abating. In fact, it may well get a lot worse.

Give me a child for the first seven years and I’ll give you the man, so the Jesuits claim, or did. Pew Research has just projected that the world’s Muslim population will rise from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.8 billion by 2050.[iii] Do the maths, that’s a lot of Muslim children to be born and live out their formative years during this period. To the extent that those wielding unreformable Islamic texts and tenets inform the upbringing of those children; it is, to put it mildly, a worry.



[ii] http://thefederalist.com/2017/01/30/muslim-reformer-speaks-battle-islamism-pc/

[iii] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/27/muslims-and-islam-key-findings-in-the-u-s-and-around-the-world/

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [22]

  1. Jimbob says:

    “….. potential rabble rousers, aka imams, muftis and the like are repositories of fundamentalism…..”

    Did you mean “suppositories of fundamentalism”? Seems oddly appropriate in this instance.

  2. Warty says:

    The rise of fundamental Islam is demonic to say the least. There are sufficient atheists amongst Quadrant readers to disagree with me, but I’ll state it nevertheless. The forces of evil (manifesting as Islamic fundamentalism) are essentially defensive, therefore weak. They may have success, to date, in shutting down debate, but it is driven by fear, loathing, negativity, inferiority complex (on steroids) and divisiveness. These are not qualities to hold anything together, let alone themselves. So they may rant and rave for a while; they may have the unquestioned support of the naive left, but they do not have the substance to sustain themselves. Think of the USSR, which prior to the 1980s were able to scare the bejeebers out of the West . . . where the flamingo are the Soviets now? So I have hope. I may be pushing up daisies before anything comes to fruition, but it will come and that is all that matters.

  3. ianl says:

    Trivial, but I’m curious and have been for some years.

    The caricature at the start of this article – that of the intense gentleman with a lit fuse stuck in his turban – is that the satiric drawing published first in Norway (I think) that caused worldwide trouble ?

    I know our cowardly, hypocritical MSM refused to publish it while simultaneously banging on about “freedom of the press”, but I’ve never been sure that it was this one.

  4. Bill Martin says:

    Congratulations Peter for another powerful article. Those of as of the same mindset find nothing substantially new in it but revel in all the details reinforcing our long established fervent belief that Islam is thoroughly evil, beyond any hope of redemption and an ever growing threat to all of humanity. It also rouses another emotion within us, that of hopeless frustration that our numbers are so very few compared to the ignorant, uninformed, misled, apathetic masses, including the vast majority of western leaders, who are putty in the hands of the cultural jihadists while they are gradually transforming our societies for the ready acceptance of the rule of Islam. It is, of course, politically incorrect in the extreme to declare that unless Islam is banned outright in western nations, there is absolutely no hope of preventing its complete success in subduing the the whole world.

  5. exuberan says:

    Im in WA and I will be voting for PHON on Saturday with a sense of futility purely to register my fear of the threat of Islamisation slowly creeping into this country. What else can anyone do?

  6. Ian MacDougall says:

    Fine, you might say, but most Muslims do not live out their scripture. True enough. Should that quieten concern? No, it shouldn’t; not while potential rabble rousers, aka imams, muftis and the like are repositories of fundamentalism and can stoke religious passions at the drop of a hat. And this doesn’t just happen in predominantly Muslim countries. You might recall Muslims rioting in central Sydney in September, 2012, using the preposterous and puerile pretext of an obscure (US-made) YouTube movie on Mohammed.

    Islam is a terrible religion, and has a rampaging, conquering history.
    The Koran is not only its Bible, but the constitutional basis of many an ‘Islamic Republic’. Understandably in these situations, all the power that matters falls into the hands of the clerics, and so each one becomes a theocracy: God’s rule through his representatives on Earth. Liberalism and democracy being not exactly halal, are tolerated, and circumvented where possible.

    Pew Research has just projected that the world’s Muslim population will rise from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.8 billion by 2050.[iii] Do the maths, that’s a lot of Muslim children to be born and live out their formative years during this period. To the extent that those wielding unreformable Islamic texts and tenets inform the upbringing of those children; it is, to put it mildly, a worry.

    The only way out of it as I see is to break the stranglehold of the Islamic clerics on Muslim education. That means a free, compulsory and secular education for all, kids from Muslim families included. No exceptions.

    • Jody says:

      That’s as likely as a snowball in hell!! The horse has bolted on this one, thanks to the Left.

      • Philby says:

        Sadly I have to agree with you Jody but equally to blame are uninformed weak left wing socialists of the doomed liberal party.

        • Jody says:

          If you watched “Jones and Co” last night on Sky you’d have seen a detailed discussion about this very phenomenon. Mark Latham with Ross Cameron and Dr. Jennifer Oriel. It’s great to hear really intelligent people unpack all these things and it left me feeling very pessimistic.

          • Brett_McS says:

            If things are to get better then they must be brought out into the open and discussed and faced honestly. That’s the first step to correcting any problem. So perhaps it is scary and frightening to see the truth but it is actually grounds for less pessimism – or perhaps even optimism – to see the truth getting out into public discussion. The more worrying case is in places like Sweden (until perhaps very recently) where the whole society from left to right was in blissful ignorance of the problem. That situation is more likely to result in a violent reaction further down the road.

      • exuberan says:

        Totally agree. The fictional book ‘Submission’ describes exactltly what is happening at the Punchbowl school. To promote Islamisation get control of the educational institutions and the educators. ‘Submission’ deals with the Islamisation of France where Saudi Petro dollars were poured into France to fund that cause, all aided by the deluded Left. The book ‘Submission’ is no longer fictional.

  7. Brett_McS says:

    Islam’s is a parasitic military culture; it relies on a productive culture to feed it. In the past, Islam achieved this by military conquest, domination, and enslavement of other peoples. Now the west is too strong for Islam to take the military route, but it now feeds off the west’s welfare states. The welfare state will probably bring down the west in a slow sclerotic death, with or without Islam; Islam may just speed up the process. Or, to be optimistic, Islam’s abuse of the welfare state may speed up the push for welfare reform. Who knows.

  8. Ian MacDougall says:

    Have a read about Canada’s new blasphemy laws at https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10015/canada-blasphemy-laws
    The thin end of the bulldozer.

    • Jody says:

      Great metaphor! At it’s core we are dealing with the rise of leftist authoritarianism. It’s what they do so very well.

      Today on RN Breakfast, Fran I’m-an-activist Kelly had an academic on the program talking about how ‘place’ is in the DNA of indigenous Australians. My son phoned me from his car, “have you head this rubbish; ‘place’ or ‘country’ is in DNA but gender isn’t!!!??? These people cannot have it both ways”.

      Exactly.

  9. SJones says:

    Last night (Thursday) I watched AB interview a Dutch political commentator about next week’s election. Otherwise one hand, she expressed how all things Islam are out of control in the Netherlands but Geert Wilders’ politics are too extreme and so he is exempt from serious consideration. She had no answers to the Islamic problem. Clueless! Same as here in Australia. We have a problem that needs measures taken to address it. As Peter and the rest of you have pointed out, this is a problem that not many are taking seriously. Completely frustrating!

    • SJones says:

      *not otherwise, s/be on the one hand. Wish we were able to edit :)

      • Jody says:

        Huh! Tell me about it!!!

        I don’t think Wilders will be successful. This is the nation, after all, which sells hashish ‘cakes’ to tourists and prides itself on its liberalism. That liberalism has turned into a serpent which is choking the heart out of the nation. The people now have ‘stockholm syndrome’ and now love their captors. That’s the trouble with being habitually stoned; you get to see the world in a surreal way. And it doesn’t last until the next ‘hit’!!

  10. Andrew McIntyre says:

    Going to the spirit of your title, there was an expression going around Melbourne twenty years ago:
    “You can’t have falafel without infiblation”.
    Andrew

  11. gardner.peter.d says:

    I am not sure the Left generally is in denial about the nature of, although some individuals are. Much of its writing and speech is mere rhetoric, deceit and smokescreen. I think many of them, if not most, see it as very much to their advantage to facilitate, if not encourage the spread and influence of Islam and the cultures that spring from it. Neither do these people deny among themselves the effect large Muslim immigration has on the host culture. Again, they welcome it. They also fully recognise that the core strength of a strong democratic nation is the cohesiveness of its society, since only that sustains acceptance of the lawmakers. Having failed to persuade voters to accept their ideology willingly by open debate, they turn to other methods. None are particularly new – suppress free speech, demonstrations, infiltrate academia, the media and so on, all well recognised in The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels. But now they have two new and powerful channels: supra-national bodies such as the UN and particularly the EU, and 2) unprecedented increases in migration outside times of major war.

    The EU is particularly attractive because unlike the UN, it is a supra-national government with legislative powers; it is not democratic; it shares the objective of subjugating the nation state to its unaccountable authority; it is technocratic, welcoming lobbyists and ‘experts’; and through it, one can over-ride the parliaments of almost the entire European continent. It is tailor made for the Left.

    Islam sees two ways to dominate the West. One is Jihad. The other is mass immigration. Democracies are highly vulnerable. If enough people vote for Sharia, there will be Sharia. Democracy itself is designed to bring about this outcome. It is not democracy that has achieved the advance to supremacy of Western civilisation. It is the law of the land that asserts the freedom of the individuals whose land it is against the state. Only is such circumstances can democracy flourish. Democracy is the product of freedom of the individual, not the other way round. The law of the land has in recent years been weakened by legislation making it increasingly difficult to defend the core elements of Western civilisation. One is barely allowed even to assert that it is superior to, say, Islamic culture. All religions are equal, all cultures are equal.
    Without the demos of a cohesive society democracy will die. This is Islam’s and therefore also the Left’s golden opportunity. For now, they are allies. Obviously they are not ultimately compatible but the conflict, like that between Shia and Sunni can be postponed until after they have jointly achieved the demise of the free democratic nation state.