Wednesday, August 30, 2006

More on "convert or die"

Robert Spencer gives us this very interesting historical persepective on the "convert or die" element of Islam that is alive and well to this day. He writes:

The most bizarre element of the two weeks of captivity suffered by Fox News reporter Steve Centanni and photographer Olaf Wiig at the hands of Gaza’s Holy Jihad Brigade was the video that surfaced depicting their conversion to Islam. Even before the journalists revealed that their conversions had been coerced, there were disturbing indications that they were not acting freely. While reading a statement he himself had ostensibly written, Centanni stumbled over words, appeared to puzzle over the handwriting, and seemed to grimace after pronouncing the words “peace be upon him” after the name of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Their messages as new converts to Islam were predictable denunciations of the United States and Israel, combined with emphasis on Islam’s universal call as the solution to the world’s problems. But most jarring was the video editor’s invocation of the favorite Qur’an verse of Western analysts of Islam and terrorism, “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256). The irony of featuring this verse in a video depicting two forced conversions has been widely noted. In fact, however, the juxtaposition of this verse with the video of Centanni and Wiig was probably not simply transparent deception, as strange as that may seem, and has far-reaching implications.

Islamic law forbids forced conversion, but as Andrew Bostom documented in a FrontPage article yesterday, this is a law that throughout Islamic history has all too often been honored in the breach. Nor is this yet another case of a “twisting” or “hijacking” of Islam; in fact, Islamic law regarding the presentation of Islam to non-Muslims manifests a quite different understanding of what constitutes freedom from coercion and freedom of conscience from that which prevails among non-Muslims.

Muhammad instructed his followers to call people to Islam before waging war against them – the warfare would follow from their refusal to accept Islam or to enter the Islamic social order as inferiors, required to pay a special tax:

Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war…When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them….If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya [the tax on non-Muslims specified in Qur’an 9:29]. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them. (Sahih Muslim 4294)

There is therefore an inescapable threat in this “invitation” to accept Islam. Would one who converted to Islam under the threat of war be considered to have converted under duress? By non-Muslim standards, yes, but not according to the view of this Islamic tradition. From the standpoint of the traditional schools of Islamic jurisprudence such a conversion would have resulted from “no compulsion.”

Muhammad reinforced these instructions on many occasions during his prophetic career. Late in his career, he wrote to Heraclius, the Eastern Roman Emperor in Constantinople:

Now then, I invite you to Islam (i.e., surrender to Allah), embrace Islam and you will be safe; embrace Islam and Allah will bestow on you a double reward. But if you reject this invitation of Islam, you shall be responsible for misguiding the peasants (i.e., your nation). (Bukhari, 4.52.191).

Heraclius did not accept Islam, and soon the Byzantines would know well that the warriors of jihad indeed granted no safety to those who rejected their “invitation.”

Muhammad did not get a satisfactory answer either from Chosroes, ruler of the Persians. After reading the letter of the Prophet of Islam, Chosroes contemptuously tore it to pieces. When news of this reached Muhammad, he called upon Allah to tear the Persian emperor and his followers to pieces (Bukhari, 5.59.708). He told the Muslims that they would conquer both empires: “When Khosrau [Chosroes] perishes, there will be no (more) Khosrau after him, and when Caesar perishes, there will be no more Caesar after him. By Him in Whose hands Muhammad’s life is, you will spend the treasures of both of them in Allah’s Cause” (Bukhari 4.53.349).

Muhammad did not limit his veiled threat only to rulers. Another hadith records that on one occasion he emerged from a mosque and told his men, “Let us go to the Jews.” Upon arriving at a nearby Arabian Jewish community, Muhammad told them: “If you embrace Islam, you will be safe. You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I want to expel you from this land. So, if anyone amongst you owns some property, he is permitted to sell it, otherwise you should know that the Earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle” (Bukhari, 4.53.392). In other words, if you accept Islam, you may keep your land and property, but if not, Muhammad and the Muslims would confiscate it.

Bostom notes: “Orders for conversion were decreed under all the early Islamic dynasties—Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, and Mamluks. Additional extensive examples of forced conversion were recorded under both Seljuk and Ottoman Turkish rule (the latter until its collapse in the 20th century), the Shi’ite Safavid and Qajar dynasties of Persia/Iran, and during the jihad ravages on the Indian subcontinent, beginning with the early 11th century campaigns of Mahmud of Ghazni, and recurring under the Delhi Sultanate, and Moghul dynasty until the collapse of Muslim suzerainty in the 18th century following the British conquest of India.” Since these Muslim rulers and armies all revered Muhammad as an “excellent example of conduct” (Qur’an 33:21), this is not surprising.

After being freed, Centanni said: “We were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint. Don’t get me wrong here. I have the highest respect for Islam, and I learned a lot of good things about it, but it was something we felt we had to do because they had the guns, and we didn’t know what … was going on.”

Indeed, few in the West know what’s going on regarding the example of Muhammad and the stance of traditional Islam on conversion. The human rights should have the courage to recognize and denounce this conversion-or-else directive, and to recognize the plight of those who even today suffer from its scourge. Moreover, with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad operating according to Muhammad’s instructions, this now has geopolitical implications. In his letter to President Bush, Ahmadinejad invited him to accept Islam, and then echoed the Prophet of Islam in delivering a threat to Bush through Mike Wallace: “We are all free to choose. But please give him this message, sir: Those who refuse to accept an invitation will not have a good ending or fate.”

Ahmadinejad’s threat, as well as the ordeal of Centanni and Wiig, epitomizes the threat that the global jihad represents to the freedom of conscience. Analysts are increasingly beginning to note that the conflict has ideological dimensions, but these dimensions are still imperfectly understood in the public sphere. Were Western leaders courageous enough to speak forthrightly about the threat we face as an Islamic jihad, they could use the “conversions” of Centanni and Wiig to illustrate one of the elements of Western civilization that is being challenged and that we are resolved to defend. Unfortunately, mired as they are in denial about the nature of the “terror” threat itself, they have made as yet no such resolution.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Fidel and Farrakhan in Lovefest

In this letter from the Nation of Islam leader, Loius Farrakan says the God has chosen Fidel Castro for a higher purpose. I wonder if part of that purpose was to spend years trying to stomp out any expression of religion.

Dear Commandante Castro,

On behalf of my family, the members of the Nation of Islam and myself, we pray that Allah (God) will grant you a full and speedy recovery that you may resume your duty to the people of Cuba and the world. Also, on behalf of my family, the members of the Nation of Islam and myself, we wish you a happy belated birthday, and we pray that Allah (God) will bless you with many, many more.

Dear Commandante Castro, the idea of servicing the needs of the people rather than the idea of gaining material wealth is the essence of the revolution. This idea of service is the driving force in the Cuban Revolution that represents the seminal stage of what religious people of Christianity, Judaism and Islam call the Kingdom of God. I firmly believe that Allah (God) has chosen you and the Cuban people to begin this process of servicing human needs, thus setting the stage for all people of goodwill to emulate this mode of service to others. Jesus said, "He who would be the greatest among you let him be your servant." In this regard, you are one of the greatest leaders to emerge in the 20th Century, setting the foundation of a true example of service for all who will lead in the 21st Century.

In closing, you and the revolution you inspired have angered many people of wealth and status who have enriched themselves at the expense of the poor. I believe this is why Jesus told the people of His day: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God."

Please remember what I said to you in our last meeting, that there is no such thing as death for Fidel Castro, for you are an idea whose time has arrived; and that idea is deep in the souls of most of the Cuban people and now in the hearts of many throughout the world. This idea will continue to grow and you will continue to grow with it from beyond the grave.

May Allah (God) continue to shower His Blessings on you and those who help you in the service of others.

Sincerely, and with much love and great respect,

I Am Your Brother and Servant,

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
Servant to the Lost-Found
Nation of Islam in the West

Newly Minted Muslim Journalists Freed.

Convert or die. Hmmm. Let me think...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Andy Roddick Mocks the Brits...with his pockets bulging.

So I was shopping for a "Man Bag" to carry my shit in around the city. As I was searching online for the perfect satchel I came across this article about Andy Roddick's anti-bag rant. It never even occurred to me that there was possibly a contoversy brewing over men stapping a bag across their shoulder when they step into the streets. Seems to me EVERY guy in NYC carries a bag of some sort. Hell, call it what it is. A purse. A man purse. Especially in NY where people generally don't drive, the man purse is essential. Let's say at a minumum you have keys, a phone, wallet, I-pod, and a book. You throw it all in your shoulder bag and hit the subway.

Anyway, I wonder what makes Andy Roddick so insecure. Maybe he has a small dick...or he wants to suck dick...or, perhaps he just IS a dick.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Germans "stunned" by Terror Plot

So the Germans were "stunned" by the recenttrain bombing
plot according to the AP. Stunned I suppose because so many Europeans cling to the belief that the Jihadists wage war against policies rather than Western ideology. If George Bush didn't do X, or if the west didn't do Y or Z, they wouldn't want to bomb us. Maybe Europe will start to wake to the idea that no one in the west is safe from those who want to establish a world dominated by islam. They dream of the fall of the west and a return to a time when Islamic territory is the center of the worlds power.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Deadly Peace

Hat tip to "The Religion of Peace" website for this family photo. They also provide us with a list of terror attacks carried out in the name of Islam in the previous 5 months. The list goes on for pages.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Unlike a Virgin

Evidently Madonna has pissed pissed off the church in Rome again with the crucifixion scene in her latest tour. I don't know, the whole controversy seems so 17 years ago.

Stephen Baldwin and porn

The actor, Stephen Baldwin, had his fill of fame and everything that comes with it; Money, Sex, drugs, and parties. But when he became a born again Christian, he decided to help clean up America. Stephen Baldwin had the freedom to make choices for himself. He chose to party like a rock star, then he chose to stop. Of course now he wants to take choice away from the rest of us. According to reports, when town planners authorized the opening of a sex shop in Nyack, NY., "Baldwin told a reporter with a local paper that he planned to photograph each of the porn shop's patrons and their license plates. The photos, he said, would be offered to newspapers or posted on the Web. "

I guess he's taken a page out of the papparazzi playbook; Invade people's private life, then publish the photos. Clearly all the drugs he did damaged his brain. Sicko.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Cuban propaganda

Some propaganda straight out of Cuba. Hey, if its in the paper it must be true, right?