Islam Undressed: Islamic Politics 101
History occurred Jan 2005 in the Middle East with the initial American sponsored post-Saddam Iraqi elections. Emotions ran high with the large turnout, with purple stained fingers becoming a symbol of democratic success at that time. Iraqis and Americans alike sacrificed dearly for the future hopes of a suppressed, persecuted people. The chief question then was whether principals of freedom, tolerance, and equal rights could take permanent root in the Islamic land and reform insurgents. Unfortunately, time proved that such aspirations were naïve. Jihadists from all over the Arab region converged to create the chaos that was endured in Iraq during 2005-2008. The majority in Iraq undoubtedly had peace and prosperity in mind, but a few thousand fundamentalists made sure that dream was replaced with a nightmare scenario of bombings and incitements to violence. Both Suni and Shia Muslims in Iraq tolerated the ‘guests’ as long as they were bombing American patrols, but that all changed when they turned to killing fellow Muslims in mass. Democratic regimes built up in Afghanistan and Iraq at great sacrifice in blood and treasure will likely remain only as long as Western troops are present to protect them, and are in danger of quickly evaporating without that massive support.
The Mullahs in Iran continue to demonstrate that a violent, unpopular, ruthless minority can successfully frustrate the hopes and aspirations of the majority. Lebanon has also shown that it takes just a handful of Islamic anarchists to ruin a society, even when most citizens want progress and prosperity. History has demonstrated repeatedly that a relatively few ruthless men can quickly dominate a complacent population. A handful of Nazis took over a cultured and educated Germany. Hitler and Mussolini created mass movements in two of the most civilized/cultured countries in Europe. The Communist Party, then less than 2% of the population, seized control and dominated Russia for decades.
Any review of the Qur’an and history shows that Muhammad taught and led a totalitarian movement (enforced by the sword) strikingly similar to those led by other fascists and despots in recent history. Political Islam compares very well to any totalitarianism system of government including fascism, communism, and imperialism. It is simply indisputable that Islamist fundamentalism shares with other totalitarian movements a commitment to centralized political power and economic control. Islam, by its own definition and design, is a growth industry designed to mobilize the masses to score political victories, subvert host governments, and establish Islamic domination. Although it attempts to appropriate a particular religious look and feel, at bottom Islamist totalitarianism is not a simple religious (spiritual) movement. Pure Islam is first and foremost a political movement – a quest for political power for the express purpose of physically and politically subjugating all people everywhere. In both its totalitarian methods and global goals, fundamentalist Islam is even more intimidating than both fascism and communism, and so political Islam is the true successor to those largely spent movements. Like the fabled Phoenix, militant Islam rises in full ascendancy from the ashes of all earlier 20th century failed/systems so discredited today. This is happening before our eyes and is due in no small part to the fact that both good manners and the PC police prohibit disparaging one certain religion, Islam.
Islamic totalitarianism is obsessed with worldly power and influence. Islamic governments desire not only to dictate regional politics, but also to dominate the West at every game of worldly success and power. Radical fundamentalists are not content with mere rejection of the West’s alleged vices. If that were all there was to it, they might simply do what the Amish have done and stage a retreat from wickedness. But the Islamic mandate is not about building a few mosques, schools, clinics, or community centers to meet the needs of Muslim congregations, but rather to change existing societies into Islamic societies, to make Islam both dominate and supreme. Islam’s totalitarian mantra and credo strikingly similar to pure secular ideologies more easily identified.
It’s a mistake fraught with peril to consider Islam as just another benign religion. Islam is a political organization without borders containing its own system of laws (Sharia) that extends to the minutest details of personal and social behavior. Islam transcends all other nation-state and religious paradigms because it incorporates both theology and government within a single system of worship and daily living. When understood and practiced correctly it also mandates an aggressive foreign relations agenda that supersedes borders and cultures, by violent Jihad if adequate concessions cannot be extracted by other means.The Indian scholar Ram Swarup identifies Islam as;
As put so eloquently by Gregory Davis in ‘Religion of Peace’;
Islam’s goal is to overthrow all competing governments and establish the Khalifat. The utopian fantasy of one seamless totalitarian state is a common thread that unites all radical movements of all ages. The Islamic utopian blueprint calls for a Caliph (a glorified Mullah) to wield the Islamic sword of power in one seamless totalitarian worldwide state. That future vision is not just something Muslims wish or wait for, something to be brought down from heaven like other religions patiently wait for. Rather Islam mandates the active participation of followers to make that vision a reality. This outrageous fantasy pre-dates and has survived all relatively more modern failed political experiments. Today, extremists easily extract the appropriate language (found throughout all Islamic sacred texts) to sell the concept that the Qur’an insists that all nations must be fought until they embrace Islam.
Despite claims otherwise, the most violent passages have not been abrogated by more recent doctrine from Muhammad. The Qur’an is the immutable and unalterable word of God, so the movement has been permanently cast into the cement of an unalterable mandate, which is what has given it unusual durability. The doctrine of Jihad and Jizya essentially means building the Islamic Empire by denying infidels all rights except the right to serve their Muslim masters. The secret of Islam’s survival and longevity lies in both the deceptive cloak it wears in the form of a religion, and in the fact that economic weakness is always inherited by states based on its tenants. Up until the age of oil this has made Islamic countries appear relatively unthreatening compared to more modern industrialized countries with more powerful economies and the armies that can be built thereby.
By any historical definition, bin Laden, the Taliban, and all other Islamic militants can be accurately described as fascists. As violent devotees of Islam, they believe in the innate superiority of a fanatical elite, anxious to torture, jail, and kill any who disagree. Non-Muslims of any religion, women, homosexuals, are all dehumanized as their innate and natural inferiors. Hitler also believed he was the leader of the master race destined to rule the world, blaming all Germany's problems on Jews and Western governments. Hitler for a time managed to convince most Germans it was not a crime to kill all who did not fit into his Arian mold of the 'perfect human', because they were inferior and sub-human, thus leading to millions of deaths and destruction previously unimaginable. Hitler was a threat to the world many years before a world blinded by pacifism and relativism finally realized that self-preservation dictated he must be fought and destroyed. Hitler justified heinous acts in his efforts to make the Third Reich the ‘only’ Reich, just as Muhammad and militants justify anything to make the entire world bow to Islam. The Nazis cleverly manipulated the German people's collective frustration into a pervasive sense of victimization. Once this victimization psychosis was fully accepted, the Nazis then offered the answer; entitlement, under the guise of superiority and social justice. Properly indoctrinated and incited, Germans readily embraced their inherent superiority and forcefully claimed their entitled power, obliterating or enslaving all opposition. As Germany became more powerful and acted more and more irrationally towards neighbors, elitists and appeasers of the day refused to properly identify the gathering threat. Seventy years later ...it’s Deja vu, all over again. In the twentieth century, genocidal totalitarian maniacs wore swastika armbands and herded members of supposedly inferior races into death camps shouting, "Heil Hitler!" In the twenty-first century, they wear black pajamas and masks, decapitate civilians, shoot children in the back, and plow hijacked airplanes into buildings shouting, "Allahu Akbar!"
1400 years of history also demonstrate that Islam is imperialist, in that it seeks perpetual humiliation of non-Muslims through a system of everlasting subjugation and payment of tribute. This method of dominating and subjugating a people for national gain (through booty and tribute) is what is known as pure Imperialism …by definition! Imperialism is the campaign to establish of economic and political hegemony over her conquered. Murder and plunder of other nations for booty by the Romans, the Persians in Iran, the Mughals, the Turks, the Spanish in Central/South America, or the British, was horrific for the exploited. Though dressed in religious garb and chanting ‘God is Great!’ …the Islamic beast of Imperialism is just as ugly and evil as any other in the history of man. Though Islamic leaders claim to be pious representatives of God acting on divine instruction, it does not change the practical facts and consequences to the conquered peoples and lands. Of course, the practice of Imperialism is not an Arabian invention, murder and plunder of other nations for booty pre-dates Muhammad’s adaptation of the practice for ‘religious’ purposes. But where all other imperialist movements have waned with enlightenment, the decay of regional powers, or the death of individuals, Islam’s imperialist movement has amazingly survived and thrived these last 1400 years, which is the only thing that makes it unique. Everything about Imperialism is self-serving and at other nations expense, nothing about it is isolationist, self-protective, pacifist, or harmless. Though presenting itself in religious garb demanding respect and protection, Islamic Imperialists practice Jihad more to expand Islam than to protect it. Islam has one goal, and that is to overthrow all competing governments (including European) and establish the Khalifat. Nothing is more dangerous to weaker competing forms of governance than Imperialism.
There are also many similarities between fundamental Islamists and die-hard communists. Both of these groups abhor highly educated thinkers and scholars, essentially forbidding rational thinking that does not support their ideologies. In the early 1960s, as part of the ‘Cultural Revolution’, the Chinese Maoist regime killed many intellectuals and scholars, virtually suppressing most higher education for decades. In place of rational thought and real education, they set up institutions to study Marxism and Maoism. Mao’s "Red Book" became a Bible to his subjects, a focus of education with memorizations required. Contrast this with Iran, where Ayatollah Khomeini’s regime killed millions of intellectuals, scholars, and rational thinkers right after the Islamic revolution. Like the communist Chinese, the Iranian fundamentalist government closed universities for three years and in their place advanced schools emphasizing religious indoctrination. Memorization of the Qur’an became a national imperative. Because communists possess a hatred of the capitalist West, they supported the Iranian fundamentalists in their rage against America. Despite similarities in their methods and anti-western / anti-capitalist rhetoric, these two competing ideologies did get along very well once their common enemy was removed. In the aftermath of Shah’s removal from Teheran, the Mullahs and their Islamic henchmen killed nearly all communist who helped bring them into power, right along with other infidels and intellectuals. To Islamists in Iran, communism was simply a tool to be used to secure power. While they were being used by Islamists, poor communists did not imagine they would be killed by their Islamic ‘comrades’. Although most were killed, in a twist of irony a few were able to save themselves by escaping to the evil capitalist West. Remaining and emerging thinkers and intellectuals now struggle to escape their own homeland. [Note: Islamists are currently using liberal democrats in the same way in their efforts to bring down conservatives acting in opposition to Islamic hegemony.]
Though they differ in their methods of control, German Nazism, Italian Fascism, Japanese Imperialism, Stalinist/Maoist Communism, and now Islamic Fundamentalism are all cut from the same totalitarian cloth. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 2001 Sixth Edition defines totalitarianism as follows:
In Berlin in 1939, you would be hard pressed to find a German who did not sincerely believe in the superiority of Arian genetics. The Japanese similarly all originally truly believed in the divinity of their emperor and superior rights/standings of their native people, as did comrades following Iosif Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, and Genghis Khan at the peak of their influence. Another common thread in all these theologies is the fundamental belief of the superiority of their system of living -and- their inherit right to impose it on others by any means necessary. This thread is duplicated perfectly in the fundamental practices and beliefs of all of Islam, moderate and extremist. Such thinking errors are rampant, and unfortunately at this stage in cultural development, probably completely intractable.
Unlike Constitutional democracy in the US, there is no cultural or legal mandate for separation of church and state in Islamic states, making all forms of secular democracy an alien and hostile concept to Muslim culture and law. Women have few rights, even against their husbands, who may legally beat their wives and concubines. Enslaving infidels and raping infidel women are also justified under Qur’anic law (and still occur in some Muslim lands). Grotesque punishments for crimes (beheadings and such) are not medieval holdovers; on the contrary, they will forever be part of authentic Islam as long as the Qur’an is revered as the perfect Word of Allah. The problem is that for all its schisms, sects, and multiplicity of voices, Islam’s (often-violent) expansionist elements are firmly rooted in its central texts. Following these tenants strictly, Islam cannot be other than a religion of violence, and any system of governance based on it must always be oppressive by Western standards (no principles of tolerance, no religious freedom, and no laws protecting equality or individuality). In Islam, all aspects of personal, religious, and political life become merged. This template has resulted in a series of various despots, and corrupt monarchies or Mullahs, and a few Soviet-style state autocracies imposed on tribal societies in the Arab world. Any attempt to throw off prescribed and accepted Islamic templates are fought vigorously by fundamentalists (Jihadists). Beirut Lebanon was briefly a shining example of co-existence between Muslims and other ethnic groups, and a showcase of prosperity, until the fundamentalists took control and turned it into a nightmarish quagmire of terror and oppression. As the people slid backward in every way imaginable, affluent educated Lebanese seemed powerless to prevent the calamity. Few dared risked life, limb, and eternal Islamic hell to resist fundamentalist goals.
We seek out and fight terrorists, yet overall we ignore the religious infrastructure that created them. Three and ½ years since 9/11, the theology remains largely immune from challenge because it calls itself a religion. If Adolph Hitler had called Nazism a religion, would we have been similarly disposed and refrained from criticizing Nazi credos? Note that in previous conflicts success meant we did not support or excuse ‘moderate’ Nazis, Fascists, Imperialists, or Communists …all followers and supporters of the dangerous philosophies were brought low in total war. From 1933 onward, anyone wearing a swastika and reciting from Mein Kampf would be immediately recognized as a potentially dangerous enemy of freedom and democracy. Americans need to become fully acquainted with the aspirations, methods, and political philosophy contained in the Qur’an adopted by those who worship the man who wrote that manifesto, which unfortunately are no less dangerous.
Another point that needs to be made is that Islam is not initially opposed to democratic processes in non-Islamic countries. To orthodox Muslims in non-Muslim lands, democracy represents a convenient tool, not an enemy. Remember both Hitler and Khomeini came to rule through democratic means, but once in power they killed the process that elevated them to power. Now, instead of opposing democracy, the Shiite Mullahs of Iraq have wisely made good use of the elections to secure near total power and control. Through democratic means Islam seeks opportunity through discontent, deception, conversions, and/or demographics to seize control of government institutions, and then gradually to introduce ‘reforms’ until the region is subject to every form of Islamic manipulation and governance. In democracies under siege, non-Muslims are not mistreated initially. But as Islamists power grows, freedoms and protections quickly erode and then persecution begins. This modus operandi is the template Muhammad taught by example in conquering the indigenous people in Medina and Mecca. This is peaceful Islam. Those countries that prove resistant to such methods are subject to more violent forms of Jihad to weaken them to the point that they accept and submit to the dictates of Muslim political ambitions. Ultimately, Islam offers only three options to non-believers …convert, pay Jizya (become slaves to superior Islamic masters), or die. The term "Islamic democracy" is an oxymoron, like "Tolerant Bigot", "Honest Falsehood", "Capitalistic Communism", or "Humane War". Although democracy has room for a defanged Islam not bent on destroying it, unfortunately real Islam leaves no room for democratic principals. When principals of free speech and human rights are genuinely adopted, the baby it delivers is free-will and free-enterprise, which then promotes and protects individual progress. All of these positive progressive concepts represent a direct threat to the elaborate control structures ensuring Islamic power over the masses.
Until it becomes the dominant political force controlling courts, police, and the military, the form Islam takes appears as a harmless religion to the uninformed, but in reality the faith is contaminated with all the perversions, lusts, and control mechanisms of its secular cousins. Cleverly masked by religious trappings, Islamic totalitarianism in democracies is easily able to hide behind the extended civil liberties and protections offered to actual religions. In this setting it has found fertile ground and has had a free hand to continue its mischief, since criticizing a ‘religion’ is considered ‘bad form’ and unacceptable in all societies. However, as its worldwide members continue in unison to act in treasonous and warlike ways, the movement will likely eventually be reclassified as the dangerous political movement it actually is. When that reclassification is finally made, it will signal the 'beginning of the end' to Islamic deception and expansion. As their prophet Muhammad correctly observed, "War is deception", and removing an opponent’s ability to succeed at deceit renders it much less potent and successful in warlike activities. The biggest deception of all being played out on the West is the claim that Islam represents a benevolent religion deserving of the usual respect and protections.
Once taking power through whatever means, the grip of Islamic politics is iron tight. Instead of clicking heals and proclaiming "Heil Hitler", Muslims must bow and recite requisite prayers five times a day and proclaim "Allahu Akbar" on demand (the prayers are not supplications, simply recitations designed to reinforce complete devotion to Islam and all her ways). The first things to go in conquered lands are certain freedoms of speech, writ, and religion. German Nazism, Italian fascism, Japanese militarism, Stalinist Communism, and now Islamic fundamentalism have always been and will always be enemies of free speech and religious tolerance, because those concepts represent a direct threat to indoctrination and control of the masses. Control and power are what is at stake, and evil knows very well that Truth and Knowledge are the antithesis and antidote of totalitarianism. Final and permanent victory in the War on Islamic terror cannot occur until the dangerous ideologically is recognized and fought with the same vigor Islamic militancy is opposed militarily. As a first step, schools and universities need to start teaching American kids (including Muslims) all about real history and real Islam, instead of the propaganda it currently sells our children. Tenured or not, Communist, Islamist, and all apologists promoting misinformation and propaganda need to be exposed and expelled. The last thing we need is colleges and universities pumping out more Islamic brown shirts. In the case of Islam, excessive diversity is irresponsible and means only one thing …national suicide.
Until -all- Muslims abandon the philosophy of violent Islamic Jihad, survival dictates that we must protect ourselves from militants committed to, and engaged in, such vile activities. To do so we must seek and apply the rule of law, but it would also be wise to present alternate social, religious, economic and political options to the many good, kind-hearted Muslims living among us still bound to what amounts to a totalitarianism system deliberately disguised as a religion of peace. But in its conduct with non-Muslims over time, that religious disguise is becoming paper-thin, becoming even more translucent daily as the evidence against it continues to mount.
Islamic Economics 101
The renowned scholar Bernard Lewis tells us that Arabia was once, by middle-age standards, a great civilization. For reasons to be explored here, the hard facts on the ground today are that economies in predominately Islamic lands have been in steady decline for at least the last four-centuries. It is common knowledge that the economic performances of Islamic lands are pathetic when compared to Western industrialized nations. The July 2002 U.N.'s "Arab Human Development Report," written by Arab intellectuals, painted a surprisingly accurate picture of Arabic societies. With a collective population roughly that of the United States, the 22 Arab states have:
• A total GDP less than Spain's, with exports (without oil) less than Norway's, and per capita income less than one-sixth that of Western democracies (sorry, no credit for terror exports).
• Fewer Internet connections per person than even Sub-Saharan Africa, and fewer books translated into Arabic over the past 100 years than even Spain translates in an average year.
• No visible presence in main arenas of human excellence today — Nobel-prize winners, World Cup finalists, Olympic medal-winners, breakthrough scientists, leading historians, international business successes, internationally recognized leaders like Gandhi or Martin Luther King.
• No democratic civil or political rights, sub-standard human rights for her own peoples, virtually none for women or infidels. No political visionaries of any kind. Instead what we see produced are more dictators and despots.
• Dismal standard of living, few legitimate business or economic opportunities, poor health care, and education systems that churn out religious fanaticism and little else.
These sad facts are the hallmarks of a civilization devoid of legitimate, democratic government and free-market economies. Despite all the claims otherwise, neither quality nor longevity of life are by-products of fundamental Islam. The reasons for this poor performance is obvious to everyone except the poor inhabitants of these areas. Numerous human social experiments in communism and pure socialism have shown convincingly that when you remove freedom and economic incentive, productivity and innovation languish. If it were not for the oil in the ground, the productive output of Arab lands would be at the bottom of undeveloped third-world countries. Except for a handful of fortunate countries with massive natural resources (oil), all majority Muslim countries fall into the category of economically "less developed nations". But the reasons for this go beyond the lack of free-market opportunities and mechanisms. The continuing lack of Muslim economic success is a direct result of a culture and practices dictated by oppressive Islamic principals. The lack of innovation and growth is a direct result of incompetence, corruption, or over-regulation on the part of ‘religious’ governments. Once adopted and put into place with all its enforcement methodologies Islam becomes the major cause of a people’s backwardness, and all the subsequent evils that spring from that 7th century mindset. Islam destroys people’s rational and inventive faculties, leading to the degradation of their national cultures and economies.
Their backwards condition is obvious, even to Muslims, but the root causes are not so easy for otherwise intelligent Muslims to identify. The usual reaction is both typical and predictable, …the West must be at fault, nothing bad could possibly come from the worlds ‘best’ religion. Within this construct, the only solution which can be proffered is to return to more pure Islamic values, and to attack Western hegemony with Jihad. As such, the erroneous diagnosis and prescription guarantees a continuation of the patients predicament. This culture of blame can not produce either introspection nor reform. Indeed, in terms of achievement, Arab leaders lack standing to criticize any country, culture, or society. Without excellence in any endeavors today, Arabs look silly as they continue to disparage others and export misery and terrorism. This destructive cycle continues endlessly, ensuring only the continuing economic disadvantage, frustration, and misery of its participants.
By contributing to learning, discipline, faith, work, honesty, and fairness, a progressive religion can be a great asset to the economic well being of citizens. But when a ‘religion’ propagates ignorance, inefficiency, jihad, and prejudice it becomes a liability to host societies producing much higher rates of poverty. Like other totalitarianism systems, Islam acts as an economic hindrance, placing barriers to ambition, prosperity, and fulfillment of human potential. With Islamic education focused (as a political necessary) on indoctrination, and with other Islamic control mechanisms in society, the kind of education which might lead to significant economic reform is not offered. Only a tiny minority of the most privileged escape to western institutions, and then usually choose to stay in the open societies who host them. Then there is the fact that half the population (women) are prevented from getting an education, entering the workforce, and contributing to industry. Instead women are regulated to being nothing more than servants to their husbands and baby factories for Islam.
Paying large percentages in alms is also a heavy burden, as is the personal and social burdens associated with caring for large numbers of minors. Contributing to support local and distant Jihads is also expected. In fact the opportunity to donate sons and money is irresistible to many Muslims, the following reveals why;
Consider also the productivity effects of a limited workforce who are interrupted 5 times a day for rather lengthy compulsory prayers, and who fast all day for weeks on end (40 days/year). Then for merchants, there is undoubtedly fear of providing services or products not in complete conformity with rigid, canonical Islamic restrictions. Such realities are not exactly conducive to market expansion and employment.
Because of the Islamic prohibition to usury (interest rates attached to monetary loans), any who manage to acquire wealth in Islamic lands have no incentive to invest in or otherwise finance new businesses ventures. This prevents the flow of capital to fund other companies or start-ups, effectively killing the entrepreneurial spirit.
Of even more significance is the general Islamic disrespect when contracting to non-Muslim entities. Non-Muslims quickly learn of the propensity of Muslims to break contracts for self gain, and act instead to protect their own capital investments by avoiding such adventures in financial recklessness. Opportunities for cooperation and profit disappear when comes to be known that Muslims are taught my Muhammad himself that covenants with infidels can be broken with impunity if it serves the best interest of Islam. But business behavior between Muslims also suffers from an Arabic culture which is tribal and hegemonic. All such self-destructive business conduct flows as a natural extension of the example exemplified by the caravan raiding Muhammad. The Islamic and/or Arab morality that glorifies dishonesty and cunning to get gain results in suspicion instead of trust. It is a fact that when you remove trust from business relationships, nothing much will happen. Because personal or institutional risk becomes untenable, things like long-term-investment, shared-vision, common-goals, cooperative-projects, and group-achievement become impossible.
The net result of all these Islamic cultural effects on markets and industry make economies based on it much less than competitive in a world economy based on open markets, freedom, and business law not based on the Qur’an. Lands hamstrung by Islamic principals and culture seem guaranteed to fail competitively, producing only the kind of desperate uneducated, unenlightened core material required to produce ever more Jihadic foot soldiers. Another consequence of the Muslim model is that the trappings of superior economic models in adjoining non-Muslim lands are thereby guaranteed to be superior, which more often than not produces jealousy and bitter animosity, if not fodder inspiring conquest and plunder. It is a bitter pill for Muslims to see inferior ‘Infidels’ enjoying bountiful fruits of their industry while large numbers of ‘brothers’ and their families flounder in relative poverty. Such feelings of jealousy and outrage also further stoke the flames of angry, expansionist Islam. The restricted, repressive economic model of Islam is the root cause of poverty and economic stagnation in societies based on it, but the blame is easily shifted to ‘repressive’ neighboring peoples and religions. So Islam itself seems designed to perpetrate both the root neediness, and the goals and methods which the political movement must employ to satisfy those needs (conquest and plunder) …how terribly convenient.
But what else can we hope from the example of a man who could only show his followers how to assassinate and plunder enemies to get gain. Muhammad never created wealth through legitimate means, yet he became very wealthy, but only at the expense of a host of hard-working innocent victims. His example and revelations were intended more to help himself in recruitment efforts aimed at men he sought to participate in his core business. His cut of the exploits were profitable whether he participated in the murder and plunder or not. Of course, not everyone can be a bandit, much larger numbers must toil the soil and produce/improve the lands and merchandise to make the system work for the few thugs who benefit from such an unsustainable system.
If good-hearted, intelligent, and hard-working Muslims can not quite find enough humanistic reasons in the example of Muhammad and his devout followers worldwide to leave the religion, then one might hope that pure economic self-interest will do the trick. On almost every plane of human existence (spiritual, economic, intellectual, emotional, physical) Islam is a heavy ball-and-chain preventing both individual and economic progression. Forced obedience to any cult through fear, coercion, ignorance, and lust creates vice instead of virtue, stagnation instead of growth. My heart goes out to all the good families trapped in Islam. May they all find the means and support necessary to survive the ordeal until enough of their fellows gain sufficient enlightenment and strength to wrest their lands and families from the blight.
The Women of Islam
We have seen clearly into the mind and heart of male Islamic terrorists and the ‘moderate’ Muslims who actively or passively support them, but what about the women of Islam. What could possibly drive them to continue their allegiance to the causes of Muhammad? There are many women who have escaped Islamic bondage who have written quite eloquently about the ordeals of women in the Muslim world. The author must defer to those numerous testaments and will not explore the details of living as a Muslim woman in Muslim lands. This work is dedicated to understanding the motivations of Muslims on Jihad, and so Muslim men in particular. The author admits that his insights into the feminine Muslim culture is very limited, and that he is not qualified to say what makes Muslim women become or remain devoted followers of Muhammad. I will, however, express an opinion without the usual evidentiary backing.
A former Muslim woman has provided care for my young children, and her good nature and strong sense of family values are beyond reproach. She sacrifices and works for her family, and genuinely cares for others in general. Her work ethic and dedication to family seems to exceed the maternal instincts of many Christian women I have known. My suspicion is that Muslim women participate in Islam out of necessity, because there are no alternate options, and because they have a strong natural maternal instinct and have great love for their children. Beyond that, I can’t imagine why they practice the religion, as it seems to this author that Islam has little to offer women. It’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma, but I hope to understand it one day.
Islamic paradise, that very carnal place envisioned by Islamic Jihadists, does not seem to apply to Muslim women. Indeed, it would seem that even if their husbands virility were increased a hundred fold, that the 70+ virgins, all the pretty little boys running around, the other wives, and the slave-concubines, might leave a Muslim girl wondering if she will be the beneficiary of any attention at all from an adoring (if not exhausted) husband. When you speak of paradise to Muslim women, they seem at a loss to characterize their afterlife in any but very nebulous abstract terms. What is very carnal, visual, and well defined for men is much less than clear for poor Muslim women. Muhammad’s revelations were obviously intended more to help in his recruitment efforts, aimed at men he sought to participate in his exploits. Another potential problem in the logic of Islamic paradise is this; as Muslim men practice their new found virility on the Houris (celestial virgins) there would seem to be a constant need in Muslim heaven for replacement untouched young girls to replenish the somewhat more soiled originals, but in any case most Muslim women would certainly not qualify for that particular position as described. Once you scratch the words ‘untouched, unspoiled virgin’ off your resume, my understanding is that it’s near impossible to put them back.
Burquas symbolize to westerners the outwardly manifestation of repression for tens of Millions of Muslim Women living in what amounts to Islamic bondage. This all-encompassing garment separates women from all but close relations. They may not speak to others, travel alone or in the company of non-relations, hold leadership positions, vote, drive, attend school, or speak freely. Their lives consist of servitude to their masters, at deadly peril. Some societies are less limiting, with women only confined to wearing a hair covering and veil with other restrictions less pronounced, but even in these societies’ women’s rights and opportunities cannot be compared to western standards. All women in Islamic lands subject to Sharia are subject to horrific punishments for promiscuity or adultery. Even in Saudi Arabia, one of the more advanced, wealthy, and educated Arab Islamic lands, it is a common ploy for husbands to end arguments with their wives by raising their finger and proclaiming "I divorce you, ...I divorce you, ...I .…" Usually at about the second invoking of the official ‘three strikes and your out’ Islamic method of divorce, women are on their knees begging the angry man for forgiveness and imploring them not to repeat the fateful third ‘I divorce you’. These poor women degrade themselves because they know full well how utterly alone they are in Islamic society without the benefits of property, rights, and substance that they enjoy only through their continued association with their husband. At-Talaq is the title of Sura #65 dealing with divorce. In its primitive sense, the Arabic word 'talaq' means ‘to dismiss’. Instant divorce by uttering the word three times is a rampant practice in many Muslim lands. Under Muslim law sending a talaqnama (a statement of divorce) is also enough to end the marriage, without seeking the wife's opinion or consent, similar to saying talaq thrice. In an ever so subtle concession to worried wives, in August 2001 Singapore's highest Islamic authorities declared that Muslim men may not accomplish ‘talaq’ via cell phone text messages. However, July 27th 2003 the Malaysian government decreed that a man may indeed divorce his wife via text message.
Are there women who join Islam without either being born into the cult, forced into the organization, or deceived into believing it is something entirely different? What inspires women to join? I really can’t imagine.
As for women, the Qur’an 4:34 states that "men have authority over women". The Sura instructs that that woman must be obedient to their husbands or be admonished (verbally abused), banished from the bed (psychologically abused) and beaten (physically abused via wife-beating). It essentially tells Muslim women that: "Men are managers of the affairs of women because Allah has made the one superior to the other." This and other passages clearly claim that women are inferior to men and their husbands have the right to scourge them if they are found disobedient. It advises men to take a green branch and beat their wives (because a green branch is more flexible and inflicts greater pain). (Qur’an 38:44). It teaches that women will go to hell if they are disobedient to their husbands (66:10). It maintains that men have an advantage over the women (Qur’an 2:228). It not only denies women equal rights, it decrees that their witness is not admissible in courts of law (Qur’an. 2:282). This means that a woman who is raped cannot accuse her rapist unless she can produce a male witness.
There are further suras that make a woman's inheritance (4:11-12) worth half of a man's. These are actual Islamic teachings which provide the basis for numerous misogynic cultural practices. The Qur'an also states that if a women becomes captive in a war, her Muslim master is allowed to rape her (33:50), and that women are "tilth" (property to cultivate) for their husbands (2:223). There are also numerous hadiths which reflect poorly on women, including one in which Muhammad declares that most of hell's population is female and that women are deficient in intelligence and piety (Bukhari, I:6:304). The Holy Prophet allows men to marry up to four wives, and is licensed to sleep with slave maids and as many 'captive' women as he can acquire (Qur’an 4:3) even if those women are already married (as He himself did). Furthermore, by the example of Muhammad, a man may take a pre-pubescent wife as young as 9 years old to his marriage bed. Although most countries limit such marriages to children 11-13 years old, the practice of bedding younger girls is not unknown in some regions. Further, the insane practice of genitalia mutilation and honor killings continues today in many Islamic lands and families.
[A word of warning for those who find their version of the Qur’an translated differently than the verses quoted herein. Almost all English translators of the Qur’an have deliberately tried to soften many harsh verses. Yusufali in particular goes out of his way to twist words to hide the harshness of the real Qur’an. For example he translates the verse that says plainly in Arabic
He translates a different verse that states
Since the Qur'an can not be altered, these practices are not likely to be influenced by Western norms. As the preceding text demonstrates, Muslim women are often considered by Westerners to be victims of Islam, and as such receive almost blanket immunity from the more violent and inhumane acts of their sons, brothers, husbands and fathers. However common sense tells us that nurture, instruction, encouragement and support by the women folk must play some role for an entire culture to support such vile activities. Although not generally true for all Muslim women, the following article speaks volumes of the feminine mindset fully immersed in Islam.
The Guardian - Jul 20, 2004 - Arab women singers complicit in rape, says Amnesty report. (www.guardian.co.uk) While African women in Darfur were being raped by the Janjaweed militiamen, Arab women stood nearby and sang for joy, according to an Amnesty International report published yesterday. The songs of the Hakama, or the "Janjaweed women" as the refugees call them, encouraged the atrocities committed by the militiamen. The women singers stirred up racial hatred against black civilians during attacks on villages in Darfur and celebrated the humiliation of their enemies, the human rights group said. "[They] appear to be the communicators during the attacks. They are reportedly not actively involved in attacks on people, but participate in acts of looting." Amnesty International collected several testimonies mentioning the presence of Hakama while women were raped by the Janjaweed. The report said: "Hakama appear to have directly harassed the women [who were] assaulted, and verbally attacked them." During an attack on the village of Disa in June last year, Arab women accompanied the attackers and sang songs praising the government and scorning the black villagers. According to an African chief quoted in the report, the singers said: "The blood of the blacks runs like water, we take their goods and we chase them from our area and our cattle will be in their land. The power of [Sudanese president Omer Hassan] al-Bashir belongs to the Arabs and we will kill you until the end, you blacks, we have killed your God." The chief said that the Arab women also racially insulted women from the village: "You are gorillas, you are black, and you are badly dressed."
The Janjaweed have abducted women for use as sex slaves, in some cases breaking their limbs to prevent them escaping, as well as carrying out rapes in their home villages, the report said. The militiamen "are happy when they rape. They sing when they rape and they tell us that we are just slaves and that they can do with us how they wish", a 37-year-old victim, identified as A, is quoted as saying in the report, which was based on more than 100 testimonies from women in the refugee camps in neighboring Chad. Pollyanna Truscott, Amnesty International's Darfur crisis coordinator, said the rape was part of a systematic dehumanization of women. "It is done to inflict fear, to force them to leave their communities. It also humiliates the men in their communities."
The UN estimates that up to 30,000 people have been killed in Darfur, and more than a million have been forced to flee their homes. Peace talks between the Sudanese government and two rebel movements broke down on Saturday when the rebel groups walked out, saying the government must first disarm the Janjaweed. Another human rights organization, Human Rights Watch, today publishes alleged Sudanese government documents showing that it was much more closely involved with the Janjaweed than it has so far admitted. The documents, which Human Rights Watch said it had obtained from the civilian administration in Darfur and are dated February and March 2004, call for "provisions and ammunition" to be delivered to known Janjaweed militia leaders, camps and "loyalist tribes". One document orders all security units in the area to tolerate the activities of Musa Hilal, the alleged Janjaweed leader in north Darfur interviewed by the Guardian last week. Peter Takirambudde, the executive director of Human Rights Watch's Africa division, said: "These documents show that militia activity has not just been condoned, it's been specifically supported by Sudan government officials." The official government line is that it did not arm or support the Janjaweed, though its presence was useful in helping to combat rebels in Darfur.
BBC- 18 June, 2002- The Gaza Strip, Israel: By Middle East correspondent Orla Guerin. The mother of a Palestinian suicide attacker who killed two Israelis before being shot dead has spoken of her feelings about her son's actions. A video released by Hamas shows a proud mother taking up arms beside her favorite son. First a warm embrace, then a loving kiss. Naima al-Obeid was saying goodbye to her 23-year-old Mahmoud, a college student on his way to carry out a suicide attack. "God willing you will succeed," she says. "May every bullet hit its target, and may God give you martyrdom. This is the best day of my life." Mahmoud says: "Thank you for raising me".
Naima got her wish... Mahmoud was shot dead attacking the Jewish settlement of Dugit in the Gaza Strip on Saturday. Two Israeli soldiers were killed in the ambush. Their deaths are being celebrated near Mahmoud's home. We found crowds coming to the mourning tent - and not just because of him. People here aren't just remembering Mahmoud - they are honoring his mother. She has become a heroine, being talked about on the streets, praised in the local papers. Some Palestinians are taking a great deal of pride in a mother who saw her son go to kill and die without shedding a tear. They are already saying she will inspire other women to do the same. In her home, in Gaza, she showed me pictures of the son she calls "my heart". She had no sympathy for the dead Israelis, no regrets over the loss of her own son. "Nobody wants their son to be killed. I always wanted him to have a good life. "But our land is occupied by the Israelis. We're sacrificing our sons to get our freedom," she told me. I asked her if it mattered whether her son killed women and children. "The women and children are also Jews," she said, "They're all the same for me. "And I want to tell Jewish mothers - take your children and run from here because you will never be safe. We believe our sons go to heaven when they are martyred. When your sons die they go to hell." Naima is surrounded by well-wishers, no one asking why she gave her son a license to kill. She has nine more children, whom, she says, all have a duty to fight the Israeli occupation.