The War for Africa

Has already started.

“Ex Africa semper aliquid novi”

“Always something new from Africa” said Pliny the Elder, and this remains true today, but unfortunately, the news is most often bad, especially for Africans.

Ansar Al Dine fighters near Timbuktu, Mali. Note the black war flag of Jihad.

In April of this year, in the disarray after a military coup, Malian government forces fled the country’s northern cities, abandoning an area as large as France. While there were several actors in the anti-government movement, hard-line Islamists affiliated with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb quickly appeared alongside the local Islamic militia, Ansar Al Dine.

The fabled city of Timbuktu came under shariah law, with wine and music banished, and floggings, amputations and the demolition of ancient Muslim shrines in their place.  This is an appalling situation for the people of Northern Mali, one that is little noticed in the West, at least among the priorities of foreign policy establishments. It should be, not only for the gross violations of human rights in Northern Mali, but for its larger strategic implications.

In the wake of Muammar Qadaffi’s deposition, vast stores of weapons and armaments

Benghazi US consulate under attack on 9/11/2012

found their way into many hands. In fact, Navy seal, Glen Doherty killed at Benghazi, was tasked with trying to retrieve shoulder fired anti aircraft missiles. Libya’s interim president has stated that foreign fighters, including some from Mali, were involved in the attack. There is little reason to doubt him, as his version of events has been proven right, while the “evolving” positions of the US administration have been consistently wrong.

One fears then that American policy makers have little if any idea of what they are dealing with: far more than isolated terrorist attacks, but a continent wide challenge.

In Nigeria, Boko Haram, a violent Jihadist movement, began its campaign in 2009. Yet, while information on its savage asymmetrical war of bombings, assassinations, beheadings and ethnic cleansing has been reported by the wire services from the start, it was long rarely mentioned in broadcast news reports. A search shows CNN first reporting in 2011, and then only in security matters blogs. Boko Haram’s atrocities make for lurid reporting, but the group has a far larger significance,

An AFP (Agence France Presse) report datelined September 27, 2012,  Gao, Northern Mali that as jihadi fighters pour across the Niger border,

Perhaps the most startling thing about these fighters along this frontier route is that nearly all of them are from sub-Saharan Africa rather than the Maghreb.

, I am surprised,” Nigerien Hicham Bilal, who is leading a katiba (combat unit) to Gao, admitted to AFP. “Every day we have new volunteers. They come from Togo, Benin, Niger, Guinea, Senegal, Algeria and elsewhere.”

This then, is the significance of Mali.  A route has been opened for jihad from the Mediterranean to the Gulf of Guinea.  A look at the map shows the enormous advantage the forces of Islam have. Boko Haram began by demanding Islamic rule in the Muslim majority northern half of the country; now it fights to brig all of Nigeria under sharia.

Why then would one doubt that Islamic rule in North Africa and the Sahel would not press

The fall of Northern Mali has opened a jihad trail between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.

further, through migration, economic pressure, and outright war? There are strategic thinkers among the Islamists.  The movement that now triumphs in Egypt began in the1920s.

In Arabic “abd,” slave, also means  black African The Arab drive for domination of black Africa began many centuries ago, manifested most blatantly in the Arab slave trade, reaching deep into the interior, penetrating as far as the Central Congo. Confronted with superior European technology and organization, Arab influence in Central Africa receded, but has long since renewed its assault as the decades long Civil War ( which might better be called the war for Independence of black Sudan) in Sudan, and the continuing oppression of Muslim black people in Darfur. The ancient Christian land Of Ethiopia is already one third Muslim, and Christians have been expelled from some Muslim areas. In Kenya , Somali Al Shabab jihad operatives have carried out attacks in the capital, Nairobi. Any African country with a substantial Muslim population can expect Arab directed violence and aggression, with the assistance of these large fifth columns,

Poor Africa.  The continent seems destined to be dominated and plundered. These trends

Tippu Tip or Tib (1837 – June 14, 1905 Once owned 10,000 slaves. His influence reached the Easter Congo. While he appears black, he was partly  of Muscat descent, considered himself an Arab, and acted accordingly towards non Muslim Africans

point to a future in which black Africa faces economic, political and religious enslavement.   Christianity in the ancient lads of Christendom has become largely nominal; in Africa it is fervent belief. Christian Africa will not submit willingly, but its resistance will be at a severe disadvantage.  The Muslim forces will have the support of their brethren globally, and the weapons and resources for war in which the Middle East and North Africa are well stocked.  If Christian Africans receive the same level of support that the West has given minorities in Muslim lands, the their future may be grim.

This Arab empire will be like its predecessors, living off plunder and captive populations, perhaps partnering with Russia and China in resource extraction, even as hose nations fight their own Islamic insurgents.

So, are these the musings of someone with an internet connection ad too much time on his hands?

Perhaps not.

Africom, established in 2007 and headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, is U.S military’s hybrid military-civilian organization with the mission of working with African nations on security matters, with security broadly defined as including not just military capability but economic and social developmen,t as well.  Although  the US has bases in Africa, no African nation has agreed to host the command,

The commands mission is sounds relatively benign, but some Africans see it as aimed a securing resurces and supply lines. This may be so.  Perhaps the US is pre-positioning  for its part in the wider struggle. On whose side it will stand, and why is open to question, but what isn’t, is that it is Africa that will suffer as it always has.

“Islam Will Dominate” I Call Bullshit

“Islam will dominate” proclaim placards waved by bearded fanatics. Organizations such as Shariah4Belgium, and similar groups in Holland, Britain and France scream of their dreams of Islamic victory while they harass moderate Muslims and secularists. Naive multiculturalists chanting the “Coexist” mantra, craven politicians, and worse those cynical enough to pander for the Muslim vote as did George Galloway in Britain and Holland in France prime Islamist confidence.

They should enjoy their present day surge because of this I am certain, and would say to them:

One day you will call down a terrible retribution on yourselves.

From the jezails that some still carry in the Arabian desert, the cell phones you use to detonate your cowardly IEDs, to the atomic weaponry the Iranians hope for, everything you use against us, you got from us.

And one day, we will take it all away

Your lies and subversion of our institutions have worked  to spread your falsehoods, but more and more of see beyond this.

 

It is you who will suffer, and suffer you will gladly for your nihilism blinds you to the misery that centuries of oppression have wreaked upon our peoples.  The miserable level of development and wretched human lives that characterize your world will be infinitely worse when the reckoning comes.  This did not have to be, but perhaps it does have to be so.  When you turned your back on reason a millennium ago and, instead, embraced war as your principal argument, you doomed yourselves.

And when the free peoples of the West revolt and eject you as a foreign body, you will glory in your martyrdom, but your women and children, your innocent neighbors, all of you, guilty, complicit, and innocent will share in a Nakba uncountable orders of magnitude larger and crueler than the tragedy you claim for Palestine, and on your heads it shall be.

You think that you are strong because you retain belief, while we have abandoned it.  You do not understand us at all.  The civilization of Christendom was indeed based on Christianity, for which came the idea of personal salvation and individual responsibility for an ethical life.  Our post religious civilization is today uncertain, reeling and unsteady as it seeks a new compass.  It will find it, because our ethics and abilities, while rooted in religion, can and will survive its decline.

Your religion gives you only the notions of collective submission in the name of dominance, and that dominance is an end to itself.  You promise no earthly city of god, but only slavery and ruin.  For us, but in the end for you as well, yet you are too blind to see that your course is suicidal.

Do you really think that you will get Germans to deny science; that Italians will not drink wine with their pasta and that her women will go covered to the beach?  Do you think that Frenchman will give up charcuterie  and political debate?

That you will chain our intellects, erase our literature, and silence our music?

You will not rob us of our ancient heritage, built on millennia of success and failure, experiment and struggle, that gave us the world we enjoy and you would destroy.

You will not dominate Europe by demographic conquest.  Long before you reach over lordship Europe will revolt.  Remember, that continent woke from a thousand years of feudalism to give the world the Reformation and the Enlightenment.

You have only prevailed against us in times of disorder and disunion.  Just as after the fall of the Western Empire, we are in a new dark age, where doubt and relativism have divided and undermined us, so you thrive for the moment.  This will not last.

America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia are infected as well with this malaise but do not forget that these nations were formed from Europe’s best, those who would be free and die rather than accept serfdom, which is all you can offer us.

You don’t believe in evolution, yet in your appeals to violence and lust that is no more than assault, you deny everything that separates us from beasts. You cannot evolve, and thus your like will die in the end.

You shall not win; you cannot.

You don’t have what it takes.

You never have, and you never will.

Islamic Snuff Flicks

Tawfik Okasha presenting the beheading video

A couple of weeks ago, a video appeared on the internet.  Another beheading, but what made it unusual was that it was shown on Egyptian TV by talk show host Tawfiq Okasha, described in various postings as a liberal, on his show “Egypt Today.” Mr Okash said the crime took place in Tunisia and that the film  showed men beheading a Christian for the crime of having converted from Islam.

Some days later other posts and comments appeared on line saying that the video was first posted by the Free Syrian Army, and that the victim was an a Alawite, the Shia offshoot to which Assad belongs.

The internet is replete with this sort of thing, the decapitation of Daniel Berg in Iraq being the most widespread. Some years ago, I watched the film of Mr. Berg’s last minutes, and had not returned for more.

This time, I felt that if Mr Okash was brave enough to show this on Egyptian T.V., and ask the anguished question, “Is this Islam,” I would do him the courtesy of watching.

I don’t speak Arabic but have enough words to pick up a little of the gist.  The words “murtad,” apostate, and “mushrik,” polytheist – which Muslims consider Christians, with their concept of the Trinity to be – recur over and over again.

What did I see? I saw a man have his head slowly severed from his body, as I had seen before, the initial cut severing the carotid much the same as the that of the halal slaughter method, so one hears a gurgling as the victim continues to breathe though the blood.

The young man first lies calmly with the knife at his throat, calm, his eyes doe like, with either the peace of resignation, hope for the life hereafter, or perhaps drugged, although I very much doubt this kind of mercy was shown.

The first slice is shallow, and the blood starts.  Then the sawing begins, and it goes on for a very long time, as the killer slices and also bends the head away from the growing neck cut so that one is presented a grisly anatomy lesson. Within this time the life drains from the eyes and death triumphs.

When the head comes free it is lifted in triumph to cries of Allahu Akbar ( Allah is greater). Then as I had seen before, the head is set upon the trunk, much as one might display a hunting trophy,

Some days after the video appeared, posts appeared on line showing the video in earlier posts, and stating that it was not in Tunisia, but Syria, citing the use of the epithet “rafidi”( deserter), which they say is used for Shia, but certainly could describe anyone who left Islam. Not knowing the word then, I didn’t hear it, and have no desire to watch again so as to confirm this.  Most said it was the Free Syrian Army, who are Sunni, killing an Alawite . A few said the victim was Shabiha, as the informal militias of street thugs, and undercover secret police Assad employs are known. These commenters thought the man got what he deserved, and looked forward to more of the same.

Some thought the audio might have been dubbed, although I haven’t found that anyone has yet done any forensics to prove or disprove this.

In the end, It really doesn’t matter.  What does, is the answer to Mr. Okasha’s question, “Is this Islam?”

And the answer is yes, it is , and has always been thus.

The Islamic tradition of the end of the Jewish Banu Quraiza tribe after their defeat in Medina at the Battle of the Trench is iconic.

“The Jews were made to come down, and Allah’s Messenger imprisoned them. Then the Prophet went out into the marketplace of Medina , and he had trenches dug in it. He sent for the Jewish men and had them beheaded in those trenches. They were brought out to him in batches. They numbered 800 to 900 boys and men. As they were being taken in small groups to the Prophet, they said to one another, ‘What do you think will be done to us?’ Someone said, ‘Do you not understand. On each occasion do you not see that the summoner never stops? He does not discharge anyone. And that those who are taken away do not come back. By God, it is death!’ The affair continued until the Messenger of Allah had finished with them all.”

Al-Tabari, Vol. 8, p. 35, See Also Ishaq:464

Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi: I was among the captives of Banu Qurayza. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair.

Abu Dawud 38:4390

And this rather odd detail related by Mohammed’ s child bride, Aisya:

Narrated Aisha: No woman of Banu Qurayza was killed except one. She was with me, talking and laughing on her back and belly (extremely), while the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) was killing her people with the swords. Suddenly a man called her name: Where is so-and-so? She said: I  asked: What is the matter with you? She said: I did a new act. She said: The man took her and beheaded her. She said: I will not forget that she was laughing extremely although she knew that she would be killed.

Abu Dawud 14:2665

As for apostasy, the penalty is death, although beheading may not be the sole means of execution.

From “Reliance of the Traveler,” A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred law( ISBN 0-9159-5772-8), which represents the Hanafi school of jurisprudence which dominates in Sunni Islam. The translation is endorsed by Al Azhar Univeristy Cairo, among other authorities.

Section o8.1 “When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostasizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.”

And, lest one think that the word “deserves’ indicates opinion only,  08.2 goes on to say, “In such a case it is obligarory for the Caliph( or his representative) to ask him to repend and return to Islam.  If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed.”

Given the example of Islam’s founder, beheading is understandably the method of choice, as in Saudi Arabia, although Iran has progressed to the Seventeenth Century or so, with hanging.

So, Mr. Okahsa, this is Islam. Clearly you were appalled, but if your horror is to have any meaning, you must look squarely at your religious tradition and admit what it is now, if you are to have any hope of changing it to something on which you could look on without being sickened

(This link is one of many that will take you to the video.)

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day: A Personal Rubicon

In 2010 American cartoonist Molly Norris of Seattle proposed May 20 as “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day 20.”  This was in response to threats against the creators of South Park, who had named a bear suited character Mohammed.  A Facebook page sprung up and attracted a large number of followers.  Ms Norris’ own contribution was rather tame and did not in fact depict Islam’s prophet;  further, she disassociated herself from the Facebook page, which was the work of third parties.

Molly Norris’ contribution to “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” After credible threats to her life, the cartoonist went underground, and remains in hiding.

Nevertheless, in the end, she received more serious and credible threats than had the South Park team, and was advised to go underground by the FBI.  This she did at her own expense, so that a citizen of the United States, exercising her constitutional rights, was on her own, while violent felons and turned terrorists flourish in government sponsored witness protection.

Since 9/11, when Islam roars, the West cowers, as it did the previous year during the furor over Muhammad cartoons in the Danish Newspaper Jyllands –Posten.  In that instance, after a lag of some months, protests began as internet provocateurs – Muslims themselves– distribute the pictures along with even more graphically offensive images which had never appeared in the Danish newspaper.  Rioting, arson and death spread through the Middle East and Central Asia. It is ironic that the depiction of Islam’s prophet is not clearly proscribed in the Koran itself, and there is a rich history of portraiture showing Muhammad and events in his life in the artistic traditions of Persia, Central Asia and the

A Persian depiction of the Angel Gabriel revealing the Koran to Mohammed.

Ottoman Empire.

Logo from OIC Website. This pretty much says it all: a world centered on Mecca.

Since then, the OIC(Organization of Islamic Cooperation) has pushed its “anti-blasphemy”(read: anti criticism of slam)   rules in the west, with officials of purported democracies all too eager to comply.  Free speech in regard to Islam, among other multicultural shibboleths has bee criminalized in Europe, and has only shaky protection in the Anglophone democracies of the former empire.  The mother country has all but capitulated as “public order” and “community cohesion” statutes muzzle critics in Britain.  Only in the United States does the Constitution’s second amendment remain as a bulwark for freedom.

I have been associated with Islam and Muslims for most of my life.  At the time of the Oklahoma City bombing, I prayed that the actors not be Muslim.  Then came 9/11, the second and successful attack on the Twin Towers.  Even then, I made excuses and distinctions.  It was the violent and irrationally disproportionate  reaction to the Danish cartoons  of 2009 that led me to to examine Islamic tradition and scripture.

I did not like what I found, and am daily further appalled as I continue my exploration.  In the last few years, I toyed with the idea of posting something on May 20 each year, but refrained, telling myself that giving needless offense helped nothing.  There is validity to that argument, but, in truth, underlying it was moral cowardice, and personal sadness.  While I live in a  Muslim country, I am obscure enough that physical jeopardy is unlikely.  However, it is likely that some people for whom I have personal regard will not be able to see beyond their emotional attachment to  a religion which I am certain they do not fully comprehend, and our association will thus end.

So be it.

Like the larger part of my generation, I have never been called to stand for anything, as my father and grandfather were in the conflicts of their times.  Due to accidents of birth and class, Viet Nam passed me by.  This then is a small thing to do.

                     My contribution to “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”

Art is not my forte, so my drawing requires some explication:

I show Muhammad as bearded and turbaned, as he is described in most traditions.  Note that I use the word “traditions” as the historical record is even scantier than support for the Christian Gospels.

The other sketches show aspects of Islamic belief and history:

1)”The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and his messenger, and strive for mischief n the land is execution, crucifixion, or the  cutting  off of hands and feet from opposite sides (Koran 5:32)

2)  While the Koran prescribes one hundred lashes for adultery (really, any extra marital sex) in the hadith( sayings and deeds  attributed to Muhammad and purportedly verified through a documented chain of transmission, which  are central to Islam, particularly the Sunni majority) quote the prophet as personally ordering death by stoning:  “Allah’s apostle commanded that she be stoned to death:  Sahih Bukhari

3) The sack of Alexandria 641E: Islamic  tradition and scripture support spreading the religion by the sword. It is a conundrum that today, as Arabs and Muslims protest the existence of Israel, and bemoan the horrors of the Crusades, with the support by much of the world, that the historical record is generally ignored.  The extra-Arabian  Middle East, Turkey  and North Africa, once Christian, and Greek, Aramaic, Syriac, Hebrew, and Latin speaking, now is Arab  and Turkic, and almost  entirely        Islamic.  The war on Christians begun by the early caliphs is today in its final phase in Egypt, Syria and Iraq.

Holy war is an Islamic concept, as epitomized today on the Saudi flag, with the Muslim confession of faith surmounting a sword. For contrast, one need only look at the legacy of the European empires: only in the Americas, and the Philippines in Asia do we see indigenous religions vanquished by Christianity, inlands that were conquered by the Iberian powers in the century immediately after the end of their seven hundred year Muslim occupation.

“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the jizya( a tax required of non-Muslims under Islamic rule) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (Koran 9:29)

4)Some of Muhammad’s many wives.  While Islam limits the number of wives to four, its founder had many more, as well as numerous concubines, with some of each taken in war.  The small figure on the right is Aisha, the youngest of all.  Betrothed at six, bedded at nine.  She holds a doll.

Hadith – Bukhari 8:151, Narrated ‘Aisha

I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet , and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah’s Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me. (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for ‘Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.) (Fateh-al-Bari page 143, Vol.13)

5) The Battle of the Trench 627 CE.  After defeating the Jewish tribes and their allies who had been besieging the Muslims in Medina, between 600-900 men and boys were beheaded in the public square.  Muhammad presided, and in some accounts, participated.  Boys without pubic hair were spared and joined the women and girls in slavery.

Such practices are common through the histories of many peoples, in many times.  What is different here is that the conduct is not reexamined in the light of modern mores, but rather, celebrated, extolled, and emulated. One simply does not find traditions depicting the founder of any other major religion engaging in such actions.

My examination of Islam has lead me to the firm conclusion that this belief system, in its core doctrines and traditions, offers nothing but supremacist delusion , which is daily expressed in violence and repression, throughout the word, with the majority of victims themselves Muslims. There will be no peace until Islam reforms – and I consider this highly unlikely – or until it is turned back on physical an moral battlefields.  If not, one hopes, not though actual war, but a rhetorical, economic and moral equivalent of Tours, Lepanto, Vienna, and the defeat of the Ottomans.     It is a conflict that the West denies, and of which only the proponents of Islamic dominance speak the truth.

6) 9/11  A latter day incident in a very old war

Hamza Kashgari Returned to Saudi Arabia: Where the 7th Century and 1984 Converge in the 21st Century

Malaysian authorities have deported a Saudi journalist accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a tweet. –BBC(12 February 2012)

In typical Beeb style, this is a rather measured statement of what actually happened.  And that is this: A young man exercising speech rights enshrined in the U.N. human rights convention, but not recognized anywhere  in the Islamic world, was seized while in lawful transit en route to a third country,  by Malaysia’s “soft” theocratic state, and turned over to agents of world’s most repressive religious regime for rendition to Saudi Arabia, with the collusion of an international policing agency answerable to no one.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia's glittering gateway. I plan on staying away.

And now Hamza Kashgari, journalist and blogger from Jeddah, awaits retribution for his thought crime. It is interesting to not that Kashgari means “of Kashgar” a city in Southwest China, once known as a great caravan terminus in Chinese Turkestan. There has been great diversity within Islam, but the Wahhabi/Salafi/Muslim Brotherhood assault is bent on destroying these differences in the name of the  suffocating orthodoxy challenged by the young Saudi.

Malaysia acted in response to a “red notice” issued by Interpol at tthe request of Saudis.

The Guardian notes :

In response to past criticisms of the red notice system, it has said: “There are safeguards in place. The subject of a red notice can challenge it through an independent body, the commission for the control of Interpol’s files (CCF).”

One can only imagine the cost of the legal resources that would need to be brought to bear to achieve any result.  Mr. Kashgari will not have the benefit of civil society organizations that would be able to help in some societies.

These “safeguards” were of no avail to the 22 year old Saudi. It makes me want to weep.  Can you imagine how this boy felt, his young life in ruins behind him, but still with hope before him, as he flew east?

Then he lands in  KLIA (Kuala Lumpur), transiting to New Zealand, and the  grim face of Islamism greets him.  Perhaps his hope continued to flicker for the few hours he was held, hoping that a world outcry would save him.

Human rights organizations did shout his case out to a largely heedless world, but those who could have helped, the foreign offices of Europe, and the  United States State Department were, and of this writing, still are, silent.

How he felt on the flight “home” is too awful to contemplate.

I spit on “moderate Malaysia.”

This is the face Malaysia presents to the world. Not a hijab in sight when, in fact, most Malaysian Muslim women have taken up the head scarf since the 1980s.

Mr. Kashgari’s remarks would

Malasian Pas(Islamist Party) members demonstrate. This is more representative of current developments in Malaysia.

seem innocuous to those unfamiliar with the parameters defining blasphemy in Islamic jurisprudence:

In the first, Kashgari declared “I have loved the rebel in you, that you’ve always been a source of inspiration to me,” but then added: “I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you.” He followed that with a second tweet, “I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more.”

In a third, Kashgari said: “I shall not bow to you.  I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile at you as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more.”

Reminiscent of one seeking a personal relationship with Jesus, but given the unquestioning regard of Muslim believers for the Islamic prophet, which only misses being fairly termed  idolatry in that images of this “Perfect Man” are forbidden, the Saudi blogger’s tweets were enough to bring the wrath of the entire Kingdom, from royals to ordinary citizens.

The twats at Twitter should say something about it, but don’t count on it, as they have picked up a stack of Saudi Petrodollars recently

The Red Notice system has been the subject of abuse before, as in this 2004 Congressional Record discussion of bogus notices issued by Uzbekistan. What we have here is a system that allows repressive governments to pursue their nationals for crimes that would not be offenses in free countries, to suppress dissent, and purse their rulers’ personal vendettas..

During World War II, Interpol, then headquartered in Vienna, was headed by such SS luminaries as as Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Reinhard Heydrich.  Now based in Lyon, France,  it is headed by Ronald K. Noble, Clinton era U.S. Justice Department Undersecretary for Enforcement, and head of the Department’s “Waco Administrative Review Team.”  In other words, there is more than a whiff of sympathy for coercive statism in the agency’s history.

And it is this  that made Kashgari’s apprehension possible, even certain.

He fled his native country with thousands quite literally calling for his head.accusing him of apostasy.  This is no surprise as, although the Koran itself does not state a temporal punishment for the crime, a widely accepted  hadith (saying of Islam’s prophet Muhmmad) does:

Whoever changed his (Islamic) religion, then kill him” Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:84:57

Muhammad himslef was no mean axeman, at least by proxy, as the story of the Jewish Banu Qurayza, among other traditions,  will attest.

While Mr.Kashgari did not deny Muhammad as Allah’s messenger,  mere mockery of Allah or the prophet can constitute apostasy. The journalist is in jeopardy of great harm, not the least of which is time in a Saudi jail.  Yet, I do not think his life will be taken.  The case  does have some visibility, and the suave spokesmen the Saudis send to the West will, one

Adel A. Al-Jubeir, current Saudi ambassador to the U.S.

hopes,counsel moderation for the sake of good PR.

A Saudi beheading. A regular Friday crowd pelaser at "Chop Square" in Riyadh. Plenty more where this came from: perennial favorites on YouTube

Rather, Hamza Kashgari’s fate will recall that of Winston  Smith in 1984  Some schools of Islamic jurisprudence allow the apostate to recant and thus avoid death.  This is the line taken against Christians accused of apostasy from Islam by Iran.  Remember how in Orwell’s book, Winston, after his torture and breaking, was allowed his physical freedom, for a while.

One can almost wonder is Kashgari’s flight towards the western world was like the way the Inner Party played with its victims, before erasing them. Kashgari, too will learn to love Big Brother, or at least to convince all around that he does so.  Islam is more merciful than Ingsoc, in that it requires only outward submission for survival in this world, leaving damnation for the secret denier to the next.

Nevertheless, the end result is the same: “a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”

 

What you can do:

Contact your foreign office.

Contact the Saudi Embassy in your country.

Express your anger to Malaysian representation in your country.

Contact Tourism Malaysia and let them know you will not be visiting Malaysia as a result of their country’s complicity in the Kashgari affair.  This page provides contact information for Malaysian tourism promotion offices in various countries.

For the U.S.  go here to email Secretary Clinton

or call: 202-647-4000

Email Royal Saudi Embassy in Washington

Telephone: (202) 342-3800

Information/Press Office: (202) 337-4076

Malaysian Embassy, Washington

Email: malwashdc@kln.gov.my

Telephone (202) 342-3800

Sign on line petitions.  Here is one, and there are many more.

Tweet and Facebook Kashgari’s story.  Use the links in this piece, or find your own, but spread the news.  Talk to your friends and family.

Shariah Says: No Mohawks

An Indonesian "punker" rallies in support of his Aceh brothers and sisters.

Euro punks ca 80s

Not lost amid the events roiling the world – the threatened euro meltdown, riots and repression in Egypt, killings  of protestors in Syria, the death of North Korea’s dear leader, is the story of a bunch of kids snatched up by police at a Punk rock concert in Aceh, Indonesia.

Punk has been around a long time.   Sid vicious and Johnny rRotten raged in the 70s, but to a lot of kids around the world, adapting what they see as a punk lifestyle,centered on music, tattoos, piercings and just generally, looking and acting weird, and not fitting in, is the way to find identity in repressive societies.

Aceh, the northern most part of Sumatra in the West of Indonesia, is a beautiful land of forested mountains, rushing rivers, long white beaches and reefs teeming with life. A trading entrepot for many centuries, its culture is a an eclectic mix of local, India, Arab and Chinese influences.

Caning in Banda Aceh. Despite generally very nice people, great food, and stunning scenery, Aceh's tourist potential is unlikely to be developed soon.

It is also the place where Islam entered Indonesia, and has been under Shariah law under the terms of the autonomy agreement signed in Helsinki,in 2005, between the Indonesian government and rebels who had fought a three decades long independence war.  Aceh has long been a place ruled by traditional Islamic mores, and while the shariah regime is yet lighter than in Saudi Arabia,  it is tightening its grip.

Aceh first came to the notice of the entire world for its enormous suffering from the 2004 Tsunami,  but lately its press has been rather poor.  The punk round up is the latest in a series of stories  that have shown the brutal, and frequently illogical,  face of shariah to the world.

Ritual Purification? Punks are unclean!

“There will be a traditional ceremony. First their hair will be cut. Then they will be tossed into a pool. The women’s hair we’ll cut in the fashion of a female police officer,” Iskander said on Tuesday. “Then we’ll teach them a lesson.” said Aceh police chief Ins. Gen. Iskandar Hasan, as reported by the Jakarta Globe.  “I’ll remind [police] not to breach human rights,” He concluded.(13 December)

Human rights in Islam are analogous to animal rights in an abattoir: they may be acknowledged, but the outcome in both cases is equally grim.

Chief Hasan may sound hypocritical and illogical, but within the closed system that is Islam, he makes perfect sense: helping Muslims adhere to Islamic rules upholds their right to be perfect Muslims, and more importantly, the right of the Ummah ( Islamic community) to have no imperfect Muslims among its members.

The Globe headline speaks of “reeducation,” but what the police chief proposed, and subsequently carried out, has much in common with Isamic religious practice and jurisprudence.

He has every right to proceed  as he has because

“That which the Muslims consider good, Allah considers good.” *(see end note)

.And clearly these Muslims do not consider being a punk good. The “pool of water ” is reminscent of the ghusl, a purificatory  bath to remove janaba, ritual  defilement. The haircuts too, have some support:

It is offensive to shave part of the head and leave part unshaven.

So mohawks are out.

Mohawks are prohibited, but a clean shave is OK,

However,

There is no harm in shaving it all off

On the other hand,The girls  who had their long hair shorn may have a beef:

These self righteous frumps seem to be multiplying exponentially here in Indonesia. Maybe a burqa would be preferable in the barberess' s case.

It is unlawful for a  woman to cut her hair to disfigure herself, though if done for thesake of beauty it is permissible.

So Siead O’Connor is ok, but one would think have disfigurement imposed would not be, but the policewomen with the clippers no doubt would take the legalistic view: the ruling says “disfigure herself” and they did it for these wayward girls.

The Aceh punk roundup story has legs that are still running strong. “AnarchoPunks n Moscow have grafittied the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow with slogans such as:

“Religion=Fascism.” and  “Punk is not a crime.”

Buy those lads some vodka!

Sinéad is shariah compliant, as long as she didn't intend to "disfigure herself." Who knows?

As of  yesterday, December 20, the punks were holding up well.. This WP/AP story details their defiance.

At the same time, Secretary Clinton has been holding a conference( closed proceedings ) with the OIC in

Fully compliant

Washington so as to work on eliminating defamation of religion and religious prejudice.  No doubt a press release announcing a multifaith center with a church and a synagogue  in Mecca is forthcoming.

What's the big deal? It's just a haircut! No disrepect to Holocaust victims meant. Islam, like Nazism is a supremacist, totalitarian ideology. Totalitarianism starts incrementally.

Listen to the punks: they know the truth.

*( From: “Reliance of The traveler, a Manual of Islamic Sacred Law”  A compendium of scholarship of the Shafi school.  Published in English and Arabic by Amana Publications, Maryland USA. 2008 edition.  Certified for accuracy of translation and scholarship by Al Azhar University Cairo and the International Institute for Islamic thought, Herndon, Virgina, USA, among others.  All other comments on Islamic law and religious practice in this piece are from the same source.”

Arguing With Fools

All questions answered

I spent 25 bucks on Amazon for a copy of “Reliance of the Traveller.”  It is not a travel guide, but a manual of Islamic sacred law( fiqh), which encompasses, and expands on, the the shariah of the Koran,  according to the Shafi’i school of jurisprudence. The “traveler” is the Muslim living his life from birth to death, and the book provides religious guidance and rulings for aspects of life on which he may rely.

It sat on my bookshelf for months, a weighty read not happily anticipated,  but when I finally opened he wrapping , the book surprised me with its readability, and so far has confirmed my forebodings as to Islam.  In fact, things are worse than I thought,

One learns that there are more than one school of Islamic jurisprudence, of whichi the Hanafi is one, but that they are largely in agreement on matters of faith and morals,  That which has been agreed on by a consensus of scholars is obligatory;  that which is not ,is decided by the ummah, the muslims as a community,  That which has been decided by the ummah in the past is in effect and not to be questioned,  An ordinary Muslim is not to question a scholar in command of sacred noweldge,

And the purpose of sacred knowledge, that is theology and in Islam, law as well, without distinction, in obligation is to enable Muslims  to follow the example of their messenger,  Using the techniques of scholarship for any other purpose is forbidden:

Anyone who seeks Sacred Knowledge to argue with fools, vie with scholars,or draw people’s attention to himself, will take a place in Hell.

Thus there can be no scholasticism, as in Europe where reason was used in an attempt to justify faith, but in the end overturned its unchallenged authority over human life. Instead, in Islam a dense legalism nibbles at the edges of the religious corpus, as so much has been decided that scholars are left to debate minutiae or shoehorn unexpected situations into agreement with the precedents of a millennium or more ago,

Reading this book is instantly enlightening.  That precedent cannot be overturned and that ancient  consensus must hold forever the reader thinks, must be related to the stasis, and backwardness of Islamic societies.

Knowledge other than sacred knowledge or learning that may be used to advance sacred knowledge is unlawful.a

These are are areas of  unlawful knowledge in Islam:(page 14, section a7.2)

sorcery

Philopsohy

magic

astrology

the scence of the materiaists

and anything that is a  means to create doubts(in eternal truths)

That philosophy and science based on material observation are proscribed likely  has much to do with countries like Saudi  Arabia still finding sorcery and magic to prosecute.

There is much more to read  and reflect on, a task of some months, but I have seen enough to know that Islam constrains itself with iron limits  on the spirit and intellect that have kept it in the state of underdevelopment that it so resents, and that may in the end be its utter undoing.

Why do I undertake this task?

To argue with fools.