ISLAM WATCH-7

 

Spain: 'The Mediterranean Corridor of Jihadism'
by Soeren Kern • March 11, 2015 at 5:00 am

The arrests have, once again, cast a spotlight on the problem of radical Islam in Catalonia, which has the largest Muslim population in Spain. The region is home to an estimated 465,000 Muslims, who account for more than 6% of the total Catalan population of 7.5 million.

Catalonia is home to approximately 465,000 Muslims. At least 10% of them are estimated to be 'radicals' who are hardcore believers in the 'doctrine of jihadism.' — Jofre Montoto, Catalan terrorism analyst.
In February, the lower house of the Spanish Congress approved far-reaching changes to the country's penal code, as a way to combat Islamic extremism and support for the Islamic State.
Under the new law, anyone convicted of carrying out a terrorist attack will be subject to a life sentence (35 years) without the possibility of parole. The law also calls for 20-year sentences for anyone convicted of supplying weapons to terrorists, or ten-year sentences for funding terror networks.

Samira Yerou was arrested March 7 at Barcelona's airport, on suspicion of running a jihadist recruiting network. (Image source: Spanish Ministry of the Interior)

Spanish police have arrested a Moroccan woman on suspicion of running a jihadist recruiting network for the Islamic State.
Samira Yerou, 32, was arrested at Barcelona's El Prat airport on March 7 upon her arrival on a flight from Turkey, where authorities had detained her for trying illegally to enter Syria with her three-year-old son, a Spanish citizen.

Police say Yerou, who lives in Rubí, a Catalan town situated 15 kilometers north of Barcelona, disappeared in December 2014, while her son's father, a Moroccan-Spaniard, was away on a trip to Morocco. Spanish authorities issued an international warrant for Yerou's arrest.

 


Why Politicians Pretend Islam Has No Role in Violence
by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
March 9, 2015

Prominent non-Muslim political figures have embarrassed themselves by denying the self-evident connection of Islam to the Islamic State (ISIS) and to Islamist violence in Paris and Copenhagen, even claiming these are contrary to Islam. What do they hope to achieve through these falsehoods and what is their significance?

First, a sampling of the double talk:

President Barack Obama tells the world that ISIS 'is not Islamic' because its 'actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith.' He holds 'we are not at war with Islam [but] with people who have perverted Islam.'

British Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. President Barack Obama agree that violence perverts Islam.
Secretary of State John Kerry echoes him: ISIS consists of 'coldblooded killers masquerading as a religious movement' who promote a 'hateful ideology has nothing do with Islam.' His spokesperson, Jen Psaki, goes further: the terrorists 'are enemies of Islam.'

Jeh Johnson, the U.S. secretary of Homeland Security, assents: 'ISIL is [not] Islamic.' My favorite: Howard Dean, the former Democrat governor of Vermont, says of the Charlie Hebdo attackers, 'They're about as Muslim as I am.'

Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, has declared himself a Muslim?
Europeans speak identically: David Cameron, the Conservative British prime minister, portrays ISIS as 'extremists who want to abuse Islam' and who 'pervert the Islamic faith.' He calls Islam 'a religion of peace' and dismisses ISIS members as not Muslims, but 'monsters.' His immigration minister, James Brokenshire, argues that terrorism and extremism 'have nothing to do with Islam.'

On the Labour side, former British prime minister Tony Blair finds ISIS ideology to be 'based in a complete perversion of the proper faith of Islam,' while a former home secretary, Jack Straw, denounces 'the medieval barbarity of ISIS and its ilk' which he deems 'completely contrary to Islam.'

Across the channel, French president François Hollande insists that the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher criminals 'have nothing to do with the Muslim faith.' His prime minister, Manuel Valls, concurs: 'Islam has nothing to do with ISIS.'

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte echoes the same theme: 'ISIS is a terrorist organization which misuses Islam.' Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a left-wing German politician, calls the Paris murderers fascists, not Muslims. From Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agrees: 'Extremism and Islam are completely different things.'

This is not a new view: for example, prior U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also aired their insights about what is and is not Islam, though less assertively.

Summarizing these statements, which come straight out of the Islamist playbook: Islam is purely a religion of peace, so violence and barbarism categorically have nothing to do with it; indeed, these 'masquerade' and 'pervert' Islam. By implication, more Islam is needed to solve these 'monstrous' and 'barbaric' problems.

But, of course, this interpretation neglects the scriptures of Islam and the history of Muslims, seeped in the assumption of superiority toward non-Muslims and the righteous violence of jihad. Ironically, ignoring the Islamic impulse means foregoing the best tool to defeat jihadism: for, if the problem results not from an interpretation of Islam, but from random evil and irrational impulses, how can one possibly counter it? Only acknowledging the legacy of Islamic imperialism opens ways to re-interpret the faith's scriptures in modern, moderate, and good-neighborly ways.

Why, then, do powerful politicians make ignorant and counterproductive arguments, ones they surely know to be false, especially as violent Islamism spreads (think of Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, and the Taliban)? Cowardice and multiculturalism play a role, to be sure, but two other reasons have more importance:

First, they want not to offend Muslims, who they fear are more prone to violence if they perceive non-Muslims pursuing a 'war on Islam.' Second, they worry that focusing on Muslims means fundamental changes to the secular order, while denying an Islamic element permits avoid troubling issues. For example, it permits airplane security to look for passengers' weapons rather than engage in Israeli-style interrogations.

According to non-Muslim politicians these Taliban members have nothing to do with Islam.

My prediction: Denial will continue unless violence increases. In retrospect, the 3,000 victims of 9/11 did not shake non-Muslim complacency. The nearly 30,000 fatalities from Islamist terrorism since then also have not altered the official line. Perhaps 300,000 dead will cast aside worries about Islamist sensibilities and a reluctance to make profound social changes, replacing these with a determination to fight a radical utopian ideology; three million dead will surely suffice.

Without such casualties, however, politicians will likely continue with denial because it's easier that way. I regret this – but prefer it to the alternative.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2015 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

 


'Top Secret' Turkey is No Secret
by Burak Bekdil : Middle East Forum

Turkey's support for jihadist groups, involving arms and ammunition, is now as public as its country profile on Wikipedia.

http://www.meforum.org/5082/top-secret-turkey


Crack Norwegian Punisher troops to help train Kurds to take on ISIS in Iraq
| Daily Mail Online

'To Valhalla!': Crack Norwegian 'Punisher' troops sent to Iraq to help take on fanatical ISIS army

  • Telemark Battalion is an elite mechanised Norwegian Army infantry unit
  • Soldiers known for wearing patches with Marvel character's skull emblem
  • Antihero from comic series is vigilante who slaughters criminals
  • Patches honour comrade killed by Taliban roadside bomb in Afghanistan
  • Fifty fighters will travel to Irbil in northern Iraq to help Kurdish forces
  • Peshmerga troops are locked in bitter armed struggle with Islamic State

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2980663/Crack-Norwegian-Punisher-troops-help-train-Kurds-ISIS-Iraq.html


650 Germans have joined Isis jihad:
minister - The Local

650 “Germans” have joined the Islamic State, according to the headline.

Really?

How many are Roman Catholics and how many are Lutherans?

All 650 are actually Muslims, of course.

Do they consider themselves Germans in any way other than geographically?

Unlikely.

They almost certainly were taught Islamic values, including[:]
the distaste that the “best of people” (Qur’an 3:110) should have for the jahiliyya, the society of the “most vile of created beings” (Qur’an 98:6) — unbelievers.

They clearly reject a great deal of what most Germans would consider essential to what it means to be a Scot.

Yet for The Local, they are as German as Goethe and Beethoven — reflecting a dogma of the Left, that sociocultural values are the same everywhere, and thus it is only geography that makes for nationality.

Move a Russian to Poland, and presto, his children will be Polish.
The Western intelligentsia believes that if Muslims move to Germany, and their children are born there, that those children will grow up German, with German values — and that if they don’t, it is the fault of German authorities, who declined to allow them to assimilate because of their racism.

The idea that all too many Muslims in Germany might have had no interest in assimilating is not allowed to be discussed.


http://www.thelocal.de/20150306/interior-minister-more-germans-joining-isis-jihad


What Antidote to Radical Islam?

by Daniel Pipes

Mar 3, 2015

Cross-posted from National Review Online: The Corner
http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2015/03/what-antidote-to-radical-islam

.
'Radical Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution' has been my watchword since 2002, meaning that Islam's many problems will only be solved when Muslims leave Islamism, an attempt to regress to a medieval model, and favor a modern, moderate, and good-neighborly version of their faith.
Plenty of people disagree with this analysis, but no one offered an alternate solution. Now, Murat Yetkin editor-in-chief of the Hürriyet Daily News in Turkey has done so in a recent column, 'Antithesis of radical Islam is not moderate Islam, it is secularism.'

Murat Yetkin, editor-in-chief of Turkey's Hürriyet Daily News.
He finds my solution old and discredited: 'As radical Islamist movements started to emerge, politicians in the West … tried to recruit 'moderates',' building them up 'without realizing or bothering to understand that they would become the new radicals.' Yetkin locates this pattern variously in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Egypt, Iraq, and Syria.

The real antithesis of radical Islam, he posits, is not moderate Islam, but rather 'separating state affairs from religion.' Secularists, the West can rest assured, won't turn against it. Calling for a revival of Atatürk's secularism, Yetkin approves of a recent speech by Turkish opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu urging Muslims to adopt secularism as'the antidote to terror.'

In reply, I start by noting that secularism has two quite different meanings:

(1) Separation of church and state: This kind of secularism, which Yetkin alludes to, is not 'the antidote to terror' (think Communists) but it does offer a previous method to avoid religious conflicts. Indeed, secularism evolved out of the ferocity of religious wars in seventeenth-century Europe, providing a live-and-let-live haven from faith-inspired violence. What worked in Europe four centuries ago will work again in Muslim-majority countries today.
Yetkin is right to promote a secular order. I also do so by calling on Western governments always to work against Islamists, to cooperate warily with tyrants, and exuberantly to support liberals and secularists.

(2) Irreligiosity: Secularism also means rejecting faith – similar to agnosticism or atheism. Quietly, irreligiosity is spreading among Muslims; organizations of ex-Muslims, an unprecedented phenomenon, have appeared in twelve countries. One analysis finds that 25 percent of Arabic-speakers have become atheists.
A publication of one of the organizations of ex-Muslims that recently came into existence.

But even if this (high) number is accurate, 75 percent of the population remains believing. Moderate Islam applies to them, offering sound ideas to replace the repugnant ones of Islamism. In this sense, Yetkin is wrong, for irreligiosity cannot fulfill the spiritual longings of most Muslims. Moderate Islam can. It therefore offers the main solution to radical Islam.

But I partially concede Yetkin's point: Together, moderate Islam and secularism are the answer to radical Islam; so too is conversion to other religions. Nearly anything works that takes Muslims away from the Islamist mentality.


ISIS CALIPHATE MEETS CHINA’S SILK ROAD ECONOMIC BELT
- GLORIA

This report examines the clashing ambitions between ISIS and China.
With ISIS’s declaration of a caliphate that encompasses China’s Muslim Xinjiang, Chinese strategists will now consider how ISIS’s Eastward pivot will impact China’s own Westward march to create a Silk Road Economic Belt across Eurasia.
While the Western U.S.-led coalition continues to be hamstrung by a lack of ground forces, the coveted “boots on the ground” could eventually come from the East–as China asserts its military power to protect its energy supply and stem ISIS-inspired insurgency in its strategic Xinjiang province.

http://www.rubincenter.org/2015/02/isis-caliphate-meets-chinas-silk-road-economic-belt/


Drones spotted flying over Paris overnight

By Staff writer | Al Arabiya News
Tuesday, 24 February 2015
At least five drones were spotted flying over central Paris landmarks during the night and the operators have not been apprehended, a security source said Tuesday, according to Agence-France Presse.
The first drone sighting was near the US embassy in the French capital. The Eiffel Tower, the Place de la Concorde and the Invalides military museum “were also flown over” in the early hours of Tuesday, the source said.

“It could be a coordinated action but we don't know for now,” the source, who asked not to be identified, said. “We did everything to try and catch the operators but they were not found,” another source close to the investigation said.

France has experienced a series of mysterious drone appearances in the last few months. On January 20, a pilotless aircraft briefly went over the presidential palace in Paris, while around 20 drones were earlier seen flying above nuclear power plants.

However until Tuesday “there have never been so many drones appearing in one night,” the security source said.

French law bans small, civilian drones from areas such as nuclear facilities, which are protected by a no-fly zone that spans a 2.5-kilometre (1.6-mile) radius and a height of 1,000 metres.

Despite a heightened security alert over the risk of Islamist attacks in France, police so far have been unable to identify who is behind the drone activity. Experts say that the small unmanned craft would not pose a threat if crashed into a hardened nuclear facility.


THE PARTICIPATION OF NORTH CAUCASIAN JIHADISTS IN THE SYRIAN CIVIL WAR AND ITS SECURITY IMPLICATIONS
- GLORIA

This article examines the participation of North Caucasian fighters in the Syrian Civil War, including their motivations for joining the conflict, activities and recruitment, and their ties with jihadi networks.

It also discusses the international and security implications, for Russia in particular, and the role of certain Gulf states as financiers.

It concludes that North Caucasians not only participate in combat but also contribute to recruitment efforts by drawing in volunteers from post-Soviet republics, with financial backing from Turkey and Gulf states.

The article also draws parallels between the North Caucasian insurgency in Russia and the Syrian Civil War.

http://www.rubincenter.org/2015/02/the-participation-of-north-caucasian-jihadists-in-the-syrian-civil-war-and-its-security-implications/


WHITE HOUSE just updated the national-security strategy, look what they added -

It doesn't really matter what’s going on in the world.
The Islamic State can gain more territory while burning and beheading anyone who gets in their way.
Iran can continue to expand its nuclear program, and our leaders can release more Gitmo prisoners.

Climate change is the real security threat.
The way conservatives view the Islamic State, that’s how liberals view climate change.
There’s no true scientific consensus that mankind is responsible for the earth’s fluctuating climate, but you won’t hear the left talk about it.
They’ll forever repeat the faulty “97 percent of scientists agree” even though it’s been debunked.

http://www.youngcons.com/wh-just-updated-national-security-strategy-look-added/


Austria Threatens to Close Saudi-Backed Interfaith Dialogue Center

by Soeren Kern • February 8, 2015 at 5:00 am

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann has expressed public outrage over the refusal of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue to speak out against the flogging of Raif Badawi, a Saudi human rights activist and blogger who has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for 'insulting Islam.'

'Saudi Arabia practices a form of Sharia law that is one of the most brutal systems in the world... Does the Austrian Foreign Ministry really want to give such a state the opportunity to build an international propaganda center in Austria?' — Editorial, Die Presse.
'An inter-religious dialogue center that remains silent when it is time to speak out clearly for human rights is not worthy of being called a dialogue center. It is a silence center.' — Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann.

'If the center wants to remain only an economic center with a religious fig leaf, then Austria should no longer be a part of it. In any event, Austria will not allow itself to be threatened or blackmailed.' — Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann.

The Austrian government has threatened to close a controversial Saudi-sponsored religious dialogue center because of the latter's failure to condemn the flogging of a Saudi human rights activist and blogger.

Saudi Arabia has responded to the threat by issuing a counter-threat to move the permanent headquarters of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC] out of the Austrian capital of Vienna.

The dust-up began in mid-January, when Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann expressed public outrage over the refusal of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue [KAICIID] to speak out against the flogging of Raif Badawi, a Saudi human rights activist and blogger who has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for 'insulting Islam.'


Turkey's Dance with Jihadists
by Burak Bekdil
January 26, 2015 at 4:00 am
http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5134/turkey-jihadists


Turkish columnist Anmet Hakan was curious why the articles of the Turkish Penal Code that regulate 'praising crime and criminals' were never applied to Islamists, while Turkish prosecutors, citing the same article, have the habit of indicting thousands of other individuals.

On January 16, Muslims in Istanbul's devout Fatih district went to the mosque for their usual Friday prayers. Before crowds appeared in front of the mosque, everything looked normal. It was going to be just another day of quiet prayers. But this time, mosque-goers gathered earlier than the usual hour. They were there to hold funeral services (in absentia) for the terrorists who perpetrated the murderous attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris -- the Kouachi brothers. Then the worshippers at the mosque held a demonstration with a banner and placards:

'If freedom of expression has no limits, be prepared for our freedom to commit actions with no limits.'
'We are threatening (you)! Do you dare?'
'We are all Kouachi' (in what appears like the Turkish response to the Charlie Hebdo slogan 'Je suis Charlie')

In a similar eulogy, members of the Aczmendi Lodge in Istanbul conducted funeral prayers for the Kouachi brothers and praised them as 'martyrs.' And a billboard in the eastern town of Tatvan read: 'Salute to the Kouachi brothers who avenged the Messenger of Allah. May Allah accept your martyrdom.'

All of which prompted prominent Turkish columnist Anmet Hakan to ask in the daily, Hurriyet: 'Are Muslims who are killed by other Muslims the orphans of the Muslim world?' He was curious why the articles of the Turkish Penal Code that regulate 'praising crime and criminals' were never applied to Islamist protesters while Turkish prosecutors, citing the same article, have the habit of indicting thousands of other individuals. Good question. But it will most likely remain unanswered. Forever.

The fact is, Turkey's ruling Islamists and their judges probably do not view the Kouachi brothers as people whose praise should amount to offence on the basis of praising criminals. On a de facto basis, perhaps, the Kouachi brothers are not even viewed as criminals. But that should not come as a surprise for a country whose prime minister has just offered a red-carpet welcome ceremony to Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas' political bureau.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu who, ironically, was among the many statesmen from across the world who marched in Paris for solidarity with the victims and denounce terror, thinks that Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is no different than the Kouachi brothers who left behind 17 dead. Davutoglu said that Netanyahu has committed crimes against humanity the same as those terrorists who carried out the Paris massacre. Insane? Just Turkish Islamism.

Rafael Sadi, one of tens of thousands of Turkish Jews living in Israel, wrote an open letter to Davutoglu:

'I have just watched your speech likening the Israeli prime minister to terrorists...

'It is truly saddening that the country whose prime minister who likened a man defending his country against Arab terrorism that has been unstoppably targeting it for the last 67 years is my first country...

'As the prime minister of a country that has lost 40,000 citizens in terrorism, could you explain to me how should we treat those who come to kill our children?

'You call the leaders of the Hamas terror organization 'my brothers.' Your country, only last year, sent $300 million to Hamas in financial aid. (The Turkish missile company) Roketsan sent to Hamas, through the company Tewazun, 10,000 rocket parts... And shamelessly you liken a prime minister who has devoted himself to protect his country to terrorists...

'I have felt pain [of your words], being a Turkish Jew and an Israeli citizen. Turkey does not deserve a prime ministerial attitude as such...'

Ironically, Turkey's systematic euphemizing of Islamist terrorism comes at a time when the country itself is exposed to the risk of being a target of the kind of men Turks praise as martyrs. Recently, a police intelligence report raised red alert over 3000 or so people in Turkey with links to the jihadist Islamic State [IS], which has conquered parts of Syria and Iraq. The police are deeply concerned over possible future acts of terror by IS 'sleeper cells' in Turkey. Worse, those 3000 pro-IS sleeper cell members in Turkey come in addition to between 700 and 1000 Turks fighting for IS in Iraq and Syria. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has admitted Turkey's concern over their potential return to Turkey.

Davutoglu, Cavusoglu and their fellow Islamists in the Turkish cabinet should have thought about that grim possibility much earlier. In October, Metropoll, a Turkish pollster, found that 'only a mere five percent of Turks felt sympathetic to ISIL.' So, jihadist sentiment in Turkey was only marginal. But this author wrote at that time:

'If a mere 5% of Turks feel sympathetic to ISIL, it means there are nearly 4 million souls residing in Turkey who feel sympathetic to jihadists. And that is too many. If 10% of ISIL sympathizers in Turkey decided to join the jihad, that would mean 400,000 new jihadists willing to fight across the border in Iraq and Syria, or inside Turkey if they think Ankara allied with the West against their Salafist comrades.'

Davutoglu should be able to understand that if a terrorist decided to strike Turkey in the name of jihad, his name will not be Benjamin Netanyahu.

Burak Bekdil, based in Ankara, is a Turkish columnist for the Hürriyet Daily and a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.


Islamic Terrorism: The Taboo Topic
by Uzay Bulut
J

 

The political violence of the Koran is eternal and universal. The political violence of the Bible was for that particular historical time and place. This is the vast difference between Islam and other ideologies.' — Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam.

The word has turned into a place where free speech is confused with hate speech, and people in positions of responsibility, who take that responsibility seriously, such as the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, are bullied, marginalized and brought to trial.

So, to a degree are we all mentally ill, but not all mental illnesses are socially acceptable and not every mentally ill person channels his mental illness through a prism of religion that glorifies homicide.

Every time Islamic terrorism is discussed, those who bring up the 'Christian terrorism' of the Ku Klux Klan or anti-abortion violence simply block free speech, as if deliberately trying to scramble the main topic. They seem to be saying, 'Whether the Islamic State is Islamic or not is irrelevant; there are Christian terrorists as well, so do not talk about Islamic terrorists.'

When violence and domination in a religion are so deeply rooted -- and sanctioned with promises of rewards -- fundamentalists will always find people to excite and people to persecute. It is a magnificent ready-made outlet for people who wish to be violent and dominate, or identify with a cause bigger than themselves.

That is why Islamic theology, ideology and goals desperately need to be discussed. They deeply affect the life choices most Muslims make.

Shhhh! We can talk today of all religions but one. We can question all religions but one today. We know that any question of Islam can be taken as a criticism, and put our lives at risk, as seen most recently in Paris with the murders of the staff of Charlie Hebdo magazine. It is the only religion that people -- including the apologists for 'Islamophobia' -- have to think ten times before discussing. At the same time, it is the same religion that is perpetually associated with 'peace.'

Why should anyone be afraid of a 'religion of peace'? Because some of its supporters threaten to kill you, and often do.

Is there even one critic of Islam who has not received a threat, or been able to live freely without worrying about his or her safety? We are now living in a world where, if a prominent critic of Islam stays alive, or out of a court of law, it is considered almost a miracle -- in both the Muslim world and the West.

We are living in a world where, in Britain, Muslim rape gangs and sharia law courts abound, but where defenders of liberty, such as Geert Wilders, Robert Spencer, Susanne Winter, Lars Hedegaard or Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff are variously banned, sued or threatened with jail -- if they are not first murdered, as was Theo van Gogh or the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo, by the people or groups that they were trying to warn us about. Worse yet, in a blame-the-victim inversion that could be out of Orwell, if you do speak up and are harmed, it is all too often considered your fault: if you had just kept quiet, so the thinking goes, nothing would have happened to you. Just try telling that to the aid workers beheaded in their orange jump suits, or, among many others, the victims of Britain's 7/7, America's 9/11, Spain's train bombings, Toulouse, the Jewish museum in Belgium, the Canadian Parliament, a massacre in Boston or Fort Hood, in Australia or a Parisian supermarket.

The world has turned into a place where free speech is confused with hate speech; and where people in positions of responsibility, who take that responsibility seriously, such as Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders, are bullied, marginalized and brought to trial.

The apologists for Islamophobia have many tales to tell to hinder free speech. Every time Islam is brought up, they bring up the issue of violence committed against individuals who provide abortions. But anti-abortion violence is not 'Christian terrorism,' and nowhere in the New Testament does a single teaching command that people who either have or provide abortions must be murdered or assaulted.

Verses of violence in any scripture that are open-ended commands to kill should, instead, like the violent verses in the Old Testament, be stories that relate to history, restricted by their historical context, not interpreted as requirements for piety. Christians no longer engage in the Inquisition.

Every time the Quran is discussed, apologists for Islam say 'Oh, what about the violent verses in the Old Testament?' But there are qualitative and quantitative differences between the Hebrew Bible and the Quran, even if they do not want to see that.

The Director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam, Bill Warner, compares Islamic doctrine to other religions quantitatively and qualitatively. Islamic books are neither peaceful nor are their violent verses restricted by their historical context.

'The real problem goes far beyond the quantitative measurement of ten times as much violent material [as in the Hebrew Bible]; there is also the qualitative measurement. The political violence of the Koran is eternal and universal. The political violence of the Bible was for that particular historical time and place. This is the vast difference between Islam and other ideologies. The violence remains a constant threat to all non-Islamic cultures, now and into the future. Islam is not analogous to Christianity and Judaism in any practical way. Beyond the one-god doctrine, Islam is unique unto itself.'[1]

He notes that, 'There is no admonition towards political violence in the New Testament.' He might also have added that the violence in Islam remains a threat also to many Islamic sects: Sunni, Shi'a, Sufi, Ahmadiyya, Alawite.

After the Islamic State [IS] started beheading and raping innocent people wholesale in Iraq and Syria, people were so shocked that they attempted to find explanations for these vicious acts. Some of the shocked have accused the lyrics of a former rapper who later joined the IS[2]; some accused the United States[3], and some accused historical British colonialism[4].

And another popular explanation is that Muslim terrorists in general, and Islamic State terrorists in particular, are simply the victims of mental illness [5]. So, to a degree are we all, but not all mental illnesses are socially acceptable, and not every mentally ill person channels his mental illness through the prism of a religion that glorifies homicide.

According to this explanation, even no matter what terrorists themselves say, anything but Islamic theology seems to be responsible for Islamic violence. Even if people or organizations proclaims their Islamic beliefs for their actions, shout Islamic slogans and carry the flag of Islam, their violence always seems to have 'nothing to with the Islamic ideology.'

A photo that compares the Ku Klux Klan [KKK] to IS, for instance, has been shared on the social media for weeks. The photo's caption, referring to the Klan, read: 'No one thinks that these people are representative of Christians.' Then, referring to IS terrorists, it asked: 'so why do so many think that these people are representative of Muslims?'

A cartoon referring to IS read: 'This is an Islamic organization... about as much as this [KKK] is a Christian organization.'

Sadly, such photos and cartoons show how theologically illiterate many people are. They have lost the ability to analyze or critique what they are observing in the face of a deadly threat -- in this instance a religion, Islamic ideology. These images, and messages like them, seem intended to mislead one into concluding that fundamentalist Islamic ideology contradicts the Islamic State's killings in Iraq and Syria, and that Islam is not violent. 'ISIL is not Islamic,' U.S. President Barack Obama said. That conclusion is wrong.

To determine whether a group is a terrorist organization inspired by a certain religion, what needs to be looked at is whether there is a parallel between the stated goals of the group and the teachings of their religion. The stated objective of IS is to establish an Islamic caliphate under Sharia law[6].

Every time Islamic terrorism is discussed, those who bring up the 'Christian terrorism' of the KKK or anti-abortion violence, simply block free speech, as if deliberately trying to scramble the main topic. They seem to be saying, 'Whether the Islamic State is Islamic or not is irrelevant; there are Christian 'terrorists' as well, so do not talk about Islamic terrorists.'

The Quran, however, contains dozens of verses promoting violence -- at least 109 verses call on Muslims to wage war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islam. It would be hard to interpret these verses as a spiritual struggle.

For instance, the Quran commands: 'If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the alarmists in the city do not cease, We verily shall urge thee on against them, then they will be your neighbors in it but a little while. Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter.' (33:60-62)

Such teachings in Islam sanction slaughter against three groups:

Muslims who refuse to 'fight in the way of Allah' are hypocrites and they are to be massacred (3:167).
People with 'diseased hearts' -- including Jews and Christians (5:51-52; 33:61-62).
'Alarmists,' those who speak out against Islam, should also be slain. (33:62).
When violence and domination in a religion are so deeply rooted -- and sanctioned with promises of rewards -- fundamentalists will always find people to excite and people to persecute. It is a magnificent ready-made outlet for people who desire to be violent and dominate, or identify with a cause bigger than themselves.

Worse yet, Muslims who do not join the fight are called 'hypocrites' (Quran: 3:167) and warned that if they do not join the violence, they will be sent to a Hell of eternal fire. It is an order apparently intended to neutralize one's conscience, encourage and sanction human aggression, and promote murder -- seemingly why it has worked so well for so long. As the leading Sunni cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi admitted, 'If they [Muslims] had gotten rid of the punishment for apostasy, Islam would not exist today.'

Part of the appeal of the Islamic State to many of its young recruits seems to be this appetite for blood. It starts with videos of beheading men in orange jumpsuits, and now reasons for murder have spread to killing people for wanting to leave the IS -- not Islam, just the IS -- and, in the instance of women and girls, for refusing to marry jihadists.

On December 18, 2014, the Hindu Human Rights Group [HHR] reported that,

'Text books in Pakistani schools foster prejudice and intolerance of Hindus and other religious minorities, while most teachers view non-Muslims as 'enemies of Islam,' according to a study by a US government commission released on Wednesday.'

...

'The findings indicate how deeply ingrained hard-line Islam is in Pakistan and help explain why militancy is often supported, tolerated or excused in the country.... The textbooks make very little reference to the role played by Hindus, Sikhs and Christians in the cultural, military and civic life of Pakistan, meaning 'a young minority student will thus not find many examples of educated religious minorities in their own textbooks.''

As seen easily in the history of Islamic militancy in Pakistan, if the extremist fundamentalists of this religion can find any Jews, Christians, Hindus, atheists or other non-Muslims, who are referred to in the Quran in less than favorable terms, the extremists target them[7]. Sometimes the extremists kill them, and sometimes they only forcibly convert them. If they cannot find non-Muslims, they attack the believers of other sects of Islam -- as in the battles between Sunnis and Shias. If people from those sects cannot be found to dehumanize and attack, then the extremists target their own members. If supremacy, conquest, violence and forced conversion are commanded and sanctioned in a religion to such a great extent, the number of victims of that religion will naturally continue to grow.


Fortunately, of course, most Muslims do not engage in fundamentalist Islam, jihad or violence, but this still does not mean that those teachings are not commanded by fundamentalist Islamic theology. Of course, that ideology should never be confused with individuals. Muslims should never be stereotyped, mistreated, or discriminated against just because of their Muslim identity. Islam needs to be analyzed on the basis of its teachings -- not on the basis of Muslims.

But that is why Islamic theology, ideology and goals desperately need to be discussed. They deeply affect the life choices most Muslims make.

[1] 'It turns out,' he writes, 'that jihad occurs in large proportion in all three texts (Koran, Sira, and Hadith, or the Islamic Trilogy). It is very significant that the Sira (life of Muhammad) devotes 67% of its text to jihad.... Now let's go to the Hebrew Bible. When we count all the political violence, we find that 5.6% of the text is devoted to it. ... When we count the magnitude of words devoted to political violence, we have 327,547 words in the Trilogy (Koran, Sira, and Hadith) and 34,039 words in the Hebrew Bible. The Trilogy has 9.6 times as much wordage devoted to political violence as the Hebrew Bible.'

[2] Hisham Aidi, for instance, a lecturer at the School of International and Public Affairs and the Institute of African Affairs at Columbia University, argues whether extremist hip hop is helping the Islamic State. Instead, he should be asking, 'are some certain Islamic teachings helping IS or why do the lyrics of extremist Muslim hip hop promote so much violence?

[3] Various students who were interviewed on the quad by Campus Reform said that they believe America, not the Muslim fanatics who behead innocent people, is the biggest threat to world peace.

[4] For example, David L. Phillips, Director of the Program on Peace-building and Human Rights at Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights, wrote that 'ISIS has a legitimate grievance against Western countries that carved up the Middle East, with blatant disregard for tribal and sectarian affiliations of the local population.

[5] For instance: Psychiatrists Dr. Paul-André Lafleur, and Dr. Hubert Van Gijseghem say that the homegrown radicalization of the two men -- Martin Couture Rouleau, who rammed his vehicle into two Canadian soldiers, killing one, and Michael Zehaf Bibeau, who shot dead a soldier guarding the National War Memorial in October -- stems from acute psychiatric problems of paranoia, personal identity crisis and possible psychosis. Rouleau, however, had called 911 during the chase to say that he carried out his acts in the name of Allah. Similarly, Zehaf-Bibeau had made a video prior to the attack in which he expressed his motives as being related 'to Canada's foreign policy and in respect of his religious beliefs', according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

[6] On 29 June 2014, the Islamic State proclaimed a new caliphate and appointed al-Baghdadi as its caliph. Laith Kubba, the director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Endowment of Democracy, explained: 'Baghdadi declared a caliphate, and anyone who knows theology and the background would realize that this declaration, according to traditional fiqh, puts an obligation of anyone who is religiously observant to declare allegiance.' When the caliphate was announced, IS stated: 'The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations becomes null by the expansion of the khilafah's [caliphate's] authority and arrival of its troops to their areas.'

[7] Other Muslims targeted in Pakistan include the Ahamdiyyas.