Iran’s Ahmadinejad is Not Unhinged

Amil Imani
Freedom of Iran

http://www.amilimani.com/index.php 

Iran’s Ahmadinejad is Not Unhinged

   
Friday, 26 May 2006
The world is captivated by the sudden rise of a relatively unknown to the presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for his torrent of outrageous statements and claims. He has, thus, in a short time acquired great many appellations. He is viewed as zealot, fascist, fanatic, anti-Semitic, lunatic and more.

One prominent Western columnist called him “unhinged.” All these labels aim, in part, to dismiss the man as an aberration. As someone who is in urgent need of psychological help, a person out of touch with reality who represents nothing of substance.

Once again the West is misreading and misjudging the people and the events in the Middle East, due to the fact that it views things through its own prism.

Looking at the man through the Western spectacles, he indeed appears to be all of the above and more. Yet Ahmadinejad is far from unhinged. As a matter of fact he is firmly hinged to a set of beliefs that dictate his views of the world and how he should deal with it from his position of power. An unhinged has the potential of being hinged. But, there is very little that can be done to a person who is inseparably hinged. Ahmadinejad’s views are firmly rooted in the most orthodox philosophy of Shiism.

To understand Ahmadinejad’s mind set and behavior requires a close scrutiny of the elaborate and intricate theology of Hujetieh Shiism – perhaps the most fundamentalist of numerous Shiite sects.

For our purposes, however, it is sufficient to document the fact that Ahmadinejad is not unhinged. “Unhinged” is a derogatory term for a person who is mentally disturbed. A prominent feature of a mentally disturbed person is the display of contradictory thoughts and behavior. Ahmadinejad’s words, deeds and beliefs show a fully hinged person. He, to the perception of many, may be hinged to a dangerous and faulty hinge. Yet he is hinged.

There is a full internal consistency in Ahmadinejad. Below are a few examples of his sayings, beliefs and actions. Whether one agrees or disagrees with them, they all fit perfectly into a consistent pattern.

▪ He literally believes in the imminent emergence of the Mahdi – the Shiites promised one who is expected to appear to set aright a decadent and wretched world.

▪ He views himself as the vassal of Mahdi, working for him and being accountable to him.

▪ His main task is to prepare the world so to hasten the Mahdi’s coming. If this preparation requires much destruction and bloodshed, so be it.

▪ As a former mayor of Tehran, he developed elaborate detailed plans preparing the city for the arrival of the Mahdi.

▪ He allocated generous sums for extensive road improvement to a mosque at Jamkaaraan near the city of Qum where it is believed the promised Mahdi is hiding in a well since the age of nine over 1100 years ago.

▪ He reportedly visits the well frequently and drops his written supplications into the well for the hidden Mahdi to act upon them.

▪ He has said in private that it was him who asked the Mahdi to inflict the massive stroke on Ariel Sharon.

▪ He sees the Jews as the sworn enemies of Islam. The hostility dates back to the time of Muhammad’s own treatment of the Jews in Medina. At first, expediently, Muhammad called the Jews “people of the book,” and accorded them a measure of tolerance until he gained enough power to unleash his devastating wrath on them.

▪ He says that the Holocaust is a myth. He is, in this respect, in good company with a number of other revisionist claimants.

▪ He wants Israel to be wiped out of the map or transferred to Europe.

▪ In his speech at the UN general assembly, he implored the Mahdi to come and save the world. He claimed that during his speech of some twenty odd minutes, a powerful light enveloped him and all participants were held transfixed unable to move their eyes.

▪ He believes that the earth is Allah’s and all people must either become believers of his brand of Islam or must perish as infidels najis (unclean) who by their very presence defile Allah’s earth.

▪ He believes that this earthly life is passing and worthless in comparison to the afterlife awaiting a devoted and faithful believer. Hence, he holds to the old belief that if a faithful kills and infidel, he goes to Allah’s paradise; and, if the faithful gets killed in the process of serving the faith, again he goes to Allah’s paradise. Hence, it is a win-win proposition for the faithful.

There is nothing “unhinged” about Ahamadinejad’s thinking, statements and actions. They are internally consistent. He is simply a fanatic who is wedded to an extremely dangerous exclusionary system of belief. Humanity must learn that dismissing a fanatic as lunatic or unhinged rather than squarely facing the likes of Ahmadinejad and Hitler will result in great suffering. And in the age of Weapons of Mass Destruction a man with huge sums of petrodollar can indeed serve as the catalyst of total annihilation. It is by far more prudent to err on the side of being an alarmist than a complacent dismissive. Humanity cannot afford to ignore the emergence of the final thereat to its very existence on this planet.

Contrary to the commonly thought, Islam is not a religion of peace. “Islam” is derived from the root word, “Taslim,” which means “submission,” or “surrender.” Submission or surrender to whom? To Allah,’s will through the dictates of his one and only emissary Muhammad as recorded in the Quran and the Hadith. Muslims believe that every word of the Quran is the word of Allah and no one ever should doubt, revise or dispute it.

The Arabic word for peace is “solh,” and not “Islam.” It is amusing how Western apologists of Islam from the ranks of liberals and expedient politicians keep on parroting the slogan that Islam is a religion of peace. When they are challenged to explain the horrific violence perpetrated under the banner of Islam, their lame response is that the religion of peace has been hijacked by a small minority of religious zealots. These same liberals and politicians seem to prefer being politically correct than truthful. Even a cursory glance of history, recorded by authoritative Muslim historians, reveals conclusively that Islam was a creed of cruel violence from its very inception. Being intolerant, violent and warring characterizes Muhammad’s own life and much of his teaching.

Ahmadinejad is a true devoted Muslim. Being unpredictable, self-contradictory and inconsistent are major symptoms of the mentally unhinged. By these standards of insanity, Ahmadinejad emerges as completely sane. He is fully predictable, consistent and has shown no self-contradiction. He does not even pretend that he misspoke or apologizes for his outrageous statements. He is not a typical politician who practices the devious art of doublespeak, deception and change of position to suit him. He knows who he is, what he believes, what he holds as veritable truth and what his own mission in life is – serving as the instrument for the revered Mahdi whom Allah shall make him emerge from the well as soon as the world’s conditions hit the absolute hopeless bottom. Ahmadinejad sees himself as a driver who can play a critical role in doing just that – driving the world to the very bottom.

“Sanity” has a major cultural dimension to it. Behaviors considered sane by one group may be viewed as completely insane by another. Exorcism, for instance, is believed as the cure for the mentally-possessed by its practitioners. The medical community, on the other hand, considers the practice itself as a form of mental derangement.

Contrary to what we would like, “Rationality” is not the ruler and gatekeeper of the mind. Emotions, fantasies and other components of the mind can cloud, fool and even over-rule rationality. Furthermore, starting with a set of premises, a most outlandish conclusion can be rationally reached. For instance, if one assumes that the all-powerful Mahdi resides in the bottom of the well, then petitioning him for all manner of things is fully a rational thing to do. It is the least effortful way of aiming to secure all kinds of valuables by simply dropping a request list into the well. What harm is there in it, so the person reasons. Who knows, the Mahdi may be in a mood of granting his requests – or at least some of them.

Tragically, Ahmadinejad is not a single solitary “unhinged.” He is the embodiment of several million people who are hinged exactly like him and are willing to give their life, and take as many lives as required in the service of their belief.

Ahamadinejad and his ilk are not interested in any negotiation, any compromise or live-and-let-live. They are determined to be the soldiers of Mahdi come-what-may. They have no problem with the total destruction of the world. They are headed for a life of eternal bliss in Allah’s paradise. They hardly care, even rejoice, if the rest of humanity is subjected to a tragic death in the nuclear, biological and chemical wasteland of planet earth.

And Allah, repeatedly in the Quran, exhorts the faithful submissive, the Muslim, to maim, punish and kill the non-submissive – the non-Muslim – and promises him the reward of admission into paradise.

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Rediscovering God in America

Rediscovering God in America

By Steven M. Warshawsky

Rediscovering God in America 
by Newt Gingrich
(Integrity Publishers, 159 pages, $14.99)

“There is no attack on American culture more destructive and more historically dishonest than the secular Left’s relentless effort to drive God out of America’s public square.”

So writes former Speaker of the House, and possible Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, in his powerful new book, Rediscovering God in America. Rediscovering God is a brief but persuasive rebuttal to those who would erase all mention of God and religion from public life in the United States. I highly recommend the book to religious and non-religious people alike, who are interested in learning more about the central role played by religion in American history.
Rediscovering God begins with an introductory essay in which Gingrich lays out his case that American history and culture cannot be understood without an appreciation for the nation’s distinctly religious character and heritage. Gingrich emphasizes the oft-forgotten points that many early Americans came to this country seeking religious freedom and that the religious revival known as the First Great Awakening (1730s to 1770s) directly influenced the independence movement that led to the American Revolution. Gingrich then quotes numerous Founding Fathers, including George Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and others, who all believed that a republican form of government could not succeed without (in Adams’ words) “a moral and religious people.” While contemporary scholars have attempted to portray the Founding Fathers, especially Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, as skeptics and/or atheists, in just a few short pages Gingrich demonstrates that projecting such modern attitudes onto these men, let alone onto the American people as a whole, is “historically dishonest.”
Following the introduction, Gingrich organizes his book around a “walking tour” of the most important monuments, buildings, and landmarks in Washington, D.C. He starts at the National Archives, where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution are housed. He then moves on to the Washington Monument, the Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt Memorials, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Capitol and Supreme Court buildings, the White House, the Library of Congress, the Ronald Reagan Building, the World War Two Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery. Each chapter includes an account of the history of the location; a description of the religious words, symbols, and imagery found there; and a discussion of the role that religion played in the life of the great men and women who are memorialized there. The format of the book is creative, accessible, and compelling.
I most enjoyed the chapters on the Lincoln and Roosevelt Memorials. Lincoln’s deep religiosity is well known, and pervades his public and private acts as President. As Gingrich points out, the Lincoln Memorial reflects our 16th President’s profound faith. Inscribed on the interior walls of the memorial are the Gettysburg Address, in which Lincoln famously proclaimed “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom,” and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, which, Gingrich notes, mentions God fourteen times and quotes the Bible twice. These two great speeches, arguably Lincoln’s most important words as President, say as much about the religious character of the American people, whose commitment to freedom and justice has been inspired from the very beginning by the Old and New Testaments, as they do about Lincoln himself. The radical secularists’ ostrich-like denial of this historical and cultural reality cannot withstand scrutiny.
Unlike the Lincoln Memorial (and the other stops on Gingrich’s tour), the memorial for Franklin Delano Roosevelt is noteworthy for its lack of religious content. This is hardly surprising, given that the memorial was designed in 1978 and completed in 1997. In his chapter on the memorial, however, Gingrich convincingly demonstrates, using FDR’s own words, that God and religion were central to FDR’s leadership as President. For someone, like myself, who was educated in the post-1960s era of secular “multiculturalism,” FDR’s words are striking.
For example, in a national radio address on May 27, 1941, FDR declared a state of “unlimited national emergency” and described the “Nazi world” as one that “does not recognize any God except Hitler . . . as ruthless as the Communists in the denial of God . . . where moral standards are measured by treachery and bribery.” FDR further explained that the world was heading towards a global conflict “between human slavery and human freedom — between pagan brutality and the Christian ideal.” The United States, he declared, would stand on the side of “human freedom — which is the Christian ideal.” In another radio address on October 27, 1941, FDR described the Nazi plan to “abolish all existing religions” and to replace “the cross of Christ” with the swastika and the sword. He concluded with a pledge that “We stand ready in defense of our nation and the faith of our fathers to do what God has given us the power to see as our full duty.” Similarly, on the occasion of the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944, FDR led the American people in prayer: “Almighty God, our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.” Again, as with Lincoln, FDR’s words reflect more than merely his own personal beliefs; they reflect the beliefs of the American people — who were inspired by God and their (overwhelmingly) Christian faith to win the most terrible war in human history.
The ignorance, and petulance, of the secular Left can be seen in the Publishers Weekly review  of Rediscovering God. (I am not aware that any of the major newspapers has reviewed the book — another example of the secular Left’s intellectual intolerance.) The review criticizes the book for its “predictable” and “tired” arguments, which the author of the review finds “essentially unpersuasive.” What can this mean? Does the author question the accuracy of Gingrich’s historical evidence? No. Rather, the author challenges Gingrich’s basic thesis — that God and religion have played a central role in American history and culture — by pointing to, yes, Jefferson and Franklin, and arguing that the Founding Fathers “believed religion should have little, if any, role in the nation’s government.” This is an intentionally ambiguous phrase, because it allows the author the elide the crucial distinction between the Founding Father’s belief that there should be no “established” (i.e., official) church in the nation, and their patent support for religious expression in public life. Indeed, one of the very first acts of Congress was to pass legislation providing for House and Senate chaplains.
But the points raised in the Publishers Weekly review do highlight a few weaknesses in Gingrich’s book. First, Gingrich should have included a chapter on the First Amendment in which he addressed the now-familiar concept of a “wall of separation between church and state.” This phrase, of course, is not found in the First Amendment, but comes from a letter that Jefferson wrote in 1802 to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut. Moreover, this concept did not become a touchstone of constitutional law until after World War Two, when it was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in Everson v. Board of Education (1947).
There is considerable scholarship demonstrating that neither the phrase nor its usage by the courts faithfully reflects the meaning or intent of the First Amendment, which states, in relevant part, that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” On any fair reading of history, the First Amendment has been twisted by the courts to serve the secular Left’s political agenda to remove all mention of God and religion — especially Christianity — from public life.
For example, federal courts in New York have ruled that, during the “winter holiday season,” it is acceptable to display the religious symbols of Judaism and Islam, e.g., the menorah and the star and crescent, in New York City public schools, but not a nativity scene.  The menorah symbolizes the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah and the Maccabees’ miraculous defeat of the Greek-Syrian occupiers circa 165 B.C. and the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem (with the sacramental oil that miraculously burned for eight days) in the exact same way that the nativity scene symbolizes Christmas and the miraculous birth of Jesus.  The Islamic star and crescent, of course, is the very equivalent of “the cross of Christ.”  Despite the courts’ legal legerdemain, nothing in the First Amendment supports, let alone compels, such unfair treatment.  While dressed up as concern for minority rights and “feelings,” this is pure anti-Christian bigotry in the service of the secular Left’s larger anti-religion agenda.  In Rediscovering God, Gingrich sharply criticizes the courts for this naked power grab, but he could have done a better job of explaining to his readers the true meaning of the First Amendment and why the very concept of a “wall of separation between church and state” is fallacious.
I also believe that Rediscovering God should have been longer. Although most books about history and politics tend to be too long, with verbose writing, redundant arguments, and unnecessary details, Rediscovering God suffers from just the opposite defect. Gingrich offers several tantalizing examples of the religious beliefs that motivated and sustained men like Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Reagan (our four most important presidents), but his biographical sketches are much too short and should have been fleshed out with additional personal and historical information. In my opinion, a few more pages devoted to each chapter would have gone a long way toward driving home Gingrich’s message. Additionally, a brief bibliography with suggestions for further reading would have transformed the book from a simple “walking tour” of Washington, D.C., into a gateway for learning about the central role of religion in American history. This was a missed opportunity.
These minor criticisms, however, are not meant to detract from the excellence of Gingrich’s book. Rediscovering God is a marvelous work, grounded in history, marked by a force and clarity of expression, and suffused with patriotism. Sean Hannity is quoted on the jacket cover as saying that the book deepened his own faith. I am not a believer myself, but I too can say that I found the book to be moving and inspirational. Whatever Gingrich decides to do this fall, he has done the nation a great service with Rediscovering God in America.
Steven M. Warshawsky is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.

Swiss Bishop suggests closer monitoring of mosques

Swiss Bishop suggests closer monitoring of mosques

Anti-dhimmitude from the assistant bishop of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg, although of course he knows that the jihadists “don’t represent true Islam,” while also noting that trouble seems to arise when “the Koran is taught.” In any case, it remains a pity that those who, according to virtually everyone, represent true Islam seem to have left the intellectual and theological field within Islam to those who don’t. “Bishop suggests closer monitoring of mosques,” from Swissinfo, with thanks to Sr. Soph:

One of the Catholic Church’s leading experts on Islam says the Swiss authorities need to keep a closer eye on the country’s mosques.Pierre Bürcher, assistant bishop of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg, tells swissinfo it is what goes on inside mosques rather than the construction of minarets that poses a greater threat to peace.

[...]

swissinfo: You say that relations are improving at a religious level. But aren’t they constantly being undermined by global political events?

P.B.: Inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue is a major challenge at the start of the 21st century and in recent decades the Catholic Church has made a priority of establishing contacts with other religions. Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor John Paul II have said this dialogue is vital for the future of our society.

At a political level, both at home and abroad in Iran and Syria, we have always been well received by the various authorities. The difficulties stem from a very small extremist fringe, which poses enormous problems but does not represent true Islam.

[...]

At the same time we now have this initiative in Switzerland against the construction of minarets, which shows there is a certain amount of extremism here as well.

swissinfo: Indeed, this initiative is clearly a reaction to the spread of Islam and Islamic law in Switzerland. Where does the Catholic Church stand on this issue?

P.B.: It is essential that we respect the laws laid down in Switzerland and we cannot allow them to be fundamentally undermined by another way of thinking, such as sharia law.

It’s true that the minaret is a symbol for Muslims but it is not an essential part of a mosque and we should not get fixated on it. What goes on inside a mosque is much more important, because it’s there that the Koran is taught and where you can have people stepping out of line. It is in this place of worship that the khutba [Islamic sermon], which is often politicised, and all the anti-Western or even terrorist teaching can take place.

Do the authorities really know what is going on and whether it is legal? This seems far more important to me than whether you can build a minaret or not.

swissinfo: So you’re saying the authorities need to keep a closer eye on what’s going on inside mosques in Switzerland?

P.B.: Yes, because one needs to be aware that in Muslim tradition, politics, culture, society and religion are all entwined. We are touching here on a fundamental difference between two religious concepts and the slightest tolerance in this domain will be extremely damaging for peace and co-existence. It is because of this that mosques in many Muslim countries are coming under increased surveillance and the khutba is always monitored.

Afghan teenager recounts being sold into marriage at age 12 to a 50-year-old man

Afghan teenager recounts being sold into marriage at age 12 to a 50-year-old man

Another example of child marriage after the pattern of Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha, and a symptom a culture that often treats women as possessions. “‘My father sold me’,” from Agence France-Presse:

Shabana, A pretty Afghan teenager with a modern haircut, was 12 years old when she was forced to marry a man 38 years her senior to settle her father’s 600-dollar gambling debt. Two years later, she is unhappy and angry. She doesn’t like her husband, 52-year-old farmer Mohammad Asef.

“He is wild – he destroyed my hopes,” she said in their humble mudbrick home in the northern province of Balkh, speaking out only when Asef went into another room to take a call. She doesn’t get on with her husband’s first wife, who is aged 42 and lives with them. And she is disgusted with her father. “He sold me,” she told AFP.

Her father and husband once farmed together, growing wheat and opium poppies on a plot in neighbouring Jawzjan province. Two years ago, after the harvest was in, Asef went to Balkh’s Mazar-i-Sharif city to visit his family. “When I came back, my father-in-law had gambled away all the harvest,” he said. “He promised me to get my money in one month but he couldn’t find it. I knew he wouldn’t because he is a very poor man. It was about 600 dollars. When he couldn’t find the money, I married his 12-year-old daughter in compensation.”

Shabana, who likes to wear jeans and read novels and newspapers, was taken out of school. Now she spends most of her time doing chores in the simple house for which Asef cannot yet afford doors. The illegal practise of exchanging girls to settle debts, including those owed to opium farmers, or to settle disputes between clans persists around the country – with the latter more common in the north. There are no statistics partly because there are no resources for collecting such data, said Ministry of Women’s Affairs legal advisor Sayed Abdul Wahab Rahmani. And in areas hit by the Taleban-led insurgency, the precarious security situation would prevent such research, he said.

About 670 women went to the ministry in the capital last year with complaints ranging from forced marriage to domestic violence, Rahmani said, by way of offering some sort of figure. The number is without doubt a fraction of the total number of cases in largely rural and destitute Afghanistan, where men hold sway and often break the law with impunity, including by marrying underage girls or using them to settle debts or feuds.

About 57 per cent of girls are married before the legal age of 16, according to statistics from the women’s ministry and women’s groups. Between 60 and 80 per cent of all marriages are believed to be ‘forced’ – a term that covers a range of practises including marrying off girls to repay debts or without their consent, according to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission. This is one of the main factors behind girls and women running away from home or committing suicide, including by setting themselves alight by dousing themselves in fuel and igniting it with a match.

In Afghanistan, as in many Asian and African cultures, men pay the family of their wives-to-be an agreed sum, sometimes called the bride price, as well as the cost of the wedding which can also run into thousands of dollars – the average in Kabul is 4,000 dollars. This can be an enormous sum in one of the poorest countries in the world where a low-grade civil servant earns about 60 dollars a month.

To be able to afford his own wife, Abdul Raheem, also from Balkh province, says he wants to marry off his 12-year-old sister as soon as he can. The family of the woman he has set his heart on wants 6,000 dollars for her. Raheem, who earns 60 dollars a month as a cleaner in a police station in Mazar, has saved 2,000 dollars. “It’s very difficult for me to find 4,000 dollars,” he said. But if he could marry off his sister, “then I can marry my girlfriend,” he told AFP.

Kuwaiti Sheikh to Palestinians: jihad is “the only way out of your crisis, you have no other”

Kuwaiti Sheikh to Palestinians: jihad is “the only way out of your crisis, you have no other”

Hamid Al-Ali is affiliated with Al-Qaeda. He also notes, in accord with the Qur’an, that “there is no nation on earth, and in the history of humanity, that is more deceitful, and false and fraudulent… than the Jewish nation.”

“Qaeda Sheikh: Jews most deceitful nation,” by Yaakov Lappin for Ynet News, with thanks to Sr. Soph:

An al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic sheikh, based in Kuwait, has released a statement addressed to the Palestinian people in which he declared that jihad is “the only way out of your crisis, you have no other.” Hamid al-Ali has been linked with forming al-Qaeda cells in Kuwait and supplying financial and ideological support for al-Qaeda across the Middle East. His communiqué forms one of a growing number of collective attempts by the global jihad movement to undermine Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as al-Qaeda attempts to gain a foothold in Gaza. In a statement posted on an al-Qaeda internet forum, al-Ali unleashed a torrent of anti-Semitic statements, saying, “There is no nation on earth, and in the history of humanity, that is more deceitful, and false and fraudulent… than the Jewish nation.””They have lied about God… and the messengers, and his angels, and have committed only sins,” he added.

Reiterating Hamas rhetoric, al-Ali declared, “The Jews do everything to head towards one goal, the Judaization of Jerusalem and the obliterate of its Islamic features, especially the al-Aqsa Mosque, to build their temple.”

“It is known that the Zionist entity has today reached its weakest form,” al-Ali said, adding: “They are tired, divided, and dispersed, and they are weak and torn… they will never be able to stop the Islamic tide exploding on them, (and that) they incurred the wrath of Allah Almighty.”

“For this we say to our people in Palestine, the Islamic Jihad is the only way out of the crisis, you have no other,” al-Ali concluded.

The Australian Mufti Soap Opera

The Australian Mufti Soap Opera

By Andrew L. Jaffee, netwmd.com

Internal Muslim politics in Australia are playing out like a soap opera — one where radicalism and corruption are major themes. The current “mufti” presiding over Australia’s national imams council got himself in hot water last year: “Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilali said women who did not wear a hijab (head dress) were like ‘uncovered meat’.” A name being floated to replace Hilali is Mohammed Swaiti, who is currently under investigation by the tax office for taking Saudi money under the table, and reportedly “praised mujaheddin (holy warriors) in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Can you say “credibility problem?” From The Australian:

THE national imams council will next month strip the position of Australian mufti from Taj Din al-Hilali, who yesterday made a desperate attempt to shore up grassroots support within his community by returning to the pulpit. …

He was banned in November from preaching by the Lebanese Muslim Association following revelations in The Australian that he compared scantily clad women to uncovered meat and joked about the notorious Sydney gang rapes in a Ramadan sermon. …

The Weekend Australian understands Sheik Hilali, 66, was lobbying imams around the country to keep him in his position next month, amid accusations he would break up the council should it not re-elect him. [playing hard ball, huh?]

Meanwhile, Dr Abdulla backed council member Mohammed Swaiti, saying the Australian Tax Office’s investigation into the hardline cleric would not harm the image of the imams board.

The tax office is investigating allegations that Sheik Swaiti failed to declare clerical allowances of up to $US30,000 ($36,000) a year, allegedly paid to him by the Saudi Government’s Dawah (donations) Office.It was also alleged that Sheik Swaiti had been on the Saudi payroll for the past 12 years and had failed to declare payments he received from officiating at wedding ceremonies.

Canberra’s Muslim community yesterday called on the imams board to revoke Sheik Swaiti’s membership.

The Weekend Australia last month revealed that Sheik Swaiti, an ethnic Palestinian, praised mujaheddin (holy warriors) in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Islamic Society of ACT vice-president Mohammed Berjaoui said he feared that Sheik Swaiti’s radical views would influence others on the imams board. …

Islam’s War for World Mastery

Islam’s War for World Mastery

By EFRAIM KARSH, author of Islamic Imperialism

    “During the Cold War, two things came to be known and generally recognized in the Middle East concerning the two rival superpowers. If you did anything to annoy the Russians, punishment would be swift and dire. If you said or did anything against the Americans, not only would there be no punishment; there might even be some possibility of reward.”

Thus wrote the eminent historian Bernard Lewis in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal. According to Mr. Lewis, these different responses evoked very different attitudes toward the two superpowers among Muslims and Arabs, which eventually culminated in the September 11 attacks:

While American policies, institutions, and individuals were subject to unremitting criticism and sometimes deadly attack, the Soviets were immune. Their retention of the vast, largely Muslim, colonial empire accumulated by the tsars in Asia passed unnoticed, as did their propaganda and sometimes action against Muslim beliefs and institutions.

Of course Muslims have never acquiesced in the loss of these territories, as evidenced by the numerous Russo-Ottoman and Russo-Persian wars during the last few centuries. Even the disastrous Ottoman decision to join World War I on the losing side, which led to the destruction of this empire and the creation of the modern Middle East on its ruins, was largely motivated by the desire to reverse the Russian imperial expansion. CONTINUE

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