ISLAM: What the West Needs to Know

ISLAM: What the West Needs to Know

An examination of Islam, violence, and
the fate of the non-Muslim world.

98 minutes

Virtually every major Western leader has over the past several years expressed the view that Islam is a peaceful religion and that those who commit violence in its name are fanatics who misinterpret its tenets. This claim, while widely circulated, rarely attracts serious public examination. Relying primarily on Islam’s own sources, this documentary demonstrates that Islam is a violent, expansionary ideology that seeks the destruction or subjugation of other faiths, cultures, and systems of government.

The documentary consists of original interviews, citations from Islamic texts, Islamic artwork, computer-animated maps, footage of Western leaders, and Islamic television broadcasts. Its tone is sober, methodical, and compelling.

Outline of the Documentary

We hear from prominent Western leaders that Islam is peaceful and that those who commit violence in its name are heterodox fanatics.

Part 1: ‘There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his Prophet’
Our interviewees affirm their belief that Islamic violence is entirely orthodox behavior for Muslims and stems directly from the teachings and example of the Prophet Muhammad and the commands of the Koran. We learn that the example of Muhammad is one of a violent warlord who killed numerous people. The Koran – the verbatim words of Allah – prescribes violence against non-Muslims and Muhammad is the perfect example of the Koran in action.

Part 2: The Struggle
We learn that jihad, while literally meaning ‘struggle’, in fact denotes war fought against non-Muslims in order to bring the rule of Islamic law to the world. Violent death in jihad is, according to the Koran, the only assurance of salvation. One of our interviewees tells of his personal involvement in terrorism and his leaving Islam.

Part 3: Expansion
Following the death of Muhammad, his ‘rightly-guided’ successors carried his wars to three continents, fighting, enslaving, and massacring countless Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, and others. Islam did not spread through evangelism or through its natural appeal, but through aggressive wars of conquest. The Crusades were largely a belated response on the part of Christian Europe to rescue Christians in the Holy Land suffering under Muslim oppression. The Muslim world today, while no longer the unified empire of the Caliphs, is exceptional for being responsible for the vast majority of conflicts around the world and for almost all of international terrorism.

Part 4: ‘War is Deceit’
A great problem with Western efforts to understand Islam is due to the Islamic principle of ‘religious deception’, which enjoins Muslims to deceive non-Muslims in order to advance the cause of Islam. Muslim groups today in the West employ deception and omission to give the impression that ‘Islam is a religion of peace’, an utter fiction.

Part 5: More than a Religion
The most important characteristic of Islam not understood by the West is that it is more a system of government than a personal religion. Throughout its history, Islam has never recognized a distinction between the religious and the secular/political. Islamic law governs every aspect of religious, political, and personal action, which amounts to a form of totalitarianism that is divinely enjoined to dominate the world, analogous in many ways to Communism.

Part 6: The House of War
Islamic theology divides the world into two spheres locked in perpetual combat, dar al-Islam (House of Islam – where Islamic law predominates), and dar al-harb (House of War – the rest of the world). It is incumbent on dar al-Islam to fight and conquer dar al-harb and permanently assimilate it. Muslims in Western nations are called to subvert the secular regimes in which they now live in accordance with Allah’s command. Due to political correctness and general government and media irresponsibility, the danger posed by observant Muslims in the West remains largely unappreciated.

Born-Again, Ex-Islamic Terrorists Speak Out

Born-Again, Ex-Islamic Terrorists Speak OutBy Erick Stakelbeck

CWNews.comPHILADELPHIA, Penn.  – Military experts often say that to defeat your enemy, you need to first know him. When it comes to the war against radical Islam, Walid Shoebat and Zachariah Anani don’t just know the enemy – they were the enemy.

As a young man, Shoebat was a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a terrorist group headed by Yasser Arafat.

“Our mission at first – we were growing up in the West Bank – was: kill as many Jews as you can,” Shoebat said.

Anani belonged to several Islamic terrorist groups in Lebanon. By 14, he had already committed his first murder, and he was just getting started.

“Within four years, I had 223 points, which means 223 kills,” Anani recalled. “And two-thirds of them by daggers. I was trained in what we call body combat.”

Growing up in the Middle East, Shoebat and Anani were taught to wage jihad against all non-Muslims, especially Jews. For years, they did that.

And that makes their transformation into Christian witnesses for Israel all the more amazing. The two men have devoted their lives to speaking out against radical Islam and standing up for the Jewish state.

“I began to understand that I was really on quicksand. I was really sinking deep. The truth was not in the Koran. The Koran does not have any prophecies, does not have any predictive prophecies telling us the future in such detail. The Bible does,” Shoebat explained.
CBN News caught up with Shoebat and Anani last month in Philadelphia, where they shared their stories at an event called “Three Ex-Terrorists Speak Out.”

If you think this sounds dangerous, you’re right. They were supposed to be joined by a third former terrorist named Ibrahim Abdallah. But Abdallah, also a convert to Christianity, backed out at the last minute because Muslim family members threatened to kidnap his children if he participated.

Shoebat said that’s par for the course.

“Islam is like the song ‘Hotel California,’” said Shoebat. “You can check in, but you can’t check out. You can check out if you want – in a coffin.”

But Anani and Shoebat did check out, leaving years of cult-like indoctrination behind.
Anani’s grandfather and great-grandfather were both high-ranking Islamic clerics in Lebanon. By the time he was 13, “Zack” had joined his first terrorist group – with the full approval of his family.

The group was called “The Youth of Ali,” named after the Islamic prophet Mohammed’s cousin.

Anani said he became a killing machine. At times he even targeted fellow Muslims. He told us of one occasion when a Muslim tried to wake him in the middle of the night to pray.

“I said, in a very challenging way, ‘You come and wake me up at 3 o’clock, I’ll shoot you,’” Anani said. “Three o’clock, he knocks on my door. I pull out my pistol from under my pillow, look at the door, measure where his chest is, and then shoot him through the door and go back to sleep again.”

Shoebat also hailed from a prominent family. His grandfather was close to the grand mufti of Jerusalem –who worked closely with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. In Palestinian schools, young Shoebat learned that Jesus and Moses were Palestinian revolutionaries and that the Jews’ day of judgment was coming.

“Most Americans think that terrorism starts by some group coming to recruit you. The recruitment already happens at the mosque,” Shoebat explained. “It already happens at the school. They’re already part of the whole system of education. You don’t need to recruit. The people are willing souls ready to die for martyrdom, or ready to die for Palestine. Ready to die for the cause of Allah.”

Shoebat was one of them.

“The assurance for salvation in Islam is via martyrdom,” he said. “That’s the whole message. The Koran clearly stated it: ‘Do not think that the ones who die in the cause of Allah and martyrdom are dead, but are with Allah receiving their blessings.’ This is why my cousin went to his suicide mission and died. And my aunt Fatima, in the streets of Bethlehem, was passing out candy … because her son was now a martyr.”

After spending time in prison for attacking Israelis, Shoebat was ready to carry out missions for the PLO. On one run, he planted a bomb at a bank in Bethlehem right next to the Church of the Nativity.

“As I was walking away from the bank, the Christian Nativity church – where Jesus was born – I heard this big explosion behind me,” Shoebat said. “And I ran away. And I was never caught, and they never found out. And I never confessed these things until I became a Christian in 1993.”

The same Christian faith that Anani and Shoebat had once wanted to crush would eventually change their lives. After a chance encounter with a Christian preacher on a street in Lebanon, Anani left Islam and terrorism at the age of 17. His family reacted by disowning him.

“My father took the small Bible from my hand and shredded it, and slapped me two or three times and stepped backward — thinking I was [going to] jump him,” Anani recalled. “I said, ‘Nope. You hit me or you beat me, and I won’t change a thing. I’ll be a Christian.’”

Outside his home, things were even worse. He was dragged to the local mosque, beaten and excommunicated. There were also several attempts on his life.

“I was shot. I was knifed. I was poisoned. I was hit with a car. I was hit with sticks,” Anani said.

But Anani refused to be intimidated or be swayed from his new faith.

“It took long years to study the Bible and the Christian faith,” he said. “But in the beginning, like Paul said, I accepted Christ as an indigent. And wisdom came later on.”

Shoebat left Islam in 1993 after his wife, who was already a Christian, challenged him to prove the Bible wrong. He couldn’t.

“I began to understand the story of the fall of man, went all the way down to Revelation,” Shoebat said. “And by the time I got to the prophets, I was fascinated to study Zechariah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah: ‘For I am God and there is no other – for I am God and there is none like Me.’”

Shoebat’s new-found faith cost him his father and his siblings. He now lives in an undisclosed location, where he heads the Walid Shoebat Foundation, a pro-Israel group. He’s also written a book detailing his journey called Why I Left Jihad.

But he’s disappointed that his message hasn’t been well received by some in the West.

“Here’s the ironic thing. The day that I hated Jews, I wanted to kill them, I wanted to blow them up – I was called a freedom fighter by the world and by the press. The day that I turned around and said, you know what? I don’t hate Jews, I don’t hate blacks, I love everybody – I love everybody equally; that’s when I became a racist. Go figure,” Shoebat said.

Anani now lives in North America, where he is director of evangelism for an international ministry. His time in the West hasn’t always gone smoothly either. He has been assaulted and seen his life threatened by Muslims in the United States and Canada.

Shoebat said the best way to counter this jihad violence is as easy as turning a page.

“We need to send out Christian education, the truth from the Bible throughout the Muslim world,” Shoebat said. “And if we send out the message and tell them what the Bible already foretells about the outcome of what’s going to happen to the Muslims, if they can understand that and see it clearly, then that faith, that false faith that they have their hopes on, is shaken.”

The ex-terrorists know their message is not politically correct. Sure enough, they have had trouble getting coverage from the mainstream media. But they say they will continue to tell the truth about what really drives Islamic terrorism.

As for their safety? They are leaving that in God’s hands.

What Is ‘Islamofascism’?

What Is ‘Islamofascism’?


“Islamic fascists” — used by President George W. Bush for the conspirators in the alleged trans-Atlantic airline bombing plot — and references by other prominent figures to “Islamofascism,” have been met by protests from Muslims who say the term is an insult to their religion. The meaning and origin of the concept, as well as the legitimacy of complaints about it, have become relevant — perhaps urgently so.I admit to a lack of modesty or neutrality about this discussion, since I was, as I will explain, the first Westerner to use the neologism in this context. In my analysis, as originally put in print directly after the horror of September 11, 2001, Islamofascism refers to use of the faith of Islam as a cover for totalitarian ideology. This radical phenomenon is embodied among Sunni Muslims today by such fundamentalists as the Saudi-financed Wahhabis, the Pakistani jihadists known as Jama’atis, and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. In the ranks of Shia Muslims, it is exemplified by Hezbollah in Lebanon and the clique around President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in
Political typologies should make distinctions, rather than confusing them, and Islamofascism is neither a loose nor an improvised concept. It should be employed sparingly and precisely. The indicated movements should be treated as Islamofascist, first, because of their congruence with the defining characteristics of classic fascism, especially in its most historically-significant form — German National Socialism.Fascism is distinguished from the broader category of extreme right-wing politics by its willingness to defy public civility and openly violate the law. As such it represents a radical departure from the tradition of ultra-conservatism. The latter aims to preserve established social relations, through enforcement of law and reinforcement of authority. But the fascist organizations of Mussolini and Hitler, in their conquests of power, showed no reluctance to rupture peace and repudiate parliamentary and other institutions; the fascists employed terror against both the existing political structure and society at large. It is a common misconception of political science to believe, in the manner of amateur Marxists, that Italian fascists and Nazis sought maintenance of order, to protect the ruling classes. Both Mussolini and Hitler agitated against “the system” governing their countries. Their willingness to resort to street violence, assassinations, and coups set the Italian and German fascists apart from ordinary defenders of ruling elites, which they sought to replace. This is an important point that should never be forgotten. Fascism is not merely a harsh dictatorship or oppression by privilege.Islamofascism similarly pursues its aims through the willful, arbitrary, and gratuitous disruption of global society, either by terrorist conspiracies or by violation of peace between states. Al-Qaida has recourse to the former weapon; Hezbollah, in assaulting northern
Israel, used the latter. These are not acts of protest, but calculated strategies for political advantage through undiluted violence. Hezbollah showed fascist methods both in its kidnapping of Israeli soldiers and in initiating that action without any consideration for the Lebanese government of which it was a member. Indeed, Lebanese democracy is a greater enemy of Hezbollah than
Fascism rested, from the economic perspective, on resentful middle classes, frustrated in their aspirations and anxious about loss of their position. The Italian middle class was insecure in its social status; the German middle class was completely devastated by the defeat of the country in the First World War. Both became irrational with rage at their economic difficulties; this passionate and uncontrolled fury was channeled and exploited by the acolytes of Mussolini and Hitler. Al-Qaida is based in sections of the Saudi, Pakistani, and Egyptian middle classes fearful, in the Saudi case, of losing their unstable hold on prosperity — in Pakistan and Egypt, they are angry at the many obstacles, in state and society, to their ambitions. The constituency of Hezbollah is similar: the growing Lebanese Shia middle class, which believes itself to be the victim of discrimination. Fascism was imperialistic; it demanded expansion of the German and Italian spheres of influence. Islamofascism has similar ambitions; the Wahhabis and their Pakistani and Egyptian counterparts seek control over all Sunni Muslims in the world, while Hezbollah projects itself as an ally of Syria and
Iran in establishing regional dominance.
Fascism was totalitarian; i.e. it fostered a totalistic world view — a distinct social reality that separated its followers from normal society. Islamofascism parallels fascism by imposing a strict division between Muslims and alleged unbelievers. For Sunni radicals, the practice of takfir — declaring all Muslims who do not adhere to the doctrines of the Wahhabis, Pakistani Jama’atis, and the Muslim Brotherhood to be outside the Islamic global community or ummah — is one expression of Islamofascism. For Hezbollah, the posture of total rejectionism in Lebanese politics — opposing all politicians who might favor any political negotiation with
Israel — serves the same purpose. Takfir, or “excommunication” of ordinary Muslims, as well as Hezbollah’s Shia radicalism, are also important as indispensable, unifying psychological tools for the strengthening of such movements.
Fascism was paramilitary; indeed, the Italian and German military elites were reluctant to accept the fascist parties’ ideological monopoly. Al-Qaida and Hezbollah are both paramilitary. I do not believe these characteristics are intrinsic to any element of the faith of Islam. Islamofascism is a distortion of Islam, exactly as Italian and German fascism represented perversions of respectable patriotism in those countries. Nobody argues today that Nazism possessed historical legitimacy as an expression of German nationalism; only Nazis would make such claims, to defend themselves. Similarly, Wahhabis and their allies argue that their doctrines are “just Islam.” But German culture existed for centuries, and exists today, without submitting to Nazi values; Islam created a world-spanning civilization, surviving in a healthy condition in many countries today, without Wahhabism or political Shiism, both of which are less than 500 years old.But what of those primitive Muslims who declare that “Islamofascism” is a slur? The Washington Post of August 14 quoted a speaker at a pro-Hezbollah demonstration in
Washington, as follows: “‘Mr. Bush: Stop calling Islam “Islamic fascism,’ said Esam Omesh, president of the Muslim American Society, prompting a massive roar from the crowd. He said there is no such thing, ‘just as there is no such thing as Christian fascism.'”
These curious comments may be parsed in various ways. Since President Bush used the term “Islamic fascists” to refer to a terrorist conspiracy, did Mr. Omesh (whose Muslim American Society is controlled by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood) intend to accept the equation of Islam with said terrorism, merely rejecting the political terminology he dislikes? Probably not. But Mr. Omesh’s claim that “there is no such thing as Christian fascism” is evidence of profound historical ignorance. Leading analysts of fascism saw its Italian and German forms as foreshadowed by the Ku Klux Klan in the
U.S. and the Russian counter-revolutionary mass movement known as the Black Hundreds. Both movements were based in Christian extremism, symbolized by burning crosses in
America and pogroms against Jews under the tsars.

The fascist Iron Guard in Romania during the interwar period and in the second world war was explicitly Christian — its official title was the “Legion of the Archangel Michael;” Christian fascism also exists in the form of Ulster Protestant terrorism, and was visible in the (Catholic) Blue Shirt movement active in the Irish Free State during the 1920s and 1930s. Both the Iron Guard and the Blue Shirts attracted noted intellectuals; the cultural theorist Mircea Eliade in the first case, the poet W.B Yeats in the second. Many similar cases could be cited. It is also significant that Mr. Omesh did not deny the existence of “Jewish fascism” — doubtless because in his milieu, the term is commonly directed against
Israel is not a fascist state, although some marginal, ultra-extremist Jewish groups could be so described.

I will conclude with a summary of a more obscure debate over the term, which is symptomatic of many forms of confusion in American life today. I noted at the beginning of this text that I am neither modest nor neutral on this topic. I developed the concept of Islamofascism after receiving an e-mail in June 2000 from a Bangladeshi Sufi Muslim living in America, titled “The Wahhabis: Fascism in Religious Garb!” I then resided in Kosovo. I put the term in print in The Spectator of
London, on September 22, 2001. I was soon credited with it by Andrew Sullivan in his Daily Dish, and after it was attributed to Christopher Hitchens, the latter also acknowledged me as the earliest user of it. While working in Bosnia-Hercegovina more recently, I participated in a public discussion in which the Pakistani Muslim philosopher Fazlur Rahman (1919-88), who taught for years at the University of Chicago (not to be confused with the Pakistani radical Fazlur Rehman), was cited as referring to “Islamic fascists.”

If such concerns seem absurdly self-interested, it is also interesting to observe how Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, dealt with the formulation of Islamofascism as an analytical tool. After a long and demeaning colloquy between me and a Wikipedian who commented negatively on an early book of mine while admitting that he had never even seen a copy of it, Wikipedia (referring to it collectively, as its members prefer) decided it to ascribe it to another historian of Islam, Malise Ruthven. But Ruthven, in 1990, used the term to refer to all authoritarian governments in Muslim countries, from Morocco to

I do not care much, these days, about Wikipedia and its misapprehensions, or obsess over acknowledgements of my work. But Malise Ruthven was and would remain wrong to believe that authoritarianism and fascism are the same. To emphasize, fascism is something different, and much worse, than simple dictatorship, however cruel the latter may be. That is a lesson that should have been learned 70 years ago, when German Nazism demonstrated that it was a feral and genocidal aberration in modern European history, not merely another form of oppressive rightist rule, or a particularly wild variety of colonialism.

Similarly, the violence wreaked by al-Qaida and Hezbollah, and by Saddam Hussein before them, has been different from other expressions of reactionary Arabism, simple Islamist ideology, or violent corruption in the post-colonial world. Between democracy, civilized values, and normal religion on one side, and Islamofascism on the other, there can be no compromise; as I have written before, it is a struggle to the death. President Bush is right to say “young democracies are fragile … this may be [the Islamofascists’] last and best opportunity to stop freedom’s advance.” As with the Nazis, nothing short of a victory for democracy can assure the world’s security.Stephen Schwartz is Executive Director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism.