There will be seven Democratic Presidential candidates at a Leadership Forum today sponsored by YearlyKos. I wonder how many of them are aware of the vile, anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish invective that regularly appears on the organizer’s personal website?
Powerful Political Blog Attracts Israel Hate Posts – Robert Goldberg (Washington Times) Eyal Rosenberg resigned as a diarist for the powerful political blog DailyKos on May 9 after “all the Israel Hate spewing out of one too many diaries around here.”
As he wrote in his last post: “Reading these past months on dkos has led me to believe that people here, under the ‘progressive’ banner, support views that end up in one place: Me dead.
” Recently, a DailyKos diarist suggested “gassing Joe Lieberman like a dog.”
Rosenberg notes that the anti-Semitic attacks are not “isolated.” In his brief time as a diarist (several months), he counted 5,000 Israel or Jewish references in the DailyKos. That’s about 23 posts on Jews or Israel a day, most negative.
This past spring, one of the site’s diarists posted an image that morps the face of Israel’s minister of strategic affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, with that of Adolf Hitler’s shown holding a skull painted with a Star of David, under the caption “Zionism was and remains a racist ideology.”.
There are thousands of posts blaming Israel for all the terror and conflict in the Middle East.
14 Reasons to Deport Illegal Aliens… Hope these 14 reasons are
forwarded over and over again until they are read by the majority of
Americans. Then they will have something to yell at their U.S.
Congress members about.
1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each
2. $2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such
as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens.
3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens.
4. $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school
education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of
5. $17 Billion dollars a year is spent for education for the
American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies.
6. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens.
7. 30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens .
8. $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens for Welfare &
Social Services by the American taxpayers.
9. $200 Billion Dollars a year in suppressed American wages are caused by
the illegal aliens.
10. The illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that’s two
and a half times that of white non-illegal aliens. In particular, their
children, are going to make a huge additional crime problem in the United
11. During the year of 2005 there were 4 to 10 MILLION illegal aliens
crossed our Southern Border also, as many as 19,500 illegal aliens from
Terrorist Countries. Millions of pounds of drugs, cocaine, meth, heroine
and marijuana, crossed into the U. S. From the Southern border Homeland
12. The National Policy Institute, “estimated that the total cost of
deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion or an average cost of
between $41 and $46 billion annually over a five year period.”
13. In 2006 illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION in remittances back to
their countries of origin .
14. “The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One Million Sex Crimes
Committed by Illegal Immigrants In The United States ” .
So using the LOWEST estimates, the annual cost OF ILLEGAL ALIENS is
338.3 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR! So if deporting them costs between 206 and
230 BILLION DOLLARS, Hell get rid of em’, We’ll be ahead after the 1st
Please pass this on. Americans need to wake up!
Double Tap—Marine Perspective
A Marine response to a simple question. Regarding the news blurb about the
Marine who put two rounds (“double tap”) in a wounded insurgent’s head in
Fallujah, here’s a response from a Marine:
“It’s a safety issue, pure and simple. After assaulting through a
target, we put a security round in everybody’s head. Sorry al-Reuters,
there’s no paddy wagon rolling around Fallujah picking up “prisoners” and
offering them a hot cup o’ Joe, falafel, and a blanket. There’s no time to
dick around on the target. You clear the space, dump the chumps, and move
Are Corpsman expected to treat wounded terrorists? Negative. Hey
Libs, worried about the defense budget? Well, it would be waste, fraud,
and abuse for a Corpsman to expend one man-minute or a battle dressing on a
terrorist. It’s much cheaper to just spend the $.02 on a 5.56mm FMJ. By
the way, in our view, terrorists who chop off civilian’s heads are not
prisoners, they are carcasses. Chopping off a civilian’s head is another
reason why these idiots are known as “unlawful combatants.” It seems that
most of the world’s journalists have forgotten that fact.
Let me be very clear about this issue. I have looked around the web,
and many people get this concept, but there are some stragglers.
Here is your typical Marine sitrep (situation report): You just took
fire from unlawful combatants (no uniform – breaking every Geneva
Convention rule there is) shooting from a religious building attempting to
use the sanctuary status of their position as protection. But you’re in
Fallujah now, and the Marine Corps has decided that they’re not playing
that game this time. That was Najaf. So you set the mosque on fire and
you hose down the terrorists with small arms, launch some AT-4s (Rockets),
some 40MM grenades into the building and things quiet down. So you run
over there, and find some tangos (bad guys) wounded and pretending to be
dead. You are aware that suicide martyrdom is like really popular with
these idiots, and they think taking some Marines with them would be really
cool. So you can either risk your life and your fire team’s lives by
having them cover you while you bend down and search a guy that you think
is pretending to be dead for some reason. Most of the time these are the
guys with the grenade or a vest made of explosives. Also, you don’t know
who or what is in the next room. You’re already speaking English to the
rest of your fire team or squad which lets the terrorist know you are there
and you are his enemy. You are speaking loud because your hearing is poor
from shooting people for several days. So you know that there are many
other rooms to enter, and that if anyone is still alive in those rooms,
they know that Americans are in the mosque. Meanwhile (3 seconds later),
you still have this terrorist (that was just shooting at you from a mosque)
playing possum. What do you do? You double tap his head, and you go to
the next room, that’s what!
What about the Geneva Convention and all that ‘Law of Land Warfare’
stuff? What about it? Without even addressing the issues at hand, your
first thought should be, “I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by
6.” Bear in mind that this tactic of double tapping a fallen terrorist is
a perpetual mindset that is reinforced by experience on a minute by minute
basis. Secondly, you are fighting an unlawful combatant in a Sanctuary,
which is a double No-No on his part. Third, tactically you are in no
position to take “prisoners” because there are more rooms to search and
clear, and the behavior of said terrorist indicates that he is up to no
good. No good in Fallujah is a very large place and the low end of no good
and the high end of no good are fundamentally the same … Marines end up
getting hurt or die. So there is no compelling reason for you to do
anything but double tap this idiot and get on with the mission.
If you are a veteran, then everything I have just written is self
evident. If you are not a veteran, at least try to put yourself in the
situation. Remember, in Fallujah there is no yesterday, there is no
tomorrow, there is only now, Right NOW. Have you ever lived in NOW for a
week? It is really, really not easy. If you have never lived in NOW for
longer than it takes to finish the big roller coaster at Six Flags, then
shut your hole about putting Marines in jail for “War Crimes.”
Red Alert, There are differences in cultures.
The Agony of Debate
<br</brby Thomas Lindaman
If you ever want to see some of the best political reporting on Election 2008, there are a number of places to go. If you don’t, go to the Washington Post. Seeing some of the subjects they cover as real news from the campaign trail makes my twice-monthly screeds look like Paradise Lost.
But I do have to give them credit on one story they ran on July 23rd. The story in question dealt with how the Democrats running for President are having to endure, get this, debate fatigue. Although the first official debate among the Democrat candidates was set for July 23rd, they’ve been having debates and discussions in front of just about any group who would have them. No word yet on if they’re going to swing by my place while they’re in Iowa to debate whether Dennis Kucinich is Gollum from The Lord of the Rings or a genetic cross between Ross Perot and Casey Kasem.
One major problem that the Washington Post story mentioned was how individual special interest groups are hosting candidate debates, but the big-name candidates feel they can’t skip them after second and third tier candidates accept. After all, they can’t risk offending the North Petaluma Anti-War Lesbian Same Sex Marriage Coalition and Bridge Club, right? Of course, this is a problem Democrats have brought on themselves by having so many special interest groups to pander to for votes. Since the 1990s if not a little before, the Democratic Party has gone from being a real political party to being a laundry list of special interest groups all jockeying for position in the political equivalent of Lord of the Flies. But unlike in the book, nobody’s quite sure who has the conch shell right now, but everyone in the race thinks George W. Bush is the monster.
This brings us to another point that is overlooked in the story. Democrats were announcing they were thinking about running for President in 2008…before the Congressional elections of 2006 were even held. That exercise in jumping the gun created the longer campaign season that the candidates and their staffs are complaining about now. I have zero sympathy for the nozzlehead who announced in 2006 that they wanted to run for President in 2008 and now complains about the long hours and numerous debates that go into running for President. Seriously, if you guys didn’t factor this into your decision when you made it, I don’t want you running my local 7-11, let alone the United States.
A representative from John Edwards’s campaign also lamented the short amount of time for candidates to give answers to questions. Eric Schultz said, “Senator Edwards feels strongly that voters deserve more substantive debates between the candidates….You cannot explain how you will end the war in Iraq or solve the climate crisis in 60 seconds.” You know, reading anyone talk about substance while representing John Edwards always makes me giggle. I can’t explain it. But it’s not like the candidates themselves are trying to figure out more substantive answers to questions in first place. I can summarize the core of the Democrat debates so far in the following vignette.
Moderator: The biggest issue right now is international terrorism. Senator Edwards, what do you think we should do?
Edwards: George W. Bush sucks!
Other Candidates: Yeah! George W. Bush sucks!
Moderator: How do you propose to get our troops out of Iraq? Senator Clinton, let’s start with you.
Clinton: [yelling in a loud monotone] BY DOING THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT GEORGE W. BUSH HAS DONE!
Other Candidates: Yeah! By doing the opposite of what George W. Bush has done!
Repeat that for another 59 minutes or so, throw in Anderson Cooper or Wolf Blitzer to add credibility to the event, and you have yourself a Democrat Presidential debate.
The Post article mentions that a big risk to the major candidates by having so many debates is that they have more opportunities to screw up. Please. The only way these “debates” could be any more tightly scripted would be if writers for professional wrestling wrote them. Then again, it would be interesting to see “Macho Man” Mike Gravel go up against “The Rock” Barack Obama…provided, of course, Gravel can smell what Barack is cookin’.
And here’s the funny thing about all of this. Most people don’t pay attention to political campaigns until around Labor Day of the election year because, well, they have lives. In other words, the Democrats are knocking themselves out to attract the votes of the true believers, who most likely will vote for the eventual nominee. And these folks question George W. Bush’s intelligence?
Thomas Lindaman is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. and NewsBull.com. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. He is also Publisher of CommonConservative.com.
Only Christians Subject to Separation of Church and State
<br</br<br</brby Sher Zieve
Who would have thought that, after the 9/11/2001 attacks on our country, all too many US citizens would run to both accept and embrace the religion of our enemy attackers? But, that is precisely what has happened. Since 9/11, Muslims throughout the US have demanded—and received—all manner of special privileges; from intimidating businesses into accommodating Muslim prayer rooms to said businesses setting aside portions of the workday for them to engage in prayer. Note: Suffice it to say, Christian prayer has been banned in the workplace and schools—for decades. The ACLU saw to that. But, the same ACLU that bans Christian practices hypocritically—perhaps illegally—either ignores or embraces special accommodations for Islam. Christian prayers—even non-denominational—have been forbidden in school classrooms and the workplace. But, everything Islam is being increasingly accommodated and adopted. Christmas has been branded “taboo” by public school administrators. But, the Islamic celebration of Ramadan is not only being instilled in an increasing number of public schools but, has even been celebrated at the White House.
Most recently, with yet another strong backhand applied to the faces of all non-Muslims (specifically Christians), the University of Michigan has become the latest public entity to make the decision to ignore the US Supreme Court ruling concerning the separation of church and state in the US. With their actions, its leftist/liberati administrators have also made the decision that the SCOTUS decision does NOT apply to the Muslim faith. Instead, these same officials are making increasing adjustments for Muslims and their “faith” in direct conflict with the aforementioned SCOTUS decision. This is yet another example of liberals, leftists and other enemies of the United States of America being allowed to break the laws of our land, while the rest of us are subject to arrest for not being duly submissive to the lawbreakers. As yet another example of school administrators caving to Muslims’ intimidation, 23 year old Stanislav Shmulevich was arrested for placing a copy of the Islamic Koran in a toilet at Pace University. After the originated-by-terrorist-Hamas-officials group CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) complained to NYPD, police authorities charged Shmulevich with a ‘hate crime’. A hate crime against a book? However, if one does the same to a Christian Bible the authorities traditionally and historically ignore it. In other words, desecrating the Bible—or for that matter the Torah—is not considered a crime by US officials. Said “hate crimes” only applies to the Islamic Koran; just as separation of church and state applies only to Christianity and Christians.
Currently, all that is Islamic or even radical Islamist is “okay” with the American Liberati. Even one of the Democrat press’ bastions of liberalism, the Washington Post, is now attempting to instruct its readers that radical Islamists are really ‘moderates’. One of that publication’s staff writers, Michelle Boorstein, tries to shove this concept down their throats in her article From Muslim Youths, a Push for Change. By their continuing capitulation actions, our feckless liberal “leaders” appear to be her audience. Again, their appeasement-of-all-that-frightens-them mantra grows louder: “Anything and everything Islam is okay with us!” And perpetrated by these same groups, anything and everything Christian is in process of being removed from life as we know it. Christianity, which essentially preaches peace, is being barred from American life while Islam—that preaches war and death to all non-Muslims—is being deified. Note: Isn’t it the liberals and leftists who claim to be anti-war? If so, why do they support a movement—Islam and its Muslim religion—that bases its existence on death and war and ridding this planet of all non-Muslims? No wonder the Left is considered by an increasing majority of we-the-people to be insane. It is.
In regards to the above growing atrocities, we-the-people again have two choices. We can ignore these mounting perils to our existence—and choose to end our lives—or we can fight them. Unless Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and his minions are successful in shutting us up, we can still contact our elected officials—local, statewide and national—and tell them to stop this insanity! US laws either apply to everyone or they apply to no one. If our elected leaders don’t understand that—they shouldn’t be in office. We can still vote them out. And we-the-people need to continue to take a stand against all of the increasing atrocities being committed against us. If we don’t, it won’t be long before we can no longer stand at all.
Sher Zieve is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. (www.thenma.org). The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.
By Christopher Hitchens
During the greater part of last week, Slate’s sister site On Faith (it is jointly produced by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, both owned by the Washington Post Co., which also owns Slate) gave itself over to a discussion about the religion of Islam. As usual in such cases, the search for “moderate” versions of this faith was under way before the true argument had even begun. If I were a Muslim myself, I think that this search would be the most “offensive” part of the business. Why must I prove that my deepest belief is compatible with moderation?
Unless I am wrong, [you are.] a sincere Muslim need only affirm that there is one god, and only one, and that the Prophet Mohammed was his messenger, bringing thereby the final words of God to humanity. Certain practices are supposed to follow this affirmation, including a commitment to pray five times a day, a promise to pay a visit to Mecca if such a trip should be possible, fasting during Ramadan, and a pious vow to give alms to the needy. The existence of djinns, or devils, is hard to disavow because it was affirmed by the prophet. An obligation of jihad is sometimes mentioned, and some quite intelligent people argue about whether “holy war” is meant to mean a personal struggle or a political one. No real Islamic authority exists to decide this question, and those for whom the personal is highly political have recently become rather notorious.
[He is so wrong in this. All major schools of Islam are agreed that Jihad is one of the highest duties. Hitchens makes light of this and limits it to those “for whom the personal is highly political”. But that aside, Hitchens rejects any notion of a special respect due to any religion.]
Thus, Islamic belief, however simply or modestly it may be stated, is an extreme position to begin with. No human being can possibly claim to know that there is a God at all, or that there are, or were, any other gods to be repudiated. And when these ontological claims have collided, as they must, with their logical limits, it is even further beyond the cognitive capacity of any person to claim without embarrassment that the lord of creation spoke his ultimate words to an unlettered merchant in seventh-century Arabia. Those who utter such fantastic braggings, however many times a day they do so, can by definition have no idea what they are talking about. (I hasten to add that those who boast of knowing about Moses parting the Red Sea, or about a virgin with a huge tummy, are in exactly the same position.) Finally, it turns out to be impossible to determine whether jihad means more alms-giving or yet more zealous massacre of, say, Shiite Muslims.
Why, then, should we be commanded to “respect” those who insist that they alone know something that is both unknowable and unfalsifiable? Something, furthermore, that can turn in an instant into a license for murder and rape? As one who has occasionally challenged Islamic propaganda in public and been told that I have thereby “insulted 1.5 billion Muslims,” I can say what I suspect—which is that there is an unmistakable note of menace behind that claim. No, I do not think for a moment that Mohammed took a “night journey” to Jerusalem on a winged horse. And I do not care if 10 billion people intone the contrary. Nor should I have to. But the plain fact is that the believable threat of violence undergirds the Muslim demand for “respect.”
Before me is a recent report that a student at Pace University in New York City has been arrested for a hate crime in consequence of an alleged dumping of the Quran. Nothing repels me more than the burning or desecration of books, and if, for example, this was a volume from a public or university library, I would hope that its mistreatment would constitute a misdemeanor at the very least. But if I choose to spit on a copy of the writings of Ayn Rand or Karl Marx or James Joyce, that is entirely my business. When I check into a hotel room and send my free and unsolicited copy of the Gideon Bible or the Book of Mormon spinning out of the window, I infringe no law, except perhaps the one concerning litter. Why do we not make this distinction in the case of the Quran? We do so simply out of fear, and because the fanatical believers in that particular holy book have proved time and again that they mean business when it comes to intimidation. Surely that should be to their discredit rather than their credit. Should not the “moderate” imams of On Faith have been asked in direct terms whether they are, or are not, negotiating with a gun on the table?
The Pace University incident becomes even more ludicrous and sinister when it is recalled that Islamists are the current leaders in the global book-burning competition. After the rumor of a Quran down the toilet in Guantanamo was irresponsibly spread, a mob in Afghanistan burned down an ancient library that (as President Hamid Karzai pointed out dryly) contained several ancient copies of the same book. Not content with igniting copies of The Satanic Verses, Islamist lynch parties demanded the burning of its author as well. Many distinguished authors, Muslim and non-Muslim, are dead or in hiding because of the words they have put on pages concerning the unbelievable claims of Islam. And it is to appease such a spirit of persecution and intolerance that a student in New York City has been arrested for an expression, however vulgar, of an opinion.
This has to stop, and it has to stop right now. There can be no concession to sharia in the United States. When will we see someone detained, or even cautioned, for advocating the burning of books in the name of God? If the police are honestly interested in this sort of “hate crime,” I can help them identify those who spent much of last year uttering physical threats against the republication in this country of some Danish cartoons. In default of impartial prosecution, we have to insist that Muslims take their chance of being upset, just as we who do not subscribe to their arrogant certainties are revolted every day by the hideous behavior of the parties of God.
It is often said that resistance to jihadism only increases the recruitment to it. For all I know, this commonplace observation could be true. But, if so, it must cut both ways. How about reminding the Islamists that, by their mad policy in Kashmir and elsewhere, they have made deadly enemies of a billion Indian Hindus? Is there no danger that the massacre of Iraqi and Lebanese Christians, or the threatened murder of all Jews, will cause an equal and opposite response? Most important of all, what will be said and done by those of us who take no side in filthy religious wars? The enemies of intolerance cannot be tolerant, or neutral, without inviting their own suicide. And the advocates and apologists of bigotry and censorship and suicide-assassination cannot be permitted to take shelter any longer under the umbrella of a pluralism that they openly seek to destroy.
On holy war, apostasy and the rights of women in Islam.
By Hirsi Ali,
The undisputed definition of Islam by all her adherents is “submission to the will of Allah.” This divine will is outlined in the Koran and in the teachings and deeds of Muhammad, as recorded in the Hadith or Sunna.
While the Koran is considered to be the true, undiluted word of God revealed to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel, the Sunna carry less weight and have always been a cause for disagreement amongst Muslim scholars. Theologians of Islam have, however, reached consensus on the authority of a set of six volumes from the Sunna called the Sahih Sita, or authentic six.
On the issues of holy war (jihad), apostasy and the treatment of women, the Koran and Sunna are clear. It is the obligation of every Muslim to spread Islam to unbelievers first through dawa, or proselytizing, then through jihad, if the unbelievers refuse to convert. It is the obligation of the unbelievers to accept Islam. Exempted from this edict of conversion are the people of the book: Christians and Jews. Both peoples have a choice. They may adopt Islam and enjoy the same rights as other Muslims, or they may stick to their book and lead the life of a dhimmi (lower citizen). Legally, the rights of the dhimmi are not equal to those of a Muslim. For instance, a Muslim man may take a Jewish or Christian wife, but Jews and Christians are not allowed to marry Muslim women. If a Christian or a Jew kills a Muslim man, they should be killed immediately. In contrast, the blood of a Muslim should never be shed in recompense for the blood of Christians or Jews.
It is also the obligation of every Muslim to command virtue and forbid vice. Apostasy, the worst possible vice a Muslim can commit, should be punished by death. The punishment need not be carried out by a state, but can easily be enforced by civilians. When it is a question of Islamic law, justice is in the hands of every Muslim.
As for the treatment of women, in the Koran and more elaborately in the Sunna, Islam assigns to girls a position in the family that requires them to be docile, makes them dependent on their male relatives for money and gives dominion over their bodies to these same male kin.
In Islam there is a strict hierarchy of subservience. First and foremost, all humans are required to be the slaves of Allah. In Muslim societies, all children must obey their parents. Beyond this, women and girls must obey and serve without question their male guardians and especially their husbands. This decree of marital obedience is not in any way reciprocal.
A woman in Islam is not competent and must always have a guardian. The responsibility of guardianship may pass from father to brother to uncle before a girl is married off, at which point she must answer to her husband. Marriage is typically arranged, with no choice given to the girl, and there is often an exchange of money in the process. Thus, under the religious rule of Islam, it is still common today that a woman’s rights are essentially sold to a man she may not know, and most likely does not love.
As for education of girls under Islam, there is a clear program of indoctrination of inequality. Under Islam, education is the passing on of the rules of submission to the will of Allah. Intrinsic in this “education” is the dictation of gender roles. Girls are instructed in subservience first to God, then to the family and finally to the husband. There is strict emphasis on modesty, defined by virginity. A Muslim girl is taught to guard fiercely her virginity as an expression of loyalty to her creator and to her family and husband.
This form of education hampers her chances of ever becoming self-reliant or financially independent. A woman’s lack of social equality and freedom is a direct consequence of the teachings of Islam. Under Islam, a wife must always ask her husband for permission and she must obey indefinitely. This stricture is lifted in the unique event that he asks her to forsake God, wherein she is allowed the right of disobedience. While it is true that in Islam, technically speaking, women have the right to trade and own property, the condition of total obedience to guardians makes this “freedom” hypothetical, at best.
The goal of education given to girls under Islam is the achievement of control over female sexuality. The result of this indoctrination is that Muslim girls believe legitimate and often vocally defend their position of subordination. The lengths a Muslim society will go to in the pursuit of sexual control often cross into the territory of the absurd and, by western standards, criminal. In Islam the minimum age of marriage for a girl is after her first menstruation. Muhammad was engaged to his wife Aisha when she was six years old, and he married her (had intercourse with her) when she turned nine. Millions of Muslim men across the world follow Muhammad in this deed, one of the most prominent examples being the late Ayatollah Khomeini.
Under sharia law (Islamic law), such as governs in Saudi Arabia, Iran and parts of Nigeria, the civil rights of women are dramatically reduced. Threat of violent punishment in the form of whipping and stoning makes the prospect of financial independence and sexual freedom for women all but impossible. Miraculously, even in such harsh circumstances you will find women who are relatively well educated, have some say in choosing a husband and manage to earn a living. Let us be clear that these exceptions are due to the compassion and progressiveness of families who have been influenced by the West, and not to rules derived from Islam.
In the quest for reconciliation between Muslim and western societies, it is important to recognize that Muslims are as diverse as Islam is monolithic. Islam attempts to unify more than a billion people of different geographical origins, languages, ethnicities, and cultural and educational backgrounds into one religious tribe. And while I acknowledge that generally stereotyping believers is difficult since belief is subjective, for the sake of discussion I would like to distinguish between five types of Muslims.
The first group includes those Muslims who leave the faith because they cannot reconcile it with their conscience or with modernity. This group is important for the evolution of the Islamic world because they ask the urgent and critical questions believers usually avoid. Ex-Muslims living in the west are just beginning to find their voice and to take advantage of the spiritual and social freedoms available to them.
The second group is comprised of genuine Muslim reformers, such as Irshad Manji, who acknowledge the theological out-datedness of the Koranic commands and the immorality of the prophet. They tend to emphasize the early chapters in the Koran urging goodness, generosity and spirituality. They argue that the latter chapters wherein Islam is politicized and the concepts of sharia, jihad and martyrdom are introduced should be read in the context in which they were written, some 1,400 years ago.
The third group is made up of those Muslims who support the gradual perpetuation and domination of Islam throughout the world. They use the freedoms offered in democracy to undermine social modernity and, though initially opposed to the use of violence, foresee that once the number of believers reaches a critical mass the last remnants of unbelievers may then be dealt with in violence, and sharia law may be universally implemented. Ayatollah Khomeini used this method successfully in Iran. Erdogan of Turkey is following in his footsteps. Tariq Ramadan, deeply rooted in his Muslim Brotherhood heritage, is devoted to such a program among European Muslims.
The fourth group is the most obvious and immediately threatening. In this group we find a growing number of hard-line Muslims who have defined martyrdom as their only goal. This is an army of young men whipped into a frenzy of suicidal violence by power hungry clergy. These clergy have public platforms and work with impunity from institutions untouched and often funded by national authorities.
The fifth group is largely ineffective and only threatening in their refusal to acknowledge the truth. Here we find the elite clergy who make a show of trying to reconcile Islam with modernity. They are motivated by self-preservation and have no interest in true reform. They take selective passages from the holy books to make a case for a peaceful Islam, ignoring the many passages inciting violence, such as those verses which command the death of apostates.
It is through the first two of these five groups that progress and reform will come. As for the rest, the western world would be wise to recognize the realities of Islam, a religion laid down in writing over a millennium ago with violence and oppression at its heart.
Born in Somalia and raised a devout Muslim, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an active critic of Islam, an advocate for women’s rights and a leader in the campaign to reform Islam. Her willingness to speak out and her abandonment of the Muslim faith have made her a target for violence and threat of death by Islamic extremists. She is currently a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, in Washington D.C., and is the author of the bestselling memoir “Infidel.”