The New York Times notices the Islamic death penalty for apostasy, wonders if Obama will incur it

The New York Times notices the Islamic death penalty for apostasy, wonders if Obama will incur it

Well over a year after I wrote about this possibility, and six months after Washington Post “journalist” Perry Bacon completely misrepresented my position in order to blame me for the “Obama is a Muslim” rumors, and many many months after the whole world has been discussing this issue from all kinds of angles, the New York (aka New Duranty) Times discovers that Barack Obama, having been raised a Muslim, may face angry Muslims saying he should be put to death as an apostate.

It’s interesting to note how forthright the Times is in saying that most Islamic jurists agree that death is the sentence for apostasy. Did they acknowledge that during the Abdel Rahman case?

“President Apostate?,” by Edward N. Luttwak in the New York Times, May 12 (thanks to all who sent this in):

As the son of the Muslim father, Senator Obama was born a Muslim under Muslim law as it is universally understood. It makes no difference that, as Senator Obama has written, his father said he renounced his religion. Likewise, under Muslim law based on the Koran his mother’s Christian background is irrelevant.Of course, as most Americans understand it, Senator Obama is not a Muslim. He chose to become a Christian, and indeed has written convincingly to explain how he arrived at his choice and how important his Christian faith is to him.

His conversion, however, was a crime in Muslim eyes; it is “irtidad” or “ridda,” usually translated from the Arabic as “apostasy,” but with connotations of rebellion and treason. Indeed, it is the worst of all crimes that a Muslim can commit, worse than murder (which the victim’s family may choose to forgive).

With few exceptions, the jurists of all Sunni and Shiite schools prescribe execution for all adults who leave the faith not under duress; the recommended punishment is beheading at the hands of a cleric, although in recent years there have been both stonings and hangings. (Some may point to cases in which lesser punishments were ordered — as with some Egyptian intellectuals who have been punished for writings that were construed as apostasy — but those were really instances of supposed heresy, not explicitly declared apostasy as in Senator Obama’s case.)

It is true that the criminal codes in most Muslim countries do not mandate execution for apostasy (although a law doing exactly that is pending before Iran’s Parliament and in two Malaysian states). But as a practical matter, in very few Islamic countries do the governments have sufficient authority to resist demands for the punishment of apostates at the hands of religious authorities….

 

Luttwak misses one possibility, which I explained here last year: as far as I know Obama has never explained when exactly he left Islam. This is a crucial point, for according to Islamic law an apostate male is not to be put to death if he has not reached puberty (cf. ‘Umdat al-Salik o8.2; Hidayah vol. II p. 246). Some, however, hold that he should be imprisoned until he is of age and then “invited” to accept Islam, but officially the death penalty for youthful apostates is ruled out.

In any case, it’s good to see the Times actually admitting the reality of Islamic law, instead of peddling the comforting fictions we usually see from them.

Obama and the former Weathermen

February 25, 2008

Obama and the former Weathermen

Thomas Lifson
Taylor Marsh, who calls herself, “the antidote to right wing talk”, assembles a lot of evidence that Barack Obama has a serious past association with former Weather Underground terrorism supporter William Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn.

She writes:
Obama’s Ayers and Dorhn relationship is something more than a few people have been trying to nail down for weeks. You can bet the Republicans and their 527s will do just that. I don’t blame them either. This goes well beyond the Rezko connection. In the bad judgment file, any association whatsoever with a domestic terrorist who actively tried to thwart an air war during the Vietnam war, calls our Marines “terrorists,” while also being unrepentant about it, shows a lack of seriousness I will never accept. John McCain’s personal disgust at this connection between Obama and Ayers will bring out a righteous fury that will likely pit the War Hero against the Terrorist’s Friend, which is just one angle Obama’s opponents will use.
Explore the links and decide for yourself how important the connection is or was. Will the Hillary campaign raise this issue?

Hat tip: D.M. Giangreco

Whose obsession?

Whose obsession?

I’ve just been watching the Fox News special called ‘Obsession‘, which is about the threat of ‘radical Islam.’ To tell you the truth, it was too revolting to watch all the way through, but I watched it in part, as much as I could stomach.

The thing I noticed, and which I fully expected, was that throughout, the ‘talking heads,’ the pundits, like Steve Emerson and Daniel Pipes, were very careful to use the PC construction, ‘radical Islam’ or ‘Islamists’, rather than speaking of Islam itself; the point being, of course, that it is just a ‘minority of extremists’, aka ‘Islamists’ who are the threat.

Some of the footage of the various Moslem TV programs and the rabble-rousing speeches by the mullahs and sheiks, was absolutely chilling. There was absolute cold evil in their eyes, the tone of their voices, and of course, most importantly, the words they were speaking. And it’s clear that to them, there are no ‘good Americans’, no decent infidels. They see the world in stark black and white, and they, in their twisted minds, see themselves as ‘good’ and us as ‘evil.’ They don’t trouble themselves with any niceties such as saying that ‘there is only a tiny minority of extremists’ in America who are their enemies; no, they say that America, all of it, is the cause of all evil and trouble.

This is all, of course, not news to anybody who pays attention to recent events in the world and who is semi-educated about Islam; it may, however, open the eyes of some of the more somnolent people who don’t bother themselves to keep up with world events, or who are satisfied with the PC view of the news as fed to us by the old media. I do hope that some people in that category were truly shocked by watching ‘Obsession’ and that they will realize the profound threat we are under, all of us in the West.

There has recently been quite a controversy, although seemingly a contrived one, about the administration’s use of the term ‘Islamofascists’; the quibblers say that the ‘fascist’ part of the term may be an inaccurate usage. That’s as may be, but to me, the problem with the word is, that like the made-up term ‘Islamist /Islamism’, or ‘radical Islam’, it is a way of splitting hairs. It is a way of drawing a distinction which is one of those ‘distinctions without a difference.’ All of the above terms imply that there is an aberrant or mutant form of Islam which is militant, and which preaches violence. And it’s distinguished, supposedly, from generic Islam, or ‘real’ Islam, which is that fabled ‘Religion of Peace’, which has ‘benevolence at its heart’, as Condi Rice said. This may be a convincing line of argument for those who haven’t taken a look at the Koran, or at an honest history book. Simply reading history books shows us that there were what are now termed ‘Islamofascists’ before there was such a thing denoted as ‘fascism.’ And a cursory reading of the Koran shows beyond any doubt that Islam is a violent religion, suffused with incitements to violence, saturated in the idea of killing and butchering the infidel in some instances, subjugating and enslaving him when killing is not prescribed. The Koran as well as the Hadiths, the sayings of Mohammed, are chockfull of violent and hateful rhetoric and dogma.
The fact is, Islam, unlike Christianity, does not posit the existence of a merciful God whose grace gives us a way to salvation; the only sure ‘salvation’ for a Moslem is via martyrdom, via killing infidels and martyring oneself in the process.
And the fact is, jihad is enjoined on all believers. And yes, we have been told that ‘jihad’ merely means ‘inner struggle’, but we also know that there is an Islamic practice called ‘taqiyya’, deceiving and lying to the infidel. So their explaining away the idea of jihad is not terribly convincing.

Still, the official line on Islam is that it is a mild, peaceful religion which is merely misinterpreted by a ‘tiny minority.’ Now the problem remains: how on earth do we infidels discern who is part of that dangerous ‘tiny minority’ who want to kill us, and destroy our country, and the ‘good Moslems’, the peaceful, law-abiding ones? If they present a meek and mild demeanor, does that guarantee they are benign? There have been countless incidents of Moslems who have been law-abiding people until they strap on a bomb belt and kill people, or until they hijack a plane or get into a car and mow down strangers, or get a gun and start shooting at random infidels. It’s happened. Someone, perhaps Robert Spencer, wryly coined the term ‘sudden jihadi syndrome’ for the people who, out of the blue, commit murder and mayhem, and in some cases, martyr themselves in doing so. There is no certain way to predict who among us will suddenly turn murderous in the name of ‘allah.’

As another example of the difficulty of discerning the harmless from the dangerous is the presence of some prominent Moslems who are ‘on our side.’ In the ‘Obsession’ documentary, they were represented by Nonie Darwish and Walid Shoebat, among others. These people are always cited as proof positive that most Moslems are decent, law-abiding people, just like us. They are held up as examples of how Moslems can be exemplary citizens, who assimilate to America or the West.
Many people who seem absolutely desperate to be PC and to appear ‘tolerant’ eagerly seize on the fact that such friendly Moslems exist, and cling to these people to convince themselves, perhaps, that Moslems are basically just like us, and that these Moslems are simply being corrupted by a few evil pied pipers like Abu Hamza, the hook-handed mullah living in the UK, and others like him.

It’s well to remember, on this subject, what the late Oriana Fallaci said:

There is not good Islam or bad Islam. There is just Islam. And Islam is the Qur’an. And the Qur’an is the Mein Kampf of this movement. The Qur’an demands the annihilation or subjugation of the other, and wants to substitute totalitarianism for democracy. Read it over, that Mein Kampf. In whatever version, you will find that all the evil that the sons of Allah commit against themselves and against others is in it.”

Nevertheless, despite the evident threat of Islam, it is obviously all-important to a lot of Americans to show that they are not ‘prejudiced’ against Islam. Even the tough-talking, ex-military pundit Ralph Peters has written a few diatribes defending ‘good’ Islam and lambasting ‘Islamophobes and bigots.’ This idea that we must lean over backwards in order to be ‘fair’ and tolerant has been beaten into our heads for decades now, to the point that we have started to deny the plain evidence of our senses and of common sense itself. We force ourselves to ignore many egregious acts by Moslems and focus on the few rare exceptions, like Nonie Darwish, like Walid Shoebat, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and the few others who have denounced the religion of their birth. But the fact is, they are anomalous within Islam; they are not typical, nor should we try to convince ourselves they are. To do so is dangerous self-delusion.

I will go further, and say something which no one seems willing to say: the presence of the few ‘good Moslems’ like Darwish, Shoebat, Ali, or whoever, makes us more vulnerable to the terrorists. The presence of those ‘law-abiding’ peaceful Moslems, that friendly Moslem neighbor or co-worker, enables the presence of the terrorists among us. Now, I am not saying they knowingly enable terror; not at all, but their presence does. The presence of the good, law-abiding Moslem enables us to say, ‘see, they really are just like us, and we can’t condemn them all. Maybe we can bring democracy to the Islamic world after all, and surely they can assimilate to the West. ‘ And thus we close our eyes to the threat of the Abu Hamzas or whoever else is among us fomenting terror. We pretend they don’t exist, or we turn a blind eye to them because of the benign Moslems we respect.

The terrorists surely know this; they know they can effectively hide among the law-abiding Moslems. The presence of large enclaves of Moslems in the West, made up of mostly unthreatening people, provides cover and camouflage for the bad guys. The good guys are essentially the sugar coating on the poison pill of terrorism.

Still, we focus on that sugar coating and deny the harmful ingredients inside the pill.

I am certain that during World War II, there were many decent, law-abiding Germans and Japanese people, yet I don’t think our government insisted that we ignore the threat of the Axis powers because they had good citizens in their midst. Thank goodness we didn’t have the politically correct albatross around our necks then, as we do now. The wartime propaganda was no doubt harsh and tended to caricature (or to ‘demonize’, as the leftists like to say) the enemy. Had we wrung our hands and said, ”but, but the Germans and the Japanese are mostly good, law-abiding people, and their governments have been hijacked by Nazis and ‘extremists’,” no; we recognized a mortal threat and acted on it. There is no way to declare war on just part of a population, when there is no way to distinguish who is dangerous and who is not. One has to act on the presumption that all may be dangerous. Unfair? Probably, but life is not fair. And it would have been unfair to ourselves to be so squeamish that we could not act effectively to win the war as quickly as possible.

Nowadays, we are a different people than our parents and grandparents. ‘The past is another country’, and in the new country that has taken the place of vanished America, we can’t act to protect ourselves by deporting or repatriating people. Niceness and tolerance trump survival. So we accept mass immigration from terrorist-sympathizing countries, with the implicit calculus that we will accept a certain number of terrorists for the sake of being open to the ‘majority’ of law-abiding Moslems. The same bizarre logic is at work with the illegal invasion: the government has all but said that yes, there are and will be a certain number of criminals entering: murderers, rapists, thieves, molesters — but never fear; it’s only a minority of them. The majority are ‘hard-working folks’ so we have to take a few bad apples in order to get those ‘good-hearted folks’ so beloved of our President. And if those bad apples among the Mohammedans or the Mexicans happen to kill or maim Americans, well, that’s just the luck of the draw, and what’s a few thousand lives here and there, as long as we are diverse and tolerant? And if we give up some basic freedoms and conveniences so as to protect our safety while still welcoming the threat among us, then that’s just the price we pay for this wonderful diversity.

I wonder if the title ‘Obsession’ might just as easily describe our current regime’s obsession with ‘tolerance, inclusion and diversity’? What other word describes the willingness to court death and destruction in the name of some goal, if not the word ‘obsession’? We in the West are as obsessed as the Moslems are, in our own way: our obsessive ‘niceness’ and passivity provides the perfect complement to their need to conquer and subjugate. Obsession indeed.

The ‘Obsession’ special ended with the mandatory politically correct disclaimer, spoken by E.D. Hill. I knew it was coming all along; still, I had to groan when she intoned those familiar words, something like ‘We must remember, the majority of our Muslim citizens are peaceful and law-abiding people.’

I mean, what’s up with that disclaimer? Do our elites in the media and government think so little of us that they believe we will take up torches and head towards the nearest mosque, after watching ‘Obsession’? Even though they have just succeeded in showing us just how malevolent Islam can be, we are not supposed to take it to heart. And the implicit message is: ‘yes, Islam is a scary belief system that seriously unhinges many of its followers, who become rabid killers, but don’t fret about it; there’s not a blessed thing you can do anyway. Have a nice day.
Oh, and don’t forget: celebrate diversity, because it’s our strength.’

Extremist vying to become top ayatollah

Extremist vying to become top ayatollah

By Colin Freeman
LONDON SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
November 20, 2006
TEHRAN — A hard-line cleric who opposes all dialogue with the West is a leading contender to become Iran’s next supreme spiritual leader.
    In a move that would push the country even further into the diplomatic wilderness, Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, 71, who publicly backs the use of suicide bombers against Israel, is campaigning to succeed Grand Ayatollah Ali Khameini, 67, as the head of the Islamic state.
    Considered an extremist even by fellow mullahs, he was a fringe figure in Iran’s theocracy until last year’s election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a fellow fundamentalist who views him as his ideological mentor.
    He is known to many Iranians as “Professor Crocodile” because of a notorious cartoon that depicted him weeping false tears over the imprisoning of a reformist journalist.
    Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi and his supporters will attempt to tighten the fundamentalists’ political stranglehold next month, by standing in elections for the Assembly of Experts, an 86-strong group of theologians that would be responsible for nominating a replacement for Ayatollah Khamenei, whose health is rumored to be failing.
    Opposing them will be a coalition of moderate conservatives led by Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president, and members of the increasingly marginalized reformist movement, who have formed an alliance to prevent what both groups fear is a drift toward political extremism.
    Appointing Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi as supreme leader would be a massive blow to Western efforts to get Iran to cease its nuclear program and backing of militants in Lebanon and Iraq and among the Palestinians. Although he has never spoken publicly on the issue, Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi is thought to support the idea of an Iranian nuclear bomb.
    Ali Ansari, an Iran specialist at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, said: “Mesbah-Yazdi is on the hard right and very authoritarian. He doesn’t even believe in democracy. Having him in power would lead to a much more hard-line, puritanical rule in Iran. It would not be good news for the West.”
    The Assembly of Experts is elected every eight years and has the power to appoint, supervise and impeach the supreme leader, who, in practice, wields ultimate power. Although Ayatollah Khameini, who has been in office since 1989, is expected to remain for the time being, the assembly elected next month is almost certain eventually to decide his successor.
    The run-up to the vote has been marred by complaints of rigging in favor of hard-liners. The Guardian Council, a hard-line body that vets candidates, is accused of vetoing reform-minded clerics from taking part. Around half of nearly 500 applicants have been barred from standing.
    In a letter to the council last week, Mehdi Karroubi, a reformist cleric, accused the council of “injustice” and misjudgment, saying that it would lead to “people’s distrust in the authorities and the clergy.”
    The reformists’ despair has been deepened by fears that few of their disillusioned supporters will vote, despite the possible consequences of a hard-liner victory. Constant political interference in the electoral process has persuaded many Iranians that it is not worth voting, an attitude that many reformists concede helped Mr. Ahmadinejad to win the presidency last year.
    “Many reformists have lost faith, although the hard-liners will hope to organize a mass turnout among their own supporters,” Mr. Ansari said.
    Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi, who will be standing for election to the Assembly of Experts, regularly meets with Mr. Ahmadinejad, whose presidential bid he endorsed in a fatwa, or holy order.
    The cartoonist whose drawing earned “Professor Crocodile” his nickname suffered the same fate as the journalists whose frequent imprisonment was depicted. He, too, was sent to prison.