Wednesday, September 24, 2008

M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D., American Muslim


It is my pleasure to introduce you to Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, an American-born Muslim whom I trust. (yes, me....I know, I didn't want to)

Mr and Mrs Z heard Dr. Jasser speak Monday night at a Republican Women's group dinner. I held the same view that many of you hold, that all Muslims must be mistrusted if for nothing else but to err on the side of safety. I hated feeling that way, my heart told me that not all Muslims could possibly want all non Muslims, we infidels, dead, but my brain has ingested the work of excellent writers and thinkers whom I respect and who feel quite differently, and I must admit I had been persuaded. Then I heard Dr. Jasser speak.

He started to talk and I felt tense and defensive and expected I'd leave this evening's lecture still angry and fearful, not trusting anything he had said. I listened carefully while he mentioned how Ronald Reagan, whom I came to realize he greatly admired, had called "the evil empire an evil empire" and how we should call today's Islamist enemies the same thing and not shirk from calling them 'jihadists', 'terrorists', 'radial islamists' because we won't be able to fight an enemy we're afraid to correctly identify; I heard him say that even family he'd never met back in Syria had been threatened by Islamists for the work he's doing here in America. I heard him talk with pride about how the navy had made it possible for him to earn his medical degree and how he rips pages out of stories for his children because the only publishers of children's books with well known Arabic stories in this country are Wahabists and he in no way supports the philosophies they purposefully intermingle into the well known children's tales. He spoke about how badly Islam needs reform and how the "battle within Isalm is a battle between centuries."

He insisted that we ask any Muslims who say they're against radical Islamic groups to name the groups they don't agree with; he said that if a Muslim says he's on board for fighting radicals, ask him if he supports rights for women "if he isn't, he's absolutely not on board", he warned.

He reminded us that Islamism is not his Islam of morality, values and ethics, the things he is teaching his children as good Americans who want to quietly and faithfully practice the religion of their ancestors. He cherishes the American constitution and our legal system and warns that our children must be better educated to understand and appreciate those things if we expect to survive as the America we know and love.

Dr. Jasser says we must stay in Iraq and Afghanistan and we must do that so we can fill the void that radicals will fill if we leave. He reminds us that Islam is still in the 15th century and needs to be helped to divide faith from government. The void now is filled by Imams promoting theocracy instead of issues like free speech and equality.

I have since come to find that Steve Emerson, the well known expert in terrorism most of you have read and appreciate, trusts Dr. Jasser and Emerson is so careful and so informed about the very real threats that this made a big impression on me.

With not a little hubris, I thought I'd tell you here all about Dr. Jasser's views and I took copious notes, writing furiously so I'd miss nothing important to share with you. But, while researching on the internet to confirm the abbreviations I'd so quickly written down, I ran across an article written by Dr. Jasser and I realized his own words would be far more effective and clear and compelling than anything I could write about him! I strongly encourage you to read this article, I beg you to read it, and I know you will not be sorry. I think you will be impressed and, maybe, even a little relieved? "If there ARE 'good Muslims' or 'nominal Muslims', where ARE they? Until they speak out, I don't believe there IS one!" You've all heard these things, I've said them myself and I believed them. But, these people do exist and Dr. Jasser is a leader in the cause and I urge you to look more into him and his group, The American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Here is another really excellent piece he wrote where he tells us, with emotion, how desperate he has felt as a Muslim America when he's seen the terrible things Islamists have brought on our great country.

I thought the following paragraph was important enough to quote here: "Through these founding principles of constitutional, secular (religious freedom free of theocracy and government coercion, and Islamic hegemony), AIFD would also serve as an example of an American Islamic institution which can be a leading voice for liberty-minded Muslims in America in the war on terror. Through regular commentary AIFD will intellectually stand against the religious fanatics who exploit the religion of Islam for a nihilistic, anti-American anti-Western war. In fact a major component in the war on terror is the intellectual deconstruction of the claim Islamo-fascists have upon the religion of Islam. AIFD was formed as an unmistakable expression of American liberty and freedom in an attempt to take back the faith of Islam from the demagoguery of the Islamo-fascists."

So, now that I've introduced you to Dr. Jasser, I urge you to do yourself a favor and research this man some more. He is an American we can be proud of and respect. As we walked out that night after the lecture, I turned to Mr. Z and said "God help me, but I trust this guy......." Support his cause, I think it's ultimately one of the most important causes in America today.

z

48 comments:

The Merry Widow said...

Beaker will want to read about him.
And AOW might be interested...

tmw

Always On Watch said...

I know that some in the counter-jihad don't trust Dr. Jasser. And I don't understand how he reconciles some of the verses in the Koran with his beliefs in American principles of freedom and democracy. But I do personally believe that he is sincere and has found his own way.

How often does he get interviewed on an news show? Barely! CAIR and other Moslem groups with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood probably object.

Isn't Dr. Jasser under a death threat for his stance?

Glad that you got to hear him speak, Z.

Z said...

Always, I'm not saying I can't be fooled, but you know how I stand on most of the islamist apologists! I hope you find the time to read some of the links. I was most impressed when he admonished people to ASK "WHICH GROUP?" when a muslim tells you "I'm against islamist radicals" because Abdullah, an American born muslim who posted at FPM for a long time, would say he's against the groups and we could NEVER get him to pin one down,not even CAIR! NOTHING. He also would never say he was for equality for women, ever. This man says those are buzz words. "ask them to tell you WHICH GROUPS DO YOU CONSIDER TERRORIST GROUPS?" "do you believe in equality?"
Also...Abdullah finally told us he thought Sharia Law would be well suited for America. This Dr. spoke only of his love for the constitution and how we must protect it or we'll not have an America. Please read the links.

You know how nonChristians and nonJews like to slam the Bible for supposedly advocating poking eyes out and throwing people into fire and other things we don't do today; I got the impression that his frequent call for reform within Islam goes along those lines.

Dr. Jasser probably is under threat. He didn't mention it. Other muslim speakers I have heard have mentioned it. But, as I said in my piece, he said "Even family I have never met back in Syria has been threatened."

He has definitely found his way...he's a young man born in a very small town in Wisconsin, the only muslim family there for years, and grew up loving this country. He was President of his Senior High School class, etc. He is an American who wants to privately and securely practice his faith.

Anonymous said...

It has occurred to me that Islamic terrorists would like nothing better than the drive a wedge between Americans of different faiths; doing so would significantly increase their recruitment efforts. There are many American servicemen of the Islamic faith, and while it is true we deplored the behavior of the one soldier a few years back that “fragged” his officers, as far as I know, he was the one exception from the thousands who serve honorably, and faithfully. And the truth is there are servicemen who have done horrible things, from assaulting other soldiers and airmen, to murdering and maiming the citizens of other countries. We deplore such conduct, and we suffer from the dishonor of it … but no segment of society is exempt from the bad deeds of a very few. The important and underlying truth is most people do conduct themselves honorably.



It is too easy to form biases against groups whom we identify as those who harm us, and lose sight of the fact that most people are good neighbors … most are people who we might like, if we gave them a chance. As with Dr. Wafa Sultan, Zuhdi Jasser appears to be a stand-up American; we need more like him, not less. And I agree with you that we must not poison the well of our good faith with others simply because a few bandits are stealing our water. Does this suggest that we become lax, or forget the horrors of 9/11? Not at all … I only suggest that it is time we adopted mature behavior with respect to those who are different from ourselves. We can defend our country and our loved ones without emulating the terrorists themselves.

Semper Fi

Chuck said...

Thanks Z, good post. I admit I am very mistrutful of Muslims and have been since 9/11. We are seeing more and more Muslims in Iaq helping the US and fighting extremism themselves though. Here's hoping they can increase their numbers. I am not against normalizing relationships with countries in the Middle East if they can show they are trully going to stand against the senseless terror present there and, as mentioned in your post, treat women more respectfully. This is why I am not on board with our cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia. I do not believe they are our friend nor do I believe it is the moderate country it professes to be either with terrorism or women's rights.

Brooke said...

I remember Dr. Jasser being interviewed on the Glenn Beck radio and television programs a little while back.

I think he is sincere, and while I may not see eye to eye with him on all things, I think he is a decent man whom I can respect.

shoprat said...

Sounds like a truly decent man, but some would consider him a MINO, Muslim in Name Only. Perhaps that's the best kind of Muslim.

Anonymous said...

I like MINO --- great word, but the larger word that echoes and re-echoes in my mind ever since these people reached sudden prominence --- and started demanding --- DEMANDING --- protection from "prejudice" without ONE WORD of APOLOGY or the tiniest HINT of COMPASSION for the victims of 911--- the ONE WORD the echoes and re-echoes in my mind is TAQQIYA.


Muslims HONOR --- even REVERE --- those who are skilled in the art of DECEIT.


Excuse my cynicism, please. I'd rather be SAFE than SORRY.


Our distinctly AMERICAN capacity to forgive and forget may very well prove our ultimate UNDOING.


~ FreeThinke

CJ said...

I suspect he's sincere, one of those who don't take their religion literally as written. I think there are many of these really and they aren't really aware of the contradictions between their stance and the religion they belong to. The problem then is that they have no real foundation in their religion for their sincere belief and at any moment their religion COULD attract them, or their children, back to its strict murderous words, its true nature. Really, islam and the US Constitution are mutual antagonists and Dr. Jasser HAS to eventually confront this fact to be truly trustworthy. Yes, MINO indeed. But he doesn't seem to know that.

Z said...

FT, you didn't hear the man, you haven't read the links.
You know so well that I'm all OVER erring on OUR SIDE, but this man seems to be on our side.

Mustang...thanks very much.

shoprat...i have to admit I can't say you're wrong there.

Brooke..what things do you disagree with him on? Do you remember after having heard him?

Chuck: Dr. jasser is NO friend of Saudi Arabia, either....not at ALL!! He thinks they're poison for America. And they ARE, of course!


I JUST HOPE YOU'RE ALL READING THE LINKS. PLEASE DON'T TAKE MY WORD!

Z said...

cj...Jasser is a devout Muslim who very well understands his faith and is calling for REFORM, that's the whole point.

Christianity went thru reform, he discussed that for quite a while; how Islam got taken over by the Ottomans and how that arrested any enlightenment, while Europe was galloping toward religious enlightenment and industrial and cultural growth. And Islam has stayed stuck 1500 years.

Any muslim calling for reform should be taken seriously, particularly when he's said the other things he's said.

CJ said...

Z, I'm rather surprised to hear you buy into that notion of reform as if Islam could be reformed the same way Christianity was. That has been shown up many times at FPM years ago for starters. There is no comparison. Yes, I'll go read the links but it's a bogus comparison from the getgo. Islam has ALWAYS been violence and murder-based. To reform it would mean starting all over from scratch with a brand new religion. On the other hand, Christianity WENT WRONG for a long time, through the period of the Roman Catholic superstitions and the Inquisition, all completely AT ODDS with the original inspiration of Christ. To reform it meant getting back to the original. But there is no original for Islam to get back to that is anything but jihad and more jihad. If the guy is sincere then he's also wrong.

Z said...

cj,
The man is a sincere, devout muslim who obviously doesn't dwell on the nasties and focuses on the good stuff, of which there is plenty. It's not MY cup of tea, but Jesus isn't his, either,I assume.(more's the pity!)

Christians today don't "poke anyone's eyes out" or "throw someone into the fire" or "take a son to a mountain and attempt to stab him to death", either. but I think it's best we not get into this too much; lately, I'm seeing more division amongst Christians than not and my blog, BELIEVE ME, won't be used for a platform for that.

I'll just add that if anybody thinks the Koran is 'nothing but jihad', you're mistaken. And TRUST ME, I am NO Koran apologist!! OH, mercy, am I NOT A KORAN APOLOGIST!!! makes my stomach turn even thinking that.

Anonymous said...

Well, maybe the man is sincere.
ANd yes, anything is possible.

Look, not all Muslims want to chop off heads.

ANd why can't Islam be reformed?

Look at what some Christians used to do and some still do in the name of being righteous?


Anyhow, good write up , Miss Z.
I hope this man is the tip of the ice burg and that we see more like him spring up.

Of course, it is only natural for people to doubt him, too.

Time will tell, won't it??

WVDOTTR

CJ said...

Z, I read the links.

I didn't spend about two years fighting this very stuff at FPM to let it just go unanswered here. Islam IS fundamentally jihad. Yes it is. That means it is aimed at taking over the world by ANY means whatever. Yes, there are many modern Muslims who practice a peaceful version of it and really believe that what they are practicing IS Islam. This can be affirmed and the guy's sincerity can also be affirmed, but what he is practicing is NOT true Islam although of course since it's all he's known, to him it is. In their holy books and their history his version of Islam is NOT true Islam.

I'm glad he's so identified with American values, but they are not compatible with Islam, much as he wants that to be the case and in his own practice it seems to be. Again, I don't doubt his sincerity, but all he is saying is what all the reformer-types have been saying since 9/11, such as Morgaan who was the strongest voice for this type of Islam at FPM for a long time.

While it's really nice to know there are some patriotic American Muslims willing to fight against the jihadist branch, and this should be supported for sure, it would be a big mistake to confuse his version of Islam with Islam. His version is perhaps similar to Liberal Christianity -- it is not taken seriously by the true believers.

In a way they are more dangerous than Wahhabi Islam because the true nature of Islam is completely suppressed in their version of it, and as soon as anyone among them realizes that the Koran and the other holy books really are aimed at taking over the world, that's the end of the liberal peace version. Wahhabi Islam is true fundamental Islam. It IS based on their holy books and there are plenty of imams who can be quoted to show that jihad DOES mean physical murderous taking over of the world. Just because there is also a strain that prefers to interpret it spiritually does not make that strain right, and a fair reading of the Koran I believe clearly shows that the Wahhabis are right about what Islam really is. It is dangerous to buy into this reformist version of it. He uses all the usual weasel words to distinguish his brand from the Wahhabi brand, such as "political Islam" versus "spiritual Islam." Such as "Islamism" versus "Islam." I don't doubt that he believes his own stuff, but he's dangerous because he's wrong about its true nature.

The Wahhabis are true Islam. It's frustrating to be encountering this topic now. I had a ton of information at my fingertips to prove this point some time ago and now I'd have to research it all over again.

His criticism of how 9/11 has been handled, and the suppression of the truth about the jihadist mentality is a good thing to support. But his version of Islam itself, no, please don't be taken in by it.

CJ said...

Since when, by the way, did ANY Christians EVER "poke somebody's eyes out" or "throw anybody into the fire?" And the one-time test of Abraham's faith should not be reduced to some kind of principle that supposedly used to be practiced. That was a confrontation between the culture of the day that practiced human sacrifice and the just-beginning religion of the one true God who chose Abraham to be its founder. Abraham trusted God to save his son one way or another. To try to turn human sacrifice into some kind of standard of Old Testament religion is to miss the whole point. It pointed to the ONE true human sacrifice of the Son of God while at the same time showing that the human sacrifice practiced all over the planet in those days and up to very recently is really blasphemy. There is NO similarity between either OT or NT Christianity and Islam.

Warren said...

I can't really add to this and I'm not sure how "devout" a Muslim can be and still follow American principles.

I trust AOWs judgment on this.

mystic minstrel said...

definitely worthy of further consideration. thanks for making us think outside our experience!

Z said...

all good points...I guess seeing someone speak, hearing his actual choice of words, obviously helped all of us there see something most of us hadn't seen before.

Maybe I can get him to answer some of these questions as he is a slight acquaintance of people at our table that night. Stay tuned.

Maybe I can write a list of questions based on the input here...and get it to him.

Thanks.

Z said...

Mystic Minstrel..that was my intention..thanks so much!!

Anonymous said...

As you know Z, I am wary of muslims. Period. I respect your impressions of this man, and, he may be sincere. I find I cannot get to where you are.

I see what's happening in Europe and see no reason why the attempt won't be made here as well. As long as that probability remains I will be wary, and ready to mistrust these people.

For me, forewarned is forearmed. It is sad, and none of us wanted this, but, it's preferable to risk being unfair, rather than be unprepared.

Finally, if Dr. Jasser is sincere, he seems virtually a lone voice in the wilderness. It's not enough.

It's good you were able to hear him, and hope is a good thing, but that's not enough either.

Pris

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

z,

I am impressed and so glad you wrote on Dr. Jasser. I've been attacked from the right because of my moderation in how I view Islam and Muslims. And Dr. Jasser was one of those who helped shape some of my recent views. I got to shake hands with him at a free screening of PBS's suppressed "Islam vs. Islamists". My post. Glad you were furiously taking notes. I video-taped the Q & A after the film presentation (which should be seen).

And yes, his body of articles are excellent.

These series of posts have not sat well amongst my fellow conservatives.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Hah...browsing through some comments, you seem to be finding yourself in the uncomfortable position of sounding like an "Islam apologist", which you are clearly not. Neither am I.

But you are clearly experiencing a little of what I've had to deal with since first turning over a new perspective on Muslims and the Islamic faith.

When we met at Starbucks a while back, did you get that sense from me? I remember the topic of Islam coming up, and I wonder if you picked up on the fact that I was not eager to denounce in strict and no uncertain terms, Islam as a whole.

I truly feel that we have become such well-read "experts" on the Islamic threat, that we think we know what we need to know and that all others are living with their heads in the sand. But I think all many of us have done is indoctrinated ourselves in a certain level of "educated"- not ignorant- bigotry and prejudice.

Islam and muslims have become nothing more than stereotypes and caricatures amongst us right-wingers.

And to me, that does more harm than good; and we do bin Laden and Zawahiri a favor by holding such "hate-filled" prejudging opinions of anyone wearing a hijab or traditional Muslim dress; anyone who bows down on a prayer rug and holds the Koran as sacred.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Z!
I posted on the Tarek Ibn Ziyad Academy in Minneapolis a while back. It was good to see Dr. Jasser mention it.

I've never believed that all Muslims are jihadists. However, it's hard to see the average Muslim going up against radical Islam the way Dr. Jasser has. We recently had a guest speaker at church who converted from Islam to Christianity and has had to change his name and keep his residence a secret due to death threats. It takes an extraordinary person to deal with that.

On the issue of education: Big Sis came home from school on 9/11 and seemed confused. She said that the teacher told her it was "Red, white, and blue day". She said that nobody told them why, except that a plane had crashed into a building and today was a patriotic day. How sad. She was confused and scared. Needless to say, we had a long talk.

Z said...

Wordsmith, I got the impression from Jasser he would never condone wearing traditional muslim dress on the streets of America. It's one of the questions I'd like to ask him.

Also, how does it do bin Laden a favor by our being suspicious of islam?

Still, I will never believe all muslims want us dead. I must say I've never thought that, even at our coffee at Starbucks, but I sometimes generalize to make a point.

Most people here have known me a while and know I'm VERY suspect of islam but Dr. Jasser is clearly nothing like the islamists I have heard.......He's a beacon and a light and we just have to all hope you and I and Pinky, etc., are right about him!!!

Always On Watch said...

Z,
You also might to check out Dr. Tawfik Hamid, whom I've heard speak and whom I've also interviewed. A Google search of his name will bring up information about him.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Also, how does it do bin Laden a favor by our being suspicious of islam?

One of the stated mission goals of al Qaeda, in order to create a new supercaliphate, is/was to convince all Muslims that they have been persecuted by non-Muslims; that all those who were true followers of Islam needed to take up jihad and join them in the struggle. They basically sent out a rallying cry addressed to their Muslim brothers. The majority either failed to answer that call, or have downright rejected it.

In some ways, the Iraq War gave them new life because of misperception and propaganda about our efforts there; but in the end, their atrocities there only further alienated them and delegitimitized their cause in the eyes of most Muslims. Even the ones who we may still regard as fundamentalists bent on Islamizing and dhimmifying the world.

Check my post.

From my own experience living in Los Angeles for the last 20 years, I've known too many American Muslims to believe that they are practicing taqiya (isn't that a shia practice anyway?). Many are secularized/modernized, but still practice their faith to some degree or another. Some regard themselves as devout Muslims, others acknowledge they are wishy-washy, like many Christians I know who don't go to Church every Sunday.

Wahhabism-funded mosques where imams talk politics and U.S. foreign policy rather than spiritual matters is a problem.

So are leftist professors in our universities indoctrinating our youth with anti-Americanism and marxist/communist/che guevarra revolutionary romanticized fiction.

Ducky's here said...

This the first time you've encountered a moderate Muslim?

What took you so long. You been in a cocoon?

Z said...

The only muslims I have encountered for years here are totally nonsecular muslims who came here after the shah... absolutely ZERO sign of any muslim faith; no burqas, no mosque attendance (i don't know where there is a mosque anywhere near here in West LA, but I'm sure they exist!?..maybe wordsmith knows?), just very elegantly dressed women, elaborate homes, nice cars and new generations are raised as Americans....other muslims i have encountered have given lectures against islamist terrorists and they were all Christian converts and thrilled for that.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

z,

There are mosques in LA, but I've not attended any. I don't know if they are Saudi/Wahhabi-funded and what manner of Islam is practiced. Might be an interesting topic for research and blogging.


Also, how does it do bin Laden a favor by our being suspicious of islam?

I didn't really complete my point and address your question. By having such a "lump 'em all together and let Allah sort them out" attitude toward Islam- as if its practitioners are all carved from the same clay and that any peaceful Muslims are apostates and not true adherents to the Koran-, by constantly saying only bad about Islam and showing an intolerance for any expression of it- not just an intolerance of its violent aspects-, then we only serve to alienate those who were on the fence in regards to bin Laden's 1998 fatwa (as if he commands the religious authority to issue fatwas- he does not). al Qaeda wishes to unite the Muslim world in "jihad". If perceived persecution against Muslims becomes actualized persecution, by unfairly lumping all practitioners together under the same mold as the wahhabis, salafi Islamists, then we are doing bin Laden and Zawahiri a service. They want 1.5 billion Muslims to war with us. Why would we want to help give them what they want?

Islamic reformers like Sayyid Qutb and Mohammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab should not be the ones defining Islam. People like Dr. Jasser should be the reformers, and we should support his efforts. To be disrespectful toward a religion that is practiced by 1.5 billion of the world's population only pushes more of them into the Islamist camp. We should be disrespectful and reject the al Qaeda interpretation of Islam and deplore the other fundamental aspects of the religion that keeps it stuck in 7th, 12th century backwardness.

Anonymous said...

Since when, by the way, did ANY Christians EVER "poke somebody's eyes out" or "throw anybody into the fire?

Well, it's pretty amazing that we've overlooked, or forgotten about the three hundred years or so of inquisition; a very creative process inflicting great pain and suffering upon anyone who didn't embrace "religion" exactly as they saw it.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who REALLY wanted to be part of this country would either CONVERT to one of myriad forms of CHRISTIANITY, or maintain the posture of a respectful agnostic.


Islam (and many OTHER 'religions" and systems of thought and belief) is fundamentally opposed to the Founders' Vision and the principles set forth in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that (eventually) followed.


Islam is INCOMPATIBLE with Western Thought.


Our national MOTTO is E PLURIBUS UNUM ("out of many one"), our culture is based on CHRISTIAN Civilization if not Christianity, itself.


Multiculturalism spells DEATH to UNITY and COHESIVENESS.


TAQQIYA is rarely OBVIOUS when practiced by a true master. The Devil, himself, is said to be beautiful, highly seductive and fatally attractive.


"When in Rome do as the Roman do."


When in America ...


FT

CJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CJ said...

Had to rewrite comment to clarify.

Hello Mustang,

You are quoting me here so I'd like to answer:

"'Since when, by the way, did ANY Christians EVER "poke somebody's eyes out" or "throw anybody into the fire?'

Well, it's pretty amazing that we've overlooked, or forgotten about the three hundred years or so of inquisition; a very creative process inflicting great pain and suffering upon anyone who didn't embrace "religion" exactly as they saw it."

I already referred to the Inquisition in a previous post about what Reformation meant, but the context of the above quote as I understood it was SCRIPTURE, not church history, because of the example of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac, and I'd still like to know where that idea came from. It was supposed to demonstrate that there are violent roots in Biblical religion similar to Islam, a standard argument from the reformist point of view. It is a totally bogus argument and was argued up one side and down the other at Front Page magazine a few years ago.

So I'm asking, Where in scripture are eyes poked out and people thrown into fire?

[I don't even know about the Inquisition doing the specific things mentioned, do you? They burned people at the stake, and put them in the "iron maiden" where they got poked in various body parts but that's not the same thing.]

The context of the original quote was pretty clearly not history but scripture. Please, WHERE does scripture support having anybody's eyes being poked out or people thrown into the fire? The only thing I can think of is the Israelites who participated in idolatrous worship by burning their own children to the idol Molech, which was condemned by God. I don't know of any eyes being poked out at all.

On another subject, maybe I'm alone here but it seems to me I remember LOTS of talk soon after 9/11 about reforming Islam supposedly as Christianity was reformed. I think some of it did come from practicing Muslims who spiritualize the Koran, but it's been a while and I do know that it was strongly defended by various people. Again, it can't happen.

I'm glad there are those Muslims who do spiritualize their religion and can therefore be patriotic Americans, but the religion itself overall is what it is, it can't be reformed.

Anonymous said...

The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly." ~ Proverbs 20:3

"A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes." ~ Proverbs 18:6

"A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back." ~ Proverbs 26:3

"And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number." ~ Deuteronomy 25:2

"Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell." ~ Proverbs 23: 13-14

"And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them." ~ Revelation 9: 5-6

Religious torture is not a recent invention, and no religion is exempt.

Michael

Z said...

Michael. Nobody's ever denied that.

This is a beautiful illustration, your quotes (which are tamer than many, trust me), at why islam needs reform. Other faiths have.

CJ said...

Michael,
I asked for references specifically to throwing people into fire and to poking people's eyes out, as supposedly righteous acts in the Bible.

Punishment by whipping and beating, by the way, is not "religious torture," it's the way ancient -- and not-so-ancient -- cultures of all kinds dealt with offenders. The Romans did it for nonreligious reasons.

And the punishment by scorpions is prophecy of God's wrath in the very end days. What that has to do with sanctioned religious practice is beyond me.

I just realized that Z must have meant "an eye for an eye," but there is no record of anybody ever "poking anybody's eye out. "Eye for an eye, tooth for tooth" etc was a formula of exact justice, fitting the punishment to the crime as an answer to the tendency to excessive punishment. Somehow that perfect formula for equity got turned around into a gruesome torture, the exact opposite of its intent.

Sorry, Z, I know you don't want this to become an endless discussion about religion, but it's very hard to let the accusations stand unanswered.

CJ said...

Z, do you REALLY mean to imply, as you wrote to Michael, that "reform" means not exacting punishments as the Old Testament describes? That has nothing whatever to do with the Reformation that people say Islam also needs to go through. I'm not sure why corporeal punishment stopped, but it was fairly recent and had nothing whatever to do with Christianity that I know of.

The question that relates to the topic here is whether there is any similarity in the situation of Islam vis a vis Christianity at any point in history such that reforming them is parallel to the Christian Reformation, and the answer is NO.

Anonymous said...

Wordsmith - It seems to me, having read the posts here, no one including me, is suggesting Z is an "Islam apologist". I know she is not.

The fact that there is disagreement, or different feelings towards muslims, for me, is not an indictment of those who do not agree with me, or feel as I do.

I will say, during WWII Americans weren't agonizing over the moderate Japanese or German people who surely existed at the time. To do so would have diluted the resolve to win at all costs.

Was that unfair? Yes, but fairness and war are like oil and water. It would be easy now, in hindsight, to say we shouldn't have done things the way we did. However, we won the war, and if we were to err, it was not going to be to err to the benefit of our enemies.

I consider we are at war today with a different enemy. To discuss reform of Islam, is to discuss something which will take many years, if it is to happen at all. We all hope for that.

It's what happens in the meantime which will decide our fate. I believe in the meantime, Britain is facing a crossroads sooner rather than later. I don't want the U.S. to face that.

But, if we look to pick and choose who the moderate voices are or are not, we will lose our focus, and political correctness will prevail as it is in Britain.

Who are the moderate voices there, and if there are, are they making inroads? Where were they when Sharia courts were allowed to be established due to muslim demands?

So, this is the dilemma, I respect how you feel, though I disagree. It's unfortunate you do not feel the same.

Pris

Z said...

Pris, as an old FPM chum, you know I got slammed for disagreeing that ALL MUSLIMS WANT US DEAD. I just can't BUY it.

And, as a friend who shares my same feelings toward islamists, you know I've said, MANY times, "we have to err ON OUR SIDE and why can't our politically correct left SEE THAT?", I agree with you on most of this.

But, people like Jasser ARE trying to prevent Sharia from coming to the US. That's his biggest shtick, as you can see from the links. He wants to get our KIDS back to learning about the constitution, developing an understanding and reverence for the AMERICAN WAY, which he seems to adore. Reagan is his HERO.

He wants Islamist fanaticism OUT, as exhibited in so many parts of his talk, especially the part about having to rip out Wahabist publishing house inserts of radicalism in the Arabic children's stories he wants to read his children, stories he had read to him as a child without the indoctratination by his Syrian parents living in Wisconsin.

He is a moderate voice in the US. It's too late for Sharia England.

If we don't start trying to help these people grow this group, then what? He admitted this reform is giong to take a long time, and he quoted an 1823 quote from Jefferson about how sometimes the work we start takes so long we won't see the fruits of it. (don't ask why I remember the date, it's a MIRACLE!)...

I firmly believe he wants to have an America in which his kids can practice their religion in quiet, living in a totally secular country which respects all religions......I think he knows that if radicalism succeeds, his kids are toast as well as your grandson is.

You know me...I'm ALL for erring on the side of safety FOR US, NOT outsiders.........but I did think this man deserved a second look.

When I find the time, hopefully this weekend, I'm compiling a list of questions (many from these comments) for him which I WILL send to him.

If anybody has any succinct, pointed questions you'd like answered, let me know. I'd love to publish his replies for you (and me! I want answers, too...believe me)

thanks. xxx

Anonymous said...

Good evening Madame Z, how are you? I'm sorry folks but I don't trust ANY muslim as far as I could throw them. When has Islam ever freed anyone? Has the "Muslim community'' ever apologized for 9/11 or for 14 centuries of its barbarism? I don't ever recall there ever being any ''moderate Nazis''. If Islam were so bloody ''peaceful'', why the need for ''moderation''? That would make the arguement that it isn't peaceful. Johnnymac.

Z said...

yes, John (and glad to have you here xxx~!!)..there were 'moderate NAZIs'..it's an excellent analogy: Not all Germans (far from it) believed in the NAZI cause, and many joined before the anti-semitism became apparent, you know that. I know that with certitude because I've studied it..hard.
Many had to join to survive...remember, you have heard about Pope Benedikt and his difficulties for NOT joining the Hitler Youth? He'd have had an easier childhood had he joined.
Many were duped into believing Hitler was going to put Germany back on the map; relieve the horrid inflation, put Germans back to work.
this is a perfect analogy, I think.

yes, there were moderate NAZIs, as HIDEOUS as that sounds. IMagine? And THOUSANDS of resistance workers we never hear about.
I"m counting on Dr. jasser being among Islam's resistance fighters.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Wordsmith - It seems to me, having read the posts here, no one including me, is suggesting Z is an "Islam apologist". I know she is not.

True; I know none of her regular readership would dare accuse her of such, knowing where she's stood on the Islamic issue in previous posts. It's the same for me on my blog. But when I've cross-posted at Flopping Aces where traffic is higher than my blog, and where more than just the regular readership passes through, there are those who will pass judgment, cutting and pasting all the violent passages from the Koran which we already know about ad nauseam, citing Robert Spencer and others. Been there, already listened to all of that.

The fact that Jasser has caught z by surprise tells me that she's been affected by Jasser in a way that many of you have not. Take JohnnyMac's comment for example.

aow, who has done a lot of study and research on Islam, is also a "hard sell" on the notion that there is anything remotely "redeemable" about Islam, in general.

Jasser, if you listen to him speak, if you read his writings, is everything you want in an American patriot. He absolutely believes in the Judeo-Christian values and heritage and traditions that has made it possible for him to exercise his freedom to worship without persecution. He absolutely believes in the separation of mosque and state and doesn't pull his punches when it comes to criticizing Islam and taking responsibility and blame for where it's been earned.

And yet he remains a devout Muslim. Others may consider him an apostate. But really, it is al Qaeda that is the aberration, basing their ideology upon the writings of 20th century writer Sayid Qutb. If most of the Muslim world who don't participate in "jihad" and terrorism are the apostates, then I'd say let them be the ones to define the religion and bring it to 21st century reformation that can co-exist with other religions. You can't tell me that someone who practices sufi Islam is a threat to possibly beheading you over Danish cartoons. You can't tell me that Muhammad Ali would ever carry out an honor killing.

The fact that there is disagreement, or different feelings towards muslims, for me, is not an indictment of those who do not agree with me, or feel as I do.

Perhaps I wasn't clear. It wasn't about indicting z's regular readership. I was jumping ahead to relaying my own experience for expressing some of what z has said in her post; and then seeing her follow-up comments, "defending" Jasser's work.



I will say, during WWII Americans weren't agonizing over the moderate Japanese or German people who surely existed at the time. To do so would have diluted the resolve to win at all costs.

Was that unfair? Yes, but fairness and war are like oil and water. It would be easy now, in hindsight, to say we shouldn't have done things the way we did. However, we won the war, and if we were to err, it was not going to be to err to the benefit of our enemies.


Muslims are not "the new Japanese and Germans". There may be a 100 million Muslims who are a problem for us; who may be at war with us. But that leaves 1400 million who are not at war with us. We have Muslim allies who are just as much the targets of Islamic terror groups as we are.

I consider we are at war today with a different enemy. To discuss reform of Islam, is to discuss something which will take many years, if it is to happen at all. We all hope for that.

Agreed. This war is waged on more than just a military front. We need to win hearts and minds. Al Qaeda has delegitimized itself in the eyes of many Muslims already, thanks in part to their failures and atrocities in Iraq, against fellow Muslims. Even fundamentalists who share in their desires to Islamicize the world, have questioned whether violent jihad is the answer. I wrote about this here.

If we expand this war to not discriminate the difference between peaceful Muslims and the violent jihadists as well as the backwards fundamentalists, we will bring about the very clash of civilizations that al Qaeda is trying to rally Muslims to be waging against the West.



But, if we look to pick and choose who the moderate voices are or are not, we will lose our focus, and political correctness will prevail as it is in Britain.


It's not an "either or" thing; it's not about political correctness. It's about recognizing who the enemy is and not just lumping everyone into one camp. Especially when it is with Muslim allies that we are engaged in the war against Islamic terrorism.

Who are the moderate voices there, and if there are, are they making inroads? Where were they when Sharia courts were allowed to be established due to muslim demands?

They exist. They are out there. More Muslims have been slaughtered at the hands of Islamic terrorists as have been killed at our hands. They wouldn't be killed if they embraced the violence of the "jihadists".

The 4 "moderates" who are the subject of the PBS-suppressed Islam vs. Islamists are in danger of losing their lives because of their vocal opposition to the wahhabis and intolerant fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists. And they consider themselves good Muslims. Not the radicals and the apostates to their faith.

So, this is the dilemma, I respect how you feel, though I disagree. It's unfortunate you do not feel the same.

What do you mean "it's unfortunate"? That I don't feel as you do? I think it's unfortunate that more people don't feel as I do.

Why risk expanding the war?

Some on the right wouldn't mind nuking Mecca and Medina, and I find that terrifying. How is that not becoming that which you hate? How is that not becoming evil? Most Muslims are not your enemy. Yet somehow the Zawahiris and the Abu Hamza al-Masris, who have failed to rally most Muslims to "jihad", have convinced many right-wing Christians to it; that Islam is evil, that Islam is the enemy, and all Muslims who deny they are "out to get us" are practicing taqiya and are not to be trusted.


Great. Expand the war.

CJ said...

Of course there are patriotic peaceable Muslims like Dr. Jasser and if there is any way to meaningfully support their efforts against the jihadists I'm all for it, but absolutely WITHOUT equating Islam with either his spiritualized version of it or with ANY supposed "stage" of Christianity -- THAT is just plain false and a dangerous direction to go in. As long as that is part of his message I can't support him. Drop that message and sure, welcome to the club of American patriots.

CJ said...

I know what you can ask him. Does his brand of Islam need to have those towers with the prayer to Allah broadcast all over the town?

That organization of his is just way too much into arguing for his version of Islam. You know what, Islam is just plain incompatible with America even if the guy is sincere. Our founders made a BIG mistake when they granted religious freedoms across the board. We don't need this aggressive conspicuous alien idolatrous religion, we just don't.

Anonymous said...

Wordsmith - I see you didn't address my question about the Sharia courts. I have no doubts moderate muslims were fine with that. They have been given special consideration to the exclusion of the rest of the British population.

If the British are willing to weaken their culture, to give special standing to muslims to appease in hopes of avoiding violence, they are demonstrating weakness which is an invitation to ultimate disaster. There will be more muslim demands, because the threat of violence will always be a factor.

This method of strategy is an aspect of Jihad which, coupled with political correctness on the part of the West, apparently works.

I never suggested that all muslims should be killed, or that they all would take up arms. But, they would not need to if they can acheive their goals without violence, but merely the threat of it. I believe they would go along, however, because of their religon.

The goal of Jihad is dominion for Islam the world over, and we must be wary of muslim activism and resist it, whether it be violent or through demands with the threat of violence always in play.

It's about power, and I am not one who wishes to see American power, and culture, whittled away to appease those who would destroy our way of life.

You focus only on violence, I focus the Islamic goal, which is the basic threat. If we compromise our American principles to avoid violence, we lose. So, we may avoid violence, but at what cost? Our national identity, as Britain is now in danger of losing?

What I meant by "it's unfortunate", was, that you don't seem willing to respect my concerns.

Of course you feel it's unfortunate more don't feel as you do, doesn't everybody believe that? I, for my argument, feel the same.

Pris

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Pris.

I've always known there was a very reason why APPEASE rhymes with DISEASE.

FT

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

FT,

Agreed appeasement is not the answer, but part of the problem.

Wordsmith - I see you didn't address my question about the Sharia courts. I have no doubts moderate muslims were fine with that. They have been given special consideration to the exclusion of the rest of the British population.

I didn't know I was supposed to address the issue. I've spoken against the idea of parallel societies in European countries and here in the U.S. Muslims such as Jasser have done the same. Simply because they wish to practice their faith, as they interpret it (as everyone who practices their own faith interpret it) doesn't mean they wish to subjugate the world and live under Sharia. That's been vocalized in the film, Islam vs. Islamists. If someone commits a crime, they should be subjected to the laws of the established secular government, not religious laws. Jasser feels blessed to live in a country where he has more freedom to practice his religion than anywhere else in the world. He wants to keep it that way, which means "no sharia".

If the British are willing to weaken their culture, to give special standing to muslims to appease in hopes of avoiding violence, they are demonstrating weakness which is an invitation to ultimate disaster. There will be more muslim demands, because the threat of violence will always be a factor.

I agree. I feel like you are steering us off course, though. I suppose you wanted to have this discussion, though, because the threat of sharia law creeping up on western civilization is on your mind.

This method of strategy is an aspect of Jihad which, coupled with political correctness on the part of the West, apparently works.

Political correctness has done us much harm. Jasser is the antithesis to political correctness. He is harsh on Islam.

I never suggested that all muslims should be killed, or that they all would take up arms. But, they would not need to if they can acheive their goals without violence, but merely the threat of it. I believe they would go along, however, because of their religon.

Well, almost any religion wants to create converts. There are even some Christians who don't just want to see religious expression, such as the 10 Commandments remain intact on government buildings, restored in the public square, but they want to impose Christianity upon the country....through nonviolent means. (re: CJ's comment above).

I don't feel threatened by Muslims who want to express their faith peacefully, in the same manner that Christians and Jews express it, publically. I don't feel threatened by the peaceful Muslim who might wish to share his faith any more than my old college roommates would go around proselytizing his Christian faith and trying to invite people to Bible study. So what?

What I am threatened by are those Muslims who resort to violence as a means of expressing themselves. That's a sizable minority, but is not the majority. I think it is a mistake to lump all Muslims together as being cut of the same clothe. To do so is to lose allies and widen this war.

The goal of Jihad is dominion for Islam the world over, and we must be wary of muslim activism and resist it, whether it be violent or through demands with the threat of violence always in play.

Agreed. Be vigilant, but not paranoid.

It's about power, and I am not one who wishes to see American power, and culture, whittled away to appease those who would destroy our way of life.

I agree.


You focus only on violence, I focus the Islamic goal, which is the basic threat.

Only if you perceive Islam as evil. There's much I don't agree with about it, aside from the calls to subjugate and kill infidels. Some of the problems are more culturally related than religious. Some hideous practices instituted by Muslims in one country aren't in others.


If we compromise our American principles to avoid violence, we lose. So, we may avoid violence, but at what cost? Our national identity, as Britain is now in danger of losing?

Where have I advocated for compromising our American principles? Where have I said to appease? Where have I said Sharia Courts should supplant the American justice system? Since the topic was about Jasser, where has he expressed a desire to compromise American principles?

People rightly ask, "where are the 'moderate' Muslims"? And when they say, "here we are", the response back is, "No, I don't buy it; I'm suspicious of you because I hear Muslims practice taqiyya; I'd rather ignore news stories about Muslims who speak out against radical Islam, and gravitate toward those sensational stories about honor killings and other Muslim horror stories"

What I meant by "it's unfortunate", was, that you don't seem willing to respect my concerns.

I apologize for that. Sometimes when I am typing, I'm not addressing any one specific person, but pre-empting thoughts that are already floating around out there. I think you subjected me to that as well, when you started talking about Sharia Courts.

Your concerns are my concerns as well. I didn't feel the need to express that point, since it's a point that is shared by most readers here. I guess I wanted to put forth ideas that aren't exactly "politically correct" to say amongst the conservative right.

Of course you feel it's unfortunate more don't feel as you do, doesn't everybody believe that? I, for my argument, feel the same.

I brought it up in that manner, because I was seizing upon what you said.

I absolutely respect your opinions and have shared your same concerns.

I just feel like people on my side, the conservative pro-war-on-terror right, is in danger of becoming the bigots we're accused of by the left. Of course, mostly they are wrong, have their heads in the sand, and don't recognize the threat. But when all we do is read anti-Islam books and feel we are now educated on the Islamic threat....we are doing ourselves a disservice in the long war; we are indoctrinating ourselves to see only one side of things.