Reflecting an apparent systemic failure, steadily burgeoning evidence (see here,here, here, and here) indicates that one of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s closest aides, Huma Abedin, despite Ms. Clinton’s protestation, was inadequately vetted for either family or personal ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Diligent, opensourceinvestigation has already uncovered and documented numerous alarming connections. One can reasonably infer that a serious, formal congressional investigation of the overall extent of Muslim Brotherhood influence operations --asrequested by Representatives Bachmann, Gohmert, Franks, Westmoreland, and Rooney -- might yield even more disturbing findings.
Pending these sorely needed Congressional inquiries -- replete with their probing investigative tools (i.e., subpoena power, access to classified materials) -- much can still be gleaned from the public record. For example, over the past 33 years, Huma Abedin’s family has been responsible for the editorial production of the academicjournal of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA), known as Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs Journal from 1979-1995, and Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs from 1996 until now. The production started with the foundinginvolvementof family patriarch Syed Z. Abedin and Huma’s mother Saleha Abedin since 1979, and subsequently joined by Huma’s brother Hassan Abedin (1996 to present), Huma herself (1996 to 2008), and Huma’s sister Heba (married name Khalid or Khaled; 2002 to present).
The following analysis of this IMMA journal’s foundational origins, guiding editorial board membership, and Weltanschauung -- most appositely, at present -- confirms that the Abedin family “academic” journal is a thinly veiled mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sharia-supremacist agenda.
The Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs: Origins and Guiding Relationships
Finally, we would like to express our deep appreciation to appreciation to His Eminence, Dr. Abdullah O. Nasseef, President, King Abdulaziz University, for his continued guidance, support and encouragement. Dr. Ahmad Bahafzallah. Director of the Institute, and Secretary-General World Assembly of Muslim Youth, has been, as always, most unstinting in his help and cooperation.
During his tenure as secretary-general of the Muslim World League, in July 1988 Naseef also created the Rabita Trust and became its chairman. On October 12, 2001, then-President George W. Bush’s executive order named Rabita Trust as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity, and the U.S. Treasury Department froze its assets while Naseef was still serving as the Trust’s chairman.
Shortly after the May 2010 25th anniversary celebration of the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) founded by Muslim Brotherhood “spiritual guide” Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report published a summary chronology of then IICO Deputy Chairman Abdullah Omar Nasseef’s other important positions and their association with jihadist activities:
… serving as Vice President of the [Saudi Arabian] Kingdom’s Shura Council, President of King Abdul Aziz University, and most importantly as Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) from 1983-1993. Dr. Naseef is also the President of the Muslim World Congress and the Secretary-General of the International Islamic Council for Daa’wa and Relief (IICDR) which includes a large number of affiliated organizations, many of which are associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas fundraising, or support for al-Qaeda.
Two of Syed Abedin’s IMMA co-founders -- Drs. Nasseef and Bahafzallah -- have served as secretary generals of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) and Muslim World League (MWL), respectively. Moreover, when Syed Abedin died in 1993, the IMMA journal published a tribute to him written by then Secretary-General of WAMY M.H. al-Juhani. Thus it is worth evaluating, in brief, the nature of these organizations.
An analysis by the Pew Forum revealed that the MWL, identified as a purveyor of “ultraconservative, Wahhabi” Islam, often collaborated with the Muslim Brotherhood when partnering, in turn, with European Islamic organizations. These MWL efforts -- funding the construction of mosques and the operations of Islamic centers -- created local (i.e., European, and now North American as well) infrastructure for dissemination of this traditionalist Islamic worldview. Ten years after the MWL was established, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) was founded in Saudi Arabia during 1972. The primary goal of WAMY was to provide Muslim youth access to the traditionalist, conservative interpretation of Islam promulgated by the Saudi religious establishment. WAMY focused on Muslim youth to ensure that the organization played an essential role in shaping the religious views of subsequent generations of Muslims. WAMY, just like its predecessor the MWL, also partnered with European Muslim organizations (in this instance, youth organizations), notably those with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Inexorably, by the 1990s the European activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim World League, and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth became so enmeshed, Pew reports, “that it was often difficult to tell them apart.” Ultimately, Pew adds:
A number of senior Muslim Brotherhood figures -- including Kemal el-Helbawy, the Egyptian-born, London-based founder of the Muslim Association of Britain -- have served in leadership positions in the League and the Assembly.
Very recently, in an address to the “secular” Egyptian Wafd party (posted on the internet 7/26/12), el-Helbawy demanded the release of the jihadist theologian Omar Abd Al-Rahman (the "Blind Sheik"; see pp. 8, 307), who is serving a life sentence at a U.S. federal penitentiary in North Carolina for his role in planning the 1993 World Trade Center bombing (which caused six deaths, 1042 injuries, and nearly $600 million in property damage), and other acts of jihad terrorism within the New York City Metropolitan area. El-Helbawy’s speech included these threatening, virulently anti-American remarks:
These criminals, with the administration, their system, and their institutions -- the Pentagon, the White House, the CIA, Homeland Security, the FBI, and others ... They are all criminals, planning the killing of people, young and old, planning to kill the revolutions in their cradle. They deceive all parties. They have defended that criminal and plundering state of Israel. We should not fear America or whoever is behind America. We fear none but Allah. If we use the capabilities at our disposal properly, America will be brought to its knees, and will be defeated like the Soviets in Afghanistan. This is no difficult task for Allah.
Saleha Mahmood Abedin (b. 1940) received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1977 for a thesis entitled: “Islam and Muslim Fertility: Sociological Dimensions of a Demographic Dilemma.” Dr. Abedin has been intimately involvedwith the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA) in London since its founding in 1979 by her husband Syed Abedin. She is the current Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Institute’s Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA), a tenure which beganafter the death of her husband in 1993. Saleha Abedin is also a professor of Sociology at King Abdulaziz University Women’s College, Jeddah, a founding member of Dar Al-Hekma College, Jeddah, and Chairperson of the International Islamic Committee for Women [Woman] and Child (IICWC), in Amman, Jordan.
Regarding the latter, a clearly documented report at Legal Insurrection which simply quotes the IICWC website (in Google translator Arabic-to-English translation of sections from this IICWC post) demonstrates how Dr. Abedin’s organization, as a champion of the Sharia over “manmade law,” vehemently opposes both laws which prohibit child marriage and which ban the misogynistic barbarity of female genital mutilation (FGM) -- a horrific scourge in major Muslim countries such as Arab Egyptand far-flung non-Arab Indonesia, where FGM rates exceed 90% because Shafiite Sunni Islamic jurisprudence predominates in these Muslim countries. However, a far more comprehensive elaboration of Dr. Abedin’s traditionalist IslamicWeltanschauung -- rigidly compliant with the totalitarian Sharia -- can be gleaned from her vigorous efforts to assist in translating into English, editing, and publishing the bookWomen in Islam: A Discourse in Rights and Obligations.
… An accomlished [sic] and renowned scholaar [sic], speaker, academic, educationist and social worker in contemporary Saudi Arabia. She has made outstanding contribution to the advancement of women’s education in the country. As head of the women’s section of King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah for eight years, and as professor of Islamic Shari’ah, and through her popular public lectures, she has inspired a generation of Saudi women. She has also published a number of books and articles on issues relating to Islamic Shari’ah, the position and status of women in society, and on the subject of their rights and Obligations.
On the back cover, Saleha Abedin, who edited and supervised the translation of Nasseef’s scholarly oeuvre, adds these observations, for context:
The overall objectives of IICWC include the promotion of knowledge regarding women’s issues. It fosters a publication program that is aimed to facilitate the collection as well as dissemination of information on women, family and society. The Committee is, therefore, pleased to launch its Book Series with its very first publication of the translation of the popular and well-received book, Women in Islam: A Discourse in Rights and Obligations, authored by a prominent Saudi scholar, Fatima Umar Nasseef.
This book will be of special interest to students and scholars of Islamic law and women’s studies, as well as to that segment of the general public that is interested in women’s issues. It is a comprehensive study of the rights and obligations of women in society from the Islamic perspective, and also provides a comparison with other cultures, while examining the rights and positions of women in those cultures.
Verbatim quotes from Women in Islam provide res ipsa loquitur, pellucid illustrations of the traditionalist Islamic views being promulgated without any attempt to mollify (i.e., conceal from Western sensibilities) their bellicosity, liberty-crushing supremacism (absence of freedom speech; inequality before the law for non-Muslims), and female subjugating misogyny. Women’s “rights and obligations” to participate in jihad war campaigns are extolled through the prism of Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayid Qutb’s (d. 1966) views on the jihad, which are demonstrated to be in full accord not only with classical Muslim jurists but the assessments of his esteemed contemporary peers at Cairo’s Al Azhar University, including former Grand Imam of Al-Azhar (from 1958-1963) Mahmud Shaltut, (quoted in this section, just before Qutb). These “liberating” views arecomplemented by insistence upon requisite hijab donning for women, the mandatory acquiescence of women to sexual demands from their husbands, prohibition of social interaction between the sexes, stoning for adultery, and (strongly) recommended female genital mutilation. Nonetheless, Women in Islamconcludes this misogynistic litany of discriminations against women by repeating the stock-in-trade mantra of the contemporary apologetic for the traditionalist Muslim Brotherhood worldview:
Islam is the only solution and the only escape … the only religion that affirms their [women’s] humanity, dignity and equality with men.
Two prominent, longstanding members on the Editorial Board of the JMMA accompanying Editor-in-Chief Saleha Abedin, whose tenures both began in 1996, are Zafar Ishaq Ansari (1996 to 2009), and John Esposito (1996 to present). Not surprisingly, these two JMMA Editorial Board members share Saleha Abedin’s -- and the Muslim Brotherhood’s -- Weltanschauung.
Zafar Ishaq Ansari is a full-throated champion of the 20th century Indo-Pakistani jihadist ideologue (see here, here, and here) Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi (1903-1979). Ansari’s “magnum opus” is a reverent translation of Mawdudi’s Tafhim Al-Quran(“Understanding the Koran”) -- one of the most important works of modern Koranic exegesis, or interpretation. Ansari’s Preface notes how Mawdudi’s collective works greatly inspired the mass Muslim phenomenon, “… characterized, mainly by theoutside world, as ‘Islamic resurgence.’” Ansari then extols Mawdudi unabashedly for both his personal attributes and authentic -- and currently relevant -- Islamic vision:
Mawdudi was uniquely gifted for the task he undertook -- a systematic exposition of the teachings of Islam. To help him fulfill that task he possessed a clear and penetrating mind as well as a felicitous and vigorous pen … [H]e distinguished himself by arguing and forcefully establishing that the principles prescribed by Islam were intrinsically sound, that they were relevant for, and viable in, every age and clime, that they were conducive to the overall well-being of man.
Extracts from Ansari’s own translation of Understanding the Koran make plain Mawdudi’s firmly rooted, traditionalist Islamic Weltanschauung -- the subjugation of humanity via jihad to the totalitarian Sharia, and all its intrinsic disregard of human rights and dignity for non-Muslims.
Mawdudi’s unapologetic exegeses of Koranic verses 2:191ff and 9:29 capture the essence of the timeless, uniquely Islamic institution of jihad:
[on 2:191-193] These misguided people have no right to either enforce the false laws of their own contriving instead of the laws of God or to drive the people of God to bondage of others than God. In order to put an end to this fitnah, both persuasion and force be used, whenever and to the extent to which each of the two is needed, and a true believer will not rest until the unbelievers give up this fitnah.
[on 9:29] The purpose for which the Muslims are required to fight is not, as one might think, to compel the unbelievers into embracing Islam. Rather their purpose is to put an end to the sovereignty and supremacy of the unbelievers so that the latter are unable to rule over men. The authority to rule should only be vested in those who follow the true faith [Islam]; unbelievers who do not follow this true faith should live in state of subordination. Unbelievers are required to pay jizyah [the deliberately humiliating Koranic poll tax] in lieu of the security provided to them as the Dhimmis [non-Muslim, non-citizen pariahs vanquished by jihad] of an Islamic State. Jizyah symbolizes the submission of unbelievers to the suzerainty of Islam. “To pay jizyah of their own hands humbled” refers to payment in a state of submission. “Humbled” also reinforces the idea that the believers, rather than the unbelievers, should be the rulers in performance of their duty as God’s vicegerents. Initially the rule that jizyah should be realized from all non-Muslims meant its application to Christians and Jews living in the Islamic state. Later on the Prophet extended it to Zoroastrians as well, granting them the status of Dhimmis. Guided by the Prophet’s practice the Companions applied this rule to all non-Muslim religious communities living outside Arabia. Some nineteenth century Muslim writers and their followers in our own times never seem to tire of their apologies for jizyah. But God’s religion does not require that apologetic explanations be made on its behalf.
Mawdudi also cites the same Koranic injunction (Koran 4:59) referenced by Islamic legists since al-Mawardi (d. 1058; from al-Mawardi’s seminal treatise Al-Akham as-Sultaniyyah --The Laws of Islamic Governance) as legitimizing the totalitarian caliphate system of global governance, which demonstrates its remarkable consistency across a millennium of time.
This verse [Koran 4:59] is the cornerstone of the entire religious, social, and political structure of Islam, and the very first clause of the constitution of an Islamic state. It lays down the following principles as permanent guidelines: (1) In the Islamic order of life, God alone is the focus of loyalty and obedience … (2) Another basic principle of the Islamic order of life is obedience to the Prophet … (3) In the Islamic order of life Muslims are further required to obey fellow Muslims in authority … (4) In an Islamic order the injunctions of God and the way of the Prophet constitute the basic law and paramount authority in all matters. Whenever there is any dispute among Muslims or between the rulers and the ruled the matter should be referred to the Qur’an and the Sunnah [traditions], and all concerned should accept with sincerity whatever judgment results.
The basic difference between a Muslim and a non-Muslim is that whereas the latter feels free to do as he wishes, the basic characteristic of a Muslim is that he always looks to God and to His Prophet for guidance, and where such guidance is available, a Muslim is bound by it … [T]he Qur’an is not merely a legal code, but also seeks to instruct, educate, admonish, and exhort … Two things are laid down. First, that faithful adherence to the above four principles is a necessary requirement of faith. Anyone who claims to be a Muslim and yet disregards the principles of Islam involves himself in gross contradiction. Second, the well-being of Muslims lies in basing their lives on those principles. This alone can keep them on the straight path in this life, and will lead to their salvation in the Next. It is significant that this admonition [Koran 4:59] after the section which embodies comments about the moral and religious condition of the Jews. Thus the Muslims were subtly directed to draw a lesson from the depths to which the Jews had sunk, as a result of their deviation from the fundamental principles of true faith just mentioned. Any community that turns its back upon the Book of God [the Koran] and the guidance of His Prophets, that wittingly follows rulers and leaders who are heedless of God and His Prophets, and that obeys its religious and political authorities blindly without seeking authority for their actions either in the Book of God or in the practice of the Prophets, will inevitably fall into the same evil and corruption as the Israelites [Jews] …
Elsewhere in his Islamic Law and Constitution (1960; p. 154) Mawdudi elucidates the nature of the idealized Sharia societies he envisions, even invoking 20th Century totalitarian ideological states as analogous examples:
A state of this sort cannot evidently restrict the scope of its activities. Its approach is universal and all-embracing. Its sphere of activity is coextensive with the whole of human life. It seeks to mould every aspect of life and activity in consonance with its moral norms and programme of social reform. In such a state no one can regard any field of his affairs as personal and private. Considered from this aspect the Islamic State bears a kind of resemblance to the Fascist and Communist states.
Despite Ansari’s hagiography, to the non-Muslim “outside world” Mawdudi deservedly represents the apotheosis of the persistent Medieval obscurantism which continues to define vast swaths of contemporary Islamdom, and increasingly, Muslim minority communities in Europe and North America.
John Esposito, who heads the lavishly Saudi-funded (i.e., 20 million dollars donated in 2005, according to the New York Times) Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, is the doyen of American academic apologists for jihadism. Esposito, despite being a distressingly shallow and transparent janissary for the House of Saud who nonetheless continues to proffer geostrategic “advice” on the Muslim world to the American government, opined in a fall 2003 Boston Reviewessay that Muslim Brotherhood jihadist ideologue Yusuf al-Qaradawi (see Qaradawi’s “The Prophet Muhammad as a Jihad Model”)embodied: “[A] reformist interpretation of Islam and its relationship to democracy, pluralism and human rights.” Even at his best, Esposito’s academic presentations suffer from these inappropriate biases, as lucidly described by the scholar Bat Ye’or: 1) historical negationism, consisting of suppressing or sketching in a page or a paragraph, one thousand years of jihad which is presented as a peaceful conquest generally “welcomed” by the vanquished populations; 2) the omission of Christian and in particular Muslim sources describing the actual methods of these conquests and the rule of the conquered peoples as sanctioned by the classical jihad ideology written by numerous Muslim jurists since the 7th Century: pillage, enslavement, deportation, massacres, and the imposition of dhimmitude; 3) the mythical historical conversion of “centuries” of “peaceful coexistence”, masking the processes which transformed majorities (i.e., vast Christian populations, in particular) into minorities constantly at risk of extinction.
Not surprisingly, Esposito’s warped, apologetic narrative -- which negates the 7th through 11th century waves of violent jihad conquests that antedated and precipitated the First Crusade -- was also stated by his co-IMMA editorial board colleague, now Editor-in-Chief, Saleha Abedin in a 1979 IMMA journal essay:
From the Crusades down to the colonial era Muslims have encountered the Christian West as a cultural and political adversary.
Islam Über Alles and the JMMA Today -- Melding Tendentious “Victimology” with Sharia Supremacism
Editor Saleha Abedin characterizes the current issue of JMMA (published online May 15, 2012) as describing the “challenges” (although, knowingly, she also refers to them as “opportunities”) of Muslim minorities in non-Muslim societies. Blithely (and cynically) ignoring the logical consequences of repeated Muslim acts of jihad terrorism (i.e., over 19,300 globally since 9/11/2001), the continual, non-violent efforts to impose Sharia upon these host non-Muslim nations, or the Sharia’s ugly, living legacy of brutal discrimination against non-Muslims, Dr. Abedin laments that the contributing authors to this issue purportedly demonstrate how Muslims are being confronted by “strategies against terrorism,” which impose “restrictions on their religious freedom through denial of mosque construction; and being labelled [sic] and segregated as marginalized groups.”
Dr. Abedin highlights, in particular, a paper which she maintains elucidates an ostensible genre of “apocalyptic” Western writing that generates “fears and exaggerations” due to its claimed projection of “a very negative picture of Islam and Muslims.” Concurrently, Dr. Abedin lavishes praise upon another paper she claims addresses “theoretical” matters which are “vibrant” in:
… conceptualizing the challenges of minority living seeking to be guided by a new fiqh [Islamic jurisprudence] to address their minority status as propounded by some contemporary Muslim scholars.
Let us examine the salient points (and their ramifications) from two papers (hereand here) singled out by Dr. Abedin, given their publication in the most recent issue of JMMA and her laudatory remarks about them.
Atif S. Siddiqui’s essay“Analysis of ‘Modern’ Western ‘Apocalyptic Literature’: Fear for World Civilization” combines transparent anti-Westernism with Islamic apologetics and triumphalism, disingenuously packaged as a concluding appeal for “dialogue and mutual understanding.”
Ignoring the entire legacy of aggressive jihad -- including its ongoing, modern revival (a mindset shared by the IMMA’s Saleha Abedin and John Esposito) -- Siddiqui blames those he labels Western “apocalyptic” scholars, specifically the late Samuel Huntington (d. 2008) and Bernard Lewis, for instigating, as opposed to merely observing and identifying, the “clash of civilizations.” It is difficult to decide which of Siddiqui’s analyses is more egregiously flawed -- his complete omission of Huntington’s remarkably compendious summary findings on “Islam’s bloody borders,” or his gross misrepresentation of the obvious meaning of Lewis’ quoted words.
To validate his contention: “Wherever one looks along the perimeter of Islam, Muslims have problems living peaceably with their neighbors,” Huntingtonadduced these hard data:
The overwhelming majority of fault line conflicts … have taken place along the boundary looping across Eurasia and Africa that separates Muslims from non-Muslims … Intense antagonisms and violent conflicts are pervasive between local Muslim and non-Muslim peoples … Muslims make up about one-fifth of the world’s population, but in the 1990s they have been far more involved in inter-group violence than the people of any other civilization. The evidence is overwhelming. There were, in short, three times as many inter-civilizational conflicts involving Muslims as there were between non-Muslim civilizations … Muslim states also have had a high propensity to resort to violence in international crises, employing it to resolve 76 crises out of a total of 142 in which they were involved between 1928 and 1979. … When they did use violence, Muslim states used high-intensity violence, resorting to full-scale war in 41 percent of the cases where violence was used and engaging in major clashes in another 39 percent of the cases. While Muslim states resorted to violence in 53.5 percent, violence was used the United Kingdom in only 1.5 percent, by the United States in 17.9 percent, and by the Soviet Union in 28.5 percent of the crises in which they were involved … Muslim bellicosity and violence are late-twentieth-century facts which neither Muslims nor non-Muslims can deny.
Siddqui’s non-sequitur analysis ignores Huntington’s resounding evidence of Islamic bellicosity, claiming that “Western scholars” -- typified by Huntington -- are simply concerned about “… Islam’s potential role as that of an impediment … to Western political hegemony.” Siddiqui then quotes this extract from Bernard Lewis’s 1990 Atlantic Monthlyessay, “The Roots of Muslim Rage”:
It should now be clear that we are facing a mood and a movement far transcending the level of issues and policies and the governments that pursue them. This is no less than a clash between civilizations -- that perhaps irrational but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo-Christian heritage, our secular present, and the worldwide expansion of both. It is crucially important that we on our side should not be provoked into an equally historic but also equally irrational reaction against that rival.
Siddiqui insists that Lewis’ conclusion about readily demonstrable phenomena within Islamdom during the latter half of the 20th Century -- which openly cautions the West against any “irrational reaction” -- somehow represents aggressive, hegemonic advocacy:
… for a social cold-warlike situation between Islam and the West. The motivation for favoring such a situation is that it would mobilize opinion among decision-makers in the West for adopting policies to promote the universality of Western civilization and undermine Islam’s influence.
In a similar vein, Siddiqui also crudely mischaracterizes the work of Dutch Orientalist C. Snouck Hurgronje (d. 1936). From 1890 to 1906 Snouck Hurgronje was professor of Arabic at Batavia, Java. He also served as an advisor to the Dutch Colonial Government for Arabian Affairs, and in 1891 he was sent for a year to Sumatra to study the Acheh uprising -- the subject of De Atjèhers, 2 vol. (1893–94; published in English translation in 1906 as The Achehnese), his ethnographic account of the people of northern Sumatra, a standard reference work. According to Siddiqui:
[Hurgronje] recommended an offensive and vigorous policy for bringing the whole region under Dutch influence, mainly by undermining the religious sensibilities of the Achehnese Muslims (emphasis added).
Siddiqui’s claim is mendacious. Although deeply respectful of Islamic religious life as an authoritative scholar of Islamic doctrine and history and Dutch colonial official, Hurgronje vigorously opposed Islamic jihadism. He merely stated with candor that all teaching with regard to the orthodox, mainstream Islamic institution of jihad war and the establishment of a Caliphate governed by liberty-crushing Sharia should be prohibited in Muslim schools. Here is what Hurgronje actually concluded (in The Acehnese):
Most Muslims are absolutely ignorant of the details of the doctrine of jihad. But so long as not one single Muslim teacher of consideration dreams of regarding these laws of the middle ages as abrogated, while a great proportion of the people exhibit the strongest inclination to restore the conditions which prevailed some centuries ago, so long does it remain impossible, however anxious we may be to do so, to omit the jihad from our calculations when forming a judgment on the relation of Islam to other religions.
Asserting the “crucial” (and unilateral) role of the Crusades in fomenting the conflict between Islam and the West, Siddiqui’s warped critiques of Lewis and Hurgronje adopt the same paranoid tone of Muslim Brotherhood theoretician Sayyid Qutb, who was also obsessed with “Crusaderism” -- Qutb’s comprehensive scheme which linked medieval Christianity, modern imperialism, and Western consumerism. In Qutb’s words:
Western blood carries the spirit of the Crusades within itself. It fills the subconscious of the West.
Later, Siddiqui repeats approvingly Qutb’s pejorative characterization of the West (quoting Martin Kramer’s apt summary) as a “disastrous combination of avid materialism, and egoistic individualism,” and indeed confirms Qutb’s assessment with another quote of erstwhile Muslim “liberal” Fatima Mernissi’s comparable views.
In a section of his essay entitled, “Freedom as Understood in the Muslim World and the West,” Siddqui ostensibly examines the contrasting understanding of freedom as a concept in Islamic and modern Western societies. He claims:
The most common notion of freedom in the West today is to do, be or say whatever one wishes without intervention.
This reductio ad absurdumencapsulation of Western freedom is then compared unfavorably to Siddqui’s idealized -- and bowdlerized -- conception of freedom in Islam, blithely ignoring the fact that this Sharia-based doctrine rejects basic freedom of conscience and expression:
[I]n the Islamic world freedom is combined with moral laws of the surrounding and the sensory world. The sensory world of Islam restricts freedom to a certain degree.
Predictably absent from Siddiqui’s discussion is the fact that hurriyya, Arabic for “freedom,” and the uniquely Western concept of freedom are completely at odds.Hurriyya “freedom” -- as Ibn Arabi (d. 1240) the lionized “Greatest Sufi Master” expressed it -- “being perfect slavery.” And this conception is not merely confined to the Sufis’ metaphorical understanding of the relationship between Allah the “master” and his human “slaves.”
The late American scholar of Islam, Franz Rosenthal (d. 2003) analyzed the larger context of hurriyya in Muslim society. He notes the historical absence of hurriyya as “a fundamental political concept that could have served as a rallying cry for great causes.” An individual Muslim:
... was expected to consider subordination of his own freedom to the beliefs, morality and customs of the group as the only proper course of behavior.
The individual was not expected to exercise any free choice as to how he wished to be governed ... In general ... governmental authority admitted of no participation of the individual as such, who therefore did not possess any real freedom vis-a-vis it.
Writing in 1979, Hava Lazarus-Yafeh noted (from her essay “Three Remarks on Islam and Western Political Values”) that the traditional Arabic term to denote people or citizen, which is usually ‘abd (plural ibad), meaning “the slave or servant of God,” was antithetical to the Western democratic worldview. She further described the perverse phenomenon -- borne of complete Western rejection -- that nevertheless caused an “amalgamation” of Islamic and Western values in the warped political language of Islam’s contemporary theocrats -- the Muslim Brotherhood, being a prime example -- then, and now. Thus:
When calling for an Islamic totalitarian Republic, wherein the ulama hoped to restore God’s will in history, they used Western concepts of democracy, liberty, equality etc. … All of these contemporary religious leaders in Islam were raised and nourished by the literary activity of the Modernists who consciously blurred the differences between East and West. Hence we may understand the unintelligible phenomenon of the Muslim Brotherhood, for example, talking about Islamic democracy and freedom while cultivating a vision of an Islamic State, which is certainly a far cry from any Western democracy.
Lazarus-Yafeh’s analysis includes this frank Muslim Brotherhood December, 1976 articulation (from the Brotherhood publication Al-Dawa) of their timeless vision of Islamic democracy and freedom:
We demand an Islamic nation, living a true Islamic life in politics, society, economics, education, culture and every other sphere of life. Islamic law does not restrict itself to the cutting of hands or flogging criminals. To neglect prayer is also a criminal act, and to eat in public during Ramadan is a criminal act and so is the refraining from giving alms, taking interest, drinking, selling or transporting wine, opening public entertainment places and accepting taxes from these places, broadcasting (secular) songs on the radio and showing cheap exotic movies on the television, letting women dress indecently, and print heretic ideas in books and newspapers … We shall not be deceived any more. The Muslim people have a clear goal and will not settle for less than complete victory.
This is the context in which to understand both Siddiqui’s contentions about Islamic “freedom,” and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s use of the term “Hurriyya” (Horeya) in a brief late February 2011 announcement describing the new political party it created which now controls Egypt.
Siddiqui’s ecumenical appearing arguments conclude with a selective citation of Orientalist Gustave von Grunebaum (d. 1972), melded to an earlier ostensible distillation of the views of Indian Muslim ideologue Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadwi (d. 1999). However, Siddiqui’s final shallow attempt to mask Islamic supremacism as ecumenism is thoroughly undermined -- ironically -- by von Grunebaum’s incisive analysis of Nadwi’s actual Weltanschauung, which, of course Siddiqui does not reference.
Here is Siddiqui’s summary characterization of von Grunebaum, who is invoked to castigate Western “anti-Islam writers” that “demonize” Islam with apparent relish:
Gustave E. von Grunebaum’s Medieval Islam published from Chicago in 1946 provided strong support to the originality and contributions of the Islamic thinkers and writers. His serious work provides a challenge to the anti-Islam writers in the West, arguing that based on intellectual grounds Islam cannot be demonized in the Western society.
The late (d. 2003) Yale scholar of Islam Franz Rosenthal wrote an obituary for the Austrian-born US scholar von Grunebaum (1909-1972) published in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 4, No. 3, (Jul., 1973), pp. 355-358, which included these observations about von Gruenbaum’s seminal contributions and uncompromising standards (from pp. 356-357):
If von Grunebaum was able in addition to produce an amazingly large and significant number of books and articles, to which all these and many other activities ranked second in importance in his estimation as well as ours, it was because everything he did arose from the same source -- his personal conviction as to the intellectual obligation resting upon the Western student of Islam. He was convinced that it was his duty to interpret Islam from the point of view of the Westerner deeply steeped in his own civilization at its best, that there was indeed no other way of making the study of Islam meaningful for non-Muslims, professional scholars and educated non-specialists alike, than by scrutinizing it from the outside and measuring it by the most demanding and universally valid standards devised in the West for assessing intellectual and moral worth.
Pace Siddiqui’s assessment, when comparing the study and influence of philosophy in the West and under Islam, even at the apogee of Muslim civilization, von Grunebaum observed:
Philosophy as such, falsafa, never could attain to a position within Islamic civilization comparable to that held by it in classical antiquity. By the Hellenistic period philosophy … possessed complete freedom of inquiry, not simply in that no organized body wished to restrain it, but in the more profound sense that there was no intellectual barrier to its expanding its systemization to a complete and autonomous interpretation of the universe …
In Islam the function of falsafa [philosophy] is much less significant. Above all, it never enjoyed as free and wide a arrange -- the principle truths had been established and fixed. Speculation could only mean explication. Revelation was autonomous, theology its primary guardian; philosophy must needs become auxiliary, irrelevant, or heretical … [A]nd to the Muslim public no solution could be acceptable that did not safeguard the primacy of faith. So falsafa became fragmentary by being barred from independent treatment of the … essential Muslim concerns.
Von Grunebaum was equally precise and candid in his assessment of the timeless jihad imperative to implement the Sharia universally, and the consequences for non-Muslims:
Whether or not Muhammad had in the course of his career come to envisage his mission as addressed to all mankind, the Muslim community did so interpret it. To spread the faith and to widen the Muslim-ruled territory was one of the principal duties of the caliph. The Law [Sharia] did not recognize the possibility of peace with the unbelievers, although expediency might require long periods of truce. But the task of extending the realm of truth on earth will not be fulfilled as long as non-Muslims remain in control of any part of this globe.
There cannot be equality between those who have and those who spurn absolute truth. Muhammad extended limited recognition to those religious groups that possessed a book, such as the Jews and the Christians. The pagan was to be summoned to conversion or death; the scriptuary was to remain outside the solidarity-circle of the ruling class unless he left his denomination voluntarily … Non-Muslims were liable to taxation beyond that imposable on Muslims, subjected to legalized social and professional discrimination, excluded from the military, and, in theory, barred from executive government office.
Siddiqui’s distorted representation of von Grunebaum’s ideas serves as a concluding rationale for Nadwi’s -- and Siddiqui’s own -- earlier shared vision of Islamic supremacism. Citing Nadwi, Siddiqui opines:
Islamic culture is based on a monotheistic belief in God. Islam is a symbol of all those cultural formations that still espouse ideas of transcendence. So rather than a case of Islam versus the West, the case is that of one civilization based on the denial of transcendence or committed to technological rationalism as opposed to another civilization advocating transcendence and humanism. Therefore, the confrontation has taken the shape of an “Islamic project” in the Muslim world against Western modernity. The aim of this project is to defend humanity against secular nihilism and amorality, technological rationalization, and instrumentalization. The war that has been declared against Western modernity now seeks a new modernity, and, unlike Western modernity, it is not based on a revolution of rising expectations and infinite progress, but, rather, on the idea of a human mind at peace with itself, committed to the sanctity of man and of nature. The search for this new modernity in the Islamic world gives a high priority to the ideal of justice and the balancing of individual human rights with the rights of the human community as a whole.
Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadwi was a founding member of the Muslim World League, a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference (now Cooperation), a member of the World Supreme Council of Mosques, and a member of the Fiqh Council of Rabita. He participated in a host of other activities via Islamic organizations and institutions, including, notably, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). In India, Nadwi was a rector of Nadwatul Ulama, and president of the Academy of Islamic Research and Publications.
Gustave von Grunebaum published a brilliant analysis of Nadwi’s defining 1951 work What Has the World Lost Through the Decline of the Muslims? in the compilationModern Islam -- The Search for Cultural Identity, 1964, pp. 253-57. Nadwi’s bookinvokes the words of the second “Rightly Guided” Caliph Umar’s [r. 634-644 C.E.] envoy to Yazdagird [III, d. 651] the last Sasanian king of Iran:
God [Allah] has sent us so we can lead out those he wishes from the service of all the servants to the service of God [Allah] alone, and from secular constraint into freedom and from the oppression of the (earlier) religions to the justice of Islam.
Arguing that the Muslim community (umma) is the only power with the ability to overcome the dominant, corrupting Western (European) spirit, Nadwi, as von Grunebaum observes, advocates “the transfer of leadership to the Muslim world” because Islam’s message “holds as good now as it did in the seventh century.” Nadwi, in his triumphal exuberance, proclaims:
Behold the world of man looking with rapture at the world of Islam as its savior, and behold the world of Islam fixing its gaze on the Arab world as its secular and spiritual leader. Will the world of Islam realize the hope of the world of men? And will the Arab world realize the hope of the Muslim world?
But Nadwi also maintained that prior to re-assuming global hegemony, Islam must undergo a “spiritual revival” along traditionalist lines, while steeping itself in the sciences to master modern technology, commerce, and the arts of warfare. Von Grunebaum’s analysis concludes with this foreboding insight, all the more relevant today:
In his final chapter Nadwi calls on the Arab world to assume its traditional leadership of Islam. The religious importance of the Arabs is emphatically asserted. ... For it is the Arab world to which will fall the generalship in the final ejection of Europe; its[Arab Islam’s] faith, the power of its message, and divine help will assist it …
[O]ne realizes that his prescription for the world is simply an injunction to return to, or, as he would say, to resurrect, a golden age that never existed. Salvation by sameness, the implied belief that what worked once will always work, and the unconcerned readiness to forego the wider horizons that have been opened by man, and for the most part, by Western man, during the last centuries -- one cannot help feeling both frightened and depressed by the appeal that Nadwi’s message appears to have for certain Muslim circles. [NOTE: That “appeal” has mushroomed in the intervening half century]. The ultimate impenetrability of one civilization by another is demonstrated, unintentionally it is true, but, for that, all the more convincingly. Even as, in the late Middle Ages, orthodoxy in self-defense was prepared unhesitatingly to narrow down the scope of the Muslim experience by pushing Hellenizing philosophy and the natural sciences to the periphery, in precisely the same way, although perhaps with still greater radicalism, Nadwi is throwing overboard the Western concept of science -- the objectivization of experience and its interpretation as a rational system -- whose philosophical and operational meaningfulness he obviously never realized.
Needless to say, Nadwi shies away from any specific suggestion of how a victorious Islam would remove the illnesses that he diagnoses in our world. Rather, he does not shy away from the specific; it simply does not occur to him that the model of the golden age might not provide the required panaceas. Not a word, therefore, on the position envisaged for the minorities …
Tauseef Ahmad Parray’s essay from the current issue of the JMMA (“The Legal Methodology of ‘Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat’ and its Critics: An Analytical Study”) is a fitting complement to Siddiqui’s endorsement of the global Islamic supremacist agenda. Parry endorses the so-called “innovative” application of Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat, “Jurisprudence of Muslim Minorities,” designed to foster the more expansive application of Sharia within Muslim minority communities residing in predominantly non-Muslim societies. But again, as in the case of Siddiqui’s JMMA essay, Parry’s championing of the jihadist ideologues who have developed this doctrine exposes the crudely camouflaged duplicity of his concluding message “ … of peaceful coexistence of Muslims and non-Muslims within non-Muslim societies."
At one level, Parry’s essay consists of boilerplate discussions broken up under the following self-explanatory subheadings: “The Purposes”; “The Legal Methodology of fiqh al-aqalliyyat” (including Ijtihad [the process of making a legal decision by independent interpretation of the primary legal sources, i.e., the Koran and the Sunna or “traditions” of the Muslim prophet Muhammad and the earliest Muslim communities]; “Maslaha” [Public Interest]; “Darura” [Necessity]), “Making fiqh Easy, following Custom and Changing Rulings, “The Critics of fiqh al-aqalliyyat”; and “Conclusions”. Emphasis is placed, for example, in the section entitled “The Critics of fiqh al-aqalliyyat,” on certain theoretical Islamic Law objections to this so-called jurisprudence of Muslim minorities.
These are, in the end, tangential discourses which conveniently ignore how the stated purpose of this doctrine, “enforcement of shari’ah on the Muslim communities,” comprises a profound challenge to the host non-Muslim countries whose systems of governance are antithetical to the dictates -- and transcendent goals -- of Islamic Law. Thus Parry omits entirely any discussion of the aggressive expansion of Sharia-promoting Islamic organizations in Britain, Germany, andNorth America, including efforts to sanction practices (i.e., female genital mutilation; polygamy; child marriage; and even attempts to enforce Islamic blasphemy law) that violate the established laws of these non-Muslim societies. But the disingenuousness of Parry’s approach is most apparent when one holds him to his own standard. He states at the beginning of his essay:
The theory of fiqh al-aqalliyyat is most easily clarified by shedding light on its founders (emphasis added).
The two founders of this legal doctrine, as Parry notes, are Yusuf al-Qaradawi of Qatar and Taha Jabir al-Alwani of Virginia. Qaradawi is described as:
… a remarkable personality in the Islamic world who has written more than 100 books on a variety of Islamic subjects and is considered a leading figure of the international Muslim Brotherhood movement.
That Muslims emulate their prophet Muhammad as a model for violent, expansionist jihad, which includes the sanctioning of so-called jihad “martyrdom operations”
The re-creation of a formal transnational United Islamic State (Islamic Caliphate)
The jihad conquests of Europe, and the Americas
Universal application of the Sharia, including Islamic blasphemy law, and the hadd punishments (for example, notably, executing so-called “apostates” from Islam)
Homicide “martyrdom” bombings of all Israeli Jews, including non-combatants, and subsequently, invoking Hitler and expanding the circle of hatred, a call for the frank jihad genocide of all Jews (“This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.”) Qaradawi also expressed a personal longing to die in a homicidal “martyrdom” operation targeting Jews: “I’d like to say that the only thing I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of Jihad and resistance, even if in a wheelchair. I will shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Allah’s mercy and blessings upon you.”)
Contextualizing his superficial message of “brotherhood” towards Egypt’s Coptic Christians in the 2/18/11 Tahrir Square speech, he issued a fatwa prohibiting Southern Sudanese Muslims from joining the Christian Southern Sudanese majority in voting to peacefully secede from the brutally discriminatory Sharia state government of the Arab Muslim Khartoum regime
[He] serves as president of the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences in Ashburn, Virginia (now part of the Cordoba University), and is the founder and former president of the Fiqh Council of North America. In 2001 he published in Arabic the booklet Nazarat Ta’asisiyya fi Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat (“Foundational Views in Fiqh al-Aqalliyya”) on Islamonline. net in which he describes the basic outlines of his theory.
Parry’s brief and heavily sanitized mini-biography of al-Alwani omits the following:
Writing as president of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a think tank created by the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s, Alwani opined, regarding a (then) new English translation of the classic Shafiite manual of Islamic jurisprudence Reliance of the Traveller, “from a purely academic point of view, this translation is superior to anything produced by orientalists in the way of translations of major Islamic works.” Here is an apt illustration by Andrew McCarthy of the odious contents of this Islamic Law manual that Alwani extolled:
-- Apostasy from Islam is “the ugliest form of unbelief” for which the penalty is death (“When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed”)
-- Apostasy occurs not only when a Muslim renounces Islam but also, among other things, when a Muslim appears to worship an idol, when he is heard “to speak words that imply unbelief,” when he makes statements that appear to deny or revile Allah or the prophet Mohammed, when he is heard “to deny the obligatory character of something which by consensus of Muslims is part of Islam,” and when he is heard “to be sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law”
-- “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims”
-- Non-Muslims are permitted to live in an Islamic state only if they follow the rules of Islam, pay the non-Muslim poll tax, and comply with various adhesive conditions designed to remind them that they have been subdued (such as wearing distinctive clothing, keeping to one side of the street, not being greeted with “Peace be with you” (“as-Salamu alaykum”), not being permitted to build as high as or higher than Muslims, and being forbidden to build new churches, recite prayers aloud, “or make public displays of their funerals or feastdays”
-- Offenses committed against Muslims (including murder) are more serious than offenses committed against non-Muslims
-- The penalty for spying against Muslims is death
-- The penalty for fornication is to be stoned to death, unless one is without the “capacity to remain chaste,” in which case the penalty is “being scourged one hundred stripes and banished to a distance of at least 81 km./50mi. for one year”
-- The penalty for homosexual activity (“sodomy and lesbianism”) is death
-- A Muslim woman may only marry a Muslim man; a Muslim man may marry up to four women, who may be Muslim, Christian, or Jewish (but no apostates from Islam)
-- A woman is required to be obedient to her husband and is prohibited from leaving the marital home without permission; if permitted to go out, she must conceal her figure or alter it “to a form unlikely to draw looks from men or attract them”
-- A non-Muslim may not be awarded custody of a Muslim child
-- The penalty for theft is amputation of the right hand
-- The penalty for drinking alcohol is “to be scourged forty stripes”
-- The penalty for accepting interest (“usurious gain”) is death (i.e., to be considered in a state of war against Allah)
-- The testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man
-- If a case involves an allegation of fornication (including rape), “then it requires four male witnesses”
-- The establishment of a caliphate is obligatory, and the caliph must be Muslim and male
The Washington Field Office of the FBI obtained a copy of a fatwa (declaration) signed by Al-Alwani at some point between December 1988 and November 1989, proclaiming:
… the truth by the powers invested in us by Allah, that Jihad is the only way to liberate Palestine; that no person or authority may settle the Jews on the land of Palestine or cede to them any part thereof, or recognize any right therein for them.
Subsequently Al-Alwani was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case against Sami Al-Arian who pled guilty to conspiracy to aid the terrorist organization, Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
al-Alwani published an essay online, discovered (and translated from Arabic to English) in July 2011, entitled “The Great Haughtiness”, which promoted conspiratorial Islamic Jew-hatred replete with Koranic references, conjoined to modern “Zionist conspiracies”
Lastly, another sympathetic, naïve assessment of al-Alwani’s minority jurisprudence includes a telling anecdote. The author translated a report about al-Alwani from the November 23, 2001 Asharq Alawsat. At the conclusion of a meeting in Chicago with a group of Spanish-speaking converts to Islam, al-Alwani offered a triumphal -- and wishful -- speculation that reveals his underlying jihadist ethos. He asserted that if “al-Andalus” -- the Christian lands of the Iberian peninsula vanquished by waves of jihad beginning in the 8th Century, and ruled,quite brutally, under the Sharia through the 15th Century -- had not been reconquered in stages by the indigenous Christians, Muslims might have launched the voyages of discovery, and the New World would have belonged to Islam:
Had our forefathers there [in al-Andalus] been able to see truth and follow it, and recognize what is false as false and stay away from it, and understand the task of the Muslim in the world for its true merits, the Islamic presence in al-Andalus would remain until today. Who could know? Perhaps some of them would have been the ones who discovered America, not someone else, and America could have possibly been today among the lands of the Muslims [diyar al-muslimin, or dwellings of the Muslims]. But the divisiveness and the contention, the love of this earth and the abhorrence of death [and the afterlife], the distraction from the mission and the fact that we did not remember the mission brought our Islamic presence in al-Andalus to an end in 1492, the very year America was discovered by the messengers of the Christian Spaniards. One can deduce, therefore, that if our predecessors had bared their souls, had realized their essence and had fulfilled their duties as Muslims, what had happened in Spain would not have happened. Would America look as it does today? Would Europe look like it does today? Absolutely not.
Two years ago, on July 29, 2010, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich delivered a singularly astute and courageous address. Reactions to that speechacrossthepoliticalspectrum, whether immediate or delayed, illustrated the contemporary equivalent of what the greatest historian of Soviet Communist totalitarianism, Robert Conquest, appositely characterized as “mindslaughter” -- a brilliantly evocative term for delusive Western apologetics regarding the ideology of Communism and the tangible horrors its Communist votaries inflicted.
Reminiscent of Conquest’s earlier assessment of Leftist apologists for Communism -- and anticipating reactions to his own speech, albeit from “See No Sharia” cultural relativists notconfined to theLeft -- Gingrich also wondered:
How we don’t have some kind of movement in this country on the left that understands that Sharia is a direct mortal threat to virtually every value that the left has is really one of the most interesting historical questions and will someday lead to many dissertations being written.
How appropriate then that two years after his July 29, 2010 speech, late on the evening of July 29, 2012 Politico posted Newt Gingrich’s passionate and articulate defense of Michelle Bachman and the four other intrepid House representatives – Gohmert, Franks, Westmoreland, and Rooney -- demanding serious, formal congressional investigation of the overall extent of Muslim Brotherhood influence operations.
After enumerating salient examples that validate the concerns of Representatives Bachmann et al -- “the strange case” of Pentagon adviser and jihadist Louay Safi, the “civilizational jihad” motivations, and vast network of Muslim Brotherhood connections to mainstream U.S. Muslim organizations unearthed in the Holy Land Foundation trial, as well as the foundational charters of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) chapter member Hamas and the MB itself -- Gingrich concludes:
The Muslim Brotherhood is a serious worldwide organization dedicated to a future most Americans would find appalling. Seeking to understand its reach and its impact on the U.S. government is a legitimate, indeed essential, part of our national security process.
The National Security Five were doing their duty in asking difficult questions designed to make America safer. Their critics represent the kind of willful blindness that increasingly puts America at risk. If we do not want a book to describe “Why Washington Slept,” we will have to encourage elected officials to follow the advice of a later Kennedy book and exhibit “Profiles in Courage.”
Bachmann, Franks, Gohmert, Rooney and Westmoreland are showing a lot more courage than the defenders of timidity, complicity and passivity.
One can now add to this list of bona fide justifications for such an inquiry what has been documented in this examination: the Abedin family’s 33-year commitment to the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs and its public advocacy of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ugly and threatening Weltanschaaung.