Saudi Arabia calls for religious tolerance 3

Saudi Arabia? Yes. Religious tolerance? Yes.

But the Saudis don’t really mean it, do they?  Of course not, but a little thing like that won’t stop them.

The Independent reports:

Saudi Arabia has hosted an international conference on human rights, attended by the president of the UN Human Rights Council, and resolved to combat intolerance and violence based on religious belief.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) – which has its headquarters in Jeddah – convened the fifth annual meeting of the Istanbul Process as the kingdom’s Supreme Court prepared to rule on the case of blogger Raif Badawi, sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for “insulting Islam through religious channels”. It later upheld the sentence.

The UN HRC recently faced criticism over Saudi plans to head up the council from 2016, in what critics said would be the “final nail in the coffin” for the international body.

And the Geneva-based human rights campaign group UN Watch accused HRC president Joachim Rücker of giving “false international legitimacy” to the two-day conference on religious freedoms held in Jeddah on 3 and 4 June.

According to a report in the Saudi Gazette, the participants in the conference “began with an agreement to put [HRC] resolution 16/18 into effect” – a pledge by all member states to combat “intolerance and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons based on religion or belief”.

“In addition, participants agreed on the importance on providing human rights education and encouraging religious and cultural diversity in communities.”

Invited to make the opening statement at the conference, Mr Rücker told the summit: “Religious intolerance and violence committed in the name of religion rank among the most significant human rights challenges of our times.”

But Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, said: “It’s bad enough that the oppressive and fundamentalist Saudi monarchy was elected to sit on the UN Human Rights Council.

“But for top UN human rights officials to now visit Jeddah and smile while human rights activist Raif Badawi languishes in prison for the crime of religious dissent, still under threat of further flogging, is to pour salt in the wounds. It’s astonishing.”

Astonishing? Astonishing hypocrisy, yes. But what can be expected of the Saudis’ contemptible regime? It’s very existence is a mockery not only of tolerance, but also of  truth, decency, honesty, humanity.

It should inspire not astonishment but outrage and fury – if anyone in the flabby West is still capable of righteous anger.

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Saudi Arabia is probably the most monocultural and intolerant country in the world. (Comparable only to Communist regimes.)

From Wikipedia:

Islam is the state religion of Saudi Arabia and its law requires that all citizens be Muslims. Neither Saudi citizens nor guest workers have the right of freedom of religion.The official and dominant form of Islam in the kingdom – Wahhabism – arose in the central region of Najd in the eighteenth century. Proponents call the movement “Salafism”, and believe that its teachings purify the practice of Islam of innovations or practices that deviate from the seventh-century teachings of Muhammad and his companions.

Saudi Arabia has “religious police” (known as Haia or Mutaween), who patrol the streets enforcing dress codes, strict separation of men and women, attendance at prayer (salat) five times each day, the ban on alcohol, and other aspects of Sharia (Islamic law). (In the privacy of the home behavior can be far looser, and reports indicate that the ruling Saudi Royal family applies a different moral code to itself, indulging in parties, drugs and sex.) [Including, to our certain knowledge, homosexual sex (often with under-15-year-old boys), which is punishable by death under sharia – TAC.]

Daily life is dominated by Islamic observance. Businesses are closed three or four times a day for 30 to 45 minutes during business hours while employees and customers are sent off to pray. The weekend is Friday-Saturday, not Saturday-Sunday, because Friday is the holiest day for Muslims. As of 2004 approximately half of the broadcast airtime of Saudi state television was devoted to religious issues. 90% of books published in the kingdom were on religious subjects, and most of the doctorates awarded by its universities were in Islamic studies. In the state school system, about half of the material taught is religious. In contrast, assigned readings over twelve years of primary and secondary schooling devoted to covering the history, literature, and cultures of the non-Muslim world comes to a total of about 40 pages.

Public support for the traditional political/religious structure of the kingdom is so strong that one researcher interviewing Saudis found virtually no support for reforms to secularize the state.

Because of religious restrictions, Saudi culture lacks any diversity of religious expression, buildings, annual festivals and public events. Celebration of other (non-Wahhabi) Islamic holidays, such as the Muhammad’s birthday and the Day of Ashura, (an important holiday for the 10-25% of the population that is Shīʿa Muslim), are tolerated only when celebrated locally and on a small scale. Shia also face systematic discrimination in employment, education, the justice system. Non-Muslim festivals like Christmas and Easter are not tolerated at all, although there are nearly a million Christians as well as Hindus and Buddhists among the foreign workers. No churches, temples or other non-Muslim houses of worship are permitted in the country. Proselytizing by non-Muslims and conversion by Muslims to another religion is illegal and punishable by death. And as of 2014 the distribution of “publications that have prejudice to any other religious belief other than Islam” (such as Bibles), was reportedly punishable by death. 

Atheists are legally designated as terrorists. 

Saudis or foreign residents who “call into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based” may be subject to as much as 20 years in prison. And at least one religious minority, the Ahmadiyya Muslims, had all its adherents deported, and they are legally banned from entering the country.

Next the UN will consider Saudi Arabia the ideal venue for an international conference on “diversity”. And after that, why not one on women’s rights?

Posted under Arab States, Commentary, Diplomacy, Islam, jihad, middle east, Muslims, Saudi Arabia, United Nations by Jillian Becker on Saturday, June 13, 2015

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The Islamic pursuit of domination and death 0

Obama has opened the gates of the West to the Islamic army of conquest.

By deliberately weakening the United States as the protector of the West, and encouraging Islamic dreams of world conquest with his insistent denial that there is no such thing as the ongoing jihad, he has provided an opportunity that Islam is now openly seizing.     

Until now, the jihad has been conducted against the West in two ways: violently by al-Qaida and its affiliates and imitators, and stealthily by the Muslim Brotherhood centered in Egypt and financed by Saudi Arabia.

Stealth jihad has been carried on through the establishment of mosques, schools, university departments, Muslim “cultural” and professional associations, and organizations that ingratiate themselves with Western governments by claiming representative status. All this will go on, but the Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen), which has deeply penetrated the West, has recently – this last September –  declared its intention of changing its tactics and turning to violence. (The timing of the change may have something to do with the approaching death of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, the homeland of the Brotherhood, where it was founded in 1928. Mubarak has consistently opposed and suppressed the organization. His successor might not be as strong, or necessarily be as antagonistic towards it.)

The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood made his dramatic declaration in Arabic. This means it was not made as a piece of empty rhetoric to scare the West. It was made in all seriousness to rouse Muslims to go to war.

The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood has endorsed [in Arabic] anti-American Jihad and pretty much every element in the al-Qaida ideology book. Since the Brotherhood is the main opposition force in Egypt and Jordan as well as the most powerful group, both politically and religiously, in the Muslim communities of Europe and North America this is pretty serious stuff.

Those are the words of Barry Rubin, who first broke the news of this important development, using the MEMRI translation of the speech – from which we quote:

The change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.

Rubin writes:

Notice that jihad here is not interpreted as so often happens by liars, apologists, and the merely ignorant in the West as spiritual striving. The clear meaning is one of armed struggle.

He considers the speech to be a ”game-changer”:

This is one of those obscure Middle East events of the utmost significance that is ignored by the Western mass media, especially because they happen in Arabic, not English; by Western governments, because they don’t fit their policies; and by experts, because they don’t mesh with their preconceptions.

This explicit formulation of a revolutionary program makes it a game-changer. It should be read by every Western decisionmaker and have a direct effect on policy because this development may affect people’s lives in every Western country.  …

Rubin asks, does its endorsement of al-Qaida style anti-American jihad “mean the Egyptian, Jordanian, and all the camouflaged Muslim Brotherhood fronts in Europe and North America are going to launch terrorism as one of their affiliates, Hamas, has long done?” His answer is no.

But it does mean that something awaited for decades has happened: the Muslim Brotherhood is ready to move from the era of propaganda and base-building to one of revolutionary action. At least, its hundreds of thousands of followers are being given that signal. Some of them will engage in terrorist violence as individuals or forming splinter groups; others will redouble their efforts to seize control of their countries and turn them into safe areas for terrorists and instruments for war on the West.

In other words, we may expect a proliferation of Talibans in Islamic countries.

And we believe that within America and Europe, it will mean more terrorism. It is not necessary for every Muslim or “all the camouflaged fronts” to obey the Brotherhood’s call in order for there to be decades of terrorist attacks, which is to say decades of continual killing and maiming, random targeting, and paralyzing intimidation, because more than enough enthusiasts will answer the call. As Rubin says:

Badi’s claims do not mean all Muslims must agree, much less actively take up arms. They can have a different interpretation, simply disregard the arguments, and be too intimidated or materialistic or opportunistic to agree or to act. Yet hundreds of thousands will do so and millions will cheer them on. …

[They] sense weakness on the part of the West, especially the U.S. leaders

In an article at Ynetnews, Moshe Dann explains how the Muslim Brotherhood has successfully infiltrated the West and how powerful its influence has become:

Through a network of educational, social, professional and cultural organizations – which, in the West, do not reveal their Muslim Brotherhood connection – they exert political influence and promote a mix of religious and political ideologies associated with the extremist Wahhabi form of Islam. Supported by Saudi Arabia, Gulf States, and wealthy Muslims, they espouse a global strategy for Islamic hegemony.

He mentions some of the most powerful Muslim Brotherhood front organizations in America, including –

The Muslim Student Association (MSA,) the largest Muslim campus organization, with more than 250 chapters, was initiated by the Muslim Brotherhood. …

Brotherhood organizations, like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which grew out of the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), a front group fundraising for Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorist organizations, are not outgrowths of popular, or communal expressions … but are self-appointed representatives …

With over 30 branches in North America, CAIR presents itself as the “largest Muslim civil rights organization …”  A few years ago, CAIR was included in a list of unindicted co-conspirators alleged by prosecutors to have participated in a conspiracy to illegally funnel money to Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation. [Why have they not been indicted? – JB] …

At least five of its employees and board members have been arrested, convicted, deported, or otherwise linked to terrorism-related charges and activities … CAIR has a key role in the “Wahhabi lobby” …

The Muslim American Society (MAS) … actively recruits voters, which gives it political clout. Lacking any other leadership available, MAS presents itself as the representative of the Muslim community, although many Muslims disagree and are most are not affiliated. …

With all of this information, one would think that US government officials would be concerned about the activities of Brotherhood-supported organizations. Instead, they are feted by the White House, and supported by the State Department, CIA, and even the FBI

Will the White House, the State department, the CIA, the FBI, and the American “progressive” left as a whole ignore the Brotherhood’s calling up of its hordes to join the terrorist war against the non-Muslim world?

Almost certainly. But they’ll not be able to ignore what ensues. Unless Muhammad Badi’s order is disobeyed, which is unlikely to happen, Americans must brace themselves for an intensified terrorist war about to be waged against them in their own land.

And they must replace Obama with a president who will defend America.

Hot in the land of Hum 3

What high-minded Western intellectuals like to call “Islamism”  and  we call the waging of violent jihad in accordance with the commandments of the Prophet Muhammad,  is growing in the Balkans.

A report at Deutsche Welle gives some detail, naming Bosnia as a region where Saudi Wahhabism is increasing “tension” between Muslims and Serbs.

Some Bosnian Wahhabis, estimated to number 3,000, are former foreign fighters who married Bosnian women and stayed in the country after the Bosnian war that ended in 1995.

The 1990s wars in the Balkans, in which NATO became involved, are hardly ever mentioned now. Under Commander-in-Chief Bill Clinton, America fought its most unnecessary military engagement ever. Absolutely no American interests were involved. American lives were sacrificed to Muslim interests, including the protection of Muslim terrorists in Kosovo.

In early September, Bosnian police uncovered a cache of weapons and detained a third suspect as part of their inquiry into a June bomb attack that killed one policeman and injured six others. The attack on a police station in the town of Bugojno was one of the most serious security incidents in Bosnia. Police arrested the suspected mastermind and an aide shortly after the blast.

Prosecutors [are] investigating several people from Bugojno and Gornja Maoca on suspicion of Wahhabi ties, terrorism and human trafficking.

The report contains some picturesque details:

In February, Bosnian and EU police raided Gornja Maoca and arrested seven men described as Wahhabis because of their beards and shortened trousers. Police said they were detained for suspected illegal possession of arms and threatening the country’s “territorial integrity, constitutional order and provoking inter-ethnic and religious hatred.”

We will quote some more of the report, on both Bosnia and Macedonia, partly because we like the curious names:

Gornja Maoca was home to some 30 families who lived by strict Shariah laws … Nusret Imamovic [a name that encapsulates Slavic Islam – JB], the town’s self-proclaimed Wahhabi leader, endorsed suicide attacks on the group’s Bosnian language website, saying they should be launched only in “exceptional circumstances.” The site features statements by al-Qaeda and Islamic groups fighting in the Caucasus and celebrates suicide bombers as joyful Muslims.

Serbian officials say 12 alleged Wahhabis convicted last year to prison terms of up to 13 years for planning terrorist attacks, including on the US Embassy in Belgrade, had close ties to their brethren in Gornja Maoca. One of the convicted, Adnan Hot, said during the trial that Imamovic was one of only three Muslim leaders that he followed. Four other Wahhabis were sentenced in a separate case to jail terms of up to eight years on charges of planning to bomb a football stadium in the southern Serbian town of Novi Pazar.

In Macedonia, Suleyman Rexhepim Rexhepi, head of the official Islamic Religious Community (IVZ), recently called on the government and the international community to crack down on increasingly influential Wahabbi groups. Rexhepi is locked into a bitter battle with Ramadan Ramadani, the imam of the Isa Beg mosque in Skopje, that has caused a rift in the country’s Muslim community.

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The history of Bosnia’s Muslim population is interesting.

It is a chapter in the story of Gnosticism, which spread westward through southern Europe from the 8th to the 14th centuries.

The Bugomils (or Bogomils) were a Gnostic sect established in  the Land of Hum, now known as Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Their name Bugomil means “Beloved of God”.  (The Slavic word for “God” is “Bug” or “Bog”. “Mil” means “dear”.)

Their creed was a variation of the Paulicians’, a sect which became numerous in the 8th century Byzantine Empire, their beliefs deriving from Manicheism (see our post Mani and Manicheism, May 9, 2010) and possibly also from the church of Marcion (see our post How a rich ship owner affected Christianity, January 2, 2010). It spread from Bulgaria into the Balkans, where its followers were also known as Patarenes.

In brief, the Bugomils believed:

There are two gods, one good and one evil. The good god is knowable only by the Elect. The evil god is the God of the Jews, who created this material world. As it is his creation, everything in it is evil, every flower, every rock and grain of sand, every drop of water, every living thing of land and air and sea, excepting only the Elect.

Jesus was sent to earth by the remote good god to cure all ills. Although Mary “gave birth” to him, he was not her son but entered her through an ear and “emerged by the same door”. No reverence was due to Mary, who was only an incubator for the Christ, and was the mother of many other children fathered by Joseph.

They taught that this evil world must be renounced as much as possible in this life, so they forbade the drinking of wine and the eating of meat, and discouraged marriage. Reproduction was disapproved of but not totally eschewed – so the sect did not die out. To keep procreation down, sex was practiced in ways that would avoid it.

It is from the Bugomils’ normal practice of anal sex that the words “bugger” and “buggery” are derived.

Some teachers, such as one Theodosius, favored nudism. His followers celebrated “holy orgies” of sexual excess.

They had no icons, no feast days, no sacraments except baptism, which was performed by words only, water being an evil material substance. The ritual consisted of placing the Gospel of John on the head of the candidate, invoking the Holy Ghost, and reciting the Lord’s prayer. The candidate thus became one of the Elect.

They had no consecrated churches, only meeting-houses for communal praying. They repeated the Lord’s prayer 10 times over, 7 times daily and 5 times nightly.

They disobeyed their Orthodox overlords as a religious duty, passively resisting their authority.

After centuries of holding out against attempts at their conversion by both the Orthodox and Catholic churches, they greeted the Turkish invaders of the late 15th century as liberators, and many of them became Muslim. How many is not known; nor how many contemporary Bosnian Muslims are descended from the Bugomils; but some certainly are, and possibly most of them.

Jillian Becker    October 14, 2010

No joy please, we’re Muslims 4

Islam fears fun.

To humorless puritan Muslims, laughter and joy are decadent Western vices.

The Ayatollah Khomeini declared:

Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.”

Here’s a story about the Iranian mullahs trying to put a stop to joyful celebration – and not succeeding.

Chahārshanbe-Sūri (“Wednesday feast”) is an ancient Persian festival whose origins lie in the Achaemenid era of Persia’s civilisation (549-330 bce) and its successors, when Zoroastrian beliefs were strong. [See our post, Thus, more or less, spake Zarathustra, May 26, 2009.] By tradition it is celebrated on the last Wednesday night before nowrooz (Iran’s new year) in mid-March. It is a jubilant collective moment for Iranians in the country and among diaspora communities across the world. In Iran itself, people gather in streets and back-alleys to make bonfires and (in the case of the younger and more adventurous) jump over them; set off firecrackers; play music, dance and sing; and enjoy special foods and the joys of conviviality. In the life-affirming Chahārshanbe-Sūri, modern Iranians each year take the fire that was at the heart of the Zoroastrians’ sense of their world and their collective self-definition, and make it the centrepiece of their own modern ritual.

This year, the approach to the Chahārshanbe-Sūri – which fell on 16 March 2010 – was of a different character to any in the country’s history. Iran’s doctrinal regime politicised the ritual and made it an object of official fear. A campaign to discourage people from joining the celebrations began when the head of the national police warned parents to prevent their children from going out, and continued with plans by the state-run television to show popular movies to keep youngsters indoors. Then, the authorities deployed security forces (including basij militias armed with guns and batons) in the streets and around the strategic locations of Iran’s major cities. The campaign culminated in the issuing by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of an unprecedented fatwa that castigated the ritual as both “irrational” and in Islamic terms “illegitimate” (gheir shar‘i).

It didn’t work. As ever, millions of Iranians poured into their neighbourhoods to observe the national “calendar custom”. Many of them responded to the state’s politicisation of Chahārshanbe-Sūri by using the occasion to express their own defiance of the clerical regime, chanting slogans and songs of resistance. In Tehran, fifty people were arrested after clashing with the police and basij vigilantes. …

The suspicion of puritan Islamists towards many public expressions of human pleasure has been evident since the foundation of the regime in 1979. Any occasion of festivity and spontaneous life – informal gatherings at street-corners, concerts and sporting contests, student parties and even bustling shopping-malls – is regarded by Islamist zealots with profound disdain. In this context, Khamenei’s fatwa seeks to give a new doctrinal form to this larger paradigm of disparagement.

The zealots’ opposition even reaches into private and individual expressions of festivity. The many videos posted by Iranians of their Chahārshanbe-Sūri celebrations (and protests) onto the web includes a shocking attack by the police and basij on a late-night indoor private party in a Tehran neighbourhood on 16 March 2010. It shows the security agents dragging a screaming woman into custody – spreading terror among everyday citizens doing what people in normal countries do and take for granted across the world: having fun.

In its attitude to everyday enjoyment, the Iranian regime has …  much in common with fellow-Islamist states or movements such as Saudi Arabia and the Taliban in Afghanistan. There may be variations in what is regarded as “un-Islamic” (television, dance and even kite-flying in the latter case), but the mindset is the same.

The fear of enjoyment is a singular feature of these Islamist states and movements, whose doctrinal models are unable to accommodate expressive behaviours that are at the heart of human life: even including playfulness, laughter, and displays of fashion. These power-driven forces seek to reinforce their case by depicting such behaviours as part of a “western cultural invasion”

Posted under Iran, Islam, Muslims, Totalitarianism, tyranny by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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Forgetting 9/11 0

Bitterly, and justly, Ralph Peters writes in the New York Post:

We resolved that we, the People, would never forget. Then we forgot…

Instead of cracking down on Islamist extremism, we’ve excused it.

Instead of killing terrorists, we free them.

Instead of relentlessly hunting Islamist madmen, we seek to appease them.

Instead of acknowledging that radical Islam is the problem, we elected a president who blames America, whose idea of freedom is the right for women to suffer in silence behind a veil — and who counts among his mentors and friends those who damn our country or believe that our own government staged the tragedy of September 11, 2001.

Instead of insisting that freedom will not be infringed by terrorist threats, we censor works that might offend mass murderers. Radical Muslims around the world can indulge in viral lies about us, but we dare not even publish cartoons mocking them.

Instead of protecting law-abiding Americans, we reject profiling to avoid offending terrorists…

Instead of insisting that Islamist hatred and religious apartheid have no place in our country, we permit the Saudis to continue funding mosques and madrassahs where hating Jews and Christians is preached as essential to Islam.

Instead of confronting Saudi hate-mongers, our president bows down to the Saudi king.

Instead of recognizing the Saudi-sponsored Wahhabi cult as the core of the problem, our president blames Israel.

Instead of asking why Middle Eastern civilization has failed so abjectly, our president suggests that we’re the failures.

Instead of taking every effective measure to cull information from terrorists, the current administration threatens CIA agents with prosecution for keeping us safe.

Instead of proudly and promptly rebuilding on the site of the Twin Towers, we’ve committed ourselves to the hopeless, useless task of rebuilding Afghanistan…

Instead of taking a firm stand against Islamist fanaticism, we’ve made a cult of negotiations — as our enemies pursue nuclear weapons; sponsor terrorism; torture, imprison, rape and murder their own citizens — and laugh at us.

Instead of insisting that Islam must become a religion of responsibility, our leaders in both parties continue to bleat that “Islam’s a religion of peace”  …

Instead of requiring new immigrants to integrate into our society and conform to its public values, we encourage and subsidize anti-American, woman-hating, freedom-denying bigotry in the name of toleration.

Instead of pursuing our enemies to the ends of the earth, we help them sue us.

We’ve dishonored our dead and whitewashed our enemies. A distinctly unholy alliance between fanatical Islamists abroad and a politically correct “elite” in the US has reduced 9/11 to the status of a non-event, a day for politicians to preen about how little they’ve done.

We’ve forgotten the shock and the patriotic fury Americans felt on that bright September morning eight years ago. We’ve forgotten our identification with fellow citizens leaping from doomed skyscrapers. We’ve forgotten the courage of airline passengers who would not surrender to terror.

We’ve forgotten the men and women who burned to death or suffocated in the Pentagon. We’ve forgotten our promises, our vows, our commitments.

We’ve forgotten what we owe our dead and what we owe our children. We’ve even forgotten who attacked us.

We have betrayed the memory of our dead. In doing so, we betrayed ourselves and our country. Our troops continue to fight — when they’re allowed to do so — but our politicians have surrendered.

On this day when we should remember, we recall that 9/11 was a profoundly religious act.

Posted under Afghanistan, Arab States, Commentary, Defense, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Saudi Arabia, Terrorism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Friday, September 11, 2009

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