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Black and Native Seminoles Joined Forces Against the U.S. Army

Readers please follow Sapelo Square: An Online Resource on Black Muslims in the U.S. on Facebook. It is a great page that posts relevant topics, facts and events on Black Muslim history in the United States.

“Seminoles in Florida claim that some of their number are descended from African slaves who before emancipation managed to escape and mingle in their ranks, even converting some of the Seminoles to Islam. The Algonquian and Pima languages are said to contain words with Arabic roots. Cherokees claim that a number of Muslims joined their ranks and say that the chief of the Cherokees in 1866 was a Muslim named Ramadhan Ibn Wati.” (Smith, Islam in America, 68) Black and native Seminoles joined forces against the U.S. army during two wars in 1812 and 1835.

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Donald Trump Inauguration: Between “Rivers of Blood” And “American Carnage”

By Garibaldi

I am not teary-eyed at the departure of President Barack Hussein Obama (though it was damned nice to have a US supremo with that middle name) as many lament his exit. I am not going to say goodbye to “America’s first Muslim president” with cuddly feelings of warmth, like he was a part of the family. I do understand the angst but cannot partake in the nostalgia or sentimental analysis that doesn’t reflect soberly on his track record.

Today is a new day. Gangster-in-chief Trump’s proclamations and cabinet picks will translate into a war on minorities: Blacks, Latinos, women, Muslims, Jews and LGBTQ. The appointment of non-experts in positions such as: Secretary of State, Environment, Education, Housing, etc. means the greater decay of these institutions and the USA. He decried the,

“crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”

What this actually means is a throwback and reinforcement of policies that ravaged Black and Brown communities: the war on drugs, the prison industrial complex, harsh laws for petty offenses, draconian immigration laws, and the militarization of the police. To “bring back the borders” means to separate and divide families, for more immigrants and refugees to die of thirst and starvation in the deserts and wastelands of the Southwest.

The animosity and threat isn’t simply subtle or indirect. Based on Trump’s rhetoric and the views of those who surround him, there will be a holy “war on Islam”; fodder for ISIS/AlQaeda videos and recruitment. Trump and company may use rhetoric such as he did in today’s inauguration speech about taking on “radical Islamic terrorism,” and eradicating it “from the face of the earth” but in reality the distinctions between Islam and violent militants will not be hard and clear.

Seemingly positive statements about working with “moderates” and “reformers” will be coupled with the elision of Islam with “terrorism” or as in the Bush years “fascism,” and “evil.” He may even appoint Asra Nomani as Chief Islamic Reformist! On the other side he will empower and embolden Christian dominionists and Zionist allies who can’t wait for Jerusalem to be recognized by the US as Israel’s capital.

Muslim American institutions will be attacked. Ted Cruz’s bill to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist organization” is just a front to go after American organizations such as CAIR, ICNA, ISNA, MPAC etc. that the right attempts to label as “Muslim Brotherhood front organizations.” The worst excesses of the “War On Terror” are set to continue and expand, including torture, extraordinary renditions, black sites, assassinations, curbs on civil liberties and personal rights. Anti-Sharia law bills will be reintroduced as they have been in two states already. Hate crimes and violations of civil rights will be given less attention and no priority.

The parallels between Enoch Powell’s “rivers of blood” speech and Trump’s “American carnage” are striking despite the distance of 48 years. It has the same xenophobic stench and the same foreboding darkness. However, Powell never held a senior political post after the speech which was widely panned whereas Trump is slated to lead the US for the next four years.

Not all is lost. This is a time when those in the US and their friends and supporters abroad must come together in true solidarity. It is not Utopian or idealist to believe that we can make the world a better place. Instead of “bringing back the borders,” I hope and pray that we will break them.

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    • Awesome

      You’re welcome. To add further, the difference between absolute tyranny and absolute anarchy is only a matter of perspective, as it is akin to the difference between seeing a glass as half-full or half-empty, or of looking at 12:00 from the AM side or from the PM side.

    • Dr.S

      Muslims talking to people, getting to know them in person, actually helps. Not facts and logic but relating to them on the human level. That works. People who have never met a Muslim–or who know very few–are more likely to hold onto stereotypes than those who don’t. yes, human interaction matters most. See this WP story of Omaha man who hated Muslims until some refugees came to his neighborhood.

    • Montaigne

      You are such a good fellow and a good example. And what a good answer. An action that speaks to the heart is much more efficient than a fact that does not reach the intellect/reason.

    • Khizer

      That’s a great attitude to hold, sometimes people don’t want to listen to facts BUT showing them kindness and connecting to them emotionally and personally will eventually cause them to change their minds.

    • I’ve see this sort of study before. It’s depressing, but there if facts don’t work, then we need to ask what does.

      Muslims talking to people, getting to know them in person, actually helps. Not facts and logic but relating to them on the human level. That works. People who have never met a Muslim–or who know very few–are more likely to hold onto stereotypes than those who don’t.

      There was a popular story a lot of my friends were discussing a while back. There was a protest scheduled outside a masjid but for some reason, only ONE woman showed up. Determined, she held her anti-Muslim place card and stood there, alone. Some Muslims came out to talk to her, and offer her water, but the discussion was generally hostile. She said why she didn’t like Muslims, they countered with facts and logic, and she doubled down!

      Pretty hopeless, right? Then one woman got the impulse to walk up and hug the lone protester, and she did, at which point the ice melted. The woman was invited to come in and have some snacks and tea or whatever and talk, and she accepted.

      Simple human kindness succeeded where facts and logic failed. A generous heart is the very best weapon against hatred, and if you look at the life of the Prophet, we see his behavior reflects this.

      Remember the person who used to throw garbage on his head daily? How when he went by and the garbage never came hurling down, he went to check on the person? His kindness touched the garbage thrower, who it is said became friendly and eventually converted to Islam.

      Instead of arguing endlessly with people online, Muslims should reach out to people IN PERSON. Visit people. Invite people. Volunteer around the neighborhood to help people. Stay calm in the face of angry people and if they are not actually threatening (if someone is going to punch me, I’m going to run…not go in for a hug. LOL), then talk to them.

      This will make a difference. And it’s STILL not about tossing logic at them. You’d be better off to serve them tea and cookies and make small talk. That works.

      And that’s one of the reasons I spend more time talking to people and less time writing articles and arguing with them here. We only have so much time and energy, so we have to choose where to invest it.

      A few years ago, I read that around 60% of Americans had never met a single Muslim. So Muslims, get out there and meet people! Greet people help people, welcome people….be nice, set a great example. That’s what wins people over.

    • America is still pretty tolerant, actually. More so than media reports imply.

    • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

      Are you being serious? Unfortunately, he is a sell out who threw Muslim Americans under the bus in order to get influence with the Bush administration.

    • People form opinions and generally don’t like for you to confuse them with facts. That is what I’ve found. Many years ago, I think people were more inclined to accept and consider evidence but now they are less likely even to do that. It seems to be part of postmodernism, where this is no such thing as truth. Just a bunch of mini-narratives that get their “truth” from mere expression.

      It’s very difficult to counter an ocean of hate propaganda. I’m not saying that means we shouldn’t bother at all. But I think each person has to weigh whether or not that effort is worth the expenditure of time and effort.

      I really don’t go along with the left/right paradigm, where leftists and progressive are “good” and the right is “bad.” I think there are good people all along the spectrum, though not at the extremes. I think the left/right and Democrat/Republican ideas are part of the divide and rule strategy. We fight over crumbs and don’t notice the rich have already gobbled up the pie.

      I personally never vote, for a variety of reasons. I wouldn’t say I’m not expressing myself. It’s an expression of “no confidence.”

    • Montaigne

      You say people do not care. I am not so sure. I do believe that if people are fed with “lies” and “alternatives facts” over and over, and if it is the only thing available, lots of individuals will probably believe it because there is nothing else to feed their mind. (Not all people are born independant thinker.; lots of people just repeat what they read or have been told.) That is why you have to voice your side of the story – to show a different point of view.

      I am from Canada, and few days ago, I visited Pamela Geller’s website. What I read there terrified me (it is a euphemism). I saw a side of USA that is way worse than I could imagine. Seeing such irrational and delusional hatred is disturbing. The arguments used to support this hatred were almost “psychotic”.

      Leftist and moderate people have to express themselves much more on the public space to counteract the voice of hatred. Perhaps Trump has been elected not much by people who voted for him, but by people who did not vote at all and did not express themselves.

    • Montaigne

      Ilisha – I truly like your wisdom and the way you stay elegant and polite over such comments, replying with facts. This gentleman just have a very short memory: it is sad to say, but there is still a deep anti-Mexicans sentiment in USA. I am French Canadian, and 60 years ago (and more) in Québec, Jews were hated; in the 1970s it was the black people; nowadays this sentiment is directed towards Muslims. Unfortunately, racism takes turn and changes target from time to time.

    • Khizer

      Yep, in Europe a lot of the white ethnic European population consists of the older generations, and once they die out, the White European population will be decreased heavily. First world European countries are now having their populations filled in by immigrants (Arabs, Poles, even Asians, etc.). if these right-wingers are so obsessed over the preservation of their ethnicity, they should be making more kids of their own (that is if they are competent enough to raise kids). I’d call them professional whiners.

    • 786 I find that strangely comforting somehow…thanks.

    • 786 Be sure to remind them that their OWN failure to reproduce is causing their populations to decrease. Reproduction is the most basic instinct next to survival, and many argue that the reproductive instinct is in fact stronger than the self-preservation instinct. My own experiences as a young man seem to support the latter assertion… When people can’t even f*(k enough to keep their numbers stable, that’s decadence on a profound level. The hysterical bastards are doing it to themselves.

    • 786 I went for the first time yesterday. I wish I had never gone. I didn’t think it my opinion of the far right could get any lower; Breitbart’s comments section showed me the light. Or the darkness, as the case may be…

    • 786 ?por que vienes aqui para insultarnos? ?Es la vida tan aburrido? O, ?quizas que eres loco, y nadie te he ayudado? Nunca hemos te molestado…

    • 786 I am given to understand that all of the pages went away, not just those relating to certain issues.

    • 786 Hisham Kabbani (qs) is one of the greatest shaykhs ever to grace American soil with his luminous presence. I wish there were more like him, many more. I would, literally, give my blood for him.

    • 786 Amin! I wish there was a Hamza Yusuf in every mosque in America; I do not exaggerate when I say I believe this would lead to a new Islamic Golden Age right here at home. (I also wish there were more Ali Gomaas in the world) While I’m at it, I think Loonwatch would benefit immensely if they could make more llishas, and this post just further solidifies my opinion.

    • Not that I’ve noticed. It’s anyone who is Muslim, even nominally.

    • Awesome

      And so the persecution against non-criminals continues by another rogue American government, further undermining the rule of law and the constitution that defines it. Ultimately, the law becomes meaningless and only the rule of authority matters. However, when people aren’t free to do anything, they become absolutely free to do everything. Tyranny and anarchy are lot closer to each other than a lot of people may realize.

    • Does this contacting by the FBI depend on how religious faithful the Muslim is?

    • Khizer

      I read your post and after some consideration, I agree, and have decided to remove the video links. I apologise.

    • 1DrM

      Khizer’s links to youtube videos should be removed. All this guy does is waste his time looking for anti-Muslim video and posts them here. It’s by far the dumbest thing one could do giving filth a wider audience, unless he’s a troll.

      I gave him the benefit of the doubt once, but I’m beginning to wonder again….

Montana: One-man Protest With Rifle Outside Montana Mosque | Great Falls, Montana

(h/t: Frank S.)

By Jennifer Cruz,

A one-man protest Monday outside of a mosque in Bozeman, Montana, led to a brief lockdown at a nearby school until police determined the protester wasn’t a threat.

The protester, who was not shy about showing his face but did not want to he identified, showed up at the Islamic Center of Bozeman that morning carrying an American flag with a rifle slung over his shoulder.

“I’m responding to the message of hate that’s being shown here,” he told reporters.

But the gun the protester was carrying prompted a response from the police department. Authorities said the man was compliant and, although he wasn’t breaking any laws by doing so, agreed to put his rifle away.

He continued the protest while carrying an American flag and by the afternoon, a counter-protester, Andy Boyd, could also be found outside of the place of worship. Boyd said he was there to show support for the country’s religious freedom, a right which he said the nation was founded upon.

Then, a little later, a woman who said she was a Muslim, walked out to the snow-covered sidewalk and offered the protester a cup of coffee. The woman said the protester had every right to do what he was doing and there was no reason for them to fear one another. But the woman said she was glad to see the man put the rifle away, citing the close proximity to the school, which she said made people nervous.

The woman said there has been Muslims in the Bozeman area since the 70’s and there has never before been a problem.

“Most of us just want a place to pray in peace,” she said.

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    • Toto

      The holy and pure Prophet Muhammad-e-Mustafa (SAW) is the most courageous, brave, kind, and glorious man ever. Whatever the holy and pure Prophet (SAW) does is good, kind, beautiful and glorious, however, those who do not know should not speculate.

    • 786 Based on His (sawa) behavior in similar situations, giving coffee to the protester is quite probably what the Prophet (sawa) would have done. If you think you’re better, go right ahead and criticize that move. I have no intention of doing so.

    • Toller

      Good article

    • JD

      AUSTIN — A Central Texas lawmaker has sent letters to mosques across Texas asking Islamic leaders to answer questions about their support for Sharia law. In anticipation of Texas Muslim Capitol Day on Jan. 31, Rep. Kyle Biedermann, a Republican from Fredricksburg, and two American Islamic organizations sent a poll that asks mosque leaders to indicate their support for three documents. One is a “Declaration of Muslim Reform Movement” that repudiates “institutionalized Sharia” and declares support for secular governance, democracy and liberty. The second document is a “Muslim Pledge for Religious Freedom and Safety from Harm for Former Muslims,” which renounces persecution of so-called apostates

    • Joey Sanders

      The definition of white privilege:

      White privilege is a term for societal privileges that benefit people identified as white in Western countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances.

      Everyone knows that if a Muslim protester showed up to a synagogue or church armed and waving an American flag, he or she may not survive the police encounter.

      Also, don’t offer the douchebag a cup of coffee. Act like Americans. Show up with your guns and counter protest the guy. We all have the same rights.

      This loser would never have the guts to do this in a place that does not have the overwhelmingly white population of Bozeman. It’s over 95%. Go do this in a place with a large and vibrant Muslim community. There will be enough of us not to offer you some coffee.

      Top ten reasons not to move to Bozeman:

The “War On Terror” In The Coming Presidency Of Hillary Clinton


By Garibaldi

A flashback to a scene from the early years of America’s “War on Terror” and how the US put the Muslim American community under a national microscope, pressuring it to police it’s own communities. Back then some Muslim institutions reacted to the pressure by creating campaigns to prevent radicalization and terrorism. Today the US government is doing the same through programs such as Countering Violent Extremism (CVE).

The main talking point of a 2004 news conference by US Attorney General John Ashcroft was to tell the American public the not-so-earth-shattering news that “Alqaeda intends to attack the United States in the coming months.” Ashcroft shared photographs of seven people being sought in connection with terrorism investigations. CNN described another portion of Ashcroft’s address which focused on possible threats in these strange terms,

He also warned that terrorists may not have a typical look and that ‘the face of al Qaeda may be changing.’ Our intelligence confirms al Qaeda is seeking recruits who can portray themselves as Europeans,’ he said.” (emphasis mine)

The word “typical” in the CNN report is jarring, since it implies “terrorists” in general have a particular, predominant appearance, i.e. brown men with Middle East/Arab or Indo-Pakistani  features. This hearkens to the well-worn stereotypes discussed in works such as John Woods article “Imagining and Stereotyping Islam” and Edward Said’s book, “Covering Islam” among others.

America is being told, be on guard for anyone, it’s no longer safe to only be suspicious of the stereotypical brown looking terrorist, even your convert neighbor in suburbia could stealthily kill you. This of course means that converts to Islam are also under suspicion. This “diversified” representation of terrorists found its way onto TV dramas such as Sleeper Cell and more recently Homeland.

An important aspect to highlight from the Ashcroft news conference is that the seven who were described as “Wanted Alqaeda suspects at-large” were named by Khaled Shaikh Mohammed. Khaled Shaikh Mohammed, one of the professed planners behind 9/11 was extensively “waterboarded” (a torture technique) over 183 times in March 2003 (Terry, p.605). If the names of the seven were extracted under the duress of torture it adds an additional issue of the government using unreliable and tainted information to instill fear in the populace.

Tom Ridge, who was director of Homeland Security at the time stated that the “color-coded terror alert level” would not be raised. Later that year, for the only time, the terror alert level was raised, from yellow (elevated), to orange (high risk of terror attacks). The move was controversial as it was an election year and Democrats accused Republicans of raising the threat level for political reasons.

At the time, Tom Ridge towed the administration line and stated that the decision to raise the alert level had nothing to do with politics. However, in 2009 he revealed that he raised the alert level due to political pressure.

At the news conference the FBI director, Robert Mueller added that:

“We need the public, both in the United States and — I’ll emphasize — overseas to be on the lookout for these seven individuals. We want to know whether you’ve seen them in your communities, or that someone might be hiding them. If you have any idea where they might be, we need you to come forward.” (emphasis added) (CNN)

It was in this context and in response to these specific calls by the heads of government law enforcement agencies that MPAC decided to hold its own press conference announcing a national campaign to end terrorism.

MPAC was responding to a situation in which Muslim Americans were under intense scrutiny to prove they were loyal to the United States. Islamophobic narratives that are still common and widespread found ample breathing room in 2004. Maleiha Malek, quoting Field writes, “there has been an increased ‘tendency to criticize the inactivity of the Muslim population as a whole, and not just its leaders,’ arising from a belief that the ‘Muslim community had not done enough to prevent support in its midst.’” (Malik, Maleiha. Anti-Muslim Prejudice: Past and Present. London: Routledge, 2010. Print. p.146)

our-motto-is-when-they-go-low-we-go-high-5542974Fast-forwarding to today, when you analyze the track record of the Obama administration you see that he has continued and escalated the “War on Terror,” even if the language used to describe it has softened. Is it any wonder then that Homeland, a popular TV series, which plays on the simplified complex representation of Muslims, and the bifurcation of Muslims into the categories of either “good and bad” was at one time Obama’s favorite TV show?

The prevalence of Islamophobia, so fully on display during this presidential campaign season, is not simply a right-wing phenomenon. Obama administration-led initiatives, such as Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) are meant to co-opt Muslim communities and leaders into a program designed to sell war efforts while proclaiming to help Muslim Americans “fight radicalization.”

Arun Kundnani has shown that CVE is an outgrowth of the UK’s failed neo-con PREVENT program. It also has the contradictory effect of dangerously violating the ‘separation of religion and state,’ since the government is putting itself in the position of adjudicating what is “good, moderate Islam,” (Muslims uncritical or supportive of government policy) and “bad, radical Islam” (Muslims critical of government policies). (Spooked! How Not To Prevent Violent Extremism)

Relief from viewing the Muslim community and Islam through a politicized discourse revolving around ‘securitization’ will not be found in a Hillary Clinton presidency. Barack Obama’s presidency is going to be considered a honeymoon for Muslim Americans when hawkish Hillary takes over.

As indicated by troubling statements/positions by Bill Clinton and Hillary herself, Muslim Americans are accepted into the fabric of society on the condition that they offer their bodies and lives on the “frontlines” of the greater project to sustain American imperialism abroad and social control at home by policing their own communities.

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    • Khizer

      Yeah, I think he’ll follow his masters, he even backed off from building ‘THE WALL’ so I guess we can cut out hitleresque policies, he will just be another puppet, same old, same old.

    • Khizer

      Hope that he won’t make any discriminatory or moronic decisions, he is the president now, wishing he does something stupid is not productive. He is the pilot of the plane (America) now, wishing he crashes the plane is terrible, all Americans can do now is to be supportive of Trump (for now) until he makes a moronic decision that will cause the plane to plummet, then people should protest and greatly criticise him.

      Again I can’t properly describe it, the guy in the video from 1:42 onwards describes it better.

    • Khizer

      Though I was referring to his (Ethan, guy in the video) statement regarding how ALL Americans should hope/wish that Trump does a good job (emphasis on ‘hope’) instead of running towards Canada (which is like ‘jumping ship’), as Americans they should realise that he was democraticly elected, fair and square, and hence protesting his election is basically protesting against democracy itself (something the U.S prides itself in).

      I wanted to know your thoughts on the video from 1:42 to 8:12, if you can ignore the foul language, as there are some good points made. Since your American I wanted to know your thoughts on this guy’s statements, since i am not American, I guess I don’t get the big picture and the divisiveness of this American election amongst Americans.

    • Khizer

      Okay, though I do wish you can reply about the videos and BLM itself, when you have the time though. I would really like to know what is up with the fierce dislike of BLM (atleast online).

    • Mehdi

      We’re in this together, hang on, fight on and don’t lose the faith. But we all feel dizzy, our hearts are with you guys and all the minorities in the US. Never thought this would all have been possible (and despite never liking Hillary Clinton at all in the first place). All the best.

    • Awesome

      Before election night, I was saddened by the fact that the country that prides itself so much for its democracy could only muster up these two clowns. On one side you have a sadistic loser like Trump. On the other side you had a very corrupt Clinton, who many years ago, could not even beat an unknown black man with a Muslim sounding name.

      The bigoted, egotistical celebrity businessman vs. the war-mongering Wall Street mafia queen – there is no positive outcome to that, and the sad fact is that those who seek power tend to be the very people who should never have it.

    • Awesome

      You see how well that worked out.

      The result doesn’t surprise me. Trump won only because his opponent was Clinton, who a lot of people disliked more than they supported him. Had his opponent been someone like Bernie Sanders, who had much stronger support, then Trump probably would have lost.

    • George Carty

      How likely do you think it is that Republicans stole the election through their voter suppression efforts in non-white areas?

    • Joey Sanders

      I am hoping Loonwatch posts something about the election separately, so we can comment in that thread. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just title it, “Election: Reaction”.

    • Joey Sanders

      Horrifying? I’ll have a wait and see attitude on that. I am hoping you are wrong, but you, probably, won’t be.

      Before election night, I was saddened by the fact that the country that prides itself so much for its democracy could only muster up these two clowns. On one side you have a sadistic loser like Trump. On the other side you had a very corrupt Clinton, who many years ago, could not even beat an unknown black man with a Muslim sounding name.

      By the way, Hillary lost this election more than Trump won it. Trump garnered less votes than Romney’s campaign four years ago. Many people just refused to come out for Hillary. Who? It was Blacks, Latinos and millenniums. Many stayed at home and refused to support her and Hillary never sought them out.

      Hillary really does not have credibility when it comes to her saying she is for woman. She is with a man who has treated woman like sex objects too. That is why Trump’s “locker room” comments did not hurt him.

    • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

      I would have voted for Hillary if I was in a swing state for the same reason Chomsky noted.

    • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

      Thank you!

    • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

      As a people we need to organize. This country needs a radical change to the deeply corrupt and broken system.

    • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

      In my defense this was written before the FBI Comey coup against the Democrats. Trump’s foreign policy is to me pretty obvious.

    • Dizzyofmay

      Note: Though I am treated as logged in for the purpose of verbal posts, when I try to post a picture, it denies me as not logged in.

    • Dizzyofmay

      You see how well that worked out.

    • Dizzyofmay

      They are also proposing to dox people, and to troll and harass them into suicide. So much for “both sides do it”.

    • Joey Sanders

      Hillary didn’t make it. Now do an article about the War on Terror with Trump as president.

    • (((Reynardine)))


    • JD

      This has bad language but I follow this every year and works for me

    • Just_Stopping_By

      Fascinating article. I really like the perspective of looking forward rather than just trying to relitigate the past. There’s obviously nothing wrong with historical inquiry, but I think that thinking ahead and planning for the future are generally more useful to achieve actual progress.

      A few additional points: Why do we continually hear that Muslim Americans “must” police themselves without the acknowledgement that they do so (just as other groups do)? “Since 9/11, 54 Muslim-American terrorism suspects and perpetrators were brought to theattention of law enforcement by members of the Muslim-American community, out of 188 individuals where the initial tip was made public.”

      Also, co-authored by the same author: “Law enforcement agencies in the United States consider anti-government violent extremists, not radicalized Muslims, to be the most severe threat of political violence that they face.” (In fact, the ratio is roughly 2:1 in favor of anti-government extremism while environmental extremism is a close third to Al-Qaeda inspired extremism: 74%-39%-33%, with law enforcement obviously allowed to choose more than one category explaining why the figures add to more than 100%.

Newt The Brute Racist: Calls For Profiling And Deporting Shariah Following Muslims


Newt Gingrich made headlines last week when he said something thought to be semi-non-racist, acknowledging that Black Americans essentially live under an iniquitous system in which they face greater discrimination and violence. The Washington Post quoted Gingrich saying:

“It is more dangerous to be black in America. It’s both more dangerous because of the crime, which is the Chicago story … But it is more dangerous in that [you are] substantially more likely to be in a situation where police don’t respect you and where you could easily get killed. And I think sometimes, for whites, it’s difficult to appreciate how real that is. It’s an everyday danger.”

He couched this in a context that Blacks aren’t “respected” because of their “crime” but he still was forced to acknowledge the obvious double standards and violence.

However, anyone who thought Newt might have evolved from his general Georgia-inflected White Supremacist beliefs was quickly disabused of that when yesterday he went on Fox News and called for Muslims who believe in Shariah to be deported.:

“Western civilization is in a war. We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background and if they believe in sharia they should be deported,” Gingrich told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

“Sharia is incompatible with western civilization. Modern Muslims who have given up sharia — glad to have them as citizens. Perfectly happy to have them next door,” he added. Further, he said: “Anybody who goes on a website favoring ISIS or al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, that should be a felony, and they should go to jail. Any organization which hosts such a website should be engaged in a felony. It should be closed down immediately.”

Gingrich also said that the attack in Nice is the “fault of Western elites who lack the guts to do what is right, to do what is necessary,” and suggested that mosques in America need to be monitored.

Continue Reading

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    • Joey Sanders

      Newt Gingrich is a scum of the earth. After your wife has cancer surgery, don’t come into her hospital room and get her to sign papers to finalize a divorce, so that she will not fight you in court.

      This loser, who ran on a family values platform, has been married three times. With each divorce, he would get remarried in under a year. That probably means he was having an affair with another woman while he was married.

      He has never believed in what he preaches. He knows that the Republicans are a bunch of loons. How else can you explain Donald Trump winning the primary. So now, to appeal to this crazy base of loons, he knows the crazy and nonsensical things he needs to say. Blacks are violent. All Muslims want to kill you. Also, I am sure that, if you look online, there is probably something derogatory about Latinos.

      At this point, he just needs to fade into oblivion.

    • Yausari

      Yeah, figured as much

    • Jekyll

      The Eye of Newt should concentrate on what he does best…looking under people’s table.

    • Yausari

      People like him think that “sharia law” is a crime, but required in Islam. You think they have any clue what they’re talking about? I’ve heard many times that they say something like “Europe is already taken over by sharia law, now look what happened to it”. It doesn’t make sense. Which law are they talking about that’s hurting them so badly? They can’t be specific. They just highlight crimes done by Muslims. I think these people were mislead so badly that they forgot what law means.

    • (((Reynardine)))

      You are what you eat. That’s why today’s Republicans insist on pork.

    • mindy1

      I wonder what would happen if the fear mongering stopped, and people were instead told to call a hotline if you really truly hear something suspicious. We might even get actual intelligence.

    • mindy1

      Would turkey, beef or veggie bacon be a good substitute:P

    • (((Reynardine)))

      Deport all vegans! (And Vegans: send them back to their own damned solar system!)

    • (((Reynardine)))

      What is this supposed to mean? Praise the lard and pass the bacon, the way victorious Christians did to Muslims and Jews, after the Reconquista of Andalucía? And deport anyone who gags?

    • Just_Stopping_By

      Though Gingrich says that “Sharia is incompatible with western civilization,” it appears that some Western countries have managed to survive use of sharia in personal-law for Muslims: .

      On the other hand, I have been told that once people stop eating bacon, civilization is bound to collapse within months if not weeks!

The Stranger: Human Nature and the Other


First of all I want to apologize for the lack of posts over the past several weeks. I know for our regular readers and supporters this has been a disappointment. Writers here haven’t had as much time, especially since we are all volunteer but the hope is to move away from that soon and have a consistent staff. So expect changes and more consistent content.

In the meantime here is an important video that gets to the root of tackling bigotry and hate. An excellent lecture by Prof. Laith Saud.:

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    • 1DrM

      Didn’t I order you to go squat and stain on the side of the road(where you were conceived without consent), Hindutva fecalith?

    • 1DrM

      This is another tactic Hindu extremists utilize : equating Hinduism with Hindutva. Hence if you criticize a mass murdering Hindutva fascist like Modi, it’s anti-Hindu “attack.” It’s a shallow ploy to immunize themselves from any criticism. But hey we’re all not supposed to know that, we should just watch retarded Bollywood flicks like this….

    • 1DrM

      Yawn, and an Internet gangster? Laughable You’d probably be soiling yourself, assuming you didn’t already on the side of the road. Hindutva filth!

    • 1DrM

      You’re repeating the same old nonsense like a broken record. Won’t do you any good because you’ve exposed yourself too many times for the Hindutva apologist and gate keeper that you are. No normal Hindu would take umbrage at one filthy Saffron simian(adc) being set straight, but it’s driven you crazy. And you thought you could fool us with talk of Bollywood’s generic Khans as “proof” of how “tolerant” India is. Laughable. It’s too late to pretend otherwise. Such pathetic behavior is typical of your kind. Your “disability” seems to be paralysis from the neck up. Must be all that Modi feces….

    • Bahubali

      Okay I am sorry. I won’t be posting.

    • 1DrM

      Yawn, the same old hindutva victim act. Disingenuous to a fault. Are you high on Modi’s droppings? Of course you are.

    • Bahubali

      Ok, you’re not a bad person, all the others persons in the world are bad people. Do continue with your psychopath studies of others and giving verdict in your lovely ways. You sure am making yourself proud, I guess.

    • 1DrM

      I never insulted anyone for their religion, liar. I took ONE filthy Hindu extremist scumbag to task and you came along trying to do damage control for him, making a fool out of yourself in the process making childish excuses. That’s a part of your job, and you Modi monkeys always fail.

    • Bahubali

      What sadistic pleasure you get from insulting others for their religion? Is insulting others for their faults makes you feel good or is it part of your job here.

    • 1DrM

      More cacophony from the hindutva buffoon playing victim.

    • 1DrM

      You’re on the wrong site because no one will help “nurture” your Hindutva delusions, Modi monkey.

    • 1DrM

      Delusional as ever.

    • Bahubali

      Thanks for even acknowledging my greetings. That’s more than what I was expecting.

    • 1DrM

      My name isn’t Muhammed, little Kumar. And your attempts to hide your extremist nature have failed. I know you Hindutva types well. No amount of Bollywood buffoonery will salvage your image.

Dylann Roof: The Nexus Between White Supremacy’ s Anti-Blackness and Islamophobia


By Garibaldi

Prof. Juan Cole posted an article Sunday with the provocative title, European Islamophobic Networks Influenced Roof to Kill in Charleston. Prof. Cole first provides some recent historical context, noting that the Islamophobia Network helped incite the terrorist mass murderer, Anders Behring Breivik.  Prof. Cole then cites a paragraph from Roof’s manifesto possibly hinting to the same sort of ideological beliefs as those held by Breivik and co.,

From this point I researched deeper and found out what was happening in Europe. I saw that the same things were happening in England and France, and in all the other Western European countries. Again I found myself in disbelief. As an American we are taught to accept living in the melting pot, and black and other minorities have just as much right to be here as we do, since we are all immigrants. But Europe is the homeland of White people, and in many ways the situation is even worse there. From here I found out about the Jewish problem and other issues facing our race, and I can say today that I am completely racially aware.

The predictable retort from those who will try to disassociate what Dylann Roof believed from their hate-filled ideology will be that he doesn’t mention fascist European politicians such as Geert Wilders by name, nor does he cite Robert Spencer or Pamela Geller specifically the way Breivik did. They may even claim that Roof isn’t referencing the Muslims of Europe at all.

However, those who object would be wrong. Roof was absolutely influenced by Islamophobic conspiracies when he mentions that “the same things were happening in England and France, and in all the other Western European countries…Europe is the homeland of White people, and in many ways the situation is even worse there.”

It should be recalled that Roof cited the Council of Conservative Citizens (CoCC) as having particular influence on his murderous anti-Black racism. CoCC heightened his paranoid perception of unfairness and belief that somehow Whites were an oppressed class whose “women were being raped” by Black men who “were taking over.” Language that is very similar to what one hears from the Islamophobia Network about Muslims, especially Muslims in Europe.

In fact, a corollary to CoCC’s horrid anti-Black racism is their virulent Islamophobic hate and conspiracy theories. A simple search for the term “Islam” on the Council of Conservative Citizens’ website brings up articles, including: White supremacist Jared Taylor discussing a future third World War between Europe and “Islam”, claims that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg is censoring criticism of Islam, multiple articles supporting European groups and individuals involved with the anti-Muslim group PEGIDA, promotion of the conspiracy of “Islamization” by Geert Wilders’ PVV party, positively citing Bill Maher for his views on Islam and Muslims, fear of the spread of Islam in US prisons, claims that Jews are supporting the “Islamification” of Europe as “revenge for the Holocaust” (an Islamophobic-anti-Semitic narrative that I discussed in a previous article), pushing the conspiracy about Muslim men raping White women across Europe, targeting the predominantly Black Muslim Islamberg community (a group that was recently the target of a foiled terrorist attack by a White Christian). There are also a number of articles claiming “no one has mistreated Blacks like Muslims,” an attempt to exculpate themselves for their own racist views by projecting onto another religion.

It is therefore not a leap at all to consider that Roof’s expression of deep angst about “what was going on in Europe” was a reference to the Islamophobic language, narratives and conspiracy theories common among the differing currents and trends within the trans-Atlantic Islamophobia Nework.


They lived a life of love and service and while worshiping were killed because of hate.

Roof’s mad manifesto is shorter than Breivik’s 1,500 page screed, yet we can gleam commonalities and some minor distinctions in their beliefs. Both Breivik and Roof see Europe as the home of Whites (their “people”), under “threat” from “outside invasion.” Roof makes no mention of Christian identity whereas Breivik explicitly considers himself part of a Neo-Crusader movement and in fact one of a group of “Templar Knights” (It should be noted here that CoCC’s “statement of principles” asserts that the US is a “Christian country,” that should be made up of “European peoples.”) Roof’s seminal preoccupation was race and seeing everything through the lens of “racial awareness,” while Breivik also focused on other aspects of civilizational identity, specifically Christian heritage.

There’s ample evidence that Roof held deeply anti-Black beliefs for years and he may not have required the influence of the pervasive White supremacist currents of the Islamophobia Network to kill and terrorize in Charleston. In the end he was a racist with a supreme hatred of Blacks and other races, (oddly he admired East Asians and thought of them as allies). Yet it is clear that Roof was further radicalized by his visits to CoCC and there is no doubt that the prominence given on their website to the narratives of the Islamophobia Network influenced and heightened his ideological belief in the oppression of Whites world-wide.

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BBC’s Big Questions or Big Contradictions?


By Garibaldi

There have been several debates on threads here regarding whether or not Jews are a race or religion or both. It’s a complicated question, further complicated by the fact that differences exist among Jews in how they answer that question, though a great many see being Jewish as both race/ethnicity and religion.

I’m not interested in rehashing that debate here but wanted to highlight a blatant contradiction and tension between two shows from this year on the BBC program, “The Big Questions.”

BBC’s, “The Big Questions,” hosted by Nicky Campbell claims to delve into questions relating to “moral, ethical and religious debates.” However, quite often the show is simply an exercise in which guest can deliver the best soundbite and applause line.

Unresolved contradictions abound in the program, such as the one displayed in the video below. Self-styled “counter-extremism” guru, Maajid Nawaz implies that the difference between Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia is the issue of racism, though he doesn’t explain how this makes it a lesser form of bigotry and xenophobia.

Nawaz claims one can be racist against Jews but not Muslims because Jews are a “race.” This is contradicted on another show by Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner who states explicitly that, “Jews are not a race” but a “religious civilization.”

The contradiction and lack of nuance remains, and goes to a point we (and others) have made quite often: racism against, and racialization of, religious groups whether in the guise of Islamophobia or Anti-Semitism is not only conceivable but a well documented fact.

When a Sikh or an Arab Christian is mistaken for Muslim because of their “look” this points to racism and racialization. When an Indian man is shoved off a train platform to his death or a Sikh man is repeatedly stabbed because of the perpetrator’s conflation of Brownness with Islam it points to racism and racialization.

Clearly then, at the heart of much of both Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia is an undeniably virulent racism, which talking heads such as Maajid Nawaz and Douglas Murray unfortunately are all too happy to undermine with short soundbites.

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  • el turco



    The Hui are very similar to Jews in the way they have married their Chinese and Islamic identities. My closest Chinese friends in Beijing were all Hui, but with my olive skin, long beard, and accented Putonghua I was usually mistaken for a Uighur.

    Jewish culture is a lot like Chinese culture in the sense that they are both based around a diverse literary tradition spanning thousands of years and maintained by Scribes/Rabbis/Guan/Shi/Mandarins/Scholars/etc… These literary languages are the main link between ancient and actual Chinese/Jewish culture. Not surprisingly, the “modern” states of Israel and PRC are very similar in the way they rejected their classical literary cultures and re-imagined Chinese and Jewish identity along the lines of 19th century Marxist nation-states. Still this tension between old and new is built into both states and expressed in many different ways.

    As for reading material, I personally find that there is very little quality material written on modern Israel or Zionism (in general) because it requires understanding both classical Jewish and 19th century European literature. Classical Jewish identity is built around the land called Israel/Palestine as can be seen in Biblical books such as Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings and exilic books like Daniel, Esther, and Ezra. The theme of this Biblical literature is very similar to Confucian Dynastic historiography in how it reflects a back and forth moral struggle to maintain unity and proper governance in the only place on earth where Jews can fulfill the entire Biblical law. For classical Jewish thought, existence outside of the framework of a righteous Jewish government in Israel is akin to the chaotic inter-dynastic periods in Chinese history (like the San Guo) which is why we believe in a future Messiah who will restore this framework. However to understand the modern state of Israel it is necessary to see how this Biblical literature is channeled through the same German philosophers (Fichte, Kant and Hegel) who inspired the early Chinese nationalists. I wish I knew of good writers who simplified this varied literature and presented it more coherently but I don’t

Khaled Abou El-Fadl: The End of the Arab Spring, the Rise of ISIS and the Future of Political Islam

AFP / Mahmoud Khaled

AFP / Mahmoud Khaled

A must read article by the scholar Khaled Abou El-Fadl. While it details the dire state of things today, the various countervailing and absurd forces that have brought us to the current predicament, he ends his article on a surprisingly prosaic and hopeful note about the inevitability of hurriya.

Yet all those who bothered with the pretence of sympathetic sorrow over the blood of the thousands of martyrs who died dreaming of hurriyya should not feel too self-assured. Hurriyya is the natural order of things, and like life itself, it will inevitably sprout again. It could sprout even in the restless heat of the summer, the warm docility of the fall, or the quiet surrender of a very cold of winter.

By Khaled Abou El-Fadl, ABC News

Ever since the French landed on the shores of Egypt in 1798, we have been in the grip of a past alienated from its history, an identity divorced from its memory, and insecure flashes of pride defeated by a deep sense of indignity.

Then came the Arab Spring!

So many thought the Arab Spring would allow the region self-determination, and would shift the gaze of the world away from the twin spectres of oil and Israel. Perhaps the world would finally gaze upon Arabs without racism and Islam without bigotry.

The Arab Spring was a resounding protest against everything, from the corruption of the West’s corporate cronies – who exploit the region’s natural resources so that they can enjoy the latest luxuries their colonial masters have to offer – to the foreign occupations and humiliations heaped upon all those who dared to think that they had a right to resist.

The Arab Spring was about this magical word, hurriyya, which means different things to different people – but at a minimum, it means freedom from oppression, exploitation, corruption and a servile existence.

But the Arab Spring was like a foetus in an abortion clinic; it never had a chance.


Why was the Arab Spring aborted? Because a democratic Middle East would have been a poor habitat for the survival of the parasitical military regimes and putrid oil sheikhdoms, which relentlessly eradicate any healthy space for the development of civic institutions that can cultivate and nurture the growth of civic values. Those regimes cannot afford to rule over citizens. They can only rule over slaves.

The truth is that with the failure of the Arab Spring, so many politicians and intellectuals in the West and the Arab world breathed a sigh of relief. Why? Because the danger of so-called political Islam had been averted. And indeed, so many pundits gleefully declared that the phenomenon of political Islam was finally dead.

In Egypt, the largest Arab country, what ensued had become a familiar and repetitive pattern since colonialism: in the name of modernity and progress, the state went into an ultra-repressive mode, persecuted Islamists, banned Islamic parties and declared war on all expressions of Islam that it deemed political. Abdel Fattah El Sisi even equated political Islam with terrorism, and in an interview with a French newspaper, when asked to comment on Hamas, Sisi responded that political Islam in all of its permutations and forms are one and the same.

This was only a harbinger of what was to come: Egypt has now formally declared Hamas a terrorist organization, but apparently, as far as Sisi is concerned, Netanyahu’s government – with its war crimes and ongoing unlawful occupation of Palestinian lands – is kosher.

By now, it is beyond dispute that Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait bought themselves a counter-revolution in Egypt, Yemen and Libya. These countries formed a reactionary alliance to intervene wherever they can to restore the morally defunct and corrupt old order. In each case, they flooded the hopelessly corrupt cadres of the military officers with enough cash to buy proxy agents capable of expressing the egotistic anxieties of despots.

Instead of hurriyya and freedom, all of the focus now is on fighting terrorism and maintaining stability and security, which, in the case of the aforementioned countries, is a superficially coded way of saying: Don’t dare dream of self-determination and autonomy, because political Islam is the ever-present boogeyman ready to return you to the dark ages (‘usur or ‘uqud al-zalam) once again!

If this exclamatory warning is hopelessly confusing, then welcome to the madhouse. Have the military juntas and sheikhdoms ruling the Arab world since colonialism taken the region out of the dark ages in the first place? What precisely is the current blissful state of enlightenment that Muslims are at risk of losing to the political Islamist hoards, and what exactly are the blessed fruits of the praetorian states and the oil sheikhdoms that the barbarians at the gates are threatening to usurp from the post-colonial Arab?

But, even more fundamentally, what is this political Islam that is equated with reactionism, the dark ages and barbarism and terrorism?


Islam, its doctrines, symbolisms and linguistic constructs, are persistently utilized by the Gulf States to legitimate and maintain themselves in power. The exploitation of religion as a means to keeping a conservative and exploitative elite in power is a staple of everyday life in the Gulf countries. Every one of those countries carefully nurtures and maintains a class of clergymen with religious institutions that function as a conservative legitimating force safeguarding the status quo, which includes the exploitative use of foreign workers, and a hyper-form of Gulf nationalistic elitism.

This Islamized and oddly pietistic Gulf nationalism often manifests itself in highly racist and ethnocentric ways, deep seated social and political inequities, entrenched patriarchal institutions, and unabashed political despotism and authoritarianism. Critical to this dynamic is that the state carefully defines, regulates and dictates religious expression and orthodoxy. Religion is also exploited to further state policies, such as antagonism towards Shi’i Iran and other Shi’i allies.

Even Sisi of Egypt, who plays the role of the protector of secularism in the region, allows for no expression of religious values outside the sphere defined and controlled by the state. The state controls which places of worship are built and where, and in the case of Islam, also what can be said in mosques. The state controls what Muslim clergy may say on their podiums and relies on Azhar state-salaried clergy to defend its legitimacy and Islamic orthodoxy in the face of any dissent. All the Islamic charitable endowments that exist in Egypt have been placed under state control and have been plundered by corruption and nepotism. Incidentally, thanks to the precedent established by colonial powers, the Coptic religious endowments remain under the private control of the church.

Not only did Sisi secure the support of the Azhar and Coptic church before the coup in July 2013, but before the massacre of Raba’a al-Adawiya mosque, he brought in a line-up of clerics to lecture the army officers that Islam mandates the removal of democratically elected governments and that whether they do the killing or be killed, in both cases, they are honoured and blessed in the eyes of God.

Read the entire article…

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    • RealSuperSand

      The benefits of having a smooth brain.

Jadaliyya: “Beyond Authenticity: ISIS and the Islamic Legal Tradition”


One of the best contributions on the subject of ISIS and its relationship to Islam and the Islamic jurisprudence on war and violence.

Sohair Siddiqui, highlights points that have gone under the radar in most article covering ISIS, including the groups military strategy which is highly informed by the work, “The Management of Savagery” written by a pseudonymous author. Also discussed is the clear contravention of normative and majority historical Islamic jurisprudential rules of warfare.

by Sohaira Siddiqui, Jadaliyya

The Atlantic thinks ISIS is Islamic. President Obama and countless others disagree. As the debate rages on with no shortage of interlocutors, one must stop to ask, what is the utility of making such pronouncements? Is the simple binary of whether ISIS is Islamic or not an effective way to discuss and understand the various questions at stake concerning the Islamic tradition, its authenticity, continuity and change? In response to this basic question, Muslims globally have gone on the defensive, denying any relationship between the religion and the group. Whether it be the eighteen-page open letter issued by prominent Muslim clerics globally, the statement of the twelve largest mosques in Britain, or the fatwa written and distributed by Sunni and Shi‘i  clerics in Baghdad, Muslims are keen to distance themselves from any atrocities committed in their name. However most recently, Graeme Wood’s piece in The AtlanticWhat ISIS Really Wants” argues that ISIS’s actions are definitively Islamic. Since the publication of the article there has been an outpouring of critiques—some correcting factual errors, others noting that he ignores the political and social context which gave rise to ISIS, and others pointing to the absence of legitimate voices in the article who the majority of Muslims actually take as their authority.

As the war continues with growing numbers of willing Muslim recruits, and with provocative images of atavistic executions and offerings of justifications based on Islamic sources, the debate on whether ISIS is Islamic is not ending anytime soon. By situating ISIS within the Islamic tradition on the basis of their mere utilization of it, Wood’s article and others like it overlook the fundamental issue which stands at the heart of the debate—ISIS’s juridical understanding and its relationship to the classical Islamic legal tradition. Mapping ISIS onto a dichotomy of Islamic versus un-Islamic is far too simple an approach when trying to understand the phenomenon of ISIS. The parameters of the debate ignore the amorphous nature of law, that law is paradoxical in that it is both fixed and flexible and that the validity of law is dependent upon the framework and system of law issuance that is created. Indeed, if we step outside of the cyclical authenticity debate in order to understand ISIS’s methodology in relation to the Islamic juridical tradition, we will see that ISIS represents a very fundamental rejection of both its principles and its parameters of operation.

Historically, Islamic law has evolved and created an architecture that creates stability within the law while at the same time allowing for change. However, as a group that is seeking to be a legitimate manifestation of Islam, ISIS constructs its authority and the validity of its actions outside the boundaries of what has been normatively accepted both in terms of conceptualizing the law, and more specifically in the realm of warfare.

Warfare was a complex discussion within Islamic law. The discussion encompassed balancing Prophetic precedence, Quranic principles, and the need to protect and defend the Muslim community. The result was a variety of legal rulings that were connected by two principles which guided legal derivation when it came to warfare. The first was the protection of noncombatants, and the second was the limitation and restriction of war and violence. Jurists agreed that war was permissible, but to do so in a way that regulated the loss of life. Conversely, the basic operating principle of ISIS is the promotion of violence and instability which contradicts the principles of warfare the jurists constructed. Aside from this important difference in the substantive matters of law, this article will also demonstrate that ISIS conceptualizes the law broadly in a starkly different way. Classical jurists accepted and regulated between plurality of legal rulings which allowed for both jurists and rulers to engage with the law on a more intimate level. This meant that the law could evolve, and when deciding on rulings, the ruling selected would be on the basis of public interest (maslaha) which meant protecting the life, religion, property, and honor of all individuals, Muslim and non-Muslims alike. For ISIS, this plurality does not exist within the law; rather, law is implemented uniformly, not on the basis of general public interest, but in order to satisfy their overarching goal of establishing the caliphate, denigrating the enemy, and promoting chaos and violence. As such, even though ISIS may be invoking elements from within the legal tradition or historical precedence, they are doing so by contradicting its very principles and therefore cannot be understood as normative.

Violence and Brutality as ISIS’s Operating Principle

Some clarity with regards to the ideology of ISIS came in September 2014 when Jack Jenkins alerted the world’s attention to a book titled The Management of Savagery. The book was written in 2004 by Abu Bakr Naji, a pseudonym, and became very influential in Salafi-Jihadi circles globally. In 2006 it was translated by William McCants in an effort to bring more clarity to the direction various Salafi-Jihadi movements had taken. The four hundred-page text is a manual on how to establish the Caliphate through the systematic creation of pockets of instability, or “regions of savagery” which force individuals in these areas to search for some stabilizing factor. With widespread instability, individuals will willingly submit to a group which promises to bring stability. In the fourth section of the text entitled “Using Violence,” the author presents a detailed exposition on the necessity of violence, and brutality in achieving these aims.

One of the central concepts in this section is the idea of “paying the price.” Naji argues that if an enemy attacks the group, their response should be so intense that it should create a sense of hopelessness within the enemy and recognition that they have “paid the price” for their actions. Furthermore, when “paying the price” Naji argues that retaliation does not need to be directed at the enemy directly so “if the enemy undertakes a hostile action against a region in the Arabian Peninsula or in Iraq, then the response will occur in Morocco or Nigeria or Indonesia.” Speaking more directly to the general use of violence, Naji states “If we are not violent in our jihad and if softness seizes us, that will be a major factor in the loss of the element of strength.” In another context he states “the hostages should be liquidated in a terrifying manner which will send fear into the hearts of the enemy and his supporters.” For Naji, violence is not only important, but it’s random, unrestricted, and terrifying use will be of particular importance in establishing the caliphate. In this sense, violence is not simply a matter of a physical war, but it is a strategic tool which is intended to have psychological effects on both the perpetrators and the recipients.

If we move from the Management of Savagery to ISIS’s own publications, we see the same fixation on wanton violence amplified through the use of graphic images, exhortative manifestos, and vicious condemnations. ISIS has officially released numerous execution videos, a few longer propaganda videos and perhaps most importantly, seven issues of their official magazine, entitled Dabiq. In the first issue they devoted the most space to elaborating upon the necessity of the caliphate, but towards the end the magazine focuses on the use of violence. Echoing the Management of Savagery one feature article states,

To create maximum chaos, the Shaykh [Shaykh Abu Mus’ab] focused on the most effective weapons…vehicle bombs, IEDs, and istishhadiyyin (seekers of martyrdom). He would order nikayah (disruptive) operations in a dozen areas daily, targeting and killing sometimes hundreds of apostates…In addition to that he tried to force every apostate group in Iraq into an all-out war. So he targeted the Iraqi apostate forces (army, police and intelligence), the Shi‘a and the Kurdish secularists.” He then goes on to state, “These attacks will compel the apostate forces to partially withdraw from rural territories and regroup. The jama’ah [we] would then take advantage of the situation by increasing the chaos to a point of leading to the complete collapse of oppressive regimes, a situation some would refer to as ‘mayhem.’

In these statements unrestricted violence is encouraged as a means of creating chaos.

Similarly, in the fourth issue of the magazine in an article titled “Reflections on the Final Crusade,” ISIS spokesperson Abu Muhammad al-‘Adnani said,

Destroy their beds. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves. If you can kill a disbelieving American or European—especially the spiteful and filthy French—or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling…Every Muslim should get out of his house, find a crusader, and kill him. It is important that the killing becomes attributed to patrons of the Islamic State who have obeyed its leadership. This can easily be done with anonymity. Otherwise, crusader media makes such attacks appear to be random killings.

For al-Adnani and other propagators of ISIS’ doctrine, violence is not limited to the war which is being waged within their territories. They are envisioning a constant cosmic war which requires the use of violence by every Muslim against anyone considered non-Muslim—simply put, there are no non-combatants and no method too brutal. These exhortations towards violence are matched with gruesome images of torture and killings, valorizing the very violence that they call to. From the totality of the images, articles, and statements of ISIS, their use of violence is guided by the basic principle that it is unrestricted and should be practiced with utmost brutality to not only physically defeat the enemy, but to psychologically impair it.

In contrast to ISIS, while the jurists were creating the laws of warfare in the eighth through eleventh centuries, they were doing so with the lens to regulate violence and protect the noncombatant and in accordance with the overall objectives of the law. Thus, even though ISIS may use historical precedence to justify their actions, they do so by manipulating the legal tradition and using non-majoritarian, often rejected juristic opinions of the past. For ISIS, spreading violence and expanding the Caliphate, irrespective of the loss of life, is the goal. Their legal architecture is created to fulfill this mission, regardless of what the majoritarian opinions are within the totality of Islamic juristic thought.

Interpreting What is Islamic and Un-Islamic

For the neophyte, Islamic law has never been absolute. It may strike one as odd that there can be plurality when it comes to God’s law, but the reality is that legal pluralism was the sine qua non of Islamic law. After the death of the Prophet it was understood by Sunnis that access to the Lawgiver, God, had been terminated and what remained were only the scriptural sources—the Quran and the hadith (reported sayings of the Prophet)—to guide individuals afterwards. The jurists were then tasked with the responsibility of creating a methodology which would allow for the deduction of law from the scriptural sources and also allow for the valid creation of law in the absence of any textual indicant. What was created was a jurisprudential system that could extract legal rulings from the scriptural sources, create new ones, and also adjust preexisting ones. All of this was done with the realization that the jurist was arriving at the best estimation of what God truly wants in a situation, but could not be certain that they have arrived at the correct answer given that the direct connection between humans and God was severed with the death of the Prophet.

Because no jurist could say with certainty that they have arrived at God’s law, multiple opinions could always exist on any issue. At the same time jurists were concerned with unbound plurality, so they restricted it in many ways—preventing lay individuals from engaging in jurisprudential reasoning, limiting jurisprudential reasoning even within jurists circles, and searching for overlaps whenever possible. Emerging from the plurality of rulings was an understanding that there would be a majority articulation of a ruling, alongside the acceptance that minority opinions would also exist. A comparable situation is the presence of differing opinions in the US Supreme Court on legal issues even when confronted with the same evidence.

In formulating Islamic law, jurists would start with the textual sources, namely the Quran and hadith. Of importance was the example of the life of the Prophet himself, and this was especially so with any discussion concerning warfare because the Prophet himself engaged in various military battles. When jurists began to speak about the law of warfare, they were not merely discussing the concept that we most commonly associate with Islamic warfare, namely jihad. In fact, they developed a dense legal discussion under the headings of siyar, translated today as Islamic International law. Discussions of siyar in legal texts encompassed jihad, military campaigns (maghazi), safe conduct (aman), dividing spoils, truce (hudana), and non-Muslim tax (jizya). Jurists were keen to answer three pivotal questions: when is it legitimate to fight, what is legitimate conduct during fighting, and what is to be done upon the completion of fighting. The focus of their attention was tackling the second question, namely what is legitimate conduct during war. Ahmed al-Dawoody, who has written a comprehensive book on the Islamic law of war has argued that the jurists categorized war into eight main topics.[1] They are:

  1. Noncombatant immunity
  2. Human Shields
  3. Night Attack
  4. Mutilation
  5. Weapons
  6. Aman (quarter and safe passage)
  7. Prisoners of War
  8. Treatment of Prisoners

While al-Dawoody concisely shows the sheer amount of diversity that was present within the legal discussions he also highlights that in each instance there was a majority opinion that was rooted in Prophetic practice or Quranic statements.

One of the elements of ISIS’s methodology of war noted above is their promotion of indiscriminate killing of individuals in countries all over the globe. Counter to this opinion is the juristic discussion of noncombatant immunity which was intended to restrict violence against any individual who was not actively fighting in the war, even if they ideologically agreed with the enemy. Scholars such as Sufyan al-Thawri (d. 788), al-Ghazali (d. 1111), al-Qarafi (d. 1285) and countless others safeguarded from combat women, children, the aged, the blind, the sick, the insane, the clergy, and perhaps most interestingly, any hired man (al-asif) such as a farmer, craftsman, or employee that was not directly engaged in warfare. While a few minority opinions did exist that belief alone would make individuals part of the “enemy,” the majority of jurists agreed that the aggression of the individual combatant is the decisive factor. Jurists were concerned with establishing who was considered a noncombatant to ensure that violence was restricted to those that only displayed outward aggression. Only after establishing those protected in times of war did the jurists then turn to discuss the actual conduct of war against the enemy.

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    • HSkol

      So sorry, AJ, but I just giggled.

    • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

      Your comments seem to be going through just fine.

    • AJ

      I might have accidentally banned myself on the polygamy thread (and everywhere else) by uttering the dreaded private body part names of male and females. Please check into that. Thanks.

  • AJ

    Okay, will do isa at least before we have another discussion

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