Robert Spencer Discovers that Hizb-ut-Tahrir are extremists
by Sheila Musaji
Robert Spencer says in his latest Jihad Watch post on a member of the Muslim lunatic fringe:
“We’re constantly told that no Muslims, not one, in the West believe that Sharia and the caliphate should be extended to Western non-Muslims. We are ordered to believe this on pain of charges of “Islamophobia.” Mohammed Malkawi must not have gotten the memo to keep mum about this sort of thing.
“Founder of Hizb Al-Tahrir in Chicago: The Caliphate Is Coming, and Britain and America Can Go to Hell,” from MEMRI, June 21:believe that Sharia and the caliphate should be extended to Western non-Muslims. We are ordered to believe this on pain of charges of “Islamophobia.” Mohammed Malkawi must not have gotten the memo to keep mum about this sort of thing.
“Founder of Hizb Al-Tahrir in Chicago: The Caliphate Is Coming, and Britain and America Can Go to Hell,” from MEMRI, June 21:”
Who told Greek Melchite Catholic Deacon Robert Spencer that nonsense? Certainly, not Muslims!
Muslims have been in the forefront of speaking out and condemning our lunatic fringe. Type lunatic fringe into the TAM search engine and 140 articles will come up. Type Hizb-ut-Tahrir and 11 articles will come up [See Hizb-ut-Tahrir, part of the Muslim lunatic fringe for an overview of this particular group.] Type Caliphate and 14 articles will come up.
This observation by Spencer that Hizb-ut-Tahrir are extremists is right up there with his discovery that Salafi’s don’t like democracy. Of course, a Hizb-ut-Tahrir leader would call for the Caliphate, that’s what they do — and that is why mainstream Muslims oppose them and remind them that according to Islamic principles they have a duty to be faithful Muslims and loyal Americans, and a responsibility defend the Constitution of the United States. The problem with Spencer’s observations about this statement is that he goes beyond condemning particular individuals or a particular organization and instead attempts to place blame on Islam and Muslims generally — and that is what makes him an Islamophobe. It also makes Spencer a useful tool of the Muslim lunatic fringe because he validates their false message.
As I wrote some time ago about the Islamic Thinkers Society/Revolution Muslim (another Muslim lunatic fringe group) espousing similar views to Hizb-ut-Tahrir:
... These are Khawarij (extremists) and what they promote is a perverted version of Islam. Even if they are few in number, they are dangerous. If they are truly against democracy and Western values then they should not be in this country. If they (falsely) believe that the world is divided into dar al harb and dar al Islam and do not recognize dar al ahd (house of treaty) then they should not be in this country. If they are Muslims and are in this country on a visa or with a green card then they have an obligation under Sharia to honor the laws of this country as they have entered into a binding agreement by accepting the visa or green card.
Since, we have no authority to force them to leave, the least we can do as Muslims is to speak out loudly and clearly and denounce them and their perverted interpretation of Islam. We need to make it clear to them and to all the Muslims that this will not be tolerated.
Mainstream Muslims have been sending out the message loud and clear to both Hizb-ut-Tahrir and other Muslim lunatic fringe extremists and to AFDI/SIOA and other Islamophobic extremists that we don’t accept their interpretations of Islam — which are remarkably similar. Neither of them get the message.
Spencer has made the claim before that mainstream Muslims “have been silent” when Hizb-ut-Tahrir held a Caliphate Conference in the U.S. in 2009. He was WRONG.
Hisham Hassaballa wrote at the time Hizb-ut-Tahrir: Practicing what they preach?
In their American debut, they could not even attract 1,000 people. This may have to do with their identity politics: they are all about “us vs them,” and this may resonate more with Muslim minority communities in Europe and elsewhere, where the Muslim minority - especially after 9/11 and with the rise of the right - has lately been under siege.
Yet in America, again, they have long remained marginal, and it may have to do with their past actions. I have long known those who claim to represent HT in America as disrespectful, disruptive rabble rousers who interrupt speeches, Friday sermons, and lectures - including my own. I remember how terribly disruptive they were at several ISNA conferences several years back, even locking arms and yelling out: “In il hukmu illa lillah,” or “Verily all sovereignty belongs to God,” during a lecture. When I was in college, members of HT were notorious at causing fights and disruptions at the local mosque, and it made going there a very unpleasant experience for me.
... Yet, my distaste for Hizb-ut-Tahrir is not out of some personal vendetta because they interrupted my Friday sermons. Its actions are frequently counterproductive to the work of American Muslims in the greater society. Take the title of its Chicago conference as a prime example: “Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam.” It seems to have been purposefully designed to evoke a visceral response of disgust from most non-Muslim Americans. It did just that, in fact, in me. In one fell swoop, the title both insults Western ideals and evokes fear of an Islamic “bogeyman” about to strike. Now, there is nothing wrong with criticising capitalism as an economic system - that is its right. Yet, Hizb-ut-Tahrir can show tact in how to deliver such a criticism, which clearly it did not.
Moreover, HT’s political philosophy is as counterproductive as its public actions. It claims that voting and civic participation is “haram,” or forbidden. How are Muslims supposed to fulfill their God-given obligation to improve the earth and society around them? HT’s answer is to separate from the kufr, or “infidel,” society. Separation and segregation will help no one, neither Muslims nor their non-Muslim neighbors, friends, and co-workers, who need more, not less, interaction with their Muslim compatriots. Moreover, I find it horribly ungrateful that HT would issue unending criticisms of Western society as “evil and decadent,” yet continue to enjoy the freedom said “evil and decadent” society accords them. If the West is so bad, why not leave?
Then there is the crux of their very existence: the re-establishment of the Caliphate. How is such a lofty goal to be achieved? Their answer to this question is elusive. And what is the Caliphate, anyway? Are we really supposed to work for the establishment of a “global Islamic government”? Who would be the Caliph? Where would the capital be? What are Muslims, born and raised in the West, to do if and when this Caliphate is established? Leave their homes, families, and lives? HT remains silent on these issues. I think Muslim activist and writer Junaid Afeef summed it up best when he said that the Caliphate is “an idea that we need to work toward justice and just society, one that’s ruled in a [manner] that promotes justice and equality to all people. That idea of a worldwide global empire run by a Muslim leader…it’s a farce.”
On its website, Hizb-ut-Tahrir claims it works to “cultivate a Muslim community that lives by Islam in thought and deed, whereby adhering to the rules of Islam and preserving a strong Islamic identity. The party does not work in the West to change the system of government, but works to project a positive image of Islam to Western society and engages in dialogue with Western thinkers, policymakers and academics.” Yet, their actions, tactics, and past antics strongly belie this contention. When I learned of their conference and read its title, it came as no surprise that HT would do such a thing. And it brought to mind that age-old adage: with friends like these, who needs enemies?
RESOURCES FOR DEALING WITH ISLAMOPHOBIA SUMMARY
The Islamophobia Industry exists and is engaged in an anti-Muslim Crusade. They have a manifesto for spreading their propaganda, and which states their goal of “destroying Islam — as a culture, a political ideology, and a religion.” They produce anti-Muslim films. They are forming new organizations and coalitions of organizations at a dizzying speed, not only nationally, but also internationally. They have formed an International Leadership Team “which will function as a mobile, proactive, reactive on-the-ground team developing and executing confidential action plans that strike at the heart of the global anti-freedom agenda.”
Currently, the Islamophobia Industry is engaged in a full-scale, coordinated, demonization campaign against American Muslims and Arabs. In just the past few months we have seen a series of inflammatory provocations: There was the Innocence of Muslims film Titanic, a German satire magazine plans an “Islam” cover article to be published later this month. Charlie Hebdo, a French satire magazine published an issue with inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Newsweek published their ‘Muslim Rage’ cover. Terry Jones held a “trial of Prophet Muhammad”. SION held a “global” gathering in NYC to plan propaganda strategy. A group in Toronto publicized a “walk your dog at the mosque” day. AFDI/SIOA has run a series of anti-Muslim ads on public transportation across the country. AFDI/SIOA are planning to run 8 more anti-Muslim ads. There are three more films on Prophet Muhammad in the works by Ali Sina, Mosab Hassan Yousef and Imran Farasat. They are even bringing their hate messages into public schools.
Daniel Pipes is encouraging publication of “A Muhammad cartoon a day”, and says “So, this is my plea to all Western editors and producers: Display the Muhammad cartoon daily, until the Islamists become accustomed to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.”. Pipes joins Daniel Greenfield (aka Sultan Knish) who published an appeal on David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine Is It Time for ‘Make Your Own Mohammed Movie Month’?. And, both are following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Pamela Geller, who promoted just such a plan back in 2010 with her promotion of Draw Muhammad Day, even after the cartoonist who drew the first cartoon and suggested the idea, Molly Norris apologized to Muslims and asked for the day to be called off, and American Muslims had issued a defense of free speech. None of this is surprising as one of the Islamophobes laid out their strategy as “The Muslims themselves have shown us their most vulnerable spot, which is the questionable (though unquestioned) character of the ‘Prophet’ himself. We need to satirise and ridicule baby-bonking Mo until the Muslims fly into uncontrollable tantrums, then ridicule them even more for their tantrums, and repeat the process until they froth at the mouth and steam comes out of their ears.”
The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, it is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism, and it has predictable consequences. The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.
The claim that the Islamophobes are “truth-tellers” and “defenders of freedom” who actually “love Muslims” and have never engaged in “broadbrush demonization” or “advocated violence”, or that nothing that they say could have had anything to do with any act of violence, are nonsense. The claim that they are falsely being accused of Islamophobia for no reason other than their legitimate concerns about real issues and that in fact there is not even such a thing as Islamophobia, or their claim that the fact that there are fewer hate crimes against Muslims than against Jews or that some Muslims have fabricated such crimes “proves” that Islamophobia doesn’t exist, or that the term Islamophobia was made up by Muslims in order to stifle their freedom of speech, or that anti-Muslim bigotry is “not Islamophobia but Islamorealism” are all nonsense.
These individuals and organizations consistently promote the false what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims (including distorting the meaning of Qur’anic verses, and distorting the meaning of Islamic terms such as taqiyya, jihad, sharia, etc.). Islamophobes falsely claim to see “JIHAD” PLOTS everywhere, particularly where they don’t exist. They, like Muslim extremists, don’t understand the true meaning of the term jihad. The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of “shocking”, non-existent Muslim jihad plots.
Here are just a few ridiculous claims about nonsensical Muslim plots:
An Eid Celebration for Muslim Special Needs Kids was described as a “stealth jihad”. A children’s page in a newspaper focusing on Eid was described as a toxic propaganda plot. Joel Hinrichs (a Christian) had a beard and had walked through the parking lot of a campus mosque thus proving that his crime was an example of sudden jihad syndrome. Leon Alphans Traille, Jr., the Arlington, Virginia Mall Bomber was accused of possible “sudden jihad syndrome” just because he had a beard, obviously, a case of beard jihad.
Tyler Brehm who carried out the Hollywood shooting jihad was accused of “sudden jihad syndrome” because he shouted something that one witness from the Philippines said he might have shouted “Allahu Akbar”. This report was not backed up by any other witnesses. The awful April 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech by a Korean student was also called Islamic jihad because Cho’s father had once worked in Saudi Arabia (before he was married and before Cho was born). A Muslim doctor had a heart attack and died at the wheel of his car which then crashed into a shopping mall and this was described as “vehicular jihad”. A Muslim cab driver objected to what he considered pornographic ads on the roof of his cab, and that became a stealth-jihad plot to impose Sharia on America. Any Muslim who has sued an employer for violation of their rights under the EEOC is engaged in employment jihad, or litigation jihad. Muslim environmentalists are said to be actually engaged in “civilizational jihad”. A cartoon series “The 99” aimed at young Muslims was described as “cultural jihad”. The victims of the terrorist attack of 9/11 included Muslims, they were accused of dying as martyrs in an act of jihad. Muslims hoped to open a Muslim hospital in the U.S. and that was called hospital jihad.
The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of “shocking” Muslim jihad plots. They have uncovered:
bumper sticker jihad — Thanksgiving turkey jihad — paisley scarf jihad — marriage to important men jihad — spit jihad — fashion jihad — spelling bee jihad — rape jihad — defacing dollar bills jihad — population jihad — creeping Sharia jihad — mosque building jihad — terror baby jihad — “creeping Sharia” jihad — pedophilia jihad — bus driver prayer jihad — forehead bruise jihad — postage stamp jihad — soup jihad — banning alcohol jihad — fake hate crimes jihad — piggy bank jihad — tv reality series jihad — handshake jihad — prom jihad — interfaith jihad — Arabic language jihad — public school jihad — religious accommodation jihad — Crescent moon jihad — Christmas tree tax jihad — oath of office jihad — immigration jihad — community fundraiser jihad— public school/madrassa jihad — post office jihad — food jihad — pyramid jihad — crucifixion jihad in Egypt — fireworks jihad — computer donation jihad — civic participation jihad — Olympic “judo” jihad— stealth name jihad— pre-violent jihad — Love jihad — fashion jihad 2 — #MyJihad ad jihad — talk show host jihad — art museum jihad — Halloween jihad — DNC Muslim Prayer Jihad — cat crucifixion jihad in Ghana — Scottish Muslim women’s stealth jihad — anti-democracy jihad — un-neighborly Musims in Paris jihad — jihad on Christopher Columbus — Iranian smallpox jihad — Muslim Christmas grinch jihad — #MyJihad twitter jihad — Muslim takeover of National Parks jihad
Nothing is too trivial to escape the eagle eyes of these “defenders of Western civilization” against devious Muslim stealth jihad plots. Christina Abraham (a Muslim) has a name that is not recognizably Muslim enough and so we have stealth name jihad. And, if a Muslim somewhere is not doing anything at all suspicious, then they are engaged in pre-violent jihad.
Islamophobes generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam. Islamophobes consistently push demonstrably false memes such as: - we are in danger from creeping Sharia, - the Muslim population is increasing at an alarming rate, - 80% of American Mosques are radicalized, - There have been 270 million victims of “jihad” - There have been 17,000+ “Islamic terrorist” attacks since 9/11 - Muslims in government are accused of being Muslim Brotherhood plants, stealth jihadists, and creeping Sharia proponents and should be MARGINALIZED or excluded. Muslim and Arab organizations and individuals are connected to the infamous Muslim Brotherhood document or the unindicted co-conspirator label, or accused of not condemning Hamas, telling American Muslims not to talk to the FBI, of being “Jew haters”, etc.
Islamophobes do not understand freedom of speech or that freedom of speech does not include freedom from condemnation of that speech and they are quick to call for censorship and repression of speech they don’t like.
There is a reason that many, even outside of the Muslim community see such demonization of Muslims as Islamophobic. There is a reason that the ADL has stated that Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE) are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”. There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that these individuals are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle. There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured prominently in: — the Center for American Progress reports “Fear Inc.” on the Islamophobia network in America and Understanding Sharia Law: Conservatives skewed interpretation needs debunking. — the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism. — the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack: The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State. — the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security. — The ACLU report Nothing to Fear: Debunking the Mythical “Sharia Threat” to Our Judicial System — in The American Muslim TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry. There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature. There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.
See Resources for dealing with Islamophobes for many more reasons that these people cannot be trusted.
Sheila Musaji is the founding editor of The American Muslim (TAM), published since 1989. Sheila received the Council on American-Islamic Relations 2007 Islamic Community Service Award for Journalism, and the Loonwatch Anti-Loons of 2011: Profiles in Courage Award for her work in fighting Islamophobia. Sheila was selected for inclusion in the 2012 edition of The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims published since 2009 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan. Biography You can follow her on twitter @sheilamusaji ( https://twitter.com/SheilaMusaji )