Through the Looking Glass: Nine Danger Signs of Militant Islam
On Monday, October 24th, Frontpagemag.com published an article entitled The Nine Signs by Jamie Glazov. This was an interview with Dave Holly of the United American Committee - which purports to give the nine danger signs of militant Islam.
Only two weeks ago the same group published an article The Seven Danger Signs of Militant Islam which they are promoting as some sort of a litmus test for Muslims and plan to distribute to Islamic leaders to sign and help promote.
This group appears to be prone to conspiracy theories as shown by a recent entry on their blog Oklahoma Jihadi Suicide Bomber which makes unfounded and false claims as pointed out by the Wall Street Journal
I am certain that given a little time this list of signs will grow. Here are my responses to this idiocy propogated by EXTREMIST Christians. These responses are not given in the spirit of dialogue and mutual understanding in which I believe deeply, but in the spirit of aggrieved desperation.
It is my prayer that the extremists among all faiths will stop pushing for a war between the two major faith groups on earth and stop inciting the ignorant to hatred and mutual distrust and animosity - for the sake of all of humanity.
The following are the “signs”, my responses, and examples of how each of these signs fail.
Danger sign 1: Justification of any Islamic terrorism, Palestinian or otherwise.
In response: which definition of terrorism? If you are speaking about suicide bombing or violence targeted at civilians, then that point has already been addressed by most legitimate Muslim scholars worldwide - it is forbidden by Islam and falls under the title of hirabah. A lengthy list of these statements and fatwas can be found at Muslim Voices Against Terrorism
Example of how this sign fails: Pat Robertson’s call for the assassination of the leader of a sovereign foreign state is an example of an American Christian cleric not only justifying but encouraging terrorism. Is this a danger sign of militant Christianity?
Danger sign 2: Supporting or refusing to condemn Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, Hamas, or other terrorists or other terrorist organizations by name.
In response: Condemning Osama bin Laden or Al Qaeda is no problem and has already been done by Muslim scholars. Since even the UN is having a problem coming up with an accepted definition of terrorismӔ to agree to condemn other terrorists or other terrorist organizationsӔ without knowing who is making the designation would be foolish. For example, there have been some countries (Russia and China for example) who were quick to try to place the label of terroristӔ on legitimate independence movements who were carrying out non-violent protests. The Serbs tried to convince the world that the ethnic BosniansӔ (read Muslims) were terrorists during the time we now have proof the Serbs were carrying out ethnic cleansing against them. Any condemnation would have to be on a case by case basis. There have been a number of fatwas specifically against Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.
Example of how this sign fails: Irish (Catholic) American support for the IRA has been longstanding and problematic. Does this support or lack of condemnation say something about the Irish Catholic community? Is this a sign of militant christianity?
Danger sign 3: Promoting jihad for Muslims to fight against what they determine is “injustice” or “aggression”.
In response: The U.S. government went to war with Iraq in what they determined to be a fight against aggression. WWII was fought to battle injustice and aggression. Does this mean that no Muslim country on earth has the right to fight against injustice or aggression? Or that no citizen of any country no matter the tyranny they live under has the right to do so?
If what is being referred to are the illegal calls for jihad by individuals who have no right under Islamic Law (Sharia) to make such a call (e.g. Osama bin Laden) then no problem. The Amman Conference of Muslim scholars clearly stated that no one except qualified scholars are qualified to issue any fatwas or Islamic legal rulings.
Muslim scholars have also clearly spelled out the difference between legitimate jihad and terrorism just as Christian scholars have spelled out the difference between terrorism and just war.
Example of how this sign fails: The following statement by Ann Coulter is an example of a Christian promoting a Crusade against what she perceives to be injustice or aggression. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity ... That’s war. And this is war. [Ann Coulter] Is this a danger sign of militant Christianity?
Danger sign 4: Demands for Sharia law in the West, or denying that Sharia forbids equal rights for women and members of religions other than Islam.
In response: A community might make a request to have family courts which operate under Sharia law - just as some Jewish communities have family courts which operate under Jewish law. Whether they win or lose their case is up to their local communities and whatever the decision the Muslim community involved must abide by the laws of the nation they live in.
Sharia law is a dynamic and changing system - just as any system of law. It may be possible that Sharia law in a particular community or nation is interpreted in such a way that the rights of women and minorities are not protected. This does not mean that Sharia in general is by its very nature required to deny these protections.
The example given in the article was the murder of Theo van Gogh which was a criminal act under both Dutch and Islamic (Sharia) law. Even if the film in question was considered blasphemous, the Sharia rules for blasphemy do not apply to non-Muslims, and both Islamic and Dutch law require a legitimate court and a trial to decide innocence or guilt and punishment. This criminal act of an individual is no more reflective of Islam than the murder of abortion doctors is reflective of Christianity.
Examples of how this sign fails: The following quote by a Christian minister is an example of a militant Christian view. It appears that Christians believe that they own the entire world. This is our land. This is our world. This is our heritage, and with Gods help, we shall claim this nation for Christianity. And no power on earth can stop us. [D. James Kennedy]
As to how people of other faiths are viewed: The God of Islamis not the same God. HeҒs not the God of the Christian or Jewish faiths. Its a different God, and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion. [Rev. Franklin Graham]
And as to what sort of law these extremist Christians would impose: IҒm trying to organize support for a constitutional amendment to deny voting rights to Muslims. I feel if your citizenship is in the Koranlike a Muslimגs isyou should give up your citizenship. [Garrison Keillor]
Danger sign 5: Demanding that Americans accommodate the public expression of Islamic laws, customs, and practices that conflict with, or are harmful to American laws, customs, and practices.
In response: The example given in the article is the case of Sultaana Freeman, a Muslim woman from Florida who sued the Department of Motor Vehicles to permit a photo of her veiled face to be used on her driver’s license. As a Muslim, I am glad that the Florida court ruled against her. Of course an ID photo needs to serve the function of ID, and further I would hope that no one is allowed to drive if they are wearing this form of niqab as it would restrict their vision. She has the right to dress any way she pleases and to interpret the Islamic modesty requirements as liberally or conservatively as she pleases, but must then also accept the consequences of those choices. I assume that she is an American citizen, and if so, she has the right to request anything she wants of the legal system, but the legal system has the right to deny her that request.
Any American citizen has the right to object to any law they wish and to work to change that law if they so choose. As long as a particular law is in effect they are required to abide by the law or face the legal consequences.
Any American has the right to file any law suit they want no matter how frivolous as long as they are willing to pay the costs involved, and to abide by the decision of the court.
As far as דcustoms and practices - it would be impossible to generalize such vague concepts or all Americans. The Amish drive their buggies on the highway - and they have the right to do so, that isnԒt the normal custom or practice, that doesnt make them un-American.
Example of how this sign fails: One day, I hope in the next ten years, I trust that we will have more Christian day schools than there are public schools. I hope I will live to see the day when we wonҒt have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be! America Can Be Saved! [Jerry Falwell] Is this an example of militant Christianity?
Danger sign 6: Denying that Muslims were involved in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and other attacks around the world.
In response: There are all sorts of conspiracy theories out there - some more lunatic than others. People have the right to deny or affirm any crazy theory they want under freedom of speech and thought. And, the rest of us have the right to call them lunatics.
Example of how this sign fails There are Christians who insist the world is no more than 6,000 years old and that creation took place in six normal 24-hour days. The Christan Identity Movement denies the holocaust.
Danger sign 7: Refusal to cooperate with or inciting others not to cooperate with authorities or standard security procedures.
In response: During the peace protests in Washington, D.C. a number of individuals carried out acts of civil disobedience - they refused to cooperate with the authorities and were arrested. This is a long standing American form of protest. There are religious communities that refuse to pay the part of their taxes that go for military spending, and they pay the consequences of that action. Individuals have refused to cooperate with the draft and gone to prison instead. Librarians have resisted cooperation with ԓstandard security procedures implemented with the Patriot act. This too is the right of any American. Martin Luther King comes to mind as one example of a Christian who refused to cooperate with authority.
Example of how this sign fails: The following quote from an article on Christian civil disobedience ought to speak for itself: “When the government acts in a way which violates Christian conscience under the tests set out above, Christians have several ways to work with the situation. They can seek legislation which changes that which they abhor, they can use the courts to determine whether the law actually applies to them in the way it seems to, they can use the courts in an effort to overturn the law as being a violation of the Constitution, or they can submit to the government while refusing to obey the law.”
Danger sign 8: Branding Progressive Muslims or Muslims of different opinions as “apostates”.
In response: The UAC article about these “danger signs” says: ԓAttempts to label other Muslims in this way should be seen as a danger sign for peace-loving Muslims. This is not compatible with a free society. It is the same thing as hate speech, such as the KKK using racial slurs against Black people, or Nazis engaging in anti-Semitic rhetoric.
This example shows a total disregard for the right of free speech guaranteed by the constitution. I may disagree completely with anything a Nazi or KKK individual says, but they have the right to say whatever they want as long as they donԒt incite to violence. The reason we have a free society is that even these hateful groups have the right to express their opinion.
No Muslim has the right to make this statement about another Muslim. The Amman Conference of Muslim scholars clearly addressed this issue.
Example of how this sign fails: You don’t have to look very far to find examples of Christians branding other Christians as apostates, for example: “These post-Christian secularists and sissy-Christian apostates push a new Pagan worldview and a budding, intolerant new ismђ which may prove as ruthless in the name of tolerance and diversityђ as every other totalitarian ismђ born and bred from European anti-God thinking (Diocletian-Rousseau-Hegel-Marx-Nietzche-Darwin-Freud-Lenin-Hitler-Stalin).”
And as for the Biblical punishment for apostasy - the punishment is death: (Deuteronomy 17:2-5 and 32:23-25), (Deuteronomy 13:6-10), (1 Timothy 1:20)
Danger sign 9: Refusal to interact, converse, or socialize with non-Muslims.
In response: If any individual wants to be a hermit, or anti-social, that is certainly odd but it is not illegal. There are many religious groups in the U.S. who isolate themselves from contact from the greater society in order to maintain their own particular way of life (some Mormon, Amish, and Mennonite communities for example). There are also many more religious groups that live in communities (Orthodox Jews in New York for example), and even more who advocate for their own parochial schools and social organizations for the same reasons. There are even a few cults who live entirely separated with no social contact with the greater society. This is odd, but protected by the constitution.
I have never heard of anyone who refused to have anything to do with anyone outside of their community, and cant even imagine how they would exist in such a state.
I am certain that American citizens in the early 19th century ғnever imagined that they would later be forced to compete for cultural dominance with the Eastern Europeans, Jews, Italians, Irish, Chinese and other groups deemed as inferior or outside of the norm, but this is exactly what did happen. The city of Boston might be pointed out as an example of a particular ethnic group having ԓcontrol of an entire city. The fact that RotterdamԒs population is now 40% Muslim is just the way it is, as is the fact that in California and some other Southwestern states, the Hispanic population is probably over 50% now. (Period, exclamation point!)
Example of how this sign fails: The Christian Exodus group has taken separation from others who do not share their beliefs to a new high and have targeted making South Carolina a Christian state and “have not ruled out the possibiliy of the state seceding from the United States.”
After just a brief survey on the net I found examples of Militant Christians who would:
- deny rights to people of color, Christian Identity Movement.
- Support the murder of abortion doctors Army of God.
- Make the practice of Islam illegal and punishableӔ by law Kristiansand Progress Party in Norway.
- Deny U.S. citizenship to anyone who is not a Christian Gary North
- deny that there is any possibility for Muslims and Christians to live in peace
Operation Save America
- allow the worship of no other religion on this planet except Christianity Rev. Joseph Morecraft, Chalcedon Presbyterian Church.
- demand that Christians have exclusive control of the U.S. government Gary North.
- in the event of any WMD attack on America or Americans government policy should be to immediately use nuclear weapons to destroy the 100 largest Muslim cities. David Atkins
- arrest every Muslim that enters Georgia Rep. Saxby Chambliss
- institute a policy of killing the relatives of anyone who commits an act of terrorism Lewin Nathan
- sponsor a petition to close the borders, deport Musims, and close mosques NOWӔ
- believe that the rights of one American are worth more than the combined lives of all the men, women and children in other nations combined Ron Pisaturo
- believe that those who believe in Judaeo-Christian values are better qualified to run America than Muslims or Hindus Pat Robertson
- want the reading of the Quran to be banned in public or private Christian Voice
- believe that winning the War on Terror means Muslims must be either ғWesternized or ԓChristianized Srjda Trifkovic
- want to ignite a religious war that will lead to Armageddon Concerned Christians
- believe that the Christian goal for the world is the development of universal Biblical theocratic republics David Chilton, Christian Reconstructionist
- consider the War on Terror to be a Tenth Crusade
- support racial segregation
- encourage Christians to ԓabsolutely ignore the court Pat Robertson
- remove the separation between church and state a whole series of articles
This list could go on and on, but enough said.
You can find numerous examples of militants, fundamentalists, extremists, criminals and even mass murderers among every religious group.
Although counting numbers is pointless, I am certain that Slobodan Milosevic was responsible for more deaths than Osama bin Laden. I haven’t seen any demands that Christians sign some sort of a statement to prove that they don’t have “militant intentions”.
The reality is that this entire exercise is futile. The voices that have us looking to what it is in Islam, or Christianity, or Judaism to find the answers for why criminals carry out violent acts in the name of those religions are only creating polarization, decreasing any chance for dialogue, and leading us down a path that can only lead to a clash of civilizations that might end all civilization.
The voice of moderation rather than the voice of extremism needs to be heard. We need a spiritual jihad against terrorism carried out by those among all faiths who still have hope for a safe world for their children to grow up in.
by courtesy & ԩ 2005 The American Muslim
Published originally at The American Muslim : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”
Sheila Musaji is the editor of The American Muslim
see entire list of articles TAM has published under this heading at Through the Looking Glass - Index