After being told for the past six years that there is no threat from Islamism, Americans are slowly waking up to the the fact that radical Islam does indeed pose a serious threat to the West. It is becoming difficult for most to deny that the carnage we witnessed in Paris, as well as Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, our own shores on 9/11, and in countless other countries for the past 1,400 years, is a product of Islam.
The Obama White House, on the other hand, insists that extremists have distorted an inherently peaceful religion and say they will redouble their efforts to “be clear about what the tenets of Islam actually are.”
UKIP leader Nigel Farage told Neil CAvuto on Fox News yesterday: “The first thing we have to do is recognise the mistakes of the past, let’s be absolutely frank and honest about this. We now have, within many European countries, and dare I say it within the USA too, a fifth column living within our own countries, people mercifully few in numbers, but people who are out to destroy our whole civilisation and our way of life.”
This is not to say that all Muslims are violent when most obviously are not. But it is to say that a significant minority of believers are willing to carry out acts of violence as prescribed by the tenets of their faith — many of which Andrew McCarthy assiduously catalogued at National Review yesterday, using excerpts from Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, the authoritative sharia manual.
Apostasy from Islam is “the ugliest form of unbelief” for which the penalty is death (“When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed”). (Reliance o8.0 & ff.)
Apostasy occurs not only when a Muslim renounces Islam but also, among other things, when a Muslim appears to worship an idol, when he is heard “to speak words that imply unbelief,” when he makes statements that appear to deny or revile Allah or the prophet Mohammed, when he is heard “to deny the obligatory character of something which by consensus of Muslims is part of Islam,” and when he is heard “to be sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law.” (Reliance o8.7; see also p9.0 & ff.)
It is worth pausing to mull these latter prohibitions against denying or reviling any aspect of Islam, Allah, or the prophet. The call to kill apostates for such offenses obviously applies with equal or greater force to non-Muslims, who are pervasively treated far worse than Muslims are by sharia. See, for example, the infamous verse 29 from Sura 9, the Koran’s most bellicose chapter:
Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold forbidden which had been forbidden by Allah and his Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the people of the book [i.e., Christians and Jews], until they pay the jizya [the poll tax imposed on non-believers for the privilege of living in the Islamic state] and feel themselves subdued.
McCarthy declared what “Charlie Hebdo has satirized is a savage reality. That reality was visited on the magazine again today.”
In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo slaughter, renowned atheist Richard Dawkins noted on Twitter: “They shouted ‘We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad.’ Some useful idiot will claim it had nothing to do with religion.”
Almost as if on cue, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday that the Obama administration will “redouble its efforts” to explain “what the true tenets” of the Religion of Peace actually are.
“There are some individuals that are using a peaceful religion and grossly distorting it, and trying to use its tenets to inspire people around the globe to carry out acts of violence,” he claimed. “And we have enjoyed significant success in enlisting leaders in the Muslim community, like I said, both in the United States and around the world to condemn that kind of messaging, to condemn those efforts to radicalize individuals, and to be clear about what the tenets of Islam actually are. And we’re going to redouble those efforts in the days and weeks ahead.”
One Muslim leader has taken a clear eyed look at some of the tenets of Islam and found that they are “antagonizing the entire world.”
Speaking in Al-Azhar University in Cairo on New Years Day, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi made a dramatic call for religious reform of the Muslim faith. “We need to revolutionize our religion,” he proclaimed to the applause of an audience of Muslim clerics and scholars.
“The corpus of texts and ideas that we have made sacred over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world,” he said. “You cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You must step outside yourselves and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.”
The solution to Islamic violence isn’t “better messaging,” as the perpetually off-key Obama White House would have it.
Nothing short of a “religious revolution” in which Muslim clerics take the lead in defanging an antagonistic ideology will do.