Shireen Qudosi, a Muslim reform activist and senior contributor at CounterJihad.com, talked to Breitbart News Daily Sirius XM host Alex Marlow about her article at The Hill, “Islam Is a Religion of Peace and War – And It’s Not Bigotry to Acknowledge It.”
Marlow noted that many listeners would disagree with the “Islam is a religion of peace” assertion at the beginning of her thesis.
“We keep hearing ‘Islam is peace, Islam is peace,’ especially in response to every terrorist attack,” Qudosi said. “The fact is that Islam is both peace and war.”
She explained how the early history of Islam shaped its dual character for centuries to come:
So when Islam was originally birthed, it was all about peace in the first 12 years. After that, the Prophet Mohammed waged his jihad campaigns, which is where you see the justification for today’s radicals. And so it’s both peace and war.
After the Prophet’s death, it became very politicized. It became the system of Islam, rather than the religion or faith of Islam. So that’s really where it became incredibly warmongering. We had the Caliph of Islam launching campaigns, we had inter-tribal wars, civil wars. So to say that it is just peace is a complete farce.
“It’s not bigotry to speak the truth. That’s really what leftists, and a lot of Islamists – like CAIR, for example – have an issue with,” said Qudosi, referring to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. She added:
So the first people to come after me, within hours of my House Homeland Security hearing on radical Islam last week, was CAIR – proving my point exactly that it’s civil rights for everyone, unless you happen to be a minority Muslim that’s critical of Islam in any capacity, or political Islam in any capacity.
Marlow noted the response from CAIR included a video calling Qudosi “all sorts of nasty things, but most importantly Islamophobic, and not noting you’re a Muslim, which is a new tactic the Left does.”
“It was basically a social media drive-by,” Qudosi said of the video. Elaborating, she said:
They took a clip, in its entirety, of me speaking about Prophet Mohammed in a historical context, so we can understand where radical Islam is coming from. They took it, spun it, and added a confrontational title that shows me saying Mohammed is warmongering and Islam is terroristic, without any sort of direction, without any sort of context. They threw that out there knowing their audience are highly Islamist, if not fanatical about really defending the Prophet’s honor.
Marlow cited one of those lines, which had Qudosi saying Mohammed “would have been viewed as a violent terrorist today,” and asked if such observations are an “open secret” in the Muslim world, or something a lot of other Muslims would disagree with.
Qudosi said there are two answers to that question:
One is, a lot of Muslims are not having the political conversations that you and I here, right now, are having, and that’s goal number one – to push these past statements out there, so we can start talking about them.
Secondly, for the Muslims who do realize this, and who are critical thinkers, it’s really hard for them to come out and speak honestly because of the pushback, the hate and aggression that I’m receiving. So if you see what I’m receiving, how do they feel comfortable enough to come out and say anything, when they’re in an environment where Islamists are protected?
Qudosi has powerfully argued that Islamists must be “lampooned and derided” because “ideas that we are not permitted to attack are the ideas that control us.” Marlow saw this as good advice for those confronted with any sort of political piety, which could serve as a motto for Breitbart News Daily and others resisting the widespread assault on free speech.
“I get hundreds of messages a week from Muslims all around the world, who want to hear voices for humanity, who want to hear more critical dialog, but it’s just not available to them,” Qudosi said. “So one of my key ideas has always been not all ideas are equal, and we don’t need to be tolerant to all ideas.” She went on, “And it’s having that competitive marketplace of ideas where we’re really able to say, ‘Okay, what’s the best idea?’ versus, ‘What do we need to get rid of?’”
The word that we keep hearing from Ibn Nahed Hattar, the Jordanian activist martyr who was killed, I believe, on Sunday in Jordan for, quote-unquote, “offending the Prophet” by sharing a cartoon, and the dialogue we hear from Islamists in America like CAIR is the word “offend.” So the word “offend” is a red flag that this is Islamist rhetoric that’s designed to control and moderate free speech.
She said there was “an entire subculture of moderate Muslims who are speaking out on social media, who are finding avenues to connect with other moderates, and other critical thinkers”:
We just need the support. So if, on a national level, we see an administration coming in that is supportive of minority voices in Islam, is supportive of critical free thinking, that’s what it’s going to take to get us to come out and be more secure.
I spent most of my day yesterday fighting with CAIR on Twitter, in a Twitter war, in a four-on-one scenario. Who wants to do that? So the more that we see these minority voices and critical thinkers in Islam protected, the more you’re going to hear from us.
The tussle with CAIR to which Qudosi referred may be seen by scrolling through the posts on her Twitter page.
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