CNN’s War Against Truth

AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub
AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub

In the wake of daily jihad attacks (thwarted or deadly), CNN clearly is losing control of its narrative that Islam is a religion of peace and Islamic jihad is not Islamic. From the very beginning of its propaganda piece “The War Within Islam,” which aired Monday night, CNN’s agenda was clear.

The show was full of dissembling, dishonesty, and dissimulation from beginning to end. The title itself, “The War Within Islam,” is a lie. Where do we see evidence of a war within Islam? We don’t see millions of Muslims marching against jihad and Sharia. On the contrary, hundreds of thousands of Muslims marched in Chechnya against the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. In Iran, mobs chanted, “Death to France.” In Pakistan, over 10,000 marched and attacked police, and in Niger anti-cartoon mobs torched forty-five churches. They are marching for jihad and for sharia.

The only war is on the truth. “Moderate” Muslims are not arguing with jihadists; instead, they’re arguing with those who oppose jihad, claiming that Islamic jihad is not Islamic. The war is in the Western information battle-space, where CNN and the rest of the mainstream media are busy spinning, twisting, and contorting the narrative. This argument should be taking place in the Muslim world, but it is not — with the notable exception of President el-Sisi in Egypt.

Alisyn Camerota of CNN says, “1.6 billion people around the world practice Islam today, and most Muslims will tell you it’s a peaceful religion. But still, questions persist about whether there is something inherent to Islam that lends itself to extremism.”

CNN described guest Maajid Nawaz as a “former Islamic extremist.” Maajid Nawaz is the founder of the UK’s “counter-extremism think tank,” the Quilliam Foundation, a group that has the ear of the British government and counters “extremism” without ever fully confronting the roots of that extremism in the Qur’an and Muhammad’s example. Nawaz claimed that jihad “comes down to a combination of four factors: a sense of grievance, identity crisis, charismatic recruiters who provide a sense of belonging, an alternative sense of belonging from mainstream society, and the role that ideology plays.” So no Islam here, folks. It is not surprising that Nawaz would focus first on “a sense of grievance”: victimhood is part of jihad. But “identity crisis”? Identity is the one thing that is not in question. The jihadis’ identification with and love for Islam is orgiastic — the more devout, the more Muslim, the more inclined they are to wage jihad.

Where were the critical scholars of Islam and the counter jihad activists on the program? Bobby Ghosh, CNN’s Global Affairs Analyst, was the former TIME magazine World Editor. He was responsible for those two outrageous cover pieces —  “Is America Islamophobic?” and  “Does America Have a Muslim Problem?” — during the Ground Zero mosque controversy. In 2011, Ghosh declared on MSNBC that to a practicing Muslim, burning Koran is much worse than burning the Bible, because the Koran is directly from God, while the Bible isn’t.

CNN devoted a large part of this spectacle of whitewash to what should we should actually call the Islamic jihadists. Bobby Ghosh, CNN’s Global Affairs Analyst, made the salient point that these jihadists are called mujahadeen (holy warriors) in the Muslim world and that there is an acceptance that these people are claiming to fight in the name of Allah. But this was not explored at all despite the fact that a large portion of the special was devoted to what words we should or should not use. It was instructive as it gave viewers an inside peek into how the media twists itself in knots so as not to offend Islam.

Al Jazeera and Huffington Post writers like Ahmed Shihab-Eldin weighed in with their fair share of taqiya (deception to advance Islam), so it can be said that on balance, there was no balance.

One of the featured experts on the Qur’an was Daisy Khan, Executive Director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, who insisted that there was nothing in the Qur’an that justified any of the violence done in the name of Islam today. She also claimed that blasphemy is not punishable by death.

There is no reference in the Qur’an, uh, which prohibits Muslims from drawing a cartoon or an image of the prophet. Uh, this ruling came from the prophet himself, who was actually concerned about people idolizing him, or worshipping idols. He was surrounded by idol worshippers, and so he told people, do not make any images of anything, any, eh, you know. And it’s similar to what’s in the Ten Commandments, which says do not create ingraven images. So, so really the ruling came from that, then the scholars extended it to saying that we should prohibit all images of all prophets and God. 1,400 years, we have not been creating images of prophets or God… It did not start in the Qur’an. It is a prophetic saying.

Cuomo asked Khan, “And is it taught that you’re supposed to kill people who do it?” Khan replied: “No. It’s actually, the Qur’an actually says that if somebody, you know, mocks your religion, you should go, either walk away from them or dialogue with them.”

Khan doesn’t mention that Muhammad said, “Whoever curses a Prophet, kill him,” and the Qur’an says, “He who obeys the Messenger [that is, Muhammad] has obeyed Allah” (4:80). She doesn’t tell CNN viewers that the Qur’an says, “Those who harm Allah and His Messenger, Allah has cursed them in this world and in the Next, and has prepared for them a humiliating punishment” (33:57). How will they be cursed in this world? By being killed: “Cursed they will be. Wherever they are found, they are seized and all slain” (33: 61).

And as for “prophetic sayings,” Khan doesn’t mention these, recounted at a Muslim website in Britain:

In a sound hadith the Prophet commanded that Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf be killed. He asked, “Who will deal with Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf? He has harmed Allah and His Messenger.” He sent someone to assassinate him without calling him to Islam, in distinction to other idol-worshippers. The cause of that lay in his causing harm to the Prophet. That indicates that the Prophet had him killed for something other than idol-worship. It was for causing harm. Abu Rafi, who used to harm the Messenger of Allah and work against him, was also killed.

Similarly on the Day of the Conquest, he ordered the killing of Ibn Khatal and his two slavegirls who used to sing his curses on the Prophet.

In another hadith about a man who used to curse the Prophet, the Prophet said, “Who will save me from my enemy?” Khalid said, “I will,” so the Prophet sent him out and he killed him.

Saud Anwar, the mayor of South Windsor, Connecticut, answered a question about violence in the Qur’an by saying, “If you look at the Qur’an in the broader sense, 114 times it’s mentioned in the Qur’an that God is the most gracious and most merciful.” Camerota agreed that jihadis had “bastardized” Qur’anic teaching and gently challenged Anwar’s claim by noting that they justified their actions by citing the Qur’anic passage that directs Muslims to “slay the idolaters wherever you find them, arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them” (9:5).

Khan responded to this not by explaining this passage but by saying, “Nothing justifies killing, because in Islam, Islam is a religion of law and there is due process.” When Cuomo cut in, “But it’s a literal interpretation,” Khan pressed on with more nonsense:

It’s a literal interpretation, but it’s also contextual, so it may have happened in a specific incident where the prophet was, was being attacked, so he was given permission to fight those particular people. However, there are rules of engaging people in combat. And the rule is you do not kill non-combatants, you do not kill innocent people, you do not destroy property, you do not commit rape, you do not terrorize people and you do not declare war, without – you actually declare war, you do not do, you know, clandestine type of operations. So they’re breaking all the rules of warfare. And so even though the Qur’an gives permission for self-defense and fighting your enemies, it does not say that you have to take matters into your own hands. And surely you have to follow the rulings that the scholars have established for the last 1,400 years. Imagine if we didn’t have these rulings, we would have had mayhem all these years.

We have had mayhem all these years, but Khan is counting on CNN viewers not knowing Islam’s 1,400-year history of genocide, land appropriations, cultural annihilation, and enslavement. Her claims in this are false or deceptive: Islam does forbid killing innocent people, but many Muslim scholars say no non-Muslim is innocent. Rape is not forbidden when it comes to infidel women captured in battle: the Qur’an explicitly gives Muslim men permission to have sex with their wives and the “captives your right hands possess” – that is, sex slaves captured in jihad warfare (see Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50). This Islamic State is following the rulings that Islamic scholars have established for 1,400 years. That’s the problem.

But the clueless Camerota tells Daisy: “So interesting to hear what the Qur’an really says and means rather than what the terrorists claim it does.”

Daisy Khan is a perennial favorite of the media — she is perceived as a modern moderate. And yet in a glowing puff piece in MORE magazine in January 2011, Khan’s mask momentarily slipped:

But not every opinion of the Shura Council or its members reflects Khan’s views. At the council’s October meeting at the Union Theological Seminary in New York, she seemed distracted—texting, reading e-mails, taking cell phone calls—as 18 women sat around a table in an oak-paneled room for nearly 10 hours straight, parsing the Koran in excruciating detail. Then the result of a recent poll of WISE’s members on the subject of female genital cutting was announced. The question was, “Is cutting harmful to women?” Khan was standing when she heard that four women had responded no… “Who are those four?” she asked sharply, and then, seeing the discomfort on several women’s faces, she smiled, rolled her eyes and shrugged.

She shrugged at clitoridectomies (female genital cutting)? As soon as she saw the “discomfort” on the faces of women who had approved of this barbaric practice, she shrugged it off?

This is the Muslim “expert” CNN brings in to explain it all for you. CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS et al never invite scholars critical of Islam or counter jihad activists to educate or elucidate. But no matter how much of this shameless propaganda CNN and the rest of the media pump out, they won’t be able to obscure the grim reality of Islamic jihad. Americans are waking up.

Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter here. Like her on Facebook here.


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