Wednesday, May 03, 2017

"The Real Bomb Is In Islam`s Books" - Raymond Ibrahim, Frontpage Magazine

A bit about Raymond Ibrahim:

http://raymondibrahim.com/about/

RAYMOND IBRAHIM is a widely published author, public speaker, and Middle East and Islam specialist.  His books include Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings, translations, and observations have appeared in a variety of publications, including the New York Times, CNN, LA Times, Fox News, Financial Times, Jerusalem Post, New York Times Syndicate, United Press International, USA Today, Washington Post, Washington Times, and Weekly Standard; scholarly journals, including the Almanac of Islamism, Chronicle of Higher Education, Hoover Institution’s Strategika, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, and Middle East Review of International Affairs; and popular websites, such as American Thinker, the Blaze, Bloomberg, Breitbart, Christian Post, Daily Caller, FrontPage Magazine, Gatestone Institute, the Inquisitr, Jihad Watch, NewsMax, National Review Online, PJ Media, the UK’s Commentator, WND, and World Magazine. He has contributed chapters to several anthologies and been translated into dozens of languages.
Ibrahim guest lectures at universities, including the National Defense Intelligence College, briefs governmental agencies, such as U.S. Strategic Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and has testified before Congress regarding the conceptual failures that dominate American discourse concerning Islam and the worsening plight of Egypt’s Christian Copts. Among other media, he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, Blaze TV, CBN, and NPR; he has done hundreds of radio interviews and instructed two courses for Prager University.
Ibrahim’s dual-background—born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East—has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former. His interest in Islamic civilization was first piqued when he began visiting the Middle East as a child in the 1970s. Interacting and conversing with the locals throughout the decades has provided him with an intimate appreciation for that part of the world, complementing his academic training.
Raymond received his B.A. and M.A. (both in History, focusing on the ancient and medieval Near East, with dual-minors in Philosophy and Literature) from California State University, Fresno. There he studied closely with noted military-historian Victor Davis Hanson. He also took graduate courses at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies—including classes on the history, politics, and economics of the Arab world—and studied Medieval Islam and Semitic languages at Catholic University of America. His M.A. thesis examined an early military encounter between Islam and Byzantium based on arcane Arabic and Greek texts.
Ibrahim’s resume includes: serving as an Arabic language and regional specialist at the Near East Section of the Library of Congress, where he was often contacted by, and provided information to, defense and intelligence personnel involved in the fields of counterterrorism and area studies, as well as the Congressional Research Service; serving as associate director of the Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia think tank; and serving as a CBN News analyst and contributor.
He resigned from all positions in order to focus exclusively on researching and writing, and is currently a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow, Middle East Forum, and a Hoover Institution Media Fellow (2013), among other titles and affiliations.
A bit about The David Horowitz Freedom Center and Frontpage Magazine:

About David Horowitz Freedom Center

OUR MISSION: The DHFC is dedicated to the defense of free societies whose moral, cultural and economic foundations are under attack by enemies both secular and religious, at home and abroad.
The David Horowitz Freedom Center combats the efforts of the radical left and its Islamist allies to destroy American values and disarm this country as it attempts to defend itself in a time of terror.  The leftist offensive is most obvious on our nation’s campuses, where the Freedom Center protects students from indoctrination and intimidation and works to give conservative students a place in the marketplace of ideas from which they are otherwise excluded.  Combining forceful analysis and bold activism, the Freedom Center provides strong insight into today’s most pressing issue on its family of websites and in the activist campaigns it wages on campus, in the news media, and in national politics throughout the year.
David Horowitz began the Center for the Study of Popular Culture in 1988 to establish a conservative presence in Hollywood and show how popular culture had become a political battleground. Over the next 18 years, CSPC attracted 50,000 contributing supporters and established programs such as The Wednesday Morning Club, the Individual Rights Foundation, and Students for Academic Freedom
FrontPage Magazine, the Center’s online journal of news and political commentary has 1.5 million visitors and over 870,000 unique visitors a month (65 million hits) and is linked to over 2000 other websites.  The magazine’s coverage of and commentary about events has been greatly augmented over the last two years by the presence of four  Shillman Fellows in Journalism underwritten by board member Dr. Robert Shillman. FrontPage has recently added a blog called “The Point,” run by Shillman Fellow Daniel Greenfield, which has tripled web traffic.
DiscoverTheNetworks.com, launched in 2005, is the largest publicly accessible database defining the chief groups and individuals of the Left and their organizational interlocks.  It is a full service encyclopedia of the left providing an intellectual diagram of its institutional power in American culture and politics. DTN has had more than 8 million visitors so far this year and is a key resource for students, scholars and members of the media.
Since 2003, the Center has promoted an Academic Bill of Rights to support students’ academic freedom, and free the American university from political indoctrination and renew its commitment to true intellectual diversity. This campaign has had a permanent impact on American higher education.
In 2007, the Center undertook an unprecedented national campaign to create a national “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.”  Speeches, panels, and informational films were presented on 106 college campuses, along with “sit-ins” to protest the oppression of women in Islam.  It was the largest conservative college student demonstration in American history and was a topic of discussion on 700,000 websites, in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Pakistani Star Tribune, the Iran News Agency, in college papers across the country and on half a dozen national TV shows reaching an audience in the millions. 
The Center held four other Islamo-Fascism Awareness Weeks in 2008-2009 and has had at least one major campaign on campuses across the country since.  The subjects have included the Muslim Students Association’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood; “Wall of Lies” (a rejoinder to pro Palestinians groups’ slander of Israel); and a counter campaign against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.  Freedom Center Students, an online hub for conservative students to receive support in the way of intellectual ammunition, access to speakers, and connect with fellow students fighting the battle for freedom at other campuses.
In 2006, the Center’s Board of Directors decided to change the name of the organization to the David Horowitz Freedom Center and should adopt the following formal mission statement:  “The Defense of Free Societies.”  The Center is currently supported by over 90,000 Americans.
The Freedom Center now includes several other programs, Jihad Watch, The Israel Security Project, and TruthRevolt.  Jihad Watch, run by author Robert Spencer, is a watch dog site that traces the efforts of Islamic radicals in their terror campaign abroad and their efforts at home to infiltrate and subvert Western institutions and civic life and is the most popular website of its kind.  Caroline Glick, an editor and syndicated columnist for the Jerusalem Post and a former captain of the Israel Defense Forces and onetime Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, is the director of the Israel Security Project.  Reporting from Jerusalem, she adds an authoritative voice to the Freedom Center’s coverage of the Mideast conflict.  TruthRevolt is our newest program, run by Shillman Senior Fellow Ben Shapiro.  Its goal is to unmask leftists in the media for who they are, destroy their credibility with the American Public, and devastate their funding bases
http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/266571/real-bomb-islams-books-raymond-ibrahim

‘THE REAL BOMB IS IN ISLAM’S BOOKS’ 


Pope Francis wasted his time at Egypt’s Al Azhar.

 
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
During his visit to Egypt last week, “Pope Francis visited al-Azhar University, a globally respected institution for Sunni Islamic learning,” and “met with Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the imam of the government-run Al-Azhar mosque and an Islamic philosophy professor.”  This has been reported by several media and with much fanfare.
The problem is that Sheikh Tayeb, once voted “world’s most influential Muslim,” and Al Azhar, the important madrassa he heads, are part of the problem, not the solution.  Tayeb is a  renowned master of exhibiting one face to fellow Muslims in Egypt—one that supports the death penalty for “apostates,” calls for the totality of Sharia-rule, refuses to denounce ISIS of being un-Islamicdenounces all art as immoral, and rejects the very concept of reforming Islam—and another face to non-Muslims.
Consider, for instance, the words of Islam al-Behery—a popular Egyptian Muslim reformer who frequently runs afoul of Islamists in Egypt who accuse him of blasphemy and apostasy from Islam.  The day after the suicide bombings of two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt, the Muslim scholar was interviewed by phone on a popular Egyptian television program (Amr Adib’s kul youm, or “Every Day”).  He spent most of his time on the air blasting Al Azhar and Ahmed al-Tayeb—at one point going so far as to say that “70-80 percent of all terror in the last 5 years is a product of Al Azhar.”
The reformer knows what he speaks of; in 2015, al- Behery’s televised calls to reform Islam so irked Al Azhar that the venerable Islamic institution accused him of “blaspheming” against Islam, which led to his imprisonment.
Now Behery says that, ever since President Sisi implored Al Azhar to make reforms to how Islam is being taught in Egypt three years ago, the authoritative madrassa “has not reformed a single thing,” only offered words.  “If they were sincere about one thing, they would have protected hundreds, indeed thousands of lives from being killed in just Egypt alone, said al-Behery.
By way of examples, the scholar of Islam pointed out that Al Azhar still uses books in its curriculum which teach things like “whoever kills an infidel, his blood is safeguarded, for the blood of an infidel and believer [Muslim] are not equal.”  Similarly, he pointed to how Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb claims that ISIS members are not infidels, only deluded Muslims; but those whom they kill—such as the bombed Christians—are infidels, the worst label in Islam’s lexicon.

Debating Behery was an Al Azhar spokesman who naturally rejected the reformer’s accusations against the Islamic madrassa, adding that the source of problems in Egypt is not the medieval institution, but rather “new” ideas that came to Egypt from 20th century “radicals” like Hasan al-Bana and Sayyid Qutb, founding leaders/ideologues of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Behery’s response was refreshing; those many Western analysts who follow the same line of thinking—that “radicalism” only came after thinkers like Bana, Qutb, Mawdudi (in Pakistan) or Wahhab (in Arabia) came on the scene—would do well to listen.  After saying that “blaming radicalism on these men is very delusional,” the reformer correctly added:
The man who kills himself [Islamic suicide bomber] today doesn’t kill himself because of the words of Hasan al-Bana or Sayyid al-Qutb, or anyone else.  He kills himself because of what the consensus of the ulema, and the four schools of jurisprudence, have all agreed to.  Hasan al-Bana did not create these ideas [of jihad against infidels and apostates, destroying churches, etc.]; they’ve been around for many, many centuries….   I am talking about Islam [now], not how it is being taught in schools.
By way of example, Behery said if anyone today walks into any Egyptian mosque or bookstore and ask for a book that contains the rulings of the four schools of jurisprudence, “everything that is happening today will be found in them; killing the people of the book [Christians and Jews] is obligatory.  Let’s not start kidding each other and blaming such thoughts on Hassan al-Bana!”  Moreover, Behery said:
There is a short distance between what is written in all these old books and what happened yesterday [Coptic church bombings]—the real bomb is in the books, which repeatedly call the People of the Book “infidels,” which teach that the whole world is infidel…  Hassan al-Bana and Sayyid al-Qutb are not the source of the terror, rather they are followers of these books.  Spare me with the term Qutbism which has caused the nation to suffer terrorism for 50 years.
Behery does not blame Al Azhar for the existence of these books; rather he, like many reformers, wants the Islamic institution to break tradition, denounce the rulings of the four schools of law as the products of fallible mortals, and reform them in ways compatible to the modern world.  He said that, whereas Egypt’s former grand imam, Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi (d. 2010), had “without even being asked removed all the old books and placed just one introductory book, when al-Tayeb [who days ago embraced Pope Francis] came, he got rid of that book and brought all the old books back, which are full of slaughter and bloodshed.” 
In short, Behery called on the Egyptian government—and here the Vatican would do well to listen—not to rely on Al Azhar to make any reforms, since if anything it has taken Egypt backwards.