Monday, May 16, 2016

Hugh Fitzgerald: The Education of Donald Trump

Learned expert on Islam, Hugh Fitzgerald has  an important and substantial body of work through his archive at the leading and respected Jihad Watch site, at:

To read the entire item "The Education of Donald Trump", kindly click on this link:

From the article:

It is not that Trump has been misinformed, but that he has not been sufficiently informed to do more than speak in dismissive generalities about Islam. He knows there is something worrisome about Islam, and thinks – sensibly – that it might be a good idea to put a stop to Muslim immigration “until we figure out what is going on.” Who could disagree? Well, apparently a great many of those people who, knowing so little about Islam, assume they know all they need to know, and believe there is nothing more to “figure out” – they could and do disagree with the “islamophobic” Donald J. Trump.
Now instead of softening his previous statements by re-labelling them as “suggestions,” Trump might have held off and done what Muslims fear most, which is to educate himself, and without their “help,” about Islam. He’s a combative sort, and were he to put in hours of study of the canonical texts (and Robert Spencer has published a verse-by-verse exegesis, Blogging the Qur’an, that Trump would find most useful) – and not allow himself to be scared off by the usual claims, e.g., that non-Muslims simply can’t understand the Qur’an because they don’t know Arabic, or can’t interpret a verse or a Tradition (Hadith) correctly unless they know the “context,” the results could be salutary and bracing. Imagine that Trump, fortified with his new knowledge, came out from his corner quoting, able to clarify for his rapt audience what the Qur’an contains, and what the Hadith are, and why both matter to Muslims as sources of authority. Imagine a Trump able to explain how, through the interpretative doctrine of naskh, or abrogation, Muslims are able to reconcile contradictory passages in the Qur’an by abrogating the earlier, “softer” verses in favor of the later, more uncompromising verses. Imagine a Trump who could focus attention (and he now garners far more attention than any other candidate) on a few dozen or so of the most disturbing “Jihad verses” that are cited by ISIS and other terrorists as the textual justification for their behavior. When ISIS smites the necks of the Infidels, its killers are not silent; they tell us they are simply following 8:12 and 47:4 (or other relevant verses for other atrocities). In lieu of uttering general and sometimes vague remarks, Trump can locate his worries in specific verses. “Until we figure out what is going on,” while reasonable, is not as forceful as “so, we need to take a look at those verses Muslim killers keep quoting, such as 8:12 and 47:4 and 9:5 and 9:29 – lemme just read out some of these to you…(here Trump quotes Qur’anically ad libitum).” Trump could force the issue, and brusquely deal with the expected excuses: “Yeah, somebody told me because I don’t know Arabic I can’t really understand these verses, but 80% of the world’s Muslims don’t know any Arabic – and no one says that they can’t possibly understand Islam” or “Don’t go telling me these verses can only be understood in a particular historical context — Muhammad is the ‘perfect man’ (al-insan al-kamil) for all time.” I cannot imagine any candidate except Trump daring to hold up for inspection Muhammad’s marriage to little Aisha, or Muhammad’s expression of pleasure at hearing of the assassinations of Asma bint Marwan and Abu ‘Afak. But he needs to learn, and be ready to deploy in his forthright fashion, these facts and more. This would enrage Muslims, and other defenders of the faith, precisely because Trump would be adducing those biographical episodes (about little Aisha, the Khaybar Oasis, the Battle of the Trench, the poetess Asma bint Marwan, the sex slave Safiyya bint Huyayy) that Muslims, however much for granted they take these things, also know that among the Unbelievers such “details” could be a source of deep embarrassment.