Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Islam: More ‘Like the Mafia’ than Bill Maher Knows - Raymond Ibrahim


http://raymondibrahim.com/about/


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.

http://raymondibrahim.com/2014/10/17/islam-more-like-the-mafia-than-bill-maher-knows-part-1/

Islam: More ‘Like the Mafia’ than Bill Maher Knows


Editor’s note: The following is Part One of a three-part series examining the many parallels between Islam and the mafia.
During a recent debate on HBO’s Real Time, host Bill Maher declared that Islam is “the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”
Maher was apparently referring to Islam’s “blasphemy” laws, which ban on pain of death any “insult”—as 
found in a statement, a picture, a book—to Islam and especially its prophet, Muhammad.
While Maher has been criticized for his “Islamophobic” assertion, he and others may be surprised to learn that the similarities between Islam and the mafia far exceed punishing those who say, draw, or write “the wrong thing.”
In the following three part article, we will examine a number of these similarities.
In this article, Part One, we will look at the relationship between Allah, his messenger Muhammad, and the Muslims, and note several parallels with the relationship between the godfather, his underboss, and the mafia.
In Part Two (forthcoming), we will examine the clannish nature of the mafia and compare it to Islam’s concept of “Loyalty and Enmity”—including how in both Islam and the mafia, those members who wish to break away, to “apostatize,” are killed.
In Part Three (forthcoming), we will examine how both the mafia and Islam have both historically profited from the “protection” racket.
Allah as Godfather; Muhammad as Underboss
The padrino of larger mafia organizations and families—literally, the godfather or “boss of bosses”—has absolute control over his subordinates and is often greatly feared by them for his ruthlessness.  He has an “underboss,” a right-hand man who issues his orders and enforces his will.  The godfather himself is often inaccessible; mafia members need to go through the underboss or other high ranking associates.
Compare this with the relationship between Allah and his “messenger” Muhammad (in Arabic, Muhammad is most commonly referred to as al-rasul, “the messenger”). Unlike the Judeo-Christian God—a personal God, a Father, that according to Christ is to be communed with directly (Matt 6:9)—Islam’s god, Allah, is unreachable, unknowable, untouchable.  Like the godfather, he is inaccessible.   His will is enforced by his messenger, Muhammad.
If the Judeo-Christian God calls on the faithful to “come now, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18), Allah says “Do not ask questions about things that, if made known to you, would only pain you” (Koran 5:101).  Just follow orders.
Though largely invisible and operating behind the scenes, the godfather and his underboss get a “piece of the action”—a “cut”—of all spoils acquired by their subordinates, the mafia.
So do Allah and his messenger Muhammad.  Koran 8:41 informs Muslims that “one-fifth [a “cut”] of all plunder you acquire goes to Allah and the messenger” (followed by Muhammad’s family and finally the needy).
The godfather, through his underboss, regularly sends his followers to make “hits”—to assassinate—those deemed enemies of the family.
So did Allah and his messenger.  One example:  A non-Muslim poet, Ka‘b ibn Ashraf, insulted Muhammad, prompting the latter once to exclaim, “Who will kill this man who has hurt Allah and his messenger?” A young Muslim named Muhammad ibn Maslama volunteered on condition that to get close enough to assassinate Ka‘b he be allowed to lie to the poet.
Muhammad agreed. Ibn Maslama traveled to Ka‘b and began to denigrate Islam and Muhammad until his disaffection became so convincing that Ka‘b took him into his confidence. Soon thereafter, Ibn Maslama appeared with another Muslim and, while Ka‘b’s guard was down, slaughtered the poet, bringing his head to Muhammad to the usual triumphant cries of “Allahu Akbar!” (“Allah is greater”).
Similarly, mafia members are expected always to be available for the family, “even if your wife is about to give birth,” and to defend the godfather and his honor—even if it requires their lives.
Compare this to the widespread violence and upheavals that occur whenever Allah or his prophet are offended—whenever non-Muslim “infidels” blaspheme them.  Or, as Bill Maher put it: “Its’ the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”
Finally, while the family adheres to a general set of rules, the godfather also issues more fluid orders to address situations as they evolve.
This is reminiscent of the entire “revelation” of the Koran, where later verses/commands contradict earlier verses/commands, depending on circumstances (known in Islamic jurisprudence as al-nāsikh wal-mansūkh, or the doctrine of abrogation).
Thus, whereas Allah supposedly told the prophet that “there is no compulsion in religion” (Koran 2:256), once the messenger grew strong enough, Allah issued new revelations calling for all-out war/jihad on the entire world till Islam became supreme (Koran 8:39, 9:5, 9:29, etc.).
Stay tuned for Part Two…