Glen Greenwald, famous as Edward Snowden’s confidante
I had been working on a piece about the terrorist attack in Paris, being, as I was, especially disgusted by the hypocritical apotheosis of free speech in the wake of the murders (which was emphasised in preference to the far more worrying anti – Semitic element in the second attack on a Kosher Supermarket). It was all the more nauseating to see the press fall over each other to remind us that the attacks took place because of the ‘taboo’ of depicting the Prophet Muhammad (which is so ‘taboo’ that numerous Muslim artists in the past have done it without getting harmed in any way) and showing only the most innocuous of the images, while very deliberately sparing us the worst examples which included vulgar, nude, sexual and racist depictions of The Prophet of Islam (and black people. And Jews).
This could be no coincidence – the idea was to ensure that the attacks were framed in a ‘free speech’ and clash of values/cultures narrative with a ‘look these Muslims are trying to force you to follow their religious edicts’ manner as opposed to how we would view someone who was killed for cussing out someone else’s mother (or indeed baiting a maniacal terrorist organisation and getting themselves and a bunch of other people killed in the process) – it’s still murder but lets face it, we would have a lot less sympathy, especially if the guys they insisted on ‘Yo’ mamma’-ing were already genocidal brain cases. To this end, as I mentioned, the press ‘self censored’ by deliberately showing the least racist or offensive cartoons, seemingly to try and make the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ team look less vile than they in fact were, as many other honest commentators have noted.
That of course does not excuse murder, but the attempt to generate excess sympathy for what was bunch of xenophobic bigots shot dead by terrorist maniacs was a disgraceful exercise in propaganda of the very worst Cold War variety. It was even more loathsome to see millions demonstrating and insisting that ‘I am Charlie’, (or ‘I am a racist twat’ as it could equally be put). Again, as other commentators have said, defending free speech and condemning terror (as we must do) does not mean we must give exposure and approval to the ilk of the noxious ‘Charlie Hebdo’.
However, I had to stop writing altogether when I saw Glen Greenwald’s masterful article on the same subject – he put it much better than I could and why multiply responsa beyond necessity? So I reproduce it here in it’s entirety.
I also want to add that many Muslims should read this with a certain introspection, in that an openly gay (he’s married to man) Jew (though not ‘Bar Mitzvah-ed’, as Zionists are forever reminding us) is taking such an outspoken risk to stand up for the truth in a manner that can only harm him and will not gain him any purchase from the largely closed minded Muslim community that he seeks to assist.
His response is much better than the largely woeful Muslim responses I have seen, and so is his character.
Greenwald’s article originally published here (with many useful links and references which could not be ported over):https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/01/14/days-hosting-massive-free-speech-march-france-arrests-comedian-facebook-comments/
And another ‘free speech’ cock – up here, where a man is arrested for making a ‘Twitter’ joke about accident victims in Glasgow:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-30585301
Forty-eight hours after hosting a massive march under the banner of free expression, France opened a criminal investigation of a controversial French comedian for a Facebook post he wrote about the Charlie Hebdo attack, and then this morning, arrested him for that post on charges of “defending terrorism.” The comedian, Dieudonné (above), previously sought elective office in France on what he called an “anti-Zionist” platform, has had his show banned by numerous government officials in cities throughout France, and has been criminally prosecuted several times before for expressing ideas banned in that country.
The apparently criminal viewpoint he posted on Facebook declared: “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly.” Investigators concluded that this was intended to mock the “Je Suis Charlie” slogan and express support for the perpetrator of the Paris supermarket killings (whose last name was “Coulibaly”). Expressing that opinion is evidently a crime in the Republic of Liberté, which prides itself on a line of 20th Century intellectuals – from Sartre and Genet to Foucault and Derrida – whose hallmark was leaving no orthodoxy or convention unmolested, no matter how sacred.
Since that glorious “free speech” march, France has reportedly opened 54 criminal cases for “condoning terrorism.” AP reported this morning that “France ordered prosecutors around the country to crack down on hate speech, anti-Semitism and glorifying terrorism.”
As pernicious as this arrest and related “crackdown” on some speech obviously is, it provides a critical value: namely, it underscores the utter scam that was this week’s celebration of free speech in the west. The day before the Charlie Hebdo attack, I coincidentally documented the multiple cases in the west – including in the U.S. – where Muslims have been prosecuted and even imprisoned for their political speech. Vanishingly few of this week’s bold free expression mavens have ever uttered a peep of protest about any of those cases – either before the Charlie Hebdo attack or since. That’s because “free speech,” in the hands of many westerners, actually means: it is vital that the ideas I like be protected, and the right to offend groups I dislike be cherished; anything else is fair game.
It is certainly true that many of Dieudonné’s views and statements are noxious, although he and his supporters insist that they are “satire” and all in good humor. In that regard, the controversy they provoke is similar to the now-much-beloved Charlie Hebdo cartoons (one French leftist insists the cartoonists were mocking rather than adopting racism and bigotry, but Olivier Cyran, a former writer at the magazine who resigned in 2001, wrote a powerful 2013 letter with ample documentation condemning Charlie Hebdo for descending in the post-9/11 era into full-scale, obsessive anti-Muslim bigotry).
Despite the obvious threat to free speech posed by this arrest, it is inconceivable that any mainstream western media figures would start tweeting “#JeSuisDieudonné” or would upload photographs of themselves performing his ugly Nazi-evoking arm gesture in “solidarity” with his free speech rights. That’s true even if he were murdered for his ideas rather than “merely” arrested and prosecuted for them. That’s because last week’s celebration of the Hebdo cartoonists (well beyond mourning their horrifically unjust murders) was at least as much about approval for their anti-Muslim messages as it was about the free speech rights that were invoked in their support – at least as much.
The vast bulk of the stirring “free speech” tributes over the last week have been little more than an attempt to protect and venerate speech that degrades disfavored groups while rendering off-limits speech that does the same to favored groups, all deceitfully masquerading as lofty principles of liberty. In response to my article containing anti-Jewish cartoons on Monday – which I posted to demonstrate the utter selectivity and inauthenticity of this newfound adoration of offensive speech – I was subjected to endless contortions justifying why anti-Muslim speech is perfectly great and noble while anti-Jewish speech is hideously offensive and evil (the most frequently invoked distinction – “Jews are a race/ethnicity while Muslims aren’t” – would come as a huge surprise to the world’s Asian, black, Latino and white Jews, as well as to those who identify as “Muslim” as part of their cultural identity even though they don’t pray five times a day). As always: it’s free speech if it involves ideas I like or attacks groups I dislike, but it’s something different when I’m the one who is offended.
Think about the “defending terrorism” criminal offense for which Dieudonné has been arrested. Should it really be a criminal offense – causing someone to be arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned – to say something along these lines: western countries like France have been bringing violence for so long to Muslims in their countries that I now believe it’s justifiable to bring violence to France as a means of making them stop? If you want “terrorism defenses” like that to be criminally prosecuted (as opposed to societally shunned), how about those who justify, cheer for and glorify the invasion and destruction of Iraq, with its “Shock and Awe” slogan signifying an intent to terrorize the civilian population into submission and itsmonstrous tactics in Fallujah? Or how about the psychotic calls from a Fox News host, when discussing Muslims radicals, to “kill them ALL.” Why is one view permissible and the other criminally barred – other than because the force of law is being used to control political discourse and one form of terrorism (violence in the Muslim world) is done by, rather than to, the west?
For those interested, my comprehensive argument against all “hate speech” laws and other attempts to exploit the law to police political discourse is here. That essay, notably, was written to denounce a proposal by a French minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, to force Twitter to work with the French government to delete tweets which officials like this minister (and future unknown ministers) deem “hateful.” France is about as legitimate a symbol of free expression as Charlie Hebdo, which fired one of its writers in 2009 for a single supposedly anti-Semitic sentence in the midst of publishing an orgy of anti-Muslim (not just anti-Islam) content. This week’s celebration of France – and the gaggle of tyrannical leaders who joined it – had little to do with free speech and much to do with suppressing ideas they dislike while venerating ideas they prefer.
Perhaps the most intellectually corrupted figure in this regard is, unsurprisingly, France’s most celebrated (and easily the world’s most overrated) public intellectual, the philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy. He demands criminal suppression of anything smacking of anti-Jewish views (he called for Dieudonné’s shows to be banned (“I don’t understand why anyone even sees the need for debate”) and supported the 2009 firing of the Charlie Hebdo writer for a speech offense against Jews), while shamelessly parading around all last week as the Churchillian champion of free expression when it comes to anti-Muslim cartoons.
But that, inevitably, is precisely the goal, and the effect, of laws that criminalize certain ideas and those who support such laws: to codify a system where the views they like are sanctified and the groups to which they belong protected. The views and groups they most dislike – and only them – are fair game for oppression and degradation.
The arrest of this French comedian so soon after the epic Paris free speech march underscores this point more powerfully than anything I could have written about the selectivity and fraud of this week’s “free speech” parade. It also shows – yet again – why those who want to criminalize the ideas they most dislike are at least as dangerous and tyrannical as the ideas they target: at least.
Other balanced responses:
From Oxford Philosopher Brian Klug:http://mondoweiss.net/2015/01/moral-hysteria-charlie
Mehdi Hasan in the New Statesman:http://www.newstatesman.com/mehdi-hasan/2015/01/muslim-i-m-fed-hypocrisy-free-speech-fundamentalists
And from literary Critic Leo Robson in the same magazine:http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2015/01/michel-houellebecq-frances-literary-provocateur
Glen is good but I hardly think he is going out if the way to particularly help the Muslim community
Most Muslims are simply conditioned to believe that unless someone converts to Islam, he is not ‘one of them’. And if someone converts to Islam and becomes a Salafist whack job, he is still one of ‘them’. ‘Tis foolish as you well know.
The article above as one of the first critical responses to the Hebdo mania, is sufficient proof of him going out of his way, as is his amazing response to the latest Gaza massacre:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/04/glenn-greenwald-israel_n_5648822.html and his appearances such as on Bill Maher:http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/may/11/bill-maher-muslims-islam-benghazi
I don’t know what else you want him to do – join the Muslim Brotherhood or write a tafseer of The Quran or something?!
I do not know about getting this “help” from the liberal side: I have said many times, that things have steadily taken a turn for the worse, where now the entire aim of the non-Muslim “project”, whether conservative-secular or liberal-secular, is to put pressure on the Muslims to basically leave Islam.
Even if we take the “lenient” speeches of Shaykh Atabek, I am sure there will be many non-Muslims pouncing on so many things he might have said, the reason being obviously, that they consider him to be “too immature to understand that the authenticity of the Qur’an as Divine itself has to be questioned, and only then Muslims will progress”.
I am sure we all can quote other similar examples, where now the “Muslim identity” is being pressured to come down to a mere ethnicity. In this sense then, the presentation of our viewpoints as Muslim viewpoints (whatever they may be, puritan or otherwise) will be difficult to get across, so I think w need to redouble our efforts in multiple ways.
Good points: I want to make some of my own they are not to respond to yours but around the same area, So it is not specifically addressed to your comments only but I am using them as a launch pad, so please don’t feel attacked.
Look, this is just a reflex that has been conditioned into Muslims, ‘Oh no, non-Muslims, they don’t agree with us on many things, we cannot trust them!’. But it is just nonsense and actually is what is holding us back (along with a big list of other things). We did not yet take the advice of Imam Ali when he said don’t look at who is talking but rather what is being said.
1400 years on and we still failed to take his other advice as well: when asked who are the people of truth he said ‘first know the truth then you will know it’s people’. So my question to you and others: Is Glen Greenwald a person of truth or not?
So even very intelligent and sincere people like you cannot help themselves: they see a guy like Greenwald, he is doing justice and speaking the truth, he is taking a risk, he has done it many times (for example, his famous clash with Islamophobe and all round ass-hole Bill Maher). He is clearly saying that free speech is not absolute, that Muslims are being victimised in the name of free speech and that the whole Charlie Hebdo thing is BS and hypocrisy. So what kind of Liberal is he? He is clearly criticising liberalism in this form.
Why does he have to agree with everything or even anything we say for us to praise and acknowledge when he says the truth? Is it hikmah and wisdom to criticise such people when he is going out of his way to alienate other liberals and how will he feel when he sees our comments? It is just like if I am being bullied at school and a kid comes and stops it and you say ‘I don’t need help from kufaar’, and then the bully goes back to kicking my ass.
So we need to separate: when have I ever said we are liberals, secularists, moral relativists whatever? Just before this I published a long article taking liberals and the gay lobby to task. So we need to think about two things:
1) Even when Satan speaks the truth, we have to acknowledge it. Even Allah did this in Quran when he said that Satan was right about mankind. Is Greenwald and Liberals worse than Satanic forces or is our caution and judgement better than God?
Although this is an insult to Greenwald and I say he is a noble man who follows message of Quran i.e justice is the most important thing, much more than majority of Muslims. Muslims abandoned main message of Islam so badly with all of this ‘Five Pillars’ nonsense that now if we want to know about real Islamic ethics, we have to study from conduct of non-Muslims mainly. Sad but true.
2) We need to face the fact that the responses by Muslims were (in my limited reading), largely rubbish and incomprehensible to wider society and emotional garbage. It was all rubbish like ‘Imam Ahmad said those who insult the Prophet must blah blah, Malik said this etc’. Do you think that is an adequate reply?
The only decent response was by Mehdi Hassan and as you know, he is Shia Muslim but VERY Liberal – more than Greenwald. So the Muslim guys did not come up with many decent responses. It is just the same as a dying patient and me refusing treatment until someone can find ‘halal’ medicine or a Muslim doctor. It is just insane.
Also, even on all this theology ‘Imam Malik said this blah blah’, Muslims will easily get smashed by clever non-Muslims: So Muslims have been spamming opinion of Imam Malik, Shafi whatever on what should be done to people who insult Prophet (SAW) (and ‘neglecting’ to mention position of the greatest Muslim Scholar, Abu Hanifa, which is contrary to these juniors) and then safe-gaurding it with ‘but only in an Islamic country under shariah law’. So I will demonstrate how a non-Muslim with brain and no knowledge of Quran and Sunnah can easily beat these guys who are writing pages and pages of scholars opinions.
Who is greater, God or Muhammed? Definitely God. So is it worse to insult God or Muhammad? God again. So isn’t shirk and making statues of God and calling God a guy who goes to the toilet for a number two and gets crucified or making a statutes of him as a small semi naked boy or woman with her breasts out a big insult according to Muslims? Yes it is. So does it mean we Muslims go out and kill all Hindus and Christians (but ‘only in an Islamic state under shariah law’)? In fact, kufaar can say, your God tells you the opposite in the Quran – do not insult their Gods. Don’t insult these statues they made of God which insult HIM. Strange!
Do you think that Muslims can answer?
Or will it be ‘IstigfirAllah! Imaqm Malik, Shafi and Ahmad said the one who insults The Prophet must die! Hadith is in so and so book and this idiot thinks he knows better!’. And most of the Muslims will agree with him. And kufaar will be laughing at us, rightly. A smart person who doesn’t use his God given faculty of thinking and instead relies on argument from authority and narrations of so and so will easily be beaten by a idiot who uses what little brain he has. And Kufaar are not idiots brother.
[BTW, I am not taking a position on insulting RasoolAllah or it’s punishment. I find it disgusting but the fact is I didn’t study this issue too much. But I do know that hadith they use to justify killing are forgeries even according to Imam Ahmad and Muhaditheen – like the one where SAW supposedly ordered assassination of a female poet for insulting him. Not weak but forged hadiths]
That is why we have to rely on people like Greenwald: a stupid friend is more dangerous than a intelligent enemy (Al Ghazzali). Any person who is thinking can easily beat Muslims.
We don’t have a Muslim identity, it is just culture and stories and no one speaks for the true Islam: we cannot be allied with Greenwald because he is a gay liberal but all of the ‘Muslims’ from maniacs in ISIS to mujassim heretics etc are our brothers and ‘ummah’. Does it make sense or is it just gang mentality?
Yes, Muslim culture is under threat. The main reason is that it is not strong enough to present coherent arguments or an example to the West. It is our fault. You saw the proof in the Charlie Hebdo incident: most of the Muslim responses were aimed at Muslims only but the Liberal defence of Hebdo was aimed at everyone. That is why Muslims get beat down intellectually and that is why we have to rely on people like Greenwald (BTW, I am happy to rely on and study from him, even in preference to Muslims).
But it is not a bad thing to rely on an honest guy like Greenwald anyway and even if people don’t like him (in which case I think they are foolish), they should at ‘least learn from their enemy until they can overcome them’. Muslims are unable to do this because they keep searching for the solutions from themselves. This is ego, self delusion and fantasy. There is no one who can help us and the few people who can like Sheikh Atabek and Khaled Abou El Fadl etc are marginalised by the Muslim community themselves.
I understand that you feel under attack from liberalism. I do too. And I don’t want Muslims to loose. but they will. The West can give people money, intellectual options and methodological respect and rigour and sex without having to jump through so many hoops that in the end you will settle for anything. We can’t give people any of that. Islam will survive, but not the one we have right now. The Islam of Quran maybe, the Islam of Muslims, forget it.
If you want to beat liberalism, you need to come up with critiques of the standard of thinkers like John Gray. Since you don’t have anybody who can do it properly except coming up with garbage such as ‘look at these ‘kufaar’ having sex and illegitimate children and drinking we are so much better blah blah’ (while all of them are secretly wishing to have sex with those very same women), we will get nowhere. They will just laugh at us and say ‘look at you wasters’. And they will be right, without even reminding us that the same scholars we regard as ‘Imams’ and guides in life expressly forbid all forms of critical analysis, scientific endeavour and even go so far as to say that theology and logic/mantiq are kufr (and most of the people that Muslims take as ‘huge scholars’ nowadays did do this).
Liberalism is wrong and needs to be refuted and an alternative presented. We are not, as a group, capable of doing it. You need someone with good knowledge and understanding of Western Thought, honesty and knowledge of true Islam from Quran and correct mustalah of hadith and guts to cuss out Muslims as well as non-Muslims, not begging for Western or Saudi money and not trying to get laid or famous. Basically, someone like The Prophet.
We don’t have any such person.
And you are right, militant liberals are not satisfied with anything less than ‘the only good Muslim is an apostate or a self hating one’. But Liberals got told off very badly and could not reply back to many of their critics, like the British Philosopher Brian Klug who said that if they believe in freedom of speech so much then what would happen if someone came to the Paris ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Rally wearing a T-Shirt saying that those Hebdo guys were asswipes or insulted them at that rally? The same people insisting on their right to free speech’ would probably lynch this person:http://mondoweiss.net/2015/01/moral-hysteria-charlie
The same point was made by Greenwald above and by Mehdi Hassan here: http://www.newstatesman.com/mehdi-hasan/2015/01/muslim-i-m-fed-hypocrisy-free-speech-fundamentalists
So the Liberals got slapped badly. Just not so much by ‘us’, because most of our representatives are HT/Salafist/Deo/Brelwi flop artists. In think Ibrahim Mograh in the UK did well though. Maybe people can post other good responses by Muslims or scholars which are of a similar calibre to the aforementioned, I would be happy to post them.
Also, you have to remember that most of the Muslims who ARE able to reply back properly were trained by non-Muslims and their education system, so we cannot pretend that they learnt this is some madrassa. Like HT, which is now basically ‘halal’ Communism, but pretends that it is all from ‘Islam’.
Another excellent slap to Liberals using a great example of Salman Rushdie, another world class hypocrite and general annoying twat:http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2015/01/michel-houellebecq-frances-literary-provocateur
But again, from an EXTREMELY Liberal paper that had some Islam bashing going on.
I’ve updated the original post to include links to these articles as well.
Like I said, why do one myself when these were, frankly, better than what I could come up with? I was working on an article myself but when I saw Greenwald’s, and I thought it is just ego on my part and the need for a ‘Muslim’ refutation. But this is not the Islamic way: if someone already did a good job, credit them and don’t waste time on doing one by ‘us’.
That was why I posted it with the commentary I did, as a rebuke specifically to Muslims and praising Greenwald so that Muslims might have food for thought rather than looking down on nobel people like him.
Anyone who is for truth and justice is ‘us’, even if they are not Muslim. And anyone who is against it is not one of us, even if he is Muslim.
Just some comments that may be only tangentially related to the above: At the end, what happens is that we must attack the metaphysics and cosmological world-view of Secular Liberalism, or of Christianity, or whichever other religion we are dealing with. What I see today is that the predatory characteristics of the anti-Muslim groups are coming to the fore.
Because at the end, if we see the indubitable rulings from the Qur’an and the indubitable rulings of Islam at large, there is still a lot for the secular liberals to dislike vehemently… and (as an analogous example) saying that a confirmed homosexual act can only receive a Ta’zeer punishment of 39 lashes maximum instead of outright death will not really quiet the criticism against Islam [Of course, because the opponent believes that either God does not exist, or even if He does, they think “He should not butt into our lives”, so it is basically an issue of the individual agent as the supreme legislator versus the Islamic Shariah fixing a certain punishment or not having done so, whatever the guidelines and restrictions may be; the difference is enormous whichever way it may be articulated]. So from here, without a thorough breakdown of their ideology from different angles, we are going to face the problem again and again basically every single day of our earthly existence without even knowing what hit us.
Thanks a lot for taking my reply in the right spirit – it shows the readers of a good example of sincerity and noble virtues!
Okay, I agree, but it is still not simple: first of all, people and least of Muslims, are not rational philosophers – even if you have the intellectual ability to tackle the epistemic foundations of Liberalism (and we generally don’t in a way that convinces outsiders), this is not enough. People need an alternative system to be explained in language they understand and an example they can see. So the problem is not only that we lack the intellectual reality of Islam, it has to be manifested in a tangible and visible way to have an impact. It is an seemingly insurmountable task for current Muslims.
As for Liberals not being happy with lashing – so what? The fact is that many people in the West are NOT secular liberals and feel that public indecency SHOULD be punished. But not by stoning to death or being thrown off a high place etc.
End of the day, even in the example you gave, it is Muslims who made it hard by
1) Grossly exaggerating the ‘punishment’ for homosexuality (and in most cases not meaning public homosexuality I might add) to the extent that even people who might otherwise have agreed with them that sex in public is bad are turned off by it.
2) Be honest – what would you rather convince impartial non-Muslims of: the validity of flogging people who have public sex or the validity of killing them by stoning them to death? So there is your answer for who made it hard for you: fatwas of scholars, not liberals only.
3) In Hanafi madhab, punishment is Tazir not flogging: therefore DISCRETIONARY punishment of which the maximum is 39 lashes and the least is a warning only. So there is no necessary physical punishment for gay sex, even in public. It is just how it is in Hanafi madhab. We expect high levels of proof, Quran or Muttawatir hadith, on this and all issues from raising hands in prayer to stoning adulterers or killing apostates. We are willing to acquit 1000 guilty people for fear of killing one innocent man, not like Malikis and Shafis.
We have to be careful of overestimating either Liberals or Muslims. As you can see from Greenwalds’ and other articles above, Liberals are not totally ‘in charge’ and they do not have it all their way, certainly not in the US and certainly not in Russia or China or the other countries that actually matter.
What you can do about Liberalism is limited. At the end of the day Muslims are making Liberalism’s victory inevitable. As Tim Winter asked, are Salafis going to secularise the whole world? What this means is that the version of ‘Islam’ that we are presenting to both Muslims and non-Muslims is so incoherent and repugnant that few would follow it and the most likely alternative is Liberalism. Do you blame people or do we think that the ‘Islam’ of ISIS [which is just normal Salafi Islam, give or take a few fatwas BTW] is still a better alternative than Liberalism? How about Saudi? Iran? We need to ‘get real’.
Until you present the real Quranic Islam to the West, we have no right to guess that they would reject it completely. The nonsense we are presenting now is unbelievable even to most Muslims but they follow it on culture and taqleed. Liberalism is followed in much the same way but has the glamour of being local, successful and sexy.
Also, you cannot underestimate the practical side of things: to be crude, people want to ‘get paid and get laid’. Any religion that makes these two things excessively hard is going to lose against Liberalism (or simple biology). Why would anyone choose to follow such a religion? It is the same reason why Catholicism declined in the West. What we do is present some young critical thinking Westerner with a big set of ‘haraams’ and tell him that our ‘Imams’ say logic is haraam and that if a girl wears a larger hijaab than normal she will be in Hellfire, that God forces you to do your actions, you don’t have free will but he punishes you nonetheless etc’.
Why on Earth would he even be interested enough to read the Quran in the first place?
The fact is most Muslims are chasing the things that the West already has (knowledge, sex and resources). So then why would they bother with us?
If we were to articulate a sense of purpose and eschatology within the spiritual and moral vacuum that Westerners do feel, as people like Gai Eaton and others did, then they might be prepared to listen. You can’t expect people like Greenwald to work out everything from A-Z like gay sex is disapproved by God etc with no guidance. In fact the majority of non-Mutazzila Muslims don’t even admit it is possible for right and wrong to be worked out without divine text or guidance.
Also, what you mentioned about God being the supreme legislator – good one – but do you think Muslims can explain it properly? Does he legislate good things only (like Mu’tazzila and Maturidis say) or can he legislate the killing of babies and it would still be unquestionable (as most Muslims say)?
So if we (not you but whole Ummah) are not even able to explain what God being legislator means, what do you think about others looking at us? They will be laughing.
So homosexuality being bad – is it because God said so or does it have to make sense? Most Muslims say it does not need to make sense. So then, can God say killing babies is fine? And if they say he would never order that, then why not? Is he compelled not to or does he only order the good?
Once we left Quran, we got into a big mess. Our generation was lucky because we were not attacked and questioned so could hold on to our simple and true faith. But this generation is attacked and questioned. And not because of liberalism only but mainly due to Muslims own stupidity in terrorism, fatwas and challenging western academics Zakir Naik style while not knowing their own ass from their elbow.
So no one is saying there is some convergence between ‘Liberalism’ and Islam. Clearly there is not a convergence even between liberalism and the Republican party or most other competing non-Muslim ideologies. What we are saying is that Muslims response to Liberalism, like their response to the Hebdo idiots was a bit crap and that people like Greenwald are clearly not ‘Liberals’ in the sense that you fear and it is better to appreciate and learn from them and if this is against our taste then we really don’t have anyone in their league ourselves IMHO and it will be like learning from someone who sucks badly and in Islam, the people of truth are known by speaking the truth so Greenwald is person of truth, even though I would disagree with him on gay marriage etc
And of course predatory anti-Muslim and religious groups are coming to the fore. The questions is, isn’t that mainly due to idiot behaviour of Muslims and Salafis? I mean, aren’t we giving them a lot of ammunition to attack us with and didn’t we put ourselves in a position to be ideologically bullied and physically dominated?
And HT and other degenerates will blame colonialism alone: it is just putting the problem one step back. Okay, so then why did they manage to colonise and beat us if we are ‘better’? Because we stopped following ‘Islam’ according to Salafist groups and once we follow Islam then everything will be alright. But by ‘Islam’ they mean having beard and lifiting up trousers, not eradicating poverty and acting with justice and ensuring peace. I am pretty sure once we start following ‘Islam’ of Salafis/HT/Deoband/Ikhwaan we will be in an even worse position. It is like trying to fix your sink by praying nafl namaaz instead of calling a plumber.
So if this is correct, Allah takes leadership away from Muslims for not practising ‘Five Pillars’ and gives it to Kufaar who are even worse in that they are not practising Islam at all? Does it make sense?
It is better to listen to Beduzzamin Said Nursi:
“Mankind has three problems: Discrimination, poverty and ignorance. Discrimination can be solved with love and compassion, poverty with sharing…and ignorance can only be resolved by education.”
According to above Muslim groups mankind also has three problems, but they are: your beard is not four fingers long, free mixing with women and not praying all five namaaz in mosque. Beard can be solved by wearing a long dress like a girl and walking around with a frown scaring non-Muslims which Prophet never wore, and saying you are following ‘Sunnah’, free mixing can be solved by raping Shia and Yazidi girls in Syria and not praying in mosque can be solved by never leaving it and sitting there all day and avoiding ‘haraam’ marketplaces and workplaces.
If there was a fourth problem it would be not accepting that A’isha was nine when RasoolAllah consummated marriage with her. Five would be not having ‘Khilafa’ and we are seeing how so – called Muslim groups are solving that one in Iraq and Nigeria.
This mockery of the religion of God is what we in fact are calling ‘Islam’ now. Whereas many in the West are willing to follow Said Nursi’s version, no one is wiling to follow the latter. And rightly so.
Also pertinent to the issue above is when Said Nursi was asked how come non-Muslims were successful. He did not reply with garbage arguments of HT/Salafis, and he did not even blame a liberal or other conspiracy (though to some extent, some such can be said to exist) but said:
‘Do not make the mistake of thinking that everything non-Muslims do is from the impulse of kufr. Likewise do not think that everything that Muslims do is from impulse of Islam’. [paraphrase}
So maybe we made the above mistake with Greenwald?
why is this stuff (including your comments mmmlcmru) not being broadcast and in major newspapers….it needs to be! And I couldnt agree more re colonialism; yes it plays a large role but to blame it alone just puts us one step back as you say.
Now that i’m getting settled into married life and back to work……the time for me to make what meagre contributions I can is fast approaching 🙂 Ive got several topics in mind but id take suggestions too
[BTW, I am not taking a position on insulting RasoolAllah or it’s punishment. I find it disgusting but the fact is I didn’t study this issue too much. But I do know that hadith they use to justify killing are forgeries even according to Imam Ahmad and Muhaditheen – like the one where SAW supposedly ordered assassination of a female poet for insulting him. Not weak but forged hadiths]
Check out this article [http://www.lamppostproductions.com/we-are-all-responsible-charlie-hebdo-and-the-defamation-of-islam/] and a brief discussion on it here (a couple of HT brothers commented as well): https://www.facebook.com/abdullahbinhamid.ali/posts/702562729841766
“Qadi ‘Ayyad claims a consensus that anyone who disparages or insults the Prophet Muhammad is a nonbeliever. He also claims that the consensus of the Imams of the Four Schools has determined the punishment for insulting the Prophet to be execution. Due to the gravity of the sin, the sinner’s retraction and expression of repentance are also of no avail for curtailing the punishment.”
Shaykh Abdullah, I don’t know how reliable the sources I got this from are but if true, would they invalidate the claim of ijma for a) the punishment for insulting the Prophet to be execution and b) the sinner’s retraction and expression of repentance would be of no avail for curtailing the punishment?
1. Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Tahawi (d. 321 AH/933 CE). Mukhtasar Ikhtilaf al-Ulama, vol. 3, p. 504, #1652
As for insult or reproach of the Prophet, our companions (the Hanafis) say: If he is a Muslim, then he has become an apostate, and if he is a dhimmi, then he is given a tazir, and not killed.
2. Ahmad ibn Ali al-Jassas (d. 370 AH/981 CE). Sharh Mukhtasar al-Tahawi fi al-Fiqh al-Hanafi, vol. 6, p. 142. See also Ahkam al-Quran, vol. 4, p. 275
Al-Tahawi said: Whoever insults the Prophet from the people of dhimma, he is chastised, and not killed. This is because they have already assented to their religion, and from their religion is worship of other than Allah, and denial of the Messenger of Allah. This is evinced by what has been narrated: “The Jews entered upon the Prophet and said, ‘Death be upon you.’ The Prophet said, ‘And upon you.’”
And he did not rule they be killed.
3. Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Quduri (d. 428 AH/1036 CE). Al-Tajrid, vol. 12, p. 6266
The people of dhimma blaspheme against Allah by saying He has a son, and the Zoroastrians by saying He has an “opposite.” These are clear realities, and these (sayings) do not break their covenant (of security). So, insult of the Prophet is the same. Because, it is just one type of disbelief, so it does not break the covenant, in the same way the other types (of disbelief do not).
If they insult the Prophet in their churches, and in their transactions, it does not nullify their covenant. And what does not break their covenant in their churches, doesn’t break it it in other ways, such as in them ringing bells, or displaying pigs.
4. Masoud ibn Ahmad al-Kasani (d. 587 AH/1191 CE). Badai al-Sanai fi Tartib al-Sharai, vol. 15, p. 336
If (a dhimmi) insults the Prophet, it does not invalidate his covenant (of security). Because, this is an addition to unbelief, upon unbelief. If the covenant was established upon the original unbelief, then it is established upon its addition.
5. Ali ibn Zakariya al-Manjabi (d. 686 AH/1287 CE). Al-Lubab fi Jama Bayna al-Sunnah wa al-Kitab, vol. 2, p. 765
Whoever insults the Prophet from the people of dhimma, he is given a tazir, his covenant is not invalidated, and he is not killed.
6. Abu Bakr ibn Ali al-Haddad (d. 800 AH/1397 CE). Al-Jawhara al-Nayira ala Mukhtasar al-Quduri, vol. 6, p. 138
As for insult of the Prophet (by a dhimmi), it does not invalidate their covenant according to us (the Hanafis). Because, this is unbelief; it does not nullify the covenant, and it is not lifted due to it. This is because blasphemy against the Prophet is synonymous with blasphemy against Allah, and they already blaspheme against Allah by saying He has a son.
7. Imam Ibn Abidin (d. 1252 AH), In Majmua-Rasael-Ibn Abidin
If a non-muslim commits blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, then as per our madhab (Hanafi), he will not be killed. The only exception is if the leader of the state decides to have him killed as a political punishment. [He goes on to explain later on that the killing is not prohibited in Hanafi Madhab if the subject is a habitual offender and in a rebellious manner persistently tries to set himself against the Muslims as a sarkhish.] [Ibn Abidin explains that an opinion in Al-Bazzaziya and Al-Shifa has been misunderstood. He claimed that blasphemer can only be killed in the case where he refuses to repent.]
*1-6 were taken from here: http://selfscholar.wordpress.com/…/defending-asia-bibi…/
*7 taken from here: http://defence.pk/…/the-lies-of-the-clergy-on…/
I am happy you brought up Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. In fact, he was inspired by a non-Muslim when he started the Risale-i Nur. We cannot just brush aside non-Muslim views. Isolation will only cause failure. There is a nice saying from Hazreti Ali (ra). He says, “There are two types of people on earth, my brothers in faith and my equals in humanity” (Paraphrase. lol I couldn’t remember how he said it exactly and Im too lazy to search for it).
Anyways, you guys are the best. I look forward to your future articles. Keep up the good work!
Personally, I find a much bigger problem in both Liberals and Extremists both abusing the Qur’an and twisting Hadith by quoting the so called “violent verses” in every situation related to Islam.
Liberals are giving unprecedented value to violent extremist interpretations of the Qur’an (basically taking a literal reading of a verse without looking at its context). Extremists are only happy to take this onboard and justify their horrific actions via this pathway. A cycle is created and it forces (un)educated Muslims to pick a side – neither is tentable to the future of Islamic civilisation