Who Should We Consider "Oppressed?"


Garry Trudeau received an award last week for his Doonesbury comic strip. In accepting the award, he criticized the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists for "attacking a powerless, disenfranchised minority," "ridiculing the nonprivileged," and accused them of hate speech.

In a New York Times Op-Ed, Ross Douthat eloquently pointed out that when armed Muslims murder journalists, it is an egregious moral error to label the journalists as the oppressors. One has to be appallingly and ludicrously blinkered — blinded by one's own ideology — to be unable to recognize the vast moral difference between drawing a cartoon and murdering the cartoonist.

To help give your friends and family greater moral clarity about the problem of Islam, I recommend sharing with them Douthat's Op-Ed from the New York Times: Checking Charlie Hebdo's Privilege.

Read more about Trudeau's speech here:
Why Garry Trudeau Is Wrong About Charlie Hebdo
The Abuse of Satire


Mike Dobbins Gives a Public Apology to Critics of Islam


The following are excerpts from a recent article by Mike Dobbins, author of Atheism as a Religion. The article, entitled The Critics of Islam Were Right: An Apology to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sam Harris, Bill Maher and Other So-Called Islamophobes, is published here. Now, here's Mike Dobbins:

Sam Harris and Ayaan Hirsi Ali
For years I was an apologist for Islam, as regrettably, many still remain. I only read books and believed those who painted Islam in a peaceful, glowing light. I made excuses for radical Muslims and lived in a flood of denial that religious teachings could still, in this modern age of drones and clones, motivate a person to commit evil. I criticized the numerous atheists including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sam Harris, and Bill Maher warning of the dangers inherent in Islamic doctrines, recklessly labeling them Islamophobes.

Today I'm writing to say I'm sorry, I apologize, and I ask for your forgiveness. We who have blindly defended Islam and called you Islamophobes are tragically wrong.

My mind first began to change last May when I read an interview by Sam Harris with Ayaan Hirsi Ali in which she addresses the misapplication of the term Islamophobia. This article, along with the seeds atheists planted over the years urging me to do more research, motivated me to delve into the religion. I read the Quran, many Hadith, the biography of Muhammad, the history of Jihad, and Islamic law. This is what I learned:

The critics of Islam are right. Islam is intrinsically, alarmingly violent, hateful and oppressive on a scale greater than all other major religions combined. To say that radical Islamists are motivated to commit atrocities and embrace oppression based on religious doctrine is the understatement of the century.

I, like most defenders of Islam, was ignorant, naïve, and in denial. I wrongly assumed all holy books have enough good messages to offset the bad. I wrongly assumed that, like Jesus, Muhammad promoted peace, love, and non-violence. I wrongly assumed criticism of Islam equates to criticism of all Muslims.

We who have carelessly thrown around the Islamophobe label including Glen Greenwald, Reza Aslan, and Karen Armstrong should lower our heads in shame and guilt. Few things are as morally depraved as attacking someone who criticizes Islam (Ayaan Hirsi Ali) rather than attacking the Islamic apostasy and blasphemy laws teaching Muslims they should kill her. We must now live with the knowledge that we've abandoned and betrayed our principles. Though we claim the mantle of human rights, free speech and equality, we lack the courage of our convictions when it offends someone. We make the cowardly lion look like Churchill.

In reality, those who criticize Islam, especially reform minded Muslims, are the bravest of the brave. They are literally putting their lives at risk by the simple act of criticizing the Quran, Muhammad, and Sharia.

It is the critics of Islam who are working steadfastly for equality and human rights for Muslims as apologists wallow in denial.

While we smearests have obsessed over shielding Islam from criticism, so-called Islamophobes were courageously standing up to oppressive Islamic doctrines and practices. While we smearests were unwittingly misinforming the public and deluding ourselves by not making the connection between Islamic religious teachings and Islamic hate and violence, so-called Islamophobes were connecting the dots and looking for solutions. While we smearests were busy tarnishing critics as bigots and racists, so called Islamophobes were busy defending equality of women, gays, and minorities, protecting free speech and religion, and advocating an end to cruel and unusual punishments.

No religion, book, prophet, law, or God, no matter how sacredly held by the follower, is exempt from criticism. No religious belief or doctrine receives preferential treatment in a free society. Either all religions, books, and prophets are open to criticism or none are. We either live in a free society or tyrannical one.

But by no means take my word for it. You owe it to yourself to do your own research and see if you too find a connection between Islamic teachings and Islamic violence and hate. I challenge everyone, especially smearests, to read the Quran, biographies of Muhammad, the history of Jihad, and the political ideology of Islam.

Perhaps you too will notice the Quran's recurring theme of hating non-believers and the desert-like absence of loving and inclusive passages to offset the vile and violent ones.

Perhaps you too will notice how Muhammad's violent life mirrors that of members of the Islamic State and that it would be dangerous for any person to follow in Muhammad's footsteps.

Perhaps you too will notice how there is no separation of Church and State in Islam and that most Islamic governments place Islamic law above Secular law.

It would be one thing if Islamic doctrines said Muslims should love non-Muslims and love their enemy. It would be one thing if the prophet Muhammad preached non-violence. It would be one thing if Islamic Laws supported equality for women, minorities, freedom of expression, and valued human rights. It would be one thing if the Quran taught the golden rule.

It is because they do the complete opposite that I am now speaking out.

Read the whole article here.


Conversation About Islam Conversations


I was talking to a friend about Islam, and I could tell he was thinking that I talk about Islam too much, so I said, "The reason I am so fascinated with talking about Islam is first, it's really relevant these days."

He interrupted me and said, "Yeah, I get that. It's definitely relevant."

"And," I continued, "the resistance people give me intrigues me. I've been an avid reader all my life. Only non-fiction. I don't even like reading fiction. I like learning stuff, and I enjoy sharing what I'm learning."

He nodded. To people who know me, this is probably one of the most obvious things about me.

"And all my life the reaction I've gotten from all the different things I've learned and shared has been almost entirely interest. Fascination even. Very rarely has anyone ever shown any kind of resistance to what I say. But on the subject of Islam, I had people arguing with me — people who didn't know anything at all about Islam. They would say, 'Christians do bad things too' — as if that has anything to do with anything!"

He laughed.

"I mean, I wasn't trying to justify Christianity by saying that about Islam!" He knows that I'm not a Christian, so he found this amusing. "But people say, 'the Crusades were bad too and not all Muslims are terrorists and the majority of Muslims are peace-loving people, and besides, what are you suggesting? That we go to war with 1.6 billion people?!'"

He smiled and said, "I think I said all of those to you!" He and I have had many conversations about Islam, and he has slowly started to wonder if Islam might be a bigger problem than he originally thought.

And I said, "I think there are a lot of reasons people respond this way. Of course it's scary. They don't want it to be true. And there are other things. It seems like picking on a minority. It seems like implying that we shouldn't have freedom of religion. It sort of seems like racism, but that's not right, of course, because Islam isn't a race. I think people just don't know how to deal with the information. And that has really intrigued me."

As it happened, the guy I was talking to is the one who recommended the book "Night" (which I've written about here). So I said, "That's what captured me so much about the book by Elie Wiesel — that old man that came back to the little town and tried to tell people what happened, and not one person believed him! That's so much like what has been happening about Islam. People didn't want to believe Islam's core doctrines are hateful and intolerant. They didn't want to believe that the founder of Islam owned slaves, raped women, tortured, assassinated and beheaded people, because the implications of such a terrible fact are too much. And besides, I know this Muslim and he's really nice — as if someone's niceness can tell you anything about a person's ideology. Ted Bundy was supposedly nice. Hitler was nice. Some lady just came out after all these years — she was his maid — and admitted that she thought Hitler was a really nice man!"

At this point, he seemed well won over, so I let the conversation drift into other topics.

The reason I share these conversations with you is because I think we all ought to be sharing our conversations with each other — especially when a conversation goes particularly well. I think it helps give us ideas about how to have these conversations so that they move the ball forward instead of those conversations that we've all had where we share information about Islam that seems like the ball moved backwards — like the person you're talking to is now even more against your point of view at the end of the conversation than the beginning. We need less of those, and more of the moving-the-ball-forward kind — even if it only moves the person just a little bit toward the ultimate acceptance of the painful and disturbing truth that Islam is at its heart intolerant, violent, misogynistic, and supremacist. Any given conversation doesn't have to bring someone all the way to that horrifying realization. But moving in that direction is good enough.

If you have a conversation like this, I want to hear it. You can post it on our web site: Talk About Islam Among Non-Muslims (and I read all the comments on that site) or you can email it directly to me here: Email CW. Let's help each other with these conversations.


Muhammad's Last Will and Testament


The Counter Jihad Coalition — the good people who have a booth on the Third Street Promenade on Saturday nights in Santa Monica — have a new poster and brochure. Above is a picture of the poster, and you can read and download the brochure here.

Read more about the principles behind Muhammad's last will and testament: The Quran's Last Word on Non-Muslims.

Follow the Counter Jihad Coalition on Facebook here and stay informed about these brave warriors on the front lines of our educational battle.


Islam's Ideology Exploits Human Weaknesses


As I was reading F.W. Burleigh's book, It's All About Muhammad, it became crystal clear that the same human failings that are now allowing and even aiding the rise and expansion of Islamic forces in the world were also at work during Muhammad's time. Muhammad could have been easily stopped when he had only a few followers in Mecca, but the Meccans were afraid of Muhammad's uncle and didn't think Muhammad was much of a threat anyway.

Muhammad could have been stopped in Medina before he grew very powerful. Muslims were greatly outnumbered for a long time. But the residents of Medina had business to attend to and were content to let somebody else stick their neck out to deal with it, and besides, what was Muhammad and his weak little band going to do? Take over the whole town? As a matter of fact, they eventually did.

The more Muhammad asserted his willingness to murder, the more scared the Medinans were to speak up — which caused their poets (their equivalent of our modern day political cartoonists and Op-Ed writers) to silence themselves out of fear, which hindered the Medinans from expressing their mutual feelings of rising discomfort, which might have joined them together into a united resistance against their common enemy. So the Muslims were able to defeat and eliminate one tribe at a time until they ruled the town and imposed Islam on anyone left alive.

This is a deadly ideology, and it is "clever" in the same way that viruses are "clever." Deadly viruses are efficient and functional in a way that makes them hard to defeat.

We're going to have to be smart. We're going to have to muster our courage to act, and to prevent ourselves from giving up in despair. And we're going to have to unite as many of us in this cause as we can. The stakes can't get any higher.


Fundamental Islamic Principle: Muslim Culture Must Override All Other Cultures


The following was written by Bill Warner as a prelude to his video, "The Islamic Destruction of Heritage and Culture," which you can watch below.

Islamic State is destroying Iraq's and the world's heritage by burning ancient manuscripts, stealing art and demolishing Assyrian architecture. These acts are not criminal violence, but acts of jihad that were first demonstrated by Mohammed. Earlier they broke into museums and sold valuable treasures for the money and then burned manuscripts. Why? It's Islamic. When we invaded Iraq and Saddam Hussein fell, the same thing happened. When the Muslim Brotherhood took over Egypt they soon broke into museums, stole treasures and destroyed artifacts. The Taliban brought in artillery guns to blow up the Bamiyan Buddhas, huge statues, that were thousands of years old. Pure Islam. When the Muslims invaded India they came upon the largest wooden temple in the world. The commanders said burn it. Pure Islam. Islam invaded the Buddhist area of India and burned the world's largest library.

Allah hates the Kafir and all Kafir civilizations which are jahiliyyah (ignorance). This is not the last destruction we will see. As Islam enters every new territory, its purpose is not just take over the government, but to annihilate the civilization. Destroying the heritage of the culture helps to destroy the civilization. That is what is going on under Islamic state now.

Watch the video: The Islamic Destruction of Heritage and Culture.


Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam
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copyright (c) CSPI, LLC, politicalislam.com
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He Seems Reasonable At First, But Then He Shows His True Colors


You've got to see this. The following is text written by Sam Harris and a BBC video. Here's what Harris wrote:

The 16-minute video posted below is well worth studying. It features Asim Qureshi, the research director for CAGE, an Islamist front group that has until very recently managed to pass itself off as a human rights organization in the UK. When “Jihadi John” was finally identified as Mohammed Emwazi, with a degree in information systems and business management from the University of Westminster, CAGE argued that his gruesome career as an executioner and propagandist for the Islamic State was just a natural by-product of the humiliation and abuse that innocent Muslims suffer each day at the hands of the British government. Having never seen an allegation of this sort that he didn’t fancy, Glenn Greenwald circulated CAGE’s ludicrous press release at once:

Now watch the video. Pay close attention to how reasonable and benevolent Qureshi sounds in the beginning. For the first 10 minutes or so, he comes off as a fine spokesman for a moderate Islam that has been unfairly stigmatized by Western paranoia. However, once he is asked to denounce the most despicable aspects of shari’ah — Can non-Muslims be taken as slaves? Should women be stoned to death for adultery? — the mask suddenly slips. It is an amazing moment, when shameless guile reaches the precipice of religious superstition: Qureshi is clearly afraid to misrepresent his faith, lest he blaspheme and break trust with all the religious maniacs standing at his back. In the end, he can’t even pretend to have values remotely commensurate with our own. All he can muster is the lamest of dodges: “I’m not a theologian.” One wonders what Greenwald would make of this abject performance.

Of course, to remind Greenwald that he circulated CAGE’s press release is certain to bring forth that callow principle of the new pseudo-journalism — “Retweets don’t equal endorsements” — which in this case would be yet another lie, because CAGE’s stated position is one that Greenwald shares. In fact, he publicly supports another stealth Islamist organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which he has worked hard to brand as the Muslim NAACP. On more than one occasion, Greenwald has been the keynote speaker at a CAIR event. Lest you imagine that I am merely inferring support where none exists, consider what he has said about this group:

“There is no organization with which I would rather be spending my time, or with which I feel more at home, than CAIR.” (1)

“There really is no group in the United States that has been more steadfast and fearless and whose work has been more important… than CAIR.” (2)

And yet CAIR seems to be allied with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

In Greenwald’s world, any worry that groups like CAGE and CAIR are covertly advancing a deeply illiberal Islamist agenda is just more anti-Muslim bigotry. In the real world, this is a perfectly reasonable concern supported by facts.

Look again at the dissembling of Qureshi. Listen to all his seemingly sane and balanced talk about the “disenfranchisement” and “unnecessary targeting” of young Muslim men, about “cycles of violence,” and about jihad’s being nothing more than the universal principle of “self-defense.” And then realize that this voice of moderation believes that in a properly constituted caliphate, gays, apostates, blasphemers, and adulterers will be stoned to death, Jews and Christians will be forced to pay a protection tax, and all other non-Muslims will live as slaves.

This is theocracy with a human face. Where are the real liberals who will oppose it? Watch the video:


Is it Racist to Criticize Islam?


Is Ayaan Hirsi Ali a racist? She was born in Somalia, from which she escaped to avoid an arranged marriage, and she eventually became a member of Parliament in the Netherlands.

She helped produce a film with Theo Van Gogh which criticized Islam's treatment of women. Van Gogh was shot to death by a Muslim in retaliation, and a note was pinned to his chest with a knife — a note that threatened Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

She made her way to the United States, and has since written two books critical of Islam: Infidel and Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations.

Is Wafa Sultan a racist? She was born and raised in Syria, and was trained as a psychiatrist.

On February 21, 2006, she took part in an Al Jazeera discussion program, arguing with the hosts about Samuel P. Huntington's Clash of Civilizations theory. A six-minute composite video of her response was widely circulated on blogs and through email. The New York Times estimated it was seen at least one million times. In the video she criticized Muslims for treating non-Muslims differently, and for not recognizing the accomplishments of Jews and other non-Muslims. The video was the most-discussed video of all time with over 260,000 comments on YouTube.

Is Ibn Warraq a racist? Warraq was born in India to Muslim parents who migrated to Pakistan after the partitioning of British Indian Empire.

Warraq founded the Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society. He is a senior research fellow at the Center for Inquiry, focusing on Quranic criticism.

Warraq is the author of seven books, including Why I Am Not a Muslim and Leaving Islam. He has spoken at the United Nations "Victims of Jihad" conference organized by the International Humanist and Ethical Union alongside speakers such as Bat Ye'or, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Simon Deng.

Is Tapan Ghosh a racist? The president of Hindu Samhati, he speaks all over India and the United States about the ongoing Islamic invasion of West Bengal.

In an article about him, a correspondent wrote, "A life of 25 years of relentless service has strengthened the resolve of Tapan Ghosh to unite Hindu masses to fight against injustice and the oppressive attitude of the authorities in the face of ever-increasing Islamist aggression."

Ghosh said, "As someone who has suffered enormously from the Islamist onslaught in eastern India, both after the partition of India as well as the partition of erstwhile Pakistan to form Bangladesh, Islamic terrorism has deeply affected my life and the life of millions in the Indian subcontinent. The horrific events of 1971 where nearly 3 million Bengalis, mostly Hindus were exterminated by the Pakistani military regime left an everlasting impression on me. Since then, I have worked relentlessly for the service and upliftment of people reeling under the scourge of radical Islam."

Is Seyran Ates a racist? Born in Turkey of Kurdish parents, and now working as a lawyer in Germany, Atest is highly critical of an immigrant Muslim society that is often more orthodox than its counterpart in Turkey, and her criticisms have put her at risk.

Her book, "Islam Needs a Sexual Revolution," was scheduled for publication in Germany in 2009. In an interview in January 2008 on National Public Radio, Ates stated that she was in hiding and would not be working on Muslim women's behalf publicly (including in court) due to the threats against her.

Ates is the author of the article, Human Rights Before Religion: Have we forgotten to protect women in our bid to accommodate practices carried out in the name of Islam?

Is Francis Bok a racist? Francis Piol Bol Bok, born in Sudan, was a slave for ten years but is now an abolitionist and author living in the United States.

On May 15, 1986, Bok was captured and enslaved at age seven during an Islamic militia raid on the village of Nymlal. Slavery is a standard feature of orthodox Islam. Bok lived in bondage for ten years before escaping imprisonment in Kurdufan, followed by a journey to the United States by way of Cairo, Egypt. Read more of his story here.

Bok's autobiography, Escape from Slavery, chronicles his life from his early youth and his years in captivity, to his work in the United States as an abolitionist.

Is Nonie Darwish a racist? Now an American, she grew up a Muslim in Egypt, the daughter of an Egyptian general whose family was part of President Nasser’s inner circle.

Darwish founded Former Muslims United with Ibn Warraq, an organization dedicated, in part, to helping Muslims reject the inherent intolerance, violence, and supremacism in their doctrine.

Darwish is the author of two books critical of Islam, Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law, and Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror.

And she is an outspoken critic of Sharia law.

Is Brigitte Gabriel a racist? She's an Arab, born in Lebanon. Gabriel watched her country become an Islamic state. Lebanon was a Christian country and "the jewel of the Middle East" when she was young. But the Muslims in Lebanon, supported by Syria and Iran, slowly became more militant until they turned the country into a war zone.

She made her way to America only to find, to her horror, the Muslim Brotherhood here in her newly adopted country, going down the same road. She decided to warn her fellow Americans about the dire results you can expect from appeasing orthodox Muslims, so she founded ACT! for America, a grassroots organization dedicated to educating the public about Islam's prime directive.

Gabriel is the author of two books, They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It, and Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America.

Is Mark Gabriel a racist? Born in Egypt, he became an Islamic scholar in the Muslim world's most prestigious university. Early fears by relatives that Gabriel would grow up a Christian because he had been breastfed by a Christian woman resulted in him being given a thorough Islamic education. So he grew up immersed in Islamic culture and was sent to Al Azhar school at the age of six.

By the time Gabriel was twelve years old he had memorized the Quran completely. After graduating from Al-Azhar University with a Master's degree, he was offered a position as a lecturer at the university. During his research, which involved travel to Eastern and Western countries, Gabriel became more distant from Islam, finding its history, "from its commencement to date, to be filled with violence and bloodshed without any worthwhile ideology or sense of decency. I asked myself 'What religion would condone such destruction of human life?' Based on that, I began to see that the Muslim people and their leaders were perpetrators of violence."

On hearing that Gabriel had "forsaken Islamic teachings" the authorities of Al Azhar expelled him from the University on 17 December, 1991 and asked for him to be released from the post of Imam in the mosque of Amas Ebn Malek in Giza city. The Egyptian secret police then seized Gabriel and placed him in a cell without food and water for three days, after which he was tortured and interrogated for four days before being transferred to Calipha prison in Cairo and released without charge a week later. He escaped Egypt and has since written several books, including, Islam and Terrorism.

Is Walid Shoebat a racist? He's a Palestinian immigrant to the United States and a former PLO militant. Shoebat was born in Bethlehem, the grandson of the Mukhtar of Beit Sahour, an associate of Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. In 1993, Shoebat converted to Christianity after studying the Jewish Bible for six months in response to a challenge from his wife, initially trying to persuade her to convert to Islam.

After the September 11 attacks in 2001, Shoebat began to criticize Islam publicly. He has appeared on mainstream media around the world and has been an expert witness on a number of documentaries on orthodox Islam.

Shoebat argues that parallels exist between radical Islam and Nazism. He says, "Secular dogma like Nazism is less dangerous than Islamofascism that we see today...because Islamofascism has a religious twist to it; it says 'God the Almighty ordered you to do this'...It is trying to grow itself in fifty-five Muslim states. So potentially, you could have a success rate of several Nazi Germanys, if these people get their way."

Is Simon Deng a racist? He was born in southern Sudan. His village of Tonga was a peaceful farming community, despite frequent raids by the Islamic Sudanese army where they burned huts and scattered livestock. "One of the first things I was told as a child — if the Arab men come, just run for your life," Deng recalls. The history of Arab colonization of Africa is one of Islamization, wholesale slave trading, and genocide. One day the Muslims came, and Deng was captured and enslaved.

At the age of 12, he noticed a man from his village due to the man's "shilluk" — a series of raised welts across the forehead. It's a tribal marking Deng has also. The man summoned a distant relative of Deng's who happened to be nearby. With his kinsman's help, the boy was able to escape.

Having escaped slavery and emigrated to the United States, Deng travels the country addressing audiences which range from the United Nations to middle school students. His speeches focus on education and the anti-slavery movement. Deng is now a warner of the horrors of unchecked Islam and Sharia. "I was victimized in the name of Islam," he says.

Is Babu Suseelan a racist? Born in India, Professor Babu Suseelan is a Hindu leader, a human rights activist, a university professor, and a psychologist. He is also the Director of Indian American Intellectuals Forum, New York.

Suseelan is the author of several published articles on jihadi terrorism and cognitive psychology. He has been an invited speaker at international conferences on Islamic militancy.

He speaks around the world, trying to educate people about orthodox Islam and the danger it poses to the free world.

Is Walid Phares a racist? Phares was born in Lebanon, where he earned degrees in law, political science and sociology. He then earned a Master's degree in International Law from the Université de Lyon in France and a Ph.D. in international relations and strategic studies from the University of Miami. He emigrated to the United States in 1990.

Phares has testified before committees of the U.S. State, Justice, Defense and Homeland Security Departments, the United States Congress, the European Parliament, the United Nations Security Council.

His writings expose the political nature embedded in Islamic doctrine, and seeks to find solutions to the problems that presents the West. His books include, The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad, and The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy.

Is Zeyno Baran a racist? Baran is a Turkish-American scholar and Director of the Center for Eurasian Policy.

One of Baran's key areas of specialization is countering the spread of radical Turkish Islamist ideology in Europe and Eurasia.

Baran has criticized European and American governments for working too closely with groups or individuals that espouse an Islamist ideology. She argues that such engagement actually works against U.S. and European interests.

Baran recently wrote an article for The Weekly Standard on this very subject. In it, she advocates a kind of "litmus test" for deciding who and what type of Muslim groups the U.S. government should engage with. Baran argues that "the deciding factor must be ideology: Is the group Islamist or not?" She believes that the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizbullah, and Hizb ut-Tahrir fail her test.

Is M. Zuhdi Jasser a racist? He's the President and Founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. A devout Muslim, Jasser founded AIFD in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States as an effort to provide an American Muslim voice advocating for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Consitution, liberty and freedom, and the separation of mosque and state.

A former Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy, Jasser served 11 years as a medical officer. He is a nationally recognized expert in the contest of ideas against Political Islam and American Islamist organizations. On October 1, 2009, Jasser briefed members of Congress on the threat of Political Islam. He regularly briefs members of the House and Senate congressional anti-terror caucuses.

Is Magdi Allam a racist? Allam was born in Egypt and raised by Muslim parents. His mother Safeya was a believing and practicing Muslim, whereas his father Muhammad was "completely secular." He became a journalist and outspoken critic of "Islamic extremism."

In 2005, Allam published an article calling for a ban on building mosques in Italy. In a piece accusing mosques of fostering hate, he claimed Italy is suffering from "mosque-mania."

In a public letter to the editor, Allam stated that Islam was inseparable from Islamic extremism. Criticising Islam itself, rather than Islamic extremism, Allam argued: "I asked myself how it was possible that those who, like me, sincerely and boldly called for a 'moderate Islam,' assuming the responsibility of exposing themselves in the first person in denouncing Islamic extremism and terrorism, ended up being sentenced to death in the name of Islam on the basis of the Quran. I was forced to see that, beyond the contingency of the phenomenon of Islamic extremism and terrorism that has appeared on a global level, the root of evil is inherent in an Islam that is physiologically violent and historically conflictive."

Is Farshad Kholghi a racist? Born in Iran, he remembers the time before the Islamic Revolution, when Shah Reza Palahvi reigned supreme and the country was on a staunch Western direction, with extensive developments in infrastructure, industry, education, and health care.

Farshad Kholghi is a well known figure from public debates in Denmark. As is the case for most everyone debating Islam, he has been accused of racism (which, given his ethnicity, is ironic), and of presenting "right-wing" political views. 
Farshad rhetorically inquired: "Is it 'right-wing' to stand for womens' rights? Is it 'right-wing' to criticize religion? Is it 'right-wing' to defend freedom of expression? Is it 'right-wing' to defend the right of the individual over that of the ideology? If so, then yes, I present right-wing political views.

Farshad strongly encourages participating in public debate, to not fear religious fanaticism, but rather to ridicule them and their abuse of power through the application of the best of Western values, including open discussion, scrutiny of Islamic organizations and the healthy tradition of satire and ridicule of hypocritical, corrupt and exploitative religious leaders.

Is Bassam Tibi a racist? Born in Syria, Tibi is now a German citizen. He is a Muslim and a political scientist and Professor of International Relations. Tibi is a staunch critic of Islamism and an advocate of reforming Islam itself. In academia, he is known for his analysis of international relations and the introduction of Islam to the study of international conflict and of civilization.

Tibi had eighteen visiting professorships in all continents. Tibi was visiting senior fellow at Yale University when he retired in 2009. The same year, he published his life's work, a book entitled, Islam's Predicament with Cultural Modernity.

Is Khaled Abu Toameh a racist? Toameh was born in the West Bank in 1963 to an Israeli Arab father and a Palestinian Arab mother. He received his BA in English Literature from the Hebrew University and lives in Jerusalem with his wife and three children.

Toameh was formerly a senior reporter for The Jerusalem Report, and a correspondent for Al-Fajr, which he describes as a mouthpiece for the PLO. He has produced several documentaries on the Palestinians for the BBC, Channel 4, Australian, Danish and Swedish TV, including ones that exposed the connection between Arafat and payments to the armed wing of Fatah, as well as the financial corruption within the Palestinian Authority.

He was the first journalist to report about the sex scandal that rocked the Palestinian Authority in early 2010 and which led to the firing of Rafiq Husseini, Chief of Staff for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The scandal was revealed by former Palestinian intelligence official Fahmi Shabaneh in an exclusive interview with Toameh in The Jerusalem Post. One of Toameh's more famous articles is, Where Are the Voices of "Moderate" Muslims?

Is Tawfik Hamid a racist? He was born in Egypt and became a member of the militant Islamic organization, al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya. After a change of heart, Hamid started to preach in mosques to promote a message of peace, which made him a target of Islamic militants who threatened his life. Hamid then migrated to the West where he has lectured at UCLA, Stanford University, University of Miami and Georgetown University against Islamic fundamentalism.

In a 2009 Wall Street Journal article, Hamid said that Islam should prove it's a religion of peace, and called Islamic scholars and clerics, "to produce a Shariah book that will be accepted in the Islamic world and that teaches that Jews are not pigs and monkeys, that declaring war to spread Islam is unacceptable, and that killing apostates is a crime."

Hamid has written opinion pieces for The Wall Street Journal, including Islam Needs To Prove It's A Religion Of Peace, How to End Islamophobia and The Trouble with Islam.

Okay, this list of prominent critics of Islam could go on indefinitely. If you think criticizing Islam is racist, can you tell me exactly what race they are all criticizing? Of course not. Calling criticism of Islam "racist" is a manipulative, underhanded slander. The accurate name is "critic." All the people above are engaged in religious criticism, criticism of an ideology, and political commentary, all of which are desirable, necessary, vital components of a free society.

Some people who criticize Islam are racists. That does not mean criticizing Islam is racism. It's also true that some people who criticize Islam are socialists, but it would be foolish to say criticizing Islam is socialism.

Islam is not a race. There are Muslims of every race. The largest Muslim country is Indonesia. There are more non-Arab Muslims than Arab Muslims. Criticism of Islam is not racism.

Most people trying to silence criticism of Islam know full well Islam is not a race. But the slander is effective in the free world. The mere implication can ruin a political career or get someone fired. So while it's not true — and most people saying it know it's not true — it is an effective weapon of censorship nontheless.

I hope this list, once and for all, will make anyone who says "criticizing Islam is racist" look ridiculous. I hope this removes that absurd slur from public conversation forevermore. Am I hoping for too much? Every time you read or hear anyone using "racism" to silence criticism of Islam, respond with this list and see what happens.


Taking Every Opportunity to Criticize Their Own Country and Their Own Culture


I walked into a room and overheard one man, Coren, saying to another man, Samuel, "...Everyone else welcomes foreigners, unlike Americans, who are so intolerant and unhelpful when someone can't speak English." These are both men I've worked with for years. We know each other well. And we are all born and raised in the U.S.

A few minutes later I said to Coren, "I've heard the French have a reputation of looking down on foreigners who don't speak French very well." He said, "That's true." But he didn't seem to understand that I was making an argument against his earlier statement. So I added, "It's pretty common for Americans to criticize America whenever they get the chance."

Samuel looked up from something he was working on and Coren looked surprised. They both looked at each other and then Coren said to me, "I wasn't criticizing America."

"But didn't you just say that Americans are less forgiving of people that don't speak their language — less forgiving than people in other countries?"

Coren said, "I think that's true." Samuel added, "I think it's true too."

I said, "Isn't that criticizing America or at least criticizing Americans or American culture? I've noticed that many Americans go out of their way, whenever they find an opportunity, to put down America."

They both started to protest, but before any sound came out of their mouths, I said, "I have a theory about why people do that." They both looked interested, so I said, "I think some Americans see that there are people in this world much worse off than we are, and they feel somewhat guilty about it. Sort of like survival guilt — people who have been in a plane crash or other horrible event where people die, but they survived, can sometimes feel guilty about it. They think, 'There is no reason I survived and the others died. It isn't fair.' And it makes them feel undeserving and guilty.

"We just got lucky," I said. "We were born here. We didn't do anything to make that happen. And we are no more deserving than anybody else in the world, so we're sure not going to boast about this great country. We're not going to be patriotic. In fact, we'll find opportunities to point out what's wrong with our own country or culture. Kind of like a rich person does when he's hanging out with people who aren't rich. He will mention his shortcomings. He will go out of his way to point out his own deficiencies. It makes others feel more comfortable around him, and he doesn't feel so guilty being around people less rich than he is."

They both jumped in and said, "I don't think that's it at all." Samuel said, "I love this country. I'm very patriotic. But I think we could do better."

"I agree with you," I said, "for sure. But you know, I never hear you say anything good about this country, and I hear you say negative things about it all the time."

This got his blood boiling. I could see it on his face. I don't know if it's because what I said was true or because he just hates being called "unpatriotic." He has proudly told me before that he is a "progressive liberal." But he loves America.

He spoke, about two octaves higher than before, and said, "I think there are a lot of people in this country who don't care about other cultures; who just live their lives and don't try to help others."

I said, "Did you know the United States gives financial aid to 96% of all the countries in the world?" I had just read this in Forbes the night before (see it here). I was looking up how much money the U.S. gives in financial aid to Muslim countries. Out of the top six recipients of foreign aid, five are Muslim countries, but that's a topic for a different discussion.

Samuel said, "I'm not talking about what our government does. I mean the citizens of this country."

"Well you give money to charities and try to help," I said, because we've had many conversations before, so I knew that about him. "And I do too. So what Americans are you talking about?"

"There are plenty of people," he said, "who don't care."

"Aren't there people who care and people who don't care in every country?" I asked. "Or do you think there are a higher percentage of people in America than in other countries who don't care?" I said this in a friendly way. I wasn't angry with him. I just wanted to point out this phenomenon that nobody seems to notice. And I don't think this is a uniquely American thing. I believe it happens all over the free world. In Australia, in the UK, in Canada — I read an article the other day that said it happens in Israel. Israelis, the author implied, are the biggest critics of their own country.

The reason this is important is because Islam is an ideology that aims to replace all other cultures with Islam. People who don't vigorously defend their cultures will succumb to Islamic pressure. People who defend their culture have a chance of keeping it. This characteristic of people who denigrate their own culture seems like a weakness to me, a vulnerability. It seems like a characteristic that would prevent someone from defending their own culture.

When another culture comes into contact with Islam, Islam forces the issue and creates a condition where one of the cultures must yield to the other. Islam does not live side-by-side in harmony with other cultures as equals.

So when I am talking to Americans and they jump enthusiastically on every opportunity to put down America or American culture, it bothers me. When push comes to shove, will they defend American values? Or will they yield? They are so habitually critical of their own culture, I think they will yield. But I want them to hold the line. Freedom of speech, human rights, equality of all people — these are values that need to be defended. We should never yield to an inferior set of values.

Anyway, Samuel said, "I don't know if there is a higher percentage or not."

I said, "That's what I'm talking about. Your natural and automatic point of view is that Americans aren't as good as other people in the world, when in fact, they are just like other people in the world. Some of us are good people who try to help others, and some are more selfish. So why call the bad part uniquely American?"

Samuel looked exasperated. He said, "I'm just saying that Americans don't seem to care about the rest of the world. They don't even know the rest of the world exists!"

I said, "Of course Americans know the rest of the world exists."

"But Americans don't try to learn about the rest of the world," he persisted.

"So do you think," I countered, "someone living in a remote village in India knows more and cares more about the bigger world than the average American?"

"No!" he said.

All this time, Coren had been listening to this exchange. And he suddenly piped up: "I think Americans have raped the world."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"They exploit people all over the world," he said, like it was an obvious fact.

I said, "Do you exploit people? Are you busy raping the world? Am I? Is Samuel? Who are you talking about? Wealthy people? Corporations?"

"Yes," he said, and he was about to say something else but I interrupted him.

"Aren't there powerful people and wealthy corporations in every country who exploit others? Do you think that is not being done in Nigeria? China? Russia? Japan? Europe? Aren't you describing a human thing? Not an American thing?"

He said, "Yes, but Americans set the standard!"

I couldn't let this pass. "There have been powerful and wealthy people throughout history," I said, "long before the U.S. even existed, who exploited and dominated others. You can't call that an American invention!"

Then I remembered that Coren had read the book, The Righteous Mind (when I'd recommended it to him), and one of the studies in the book is a survey of the moral standards of wealthy, educated people and poorer, less educated people in two different cities in Brazil and in an American city. So I said, "Remember how they found that the wealthy, educated people in the three different cities were much more similar morally to each other than they were to the poorer people in their own country?"

He nodded. "Yeah," he said, looking like he was remembering.

"So isn't what you're talking about just human? Not American, but human?"

Then he said, "America was founded on raping the world. It is the foundation of this country."

"What do you mean," I asked. I thought I knew, but I wanted to make sure.

He looked at me like, "I shouldn't have to tell you this because it's so obvious," and he said, "We massacred the Native Americans."

"First of all," I said, "we weren't there, so we didn't do anything (as I pointed to him and then to me). I don't even know if our ancestors were here yet, and besides, the Native Americans did some massacring of their own. There were alliances between Europeans and Native Americans against other alliances of Europeans and Native Americans, and 95% of the Native Americans died of diseases, not massacres." I brought this up because of another book both of us have read, entitled 1491, which is about what the Americas were like before Columbus arrived. New evidence shows that the number of Native Americans who died of disease was much greater than originally thought because when Europeans touched down on the coast, the diseases went inland and caused mass plagues. By the time Europeans actually traveled to the interior of the country, what they saw was the decimated ruin of what had been a much larger population, but they didn't realize the extent of the decimation at the time.

"And besides," I said, "can you name any people on earth who have not been invaded, dominated, pushed into other areas, attacked, overrun, or conquered? Isn't that the history of people on earth? Is this somehow uniquely American? Hell, even the Native Americans did it. Tribes conquered other tribes, killing them off and invading their lands. You and I are also descendants of people who were conquered and whose culture was lost."

What struck me about what he said was how closely it followed the story laid out in Dinesh D'Souza's movie, America. D'Souza says for the last 30 years or so a new story has been told to our children in school, and the story imparts a whole lot of guilt to young Americans because "we" massacred Native Americans, enslaved Africans, plundered everyone and everything, etc. Coren's point of view was almost verbatim what D'Souza had said. Coren is 33 years old.

As we were talking, other people had come to sit nearby to listen to this conversation.

"All I'm saying," I concluded, "is that what you're describing is simply human; not uniquely American. And that there's a reason you two have such a strong desire to put down your own country: You feel guilty. You know about the inequality in the world, but you don't want to just give away all your possessions and money to people who are in need. You want to keep it and enjoy your good fortune, so you assuage your guilt by 'dissing' America."

I didn't convince them, but I definitely disturbed them. I don't know what will eventually happen in their minds, but for sure they will become more aware of their compulsion to trash their own culture, their own people, their own country, and hopefully they'll think about why they seem so intent on doing it. Hopefully it will eventually lead to two more people in the free world who will be willing to appreciate their own culture and value it enough to defend it against an aggressive ideology hell-bent on annihilating it.

Read more:
The Achilles' Heel of the WestThe Key to Your Listener's Inability to Confront the Disturbing Truth About Islam



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