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VIDEO: Islam in America As Described by Three Leading Voices

Shaker Elsayed, Jonathan Brown and Yasir Qadhi are considered religious authorities by national Islamist groups. Elsayed remains a senior imam at a prominent Northern Virginia mosque despite a history of radical preaching, and Brown and Qadhi are routinely invited invited to address conventions and fundraisers.

The broader public might be surprised to hear their views.

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“The Challenge of Modernizing Islam” by Christine Douglass-Williams

Jihad Watch writer Christine Douglass-Williams’s new book, The Challenge of Modernizing Islam: Reformers Speak Out and the Obstacles They Face, is out now from Encounter Books. Order your copy here.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali says:

“This well-written book should not be ignored. With elegance and determination, Christine Douglass-Williams documents a variety of Muslim reformers, of a wide range of backgrounds and persuasions. These courageous men and women should be as well-known as human rights dissidents Solzhenitsyn, Sakharov, and Havel were during the Cold War. Through a series of probing interviews and careful reflection, Douglass-Williams draws out the nature of reformers’ inner struggles and ideals, contrasting them with the beliefs of Islamists. This book is highly recommended for those wishing to learn more about Muslim reformers, and it is a must-read for US policymakers who wish to understand the challenge of Islamism in America and the world today.”

Edwin Black, author of The Farhud, says this: “Incisive and informed, The Challenge of Modernizing Islam by Christine Douglass-Williams offers us the powerful insight needed to launch a new conversation about Islam. It fills the mind with deep knowledge and urgent necessity.”

I contributed a Foreword to this book:

“This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed my favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.”

So says Allah in the Qur’an (5:3), in words that have vexed Islamic reformers and would-be reformers throughout the history of the religion. Traditional and mainstream Islamic theology holds that Islam is perfect, bestowed from above by the supreme being, and hence not only is reform unnecessary, it is heresy that makes the reformer worthy of death if he departs from anything Islamic authorities believe to be divinely revealed.

On the other hand, the cognitive dissonance created by having to believe that the one and only God mandates death for apostasy (Bukhari 6922), stoning for adultery (Bukhari 6829), and amputation of the hand for theft (Qur’an 5:38), and sanctions the sexual enslavement of infidel women (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50, 70:30), the devaluation of a woman’s testimony (Qur’an 2:282) and inheritance rights (Qur’an 4:11), and above all, warfare against and the subjugation of non-Muslims (Qur’an 9:29), has led, particularly in modern times, to attempts by believing Muslims to reconcile Islamic morality with contemporary perspectives and mores.

These attempts are fraught with peril. As Christine Douglass-Williams notes in this book, “Mahmoud Muhammad Taha, a Sudanese Muslim theologian who argued that the Meccan passages,” which are generally more peaceful, “should take precedence over the Medinan,” which call for warfare against non-Muslims, “instead of the reverse, was executed in 1985 by the Sudanese government for heresy and apostasy.” Some of those profiled in this book know these perils firsthand: “Sheik Subhy Mansour recounted: ‘If these Muslim Brotherhood people had the chance, they would have killed me according to their punishment for apostasy plus they claim I’ll go to hell.’ Tawfik Hamid noted: ‘The reformists were killed throughout history, including those who rejected the Sunnah.’”

Death threats aren’t the only dangers either. Europe and North America are full of Muslim spokesmen who present themselves as moderate, Westernized reformers, but are actually just the opposite. Foremost among these is Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, who has been widely hailed as the “Muslim Martin Luther” but has likewise been accused by French journalist Caroline Fourest, who has published a book-length study of Ramadan’s sly duplicity, Brother Tariq, of “remaining scrupulously faithful to the strategy mapped out by his grandfather, a strategy of advance stage by stage” toward the imposition of Islamic law in the West.

Douglass-Williams notes this duplicity: “In a an example of the distinction to be made between moderates and crypto-moderates, after the brutal riots following the release of the Danish cartoons insulting to Muhammad in 2006, Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss-born theologian and grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ramadan explained that the reaction of his co-religionists was a ‘a principle of faith…that God and the prophets never be represented.’” One of her interview subjects, Salim Mansur, observes drily that “non-Muslims went to the wrong Muslim for an understanding of the faith.”

The dominant presence of duplicitous pseudo-reformers such as Ramadan considerably muddies the waters. This confusion couldn’t possibly come at a worse time, when the governments of the West are doing nothing less than staking the very futures of their nations not only upon the existence of Muslim moderates and reformers, but upon their eventual victory within the Islamic community. This gamble has been made despite the fact that there is no general agreement, either inside the Muslim community or outside it, of what “Islamic moderation” actually means, and what “Islamic reform” would really look like.

Against this backdrop, The Challenge of Modernizing Islam is extraordinary, refreshing, and much needed in numerous ways. The interviews that Christine Douglass-Williams conducts with some of the leading moderate Muslim spokesmen in the United States and Canada are unique in their probing honesty. While most interviewers from all points of the political spectrum generally are so happy and honored to be in the presence of a Muslim who repudiates jihad terror that they serve up only softball questions and are content with vague generalities in response, in this book Douglass-Williams asks the questions that need to be asked, and yet are asked only infrequently: How do you explain the various Qur’an verses that call for violence, or are misogynistic or problematic in other ways? How do you propose to convince the vast majority of your coreligionists of the correctness of your position? How is reform possible when the mainstream schools of Islamic jurisprudence mandate death for heresy and apostasy?

The answers vary from thought provoking and searchingly honest to cagey and deflective. And that in itself is illuminating. Not every person interviewed in this book is in agreement with every other, and not every attentive and informed reader will come away from these pages convinced that every person here interviewed is being in every instance entirely forthright. Many believe that the resistance to the global jihad in all its forms has no legitimacy, or cannot be successful, if Muslim reformers are not on board with it. I do not share that view, but the need for Islamic reform is undeniable, and the people here interviewed are among its foremost exponents in the West. We owe them a fair hearing as much as they owe us honest answers to the questions here posed.

In the second half of the book, Douglass-Williams offers a probing analysis of what her interview subjects told her, and provides illuminating ways for readers to navigate through the thickets and avoid hazards that have captured and misled numerous analysts of Islam and its prospects for reform. One of the cardinal services she provides here is the drawing of distinctions in numerous areas where crucial differences and delineations have long been obscured, often deliberately. Her discussions of Islam versus Islamism and Islamic moderation versus Islamic reform are a welcome antidote to the sloppy thinking and cant that dominate the public discourse today. Her examination of problematic Islamic texts is all the more welcome for being even rarer. Her discussions of the controversial and manipulative concept of “Islamophobia” and its relationship to the problems of genuine Islamic reform, and to the role of Israel and how it can help distinguish genuine Islamic reformers from pretenders, are the crown and centerpiece of the book, and examples of the kind of searching analysis that is all too often absent from the public square today, and for that all the more needed.

The Challenge of Modernizing Islam is, therefore, an extremely illuminating book, and not always in the ways that its interview subjects may have intended. That is, as is said these days, not a bug, but a feature. It’s crucial today that genuine reformers be distinguished from insincere deceivers, and naïve idealists from those with genuine plans. Here is a solid beginning in that effort. This book should be read while bearing in mind how the governments of the West are assuming that their newly-accepted Muslim refugees will sooner or later accept the values and mores of the secular West and settle down to become loyal and productive citizens, and how the recent experience of European countries, particularly Sweden, Germany, and France, as well as the United Kingdom, offers abundant reason for concern that this may not be the case.

That same tension between high hopes and harsh realities runs through these interviews, and doubtless through the souls of many of the interviewees. For better or worse, however, any chance for Western countries, as well as non-Muslim countries in the Far East and elsewhere, to enjoy a peaceful future now depends, courtesy of a series of decisions our political leaders have made, upon the victory of Islamic reform. The Challenge of Modernizing Islam uniquely equips readers to make an informed and intelligent evaluation of how peaceful the future of non-Muslim countries is likely to be.

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Brigitte Bardot on Islam

Brigitte Bardot is a national treasure. Despite relentless persecution by the French government for sharia-speech violations, Bardot continues to speak truth to Islamic power. France’s iconic blonde bombshell has been on trial five times for Islamo-criticism and “inciting racial hatred” (Islam is not a race).

And still she speaks out.

The shock interview of Brigitte Bardot

Thanks to Alexandre for the translation

The state of France “I was raised in honor, patriotism, love and respect for my country, and when I see what has become of me, I am quite desperate.” When I see what they have done, A country whose intellectual richness, the quality of language, of writing, the primacy of architecture, fashion, elegance and heritage radiated throughout the world, it depresses me. As my grandfather said , There is enough to take them and bite them! ”

To whom does it attribute this regression? “To the left, she hates anything luxurious, elegant, anything that comes out of the ordinary.” About communitarianism “I can no longer see them, the Islamists, that practically everywhere in France we see the burqas, it is inadmissible, that they behave as they want in their country of origin, but that they do not impose Customs, practices, discriminations of another age: France is not that. ”

The political personalities she appreciates “I love him very much and for a long time, but also François Fillon, I think he’s a good guy, I was horrified by this judicial and media lynching.  As you know, a lot of respect for this virtue. ” The European Union “We have to get out of here. Brussels is breaking the balls.” The state of French cinema “There are only bearded and fat-haired actresses who are raped in the corners and find excuses for their assailants.There is only to watch the Ceremony of Caesar where nice zombies Thanked papa-maman, their concierge and their taxi driver, while launching the unavoidable appeal to human brotherhood and anti-racism. ” The French culture “I did not fight against French Algeria to accept an Algerian France, I do not touch the culture, the identity and the customs of the others.

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EDITORS NOTE: The column originally appeared in The Geller Report.

VIDEO: 12 Facts About Islam & the Prophet Muhammad – In Their Text’s Own Words

The Fuel Project notes:

What do the Islamic texts really teach Muslims? There is good reason to take a deep look at what the Koran (Quran), Hadiths and other Islamic holy books command of their followers. Yes, a Muslim can point to noble aspects of the teachings, but will a Muslim share with you the more virulent teachings?

A Muslim is much less likely to share with an unbeliever the acts of Muhammad that today’s civilized society would find abhorrent. Also, they are not likely to explain their oppressive jurisprudence that is antithetical to most civilized cultures on Earth. It is time, for westerners in particular, to really understand what this ideology fully entails.

Historical facts can be interpreted in different ways but what is written in black and white cannot be denied. Especially, if what was written has been accepted knowledge for 1500 years since the advent of Islam.

EDITORS NOTE: This video is courtesy of The Fuel Project.

ISIS justifies sex slavery of infidel women by quoting the Qur’an

“Question 4: Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female captive? Allah the almighty said, ‘successful are the believers who guard their chastity, except from their wives or the captives and slaves, that their right hands posses for then they are free from blame (Koran 23:5-6). Note: the words ‘captives and slaves’ don’t exist in the original version of Quran.”

With that “note,” Morocco World News is trying to give the impression that the Islamic State is playing fast and loose with the Qur’an in justifying slavery. This is, unfortunately, not the case. Those whom “their right hands possess” are universally understood by Islamic exegetes to be referring to slaves; even Islamic apologetic sources that try to minimize the reality of slavery in Islam acknowledge that this term refers to slave women.

“ISIS’s “Science” of Slavery: How ISIS Justifies Enslavement of Yezidi Women with Islam,” by Johanna Higgs and Amal Ben Hadda, Morocco World News, June 26, 2017 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

Slavery, possibly one of the worst human horrors occurring on this earth at this time. In 2014, ISIS invaded the small town of Sinjar in Northern Iraq and began to carry out what has now been described as genocide against the Yezidi people. Thousands of young women and girls were dragged off to be sold as sex slaves in markets.

Yezidi women who have returned from captivity have described a system of organized rape and sexual assault, sexual slavery and forced marriage. Guidelines for slavery have been established and they have repeatedly used a narrow and selective interpretation of the Quran to justify their barbarous acts of sexual violence.

According to Amnesty International, it is estimated that there are still as many as 3 800 girls being held as slaves by ISIS.

In a small makeshift IDP camp in the centre of Erbil Bese Qawal, Hana Xwededa and Fayza Haji, three Yezidi women who fled their homes in Sinjar when the violence with ISIS began to unfold. They had spent over a year living with another small group of Yezidi’s in a few ramshackle buildings with little certainty as to what the future would hold. As they sat in their small home they quietly described the horror that forced them to flee,

‘When the first assaults started, ISIS tried to stop us from fleeing. They wanted to kill the men and take the women. They tried to capture us but we managed to escape into the mountains. They burned our home, we came here with nothing,’ said Qawal as she leaned back against the wall. All three women sat somberly in the room as small children darted in and out.

‘They wanted to take the women as slaves. Our family is safe but we know some of the girls who were captured. They are selling girls as young as 8 or 9 years old in markets.’

When asked why they believed that ISIS was targeting the Yezidis, Qawal looked at the ground and replied quietly, ‘by god I don’t know. We are poor people.’

The Yezidi’s have been persecuted by the surrounding Muslim communities for many centuries. A minority in the region the Yezidis constitute only 1.5 percent of Iraq’s estimated population of 34 million. Of Kurdish descent, the Yezidis are generally considered to be a pre Islamic sect with an oral tradition as opposed to written scripture, though there are several ideas as to where the Yezidi culture originated.

For ISIS this makes them unbelievers of the worst kind, more so than Christians and Jews who are considered to have some limited protections according to their descriptions in Quran as ‘people of the book.’

It is for this reason, that ISIS has proclaimed their right to enslave Yezidi women.

ISIS considers their rules of enslavement as a ‘science that has been almost absent in modern Islamic jurisprudence,’ or what is known as fiqh. The word figh is an Arabic term meaning ‘full understanding’ and refers to the body of Islamic law extracted from detailed Islamic sources.

In a pamphlet released by ISIS, they highlight the need to practice this ‘science’ throughout the Islamic Caliphate, which they seek to establish throughout the world.

This pamphlet, through its questions and answers, uses interpretations of the Quran, as defined by various Sunni Islamic scholars to justify their acts of slavery. These scholars, using interpretations as defined by the exegesis, use the term ‘right hand possession’ as meaning ‘female slave’.

Some of the questions and answers of the pamphlet are as follows,

Question 3: Can all unbelieving women be taken captive?

There is no dispute among the scholars that it is permissible to take such women who are characterized by original unbelief such as the women from among People of the Book ie Jews and Christians.

Question 4: Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female captive?

Allah the almighty said, ‘successful are the believers who guard their chastity, except from their wives or the captives and slaves, that their right hands posses for then they are free from blame (Koran 23:5-6).

Note: the words “captives and slaves” don’t exist in the original version of Quran

Question 6: Is it permissible to sell a female captive?

It is permissible to buy, sell or give as a gift female captives and slaves for they are merely property.

The literal interpretation in Arabic of the term ‘right hand’ means any promise or commitment that must be observed and respected. So the term, ‘right hands possession’ semantically means the obligation to fulfill promises. This could be relevant to different contexts, particularly those regarding social commitments such as caring for orphans, marriage, and recently, this term was referred to in relation to surrogacy. In the Quran, both men and women are called to respect what their right hands possess.

However, when the word ‘possession’ is added, ISIS interprets this as female slave.

Through this traditional interpretation of Quran, ISIS has publically and officially sanctioned their use of slavery and rape. The ‘right hands possession,’ means for them that ‘religiously’ they can have sex with ‘unbelieving’ women, virgins and young girls, captured during war even if it is outside the institution of marriage. They consider this as a reward for their war efforts and is a motivator for soldiers to fight….

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Yes, Islamic Terrorism Really Is Islamic

Ibn Warraq’s new book makes clear the irrefutable case. My latest in PJ Media:

It is a symptom of the denial and willful ignorance that blankets the present age that this book even had to be written, and that Ibn Warraq, a historian and social theorist of preeminent insight and wisdom, should have had to devote his considerable talents to it.

Nonetheless, we can be grateful that he has given us The Islam in Islamic Terrorism: The Importance of Beliefs, Ideas, and Ideology, as this book is breathtakingly comprehensive despite its quite manageable length, and is, quite simply, irrefutable. If there remains in the world anyone who holds that Islam is a Religion of Peace and yet has sufficient intellectual honesty and acumen to consider these arguments on their merits, this is the book to give.

First there is the necessary work of clearing away the nonsense. Ibn Warraq takes up each of the major excuses that are commonly given for Islamic jihad violence — that it is all about Israel, or all about U.S. foreign policy, or all about poverty and lack of opportunity — and shows why each does not and cannot sufficiently explain the phenomenon at hand.

Then he treads ground that has been much-tilled before: the exhortations to jihad violence in the Qur’an and Sunnah. But here, even the most well-informed reader will find much that is new, especially the detailed description of the Islamic concept of al-walaa wal baraa, commanding the right and forbidding the wrong, and how it leads to jihad attacks against unbelievers.

Also highly rewarding is Ibn Warraq’s examination of a subject that receives insufficient attention: the goals of jihad. Authorities in Europe and North America continue to treat jihad attacks as discrete criminal acts that have no necessary connection to any wider movement or imperative. Ibn Warraq shows here, with copious references to Islamic scholars ancient and modern, that jihad is a means of spreading Islam, and that the “greater jihad” — the spiritualized idea so beloved of Western apologists — actually has quite slim foundation in the Islamic sources, and is given scant attention throughout Islamic history by the religion’s foremost theologians.

The most rewarding sections of this amply rewarding book are Ibn Warraq’s surveys of jihad in theory and practice from the death of Muhammad up to the present day.

This includes a look at the Kharijites, who are often invoked by contemporary Islamic apologists as the precursors of modern terrorists and the archetypal Islamic heretics. Ibn Warraq, by contrast, demonstrates that “the fundamental principle for the Kharijites was that the Islamic community must be based on the Koran.” Those who claim the Kharijites were twisting and hijacking Islam say the same thing about contemporary jihadis, with just as little justification.

The historical survey that makes up the balance of the book is its most illuminating and valuable material. While many informed readers will know that the Qur’an exhorts jihad and that Muhammad preached and practiced it, few will be familiar with the history of jihad violence in Ninth and Tenth Century Baghdad, or with the Qadizadeli movement in 17th Century Constantinople, or with the career of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab (of Wahhabi fame) and his movement.

This is jihad doctrine as applied by Muslims throughout history. Readers will see immediately that Muslim obedience to the exhortations to jihad warfare in the Qur’an and Sunnah has been remarkably consistent in form since the beginnings of Islam.

Those who would peruse this material and then still insist that Ibn Warraq is “cherry picking” from both Islamic scripture and history, leaving out both the peaceful exhortations and the fabled eras of peace and tolerance, would be willfully and incurably blind. There are no such exhortations of any force, and no such eras, as any serious student of renowned al-Andalus will know.

The facts are, in the final analysis, quite simple: the Qur’an teaches jihad warfare. So does Muhammad. So do the mainstream Islamic theologians and jurists. And Muslims have consequently waged jihad warfare throughout history.

The Islam in Islamic Terrorism offers facts that ought to be taught in every high school and college history class; a saner age than ours would not find this book remotely controversial. It may indeed have mandated that it be put to exactly that kind of use in academic institutions….

Read the rest here.

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Paris No-Go Zones where Muslim migrants terrorize women threaten its 2024 Olympics bid

The French authorities have made this new Paris, and they have to live with it. By 2024, France may be an Islamic Republic anyway, with strict Sharia adherence militating against any serious interest in an Olympic bid.

“Paris ‘No Go Zones’ Where Migrants Terrorize Women Threaten its 2024 Olympics Bid,” Heat Street, June 27, 2017:

Paris’s aspiration to stage the Olympic Games in 2024 is under threat partly because of so-called ‘no go zones’ in the city where immigrants from Asia and Africa pester and abuse women.

Areas like Place de la Chapelle, formerly a quiet square behind the Gare du Nord train station, have been transformed in a short space of time into havens for immigrant rough sleepers and drug dealers which are said to be increasingly intimidating for many people, especially women.

According go the Sunday Times of London, since 2015 a huge influx of immigrants – mostly single men – have begun sleeping in parks, on the streets and under the arches of the Metro bridges in northeast Paris.

They have been accused of verbally abusing women in the streets, routinely shouting “Bitch” and “Dirty whore”. Street robbery and drug taking have also become rife.

Conservative councilor Pierre Liscia told the Sunday Times: “The cynical thing is that last month a vast clean-up operation was launched when the Olympic committee came to visit for an inspection ahead of the Games. They moved out 1600 people in 24 hours. I find it contemptible that the mayor’s office acted only when there was media attention.”

A woman using the alias ‘Laurence’ started a petition earlier this year in a bid to clean up Place de la Chapelle, where she lives with her eight-year-old daughter.

The petition, called “Women — an ­endangered species in the heart of Paris” urged President Emmanuel Macron and Socialist Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo to crack down on the increasingly dangerous district which has become a magnet for rough sleepers and drug dealers. It attracted 20,000 signatures.

She explained why she set up the petition: “As a woman you start adopting defensive measures. You don’t go here or there. Avoid certain routes. Take your kids to school another way. I stopped going to my tobacconist and some cafes because suddenly there were only men inside. I have to ask the teenage drug dealers politely to step aside in the foyer just so I can get to my own front door.”

But, for her trouble, Laurence has been faced with violence and online abuse from anti-racism campaigners, who recently held a small demonstration in the area which got out of control….

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Snopes Carries Water for Muhammad

“Mostly False” Indiana billboard is actually 100% true. My latest in FrontPage:

​The self-proclaimed fact-checker Snopes.com has been harshly criticized for its Leftist bias, and as is so often the case, a tilt to the Left also means a willingness to foster ignorance and complacency about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat. After a billboard went up in Indiana pointing out six unsavory aspects of the life of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, Snopes labeled the billboard’s charges “Mostly False” – but that label applies far more accurately to the Snopes report than to the billboard.

Snopes’ falsehoods begin with its initial assertion that the billboard’s title, “the perfect man,” “is poor translation from an Arabic phrase in the Koran, which describes the Prophet as an excellent example.” In reality, the appellation “perfect man” is not a poor translation of a Qur’anic phrase; it is not a Qur’anic phrase at all. The Qur’anic phrase “excellent example” (33:21) is uswa hasana, while “perfect man” is al-insan al-kamil, a title ascribed to Muhammad in Islamic tradition.

Snopes goes on to state that “none of the items listed on the billboard appear in the Koran — they are historical events, and the accuracy of details surrounding them remain contested by scholars.” This is true, but irrelevant, since Muhammad’s status as the “excellent example” for Muslims, as well as the “perfect man,” make him a model for emulation for Muslims: if Muhammad did it, it is good, and Muslims should do it.

A scholar that Snopes cites as an authority, Ayesha S. Chaudhry, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Gender Studies at the University of British Columbia, “told us that all accounts of the Prophet’s life, which occurred 1,400 years ago in 7th-century Arabia, were written at least 200 years after his death, and their reliability for accuracy is shaky.” This unreliability is something Islamic apologists acknowledge only when confronted with unsavory aspects of Muhammad’s career as recorded in the earliest Muslim sources. Chaudhry doesn’t mention the fact that when Islamic scholars deem a statement or action by Muhammad to be authentic, it is normative for Islamic law, and all the statements on the billboard come from Islamic sources that Muslims deem authentic.

1. Married 6-year-old

Regarding the billboard’s charge that Muhammad married a six-year-old girl, Snopes claims that “the age of the young wife in question, Aisha Bint Abu Bakr, is contested — many believe she was actually in her late teens when she married Muhammad. Accounts contradict each other; while Aisha is quoted by one source saying she was six when she was married and nine when the marriage was consummated, another account describes Muhammad refusing offers from older men to marry his 9-year-old daughter because he thought her to be too young. Muhammad’s first wife, Khadija, on the other hand, was 15 years his senior and he remained married to her exclusively until she died.”

Denise Spellberg, history professor at the University of Texas at Austin, adds: “Most early accounts state Aisha was 6 or 7 at betrothal and 9 or 10 when the marriage was consummated. One later source in Arabic from the 13th century suggests 9 at the age of betrothal, and 12 at consummation. Child betrothal and marriage were not uncommon at this time in Arabia or throughout the pre-modern world. In Roman law, girls had to be 12, for example.”

In reality, few aspects of Islam that contradict Western laws and principles of human rights are more abundantly attested in Islamic law than the permissibility of child marriage. Islamic tradition records that Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, was six when Muhammad wedded her and nine when he consummated the marriage: “The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)” (Sahih Bukhari 7.62.88).

Another tradition has Aisha herself recount the scene: “The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became all right, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, ‘Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.’ Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age. (Sahih Bukhari 5.58.234). Muhammad was at this time fifty-four years old.

Chaudhry doesn’t explain to Snopes why she rejects the testimony of Sahih Bukhari, the hadith collection that Muslims consider most reliable. Nor does she cite the sources that show that Aisha was older; in reality, they only do so indirectly, by making chronological statements that suggest she was older, without saying so explicitly. These sources are, moreover, much later than Bukhari and are considered much less reliable.

2. Tortured and killed unbelievers

Snopes then moves on to the billboard’s charge that Muhammad tortured and killed nonbelievers: “Chaudhry also told us she doesn’t know of any accounts of nonbelievers being tortured and killed, although Muhammad was engaged in warfare during his lifetime.” It quotes her: “Torturing and killing non-believers — I don’t know what they’re talking about. There were several battles that happen during his life and they’re complicated.”

How odd to find such ignorance in a professor of Islamic Studies! How about these?

“When Muhammad saw Hamzah he said, ‘If Allah gives me victory over the Quraysh at any time, I shall mutilate thirty of their men!’ When the Muslims saw the rage of the Prophet they said, ‘By Allah, if we are victorious over them, we shall mutilate them in a way which no Arab has ever mutilated anybody.” (Al-Tabari, vol. 7, p. 133; cf. Ibn Ishaq 387)

“Anas reported: Eight men of the tribe of ‘Ukl came to Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) and swore allegiance to him on Islam, but found the climate of that land uncongenial to their health and thus they became sick, and they made complaint of that to Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: Why don’t you go to (the fold) of our camels along with our shepherd, and make use of their milk and urine. They said: Yes. They set out and drank their (camels’) milk and urine and regained their health. They killed the shepherd and drove away the camels. This (news) reached Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) and he sent them on their track and they were caught and brought to him (the Holy Prophet). He commanded about them, and (thus) their hands and feet were cut off and their eyes were gouged and then they were thrown in the sun, until they died.” (Sahih Muslim 4131)

Muhammad, according to Islamic tradition, didn’t just justify torture. He ordered it: “Kinana b. al-Rabi`, who had the custody of the treasure of B. al-Nadir, was brought to the apostle who asked him about it. He denied that he knew where it was. A Jew came (T. was brought) to the apostle and said that he had seen Kinana going round a certain ruin every morning early. When the apostle said to Kinana, ‘Do you know that if we find you have it I shall kill you?’ he said Yes. The apostle gave orders that the ruin was to be excavated and some of the treasure was found. When he asked him about the rest he refused to produce it, so the apostle gave orders to al-Zubayr b. al-Awwam, ‘Torture him until you extract what he has,’ so he kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead. Then the apostle delivered him to Muhammad b. Maslama and he struck off his head, in revenge for his brother Mahmud.” (Ibn Ishaq 515).

3. Rapist

Chaudhry laments: “The rape comment is just hateful. I don’t know what to do with that.” Says Snopes: “There are no known accounts of the Prophet committing rape — to the contrary, the image Muslims derive from the Koran is one of a compassionate person prone to mercy.”

No known accounts? Really? I know of a few. In two, Muhammad allows his followers to rape captive women: “The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: (Sura 4:24) ‘And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.’” (Sunan Abu Dawud 2150; see also Sahih Muslim 3433)

“O Allah’s Apostle! We get female captives as our share of booty, and we are interested in their prices, what is your opinion about coitus interruptus?” The Prophet said, “Do you really do that? It is better for you not to do it. No soul that which Allah has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence.” (Sahih Bukhari 34:432)

And in another hadith, Muhammad demands a captive girl for himself: “I drove them along until I brought them to Abu Bakr who bestowed that girl upon me as a prize. So we arrived in Medina. I had not yet disrobed her when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) met me in the street and said: ‘Give me that girl.’” (Sahih Muslim 4345)

4. 13 wives, 11 at a time

Says Snopes: “Muhammad was an influential political figure during his lifetime. All of his wives, except Aisha, were either divorcees or widows, which Suleiman said denotes the strategic nature of marriage in those times. Some were widows of his allies, and marriage prevented them from falling to the economic fringes of society. Chaudhry added that in an era when polygamy was commonplace, the Koran limited it to four wives.” (Suleiman is Omar Suleiman, Islamic Studies professor at Southern Methodist University.)

While all that may be true, it does not refute, or even attempt to refute, the charge made on the billboard.

5. Slave owner & dealer

Here again, Snopes retails falsehoods: “In terms of slavery, it was a reality throughout Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities during Muhammad’s lifetime. But tradition holds he purchased slaves for the purpose of liberating them. Suleiman told us Muhammad purchased 63 slaves in order to set them free, and at the time of his death he owned no slaves. Some of them were elevated to authoritative social roles. For example, Bilal ibn Rabah became a trusted companion of the Prophet, who was given the role of calling people to prayer.”

In reality, the Qur’an has Allah telling Muhammad that he has given him girls as sex slaves: “Prophet, We have made lawful to you the wives to whom you have granted dowries and the slave girls whom God has given you as booty.” (Qur’an 33:50)

Muhammad bought slaves: “Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) reported: There came a slave and pledged allegiance to Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) on migration; he (the Holy Prophet) did not know that he was a slave. Then there came his master and demanded him back, whereupon Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: Sell him to me. And he bought him for two black slaves, and he did not afterwards take allegiance from anyone until he had asked him whether he was a slave (or a free man).” (Muslim 3901)

Muhammad took female Infidel captives as slaves: “Narrated Anas: The Prophet offered the Fajr Prayer near Khaibar when it was still dark and then said, ‘Allahu-Akbar! Khaibar is destroyed, for whenever we approach a (hostile) nation (to fight), then evil will be the morning for those who have been warned.’ Then the inhabitants of Khaibar came out running on the roads. The Prophet had their warriors killed, their offspring and woman taken as captives. Safiya was amongst the captives. She first came in the share of Dahya Alkali but later on she belonged to the Prophet. The Prophet made her manumission as her ‘Mahr.’” (Bukhari 5.59.512)

Mahr is bride price: Muhammad freed her and married her. But he didn’t do this to all his slaves: “Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Apostle was on a journey and he had a black slave called Anjasha, and he was driving the camels (very fast, and there were women riding on those camels). Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Waihaka (May Allah be merciful to you), O Anjasha! Drive slowly (the camels) with the glass vessels (women)!’” (Sahih Bukhari 8.73.182) There is no mention of Muhammad’s freeing Anjasha.

6. Beheaded 600 Jews in one day

Suleiman attempts to justify this, saying: “the bullet point that claims Muhammad ‘beheaded 600 Jews’ may well be an attempt to paint the prophet as an anti-Semite, but it is in regards to an incident known as the Battle of the Trench, which took place during a siege on Medina in 627. A number of Jewish tribes were allied with Muhammad’s forces — but one, Banu Qurayza, committed treason, allowing an attack to happen from the inside. An arbiter, Abdullah ibn Salam (who was a convert from Judaism to Islam) was selected to punish the tribe in keeping with the Torah — the men would be killed and women and children kept as captives.”

Once again, the incident is not disputed. Snopes does, however, dispute the number of Jews Muhammad killed: “But the number of men killed is again the subject of controversy. Suleiman said it may have been 100 to 200. Spellberg pointed to a source that said 400. Chaudhry said one prominent scholar,  Ibn Hajar, who died in 1449, doesn’t believe the executions took place at all. Again, Chaudhry cited the fact the account was collected 200 years after the fact: ‘Muslims early on were disagreeing whether that actually happened. This is a really contested issue. It’s not part of the [Muslim faith’s] narrative.’”

Note the irony: Chaudhry disputes the number based on the fact that the source it comes from was written 200 years after the incident, but Snopes has no trouble citing other accounts that were written over 800 years after the fact to dispute the incident.

That sums up the apologetic nature of Snopes’ “fact-checking.” This isn’t fact-checking, this is Islamic apologetics.

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Muslim Brotherhood-linked Rep. Keith Ellison falsely claims 35 mosques attacked under Trump

Many of these “hate crimes” were just crimes: “The ACLU listed several burglaries in Alabama that targeted mosque donation boxes. But according to a police statement, authorities found ‘no evidence that these crimes are hate crime related.’ Another example involves a 16-year-old boy who set fire to a mosque, but authorities do not believe the arson was a hate crime. The ACLU also lists the murder of a young Muslim woman outside a mosque that occurred Sunday. Police currently believe the crime was a ‘road rage incident’ and not a hate crime….Ellison mischaracterizes some of the incidents CAIR reported by calling them ‘attacks,’ exaggerating instances like hate mail by including them in the 35-number from his tweet.”

This is all familiar. For years, Islamic advocacy groups such as the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have wildly exaggerated the incidence of anti-Muslim hate crime, often misrepresenting crimes committed by Muslims themselves as anti-Muslim hate crimes, in order to portray Muslims in the U.S. as victims of widespread persecution. In reality, FBI statistics show that Jews are twice as likely to be victims of hate crimes as Muslims.

The objective is clearly to deflect counter-terror efforts, claiming that Muslims are more victimized than victimizer, and that counter-terror efforts are part of that victimization.

Ellison has multiple links to the Muslim Brotherhood, so this is no surprise coming from him.

“FACT CHECK: Have There Been 35 Mosque Attacks Under Trump?,” by David Sivak, Daily Caller, June 21, 2017:

Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison tweeted Sunday that there have been 35 “mosque attacks” in the Trump era.

Verdict: Unsubstantiated

Ellison exaggerates an outdated and imprecise statistic. However, there have been a number of hate crime incidents directed at mosques in recent months. It remains to be seen whether these incidents are part of a growing trend.

Fact Check:

In his tweet, Ellison links to a Buzzfeed article that claims there have been around 35 “incidents of threats, vandalism and arson at U.S. mosques since January.” The figure is roughly based on an outdated statistic mentioned in a March press release from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

To establish a more current estimate, The Daily Caller News Foundation analyzed an ongoing list of incidents compiled by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The analysis found alleged incidents at about 60 mosques across the country to date. Many of the incidents noted by CAIR are included in the ACLU listing.

The ACLU’s list relies on local news reports, so the number of incidents could be higher if news outlets did not cover an incident or if the ACLU could not find all instances reported by local media.

The number of “anti-mosque incidents” the ACLU compiled may also be overstated because not all incidents were investigated by police as hate crimes. In addition, the list includes more subjective “incidents” like zoning disputes over the construction of new mosques.

The ACLU listed several burglaries in Alabama that targeted mosque donation boxes. But according to a police statement, authorities found “no evidence that these crimes are hate crime related.”

Another example involves a 16-year-old boy who set fire to a mosque, but authorities do not believe the arson was a hate crime.

The ACLU also lists the murder of a young Muslim woman outside a mosque that occurred Sunday. Police currently believe the crime was a “road rage incident” and not a hate crime.

Police reports and investigations are not infallible, but “anti-mosque” statistics issued by groups like the ACLU should be taken with a grain of salt. According to the FBI, “only when a law enforcement investigation reveals sufficient evidence to lead a reasonable and prudent person to conclude that the offender’s actions were motivated, in whole or in part, by his or her bias, should an agency report an incident as a hate crime.”

Ellison mischaracterizes some of the incidents CAIR reported by calling them “attacks,” exaggerating instances like hate mail by including them in the 35-number from his tweet….

Both Ellison’s tweet and the Buzzfeed article frame recent mosque incidents in the context of the Trump era. The article looks at incidents since January, the month President Donald Trump was inaugurated. However, evidence of a link between Trump’s presidency and attacks on mosques is unsubstantiated….

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The federal government has made another two arrests in the ever widening female genital mutilation prosecution case in Michigan bringing the number of Muslims charged to six.  With another half a million girls at risk of FGM, those charged should be in the tens of thousands.

And while six little girls have been identified as victims of vaginal mutilation in the government’s ongoing female genital mutilation probe, as many as 100 Muslim girls in the community may have been subjected to genital cutting. Two Oakland County mothers who subjected their daughters to the banned religious clitoris cutting ritual have been charged. What mother would subject her daughter to such savagery?  A devout Muslim who puts religion above all us.

The defendants have denied any wrongdoing  claiming female genital mutilation is a religious rite of passage. Indeed it is.

The mosque was paying for these barbaric Islamic procedures.

The government had asked the judge to place both women on home detention and prohibit them from visiting their local mosque, arguing obstructive activity that sought to derail investigators in this case occurred at the mosque and could happen again.

Defense attorney Margaret Raben argued on behalf of her client: “The mosque is her family.”

The Muslim doctors who will stand trial for cutting and mutilating the vaginas of little girls are staging a religious defense.

The number of women and girls at risk for female genital mutilation (FGM) in the United States has more than doubled in the past 10 years. More than half a million women and girls in the U.S. are at risk of undergoing FGM in the U.S. or abroad, or have already undergone the procedure, including 166,173 under the age of 18, according to the Population Reference Bureau (PRB).

Dissemblers and deceivers claim that FGM is cultural phenomenon, not religious. FGM is an Islamic cultural phenomenon. FGM is found only within and adjacent to Muslim communities. (source: Gerry Mackie, “Ending Footbinding and Infibulation: A Convention Account,” American Sociological Review).

Unlike male circumcision, female genital mutilation has no health benefits for girls and women.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) involves partial or total removal of the clitoris, causing injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

Femal genital mutilation procedure has no health benefits for girls and women. It removes all possibility of sexual pleasure. It is the worst kind of misogyny.

Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.

 More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, where FGM is concentrated

FGM is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15.

FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

Unlike male circumcision, this procedure has no health benefits. It has one purpose and one purpose only, to remove the female’s most sensitive erogenous zone and the source of human female sexual pleasure. Chalk it up to another of Islam’s constitutions to [in]humanity.

TWO OAKLAND COUNTY MOMS CHARGED WITH SUBJECTING DAUGHTERS TO GENITAL CUTTING

Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, June 21, 2017:

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS AMPED UP ITS FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION PROSECUTION, CHARGING TWO OAKLAND COUNTY MOTHERS WITH SUBJECTING THEIR DAUGHTERS TO THE BANNED RELIGIOUS CUTTING RITUAL THAT HAS NOW BEEN LINKED TO FOUR MICHIGAN GIRLS.

This brings the total number of identified victims to six — two from Minnesota, four from Michigan. And the number of defendants charged in the historic case is now up to six, including two doctors, a physician’s wife, two mothers and a sixth woman — all of them accused of participating in various degrees of subjecting young girls to genital cutting as part of a religious practice within their Indian Muslim sect.

The latest two defendants — both of them mothers and citizens of India who appeared in federal court Wednesday with their husbands — were released on bond by a federal judge Wednesday and ordered to wear tethers and surrender their Indian passports. The women have also been prohibited from talking to any of the alleged victims or witnesses in this case, except for their daughters, whom they are still allowed to live with.

The government had asked the judge to place both women on home detention and prohibit them from visiting their local mosque, arguing obstructive activity that sought to derail investigators in this case occurred at the mosque and could happen again.

U.S. District Judge Mona Majzoub denied the government’s requests after defense lawyers argued the mothers need to tend to the busy lives of their children, who have many activities planned for this summer, including camp, swimming, reading and technology lessons. They also argued that the defendants should be allowed to attend their religious services. As defense attorney Margaret Raben argued on behalf of her client: “The mosque is her family.”

Raben also described her client as being a proud member of the Dawoodi Bohra.

“That’s what got them into trouble here,” said Raben, who stood at the lecturn with her arm around her client’s shoulder, patting her at times for comfort.

The women were charged with conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation and one count of female genital mutilation.

A third woman, Tahera Shafiq of Wayne County, has also been indicted in the case for allegedly being present during some of the cutting procedures.

The new defendants were added to the original indictment that was handed up in April charging Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, a now-fired emergency room physician at Henry Ford, with performing the procedure on two Minnesota girls at a Livonia clinic in February. The clinic owner and his wife, Dr. Fakuruddin Attar and Farida Attar, have also been charged.

All six defendants are members of the Dawoodi Bohra — a small Indian Muslim sect with a mosque in Farmington Hills that practices female circumcision and believes it is a religious rite of passage.

According to the superseding or new indictment unsealed Wednesday, four Michigan girls have now been identified as victims of this practice, which is illegal in the U.S. and has been condemned worldwide.

Among those victims are an Oakland County girl who was subjected to a genital cutting procedure on May 30, 2015, at the Burhani Medical Clinic in Livonia. Prosecutors allege her mother brought her to the clinic, where Nagarwala allegedly performed a genital cutting procedure on the girl. The clinic owner’s wife, Farida Attar, also was there.

The other indicted mother is accused of bringing her daughter to the same clinic for the same procedure last year, sometime between June and Sept. 20, 2016. According to the indictment, Nagarwala performed that procedure as well and the victim’s mother lied to law enforcement when questioned about whether female genital mutilation procedures took place.

While the U.S. Attorneys office has identified six victims in the government’s ongoing female genital mutilation probe, it has claimed that as many as 100 Bohra girls may have been subjected to genital cutting over the last 12 years.

The defendants have denied any wrongdoing and maintain they were not involved in any cutting, but rather subjected the girls only to scraping procedures that they believe are a religious rite of pass

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report.