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Saudis arrest Prince Alwaleed, benefactor of Georgetown’s ‘Islamophobia’ program

It’s hard to tell what exactly is happening in Saudi Arabia. The New York Times presents it as a genuine relaxation of Islamic strictures, which, as is clear from the Times article itself, is not the same thing as reform of Islam: Muslim clerics who know full well what the contents of Islamic law are regard the crackdown with extreme concern, precisely because they’re afraid that Muhammad bin Salman will transgress the bounds of Islam.

The arrest of Prince Alwaleed, in any case, is good news, but not for any reason that the establishment media will present. (The corruption charge in Saudi Arabia is as absurd as handing out speeding tickets at the Indianapolis 500.) Alwaleed is the chief financier of Georgetown’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, named for himself, one of the primary propaganda factories that perpetuate the “Islamophobia” myth in the United States. Within that Center is the Bridge Initiative, which purports to build bridges between Muslims and Christians but is actually devoted to smearing and defaming opponents of jihad terror and Sharia oppression.

If the Saudis are really committed to reform, let them close down their Georgetown “Islamophobia” propaganda mill. I won’t be holding my breath.

“Future Saudi king tightens grip on power with arrests including Prince Alwaleed,” by Stephen Kalin and Katie Paul, Reuters, November 5, 2017:

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s future king has tightened his grip on power through an anti-corruption purge by arresting royals, ministers and investors including billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal who is one of the kingdom’s most prominent businessmen.

Prince Alwaleed, a nephew of the king and owner of investment firm Kingdom Holding, invests in firms such as Citigroup and Twitter. He was among 11 princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers detained, three senior officials told Reuters on Sunday.

The purge against the kingdom’s political and business elite also targeted the head of the National Guard, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who was detained and replaced as minister of the powerful National Guard by Prince Khaled bin Ayyaf.

The allegations against Prince Alwaleed include money laundering, bribery and extorting officials, one official told Reuters, while Prince Miteb is accused of embezzlement, hiring ghost employees and awarding contracts to his own companies including a $10 billion deal for walkie talkies and bulletproof military gear worth billions of Saudi riyals.

The allegations could not be independently verified and members of the families of those detained could not be reached.

News of the purge came soon after King Salman decreed late on Saturday the creation of an anti-corruption committee chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, his 32-year-old favorite son who has amassed power since rising from obscurity three years ago….

“Saudi Prince, Asserting Power, Brings Clerics to Heel,” by Ben Hubbard, New York Times, November 5, 2017 (thanks to Mike):

BURAIDA, Saudi Arabia — For decades, Saudi Arabia’s religious establishment wielded tremendous power, with bearded enforcers policing public behavior, prominent sheikhs defining right and wrong, and religious associations using the kingdom’s oil wealth to promote their intolerant interpretation of Islam around the world.

Now, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is curbing their power as part of his drive to impose his control on the kingdom and press for a more open brand of Islam.

Before the arrests on Saturday of his fellow royals and former ministers on corruption allegations, Prince Mohammed had stripped the religious police of their arrest powers and expanded the space for women in public life, including promising them the right to drive.

Dozens of hard-line clerics have been detained, while others were designated to speak publicly about respect for other religions, a topic once anathema to the kingdom’s religious apparatus.

If the changes take hold, they could mean a historic reordering of the Saudi state by diminishing the role of hard-line clerics in shaping policy. That shift could reverberate abroad by moderating the exportation of the kingdom’s uncompromising version of Islam, Wahhabism, which has been accused of fueling intolerance and terrorism.

Bringing the religious establishment to heel is also a crucial part of the prince’s efforts to take the traditional levers of Saudi power under his control. The arrests on Saturday appeared to cripple potential rivals within the royal family and send a warning to the business community to toe the line.

Prince Mohammed has taken control of the country’s three main security forces, and now is corralling the powerful religious establishment.

As evidence of that, the kingdom’s chief religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars, endorsed the arrests over the weekend, saying that Islamic law “instructs us to fight corruption and our national interest requires it.”

The 32-year-old crown prince outlined his religious goals at a recent investment conference in Riyadh, saying the kingdom needed a “moderate, balanced Islam that is open to the world and to all religions and all traditions and peoples.”

But such top-down changes will face huge challenges in a deeply conservative society steeped in the idea that Saudi Arabia’s religious strictures set it apart from the rest of the world as a land of unadulterated Islam. Enforcing those changes will also require overhauling the state’s sprawling religious bureaucracy, many of whose employees fear that the kingdom is forsaking its principles.

“For sure, it does not make me comfortable,” a government cleric in Buraida, a conservative city north of Riyadh, said of the new acceptance of gender mixing and music at public events. “Anything that has sin in it, anything that angers the Almighty — it’s a problem.”

The government has tried to silence such sentiments by arresting clerics and warning members of the religious police not to speak publicly about the loss of their powers, according to their relatives.

All clerics interviewed for this article spoke on condition of anonymity for fear that they, too, would be arrested for breaking with the government line….

Public observance of any religion other than Islam is banned, and clerics run the justice system, which hands down harsh punishments like floggings and prison for crimes like disobeying one’s father and apostasy.

Human rights groups say the kingdom’s textbooks still promote intolerance, and conservatives in the education ministry pass their views along to students.

While the prohibition on the mixing of unrelated men and women is starting to change, gender segregation remains the norm.

Crown Prince Mohammed, who rose to prominence after his father became king in 2015, has shown little deference to the traditional religious establishment while spearheading an unprecedented social opening.

When the government took arrest powers away from the religious police last year, many Saudis were so shocked that they suspected it was not real. That change paved the way for new entertainment options, including concerts and dance performances.

In addition to promising women the right to drive next June, the government has named women to high-profile jobs and announced that it would allow them to enter soccer stadiums, another blow to the ban on mixing of the sexes.

In pushing such reforms, Crown Prince Mohammed is betting the kingdom’s large youth population cares more about entertainment and economic opportunities than religious dogma.

Many young Saudis have cheered the new direction, and would love to see the clerics banished from public life. But the changes have shocked conservatives.

“Society in general at this time is very scared,” said another cleric in Buraida. “They feel that the issue is negative. It will push women into society. That is what is in their minds, that it is not right and that it will bring more corruption than benefits.”

Like other clerics, he saw no religious reason to bar women from driving but said he was against changing the status of women in ways that he said violated Islamic law.

“They want her to dance. They want her to go to the cinema. They want her to uncover her face. They want her to show her legs and thighs. That is liberal thought,” he said. “It is a corrupting ideology.”…

RELATED ARTICLE: UK: Muslim migrants granted permission to stay in Britain indefinitely, then form rape gang

Vogue model spent years in Muslim billionaire’s harem as his ‘pleasure wife’

Feminist leaders such as pro-sharia terror supporter Linda Sarsour have made no comment:

“He knew who my parents were, where I grew up, he had access to my school records. He went as far as you could go back in that time.”

“I was enamored of his world,” Dodd says, “and I felt a sense of security, like I had a safety net.” She found Khashoggi charismatic, intelligent, brimming with a “silly humor,” and was hopelessly charmed into a verbal contract: she would be his concubine, and in exchange, Khashoggi would lavish her with gifts, trips, and even the college tuition that later serviced her career as a founding designer of surf and swimwear line Roxy.

You write in the book about how you walked into Adnan’s room one day and found him looking through a book of model headshots—and that you realized you’d been plucked from the same sort of book months before. Was that a turning point? 

I was so naive at the time. But I look back now and see how they manipulated me, that I was basically curated from a group of women who were attainable that he could meet, and that he chose me from a photograph and my agent brought me to the party where I met him. It was completely set up—there was even a fee that was paid to the agency.

What do you mean, attainable? What was he looking for exactly? 

Not the top models—I was one of the 98 percent who weren’t at the top-top. We’re the catalog models, the product models, the lesser runway models. We’re not the stars. We’re more desperate and naive. I look at my pictures and even I can see the naive look in my eyes! You can almost pick out who’s vulnerable. I’ll bet they could see that.

But after less than two years in the harem, Dodd grew disillusioned. She thought Khashoggi might propose legal marriage, but he never did. The new women he’d started seeing weren’t ambitious types like they’d been in the past; they were “cocaine addicts from lesser [modeling] agencies.” And group trips started to feel seedy, ever accompanied by Khashoggi’s pimp-in-charge; only later would she realize that the party where she met Khashoggi was a set-up—he had worked with her agency to recruit her for the harem, in exchange for a fee.

“I was starting to question everything,” Dodd says. “The facade began to crack and I started to see the truth of what [Khashoggi’s] world really was. I had been totally naive to the plot and to the fact that I was there for sex. I look back on it now and see how they manipulated me. I’m going to be 58 years old—and I’m still trying to figure out what happened.” (Maxim interview)

Former Vogue model spent years in Muslim billionaire’s harem as his “pleasure wife”

By Robert Spencer, October 25, 2017:

Shi’ites justify temporary marriage or pleasure marriage, mutah, by their reading of Qur’an 4:24, which begins by detailing the women with whom a Muslim man cannot have sexual relations — married women except for sex slaves. Then it continues to detail women with whom one may have sex as long as they are given their “due compensation”:

And married women except those your right hands possess, the decree of Allah upon you. And lawful to you are beyond these that you seek them with your property, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse. So for whatever you enjoy from them, give them their due compensation as an obligation. And there is no blame upon you for what you mutually agree to beyond the obligation. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.

Shi’ites see in this permission for a temporary marriage for pleasure, contracted by means of payment (“due compensation”) for a specified time by mutual agreement.

Some Sunnis practice this also, particularly in Saudi Arabia, where Khashoggi is from. In this case, the contract was apparently for five years.

“Former Vogue model lifts veil on her life as a ‘pleasure wife’ for Saudi billionaire,” Express Tribune, October 23, 2017 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

A former Vogue cover model has revealed details of her years as a ‘pleasure wife’ for the world’s richest man, an arms dealer from Saudi Arabia.

Speaking on Channel Nine‘s 60 Minutes on Sunday night, Jill Dodd, now 58, lifted the veil on her life with notorious billionaire Adnan Khashoggi, who was almost 30 years her senior, reported Daily Mail.

Ms Dodd revealed she was a ‘naive’ 21-year-old model when she met Khashoggi at a party and he wrote on her arm in blood as a means of introducing himself.

“He pulled up my sleeve and he wrote ‘I love you’ I was like oh my god that’s blood and I was kind of shocked, but I thought it was really funny and cute at the same time,” she said.

Khashoggi was already a married father-of-five when he met Ms Dodd, but pursued a relationship because he was allowed up to 12 women to serve as his ‘pleasure wives’.

Ms Dodd quickly became a member of Khashoggi’s harem, living in lavish suites in Saudi Arabia and taking turns to have sex with the billionaire arms dealer.

While she realised she was living a life of luxury thanks to her relations with Khashoggi, she continues to defend the legitimacy of their relationship.

“I never thought of myself as a hooker, I still don’t think that,” she said.

Ms Dodd revealed the business tycoon made her sign a contract before they started a relationship.

“He said ‘I want to take care of you, I want to make a five-year contract with you. I’ll provide everything for you and you will be at my beck and call 24 hours a day’,” she said.

And… she accepted.

Khashoggi was a Saudi Arabian businessman who made billions dealing arms on the international market.

Ms Dodd said she and Khashoggi went to lavish parties with politicians and royalty, and shared drug-fuelled evenings together.

“We did (cocaine) recreationally. We would lock ourselves in a room for days, we would make love, we would eat, the chef would bring us food,” she said.

“I believe I was in love with him,” she confessed.

The American woman said she loved Khashoggi and did not regret her years as his ‘pleasure wife’….

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

Pamela Geller’s shocking new book, “FATWA: HUNTED IN AMERICA” is now available on Amazon. It’s Geller’s tell all, her story – and it’s every story – it’s what happens when you stand for freedom today. Buy it. Now. Here.

Thirteen countries have death penalty for apostasy — all are Muslim

This is a very telling report on what constitutes normative Islam, contradicting the inaccuracies that ill-informed and agenda-driven folk continue to spread. In normative Islam, challenging or criticizing Islamic texts renders you worthy of death. These countries demonstrate a clear awareness of that fact.

“The countries where apostasy is punishable by death”, by Louis Dore, Independent, May 7, 2017:

Thirteen countries, all of a Muslim majority, punish apostasy (the renunciation of a particular religion), or blasphemy with death.

The annual Freedom of Thought report by the International Humanist and Ethical Union, found that 13 countries impose capital punishment upon people simply for their beliefs, or lack of them.

Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen are the relevant countries.

All of these countries, except Pakistan, allow for capital punishment against apostasy, while Pakistan imposes the death penalty for blasphemy – including a disbelief in God.

Among the best-ranked countries in the report, which received a “free and equal” rating, were Jamaica, Uruguay, Japan, Taiwan…..

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More citizens of Saudi Arabia have joined the ISIS than from any other country

The Sunni Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) has boasted that key U.S. Middle East ally Saudi Arabia is the top provider of terrorists for the jihadist group in Iraq, reports Fox News, citing Iraqi military sources.

Reports of a Saudi Arabia/Islamic State alliance have been ongoing, despite the Saudi “friendship” with the West:

i) Slaves taken by the Islamic State are sold in auctions in Saudi Arabia;

ii) Saudi Arabia was caught funding Taliban forces in Afghanistan, and the Taliban’s former financial minister regularly traveled to Saudi Arabia to raise millions of dollars;

iii) A leaked intelligence report from Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency and Federal Intelligence Service (BND) revealed that Saudi Arabia (along with Kuwait and Qatar) was promoting and funding the growth of the jihadi Salafi ideology in Germany, where it has already attracted 10,000 followers and continues to expand.

Saudi Arabia and the Islamic State share a history in the Wahhabi movement. “The Islamic State’s religious genealogy comes from ‘Jihadi Salafism’, a theological current that is very old in Islam that is quite literalist.” Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab is the founder of Wahhabism, rooted in the Salafist tradition. He eventually connected with “the leader of the al-Saud family in 1744. That alliance had very strong and lasting effects,”: the Saudi state was and is based on Wahhabism.

Al-Wahhab “would appoint teachers to educate people in his version of the faith” once a town was conquered by his jihadis. “He wrote a number of short books that were the basis for the teaching, books that are used by ISIS today.”

Saudi Arabia has denied financing the Islamic State, and the Islamic State is not happy with the Saudis, either: “ISIS claims that the Saudi state has deviated from the true beliefs of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, and that they are the true representatives of the Salafi or Wahhabi message.” Nonetheless:

A high-ranking Iraqi intelligence officer said, “The Saudi presence in ISIS is very large. What we have left are mainly Iraqis and Saudis.”

“Report: More Citizens of Saudi Arabia Have Joined Islamic State Than Any Other Country”, by Edwin Mora,  Breitbart, March 10, 2017:

The Sunni Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) has boasted that key U.S. Middle East ally Saudi Arabia is the top provider of terrorists for the jihadist group in Iraq, reports Fox News, citing Iraqi military sources.

Sunni Saudi Arabia shares an estimated 500-mile-long border with war-ravaged Iraq.

Nevertheless, Fox News reports that the Saudi jihadists crossed into Iraq over the border the country shares with both Turkey and Syria.

The news outlet learned from unnamed Iraqi intelligence sources that jihadist from the Saudi kingdom comprise nearly one-third (up to 30 percent) of all ISIS terrorists in Iraq, adding that “Saudis comprise the largest single contingent of ISIS fighters, with Russian Chechens making up the second-largest contingent.”

Speaking to the news outlet on condition of anonymity, a high-ranking Iraqi intelligence officer said, “The Saudi presence in ISIS is very large. What we have left are mainly Iraqis and Saudis.”

“The Saudis make up a large number of suicide bombers, as they already have the ground work of radicalization installed in their minds from radical sheikhs in Saudi [Arabia]. And we’ve caught important ISIS commanders,” he added.

Fox News points out that it has seen various ISIS-linked photographs and documents showing identification and credit cards of Saudi terrorists.

The report comes nearly a month after an article by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) revealed that President Donald Trump’s administration is considering forming a military alliance with major Middle East allies, including the Sunni Saudi kingdom, to combat Shiite Iran.

President Trump’s anti-Iran coalition would bring together Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Israel, Egypt, and Jordan.

The Sharia law-compliant kingdom Saudi Arabia is regarded as a hotbed and top global exporter of radical Islamic thought, namely the Sunni extremist ideology of Wahhabism, adhered to by ISIS and various other jihadists groups.

Saudi Arabia imposes extremely strict Islamic laws on its citizens.

“Wahhabism was born in Saudi Arabia. Saudi is leading those extremist organizations like ISIS,” an anonymous Iraqi official told Fox News. “They have high-ranking officials and fighters among their ranks. Saudi is nothing without U.S. protection; it is only a bite for Iran to eat.”

Sunni Saudi Arabia considers Shiite Iran its regional rival. Iran exerts tremendous influence over the Shiite-led government of Iraq where militias backed by the Islamic Republic are fighting ISIS.

Saudi Arabia is part of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria…..

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Saudi police put two transgender Pakistanis into a sack and beat them to death with sticks

he lie that the Islamic State implements a vile aberration of Islam is common, yet the worst human rights abuses continue to be committed in the name of Islam elsewhere. The barbarous religious police in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia forced two transgender women into a sack and beat them to death with sticks. Transgender rights activist Qamar Naseem states: “Torturing humans after throwing them into bags and beating them with sticks is inhumane.”

Back in November a transgender Muslim woman was hacked to death beyond recognition in Russia, days after her father stated: “Let him be killed, I don’t want to see him. Bring him here and kill him in front of my eyes.”

The victim was from Dagestan, a Muslim region in the Russian Trans-Caucasus. A Dagestan mufti declared: “Changing sex is totally forbidden, because it means that a man will be a woman.” Disapproving of this is one thing, but killing those who engage in it is quite another.

“Two transgender Pakistanis ‘are packed into sacks and thrashed to death with STICKS’ by police in Saudi Arabia “, by Gareth Davies, UK Daily Mail, March 1, 2017:

Two transgender Pakistanis were reportedly packed into sacks and thrashed to death with sticks by police in Saudi Arabia.

The pair from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan, were arrested in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for cross-dressing in public.

It is a punishable offence in the kingdom for a man to imitate a woman and officers arrested 35 people in a raid on a guest house.

Police recovered women’s clothing and jewellery and took those arrested into custody.

It was here that Amna, 35, and Meeno, 26, are said to have been beaten to death while under police surveillance in prison.

Colonel Fawaz bin Jameel al-Maiman, the police’s media spokesperson in Riyadh, told The Tribune: ‘The majority of the arrested are from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the others from other cities of Pakistan.’

A transgender rights activist said only 11 of the 35 had been released after paying a fine of 150,000 riyals, meaning 22 are still in custody.

Qamar Naseem said: ‘Torturing humans after throwing them into bags and beating them with sticks is inhumane.’

While 11 were released later after paying a fine of 150,000 riyals (£32,000), 22 are still in police custody, Naseem added.

‘The suffering ended for these two after being physically tortured, however, the rest are still languishing in Saudi jails….

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Saudi Arabia deports 40,000 Pakistanis over jihad terror fears

Saudi Arabia is the world’s chief sponsor of jihad terrorism, but it doesn’t want it inside the Kingdom. Who knew that the House of Saud was full of racist, bigoted Islamophobes?

“Saudi Arabia ‘deports 40,000 Pakistani workers over terror fears,’” by Bethan McKernan, Independent, February 14, 2017:

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has expelled almost 40,000 Pakistani migrant workers in the last four months, local media has reported.

Over 39,000 people have been deported since October 2016 over visa violations and security concerns, the Saudi Gazette reported, citing unnamed interior ministry officials. As well as crimes including drug trafficking, forgery and theft, an unknown number of those removed from the country were suspected to have links to Isis and other extremist groups, the paper said.

The alleged mass deportations come after a year of strikes and other unrest in the kingdom due to unpaid wages following the oil market’s decline and subsequent blow to the Saudi economy.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have used a viral party video to identify and arrest partygoers in the country.

Official Saudi statistics say that 243,000 Pakistanis were deported between 2012 – 2015. Mass deportations of migrant workers – which Human Rights Watch and other rights organisations say often involve illegal beatings and detainment in poor conditions – are fairly common….

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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Jihad Watch.

DUBAI: ‘We completely support Trump in ban on entry to those who may cause breach in America’s security’

Who would have thought that Dubai’s Head of Security could be such a racist, bigoted “Islamophobe”?

“Dubai’s Head of Security supports Trump’s ‘Muslim ban,’” AlBawaba, January 29, 2017 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):

America’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries may be stirring anger across the West, but in the Arab world the move has received some more surprising responses.

In a series of tweets, Dubai’s Head of General Security, Dhahi Khalfan this morning expressed his support for President Trump’s “Muslim ban”.

We completely support Trump in his ban on entry to those who may cause a breach in America’s security.

Every country has the right to protect its security from anyone who could be dangerous for the safety of its people.

Previous US administrations have embraced all the wanted men of the Arab world and those classified as terrorists… Trump what you’re doing is right.

Khalfan, who has a following 1.5 million on his official Twitter account, also wrote that it was America’s right to “ban whoever they want to ban”. Emirati passport holders are not included in the executive order that Trump signed on Saturday, suspending visas for travellers from several Arab nations including Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen….

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Prince Charles and Islam’s ‘Sacred Spirituality’ by Hugh Fitzgerald

On December 13th, at Wilton Park, the Prince of Wales explained how the Muslim critique of materialism helped him to rediscover the sacred spirituality of Islam and explain the decline of the West.

I start from the belief that Islamic civilization at its best… has an important message for the West in the way it has retained an integrated and integral view of the sanctity of the world around us. I feel that we in the West could be helped to rediscover the roots of our own understanding by an appreciation of the Islamic tradition’s deep respect for the timeless traditions of the natural order.

What Prince Charles calls an “integrated and integral view of the sanctity of the world” in Islam is not exactly clear, and one wonders if perhaps Charles has confused Muhammad with the Dalai Lama, or possibly with the Natural Resources Defense Council. What is clear is that many Muslims have a most peculiar way of demonstrating their belief in the “sanctity of the world,” by engaging in endless warfare, of every conceivable type (not limited to qitaal, or combat), in order to subjugate all those who are not Muslims. Perhaps Charles has been impressed with the way that Islam offers both a Total Explanation of the Universe, as formulated by 7th century Arabs, and a Complete Regulation of all aspects of life. Islam is a “totalitarian” ideology in the original sense of that term, but in the Newspeak favored by Prince Charles, the ideology of Islam would no doubt be described as “holistic.”

And while Charles claims to find a deep respect in Islam for “the timeless traditions of the natural order,” he does not think to include among those “timeless traditions of the natural order” of Islam the “natural” (right, proper) submission of non-Muslims to Muslims, and of Muslim women to Muslim men. Nor, I suspect, is he aware of the “timeless tradition” of Muslim men marrying girls as young as 9 (this “timeless tradition” begins with Muhammad, the Perfect Man and Model of Conduct, and is thus as old as Islam itself), or the “timeless tradition” of slavery (that particular “timeless tradition” in Islam had largely to be abandoned, but only because of Western pressure, and still continues in Mali and Mauritania), and of course there is the “timeless tradition,” central to Islam, of engaging in Jihad, the “struggle” of Muslims to expand Dar al-Islam at the expense of Dar al-Harb, until ultimately, Islam everywhere dominates, and Muslims rule, everywhere.

I believe that process could help in the task of bringing our two faiths closer together.

What is keeping “our two faiths” from coming “closer together” is that Islam views Christianity as a distorted and therefore unacceptable version of the true faith of Islam, with Muhammad’s message misunderstood, and there is no question, for Muslims, of Islam and Christianity “coming together” through any kind of compromise. Christian belief would have to change completely in order to attain to the condition of Islam, while Islam, according to its adherents, must always remain relentlessly itself. And how does one bring these “two faiths together” when Muslims are told in their Qur’an that they are the “best of peoples” and non-Muslims “the vilest of creatures”?

It could also help us in the West to rethink, and for the better

…in case you might have thought we should do it “for the worse”…

our practical stewardship of man and his environment in fields such as health-care, the natural environment and agriculture, as well as in architecture and urban planning.

Here Prince Charles is alluding to several of his pet peeves, including modern architecture, which he finds predictably “soulless,” and environmental degradation, which he attributes to Western man not being a good “steward” of the natural environment. He thus overlooks the fact that the greatest polluter has for years now been China, not the West, and that North America and Western Europe, precisely through technological innovations such as more efficient solar collectors and electric cars, have been steadily reducing their energy use, and become better environmental “stewards.” By “agriculture” he is obliquely referring to the use of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), which he dislikes because they are “not natural,” even if they improve crop yields. He thinks that we can learn from the Islamic world’s supposed hewing to the traditional, in everything from architecture to agriculture. But plenty of “soulless” skyscrapers have been built all over the Arab oil states – see the skylines of Riyadh, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Kuwait — while two of the major GMO producers are the Muslim states of Egypt and Pakistan. Apparently many Muslims prefer “soulless” Western architecture and “unnatural” GMOs to what Prince Charles assumes that Muslims favor.

Modern materialism is unbalanced and increasingly damaging in its long-term consequences. Yet nearly all the great religions of the world have held an integral view of the sanctity of the world.

Charles liked “an integral view of the sanctity of the world” so much that he repeated this vague verbiage verbatim, two paragraphs after its first appearance.

To have Western man’s “unbalanced” and “damaging” “materialism” denounced by one of the materially most cossetted people on earth, who is surrounded by every possible luxury, who denies himself nothing, is hard to take. How many millions does this royal deplorer of “materialism” spend in a year – money the British taxpayers provide him so that he can show the Union Jack here, cut a ceremonial ribbon there, and make pronouncements on everything under the sun, all Luddite-and-Green-Partyish, as is his wont, and as he does here, delivering a quite unnecessary paean of praise to supposedly un-materialist, “spiritual” Islam, from which, he claims, the West has so much to learn. This “spiritual” Islam, he needs to know, is the only major faith that in its holiest books — Qur’an and Hadith — contains rules on how to divvy up the loot from raids on the enemy. Not quite dalai-lama material.

Prince Charles seems to think that in the Islamic world, people are somehow less “materialistic” than in the West, failing to realize that that was a function of poverty, and not a guarantee of spirituality. The question to be asked is this: when Muslims became rich, did they keep the “spirituality” that Charles thinks is part of Islam, and that we, the Westerners who have been in thrall to “materialism,” ought to emulate, or did they, when given a chance, become as “materialist” as anyone in the Western world?

Let’s look at the behavior of those Muslims and Arabs who, through an accident of geology, found themselves sitting on top of huge oil and gas deposits which Infidels had discovered, and for which Infidels had found a use. Did these suddenly rich Muslim Arabs remain true to their supposed “spirituality”? Look at Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar. The rich Arabs in those places have engaged in fantastic spending, satisfying their lust for every luxury, including the building of private Xanadus, some of them containing a half-dozen restaurants to satisfy the owner’s every culinary whim, that rival anything built for the most self-indulgent of Western billionaires.

But even those palaces were not enough. The richest of these devout Muslims also have enormous yachts, awaiting them in the Mediterranean, and customized 747s on the tarmacs of Arabia, ready to fly them everywhere, around the world, or to their fabulously appointed houses, villas, and estates in Paris and the Riviera, in London, and New York. In the Arab states of the Gulf, shopping is the main, and for many the only pastime, and along with the endless souks dedicated to gold and jewelry are local branches of every famous purveyor of luxury items in the Western world. The “spiritual” Muslims Prince Charles wants us to emulate live in a world of shop-till-you-drop that outdoes anything on Fifth Avenue or Rodeo Drive. Perhaps he is confusing Islam, a most worldly religion, with Buddhism or Hinduism, where asceticism is esteemed, given his habit of lumping Islam with those two as “Eastern religions.”

But during the past three centuries, in the Western world at least, a dangerous division has occurred in the way we perceive the world around us. Science has tried to assume a monopoly even a tyranny over our understanding. Religion and science have become separated, so that now, as Wordsworth said, “Little we see in nature that is ours”. Science has attempted to take over the natural world from God; it has fragmented the cosmos and relegated the sacred to a separate and secondary compartment of our understanding, divorced from practical, day to day existence.

We are only now beginning to gauge the disastrous results. We in the Western world seem to have lost a sense of the wholeness of our environment, and of our immense and inalienable responsibility to the whole of creation. This has led to an increasing failure to appreciate or understand tradition and the wisdom of our forebears, accumulated over the centuries. Indeed, tradition is positively discriminated against as if it were some socially unacceptable disease.

Again, Prince Charles is all for “tradition,” but without bothering to distinguish, as one must, between good and bad traditions. Islam itself is the most immutable of faiths; what was set down in the Qur’an, what was the practice of Muhammad and his Companions as recorded in the Hadith (or “Traditions”) – these, Qur’an and Sunnah, are not to be changed. How many of us find admirable the “traditional” Muslim attitude, fixed in amber, toward non-Muslims, toward women, toward homosexuals, toward the institution of slavery?

Prince Charles seems to think we in the West have failed to “appreciate or understand…the wisdom of our forebears, accumulated over the centuries,” a “wisdom” that we’ve managed to lose in the last few decades. That’s true, but not in the way he thinks. One very important bit of wisdom from our forebears that we have lost is about Islam itself, a forgetfulness that is causing us much unnecessary confusion and grief today. Over more than a millennium, Western man was on the receiving end of attacks by Muslims, and clearly recognized Islam as a mortal threat. The West, conscious that the Muslim duty to wage Jihad was permanent, strove to keep Islam contained. There was Charles Martel in 732, who stopped the invading Muslim army at the outskirts of Poitiers. There were the Christian warriors who, over 770 years of the Reconquista, managed to retake Spain from its Muslim rulers. There were the two successful Christian efforts to repel sieges of Vienna by Ottoman Muslims in 1529 and again in 1683. By the 19th century, and into the 20th, the superior military technology of the West allowed it to conquer large parts of the Muslim world. But even when the military tables were turned, at no time did the Western world regard the ideology of Islam as anything but a threat.

Yet today, adherents of the same Islam that threatened Europe for centuries are now on the march, not with conventional armies, but through Muslim migrants entering Europe by the millions, and bringing Islam with them in their mental baggage. These Muslim migrants are coming not to assimilate, but rather to impose, wherever they can, their views on the indigenous non-Muslims, in whose lands they have been allowed to settle, deep behind what they, as Muslims, have been taught to regard as enemy lines.

A century ago, permitting such a movement into Europe could never have been imagined. The threat of Islam was then well understood in the Western world. Think only of what Winston Churchill, Tocqueville, John Quincy Adams, and many others less celebrated wrote, accurately and without any need for political correctness, about Islam. How the West forgot the “wisdom of its forebears” about Islam, and what that forgetfulness has led to, makes for painful reading, and the willful ignorance of Islam now being displayed by those whose responsibility it is to instruct and protect us – including Prince Charles — is difficult to explain and impossible to forgive.

In my view, a more holistic

This modish word, a sure sign of mental muddle, dropped into a sentence to give it a greater semblance of sense, means nothing much (“emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts” according to the on-line dictionary’s definition), but not surprisingly, it’s a favorite of Prince Charles.

approach is needed now. Science has done the inestimable service of showing us a world much more complex than we ever imagined. But in its modern, materialist, one-dimensional form, it cannot explain everything. God is not merely the ultimate Newtonian mathematician or the mechanistic clockmaker. As science and technology have become increasingly separated from ethical, moral and sacred considerations so the implications of such a separation have become more sombre and horrifying as we see in genetic manipulation or in the consequences of the kind of scientific arrogance so blatant in the scandal of BSE.

Unclear what this refers to.

I have always felt that tradition is not a man-made element in our lives, but a God-given intuition of natural rhythms, of the fundamental harmony that emerges from the union of the paradoxical opposites that exist in every aspect of nature…. That is why I believe Man is so much more than just a biological phenomenon resting on what we now seem to define as “the bottom line” of the great balance sheet of life, according to which art and culture are seen increasingly as optional extras in life.

This view is quite contrary, for example, to the outlook of the Muslim craftsman or artist, who is never concerned with display for its own sake, nor with progressing ever forward in his own ingenuity, but is content to submit a man’s craft to God. That outlook reflects, I believe, the memorable passage in the Koran, “whithersoever you turn there is the face of God and God is all-Embracing, all-Knowing”. While appreciating that this essential innocence has been destroyed, and destroyed everywhere, I nevertheless believe that the survival of civilized values, as we have inherited them from our ancestors, depends on the corresponding survival in our hearts of that profound sense of the sacred and the spiritual.

What “civilized values” have Muslims inherited from their ancestors?

The main difference between the Muslim craftsman or artist, and the non-Muslim artist or craftsman, is not that the former is more “spiritual” and “never concerned with display for its own sake,” as Charles seems to think. The most important art form of Islam, mosque architecture and decoration, is all about display, making an impression on Believers with the magnificence, imposing size, elaborate ornamentation, and play of color, of the mosque walls and interior. The main difference between the Muslim and the non-Muslim artist is not that the Muslim has some superior sense of the “sacred,” but that Islam limits the creativity of the Muslim artist, by forbidding him from depicting living creatures. That is why there is no portrait painting in Islam, nor any statuary. Perhaps this severe limit on creative expression in Islam has escaped Prince Charles’s notice, or perhaps he thinks it adds, in some inexplicable way, to that superior “spirituality” he claims to detect in Islamic art.

Traditional religions, with their integral view of the universe, can help us to rediscover the importance of the integration of the secular and the sacred. The danger of ignoring this essential aspect of our existence is not just spiritual or intellectual. It also lies at the heart of that great divide between the Islamic and Western worlds over the place of materialism in our lives. In those instances where Islam chooses to reject Western materialism, this is not, in my view, a political affectation or the result of envy or a sense of inferiority. Quite the opposite. And the danger that the gulf between the worlds of Islam and the other Eastern religions on the one hand and the West on the other will grow ever wider and more unbridgeable is real, unless we can explore together practical ways of integrating the sacred and the secular in both our cultures in order to provide a true inspiration for the next century.

Where in the Islamic world, whenever some have become rich enough even to have a choice, has anyone or any group chosen to “reject” what Prince Charles calls “Western” materialism? Where is that supposed “great divide between the Islamic and Western worlds over the place of materialism in our lives”? If anything, Islam is more of this world than Christianity. Islam does not advocate ascetic denial, as is done in Hinduism and, even more, in Buddhism. Many Islamic websites insistently repeat that “Islam in no way encourages deliberate excessive asceticism, poverty and passivism.” As for the accumulation of wealth, as long as it is used for good aims – to help fellow Muslims, to help spread Islam – it is never to be discouraged. When Prince Charles deplores a widening of “the gulf between the worlds of Islam and the other Eastern religions on the one hand” and “the West on the other,” it is clear that he thinks of Islam as being akin to Buddhism and Hinduism in their emphasis on the “spiritual,” because he thinks of all three as similar “Eastern religions.” He’s failed to grasp that Islam is the most material-minded of all major faiths. Rules about Muslims helping themselves to the property of subjugated Infidels, which includes not just goods and gold but also humans – with the women taken as sex slaves – and rules about how to divide up the spoils of Jihad (with one-fifth to be reserved for “Allah and His Apostle,” which is to say for Muhammad), are all set out in the Qur’an and Hadith.

Prince Charles expresses an intense interest in the “spiritual” in Islam, but it is clear that what he thinks he finds in Islam is to be found, rather, in those “other Eastern religions” –Buddhism, Hinduism – whose “spirituality” does indeed allow for the rejection of materialism. Indeed, if he wishes to descant upon the virtues of “sacred spirituality,” he would do better to visit a Buddhist or Hindu temple than a mosque, where, as the British police long ago discovered, he might stumble upon caches of forged passports, credit cards, and a “mini-arsenal” of weapons. Yes, this Islam that so impresses Prince Charles has another side than the “spiritual,” one that is certainly open to his investigation, if only he has eyes to see, and a mind to comprehend.

On the death of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles will become both King of England and head of the Church of England. Will he seek to transform that Church, to have it emulate aspects of Islam, from which, he claims, Christianity has so much to learn? Or will he be true to Christianity, and the “wisdom of his forebears” about Islam, and seek to meet, while there’s still time, the Muslim demographic challenge which is the latest instrument of Jihad? It’s a choice between “get ready to roll” and “get ready to roll out those prayer rugs.”

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Video: On the West’s Absurd Polices toward Islam

On August 21, 2016, I addressed the American Freedom Alliance conference in Los Angeles on “Can Islam Coexist with the West?” Pamela Geller, President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, introduced me. She also spoke immediately before me; here is the full video of her remarks, followed by her introduction of me and my own

Pamela Geller introduces me.

My remarks.

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The West has Abandoned Christians for Saudi Oil

The Patriarch of Antioch accused Western countries of hypocrisy in their fight against Islamist extremism by caring about oil more than Christian refugees.

A senior Syrian priest accused Western countries of abandoning their principles and allowing Islamist extremists to massacre Christians in the Middle East because they are blinded by their lust for oil, according to the Christian media outlet Crossmap.

Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan of the Syriac Catholic Church of Antioch made the remarks to a meeting of the Knights of Columbus in Toronto.

“We have to understand that totalitarianism based on Islamic creed is the worst among all systems of government. Yes, my friends, the very survival of Christians in the cradle of Christianity is quite in danger,” the patriarch said.

“Why shall we wonder at the rise of the Islamic State or its new ‘Caliphate,’ when these ‘allied rich countries’ – with among the most retrograde systems of government – continue to channel funding and weapons to terrorists spreading hatred and committing barbaric atrocities in the name of a religion?” he asked, referring to Saudi Arabia.

He directly attacked the West’s funding of Syrian rebel militia groups saying, “We, the Church pastors, kept warning Westerners who pretended to have the right to interfere in Syria in the name of democracy, that fomenting violence would surely lead to terrible sectarian war because of the complex religious and ethnic diversity in Syria. We knew innocent people, primarily Christians and minorities, would suffer most.”

He also blasted Western support of Saudi Arabia, quoting New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof, who said,”For decades, Saudi Arabia has recklessly financed and promoted a harsh and intolerant Wahhabi version of Islam around the world in a way that is, quite predictably, producing terrorists.”

“You can’t be allied with regimes that discriminate or do not accept the religious freedom of non-Muslims” he asserted. “It’s not honest or sincere to be allied to such a regime, and [then] to say we have an annual report about religious freedom.”

Saudi Arabia does not allow any non-Muslim to enter the Muslim holy city of Mecca. Churches are forbidden and leaving Islam is punishable by death. Women are not allowed to drive or perform a host of other basic tasks without the permission of their male guardian, their father, husband, brother or occasionally son.

The Patriarch is right to attack the West for supporting regimes that promote Islamist extremism while it attempts to cope with that very same problem. Without directly tackling the Saudi regime, which funds its totalitarian vision of Wahhabist Islam worldwide, measures to address radical Islam will be addressing the symptoms rather than the cause.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of an oil truck. Photo: © Creative Commons/Brett Jordan