Skip to comments.Islamic Scholar Warns U.S. of 'Two-Faced' Muslims
Posted on 06/21/2002 8:43:13 PM PDT by xvb
Islamic Scholar Warns U.S. of 'Two-Faced' Muslims
WASHINGTON A leader of the small worldwide Muslim reform movement is warning the West against wishful thinking as the U.S. government promotes an intensive dialogue with Islam.
"The dialogue is not proceeding well because of the two-facedness of most Muslim interlocutors on the one hand and the gullibility of well-meaning Western idealists on the other," Bassam Tibi said Tuesday in an interview with United Press International.
Syrian-born Tibi, who claims to be a direct descendant of the prophet Mohammed and teaches political science at Goettingen University in Germany, appealed for intellectual honesty in these exchanges.
This Is 'Peace'?
"First, both sides should acknowledge candidly that although they might use identical terms these mean different things to each of them. The word 'peace,' for example, implies to a Muslim the extension of the Dar al-Islam or 'House of Islam' to the entire world," explained Tibi, who is also a research scholar at Harvard University.
"This is completely different from the Enlightenment concept of eternal peace that dominates Western thought, a concept developed by Immanuel Kant," an 18th-century philosopher.
This Is 'Tolerance'?
"Similarly, when Muslims and the Western heirs of the Enlightenment speak of tolerance they have different things in mind. In Islamic terminology, this term implies abiding non-Islamic monotheists, such as Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, as second-class believers. They are 'dhimmi,' a protected but politically immature minority."
According to Tibi, the quest of converting the entire world to Islam is an immutable fixture of the Muslim worldview. Only if this task is accomplished, if the world has become a "Dar al-Islam," will it also be a "Dar a-Salam," or a house of peace.
Tibi appealed to his co-religionists to "revise their understanding of peace and tolerance by accepting pluralism." Furthermore, he said, Muslim leaders should give up the notion of Jihad in the sense of conquest, as opposed to Jihad as an internal struggle of the individual.
Tibi's advice comes at a time when the U.S. government is urging American Muslim leaders to promote understanding for the United States in Islamic regions. To Tibi, this is more of a diplomatic endeavor than the promotion of a more profound theological understanding between Islam and the Judeo-Christian worldview prevalent in the West.
But Muzammil Siddiqi, one senior Islamic scholar the State Department consults with, told UPI he found that his efforts in furthering contacts between Muslim, Christian and Jewish theologians were having some success.
Indian-born Siddiqi is the director of the large Islamic Center of Orange County in California. In consultation with the State Department and in cooperation with the University of Kentucky, he traveled back and forth between the United States and the Middle East trying to convince Muslim theologians and jurists to meet with American church leaders.
"I have found that many, though not all, were ready to welcome visitors from America and also to come here to explore with Christians and Jews what we have in common," Siddiqi said.
Though Siddiqi's center is heavily engaged in interfaith activities, he made it clear that to him, as indeed for conservative Christians, syncretism the mixing of religions was anathema.
Common values should be sought out, he explained, and the equality of all believers respected, be they Muslims, Christians, Hindus or Buddhists. But the purity of the faith must not be compromised.
In an article in the prestigious Hamburg weekly Die Zeit, Tibi gave anecdotal evidence of how daunting a task this dialogue with Islam can be.
Staring in Horror at the Bible
The bishop of Hildesheim in Germany paid an imam a courtesy visit in his mosque. The imam handed the Catholic prelate a Koran, which he joyfully accepted. But when the bishop tried to present the imam with a Bible, the Muslim cleric just stared at him in horror and refused to even touch Christianity's holy book.
"The bishop was irritated because he perceived this behavior as a gross discourtesy," wrote Tibi, "but the imam had only acted according to his faith. For if an imam gives a bishop a Koran, he considers this a Da'Wa, or call to Islam."
This, explained Tibi, must be borne in mind when one engages in a dialogue with Muslim "scholars," for it corresponds to a verse in the Koran: "And say ... to those who are unlearned: 'Do ye submit yourselves?'" (Surah 3:20).
Now this is the most truthful statement that I have heard in some time.
And some people think this is not a cultural clash that we are experiencing these days?
This man deserves an award for clarity.
And, if you don't, we'll...
Here's a happy thought from Middle East expert Daniel Pipes:
Islamists constitute a small but significant minority of Muslims, perhaps 10 to 15 per cent of the population. Many of them are peaceable in apearance, but they all must be considered potential killers.
How does 400,000 to 800,000 -- in our country -- potential killers sound?
America's Fifth Column ... watch PBS documentary JIHAD! In America
Download 8 Mb zip file here (60 minute video)
Islamicists, on the other hand, want to burn down those same libraries, and are willing to kill themselves and their children to destroy everything and everyone that stands in the way of Islamic world domination. They have no part time interests other than furthering those goals.
For a good understanding of how the distinction can be made practicable, spend some time in Istanbul and Turkish beachfront resorts.
Big bump for clarity !!!
Imagine it's June 1942 - just a few months after Adolf Hitler declared war on the United States. At Harvard University, a faculty committee has chosen a German-American to give one of three student orations at the festive commencement ceremony. He titles it "American Kampf," purposefully echoing the title of Hitler's book, "Mein Kampf" ("My Struggle") in order to show the positive side of "Kampf." When this prompts protests, a Harvard dean defends it as a "thoughtful oration" that defines the concept of Kampf as a personal struggle "to promote justice and understanding in ourselves and in our society." The dean promises, "The audience will find his oration, as did all the Harvard judges, a light of hope and reason in a world often darkened by distrust and conflict."
Then the student turns out to be past president of the Harvard German Society, a group with a pro-Nazi taint - but the administration still isn't bothered. Nor is it perturbed that he praised a Nazi front group for its "incredible work" as well as its "professionalism, compassion and dedication to helping people in dire need," then raised money for it.
Far-fetched? Sure. But exactly this scenario unfolded last week at Harvard. Just replace "German," "Nazi," and "Kampf" with "Islamic," "militant Islamic" and "jihad."
Faculty members chose Zayed Yasin, 22 and the past president of the Harvard Islamic Society, to deliver a commencement address. He earlier had sung the praises of and raised money for the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a militant Islamic group closed down by President Bush.
Yasin titled his talk "American Jihad," echoing Osama bin Laden's jihad against the United States. Yasin declared an intention to convince his audience of 32,000 that "Jihad is not something that should make someone feel uncomfortable."
Hmm. The authoritative "Encyclopaedia of Islam" defines jihad as "military action with the object of the expansion of Islam," and finds that it "has principally an offensive character." The scholar Bat Ye'or explains for non-Muslims through history this has meant "war, dispossession . . . slavery and death." That does indeed sound like "something that should make someone feel uncomfortable."
Sadly, this episode is no aberration, but indicative of two important developments.
Apologizing for militant Islam: Hiding jihad's awful legacy is standard operating procedure at Harvard. A professor of Islamic history portrays jihad as "a struggle without arms." The Harvard Islamic Society's faculty adviser defines true jihad as no more fearsome than "to do good in society." All this is part of a pattern of pretending Islam had nothing to do with 9/11.
Neutral in wartime. Harvard appears neutral in the current war, as Harvard Business School student Pat Collins pointed out in a scathing Washington Times op-ed. Take the example of Hamas: While President Bush has called it "one of the deadliest terrorist organizations in the world today," a Harvard spokesman replies "no comment" when asked if it is a terrorist organization and the university has allowed fund-raising on its premises on behalf of Hamas.
Even today, militant Islamic groups have full access to university facilities and the right to advertise their activities. Yet the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), a training program for the U.S. armed forces, is the only student group at Harvard to be denied access to university facilities and disallowed from advertising its activities.
Unfortunately, Harvard's stance is typical of nearly all North America universities. Almost every Middle East specialist hides the truth about jihad and (as shown by a chilling report from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, Defending Civilization) almost every campus drips contempt for the U.S. war effort (typical statement: "The best way to begin a war on terrorism might be to look in the mirror").
"You are with us, or you are against us": Harvard and other universities need to look hard into their soul and decide on which side they stand.
Daniel Pipes (www.DanielPipes.org), director of the Middle East Forum, received his A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard and taught history there.
Sorry, you are wrong. Schools are for teaching. Teaching means discipline and guidance and the instillment of positive values. Jihad is not a postive value and has no place in western society.
Anybody who wants "learning only" can get a public library card for free.
The University has become a hermetically sealed universe where only views congruent with the liberal-socialist axis hold sway, and conservative thinkers, students, and teachers are ostracized, and all in the name of "diversity."
Far from opening the minds of students to other ideas, the function of the University has changed to the chief advocate of ideas contrary to American ideology as laid down in the Declaration of Independence.
Learning doesn't occur so much as indoctrination. The University has fundamentally changed over the last forty years or so.
This is what High Schools are supposed to do. University students are, or should be, adults by the time they start their Freshman year. Obviously, our High Schools are failing as well.
"experts estimate that there are approximately six million American Muslims. Other estimates range from four to eight million.
Actually if the above numbers are correct and 15% of them are potential jihadist, the number would be more in the range of 900,000 to 1.2 million.
But whatever the actually number is our government keeps talking in terms of 10 - 20 thousand potential sleepers in this country, which I believe to be way low. I can only hope that they are purposely not acknowledging a more accurate number under the premise that to do so could cause a panic.
Thanks for the bump.
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