Saturday, 5 October 2013

Al-Qaida Kills Eight Times More Muslims Than Non-Muslims

Der Spiegel [1]:  Few would deny that Muslims too are victims of Islamist terror. But a new study by the Combating Terrorism Center in the US has shown that an overwhelming majority of al-Qaida victims are, in fact, co-religionists.

In the battle against unbelievers, can one also kill Muslims? Even the terror network al-Qaida is troubled by this question.

A leading al-Qaida ideologue for the terror network, Abu Yahya al-Libi, has developed his own theologically-based theory of collateral damage that allows militants to kill Muslims when it is unavoidable.

Even the Iraqi affiliates of Osama bin Laden’s terror group, who are known to be particularly bloodthirsty, claim that they too consider this question. For instance, in a message claiming responsibility for an August attack in Baghdad, the group wished those Sunnis injured in the “operation” a speedy recovery and expressed their hope that those killed would be accepted by God as “martyrs.”

But even as such apologetic communiqués from al-Qaida show the terror network stylizing itself as a defender of the true faith wrestling with religious concepts, they also make it look as though any dead Muslims are regretful but isolated cases. The facts, though, tell a different story.

Between 2004 and 2008, for example, al-Qaida claimed responsibility for 313 attacks, resulting in the deaths of 3,010 people. And even though these attacks include terrorist incidents in the West — in Madrid in 2004 and in London in 2005 — only 12 percent of those killed (371 deaths) were Westerners.

New Report Shows Many More Muslims Killed Than Non-Muslims

It is, of course, no surprise that al-Qaida kills more Muslims than non-Muslims — particularly for people in the Islamic world. But a
new report [2] by the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at the United States’ Military Academy at West Point in New York — which has gathered together these and other relevant figures in one report (“Deadly Vanguards: A Study Of al-Qaida’s Violence Against Muslims “), spells out the discrepancy in black and white.

The authors of the study admit that their report likely omits a number of Muslim victims. But that was the price of their rigorous methodology, used in an effort to avoid accusations of partisanship.

The researchers only counted the attacks for which al-Qaida claimed responsibility, thus preventing accusations that they were seeking to make al-Qaida look even worse than it is. Still, it is well known that al-Qaida does not claim responsibility for every attack perpetrated, meaning that many victims are likely left out of the report. Furthermore, the researchers only included attacks reported on by the Arab media and relied on the numbers they reported — out of a conviction that the Arab media is more highly regarded in the Muslim world than the Western media.
That, though, is not always the case…

Non-Westerners 38 Times More Likely To Be Killed

Put another way, between 2006 and 2008, non-Westerners were 38 times more likely to be killed by an al-Qaida attack than Westerners.

“Since al-Qaida has limited capability to strike against its Western enemies, the group maintains its relevance by attacking countries with Muslim majorities,” the study concludes.

The conclusions reached by Helfstein and his co-authors are hardly world changing. They are valuable nonetheless, in that they provide a numerical foundation to the relationship between Muslim and non-Muslim al-Qaida victims.

Still, critics will no doubt point out that the study comes from the CTC, an organization that is part of an American military school. In recent years, the CTC has released a number of excellent studies on terrorism. But because it is actually supplying arguments, backed by scientific research, for the fight against terrorism to decision makers, politicians and military personnel in the US, it cannot be considered strictly neutral. That also applies to this case, especially since a number of American officials have recently begun stressing the point that al-Qaida is particularly violent toward Muslims and can now rely on solid data to back up their argument.

This perceived lack of neutrality doesn’t change the fact that the fundamental findings of the report are correct and meaningful. The authors conclude that if they compare statistics for the years from 1995 to 2003 (excluding the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the US as a solitary event), they find that al-Qaida is becoming more violent and “increasingly indiscriminate” in its attacks.



Minarets are Symbols of Bigotry

The Swiss referendum: a shocker!

by Dr. Sami Alrabaa

In a national referendum last Sunday (November 29, 2009), the Swiss people voted in favor of a ban on the construction of minarets all over Switzerland. A majority of more than 57 percent approved of the ban. Twenty-two of the country’s 26 cantons voted in favor of the ban.

The vote was described as a “catastrophe” by Islam apologists and Islamism backers. Some media commentators and politicians spearheaded by the Green Party condemned the ban as a “right-wing” vote and alleged that it goes against religion freedom.

The truth of the matter is the Swiss across the political spectrum voted in favor of the ban, not only right-wingers. It is also true that the Swiss and the rest of the world are not against Muslims practicing their own religion in peace like all followers of other religions

It is also true that unlike Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Turkey, for instance, Switzerland and the rest of the world allow Muslims to build their own mosques. For example, there are more than 2,700 mosques for 3.5 million Muslims all over Germany.

It is also true that huge lavish mosques funded by petrodollars are being constructed to prove that Islam is omnipresent everywhere and Islam – the best religion on earth! – is increasingly being accepted and practiced all over the world.

In addition, most of Arab and Muslim states favor Islam because it is a repressive instrument of governance. Islam is against democracy, against formation of political parties, and supports traditional rulers.

If, however, people around the globe, especially in the West, read the Koran and Hadith and realize how this religion incites to hatred and violence against non-Muslims, and discrimination against women, they would classify it as an extremist ideology, as politically incorrect and demand banning it like all extremist organizations. Check out “
Is Islam a Violent Faith?” and “Women in Hadith.”

Nevertheless, the world community, including Switzerland, accepts Islam as a “religion” and allows its followers to practice it under the principle of religious freedom

If the world knew how my fellow Arabs and Muslims think and act, they (the world) would understand Arab politics and Islam better and act accordingly.

For example, it is permissible/legal in Islam to cheat non-Muslims. Numerous Saudi and Egyptian religious leaders have issued fatwas supporting this tenet and practice
. The German weekly, Der Spiegel (October 26, 2009) reported that many rich Muslims get costly medical treatment in Germany and leave without paying.

Sadly, both the majority of Muslims and the majority of Westerners have not thoroughly and carefully read the Koran and Hadith and hence are unaware of all those numerous atrocious passages that incite to hatred, discrimination, and violence, which drive many suicide and car bombers to kill themselves and murder innocent people

The West sees only the façade and not what is behind it. Even President Obama calls Islam a “tolerant religion” and Al Azhar University, which breeds bigots, a “torch of enlightenment

I recently toured the Middle East. I thought that my fellow Arabs and Muslims have changed, at least a bit, becoming more positive, but I found I was wrong. They still expose piety and practice evil. They pray five times a day. Afterwards they lie and cheat. They also believe, Allah forgives their sins because they are Muslims, “the only true believers on earth.” In one word, religion/Islam is a mask!

The media and political discourse has not changed for ages in the Muslim world. While the media and politicians blame the West for the misery in their societies, they report about filth and corruption everywhere in the Arab/Muslim world. People at all levels lie and twist facts. Instead of taking action, regardless how little it is, they sit on the filth idle and lament their “bad luck.”

Instead of urging people to work and instead of urging petrodollar sheikhs to invest in development programs, chaplains and political commentators entertain their audiences with old concocted tales on how “just” and “humane” old Muslims were.

It is a common wise international practice that before new members join an organization or community, like the World Trade Organization (WTO) or the European Union, for instance, they have to comply with certain conditions. The same, I believe, should apply to Muslim states.

Before the West accepts Islam as a religion it must demand that Muslim states reform Islam; accept/apply universal human rights and religious freedom in their societies.

Islam (Koran+Hadith= Sharia) still in the 21st century urges men to lock up their women until death if they are not obedient. The Koran incites Muslim to kill infidels (Christians+Jews). A “religion” that preaches such atrocious things and many more is absolutely not entitled to freedom of religion

Very few brave Arab/Muslim writers have welcomed the Swiss ban on the construction of minarets. The Kuwaiti columnist, Mohammed Al Saleh writes in the daily Al Qabas, Muslims do not need sky-scraper-high minarets to pray. They can pray anywhere if they are really honest and pious. Nidhal Na’eesa, writing for an Arabic blog, Modern Discussion, wonders what Muslims in Switzerland want? Do they want to have a Muslim society like the ones they fled, societies that do not respect religious freedom, societies that discriminate against non-Muslims and women? Na’eesa also wonders what have all those countless minarets in the Muslim world achieved. They only shed their shadow on misery and backwardness. He urges those who demand minarets in the West to rather invest the money in development projects in the Muslim world. He suggests that instead of minarets we need in the Muslim world factory chimneys.

Minaret construction is an exhibition of political power spearheaded by Islamists. These “towers” are simply aggressive symbols of fanatic defying power.

Besides, where have all those apologists who blast the Swiss decision been when Switzerland harbored all those tax-dodgers, Muslim dictators and their petrodollars? Where are all those religion-freedom advocates vis-à-vis religious persecution of non-Muslims in Muslim societies? Why don’t they protest against lack of religious freedom and lack of freedom of speech in Muslim states? Why don’t they speak up against hatred, discrimination, violence in Islam, in theory and practice?

Five thousand Iraqi Christians have recently found refuge in Germany. They were persecuted in their home country by fellow Muslim citizens. Neither German politicians nor the media dared to criticize this barbaric act. But when a veiled Muslim woman is killed, politicians and the media protest loudly and depict it as a crime motivated by hatred and discrimination against Islam and Muslims.

Islamists can rest assured that their fight for religious and political gains is supported by Western apologists, a boisterous minority. But when it comes to referendum, the majority in the Western world would also reject Islam as a stone-age “religion.” I am pretty sure that if the Swiss referendum were held in other European countries, the majority would also vote in favor of banning the construction of minarets. The European public is better informed than their self-appointed defenders of Islam.

I took to the street and interviewed, with some of my former students, over 500 German people, young and old. We asked them if they supported or rejected the ban on the construction of minarets. Over 70 percent of the interviewees favored the ban.

If the Germans, the Swiss, and all the other Europeans learned about all those fiery preaches held in Turkish and Arabic in mosques against Christians, Jews, and the constitution in the name of Islam, they would absolutely support any ban on the construction of mosques and minarets with a greater majority. Hatred, discrimination, and violence have nothing to do with religious freedom.

Preaching hatred and violence must be banned and their perpetrators must be punished. Additionally, the free civilized world must demand from Muslims and their religious institutions and states: Drop all those atrocious passages from your Koran and Hadith if you want to be part of the civilized world.

Opponents of the Swiss ban threaten to go to the European Court of Justice. This court might rule in their favor. But the reality on the ground remains the same. People are scared of Islam in theory and practice. Both Islamic scriptures and imams preach, day in day out, hatred, discrimination, and violence

Minaret construction has nothing to do with freedom of religion. It is a symbol of bigotry.

Dr. Sami Alrabaa, an ex-Muslim, is a professor of Sociology and an Arab-Muslim specialist. He has taught at Kuwait University, King Saud University, and Michigan State University. He also writes for the
Jerusalem Post.



The Qur'an and the Bible in the Light of Science


The World's Greatest Showman is a book written by Ali Sina that analyzes Dr. Zakir's Naik's arguments, one by one and demonstrates that every one of them is false. The World's Greatest Showman can be downloaded from this site:

The Qur'an & the Bible in the light of science - Part I (46 Minutes 17 Seconds) - Dr. Zakir Naik, Dr. William Campbell - Islaminfo UK

Dr. Zakir Naik Vs. Dr. William Campbell Recorded at Chicago ICNA Conference 2000
The Qur'an & the Bible in the light of science - Part II (55 Minutes 10 Seconds) - Dr. Zakir Naik, Dr. William Campbell - Islaminfo UK

Dr. Zakir Naik Vs. Dr. William Campbell Recorded at Chicago ICNA Conference 2000
The Qur'an & the Bible in the light of science - Part III (36 Minutes, 47 Seconds) - Dr. Zakir Naik, Dr. William Campbell - Islaminfo UK

Dr. Zakir Naik Vs. Dr. William Campbell Recorded at Chicago ICNA Conference 2000
The Qur'an & the Bible in the light of science - Part IV (58 Minutes) - Dr. Zakir Naik, Dr. William Campbell - Islaminfo UK

Dr. Zakir Naik Vs. Dr. William Campbell Recorded at Chicago ICNA Conference 2000
The Qur'an & the Bible in the light of science - Part V (1 Hour 1 Minute) - Dr. Zakir Naik, Dr. William Campbell - Islaminfo UK

Dr. Zakir Naik Vs. Dr. William Campbell Recorded at Chicago ICNA Conference 2000



Europe’s Dark Age and Islam’s Golden Age: Two Facets of The Same Fiction?

What Archeology tells us

According to the history books, the Early Middle Ages, the period stretching roughly from the first quarter of the seventh century to the first quarter of the tenth, was a crucial time for Europe and the Middle East. For Europe, this was the very darkest phase of the so-called Dark Ages, an era during which the light of Classical Civilization was finally extinguished. However, for the Middle East, which from about 635 onwards became Muslim, it was a very different story. The next three centuries, far from constituting a “Dark Age”, became a veritable Golden Age. This was to be the high point of Islamic civilization: three centuries during which the Islamdom led the world in science, philosophy, wealth and culture. As Europe floundered in poverty and darkness, with cities abandoned and violence everywhere, Muslim rulers such as Harun al-Rashid and Al-Mamum presided over a flourishing and enlightened urban civilization.

That, at least, is the story told in all the textbooks. But proper examination of facts suggests that this is mostly, if not completely, a myth. In reality, neither the European Dark Age nor the Islamic Golden Age has any basis in fact: These are little more than two facets of a single fictitious historical narrative, a narrative which has however been around for many centuries; one that derives from the written histories of early Islam and of Europe. Until the nineteenth century, no-one had any real reason to question this version of events. After all, the Islamic world, at least by the beginning of the eleventh century, did seem to be far ahead of Europe. Did we not get our numeral system (“Arabic numerals”) from the Arabs, as well as algebra, alcohol, and a host of other techniques and technologies? All the evidence seemed to indicate that the Muslim world was, in the centuries preceding the eleventh, advanced and sophisticated, while Europe was mired in a primitive barbarism.

But this view has now faced a serious challenge: For, in the twentieth century, a whole new body of evidence became available to historians; evidence unavailable to previous generations of scholars: The evidence of archaeology. And what archaeology tells us has been devastating to the traditional view.

By the mid-twentieth century, archaeologists had begun to put together a fairly comprehensive picture of the archaeology of Europe and the Near East. Indeed, several areas of the Near East, such as Egypt, Palestine and Iraq, were and remain among the most thoroughly excavated regions of the earth.

Medievalists had, of course, been very interested in throwing light on the somewhat romantic though apparently fabulously wealthy and cultured Islamic world of the seventh, eighth and ninth centuries. Strange and wonderful tales were told of this epoch, though all agreed it was an age of high civilization. This was the age of the Omayyad and Abbasid Caliphs; the romantic epoch of Scheherazade and Harun Al-Rashid, the fabulously opulent Caliph of Baghdad, who is said to have donned the disguise of a commoner and wandered by night through the dimly-lit streets of the metropolis—a city of reputedly a million people. This epoch, and this alone, is said to have marked the age of Islam’s cultural ascendancy. Consider the following description from an English historian of eighth-tenth century Cordoba, typical of the genre: “
In Spain … the foundation of Umayyad power ushers in an era of unequalled splendour, which reaches its height in the early part of the tenth century. The great university of Cordova is thronged with students … while the city itself excites the wonder of visitors from Germany and France. The banks of the Guadalquivir are covered with luxurious villas, and born of the ruler’s caprice rises the famous Palace of the Flower, a fantastic city of delights” (H. St. L. B. Moss, The Birth of the Middle Ages; 395-814, Oxford University Press, 1935, p. 172). All agree that, in later years, from the late eleventh century onwards, the Islamic world began to fall rapidly behind the West.

On the word of the written histories, then, archaeologists expected to find, from Spain to eastern Iran, a flourishing and vibrant culture. An Islamic world of enormous cities endowed with all the wealth of antiquity and the plunder gathered in the Muslim wars of conquest. They hoped to find palaces, public baths, universities and mosques; all richly decorated with marble, ceramic and carved stone.

In fact, they found nothing of the sort.

The archaeological non-appearance of the Islamic Golden Age is surely one of the most remarkable discoveries to come to light in the past century. It has not achieved the sensational headlines we might expect, for the simple reason that a non-discovery is of much less interest to the public than a discovery. Then again, as archaeologists searched in vain through site after site, they imagined they had just been unlucky; that with the next day’s dig, the fabulous palaces and baths would be uncovered. And this has been the pattern now for a hundred years. In fact, the entire Islamic world is a virtual blank for roughly three centuries.

Normally, we find one or two finds attributed to the seventh century, then nothing for three centuries, then a resumption of archaeological material in the mid- or late-tenth century. Take, for example Egypt, the largest and most populous Islamic country during the Early Middle Ages. The Muslim conquest of the country occurred in 638 or 639, and we should expect the invaders to have begun, almost immediately, using the wealth of the land to begin building numerous and splendid places of worship, but apparently they didn’t. Only two mosques in the whole of Egypt, both in Cairo, are said to date from before the eleventh century: the Amr ibn al-As (641) and the Ahmad ibn Tulun (878). However, the latter building has many features found only in mosques of the eleventh century, so its date of 878 is disputed. Thus, in Egypt, we have a single place of worship, the mosque of Amr ibn al-As, dating from the mid-seventh century, then nothing for another three-and-a-half centuries. Why, in an enormous country with up to, perhaps, five million inhabitants, should the Muslims wait over 300 years before building themselves places of worship?

And it is the same throughout the Islamic world. No matter where we go, from Spain to Iran, there is virtually nothing between circa 650 and 950. Spain, as we have seen, is supposed to have witnessed a flowering of Islamic culture and civilization in the two centuries after the Arab conquest of 711; and the city of Cordoba is said to have grown to a sophisticated metropolis of half-a-million people or more. We recall the description of a flourishing and vastly opulent metropolis painted by the writer quoted above. Yet the same author admitted that “Little remains of the architecture of this period.” Little indeed! As a matter of fact, the only Muslim structure in the whole of Spain dating from before the eleventh century is the so-called Mosque of Cordoba; yet even this, strictly-speaking, is not an Islamic construction: It was originally the Visigothic Cathedral of Saint Vincent, which was converted, supposedly in the days of Abd er-Rahman I, to a mosque. Yet the Islamic features that exist could equally belong to the time of Abd er-Rahman III (latter tenth century), whom we know did conversion work on the Cathedral, adding a minaret and a new façade (Louis Bertrand, The History of Spain, p. 54). Most of the Islamic features in the building actually come after Abd er-Rahman III, and there is no secure way of dating anything in it to the eighth century.

The poverty of visible Islamic remains is normally explained by the proposition that the Christians destroyed the Muslim monuments after the city’s re-conquest. But this solution is inherently a suspect. Granted the Christians might have destroyed all the mosques, though even that seems unlikely, but they certainly would not have destroyed opulent palaces, baths, fortifications, etc. Yet none of these—none, at least, ascribed to the eighth to early tenth centuries—has survived. And even granting that, such a universal and pointless destruction did take place, we have to assume that at least under the ground, we would find an abundance of Arab foundations, as well as artifacts, tools, pottery etc. Indeed, in a city of half-a-million people, as Cordoba of the eight, ninth and tenth centuries is said to have been—the archaeologist would expect to find—a superabundance of such things. They should be popping out of the ground with almost every shovel-full of dirt. Now Cordoba has been extensively excavated over the past seventy years or so, often specifically to search for Arab/Moorish remains. What then has been found?

According to the prestigious Oxford Archaeological Guide, the city has revealed, after exhaustive excavations: (a) The south-western portion of the city wall, which was “presumably” of the ninth century; (b) A small bath-complex, of the 9th/10th century; and (c) A “part” of the Umayyad (8-9th century) mosque (The Oxford Archaeological Guide, Collins, 1998). This is all that can be discovered from two-and-a-half centuries of the history of a city of supposedly half-a-million people. And the rest of Spain, which has been investigated with equal vigor, can deliver little else. The foundations of a small house here and a few fragments of pottery there, usually of doubtful date and often described as “presumably” of ninth century or such like.

The sheer poverty of these remains makes it clear that the fabulously wealthy Cordoba of the eighth, ninth and early tenth centuries is a myth; and the elusive nature of all materials from these three centuries, in every part of the Islamic world, makes us wonder whether the rise of Islam has been somehow misdated: For the first real mark left (in archaeological terms) by Islam in Spain is dated to the mid-tenth century, to the time of Abd er-Rahman III, whose life bears many striking comparisons with his namesake and supposed ancestor Abd er-Rahman I, of the eighth century.

Again, there are strange and striking parallels between the major events of Islamic history of the seventh and eighth centuries on the one hand and of the tenth and eleventh centuries on the other. Thus, for example, the Christian Reconquista in Spain is supposed to have commenced around 720, with the victory of Don Pelayo at Covadonga; but the real Reconquista began three hundred years later with the victories of Sancho of Navarre around 1020. Similarly, the Islamic invasion of northern India supposedly commenced around 710-720 with the victories of Muhammed bin Qasim, though the “real” Islamic conquest of the region began with the victories of Mahmud of Ghazni, roughly between 1010 and 1020. Yet again, the impact of Islam on Europe seems not have been felt until the late tenth and eleventh centuries, though commonsense would suggest that it should have been felt three hundred years earlier. Henri Pirenne, for example, was criticized by Alfons Dopsch for suggesting that Islam terminated Classical Civilization in Europe in the seventh century by its blockade of the Mediterranean. Thus, said Dopsch, Europe should have become “Medieval” by the late seventh century. Yet many of the characteristics of medieval society, such as the rise of feudalism and castle-building, said Dopsch, only appear in the late tenth century. And obviously Islamic ideas, such as Holy War, were only copied by the Europeans in the eleventh century.

What then does all this mean?

The lack of Muslim archaeology from before the tenth and eleventh centuries (with the exception of two or three monuments such as the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and the Amr ibn al-As mosque in Cairo, usually of the mid-seventh century), would indicate that the rise of Islam has been misdated, and that some form of error has crept into the chronology. But error or not, the fact that, virtually nothing from before the mid-tenth century has been found, means that Islam was not a flourishing, opulent and cultured civilization whilst Europe was mired in the Dark Ages. By the late tenth century, Europe was experiencing her own “renaissance”, with a flowering of “Romanesque” art and architecture, much of it strongly reminiscent of the Late Classical work of the Merovingian and Visigothic period.

The meaning of this archaeological “dark age”, of central importance to our understanding of European and Islamic history, will be discussed more fully in a subsequent article.

The above article summarizes arguments found in John O’Neill’s
Holy Warriors: Islam and the Demise of Classical Civilization (Felibri Publications).