Either Islam will reform, or it will be in constant conflict with the West until one side or the other gives up.
– Jonathan Keiler
In a May 9, 2015 American Thinker blog post, Jonathan Keiler writes that Islam needs to reform and drop taboos that place it at odds with Western culture:
Pamela Geller’s “draw Mohammed” contest in Texas was provocative, but the problem is not with Geller or the contest organizers, it is with Muslims who insist that they were provoked because it violated a Muslim taboo against representational art. Muslims should not have been provoked by a contest that was about free speech. In the West free speech and activities that are offensive but don’t infringe the rights of others, are not only tolerated, but often celebrated. They are part of the fundamental fabric of society.
Muslims are entitled to their taboos; every religion has them. Religious taboos emerge, evolve, change or dissipate over time, and Islam is no exception to this process. Islam began without an accepted taboo requiring women to veil themselves, the practice becoming widespread only after the conquest of Mesopotamia. And over time, and depending on place, that taboo has waxed and waned.
Art has always been a part of religion, and beliefs about art within religions are not static. Western Christian iconography changed dramatically over time as Christianity grew from a small Jewish cult to an imperial faith. Byzantium celebrated icons, broke them, and celebrated again. In Buddhism, as the faith moved along the Silk Roads from India to China, Buddha changed from an aesthetic priest into a chubby party animal.
COMMENT/ANAYLSIS: Keiler further points out that the common trend of taking a politically correct apologist stance with Islam needs to stop:
Western pundits and politicians ought to do what they can to encourage reform, not hinder it by parroting Islamist positions in an attempt to assuage Muslims. This not only leads to moral absurdities — like blaming the victims of the terror attack in Texas instead of the perpetrators and their sympathizers — but it gives Muslims little reason to reform their religion.
We agree. Appeasing Islamists only bolsters their influence within Muslim communities, lessening chances for meaningful reform. As we pointed out in a follow-up to the Garland terror attack, this type of stance is simply a “win” for Islamists in using fear and intimidation to silence those that oppose them.
Related article by Keiler: An Islamic Reformation?, Jan 19, 2015
… treating Islam as a monolith, denying the possibility of reform, and demonizing Muslims en masse is not the answer.
– Cathy Young
Pam Geller and Robert Spencer are being viewed as free speech champions for their “Draw Muhammad” contest, which turned tragic in Dallas last week. But once a moderate Muslim begins speaking, they quickly turn into what they hate.
The day after two gunmen were killed by police while trying to shoot their way into a Garland, Texas community center hosting a Mohammed cartoon contest, reformist American Muslim activist Zuhdi Jasser appeared on Fox News not only to condemn the attack but to unconditionally affirm the right to free expression—including the right to insult Islam—and praise defiance against blasphemy bans.
What Jasser graciously did not mention was that the people whose speech he was defending—contest organizers and anti-Islam polemicists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer—had viciously attacked him in the past. In a 2011 article published by the right-wing website The American Thinker in response to Geller’s screed on the same site, Jasser documented the duo’s smear campaign in which he was sometimes dismissed as a faux Muslim and sometimes denounced as a camouflaged extremist practicing taqiyya, the doctrine which supposedly allows Muslims to lie in the cause of Islam.
This sordid episode is typical of the way Geller and her comrade-in-arms Spencer, co-founders of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, conduct their misnamed “anti-jihadist” battle. It is also a good example of why the two are no heroes for free speech. No, Geller did not “provoke” the terror attack in Garland, as a number of pundits (and even the New York Times editorial board) have deplorably suggested; her cartoon contest is not the moral equivalent of the attack, and she does not need to apologize for the exercise of her First Amendment rights or for the terrorists’ actions. She does, however, have to answer for a lengthy record of peddling anti-Muslim hysteria, targeting Muslims’ First Amendment right to worship, smearing innocent people as jihadists, and even excusing the slaughter of Muslims in the former Yugoslavia. We cannot allow terrorists to curb our speech; but we also cannot allow them to turn hatemongers into heroes.
Whatever valid concerns Geller, Spencer, and their allies may raise about political Islamism wind up being eclipsed by the fact that they not only conflate Islamist radicalism with all Islam but make disturbingly little distinction between criticism of Islam and hostility toward Muslims.
Read the rest of the article at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/10/in-pam-geller-s-world-everybody-jihads.html
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: Young points out that, “… , what’s obfuscated by the hate is that some “anti-jihadists” do have legitimate points that are too often dismissed by liberal commentators in debates over Islam and Islamophobia”. We couldn’t agree more.
With this past weekend’s shooting outside Culwell Event Center in North Garland, TX, several reports have been quick to link the the two dead shooters to U.S. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) interests. Some are even implying that the MB may have provided support for the shooting through the Islamic Community Center (ICC) of Phoenix.
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW) is probably the leading source for information regarding the activities of the MB. We frequently cite it here as do many others. Law enforcement/intelligence/security agencies use it as a reliable reference. In regards to the Garland shooting, the GMBDW writes:
Of these reported links, the strongest is the ownership of the ICC mosque by the NAIT. We should point out that the GMBDW is quite familiar with the NAIT and the GMBDW editor has published a report on the history of the US Muslim Brotherhood which includes detailed information on the organization some of which can also also be found on the GMBDW NAIT Wiki page. However, as noted, at last count the NAIT held title to some 332 mosques in the US, estimated to be about about 27 percent of the estimated 1200 mosques in the United States. Knowing what we do about the NAIT, we can assume that the majority of these mosques, if not all, are somehow tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood as NAIT itself is an integral part the Brotherhood as documented in the report referenced above. However, we have no idea how many individuals are attending NAIT mosques but the number surely runs into many many thousands or hundreds of thousands given that a number of these are surely very large mosques. Whatever any given mosque leadership knows or believes about NAIT, it is beyond any credibility to suggest that every Muslim worshipping at a NAIT-owned facility is somehow also tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood. Therefore, until such time that reliable sources report that the Garland shooters had some demonstrable and substantial connection to the ICC leadership or that they were somehow radicalized at the mosque itself, the GMBDW will not be reporting that the shootings were “tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.” Should such evidence emerge, of course we are prepared to alter that conclusion.
We agree. There simply is not enough evidence to promote the claims of MB involvement and/or operational support.. As the GMBDW notes, it would be unrealistic and irresponsible to claim every Muslim attending a NAIT-owned facility is part of the MB.
A similar “linking” was done in trying to tie The Moore, OK beheading by Alton Alexander Nolen to Boston Iman Suhaib Webb. See our report Beheading in OK – media fails the “facts”? where we provided a timeline that pretty much dismissed the possibility. At that time we related a tweet made by Mohamed Elibiary:
Priceless to watch the Islamophobic #RtWing camp. They are truly #ISIS’s best propagandists inside US. #oklahomabeheading #Oklahoma #Tragedy – 4:27 PM – 26 Sep 2014
MB operations in the U.S./Canada primarily focus on fundraising in support of causes outside overseas (i.e. Palestinian, Bosnia, Syra, etc.). North America is a cash cow and it simply doesn’t make sense for the MB to promote something like the Garland shooting.
For those that are lost with the “Six degrees to ..” reference, see this link.