“Stop Wahhabi Indoctrination of Syrian Youth,” by Elie Elhadj

I received this opinion piece by Elie ElHadj and agreed to publish it, although I have edited it for length. You can read his original full article here. I hesitated before agreeing to publish it because the opinions expressed are controversial and stated powerfully; the open discussion of religious topics is often frowned upon in Syria because of the potential for stirring up sectarian hard feelings.  I decided to publish it anyway, because debate is good and because the recent law to ban the niqab has raised the larger issue of how the Syrian government and society should deal with the larger issues of private schools and Islamic education.  I stress that the views expressed in this article do not reflect those of Syria Comment’s editors; although, I recognize that some of its conclusions are shared by many, if not most, Syrians. It is part of an on-going debate. I hope to be able to publish an opinion piece defending the spread of Islamic schools in Syria in the not distant future. (That is a challenge to those readers who will disagree with the views expressed in this article. Joshua Landis)

In a madrasa at the Zahra mosque in suburban Damascus, students in the oldest group, 15 to 17, taking an English language class in addition to religious training. Photo by Jeroen Kramer

Stop Wahhabi Indoctrination of Syrian Youth
By Elie Elhadj, July 25, 2010
for Syria Comment

The Website ALL4SYRIA reported (in Arabic) on July 17, 2010 that private Islamist elementary schools have been proliferating in Syria. The title of the article: Secrets and Background Behind the Decision to Ban the Wearing of the Niqab in Syria’s Schools and Universities Taken by the Office of National Security. The article may be accessed on:
http://all4syria.info/content/view/29490/80/

A Summary of the ALL4SYRIA article
Islamist groups in Syria have succeeded in controlling most private elementary schools (up to sixth grade), estimated to be around 200 schools (presumably in Damascus) with approximately 25% to 30% of all elementary schools enrollment. The article revealed that teachers are all women, don the Niqab (black covering of face and body), and belong to Islamist proselytizing groups, typically led and controlled by women. ALL4SYRIA added that classroom teaching material contravenes Ministry of Education curriculum and textbooks, that young children are instructed to insist that their mothers must wear the Niqab so that they avoid burning in hell’s fire, that large amounts of money have been paid by Islamist organizers to purchase secular private schools from their owners; for example, Dar Al-Faraj, Dar Al-Na’eem, Omar bin Al-Khattab, The Arab Islamic College, Ummat Al-Majd, Al-Yaqzah…).

Significance of the report
Such a development is disconcerting. Syria must be vigilant. At the core of Islamist teaching, just like Wahhabi teaching, is indoctrination and brainwashing in fanaticism. Sunni Islamists, Syria’s included, embrace Wahhabi extremism with all their being. Their speech and actions are akin to being members of a religious cult. If allowed to go unchecked, such a development would cause irreparable damage to Syria’s way of life and to its multi-ethnic multi-religion harmony, including discrimination against and persecution of the country’s many religious minorities and sects, particularly the ruling Alawite minority, which orthodox Muslims regard as heretics.

To appreciate the consequences of Islamist teaching one need not look beyond the Saudi educational curriculum to see its effects on Saudi youth and Muslim youth in Islamist/ Wahhabi sponsored schools elsewhere. While Saudi textbooks might not be seen in Syria’s classrooms, the dogma, dictums, values, attitudes, and beliefs imparted through the words, mannerism, dress, and personal behavior of Islamist teachers would, nonetheless, mold impressionable young children with Arabia’s seventh century culture.

Content of Islamist education
Students in Wahhabi controlled schools are taught to denigrate other religions and Islamic sects, including other Sunnis. Starting with the First grade, children are taught that Jews, Christians, and others are destined to be consumed in hellfire. As the children grow up, the same message is honed more explicitly. Fourth graders are taught to hate the polytheists and infidels. Fifth graders are taught that someone who opposes God, even if he/she were one’s own brother/sister becomes his/her enemy. In Sixth grade, students are taught that Islam bans the mourning of the dead tradition that Shi’ites venerate (Center for Religious Freedom of Freedom House with the Institute for Gulf Affairs, Saudi Arabia’s Curriculum of Intolerance, with Excerpts from Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies, 2006.

To put overall Saudi school curriculum in perspective, it is helpful to describe some of what the older students learn. Eighth graders are taught that building mosques on graves, even by Muslims, is the work of polytheists and unbelievers. In Ninth grade, teenagers are taught in apocalyptic terms that violence against Jews, Christians, and other non-believers is sanctioned by God. Tenth graders are taught that, in law, the life of non-Muslims as well as women is worth a fraction of that of free Muslim men. Eleventh graders are taught that Muslims do not yield to Christians and Jews on a narrow road out of honor and respect (the Prophet reportedly said: “Do not initiate greeting the Jews and Christians, and if you encounter one of them on a road you should force him toward the narrow side” The Six Books, Sahih Muslim, tradition 5661, p. 1064 and Sunan Abi Dawood, Ibid., tradition 5205, p. 1603). Twelfth graders learn that the spread of Islam through jihad is a religious duty, that jihad is the summit of Islam, that through jihad Islam’s banner was raised high, that jihad is one of the most magnificent acts of obedience to God.

Islamists/Wahhabi education emphasizes the belief in predestination.

Outside the classroom, Islamist/Wahhabi propaganda promotes an anti-Western agenda—Westernization results in the loss of Islamic ideals and practices, encourages the introduction of Western political systems, political parties, and parliaments, which interfere with social cohesion and consensus, brings misery and suffering to Muslims, undermines Muslim conduct, leading to mixing of the sexes, opening of nightclubs, discarding of the veil, charging of interest on bank loans, and celebration of non-Islamic holidays such as Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Labor Day. (Madawi Al-Rasheed, A History of Saudi Arabia, Cambridge University Press, 2003, 191).

Islamist/Wahhabi doctrine denounces Arab nationalism and socialism, as atheistic innovation. Abdulaziz Bin Baz, Saudi Arabia’s former grand mufti (1993-1999), called Arab nationalism an atheist jahiliyya (the pre-Islamic age of ignorance and darkness). Ibn Baz described nationalism as “a movement of ignorance whose main purpose is to fight Islam and destroy its teachings and rules” (Ibid. 190). As for the Arab military-ruled republics that since the 1950s have adopted nationalism as a basis for Arab unity and as a political objective, Ibn Baz branded them “the enemies of Islam.” Saudi history textbooks highlight that Arab nationalism is “European in origin, Jewish in motivation . . . [and] represented as a conspiracy promoted by the West and Zionism to undermine the unity of Muslims” (Ibid. 191).

Islamist/Wahhabi education engenders hostility towards all those who hold different religious beliefs or political or national aspirations. Opponents are viciously attacked as kuffars (atheists), orientalists, or agents of the CIA and Mossad, deserving death. Islamist/Wahhabi education is designed to enslave the faithful through superstitions and irrationalities in order to prolong the dictatorship of the coalitions that typically govern Arab countries; namely political families and the ulama class.

What should Syria do?
Syria can take four actions. First, trace and cut off the flow of funds that sustains Islamist groups. The source is most likely to be Syria’s home grown Islamists and Syrians who had worked or are still working in Saudi Arabia and who embraced Saudi Islam plus rich Saudis on a mission to spread the Islamist creed around.

Secondly, proselytizing groups, like other Islamist organizations, must be declared illegal and their financial backers prosecuted.

Thirdly, teachers who deviate from the Ministry of Education’s curriculum must be punished.

Fourthly, promulgate a twenty-first century personal status law befitting a supposedly “secular” country like Syria to replace its current antiquated Shari’a based laws and courts for Muslims and spiritual courts for non-Muslims. A country that claims to be “secular” should become truly secular. Syria’s government appeasement of Islamists is like riding a tiger. The tiger may someday devour the rider.

Post Script addendum:

It should be noted that the word “Islamist” refers only to the tiny minority among individual Muslims who are extremists in their religious fervor and beliefs; specifically, the Hanbalite Wahhabis. The word “Islamist” does not apply to the 95% of Sunnis who follow the other three schools of jurisprudence (Hanafites, Maliktes, and Shafiates). This great majority  is  moderate, enlightened, and tolerant. On a macro level, the word “Islamist”  refers to  extremist Islamic states, not to moderate Islamic countries. While Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Syria, and Turkey, for example, are Islamic countries, Saudi Arabia is an Islamist country.

Comments (226)


majedkhaldoun said:

The question is FREEDOM,Freedom is honor,and those who deprive people of freedom should be deprived of freedom themself,those who oppose such schools are perfectly free to start schools teaching their opposite ideas,but those who want to close such schools and to penalize teachers and students,those are impinging and infringing on the freedom of people,the issue is freedom.

July 25th, 2010, 11:56 am

 

AleppoRaconteur said:

I agree with the sentiments of this article. I don’t appreciate, however, the generlizations made about Syrian’s Sunnis. (me being one of them, I assure you the majority still rejects the Wahhabi creed. Although the rise of Salafists is alarming.)

Majed,

I call BS. The KKK were never deemed free to exist. Intolerance is the only thing that can’t be tolerated. Freedom is a responsibility and not just a right.

July 25th, 2010, 12:27 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

According to Google there are two individuals with the name Elie Elhadj in London, England. According to Google too Dr. ElHadj has written extensively on water issues in Saudi Arabia. From perusing his criticism about private schools one can easily presume that he resides in the US, [ where private religious schooling is becoming increasingly more prevalent especially in the Southern states].

His “Stop Wahhabi….” on SC while admittedly a personalized thesis can only be of scant value in a studied discussion or critique in the USA where private fundamentalist schooling as well as propagation is the practice.

July 25th, 2010, 12:34 pm

 

Jihad said:

It seems that after making millions of dollars while working in Saudi Arabia and kissing every parts of his Saudi masters (as most Arabs do before amassing money and leaving), the writer has become the Robin Hood of Enlightment. From where? From the USA, a country that produced and continue to produce the most bigoted people one can come across. His arguments are similar to those espoused by an Egyptian who pretends to be “the most cited Arab thinker on the Internet”, although I don’t remember his name!

Here are some news for Mr. Elie Elhadj: “Representatives of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville say they will burn a Quran outside the church on September 11 and are encouraging others to follow their example. This is the same controversial church that has been in the news for claiming that “Islam is of the devil” and for protesting recently outside a local mosque.”

July 25th, 2010, 2:03 pm

 

Alex said:

I hate to make comments on religion, but I will here because we are discussion extremism, not religion… remember that during their pilgrimage to Mecca, women do not cover their faces, so women who want to cover their faces while teaching children in Damascus are extremists.

I do agree with Dr. Elhadj to a large extent, minus the generalization that Aleppo Raconteur referred to.

Majed, freedom should not be without boundaries. One is not free in North America to walk naked in the street, or to teach antisemitism in schools …

Promoting values and beliefs that will indirectly but surely lead to violence or at least intolerance is not something that we should tolerate for the sake of the banner of “freedom”.

Your suggestion will lead to serious internal conflicts that take makes shapes … if secularists or minorities decided to pump billions into the system like the Wahabis did over the past decade in Syria … I will leave it to you to imagine the type and degree of reactions from the religious camp.

The government needs to apply enough counterweight to the sum of weights applied so far by wahabis and other fanatics.

I made this chart (link provided below) to illustrate … green chart is our usual liberal/conservative chart along which Syria (and most other countries) moves from one decade to another … red chart is where Syria is now after the massive wahabi and ultra-conservative Syrians’ interference … the arrow on the right (government interference) is what is needed to push the cycle back to its natural center.

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Syria_conservative_liberal_cycle.jpg

These cycles exist in most countries but the degree to which Wahabism pumped money and resources into Syria (and other countries in the region) is a force that pushed Syria well into the conservative half of the cycle and just like the case in Saudi Arabia, when you go that far into the conservative direction, there is no going back to liberalism or even to moderation in conservatism. That is why Syria needs a force that is equal but in the counter direction to the wahabi effort over the past few years.

One last thing, this week I realized that two of my former employees (English Canadians) removed me from their Facebook friends’ lists. I emailed both to find out what led them both to not want to be my friends anymore … The answer was that their “elders” warned them from having “pagan” and other bad influence friends like me. They are Jehovah Witnesses and being a Christian, I am by definition bad influence even though I am somewhat conservative.

Jehovah Witnesses are peaceful and very small in numbers. But Zionist Christians in the US who are effectively lobbying Washington to go to war in the Middle East to help Israel defeat all its enemies and are anti Islam racists, or Wahabis and their products are quite dangerous. it would be criminal to allow both to continue to expand.

July 25th, 2010, 2:42 pm

 

Alex said:

Jihad

Dr.Elhadj lives in London. He is not like Tarek Heggy. Tareq is a brilliant man but he admires neocons. Elie is a harsh critic of all extremists, wahabis or neocons.

http://www.tarek-heggy.com/

July 25th, 2010, 2:52 pm

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To ALEPPORACONTEUR,

Thanks for your comment.

Kindly note that the word “Islamist” refers to the minority of extremists among Muslims. It DOES NOT encompass the great majority of Muslims who are enlightened, tolerant, and moderate.

I am proud to tell you that the majority of my own close friends are Muslims.

Elie

July 25th, 2010, 2:52 pm

 

Norman said:

I wonder if it will be better for Syria to ban religion teaching at schools except in public schools ,

We have to remember that in Syria it is not the ministry of Education but the ministry of good upbringing and Education , good upbringing is to learn how to be a good citizen , prosecution of offenders should take place , without getting excited and be a target of human rights group , their mission is to create mayhem in Syria,

July 25th, 2010, 3:10 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Alex
You said
Majed, freedom should not be without boundaries. One is not free in North America to walk naked in the street, or to teach antisemitism in schools
I agree with you that freedom should not be without boundary,but the boundary is your freedom ends when someone else freedom start. I have seen woman and men walk naked in southern France ,and in private clubs,the picture Joshua posted in the previous thread ,she was almost naked I believe women should be free,what is wrong if a woman wear Mandeel she is not hurting anyone.
As far as antisemitism you know that I resent this wrong term,what you meant antizionism the zionist teach anti arab and Arab teach antizionism,they both should be free.

Norman I strongly disagree that Goverment should ban private school from teaching religion this is impinging on freedom,you live in USA and you know that there are religious school in USA.
What we get ,living in USA, is respect for freedom .

July 25th, 2010, 4:49 pm

 

Alex said:

Dear Majedkhaldoun

I am sure that you will agree that we should all complain if a teacher (or a student) decides to wear her bikini to the classroom. Similarly, the niqab should not exist in school… Women are free to wear whatever they want … in private, or among groups that agree to specific dress code. In a swimming pool people know that women might wear bikinis, and on the street and in public places, women who wear the niqab are not treated with any lack of respect.

But the way education is targeted by the ultra conservative activists (it is not an innocent presence), individual freedoms are not the issue here.

As for antisemitism … I was referring to true antisemitism (which does exist) not the shameful way right wing American and Israeli organizations have abused the term in order to bully anyone who dares criticize their criminal right wing agenda.

One last hypothetical question: If you decided one day to open a private school in the US … and you found out that your school was infiltrated by Zionist teachers wearing Israeli flags on their T-shirts … would you let them continue to teach their students Pro-Israel propaganda because you believe in “respect for freedom”? … assume you found your female teachers wearing exceptionally revealing clothing … would you let them continue to teach your students?

July 25th, 2010, 5:49 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Alex
I am a physician,and strange that you mentioned,wearing revealing clothes, one day the girl working for me came to the office wearing revealing clothes,I did not fire her, but I talked to her about her office uniform.
I belong to the libertarian party, and I strongly believe in freedom.

July 25th, 2010, 6:06 pm

 

Alex said:

Alright … assume she not only insisted to continue wearing her revealing clothes but she also tried to talk to your teenage daughter about the beauty of sexy clothing. What would you do next?

In Syria they held many meetings with teachers who wear the niqab, and they warned them that a lighter version (Hijab) is the maximum allowed in class, but warnings did not convince them like the warning you gave the girl who worked for you.

There are parents who complain regularly that teachers are talking to their daughters about the way God will punish them if they don’t cover everything! … Don’t you see that the state has some responsibility there to protect students from the fear tactics for example?

July 25th, 2010, 6:12 pm

 

Norman said:

majed,

I think Alex made a good argument , don’t you think so , at least we should agree that employers have the right to have some kind of dress code for their employees , the teachers in Syria are government employees ,and the government can set the rules at schools ,as you and I can set the dress code for our employees ,

July 25th, 2010, 7:19 pm

 

Norman said:

Majed ,

Do you think that the government should not interfere in this and prevent or should it leave it to the parents ,

تزايد الادلة حول انتشار العادة داخل المملكة المتحدة ودعوة لادانة من يتورط فيها
حفلات ختان… ونساء يثبتن ‘الضحية’.. وصيف مرعب يواجه 20 ألف فتاة في بريطانيا

7/25/2010

لندن ـ ‘القدس العربي’:

حذرت تقارير صحافية ومنظمات للدفاع عن المرأة من ان اكثر من 20 الف فتاة قد يكن عرضة للعملية المعروفة والمرتبطة بالتقاليد وهي ختان البنات (الختان الفرعوني) وذلك مع بداية العطلة الصيفية الدراسية. وطالبت صحيفة الـ’اوبزيرفر’ بعد ان كشفت عن معاناة الكثير من البنات ونشرت على موقعها شهادات مثيرة لصراخ بنات تعرضن للعملية، الى محاكمة من يقومون بهذه الممارسة واتخاذ تشريعات شديدة لمنع وحماية البنات اللاتي يحملن معهن عادة اثار العملية وتنعكس على شخصياتهن ونظرتهن للحياة.
وقالت الصحيفة ان ما بين 500 ـ 2000 بنت بريطانية من عائلات الاقليات يتعرضن للختان اثناء عطلة الصيف، وبعض البنات سيؤخذن الى الخارج حيث يتم ختانهن هناك اما البقية منهن فيتم ختانهن ‘قطع البظر وخياطة المكان الخاص’ من قبل سيدات متخصصات بالمهنة ويعشن في بريطانيا واحيانا يتم استحضار المتخصصات من الخارج لاجراء العملية في ‘حفلات الختان’.
وهو امر تراه عائلات المهاجرين خاصة من الصومال ودول اخرى ضروريا لحماية الفتاة وعفتها. وتقول الصحيفة ان البنات يعدن الى المدرسة بعد عطلة الصيف الرهيبة ويحاولن التكيف مع الحياة المدرسية ويعشن حياة طبيعية ولكن بدون نسيان تجربة القطع القاسية. وتشير الصحيفة التي قدمت قصصا وتفاصيل عن زيادة حالات الختان خلف الابواب المغلقة في بريطانيا منذ عام 1985 ان البنات اللاتي يتعرضن لتشويه وقطع اعضائهن التناسلية لن يشعرن بالرغبة الجنسية الملحة تماما مثل البنات اللاتي يتم تنظيف وقطع العضو المسؤول عن الرغبة الجنسية بالكامل، مشيرة الى دراسة مصرية تقول ان 50 بالمائة من النساء المختونات يعانين من العملية الجنسية ولا يتمتعن بها.
وعلى الرغم من ان العفة والحفاظ على طهارة البنت هما العامل وراء العملية الا ان الحفاظ على التقاليد هو العامل المحرك لاستمرارها. ويرى عدد من العلماء ان المجتمعات التي تبرر العملية على انها تقليد اسلامي، يرون ان لا مبرر دينيا لها وان العملية تعود الى قرون طويلة قبل الاسلام.
ويرى التقرير ان العديد من البنات اللاتي لا يستطعن الرفض يجدن انفسهن مجبرات للدخول في العملية ومعاناة الامها لشعورهن ان مجتمعهن سيتعامل معهن بطريقة مختلفة وينظر اليهن كمنبوذات. وعلى الرغم من الجراح النفسية والجسدية التي تتركها العملية على البنات الا ان الامهات يرين ان العملية هي جزء من الواجب الذي يقمن به تجاه بناتهن.
وتنقل الصحيفة قصة البنت الصومالية جميلة التي تتحدث عن رحلة لها مع امها الى الصومال وكيف انها استعدت لها بفرح وحملت معها كتبها واشياءها لتواجه بقول الام لها ‘جميلة، تعلمين أنها ستكون الليلة؟’. ولم تكن جميلة واعية لقول الام ولكنها عرفت لاحقا ان الام عنت بتر عضوها التناسلي او ختانها. وتصف جميلة قصة ما حدث قائلة ‘دخلت غرفة الجلوس ووجدت العديد من النساء وعرفت في وقت لاحق فقط أنهن جئن بغرض الإمساك، حيث عادة ما تحضر النساء لتثبيت الفتاة في اثناء العملية. وتقول انها لا تتذكرالصراخ، بل الألم المثير للشفقة الذي شعرت به. و’أتذكر الدم الذي سال في كل مكان، وأتذكر إحدى الخادمات عندما رأيتها حقيقة وهي تلتقط قطعة اللحم التي اقتطعوها للتو من جسدي. أتذكرها لأنها كانت تمسح الدم الذي كان في كل مكان’.
وتواصل قائلة: ‘اعتقدت في البداية أنني سأكون شجاعة، وبالتالي لم أحتج حقيقة لذلك (أي لمساعدة النساء). كل ما كان علي القيام به هو أن أستلقي على ظهري وأتذكر النظر بالسقف والتحديق بالمروحة’. يبلغ عمر جميلة الان 20 عاما وترى ان العملية كبرتها، وتوقفت عن هواية السباحة والرياضة التي كانت تهواها، وشعرت بانفصال نفسي مع جسدها. وتقول ان هناك الكثير من البنات متن تحت مبضع الخاتنة البدائي ومن منظر الدم ومن الصدمة. وتكشف الصحيفة ان هناك طبيبا او طبيبين في بريطانيا يمكن رشوتهم لاجراء العملية. وفي بريطانيا 16 عيادة متخصصة للتعامل مع حالات ولادة حيث تحضر نساء مختونات اما بالكامل او جزئيا لنزع الخيوط التي خيط بها المكان منذ الصغر وذلك من اجل الولادة. وبحسب منظمة الصحة العالمية هناك اربعة انواع من الختان تتراوح بين الكامل والجزئي وان هناك 140 مليون فتاة حول العالم مررن تحت مبضع الخاتنة ومعظمهن يعشن في 28 دولة افريقية واليمن وكردستان وبين العاملين والمهاجرين في امريكا واستراليا وكندا والسعودية.
وكانت بريطانيا قد اصدرت تشريعا عام 1985 حرم اي شكل من اشكال الختان وحظر اي عملية او مساعدة في اجرائه. ولا توجد احصائيات حول عدد العمليات في بريطانيا لانها تتم في السر. وتنقل الصحيفة شهادات مؤسسات طبية عن المعاناة والتشويه الذي تحدثه العملية لجسد البنت ومكانها الخاص والاثار الصحية خاصة في اوقات الدورة الصحية واثناء الولادة. وعلى الرغم من وجود قانون يحظر العملية الا ان احدا لم يدن بها منذ صدوره عام 1985 مع مدة الحكم التي تصل الى 14 عاما على من يثبت تورطه في العملية.

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July 25th, 2010, 7:48 pm

 

Alex said:

Exactly Norman, مو بس انتو الدكاترة عندكن موظفين

: )

July 25th, 2010, 7:49 pm

 

Norman said:

Alex,

I hope we will be seeing more of here , we miss you man ,

July 25th, 2010, 8:31 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Freedom and Empty Words

majedkhaldoun said:

The question is FREEDOM,Freedom is honor,and those who deprive people of freedom should be deprived of freedom themself…

Does your opinion include the government of Syria or is that a “special case”?

AleppoRaconteur said:

The KKK were never deemed free to exist. Intolerance is the only thing that can’t be tolerated. Freedom is a responsibility and not just a right.

AleppoRaconteur,

The KKK is very muched deemed free to exist. And they do. You want to be a member? Intolerance and hate, including freedom of speeech is TOLERATED here in the US as long as they do not physically hurt anyone.

Alex said,

One is not free in North America to walk naked in the street, or to teach antisemitism in schools …

Alex,

Teaching antisemitism is not allowed in public schools, but it IS allowed in private schools. Neo-nazis teach anti-semitism in their “schools” just like many Muslims teach anti-semitism in madrassas.

Alex speaks for Elie Elhadj:

Elie is a harsh critic of all extremists, wahabis or neocons.

I haven’t heard Mr. Elhadj use the term “extremists” for “neocons”. And I’m not sure how Mr. Elhadj even defines a “neocon”. From some of the reading of Mr. Elhadj’s articles, he only advocates the separation of “church and state”. Most of the neocons I know would agree with this.

Alex said:

As for antisemitism … I was referring to true antisemitism (which does exist) not the shameful way right wing American and Israeli organizations have abused the term in order to bully anyone who dares criticize their criminal right wing agenda.

I’m not sure what the “criminal right wing agenda” is and the crimes they committed. “True antisemitism” seems to find its way into the government controlled Arab media.

majedkhaldoun said:

I belong to the libertarian party, and I strongly believe in freedom.

Again, does the Government of Syria get a pass on this?

July 25th, 2010, 10:58 pm

 

LeoLeoni said:

Another great article by Dr. Elie

I totally agree with Dr. Elie’s’s suggestive action list. I would also suggest the replacement of religion class in schools with civics and ethics class. A class that would teach ethics from a philosophical stand point offering many different viewpoints including religious and secular. We have many respectable secular or nonreligious parents in Syria who would not like their kids to be forced into a religious class.

I disagree with norman on the banning of religious schools, but we as a society should find a way to stop the spread radical religious teachings. An example could be by creating an education board that specializes in monitoring religious schools to see if their texts and teachers are promoting intolerance and hatred. Schools doing so should be warned and if they don’t comply, they could risk being closed down or have their license stripped.

Alex, why do you hate making comments on religion? Religion plays a major role in our societies, but unfortunately in many cases it has been negative. We can’t ignore it, especially when so many people in our societies have been invoking religion for everything and trying to shove it down our throats. If we all refrain from making comments on it and how it affects our society and politics, then eventually we will be swarmed with so many radicals who use “religion” as a cloak to promote their radical agenda. When we try to confront these radicals, they tell us that God said this and god said that and that we should not dare question their position. (A good example is the recent episode of Itijah Al Mo3akes between a Syrian Islamist and a Syrian director). It really bothers me that when I discuss a political or social issue with someone, they tend to say but my religion insists on this and that, and that I ought to respect his point of view simply because he is invoking his religion or “faith”. As seculars, we must stand up to those who want to shove religion into every aspect of society and state, and confront them not with violence or suppression, but with logical and reasoned ideas.

Also, do you have a reference which shows Tarek Heggy admiring Neocons?

July 26th, 2010, 12:10 am

 

Alex said:

Thanks Norman : ) … I will be here for the next two weeks at least, since Joshua is on vacation. You’ll have enough of me by then!

Leoleoni,

I think they are already monitoring religious schools.

But I am not sure I would call the agency doing that monitoring, an “education board”

: )

If you write me an email, I will answer your Tarek Heggy question.

Akbar,

Good to hear from you : )

Ask Dr. Elhadj his opinion of neocons.

July 26th, 2010, 2:35 am

 

LeoLeoni said:

Alex,

What’s your email?

What I meant by “education board” is that the monitoring should come from the ministry of education and not some intelligence office. Preaching religious hatred/extremism in school is an educational problem that needs to be addressed by the MoE and not the moukhabarat. People should not preach hatred not because they are afraid of the law or afraid of being arrested but because it is the wrong thing to do, that it is wrong to view our neighbor less than us simply because they adhere to a different sect/religion than us. I read a study on Islamic Education in Syria by Professor Landis and I was shocked with what I found.

http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/L/Joshua.M.Landis-1/Islamic%20Education%20in%20Syria.htm

Years and years of such teaching would definitely have its toll. We reap what we sow.

July 26th, 2010, 7:09 am

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To AleppoRaconteur,

Pursuant to your comment in 2 above and my response in 7, I have added the following paragraph to the subject article in its full version on my own Blog:

It should be noted that the word “Islamist” refers only to the tiny minority among individual Muslims who are extremists in their religious fervor and beliefs; specifically, the Hanbalite Wahhabis. The word “Islamist” does not apply to the 95% of Sunnis who follow the other three schools of jurisprudence (Hanafites, Maliktes, and Shafiates). This great majority is moderate, enlightened, and tolerant. On a macro level, the word “Islamist” refers to extremist Islamic states, not to moderate Islamic countries. While Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Syria, and Turkey, for example, are Islamic countries, Saudi Arabia is an Islamist country.

Your comment is sincerely appreciated.

To LEOLEONI,

Thank you for the link to Prof. Landis’ research paper. I found it educational, scholarly, and articulate–a valuable contribution to the literature. I am certain that the paper will be referred to for many years to come in academic circles and beyond.

Elie

July 26th, 2010, 7:49 am

 

idaf said:

Alex,

I agree and I like your chart.

However, you mention: “during their pilgrimage to Mecca, women do not cover their faces”. Let me clarify this further: ALL Islamic schools of thought FORBID women from covering their faces (or otherwise known as wearing Niqab, Burqa, etc.) while making the most sacred religious act in a Muslim’s life, which is the pilgrimage to Mecca. Let me repeat that: ALL ISLAMIC SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT (including Wahabi and Salafi).

In other words, it is “un-Islamic” for women to cover their faces while performing the highest religious act in Islam. It is a no brainer that it is -to say the least- an extreme for a Muslim woman to cover her face. Many Muslims agree with the arguments that a woman covering her face is “un-Islamic”, not just extreme.

Personally, I don’t feel comfortable talking to a person without seeing his or her facial expressions. It is against human communication nature. In some Gulf countries even (Dubai for example), women government employees interacting with the public directly are not allowed to wear niqab. They can always opt for other jobs.

One has to remember that many young women are forced to do it against their will by parents and families and they immediately uncover their faces whenever away from their families, like in universities. Of course, women who “choose” to cover their faces are free to do so. They however, have no right to brainwash young children in schools about right or wrong on this (which is unfortunately the norm today for Wahabi-influenced preachers/teachers). As an example of social problems caused by such extremism, I know a Syrian Muslim man who is married to a Christian. One day his children came back crying because they were told by their teacher (an extremist niqab-wearing woman) that their mother is “kafira”. Needless to say the angry father made sure that the teacher was never to teach again in the school and was assigned an administrative job instead. The state in Syria is doing the same thing today and this is undoubtedly welcome by many Syrians who have to repeatedly undo the brainwashing their children’s are put through more and more today.

July 26th, 2010, 10:17 am

 

Alex said:

Leoleoni

You can write to me by clicking on “contact us” on my site:

http://www.creativesyria.com

(If I list my email here, spammers will pick it up)

Ahlain ustaz IDAF! : )

Thanks for clarifying that it is in fact considered un-islamic to cover a woman’s face during her pilgramage!

July 26th, 2010, 11:10 am

 

almasri said:

IDAF said,

“It is a no brainer that it is -to say the least- an extreme for a Muslim woman to cover her face. Many Muslims agree with the arguments that a woman covering her face is “un-Islamic”, not just extreme.”

We do not know your Islamic credentials in order to take seriously the above sweeping comment (or fatwa) regarding hijab. I suggest you narrow down your claim to a mere personal opinion regarding the matter. I have so far refrained from defining what a hijab should look like in order not to be accused of making fatwas. But due to your brazen claim, I feel compelled to provide such definition based on accurate sources other than your generalizations. There is compelling evidence from Qura’n and Sunnah about the face cover being part of this hijab. There is also information about the licensing of showing the face during the pilgrimage so that you and others may better understand your religion if you are a Muslim.

بســــــــــــــــــــــــــــم الله الرحمن الرحيم

نعرض أولا : كلام الله والدلائل من القرأن على فرض النقاب
الرد على كل من ينكر فرض النقاب ولا يعترف به
ملحوظه هامة
المقصود بالحجاب هو الحجاب الكامل بالوجه
المعروف فى زماننا هذا بتغطية الوجه هو النقاب وهناك بعض الناس من تفرق بين النقاب والحجاب أنا لا أرى فيه أختلاف إلا مكان نقب العين أى فتحت العين ولذلك سمي نقاب ولا نخص أو نفرض على المرأة ان تلبس النقاب لأنه ليس فرض أو سنة لأنه يوجد فيه فتحتين للعين وهذا خطأ أم تغطية الوجه فهو فرض من الله بأى شئ ولم يخص النقاب بعينه ولكن يستدل بالخمار على وجهها للتغطية الكاملة للوجة أو اى شئ والسؤال الذى يدور فى عقلك الأن كيف ترا أقول لك يوجود فى النقاب الشرعى المعروف الذي لم تمتد إلية اليد الخبيثة وأسمه نقاب لكي تعرفه فقط يوجد فيه قطعة صغيرة شفافة للرأية ترا منها المرأة ولم ترها أم بالنسبة لمن يفرق بين النقاب والحجاب أليس مقصود الحجاب هو حجب شئ عن شئ أى لا يرا شئ من خلف الحجاب فمقصود الحجاب هو الحجاب الكامل المغطى للوجه وأنما عرف بالنقاب لنا لأنه تم له عملية تغير من الأعداء بنقب العين حتى يتجمع جمالها فى عينها وتفتن أكثر فهذا غير شرعى أما الشرعى فهو الحجاب الذي يغطى الوجه كله من غير فتحتين فى الحجاب ولكننا ندافع عنه بأسمه المعروف لدي كثير من الناس النقاب ولكننا نقول للمنقبة منقبة العين اتقى الله ولا تظهرى عينك ولكم الدليل
هل النقاب فريضه ام سنه؟؟؟؟
هناك ادله من القرأن والسنة على فرضه عامة وفى عصر الفتن خاصة
]”اعلم أيها المسلم أن احتجاب المرأة عن الرجال الأجانب وتغطية وجهها أمر واجب دلَّ على وجوبه كتاب ربك تعالىوسنة نبيك محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم ، والاعتبار الصحيح والقياس المطرد
أولاً : أدلة القران .
الدليل الأول /
قال الله تعالى : ” وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلالِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّأَوْ أَبْنَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْبَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْنِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوْالتَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُوْلِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنْ الرِّجَالِ أَوْ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَى عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاءِ وَلا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِنْ زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوبُوا إِلَىاللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ” سورة النور / 31
وجه الدلالة من الآية على وجوب الحجاب على المرأة ما يلي :
أ- أن الله تعالى أمرالمؤمنات بحفظ فروجهن ، والأمر بحفظ الفرج أمرٌبما يكون وسيلة إليه ، ولا يرتاب عاقل أن من وسائله تغطية الوجه لأن كشفه سبب للنظرإليها وتأمل محاسنها والتلذذ بذلك ، وبالتالي إلى الوصول والاتصال ، وقد قال رسول ا لله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” العينان تزنيان وزناهما النظر … ـ ثم قال ـ والفرج يصدق ذلك أويكذبه ” رواه البخاري (6612) ومسلم (2657)
فإذا كان تغطية الوجه من وسائل حفظ الفرج كان مأموراً به لأن الوسائل لها أحكام المقاصد .
ب – قوله تعالى : ” وليضربن بخمرهن على جيوبهن ” والجيب هو فتحة الرأس والخمار ماتخمربه المرأة رأسها وتغطيه به ، فإذا كانت مأمورة بأن تضرب بالخمار على جيبها كانتمأمورة بستر وجهها إما لأنه من لازم ذلك أو بالقياس ، فإنه إذا وجب ستر النحروالصدر كان وجوب ستر الوجه من باب أولى لأنه موضع الجمال والفتنة .
ج ـ أنا الله نهى عن إبداء الزينة مطلقاً إلا ما ظهر منها وهي التي لابد أن تظهر كظاهرالثياب ولذلك قال ” إلا ماظهر منها ” لم يقل إلا ما أظهرن منها ـ وقد فسر بعض السلف : كابن مسعود، والحسن ، وابن سيرين ، وغيرهم قوله تعالى ( إلاماظهر منها ) بالرداءوالثياب ، وما يبدو من أسافل الثياب (أي اطراف الأعضاء ) ـ . ثم نهى مرة أُخرى عنإبداء الزينة إلا لمن استثناهم فدل هذا على أنَّ الزينة الثانية غير الزينة الأُولى، فالزينة الأُولى هي الزينة الظاهرة التي تظهر لكل أحد ولايُمكن إخفاؤها والزينةالثانية هي الزينة الباطنة ( ومنه الوجه ) ولو كانت هذه الزينة جائزة لكل أحد لم يكن للتعميم في الأُولى والاستثناء في الثانية فائدة معلومة .
د ـ أن الله تعالى يُرخص بإبداء الزينة الباطنة للتابعين غير أُولي الإربة من الرجال وهم الخدم الذين لاشهوة لهم وللطفل الصغير الذي لم يبلغ الشهوة ولم يطلع على عورات النساء فدل هذا على أمرين :
1- أن إبداء الزينة الباطنة لايحل لأحدٍ من الأجانب إلالهذين الصنفين .
2- أن علة الحكم ومدارة على خوف الفتنة بالمرأة والتعلق بها ، ولاريب أن الوجه مجمع الحسن وموضع الفتنة فيكون ستره واجباً لئلا يفتتن بهأُولو الإربة من الرجال .
هـ – قوله تعالى : ( ولا يضربن بأرجلهن ليُعلم مايُخفين من زينتهن ) يعني لا تضرب المرأة برجلها ليُعلم ما تخفيه من الخلاخيل ونحوهام ما تتحلى به للرِجْـل ، فإذا كانت المرأة منهية عن الضرب بالأرجل خوفاً من افتتان الرجل بما يسمع من صوت خلخالها ونحوه فكيف بكشف الوجه .
فأيما أعظم فتنة أن يسمع الرجل خلخالاً بقدم إمرأة لايدري ماهي وما جمالها ؟ ولايدري أشابة هي أم عجوز؟ ولايدري أشوهاء هي أم حسناء ؟ أو ينظر إلى وجه جميل ممتلىء شباباً ونضارة وحسناًوجمالاً وتجميلاً بما يجلب الفتنة ويدعو إلى النظر إليها ؟
إن كل إنسان له إربة في النساء ليعلم أي الفتنتين أعظم وأحق بالستر والإخفاء .
ملحوظة :
يقول الشيخ الدكتور يوسف القرضاوي:-
قد روي عن عدد من مفسري السلف تفسير إدناء الجلابيب عليهن، أنهن يسترن بها جميع وجوههن، بحيث لا يظهر منهن شيء إلا عين واحدة يبصرن بها. وممن روي عنه ذلك ابن مسعود وابن عباس وعبيدة السلماني وغيرهم
ملحوظة أخرى :
وأما قوله تعالى : (يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاء الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً) فهذه الآية ليست هي عمدة العلماء في إيجاب تغطية عورة المرأة، ولكن هذه الآية تدل على ما هو أبعد من ذلك، وتدل على شيء فوق الخمار وأعظم منه و أن المقصود به هو النقاب.
الدليل الثاني /
قوله تعالى : ( وَالْقَوَاعِدُ مِنْ النِّسَاءِ اللاتِي لا يَرْجُونَ نِكَاحًا فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْهِنَّ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ يَضَعْنَ ثِيَابَهُنَّ غَيْرَ مُتَبَرِّجَاتٍ بِزِينَةٍ وَأَنْ يَسْتَعْفِفْنَ خَيْرٌ لَهُنَّ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ ) سورة النور / 60
وجه الدلالة من الآية على وجوب الحجاب على المرأة ما يلي :
أن الله تعالىنفى الجناح وهو الإثم عن القواعد وهن العجاوز اللاتي لا يرجون نكاحاً لعدم رغبةالرجال بهن لكبر سنهن بشرط أن لا يكون الغرض من ذلك التبرج والزينة . وتخصيص الحكم بهؤلاء العجائز دليل على أن الشواب اللاتي يرجون النكاح يخالفنهن في الحكم ولو كان الحكم شاملاً للجميع في جواز وضع الثياب ولبس درع ونحوه لم يكن لتخصيص القواعدفائدة .
ومن قوله تعالى ( غير متبرجات بزينة ) دليل آخر على وجوب الحجاب على الشابة التي ترجو النكاح لأن الغالب عليها إذا كشفت وجهها أنها تريد التبرج بالزينة وإظهار جمالها وتطلع الرجال لها ومدحها ونحو ذلك ، ومن سوى هذه فنادروالنادر لا حكم له .
الدليل الثالث /
قوله تعالى ( يَاأَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَنْ يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا ) الأحزاب / 59
قال ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما : ” أمر الله نساء المؤمنين إذاخرجن من بيوتهن في حاجة أن يغطين وجوههن من فوق رؤوسهن بالجلابيب ويبدين عيناًواحدة ” .
وتفسير الصحابي حجة بل قال بعض العلماء : إنه في حكم المرفوع إلىالنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم
وقوله رضي الله عنه : ويبدين عيناً واحدة إنم ارخص في ذلك لأجل الضرورة والحاجة إلى نظر الطريق فأما إذا لم يكن حاجة فلا موجب لكشف العين .
والجلباب هو الرداء فوق الخمار بمنزلة العباءة.
الدليل الرابع /
قوله تعالى : ( لا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِنَّ فِي آبَائِهِنَّ وَلا أَبْنَائِهِنَّ وَلا إِخْوَانِهِنَّ وَلاأَبْنَاءِ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ وَلا أَبْنَاءِ أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ وَلا نِسَائِهِنَّ وَلامَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ وَاتَّقِينَ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدًا ) الأحزاب / 55 .
قال ابن كثير رحمه الله : لما أمر الله النساء بالحجاب عن الأجانب بين أن هؤلاء الأقارب لا يجب الاحتجاب عنهم كما استثناهم في سورة النور عند قوله تعالى : ” ولايبدين زينتهن إلا لبعولتهن ”
الدليل الخامس مؤجل لكبر تفسره /
ومن ذلك قوله تعالى: (وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَى وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا) .
هذه الأية تفسيرها فى موضوع جديد لأن تفسيره طويل جدا ويجب الأنفراض به لوحده إن شاء الله
نعرض ثانيا : كلام رسول الله والدلائل من السنة على فرض النقاب
ثانياً : الأدلة من السنة علىوجوب تغطية الوجه .
الدليل الأول /
قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” إذا خطب أحدكم إمرأة فلا جناح عليه أن ينظر منها إذا كان إنما ينظر إليها لخطبة وإن كانت لاتعلم ” رواه أحمد . قال صاحب مجمع الزوائد : رجاله رجال الصحيح .
وجه الدلالة منه : أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم نفى الجناح وهو الإثم عن الخاطب خاصة بشرط أن يكون نظره للخطبة ، فدل هذاعلى أن غير الخاطب آثم بالنظر إلى الأجنبية بكل حال ، وكذلك الخاطب إذا نظر لغيرالخطبة مثل أن يكون غرضه بالنظر التلذذ والتمتع ونحو ذلك .
فإن قيل : ليسفي الحديث بيان ماينظر إليه ، فقد يكون المراد بذلك نظر الصدر والنحر ؟
فالجواب : أن كل أحد يعلم أن مقصود الخاطب المريد للجمال إنما هو جما ل الوجه ، وما سواه تبع لا يُقصد غالباً فالخاطب إنما ينظر إلى الوجه لأنه المقصودبالذات لمريد الجمال بلا ريب .
الدليل الثاني :
أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لما أمر بإخراج النساء إلى مصلى العيدقلن يا رسول الله إحدنا لا يكون لها جلباب فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” لتلبسها أُختها من جلبابها ” . رواه البخاري ومسلم .
فهذا الحديث يدل علىأن المعتاد عند نساء الصحابة أن لا تخرج المرأة إلا بجلباب وأنها عند عدمه لا يمكن أن تخرج . وفي الأمر بلبس الجلباب دليل على أنه لابد من التستر والله أعلم .
الدليل الثالث :
ما ثبت في الصحيحين عن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت : كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يصلي الفجر فيشهد معه نساء من المؤمنات متلفعات بمروطهن ثم يرجعن إلى بيوتهن ما يعرفهن أحدٌ من الغلس . وقالت : لو رأى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من النساء ما رأينا لمنعهن من المساجدكما منعت بنو إسرائيل نساءها ” . وقد روى نحو هذا عبد الله بن مسعود رضي الله عنه .
والدلالة من هذا الحديث من وجهين :
أحدها : أن الحجاب والتستر كان من عادة نساء الصحابة الذين هم خير القرون وأكرمهم على الله عز وجل .
الثاني : أن عائشة أم المؤمنين وعبد الله ابن مسعود رضي الله عنهما وناهيك بهما علماً وفقهاً وبصيرة أخبرا أن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم لو رأى من النساء مارأياه لمنعهن من المساجد وهذا في زمان القرون المفضلة فكيف بزماننا !!
زمن الفتنة
الدليل الرابع :
عَنْ ابْنِ عُمَرَقَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَنْ جَرَّثَوْبَهُ خُيَلاءَ لَمْ يَنْظُرْ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَقَالَتْأُمُّ سَلَمَةَ فَكَيْفَ يَصْنَعْنَ النِّسَاءُ بِذُيُولِهِنَّ قَالَ يُرْخِينَ شِبْرًا فَقَالَتْ إِذًا تَنْكَشِفُ أَقْدَامُهُنَّ قَالَ فَيُرْخِينَهُ ذِرَاعًالا يَزِدْنَ عَلَيْه ” رواه الترمذي وصححه الألباني في صحيح الترمذي .
ففي هذا الحديث دليل على وجوب ستر قدم المرأة وأنه أمرٌ معلوم عند نساء الصحابة رضي الله عنهم ، والقدم أقل فتنة من الوجه والكفين بلا ريب . فالتنبيه بالأدنى تنبيه على ما فوقه وما هو أولى منه بالحكم وحكمة الشرع تأبى أن يجب ستر ما هو أقل فتنةويرخص في كشف ما هو أعظم منه فتنة ، فإن هذا من التناقض المستحيل على حكمة الله وشرعه .
الدليل الخامس :
قال رسول الله صلى الله علية وسلم لا تنتقب المرأة المحرمة ولا تلبس القفازين
وذكر المحرمة فقط ولم يقول لا تنتقب المرأة ولا تلبس القفازين بل خص المحرمة فقط
والدليل
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ قَالَتْ كَانَ الرُّكْبَانُ يَمُرُّونَ بِنَا وَنَحْنُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مُحْرِمَاتٌ فَإِذَا حَاذَوْا بِنَاسَدَلَتْ إِحْدَانَا جِلْبَابَهَا مِنْ رَأْسِهَا عَلَى وَجْهِهَا فَإِذَاجَاوَزُونَا كَشَفْنَاهُ ” رواه أبو داوود (1562) .
ففي قولها ” فإذاحاذونا “تعني الركبان ” سدلت إحدانا جلبابها على وجهها ” دليل على وجوب ستر الوجه لأن المشروع في الإحرام كشفه فلولا وجود مانع قوي من كشفه حينئذٍ لوجب بقاؤه مكشوفاً حتى مع مرور الركبان .
وبيان ذلك : أن كشف الوجه في الإحرام واجب على النساء عند الأكثر من أهل العلم والواجب لايعارضه إلا ما هو واجب فلولا وجوب الاحتجاب وتغطية الوجه عند الأجانب ما ساغ ترك الواجب من كشفه حال الإحرام وقد ثبت في الصحيحين وغيرهما : أن المرأة المحرمة تنهى عن النقاب والقفازين .
قال شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية : وهذا مما يدل على أن النقاب والقفازين كانا معروفين في النساء اللاتي لم يُحرمن وذلك يقتضي ستر وجوههن وأيديهن .
************************************************** ****************
أما عن حديث الوجه والكفين قبل التحقيق من صحته أو ضعفه فقد فسره بعض العلماء الأية الكريمة (وَلا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا)على شرف الحديث بأنه يجوز كشف الوجه والكفين
والدليل
وما رواه أبو داود من حديث عائشة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال لأسماء ( يا أسماء إن المرأة إذا بلغت المحيض لم يصلح أن يرى منها شيء إلا هذا وهذا، وأشار إلى وجهه وكفيه).
وهذا الحديث ضعيف ولكن الأمر المهم هنا هو أن من ضعف الحديث قال أن تغطية الوجه والكفين فرض واجب، وهذا لأن الحديث استثنى هذين الموضعين فهو صحيح من دون (إلا هذا وهذا، وأشار إلى وجهه وكفيه) ، ومن طعن في الحديث فإنه لن يستثني هذين الموضعين (إلا هذا وهذا، وأشار إلى وجهه وكفيه) فهو به ضعيف .
ومنها ما رواه الترمذي وغيره من حديث عمر أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: (من جرَّ ثوبهُ خيلاءَ لم ينظرْ اللهُ إليهِ يومَ القيامةِ فقالت أمُّ سلمةَ: فكيفَ يصنعُ النِّساءُ بذُيُولهنَّ؟ قال: يُرخينَ شبراً، فقالت: إذاً تنكشفُ أقدامُهُنَّ، قال: فيرخِينهُ ذراعاً لا يزدنَ عليهِ) . والحديث صححه الشيخ الألباني
أنظري يا أختى تغطية قدم المرأة بجلباب يطول زيله ذرعا حتى لا تفتن بالقدم فما بالك الوجه رفع الله شانكم
هذه تسعة أدلة من الكتاب والسنة .
الدليل العاشر :
الاعتبار الصحيح والقياس المطرد الذي جاءت به هذه الشريعة الكاملة وهو إقرار المصالح ووسائلها والحث عليها ، وإنكارالمفاسد ووسائلها والزجر عنها .
وإذا تأملنا السفور وكشف المرأة وجههاللرجال الأجانب وجدناه يشتمل على مفاسد كثيرة ، وإن قدر أن فيه مصلحة فهي يسيرةمنغمرة في جانب المفاسد . فمن مفاسده :
1ـ الفتنة ، فإن المرأة تفتن نفسها بفعل مايجمل وجهها ويُبهيه ويظهره بالمظهر الفاتن . وهذا من أكبر دواعي الشر والفساد .
2ـ زوال الحياء عن المرأة الذي هو من الإيمان ومن مقتضيات فطرتها . فقدكانت المرأة مضرب المثل في الحياء فيقال ( أشد حياءً من العذراء في خدرها ) وزوالالحياء عن المرأة نقص في إيمانها وخروج عن الفطرة التي خلقت عليها .
3ـافتتان الرجال بها لاسيما إذا كانت جميلة وحصل منها تملق وضحك ومداعبة كما يحصل منكثير من السافرات ، والشيطان يجري من ابن آدم مجرى الدم .
4ـ اختلاط النساءبالرجال فإن المرأة إذا رأت نفسها مساوية للرجل في كشف الوجه والتجول سافرة لم يحصل منها حياءٌ ولا خجل من مزاحمة الرجال ، وفي ذلك فتنة كبيرة وفساد عريض ، فقد أخرجالترمذي (5272) عَنْ حَمْزَةَ بْنِ أَبِي أُسَيْدٍ الأَنْصَارِيِّ عَنْ أَبِيهِ أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ وَهُوَخَارِجٌ مِنْ الْمَسْجِدِ فَاخْتَلَطَ الرِّجَالُ مَعَ النِّسَاءِ فِي الطَّرِيقِ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لِلنِّسَاءِاسْتَأْخِرْنَ فَإِنَّهُ لَيْسَ لَكُنَّ أَنْ تَحْقُقْنَ الطَّرِيقَ ، عَلَيْكُنَّ بِحَافَّاتِ الطَّرِيقِ . فَكَانَتْ الْمَرْأَةُ تَلْتَصِقُ بِالْجِدَارِ حَتَّىإِنَّ ثَوْبَهَا لَيَتَعَلَّقُ بِالْجِدَارِ مِنْ لُصُوقِهَا بِهِ ” حسنه الألباني في صحيح الجامع ( 929 )
انتهى من كلام الشيخ محمد ابن عثيمين رحمه الله من رسالة الحجاب بتصرف
هذه بحمد الله الدلاائل كلها
عليك بطريق الهدى .. ولا يضرك قلة السالكين **** وإياك وطرق الضلالة .. ولا تغتر بكثرة الـهـالـكـيـن
وأسأل الله أن يغفر لنا ولكم

Finallyy, Muslims do not follow libartarian teachings. They have the Qura’n and Sunnah. That is all that matters. There is no point in making comparisons between man-made teachings and what is ordained. In other words, even if you conform to the Qura’n and Sunnah in this matter but have not made the intention to follow the Qura’n and Sunnah and have not made the shahada, your behaviour is considered deficient and may not get the same rewards.

July 26th, 2010, 3:58 pm

 

Majed97 said:

I find it very amusing when I see the word freedom pops up whenever a particular group’s prejudice ideology is being exposed. Wahhabis’ attitude toward freedom and democracy is not unlike the Nazis love for them when they were struggling to gain power in Germany. They, just as the Nazis did before them, are capitalizing on the anger in the Middle East resulting from the misguided American policies in the region to gain popularity, and eventually full power.

Should they ever succeed in their quest, there is no guessing on what their first order of business would be; destroy the very same process that brought them power because if they rule by their principles of Islam (shariaa), freedom loses its meaning and value as soon as they win. They will quickly redefine freedom to mean obedience of a one supreme belief system that is not subject to any debate.

I’m not sure how to defend someone’s freedom to practice their values when that someone is diligently working on robbing me of my freedom to practice my own values. Where exactly do Christians, Jews, atheists, Buddhists, devil worshipers, and others fit in that wahhabi land? Do you really think for a minute their freedom would be protected should those opportunists ever gain power? Let’s not kid ourselves; we all know the answer to that…

July 26th, 2010, 5:02 pm

 

Idaf said:

Dear almasri,

With all due respect, the copied text by “accurate sources” you pasted is just the kind used by teachers in school to brainwash children. It is merely someone’s interpretations of scripture (who happen to belong to the Wahabi school of thought in this case).

I have not made “a fatwa”! I just stated a fact which I’ll repeat: “many muslims” (if I only judge by the vast network of acquaintances across several countries) do not consider this merely an extreme behavior, but a breach to the Islamic women rights. These are ordinary people who identify themselves as muslims. I stick by this factual statement.

This said, let me assure you that my credentials for making Islamic fatwas are as good as your credentials for performing Shinto purification ceremonies.

July 26th, 2010, 5:14 pm

 

almasri said:

Dear IDAF,

We provided you with a proof. You provided nothing except personal opinion based on some acquaintances. Muslims follow the Qura’n and Sunnah not acquaintances, as far as I know!!!

I too have a vast network of acquaintances (bigger than yours you can be certain of that) and they are spread all over the world. They agree that the face cover is part of the hijab and they know nothing about Wahhabism.

You too have a problem with the Wahhabis and the only way you can tackle the issue is by manufacturing an outside phantom to blame it on others? Are you saying that Syrian women never wore a face cover prior to the recent discovery of this phantom of Wahhabis?

July 26th, 2010, 5:44 pm

 

Norman said:

Islam is attractive because of the solidarity that the faithful have between each other not because of the cloths they wear , and for Islam to be acceptable and to spread in the West it has to be as it was in the early days , a religion that spread equality between the faithful , that protected the minorities and their rights for religious freedom and that blended in the nations that spread to , For Islam to spread in the West and be effective it has to be about the teaching of Islam and the solidarity between the faithful not the cloths they wear and the attention they get ,

July 26th, 2010, 9:58 pm

 

almasri said:

Dear Norman,

I always find your comments thoughtful, wise and the most balanced. It thas been my clear position since this issue came up that face cover and even hijab in general is the woman’s prerogative. I also understand it is also your position from reading many of your comments. It is the problem of those so-called ‘militant secularists’ who continue to use an issue of woman’s clothing and even without enough knowledge making such generalization based on a special licensing granted for the pilgrimimage.

Thanks for your last comment which I fully agree with. And for your information, Islam is growing and with the hijab right here in the heart of the USA and without need for indoctrination of the youth. Please, read this inspiring story about the renowned world columnist, Krista Bremer, and her family,

http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/personal/06/09/o.daughter.muslim.scarf/index.html

July 27th, 2010, 12:19 am

 

majed97 said:

First of all, who is this “renowned world columnist” Krista Bremer? but more importantly, why should her juvenile child’s life story/belief matter to this debate? There are millions of other stories about other people in this world that offer completely different views on life. Funny how Wahhabies cherry pick their inspiring stories and go out of their way to embellish them, only because they find some vindication in them (no matter how small it is) that serves their own prejudice ideology. But they somehow fail to acknowledge, often ridicule, the large majority of those non-Islamic based stories that are inspiring the rest of the world.

The real inspiration I get from this lady (Krista Bremer)is her open mind, respect and acceptance of her juvenile daughter’s choice of faith (Islam), even though she evidently doesn’t believe in it herself. How many Wahhabies will grant their children that liberty in choosing their own faith/life style? Worse yet, how many Wahhabies will grant adult Muslims that right? Remind me again of their punishment for those Muslims who choose to abandon Islam… Just imagine how inspiring their version of “freedom” would be to all of us, including Krista Bermer and her daughter, should those fanatics ever have any control. Give me a break…

July 27th, 2010, 2:47 pm

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To IDAF
To AlMASRI

– Women on pilgrimage, as you IDAF correctly pointed out, do not cover their face. That such behavior is deemed an exception by Wahhabi clerics is a convenient messaging of the facts to fit a political agenda. Sheikh Al-Uthaymeen’s fatwa is a part of a system of belief constructed by Wahhabi ulama to keep 50% of the potential political opposition of 50% of Saudi society nullified.

– Hopefully, sheikh Al-Uthaymeen’s fatwa on the niqab is not and will not be translated to English. It’ll become a new source laughter at Arabs and Muslims. Foreigners tend to lump all Muslims together. They do not distinguish between the tiny minority of Wahhabis and the majority of non-wahhabis. To them, all Muslims are alike–9/11, niqab, hijab, suckling adult men, Misyar, Mut’a, etc… Readers, including Muslims, will find in the sheikh’s fatwa naked aggression against women, using contorted reasoning in the name of age old desert laws purported to have come from God.

Sheikh Al-Uthameen’s ramblings use the Quran’s 24:31 to opine that women must don the hijab or the niqab. The sheikh says:

أن الله تعالى أمرالمؤمنات بحفظ فروجهن ، والأمر بحفظ الفرج أمرٌبما يكون وسيلة إليه ، ولا يرتاب عاقل أن من وسائله تغطية الوجه

That the sheikh equates a woman’s private sexual parts with her face is primitive and arrogant. A source of comfort here, however, is the fact that non-Wahhabi ulama and masses, representing 95% of world’s Muslims, disagree. Further, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Turkey, representing more than half of world Muslims have had women prime ministers or presidents who never covered their face.

To conclude that because a woman must cover her sexual parts she must also, by extension, cover her face is twisted reasoning. But, Why the surprise? Wahhabis regard the hair of a woman as well as her voice as parts of her erogenous zones. Turned into a daily common saying, Wahhabis repeat ahadith like: Women are light on brains and religion (The Six Books, Sahih Al-Bukhari, tradition 304, p. 26 and tradition 1951, p. 152, and Jame’ Al-Tirmithi, tradition 2613, p. 1915) and that most of those in hell are women (Sahih Al-Bukhari, traditions 304, p. 26; 3241, p. 263; 5197 and 5198, p. 450; 6449, p. 542; and, 6546, p. 549; and to Sahih Muslim, traditions 6938 to 6942, p. 1152; and to Jame’ Al-Tirmithi, tradition 2613, p. 1915). Such absurdities make God’s law a mockery. If one assumes that God’s justice means better than to stifle one half of the umma, then one should think that all these unjust rules are made and injected into Shari’a by men decades after 632, and not by very nice men.

If covering a woman’s face derives from the injunction to cover her sexual parts, does it follow that the sin of exposing a woman’s sexual parts publicly is equal in the eyes of sheikh Al-Uthaymeen to the sin of not covering her face?

One wonders whether Jahili women walked naked, and whether non-Muslim women today wear trousers, skirts, and underwear because of 24:32 or Wahhabi preaching.

If God wanted women to don the hijab or the niqab He could have said so in clear language without the need for the Al-Uthaymeens of the Muslim world to put words into His mouth.

To say that:
كشفه سبب للنظرإليها وتأمل محاسنها والتلذذ بذلك ، وبالتالي إلى الوصول والاتصال

is primal, to say the least. Looking at a woman’s face does not lead normal human beings to all what sheikh Al-Uthaymeen is fantasizing about.

Instead of trying to force people back to the seventh century, Sheikh Al-Uthaymeen and his colleagues would do a better deed if they explain the contradiction between the Prophet’s good treatment of his first wife Khadija and the way Shari’a law evolved to treat women as chattel.

It is either that the accounts of Khadija’s married life to the Prophet are fabricated and false or that Shari’a treatment of women is produced by sheikh Al-Uthaymeen’s predecessors, not by God, forced upon the faithful by the ulama class. Today these men control the ministries of education, awkaf, justice, etc.

اعلم أيها المسلم أن احتجاب المرأة عن الرجال الأجانب وتغطية وجهها أمر واجب

The suckling the adult fatwa destroys this statement. The suckling fatwa is not an invention by the enemies of Islam. The fatwa finds its roots in many ahadith–in Sahih Muslim, which dedicates a special section composed of six ahadith to “Suckling the Grown-up Man” (The Six Books, Sahih Muslim, traditions 3600 to 3605, p. 923). Also, in Sunan Abi Dawood, which dedicates a similar section composed of four ahadith to this subject (Ibid., traditions 2061 to 2063, pp. 1374-1375). Sheikh Abdulmohasen Al Obeikan, an adviser to the royal Saudi court confirmed the Suckling fatwa but said that that the drinking should be done from a cup after the woman had milked her breast in privacy. Another high profile Wahhabi A’alim, Abi Ishaq Al-Huwaini, rejected the cup notion, insisting the the suckling should be from the breast.

Elie

July 27th, 2010, 3:05 pm

 

almasri said:

To Elie,
Go study Islam in its proper institutions, declare the shahada publicly in front of a recognized imam and in front of witnesses, commit yourself in words and in deeds to its way of life, then come back and argue.

Otherwise, go find yourself some other entertainment.

July 27th, 2010, 4:03 pm

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To ALMASRI,

Thanks for the advice.

What we are doing here is not entertainment. It is the highest form of patriotism and dedication to democratic governance, human rights, and development.

I have kept and shall always keep my mind open to educating myself new ideas and ways of reasoning.

Hope that you’ll likewise succeed in keeping your mind open to educating yourself new ideas and ways of reasoning.

Then, we shall all become winners!

Elie

July 27th, 2010, 4:37 pm

 

almasri said:

To Elie,

So far you’ve proven to be a hopeless case, considering your previous and current contributions. Unfortunately, you may have taken a wrong turn in life which you may be the only one to know about.

But, despair not. Allah is most forgiving and most merciful. You can even submit yourself to Him even just before you make your last breath, but not afterwards.

If I were you I wouldn’t wait until then. If you maintain your current state of playfullness with the most sacred reason for your coming to life, you may depart a great loser. In other words your chances for success in submitting to Your Creator and declaring the shahada, which is your only guarantee, will diminish as you progress into that certain end.

July 27th, 2010, 5:16 pm

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To ALMASRI,

Thanks for the advice.

Your concern is appreciated.

Elie

July 27th, 2010, 5:45 pm

 

Husam said:

Joshua:

I am bewildered by your willingness in publishing Elhadj article which is nothing more than his personal grudge on Hijab & Niqab.

He failed to respond to anyone with credible refutations, and all he does is quote Wahabbis. He calls anyone who wears a hijab or niqab an Islamist (see how he cleverly inserted Hijab in a Niqab argument @ 31. He cared less to defend his previous article declaring those who disagreed low, Islamist, etc…out of cheer arrogance. Joshua you say debate is good, but are we further ahead? I certainly haven’t learned anything new. Or I am in an elite club here? Elhadj seems to make his appearance when commentators agree with him as @ 7. You give him the platform to spread his misguided interpretation of the Islamic books, then he comes back to collect his thank yours, kind of pathetic isn’t? I just don’t see how you insist that this is a healthy debate.

I am also amazed that with all the news and other relevant material out there, every second article lately is about niqab. Joshua, why are we chewing the same bone?

Besides, the sensational arguments about the Niqab being one of the major reasons of Syria’s retardation is unfounded.

July 27th, 2010, 7:29 pm

 

Husam said:

Elhadj:

Can you please give me some proofs showing that the curriculum of Saudi Arabia have infiltrated Syrian schools. Don’t tell me that they wear Niqab, it doesn’t cut it. Can you show me some proof that in “Syria“:

“In Ninth grade, teenagers are taught in apocalyptic terms that violence against Jews, Christians, and other non-believers is sanctioned by God.”

Joshua’s thesis for Brown University back in November 2003 where he interviewed 20 students on this specific aforementioned point about Jews & Christians where unheard of according to their testimony. All of them said, they did not know what he was talking about, and non heard this.

Can you provide any course outline, documentation, footage from 50% of the 200 schools to support your alarming article?

Elhadj, I read your full article which Joshua linked on your website which stated:

“That fifteen of the nineteen hijackers on September 11, 2001 were Saudis along with Osama Bin Laden and many of his lieutenants suggests a connection between Wahhabism, jihadism, and terrorism. This is not to imply, however, that 9/11 was a state-sponsored crime.”

According to the BBC and FBI reports 9 out of the 19 Hijackers are alive and well, don’t you know this? We all do, this is no theory. So do you think they are still Saudis? (BTW, I have no relation to S.A. or its people, but the facts are clear)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1559151.stm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Rqe3WeSyN0

Elhadj, you are untitled to an opinion like everyone else, but you are lacking in Islamic knowledge big time. You, yourself are making tafsir and deductions that God, should have, could have…yet you have ZERO credentials in Islam. Your style doesn’t impress me.

Lastly you say you have many Muslim friends, don’t you think your statement about what God “should have, could have” be insulting and blasphemous?

July 27th, 2010, 7:41 pm

 

Husam said:

Almasri:

Calling someone to Islam (d’awa) who obviously has an agenda to spread distortions about Islam and Muslims while claiming his secularist game to fame is not proper. Even if you are joking….

People who debate religion without any knowledge will fail to do any good but divide the people. All we have to do is state the facts, and let people judge for themselves.

As for the adult-suckling fatwa that Elahdj is so infatuated with, perhaps he fantasizes about it… I mean..errr…he is stuck on the nipple.

July 27th, 2010, 7:55 pm

 

almasri said:

Husam,

I am not joking at all.

It is my duty to remind him, and in fact it is the best I can do for him.

If I do not do it and argue with him as he desires, I’d be dishonest with him, myself and of course Allah.

Take example from your Prophet (PBUH) who called the most extreme of atheists among his people out of mercy to them.

July 27th, 2010, 8:08 pm

 

Badr said:

Husam,

Have you checked the update link

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2006/10/911_conspiracy_theory_1.html

provided inside the very same BBC story you linked to above?

July 28th, 2010, 2:44 am

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To Husam,

Thanks.

You said: “Can you please give me some proofs showing that the curriculum of Saudi Arabia have infiltrated Syrian schools. Don’t tell me that they wear Niqab, it doesn’t cut it.”

I never said that Saudi curriculum and textbooks are taught in Syria. Here is what I said:

“While Saudi textbooks might not be seen in Syria’s classrooms, the dogma, dictums, values, attitudes, and beliefs imparted through the words, mannerism, dress, and personal behavior of Islamist teachers would, nonetheless, mold impressionable young children with Arabia’s seventh century culture.”

Teachers do not need books or outside curricula to impart their opinions, ideas, beliefs, and values. Words, gestures, after class socializing are very effective. Driving the discussion in a direction the teacher wants does not need textbooks.

You say: “According to the BBC and FBI reports 9 out of the 19 Hijackers are alive and well, don’t you know this? We all do, this is no theory. So do you think they are still Saudis?”

Please, Husam, let us not get into conspiracy theories.
Badr in 40 liked to:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2006/10/911_conspiracy_theory_1.html

It is not foreign powers that keep Arab societies poor, illiterate, in ill health, barren in the sciences and the arts, absent from world competitions, etc… Arab countries are underdeveloped because of the refusal of the masses, controlled by the ulama class and by Islamic/Islanist tyrannical tribal rulers to separate Islam from the state. It is the absence of democracy, absence of human rights, absence of free debate, all being absent in the name God. These inhibit, in some cases nullify, the contribution of 50% of Arab populations in the name of archaic Shari’a based personal status laws.

Maintaining the status quo is the sharpest weapon the enemy can possibly have against the Arab peoples. Sadly, the malaise is self-inflicted.

I can go on and on. You know what I am talking about!

Elie

July 28th, 2010, 4:07 am

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

The following is submitted as a public service and as a complement to the somewhat dogmatic views proposed by Mr. Elie Elhadj.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/839668–married-toronto-preacher-benny-hinn-romantically-linked-to-healer

religion is such a personal thing!!!

July 28th, 2010, 7:52 am

 

Al Waleed said:

To Elie Elhadj.
I second Al Masri’s sound advice to you to go study Islam in its proper institutions. This is what he has probably done himself. There are some great institutions of learning and scholarship that are the envy of the world, particularly in Saudi Arabia. Terrific stuff on offer there. For example you can take a course dealing with all forms of hatred. Separate courses are available on hating the Jews,the Christians,the shias, and the sunnis who do not espouse wahhabism,etc. You may also take a course in the principles of Misyar marriage (also known as prostitution with the Ulamas blessings). Another course explores the theory and the practice of breastfeeding for adults. This is a very popular course indeed and it is generally oversubscribed as it may come in handy later when/if the student gets a job in an office with female co-workers. Alas, these august institutions do not place much stress on logic and reasoning, but the brain-dead students don’t seem to care or to notice anyway. I suspect that many regular contributors to the SC debates on Islam belong to that category.

July 28th, 2010, 9:33 am

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To Al WALEED

Thanks for the advice. Sadly, what you outlined is true, a lamentable state of affairs.

To Ghat Al Bird,

The immorality of the shyster in the link you provided is not surprising, nor, for that matter, the immorality of the chorus of evangelicals spewing their voodoo medicine and science every Sunday from Christian “holy” scripture to cure what modern science and medicine had failed to cure.

As abhorring, I should add, are the television shows that fill the Arabic airwaves with huge followings in search of advice from tricksters masquerading as pious ulama invoking supplications from the Quran and the Hadith, prescribing to naïve troubled questioners the “holy” Scriptures’ voodoo science and medicine to cure what modern science and medicine had failed to cure.

Both sets of “holy” men, Christian and Muslims, are despicable. Catholics already had their Martin Luther who manumitted them from the harsh control of their clergy. Hopefully, Muslims, too, will have their own Muslim Martin Luther soon.

Elie

July 28th, 2010, 11:10 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

What Happened to the Evil Neocons?

Husam states:

According to the BBC and FBI reports 9 out of the 19 Hijackers are alive and well, don’t you know this?

Husam,

A quick search shows who the 19 hijackers were, and their nationality. This link shows which hijackers were on each of the hijacked aircraft. None one survived any of the 4 hijacked aircraft.

As Mr. Elhadj mentioned, your conspiracy theories are a bit outdated.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijackers_in_the_September_11_attacks

Dear Mr. Elhadj,

It seems Professor Josh’s website has refrained from being an Arab-Israeli conflict sounding-board to a Islamist sounding board.

Good Luck with that! IMHO, if there is no tolerance for secular Arabs like yourself, there certainly isn’t going to be tolerance for other muslim sects, democracy, or countries like Israel.

And the Islamic intolerance displayed here shows no end in terms of hypocrisy. Assad the secularist is beloved, and the Saudi wahabbists are vilified. Go figure…

Anyway, keep up the good work.

AP

July 28th, 2010, 11:14 am

 

jad said:

Dear Al Waleed,
I agree that the issues you wrote does exist but I disagree of pointing out those few exceptional rules as the norm, none of those rules you mentioned are used or looked at as the norm in many Muslim countries or by Muslims as you already know, so writing about them as the norm goes under misunderstanding of Islam and a way to distort reality of the majorities of Muslim people, which I personally see it as unfair.
All religions without any exception have some weird rules and voodoo thinking in them and they are not that far from the rules you are making fun of.
Also all religions without any exception have the ‘holy’ scriptures used by clergy/rulers against the majority of people for better controlling and managing them, the way that keep the power in the hands of the few to control.

July 28th, 2010, 12:25 pm

 

jad said:

Dear Dr. Elie,
I do agree on many of your points because I don’t see your words the way some of the SC guys sees it as distort reality but the way I see it is a highlight of the real issues that we need to look at and correct to move forward which is a good thing and I appreciate your courage of sharing your ideas in words with us, besides, self criticizing and trying to enlighten our people about the weak points we have in our society and to spread knowledge and science into our people’s minds is the best gift any true patriot can give to his people.
I also agree with you when you wrote that “Maintaining the status quo is the sharpest weapon the enemy can possibly have against the Arab peoples. Sadly, the malaise is self-inflicted.”
Well said. Thank you.

July 28th, 2010, 12:27 pm

 

Elie Elhadj said:

AKBAR PALACE,

That Professor Joshua’s Website has been accommodating a discussion on Islamic governance and reform is highly commendable.

As you well know, Islam is a detailed way of life. It affects the individual, the family, the tribe, the state, etc. in every way, small and big. Under such conditions, no political reform, no economic reform, no legal reform, no social reform, no educational reform, no any reform is possible without religious reform. In bringing religious reform issues to the fore, SC is making a significant contribution. I cannot think of any more worthy cause to propound in the Middle East than religious reform and secularization.

Issues of religious nature are taboo. Generally, no Arab; individual or institution wants to get involved in religious debate due to political correctness, fear from Islamists’ violence, but above all fear of getting in trouble with the laws, which goes as far as criminalizing such discussions under blasphemy laws, or the ludicrous charge of “weakening the national spirit”.

Arabs in Europe or the U.S. are handicapped regarding religious reform discussions. Most Western and Arab media act as apologists and propagandists for Arab governments, especially Saudi Arabia. While criticism of an Arab country’s economic or political performance is rather infrequent, material relating to Islamic reform is practically non existent, save for some individual effort here and there.

Westerners, especially Americans do not appreciate the effect of religion in general, Islam in particular, on decision making. Their culture is secular. Religion and the state are mutually exclusive.

For SC to Bring to its readers critical religious issues to debate and contemplate is truly wonderful.

Elie

July 28th, 2010, 1:17 pm

 

Husam said:

Badr: I could give you a ton of evidence regarding 9/11 being a cover up, but you are blind and already referring to facts as theories. But of course, you think Muslims are behind it all.

I am not going to waste my time…

July 28th, 2010, 2:51 pm

 

Husam said:

Elie:

Speaking of conspiracy theories, the dogma, dress, values etc…are all a theory! Just because someone is religious and just because you don’t like the way they dress in a certain school doesn’t mean that Wahabism has infiltrated Syrian main street. Show me the evidence Mr. Elhadj!? In light of your failure, I now pronounce you a conspiracy theorist! You said “values” referring to Islamic values, which you need to realize: you know nothing of. You link Islam and Hijabis to all ills of the middle east first and foremost, and this is unacceptable.

You think that all the evidence regarding 9/11 is a conspiracy theory, fine. Funny how those who believe that there is no cover up are the same people who are distorting Islam. They dismiss firemen footage of detonation, ignore reports that Building 7 fell before it actually did, thermite residue, Twin Tower architects testimony, experts in all fields, etc…

You said: “…..controlled by the ulama class and by Islamic/Islanist tyrannical tribal rulers to separate Islam from the state.” Which ulamas, sheikhs, Islanist, tribal ruler controls Syria? Al-Baath last time I checked was not an Islamist movement. Elie, your angle is desperate and your plays with words are immature.

July 28th, 2010, 3:10 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Elie,

Thank you for the clarification.

I just feel as though you’re swimming against a huge tide. And although I appreciate the “discussion” (you against the SC, pro-Islamist “Arab Street”), I can’t help noticing that your outnumbered.

Issues of religious nature are taboo. Generally, no Arab; individual or institution wants to get involved in religious debate due to political correctness, fear from Islamists’ violence, but above all fear of getting in trouble with the laws, which goes as far as criminalizing such discussions under blasphemy laws, or the ludicrous charge of “weakening the national spirit”.

“Fear from Islamists’ violence”? Yes, although muslims kill orders of magnitude more muslims than Zionists, it seems that only Zionists get the blame. In fact, I never read complaints about the horrible attrocities the recent muslim terrorists/jihadists inflict on the region, and, of course, the Assads and Saddam Hussein are regarded as heroes.

This is the double-standard you seem to be fighting.

AP

July 28th, 2010, 3:23 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

AP.

Since Elie was considerate enough to clarify things for you hopefully you can reciprocate and clarify what do the Zionist Rabbis mean when they claim that the difference between the soul of a “jew” and the soul of non jews is akin to the difference between the soul of a human [the jew] and the soul of “cattle” [all non jews]

Another anecdotal reference according to one US website in defining dictas of the Sanhedrin Talmud states that Sanhedrin 53 states in part that a Jewish man can marry a three year [and one day] old girl.

Are the above the views and practices standard practices still?

July 28th, 2010, 3:58 pm

 

EHSANI2 said:

Husam,

My own metric of halting a discussion with a person across from me on any issues of substance is when I hear him describe how 09/11 took place with prior knowledge of the CIA and the Jews or anything similar to your comment above when you said:

“They dismiss firemen footage of detonation, ignore reports that Building 7 fell before it actually did, thermite residue, Twin Tower architects testimony, experts in all fields, etc…”

Frankly, when the level of denial get this high while the IQ gets this low, it leaves one with very little option but to walk away and find something better to do with his time. You will hopefully not get too offended by my low IQ remark.

July 28th, 2010, 4:03 pm

 

Husam said:

Ehsani2:

If my IQ is so low, why are you wasting your time with me? You are coming to help out your old buddy Elhadj?

So basically the list below all have low IQ’s…..

400+ Medical Professionals
220+ Senior Military, Intelligence Service, Law Enforcement, and Government Officials
1,200+ Engineers and Architects
250+ Pilots and Aviation Professionals
400+ Professors Question 9/11
300+ 9/11 Survivors and Family Members
200+ Artists, Entertainers, and Media Professionals

Do me a favor hit the link and read up on who’s who si questioning 9/11, then come back here and tell me I have low IQ.

http://patriotsquestion911.com/

Sample of 220 top military commanders:

– Major General Albert Stubblebine, U.S. Army (ret) – Former Commanding General of U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, 1981 – 1984. Also commanded the U.S. Army’s Electronic Research and Development Command and the U.S. Army’s Intelligence School and Center. Former head of Imagery Interpretation for Scientific and Technical Intelligence. 32-year Army career.

– General Wesley Clark, U.S. Army (ret) – Former Commanding General of U.S. European Command, which included all American military activities in the 89 countries and territories of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Additionally, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), which granted him overall command of NATO military forces in Europe 1997 – 2001. Awarded Bronze Star, Silver Star, and Purple Heart for his service in Viet Nam and numerous subsequent medals and citations. Graduated valedictorian of his class at West Point.

– Col. Ronald D. Ray, U.S. Marine Corps (ret) – Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Reagan Administration and a highly decorated Vietnam veteran (two Silver Stars, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart). Appointed by President George H.W. Bush to serve on the American Battle Monuments Commission (1990 – 1994), and on the 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces. Military Historian and Deputy Director of Field Operations for the U.S. Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington, D.C. 1990 – 1994.

– Lt. Col. Robert Bowman, PhD, U.S. Air Force (ret) – Director of Advanced Space Programs Development under Presidents Ford and Carter. U.S. Air Force fighter pilot with over 100 combat missions. (PhD in Aeronautics and Nuclear Engineering, Cal Tech). Former Head of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering and Assistant Dean at the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology. 22-year Air Force career. Also taught Mathematics and English at the University of Southern California, the University of Maryland, and Phillips University.

– Col. Donn de Grand-Pre, U.S. Army (ret) (1926 – 2009) – Former Director, Ground Weapons Systems, Office of International Logistics Negotiations serving as chief Pentagon arms negotiator for the Middle East. Former Civilian Deputy Chief of the International Division, Office of the Chief of Research and Development. Also served as Commander of Special Troops for the U.S. Army Reserves. Served as radio operator in World War II. Became commissioned officer in 1950. Infantry troop leader and paratrooper, as well as a combat troop commander and intelligence officer with the 27th Infantry “Wolfhound” Regiment in Korea 1950 – 1953. Sustained major injuries in Korea 1953. FAA certified private pilot. Author of Confessions of an Arms Peddler (1979), Barbarians Inside the Gates Book 1 (2000), The Viper’s Venom: (Book III) (2002), Look Homeward Cowboy: A Saga of World War II (2002), The Rattler’s Revenge: Barbarians Inside the Gates (Book III) (2003), The Boys from Bent Willow: A Saga of World War II (2003).

– Lt. Col. Shelton F. Lankford, U.S. Marine Corps (ret) – Retired U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot with over 300 combat missions flown. Decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross and 32 awards of the Air Medal. Aircraft flown: Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, Lockheed C-130H Hercules. 10,000+ total hours flown. 20-year Marine Corps career.

– Col. Karen U. Kwiatkowski, PhD, U.S. Air Force (ret) – Former Political-Military Affairs Officer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Also served on the staff of the Director of the National Security Agency. 20-year Air Force career. Member adjunct faculty, Political Science Department, James Madison University. Instructor, University of Maryland University College and American Public University System. Author of African Crisis Response Initiative: Past Present and Future (2000) and Expeditionary Air Operations in Africa: Challenges and Solutions (2001).

and the list goes on, and on…..

… guys you gotta see their pictures and credentials.

July 28th, 2010, 4:33 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Ghat’s Underage Marriage Concerns

Since Elie was considerate enough to clarify things for you hopefully you can reciprocate and clarify what do the Zionist Rabbis mean …

Ghat,

I agree, Elie IS considerate. He’s also an Arab moderate. More rare than a flawless diamond. That is just one reason why I like to read his posts, despite the harranging he gets here from the jihadist sympathizers.

Are the above the views and practices standard practices still?

Ghat,

I’m not sure you’re an expert on modern jewish “standard practices”, but the law in Israel is that no one under the age of 17 may marry except for unusual circumstances.

http://www.family-laws.co.il/marriage-options-in-Israel

Also, what “Zionist rabbis” say is ridiculous. Post the link. Show it. Why don’t you do what MEMRI does, and create a website showing all the horrible anti-Mulsim statements made by Israeli government representatives or shown in the hebrew media.

It will never compare to the anti-semitism reeking throughout Arab government spokespersons, clerics, and the arab media.

July 28th, 2010, 4:47 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

AP.

You asked for it.

From the book by Schneerson, Gatherings of Conversations, published in 1965. Quoted in: Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky, Jewish Fundamentalism (London: 1999), pp. 59-60.
( http://www.mailstar.net/shahak2.html )
(http://members.tripod.com/alabasters_archive/jewish_fundamentalism.html)
Also cited by Jewish scholar Allan C. Brownfeld in his review published in The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March 2000.

July 28th, 2010, 6:12 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Now Ghat has “Fundamentalist” Concerns (it used to be child marriage)

Ghat,

I don’t know what “jewish fundamentalism” is in Israel, since Israel has no state religion, and freedom of religion in Israel is guaranteed.

Further, the article you linked to does not show what I am saying (that the Arab goverment-controlled media is anti-semitic) is false.

The author’s premise is:

Although possessing nearly all the important social scientific properties of Islamic and Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism is practically unknown outside of Israel and certain sections of a few other places.

On the contrary, Jewish, Muslim and Christian “fundamentalism” is a known phenomenon and has been reported in abundance throughout the world.

However, I am not aware of any Christian or Jewish State that supports terrorism (as defined by the US State Dept) and isn’t free.

July 28th, 2010, 7:06 pm

 

Husam said:

Elie:

Your article is titled “Stop Wahhabi indoctrination in Syrian Youth”. You failed to show credible evidence and you are going by your “feeling” and your hatred of Islam. If your aim was to disqualify some corrupt shieks, mullahs, or wahhabism (movement) then more power to you, however, you hit the core with B.S. and you insert wickedness and distortions.

You said that Bukhari narrated Muhammah (PBUH) said: “mostly women are in hell”. He said what he saw, if you have a complaint, go complain to God.

Let us look at 1 Corinthians 11:6 “For if a woman will not veil herself then she should cut off her hair, but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil…for man was not created from woman but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman but woman for man.”

Let us look at Ecclesiastes 25:22 “Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die.” (from the Catholics Bible).

Let us look at Ecclesiastics 7:26-28 “And I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare….while I was still searching but not finding, I found one upright man among a thousand but not one upright woman among them all”.

Let us look at Ecclesiasticus 22:3 “The birth of a daughter is a loss” (From the Catholics Bible). What more despising statement to women than this do we need to read?

Let us look at the Tenth Commandment, Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour [this includes the wife as a belonging].” This verse lumps a wife together with his servants, animals and house.

Let us look at Exodus 21:7 “If a man sells his daughter as a servant….” A man could sell his daughter as a slave as he chose.

Let us look at 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 “As in all Churches of the saints, the woman should be subordinate as even the law says…for it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” If a women can’t even speak… what is she good for?

Let us look at 1 Timothy 2:11 “Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or have authority over men. She is to keep silent, for Adam was formed first then Eve, and Adam was not deceived but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.” Never mind teaching in Niqab, according to the Bible, women shouldn’t even teach period.

For those who are going to tell me that this is not about comparative religion, I am not comparing, I am showing support from the Bible for women in hell, head covering, and being teachers all of which encompass this article and various comments which seems to be the interest of many on SC.

Elie, are you enjoying this, I am using your very own Elhadj style…can you please explain the above, or do you know more about the interpretation of the Quran than you do the Bible? And, please don’t run away claiming we are too low for you. How about the Vatican’s influence and corruption, do you want to discuss this? No, I haven’t a CV, nor a PHd, and I haven’t written any books.

Ok, fine, too much for you to handle…what about the shaven head, do you fancy that with some breast milk…err..ok in a cup? You say you have no agenda against Islam or Muslims, lets see you get into some deep criticism about the Bible.

July 28th, 2010, 8:54 pm

 

Norman said:

Husam ,

Elie is not anti Islam , but against Islam as it is interpreted in the Hadith , i did not see him arguing against the Koran ,

Christians and Jews do not use the bible for laws of daily work , you do not Use the Koran but use what many Muslims do not agree on the Hadith , so when you see many of the things that seem appalling in the bible , we agree and thing they are out of line and we do not use them because they do not make sense , do some people who are fanatics do , yes , but the laws that we live with are not based on the Bible ,they are laws made for current time and backed by the supreme interpretation of the constitution , don’t you live in the US and don’t you like the laws in the US , how do you think that that these laws are not good for your fellow Arabs ,

By the way in Islam Judaism and Christianity is recognized and part of Islam that came to complete not to overturn , so be careful criticizing other religions that are essential and part of Islam ,

July 28th, 2010, 10:52 pm

 

almasri said:

Norman,

I did not expect such comment from you.

Hadith IS part of Islam. Anyone who attacks hadith is against Islam. What you call differences in hadith are NOT looked at as differences by Muslims.

Islam recognizes Judaism and Christianity. But Judaism and Christianity are NOT essential parts of Islam.

ONLY Qur’an and Sunnah are the essential parts of Islam and that is a consensus comprising over 99% of Muslims of various sects. Muslims do not need to reference other sources than these two.

Non-Muslims will do well to refrain from making such generalizations that they have no knowledge of or at best very deficient knowledge.

Finally, it is your choice to follow which ever laws you would like to follow. So far, Muslims by and large are happy with their Islamic Laws, and it seems to be their choice for the quite sometime to come.

July 29th, 2010, 12:15 am

 

David said:

An important and enjoyable discussion, on an important issue for Syria. But surely, if God had been serious about requiring women to cover their faces, God would have stated this explicitly in the Q’ran, rather than relying on the imperfect recollections and interpretations of imperfect humans to convey this requirement at a later date. If in fact God DOES require womens’ faces to be covered, how many generations of virtuous but bare-faced women can expect to suffer in hell because this wasn’t made known until recently?

The unfortunate truth of the matter is that religions tend to adapt to accommodate and reinforce the cultural practices of their adherents. If your culture wants your women’s faces to be covered, then it’s reassuring to be told that you’re not just doing it to maintain tribal traditions, you’re doing it because your god wants you to, and that you are a better person for forcing them to cover up.

July 29th, 2010, 1:51 am

 

LeoLeoni said:

First of all I salute your patience Dr. Elie. Please continue your hard efforts and exposing the retardation in our societies. So far I haven’t seen one decent objective reply to your points, especially from this guy Husam who thinks that you are here to defend Christianity or something.

Husam, I don’t see the point of you posting all this stuff from the Bible in such a discussion as the topic itself has nothing to do with Christianity and our societies are not ruled by Bible ordained laws.

Also all this crap of accusing Dr. Elie of blasphemy is a way used by those religious fanatics to shut people up and to stop them from reforming our society. It’s ironic how those same religious extremists talk about the need for political freedom yet they don’t even believe in the basic notions of freedom of speech and freedom of thought. People in our societies have the right to dislike sharia and religious laws and see that they are outdated laws that have no place in our society and they have the right to speak out loud about it without others calling for their silence or death. This is the 21st century, not the dark ages.

To sum up the response of those ignorant Islamists and their sympathizers, their usual standard reply is this:

1.”You are not a muslim, thus you don’t understand Islam.”
2. Even if you are a muslim, “you do not have enough knowledge of the Arabic language to understand the meaning of scripture.”
3. Even if you have sufficient knowledge of the language, “you do not have sufficient knowledge of Islam, did you study Sharia? Are you a graduate of Al Azhar? Did you study under a prominent Imam?”
4. Even if you had all the above and disagreed with them, they would tell you that “you have been led astray, may god guide you to the righteous path before it is too late.”
5. “Other religions contain bogus stuff as well, why are you attacking my religion”
6. “we are the majority, we have a right to impose our faiths and the laws derived from it on others”

All these sneaky fear tactics is for them to hold society hostage to their medieval interpretation of religion. I wonder when these fanatics will realize that religion is a personal matter and has no place in politics and state affairs. No wonder we are so backward in almost all matters of life.

July 29th, 2010, 3:04 am

 

LeoLeoni said:

There are some other issues I didn’t post in my previous post.

Al Masry you said that anyone who is against Hadith is against Islam. This is not true. There are many Muslims who do not consider the Hadiths you believe in as authentic and yet still consider themselves Muslim. The Shia are an example, despite knowing that some radical sunnis consider shias “rawafed” and that they are not Muslim. There are also others like the Qura2anis who do not adhere to the Hadith because they consider Hadith was written down around 200 years after the death of Muhammed and that it has been widely distorted.

As for the sharia, you said:
“So far, Muslims by and large are happy with their Islamic Laws, and it seems to be their choice for the quite sometime to come.”

Majority of Muslims do not want to impose sharia, especially in Syria. Most Arabic countries realized more than 50 years ago that Sharia has no place in the criminal laws, business laws, administrative laws etc. They do not want to see people’s hands and feet cut off or people stoned to death in the market place. They kept sharia involved in the Personal status laws and some countries like Tunisia realized after that they they are not suitable to modern day life. Tunisia abolished sharia from personal status laws and Syria is coming up with a new personal status laws. Those who keep calling for the imposition of sharia and the Islamization of society are the Muslim brotherhood and their Salafi counterpart. In Syria for example, those groups are a minority and even the majority of Sunnis views them as extremists and radicals who use Islam as a curtain for their political ambitions. Since you seem to be sympathetic to this group and your name is AlMasry which translates to The Egyptian, I ask you, are you even Syrian?

July 29th, 2010, 3:25 am

 

Elie Elhadj said:

HUSAM,

In 50 You said: “Speaking of conspiracy theories, the dogma, dress, values etc…are all a theory! Just because someone is religious and just because you don’t like the way they dress in a certain school doesn’t mean that Wahabism has infiltrated Syrian main street. Show me the evidence”

You know, I know, every one knows that teachers can influence the thinking of their students, especially young children. In the ME there is the common proverb “whoever teaches me one letter of the alphabet turns me into his/her slave”. Please, let us not split hair on this anymore.

You said that I “think that all the evidence regarding 9/11 is a conspiracy theory”,

Usama bin Laden boasted that his followers committed that horrible act on 9/11, which blackened the face of Islam and all Muslims, especially Arabs all over the creation.

You said: “Which ulamas, sheikhs, Islanist, tribal ruler controls Syria? Al-Baath last time I checked was not an Islamist movement”.

My statement is generic. It applies to Arab governance generally; namely, non-representative, tribal, tyrannical, exploits Islam through ruling families coalitions with their palace ulama to anesthetize the populace into believing that blind obedience to Arab kings and presidents is a form of piety, citing Quranic and Hadith injunctions.

To AP,

You said: “I just feel as though you’re swimming against a huge tide.

You are correct. The subject broached here has been taboo. As I wrote in 48, no one dares talk about it for fear of being accused of kufr and execution. The call to apply philosophical reasoning to Islamic dogma in the same way philosophical reasoning is applied to Christianity and other dogmas has been considered blasphemy for the past eleven centuries by the ulama class to protect their jobs and exploitation of the faithful and the Muslim rulers who need their palace ulama to prolong their tyranny in the name of God. I realize that this course of action is lonely, arduous, even dangerous. However, a start must be made. Change takes place very slowly, one person at a time. I am certain that over the years, decades, generations this course will gain momentum to finally usher the ME into the modern age. All the fictitious victories Arab rulers invent every day will not be to true victories unless religious reform and separation of Islam from the state is achieved first.

To HUSAM,

In 58 you spoke of my: “hatred of Islam”.

I have not a spec of hatred to Islam. You do not know who I am. One day you might learn of who introduced Islamic banking to the world in a major way.

You also said that I: “hit the core with B.S.” and inserted “wickedness and distortions”.

Whenever I mentioned the Quran I quoted the Sura and the Aya. Whenever I mentioned the Hadith, I quoted the collector, who by the way is always one of the six canonical collectors, the narration, its number, and the page number where the Hadith appears. Where did I ever invent anything? That such detailed quoting of the sources gets you uncomfortable, should not lead you to accuse me of “wickedness and distortions”.

Please point out specific facts and quotations that I distorted.

You said that I said: “Bukhari narrated Muhammah (PBUH) said: “mostly women are in hell”. He said what he saw, if you have a complaint, go complain to God”.

“If you have a complaint, go complain to God” is at the core of this discussion. This attitude is precisely why I have been spending time and energy here. This blind referral to God, this thoughtless acceptance of what might be dubious in authenticity and contradictory in content without the slightest questioning is at the core of the challenge. The historicity of the Quran and the Hadith should be examined scientifically and logically away from the neat constructions of the traditionists. Such an examination is important to reconcile the contradictions and inconsistencies in Islam’s holy scripture.

The list of Biblical quotations you provided is curious. I hope you do not expect me to condone or defend it. I do not. I totally and completely reject and abhor every word. Two wrongs do not make one right. Further, you should not expect me to tell you “go complain to God” as you had told me. If this is the work of God, then I have nothing to do with that God. And, please don’t tell that your God is better than this God.

As NORMAN said in 59: “Christians and Jews do not use the bible for laws of daily work.” Thank goodness for that. Muslims, too, should keep Islam to themselves and not mix it with the state. Nations’ prosperity is a function of their ways of life. Muslim nations are pathetic due to their way of life. Even the oil rich ones are pathetic–they produce nothing, invent nothing, create nothing. They use their oil money, discovered and used by foreigners to embark on some of the most obscene behavior ever seen.

To ALMASRI,

You said: “Hadith IS part of Islam. Anyone who attacks hadith is against Islam”.

There is no disagreement on that. The disagreement is over whether or not the historicity of the Quran and the Hadith should be examined scientifically and logically away from the neat constructions of the traditionists. Such an examination important to reconcile the contradictions and inconsistencies in Islam’s holy scripture.

Elie

July 29th, 2010, 4:01 am

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To LeoLeoni,

Thank you for the kind words and for the summary of Islamists’ standard monologue of attack on whoever disagrees with their ways.

Husam’s statement: “if you have a complaint, go complain to God” is symptomatic of and at the heart of the malaise. At issue here is not God. At issue is the accuracy or inaccuracy of what God had reportedly said. The contradictions in Islam’s holy scripture deserve an objective scientific examination similar to the examination that Christianity is subjected to in order to determine the truthfulness of what was reported by clerics, politicians, rulers, and sometimes by rascals.

Taha Hussein (1889-1973), philosopher, historian, and doyen of Arabic literature contended in 1926 that the great majority of the poetry reputed to be pre-Islamic had been forged by Muslims of a later date and has nothing to do with Jahiliyya. Such poetry, Professor Hussein continues, is Islamic, representing the life of the Muslims, their predilections, and inclinations more than the life of the Jahilis.

If what is believed today to be jahili poetry is likely to be invented during the Islamic era, what else might be false from the Islamic era?

The senior Saudi cleric Abdulmohsen Al-Ubaikan declared in July 2010 that Sahih Muslim contains traditions that violate the Quran as well as traditions in Sahih Al-Bukhari.

Post 9/11, it should be in the interest of all peoples, especially Muslims, to know whether the violent and intolerant parts of the Islamic creed are genuine. My guess is that that these parts are not genuine. But I need to see scholarly scientific work first to support my own guess.

As for your comment 62, I support all that you have said.

Elie

July 29th, 2010, 5:08 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Dear Mr. Elhadj,

Now when my friends here in the US ask me why there are no moderate Arabs speaking against their own governments and clerics, I can tell them they are wrong. I know at least one person who is trying to change the system (among a handful of others), despite the apologists, jihadists, and Baathist sympathizers.

“Yashar Koach” (strength to you and your endeavors)

AP

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wafa_Sultan

July 29th, 2010, 10:22 am

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

AP said:

However, I am not aware of any Christian or Jewish State that supports terrorism (as defined by the US State Dept) and isn’t free.

Is that the same US State Department whose Jewish head by the name of Madeleine Allbright stated that its worth “killing 500,000 children in Iraq” as per the following interview on CBS?

Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: “WE think the price is worth it.”

July 29th, 2010, 11:21 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Ghat,

Keep trying. Firstly, Madeline Albright is Christian. You keep bring up Judaism for some strange reason. If she or even you want to follow the Jewish faith, you can at any time.

Secondly, the death of all these children was 100% Saddam Hussein’s fault. No US economic sanctions against Iraq included food and medicines. In any case, she apologized/clarified, although, IMHO, she didn’t need to.

http://www.fff.org/comment/com0311c.asp

Once again Ghat, you nitpic when it comes to American, Israeli, and Jewish comments but you ignore the worse intolerance in the world when it comes to your own people. Why?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madeleine_Albright

July 29th, 2010, 11:47 am

 

jad said:

Dear Dr. Elhadj,
Thank you for your engagement, explanations and your patience (as Leo wrote), I’m enjoying the debate and I can see the gap in the communication level between the use of ‘takfeer’ language and your ‘ta3leem’ and ‘tas7i7’ one.
I agree with what you wrote and I’m very impressed of your elegant attitude, I just wish that we have many Muslim scholars having your strength to change out society and help it go forward faster.

I think the difference between the west and us is that the changes there happened from down all the way up and as you wrote in your other articles that there the power in the state is to people while for us Arabs we are still in the up to down power pattern and as you wrote that the power in our states is for God.
If all those in power be it presidents, kings and Sheikhs don’t want to change and if our people still believe that everything happens by fate and that nobody can change a thing without God help how can we ever move forward. I’m like you I doubt that anything will happen in our area anytime soon.

Good luck in your struggle with us all; it’s a very tough and dangerous battle.

July 29th, 2010, 12:05 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

AP. your obstinacy or idiocy or both is bein exposed.

Albright was born Marie Jana Korbelová (Czech pronunciation: [ˈmarɪjɛ ˈjana ˈkorbɛlovaː]) in the Smíchov district of Prague, Czechoslovakia. At the time of her birth, Czechoslovakia had been independent for less than twenty years, having gained independence from Austria after World War I. Her father, Josef Korbel, was a JEWISH Czech diplomat and supporter of the early Czech democrats, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and Edvard Beneš.[5]

She was his first child with his JEWISH wife, Anna (née Spieglová), who later also had another daughter Katherine (a schoolteacher) and son John (an economist).

July 29th, 2010, 12:45 pm

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To AP,

Thanks. In addition to what you said, please tell your friends in D.C. that in supporting their Wahhabi clients lies a mortal danger. The extremist religious foundation upon which 9/11 was built is still intact, alive and well. The havoc in Afghanistan/Pakistan today is the product of years of Wahhabi money, schooling, and indoctrination of the poverty stricken people there. To eliminate a terrorist cell or a thousand cells will not root out terrorism. Not only must the material and the financial infrastructure of terrorism be destroyed, but also the religious foundation upon which jihadism rests, starting with Wahhabism.

To Jad,

Thank you. The soundness of your diagnosis fills me with hope that a momentum has been established to discuss what has traditionally been a taboo subject. The more religious reform and separation of Shari’a law from the state are debated the closer to reality they’ll get. Only a few weeks ago I could not have imagined that a public discussion of these delicate issues could be possible. SC broke the ice. SC deserves to become the catalyst that helps facilitate ushering religious reform and prosperity to a troubled Arab world.

Elie

July 29th, 2010, 1:48 pm

 

Husam said:

Jad:

Thank you for your glorification of Elhadj, your buddy. What is striking is that you elevate him to a “Muslim Scholar”. We don’t need t’aleem & t’ash7i7″ from a secularist who spreads misconceptions about Islam.

You said: “Arabs we are still in the up to down power pattern and as you wrote that the power in our states is for God.”

Why don’t you declare yourself an atheist and be done with it already.

You said: “our people still believe that everything happens by fate and that nobody can change a thing without God help how can we ever move forward.”

By any standard, this statement is one of a disbeliever in the creation. Thank you for coming out. I still respect athiests, but it is good to know what and whom we are dealing with.

About: “Good luck in your struggle with us all; it’s a very tough and dangerous battle.” Dangerous battle…ehw…they going to kill us all! There were many of “the us” who came before you and tried to infest Islam in the name of modernaization. Islam isn’t against modernization, you just need people to understand it properly and to expose those who have nothing better to do than to distort it. No, the Arabs don’t like to live like and think like the West.

July 29th, 2010, 1:51 pm

 

Husam said:

Elie:

Why is not important to you what 370 top commanders, intelligence officers, and pilots think about 9/11? Are you that arrogant?

http://patriotsquestion911.com

It certainly shuttered your buddy Ehsani2

July 29th, 2010, 2:07 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

In addition to what you said, please tell your friends in D.C. that in supporting their Wahhabi clients lies a mortal danger. The extremist religious foundation upon which 9/11 was built is still intact, alive and well.

Elie,

Spoken like a true “extremist” neocon;). Actually, it was only the neocons that were pressuring the Saudi government the few years they were in power.

In my estimation, the 1 and only 1 answer to this issue is to stop buying oil.

The electric car, solar, wind and nuclear energy, can do this.

I wish we were further along than we are.

July 29th, 2010, 2:25 pm

 

almasri said:

Husam,

I am not going to say you have low IQ. I believe the person who made that comment is rude and attempting to project a pontificating attitude towards you.

What I am going to say is that you’re giving elhadge more credit than he deserves.

If I were you, I wouldn’t have made any comments to his obvious mediocrity. I am not saying that my approach with him is the ideal one to follow, but if you noticed I made my replies to him the briefest that can be made. I would even say some of your comments are way off-topic.

I’ll make something clear to you. SC is full of commenters who act as an orchestra, reinforcing each other’s arguments by even defying logic and common sense. You are attempting to make a debate but there is no debating going on this site particularly with people like elhadge and his orchestra. You have fallen into the trap of just what elhadge wants since you initiated your comment 36. He is enjoying the entertainment as he watches the number of comments growing as a result of your frustration.

Such people need to be dragged and dropped straight to the recycle bin on your desktop. PERIOD.

July 29th, 2010, 2:33 pm

 

Husam said:

Elie:

You said: “You know, I know, everyone knows that teachers can influence the thinking of their students, especially young children. In the ME there is the common proverb “whoever teaches me one letter of the alphabet turns me into his/her slave”. Please, let us not split hair on this anymore.”

I am not saying such things don’t exist, I am saying show us, Mr, Dr, Author, PhD, Islamic Banking, how is the “INDOCTRINATION” taking place on the Syrian Youth, meaning wide and large. I don’t believe what I read on the internet and hear outright, I only believe facts, which you have none of. So, stop beating around the bush. You used that term, so support it, otherwise withdraw your article. Yes, teachers can influence children, so, and what? Show us the wave of Wahhabism in Syria. Just because some women wear a proper Hijab doesn’t make her a Wahhabi. Perhaps you are confusing people becoming more religious in Syria with Wahhabism due to your long and tiring experiences in S.A. which seems like it had an ingrained reference point for you personally.

You said: “Usama bin Laden boasted that his followers committed that horrible act on 9/11, which blackened the face of Islam and all Muslims, especially Arabs all over the creation.”

Osama Bin Laden videos are iron clad forgeries (his nose grows longer every time). Please stop with this B.S., we all know that he was a CIA asset. Why did you omit to comment on the thousand of military personnel, scientist, etc…who dispute the official story of 9/11? Did you visit the site I linked you and read some credentials; did you like their pictures? I am curious to know if their achievements and IQ is too low for these patriots as well.

9/11 did not blacken the face of Islam. Islam weathered 1500 years of distortions, so one false flag operation will do nothing bad to Islam. Intellectuals like you know that Islam condones such acts. A statement was made by unified Islamic Scholars condemning this act, as I am sure you know of. In fact, sales of Quran and conversions to Islam sky rocketed in the years after 9/11.

Side note: prior to September 11th, I knew nothing about my faith… but due to the wrongful blame on Islam, I researched long and hard to renounce my faith, and guess what… I found the truth. I also became an expert on how to spot people who spread misconceptions, like you, from miles away due to the amount anti-Islamic rhetoric that are all over the internet.

You said: “Which ulamas, sheikhs, Islanist, tribal ruler controls Syria? Al-Baath last time I checked was not an Islamist movement”. My statement is generic. It applies to Arab governance generally; namely, non-representative, tribal, tyrannical, exploits Islam through ruling families coalitions with their palace ulama to anesthetize the populace into believing that blind obedience to Arab kings and presidents is a form of piety, citing Quranic and Hadith injunctions.

We all know about Saudi Arabia’s hypocrisy, and some corrupt tent dwellers who roam the Afghan boarders. We are not claiming that Muslims are perfect, nor are we claiming that many aren’t corrupt regardless of who they are. BUT, you made A GENERIC statement making it sound like this is going on all over the M.E including Syria. So what is the relevancy to Syria…give us some Syrian names please. Syria, which I love and care for, is the top of your article, so please show us your proofs, or retreat.

You said: “I have not a spec of hatred to Islam. You do not know who I am. One day you might learn of who introduced Islamic banking to the world in a major way.”

Wrong. Oh yes you do have many specs of hatred, it is clear as day in your arguments, choice of words, generalizations, assumptions, distortions, false tafsir, focus, and most of all your arrogance. I don’t care about your boasting, regarding who you really are, and what you did to introduce Islamic banking, I am discussing with you your articles as I read them here. Your past doesn’t validate your knowledge nor does it give you the right to vilify Islam.

You said: “When I mentioned the Hadith, I quoted the collector, who by the way is always one of the six canonical collectors, the narration, its number, and the page number where the Hadith appears. Where did I ever invent anything?”

Elie, yes you quote, and then you insert your interpretations, assumptions, additions, deductions, etc….as if you have all the answers. If you did not hate Islam, you wouldn’t just choose sensational disputed fatwas about breast-milk-out-of-a-cup and keep chewing on it at every opportunity knowing fully-well this is a disputed fatwa which is none binding.

You said: “Please point out specific facts and quotations that I distorted.”

There are many that were pointed out to you and you refused to address them because we did not have a CV!! Isn’t this right Dr.? I refuted your assumption in your last article about Aisha (PBUH), you failed to answer. Almasri brought you proofs regarding your errors and distortions in relation to enshrinement of the Ahadiths, you cowardly and conveniently called him (and everyone that disagrees with you) an Islamist.

You said: “If you have a complaint, go complain to God” is at the core of this discussion. This attitude is precisely why I have been spending time and energy here.”

Elie, would you be surprised if you saw more women in hell than men 1500 years ago, but today there are more men? You are creating doubt about the dozens of authenticated Ahadiths.

1. These Ahaadith are clear that females in both Jannah and Jahannum will outnumber males by a great margin. (Sharh al-Nawawiy vol.9 pg.170). You only stated that more women in Hell, why did you leave out more women in Jannah? Simple question, simple answer.

2. The women could be more in Jahannam and less in Jannah at the beginning. Thereafter, when they are cleansed of their sins or when intercession on their behalf is accepted, they would be entered into Jannah and they would outnumber the men there too. (Fath al-Baari vol.6 pg.401; Hadith3246 – Sifatul Jannah of Hafiz ibn Katheer pg.130). Elie, is this too neat for you? Or do you think God has no mercy?

3. The Ahaadith that indicate the women as the major inhabitants of Jahannam refer to that time when Rasulullah [Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] had physically seen Jannah and Jahannam. They do not mention that it will always remain like that. (Faydhul Baari and Malfoozaat-e-Kashmiri vol.4 pg.244). Elie, you have another chance to answer the question here.

You said: “…..examined scientifically and logically away from the neat constructions of the traditionalists.

The reason why Islam is growing is because it remained “traditionalist and without change”. What you are calling for is to weaken Islam and divide its people. Elie, if you took the time to find your answers with a clean heart on anything that interest you, you will begin to understand and see the truth.

You said: “The list of Biblical quotations you provided is curious.”

We all know that the Bible is not the actual word of God, or at least part of it. It was updated and changed numerous times in the course of history (including Paul‘s many dreams). No one claims that the Ahadiths are the actual word of God. We had already many Muslim Martin Luther(s) in Islam, such as Al Bukhari, etc… the internet is filled with Ahadiths that are crossed referenced to the Quran using computers and data, so what you are calling for exist already. The problem is your focus is to invent rather than to seek the truths, therein lays the many dark spots in your agenda. Your most two favourite fatwas, adult suckling and misyar, have nothing to do with Ahadiths and are disputed already by many scholars, so what you bring, Elie, is nothing new.

July 29th, 2010, 3:01 pm

 

Husam said:

Almasri:

I think you are right. If A.P. and Elhadj are pen pals, then they certainly have a lot in common. I got into this same trap with A.P. early on as a newbie.

About the off topic, did you read the non-edited version of his article? Ah forget it, don’t wast your time.

July 29th, 2010, 3:13 pm

 

EHSANI2 said:

Husam,

You said:

“Osama Bin Laden videos are iron clad forgeries (his nose grows longer every time). Please stop with this B.S., we all know that he was a CIA asset.”

You are clearly very impressed by the credentials and pictures of the people who have disputed the official version of 09/11.

Let me get this straight:

I take it that you think that the CIA and/or other official clandestine US government agencies were behind 09/11 – is that correct?

A yes or no answer would do (though I doubt you would stick to that)

July 29th, 2010, 3:34 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

TO ALEX.

Greetings and welcome back. I may be a bit out of line but nevertheless feel that while the initial comments of Elie Elhadj cautioning about certain Islamic beliefs and tenets in Syrian schools may be justified and/or supported by Muslims I believe his latest comments [see below] have crossed the line.

I hasten to add that I am not a Muslim but have lived in Muslim nations for several years. The following extract is disturbing to say the least and is completely irrelevant to the subject of Mr. Elhadj initial commentary.

While several commentators on SC have reacted somewhat
jubilantly to his views [ two or more of them live in the US and/or in Europe] I believe the following speaks for itself.

“Elie Elhadj to AP said:

Thanks. In addition to what you said, please tell your friends in D.C. that in supporting their Wahhabi clients lies a mortal danger. The extremist religious foundation upon which 9/11 was built is still intact, alive and well.

The havoc in Afghanistan/Pakistan today is the product of years of Wahhabi money, schooling, and indoctrination of the poverty stricken people there.

To eliminate a terrorist cell or a thousand cells will not root out terrorism. Not only must the material and the financial infrastructure of terrorism be destroyed, but also the religious foundation upon which jihadism rests, starting with Wahhabism.”

I hate to say this but I have read almost identical statements by Daniel Pipes.

July 29th, 2010, 4:54 pm

 

jad said:

Husam:

1-Since when a ‘Thank you’ meant glorification to anybody and since when Muslims put scholars in a higher position than everybody else?? They are human like anybody else so don’t go over the top with your rant over a simple Thank you.

2- Apparently you didn’t understand a word of what I wrote otherwise you will agree that in our our countries nothing come from down up (people level) it’s always from the top (dictators) on all of us, can you deny that?

3- In the ‘STATES’/’NATIONS’ matters the power is for people to improve the way they are govern not for God to govern them in one specific religion rules, besides, if you are this much religious why you are staying in a country run by secularist government? Isn’t that against your belief?

4- Religion does exist only in your private life but the moment you leave your house you are under the common law that protect every citizen regardless of his/her religion from others’ God rules.

5- Thinking of me as Atheist or not is non of your business, sheesh, I don’t want to imagine what would you do to me if I live in your utopia religious fantasy land and be subject to the your own version of Shariaa law you are defending.

6-‘with us all’ including ME not a specific group of people. Even US ALL you misunderstood!
I’m attacking the radicals that your are defending for no clear reason. Do you have any doubt that radicals may kill this writer or anybody who dares to agree with his views?

7- I really wish that you re-read what you wrote and UNDERSTAND IT
“Islam isn’t against modernization, you just need people to understand it properly and to expose those who have nothing better to do than to distort it.”
You are not a defender of the Islam, you are doing the total opposite by exposing and defending the wrong side of Islam and for that alone I’m sorry.

8- ‘No, the Arabs don’t like to live like and think like the West.”
I have no clue why you thought that I’m asking Syrians to live like westerners? May I ask; Why do you live in Canada? Why don’t you move back and struggle like everybody else you want to be subjected to your religious rules? Isn’t that the highest form of hypocrisy to live in the west while hating it? Go back home and try to see first hand how much our average Syrian person is struggling and how much misery the rules you are asking for to be strictly imposed on him/her will add to the misery. Words are cheap.

July 29th, 2010, 4:59 pm

 

majed97 said:

How did this debate take such a drastic turn, from Islamism to 9/11 and the Neocons?

While I am firmly against Wahhabism and Sharia law, I am troubled by how some folks on this board are taking advantage of this discussion and scoring cheap points in favor of Israel and the Neocons. Let’s not dilute the Israeli aggression against Arabs, as we expose the Muslim extremists for who they are. These are two different topics, and I suggest we take them one at a time.

July 29th, 2010, 5:48 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

America’s only ally and democracy in the world ……are they not supposed to be more civilized than the Arab Jihadists?

Israeli version of Ethnic Cleansing?

Israel’s latest act of ethnic cleansing

by Paul Woodward on July 28, 2010

Electronic Intifada reports:

Early morning on 27 July, Israeli bulldozers, flanked by helicopters and throngs of police, demolished the entire Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the northern Negev desert. Despite their land rights cases still pending in the court system, hundreds of al-Araqib villagers were instantly made homeless a month after Israeli police posted demolition orders.

Eyewitness reports say the police were accompanied by several busloads of right-wing Israeli civilians who cheered during the demolitions.

The Electronic Intifada spoke with Dr. Yeela Ranaan of the Regional Council for Unrecognized Villages (RCUV) in the Negev, who was in al-Araqib all day long during the demolitions.

“Approximately 1,500 Israeli police came at 5:30 in the morning and evacuated everyone from their beds,” Ranaan said. “They brought tear gas and water cannons, but didn’t use them. There was a handful of Israeli peace activists who had come the night before to stay with the villagers, and the police beat them up and detained them. Once they evacuated everyone in the village, they started to demolish it. It took three hours to flatten the village. For the people of al-Araqib, it was a nightmare to see their village destroyed.”

Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, al-Araqib villagers have been fighting for recognition in the courts. Ranaan told The Electronic Intifada that in the early 1950s, after they were forcefully expelled from their land by Israeli forces, villagers were fined for “trespassing” in their own homes by the Israeli government. Israel has refused to acknowledge al-Araqib villagers’ land deeds and receipts of land taxes paid to the Ottoman authorities well before Israel’s establishment.

“As we speak, the fate of al-Araqib hasn’t been decided in a court,” Ranaan said. “Despite this, Israel came and demolished the homes. Israel is not just changing the facts on the ground, it’s erasing them.”

July 29th, 2010, 6:10 pm

 

almasri said:

Husam @75

EXCELLENT.

I suggest leave him boil and seethe with that and close the floor for him.

By the way, this failed ex-banker knows nothing about Islamic Banking; I can assure you of that. Few years ago, I met the scholar who was involved in its creation. He is a Syrian scholar from Damascus who is an authority on Islamic Law, specialized in the subject of banking. He taught the subject in Mecca for over 25 years. He may be your neighbor now in Canada living on the western coast if he is still alive. At the time I met him he was still sought for advice from all over the world regarding issues on Islamic Banking.

This psychopath thinks Muslims are so stupid that they need some outside help to take care of their own affairs. What a wako ignorant full of bigotry. Ghat got him right on and square with similar like-minded psychos – Daniel pipes.

Cheers man.

July 29th, 2010, 8:42 pm

 

Husam said:

Ehsani2:

You DID NOT answer my question @54, why should I answer yours? Go play elsewhere.

July 29th, 2010, 10:59 pm

 

Husam said:

Jad:

1) It is not just thank you… in one single comment @ 68, you said: “thank you, your elegant attitude, I am impressed, I am like you, good luck, your strength….Jad, you are getting me horny. You are in bed with Elie, what more can I say? He is your saviour. Good for you.

2) It is not about corruption of humans, you were talking about God. Reread your own comment.

3) Why I am still in Canada? It is non of your business, and I don’t have to tell you my life story. And no, it is not against my belief…is it against yours? What do you believe in Jad?

4) So, there are other God(s) which we need protection from…

5) Why don’t you just say, no or, yes I am an Atheist! Ah Utopia, don`t worry I will make you my own falafel sandwich there. Are you still scared?

6) I am not defending radicals, I know none of them. I am displaying the circus that is being played here.

7) Apology accepted.

8 -Canada is my home. Why don’t you move to Israel, I think you belong there. If my words are cheap why are you responding to them? If you decide to move to Israel, take your buddy Elie with you.

July 29th, 2010, 11:42 pm

 

Husam said:

Almasri:

You know something, it is sad to see Syria Comment as a launching pad against Islam. Regardless of their angle, their reasons, and their oaths that they mean well, it is all B.S.

I understand that Joshua is not a Muslim Scholar, but he sure knows enough having done so much research (and experience). Why does he not see Elahdj’s pitfalls, errors, and lack of knowledge in this area?

About Islamic Banking, I am 110% sure that its fruifullness don’t belong to one man.

July 29th, 2010, 11:59 pm

 

almasri said:

Husam,

You are right about Islamic Banking. More than one person was involved. This scholar was one of them. But, my point was this pretender (elie) is definitely not one of them as he is implying.

I think Joshua is the best to answer for himself. But it may have something to do with his Syrian experience.

Anyway, this is something you’ll find most amusing. Either the Indians know Islam better than the Arabs (particularly this minister of education) or they know democracy better than anyone else in the world or both. Just read this,

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/a-teacher-says-no-to-burqa-in-a-west-bengal-muslim-university-isnt-allowed-to-teach/653282/

I think Elie and his bodies better go to India immediately and deal with the problem at its source before it spreads and leave Syria alone. This is a clear case of enforcement from the bottom to the top. In other words it is true democracy at its best. If they (so-called secularists) let this go, it will spread like fire all over the world. This is India, the largest democracy in the world and they also have nuclear bombs!!!.

If you found that strange already, wait until you read this one,

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2010/07/28/115085.html

Do you really think elie and his bodies would follow your advice and even think of going to Israel? Not in a million years with these Jewish fatwas. They cannot handle it. At least in Syria they can manipulate few corrupt ministers and so-called civil activist who have nothing to do except to pretend they are advancing Syrian society out of its heritage, values and above all out of its roots and soul.

Cheers again

July 30th, 2010, 12:43 am

 

The Martian said:

To Husam

who told u Elie elhadj is christian?? he could very well be an atheist or an agnostic… being called Elie doesnt necessarily mean being a christian…

Think out of that religious bullshit… There is no god…

July 30th, 2010, 7:38 am

 

EHSANI2 said:

No need to despair and claim that “it is sad to see Syria Comment as a launching pad against Islam”.

I have a very easy solution:

Don’t show up here. I am sure that you will find many other websites that would suit your taste. If you choose to stay (as I think you will), then stop opining or criticizing the site and the material that gets posted by its administrators.

Husam,

As for your refusal to answer my simple question, I am not exactly surprised. I knew you did not have the guts to answer with a simple yes or no. On the other hand, I thought that my question itself was a clear demonstration of what I think of your comment 54.

July 30th, 2010, 8:08 am

 

Husam said:

Ehasani2:

You are Akhbar Palace’s twin. You are also a parrot. Why should I answer you when you didn’t and never answered me?

I think you are also deeply enjoying the orgy with Elhadj, Jad, Pipes et al.

July 30th, 2010, 8:19 am

 

Husam said:

Ghat, Israel is ruthless. It is the “biblical land” and they have to get back from the animals.

About your comment @ 78, Elhadj is not “cautioning“, he is stating “it is going on big time”. The last thing any Syrian wants, myself included, is Wahabbism to become the way of life in Syria. As you know, having lived in the M.E. yourself, faith is a personal thing like everywhere else. Compare Syria up to the 70’s, the majority did not wear Hijab and the majority did not read the Quran. Now, you have a revival and this what I think most people are confusing it with.

You do always bring in a different perspective here and I applaud you for that.

July 30th, 2010, 8:22 am

 

EHSANI2 said:

Husam,

This is what happens when I break my rule. Basically, I waste my time in low IQ type conversations. Haram, it seems very hard for you to understand that I already answered your question. Here you go again:

I believe that 09/11 was perpetrated by OBL and the 19 hijackers. I have read the link that you are very proud of. I stick to my theory. Is that not an answer to your question? I just told you what I think. Why don’t you answer my question in comment 77? Just yes or no would do.

Your comment on orgy, pipe and AP is a prime illustration of why i made that low IQ comment. I was never so accurate.

July 30th, 2010, 9:23 am

 

jad said:

Husam:
Are you a 4 years old kid? Grow up dude!
If I don’t agree with some views of yours and if I agree with specific points of Dr. Elhadj and if my or Ehsani’s comment didn’t fit into your ‘Patriotic’ equation of (Being Syrian = Being Sunni) (Not being Sunni = Khayen/Kafer/Homosexual) all those BS you wrote in your last couple comments are a reflection of your misunderstanding the difference between ‘NATION’ and ‘INDIVIDUAL’.
You call Canada your home, yet you obviously know nothing of why that new country that accepted you as a citizen is working better than any of the ‘religious’ countries you are blindly defending their system out of religious emotion without any rational thinking.
We in Syria like in Canada have a mixed society, from all kind of backgrounds and religions, but all those mixed people are SYRIANS regardless if they agree with your ‘radical’ thinkings or not (yes you know no radicals because you are obviously one in denial) all of those Syrians DO NOT need your permission to live in Syria and be called Syrians, because you are not the one who decide who is and isn’t a true Syrian patriot.
You are calling me “AP and PIPES” and that I should move to Israel? What’s wrong with you, you never meet any Syrian who is different than you and who see things from a different angle than yours. Your comments are pathetic and I have no clue how the Canadians would call someone with such close minded a Canadian Citizen.

If you really think that SC is a closed group of unworthy Syrians who want to live in Israel (which doesn’t make any sense even in GOD logic)and if you don’t approve many SC commentators views since they don’t have the same amazing GODLY logic of yours, why don’t you take Ehsani’s advice and leave SC or at least take a vacation from SC until you get back your logic because I know that you have one I saw it before, something to consider instead of ranting nonstop for days over people agreeing on something that you disagree of.

July 30th, 2010, 9:54 am

 

Alex said:

Dear Ghat

I understand that Elie’s comment SOUNDED similar to something that DP might have said. But that does not mean that the two men have similar objectives and hopes in general.

They both think that Wahabi power is a serious danger.

Dr. Elhadj wants the US to constrain the power of its two main allies in the region … Israel and Saudi Arabia, the Jewish and Sunni religious states.

Both are dangerous in their own way. Wahabi Saudis spend billions each year to spread their extreme ways to the rest of the Middle East, Israel continues to kill, injure, imprison or abuse millions of Arabs and continues to refuse to join its neighbors for a comprehensive peace settlement based on UN resolutions.

July 30th, 2010, 12:24 pm

 

Husam said:

Ehsani2:

You only, and partially answered my questions @ 90. I think the official story of what/whom/why 9/11 happened is suspicious and not as clear cut as you and Elie would like everyone to believe. You can stick to your theory. I stick to my facts.

Thank you for attacking my IQ, you have nothing else to vent out on.

July 30th, 2010, 12:34 pm

 

EHSANI2 said:

I take it that you will not answer my question. Why did I suspect as much right from the begining. Ask me a direct and specific question. I still don’t see what is it that you are asking me to answer. My question to you is very simple. I wish you could simply ask me a yes or no answer. you put a link and a list of people with pictures and ask what I think. I told you who I think did what. You refuse

July 30th, 2010, 1:06 pm

 

Husam said:

Jad:

Homosexual? When I said in bed, I meant metaphorically. You knew that. You grow up!

Canada is my home, so is Syria. I don’t need your permission to exercise my freedoms in either country. All those top military brass, all the scientist, the pilots who don’t believe the official story of 9/11 – to you they are all unpatriotic, have low IQ, and have no logic! You suggested I leave Canada, I suggested you leave to Israel. Your attitude and vilifying of Islam is similar to those hard core Israelis. You know why you believe the official story of 9/11? Because it was made to appear that its workings was those of Muslims which was the pretext for the Afghan and Iraq war. I am sure you would be happy if Syria was attacked under such pretext as well. It fits perfectly well with your anti-Islamic sentiment.

You put words in my mouth; I never defended S.A. or any religious state. Show me where I “blindly” defended religious states. You are pissed off because your hero, Elie, can’t fend for himself. No doubt there is some Wahhabi danger, but he failed to prove its reach to the youth in Syria. Why can’t I disagree with him without having my IQ attacked?

Aren’t you disagreeing with me because I disagreed with Elie? So in effect, your IQ is also low, you should take a vacation, and you should also grow up.

Now answer the original question: are you an Atheist? Simple yes/no answer would suffice.

July 30th, 2010, 1:40 pm

 

Husam said:

Ehasani2:

I don’t believe 4 planes were hijacked by unaided Muslims with box cutters who took a flying course in a Cesna.

I don’t believe the buildings could collapse in a free fall without detonations which tapes are available showing explosions. Especially when the architect explained fully on TV why this was impossible.

I don’t believe that most of the $300 Billion of Gold could go missing under rubble.

I don’t believe that the FBI had nothing with it, in fact, many whistle blowers came out and said that the FBI suppressed investigations of the ring leader.

I don’t believe the commission report, but I certainly do believe the experts and patriots which 99% of them are non-muslims.

You think we muslims did it. Yeaaah! Are you keeping the score?

July 30th, 2010, 1:56 pm

 

jad said:

Husam:
When you insist on using the words ‘in bed’ ‘horny’ ‘Orgy’ It looses its ‘metaphorical’ meaning, so spare me your language lesson.
I never get into the 9/11 discussion with you at all, actually I never wrote about this issue in all my time on SC.
I never wrote anything about your IQ.
I never wrote anything against Islam and when I noticed that someone wrote something I slightly felt that he is generalizing the small disputed issues every religion has I point out my opinion to him and wrote that it is not correct.
I’m not pissed of at you.
I’m not disagreeing with you because you disagree with Elie, you both are adults to exchange your ideas.

(are you an Atheist?) It’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

SO PLEASE STOP MANIPULATING THE DISCUSSION, YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS RANTING AND GETTING PISSED BY EVERYBODY ON SC NOT ME, you have to cool it down, I’m not interested in wasting my time in getting argument with you when there is no need for that, I’m replying out of respect to you to explain what I mean in every word I wrote since you seems to misunderstand every letter I write so respect yourself in return and stop this childish arguments that is taking us no where.

July 30th, 2010, 2:08 pm

 

EHSANI2 said:

Husam,

Much better. So finally you come out to kind of say that it is the FBI (I don’t believe that the FBI had nothing with it is the you phrased it). Now that you did tell us what you really think, I will leave you alone. Enough said. Let the readers make their own judgments. I have certainly made mine.

July 30th, 2010, 2:41 pm

 

Badr said:

Mr. ELHADJ,

When you say:

“Such an examination is important to reconcile the contradictions and inconsistencies in Islam’s holy scripture.”, and
“At issue is the accuracy or inaccuracy of what God had reportedly said. The contradictions in Islam’s holy scripture deserve an objective scientific examination…”

I think you realize that you’re setting yourself on a collision course with far more people than only the “Islamists”. So to be clear, do you regard the very content of Quran itself a point of contention? Can you elaborate with specific examples?

July 30th, 2010, 3:36 pm

 

Husam said:

Jad:

I have to admit that part of my last comment @ 95 was not intended for you, but for Ehsani2 as I was responding to him and you at the same time. So I apologize for the confusion.

If you are fair as you say you are: why did you not critisize Elie for ranting about his favorite fatwas? You think this is productive? Why did he not bring us proofs to support his article? You think there is nothing in his material that tarnishes Islam in any way and no errors intentional or not were made. You like his work, I don’t and I am not impressed. End of story.

July 30th, 2010, 4:27 pm

 

Husam said:

Badr:

It seems to me that Elie’s angle is clear: use whatever sensational Islamic misconceptions (disputed fatwas, hijab, niqab, women in hell, etc) and misguided actions of certain groups (Wahabism, Al-Qaeda,etc…) and bring to the forefront and repeat it over and over again to vilify Islam in the name of secularism and modernization.

July 30th, 2010, 4:40 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

Thanks ALEX for taking time out to respond to my comments regarding Mr. Elhadj’s request for AP and his buddies in DC to continue the wars in Afghanistan/Pakistan as a means to control Wahabism.

Be that as it may I still believe that “jumping” from a critique of Syrian educational efforts to promoting military wars and the killing of innocent men women and children as has happened in Iraq to vindicate his bias borders on being insidious.

I may be guilty of misjudging Mr. Elhadj’s premise but the reading of his request to AP and his friends in DC can only be interpreted to be “warmongering”, against Muslims in general.

July 30th, 2010, 5:41 pm

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To Badr,

I am merely raising questions for scholars and students of Islam to deliberate freely without intimidation and threats. I am calling for independent scientific research by scholars, not by apologists and defenders of traditionists’ neat constructions, without fear of violence, intimidation, and character assassination. To subject the traditionists accounts to scrutiny in order to support or refute their accounts should not be a crime in the 21st. century.

Probing the issues outlined in my various comments should be welcomed, not attacked. Muslim scholars should take the initiative and not wait for me or any one else to prompt them into action. Finding logical answers to legitimate question will strengthen Islam, not weaken it. To stand the test of philosophical inquiry is positive not negative. What is there to fear?

To say “If you have a complaint, go complain to God” comes only from juvenile ignorant minds.

I mentioned in 64 that Taha Hussein in his 1926 book “On Jahilia Poetry” concluded that the great majority of the poetry reputed to be pre-Islamic had been forged by Muslims of a later date and has nothing to do with Jahiliyya. Such poetry, Professor Hussein continues, is Islamic, representing the life of the Muslims, their predilections, and inclinations more than the life of the Jahilis.

If what is believed today to be jahili poetry is likely to be invented during the Islamic era, what else might be false from the Islamic era? Is such a question kufr? Why not refute Taha Hussein’s conclusion? Taha Hussein should not be attacked as kafir. His accusers are cowards, demagogues, and ignorant. They run away from their responsibility to challenge him in a civil logical scientific manner. They are intellectual thugs.

Further, Taha Hussein was condemned as a “heretic” and prosecuted by Al-Azhar’s ulama and other Islamic scholars, and by Egyptian parliamentarians for his book “On Jahiliyya Poetry” (1926) because he questioned, among other things, whether Abraham and Ishmael had ever been to Mecca. Taha Hussein argued that although the Torah and the Quran speak about Abraham and his son Ishmael, such a reference is insufficient to establish the historical existence of Abraham and Ishmael or the Quranic story about their migration to Mecca and the origin of the Arab people there. As you know, Islam teaches that Abraham and Ishmael built the Kaaba in Mecca.
In 2:127, “Remember Abraham and Ismail raised the foundations of the House.”
In 2:125, “We covenanted with Abraham and Ismail that they should sanctify My House for those who shall walk around it, and use it as a retreat.”

Three complaints against Taha Hussein were filed with Egypt’s chief prosecutor in 1926. The chief prosecutor found on March 30, 1927 that what Taha Hussein wrote was the opinion of an academic researcher without a deliberate criminal intent to denigrate Islam. Nonetheless, Taha Hussein was demoted on March 3, 1932 by Egypt’s minister of education from Dean of the Faculty of Letters at the Egyptian University to the post of Supervisor of Elementary Education.

Taha Hussein’s demotion was not a shining moment for the minister of education or for Egypt.

Badr,

What I am espousing is simple: let the Taha Husseins of the world, Syria in included, come forward with their scientific research and let them be debated in a civil learned manner, not by repeating like parrots: “If you have a complaint, go complain to God”.

Another sad moment for Egypt. In 1925, Ali Abd Al-Razik, an Al-Azhar scholar, contended in a short book entitled Al-Islam Wa-Usul Al-Hukm (Islam and the Principles of Political Authority) that Islam is not concerned with the system of government, which is a secular affair, and that the caliphate is not an intrinsic religious element in Islam. The book created a sensation and was immediately banned and vigorously condemned by Al-Azhar.

Again, why ban the book. Debate the book intelligently. Do not say “If you have a complaint, go complain to God”.

I raised the issue of the contradiction between the Prophet’s good treatment of his wife Khadija compared to what Shari’a evolved in its maltreatment women as chattel. Why should such contradiction remain unreconciled. I have asked this question several times on SC. No answer yet. SC’s Islamist commenters go on and on on tangents and frivolous argument devoid of any sense. Instead I get attacked by supposedly educated Islamists. Shame on them. I’d love to read a convincing essay on this issue. Such an essay should be welcomed. It’ll strengthen Islam, not weaken it.

There many other inconsistencies that need to be reconciled, especially on the treatment of Christians and Jews. Some verses revere them, later they get condemned, then later praised, and so on. Wine drinking is prohibited on earth, but in paradise there will be rivers of wine to enjoy. Adulterers are supposed to be lashed 100 times in the Quran, but stone to death in the Hadith etc. etc.. Predestination may be understandable when scientific explanation was unavailable. Today science can answer almost all questions. Should such debilitating belief not be discarded. The Mu’tazilites thought so 12 centuries ago when there was by far more freedom of expression than there is today.

Intelligent Muslims should be loyal enough to their Islam by finding answers to such questions. Such questions must not be allowed to be swept under the carpet by saying defeatedly “go complain to God”.

To Ghat,

I brought the issue of the havoc in Afghanistan/ Pakistan to exemplify the dangers of Wahhabi education on the radicalization of the people in that region.

Talibanism = Wahhabism. May Syria be spared Wahhabi radicalization.

Another point, please do not descend to the level of calling me names. You should stay above petty expressions.

To the Islamists on SC who pretend to disdain Wahhabism,

Please know that you are Wahhabis whether you label yourselves as such or not. Sunni extremism = Hanbalism = Wahhabism. Said differently, Sunnis cease to be the moderate Shafiis, Malikis, or Hanafis when they choose extremist reading of the Islamic creed. They become Hanbalis/ Wahhabis. You are extremist Sunnis; thus, Wahhabis.

Elie

July 30th, 2010, 6:00 pm

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To Ghat,

I just saw your 102.

My statement to AP was not intended to be “‘warmongering’, against Muslims in general”. Not at all, I simply brought the issue of the havoc in Afghanistan/ Pakistan to exemplify the dangers of Wahhabi education on the radicalization of the people in that region in order to draw attention to the terrible consequences on Syria’s societal harmony if Wahhabi infiltration into Syria’s schools is not stopped.

Pls. re-read what I said once more:

please tell your friends in D.C. that in supporting their Wahhabi clients lies a mortal danger. The extremist religious foundation upon which 9/11 was built is still intact, alive and well.

The havoc in Afghanistan/Pakistan today is the product of years of Wahhabi money, schooling, and indoctrination of the poverty stricken people there.

To eliminate a terrorist cell or a thousand cells will not root out terrorism. Not only must the material and the financial infrastructure of terrorism be destroyed, but also the religious foundation upon which jihadism rests, starting with Wahhabism.

I really do not see where I called for war against all Muslims. I called for a war on Wahhabi ideas and education and indoctrination. If my intention was not clear in the earlier comment, I hope I succeeded in clarifying matters now.

Elie

July 30th, 2010, 6:30 pm

 

almasri said:

“Please know that you are Wahhabis whether you label yourselves as such or not. Sunni extremism = Hanbalism = Wahhabism.”

Elie why don’t you keep your mouth zipped and refrain from making such generalizations?

What do you know about Hanbalism? Malikis? etc… or even Wahhabism

Husam,

Please refrain from bundling such groups as Wahhabis with what you call misguided until we (you) know better about these groups. We (you) are only calling names here without actual examination of these groups, exactly as this bigot wants us to do. The Wahhabis are just as Muslims as you and me and we would be in great error if we attack them as this zionist using Arabic name wants us to do.
Husam, If you do not know already, Wahhabis are followers of the Hanbali Mazhab. Ibn Hanbal was one of the greatest Imams who had the greatest contribution to Islam by succeeding in putting to an end one of the greatest fitnas of his time initiated by none other than the predecessors (John of Damascus) of this bigot who calls himself Martin Luther of the 21st century. What a moron reicaranate of mediocrity he is?

“Another point, please do not descend to the level of calling me names. You should stay above petty expressions.”

Really? are you serious, elie? I do not think Ghat gave you justice and he was too cordial to call you just what he did. You deserve worse.

“Muslim scholars should take the initiative and not wait for me or any one else to prompt them into action. Finding logical answers to legitimate question will strengthen Islam, not weaken it. To stand the test of philosophical inquiry is positive not negative. What is there to fear?”

Really? And exactly who do you think you are moron? You are not pretending to be making a ‘second coming’, are you? Go to hell you ignorant bigot.

July 30th, 2010, 7:39 pm

 

almasri said:

Husam and other Muslims, who may feel offended by this bigot,

It is my opinion, after reviewing, the contradictions provided by this bigot since he produced his comic piece of the Martin Luther of the age up to his last comment, that he is using any information we provide from Islamic sources to further build his deficient knowledge in order o further distort our faith.

It is my conclusion that no Muslim should provide him from now on with any comments containing information from trusted sources in order not to make his task easy.

I realize that I did contribute contrary to the above advice, but I will follow the advice from now on. It has been my opinion, since religion was introduced as a topic for discussion on this site, that this is the improper forum for discussing this subject. It is unfortunate that Joshua has shown short-sightedness and allowed his website to stoop down so low by posting to such mediocre, ignorant and bigoted individual as this so-called elie elhadge. I sincerely hope that Joshua will hasten to correct himself and apologize for the Muslims for the insults made to their faith on these pages of his. Even though Joshua has disclaimed the opinions presented by this bigot, yet he (Joshua) still bears the responsibility for allowing it to appear on a site under his control.

July 30th, 2010, 8:34 pm

 

Husam said:

Almasri:

I am sorry to disagree with you on one thing: Wahabism; this has originated in S.A. which is a movement and not a sect. And frankly, I don’t care what origin they were. In my opinion, they are doing more harm than any Elie Elhadjies. Perhaps some are misguided, but everyone is responsible for him/herself to know the truth. At a certain time and age regardless of what parents, imams, colleagues guided, each one of us has the means to seek knowledge and the truth.

Elie spends his time looking for books, sites, and blogs which are filled with misconceptions and re-packages them when they have already been REFUTED by many Muslim scholars. Of course he can go and find his answers to his questions online, but that is not his motive, despite his what his followers think. He reinvents them, and trust me he would be ridiculed in minutes if he was to take part in a debate on a proper platform. I brought him three explanation regarding women in hell…what he did? Ran away! He then reappears and says answer me!

Joshua, in my opinion, was not short-sighted. He knows exactly what Elhadj is about. If you publish someone’s article it means you read, edited, approved and supported the author. I understand you want to be cordial, but this is a fact. In the end of the day Almasri, anyone that doesn’t like is told to leave.

July 30th, 2010, 9:18 pm

 

almasri said:

Husam,

You are welcome to disagree. But in the end of the day these are our scholars and we cannot simply ignore them and allow bigots to call them misguded or extremists. Sure, any one can go and search on his own and satisfy himself but these scholars have laid down the foundation for us.

You said in one of your comments that this bigot is seeking to divide the Muslims. You were absolutely right in that observation. All groups in Islam begin as movements and these are the renewals that Prophet had promised will come at the turn of every century. You may have your own opinion about some movements but you cannot simply bundle them as misguided based on an opinion, particularly one that seems to serve certain suspect agenda. In my case, if I disagree with some movement I keep silent about it but not if an outsider comes in with an agenda seeking dissension and divisions. After all, these groups that you do not like have been allowed by the Al-Mighty to become the custodians of the most holy places. We all know such things do not happen without His Will.

I can assure you that this bigot knows nothing about these schools of thought and he is simply using names to create the divisions. Therefore, even if you do not like certain groups you would be in error to fall into his trap. If you haven’t studied already, I encourage you to research the fitna I referred to previously and satisfy yourself how it developed and how it was suffocated by Ibn Hanbal.

You are also correct that Joshua does agree with elhadge’s article, otherwise he would not post it. But as Muslims (speaking of myself at least), I care less if I leave or stay if my faith is going to be insulted on pages such as these. After all, what do I benefit from making comments on such sensational topics? In fact, I am contributing freely from my time and effort for the progress of the site. I’d rather leave and not be subject to such insults made by such bigots.

It is becoming obvious, and particularly from your exchanges with certain individuals on this thread, what the agenda is. If you feel you can live with such hypocrisy and feel strong enough to confront it then by all means do so. But I’d rather not be part of it.

Joshua knows that he can only go so far by allowing such views to be presented on his site. It is his conscious decision if he chooses to present bigotry. Eventually, he will suffer either from ridicule or in the end his site will become a deserted place as it was not long ago. Remember he had to call Ghat back after he mistakenly asked Ghat to leave. If I were Ghat I wouldn’t have come back.

July 30th, 2010, 10:01 pm

 

Husam said:

Elie:

You said: “I am calling for independent scientific research by scholars….”

We don‘t need you to call, debates happen without fear all over the world in every city every day. There are conferences and debates where anyone can ask any question they want. Why don‘t you go to one and ask your smart questions? Anyone claiming that Muslims can’t debate without fear or threat can only come from troubled souls. You are a liar Dr. Elahdj.

You said: “Please know that you are Wahhabis whether you label yourselves as such or not. Sunni extremism = Hanbalism = Wahhabism.”

Please know that you are Muslim hater whether you label yourself as such or not. Distortions + Hatred = Elie Elhadj

You said: “I’d love to read a convincing essay on this issue. Such an essay should be welcomed. It’ll strengthen Islam, not weaken it.”

Really? Can I know why you are so interested in strengthening Islam? Are you a Muslim? Why don’t you strengthen your own faith. You claim to know so much about Islam, what do you believe in, please fill us in. If you are an atheist, why would you want to see a stronger Islam? Aren’t you a big time hypocrite. I don’t believe you for one second.

I certainly don’t go on blogs calling for Jews, Hindus, Christians to re-evaluate their faith and books and expect them to believe that I mean well, while all along, I bring them distortions and misconceptions from a long mastery (PhD) of copy/repackage/paste.

July 30th, 2010, 10:02 pm

 

Alex said:

Dear Husam and Almasri,

I hope you can both stick to debating the issues. I see that the last few comments turned into a collection of personal attacks on Dr. Elhadj

I will have to start deleting comments that have any “moron”, “liar” or any rude expression in it. You can criticize anything without needing to harshly judge the author’s motives.

He is not an Islam hater.

July 30th, 2010, 10:25 pm

 

LeoLeoni said:

These two morons Husam and Al Masri are really stepping over-bound and are ruining the discussion. No wonder Arab jails are filled up with these Islamists since they can’t engage in a sound and reasoned debate for even a minute. They flip out as soon as someone says something about their outdated Sharia apart from glorifying it. All they do is insult and engage in personal attack.

Terrorist sympathizers like Husam defend Islamists and think Muslims are angels that would never commit an atrocity like 9/11. That 9/11 was perpetrated by the CIA and FBI, and says that debates between Islamists and others happen without fear and intimidation. Yet when an author writes a novel or a book that criticizes Sharia or criticizes the traditional interpretation of Islam, whether it is Sadeq Jalal al Azem, Taha Hussein, Faraj Fouda, Nasr Hamid abu Zeid, Sayid al Qimni, Salman Rushdie, and countless of other examples, the majority of muslims insult them, and some go as far as murder them or issue a death fatwa against them. Others engage in burning embassies and places of worship. If you really are seeking the truth and claim that there is no intimidation, then why all the personal insults? You even called Elhaj a liar when you said in that same statement that in such discussions there are no intimidation. Are you not aware of what you are writing? As for your interpretation of the hadith that women the majority in hell and in heaven, how is that possible? The amount of women do not exceed the amount of men, so how is that possible? This is even shows that Muhammed didn’t know what he is talking about.

As for Almasry, it’s hilarious how you defend those “scholars” who are nothing but bunch of ignorant long bearded, short robed, morons who know less knowledge than my 13 year old niece. These same ones refuse to set a minimum age for a women to get married and thus refuse to protect little girls from being married off by their greedy parents to some old pedophile. These same ones think that adoption (using the father’s family name) should not be allowed and that adopted kids are not entitled to inheritance. The same ones who think that females should inherit half what the males inherit. The same ones who refuse to make it a crime if a man beats or rapes his wife. In Syria, we had our share when in the 1930s and 40s Islamic scholars objected to the opening of cinemas and started attacking unveiled women in the streets. Now the question is, why do Islamists go all nuts when these issues get discussed? Especially given that they love to shove their God and religion into every area of the public sphere. As for what Dr. Elhaj mentioned regarding adult breast feeding, this is not made up but has been mentioned in the hadith. Several Salafi sheikhs admitted it, including the famous salafi shiekh Abo Ishaaq Huweini and the head of alhadith department at alazhar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcChhLQhF3E Al Ebeikan, a Saudi Sheikh had a different view saying that the milk should be poured into a cup. Now you can dig your head in the sand and say this stuff doesn’t exist, but that won’t make it vanish away.

July 30th, 2010, 11:14 pm

 

Alex said:

Alex:

The moment you hit the delete button for me calling Elie a liar, is the moment you will hit the delete button for Elie calling me “juvenile ignorant mind”, you must also hit the button on Ehasani2 for calling my IQ low, among other things. If you don’t, it means that their is indeed a group forming here and favortism is abound on S.C.

Lets call it fair play. Recall your comment @ 110 and include all your commentators including this late arrival -Leonibelony who called me an idiot, terrorist sympathizer, etc… failing which leads me to believe that you, as a moderator, are biased.

I don’t see anyone here bring up Christianity, names of Christian Scholars, pedophiles in the church, and a thousand milk-in-a-cup, shall we?

Alex, SC has become a launching pad against Islam. Either you don’t care or you are turning a blind eye on it.

July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

 

almasri said:

LeoLeoni,

“As for Almasry, it’s hilarious how you defend those “scholars” who are nothing but bunch of ignorant long bearded, short robed, morons who know less knowledge than my 13 year old niece.”

The only one who is ignorant is you and your 13 year old niece. Get lost.

Alex,
I do not care if you are a coordinator or not, and you would be the last person to tell me what to do, say or think. Elhadge is Islam hater and a Zionist.

I will not come back for further comments until Joshua makes an apology to me and to all Muslims for allowing this bullshit to appear here.

July 31st, 2010, 12:13 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Two Questions concerning the meeting in Beirut:

1.) Is King Abdullah wearing tennis shoes?

2.) Why do Arab leaders just sit in chairs and look lost? Is this supposed to make us feel better?

http://news.yahoo.com/video/world-15749633/21159163

July 31st, 2010, 2:05 am

 

LeoLeoni said:

LOL at Almasry for demanding an apology from Dr. Landis. You should be grateful you haven’t been banned from here till now for being a radical and a Muslim brotherhood sympathizer while all you do is accuse others of treason and bashing them because they don’t adhere to your radical interpretations of religion or chauvinistic fascist style ultra nationalism. Bugger off.

AP:
1. Tennis shoes are better looking than sandals no?
2. When leaders first land at the airport of their host country, first thing they do is sit in the presidential guest rooms and allow the media to take some photos while they have a small chitchat with their host. Not much to talk about or be busy with. I also noticed though that not many Arab leaders are good with the media and the camera. That’s probably due to lack of experience as they don’t give many interviews and also make no serious campaign before they make it to office.

July 31st, 2010, 4:03 am

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

SC readers might find the below interesting and topical.

Why Is Simon & Schuster Spreading the Wild Conspiracy Theories of an Unhinged Islamophobic Blogger?

Pamela Geller has some crazy ideas, which the corporate media seem content to disseminate uncritically.
July 31, 2010 |

Threshold Editions, the imprint upon which megapublisher Simon & Schuster dumps books it’s too ashamed to release under its own name, made a ballsy bet: that Pamela Geller — a deeply unhinged blogger who famously claimed that Barack Obama is the bastard child of Malcolm X — has an audience sufficiently large and loyal to justify a six-figure advance. Makes sense! If MSNBC, Fox, NBC and CNN have Geller on, the pool of inbred, 50-something Tea Partiers desirous of an icky melange of silicone and Tom Tancredo talking points cannot possibly have gone dry. Right?

Mary Matalin, the head of the imprint, is making a play for a crowd that can’t spell “niggar” but won’t mind reading a book about a man they see as just that — so long as it confirms their half-baked theories. What better way to siphon off Tea Partiers than through a lady who cheerfully befouls the Upper West Side with a toxic brew of rotating hatreds? On days ending in Y this includes Muslims (“The motor of this presidency is submission to Islam”), transgenders (“Does [Obama] chill with anyone who is normal?”) and health care reform — or as she calls it, “rape.”

This is bull goose loony territory, but it happens to be the language of modern conservatism. William Buckley’s body had not been in the ground 10 minutes before the National Review embraced Geller, happily laundering stories they wouldn’t publicly touch with a 10-foot noose. Here’s how it works: A couple weeks prior to the last presidential election, a Review editor linked to Geller’s blog and asked, “What is the deal with Obama’s birth certificate and citizenship status?” (Sort of like Seinfeld, but Catholic!) This, in turn, gave the magazine license to spend 4,000 words answering the question.

In another era, Pam Geller would be rotting away on Blackwell’s Island, counting cockroaches. Instead, the former associate publisher of the New York Observer managed to parlay her ability to find common cause with fascists and mid-level neo-Nazis, and her overt hatred of Muslims and liberal Jews, into an asset instead of a disqualifier. For Geller, a Borscht Belt Ann Coulter shtick is profitable.

Which brings us, alas, to the book. The Post-American Presidency is filled with complete sentences and grammar that is not conspicuously bad. But the chapter and section headings tell the tale: “An Islamo-Christian Nation,” “Freedom of Speech in the Age of Jihad,” “ACORN: Federally Funded Fraud,” “Muslims in High Places,” and so on. The John Birch book club search for a summer read is over.

That the book exists at all is a genuine testament to the editors. The ideas are straight out of Geller’s blog. Sure, the unfiltered language is mostly gone — headlines such as “Obama, Arab American Bastard,” “Obama Monkeys With Racism” and “President Ball Sucker” are nowhere to be found — but the underlying notions remain. Simon & Schuster has made Geller’s words just presentable enough not to embarrass the rest of its stable (Karl Rove, Glenn Beck, a few Congressmen, etc.) but didn’t sanitize it so much that her howler monkey fans will be angry.

July 31st, 2010, 7:24 am

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To Alex,

I hope you do not delete Islamists’ comments. These comments are testimonials to the shallowness and the dogmatic way of Islamists reasoning. The Internet is great–it shall forever retain for posterity Islamists’ logic and modus operandi.

My resume is on my Blog. I wish the Islamists on SC would tell us their qualifications and where they acquired their knowledge on religion. My guess is that they did not attend important centers of scholarship. Rather, they acquired their knowledge on religion on the cheap from the shows of the clerics of darkness on Wahhabi controlled media, social discourse, popular folklore, or from the sources outlined by AL WALEED in 43 above.

To LEOLEONI,

Thanks for enriching the discussion.

We all should be grateful to Prof. Landis for allowing an exchange of views on the critically important issue of religious reform. As I said earlier, without religious reform there is no political reform, no economic reform, no legal reform, no social reform, no educational reform, no any reform. To move forward, there is no alternative but to expose the taboo of religious dogma to intellectual curiosity and scrutiny.

Prof. Landis is a scholar. He has an open mind. He is in search of the truth. He teaches his students the scientific method and how to be respectful to other students’ opinions. That he has to put up with a few Islamists on SC, hard as it might be, it should be a part of the course. I hope that Prof. Landis’ students would follow the discussions on SC so that they learn first hand the challenges facing reformers in the ME at the hands of the forces of the dark ages. There is a ray of hope in all this, however. The Islamists might, just might, eventually allow their minds to start thinking logically. That gain would be worth all the trouble.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste!

ALMASRI,

You said in 105: “Ibn Hanbal was one of the greatest Imams who had the greatest contribution to Islam”.

That might be so. However, historically, due to its extremism, Hanbalism has never had much of a following. Its fortunes improved only with the founding of Saudi Arabia in 1932. In spite of that, adherents to the Hanbali/ Wahhabi creed even today remain a tiny minority of about 5% of world’s Sunnis, mainly in Saudi Arabia and among the Taliban in Afghanistan/ Pakistan and the Sunnis who got radicalized as a result of working in Saudi Arabia during the past four decades or so. The remaining 95% of world Sunnis are the moderate Hanafis, Malikis, and Shafiis.

Further, it is curious that Ibn Hanbal’s Hadith collection of some 28,000 traditions is not regarded by Sunnis as one of the six canonical collections of Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Bin Majah, Abi Dawood, Al-Tirmithi and Al-Nasai.

Elie

July 31st, 2010, 8:42 am

 

Shami said:

In Syria we have our own traditional Niqab and it is not related to Wahhabism ,every syrian region has its own ,in Aleppo for example it’s called bajaye and it has a more covering power than the Khaliji Niqab.
Other thing ,Wahhabism is not a mazhab ,they are Hanbali.
And there is no doubt that the school of Ibn Abdul Wahhab in the context of the Arabian pensinsula did many positive reforms that were necessary,especially in its fight against supranatural beliefs helping these people to evolve from a world inhabited by supra natural forces to some level of rationality.

July 31st, 2010, 9:15 am

 

Husam said:

Alex:

The moment you hit the delete button for me calling Elie a liar, is the moment you will hit the delete button for Elie calling me “juvenile ignorant mind”, you must also hit the button on Ehasani2 for calling my IQ low, among other things. If you don’t, it means that their is indeed a group forming here and favortism is abound on S.C.

Lets call it fair play. Recall your comment @ 110 and include all your commentators including this late arrival -Leonibelony who called me an idiot, terrorist sympathizer, etc… failing which leads me to believe that you, as a moderator, are biased.

I don’t see anyone here bring up Christianity, names of Christian Scholars, pedophiles in the church, and a thousand milk-in-a-cup, shall we?

Alex, SC has become a launching pad against Islam. Either you don’t care or you are turning a blind eye on it.

July 31st, 2010, 10:03 am

 

David said:

A long and interesting discussion, but one which has at times travelled a long way from the wearing of the niqab in Syrian schools. I am surprised that no-one has yet mentioned the oft-quoted Jesuit maxim ‘give me the boy until the seventh year, and I will give you the man’. Religious training of the young is standard practice where religions have the influence to achieve it. It should not be suggested that this practice is restricted to any particular religion.

I am also surprised at the sensitivity of some Muslim supporters to questioning of their beliefs. Yes, such questioning may be discomforting, but it is going to happen. It cannot be stopped. The Roman Catholic church tried to suppress questioning of its teachings a few centuries ago; the Enlightenment is what resulted. The followers of Islam have a choice- they can either engage with the questioning, and thereby seek to manage the process, or reject questioning and remain in denial. While the former course may be difficult, the latter course is unlikely to resolve anything, leaving Islam seriously out of touch with the bulk of the world’s population.

July 31st, 2010, 10:17 am

 

EHSANI2 said:

Husam,

I stand by my low IQ comment. Don’t take this personal but when I hear anyone claim that it is the FBI that perpetrated the event of 09/11, it makes it very hard to argue otherwise. I was in the city that day and had to run from my office with millions like me. To suggest that the FBI was behind the events that I witnessed is beyond low IQ. I was actually being too kind and generous with my words.

The whole point of forums like SC is to challenge your mind and be able to defend your set of beliefs against others who hold a different viewpoint. I have long commented on economic matters here. Many readers criticized my views and strongly challenged many of my arguments and beliefs. While topics relating to economics or politics are seemingly okay to discuss and argue about, religion seems to be a red line according to some of you. Why? If we cannot discuss this here on forums like this, where can such discussions ever take place? You keep threatening to tackle other religions like Christianity and wonder why we don’t discuss pedophiles in the church. Please do. Why don’t you write a post and send it to Dr. Landis. I will personally make sure it gets published. In the meantime, stop this nonsense of asking Dr. Landis for an apology. Cut it out. As I said before, the more logical alternative is for you and others to leave this forum if you think it has become a launching pad to attack Islam. No one is asking you to agree with Dr. Elhadj or to condone his writings. Even Dr. Landis “hesitated before agreeing to publish it because the opinions expressed are controversial and stated powerfully; the open discussion of religious topics is often frowned upon in Syria because of the potential for stirring up sectarian hard feelings”. Your energy should have been directed at having an intelligent argument with Dr. Elhadj rather than attacking his credentials and assassinating his character.

July 31st, 2010, 10:52 am

 

Shami said:

elie,
taliban are sufis and hanafis

July 31st, 2010, 10:57 am

 

Al Waleed said:

To Jad

Thank you for your comments (#46). I apologise for not replying earlir as I only check SC about once a week.

Of course my intention was not to make fun at muslims, but only at those fanatics who hold and defend extreme views such as the “dynamic duo” of Hussam and Al Masry. While I am not religious myself many of my relatives are very devout and do their five daily prayers regularly. But at the same time they are open minded and willing to discuss any aspect of their religious beliefs. No taboos. The Syrians way perhaps. Unfortunately things are changing rapidly even in Syria. For example my teanage niece visiting Europe this summer with her family arrived wearing a niqab. I was scandalised and suggested to her father that he gives her a good kick in the backside for a cure. He preferred to wait in the hope that she may grow out of it soon. I am not so optimistic myself as we are facing a rising tide of intolerance, ignorance, fudamentalism and conflict thay could destroy the Syria we know. I fear that things may get much worse before they get better.

P.S. Hussam made me laugh out loud when claiming that the lengethening nose of Usama Bin Laden in his videos is proof of fakery and tampering. This is obvious nonsense. The real explanation is that Hussam’s hero is the victim of the Pinocchio syndrome. Pinocchio is the Disney character who sees his nose grow in length each time he tells a lie. You can draw your own conclusions!

Cheers

July 31st, 2010, 11:18 am

 

Husam said:

Ehsani2,

An overwhelming majority of Arabs and Europeans don’t believe the official story of 9/11. Keep attacking my IQ… Ehsani2, you were in NYC on that day… I think you were the 4-5 dancing shlomos.

I did bring one single, very light, relevent comment from the Bible says about women regarding hell, the hijab, not a single reply. Why? Because you are only interested in discussing Islam as the only source of all evil. It does not fit the rhetoric of SC. Elie said, “I find those interesting”. If he does why, doesn’t peddle them?

If SC is becoming like CNN, trust me, many Muslims (non-Muslims) will leave and that would be the shift of SC comprehensiveness and future.

Shami is very civilized, and very to the point, why doesn’t anyone answer him regarding his observations and corrections?

July 31st, 2010, 11:27 am

 

Husam said:

Salafi / Wahabi explained:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEMbsmg4lI0&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW6SSXDGRsI&feature=related

I would really like critical comments on the above…especially from Dr. Elhadj

July 31st, 2010, 11:45 am

 

Elie Elhadj said:

Shami,

Thanks.

Despite my promise to myself not to respond any more, I would like to say that Saudi Arabia’s proselytizers do not spend money unless their message is to convert the lost (DAALL) sects to the one sect that is on the right path to paradise. This is their prime motive behind helping the “poor”: Conversion.

If the Taliban speak like Wahhabis, act like Wahhabis, Look like Wahhabis, then they must be Wahhabis.

Extremist Hanafis, extremist Shafiis, and extremist Malikis are Hanbalis. Hanbalism is Sunnism’s extreme rite. Wahhabism adopted Hanbalism to declare Ottoman rule a deviation from “true” Islam. Thus, extreme Sunnis are Hanbalis/ Wahhabis.

Elie

July 31st, 2010, 12:18 pm

 

jad said:

Al Waleed,
Thank you for the clarification, I’m also worried about the state many Syrian mentality has become, I agree with your point that we are facing “a rising tide of intolerance, ignorance, fudamentalism and conflict thay could destroy the Syria we know.” If Syria and Syrians failed in the religious tolerance struggle forced on them by the gulf’s money and by the hypocritical west through their unfair economic sanctions it will be the end of any hope for a better middle east for ages and generations to come, Syria will become another tasteless, brainless and powerless ‘covered’ banana republic of our failed Arab states with seas of fundamental religious people who know nothing of their religion and who are going to live in the dark ages again.

Husam,
Thank you.
I told you before very very few people on SC think that discussing religion is not different from discussing economy, politics or any other subject and they will tackle it from rational way of thinking away from any dogma and fear from saying something that someone will go after them if they dare to write it, but you ignored my note and didn’t believe me. Even after I told you about the unstable comment history of Al Masri/Majid, you felt in the trap of alienating yourself with him to an unhealthy point where he start leading your comments to sound the way everybody understand it as ‘Radical’ ‘Fundamental’ and ‘Intolerance’ which may not be the case judging from previous experience with you.
Al Masri is not a Syrian citizen, He stated that himself before, then he claimed to have some relatives in Aleppo and start using this point to be accepted as Syrian in any discussion about the Syrian local matters and many commentators know that already.
The bottom line he is not a genuine person to trust, he has a weird agenda that goes up and down according to the person who he talked to, he will agree with AP at one point and asked for Syria to be taken by Israel and make Syrians slaves, the other comment will be cursing Judaism, and whatever the subject is he is going to disagree and attack people in the most nasty way, I hope that he stick to his words and stay aways from SC, he brought nothing but bad taste to the discussions.
one last note and please believe me on this, Ehsani is the most polite and educated Syrian you will ever have any discussion with so when he writes something I’ll listen to him. listen to what Ehsani wrote he is your person to trust and believe me that when he wrote about the IQ thing I’m 10000000% sure that he doesn’t mean it in the attack way you think but the opposite it’s a wake up call to recheck what you wrote nothing more than that.
A favour to ask, you mix serious discussion with sarcasm a lot and that what make your comments to sound rude to the reader (it happened to me with you before) but it seems that this is your style without even noticing, so if possible, don’t mix those two styles together when the subject is serious it makes people stop replying to you.

You are Syrian so PLEASE stay true to what you are and what Syrians represent the MOST OPEN MINDED RATIONAL PEOPLE OF OUR REGION we can’t loose the battle of intolerance.

July 31st, 2010, 12:24 pm

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To Shami,

Thanks.

Although, I promised myself to not respond anymore, here I go again.

Wahhabi proselytizers are on a mission to convert the lost (daall) sects to the fold of the one sect of true Islam, Wahhabism. Their prime target is conversion.

Sunnis indoctrinated in the Wahhabi way of life as a result of their work in Saudia regardless of the Sunni rite they follow are Wahhabis.

When the Taliban talk like Wahhabis, impose laws like Wahhabis, follow the way of life of Wahhabis, then they are Wahhabis.

Extreme Sunnis are Hanbalis. When a Shafii, a Maliki, a Hanafi adopt extreme religious positions they become Hanbalis.

Wahhabis adopted Hanbalism. They rebelled against the Ottomans in the name of their version of “true” Islam.

Elie

July 31st, 2010, 12:39 pm

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To Shami,

Sorry for 126. I thought I had lost 124, so I had to re-write.

Elie

July 31st, 2010, 12:51 pm

 

Nour said:

Although a number of Syrians may indeed hold religious fundamentalist views, I really don’t see Syria going the way of Saudi Arabia due to the very nature of Syrian society as opposed to Saudi society. There is indeed a rising tide of extremism which is finding its way across the globe (in fact, extremism is inflicting both Christians and Muslims) and no doubt Saudi money is being spent to spread the Saudi version of Islam, but the theocratic state is more suitable for a society like that of Saudi Arabia, which is characterized by bedouin customs and traditions, than for Syrian society, which was historically a highly civilized, urbanized society, with a high degree of culture, allowing for advanced thinking in the realm of both temporal and spiritual matters.

After all, it was al-Kawakibi, a Syrian Muslim thinker, who said:

دعونا ندبر حياتنا الدنيا ونجعل الأديان تحكم في الأخرى فقط. دعونا نجتمع على كلمات سواء ألاّ وهي: فلتحي الأمة. فليحي الوطن. فلنحي طلقاء أعزّاء!

July 31st, 2010, 12:51 pm

 

Alex said:

Husam,

I am not reading the comments section full time, but when I receive an email from a reader asking me to try to control the discussion, I do check the comments in question which happened to be yours and Almasri’s yesterday.

Then I check who started those personal attacks.

In this thread it turns out that it was again, Almasri in 24 to Jad and 32+34 to Dr. Elhadj … he started to attack opinions or facts by telling those who write them that they are not proper Muslims, knowledgeable Muslims, or that they did not study Islam properly (at the schools he respects) …

Examples:

“To Elie, So far you’ve proven to be a hopeless case, considering your previous and current contributions. Unfortunately, you may have taken a wrong turn in life which you may be the only one to know about.”

and:

“To Elie,
Go study Islam in its proper institutions, declare the shahada publicly in front of a recognized imam and in front of witnesses, commit yourself in words and in deeds to its way of life, then come back and argue.

Otherwise, go find yourself some other entertainment.”

Compare that to how Dr. Elhadj tried many times to reply positively and politely to Almasri … 31,33,35 …

Examples:

“To ALMASRI,

Thanks for the advice.

What we are doing here is not entertainment. It is the highest form of patriotism and dedication to democratic governance, human rights, and development.

I have kept and shall always keep my mind open to educating myself new ideas and ways of reasoning.

Hope that you’ll likewise succeed in keeping your mind open to educating yourself new ideas and ways of reasoning.

Then, we shall all become winners!

Elie”

And

“To ALMASRI,

Thanks for the advice.

Your concern is appreciated.

Elie”

As I said yesterday, I will delete every comment that relies on character assassination tactics. Including any that Ehsani posts that describe you as a low IQ person.

You are not necessarily low IQ as Ehsani is suggesting, Ehsani does not know if you can or can not perform well on an IQ test. And you certainly can make very valid points sometimes.

But you are engaging in bullying tactics. Syria comment is free to post anything that relates to Syria. If Christians in Syria are doing anything that is seriously affecting the country negatively in your opinion (like Elie suggested the wahabis are in Syria) and you can make a good case to our readers then go ahead and we will consider posting your article. But we will not post about Christianity in general.

I am working on an article where I will write about the dangers posed by “Christian Zionists” in the US .. I believe they are increasingly posing a real threat to Syria (I’ll explain how) and that we can not ignore them just like we can not ignore the wahabi threat as Dr. Elhaj suggested here.

I suggest you take it easy on trying to shape Syria Comment to your liking and to impose your own red lines. Most of our readers are Muslims and most are not offended by this post even if they have reservations. I consulted with many already.

If anyone insults you, email me or Joshua to make sure we see that comment and remove it.

Best wishes

Alex

July 31st, 2010, 1:00 pm

 

EHSANI2 said:

Husam,

Do you actually doubt my claim to have been in NYC that day? You think I was “the 4-5 dancing shlomos”? I have no clue what you mean but I think that you should quit for a while. You are embarrassing yourself with every new comment. I wish I had stuck to the rule that I had stated very early on. Now I know why I had come up with that rule in the first place. I had afforded you way too much of my energy and time. Clearly, this was an ill advised decision.

Jad,

Thank you for the kind words. You are right. I was trying to help this gentleman. Haram, extreme delusions are hard to overcome it seems.

I have just returned from Syria. Religious extremism is on the ascendency. I was saddened to have been witness to such a trend. I have promised Alex to write a note about my trip next week. I will address this issue (amongst others) in more detail then.

Alex,

My apologies, but when I see anyone write that the FBI was behind 09/11, I do question their IQ. If this offends people, Please feel free to delete my comment. Alternatively, please let me know of a more palatable description of their intellectual prowess.

July 31st, 2010, 1:17 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

I am working on an article where I will write about the dangers posed by “Christian Zionists” in the US .. I believe they are increasingly posing a real threat to Syria (I’ll explain how) and that we can not ignore them just like we can not ignore the wahabi threat as Dr. Elhaj suggested here.

Alex,

I’m looking forward to your article about “Christian Zionism”. Christians by far, are more “powerful” than the 6 million Jews here in the US. Most Jews have no connection to Israel in any political sense and does not enter into their voting process.

Moreover, I wouldn’t characterize Christian Zionists as “a real threat to Syria”. Christian Zionists, unlike the “wahabi threat”, recognize Syria as a sovereign country. I don’t think the wahabis recognize Israel as such.

The problem for you is that a large part of the world, the US, as well as the UN believe Israel to be a legal fact, and therefore, has the right of self defense. So if someone from that group is a Christian, then I guess he/she is a “Christian Zionist”, and if a Muslim feels similarly, I guess he/she is a “Muslim Zionist”?

I would spend your valuable time investigating the intolerance of jihadism (like Elie), which is far more dangerous than “Christian Zionism”.

Cheers,

AP

July 31st, 2010, 1:32 pm

 

Alex said:

My dear friend Ehsani,

Like the rest of our readers, I love your contributions to Syria Comment even when I disagree (and I rarely do lately). I learned a lot from you the past few years

I’m sure you remember that in an IQ test one is asked questions like:

Two ducks and two dogs have a total of fourteen legs.

True False

You can’t assume that Husam is not good in counting the number of legs of four animals simply by reading his opinion of the real people behind 9/11

Here is how the rest of the world sees the 9/11 story

http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/images/sep08/WPO_911_Sep08_graph.jpg

The majority blames Al-qaeda, but Husam is among a sizable portion of respondents to that poll who had questions.

I have my own questions, but I am quite comfortable concluding that fanatics like BL’s types were the ones who did it.

Akbar Palace,

I disagree. Wahabis and Christian Zionists are both dangerous to Syria and to the Middle East in general. I will try to illustrate in my article, but for now I leave you again with a repost of this micro demonstration of a Christian Zionist product who can’t wait to see Damascus nuked:

And he is not an isolated case, wait until you read my article.

July 31st, 2010, 1:52 pm

 

Husam said:

Alex:

Thank you for your answer, I see your point. But one can not cherry pick. Elie, has made serious errors and, yes, I can go find many offensive text attacking the character of those who disagree with him including blasphemy to the max…. so it is not just Almasri. I don’t have the energy to do this to prove a useless point. Many brought on serious questions, which remained unanswered, instead he calls anyone a Wahabi, because they don’t buy his distortions…how convenient.

Did you see the 2 Youtube videos I pasted, I would like to know your opinion on this. Does it ring a bell?

July 31st, 2010, 2:01 pm

 

Shami said:

Nour ,before the so called socialist and nationalist dictators of poor origins took the control ,people full of resentment and hatred (Nasser,Asad..),extremism was marginal ,may be insignificant.
And btw ,it’s true that the society in Saudi Arabia is mostly of Beduin background ,but at least they evolved greatly and in some Saudi cities you can see unveiled women walking in the streets it was unthinkable a decade ago ,year after year ,there are palpable changes there towards the criterion that we consider positive.For Sure ,we can say that Saudi Arabian society is a lot more sophisticated than it was 20 years ago.
Nowadays these sons of ignorant beduins are more advanced in general than the people in Syria according to the indicators provided by the NGOs.
Countries like Syria(and Egypt)craddle of civilization, took the opposite direction in their social development.
You cited al Kawakibi ,yes ….is ask you ,why was the appareance of men like Kawakibi possible ?Was it more difficult for Kawakibi to constitute newspapers in 1890? than me and you in 2010 in Aleppo? A city that produced 50 newspapers in the 50’s ,in which worked as a journalist a former lebanese president because the salary in Syria was higher than in Lebanon.
Is it possible for this state of mediocrity in today Syria to produce intellectuals like Abdurahman Kawakibi,Mohamad Abdo,Yahya Osman ,Ali Abdul Raziq,Ragheb Al Tabbakh,Kamil al Ghazzi…?

July 31st, 2010, 2:10 pm

 

Husam said:

Al Waleed:

Have a look at the pictures (pictures don’t lie, unless they are fake, hence, my point) from the tapes and then tell me if I am crazy:

http://911review.com/myth/binladen.html (scroll to the bottom of the page)

No one is saying that Bin Landin had nothing to do with it, however there is a ton facts that seem odd to say the least. I don’t believe the official story, why can’t you respect that without the Pinocchio Syndrome.

July 31st, 2010, 2:16 pm

 

Husam said:

Alex:

Thank you for your poll. I would just like to add, that had the poll question been asked differently, for example: list one “OR” all groups involved in 9/11, the answers would have been different because, there is no single correct answer from A,B,C,D. E was missing: All of the above!!!!

That, my friend, would have show an even closer version of what actually happened and by whom.

July 31st, 2010, 2:22 pm

 

EHSANI2 said:

“I don’t believe that the FBI had nothing to do with it”

This was earlier.

“No one is saying that Bin Landin had nothing to do with it”

This is the latest.

Is this a joke?

The only way I can square this up is if OBL worked for the FBI and that they are both one entity. I am afraid this is the only way I can make sense of the above two statements. Alex, Please run that two ducks and two dogs test of yours here for all of us to take. It ought to be a requirement before you can join the discussion.

July 31st, 2010, 2:29 pm

 

Jad said:

Hi Shami, 
Wein hal ghebe? Isht2nalak 🙂
My usual bugging you points:
1- why you insist on the ‘poor origin’? 
Is it that hard to believe that there are thinkers and genius people in the poor society of Syria? 
Many of the Syrian students who got close to 100% points of this year and
many years before in high school national exams are from the most poor
community of Syria. 
2-I disagree on the point that we Syrians don’t have any thinker anymore because
our mediocrity government. 
I strongly believe that individual not states are the ones who make difference. 
Government comes and goes but ideas and creativity are without border.
Regards 🙂 

July 31st, 2010, 2:40 pm

 

Alex said:

Dear Ehsani and Husam,

In November 2007 Scripps Howard surveyed 811 Americans about their beliefs in several conspiracy theories and asked this question:

“How about that some people in the federal government had specific warnings of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, but chose to ignore those warnings. Is this very likely, somewhat likely or unlikely?”

* 32% “Very Likely”
* 30% “Somewhat Likely”
* 30% “Unlikely”
* 8% “Don’t Know/Other”

62% of Americans agreed that it was at least somewhat likely that specific warnings were ignored by some people in the federal government.

But the 9/11 question is not our main issue today.

I would like to ask all of you (including Almasri, Jad, and everyone else) to agree to read his/her future comments one last time and to remove any character attacks before posting.

You are all able to contribute useful and interesting information and opinions. But when you can not, you don’t have to write anything .. because that is when it gets tempting to start attacking the author’s character, real motives, intelligence, or integrity.

July 31st, 2010, 3:02 pm

 

Shai said:

Alex,

Here’s possibly a more interesting explanation about why people think the way they do about 9/11:

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/michael_shermer_the_pattern_behind_self_deception.html

July 31st, 2010, 3:54 pm

 

Husam said:

Jad,

I appreciate your comment, and yes it is true I did not heed your reminder of what SC commentators are made up of. You are telling don’t boil. I find hard to read half truths, distortions, and falsehood and say nothing. The minute I do that, I am labelled an extremist by those very people who lash out. They warn about character assassinations, while they themselves do exactly that. That is the irony, here on SC. Then I am told if I don’t like it, leave.

Ehsani2 may be your friend, your colleague, or whatever. I don’t know him like you do and frankly I don’t know his past contributions to SC. I believe what I read, black/white. People like him are envious and threatened by people becoming more religious and wants everybody to think that Syria will become the new S.A. if we don’t do something about it fast. Please, reread my last sentence. Oh my God, more women are wearing Hijab, people are fasting, Syria is doomed. The question is: does Elie Elhadj want us to be worried that Radical Islam (which is a misnomer since Radical & Muslim as Yusuf Estes, explained in the 4 minuted video I pasted @ 123, results in a non-Muslim) is growing or does he want us to be worried that Islam in any way, shape, form, or moderation is growing. I am still waiting for proofs from Elhadj’s Wahabi takeover of Youth in Syria.

Jad another important point, I have yet to see one single comment about a premeditated conspiracy debated on whether other elements of Christian Fundamentalist (Bush el al) were instrumental in what transpired on 9/11. The majority of Arabs view the US government, its congress and its military industrial complex, which is predominantly run by Christians, as an attack on its history, its people and its assets. Aren’t these people Christians from various fractions? It is very easy to link various Christian Churches, their Sunday Sermon and tie it down to Iraq War, Biblical Land, and Palestinian suffering, etc.. Absent of this on SC is similar to those who right off Israel’s possible involvement in Hariri’s assassination.

About Almasri, AP, has put out way more attacks than Almasri, why is he not threatened day in day out. Most people ignore him, why don’t you ignore Almasri, or me for that matter? I am not defending him, I am just stating the obvious. You may hate me for this, but I stand corrected because quite frankly, Almasri is right, I am not religious nor have I studied Islam very well. However, I do know enough to see distortions and spot a mime. It is easy to call someone a Wahabi, Islamist, etc… because, as I said a ton times over, it quickly puts the person being labelled as such in a defensive position due to the negative connotation that these words are wrongfully (some will argue rightfully) attributed to – a long bearded Saudi male sitting on the floor eating with hands and his 2-3 harems. I am not judging Saudis right or wrong, but I merely showing you the picture Elie wants you to view me, or anyone arguing in favour of Hijab as such.

The links I pasted @123 asked the simple question what is a Wahabi? And anyone who chooses to answer must be clear and bring proofs, not copy/repackage/paste.

If convert, Yusuf Estes, is an extremist, then so am I.

July 31st, 2010, 4:43 pm

 

Husam said:

Alex & Jad:

Your friend Ehsani2, can not connect the dots between the two statements @ 137 because he can not see that they both can be true and they are not contradictory. Jad, please do me a favor and explain it your buddy.

Ehsani2, I will accept Alex’s request and not call you anything offensive. But, it may be fun for you to take your own IQ test or and an English refresher course.

[moderator’s note: Again, no need for the last part Husam in general, … plus, Ehsani is a highly accomplished and intelligent man. Alex]

July 31st, 2010, 4:49 pm

 

Nour said:

Shami,

I have explained numerous times that I do not defend the regime in Syria and I am fully aware of the damage Baathist rule has done to the country. However, the difference between me and you is that I believe these problems are symptoms of the current decadent state of our people due to our loss of national identity and not because a “minority” sect is “ruling” the “majority”. Moreover, to claim that Syria in the Ottoman period was a pillar of scientific and philosophical thought and an examplar of tolerance and openness is nonsense.

In any case, my argument was and continues to be that Syrian society by its very nature, due to its settlement culture, is civilized and urbanized, allowing for advanced thinking in the temporal and spiritual realm. This was not possible in Arabia where the continuous preoccupation over basic necessities of life prevented the society there from advancing greatly in the intellectual arena. Is there a difference now, due to the inception of urban life as a result of oil wealth? Sure. But please do tell me what Saudi Arabia produces in any artistic, scientific or philosophical field. “Quality of Life”, “growth” and other indices provided by NGO’s are misleading because they basically tell us that countries such as Saudi Arabia have been able to purchase from the west better products due to their oil wealth. However, in terms of artistic, scientific, and philosophical contributions Syrians, even in their current backwards state, still far outperform Saudi Arabians.

July 31st, 2010, 4:56 pm

 

SimoHurtta said:

Shai who is more “naive”
A)The one who with straight face explains that Mohamed Atta’s passport “flew” from his back pocket rather unharmed to the streets of New York after the plane hit WTC building and turned it literally to dust.
B) The one who believes in that official claim.

To make option B “better” not only Mohammed Atta’s passport was found also Satam al-Sugami’s in passport was found. The likelihood that the passport of Atta, who was claimed to be flying the plane (AA flight 11) and had so tens of tons kerosene behind his back, was saved must be astronomically small. The likelihood that two passports “survived” must be beyond the astronomical scale. My opinion is that those who believe in that have a bigger “self-deception problem” than those who are sceptical.

July 31st, 2010, 5:26 pm

 

Husam said:

Simohurrta:

I warn you, tread very carefully, you are entering the “conspiracy theorist’s abyss” and you will never come out of it here on Syria Comment.

The world’s top experts on Bin Laden – Bruce Lawrence of Duke University – says that recent Bin Laden tapes are fake but of course, America doesn’t engage in propaganda:

http://www.radiodujour.com/people/lawrence_bruce/

Here is the latest one for you, by the Guardian News

http://911blogger.com/news/2010-05-25/afghans-believe-us-funding-taliban-intellectuals-and-respected-afghan-professionals-guardiancouk-25-may-2010

Shai:

I miss you man. welcome back dude.

July 31st, 2010, 5:49 pm

 

jad said:

Husam,
Very few simple points that you seem to overlooked and this will be my last comment to you about the subject:

-When we flag that something wrong is going on that might be of a threatening matters like Dr. Elhadj point out in his article saying “Wahabi is on the rise between Syrian youths that the government and Syrian should be aware about and work not to let it go” is a ‘warning’ that should be taken seriously and never dismissed, you can’t deny that we have a problem in Syria and ignore it until it takes over the civil life, you need to tackle the issue from the beginning otherwise it’s too late, and that what you seems to not recognize and for some reason to think by warning about the issue it’s a message against Islam itself not against those who are using it to change the Syrian society.
The battle between liberals and religious exists allover the world and in my opinion which you already dismissed before “RELIGIONS as GOD DOESN’T HAVE ANY REASON TO EXIST IN THE STATES’ MATTERS AT ALL” and saying that doesn’t mean that I’m a bigot or hater of any faith, but a ‘CITIZEN’ of my COUNTRY not my RELIGION.

– Husam, again, you are new on SC, the Christian-Zionist subject comes periodically to discussion and many times on SC people commented on the subject so if it happened that you came when that subject wasn’t on SC it doesn’t mean that we don’t discuss it.
Besides, do you think that attacking other bad behavior or stupid ideas in other religions is the way to defend yours? it doesn’t work this way and Innocent Criminal told you that before.

– I wouldn’t ignore you for one simple reason, you are SYRIAN, you are my brother, you are one of us, I don’t care of AP or Almasri, they are not Syrians, as I do care about you the Syrian dude, this is why I can’t ignore my brother going in the wrong direction or write something which might be misunderstood and shut up. I CAN’T so please don’t ask me to ignore you again, I won’t.

– I’m honored to be called Ehsani’s ‘friend’/’buddy’/’whatever’ because I read what he writes and he is defiantly and absolutely not an emotional writer he is a man of numbers, math, reason and above all a wise and ethical man, in his brain, emotion doesn’t exist as you wrote about him of being against religious people out of fear because he is not, he is like most of people on here against radicalization of religions any religion on the expense of building a nation so please do not ask to test him on any subject, you are choosing the wrong person.

July 31st, 2010, 6:19 pm

 

EHSANI2 said:

I indeed cannot connect the dots. I am sure it must be my IQ. How dare I question that of others. I actually don’t see why its offending to question one’s IQ. I use the word loosely to describe a person’s ability to apply common sense and reason and not necessarily to pass Alex’s two dogs and ducks experiment. I would most likely flunk that test anyway.

July 31st, 2010, 7:05 pm

 

Husam said:

Jad:

Again thank you for your clarification and taking the time to write. Jad, I visit Syria every year, sometimes twice. I don’t see what Elie is trying to prove. Although, I see more women in Hijab, more people reading and understanding their scriptures, however I see more liberization, I see gays, I see tolerance, I see fashion, I see many muslims mixing with Christians. I also see more cafes, more bars, more Bikinis, and provoking clothes in many more places than before. Isn’t this true? So, why are people alarmed?

As a Syrian, that is what I see. I see more freedoms than before which is why I bought a house there as many expats are doing now. Yes, money is slowly flowing to Syria. You can’t change my views as my eyes don’t lie. If you, Elie, or anyone can show us (we, you, me) proofs that “radical islam” is entering Syria in an alarming underground way, I will reconsider my views and join the camp against it. Otherwise, I have to stick to what I know to be true and not what Elie wants us (me) to think.

You trust Elie, I don’t. You should respect what I feel despite your disagreement with me. To me Elie, is preconditioned and possibly went through hell in S.A. as a second class citizen. He probably felt black while there in hiding. I don’t blame him for that, but why would you stay in a country when you hate its tenets for so long? He mixes, matches, repackages things to fit his lack of knowledge of Islam in its true moderate meaning. You asked me to revisit my writing style, you could ask him to do the same. You think being repetitive about disputed fatwas and desperately bridging them to the demise of Syria to be convincing? He, too will be taken less seriously by many Mulsims like many have warned him here on SC. What you are asking me to do could and should apply to many others here. The difference is: Indoctrination of Syrian Youths is not my thesis, it is his. He has to defend it and proove it.

About Ehsani2, you can be honoured, your progrative. To say that he is not emotional, is incorrect because we all are, more or less. However, he insulted my IQ for no reason, called me all kinds of names and continous to do so BTW. If he was tolerant towards others, no ill feelings against Muslims, as you say he is, he would not be behaving in this way; like I am a loner in believing the official story of 9/11. You see 09/11 has very little, if anything to do with religion, but he attacked me on that as well because according to him, the shoe did not fit @ 137. When Elie or Ehsani2 can’t respond to someone’s facts or proofs, they resort to labels: fundamentalist, Hanbali, Wahabi, etc..

July 31st, 2010, 7:14 pm

 

Husam said:

Ehsani2:

Come on man? Your friend Jad says you are smart, numbers, etc…? If I called you stupid, how would your react?

Put it rest, please.

July 31st, 2010, 7:17 pm

 

Alex said:

Alright, let’s try to stick to “facts” which are relevant to our discussion (as Syrians).

Husam wrote: “If you, Elie, or anyone can show us (we, you, me) proofs that “radical islam” is entering Syria in an alarming underground way, I will reconsider my views and join the camp against it. Otherwise, I have to stick to what I know to be true and not what Elie wants us (me) to think.”

Who can tell us from experience, or who has a link to reputable sources?

July 31st, 2010, 7:42 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

The following substantiates my comments referencing Elie ElHadj’s directive to AP and his cronies in DC.

Israel’s Gurkha Army and Iran

Israel’s fifth column in the United States has long used the American military as what Juan Cole memorably described as Israel’s ‘Gurkha Army’.

They used the September 11 attacks as an opportunity to push the United States into a disastrous war against Israel’s regional enemies.

The war was planned and executed in Washington, but its inspiration came from Tel Aviv.

David Ben Gurion’s periphery doctrine had by the early 1980s evolved into Likud’s elaborate plan for dominating the region. It was developed and articulated by veteran Israeli diplomat Oded Yinon in the World Zionist Organization’s inhouse publication Kivunim. Ariel Sharon’s abortive attempt to implement the plan backfired after its invasion of Lebanon turned into a political and military fiasco.

Israel soon realized the limits of its power when fighting a popular resistance as opposed to the ill-equipped and poorly led Arab armies which it handily defeated. Meanwhile Yinon’s ideas were picked up and adapted by David Wurmser, the principal author of the infamous ‘Clean Break‘ and its lesser known, but more important follow up, ‘Coping with Crumbling States‘. They were given their fullest expression in Wurmser’s 1999 book Tyranny’s Ally published by AEI and endorsed by Richard Perle et al. At a time when Israel and the Likudnik neoconservatives were divided as to which regional rival needed to be confronted first — Iran or Iraq — Wurmser came up with a conceptual breakthrough which would neutralize both with a single stroke. In the place of the US strategy of ‘dual containment’ (developed by Israel lobbyist Martin Indyk), Wurmser proposed a strategy of ‘dual rollback’.

By invading Iraq, encouraging sectarian segregation, and empowering the Shia, the United States could eliminate Iraq as a major threat while at the same time exploiting the Iraq-Iranian doctrinal schism over Khomeini’s concept of wilayat-e-faqih to rollback the Iranian revolution.

Iraq and its present Grand Ayatullah command higher authority among Shias, he noted, and unlike the Iranian clergy, they don’t subscribe to wilayat-e-faqih. An assertive Iraqi Shia populace would therefore displace Iran as a center of the Shia world, its example would also spur the Saudi Shia to agitate against the central government.

So it was that in 2002 the neoconservatives leveraged their privileged access to Cheney and Rumsfeld to defeat the sceptics in the foreign policy establishment, the military joint chiefs of staff, and the intelligence agencies.

They waged a war that has destroyed over a million Iraqi lives, dispalced nearly 5 million, and impoverished the world by burning up nearly six trillion dollars (half of those costs will be born by the US alone).

But if you thought these agents of a foreign power would be laying low lest they draw more attention to themselves, you’d be disappointed. Deja vu: the neoconservatives now want the United States to wage another war for Israel.

The cast is familiar, so is the script. The only question that remains is how long the audience will put up with the charade. The US military has repeatedly put its foot down: it doesn’t want to fight another war for Israel. US businesses are even more sceptical. But where are the antiwar voices, and when will they call the Israel lobby on its treacherous machinations?

[Excerpts from the PULSE website.]

July 31st, 2010, 7:42 pm

 

Husam said:

Ghat:

You asked (or quoted) “But where are the antiwar voices, and when will they call the Israel lobby on its treacherous machinations?”

Ghat, the answer is simple: when there is no news agency that reaches mainstream America that is not bought and owned by Zionist and Neocons, America will bleed for Israel. The antiwar voices are on the internet, on blogs, etc… but go find them. The internet still doesn’t have the power of the major nightly news stations in effecting the majority of the audience’s (sheep) views.

The Arabs and its leaders are stuck in a quagmire. Corruption and the throne go hand in hand. And no Arab leader can unilaterally act, because Arabs are suspicious of each other and most are guilty of selling out. This, in a nutshell, is our weakness, which allows the west to exploit the Middle East in the name of democracy. Add to that the propaganda that “Muslims are coming to get us with their burqas”, people fell for it 1 Million+ Iraqis dead and counting. It did not matter what 20-30-48 percent of the people thought about WMDs, fabrications, entrapment of Muslims, etc.. the majority rules.

Those who doubt the entrapment of Muslims, especially by the FBI, CIA, etc need to read (Rounded Up) what we know about FBI activities when they can’t find terrorist, they create them. And read the Los Angeles Times article about what the FBI did at the Islamic Center in Irvine California. Ehsani2, would like this one.

July 31st, 2010, 9:26 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Alex,

Thanks for the clip.

The speaker is a fundamentalist Christian like, say, Pat Robertson (didn’t he have a Christian TV station in southern Lebanon?) So far, no US president has nuked Syria or even has threatened to nuke Syria. And someone like this speaker would never be president because Americans are wary and distrustful of evangelist Christians. Just look at Pat Robertson’s attempt to run for president.

I think the concern you and other Syrians may/should have is that a person like this is simply a staunch supporter of Israel. A person like this will not be swayed by terrorism like Pat Buchanan or Ron Paul.

Anyway, I look forward to your article.

July 31st, 2010, 11:17 pm

 

LeoLeoni said:

Alex, in my earlier posts I provided a study by Dr. Landis titled Islamic Education in Syria. It’s a detailed and comprehensive study of Islamic Education in Syrian schools from grades 4-12. I will post it again and ask Husam to have a look at it and tell us what he thinks. In that detailed research, we see that Islamic course in schools teach children that Islam as a religion is on top of the hierechy and Christianity, Judaism, Paganism, Atheism are all under. It reinforces the Islamic notion that Christians and Jews are dhimmis, allowed to live and get protection, but can not govern or rule. They shall not have equal political liberties. I quote Dr. Landis from his research on how these texts view pagans and atheists, which comprise at least a half the world.

“At the very bottom of the hierarchy beneath the revealed religions of the people of the book, are the belief systems of the rest of humanity, who are categorized as Atheists and Pagans. Only one paragraph is devoted to them in the twelve years of Syrian schooling and it is tucked away in the ninth grade text under the subtitle, Islam Fights Paganism and Atheism. It explains that pagans are those who worship something other than God, and atheists are those who deny the existence of God. Islam must fight these two belief systems because they are an assault to both instinct and truth. We are told that these belief systems contradict the principle of freedom of belief. This is because Islam gives freedom of belief only within the limits of the divine path, which means a religion descended from heaven. Because pagan religions were not revealed by God, they are considered an inferior form of belief that reflects an animal consciousness. How should Muslims deal with these peoples who comprise half of humanity? Students are instructed that Islam accepts only two choices for Pagans: that they convert to Islam or be killed (9:128). The Islam of Syrian texts does not have a happy formula for dealing with non-believers. Perhaps in recognition of this failing, the ministry of education has buried a mere six sentences on the subject into the middle of its ninth grade text.”1

I am a firm believer that reform starts from education. Years of religious indoctrination with the addition of media exposure as well as societal pressures definitely have their toll on the individuals. This is also the reason why the Arab countries and most nations with Muslim majority are least democratic and have the least freedoms, whether political, civil, or personal. Inserting the chapters of Islamic governance in Islamic lessons at school plays a detrimental role and I agree with Dr. Elhadj when he says that no genuine reform can occur without reform in Islam.

1. http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/L/Joshua.M.Landis-1/Islamic%20Education%20in%20Syria.htm

July 31st, 2010, 11:53 pm

 

Alex said:

Alright, let us ask Husam or Almasri two practical questions:

1) Do you see any problem with teaching Syrian students that Christians can not govern or the part about offering pagans (Indians and Chinese included?) conversion to Islam or death?

2) How would you react if the Syrian government decided to remove or dilute the above controversial parts?

August 1st, 2010, 1:16 am

 

Alex said:

Shai

Thank you for that TED clip. Very interesting, I did not see it before.

You know that Shermer said that too much propensity to see patterns where none exist is madness, too little is blindness (and danger), and somewhere in the middle you have “creativity”

That’s where I try to be : )

I think the 9/11 story is not entirely accurate. I do not know the facts, so I can not be so sure of anything there, but I know that some of the characters within the Bush administration are mass murderers (Iraq) and I know some of them have a tendency to think people are stupid and they can be fooled easily.

So I do believe in SOME conspiracies.

August 1st, 2010, 1:47 am

 

almasri said:

Alex @155,

Answer to 1 requires: First and foremost minorities in Syria (which could be Christians, Jews etc…) should come forward with a clear admission first to themselves (minorities) and then to their countrymen that Islam’s internal issues are the domain of its faithful adherents i.e. those who were brought up Muslims, or accepted Islam and practice its way of life. In other words, Muslims will not tolerate outsiders to the faith to come and tell them you Muslims should reform your religion in order to accommodate us (in fact Islam did accommodate other religions already) regardless of his or her intentions or knowledge. Once this is understood then the conclusion is obvious. Islam is a complete way of life which requires public affairs to be entrusted to Muslims of good faith. Therefore the answer to your question is out of the question; hence the constitution is clear on that. As for pagans or non-monotheistics, the answer is the same even though in the case of Syria it is strictly hypothetical. I do not believe, Indians or Chinese are about to board planes and colonize Syria. If they come in and are allowed by law they should know before hand that they need to naturalize according to the constitution which does not recognize pagans or atheists. Atheist Chinese immigrants to Canada are required to go to church before they are granted immigration.

The answer to your number 2 also follows from the above. The system of education should reflect the values of the people and religion is part of it. Islam is a propagative religion and it is here to stay – like it or dislike it. The only thing the government should do is to offer separate religion classes to non-Muslims and teach tolerance in all.

Finally, the term Wahhabi (Hanbali, extremists etc…) should not be used again as it is used by you and many others who do not understand what these terms mean – hence the first insult to Islam made by elhadge was actually in the title of his post. It is a great insult to all readers, particularly Muslims, to reduce some perceived problems to calling names or inventing phantoms. I hope you saw the videos that Husam linked in 123 that confirm what I said in 106 and 108. Unfortunately, nobody commented on these valuable clips (thanks Husam for the links), why? Such attempts by non-Muslims to create imaginary divisions within the larger community of Islam would only serve to further marginalize the minorities who lived together with Muslims peacefully for thousands of years with their Muslim neighbors and will increase alienation as they (minorities) would then be perceived as serving hostile agendas (Zionism, neoconism, etc…). It will further reduce the natural tendencies of both Muslims and non-Muslims for tolerance, coexistence and respect. This is my advice to you, to Joshua as well as to Mr. Elhadge and many others.

August 1st, 2010, 2:21 am

 

Shai said:

Alex,

I agree with you that History does have its share of conspiracies. However, I very much doubt the Bush Administration had anything to do with 9/11 for the same reason Shermer doubts it – it worked! 😉

August 1st, 2010, 3:25 am

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To Ghat:

I thought I clarified in 104 what I said to AP in 70.

My statement (in 70) was not intended to be as you (Ghat in 102) said: “can only be interpreted to be “warmongering”, against Muslims in general”, and to which you referred to yet again in 151.

Not at all, I simply brought the issue of the havoc in Afghanistan/ Pakistan to exemplify the dangers of Wahhabi education on the radicalization of the people in that region in order to draw attention to the terrible consequences on Syria’s societal harmony if Wahhabi infiltration into Syria’s schools is not stopped.

Pls. re-read what I wrote to AP in 70. Please explain where I even implied “’warmongering’, against Muslims in general”:

I wrote in 70: “please tell your friends in D.C. that in supporting their Wahhabi clients lies a mortal danger. The extremist religious foundation upon which 9/11 was built is still intact, alive and well.

The havoc in Afghanistan/Pakistan today is the product of years of Wahhabi money, schooling, and indoctrination of the poverty stricken people there.

To eliminate a terrorist cell or a thousand cells will not root out terrorism. Not only must the material and the financial infrastructure of terrorism be destroyed, but also the religious foundation upon which jihadism rests, starting with Wahhabism.”

I really do not see where I called for war “against all Muslims” as you (Ghat in 102) described. I called for a war on Wahhabi ideas and education and indoctrination.

I call for a war on Wahhabi proselytizing and radicalizing of moderate Muslims everywhere, including Syria, through Wahhabi TV stations, magazines, newspapers, schools, books, pamphlets, charities, etc.

If my intention was not clear in 70, as clarified in 104, I hope I succeeded in making matters clear now.

If you are interested in knowing what political positions I hold, why don’t you look at the five rather short articles under the heading “Iraq and US Mideast Politics” on my Blog? In such reading you’ll realize how unfair and wrong your conclusion was.

Elie

August 1st, 2010, 4:32 am

 

Off the Wall said:

Husam, Be careful, you are pinning yourself in a corner by siding, I must say, rather emotionally, with one poster. I have managed on rare occasions to have some civil dialog with such personalities, but I am under no illusion that at the earliest sign of serious disagreement with their intellectually violent rhetoric, they would resort, rather quickly, to threats and intimidations. You will fare no better. And I believe that at the first sign of independent thinking and deviation from the “accepted doctrine” you will be mistreated in manners no less than the vulgar mistreatment Dr. Elhadj is being subjected to and the excuse would be that you have strayed from the True dogma. I learned the hard way not to let temporary solidarity fool me. In fact as I read Jad’s comments to you, I find them much more respectful of your capacity for civil and thoughtful dialog than those proclaiming solidarity with you, but continue to treat you in condescending manner in one after another attempt to guide your thinking into the “right path”. I am sorry, but I believe that your enthusiasm is being used in a mean and rather mellicious way to bolster the argument of someone who is being tolerated for far too long.

I have never done this before, and in fact I have always been against banning anyone, but I believe that simple rhetorical analysis of some of Almasri’s comment have gone beyond his standard intellectual bullying. It is time that the moderators take action by banning, perhaps permanently, this character. It is nice to generate web traffic, but that should not come at the cost of having many posters being intimidated, threatened, and bullied.

Despite of being very secular person, I am one who has voiced, in no uncertain terms, my disagreement with several of Elie’s comments (Can i use first name with you Elie, I do not like honorifics very much?). He is occasionally wrong, in my opinion, when he prescribes detailed solutions, but he is absolutely right in calling for scientific, intellectual, and serious inquiry, and i will come to that either later in this post, or in a different post. In essence he is practicing a fundamental right, and in fact a duty, to warn his Syrian compatriots of what he and many others, including myself, perceive as a serious threat to the cohesion and progress of Syrian society. He is doing that under his real name, unlike most of us who continue to hide because of one reason, or another, under assumed names, and by that he is taking serious responsibility for his writings and actions. For that he earned my respect as i realize my own deficiencies. Calling him names is an intimidation that can only reflect complete failure to answer his questions except by resorting to blind parroting of what he is asking us all to ponder in manners deeper than arrogant thoughtless parroting of dogma written by insultingly arrogant, heartless, and intellectually vicious men protecting their tribal prestige and control over millions with out qualm of using anyone as intellectual cannon fodder, and as experience showed, even as physical cannon fodder when they get the chance.

Ibn Hanbal himself prohibited his students from writing down his fatwas and interpretations, he once said to one of his students, “do not write it down, for If I learned more, and changed my position, how would i know how to find you and tell you that I have changed my mind”. So even the father of Salafi school of thought, had the common decency and fear of god to recognize his fallibility. Those idolizing him and casting his teachings as an immutable pillar of Islam are going against his own teaching.

Furthermore, for fundamentalists to attack a Christian’s writings about Islam simply because the writer is Christian is a striking example of arrogant hypocrisy. How can they accept and give the right to Ibn Taymeya to write a 1000 page treaties questioning and refuting the essence of Christian beliefs and deny the others much simpler quest. I can even see the answer coming “how dare i equate Elie Alhadj with a pillar of islamic thoughts like Ibn Taymeya”. Well I do equate them not in their knowledge, but in their rights, and those who do not like it can either go complain to whomever the want to or face up and try to at least answer some of Elie’s questions thoughtfully not by asserting that what he is asking us to ponder is so supreme and as such,his questions are nullified by the fact that some of us accept the supremacy of these thoughts and the infallibility of those 8th and 11th century men who uttered them and those 21 century fossils propagating them. You can not invalidate an argument by arguing that the subject is too holly and thus the question is invalid. This is arrogant and intellectually bankrupt.

In all idolization of the two pillars of fundamentalist salafism, the defenders ignore to mention that the body of thoughts representing this dogma was developed by “men” over centuries of power struggle. A struggle that was characterized more often than not by resorting to the rulers to supress and abuse those presenting alternative thinking. Ibn hanbal himself was a victim of that before his fortunes turned and became a winner in that struggle and an oppressor in his own right. Ibn Taymeya’ obituaries of a pious Ghaznawi king congratulated the man for his oppression of sufi’s, shia, and other schools of thought. This was a militant struggle, the nature of which is foreign to Islam, that was carried out primarily to assert the power of so called Ulama over the Khilafa, which was considered largely secular issue during the early Umayad period. Ignoring the historical context of everything serves the fundamentalists rather well as it allows them to freeze human thought in a single instance of time. And more so, to continue to imagine and idealistic, far from reality, era of righteousness that we must return to.

I have more to say about Elie’s posting, but some repulsive and juvenile responses to his arguments made it necessary to write the above.

August 1st, 2010, 5:43 am

 

LeoLeoni said:

AlMasry,

First of all if Muslims like you or anyone wants others to respect them, then they must respect others even if they disagree with what they say. People have the right to criticize your interpretation of religion or even criticize your whole religion and question your faith. This is the 21st century and this is considered normal in almost all developed countries and by law there is nothing you can do about it because it’s freedom of speech, written in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, something that Muslim majority countries have a very big problem upholding. Muslims also have the right to change their religion without any threat from their society or their State. They can choose to leave to nothing or any other faith without the risk of being killed or physical harm. Arab and Muslim countries will only become developed countries when they start to comprehend the underlying notions of these freedoms and liberties.
You mix between the legal constitution of Syria and between what is written in Sharia and the Islamic classes in public schools. Fortunately our constitution doesn’t contain much Sharia, apart from the personal status laws and some other discriminating issues that oblige the president to be Muslim, which hopefully will be eliminated soon.

Al Masry said:
“As for pagans or non-monotheistics, the answer is the same even though in the case of Syria it is strictly hypothetical. I do not believe, Indians or Chinese are about to board planes and colonize Syria. If they come in and are allowed by law they should know before hand that they need to naturalize according to the constitution which does not recognize pagans or atheists. Atheist Chinese immigrants to Canada are required to go to church before they are granted immigration.”

Firstly, that is not strictly hypothetical. There are many Syrians who do not adhere to any religion at all. The constitution never mentions anything about pagans or atheists. It is your thoughts, stemming from the Sharia, that discriminate, and this is where our fundamental problem lies. In fact, the constitution is pretty clear when stating there shall be no discrimination based on race, religion, or gender. That is why the State and the people should view religion as a personal matter and not something that should be dealt with in politics or legislation. As for your claim that Canada requires its immigrants to attend church before granting it’s citizenship (if that is what you meant), that is pure bogus. Bring the source to this one. Around 23% of Canadians are Atheist.1 I’m sure the percentage would be even higher if they included other nonreligious people like Deists, Agnostics, Skeptics, etc. The government in Canada does not interfere in the religious convictions of their citizens or residents. The Canadian legal and political system doesn’t discriminate based on religion. There are more religious freedoms in any developed or Western country than any Muslim majority country. Even as a Muslim you have your full rights to preach and proselytize without being harassed or silenced (unless of course you start to preach hate and violence). Now in return tell me, how many Muslim majority countries grant licenses for Churches and other temples as easy as they grand it to Mosques? Whether you are Muslim, Christian, Jew, Pagan, or Atheist, you should have respect and be treated equally in Syria or any other country in the world, because it is your choice in what you want to believe or disbelieve in and not anyone else has the right to choose or decide for you.

As for your solution that the government in Syria should offer non-religion classes to non-Muslims. They already do so that with Christianity. But then what about those with other faiths? or those with no faith at all? It would be better if those classes were not mandatory to the students, given that many parents I know would prefer not to have their kids learn religion at school. Dr. Landis mentioned that minorities in Syria are obliged to learn Islam in school while it is taught from a Sunni perspective. We have many minorities in Syria including Alawites, Shia, Ismaelis, Druze, etc. and many parents find it unfair that they are obliged to be taught religion from a single mazhab’s perspective only. In the US there are thousands of denominations, imagine if they tried to implement religion class in public school. Would they teach them Orthodox or Catholicism or one of hundreds of Protestant denominations? Faith is a personal matter and it’s not the business of the State of the government to make it a public issue as that would always favor one denomination over the others, which makes it inherently unfair. So they should either offer loads of different religious class which are not mandatory, like what Finland does (in Finland if 3 or more students in a class are from a particular faith, they are allowed to request a special teacher to come and teach them their religion, at the expense of the public school), but that is highly difficult to implement in Syria. The other choice is to not have it at all, just like the US, Canada, France, and tens of other developed nations. Religion class could then be replaced with a course on ethics and civics, where students would be informed about different ethical philosophies from both secular and religious standpoints and also be taught about basic rights and proper civics, something that our citizens could really benefit from.

As for your last paragraph regarding Wahhabism, the movement exists whether you agree to its existence or not. You can open any academic textbook on Islam or the history of Saudi Arabia from a proper and recognized educational institute and you would find the movement being mentioned there. We did not claim that Wahhabism as a sect or a Mazhab, or even a school of Islamic jurisprudence, and Dr. Elhadj mentioned earlier that they adhere to the strict Hanbalite code. Nevertheless, they are an existing puritan movement that was established in the 18th century. They were strong supporters of Al Saud and at one point had their own militia named Al Ikhwan (no relation to the Ikhwan or Muslim brotherhood of Hassan Al Banna), which led several raids on Karbala in Iraq, Al Jahra in Kuwait, and Al Hijaz region in modern Saudi Arabia. They desecrated many tombs and shrines for the Shiites in Karbala in 1802. They also desecrated the tombs of Muhammad’s companions in Medina because they perceived them as idols. The Taliban movement in Afghanistan and their students who were taught by Deobandi Islamic Schools (An Islamic movement very similar to the Wahhabi that stemmed in the South Asian contitent) and financed by Saudi Arabian Wahhabi petrodollars in the 80s and 90s led to similar acts in destroying the statue of Buddha when they came to power in Afghanistan. The whole world asked them not to destroy this historical monument with no avail. Also their initiation of the ministry of promotion of virtue and suppression of vice was highly influenced by the wahhabi petrodollars that was flowing to fuel their ideology and regime. You can see that influence in many other parts in the world, including Syria. Unfortunately, many Muslims today, and more growing in Syria, view the movement as a mojadedeen or revivalism. This is not the case at all. If anything, the Wahhabi movement believes that the best moment in humanity was when Muhammad and his companions lived, thus proper Muslims should emulate them and refuse any bidaa or innovation. All they are doing is recycling old ideas and giving them a repacking. It’s also unfortunate that some hail them as heroes for destroying graves and other things that some people might view as important or sacred. This is the ultimate infringement upon religious freedom. Some people would rather die than have their sacred being desecrated and destroyed physically. It’s unfortunate that instead of promoting religious freedoms in our society, some of us, who seem to be well educated, defend these radicals and come to accept their ideology as something pure and righteous, and would agree to spread their thoughts and ideas in their society, which has known toleration and freedom for centuries.

August 1st, 2010, 5:55 am

 

LeoLeoni said:

I forgot to mention in my previous post the source of the percentage of atheists in Canada statistic.

1. http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/434725

August 1st, 2010, 6:16 am

 

Shami said:

Jad,i didnt attack them for being of poor origin ,but because they were under the influence of the culture of resentment .For me the good example is Lula ,the president of Brazil ,he lived the most extreme poverty during his youth but this past has not been translated to resentment and complex of hatred against the aristocratic culture.

August 1st, 2010, 7:08 am

 

Off the Wall said:

LEOLEONI
Thanks for bringing the issue to a proper perspective. And also many thanks for bringing up the “other” taboos including Atheism and Paganism into the picture. It is about time we bring everyone into such discussion.

Elie
One of my more significant concerns about your approach is the coupling of your call for re-consideration of Islamist’s dogma with the event of 9-11. I believe that such coupling serves the interests of hate mongers and neocons. Your examples of the intimidation practiced against free thinking scholars such as Taha Husain is a strong illustration of the fact that the problem far predates 9-11 and that in itself and on its own, and as tragic and criminal as it is, 9-11 is not what requires us to undergo the serious inquiry you are proposing. I would venture to say that as an event, its aftermath calls more for questioning democratic countries and their declared commitment to justice, human rights, and due process. Just consider their callous view of the value of “brown people” lives as their atrocities and murder of civilians in Gaza, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere have demonstrated, not to mention secret jails, rendering, and numerous other violations in the name of combating so called “Islamic terrorism”. The need for scientific inquiry in Islam is clear and present, but it has nothing to do with 9-11, the only 9 and 11 that are relevant in this regards are the 9th and 11th centuries, to which some people want to freeze Islam, and your calls for scientific inquiry would be much better received when they are decoupled from the post 9-11 malicious calls for war propagated by AIPAC and the Israel firsters and their Christian zionist and islamophobic allies in the US and elsewhere using 9-11 as an excuse. I would argue that we need the freedoms you are advocating despite of these rascals and not because of their hateful excuses. Your cal to AP to hold off his friends from protecting wahabis ignores the fact that such protection has been guaranteeing Israel’s hegemony in the region and its ability to continue its murderous policies in gaza and theft of Arab land and rights elsewhere.

More to come

August 1st, 2010, 8:08 am

 

Norman said:

In days like these , i never been happier not to have my name mentioned ,

OTW , I like what you write ,

Few points ,

Islam (( understanding )) not Islam should be reformed by Muslims and the government should provide protection for open debate without intimidation , any call from outsiders to the faith to do so will be used by the ones who do not want the change as an assault on Islam and will make any change harder to get ,

Islam has one one book for all Muslims , the Koran , the fragmentation of Islam came afterward and serve the fragmentation leaders between Sufi, shia and all the others and they are there to fragment the faith and serve the leaders of these fragments and divide Muslims , these interpreters of Islam might be what i believe the Prophet warned of , many false prophets that came after him ,

Religion should be offered at school and should be about Islam , Christianity and judaism as they are the major religions in Syria , it should not be on what divide the Syrians but what unite them , not what the Sunni or the shia or the orthodox or the Catholics want , I personal know more about Christianity than my children who are born in the US , I rarely went to Church except on holidays , we did not have a Church where i grew up and my family is not religious and all i know came from going to school .

Being religious is good it means you fear God , you do not lie or steal , care about others and their feeling ,
being fanatic is a different story it means you think that your faith gives you some preferential treatment and qualification that others do not have , that is what we do not need , Syria deserve the talents of all Syrians ,

We all should remember that religions are just ways for better relation between people and all religions or even no religion will lead to Heaven if people treat each other well and care about each other and be good citizens and anybody thinks that his religion is the only religion and only path to heaven , good for him , keep Heaven all to your self and do not try to convert others as the least people are in Heaven the more you have for yourself ,

many of the problem that i see in Syria comes from the believe that the family and the tribe are more important than the individual , the honor of the family what leads to honor killing , the notion that somebody is good because he has a good family leads only to be dependent on the family for achievements ,
People who keep talking about their family have probably nothing to show up for their own achievements ,

That is enough , for now , I tend to repeat myself ,

August 1st, 2010, 8:12 am

 

EHSANI2 said:

OFF THE WALL and LEOLEONI feel like a breath of fresh air in an intense summer heat. Just when you feel like giving up, two examples of intellect and voices of reason come along to sooth your mind and give you a ray of hope for the future of this region.

August 1st, 2010, 8:31 am

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To Off the Wall,

Thank you for a most thoughtful, articulate, and constructive comment. You renewed my faith that Syria’s cultural sophistication is still alive and well.

Of course you can call me by my first name. Such informality is friendly and refreshing. I’ve always encouraged my acquaintances, friends, and colleagues to be on a first name basis.

Elie

August 1st, 2010, 8:48 am

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

To: E. Elhadj.

In my mind, your lengthy #159 in no way obviates my conclusions.

#1. On principle any religious issue can only RIGHTFULLY be resolved by the people that profess to be of that religion.

[Your claim that your intentions to invite AP and his buddies in DC to oppose and/or fight Wahabism therefore is highly irregular if not suspect to aay the least]

#2. When US policy was directed at supporting the military actions against the Russians in Afghanistan its highly doubtful that they insisted on “special” Muslims only to do the killing.

#3. To propose that AP and his buddies in DC are able to distinguish who is a Sunni, Shia, Wahabi in Afghanistan and or Pakistan is the height of comic book intellect.

[Unless of course the population of those nations carry signs proclaiming their religious affiliations]

Again my emphasize on ethical/moral issues proposals/discussions/actions within religious groupings are best and better resolved by those directly affected and not by AP and his buddies in DC.

August 1st, 2010, 8:54 am

 

Shami said:

OTW,

Who is this Ghaznawi king ?

The Ghaznawi king i know ,is Mahmud ,the famous turkish king of Persia who was known for his great culture and a patron of the arts accompagnied by Al Biruni and other great minds.

BTW,Ibn Taymiyya was himself a Hanbali Qadiri Sufi.
His tomb was located in the cemetery of the sufis in Damascus.

Other thing ,the most hideous sectarian killing in Islam were committed by the heterodox sects like the Alevis and Nusayris.(the last one happened in Hama)

Despite all what he said on the wahhabi intolerance,Saudi Arabia has millions of Sufis and Shias.
Btw ,the Shias(Ismailis and 12 Imamis) of Saudi Arabia are the oldest Shia communities in the world .

I agree that the destruction of important historical buildings in the Arabian Pensinsula was an unacceptable action .

August 1st, 2010, 9:37 am

 

Norman said:

Ghat ,

I agree with you as you can see above that Islam understanding should be reformed by Muslims , the problem as i see it is that the neocon and the enemies for Islam are using the present day teaching of Islam as an excuse to attack not just Muslims but Islam itself as an extreme religion , the present teaching of Islam is plying for the enemies of Islam that fear that Islam as it started will spread to the West as it did in early Islam as a religion of tolerance low taxes as opposed to the high taxes of the Roman and Persian empires ,

August 1st, 2010, 9:42 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

“Islamic terrorism” & “Scientific Inquiry” NewZ

One of my more significant concerns about your approach is the coupling of your call for re-consideration of Islamist’s dogma with the event of 9-11. I believe that such coupling serves the interests of hate mongers and neocons.

OTW,

Who do the “neocons” hate? To you have a Hamas or Hezbollah or al-Queda type credo or charter/link showing who they hate?

I would venture to say that as an event, its aftermath calls more for questioning democratic countries and their declared commitment to justice, human rights, and due process.

Tell us about justice, human rights, and due process in the Middle East. I would “venture to say” that in “democratic countries”, all these ideals are far beyond what the Middle East has to offer.

Just consider their callous view of the value of “brown people” lives as their atrocities and murder of civilians in Gaza, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere have demonstrated, not to mention secret jails, rendering, and numerous other violations in the name of combating so called “Islamic terrorism”.

OTW,

“Brown People” was voted in as President of the United States as in Barack Obama. And why have you put quotes around the term “Islamic Terrorism”? Do you not read the news paper? Also, the death of civilians in war is often NOT a war crime. True, some countries like the US, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Palestine and Syria can kill civilians in war without the scrutiny that Israel gets.

… and your calls for scientific inquiry would be much better received when they are decoupled from the post 9-11 malicious calls for war propagated by AIPAC and the Israel firsters and their Christian zionist and islamophobic allies in the US and elsewhere using 9-11 as an excuse.

9-11 is just the tip of the iceberg. Do you think Islamic Terrorism is just made up of 9-11? There is plenty of “scientific inquiry” in the area of terrorism. You just need to be a scientist, sift through the data, and draw your conclusions.

http://www.janes.com/info/jtic/afghanistan_demo.htm

Your cal to AP to hold off his friends from protecting wahabis ignores the fact that such protection has been guaranteeing Israel’s hegemony in the region and its ability to continue its murderous policies in gaza and theft of Arab land and rights elsewhere.

Saudi Arabia is an excellent example of the terrorist problem we are facing. As Elie has stated, the wahabi ideology is dangerous, yet Saudi Arabia doesn’t send arms to extremists or threaten her neighbors. Saudi Arabia only “exports” ideology.

Elie, I think, is very troubled by this and I have to agree with him.

OTW, define “hegemony”? Is “hegemony” illegal? Is Israel’s existence bothersome to you or is it something else?

Barack Obama, as much as I dislike his ideology, has now been pressuring the PA to negotiate face-to-face with the GOI. Why do you suppose he’s taking this view?

August 1st, 2010, 10:31 am

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

To: AP and his “troubled” friend who are committed to ridding the world from Islamic terrorism and who by implication believe that:

“One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.”

“One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.” –Rabbi Ya’acov Perin in his eulogy at the funeral of mass murderer Dr. Baruch Goldstein.

“Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves …
politically we are the aggressors and they defend
themselves… The country is theirs, because they
inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle
down, and in their view we want to take away from them
THEIR COUNTRY ….. Behind the terrorism [by the
Arabs] is a movement, which though primitive is not
devoid of idealism and self sacrifice.”–

David Ben Gurion. Quoted on pp 91-2 of Chomsky’s Fateful Triangle, which appears in Simha Flapan’s “Zionism and the Palestinians” pp 141-2 citing a 1938 speech.

August 1st, 2010, 11:31 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

AP and his “troubled” friend who are committed to ridding the world from Islamic terrorism and who by implication believe that:

Ghat,

You forgot to put “Islamic terrorism” in quotes.

And for every Baruch Goldstein, there are 100 incidents of muslims killing muslims. Let’s apply “scientific inquiry”.

So explain to us the unexplainable: why doesn’t Arab/muslim terrorism concern you as much as Jewish terrorism?

August 1st, 2010, 12:04 pm

 

Husam said:

Shai:

You said: “I don’t think that Bush Admin..had anything to do with”, then why was Norad told to stand down by VP. DICK Cheney?

August 1st, 2010, 12:07 pm

 

norman said:

Husam ,
Are you reading Jessi Ventura’s book ,? American consiperecies , I listened to it recently , he makes your arguements ,

August 1st, 2010, 12:22 pm

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To Off the Wall

Thanks.

You said: “One of my more significant concerns about your approach is the coupling of your call for re-consideration of Islamist’s dogma with the event of 9-11”.

I agree with you. Such a statement could be misconstrued, though it is not my intention whatsoever to call for violence against any one. My explanation to Ghat in 104, repeated in 159, is as much as I can make my intention in this regards clear.

I applaud your statement:

“The need for scientific inquiry in Islam is clear and present, but it has nothing to do with 9-11, the only 9 and 11 that are relevant in this regards are the 9th and 11th centuries, to which some people want to freeze Islam.”

To EHSANI2,

You put it perfectly:

“OFF THE WALL and LEOLEONI
feel like a breath of fresh air in an intense summer heat. Just when you feel like giving up, two examples of intellect and voices of reason come along to sooth your mind and give you a ray of hope for the future of this region.”

So very true! Thanks.

To Ghat,

The reference in my comment (70) was clearly and specifically to Wahhabi Saudia. Please do not go on tangents and drag other Muslim countries into the statement. Please do not put words in my mouth.

I have repeated for you the relevant sentence in 70 twice so far. Here it is again:

“In supporting their Wahhabi clients lies a mortal danger. The extremist religious foundation upon which 9/11 was built is still intact, alive and well”.

The reference is specifically to Saudi Wahhabis and not to any other country.

Therefore, less support from D.C. to the Saudi regime, much more pressure from D.C. on the Saudi regime to crack on Wahhabi clerics, and much more pressure from D.C. on Saudia to modify Wahhabi educational curricula would go some way towards fighting the spread of extremism. Please do not forget that Saudia is a client state and cannot afford to defy Washington.

Elie

August 1st, 2010, 12:42 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Shami
Who is this Ghaznawi king ?

From Wikipedia’s Article on : Abu Mansur Sebuk Tigin (of the Gaznawi dynasty –not necessarily a blood relative of Shah Mahmood)

Censuring the People of Innovation
A pious ruler, Sebüktegin grew concerned over the increasing amount of innovation (commonly known as bidah) in the Islamic creed, and consequently censured those who he believed were promulgating heretical doctrines or beliefs that contravened orthodox Sunni principles.[4] Ibn Taymiyyah duly eulogizes Sebüktegin, stating that he:

commanded that Ahlul Bidah be publicly cursed on the minbars, and as a result the Jahmiyyah, Rafida, Hulooliyah, Mu’tazilah, and Qadariyah were all publicly cursed, along with the Asharites.[5]

Seems that the esteemed scholar only considered himself and his fellow Hanbalites as true muslims. All others must be cursed and censored.

AP

Who do the “neocons” hate? To you have a Hamas or Hezbollah or al-Queda type credo or charter/link showing who they hate?

They hate anything that is not right wing Israeli, this include Israeli left. They even don’t care for American blood and treasure being shed on the alter of right wing fanatic Israel ( given how Israel is heading, may be we should call it from now on Talibasrael). And don’t try your hasbara wisecrack about charters here. It does not fly. If the netenyahu clean break document and the new american century are not charters, they are Manifestos. You know both documents exist Go find the links yourself, I am not doing your homework.

“Brown People” was voted in as President of the United States as in Barack Obama. And why have you put quotes around the term “Islamic Terrorism”? Do you not read the news paper?

No, I don’t read merican papers, they are, with few exceptions pathetic in their kowtowing to hasbara as demonstrated during the high sees piracy by the IDF. I left reading “all of them” papers to your beloved Sara Palin

Also, the death of civilians in war is often NOT a war crime. True, some countries like the US, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Palestine and Syria can kill civilians in war without the scrutiny that Israel gets.

It is not war crime only when the very powerful commit it. despite of regional hegemony, Talibasrael is not that powerful yet. Are you telling me that the murders in Darfour are not war crimes, Congratulations, Talibasrael and Gangaweed are equally moral. I will quote you on that. May be you should represent Omar Al-Bashir in the Hague.

9-11 is just the tip of the iceberg. Do you think Islamic Terrorism is just made up of 9-11? There is plenty of “scientific inquiry” in the area of terrorism. You just need to be a scientist, sift through the data, and draw your conclusions.

I think there is terrorism. It could be Talibasraeli IDF sanctioned settlers terrorism as in Gaza and the west bank or Talibani as in Afghanistan, or Alqaida as on 9-11. Either way it is terrorism. Painting it “islamic” to suite your Israel first campaign will work only for a while, but not for ever. We are talking about an issue that the policies you espouse aggravated, so you are not the victim here, you are part of the problem and many people in the US are beginning to see that. If the dead in the towers can speak, i think they will point the finger to your hero Ronald Reagan and his allies in KSA as much as to Alqaida terrorists, and I am not talking conspiracy theory here, I am talking blow-back theory.

OTW, define “hegemony”? Is “hegemony” illegal? Is Israel’s existence bothersome to you or is it something else?

Go do your homework yourself and find words in the dictionary, I am not your hasbara volunteer intern.

August 1st, 2010, 12:56 pm

 

Shai said:

OTW,

I second Ehsani’s comment in 166. Your wisdom and your strength give me hope as well. And your words remind me, yet again, why I came to SC in the first place.

Husam,

I meant it as a joke, saying that the Bush Administration couldn’t possibly have anything to do with 9/11, because 9/11 succeeded…

I don’t know about all the conspiracy theories out there, but I do know that the overwhelming evidence collected and investigated points at a huge strategic surprise and failure by the U.S. Intelligence Community, with the success belonging to Al Qaeda. Those 19 hijackers, from Saudi, Egypt, UAE, and Lebanon, did exist, did board those planes, did hijack them, and did fly them into the WTC’s, Pentagon, and ground.

Detonation bombs, flying passports, and fake OBL’s, all sound like SCIFI to me.

Having said that, I will admit that Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK” did have me thinking about the possibility of a real conspiracy in the assassination of JFK. Maybe one day, if Oliver Stone makes a movie on 9/11, I’ll consider a conspiracy here as well… 😉

August 1st, 2010, 1:42 pm

 

Alex said:

Shai,

While we wait for Oliver Stone to do a 9/11 movie, we can start with some of the rich content on YouTube that shows how the Bush administration was all about lies and deception

August 1st, 2010, 3:02 pm

 

Shai said:

Alex,

Well, I did watch Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11”, and was impressed. There’s no doubt some in the Bush Gang benefitted tremendously from 9/11, Iraq, etc. But to suggest Bush or some in his administration (and/or FBI, etc.) planned and orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, is a bit too much for me.

August 1st, 2010, 3:07 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

Israeli youth being raised on racism

by News Source on August 1, 2010

Max Blumenthal reports:

On July 26, Israeli police demolished 45 buildings in the unrecognized Bedouin village of al-Arakib, razing the entire village to the ground to make way for a Jewish National Fund forest. The destruction was part of a larger project to force the Bedouin community of the Negev away from their ancestral lands and into seven Indian reservation-style communities the Israeli government has constructed for them. The land will then be open for Jewish settlers, including young couples in the army and those who may someday be evacuated from the West Bank after a peace treaty is signed. For now, the Israeli government intends to uproot as many villages as possible and erase them from the map by establishing “facts on the ground” in the form of JNF forests. (See video of of al-Arakib’s demolition here).

One of the most troubling aspects of the destruction of al-Arakib was a report by CNN that the hundreds of Israeli riot police who stormed the village were accompanied by “busloads of cheering civilians.” Who were these civilians and why didn’t CNN or any outlet investigate further?

I traveled to al-Arakib yesterday with a delegation from Ta’ayush, an Israeli group that promotes a joint Arab-Jewish struggle against the occupation. The activists spent the day preparing games and activities for the village’s traumatized children, helping the villagers replace their uprooted olive groves, and assisting in the reconstruction of their demolished homes. In a massive makeshift tent where many of al-Arakib’s residents now sleep, I interviewed village leaders about the identity of the cheering civilians. Each one confirmed the presence of the civilians, describing how they celebrated the demolitions. As I compiled details, the story grew increasingly horrific. After interviewing more than a half dozen elders of the village, I was able to finally identify the civilians in question. What I discovered was more disturbing than I had imagined.

Arab Negev News publisher Ata Abu Madyam supplied me with a series of photos he took of the civilians in action. They depicted Israeli high school students who appeared to have volunteered as members of the Israeli police civilian guard (I am working on identifying some participants by name). Prior to the demolitions, the student volunteers were sent into the villagers’ homes to extract their furniture and belongings. A number of villagers including Madyam told me the volunteers smashed windows and mirrors in their homes and defaced family photographs with crude drawings. Then they lounged around on the furniture of al-Arakib residents in plain site of the owners. Finally, according to Matyam, the volunteers celebrated while bulldozers destroyed the homes.

“What we learned from the summer camp of destruction,” Madyam remarked, “is that Israeli youth are not being educated on democracy, they are being raised on racism.” [Read Max’s full report which includes photos.]

August 1st, 2010, 3:47 pm

 

Alex said:

No, not “planned and orchestrated” the killing of thousands of their citizens.

But they knew something was about to happen but assumed it was the old style hijacking of a plane that the Palestinians used to do 40 years ago. They let them hijack a plane hoping to use it as an excuse to invade Iraq and Afghanistan.

Remember the TED video clip you linked to? … People learn how to connect the dots based on their estimates of probabilities that they derived from their previous experiences with similar potential risks. Right wing planners (American and/or Israeli) remember that most, if not all, of the planes hijacked ended up being rescued by a (usually Israeli) commando team that kills the hijackers with a minimal loss of life among the passengers. Roughly, this is their estimate of a “type II error” … manageable.

Were the Bush administration neocons and their right wing Israeli security experts able to live with the possibility that a handful of passengers could have died when an Israeli or American commando unit rescued that hijacked plane?

I hope you agree that they are not that sensitive a group.

They knew the BL lunatics were planning to hijack a plane and they said “Good, let them do it. We will show them how we will deal with them and how much we will milk that hijacking”

That’s the extent of my version of what happened … not as wild as the ones we see on Youtube with the Americans installing explosives in the towers, or a missile hitting the Pentagon … But they knew something was about to happen and they let it happen, thinking (based on similar historical events) it will only be a classic hijacking that ends with glory for the commandos who rescue them and a perfect excuse to go after them … to Iraq and Afghanistan (and 7 other countries)

For a conspiracy theory to be attractive, it has to satisfy conditions C1, C2 , C3, C4 …

C1= those behind it demonstrated their propensity to lie, manipulate, abuse their power …
C2= they are the confident, risk taking types
C3= they have significant influence on mainstream media
C4= they have the necessary resources to plan, or manage the conspiracy

Is there any reason why we should doubt that the neocons very nicely fit this model?

August 1st, 2010, 3:54 pm

 

Husam said:

OTW @ 160:

Thank you for your email and like Jad, although I may disagree with you on several issues, I still have a great deal of respect for you.

You said: “Husam, Be careful, you are pinning yourself in a corner by siding with Almasri….You will fare no better, etc.. ”

I find this bullying and may be precieved as a threat.

About your first paragraph, rest assured, I am not swayed by either Almasri, Elie, or you for that matter. I am a free man and I make my own mind of what I think to be the truth and what I am comfortable in believing. I don’t mind being the black sheep as long as I am a free man, expressing myself freely WITHOUT insulting other people’s faith. Perhaps Almasri’s style is hostile, condescending, bullying, etc… but as we clearly learned in this post, he was not the a only one who is emotional, out of line, rude, name calling etc… Thus, asking me to write him off is your choice, not mine. I called for banning of A.P., and was told negative. You see the way I see it, freedom of religion should be viewed as equal. Meaning, what is the difference between Almasri saying Athiest are extremist ungodly bigoted people, from Elie calling me an extremist wahabi, islamist, etc…? What makes Elie a better person than Almasri? To “each other”, they are both extremist. Think about that for one minute.

You said; “He is occasionally wrong, in my opinion, when he prescribes detailed solutions, but he is absolutely right in calling for scientific, intellectual, and serious inquiry…”

What do you mean by “ scientific, intellectual, serious inquiry”? Who do you want to do such an inquiry, Elie? Muslims have existed for over 1500 hundred years making inquiries. Perhaps you did not read my previous comment where I said there are already tons of Islamic conferences, debates, internet sites where all they do is answer questions that Elie seemed troubled with. Why doesn’t he take his issues to the proper forum where scholars can answer his question…stand up and ask the question? Why do we bounce all over the place? I attended such conference in various cities and no one is intimidated, threatened, or screened at the door, as many seem to be advocating here. You think that those conference are not serious? They are attended by 10’s of thousands from all over the place by people of many backgrounds.

You said: “He is doing that under his real name, unlike most of us who continue to hide because of one reason, or another, under assumed names, and by that he is taking serious responsibility for his writings and actions.”

FYI, my real name is Husam. I am not retired, nor do I have a blog, or do I have the time to spend more than I currently do away from my family. Does that mean my voice is less important or less credible than Elie. If he was taking full responsibility for his actions, he would answer the many questions left unanswered. He has spent less time here defending his article than most of his friends.

You said: “Furthermore, for fundamentalists to attack a Christian’s writings about Islam simply because the writer is Christian is a striking example of arrogant hypocrisy.

I did not see anyone attacking him due to his belief, I did see Almasri questioning his knowledge of Islam, and to tell you the truth, I think he is deficient in this area to say the least.

And OTW, you said “fundamentalist full stop… to attack a Christian” Who are the fundamentalist? Why is this term automatically refers Muslims? Do you ever ask yourself that question? Don’t Jewish fundamentalist attack Christians? These are serious labels and errors that bother Muslims. We all know fundamentalism can apply to securalists, Isn’t this true? I am merely pointing out to you that we are guilty, save for a few commentators, that are putting labels on people.

You said: “I can even see the answer coming “how dare i equate Elie Alhadj with a pillar of islamic thoughts like Ibn Taymeya”. Well I do equate them not in their knowledge, but in their rights,…”

I disagree with you, first you gain knowledge then you make an argument. A right is not an absolute right over others. Almasri and I, are not the only ones that think Elie is weak in Islam.

You said: “You can not invalidate an argument by arguing that the subject is too holly and thus the question is invalid. This is arrogant and intellectually bankrupt.”

OTW, I respectfully disagree, let Elie bring his argument to a holly man, and Imam, a scholar, and challenge him intellectually and spiritually. I think half of the contributors here said that the proper platform for discussing Aisha (PBUH) is not on SC.

You said: “I have more to say about Elie’s posting, but some repulsive and juvenile responses to his arguments made it necessary to write the above.“

I don’t think Almasri is more “juvenile” than AP, Ehsani2, or Elie. His temperment is something else. Remember, Elie requested that those who disagree with him post their CV’s, as if only elitist secularist views don‘t require a CV. I believe I can learn something new from a child. I find Ehasani2 arguments Juvenile, should I call for him to be banned?

BTW…OTW, if I offended you in anyway, that was not my intention.

[Again Alex, where are you here..re: juvenile]

August 1st, 2010, 6:36 pm

 

Husam said:

Norman:

You are a funny guy, I like you. You are the type of Christian I like to call my brother, because the way you write @ 165 is innocent and extremely well intended. Unfortunately, many people feel that religion break us apart. I agree more with you.

August 1st, 2010, 7:39 pm

 

Husam said:

Alex:

I have not forgotten you, I will answer your questions very shortly. You are asking me a personal question, and I need to reflect rather than jump to conclusions. I hope you understand that, and thank you for your patience in advance.

August 1st, 2010, 8:22 pm

 

Shami said:

OTW,he was the father of Mahmud .
Ibn Taymiyya was son of his time and a survivor of the Mongolian attacks against Bilad al Sham ,so he should be considered in his context and not as if he was among us here.
His fatwas are obsolete today.
Nowadays he is studied in the west for his criticism of philosophy, a field that he mastered in depth,i would have hoped that the extremists we face today own his philosophical knowledge.

August 1st, 2010, 8:26 pm

 

almasri said:

Husam @183,

Thanks for your very thoughtful post which clearly shows your adherence to principles.

This is the second and last time (will not even visit after this) I break my word because of you, as I do not want to leave while you may wonder why I am not coming back. I meant what I said in 108 regarding not being able to be part of this hypocrisy of this site of Dr. Landis. I am glad you discovered who the actual intellectual bullies are, and you eloquently made the case. In fact, it may just have happened by luck. Alex actually took off the first paragraph of my comment 157 in which I restated what I requested in 108 before answering his questions. I made it clear to Alex that I am not coming back because of my comment 108 and I am only answering his hypothetical challenge. There was nothing offensive in that paragraph for him to take it off. However, if Alex left it there, this character OTW would have saved himself the embarrassment he has been through.

It is amazing that I know very little about you. I do not know your e-mail address to exchange behind the scene ideas as others are so keen to do, and I do not recall dictating any thoughts or making any attempts to guide you to any particular ideology or thoughts. For all practical purposes it was all done in the open, and I would be foolish to assume that anyone can dictate to you anything contrary to what you believe in. What we exchanged basically were opinions that we may have agreed or disagreed upon. We certainly did not form a chorus to compete with the existing and well established uni-tonal one you clearly see here on SC (the so-called secularists or as we say in Arabic الدهريون او الجهميون). We had some misunderstandings in the beginning. And I assure you from my part they were only triggered out of concerns to someone that I felt was unfamiliar with the territory.

Salamu 3alaykum and all the best.

August 1st, 2010, 9:08 pm

 

Husam said:

Shai:

You don’t have to wait 20 years for Oliver Stone, I have something far, far better. Grab yourself a Soda and enjoy.

Note: Shai, I value your contribution here and I would not waste your time if I did not think this would be interesting for you. You be the judge.

1) Loose Change – 3,983,286 views on youtube alone! Add hard copies, other links, direct links…at $10 a pop this would have generated upward of $100,000,000 for Oliver Stone. This is no theory, heavily documented.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E3oIbO0AWE

2) The Rise Of Evil – Reichstag Fire – Nazi Germany false flag operation which resulted in the persecution of the Jews.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfQiy0_6BIo

3) Fabled Enemies – Mind blowing…this deconstructs with documents upon documents and reports. At 10:20 minutes into the movie, Ehsani2 would find this interesting: FBI rented a room for the 2 of the hijackers! After viewing, if he still feels still that my IQ is Low, I will accept it and shut it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28tE0fKpISM

4) Freedom to Facism – A must see to understand where and why we are today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28tE0fKpISM

Enjoy.

August 1st, 2010, 9:47 pm

 

LeoLeoni said:

Shami,

You said about Ibn Taymiya:

“Nowadays he is studied in the west for his criticism of philosophy, a field that he mastered in depth,i would have hoped that the extremists we face today own his philosophical knowledge.”

What philosophical knowledge did Ibn Taymiya have? As I recall he had none and you acknowledge that he criticized the philosophers of his age including Ibn Rushd (he went to the extent to consider him a kafir) and also the Mu’tazalite and the Asharaites. Ibn Taymiya is what the Salafis like to say belongs to Ahl al Hadeeth. He refused kalam, speculative philosophy, and analytical reasoning. For him, knowledge and truth come from the revelation and that the best way to understand scriptures is to take them literally and use hadith as the reference and not the mind that Ibn Rushd called upon. He also forbade chemistry and considered it haram.

August 1st, 2010, 10:36 pm

 

Husam said:

Almasri:

I don’t if you are reading this or not, you don’t have to respond if you absolutely don’t want to. I must admit, I stand corrected regarding Muhammad Ibn Abd Al Wahab. You are right I have read nothing first hand of his books. And yes, I fell for the trap and labels Elie and a few others like to use. For me, the term “Wahabi” automatically has a negative impact, and I was judgmental due to the double standard in S.A., outlandish fatwas, women can’t drive, forcing of the Hijab (yes some are forced by the state, when they get on the plane they take it off) etc… Thanks to you, I now realize that not everything that is happening in S.A. is directly related to Abd Al Wahab. I am not endorsing him, as I have read nothing of his work, but I I can’t blindly blame him or his students for what is happening in S.A. today.
Elie, is perhaps pissed at much of what comes out of S.A. and some, out of Egypt. This may explain some of his negative sentiments and bigotry. People need to realize that they should not be afraid of the Islamic revival (Syria or elsewhere) because this in itself is renewal for a better interpretation of Islam, a more tolerant Islam as it has been for a thousand years.

About the videos I posted @ 123, I guarantee you the minute most saw a bearded Yusuf Estes, the minute they closed the page. Secularist already made up their mind, there is no in-between. What most don’t realize is that there is ALREADY a correct version of Islam; RATHER they like to stick to what the Media-For-Profit uses for their terminology. No one will comment on the links, they don’t need to understand or/and it doesn’t fit their views, just like yours doesn’t fit theirs. We have to respect that to be the reality. Bigot or no bigot, people exist in many shapes, forms and minds. We also don’t know what circumstances led to their belief or lack thereof.

Having said that, I still respect them, trust me, some more than others. After all we are all citizens of this world (yes, and the hereafter).

I did not feel coerced by you, not to worry. I always, always triple check when someone tells me anything about my religion. So regardless of your intention, I always read for myself. There is nothing wrong with pointing out something if you know to be incorrect. Almasri, you bring very interesting exchanges here, albeit your rudeness sometimes (I know you are unfairly singled out). Perhaps you can reconsider. Don’t you want to know what Ehsani2 and others think of Fabled Enemies 🙂

Now the ugly stuff, you can debate with the whole world, I do that too sometimes, but you must not loose it. Many people told me take it easy, and I listened. I am not lecturing you, but I am advising you like you, and JAD, advised me numerous times. Does that make sense?

I have 3 questions for you:

1) Are you sure that Alex deleted a paragraph of yours that contained absolutely no offensive, ridiculing language? Reread it, and tell me if it is Zilch, Nada? I find that hard to believe. This is a serious allegation.

2) Can you control your temperament? I am not talking about everyone else, I am talking about you. I sometimes feel like I am going to drop my marbles too but I hold or pull back (many of us Arabs are hot blooded).

3) Without getting into too much detail, is it true that you were banned on SC many years back, and a deal was struck for you to come back as I have been told several times? If so, you have to realize you got a small problem that overshadows the much good you got. Again, I am not lecturing you. And trust me, all of us aren’t perfect. The reason why I freely speak to you like this is because I am
comfortable with you as I am with Shai. JAD and I had a few scraps, but his last comment to me seemed sincere. It seems to me that people develop friendship here (virtual or real) and I think that’s cool. In any case, if that is a rumour, then my apology in advance. I am looking forward to your responses.

I prefer you answer me here on SC, regardless of what others may or may not be doing behind the scenes. You don’t have to be that way.

If for some reason you choose not to, here is my email:

programm_it@yahoo.com

BTW, if anyone else wants to send me a PM, please feel free to contact me there as well.

….off to bed!

August 1st, 2010, 10:44 pm

 

Husam said:

Al Waleed,

You said @121 (it skipped my mind, and perhaps others here as well):

“For example my teanage niece visiting Europe this summer with her family arrived wearing a niqab. I was scandalised and suggested to her father that he gives her a good kick in the backside for a cure. He preferred to wait in the hope that she may grow out of it soon. I am not so optimistic myself as we are facing a rising tide of intolerance, ignorance, fudamentalism and conflict thay could destroy the Syria we know. I fear that things may get much worse before they get better.”

Al Waleed, why didn’t you walk up to your teenage niece and ask her why she wears a Niqab? Is her opinion and choices in life not important for you as an Uncle? You may not be religious, but confronting her father to kick her in the backside for a cure is extremely old school. Alas, there lies the traditionalist Arab mentality regardless of faith. There you have it, a prime example of don’t blame Islam, blame Muslims (religious or non).

I think you embarrassed her father and put him in a difficult situation while he was visiting you. Why judge this women without hearing her views and how she arrived at her decision?

Perhaps you could have found out some inside information relating to Elie’s “Indoctrination of Syrian Youth” 🙂

August 1st, 2010, 11:15 pm

 

Shai said:

Husam,

Thanks for the link. I started watching some of it, but it stopped after a few minutes and wouldn’t continue. I clicked on another link, where the two (kids) who allegedly produced and researched the piece are interviewed. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stVmEmJ666M&feature=related

I have to tell you that I’m not nearly as impressed by these two characters as I am by Oliver Stone (more Hollywood-like) or Michael Moore (documentary-like) productions, each pointing at possible conspiracies.

I also ask myself, if the U.S. government was truly behind 9/11, if it employed such power and resource base required to pull all of this off “so well”, a) How come two kids call this a conspiracy, and not someone from within, amongst the hundreds if not thousands of individuals who’d have to be in on the loop? And b) If the same government was determined and capable enough to carry this out, why isn’t it easily “disposing” of these two kids, or of Michael Moore, or of anyone else playing around with evidence? If I was running a conspiracy, I certainly would show little patience for interference before, during, or after the event. After all, any demonstration of possible-conspiracy would be a direct threat to me, wouldn’t it?

I’m no expert on any of these issues (as I presume are most people), and therefore I couldn’t possibly adopt any of the conspiracy-theories out there without proper research and qualification.

August 2nd, 2010, 6:14 am

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

Would appreciate any thoughtful and principled comments on why;

a] its acceptable for the US to proclaim and 1) enforce sanctions on Syria and 2) cutting up the Sudan into three parts, as well as demanding that 3) Iran desist from its nuclear research without UN approval or endorsement?

b] its not acceptable for the Sudan to resist its partitioning with any means it believes justifies its actions and for Syria to overcome any sanctions imposed on it that penalizes its citizens and its standing as an independent state within the organization of free nations and Iran to resist the threats in view of the world knowledge that Israel has over 200 nuclear warheads and its demands to bomb Iran to the stone age?

August 2nd, 2010, 10:48 am

 

Husam said:

LeoLeoni:

You said: AlMasry, First of all if Muslims like you or anyone wants others to respect them, then they must respect others even if they disagree with what they say. People have the right to criticize your interpretation of religion or even criticize your whole religion and question your faith.

Really? If this is so, why did you call all sorts of names (you yourself called me: a Moron) for questioning not even, as you stated: “whole religion” but one “simple article” that was full of blemishes? If you want me to “respect” secularist, then you too must “respect” non-secularist views. It goes both ways. I suggest when you give advise, you look in the mirror and see that although you are pointing one finger at someone, three are pointing back at you.

I remind you, when you said: “These two morons Husam and Al Masri are really stepping over-bound and are ruining the discussion. No wonder Arab jails are filled up with these Islamists since they can’t engage in a sound and reasoned debate for even a minute.”

I haven’t ruined anything. I am engaging myself and others to think. I just feel Elie’s style, proofs, and knowledge in Islam weak and he targets Islam in a negative way and that bothers me. LeoLeoni, there are more Americans in jail than any country in the world.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=183584

[Again, Alex where is you moderator policy? I don’t see it used fairly, LeoLeoni statement is offensive implying that I, like Islamist, should be jailed for questioning Elie? This is outright double standard, especially for a secularist, freedom fighter, don’t you think?]

[Jad, OTW, where are you now? Isn’t this statement intellectually bankrupt? We all know that a big majority of Muslims are in jail in Iraq and Afghanistan by proxy]

You said: “The government in Canada does not interfere in the religious convictions of their citizens or residents. The Canadian legal and political system doesn’t discriminate based on religion.”

Oops, you forgot. One doesn’t have to be black to know how blacks are discriminated against. Muslims are in fact discriminated in more ways than you can imagine. CSIS harasses many Muslims (according to a full page report I read in the newspaper). There is something like a few hundred Niqabi women in all of Ontario, and much less in Quebec (I read somewhere, forgot the link, that there are no more than a few dozen Niqabis in Montreal)…yet this has become a sensational issue.

You said: “It would be better if those classes were not mandatory to the students, given that many parents I know would prefer not to have their kids learn religion at school.“

I agree with you totally on this and you make a very valid point. Forcing students/parents to take religion classes is, in my opinion, un-Islamic as there is no compulsion according to my interpretation of Islam. I like the Finish model and I would support if such a model was called for in Syria.

August 2nd, 2010, 10:53 am

 

Husam said:

Shai:

Thank you for attempting to watch. It is strange that it stopped after several minutes, I have copied this link to a dozen friends without issue. Perhaps its your viewer or your ram capacity. I am so glad you pasted the interview with popular mechanics (see points below). These two kids generated 4 million hits. This is not the only one out. There many other movies that also bring documents, news reports of whistle blowers that you are asking for, from the CIA, FBI, Congress, and top military brass men and women asking serious questions.

1) I watched your link again as a refresher I have seen this before; the tape did not stop 🙂

2) Those kids have nothing to gain, and look honest to me. I would believe 2 kids over Holywood’s billions of dollars any day. But in the end of the day, the facts are what matters.

3) Popular Mechanics are dismissing important interviews, photos, evidence, stating that “loose change” based its evidence on information collected 48 hours after 9/11. Any sensible person would know that those are the most critical moments in collecting evidence. Ever watch the show CSI Miami, any crime or accident scene is cordoned off to gather evidence and interviews. Four years later, in my opinion, buys them a lot of time, they are able to whitewash, bury the evidence, twist the story and issue gag orders. The internet is full of whistleblowers on the ground on that day, government officials, military people who got issued gag orders. Just ask and I will provide the links.

4 ) Dictators like deceased Saddam Hussein used nepotism to guard their secrets and maintain control on the people. The inner cabal (Bush et al) that called the shots used the same tactics to confuse the general public and hide the truth of 9/11. As for Popular Mechanics, top researcher, 25-year-old Benjamin Chertoff, as the American Free Press has reported is the cousin of Michael Chertoff, who was then, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Really? He was commissioned and paid by Hearst for his B.S cover story “Debunking 9/11 Lies” by Popular Mehanics. Shai, he is no older than the 2 kids you referred to. Isn’t this a conflict of interest.

5) Shai, I prefer pictures, testimonies, evidence. I don’t go by Hollywood, CNN, etc… I trust sites that show evidence, and sites that have generally no advertising like SC. I then double and triple check it, and make my conclusion.

Respectfully,

BTW, what about the other links…let me know if you ever get a chance to view them.

August 2nd, 2010, 11:36 am

 

EHSANI2 said:

CSI Miami. I gotta rent every past episode and watch this show to learn how “crime accident scenes are cordoned off to gather evidence and interviews”.

Some people here think that they have figured out the real perpetrators of 09/11 while the rest of us who think otherwise were too stupid and naïve to figure out that FBI and the White House government killed 3000 Americans (number could have been way more) in order to invade Afghanistan. The US Administration could have been evil. They may have overlooked many clues of an attack. They have suppressed information post the incident. But to suggest that agencies of the US government were behind the attack is preposterous no matter how much one hates the Bush/Cheney crowd.

When delusion and denial is so much in abundence, it is very hard to carry an intelligent and thoughtful discussion. Arguing with people with such reasoning is an utter waste of time and energy.

August 2nd, 2010, 12:53 pm

 

Alex said:

Dear Leoleoni.

Please avoid making this kind of statement:

“These two morons Husam and Al Masri are really stepping over-bound and are ruining the discussion”

No “moron” please, let other readers decide if anyone is a moron.

August 2nd, 2010, 2:16 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

To HUSAM. Salamat.

I came across this commentary by Dr. Khalid Abdulla. and think you [and possibly others too] might find it interestingly provocative.

Its somewhat lengthy and elaborates on the “challenges facing the Arab nations in the 21st. Century.”

http://www.alhewar.com/KhalidAbdullaChallenges.htm

August 2nd, 2010, 2:23 pm

 

Shami said:

Leonloni ,he was not as easy than you portrayed him.
Of course,He did not elaborated a philosophical system as Farabi ,Ibn Sinna or Ibn Rushd but he had assimilated the philosophocal knowledge of his time in order to launch his attack against the philosophers.You can read some of these works:

http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/it/index.html

There are also recent books on his conception of free will:
http://www.brill.nl/product_id26215.htm
A commentary on a Risala of Avicenna:(A philosopher that he studied well ,and noticed how deeply Al Ghazali was under the Avicennian influence)
http://jis.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/14/2/149
And on Aristotle Logic:
http://books.google.com/books?id=qsYsw8Qs0t8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=Ibn+Taymiyya+Against+the+Greek+Logicians:&hl=fr&ei=JB1XTI6IKZKnOIOgkcoD&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

August 2nd, 2010, 3:32 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Shami, and LEOLEONI
I wrote a long response about the topic of Ibn Taymiyya and philosophy. Unfortunately, I do not have the text file with me. I will post it tomorrow. It is along post.

August 2nd, 2010, 4:02 pm

 

LeoLeoni said:

Alex,

You are correct, I will refrain from such statements.

Husam,

My statement came at a point when you and Almasri were bashing Elie, Ehsani, and anyone who disagreed with you guys. There were all sorts of name calling that went unnoticed and my “moron” labeling come later as a retaliation and comes no close to what has been said by you or Almasri earlier. But I will cease calling you that as long as you don’t jump into rage mode and start personally attacking people who disagree with you.

You said:
“If you want me to “respect” secularist, then you too must “respect” non-secularist views.”

I don’t ask you to respect my views or Elie’s views. I ask you to respect Elie and everyone here. Criticise the negate the views as much as you like, but leave the users alone.

Last, I never implied that you should be jailed. My comment was a personal understanding and realization of why Arab jails are full of Islamists. It appears that the majority of them can not even engage in rational discourse, and thus many resort to violence, intimidation, and criminal activities. All it takes is for anyone to read the read the first 100 comments here from you and AlMasri to see what I am talking abut.

I have to admit though, your attitude has changed throughout the end of this discussion. Maybe you realised that you took things overbound, or that you saw there are too many people here opposing your views. I am not sure, but whatever it is, the result is positive. Keep it up and continue to disagree in a rational way.

Cheers.

August 2nd, 2010, 5:13 pm

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To LEOLEONI,

Well put. Thank you.

Elie

August 2nd, 2010, 5:28 pm

 

Husam said:

Ehasani2:

So you are saying the government doesn’t engage in cladenstine operations? Don’t watch CSI, watch CNN, better food for thought.

BTW, what happened to comment #188 #3, @ 10:20 minutes into the tape showing FBI involvement. Why did the FBI rent apartments for 2 hijackers? Remember you rediculed me before, now I showed you where and how. Why don’t refute the evidence instead of engaging in a “naaaah, I don’t by that attitude, people are dillusional”

You said: “They have suppressed information post the incident.” They suppresed a ton of it, Why? If your brother was killed there, wouldn’t you want to know why?

We all know what happened in Hama decades ago where tens of thousands died, but at least we know, by whom and why. That is why no one discusses anymore, we have closure.

Ehsani2, I brought you the proofs, and all you did was avoid answering. Why because you are adamant that they (Muslims) acted alone – From the desert to Manhattan!

August 2nd, 2010, 6:11 pm

 

Husam said:

Leonlioni:

First, of all I read the first 100 comments, I couldn’t find any of the “name calling” that you said I personally engaged in.

You said: “I don’t ask you to respect my views or Elie’s views. I ask you to respect Elie and everyone here. Criticise the negate the views as much as you like, but leave the users alone.”

I was engaging Elie and adressing him personally, not you. If he feels that I attacked him directly and retaliated, perhaps that would be understandable. But for you to come in, out of nowhere and bash me in the first sentence 150 comments later and flex on his behalf is uncalled for.

I think SC is not a gangsta show, where Elie is the boss and everyone does his laundry.

I have always tried to be rational as anybody can be. I think Muslims are in Jail for much like the same reason Christians, Hindus, Atheist are in Jail in the US or anywhere else for that matter.

Take care,

August 2nd, 2010, 6:32 pm

 

LeoLeoni said:

203. Husam said:

“First, of all I read the first 100 comments, I couldn’t find any of the “name calling” that you said I personally engaged in.”

Ok, here are some of the personal attacks and name calling that you engaged in. I never wanted to do this but you insist.

@38

Husam said:
Almasri
Calling someone to Islam (d’awa) who obviously has an agenda to spread distortions about Islam and Muslims while claiming his secularist game to fame is not proper. Even if you are joking….
As for the adult-suckling fatwa that Elahdj is so infatuated with, perhaps he fantasizes about it… I mean..errr…he is stuck on the nipple.

@ 58
“Ok, fine, too much for you to handle…what about the shaven head, do you fancy that with some breast milk…err..ok in a cup?”

@ 75

Wrong. Oh yes you do have many specs of hatred, it is clear as day in your arguments, choice of words, generalizations, assumptions, distortions, false tafsir, focus, and most of all your arrogance.

@83.

Husam said:
Ehsani2
You DID NOT answer my question @54, why should I answer yours? Go play elsewhere.

@84

8 -Canada is my home. Why don’t you move to Israel, I think you belong there. If my words are cheap why are you responding to them? If you decide to move to Israel, take your buddy Elie with you.

@88.

Husam said:
Ehasani2
You are Akhbar Palace’s twin. You are also a parrot. Why should I answer you when you didn’t and never answered me?
I think you are also deeply enjoying the orgy with Elhadj, Jad, Pipes et al.

@109

Why don‘t you go to one and ask your smart questions? Anyone claiming that Muslims can’t debate without fear or threat can only come from troubled souls. You are a liar Dr. Elahdj.
Please know that you are Muslim hater whether you label yourself as such or not. Distortions + Hatred = Elie Elhadj
You said: “I’d love to read a convincing essay on this issue. Such an essay should be welcomed. It’ll strengthen Islam, not weaken it.”

Really? Can I know why you are so interested in strengthening Islam? Are you a Muslim? Why don’t you strengthen your own faith. You claim to know so much about Islam, what do you believe in, please fill us in. If you are an atheist, why would you want to see a stronger Islam? Aren’t you a big time hypocrite. I don’t believe you for one second.

I certainly don’t go on blogs calling for Jews, Hindus, Christians to re-evaluate their faith and books and expect them to believe that I mean well, while all along, I bring them distortions and misconceptions from a long mastery (PhD) of copy/repackage/paste.

August 2nd, 2010, 10:07 pm

 

LeoLeoni said:

Husam,

I never came out of nowhere, I was in this discussion from the start. But I felt that you and Almasry were going way over bound with your personal insults and that is something that concerns everyone. This is a public forum, not something private. I could care less if you insult me or anyone else in private, but on a public forum, the situation becomes different.

Last, you need to distinguish between Islamists and Muslims. Islamists are those who use Islam as a political agenda. Those who view the civil State, secular laws, democracy, as an innovation or kufr. They are highty prone to radicalism and terrorism, especially when they feel they have the right to enforce their views on others by violent means. Not every Muslim is an Islamist. My statement about those in Arab jails are those who are radical Islamists and not Muslims.

August 2nd, 2010, 10:18 pm

 

Husam said:

Alex:

1 & 2) Islam encompasses a total solution for mankind. Thus, those who believe the Quran to be the actual word of God can not possibly accept someone else dictating how they should live, transact, behave, etc.. The designor, the creator, the producer, the manufacture who produces a BMW for example, should and must print an owner’s manual by which the user can find all the functionalities, the limitations, the maintenance required, the safety, the specifications, and the operation of such a formidable vehicle. Likewise, the Quran is the manual for mankind by its creator. If people don’t believe in it, that is their choice. The majority in Syria are Muslims, and I don’t think it is possible for a non-Muslim, spiritually or even politically, to govern such a large Muslim majority without any reprisal or conflicts. Personally, I would take a good Christian leader over a corrupt Muslim any day. In case of Syria, I say put the candidates forward, and let the voters decide.

People, like Elie and some others who don’t understand the proper interpretation and the correct jurisprudence of the Quran like to toss around the accusation that the Qur’an teaches violence and anti-Semitism, that Al Bukhari’s Ahadiths are mission impossible, or Aisha (PBUH) was too young to comprehend or remember anything. Unfortunately, those same people who buy into these misconceptions have distinctly Islamaphobic agendas, despite their statement to the contrary. This inhibits them from having the slightest positive view of Islam, and as a result, they enjoy to use defamatory labels they pick up from the Media.

As for the convert or die, kindly forward me which verse you are referring to so I can properly answer you. I hope you are not referring to the battlefield context….rr, the “game” called convert or die (yes there are people making money out of this B.S.) In the meantime, here is what the Quran says regarding other religions:

First, the Qur’an recognizes the natural diversity of humanity (49:13)

Second: there is also the recognition that human beings are religiously and ethnically diverse (16:93)

Third: there is no compulsion into Islam(2:256)

Also, there are specific verses in the Quran that deal with the special treatment and provisions for the Jews and Christians.

Lastly consider this:

In the Catholic Reconquista of Muslim Spain, Muslim and Spanish Jews were generally ordered to convert to Christianity, be expelled, or die.

Cheers,

August 2nd, 2010, 10:28 pm

 

Husam said:

LeoLeoni:

I see where you are coming from.

All you have to do now to be fair is to go cut/paste all those who rediculed, threatend, name called me.

About Islamist/Radicals other buzz words compared to Muslims, thank you for your clarifications. But you do realize that references were made from the very biginning by Elie, which despite his claim that he is not anti-Mulsim, he uses the word “Islamists” very liberally, basically anyone who opposes his views are nothing but exactly that. Perhaps, you should remind him the difference.

“The reaction among the Islmists was not surprising. Their shallowness and ignorance of their own religion, however, was surprising.”

The excerpts below is an example what Elie has accomplished. This is a disgrace to any Muslims on SC reading this stuff.

43. Al-Waleed to Elie Elhadj:

“Another course explores the theory and the practice of breastfeeding for adults. This is a very popular course indeed and it is generally oversubscribed as it may come in handy later when/if the student gets a job in an office with female co-workers.”

44. Elie Elhadj to Al Waleed:

“Thanks for the advice. Sadly, what you outlined is true, a lamentable state of affairs.”

August 2nd, 2010, 11:46 pm

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To Alex/ Husam re. 207

Husam, you are correct: There is no forced conversion in Islam. Christians and Jews, however, converted to Islam over the long sweep of history for personal gain and career advancement. Also, they converted at certain times in order to escape persecution by certain caliphs, primarily during the reigns of four Arab caliphs. Persecution, when it happened, included the display of distinctive markings on their homes and clothes, exclusion from public office, demolition of places of worship, etc.

The four caliphs were the Umayyad, Omar II in Damascus (717-720), the Abbasids, Haroun Al-Rasheed (786-809) and Al-Mutawakkil (847-861) in Baghdad, and the Fatimid, Al-Hakim in Cairo (996-1021). Further, in the early 1300s, two Mamluk sultans, Qalawoon and Al-Nasir, discriminated against not only Christians and Jews, but also against Muslim sects that helped the European Christian Crusades during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, including the Ismailis, and the Nusayris (today’s Alawites).

On this subject, it is relevant to mention Verse 9:29, which establishes the basis for a political-Islam-on-the-offensive:

“Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which has been forbidden by God and his Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, even if they are of the People of the Book, until they pay the protective tax (jizya) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

While verses like 2:120, 5:14, 5:51, and 5:78 criticize Christian and Jews and urge Muslims not to befriend them, 9:29 goes beyond criticism, friendship, and retaliation. Verse 9:29 orders Muslims to fight the People of the Book even if these people do not attack Muslims. 9:29 represents an aggressive international political doctrine. It sets the spiritual foundation for the Muslim state to campaign against its non-Muslim neighbors.

Verse 9:29 is consistent with the Arab conquests of the Roman and Sassanian lands in the seventh and the eighth centuries. 9:29 is also consistent with Ottomans’ conquests of parts of Europe in the fourteenth and the fifteenth centuries.

To carry the dynamism of 9:29 to its ultimate, the Muslim state should, theoretically at least, if it is capable to do so, not stop fighting non-Muslims until the whole world “pay the protective tax (jizya) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” However, the reality today is different.

Does 9:29 require the conversion of the conquered people to Islam? No, because 2:256 orders: “Let there be no compulsion in religion.”

Together, the effect of 9:29 plus 2:256 would be to provide the Muslim state with money rather than converts.

And Husam, no, I do not copy and paste. Every word, idea or conclusion I express here and elsewhere is the result of my own work. I provide full references to the words, ideas, or conclusions of others. In case I do not make a specific reference here, the reference can be found in my work elsewhere.

Also, Husam (in 208 to Leoleoni), no, I do not use “the word “Islamists” very liberally, basically anyone who opposes his views are nothing but exactly that”.

May I repeat: Islmists are the extremist among Muslims, luckily, a minority of about 5%, may be less. Islamists are NOT the 95%, to which Sunnis belong. The Hanafis are not Islamists, nor are the Malikis or the Shafiis. Islamists are that tiny minority of extremist; namely, the Hanbalis/ Wahhabis.

And by the way, Leoleoni, your 201 was perfect. Thanks.

Elie

August 3rd, 2010, 4:20 am

 

Off the Wall said:

Shami @ 186

I knew you will dig, and I always count on you to do so. 

LEOLEONI and Shami

While Ibn Taymiyya detested and fought a very ugly battle against Muslim philosophers, he had to accumulate reasonable knowledge about philosophy in order to write his book “refutation of logicians”. Furthermore, he was the first Muslim scholar to apply inductive reasoning to figh and sharia. His approach to inductive logic was the foundation of the thinking of a couple of 19th century western philosophers (the names skip me now). He is also accredited for reforming the concept of Qiyas (analogous logic) in Sharia.

Inductive logic is one of the foundations of probability and statistics, and of experimental analysis. Off course it is a long stretch from Ibn Taymiyya to Kendall, but each and every contribution counts.

What was missing from Ibn Tyamiyya’s inductive reasoning was the Bayesian inference, which allows for adjustment of the degree of belief (probability) that a hypothesis is correct, as new observations become available.

It is interesting that with modern computational power, the mathematical version of Bayesian logic is now reigning supreme as the most efficient method in addressing uncertainties in complex models and in risk assessment under uncertainty. But there remain substantial applications for qualitative Bayesian inference in comparative literature, anthropology, and philosophy.

As such, one may be tempted to consider and expand on Shami’s proposition that if one is to apply Ibn Taymiyya’s own methods instead of blindly following his outdated Fatwas, one may be surprised at the results. With my limited knowledge, I am rather reluctant to do so, and its possible that some may already have done that as Husam has argued. However, one may also ask, what is the value of using Ibn Taymiyya’s tools when one has Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd and other giants who by far surpassed Ibn Tyamiyya in philosophy and in science to which he had no connection whatsoever (and there lies the mortal problem).

Yet, in fact as a secular humanist, I dislike to also cast Ibn Tyamiyya as a one dimensional character. There is no doubt that someone with his prolific writings had much more to say than simply combat innovations, quite violently. If I am to ask that one takes a modern view of Islam, then I must also take a view of Ibn Taymyya and others contemporary to their times. As I always do when Shami posts a link (such as the one on Nitsche and Islam), I go on web hunt. A good place to start is Wikipedia, but not for its article as much as for its reference links. Google also helps. And here below are some excerpts of a sample of what I found. The full article is a review of a book on Ibn Taymyya, and it’s a noteworthy review of a noteworth book. I only removed a couple of paragraphs about his birth and education.. Emphasis added by me

The father of Islamic radicalism?

Muslims Under Non-Muslim Rule, by Yahya Michot, Oxford: Interface Publications, pp. 190, 2006, HB.

Born in 1263 in Harran (located close to Damascus) into a family of Islamic scholars and Hanbali jurists, Ibn Taymiyyah received his early education in Arabic and traditional Islamic sciences at home under the tutelage of his pre-eminent father…….

………………It was a time of considerable socio-political uncertainty and upheaval as the Mongols threatened to overwhelm the entire Islamic East. Likewise, most of the prominent Islamic scholars and jurists of the time were in the service of the ruling elites and this created a culture of blind imitation (taqlid) rather than promote intellectual creativity and fresh thinking. To make matters worse, the Sufis, he felt, had deviated from the original, pristine Prophetic norms and practices (sunnah). Thus, living as he did at a challenging and unpredictable period in Islamic history, it is not surprising that Ibn Taymiyyah’s life and thought also reflected the difficulties and contradictions of his time

That is why it is imperative to study and explore his writings in the existential condition in which they were produced otherwise one is not only likely to misunderstand but also misinterpret them. His Mardin fatwa (which is the subject-matter of the book under review) is a good example. Mardin, as the author explains, is a Turkish town which “occupies a strikingly strategic location. It is dominated by a fortress reputed to have been unassailable, from which the view reaches deep into the vast plain of upper Mesopotamia.” (p1) And although the precise date of this fatwa is not known, Ibn Taymiyyah issued it in response to a request to clarify whether Mardin was a domain of peace (dar al-salam) or domain of war (dar al-harb).

In his own words, “Is [Mardin] a domain of war or of peace? It is a [city of a status] composite (murakkab), in which both the things signified [by those terms are to be found]. It is not in the situation of a domain of peace in which the institutions (ahkam) of Islam are implemented because its army (jund) is [composed of] Muslims. Nor is it in the situation of a domain of war, whose inhabitants are unbelievers. Rather, it constitutes a third type [of domain], in which the Muslim shall be treated as he merits, and in which the one who departs from the Way/Law of Islam shall be combated as he merits.” (p65)

Ibn Taymiyyah’s refusal to say whether Mardin was a domain of war or peace is most significant, not least because in the West he is increasingly considered to be the real inspiration behind many radical groups including al-Qa’ida.

In addition to Western writers like Gilles Kepel (Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam, Cambridge, 2002) and Malise Ruthven (A Fury for God: The Islamist Attack on America, London, 2002), the US 9/11 Commission Report identified him as an intellectual champion of contemporary Islamic radicalism/militancy. But is he the real inspiration behind these radical groups? His refusal to say whether Mardin was a land of war or peace proves, if proof was required, that his religious ideas and thoughts were far from being black and white. Indeed, according to Michot, “Crass howlers about Ibn Taymiyyah have long been in circulation – one might think as far back as the tittle-tattle about him hawked around by Ibn Battuta. Since 9/11, however, the situation has worsened. The most ignorant untruths are reproduced apace, not only in the media but even in supposedly serious studies.” (p123) He then takes prominent academics and writers like N J Delong-Bas (Georgetown University); Bernard Haykel (New York University); Menahem Milson (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and Guy Sorman (University of Paris) to task for disseminating untruths about Ibn Taymiyyah.

If Ibn Taymiyyah is grossly misunderstood by Western scholars and writers, then many contemporary Islamists have also failed to understand and appreciate his ideas and thoughts, argues Michot . He proves his case by examining six modern Muslim readings of Ibn Taymiyyah’s Mardin fatwa; he shows how five of the six writers and activists (namely, Muhammad Abd al-Salam Faraj, Abdullah Azzam, Muhammad al-Mas’ari, Abd al-Aziz al-Jarbu and Zuhayr Salim) have singularly failed to understand the full thrust and complexity of his religious ideas and thought. A closer examination of Ibn Taymiyyah’s vast corpus of writing demonstrates, argues Michot, he was in favour of resisting foreign invaders but completely rejected internal rebellion and insurgency. So, far from being a champion of religious radicalism, he was a sophisticated and pragmatic Islamic scholar and thinker, argues Michot . If this is true, why is he so readily misunderstood and misinterpreted – both by the Western scholars as well as the Islamists?

Michot, who is a lecturer at Oxford University and prominent authority on Ibn Taymiyyah, argues both the Western scholars and the Islamists have advertently or inadvertently emphasised his political thought at the expense of his moral and ethical teachings . This has led to the increasing politicisation of his complex and sophisticated writings on Islamic moral, ethical and legal thought. This raises an interesting question, namely, were there two different Ibn Taymiyyahs, an “Islamic reactionary and jihadist” or Islamic thinker and pragmatist?

Michot has no doubt that he was a pragmatist who carefully examined the ideals and realities of his time before he authorised military action or issued a legal decree to the contrary. To him, Ibn Taymiyyah was a multi-dimensional Islamic scholar and thinker, whose writing needs to be studied and explored in their totality if one is to understand and appreciate them fully. Although I could not agree more, it may nevertheless be possible to argue, for instance, that Ibn Taymiyyah the jurist was very different from Ibn Taymiyyah the critic. The reason for this is because his Islamic moral, ethical, legal and economic thoughts are much more polished and restrained in their tone than, for instance, his refutation of the Sufis, falasifah, mantiq’in, qadariyyah, the Christians, etc. Thus, as a polemicist, he was not only uncompromising but also very dogmatic. This naturally led to his incarceration on more than one occasion, but Michot is right to say Ibn Taymiyyah bore all his trials and tribulations with great patience and dignity. He eventually died in prison in 1328.

Having said that, Yahya Michot should be congratulated for writing this book; it is a powerful and cogent defence of Ibn Taymiyyah against the charge of radicalism/militancy. Originally written in French and meticulously translated into English by Jamil Qureshi, Ibn Taymiyyah’s Mardin fatwa is rigorously referenced. The author’s commentary and exploration of the fatwa is both extensive and enlightening, even if at times one feels he is all too eager to give Ibn Taymiyyah the benefit of the doubt.

End of book review

So it seems that we face with Ibn Taymyya the same dilemma we face with any religious or legal scholars who has strong political opinion. There are two sides, a moral/ethical/jurisprudence side and an advocate side. And in many cases, the two sides at opposite polls of each others. If I may add my two cents worth (or perhaps less than that), I would argue that it is in the nature of each side. The moral/ethical/jurisprudence side requires polish and demands a great deal of sophistication since the target audience is a much larger conceptual (Islam itself, the Law, other scholars and judges). The political side, on the other hand, requires that whatever call issued, or book written, be composed in a blunt populist language of the day so that the public or the ruler heed the warning, and act against this “dangerous” sect or “un-orthodox” practice. There is no excuse in that. It is simply the nature of politics, and the character of the communication media of every day and age.

August 3rd, 2010, 6:34 am

 

Off the Wall said:

Dear Husam,

My response to LEOLIONI is probably a very rough approximation of what i meant by scientific methods. But we must not rely only on long-gone Muslim philosophers and scholars in performing the analysis. There have been significant developments in Ethics, in management of qualitative uncertainty, in decision making and in sociology. Some of these are yet to find their way into our analysis. Ibn Taymiyya’s and Ibn Hanbal’s gravest error was that they rejected any source of tools that are not based on pure salaf (the first three generations of Islam). Ibn Hanbal in fact thought that there is no need for any analysis and the only thing necessary for muslims is to listen to Quran and to listen to others recite the Sira and Hadiths, without any analysis. Yet, both have advocated that one must consider contemporary issues.

Also, Husam

It seems to me that you have misread my first paragraph in (#160). I meant no threats or bullying, in fact, it was merely a brotherly appeal based on my own experience. It was the only paragraph addressed to you. I should have separated the rest of the post by clearly indicating that it was not addressed to you only, but merely one of my rather general post (some people call them rants, and they would not be far from being correct)

However, this is how you quoted my paragraph when you wanted to make the point that you took it as a threat and intimidation ““Husam, Be careful, you are pinning yourself in a corner by siding with Almasri….You will fare no better, etc.. ”. What you replaced with dots between Almasri (the actual word I used was “one poster”, but that is irrelevant) and “You will fare no better”, was the entire context of my appeal for you not to be enthralled by his approval of your comments by attempting to relay my own experience with fanatics. Your portray of my comment to you was not accurate, and it gave me the impression that you were being rather selective in attempting to respond to me. I believe that you rushed to conclusion. Still I am not offended, but I was a little disappointed. As for Almasri to insinuate that I am the real intellectual bully, I can only laugh my …. off.

As for your assertion that Elie should take the dialog to appropriate forum, I beg to disagree. This is an appropriate forum devoted to a country with large proportion of its citizens worshiping according to various shades of Sunni traditions including moderate and fundamentalist ones. And if the so called scholars of the modern day fundamentalist islam have any thread of real concern about the soul of Islam, they should be combing the web and getting on board these discussions to explain to us “ignorant secularist” where are we wrong. With all due respect, neither you, shami, myself, ghat or almasri qualify as scholars, especially when some of us rush into posting most damaging fatwas just to silence the opposition and intimidate them. I would argue that their absence from these discussions indicate that they are either afraid of demonstrating their failure to have a civil dialog, as leoleoni has pointed out, or that they prefer to remain arrogant and self possessed in their righteousness and resort to the comfort of their own web sites where they are peddle outdated fatwas and rigid tribal interpretation to those seeking their knowledge with great, un-islamic reverence.

Another correction I would like to make, there are no holly men in Islam.

You see husam, many of us secularists have much more respect to Islam than many islamists. If any one needs an example, they just have to read Norman’s posts. I believe that you can recognize that in some of my own posts as well. However, I am a skeptic, and as such I hold the ideas of no one person as sacred and do believe that every one of these scholars is a fair game for criticism, and some make themselves even fair game for occasional well deserved ridicule. The fact that they studied in a recognized institute, and that they recite verses of the Quran or parts of the hadiths as they weave ridiculous fatwas does not make their fatwas legitimate, or their persona, respectable.

August 3rd, 2010, 6:37 am

 

Off the Wall said:

Dear Elie
Thank your for the kind words. I would like to bounce some ideas with you. My motivation stems from the fact that I am a conflict averse person, which may not be the right thing to do on occasions.

Elie,
A While ago, I wrote a post that was rather critical of our strategy as secularists (with you exemplifying us) and our methods for calling for reforms in Islam. My critique was not of the need for reform but of advocating these reforms as the mechanism to improve our society and for continuously citing the western example, in which such reforms meant, at practical level, the conceptual death or retirement of God from public life.

I am thinking that to liberate our societies, we should not necessarily go after religion itself, but for infusing new methods into our analysis, and more so go after grass root efforts based on civil rights, the concept of civil state, and the constitution to build a momentum for reducing the damaging interference of fundamentalist (of all creeds) and tribal thinking on the lives of the citizens and the progress of the country. My argument is that if Secularists focused our attention on issues that many consider as core aspects of their religion, then we are in a battle where the language of the discourse and its tools are framed by the adversaries of progress. This will gain us no hearts and minds as it would be sufficient for any of those self proclaimed Ulama to argue that none of us is as knowledgeable about Islam as are Ulamas and that we do not have “proper Islamic training” to base our argument on. This is precisely what you see happening here. I recall saying that calling for reforming Islam gives Muslims a false choice between their religion and modernity, and we all know that their choice would be the religion. In fact, it may even galvanize moderates along side fundamentalists as both would feel threatened without recognizing that what we are advocating is the normalization of what is already the norm in Syria or in most countries with Islamic majorities. However, framing the argument as a civil society argument and relying on the constitution to initiate required reform of civil laws leading to true liberation of women and of free thinkers would be much more feasible. Framing the dialogue in civil rights and civil society puts it back where it belongs, and it is our language and terminology and they have no standing. It then pits their strict draconian version of Sharia against common sense and human decency. There argument that sharia must be used even when it trumps basic civil rights would, within a very short time, expose them for what they are, and show how deviant their interpretation of Islam would be to the majority of people.

Just consider how ugly and repulsive to most Muslims was the response of one Syrian lawyer to Bassam Alqadi’s argument regarding banning marriage of children. Many of my devout friends who have teenage daughters were repulsed and were ready to support an immediate law prohibiting the practice simply as the ugliness of his response and the violent threats of his message not only turned people off, but exposed him for all to see. Similarly, consider how ugly and vulgar was one of the fatwas regarding niqab that was presented earlier during this discussion linking women’s private parts with their faces and hairs. I recall the father of one of my friends, who was a leading figure and a former minister representing the old elitist party of people (7izb al sha3b), when he told us of his party’s strategy against the Muslim Brotherhoods (then the most extreme) in the mid forties and early fifties. He said, we just let their words indict them (da3ou alsinatahum tudinuhum).

Without focusing on Hadiths or otherwise, do you think it is possible to change the strategy by calling for life in prison for “honor crimes”, which in fact is a crime punished by death under Sharia. Can calling for throwing in jail for a long long time anyone who marries his daughter off at any age less than 18 as well as the person who marries that child. Can we call for strict enforcement of equality, guaranteed by the constitution staring with removing the abhorrent guardianship for anyone over 18 or say 21 (male of female). Is it possible to ask for strict applications of laws, already on the books, that punish un-registered marriages, which is how most second marriages occur, and not provide any leniency in that enforcement. Note that if the woman knew that she would be a second wife, she should also face jail term. Off course, solutions that do not punish the children of these marriages must be identified. I fact, one may use the analyses provided by many women scholars, no less knowledgeable than men (perhaps more), who near unanimously consider polygamy not as Sunna (better to do if you can), but as the exception (better not do unless under very extreme situations). One could start by requesting that since in Syria, monogamous marriages are the norm, there is no need to have four pages for wives in the family identification book (is it still the case?). This is simple, but doable and it has psychological effect. The rights of women and civil state and society are not religious issues. They are political issues, and politics, as we all know, is the art of the possible.

The opposition will claim religion and sharia, but we have country, common sense, and decency on our side along with the majority of Muslims, who are more moderate than we give them credit for.

I am eager to know of your response. Again, intellectually, I do firmly believe that we need reforms, but if we are to ask for reform in religion, there is no prediction how would these reforms end. Many of the most fundamentalist churches in the US are offshoots of the protestant church, which liberated Europe from the yoke of the catholic church, but now threatens to put the us under the yoke of Sarah Palin. In fact, if one is to think of most Salafi movements in Islam, they would appear to be intellectual predecessors to the protestant movement, they aimed, then, to liberate Islam from palace theologians of their age by going back to the roots of the religion. Ibn Hanbal teachings and Ibn Taymiyya’s anti innovation philosophy are examples of puritanical reforms. Like any political, intellectual, or religious movements, with time, religious reforms become an oppressive set of rules in the hand of those who worship the religion, not the god of that religion.

August 3rd, 2010, 6:49 am

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To OFF THE WALL,

thanks for your constructive contribution.

Your statement makes considerable sense: “we should not necessarily go after religion itself, but for infusing new methods into our analysis, and more so go after grass root efforts based on civil rights, the concept of civil state, and the constitution to build a momentum for reducing the damaging interference of fundamentalist (of all creeds) and tribal thinking on the lives of the citizens and the progress of the country”.

I believe in “(da3ou alsinatahum tudinuhum)”. However, there is a need to supplement such an approach by exposing the ulama’s non-scientific, illogical, and irrational explanations. With a little bit of courage, it is not too difficult in this day in age to discredit whatever defies common sense and rational thinking, especially with the level of education the masses have these days. Indeed, Islam condemn priests and rabbis (5:63, 9:31, 9:34…). It is not too difficult to show that the ulama class evolved to be in many respects as obtrusive and interfering in the detail of the faithful’s life as the Catholic clergy were before the Lutheran revolution.

Had Luther failed to face the Catholic clergy head on, his mission would probably have failed. In their hold on the faithful, the clergy would have continued to enslave the minds of their followers, invoking God this and God that and “go ask God”.

Martin Luther destroyed the foundation upon which the Catholic clergy’s authority was built. The Catholic clergy practiced their power as representatives of Christ on the Earth based on Christs’ purported declarations that: “He [Christ] said unto them [the eleven disciples]: Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature . . . In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues” (Mark 16: 15 and 17). And, that Christ delegated to the disciples his own authority: “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18:18).

The Lutheran revolution succeeded because Luther succeeded in denying the authority of the pope. He abolished the mass, broke the priests’ control over access to salvation, created radically new systems of Christian doctrine, and founded new churches. Luther’s Protestantism shook the hierarchical, sacerdotal, sacramental church to its foundation. Luther eliminated the distinction between priest and laymen. In its place he taught his conception of a priesthood of all believers (The Columbia History of the World, 1981, p. 518, 520, 521).

Devoid of intermediaries between God and man, Luther’s conception of the relationship between his followers and God became essentially identical to the original conception of the relationship between God and man that Islam is supposed to have established. In that relationship, the ulama are merely learned religious scholars, not intermediaries, nor representatives of God on the Earth. However, as discussed in “Why Reforming the Hadith is so difficult” on SC on July 3, 2010, the ulama’s success in enshrining the Sunna traditions as a source of law equal to the Quran thrusted themselves into the tiniest details of Muslims’ daily lives, all the same.

Interestingly, Christians, the followers of a religion based on priesthood, evolved under the Lutheran influence into a group that was less controlled by Christian clergy, while Muslims, the followers of a supposedly non-church-based religion, became controlled by the ulama class.

While it is true that the Islamic ulama have no central worldwide authority to organize their activities, they nonetheless became organized on a country-by-country basis in governmental bureaucracies, employed in the ministries of education, in the ministries of Islamic endowments (awkaf), in the councils for Islamic jurisprudence (or some similar offices), and in the Shari’a courts systems. Doctrinally too, the Sunni ulama, in guarding and defending traditional dogma from innovation, have, for a thousand years, been effectively acting as a central authority preventing doctrinal change.

Similarly, but on a different level, a Shi’ite marjaa, in his individual capacity as a representative of the Hidden Imam, exercises absolute authority over his followers. The Khomeini wilayat al-faqih construction in Iran created a formal central authority for Shi’ism in Iran.

Like the Christian clergy before the European Reformation of the sixteenth century, the Muslim ulama have been exploiting their hold on the Muslim faithful for centuries. One need not go beyond perusing the religious advice sections of most Arabic newspapers and magazines and watch television shows and radio programs that advise people on the Islamic way of life. The masses seek ulama’s guidance on every imaginable worldly and spiritual matter, from personal hygiene, diet, and healthy living, to good manner, family affairs, and religious rituals. The airwaves and newspapers are filled with questions on whether, for example, is it permissible to have a tattoo, colour one’s hair, thin or darken a woman’s eyebrows, wear a silk tie or a silk garment, wear a gold ring, how to greet a guest, what to say to a person who sneezes, what to eat, how to eat, etc. The ulama’s hold on the Muslims is akin to slavery.

Unless this hold is relaxed, secularism in Syria, and elsewhere in Arab societies will remain a dream.

To be effective, we must pursue a combination of your prescription as well as appeal to the minds of people to work their brains in order to sort out the common sense from the dogma, the logical from the miraculous, the natural from the supernatural, the possible from the predestined.

It would be much easier and less traumatic for every body to “not necessarily go after religion itself, but for infusing new methods into our analysis, and more so go after grass root efforts based on civil rights, the concept of civil state, and the constitution to build a momentum for reducing the damaging interference of fundamentalist (of all creeds) and tribal thinking on the lives of the citizens and the progress of the country”.

I am 100% with you on that. But, such an approach on its own will be anemic. It needs bolstering. Since the stakes in religious reform are huge the methods of evolving religious reform would have to be varied and of significance too.

Elie

August 3rd, 2010, 12:03 pm

 

Husam said:

I read all of your few last comments. Thank you.

I began to answer Elie, OTW, etc… on the past several points, then I decided not to:

1) I need to start packing for my 1 week vacation which starts tomorrow after not having one since 2 years!!

2) I feel that many of us pose a question or serious issue in form of dialogue and suddenly people just drop out of an exchange without any closure or at least an understanding of respectable difference (I did not say all, I said many). Perhaps they are busy. So, it is hard to know who will answer and who will not, and you are left with “Geeeez, I think I just wasted an hour of time”. I think we have all been there.

3) Almasri and I are not the only ones that disagree with Elie’s articles, many felt the same way and either made one comment or none at all as no one has time to correct or point out errors in statements which are present in each and every comment Elie makes. But of course, not all of you see that. And that’s ok.

4) About OTW suggesting Ulama, Scholars, etc… coming here (SC) to debate against a secularist who’s mind is engraved with his own philosophy and errors… it won’t happen. Why? Because there are thousands of sites, blogs full of distortions. Their time is better spent elsewhere (no offence intended).

4) I do find OTW, Jad, Ghat, yes Almasri, and some others very interesting to read.

August 3rd, 2010, 3:36 pm

 

Husam said:

Ghat:

I did not forget you. I have printed the article you pasted for me and I will read it as soon as I am sitting on a lounge chair.

Cheers

August 3rd, 2010, 3:42 pm

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

TO: AP.

Will you be inviting your troubled friends in DC along with E.E. to address the proposals in the best seller in Israel, titled “The King’s Torah”

Book about killing gentile children becomes bestseller in Israel

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – A Jewish rabbi has issued a book giving Jews permission to murder non-Jews, including babies and children, who may pose an actual or potential threat to Jews or Israel.

“It is permissible to kill the Righteous among non-Jews even if they are not responsible for the threatening situation,” Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro, who heads the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva…( as quoted in EU Information news website.s

August 3rd, 2010, 5:07 pm

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To Ghat,

Please, Ghat, tell your friends in D.C. that in supporting their Wahhabi clients lies a mortal danger. The extremist religious foundation upon which 9/11 was built is still intact, alive and well. The havoc in Afghanistan/Pakistan today is the product of years of Wahhabi money, schooling, and indoctrination of the poverty stricken people there. To eliminate a terrorist cell or a thousand cells will not root out terrorism. Not only must the material and the financial infrastructure of terrorism be destroyed, but also the religious foundation upon which jihadism rests, starting with Wahhabism.

Please, Ghat, and every concerned citizen, tell your friends in Washington D.C. that less support from D.C. to the Saudi regime, much more pressure from D.C. on the Saudi regime to crack on Wahhabi clerics, and much more pressure from D.C. on Saudia to modify Wahhabi educational curricula would go some way towards fighting the spread of extremism. Please do not forget that Saudia is a client state and cannot afford to defy Washington.

Your reference to E.E. in 219 is misinformed, offensive, and unfair.

Elie

August 4th, 2010, 2:09 am

 

Badr said:

Mr. ELHADJ,

Isn’t there a tacit understanding between the Saudi regime and the Wahabi clerics not to stir trouble against each other?

August 4th, 2010, 3:44 am

 

Elie Elhadj said:

To BADR,

Thanks for the question: “Isn’t there a tacit understanding between the Saudi regime and the Wahabi clerics not to stir trouble against each other?”

In answer, I would like to elaborate a bit on the coalition between the Al-Sauds and their palace ulama. Such elaboration is useful. It sheds light also on similar coalitions between Arab ruling families and their own palace ulama, albeit to a lesser degree than in the Saudi case.

To legitimate his rule King Abdulaziz Al-Saud collaborated with the descendants of the eighteenth-century founder of Wahhabism, Muhammad Bin Abdulwahhab.

The Al-Saud claim to legitimacy does not stem from a relationship of Al-Saud clan to the family of the Prophet, or to his Quraish tribe. The Al-Sauds are often alleged to be descended from the Masalikh of Banu Wa’el, a part of the northern Aniza tribe of camel herders (Madawi Al-Rasheed, A History of Saudi Arabia (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003, 15). The Al-Saud’s claim to legitimacy derives from the opinion of certain scholars, including Al-Ghazali (d. 1111), Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328), and Ibn Jama’a (d. 1333), who believed that seizing power by force was sufficient to legitimate the authority of Islamic rulers.

In its zealous enforcement of the Wahhabi creed, the Saudi regime employs a powerful state machinery to indoctrinate the citizenry into believing that Islam is the perfect religion, that Wahhabism is the most truthful representation of true Islam, and that the Al-Saud family is the most ardent protector and promoter of Wahhabism. The Wahhabi ulama brainwash the populace into believing that submission to Islamic authority is at the core of the Islamic faith and that blind obedience to the Saudi king is a form of piety. Fusing blind obedience to the regime with Islam translates all opposition into “deviation from the true Islamic path,” a serious condemnation in a system based on religious dogma.

The partnership between Saudi politics and Wahhabism is one of convenience. In this partnership, because the politicians control the wealth of the nation and its armed forces, the men of God serve the men of politics as junior partners. In case of disagreement, the ulama prove to be flexible; should one of them hesitate to issue the “right” fatwa, others often find ways to oblige. In return for their cooperation, the men of God and their families have enjoyed fabulous wealth and social stature.

As an example of what happens to those who defy the king, Abdulaziz Al-Saud destroyed his loyal, fanatic Wahhabi soldiers, known as the Ikhwan, or brothers, when they became a political liability. The Ikhwan were young tribal men indoctrinated in Wahhabi fervor to the point of “martyrdom”. They were the predecessors of the jihadists who crashed airplanes into buildings on September 11, 2001. The Ikhwan were instrumental in bringing Ibn Saud to power. Their insistence, however, on spreading Wahhabism into neighboring countries, over the objections of Ibn Saud, led to their demise. Iraq and Jordan were under British rule at that time, and Ibn Saud had signed a friendship and border recognition treaty with Britain on December 26, 1915. The treaty obligated him to respect the borders of Britain’s protectorates along the length of the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, from Kuwait to Bahrain, Qatar, the Trucial States (today’s United Arab Emirates), and Oman. In 1928, leading ulama from the Najd region issued a fatwa allowing Ibn Saud to destroy the Ikhwan.

More recently, several senior Salafi clerics were dismissed from their official positions following a public letter they signed in December 1992, criticizing King Fahd for failing to understand that the clergy had a religious duty to advise all Muslims, including the Saudi royals, of their duty to abide by God’s principles.

The Saudi Minister for Islamic Affairs made clear the relationship between the Saudi ruler and his religious establishment. When Crown Prince Abdullah, now King Abdullah, warned clerics to tone down their sermons in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 atrocities, the minister proclaimed publicly that his duty and the duty of his Wahhabi colleagues was to obey the Al-Saud rule: “Our duty to our guardians is to listen and obey properly within the limits forced upon us by God.”

Further, the palace ulama are always available to support their benefactors. When King Saud was deposed in favor of his brother Faisal in 1964, the decision was made by seventy-two princes. Twelve ulama from the Najd area, four of whom were from the Al-Sheikh family—the descendants of Muhammad Bin Abdulwahhab were on hand to support the decision.

Elie

August 4th, 2010, 9:34 am

 

Off the Wall said:

Husam
I hope you are enjoying your vacation. One issue though regarding your comment

About OTW suggesting Ulama, Scholars, etc… coming here (SC) to debate against a secularist who’s mind is engraved with his own philosophy and errors

errors : yes, probably plenty, I am human, and not only capable of errors, but also able to embrace may capacity for error as part of being human.

philosophy : Absolutely not. I am far too unqualified to have philosophy attached to anything I write, really far too unqualified. I do not take philosophy, a very serious intellectual human endeavor as lightly to even accept my rants being described as such. (no offence intended)

August 5th, 2010, 2:26 pm

 

Nasir said:

I believe that as long as Syria or any other Arab country sticks to the Traditional Islam, it will always remain safe. It is the essence of Imaan that gives strength to face the enemy of Islam. Remove that essence and you have just a zombie. This is evident to the enemies of Islam and their supporters. Hence the turmoil in the Islamic world.

Secondly, I find it strange that of all the people those knowing Arabic language should fall a prey to the Wahabbi teaching. Very strange indeed. What happened? I can understand we being fooled in the subcontinent of India and Pakistan where only a few know the language. But Arabs? Can’t they understand the Qur’an, the Hadith, the works of the Classic Ulema down 15 centuries, all of which preach Peace, Love, Tolerance on the general level, and war only in self-defence!

Please excuse me for these passing thoughts, that’s all!

January 23rd, 2012, 10:36 am

 

Mahomed Saleem Moorad said:

in reply to the post above
its NOT Traditional Islam

it the orders of Allah ta’ala & the sunnah of rasullullah (SAW)-100%practical deen.

not just restricted to the musjid or the home.
islam is a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year deen.

we DO NOT need to look towards the kuffaar for anything.
many muslims suffer from an inferiority complex & somehow think the west has a better lifestyle than what islam teaches us.

May 8th, 2013, 5:19 pm

 

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