Friday, January 16, 2015

Violent Extremisim is Islam

Why does President Obama refuse to relent and admit that what the President describes as violent extremism in the world (that is operating in the "name" of Islam), is actually radical Islam (aka radical Jihad)? The most obvious answer is the President is an apologist to the west (particularly in the US) for Islam, continuing what has been called his war on reality. Does one really believe that President Obama did not know the importance of the French "Freedom of Speech" march, where the US was conspicuously absent?  Instead we have a President who view on free speech seems more in line with Muslim clerics than the first Amendment. Remarking to the video tape that was wrongfully blamed on the killing of the US Ambassador to Libya in  Benghazi, Jay Carney said,“Obviously, we have questions about the judgment of publishing something like this. We know that these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory. Obama Speech on Paris Attacks This compared to British cleric Anjem Choudary “Muslims love the Messenger Muhammad (saw) more than their parents, children and even themselves!” “Why don’t people understand?...Freedom of expression does not extend to insulting the Prophets of Allah, whatever your views on the events in Paris today!” Free Speech Doesn't Extend to the Prophets of Allah Even the Pope has entered the subect of free speech "There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others...They are provocateurs...There is a limit." Vatican: Pope's Charlie Hebdo Comments do not Justify Attack. Certainly Jay Carney and the Pope qualified their remarks, but freedom of speech can not be qualified by who it will offended.  The only qualification to free speech is speech or actions created for the principal purpose of creating the same unnecessary, immediate and catastrophic fear and/or panic. In other words freedom of speech is the qualification; no ifs, ands or buts.

Yes the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful, but radical Islam has been an integral part of Islam since the beginning.  Perhaps a bigger question, where is the out cry from the billions of peaceful Muslims after Jihadists violence has lead to death and dismemberment throughout the world?  Certainly the large majority of the billion (plus) Muslims in the world are attracted to that part of Islam that preaches the peaceful devotion to their god Allah through the five bases of the Islamic faith: shahada (confession of faith), salat (prayer), zakat (almsgiving), sawm (fasting, especially during the month of Ramadan), and hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca). But once one moves beyond the basic observance of Islam, the more radical one becomes. While the majority of Muslims do not agree with the violence of radical Jihad, they still recognize it is a legitimate aspect of Islam, and as the very meaning of Muslim is to "submit", they are hesitant to speak out against it.

 The origins of Islam was to bring warring tribes together under a single belief system, hence one is also faced with the fiery writings of Mohammad, the Koran and Sharia law that define a strict code of conduct and punishments for violating these codes; and since these behaviors and punishments come from 1000 year old documents, they reflect the misogyny and barbarity of the time.

"Islam’s success may also have been due to its ability to transcend nations and races, its provision of a common language and its moral code which provided a great advance over tribal culture, assisting commercial relations, trade and trust between traders. In addition its monetary and accounting systems and legal code were useful in adjudicating financial contracts and disputes. This expansion in trade, as well as the open intellectual environment of early Islam, gave rise to the wealth of its civilization.

The Abbasid dynasty, which ruled from Baghdad from 750 to 1258, provided the peak of Islamic civilization. In the 9th century the collective sayings and interpretations of the early caliphs were recorded in the hadith. The Abbasid’s greatest achievements were in the area of philosophy, science and mathematics, in which they led the world. They studied, preserved and translated the Greek classics. The Muslim world is justifiably proud of its achievements in this regard. Muslim scholars provided major contributions to mathematics, algebra, trigonometry, chemistry, physics and medicine. This was a civilization that surpassed all others in its prosperity and achievement.

In the pre-enlightenment of the 13th Century, the theologians of the Catholic church (ie St Thomas Aquinas)  began to write about how human beings have the natural capacity to discover knowledge about the world without divine revelation; in other words god works through individuals just as it works through the church. This was a time when Islam had reached it's peak This planted the seeds for the eventual acceptance of scientific thought, however Islam was conspicuously absent.

"Muslim scholars argue that Quran urges quest for knowledge of nature by observation, and this inspired the development of scientific method by Muslims. However in the 12th century when Muslim philosophers began to suggest that truth itself may be revealed by empirical observation as well as from the Quran, there was a religious crackdown, the gate of ijtihad was closed and scientific research largely ceased in the Muslim world. It was eventually pursued in Europe, but not without resistance from religious authorities there. The start or the 13th century saw the beginning of the relative decline of Islamic civilization. This decline was not caused by outside forces. It was not caused by a lack of dedication to Islam. It was caused by Islam itself. This is because rejection of science and scientific method was rejection of what was to later become the main driving force in industrial prosperity.

Scientific research in the Muslim world declined and the intellectual environment became inhospitable to the open and honest exchange of ideas. The craft guilds, which also existed in Europe, may have been more successful under Islam in preserving their monopolies, excluding competition and product improvement. Craftsmen were granted higher status than merchants, and were able to restrict the idea of free competition. There was a feeling in the Muslim world that improvement was unnecessary, except perhaps in the technology of warfare. Gradually all the advancements known to the Muslim world passed to Europe, where the knowledge was eventually utilized to greater effect. Prosperity and the rise and fall of Islam

In other words while the minions of Allah want to live a loving and peaceful life, it is the clerics that enforce the strict code of behavior that is intrinsic  to Islam that are driving radical Jihad.  This was exactly what Egyptian President  Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was talking about in his speech to called for a "religious revolution" in which Muslim clerics and IMAMs take the lead in rethinking the direction Islam has taken recently.

 "I am referring here to the religious clerics. … It's inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma (Islamic world) to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!..."That thinking — I am not saying 'religion' but 'thinking' — that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It's antagonizing the entire world! ... All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective...Is it possible that 1.6 billion people (Muslims) should want to kill the rest of the world's inhabitants — that is 7 billion — so that they themselves may live? Egypt's President Urges Muslim Clerics to End Violent Islamic Ideology, Lead Peaceful 'Religious Revolution' in Groundbreaking Speech