Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
L'institut Canadien de Recherches sur le Judaisme
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Tag: Islamism in Canada

WESTERN LEADERS & PROGRESSIVES DENY ISLAM-TERROR CONNECTION AND SUPPORT NIQAB

Surprise! Study Shows Islamic Terrorism is Islamic: Judith Bergman, Gatestone Institute, Oct. 31, 2017— Western leaders insist that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam.

The Jewish Blindspot to the Horrors of the Niqab: Barbara Kay, National Post, Oct. 31, 2017— Sir Salman Rushdie spoke at Montreal’s Jewish Public Library last week. We were two of an estimated 700-strong (mostly Jewish) audience.

Burkas, Niqabs Pose Public Safety Risk: Tarek Fatah, Toronto Sun, Oct. 24, 2017— The slur of "racism" has been hurled at Muslims who support Quebec's Bill 62 — the new law banning face coverings, for example the burka and niqab, when giving or receiving government services.

Islamic State Threat is Alive at Israel’s Doorstep Despite Terror Group’s Losses Elsewhere: Yaakov Lappin, JNS, Oct. 26, 2017— During the last several months, Islamic State has seen its self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria erode at the hands of a U.S.-backed coalition.

 

On Topic Links

 

Via Rail Plotters Weren’t Sick or Addicted — They Were Evil, FBI Undercover Agent Says: Tom Blackwell, National Post, Oct. 24, 2017

Rohingya Refugee Crisis: The Role of Islamist Terrorists: Lawrence A. Franklin, Gatestone Institute, Oct. 25, 2017

Saudi Women Behind the Wheel: Prince Mohammed’s Litmus Test: Dr. James M. Dorsey, BESA, Oct. 4, 2017

New Study: Most UK Jihadists Tied to Non-Violent Islamism: IPT News, Oct 2, 2017

 

           

SURPRISE! STUDY SHOWS ISLAMIC TERRORISM IS ISLAMIC                                                                      

Judith Bergman

Gatestone Institute, Oct. 31, 2017

 

Western leaders insist that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. Evidence to the contrary appeared again this week from Mohamad Jamal Khweis, an ISIS recruit from the United States who said in a 2016 interview with Kurdistan24, "Our daily life was basically prayer, eating and learning about the religion for about eight hours." Khweis was sentenced to 20 years in prison on October 27 for providing material support to ISIS, according to CBS News. As early as 2001, immediately after 9/11, then-President George W. Bush gave a speech in which he claimed that in the United States, the terrorist acts in which over 3,000 people were killed "violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith" and that "Islam is peace".

 

Twelve years and many spectacular terrorist attacks later, in 2013, when two jihadists murdered Lee Rigby in broad daylight in London, the prime minister at the time, David Cameron, declared that the attack was "a betrayal of Islam… there is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act". In January 2015, jihadists in Paris shouting "Allahu Akbar" attacked Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket, murdering 15 people. French President François Hollande said that the jihadists had "nothing to do with the Muslim faith". Two years later, when a jihadist targeted the very heart of European democratic civilization, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Bridge, British PM Theresa May said: "It is wrong to describe this as Islamic terrorism. It is Islamist terrorism and the perversion of a great faith".

 

In the face of hundreds of Muslim terrorists yelling "Allahu Akbar" while bombing, shooting, stabbing, and car-ramming thousands of innocent civilians to death and wounding thousands of others, it would be reasonable to assume that elected representatives might feel obliged to put their denial of reality on hold long enough to read at least bits of the Quran. They might start by reading the commands in "Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them…" (9:5), or, "So fight them until there is no more fitna [strife] and all submit to the religion of Allah" (8:39).

 

If that is asking too much, perhaps they might be willing to consider a recent study by Islamic theologian and professor of Islamic religious education at the University of Vienna, Ednan Aslan, which was commissioned by the Austrian ministry of Foreign Affairs. The purpose of the 310-page study, which was conducted over 18 months and involved interviews with 29 Muslims who were all jailed or in juvenile detention (over half for having committed terrorist offenses) was reportedly to investigate the role that Islam plays in the radicalization of young Muslims in Austria. The study showed that jihadists are not, as Western leaders claim, ignorant of Islam and therefore "perverting" it. On the contrary, the jihadists apparently have a deep understanding of Islamic theology. Aslan explicitly warns against reducing the issue of Islamic terrorism to questions of "frustrated individuals, who have no perspective, are illiterate and have misunderstood Islam".

 

The study found that three factors were particularly relevant to the radicalization process of the interviewees. The first factor was Islam itself: The interviewees had actively participated in their own radicalization, by engaging with the content, norms and standards of Islamic doctrine, and had apparently found this engagement to be a positive turning point in their lives. The study describes the approach to Islam of these men as "Salafism", which it defines as the view that Islam comprises all aspects of life, religious, personal and societal. Moreover, the majority of the men evidently came from religious Muslim homes and were therefore already familiar with the foundations of Islam. The study explicitly states that the prevailing assumption that the majority of radicalized Muslims know very little about Islam could not be confirmed by the interviewers' findings.

 

The second factor was the environment: the specific mosques and imams to which the men went and on which they relied. Although the internet evidently did play a role in the radicalization process, the study showed that face-to-face encounters were more important, and that dawa, proselytizing Islam, played a central role in this process, as the men themselves became missionaries for Islam. Notably, the study showed that the level of theological knowledge determined the individual's role in the hierarchy — the more knowledge they had of Islam, the more authority they had. The third factor was the establishment of a "them and us" distinction between the radicalized men and the rest of the world, especially the belief that the West is an enemy of the Muslim world. The distinction also involved a rejection of democracy and a commitment to the establishment of a caliphate governed by sharia law, which the men want to bring about either through dawa (proselytizing) or violence (jihad)…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                                                       

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THE JEWISH BLINDSPOT TO THE HORRORS OF THE NIQAB                                                  

Barbara Kay

National Post, Oct. 31, 2017

 

Sir Salman Rushdie spoke at Montreal’s Jewish Public Library last week. We were two of an estimated 700-strong (mostly Jewish) audience. Rushdie’s insightful and entertaining address on “literature and politics in the modern world” was excellent, but the evening’s most noteworthy moment arrived with the Q&A, when, inevitably, his response was solicited regarding Quebec’s new Bill 62, which bans face coverings in the realm of public services. Rushdie gracefully sidestepped any comment on the law itself, but did express a robust opinion on the niqab.

 

His own family, Rushdie said, ranged from atheism to full Islamic practice, but “Not even the religious members would accept wearing a veil. They would say it is an instrument of oppression.” My husband and I applauded loudly, but few others did. Rushdie added, “Muslim women in the West who see it as an expression of identity are guilty of what Karl Marx called ‘false consciousness.’ A lot of women are forced to wear the veil. To choose to wear it, in my view, assists in the oppression of their sisters in those parts of the world.”

 

At this point I clapped even more enthusiastically and (alone) bellowed, “Bravo!” But most of the audience continued to sit on their hands. To say I was disappointed in my fellow Jews is an understatement. Here, after all, is a man who knows Islamic fundamentalism and oppression first hand, having endured 20 years of tense vigilance following fatwas against his life for the alleged crime of insulting Islam.

 

The tepid reaction to Rushdie’s statements thus struck me as a rebuke both to Rushdie’s personal ordeal and to the wisdom he brings to the face-covering debate as a critical insider. It’s also proof that even someone of Rushdie’s moral authority is powerless to shift liberal Jews’ reflexive instinct to identify with a perceived underdog, whatever the actual stakes at issue. I even had the sneaking suspicion that if a niqab’d woman in the audience had risen to shake her fist at Rushdie, she would have sparked an approving ovation.

 

I understand why young people are loath to criticize any cultural practice by the Other. They’ve long been steeped in cultural Marxism, which encourages white guilt and forbids criticism of official victim groups, including Muslims (but not Jews). But how did so many of my pre-Marxist, classically liberal Jewish contemporaries, who were, age-wise, disproportionately represented in the audience — especially the women, feminists one and all — fall for what public intellectual Phyllis Chesler calls a “faux feminism” that is “Islamically correct”?

 

I had assumed that my opinion on Bill 62 — that it is a fair law that privileges socially-level communications over a misogynist tribal custom — had solid, if minority, support in my community. The Rushdie evening disabused me of that illusion. Yet, I remain bewildered that Rushdie’s words don’t ring as true to my peers as they do to me. And not just Rushdie. Many Muslims are as “triggered” by the niqab as I am, and for better reason: they came to Canada to escape what it represents in those Islamic countries where it is customary (or obligatory) to wear it. They’re eager to speak up, but most media are too busy romancing the niqab-wearers to hear them.

 

Here’s a thought experiment I’d put to my progressive Jewish friends: How do you feel about the “frumqa”? “Frum” means religious in Yiddish. A frumqa is the Jewish burqa, worn by a few hundred Haredi women in Jerusalem who are sometimes called the “Taliban women.” The frumqa’s creator, Bruria Keren says she wears it “to save men from themselves. A man who sees a woman’s body parts is sexually aroused … Even if he doesn’t sin physically, his impure thoughts are sin in themselves.”

 

I’m glad the frumqa exists for one reason: I can say I find it disturbing in itself and abusive to girls without being called Islamophobic. I can freely say that Haredi fundamentalism and the obsessive gender extremism it incubates is a blot on the Jewish halachic and cultural landscape. Please don’t speak to me of a Jewish woman’s “right” to wear such a travesty of “tzniut” (modesty in dress and behaviour). Indoctrinated women, like inebriated women, are not competent to give informed consent to practices that reduce them to sexual and reproductive “things.”

 

I’d wager there isn’t a single Jewish woman in that Rushdie audience who wouldn’t privately express her visceral disgust with the frumqa, and who furthermore wouldn’t turn a hair if it were banned in Israel (it can’t be: the Haredim hold too much political power there). But over the Other’s burqas they draw a politically correct veil. Forgive me if I conclude it isn’t just Muslim women in the West who are guilty of false consciousness.

 

Contents

BURKAS, NIQABS POSE PUBLIC SAFETY RISK

Tarek Fatah

Toronto Sun, Oct. 24, 2017

 

The slur of "racism" has been hurled at Muslims who support Quebec's Bill 62 — the new law banning face coverings, for example the burka and niqab, when giving or receiving government services. From Ontario Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne to Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown, many white politicians and liberal media commentators have been quick to label any support of Bill 62 racist.

 

Since I, a Muslim, support Bill 62, I guess that makes me a racist. Indeed, it's not uncommon to hear whispers suggesting Muslims like me who support the burka and niqab ban are "sell-outs" within the Muslim community. And that white politicians who oppose Bill 62 are trying to salvage the reputation of our community, despite our supposed betrayal.

 

Ontario Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne and Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown are fierce political rivals, but both have been quick to label any support of Bill 62 racist. After all, what do these politicians have to lose? The political race to the bottom to curry favour with the so-called "Muslim vote bank" in Canada, as they see it, has worked well for both Conservatives and Liberals, charmed as they are by many second-generation radical Muslims who were born in Canada, some of whom hate Western civilization more than their parents do.

 

But none of the attacks on Quebec's burka/niqab ban were more disingenuous than one told by a well-coiffed hijabi on Canadian television recently, dismissing the public safety aspect of people wearing facemasks. This young Muslim woman claimed there has not been a single incident where someone wearing a burka committed a crime. To set the record straight, here are just a few examples of criminal activities committed by men and women wearing burkas and other face coverings in Canada:

 

Two months ago, on Aug. 17, 2017, an armed robbery took place at a Scotia Bank branch in Milton, Ontario. Police said one of the two suspects was wearing a balaclava; On Sept. 9, 2015, two burka-wearing male teens charged into a Toronto bank in the Yonge Street and Highway 401 area. Both were later arrested in Ajax; On Oct. 14, 2014, two men wearing burkas robbed a Toronto jewelery store in the York Mills and Leslie Street area, and walked away with $500,000 worth of gold and precious stones; On Aug. 18, 2010 an armed robbery by two masked men took place at a Scotiabank branch in Vaughan, north of Toronto; Ottawa police have in the past cited a handful of robberies in that city involving male suspects using Muslim women's religious garments as disguises.

 

Some of us will never forget how a young Toronto Muslim woman, Bano Shahdady, threw off her burka as she was divorcing her husband, only to be stalked by him disguised in a burka. He entered her apartment building and killed her in July 2011. It was a story few media were willing to delve into, but because I knew the family, one journalist did report about this burka-related murder that almost went unreported.

 

Around the world, numerous criminals have fled arrest wearing burkas, everywhere from London's Heathrow airport to the infamous Lal Masjid armed revolt by jihadis in Islamabad. My plea to vote-grabbing Canadian politicians of all political stripes in English-speaking Canada is, for once, be honest. Put the racist card aside and recognize burkas and niqabs pose a serious public safety risk.

 

 

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ISLAMIC STATE THREAT IS ALIVE AT ISRAEL’S DOORSTEP

DESPITE TERROR GROUP’S LOSSES ELSEWHERE

Yaakov Lappin

JNS, Oct. 26, 2017

 

During the last several months, Islamic State has seen its self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria erode at the hands of a U.S.-backed coalition. With the recent liberation of Islamic State’s de-facto capital in Raqqa, Syria, by coalition forces, many experts see the jihadist group attempting to bounce back by shifting from “state-building” to bolstering its terror network, including by exploiting lawless areas of the Middle East.

In Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, despite ongoing efforts by the Egyptian military, an Islamic State-affiliated terror group continues to deliver a succession of painful, deadly attacks on the Arab country’s security forces. With Islamic State’s losses in Syria and Iraq piling up, the Sinai remains an area where the terrorist organization is active and on the attack.  Occasionally, Islamic State’s Sinai affiliate, known as Sinai Province, fires rockets into southern Israel—including an attack in mid-October, sending residents of the Eshkol region fleeing for cover.

 

Yoram Schweitzer, head of the Program on Terrorism and Low Intensity Conflict at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, pointed out that Egyptian authorities do not operate in the Sinai like they do in the Egyptian heartland. Egypt’s counter-terrorist campaign “has some achievements, but not enough to solve the problem and to significantly lower ISIS’s activities.”

 

Egypt has struggled to integrate its security forces effectively, or deploy sufficient special forces, but has been able to cause real damage to Sinai Province during the past year and a half, Schweitzer said. “I don’t think Sinai Province is getting stronger. To a certain extent, it is weaker, but not enough to be repressed,” he told JNS.org. Egypt’s efforts are now receiving support from Bedouin tribes in the Sinai—like the Tarabin tribe—who have grown resentful of Islamic State’s presence, said Schweitzer, a former head of the Counter International Terror Section in the IDF. “The effort is better, but we see that terrorism isn’t breaking,” he said.

 

“They are still able to strike and kill soldiers in high numbers. The Egyptians can’t solve this problem,” Schweitzer added. One possible reason for this, he said, is the fact that Egypt “still doesn’t see Sinai as central enough. So long as there are not massive attacks in the Egyptian heartland, hitting senior government officials or tourist sites, this view will not change.”

 

An Israeli security source closely familiar with the Sinai sector offered rare confirmation of what she described as “tactical cooperation” between Israeli and Egyptian security forces on the border. “We have the same interests,” the source told JNS.org. “We both want to defend the border. We both understand that we are targets for terrorism. Hence we coordinate. It is clear to everyone who the enemy is, and that it is not us or them.” As evidence, the source pointed out that for the past year and a half, Egypt’s border police forces have constructed posts so that their openings face the Israeli side. “They did this out of an understanding that we have a common interest,” she said. “They understand that Israel is the safe side.”

 

The Israeli security source said that once in a while, Islamic State’s Sinai affiliate finds “ways to signal to us that we are in their crosshairs.” Israel does not confirm or deny reports that it launches air strikes on Islamic State in the Sinai, though the terror organization has accused the Jewish state of doing so repeatedly. It is difficult to estimate the size of Sinai Province, but assessments range from between hundreds and a few thousand members, the Israeli source stated. “Its weapons capabilities are varied. It has explosives that are both industrial and homemade, and a rocket stockpile that is not large,” she said. 

 

Asked about the scope of the threat to Israel, the source said, “As of now, our understanding is that Sinai Province’s leadership has issued a directive to focus efforts against the Egyptian security forces. We see that this directive is being followed.” The source was quick to point out that “this does not mean they like us. We are taking into account the fact that a decision, and having the ability, is what separates us from an attack against us.”

 

The IDF is building up its ability to deal with a variety of potential attacks from terrorists in the Sinai—including attempts to infiltrate into Israel and conduct a major attack. “Anything that approaches this sector comes under intense surveillance,” the source said. The Israeli military’s surveillance goes far beyond the Israel-Egypt border fence; any unusual movements are “checked thoroughly,” the source said. Various Israeli intelligence forces have joined forces to keep the area “clean from terrorism,” she added.

 

The source does not believe that Islamic State is getting stronger in the Sinai, but rather, that the terror group has succeeded in maintaining its power there, while it grows weaker in the rest of the Middle East. “They created an ability to continue attacking, keeping up their ‘output,’ and it turns out they can continue to recruit successfully,” she said. “This has not happened in other ISIS zones.” One reason for Islamic State’s continued presence in the Sinai, said the source, is that “for many years…Sinai has been the backyard of Egypt. There was no orderly Egyptian political sovereignty there. This created fertile ground for terrorism to grow uninterrupted.”

 

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Via Rail Plotters Weren’t Sick or Addicted — They Were Evil, FBI Undercover Agent Says: Tom Blackwell, National Post, Oct. 24, 2017—By the time he was sentenced to life in prison for plotting to wreck a Via Rail train and other terrorist acts, Chiheb Esseghaier had been diagnosed as psychotic, having gone on incoherent rants, spit at a witness and fallen asleep during his trial.

Rohingya Refugee Crisis: The Role of Islamist Terrorists: Lawrence A. Franklin, Gatestone Institute, Oct. 25, 2017—Although the media has extensively covered the Burmese Army's expulsion of Muslim Rohingya people from Rakhine Province in Myanmar — and although no one is recommending the horrors of murder or mass expulsions — little attention has been paid to Rohingya ties to international Islamic terrorism.

Saudi Women Behind the Wheel: Prince Mohammed’s Litmus Test: Dr. James M. Dorsey, BESA, Oct. 4, 2017—If last week’s national day celebrations, during which women were for the first time allowed to enter a stadium, is anything to go by, opposition to the lifting of Saudi Arabia’s ban on women’s driving is likely to be limited to protests on social media.

New Study: Most UK Jihadists Tied to Non-Violent Islamism: IPT News, Oct 2, 2017—Ties to non-violent Islamism are strongly associated with an eventual embrace of jihadism, according to a new study that explores the trajectories of British jihadists.

 

 

 

Islamic Terrorism, Born in the Middle East, Comes to Canada

 

 

THE POWER OF EVENTS: ISRAEL’S  SUDDEN ELECTION & INCREASING TERRORISM,

ARE COMPLICATED BY THE U.S.’S M.E. AMBIVALENCE 

 

Frederick Krantz

 

 

 

It is an old  dictum that sudden, unexpected events change politics. The collapse of Israel’s governing coalition means a March election and new uncertainty, and this as terrorism continues, in and around Jerusalem [cf. this issue’s Data-Bank statistics on Palestinian terrorism, pp.6-7], as well as across the M.E., Iran, and Africa.

 

     Meanwhile, Israel’s situation is worsened by the ambivalence, political and military, of its major (indeed, only) ally, the U.S. Led by a lame-duck Democratic Administration, America’s Hamlet-like President Barack Obama is first in (Syria), then out, then back (ditto re Iraq and Afghanistan); first he’s affirming  “no boots on the ground”, then it’s 1,500, now it may be 3,000; first they’ll only be “trainers”, then, armed, they’ll support forward Iraqi echelons; and so on and on.

 

    Yet even as Obama seems, however unwillingly, to ramp up US commitments to Iraq and Afghanistan, he continues to downsize (“sequestration”) American armed forces. The stated goal? To arrive at a force approximately the size (100,000) of the woefully inadequate Army and Navy of December 7, 1941, at the outbreak of World War II. And this as Russian aggression in Ukraine, and a threatening Chinese naval expansion, continue.

 

   Then, the icing on the disintegrating cake:  Obama forces out his hand-picked Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, a former U.S. Senator and battle-tested U.S. Army veteran, for a more compliant Ashton B. Carter, a neutral Pentagon administrator with absolutely no military background or credibility. 

 

   Two recent articles appearing simultaneously in a major newspaper summed up the contradictory, and dangerous, implications of such American ambivalence. One noted that, despite the resumption of American bombing of terrorist Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria, their expansion seems not have been appreciably slowed.  The other article reported on growing concern in the American military that the new campaign was ill-conceived, too little, too late, and that extreme fear of the negative media impact of civilian casualties was rendering much of the bombing ineffective.

 

    (Authorization for each mission has to be preceded by detailed reconnaissance flights, with each potential target then relayed to the U.S.-based Command Center for approval at the highest level.  Such a slow, cumbersome process often results in the target moving on or disappearing. The Islamic State fighters—who of course are unconcerned about civilian casualties–have quickly learned how to disperse, hide, and otherwise evade both the reconnaissance process and the actual postponed follow-on attacks.)

 

    America’s continuing foreign policy and military hesitations (confusion?) have emboldened its,  and Israel’s, enemies. Together with the post-Arab Spring collapse of the M.E. state system, the advance of a new territory-acquiring terrorism, and ongoing Iranian nuclear development (yet another example of American irresolution), this was surely not the most auspicious moment for Israel’s governing coalition to collapse.

 

    But events can be turned to advantage. If Netanyahu can win a more stable center-right coalition in March, and (as the 2016 Presidential election looms) the recently-returned Republican majority in both Houses of Congress can put consistent foreign–policy pressure on the White House, the balance in 2015 may well turn in Israel’s favor. It would be, as we celebrate Passover’s message of Jewish freedom, a consummation devoutly to be desired.

 

 

(Prof. Frederick Krantz is President of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research

and Editor of its ISRAFAX journal and Daily Isranet Briefing.)

   

   

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canadian Muslims: A Plea to West

 

Canadian Muslims: A Plea to West

Raheel Raza and Salim Mansur

Clarion Project, Apr. 24, 2013

http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/canadian-muslims-plea-west

 

The recent discovery of terrorist plot to do a mass terror attack on a Via Rail passenger train out of Toronto by two Islamists, and their intent interdicted by joint Canadian and U.S. security agencies, eerily followed the hunt and capture of the two Chechen brothers — Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — involved in carrying out the Boston bombing.

 

The arrests of Chiheb Esseghaier, a 30-year old Tunisian studying in Montreal, and Raed Jaser, a 35-year old Palestinian landed immigrant resident in Toronto, for plotting the terror attacks on Via Rail, were preceded by reports of two Canadians (Ali Medlej and Xristos Katsiroubas, a Muslim convert) involved in the terrorist attacks on an Algerian gas plant deep inside the Sahara desert on the Algeria-Libya border. The two were killed by security forces, while a third Canadian (Aaron Yoon, a Muslim convert) is being held in a Mauritanian prison as a suspected terrorist.

 

There was also report of a recent suicide bombing carried out in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in which a Canadian (Mahad Ali Dhore) of Somali origin, and a former student at York University in Toronto, was identified as one of the suicide bombers.

 

These stories confirm the pattern of penetration by Islamists into the West for executing mass terror attacks, as were the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Madrid train bombings in 2004 and the home grown Islamist terrorists attacks on the London public transit system in 2005.

 

There have also been failed plots, as in the case of the New York Times Square bombing attempt by Faisal Shahzad, an American resident of Pakistani origin, in May 2010, or the foiled plan of the Toronto 18 to carry out a series of mass terror attacks in southern Ontario in 2006.

 

Since 9/11 many Muslims around the world, including those who belong to Muslims Facing Tomorrow in Canada, have been warning our compatriots of the nature of Islamist threat worldwide, of the extent to which Islamism is a virulent ideology of warfare (jihad) and a radical reorientation of Muslim societies to comply with Sharia that repudiates modernity in all its form. This ideology has brought death and devastation within the Muslim and non-Muslim world.

 

The West needs to take seriously the war declared by Islamists against infidels, Zionists, Israelis and Muslims opposed to Islamism.

 

Islamism is an aberrant strain of Muslim thinking that can be traced back in Arab-Muslim history to the earliest years of Islam. Its defining characteristic is intolerance of others, including Muslims, and glorification of violence as a martyrdom exercise against all who disagree with Islamist rendition of Islam.

 

This aberrant thinking in pre-modern times was kept in check — with force when necessary — by Muslim rulers. But with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in World War One, this ideology was espoused by a marginal sectarian movement inside Arabia when the Wahhabis (with the Saudi tribe at its head) captured power and established the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1926.

 

The success of the House of Saud came about in part with the support of Britain (the great power with imperial interests in the region). Later, this desert monarchy was embraced by the United States.

 

Wahhabism is the foster-mother of modern day Islamism; the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is its citadel. Osama Bin Laden was a Saudi citizen, a multi-millionaire and a fanatic adherent of the Wahhabi creed.

 

The twentieth century founders of Islamist ideology were two Egyptians, Hasan al-Banna (1906-49) and Syed Qutb (1906-66), and the Indo-Pakistani Abul A’la Mawdudi (1903-79). Wahhabism was a small, thoroughly marginal and derided sect within the mainstream majority Sunni Muslim population until the House of Saud made it the dominant power-holder and expression of Islam by its control of the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

 

With the largesse of oil money at its disposal and the security arrangements provided to it by the Western powers, especially the United States, Wahhabism and the Islamist ideology of the three Sunni ideologues (al-Banna, Qutb and Mawdudi) were fused by Saudi petrodollars for export.

 

It is estimated that over $70 billion have been doled out by the Saudi government agencies and private citizens in funding mosque constructions across the Muslim world and in the West, and in financing Muslim organizations and youth clubs that spread Islamist ideology.

 

The result has been one of the most successful efforts to infect this virus within the Muslim world and beyond.

 

Muslim population of Arabic-speaking countries of the Middle East and North Africa together is less than a fifth of the global Muslim population, yet it is the Arab version of Islam, principally the Wahhabi Islam of Saudi Arabia that is the source of the rise of Islamism and the threat it poses to the West, while bringing ruin to Muslim societies.

 

Wahhabism also now dominates Sunni Islam, in general, through funding of leading Sunni institutions (Al-Azhar University in Cairo) and political movements (the Muslim Brotherhood, founded by al-Banna, and Jamaat-i-Islami founded by Mawdudi).

 

Petrodollars now spread Wahhabism in South Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus (Chechnya), the Balkans (Bosnia and Kosovo), Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. And, its most fanatical face can be found in the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 

In the Middle East the rivalry between Wahhabism and Khomeinism is represented by the competing interests and hostilities of the Sunni powers, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates, on the one side, and Iran with its Syrian  Alawite allies as well as the Lebanese Shi’i supporters of Hezbollah.

 

The Shi’ite version of Islamism is Khomeinism, the ruling ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1979. (Islam has been historically divided between the majority Sunni Muslims and the minority Shi’i Muslims, who are estimated to be less than 15 percent of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslim population.)

 

It is this rivalry in part that finds expression in the virulence against Israel and support for Palestinian extremist and radical politics emanating out of Tehran and the capitals of the Sunni Muslim states in the region.

 

It was inevitable that the upheaval inside the Muslim world would spill over into the West and elsewhere. The attack upon New York City in 2001 should have been a wake-up call for the West to take appropriate measures to nip the threat of Islamist terror.

 

 

The recent events relating to “home grown” Islamist terror are indicative of the extent to which the United States and Canada have underrated Islamism as war against the West.

 

As Muslims in Canada, we have repeatedly called upon our fellow Muslims to publicly disavow all relationships with Islamists and Islamism, to repudiate unconditionally the aberrant thinking and teachings of Wahhabism (and its related schools among Sunni Muslims) and Khomeinism and to cooperate — without any hesitation — with law enforcement and security agencies of our home country, Canada.

 

But our voice will not carry weight unless and until our government, our political parties and politicians at all levels of government — federal, provincial and municipal — take seriously the Islamist threat and denounce Islamism without any inhibition or equivocation.

 

We cannot any longer afford to allow our mainstream media, our educational institutions and our civil society associations to wallow in political correctness and, intentionally or not, give cover to the Islamists in our midst through public relation exercises, such as inter-faith dialogue.

 

As Muslims we understand much more than anyone else how multiculturalism has become a cover for Islamist penetration of the West. As Muslims, we have the inside knowledge of the extent to which Wahhabi teachings and Islamism have together undermined what was once a rich and tolerant culture within Islam.We recognize that after decades of Wahhabi subversion, this sounds apologetic and quaint.

 

Moreover, as Muslims, we found ourselves accepted in the West with immense generosity, kindness and without any discrimination by the majority of the population. Many of us carry deep physical and psychological wounds of bigotry and violence directed against us as Muslims by other Muslims driven to fanaticism by Wahhabi and Islamist teachings. As survivors of Muslim violence against Muslims, our gratitude in finding refuge and a new home in Canada and elsewhere in the West is immeasurable.

 

Our concern about the West’s security from Islamist threats is derived from experience. We, therefore, as Muslims urge the authorities in Canada, in the United States and in Europe, to take robust measures against those who have declared war against the West and those who directly or indirectly assist this warfare.

 

Only when it becomes certain that the West will not any longer tolerate the preaching and practice of Islamism will we witness increasing numbers of Muslims stepping forward publicly to repudiate those imams and religious leaders in our mosques and mosque-related institutions who have been instrumental in pushing Islamism among Muslim youth and radicalizing them for jihad or mass terrorist operations.

 

Sadly, although it is human nature, fear is an intangible reality that is holding the majority of Muslims in the West back instead of taking responsibility to spear-head the drive to defeat Islamism.

 

But this fear is also grounded upon the undeniable fact that the West has long embraced Saudi Arabia, continues to cultivate links with countries such as Egypt and Pakistan that are hotbeds of Islamism and has not shown the determination to contain and defeat Islamism as it once did in bringing about the defeat of Communism.

 

Finally, as Muslims in the West, we want to advise our compatriots that the Muslim world is presently in an upheaval of historic proportion, as Europe once was as Christendom was in the transition from the pre-modern to the modern world of liberal and secular values.

 

The internal struggle among Muslims will likely continue over several generations as the Muslim world painfully makes its transition. But the support of the West can be decisive in hastening this transition, and this can only occur when the Western public understands what is at stake and how it can make a positive difference.

 

The weeding out of Islamism and the Islamist threat lodged inside the West is the essential prerequisite – or first step — in defeating the global warfare or jihad of Islamists and in helping the Muslim world reconcile itself with modern values of science, democracy and human rights.

 

Raheel Raza is President and Salim Mansur is Vice President of the Council of Muslims Facing Tomorrow, Canada.