Friday, May 30, 2008

Is the Islamic world rejecting al-Qaeda theology, thanks to the War in Iraq?

We've often heard critics of the war in Iraq assert that we've diverted attention away from the real war on terror, and need to focus attention on al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan (as if we aren't engaged against al-Qaeda operatives all over the world). Even Presidential candidates think it's a winning statement, to push forth the belief that Iraq is still a disaster, and that we've only succeeded in "emboldening our enemies" and “We are seeing al-Qaeda stronger now than at any time since 2001.” The other criticism is to dismiss the level of influence of al Qaeda in Iraq, because foreign fighters make up a low percentage number of the insurgents.

Yet developments in Iraq have seen not only the success of the Surge, but also a rejection of al-Qaeda by all Iraqis including (and especially by) Sunnis; as well as a rejection of al-Qaeda in the Muslim world, in general. Iraq damaged al Qaeda's image and any prestige they might have commanded, at one point. Al Qaeda knows this. Why doesn't Senator Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Ariana Huffington?


Last year, Sheikh Salman al-Awdah, a popular Saudi Islamic scholar criticized Osama bin Laden who once lionized him.

Mufti Sheikh Abd Al-’Aziz bin Abdallah Aal Al-Sheikh, the highest Islamic religious authority in Saudi Arabia, issued a fatwa prohibiting Saudi youth from engaging in jihad abroad. Tareq Al-Humaid, the editor of Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, points out the significance:
"It is true that some of these [young people] have become enslaved by Al-Qaeda and its ideology, and are now beyond hope; however, the importance of the fatwa lies in the impact that it will have on most of the Saudi public, and in particular the fathers and mothers. Its value lies in the fact that it will wrest from the hands of the 'politicized sheikhs' the card that they have been using all this time.
"Where are the moderates?" Mainstream Muslims have been rejecting terrorism and al Qaeda's brand of Islamic ideology, even as we remain suspicious of the sincerity and heart of those who profess to be practitioners of the Islamic faith.

The most recent astonishing and important rejection and condemnation of al Qaeda comes from Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, also known as Dr. Fadl.

Who is Dr. Fadl?

Lawrence Wright, author of the most definitive account of the history of al-Qaeda, The Looming Tower, writes in the New Yorker:
Last May, a fax arrived at the London office of the Arabic newspaper Asharq Al Awsat from a shadowy figure in the radical Islamist movement who went by many names. Born Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, he was the former leader of the Egyptian terrorist group Al Jihad [Egyptian Islamic Jihad], and known to those in the underground mainly as Dr. Fadl. Members of Al Jihad became part of the original core of Al Qaeda; among them was Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s chief lieutenant. Fadl was one of the first members of Al Qaeda’s top council. Twenty years ago, he wrote two of the most important books in modern Islamist discourse; Al Qaeda used them to indoctrinate recruits and justify killing. Now Fadl was announcing a new book, rejecting Al Qaeda’s violence. “We are prohibited from committing aggression, even if the enemies of Islam do that,” Fadl wrote in his fax, which was sent from Tora Prison, in Egypt.

Fadl’s fax confirmed rumors that imprisoned leaders of Al Jihad were part of a trend in which former terrorists renounced violence. His defection posed a terrible threat to the radical Islamists, because he directly challenged their authority. “There is a form of obedience that is greater than the obedience accorded to any leader, namely, obedience to God and His Messenger,” Fadl wrote, claiming that hundreds of Egyptian jihadists from various factions had endorsed his position.
Why my emphases? Because of my recent arguments with fellow war-on-terror conservatives, regarding the nature of Islam, and what approach to use in dealing with a religion of 1.5 billion, that seems to have a serious anger management problem.

Andrew McCarthy, author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad, estimates that perhaps 20% of Muslims are an issue, when it comes to Islamic terror and Islamism. They are a vocal, "dynamic minority", he said yesterday in an interview on the Dennis Prager Show. Most readers find Spencerian agreement with McCarthy in his assessment of the Islamist threat. But I do not think he goes so far as to condemn Islam as a whole, falling into the pitfalls of educated religious bigotry.

Can terrorists be reformed? Yes. Dr. Fadl may still be an Islamist whose values we still differ strongly with; but if he rejects the violence of terrorism and is a legitimate, influential voice for Islamic scholarship, then he is an important chess piece in winning the Long War.

The fact that a major, influential player in the "jihad" movement has now come out in rejection of violence as a method to spreading Islam should be welcomed and encouraged. And he is not alone:
Another important event occurred in October 2007, when Sheikh Abd Al-’Aziz bin Abdallah Aal Al-Sheikh, the highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia, issued a fatwa prohibiting Saudi youth from engaging in jihad abroad.
~~~
Sheikh Salman alAwdah, an influential Saudi cleric whom Mr bin Laden once lionised, wrote an “open letter” condemning Mr bin Laden. “Brother Osama, how much blood has been spilt? How many innocents among children, elderly, the weak, and women have been killed and made homeless in the name of al-Qaeda?” Sheikh Awdah wrote. “The ruin of an entire people, as is happening in Afghanistan and Iraq . . . cannot make Muslims happy.”

If we are going to win the War against Islamic Terror, it will not be by violently eradicating 1.5 billion plus Muslims into extinction, but by converting hearts and minds to reject terrorism; by convincing those who practice Islam that what they have been told by the Zawahiris regarding persecution from the West, is propaganda and lies. al-Qaeda has murdered more Muslims than President George W. Bush; and they have deceived and misled many more.

Islam critics claim that Islam cannot be reformed (unless, of course, it's in the direction of more violence), that it's incompatible with democracy, that there is no such thing as "radical" Islam. But a "pacified" Islam is exactly what was and has been taking place in Muslim countries. Many Muslims have accepted living under secular governments and not Sharia. It is the wahhabists, salafi fundamentalists, and modern "jihad" movement, as instigated by the likes of Zawahiri, Dr. Fadl, and Sayyid Qutb, who wish to derail the secular modernization of the Islamic faith- what they see as the erosion of "true" Islam- with their own backward reformation movement.

But al Qaeda is the enemy of us all, including Islam. it is influential modern works of Islamist scholars, such as Dr. Fadl's " “The Compendium of the Pursuit of Divine Knowledge” as much as anything found in the Koran or Hadith, from which "jihadis" draw their inspiration and motivation. Good, peaceful Muslims also read from the Koran. Not from the interpretive writings on Islam by radicalizers such as Sayyid Qutb and Abdul Qader bin Abdul Aziz (Dr. Fadl's pen name under which he wrote the Compendium used for al Qaeda recruitment).

Today, Dr. Fadl's most recent book "undermined the entire intellectual framework of jihadist warfare.” and is “a trenchant attack on the immoral roots of Al Qaeda’s theology”. And that's a good thing.

There is an ideological/theological split in the "jihad" movement, and we should take advantage of that. Condemning Islam as an evil religion, as some commenters have done on my previous posts of this nature, does nothing to encourage this tearing asunder and fomenting of an ideological "civil war".

If Islam wishes to survive beyond the 21st century, it will not be by embracing the romanticized, revisionist delusions of political Islamic scholars who wish to reform Islam away from secularized compatibility and modernity, and back toward 7th and 12th century intolerability and past glory.

Read the entire Lawrence Wright article. And also Peter Wehner's take on it.

Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt
(*UPDATE*: Curt posts part of yesterday's Hewitt interview with Lawrence Wright)

Cross-posted at Flopping Aces

Related FA post: CIA says al Qaeda is losing hearts and mind

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12 Comments:

Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

This is also an interesting addition:

By way of Daniel Drezner citing from the New Republic:

Why have clerics and militants once considered allies by Al Qaeda's leaders turned against them? To a large extent, it is because Al Qaeda and its affiliates have increasingly adopted the doctrine of takfir, by which they claim the right to decide who is a "true" Muslim. Al Qaeda's Muslim critics know what results from this takfiri view: First, the radicals deem some Muslims apostates; after that, the radicals start killing them. This fatal progression happened in both Algeria and Egypt in the 1990s. It is now taking place even more dramatically in Iraq, where Al Qaeda's suicide bombers have killed more than 10,000 Iraqis, most of them targeted simply for being Shia. Recently, Al Qaeda in Iraq has turned its fire on Sunnis who oppose its diktats, a fact not lost on the Islamic world's Sunni majority.

Additionally, Al Qaeda and its affiliates have killed thousands of Muslim civilians elsewhere since September 11: hundreds of ordinary Afghans killed every year by the Taliban, dozens of Saudis killed by terrorists since 2003, scores of Jordanians massacred at a wedding at a U.S. hotel in Amman in November 2005. Even those sympathetic to Al Qaeda have started to notice. "Excuse me Mr. Zawahiri but who is it who is killing with Your Excellency's blessing, the innocents in Baghdad, Morocco and Algeria?" one supporter asked in an online Q&A with Al Qaeda's deputy leader in April that was posted widely on jihadist websites. All this has created a dawning recognition among Muslims that the ideological virus that unleashed September 11 and the terrorist attacks in London and Madrid is the same virus now wreaking havoc in the Muslim world.

Friday, May 30, 2008 7:42:00 AM  
Blogger airforcewife said...

Absolutely fascinating, wordsmith.

Friday, May 30, 2008 8:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Matt said...

Great job on this post.
Congrats

Friday, May 30, 2008 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

You are light years more informed on this subject than I, Wordsmith. I truly haven't had the time to run my own blog let alone do research. I hope that you are right. What I would like to know though, is whether or not "moderate Muslims" believe in the mutilation of young girl's genetalia? I have no clue! This is something so offensive to my sensibilities I can't even begin to describe it! Is this practiced by the majority of Muslims or not? I truly would like to know.

Another thing I would like to know is whether or not moderate Muslims treat their women equally? These are important issues. I'm tired of people coming into my posts and saying things like "well, it's their tradition and we must leave it alone. We have no business interfering in their traditions." I beg to differ. Child abuse cannot ever be acceptable as a mere "tradition" even if it is.

Friday, May 30, 2008 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

Consider this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/29/AR2008052904116_pf.html

U.S. Cites Big Gains Against Al-Qaeda
Group Is Facing Setbacks Globally, CIA Chief Says

By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 30, 2008; A01

Less than a year after his agency warned of new threats from a resurgent al-Qaeda, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden now portrays the terrorist movement as essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout much of the rest of the world, including in its presumed haven along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

In a strikingly upbeat assessment, the CIA chief cited major gains against al-Qaeda's allies in the Middle East and an increasingly successful campaign to destabilize the group's core leadership.

While cautioning that al-Qaeda remains a serious threat, Hayden said Osama bin Laden is losing the battle for hearts and minds in the Islamic world and has largely forfeited his ability to exploit the Iraq war to recruit adherents. Two years ago, a CIA study concluded that the U.S.-led war had become a propaganda and marketing bonanza for al-Qaeda, generating cash donations and legions of volunteers.
"

Friday, May 30, 2008 3:09:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Heneghan said...

If you’re interested in the issue of Obama, Islam and whether he might be a Muslim apostate, you might want to check out “Muslim scholar responds to ‘Sharia smear’ against Obama” -- http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2008/05/30/muslim-scholar-responds-to-sharia-smear-against-obama/ -- on the Reuters FaithWorld blog.

Friday, May 30, 2008 3:20:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

mike,

I already have that linked to the bottom of my post (through Scott's post); thanks though.

afw,

Thanks for reading.

matt,

I appreciate the visit; and the respectful compliment from one across the political aisle.

gayle,

I don't know any more than you; just doing my own research, and still learning....still sorting through.

My opinions aren't writ in stone on this topic, even if I've taken a kind of shift.

tom,

Thanks for the link.

Found this:

Sharp Decline in Support for Suicide Bombing in Muslim Countries

Friday, May 30, 2008 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

gayle,

It just occurred to me that I forgot to address your question. I'm out the door to work, but will come back to it.

The short answer is that I consider what you describe as a separate, if not related issue from the war against violent Islamic radicals engaged in terrorism abroad (and at home against secularized governments).

Saturday, May 31, 2008 7:47:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

gayle asked:
What I would like to know though, is whether or not "moderate Muslims" believe in the mutilation of young girl's genetalia? I have no clue! This is something so offensive to my sensibilities I can't even begin to describe it! Is this practiced by the majority of Muslims or not? I truly would like to know.


First off, is the problem of what is meant by "moderate" Muslim. According to the classified memo that I read from Homeland Security, the label "moderate" can be deemed "offensive". Just think how you might feel being called a "moderate" Christian, implying that your devotion to God is only moderately pious.

Of course, by "moderate", many mean "not radical extremist"; but then there are those who think "radical Islam" is redundant, and that the "moderates" are comprised of the CAIR-garden-variety Muslim, and not the non-CAIR Muslim, who are apostates.

Anyway, it's a side issue.

When it comes to American Muslims, keep this study in mind:

The first-ever, nationwide, random sample survey of Muslim Americans finds them to be largely assimilated, happy with their lives, and moderate with respect to many of the issues that have divided Muslims and Westerners around the world.
The Pew Research Center conducted more than 55,000 interviews to obtain a national sample of 1,050 Muslims living in the United States. Interviews were conducted in English, Arabic, Farsi and Urdu. The resulting study, which draws on Pew's survey research among Muslims around the world, finds that Muslim Americans are a highly diverse population, one largely composed of immigrants. Nonetheless, they are decidedly American in their outlook, values and attitudes. This belief is reflected in Muslim American income and education levels, which generally mirror those of the public.

Key findings include:

* Overall, Muslim Americans have a generally positive view of the larger society. Most say their communities are excellent or good places to live.

* A large majority of Muslim Americans believe that hard work pays off in this society. Fully 71% agree that most people who want to get ahead in the U.S. can make it if they are willing to work hard.

* The survey shows that although many Muslims are relative newcomers to the U.S., they are highly assimilated into American society. On balance, they believe that Muslims coming to the U.S. should try and adopt American customs, rather than trying to remain distinct from the larger society. And by nearly two-to-one (63%-32%) Muslim Americans do not see a conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society.


gayle,

I believe there are a number of things that are cultural, and specific to region, not necessarily Islamic.

From what I understand, female genital mutilation is largely a problem of African cultures, including Muslim countries like Egypt and the Sudan. But Egypt has banned the practice. I don't think it's as mainstream in the Middle East, but more "cult-like", with pockets of it practiced more in secrecy than out in the open, throughout regions of Middle-Eastern countries. I don't think it's widely accepted amongst Muslims. I think it's largely cultural and regional.

Ok...I just looked it up in wikipedia, for what it's worth (and usually in areas that are non-political, it's pretty good), and I think I'm largely correct. Here's some relevant passages:

Islam

Female genital cutting predates Islam.[35]In Saudi Arabia, in the area known as the Hijaz, where Islam originated, FGC was already being practiced during the lifetime of Muhammad. To call a man a "circumciser of women" was an insult among the pagan Arabs at the time. Female genital cutting is not commanded by the Qur'an[46] and is not practiced by the majority of Muslims.[35] In Egypt, mufti Sheikh Ali Gomaa stated: "The traditional form of excision is a practice totally banned by Islam because of the compelling evidence of the extensive damage it causes to women's bodies and minds." [47]

[edit] Sunni View

There are differences of opinion among Sunni scholars in regards to female genital cutting. These differences of opinion range from forbidden to obligatory. The debate focuses around a hadith from the Sunni collections. One narration states that "a woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. Muhammad said to her, 'Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.'"[48]Abu Dawood, who relates the narration in his collection, states the hadith is poor in authenticity. [49] Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani describes this hadith as poor in authenticity, and quotes Imam Ahmad Bayhaqi’s point of view that it is "poor, with a broken chain of transmission" [50] Zein al-Din al-Iraqi points out in his commentary on Al-Ghazali’s Ihya ulum al-din (I:148) that the mentioned hadith has a weak chain of transmission."[51] Yusuf ibn Abd-al-Barr comments: "Those who consider (female) circumcision a sunna, use as evidence this hadith of Abu al-Malih, which is based solely on the evidence of Hajjaj ibn Artaa, who cannot be admitted as an authority when he is the sole transmitter. The consensus of Muslim scholars shows that circumcision is for men".[52]

Shams Ed-Din Al-Haq Al-'Azim Abadi claims that, "[t]he Hadith of female circumcision has been reported through so many ways all of which are weak, blemished and defective, and thus it is unacceptable to prove a legal ruling through such ways."[51] While some scholars reject ahadith that refer to FGC on grounds of inauthenticity, other scholars argue that authenticity alone does not confer legitimacy. One of the sayings used to support FGC practices is the hadith (349) in Sahih Muslim: Aishah narrated an authentic Hadith that the Prophet said:"When a man sits between the four parts (arms and legs of his wife) and the two circumcised parts meet, then ghusl is obligatory." Dr. Muhammad Salim al-Awwa, Secretary General of the World Union of the Muslim Ulemas states that while the hadith is authentic, it is not evidence of legitimacy. He states that the Arabic for "the two circumcision organs" is a single word used to connote two forms; however the plural term for one of the forms is used to denote not two of the same form, but two different forms characterized as a singular of the more prominent form. He goes on to state that, while the female form is used to denote both male and female genitalia, it is identified with the prominent aspect of the two forms, which, in this case, is the male circumcised organ. He further states that the connotation of circumcision is not transitive. Dr. al-Awwa concludes that the hadith is specious because "such an argument can be refuted by the fact that in Arabic language, two things or persons may be given one quality or name that belongs only to one of them for an effective cause." [51] [e.g. the usage in "Qur'an in Surah Al-Furqan(25):53" "bahrayn" is the dual form of "bahr" (sea) meaning "sea (salty and bitter) and river (sweet and thirst-allaying) (not "two seas"); sometimes the word with the female gender is chosen to make the dual form, such as in the expression "the two Marwas", referring to the two hills of As-Safa and Al-Marwa (not "two hills, each called Al-Marwa") in Mecca][53]

In March 2005, Dr Ahmed Talib, Dean of the Faculty of Sharia at the Al-Azhar University, stated: "All practices of female circumcision and mutilation are crimes and have no relationship with Islam. Whether it involves the removal of the skin or the cutting of the flesh of the female genital organs... it is not an obligation in Islam."[54] Both Christian and Muslim leaders have publicly denounced the practice of FGC since 1998.[55] A recent conference at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo (December, 2006) brought prominent Muslim clergy to denounce the practice as not being necessary under the umbrella of Islam.[56] Although there was some reluctance amongst some of the clergy, who preferred to hand the issue to doctors, making the FGC a medical decision, rather than a religious one, the Grand Mufti Ali Jumaa of Egypt, signed a resolution denouncing the practice.[57]

One of the four Sunni schools of religious law, the Shafi'i school, rules that clitoridectomy is mandatory.[58] Sheikh Faraz Rabbani states, "That which is wajib [obligatory] in the Shafi`i texts is merely slight 'trimming' of the tip of the clitoral hood - prepuce." Contrary to the WHO definition, he states that this practice is not "FGM, nor harmful to the woman or her ability to derive sexual pleasure." He states that "excision, FGM, or other harmful practices" are not permitted.[59] In 1994, Egyptian Mufti Sheikh Jad Al-Hâqq 'Ali Jad Al-Hâqq issued a fatwa stating, "Circumcision is mandatory for men and for women. If the people of any village decide to abandon it, the village imam must fight against them as if they had abandoned the call to prayer." [60] The Al-Azhar University in Cairo has issued several fatwas endorsing FGC, in 1949, 1951 and 1981.[61]

[edit] Shia View

Foster states that female circumcision is rumoured to be common amongst Shi'ite communities ruled by Hezbollah in Lebanon.[62] The procedures are outlawed by all leading Shi'ite Marjas that interpret Sharia traditions and are considered customs left over from pre-Islamic times.[citation needed]





Another thing I would like to know is whether or not moderate Muslims treat their women equally? These are important issues. I'm tired of people coming into my posts and saying things like "well, it's their tradition and we must leave it alone. We have no business interfering in their traditions." I beg to differ. Child abuse cannot ever be acceptable as a mere "tradition" even if it is.


I largely agree with you, gayle, and don't believe in moral relavitism and moral equivalence. At the same time, there is something to be said about looking outside of "the arrogance and self-centeredness" of one's cultural beliefs.

After all, if we express an intolerant attitude toward others' cultural backwardness, why shouldn't we empathize when these cultures are "offended" by our cultural decadence? We conservatives, ourselves, often find ourselves disgusted by the cultural depravity and crassness of liberalism, as expressed by Hollywood pop culture.

Here's something else to consider. From the Lawrence Wright article:The new thinking among the leaders caught the attention of the clerics at Al Azhar, the thousand-year-old institution of Islamic learning in the center of ancient Cairo. During my stay in Egypt, I met with Sheikh Ali Gomaa, Egypt’s Grand Mufti, at the nearby Dar al-Iftah, a government agency charged with issuing religious edicts—some five thousand fatwas a week. I waited for several hours in an antechamber while Gomaa finished a meeting with a delegation from the British House of Lords. Since 2003, when Gomaa was appointed Grand Mufti, a top religious post in Egypt, he has become a highly promoted champion of moderate Islam, with his own television show and occasional columns in Al Ahram, a government daily. He is the kind of cleric the West longs for, because of his assurances that there is no conflict with democratic rule and no need for theocracy. Gomaa has also become an advocate for Muslim women, who he says should have equal standing with men. His forceful condemnations of extreme forms of Islam have made him an object of hatred among Islamists and an icon among progressives, whose voices have been overpowered by the thunder of the radicals.

The door finally opened, and Gomaa emerged. He is fifty-five, tall and regal, with a round face and a trim beard. He wore a tan caftan and a white turban. He held a sprig of mint to his nose as an aide whispered to him my reasons for coming. On the wall behind his desk was a photograph of President Mubarak.

Gomaa was born in Beni Suef, the same town as Dr. Fadl. “I began going into the prisons in the nineteen-nineties,” he told me. “We had debates and dialogues with the prisoners, which continued for more than three years. Such debates became the nucleus for the revisionist thinking.”

Before the revisions were published, Gomaa reviewed them. “We accept the revisions conditionally, not as the true teachings of Islam but with the understanding that this process is like medicine for a particular time,” he said. The fact that the prisoners were painfully reëxamining their thinking struck him as progress enough. “Terrorism springs from rigidity, and rigidity from literalism,” he said. Each concept is a circle within a circle, and just getting a person to inch away from the center was a victory. “Our experience with such people is that it is very difficult to move them two or three degrees from where they are,” he said. “It’s easier to move from terrorism to extremism or from extremism to rigidity. We have not come across the person who can be moved all the way from terrorism to a normal life.”


I bring this up, because while I consider aspects of Islamic culture to be in serious need of reform (again, this is third-world type cultural practices as much as anything directly tied to religion), it is related but peripheral to the War on Terror. My main concern is with the violent "jihadists". So long as Muslims aren't trying to kill us, then I can "live with it". We can work toward convincing them to reject certain cultural practices, peacefully through dialogue and human rights and women's rights watch organizations. We should not be forcefully trying to change certain cultural practices (without serious consideration and moral deliberation) at the business end of a gun anymore than Muslims should be trying to change our culture at the point of a sword. It doesn't offend me if Muslims wish to proselytize their beliefs, so long as it's not "by the sword". My Christian roommates in the dorms in college didn't believe they were good Christians if they didn't actively go about trying to bring the message of Jesus Christ to everyone they made contact with.

Islamism, like anti-Americanism is a problem. But so long as Islamists and anti-American Europeans aren't strapping on bomb vests, we should be able to cope through non-violent means, to work toward change and hope for more and more progressive Muslims from third world countries.

Not all Muslims are living in cultural 7th century backwardness.

Number one priority: Islamic terrorism.

Secondary goal: Progressive attitudes toward tolerance, freedom, women's rights.

Saturday, May 31, 2008 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

WOW Wordsmith. You may have just gotten yourself into a bind here! Next time I don't have time to research something I'll send you an e-mail! LOL!

Seriously, this is a fabulous job and I'm honored that you took the time out of your life to answer my questions so thoroughly How many bloggers would bother?

Yes, our number one priority is indeed Islamic Terrorism, I agree. I must admit that before 9/11 I truly new nothing of Muslim Culture, and am still in a learning mode, which is one of the reasons I don't do much posting on the subject. I'm smarter now than I was before I came here, but still don't feel that I can work up intelligent posts on the subject. I leave that up to those people - like you - who are. As I said, you are light-years more informed on this subject than I am, and as you implied, there is enough wrong with our own culture to post about, unfortunately, and thanks to the liberals.

Thanks again, Wordsmith. I appreciate your effort here more than you know. :)

Sunday, June 01, 2008 5:39:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Another Islamic leader rejecting violence:
A welcome news in this direction is a Fatwa issued against terrorism by India’s premier Islamic seminary Darul-Uloom Deoband on May 31, 2008. As reported by The Times of India, the fatwa, signed by Darul-Uloom’s grand mufti Habibur Rehman, states that "Islam rejects all kinds of unjust violence, breach of peace, bloodshed, murder and plunder and does not allow it in any form". We should urge that the Mulims religious leaders in Saudi Arabia and around the world follow the lead of Darul-Uloom Deoband and ban all acts of terrorism.

Monday, June 02, 2008 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Update from MataHarley, for my own references.

Sunday, June 08, 2008 2:34:00 PM  

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