Anti-al Qaeda Base Envisioned

Here is the second post which is connected to the last one. Again, I found this on my friends blog, thank you Stefan. It is an article from The Washington Times, the link for this story is below.  As always any thing in ((and)) is my comment on the subject. One other thing I want to say, completely off topic. I had this post already in the line up to put up. I had hoped to do some research over the last couple of days since this time of year finds most of us extremely busy until after New Year’s Day. The series I am writing on takes a lot of research to get it right and cover everything. Anyway, on Saturday I started coming down with something, now its a full on head cold. The problem is, if it goes to my lungs, I could be in serious trouble. I have a preexisting lung problem and any other insult could not only cause me to have to go into the hospital, but it could kill me.

I’m telling you all this for two reasons; Number 1 is, I will do what I can with my blogs, but you know what its like when you have a head cold or don’t feel well. 2 if I disappear for a week or so, it could be I am in the hospital, so just so you know, its not because I am quiting the blog. 

Now, on with today’s post:

   

Article published Sep 26, 2007
an article from www.washingtontimes.com

By Willis Witter

Exiled Egyptian cleric Ahmed Subhy Mansour, whose teachings have earned him dozens of death “fatwas” from fellow Muslim clerics, uses the English translation for al Qaeda — meaning “the base” — to describe a plan to defeat Osama bin Laden and other terrorists, who he says have seized control of Islam.”Suppose you have here [in the United States] a base to counter al Qaeda in the war of ideas?” Sheik Mansour asked during a recent luncheon at The Washington Times.

“You could convince a large number — millions of silent Muslims. We can convince them very easily that the real enemy is not the United States. It is not Israel. The real enemy is the dictators in the Muslim world and the culture of the Wahhabis and Muslim Brotherhood,” he said, referring to the dominant arbiters of Islamic orthodoxy in Saudi Arabia and Egypt respectively.

Sheik Mansour is the founder of a small Egyptian sect that is neither Sunni nor Shi”ite. They call themselves Quranists because they believe that the Koran represents the single authentic scripture of Islam. They especially anger Sunni Muslims by rejecting the Hadith and Sunna, purported sayings and traditions of the prophet Muhammad.

“Killing people just because they are not Muslims, they have a Hadith for this. To kill a Muslim like me after accusing him to be an ‘apostate,” they have a Hadith for this. To persecute the Jews, they have a Hadith for this.“All this is garbage. It has nothing to do with Islam. It contradicts more than one-fourth of the Koranic verses,” Sheik Mansour said. ((one-fouth Wow!))A former professor of Islamic history at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, he was expelled in 1987 as the Muslim equivalent of a “heretic” and was briefly imprisoned by Egyptian authorities. After subsequent waves of persecution, he finally fled Egypt just months after the September 11, 2001, attacks and received political asylum in the United States the next year.

More recently, in May and June, Egyptian authorities arrested five leaders of the movement, including Sheik Mansour“s brother, on charges of “insulting Islam” and began investigations of 15 others, with the intent, he said, to destroy the entire movement.

From exile in the United States, he continues to attack the Islam of bin Laden and the Wahhabi Islam of Saudi Arabia that gave birth to bin Laden”s beliefs. Sheik Mansour also attacks the Islamist vision of Egypt”s Muslim Brotherhood, a group that rejects violence but shares the goal of a theocratic nationhood under Shariah, or Islamic law.

Though illegal in Egypt, the Brotherhood is allowed to operate openly in an uneasy truce with the government. Police round up its members whenever it delves too publicly in politics — for example, by holding anti-government demonstrations. But the Brotherhood”s interpretation of Shariah provides a benchmark for Egyptian law, which is based primarily on Shariah.

“We are not against the people. We are against this culture that will produce more and more generations of fanaticism. We go to the core of this culture and prove that it contradicts the Koran,” Sheik Mansour said.

“Few Americans understand that the battle against terrorism is a war of ideas,” Sheik Mansour said. “It is a war that is very different from the military in its tactics, its strategy and its weapons.

“Suicide bombings are just one aspect of this war. They brainwash young men to blow themselves up, to kill randomly. Our mission is to convince him, to undeceive them, to convince them that what he is doing is against Islam. He will lose his life and lose his afterlife as well.”Sheik Mansour claims about 10,000 followers in Egypt who accept his teachings, many of whom are part of his extended family.“We find Islam has the same values as the West: freedom, unlimited freedom of speech, justice, equality, loving, humanity, tolerance, mercy, everything. This is our version of Islam, and we argue that this is the core of Islam according to the Koran.”  ((Somebody tell me why people like these are so feared by the powers that be in Muslim nations??))

He and his sons operate the Quranic Center in Northern Virginia, which includes an elaborate Internet site in Arabic and English. On its Web site at www.ahlalquran.com, the organization is republishing dozens of Sheik Mansour“s books and hundreds of articles he has written over the years.  ((the english version http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/main.php))

The campaign is not without risk. One can find a sampling of fatwas, or edicts by other Muslim scholars against the Quranists, including one saying, “We have issued our commands to the soldiers of God to worship God by pouring out their blood and burning their homes.”  ((Those of you who live in the West, be grateful for your religious freedom.))

Sheik Mansour said in response: “I do not care about my safety, but I do care about my persecuted people in Egypt.”

Paul Marshall, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute”s Institute of Religious Freedom, said arrests of the Quranists reflect an attempt by Egypt”s government to demonstrate its loyalty to Islam to fend off challenges from even more extreme Islamists who want to impose much harsher restrictions on the Arab world”s most populous nation.

“These arrests are part of the Egyptian government’s double game in which it imprisons members of the Muslim Brotherhood when the latter appear to become too powerful, while simultaneously trying to appear Islamic itself and blunt the Brotherhood’s appeal by cracking down on religious reformers, who are very often also democracy activists,” Mr. Marshall wrote in a recent edition of the Weekly Standard.

The arrests of the Quranists received a brief mention in the latest annual report on International Religious Freedom by the State Department, which noted the arrests of five Quranists and defined the group as “a small group of Muslims who rely largely if not exclusively on the Qur’an as authoritative for Islam, to the exclusion of the prophetic traditions [Hadith] and other sources of Islamic law.”

One detainee told an Egyptian human rights investigator that he was beaten and threatened with rape by one interrogator, the State Department report says.  ((This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of this kind of punishment and interrogation torture.  So here we have a man being persecuted, because he is considered a heretic towards Islam, and we have some Muslims, torturing him and others… Please somebody tell me how one man raping another, or if a man rapes a woman … how ‘Islamic’ is that??  How is torture in any form Islamic??)) 

Since arriving in the states, Sheik Mansour has held a number of academic posts. In 2002, he was a Reagan-Fascell Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, where he wrote on the roots of democracy in Islam.

The next year, he received a visiting fellowship at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program.

He also briefly met Karen P. Hughes, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, last year in the office of Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican.The meeting, Sheik Mansour said, lasted for 10 minutes, barely enough for polite introductions.

“I said: ‘Please, let me sit down with you for more time. I have big plan,” ” he recalled. But there was no follow-up.

“We need official American help for our arrested people in Egypt,” he said. “We don”t want money. We are talking about releasing our arrested people, saving the lives of scholars, bringing them to the U.S., granting them asylum to help establish this new base for moderate Islam.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20070926/FOREIGN/109260030/1003

No Compulsion…As Long As You Believe Like Me

As we are going into Thanksgiving and I am very busy during this time of the year; I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get at least 3 posts out this week. I won’t be putting up one on the topic I am currently working on however I found this on my friends blog.  We will get back to the other series the first of the week (hopefully).  But this post and the next one is just as informative and interesting as the series we are in, so I really want everyone to read it and the next one.

This article is written by Ahmed Mansour, and tells you some of the beliefs of these people who are being persecuted for not believing the same way as the powers that be.  I am printing it in it’s entirety here, but you can also find it here. Again, thank you Stefan for printing great stuff that I can share with others. I thought it was very interesting and worthwhile reading for all. Since I have 5 blogs, what better way to get this out there.  There is a part 2 to this which I will put up by Friday or Saturday.  Actually I think this post should be the second part, but I am putting it up first.

Again remember there is no compulsion in Islam… as long as you worship and/or believe the way your told. Anything else is subject to discrimination, jail, or death. Even if, or rather, especially if, you are a Muslim in a Muslim nation. In the early 1990’s, I was invited by the Egyptian association for religious brotherhood to lecture in a church in Cairo to Muslims and Christians about tolerance. I was warned that there was a suspicious bearded man waiting for me in front of the church.We talked. He told me that he had spent two months trying to meet me. He told me that he had been a member of secret fanatic organization and was assigned to rebut my discourse, but that my words had changed his and his family’s life. He asked me to join my weekly Friday prayer meeting at my home, and if possible bring his family.

After a month they became Quranists.

Who are the Quranists?

The Quranists are intellectual Muslims who believe in Islam as the religion of freedom, democracy, tolerance, justice, peace and human rights. They fight the terrorists’ culture from within Islam, using Quran as the only source of legislation.

Why they are persecuted?

The Quranic movement started in 1979 by sincere Muslim scholars who specialized in the contradiction between the true Islam and the Culture of Muslims. Therefore they were victimized by terrorists and fanatic scholars.
Being activists for human rights and democracy, and calling for peaceful reform from within Islam, the Quranists are also victimized by the Egyptian regime.

The Egyptian regime and Muslim Brothers are against each other but are usually united against Quranists.

Brief overview of the persecution of Quranists:

The Quranists have suffered three waves of arrest; in 1987, 2000-2001, and finally the third wave starting May 28th, 2007, when five of the Quranists were arrested, tortured for 37 days, interrogated, and suffered ridiculous accusations about their faith and prayers.

Their families were also persecuted in Egypt. Some moved to Upper Egypt and some stayed indoors. The Muslim Brothers used mosques, media and the education system, as well as their control of the streets to try to tarnish the Quranists as ardent enemies of Islam.

After the Egyptian regime officially accused the Quranists of insulting Islam, fanatics used the accusation to call for the Quranists’ death.

The five Quranists have been released in October 6, 2007, after more than four months in prison. Because of torture, my brother Abdellateef had to undergo surgery in his ear. Amr Tharwat needed surgery on his leg, while Ahmed Dahmash has damage in his backbone. The persecution continues. Every week, they must go to the same prison to be interrogated and humiliated by the security services. Any time they may be arrested and tortured again. They are ordered to pray the weekly Friday prayer in fanatic mosques, and are not allowed to contact me, or to write in our site.

In this way he Egyptian regime is seeking to make an example for the rest and keep the Quranists from continuing their reform movement.

Persecution in some detail:

As an assistant professor at Al-Azhar University, the oldest and most famous religious university in the Sunni Muslim world, I wrote five books in 1985 to reform Sunni religious life.. I was accused of being against Islam because I denied the intercession of the prophet Muhammad in the day of judgment, deny his infallibility, and deny that he is the best and the master of all the prophets. In March 1987, I was fired.In November 1987, I was arrested, along with 24 of my followers, and accused of being a denier of the Sunna, the sayings and the deeds of the prophet Muhammad. The government claimed that my writing were a call for Muslims to abandon Islam. After two months I was released.

To save my life, I escaped to the United States. When I returned to Egypt in October 1988 I was again arrested, and released after two days on the condition that I not defend myself whenever the fanatics of Al Azhar attacked me. In the period 1988-1995, I was attacked so severely, and received death threats so that I asked for court protection. From January 1996 until June 2000 I worked at the Ibn Khaldun Center as a Muslim scholar and moderator of the Center’s weekly forum. The Center is run by Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim, the famous sociologist, and leader of the movement for human rights, civil society and liberal culture in the Arab world. As an American citizen and part-time counselor of President Mubarak, Dr. Ibrahim has had great influence in Egypt in the 1990s.

My life was in real danger after I wrote a book as a project for the Center on reforming the Egyptian education system to make it more tolerant. I was severely attacked in the Egyptian parliament.

As a result of problems between Dr. Ibrahim and President Mubarak, Dr. Ibrahim was arrested in June 2000 and the Center shut down. Since I was in serious danger, and some of my relatives had been arrested, I contacted and explained the situation to officials in the US embassy.

The security service kept us constantly in a state of terror. They arrested more members of my family in my village. Finally they arrested some of my friends who used to attend my weekly prayer at home. One told me that he expected them to arrest both of us along with more of my relatives. He said they would as usual force my friends to make false accusations about me and so I fled to the US on October, 15, 2001. (This is reviewed in the U. S Department of State’s 2002 International Religious Freedom Report)

Since coming to the U.S, I have found the same Wahabi influence, and founded the International Quranic Center, with a website, to organize Quranists.

So, we suffer the third wave of arrest.

For more details:

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=126

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/show_article.php?main_id=2048 

How could the Quranists help the U.S in this war of ideas against the terrorists?

The war against terrorism is 90% war of ideas. This intellectual war has its unique aspects and rules. The Quranists are an Islamic group capable of defending the U.S in this ideological war against terrorism. Al Qaeda and all the terrorist organizations have real power in the war of ideas.

But they cannot debate us with logic and evidence, so they resort to brute force, with government accomplices. So we are jailed, tortured, driven from out homes and made refugees in other countries. They issue fatwas calling for our death; thus proving once more that the Wahabi ideology cannot stand on its own feet, but requires the power of authorities to force it on people.

The only way to confront and defeat Wahabis is by using our ways and methods. We are Muslims, sincere about our faith and very much attached to and adhered to the Quran, and for the past thirty years, we never wavered, never retreated, we stood alone and stood firm, and despite the persecution and the lack of means, we managed to succeed in producing a genuine change in the Islamic interpretation and practices among many Muslims.

In conclusion, despite many successes, we are still victims of the Wahabi ideology and persecution of a tyrannical regime in Egypt on one hand, and a total neglect and disregard from the American institutions on the other hand.

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=2614

See :

Egyptian Human Rights Activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim Defies Threats, Arrests to Challenge U.S.-Backed Mubarak Government

And my next post, if you just can’t wait.  Or rather my copy/paste of Stefan’s post lol.  Oh well, it is a holiday after all. 

Beyond Bigotry

Beyond Bigotry magnify

As most of you know, two of my blogs are completely up to date with all my posts.  Those two had a long series of posts in regards to Islamophobia/bigotry, which sadly gave me quite a bit of hate mail on one of them.  This post is not part of the series I am working on now, and not even written by me.  But I felt it was so important, that I am doing a complete copy/paste from the blog I found it.

Italian politician parades pig on mosque site: press ROME, Nov 11 (AFP): Italy’s former deputy education minister has provoked a scandal by parading a pig on the site of a planned mosque in the country’s north, news reports said Sunday. “We have ‘blessed’ the ground that the Padua authorities want to transfer for the mosque,” said Mariella Mazzetto, a member of the populist right-wing Northern League party in the city. She walked the pig on a lead accompanied by about 10 party members, Italian daily newspapers reported. (Posted @ 16:54 PST) source

Talk about nasty, malicious and hateful. I’d like to see how Islamophobes try to justify this sort of blatant hatred – it’s not even a “point” the Italian politician is trying to make, nor a “self-defense” action etc. On second thought, I don’t think I could palate even a singl comment trying to justify this sort of thing. It’s purely to hurt Muslim sentiment and offend them. Very reminiscent of anti-antisemitism in Europe when other types of fascists paraded donkeys with Jewish symbols on them.

And yet not enough people notice this growing Islamophobia and of those who do, even less are alarmed by it enough to condemn it.

Stop hating Islam. It is as “great” a religion as Christianity and Judaism. It has its flaws like any other religion so look at your own faith’s transgressions against humanity first and then point fingers at others. Better yet, go take out your anger at a punching bag at the gym or something. Get offline and stop surfing right wing blogs. I thank you on behalf of humanity.

As you can see, this is not the kind of behavior which is acceptable under any stretch of imagination.  It sounds more like a something a juvenile thug, than a grown adult who is suppose to be educated.  You can find the original story here.   We have been over this before, we all know that there are bad people out there, but please, try not blaming an entire religion for the acts of a few.  Should we kill all the Jews because they were to ‘blame’ for the death of Jesus?? (no I don’t believe that) Below is part of a comment I left on one of my other blogs, it speaks for itself. 

I have met Muslims from every sect, from conservative to liberal, and in my journey I have found a broad range of beliefs. Only the radicals are ridged. A lot of Muslims will tell you that they may be Muslim but they also have a brain. They are a joy to meet, and no different than you or I. They just worship God differently than what you may be accustomed too.  The best way I can describe it is this; Have you ever met or been told about a Cop who was a complete and total jerk? Who used his position of authority to lord it over others?? Did it at first make you think that all Cops were aholes?? The, “one bad apple spoils the whole bushel” thing??

You have a powerful tool in your hands right now. You can use it to learn, and to grow. You can use it to change hearts and minds. Or you can use it to be condescending, hateful or hurtful. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you are, I’m just saying the possiblities.

From my personal experience in the last 8 months or so, I have grown and learned. I have spent a great deal of time dealing with Islamist on their blogs (for material). But I have also met and became friends with a lot of good, God fearing, caring, and open minded Muslims. I have also met a fair share of close minded and bigoted non-Muslims.

It all goes to prove one thing… If we actually look below the surface, if Muslims in Muslim nations were given the freedom to live how they please… There wouldn’t be that much difference then in the West. There would be those who are devout, and those who are not. There would be those who choose to dress according to what they feel their scripture calls for, and those who don’t.  You can go on from there.  

We really aren’t that different when it comes right down to it. Most people just want to do their thing, free of strife. There are a lot of misconceptions about Muslims, and Muslims have a lot of misconceptions about Christians and the West. We can go on the attack, or we can go into explanations. Its all how you go about it in your heart. What is your true objective. Mine is to build brotherhood.     

Hate

Hate magnify

  

I have been to plenty of hate blogs in the past couple of months. Both Muslim and non-Muslim. I have also had plenty of comments on at least one of my blogs, against Islam in general. I have been to blogs where Muslim writers were/are trying to dispel the myth that Islamist/Jihadist, are ‘true’ Muslims. And what I see shocks me.

A great many non-Muslims spend their time cursing everything Muslim. And try to convince people like me, that it isn’t radical Islamist, but Islam as a whole that is causing the problem. It isn’t someone like Amin Husseini who perverted Islam, but he was only acting the way he did because that IS Islam. I have seen time after time, moderate Muslim blogs who are trying to show other Muslims that the radicals are wrong. Some of the comments from non-Muslims are surprising to me. In my humble opinion, it seems to me, that instead of attacking those moderate Muslims and trying to show where they are wrong…yes that is what some are doing. You should do your best to support these people. You should also be doing your very best to educate Muslims that the radicals are wrong, not the other way around.

The moderate Muslims who blog about the radicals, trying to educate Muslims in general ARE doing something worthwhile. They should be supported. We should all do our best to try and do the same thing, in whatever way we can. It always amazes me when I see non-Muslims doing their best to ‘educate’ Muslims that they are NOT ‘true’ Muslims unless they are killing a bunch of people. We should ALL be a part of the SOLUTION, not adding to the problem.

Muslim seems to be the new “black”.  Was it right what we did to Japanese Americans during WW2??  How about how Black Americans were treated through out our history, for no other reason than the color of their skin.  Now we repeat history, but this time it is Muslims.  It wasn’t right then, and it’s not right now.

What is the purpose in spewing hate?? What is the purpose in trying to convince moderate Muslims that they are wrong?? What would you think if I started writing in an attempt to convince Muslims that they aren’t Muslim unless they are killing people?? Seriously, how stupid is that?? We don’t have enough problems with terrorists that you want to create a few more?? Does that make sense to anybody??

It saddened me to see a Muslim, who has a blog showing other Muslims why the radicals are wrong (just in case they had any doubt), say, that all she wanted was just one person to say that, ‘The world is better because of a Muslim, not in spite of’. Where have we come, when Muslims feel so alienated that they want just one non-Muslim acknowledge them as being of worth. That should be something that should upset you as much as it did me. Most of you are concerned about radical Islamist/Jihadist, that’s why you read this blog, but with the type of hate and bigotry that is going on out there, in people who are suppose to know better… How do you think that will affect a Muslim who is unsure who is right, us or the radicals??

It seems I spend a lot of time apologizing to Muslims for the actions of bigots, why?? Because of what I just said. Some of us, civilized, educated, Westerners, need to start acting like adults and not little kids. I’ve said this before, it seems it can’t be said enough. I am trying to say as plainly as possible why we need to be a part of the solution, not part of the problem. Your actions are affecting someone whether you realize it or not. Make sure that those you are influencing, are being influenced in the positive not the negative.

Below is the comment I told you about. Please be mindful on how your influencing people. Why should anyone feel like this person?? What is wrong with us, that we have come to this?? Personally I am ashamed to see how some act and talk toward Muslims.

Dear Eagle,

I, personally, appreciate for your sincere effort to communicate with Muslims. May God bless you for your effort.

But, do you know what is my wildest dream is?; to be able to make even only one person in this life to say “World is better with a Muslim”, since nobody see no value in Muslims and Islam. I do not want to be accepted as ‘other’, I want to be accepted as one of the unabandonable values of the life in at least one person’s eyes no matter who or what he/she is either Christian, agnostic, Budhist, Shamanist or atheist, better in a lot of people’s eyes of course, but I would settle for even only one single any non-Muslim person. )

Even though there certainly are values in the Islam and Muslims, everybody seems to agree that the ‘WORLD WOULD BE A MUCH BETTER PLACE IF THOSE MUSLIMS DO NOT EXIST EVER’. I reject and protest this rejection, and I strongly empathize Jews as they have been experiencing the similar treatment all over the world. Please, no offense. It is the human nature. In a Muslim country for example, a Christian or Jew would be treated as ‘different or strange other’, but not with as extreme rejection as Muslims receive. )

Peace,

P.S.  That kitty is saying What the Feck, so don’t get any ideas