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Saturday, July 30, 2011

What Is Ramadan?

Ramadan 2011 began on or around August 1 and will end on or about August 29. Muslims, ever contentious about nearly every matter, even disagree among themselves as to when Ramadan should begin.

What does Ramadan really celebrate, particularly Eid ul-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan? If one understands the history of Islam and, especially, that of Ramadan, one will come to understand that such a commemoration, including iftar dinners at the White House, should be unacceptable to all those who oppose Islamic supremacism.

Ramadan involves more than prayers, fasting, and the giving of alms — all of which are part of the month long observance but which are also the outward signs of another message. By literal definition, of course, Ramadan commemorates Allah's "revealing" the Qur'an to Muhammad. But history clearly indicates that the "revelations" from Allah to Muhammad began around 610, some fourteen years earlier than 624.

Those earlier passages, sometimes referred to as the Meccan verses, are the oft-quoted peaceful verses in the Koran. Contrary to what one might expect, however, the last day of Ramadan does not celebrate the actual date of the earliest peaceful "revelations" of Allah to Muhammad but rather the Battle of Badr, the first significant military victory by the forces of Muhammad.

The Battle of Badr of March 17, 624, is one of the few military conflicts specifically mentioned in the Qur'an and holds a great deal of significance in Islam. Eid ul-Fitr, the final portion of Ramadan, has as its origin the aforementioned battle. Furthermore and most importantly, this battle marked the turning point for Islam, both politically and ideologically.

Having earlier fled to Medina along with followers who accepted him as their prophet whereas most of the tribes of Mecca did not, early on that morning in 624 Muhammad got word that a rich Quraish caravan from Syria was returning to Mecca. He therefore assembled the largest army he had ever been able to muster, some 300 men, with the original intent of raiding the caravan. After his men successfully overtook the caravan and brought back the booty, Muhammad then conveniently received a new "revelation" from Allah — a "revelation" which not only included rejoicing in having captured an enemy's caravan but which also called "proved" that Muhammad had been preaching the true way all along. Fulfilling Destiny, Muhammad and his forces proceeded to trounce the Quraish as punishment for having earlier rejected the prophet's teachings. From this source:
In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful.

The battle of Badr was the most important among the Islamic battles of Destiny. For the first time the followers of the new faith were put into a serious test. Had victory been the lot of the pagan army while the Islamic Forces were still at the beginning of their developments, the faith of Islam could have come to an end.

No one was aware of the importance of the outcome of the Battle as the Prophet (S.A.W.) himself. We might read the depth of his anxiety in his prayer before the beginning of the Battle when he stood up supplicating his Lord:
God this is Quraish. It has come with all its arrogance and boastfulness, trying to discredit Thy Apostle. God, I ask Thee to humiliate them tomorrow. God, if this Muslim band will perish today, Thou shall not be worshipped.

This battle laid the foundation of the Islamic State...
In other words, victory at the Battle of Badr proved to Muhammad and his adherents that Islam should from that time forth take on a militant aspect because such is the will of Allah. From the day of the Battle of Badr on, the tone of the verses in the Qur'an changed. These more recent "revelations," sometimes referred to as the Medinan verses, abrogated the earlier and peaceful Meccan ones. Because preaching and tolerance had not brought Muhammad the following which he needed in order to establish himself and Islam as political forces to be reckoned with, Allah, via a military victory, showed the prophet a more effective way to spread Islam. Therefore, Muhammad's victory at the Battle of Badr symbolizes both the way to bring about the will of Allah and the will of Allah itself.

It is no coincidence that, this year, the Taliban bestowed the name "Badr" upon their spring offensive.

In sum, Ramadan is, in and of itself, a statement advocating submission to Islam and to the will of Allah. Ah, the dhimmitude and submission of all Western leaders when they send Ramadan greetings to the Islamic world!


  1. Obama's favorite holiday....but he is not Muslim.....honest...

  2. I think we should send our Muslim brothers and sisters a gift of peace for Ramadan.

    Hey I know, let's nuke Mecca right in the middle of Ramadan.

    What could be a better gift than a desert turned into pretty multi-colored glass.

  3. Has Obama made a lengthy, eloquent "we wish you a happy Ramadan" speech like he has in past years? And how beautiful it is to hear the prayers broadcast from the minarets? His well wishing for any traditional Judeo-Christian American holiday pales in comparison. When he's even bothered to take note of them. Not to mention his crap talk that America is the largest Muslim nation and that Islam has influenced the development of America.

    Well, yeah, I guess he's right on that one. The U.S. Marines came to maturity as a direct result of putting the Islamic pirates in North Africa out of business. Remember that one? That's when President Jefferson got a Koran (the one Keith Ellison had himself sworn in on) so he could understand the nature of the enemy before he sent the troops to Tripoli.

  4. A couple of years ago, I picked up from a foreign paper that his Grandma did the Haj thing. Does the fruit fall far from the tree? Maybe I will try and post it again. It will light up my hits from Pakistan.

  5. Two comments to make clarity a bit better.

    One, the argument over which time that Ramadan starts is based on politics or tradition and logic generally has not much to play with it. The rules are based on the lunar calander. Tradition says it has to be witnessed though there are enough programmers that can tell you exactly in which place on the planet will experience the first day of Ramadan. Politics has a strong element as well, for example Pakistan celebrates regularly Ramadan on the same time as Saudi arguing that it should be Ramadan-time in Mecca, even though they can celebrate it a day earlier like the millions of Muslims in India do. Most countries have their own times depending on their geography but still wait for the head Mufti to announce it rather than take up the unquestionable scientific fact of the Moon's movement.

    The second point, the article says "In other words, victory at the Battle of Badr proved to Muhammad and his adherents that Islam should from that time forth take on a militant aspect because such is the will of Allah".

    That is an interpetation that most Muslims will reject, unless of course you are a radical, extremist or Robert Spencer.

  6. Damien,
    So, you reject the Islamic source I cited? The home page of that source is HERE.

    Now, I do realize that many Muslims celebrate Ramadan without any significant background knowledge about what I posted.

    Many Americans celebrate the Fourth of July without any knowledge of American history, too. But that lack of knowledge doesn't nullify the historical basis for the holiday.

  7. I've been to Eid banquets at my neighbors. Very much an open fun time. Just people enjoying each others company.

    My neighbors are a good deal less militant and aggressive than their anti-Muslim opponents.

    I don't understand your need to cackle among yourselves and redefine everything to your own purposes. It;s a task which lacks integrity.

  8. Ah yes, a common thief, liar and anti-Semite plays the "integrity" card.

  9. AOW, the ""In other words, victory at the Battle of Badr PROVED to Muhammad and his adherents" component is an opinion...

  10. "An attack on Christians took place in Egypt at about 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 30, in the village of Sharona near Maghagha, which is in Minya Province. Two Coptic families were attacked in their homes and eleven people, including children, were killed. Four others survived, despite having been shot.

    The report states that the families knew their attackers, Islamist militants divided into two groups who accessed the Coptic homes through the roofs of their neighbors’ houses. The survivors say the masked attackers of the first home were led by Ibrahim Hamdy Ibrahim. They killed Joseph Waheeb Massoud, his wife Samah, their 15-year-old daughter Christine, and their eight-year-old son Fady Youssef.

    The other masked group was led by Yasser Essam Khaled. They killed Saleeb Ayad Mayez, his wife Zakia, their four-year-old son Joseph and three-year-old daughter Justina, his 23-year-old sister Amgad, their mother Zakia, and Saniora Fahim.

    Though there has been violence and looting enough throughout Egypt in recent days, these attacks do not appear to have been simple robberies. All indications are that these were deliberate attacks on Christians.

    They must have been reading one of Spenser's books or looking at Geller's web site.

    Have they no INTEGRITY?

    Some of your neighbors Nostradumbass?

  11. "component is an opinion...

    As is this:
    "That is an interpetation that most Muslims will reject, unless of course you are a radical, extremist or Robert Spencer.

    Being that the largest percentage of Muslims are ignorant as well as illiterate and the fact that Robert Spenser is literate in Arabic has studied the Koran, relevant texts and history and I doubt that you are or have, what is your point? When it comes to events we are not person to all things become subject to opinion. I will take the educated opinion.

  12. Damien,
    Italicized portions of my posts are direct quotations; regular font indicates my summary or my opinion. I follow that protocol consistently.

    Miracles or events perceived as miracles often go a long way to shape religious followers' convictions and to strengthen those convictions.

    I think it is clear that the outcome of the Battle of Badr did much to shape Islam. Certainly, militant Islam constantly refers to the Battle of Badr as as a touchstone.

    Now, Uthman "compiled" the Koran. Mohammed was an illiterate, and bits and pieces of his teachings were written down on scraps (parchment, bone, etc.), and many of those scraps may well have been the writers' interpretations. What did Uthman keep, and what did he reject when he determined what was "the word of Allah" actually is? More importantly, what political motivation might Uthman have had? That information is not from Robert Spencer but rather from Arabs with whom I've personally conversed. These Arabs of which I speak are Christian converts from Islam.

  13. Alligator,
    I cannot imagine that Obama will skip a Ramadan message this year after delivering Ramadan greetings in 2009 and 2010.

    Indeed, Obama is not the only President who has delivered Ramadan messages.

    Who was the first President to deliver Ramadan greetings? Bill Clinton?

    I wonder how many Americans understand Jefferson's "relationship" with Islam. Sure, most Americans knows the words "to the shores of Tripoli" from the Marine Hymn. How many Americans know that the Barbary Pirates were Muslims?

  14. Bunkerville,
    Obama's grandmother was purported to be a Christian. Then -- Lo and behold! -- later she went on a Hajj. Christians are not permitted at Hajj.

  15. Blogginator,
    Last year, Obama's August birthday celebration was delayed until December, to the date of his "Muslim birthday." Or so I've read, anyway. See Pastorius's comment HERE.

  16. The Pagan Temple said: I think we should send our Muslim brothers and sisters a gift of peace for Ramadan.

    Hey I know, let's nuke Mecca right in the middle of Ramadan.

    Allah won't protect Mecca? [sarcasm]

  17. The item is still an opinion that is followed either by certain theologians and radicals. It can be looked at in a number of ways, the more literal view, the symbolic view or the historical view. Most Muslims take it in the last two views. It is similar with our faiths that we have taken Scriputes in a symbolic or historical context yet there are fundamentalists that take things literally and what do we get from them? Now imagine the issue with the Muslim world is the amount of equivelant fundamentalists and add that they are also militants and political. That discribes the danger of radical Islamists, nothing more and nothing less. My point always goes down to the two assumptions that are always put on Muslilms which gets the subject wrong. The first assumption is that only the radical Muslims are the good Muslims and the rest do not exist or a bad (considering they are the vast majority), and the second assumption is that there is only a literal interpretation of the Koran and yet we do not do so on our own texts.

    A last response to the rather pointless comment regarding Spencer and Geller. They or you can give examples all the time, everyday and assume that they represent something when anyone can do a bit of searching and provide similar to whatever point they make. Sure there are conflicts and there is radical Islamists, but contextual abuse, cut & paste is the domain of a snake-oil salesman, nothing less.

  18. A further comment and a bit of advice regarding Copts and Egypt.

    Though there are violence, discrimination and risks from the radical Islamists in Egypt and groups that benefit from bais - that is not denied. However, it should be pointed out that over the internet and some media groups there are exagerations on the subject either to promote, motivate or confuse the matter. The blogs, pushed by agenda-based profiteers like Spencer exagerate even further to stoke up hate.

    Most Egyptian Copt communities, particularly in Alexandria, do not support this and have gone so far as to condemn political Copt communities in the US (mostly Syrian Copts not Egyptian and even the website AINA.org for blatant exagerations) and asked them to not post on Egypt. Of course they simply ignore that.

    Last year, there was a number of items about AINA's credibility. The most famous item was on a man being burned alive in a village in Egypt because he dared to ask a Muslim girl out on a date. His name was supposively "Yasser Ahmed Qasim". The item of course became viral not only in blog circles but Copt circles and there was a long story and photos, the village was named etc, etc. Copt lawyers in Alexandria pointed out that the photo had cobbled streets that do not exist in that village (no village does) and that it looked nothing like it. That a "camera" was ready and that not one report in an Egytian paper existed. That in fact such an event would have made television, not only every journal - it did not. Also, the only reports on the net (and I did a check as well) showed the reports to be either copt sites refering to ANIA' source or blogs and most were confusing links and the source was ultimately AINA which itself did not provide an real reference. It was simply made up. It raised many questions about items from AINA.

    The Coptic Lawyers Association in America (copticlawyers.com), which regularly documents real acts of violence and discrimination and very vocal on the subject, pleads to Copt communities abroad to "stop playing the game of exageration".

    "Lies never support a cause" - Karl Popper

  19. Damien,
    A last response to the rather pointless comment regarding Spencer and Geller.

    To which comment are you referring? I don't recall mentioning Geller in this thread. Maybe you're referring to Warren's comment.

    Back later. Off to the grocery store, then to the swimming pool.

  20. AO,

    That was for the benefit of someone called Warren. Sorry for the confusion, I will try and make sure I am more clear (typing on an iPad is actually dissapointing).

    Has the heat in DC subsided? It has been a constant 75F to 80f here and not much wind which for me is dissapointing as I am a new, keen and excited sailor these days.

  21. One of the interesting developments that I’ve noticed lately is the recent usage of the word Salafi in several mainstream magazines and newspapers. This Arabic term seems to have replaced “fundamentalist” or “radical” Islam, both Western-created terms. Salafi is the term Muslims use. Broadly defined it is the Islam of Mohammad and the first 3 or 4 rightly guided caliphs--in other words, original Islam.

    By implication, those who are not Salafi are lax, lapsed, cafeteria Muslims or practice some watered-down version of the religion. Thus, AOW is right to look to the texts (rather than asking the local cab driver) to seek an understanding of Islam. After all, the press is correct that Salafi is dominant in Saudi Arabia, Gaza, Algeria (won the national election) and may take power in Egypt, Syria, & Pakistan in the near future. I’ve seen reports that it is replacing Sufism in the many southern regions of what was the USSR. After all, it is the original Islam and Muslims, too, are going back to basics.

  22. I would take another look at the term Salafi or Salafist which to the Salafist means the equivilant of a "fundamentalist" or "puritan.

    The Safi movement is in fact small in numbers but very loud and their sister-radicals, the Wahhabist movement dominates Saudi Arabia. Wahhabis are in fact a particular branch of Salafi.

    Before you start making judgements and evaluations based on what you think they represent, take note that Salafists and Wahhabists add two more "haddiths" and reject others which includes the Koranic verse (not haddith) that says it is forbidden to call another Muslim kafir - or unbeliever. Salafists and Wahhabists do that all the time.

    I find it ludicrous, to be very blunt, to assume that the minority radicals such as the Salafists and Wahhabists are the only real or good Muslims when they do not represent anyone except themselves and none of the five schools of Islamic jurispudence are run or support them.

    Again, this is the tactic of Spencer to support the radicals to bolster the cause to attack all of Islam. He argues these days that if you do not support the Salafi view then you must not be a good Muslim. Yeah, sure, what about the other 90 per cent - more than a billion now, who do not?

    The other evidence and simple proof is the behaviour of the average Muslim or the majority of countries - which Spencer and other bloggers try and avoid by constantly posting carefully chosen examples as if that represents the some total and is nothing less than playing games of contextual abuse on their part.

    I am all for targetting Salafis, Wahhabists, Taliban and the jihadi Movement for the radicals and terrorists they are but I will NEVER stand for basing my targetting on baseless nonesense, hateful agendas, evangelical point-scoring and basic lies. Two wrongs NEVER make a right.

  23. @ Someone called Damien.

    That "rather pointless comment regarding Spencer and Geller", was not directed at you nor was it in the same comment as the one about opinion, (which was directed at you.)

    It was directed at "Ducky" who I call Nostradumbass. This is in recognition of his unfailing ability to make stupid predictions which fall flat on their face. He is also know for being a liar (by his own standards) and an anti-Semite.

    He has a problem with Geller because:
    1. She is a Jew.
    2. She is a woman.
    3. She doesn't believe that Jews should allow Muslims to kill them.

    He has problems with Spencer because Nostradumbass is a Leftist twit and its fashonable among leftist twits to portray Muslims as Victims against the Evil West.

    You said:
    "The item is still an opinion that is followed either by certain theologians and radicals. It can be looked at in a number of ways, the more literal view, the symbolic view or the historical view. Most Muslims take it in the last two views."

    Do you care to show me your polling results or is this simply your opinion?

    I doubt that most Muslims have ever given it any thought at all but that will not keep them from embracing it as religious justification for actions of avarice or mayhem against non-Muslims. Neither do I believe that the opinions of the unwashed Muslim masses carry much force among their radical clergy or that the masses will speak against them.

  24. Damien, “fundamentalist” is an American term for a form of Protestantism. I wouldn’t project Christian terminology onto Islam except as an expedient given most American’s unfamiliarity with Islam. Salafi aren’t a small number as I indicated above. Wahhabi are indeed a type of Salafi, as are Deobandi. However, Salafi predates al Wahhab. I notice some online “encyclopedia” assert that they are the same. Well, it’s progress that they use the term but they still don’t get it exactly right.

    Salafi is a generic term. Now, which two haddiths are you talking about? Which Salafi group introduces those?

    Usage of this term is not a tactic of Spencer since it is now in the mainstream newspaper who would never read Spencer. These newspapers defer to Muslim source or use identifiers that Muslims use. Scholars are coming to use this term more often, too.

    I agree that vast numbers of Muslims are not devout Salafi Muslims. Many are Muslim in name only. Others are lax and many are secular (what some call cultural Muslims). However, a religion isn’t defined by the slackers. (I believe Warren said it better in his last paragraph.) The right way to understand a religion is to study the texts and then reform movements.

  25. Damien,
    That was for the benefit of someone called Warren.

    FYI....Warren is not only a contributor to this blog. He is a blog administrator -- and my webmaster.


    As for the heat wave here, temperatures are still high, and the sun is blazing down from a cloudless sky. Humidity is lower today.

  26. Jason, you said "I agree that vast numbers of Muslims are not devout Salafi Muslims. Many are Muslim in name only. Others are lax and many are secular (what some call cultural Muslims). However, a religion isn’t defined by the slackers".

    Salafism is an identifiable group. Most certainly Wahhabism is separate, it is a form of Salafism. Your words imply that all Muslims if not Salafi are "slackers" and that is certainly not correct.

    The vast majority of Muslims are not Salafi and in fact Salafists are barely tolerated in communities that they are not in large numbers (mostly because they tell other Muslims that they are not pious and do not support local clerics). If you ask Muslims who are not Salafi if they are "slackers" you will find not only a sharp denial but will see anger. The reality on the ground is the number of a population that goes to a Mosque regularly (not the Friday crowd and then how many ore Salafists. Are the vast majority of Mosque-goers who are not Salafists slackers? Of course not.

    That is why the argument fails and is out of context. Salafism is a hard-line version of puritanical Islam and that is all. It is not in fact popular but because the other Muslims will not tell them to go away, they are present and noisy. What confuses the matter more is the sad truth that western countries have allowed large numbers of Salafists to migrate and they often dominate the image of Islam in the west.

    Take the Maghreb region as a good example, the basic form of Islam (and in fact the State version in Morocco) is the Maliki School of Islam with the Grand Mufti of Fez and the King of Morocco being the joint-spiritual leaders. They are not Salafi and a Salafist will condemn the Maliki School as being inadequate, etc. Yet, 35 Million Moroccans, 30 Million Algerians, plus Mauretanians and half of Libya are all Maliki and it would be rather foolish to call them not serious, "in name only" or "slackers" which is the argument that you and Spencer are pushing.

    Iranians are not Salafi, do you call them slackers? Do you call the bulk of Indonesians, the largest Islamic population in the world as "slackers"? All the non-Salafists interpret differently the Koran in areas that is presumed universal amongst Muslims. That is one of the areas of context that is being abused or ignored by some.

    Simply put, it is wrong to use the argument that only Salafism is the true form of Islam and others are thus not serious or worse.

  27. Excuse my posting some text from a good discussion on the topic of salafi. It is worth reading because it discusses differences and authenticity AND MOSTLY the great differences there is within the Muslim world. It shows that there is piety amonst all, differences and disagreements. In otherwords, generalisations do not work....

    "Only when one has these qualifications can one legitimately produce a valid interpretive claim about the texts, which is called ijtihad or "deduction of shari'a" from the primary sources. Without these qualifications, the most one can legitimately claim is to reproduce such an interpretive claim from someone who definitely has these qualifications; namely, one of those unanimously recognized by the Umma as such since the times of the true salaf, at their forefront the mujtahid Imams of the four madhhabs or "schools of jurisprudence".

    As for scholars today who do not have the qualifications of a mujtahid, it is not clear to me why they should be considered mujtahids by default, such as when it is said that someone is "the greatest living scholar of the sunna" any more than we could qualify a school-child on the playground as a physicist by saying, "He is the greatest physicist on the playground". Claims to Islamic knowledge do not come about by default. Slogans about "following the Qur'an and sunna" sound good in theory, but in practice it comes down to a question of scholarship, and who will sort out for the Muslim the thousands of shari'a questions that arise in his life. One eventually realizes that one has to choose between following the ijtihad of a real mujtahid, or the ijtihad of some or another "movement leader", whose qualifications may simply be a matter of reputation, something which is often made and circulated among people without a grasp of the issues.

    What comes to many peoples minds these days when one says "Salafis" is bearded young men arguing about din. The basic hope of these youthful reformers seems to be that argument and conflict will eventually wear down any resistance or disagreement to their positions, which will thus result in purifying Islam. Here, I think education, on all sides, could do much to improve the situation.

    " (http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/nuh/salafi.htm)

  28. ....

    "The reality of the case is that the mujtahid Imams, those whose task it was to deduce the Islamic shari'a from the Qur'an and hadith, were in agreement about most rulings; while those they disagreed about, they had good reason to, whether because the Arabic could be understood in more than one way, or because the particular Qur'an or hadith text admitted of qualifications given in other texts (some of them acceptable for reasons of legal methodology to one mujtahid but not another), and so forth.

    Because of the lack of hard information in English, the legitimacy of scholarly difference on shari'a rulings is often lost sight of among Muslims in the West. For example, the work Fiqh al-sunna by the author Sayyid Sabiq, recently translated into English, presents hadith evidences for rulings corresponding to about 95 percent of those of the Shafi'i school. Which is a welcome contribution, but by no means a "final word" about these rulings, for each of the four schools has a large literature of hadith evidences, and not just the Shafi'i school reflected by Sabiq's work. The Maliki school has the Mudawwana of Imam Malik, for example, and the Hanafi school has the Sharh ma'ani al-athar [Explanation of meanings of hadith] and Sharh mushkil al-athar [Explanation of problematic hadiths], both by the great hadith Imam Abu Jafar al-Tahawi, the latter work of which has recently been published in sixteen volumes by Mu'assasa al-Risala in Beirut. Whoever has not read these and does not know what is in them is condemned to be ignorant of the hadith evidence for a great many Hanafi positions.

    What I am trying to say is that there is a large fictional element involved when someone comes to the Muslims and says, "No one has understood Islam properly except the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and early Muslims, and our sheikh". This is not valid, for the enduring works of first-rank Imams of hadith, jurisprudence, Qur'anic exegesis, and other shari'a disciplines impose upon Muslims the obligation to know and understand their work, in the same way that serious comprehension of any other scholarly field obliges one to have studied the works of its major scholars who have dealt with its issues and solved its questions. Without such study, one is doomed to repeat mistakes already made and rebutted in the past.

    Most of us have acquaintances among this Umma who hardly acknowledge another scholar on the face of the earth besides the Imam of their madhhab, the Sheikh of their Islam, or some contemporary scholar or other. And this sort of enthusiasm is understandable, even acceptable (at a human level) in a non-scholar. But only to the degree that it does not become ta'assub or bigotry, meaning that one believes one may put down Muslims who follow other qualified scholars. At that point it is haram, because it is part of the sectarianism (tafarruq) among Muslims that Islam condemns.

    Sorry the quote was to big to post in one. I know the Imam who posted this from Faith and Globalisation Initiative of which I participate.

  29. Damien,
    There is much reading of many words at that site you linked to.

    Muslims can and should debate theology and interpretations thereof amongst themselves.

    But I'm most interested in the results and the applications, particularly how they impact me -- and Western civilization as a whole.

    Frankly, I'm never been one much interested in how many angels can dance on the head of a pin -- if you catch my drift.

    Certainly it is not my business to tell Muslims how to debate and interpret. But I will say this: if Muslims truly desire to reconcile and co-exist with Western civilizations (and Israel), a good pr firm is needed. By a good pr firm I do not mean CAIR!

    The recently arrest of another wannabe Foot Hood jihadist seems to indicate that high-flying debates among Islamic scholars do not trickle down. In fact, I have to wonder how many "ordinary" Muslims are interesting in cerebral discussions but rather in practical "instructions" as to how they should live their lives according to Islam.

    Sorry for the brief and brunt response, BTW. I stayed out in the sun too long today (Ouch!) and am not in any condition conducive to complicated discussion.

  30. AOW, on this matter I can say I am in total agreement with you.

    The point of this site link and text I posted is that there is discussion and debate albiet not enough, not effective enough and not promoted enough (all the same in some way). Also that the generalisations are wrong, damaging to all parties but nevertheless the result of filling in the void that in fact Muslims themselves must place.

    The ignorance on the realities in the Muslim world, what they really think and the MANY and VARIED interpretations by equally faithful Muslims needs to be recognised BUT that does not again lessen the impact that the silence, the mute acceptance, toleration AND SUPPORT given to radicals.

    As I post time and time again, I am all for condemnation of radical Islamists, waging fierce battle against terrorists, urging steadfastness and protection of European Culture against anti-integrationists and foreign allegiences, BUT not at the cost of logic, reality and truth because TWO WRONGS NEVER MAKE A RIGHT!

    The wind is picking up and I am thinking of taking tomorrow off work - I am the boss after all, and putting Katherina (my 21 footer) into the bay by Algeciras. The radio says there are two small but active pilot whales there at present trying to make a third one....

  31. Damien, your post while interesting doesn’t shed much light on our conversation. The 1st that calls for an appropriate authority (a mujtahid) merely means that Islam is not like Protestantism in that the believer goes to the text and interprets it directly. That, for course, doesn’t apply to us since we are not adherents. We can read the primary and secondary literature to understand the religion.

    Of course, you are right that one has to ask how have Muslims understood the words of their texts and those classical mujtahid that ruled before the gates of ijtihad were closed. Still, I’m basically interested in salient features of the religion and not obscure rulings. In the basics, Islam isn’t that complicated. In details, there is a massive rule system that is overwhelming. Whether some believed (erroneously) that Islam was finalized in the first 50 years isn't my concern.

    By the way, I don’t rely on any one author and I have read sympathetic scholars. In the end, one has the difficult task of deciding who is presenting an accurate picture and I can only say it takes critical analysis of multiple sources.

    I still hold that you underestimate the growth of the Salafi adherents -- call them radical if you want but their influence is increasing.

  32. I am not interested in what their islamic scholars have to say or their islamic theology or any islamic scholars that islamics tend to boast about but am more concerned about their inability to improve their islamic community behaviour and about their negative affect on my nonbeliever life.


  33. WLIL,
    Succinctly put and sums up my views as well.

  34. BTW, the Obama White House has issued a Ramadan statement this year. No surprise, really.

    We should also note that Obama did not issue any Easter 2011 statement.

  35. I made this comment on IBA talking about the same issue (and some stupid talk about Obama being a Muslim.....if only people would grow-up..)

    As for his Easter Message, he was asked on the BBC why not and his answer was intersting. He said that the WH posted a "happy easter" message, Easter Greetings, hopes and prayers but that he chose not to give an "Easter Sermon" which was the previous tradition. His message to Muslims is at the same level as what he gave to the rest EXCEPT that he mostly certainly sent a stronger message that included words like "freedom and rights".

  36. Damien,
    Well, I don't know about any tradition of Easter sermon from the White House. I'd have to look that up.

    Maybe Obama means no Easter video -- unlike his having done at least one Ramadan-greetings video.

    As far as I know, Obama didn't do a Ramadan-greetings video this year. Now, if he did such a video in 2009 and in 2010, why not this year? I can't imagine that the budget crisis consumed all of his time.

  37. If one understands the history of Islam and, especially, that of Ramadan, one will come to understand that such a commemoration, including iftar dinners at the White House, should be unacceptable to all those who oppose Islamic supremacism.


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