African American Nation of Islam to expand membership to other ethnic groups
Somali youth was killed 'in row over alcohol and Islam'
Eyes Wide Shut: A review of Andrew McCarthy's Memoir of the Jihad
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
By ANTHONY DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer
President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom promised Wednesday to ensure a smooth transition from his three decade rule after a bitter political rival vanquished him in the
In a rare show of unity, Gayoom and President-elect Mohamed Nasheed jointly addressed the nation from the presidential office just hours after the results from Tuesday's runoff election were announced and agreed to work together for the good of the people.
"I wish to assure the public and the international community that the transition to democracy in the
"A test of our democracy will be how we treat Maumoon," the 41-year-old former political prisoner said of Gayoom. Amnesty International named Nasheed a prisoner of conscience in 1996.
Nasheed won 54 percent of the votes cast in this
The roots of democracy took hold in the
His reforms eventually led to his ouster.
Defeat hurt, the 71-year-old Gayoom said, but "I have accepted the will of the people and concede the election."
"I want this transition to be a smooth one. I will do everything to work with him (Nasheed)," Gayoom said, calling on his followers to cooperate with the new regime.
Gayoom, Asia's longest serving ruler, oversaw the vast transformation of this collection of nearly 1,200 coral islands southwest of
Nasheed will likely be sworn in Nov. 11, 30 years to the day after Gayoom took office in 1978.
"We've been waiting so long for this," said Aishath Abbas, a 28-year-old student, as hundreds of opposition supporters streamed into the streets of the capital, Male, honking car horns, cheering and dancing. "It feels like a new world."
Associated Press reporter Olivia Lang contributed to this report. Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.
Randeep Ramesh, south
Wednesday October 08 2008
The first democratic presidential elections in the Indian Ocean islands of the
Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who has been president for the past three decades, faces five rivals in the election, which is the culmination of a peaceful democracy movement that became irresistible after violent riots in 2005.
Despite some fears of rigging and threats against political figures earlier this week, the
Gayoom, 71, who has served six terms under a one-candidate system, has pitched himself as the creator of modern-day
The president faces a serious threat from the founder of the Maldivian Democratic party (MDP), Mohamed "Anni" Nasheed, a former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience.
Nasheed, a slight man who walks with a limp from the torture he endured, has been the president's most effective tormentor, attacking the widening gulf between rich and poor and an alarming rise in drug use. The perception, especially in the crowded capital, Male, is that a corrupt elite has profited from the Gayoom presidency.
"We have seen a real groundswell of public support in the last few weeks. The levels of poverty have become a real issue. There is vast wealth only in the top seven per cent of the population. Seventy per cent of the population lives below the poverty line and there is a social breakdown as the gap between rich and poor widens," said the MDP's Nasheen Mohammed.
There have been signs of a bubbling conflict on the islands. The
The MDP considers Male its base: Anni Nasheed was elected to the Maldivian parliament in 2000. Gayoom's political constituency is among the 1,000 smaller islands located 800km (500 miles) off the tip of
The winner will have to garner more than 50% of the votes to avoid a run-off. With no reliable opinion polls, the outcome is seen as impossible to predict. One local newspaper's internet poll put the MDP at 53% to Gayoom's 10%. This was considered a reflection only of web users' preferences.
Gayoom has promised to hand over power peacefully if he loses. Last month, the president signed into law a new constitution establishing an independent judiciary and electoral body. It ended the practice of the parliament approving a single candidate who was put forward in a referendum. On this basis, Gayoom was returned to power six times with what he said was more than 90% of the vote.
The new president will lose considerable power, with the new 74-member parliament having the right to block cabinet appointments and produce new laws. According to the new constitution, polls to the new parliament have to take place before next March.
"These elections are important but we need elections for the new parliament quickly. It is the body that will be supreme," said the MDP's Nasheen Mohammed.
African American Muslims to become more inclusive: Nation of Islam to expand membership to whites, Hispanics, Asians and other ethnic groups
By Stephanie Gadlin
NNPA Special Correspondent
CHICAGO (NNPA)—As the message of “change” resonates throughout
That’s when the Nation of Islam (NOI) will reportedly extend its membership to whites, Hispanics, Asians and other ethnic groups under the leadership of Minister Louis Farrakhan. The announcement took place on Oct. 19, when the NOI leader hosted a special dedication service at his South Side worship center.
The move comes six weeks after the Sept. 9 death of Imam Warith Deen Mohammad, who denounced the teachings of his famous father, Elijah Muhammad, when he took over the helm of the organization in 1975. The reforms, which included renaming it the World Community of Al Islam in the West (and later American Muslim Mission), relaxing its dress code, removing its paramilitary infrastructure and renouncing whites as “blue-eyed devils,” were replaced with efforts to move the faith toward orthodox Islam. The measures angered some converts of the man they called “The Messenger,” and according to a 1996 NOI press release “disoriented many of the followers and lead to the Nation’s financial ruin.”
In 1977, Farrakhan—the former national spokesman for Muhammad— reestablished the traditional NOI and begin reuniting disillusioned members. His passionate rhetoric of black self-help and resistance to white supremacy enamored him in the eyes of many African Americans, including many who were not members of his group
The Muslim leader’s rebuilding efforts flew under the radar of those who would become his staunchest critics—Jews and the American government —until he drew national media attention for comments made in reference to attacks against Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 1984 presidential campaign.
Ironically, 20 years later, the corporate media took complementary remarks Farrakhan made about Illinois Senator Barack Obama at his international Savior’s Day in what some viewed as an effort by the media to sabotage the Democrat’s historic presidential run by linking him to the controversial Muslim.
Today, the man once known as “The Charmer,” will not talk about the race for the White House for fear his words will be distorted and used by Sen. John McCain as a disruptor. Using guarded language, he would only talk about his plans to expand the NOI’s vision, the loss of Mohammad and the legacy of his mentor. He did not indicate he would implement any other reforms or details about plans about wooing non-blacks to his faith community.
When asked why make the announcement now, the leader responded: “Everything is done in the right time,” Farrakhan told reporters from the conference room in his South Side home. “This is the right time. It represents a new beginning.”
The Muslim orator, wearing white garments and looking the picture of health, made known his intentions to a small group of black reporters inside the lavish confines of his sprawling estate on the city’s South Side. Located a block away from the Obama’s Hyde Park mansion, Farrakhan’s estate resembles a palace with its winding driveway, majestic fountain and expert landscaping including hedges sculpted to resemble gigantic, green marshmallows.
The exterior’s burnished, golden color was accented by the multihued leaves falling to the grounds as Hispanic workers painted a stone carving in the front yard.
“We have invited a broad-cross section of people to this rededication ceremony,” Farrakhan explained. “We expect a diverse representation from all three branches of the Abrahamic Faith (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). I hope people will see the growth of the Nation not as abandonment but as moving us toward our place as truly universal people.”
The organizer of the historic Million Man March, which drew nearly two million black men to the nation’s capitol, also expressed deep-rooted sadness as the death of Mohammad, who once took great lengths to distance himself from Farrakhan. In 2000, marking the 70th anniversary of the NOI’s founding, the two held a public reconciliation.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a former NOI member told this reporter, “We don’t know what anyone’s intentions and what the true impact will be on the masses, if any. If this happens then what the Minister is doing is exactly with the Imam attempted in ’75,” he said referring to Mohammad, who drew tens of thousands of people to his funeral.
“I think the Imam worked hard to reverse the image of the Black Muslim in
In addition to unveiling his plans to open the doors of the NOI to all races, Farrakhan is expected to highlight renovations to its flagship mosque on
Elections not a good time to be an American Muslim
WASHINGTON (AFP) — US Muslims are facing tough times fearful about growing suspicions of Islam amid false rumours that Democratic nominee Barack Obama is a Muslim and could have links to terrorists.
"Not since the election of John Kennedy (a Catholic) in 1960 has the religious faith of a
"This is part of an islamophobic hate campaign that fuels prejudice against Americans who practice their Islamic faith and Muslims worldwide," the group who themselves "concerned scholars" stressed.
In September, a controversial DVD on Islam was circulated in
The video, titled "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" and released more than a year ago by a group called Clarion Fund, showed images of young children reciting appeals for jihad mixed with archival footage of Hitler Youths.
Already stigmatized in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks, the Muslim community of the
"The problem is there has been so many smears against Islam and Muslims that the candidates are very reluctant now to engage with Muslims for fear of coming under attack by their opponents," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based civil rights advocacy group.
"That's a very disturbing situation."
In June, Obama presented his apologies to two women wearing Islamic scarves who wanted to have their picture taken with the Democratic candidate but were hustled away by party activists.
And just a couple of weeks ago Republican nominee John McCain was forced to step in at a rally when a member of the audience suggested Obama was an Arab. McCain scoffed at the suggestion and referred to his opponent as the father of a "decent family."
"Fortunately, we have courageous individuals like Colin Powell who came up against that kind of thinking," said Hooper.
But "we are hoping that public officials and public leaders in our society would take up this call to reject islamophobia," he said. "We are still waiting for it to happen."
Powell, a Republican who was a member of the administration of President George W. Bush, came out recently in support of Obama's candidacy and also rejected islamophobic attacks.
"Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?" Powell asked rhetorically. "The answer's no. Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, 'He's a Muslim and he might be associated (with) terrorists.' This is not the way we should be doing it in
But the prejudices remain strong. A president of a Republican club in
Such charges appear to have an effect at least on a small portion of the electorate.
A survey by the Pew Research Centre for the People and the Press released on October 19 showed that when asked about Obama's religious beliefs, a small but consistent minority of voters, 12 percent, continue to say that the Democratic nominee is a Muslim.
This percentage has changed little since September, when 13 percent said that about Obama, the survey showed. Hosted by Google Copyright © 2008 AFP. All righ
Theologians Explore Further Possibilities for Interfaith Dialogue with Islam
28 Oct 2008
GENEVA, 28 October 2008 (LWI) - A group of 50 theologians from a broad range of Christian traditions and scholars in Christian-Muslim relations met in Chavannes-de-Bogis near Geneva, to deliberate Christian self-understanding in relation to Islam and Christian-Muslim relations today. The 18-20 October consultation was a joint initiative of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Conference of Secretaries of Christian World
Communions (including the Lutheran World Federation) and the World Evangelical Alliance.
Trinitarian reflections were prominent throughout the consultation, with some of them focusing specifically on the implications of incarnation and the work of the Spirit. Papers on various Christian approaches to Islam were presented - Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican and Evangelical. Contextual experiences were shared through two panel discussions- Christians living in majority Muslim contexts, and Christian-Muslim relations in plural contexts. This allowed participants to connect theological reflection and lived experiences from their diverse contexts.
In his keynote address, Catholicos
Moderating the consultation's opening session, LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko said the "conference is part of the new era of Muslim-Christian relations responding to initiatives like 'A Common Word'. It is important for us as secretaries of Christian world communions to work together with specialists in inter-religious dialogue." LWF President Bishop Mark S. Hanson was among Christian leaders who responded to the October 2007 letter "A Common Word between You and Us" written by 138 Muslim scholars to Christian leaders around the world.
In her presentation, Rev. Simone Sinn, theological associate in the LWF Department for Theology and Studies, highlighted the relational dimension of Christian faith. Referring to a basic insight of Martin Luther, she pointed out that justification was not a substance or quality that Christians own, but a living relationship between God and the human being. "Christian-Muslim encounters have a rich potential not only for deepening our relations to one another, but also in deepening our understanding of God’s relation to us. Important theological and spiritual formation takes place in these encounters."
Reflecting on Christian-Muslim dialogue in his context and beyond, Rev. Dr Oddbjorn Leirvik, who teaches inter-religious studies at the Faculty of Theology,
Participants said they recognized dialogue as an aspect of spirituality, and acknowledged the virtue of patient listening in Christian-Muslim dialogue. They stressed the need for sensitivity when referring to key religious terms such as mission, witness and conversion. Identified as equally important was the diversity and wealth of attitudes among Christians and the need to pay attention to questions raised by people from different places, circumstances and generations, especially the youth. Christian-Muslim collaboration was recommended on issues such as social and economic justice, climate change, peace and healing of memories.
"This consultation demonstrated some of the distinctive possibilities of approaching interfaith questions with the resources of broad ecumenical collaboration," said Dr Kathryn Johnson, LWF Assistant General Secretary for Ecumenical Affairs. "The range of Christian positions at the conference was very large-but at every point where there might have been an ‘either/or’ division into camps of opinion, the participants instead sought ways to balance complex realities," she said.
Johnson said the intense informal conversations between distinguished scholars of Islam and eminent church leaders at meal times expressed the need for more opportunities where both groups could share their experiences. "I hope that the WCC and the Christian world communions, including Evangelicals and Pentecostals, will find ways to continue this sort of collaboration," she concluded. (762 words)
(The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in
[Lutheran World Information (LWI) is the LWF's information service. Unless specifically noted, material presented does not represent positions or opinions of the LWF or of its various units. Where the dateline of an article contains the notation (LWI), the material may be freely reproduced with acknowledgment.]
LUTHERAN WORLD INFORMATION,
17-year-old Pak girl's 'honour killing' prompts outcry
28 Oct 2008
KARACHI: A Pakistani man says his 17-year-old daughter was mauled by dogs and shot to death in front of him over a land dispute disguised as a so-called ``honour killing.''
Female senators staged a walkout from the federal parliament Monday to press for action on better protections for women after a national newspaper published details of Tasleem Solangi's death.
``How long will women be buried alive and made to face hungry dogs? Women are not given their rights,'' opposition lawmaker Semi Siddiqui said.
Ibrahim Solangi, 28, has been in custody ever since Taslim's death in March and is awaiting trial on murder charges, said Pir Mohammad Shah, the police chief of the Khairpur Mirs district in southern
Human rights groups say hundreds of women are killed by male relatives every year in
In August, a Pakistani lawmaker drew fierce criticism after describing a case in which five women were allegedly buried alive for trying to choose their husbands as the product of ``centuries-old traditions'' that he would defend.
As in that case, the allegations surrounding the death of Tasleem Solangi remain unproven.
Speaking to reporters in
Gulsher Solangi said the killing was the culmination of a land dispute. He said his nephew had beaten Taslim throughout the five months of their marriage to pressure him to hand over his small farm.
Faced with more threats, Gulsher Solangi said he had fled with his wife and another daughter and abandoned his home.
Zameer Hussain Solangi, the girl's father-in-law, claimed Monday that his son confessed to the killing under police torture and that the allegation regarding the dogs was ``baseless.''
He said a tribal council later declared the dead woman an adulterer and compensated the husband with her jewelry.
The girl's father claimed that the tribal council, chaired by a local chieftain, declared his daughter an adulterer in May to mask the land-grab and the involvement of others.
Shah, the police chief, said he knew nothing of the alleged land-grab or the dogs and promised to investigate further.
Al Qaeda media man vows to wage "jihad by pen"
Tue Oct 28, 2008
By Jane Sutton
GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's alleged former media director wrote letters from Guantanamo acknowledging he typed the wills of two September 11 hijackers and pledging to continue "jihad by word and pen," according to evidence in the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal on Tuesday.
Yemeni captive Ali Hamza al Bahlul is on trial at the
Prosecutors allege Bahlul was Osama bin Laden's media secretary and part of the al Qaeda leader's trusted inner circle. They accused him of scripting the videotaped wills of September 11 hijackers Mohamed Atta and Ziad al Jarrah, who were his roommates in
Bahlul acknowledges in a 2005 letter to another
Prosecutors introduced into evidence four letters Bahlul wrote to accused September 11 plotters and fellow
In florid language, Bahlul predicts the death of democracy professes continued loyalty to bin Laden and refers to the
"So blood, blood, destruction, destruction and let's revenge for the Muslim," he writes in one.
"If I were incapable of jihad with my hands, soul or money, only jihad by word and pen is left," he writes in another.
Journalists were given English translations of the letters, which were written in Arabic and never delivered. Frequently used by al Qaeda itself, counter-terrorism specialists and the media to denote "holy war" against the West, the word jihad signifies for most Muslims a spiritual struggle.
'GROW THE ORGANIZATION'
Bahlul is not accused of direct involvement in any attacks but prosecutors say his work helped make al Qaeda's attacks possible.
He is charged with conspiring with al Qaeda to commit murderous attacks, soliciting to commit murder and providing material support for terrorism. He faces life in prison if convicted.
Bahlul is accused of creating al Qaeda recruiting materials, including a video glorifying the 2000 attack in
The prosecutor, Army Maj. Dan Cowhig, said in his opening statements that the video was shown at weapons training camps in
"The primary role of the accused was to grow the organization," Cowhig said.
The video was spliced together from television network images and is part of a longer video Bahlul made about the state of the Islamic world.
His military lawyer, Air Force Maj. David Frakt, is honouring Bahlul's request to present no defence and has been silent in the courtroom. Bahlul was refused permission to act as his own attorney and is refusing to participate in the trial because he does not feel the tribunal is legitimate.
He sat at the defence table in his tan prison jumpsuit, seeming rapt as the prosecutor read from his writings.
Outside the courtroom, Frakt told journalists, "Writing someone's will is not a war crime. If so, there'd be a lot of lawyers on the hook."
Bahlul's is only the second full trial in the
About 255 suspected members of al Qaeda, the Taliban and associated groups are now being kept at
© Thomson Reuters 2008.
Somali youth was killed 'in row over alcohol and Islam'
A gang of five men beat a Somali teenager to death because of a row over Muslims drinking alcohol, a court heard today.
Ahmed Mohammed Ibrahim, 17, was repeatedly hit across the head with a samurai sword, baseball bat, machete and metal pole after being chased in
The teenager became embroiled in the fight after accompanying his cousin, Ahmed Mahamoud Ahmed, 16, to a "straightener" – a one-on-one fight – with the alleged killer Ali Mohammed, 19.
The 16-year-old boy was chased home where his mother's car windows were smashed, said Tim Holroyde QC, prosecuting.
The next day, Ahmed was lured to the fight - where Mohammed, his two brothers Khadar, 23, Essa, 22, and two cousins lay in wait, it was claimed.
During this attack, part-time student Ibrahim of Ritson Street, Toxeth, was killed and another cousin Abdhullah Mohammed Ahmed, 17, was severely injured and lost a finger.
"One of the defendants was heard to shout 'He's still alive'," Holroyde said.
"All five defendants then joined in a continued attack with weapons on the deceased as he lay, obviously helpless, on the ground.
"The deceased was left lying in the road with obvious and severe injuries to his head which were bleeding profusely.
"A passing motorist stopped to assist, an ambulance was called and the deceased was taken to hospital, but nothing could be done to save his life and he died about two hours later, at 1.20am."
A pathologist confirmed that there was "extensive fracturing of the skull… and other damage to the brain within the skull".
The three brothers from Toxteth deny murder. As do their cousins Ibrahim Ahmed, 23, of, Toxteth and Ahmed Kayse Ahmed, 30, of
The three brothers deny wounding with intent - relating to the attack on Abdullah Mohammed Ahmed. All five also deny violent disorder the night before the murder.
The murder weapons were found hours after the killing in a bin bag outside a house Khadar Mohammed used, the seven men and five women of the jury heard.
The metal pipe was stained with the dead boy's blood and hair, said Holroyde, and his blood was on the sword handle and baseball bat.
The prosecutor told the jury that when the defendants were arrested, the victim's blood was found on clothing belonging to the three brothers and Ahmed Kayse Ahmed.
The trial is scheduled to last six weeks.
WASHINGTON: Foreign Group Again Linked to Anti-Muslim DVD Campaign, says CAIR
WASHINGTON, Oct 28, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire
A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today renewed its call for Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigations of an apparent attempt by a foreign-based group to influence the presidential election.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said another media report has linked the Israel-based group Aish HaTorah to the distribution of millions of anti-Muslim DVDs to voters in presidential election swing states and to key opinion leaders nationwide.
An article in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch described an interfaith response to an effort led by an anti-Islam pastor to send the DVD "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" to hundreds of thousands of Christian and Jewish clergy nationwide.
The Rev. O'Neal Dozier, pastor of the
SEE: Interfaith Partnership Rallies behind Muslims Anxious about DVD (Post-Dispatch) http://tinyurl.com/5bnoka
An earlier article in the St. Petersburg Times revealed ties between the film's distributor, the Clarion Fund, and Aish HaTorah. The newspaper's investigative report stated: "Clarion's address, according to
SEE: Senders of Islam Movie 'Obsession' Tied to Jewish Charity
SEE ALSO: Israel-Based Group behind Distribution of Anti-Muslim DVD (CNN Video)
A columnist for The Atlantic wrote that Aish HaTorah "operatives flourish in the radical belt of Jewish settlements just south of
SEE: The Jewish Extremists behind "Obsession" http://tinyurl.com/6yv54u
CAIR has also learned that the "Obsession" DVD is being distributed to local public officials "throughout the country" by the Washington-based Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC). An EPPC letter accompanying the DVD tells the officials to "get informed...before it's too late."
Based on these revelations and on the DVD distributor's apparent attempt to use its non-profit status to impact the presidential election in favor of a particular candidate, CAIR filed complaints with both the FEC and IRS.
CAIR also noted that even those who once backed "Obsession" are withdrawing their support for the film that many commentators have called anti-Muslim "propaganda." For example, the pro-Israel think tank the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) pulled out of "The Obsession Project."
Howard Gordon, the executive producer of Fox's drama "24," withdrew his endorsement of the film because "the goal of co-existence and tolerance is not being served by films like Obsession."
Dr. Khaleel Mohammed, a Muslim interviewee for "Obsession," now calls the production a "vile piece of propaganda." In a statement sent to the website www.obsessionwithhate.com, Dr. Mohammed said: "Sadly, it would seem that I have allowed myself to be used."
The "Obsession with Hate" site was launched recently by the Hate Hurts America Multifaith Community Coalition (HHA), a group of religious and civic organizations seeking to challenge hate speech in our society.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com
Source: Council on American-Islamic Relations. http://tinyurl.com/5bnoka
Copyright (C) 2008 PR Newswire. All rights reserved End of Story,
ANKARA (AFP) The prime ministers of
"We have no problems when it comes to the military, economic or cultural fields... We have a common will and determination to further advance our bilateral ties," Recep Tayyip Erdogan of
The Turkish leader said they had agreed to rapidly increase their bilateral trade volume to one billion dollars and recalled that
The two sides are also working on a defence agreement, Erdogan said without providing details.
Gilani, for his part, underlined both countries' determination to fight terrorism and said that his country was working with
In April 2007,
A second summit is being planned, but no firm date has yet been set, Erdogan said.
"We have sent alternative dates to the parties. We are expecting their response," he said.
Gilani, who arrived late Monday on a five-day visit, was scheduled to meet President Abdullah Gul and Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan later in the day.
The Pakistani leader was also to attend a state ceremony Wednesday to mark
Jihad and the Relativist Enemy within
October 28, 2008
In both the D.C. subway advertisements and the Jihadist web sites, the images come from a "game" being promoted by the D.C.-area based Bethesda Softworks entitled "Fallout 3." Bethesda Softworks is located in Rockville, Maryland, a mere 18 miles from the White House in Washington, D.C. Bethesda Softworks' new software "game" Fallout 3 portrays "the Capitol Wasteland in and around Washington, DC," which the government-funded Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has agreed to advertise in the DC subway system used by over 800,000 government workers and individuals every day. This is the same "game" that Jihadists have obtained an image from to post on their websites of a destroyed, crushed
Jihadists don't have to go to their websites to see their dream images of a destroyed
Such "relativism" is the real problem. Relativism takes nothing seriously, no enemy, no threats, no ideology, no values. After all, any such threat, any such enemy is merely "relative." There is no end to those reports that will earnestly claim that our threat of an automobile accident is greater than a Jihadist terrorist attack, which ends up in the logical pretzel that our efforts at preventing Jihad are an unnecessary overreaction. Nor is there any end to those questioning why we are "demonizing" Islamic supremacist groups like the Taliban.
The growing problem of relativism is that some American companies, some American leaders, and a portion of the American people don't care about the threats to our nation (or find such threats morbidly entertaining or amusing), don't care about the Jihadist enemy, don't care about our values, and aren't willing to defend those values. Ideological relativism in
Americans must confront the challenge we face of the growing shrug-shoulder relativism towards the survival of
"American Relativism" –
The essential argument by American moral and political relativists comes down to the question "who are we to say that our beliefs in equality and liberty are correct compared to other values?"
Such "American relativism" has played an important part in ideological challenges in our history. Such relativism was seen in the efforts by Charles Lindbergh and his non-interventionist "America First Committee" that the real threat was not Adolf Hitler's Nazis, but his claims that it was the Jewish people and the media that were "pressing this country toward war." Regarding calls to confront the Nazis, Charles Lindbergh said in 1939 that "[t]olerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength." "American relativism" was also been seen in the efforts by
But at the root problem of American relativism, we can find that relativists have a fundamental personal and national identity-crisis. Such relativists don't understand what it means to be an American. "American relativists" have lost their awareness that their democratic rights are dependent on upholding the natural human rights of equality and liberty.
Moreover, such "American relativists" don't understand
In fact, the phrase " American relativist" is itself an oxymoron. Such relativism is simply un-American. Americans have liberties that are dependent on human natural rights of equality and liberty that they must defend for their democratic survival. But relativists don't recognize any such "natural rights" of humanity. They view moral and political values inimical to the natural rights of equality and liberty as relatively equal for other cultures. Relativists view those ideologies that fear and hate equality and liberty as merely "cultural diversities" in other nations. In doing so, influential relativists in
Relativists and Jihad
We have seen the increasing influence of relativism in both the debate over the word "jihad" in
Prior to the recent U.S. CENTCOM contractor and civilian red team report challenging efforts to ban the use of "jihad," we have seen efforts by the DHS, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the State Department, and others to end the use of "jihad" when discussing Islamic supremacist terrorism. Moreover, we have seen in recent comments by counterterror analysts arguing that some Jihadist groups can be negotiated with (or leveraged) based on a "jihadist revolt against Bin Laden" and that "jihadists can turn against Al-Qaeda in a meaningful way." From a relativist perspective, "engagement" with some Jihadist groups against other Jihadist groups offers a tactical value in "regionalized" areas of warfare. Even in the "war of ideas," James K. Glassman, the U.S. undersecretary of state for public diplomacy tells the Washington Times how he is using the Al-Qaeda renunciations by Sayyed Imam Al-Sharif (aka Dr. Fadl) in a fight against "extremists," when Al-Sharif continues to call for jihad in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel, including the statement by Al-Sharif that "Jihad in Afghanistan will lead to the creation of an Islamic state with the triumph of the Taliban, God willing."
If there is no defined ideological threat, and political/moral relativism permits our leaders to refuse to acknowledge the ideological threat of Islamic supremacism, then we end up with those arguing that
The naive ideological relativists represent a national security threat by blindly offering legitimacy to Islamic supremacist groups through calls to "engage" with them, through calls for political "reconciliation" with them in theaters of battle, and through denial of the threat of their supremacist ideology. However, from an American perspective, relativism regarding an activist, transnational ideology such as Islamic supremacism (that is against equality and liberty) is against American national security interests.
Relativist counterterror and foreign policy analysts call for American engagement with Islamic supremacism, engagement with the Islamic supremacist Muslim Brotherhood, and consideration of negotiations with the Islamic supremacist terrorist groups of Hamas and Hezbollah. The simple and factual American response to such calls should be "that would be un-American." It is un-American to legitimize and support supremacist groups, including but not limited to Islamic supremacism, for the simple fact that supremacists (by definition) are against equality. Equality is a bedrock natural right that defines American freedoms. Relativists defend their positions based on self-denial and self-deception of what American freedom represents. Relativists think that being "open minded" to those against equality and liberty is a freedom. But such relativist "tolerance" for those against equality and liberty undermines freedom.
Relativist military and foreign policy leaders call for Americans to support "political reconciliation" with Islamic supremacist groups such as the Taliban in
The most insidious threat of ideological relativism is found in the denial of the existence of Islamic supremacism itself in parts of the American government and throughout much of the American mainstream media and academia. Through an informed democracy, Americans could replace government leaders, policy advisers, and military leaders who hold a relativist view on Islamic supremacism. But while our nation's values are disgraced by relativist nonsense from such leaders, our media and academia force feed the American public with a steady stream of propaganda of denial on Islamic supremacism, keeping the American public in a full nelson grip to keep them from fighting back in the war of ideas. Those who challenge Islamic supremacism are attacked as "Islamophobes," while CNN, AP, and others promote members of organizations with links to Islamic supremacism as "representative" of grass-roots Muslim opinion.
Such relativists are the "useful idiots" that Islamic supremacist leaders and organizations manipulate as part of their efforts to influence and infiltrate the American government. They have manipulated members of the American legislature, executive branch, judiciary, and our military, law enforcement, and counterterrorism communities. The passkey in every case has been the cancer of relativism. Without defenders of the values of equality and liberty in charge of
In addition to the destructive problem of ideological relativists,
Government leaders who support efforts to develop "relativist democracies" claim that those who support equality and liberty need to "understand" that all democracies don't look the same. It is not whether or not all democracies look the same; it is whether they share a commitment towards the natural rights of equality and liberty. While that commitment may be uneven and incomplete, as with the
Therefore, in the investment by American tax dollars in developing "democracies" in
In the glaringly obvious Islamic Republic of Pakistan, U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson recently reiterated
The Sum of All Relativism
Relativists focus on materialism, "prosperity," "progress," and creature comforts. Such relativists play to the Islamic supremacist view of Americans as spineless fools who will do whatever you want them to do as long as they have their television, their jobs, their automobiles, and their creature comforts. Islamic supremacists see such relativists and believe that this is all that
Without leadership that clearly defines the ideological threat of Islamic supremacism, such relativists are increasingly becoming the most visible voice of American leadership to the world. This includes leadership that would "engage" with Islamic supremacists, leadership that would seek "reconciliation" with Islamic supremacists, leadership that is not willing to defend the natural rights of equality and liberty that are fundamental to our identities as Americans. This includes American mainstream media that whitewashes Islamic supremacist groups as "victims." Such growing relativism is the exact opposite of what
Let's come back to the initial example of the images of a Washington D.C. destroyed by a nuclear weapons plastered all over the Washington D.C. subway system -- by a government-funded transit authority.
A crushed Capitol dome doesn't mean anything to those who displayed this. It is just a picture, just a game. Just like the Capitol building itself and our nation's capital means nothing to them. Like life itself, everything is just a game.
The pathway of relativism is that
The relativist path of least resistance, of "engagement," of "reconciliation," is the path of defeat and surrender. It is a direction that no American leader, no American patriot should tread, no matter how difficult and how long the war becomes. While "American relativists" may have the world's attention for now, it is our responsibility and our obligation as Americans to ensure that those who would defend equality and liberty return to power and leadership in our country.
We must never forget that the true sum of all relativism is cowardice. Relativism is all about fear.
It takes no courage to be a relativist that believes that any ideology, any set of values, no matter how corrupted, no matter how decadent, no matter how evil, can be acceptable. It takes no courage to believe in no absolutes of right or wrong. It takes no courage to fear fighting those who oppose equality and liberty.
That is why patriotic Americans will ultimately defeat the relativists, even if the Jihadist dreams of a destroyed
Fear No Evil.
[Postscript - see also Sources documents for additional reading and background information.]
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Jeffrey Imm, formerly of the FBI, has his own counterterrorism research web site at UnitedStatesAction.com and is a part of the Anti-Jihad League of America.
Eyes Wide Shut: A review of Andrew McCarthy's Wilful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad
By Steven Emerson
Claremont Review of Books |October 28, 2008
September 11, 2001, will live in infamy, but February 26, 1993, should also cause Americans to shudder. On that day 15 years ago, Islamic militants tried to topple the World Trade Centre; six people in the building were killed, over a thousand injured. It was the first time the world network of Islamic terrorists had struck on American soil. Most Americans missed the message.
Andrew McCarthy's Wilful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad is a comprehensive, meticulous, and impassioned reminder of that message. As lead prosecutor in one of the most notorious terrorism cases in
These events exposed a violent domestic strain of Islam whose menace was completely underestimated by federal authorities at the time-and, unfortunately, all too often still. Wilful Blindness levels a stinging critique not only of the self-defeating relationship between America's intelligence and law enforcement agencies, but of our inability to rethink a counterterrorism policy that relied on the legal system rather than on more aggressive and effective military techniques. "In the war against radical Islam," writes McCarthy, "the great calling of our generation, what was true when the enemy declared war fifteen years ago remains true today. If we are too obsessed with law, and liability, we are shrinking from our highest duty: to protect our lives." In his recent writings for National Review and other journals, he argues that history will deplore the Supreme Court's decision in June 2008 to grant constitutional rights to illegal enemy combatants being held at
In quiet times Americans are liable to become their own worst enemies; we lower our guard. Al-Qaeda's failure to strike our homeland during the last seven years suggests that our policies are working. Why, then, are policymakers, legislators, and Supreme Court Justices scaling back many of the safeguards now in place? McCarthy explains the dire consequences of the impatience, political expediency, and the narrow-minded partisanship that so often greet the Bush Administration's counterterrorism policies.
Nor does he neglect the dangerous chorus of professional grievance-mongers, often directed by home-grown Islamists tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, which feeds the American public a steady diet of propaganda by means of a complaisant media. These groups argue that "Islamophobia," not radical Islam, is the problem. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which claims to be a civil rights and "advocacy" group but was in fact founded in 1994 by operatives linked to Hamas, works to silence those who stand up to Islamic fanaticism by tarring its opponents as bigots and racists.
For all these reasons Wilful Blindness could not appear at a more important time.
Unfortunately, our calculations were not very accurate this time. However, we promise you that next time it will be very precise and World Trade Centre will continue to be one [of] our targets unless our demands have been met.
The lapse of eight years between attacks in
Steven Emerson is the author of Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the