Sugar-coating harsh realities and pretending that unpleasant facts don’t exist opens doors and gets you accolades – but is it worth it at the price of the truth?
According to an article about a speech he gave last week in Toronto, scholar Daniel Pipes “suggested it is Islamism, a political ideology, that inspires hatred of ‘the other,’ rather than Islam. … He emphasized that while Islam has existed since the age of the prophet Muhammad, Islamism is a recent phenomenon and need not be considered an authentic expression of Islam.”
Need not be considered an authentic expression of Islam by whom? By Muslims? Yet so many do, all around the world. By non-Muslims? What would that accomplish, since so many Muslims think it is an authentic expression of Islam, except to render us complacent in the face of the jihad threat?
And anyway, is “Islamism” really not an authentic expression of Islam? In fact, political Islam and violent Islam go back to Muhammad, who massacred the Qurayzah tribe and the Jews of Khybar and left oceans of blood in his wake. In Medina, he started waging war against non-Muslims, and he explained to his followers that they should offer those non-Muslims three choices. As Robert Spencer explains, “the choices for unbelievers ar … to convert to Islam; or submit as inferiors to Islamic rule, paying the tax and accepting the discrimination that Islamic law mandates for non-Muslims in the Islamic state; or die.”
Spencer also rejects the Islam/Islamism distinction: “[T]he distinction is artificial and imposed from without. There are not, in other words, Islamist mosques and non-Islamist mosques, distinguishable from one another by the sign outside each, like Baptist and Methodist churches. On the contrary, ‘Islamists’ move among non-political, non-supremacist Muslims with no difficulty; no Islamic authorities are putting them out of mosques, or setting up separate institutions to distinguish themselves from the ‘Islamists.’”
And Andrew Bostom adds: “One must ask, ‘What Went Wrong’ with Daniel Pipes who now sprays (Edward) Saidian charges of ‘essentialism’ at brave Muslim freethinkers like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Wafa Sultan, as well as the stalwart Dutch politician Geert Wilders, for simply rejecting his self-contradictory mantras on ‘Islamism.’”
Even worse, Pipes “said the religion of Islam itself is not inherently hostile to Jews, and Muslim anti-Semitism scarcely existed before the establishment of the state of Israel.”
Amazing. Is he unaware of the Quran’s terming the Jews the “worst enemies” of the Muslims (5:82), or saying that Allah cursed them and turned them into apes and pigs (2:62-66; 5:59-60; 7:166)? Where is Pipes on that and so much more Quranic anti-Semitism? Has he never heard of the genocidal hadith in which Muhammad said that “the last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him” (Sahih Muslim 6985)?
Has Pipes never read Bat Ye’or or Andrew Bostom on Islamic anti-Semitism, or Sir Martin Gilbert’s history of the Jews in Muslim lands, “In Ishmael’s House”? All of them show that Jew hatred is a constant of Islamic history. Pipes thinks it started with Israel? What about the pogroms conducted by Palestinian Muslims against Palestinian Jews in the early 20th century – the wholesale slaughter of Jews as prescribed and preached by the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, who lived in Berlin during the war, made broadcasts in Arabic for the Nazis and raised up an SS division of Bosnian Muslims?
Historian Phillip Hitti states: “The caliph al-Mutawakkil in 850 and 854 decreed that Christians and Jews should affix wooden images of devils to their houses, level their graves even with the ground, wear outer garments of honey color, i.e. yellow, put two honey-colored patches on the clothes of their slaves … and ride only on mules and asses with wooden saddles marked by two pomegranate-like balls on the cantle.” Andrew Bostom’s work shows much more. One-thousand years later, in 1888 a Tunisian Jew lamented a similar situation:
“The Jew is prohibited in this country to wear the same clothes as a Muslim and may not wear a red tarbush. He can be seen to bow down with his whole body to a Muslim child and permit him the traditional privilege of striking him in the face, a gesture that can prove to be of the gravest consequence. Indeed, the present writer has received such blows. In such matters the offenders act with complete impunity, for this has been the custom from time immemorial.”
In 1291, Isaac ben Samuel, a Palestinian Jew, said: “In the eyes of the Muslims, the children of Israel are as open to abuse as an unprotected field.” The philosopher Maimonides said: “You know, my brethren, that on account of our sins G-d has cast us into the midst of this people, the nation of Ishmael, who persecute us severely, and who devise ways to harm us and to debase us. … No nation has ever done more harm to Israel. None has matched it in debasing and humiliating us. None has been able to reduce us as they have. … We have borne their imposed degradation, their lies, and absurdities, which are beyond human power to bear.”
On Dec. 30, 1066, 4,000 Jews in Granada were killed in a pogrom by Muslim mobs. The Muslim chronicler Abd Allah said that the mobs “put every Jew in the city to the sword and took vast quantities of their property.”
Were they enraged because Israel was going to be founded nearly 900 years later?
Ten years of pursuing the Pipes Dream, and where has it gotten us? More confused than ever, and chasing our own tail. I don’t worry so much about the fanaticism of the enemy. I worry about the confusion on our side created by the intellectual dishonesty of fantasists like Pipes.