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Editor's note: Islam Supremacy?
17 July 2009
Bob Carroll received this e-mail the other day and asked me to comment on it in my role as the resident “expert” on Islam (see here for disclaimer):
On Wed, 7/15/09, "Anonymous American" wrote:
Thanks for your interesting website. I am surprised though that you haven’t listed entries on supremacist ideology, which definitely fits all three parts of your slogan: Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions. The site has a brief mention of white supremacy and black supremacy, but not an entry. I think you should definitely add an entry about Islam supremacy too. A while ago, you wrote a bit about the harm of sharia/islamic law. Islamic supremacy includes that very dangerous dogma and more.
Reply: I accept Mr. American’s links and commend to the reader the lists in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hizb_ut-Tahrir. I had to read most of them to get an idea of the scope of the discussion.
The SD does not address Hispanic supremacy, American Indian (Ghost Dance) supremacy, or even Irish supremacy, although it did at one time link to Gaelic music. Neither does it have an article on white supremacy or one on black supremacy. This exchange, therefore, is the only extended discussion on the site that deals exclusively with supremacy. Mr. American’s demand is not for symmetry, but is in fact special pleading.
Hizb ut-Tahrir (Arabic “Party of Liberation”) is hereinafter HT. HT’s beliefs are no stranger than those of just about any religion you care to name. Mormons, for example, believe they have magic underwear and Scientologists believe the Earth was populated with the souls of sentient beings who were flown here in DC-8s and exploded in volcanoes with thermonuclear weapons. Wiccans, followers of Voudon, and animists believe they can perform rituals that will secure aid from a pantheon of deities to change physical reality. Christian fundamentalists believe the Earth is about 6000 years old and, in many cases, that it is a moral act to murder abortion doctors or to set off bombs in abortion clinics or Olympic Games venues. Many Protestants believe Catholics are hell-bound, and the Pope has stated that Protestant churches are “defective” and not “true churches.” Christian Identity adherents want to impose a harsh theocracy in the U.S. that would differ in effect only slightly from HT’s Caliphate.
As to HT’s deceptions, the documents I’ve read claim they are either peacefully attempting to bring about a utopia, fomenting and praising violence, or leading the charge of violence. Because of a literalist reading of certain verses of the Qur’an written during the Medina period, they also espouse anti-Semitism. Assuming the worst or even second-worst is true, HT’s deceptions could hardly be characterized as “amusing.”
Among Muslims worldwide, HT members are a tiny minority, probably less than 0.1%. If HT ever acts in a seditious manner in this country, the effects of its dangerous delusions will fall on itself, and with an intensity it cannot even imagine.
Therefore, the case as stated does not lead to the conclusion assumed.
I live in Chicago. This upcoming Sunday, an Islam supremacist group ”Hizb ut-Tahrir” is holding a recruiting conference at Hilton Hotel of Oak Lawn, a close suburb of Chicago. This group, which includes members such as 9/ 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and suicide bombers, is even banned in Islamic countries!
Reply: That radical Muslims would join the Sunni HT or the Shi’ah Hezbollah, or one of the radical Muslim Brotherhoods, Al-Qaeda, or the Taliban is hardly a surprise. That their choices necessarily indict the organizations chosen is not demonstrated.
Even dedicated HT members can and have been rehabilitated as a result of learning more about orthodox Islam (see here). While I would prefer that such people reject religion entirely, experience has taught me that it is much safer to socialize with a devout and sensible Muslim than, say, one of my criminal cousins.
Muslim countries where HT is banned, such as Egypt, are not democratic. It is also banned in Germany--European governments are not so liberal as ours when it comes to freedom of hateful speech. HT is also banned in more than one former Soviet Central Asian republic and in China. On the other hand, HT was granted legal party status in Lebanon recently because Lebanon prides itself as democratic.
Most of the U.S. government’s discomfort with HT is that it opposes dictators, thugs, and quasi-client states that we support. We don’t like it in Pakistan, for example, because it recently called for a bloodless coup and an Islamic Shari’ah state. Oddly, that didn’t happen. Could it be that HT is impotent and not much of a threat, even where it is most powerful?
Has the U.S. banned HT? No. It is Constitutionally protected by the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of religion, speech, and association. Should HT take any violent action or incitement to crime, it properly should pay the full legal price.
Your site does not mention, but should detail the Dangerous Delusion of khilafah and caliphate. This is a khilafah planning conference at the Hilton Hotel. Khilafah, a.k.a caliphate, means a worldwide Islamic dictatorship to subjugate Jews, Americans, Christians, women, non-muslims, atheists, agnostics, ex-muslim apostates, gays, and even moderate muslims; and to destroy democracy, liberty, and capitalism (incl. personal property ownership). Moderate sensible muslims reject this insanity and are also targeted.
Reply: With the exception of its positions on economics, HT’s ideology seems to be Islamic fundamentalism not terribly different from Wahabism. (Few Americans are aware that orthodox Islam assumes a kind of democracy and morally guided capitalism--Muhammad himself was a merchant who owned a small amount of property upon his death.)
HT apparently has two schools of thought on this matter. One is to take over, by overwhelming popular demand, all governments in Islamic-majority countries and to declare them to be part of the Caliphate. (The Caliph is to be democratically elected by the ummah [community or nation]. HT would erase any borders between those countries and their neighbors in the Caliphate.)
The other school expects the Caliphate to use da’wah (outreach, missionary activity) to convert the unbelievers (the rest of humanity), who would then do the job of completing the worldwide Caliphate in their own countries. HT does not claim violence is unnecessary, but that view is traditional in Islam which permits forcing secular governments to permit their citizens to choose Islam. Think “monolithic international Communism” of the kind we all feared in the 1950s as the model for converting societies to the new ideology. The Soviet Union couldn’t pull it off, even with a modern army, navy, air force, and thousands of thermonuclear weapons.
CBS News reported its investigation on this pro-terrorism event in an online article “Extremist Islamic Conference Shut Down” saying that the conference was rejected from its original location, a Chicago Islamic school because it lied and mislead the school.
"CBS News” national security advisor Juan Carlos Zatare still believes the group’s activities are a cause for concern. He describes the global Hizb ut-Tahrir as “an extremist group that has served as a platform not just for dissemination of extremist ideology, but also as a platform for individuals to engage in terrorist activities.” Zatare does not have information about the group’s U.S. branch, but is familiar with Hizb ut-Tahrir in the U.K. and globally. “there have been so many problems about its membership as well as activities in the U.K. that I would suggest that a group forming in the U.S. is extremely worrisome,” he notes.
Reply: Mr. Zatare is working in the dark, yet he chooses to substitute worry for actually bothering to find out. Is HT a threat to the U.S.? HT has at most a few hundred members here, many of whom likely would not engage in or even countenance violence. Orthodox Muslims don’t like them, even if the orthodox are often silent out of a sense of religious solidarity in the face of widespread fear and hatred of their religion by other Americans.
Reply: True, as far as I can see, but there’s a lot of innuendo and guilt by association in these pieces.
Investigator Bill Warner exposed some of the criminal dealings of this extremist group in 2005.
Reply: Why is a private investigator doing this work, and why isn’t the local police department or the FBI doing it? Either duly constituted authorities don’t think the risk is significant or they are all over the case and fully prepared to thwart violence or to investigate and arrest if there is any illegal activity by HT.
One sincere and dedicated group (R.E.A.L.) is planning a protest. Details here:
Reply: I wish them well. They are doing the real American thing, so long as they don’t become too much like the thing they think they ought to fear and hate.
I appreciate the work you do. I look forward to exploring your updated website. Thanks for reading. Please spread the word. Keep my email address confidential.
Reply: If the standard HT position survives and if, as is extremely unlikely, HT succeeds in the Islamic world, it would not have the resources to subvert the West, neither could it defeat the West in a shooting war. HT’s recreated Caliphate with its promise of a geographically identifiable area would make nuclear war a viable option for the West and presumably for Russia and China. Israel alone reportedly has more nuclear weapons than Pakistan: The West, China, and Russia combined have a minimum of about 5000 such weapons and reliable delivery systems, so we should all get a grip on any irrational fears.