Friday, April 15, 2011

April Fools’ Day: Imam Rauf Addresses the Nation

Appropriately, on April 1st, The Washington Post, in its continuing state of dhimmitude, allowed Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of the Cordoba Initiative and promoter of the Park51 mosque near Ground Zero, to serve Americans a smorgasbord of Islamic taqiyya, “Five myths about Muslims in America.” Taqiyya is the Islamic practice of saying one thing in English, and another in Arabic. His article was reprinted in numerous newspapers across the country. This commentary will serve as a rebuttal to his principal assertions.

At the very beginning, Rauf plays the race card. In his rebuttal of the “myth” that American Muslims are foreigners, he writes:

Islam was in America even before there was a United States. But Muslims didn’t peaceably emigrate — slave-traders brought them here. Historians estimate that up to 30 percent of enslaved blacks were Muslims. West African prince Abdul Rahman, freed by President John Quincy Adams in 1828 after 40 years in captivity, was only one of many African Muslims kidnapped and sold into servitude in the New World.

And who rounded up and sold blacks – whether or not they were princes – to the European and American slave traders? Arab Muslims. Funny how Rauf omits inconvenient truths. And, was Prince Abdul Rahman a “good” Muslim, or was he just as feckless and venal as those who captured him and sold him into bondage? Nor does he hint at the much larger slave trade in eastern Africa, where blacks were captured and sold in North African and Mid-Eastern Islamic regimes – by Muslim slavers.

Rauf goes on:

Muslim names could be found in reports of runaway slaves as well as among rosters of soldiers in the Revolutionary War. Muslims fought to preserve American independence in the War of 1812 and for the Union in the Civil War. And more than a century later, thousands of African Americans, including Cassius Clay and Malcolm Little, converted to Islam.

It is irrelevant that “Muslim names” can be found in the rosters of the past wars of the United States. If one has an Irish, Russian, or Scottish surname, would it be valid for someone else to assume that one is Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Presbyterian? It would be interesting to learn why these individuals came to America. Perhaps it was to escape the suffocating regime of Islam? Boxing champion Cassius Clay took the name of Mohammad Ali, while Malcolm Little is none other than El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, or Malcolm X, a member of the racist Nation of Islam who learned the hard way what happens to apostates who dare question Islam or disagree with its ideology. They are assassinated.

Yes, Muslims are foreigners in this country, even if they are Caucasian, black or Asian converts, because their creed is foreign, alien, and hostile to the principles of individual rights, among them freedom of speech. One cannot be an obedient, subservient, mindless manqué and follower of a brutish, primitive religion and also be an individualist at the same time. In other terms, you cannot revere the Founders and Framers and also Mohammad. If Allah is the highest value, then one cannot revere oneself, either. That would be self-love, and the Koran does not permit any values higher than Allah and the word of Mohammad. The Founders, according to Mohammad’s words, would have fallen under the sword of his successors, as many Americans did in the Founders’ lifetimes, or held in bondage as slaves.

In his rebuttal to the “myth” that American Muslims are ethnically, culturally, and politically monolithic, Rauf writes:

U.S. Muslims believe different things and honor their faith in different ways. When it comes to politics, a 2007 Pew study found that 63 percent of Muslim Americans “lean Democratic,” 11 percent “lean Republican” and 26 percent “lean independent.” Ethnically, despite the popular misperception, the majority of Muslims in the United States (and in the world, for that matter) are not Arabs — about 88 percent check a different box on their U.S. census form. At least one-quarter, for example, are African American. Anyone who thinks otherwise need look no further than the July 30, 2007, cover of Newsweek magazine, which featured a multicultural portrait of Islam in America.

Nor is this relevant. The issue is the ideology of Islam, not its racial or ethnic “diversity” or representation. It is Islam the “benign” ideology that Rauf is shilling for, not the make-up of its following. Rauf offers this Newsweek cover to prove his point. In essence, Islam is not only monolithic, but totalitarian.

Muslim Americans are also diverse in their sectarian affiliation. And whether they are Sunni or Shiite, their attendance at religious services varies. According to the State Department publication “Muslims in America – A Statistical Portrait,” Muslim Americans range from highly conservative to moderate to secular in their religious devotion, just like members of other faith communities.

And in the countries ruled or dominated by Muslims, there is continual sectarian and bloody strife between Sunnis and Shiites over whose interpretation of Mohammad is the truer. This is when either sect is not busy massacring or persecuting Jews, Christians, Copts, Hindus, Buddhists, and members of that smallest Islamic sect, the Bai’at. Oh, and Western infidels in their own countries and worldwide, and also hapless Muslims unlucky enough to be around when another Muslim blows himself up.

Rauf’s next rebuttal concerns the oppression of women by American Muslims. In this one he completely omits mention of not only the growing number of Koran-inspired honor killings of girls and women in this country, but also the second-class status of women in Islam wherever it is practiced. Muslim men commit the crimes and see to it that “their” women obey the diktats of Mohammad. One never hears a discussion or reads an article about Muslim women who oppress or brutalize Muslim men, although many Muslim women have abetted the murders of their own daughters, sisters and other female relatives.

According to a 2009 study by Gallup,, Muslim American women are not only more educated than Muslim women in Western Europe, but are also more educated than the average American. U.S. Muslim women report incomes closer to their male counterparts than American women of any other religion. They are at the helm of many key religious and civic organizations, such as the Arab-American Family Support Center, Azizah magazine, Karamah, Turning Point, the Islamic Networks Group and the American Society for Muslim Advancement.

Again, Rauf presents a stew of irrelevancies buttressed by an appeal to “authority.” Education is no guarantee that a Muslim will not suddenly become a bomb-making or gun-toting jihadist. Major Nidal Hassan proved that. It has been demonstrated numerous times, regardless of the perpetrator’s gender. But note that Rauf boasts of Muslim women “at the helm” of what are essentially non-productive Muslim organizations and charities. What? Where’s the Muslim Dagny Taggart? Not a chance.

In his next rebuttal, to the “myth” that “American Muslims often become ‘homegrown’ terrorists,” Rauf wins a silver medal for verisimilitude. He does not outright deny that Muslims, “homegrown” or “imported,” have committed acts of terrorism. He simply diverts the reader’s attention to a questionable allegation by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security that

…more non-Muslims than Muslims were involved in terrorist plots on U.S. soil in 2010. In a country in the grip of Islamophobia — where Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) can convene hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims— this has been overlooked. In 2010, the Triangle Center also found, the largest single source of initial information on planned terrorist attacks by Muslims in the United States was the Muslim American community.

Rauf uses these two paragraphs to attack the anemic Peter King hearings on Muslim radicalization in this country, and to assure readers that Americans should not associate terrorism with Islam. And what “non-Muslims” have been involved in terrorist plots or committed or attempted terrorist acts? Catholics? Atheists? Scientologists? Druids? Rauf does not say.

If you wish to read through a densely-packed, 64-page “study” of how Muslims are helping to prevent terrorism, “Anti-Terror Lessons of Muslim American Communities,” written by two sociologists and a Muslim divinity professor (and partly underwritten by the Department of Justice), go here. It was written under the aegis of the Triangle Center. An excerpt from its Executive Summary clearly reveals that if any effective anti-terrorist programs are ever adopted, it must be on Muslim terms, not on objective ones. Anything else would be condemned as “profiling,” and unfairly discriminatory.

Increased Anti-Muslim Bias. Since 9/11, there has been increased tension among Muslim-Americans about their acceptance in mainstream American society. Muslim-Americans perceive a stronger anti-Muslim bias from both their day-to-day interactions and the media, a bias that is confirmed in public opinion polling. While Muslim-Americans understand and support the need for enhanced security and counterterrorism initiatives, they believe that some of these efforts are discriminatory, and they are angered that innocent Muslim-Americans bear the brunt of the impact of these policies.

Muslim Americans “perceive” an anti-Muslim bias (a.k.a., “Islamophobia”); ergo it is. “Cogito ergo sum”? Has not René Descartes’s proposition, adopted by the Left, statist politicians, and humanitarians, done enough damage to the West? But it is not surprising that Muslims would adopt it to further that destruction in the name of establishing a caliphate.

As a side note, political correctness decrees that when anyone dares criticize Islam or upbraid Muslims for being mindless conformists to an irrational creed, he is displaying signs of “Islamophobia.” But when Muslims go on a binge of murder and destruction at the drop of a Koran, it is never called “Lifephobia,” or “Westernphobia” or “Americaphobia,” or “Toleranophobia,” even though Islam inculcates an unreasoning fear in all things un-Islam. Islam requires and nurtures institutionalized paranoia.

The Triangle Center, however, is a left-wing non-profit operating out of Duke University and the University of North Carolina. It has close links with the equally left-wing Center for American Progress Action Fund and the National Security Network, both organizations dedicated to “progressive” policies. So, the Triangle Center is hardly an authoritative source for “facts.” It is not surprising that Rauf would turn to it for “authority,” given the Left’s alliance with Islam, united by a hatred for freedom and a desire to see it perish in the name of “progress.”

At the end, Rauf challenges the “myth” that Muslims wish to bring Sharia law to America. Here he is at his most bald-faced taqiyya, and has the insolence of bringing the Constitution and John Adams into his argument. The average, inconspicuous Muslim might not want to bring Sharia to the U.S. But, then again, he will not oppose it if his more activist brethren manage to achieve that goal, regardless of whether it is mandating foot baths or prayer rooms on private or public property or getting local judges to admit Sharia as a legitimate arbitration venue. Islam requires that Muslims submit to the diktats of the Koran. This includes obeying commands deemed, in Western, secular, non-religious law, criminal in intent and commission.

Ibrahim (born Doug) Hooper, National Communications Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said it all, in direct contradiction to Rauf’s assertion:

"I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future."

Thank you, Rauf, but I will take Hooper’s word over yours.

Finally, Rauf stoops to introducing two irrelevancies, a mention of John Adams, and the image of Mohammad at the Supreme Court building in a frieze of seventeen other lawgivers above the justices’ bench.

In his 1776 publication “Thoughts on Government,” John Adams praised Muhammad as a “sober inquirer after truth.” And the Supreme Court building contains a likeness of the prophet, whose vision of justice is cited as an important precedent to the U.S. Constitution.

CAIR objected to the imagined likeness of Mohammad in the Supreme Court building. Rauf does not remind us of that. Others do.

In 1997, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, protested the Supreme Court's Muhammad sculpture, saying, according to its annual report for that year, "While appreciating the fact that Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) was included in the court's pantheon of 18 prominent lawgivers of history, CAIR noted that Islam discouraged its followers from portraying any prophet in paintings, sculptures or other artistic representations."

CAIR also said it was concerned that Muhammad "was shown with the Quran, Islam's Holy Book, in one hand and a sword in the other, reinforcing long-held stereotypes of Muslims as intolerant conquerors."

If it is a ‘stereotype,” then Muslims worldwide are not doing much to correct or combat it.

Rauf does not quote Adams. Here is what Adams wrote, in a brief essay to others about what kind of governments the new states should form “to best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular and America in general”:

"All sober inquirers after truth, ancient and modern, pagan and Christian, have declared that the happiness of man, as well as his dignity, consists in virtue. Confucius, Zoroaster, Socrates, Mahomet, not to mention authorities really sacred, have agreed in this."*

It is not likely that Adams had then as comprehensive a knowledge of Islam and Mohammad other than what he might have gleaned from other, contemporary but inadequate sources, at least not the depth of understanding we have today about the true nature of Islam. Otherwise he would not have included, what he realized was a conquest-thirsty barbarian, in a roster of “inquirers after truth,” a creature who sanctioned taqiyya, or lying or deceiving those he wished to conquer. And undoubtedly Adams revised his appraisal of Mohammad when he served as ambassador to France and during his administration, when he had to deal with the Barbary pirates. His son and also president, John Quincy Adams, entertained no illusions about the Muslim faith. Rauf writes;

In Islam, sharia is the divine ideal of justice and compassion, similar to the concept of natural law in the Western tradition. Though radicals exist on the fringes of Islam, as in every religion, most Muslim jurists agree on the principal objectives of sharia: the protection and promotion of life, religion, intellect, property, family and dignity. None of this includes turning the United States into a caliphate. For centuries, most Islamic scholars around the world have agreed that Muslims must follow the laws of the land in which they live.

Oh, yes, the scholars encourage following the laws of the lands in which Muslims settle – until those laws can be replaced with Sharia. And “natural law in the Western tradition” has nothing to do with justice and compassion, and “natural law” itself would be abrogated by Sharia, as well. If “natural law” concerns itself with man’s nature as a being of volitional consciousness responsible for his own life and value choices, Sharia is not the religious ideology that would encourage either of those attributes.

Rauf writes:

Not only do American Muslims have no scriptural, historical or political grounds to oppose the U.S. Constitution, but the U.S. Constitution is in line with the objectives and ideals of sharia. Muslims already practice sharia in the United States when they worship freely and follow U.S. laws.

The U.S. Constitution was written to limit the power of the federal government, to preserve the individual’s right to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness from the wishes of politicians and majorities. Sharia law is an all-encompassing, totalitarian system that governs the minds and actions of the individual, from his diet to his relationships with others to his purpose and primary duty in life, which is to advance Islam regardless of the wishes of those who do not want to be Muslim or who abhor Islam. Sharia is absolutely antithetical to the Constitution on two levels: the conceptual and the perceptual.

For a detailed but by no means exhaustive discussion of the brutal and inimical meaning of Sharia law, see James Arlandson’s “Ten top reasons why Sharia is bad for all societies” from 2005 on American Thinker. It is just one of dozens of critical examinations of the Islamic code. Or, listen to this marvelous word cloud on Islam, “Three Things About Islam You Didn’t Know.” I call it “A Brief Lesson on Islam for Those Who Do Not Wish to Become Dhimmis.”

And that was Imam Feisal Rauf’s April Fools’ Day prank, played on a national audience.

*”Thoughts on Government” in The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams. Ed. by C. Bradley Thompson. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2000. pp. 288-289.


Anonymous said...

Another excellent piece Ed. You are one of the few Objectivists who gets the evil of Islam and the threat it represents. Between Tracinski's "spreading paradise" to the Middle East and the ARI's constant use of the term "Totalitarian Islam", as if there were any other, Objectivists aren't producing anything of merit on the subject of Islam and its war against the West.

Off topic, are you going to write a review of the 'AS' movie? As a writer, and a damn good one, I would love to know your opinion of it. For the record, I think that you, as an accomplished Objectivist author, should have been chosen or at least approached to write the screenplay. That you weren't shows the idiocy and foolishness of John Aglialoro. You have proven that you are a master of plot construction, characterization, and the dramatization of thematic material. And you are an Objectivist. Why you were not even considered for the job is a disgrace.


Sajid Anjum said...

I am disappointed in this blog post--it is mostly a hit job on Muslims and the Imam Rauf article with little attempt to separate Muslims from Islam and Islam as it is in scripture and Islam as it is practiced.

Muslims who have adopted the secular principles of the American constitution and relegated their religion to their private lives are no longer foreigners in any sense of the word. By your interpretation of foreigner, any religious person, be he Christian, Jewish or Hindu would be a foreigner since many of these religions contain elements that are at odds with the spirit of the constitution.

"Nor is this relevant. The issue is the ideology of Islam, not its racial or ethnic “diversity” or representation. It is Islam the “benign” ideology that Rauf is shilling for, not the make-up of its following. "

This is a false statement. The article was titled "five myths about MUSLIMS" and the entire article was mainly about defending how Muslims act and think rather than Islamic scripture.

"What? Where’s the Muslim Dagny Taggart? Not a chance. "

Not a chance? How about you google the Iranian tech billionaire who founded the 10 million dollar X prize for the first PRIVATE endeavor to go to space. Her name? Anousheh Ansari.

If I'm not mistaken the current Miss USA is also Arab American. If thats not a symbol of integrating with American values I dont know what is.

"And what “non-Muslims” have been involved in terrorist plots or committed or attempted terrorist acts? Catholics? Atheists? Scientologists? Druids? Rauf does not say."

Thats because you can google it in two minutes right here:

You also present the threat of Sharia as if very Muslim in the USA would at his heart like a state dominated by Sharia law. Well...states like Turkey and Kazakhstan have both declared themselves to be wholly secular with sharia only applying to family matters. Most other Muslim states balance secular law political law with some elements of sharia. It is only in some Arab states that a strict interpretation of sharia is applied. Less than 20% of Muslims in America are Arab American.

What you have done is use Imam Rauf's article about American MUSLIMS as an excuse to give your own opinion about Islamic ideology and scripture and the reader is left to assume that Muslims in America follow that Islamic scripture to a fault despite all the evidence given my Imam Rauf and any other facts to the contrary.

I think this is an incredibly shoddy and needless divisive piece.

I agree with many of your points about the dangers of Islamic theology and I do think that political Islam and the way it is practiced in many Arab countries must be exposed for exactly what it is. However, context is really important. Objectivism is about understanding people as they are. You seem bent upon interpreting people as if they are only products of a certain ideology.

Edward Cline said...

Drew: Thanks for the compliments. It is a disappointment that ARI and other Objectivists don’t see Islam for what it is. Calling Islam “totalitarian” is as redundant as calling Nazism or Communism “totalitarian.” Or a blond, a “blonde blond.” Islam is what it is, totalitarian from head to toe.

About the Atlas movie: I’m sure that Aglialoro doesn’t know I exist. So I can’t blame him for not thinking of me to write the script. (I have no screenplays in my publishing credits anyway, although I think that is irrelevant.) About the movie itself: I can’t decide whether its awfulness is a result of the producer and director’s ignorance of the novel’s plot and philosophy, or of a conscious, deliberate act of dilution of the same. I have not seen the movie, only the lengthy trailers. I do not plan to see it, except when I choose to see it (probably when it’s released on DVD). But I can judge a movie’s worth by what its promoters choose to exhibit as its best, and what I saw was offensive. The novel is too important to me as a literary and esthetic value – as well as a cultural value – and by my own standards, I cannot tolerate the bowdlerization or tampering of such a value by amateurs, regardless of their ignorance or intentions.

It is irrelevant to me that these people argue that they “had to” condense the story, omit vital and crucial scenes and characterizations, and so on. The only person who could be excused for doing that is Rand. She did that for the 1949 “The Fountainhead” (and she was never happy about it, either, but it was her own intellectual property). Were she alive to see what was done in “Atlas,” she’d have a stroke caused by her outrage. I’m not willing to give Aglialoro or Kaslow, the other producer, a free pass simply because it’s alleged that the movie is the best that can be possible in the context of this culture. I’m not a forgiving man when my values are so twisted or denigrated. You must wonder why the producers and directors wished to film “Atlas,” but created such a bastardized thing.

The only people I’m willing to forgive are the thousands of people who did respond positively to it; to the extent of their knowledge of philosophy, politics, and esthetics, they are right to have so responded. But, as I said, I won’t give a free pass to those who claim to know better; they either don’t know any better, in which case they’re frauds, or they want to like it and promote it, in which case they’re repressors and have demonstrated an onset of corruption. But wishing won’t make it so, wishing a thing is good when it isn’t, is futile and self-defeating, and I won’t help them pretend the movie is other than what it is, a disaster.

People keep telling me that I can’t judge a movie from the previews or trailers. Excuse me, but I can, as I mentioned above. And when I do see “Atlas” – and in my own good time, thank you very much – they may regret what else I have to say about it.

Neil Parille said...


As for bowlderizing Atlas Shrugged, what is your opinion of the bowlderizing of Rand's papers and other material by the Estate,e.g., Harriman's Journals and Mayhew's Q&A?

jayeldee said...

Trenchant comments re the 'AS' flick, Ed. I only know what I saw in the way of a review, I think it was from TOS. The reviewer generally "approves"--but his conclusions positively reeked of the sort of "repression" and nascent "corruption" to which you allude, I thought--based on the information he actually provided about the film itself. Wishing won't make it so, oh no.

Anonymous said...

Jayeldee: The more honest Objectivists are coming out with spot-on appraisals of the movie. Greg Salmieri on the HBL for one shot the whole movie down and got Harry B. to acknowledge the movie's numerous faults and failings. As for TOS, I no longer read it chiefly for the reason you cite, and because its editor isn't particularly objective. And other Objectivists who at first condoned the movie are on Facebook back-pedalling. Ari Armstrong, for one, wrote a review on his site, pointing out what he didn't like, but generally saying that he liked the movie. Now he's saying that it was awful. Go figure.


Anonymous said...

>As for TOS, I no longer read it chiefly for the reason you cite, and because its editor isn't particularly objective.

You mean that its editor is sufficiently objective to recognize that even an Islamist is entitled to due process of the law if that Islamist is an American citizen, whereas you would just see the f#$%@# burn.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: If he's an Islamist, then he's a "warrior" or "soldier" and his goal is to further the Islamic conquest of this country. Although he's getting lots of help from our judiciary. Wake up, and don't be so snarky. You've been declared war on.


prashant said...

Dear Ed,

About the AS movie: I agree that you can absolutely judge a movie from its preview/trailers. I lost all excitement for the movie when I saw the scene in the trailer where Dagny Taggart decides to name the Rio-Norte line "The John Galt" line. I wonder whether its just plain callousness and ignorance that caused such a wrong reproduction of the original novel or intentional and deliberate destruction of its integrity.

Another off-topic matter: Are you planning to consider a companion for your other novels. Also are you planning to write any further novels. I would love to read more of Fury, Skeen and Chess.


Anonymous said...

Prashant: I plan to write a "reviewa" of the Atlas movie once I have other writing obligations met. For the time being, aside from grave failings and shortcomings in the movie, I'll just say it's a polemical movie, and most (non-Objectivist) audiences are responding to it in that context.

I have been taking notes for a third (and last) Skeen novel ever since finishing Sparrowawk in 2004. It will end with the stock market crash of 1929. When I will knuckle down and actually work on it, I can't at the moment say. Perfect Crime Books has been publishing my Chess Hanrahan novels. The last in the series, "Honors Due," will be out officially June 1st. I finished it in 1985. Quite coincidetally, re the Atlas movie, Chess investigates why a noted historian is credited with a lousy film farce about Galileo. Ed