Islam & Defunding the UN
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
From March 31, 2007
The reason we face the problem of radical Islam today is that, in its entire
history, Islam has seen no Renaissance, no Reformation, no Period of
Enlightenment. These titanic events in Western history led to the development of
secular values that came out of, but were separate from, the Judeo-Christian
religion that birthed them. And these events gradually took religion from the
sphere of a government imposition and moved it into the realm of the individual
and local community.
The Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment were each developed
through the process of critical thought - the questioning and challenging of
religious ideals and dogma. It was this critical thought that allowed the West
to seperate the wheat -- the belief in God and universal concepts of moral
behavior -- from the chaff of religion – dogma that restricted development in
all aspects of society: political, artistic, scientific, philosophical. Thus,
today do our universities turn out the finest scientists, the finest writers,
the finest mathematicians and astronomers, while the universities in Saudi
Arabia primarily turn out Wahhabi clerics. And it is why the West leads the
world in science and the arts while the morals police in Saudi Arabia hunt down
sorcerers and the Saudi courts apply
Wahhabi Sharia law to order the
flogging of victims of gang rape.
There are seeds from which a Muslim Enlightenment could yet occur. They would
require criticism and debate to take root. Yet these seeds are under mortal
threat today from the growth of Wahhabi / Salafi Islam.
The seeds which would allow for an Enlightenment lie in Islam's earliest
history. Year 1 to Muslims begins with Hijra, Mohammed’s emigration to Medina in
622 A.D. When Mohammed died, Islam was still largely confined to Arabia. It is
important to note that, before Mohammed died, he left his followers with a
concept most clearly stated in a hadith - an authenticated saying of Mohammed.
That hadith provides that the ummah – the community of Muslims – can “never
agree on an error.” Complimenting this in the Koran, it says “People, you order
what is right, forbid what is wrong, and you believe in God.” (3:110)
These concepts, taken together, allow for the evolution of Islam. And in another
critical development following Mohammed’s death, as Islam progressed, there came
the concept of ijtihad (see
here). Ijtihad is the practice of reasoning
from the texts, the hadiths, the sunna and the works of scholars to determine
what Islam should mean, what it should approve and disapprove. If there will
ever be a moderation of Islam, it will come from those concepts of the hadith
and the Koran mentioned above, and from the practice of ijtihad.
The remainder of Islam's history tells us why these seeds of an Enlightenment
never took root. Following Mohammed’s death, Islam spread at a pace never before
or since duplicated. Its rapid expansion – by the sword – continued almost
unchecked for the next several hundred years. Actually, in this regard, for any
Muslim to criticize the West as imperialistic is irony of the highest order. The
West are pikers compared to the Islamic caliphates. Within 130 years following
the Hijra, Arabic Muslims had conquered the Middle East, Turkey, all of North
Africa, and the better part of Spain, and they were fighting battles inside
Through about 1100 A.D., Islamic society, led by the Arabs, far outshone the
West in learning and technology. It was a far more enlightened society than what
was to be found in Europe at the time. Indeed, at the turn of the first
millenium, the premier city in the world was not London, Paris or Rome, but
Baghdad. But, along with this vast expansion powered by the belief in Islamic
destiny came the desire to control the precise nature of Islam by the Caliphs.
At the end of the tenth century, the “gates of ijtihad” were ordered closed by
the Caliphs and the Muslim philosophers cooperated. The concept of free
reasoning fell from grace in Islam. This closing of the gates of ijtihad is
credited by many scholars as the cause of the stagnation of Islam in succeeding
But there was much worse on the horizon. In the late 12th century came invasion
by the Turks, followed closely by Ghengis Khan and the Mongol horde in the
thirteenth century. For the Arabs, this was a catastrophe of titanic
proportions. They were overrun, and it was the Turks, practitioners of Sufi
Islam, not the Arabs, who emerged as the leadership of Islam. And into this time
of turmoil was born Ibn Taymiya, the man whose philosophy and writings would be
the foundation for Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi Islam.
Taymiya started from the proposition that Islam was from God, and it was God’s
intent that Islam should spread to the four corners of the earth. In this light,
Taymiya saw the success of the Turk and Mongol conquers as a punishment from God
because Arab Muslims had allowed Islam to be corrupted. His answer was to return
to what he believed animated Islam at the time of Mohammed. He was puritanical
and a literalist. The Islam he envisioned was one of absolute tenets – dogmatic
and beyond questioning.
Fast forward to eighteenth century Arabia, where Ibn Wahhab was born.
Wahhab embraced the teachings of Taymiya
and built upon them, arguing that any deviation therefrom was heretical and that
the offender should be put to death. Wahhab promoted a triumphalist and
imperialistic religion that saw anyone not in its membership as an enemy to be
converted, conquered or killed. There has been little if any deviation from
Wahhab's original dogma through to the modern day. Indeed, for example, one
aspect of Wahhabi doctrine, taught in Saudi schools at least as recently as
2003, is that it is permissible to enslave “polytheists.” That comes from a
Saudi textbook. If you are a Christian, by the way, you are a polytheist.
Wahhabism is the soul of radical Islam. To go against any tenet of Wahhabi Islam
is to conduct impermissible innovation and thus, to be labeled takfir, an
unbeliever, – and subject to losing your head.
To continue with the chronology, Wahhab found his way to Najd, a backwater of
Arabia controlled by tribe of the Sauds. Wahhab partnered with the Sauds and
what followed, over the next two centuries, was an incredibly savage conquest of
the Arabian peninsula by the House of Saud. And in each place they conquered,
they imposed Wahhabi Islam.
Fast forward now to the 20th century. Two events of note occur. Turkey, home of
Sufi Islam and the caliphate presiding over the majority of the Islamic world,
came into World War I on the side of Germany and was ultimately defeated. Its
Middle Eastern empire was divided up among the European counties. Attaturk took
power in Turkey and divested Islam from politics, secularizing the country. This
was, in essence, the first step towards a revolution in the Islamic world – the
divorcing of religion from the nation state and limiting it to the private lives
of Turkish citizens. Unfortunately, as time has gone on, Wahhabism has infected
Turkey, and today we see the creep of Islamism into the state apparatus. Turkey
has withdrawn from the precipice of a revolution to moderate and modernize Islam
that its combination of secular government and classical Sufi Islam may have
The second event of note was the triumph of Wahhabi Islam with the conquest of
Arabia by the House of Saud. Indeed, even before the final conquest, Wahhabi
Islam had already influenced – or infected, if you like – many of the other
schools of Islam. Two prime examples are the Pakistani Deobandi school that
today is the basis for the Taliban, as well Islam in Egypt, from whence arose
the first truly modern radical Islamist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood.
But Wahhabi Islam only truly became an engine of conquest with the growth of the
oil industry and the influx of billions of petrodollars into Saudi Arabia.
Today, Saudi Arabia is
spending these billions to spread its brand
of Islam to the four corners of the world and to supplant the other schools of
Islam. Other than oil, Saudi Arabia’s main exports are Wahhabi clerics, Wahhabi
mosques, and Wahhabi schools to every corner of the world. Further, the
petrodollars are used to fund the Middle East studies program at most major
colleges in the Western World – whose teaching invariably cover, cover for, and
cover up Wahhabi Islam – and to fund Wahhabi organizations such as CAIR that
perform much the same function in Western society at large.
I do not know that Wahhabi Islam also influenced and radicalized Ayatollah
Khoemeni. But, given that he took Iranian Shia Islam out of its historically
nonpolitical role in Iran and thrust Shiaism, for the first time in history,
into the political realm with the creation of Iran’s theocracy, I would suspect
that it did. I would be absolutely amazed if some scholar did not eventually
catalogue such an influence.
To sum up, the whole of the Islamic world is endangered by the growth of Wahhabi
Islam. And Wahhabi Islam holds it dogma to be beyond question – upon pain of
censure or even death. If there is to be a moderation and modernization of Islam
– a Reformation and Period of Enlightenment if you will – it will not will arise
out of Wahhabi Islam without tremendous bloodshed.
Ultimately, in the world of ideas, it is only through questioning and critical
reasoning that advancements occur. To put an Islamic face on that, it is only
through the embrace of ijtihad and the concepts of Islam discussed earlier that
there is any chance that Islam will finally see a great historical change to
moderate and modernize from Wahhab’s vision of 7th century Islam into a form of
Islam that can coexist with the rest of the world in the 21st century. And
Western society has an obligation not to be coerced into silence, but to openly
criticize what we find dangerous and wrong in Islam. If our voice is cowed, how
can we expect the voice of would be moderates in the world of Islam to stand up
- and withstand the inevitable Wahhabi onslaught to their existence. The cost to
humanity and the world if Islam does not have its Reformation and Enlightenment
will almost assuredly be apocalyptic.
Which brings us to today, and the United Nations Human Rights Organization. I
have already posted that I believe the UN exists in an alternate Islamic
universe. It finds fault with illegal acts or human rights violations only in
here. But we have now reached the final
Friday, March 30, 2007, Islamic countries pushed through a resolution at the UN
Human Rights Council demanding a global prohibition on the public defamation of
religion. Lest there be any doubt about which religion they are concerned with,
the only religion mentioned in the resolution is Islam. As stated in the minutes
UN Human Rights Council meeting:
Council expresses deep concern at attempts to identify Islam with terrorism,
violence and human rights violations; notes with deep concern the
intensification of the campaign of defamation of religions, and the ethnic and
religious profiling of Muslim minorities, in the aftermath of the tragic events
of 11 September 2001; urges States to take resolute action to prohibit the
dissemination including through political institutions and organizations of
racist and xenophobic ideas and material aimed at any religion or its followers
that constitute incitement to racial and religious hatred, hostility or
violence; also urges States to provide adequate protection against acts of
hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of
religions, to take all possible measures to promote tolerance and respect for
all religions and their value systems and to complement legal systems with
intellectual and moral strategies to combat religious hatred and intolerance; .
The UN is
only doing the work of radical Wahhabi Islamists at this point. If there is ever
to be a peaceful coexistence with Muslims, the West cannot gag itself as CAIR
and the Islamists at UN would have us do. We can coexist with Muslims as long as
they are not trying to kill us and impose their religion by coercion or by
working fundamental changes to our Western secular values with ridiculous
charges of Islamaphobia. Unfortunately, that is not the reality. Thus, it is
their religion that needs to change. It needs to go through its Reformation, and
there needs to be a period of Enlightenment. The clearest way to stop this
transformation from ever occurring is to outlaw criticism of Islam. This would
be putting a nail into the coffin of Western civilization, in addition to
insuring the ultimate domination of the Wahhabi philosophy in Islam.
If this is what we can expect from UN as reformed, it needs to be defunded by
the U.S. In the Senate hearings for his confirmation as the new U.S. Ambassador
to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad has argued against defunding the UN but has also
stated that the UN faces a “mortal
threat" if it fails to reform. There are no reforms on the horizon.
It is time to allow the UN to subsist on Rials until it does.