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OBL and Islam: Support eroding?
Posted by: McQ on Friday, June 30, 2006

Apparently we have a new tape from Osama bin Laden and apparently he defends Zarqawi's attacks on Iraqis. As usual, its an audio tape (which to this point hasn't been confirmed as him):
Osama bin Laden defended attacks by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi against civilians in Iraq, purportedly saying in a taped Web message Friday that the slain al-Qaida in Iraq leader was acting under orders to kill anyone who backs American forces.

[...]

In the tape, bin Laden addressed "those who accuse Abu Musab of killing certain sectors of the Iraqi people," referring to the campaign of suicide bombings by al-Zarqawi's followers targeting Shiites. Al-Zarqawi was killed in a June 7 air strike northeast of Baghdad by U.S. warplanes.

"Abu Musab had clear instructions to focus his fight on the occupiers, particularly the Americans and to leave aside anyone who remains neutral," bin Laden said.

"But for those who refused (neutrality) and stood to fight on the side of the crusaders against the Muslims, then he should kill them whoever they are, regardless of their sect or tribe. For supporting infidels against Muslims is a major sin," he said.
Zarqawi's death has been a severe blow to al Qaeda and information found on the site of the bombing which killed him has helped coalition forces roll up more of the al Qaeda hierarchy within Iraq.

But while bin Laden is extolling Zarqawi and claiming him to be right about killing Iraqis through suicide bombings, a major Islamic cleric is claiming suicide bombers killing Muslims for ideological or political reasons will not get the the promised 72 virgins, but instead are bound for Islamic hell (that's where the virgins are all male ... just kidding):
On Wednesday, top Islamic clerics at the Supreme Council of Al-Azhar University in Egypt, perhaps the most important in the Islamic world, said that the Islamic rule (Shaaria) forbids suicide, the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported.

The clerics determined that a connection was mistakenly made between suicide and a "sacrifice to defend religion and the homeland". The clerics stressed that the faith of those who commit suicide is no less than hell.

"Those who commit suicide bombings in the name of religion are not Muslims but rather people who sold their soul to the devil," Islamic clerics ruled. "They didn't understand the principle of the religion according to which there is no killing allowed, except by law."
The cleric mentioned is Dr. Mohammad Rafat Othman, a member of the Jurisprudence Research Committee of the Islamic Research Academy, Al-Azhar. He further states:
"Many don't fully understand the Islamic commandments in regards to jihad. Someone who blows himself up in the middle of a crowd is a sinner who commits several crimes, first and foremost is suicide. It is well-known that religion has a sweeping prohibition on suicide or killing of others. Taking one soul is one of the worst sins one can do, commanded specifically by God."

Dr. Othman continued: "The second crime that a man who commits suicide carries out is the killings of others, while his motives are political and not religious. There is this suicide bomber who kills himself against his ruler and at the same time kills many innocent people – that is a sin. Not to mention public and personal property damage."
So Othman is differentiating between what he calls "political" motives and religious motives. Or as he says, ""There is a difference between jihad and terror, between sacrificing yourself and suicide."

For would-be terrorists out there that means:
"Those who commit a suicide bombing because of political motives turn the suicide into a religious ideology using it to sacrifice souls, not of martyrs but of those who commit suicide because God promised them torment on judgment day.

"The martyr, according to Islamic rule, is a man who fights the enemy and sacrifice his life while defending his religion, his homeland, his wives' respect, and protecting his land. This is set in Islamic laws, and only if he dies this way, he is a martyr."
As mentioned, in the face of this we have bin Laden defending doing precisely what Othman condemns:
"But for those who refused (neutrality) and stood to fight on the side of the crusaders against the Muslims, then he should kill them whoever they are, regardless of their sect or tribe. For supporting infidels against Muslims is a major sin," he said.
But Othman and the Supreme Council of Al-Azhar University obviously disagree. According to them, al Qaeda's strategy of killing Iraqis, as supported by OBL, is a sure way to Islamic hell. It is anti-Islam. More importantly, here you have a major and respected Islamic organization stating that quite clearly and unequivocally. This is something the West has been demanding for years. This is also something which should be trumpeted far and wide by Iraqi and coalition propaganda organs.

This could be a signal that the Islamic world is finally getting a bit weary of fundamentalists and fanatics trying to high jack mainstream Islam and are beginning to fight back. If so, this could be an extremely important announcement.

But before we get too pleased with all of this, Othman excuses those who are engaged in fighting and at war with "the enemy":
"Those who commit a suicide bombing because of political motives turn the suicide into a religious ideology using it to sacrifice souls, not of martyrs but of those who commit suicide because God promised them torment on judgment day.

"The martyr, according to Islamic rule, is a man who fights the enemy and sacrifice his life while defending his religion, his homeland, his wives' respect, and protecting his land. This is set in Islamic laws, and only if he dies this way, he is a martyr."
That would appear to include Palestinians and the Iraqi insurgency if they're attacking the Israelis and the coalition's forces.

But al Qaeda?

Most of their attacks against Iraqis consign them to Islamic hell, which, quite frankly, is just too good for them. One has to wonder what this will do to an organization already suffering recruiting problems?
 
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McQ,
"...a major Islamic cleric is claiming suicide bombers killing Muslims for ideological or political reasons will not get..."
It’s not clear from the article if it’s still OK to kill infidels or not.

Maybe these Islamic "Scholars" can clear that up for me in a future edict.
-Steve

 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
It is if he does it "while defending his religion, his homeland, his wives’ respect, and protecting his land."

I would assume that would mean the "infidels" who are engaged in attacking each, where ever they may be.

If you mean through attacks like that in 9/11, yeah, I wouldn’t mind clarification on that either.

But hey, this is a start (espeically coming out of Egypt).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
B.S. There is no progressive movement here. Even if sucide bombings targeting non-muslim citicens is a sin, what about non-muslim security personel? What about conquest of territory following rules of war so that you can impose islamic rule across the globe? What about imposing Islamic law by "peaceful" means such as pushing out a non-muslim majority in a democratic state demographically?

If one subscribes to any of these, you are a fascist extremist just as evil as Osama bin Laden, just not as brash. Islamic law is evil and fascist. Period. It belongs nowhere in the 21st century.
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: http://moorejack.ytmnd.com/
This could be a signal that the Islamic world is finally getting a bit weary of fundamentalists and fanatics trying to high jack mainstream Islam and are beginning to fight back. If so, this could be an extremely important announcement.
Oh, by the way, the end of the article says this:
However, Israelis should not be happy about this strict ruling. Dr. Ottman was quick to hint that suicide against Israeli targets is allowed.
"Those using suicide bombing against the enemy, the land robbers, and the occupier of nations, are martyrs," he concluded.
There goes that theory, eh McQ?
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: http://moorejack.ytmnd.com/
Yeah, Jimmy and at the end of my post I say:
That would appear to include Palestinians and the Iraqi insurgency if they’re attacking the Israelis and the coalition’s forces.
So that was never a theory.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
That bit about the virgins reminds me of a question I had: what is a female suicide bomber entitled to in the afterlife (since there have been attempts by women)?
 
Written By: b-psycho
URL: http://www.psychopolitik.com
what is a female suicide bomber entitled to in the afterlife
72 ironing boards? A Sears washer & dryer combo? The right to show her ankles off in Paradise? An air-conditioned Buqua.....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
The satisfaction of a job well done and the thanks of her family for the post-blast check?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Jimmy, from the depths of my heart please believe that I am really the last person in the world who would hurl ad hominems and useless insults at people. However, your posts here, combined with your bizarre website and e-mail address (what exactly is a poon hound?) seriously tempt me to such excesses.

Such blanket statements as yours have no place in reasoned debate and are clearly meant to be offensive and inflammatory. You absolutely have the right to say such things. Others absolutely have just as much right to think very poorly of you for doing so.

Rather than bringing down Islam by your statments, you merely bring down yourself.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
Joe, Psycho, & McQ, Check this out, here is your answer about the virgins.

Omar, which Mudhab would you argue is compatable to a modern, enlightened society? Which ecumenical denomination of Islam does not treat adultery, apostasy or homosexuality as a crime punishable by beatings or death? Which Ayatolla claims that Jews should have equal rights to Muslims?

The catholic church, the Jewish nation, and even hindus have acknowledged the archaine laws that were part of their religion in the past, and have changed them. Why is it so difficult for Muslims to say: "Every Islamic school of jurisprudence is backward and needs to be reformed." You don’t see Jews stoning adulterers to death in the streets of Tel Aviv, do you?
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: http://islamrulez.ytmnd.com/
Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani is one prominent anti-fundamentalist that I can think of. As head of the As-Sunnah Foundation, he is constantly in the public eye fighting extremism (has been a guest at the White House of both our current President and President Clinton).

Shaykh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi is another great example. As Director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic community and a professor of Islamic law, he has been as much in the public eye as Shaykh Kabbani. Shaykh Palazzi is strongly, publicly pro-Israel and anti-fundamentalist.

And what about former Indonesian President, Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid, who also happens to be head of Nadhlatul Ulama which is the world’s largest Muslim organization. If you haven’t heard him speak out prominently about moving toward a more moderate anti-fundamentalist Islam, then you haven’t been paying as much attention to the Islamic world as you may think.

Should you wish further examples of moderate and/or liberal Muslim religious leaders and/or scholars, please feel free to ask. I will happily oblige.

Also, orthodox Jewish law (both Torah, Talmud, and later the much more modern Shulchan Aruch) is quite harsh in its judgements of the behaviors you list above. However, the actual judgements pronounced were generally much more lenient. In fact, a Sanhedrin (or in more modern terms a Beit Din) which put someone to death once every 70 generations was considered bloodthirsty. So clearly the written laws, though draconian sounding, were interpreted very differenlty in real life. Islamic courts are much the same and are not always composed of fire-breathing fundamentalists you know. More often than not, they are very moderate and fairly lenient in their pronouncements.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
Oh quick addition to the above. Sufism is a much more liberal approach to Islam than classical Sunnism or even Shiism. Sufis are also not as organized (and perhaps one could say not as orthodox) as Sunni and Shia Muslims, thus individual imams have much more authority to interpret matters of law and some of the Sufi imams that I have known are quite liberal in their views.

Also, as regards changes to Christian (specifically Catholic canon law) and Jewish halachic law have not been as radical as you seem to believe. Orthodox Jews still hold very hard to the original 613 mitvot given in the Torah. That has not changed one bit since Moshe on Mt. Sinai. Catholic canon law also has changed little over the years (althogh admittedly a major realignment of the theology and scriptural support behind it occured after Vatican II). The major changes to Catholicism have been more about daily practice (such as the virtual abandonment of the tridentine mass) and underlying attitudes (such as the incredible swing toward liberalism and socialism which happened [along with the rest of the world] in the late 19th and early 20th centuries). And devout Hindus are just as devoted to the idea of the caste system as they were a thousand years ago. Examine some of the serious debates occuring in India today regarding acceptance of lower castes into professional schools (such as medical schools) if you doubt this.

Sorry this was meant to be a quick addition. Ran a little long.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
I’m not asking you about political organizations or individuals. I’m asking about traditional schools of jurispudence or ecclesiastes, such as Al-Malikis, Shafi’s, Shiites, Salafis, ect...(comprable to Roman catholics, presbeterians, mormons, or orthodox, hassidic, haredi jews ect...) I would be interested in what the official position of those organizations are concerning Islamic laws that are advocated by the Sharia or Koran, but are obviously archaine.

Do they reject God when He said, "The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes.(24:2)" 1400 years ago? Would they consider Mohammad’s massacre of the kyber or quraizya jews immoral or unjust?

You metion the mystical Sufis, which are certainly more moderate than other groups, do they act to reject the political implications of a fundamentalist interpretation of the Koran where appropriate? Today, the Mormons flat-out reject Joseph Smith’s call for polygamy. Are there any modern muslim sects that do the same?
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: http://muslimslikecorn.ytmnd.com/
Jimmy, I will respond to your comments in reverse order.

Sufis, as a rule, are not welcome amongst fundamentalist Sunni groups. As a rule Shia groups also reject them (despite the fact the Shia are, themselves, considered apostates/heretics by Salafi Sunnis). Sufis have almost always been a nation apart, so to speak. They have their own interpretation of Quaran (although a very few have been prominent scholars of traditional Islam and have actually been accepted as such), Hadith, etc. and their own methods of religious observance. Their shaykhs exercise much more authority at a local level than do shakyhs and/or imams or other sects because they have very little in the way of organizing or controlling bodies. I have yet to recognize any prominent jihadist as a Sufi. Almost all have been Salafi Sunnis or Shiites.

Sufis, as a rule, are much more concerned with religious observance and living a spiritual life than they are with politics. Most Sufi communities (and that may be a bit of a broad generalization, but I haven’t spent time with more than half a dozen or so groups, not really enough to be making generalizations) shun involvement in such worldly things as politics. In that respect, they remind me vaguely of Chassidic Jews.

No Muslim rejects the Quaran. However, as I pointed out in my earlier post, it is a matter of interpretation of laws, according to the schools of jurisprudence and, to a certain extent, the local legal authority (usually an imam). Their is a great deal of interpretation and flexibility regarding Sharia laws. This is part of the reason why there are so many schools of jurisprudence.

None of the various schools of fiqh have an official governing body that is accepted worldwide. Many organizations make the claim to be the official ruling body (Al-Azhar university is one), but there is no one body that 1.3 billion Muslims accept. As you are probably aware already, different schools of fiqh allow more or less strict observance of Sharia laws. Hanafi, for example is considered quite moderate, whereas Hanbali is considered extremely strict. Salafis (virtually all fundamentalist jihadis such as OBL, etc.) essentially reject all other schools of Islamic jurisprudence and use personal interpretation to decide all matters of Sharia. Salafis are, unfortunately, the ones we most see on tv today and many people are forming the quite misguided idea that they represent mainstream Islam. Would you claim that Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson represent mainstream Christianity or that Meir Kahane represents mainstream Judaism?

Islam is striving towards moderation. Will it be a short road? Absolutely not. It is going to take generations to accomplish, but the first steps have already been taken. The current rise of Salafism is a symptom. The Salafis are angry that most Muslims are abandoning the old fundamentalist views and embracing orthodox, but modern practices and attitudes. I suspect that within a century or so Islam will have become like Judaism with three of four distince sects all holding the same beliefs but varying in interpretation and the strictness of daily practice. If you don’t believe me, compare OBL and his filthy cohorts to Asma Hasan (author, and self-styled Muslim feminist cowgirl).
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
Islam is striving towards moderation. Will it be a short road? Absolutely not.
I think we are on the same page. I’m glad that a guy named Omar (if that is your real name =P) recognizes that there is a problem theologically within Islam generally, especially amongst its traditional institutions.

Too many muslims seem to think that the example of Mohammad, and 7th century Islam are perfect and completely applicable to the modern world; Only a "tiny minority of extremists" distort the true Islam for political purposes unrelated to religion. So many other religions with similar theological problems have changed over time, especially when societies adopt fundamental universal values, such as the right to life, liberty and the persuit of happiness for the individual. I hope Islam will too; frankly, I like the architecture.
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: http://muslimslikecorn.ytmnd.com/
Lol Jimmy. Yes, I like the architecture too. No, my real name isn’t Omar (it was a nickname given to me by a professor who sat on my committee in grad school), but it gets across the gist of who I am. I certainly am glad that you recognize that Islam is not in and of itself an evil or barbaric religion. It contains a great deal of wisdom and an inherent respect for the right to life (exemplified by Islam’s long-standing opposition to abortion). Does Islam need some help in our time? No doubt, but the work is being done, even if it isn’t easy to see. I look forward to the day when there will be clearly separate, but mutually respectful sects of Islam (to borrow from Judaism, let’s call them orthodox, traditional (Masorti), and reform). And let’s all hope that Salafism isn’t one of them.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://

 
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