Archive for military

Anti-Islam Courses Being Taught in the Military

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2012 by loonwatch

Gen. Martin Dempsey

Whodathunkit? Only the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the NYPD. So why not the US Military as well:

Military Halts Class Teaching Anti-Islam Material

(HuffingtonPost)

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has suspended a course for military officers that officials say contained inflammatory material about Islam.

Defense Department spokesman Capt. John Kirby said Wednesday that among problems with the course taught at Norfolk, Va., was a presentation that asserted the United States is at war with Islam. Kirby noted that officials across two American administrations have stressed that the U.S. is at war with terrorists who have a distorted view of the religion.

Kirby declined to detail what he said were other problems with the course, called “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism.”

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has ordered all service branches to review their training to ensure other courses don’t use anti-Islamic material.

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Rep. King’s Fourth Muslim-American Radicalization Hearing to Focus on Military

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2011 by loonwatch
Peter KingPeter King

The former IRA Terrorist supporter, Peter King is holding his fourth hearing on “Muslim-American Radicalization,” this time focusing on the “military.” Expect it to be an Islamophobiapalooza.

Rep. King’s fourth Muslim-American radicalization hearing to focus on military

By Jordy Yager

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is hoping his panel’s hearing on the radicalization of Muslim-Americans within the U.S. military will reveal how the armed services can better protect itself against homegrown attacks.

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) is holding a joint hearing on Wednesday, along with Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), as the next stage in his series of efforts to address the radicalization of American Muslims.  Pointing to the 2009 shootings at the Fort Hood military base in Texas and at a military recruiting station in Arkansas, which killed a total of 14 people and wounded more than two dozen, King said the issue of radicalization within military communities is one that is grossly under the radar.

“There is an attempt by Islamists to join the military and infiltrate the military, and it’s more of a threat than the average American is aware of right now,” said King in an interview with The Hill on Monday.

Lieberman said his committee has held 13 hearings over the past five years on the issue of violent Islamic extremism and, based on what he has learned, the military is an increasingly large target for attacks.

“Clearly, the threat of homegrown terrorism has increased dramatically, and clearly, members of the armed services are a high-value target,” Lieberman said in a statement.

The issue was brought to the front burner for King after it was raised by Paul Stockton, the assistant secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs. King said he feels the Obama administration is just as concerned with the issue as he is, and hopes to develop a working partnership to address some of the inadequacies that will come up at Wednesday’s hearing.

“I think more can be done,” he said. “But this is not going to be any attempt to bash the administration, necessarily. From my perspective it’s going to be a productive hearing and it’s not going to turn into a partisan fight.”

King gave several examples of issues that need more attention, such as whether the military needs to provide more security for recruiting centers and bases in the U.S. or whether local and state law enforcement should play a larger role in coordinating security with the military.

He said he also hopes to address the minutiae of radicalization on military bases. He used an example of how he has heard of at least one instance in which a copy of the radical Islamic magazine Inspire — which has been used as a recruiting tool for terrorist groups — was found in a barracks and allowed to remain. But Confederate flags are rightfully banned, he said.

“I’m using that as an example about whether or not we need to be more aggressive in facing up to the reality. It’s Islamic terrorism. It’s not just a nondescript, anonymous type of terrorism.”

King has held three hearings so far this year on the issue of radicalization of Muslim-Americans within the U.S. The first one drew the most scrutiny, as nearly 100 members of Congress asked him to cancel it or widen the breadth of the radicalized groups he was probing. King lauded the hearing as a success, saying that it brought attention to a taboo subject that is a serious and growing security concern.

The other two hearings focused on the terrorist group al-Shabbab’s influence within the U.S., and the radicalization of Muslim-Americans within U.S. prisons.

Carlos Bledsoe is serving life in prison for waging a shooting spree in 2009 at an Arkansas military recruiting center that killed Army Pvt. William Long.

Bledsoe’s father — who testified before King at a previous hearing, saying that his son was influenced by radicalized Muslim ideals — is planning to be at Wednesday’s hearing, where the slain soldier’s father, Daris Long, is slated to testify. King said each knows the other will be at the hearing and that Bledsoe is attending to show his support for Long.

Also expected to testify are Jim Stuteville, an Army senior adviser for counterintelligence operations and liaison to the FBI, and Lt. Col. Reid Sawyer, the director of Combating Terrorism Center at the West Point military academy.

King is planning to unveil a committee report on the issue at Wednesday’s hearing and another joint report with the Senate panel afterward.

He said his next hearing will likely be next year and focus on the use of certain mosques by al Qaeda and Iran in their efforts to radicalize people within the U.S.

Ten Years After 9/11 Attacks, Exploitation of “Patriot Day” Continues

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2011 by loonwatch

(Update I below)

Disclaimer:  I would like to point out that the views expressed below are mine alone and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official views of LoonWatch or any of its writers aside from myself (Danios).

Salon’s indefatigable Glenn Greenwald recently wrote (emphasis added):

Worship of the American military and all that it does — and a corresponding taboo on speaking ill of it except for tactical critiques (it would be better if they purchased this other weapon system or fought this war a bit differently) is the closest thing America has to a national religion.

If worship of the military is America’s national religion, then the U.S. soldier is this religion’s holy warrior.  Greenwald noted that the Navy Seals are “a member of the most sacred and revered religious order.”  Those who die in “the line of duty” are martyrs who must be remembered for all “they have done for this country.”  Any criticism against the rank-and-file holy warrior is considered blasphemous.

There can be no possible profession that is more highly praiseworthy to the American than soldier in the military.  Many U.S. airlines will let soldiers board the plane even before women with children and the disabled.  Being part of the war machine is more respectable than being a doctor, a social worker, a teacher for the disabled, or a volunteer at the local orphanage.  Saving people (what a physician does) can in no way, shape, or form be considered better than killing people (what a soldier does).

A person foolish enough to say that “a soldier kills people” will be beaten into submission and subservience by jingoist mantras such as “you should be thankful that you are able to express such views, because it is only due to the sacrifices of those in uniform–who protect your freedoms–that you are free to say what you want.”  This, even though no rational mind could possibly believe this: how does bombing, invading, and occupying Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, or Yemen “protect my freedoms?”  That is, unless one is naive enough to think that any of these Evil, Foreign Brown People were about to conquer the United States, topple its government, and take away my freedoms.

In any case, I have my own government to do that for me.  Far from “fighting for my freedoms,” the military-industrial complex and those in authority who wage these wars are responsible for clamping down on my civil liberties.  With the rise of the Orwellian-named Patriot Act and its like, there has been a sustained war waged not just against Al-Qaeda but against civil liberties, with dedicated assaults on the First and Fourth Amendments.

Worship of the military and the holy warrior runs so deep that even the most ardent critic of the war must never utter a single word against those who wage it.  Such a common sense thing to do is completely off-limits and beyond the scope of decency and propriety.  To do so would be to open oneself up to the criticisms of being “unpatriotic” and “disloyal.”  Criticism of the war must be couched in “patriotic language:” war critics must ceremoniously acknowledge their support for U.S. troops, arguing that I support the troops which is why I want to bring them home.  It is simply unacceptable to just clearly say: I don’t support the troops because they are shooting at, bombing, and killing people.  To do such a thing would be to commit the highest of sins in the American national religion.

The fact that even war critics would hush you up for saying something against America’s cherished holy warriors says something of how deeply ingrained militarism is in our society.  How can it be that opponents of America’s wars will criticize the war as unjust on the one hand but not be anything but absolutely reverent towards those who wage it?  The United States, after all, uses an all-volunteer military; by joining the military is not one making an active choice to take part in these unjust wars?  And certainly, one can choose not to fight, as many brave soldiers and ex-soldiers have done.

Noting with what absolute reverence Americans speak of their soldiers of war, one wonders how it is that they are simultaneously amazed at how unbelievably warlike those Foreign, Other People are for revering their own men of war.  We are taken aback by how “primitive” the North Koreans are when they mindlessly revere their soldiers, yet somehow mystified when we do the same with our troops.  The North Korean soldiers have certainly killed far fewer and waged far fewer wars than our own military.  But alas, those North Koreans are so primitive, whereas we are so advanced, civilized, and peaceful.

I don’t malign or vilify soldiers in the military (as I partially do accept the idea that “they are just doing their job”), but must we continue to speak of our holy warriors with such absolute reverence, awe, and worship?  Our mindless idolization of the military profession is what is to blame for so many of our impressionable youth choosing to join the military to kill people abroad instead of spending those years going to college to expand their minds.  Placing the military and its soldiers on a pedestal is the only way a society can convince its young boys to risk their lives to go to war for the country–something so illogical, so contrary to the biological drive to save oneself from harm or death, that absent the most compelling of reasons one can hardly find it worthwhile to do so.

Interestingly, even that religious and ethnic minority that is the target of America’s wars is itself affected by this national religion.  Muslim-Americans will often bend over backwards to point out that they too “proudly serve this country” by being a part of the military.  (Even the phrase “serve this country” can only mean one thing: soldiering.)  In order to be accepted as Full Citizens, Muslim-Americans must prove their dedication to America’s war machine.

And so, Muslim-Americans–many of them immigrants or children of immigrants–beg to be included in the same institution that wages endless wars in their ancestral homelands.  It is that same institution that is rife with racism and bigotry against Arabs and Muslims, yet so desperately do Muslim-Americans want to be included in it.

*  *  *  *  *

In this national religion, 9/11 is America’s Karbala.  The Battle of Karbala involved the slaughter of the Prophet Muhammad’s descendants by a tyrannical government–an event that is religiously commemorated each year by Shia Muslims, who will often make a religious pilgrimage (ziyarat) to the site of the battle or to the graves of the victims.  With vigor just short of this, Americans commemorate Patriot Day, the holy day of the American national religion.

Ground Zero, meanwhile, is the “hallowed ground”–a trip here is the ziyarat (religious pilgrimage) of the American religion.  The American flag becomes a symbol not to be disrespected, our nation’s holy book, waved high by people chanting “USA! USA! USA!”, which can only mean one thing: war!  The flag has become a raised symbol of war.

The military is our national religion, its soldiers are our holy warriors, the Navy Seals are our highest religious order, those soldiers who died in war are our martyrs, 9/11 was our Karbala, Patriot Day is our annual holy day, the flag is our holy book and symbol, Osama bin Laden is Lucifer, Terrorism is the greatest Evil, supporting the troops is our greatest religious obligation, and failure to do so is the greatest blasphemy and the highest of sins.

*  *  *  *  *

The problem I have with the cult-like remembrance of 9/11 is that it was the devotion to this day that was used to launch wars of vengeance that killed ten times as many people.  This date, 9/11, has been militarized.  It is a memory we are told that we must never forget lest we slacken in our resolve to wage war against the Forces of Evil, the Satan of our religion: radical Islam and Terrorism.  It is a memory that is invoked to remind the American people why they need to spend more of their taxpayer money to sustain their country’s illegal occupations and immoral wars.

Furthermore, the singling out of this day above all others (including days on which worse acts of violence were perpetrated by the United States), exudes the tribalistic mentality that infects people with strong feelings of national or religious identity–wherein only blood shed against one’s own national or religious group is remembered (and in fact, it is obsessed over), whereas that shed by one’s own national or religious group against others is ignored, denied, or justified.

Lastly, one cannot help but feel that 9/11 would hardly have been considered as important to the national religion had it not been Muslims who were implicated in the attack.  They attacked us.  The deaths of the victims of 9/11 are less relevant than the fact that they–those Foreign, Dark-Complexioned Moozlums–are the ones who caused these deaths.  The horrendous attacks of 9/11 have special significance due to the fact that the perpetrators were radical Muslims, an Existential Threat to our Safety and Freedoms.

The victims of 9/11 certainly ought to be remembered, as should all the victims of war and terrorism (whether the culprit be our enemies or our own country and whether the victims be American or not), but should their memory really be exploited to feed the national religion of warmongering?  Is it not deeply disturbing that an act of violence and the deaths of three-thousand innocents are being used to justify even greater acts of violence and even more civilian deaths?

Disclaimer: I would like to point out that the views expressed above are mine alone and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official views of LoonWatch or any of its writers aside from myself (Danios).

Update I: An interesting Facebook status that is making the rounds:

On 9/11, I’ll mourn the nearly 3,000 lives lost, over 6,000 injuries, the infrastructural carnage and devastation in NYC, and the humiliation of my country, all perpetrated ignorantly in the name of my religion

On 9/12, I’ll mourn the nearly 1,000,000 lives, the 10′s of millions of injuries, the infrastructural decimation in 3 countries, and the humiliation of my religion, all perpetrated ignorantly in the name of my country.

Update II:  Many readers and fellow LoonWatch writers have pointed out that many young people join the military due to financial reasons.  Additionally, many of them are “trying to serve their country” and “are just following orders.”  I do not completely disagree with these statements.  As I said, I do not malign or vilify soldiers, nor encourage that.  What I am opposed to is the glorification of what they do.

Christopher Eric Wey, U.S. Soldier, Tries To Board Flight With Explosives

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2011 by loonwatch

This soldier stole C4 and was caught trying to board a flight with it in his possession. Can you imagine if he had been Muslim?

Christopher Eric Wey, U.S. Soldier, Tries To Board Flight With Explosives

A U.S. soldier was caught attempting to board a flight to Los Angeles on Wednesday with high-velocity explosives in his bag.

Army Private First Class Christopher Eric Wey, 19, was arrested after he tried to board a United flight, the U.S. Attorney’s office for Arizona told Reuters.
Reuters reports that TSA officials at the Yuma International Airport detected a half-ounce of C4 explosives hidden in a tobacco can inside one of Wey’s bags. In a conflicting report, the Associated Press reportsthat it was a quarter-ounce.

Wey was detained and interviewed by FBI agents, who in turn discovered that Wey had stolen the C4 while attending an explosive training course.

Authorities found no indication that Wey intended any harm but him with trying to carry an explosive onto an aircraft and a stolen one at that, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine.

Soldiers Forced to See Chaplain After Failing Army’s Spiritual Fitness Test

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2011 by loonwatch

(hat tip: Eric Allen Bell)

Soldiers Forced to See Chaplain After Failing Army’s Spiritual Fitness Test

(TalkToAction)

by Chris Rodda

After failing a recently implemented mandatory Army-wide “Spiritual Fitness” test, soldiers are given the following message on their computer screens:

“Spiritual fitness is an area of possible difficulty for you. You may lack a sense of meaning and purpose in your life. At times, it is hard for you to make sense of what is happening to you and others around you. You may not feel connected to something larger than yourself. You may question your beliefs, principles, and values. Nevertheless, who you are and what you do matter. There are things to do to provide more meaning and purpose in your life. Improving your spiritual fitness should be an important goal. Change is possible, and the relevant self-development training modules will be helpful. If you need further help, please do not hesitate to seek out help from the people you care about and trust — strong people always do. Be patient in your development as it will take time to improve in this area. Still, persistence is key and you will improve here if you make this area a priority.”

This mandatory online test, called the Global Assessment Tool (GAT), is part of the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) program, a program that puts spiritual fitness on par with physical and mental fitness.

Upon flunking the “Spiritual Fitness” section of the GAT, and receiving the above message telling them that “Change is possible” and that “you will improve here if you make this area a priority,” the spiritually deficient soldiers are directed to training modules to correct this problem with their “fitness.”

Nothing at this point in the CSF program tells the soldiers that the online training modules that follow the GAT test are not mandatory, so the soldiers naturally assume that the training modules they’re immediately directed to upon failing the test are also mandatory.

Ever since complaints about the GAT, which can only be described as an unconstitutional “religious test,” began to surface a few weeks ago, the Army has been bending over backward insisting that that spirituality doesn’t mean religion; that nothing in the CSF’s “Spiritual Fitness” training is mandatory; and that no soldier is being forced to do anything whatsoever if they flunk the test. But these claims from the Army are far from what the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) is hearing from soldiers who have failed the Spiritual Fitness section of the test.

Just read the following account from one soldier about what happened to the GAT-identified spiritually unfit solders in his unit.

Subject: I Am A “Spiritual Fitness Failure” ……Before I tell you, Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF of my total outrage at the U.S. Army for grading me as a “Spiritual Fitness failure”, I will tell you a few things about myself. My name is (name withheld) and I am an enlisted soldier with the rank of (rank withheld) in the United States Army stationed at Ft. (military installation withheld). I am in my early-to-mid twenties. I have been deployed downrange into Iraq and Afghanistan 6 times. I will deploy again for my 7th time very soon; to Afghanistan and more combat. All of my deployments have been very heavy combat assignments. I have been wounded 4 times including traumatic brain injury. I have earned the Combat Action Badge, the Bronze Star and multiple Purple Hearts. I have fought in hand-to hand- combat and killed and wounded more than a few “enemy combatants.” M religion? I was born a Methodist and guess I still am one. I’m not very religious but consider myself to be a Christian. I don’t go to chapel services that often although I go every now and then. I can’t stand the chaplains as most of them are trying to always get me and my friends to “commit to Christ” and be far more religious as well as they try to get more and more soldiers to get more and more soldiers to be the same type of “committed Christian”. I cannot count the number of times that these chaplains and my own chain of command has described this war we fight as a religious one against the Muslims and their “false, evil and violent” religion. I am a Christian and therefore neither an agnostic nor an atheist though many of my fellow soldiers are such. Now to the point. I, and everyone else who is enlisted in my company, was ORDERED by my Battalion Commander to take the GAT’s Spiritual Fitness Test not very long ago. Let me make this CLEAR, we were all ORDERD to take it. After we did, our unit’s First Sgt. individually asked us all how we did on the test. There was NO “anonymity” at all. None of us were ever told that we did NOT have to take this Spiritual Fitness Test nor that we did NOT have to tell our FIrst Sgt. what our results were. A bunch of us “failed” the SFT and when we told that to our First Sgt., per his disclosure order, he further ordered us to make immediate appointments with the chaplains so that we would not “kill ourselves on his watch”. None of us wanted to do it but we were scared. None of us wanted to get in the shits with our First Sgt. who can and will make life miserable for anyone who might have said no to him. They keep saying that this is all to stop us soldiers from killing ourselves but THIS degrading SFT “failure” only makes it worse. Two of my battle buddies who I KNOW are thinking of ending it all were a million times worse off after failing this SFT and being called a “spiritual failure” and then ordered to go see the chaplains. I felt like a total coward for not standing up to my First Sgt. but I did what he told me to do. I was scared to tell him no. So I went to see the chaplain. When this chaplain told me that I failed the SFT because it was “Jesus’ way of personally knocking on my door as an invitation for me to come to Him as a born again ‘REAL’ Christian” so that I could be saved and not burn forever in Hell for rejecting him, I thought of 3 things. First, I thought of the fact that I was already born a Christian and did not need to be born again. Second, I thought of my battle buddy (name and rank withheld) who took a bullet for me in his face during the Battle of (name of Iraqi battle withheld) and that he was the same kind of Christian as me and this chaplain is telling me that my battle buddy (name and rank withheld) is burning in hell for all time. Third, I thought how I wanted to blow that fucking chaplain’s head right off. Thank you, Mr. Weinstein and MRFF for listening and standing up. A bunch of us saw you on MSNBC. We also read about the enlisted guy at Ft. Bragg. Please tell Sgt. Griffith at Fort Bragg that he speaks for many of us who can’t handle the consequences if we spoke out. We have all read the letter you sent to tell the Army to stop this Spiritual Fitness Test. It cheered us up alot because that making us take that test is WRONG and using it to send us to the chaplains against our will is also WRONG. Please tell your lawyers at that big law firm company not to forget about those of us who want to speak up and thank them all but cannot. (Name, rank, combat MOS, military unit, military installation withheld)

 

Mano Bakh: A Member of the Shah’s Military Crusades against Temecula Mosque

Posted in Loon Pastors, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2010 by loonwatch

Somebody has skulls in his closet?

Murrieta man leads mosque opposition

By JEFF HORSEMAN
The Press-Enterprise

Mano Bakh has personal reasons for opposing a mosque planned in Temecula.

The 73-year-old from Murrieta said he barely escaped with his life when revolutionaries toppled Iran’s monarchy in 1979 and established an Islamic republic.

His self-published book, “Escaping Islam,” describes being arrested and interrogated. Now he fears his new home is treading down Iran’s path.

Bakh is one of the most vocal critics of the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley’s plan to build a roughly 25,000-square-foot mosque in northeast Temecula. The Temecula Planning Commission will discuss the mosque Dec. 1.

Bakh, who said he went into hiding for his safety, insists he does not hate Muslims. The former Muslim said an expansionist Islamic ideology supports terrorism and seeks to repress liberty through religious-based Shariah law.

Center supporters, including a coalition of religious leaders, say Bakh and those like him are misguided at best and bigoted at worst. They say the majority of American Muslims are law-abiding.

“I can understand (Bakh’s) personal pain. My family suffered the same persecution,” said Salam Al-Marayati, an Iraqi and president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. “But that’s not a reason to prevent people from worshiping freely in the United States …”

‘revolutionary network’

A married father of two and grandfather of four, Bakh said he grew up in Iran and studied overseas while rising through his country’s navy. He described the Iran of his youth as a moderate country.

“Prior to 1979, there were miniskirts on our women, the latest styles from Paris in our shops, frivolity among our people, and Western music in the air,” reads an online book excerpt.

Iran was ruled by Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, who had close ties to the West. While credited with modernizing Iran, the shah also cracked down on political dissent.

Protesters eventually demanded the shah’s ouster, and he fled Iran in 1979. Islamic revolutionaries took over and established a theocracy.

In the years before the revolution, Bakh said he noticed more mosques being built. He wasn’t concerned at first because the mosques kept kids off the street.

“Later, we learned the mosques were nodes in the revolutionary network,” he said.

During the revolution, Bakh said he was arrested, searched, blindfolded, interrogated and accused of helping the U.S. Navy build a spyhouse in Iran.

He said he was allowed to return home, where he had less than an hour to pack before he and his family fled for Great Britain and ultimately settled in the U.S.

‘Deep Penetration’

Bakh sees Islam not as a religion, but a political movement seeking to take over the world.

He said there are signs of “deep penetration in all segments of society to implement the Islamic radicalization.”

As examples, he points to the incident last year at Fort Hood, Texas, in which 13 Army soldiers were killed — the suspect is a Muslim — and Anwar al-Awlaki, a Muslim cleric once based in San Diego described as a spiritual adviser and attack planner for terrorists.

Bakh speaks about Islam to churches and Republican assemblies across Southern California and is a member of Concerned American Citizens, which opposes the mosque.

The City Council will decide the mosque’s fate if the commission’s decision is appealed.

‘who is he …?’

Bakh wants Islamic center Imam Mahmoud Harmoush to disclose the mosque’s funding sources, denounce the militant Palestinian group Hamas and sign a “pledge of friendship” in which the imam would vow to denounce Shariah law and uphold the Constitution.

Harmoush said he shouldn’t have to answer to him.

“Who is he to ask me any of those questions?” Harmoush said, adding the center has been raising funds for the mosque for a decade and shouldn’t have to open its books. Harmoush has said there is only enough money to build a 4,000-square-foot first phase.

As for Hamas, Harmoush, who has publicly condemned violence and terror, said Middle East politics have nothing to do with his center.

Bakh was at the July 30 protest outside the Islamic center’s current building. He said he did not approve of protesters who brought dogs, a move decried as harassment by the center supporters.

‘i lost one country’

Besides Harmoush, Bakh said he’s concerned with the center’s backers, including Al-Marayati, whom Bakh said won’t denounce Islamic terrorists.

Al-Marayati said his group works with law enforcement to fight terrorism. Bakh “just parrots what he hears” on the Internet, Al-Marayati said, adding, “When you’re a critic of U.S. policy in the Middle East, then immediately opponents want to portray you as supporting terrorism.”

Al-Marayati tried to dispel what he calls false notions about Islam at a forum hosted by the Interfaith Council of Murrieta and Temecula Valley. He said the true ideals of Islamic law closely mirror the Constitution and that for Muslims, the Pledge of Allegiance is as sacred as a pledge to God.

Bakh said he’s resigned to never returning to his homeland.

“I lost one country,” he said. “I don’t want to lose a second one.”

Reach Jeff Horseman at 951-375-3727 or jhorseman@PE.com

 

Taqiyya: The Ultimate Intellectual Cop-out

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2010 by loonwatch

This is Inoconnu’s refutation of Chapter 6 of Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).  After reading this, check out Danios’ article at SpencerWatch, which analyzes the concept of taqiyya in great detail..

An oft-used intellectual cop-out by many Islam-haters is the so-called doctrine of taqiyya. The Islam-haters, such as Robert Spencer, claim taqiyya is the willful deception of Muslims towards non-Muslims. Whenever a Muslim would say or write something positive about Islam, it is all taqiyya. This is what Spencer has to say in his book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades):

Muhammad minced no words about the necessity of telling the truth…However, as with so many other Islamic principles, this is largely a matter between believers. When it comes to unbelievers–particularly those who are at war with Muslims–Muhammad enunciated a quite different principle: “War is deceit.” Specifically, he taught that lying was permissible in battle…

When Shi’ite Muslims were persecuted by Sunnis, they developed the doctrine oftaqiyya, or concealment: They could lie about what they believed, denying aspects of their faith that were offensive to Sunnis…Closely related to this is the doctrine ofkitman, or mental reservation, which is telling the truth, but not the whole truth, with an intention to mislead…Remember that the next time you see a Muslim spokesman on television professing his friendship with non-Muslim Americans and his loyalty to the United States. Of course, he may be telling the truth–but he may not be telling the whole truth or he may be just lying. (pp.79-81)

Clearly, his implication is the latter, not the former: the Muslim is not telling the whole truth or “may be just lying.”

Yet, it is necessary to begin with the principle of truthfulness in Islam, which Spencer himself admitted the Prophet Muhammad stressed. Many thanks to Sheila Musaji for compiling the following verses and Prophetic traditions, of which are posted a few:

“And cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know (what it is).  (Qur’an, 2:42)”

“If ye are on a journey, and cannot find a scribe, a pledge with possession (may serve the purpose). And if one of you deposits a thing on trust with another, Let the trustee (Faithfully) discharge His trust, and let him fear his Lord. Conceal not evidence; for whoever conceals it,- His heart is tainted with sin. And God Knoweth all that ye do.  (Qur’an, 2:283)”

“O ye who believe! Stand out firmly For justice, as witnesses To Allah, even as against Yourselves, or your parents, Or your kin, and whether It be (against) rich or poor: For Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (Of your hearts), lest ye Swerve, and if ye Distort (justice) or decline To do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted With all that ye do.  (Qur’an, 4:135)”

[…]

Abdullah bin Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Truth leads to piety and piety leads to Jannah. A man persists in speaking the truth till he is enrolled with Allah as a truthful. Falsehood leads to vice and vice leads to the Fire (Hell), and a person persists on telling lies until he is enrolled as a liar”.’

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is entrusted with something, he betrays that trust.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 33; Muslim, 59)

Hasan bin `Ali (May Allah be pleased with them) said: I remember (these words) from Messenger of Allah (PBUH): “Give up what is doubtful to you for that which is not doubtful; for truth is peace of mind and falsehood is doubt”.  [At-Tirmidhi].

Hakim bin Hizam (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Both parties in a business transaction have a right to annul it so long as they have not separated; and if they tell the truth and make everything clear to each other (i.e., the seller and the buyer speak the truth, the seller with regard to what is purchased, and the buyer with regard to the money) they will be blessed in their transaction, but if they conceal anything and lie, the blessing on their transaction will be eliminated.’‘
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

It is clear that Islam (and its Prophet) stresses the utmost importance of speaking the truth and being as truthful as possible. Spencer himself admits this, but he inserts a (huge) caveat that it is only “between believers.” As will be seen, this is completely untrue.

Let us begin with Spencer’s first indictment of the Prophet: “War is deceit.”

This statement comes from the Battle of the Trench. After the siege of the city of Medina had lasted for almost 30 days, and the Muslims were in dire straits.  The Prophet Muhammad asked a man named Nuaym ibn Masud to break the deadly siege somehow.  Nuaym said he could do this but that “this requires me to lie.”

Let’s stop here. Why did he ask this permission from the Prophet Muhammad if, according to Spencer, lying to non-believers is standard practice? Because, as noted above, the principle in Islam is honesty. The Prophet gave him specific permission to lie saying, “War is deceit.”

This is the context of the Prophet’s statement, “War is deceit.” Spencer, however, claims that this phrase, “War is deceit,” gives Muslims carte blance to lie to all non-Muslims all the time. Logically, it is pure rubbish.

Yet, when one thinks of it, is not good policy to deceive one’s enemy during war? Is it not good strategy to decieve the enemy in order to defeat him? What is wrong with saying, “War is deceit”? Yet, are there others that have said the same thing?

Of course!

In fact, “War is deceit” is one of the oldest military principles in history. It is found in none other thanThe Art of War by Sun Tzu, a Chinese strategist from the Sixth Century B.C. This book is the oldest military treatise in the world. In Part I, principle No. 18 says:

All warfare is based on deception.

Was Sun Tzu advocating Taqiyya? Is this something to be condemned, as Spencer condemns the Prophet?

How about the Trojan Horse, a story from one of the oldest poems in Western Civilization?

Still seeking to gain entrance into Troy, clever Odysseus (some say with the aid of Athena) ordered a large wooden horse to be built. Its insides were to be hollow so that soldiers could hide within it.

Once the statue had been built by the artist Epeius, a number of the Greek warriors, along with Odysseus, climbed inside. The rest of the Greek fleet sailed away, so as to deceive the Trojans.

One man, Sinon, was left behind. When the Trojans came to marvel at the huge creation, Sinon pretended to be angry with the Greeks, stating that they had deserted him. He assured the Trojans that the wooden horse was safe and would bring luck to the Trojans.

Only two people, Laocoon and Cassandra, spoke out against the horse, but they were ignored. The Trojans celebrated what they thought was their victory, and dragged the wooden horse into Troy.

That night, after most of Troy was asleep or in a drunken stupor, Sinon let the Greek warriors out from the horse, and they slaughtered the Trojans.

Were the Greeks also practicing Taqiyya? Why doesn’t Spencer condemn the Greeks, the Fathers of Western Civilization, for practicing deceit in times of war?

Not only did Sun Tzu write of deception in warfare, but Italian Renaissance thinker Niccolo Machiavelliwrote:

Though fraud in other activities may be detestable, in the management of war it is laudable and glorious, and he who overcomes the enemy by fraud is as much to be praised as he who does by force.

How about more recent times? During World War II, there was a military operation called “Operation Fortitude.” It was a disinformation campaign to deceive the Germans about the Normandy invasion:

“Fortitude” was the codename given to the decoy (or disinformation) mission mounted by the Allies to deceive the Germans about the date and above all the place of the landings. The latter were convinced that the British and American attack would come in the Pas-de-Calais area and it was important not to disillusion them. They therefore had to be made to think that a whole group of armies was present in Kent, opposite the Pas-de-Calais.

To deceive the German observation planes, which their antiaircraft defences did their best to avoid, the local estuaries, creeks and harbours were crammed with dummy landing craft, made out of bits and bobs. A giant oil pumping head for PLUTO (made from papier mâché) was erected near Dover, while large numbers of inflatable rubber tanks were positioned in the fields. Plywood vehicles and guns lined the roadsides. At night, convoys of lorries ‑ always the same ones – drove back and forth across the region. For the benefit of the Germans, a team of technicians maintained constant radio traffic between totally fictitious units.

Fortitude succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Long after June 6th, Hitler remained convinced that the Normandy Landings were a diversionary tactic to induce him to move his troops away from the Pas-de-Calais, so that a decisive attack could then be launched there. He therefore kept his best units in readiness there, until the end of July, desperately scanning an empty horizon, while the fate of the war was being decided in Normandy.

Dr. Joseph Caddell, Lecturer on Military History at North Carolina State University, wrote in 2004:

 

Deception in warfare is probably as old as armed conflict itself. The logic of confusing an adversary is obvious, and the rewards can be realized very quickly.

On the website of the Air University, the military education system for the United States Air Force, there is a list of numerous books, documents, and periodicals that chronicle deception in WW I and WW II. Here is just some of the examples of the books written about deception in warfare:

Barros, James and Gregor, James. Double Deception: Stalin, Hitler, and the Invasion of Russia. DeKalb, IL, Northern Illinois University Press, 1995. 307 p.
Book call no.: 940.532247 B277d

Basic Deception and the Normandy Invasion. New York, Garland, 1989. 1 vol.
Book call no.: 940.5485 C873 v.15

Breuer, William B. Hoodwinking Hitler: The Normandy Deception. Westport, CT, Praeger, 1993. 263 p.
Book call no.: 940.54 B846h

Breuer, William B. The Secret War with Germany: Deception, Espionage, and Dirty Tricks 1939-1945. Novato, CA, 1988. 318 p.
Book call no.: 940.5485 B846s

As is quite clear, deception during times of warfare is not only standard procedure, but is a laudable and necessary tactic. Our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan use deception every single day to try to defeat the enemy. They would be blameworthy if they did not do so. Why doesn’t Robert Spencer condemn Sun Tzu, or the Greeks, or Allied Forces in WW II, or the U.S. Air Force for advocating deception in warfare? After all, all of these people also believe, as the Prophet Muhammad did, that “war is deceit.”

Robert Spencer’s claim that “war is deceit” to impugn the Prophet Muhammad and Islam is another case of Spenceritis. It is logical rubbish, and makes a mockery of the claim that Robert Spencer is any sort of “scholar” about Islam.

Also check out Danios’ excellent article on the same topic available on SpencerWatch.com. He refutes every single argument the Islamophobes raise about taqiyya.