Aafia Siddiqui Versus Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Sharia Versus Freedom

My colleagues Phyllis Chesler [1] and Diana West [2] have just written two important, complementary assessments which eviscerate journalist Deborah Scroggins’ recently published, Wanted Women: Faith, Lies and the War on Terror: The Lives of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Aafia Siddiqui. Chesler and West mince no words in their discussions of Scroggins’ oeuvre, appropriately highlighting the book’s intellectually and morally cretinous argumentation. Ms. Scroggins diatribe cum “analysis” excoriates the intrepid former Dutch Parliamentarian and Muslim freethinker, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, while providing a Leftist claptrap “blame the West,” sympathetic portrayal of the Sharia-compliant, pious Muslim jihadist, Siddiqui.

As revealed by Chesler and West, Scroggins’ work epitomizes disturbing trends I examine in my forthcoming Sharia Versus Freedom—The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: Western self-loathing, accompanied by thoroughly uninformed, treacly apologetics on Islam and its quintessential, totalitarian religio-political code, Sharia. For example, Diana West [2] points out how Scroggins chastises Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s “simplistic” views on Islam for ignoring two ostensible avatars of “Islamic modernism”—the late Pakistani Prime Minister Benazhir Bhutto, and Sudanese religious “reformer,” Mahmoud Muhammad Taha. But Scroggins ignorant attack simply confirms the author’s willful blindness and hostility to the mea-culpa based, wrenching reforms of Islam Ayaan and other true modernists from Muslim backgrounds are rightfully insistent upon. Taha was at best a dishonest tinkerer; Bhutto far worse.

Taha’s defining work, “The Second Message of Islam [3]” is readily available in an English translation by his fawning acolyte, and Islamic Sharia-promoting apologist, Abdullah an-Naim. Taha proclaims these bowdlerized pieties (in “The Second Message of Islam [3]”) on Islam’s violent Medinan emergence as a polity:

Islam used persuasion for thirteen years in propagating its clearly valid message…When the addressees failed to discharge properly the[ir] duties…the Prophet was appointed as their guardian…once they embraced the new religion [i.e., by coercion]…the sword was suspended…and [they] were penalized according to new laws. Hence the development of Islamic Shari’a law…

And Taha further had the temerity to compare the jihad-genocide waging historical “sword of Islam” to a surgeon’s scalpel—an unconscionable immoral equivalence to this physician:

In justifying the use of the sword, we may describe it as a surgeon’s lancet, and not a butcher’s knife…We [the Muslims] have enacted fighting with the sword in order to curtail the freedom of those who abuse it, so the sword brings them to their senses, thereby allowing them to earn their freedom and benefit from their life [note: “freedom as perfect slavery to Allah”, the Sufi notion of Ibn Arabi, perhaps? [4]]

But Taha’s true sentiments towards non-Muslim infidels are in the end, not concealed from anyone who cares to look. He in fact justifies—consistent with mainstream Islamic jurisprudence—their historical subjugation by violent jihad:

Suffering death by the sword in this life is really an aspect of suffering hell in the next life, since both are punishments for disbelief…for the disbelievers the law of war, and hardship of iron.


The Suicide Club Posted By Roger Kimball

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John Stuart Mill famously described conservatives as “the stupid party.” The description has unwritten boundless hilarity among liberals for more than a century, but that is only because they (stupidly?) neglected to take Mill’s deeper message on board. Every true partisan of liberalism, Mill wrote, should pray for the enlightenment and acuity of conservatives if for no other reason than intelligent opposition tends to have a tonic effect on liberalism itself.

That is probably true. But there is a toxic assumption lying behind Mill’s strictures that is worth pondering. It is this: the more closely one compares liberals and conservatives, the more it emerges that by “stupid” many liberals (including, I believe, Mill himself) mean “disagreeing with me.” Liberalism, that is to say, regards its political opinions not as opinions but as reflections of the state of nature: what any right-thinking (i.e., left-leaning) person believes. But your opinions, my conservative friend, are regarded not so much as opinions as some form of heresy. Here in a nutshell you have the motor behind political correctness and the staggeringly illiberal attitudes espoused by the elite liberal establishment.


There was a time when the lands now known as Israel (including Judea and Samaria and Gaza) and Jordan were called “Palestine.” In fact, the Balfour Declaration of 1917 declared that “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

There followed considerable cooperation between the Jews, represented by Chaim Weizmann, and the Arabs living in Mespotamia, now Iraq and Jordan, represented by Emir Feisal. As a result, the Feisal-Weizman Agreement was signed in January 1919, in which it was agreed that the Jews would get the lands lying west of the Jordan River watershed to the Mediterranean.

Two months later, Feisal wrote to Felix Frankfuter, the then-leader of the American Zionists, extending a welcome:

We Arabs, especially the educated among us look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted yesterday by the Zionist Organisation to Peace Conference, and we regard them as moderate proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through: we will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home.

Unfortunately, that initial agreement and embrace was overtaken by events. The British and the French had other plans.

Finally, the allied powers — Britain, France, Italy, and Japan — passed the San Remo Resolution in evidence of their agreement:

The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust, by application of the provisions of Article 22, [League of Nations Charter] the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory, to be selected by the said Powers. The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.

One more Cuban martyr – and Latin America’s leadership turns a blind eye

The day of reckoning will inevitably come for the tribunal of History to deliver the last word with respect to the Cuban ordeal. On that day, some of Latin America’s leaders will receive a moral condemnation.

Whoever has endured the yoke of a long and cruel dictatorship knows that one of the most comforting feelings one may experience under those circumstances is to be able to count on the solidarity of people and institutions from the outside world. That solidarity gives strength to those who struggle from within.

All too naturally, when those like-minded voices go missing or run low; when the crimes of the dictatorship fail to arouse international indignation; when those who lead countries living in democracy turn a blind eye, it is revulsion which, most understandably, springs from the hearts of dissidents thus abandoned to the mercy of a tyrant.

Such revulsion is what the Cuban people must be feeling vis-à-vis the leaders of Latin America. Cubans have received only sporadic scraps of sympathy and support from within their own region, as the bulk of Latin American governments and regional organizations tend to shun – whether by fear or by convenience – any quarrel with the longest tyranny in the history of that continent.

That indifference is all the more reprehensible as it comes from a continent with seasoned experience in struggling against military dictatorships. Its democratically-elected leaders, therefore, should have been in the forefront of international initiatives aimed at assisting the Cubans in their fight to rid themselves from the claws of Castroism.


AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — A senior Jordanian official says the country’s king has received Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who is on his first official visit to the kingdom since his expulsion 13 years ago.

The official says talks with King Abdullah II opened in the presence of Qatar’s crown prince, who mediated Mashaal’s visit. He says the visit is meant to “break the ice” with the militant group banned in Jordan, Israel’s closest Arab peace partner.


Before Obama got around to digging up his copy of last year’s State of the Union address, crossing out a few lines, adding something about Iraq and Bin Laden, before heading out for another round of golf, David Brooks wrote a New York Times column urging Obama not to forget to mention the importance of promoting education for a free market economy. He titled it, Free-Market Socialism.

Now the idea that Obama or any Democratic politician running for the presidency would forget to mention what has become the chief talking point of their political class on jobs and globalization is about as likely as Bill Clinton taking a vow of chastity. When the working class timorously asks where the jobs are, that are always told the jobs are mostly gone and the only way they will ever come back is if they educate themselves for the better jobs that are out there somewhere.

KATIE SILVER: VOGUE FOR THE VEILED…TURKISH FASHION MAGAZINE FOR WOMEN WHO WEAR HIJAB–Turkish-fashion-magazine-created-women-wear-headscarves.html

It’s Vogue for the veiled! Turkish fashion magazine created for women who wear headscarves

A magazine for the modern, fashion-conscious Muslim woman is proving that when it comes to Turkey, you don’t need bikinis, breasts and legs to sell issues. Outraged when he saw photos of transsexuals in a magazine, devout Muslim Ibrahim Burak Birer, 31 decided to create a magazine in Istanbul that would contest the ‘diktat of nudity’.

With his friend Mehmet Volkan Atay, 32, he created Alâ, a magazine described as the avant-garde of ‘veiled’ fashion. The first issue: Released in June, Alâ has been described as the ‘Vogue of veiled fashion’. It appeals to the modern, education, fashion-conscious Muslim woman

The magazine only shows women in headscarves


“What really threatens to bring the west to its knees is its own cultural hubris. Refracting everything in the world through the prism of its unshakeable faith in universal reason, it is incapable of recognising or understanding religious fanaticism – and insists instead upon treating the fanatic as a rational actor. Ironically, it is this belief in reason which has led the west to behave so irrationally in refusing to acknowledge the evidence of the mortal threat to itself posed by Iran — and that there is no alternative to force if it is to be stopped. And now, alas, we’re about to discover the consequences.”

Its likely consequences would include attacks on US air bases from thousands of Iranian missiles, the unleashing of terrorist attacks within the US and Europe, the rocketing of Israeli towns from the tens of thousands of missiles trained on Israel from Lebanon, the closing of the Straits of Hormuz thus paralysing western oil supplies, and doubtless other horrors.

But however fearsome this prospect, that of a nuclear-armed Iran is worse. The consequences are simply insupportable.


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — U.N. nuclear inspectors began a critical mission to Iran on Sunday to probe allegations of a secret atomic weapons program amid escalating Western economic pressures and warnings about safeguarding Gulf oil shipments from possible Iranian blockades.

The findings from the three-day visit could greatly influence the direction and urgency of U.S.-led efforts to rein in Iran’s ability to enrich uranium — which Washington and allies fear could eventually produce weapons-grade material. Iran has declined to abandon its enrichment labs, but claims it only seeks to fuel reactors for energy and medical research.

The International Atomic Energy Agency team is likely to visit an underground enrichment site near the holy city of Qom, 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of Tehran, which is carved into a mountain as protection from possible airstrikes. Earlier this month, Iran said it had begun enrichment work at the site, which is far smaller than the country’s main uranium labs but is reported to have more advanced equipment.

The Myth of GOP Stinginess
Obama is driving off the cliff, but Republicans filled the tank.

Mitch McConnell wanted you to know he was livid on Thursday. The Senate was about to Greece the wheels for adding yet another trillion and change to President Obama’s yet-again tapped-out credit card. “More spending, more debt,” brayed the minority leader. “That’s what we’ve gotten from this administration.” Well, no, Senator, that’s what we’ve gotten from you.

Yes, I know, Obama is the one driving us off the cliff. But as McConnell and his fellow Republicans are well aware, he couldn’t have filled his tank without them — and they are the guys who got us halfway up the summit before handing the president the car keys. No one is falling for this week’s debt-increase “disapproval” charade, the stage for which was set by last summer’s sleight-of-hand, when Republicans agreed to borrow another $2.4 trillion. As if to prove that Obama has not cornered the market on cynicism, the GOP apparently feels the need to insult your intelligence while it helps our latter-day Robin Hood take from the unborn to give to the insatiable.

For the record, it was Republicans who nearly doubled the national debt during the Bush years — increasing it by almost $5 trillion dollars. Some context: It had taken the nation over 200 years to accumulate roughly the same amount of debt rung up from 2001 through 2008 — a time during most of which, besides holding the White House, Republicans held the Senate (with McConnell in the leadership, first as whip and later as leader) and the House (with now-speaker John Boehner in the leadership, first as a committee chairman, then as leader).