Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Laila al-Arian at Stanford

This crucial coverage thanks to a dedicated SOS member. Sami al-Arian has been in the news a lot lately due to Obama's nomination of Rashad Hussein, so this event was very timely. The event was sponsored by the Muslim Student Awareness Network (MSAN).


The atmosphere is dense with adoration. An al Jazeera reporter. Her father jailed by the American government. The event starts with a screening of “USA vs. al-Arian”, the 2007 Norwegian documentary. The intro screen displays a Statue of Liberty silhouetted by a red sky, then an American flag with fighter-jets replacing its stars. Sami al-Arian. Noble professor at the University of South Florida who just enjoys screaming anti-America and anti-Israel slogans at rallies. FBI storms house. Justice aborted. Cut to Mrs. al-Arian, “all Sami did was talk to the American people.”

Sami’s case is shrouded in a lot of secrecy. But if there’s one thing that has been obvious from the beginning, it’s been intent. A letter to Isma’il Al-Shatti, a potential Kuwaiti financial backer, was introduced into evidence without dispute. In it, Sami wrote immediately following the Beit Lid Massacre that killed 21 and injured 69 in 1995, “I call upon you to try to extend true support of the jihad effort in Palestine so that operations such as these can continue.”

Sami al-Arian pled guilty in 2006 to charges that included offering "contributions, goods or services" to a terrorist group. But Laila speaks of the plea agreement dismissively. “There was nothing in it about financial support for terrorists.” “Nothing?” a question from the audience. “No, nothing.” The audience nods approvingly: end of discussion.

“What we need is more Samis in the Muslim community,” claims one of the more vocal community members in the audience. Priorities.
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Monday, February 15, 2010

This week on campuses...

At UC Irvine, Muslim students interrupted Michael Oren no less than 11 times, ignoring appeals to hospitality from Ambassador Oren and visibly embarrassing UCI administrators. Despite its denials, this is believed to have been organized by the school's Muslim Students Union. Video:

Not to be outdone, Oxford students subjected Deputy FM and former UN ambassador Danny Ayalon to not just similar interruptions, but outright anti-Semitism. One student decided that the best way to exercise his disapproval of Minister Ayalon was by shouting "Slaughter the Jews!" in Arabic.

While many Muslim student groups are respectful and willing to participate in civilized dialogue, this is a stark reminder that many are not.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Classical Islamic Law

Several days ago I sat in on a class here at Stanford entitled "Classical Islamic Law." Overall, the class was a fairly typical first class, in which the professor outlined what the course would be covering. However, he made one statement that particularly grabbed my attention: "this class is a class on classical Islamic law, not its modern relevance." This was somewhat shocking to me. Though the class was listed under the Religious Studies department and not the History department, for example, it still seems remarkable to me that absolutely no connections will be made with the modern world, filled as it is with rabid clerics and jihadists who routinely cite Islamic law as the motivation and justification for their conduct.

The professor then made another equally surprising statement: "Stanford does not offer a course on modern Islamic law." Why is this? Such a class would be invaluable in teaching people to understand the statements of bin Laden and others when they point to the Qur'an and Sunnah as their guiding light and inspiration. Hopefully Stanford will offer this class in the future, but until it does, it will be up to the individual to learn about the interplay between modern terrorism and the history and theological complexities of Islam.

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

The truth about Islamism in a French newspaper

Please read (if you speak French) this absolutely amazing column in Le Monde, no less, about fundamentalist Islam, the silence in the Muslim world over decapitations and mutilations by the Taliban and others, and relations between America and the Muslim world. The Google Translate version is better than nothing if you don't speak French. We at SOS are in agreement that it is one of the best columns ever published on this issue.

Some highlights (our translation):

When Pope Benedict XVI glosses over the intrinsic antagonism in Islam between faith and reason, or when a caricaturist dares to mock a prophet frozen in fossilized sacredness, the entire Islamic world, from Cairo to Islamabad via Paris and London, reacts with defensive, vindictive hysteria. [...] But when a young girl of 17 in northwest Pakistan is whipped by the despicable Taliban in the name of the primitive and nauseating Shari'ah, the voice of Islam becomes inaudible and Islamic pride becomes minuscule. Everyone holds their tongue: the intelligentsia and world leaders join the fundamentalists in almost universal silence.


Yet, looking closer, which is more damaging to God and more degrading for Islam: Talibanesque barbarism, pouring all of its hate and sexual frustration onto the body of a defenseless young girl, or the drawing of a Danish caricaturist? Which is more shocking for a religion worthy to be called as such, the ink of an irreverent journalist or writer or the blood of innocents that are flogged, mutilated, and decapitated, not to mention the victims torn to pieces by suicide attacks?

There is much more along these lines, some of which is included (in translation) below. Send the link to all of your friends who speak French. It's very rare for something like this to come out in a mainstream publication, especially in France.

All mobilize to denounce western Islamophobia and the multiple crusades lead to discredit and disparage Islam. And with reason: supporting Islam, speaking out for the superiority of its doctrine over other religious and philosophical systems and for the excellence of its morals is a religious obligation.

Wherever he or she is, the duty of every Muslim - in addition to proselytism - is to take up the cause of their religion and their coreligionists against the enemies and plotters. "Support your brother in Islam, be he victim or perpetrator," stipulates a hadith attributed to the prophet. Undeniably, this obligation finds various theological justifications in the corpus of the Qur'an and Sunna. From there to misusing these same excuses for terrorist purposes is just one step that candidates for martyrdom have quickly taken.


Sending additional French and American troops to Afghanistan, as Obama desires, would contribute paradoxically to the acceleration of this process of "un-demonization" and normalization of fanaticism...Hillary Clinton is already invoking the necessity to have dialogue with the "moderate Taliban"! And a great French daily (Le Figaro) opens its columns to the former foreign minister of the Taliban government, a "fine and brilliant" diplomat, close advisor of Mullah Omar, to rehabilitate this Talibanism so poorly understood by the West.


Has the time not finally come to free Islam from the fundamentalist straightjacket, rather than accuse others of deliberately confusing Islam, Islamism and terrorism? But who is at the center of this mixture? Those who describe it or those who embody it with their fanaticism? Thus, the question that every Muslim should ask his- or herself is the following: the defenders of Islam, the fundamentalists and the terrorists, are they not in fine its worst gravediggers?

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Let Islam Prove It's a Religion of Peace

Great piece by Tawfik Hamid in the Wall Street Journal

Scholars in the most prestigious Islamic institutes and universities continue to teach things like Jews are "pigs and monkeys," that women and men must be stoned to death for adultery, or that Muslims must fight the world to spread their religion. Isn't, then, Mr. Wilders's criticism appropriate? Instead of blaming him, we must blame the leading Islamic scholars for having failed to produce an authoritative book on Islamic jurisprudence that is accepted in the Islamic world and unambiguously rejects these violent teachings.

Read it all. It's pretty short.

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Jihadists in their own words: How Islam will take over the UK

UK jihadist Anjem Choudary describes the ways in which the UK could become a Muslim country, and in doing so makes these ominous statements:
Who else has an ideology...that believes to overthrow any government? Nobody does. The Buddhists don't, the Hindus, Sikhs, nobody...Nobody has this agenda on them, to implement the shari'a and remove regimes. Only the Muslims.


There are three types of Muslims: those who are in prison, those on their way to prison, and those who are not practicing. Really. If you abide by the shari'a in your life, you are in one of those categories, one of the first two. Must be. Otherwise, you're doing something wrong.

Watch it all.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Rick Santorum at Stanford

Former senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum spoke at Stanford today about the War on Terror and his views on the best way to proceed in the current conflict with what he called "aggressive, expansionist Islam." He was invited by the Stanford Review and Stanford College Republicans.

One highlight was when Senator Santorum took issue with those who say we are at war with terrorists who "just happen to be Muslims," exclaiming, "That's false! It has everything to do with Islam!" These are people who are trying to impose their values an their culture on us, which "is antithetical to Western culture," he explained.

Overall, it was an excellent speech. Senator Santorum has clearly done his research on this topic, and it's a shame more elected officials don't share his views on this.

A reporter from the Stanford Review was there, so expect a full-length article on the event about a week and a half from now.

There were a handful of protesters hanging around outside the entrance, apparently expecting the senator to speak about his "reprehensible" views on gay rights and abortion.

Hey, guys! The election was 4 months ago! Get over it!

There was actually an excellent turnout. About 150 people showed up.

Former Senator Rick Santorum

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