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Monday, November 19, 2007

Foundationless Castles

Foundationless Castles of Neocons

It is fascinating to read Anand Patwardhan's comments on the article in the Frontpage Magazine. Both the pieces are appended here below with a few comments from Rohit Chopra and myself. It is a long reading, it is worth it but if you have an interest.

From Mike Ghouse

There is no shortage of experts, they are manufactured by dozens. In April this year, I have had a dialogue with the folks at Front Page Magazine, run by Jamie Glazov and Robert Spencer that resulted in a symposium called one Islam . It is also available at: http://frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID={63467012-3FCB-43B6-B384-B94C8F0C985F} The one thing good about them is their integrity in presenting your point of view, word for word.

Much of the knowledge of experts on Islam comes from a baseless foundation laid by the European Kings to malign the invaders from Arabia, thus Islam. There was seldom a king in the history of mankind who had no other business than expanding territories. The only way they could check the Arabs from conquering their lands was to use the poor subjects of their empires in defending their kingdom.

So they get the Pope (who compromised Christianity for political purposes) to go along with them in issuing a Fatwa that those Moslems are attacking the Christians and fan fanaticism to march on a holy war and slaughter those infidel Muslims (and Jews) who control the land Jesus walked on. How did the Pope authorize such a ridiculous thing to do? It goes against the very grain of Christianity that Jesus taught. I pray that Pope Benedict adopts the language of Jesus, that mitigates conflict and not agitate the world anymore. President Bush and his cohorts similarly use the Neocons to do their dirty work in establishing a baseless foundation (WMD's) and butchering over a million people. Their knowledge is based on lies as well. Are these anti-Christ?

The European kings had a plan, to build hatred against the Arab armies and blatantly went after their religion. Paid the idiot scholars or perhaps scared the devil out of them to mistranslate Qur'aan. Just like miserable Collin Powell declared the WMD's in the United Nations knowing well that it was a lie. Here is a small sample of their WMD lies about Qur'aan: Qur'aan Translations - http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/WorldMuslimCongress/Quran_Translations_Issues_031107.pps

The Arab kings (read Muslim) were not far behind either, they paid the translators to mistranslate Qur'aan as well to get the poor Muslims to go get killed and kill to save their King's tail in the guise of protecting Islam. However, Qur'aan itself has remained a safe document through the tradition of memorizing.

The Questions are unending, but the answers seem to take away the finger pointing at Religion, and move towards the individuals. I am yet to see a conclusionary statement that blames the religion for the crimes of humanity. It is always the powers to be, who use the poor suckers to do their bidding and religion is always available to be used, rather abused.

One of my personal missions is to shake the world up, and strip criminals from using religion for anything they do. We should feel the discomfort in labeling religion for the wrongs of the men, just as we feel odd driving without the seat belt on (for those who are used to seat belt). Religion is the most beautiful gift to mankind, every religion brings answers and peace to oneself and how to live with what is around; life and matter.

From Rohit Chopra:

One more Neocons 'expert' on political Islam crawls out of the woodwork. Here is Anand Patwardhan's review, on Chowk, of an interview with with Bill Warner, the Director – Center for the Study of Political Islam, conducted by Jamie Glazov on 7th February 2007 for Front Page magazine -- a conservative mouthpiece. As Patwardhan notes, the interview is full of dubious, not to mention prejudiced, claims, such as:

"The practice of suttee, the widow throwing herself on the husband's funeral pyre, came about as a response to the rape and brutality of the Islamic jihad as it sweep over ancient Hindustan." The first recorded instance of Sati belongs to 6th century C.E."



Artifice of Scholarship : CSPI on FrontPage
Anand Patwardhan, November 15, 2007


An interview of Bill Warner, The Director – Center for the Study of Political Islam, conducted by Jamie Glazov on 7th February 2007 for the Front Page magazine arrived in my email today. The tone set by Warner is exceedingly soothing right from the start – “reasonable” and “scholarly”. He describes the aim of CSPI as ‘the scientific study of the foundational texts of Islam—Koran, Sira (life of Mohammed) and Hadith (traditions of Mohammed).’ Glazov turns out to be a highly accommodating and agreeable interviewer. Warner takes much pride in the fact that his group was first to use statistics to study the Doctrine and History, or Theory and Practice, of Islam. He gives what he obviously considers compelling statistics about the true nature of Islam – a “war mongering doctrine”.

“Let’s turn to Bukhari (the Hadith) for the answer, as he repeatedly speaks of jihad. In Bukhari 97% of the jihad references are about war and 3% are about the inner struggle. So the statistical answer is that jihad is 97% war and 3% inner struggle. Is jihad war? Yes—97%. Is jihad inner struggle? Yes—3%.”

Is Warner right? Yes – 100%. Is Warner wrong? Yes – 100%. It is difficult to take a call unless one is an Islamic scholar or had Warner sighted the original sources for us to verify. He throws figures at us and hopes they stick. Usually they do. But only if they enhance the conventional wisdom, validate the embedded stereotypes. Here are some curious figures.

Parameter Doctrine - I Doctrine - II

War 451 65

Battle 264 4

Fighting 10 28

Total 725 97

Firstly, the figures are clickable links where everyone is encouraged to visit the webpage to ascertain the details. Later, we calculate the ratio of “violent” phrases in both the doctrines to arrive at the conclusion : Doctrine-I is about 750% more violent than Doctrine-II. Isn’t it a reasonable conclusion Mr. Warner? Isn’t it better than even what you have done?; since it sights independent sources that readers can verify. Warner would agree, unless he had felt encouraged beforehand to ‘click’ the figures in the above table to see what the templates I & II really stand for. Many readers too may stare at this revealed ‘Template reality’ in disbelief. Yet, these figures don’t prove or disprove anything. The lessons to be learnt here are : statistics is a tool, not a proof and when facts contradict “Theory”, Fiction-Peddlers like Warner ignore facts, whereas Fact-Seekers would either verify facts to disprove their authenticity or failing which would abandon the theory. Incidentally, fact-seekers will never or should never base the edifice of such a grandiose theory that condemns 1400 years of a sizable part of human civilization on such a wafer thin base.

Next major intellectual breakthrough Warner marshals in his approach to Islam is the recognition of dualism as its foundation. He posits thus,

“Endless ink has been wasted on trying to answer the question of what is Islam? Is Islam the religion of peace? Or is the true Islam a radical ideology?...... Is light a particle or is light a wave? The arguments went back and forth. Quantum mechanics gave us the answer. Light is dualistic; it is both a particle and a wave. It depends upon the circumstances as to which quality manifests. Islam functions in the same manner.”

Then he comes to the tactic of ‘abrogation’ relied upon by some clerics to resolve the contradictions in Quran. His shine of originality wears out too quickly when one realizes that some Islamic scholars had recognized both the dualism – a.k.a. contradictions and the need for their resolution – a.k.a. abrogation as early as 10th century C.E. The abrogating and abrogated verses were called by them Al Nasekh and Al Mansoukh respectively. Contradictions do get narrowed down when the chosen verses are set out in their context. The Sura 73, Spoils of War, and Sura 8, the Enshrouded, deal with the differing contexts of temporal and transcendent issues. However, it is true that contradictions themselves do not evaporate. Such conundrums exist even in Bible.

“...thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. -- Exodus 21:23-25

...ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. -- Matthew 5:39”

Where will Mr. Warner hide now when faced with the ignobility of logic deserting his beloved Christianity? What will he do when the devil of duality is discovered in his own sacred texts? Isn’t his punditry a foolery of pot calling the kettle black?

Quran was revealed to Mohammed over several years and was memorized or scribed on variety of materials like cloth, bone, leather, and stones by some among those followers who were present at the moment. Early verses and Suras of Quran are briefer, inward looking and peace seeking – in one word, transcendent. This was commensurate with the situation at Mecca where prophet was at the mercy of Quraish – an ‘idol worshipping’ and ‘offerings extracting’ clan to which prophet belonged. Fortune changed in Medina where accretion of temporal power made Mohammed confident of the success of his mission. Naturally, this is reflected in the later verses and Suras that deal at great length with material life, both private (of an individual) and public (as a member society). Mohammed had the good fortune of enjoying transcendent and temporal powers in his lifetime unlike Jesus Christ, but like many other prophets of the Old Testament. Jews were already subjugated by the Roman Empire when they faced the dissenting voice of Jesus in their religious affairs. The result is well known – crucifixion, instigated by Jews and perpetrated by Romans. If Jesus had succeeded in getting temporal authority during his lifetime, may be he would have left a much different ministry behind. Although that did not matter in practice as the quest for survival drove a temporal power to seek out Christianity, which had by now assembled a large body of faithful, when Roman Emperor Constantine converted in 327 C.E.

All the 3 Semitic religions uncompromisingly believe in one god and no other (Allah is an Arabic word for God), the dualism of conflict between god (good) and devil (evil), the judgment day (Qay_mat), and the hereafter in heaven or hell. The similarity between Judaism and Islam goes even further; both strictly treat creation and creator as distinct–i.e. dualism in life (Jesus termed as son of God is unacceptable), despise idolatry, have to follow stricter observances to qualify as followers, practice circumcision, and classify foods in to acceptable (Kosher/Halal) or unacceptable (Treif/Haram) – the last with a significant overlap. Significantly, Torah (first 5 chapters of Old Testament) confers special status on its followers – the chosen tribes of Israelites as does Quran for its followers. Old Testament is full of the trials and tribulations, often very violent and bloody, of the chosen people over millennia. There conflicts with tribes from Mesopotamia in North-East to Pharaohs in South-West mirror miseries and triumphs encountered while searching the Promised Land. Quran too, in later verses, much like Torah, records contemporary conflicts and political and social changes, and enunciates Islamic laws albeit on a much smaller canvas of time. Moreover, Quran accepts and mentions specifically Biblical prophets like Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Yakub (Jacob), Ismail (Ishmael) etc., recognizes Jews as the people of the book and models its philosophy after Torah. If Quran accepts the earlier Hebrew Prophets, it is obvious to anyone that their god is same as the Hebrew god. In fact, Jews at Medina initially took Mohammed to be the prophet whose arrival was predicted in their texts. But when their attempts to take him under their wings and make him do their bidding failed, they turned antagonistic. When Warner overlooks or fails to mention this, his “scholarship” becomes suspect. Quran distinguishes between Believers and Unbelievers – ‘not acceptable’ to Warner’s thesis. Torah distinguishes between Chosen People and Others – meets with ‘silence’ from Warner. He dangles before us what he calls the shining precept of “his civilization” – “Treat others as you would be treated.” Probably, he meant to say “Love your neighbor as yourself.” However, during the crusades, Christians behaved - abandoning Christ - exactly like the Muslims, proving themselves remarkably prescient about what Warner was to say in Front Page interview several centuries later.

Another oft repeated ruse our interlocutor fails to disguise is to take a much abused word or phrase and to paint the whole canvas with it. He mourns,

“When Islam burst out of Arabia into a decaying Byzantine world, the unbelievers recorded it as an Arabic invasion. Similarly, the invasion of Eastern Europe was by Turks; the invasion of Spain was by Moors.”

Leave alone Turks or Moors, even Arabs were not or are not a monolith. Among Palestinians Fatah and Hamas are at loggerheads. In Iraq, many more Sunnis and Shias are dying in sectarian violence and suicide bombings than they ever did under Saddam. Syrians are jostling with Lebanon. These are real people with real identities and have real differences, difficulties and problems. Some of them originally created or fueled in the last 100 years by the policies and actions of the ‘British, US and some European’ governments. Calling them all Muslims diabolically seeks to obliterate their significant distinctions and obfuscate real issues. In all these conflict zones there are ‘bread and butter’ problems of control of resources, access to growth and development, yearnings of economic independence, desire for political freedom etc.

Iraq was invaded because it had links with Al Qaeda and possessed WMDs. Both were blatant lies and were proved to be so. It was then conveniently discovered that Saddam was a brutal dictator who used nerve gas against his own people. Saddam was a brutal dictator even in 1981-88, when Reagan found him to be a valuable ally against Iran that had dispatched Shah in 1979 into exile. He fielded Donald Rumsfeld in 1983 to meet Saddam and assure him of all help. The nerve gas supplied by the US regime was used by Saddam on Kurds during this period. Did anyone hear even a whimper from Reagan? The brutal and corrupt regime of Shah was installed and maintained after CIA overthrew the first democratically elected government of Mosadeh. Its crime was the nationalization of Iranian oil industry for the benefit of Iranian people by ending the cozy colonial arrangements of British and US oil companies.

What about that fountainhead of terrorism – Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda? When the then evil Soviet Empire was to be dislodged from Afghanistan – around the same period as Iraq’s Iran war – US connived with Zia Ul Haq, an army dictator who sponsored terrorist networks against India too, to create Taliban. Zia provided the software of indoctrination through bigoted madrassah and military training and US gave the hardware of money, arms and ammunitions. Osama Bin Laden was encouraged too to participate with a group of foreign scouts. Christians and Muslims collaborated in a grand strategy to defeat the atheist infidels of USSR. Nobody foresaw that both Taliban and Osama will be jobless once the Soviets withdrew. Here is a potent force of ideologically committed, well equipped and battle hardened “Jihadis”; and it is jobless. Only job they knew is to fight, fight the infidel.

Israel-Palestine conflict has been festering since 1949. It was created by Britain and US governments when they chose to plant Israel on the north western strip of Arabia. US controls huge territory in North America and could have easily given enough fertile land to Jews to establish their state. Jews would have had their promised land of peace and tranquility after being haunted in Middle East and Europe all through Millennia. With fertile land, favourable climate, water resources and their legendary ingenuity Jews would have forced Biblical rivers of milk and honey flow once again. But then the control over the oil in the Middle East would have been lost. Planting Israel where it stands today has provided the much needed strategic toehold to intervene in that region. Ever since then US always sides and is seen to side with Israel, one has to only read the often unanimous UN Security Council and general body resolutions on this conflict that were opposed and vetoed by it, to agree. Sooner rather than later these jobless ‘Mujahiddins’ were going to find jobs. Jobs they loved thanks to the training by US and Pakistan. They found their jobs in targeting US.

911 provided the perfect cover to attack Afghanistan and later Iraq. However, in case of Iraq the invasion was planned in February 2001, just a little over month into Bush presidency. Texas guys were hungry for Iraqi oil. ‘Preemptive’ war doctrine has become now accepted wisdom. Designer wars are next. US is constructing an embassy in Iraq to house 5,500 personnel. It would be the biggest embassy built by any country anywhere. Is it a sign of occupier planning to or wanting to leave in a hurry?

Rest of Warner’s interview is utterly churlish and full of hyperboles to deserve a lengthy treatment, but a few selected verbiages have been shown the trash bin where they belong.

1. “The practice of suttee, the widow throwing herself on the husband’s funeral pyre, came about as a response to the rape and brutality of the Islamic jihad as it sweep over ancient Hindustan.” The first recorded instance of Sati belongs to 6th century C.E.
2. “Blacks can’t accept the common bond they share with whites: that both Europeans and Africans were slaves under Islam.” The greatest democracy on earth failed to abolish slavery through out US until 1798 and granted adult franchise regardless of race only in 1870. De facto segregation was the norm until Martin Luther King and the 1960s civil rights movement happened.
3. “The history of political Islam starts with Mohammed’s immigration to Medina. From that point on, Islam’s appeal to the world has always had the dualistic option of joining a glorious religion or being the subject of political pressure and violence. After the immigration to Medina, Islam became violent when persuasion failed. Jihad entered the world.”

Christianity behaved no differently as will be seen from the following excerpts

“The Catholic Church brought uniformity to the faith and established it as a public institution rather than small communities of individual followers. The Church not only established strict laws and religious doctrine but it wiped out 'heretic' and divergent thoughts. Sometimes through violence as severe as the persecutions against the early Christians and other times through subtle adoption of pre-existing religious concepts, the Catholic Church virtually destroyed these other sects and Paganism along with it…… The Church too, as it began to become an institution of considerable power in the later 3rd century, used tactics as brutal as anti-Christian Emperors……. By the fall of the western Empire (476 AD), Christianity was not only the official religion of the Roman world, but it had supreme authority in matters of morality and human behavior. Censorship played a large role as well. Historical documents of an incalculable number were destroyed or edited in order to prevent anti-Christian, or perceived anti-Christian thought. It is hard to imagine how much written history, and evidence of the ancient world, was lost forever due to this manipulation…….. His mother, Helena, after Constantine executed his own son (Crispus) and wife (Fausta) in a very un-Christian manner, embarked on a pilgrimage to the eastern provinces…. In 390 AD, a massacre ordered by the Emperor of 7,000 people who revolted in Thessalonica resulted in his own 8 month penance. By the beginning of the 5th century, after just 400 years, the Church grew from a fledgling mystery cult into a power on nearly equal terms with the Roman Emperor himself.”

The temporal role of Mohammed was played by Emperor and Church in the case of Christianity.

4. “Around 60 million Christians were slaughtered during the jihadic conquest…. Half of the glorious Hindu civilization was annihilated and 80 million Hindus killed…. About 10 million Buddhists died….. In Africa over 120 million Christians and animists have died over the last 1400 years of jihad….. Approximately 270 million nonbelievers died over the last 1400 years for the glory of political Islam.”

Warner spouts figures like a CEO at an AGM, and mercifully gets his addition right. But his figure-work is as spurious as the cooking of accounting books by Enron and WorldCom.

A fine interpretative essay presented in a book form called ‘The Arabs in History’ is strongly recommended to those who want to recover quickly from the hangover of vitriol poured from Front Page.

“The introduction of paper, and the rapid spread of its use and then its manufacture, affected Middle eastern society in many ways. By making possible the cheap and rapid production of books, it brought about an intellectual and cultural impact comparable, albeit on a smaller scale, with that of the later introduction of printing press the West.” (Page 94).

In the ninth century, Sarraf, or money changer, developed in to a banker on a large scale, no doubt supported by wealthy traders with money to invest. We hear of banks with a head office in Baghdad and branches in the other cities of the empire and of an elaborate system of cheques, letter of credit, etc., so developed that it was possible to draw a cheque in Baghdad and cash it in Morocco. (Page 98).

“Dhimmis were well content with less. They were indeed second-class citizens, subject to both social and fiscal disabilities, and on a few rare occasions open to persecution. But by and large their position was infinitely superior to that of those communities who differed from the established church in Western Europe in the same period (9th Century). (Page 101).

“The Arabs brought to Sicily oranges, mulberries, sugar-cane, date-palms and cotton. They extended cultivation by careful irrigation, and to this day many fountains in Sicily, and especially in Palermo, still have easily recognizable Arab names.”

“Roger II (1130-54), known as ‘the pagan’ because of his favouring of Muslims, used Arab troops and siege engineers in his campaigns in Southern Italy and Arab architects for his buildings, who created the new and distinctive Saracenic-Norman style. His magnificent coronation mantle, woven in the royal Tiraz workshop of Palermo, bears an Arabic inscription in Kufic style and Hijara date 528.”

“It was at Roger’s court that the Moroccan-born al-Idrisi, the greatest of the Arab geographers, wrote his monumental compendium of geography, which he dedicated to the Norman king and which is known as Kitab Rujjar-the Book of Roger.” (Page 129-130).

“The new regime was relatively tolerant, and even some Spanish chronicles describe it as preferable to the Frankish rule in the north. The greatest benefit that it brought to the country was the elimination of the old ruling class nobility and clergy and the distribution of their lands, creating a new class of smallholders who were largely responsible for the agricultural prosperity of Muslim Spain. The serfs were better off, while many of the townspeople found a new life as converts to Islam.” (Page 132).

Does this sound like the description of ‘dualistic’, unreliable, bloodthirsty brutes that Warner would like us believe Muslims were and are? Before you conclude that the quotes above are rants from another Warner albeit from opposite side, it is revealed that the writer is Bernard Lewis, Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near eastern studies Emeritus, Princeton University.

The target audience of Front Page and CSPI are, of course, Americans. Though Warner has attempted to denigrate Islam and may be has succeeded with many common Americans, it is not his real agenda. The Bush-Cheney cabal has already achieved that goal as a stepping stone to Middle East oil control. There have always been sane, cogent and objective voices that have seen through the façade of this Bush administration and they are now growing in numbers after seeing through the lies endlessly cycled in mainstream media. These voices are represented by Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Norman Solomon, John Pilger, Michael Moore, Seymour Hersh, Rees Elrich, Michel Chosudovsky, etc. just to name a few. They are fine US, Canadian, British individuals. But they are providing evidence that runs against “conventional wisdom”. It requires efforts and time to weigh and understand their case. Slowly they are being heard. Their credibility is on the rise. That is the real threat Bush-Cheney regime faces. The regime change in US can only come from within when US citizens vote and vote decisively. It is to obviate this threat that a systematic campaign is on to discredit the messengers. That is why Warner repeatedly laments the ignorance and slavery of Western intellectuals.

“The victims find ways to blame themselves.”

“The victim is humiliated.”

“The victim feels helpless.”

“The victim turns the anger inward.”

“We hate ourselves because we are mentally molested and abused. Our intellectuals and artists have responded to the abuse of jihad just as a sexually abused child or a rape victim would respond. We are quite intellectually ill and are failing at our job of clear thinking. We can’t look at our denial.”

‘Discredit the messenger and the message will stand discredited.’ The US regime uses fear to make citizens and congress fall in line. NeoCon think tanks use scorn to shame the intellectuals and artists. This is not happening for the first time. In the 1950s, McCarthyism achieved the same purpose by discrediting opponents by derisively and hatefully calling them “commies” or “lefties”. To this day these remain pejorative terms.

‘All Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims’. Many must have heard this smart “aphorism”. It sounds very agreeable and factual. It isn’t. Irish Republican Army, Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, Tamil Tigers, ULFA, etc. are held to be terrorist outfits but are not Muslim. Yet, Taliban, Al Qaeda, Chechens, and sundry others groups in Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia are considered terrorists and are Muslim. But it hides a subtle and more invidious implication. It is a Statistical implication. Regression analysis can tell us if two or more variables are correlated or not and what is the direction of their correlation. It also calculates the correlation coefficient that measures the degree of bonding. But it alone cannot determine causality – the cause and the effect. For example Rains and Floods are correlated. They are positively correlated – more rains may mean more floods and less rains less floods. This proposition also implies causality. Last year’s floods that inundated Surat-city were blamed on heavy rains. No one questioned. It sounds so obvious. It must be true. But someone decided to take a closer look. Floods turned out to be manmade. Rainy season water management or regulating water discharge in a controlled manner of an upstream dam on river Tapi was botched up. Obvious was not true after all. Similarly, one may find positive correlation between terrorists and Muslims. But that does not prove Muslims are the cause and terrorism is the effect, at least statistically. There could be other causes driving both terrorism and Muslims in tandem.

Everyone should look for and address these causes in earnest, Muslims more so than the rest. Muslims need to be proactive in this search and its proper articulation. Presence of religious fundamentalists among their ranks undermines their cause. They should avoid defending Islam from the position of worn out perspectives. It won’t help. Muslims need to think innovatively. First, they should consciously and vigorously resist their portrayal as only or decisively Muslims, both by others or by those among themselves, and describe themselves as Americans, Bulgarians, Kosovians, Turks, Iranians, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Indians, etc. In fact they already do this. Ummah has at best been an ideal throughout history otherwise one would not find conflicts among Muslims. Muslims have many allegiances like in any other community and religion is not the only one. Ways should be found to project this pluralism and heterodoxy effectively, both within the community and without. Secondly, they need to firmly make Muslim personal law contemporary, especially regarding the rights of women, as Turkey did long ago. In the dialogue with others too a paradigm shift is needed. They should focus on real contentious issues rather than falling prey to using old clichés of “Zionist conspiracy” or “Attack of Kaffirs”. Learning the language of modern age and preferably using English in their discourse will avoid being misreported, deliberately or otherwise. Confident and forward looking communities of Muslims, living in different countries, whether in majority or not, will be a real antidote to all the virulent NeoCon propaganda against them.

The Study of Political Islam By Jamie Glazov


FrontPageMagazine.com Monday, February 05, 2007

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Bill Warner, the director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam (CSPI). CSPI’s goal is to teach the doctrine of political Islam through its books and it has produced a series on its focus. Mr. Warner did not write the CSPI series, but he acts as the agent for a group of scholars who are the authors.

FP: Bill Warner, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Warner: Thank you Jamie for this opportunity.

FP: Tell us a bit about the Center for the Study of Political Islam.

Warner: The Center for the Study of Political Islam is a group of scholars who are devoted to the scientific study of the foundational texts of Islam—Koran, Sira (life of Mohammed) and Hadith (traditions of Mohammed). There are two areas to study in Islam, its doctrine and history, or as CSPI sees it—the theory and its results. We study the history to see the practical or experimental results of the doctrine.

CSPI seems to be the first group to use statistics to study the doctrine. Previous scientific studies of the Koran are primarily devoted to Arabic language studies.

Our first principle is that Koran, Sira and Hadith must be taken as a whole. We call them the Islamic Trilogy to emphasize the unity of the texts.

Our major intellectual breakthrough is to see that dualism is the foundation and key to understanding Islam. Everything about Islam comes in twos starting with its foundational declaration: (1) there is no god but Allah and (2) Mohammed is His prophet. Therefore, Islam is Allah (Koran) and the Sunna (words and deeds of Mohammed found in the Sira and Hadith).

Endless ink has been wasted on trying to answer the question of what is Islam? Is Islam the religion of peace? Or is the true Islam a radical ideology? Is a moderate Muslim the real Muslim?

This reminds a scientist of the old arguments about light. Is light a particle or is light a wave? The arguments went back and forth. Quantum mechanics gave us the answer. Light is dualistic; it is both a particle and a wave. It depends upon the circumstances as to which quality manifests. Islam functions in the same manner.

Our first clue about the dualism is in the Koran, which is actually two books, the Koran of Mecca (early) and the Koran of Medina (later). The insight into the logic of the Koran comes from the large numbers of contradictions in it. On the surface, Islam resolves these contradictions by resorting to “abrogation”. This means that the verse written later supersedes the earlier verse. But in fact, since the Koran is considered by Muslims to be the perfect word of Allah, both verses are sacred and true. The later verse is “better,” but the earlier verse cannot be wrong since Allah is perfect. This is the foundation of dualism. Both verses are “right.” Both sides of the contradiction are true in dualistic logic. The circumstances govern which verse is used.

For example:

(Koran of Mecca) 73:10: Listen to what they [unbelievers] say with patience, and leave them with dignity.

From tolerance we move to the ultimate intolerance, not even the Lord of the Universe can stand the unbelievers:


(Koran of Medina) 8:12: Then your Lord spoke to His angels and said, “I will be with you. Give strength to the believers. I will send terror into the unbelievers’ hearts, cut off their heads and even the tips of their fingers!”

All of Western logic is based upon the law of contradiction—if two things contradict, then at least one of them is false. But Islamic logic is dualistic; two things can contradict each other and both are true.

No dualistic system may be measured by one answer. This is the reason that the arguments about what constitutes the “real” Islam go on and on and are never resolved. A single right answer does not exist.

Dualistic systems can only be measured by statistics. It is futile to argue one side of the dualism is true. As an analogy, quantum mechanics always gives a statistical answer to all questions.

For an example of using statistics, look at the question: what is the real jihad, the jihad of inner, spiritual struggle or the jihad of war? Let’s turn to Bukhari (the Hadith) for the answer, as he repeatedly speaks of jihad. In Bukhari 97% of the jihad references are about war and 3% are about the inner struggle. So the statistical answer is that jihad is 97% war and 3% inner struggle. Is jihad war? Yes—97%. Is jihad inner struggle? Yes—3%. So if you are writing an article, you can make a case for either. But in truth, almost every argument about Islam can be answered by: all of the above. Both sides of the duality are right.

FP: Why, in your view, is there so much ignorance about the history and doctrine of political Islam in the West?

Warner: First, let’s see how ignorant we are about the history of political Islam. How many Christians can tell you how Turkey or Egypt became Islamic? What happened to the Seven Churches of Asia mentioned in Paul’s letters? Find a Jew who can tell you the Jewish history of dhimmitude (second class citizens who serve Islam). What European knows that white women were the highest priced slaves in Mecca? Everyone knows how many Jews Hitler killed, but find an unbeliever who can tell you how many died in jihad over the last 1400 years.

We are just as ignorant about the doctrine of Islam. An FBI agent gets two hours of training on Islam and most of that is how not to offend the imam. We are fighting in Iraq. Who utilizes the political, military doctrine of Islam to plan strategy? Who can find a single rabbi or minister who has read the Koran, Sira and Hadith? What governor, senator, congressmen or military leader displays a knowledge of the political doctrine of Islam? Try to find a course available in a college about Islamic political doctrine and ethics. Graduates are schooled in Islamic art, architecture, poetry, Sufism, and a glorious history that ignores the suffering of the innocent unbelievers. Graduates read comments about the Koran and Hadith, but do not read the actual doctrine.

FP: So why this ignorance?

Warner: Let’s start at the beginning. When Islam burst out of Arabia into a decaying Byzantine world, the unbelievers recorded it as an Arabic invasion. Similarly, the invasion of Eastern Europe was by Turks; the invasion of Spain was by Moors. Our scholars were incapable of even naming the invaders.

Mohammed killed every single intellectual or artist who opposed him. It was fear that drove the vast majority of the media not to reprint the Mohammed cartoons, not some imagined sensitivity. Fear is a fabulous basis for ignorance, but that is not enough to explain it all. What accounts for the almost psychotic aversion to knowledge about Islam? Beyond fear is the realization that political Islam is profoundly foreign to us.

Let’s examine the ethical basis of our civilization. All of our politics and ethics are based upon a unitary ethic that is best formulated in the Golden Rule:

Treat others as you would be treated.

The basis of this rule is the recognition that at one level, we are all the same. We are not all equal. Any game of sports will show that we do not have equal abilities. But everyone wants to be treated as a human being. In particular, we all want to be equal under the law and be treated as social equals. On the basis of the Golden Rule—the equality of human beings—we have created democracy, ended slavery and treat women and men as political equals. So the Golden Rule is a unitary ethic. All people are to be treated the same. All religions have some version of the Golden Rule except Islam.

FP: So how is Islam different in this context?

Warner: The term “human being” has no meaning inside of Islam. There is no such thing as humanity, only the duality of the believer and unbeliever. Look at the ethical statements found in the Hadith. A Muslim should not lie, cheat, kill or steal from other Muslims. But a Muslim may lie, deceive or kill an unbeliever if it advances Islam.

There is no such thing as a universal statement of ethics in Islam. Muslims are to be treated one way and unbelievers another way. The closest Islam comes to a universal statement of ethics is that the entire world must submit to Islam. After Mohammed became a prophet, he never treated an unbeliever the same as a Muslim. Islam denies the truth of the Golden Rule.

By the way, this dualistic ethic is the basis for jihad. The ethical system sets up the unbeliever as less than human and therefore, it is easy to kill, harm or deceive the unbeliever.

Now mind you, unbelievers have frequently failed at applying the Golden Rule, but we can be judged and condemned on its basis. We do fall short, but it is our ideal.

There have been other dualistic cultures. The KKK comes to mind. But the KKK is a simplistic dualism. The KKK member hates all black people at all times; there is only one choice. This is very straightforward and easy to see.

The dualism of Islam is more deceitful and offers two choices on how to treat the unbeliever. The unbeliever can be treated nicely, in the same way a farmer treats his cattle well. So Islam can be “nice”, but in no case is the unbeliever a “brother” or a friend. In fact, there are some 14 verses of the Koran that are emphatic—a Muslim is never a friend to the unbeliever. A Muslim may be “friendly,” but he is never an actual friend. And the degree to which a Muslim is actually a true friend is the degree to which he is not a Muslim, but a hypocrite.

FP: You mentioned earlier how logic is another point of profound difference. Can you touch on that?

Warner: To reiterate, all of science is based upon the law of contradiction. If two things contradict each other, then at least one of them has to be false. But inside of Islamic logic, two contradictory statements can both be true. Islam uses dualistic logic and we use unitary scientific logic.

Since Islam has a dualistic logic and dualistic ethics, it is completely foreign to us. Muslims think differently from us and feel differently from us. So our aversion is based upon fear and a rejection of Islamic ethics and logic. This aversion causes us to avoid learning about Islam so we are ignorant and stay ignorant.

Another part of the aversion is the realization that there is no compromise with dualistic ethics. There is no halfway place between unitary ethics and dualistic ethics. If you are in a business deal with someone who is a liar and a cheat, there is no way to avoid getting cheated. No matter how nice you are to a con man, he will take advantage of you. There is no compromise with dualistic ethics. In short, Islamic politics, ethics and logic cannot be part of our civilization. Islam does not assimilate, it dominates. There is never any “getting along” with Islam. Its demands never cease and the demands must be met on Islam’s terms: submission.

The last reason for our aversion to the history of political Islam is our shame. Islam put over a million Europeans into slavery. Since Muslims can’t be enslaved, it was a white Christian who was the Turkish sultan’s sex slave. These are things that we do not want to face.

Jews don’t want to acknowledge the history of political Islam, because they were dhimmis, second class citizens or semi-slaves, just like the Christians. Jews like to recall how they were advisors and physicians to powerful Muslims, but no matter what the Jew did or what position he held, he was still a dhimmi. There is no compromise between being equal and being a dhimmi

Why should a Hindu want to recall the shame of slavery and the destruction of their temples and cities? After Hindu craftsmen built the Taj Mahal, the Muslim ruler had their right hands cut off so that they could not build anything as beautiful for anyone else. The practice of suttee, the widow throwing herself on the husband’s funeral pyre, came about as a response to the rape and brutality of the Islamic jihad as it sweep over ancient Hindustan.

Blacks don’t want to face the fact that it was a Muslim who rounded up their ancestors in Africa to wholesale to the white slave trader. The Arab is the true master of the African. Blacks can’t accept the common bond they share with whites: that both Europeans and Africans were slaves under Islam. Blacks like to imagine Islam is their counterweight to white power, not that Islam has ruled them for 1400 years.

Dualistic logic. Dualistic ethics. Fear. Shame. There is no compromise. These are the reasons we don’t want to know about Islam’s political history, doctrine or ethics.

FP So is there such a thing as non-political Islam?

Warner: Non-political Islam is religious Islam. Religious Islam is what a Muslim does to avoid Hell and go to Paradise. These are the Five Pillars—prayer, charity to Muslims, pilgrimage to Mecca, fasting and declaring Mohammed to be the final prophet.

But the Trilogy is clear about the doctrine. At least 75% of the Sira (life of Mohammed) is about jihad. About 67% of the Koran written in Mecca is about the unbelievers, or politics. Of the Koran of Medina, 51% is devoted to the unbelievers. About 20% of Bukhari’s Hadith is about jihad and politics. Religion is the smallest part of Islamic foundational texts.

Political Islam’s most famous duality is the division of the world into believers, dar al Islam, and unbelievers, dar al harb. The largest part of the Trilogy relates to treatment of the unbelievers, kafirs. Even Hell is political. There are 146 references to Hell in the Koran. Only 6% of those in Hell are there for moral failings—murder, theft, etc. The other 94% of the reasons for being in Hell are for the intellectual sin of disagreeing with Mohammed, a political crime. Hence, Islamic Hell is a political prison for those who speak against Islam.

Mohammed preached his religion for 13 years and garnered only 150 followers. But when he turned to politics and war, in 10 years time he became the first ruler of Arabia by averaging an event of violence every 7 weeks for 9 years. His success did not come as a religious leader, but as a political leader.

In short, political Islam defines how the unbelievers are to be dealt with and treated.

FP: Can you touch briefly on the history of political Islam?

Warner: The history of political Islam starts with Mohammed’s immigration to Medina. From that point on, Islam’s appeal to the world has always had the dualistic option of joining a glorious religion or being the subject of political pressure and violence. After the immigration to Medina, Islam became violent when persuasion failed. Jihad entered the world.

After Mohammed’s death, Abu Bakr, the second caliph, settled the theological arguments of those who wished to leave Islam with the political action of death by the sword. The jihad of Umar (the second caliph, a pope-king) exploded into the world of the unbelievers. Jihad destroyed a Christian Middle East and a Christian North Africa. Soon it was the fate of the Persian Zoroastrian and the Hindu to be the victims of jihad. The history of political Islam is the destruction of Christianity in the Middle East, Egypt, Turkey and North Africa. Half of Christianity was lost. Before Islam, North Africa was the southern part of Europe (part of the Roman Empire). Around 60 million Christians were slaughtered during the jihadic conquest.

Half of the glorious Hindu civilization was annihilated and 80 million Hindus killed.

The first Western Buddhists were the Greeks descended from Alexander the Great’s army in what is now Afghanistan. Jihad destroyed all of Buddhism along the silk route. About 10 million Buddhists died. The conquest of Buddhism is the practical result of pacifism.

Zoarasterianism was eliminated from Persia.

The Jews became permanent dhimmis throughout Islam.

In Africa over 120 million Christians and animists have died over the last 1400 years of jihad.

Approximately 270 million nonbelievers died over the last 1400 years for the glory of political Islam. These are the Tears of Jihad which are not taught in any school.

FP: How have our intellectuals responded to Islam?

Warner: The basis of all the unbeliever’s thought has collapsed in the face of Islamic political thought, ethics and logic. We have already mentioned how our first intellectuals could not even name the invaders as Muslims. We have no method of analysis of Islam. We can’t agree on what Islam is and have no knowledge about our suffering as the victims of a 1400-year jihad.

Look at how Christians, Jews, blacks, intellectuals and artists have dealt with Islamic doctrine and history. In every case their primary ideas fail.

Christians believe that “love conquers all.” Well, love does not conquer Islam. Christians have a difficult time seeing Islam as a political doctrine, not a religion. The sectarian nature of Christian thought means that the average non-Orthodox Christian has no knowledge or sympathy about the Orthodox Christian’s suffering.

Jews have a theology that posits a unique relationship between Jews and the creator-god of the universe. But Islam sees the Jews as apes who corrupted the Old Testament. Jews see no connection between Islam’s political doctrine and Israel.

Black intellectuals have based their ideas on the slave/victim status and how wrong it was for white Christians to make them slaves. Islam has never acknowledged any of the pain and suffering it has caused in Africa with its 1400-year-old slave trade. But blacks make no attempt to get an apology from Muslims and are silent in the presence of Islam. Why? Is it because Arabs are their masters?

Multiculturalism is bankrupt against Islam’s demand for every civilization to submit. The culture of tolerance collapses in the face of the sacred intolerance of dualistic ethics. Intellectuals respond by ignoring the failure.

Our intellectuals and artists have been abused for 1400 years. Indeed, the psychology of our intellectuals is exactly like the psychology of the abused wife, the sexually abused child or rape victim. Look at the parallels between the response of abuse victims and our intellectuals. See how violence has caused denial.

The victims deny that the abuse took place: Our media never reports the majority of jihad around the world. Our intellectuals don’t talk about how all of the violence is connected to a political doctrine.

The abuser uses fear to control the victim: What was the reason that newspapers would not publish the Mohammed cartoon? Salman Rushdie still has a death sentence for his novel. What “cutting edge” artist creates any artistic statement about Islam? Fear rules our intellectuals and artists.

The victims find ways to blame themselves: We are to blame for the attacks on September 11, 2001. If we try harder Muslims will act nicer. We have to accommodate their needs.

The victim is humiliated: White people will not talk about how their ancestors were enslaved by Islam. No one wants to claim the victims of jihad. Why won’t we claim the suffering of our ancestors? Why don’t we cry about the loss of cultures and peoples? We are too ashamed to care.

The victim feels helpless: “What are we going to do?” “We can’t kill 1.3 billion people.” No one has any understanding or optimism. No one has an idea of what to try. The only plan is to “be nicer.”

The victim turns the anger inward: What is the most divisive issue in today’s politics? Iraq. And what is Iraq really about? Political Islam. The Web has a video about how the CIA and Bush planned and executed September 11. Cultural self-loathing is the watchword of our intellectuals and artists.

We hate ourselves because we are mentally molested and abused. Our intellectuals and artists have responded to the abuse of jihad just as a sexually abused child or a rape victim would respond. We are quite intellectually ill and are failing at our job of clear thinking. We can’t look at our denial.

FP: So summarize for us why it is so crucial for us to learn the doctrine of political Islam.

Warner: Political Islam has annihilated every culture it has invaded or immigrated to. The total time for annihilation takes centuries, but once Islam is ascendant it never fails. The host culture disappears and becomes extinct.

We must learn the doctrine of political Islam to survive. The doctrine is very clear that all forms of force and persuasion may and must be used to conquer us. Islam is a self-declared enemy of all unbelievers. The brilliant Chinese philosopher of war, Sun Tsu, had the dictum—know the enemy. We must know the doctrine of our enemy or be annihilated.

Or put another way: if we do not learn the doctrine of political Islam, our civilization will be annihilated just as Egypt’s Coptic civilization was annihilated.

Since unbelievers must know the doctrine of political Islam to survive, CSPI has written all of its books in simple English. Our books are scholarly, but easy to read. As an example, anyone who can read a newspaper can pick up A Simple Koran and read and understand it. It is not “dumbed down” and contains every single word of the original.

Not only is the language simple, but logic has been used to sort and categorize. Context and chronology have been restored. The result is a Koran that is an epic story ending in triumph over all enemies of Allah. All of our books and philosophy may be found at our center's website.

Islam declares that we are the enemies of Allah. If we do not learn the political doctrine of Islam we will end up just like the first victims of Islam—the tolerant, polytheist Arabs of Saudi Arabia who became the Wahabbis (a very strict branch of Islam) of today, the most intolerant culture on the face of the earth.

FP: Bill Warner, thank you for joining us today.

Warner: Jamie, thank you for your kindness and efforts.

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Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/ and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of the http://www.worldmuslimcongress.com/ with a simple theme: "Good for Muslims and good for the world." His personal Website is http://www.mikeghouse.net/ and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: http://MikeGhouseforAmerica.Blogspot.com and http://mikeghouse.sulekha.com/ Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com
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