Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future

In George Orwell’s futuristic nightmare, 1984, citizens are watched by a secret police for “thought crimes” committed against the totalitarian state. These thought crimes are simply attitudes and ideas the authorities regard as politically incorrect.

Orwell wrote 1984 during the height of the Cold War and its vision reflected an all-too-real fact of life. The Soviet police state had spread its tentacles over hundreds of millions of captive peoples. Tens of millions of them whose ideas failed to conform to the prescriptions of the totalitarian state were sent to labor camps and firing squads for committing thought crimes. Their offense was to be “anti-Soviet” – to speak out against socialism, or its rulers, or to fail to parrot the views and opinions approved by the regime.

During the Cold War, America led a coalition of democracies to oppose Communism because America’s founders had made the principle of liberty the cornerstone of their Republic. The very first article of the American Bill of Rights was not to have one’s speech restricted by the power of the state.

This First Amendment freedom guaranteed citizens the right to dissent from orthodoxy, to criticize the powerful, and to tell the truth as they saw it without fear of reprisal. This freedom is the absolute and indispensable basis of every other freedom that Americans enjoy. For without the right to dissent from the opinions of the state, every other freedom can be taken away. Without this right, every dissent from the policies and practices of the state would be a thought crime.

“Islamophobia” is the name that has been given to a modern-day thought crime. The purpose of the suffix in the term “Islamophobia” is to suggest that any fear associated with Islam is irrational – whether that fear stems from the fact that its prophet and current-day imams call on believers to kill infidels, or because the attacks of 9/11 were carried out to implement those calls. Worse than that, it is to suggest that such a response to those attacks reflects a bigotry that itself should be feared.

Those with a perspective on history, however, will take a different view. In the fall of 2005 global Muslim riots resulted in the deaths of over 100 people. The riots were triggered by the publication of cartoons in Denmark depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[1] In the wake of these religiously inspired outrages, a group of internationally reknowned writers issued a manifesto called, “Together Facing the New Totalitarianism.”[2] One of the writers, Salman Rushdie, had himself been the target of such attacks after the Islamic leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa calling on all Muslims to kill him. His offense? Insulting the prophet Muhammad in a novel. Rushdie was forced to go into hiding for several years and was only able to regain his freedom after the Ayatollah’s demise, although every year the Islamic Republic of Iran renews the death sentence.

The manifesto issued by Rushdie and his fellow writers said: “After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new global totalitarian threat: Islamism…. We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of ‘Islamophobia,’ a wretched concept that confuses criticism of Islam as a religion and stigmatization of those who believe in it. We defend the universality of the freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit can exist in every continent, towards each and every maltreatment and dogma.”[3]

Political Islam

Islam is often defended as a religion no different from Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and most other faiths. But this overlooks the fact that unlike other modern faiths, Islam is a political religion. Islam has had no reformation since its founding in the 7th Century, and Muslims recognize no separation between religion and state. In its canonical texts and teachings, Islam regards all other religions (and non-religions) as “infidel” creeds, and instructs believers to regard themselves at war with those who will not submit to the Muslim God. Unlike Christians or Jews, Muslim leaders seek to establish a global Islamic state or “caliphate” that would impose Islamic law on individuals everywhere and thus criminalize heretical thoughts.

Political Islam’s global ambition is openly stated. The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has said: “Have no doubt... Allah willing, Islam will conquer what? It will conquer all the mountain tops of the world.”[4] In 1990 the 56 member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) met in Egypt and adopted the “Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.” The Cairo Declaration states that, “all human beings form one family whose members are united by their subordination to Allah.”[5]

These are religious statements, but they are made by political authorities. Moreover, they are in complete accord with traditional Islamic theology. In his 1955 book War and Peace in the Law of Islam, Majid Khadduri, an internationally renowned scholar of Islamic law, wrote: “The Islamic state, whose principal function was to put God’s law into practice, sought to establish Islam as the dominant reigning ideology over the entire world.... The jihad was therefore employed as an instrument for both the universalization of religion and the establishment of an imperial world state.”[6]

Because the tenets of Islamic belief are not open to question, and because as a religion Islam prescribes moral behavior for every aspect of individual and social life, Islamic law – sharia – is by its very nature totalitarian. A religion that recognizes no principle of separation from governmental authority, whose prescriptions dictate what is proper for every aspect of private life is the very definition of totalitarian rule. Where Islam becomes the religion of the state, violations of Islamic doctrine and heretical thoughts are inevitably seen as crimes against the state.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (now called The Organization of Islamic Cooperation) is composed of the fifty-six Islamic nations plus the Palestinian Authority.[7] At present, only Saudi Arabia and Iran, along with Islamic northern Sudan and most of Somalia, are states where Islamic law is fully implemented. Other Islamic states, such as Pakistan, Egypt and Indonesia are currently governed by a mixture of Western and Islamic law. Even in such “moderate” majority-Muslim states, however, Christians are violently persecuted as infidels and non-Muslims in general are denied basic rights. Even in these states, apostasy is not tolerated. Converts from Islam to other religions are routinely threatened, harassed, jailed and even executed under existing state law. In short, even in “moderate” Muslim states the penalty for deviation from the accepted religious orthodoxy is severe, and in each of these states there are radical Islamic movements pushing for more stringent conformity to Islamic law.

Not a single one of its members, with the arguable exception of Lebanon, which is unique in having a significant Christian population, can be considered a democracy in the western sense. Even secular Turkey denies equality of rights to Christians in numerous ways. Not a single one of the 56 Islamic states or the Palestinian Authority is tolerant towards gays, women or other minorities or treats them as equals.

Since the demise of the Soviet Union, the Islamic states of the OIC have comprised the largest voting bloc at the United Nations. Wielding its influence, the OIC has succeeded in having Israel condemned more than 200 times in formal UN resolutions, more than all of the other member states combined. But the same Islamic voting bloc has ensured that the terrorist regimes in Iran, Gaza and the West Bank have not been censured even once.

Through the OIC, the Islamic states have also been working for several years to persuade the members of the UN to criminalize “Islamophobia.”

Islamophobia and the Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood is a global organization and the leading force behind political totalitarian Islam. It is also the fountainhead of terrorist Islam, and in particular the Islamic terror groups al-Qaeda and Hamas.

The Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hasan al-Banna. Al-Banna was an open admirer and supporter of Adolf Hitler, and had Mein Kampf translated into Arabic in the 1930s. His disciple, Haj Amin al-Husseni, the patriarch of Palestinian nationalism, spent the Second World War in Berlin recruiting Arabs for Hitler’s legions.

Al-Banna’s ambition was to create a global Islamic empire instituting sharia as a global law: “It is a duty incumbent on every Muslim to struggle towards the aim of making every people Muslim and the whole world Islamic, so that the banner of Islam can flutter over the earth and the call of the Muezzin can resound in all the corners of the world: God is greatest [Allahu akbar]!”[8] The motto of the Muslim Brotherhood inspires its members to achieve this plan: “Allah is our goal. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest aspiration.”

Al-Banna’s movement grew quickly in Egypt, but after a member of the Brotherhood assassinated the Egyptian prime minister on December 28, 1948, the organization was outlawed. However, since the days of President Gamel Abdel Nasser (1956-1970), the Brotherhood has been so popular among Egyptians that the Egyptian government has looked the other way as the group terrorized Coptic Christians and others, and enforced Islamic strictures upon the population as a whole.

It was only when the Brotherhood showed signs of becoming strong enough to seize state power that the Egyptian government cracked down. In 1966, the Brotherhood’s leading theorist, Sayyid Qutb (also an admirer of Hitler), was arrested and executed for calling for the overthrow of the existing regime and its replacement with one that fully implemented Islamic law. But the popularity of the Brotherhood persisted. Nasser’s successor Anwar Sadat, signed a peace agreement with Israel, which led to his assassination by Islamic hardliners. Shortly before his assassination, Sadat released all the members of the Brotherhood who had been languishing in Egyptian prisons, and even promised the Brotherhood that Islamic law would be fully implemented in Egypt.

After 9/11, the Brotherhood launched a campaign to sanitize its image and present itself as a moderate organization. Its intention was to enter the political process, a goal that was finally achieved with the fall of Sadat’s successor, Mubarak, in order to further its goal of converting Egypt into an Islamic state. Immediately after Mubarak’s fall, the Brotherhood became the leading political force in Egypt, its influence manifest in the reopening of Egypt’s relations with Iran for the first time in 34 years. This entente coincided with Cairo’s ending of the arms blockade of Gaza that had been designed to keep weapons from flowing to the Islamic terrorist group Hamas – itself a Brotherhood creation.

Hamas identifies itself as a creature of the Brotherhood in its founding charter: “The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a world organization, the largest Islamic Movement in the modern era.”[9] Al-Qaeda founders Abdullah Azzam and Osama bin Laden, and top leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, were all members of or trained by the Muslim Brotherhood.[10]

The Brotherhood’s reach also extended into Shi’ite Iran. Navab Safavi, founder of the Iranian Islamic group Fedayan-e Islam, which was active in Iran in the 1950s, was strongly influenced by the Brotherhood; Savafi himself went on to become a close associate of the Ayatollah Khomeini. Khomeini, of course, was notorious for calling America after the name of the large pillar that Muslims stone during the pilgrimage to Mecca: the “Great Satan” – that is, the leader of the anti-totalitarian, anti-Sharia, infidel world.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s designs on the Great Satan are spelled out in a captured internal document the FBI seized in the Northern Virginia headquarters of the Holy Land Foundation in 2005. The Holy Land Foundation was the largest Islamic “charity” in America but was at the same time a front for raising funds for the terrorist organization (and Muslim Brotherhood creation) Hamas. The seized document was presented as evidence in the trial of the HLF in 2007. The Foundation was accused of illegally supporting a terrorist organization, Hamas. The trial resulted in convictions of the HLF leaders.

The captured document was titled, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.”[11] In it, Muslim Brotherhood members were told: “The general strategic goal of the group in America, which was approved by the Shura Council and the Organizational Conference for the year [1987] is Enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood, which adopts Muslim causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at directing and unifying Muslims’ efforts, presents Islam as a civilizational alternative, and supports the global Islamic state wherever it is.”[12] And further: “[Muslims] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

To realize the goal of destroying Western civilization and establishing a global Islamic state, the Brotherhood memorandum called for the creation of front organizations that would insinuate themselves into the institutional framework of host societies and of American society in particular. Among the groups the Memorandum identified as being part of this network of Brotherhood fronts in America were the Muslim American Society, the Muslim Students Association, the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America, and the Islamic Association for Palestine, the parent group of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).[13]

Another front group identified in the memorandum – the International Institute for Islamic Thought – invented the term “Islamophobia.”[14]

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