An Open Letter to Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the OIC
By Sergei Bourachaga
Dear Dr. Ihsanoglu:
Allow me to begin my letter with a brief introduction of who you are, since the average North American reader will fail to associate your name with a face, a background, and the critical role you play in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
You are a person of Turkish descent born in Cairo, Egypt (26 December 1943). You lived for almost three decades in that country, mastered the Arabic language, and pursued an academic career in science at the Ain Shams University, receiving a BSc in 1966, followed by an MSc in 1970 from the same university, and last but not least a PhD from the Faculty of Science at the Ankara University in 1974. In January 2005 you were elected as the ninth Secretary General (SG) of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) — an international organisation with a permanent delegation in the UN, and a membership composed of 57 states. According to the official press releases of the OIC the 57 states/members dedicate resources and coordinate efforts, to articulate and promote with a unified voice the interests of Muslims globally.
In a speech delivered in the month of August 2010 at the University of Oxford, you stated to your audience that the time has come to achieve a “historic reconciliation“ between Islam and Christianity. You also warned Western democracies that using freedom of expression to offend Islam and fuel Islamophobia will alienate “moderate Muslims”, and provide more ammunition for Muslim jihadists determined to use violence to eradicate what in their perception can be classified as injustices inflicted by the West on the Muslim Ummah (Arabic for nation).
The same themes and points were reiterated in a different form in your address to the conference on “Islam and Muslims in America”, on September 29, 2010 in Chicago, organized by the OIC in cooperation with the American Islamic College in Chicago. You indicated also that the primary objective of the conference was to familiarize America with “the true and real image of Islam, based on tolerance, peace, pluralism and acknowledgement of diversity.”
With all due respect, sir, I find it very insulting and condescending from a scholar of your calibre to assume that the West in general and Americans in particular have no logical reasoning faculties, with which to dissipate the clouds of distortions you and the OIC have superimposed since 2005 on the real bloody image of Islam, in a desperate attempt to force us to tolerate one of the unique characteristics of Islam: INTOLERANCE. What makes a bad situation worse is the timing of your statements. It was not a coincidence that the OIC selected the month of September to promote the “True Image of Islam”. It was in 9/11/2001 that Islamic savagery showed its real tolerance of our values, and within hours 19 pious Muslims claimed the lives of 3000 Americans with their suicide missions directed against the Twin Towers of New York City, The Pentagon, and the failed attempt to target The White House. The 19 Jihadis of 9/11 were “moderate Muslims”, who lived in Western countries and pursued post-secondary education in well-respected academic environments, such as Hamburg University in Germany. Here I find it appropriate to dispel this myth called “moderate Muslims” or “moderate Islamists” that you, the OIC, and every Muslim who has managed to turn hypocrisy into a sophisticated form of art try to promote in Western democracies.
Any person who had taken an “Islam 101” course will tell you that the labels refer to nonexistent realities within the key principles of the religion called Islam. In the Arabic language the word Islam is rooted in the verb “ASLAMA”, meaning surrendered/submitted. A Muslim is a person who has surrendered or submitted himself to the will of God, as clearly expressed in the noble Koran — a guide in the Arabic language that points all true Muslim believers to the true path of salvation; an Islamic Umma under the wise rule of a Muslim Caliph, who rules justly with full compliance with Divine principles revealed in the Koran.
The Koran dehumanizes, demonizes, and expresses a clear contempt of any person who refuses to adopt Islam as “The Perfect Deen/Arabic for religion”. Just in case your mind often experiences “Selective Amnesia”, let me provide a few samples to refresh your memory:
“Satan has gained possession of The People of The Book (Jews and Christians) and caused them to forget Allah’s warnings. They are the confederates of Satan; Satan’s confederates shall assuredly be lost in hell. The Believers are the confederates of Allah (Hizbollah); and Allah’s confederates shall surely triumph”. Koran 58:19
“We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers (Jews and Christians). They serve other Gods for whom no sanction has been revealed. Hell shall be their home; dismal indeed is the dwelling place of the evil-doers”. Koran 3:149
Any Muslim (Turkish, Arab, Pakistani…) who rejects these verses and hundreds of other verses in the Koran, full of venomous hatred directed against Jews and Christians, is no longer a Muslim, because he is reversing his act of submission and questioning the judgement of Allah or the accuracy/reliability of the prophet who conveyed the will of Allah to his followers. There is no moderation or “pick and choose” your verses or souras. The Koran in its entirety is The Holy Book of Islam, and for many Western scholars a questionable literature.
You might rightfully argue that I am a biased Russian and my personal observations do not carry any weight. Then, allow me to use the statement of your compatriot Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey. During an interview on Kanal D TV’s Arena program, PM Erdogan commented on the term “moderate Islam”, often used in the West to describe AKP and said: “These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.” (Source: Milliyet, Turkey, August 21, 2007).
On the issue of “Islamic Tolerance” and the West. I don’t want to list dozens of verses from The Noble Koran that make tolerance of other religions an anathema. Instead, I want to test your courage and dedication to “Inter-Faith Dialogue”, “Tolerance”, “Acknowledgement of Diversity” with a challenge. If you sincerely believe that Islam is a religion of “Peace & Tolerance” dedicated to dialogue, use your clout as the SG of OIC to launch a project of building a church in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Vatican, the seat of Catholic Power representing almost 1 billion Christians, showed Christian tolerance with deeds not words, by convincing the City of Rome in 1974 to donate (absolutely free) 32,000 sqm of land in an area of Rome, less than 3 km away from St. Peter’s Basilica known as “The Pope Diocese”, to build a mosque and an Islamic Cultural Centre to encourage “Inter-Faith Dialogue”. The inauguration of the mosque took place on June 21, 1995, and the mosque’s construction was financed by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, head of the Saudi royal family, as well as Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Deeds speak louder than words, so provide the tangible evidence of “Islamic Tolerance” to the West by convincing the Saudi king to lift the absolute ban imposed on building churches anywhere in the Kingdom, especially Mecca. But until the construction of the church is over we will remember and systematically repeat to politicians seeking the appeasement of Islam, the prophetic warnings of Sir Winston Churchill on Islamism:
“The Mohammedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since, its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness [madness of intolerance-emphasis mine]… and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science — the science against which it had vainly struggled — the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.”
We will remember the statements of Sir Winston Churchill because often the so called Islamic dedication to tolerance is nothing but lip service. The best evidence again was provided by the imam of the Rome mosque (the one mentioned in the previous paragraph) Abdel-Samie Mahmoud Ibrahim Moussa, 32, a cleric from Egypt who never showed any interest in learning the Italian language, but successfully used his Arabic oratorical skills with a Nile Delta accent to bite the very hands that have fed him and offered him a free mosque in Rome. A reporter of La Repubblica newspaper taped and translated the following statements made during a Friday sermon:
“O Allah, grant victory to the Islamic fighters in Palestine, Chechnya, and elsewhere in the world! O Allah, destroy the homes of the enemies of Islam! O Allah, help us to annihilate the enemies of Islam! O Allah, make firm everywhere the voice of the nation of Islam!”
“From the Islamic point of view, there is no doubt that the operations by the mujahidin against the Jews in Palestine are legitimate. They are acts of martyrdom, and their authors are martyrs for Islam, because all of Palestine is a ´Dar al-Harb,’ a war zone; because all of Jewish society is illegally occupying a Muslim land.”
The rant of the Imam went on and on, blaming every problem plaguing the Islamic Umma on the West and its corrupt values. Often you wonder why Muslims select Western democracies as their adoptive homeland if they so strongly believe and voice the concern that our moral values are so corrupt.
Please, Dr. Ihsanoglu, don’t try to convince me that what happened in the Rome mosque is an isolated event of misguided religious over-zealousness! On the contrary, in Canada, at least, Islamic radicalism preached regularly in Canadian mosques is a widespread phenomenon. I strongly suggest that you read an article published by Maclean’s Magazine (Sept.13/10), written by Canadian journalist Adnan R. Khan, titled “Spreading The Holy Word — and Fuelling Islamic Extremism”, in which Mr. Khan connects the activities of the Islamic fundamentalist movement Tablighi Jamaat (a movement considered by Western intelligence agencies as “conveyor belt to terrorism”) to the radicalization of the three Canadians arrested in Ottawa at the end of August 2010, on terrorism related charges.
Mr. Khan wrote also that “Virtually every mosque in Toronto has at one time or another hosted members of the group, often travelling from Pakistan to preach and convert Canadian Muslims to the “True Islam“. Of course “True Islam” means blind adherence to the will of Allah, clearly expressed in the Koran via the seal of the prophet Mohammed, whom every Muslim should emulate to impose by force the will of Allah on every infidel who rejected the perfect Deen/Religion — Islam.
Dear sir, Islamic fundamentalists preaching “True Islam” are casually hijacking freedom of expression to destroy our liberal democracies. Two key tools are used in the pursuit of their objective:
|a)||The instructions of Allah conveyed by the Koran.|
|b)||The “narrative” that the West is against Islam, and every evil confronting Islam today can be traced back to the dark machinations of the West.|
I am not going to elaborate on point (a) and the decrepit Allah of the Koran, who has to rely in his state of impotence on an army of Muslim jihadis to impose his will on this world. The internet — including this site — has a wealth of material on the Koran, and it would be unfair to inflict boredom on readers by playing the same record again and again. I will invest a significant effort to cover point (b), because organizations like the OIC disseminate the twisted ideas and logic making up the narrative, and it is a critical must for the West, and all who sincerely care about our freedoms and way of life to combat that narrative before an irreversible damage is inflicted on us.
The narrative promoted by OIC and all Islamic countries without exception, gained so much importance since 9/11 in shaping and coloring the relationship of Western democracies and Islamic countries, that former British Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair, made it the central theme of a speech addressed to an audience, gathered by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, in New York City on October 6, 2010.
According to Mr. Blair, the “Narrative” is based on the universal pitiful Islamic lament that “… Islam is basically oppressed by the West; disrespected and treated unfairly; that the military action we took post-9/11 was against countries because they are Muslim; and that in the Middle East we ignore the injustice done to the Palestinians in our desire to support Israel, because the Palestinians are Muslims, and the Israelis Jews… The practitioners of extremism are small in number. The adherents of the narrative stretch far broader into significant parts of mainstream thinking.” Mr. Blair pointed out to his audience also, that thanks to efforts of “mainstream” Islamic organizations (like the OIC), Islamic governments, and the “paucity” of the West’s efforts, the Islamist “Narrative” remained “outspent, outmanoeuvred and out-strategised by Islamist extremism.”
As a historian, Dr. Ihsanoglu, I am sure you are aware that the Islamic conquest of Europe started with the invasion of Spain by Tariq ibn Ziyad, in 711. After an initial consolidation of the land conquered, Muslim invaders moved northeast across the Pyrenees, into present-day France, but were defeated by the Frank Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours (Poitiers) in 732. The first Crusade to liberate the Holy Land did not start until three centuries later (1096-1099). So promoting the “Narrative” that Western hostility to Islam has roots in the First Crusade of the Holy Land is absurd. The same absurdity applies to the argument that Western support of the state of Israel is a serious source of tension between Islam and The West. The hatred Islam has for the Jews and all the infidels of this world who have rejected the teachings of Islam goes back to the time when the desert bandit masquerading as a prophet of Allah made the following revelations:
“Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews…” Koran 5:82
“Believers, do not make friends with any men other than your own people. They will spare no pains to corrupt you. They desire nothing but your ruin. Their hatred is clear from what they say, but more violent is the hatred which their breasts conceal”. Koran 3:117
And that is when (629) Muslims decided to obey the instructions of Allah and “…put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers…” (Koran 3:149), not with the birth of the State of Israel in 14 May 1948 or Western support of Israel since its birth.
Dr. Ihsanoglu, I strongly urge you to stop the spread of the destructive “Narrative” the OIC is spreading with total disregard to the dire consequences this planet might face. Already, the madman of Iran (an OIC member), President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is engaged in a race to manufacture weapons-grade plutonium to build an atomic bomb and obliterate the State of Israel, to bring the “Narrative” to the disastrous conclusion promoted by the prophet Mohammed:
“Leave to me those that deny this revelation. We will lead them step by step to their ruin, in ways beyond their knowledge”. Koran 68:41
The only problem is that, if and when (hopefully never), such a catastrophic move is made by the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the A-bomb is used to destroy and push the Jews of Israel back into the sea, the entire Islamic army engaged against Israel will end up in hell enjoying 72-year-old virgins, instead of the 72 young virgin houris promised by prophet Mohammed.
Iran’s ambitions to destroy Israel bring us back to the issue of religious tolerance, and the double standard used by the OIC in condemning the West for promoting animosity against Islam, but adopting total silence for the genocidal violence promoted by Iran against Israel in particular, and the West in general. And this double standard will remain, together with a long list of contentious issues, the focus of my attention and the attention of thousands of bloggers like me, who rely on the tireless efforts of administrators of sites like this one, to repeat to the rest of the world “WE WILL NEVER SURRENDER OUR FREEDOM OF THOUGHT AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION” for the following fundamental reasons:
- “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival.” Sir Winston Churchill
- “To many Christian-secularists, Islam has been nothing more than a violent and elitist seventh-century political project, prior to it serving any religious purpose for mankind. It is on the basis of those two concerns of freedom of speech and the freedom of religious worship that the West should never extend an apology to Islam.” James McConalogue, The Pope, the Monk and Islam
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