Monday, April 09, 2007

Dawah at Rensselaer Polytechnic

Islam Awareness Week

The Arabic word dawah means “call”, “summons”, or “invitation”, and refers to the proselytizing of infidels by Muslims in an attempt to convince them to submit to Allah. It is the duty of every Muslim to practice dawah towards the infidel. If dawah fails, then the tenets of Islam require the faithful to wage jihad, or holy war, against the infidel until he submits or is killed.

There’s a little bit of dawah being practiced at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute this week. Over the weekend Dymphna received an email from a woman in Connecticut:

My son is a freshman at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY. He just told me that since Good Friday, the RPI Muslim students have put signs all over campus saying jihad is peaceful and what a great religion Islam is (proselytizing). I am very upset but because my son is a student there and the school President is a good buddy of Hillary Clinton’s, I cannot speak up. I know there would be retribution against him. I am planning to visit him there tomorrow and will see what it looks like. I will be taking along my little digital camera, too.

Is there anything that can be done to highlight the hypocrisy of this type of blatant proselytizing on the holiest of Christian days? Can you imagine the uproar if on the first day of Ramadan, campus Christians and Jews put up signs saying that “Christianity is Cool” and “Judaism Rocks?” I do not believe I am overly sensitive on most matters, but knowing the efforts underway at educational Jihad, this troubles me.

Islam Awareness WeekYesterday, after she had been to campus and taken the photos, she wrote back to say this:

It wasn’t as egregious as I thought it would be. The RPI MSA had what were copy-paper handouts plastered on the foot bridge on campus and in the windows of some classroom buildings. The only objection I would have is of they chose this week (both Passover and Eastern Orthodox/Catholic/Protestant Easter) to have their Islam Awareness Week. I find the timing suggestive of a poke in the eye.

There’s a bit of a disconnect between the message in the images shown at right and the news which arrives every day from the mujahideen in Thailand, or Somalia, or Iraq, or Rotterdam. The promoters of the IAW would probably assert that true Muslims are peaceful, and that the violent zealots are not practicing true Islam. Unfortunately, there seem to be an awful lot of phony Muslims in the world.

These handbills are recapping the standard propaganda put out out by Muslim lobbying groups all across the West. Jihad means an inner struggle, and not holy war; Islam means peace; etc., etc.

I have some linguistic quibbles with the messages on the posters. The word “Islam” does not come from the Arabic root for “peace”; it comes from a word that means submission or obeisance. It has the same root as salaam, and the individual who performs salaam is engaged in the true practice of Islam — that is, prostration before an overlord.

Moreover, “Muslim” does not mean “anyone or anything that submits itself to the will of God.” The Arabic stem mu- refers to a person, or — more accurately — a man. A Muslim is thus a “man of Islam”, a man who prostrates himself before Allah. Similarly, a mujahid is a “man who performs jihad”, and a mullah is a “man of Allah”.

Women, of course, don’t enter into the picture. Nor do animals or things.

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But back to Islam Awareness Week at Rensselaer Polytechnic. The event is being sponsored by the RPI chapter of the Muslim Students Association. The MSA is the youth wing of the Islamic Society of North America, and the student organization shares funding and other resources with ISNA. In fact, MSA is often found in association with CAIR, MPAC, and all the other alphabet soup of Islamic lobbying groups in the United States. In my crabbier moments I refer to it as the Jihadjungen.
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IAW occurs annually, and is held at various college campuses around the country. I did some checking, and IAW appears, like Easter, to be a moveable feast. In 2005 it was held at RPI from March 21-24 (Easter was on March 27), and in 2004 from February 15-28 (Easter was on April 11).

Leaving aside the peculiar length of the “week” involved, you can see that there is no correlation with Holy Week. Not only that, different campus chapters of the MSA hold IAW on different weeks, so there’s no conspiracy at work to subvert Easter or Passover.

The big question is: What would happen if a Christian or Jewish student group plastered the campus with proselytizing posters during Ramadan or on Eid ul-Fitr? We know that the Muslims on campus would be offended — that goes without saying — but how would the college administration react? Would the Christians and the Jews be guilty of “insensitivity”? Would they have to make up for their disrespect by taking down the posters and apologizing?

If not, then I see no problem with all the dawah during IAW. However, I have my doubts that the situation will ever be that symmetrical.

A good project for campus conservative groups next fall woul be to test this hypothesis. If your campus was one of those “celebrating diversity” during Islam Awareness Week, wait until Ramadan, print up some big colorful pictures of Jesus calling for sinners to come home, and and plaster them all over the walls and bulletin boards across campus.

Let’s see what happens.


ln said...

Having read this I would like to call the readers attention to John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.) writing from Brisbane, Australia:

Here is a short quotation:

"Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters."

"American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship."

John Sobieski said...

Bush and Condi share a lot of blame for this with their promotion of 'crosscultural exchange' and pushing to increase the number of foreign Muslim students. The naivety and ignorance of this administration is beyond absurd.

David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 04/10/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

Kafir_Kelbeh said...

Unfortunately, John, I think 90% is naive when it comes to Islam. Blame Bush & Condi all you want, but I would expect that of ANYONE who hasn't studied the religion & culture. Too many haven't, plain & simple.

Why else would the Texas State Senate have an imam pray for Muslims ONLY in an opening prayer session??? You can't blame Bush for that. That's the assumption that Islam is just as peaceful a religion as Christianity...without reading the fine print.

And so we go as Europe goes...

Shrimpville said...

cultural exchange

cultural exchange is like sexual exchange. It can be good when it comes in the form of pleasure, or a sushi restaurant near you. It can also transmit STDs or RTDs (religious transmitting disease).