Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Ahmadiyya Heresy

Islamic spokesmen like to represent their religion as a monolith — the frequently-cited “1.3 billion Muslims” who rise up as one at each new infidel outrage — but the reality is somewhat more nuanced. Offshoots and revised versions of Islam are considered heresies by the mainstream, yet they persist.

The heretics are punished whenever they appear, whether they are violent, as are as the Kharijis, the Isma’ilis, and of course the Shi’a, or peaceful, such as the Baha’is and the Ahmadiyya.

Patrick Sookhdeo, in his book Global Jihad: The Future in the Face of Militant Islam, gives this brief description of the Ahmadiyya sect (p. 195):

Mirza Ghulam AhmadA generally non-violent interpretation of jihad is held by the Ahmadiyya sect (considered apostates by other Muslims, and regarded as non-Muslims in Pakistan where they are severely persecuted). Their founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) rejected violent jihad as unnecessary in “a time of peace and security” such as India was enjoying under British rule. However they do permit fighting in self-defence, to punish aggressors, and to ensure freedom to convert to Islam — hence the raising of a volunteer corps of Ahmadis to fight in Kashmir alongside the Pakistani army after Pakistan’s independence in 1947.

The following account from the Daily News of Sri Lanka serves to illustrate how heretical the followers of Ahmad are from the Sunni point of view:
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As promised in the above verse of the Holy Quran, after the demise of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (Promised Messiah and Mahdi), a system of Caliphate (Khilafat) was instituted in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat on May 27, 1908, which is similar to the Pious Caliphate (Khilafat-i-Rashida) that followed the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, under divine command founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in March 23, 1889, and began to accept initiation into the Jama’at. In 1890, under Divine Revelation he claimed to be the Promised Messiah as well as Imam Mahdi. He also claimed to be a subordinate Prophet of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) commissioned by Allah to serve the religion of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH).

To proclaim himself not just the Mahdi, but an actual prophet, a successor to Mohammed himself, put Ahmad well beyond the pale of orthodox Islam. No wonder his followers have been persecuted.

The Ahmadis are observing the centenary of their faith this year. The celebration of the event in London went off without a hitch, but the same cannot be said of Pakistan. According to Asia News:

The Pakistani government has prohibited the Ahmadiyya community of Rabwa, one of the largest in the world, from celebrating the great feast of khilafat: this is the system of succession of Islamic prophets, and is considered heretical by Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Federal police agents interrupted the celebrations, and put the promoters of the initiative under house arrest.

This is confirmed to AsiaNews by Saleem-ud-din, spokesman for the community, who says: “The agents came and prohibited us from marching, community meals, even from using fireworks. This is nothing but the latest violation of human rights in Pakistan”. Anthony Nadeem, a member of the Pakistan human rights commission, confirms: “what has taken place constitutes a serious violation of the declaration of human rights, and of the national constitution”.

Nadeem, who visited Rabwa to collect eyewitness reports, recounts: “the police arrested Mirza Younas, a local merchant, because he was selling coloured banners and hats with blessings for the centenary”. Other abuses of this kind have been seen all over the area, but now the Ahmadiyya community will seek to obtain the release of its members. None of those arrested, in fact, has been charged with anything.

The Ahmadiyya claim to be Muslim, but they do not recognise Mohammed as the last prophet: for this reason, they are considered heretics, and suffer severe violence and ostracism on the part of fundamentalists in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. The Pakistani community is composed of about three million members, most of whom live in Punjab.

If Islam were a peaceful, tolerant, open-minded faith — as its spokesman would have us believe — the Ahmadis would be seen as harmless cranks, and would pose no more threat to the larger community than the Quakers do to Christianity.

But Islam can brook no deviation from the True Path. Those who veer from the way of the Prophet will only put themselves at risk.

Hat tip: insubria.

Let’s Talk to Osama!

So says the head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. According to The Daily Mail :

Top police chief: ‘We must start negotiating with Al Qaeda’

Osama bin LadenA police chief was slapped down by the Government yesterday for suggesting Britain could open talks with Al Qaeda.

Sir Hugh Orde, head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, said he knew of no terror campaign that had not ended with negotiation.

In other words: “We have been absolute idiots in our dealings with terrorists in the past. Why should we change our methods now?”

The article continues:
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And he said his 30 years spent tackling the IRA had convinced him that security work and arrests were not enough to defeat terrorists.

But his suggestion was immediately dismissed by the Foreign Office.

A spokesman said: ‘It is inconceivable that Her Majesty’s Government would ever seek to reach a mutually acceptable accommodation with a terrorist organisation like Al Qaeda.’

I don’t agree. The present dhimmitude of Her Majesty’s government indicates that such behavior is more than likely at some point. Sir Hugh has just been a bit — ahem — premature in his statements.

Jonathan Powell, ex-chief of staff at Downing Street, also says the Ulster peace deal shows talking to terror groups can work.

He said negotiating with Al Qaeda might seem pointless now, but a political solution would be needed in the end.

The analogy between Al Qaeda and the IRA is a spurious one. The IRA, for all its brutal bestiality, had limited and well-defined political goals: sovereignty over Northern Ireland. It had no aspirations to expand the Irish Ummah and rule the entire world in its name. However detestable it was, its worldview was not eschatological and messianic, nor grounded in a megalomaniacal “holy book”.

The IRA was, and remains, containable for the British government. Al Qaeda is not.

Sir Hugh, a leading contender to take over from Sir Ian Blair as chief of the Metropolitan Police, said: ‘If you want my professional assessment of any terrorism campaign, what fixes it is talking and engaging and judging when the conditions are right for that to take place.’

Asked if he was saying we should talk to Al Qaeda, Sir Hugh said: ‘I don’t think that’s unthinkable, the question will be one of timing.’

He also called for the number of police forces to be slashed from 43 to nine to better fight terrorism.

This last point is an interesting one. Is he calling for the consolidation of existing police forces, to make them more like regional Gestapos than the community-based “bobbies on bicycles” of the past?

If so, it should make it easier to crack down on “racist” speech as well.

The Whining of Austrian Muslims

Regular readers will remember Omar Al-Rawi, the Austrian Muslim activist (and socialist). In his latest escapade he agitated for the cancellation of a church lecture by an author considered too critical of Islam.

Our Austrian correspondent ESW has translated a couple of articles about the incident from the Austrian press. The first is an editorial from Die Presse.


Intervening against every critical remark against Islam
by Erich Kocina

The whining level of the Austrian Islamic community is high. There are actually critical voices that are needed for the much quoted dialogue.

Frauen Und Die SchariaThey do not tire of praising cooperation, dialogue, or world peace. Representatives of religious communities also like to praise the (country’s) general openness. But where they themselves are concerned, things are quite different. This happened shortly before a lecture was to take place in Traun, a small town in Upper Austria: Omar Al-Rawi, integration representative of the Islamic community and socialist member of the Vienna city council, had stirred up controversy against Christine Schirrmacher, accusing her of being an “Islamophobe”. He was successful: The organizers, a small church parish, canceled the invitation extended to the head of the Bonn Institute of Islamic Issues. Al-Rawi refers to the book cover (!) of Schirrmacher’s book “Women and the Sharia”. It states: “In the name of Sharia, women are circumcised, forced into marriages, raped, imprisoned, stoned or honor-killed.”

For Al-Rawi, this is an unacceptable “generalization”. A judgment about the attitude of a person on the basis of a book cover, however, apparently is not.

Just so there is no bias here: The Jewish community recently protested against a podium discussion on Gaza, an event that was co-sponsored by strong critics of Israel. And we can also imagine the reaction of the archdiocese if the floor were given to well-known critics of the Church and Christianity. That is pretty much the opposite of dialogue.

The second article is also from Die Presse :
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Islam lecture: Scandal because of cancellation
by Rainer Nowak

SP-council member Al-Rawi accuses well-known scholar Christine Schirrmacher of being an “Islamophobe”.

Al-Rawi at Asad SquareVIENNA. Interventions at events concerning Islam are slowly becoming a habit. The latest case: A lecture in Traun [a small town in Upper Austria] was cancelled last week. Omar Al-Rawi, the integration representative for the Islamic community and socialist member of the Vienna city council, had accused speaker Christine Schirrmacher of being an “Islamophobe.”

The Islam scholar is apparently a well-known anti-Islamic activist belonging to the evangelical “Lausanne movement”. According to Al-Rawi, Evangelicals are known for their support of anti-Islamic activities. The consequence: The organizers disinvited the head of the Bonn Institute of Islamic Issues. The justification: The fear of presenting an unobjective view of Islam.

The protest against the cancellation was quick to come. Schirrmacher’s criticism of Al-Rawi consists of the fact that his allegations are not supported by quotations from her writings or speeches.

In an interview with “Die Presse” Al-Rawi refers to the text on the back of the book “Women and the Sharia,” which was co-written by Schirrmacher. It states: “In the name of Sharia, women are circumcised, forced into marriages, raped, imprisoned, stoned or honor killed.” Al-Rawi considers this a generalizing statement: “No one is doing this in the name of Sharia, but in the context of patriarchal structures “. He obtained his information about the author from the Internet.

Schirrmacher’s supposed Islamophobia alone would not have led him to protest against the speech: “What bothered me was the fact that someone could have made Islamophobic statements under the guise of an event on integration,” he says. Moreover, not a single Muslim was invited to be on the podium in order to counter the arguments.

Tarafa Baghajati, together with Al-Rawi co-founder of the Initiative Muslim Austrians, used a similar argument last year when he tried to claim a seat on the podium of discussion led by Henryk Broder. The event, organized by a group tied to the Austrian Conservative Party ÖVP, should not offer a one-sided approach, Baghajati said. Broder refused.

Friday, May 30, 2008

When a Young Man’s Heart Turns to Poetry

(dedicated to Lyle Blake)

From “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Fifth Annual Horrible College-Student Poetry Competition, here is the fourth place whiner winner of this year’s event.

To my mind, it shines like anthacite, its quality well above the others. On the other hand, poetry is like, you know, subjective and all, like, so who can judge when it comes from the heart?

In fact, all of the entrants should have won first place. It’s the only fair outcome. No doubt, some school official will come down on Hatemongers for not choosing everyone. And deservedly so.

Without further ado, a sonnet by someone named Quincy (you know a poet is first class when he travels under but a single name:

Fourth Runner-Up: “sonnet of (equaliteez)” bai (Quincy)

Lulu Decideshow R U racist? let me kount teh wayz
U R racist cuz U R (white)
U R racist bai dai n nite,
U R racist cuz U fite
teh ones who teech (equality).
U R racist cuz U dwell
on mai lak of skilz at spell(ing)
U R racist cuz U talk (white)
ai reelee can(not) stand the site,
uv U talking (white)…
ai seez U, (white), az uh sheet,
KKK reddy 2 beet… (me)
(white) az AmeriKKKa!
racist AmeriKKKa!
U R racist cuz U deny teh (truth),
the fundu(mental) equazhun…

My cat was impressed with Quincy’s efforts here. She is black except for a tiny tuft of white at her throat; no doubt, this physical fact of inky fur was the deciding element for her. With cats you never can tell.

I will leave you to peruse the other winners. A little warning, however, about the third runner-up who seems a bit obsessed with body fluids. Probably a Pisces.

Hat tip: Pundita


Irregular Migrants Coming Soon to a State Near You

For the moment (and it will only be a moment) Gitmo is not sitting on the top burner at Amnesty International.

Italy is.

Italia is the latest villain for daring to create a “climate of discrimination”. In fact, their newly enacted immigration procedures have AI worried. In a normal world, such measures would be seen as customary regulations for a sovereign state to enact in order to secure its borders. However, Amnesty International does not breathe the air of a normal world and they are worried, very worried.

Things are so bad in Italy that AI says:

politicians from both sides of the spectrum were legitimizing the use of racist language.

Unbelievable. Next thing you know Italy will be pressuring Italians to practice xenophobia. Get this:

Last week, Italy’s new centre-right government introduced a series of measures aimed at improving security.

Illegal immigration will become punishable by up to four years in prison, it will be easier to expel illegal immigrants and there will be a three-year prison sentence for using minors to beg for money.

Attacks on Roma

But the head of Amnesty International in Italy, Daniela Carboni, said the moves represented “heavy restrictions and new crimes that will target, above all, immigrants”.

This is her DUH moment, surely. The laws are designed to target illegal immigrants. How hard is that to understand?
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She said the organisation was particularly worried by the measure that would mean attempted illegal immigrants could be held for up to 18 months in a detention centre.

“Amnesty International is extremely alarmed both by the contents and haste of these measures… and by the climate of discrimination which preceded them,” Ms Carboni said in the report.

While the rest of us, needless to say, are breathing a sigh of relief at Italy’s courageous stand on protecting Italians

AI is the enemy of nation-states and the champion of “irregular migrants.”

Here are parts of the cover letter - full text here - from Amnesty International (with editorial comments supplied by GoV) to the President of the EU; the letter accompanied Amnesty International’s 2008 Report (pdf), published to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Dear Mr Barroso,

It is with pleasure that I present to you herewith the Amnesty International Report 2008…

…it documents human rights abuses occurring in 150 countries and territories around the world. Regrettably, the European Union (EU) is by no means free of such problems and with 26 of its member states included in this year’s report, it has no reason for complacency.

According to Amnesty International’s report, in 2007 there was a pattern of discrimination in at least 16 EU countries, mostly on grounds of gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation. In as many member states individuals continued to suffer police brutality and ill-treatment while in custody.

A breach of rights of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees was also identified in at least 18 member states and, as in the previous year, counter terrorism policies continued to be a source of human rights violations in at least 15 EU countries.

Oh, dear. It would seem that unless a nation is willing to concoct an ineffective, wimpy wet noodle counter terrorism “policy” that is designed to fail in protecting its own citizens, then any measures against terrorism are like, you know, really not nice and they’re violating human rights of people just like you and me…except for the fact that they like to engage in such civic activities as blowing up you and me and the mindless bureaucrat who wrote this letter -- while their confederates proceed to video the encounter.

On this last point it is important to stress that EU member States have still not condemned or fully investigated evidence of collusion with the US-led renditions and secret detention programme.


While Europe remains a magnet for those seeking to escape persecution, violence or poverty,it still fails to sufficiently protect people in dire need because of its repressive approaches to irregular migration.

Imagine that! The EU represses “irregular migration.” That’s the brave new world p.c. speak for illegal immigrants; they’ve all been magically transformed into “irregular migrants.” It makes those who violate a nation’s borders sound like a group of constipated squatters.

The letter earnestly puffs on:

Such approaches undermine the fundamental rights of migrants and impact severely on those of refugees and asylum seekers. The lack of collective political will to address key human rights abuses at home, seriously limits the EU’s credibility to promote human rights in its external relations, where it is also not doing enough.

Thus, according to Amnesty International, unless a nation is willing to let the “irregular migrants” overrun its borders -- causing crime waves, the breakdown of civil infrastructures and general chaos -- then it can’t protest, say, China’s grip on Tibet. What a bunch of malarkey.

As for the “lack of political will” to tear down national borders and welcome the irregulars with open arms…let’s congratulate those who lack the suicidal tendencies to want such an outcome.

The EU has not used its leverage sufficiently in the run up to the Beijing Olympics to make a real impact on the human rights situation in China. By significantly downgrading the input of civil society in the human rights dialogue it diluted its principled approach to one of pure tactical politics, blah, blah, etc., ad nauseam.

Sorry, the bureaucratese began to melt one word into the next, like an overheated box of crayons. What nation on earth - or collective suprastates of same - has sufficient “leverage” to get China to do anything? So here’s the bottom line, here is what Amnesty International wants the EU to do:

to adopt, by the Declaration’s anniversary in December, a Council resolution launching an overall review of its human rights policies and mechanisms, with the aim of finally designing and implementing a coherent human rights policy for the EU.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Nicolas

Oh, of course, I should I have known…the UN’s mini-me, the EU, is going to pass a Resolution, making the world safe for oligarchy. You’ll notice there is no corresponding resolution outlining the concomitant responsibilities to accompany the rights endowed to all these irregular squatters.

Be still, my heart.

The Lega Nord Wants a Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty

According to AGI:

Calderoli, ‘Lega’ Wants Referendum on Treaty

Rome, May 30 — The ‘Lega’ party has accepted with reservation in the Council of Ministers the parliamentary bill that ratifies the Lisbon Treaty that modifies the EU treaty.

[Minister for Federalism Roberto] Calderoli speaks of “a major loss of sovereignty” and hopes that the Italian population will be granted a referendum on the matter.

Hat tip: insubria.

[post ends here]

The Death Penalty For Racism?

The Fjordman Report

The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.

We know that “racism” is the worst of all possible crimes. In Britain, you apparently deserve to die if you are a “racist.” At the same time, many Western university students are taught that “all whites are racists.” But if all whites are racists, and racists deserve to die, does that mean that all whites deserve to die?

Keith Brown, 52, collapsed and died after being knifed in the back by his next-door neighbour Habib Khan. Khan, 50, was unanimously cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter after a jury heard that he had endured racism, threats and violence from Mr Brown and his son, Ashley Barker, also a BNP activist.

An indoctrination program that was shut down at the University of Delaware last year after it was revealed the teachings included “All whites are racist” is now being revived.

[Nothing follows]

Execution of a Monarchist in Tehran

A Persian resistance group sent us the following email last night:

Urgent appeal from the Foundation for Democracy in Iran

May 29, 2008: Monarchist reportedly faces imminent execution in Tehran. Dr. Forood Fouladvand, a self-styled monarchist who disappeared along with two associates on the Turkish border with Iran on Jan. 17, 2007, now faces imminent execution by the Iranian authorities, Iranian exiles in London tell FDI. According to these sources, Dr. Fouladvand will be executed tomorrow. “He is like the Robert Spencer of Iran,” one supporter in London said. “He has been studying Islamic texts and using them to convince people to leave Islam” on radio and satellite television broadcasts from London.

Dr. Fouladvand heads a group called Anjomane Padeshahi Iran (API), the Kingdom Assembly of Iran, which advocates restoration of the constitutional monarchy abolished by the Islamic Republic in 1980. He had gone to Iran, apparently lured by promises from an opposition group that was either infiltrated by the regime or that had been cooped by the regime. Fouladvand was traveling with a fake passport under the name of Jahangir Irani and disappeared along with two supporters, identified on his website as Simorgh and Kouroshe Lor.
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More information is available at

Since this press release was dated yesterday, it may well be that Dr. Fouladvand is being executed today.

Those of us who are old enough to remember events in Iran in 1979 — and thus circumvent the media memory hole on some of the inconvenient details — know that progressives across the West lionized Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and actively lobbied for the overthrow of the Shah. The Left romanticized Khomeini, and acted as cheerleaders for the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

As the revolution devoured its children, and the Iran-Iraq War unfolded, and the full bestiality of the regime became apparent, a cone of silence descended on the subject. The murderous mullahs morphed from romantic heroes — Khomeini had been a sort of Islamic Ché to the café-au-lait set in Europe — into “conservatives”, because, as we all know, the murderous thugs of the world are by definition conservatives.

And so it has continued up until the present day. The media in the West observe every twitch of the mullahs, the same way they did with the genrontocrats in the Kremlin. And we are constantly advised to appease them, because if we don’t the hardliners will gain the upper hand over the moderates — the latter, of course, are only “moderate” because they want fewer stonings and hangings, and don’t advocate the death penalty for people who listen to music on the radio.

Looking back, is there anyone who thinks that Iran is better off now than it would have been if the Shah had not been overthrown? If the dynasty of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi were still in charge, would we be facing a lunatic regime armed with nuclear weapons and preparing for the arrival of the Twelfth Imam?

Under the current circumstances, an Iranian monarchist counts as a “progressive”.

Which Political Correctness Do You Choose?

Our Swedish correspondent Carpenter sends along the following essay on the cognitive dissonance that is currently plaguing the cultural elites in Sweden.

First, his cover note:

Here’s a report on the aftermath of the Discrimination Ombudsman’s lawsuit, on which you blogged some days ago in a post entitled “The Dhimmi News from Sweden”. I think this lawsuit case turned out to be more than just “dhimmi news”…

Which political correctness do you choose?
by Carpenter

Sweden has a #2 ideology (with Multiculturalism as #1), namely feminism. Feminism in Sweden is a mostly chronic and pathological hatred aimed at ethnically Swedish men who, if we were to believe some of the nutcases, ritually slaughter infants (yes, that actually has been claimed!) Representatives of this ideology are over-represented in the media as a trend-setting voice of the public debate.

Feminism in the SACThere are also feminists who aim their criticism at Muslim patriarchal culture, even if they don’t get the same attention and space in media. We Swedish men are used to being charged for our suggested patriarchal elements, and I at least wonder: Are our attitudes towards women even comparable to the Muslim attitudes?

That being said, I appreciate feminist criticism of Islam’s patriarchal elements. It gives us Swedish men a break from the usual dung of charges against us. But more importantly, for once it puts a focus on a medieval attitude towards women found among Muslims, and away from pseudo-problems.

When this happens, a dilemma emerges for PC people; namely which side to take. If a Muslim had demanded five prayer breaks a day in a job interview and thus did not get employed, the entire establishment would take the Muslim’s side. Everything is in order when a Swedish employer denies a Muslim employment; it becomes very simple who is evil and offensive, and who is good and offended.
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But a woman, another victim of the vast White Male Conspiracy, feeling offended by a Muslim, and vice versa? ERROR! Being politically correct isn’t that easy after all!

It was in yesterday’s Expressen that Maria Hagberg, chairwoman of Nätverket mot hedersrelaterat våld — [the] Network against honor-related violence — took the offensive against the Discrimination Ombudsman of Sweden for her arbitrary attempt to sue. The preamble follows:

DO supports religious oppression of women

A young Muslim man lost both his unemployment coverage and practical training since he didn’t want to shake a female interviewer’s hand for religious reasons. “A serious misjudgement” says DO Katri Linna, who recently submitted an application for a summons against Arbetsförmedlingen [Sweden’s state employment office]. There will be over 160,000 kronor [roughly $27,000] in compensation for the man if DO gets to decide. Maria Hagberg, chairwoman of Nätverket mot hedersrelaterat våld, writes that DO is running the errands of the patriarchy. The religious man should have been reported to DO for discrimination against women, writes Hagberg. [emphasis added]

Leif Abd al-Haqq Kielan, a Swedish convert and Muslim leader, today replies in the same paper (preamble:)

Extreme feminists can’t stand Islam and multi-culture.

If a Muslim man doesn’t shake hand with women he doesn’t know out of respect, it’s of course not a sign of Muslims wanting to take over the world and institute sharia laws. It is common politeness in many parts of the world. Thus writes Leif Abd al-Haqq Kielan, in the light of the criticism of DO who runs a lawsuit for a Muslim man who has been denied a job and unemployment coverage. The assimilation method has crash-landed long ago. Therefore, DO does the right thing taking the side of tolerance [emphasis added]

Women fighting for equality and against patriarchal oppression on the one hand. Muslims fighting for tolerance and understanding of other cultures on the other.

Equality or tolerance. Xenophobia or patriarchy. Feminism or Multiculturalism.

This dilemma has been implicit for decades. But now, we Swedes have officially been offered two kinds of political correctness.

Fellow countrymen reading this: Make your choice!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Irresolute Spanish Immigration Policy

The article below was posted by AMDG earlier this month at La Yijad en Eurabia. Visit the original article for links to Spanish-language sources.

The irresolute Spanish immigration policy:
Between repatriation and straight-off naturalisation

The shocking and unsustainable trend of Spanish immigration

Spanish immigration policy is probably the most incompetent and frivolous in Europe. Spain has seen its immigrants increase from a negligible quantity to some10% of the population in around ten years. You can find in this page a table with the basic data of Spanish immigration from 1995 to 2000. If we exclude immigrants from Europe, there were 250,000 immigrants in Spain in1995. In 2007, the figure had risen to around 4.5 million, of which we may estimate that one million are of European origin.

Spanish immigration

Of course, this trend is not sustainable, and that is why I felt astonished by the comment by CarnackiUK to this post:

This ties in nicely with an item on BBC Radio 4 yesterday in which a member of Spain’s Socialist government was boasting to the interviewer about the success of their mass immigration policy, and offering to share their expertise in this area with Britain and other EU countries (as if these needed any encouragement!)

The main subject of the item was actually the collapse of the birth-rate in Europe and how various countries were tackling the problem. The French for example now claim the highest birth rate as a result of various financial inducements to couples having a third child. This was contrasted with Spain which apparently now has the lowest birth-rate. A couple there would have to have 16 children to obtain the benefits on offer to French women with three children. The Spanish solution is to complacently invite ever more immigrants to replace the aging work force — it’s not that big a surprise that some of those invited are mainly interested in the work of Jihad.

I was astonished indeed to read that members of my government are boasting about the mess they have created, and that they consider a population replacement as a purposely planned policy. But, apart from outrageous, that picture is very far from reality. Immigration has been out of control in Spain; also during the Aznar years. Presenting now the case as a planned policy is a cynical exercise of deception. As a matter of fact, the current government is starting to consider a repatriation policy, in order to cope with the slowdown of economic activity — in particular construction — which will hardly affect the immigrant workers.

Government and trade unions suggest the start of a repatriation policy

The former Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Rafael Caldera, carried out in 2005 a regularization process for illegal immigrants that officially surfaced 700,000 aliens and brought along even more as a consequence of the “come-to-Spain effect” that it created, estimated to be one million (Spanish). The official statement of the minister after the process finished is very meaningful: “This is an achievement for society and a reinforcement of the ethical commitment of the Spaniards. Today, there are many people who feel better” (Spanish). I am sure that the immigrants who could consequently enjoy Spanish social services felt much better, for the rest of us this is just progressive jargon playing on a guilt feeling that we do not experience.
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The situation is starting to change. The new minister, Celestino Corbacho, appointed after the general elections in March declared in an interview that his immigration policy would be “as many as needed, and one more” (Spanish). He added nevertheless a very meaningful condition: “but with a contract”. In another interview, he suggested a policy of encouraging repatriation (Spanish). It will be very difficult to implement it, when a nonqualified person caring for elderly people can earn in Spain more than a doctor in, for instance, Paraguay. The difficulties of a repatriation policy are analysed in Nuevo Digital (Spanish), an authoritative blog by a free-lance journalist.

Even more surprising is the change of policy by the communist trade union CC.OO., which is supposedly more radical than UGT, the socialist one. They have asked in a recent report for the control of immigration and have stated that “immigration has brought along a not very productive growth model based on low-wage manpower that has weakened social cohesion”. The report is analysed in further detail, again in this article by Nuevo Digital (Spanish). Just a few months ago they were denouncing racism, xenophobia, neoliberalism, alarmist speeches against immigration, etc… What could be the reason for this sudden change? May be the immigrants are not joining the trade unions as they expected?

On the other hand, the current leftist agenda includes granting them voting rights in local elections and speeding up the nationalisation process.

This change of policy — at this stage just suggested in interviews, but not yet made official — has made evident the schizophrenic character of the immigration policy of Spanish left. On the one hand a repatriation policy is suggested, on the other the same leftist voices propose speeding up the granting of political rights to the immigrants, including naturalisation.

In 2006, the same Minister Caldera presented a proposition in Parliament to grant voting rights in local elections to foreign legally residents. Those from EU countries and from countries with reciprocity agreements with Spain can already vote in local elections; extending the voting rights to the other countries can only be seen as a surrender and a weakness. The initiative was gently turned down, but the new minister appointed has again made a declaration favouring it: ‘if these people cannot vote, they will not care about the city they live in’.

He is a former major of a town around Barcelona with an immigrant population of 23%, and claims that integration is not complete because immigrants cannot vote and have therefore no interest in local administration. Again, one cannot avoid the feeling that our left is looking for clients among immigrants and on the other hand they are conveying the message that they are limiting it and repatriating.

Much more dangerous than granting voting rights in local elections are the proposals to grant citizenship to immigrants after a 5-year period of legal residence. The current period is 10 years, and a prudent policy would extend it to 20, or even suspend it.

Spanish immigration by country of origin and main nationality by province

It should be noted that the Spanish nation has currently three enemies. Two of them are external enemies -the European Union and Islam — the other one is the interior enemy: the secessionist movements. The European Union is only perceived as such a threat by a minority which can be estimated by the percentage of voters that rejected the Constitutional Treaty in the referendum in year 2005: 17% of the voters, out of a low voting turnover that would reduce this figure to a mere 10%. Still, the risk is there, in Mittleuropa, where it has been since Spain got involved in European affairs in the 16th Century. The other two threats are felt by a majority of Spaniards, even if the politically correct pressure has not yet let that majority express that concern. It is of the utmost importance that they are aware of the scope of the threat and that they loose the fear to express it.

It has been curious to see how all this threats support each other since 11-M. I cannot consider it just a coincidence. For instance, this strange news consisting of just a sentence, informs that the Basque regional government has requested the UE to grant voting rights to those immigrants living three years in any European country. Similarly, the Catalonian regional government has proposed to reduce from 10 to 5 years the period of legal residence needed to get Spanish nationality. Last but not least, the regional Government from Galicia has published a study stating that the regional workforce is insufficient, old and not competitive and regretting that Galicia has not benefited from the inflow of immigrants to Spain in the last years.

I want to finish with this issue, in order to show that, contrary to the information in certain comments by Afonso to some of my former posts, while the secessionist movement in Belgium — the VB — is an ally of the counterjihad, the Spanish secessionist movements have taken sides with the Islamic aggression to the former Alándalus; that is, Spain. So much they hate the only country in history that has successfully eradicated a strongly rooted and native Islam, and that has shown historically the way to deal with it.

Sue Myrick Wants to Wake Up America

Rep. Sue MyrickFor quite a while I’ve been meaning to write about the Hon. Sue Myrick, who represents North Carolina in the United States Congress. Ms. Myrick is one of the few members of Congress who are working tirelessly to expose the efforts of radical Islam to infiltrate and subvert the government of the United States.

We received an email last night in support of Rep. Myrick’s efforts from Charles Kastriot at the Society for the Defeat of Islam:

On behalf of the Society for the Defeat of Islam, I am requesting that you contact your members of Congress to request their support for Rep. Sue Myrick’s (R-NC) “Wake Up America” agenda. The agenda can be viewed at the following address:

The agenda includes the following:

1. Will call for a government investigation of all US military chaplains who were approved by Abdurahman Alamoudi.
2. Will call for a government investigation of all US prison chaplains who were approved by Abdurahman Alamoudi.
3. Will call for the Government Accounting Office (GAO) to investigate the selection process of Arabic translators in the FBI and DoD.
4. Will call for the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) 501(c)(3) non-profit status which restricts “lobbying on behalf of a foreign government”.
5. Introduce a bill to make the preaching, publication, or distribution of materials that call for the death of American citizens, attacks on the United States Government or Armed Forces, or the financing of the means and/or operations to accomplish these acts, acts of sedition and/or solicitation of treason.
6. Will call on the Government Accountability Office to conduct an audit to verify the total sovereign wealth fund investment in the United States.
7. Will attempt to cancel scholarship student visa program with Saudi Arabia until they reform their textbooks.
8. Will introduce a bill to restrict R-1/R-2 religious visas for imams who come from countries that do not allow reciprocal visits by non-Muslim clergy.
9. Will introduce a bill to cancel contracts to train Saudi police and other security forces in US Counterterrorism tactics until the Saudi’s certify the prosecution of Al Qaeda financiers, like Yasin al-Kadi, and the detention of repatriated Guantanamo terrorists that keep being released into the general population after being “rehabilitated”.
10. Will introduce or sponsor a bill to block the sale of sensitive military munitions, especially Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), to Saudi Arabia.
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For those unfamiliar with Abdurahman Alamoudi, details of his criminal activities can be read at the Department of Justice’s website.

Charles Kastriot
Society for the Defeat of Islam

Abdurahman Alamoudi and George W. BushThat’s Abdurahman Alamoudi in the photograph at right, standing with George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign.

If you’re wondering why the Democrats haven’t made any political hay out of the Alamoudi-Bush connection, it might be because Mr. Alamoudi has been dedicated in his bipartisanship. Here’s a brief note about his close encounter with Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign during the same period:

In 2000, the Clinton campaign was forced to return a $1,000 contribution from Abdurahman Alamoudi, who is now serving a 23 year prison sentence for reportedly laundering money from Libya to fund terrorist activities.

Alamoudi, founder of the radical American Muslim Council, held numerous meetings with the Clintons, and once boasted, “We are the ones who went to the [Clinton] White House and defended what is called Hamas.” Incidentally, on its campaign finance disclosure forms, the Clinton campaign listed Alamoudi’s affiliation as the American “Museum” Council. Just a typo?

According to The New York Daily News, as First Lady, Clinton “held several White House Muslim holiday receptions to which individuals opposed to the Mideast peace process and Israel’s existence were invited.”

Remember: Alamoudi is simply one of the few who have been exposed and caught. For every slimeball like him there are dozens more still at liberty, working the halls of Congress and the statehouses in a tireless effort to undermine the American political process.

If your senator or congressman is less than diligent in resisting Islamization, drop him or her a card, send an email, or make a phone call pointing out the work of Sue Myrick and urging support for her.

Bringing about political change is a slow, difficult, and tedious process. It isn’t going to happen on its own; it requires the intervention of ordinary citizens with their political representatives.

Make your congressman feel the heat. Only when enough constituent pressure is brought to bear will change occur.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Christians, Crosses, Prayer, and Persecution

Saint JustinThe persecution of Christians for their beliefs is no novelty. It’s been going on for almost two thousand years. In Muslim countries, especially, one expects that life will be difficult for those who have professed Christ as their savior.

But reading these stories from Algeria made me wonder how the EuroMed initiative is going to be squared with the laws and customs that are considered the norm in North Africa. How are we to “harmonize” the laws of Libya with the laws of the EU?

Here’s the first story, from ANSAmed:

Further Investigation Asked in Convert Trial

Algiers, May 27 — The court in Tiaret, in Algeria’s southwest, has asked for a more in-depth investigation in the trial of an Algerian woman who converted to Christianity four years ago. “The judge could have closed the case of Habiba K. today, given the fact that the crime is not valid,” lawyer Khalfoun told ANSA. The woman is accused of having “practiced an unauthorized non-Muslim worship” and the prosecutor has asked for a three-year prison sentence.

The second story is similar, also from ANSAmed:
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Proselytism Trial Against 6 Algerian Christians

Tiaret (Algeria), May 27 — A trial against six Algerian Christian Protestants accused of proselytism and of having practiced religion in a non-authorised place was opened at the tribunal in Tiaret, 300 km west of Algiers. All six people were arrested after having gone out of a building where they had met to pray. Prosecutor Aissaoui asked for two years of imprisonment for the accused. The trial will be resumed in a week. In Tiaret, a town with some 20,000 inhabitants, the Christian community comprises between 70 and 100 people, according to the accused.

The woman from the first story may face three years in prison for her chosen religion. The six people in the second story may face two years for publicly praying to someone other than Allah.

When the time comes for the Euro-Mediterranean merger, how will these practices be reconciled with European norms? How can the culture of Algeria be aligned with that of Europe?

Well, the ground is being prepped for the change already, at least in England. Consider this article from This is Wiltshire:

A teenage motorist was told to remove an England flag from his car by a police officer because it could be offensive to immigrants.

English Flag in the back of the carBen Smith, 18, was driving back home to Ingram Road in Melksham on Thursday evening after filling up with petrol, when the officer stopped him on a routine patrol.

He checked the tax disc and tyres on his Vauxhall Corsa but when he noticed the flag of St George on the parcel shelf he told Mr Smith to take it down.

Mr Smith, who works for G Plan Upholsterers on Hampton Park West, said: “He saw the flag and said it was racist towards immigrants and if I refused to take it down I would get a £30 fine.

“I laughed because I thought he was joking, but then I realised he was serious so I had to take it down straight away. I thought it was silly — it’s my country and I want to show my support for my country.”


PC Dave Cooper, of Chippenham Road Policing Unit, said he had never come across an officer asking someone to remove an England flag from their car because it could be racist.

He added: “It all depends on the context of a stop. If they are going past a lot of Polish people, for instance, and abusing them, then we possibly would ask them to take the flag down.”

Polish people, eh?

How likely are Poles in the UK to get upset by the English flag? Really: how likely?

Or is it more probable that certain people of the South Asian persuasion are going to take offense? Adherents, that is, of a religion that we dare not name?

As you can see from the photo, the English flag consists of the emblem of Saint George — a red cross on a white background. Is it a coincidence that the cross is considered offensive and “racist”?

Make no mistake: the subjects of Great Britain are being prepared for their integration into Eurabia.

When the time comes, they’ll be ready.

Hat tips: For the Algerian stories, insubria; for the English flag story, AMDG.

The Koran and The Psychopathology of The Prophet (Part I)

A couple of days ago I received an email from a Canadian named Sergei Bourachaga, who wanted me to help him post an article he had written. Here’s what he said:

On May 24, 2008, I submitted to the “Public Message Forum” of The Canadian Coalition For Democracies a lengthy article entitled: “The Koran and The Psychopathology of The Prophet (Part1)”. In less than 24 hours the article was removed and the link ( created by the google search disconnected. The article was deemed “too offending” to the Muslim Community.

I asked him to send me the article so that I could look it over. Its topic lies within our mission statement, and it contains nothing that violates our posting guidelines, so I am happy to republish it here.

The Koran and The Psychopathology of The Prophet (Part I)
by Sergei Bourachaga


While writing this article I have had the enormous good fortune to interact with several academics in the field of psychology, and scholars with extensive expertise of the Arabic language during the Jahilyah period and post Islamic era. I can’t identify them by name because Islamic fanaticism has often relied on violence to silence views and opinions that do not agree with the likes or dislikes of Muslim clerics or community leaders. But still I have to credit them for sharing their knowledge without any reservation. I also relied extensively on the writings of several prominent figures who had addressed through books and essays the psychopathological aspect of the Prophet’s personality. Since their views are part of the public domain, I will list all of them just in case readers of this forum decide to go for an in-depth scrutiny of the psychopath declared by the Koran as “insanoul kamel” (Arabic equivalent for) “an excellent model of human conduct” 33:21, God’s gift to humanity according to Islam, but historical facts show that he was nothing but Satan’s curse to mankind.

One source where a wealth of information was gleaned is Dr. Abbas Sadeghian’s book titled Sword and Seizure. Dr. Sadeghian promotes, with the support of solid historical evidence, the view that Muhammad suffered “complex partial epileptic seizures” clearly reflected through the following symptoms: excessive perspiration, light trembling, olfactory, auditory, and visual hallucinations, and hyper-religiosity. Another good source on the psychological profile of The Prophet is Dr. Hafsa bint Sharif, Ph. D and her essay “Psychological Profile of Muhammad”. Author Robert Spencer produced an excellent book entitled The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of The World’s Most Intolerant Religion, covering the 23-year prophetic career of a narcissist whose ramblings were nothing but distorted views stolen from The Old Testament, The Talmud, and Christianity the religion of his first wife Khadija. According to The Biography of The Prophet by Ibn Kathir, following the first apparition of the angel Gabriel, Khadijah took Muhammad to her cousin, Waraqa ibn Nawfal, a man of knowledge and a Christian who “had studied the books of both the Jews and the Christians very closely and he had learned a great deal from many of their wisest people”. Waraqa confirmed to the couple that humanity has been expecting “The Seal/Last of The Prophets (of monotheism)” and the creature of light Muhammad saw was definitely angel Gabriel. Last but not least I recommend the book titled “Understanding Muhammad: The psychobiography of Allah’s Prophet” written by Ali Sina. A must for the proper understanding of a tyrant whose teachings were behind the massacre of 80.000.000 human beings in India alone, from the day the first Islamic armies invaded the land to present. Mr. Sina places Muhammad in the same league of totalitarian butchers such as Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Ze Dong.

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The KoranBy now too many Canadians are familiar with the Islamic obsessive attachment to the notion that the Koran is the infallible word of God, revealed to Muhammad by Jibril (the Arabic name of angel Gabriel in the Koran), preserved unchanged by Muslim scholars in its authentic form, so perfect that the infallible book together with The Hadith is the basis of The Sharia Law, the “Just Law” that will be implemented and enforced by Muslim Jihadists the day the conquest of this planet is achieved, and the Kouffars/infidels (Jews and Christians) forced to accept the perfect Deen (Arabic for religion) Islam. Of course Islam has a verse “ for the “Perfect Deen” the way it has a verse or a Hadith for every issue that regulates human behavior, thought, bodily functions, from cleansing the self after a bowel movement to dealing with wives or female slaves when they are menstruating, to… Allah announced the “Perfection of Islam” during the “Farewell Pilgrimage” of Muhammad (last one before his death). The Lord reassured him “ This day I have perfected your deen for you and have completed My blessing on you, and have chosen Islam for you as your deen”. The Koran 5:3

How valid is the Islamic claim of the Koran’s infallibility? Is it really the “Word of God” or “after-the-fact” claims designed to satisfy the ego of a psychopathic narcissist masquerading as a “Man of God”?

In part one of my essay I will endeavour to prove to the readers of the forum that the Koran is not even a poor imitation of what perfection is. In future essays, I will try to link verses to specific traits in the personality of the Prophet, and the pathological motives that forced him to introduce each and every verse, and exploit them to further his political agenda and satisfy his obsessions. I would like to start with the critical point that Muhammad was an illiterate, and no Muslim or an infidel has ever challenged this point. On the contrary, Muslim scholars have always pointed out with pride that it was a miracle for an illiterate to memorize such a huge volume of Souras (Koranic chapters) and thousands of verses. Muslim scholars conveniently forget that the Prophet was not born in a social, political, and cultural vacuum. He was the product of the Jahilyah period when illiteracy was the norm, and the oral tradition was the dominant means used by Arab tribes to transmit, from one generation to another, folk wisdom, cultural and religious values, linguistic rules and principles, etc…
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Poets, warriors, and tribal leaders of the Jahilyah managed with casual ease, without Divine intervention from Allah, to memorise huge volumes of poetry known at the time as “Qasida”/poem or “Qasaed”/poems. Poets were highly respected for their talents, their exceptional ability to memorize hundreds of lengthy poems, and their mastery of the spoken word. They were highly rewarded by tribal leaders for their valuable role as custodians of tribal history, since no uniform system of writing was developed at the time for the Arabic language, complicated by the fact that isolated tribes developed different dialects in different geographical areas of the Arab world. So it is not a coincidence or a “Miracle” that Muhammad used the same structure of the “Qasaed” to promote his teachings. Too many Arab poets (Muhammad’s contemporaries) from different tribes did notice that there was nothing exceptional about the linguistic structure of Muhammad’s religious statements fashioned in the principles of the Qasaeds. To defend his plagiarism when confronted with such accusations made by Arab poets, Muhammad had to rely on the authority of Jibril the Angel to promote several verses pointing out to his gullible followers that Heaven is the source of his personal views and not the fallible mind of a narcissist parading as a Prophet —

“By the declining star, your compatriot (Muhammad) is not in error, nor is he deceived. He does not speak out of his own fancy. This is an inspired revelation. He is taught by one (Jibril) who is powerful and mighty.” The Koran 53:1-6

“This (the Koran) is a mighty scripture. Falsehood cannot reach it from before or behind. It is a revelation from a wise and glorious God. “ The Koran 41:42-43

Almost four centuries later, one of the giants of the Arabic literature and poetry, Abu al-Ala al-Maarri (973-1057), who was a dedicated rationalist, picked up again the accusations made by Muhammad’s contemporary poets, and declared the Koran and Islam as a travesty. Abul al-Ala wrote several books, the most famous of them was Fusul wal Ghayat, fashioned and structured in the exact style of the Koran to highlight the point that there was nothing “miraculous” or “divine” about the “Holy Book” of Islam, revered strictly by the sheer power of numbers, millions who blindly accepted its tenets. With an obvious contempt for Islam, Al-Marri accused it of dividing mankind into two groups: “One intelligent without a religion, and the other religious without intellect”.

Now let us go back to the claims of the Koran, and scrutinize closely some of the key pillars upon which the entire book rests. The Koran insists in dozens of verses that God is the author of “The Holy Book of Islam”. It points out that:

“He is God in heaven and God on earth; He is the wise One, the All-knowing… ” 43:85

… the source of infinite wisdom, infinite mercy, infinite… ad infinitum.

“We have revealed the Koran in the Arabic tongue that you may grasp its meaning. It is a transcript of Our eternal book, sublime, and full of wisdom.” 43:1-5

The All-knowing Allah of Islam selected Muhammad to spread His message/will/commands to mankind, and to avoid any misunderstandings or confusions, instructed Jibril to use the Arabic language for His revelations to simplify things to the finite mind of the Prophet. I managed to isolate at least 11 verses emphasizing the selection of the Arabic language as a privilege, as a simple measure to insure the clarity of the message, and a way of undermining the power of the Devil who managed to infiltrate the ranks of The People of the Book (Jews and Christians), and forced them to commit the ultimate evil of rejecting the Prophet and his teachings. “A Book, whereof the verses are explained in detail; a Koran in Arabic, for people who understand… ” 41:3

What was the first revelation Jibril wanted the Prophet to understand?

“Read, in the Name of your Lord who created, created man of a clot, and your Lord is the Most Gracious, who taught with the pen what he did not know.” 96:1-5

The All-knowing Allah forgot that he is dealing with an illiterate prophet. In order for Muhammad to read to his followers the will of Allah, he first has to master the use of the pen, write and then read. Unfortunately Muhammad was too busy collecting wives, waging wars, and dispensing brutal justice, and all these preoccupations forced him to disregard the very first instruction he received from God, and he died without leaving behind a single manuscript with his own handwriting, where a pen was used to confine his noble thoughts to a piece of paper. May Allah forgive him for this unintentional bad judgement call.

What did Allah say also in the first revelation? “… created man of a clot… ” Didn’t he claim also in the same “Holy Book” that he created man from a germ? “Confound man! How ungrateful he is! From what did Allah create him? From a little germ He created him and proportioned Him.” 80:19-20 Didn’t Allah insist in another verse that He created man from dust? “By one of His signs He created you from dust; you became men and multiplied throughout the earth.” The Koran 30:19

In another verse Allah created man from a sperm, and since Muhammad was never a biologist with proper training in “Reproductive Technology”, he failed to indicate whose sperm was used to create the first man. We can’t blame him; Jibril did not guide him properly, and Jibril cannot be admonished since he was conveying the words of a confused Creator who did not remember how he originally created man in his experimental lab. To justify the confusion of The Creator, his servant Muhammad conspired with Jibril to cover the entire fiasco with the following verse: “Men if you doubt the Resurrection remember that We first created you from dust, then from a sperm, then from a clot of blood, then from a half-formed lump of flesh, so that We might manifest to you Our power.” The Koran 22:5.

It seems that the raw material God needed to create man, was also the subject of the rules of “Supply and Demand” in his heavenly lab. So whenever he exhausted the inventory of one raw material he had to use a different type, four or five in total, to create and recreate the first man. Or, it could well be that Dr. Sadeghian was right, and the epileptic prophet had a seriously flawed memory, and despite the fact that his native language (Arabic) was used by Jibril, he failed to memorize properly how God created man, and contradicted himself throughout the Koran on several critical issues that go well beyond the creation of man.

Well, we have covered the confusing story of the creation of man; now let us address the issue of the earthly kingdom Allah gave him to rule. We know that the man’s kingdom was called earth:

“And it is He Who spread out the earth like a carpet, and set thereon mountains standing firm, and flowing rivers… He draws the night as a veil over the day… ” 13:3

“And the earth We have spread out like a carpet; and rested thereon mountains firm and immovable; and produced therein all kinds of things in due balance”. 15:19

“He Who has made for you the earth like a carpet spread out; has enabled you to go about therein by roads… ” 20:53

Either Muhammad is perplexed and seriously intimidated by the voice of Jibril, thus becoming unable to concentrate on what the angel is saying, or the Creator has become too senile to remember that His perfect design decreed to give planet earth a spherical form meaning round not flat like a carpet. The Creator missed also the critical point that planet earth rotates on its axis, and that phenomenon is enough to create day to toil and night to rest, and thus there is no need to use a giant veil to cover the earth to create night and darkness to rest.

Imagine all these verses were conveyed in Arabic, and yet so much confusion and chaos about how “The Infinite Wisdom” tried to save man’s soul from eternal damnation. But the chaotic thoughts and emotions of the Prophet do not end with the previously mentioned issues. On too many messages conveyed by Jibril, Muhammad failed to offer any explanation, and generations of Muslim theologians faced the same embarrassment for the last fourteen centuries when confronted by foreign scholars with the very obviously incoherent writings in the Koran, that reflect nothing but contempt for human logical thought and reasoning.

Let me be more specific. Read again all the verses mentioned in the entire essay up to this point. Count how many times “We have” and “Our” were used in reference to the single God. Hundreds of “We”s and “Our”s are casually used in the Koran.

It is a blasphemy in Islam to refer to Allah as a collective entity made up of several partners (Al shourk). Was the Prophet assuming that the angels were co-creators and he referred to the entire heavenly endeavour to save the soul of man, as the act of “We” the Gods and Angels? Was the shrewd Prophet trying to recruit pagans who believed in multiple Gods, and the “We”s and “Our”s were clever ways to attract the listening ears of the pagans? Or was our epileptic prophet experiencing auditory hallucinations that precipitated in his mind the impression of dealing with multiple celestial personalities?

Also, too many Souras in the Koran start with a set of isolated letters from the Arabic alphabet (Alef, Lam, Ra, Kaf, Ayn… ). They have no meaning or relationship to the title of the Soura, and often the title itself has no direct or full relevance to issues addressed in the verses of each Soura. The following is the classical explanation placed forward for Western consumption: “If we (Muslim theologians) find an authentic narration leading to the Prophet that explains these isolated letters, we will embrace the Prophet’s statement. Otherwise, we will stop where we were made to stop and will proclaim: “We believe in it (the Koran); all of it is from our Lord” 3:7

Well, what happened to Allah’s effort and the Koran’s insistence that the Arabic language was selected to make The Lord’s will very clear? These letters do not clarify anything, and do condemn Allah’s efforts for clarity to dismal failure. They exist in the beginning of too many Souras. Is Allah so imperfect that he failed to convey his thoughts in a simple direct manner, and needed mystery to attract the attention of Muslims, or perhaps make the narcissistic Prophet the centre of every Muslim’s attention? Or again could it be that the epileptic prophet attempted to start a sentence and failed to finish the first word because the electrical impulses were disrupted in his brain and by the time normalcy and proper chemical balance was restored for the neurons to communicate and thoughts to form, the poor prophet failed to recollect what he wanted to say?.

But despite memory failures let us give the Prophet the credit he deserves for creating “The Personality Cult” for his followers. After all, his charisma managed to convince his intellectually bankrupt inner circle, who committed to memory every word and statement he made, even the most trivial and senseless detail coming from God’s servant, and the meaningless letters were kept in the Koran, not because they are pearls of wisdom from the mouth of God, but because the power of ruthless authority insisted to have them preserved.

Let us not forget also that his many wives were sexually very demanding, and this was the frequent cause of the mental exhaustion the poor Prophet experienced. “The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round… they were eleven in number… Had the Prophet the strength for it? We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty men” Hadith-Al Bukhari Vol.1 Book 5 Number 269

I can write hundreds of pages about the systematic inconsistencies, contradiction of views and thoughts permeating the pages of the hate literature called “The Koran”. But such a goal will be boring and banal for readers. It will be more interesting to explain to Canadians how a psychopath shaped a “Holy Book” in his psychological image, and the venoms of hatred it carries to demonize and dehumanize Jews and Christians are nothing but a reflection of the psychopathic thoughts and warped political agenda he pushed for a self-serving glory.

Part II will be covering those details.

Standing up for Gregorius Nekschot

Not everyone in the Netherlands is fully dhimmified. Some members of the Dutch Parliament have shown that they’re willing to stand up for free expression and against censorship and intimidation.

According to NIS News Bulletin:

VVD, Wilders Set up Museum for ‘Forbidden Art’

Gregorius Nekschot cartoonThe conservatives (VVD) and Party for Freedom (PVV) are jointly initiating an exhibition space in the Lower House building where art can be exhibited that is ‘forbidden’ by politicians for fear of offending Muslims.

The VVD is making a space in the Lower House building available for the work. This is a room the party itself normally uses for small meetings and receptions. The PVV is supporting the ‘free-thinkers space’.

VVD leader Mark Rutte said he has had contact with cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot. The artist would be prepared to exhibit the eight cartoons in the room that are according to the Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) criminal productions.

The OM had Nekschot arrested by 10 police in his home in Amsterdam two weeks ago on charges of discriminating against Muslims and people of darker skin-colour. This was based on a complaint by a radical Muslim that was made three years ago — in 2005.
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Rutte says the present cabinet, a combination of Christians and socialists, is killing freedom of speech in the Netherlands. The government allowed a painting to be removed from a town hall because two women showed their breasts in it, tried to ban Wilders’ anti-Islam film Fitna and is now encouraging the Amsterdam police to learn the Koran, according to Rutte.

Work of photographer Sooreh Hera is also welcome in the VVD’s room in the Lower House. She is not however taking up the invitation. “I consider it a good stunt by the VVD but I do not want to link myself with a political party that way,” said the artist in De Pers newspaper.

Hera made photos of two homosexual men wearing masks of the Prophet Mohammed and a nephew. Three museums applauded the work and wanted to exhibit it, but changed their minds, allegedly under threats by radical Muslims.

Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Guusje ter Horst has shrugged her shoulders on Lower House criticism of the ‘Koran subsidy’ for Amsterdam police officers. They are given a 50 percent discount if they buy writer Kader Abdollah’s translation of the holy book of Islam. The money comes from Ter Horst’s budget, she confirmed in the House.

The Socialist Party (SP) and small Christian parties ChristenUnie and SGP fear that the neutrality of the police is at risk. Ter Horst’s Labour (PvdA) also said via MP Jeroen Dijsselbloem that the Koran project is giving the wrong signal.

But the minister considered that nonsense. Nor is there any question of the principle of separation of church and state being violated, she said. Ter Horst described Abdollah’s book as “professional literature” for the police.

The VVD and PVV decided on the section for free thinkers after they asked their fellow MPs in vain to include such a room in the House of Democracy that the cabinet wants to set up. The two opposition parties received hardly any support for their joint motion.

Hat tip: TB.

Strong-Arming the Opposition to the EU

The EUSSRWith the Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty coming up in just a couple of weeks, the Powers That Be in the European Union are doing their utmost to silence and disable any opposition to their grand project of total European dictatorship integration.

The latest move involves a procedural change in the European Parliament. According to The Telegraph:

Plans to eliminate Eurosceptics as an organised opposition within the European Parliament are expected to be agreed by a majority of MEPs this summer.

The European Union assembly’s political establishment is pushing through changes that will silence dissidents by changing the rules allowing Euro-MPs to form political groupings.

Richard Corbett, a British Labour MEP, is leading the charge to cut the number of party political tendencies in the Parliament next year, a move that would dissolve UKIP’s pan-European Eurosceptic “Independence and Democracy” grouping.

Under the rule change, the largest and most pro-EU groups would tighten their grip on the Parliament’s political agenda and keep control of lavish funding.

In other words, only the big guys will be allowed a seat at the table. The little guys can forget it, and since the Euro-skeptics are — surprise! — a smaller group, they’ll be disallowed.

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, claimed that the move goes hand in hand with the denial of popular votes on the new EU Treaty.

“Welcome to your future. This shows an EU mindset that is arrogant, anti-democratic and frankly scary,” he said.

“These people are so scared of public opinion they are willing to set in stone the right to ignore it. Freedom requires the governing elite to be held to account. They must be getting very worried if they are enacting such dictatorial powers for themselves.”

“Worried” may not be quite the right word. A combination of “prudent” and “unscrupulous” seems more appropriate to me. The nomenklatura of the EU know that any frank discussion of the Lisbon Treaty will be its undoing, so they are determined at all costs to eliminate any frank discussion.
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Current rules allow 20 MEPs from a fifth of the EU’s member states to form groupings, giving them a say in the Parliament’s administration and power structure.

Under the changes, the threshold would become 30 MEPs from one quarter of the EU’s member states.

The Liberal Democrats, Greens, the far Left, Eurosceptics and other groupings have vowed to oppose the plans during a vote scheduled for July 9. Andrew Duff, leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrat Euro-MPs and a committed EU Federalist, has opposed the silencing of UKIP on the basis of democratic principle.

“Whatever one’s views about their politics it cannot be argued that these small groups do not represent a strand of European public opinion,” he said.

“If the European Parliament is to be the legitimate forum for post-national democracy, all sorts of minority opinions have to be given effective, if proportionate representation.”

The European Parliament, by its very nature, will never be a legitimate democratic forum. It is structurally impossible. The only way the EU can possibly maintain itself is by suspending democratic processes, because the opinion of the European “regions” will always be against it.

The President of the European Commission has resorted to outright threats against the Irish if they have the temerity to say “No” to Lisbon. His strategy is likely to backfire, however, since — if my wife is any indication — the Irish are contrarians by nature.

According to the Irish Independent:

Ireland and Europe will “pay a price” if there is a ‘No’ vote in the Lisbon Treaty referendum, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso warned voters last night.

Putting the gun to Irish heads ahead of the referendum in just over a fortnight, Mr Barroso said rejection of the EU Reform Treaty would be bad for the whole of Europe, including Ireland.

His comments could be used by the ‘No’ campaign to show that Europe is trying to coerce Ireland into voting ‘Yes’.

They will cause a further headache for the ‘Yes’ campaign, which is already watching its lead narrowing while also trying to fight public confusion on the treaty’s details.

Mr. Barroso is emblematic of the cabal of Lisbon-supporters, which includes a who’s-who of senior statesmen, former prime ministers, eminences grises, and various apparatchiks who feed out of the gold-lined trough in Brussels.

On the other hand, the strange bedfellows that make up the opposition are a motley crew. Among the people urging the Irish to vote “No” are hard-core socialists, a prominent Anglican clergyman, and Irish farmers who object to the WTO negotiations being conducted on their behalf by the European Union. And we mustn’t forget the information warriors of the Counterjihad, as represented by the readers of this blog and others like it.

Fjordman has this to say in today’s Brussels Journal:

This is part of a long-term plan to merge Europe with the Islamic world. As I’ve said many times before, the creation of Eurabia constitutes nothing less than the greatest betrayal in the history of European civilization, possibly the greatest betrayal in the history of any civilization. An entire continent, the cradle of the greatest civilization mankind has ever seen, is to be culturally dismantled and turned into an obedient dumping ground for demographic warfare by its Islamic enemies. Those among the indigenous peoples who object to this will be harassed, and opposition to these policies will be banned by law. This is done by the very same individuals who are supposed to be these nations’ entrusted leaders.

The time has now come for the natives of Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, France, Spain, Greece and other countries to treat the European Union for what it is: An aggressively hostile organization fundamentally opposed to anything we hold dear.

Opponents are pinning their hopes on the Irish referendum, and the bookies in Dublin have recalculated the odds in favor of a “No” vote.

So the signs are not auspicious for the EU. According to The Telegraph:

Superstitious EU officials are also keenly aware that the referendum result will be announced on an inauspicious date, Friday the 13th of June.

My advice to the mandarins of the EU is this: watch out for black cats, and don’t walk under any ladders between now and June 13th.

Hat tip: Gaia.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Generosity is Good, Zakat is Bad

The following is a guest-essay by Henrik Ræder Clausen of Europe News.

Generosity is good, Zakat is bad
by Henrik Ræder Clausen

Zakat, one of the “Five Pillars of Islam”, is a religious tax introduced for the benefit of the poor and needy, as well as for the advancement of Islam itself, and is often quoted as one of the best elements of Islam. This essay sets out to examine the gap between the stated intention and reality, and why the fundamental structure of Zakat works against the stated intention of reducing ‘inequality’.

Historically, Zakat being one of the five ‘pillars’ of Islam, is the holy tax introduced by Muhammad. A bit of background information seems in order.

It is not without precedent, though, as Muhammad’s fifth generation ancestor Qusayy had formalized the religious rituals at the Kaa’ba, including a tax (rifada) on wealthy pilgrims that would enable the poorer pilgrims to afford the costs of the pilgrimage. Depending on one’s view of pre-Islamic paganism, one could consider this tax ‘holy’, or just a tool of the Meccan traders to increase the income from the wealthier pilgrims. As Islam has now replaced paganism, this is mainly of academic interest. It is worth noting, though, that the scope of this tax was tied to the Kaa’ba and the Hajj/Umra pilgrimages.

Zakat isn’t, and that’s important. Zakat is payable to Islamic rulers anywhere, who will then dispose of the resources. Hajj and Umra remain important in Islam as they were in paganism, of course.

The purpose of Zakat

The intended purposes of Zakat are, as listed by SunniPath:

1) “The foremost and primary purpose is to distribute the wealth of the community among the poor…”

The emphasis on the community is an Islamic classic, and it makes sense. For if individuals with talent for trade and business were to have too much economic power, they, not the Islamic leaders, would direct the community. Unfortunately (as will be elaborated below), this is not good for productivity in society. The Soviet Union also emphasized the community over the individual, leading to extensive irresponsibility and neglect. And, as the Soviet Union used to be, Islamic countries have not become affluent by this approach.
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2) “Removing the love of wealth from one’s heart, a spiritual disease that could be detrimental to one’s Imam. Thus, it is a form of Tazkiya (self-purification).”

Now, it might seem weird that any religion would request to remove any kind of love from one’s heart, but this indeed is the case here. It’s a bit contradictory, for what is actually the problem of loving wealth? It is clearly assumed that there is some problem, but the nature of the problem is unclear. Is it wrong to have a nice house, good clothes, healthy food and money to spare with friends and family?

But we do get a clue with the reference to Iman (faith). People who have their material needs fulfilled, and are confident that this will be the case later as well, are less likely to bother with religion. Material wealth does diminish religiousness, as we can see in the West, and that in turn diminishes the power base of religious leaders.

3) “Giving in the path of Allah.”

This is obviously meant to be holy. Giving for the advancement of Islamic faith is considered a good thing in itself, no questions asked, and is a prime purpose of Zakat. Without resources, spreading Islam is very difficult. Muhammad himself spent lavishly on booty and slave trade to finance his wars, and there is no reason for Islamic fundamentalists to deviate from this behavior.

4) “Prevention of monopolies in society.”

The last of these seems a bit off. Monopolies, as in dominant corporations, can exploit their position unreasonably. Also, they tend to become non-religious holders of power, which is obviously bad for the religious leaders’ claim to power. This is just speculative, of course. The point is not elaborated.

Further, it is explained that:

These are just some of the basic reasons behind the obligation of Zakat, but one must remember that Zakat is also a form of worship (ibadah) of Allah Almighty, and an obligation set by Him. As such, one must accept this obligation and the rulings connected to it, even if one is not able to understand the wisdom behind it, for the meaning of ‘worship’ is to submit to the will and command of Allah Most High.

Interestingly, neither the remaining ‘basic’ reasons or any advanced reasons are explained. Instead, we are given a clear directive to pay the Zakat even if the above explanations are found lacking.

Therefore, it is necessary that we accept the various acts of worship (ibadah) as they are and not insist on understanding the wisdom behind it, for Ibadah is something that is carried out in a submissive form without questioning its rationality.

Clear enough. Zakat is a religious duty, not something to be challenged, and giving away a part of ones property constitutes worship. This is submission; rationality on these matters is explicitly discouraged.

As mentioned. Zakat was introduced by Muhammad during his rule in Medina. Along with the early Muslims, he had only a limited selection of incomes. Islamic sources make no mention of Muhammad participating in the rich farming and trading life of Medina, nor did he take up his earlier work as a caravan guide. Additionally, he had heavy expenses purchasing weapons and horses, financing his allies, as well as supporting his many wives and concubines. We find in the Islamic sources that he had mainly three sources of financing:

  • Loans from the wealthy Jewish community. Interestingly, Abu Bakr (the future 1st caliph) promised prospective lenders a doubling of their investment, but no mention is ever made of Muhammad paying back his loans. One would expect the Islamic scripture to show concrete examples of honesty by the founder of Islam, and the absence of this detail is puzzling. One can assume that this source of funding dried up quite fast.
  • Raiding caravans and (mainly Jewish) settlements. This practice started soon after Muhammad moved to Medina, where he would send the Muslims to raid caravans, and later participate himself. It was assumed that if the Muslims successfully plundered a caravan, it was a gift from Allah. The owners of the caravans, however, had a different opinion of this, as did the native citizens of Medina, and the tribe of Quraysh in Mecca. Muhammad and the Muslims initially hesitated taking the booty, as doing so was not only considered immoral, but also could seriously damage their reputation with the Jewish and Arab tribes of Medina and elsewhere. This dilemma was resolved through the revelation of Sura 8, “The Spoils of War”, where booty was legalized, provided Muhammad was awarded a fifth of the spoils, a share named ‘Khums’. The 20% share for holy persons serves as inspiration for certain Zakat rates today, particular those levied on natural resources and wealth increase.
  • Zakat, the holy tax imposed on all Muslims. Enforcing this tax was, then as today, a problem. No tax is truly mandatory without an effective enforcement, and — as can be seen in the latest Suras of the Quran and the many commands to pay the Zakat — appears to have been a perpetual problem within the original Islamic community. In some cases, the income was so low that it drove the Muslims to plunder additional settlements. This had several benefits. First and foremost, it brought immediate financial relief to the Muslims.

Also, as Muhammad made it clear that only non-Muslims would be plundered, it encouraged more people to convert to Islam in order to protect their lives and property, which would increase the taxable community as well. This introduced a dilemma, however, for these freshly converted Muslims were not eager to fight, and soon earned the title of ‘hypocrites’ for their preference of family and well-tilled lands over sacrificing life and property for Allah’s cause.

Zakat, being mentioned more frequently in the Quran than any other of the five pillars, developed into an intricate system according to the later Islamic tradition, and the various Islamic schools have different interpretations of the details, including the tax rates on various items, the range of items to be taxed, and not least how to handle Zakat on items not invented at the time of Muhammad. Muhammad did not predict future discoveries and inventions, and thus did not prescribe Zakat on items such as TVs, VCRs, etc, which leaves a significant openness of interpretation to Islamic scholars of later days.

Foundation of Zakat

“The basic and essential objective of Zakat is purification of the soul. It cures the lust for wealth.” (Islamic Voice)

“And away from it (Hell) shall be kept the most pious one, who gives away his wealth in order to purify himself” XCIL: 17-18

This is clear enough. Those who pay Zakat avoid Hell, and by implication those who refuse will presumably be cast into the fire.

The Quranic instruction to Muhammad and his followers to take Zakat runs like this:

“Take alms of their wealth, wherewith you may cleanse and purify them.” (9:103)

“The root of all evil is the love of worldly things.” (Mishkat)

Summing up, Islamic Voice concludes: “These verses make the real importance of Zakat quite clear: it aims to emancipate the heart from temporal preoccupations and purifies the soul.”

It remains a mystery, however, that this principle seems to apply to ordinary Muslims only. if wealth is truly such a dangerous things, one would expect Islamic leaders to go in front renouncing it, to set a good example for the Muslims at large. Instead, Islamic leaders, by the example of Muhammad, urges the Ummah to transfer the surplus wealth to these leaders. One can only hope that they are immune from selfish motivations and acts of evil.

An interesting aside is the question of Zakat being voluntary or mandatory. It is stated to be a religious obligation on all Muslims, but that contradicts an important stated principle of Zakat:

“It must, however, be remembered that the aim of Zakat is achieved only when its payment is motivated by sincere desire and practical effort.” (Islamic Voice)

If one follows this principle, payment with insincere motivation, such as a mandatory tax, is void of meaning. Islamic scholars may handle this paradox with surprising arguments, such as:

The purification of the soul to be achieved by paying Zakat is not detailed much, it remains an assumption that wealth and worldly goods are ‘evil’. Usually one pays money in exchange for goods or services, or gives money out of generosity. In the case of Zakat, as has periodically been the case in the Catholic church, the mere giving to ‘holy’ purposes is assumed to be beneficial, period. It remains a fundamental feature of Islam not to be disputed.

Actually, Zakat does not need to have a central, enforcing institution. Being a religious duty, Zakat is, in several countries, voluntary. The giver of Zakat must adhere to the holy principles of who will benefit, but retains a significant say in who gets to receive it. Employers may for instance use Zakat to reward needy employees for good efforts, or prefer giving to family and relatives, even though others may be worse off than the relatives.

Beneficiaries of Zakat

The eligible receivers of Zakat are explained in Sura 9:60: “The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and for those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah and for the wayfarer.”

This is a curious mix. Let us look at them bit by bit:

  • “The poor and the needy” is the most quoted reason to pay Zakat, and this redistribution is intended to reduce poverty and inequality. Now, Islamic societies tend to suffer from widespread poverty and in many cases extreme inequality too, so the need is certainly there.
  • “Those who collect them” is obviously a dangerous point. Yes, it motivates more effective gathering, but also opens a door for corruption and inefficiency. Cases have been reported where the share to those who collect Zakat exceeds the share going to the ‘poor and needy’. This is not so good.
  • “Those whose hearts are to be reconciled”. Good points. It means to use the Zakat money as a tool for creating loyalty, for those who have recently converted to Islam or those who might be about to do so. Giving gifts to purchase loyalty may seem strange to a Western mind, but was a perfectly fine tradition in the time of Muhammad, whose biography includes a chapter on the issue. Calling it ‘corruption’ certainly would not be very friendly.
  • Freeing slaves or freeing captives is hardly relevant at this point in time. While slavery has been practiced well into the 20th century in Islamic countries, it is largely abolished by now. Demanding ransom for prisoners of war was common practice among the early Muslims, but is abandoned by modern conventions and is generally considered a criminal act, not a justified act of war.
  • “For the cause of Allah”, however, is a minefield. Fighting in the cause of Allah is the main activity of Muhammad and the Muslims in the later Medina days, and permitting the use of Zakat money for this can be interpreted as a justification of financing war by means of charitable resources. In practice Zakat also goes to non-violent ways of education in Islam, and in several cases Islamic organizations, not the poor directly, benefit most from Zakat.
  • Finally, helping wayfarers. This might seem odd (why not ‘help orphans’ or something?), but just might stem from the original pilgrimage tax related to Hajj and Umra in pagan times, and forms a kind of ‘travel insurance’ to make it clear that travelers getting in trouble while doing pilgrimage would be given a hand to get back home. This item is not of practical consequence today.

Reality check

The real world results of Zakat can be hard to assess. Timur Kuran in his book Islam and Mammon quotes an embarrassing array of faults and misuses of the Zakat system, with focus on the mandatory systems in Pakistan and Malaysia. The list of faults and misgivings about the system is much too long to repeat here; suffice it to state that the creativity in misusing the Zakat system is amazing, and adapts easily to many different aspects of life and business.

One persistent problem, though, is enforcement. Rich landowners are much more likely to have either creative means, well paid connections or simply enough brute force to avoid paying any significant amount to the Zakat collectors. The poorer landowners are less efficient avoiders, and this seriously damages the stated intent of distributing wealth from the rich to the poor.

For an example of how Zakat is distributed, Kuran goes back to 1970 and quotes one Malaysian state capital, Alor Setar, for the following breakdown:

  • 53% went towards teaching Islam.
  • 22% went to the Zakat collectors.
  • 15% was spent to the benefit of the poor.
  • 6% went towards pilgrimage support
  • 2% went to converts

Other figures quoted by Kuran estimates the share of Zakat going to the poor marginally lower than this, with the same overall tendency:

  • The lion’s share of Zakat goes towards teaching of Islam.
  • Collectors are second on the list, significantly over:
  • The poor, who receive only 10-15% of the Zakat collected, and
  • Other religious purposes.

The conclusion of Timur Kuran is clear:

… Zakat has not made a major dent in Muslim poverty and inequality. While it has obviously redistributed some income and wealth, it has not conferred substantial benefits on the poor as a group.

A related conclusion is tempting: Zakat is, in practice, used much more for the benefit of Islam than for the benefit of the poor. Even the administrators of the system have greater benefit than the poor, who then become little but an excuse for exploiting productive people for the benefit of the non-productive.

Purchasing loyalty

The use of Zakat towards those ‘whose hearts are to be reconciled’ points to an interesting feature, that of purchasing loyalty by means of charity, implicitly or outspokenly. The receiver of charity will feel gratitude towards the giver, and this has consequences.

Imagine that charity, rather than being institutionalized, by way of tradition was done by those who had collected personal wealth. One might have a rich uncle helping in an hour of need, and this creates a thankfulness and an openness towards the giver. Who in turn may take the opportunity to teach a lesson:

“You ask, dear nephew, how I became rich? Well, while luck is good, there is nothing like working well and fulfilling the needs of your customers. I had notice that the businessmen of my town had trouble getting mail and errands across town quickly and reliably, and offered them my services. The complaints were both of slowness, but in particular of too many broken goods on the way, so I took extra care to look after the goods as if they were my own. That earned me a reputation for doing a good job and making their lives easier, so I was able to charge higher prices than my competitors, and after a while I was able to buy more cars and hire good people to help me expand my business. This is how I came to run not exactly the biggest but at least the best shipping company in town. Yes, it took a lot of work. Finding reliable drivers is hard, and bad ones can easily spoil my reputation.”

“Wow. And now you are so rich that you can give money away to your family. That is really nice. But I cannot depend on your kindness without giving you anything back. Is there something I might be able to help you with?”

“Well, actually there might be. We have a problem in our quality department, where we just cannot find people reliable enough for the job. Since you are my family, I trust you not to let me down like strangers do. But you would have to do half of year of driving first to get a feel for the business.”

Generosity is good, for it build relations, confidence and openness on the side of the receiving part. And listening in on some well-intentioned advice on how to become self-reliant and diminish the risk of having to ask for help in the future.

Now, building similar relations to religious institutions in turn increases the confidence in these institutions, and openness to the ideas they stand for. However, these ideas tend to focus on worship, not on earning money and becoming self-supporting. Even the question “Can you drive a truck?” might have unusual implications if asked by an Islamist organization.

Which in turns points to a different problem of Zakat. While bringing immediate relief for the needy, it does not by itself eradicate poverty, for the mere giving of alms does not teach how to become economically self-reliant. On the contrary, unconditional giving to the poor can be seen as a kind of reward for poverty more than a tool for getting out of the situation. Giving alms, while charitable, in most cases apart from emergencies, is the wrong cure for the problem of poverty. If Zakat really was a workable remedy against poverty, the Islamic countries should have less poverty than others. The opposite is very obviously the case.

Charity in Palestine

While not directly related to Zakat as such, the case of Hamas as a charity is instructive:

Hamas was for a long time the primary distributor of Western aid in the Palestinian areas, as the PA was considered too corrupt and inefficient to be entrusted the task. While this got the aid out to the needy, it also created a loyalty to Hamas which helped them significantly in the 2006 general elections. The elections, which were widely seen as a protest vote against corruption rather than an endorsement of terrorism, gave Hamas a democratic legitimacy it had not enjoyed before, which in turn helped them seize power in the Gaza strip and abolish democracy there. Unfortunately, the tables have now turned, and Hamas is now actively sabotaging deliveries to the civilian population or simply stealing their supplies. The population of Gaza, in particular, has effectively ended up as hostages to the situation. Their dependency on aid seems endless, but Hamas seems willing to even deepen the crisis of it serves their purposes.

Zakat and funding of terrorism

A compounding problem is that Zakat is administered by religious organizations, where the ‘holy’ status of these frequently frees them of suspicion and scrutiny. Devout Muslims, in particular, may tend to reject any suggested scrutiny of their charitable foundations. This has led these organizations to be important money-laundering channels for terrorists, as has been documented quite extensively, and even led several donors to attempt to force the books in question off the market, such as Alms for Jihad by Burr and Collins.

The relevant response to this challenge, of course, is to double the scrutiny of ‘holy’ charities, not least those of an Islamic leaning. While it may cause some dissatisfaction with Islamic leaders, the results so far have exposed a sufficient number of ‘rotten apples’ to justify a heightened level of suspicion against Islamic relief organizations. We all wish to stop the terrorists, and one of the best way to do so is to cut their sources of funding and resources.


Now, for all its risks and flaws, Zakat isn’t going to just disappear. Paying Zakat is one of the most important elements of a major world religion, and one doesn’t just ‘change’ this. But there are ways to ensure that the system does not breed corruption and terrorism, and first among those is transparency. It should be open to anyone, not just the donors, where the money ends up, how much is used for administration, and what part is spent on religious instruction instead of helping the poor. It is natural to have compassion for those in difficult circumstances, and likewise natural to trust organizations with charitable purposes. On the other hand, abuse of charitable resources for selfish or even criminal purposes is a betrayal of trust at both the donor and the poor, and needs to be exposed and punished, or charity itself may suffer a bad reputation.

Related, protection for those who expose misuse of the resources is important, or wealthy donors may be able to intimidate journalists and authors into silence. A recent case is that of Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, whose book Funding Evil caused a certain amount of offense among rich donors, and a court case in Great Britain against the author. Since she is American, one should consider that to be immaterial, but it turned out that a legal adjustment was needed to ensure her protection. The “Libel Tourism Protection Act” (also known as “Rachel’s law”) renders non-US libel verdicts unenforceable in the US and protects authors and publishers alike.

Being unforgiving is relevant. Religion is supposed to be an uplifting force for humanity, and use of religion for criminal purposes, not least terrorism, gives the religion in question, as well as all religion, a bad name. Abetting, endorsing or tacitly approving terrorism should be immediate and irrecoverable ground for revoking any religious status and privileges awarded to an organization.

Islamic leaders consider Zakat to be religious. The rest of us don’t. Freedom of religion lets Islamic societies use Zakat for strengthening their communities, inefficiencies and pitfalls being irrelevant to the religious status of the system. But the actual use of Zakat deserves no protection on ground of it being considered religious by some.