A 1986 television commercial punch line for makers of Vicks Formula 44 cough syrup proved very successful in marketing their product. The line, “I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV” was delivered by actor Peter Bergman who played a doctor on daytime television.
Seeking accurate medical advice, one left to choose between a real doctor and an actor playing one, obviously would opt for the former as a knowledgeable duty expert.
Why then, seeking to understand Islam, do we accept what our non-Muslim leaders tell us about the religion being peaceful, ignoring what we are told by real duty experts—those once-practicing Muslims more intimately knowledgeable about it?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali. MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images
President Barack Obama has supposedly read the Koran. He assures us, although not a Muslim himself, the religion is peaceful. Having grown up in Muslim countries, he may have played the role of a Muslim but he was not one. Thus, his repeated pronouncements Islam is peaceful should carry no more weight than a diagnosis of a real illness by an actor playing a doctor on television.
Somali-born author, activist and former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a duty expert on Islam. Just like Christianity underwent a Protestant Reformation, she explains, Islam also needs reform. And, while she admits only Muslims can make it happen, “the West cannot remain on the sidelines as though the outcome of this struggle has nothing to do with us.”
Ali lived as a Muslim before experiencing its dark side. Forced into marriage with a man she never met, she experienced firsthand abuses directed at Muslim women. But, she warns, should the West remain on the sidelines concerning reform, terrorist attacks will continue.
Ali makes a connection Obama refuses to make. She warns [emphasis added]:
“I believe it is foolish to insist, as Western leaders habitually do, that the violent acts committed in the name of Islam, can somehow be divorced from the religion itself…Islam is not a religion of peace…There are many millions of peaceful Muslims in the world…The call to violence and justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred text of Islam. Moreover, this theologically-sanctioned violence is there to be activated by any number of offences including, but not limited to, adultery, blasphemy, homosexuality and apostasy…Those who tolerate this intolerance do so at their peril.”
Clearly Ali, unlike Obama, sees the Koran as a spring-loaded trigger for violence—activated by numerous offenses—which, while viewed in the West as the exercise of individual rights, are viewed by Islam as crimes punishable by dismemberment or death.
Ali is dumbfounded Western liberals and progressives believing “so fervently in individual liberty and minority rights make common cause with the forces in the world that manifestly pose the greatest threat to that very freedom and those very minorities.”
As an example, Ali told of her experience, despite working for Muslim women’s rights and being invited to accept a degree from Brandeis University in 2014 for doing so, of then being disinvited by professors and students protesting her criticism of Islam.
“My disinvitation…was no favor to Muslims—just the opposite,” Ali explained. “By labeling critical examination of Islam as inherently racist, we make the chances of reformation far less likely.”
Ali points out, while other religions are fair game for criticism, we contort Western intellectual traditions, giving Islam a free pass—even ignoring Muslim activists who risk life and limb seeking Islam’s badly needed reform.
She notes Western hypocrisy in having supported Cold War activists seeking to reform the Soviet Union’s system, but ignoring today’s Muslim activists seeking to reform Islam.
“These are the Muslims we should be supporting for our sake as much as for the sake of Islam,” Ali says. Yet, “the West either ignores them or dismisses them as ‘not representative.’ This is a grave mistake…If we do, in fact, support political, social and religious freedom, then we cannot in good conscience give Islam a free pass on the grounds of multicultural sensitivity. We need to say to Muslims living in the West, if you want to live in our societies, to share in the material benefits, then you need to accept that our freedoms are not optional. Islam is at the crossroads of reformation or self-destruction—but so is the West.”
There is a frighteningly real declaration Islamic expert Ali makes that clearly is at odds with representations by non-expert Obama. Ali states, “The call to violence and justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred text of Islam.”
Thus, Muslims answering the call need feel no remorse for their violence. This leaves non-Westerners to determine, among those invited into their countries as refugees and immigrants, who among them will heed the call. It is a near impossible task to screen out those who agree with this command now or, who may choose to obey it in the future.
The bottom line is this: every Muslim entering a non-Western nation does so with a license, issued by the Koran, to commit violence in Allah’s name. Just like one who obtains a fishing license, some will choose to use it and fish; some will not; but all have the right to do so.
Shockingly, while assuring us Islam is peaceful, Obama continues to embrace as such the Muslim Brotherhood. That Brotherhood’s basic tenet is a global caliphate—a tenet it cannot renounce and seeks to impose upon the world—violently if necessary. For that reason, even our U.K. ally has condemned Obama’s “peaceful” Brotherhood.
There is a basic misconception about Islam Obama perpetuates: It is not, as he claims, extremists who have hijacked Islam, trying to give it a violent spin; it is moderates who have hijacked the religion, trying to give it a peaceful one. The trigger for violence is written into the Koran for followers to obey.
It is time to heed the voice of a real expert on Islam and not that of he who plays one as our president.
Feature Image: AP Photo/Allauddin Khan
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