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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘islamic law’

Spain’s New ‘Fornicators’

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Public prosecutors in Spain have dropped charges of “advocating gender violence” against a Muslim cleric who, on April 2013, preached a two-hour sermon in Spanish, entitled “The Queens of Islam,” during which he made a number of pronouncements about the role of women in Spanish society, including: “Any woman who wears perfume and leaves the house and walks past men who can smell her perfume is a fornicator, and every glance she gets is a fornication.”

The case involves Malik Ibn Benaisa, a Muslim imam based in Ceuta, a Spanish exclave in North Africa where Muslims constitute about 50% of the total population.

Benaisa also said that women should be banned from wearing blue jeans and high heels and from leaving the house unless their hands and face are completely covered.

The comments, which were aired on Spanish public television, enraged women’s rights activists and triggered a nationwide debate over when religious speech becomes abusive and crosses the line into “sexual discrimination” and “gender violence.”

After Benaisa’s sermon was re-broadcast on Spanish public television for a second time during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in July, the Secretary for Gender Equality for the Spanish Socialist Party in Ceuta, Sandra López Cantero, accused Benaisa of being an “advocate for gender violence” and called on public prosecutors to investigate the imam for violating the Spanish Penal Code.

During a press conference on July 23, Cantero recited quotes from Benaisa’s sermon: “A women cannot show her face or bare hands, she cannot wear high heeled shoes, she cannot wear blue jeans, she must wear a scarf to cover her chest, she cannot pluck her eyebrows and she cannot wear perfume because if she uses it she becomes a fornicator. A woman must keep her head down because a jealous husband can cause problems with other men. A woman should be in total submission to her husband. She has an obligation to wear the veil.”

Cantero added: “We will not allow anyone to hide behind any religion or any culture in order to advocate violence. The Socialist Party will not allow any attack on the dignity of women, wherever it may come from. We will not allow the advocacy of violence, especially in a public medium.”

For his part, the President of the center-right Government of Ceuta, Juan Jesús Vivas, said in a statement that he “manifests his defense of the unequivocal values ​​enshrined in the Spanish Constitution, and in particular, those relating to non-discrimination and equality between men and women.”

Vivas added: “The Government of Ceuta believes that all should endeavor, each within the scope of their responsibilities, to reconcile respect for all faiths with the supremacy of democratic values ​​that are the pillars of our social order and of coexistence.”

Amid considerable media controversy across Spain, Benaisa organized a press conference at the Ibn Rochd Benzúa mosque in Ceuta to defend himself. Surrounded by some 150 Muslim female supporters, Benaisa said he lamented the “de-contextualization” of his statements, which he said were aimed exclusively at “Muslim women” in accordance with “the teachings of the Prophet and the Koran.”

According to Benaisa, “My message has always been to advise and not to impose, as this is not part of Islam, because in the Koran Allah makes it clear that there is no compulsion in religion.”

Benaisa also said that the term “fornicating” was not offensive in tone and that its essence was applicable to both men and women, “who when preening themselves excessively before going out are seeking to be unfaithful to their partners and to Allah.”

Spanish public prosecutors have decided to give Benaisa the benefit of the doubt. After analyzing Benaisa’s sermon, the district attorney concluded that the imam had not broken any laws.

In a statement dated August 7, the Ceuta District Attorney said that labelling women as fornicators is not a crime: “In relation to domestic violence, the law refers to concrete action in the form of threats, injuries, coercion or abuse, while the sexual or religious discrimination section of Article 510 of the Penal Code refers to encouraging discrimination, hatred or violence. This did not occur at the conference in question.”

Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

It’s very difficult to ignore what is going on in Egypt. Daily news coverage of the army slaughtering fellow Egyptians easily engenders sympathy for the victims. One can easily conclude that we are witnessing the actions of a vicious military crushing its unarmed protesting population. Indeed the world community including the United States has been condemning the army for that.

Those daily images of the bloody carnage will generate the same attitude in most people. It is difficult to see dead bodies lined up in makeshift morgues, severely wounded bloody victims, and wives and mothers who cry out in pain at the loss of a husband or child.

It is easy to sympathize with them. The reportage is extremely sympathetic to the underdog victims. But as always the case with media reports – rarely do they see context. It’s always about the underdog. In this case the underdog is the Muslim Brotherhood.

Let us take a moment and look at some historical and religious context.

Egypt’s former dictator, President Hosni Mubarak, was ousted from office after a popular uprising by Egyptian citizens . Democracy was their cry. They had apparently had enough of Mubarak. But he fought back. People were killed. Mubarak was eventually overthrown by his own military and arrested. After a brief military rule elections were held and Musilm Brotherhood candidate Muhamed Morsi was (somewhat surprisingly to me) elected by a majority of Egyptian voters.

Mosri pushed through a new constitution that was largely based on Islamic law. In the meantime Egypt’s economy collapsed and is in shambles. People started protesting again. The Egyptian military once again stepped in and quickly removed Morsi from office.

Hundreds of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members were outraged seeing themselves robbed of their freely elected leader. They started protesting in huge numbers. The army fought back with live ammunition. The result is what we are now witnessing in the daily news coverage.

The US has wisely not reduced it financial support of Egypt. But it has not been shy about criticizing the Egyptian military’s lethal tactics in trying to suppress Brotherhood protests.

How are we to see what is going on there? How does what is going on in Egypt affect us, the Jewish people? Whose side should we be on… if any?

I think the first thing we have to do is look at what the Egyptian army is really fighting. They are fighting a movement that is extremely anti Semitic as a part of its religious theology. They believe that Israel is a gang, not a country and they will fight it until they destroy it.

The Muslim Brotherhood honors Osama Bin Ladin and condemned his assassination by the United States. Ayman Al Zawahiri the current head of Al Qaida is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood denies the Holocaust while praising Islamic Jihad and martyrdom. They condemn the peace treaty with Israel and they consistently call for the destruction of Israel. In addition, their Arabic website alleges that Jews have created evil in the world throughout history.

It is therefore my view that it does not serve Israel or US interests to support the Muslim Brotherhood – even though the Egyptian military tactic is brutal.

No one supports man’s inhumanity to man which is what it seems like the Egyptian military is doing. But as Chazal tell us – when one is kind to the cruel, they will end up being cruel to the kind. To peace loving democracies like the United States and Israel and to most other Western countries, the Brotherhood should be seen in the same light as Hamas, Hezbollah, and any other Islamist Jihadist group. They should be seen as determined to prevail at all cost. Including at the cost of innocent lives as anyone who lost a loved one on 9/11 can tell you.

What about the Egyptian military? They reflect the will of secular Egypt and have their support. But there is no love lost between Egypt’s secular population and Israel. As Muslims – they are in theory just as opposed to the Jewish State as the Muslim Brotherhood. But they are not in favor of hostilities with the Jewish State and are probably more willing to stand by the peace treaty with Israel as a means of achieving stability in the region. Secular Egyptians are more interested in improving their lives materially and having a government that responds to their needs. Israel’s legitimacy is in their minds a back burner issue for now.

What about the current carnage of Brotherhood members? I’m sorry. I don’t have too much sympathy for religious fanatics whose ultimate goal is to destroy the Jewish State and kill Jews… a movement that has spawned the likes Ayman Zawahiri.

They look like innocent victims in the eye of the camera. They portray themselves as devout Muslims whose only goal is to restore their Islamist leader and live religious lives. And they seem to be systematically slaughtered for simply expressing their protest in large numbers. But that is far from the complete picture – to say the least.

In my view the United States should take a ‘hands off’ approach. Let the Egyptian people fight it out. Let nature take its course. The Egyptian military should not be hampered. Financial aid should not be withheld since it helps ensure the continuance of the peace treaty. The Muslim Brotherhood must be defeated. If we allow them to succeed, we allow religious extremism to succeed and increase. And that is the last thing the world needs right now.

I wonder how many secular Egyptians miss Mubarak right about now? He may have been corrupt. But Egypt was a lot better off when he was around. And the Middle East was a lot more stable. The democracy that was hoped for by the west after he was deposed – never happened. Democracy is not only about having a free election. It is about including free and democratic principles that do not force religious law upon all its citizens. That’s what happened with Morsi. And that is why I’m glad he’s gone.

A word about fighting terrorism as perpetrated by the above-mentioned movements .The world should once and for all realize that what they are really fighting is not terrorism but an ideology. I don’t think they do. This is not about supporting a poor underdog… or a brutal military bent on destroying innocent people. This is a holy war initiated by a militant and fanatic religion that loves death more than we love life. How do you fight an idea? I don’t know. But the more the world realizes this fact, the better prepared they will be to deal with it.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah .

Invest or Gamble? Egypt Sells Islamic Bonds

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

The Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt, headed by President Mohammed Morsi, is set to issue “Islamic bonds,” not to be confused with the highly successful Israeli bonds that helped the Jewish state get off it feet after its re-establishment in 1948.

Unlike Israel, modern Egypt has been around for a long time, but the Arab Spring rebellion that ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has driven the country into bear-bankruptcy, despair and social rivalries that have pitted Muslim sects against each other as well as Christian Copts.

Morsi wants to sell bonds to ease the ballooning deficit. The bonds also represent another move to make Egypt an Islamic country.

Liberal Egyptians and the radical Muslim Salafist opposition party are against the sale of Islamic bonds. The liberals are against an Islamic state, while the Salafists are concerned that foreign investors will take over Egypt’s private assets. The law allowing the sale of Islamic bonds prohibits their sale for state-owned assets.

Deal with Muslims in Strength and Respect, Not Peace and Equality

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Points of contention between Muslims and non-Muslims have gradually increased in recent years. In the opinion of many, they represent the most serious risk for world peace. It is not merely a conflict between Israel and the Arabs, but rather, the policy of Iran and Al Qaeda, who openly express sheer hatred of Israel and the West. In the words of the Iranians, the United States is the “Great Satan,” while Israel is the “Little Satan”.

Moreover, dangerous conflicts are occurring between India and Pakistan, between the Chechnya rebels and Russia, and between the people of Uyghur and China. In the major cities of Europe – from France to Russia – tensions between native residents and Muslim immigrants are on the rise, as well. It appears these conflicts are not coincidental; rather, they reflect a core problem which, if not thoroughly understood by the Western world, will lead to increasing tensions, until the conflict is likely to result in terrible bloodshed throughout all of Europe and the Islamic countries.

Failures of Western Policy and its “Experts”

I have criticized U.S. President Barack Obama’s position, who, in his keynote speech in Jerusalem, said that young Muslims want “the ability to make their own decisions; to get an education and a good job; to worship God in their own way; to get married and have a family.” He thereby expressed the prevailing view among those who believe that liberalism is the supreme aspiration of all mankind, while ignoring the extraordinarily powerful religious values that have motivated people and nations throughout history.

“To worship God in their own way” is the ambition of a person who believes in liberalism and wishes to reserve a certain place in his life for spirituality, irrelevant of how it is expressed. However, for someone motivated by time-honored religious beliefs, “to worship God in their own way” is highly inadequate. This is the reason why the U.S. and Western countries, whose positions are guided by basic liberalism, fail to understand Muslims, and consequently, do not know how to deal with them – despite the enormous resources at their disposal.

First, one needs to understand Islam’s exceptional strength – together with its virtues and shortcomings. I am far from being an expert on this, and I am also sure that the few books I have read on Islam were not accurate representations, because they were written by academics who find it difficult to properly understand what faith and religion are all about. But it seems that precisely as one who fully identifies with his faith, I am able to add a dimension missing from the understanding of Muslim culture and religion. Instinct tells me my inaccuracies are in the specifics, whereas most Western “experts” err in theory.

The Religious Point of View

The fundamental approach of Islam lies in a religious perception which views God as an all-powerful champion, to whom everyone must submit and accept His absolute authority. Out of the five major precepts of Islam, four deal directly with the honor of God and submission to Him: 1) accepting faith in Him. 2) To pray to Him five times a day, mainly involving bowing and reciting seven verses praising Allah, seventeen times, and accepting His authority. 3) To fast in the month of Ramadan. 4) The pilgrimage to Mecca. (An additional precept is giving charity to the poor, which expresses submission to Allah as well – for money belongs to Him and not man). Even praise and confession to Allah is performed out of a feeling of submission and honor.

Islam’s Influence on Personal Behavior

This approach extends to all interpersonal relationships which are based on honor. A wife must highly respect her husband, and a husband is obligated to take care of, support, and protect his wife – this is his honor. Needless to say, children are also required to honor their parents. Interpersonal relationships as well are based on great respect, producing a sense of noble generosity, which allows room for hospitality and brotherhood.

Seeing as honor is so important, offending a Muslim is intolerable, because it undermines the very foundation of his existence; consequently, he is obliged to respond with extreme gravity, leading, for instance, to the familiar and horrifying expression of “family honor killings.”

The Positive Aspects of Islam

Unmistakably, there are very positive aspects of Islam. The foundations of the religion were derived from Judaism, and tailored to the character of the Arab nation. These positive aspects and their contribution to the world deserve study, to clarify how useful the value of honor could be for the modern world, whose problems, to a large extent, stem from a lack of respect for God and of human dignity. The right to freedom is not a substitute for lost honor. The right of dignity in a democratic society is expressed merely by refraining from humiliating someone; it is void of positive respect. This allows for a feeling of apathy, arrogance, and contempt for others, and their values.

All the same, at present we are engaged in the tensions surrounding the followers of Islam, which naturally will present its less attractive sides.

Islam – A Religion of War

Following the five precepts of Islam, the next most important precept is the command of jihad. Resembling Allah, His followers must also act courageously, forcibly subduing those who do not succumb to His authority. Power and the sword play a central role in the Muslim religion, emphasizing the physical strength of the religion, and enhancing the greatness and honor of Allah by imposing His beliefs on all mankind. Even the calls to prayer over loudspeakers by the muezzin, day and night, are an expression of imposing the religion over wide-open areas, directed towards themselves, and all others.

It is no coincidence that the Arabs have succeeded in imposing Islam on many nations, to the point where, presently, it has approximately 1,400,000,000 followers. The genetic code of Islam is programmed towards a steadfast war of imposing Mohamed’s religion on the entire world by means of the sword. To achieve this goal, everything is legitimate. If they must kill, they will kill; if they must lie, they will lie. It was not the enchanting beauty of Islamic religion which enticed so many nations to accept it upon themselves, but rather, the clear threat of death.

All nations attained their achievements through confrontations and triumphs. Unlike other cultures, however, in Islam, the principle of compromise is intolerable, especially a territorial compromise. Compromise is an expression of weakness, whereas a Muslim is required to represent the heroism and strength of Allah, and must always clutch the sword, prepared to continue the war of imposing the religion.

Therefore, even when Muslims lack the power to defeat their enemy, there is no willingness to compromise. If they are compelled to agree to a cease-fire (tahadiya in Arabic), as far as Islam is concerned, it is only a respite which must be utilized to prepare for the continuation of the war. In the interim, if possible, they will weaken their opponent by means of terrorist attacks and raids. If they are unable, at the very least they will attempt to sedate him with lies, and when the opportunity arises, attack once again till he is defeated. This method is based on the conduct of their prophet Muhammad towards the tribe of Quraysh.

The Significance of the Sword in Islam

According to Muslim belief, the world is divided into two parts: Dar al-Islam are territories already conquered by Islam. Dar al-Harb are territories at war, which the Muslims are commanded to conquer, and after doing so, they become Muslim holy territories (waqf), which must not be relinquished under any circumstances. Even if this territory is re-conquered by another nation for hundreds of years, according to Muslim law, it is still considered “sanctified” land which must be returned to Muslim control.

Of course, the State of Israel constitutes a twofold problem for Muslims: first, it was established on territory that had been occupied by Islam since its inception (except for a period of some 200 years, when it was ruled by the Crusaders). Second, it is also located in the heart of Arab-controlled areas.

Some Muslims are more devout, others less; nevertheless, they all share the desire to regain Arab rule over the Land of Israel. The debate between the moderates and the extremists is over the question of whether they are able to conduct an overt, all-out war against us, or should they first emasculate and weaken the State of Israel by means of agreements and political pressure, and only afterwards take it by force.

How to Deal with the Islamic Threat

The only time Muslims are exempt from holy war is when they are entirely helpless – without the capability or opportunity to succeed. Only then, according to Islamic law, are they exempt from the necessity to wage war. In that case, Muslims would wait for years or even generations, confident that when the opportunity is presented, they’d return to wage war.

In contrast, any attempt to compromise with Islam would inevitably lead to the continuation and intensification of war and terror, because it is perceived as a weakness. Since, according to Muslim culture, if the Western countries had the power to defeat them, seeking a compromise would be unthinkable.

The West’s search for compromise can only be due to its inability to face the heroic attacks of Allah’s faithful, which means that its downfall is close at hand. The same is true regarding Israel – any attempt at compromise or looking for a “political horizon” instills hope in the Muslims that they can defeat her, and as a result, encourages terrorism and war.

Anyone wishing for peaceful and calm relations with Muslims must avoid presenting ambitions of peace, or any talk of it. The objective of Western countries must be to secure a durable ceasefire, and, at the same time, conduct respectable relationships. When this occurs, it will be possible to eventually reach a loftier and more profound peace. Such a peace, however, must not be discussed at this point in time.

The Mistake in Obama’s Cairo Speech

Instead, when President Obama spoke in Cairo four years ago, he erred twice: first, by calling the Muslims to peace, thereby intensifying their battle against America, and hastening the downfall of Arab rulers who supported the United States. Second, despite all the praise for Muslims, in truth, he was condescending, humiliating their beliefs by preaching to them to behave democratically, to grant equality to women, and to provide equal rights for minorities – when, in fact, Muslim values are based on honor, and not equality.

Had Obama firmly insisted on equality for Egypt’s Christian Copts, they would have respected his demands. But when he asked for this in the name of democracy and religious freedom, he damaged his status in their eyes, and endangered the Copts, whose situation has since deteriorated.

Let us conclude with the prayer: “The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.” As a result, Islam’s positive values will come to the fore, the nations will come closer to faith in God and fulfilling the Noahide commandments – each nation according to its own qualities and character – and true peace will come to the world.

Talking about Terrorism and Islam

Monday, April 8th, 2013

The first rule of Jihad Club is that there’s no talking about it. For the second rule, see the first rule. The culture of silence and terrorism denial is sometimes well meaning. Since the Bush days, experts on Islam have warned that the best way to defeat Islamic terrorists is to undermine their claim to fighting on behalf of Islam by refusing to call them Islamic. The sheer brilliance of this strategy was only partly undermined by its origins in Saudi Arabia, the country sponsoring Islamic terrorists, and by the fact that recruiting primarily takes place in media and channels completely immune to the voluntary speech codes adopted by the A.P. stylebook.

The average Al Qaeda recruit is utterly unaffected by whether the White House press secretary calls the group Islamic, Islamist or terrorist or militant. He similarly does not care whether Nidal Hasan’s shooting rampage at Fort Hood is called an act of terror or workplace violence. Such concerns exist only in the bubble of experts who offer shortcuts to fighting terrorism that don’t actually involve killing terrorists.

Muslims are more likely to see Al Qaeda as Islamic because it kills Americans, regardless of what the official representatives of the Americans call that killing. The reasons for this are to be found in the militant roots and practice of their religion. And the Americans who get to die, but do not get a vote on how their deaths will be described, know that Al Qaeda is a Muslim terrorist group. Only in the realm of the expert bubble is it thought that changing words can change how favorably Muslims will view the killers of Americans and how Americans will identify or misidentify their killers.

Largely though the denial is not well meaning. To the left, Muslim terrorism runs the gamut from being a distraction to a call for reforming American foreign policy. After Obama won two elections, the liberal has trouble figuring out what more reforms need to be passed and complains that all this terrorism is a distraction from truly important issues like Global Warming and school budgets, while the avowed leftist goes Full Greenwald and rants about drone holocausts in Pakistan.

After the Arab Spring, the withdrawal from Iraq and the coming withdrawal from Afghanistan, and Obama deftly maneuvering into a pro-Hamas position on Israel; it’s hard to see what else America can or should do to appease the Jihad. The left will always have its checklist, but even Obama knows that no matter what he says or does, the drones will have to keep flying because it decreases the chances of a major terrorist attack that will force the country into taking a much more aggressive posture against Islamic terrorism.

The new low-intensity conflict is big on things we don’t talk about. We don’t talk about the drones and we don’t talk about the terrorists we are fighting. Instead we talk about how great Islam is.

Talking about how great Islam is and not talking about terrorism is an old hobby for America. We’ve been at it since September 11 and no matter how many interfaith meetings have been held and how often we talk about how much we have in common, the bombs still keeping showing up.

All the projects for Muslim self-esteem, from world tours of Muslim Hip-Hop groups to NASA being turned into a Muslim self-esteem laboratory, seem like bad refugees from failed 70s solutions to crime. All that’s left is to hold midnight basketball events across the Middle East and call for prison reform and we might as well be back in the worst days of the liberal war for crime. The problem is not that Muslim terrorists don’t love themselves enough… it’s that they love themselves too much.

Islamism is not caused by poor self-esteem, but by a lack of humility. Americans are often told that they are not good enough to tell the rest of the world what to do. But Islamists are never told that at all. Instead they are told by their own religious leaders that their way is superior and ought to be imposed on everyone and they are told by our leaders that their way is superior but should only be imposed on everyone after a democratic election.

Daoud, Is this Yours?

Monday, January 14th, 2013

I met an Arab contractor from Hevron many years ago. We were considering having him build our home. He invited us to his home in Hevron but since it’s illegal for me to go there, not to mention potentially dangerous, I never managed that visit.

We got in a discussion one time about cultures and soon realized we were speaking different languages. He was trying to explain about his family and why it was really so much better than my culture. You see, he has two wives. One is this beautiful young Russian woman who was in her very early 20s at the time. The second one was an Arab woman, “the pathetic one” he called her. She was 46 at the time (and so was I). She had borne him his children and was still his wife but he had taken another – the young one.

He had built them a beautiful home, he told me and kept them both there – the beautiful one and the pathetic one. And, to show you how amazing Islamic law was, he told me, he was very fair. Each night, in succession, he visited each woman. One night here, one night there. I was to commend him, you see because if he wasn’t such an amazing person, he would likely have been unfair and spent more time with the beautiful one.

I didn’t handle it very well. I wasn’t duly impressed. I told him that if I were his wife, I would show him the door and tell him to get out. He thought that was ridiculous. He pointed to my husband and asked if I thought it was better that my husband would sneak off and find another woman instead of being honest and bringing her home as he had. My husband was a wise man. He sat there with a smile on his face, knowing I could and would have what to say.

I smiled back and turned to Daoud and said, if my husband wanted to go to a woman in Tel Aviv, he knows he can go…he just can’t come back. Daoud didn’t believe me – luckily and happily, my husband does.

 

In many ways, Daoud crosses cultural lines. He is completely fluent in Hebrew and knows many, many Israelis. He lives a good life, even a rich one. I don’t know if this is his house, but I thought of him when someone posted this picture to Facebook. It is an Arab house in Hevron. Daoud told me he had experience building pools and that his house was very large – so that the young wife and the pathetic one had plenty of space.

And I remembered a discussion I once had with someone from the States. He accused us of persecuting the Palestinians, keeping them without electricity and indoor plumbing. He somehow believed that Arabs still ride camels and live in tents.

There are hundreds of homes like this one in Arab areas, perhaps even thousands. Some are in the Bedouin city of Rahat in the desert; others in Ramallah and even in Gaza. If this is how the poor Palestinians are living, I can only wish some day God grants me such poverty.

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