U.S. Muslim Group Silent On Key Reason For Attack
by LEO HOHMANN
The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned Wednesday’s deadly terrorist attack at the offices of a Paris newspaper as “barbaric” and deserving of punishment “to the fullest extent of the law.”
CAIR immediately issued a press release offering its condemnation of the execution-style killing of 10 journalists and two police officers. CAIR’s statement also “repeated its defense of freedom of speech … even speech that mocks faiths and religious figures.”
But the Muslim apologist organization’s statement made no mention of Islamic blasphemy laws, which carry the death penalty as standard punishment for mocking Islam and its prophet, Muhammad.
WND called CAIR’s director of communications, Ibrahim Hooper, to seek clarification, but he refused to answer any questions about blasphemy or anything else related to Wednesday’s attack.
“You’re from WorldNetDaily? You’re a hate group. We don’t talk to hate groups,” Hooper said before hanging up the telephone.
CAIR, which is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, has a close relationship with the Obama administration and acts as the self-appointed voice of American Muslims.
Dr. Andrew Bostom, author of “Sharia Versus Freedom: The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism,” said it is the blasphemy laws that inspire violent attacks like the one carried out in Paris against a newspaper known for publishing cartoons critical of Islam. He said even some of the most “moderate” Islamic clerics, such as the Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri, leader of Iran’s Green movement until his death in December 2009, issued statements that the appropriate punishment for unrepentant blaspheming of Muhammad is death.
As Bostom documented in his book, Montazeri even encouraged vigilante punishment for blasphemers:
“Montazeri also adhered — quite rigorously — to the traditionalist Shiite dogma regarding the offense of ‘sabb,’ or blasphemy, even sanctioning vigilante lethal punishment. He stated, ‘In cases of sabb al-Nabi [blasphemy against a prophet, in particular Islam’s prophet, Muhammad]…if the witness does not have fear of his or her life and also there is no fear of mischief [mafsadeh] it is obligatory for him or her to kill the insulter.”
That was the inspiration behind the killers who burst into the newsroom of Charlie Hebdo Wednesday morning and killed the cartoonists, designers and the chief editor of the newspaper as they yelled “Allahu Akbar,” clearly audible on videos captured of the attack. The terrorists were also overheard saying, “We avenged the prophet Muhammad.”
“This is the Islamic blasphemy law in action,” Bostom said. “Is CAIR saying the late Ayatollah Montazeri was wrong? Was Ayatollah Khomeini wrong in issuing his fatwa against Salman Rushie (who authored ‘The Satanic Verses’)? Is the whole body of Islamic jurisprudence wrong? Are they saying Islamic law does not sanction the killing of Islamic blasphemers?”
Bostom said his research shows that death for non-Muslim blasphemers like Charlie Hebdo is condoned across the Muslim world by both Shiite and Sunni schools of jurisprudence.
“And this whole body of jurisprudence on how to deal with non-Muslims who defiantly lampoon Muhammad is now wrong in the eyes of CAIR?” Bostom asks. “They’re all wrong and CAIR is going to condemn them and the Shariah?”
So while CAIR condemned the brazen attack in Paris, the organization stops short of condemning the legal basis for the attack under Islamic law, Bostom said.
President Obama also condemned the attack and labeled it an act of terrorism in a carefully worded statement that avoided the phrase “Islamic terrorism.”
Back in 2012, White House spokesman Jay Carney criticized Charlie Hebdo for publishing cartoons depicting Muhammed in unflattering ways.
“[W]e have questions about the judgment of publishing something like this. We know that these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory. But we’ve spoken repeatedly about the importance of upholding the freedom of expression that is enshrined in our Constitution,” Carney said.
“In other words, we don’t question the right of something like this to be published; we just question the judgment behind the decision to publish it,” he continued.
The White House has developed warm relations with CAIR, an organization whose founders have documented links to the Muslim Brotherhood and the funding of international Islamic terrorism. CAIR, along with the Islamic Society of North America or ISNA remain unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terrorism funding trial on U.S. soil involving the Holy Land Foundation. After Obama took office the indictments against CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmed, already prepared, were dropped by Attorney General Eric Holder.
Message to Western media
Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, said Wednesday’s attack was meant to send a strong message.
“Yes it shows they don’t have any fear of Western authority at all, they carried it out in the middle of the street in France’s largest city,” Spencer said. “Worse yet, I expect this is going to be the precept for calling for restraints on freedom of speech.”
Spencer said a Canadian official immediately appeared on Sun TV Wednesday morning saying it is important to protect freedom of speech but just as important to be mindful of the sensitivities of religious minorities.
“So he wants to end the freedom of speech where they, the Islamic extremists, want it to end, and that’s a serious attempt to rein in our freedom and bring in Shariah blasphemy laws,” Spencer said. “I expect we’re going to see more of that.”
Rallies have been taking place across Europe in support of Charlie Hebdo and free speech.
“These latest shootings may be the work of ‘lone wolves’ but their consequences will ripple across Europe and provoke much soul-searching about the failure of integration over the past decades,” wrote Carolyn Wyatt of the BBC. “Immigrant communities are already being viewed with increasing suspicion in both France and Germany, with their significant Muslim populations, and even in the UK.”
France has Europe’s largest Muslim population at 7.5 percent while Germany and the UK have Muslim populations estimated at 4 to 5 percent. In the United States, Muslims comprise about 2 percent of the population but that demographic is growing at a rate faster than at any point in U.S. history due to the U.S. State Department’s refugee resettlement program. Nearly 2 million refugees from Muslim countries have been resettled in cities across the U.S. since 1992.
Walid Phares, a Lebanese-born professor of Middle Eastern studies at Florida Atlantic University and expert on global terrorism, told Fox News that he is concerned about “copycat” attacks in other Western cities.
“To have a military style attack penetrating a building is something new, the world has crossed a new benchmark,” Phares said. “There are no lone wolves. All have some connection to terrorism. This is not a lone wolf. This is a military cell inside France. The whole free world has seen now what is ahead of us…because we have not actually addressed the ideology and the radicalization. What we have are dozens, even hundreds, within our society that are determined to attack our free press. It’s very serious.”
Repudiation welcomed but more substance needed from imams
Spencer said that while imams in Europe and the United States will aggressively repudiate violent jihadist attacks like the one carried out Wednesday, these repudiations rarely translate into clear teaching at the level of the local mosque.
“These imams that condemn these terror attacks are all very well and good, but nowhere can we find a mosque that has a program in place to teach its members why they should reject jihadist attacks,” Spencer said. “They’re telling us what we want to hear but it undercuts the value of their statements to us because it’s just a matter of appeasing or placating the sensibilities of Westerners but not really teaching their people to reject jihad.”
Perhaps this is why a ground-breaking scientific poll conducted in 2012 by the public-opinion research company Wenzel Strategies found some alarming attitudes among American Muslims with regard to their tolerance levels for free speech, especially when that speech is critical of their prophet.
The poll, published by WND, found 40 percent of Muslims in America believe they should not be judged by U.S. law and the Constitution, but by Shariah standards.
An astonishing 46 percent of those surveyed said they believe those Americans who offer criticism or parodies of Islam should face criminal charges, said pollster Fritz Wenzel in an analysis of the survey’s results.
“Even more shocking: One in eight respondents said they think those Americans who criticize or parody Islam should face the death penalty, while another 9 percent said they were unsure on the question,” he said.
“That’s 11.5 percent who said they want to kill people. And over 50 percent had already decided that freedom of speech was not for them in America,” Bostom said. “My feeling is that 50 percent should go, then, if they are not happy with those fundamentals of American society. That’s what Geert Wielders (the lawmaker from the Netherlands) is saying we can’t have any more immigration when their belief system is so antithetical to ours. The bottom line is, you cannot have people integrated into your society who think this way, and to me it’s not just the ones who brazenly admit they want to kill you, it’s also those who want to denigrate your legal system gradually until it is like Egypt’s.”
Spencer said the response of the Western media should be one of support for Charlie Hebdo, even if all media don’t agree with the newspaper’s lampoons of Islam.
“Our response should be to say this is the time above all to stand for the freedom of speech as it is the bulwark against tyranny in any free society, and to say we should adopt Islamic laws to dampen that freedom in any way would be the worst possible reaction,” Spencer said. “It would only invite more attacks.
“In fact every newspaper in the world should be reprinting those cartoons that Charlie Hebdo printed,” he said.
Bostom agrees that the worst possible response would be for Western media to appease the terrorists by beginning to self-regulate or self-police themselves.
“The response from American media is very simple: as many cartoons as possible,” he said. “Many are stupid, but it’s hardly the grounds for murder, so they should publish them all in solidarity, otherwise they’re kowtowing to Islamic law.”