UPDATE: The Tundra Tabloids good friend, Dr.Andrew Bostom has an excellent accounting just recently posted here. Excerpts appear after my text. KGS
NOTE: Zuhdi Jasser has as much of a chance at reforming Islam as a bunch of back-sliding Baptists have in getting their branch of Christianity to accept legalized abortion.
The Tundra Tabloids received notice a few days ago that the American Thinker would be running an article by Dr.Zuhdi Jasser, a self described ”moderate” pious Muslim and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy based in Phoenix, Arizona, who is seeking a reformation of Islam.
In his article at the American Thinker, Dr.Jasser insists that, both Pamela Geller from Atlas Shrugs, and Robert spencer from Jihad Watch are making things up about him from whole cloth. While the Tundra Tabloids hasn’t all the facts surrounding the issues concerning Zuhdi Jasser being tossed out of mosque as Geller claims, or what was or wasn’t said, between himself and Geert Wilders, the TT definately wants to address Dr.Jasser’s denial, or at least, reluctance to address Islamic textual anti-semitism.
It has always bothered the TT that Jasser has always insisted that muslim anti-semitism is the fault of “radical Islamists” and thuggish Middle Eastern regimes, not the Koran itself or universally accepted Hadiths.” Here is what Jasser said in his interview with Pamela Geller:
Pamela: Listen, Islamic anti-Semitism is irrefutable, Dr. Jasser, it really is.
Zuhdi: Well, it is certainly part of the behavior of many Muslims and especially the Islamist, but I will not accept that that is part of Islam.
That is the part that the TT can never agree with. His insistence that muslim anti-semitism is the fault of “radical Islamists and many Muslims” but not the Koran or universally accepted Hadiths doesn’t square with me, it never has.
Dr.Andrew Bostom has written numerous articles, delivered an umpteenth number of lectures and has written a major book on the subject, of Islamic anti-Semitism, The Legacy of ISLAMIC ANTISEMITISM (I have a signed autographed copy from the author himself).
I believe that Dr.Bostom would have a lot to say about Dr.Jasser’s reluctance to address the subject.
Besides that, Dr.Zuhdi Jasser is also delusional about his position as ‘a reformer’ and his chances at exacting change in a belief system that has a more than effective way in dealing with those who desire to subvert (at least in the fundamuslim mind that is) the officially sanctioned teachings of their prophet. It’s the main reason as to why there are so many “secretive sects” of Islam throughout the ME, it’s called life insurance, or how to stay alive.
That, more than anything else drives the harpoon into the myth of a pluralism within Islam, that “there’s no one specific way of following the teachings of Mohamed”, these secretive sects have been hunted down and persecuted throughout the centuries. Oh and the centuries old war between the Sunni and Shiite (Predator vs. Alien) also drives a stake into the myth of a pluralism within Islam.
As for the Koran, it was not given to Mohamed in the same sense as the TORAH or the Christian New Testament, but handed down to Mohamed in form. Plop. It’s immutable, and unlike the Old Testament, it contains an open ended call to subjugate the unbeliever.
It’s going to be interesting to see what the response will be from both Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer to Dr.Jasser’s claims in his article at the American Thinker. KGS
Andy Bostom: “Although Dr. Jasser made some noble comments, and expressed views certainly worth championing, there were also darker and unsettling aspects of some of his statements and arguments. Dr. Jasser’sapologetics regarding Islamic Jew-hatred and misogyny were absurd and entirely counterfactual. Such comments are delusive at best, and taqiyya at worst. Not taqiyya in a deliberate effort to legitimize Sharia encroachment, as per cultural jihadists, but out of Dr. Jasser’s apparent genuine embarrassment regarding the tenets of mainstream Islam as practiced since its advent.
But when embarrassment leads to calumny—in this particular case, leveled against me—it is unacceptable.
Jasser’s claims about Islamic Jew hatred and his calumny against me are thoroughly debunked in this lengthy presentation “Antisemitism in the Qur’an: Motifs and Historical Manifestations”, April 7, 2008 which demonstrates exactly how the greatest classical Koranic commentators in Islam—who antedated the “Wahhabi” movement by 500 to 1000 years—interpreted the Koranic verses on Jews discussed during the interview. And the late Grand Imam of Al Azhar—the Sunni Muslim Pope, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, who was not a “Wahhabi”—wrote a 700 pp. treatise that concurred with these Jew-hating interpretations of the classical Koranic commentators.
An abstract of this paper which derives from my The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, is provided below:
The essential nature of the Qur’ranic “revelation,” as understood by Muslims, was elaborated in 1891 by Theodore Nöldeke (whose seminal 1860 Geschichte des Qorans remains a vital tool for Qur’ranic research): “To the faith of the Muslims…the Koran is the word of God, and such also is the claim which the book itself advances…”
And to this day, as the contemporary Qur’anic scholar Ibn Warraq notes, for all believing Muslims, and not merely “fundamentalists, ” the Qur’an remains Allah’s “uncreated” words, “…valid for all times and places; its ideals are, according to all Muslims, absolutely true and beyond any criticism.”
The Qur’anic depiction of the Jews—their traits as thus characterized being deemed both infallible and timeless—highlights, in verse 2:61 (repeated in verse 3:112), the centrality of the Jews “abasement and humiliation”, and being “laden with God’s anger,” as elaborated in the corpus of Muslim exegetic literature on Qur’an 2:61, including the hadith and Qur’anic commentaries. The terrifying rage decreed upon the Jews forever is connected in the hadith and exegeses to Qur’an 1:7, where Muslims ask Allah to guide them rightly, not in the path of those who provoke and must bear His wrath. This verse is in turn linked to Qur’anic verses 5:60, and 5:78, which describe the Jews transformation into apes and swine (5:60), having been “…cursed by the tongue of David, and Jesus, Mary’s son” (5:78). Moreover, forcing Jews, in particular, to pay the Qur’anic poll tax “tribute,” (as per verse 9:29) “readily,” while “being brought low,” is consistent with their overall humiliation and abasement in accord with Qur’an 2:61, and its directly related verses.
Jasser put forth a compelling response to what Geller claims.
He takes each of her “gotchas” and shows how & why her claims are or can be proven false. Particularly in regards to the “Geert Wilders” claim, the “occupied territory” claim.
It seems as though Geller really did push falsities for some reason other than TRUTH that are easily cleared up by transcripts and phone records that Geller had (transcripts) and just asking Wilders (which it appears she never did)
This is a bizarre issue indeed.
Not so fast Ron, Zuhdi is not out of the woods yet, my friend Andy Bostom, since he was mentioned, takes notice and delivers his observations, read up again.
I’m not defending Jasser’s beliefs per se, as he has that burden.
I am simply pointing out that the direct accusations and claims regarding him by Geller seem now to be outright false and/or distorted.
Her “proof” proves she is wrong. I listened to her interview with Jasser and Jasser is telling the truth about what he actually said regarding “occupied territories”. Geller is not telling the truth or is very, very mistaken. Also waiting such a long time to bring it up is just plain suspect.
Jasser’s response to the Geert Wilders issue is also more believable then Gellers, in my opinion, and can be proven by Wilder’s himself and other sources which Jasser names. Geller offers zero proof to her claim about what Wilders did/said regarding Jasser. None.
I am going by clear facts or demonstrations of fact – issue by issue. I’m not trying to interpret the whole ball of wax regarding Jasser’s ideology like Bostom or Geller or Spencer.
The “proof” that is being submitted to show Jasser’s “deception” is really quite lame and seems to me to be demonstrably false.
Fair response. She is correct in saying he refutes Islamic anti-semitism, the koranic and hadith textual anti-semitism that is. That’s what I’m zeroing in on, as is Bostom.
The big problem here, however, is submitting in the argument a falsity as fact.
Jasser clearly said, “occupied territories” which is easily recognized as meaning Gaza and the West Bank, but he is repeatedly accused and tagged as saying “occupied territory,” meaning Israel.
It is a big difference and he is attacked harshly for something he never said.
Why is this not corrected by Geller, Logan, and all others who repeat this obvious mistake? Sure, it may be a small matter in the scheme of things, but fact is fact. Geller et al need to stop using it as a bullet.
I still don’t know who this guy is, but the antisemitism is within Islam itself. Antisemitism in today’s’ Muslim world is mainstream as it always has been. There has been antisemitism ever since the beginning of Islam. Mohammed ordered the slaughter of the Jews.
Thanks for this post KGS, it is very interesting. I still don’t understand why people are so into these reformers. There IS nothing to reform. Period.
If the fact that he is a practicing Muslim does not set the tone for your belief in what he says then you have a misunderstanding of what he is up to. People who are familiar with Islam will not be fooled but that is not his audience. He wants to play to those with no understanding of Islam. He gives false hope to the naive that Islam can be reformed, that there are Muslims active in this. He is as dangerous as Terek Ramadan to the woefully uninformed. Even if he is serious about his heresy he is a tool of Islam.
Don’t these constitute open-ended commandments in the Torah to subjugate (and even worse… kill) unbelievers?
“I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the long-haired heads of the enemy.” (Deut. 32:42)
“When the Lord, your God, brings you into the land that you are entering to possess, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you. And when the Lord, your God, delivers them before you and you defeat them, destroy them utterly. Make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them” (Deuteronomy 7:1-2).
“When your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, entices you secretly, saying ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ . . . you shall kill him, your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the Lord your God. . . ” (Deuteronomy 13: 6-10)
“When you approach a city to fight it, offer it terms of peace. If it agrees to make peace with you and opens to you, all the people found in it shall become your forced labor and shall serve you. However, if it does not make peace with you, but makes war against you, besiege it. When the Lord your God gives it into your hand, kill all the men in it. Take as booty only the women, children, animals, and all that is in the city, all its spoils. Use the spoils of your enemies which the Lord your God has given you. . . Only in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. Do not leave alive anything that breathes” (Deuteronomy 20:10-17).
“Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. But spare for yourselves all virgin maidens” (Numbers 31:17-18).
“I will send my terror in front of you. . . you shall utterly demolish them and break their pillars in pieces” (Exodus 23: 23-24, 27).
Furthermore, if you look at an enumeration of the 613 commandments of the Torah, the subset on war are still valid, in particular the ones regarding Ammon, Moab, Amalek and the 7 Canaanite nations are still there and are often applied to the Middle Eastern neighbors of Israel in public discourse.
I’m certainly not saying that all Jews believe in commiting genocide, that would be intellectually lazy. There are even religious Jews who find more compassionate and just ways of reading the above texts. By the same token, it is intellectually lazy to take a few verses out of context from the Quran and hadith and then act as if all Muslims are intrinsically Jew-haters.
Personally, I would say that the passages in the Quran which mention Jews in a negative light are primarily talking about specific individuals and groups, without making generalizations about all Jews for all time. For me the fundamental statement the Quran makes regarding Jews and Christians is:
[3.113] They are not all alike; of the followers of the Book there is an upright party; they recite Allah’s communications in the nighttime and they adore (Him).
[3.114] They believe in Allah and the last day, and they enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and they strive with one another in hastening to good deeds, and those are among the good.
[3.115] And whatever good they do, they shall not be denied it, and Allah knows those who guard (against evil).
[3.116] (As for) those who disbelieve, surely neither their wealth nor their children shall avail them in the least against Allah; and these are the inmates of the fire; therein they shall abide.
Or another passage one could cite is:
[2.62] Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.
In other words, one can find positive statements about Jews as well as negative ones. And you might want to read the former in the light of the latter but one could also read the latter in the light of the former.
The thing is Abdul, those scriptures mentioned were pointed to a fixed date in time, a mere recounting of events, the Koran, openly advocates the past, present and future subjugation of the non-Muslim. Every school in Islamic orthodoxy underlines those precepts, your argumentation consists of pure helium.
Even in the event that your statements were true, they’re not, but lets play along, the Jews were repeatedly condemned by the almighty deity for not doing as he said, even having their rulers dethroned, the people scattered, for not carrying out those dictates. So there you have it, even if they were, (but they’re not) open ended dictates, Jews refuse to wipe out other peoples, even if a high and almighty deity says to do so. Muslims on the other hand, when they feel that they’re in ascendancy, DO exactly that, carry out murder (and if they have the means, genocide) and subjugate the non-believer.
I agree that one or two of the above Torah passages are “historical” but most of them are open-ended commandments for all times. This should be clear because most of them are still part of Maimonides enumeration of the 613 Torah commandments.
In terms of the Jews not following the genocidal commandments I think I know what you are talking about.
In 1 Samuel 15 it says:
 Thus says the LORD of hosts, `I will punish what Am’alek did to Israel in opposing them on the way, when they came up out of Egypt.
 Now go and smite Am’alek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.'”
 And Saul came to the city of Am’alek, and lay in wait in the valley.
 And Saul defeated the Amal’ekites, from Hav’ilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt.
 And he took Agag the king of the Amal’ekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them; all that was despised and worthless they utterly destroyed.
In other words, instead of killing every single last Amalekite, Saul still killed all the men, women, children, old people and infants, he just left the king alive. Oh and he kept all the best of their possessions. Saul was punished for disobedience but his behavior certainly doesn’t exactly show great amounts of compassion or moral restraint.
But you should really look at the whole book of Joshua. The whole thing is about how Joshua and the ISraelite army went from city to city killing everything that had breath, without mercy. So the idea that Jews never acted on these commandments is kind of silly.
On the other hand, Jews actually had a Golden Age under Muslim rule when Islam was ascendancy in Spain. And after 1492 when the anti-Semitic Christians kicked out the Muslims and Jews from Spain, Jews found refuge under the Ottoman Empire.
None of them are open ended in the Old Testament. They were about a specific period in time, about a specific people at that time, not the all inclusive “infidel”, neither is Judaism a proselytizing belief system unlike Christianity and Islam. Jews have only one point of religious focus, that being Israel, Islam and Christianity are universalist.
The point being made here, is that Jews after the Torah was codified into a specific series of books, were not going after the ancient peoples of the region to wage war on them, again, these were specific scenarios during a specific time in history, and not open ended calls for faithful to search out the Amelkites and Hittites until the end of time. You know that and your purposefully saying otherwise. your promoting a false argument.
It’s purely a matter of history of what happened back then during the time of Joshua, as opposed to the Koran telling its followers to seek out the Infidel and either subjugate them or kill them until the whole world is under the Islamic Ummah. Get real.
Mainstream Christianity has some readily available conceptual tools which allow them to say that the genocidal laws are no longer valid since they can say that after Jesus the old laws don’t apply. But for religious orthodox Jews the whole Torah is in effect forever (although some specific commandments may be moot for a time, e.g. the ones having to do with kings or the Temple).
You might do well to read a brief piece:
Genocide in the Torah
The existential threat of Amalek.
Which makes the point that yes, a widely held opinion in Judaism is that there is an open ended command to blot out Amalek until the end of time.
The lesson for me is that the Old Testament can certainly be read in violent genocidal ways, and I might even believe that this is the historically accurate way to read those texts. I still don’t assume that every Jew, or even every religious Jew follows those interpretations. By the same token, you might, for whatever reason want to read the Islamic texts in uncharitable ways. I would disagree. Fine. But I know for a fact that if you look at it with the proper context the texts don’t have to be read that way. And not every Muslim is secretly out to get you.
(4:90) “…if they withdraw from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not given you a way against them.”
Bullocks. There are no Amaliks, there are no hittites, there no Jews (perhaps there’s always a handful of any extremists) that preach that the Torah is an open ended call to subjugate non-believers in the Torah. Your claims are a complete fantasy on your part in order to provide a thin veneer on the overt violent nature of the Koran. Pure and simple.
The Koran singles out every person on this earth that is not a Muslim, while the TORAH focused exclusively on a few tribes that no longer exist. Get real. Your claims are making you a laughing stock on these pages, but please keep it up, you’re doing me and the counter-jihad an enormous favor in your trying to twist logic in order to cover for your beloved Islam. (lol)
It’s not just an odd extremist who uses the language of Amalek.
Even Netanyahu used this kind of provocative genocidal language to refer to Iran. He’s basically the mirror image of Ahmedinejad.
At this point I’ve given you numerous Biblical references and articles from Jewish /Israeli sources. If you don’t believe what I’m telling you, its on you. I’ve said my peace.
COME BACK WHEN YOU CAN PROVE THAT BIBI SEEKS TO PRACTICE GENOCIDE ON IT.