Archive for November, 2006

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Political Islamists = Terrorists?

November 27, 2006

Bahraini protestsAnother victory for the political Islamists was scored this week when the Islamist parties in Bahrain swept to victory in their all but meaningless elections. The long-oppressed Shi’a were represented, as well as a Sunni party, led by the Muslim Brotherhood.

For many western liberals, the very idea of an Islamist or Muslim political party seems dangerous. An Islamic government must necessarily become the Taliban in their eyes. Women must be oppressed, hands must be chopped off, and all other countries must shiver in horror as terrorists camps train thousands of new recruits from all over the world. But is this the reality? Do organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood even have the wherewithal to start a jihad in their own backyard (Egypt) let alone a global jihadist movement?

U.S. President George W. Bush has made it his business to see that “democracy” spreads throughout the Arab and Muslim world, and indeed it has. But the results are not to his liking, which is evident in each new wrinkle that appears on his face, every time a new election swings in favor of “Islamists”. These people cringe when they hear more and more of the Muslims around the world, given the “free choice” to elect their representatives, choosing instead to elect new “oppressors.”

Allow me to offer an alternative explanation. Perhaps Islam and politics are meant to be together. Unlike Christianity, which had an unnatural marriage with politics, Islam has influenced politics since the first community in Madinah, over 1,000 years ago. After colonialism was toppled in the Middle East, many Muslims, Arabs especially, turned to nationalism, socialism, and many other “isms” that promised to cure their ills. They wanted equality, rights, modernization, and, most importantly, peace. What they received were modern secular dictators who crushed all resistance and, most devastatingly of all, suppressed the practice and spread of Islam.

The people have grown weary of old hardened and heartless dictators. At least under an Islamic government, a petitioner can resort to the Qur’an. “Such-and-such an act violates Islam,” they could say. “It must be stopped. The people will not stand for it.” But their secular rulers mocked them, “Islam means nothing to us.”

No, there will never be a perfect Islamic government, but at least it will be Islamic. Why should Muslims pretend to be indifferent towards morality, ethics, and social justice? The moral relativism of secularization has proved itself to be faulty. There is no higher law for the secular man. Whatever whim he establishes for himself becomes the rule of law for his unfortunate subjects. The few of us who enjoy safety and security under secularism bask in our own material ecstasy, while those who are under our oppressive government’s feet know the real story. They have chosen a different path, not one that leads to terrorism, but one that leads to true freedom, the freedom to believe, to turn that belief into action, and to submit to a higher power, the only power worthy of worship.

So, I thank you, Mr. Bush, and all other secularists who have promoted democracy in the Muslim world. You have wakened a sleeping giant from its lull. The Islamic empire was already on the decline when the British Empire dismantled it. The Muslims were in need of revival, and it seemed doubtful that it would ever arrive. In 1979, the Islamic Revolution in Iran started the trend towards revival, but it was ruthlessly opposed, not only by secularists, but by well-fed wahhabi collaborators.

When the dust settled, the Islamic Republic still stood, and the Muslim world was in awe. But it was not quite “arab” enough. This new democratic political-islamic movement is, and it has changed the atmosphere of the Middle East forever, good or bad. The reality is that the very thing the so-called “war on terror” intended to suppress is the realization of Islam that now echoes throughout the streets of the Muslim world.

No, it was not a war against Islam itself, but a war against the marriage of Islam and politics. “Practice your religion,” they would say, “but not in public. Look at Turkey. They are so modern and efficient.” (Yet, their people are miserable and restless — take a look at the protests over the Pope’s visit). Do not let the media mislead you. It was the mental oppression of secularism and amoral monarchies that bred terrorism. Saudi Arabia was “wahhabi” for many years without a 9/11. It was only when the economic situation declined and the people realized their own pathetic situation that they turned to terrorism.

But none of those terrorists were from Iran. And for the past 27 years, no one from the “theocracy” has attacked the United States. Why? If Islam+politics = terrorism, why have we seen the exact opposite in the Muslim world? The more political that Hezbollah has become, the less prone to violence. The same is true of Hamas and other similar groups. It would seem that the message to America is clear: force secular western-style democracy on the Muslim world, and you will create resistance (in the form of legitimate fighting as well as illegitimate terrorism). Leave them alone, let them establish Islam, and they will leave us alone. Perhaps it is about time we in the western world listen.

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Ordering time

November 10, 2006

Shonen JumpFor those of you who read this blog to hear about my library, I apologize. It’s not that I have just neglected you; there really hasn’t been anything going on here. I was off for three weeks, and then upon returning we had the baby, and I took more time off. So, here we are in November, and I have a huge book order due in December.

Also, I have some supplemental funds to spend (first time for everything) on DVDs (and maybe some books on CDs as well).

Now the problem. We have a designated vendor. As nice as they are, they have their flaws (and no, I don’t mean that they don’t sell my book — although that’s certainly a negative). The kids (especially the boys) are going bananas over graphic novels. Seriously…they’re going to start a riot if I don’t feed their habits. I have one boy who comes here everyday looking for new ones and then threatens me if I don’t order some more. Anyway, our vendor lists a lot of the graphic novels but seems not to keep them in stock. So, either I have to find one other vendor who will supply them or scour the libro-net for each book…Did I mention this order is due in December?

Now you know what’s going on in my library-media world.

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Golden Scrolls on Amazon

November 9, 2006

The Golden Scrolls is now in stock at Amazon.com. If you haven’t bought yourself a copy yet, now is the time.

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Democracy without freedom

November 8, 2006

A day after the U.S. elections, I turned the pages of Islamica magazine to an article by former Malaysian prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim. In his introduction he says:

The 14th century arab historian and founder of sociology, Abdul Rahman ibn Khaldun, postulated that civilizations inevitably collapse from within as a result of corruption, moral decadence, and a disintegration of the institutions of accountability. Four centuries later, Thomas Jefferson offered a similar warning against the abuse of unlimited powers by elected despots and foretold that there would come a time “when corruption in this…[land]…will have seized the heads of government, and be spread by them through the body of the people; when they will purchase the voices of the people, and make them pay the price.”

As the U.S. prepares for their inevitable war against Iran, one must wonder how they can attack a nation for its internal corruption while simultaneously suffering from corruption both internally and internationally. Corrupted Iranian officials only affect their own people, U.S. officials are destroying the entire world, piece by piece.

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Our beautiful new daughter

November 7, 2006

Alhamdulillah, this is our new daughter, Tahira, born on November 2nd, weighing in at a whopping 9 lbs 10 oz.

Picture of Tahira at one day old

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Golden Scrolls: Going Global

November 1, 2006

The Golden Scrolls is now available worldwide in several bookstores. You can go here for a list of places where you can buy the book.