Thursday, June 11, 2009

Obama and Islam

> Brigitte Gabriel - Letter to President Obama.
> Dear Mr. President,
> You face difficult challenges in matters such as achieving peace in the
> Middle East and protecting America from the threat of radical Islam and
> terrorism. These are challenges that have vexed past presidents, going as
> far back as our second president, John Adams. I have no doubt you
> appreciate
> both the gravity of these challenges and the enormous obstacles that exist
> to solving them.
> I also have no doubt that you and your staff understood that, no matter
> what
> you said in your speech last Thursday in Cairo, there would be those who
> would take issue with you. That is always the case when attempting to
> solve
> problems that are as deep and emotionally-laden as these challenges are.
> I am assuming it is your sincere hope that the approach you have chosen to
> take, as evidenced by what I'm sure was a carefully crafted speech, will
> ultimately prove successful. However, it pains me to say this sir, but,
> while you said in your speech that you are a "student of history," it is
> abundantly clear that, in these matters, you do not know history and thus,
> as Santayana noted, you are doomed to repeat it. In doing so your efforts,
> however well-intentioned they may be, will not produce what you profess to
> hope they will produce.
> A wise man once said that if you start with the wrong assumptions, no
> matter
> how logical your reasoning is, you will end up with the wrong conclusion.
> With all due respect Mr. President, you are starting with certain
> assumptions that are unsupported by history and an objective study of the
> ideology of political Islam.
> You began in your speech by asserting that "tensions" exist between the
> United States and Muslims around the world, which, of course, is correct.
> Unfortunately, you then proceeded, incorrectly, to lay virtually all the
> blame for these tensions at the feet of America and the West. You blamed
> western colonialism, the Cold War, and even modernity and globalism.
> A student of American history, who is not trying to reconstruct it to fit
> a
> modern politically correct narrative, would state that tensions between
> America and Muslims began with the unprovoked, four-decades long assault
> by
> the Muslim Barbary pirates against American shipping in the late 18th and
> early 19th centuries. I find it telling that you mentioned the Treaty of
> Tripoli in your speech but ignored the circumstances that led to it. That
> treaty was but one of numerous attempts by the United States to achieve
> peace with the jihadists of the Barbary Coast who were attacking our
> shipping and killing and enslaving our citizens and our soldiers and who
> by
> their own admission were doing so to fulfill the call to jihad.
> These jihadists were not acting to protest American foreign policy, which
> was decidedly isolationist, and there was no state of Israel to scapegoat.
> They were doing what countless Islamic jihadists have done throughout
> history, acting upon the hundreds of passages in the Qur'an and the Hadith
> that call upon faithful Muslims to kill, conquer or subjugate the infidel.
> A student of world history would know that, for all the acknowledged evils
> of Western colonialism, these evils pale in comparison to the nearly 14
> centuries of Islamic colonialism that began in Arabia under the leadership
> of Mohammed. The student of history would know that Islamic forces
> eradicated all Jewish and Christian presence from Arabia after Mohammed's
> death, and then succeeded in conquering all of North Africa, most of the
> Middle East, much of Asia Minor, and significant portions of Europe and
> India, eventually creating an empire larger than Rome's was at its peak.
> The number of dead and enslaved during these many centuries of Islamic
> imperial conquest and colonialism have been estimated to total more than
> 300
> million. What's more, the wealth of many of the conquered nations and
> cultures was plundered by the Islamic conquerors, and millions of
> non-Muslims who did survive were forced to pay onerous taxes, such as the
> "jizya," a humiliation tax to the Islamic caliphs. Indeed, in some areas
> Christians and Jews were made to wear a receipt for the jizya around their
> neck as a mark of their dishonor.
> These facts have not been invented by Christian or Jewish historical
> revisionists, but were chronicled by Muslim eyewitnesses throughout the
> past
> 14 centuries and are available to be researched by any person seeking an
> objective understanding of how Islam spread throughout the world.
> You say in your speech that we must squarely face the tensions that exist
> between America and the Muslim world. That is a laudable notion with which
> I
> agree, but by casting Islam as the historical victim and the West (and by
> implication, America) as the aggressor, you do not face these tensions
> squarely, but alleviate the Muslim world from coming to grips with the
> jihadist ideology embedded in its holy books and acted upon for 1,400
> years.
> Even worse, you empower and embolden militant Islamists who regard your
> gestures as signs of weakness and capitulation.
> The issue is not that all Muslims are terrorists or radicals or
> extremists.
> We all know that the majority of Muslims are not. We also know that many
> peace-loving Muslims are victims of Islamist violence.
> The issue is this: what drives hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide
> to
> call for the death of Jews?
> What drives millions of Muslims to riot, destroy property, and take
> innocent
> lives in reaction to the Danish cartoons?
> What drives tens of thousands of Muslims to demand the execution of a
> British teacher whose only "crime" was allowing her students to name their
> teddy bears "Mohammed"?
> What drives countless Muslims worldwide to actively participate in, or
> fund,
> or provide nurture to terrorist organizations?
> What drives Muslims in mosques in America to proclaim and distribute
> materials that call for hatred of and the destruction of infidels?
> What drives entire Islamic countries to prohibit the building of a church
> or
> synagogue?
> To assume, as you apparently do, that what drives these actions is not an
> ideology embedded in the holy books of Islam, but rather other "root
> causes," most of which you lay at the feet of America and the West, is at
> best naïve and at worst dangerous.
> Lastly, I must address your statement that "Islam has a proud tradition of
> tolerance." Unfortunately, the examples you gave are the exception rather
> than the rule.
> Historically speaking, I seriously doubt the Egyptian Copts, the Lebanese
> Maronites, the Christians in Bethlehem, the Assyrians, the Hindus, the
> Jews,
> and many others who have been persecuted by Islamic violence and
> supremacism, would agree with your assertion.
> For instance, Christians and Jews became "Dhimmis," a second class group
> under Islam. Dhimmis were forced to wear distinctive clothing; it was
> Baghdad's Caliph Al-Mutawakkil, in the ninth century, who designated a
> yellow badge for Jews under Islam, which Hitler copied and duplicated in
> Nazi Germany nearly a thousand years later.
> I witnessed first-hand the "tolerance" of Islam when Islamists ravaged my
> country of birth, Lebanon, in the 1970's, leaving widespread death and
> destruction in their wake. I saw how they re-paid the tolerance that
> Lebanese Christians extended toward them. My experience is not an isolated
> one. When you make an unfounded assertion about the "proud tradition" of
> tolerance in Islam, you do a great disservice to the hundreds of millions
> of
> non-Muslims who have been killed, maimed, enslaved, conquered, subjugated
> or
> displaced in the cause of Islamic jihad.
> Mr. President, those of us like me who are ringing the alarm in America
> about the threat of radical Islam would like nothing better than to
> peacefully co-exist with the Muslim world.
> Most Americans would like nothing better than to peacefully co-exist with
> the Muslim world. The obstacle to achieving this does not lie with us in
> America and the West. It lies with the hundreds of millions of Muslims
> worldwide, including many of their spiritual leaders, who take seriously
> the
> repeated calls to jihad in the Qur'an and the Hadith. Who regard
> "infidels"
> as inferior and worthy of conquering, subjugating and forcibly converting.
> Who support "cultural jihad" as a means to subvert non-Muslim societies
> from
> within. Who take seriously the admonitions throughout the Qur'an and the
> Hadith to convert the world to Islam by force if necessary and bring it
> under the rule of Allah.
> Unless you are willing to courageously and honestly accept this, your
> aspirations for worldwide comity and peace in the Middle East are doomed
> to
> fail.
> Sincerely,
> Brigitte Gabriel

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