What are the differences between the traditional Muslim and the so-called “Islamist”? As words dealing with Islam continue to morph and multiply, it is important to differentiate, for there are real, if subtle, differences.
In light of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s ongoing trial, Western readers may be surprised to learn who some of Mubarak’s staunchest defenders are: Salafi Muslims, that is, those Muslims who practice the 7thcentury Islam of Muhammad, often referred to as “radicals.”
Few things in Islam are as liable to provoke passion and violence as the issue of conversion. The health hazards involved in converting out of Islam—apostatizing—are well known. But even the issue of convertingto Islam is fraught with drama. Consider Egypt alone: in recent months, wild rampages, burned churches, and murdered Christians have resulted over a few Christian women converting to Islam.
Muslim “child-marriage”—euphemism for pedophilia—is making headlines again, at least in Arabic media: Dr. Salih bin Fawzan, a prominent cleric and member of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, just issued a fatwa asserting that there is no minimum age for marriage, and that girls can be married “even if they are in the cradle.”
If growing numbers of Muslims in Egypt have an intrinsic hatred for all things Christian— demonstrated days ago by the torching of eight Christian homes on the rumor that a church was being built—let us not forget that this hate has instrumental, that is, economic benefits: the extortion of money from the non-believer—tribute from the conquered infidels to their Islamic overlords—otherwise known as jizya.
Earlier this month we saw—or rather, were once again reminded—that Islam permits pedophilia in the guise of “marriage”: Top Saudi cleric, Dr. Salih bin Fawzan, issued a fatwa asserting that there is no minimum age for girls to marry, “even if they are in the cradle,” and that the only criterion is that “they are capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men.”
The other day I saw a video of a sheikh warning Muslims against disregarding Muhammad’s sunna, or the rules and customs the prophet prescribed for Muslims. To support his point, he read a hadith wherein Muhammad told Muslims: “When you wake up from sleep to pray, wash your hands before you put them in the wudu water, for you do not know where your hands have spent the night.”
Two teenage Coptic girls, cousins, were recently kidnapped and then “sold” in Minya, Egypt—the same region where a Coptic church was recently attacked and desecrated. I tried to find this story in English-language media and, as expected, found nothing, except for one report in Al-Masry Al-Youm titled “Clashes between police and Coptic protesters in Minya”—as if that’s the important story.
Sobhi Saleh, a top Muslim Brotherhood leader who was elected by Egypt’s Supreme Council to be on the constitution amendment committee, recently gave a speech wherein he insisted that Brotherhood men should only marry Brotherhood women, since they are “superior” to other Muslim women in Egypt—and so they can “produce little Brotherhood kids.”
Last week witnessed popular Muslim preacher Abu Ishaq al-Huwaini boast about how Islam allows Muslims to buy and sell conquered infidel women, so that “When I want a sex-slave, I go to the market and pick whichever female I desire and buy her.”