A Tuareg nomad stands near a 13th century mosque in Timbuktu in this file photo [Reuters]

There is an old saw in English: cutting your nose to spite your face. The sorry lot of vigilante Ansar extremists have already desecrated several Muslim saints’ tombs in southern Yemen, but now come reports of lawless fanatics destroying saint shrines in the famed city of Timbuktu in Mali. Al Jazeera is reporting that many, if not all, of the shrines there on the World Heritage List have been damaged or destroyed. These are ritual attractions considered sacred by local Muslims for several centuries, not replicas of the Buddha or foreign idols. So who exactly do these fanatics hate? If you think they are doing this because they hate America and its freedoms, think again.

Iconoclasm has a long history that is hardly unique to the Middle East. The modus vivendi is the idea that if you don’t like something, just get rid of it no matter what other people think. Tolerance and dialogue might as well be Satanic in this twisted worldview. It is important to observe that in both the Yemeni case and now in Timbuktu the destruction takes place because of an almost total breakdown of security. No government, responsible or not to world opinion, is behind this action to such a sacred Islamic site. It is very much a replay of the Wahhabi wave that swept across Arabia with the sword of the Sa’ud clan. The Wahhabis, considered fanatics at the time by most other Muslims, wanted to turn back the clock to a narrow understanding of what they thought life was like in the time of the Prophet. Were ‘Abd al-Wahhab, who died in 1792 (just six years before Napoleon invaded Egypt and proclaimed himself a true Muslim come to rescue Egypt from its corrupt rulers) to come back from the dead and see the palaces, shopping malls and gentrification of the ka‘ba as these have evolved with the vast oil wealth of the Saudi elite, he would no doubt follow Balaam and curse the day he ever met Ibn Sa’ud.

Timbuktu, as a major African center of Islamic education, is also a rich treasury of Islamic manuscripts. Will these fanatics torch the handwritten copies of the Qu’ran, traditions and other religious books in the libraries? ‘Abd al-Wahhab is not about to be resurrected, but there is a need for a modern day Muslim Balaam to get off his ass and curse such sacrilege.

by Omid Safi, Religious News Service, April 1, 2012

I have been doing a lot of soul-searching, and I have reached a few important conclusions. Speaking as a moderate Muslim, I realize that my community is primitive, backwards, mired in tradition, and in need of massive help from KONY 2012 people to reform this tradition to catch up with the luminosity of secular West.

I know that there is a trouble with Islam today, and everyday. I also want to have gay-friendly mosques where people can just go have a beer after the optional prayer services, ‘cause that is what it means to be a progressive Muslim.

Because all the secret jihadists (and the FBI people who have infiltrated them) just want to impose this Shari’a thing on us, and for some reason all that beer drinking and hooking up seems to be frowned upon in that Shari’a thing.

With that, and in the name of She who is the source of All-Mercy, here are the fruits of my search. If anyone wants to put me in touch with Fox News or MEMRI, please do so, I’ll recite all these on camera—just contact my agent, and he can tell you my appearance fee. I know that we are in need of a Muslim Reformation, and I am working on my “Martin Luther of Islam” speech. I can’t quite make it up to ML’s 95 theses, but I have got a good head start below. With that, “I give you permission to think freely”:

First, speaking as a Muslim, I am so disappointed in my Muslim brother Barack Hussein Obama. He eats pork, drinks alcohol, regularly attends church service, had his daughters baptized, has yet to set foot in a mosque since becoming president, kisses AIPAC’s behind, authorizes indefinite detentions, and has seen many Muslims killed by his drone attacks and ongoing wars. Really, a pathetic Muslim if ever there was one. I mean, if I wanted a Muslim ruler that would do all the above, I would move back to the Muslim countries where most of the rulers do that kind of stuff anyway, and the food is a little better than here. (more…)

by Melody Moezzi, MS.blog Online, December 3, 2011

My first thought is “no,” followed by a swift “none of your business.” But that wasn’t the conclusion of a recent report prepared for Saudi Arabia’s legislative assembly by a well-known academic. He predicted that if Saudi women were given the right to drive, those who had never had sex would quickly start losing their virginity as easily as they might their car keys.

Let’s start with the basics here: It’s a hell of a lot harder to lose your virginity in the front seat, as opposed to the back. Especially while driving. I mean, it’s difficult enough to text and drive.

But if that isn’t enough to sway the Saudi government, I recently polled several of my female friends, and I’ve come up with a report of my own. I submit the following report to the Saudi legislative assembly, which I suspect is far more scientific than the aforementioned prominent academic’s: NONE of the friends I polled, a large number of whom happen to be Muslim women originally from the Middle East, has lost her virginity while driving. Nor did a single one of them lose her virginity immediately after obtaining a driver’s license. Shocking, I know. (more…)

An Egyptian shouts slogans during a protest of Islamist groups at Tahrir Square, the focal point of Egyptian uprising, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 29. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Egypt rally not harbinger of Islamic state: analysts

By Jailan Zayan / Agence France-Presse, thedailynewsegypt.com July 31, 2011

CAIRO: A massive show of force by Islamist groups at a rally in the Egyptian capital on Friday may have showcased their organizational skills, but their actual political clout remains limited, analysts say.

Hundreds of thousands of Islamists from across the country packed Cairo’s Tahrir Square to defend what they called “Egypt’s Islamic identity” in the country’s largest protest since a revolt ousted president Hosni Mubarak in February.

But while the protest may have been visually dramatic, divisions within the Islamist groups and their lack of nationwide support are bound to restrain their strength, analysts said.

Chants calling for Egypt to “implement the law of God” rang across Tahrir in an impressive display of religious banners and slogans, dotted with Saudi flags.

Hardline Salafis (fundamentalist Muslims) in coordination with the Muslim Brotherhood have been organizing the rally for weeks, sparking fears of clashes with secular protesters who have been camped out in the square since July 8.

The sheer size of the protest appeared to have angered, and in some cases intimidated, secular activists.

But analysts say that while Friday’s rally showcased the Islamist groups’ organizational skills and their ability to mobilize members efficiently, its political impact remains limited. (more…)

One of the books owned by a great, great aunt of mine in Cleveland was A History of the Church, etc., published in 1833. The bottom of the frontispiece is torn, so I do not know the publisher, although I suspect it was printed in Boston. It is a general history of Christianity with extended comments on other religions, including “Mahometanism.” The author is a certain C. A. Goodrich, who is decidedly Protestant and as unfriendly to Roman Catholicism as he is to Islam and Hinduism. Several parts of the text, which stretches a robust 504 pages, deal with Islam and are interesting for the biased perspective of the time. The history of the Church is according to periods, and Period V is labeled “The Rise of Mahometanism” (at the top of the pages of the chapter); the longer title is “The Period of the Rise of the Mahometan Imposture will extend from the establishment of the supremacy of the Roman Pontiffs, A.D. 606, to the first Crusade, A. D. 1095.” Period VI covers the Crusades, followed by the Reformation and then a very long chapter on the Puritans.

At the start of the section is a small lithograph of Muhammad, mounted on a steed with a sword in hand. Some of the information is descriptive; some even praises Muhammad, but it is clear that the author despises Islam as the excerpts below well show:

A History of the Church, 1833, p. 96


Yes, indeed, Saudis can dance to an American tune. Ah, but who’s their Papa?

Check it out on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33FDP0o3s1s&feature=youtube_gdata_player

So who is the best Muslim? Here is a debate between a Salafi and a Wahhabi. Guess who wins and guess who loses. (In a way we all lose in this kind of debate.)

by Nadeem F. Paracha, blog.dawn.com, July 1
A recent fatwa from a ‘Saudi Council of Muftis’ has this advice for fellow
Muslims: Do not say [or write] ‘mosque.’ Always say ‘masjid’ because mosque
may mean mosquito. Another myopic case of Saudi malaria perhaps?

Certainly. But that’s not all. The grand fatwa goes on to suggest that
Muslims should not write ‘Mecca’ but Makkah, because Mecca may mean ‘house
of wines.’ I am serious. But then so are the Muftis. They certainly need to
get a life.

But I’m not all that surprised by such fatwas that usually emanate from
Saudi Arabia. While vicious reactionary literature originating in
totalitarian puritanical Muslim states impact and mutate the political
bearings of various religious parties and groups in Pakistan, ‘social
fatwas’ like the one mentioned above also began appearing in the early 1980s
to influence the more apolitical sections of Muslim societies.

Reactionary literature generated by the Saudi propaganda machine started
being distributed in Pakistan from 1979 onwards, mostly in the shape of
pamphlets and books.

Duly translated into Urdu, they glorify and propagate violent action (jihad)
not only against non-Muslims (or infidels) but also against those Muslims
who fail to follow the thorny dictates of a certain puritanical strain of
the faith. (more…)

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