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August 22, 2011

Islam

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ICC’s President, Jeff King, has just completed his first book: Islam Uncensored. The book is a collection of 14 interviews with experts on Islam from across the spectrum, including: liberals, conservatives, atheists, Muslims, Jews, Christians, feminists, and more. Last month, we introduced you to each of these 14 experts. This month, we want to highlight snippets from our interviews with two of the men we approached for their understanding of the role Saudi Arabia plays in the spread of radical Islam.

The CIA Director

James Woolsey has served five times in the federal government, holding presidential appointments in two Democratic and two Republican administrations including serving as the 16th director of Central Intelligence under President Bill Clinton (1993-1995). Having received degrees from Stanford University, Oxford University, and Yale Law School, Mr. Woolsey has coauthored many articles and argues that the West is in the middle of fighting a “Long War” against radical Islam.

In our interview with Mr. Woolsey, he discussed the role of Saudi Arabia in advancing radical Islam and what must be done in order to defeat it.

On Saudi Arabia and Radical Islam:

“The Saudi’s and Al-Qaeda’s underlying beliefs are for all practical purposes identical. … They both believe in an extreme form of Sharia, they both believe apostates and homosexuals should be killed, they both believe in stoning women who are convicted of adultery. When they stone a man, they bury him only up to his waist and he is able to scrape the dirt away, often extricate himself before he’s hurt too badly, and if he can get out and get away from where he’s being stoned, he’s let go. The woman is buried up to her neck and tied in such a way that she can’t escape.”

On the Advancement of Islam in the West:

We asked Mr. Woolsey about a recent call he made to support Oklahoma’s voters’ call to ban any application of Sharia law by the state courts:

“The problem tends to come up in the West with respect to women’s rights, particularly the beating of wives and the killing of daughters—so called honor killings. It’s come up a lot in Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. What happens is a husband will beat his wife and she’ll bring charges against him, but he’ll say it is his right under his religion. One of these cases went all the way up to the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation and the beater was upheld.

“We’ve only had one case I know of in the US where that kind of a defense was offered when a man beat and raped his wife and was upheld at the trial level in New Jersey. This was a year or so ago, and then he lost at the appellate level. When they asked me to make this robo-call, they said, “We haven’t had any cases like this in Oklahoma,” and I said, “I don’t know that you have to have one woman per state beaten, and a beater exonerated, before you pass a Constitutional amendment.”

On Fighting Radical Islam:

“The first thing we’ve got to do is stop talking in euphemisms and dancing around the issue. This business of the government filing a report of Major Hassan’s killing of his 13 fellow soldiers and never mentioning the word Muslim or Islam, or anything. He’s just a random violent extremist. That’s nuts.”

“Sometimes I feel like they’ll go to the extreme in thinking up euphemisms. Instead of calling terrorists ‘violent extremists,’ maybe they will call them ‘Anger Management Challenged Candidates for Therapy.’”

The Convert to Islam

Stephen Suleyman Schwartz is an American journalist who converted to Islam (Sufi) in 1997. He is a vociferous critic of Islamic fundamentalism and especially targets Wahhabi Islam. As the executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, he is an expert on Islamist extremism and has appeared in many periodicals, including the Wall Street Journal, The Spectator and the Weekly Standard.

Mr. Schwartz also discussed the critical role that Saudi Arabia plays in radicalizing the world’s Muslims.

On Saudi Arabia and Radical (Wahhabi) Islam:

“There was a powerful clan in Nejd, headed by Muhammad Ibn Saud (the House of Saud), and they formed a partnership with the house of Muhammad Ibn Abd-al-Wahhab, the founder of Wahhabism. The agreement was that the House of Saud would control political, financial, and governance practices while the house of the descendants of Ibn abdul-Wahhab would control religious life. The two families married and they continue to marry among themselves. This created the situation of a joint Wahhabi/House of Saud plan for control of Arabia. They took over for the second and last time in Mecca and Medina in 1924 and the Saudi kingdom was established in 1932.”

On the Advancement of Radical Islam in the West:

“[Authentic] Islam did not really emerge as a significant religion in the United States until after the 1980s. When it began to emerge in numbers it had no hierarchy, no apparatus, and no organizations. Suddenly, Saudi-financed Wahhabi organizations emerged, like The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society in North America and some Pakistani jihadist organizations like The Islamic Circle in North America. They essentially set up a social, political and religious apparatus for the Muslims in America. All of a sudden the Muslims in America had organizations that claimed to speak for them. They ended up creating a structure in the United States with Saudi money, South Asian functionaries, and [Muslim] Brotherhood literature.”

On Fighting Radical Islam:

“Very simple solution. King Abdullah should cut off all money going to foreign Wahhabis. He should say Wahhabism is no longer a State religion in this country, and we’ll no longer allow any money to go to finance international radicalism by Wahhabi. That will be it. It will be just like it was when the Soviet Union stopped being Communist. With an end to the flow of money, the phenomenon will end.”

Order your copy from ICC today for only $14 with free shipping. Just call us at 1-800-422-5441.

All profits go to ICC and ministry funding.

July 21, 2011

Islam

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Have you noticed how divided people are about the issue of Islam? Some people speak of the struggle between Christians and Jews on one side, and Muslims on the other as a “war of civilizations.” Critics of Islam point to September 11 and other acts of terrorism to say that Islam is violent, while Muslims and their defenders call Islam a “religion of peace.”

Over the past eight years as the president of ICC, I have had the opportunity to study Islam on a theoretical and historical level (understanding Muhammad, the Quran, and Hadith), as well as on a practical level (dealing with the victims of radical Islam). I wanted to give people the same insights into Islam that I’ve received in my role as president of an organization that deals daily with its consequences.

As I set out to write my book, I came to the humbling realization that, in the end, it didn’t matter what I had say. The issue has become so politicized and polarized that readers that are aligned with me in terms of politics, religion, or worldview would accept my views, while those on the other side of the fence would reject my views, seeing them as being hopelessly biased from whatever factors make me different from them.

It was at that point that I set out to create a book about Islam that didn’t exist. I would interview a broad cross spectrum of experts on Islam that reflected our fractured and discordant culture: leftists, right wingers, atheists, Muslims, Jews, Christians, feminists, etc. I would interview experts from all ends of the spectrum(s) to discuss Islam and discover any common threads of truth.

I started by interviewing a radical Islamist that is known for his candor. From there, I interviewed a popular, established author and critic of Islam. I went on to interview four ex-Muslims whose views span the political spectrum; two are atheists and two are converts to Christianity. One of them was the son of one of the founders of the terrorist group Hamas. I then interviewed two Muslim reformers, a historian who grew up as a Muslim, an expert on Islam and Western culture, an expert on dhimmitude (Islam’s laws on dealing with sub-cultures within Islamic nations), and finally an ex-director of the CIA.

Though I’m certain war would break out of if these experts were ever locked in a room together and told to define Islam, the aspects of Islam on which they agree are stunning. Out of their incredible diversity of worldview, political orientation, and views about religion, what you find in common among all these disparate voices is extraordinary.

What I have found is that Western governments and media consistently fail to tell the truth about Islam. They censor information so as not to offend or upset you. After reading this book, you will understand Islam as you never have before. Obviously, I won’t give away the lessons you will learn, and ultimately they are yours to discern, but I will simply remind you that title of this book is Islam: Uncensored.

Jeff King
President, ICC

Pre-order your copy from ICC today for only $14 with free shipping. Just give us a call at 1-800-422-5441.

All profits go to ICC and ministry funding.