Learn to Listen to the Holy Spirit


1st Pentecost in Upper Room

John R. Houk

© April 17, 2016

 

I was reading a Cindy Jacobs post in the Elijah List about how revivals begin and tend to wane. Then she follows with a brief but inspirational path of the best way to retain revival on individual level to keep one self in continuous state of revival.

 

I really enjoyed Ms. Jacobs’ thoughts, but I began to think of all the historical moves of God that have had an influence on American Christianity. The one thing I have noticed about the success and waning of these revivals is that they – in my opinion – began as an honest move of God Almighty emphasizing an area Christian faith had become weak in experiencing, then something began to happen such as the original leaders involved in God’s movement began acting beyond their calling to expressions to keep a heightened desire for actions that were outside the Biblical context of the Word of God. OR the next generation in movement began extra-Biblical teachings also in a vain effort to maintain a heightened sense of spirituality. OR the next generation or even succeeding generations grew weary of seeking a heightened experience and so began to inject man-made rules for the sake of order in a movement’s tendency to form a Denomination with rules of faith based on the Founder’s or the many Founders’ original inspired message so that gross error would not enter the flock-community’s actions of faith according to doctrinal beliefs and a mission statement of purpose.

 

The thing about the third “OR” is that sensitivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit tends to atrophy causing the flock-leaders to try to maintain a doctrinal conservatism as close as possible to its founders or to flow the other direction in human decisions transform doctrinal beliefs and mission statement to conform to the standards more acceptable to the environment of the overall cultural acceptance then going on in the present.

 

Both stands atrophy the new creation in Christ human spirit to the purpose of God’s Holy Spirit on earth as a trainer-helper-councilor to that human spirit.

 

An example of the Holy Spirit’s purpose on earth until Christ returns in power is laid out John chapter fourteen. You should read the entire chapter for a better context but let’s look at what Jesus says the Holy Spirit will do when the person of Jesus returns to the Father (and I like the Amplified Version because it melds original sources with scholarly amplifications of various experts to provide a textual context of certain words or phrases meant):

 

15 If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.

 

16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever—

 

17 The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you.

 

18 I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you.

 

19 Just a little while now, and the world will not see Me any more, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.

 

20 At that time [when that day comes] you will know [for yourselves] that I am in My Father, and you [are] in Me, and I [am] in you.

 

21 The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.] (Bold Text by Editor – John 14: 15-21 AMPC)

 

The point is when faith is defined by either man-made Conservative doctrine or man-made liberal (aka progressive) doctrine the voice of the Holy Spirit tends to not be heard.

 

At this point I was going to delve into the various moves of God affecting America however I just realized there might be a couple of posts to do that train of thought some justice. So I’ll save those thoughts for another day.

 

In the meantime, below are Cindy Jacobs’ thought that might inspire you to seek God’s wisdom in the Holy Spirit to work toward maintain a more constant state of revival in one’s personal life.

 

JRH 4/17/16

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Why We Need Reformation

 

By Cindy Jacobs

Apr 13, 2016

Elijah List

 

From the desk of Steve Shultz:

This is a very thought-provoking word from Cindy Jacobs on “Why we need revival.” Many have different thoughts and opinions on what revival is and what it will look like… but one theme I’ve heard over and over from others is this: Revival happens with prayer and repentance and when we are in darkened times where the world needs Jesus…I think we could all agree we are in that time!

Cindy shares: Revival occurs when God pours out deep conviction of sin, souls are swept into the Kingdom, miracles occur daily, and the power of the Lord saturates the hearts and souls of Christians.

Read this word by Cindy and let her practical steps and insight help to prepare you for all God is doing!

By the way friends…our “What is God Saying for 2016?” Elijah List conference set is one of our TOP SELLERS right now! And YOU CAN ORDER THE CDs, DVDs OR MP3 DOWNLOAD just below!

This truly, truly, truly was the best conference yet and I’ve NEVER EVER heard so many positive words coming forth from God’s prophets. Our speakers were: Chuck Pierce, Jane Hamon, Dutch Sheets, and Dr. Alveda King (niece to Martin Luther King, Jr).

Here is the link to purchase this TOP SELLER in DVD, CD, or MP3 audio formats:

http://www.elijahshopper.com/what-is-god-saying-for-2016-conference/

 

Enjoy! And thanks for forwarding this to your friends! They can subscribe just below…

Steve Shultz, Founder and Publisher
The Elijah List & Breaking Christian News 
http://www.elijahlist.com

 

P.S. – Oh, and a Quick Note to our readers: To have daily, encouraging prophetic emails from The Elijah List sent to your inbox, just CLICK HERE or go to: http://elijahlist.com/subscribe. PLUS: HEY! Please EXPLORE our more than 4,000 Christian Prophetic books, CDs, and gifts at: elijahshopper.com.

 

Cindy Jacobs, Red Oak, TX

Cindy Jacobs, Red Oak, TX

 

Why We Need Reformation

 

When revival happens, a huge number of people enter the Kingdom of God. Everyone is suddenly excited about God and the possibilities of what life in Jesus can mean for their future. Church memberships swell, and huge numbers of Bibles and Christians books and pamphlets are sold and distributed. Lives are transformed, and the more lives transformed the more Jesus becomes the talk of the town. He is the answer to everything, and as people turn to Him with their problems and concerns, miracles happen. It is an incredibly powerful thing to be a part of! It is literally Heaven on earth.

 

However, as time moves on, the influence of society and culture moves back in. People get comfortable being Christians but return to their old ways of getting answers to their problems, and suddenly miracles aren’t as common anymore. People stand around at the gates of the Kingdom and never venture in. Rather than transforming the culture around them, they allow the culture to conform them back to the way they were before, and within a few years everything starts to look as it did pre-revival.

 

When Revival Occurs

 

Some would say we need to live in a constant state of revival. Being a revivalist is deeply relevant to my personal calling, so allow me to make a few comments:

 

Revival occurs when God pours out deep conviction of sin, souls are swept into the Kingdom, miracles occur daily, and the power of the Lord saturates the hearts and souls of Christians. We would like to see this happen on a regular basis in our churches. But there are steps that we need to take beyond this that will lead to seeing whole nations changed by the power of the Gospel. Once people are swept into the Kingdom, we need to disciple them on how to live transformed lives. This involves equipping and teaching. (Photo via Wikipedia)

Worship Large Crowd-Simon East - Wikipedia

 

Worship Large Crowd-Simon East – Wikipedia

 

The third step is integrating changed lives into the society that needs to see the transforming power of God. We teach people how to be salt and light in their workplace and other areas of influence. Each Believer should be trained on how to become a reformer wherever God has placed them in their everyday lives. This means that a mother will raise her children with a Biblical world view and teach them how to be nation changers. Dads model this to their sons and daughters.

 

Churches raise up generations of children and teenagers with an understanding that they have a mandate to be agents of reformation in society. Believers see their vocations as a vehicle to release God’s principles and Kingdom manifestation into each workday, whether they work at the grocery store, in the classroom, or in a political office. The reformation mandate is infused into every part of the nation through the praying, teaching, working “army of the Lord.”

 

I believe with all my heart that God is going to add a new evangelism thrust to infuse our nations with righteous Believers. Then, we will not only save people’s souls, but show that the Word of God really works in our nations. In addition to that, through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit’s working, we will see people healed of plagues like AIDS as well as raise up scientists who come up with the cure of the disease!

 

If we are to see nations transformed, we must go beyond a mandate that only sees souls saved to seeing Christians grow in the Lord and seeing the Kingdom of God invade every sector of society. God wants His Kingdom will to be done on earth through us! If a nation is transformed without being reformed, it will soon fall back into its original state of decay.

 

What Do I Mean by Reformation?

 

I would define reformation as an amendment or repair of what is corrupt, to build the institutions of our governments and society according to their God-ordained order and organization. It means to institutionalize God’s will in how we do our daily business, deal with the poor, administer justice, make our laws, teach our children, and generally live our lives. It is to give people a license to do good and not a license to sin. (Photo via deviant art)

 

People Together - at Deviant Art

People Together – at Deviant Art

 

It means turning our communities into places where God’s blessings flow from person to person just as God sees them flow in Heaven.

 

Cindy Jacobs
Generals International

Email: generals@generals.org
Website: www.generals.org

 

Cindy Jacobs is an author, speaker, and teacher with a heart for discipling nations in the areas of prayer and prophetic gifts. She and Mike – her husband of 41 years – co-founded Generals International in 1985. She is a respected prophet who travels the world, ministering not only to crowds of people but to heads of nations. Her first calling is and always will be prophetic intercession. Each year she travels, and she has spoken on nearly every inhabited continent to tens of thousands. Cindy has authored books, loves to travel and speak, but one of her favorite past-times is spending time with her husband Mike and their children Daniel and Mary Madison, along with her grandchildren.

 

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Learn to Listen to the Holy Spirit

John R. Houk

© April 17, 2016

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Why We Need Reformation

 

The Mission of the Elijah List

 

HE ELIJAH LIST is called to transmit around the world, in agreement with Holy Scripture, fresh daily prophetic “manna” from the Lord, regarding the days in which we live.

 

The main ELIJAH LIST website is: www.elijahlist.com

 

DESCRIPTION AND GENERAL PURPOSE OF ELIJAH LIST

Our purpose is to give trustworthy, daily prophetic worship and intercessory “content” to as many Believers (and even Unbelievers) as possible. To do this, the ELIJAH LIST’S subscriber base has grown to about 148,000 subscribers. Our goal is that, armed with these prophetic words or revelatory teachings, each person will be encouraged in their Faith or the Faith God is seeding into their lives. As a graphic example, when 9/11 occurred, the requests to subscribe to the ELIJAH LIST email list suddenly, within hours, grew from approximately 50 subscriptions per day to 600 requests per day. This indicated to us the desperate hunger on the hearts of God’s people and those “considering” whether to become one of God’s people — to know what God was saying about these unprecedented and historic events.

 

1 Corinthians 14:3 “But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.”

 

Through this “strengthening, encouragement, and comfort,” people can be built up in their personal faith and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. They are then more able to pray and operate in this increased faith to pray effectively against the schemes of the enemy, to worship with power that outwits the Devil and to build others up through the same prophetic words along with Scripture.

 

JUDGING PROPHECY

 

ELIJAH LIST has determined to find and publish the most credible prophetic words possible through “tried and tested” men and women of God and to post them to the entire list so that they may be individually judged by members of the Body of Christ. We are instructed in the Bible not to forbid prophecy, but instead to “let (or allow) two or three prophets speak” and let the others in the Body evaluate what was spoken (or written). So rather than being “guarantors” that each and every published word will come true, we are posting words largely from those with whom we have relationship, who are most likely to READ THE REST

 

What is the Story of the Elijah List?

 

Question: How did you get started and who are you?

 

by Steve Shultz, Publisher,
THE ELIJAH LIST
www.elijahlist.com
Now with more than 150,000 Subscribers

 

Back in the early 1990’s, while still working in the business world — BEFORE the words “Internet” or “World Wide Web” were being used by the average consumer, I was given a word by a prophet in Texas. He said to me, “You will be connecting the prophets by computer.”

 

I thought, “What’s that about? Nothing like that is happening now. Not even anything close.”

 

I had experienced some prophetic dreams and had given one or two prophetic words but not much more than that. Over time, the Lord began to put me more and more into the prophetic “stream” and my prophesying started being increased.

 

I began to take prophetic courses, and was trained through CI (Christian International out of Florida) headed up by Bishop Bill Hamon; however, I am not the same Steve Shultz who was on staff at CI. (That has confused a few folks since there are now two Steve Shultz’s in full-time prophetic ministry.)

 

Later, I was invited to be on the pastoral staff of my local church in Vancouver, WA. Eventually, invitations to speak other places began to come in. One day in the Spring of 1997, I sat in my living room, playing on the internet. I started trying to find some encouraging prophetic words to send to a few friends. I emailed some words I had found — once or twice, each time manually typing emails of my friends in the “TO:” slot.

 

Then I thought, I wonder if I could make a list of all my friends? So I read up on it and READ THE REST

 

Radical Islam is the Muslim Reformation


Mo - Martin Luther

John R. Houk

© September 4, 2014

 

ACT! for America basically represents the Counterjihad camp in which there is a divide in in Sunni Islam, viz. between the majority Moderate Muslims and the Radical Muslim purist Islam which is often described as Salafist Islam (Arab influence) or Deobandi Islam (Indian subcontinent [Short version and more Detailed version] – i.e. India-Pakistan). Pew Research estimates that 87% – 90% of Muslims are Sunni in 2009. A BBC article dated in December 2013 has the Sunni percentage between 85% – 90% of Islam.

 

The Counterjihad leader of ACT! for America Brigitte Gabriele cites “intelligent services” globally at a 2014 Benghazi Conference for the Heritage Foundation. Gabrielle says 15% – 25% of global Muslims are Radical. Unfortunately she does not cite which specific intelligence services she has in mind:

 

There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world today. Of course not all of them are radicals! The majority of them are peaceful people. The radicals are estimated to be between 15 to 25 percent, according to all intelligence services around the world. That leaves 75 percent of them peaceful people.

 

But when you look at 15 to 25 percent of the world’s Muslim population, you’re looking at 180 million to 300 million people dedicated to the destruction of Western civilization. That is as big [as] the United States. (Heritage Panelist Brigitte Gabriel was asked about radical Islam. Her response is BRILLIANT… By Hannah Bleau; Young Conservatives; 6/14/14)

 

In a 2008 article by Daniel Pipes that was originally posted in the Jerusalem Post, Pipes shows the difficulty in pinning down the percentage of Muslims that are Radical:

 

As with any attitudinal estimate, however, several factors impede approximating the percentage of Islamists.

 

·         How much fervor: Gallup polled over 50,000 Muslims across 10 countries and found that, if one defines radicals as those who deemed the 9/11 attacks “completely justified,” their number constitutes about 7 percent of the total population. But if one includes Muslims who considered the attacks “largely justified,” their ranks jump to 13.5 percent. Adding those who deemed the attacks “somewhat justified” boosts the number of radicals to 36.6 percent. Which figure should one adopt?

 

·        

 

 

Negatively, 10-15 percent suggests that Islamists number about 150 million out of a billion plus Muslims – more than all the fascists and communists who ever lived. Positively, it implies that most Muslims can be swayed against Islamist totalitarianism. READ ENTIRETY (Counting Islamists; By Daniel Pipes; DanielPipes.org; 10/8/08)

 

Ten percent was the percentage of Radical Muslims I last heard about prior to Brigitte Gabriel’s 15% – 25%. Pipes places in perspective the reasons for pulling a lot of radical numbers out of the hat of percentages. That percentage might be as low as 7% or as high as Gabriel’s 25% or even the higher 36% criteria. Also cited by Pipes that the number of radical Muslims will number to the hundreds of millions at the lowest to a higher number of over 300 million cited by Gabriel. In 2012 Pew Research believes the global amount of Muslims was 1.6 billion. Thirty percent of 1.6 billion Muslims is around 576 MILLION Radical Muslims. Whether the Radical Muslims number about a hundred million or half a billion that is a lot of Muslims that might be willing to enforce Islam by violence.

 

Then there are the Counterjihad writers and pundits that look at the Quran in the same way a Radical Muslim does and comes to the conclusion that a good Muslim follows the examples of Muhammad the false prophet of Islam. Self-proclaimed Moderate Muslims will proclaim that Muhammad is the perfect example of the perfect man, ergo Mo is the perfect example for the basis for a Muslim to conduct his life. It would not matter to a devout Moderate or a Radical Muslim on the nature of the Islamic lifestyle based on the etched in stone perfect man which is Muhammad (Mohammed, Mohamet, etc. depending on the time period in which an English language publication is involved). To the Counterjihadists who look at all good Muslims are Muslims of Muhammad and the Quran there is really no difference between Moderate and Radical except in the display of violence. Which is to say every single Muslim under the right circumstances are more than capable of emulating their prophet.

 

I tend to lean toward this second camp of Counterjihadists. I’m very appreciative of non-violent expositors of Islam but because of the Islamic Quran, Hadith, Sira and Sunnah I do not trust the ultimate aim of Islam’s version of evangelism (dawah).

 

And specifically for me Islam is a particularly vile because its own writings condemn Judaism and Christianity as perversions of Islam as if Islam has always existed. Islam has not always existed. Old Mo crafted the death cult borrowing from Judaism, Christianity and singularizing the polytheistic moon cult of the deity of Allah. Mo essentially eclecticized*** the three religious beliefs to mold a singular monotheistic death-cult that is capable of transforming the human mind socio-politically via a divine theology.

 

[*** Apparently a quick perusal of Google tells me I may have created a derivative word with “eclecticized”. For clarity’s sake I derive this word from “eclecticism” which is definitely a word – from dictionary.com under ‘Encyclopedia Article for eclecticism’:

 

(from Greek eklektikos, “selective”), in philosophy and theology, the practice of selecting doctrines from different systems of thought  without adopting the whole parent system for each doctrine. It is distinct from syncretism-the attempt to reconcile or combine systems-inasmuch as it leaves the contradictions between them unresolved. In the sphere of abstract thought, eclecticism is open to the objection that insofar as each system is supposed to be a whole of which its various doctrines are integral parts, the arbitrary juxtaposition of doctrines from different systems risks a fundamental incoherence.                In practical affairs, however, the eclectic spirit has much to commend it.]

 

A Muslim apologist might bring up the thought that not all Radical Muslims are violent jihadists. Indeed there is an element of truth in that thought. Yet since I am in the camp that believes every Muslim that believes he is a good Muslim is capable of violence present with the proper circumstances, the so-called non-violent Radical Muslims will easily turn to violence when provoked. And provocation can be set off with anything a Muslim considers an insult to Muhammad, Islam and Allah. Essentially a Biblical Christian as myself has insulted Muhammad, Islam and Allah by calling Mo a false prophet, calling Islam an antichrist religion and Allah a man-made deity manufactured from Judaism, Christianity and an old Arabic polytheistic moon-god. I have no doubts that if I was a bigger dog in the blogosphere I would have a fatwa given by some cleric for my death or that some Muslim taking it upon himself to satisfy honor would murder me.

 

I have to assert here I am no expert on Islam nonetheless I can read. From what I have read pertaining to Radical Islam is that it is a relatively recent development in a historical perspective. The theo-political religion of Islam itself historically is attributed to Mo circa 622 AD. (Modern academics prefer Christian Era or Common Era or C.E. these days rather than the Latin Christian usage of Anno Domini or AD translated to English as Year of our Lord.)

 

As I wrote in the first paragraph the Radical Sunni Islam is roughly divided between Salafists and Deobandis. These are Islamic purist renewal movements within Islam. In essence it is the Muslim version of a Reformation. In Christianity many Christians began to believe the Papacy had exceeded its purpose in granting such things as indulgences for money, i.e. forgiveness of sins if a sum of money was paid to the Papacy. Another example was evoking a reverence for holy relics which were more often than not fake forgeries of what were claimed to be artifacts from Biblical and Early Christian beginnings. These protesting Christians became known as Protestants because the protested that the Roman Catholic Church was moving too far into man-made traditions above the authority of the Holy Scriptures. The Papacy’s first solution for these protesting Christians was to condemn them as heretics for being contrary to the Holy Pope the vicar of God on Earth. The Protestants became successful largely to the support of big dog Nobles and Kings supporting the earliest protesting Christians such as Martin Luther (German), Ulrich Zwingli (Swiss) and John Calvin (French). The three Protestant Reformers were hardly on the same page monolithically however they agreed on one point, viz. that the Pope had exceeded his theological authority in creating tradition rather than adhering closer to the Scripture and/or the Early Church.

 

The Salafis and the Deobandis also desire a return to the earliest principles of Islam. Which if you are unfamiliar with those Islamic early days were very sadistically violent and expansionist in building an empire to convert the world to Islam. For me this explains the gravitation of Radical Muslims to gravitate toward violent terrorism. These transnational Islamic terrorists really haven’t had the means to create a formidable military to exact conquest of the world since the demise of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. Or least not yet …

 

Iran has been developing nukes to spread its concepts of a Shia Revolution upon the Earth. Now it is looking like ISIS-ISIL-IS forging a Sunni-Jihadi-Salafi-Muslim nation carved out of Iraq and Syria.

 

In the detailed version link above pertaining to Deobandi Sunnis you will note its origins derive Shah Waliullah who lived from 1703 – 1762. I say “derive” because a school was founded in 1867 in India called Darul Uloom Deoband. Whence the name Deobandi.

 

The Salafi Movement also has early inspiration but its spread among various Sunni locations did not really occur until 19th and 20th century. There are two or three Muslims scholars that were influential on modern Salafi movements. The primary one I am aware of is Taqi al-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah (1263 – 1328):

 

[He] was a Sunni Islamic scholar born in Harran, located in what is now Turkey, close to the Syrian border. He lived during the troubled times of the Mongol invasions. As a member of the school founded by Ibn Hanbal, he sought the return of Islam to its sources: The Qur’an and the sunnah (the prophetic tradition of Muhammad). He did not consider the Mongols to be true Muslims and encouraged war against them. He believed that legitimate Islam is based on the opinions of the earliest Muslims, the salafa. He was critical of Shi’a and of Sufi Muslims for venerating their Imams and Sheikhs and for teaching that God dwelt within them. He was also critical of venerating and visiting the shrines of dead saints.

 

He was intolerant of Christians, arguing that Christianity as practiced was a corruption of what Jesus has taught, which was the message of Islam. He was also critical of Islamic philosophy and accused Ibn Rushd, Ibn Sina, and al-Frabi of being unbelievers for teaching that the world is eternal, which makes God redundant. At times employed by the authorities he was at other times imprisoned by those same authorities, who disagreed with his views. However, he attracted a large following and about 100,000 people, including many women, are said to have attended his funeral. He did much to revive the popularity of the Hanbali legal school. He is cited with approval by Islamist Muslims. His belief that Muslims who did not live under the Sharia lived in ignorance (jahilia) was taken up by such twentieth century thinkers as Sayyid Qutb and Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi. (Ibn Taymiyyah; New World Encyclopedia; This page was last modified on 3/30/14 22:41)

 

Another person of influence among Salafists is Ibn Qudamah (1147 AD – 1223 AD):

 

Imam Mawaffaq ad-Din Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi (Arabic ابن قدامة Ibn Qudamah) was a noted Islamic scholar of the Hanbali madhhab, author of many treatises of Hanbali jurisprudence and doctrine, including al-Mughni (the most widely known textbook of Hanbali fiqh) as well as Tahrim an-Nazar (Censure of Speculative Theology, criticism of Ibn Aqil‘s views.) He was a member of the school founded by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and is considered, along with Ibn Taymiyyah, as one of the two most significant proponents of Hanbalism; in the modern era, adherents of the school often refer to the two as “the two sheikhs and Sheikh ul-Islam.[2] (Some links removed – Ibn Qudamah; Wikipedia; This page was last modified 1/15/14 01:02)

 

And according to Mark Durie another influential person to Salafists was Ibn Qayyim:

 

There is hardly another Muslim Mamluk polymath of such standing who at the same time is best known as the student of someone else. Despite his own extraordinary scientific output, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah (1292–1350) was Taqi al-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymiyah’s (1263–1328) most famous and important student. Even centuries later, he is still primarily known and defined by his relation and service to his master, whose works he compiled and whose legal doctrines and hermeneutical and theological convictions he defended. While Ibn Taymiyah led a life characterized by conflict on several fronts, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah—with the exception of a few incidents—was a rather bookish man who preferred pious scientific endeavors to confrontations of any kind. (Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah: His Life and Works; By BIRGIT KRAWIETZ; Middle East Documentation Center, The University of Chicago; © 2006, 2012)

 

A prominent book among Salafists on living a Sharia-like life is al-Misri’s Reliance of the Traveller (easy to access but difficult to read pdf and a Scribd assessable pdf) translated into English by Nuh Ha Mini Keller (an American convert to Islam living in Jordan). Salafists tend to think of themselves as most affiliated to the most conservative Islamic school of thought of Hanbali; however the irony is seems Reliance is affiliated with the Shafi’i school of Islamic thought which from what I have read seems to be the easiest to follow of the four schools. Keller’s English translation of Reliance includes biographical info on people some of Misri’s concepts include. One of those people is ibn Taymiyyah.

 

There are two Radical Islamic groups that have affected America and Israel via transnational terrorism that think of themselves as Salafists but other Salafis question that appellation for them: Wahhabis and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Between Wahhabis and the MB there seem to be nuanced differences but in the eyes of Americans there both anti-Liberty theo-political ideologies bent on Islamic Supremacism by hook or by crook.

 

Wahhabism

 

Wahhabism began as a religious and spiritual reform movement in Najd, a remote and rather featureless area of central Arabia. Its founder, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab (1703-92), was born in Najd, into a region inhabited by an Arab population of predominantly tribal structure. Based on the legal interpretations of Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Ibn Taymiyah, which are conservative and literal in approach, Wahhabism is based on Sunni Islam but is very puritanical in its outlook. It forbids all practices that might be considered innovations, such as the Sufi custom of venerating saints, and disapproves of activities such as listening to music.

 

Wahhabi Muslims do not usually refer to themselves as such, but use terms such as Salafi (‘followers of pious forefathers’). (Wahhabi manuscript; Online Gallery Sacred Texts)

 

Wahhabi or Wahabi (wähäˈbē) … reform movement in Islam, originating in Arabia; adherents of the movement usually refer to themselves as Muwahhidun [unitarians]. It was founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahab (c.1703–1791), who was influenced by Ibn Taymiyya and taught that all accretions to Islam after the 3d cent. of the Muslim era—i.e., after c.950—were spurious and must be expunged. This view, involving essentially a purification of the Sunni sect, regarded the veneration of saints, ostentation in worship, and luxurious living as the chief evils. Accordingly, Wahhabi mosques are simple and without minarets, and the adherents dress plainly and do not smoke tobacco or hashish.

 

Driven from Medina for his preaching, the founder of the Wahhabi sect went into the NE Nejd and converted the Saud tribe. The Saudi sheik, convinced that it was his religious mission to wage holy war (jihad) against all other forms of Islam, began the conquest of his neighbors in c.1763. By 1811 the Wahhabis ruled all Arabia, except Yemen, from their capital at Riyadh. The Ottoman sultan, nominally suzerain over Arabia, had vainly sent out expeditions to crush them. Only when the sultan called on Muhammad Ali of Egypt for aid did he meet success; by 1818 the Wahhabis were driven into the desert.

 

In the Nejd the Wahhabis collected their power again and from 1821 to 1833 gained control over the Persian Gulf coast of Arabia. The domain thereafter steadily weakened; Riyadh was lost in 1884, and in 1889 the Saud family fled for refuge into the neighboring state of Kuwait. The Wahhabi movement was to enjoy its third triumph when Ibn Saud advanced from his capture of Riyadh in 1902 to the reconstitution in 1932 of nearly all his ancestral domain under the name Saudi Arabia, where it remains dominant. Wahhabism served as an inspiration to other Islamic reform movements from India and Sumatra to North Africa and Sudan, and during the 20th cent. has influenced the Taliban of Aghanistan (sic) and Islamist movements elsewhere.

 

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. (Wahhabi; Infoplease.com)

 

9/11 Commission. The Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the “9/11 Commission”) claims that “Islamist terrorism” finds inspiration in “a long tradition of extreme intolerance” that flows “through the founders of Wahhabism,” the Muslim Brotherhood, and prominent Salafi thinkers. The report further details the education and activities of some 9/11 hijackers in the Al Qassim province of Saudi Arabia, which the report describes as “the very heart of the strict Wahhabi movement in Saudi Arabia.” According to the Commission, some Saudi “Wahhabi- funded organizations,” such as the now-defunct Al Haramain Islamic Foundation, “have been exploited by extremists to further their goal of violent jihad against non-Muslims.”17 Due in part to these findings, the Commission recommended a frank discussion of the relationship between the United States and its “problematic ally,” Saudi Arabia. (The Islamic Traditions of Wahhabism and Salafiyya; By Christopher M. Blanchard; fpc.state.govCRS Report for Congress; updated 1/17/07)

 

Muslim Brotherhood

 

·         Influential Islamist organization

 

·         Ideological forebear of Hamas and al Qaeda

 

·         Supports imposition of Shari’a law

 

·         Approves of terrorism against Israel and the West

 

         See also:


       The Muslim Brotherhood’s “General Strategic Goal” for North America


The Muslim Brotherhood’s “Global Project for Palestine”

Hasan al-Banna 

 

Sayyid Qutb 

 

Yusuf al-Qaradawi

 

Al Qaeda

 

Hamas

 

Jihad Is The Way

 

Founded in 1928 by the Egyptian schoolteacher/activist Hasan al-Banna (a devout admirer of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis), the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) — a Sunni entity — is one of the oldest, largest and most influential Islamist organizations in the world. While Egypt historically has been the center of the Brotherhood’s operations, the group today is active in more than 70 countries (some estimates range as high as 100+). Islam expert Robert Spencer has called MB “the parent organization of Hamas and al Qaeda.” In 2003, Richard Clarke – the chief counterterrorism advisor on the U.S. National Security Council during both the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations – told a Senate committee that Hamas, al Qaeda, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were all “descendants of the membership and ideology of the Muslim Brothers.”

MB was established in accordance with al-Banna’s proclamation that Islam should be “given hegemony over all matters of life.” Toward that end, the Brotherhood seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate, or kingdom — first spanning all of the present-day Muslim world, and eventually the entire globe. The organization further aspires to dismantle all non-Islamic governments wherever they currently exist, and to make Islamic Law (Shari’a) the sole basis of jurisprudence everywhere on earth. This purpose is encapsulated in the Brotherhood’s militant credo: “God is our objective, the Koran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle [jihad] is our way, and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations.”

 

 

Embracing Hasan al-Banna’s belief that Islam is destined to eventually dominate all the world, MB today is global in its reach, wielding influence in almost every country with a Muslim population. Moreover, it maintains political parties in many Middle-Eastern and African countries, including Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, and even Israel. Not only does the Brotherhood exist in Israel proper, but its Palestinian chapter created the terrorist organization Hamas, through which MB has supported terrorism against Israel ever since. …

 

 

In May 1991, MB issued to its ideological allies an explanatory memorandum on “the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.” Asserting that the Brotherhood’s mission was to establish “an effective and … stable Islamic Movement” on the continent, this document outlined a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” for achieving that objective. It stated that Muslims “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands … so that … God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions.” Through stealth jihad, the Brotherhood would seek to impose Islamic values and customs on the West in piecemeal fashion — gradually, incrementally gaining ever-greater influence over the culture. The memorandum listed some 29 likeminded “organizations of our friends” which sought to realize the same goal.

 

 

MB Outlawed in Egypt:

On Christmas Day 2013, the Egyptian government formally labeled the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, banning all of its activities including protests. The announcement came after the government blamed the Brotherhood for the suicide bombing of a police station in Mansoura. READ ENTIRETY (some repetitive links removed – MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD (MB); Determine the Networks)

 

I felt compelled to share my thoughts on Islam due to an ACT! for America email that promotes an essay by Alastair Crooke that ACT found on HuffPo. As a Conservative I am suspicious of the value of anything found on a website that promotes a Leftist perspective. HuffPo definitely is Left Wing (or for those into politically correct semantics – Progressive). So I decided to do a little checking on Mr. Crooke:

 

Alastair Crooke, … (born 1950) is a British diplomat, the founder and director of the Conflicts Forum, an organisation that advocates for engagement between political Islam and the West.[1] Previously he was a ranking figure in both British intelligence (MI6) and European Union diplomacy.[2]

 

… He held clandestine meetings with the Hamas leadership in June 2002. He is an active advocate of engagement with Hamas to whom he referred as “Resistants or Resistance Fighters”.

 

… (Alastair Crooke; Wikipedia; This page was last modified 9/1/14 10:05)

 

 

Now, documents seized by Israel which have just been published reveal that in June 2002, Alistair (sic) Crooke, then working for Moratinos, met secretly in Gaza with a Hamas delegation headed by the organization’s then-leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

 

 

Grovelling behaviour, indeed; but more than that, a lethal confusion of language. Crooke told Yassin that: ‘The main problem is the Israeli occupation’. Yassin agreed. But while Crooke appears to have been talking about the post-1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, Yassin was talking about the ‘occupation’ of 1948:

 

 

In other words, the problem Yassin wanted removed was the existence of Israel itself. And Crooke did not demur. Instead, he replied:

 

‘I completely understand what you are saying. There is an understanding not only on the government level but also on the popular level, and there is sympathy with the Palestinian people…’

 

… Crooke observed:

 

‘As for terrorism, I hate that word. I have spent some time in my life with freedom fighters like in Colombia.’

 

So to the EU’s security adviser, the genocidal terrorists of Hamas are actually freedom fighters. In other words, they are morally justified in their campaign of mass murder, and Israel is morally unjustified in trying to defend itself against it. And this was just three months after the massacre of the Passover seder in Natanya.

 

… (Melanie Phillips on Alistair (sic) Crooke; Posted by Robert Spencer; Jihad Watch; 4/22/05 7:26am)

 

As far as Counterjihad writing goes, Crooke is Islamic terrorist friendly promoting the ungodly concept that Israel does not have the right to exist and the Arabs that call themselves Palestinians have a right to the Land of Israel – the Promised Land from God Almighty to the Jews as a perpetual inheritance.

 

Crooke’s essay on HuffPo is a fairly decent explanation of the Radical Islam of the Islamic terrorists ISIS-ISIL-IS. Crooke takes his readers on a journey of understanding on the emergence of Wahhabism and Saud family founder connecting theologically and politically for a mutual benefit. To understand the differences between Wahhabi Islam of Saudi Arabia and the extreme Salafism of ISIS he says this:

 

There is nothing here that separates Wahhabism from ISIS. The rift would emerge only later: from the subsequent institutionalization of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine of “One Ruler, One Authority, One Mosque” — these three pillars being taken respectively to refer to the Saudi king, the absolute authority of official Wahhabism, and its control of “the word” (i.e. the mosque).

It is this rift — the ISIS denial of these three pillars on which the whole of Sunni authority presently rests — makes ISIS, which in all other respects conforms to Wahhabism, a deep threat to Saudi Arabia.

 

Crooke goes on a historical journal of how the Al Saud tribal leader Abd-al Aziz – continued by his son Saud bin Abd al Aziz – utilized Wahhabism as a unifying ideology of the Arab Peninsula Bedouins to push out the Ottoman Turks from control of Medina, Jeddah and Mecca. These are among the holiest sites in Islam. By 1818 the Ottomans used their client army composed of Egyptians to destroy the then Wahhabi capital of Dariyah. The Wahhabis and the Sauds disappeared into a desert life for the rest of the 19th century. In the early 20th century another Abd-al Aziz Saud tribal leader again used Wahhabi ideology to unite Arab Bedouins taking advantage of the Ottomans weakness in their empire because of the eventual loss of WWI.

 

Thus when read Alastair Crooke’s (not ‘Alistair and not to be confused with Alistair Cooke) essay of illumination about ISIS it is fairly decent; however keep in mind Crooke is writing under the belief that these poor misguided Radical Muslims desire a reform to the purist early days of Mo because they are exploited by the West, America in particular and Muslim world despotic leaders exploiting the universal Islamic ummah.

 

JRH 9/4/14

Please Support NCCR

*************************************

SAUDI ARABIA AND THE ISLAMIC STATE

Sent by ACT! for America: 9/2/2014 4:30 PM

 

There can be no denying that Saudi Arabia has long played a key role in the global Jihadist movement:


• 16 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis.

• The largest single source of foreign fighters among insurgents in Iraq fighting US GIs was Saudi Arabia.

• Wealthy Saudis have long funded charities that supported the families of HAMAS suicide bombers in Israel.

These are just a few examples of Saudi treachery in the war on terrorism.

But what is Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the new Islamic State? Why is Saudi Arabia’s king warning the West to take action against them? Can he be trusted?

Former British intelligence officer Alastair Crooke provides an informed background on this subject that can help all of us understand…

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

 

By Alastair Crooke

The World Post – HuffPo

Sent by ACT! for America: 9/2/2014 4:30 PM

HuffPo original post: 08/27/2014 11:56 am EDT – Updated: 08/28/2014 3:59 pm EDT

 

The dramatic arrival of Da’ish (ISIS) on the stage of Iraq has shocked many in the West. Many have been perplexed — and horrified — by its violence and its evident magnetism for Sunni youth. But more than this, they find Saudi Arabia’s ambivalence in the face of this manifestation both troubling and inexplicable, wondering, “Don’t the Saudis understand that ISIS threatens them, too?”

It appears — even now — that Saudi Arabia’s ruling elite is divided. Some applaud that ISIS is fighting Iranian Shiite “fire” with Sunni “fire”; that a new Sunni state is taking shape at the very heart of what they regard as a historical Sunni patrimony; and they are drawn by Da’ish’s strict Salafist ideology.

Other Saudis are more fearful, and recall the READ THE REST at SlantRight 2.0 with this as the starting point

Islam: Reformation, Transformation or just Plain Political Cult?


islamic-nature-muhammad-says

 

John R. Houk

© October 1, 2011

 

Leslie J. Sacks writes briefly somewhat as an introduction to Janet Levy’s review of the Rebecca Bynum’s book “Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion”. The theme of Sacks’ thoughts is Islamic reform which is also hinted in Levy’s book review. An excerpt from the Bynum book indicates her reasoning that Islam is not a religion. However, her reasoning to me shows that Islam has more akin to Leninist-Stalinist Communism or Nazism than to goal of any other religion. In the culture formed by a Communist or Nazi State the people are brainwashed to obey the State without question and to place the leader on such a pedestal that there is the appearance of divine worship but with the denial of a deity.

 

Islam is Communist-like except the cult founder picked out a deity from all the Meccan polygamous deities and declared that deity to be the ONE deity and backed that claim up by stealing mostly from Jewish theology with a swash of Christian theology mixed together with a lot of distortion and revisionism to make Allah that ONE deity. In order to make a worldly connection between Allah and the World, Mohammed made sure that he was mystically elevated to a pedestal of being Allah’s sole and last mouthpiece to humanity.

 

The difference between Communism and Islam is the former rejects the existence of deity or deities and the latter embraces a monotheistic faith as a control mechanism over the people.

 

Allow me to add one other thought about Islam and the concept of reform. The true reform movement that is currently happening in Islam is all the fundamentalist Islamic movements of Sunni and Shia that seek a purity that existed in Mohammed’s day. It is a reformation that is actually gaining momentum among Muslims everyday because it reinforces what all Muslims are taught: Allah is one god and Mohammed is his prophet. Thus everything Mohammed said and did is the PERFECT example for all Muslim believers to follow. If Mohammed is perfect then killing kafir (unbeliever in Islam), killing an apostate (one that leaves Islam for another religion or for atheism), killing a Jew first and then a Christian (because ultimately the People of the Book will perish for unbelieving Allah and his prophet Mohammed) and all the brutal dictates of Sharia Law which if broken can lead to amputation or death depending on the punishment defined by Sharia Law (e.g. a Muslim adulteress, a Muslim homosexual, a Muslim female that dishonors her Muslim family for various offenses will all find death either by the Muslim government or by the hands of the Muslim family).

 

Purist Islam is the Islamic reformation that Radical Islam that is real and is happening in the 21st century. Islam does not need a reformation. Islam needs a transformation to enter the realm of a religion that provides a path to peace with a deity, deities or the seeking of escaping the wheel of life such as moksha or nirvana.

 

Islamic transformation would eradicate the dark side of Islam contained primarily of the Quranic suras that are attributed as Mohammed’s sayings from his arrival in Medina and afterwards.

 

Without further adieu here is Leslie J. Sacks post about Islam below.

 

JRH 10/1/11

****************************

Why Islam is in Desperate Need of a Reformation

 

By Leslie J. Sacks

Sent: Sep 28, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Website: STRENGTH AND TOLERANCE

 

Rebecca Bynum writes a focused and timely, yet largely one-sided book entitled “Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion”.  Janet Levy’s timely review of this book (see below) questions why parts of the left wing have taken up political commonality with the ACLU, CAIR, MAS and those who would advance Sharia law and Muslim religious expression in our schools, colleges and communities.  Yet these selfsame individuals and groups rail against any Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Baha’i or Hindu representation in the same institutions.

 

Two preeminent questions jump out at us:

 

1)      Why do anti-religious elements choose to see Christianity et al. as a religion but Islam as a culture, the former worthy of denigration whilst the latter deserves understanding, empathy, support and expression?  Surely Judaism for example is as much a culture, a way of life as Islam is.

 

2)      Why has Islam been high-jacked by the fundamentalists, the literalists, the extremists, all seemingly in commanding control of the many “faces” of Islam’s expressions, of Islam’s visible personality?  At the same time, why have these supremacists fervently and successfully denied moderate voices, interspersed throughout the world of Islam, even a modest participation in the public persona, in the governmental personas, and ultimately in the voices of today’s Islam?

 

If many multiculturalists, if many well-meaning albeit somewhat naïve citizens of the West, insist on projecting their most optimistic and myopic visions onto Islam, in total indifference to the fatwas and intolerance everywhere evident, then support for the Muslim moderates will never spring forth, and the radicals will hold ground.

 

Moderate Muslim Voice Non-Existent 

 

If there remains no allowance in the Muslim world for alternative interpretations of their scriptures, or tolerance for an evolving set of applications, lifestyles, beliefs and allowances, and if jihad is not replaced by an acceptance of other religions, cultures and peoples, then any reformation will remain, as it has for 1400 years, a dim fantasy.

 

And in those instances Rebecca Bynum’s vision of Islam (or radical Islam in the view of many) will keep ringing true, and the one overarching face of medieval Islam in our modern age will remain all-powerful, omnipresent.  All the world’s major religions except mainstream Islam (Wahabism, Iranian Shiism, and the many offshoots like the Taliban) have largely learnt over thousands of years to live and let live. 1 Moderates and apostates in the Islamic world still fear for their lives.  Bibles are banned in Saudi Arabia, as are women drivers.  Honor killings and beheadings should have no place in a modern civilization; as should supremacist and exclusitory interpretations of any religion.

 

My hope and my prayers are for every moderate Muslim, every tolerant Muslim, every unequal woman in the Muslim world, to not lose hope, to retain their faith and keep chipping away at the unbending monolith surround them, until a reformation indeed arrives.2

 

Peace in the West depends on it, just as prosperity in the East will.

 

Note 1 The bible has for millennia established the concept that we are all indeed equal, a concept only now largely accepted by most religions.  “You Shall not hate the Edomite because he is your brother; you shall not hate the Egyptian because you were a stranger in his land” (Deuteronomy 23:8).  “You shall love the stranger because you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 10:19).  “… You shall love your neighbor (every human being) like yourself; I am the Lord” (Lev 19:18)

 

I enclose excerpts from Janet Levy’s review which highlights questions that need answering and issues that desperately bear discussion.  Some may argue as to how relevant Bynum’s thesis is, however the mere existence of its application as a reality is an indictment of one of the world’s great religions, and one desperately in need of modernization.

 

Allah is Dead: Why Islam Is Not a Religion

By Rebecca Bynum Published by New English Review Press, 2011

Reviewed by Janet Levy

 

In a July 29 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit essentially regulated the language of prayer by ruling that any mention of “Jesus” during public prayer constitutes sectarian and unconstitutional language.  But the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) brought the legal challenge seeking to end a traditional practice commonly used before public meetings in state and local legislative bodies across America.

 

Such attacks by the Left against religious expression are commonplace. In August, leftist groups roundly criticized Texas Governor Rick Perry’s call for a day of prayer to “seek G-d’s guidance and wisdom in addressing the challenges that face our communities, states and nation.” In January, Hawaii caved in to ACLU demands and became the first state to eliminate daily prayer, although approval of a 2009 bill to celebrate “Islam Day” mysteriously escaped their censure.

 

Several state legislatures including Iowa, Texas, and Washington have opened their sessions with Islamic prayers invoking Allah, calling for “victory over those who disbelieve (i.e. all non-Muslims)” and soliciting “protection from the Great Satan.” These requests that Allah grant Muslims victory over non-Muslims are hardly prayers to bless the work of legislatures, but neither the ACLU or AU raised objections, even though the prayers excluded Christians and Jews and declared cultural war against American society.

 

In the past, the Left, which asked the nihilistic question “Is G-d Dead?,” made common cause with communism (and Socialism) rejected religious faith in favor of “godless” secular humanism.  Today the connection between the totalitarianism of the Left – control of human activity and thought in the name of “social justice” – and the totalitarianism of Islam – control of every aspect of life through the shariah – is a bond fusing their efforts to pursue a common agenda: to undermine America’s Judeo-Christian values and traditional institutions.

 

In her book Allah Is Dead: Why Islam Is Not A Religion, Rebecca Bynum (author and publisher of New English Review) adeptly explores the traditional role of religion, the G-d is dead posture of the left, and the nature of Islam. She offers astute observations on the meaning and essence of religion as the very basis of reality for Western culture, extols its noble purpose of elevating man toward a path of righteousness, and contrasts this with the nihilistic ideologies presented as religion by the Left and Islam. She describes the deleterious effects of the Left on the meaning, value, and practice of religion, and argues that Islam’s fundamental characteristics deny it status as a religion.

 

Bynum identifies the critical role religion plays in fostering morality, anchoring society, buttressing the family, and promoting social harmony, public service, and charity. She makes important distinctions between the mechanical adherence to religious doctrine and the exalted, living experience of faith. A transcendent reality, faith captures the human heart and spirit and imbues our lives with meaning, Bynum writes. Faith is not coercion through the recitation of Biblical passages. Instead, scripture is a series of guidelines for human behavior which empower individuals to freely and creatively chart a path, constantly striving toward spiritual perfection. Bynum emphasizes that individual free will encouraged by faith is the pathway to understanding goodness, truth, and beauty, and ultimately the unique experience of discovering G-d and godliness.

 

The influence of the anti-religion Left has caused the church to abandon this traditional role and these values, Bynum asserts. For the most part, the church has turned away from spiritual ministry toward political and social causes with a focus on “works” over faith and religious practice.  Religion is used politically to bolster social reforms, she writes, rather than to nurture spiritual and moral development. Religion emphasizes self-realization and sensual comfort, rather than attainment of the ideals of truth, beauty, and goodness. Instead of helping individuals aspire to the virtues of self-reliance, self-control, and gratitude, religion fosters an infantile sense of entitlement, a victim mentality of blaming external factors, and an unwillingness to take personal responsibility.

 

For the Left, religion is the enemy, morality is non-existent, and actions relate to narcissistic wants. In this view, man’s higher purpose, his ability for self-reflection, and his capacity for imagination are denied. As human dignity has been debased, the human values of love, truth, and goodness, as well as religious experience, are dismissed as delusional. Bynum concludes that spiritual transcendence is impossible when free will is viewed as an illusion and morality is arbitrary.

 

Just as leftist-influenced Western religion has abandoned the search for spiritual transcendence, Islam similarly does not provide a path to spiritual transcendence, either, Bynum asserts. Islam does not qualify as a religion, she argues, because it lacks the essential qualities and attributes of religion. Muslims are not free to establish a relationship with Allah but are required to recite prayers in a specific format and direct them to an object – the Kaaba, a cube-shaped building in Mecca that is the most sacred site in Islam. In Islam, strict rules regulate all behavior and Islamic worship is merely unquestioned obedience. Lacking is any quest for truth, acknowledgment of reality, or historical verification. The goal of Islam is complete control over the mind and the physical body and its functions. Bodies and minds are controlled with no nourishment for the soul.

 

With no outlet for individual expression in Islam, creativity does not exist nor does anything that would capture the human heart or spirit. No quest to discover Allah is required because he exists merely to be obeyed. Piety is enforced by conformity to Islamic doctrine with sinners severely punished or killed to uphold the community’s purity. Islam’s goal is complete submission, which stifles curiosity, creativity, motivation, and individuality, plus denies the truth.

 

In Islam, history begins with Mohammed. Nothing that occurred prior to his existence is of any value, thus history is revised and knowledge rendered meaningless. Islam requires cultural genocide because culture is an obstacle to establishing Allah’s authority on Earth. No concept of G-d-given free will and tolerance exists. Individual thought makes no difference because only the decrees of Islamic doctrine have value.

 

Islam requires complete self-denial and robot-like functioning as part of a collective: the umma, or Islamic community. Behavior is mandated by the shariah, which makes law and morality one and the same. Islam does not recognize the state as a higher authority and requires ultimate jurisdiction in all worldly matters. No explorations of and (sic) independent conclusions about justice and judgment exist as the shariah explicitly outlines every aspect of existence and sanctions forced marriage, child marriage, polygamy, death for apostasy, dhimmi status for non-Muslims, and other rulings and actions outlawed in other societies. Islam is the highest value, with no room for mercy or compassion. Islamic doctrine is immutable, unquestioned, and does not bend to any human circumstances.

 

Because of all these characteristics, Islam is not a religion, Bynum concludes, as it places ideology above life itself. It fails to advance individual morality, sacrificing the individual for the collective. It is unable to preserve wisdom because it denies everything but Islamic beliefs. It fails to foster peace and social harmony and instead requires perpetual war with non-believers. It weakens the family as the foundational unit of society by promoting polygamy. It is not transcendent in purpose, as its highest purpose is to perpetuate itself, and it has little meaning beyond rituals.

 

Islam cannot stand with the other religions of the world as a belief system that relates humanity to spirituality and to moral values and imbues life with meaning, Bynum writes. Instead, Islam is a supremacist, totalitarian, theo-political-legal ideology that engages in constant war with non-believers, controls the lives of its believers who are unable to question or relinquish its mandates, and fails to provide spiritual nourishment and to promote social harmony.

 

Just as the secular humanism of the Left diminishes man, Islam similarly diminishes man through its hatred of non-believers and its emulation of its brutal, murderous prophet as the ideal specimen of a man. Thus, leftists who assert their nonreligious and non-spiritual agenda and diligently work to eliminate G-d from the public square – including prohibitions against religious observances, holidays, symbols, and prayer – are allying with Muslim efforts to demonize and supplant non-Muslim faiths. Both represent a danger to Western society, and in particular the United States, which was founded on a core belief in G-d and the transcendent power of spirituality. Both Islam and the left’s secular humanism are godless ideologies that undermine Western values and civilization.

 

Janet Levy, MBA, MSW, is an activist, world traveler, and freelance journalist who has contributed to American Thinker, Full Disclosure Network, FrontPage Magazine, Family Security Matters and other publications. She blogs at www.womenagainstshariah.com

 

Note 2 There is an exciting new venue in which to see what Arab reformers have to say – the website [may be found at http://almuslih.org/ (It is in both Arabic and English.) According to its mission statement, Almuslih.org “aims to maximize the exposure and distribution of journalism and analyses promoting progressive thought in the Arab Middle East and the Muslim world.” Go there to see how some of the most brilliant minds in the Arab world, like writer Sayyid al-Qimny, Abd al-Hamid al-Ansari, the former Dean of Islamic Law at Qatar University, and Hassan Mneimneh, director of the Iraq Memory Foundation, understand the situation today and what must be done to secure a democratic future. Invariably, they address the problem of the culture.   

Contrary to al-Qaradawi’s condemnation of secularism, Tunisian philosopher Latif Lakhdar, one of the brightest lights in the Muslim world, calls for “an acceptance of the division between the domains of faith and politics.” He also states that a reformed Islam “ends the conception of the world divided up into an Abode of Islam destined for expansion and an Abode of War destined for ‘Jihad unto the end of time,’ as al-Bukhari’s Hadith has it.” Lakhdar says forthrightly, “our faith today constitutes a part of the problem, and it is incumbent upon us to reform it, in the school of religious rationalism, so that we turn it into a part of the solution.”    The most recent posting on Almuslih, is an article titled “Freedom and the Progress of Civilization,” by Mohammed al-Sanduk. Al-Sanduk confirms the thesis in The Closing of the Muslim Mind that the greatest scientific and cultural achievements of the Arab Muslim world occurred during, and because of, the ascendancy of the rational theologians, the Mu’tazilites, whose thinking “laid emphasis on the freedom of choice and on the responsibilities that accompany this.” Likewise, its decline resulted because of their suppression. He even provides a chart which tracks the rise and fall of Muslim scientific achievement parallel to the rise and fall of Mu’tazilite thought.   

One of the best essays on the website is “A Manifesto for Reform,” by the eloquent Hasan Hanafi, chairman of the philosophy department at Cairo University. He writes that “no real change can take place if there is not a change in the mindset first.” This is the reason, he says, that prior efforts at reform have failed because they “started with social, political and economic structures rather than with inherited intellectual substructures, which remained unchanged even as liberal, western enlightenment-derived structure was superimposed over them.” This has not worked because “the imported freedom therefore perches on an infrastructure of inherited fatalism, while the imported Rights of Man sit atop a substructure of the inherited Rights of God, in the same way that the imported sciences are superimposed over an infrastructural legacy of miracles.” As this brilliantly insightful sentence implies, the real problem is theological, and it is at this level reform must take place.

 

Without a different theology, can one have democracy? Iranian philosopher, Dr Abdulkarim Soroush, explicitly answered this question: “You need some philosophical underpinning, even theological underpinning in order to have a real democratic system. Your God cannot be a despotic God anymore. A despotic God would not be compatible with a democratic rule, with the idea of rights. So you even have to change your idea of God.”    Can this be done? Can what seems to be the bedrock of Islam change? This seems a very tall order, though there is precedent for it in Muslim history. However, if it is going to be done, it will no doubt be accomplished by courageous Muslim thinkers such as those appearing on [the Almuslih website]. Through it, you will feel spring in the air.

 

Leslie J. Sacks

______________________________

Islam: Reformation, Transformation or just Plain Political Cult?

John R. Houk

© October 1, 2011

__________________________

Why Islam is in Desperate Need of a Reformation

 

Leslie Sacks Fine Art | 11640 San Vicente Blvd. | Los Angeles | CA | 90049

Islam: Reformation or Transformation


Radical-Moderate Islam

John R. Houk

© March 29, 2011

 

Christopher Logan of Logan’s Warning is very displeased with Brigitte Gabriel’s distinction between Moderate Islam and Radical Islam. Logan is one of those that believe Islam is Islam as is inherent in Islamic holy writings.

 

I have long struggled back and forth internally about the existence of a Moderate Islam. I am fully aware that in America a significant amount of the Muslim community subscribe to America’s concept of constitutional freedom as is guaranteed by the first ten Amendments which are called the Bill of Rights. Of those ten Amendments the First Amendment is the big dog of civil liberty guaranteeing Free Speech, Religious Freedom, Free Press, Free Open Protest, Freedom to petition the government without fear of retribution and no government interference of the practice of religion.

 

I also know that most of the Mosques in America receive their Islamic religious and theological literature from the Saudi Arabian dime. This means that purist Islam of the Wahhabis (and Muslim Brotherhood) niche, which the Western media asserts is a minute minority in Islam, is what American-Muslims read. Also if one ever takes a peek at angry Muslims in Islamic dominated lands it is difficult to believe that those who are supposed to be the Islamic majority subscribe to a moderate interpretation of Islam. When one reads about mass Muslim protests over idiotic cartoons of Mohammed in an unflattering expression, there was not so much a demonstration of a religion of peace and more of a demonstration of  religion threatening violence and calling for murder and revenge on embassies that allowed Mohammed cartoons to be freely published in Western media. Also it is becoming common in Muslim dominated lands for hateful and violent persecution to be executed upon Christians. This violence leads to pogrom-style destruction of Christian Churches and property that often leads to rape and kidnapping of women as well as death to Christians that are in the way of the Islamic pogrom-style madness.

 

Now back to those Muslims that wish us non-Muslims to believe most Muslims are moderate and religion of peace kind of guys, I need to refer to a Muslim that has really become the face of Islamic “reform” in America – Dr. Mohammed Zuhdi Jasser.

 

Dr. Jasser is very anti-Islamist and pro-Moderate Islam. No one disputes his antagonism toward radical Islam and his complaint that the most known Muslim organizations in America have an Islamist and/or Muslim Brotherhood connection. The many that are critical of Dr. Jasser dispute his claim that most Muslims in America are moderate because they don’t actually attend the radicalized Mosques (which seems to be the majority) in America. This criticism goes back to those that believe Islam is Islam as it is recorded in the Quran, Hadith and Sira (combination of Sunna and Hadith). This is the very purist Islam that the Muslims we call radical subscribe to. The actual reform movement in Islam is the call to a return to the Islam established by Mohammed and congealed by the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs. This is the very purist Islam that the Muslims we call radical subscribe to. The reform called by Dr. Jasser is the eschewing of the violent concepts in Political Islam which is the majority portion of Sharia Law. Though many of us kafir (non-Muslims) might call this reform, it is actually a transformative call by Dr. Jasser and the few that follow his (what I believe to be) noble call to change Islam into an actual religion of peace.

 

Dr. Jasser’s assertion that most American-Muslims are moderate is because American-Muslims do not follow the radical Islam that permeates most American Mosques. Dr. Jasser’s critics believe that is a deluded fallacy. Ergo, if Dr. Jasser is preaching a fallacy he must be a deceiving liar. Debbie Schlussel who complains about many prominent exposers of radical Islam as being con artists and/or plagiarists of her journalistic pieces says this about Dr. Jasser:

 

You see, the message Mr. Jasser is spreading is contrary to the one he claims in the movie. The movie warns of the homegrown jihad we’ve been warning about for years, since before 9/11. But Jasser’s statements regularly contradict the movie. He’s two-faced, and a liar. And you simply can’t believe a single piece of fertilizer coming out of his mouth. He openly lied to me in an e-mail, claiming he’d never discussed a topic on Detroit radio, which he expressly did discuss on the air for a full half-hour.


Jasser has consistently appeared on Detroit radio shows and TV and radio shows around the country, saying the usual bullcrap, i.e., that Islam is a peaceful religion, that the majority of Muslims are peaceful because they don’t belong to a mosque, that CAIR and MPAC and ISNA, etc. don’t represent Islam.

 

 

Sorry, but that’s baloney. Islam is not peaceful. Whether or not Muslims belong to a mosque is not the determinant of their radicalism, only an adding factor. I know some extremely secular Muslims who drink alcohol and haven’t been to a mosque in decades. But they love Hezbollah and HAMAS and hate Jews, Christians, America, and Israel. If the majority of Muslims are really peaceful and don’t support terrorist groups, why did I see ten thousand Muslims–during the workday–marching on the streets of Dearborn and Detroit in support of Hezbollah and HAMAS in both 2006 and early 2009? Why do Bin Laden, HAMAS, Hezbollah, Ahmadinejad, and Nasrallah remain the most popular figures and entities in poll after poll of Muslims? Why do a third of young American Muslims support homicide bombings?

 

Dr. Jasser was kicked out of his mosque in Arizona, a pretty good sign that Islam is, in fact, radical, and they don’t want his pretentious claim otherwise. I’m sorry, but CAIR, ISNA, and MPAC do represent Islam more than he does. Far more, despite his claims otherwise. It’s like when Communist fantasists and utopians used to tell me that I can’t judge Communism by its manifestation and practice in the Soviet Union or Cuba or China, because they don’t practice “real” Communism and don’t represent this silent, imaginary majority of Communists worldwide who love peace and don’t throw people in jail for a life of torture for writing a poem. Sorry, Zuhdi, but you know better. And yet, you continue to lie. I asked Jasser how many Muslim members he has in his organization, the “American Islamic Forum for Democracy,” and he didn’t respond. He’s told others it’s about 100. That’s not even negligible. It’s downright embarrassing.

 

Not negligible are the speaking fees and other payments and funding Dr. Jasser is getting from this speaking tour, a good chunk of it courtesy of the Clarion Foundation, which in using him as its two-faced spokesman seems not to heed its own eponymous clarion call. I dream (and will forever dream) of the day we will see a Muslim (which means an ex-Muslim) or an Arab who is actually putting forth a consistent, truthful, truly peaceful message . . . and not some uninformed double-talk, milked as a money-making enterprise. Jasser, Hanan Tudor a/k/a “Brigitte Gabriel,” Walid Shoebat, and other frauds have all made a mint after they opened up shop post-9/11 (and lying about what and who they are). Before then, they were nowhere to be seen. Apparently, the underside of the rock was quite cozy ’til then, but afterward the outside suddenly became far “greener.” (The Sad Truth About Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser–Star, Narrator, & Producer of “The Third Jihad” Mar. 12, 2009 2:45 PM)

 

As you can see Schlussel is not pleased with a lot of people that actually have the same agenda of exposing Islam. Schlussel seems to believe that any defense of the existence of “Moderate Islam” must have an agenda of self-aggrandizement for gain; thus the Gabriels, the Jassers and the Shoebats criticizing Radical Islam deceive to make money because they lie or are plagiarizing the Schlussel journalism. Honestly I believe every one of the people Schlussel castigates has accomplished a great service in exposing the agenda of Islam in America. I have never heard that Brigitte Gabriel’s name is Hanan Tudor (Where did that come from?). If Gabriel had an alternative name, what is the implication?

 

I have kind of taken the middle road about the nature of Islam. According to Islamic holy writings that affect non-Muslims, the religion of Islam is evil. Muslims that declare they practice a moderate path of Islam simply means that Moderate Muslims wittingly or unwittingly disregard the portions of Islam that are doom and gloom in this present physical time for non-Muslims. All Muslims that call for a return to the practices of the early days of Islam are calling for a reformation to the pure days of Islam. The Muslims that call for an updated or a modernized Islam are calling for the elimination of the portions that call for defending the faith with a good physical offence (i.e. with violence) to propagate or to force submission of non-Muslims to the supremacy of Allah and Islam. Frankly my friends if you find a Muslim that denies that all of the examples of the perfect man, their prophet Mohammed, that Muslim person is part of a very miniscule minority in which the Muslim will find their life is endangered.

 

Does this mean that Muslims no matter how few they are, such as Dr. Jasser, should be criticized because they have a vision for an Islam that is actually a religion of peace in more than in mere deceptive propaganda? As long as the desire for a new kind of Islam exists among Muslims, it will be a noble desire.

 

I have to admit I sense it is a bit of dangerous territory for non-Muslims to believe in an Islamic transformation. Multicultural diverse Leftists that are deluded about the validity of all cultures whether evil, good or foreign are understandable. However, for Conservatives and those that wish to expose the nature of Islam by writing about the tenets of radical Islam as distinct from Islam itself is a path with good intentions yet probably doomed to failure. The only way for a transformed Islam is for a charismatic figure within the substructure of the Islamic faith that has the ability to catch the mind of Muslims to abandon the medieval-intolerant-global empire mindset of purist Islam. I am afraid such a person would be a miracle for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It would be a miracle for Muslims in the sense that the Clerics are self-indoctrinated and they indoctrinate their followers that Islam is pure and all else is false; even if the defense of the faith requires a violent action to correct even the least insult to Islam, Mohammed and Allah. Centuries of Islamic programming among Muslims has entrenched intolerance and Islamic Supremacy into their minds. I dare say that non-Muslims living in Muslim dominated lands have also been brainwashed to the point of accepting the supremacy of Islam; i.e. in following the rules of Sharia as it applies to non-Muslims not offending anything to do with Islam. So a Muslim willfully believes a dhimmi or pseudo-dhimmi life is better Islam. The offering of basic human right to religious freedom, free speech and freedom of conscious is anathema to the Islamic Supremacist mind especially in Muslim dominated lands.

 

In this sense Debbie Schlussel’s castigation of Brigitte Gabriel (Christian from Lebanon) and Walid Shoebat (Converted Christian and former Palestinian terrorist) might be a bit justified except for her use of bridge burning words that offends an ally in exposing Islam. It also brings one to an understanding of Christopher Logan’s frustration with Brigitte Gabriel and Dr. Jasser for looking for a Moderate Islam.

 

There was a serious effort in the nineteenth century to transform Islam away from its violent nature. Islamic Supremacism marginalized and persecuted that transformation attempt. The attempt of transformation was initiated by an Iranian by the name of Sayyid ‘Ali Muhammad Shirazi. Shirazi declared himself to be the Bab which translated into English means the gate or gateway or doorway and probably other synonyms I didn’t take time to look for. The Bab imagined himself to be the Hidden Twelfth Imam of the Twelver portion of Shias who are predominantly Iranian (once called Persians). The Bab’s effort to declare himself the Hidden Imam was a transformation movement within Shia Islam. Here is a summary of the Bab’s idea of Islamic transformation:

 

Babism (bä’bizum) [key], system of doctrines proclaimed in Persia in 1844 by Ali Muhammad of Shiraz. Influenced by the Shaykhi Shiite theology that viewed the Twelve Imams as incarnations of the Divine, Ali Muhammad proclaimed himself the Bab, the living door to the twelth Imam and the knowledge of God, and sent missionaries throughout Persia. He also announced a series of revelations, detailing the cosmogonic sequence, abrogating Islamic obligations and replacing them by a new set, structured around esoteric concepts such as the importance of the number 19. The year was hence divided into 19 months of 19 days each; the community was led by a council of 19 members. The movement placed special emphasis on the coming of the Promised One, who would embody all the tenets of the new religion. In 1848 the movement declared its complete secession from Islam and all its rites; upon the accession of a new shah, the Babi (the Bab’s followers) rose in insurrection and were defeated. Many of the leaders were killed, and the Bab was executed at Tabriz in 1850. Two years later, after an attempt on the life of the shah, there followed more persecutions. In 1863 the Babi were removed to Constantinople and later to Adrianople and Cyprus. After 1868 one group had its center in Acre under the leadership of Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri (known as Baha Ullah), the founder of the Baha’i faith, who declared himself the Promised One. (Babism; Fact Monster)

 

 

When the Bab was captured and tried for heresy by the Twelvers and imprisoned, the Babi followers went off on a jihad that turned into a Persian civil war. During this time the Bab was executed by firing squad. The Babi Jihad went on for a couple of years until it was ruthlessly put down resulting in the deaths of most of the leadership and thousands of Babis. One of the survivors of the lost Babi revolution was Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri. Husayn Ali was disturbed by the violence of the Bab, Babism and Islam. After a period of hiding Husayn Ali eventually ended up Acre (Akka and present day Israel) of the Syrian Magistrate of the Ottoman Empire. Husayn Ali was part of a split between the Babis. At that time a greater amount of Babis joined Husayn Ali’s version of a spiritual evolution of the Bab’s teaching. Husayn Ali became Baha’u’llah the founder of the Baha’i faith.

 

Baha’i is a religious movement founded in the 19th century by the Persian Bahaullah. It claims members in practically every country of the world. Objecting to polygamy, slavery of any kind, religious prejudices, and politicized religion, Baha’is call for world peace and harmony. The ideals of a world federalist government and a new world language are also a part of their teachings. Recognition of the common ground of all religions is seen as fostering this move toward global unity; Krishna, Buddha, Moses, Zarathustra, Jesus, and Muhammad are all recognized as divine manifestations, a series of prophets culminating in Bahaullah. Nonresistance, respect for persons, and legal recognition of the equal rights of both sexes constitute additional aspects of Baha’i teaching.

 

Baha’u’llah survived brief imprisonment in Iran/Persia and then was exiled to the Ottoman Empire who basically imprisoned him or placed on virtual house arrest for the rest of his life. Effectively Baha’u’llah was persecuted as a heretic from Islam by both the Shias of his homeland and the Sunnis of the Ottoman Empire.

 

Considering all that had happened in the 48 years beginning with the declaration of the Báb in 1844, Bahá’u’lláh’s passing on May 29, 1892 at about 3:00 A.M. might seem anticlimactic. He died quietly at the age of 75, still marginally a prisoner but permitted to live outside the walls of Akká in a mansion known as Bahjí. The relative tranquility of His final days on Earth stand in marked contrast to the tumult that had surrounded Him for much of His life, yet it proved to be merely the calm before another storm for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, His oldest son and appointed successor. (Read the rest of essay at Reflections on the Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh; Dale E. Lehman; Revised: 05/25/2001)

 

From a Christian perspective Baha’i is part of the many paths that are wide and lead to the destruction of the soul in which the human spirit is in danger of experiencing the second and final death. From an Islamic perspective Baha’i is the transformative path that would truly evolve Islam into a religion of peace.

 

Reformation in Islam is a return to Mohammed’s wickedness. A transformation in Islam will lead to the Mecca-Mohammed before the Hegira to Medina in which Mohammed became mad with power. Without that transformation there will be definitely a clash of civilizations between the West and the violent culture that is Islam.

 

JRH 3/29/11