Posted by Curt on 8 February, 2006 at 11:36 am. Be the first to comment!

Amir Taheri writes in The Opinion Journal today with some very wise words.? And some not so wise:

But how representative of Islam are all those demonstrators? The “rage machine” was set in motion when the Muslim Brotherhood–a political, not a religious, organization–called on sympathizers in the Middle East and Europe to take the field.

Ok, stop right there.? The Muslim Brotherhood is a political organization, not a religious one?? How can you tell the difference?? I don’t think there is any such thing.? They are all religious organizations, with political aspirations maybe but it all comes down to religion.? Take for example the next sentence:

A fatwa was issued by Yussuf al-Qaradawi, a Brotherhood sheikh with his own program on al-Jazeera.

So this “political” organization issued a fatwa?? Yeah sure.

Not to be left behind, the Brotherhood’s rivals, Hizb al-Tahrir al-Islami (Islamic Liberation Party) and the Movement of the Exiles (Ghuraba), joined the fray. Believing that there might be something in it for themselves, the Syrian Baathist leaders abandoned their party’s 60-year-old secular pretensions and organized attacks on the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus and Beirut.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s position, put by one of its younger militants, Tariq Ramadan–who is, strangely enough, also an adviser to the British home secretary–can be summed up as follows: It is against Islamic principles to represent by imagery not only Muhammad but all the prophets of Islam; and the Muslim world is not used to laughing at religion. Both claims, however, are false.
There is no Quranic injunction against images, whether of Muhammad or anyone else. When it spread into the Levant, Islam came into contact with a version of Christianity that was militantly iconoclastic. As a result some Muslim theologians, at a time when Islam still had an organic theology, issued “fatwas” against any depiction of the Godhead. That position was further buttressed by the fact that Islam acknowledges the Jewish Ten Commandments–which include a ban on depicting God–as part of its heritage. The issue has never been decided one way or another, and the claim that a ban on images is “an absolute principle of Islam” is purely political. Islam has only one absolute principle: the Oneness of God. Trying to invent other absolutes is, from the point of view of Islamic theology, nothing but sherk, i.e., the bestowal on the Many of the attributes of the One.

The claim that the ban on depicting Muhammad and other prophets is an absolute principle of Islam is also refuted by history. Many portraits of Muhammad have been drawn by Muslim artists, often commissioned by Muslim rulers.

[…]Islamic ethics is based on “limits and proportions,” which means that the answer to an offensive cartoon is a cartoon, not the burning of embassies or the kidnapping of people designated as the enemy. Islam rejects guilt by association. Just as Muslims should not blame all Westerners for the poor taste of a cartoonist who wanted to be offensive, those horrified by the spectacle of rent-a-mob sackings of embassies in the name of Islam should not blame all Muslims for what is an outburst of fascist energy.

Interesting tidbit about the Brotherhood: (via A Blog For All)

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Former Syrian Vice President Abdel-Halim Khaddam and the exiled leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood agreed on Wednesday to join forces to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

A source at Khaddam’s office said the former official held talks with Ali Bayanouni, head of the Sunni Islamist group, in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“There was agreement on a joint vision to save Syria from the crisis that the regime has placed it in,” the source told Reuters in Beirut by telephone. “It was also agreed to contact other opposition leaders inside and outside Syria to come up with a joint plan of action.”

The source said the two leaders also rejected any foreign intervention in Syria: “The responsibility of changing the corrupt regime in Syria lies only on the Syrian people.”

So the group that was responsible for the assassination of Sadat now wants to take out the Syrian regime because they are kinda bad guys.? Only in the Middle East.

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