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Radio Free Europe @RFERL Heather Maher Shills For Hamas-CAIR’s Deceptive #MyJihad Whitewash Campaign

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Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty once stood for freedom against Soviet Communist tyranny. Now they've reduced themselves to a propaganda arm for the latest tyranny to threaten the free world: that of Islamic supremacism. Their article here runs interference for Hamas-CAIR's cynical #MyJihad campaign, which is intended to make Americans complacent about the jihad threat. Shillers for killers.

RFE's Heather Maher traffics in the basest libel — from the notes below:

The other group of extremists is represented by people like Pamela Geller, who eagerly embraces the word's most violent meaning.

This is the basest libel. Pamela Geller doesn't "eagerly embrace"
jihad's "most violent meaning." She dares to notice it, when Rehab and
others are trying to obfuscate it. She is trying to call attention to it
so as to increase resistance to it.

Geller, who leads an anti-Islamic group called the American Freedom
Defense Initiative, even promoted it in controversial ads she ran in New
York City last year and this year in Chicago, in response to the “My Jihad” campaign.

Geller "even promoted it." This is like saying that Winston Churchill "eagerly embraced" and "promoted" Nazism.

And if libel weren't enough, Maher edits my quotes — for fear, I imagine, that most good and reasonable folks will agree with me. But no matter desperately this effable Eva Braun tries to obfuscate and sanitize mass murder, she merely comes off as the craven quisling she obviously works so hard to be.

Robert Spencer sent me some comments on this ridiculous article — they're interspersed below:

Campaign Aims To Reclaim True Meaning Of 'Jihad' by Heather Maher, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, March 29, 2013

An advertisement for the MyJihad campaign in Washington, D.C.

An advertisement for the MyJihad campaign in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON — Ever
since Osama bin Laden used the word “jihad” to describe the September
11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the ancient Arabic word has been
saddled with its darkest possible meaning.
Osama bin Laden didn't invent violent jihad. Violent jihad is as old as the Qur'an (2:190-193; 4:89; 9:5; 9:29; 47:4, etc.) and Muhammad. Even according to the hadith (which doesn't appear in any of the canonical collections and is widely rejected by Muslim scholars as inauthentic anyway) in which Muhammad designates the spiritual jihad as the "greater" jihad, the "lesser" jihad involving warfare against unbelievers is not rejected. He not only preached it; he practiced it. If anyone "saddled" the word jihad with its "darkest possible meaning," it was Muhammad or those who developed his myth, and all the violent jihadists who followed his example and obeyed his words throughout Islamic history. In writing as if this was all Osama's doing, RFE/RL minimizes the problem of jihad violence, obscures its roots in Islamic teaching, and fosters Hamas-linked CAIR's deception campaign.
In the decade since, “jihad” has come into widespread use by non-Muslims
and Muslims alike as shorthand for Islamic war against the West.

Ahmed Rehab says his jihad is to take that word back.

With his own money and donations from supporters, the director of the
Chicago office of the Council on Arab Islamic Relations has launched an
ad campaign that promotes a lesser-known meaning — one he says is to
“struggle to get to a better place, to improve one’s life and the lives
of others, to do what’s right and not what’s easy.” 

Rehab doesn't say it, but that's not a "lesser-known meaning" — that's the basic definition of jihad in Islam. That's the basis for jihad warfare, as well as for the interior spiritual struggle that he is elaborating on in his campaign. Islamic jihadists don't wage war against unbelievers for the joy of making war or just to sow mayhem for the fun of it; they wage war against unbelievers to make the world a "better place" and to improve their lives and the lives of others by imposing Islamic law over the conquered land: since they believe Islamic law to be the law of the supreme god, they think that imposing it is best for everyone and right for societies.
The ads, which are displayed on buses and trains in Chicago, San
Francisco, and Washington, D.C., feature images of smiling
Muslim-Americans.

“My jihad is to stay fit despite my busy schedule,” says a hijab-wearing
woman holding a dumbbell. “My jihad is to march on despite losing my
son,” says a mother holding a framed photograph of a child. “My jihad is
to never settle short of my best effort,” says a bearded businessman.

The ads reflect Rehab’s understanding of the word, which he learned from
his grandmother — a woman who was paralyzed and bedridden for much of
his childhood.

“When I asked her, ‘How do you deal with this?’ She simply said, ‘My
son, it’s my jihad,’” he remembers. “And this was so powerful as I grew
up because it was an acknowledgment from her that it’s a test, a
barrier, a challenge.”

RFE/RL doesn't mention (of course) that Rehab is an operative of a Hamas-linked Muslim Brotherhood group that has had several of its officials convicted of jihad terror activity. CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR's cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements. Its California chapter distributed posters telling Muslims not to talk to the FBI.

CAIR has opposed every anti-terror measure that has ever been proposed or implemented. And Ahmed Rehab would have us believe that his understanding of the word jihad is all about getting exercise, working hard, and dealing with illness and grief? Pull my other leg, Ahmed. If that were so, there would be no way he could work for a Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood group. The cynicism of this campaign is breathtaking, and this Hamas-linked Rehab must be laughing up his sleeve at the gullibility and naivete of reporters like Heather Maher of RFE/RL.

'Taking Back Islam'

Rehab says his campaign is aimed both at Muslims who have all but
surrendered the word to extremists and non-Muslims who are unaware that
“religious war” is only one narrow definition. The campaign’s slogan is,
“Taking back Islam from Muslim and anti-Muslim extremists alike.”

This is worse than Rehab's lies about jihad. The daily headlines from around the world refute him on that, and more people are waking up to that fact every day. But here — and he has done it many times before, as have other deceptive Islamic supremacist spokesmen such as Faisal Abdul Rauf and Daisy Khan — he engage in an unconsionable moral equivalence, lumping jihad murderers together with those who are trying to resist them as "extremists." So Rehab is equating people who slaughter innocents in the name of their religion with people who are trying to defend those innocents. What is the purpose of doing that? It's this: everyone agrees that the jihadis who slaughter innocents are evil. If Rehab and his cronies can convince people that those who resist those jihadis are just as evil as the jihadis themselves, he will stigmatize opposition to jihad terror, make people afraid to resist it, and thereby clear away obstacles to the jihad's advance. This shows more clearly than anything else what side Rehab is really on, and what he is really trying to do.
He laments the fact that moderate Muslims “have been sitting out the
debate” and allowed it to be hijacked by two extremes who have defined
how the West should see Islam and how Muslims should see the West.

“To us, it’s time we fought against the dumbing down of the
conversation,” he says. “There is no inherent schism, there is no
inherent conflict, and here am I, as living witness to this — an
American Muslim who very much loves America and very much practices my
faith and actually sees jihad as something I would do to make America a
better place.”

Oh, indeed, I am sure you do see it that way, Ahmed. But note how carefully he is speaking: he says he loves America; he doesn't say he loves Constitutional freedoms. And indeed, he has already shown that he hates the freedom of speech. And he wants to wage jihad to make America a better place? Remember: the goal of jihad is to impose Sharia. A Shafi'i manual of Islamic law that was certified in 1991 by the
clerics at Al-Azhar University, one of the leading authorities in the
Islamic world, as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy, stipulates about
jihad that the Muslim community "makes war upon Jews, Christians, and
Zoroastrians…until they become Muslim or pay the non-Muslim poll tax” ('Umdat al-Salik, o9.8). This "non-Muslim poll tax" is the jizya, the tax specified in Qur'an 9:29, which mandates that Muslims must fight against the People of the Book (primarily Jews and Christians) until they "pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued." Imposing that would be making America a better place, as far as Rehab is concerned.
Ahmed al-Rahim, an assistant professor of Islamic Studies at the
University of Virginia, says the Muslim extremists the ad campaign
refers to are jihadi Salafis — Sunni Muslims who believe violence is
justified to achieve their political objectives.

This subgroup “takes a particular puritanical interpretation of Islam —
and they emphasize the jihad that is here, the holy war aspect," he
says. "They are emphasizing the violent, war-like nature of the term, as
it’s used [today], and for them, that is also an attempt to reclaim
what they think is the original meaning.”

What is the original meaning? Muhammad said: "Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war…When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them….If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them." (Sahih Muslim 4294)
But what could Muhammad possibly know about the original meaning of jihad?

Counter Campaign

In that sense, he adds, “there is a kind of jihad for reclaiming or redefining the term ‘jihad’ among Muslims.”

The other group of extremists is represented by people like Pamela Geller, who eagerly embraces the word's most violent meaning.

This is the basest libel. Pamela Geller doesn't "eagerly embrace" jihad's "most violent meaning." She dares to notice it, when Rehab and others are trying to obfuscate it. She is trying to call attention to it so as to increase resistance to it.

Geller, who leads an anti-Islamic group called the American Freedom
Defense Initiative, even promoted it in controversial ads she ran in New
York City last year and this year in Chicago, in response to the “My Jihad” campaign.

Geller "even promoted it." This is like saying that Winston Churchill "eagerly embraced" and "promoted" Nazism.

Pamela Geller, an anti-Islamist activistPamela Geller, an anti-Islamist activist
​​Rehab and his supporters, she says, “are sanitizing and whitewashing
‘jihad’ and, in effect, disarming the American people in what is clearly
the greatest national security threat that this nation faces.”

Geller insists that her group “doesn’t editorialize” to make its point
because it doesn’t have to. “Our ad campaign that uses the texts and the
teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism uses actual
quotes by Islamic supremacists and jihadists,” she says, “including the
prime minister of Turkey, [former Al-Qaeda-leader] Osama bin Laden, and
the Times Square bomber” Faisal Shahzad.

I asked Pamela Geller what she said to Heather Maher, and she told me that she said that the ads show how jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism. This is something that both she and I have pointed out many times. But Heather Maher twists her words so that it sounds as if she is saying that our ads justify violence and supremacism — a typically dishonest mainstream media move.
But Jamal Elias, a professor of Islamic thought at the University of
Pennsylvania, says — strictly grammatically speaking — the ads err
because they reduce the meaning of "jihad" to one definition, when it
actually has many.
It doesn't seem to occur to Heather Maher or Jamal Elias that exactly the same thing could be said about Rehab's jihad ads, since they say nothing about jihad violence which, as history shows, has been the primary understanding of jihad among Muslims since the beginning of Islam.
“It’s defined in several different ways. It’s a term that actually means
‘struggle’ or ‘striving,’ and the longer term is actually ‘striving in
the path of God,’” he explains. “So in a most literal sense, it is not
— as people sometimes wrongly assume — an explicit reference to some
form of violence, whether justified or unjustified. It’s a very loose
definition which can fit a lot of things within it.”
Elias probably knows that jihad fi sabeel Allah — striving in the path of Allah — actually refers in Islamic theology and law specifically to hot, armed warfare against unbelievers. And some wrongly assume that it has to do with violence? Maybe it's because of Qur'anic passages like this: "Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power,
including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the
enemies, of God and your enemies…" (Qur'an 8:60). Why are "steeds of war" necessary for an interior spiritual struggle?
In a political context, he admits, the word is widely understood to mean
some form of armed activity. But he adds that “generally when Muslims
have used the term — and this is historically true — they’ve
frequently used it as a struggle for self-improvement at a personal
level.”
Frequently but not solely. Warfare against unbelievers, called jihad, is a constant of Islamic history. The fact that some Muslims understand the term differently doesn't mitigate that jihad warfare.
Al-Rahim says plenty of medieval Islamic legal texts refer to jihad as a
religiously sanctioned, or holy, war, but he also points out that the
Koran tells how the Prophet Muhammad once told his fighters after a
battle that they had “achieved the minor jihad.”

When his followers asked why their battle against infidels and pagans
was only minor, al-Rahim says Muhammad replied, "The greater jihad is
that against the lower self, or the purging of the self or the soul of
evil intention, a kind of spiritual struggle."

Rehab’s campaign  — which he plans to take abroad — may have begun
with a disagreement over a word, but it’s landed him squarely in the
larger debate over who speaks for Islam.

It’s a role he sounds happy to take on. “It is a huge loss to humanity
if we live on believing that these extremists are the only voices,” he
says. “In fact they’re not. In fact, they’re a minority.”

RFE/RL ends with Rehab repeating his outrageous moral equivalence of mass murderers with those who oppose them. It shows how far RFE/RL, and mainstream journalism, has descended.

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