How should Muslims respond to the hateful movie “Innocence of Muslims”? – by Mahdi Baloch

How should Muslims respond to the hateful movie “Innocence of Muslims”? – by Mahdi Baloch

Islamophobes in the West made the hateful movie, their partners (Takfiri Salafist-Deobandi militants) in Muslim countries cashed in on the opportunity.

Related post: Quilliam and other analysts are downplaying Saudi-funded Salafists’ role in US Ambassador’s murder in Libya

The Quran states explicitly that no soul shall be responsible for the sins or the crimes of another. And while this film (Innocence of Muslims) is indeed offensive, and those who have produced and circulated this have done this deliberately to offend Muslims and most probably to strengthen Takfiri Salafists in Muslim communities, innocent people must not be hurt and violent acts must not be done in the name of religion of peace (Islam).

Every Muslim must explicitly condemn the brutal murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American personnel by Takfiri Salafists in Benghazi. Those groups (e.g., Quilliam Foundation, other naive or Saudi-lobby funded Western analysts) who are describing such attacks as isolated incidents are doing a disservice not only to the USA and Muslims but also to the world at large. The Benghazi tragedy has exposed the fault-lines of the US reliance on Saudi Arabia and Saudi-sponsored Salafists to instal Islamist governments in Egypt, Libya and other countries in the disguise of democratization.

I agree in principle with the US president Obama’s remarks: “While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose this kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.”

We live in an interconnected and diverse world. If people pass judgment on other cultures and religions we end up paving the way for conflict and disputes. It’s, therefore, not difficult to understand why the director of the hateful movie came up with the movie in the first place. He was intentionally insensitive to the feelings of hundreds of millions of Muslims. Perhaps he, and the secretive sponsors and financiers of the hateful movie, were working in tandem with the Takfiri Salafists in Egypy, Libya, Tunisia and other countries. Is it coincidence that the only Arab TV station to show Anti-Islam film was the one owned by Saudi Wahhabis and run by Egyptian Salafis? Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, the notorious pro-Salafist channels threw further fuel on fire by giving repeated coverage to the provocative film. Not only is the movie weak from a technical perspective and full of historical mistakes, but also it propagates hatred and only strengthens the Takfiri Salafists, Deobandis and other radicals in Muslim countries and communities. The movie insults Islam and aids Al Qaeda, Taliban and Sipah-e-Sahaba. It intent and effect are toxic. (Source)

Suggested reaction to the hateful movie:

(1) Simply ignore it

(2) take legal action

(3) make good quality movies on the Prophet (pbuh)

(4) More importantly, our best reaction towards the demeaning movie of Prophet Mohammed should be by following his life and spread his word to everyone.

In pursuit of the third option above, we may spread what a Jewish lady is saying about Prophet Muhammad.

In the following clip, world renowned speaker Lesley Hazleton covers a range of topics focusing around Islam and Muslims in this age, including history and beliefs, media perceptions, to radicalization, and even insight into human nature.

Lesley Hazleton: “Prophet Muhammad: Where did humanity go wrong?”

The talk is about the extremism on both sides of Islamo fascist fundamentalists (e.g., Takfiri Salafists and Takfiri Deobandis) and the Islamophobes (e.g., Salman Rushdie, Tarek Fatah, Asra Nomani, Terry Jones etc); she argues for the idea of dialogue and understanding in Quran and the Prophet’s (PBUH) life.

A few points from the talk:

1. More we read and understand about the Prophet, we understand more about human being than his own life.

2. We need to understand how it was to be Muhammad in 7th century? What shaped the radical impact of his message and let’s ask what role Prophet played at the stage of history?

3. What we know for sure is Muhammad himself would be nothing but utterly repelled and dismayed and outraged by what has been and still being said by the terrorists and extremists in his name and in the name of God.

4. Teachings of Quran and Prophet Muhammad call for compassion, mercy and forgiveness.

5. Religion is not about living at the extremes, not being God but as taught by the prophet himself “to be fully human”

When she says fundamentalist, she clearly meant it in the way it is usually taken today, and not the literal etymological meaning. She meant Takfiri Salafists and Takfiri Deobandis of Al Qaida and other extremist groups (Taliban, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Muslim Brotherhood etc), which is evident since she used the word fundamentalists and al qaida interchangably. On the other hand she is advocating the basic and fundamental teachings of the Prophet.

Reverting to the hateful movie, it’s now clear that Takfiri Salafists in Arab countries (aided by Salafi Wahhabi channels in Egypt and other Arab Middle East countries) translated and propagated the hateful movie for political mileage.

Islamophobbes such as Salman Rushdie, Tarek Fatah, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and Islmaofascists such as Takfiri Salafists work in tandem. Both groups need each other, both thrive on fear, both are equally vile.

Just as the acts of Shia genocide in Pakistan by a handful of Takfiri Deobandis and Takfiri Salafists cannot be attributed to entire Sunni population, it is wrong to blame all Americans or all Christians or Jews for the hateful movie.

Muslim clerics (both Sunni and Shia) and activists should keep their anti-film protests peaceful and non-violent.
Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims should not participate in violent anti-movie protests by Takfiri Salafi-Deobandi militants. They must not fall into the Salafist trap by participating in stereotyping, violence and xenophobia.

Last but not least, read the following wise words by Russ Wellen who rightly explains that Takfiri Salafist-Deobandi extremists and Paster Terry Jones, Tarek Fatah, Salman Rushdie type characters are two sides of the same coin. Both groups feed on hatred and fear of each other. Mainstream Americans, Arabs, Pakistanis, Muslims, Christians, Sunni, Shia etc must ignore and reject both groups.

Russ Wellen writes:

The cold, dead hand of Salafi extremism was once again on display in Benghazi.

According to Robert Worth of the New York Times, “the attack on the American Embassy in Cairo — unlike the one that killed [Ambassador to Libya Christopher] Stevens — appears to have been spontaneous, led by Egyptians genuinely angered by news of the film clip, distributed on YouTube, which portrays the Prophet Muhammad as a confused, bloodthirsty pedophile of uncertain parentage.”

As for the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, it

… might have less to do with any intrinsic Muslim intolerance than with the ideological chaos that reigns in the Arab world, where extremists routinely exploit popular anger and invoke Islam to draw attention to fundamentally political and even internecine goals. … Bernard Haykel, a professor of Middle East studies at Princeton University, said, “It’s true that there are sanctions against insulting the Prophet, but this is really about political or symbolic opportunists, who use religious symbols to advance their own power or prestige against other groups.”

In other words, Salafi extremists exploit Middle-Eastern anger against the United States just like Pastor Terry Jones, thanks to whom the offending film went viral, exploits American anger against Islam.

Meanwhile, from the Department of Silver Linings

… there were outpourings of rage across Libya on Wednesday against the killers and against the Salafis more generally. In addition to demonstrations in Tripoli and Benghazi, Twitter was inundated with pro-American messages by young Libyans; several of them pleaded for the United States Marines to come and crush the Salafis.

Likewise, it behooves Americans to remember that Salafism, especially at its most extreme, such as al Qaeda, does not define Islam.

Comment by Alvin Góngora: Just as the mainstream media in the West muffle the voices of moderate Muslims that condemn violence I wonder if their colleagues in the Muslim world do the same regarding our strong reactions against the many Terry Jones that are so fond of attacking non Christians. At the end, the narrative that remains is one of violence: Muslims that are easily offended and Christians that shoot at will and invade and destroy faraway non Christian countries.

About the author: Mahdi Baloch is a freelance writer based in France. Twitter: @MahdiBaloch

13 responses to “How should Muslims respond to the hateful movie “Innocence of Muslims”? – by Mahdi Baloch”

  1. Very intelligent article, Mahdi. Thank you for writing an even and understanding essay. This movie was hardly seen by anyone, until the Takfiri Deobandis and Takfiri Salafists grabbed it and made sure it was as wide spread as possible.

    American Embassies should not be a target of murders, flag burning and hate riots over a single American idiot. He is an amateur film maker, a Coptic Egytpian (who has multiple arrests in drugs), who happens to be living in California, whose relatives are in Egypt, makes a cheap movie to cause trouble.

    Ask yourself how one single person, representing no one but himself, can cause this much violence in Egypt, Tunisia, Tunis, Yemen, Iran, Iraz, Libya, with embassy officials murdered!!! ??? Ask yourself, how can this be? What are Americans supposed to make of this?

    The actors were not even aware that it was about Mohammad (PBUH). The Prophet’s name was inserted into the mouthing of the actors during his editing of the movie. The American actors who were lied to, and participated, later were horrified, embarrassed and cried about it.

    I work hard in my country and in my own articles to portray Muslims as peace loving. The killings of Embassy officials, one an Ambassador, another a beloved ex-Special Forces youth, and this sort of world-wide outrage based on something ONE individual did, ruins much of the progress we make in illustrating to the U.S. the true loving religion of Islam.

    As for Obama saying that Egypt isn’t an ally or an enemy-he misspoke! It a was a careless mistake. Of course, Egypt is an ally. A president doesn’t even have the ability to change that with an absurd comment such as his slip up. It only shows his continued ignorance and/or lack of polish in foreign affairs. Clinton’s speech was more to the point.

    Nevertheless, there was no need for this level of violence throughout the world over a stupid movie thrown up on Youtube, no one should even care about- and it certainly doesn’t reflect American views. One hopes Americans won’t be convinced it reflects an Islamic trigger-happy violent nature.

    Surely we have come further in understanding each other than this. Again, thank you, Mahdi, for the article.

  2. Tarek Fatah (Canadian Rushdie) is quoting Quran out of context to spread further hatred.

    julie c ‏@1967canadian
    @TarekFatah is it written in the Koran not to take non Muslims as friends?

    Tarek Fatah ‏@TarekFatah
    @1967canadian Yes, the Quran asks Muslims not to take Jews and Christians as friends “for they are friends of each other.”

    Tarek Fatah ‏@TarekFatah
    “When Clinton tried to calm Muslims by denouncing the video, she was unwittingly playing along with the radicals.” – Fmr Pak Ambassador.

    21h Tarek Fatah ‏@TarekFatah
    WSJ op-ed by @HusainHaqqani on US Embassy attacks: “Manipulated Outrage and Misplaced Fury” –

    Tarek Fatah ‏@TarekFatah
    The fact is not a single page of the Quran from the entire 7th century exists today. Do you agree?

  3. U.S. media and Maajid Nawaz types are hiding the fact that elements in Libyan security forces aided Al Qaeda in attacking the U.S. Consulate.

    Same is the case in Cairo and other countries where U.S. helped in installing pro-Salafist regimes.

    Libyan Security Showed Radicals Where to Attack Ambassador (Warning: Graphic Photo)

  4. I sincerely wish that all people of Muslim faith would realize that the protests which you are calling for are the direct result of one evil man who would love to see his horrible, stupid film cause the world to kill one another. Muslims are being manipulated by this film to seek retribution for this insult but, it will also give this horrible man exactly what he wants more hatred towards Muslims and more death and destruction in the world. Do you all want this man to have that much power over you? You are all doing exactly what he wanted when he made this horrible film, please, see this!!
    I understand what an outrage the film is but having us all kill each other will not make the world a better place. From the Quran: “25:63:

    The worshippers of the All-Merciful are they who tread gently upon the earth, and when the ignorant address them, they reply, “Peace!” Please do not allow this one hateful man to lead you to your destruction, see what he has done for the evil plan it truly is!

  5. I condemn for the death of american ambassadors at libya..i am unhappy with the things happening around the globe..


    some people might be wrong but their wrongs shouldn’t be pointed towards the complete religion..

  6. I condemn for the death of american ambassadors at libya..i am unhappy with the things happening around the globe..


    some people might be wrong but their wrongs shouldn’t be pointed towards the complete religion..

  7. Mr. Husain Haqqani’s column in Wall Street Journal almost completely wipes out the fact that the US remains a key ally of Saudi-funded Salafists (Islamists)

    The article does not explain that USA remain a key guarantor of murderous Salafist regimes in KSA, Bahrain and other Gulf countries.

    Partial truth is no better than full lie. One must not hide that USA’s own Saudi-Salafist allies killed its ambassador in Libya.

    Blaming Islamists (Takfiri Salafists to be specific) while ignoring their Saudi-US sponsors serves neither West nor Muslims.


    Husain Haqqani: Manipulated Outrage and Misplaced Fury
    Islamists stoke resentment of the West—and anger over the long decline of Muslim influence—to serve their own violent ends.

    The attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions this week—beginning in Egypt and Libya, and moving to Yemen and other Muslim countries—came under cover of riots against an obscure online video insulting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. But the mob violence and assaults should be seen for what they really are: an effort by Islamists to garner support and mobilize their base by exacerbating anti-Western sentiments.

    Related Video

    Editorial board member Matt Kaminski on who’s behind the protests in Egypt and Yemen. Photo: Getty Images

    When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to calm Muslims Thursday by denouncing the video, she was unwittingly playing along with the ruse the radicals set up. The United States would have been better off focusing on the only outrage that was of legitimate interest to the American government: the lack of respect—shown by a complaisant Egyptian government and other Islamists—for U.S. diplomatic missions.

    Protests orchestrated on the pretext of slights and offenses against Islam have been part of Islamist strategy for decades. Iran’s ayatollahs built an entire revolution around anti-Americanism. While the Iranian revolution was underway in 1979, Pakistan’s Islamists whipped up crowds by spreading rumors that the Americans had forcibly occupied Islam’s most sacred site, the Ka’aba or the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Pakistani protesters burned the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.

    Violent demonstrations in many parts of the Muslim world after the 1989 fatwa—or religious condemnation—of a novel by Salman Rushdie, or after the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005, also did not represent spontaneous outrage. In each case, the insult to Islam or its prophet was first publicized by Islamists themselves so they could use it as justification for planned violence.

    Once mourning over the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and others subsides, we will hear familiar arguments in the West. Some will rightly say that Islamist sensibilities cannot and should not lead to self-censorship here. Others will point out that freedom of expression should not be equated with a freedom to offend. They will say: Just as a non-Jew, out of respect for other religious beliefs, does not exercise his freedom to desecrate a Torah scroll, similar respect should be extended to Muslims and what they deem sacred.

    Enlarge Image

    Associated Press
    A street protester near the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Sept. 13.

    But this debate, as thoughtful as it may be, is a distraction from what is really going on. It ignores the political intent of Islamists for whom every perceived affront to Islam is an opportunity to exploit a wedge issue for their own empowerment.

    As for affronts, the Western mainstream is, by and large, quite respectful toward Muslims, millions of whom have adopted Europe and North America as their home and enjoy all the freedoms the West has to offer, including the freedom to worship. Insignificant or unnoticed videos and publications would have no impact on anyone, anywhere, if the Islamists did not choose to publicize them for radical effect.

    And insults, real or hyped, are not the problem. At the heart of Muslim street violence is the frustration of the world’s Muslims over their steady decline for three centuries, a decline that has coincided with the rise and spread of the West’s military, economic and intellectual prowess.

    During the 800 years of Muslim ascendancy beginning in the eighth century—in Southern Europe, North Africa and much of Western Asia—Muslims did not riot to protest non-Muslim insults against Islam or its prophet. There is no historic record of random attacks against non-Muslim targets in retaliation for a non-Muslim insulting Prophet Muhammad, though there are many books derogatory toward Islam’s prophet that were written in the era of Islam’s great empires. Muslims under Turkey’s Ottomans, for example, did not attack non-Muslim envoys (the medieval equivalent of today’s embassies) or churches upon hearing of real or rumored European sacrilege against their religion.

    Clearly, then, violent responses to perceived injury are not integral to Islam. A religion is what its followers make it, and Muslims opting for violence have chosen to paint their faith as one that is prone to anger. Frustration with their inability to succeed in the competition between nations also has led some Muslims to seek symbolic victories.

    Yet the momentary triumph of burning another country’s flag or setting on fire a Western business or embassy building is a poor but widespread substitute for global success that eludes the modern world’s 1.5 billion Muslims. Violent protest represents the lower rung of the ladder of rage; terrorism is its higher form.

    Islamists almost by definition have a vested interest in continuously fanning the flames of Muslim victimhood. For Islamists, wrath against the West is the basis for their claim to the support of Muslim masses, taking attention away from societal political and economic failures. For example, the 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Conference account for one-fifth of the world’s population but their combined gross domestic product is less than 7% of global output—a harsh reality for which Islamists offer no solution.

    Even after recent developments that were labeled the Arab Spring, few Muslim-majority countries either fulfill—or look likely to—the criteria for freedom set by the independent group Freedom House. Mainstream discourse among Muslims blames everyone but themselves for this situation. The image of an ascendant West belittling Islam with the view to eliminate it serves as a convenient explanation for Muslim weakness.

    Once the Muslim world embraces freedom of expression, it will be able to recognize the value of that freedom even for those who offend Muslim sensibilities. More important: Only in a free democratic environment will the world’s Muslims be able to debate the causes of their powerlessness, which stirs in them greater anger than any specific action on the part of Islam’s Western detractors.

    Until then, the U.S. would do well to remember Osama bin Laden’s comment not long after the Sept. 11 attacks: “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.” America should do nothing that enables Islamists to portray the nation as the weak horse.

    Mr. Haqqani is professor of international relations at Boston University and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. He served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S. in 2008-11.

    A version of this article appeared September 14, 2012, on page A13 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Manipulated Outrage and Misplaced Fury.

  8. Salafism+CIA: The winning formula to destabilize Russia, the Middle East

    by F. William Engdahl
    The assassination of the most respected Sufi religious leader in Dagestan, Russia’s volatile Caucasus, comes as Salafist jihadists in Libya murder a US Ambassador who was actually a key player in ousting Gaddafi and bringing the Salafist Muslim Brotherhood and Jihadists into power. Throughout the entire Islamic world today, a wave of hate is being unleashed in the name of Islamic fundamentalism that could bring a new world war. This is the consequence of the Greater Middle East Project put in play in 2010 and earlier by the Washington-London-Tel Aviv axis. Manipulating religious fervor is an explosive cocktail as F. William Engdahl shows here.


    The terrorist act that killed 74-year old Sheikh Said Afandi in Dagestan occurred after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement on unity and stopping violence.
    Part I: Syria comes to the Russian Caucasus

    On August 28 Sheikh Said Afandi, acknowledged spiritual leader of the Autonomous Russian Republic of Dagestan, was assassinated. A jihadist female suicide bomber managed to enter his house and detonate an explosive device.

    The murder target had been carefully selected. Sheikh Afandi, a seventy-five-year old Sufi Muslim leader, had played the critical role in attempting to bring about reconciliation in Dagestan between jihadist Salafi Sunni Muslims and other factions, many of whom in Dagestan see themselves as followers of Sufi. With no replacement of his moral stature and respect visible, authorities fear possible outbreak of religious war in the tiny Russian autonomous republic. [1]

    The police reported that the assassin was an ethnic Russian woman who had converted to Islam and was linked to an Islamic fundamentalist or Salafist insurgency against Russia and regional governments loyal to Moscow in the autonomous republics and across the volatile Muslim-populated North Caucasus region.

    Ethnic Muslim populations in this region of Russia and of the former Soviet Union, including Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and into China’s Xinjiang Province, have been the target of various US and NATO intelligence operations since the Cold War era ended in 1990. Washington sees manipulation of Muslim groups as the vehicle to bring uncontrollable chaos to Russia and Central Asia. It’s being carried out by some of the same organizations engaged in creating chaos and destruction inside Syria against the government of Bashar Al-Assad. In a real sense, as Russian security services clearly understand, if they don’t succeed in stopping the Jihadists insurgency in Syria, it will come home to them via the Caucasus.

    Syrian Jihadists Affiliated with Al Qaeda & Muslim Brotherhood
    The latest Salafist murders of Sufi and other moderate Muslim leaders in the Caucasus are apparently part of what is becoming ever clearer as perhaps the most dangerous US intelligence operation ever—playing globally with Muslim fundamentalism.

    Previously US and allied intelligence services had played fast and loose with religious organizations or beliefs in one or another country. What makes the present situation particularly dangerous—notably since the decision in Washington to unleash the misnamed Arab Spring upheavals that began in Tunisia late 2010, spreading like a brushfire across the entire Islamic world from Afghanistan across Central Asia to Morocco—is the incalculable wave upon wave of killing, hatreds, destruction of entire cultures that Washington has unleashed in the name of that elusive dream named “democracy.” They do this using alleged Al-Qaeda groups, Saudi Salafists or Wahhabites, or using disciples of Turkey’s Fethullah Gülen Movement to ignite fires of religious hatred within Islam and against other faiths that could take decades to extinguish. It could easily spill over into a new World War.

    Fundamentalism comes to Caucasus

    Following the dissolution of the USSR, radical Afghanistani Mujahadeen, Islamists from Saudi Arabia, from Turkey, Pakistan and other Islamic countries flooded into the Muslim regions of the former USSR. One of the best-organized of these was the Gülen Movement of Fethullah Gülen, leader of a global network of Islamic schools and reported to be the major policy influence on Turkey’s Erdogan AKP party.

    Gülen was quick to establish The International Dahgestani-Turkish College in Dagestan. During the chaotic days after the Soviet collapse, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation officially registered and permitted unfettered activity for a variety of Islamic foundations and organizations. These included the League of the Islamic World, the World Muslim Youth Assembly, the reportedly Al-Qaeda friendly Saudi foundation ‘Ibrahim ben Abd al-Aziz al-Ibrahim.’ The blacklist also included Al-Haramein a Saudi foundation reported tied to Al-Qaeda, and IHH, [2] a Turkish organization banned in Germany, that allegedly raised funds for jihadi fighters in Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan, and was charged by French intelligence of ties to Al Qaeda. [3] Many of these charities were covers for fundamentalist Salafists with their own special agenda.

    As many of the foreign Islamists in Chechnya and Dagestan were found involved in fomenting the regional unrest and civil war, Russian authorities withdrew permission of most to run schools and institutions. Throughout the North Caucasus at the time of the Chechyn war in the late 1990’s, there were more than two dozen Islamic institutes, some 200 madrassas and numerous maktabas (Koranic study schools) present at almost all mosques.

    The International Dagestani-Turkish College was one that was forced to close its doors in Dagestan. The College was run by the Fethullah Gülen organization. [4]

    At the point of the Russian crackdown on the spread of Salafist teaching inside Russia at the end of the 1990’s, there was an exodus of hundreds of young Dagestani and Chechyn Muslim students to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other places in the Middle East, reportedly to receive training with the Gülen movement and various Saudi-financed organizations, including Salafists. [5] It is believed in Russia that the students trained by Gülen supporters or Saudi and other Salafist fundamentalist centers then were sent back to Dagestan and the North Caucasus to spread their radical strain of Islam.

    By 2005 the situation in the Caucasus was so influenced by this Salafist intervention that the Chechen Salafist, Doku Umarov, cited by the UN Security Council for links to Al-Qaeda, [6] unilaterally declared creation of what he called the Caucasus Emirate, announcing he planned to establish an Islamic state under Sharia law encompassing the entire North Caucasus region including Dagestan. He modestly proclaimed himself Emir of the Caucasus Emirate. [7]

    Part II: Salafism at war with Sufi tradition

    Salafism, known in Saudi Arabia as Wahhabism, is a fundamentalist strain of Islam which drew world attention and became notorious in March 2001 just weeks before the attacks of September 11. That was when the Salafist Taliban government in Afghanistan willfully dynamited and destroyed the historic gigantic Buddhas of Bamiyan on the ancient Silk Road, religious statues dating from the 6th Century. The Taliban Salafist leaders also banned as “un-islamic” all forms of imagery, music and sports, including television, in accordance with what they considered a strict interpretation of Sharia.

    Afghani sources reported that the order to destroy the Buddhas was made by Saudi-born jihadist Wahhabite, Osama bin Laden, who ultimately convinced Mullah Omar, Taliban supreme leader at the time to execute the act. [8]

    The taller of the two Buddhas in 1963 and in 2008 after destruction by the Salafist Taliban
    While Sufis incorporate the worship of saints and theatrical ceremonial prayers into their practice, Salafis condemn as idolatry any non-traditional forms of worship. They also call for the establishment of Islamic political rule and strict Sharia law. Sufism is home to the great spiritual and musical heritage of Islam, said by Islamic scholars to be the inner, mystical, or psycho-spiritual dimension of Islam, going back centuries.

    As one Sufi scholar described the core of Sufism, “While all Muslims believe that they are on the pathway to God and will become close to God in Paradise—after death and the ‘Final Judgment’— Sufis believe as well that it is possible to become close to God and to experience this closeness—while one is alive. Furthermore, the attainment of the knowledge that comes with such intimacy with God, Sufis assert, is the very purpose of the creation. Here they mention the hadith qudsi in which God states, ‘I was a hidden treasure and I loved that I be known, so I created the creation in order to be known.’ Hence for the Sufis there is already a momentum, a continuous attraction on their hearts exerted by God, pulling them, in love, towards God.” [9]

    The mystical Islamic current of Sufism and its striving to become close to or one with God is in stark contrast to the Jihadist Salafi or Wahhabi current that is armed with deadly weapons, preaches a false doctrine of jihad, and a perverse sense of martyrdom, committing countless acts of violence. Little wonder that the victims of Salafist Jihads are mostly other pacific forms of Islam including most especially Sufis.

    The respected seventy-five year old Afandi had publicly denounced Salafist Islamic fundamentalism. His murder followed a July 19 coordinated attack on two high-ranking muftis in the Russian Volga Republic of Tatarstan. Both victims were state-approved religious leaders who had attacked radical Islam. This latest round of murders opens a new front in the Salafist war against Russia, namely attacks on moderate Sufi Muslim leaders.

    Whether or not Dagestan now descends into internal religious civil war that then spreads across the geopolitically sensitive Russian Caucasus is not yet certain. What is almost certain is that the same circles who have been feeding violence and terror inside Syria against the regime of Alawite President Bashar al-Assad are behind the killing of Sheikh Afandi as well as sparking related acts of terror or unrest across Russia’s Muslim-populated Caucasus. In a very real sense it represents Russia’s nightmare scenario of “Syria coming to Russia.” It demonstrates dramatically why Putin has made such a determined effort to stop a descent into a murderous hell in Syria.

    Salafism and the CIA

    The existence of the so-called jihadist Salafi brand of Islam in Dagestan is quite recent. It has also been deliberately imported. Salafism is sometimes also called the name of the older Saudi-centered Wahhabism. Wahhabism is a minority originally-Bedouin form of the faith originating within Islam, dominant in Saudi Arabia since the 1700’s.

    Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz of the Centre for Islamic Pluralism give the following description of Saudi conditions under the rigid Wahhabi brand of Islam:

    Saudi woman clad in the ayaba
    “Women living under Saudi rule must wear the abaya, or total body cloak, and niqab, the face veil; they have limited opportunities for schooling and careers; they are prohibited from driving vehicles; are banned from social contact with men not relatives, and all personal activity must be supervised including opening bank accounts, by a male family member or “guardian.” These Wahhabi rules are enforced by a mutawiyin, or morals militia, also known as “the religious police,” officially designated the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) who patrol Saudi cities, armed with leather-covered sticks which they freely used against those they considered wayward. They raid homes looking for alcohol and drugs, and harassed non-Wahhabi Muslims as well as believers in other faiths.” [10]

    It’s widely reported that the obscenely opulent and morally-perhaps-not-entirely-of- the-highest-standards Saudi Royal Family made a Faustian deal with Wahhabite leaders. The deal supposedly, was that the Wahhabists are free to export their fanatical brand of Islam around to the Islamic populations of the world in return for agreeing to leave the Saudi Royals alone. [11] There are, however, other dark and dirty spoons stirring the Wahhabite-Salafist Saudi stew.

    Little known is the fact that the present form of aggressive Saudi Wahhabism, in reality a kind of fusion between imported jihadi Salafists from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the fundamentalist Saudi Wahhabites. Leading Salafist members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood were introduced into the Saudi Kingdom in the 1950’s by the CIA in a complex series of events, when Nasser cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood following an assassination attempt. By the 1960’s an influx of Egyptian members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi Arabia fleeing Nasserite repression, had filled many of the leading teaching posts in Saudi religious schools. One student there was a young well-to-do Saudi, Osama bin Laden. [12]

    During the Third Reich, Hitler Germany had supported the Muslim Brotherhood as a weapon against the British in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. Marc Erikson describes the Nazi roots of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood thus:

    …as Italian and German fascism sought greater stakes in the Middle East in the 1930s and ’40s to counter British and French controlling power, close collaboration between fascist agents and Islamist leaders ensued. During the 1936-39 Arab Revolt, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence, sent agents and money to support the Palestine uprising against the British, as did Muslim Brotherhood founder and “supreme guide” Hassan al-Banna. A key individual in the fascist-Islamist nexus and go-between for the Nazis and al-Banna became the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini. [13]

    After the defeat of Germany, British Intelligence moved in to take over control of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ultimately, for financial and other reasons, the British decided to hand their assets within the Muslim Brotherhood over to their CIA colleagues in the 1950s. [14]

    According to former US Justice Department Nazi researcher John Loftus, “during the 1950s, the CIA evacuated the Nazis of the Muslim Brotherhood to Saudi Arabia. Now, when they arrived in Saudi Arabia, some of the leading lights of the Muslim Brotherhood, like Dr Abdullah Azzam, became the teachers in the madrassas, the religious schools. And there they combined the doctrines of Nazism with this weird Islamic cult, Wahhabism.” [15]

    “Everyone thinks that Islam is this fanatical religion, but it is not,” Loftus continues. “They think that Islam—the Saudi version of Islam—is typical, but it’s not. The Wahhabi cult has been condemned as a heresy more than 60 times by the Muslim nations. But when the Saudis got wealthy, they bought a lot of silence. This is a very harsh cult. Wahhabism was only practised by the Taliban and in Saudi Arabia—that’s how extreme it is. It really has nothing to do with Islam. Islam is a very peaceful and tolerant religion. It always had good relationships with the Jews for the first thousand years of its existence.” [16]

    Loftus identified the significance of what today is emerging from the shadows to take over Egypt under Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi, and the so-called Syrian National Council, dominated in reality by the Muslim Brotherhood and publicly led by the more “politically correct” or presentable likes of Bassma Kodmani. Kodmani, foreign affairs spokesman for the SNC was twice an invited guest at the Bilderberg elite gathering, latest in Chantilly, Virginia earlier this year. [17]

    The most bizarre and alarming feature of the US-financed regime changes set into motion in 2010, which have led to the destruction of the secular Arab regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muhammar Qaddafi in Libya, and the secular regime of President Ben Ali in Tunisia, and which have wreaked savage destruction across the Middle East, especially in the past eighteen months in Syria, is the pattern of emerging power grabs by representatives of the murky Salafist Muslim Brotherhood.

    By informed accounts, a Saudi-financed Sunni Islamic Muslim Brotherhood dominates the members of the exile Syrian National Council that is backed by the US State Department’s Secretary Clinton and by Hollande’s France. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is tied, not surprisingly to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood of President Mohammed Morsi who recently in a meeting of the Non-Aligned in Iran called openly for the removal of Syria’s Assad, a logical step if his Muslim Brothers in the present Syrian National Council are to take the reins of power. The Saudis are also rumored to have financed the ascent to power in Tunisia of the governing Islamist Ennahda Party, [18] and are documented to be financing the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council against President Bashar al-Assad. [19]

    Part III: Morsi’s Reign of Salafi Terror

    Indicative of the true agenda of this Muslim Brotherhood and related jihadists today is the fact that once they have power, they drop the veil of moderation and reconciliation and reveal their violently intolerant roots. This is visible in Egypt today under Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi.

    Unreported in mainstream Western media to date are alarming direct reports from Christian missionary organizations in Egypt that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has already begun to drop the veil of “moderation and conciliation” and show its brutal totalitarian Salafist colors, much as Khomeini’s radical Sharia forces did in Iran after taking control in 1979-81.

    In a letter distributed by the Christian Aid Mission (CAM), a Christian Egyptian missionary wrote that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood “announced they would destroy the country if Morsi didn’t win, but they also said they will take revenge from all those who voted for [his opponent Ahmed] Shafiq, especially the Christians as they are sure we did vote for Shafiq. Yesterday they began by killing two believers in el Sharqiya because of this,” the missionary added, speaking on condition of anonymity. [20]

    This report came only weeks after Egyptian State TV (under Morsi’s control) showed ghastly video footage of a convert from Islam to Christianity being murdered by Muslims. The footage showed a young man being held down by masked men with a knife to his throat. As one man was heard chanting Muslim prayers in Arabic, mostly condemning Christianity, another man holding the knife to the Christian convert’s throat began to cut, slowly severing the head amid cries of “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is great”), according to transcripts. In the letter, the Egyptian missionary leader added that, “soon after Morsi won, Christians in upper Egypt were forcibly prevented from going to churches.” Many Muslims, the letter claimed, “also began to speak to women in the streets that they had to wear Islamic clothing including the head covering. They act as if they got the country for their own, it’s theirs now.” [21]

    Already in 2011 Morsi’s Salafist followers began attacking and destroying Sufi mosques across Egypt. According to the authoritative newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm (Today’s Egyptian), 16 historic mosques in Alexandria belonging to Sufi orders have been marked for destruction by so-called ’Salafis’. Alexandria has 40 mosques associated with Sufis, and is the headquarters for 36 Sufi groups. Half a million Sufis live in the city, out of a municipal total of four million people. Aggression against the Sufis in Egypt has included a raid on Alexandria’s most distinguished mosque, named for, and housing, the tomb of the 13th century Sufi Al-Mursi Abu’l Abbas. [22]

    Notably, the so-called “democratically elected” regime in Libya following the toppling of Mohamar Qaddafi by NATO bombs in 2011, has also been zealous in destroying Sufi mosques and places of worhip. In August this year, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova expressed “grave concern” at the destruction by Islamic Jihadists of Sufi sites in Zliten, Misrata and Tripoli and urged perpetrators to “cease the destruction immediately.” [23] Under behind-the-scenes machinations the Libyan government is dominated by Jihadists and by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, as in Tunisia and Egypt. [24]

    The US being haunted now by the same Demons they have awoken! On the left, US Ambassador Chris Stevens is looking at the lifeless body of Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi ; on the right, he is seen after the attack against the US Consulate in Benghazi that took his life.
    The explosive cocktail of violence inherent in allowing the rise to power of Salafist Islamists across the Middle East was clear to see, symbolically enough on the night of September 11th when a mob of angry supporters of the fanatical Salafist group, Ansar Al-Sharia, murdered the US Ambassador to Libya and three US diplomats, burning the US Consulate in Bengazi to the ground in protest over a YouTube release of a film by an American filmmaker showing the Prophet Mohammed indulging in multiple sex affairs and casting doubt on his role as God’s messenger. Ironically that US Ambassador had played a key role in toppling Qaddafi and opening the door to the Salafist takeover in Libya. At the same time angry mobs of thousands of Salafists surrounded the US Embassy in Cairo in protest to the US film. [25]

    Ansar Al-Sharia (“Partisans of Islamic law” in Arabic) reportedly is a spinoff of Al-Qaeda and claims organizations across the Middle East from Yemen to Tunisia to Iraq, Egypt and Libya. Ansar al-Sharia says it is reproducing the model of Sharia or strict Islamic law espoused by the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic State of Iraq, a militant umbrella group that includes al-Qaeda in Iraq. The core of the group are jihadists who came out of an “Islamic state”, either in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, or among jihadists in Iraq after the US-led invasion in 2003. [26]

    The deliberate detonation now of a new round of Salafist fundamentalist Jihad terror inside Muslim regions of the Russian Caucasus is exquisitely timed politically to put maximum pressure at home on the government of Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

    Putin and the Russian Government are the strongest and most essential backers of the current Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, and for Russia as well the maintenance of Russia’s only Mediterranean naval base at Syria’s Tartus port is vital strategically. At the same time, Obama’s sly message to Medvedev to wait until Obama’s re-election to evaluate US intent towards Russia and Putin’s cryptic recent comment that a compromise with a re-elected President Obama might be possible, but not with a President Romney, [27] indicate that the Washington “stick-and-carrot” or hard cop-soft cop tactics with Moscow might tempt Russia to sacrifice major geopolitical alliances, perhaps even that special close and recent geopolitical alliance with China. [28] Were that to happen, the World might witness a “reset” in US-Russian relations with catastrophic consequences for world peace.

    F. William Engdahl

    [1] Dan Peleschuk, “Sheikh Murdered Over Religious Split Say Analysts,” RIA Novosti, August 30, 2012.

    [2] Mairbek Vatchagaev, “The Kremlin’s War on Islamic Education in the North Caucasus=3334],” North Caucasus Analysis Volume: 7 Issue: 34.

    [3] Iason Athanasiadis, “Targeted by Israeli raid: Who is the IHH?,” The Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 2010.

    [4] Ibid.

    [5] Mairbek Vatchagaev, op. cit.

    [6] UN Security Council, QI.U.290.11. DOKU KHAMATOVICH UMAROV, 10 March 2011. The UN statement reads: “Doku Khamatovich Umarov was listed on 10 March 2011 pursuant to paragraph 2 of resolution 1904 (2009) as being associated with Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden or the Taliban for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of”, “recruiting for”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to” and “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” the Islamic Jihad Group (QE.I.119.05), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (QE.I.10.01), Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (RSRSBCM) (QE.R.100.03) and Emarat Kavkaz (QE.E.131.11).”

    [7] Tom Jones, “Czech NGO rejects Russian reports of link to alleged Islamist terrorists al-Qaeda,” May 10, 2011.

    [8] The Times of India, “Laden ordered Bamyan Buddha destruction,” March 28, 2006.

    [9] Dr. Alan Godlas, “Sufism — Sufis — Sufi Orders.”

    [10] Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz, “Wahhabi Internal Contradictions as Saudi Arabia Seeks Wider Gulf Leadership,” Center for Islamic Pluralism, May 21, 2012.

    [11] Ibid.

    [12] Robert Duncan, “Islamic Terrorisms Links to Nazi Fascism,” AINA, July 5, 2007.

    [13] Marc Erikson, “Islamism, fascism and terrorism (Part 2),” AsiaTimes.Online, November 8, 2002.

    [14] Ibid.

    [15] John Loftus, “The Muslim Brotherhood, Nazis and Al-Qaeda,” Jewish Community News, October 11, 2006.

    [16] Ibid.

    [17] Charlie Skelton, “The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?: The media have been too passive when it comes to Syrian opposition sources, without scrutinising their backgrounds and their political connections. Time for a closer look …,” The Guardian, UK, 12 July 2012.

    [18] Aidan Lewis, “Profile: Tunisia’s Ennahda Party,” BBC News, 25 October 2011.

    [19] Hassan Hassan, “Syrians are torn between a despotic regime and a stagnant opposition: The Muslim Brotherhood’s perceived monopoly over the Syrian National Council has created an opposition stalemate,” The Guardian, UK, 23 August, 2012.

    [20] Stefan J. Bos, “Egypt Christians Killed After Election of Morsi,” Bosnewslife, June 30, 2012.

    [21] Ibid.

    [22] Irfan Al-Alawi, “Egyptian Muslim Fundamentalists Attack Sufis,” Guardian Online [London], April 11, 2011.

    [23] Yafiah Katherine Randall, “UNESCO urges Libya to stop destruction of Sufi sites,” Sufi News and Sufism World Report, August 31, 2012.

    [24] Jamie Dettmer, Libya elections: Muslim Brotherhood set to lead government, The Telegraph, London, 5 July, 2012.

    [25] Luke Harding, Chris Stephen, Chris Stevens, “US ambassador to Libya, killed in Benghazi attack: Ambassador and three other American embassy staff killed after Islamist militants fired rockets at their car, say Libyan officials,” The Guardian (London), 12 September 2012.

    [26] Murad Batal al-Shishani, “Profile: Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen,” BBC, 8 March 2012.

    [27] David M. Herszenhorn, Putin Says Missile Deal Is More Likely With Obama, The New York Times, September 6, 2012. According to an interview Putin gave on Moscow’s state-owned RT TV, Herszenhorn reports, “Mr. Putin said he believed that if Mr. Obama is re-elected in November, a compromise could be reached on the contentious issue of American plans for a missile defense system in Europe, which Russia has strongly opposed. On the other hand, Mr. Putin said, if Mr. Romney becomes president, Moscow’s fears about the missile system — that it is, despite American assurances, actually directed against Russia — would almost certainly prove true.
    “Is it possible to find a solution to the problem, if current President Obama is re-elected for a second term? Theoretically, yes,” Mr. Putin said, according to the official transcript posted on the Kremlin’s Web site. “But this isn’t just about President Obama. “For all I know, his desire to work out a solution is quite sincere,” Mr. Putin continued. “I met him recently on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, where we had a chance to talk. And though we talked mostly about Syria, I could still take stock of my counterpart. My feeling is that he is a very honest man, and that he sincerely wants to make many good changes. But can he do it? Will they let him do it?”

    [28] M.K. Bhadrakumar, “Calling the China-Russia split isn’t heresy,” Asia Times, September 5, 2012.

  9. The Online Hate Prevention Institute (OHPI) on Wednesday released a report documenting extensive anti-Semitism and racial hatred on YouTube, prompting the popular video-sharing website to close the account of the most egregious culprit.

    The report, which seeks to address the lacunae in online regulation of hate speech, highlights how one one user uploaded 1,710 videos in a single day – the vast majority (87%) of which consisted of blatant hate speech. A substantial number of the videos concerned Holocaust denial and defense of Holocaust deniers. Some videos accused Jews and Israel of masterminding the September 11 terrorist attacks. YouTube closed the user’s account within 24 hours of receiving an advanced copy of OHPI’s report.

    Although encouraged that YouTube took the necessary corrective measures, OHPI expressed concern that it took the impending release of the report to prompt YouTube to close the account. OHPI’s CEO, Dr Andre Oboler: “YouTube must be commended for its speedy response to OHPI’s report, but it is concerning that such hateful content, and in such volume in a single account, was able to remain on the YouTube site for over a month without triggering internal warnings.”

    More specifically, the report reveals that one video was flagged multiple times within a few days of being uploaded, and that YouTube was notified by e-mail of both this video and the account more generally by a Jewish community organization – the Executive Council of Australian Jewry – within the first week of the video’s upload.

    The report recommends “greater sanctions both by the state and by the platform provider” when such grave violations occur, suggesting that “a comparison can be drawn to copyright law, where commercial scale can tip the matter from a civil action into a criminal offence.”

    “When the sanction for copyright infringement is greater, and more rigorously enforced, than the sanction for promoting genocide, we need to stop and question our priorities” Dr Oboler concluded.

    OHPI was established in January 2012 in Victoria, Australia for the purpose of combating online hate and facilitating a change in online culture

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