Fitna and The Left

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Abul Kasem, an ex-Muslim who is the author of hundreds of articles and several books on Islam including, Women in Islam. He was a contributor to the book Leaving Islam – Apostates Speak Out as well as to Beyond Jihad: Critical Views From Inside Islam. His e-mail address is
FP: Abul Kasem, welcome back to Frontpage Interview.

Kasem: Thank you Jamie.
FP: I would like to talk to you today about your thoughts on the film Fitna and the Left’s response to it – especially in the context of how Geert Wilders is being denounced for being truthful about the connection between Islamic theology and Islamic terror.

First, tell us what you think of the new film.

Kasem: I think Fitna is done very cleverly. It lays the full blame of Islamic atrocities to the fount of Islam, the Koran. Anyone viewing this short movie will have no doubt that the Islamist terrorism is the result of the Koran in action. Geert Wilders has demonstrated very precisely what has plagued the world for many years and why the Jihadists are doing what they are doing.
FP: Analyze for us the format that Wilders uses.

Kasem: Wilders uses only five verses of the Koran to demonstrate the potential danger of Islam to a civilised world. These verses are (note the comments by eminent Koran scholars):

8:60 The Muslims should muster all their power and might, including steeds of war (tanks, planes, missiles…) to strike terror in the hearts of the unbelievers (by killing them—ibn Abbas).

47:4 When the believers meet the unbelievers they should smite at unbelievers’ necks (when you fight against them, cut them down totally with your swords—ibn Kathir).

8:39 Fight until there are no more unbelievers (non-Muslims) and tumult (this verse overrides all other verses on fighting the infidels, including the Jews and the Christians); if they accept Islam then leave them alone.

4:56 Unbelievers will be cast in fire, their skins roasted often, skins changed often for more roasting (the skin will be roasted seventy thousand time every day; the new skin will be as white as paper—ibn Kathir).

4:89 Seize and slay the renegades (i.e., apostates of Islam) wherever you find them. (Maududi 4/118: This is the verdict on those hypocritical confessors of faith who belong to a belligerent, non-Muslim nation and actually participate in acts of hostility against the Islamic state).

It is clear Greet Wilders did not present anything original. He merely re-stated the contents of the Koran, forcefully depicting, with true pictures, those verses in action.
FP: So if this is what the Qur’an says, then why would Muslims or anyone else be upset about the movie’s message?

Kasem: The Islamic Ummah is now furious why an infidel would portray the true color of Islam. In this chorus of peaceful Islam, Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, has also joined in. Predictably, the peaceful Islam promptly issued the threat of murder of Geert Wilders and the employees of Live Leak, the website that hosted the premiere. It temporarily off-loaded Fitna to protect the lives of its employees. These are just mundane jobs of Islam—the standard practices, the world is now so used to these peaceful acts of Islam that they [these threats] do not at all surprise anyone.

Despite the threats, this short movie by Geert Wilders is spreading like wild-fire. I knew this truth when my wife was so eager to watch this film. She watched it at Google and was stunned at what she read and saw. When an ordinary house-wife becomes so enthusiastic about the ‘true’, ‘peaceful’ Islam then it must be an unusual event.

So, why the world’s political leaders (including Ban Ki-moon) could not find what a simple-minded, average, unsophisticated, uninformed (in Islam) housewife could so easily trace?

Amazingly, when every word, every picture in Fitna was corroborated with verses from the Koran, these world-leaders never mention the word Koran, instead, they blame the producer of the movie for inciting hate. How strange: the Koran preaches the hate, murder, genocide, but when the un-Islamic world quotes those verses, it is not the Koran that preaches the annihilation of the non-Islamic world; it is the fault of the un-Islamic world—why must they quote those verses?

This defies logic. These same world-leaders will keep their mouths shut when jihadists use many similar verses to justify the complete annihilation of the un-Islamic world.
FP: What are some other teachings that inspire jihadis to wage terror?

Kasem: There are many verses which bin Ladin and his ilk use to perpetrate terror and slaughter on infidels and on not-so-good Muslims. Here are a few:

2:156 Everything belongs to Allah, and everyone will return to Him.

3:75 Some people of the Book can be trusted with money; some cannot be trusted.

We might wonder why bin Ladin uses this verse. Let us read the context:

A man asked Ibn ‘Abbas, “During battle, we capture some property belonging to Ahl Adh-Dhimmah, such as chickens and sheep.” Ibn ‘Abbas said, “What do you do in this case” The man said, “We say that there is no sin if we confiscate them in this case.” He said, “That is what the People of the Book said, that is, there is no blame on us to betray and take the properties of the illiterates (Arabs)—ibn Kathir.

3:103 Islam will draw together former enemies; do not practice sectarianism (Osama b. Ladin uses this verse and 61:4 to unite the Islamist jihadists).

4:52 None can help whom Allah has cursed.

9:14 Allah fights the pagans in the hand of Muhammad (i.e., God kills the unbelievers by the hands of the Muslims. It is more humiliating for the disbelievers and more comforting for the hearts of the believers that the believers kill the unbelievers with their own hands—ibn Kathir, ibn Abbas, Jalalyn). Fight them and cover them with shame (this verse applies to all Muslims, they must kill non-Muslims with their own hands—ibn Kathir).

61:4 Allah loves those who fight, like a brick wall, His cause. (Osama bin Ladin uses this verse to unite the Islamist jihadists).

JMB [Jamiatul Mujahidin Bangladesh], used the following verses to justify their Islamic bombing and killing of Bangladesh’s not-so-good Muslims:

4:76 Believers fight for Allah; unbelievers fight for evil, so fight against the friends of Satan.

We might think this (JMB) outfit misinterprets the Koran. Let us read what a modern Islamist, Maulana Maududi has to say:

This lays down a clear verdict of God. To fight in the cause of God in order that His religion is established on earth is the task of men of faith, and whoever truly believes can never shirk this duty. To fight in the cause of taghut (authority in defiance of God) in order that the world may be governed by rebels against God is the task of unbelievers in which no believer can engage himself (Tafheem ul Qur’an, commentary number 4/105).

4:71 Go forth to fight alone or in parties all together. (This means one raiding party followed by the next; or move forward all together, in one assembly—Jalalyn).

Note that these two jihdi organisations are using quite different verses. What this means is that there are many hateful, savage, barbaric and blood-curdling verses in the Koran; anyone can pick at random to legitimise his slaughter operation.

Here are a few more verses from the Koran and their exegeses by eminent Islamic scholars. These verses entice the Islamist jihadists that they must kill non-Muslim with their own hands; they must not wait for Allah’s punishment.

8:10 By sending angels (in Badr), Allah put Muhammad’s heart at rest. (It is more humiliating for the disbelievers and more comforting for the hearts of the believers that the believers kill the unbelievers with their own hands—ibn Kathir).

8:12 Strike terror in the hearts of the unbelievers. (Allah will cast fear, disgrace and humiliation over those who defied his command and denied Muhammad—ibn Kathir); smite the unbelievers at their necks (i.e., behead the unbelievers—ibn Kathir) and cut off their fingers (cut off their heads, limbs, hands and feet—ibn Kathir. Terror means fear of Muhammad and his companions—ibn Abbas).

Why is it that the Ummah , the Islamic scholars, the Dhimmi world (including the UN) remain silent when the Islamist killers use those verses to defend their mayhem?

Whose fault is it—the jihadists’ or the Koran?

Even when an ordinary house-wife had no doubt what is the root cause of all these Islamist terrorism, why must the world leaders pretend not to face the reality? Why must they act so cowardly? Why must they gratify Islam, when Islam wants to burn the entire world?

The world might want peace, but Islam does not. It wants to completely destroy the un-Islam, and declare the victory of Islam. So why must we not face the truth? Why must we please Islam? Does the world owe Islam a living?

FP: So what is your answer here?

Kasem: My answer is very simple: the Islamist terrorism emanates straight from the founts of Islam: the Koran, ahadith sira and sharia. The Jihadists are just acting according what these sources have commanded them to do. It is just unfair and straight cowardly to blame Geert Wilders and other critics of Islam who point out this truth. The UN must denounce these sources of Islam. If the UN is hesitant or not willing to do this, we do not need such a spineless organization.
FP: Wait, what I was trying to get at is the psychology of the Left here. I am asking about those in the West who blame Geert Wilders and other critics of Islam who point out the truth about Islam. Why does the UN, for instance, not denounce these sources of Islam? What sense, for instance, does it make to get upset about the exposé of female genital mutilation in the Islamic world and the Islamic theology that upholds it? One would think a humanitarian person would be more upset about the reality of female genital mutilation and try to defend its future potential victims, rather than get upset about its exposé? What is the mindset here?

Kasem: The westerners trying to defend Islamic barbarism are simply ignorant about the true nature of Islam. For too long they have been fed with the idea that Islam is a religion, just like any other religion, such as Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. Their logic is this: the Old Testament, the Vedas also has murderous verses and barbaric provisions, so why blame Islam only? These westerners simply forget that, except for Islam, all other religions’ potency has expired. There is no country ruled by the biblical laws. Ditto for Hinduism. But Islam is forever. There are 57 Islamic countries who form the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Conference), and who dearly believe and strive to subject the entire world to Islamic rule.

Thus the western politicians are caught in a quagmire. They dare not criticise Islam, lest they offend these 57 Islamic countries (OIC), and because the un-Islamic world, the western world, does not denounce Islam, the Islamic world feels encouraged to propagate Islam vigorously. The UN has fallen into this trap and it therefore not only has just a lackadaisical attitude towards Islam, but a loving relationship with Islam.
FP: What role does oil play?

Kasem: Oil money is definitely another important element in this game of hide-and-seek with Islam. Many western countries sell modern arms to the Arabic/Islamic world in exchange for oil money. Thus, it will be inappropriate to criticise Islam if these western countries want to secure the lucrative arms deals. To these political leaders trade/money is more important to the western world than the damaging effect Islam.
FP: I mentioned FGM earlier. Your thoughts?

Kasem: On the FGM issue, it is simply astonishing that the UN, the Women’s Rights organisation, the Human rights Organisation just do lip service to eradicate this savage procedure. These organisations often consider FGM as a cultural issue rather than religious. But they are wrong. We have irrefutable proof that Islamic law, Sharia supports male and female circumcision. Why is it so difficult to admit this truth and blame Islam? Further, even if it is culture, why must the civilised world tolerate such inhuman, barbaric cultural practice? In many cultures there was/is also the practice of human sacrifice. Should a civilised world accept such a custom, just because it is cultural? I only wished the UN and the Women’s rights organisation provide good answers for their silence on FGM.
FP: At the moment, aside from some demonstrations in Pakistan, the reaction to Fitna in the Muslim world appears to be pretty muted. Right? How come?

Kasem: The Islamists are very clever. They know rather well that denouncing Fitna is tantamount to denouncing the Koran. That is why Geert Wilder was quite smart to directly link the Koran with the global violence of Islam.

How could the Islamists denounce Fitna when every picture in the movie is solidly backed up from the Koranic verse? How could they simply dismiss those verses as fabrication and half-truth or no truth?

We should also consider the current situation as the calm before the storm. This has happened during the first saga of Muhammad’s cartoon. It took a quite a long time before we saw the wave of violent protests around the Islamic world. Ditto for the second cartoon saga. Give a few more weeks/months, we might see the fury of Islam, as it rages across the globe. This is ‘peaceful’ Islam, in theory and in action. Geert Wilder’s transgression of Islam will not go unpunished. Islam will not let him live in peace.

FP: Abul Kasem, thank you for joining us.

Kasem: Thank you for joining us.


The lost history of the Crusades

Western guilt over, and apologies for, the Crusades ignores one crucial fact: The West actually lost
Robert Sibley
The Ottawa Citizen

Thousand-year-old events don’t usually make headlines. But when U.S. President George W. Bush used the word “crusade” to describe the campaign against Islamist terrorism, suddenly an ancient conflict became a hot-button topic.

The president was accused of being insensitive to Muslim sensibilities, even though the Islamists readily denounce western “crusaders” and their Zionist puppets. Indeed, long before the terrorist strikes on 9/11, al-Qaeda leaders issued a declaration of war against “the Jews and Crusaders.” More recently, Pope Benedict XVI was accused of trying to “revive the mentality of the Crusades” after he gave a speech questioning Islam’s propensity for violence. Last month, in another live-from-his-hole-in-the-ground video, Osama bin Laden said the republication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad “came in the framework of a new Crusade in which the Pope of the Vatican has played a large, lengthy role.”

This is standard fare in the Muslim world. What is perhaps surprising is how many westerners buy into this historical myth.

In January, after John Manley delivered his panel’s report on what he thought Canada should do about its military mission in Afghanistan, Green Party leader Elizabeth May issued a press statement saying: “The Manley report fails to consider that the recommendation of more ISAF forces from a Christian/crusader heritage will continue to fuel an insurgency that has been framed as a ‘jihad.’ This, in turn, may feed the recruitment of suicide bombers and other insurgents.”

Like many postmodern westerners, the politician suffers from a peculiar psychic disturbance — western-guilt syndrome — that regards the history of the West as an unmitigated horror show of slaughter, conquest and imperialistic domination. The Crusades are cast as among the darkest of dark episodes in the history of European civilization.

Too bad it’s wrong.

“The crusades are quite possibly the most misunderstood event n European history,” says historian Thomas Madden. “The Crusades were in every way a defensive war. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression — an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.”


The West may now dominate the Islamic world, but that has only been the case since the late 18th century, when a young general, Napoleon Bonaparte, conquered Egypt and temporarily imposed French rule. This initial European penetration into one of the heartlands of Islam was “a terrible shock” to Muslims, says historian Bernard Lewis. Until then, they had thought of themselves as the victors in the Crusades.

That assumption is understandable. Muslim rulers held the preponderance of power as far as Europe was concerned until the 17th century and had done so, more or less, since the Prophet Muhammad issued Islam’s initial declaration of war against other religious faiths in the seventh century. The Prophet wrote the Christian Byzantine emperor and the Sassanid emperor of Persia to suggest they surrender to his rule because, well, their day was done. “I have now brought God’s final message,” the Prophet declared. “Your time has passed. Your beliefs are superceded. Accept my mission and my faith or resign or submit … you are finished.”

This claim propelled the armies of Islam to take on the rest of the world. Muslim armies charged out of the Arabian Peninsula to conquer Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt — all of which, as part of the late Roman Empire, were officially Christian. By the eighth century, Christian North Africa was under Muslim control. Islam soon swept into Europe, grabbing Spain, Portugal and southern Italy. In the 11th century, the Seljuk Turks conquered much of Asia Minor, or Turkey.

Christian Europe certainly fought back. In the eighth century, campaigns to recover the Iberian peninsula began, but it wasn’t until the end of the 15th century that the Reconquista swept Islam out of Spain and Portugal. Other counterattacks were made, the most famous of which were the war-pilgrimages known as the Crusades.

In 1095, Pope Urban II called for he First Crusade. He urged Europeans to aid fellow Christians who were being slaughtered by Muslims. “They (the Muslim Turks) have invaded the lands of those Christians and have depopulated them by the sword, pillage and fire; they have lead away a part of the captives into their own country, and a part they have destroyed by cruel tortures.”

The Crusader army marched deep into enemy territory to reclaim the ancient Christian cities of Nicaea and Antioch, and on July 15, 1099, Jerusalem. Admittedly it wasn’t a pleasant reclamation. As was standard practice when a city resisted, much of population was slaughtered. That, however, doesn’t mean the threat to which the Crusades were a response wasn’t real.

The Crusades, says Madden, were a response “to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world. At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam.”

Unfortunately, subsequent Crusades over the next three centuries weren’t as successful. By the end of the 13th century, the Christian Crusaders had been chased from the Middle East. From then on the concern was no longer about reclaiming Christian homelands, but about saving Europe.

In 1453, Muslims captured the capital of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople (or Istanbul, as it is now known). In the late 15th century, Rome was evacuated when Muslim armies landed at Otranto in an unsuccessful invasion of Italy. By the 16th century, the Ottoman Turk empire stretched from North Africa and Arabia to the Near East and Asia Minor. They penetrated deep into Europe, conquering Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Albania, Croatia and Serbia. In 1529, the Ottomans laid siege to Vienna. Luckily for Europe, the siege failed; otherwise the door to Germany would have been open. It wasn’t until 1572, when the Catholic Holy League defeated the Ottoman fleet at Lepanto, that Islam’s threat to the West finally ended, at least until the late 20th century when the doors to Europe were once again opened to Muslims.


Islam unquestionably won the Crusades, even though Europe was ultimately able to reassert itself and dominate the world. The reasons for this success are much debated, but it’s reasonable to conclude that the West won the war of ideas. Notions of individualism and freedom, capitalism and technology, and, most of all, the West’s turn from theology to science, carried the day. Religion became in the West an essentially private concern. It is on this “modern” turn that the anti-Crusade attitude developed.

During the Protestant Reformation, when the authority of the Catholic church was under attack, the Crusades began to be regarded as a ploy by power-hungry popes and land-hungry aristocrats. This judgment was extended by the Enlightenment philosophes, who used the Crusades as a cudgel with which to beat the church. The Enlightenment view of the Crusades still holds sway. After the Second World War, with western intellectuals feeling guilty about imperialism and European politicians desperate to abandon colonial responsibilities, the Crusades became intellectually unfashionable.

Historian Steven Runciman reflected this attitude in his three-volume study, A History of the Crusades, published in the early 1950s. He cast the Crusades as “morally repugnant acts of intolerance in the name of God,” says Madden. “Almost single-handedly Runciman managed to define the modern popular view of the Crusades.”

The western-guilt syndrome was displayed on July 15, 1999, when a group marked the 900th anniversary of the fall of Jerusalem to the Crusaders by parading around the walls of the city to apologize on behalf of Christianity to the Muslim world. It was an act of ignorance. Historian Jonathan Riley-Smith says, “The apologizers were only showing that they did not comprehend the Muslim view of the crusades (which made their conciliatory gesture empty), and did not understand history (which made their act of contrition pointless).”

This ignorance is so pervasive that many westerners no longer think it necessary for soldiers to stand watch on the frontiers of the West. Even more worrisome, though, is that Muslim leaders recognize the western-guilt syndrome and are only too willing to take advantage of it.

In May 2006, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent an open letter to President Bush. Many interpreted the letter as evidence of Iran’s desire for better relations. Only a few noticed the closing paragraphs in which the Iranian leader dismissed liberal securalism as a failed ideal. “Liberalism and Western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity,” he said. “Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and the fall of the ideology and thoughts of the Liberal democratic systems. We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking towards a main focal point — that is the Almighty God. … Whether we like it or not, the world is gravitating towards faith in the Almighty and justice and the will of God will prevail over all things.”

The New York Sun’s editorial board pointed out that the letter concluded with a traditional phrase that Muhammad used in his letters to the Byzantine and Sassanid emperors. The editors translated this phrase (Vasalam Ala Man Ataba’al hoda) as “peace only unto those who follow the true path.” In other words, the president of Iran, like Muhammad before him, believes only Muslims are deserving of peace.

The Crusades, it seems, are being rejoined. Only this time Islam will have nuclear weapons.

Robert Sibley is senior writer for the Citizen.

Sources for this essay include:

Bernard Lewis, “The 2007 Irving Kristol Lecture,” American Enterprise Institute, March 7, 2007.



The New

Concise History of the Crusades, 2005;


Encyclopedia Britannica; “The Real History of the Crusades,” Crisis Magazine, April, 2002; “Crusade

Propaganda,” National Review, Nov. 2, 2001.

Jonathan Riley-Smith,

“Rethinking the Crusades,” First Things, March 2000; and, as editor,

The Oxford

Illustrated History of the Crusades, 1995.