Islam: The Eighth Wonder of the World?
"It is the only nation that believes it is in the right – in every way – while all others are wrong."
Translation and Postface by Raymond Ibrahim
As we know, the wonders of the world are seven; but there is an eighth "wonder -of-wonders" not counted among the seven: this is the "Muslim nation [umma]." I specifically did not say the "Islamic nation," for within this Muslim nation are wondrous matters not witnessed by any other nation since Allah Almighty created Adam. Here are some of these wonders:
1. It is the only nation that believes it is in the right—in every way—while all others are wrong;
2. The only nation that exonerates or lightens the punishment of an indicted criminal if he is Muslim and has learned some Quranic verses;
3. The only nation where a cleric evades indictment for inciting murder if he describes one of his adversaries as "an apostate";
4. The only nation that does not penalize a murderer if he killed "an apostate";
5. The only nation that shows leniency and assuages punishments for the "honor killing" of a sister or a wife;
6. The only nation whose holy book [Quran] starts with the word "read" [iqra'] and yet it is among the least nations that reads books, if any at all;
7. The only nation that still uses the word "infidel" [kafir] against those who oppose its clerics or religious groups;
8. The only nation where the ruling of a fatwa [religious edict] upstages the ruling of the law—and yet it brags about being a nation that upholds the "rule of law";
9. The only nation that does not contribute to the modern era—not even by producing a tooth brush—and yet brags about its extinct civilization.
10. The only nation that insults and condemns the West—yet lives as a parasite relying on the West in every way.
11. The only nation that incarcerates intellectuals for practicing freedom of expression.
12. The only nation that claims to be religious and guards its piety on both the official and the public level—yet there is nothing righteous about it.
13. The only nation that grants its students a PhD in religion;
14. The only nation still governed by the writings of those who died a thousand years ago;
15. The only nation where clerics serve as sycophantic toadies to the rulers, remaining silent about their transgressions, even when they go against Sharia;
16. The only nation that does not acknowledge the International Human Rights Declaration;
17. The only nation that forbids all human arts except calligraphy;
18. The only nation that believes in one religion—yet its various religious groups cannot agree on the exegeses and directives of that one religion;
19. The only nation where clerics blabber endlessly, only to conclude by saying, "Allah only knows," as if people were not already aware;
20. The only nation that believes in exorcizing Jinn from humans—even if by killing the person;
21. The only nation that has an army—and yet is occupied and fears combat;
22. The only nation wherein the Almighty Creator's description applies—"thou wouldst think they were united, but their hearts are divided: that is because they are a people devoid of wisdom" [Quran 59:14];
23. The only nation still inquiring about religious matters and looking for satisfactory answers for over a thousand years;
24. The only nation that asks more about sex than about worship during its one month of fasting every year;
25. The only nation that believes anything and everything its clerics say without questioning or verification.
This nation—with all these unique traits—does it not deserve to be described as the "Wonder-of-Wonders"?
Postface: Provided they can be objective, members of a civilization are often best placed to critique that civilization. Accordingly, this article, which recently made the rounds on various Arabic websites, can be seen as a piece of honest criticism of the Islamic world, by one of its own. Written by the late Dr. Ahmad al-Baghdadi (died 2010)—one of Kuwait's best known liberal activists and scholars (he held a PhD in the philosophy of Islamic thought and taught political science)—it recounts how Islamic civilization is the eighth, and greatest, wonder of the world. We quickly discover this is not a compliment: the article highlights some singularly troubling aspects of the Islamic world, from a liberal point of view. For what it is worth, Ahmad al-Baghdadi is not the first Muslim to portray Islamic civilization as a fantastic anachronism that has outstayed its welcome; the prophet of Islam himself, Muhammad, made a similar prophesy in a canonical hadith: "Verily, Islam started as something strange, and it will again revert to being strange just as it started, and it will recede between the two mosques [Mecca and Medina] just as the serpent slithers back into its hole."
Comment on this item
by Louis René Beres
Jihadi violence serves not only to advance the terrorist's delusion of immortality, but also to add, however perversely, an apparent and desperately needed erotic satisfaction, using religion as the justification.
Persuasive promises of immortality -- the desperate hope to live forever -- underlie virtually all major religions.
Washington and Jerusalem should finally address what needs to be done in addition to military remediation -- reinforcing efforts to convince these terrorists that their expected martyrdom is ultimately just an elaborate fiction.
by Gill Gillespie and Shabnam Assadollahi
The aim of the current Iranian regime is clearly to acquire a nuclear weapons capability and to retain as much territory in Iraq as possible under Shia Islamist rule, whatever the human cost. Those aims are also the reason Iran's regime is now trying to intervene in Iraq.
Iran will doubtless be demanding that any cooperation with the West be compensated for by "concessions" permitting its nuclear weapons program.
Involving Iran in Iraq at this point will merely alienate any Sunni allies whose assistance is much needed to defeat IS.
Many people inside Iran have alerted the U.S. Administration for over two years about other industrial facilities being secretly built in Iran and not declared to the International Atomic Energy. So far, all intelligence from within Iran has been wilfully ignored by the Obama Administration.
by Burak Bekdil
The Turkish government "frankly worked" with the al-Nusrah Front, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, along with other terrorist groups.
The Financial Task Force, an international body setting the standards for combating terrorist financing, ruled that Turkey should remain in its "gray list."
While NATO wishes to reinforce its outreach to democracies such as Australia and Japan, Turkey is trying to forge wider partnerships with the Arab world, Russia, China, Central Asia, China, Africa and -- and with a bunch of terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Nusrah Front.
Being NATO's only Muslim member was fine. Being NATO's only Islamist member ideologically attached to the Muslim Brotherhood is quite another thing.
by Samuel Westrop
British politicians seem to be trapped in an endless debate over how to curb both violent and non-violent extremism within the Muslim community.
A truly useful measure might be to end the provision of state funding and legitimacy to terror-linked extremist charities.
by Soeren Kern
"My son and I love life with the beheaders." — British jihadist Sally Jones.
Mujahidah Bint Usama published pictures of herself on Twitter holding a severed head while wearing a white doctor's jacket; alongside it, the message: "Dream job, a terrorist doc."
British female jihadists are now in charge of guarding as many as 3,000 non-Muslim Iraqi women and girls held captive as sex slaves.
"The British women are some of the most zealous in imposing the IS laws in the region. I believe that's why at least four of them have been chosen to join the women police force." — British terrorism analyst Melanie Smith.