Monday, 7 November 2016

Open letter in response to the proposed introduction of the hijab emoji

Not long ago, arguments put forward by a young Rayouf Alhumedhi from Saudi Arabia appeared in the media. She defends the use of an emoji with the hijab symbol (in full available here). Her arguments were accepted as appropriate and well-formulated in many circles.

With this open letter we would like to point out the fact that the recognition of the hijab emoji as the symbol, which will supposedly be used by a large amount of the Internet users, will have a far greater impact on the development of our society than it might seem at first.          

Contrary to what Ms. Alhumedhi claims, the hijab is not merely a type of headwear. It is also a political symbol that communicates oppression and a lack of freedom. This can be well-supported with the arguments directly based on the primary Islamic doctrine. However, let us summarize Alhumedhi’s arguments first:

1.  The hijab is a sign of modesty.

2.  The meaning of the hijab for Muslim women is similar to that of a headscarf for Christian and Jewish women.

3.  The hijab is just a headwear, a representation of a certain lifestyle.
4.  There has been growing demand for the word “hijab” in the Internet search engines.

5.  There is currently no emoji representing a pious Muslim woman.
6.  The hijab is one of the most globally recognized visual representations of Islam, and it would be a great addition to the mosque and the symbol of Islam emojis.

7.  The demand for these emojis will grow steadily since, according to the PEW research, the world’s Muslim population will reach 29.7% by 2050 and will constitute 50% of the population in 51 countries.       

The last three arguments seemingly stand out, particularly the one claiming “the hijab is one of the most globally recognized visual representations of Islam”. This is true. Therefore, in order to grasp what the hijab represents, we have to understand what Islam exactly is.

The Islamic doctrine is based on three foundational books. These are the Koran (Allah’s words, as interpreted by Mohammed), the Sira (the biography of the Prophet Mohammed) and the Hadith (words and actions from the life of the Prophet Mohammed). These three sources comprise the so-called Trilogy.

When this Trilogy of Islam is put to analysis, as devised by Dr. Bill Warner, it appears that less than a half of the text make up instructions for religious practice. As much as 51% of the text comprise the demands towards non-Muslims. Thus it is not simply a part of Islam, but a political doctrine relevant to non-Muslims. Therefore, this 51% of Islam is called Political Islam [1].

We work on the assumption that something called “religious” only concerns those who adhere to a particular religion. If a religion makes demands towards unbelievers, these demands are political in their nature.

Let us examine the Koran more closely. A statistical analysis [2] reveals that 64% of the total text is Political Islam, since these 64% of the text make demands on unbelievers.

The fact that a certain religion is concerned with the unbeliever to such an extent raises the question: Why? What attitude does it convey towards the unbeliever?

Islam describes the unbeliever as the Kafir. The Kafir is anyone who has not adopted Islam as their religion. However, the word “Kafir” is not a neutral equivalent of the word “unbeliever”. Islam views the Kafir as the lowest social class, and thus it is allowed to deceive, hate, enslave, ridicule, torture and even kill the Kafir. Please, see a few verses from the Koran [3] below which illustrate the way to approach the Kafir (non-Muslims).

Koran 40:35 They [Kafirs] who dispute the signs [Koran verses] of Allah without authority having reached them are greatly hated by Allah and the believers. So Allah seals up every arrogant, disdainful heart. [4]

Koran 83:34 On that day the faithful will mock the Kafirs, while they sit on bridal couches and watch them. Should not the Kafirs be paid back for what they did?

Koran 47:4 When you encounter the Kafirs on the battlefield, cut off their heads until you have thoroughly defeated them and then take the prisoners and tie them up firmly.

Koran 8:12 Then your Lord spoke to His angels and said, “I will be with you. Give strength to the believers. I will send terror into the Kafirs’ hearts, cut off their heads and even the tips of their fingers!”

The Koran forbids Muslims to have friends among the Kafir. The Kafir are repeatedly described as evil and cursed, hated by Allah. See the examples below.

Koran 23:97 And say: Oh my Lord! I seek refuge with You from the suggestions of the evil ones [kafirs]. And I seek refuge with you, my Lord, from their presence.

Koran 33:60 They [Kafirs] will be cursed, and wherever they are found, they will be seized and murdered. It was Allah’s same practice with those who came before them, and you will find no change in Allah’s ways.

Koran 4:144 Believers! Do not take Kafirs as friends over fellow believers. Would you give Allah a clear reason to punish you?

Another important argument by Ms. Rayouf Alhumedhi is that there is currently no emoji representing a pious Muslim woman. What does it mean to be a pious Muslim? Who or what do Muslims dedicate their lives to? According to the definition, a Muslim is a person who has accepted Allah as their only God and Mohammed as His Prophet. It is mentioned 91 times in the Koran that Mohammed is the perfect Muslim in all aspects. Pious Muslims should follow the example of Mohammed and the will of Allah.

Therefore, being a symbol of a pious Muslim, the hijab also symbolizes following the example of the Prophet Mohammed. In order to understand the meaning of this symbol, one then needs to familiarize themselves with the life of Mohammed. For instance, let us look at how Mohammed viewed values which define a free, humanistic society. How does Islam see the freedom of religion or the freedom of speech? The answers are found in the above mentioned Sira and Hadith.

The texts contain examples of how Mohammed, the living example of a true Muslim, approached apostasy as the act which deserves a death penalty. In the following section we are going to provide quotes from the Hadith, specifically selected from the collections by widely recognized authors Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

[Bukhari 9,83,17] Mohammed: “A Muslim who has admitted that there is no god but Allah and that I am His prophet may not be killed except for three reasons: as punishment for murder, for adultery, or for apostasy.” [5]

[Muslim 001,0031] Mohammed: “I have been ordered to wage war against mankind until they accept that there is no god but Allah and that they believe I am His prophet and accept all revelations spoken through me. When they do these things I will protect their lives and property unless otherwise justified by Sharia, in which case their fate lies in Allah’s hands.” [6]

[Bukhari 9,84,57] Ali ordered that some atheists brought before him be burnt to death. Upon hearing this, Ibn Abbas said, “If it were me, I would not have ordered them burnt. Mohammed told us, ‘Don’t punish people with fire. That is Allah’s punishment.’ I would have done as Mohammed instructed, ‘Whoever turns his back on Islam, kill him.

As far as the freedom of speech is concerned, there are multiple examples in the Trilogy, especially in the Sira, which show that Mohammed killed those of his followers who had criticized him or openly doubted Islam as the only true religion. Let us consider at least one example from Ibn Ishaq’s Sira, the officially recognized biography of the Prophet Mohammed [7]:

Ishaq 819 Mohammed had told his commanders to kill only those who resisted; otherwise they were not to bother anyone except for those who had spoken against Mohammed. He then issued death warrants for all of those in Mecca who had resisted Islam. [8]

Some of them were:     
  • One of Mohammed’s secretaries. He had said that Mohammed sometimes let him insert better speech when he was recording Mohammed’s Koranic revelations, and this caused the secretary to lose faith.
  • Two girls who had sung satires against Mohammed.
  • A Muslim tax collector who had become an apostate (left Islam).
  • A man who had insulted Mohammed.
  • All artists and political figures who had opposed him.

In conclusion

It is not our goal to tell the UNICODE Consortium what to decide regarding this matter. With this letter, we intend to point out that including the hijab symbol into the worldwide collection of emojis is different. It will not be an innocent image in the extensive mosaic of visual symbols. Regardless the impression created by a Saudi girl’s argumentation, yet once put to analysis, together with the politics of Islam found in three foundational texts (the Koran, the Sira and the Hadith), interesting observations appear.

Ms. Rayouf Alhumedhi claims that the hijab is the sign representing a Muslim woman and one of the most widely recognized symbols of Islam. She also claims it is simply a cultural symbol or a sign of a certain lifestyle. The hijab, as a symbol of Islam, is also a symbol of everything that goes together with Islam.

As Dr. Bill Warner’s analysis reveals, Islam is (over 50%) a political system which strictly divides the world into the Muslim and the Kafir (non-Muslim). In Islam, the Kafir are inferior to the Muslim, and it is allowed to mistreat them. Political Islam also supports hatred towards the Kafir, death penalty for apostasy and killing as the punishment for criticism of Islam.

Therefore, we strongly wish that the UNICODE Consortium takes into consideration the facts regarding the hijab’s political significance during the approval process. The hijab symbolizes inferior status of a certain part of society (the Kafir) and doctrinally approved hatred towards diverse non-Muslim population of over 5.5 billion globally. The application submitted by a young Saudi girl is a political act and is a manifestation of Political Islam.

CSPI International


[1] Bill Warner, A Self Study Course on Political Islam – Level 1.
[2] Precise methodology of statistics is described at
[3] Official Koran translations are available online at
[4] Koran 1:2 refers to the Koran, chapter (sura) 1, verse 2.
[5] [Bukhari 1,3,4] refers to Sahih al-Bukhari, volume 1, book 3, number 4.
[6] [Muslim 001,0031] refers to Sahih Muslim, book 12, number 1234.
[7] As a source for hadith we used the websites of University of Southern California,, and
[8] Ishaq 123 refers to the Sira by Ishaq, margin note 123.
[9] Guillaume, Alfred. "The Life of Muhammad. A Translation of Ishaq's Sira Rasul Allah. With             Introduction and Notes by A. Guillaume." (1955).

Monday, 24 October 2016

Islam in Russia

This is a brief overview about Political Islam in Russia and the approach of the government to  Muslims. A short comment about sharia in Russia is placed at the end of this article.
Growth of the Muslim population in Russia
Muslims constitute over 50% of the population in seven of Russia's 85 administrative divisions [1].  Russia has also introduced visa-free entry (duration of up to 90 days) for the citizens of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan where Muslims form the majority of the population (ranging from 80% to 95%) [2]. The policy is aimed at compatriots living in these countries, who can speak Russian and know Russia well. But in reality it allows everybody who holds a passport of these states, to enter Russia [38].

The process of intense immigration from these countries was launched on the 22nd of June 2006 with full support of the Russian government. The desired population growth due to immigration is outlined as 300,000 people a year. The information about the state resettlement program is posted on Russian Embassy websites in the countries of Central Asia including Azerbaijan [3], Kyrgyzstan [4], Tajikistan  [5] and Uzbekistan [6]. The statistics of the application process indicate a vivid interest and intention to move to Russia by the citizens of the mentioned republics [8]. To stimulate that process, the emigrants will be subsidized to resettle as well as be provided with immediate education and medical service regardless of long waiting lists [9].   
According to forecasts, Russian Muslim population will reach 17-19% by 2020 (while the overall population may drop down to 130 million people). Most of that percentage would come from the Northern Caucasus [10]. Other statistics predict a general population growth due to immigration (with the death rate being higher than the birth rate) [11]. Thus the ethnic, national and religious structure of the country will change significantly.    
The number of mosques in Russia increased by a factor of 70 over the past 30 years. They now amount to about 7000 mosques and are geographically spread from Western and Southern regions towards Kamchatka and Sakhalin [12].
However, the Muslim population is growing, so the representatives of regional Muslim communities act as advisers and experts, and insist on adapting to the arriving Muslim immigrants by building more mosques and madrasas (religious schools in Islam), which will expand the Islamic environment beyond merely having places of worship [13].  
Mosques will provide the (non-compulsory) opportunity for studying  Russian language, and for providing both legal support and written advice for immigrants on how to behave in case of certain situations. They will also serve as temporary residence for illegal immigrants who will be waiting to obtain official papers [20], which would indirectly legalize illegal immigration. Their adaption is seen as only possible via mosques and local Muslim support. However, successful adaptation is a theory for now [14].
Russia against Islamic radicalism
The experiences of the EU show that if the population of Muslim communities grow and reach the status of a significant minority, the representatives of Islam start to request a political system based on sharia law. If we focus on the countries of Central Asia, 59% of Muslims say that sharia should be applied to Muslims only. They also support sharia as the official law of the country (35% in Kyrgyzstan, 25% in Tajikistan, 10% in Kazakhstan, 8% in Azerbaijan). The political rules of sharia are based on religious principles and describe many aspects of society and life. These principles are contrary to the democratic state based on  principles independent of religion. Generally, this political controversy is a significant cause of radicalism or, at the least, the dissatisfaction of Muslims.
During the conference "Traditional Values – Orthodox Christianity and Islam Against Terrorism and Extremism Together", the Muslim religious community, inspired by Chechen president R.Kadyrov, firmly advised the formation of a special governmental body to follow up and persecute any cases of "submissive activity" when respected Muslim books are considered to be extremist [15].
The federal state project focused on radicalism starting in 2007 [16]. Its official goal is “to design and implement the regulations to support Muslim religious communities (mosques), which are loyal to the government and to solidify their property and financial position in order to counteract radical cells”. The main idea of this project is based on the rule: “something for something”, or in other words, financial support for loyalty to governments. The implication of this project was outlined for the period of 2007-2010 and provided the basis for substantial financial support for Muslim enterprises.
By the end of 2007, Muslim religious organizations received a total of 800 million RUB (approx. 35 million USD), while Islamic religious and educational organizations obtained the opportunity to promote themselves on the state level [16], [17].  No other religions in Russia have such a privilege. The principle of the Russian secular state and equality of religions was thus violated. 
In spite of the state project against radicalism, Russian jails allow "orthodox" Wahhabism to be taught.  Specially trained imams carry out disciplinary talks with prisoners, and some jails now have rooms for Islamic worship [18, 19]. The result of this process is that a large number of prisoners convert to fundamental Wahhabism. The avalanche-like character of this movement causes concern among the authorities, but they fail to counteract it effectively.
Understanding Political Islam
Many Russian people do not view Political Islam as an ideology threatening secular democratic values and freedoms (of religion). This is caused, perhaps, by the memories of older generations of the peaceful coexistence of Muslim and non-Muslim nationalities under Soviet rule.
This ignorance of Political Islam is quite clear in the opinions of the Russian population. As an example, 10% of Russians are aware of the Islamic State phenomenon [20] and that it claimed certain areas of the Northern Caucasus to be their provinces.  It means that ISIS wants to establish a rigid religious state under sharia law in that area.  It needs to be understood that sharia law divides the world into  Dar-al-Islam, The House of Peace, which is the state under sharia law, and Dar al-Harb, The House of War, which means the state that is not under sharia law. The ultimate goal of Political Islam is to incorporate the House of War into the House of Islam. This goal was proclaimed by Mohammed.
On the other hand, 74% of respondents opposed wearing hijabs at schools and universities. In Moscow, the share of those who spoke against it reached the highest rate – 91% of those surveyed. This was also supported by the Russian Ministry of Education [20].
Sharia Law in Russia
In 2005 Russia joined the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and thus became subject to global Islamic movements and resolutions. This idea was fully supported by the Russian Orthodox Church [21], [22].
After the International Conference on Jihad, Takfir and Caliphate (25-26 May, 2012), it became evident that the processes which Europe is now going through, will also include Russia. The difference is that the Russian part of the ummah, the Muslim political, religious and cultural community, has not yet reached significant size and has not gained sufficient representation in regional and federal authorities.
According to the Moscow Theological Report, which outlines the Muslim stance on certain issues, military jihad is acceptable within a country to keep and ensure massive advancement of the religion. Infidels and their territories are the properties of Allah but, at times, actions against them may create a negative image of Islam. A Caliphate can be a solution to a modern society, particularly in the case of absence of a state governor or of his incapacity [23]. The Caliphate state is based on religious rules – sharia law. One of the major Muslim newspapers recognized the Theological Report as being as significant as the Cairo Declaration of 1993 [24], which outlined the idea of human rights based on sharia [25].
Understanding the opinion of Muslims in Russia is useful in this context. The statistics show that 52% of Muslims believe sharia is the revealed word of God, 42% favored making Islamic law the official law in their country and 58% believe religious leaders should have significant or at least, partial political influence [26].
Regardless of their apparent worldly lifestyle and frequently elitist position in business or politics, Muslims continue identifying with Islamic tradition when it comes to family, society and state.
In public speeches and interviews, leading and well-established adherents of the Islamic faith express these views both openly and indirectly [27, 28]. In the conditions of modern society, changes and modernization of Islam are not meant to happen. Instead it is deemed necessary “to manipulate the minds” and persuade those who experienced aggression at the hands of  Muslims [29]. 
It was also stated that the application of sharia law is unavoidable on a state level in Chechnya, Karachaevo-Cherkessiya and Dagestan, while in Russia, sharia may be introduced in experimental areas – to see how well it works. It will primarily concern property, inheritance and family disputes, as well as legalizing polygamy. Such an approach will create the necessary foundation for the further complete introduction of sharia on Russian land [27].
Following the scandalous statement by lawyer Dagir Khasavov on the “Ren-TV” channel, who attempted to introduce sharia legally, this idea was supported by the Russian Orthodox Church [30, 31]. It should be pointed out that according to Khasavov, Islamic law will be established in Russia anyway, and any effort to oppose it will result in serious “blood-spilling” violence [32]. Also, Chechnyan president Ramzan Kadyrov told the French newspaper Le Figaro that he does not recognize anything as being higher than Islamic law (as quoted by and [33].
Sharia Banking
A Russian and Malaysian Consortium began in April 2015 to research and analyze the potential viability of Islamic banking in Russia. It is expected that by June 2016, the Duma will amend respective points in the legislation which will allow sharia banks to operate in Russia [34]. Islamic financial services have been provided in Mahachkala and Kazan since 2011, but they were not granted Central Bank license, and thus they are not official banks. Their services are limited and exclude provision of loans and saving accounts [35].
As of September 2015 the first sharia bank cards were officially issued by Moscow Industrial Bank [36].
The Muslim population in Russia is growing in  numbers and has greater leverage to insist on Islamic values while being in a democratic society. Muslims are not influential enough to legalize sharia nationwide, so they will make it a parallel system contradicting the Russian constitution.
It will probably change over the years as the Muslim proportion of the population becomes significantly greater.
The active practice of  sharia, which implies various human rights violations and presents threats to the freedom and lives also of non muslims, is being promoted by traditional Muslims. It is not the invention of jihadists.  
This process is not new and is similar to the methods used by Mohamed. In the beginning of  Islam, Mohamed focused on its religious aspects. Later, after moving to Medina, Mohamed became a politician and warrior and was focused on jihad. His main struggle was focused on submission of non-believers and the physical fight against the enemies of Islam.
Written 9 January, 2016
Center for the Study of Political Islam

[1] Двадцатка самых исламизированных регионов России. Islam-today [online]. 2012.
[2] Сколько мусульман живет в разных странах мира? [online] 2015.сколько-мусульман-живет-в-разных-стра/
[3] Государственная программа по оказанию содействия добровольному переселению в Российскую Федерацию соотечественников, проживающих за рубежом. Российское посольство в Азербайджане [online]. 2012.
[4] Государственная программа по оказанию содействия добровольному переселению в Российскую Федерацию соотечественников, проживающих за рубежом. Российское посольство в Киргизстане [online]. 2012.
[5] Государственная программа по оказанию содействия добровольному переселению в Российскую Федерацию соотечественников, проживающих за рубежом. Российское посольство в Таджикистане [online]. 2012.
[6] Государственная программа по оказанию содействия добровольному переселению в Российскую Федерацию соотечественников, проживающих за рубежом. Российское посольство в Узбекистане [online] 2012.
[7]   Участие соотечественников в государственной программе переселения. [online]. 2012.
[8] Статистика выполнения программы переселения соотечественников. ФМС [online]. 2013-2015.
[10] Ислам в России в 2020 году. Би-би-си Россия [online]. 2005.
[11] Демография. Федеральная служба государственной статистики [online]. 2015.
[12] СМР: число мечетей в РФ превысило 7 тысяч - это беспрецедентный рост. РИА Новости [online]. 2014.
[13] «Исламский фактор» в миграционных процессах в России. Алексей Старостин. [online]. 2012.
[14] “”Русский москвич”: “Кавказцам не место рядом с моей дочерью!”. [online]. 2015.
[15] Представители различных конфессий на встрече в Пятигорске предложат создать федеральное министерство религий РФ. [online]. 2015.
[16] О содержании, направленности и последствиях реализации Плана мероприятий по обеспечению подготовки специалистов с углубленным знанием истории и культуры ислама в 2007–2010 годах. Аналитическая записка. И.В. Понкин, доктор юридических наук,
член Общественной палаты по образованию в городе Москве. 2008.        
[17] Международня конференция по вопросам джихада, такфира и халифата. [online] 2012.
[18] Ваххабизм в российских тюрьмах: распространение и последствия. Агентство Политических Новостей [online]. 2014.
[19] Ислам в авторитете. Совершенно секретно [online]. 2015.Больше%20информации%20на%20©%20ВОПРОСИК
[20] Россияне не поддержали ношение хиджабов в учебных заведениях. Левада-Центр [online]. 2015.
[21] Рустам Минниханов намерен активизировать работу группы "Россия - исламский мир". Tat-center [online]. 2015.
[22] РПЦ видит во вступлении России в ОИК положительные стороны. 2003.
[23] Лояльность россиян к мигрантам достигла рекордного уровня. Левада-Центр [online]. 2015.
[24] Московская богословская декларация по вопросам джихада, такфира и халифата. Кавказский узел [online]. 2012.
[25] Red Pill Brief. Stephen Coughlin. Vienna, 2015.
[26] The World's Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society, 2013
[27] Московская богословская декларация по вопросам джихада, такфира и халифата. [online]. 2012.
[28] Муфтий Чечни Салих-хаджи Межиев: «Политика и ислам часто пересекаются, и я не вижу в этом ничего плохого». Портал мусульман Кавказа [online]. 2015.«politika-i-islam-chasto-peresekayutsya,-i-ya-ne-vizhu-v-etom-nichego-ploxogo».html
[29] Хаджимурат Гацалов: «На Россию с надеждой смотрят многие государства». Русская планета [online]. 2015.
[30] Протоиерей Чаплин допустил легализацию судов шариата в России. [online]. 2012.
[31] Такой шариат нам не нужен. [online]. 2012.
[32] Мусульмане угрожают залить Москву кровью. РЕН-Тв. 2012.
[33] Кадыров заявил, что шариат важнее законов РФ, а "врагов ислама" следует уничтожать. 2010.
[34] Исламский банкинг в период кризиса и возможности развития в России. Muslimeco [online]. 2015.
[35] Банкам разрешат кредитовать россиян по шариату. Известия [online]. 2015.
[36] Ассортимент банковских карт в РФ пополнился шариатским продуктом. 2015.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Statement of Center for the Study of Political Islam related to France Jihad Attack from July 14th 2016

Once again, a terrible act of violent jihad has taken place in France, leaving scores of people brutally killed or grievously injured. This horrific event offers us yet another opportunity to speak the truth about the political doctrine at the heart of Islam. If this essential truth is not addressed, jihad will always “surprise” its victims, and our media will call it “terrorism,” “Islamism,” “an attack,” “a hate crime,” etc. The longer we ignore the incontrovertible source of this behavior, the greater the risk to future generations. Let us pinpoint the source and speak boldly about it. Let us educate as many people as possible. This is the only way to prevent further violent jihad.

To understand the nature of these acts, let us first clarify those things that are not the causes. Those who blame “Radical Islam” misunderstand Islamic doctrine. Such acts are not radical, but noble acts of jihad. Every Muslim should behave according to the example of the prophet Mohammed, whom the Koran defines 91 times as the superior example. To that end, Mohammed was involved in a violent event every six weeks for the last nine years of his life.

“Islamism” is another empty term, but one chosen by many in deference to political correctness. It suggests that such barbaric acts are contrary to basic Islam, which is not true. Everything that happened in France is in totally unity with the political doctrine of Islam (comprised by the tripartite authority of the Koran, the life of Mohammed profiled in the Sira, and the traditions of Mohammed compiled in the Hadith).

What we call “hate crimes” are standard and acceptable attitudes towards Kafirs (non-Muslims) as justified by Allah according his prophet Mohammed. Kafirs can be hated, terrorized, enslaved, deceived, raped, mocked, beheaded, annihilated, robbed, and humiliated. Islamic sources variously refer to Kafirs by different names - liars, evil, partners of Satan, unclean, cursed, arrogant, blind, and ignorant.

Ultimately, the killing of non-Muslims is explicitly encouraged and justified in the three standard sources of Islamic doctrine. The most recent cruel jihadi attack was made entirely in keeping with the example of the prophet Mohammed and his god Allah.

So what is the real cause of the jihadi attack? Political Islam. 51% of the three authoritative Islamic sources refer to non-Muslims, which means that while 49% of Islam is mainly religious, the rest is politics. Mohammed and Allah are an inseparable part of Political Islam, being the creators and initiators of violent jihad. In concrete terms, 31% of the trilogy (9% of Koran, 67% of Sira and 21% of Hadith) is about jihad. While Muslims claim that there is a “greater jihad” related to inner spiritual struggle and that the killing jihad is the “lesser jihad,” the bulk of the literature speaks to the contrary. 98% of all jihad hadiths (Sahih al-Bukhari) call killing jihad (“lesser jihad”) the best action.

The terrible act in France is utterly heartbreaking. We have to arm ourselves with proper arguments and join the informational war. The only chance of preventing future acts of violence is to understand the nature of violent jihad. Recognizing authentic Islamic doctrine means that we will be able to predict the future, because jihadist act entirely predictably. Thus, sharing this information will save lives around the whole world.

Please learn more by visiting and join our movement - before it is too late.

Center for the Study of Political Islam

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Amsar and No-Go Zones

The steady increase of Muslim population in Europe triggered a debate on the nature of their settlement within European cities. Officially the existence of “no-go zones”, or “sharia-controlled areas” is denied, yet citizens refer to these areas as bad neighbourhoods at best, and they advise against going into these areas, because they are unsafe, especially for lonely, loosely dressed women after dark. 

As Daniel Pipes’ experience shows (Pipes 2015), law enforcement officials have a very different opinion about entering these areas from everyday citizens. Pipes drew the conclusion that his experience showed that non-Muslim civilians can enter these zones freely, it is only government representatives that are targeted by the inhabitants, so he called them partial no-go zones. It should be noted though, that Daniel Pipes, a western dressed man – not trespassing the regulations of sharia – , might draw different kind of attention at daytime than a lonely western dressed woman, which would be a breach of sharia law.

There is a historical parallel to the existence and functioning of today’s no-go zones. In the early years of the Islamic conquest of the Christian Middle East and North Africa, cities and areas came under Muslim control either by military victory (anwatan), or the “peaceful” surrender of the kafirs (solhan). The difference was that whenever a city surrendered, and a solh agreement (peace treaty) was signed, its provisions had to be respected by later rulers. Thus, three different approaches were used with regards to the conquered population: (a) in places conquered forcefully (anwatan), without an agreement, (b) the amsar al-muslimeen, garrison cities founded by the Arabs, and (c) the most complicated cases, where the city had a solh agreement, but over time the increasing Muslim population changed the city’s character. Ibn Abbas’ hadith obliges Muslims to obey the original solh treaties, but in about the 8th-9th century, the situation changed and new questions arose. Should the dhimmis be allowed to continue their lifestyle even though there are now more and more Muslims? Could they keep their churches, ring their bells, sell their pigs and wine? (Levy-Rubin 2011, 63-64) The original conquerors did not care much about the lifestyle of the conquered kafirs. They did not have the necessary manpower and concentrated more on the ongoing jihad and the spread of their influence. They established the misr camps (plural amsar), separately from the inferior kafirs, to preserve their morale, protect themselves from the unknown surroundings and alien cultures, and to prepare for raids and further conquest. There was no cultural friction as long as there was no wide-scale interaction between the occupied and the occupiers.

However, it did not take long for such frictions to unfold. Muslims started to settle in dhimmi cities, and non-Muslim traders settled around the amsar. A debate started about the interpretation of the hadith, about what should be considered a misr. According to the interpretation that came out winning, any city with a considerable Muslim population was a misr, where the life of dhimmis should be restricted accordingly. Al-Shaybani and al-Tabari shared this opinion, and held the view that dhimmis should be expelled from the amsar just as they were expelled from Medina and later from Kufa by Ali Ibn Abu Taleb. The only concession that al-Shaybani has given them was that they could establish their new dwellings at the outskirts of the city. According to the Hanafi scholar al-Sarakhsi, there are no secured rights or privileges, and the solh agreements are only valid as long as Muslims are not the predominant community in the city. (Levy-Rubin 2011, 65-67)

Immediately after the conquest, the Muslims were far from being the majority, or even a significant proportion of the population. However, this situation changed by the 8th century. Muslims settled down in cities previously populated only by kafirs, and the stipulations of the solh treaties were found to be offensive and inappropriate. New regulations had to be introduced, to meet the demands of the growing Muslim population. These changing circumstances have led to the standardization of the legal framework dealing with the dhimmis. (Levy-Rubin 2011, 68) Needless to say, from the previously mentioned three approaches, the most restrictive one prevailed, and everything under Muslim control was considered a misr.

Islamic doctrine authorizes violence against the unbelievers, and more specifically the Ahl al-Kitaab, or People of the Book, who were given the holy scriptures previously, but have distanced from its “original” spirit. They should be humiliated, and confronted until they either submit and pay the jizya tax, convert to Islam or die.

Quran 8:39: “And fight them until there is no fitnah and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah. And if they cease - then indeed, Allah is Seeing of what they do.”

Quran 9:5: “And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

Quran 9:29: “Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.”

It must be noted that Islam defines all other religions, so it does not matter whether one considers himself a Jew or a Christian. Christians must abandon some of the core tenets of their belief not to be considered blasphemers or polytheists:

Quran 5:17: “Verily they are disbelievers and infidels who say, ‘The Messiah, son of Mary, is God.'”

Quran 5:72: “They are surely disbelievers who blaspheme and say: ‘God is one of three in the Trinity for there is no Ilah (God) except One, Allah. If they desist not from saying this (blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall them – the disbelievers will suffer a painful doom.”

Quran 4-171 “O People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion; nor speak lies of Allah. The Messiah, Christ Jesus, the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not ‘Trinity.’ Cease and Desist: (it is) better for you: for Allah is one Ilah (God). (Far it is removed from him of) having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs. The Messiah is proud to be a slave of Allah, as are the angels, those nearest. Those who disdain His worship and are arrogant. He will gather them all together unto Himself to (answer)…. He will punish with a painful doom; Nor will they find, besides Allah, any to protect or save them.”

The scripture also encourages Muslims to migrate for the sake of Allah:

Quran 16:41: “And those who emigrated for [the cause of] Allah after they had been wronged - We will surely settle them in this world in a good place; but the reward of the Hereafter is greater, if only they could know.”

These passages from the Islamic doctrine converge to the same direction – to migrate into the land of disbelief, to proselytize, and to subdue the unbelievers. The original hijra was designed to strengthen the Muslim community in Yathrib (Medina), so that Muhammad had enough military power to strike back at the Meccans. After this goal was achieved, migration was not emphasized anymore, up until the great jihad conquest of the Middle East and North Africa, and the eradication of its previously Christian, Zoroastrian, Jewish and several other cultures. After this point on, the hijra started again, this time into one of the amsar, or garrison cities. The ahadith emerging from this period clearly indicate the link between migration and the military needs of the ongoing jihad. During these times, migration to the amsar was massive, and entire tribes moved en bloc to settle in the land of the kafirs. The migrants (muhajirun) were also forced to cut their ties to the ancestral lands and to concentrate entirely on the conquest. (Athamina 1987, 9-10)

If the reader notices certain similarities with the events unfolding in the 7-8th centuries, during the Islamic conquest of the Christian Middle East and North Africa, and what is ongoing today, it is no coincidence. Jihad and hijra have been intertwined and continuously ongoing since the time Muhammad was forced out of Mecca. It was only halted by European nations in the 17th century by their scientific and technological superiority. As long as jihad could be carried out by spears, bows, and hatchets, that was the preferred method to eradicate the kafirs. When face to face combat offers little chance of success, other ways must be found to reach the same end state.

Today, when Europe has entirely lost its own identity and is unable to identify a) itself, b) its enemies, and c) the boundary between the two, the tool of jihad is again hijra. The identity vacuum generates an enormous force that invites Islam into its emptiness and disorientation. Under such circumstances, migration is the most efficient way of conquering new lands for Allah. Just like in the early Middle Ages, superfluous and unruly tribes and masses of single men are detached en bloc to settle in the amsar. The destination of this hijra is the misr of our time, the Muslim ghetto, which is placed in the most favourable location to carry out the jihad of the given time period. It was placed on large flat plains in the 7th century, where Arab light cavalry could have the best effect against kafir armies. Today, they are where modern jihad can be carried out most efficiently, among the soft targets of our large metropoles. 

These no-go zones function with the similar goals in mind – to prevent the intermingling with the “inferior” kafirs, to enforce sharia, and to prepare for future raids and conquest, just as the Molenbeek attackers planned their activities against the surrounding areas in complete safety. They are protected and idolized by local residents. For the inhabitants of the misr they are the warriors of jihad, fighting for the Islamic world order, based on Allah’s rule over the entire globe. History also teaches us that the relatively peaceful and tolerant attitude towards a kafir majority will quickly go to the flush when the proportion of Muslims and kafirs change over time. This demographic change will occur in a couple of decades. There is no reason for us to think that the corresponding change in the approach towards kafirs in the amsar will be any different from the historical example.

Athamina, Khalil. 1987. “A'rāb and Muhājirūn in the Environment of Amṣār.” JSTOR. Accessed 04 30, 2016.

Levy-Rubin, Milka. 2011. Non-Muslims in the Early Islamic Empire: From Surrender to Coexistence. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Pipes, Daniel. 2015. 12 02. Accessed 04 27, 2016.

Center for the Study of Political Islam