Saturday, February 21, 2009

At last, an honest Muslim puts Islam on trial

We have been treated for some time now to politicians, religious apologists and mainstream media commentators trying to clamp down the lid on public concerns about Islamic extremism.

Whenever some bizarre story arises, like the alleged murder of Asqa Parvez by her father and brother, over Islamic dress codes, the religious apologists rush to claim this has nothing to do with Islam. The British government pretends that terrorism conducted in the name of Islam is the “not-Islam” religion (try wrapping your head around that one). European nationalists who are standing up for European civilization in the face of increasing Islamification are branded by columnists as “Islamophobes”, and even Muslim writers who are on the right side of this issue refer to Islamists as “thugs”, as if they are merely criminals, like members of your local motorcycle gang.

All of this obfuscation, finger-directing, and alternative evil theorizing is done because our western society is accustomed to paying deference to religion. Most people espouse a religion, even if their practice of it is spotty. Most people associate moral living with religion and cannot fathom that a religion could promulgate a morality completely in opposition to the moral standards accepted as the norms in liberal-democracies.

Therefore, it follows that the anti-western people, who look like Muslims, who talk like Muslims, who walk like Muslims and who say they are Muslims, cannot be Muslims because Muslims are the people who have a religion and they must ipso facto be good people. These faux Muslims are “highjackers”, “thugs”, and the “non-Muslims”, their creeds and actions are culturally determined, not religiously dictated. So goes the conventional script by most Muslim commentators and their non-Muslim supporters.

But here in Canada, we can at last face the real villain, Islam, where it properly belongs, in the prisoner’s dock of one of our criminal courts.

Currently on trial under our terrorism laws is one Said Namouh. Mr. Namouth "devoted his life to spreading the ideology of al-Qaeda and encouraging others to join the jihadist movement", said Rita Katz, a Crown expert at the terrorism trial. Go to this story in the National Post for the graphic details of his enterprises.

Specifically, Mr. Namouh faces charges of conspiracy, participating in the activities of a terrorist group, facilitating terrorist activity and extortion.

The prosecutions case is that Mr. Namouh was driven by an Islam which identifies as enemies Christians, Jews and even Muslims who will not participate in the creation of pan-Islamic rule.

What makes this trial more interesting than your run-of-the-mill terrorist trial is that Mr. Namouh does not deny that he did these things. His defense is that they were a legitimate exercise of freedom of religion. He is saying that Islam suborns the overthrow of western societies and he is entitled to engage in these activities because the western society in which lives, Canada, permits him to practice his religion, which is to say the overthrow of Canada as a liberal-democracy.

His lawyer stated, "I question whether the fact of providing [Internet] links, especially when one is motivated by religious belief, is a violation of the Criminal Code.” He said that even though the beliefs of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden are "repugnant to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people, still, are they not religious beliefs? A lot turns on that."

Indeed, a lot does turn on that.

Let us hope the court correctly identifies them as legitimate religious beliefs that have no legitimacy in Canada. We will be much further ahead in dealing with the real problem and not the pretend problem.

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