Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Muslim Slave Trade of Africans and Caucasians

The Arab Muslim Slave Trade of Africans and Caucasians

If it was not for the 1400 years of Arab and Muslim Slave Trade, there would have been no slavery in America.  
Over 28 Million Africans have been enslaved in the Muslim world during the past 14 centuries While much has been written concerning the Transatlantic slave trade, surprisingly little attention has been given to the Islamic slave trade across the Sahara, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
While the European involvement in the Transatlantic slave trade to the Americas lasted for just over three centuries, the Arab involvement in the slave trade has lasted fourteen centuries, and in some parts of the Muslim world is still continuing to this day. A comparison of the Muslim slave trade to the American slave trade reveals some interesting contrasts.
While two out of every three slaves shipped across the Atlantic were men, the proportions were reversed in the Muslim slave trade. Two women for every man were enslaved by the Muslims.
While the mortality rate for slaves being transported across the Atlantic was as high as 10%, the percentage of slaves dying in transit in the Transsahara and East African slave trade was between 80 and 90%!
While almost all the slaves shipped across the Atlantic were for agricultural work, most of the slaves destined for the Muslim Middle East were for sexual exploitation as concubines, in harems, and for military service.

While many children were born to slaves in the Americas, and millions of their descendants are citizens in Brazil and the USA to this day, very few descendants of the slaves that ended up in the Middle East survive.
While most slaves who went to the Americas could marry and have families, most of the male slaves destined for the Middle East were castrated, and most of the children born to the women were killed at birth.
It is estimated that possibly as many as 11 million Africans were transported across the Atlantic (95% of which went to South and Central America, mainly to Portuguese, Spanish and French possessions. Only 5% of the slaves went to the United States).
A comparison of the Muslim slave trade to the American slave trade reveals some interesting contrasts. While two out of every three slaves shipped across the Atlantic were men, the proportions were reversed in the Muslim slave trade. Two women for every man were enslaved by the Muslims.
While the mortality rate for slaves being transported across the Atlantic was as high as 10%, the percentage of slaves dying in transit in the Transsahara and East African slave trade was between 80 and 90%!
While almost all the slaves shipped across the Atlantic were for agricultural work, most of the slaves destined for the Muslim Middle East were for sexual exploitation as concubines, in harems, and for military service.
While many children were born to slaves in the Americas, and millions of their descendants are citizens in Brazil and the USA to this day, very few descendants of the slaves that ended up in the Middle East survive.
While most slaves who went to the Americas could marry and have families, most of the male slaves destined for the Middle East were castrated, and most of the children born to the women were killed at birth. It is estimated that possibly as many as 11 million Africans were transported across the Atlantic (95% of which went to South and Central America, mainly to Portuguese, Spanish and French possessions. Only 5% of the slaves went to the United States).
While Christian Reformers spearheaded the antislavery abolitionist movements in Europe and North America, and Great Britain mobilized her Navy, throughout most of the 19th Century, to intercept slave ships and set the captives free, there was no comparable opposition to slavery within the Muslim world.
Even after Britain outlawed the slave trade in 1807 and Europe abolished the slave trade in 1815, Muslim slave traders enslaved a further 2 million Africans. This despite vigorous British Naval activity and military intervention to limit the Muslim slave trade.
By some calculations the number of victims of the 14 centuries of Muslim slave trade could exceed 180 million. Nearly 100 years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in America, and 130 years after all slaves within the British Empire were set free by parliamentary decree, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, in 1962, and Mauritania in 1980, begrudgingly removed legalized slavery from their statute books.
And this only after international pressure was brought to bear. Today numerous international organizations document that slavery still continues in some Muslim countries.
Reports on slavery in Sudan, Mauritania for instance needs looking into. Recently, a former slave from the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, Mende Nazer, had her autobiography: “Slave: My True Story” published. Mende Nazer was an alleged slave in Sudan. She was made famous by her transfer to England to serve a diplomatic family.
Mende Nazer reports that she was abducted and sold into slavery in Sudan when she was a child of twelve or thirteen (she doesn’t know when she was born). She lived in a village of the Karko Nuba in the Nuba mountains of Sudan with her family. The village was attacked one night. Mende fled with her family into the mountains.
She became separated from her family, and when a man caught her and told her he would protect her, she believed him. She had already seen people killed in front of her. The man told her to stay with a group of children.
Later, the raiders came and took all of the children to the town of Dilling, there the children were taken by families to serve as servants.
Mende also reports that she was taken by a woman from Khartoum whom she served for six or seven years. She had to do all the hard work of the household, and sleep on the floor of the garden shed.
She was never paid anything for her labor, and was frequently beaten. She wanted to leave, but had no money and nowhere to go, and was afraid to go to the police. The woman of the house said that she owned Mende, and called Mende her ‘Abda’, or slave.
Eventually Mende was sent to London to work as a domestic. After several months Mende escaped and claimed asylum. At first, the Home Office rejected her claim in October 2002. In November, the Home Office overturned its decision and granted Mende asylum.

The Red-Green Axis (Islamo-Leftist Axis)

“When analysts warn that Muslims are intent on imposing Islamic Law (sharia) in defiance of the U.S. Constitution, Islamic apologists snicker that Muslims represent only 1 percent of the U.S. population, so how could they be a threat to anyone? There are numerous reasons to be concerned. Some have claimed there is a "tipping point" when Muslim populations migrate to non-Muslim countries. This usually occurs when Muslim populations reach about 5 percent of the total. They begin to demand special privileges, like blocking off streets for prayer, special prayer times and worship rooms at work and public facilities and insisting on the non-interference of host law enforcement for the imposition of sharia within Muslim population enclaves. At higher percentages, this civil disobedience turns to violence and terrorism.[302] But in the U.S., this is already happening. The Islamic agenda, pursued by Islam's ambitious political and religious leaders and broadly supported by Muslim populations, is aggressively defended and promoted by the institutional Left, the legal Left, the education Left, the political Left, the media Left, the Hollywood Left, the religious Left, and now even the violent Left. These groups collectively represent a much larger percent of the U.S. population. As a result of the Left's successful penetration of our cultural institutions, the Islamic vanguard in this country now enjoys the commanding heights of popular culture. With the Left's help they can cajole, indoctrinate, threaten, and punish anyone who opposes them—virtually dictating terms to the rest of us. And as Islam gains political power under the tutelage of its leftist advocates, the entire Muslim population begins to feel empowered and justified in its demands for special treatment and entitled in its flagrant antisemitism and hatred for Christianity. These combined factors make Islam the perfect weapon for leftist subversion to take advantage of what is, in fact, a temporarily symbiotic relationship. The Left has used a very similar process to weaponize minority and other "marginalized" populations. So now for example, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement—whose leadership is comprised entirely of hardcore Communists and Socialists[303]—has been elevated to the presumptive role of spokesman for all American blacks, even though many American blacks recognize and detest BLM for the virulently anti-American organization it is. The gay rights agenda has similarly metastasized into a tyrannical, extreme Left movement intent on forcing acceptance of transgender bathrooms, pedophilia/pederasty, and even bestiality. It is baffling to some, but really no coincidence, that CAIR has now publicly allied itself with BLM, and claims to champion gay rights—while its Islamic brethren in the Middle East throw gays to their deaths from high-rise buildings and peddle in slavery
of every kind. Prominent members of CAIR have joined Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the largest communist organization in America, with an estimated 44,000 members.[304] Linda Sarsour, the new model spokesperson for Islam, joined DSA in 2018. Newly-elected Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib bragged about her DSA membership during her campaign, while failed Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El Sayed was christened "the Muslim Bernie." Somali refugee and former CAIR-Iowa director Abshir Omar makes no effort to hide his DSA credentials either.[305] Many Islamic leaders, including senior Iranian clerical figures, were educated at Moscow's Patrice Lumumba University (now called The Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia), a prominent training and KGB recruitment center for promising Third World students. While he denounced Saddam Hussein's socialist Ba'ath Party as infidels, even Osama bin Laden said that an alliance with Socialists against America, their common enemy, was justifiable.[306] At a 2018 event in Des Moines, Iowa, speaker John Guandolo, president of Understanding the Threat, engaged in a conversation with Abshir Omar. He asked Omar, "Is there a version of Islam that doesn't mandate killing apostates and homosexuals?" According to Guandolo, Omar answered, "No, all Islam agrees that apostates and homosexuals must be killed."[307] Given Islam's command to murder gays and apostates, the irony of devout Muslims allying with LGBTQ activists and blatant atheists, even becoming prominent members of such infidel organizations, cannot be ignored. Are these people really Muslims? Or does the objective of undermining Western civilization simply take precedence at this time? The Left has been seeking to undermine our Constitutional form of government and the rule-of-law for a century. For if the rule-of-law becomes unreliable, the rule of the fist takes over, and the Left is good at that. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has relentlessly chipped away at our Constitution for decades, most recently challenging Trump administration immigration policies by forum shopping to courts that the ACLU knows to be friendly to the Left. The open borders crowd challenges the rule-of-law by claiming "social justice" for illegal aliens is more important than law. It is all part of a strategy to sow chaos in our society and make it ungovernable by anyone except the Left. With the Islamic vanguard, the Left can really ramp up its game. Leading activists of the Islamic Movement are particularly useful because they sow discord and disunity by refusing to assimilate, and engage in practices lawful under sharia, but that violate U.S. law, like domestic abuse against women and girls, female genital mutilation (FGM), polygamy, pedophilia/pederasty, and honor
killing. They challenge American culture, traditions, and laws, and some courts are willing to side with them. Hiding behind the misapplication of the First Amendment's religious protections, they seek to undermine U.S. rule-of-law standards by demanding adoption of their own legal system, sharia. It is, rather, Article VI of the U.S. Constitution that should apply as the standard for lawful compliance in the U.S. As this author has argued almost since Barack Obama broke on the national scene, Obama is a hardcore communist. He was born to a Muslim Kenyan father, which according to Islamic Law, makes him legally a Muslim. He also has Muslim connections through his stepfather, the Indonesian Lolo Soetoro Mangunharjo, and studied Qur’an and other subjects during elementary school years in an Indonesian madrassa. His middle name Hussein refers to Mohammed's grandson.[308] There is no record of Obama’s having apostatized from Islam at any point in his life or being baptized into the Christian faith. But Obama was mentored for eight years by a card-carrying Communist Party USA member, Frank Marshall Davis, and during his presidency surrounded himself with offspring and associates of Davis' Chicago Communist colleagues. His parents and grandparents were Communists, and the bizarre Islamic cult, Subud, that both his mother and stepfather joined, has communist—even Soviet—connections.[309] Obama's love for Islam, like that of most leftists, seems to be both cultural and strategic, because the Left has found Muslims to be the perfect wrecking ball for its subversive war against America. The unholy alliance of VOLAGs, their affiliates, and self-interested politicians serves the axis—knowingly or otherwise. The relentless effort to resettle refugees and other very needy, and too often unassimilable, groups from across the globe, is changing the political, economic, and cultural dynamic all over the U.S., especially in smaller communities that often escape the public eye. Meanwhile a bipartisan congressional cabal seeking cheap labor and new
voters resists efforts to rein in legal immigration or even reduce illegal immigration. The Obama administration's dangerous support for all things Islamic facilitated unprecedented numbers of refugees and other immigrant classes from Muslim-majority nations to flood into the country. We have already witnessed the deadly consequences of these policies, as criminality and terrorist attacks committed by refugees and those resettled under other special immigrant categories begin to mirror the out-of-control situation in Western Europe. As refugee numbers grow, however, national organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) organize them, working hand-in-glove with American leftists to build power and subvert the rule of law, while attacking anyone who associates Muslim immigration with terrorism as Islamophobic.”

—The Red-Green Axis 2.0:
An Existential Threat to America and the World

Monday, February 10, 2020

Exposed: Islam’s Role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade

[mirror] Exposed: Islam’s Role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Islam’s history with the West has been one of unwavering antagonism and seismic clashes, often initiated by the former.  By the standards of history, nothing between the two civilizations is as well documented as this long war.  Accordingly, for more than a millennium, both educated and not so educated Europeans knew—the latter perhaps instinctively—that Islam was a militant creed that for centuries attacked and committed atrocities in their homelands, all in the name of “holy war,” or jihad.
These facts have been radically “updated” in recent times. According to the dominant narrative—as upheld by mainstream media and Hollywood, pundits and politicians, academics and “experts” of all stripes—Islam was historically progressive and peaceful, whereas premodern Europe was fanatical and predatory.
Whatever else can be said about such topsy-turvy claims—and there is much—they beg the question:  if such a formerly well-known, well-documented and atrocity-laden history could be revised in a manner that presents its antithesis as the truth—with little objection or challenge—what then of Islam’s more subtle but also negative influences on history, the sort that, unlike the aforementioned centuries of violence vis-à-vis Europe, are not copiously documented or readily obvious but require serious historical investigation?
Take Islam’s role in facilitating the transatlantic slave trade—which otherwise is almost always presented as an exclusively European enterprise.
Slavery is, of course, as old as humanity.  Centuries before the coming of Islam, Europeans—Athenians, Spartans, Romans—were fully engaged in the slave trade.  With the coming of Christianity, and as it spread all throughout the Roman and post-Roman empire (circa. fourth-seventh centuries), the institution of slavery was on its way to becoming extinct.
Then Islam came.  While hardly the first to exploit human flesh, it was the best at perfecting and thriving on it in the post classical, medieval, premodern, and even modern eras—with untold millions of non-Muslims enslaved throughout the centuries (one source indicates that 15 million Europeans were alone enslaved).
As usual, it was only natural for those near and in constant contact with Islam to be infected by the same vice of dehumanizing—and thus taking advantage of—the “other.”  After all, the few instances of Christians in Europe buying and selling slaves are largely limited to the long war with Islam.  Malta’s Knights of Saint John, for instance, responded to Islamic slave raids by enslaving the raiders and other Muslims.  Similarly, those Europeans who first became involved in the African slave trade, the Spanish and Portuguese, also just so happened to be the ones who for centuries lived side by side with—often in violence and themselves enslaved to—Muslims (those of al-Andalus).
Islamic slave raids into Africa began in the mid to late seventh century; then, according to Muslim records, astronomical numbers of Africans—in the millions—were enslaved in the name of jihad.  By the time seafaring Europeans reached the coasts of West Africa, the Islamic slave trade was bustling.
While most Western historians are aware that it was African “tribesmen” who captured and sold enemy tribesmen to Europeans, left unmentioned is that the “tribal” differences often revolved around who was and was not Muslim.
As John Alembillah Azumah, an African academic and author of The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa, explained in an interview:
Slavery was a very important part of Islamic expansion in West Africa, and in fact in the Sudan, and from the very earliest period of Islamic penetration of Africa.  … Slavery was a very endemic part of Islamic interaction with Africa.  And in West Africa, the jihad’s period of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries involved massive slave raiding and slave trading; and many of the slaves that were captured and sold and sent to the transatlantic slave trade [were captured by Muslims]; most of those who were doing the slaving at the time were Muslim communities (emphasis added).
A look at historic maps seems to confirm this: the western coast of Africa, where captives were enslaved and sold to Europeans, were hotbeds of jihadi slave raids.  The populations from Senegal to Angola—the regions where arguably most African-Americans trace their bloodlines—were roughly half Islamic, half pagan between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.
More to the point, if today, when slavery has been formally abolished around most of the world, Muslim groups are still subsisting on the slave trade all throughout Africa—“Slavery Prevalent in Africa 400 Years After Transatlantic Trade Began” is a recent headline—the role Muslims played in facilitating the transatlantic slave trade should be evident.
Unfortunately, however, and as mentioned, if the obvious things of Islamic history—such as more than a millennium of unprovoked jihadi attacks on Europe—have been revised in a manner that presents the antithesis as truth, surely Islam’s more insidious or subtle role throughout history, such as its facilitation of the transatlantic slave trade, will remain unheard of.
As a side-note, here is a good, general rule of thumb to help cut through all the fake, pro-Islamic and whitewashed histories that proliferate: to know what Islam did in the past, simply look to what it is doing in the present, which includes a thriving underground—and of course aboveground—slave market.
Meanwhile, Europeans/Christians—who were actually the ones to outlaw slavery internationally—will continue to be the blame all for this tragic episode of history.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Iran’s Islamic Revolution: The Fall of The Shah

“IRAN’S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION (The Fall of the Shah) - On October 8, 1962, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the Western-oriented shah of Iran, whose father, Reza Shah, had admired Kemal Ataturk and set Iran on a secular path, granted women the right to vote in elections for local councils and gave permission for those elected to take their oaths of office on any sacred book, not just the Qur’an—which meant that they didn’t have to be Muslim. 115 In response, a little-known ayatollah named Ruhollah Khomeini and his colleagues instructed Shi’ite clergy all over the country to denounce the government. Several weeks later, the shah relented: his prime minister, Assadollah Alam, announced that candidates for local councils would have to be Muslim, that oaths must be sworn on the Qur’an only, and that the Majlis would decide the question of women’s suffrage. 116 Then, in January 1963, the shah announced a series of reforms he called the White Revolution, including distributing land to the poor and allowing women not only to vote but also to run for office. Khomeini declared, “What is happening is a calculated plot against Iranian independence and the Islamic nation, and it is threatening the foundation of Islam.” 117 He and other Shi’ite clergy called for demonstrations, which so unnerved the shah that on January 24, 1963, during a presentation on the glories of land reform, he gave an impromptu speech attacking the ayatollahs and their allies as “a stupid and reactionary bunch whose brains have not moved… stupid men who don’t understand and are ill-intentioned… they don’t want to see this country develop.” 118 The “stupid and reactionary bunch” didn’t give up, and over the years, tensions increased. The shah exiled Khomeini, but that didn’t calm the situation. In exile in Iraq in 1970, Khomeini articulated a view called velayat-e faqih (guardianship of the jurist). Islam, Khomeini argued, had not just given mankind a set of laws. “A body of laws alone,” said Khomeini, “is not sufficient for a society to be reformed. In order for law to ensure the reform and happiness of man, there must be an executive power and an executor. For this reason, God Almighty, in addition to revealing a body of law [that is, the ordinances of the Sharia]… has laid down a particular form of government together with executive and administrative institutions.” 119 Where were these divinely ordained executive and administrative institutions to be found? Khomeini argued that clerical rule, which many dismissed as an unacceptable innovation in Islam, was mandated by the example of Muhammad himself, whom the Qur’an declared to be the supreme model for Muslims (33: 21): “The Most Noble Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) headed the executive and administrative institutions of Muslim society. In addition to conveying the revelation and expounding and interpreting the articles of faith and the ordinances and institutions of Islam, he undertook the implementation of law and the establishment of the ordinances of Islam, thereby bringing into being the Islamic state.” 120 So, Khomeni argued, following the example of Muhammad, modern-day Shi’ite clerics should rule Iran and make it an Islamic state. He explained: “The fundamental difference between Islamic government, on the one hand, and constitutional monarchies and republics, on the other, is this: whereas the representatives of the people or the monarch in such regimes engage in legislation, in Islam the legislative power and competence to establish laws belongs exclusively to God Almighty.” 121 The unrest in Iran grew, and repressive measures from the shah only made matters worse. Finally, on January 16, 1979, after riots and numerous calls for him to go, a tearful shah and his family left Iran. 122 Two weeks later, on February 1, Khomeini returned to Iran after fourteen years of exile. He announced the formation of a new government, declaring: “This is not an ordinary government. It is a government based on the shari’a. Opposing this government means opposing the shari’a of Islam and revolting against the shari’a, and revolt against the government of the shari’a has its punishment in our law… it is a heavy punishment in Islamic jurisprudence. Revolt against God’s government is a revolt against God. Revolt against God is blasphemy.” 123 On November 4, 1979, a group calling itself Muslim Students Following the Imam’s Line (that is, Khomeini’s line) entered the U.S. embassy compound in Tehran and took hostage the skeleton staff of sixty-six that was still serving there after the fall of the shah. 124 Khomeini was delighted, dubbing the hostage-taking “the Second Revolution.” 125 He told a reporter, “I regard the occupation of the American Embassy as a spontaneous and justified retaliation of our people.” 126 He explained that the hostage crisis would assist the Islamic Republic in consolidating power: “This action has many benefits. The Americans do not want to see the Islamic Republic taking root. We keep the hostages, finish our internal work, then release them.” 127 Fifty-two of the American hostages remained in captivity for 444 days, until January 20, 1981.128 Khomeini continued to ensure that the Islamic Republic would be Islamic, and nothing but. He declared, “What the nation wants is an Islamic Republic. Not just a Republic, not a democratic Republic, not a democratic Islamic Republic. Do not use the word ‘democratic’ to describe it. That is the Western style.” 129 Indeed, there was nothing democratic about his regime. Khomeini embarked on a reign of terror, executing his political foes in large numbers and shutting down opposition newspapers and magazines. 130 He told secularists, “The ‘clog-wearer and the turbaned’ have given you a chance. After each revolution several thousand of these corrupt elements are executed in public and burnt and the story is over. They are not allowed to publish newspapers.… We will close all parties except the one, or a few which act in a proper manner.… We all made mistakes. We thought we were dealing with human beings. It is evident we are not. We are dealing with wild animals. We will not tolerate them any more.” 131 The Sharia state that Khomeini constructed gave Iranians neither democracy nor equality of rights under the law. In 1985, Sa’idRaja’i-Khorassani, the permanent delegate to the United Nations from the Islamic Republic of Iran, declared that “the very concept of human rights was ‘a Judeo-Christian invention’ and inadmissible in Islam.… According to Ayatollah Khomeini, one of the shah’s ‘most despicable sins’ was the fact that Iran was among the original group of nations that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” 132 Khomeini thundered that fighting was an Islamic duty: “Jihad or Holy War, which is for the conquest of [other] countries and kingdoms, becomes incumbent after the formation of the Islamic State in the presence of the Imam or in accordance with his command. Then Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled or incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world.… Islam’s Holy War is a struggle against idolatry, sexual deviation, plunder, repression and cruelty.… But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world.” 133 The goal of this conquest would be to establish the hegemony of Islamic law. Khomeini had no patience for those who insisted that Islam was a religion of peace: Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them [the non-Muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non-Muslims] overcome us? Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean that we should surrender [to the enemy]? Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Qur’anic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim. 134 Under the Islamic Republic, Iran became a totalitarian Sharia backwater and a chief financier of global jihad terrorism. Iran was the embodiment of a notorious statement of Khomeini’s: “Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious. Islam does not allow swimming in the sea and is opposed to radio and television serials. Islam, however, allows marksmanship, horseback riding and competition.” 135 The Party of Allah There was no fun in Islam—or in Iran, either. Through its proxy, the Lebanese jihad terror group Hizballah (Party of Allah), the Islamic Republic pursued jihad against the United States. On October 23, 1983, Hizballah bombed military barracks in Beirut, murdering 241 American servicemen (including 220 Marines) and fifty-eight French military personnel. Hizballah and Iran denied involvement in that bombing, but there was considerable evidence to the contrary—not least the fact that the truck carrying the over twenty-one thousand pounds of TNT that exploded at the barracks was driven by Ismail Ascari, an Iranian national. On May 30, 2003, U.S. District Court judge Royce Lamberth found Iran and Hizballah responsible for the bombing, which he called “the most deadly state-sponsored terrorist attack made against United States citizens before September 11, 2001.” 136 The Lebanese terror group also won notoriety for its jihad suicide bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut on April 18, 1983, which killed sixty-three people, including seventeen Americans. As he did in the barracks case, Lamberth found that the embassy bombing had been carried out by Hizballah and financed by Iranian officials. Hizballah continued its actions against the United States by kidnapping the CIA station chief in Lebanon, William Buckley, on March 16, 1984. Buckley’s captors subsequently delivered several videos to American embassies showcasing how they were torturing him. After viewing the first, CIA director William Casey said: “I was close to tears. It was the most obscene thing I had ever witnessed. Bill was barely recognizable as the man I had known for years. They had done more than ruin his body. His eyes made it clear his mind had been played with. It was horrific, medieval and barbarous.” 137 No one knows for certain when William Buckley died. The likeliest time is sometime during the night of June 3, 1985, the 444th day of his captivity.” 138 Hizballah’s primary mission, of course, was to wage jihad against Israel. Hizballah founder Hassan Nasrallah has said, “If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” 139 Hizballah menaced the Jewish state from Lebanon in the North, while Hamas (Sunni, but also funded by Iran) harassed it from Gaza in the South. The Islamic Republic’s Example In the last two decades of the twentieth century, the Islamic Republic of Iran became for those who believed that Islamic law was the sole legitimate source of law for every society what the Republic of Turkey had been for secular Muslims in the middle of the century: an example and an inspiration, an indication that a group with their perspective could succeed in overthrowing an established national government and take and hold power in a state. Bringing down the biggest infidel state of all in the second half of the twentieth century was the goal of other jihad groups.”

— The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS by Robert Spencer

The Jihad in India Begins

THE JIHAD IN INDIA BEGINS - Conquering Sindh In 711, the same year that Tariq ibn Ziyad and his men crossed the Strait of Gibraltar in Count Julian’s boats and began the jihad against Spain, the Umayyad Empire was expanding eastward as well. Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, the governor of Iraq, sent the general Muhammad ibn Qasim into Sindh, modern-day western Pakistan. It was the beginning of the jihad conquest of India. Hajjaj gave his commander ruthlessly precise instructions: My ruling is given: Kill anyone belonging to the combatants [ahl-i harb]; arrest their sons and daughters for hostages and imprison them. Whoever submits…grant them aman [protection] and settle their tribute [amwal] as dhimmah.19 This policy severely discouraged resistance. The Muslim invaders of India treated the native population with extraordinary harshness. In jihad campaigns in Europe, as well as in the Middle East and Persia, the warriors of jihad had subjugated the local populations and collected the jizya from them—the Qur’an-mandated (9:29) poll tax to be paid by the People of the Book, that is, the monotheistic Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians. But the Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists whom Muhammad ibn Qasim and his jihadis encountered in Hindustan were not People of the Book, and hence no jizya could be demanded from them. Their only choices were to convert to Islam or face the sword of Islam. The Indians quickly realized just how ruthless their foe really was. As the Muslims besieged the city of Brahmanabad, its inhabitants saw the writing on the wall: If we unite and go forth to fight, we will be killed: for even if peace is [subsequently] made, those who are combatants [ahl-i silat] will all be put to death. As for the rest of the people; aman is given to the merchants, artisans, and agriculturalists. It is better that we be trusted. Therefore, we should surrender the fort to him on the basis of a secure covenant [ahd-i wathiq].20 However, not all of the Sindhis were that willing to give up without a struggle, even at Brahmanabad. The Muslim response was just as fierce; Muslims massacred between six thousand and twenty-six thousand Sindhis at Brahmanabad, six thousand more at Rawar, four thousand at Iskalandah, and six thousand at Multan. As Muhammad ibn Qasim’s jihad in India continued, however, it proved to be impractical to offer all the people in India the choice of conversion to Islam or death: there were simply too many people in India for them all to be converted to Islam or killed. Consequently, an adjustment had to be made, and Muhammad ibn Qasim ultimately granted the Hindus the status of the People of the Book, accepting their submission and payment of the jizya, with the ultimate objective remaining to bring all of these people into the fold of Islam.21 The jihadis, however, were unremittingly ruthless toward Hindu temples. The Qur’an says: “And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned.” (22:40) The Qur’an regards Jesus and the prophets of Hebrew Scriptures as prophets and the Torah and Gospel as legitimate revelations, although it contends that the Jews and Christians twisted their prophets’ words and altered the scriptures they received. Consequently, while many churches and synagogues were seized throughout the history of jihad and turned into mosques, this was never a thoroughgoing or universal policy. Hindu temples, by contrast, were always considered to be centers of idolatry, in which the “name of Allah” was not “much mentioned,” and consequently they were to be destroyed whenever possible. At Daybul, the Muslims faced a force of four thousand Rajputs (Indian warriors) and two to three thousand Brahmins (Hindu priests) defending a Hindu temple. Once victorious, Muhammad ibn Qasim had the temple destroyed and the Brahmins circumcised so as to convert them to Islam. However, seeing that his new converts were resisting, rather than embracing, their new religion, he ordered all of them over the age of seventeen to be executed.22 The victorious jihadis began a massacre so intensive that it lasted three days.23 Young women and children were enslaved, but in a rare act of mercy, older women were freed outright.24 Seeing the immensity of the task before him, Muhammad ibn Qasim began encouraging the locals to surrender rather than fight; but this aroused the ire of his boss. Hajjaj wrote to Muhammad urging him to be more discriminating between those who had surrendered sincerely and those who had not, and charged that his practice of granting protection was un-Islamic: I am appalled by your bad judgment and astounded by your policies. Why are you so intent on giving aman, even to an enemy whom you have tested and found hostile and intransigent? It is not necessary to give aman to everyone without discrimination.… In any case, if [the Sindis] sincerely request aman and desist from treachery, they will surely stop fighting. Then income will meet expenditures and this long situation will be concluded.… It is acknowledged that all your procedures have been in accordance with religious law [bar jadah-yi shar] except for the one practice of giving aman. For you are giving aman to everyone without distinguishing between friend and foe.25 His instructions to Muhammad ibn Qasim were ruthlessly precise: God says, “Give no quarter to infidels but cut their throats.” Then you shall know that this is the command of the great God. You shall not be too ready to grant protection, because it will prolong your work. After this give no quarter to any enemy except those of rank.26 Muhammad ibn Qasim may have been too lenient for Hajjaj’s taste, but as he subdued Sindh he was ruthless against manifestations of non-Muslim religion. At Nirun, he had a mosque built on the site of a Buddhist temple, and appointed an imam to instruct converts in the new, dominant religion. After a series of victories over Dahir, king of Sindh, Muhammad wrote triumphantly to Hajjaj: The forts of Siwistan and Sisam have been already taken. The nephew of Dahir, his warriors, and principal officers have been dispatched, and infidels converted to Islam or destroyed. Instead of idol temples, mosques and other places of worship have been built, pulpits have been erected, the Khutba [Islamic Friday sermon] is read, the call to prayers is raised so that devotions are performed at the stated hours. The takbir [“Allahu akbar”] and praise to the Almighty God are offered every morning and evening.27 At Multan, Muhammad ibn Qasim ordered the destruction of an immense idol made of gold, with eyes of rubies. According to the Chach Nama, a twelfth-century Persian history of the conquest of Sindh that may have been based on an earlier Arabic original, “Two hundred and thirty mans of gold were obtained, and forty jars filled with gold dust. This gold and the image were brought to the treasury together with the gems and pearls and treasures which were obtained from the plunder of Multan.”28 Muhammad ibn Qasim left another idol in place at Multan because of its popularity, intending to profit from the many offerings left there; however, to show his horror at Hindu superstition, and seeing that the cow was sacred to Hindus, he ordered that the idol’s necklace be removed and replaced with a piece of cow’s flesh.29 The idol did not protest. The great general and his followers told the Hindus that was a sign that their idols were false and the harsh god of the invaders was the only true god. The conquering jihad commander sent some of his massive haul back to the caliph Walid, along with two choice sex slaves, the daughters of the Sindhi king Dahir himself. One of them, named Janaki, particularly caught the caliph’s eye, but when he took her to bed, the panicked girl told him that she had already been raped by Muhammad ibn Qasim. Walid was enraged. Muhammad ibn Qasim had dared to send him damaged goods. Immediately he ordered that the victorious general, victories or no, be sewn up into a rawhide sack and shipped to his court. By the time the sack containing Muhammad ibn Qasim arrived, he was already dead. The cause of Walid’s monumental fit of temper, Janaki, was appalled. “The king has committed a very grievous mistake,” she exclaimed, “for he ought not, on account of two slave girls, to have destroyed a person who had taken captive a hundred thousand modest women like us and who instead of temples had erected mosques, pulpits and minarets.”30 In any case, the killing of Muhammad ibn Qasim stalled the jihad in India. But the subcontinent was never forgotten. A century or so after Muhammad ibn Qasim’s jihad in Sindh, words were put into the mouth of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, emphasizing the importance of jihad in India. Abu Huraira, one of Muhammad’s companions, is depicted in a hadith as saying: “The Messenger of Allah promised that we would invade India.”31 In another hadith, Muhammad himself says: “There are two groups of my Ummah whom Allah will free from the Fire: The group that invades India, and the group that will be with Isa bin Maryam [Jesus Christ], peace be upon him.”32

The Jihad in Europe: Ottomans

“THE JIHAD IN EUROPE The #Ottomans continued their ascent. The #Safavid Persians, who had just adopted Shi’ism in 1501, were a new and potent force confronting the Ottoman sultanate in eastern Asia Minor; as the Ottomans grew in power and confidence, a confrontation was inevitable. There was, however, one obstacle: the Qur’an forbids Muslims to kill fellow Muslims (4: 92), and so these Shi’a had to be declared non-Muslim. A decree therefore went out that “according to the precepts of the holy law,” the Safavid Shah Ismail and his followers were “unbelievers and heretics. Any who sympathize and accept their false religion or assist them are also unbelievers and heretics. It is a necessity and a divine obligation that they be massacred and their communities be dispersed.” 1 The Ottoman sultan Selim then wrote to Shah Ismail: “You have subjected the upright community of Muhammad… to your devious will [and] undermined the firm foundation of the faith; you have unfurled the banner of oppression in the cause of aggression [and] no longer uphold the commandments and prohibitions of the Divine Law; you have incited your abominable Shii faction to unsanctified sexual union and the shedding of innocent blood.” 2 The jihad against the Shi’ites thus justified, the Ottomans defeated them in 1514, and drove them from the eastern regions of Asia Minor. Two years later, the Ottomans defeated the #Mamluks and gained control of Syria and the Holy Land and defeated them again to win Egypt shortly thereafter. Their preeminence in the Islamic world, outside of Persia and India, was now secured, and then cemented in 1517 when the last Abbasid caliph, al-Mutawakkil III, surrendered his authority to the Ottoman caliph Selim I. 3 Although the Holy Land had been occupied by Muslims since 1291, the Ottoman presence there was alarming to the crowned heads of Europe, who had long had an opportunity to see the Ottomans up close, far closer than they would have preferred. Pope Leo X tried to organize a new Crusade, and in 1518 called upon the leaders of Europe to stop their infighting and unite against the jihadis, but it was that very infighting that prevented any concerted European effort against the Ottomans. The Ottomans even became a rhetorical weapon in that infighting. In response to Pope Leo X’s efforts toward a new Crusade, the pioneering reformer Martin Luther declared that “to fight against the Turk is the same thing as resisting God, who visits our sin upon us with this rod.” 4 In polemicizing against the Roman Church, Luther even charged that the papacy was worse than the Ottoman caliphate, thus making a Crusade against the Ottomans in alliance with the pope anathema to many Protestants: The Pope, with his followers, commits a greater sin than the Turk and all the Heathen.… The Turk forces no one to deny Christ and to adhere to his faith.… Though he rages most intensely by murdering Christians in the body—he, after all, does nothing by this but fill heaven with saints.… The Pope does not want to be either enemy or Turk.… He fills hell with nothing but “Christians”.… This is committing real spiritual murder and is every bit as bad as the teaching and blasphemy of Mohammed and the Turks. But whenever men do not allow him to practice this infernal diabolical seduction—he adopts the way of the Turk, and commits bodily murder too.… The Turk is an avowed enemy of Christ. But the Pope is not. He is a secret enemy and persecutor, a false friend. For this reason, he is all the worse! 5 Luther’s broadside was one of the earliest examples of what was to become a near-universal tendency in the West: the downplaying of jihad atrocities and their use in arguments between Westerners to make one side look worse. No Crusade was forthcoming. And so, with their rivals defeated or at bay, the now undisputed Ottoman caliphate could turn its attention once again to Europe. The janissaries were the spearhead of this new jihad effort. As converted Christians, they were more trustworthy as slaves of the sultan than Muslims would have been, as it was widely believed that the Muslims would use their position to favor their relatives and home regions. But the janissaries, cut off from their families and homelands, aroused no such concerns. A contemporary observer explained: “If Christian children accept Islam, they become zealous in the faith and enemies of their relatives.” 6 This was so widely accepted as axiomatic that a Christian visitor, Baron Wenceslas Wradislaw, noted: “Never… did I hear it said of any pasha, or observe either in Constantinople or in the whole land of Turkey, that any pasha was a natural born Turk; on the contrary, kidnapped, or captured, or turned Turk.” 7 Commanding this force of zealous converts from 1520 to 1566 was the sultan who came to be known as Suleiman the Magnificent, who took the Ottoman caliphate to the height of its power. His jihadis defeated the Knights Hospitallers of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, whom the Ottomans regarded (in the words of an official of the sultanate) as “professional cutthroats and pirates,” taking the island of Rhodes after a 145-day siege in 1522.8 Ottoman power over the eastern Mediterranean was near total, with only Cyprus and Crete remaining outside the domains of the caliphate. But the Ottomans generally neglected Rhodes, to the degree that the Venetian envoy Pietro Zeno asserted the year after its conquest that “the Sultan has no use for Rhodes.” 9 Zeno may not have realized that the Ottomans had not taken Rhodes to put it to any particular use, but simply because the jihad imperative was universal and absolute. In 1526, the sultan ordered his jihad warriors to take Vienna. The armies were under the supervision of Ibrahim Pasha, Suleiman’s grand vizier, a Greek Christian who had been captured, enslaved, and converted to Islam as a boy, and who had then risen high in the Ottoman court after befriending Suleiman. When the jihadis arrived at Belgrade on their way to Austria, Suleiman ordered Ibrahim to take it, recounting later in his diary that he told him “it will be but a bite to last him till breakfast at Vienna.” 10 Once Belgrade was taken, Suleiman noted with satisfaction that “the Grand Vezir has 500 soldiers of the garrison beheaded; 300 others are taken away into slavery.” 11 The jihadis moved into Hungary, where they soundly defeated a massive Hungarian force at Mohacs. On August 31, 1526, Suleiman recorded in his diary, speaking of himself in the third person: “The Sultan, seated on a golden throne, receives the homage of the viziers and the beys; massacre of 2,000 prisoners; the rain falls in torrents.” 12 He ordered Mohacs to be burned. Its site came to be known among Hungarians as “the tomb of the Hungarian nation.” 13 Four days later, the jihadis took Buda. Suleiman recorded the details: “Sept. 4. Order to massacre all peasants in the camp. Women alone exempted. Akinjis forbidden to plunder.” 14 The akinjis were the Ottoman cavalry and advance troops. They ignored the antiplunder order, and Suleiman did not punish them for doing so. 15 The jihadis burned Buda and seized the treasures of its renowned library and much of its great art, including statues of Hercules, Diana, and Apollo, for shipment back to Constantinople. 16 Suleiman took the most satisfaction in seizing two immense cannons that Mehmet II was forced to leave behind after one of his campaigns. The Hungarians had put them on display as trophies signifying their defeat of the Ottomans; there was to be no more of that. 17 Suleiman lingered awhile in Hungary, but unexpectedly, he did not make it part of the Ottoman Empire. The historian Kemal Pasha Zadeh, a contemporary of Suleiman, wrote: “The time when this province should be annexed to the possession of Islam had not yet arrived.… The matter was therefore postponed to a more suitable occasion.” 18 He instead chose the next Hungarian king, John Zapolya, and made him his vassal. Apparently, the sultan did not think that the territory could be held securely or governed effectively from Constantinople at that time, and this was reinforced when he set out again in May 1529 and his armies, stymied by heavy rains, took almost four months to return to Buda. 19 Once there, Suleiman crowned his vassal Hungarian king and embarked for Vienna. When they arrived in September 1529, the Muslims plundered and set fire to the villages surrounding the city, and then laid siege to the city itself. This time Luther green-lighted the defense of Christendom against the Turks, and a combined force of Catholics and Protestants, some of whom had just arrived three days before the Ottomans, were inside Vienna ready to defend it against the jihadi onslaught. The bad weather forced Suleiman to leave behind some of his key equipment at Buda, and this hampered the assault by the Muslims, yet they still had a considerable force to throw at the city, and they did. The Christians held firm. Suleiman abandoned the siege in mid-October, burning to death all of his prisoners except those who would be useful as slaves, and set out for Constantinople. Back at Buda, John Zapolya lavished flattery upon his master, congratulating Suleiman for his “successful campaign.” 20 Suleiman tried again in 1532 to take Vienna but wasn’t even able to get into Austria; Archduke Ferdinand of Austria stopped the jihadis in Hungary. However, the sultan did not forget Vienna. He had better luck against the Shi’ite Safavids, from whom he took Baghdad in 1534. On a fortress in Bessarabia (modern-day Mol-dova), Suleiman inscribed a boast proclaiming himself the master of the Safavids, Byzantines, and Mamluks: “In Baghdad I am the shah, in Byzantine realms the Caesar, and in Egypt the sultan.” 21 The Safavids and Mamluks were not entirely subdued, but he had beaten them both enough to give substance to the boast. Egypt became a valued source for slaves captured from sub-Saharan Africa: at the Turkish port of Antalya, a customs official in 1559 noted the arrival of cargo from Egypt, among which “black slaves, both male and female, constituted the bulk of the traffic. Many ships carried slaves exclusively.” 22 Mindful of his Islamic responsibility, Suleiman oversaw extensive renovations at Mecca, ensuring a pure water supply for pilgrims and opening schools of Islamic theology. In Jerusalem, he had the Dome of the Rock redecorated in the Ottoman style. He was careful always to keep the dhimmis in their place. In 1548, the French ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, M. d’Aramon, visited the Holy Land and reported: “Jerusalem has been enclosed by city walls built by the Turks, but there are neither ramparts nor a ditch. The town is medium-sized and not much populated, the streets are narrow and unpaved.… The so-called temple of Solomon is at the base of the city… round and with a lead-covered dome; around its core are chapels as in our churches, which is all one can surmise because no Christian is permitted to enter the area without threat of death or having to become a [Muslim].” 23 As he grew older, Suleiman’s zealousness for jihad waned. His campaigns against Christian Europe became a distant memory. For some of those around him, this was an indictment. In 1566, when Suleiman was seventy-one years old and had not led an expedition into Europe for twenty-three years, his daughter Mihrimah Sultan reproached the caliph for neglecting his Islamic obligation to lead the armies of Islam in jihad warfare against non-Muslims. 24 Suleiman was stung by the criticism, particularly from a woman, and found no better retort than to get back on his horse. Several months later, outside the fortress of Szigetvar in Hungary, which the jihadis were besieging, the old warrior died in his tent. 25 To avoid demoralizing the troops, his death was not announced for forty-eight days; a page who slightly resembled him was dressed in his clothes and carried in his litter on the journey home, but most onlookers saw through the ruse. 26 The real Suleiman’s heart, liver, and some other organs were buried in a tomb there that became a popular pilgrimage site for Ottoman Muslims; the rest of his remains were taken back to Constantinople—which the Ottomans often referred to as Istanbul (“ to the city” in Greek) or, using the Turkish cognate, Konstantiniyye—and buried there. 27 Russia and a Canal Suleiman’s successor as sultan and caliph, Selim II, immediately faced new challenges. In 1552, the Russian czar Ivan the Terrible annexed the Central Asian Tatar khanate of Kazan; in 1556 he likewise incorporated the Astrakhan khanate into his domains. A large number of Muslims came under Russian rule. In 1567, he built a fort on the River Terek in the Caucasus. Muslims in the area appealed to Selim for help, claiming that because the Russians controlled Astrakhan, they could not safely make the pilgrimage to Mecca, as the route now required they pass through Russian domains. 28 In 1571, the Tatars raided Moscow, yet failed to repeat that victory the following year, and had to give up hope of reconquering the area. 29 Searching for a way to enable the Muslims of the Caucasus and Central Asia to make the pilgrimage to Mecca without running afoul of the Russians, an Ottoman imperial official sent this order to the governor of Egypt: Because the accursed Portuguese are everywhere, owing to their hostilities against India, and the routes by which Muslims come to the Holy Places are obstructed and, moreover, it is not considered lawful for people of Islam to live under the power of miserable infidels… you are to gather together all the expert architects and engineers of that place… and investigate the land between the Mediterranean and Red Seas and… report where it is possible to make a canal in that desert place and how long it would be and how many boats could pass side-by-side. 30 The canal was not built. But the idea of one remained alive. Cyprus and a Treaty Selim II was known to have a fondness for wine—so much fondness, in fact, that he has gone down in history as Selim the Sot. His favorite wine came from the island of Cyprus, which was under the control of the Republic of Venice. 31 And so in 1571, the Ottomans accused the Venetians of aiding pirates from Cyprus that attacked Ottoman vessels and seized the island. This was in violation of a peace treaty that Selim had concluded with the Venetians, but a Muslim cleric issued a fatwa for Selim, explaining that a peace treaty with infidels could be set aside for the greater good of Islam. A land was previously in the realm of Islam. After a while the abject infidels overran it, destroyed the colleges and mosques, and left them vacant. They filled the pulpits and galleries with the tokens of infidelity and error, intending to insult the religion of Islam with all kinds of vile deeds, and by spreading their ugly acts to all corners of the earth.… When peace was previously concluded with other lands in possession of the said infidels, the aforenamed land was included. An explanation is sought as to whether, in accordance with the [sacred law], this is an impediment to the Sultan’s determining to break the treaty. ANSWER: There is no possibility that it could ever be an impediment. For the Sultan of the people of Islam (may God glorify his victories) to make peace with the infidels is legal only where there is benefit to all Muslims. When there is no benefit, peace is never legal. When a benefit has been seen, and it is then observed to be more beneficial to break it, then to break it becomes absolutely obligatory and binding. 32 Lepanto The Sublime Porte (as the Ottoman central government was known) financed the Cyprus campaign by selling monasteries and churches out from under the Christians who owned them. 33 But Selim the Sot was to pay a heavy price for his Cyprus wine: in response to the Ottoman action in Cyprus, Pope Pius V called another Crusade and formed the Holy League, which consisted of the Papal States, Spain, the Republic of Venice, the Republic of Genoa, the Knights of Malta, the Duchy of Savoy, and several Italian duchies, and was intent upon destroying the Ottoman Empire as a maritime power. On October 7, 1571, the Holy League and the Ottomans, both with over two hundred ships, met in what was until then the largest sea battle ever at Lepanto, in the caliphate’s domains in Greece. The commander of the Christian forces, Don John of Austria, told his men just before the battle: “My children, we are here to conquer or to die as Heaven may determine. Do not let our impious foe ask us, ‘Where is your God?’ Fight in His holy name and in death or in victory you will win immortality.” 34 It was to be in victory. The Christian triumph was total: the Ottoman fleet was completely destroyed, and as many as forty thousand jihadis were killed. Eyewitnesses recalled that the sea was red with blood. 35 For the first time in a major battle, the Christian Europeans had defeated the Ottomans, and there was rejoicing throughout Europe. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, the author of Don Quixote, lost his left hand at Lepanto and was known thereafter as El Manco de Lepanto, that is, the One-Handed One of Lepanto. Referring to his own injury, and himself in the third person, Cervantes said: “Although it looks ugly, he holds it for lovely, because he received it on the most memorable and lofty occasion which past centuries have beheld—nor do those [centuries] to come hope to see the like.” 36 He recalled the Battle of Lepanto as “that day so fortunate to Christendom when all nations were undeceived of their error in believing that the Turks were invincible.” 37 When Pope Pius V heard the news, he thought of Don John of Austria and murmured words from the New Testament: “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” 38 When he learned of the catastrophic defeat, Selim was enraged, and declared that he was going to order that all the Christians in his domains be executed. 39 But cooler heads prevailed, and this order was not issued. By the time the grand vizier Mehmed Sokullu met with Barbaro, the ambassador from the Republic of Venice to the sultanate, in Constantinople a few days after the battle, the Ottomans were determinedly downplaying the significance of the battle. “You come to see how we bear our misfortune,” said Sokullu to Barbaro. “But I would have you know the difference between your loss and ours. In wresting Cyprus from you, we deprived you of an arm; in defeating our fleet, you have only shaved our beard. An arm when cut off cannot grow again; but a shorn beard will grow all the better for the razor.” 40 The Ottomans did indeed rebuild their fleet, and the Holy League was not able to follow up on this victory with further effective strikes against the caliphate. The shorn beard did indeed grow back. Nonetheless, Lepanto became a celebrated name throughout Europe and was clear proof that the Ottomans could, after all, be beaten. The last casualty of Selim the Sot’s seizure of Cyprus was Selim himself. In 1574 he visited a Turkish bath, where he drank a whole bottle of his prized wine from Cyprus. Soon after, he slipped on the marble floor and cracked his skull, dying at age fifty. 41 His successor, Murad III, was enamored of women as much as Selim was of wine, to the degree that the price for sex slaves in the slave markets of Constantinople doubled as the demand from the imperial court alone began to exceed the supply. Murad was the father of over a hundred children. 42 Murad was also mindful of jihad, launching an attack against Shi’ite Persia in 1578 that included the Ottoman seizure of Christian Georgia, where the Muslims quickly converted the churches into mosques. 43 In 1587, Murad seized the Church of the Pammakristos in Konstantiniyye, which had been the seat of the patriarchate of Constantinople since the fall of the city in 1453, and converted it into the Mosque of Victory (Fethiye Camii). 44 The jihad against Europe also continued, when it was possible to continue it amid increasing political instability. At Keresztes in northern Hungary in 1596, the Ottomans under Sultan Mehmet III, bearing the standard of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, decisively defeated a Christian force of thirty thousand men. 45 Ten years later, however, the Ottomans concluded a treaty with Habsburg Austria that demonstrated how weak the sultanate had become. In the past, when temporary truces had been concluded between the Ottomans and Austria, they had been contemptuously headed “Graciously accorded by the Sultan, ever victorious, to the infidel King of Vienna, ever vanquished.” 46 This new treaty, however, treated the Ottoman sultan and the Austrian emperor as equals. And the decline continued. In 1621, the seventeen-year-old Osman II, who had become sultan upon the deposition of his uncle Mustafa the Mad (whose nickname reveals the reason for the deposition), led a jihad force against Poland, but was so ignominiously defeated that the janissaries deposed him as well. He was murdered soon afterward. 47 New Rigor After a period of lax enforcement, in 1631 the sultan Murad IV attempted to ensure that the Ottoman decline was not a result of incurring the divine wrath by lax enforcement of the Sharia. He issued a decree restating the dress restrictions for dhimmis, to ensure that they would “feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9: 29): Insult and humiliate infidels in garment, clothing and manner of dress according to Muslim law and imperial statute. Henceforth, do not allow them to mount a horse, wear sable fur, sable fur caps, satin and silk velvet. Do not allow their women to wear mohair caps wrapped in cloth and “Paris” cloth. Do not allow infidels and Jews to go about in Muslim manner and garment. Hinder and remove these kinds. Do not lose a minute in executing the order that I have proclaimed in this manner. 48 Murad may have believed that this had worked in 1638 when he defeated the Safavids and took Baghdad (which the Persians had seized back from the Ottomans in 1623). And indeed, the fortunes of the empire began to turn, if ever so slightly. His successor, the sultan Ibrahim, in 1645 took the jihad back to Christian Europe once again, after pirates operating from Malta captured a Turkish ship on which was one of his favorite sex slaves. 49 Ibrahim, in a wild fury, ordered the killing of all the Christians in Ottoman domains. Once his noblemen talked him out of that, he ordered that all Christian ambassadors to the Ottoman Empire be imprisoned, and upon learning that the Maltese pirates were French, contemplated jihad against France. France, however, was far away; Crete, a possession of the Republic of Venice, was closer. Ibrahim decided to seize it, but in the end, it took the Ottomans twenty-four years to do so. 50 Worries about the divine wrath returned in 1660, when a fire destroyed much of Constantinople. The Ottomans blamed the city’s Jews and expelled them from the city. Inscribed in the royal mosque in the city was a reference to Muhammad’s expulsion of the Jews from Medina; the mosque’s endowment deed includes a reference to “the Jews who are the enemy of Islam.” 51 Allah’s wrath, presumably, was averted once again. Sobieski to the Rescue With the jihad for Crete finally concluded successfully, the Ottomans again moved against Poland, this time more successfully than before. In 1672, the sultan Mehmet IV defeated a substantial Polish force and won significant territorial concessions north of the Black Sea. The Polish king Jan Sobieski would not, however, accept this, and went to war with the Ottomans again four years later. Again the sultanate was victorious, winning even more territory than it had before. 52 Jan Sobieski, although forced in 1676 to accept the terms of a humiliating peace treaty, was still not willing to accept this as a result. He would be heard from again. His third chance came in the late summer of 1683, when Mehmet IV assembled a large force of jihad warriors and set forth once more into Europe, intent upon succeeding in bringing it to heel where his illustrious forbears had failed. At Osijek in the Ottoman domains of Croatia, the forces of the Hungarian anti-Habsburg count Emmerich Tekeli joined the Ottomans. Tekeli was the sultan’s vassal king of western Hungary, set up to challenge and harass the Habsburgs. Tekeli’s troops carried a standard inscribed “For God and Country” and “Kruczes,” or “men of the cross,” thereby earning Tekeli a place among the long list of Christian servants of the jihad, going back to Count Julian and continuing to Pope Francis. 53 Mehmet’s grand vizier, Kara Mustafa, urged him to try again to take Vienna, arguing that it was the key to the conquest of Europe and that if he conquered it, “all the Christians would obey the Ottomans.” 54 The jihadis duly placed Vienna under siege once again but did not count on Jan Sobieski, who hurried to the city with a relief force. Approaching Vienna, Sobieski saw the arrangement of the sultan’s forces around the city and remarked, “This man is badly encamped. He knows nothing of war, we shall certainly defeat him.” 55 In the dawn hours of September 12, he did. His forces descended upon the surprised jihadis with fury, with Jan Sobieski himself leading the charge. As the Polish king approached the very heart of the Muslim camp, the Tatar khan, another vassal of Mehmet IV, saw him and exclaimed in shock and horror: “By Allah! The King really is among us!” 56 The Ottoman siege was decisively broken, and Christendom once again saved. The warriors of jihad fled in confusion. Four years later, the Ottomans made one last stand in Central Europe, facing the Austrians at Mohacs, where they had won such a decisive victory in 1526. But these were no longer the days of Suleiman the Magnificent. The warriors of jihad were beaten so badly that Austria established control over much of Hungary and threatened Ottoman holdings in the Balkans. The jihadis would not return to the heart of Europe for several centuries. When they did once more strike the West, it was in the New World metropolises of New York and Washington. The day of that strike was September 11, 2001. Many have speculated that the mastermind of that jihad decided to set it on the anniversary of the high-water mark of the jihadi advance into Europe, the day before the defeat of the jihadis and the acceleration of the Ottoman decline set in motion the chain of events that would lead to the jihad’s becoming a dim memory in the West. In any case, after Vienna, Europe would, for a considerable time, get a respite.”

— The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS by Robert Spencer

The Rise of Jihad Movements: The Muslim Brotherhood

“THE RISE OF JIHAD MOVEMENTS The Muslim Brotherhood: The Qur’an and the Sword Determined to fight Western influence and restore the caliphate, Hasan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928. Al-Banna decried the abolition of the caliphate, which separated “the state from religion in a country which was until recently the site of the Commander of the Faithful.” Al-Banna characterized it as just part of a larger “Western invasion which was armed and equipped with all [the] destructive influences of money, wealth, prestige, ostentation, power and means of propaganda.” 37 He saw this Western influence as all-pervasive. Al-Banna lamented that “a wave of dissolution which undermined all firm beliefs, was engulfing Egypt in the name of intellectual emancipation. This trend attacked the morals, deeds and virtues under the pretext of personal freedom. Nothing could stand against this powerful and tyrannical stream of disbelief and permissiveness that was sweeping our country.” 38 Like Islamic movements going back to Ibn Tumart’s and those before him, Al-Banna’s was a revivalist movement. In 1928, al-Banna decried the indifference of the Egyptian elite to Islam: “What catastrophe has befallen the souls of the reformers and the spirit of the leaders…? What calamity has made them prefer this life to the thereafter [sic]? What has made them… consider the way of struggle [sabil al-jihad] too rough and difficult?” 39 When the Brotherhood was criticized for being a political group in the guise of a religious one, al-Banna met the challenge head-on: We summon you to Islam, the teachings of Islam, the laws of Islam and the guidance of Islam, and if this smacks of “politics” in your eyes, then it is our policy. And if the one summoning you to these principles is a “politician,” then we are the most respectable of men, God be praised, in politics.… Islam does have a policy embracing the happiness of this world.… We believe that Islam is an all-embracing concept which regulates every aspect of life, adjudicating on every one of its concerns and prescribing for it a solid and rigorous order. 40 The Brotherhood invoked the Qur’an—“ Fight them until there is no fitnah [sedition] and worship is for Allah” (2: 193)—in exhorting Muslims worldwide to recapture the glory days of Islam, to reestablish the caliphate and once again make it into a great power. Al-Banna also insisted that “every piece of land where the banner of Islam has been hoisted is the fatherland of the Muslims.” In line with another Qur’anic directive, “drive them out from where they drove you out” (2: 191), the Brotherhood urged Muslims to reconquer Spain, as well as Sicily and southern Italy and the former Ottoman domains in the Balkans. 41 The Brotherhood grew in Egypt from 150 branches in 1936 to as many as fifteen hundred by 1944. In 1939 al-Banna referred to “100,000 pious youths from the Muslim Brothers from all parts of Egypt,” and by 1944 membership was estimated as being between one hundred thousand and five hundred thousand. 42 By 1937 the group had expanded beyond Egypt, setting up “several branches in Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Morocco, and one each in Bahrain, Hadramawt, Hyderabad, Djibouti, and even in Paris.” 43 Thus many thousands of Muslims dispersed around the world heard al-Banna’s call to “prepare for jihad and be lovers of death.” 44 The Muslim Brotherhood’s newspaper explained: “No justice will be dealt and no peace maintained on earth until the rule of the Koran and the bloc of Islam are established. Moslem unity must be established. Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, Palestine, Saudi-Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Tripoli, Tunis, Algeria and Morocco all form one bloc, the Moslem bloc, which God has promised to grant victory, saying: ‘We shall grant victory unto the faithful.’ But this is impossible to reach other than through the way of Islam.” 45 Al-Banna told his followers: “Islam is faith and worship, a country and a citizenship, a religion and a state. It is spirituality and hard work. It is a Qur’an and a sword.” 46 Islam, the Answer to the World’s Problems The Armenian-American journalist Arthur Derounian met al-Banna in 1948. Writing later under the name John Roy Carlson, Derounian described al-Banna as “a short, squat ratty-faced man with puffed cheeks and fleshy nose.… We sat in the shade, under the shield showing the Koran above a pair of crossed swords.… I disliked him instantly and thoroughly. He was the most loathsome man I had yet met in Cairo.” 47 Al-Banna told Derounian: “The Koran should be Egypt’s constitution, for there is no law higher than Koranic law. We seek to fulfill the lofty, human message of Islam which has brought happiness and fulfillment to mankind in centuries past. Ours is the highest ideal, the holiest cause and the purest way. Those who criticize us have fed from the tables of Europe. They want to live as Europe has taught them—to dance, to drink, to revel, to mix the sexes openly and in public.” 48 Sayyid Qutb, the Muslim Brotherhood’s great theorist, shared that puritanical revulsion. He sharpened his distaste for the West while living in the United States from November 1948 to August 1950.49 Moving to Greeley, Colorado, he was impressed by the number of churches in the city but not with the piety they engendered: “Nobody goes to church as often as Americans do.… Yet no one is as distant as they are from the spiritual aspect of religion.” He was thoroughly scandalized by a dance after an evening service at a local church: “The dancing intensified.… The hall swarmed with legs.… Arms circled arms, lips met lips, chests met chests, and the atmosphere was full of love.” 50 The pastor further scandalized Qutb by dimming the lights, creating “a romantic, dreamy effect,” and playing a popular record of the day: “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” 51 He regarded American popular music in general with a gimlet eye: “Jazz is the favorite music [of America]. It is a type of music invented by [American] Blacks to please their primitive tendencies and desire for noise.” 52 Ultimately he concluded: “I fear that when the wheel of life has turned and the file on history has closed, America will not have contributed anything.” He didn’t find American prosperity to be matched by a corresponding wealth of spirit. “I am afraid that there is no correlation between the greatness of the American material civilization and the men who created it.… In both feeling and conduct the American is primitive [bida’a].” 53 Qutb’s influential book Milestones positioned Islam as the true source of societal and personal order, as opposed to both capitalism and Communism. “Mankind today is on the brink of a precipice,” he asserted in this Cold War–era manifesto, “not because of the danger of complete annihilation which is hanging over its head—this being just a symptom and not the real disease—but because humanity is devoid of those vital values which are necessary not only for its healthy development but also for its real progress.” Perhaps with his time in America in mind, he went on: “Even the Western world realizes that Western civilization is unable to present any healthy values for the guidance of mankind. It knows that it does not possess anything which will satisfy its own conscience and justify its existence.” Qutb concluded: “It is essential for mankind to have new leadership!” 54 That new leadership would come from Islam. To Qutb, what the Muslim umma needed was a restoration of Islam in its fullness and purity, including all the rules of the Sharia for regulating society. “If we look at the sources and foundations of modern ways of living, it becomes clear that the whole world is steeped in Jahiliyyah [Ignorance of the Divine guidance], and all the marvelous material comforts and high-level inventions do not diminish this ignorance. This Jahiliyyah is based on rebellion against God’s sovereignty on earth. It transfers to man one of the greatest attributes of God, namely sovereignty, and makes some men lords over others.” 55 He advanced Islam as “a challenge to all kinds and forms of systems which are based on the concept of the sovereignty of man; in other words, where man has usurped the Divine attribute. Any system in which the final decisions are referred to human beings, and in which the sources of all authority are human, deifies human beings by designating others than God as lords over men.” 56 Qutb taught that jihad was necessary in order to establish Sharia. “The establishing of the dominion of God on earth, the abolishing of the dominion of man, the taking away of sovereignty from the usurper to revert it to God, and the bringing about of the enforcement of the Divine Law [Sharia]… and the abolition of man-made laws cannot be achieved only through preaching. Those who have usurped the authority of God and are oppressing God’s creatures are not going to give up their power merely through preaching; if it had been so, the task of establishing God’s religion in the world would have been very easy for the Prophets of God! This is contrary to the evidence from the history of the Prophets and the story of the struggle of the true religion, spread over generations.” 57 Qutb emphasized Islam’s universal character and call: “This religion is not merely a declaration of the freedom of the Arabs, nor is its message confined to the Arabs. It addresses itself to the whole of mankind, and its sphere of work is the whole earth.… This religion wants to bring back the whole world to its Sustainer and free it from servitude to anyone other than God.” 58 Al-Banna likewise explained: “We want an Arabian United States with a Caliphate at its head and every Arab state subscribing wholeheartedly to the laws of the Koran. We must return to the Koran, which preaches the good life, which forbids us to take bribes, to cheat, to kill one’s brother. The laws of the Koran are suitable for all men at all times to the end of the world. This is the day and this is the time when the world needs Islam most.” 59 To impress upon Egypt its need for Islam, the Brotherhood attacked Jews who lived there and assassinated several leading officials, including several judges. Al-Banna ordered one young member of the Brotherhood, a twenty-three-year-old student named Abdel Magid Ahmed Hassan, to do his duty before Allah—which, a sheikh explained to the young man, involved killing “the enemies of Islam and of Arabism.” Hassan agreed to murder anyone al-Banna told him to, and so on December 28, 1948, the young man gunned down Egypt’s prime minister, Mahmoud El Nokrashy Pasha. 60 Al-Banna was himself assassinated on February 12, 1949, most likely in a revenge killing. 61 Qutb, hospitalized in Washington, D.C. for a respiratory ailment in February 1949, claimed implausibly that a radio broadcast of the news of al-Banna’s assassination set the hospital staff to open rejoicing. 62 Egypt’s Arab Socialist ruler, Gamel Abdel Nasser, had no patience for the Brotherhood, and had Qutb imprisoned and tortured. Qutb wrote from his prison cell: “The whole of Egypt is imprisoned.… I was arrested despite my immunity as a judge, without an order of arrest… my sole crime being my critique of the non-application of the Sharia.” 63 As his trial began, he declared: “The time has come for a Muslim to give his head in order to proclaim the birth of the Islamic movement.” 64 When he was sentenced to death, he exclaimed: “Thank God! I performed jihad for fifteen years until I earned this martyrdom.” 65 He was executed in 1966.”

— The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS by Robert Spencer

10 Amazing Muslims Touched by God by Faisal Malick

“I am a Palestinian Arab, born in Haifa, Israel. My father was a wealthy merchant who inherited and carried on the family business of growing and exporting produce to Great Britain. He was a respected leader in the community, a good father, and a devout Muslim who strictly observed the tenets of Islam. I do not remember much of the home where I lived as a young Palestinian boy, but I do remember my family talking about a big white house in the midst of huge old olive trees overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. After the partitioning of Palestine, Haifa became part of the newly created state of Israel. Being a proud Muslim, Dad refused to live in Israel. So I was the last child in the family to be born in Haifa. My dad arranged for us all to get on a fishing boat, and we set out to our new destination—the island of Cyprus. The family grew to a total of five boys and five girls when three more siblings were born in Cyprus. We found favor in the eyes of the locals. We soon learned to speak their languages, Greek and Turkish. Cyprus is predominantly Catholic, so it was natural for us to attend the Catholic elementary school, which I entered at the age of six, along with my brother who was two years older than me, and, later, my younger sister. Being a proud Muslim, Dad refused to live in Israel. Education was very important to my family. My oldest brother, Muhammad, taught himself English and then enrolled in an American correspondence school. He eventually won a scholarship to Ohio Wesleyan University, in the United States, and later earned a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Arizona. Remarkably, he secured a job as professor of mathematics at Ohio Northern University. Another of my brothers received a scholarship from Wilmington College in Ohio. After graduating, he earned his master’s from the University of Dayton in Ohio. He held the high jump record at the English school for about 15 years after his graduation. He, too, taught mathematics, at a junior college in Columbus, Ohio. He later married, had three children, and entered the real estate market, and is now a wealthy entrepreneur. My youngest sister mastered nine language The Tumor Meanwhile, back in Cyprus in my senior year in high school, a lump began to appear on my right thigh and kept growing. In the beginning, it gave me no pain whatsoever, and I used to make it move by poking it with my finger. At first, we thought nothing of it—perhaps it was a sports injury that would soon go away. However, it did not go away. It continued to increase to the size of a baseball and began to hurt, especially when I walked. It was finally diagnosed as a malignant tumor. The doctor recommended immediate amputation of my leg to prevent the cancer from spreading to my vital organs and causing my death. A second opinion by a specialist convinced my dad to sign papers authorizing the amputation. I was then moved to the intensive care unit and scheduled to undergo the amputation a few days later—a day or two before Christmas. Then, unexpectedly, the day before the operation my mother checked me out of the hospital, ignoring the doctor’s warning that I would be dead in a few weeks. I was moved to the intensive care unit and scheduled to undergo the amputation a few days later. I still remember the little Turkish coffee cup that Mom used to draw olive oil out of a large vase. In fact, it was the largest vase I have seen in my life. When I was seven or eight years old, it was as high as I was tall. I later learned it held over 50 gallons of oil. We had two such vases; one held only olive oil, and the other held olives aged in olive oil, garlic, and herbs. After checking me out of the hospital, it was from this large vase my mom massaged a cup of oil into the tumor of my bedridden body several times a day. Mom never cried in front me, but I would often hear her sobbing and notice the redness in her eyes when she would come into my room. Yet she would give me hope and promised me that I would not die and that I would grow up and have children of my own some day. Within a few days, she noticed that the tumor had begun shrinking. After two weeks of massaging this olive oil, the tumor had shrunk enough to allow me to bend my leg, and shortly after, it went away completely! The faith of a loving mother is contagious. Six months after my recovery with a second chance at life, I bid my family and my adopted homeland farewell, and left under scholarship for college in the United States. My priority, like the rest of my family, was education. I planned to complete my studies, get my Bachelor of Arts degree, and then attend law school at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio. I was going to be an attorney. During my sophomore year, I met a girl of whom I became quite fond. She spoke much about her Christian faith. I made it clear to her that I was a Muslim and I was not interested in any other religion. There were no mosques nearby in my city, but that did not matter because like all Muslims, my entire life was patterned after my faith in Islam. My college years were during the “hippie” generation. My belief kept me from doing drugs and other things that were going on at that time. My roommate in college was a cocaine addict. He tried many times to get me to “just try it one time.” I never did. I went to clubs with friends but never had any alcoholic beverages, and I never smoked “grass.” The fact is that I was not even tempted to do so. I knew my religion forbade it and that was good enough for me. I Saw a Miracle The girl I was dating became unbearable when a “faith healer” set up his tent close to the college campus, babbling on and on about miracles and healings. I was convinced he could be nothing more than a charlatan preying on naïve people. Nevertheless, I liked the girl, so I went to the tent meeting with her. The flamboyant man, who looked to me more like an Elvis Presley impersonator than a minister, had taken a young child with a deformed leg and placed him on the stage declaring that Jesus was going to heal him. He called out for any agnostics and skeptics present, especially students (since this was a college town), to come on the stage to get a closer look. I did not hesitate and went up for a closer look. The child was a young boy no more than six or seven years old. His right leg was in some sort of leather brace, but his leg was clearly visible through this contraption. It was much thinner and shorter than the healthy one. The preacher sat him on a chair and removed the brace. He extended both of the child’s legs, supporting them with his left hand. I could see that the withered leg was three to four inches shorter than the normal one. The preacher picked up a microphone with his right hand, and he began to pray, asking Jesus to heal the little boy. The audience, as if on cue, suddenly rose from their seats and extended their hands toward the stage. In an instant that startled me, the withered leg extended itself to the same length of the other leg! Just as suddenly as it grew, it stopped growing. Then, as if someone blew air into it, like blowing air into a balloon, the leg “puffed up” and looked just like the healthy one! Apparently, the incident also startled the child. It took him a few moments to get his bearings and stand on both legs. He took a few clumsy steps and then seemed to gain confidence with each step. Soon after, he was running full throttle around the tent as the audience cheered him on. Deeply impacted by this miracle I witnessed with my own eyes, I was down on my knees sobbing and weeping uncontrollably. It was spectacular! Awesome, to say the least. I am not exactly sure what happened to me next or how it happened. Deeply impacted by this miracle I witnessed with my own eyes, I was down on my knees sobbing and weeping uncontrollably. My consciousness was arrested by thoughts of Jesus and my heart was searching for answers. I didn’t believe in miracles, and Muhammad the prophet of Islam never performed miracles. My Muslim mind could not process what had just taken place. I had no idea what a profound impact this would have on my life and where it would lead me. My Family Disowns Me I did not tell my family about the experience. But to myself I kept thinking that if Jesus had healed that boy’s leg, that had to mean that Jesus is alive! The only person I confided in was my brother who attended the Catholic school with me when we were kids. He just tried to talk me out of it. He told me he was sure it would all go away as if nothing ever happened. He told me to stop talking about Jesus and this miracle. I tried speaking to him a couple more times, but his response was the same: Renounce and forget about Jesus and continue to walk in the path of Islam. At that time I considered myself a Muslim, but I still could not renounce the possibility of the reality of Jesus; it was not even within my power to do so. Jesus never left my thoughts after the tent experience. Not even for a second. Some might think this is an exaggeration, but it wasn’t. I had seen too much. The only explanation was that Jesus had healed that boy! When my family was finally told what had happened at the tent meeting, they tried to persuade me to pretend it never happened. But I simply could not do so. Ultimately, and because of my profound reaction to this experience, my family disowned me. My dad explained to me why he had to do what he did. I told him I understood. The only explanation was that Jesus had healed that boy! Shortly after this, my friends, my family, and everyone I had known all my life seemed to conveniently disappear. Somehow my life did not matter anymore. I needed to try and sort things out and sought comfort in solitude. I felt restless and just wanted to get away, but I had nowhere to go. Only one place came to mind—a small town in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama. I had briefly met an older couple at the tent meeting. They told me how pretty the South was—the terrain, the trees—and that they lived close to the vicinity of a spectacular view the locals call “God’s Country” in Gadsden, Alabama. They had given me their address and asked me to come visit them should I ever be in the vicinity. My friends, my family, and everyone I had known all my life seemed to conveniently disappear. With nowhere else to go, I started heading toward their house in Alabama, while still undecided as to whether I should go or not. I just kept driving, too restless to stay put. After a couple days of driving, and about 1,000 miles later, I found myself driving through very dense forest that was scarcely populated on my way toward their home. I drove for almost 30 minutes in this forest. The scenery was breathtaking—especially when compared to the two-dimensional terrain back in Ohio. The only thing that reminded me that people must have been living close by was a little, white, wood frame country church on a deserted dirt road in the woods, right in the middle of nowhere. I had no intention of stopping, but something made me—perhaps the serenity, perhaps the solitude, or both. But now I know, due to what followed, it had to have been God leading me. My Quest for Truth It was around noon on a Sunday when I pulled up to this very small country church. It couldn’t have seated more than 50 people, though there were less than a dozen cars in the church’s rough parking lot and only about two dozen people in attendance. The minister was a woman of some age who introduced herself as Sister Prince. It had to have been God leading me.”

— 10 Amazing Muslims Touched by God by Faisal Malick