Sinister and Dangerous: The Stealth Supremacism of Maajid Nawaz

Here is my latest article for Gates of Vienna. I have cross-posted it here for archival purposes, and to engage in the comments. Many thanks to Gates for editing and publishing it!


 

As a follow-up to his previous post, Vikram Chatterjee provides further insights into the stealth jihad being waged by the prominent “moderate Muslim” Maajid Nawaz.

Sinister and Dangerous: The Stealth Supremacism of Maajid Nawaz

by Vikram K. Chatterjee

In December of last year, Gates of Vienna published my article “Maajid Nawaz: Stealth Jihadist Exposed”, which showed how Nawaz dissimulated about key Islamic doctrines in his book with Sam Harris, Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue, and how he had deployed threatening, jihad-tinged language against Tommy Robinson. In the book, Nawaz buried the truth about: the reasons for Sayyid Qutb’s execution, the practice of taqiyya[1], the meaning of ijtihad and its status in Islam, the existence of a Sunni clergy (the ulama), and the permissibility of eating bacon in Islam, which Muslims can do, if darura, or necessity, dictates.

Alas, my article appears to have had nothing of its intended effect. Nawaz is still parading around on television and in the news media, posing as a liberal. Those who read Counterjihad sites like Gates of Vienna, Counter Jihad Report, Vlad Tepes Blog and the like saw the article, but journalism of this kind appears to be automatically confined to some taboo fringe of Western politics. It is deemed racist to bring an understanding of Islam to journalism and political commentary, and thus, Gates of Vienna articles go unnoticed, the truths they tell unknown. The rest of the Western political sphere chatters on in ignorance. They prate, and they prattle, and all the while Islam marches on.

Because of this disappointing result, and in the interests of keeping this story afloat, I would like to offer some additional analysis of Nawaz, in order to sharpen up our picture of how he is deceiving people.

How Maajid Nawaz Deploys Stealth Supremacism

In the mode of stealth jihad, the Muslim does not go around openly telling Infidels that he and his religion, and those who practice it, are superior. That is what the stealth jihadist believes, but he is not going to say it outright. If Nawaz came to people saying “I’m the Grand Mufti of such-and-such”, people would be immediately suspicious:

Open Supremacism

So instead, Nawaz must try for more subtle and devious tactics. How would he go about doing this? To see how, let us turn to the Holy Qur’an:

It is He who expelled the ones who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture from their homes at the first gathering. You did not think they would leave, and they thought that their fortresses would protect them from Allah; but [the decree of] Allah came upon them from where they had not expected, and He cast terror into their hearts [so] they destroyed their houses by their [own] hands and the hands of the believers. So take warning, O people of vision.

— Qur’an 59:2, Sahih International Version

In the above verse, the “People of the Scripture” is the Qur’an’s term primarily for Jews and Christians. They are “those who disbelieved” among the People of the Scripture. In Islam, the view of Judaism and Christianity is that these faiths are corruptions of Islam. Abraham, Moses, Noah, and Jesus were Muslims, and the religion they preached was Islam, and the scripture of Judaism and Christianity was originally the Qur’an. Later, their followers corrupted this scripture, and the result was the Bible.

Nawaz is operating in lands where Christianity and Judaism are the predominant faiths, for now. The above verse says Nawaz’s god, Allah “came upon them from where they had not expected”, and that “they destroyed their houses by their [own] hands”. The message of this verse is that the Infidel enemies of Islam will be attacked from a place they had not expected, and that in this way they will bring about their own defeat.

This passage is the key to understanding Nawaz’s stealth supremacism. What Nawaz and his accomplices (both witting and unwitting) do is to subtly suggest that he is to be thought of as being in position of authority. How does he do that?

At the Quilliam Foundation website, one can see how the organization bills itself by clicking on the “About” section at the top, where we can read that:

Quilliam is the world’s first counter-extremism think tank..

This sentence at first seems harmless, but if we take some time to analyze it, we can detect some sinister architecture. When Maajid Nawaz goes on his TV appearances, his book tours and conference events, he gets introduced by the host in a way that generally sounds like this:

“Joining us is Maajid Nawaz, founder of Quilliam Foundation, the world’s first counter-extremism think tank.”

The first thing to be noticed about this sentence is the bizarre piece of jargon, “counter-extremism think tank”. If you’ve read a lot of the crap that mainstream commentators on Islamic terrorism say, you no doubt have come across terminology such as “extremism”, and “sectarianism”, and “radicalization”, and the like. Notice that any of these words could be substituted in to the above sentence, and the meaning of the sentence would be scarcely altered. Quilliam Foundation, the world’s first counter-extremism think tank, could also be called:

  • the world’s first counter-radicalization think tank
  • the world’s first counter-sectarianism think tank
  • the world’s first counter-supremacism think tank
  • the world’s first counter-Islamism think tank

Any of these descriptors would work for Quilliam’s purposes, and we wouldn’t notice the difference. This jargon-laden, muddled and vague descriptor “counter-extremism think tank” is designed to be forgettable and uninformative, while at the same time it subtly reminds the reader of Islam, which is associated in the minds of the Infidel audience with “extremism” (i.e. Jihad terror). What is memorable about the sentence, however, is that Maajid is being described as a founder of something — what ever that vague and unmentioned something is — which is to be thought of as the world’s first.

This is the language of stealth supremacism. What the “world’s first” in Quilliam’s self-description is referring to, subliminally, is Islam. Islam goes unmentioned, because Quilliam Foundation does not want to draw attention to its true agenda. In the place of “Islam”, the vague and forgettable “counter-extremism think tank” is inserted. Notice also that the “world’s first” also conforms with the Islamic notion that Islam was the original religion of all mankind, before others corrupted Allah’s will and produced the Bible.

When Maajid is described by an Infidel TV host as being the “founder” of the “world’s first” something-or-other, the host is unwittingly suggesting to his Infidel audience that Maajid is a Founder of Things. A Beginner of Things. An Important Man. That he is to be respected. That his opinions are correct. That he is to be thought of as being in a position of authority. A position which he holds as being a part of something — whatever that vague and unmentioned something is — that is the “world’s first”. But it’s not a counter-something-or-other think tank. It is Islam.

AndersonCooper
Maajid’s Stealth Supremacism

Thus, when the Infidel host unwittingly springs this subliminally supremacist language upon his Infidel audience, “Allah came upon them from where they had not expected” in accordance with the prophecy of Qur’an 59:2, quoted above. The Infidels at home might be expecting Maajid to trumpet his supremacy himself, but, they will not be expecting their fellow Infidel to be unwittingly trumpeting his supremacy for him. This action happens in a subtle and indirect way, fooling the audience in a way that also conforms to this scripture, in which the disbelievers “destroyed their houses by their [own] hands and the hands of the believers.” That is Qur’an 59:2 in action.

Another example of Maajid’s stealth supremacism can be seen on his Facebook page. Take a good look at this picture, and ask yourself: what are you looking at?

Maajid Walking

At first glance, it appears that Maajid is attending some kind of pro-Malala protest (and perhaps indeed it is real). The young men are lined up, holding a picture of Malala Yousefzai. From the apparel of the protesters, the photo appears to have been taken in Pakistan — the young man on the right is dressed in a way that screams “sub-continental middle class”. The protesters are lined up, and Maajid walks by, with a look of sad determination on his face.

So, it look like a protest for Malala. But there is another way of interpreting the photo. Although the people are standing in a haphazard way, not in any particular posture, they are all standing in a line. And Maajid is walking by them, his head up high. If one looks at it, keeping in mind his sinister record that I documented in my previous article, the photo appears to suggest that Maajid is to be thought of as a military leader. The young men are lined up, standing to attention, and Maajid walks by confidently, a general inspecting his troops. A man to be feared.

One would not normally expect a photo of Muslims at what appears to be pro-Malala protest to have a subliminal suggestion of Islamic militancy, but then, Allah works in mysterious ways, and occasionally he “came upon them from where they had not expected, and He cast terror into their hearts.” One could easily disagree with my interpretation, but in my view, the photo above is an example of Q 59:2 in action.

Another example of this kind of subliminal supremacism may be found in the video of the event at Harvard that launched the book Nawaz wrote with Sam Harris. Although I will not adduce the evidence for this here, I believe that for at least two years Harris been the target of a highly sophisticated campaign of deception, organized by the international pan-Sunni supremacist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, and its front organization, Quilliam Foundation. Long before Harris met Nawaz, Nawaz and his accomplices had studied Harris. They read his books, and read the books mentioned in his bibliographies, and from there they were able to infer what Harris did, and did not know, about Islam. Then they went about carefully deceiving him with a series of articles written by “Muslim atheists”, who he then followed on twitter, and they were able to share links by or about Nawaz with him there, insinuating him into Harris’ circle of contacts.

From there, they were able to induce Harris into having a “conversation” with Maajid Nawaz, producing their book, and then using the book and book tour events and media appearances to shop Nawaz around the globe to Infidel audiences, eager to find a friendly face among Muslims. Nawaz is using Harris and his imprimatur as a respected liberal intellectual as a springboard for a campaign of mass deception about Islam, delivered in the book and other media. A host of articles have been produced by Maajid’s accomplices, both witting and unwitting, which serve to bolster his reputation as an alleged liberal. The swirl of puff pieces and feigned attacks on him in various online media form part of a Good Cop/Bad Cop routine put on by Muslims (and their unwitting accomplices) in order to deceive Infidels.

Maajid and his accomplices have worked a wonder on Sam Harris, subtly implanting in his mind the notion that Maajid is to be thought of as being in a position of authority, and getting him to think so highly of Nawaz that he is even unwittingly suggesting this same sinister notion to his tens of thousands of fans. The screenshot below is of the Harvard event. Click below to watch the segment with Harris’ statements.

While you’re watching, listen for Harris saying the following:

  • “I’ll let Maajid decide”
  • “We have different instincts, Maajid and I, here, and my instincts for many conversations now are to defer to his instincts”
  • “If anything my views and my way of speaking about this problem have been more modified than Maajid’s by our collaboration”

Click here to watch from 16:21 through 18:10

Sam Harris - Unwitting Accomplice

In all three of these statements, Harris is unwittingly suggesting to the Infidels in the audience that Nawaz is a man whose opinions are to be consulted, that his ideas are better than those of the Infidel Harris, who, himself respected by the Infidels in the audience, in turn confers respectability upon Nawaz. Harris instinctively defers to Nawaz, and so, some Infidels will think, should they as well.

These statements, made by Infidel Harris to his Infidel audience, subtly suggest that Maajid is to be thought of as being in a position of authority, that he is to be deferred to and obeyed, and that Harris the Infidel is somehow inferior to Maajid the Muslim, because his views were “more modified that Maajid’s” by their “collaboration”. In this devious and indirect way, Sam Harris, one of the most prominent critics of Islam on the planet, has been unwittingly dragooned into the Army of Islam.

Vikram K. Chatterjee is a Bengali-American writer and researcher who lives in Texas. Previously: Maajid Nawaz: Stealth Jihadist Exposed

Note:

1. If anyone still doubts that Sunnis practice taqiyya, he need only consult the revered Sunni theologian Ibn Kathir to have his view of the matter clarified. In his Tafsir Ibn Kathir, he comments on Qur’an 3:28, saying:

In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda’ said, “We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.’’ Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, “The Tuqyah is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.’’

In addition, the academic scholar of Islam Devin Stewart has published an incredibly useful 43-page paper entitled “Dissimulation in Sunni Islam and Morisco Taqiyya”. This paper adduces an unanswerable mountain of evidence for Sunni taqiyya.

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5 thoughts on “Sinister and Dangerous: The Stealth Supremacism of Maajid Nawaz

  1. Another hatchet job. God this is hilarious & funny. “Although I will not adduce the evidence for this here” (para 23), shows what a terrible article this is. Just ad hominem, rhetoric attacks & no substance.

    The writer seems to think that by playing the ‘power of words & images on psychology’ card he will convince his readers that his piece is valid at some point. Images & simple sentences like ‘founder of counter-extremism think-tank’ (which is very tacit in itself) are being interpreted with a bias & to suit the writer’s agenda. Sentences like “When Maajid is described by an Infidel TV host as being the….” expose that this writer has a bias and an agenda which negates the purpose of this article.

    No work of Maajid Nawaz or Quilliam has been criticized, just rhetoric attacks on Maajid with all just interpretations (with no factual backings, note: quoting from a scripture isn’t factual backing) from the writer’s side.

    It seems the writer thinks that his readers & great intellectuals like Sam Harris cannot think, process information put in front of them, investigate & decide or conclude for themselves.

    Better luck next time. There have been better hatchet jobs in the market.

    Like

  2. On p. 76 of Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialoge, Maajid Nawaz lies about the doctrine of ijtihad in Islam, saying :

    “What is said in Arabic and Islamic terminology is: This is nothing but your ijtihad. This is nothing but your interpretation of the texts as a whole. There was a historical debate about whether or not the doors of ijtihad were closed. It concluded that they cannot be closed, because Sunni Muslims have no clergy.”

    So, Nawaz claims 2 things here:

    1. Ijtihad means “interpretation”

    2. the doors of ijtihad are not closed. that they are open.

    Are these claims true? No they are not. Both are false.

    Consulting the Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition – which is the standard scholarly reference work on Islam, written by academic scholars of Islam, for academic scholars of Islam – on ijtihad, we find the following (note that EI2, begun in 1954, uses a now-obsolete
    system of romanized spelling, so that the modern “IJTIHAD” is rendered as “IDJTIHAD”):

    IDJTIHAD (A.), literally “exerting oneself”,
    is the technical term in Islamic law, first, for the
    use of individual reasoning in general
    and
    later, in a restricted meaning, for the use of the
    method of reasoning by analogy (kiyas [q.v.]). The
    lawyer who is qualified to use it is called mudjtahid.
    Individual reasoning, both in its arbitrary and its
    systematically disciplined form, was freely used by
    the ancient schools of law, and it is often simply
    called ra`y [q.v.], “opinion, considered opinion”. An
    older, narrower technical meaningof the term idjtihad,
    which has survived in the terminology of the school
    of Medina, is “technical estimate, discretion of the
    expert”. It was left to Shafi’i [q.v.] to reject the use
    of discretionary reasoning in religious law on principle,
    and to identify the legitimate function of idjtihad with
    the use of kiyas, the drawing of conclusions by the
    method of analogy, or systematic reasoning, from
    the Kur’an and the sunna of the Prophet.
    This important innovation prevailed in the theory
    of Islamic law.
    During the first two and a half centuries of
    Islam (or until about the middle of the ninth century
    A.D.), there was never any question of denying to
    any scholar or specialist of the sacred Law the right
    to find his own solutions to legal problems. It was
    only after the formative period of Islamic law had
    come to an end that the question of who was qualified
    to exercise iditihad was raised. From about the middle
    of the 3rd/9th century the idea began to gain ground
    that only the great scholars of the past, and not the
    epigones, had the right to idjtihad. By the beginning
    of the fourth century (about A. D. 900), the point
    had been reached when the scholars of all schools
    felt that all essential questions had been thoroughly
    discussed and finally settled, and a consensus
    gradually established itself to the effect that from
    that time onwards no one might be deemed to have
    the necessary qualifications for independent reasoning
    in law, and that all future activity would have to be
    confined to the explanation, application, and, at the
    most, interpretation of the doctrine as it had been
    laid down once and for all. This “closing of the door
    of idjtihad“, as it was called, amounted to the
    demand for taklid [q.v.], the unquestioning acceptance
    of the doctrines of established schools and authorities.

    A person bound to practise taklid is called mukallid.
    See further Section II.
    Fw: Lie #2 by Maajid Nawaz
    2 of 5 05/11/2016 10:46 PM
    Bibliography: J. Schacht, Origins, 6 n. 3,
    99 f., 116, 127 f.; idem, Introduction, 37, 46, 53,
    69 ff., and bibliography. (J. SCHACHT)

    Like

  3. LIE #1

    On p. 76 of Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialoge, Maajid Nawaz lies about the doctrine of ijtihad in Islam, saying :

    “What is said in Arabic and Islamic terminology is: This is nothing but your ijtihad. This is nothing but your interpretation of the texts as a whole. There was a historical debate about whether or not the doors of ijtihad were closed. It concluded that they cannot be closed, because Sunni Muslims have no clergy.”

    So, Nawaz claims 2 things here:

    1. Ijtihad means “interpretation”

    2. the doors of ijtihad are not closed, that they are open.

    Are these claims true? No they are not. Both are false.

    Consulting the Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition – which is the standard scholarly reference work on Islam, written by academic scholars of Islam, for academic scholars of Islam – on ijtihad, we find the following (note that EI2, begun in 1954, uses a now-obsolete system of romanized spelling, so that the modern “IJTIHAD” is rendered as “IDJTIHAD”):

    IDJTIHAD (A.), literally “exerting oneself”,
    is the technical term in Islamic law, first, for the
    use of individual reasoning in general
    and
    later, in a restricted meaning, for the use of the
    method of reasoning by analogy (kiyas [q.v.]). The
    lawyer who is qualified to use it is called mudjtahid.
    Individual reasoning, both in its arbitrary and its
    systematically disciplined form, was freely used by
    the ancient schools of law, and it is often simply
    called ra`y [q.v.], “opinion, considered opinion”. An
    older, narrower technical meaningof the term idjtihad,
    which has survived in the terminology of the school
    of Medina, is “technical estimate, discretion of the
    expert”. It was left to Shafi’i [q.v.] to reject the use
    of discretionary reasoning in religious law on principle,
    and to identify the legitimate function of idjtihad with
    the use of kiyas, the drawing of conclusions by the
    method of analogy, or systematic reasoning, from
    the Kur’an and the sunna of the Prophet.
    This important innovation prevailed in the theory
    of Islamic law.
    During the first two and a half centuries of
    Islam (or until about the middle of the ninth century
    A.D.), there was never any question of denying to
    any scholar or specialist of the sacred Law the right
    to find his own solutions to legal problems. It was
    only after the formative period of Islamic law had
    come to an end that the question of who was qualified
    to exercise iditihad was raised. From about the middle
    of the 3rd/9th century the idea began to gain ground
    that only the great scholars of the past, and not the
    epigones, had the right to idjtihad. By the beginning
    of the fourth century (about A. D. 900), the point
    had been reached when the scholars of all schools
    felt that all essential questions had been thoroughly
    discussed and finally settled, and a consensus
    gradually established itself to the effect that from
    that time onwards no one might be deemed to have
    the necessary qualifications for independent reasoning
    in law, and that all future activity would have to be
    confined to the explanation, application, and, at the
    most, interpretation of the doctrine as it had been
    laid down once and for all. This “closing of the door
    of idjtihad“, as it was called, amounted to the
    demand for taklid [q.v.], the unquestioning acceptance
    of the doctrines of established schools and authorities.

    A person bound to practise taklid is called mukallid.
    See further Section II.

    Bibliography: J. Schacht, Origins, 6 n. 3,
    99 f., 116, 127 f.; idem, Introduction, 37, 46, 53,
    69 ff., and bibliography. (J. SCHACHT)

    N.B. that this entry was written by the great Islamologist Joseph Schacht.
    So, according to Schacht in his entry in EI2, the door of ijtihad is closed, and the foremost meaning of the term is “reason”.

    What do other scholars of Islam have to say?

    In an article and Douglas Murray’s Gatestone Institute website, Ottoman Empire historian Harold Rhode asks: “Can Muslims Re-open the Gates of Ijtihad?”

    “The exercise of critical thinking and independent judgment – or Ijtihad –was an important way to address questions in the early centuries of Islam. After approximately 400 years, however, the leaders of the Sunni Muslim world closed the “Gates of Ijtihad;” Muslims were no longer allowed use itjihad to solve problems. If a seemingly new problem arose, they were supposed to find an analogy from earlier scholars and apply that ruling to the problem that arose. From the 10thcentury onwards, Sunni Muslim leaders began to see questioning as politically dangerous to their ability to rule. Regrettably, Sunni Muslim leaders reject the use of itjihad to this day.
    [emphases added]

    This is rather curious isn’t it? Historian of the Ottoman empire (PhD Columbia, Islamic
    History) thinks that the gates (or doors) of ijtihad are CLOSED, and that Muslim reformers
    need to re-open them, and he says that the term means “exercise of critical thinking and
    independent judgment”.

    Why does Maajid say the opposite, that the doors/gates of ijtihad remain open, and that the
    term means “interpretation”, when academics tells is that it means “independent judgement”,
    “critical thinking”, and “individual reasoning in general”?

    Looking to the entry on ijtihad in the academic Encylopedia of Islam and the Muslim World (a different reference work from EI2), we find the following:

    “In early Islam ijtihad, along with terms such as al-ray, qiyas, and zann referred to sound and balanced personal reasoning.

    More importantly, they spoke of the closing of the doors of ijtihad. The Crusades, the rise of regional dynasties subsequent to the collapse of the Abbasid empire, and the Mongol invasions were seen as threats to Islamic intellectualism in general. Coupled with this, attacks by rationalists and philosophers on Muslim orthodox thinking convinced jurists that any further ijtihad posed a great danger to orthodoxy itself. The doors of ijtihad were thus closed in the fourth Islamic century, and a long period of taqlid followed. Recent scholarship has challenged this view based on evidence that mujtahids existed well into the sixteenth century, and that several prominent premodern scholars denied the closure of the doors of ijtihad.
    [emphases added]

    While the entry does mention that “Recent scholarship has challenged this view”,this language indicates that the status of ijtihad as being closed is an orthodoxy that needs to be challenged.

    Thus we have three academic sources – the Encylopaedia of Islam, New Edition entry on ijtihad, written by the great Islamologist Joseph Schacht, historian of the Ottoman Empire Harold Rhode, and the Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World entry on ijtihad, written by Imam Muneer Goolam Fareed, a Muslim believer and member of the Islamic Society of North America, all of which point to Nawaz lying about ijtihad, both it’s meaning as a term in Islam, and its doctrinal status.

    Just be certain, lets check with another source. Bernard Lewis, widely regarded as one of the greatest modern academic scholars of Islam, writes in his book “The Muslim Discovery of Europe” that:

    “…in the traditional formulation, “the gate of ijtihad was closed” and henceforth no further exercise of independent judgement was required or permitted. All answers were already there, and all that was needed was to follow and obey. One is tempted to seek a parallel in the development of Muslim science, where the exercise of independent judgement in the early days produced a rich flowering of scientific activity and discovery but where, too, the gate of ijtihad was subsequently closed and long period followed during which Muslim science consisted almost entirely of compilation and repetition.”

    Source: https://books.google.com/books?id=3AYkAwAAQBAJ&lpg=PA26&vq=early%20days%20of%20Islam&dq=bernard%20lewis%20Muslim%20discovery%20of%20europe&pg=PA230#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Like

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