Notify me of new HIR pieces!

HIR mailing list


An HIR Series

Historical and Investigative Research - 10 January 2007
by Francisco Gil-White




The religion of peace?


  What, exactly, is 'moderate Islam'?


“Earlier this month [December 2006] during his visit to Istanbul, [Pope] Benedict [XVI] backed Turkey’s admission into the EU, prayed toward Mecca in a mosque, and called Islam ‘a religion of peace, tolerance, and love.’”[1]

Pope Benedict XVI prays barefoot
at the Blue Mosque


For those not familiar with him, Pope Benedict XVI, who calls Islam a “religion of peace, tolerance, and love” (see above quote), is the head of the Catholic Church, a worldwide and influential religious institution. The Catholic Church is not a Muslim sect, and the popes of the medieval past -- who in fact referred to Muslims as ‘heathens’ and ‘infidels’ -- would have called Benedict an ‘anti-Christ’ (an agent of ‘Satan’) and burned him alive at the stake for praying in a mosque toward Mecca while functioning as a priest of the Church.

Some things have obviously changed in the Catholic Church.

One might say that the Catholic Church is joining the spirit of the times, because Pope Benedict’s assessment of Islam is very common in the Western mass media. This admits of a simple statistical demonstration.

On 7 January 2007, I asked the Lexis-Nexis database to give me all appearances, just in the major Western newspapers it archives, of the word ‘Islam’ within 10 words of the phrase ‘religion of peace,’ and it returned 738 results. By contrast, when I asked for all appearances in the same database of the word ‘Islam’ within 10 words of ‘religion of war’ I got only 66 results.

This means that Westerners hear in the mainstream mass media that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’ more than 11 times more often than they hear the opposite argument. (And many of those 66 results, I must point out, were about how specific individuals got in trouble for saying that Islam was a ‘religion of war,’ so the true ratio is arguably higher.)

If we accept the common media representation of Islam, then those Muslims who quite obviously and openly preach war cannot be true or orthodox Muslims (despite the fact that they seem quite numerous), and therefore some qualifier will be needed to label their movements. Thus, we often encounter the terms ‘fundamentalist Islam,’ ‘radical Islam,’ ‘Islamo-fascism,’ ‘Islamism,’ and ‘Islamist terrorism’ when the media makes reference to warlike Muslim movements.

By logical necessity, under this interpretation, the term ‘moderate Islam’ will refer to those Muslims who adhere to the traditional, orthodox, and true nature of Islam, which in this view is peace. Should we rush to accept this common media representation of Islam, now pushed also by the head of the Catholic Church?

I think that might be rash.

Although Pope Benedict XVI is certainly entitled to his own opinion, he is not a Muslim cleric or scholar. So before we commit ourselves to an interpretation it is probably wise at least to consult the recognized Muslim authorities on what the mission of Islam is supposed to be. If the interpretation of Muslim authorities agrees with Pope Benedict, very well. But if it doesn’t, it would be absurd to privilege the views of the Catholic Pope over the views of those who have defined Islam for millions of Muslims throughout the ages.

The first thing I will do is contrast the modern media interpretation of the word jihad, the central concept in Islam, with that of a famous 20th century Muslim cleric and scholar. Then I will look at the views of medieval Muslim clerics and scholars, and finally at the views of modern Muslims whom the Western mass media loudly calls 'moderates.'


Table of Contents

  Introduction (above)

  The meaning of jihad in the modern media, against that of a prominent 20th c. Muslim cleric and scholar

  Medieval Islam and its understanding of jihad

  According to Western officials and the mainstream mass media, what is a modern ‘moderate Muslim’?

  Do genuine ‘moderate Muslims’ exist?



The meaning of jihad in the modern media, against that of a prominent 20th c. Muslim cleric and scholar ______________________________________

What does the word jihad mean? These days it is common for the mass media to present us with Muslims who defend the view that jihad -- which is commonly translated as ‘holy war’ -- can have many different meanings, and that its primary meaning has nothing to do with violence (naturally because Islam is ‘the religion of peace’). For example, Riaz Hassan, writing in the South China Morning Post, explains:

“…jihad can be viewed as a revolutionary process in stages, proceeding from the spiritual to the temporal realm of politics. This interpretation is counter to the prevailing conception in the West... which views jihad in terms of destruction and suffering inflicted by religious fanatics on civilian populations.”[2]

In other words, Hassan is saying that only Muslim “religious fanatics” will use the word jihad to mean ‘terrorism’: “destruction and suffering inflicted…on civilian populations.” According to him, the word really has, primarily, a “spiritual” interpretation.

Western public figures routinely endorse such arguments. For example, in 1993, in a speech at the Sheldonian Theater in Oxford, where Charles  the Prince of Wales is a patron of the Center for Islamic Studies, the future King of England said that “The guiding principle and spirit of Islamic law, taken straight from the Qur’an, should be those of equity and compassion.”[2a] Strong stuff.

Immediately after the terrorist attacks in New York on 11 September 2001, which US president George W. Bush attributed to a self-consciously Muslim terrorist organization, “President Bush join[ed American] Muslim leaders… to defend Islam as a religion of peace, not terrorism.”[3]

Prince Charles and President Bush obviously agree with Riaz Hassan that any Muslim giving Islam’s central concept, jihad, a terrorist interpretation is a “religious fanatic,” not a mainstream, orthodox Muslim.

It is true that Bush made his statement surrounded by American Muslim leaders, but in the United States Islam is a minority religion, and in the context of a terrorist attack for which a self-consciously Muslim terrorist was taking responsibility, it was obviously politic for American Muslim leaders to agree publicly with Bush. It will be instructive, therefore, to see what a Muslim cleric and scholar in a majority Muslim country says about Islam.

I turn, therefore, to the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led the creation of an Islamic Republic in Iran in 1979. On the question of whether Islam is a religion of peace, Khomeini expressed himself with great clarity in a speech entitled Islam is not a Religion of Pacifists, as follows:

“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 holy warriors!

There are hundreds of other [Koranic] psalms and hadiths [sayings of Muhammad, the founder of Islam] 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.”[4]

It would appear that, concerning the nature of Islam, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini disagrees with the head of the Catholic Church, the future King of England, and the President of the United States. Benedict XVI says that Islam is “a religion of peace, tolerance, and love”; Prince Charles, claiming the authority of the Qur’an, says that Islam is about “equity and compassion”; and George Bush “defend[ed] Islam as a religion of peace, not terrorism.” But Khomeini 1) called Islam a religion of war, 2) he called for killing “all the unbelievers,” and 3) he was a major sponsor of terrorism around the world.

Of course, Khomeini has been called a ‘fundamentalist,’ a ‘fanatic,’ a ‘radical,’ and an ‘Islamist,’ which is supposed to mean that he does not represent mainstream orthodox Islam. However, it is worth pointing out that unlike Pope Benedict, Prince Charles, or President Bush, who are not even Muslims, Khomeini was a widely respected cleric and scholar within Islam. And it is worth noting also that Khomeini bases his views on the Qur’an and the sayings of Muhammad.

In order to establish whether Khomeini was inside or outside what has traditionally been the Muslim mainstream, I shall now turn to the views of medieval Islamic scholars and see whether they are any different from Khomeini's. Then I will examine the views of modern Muslim authorities whom Western officials and the Western mass media have gone out of their way to praise as great ‘moderates,’ and again test to see whether their views are at all different from Khomeini’s. Done with that, I will examine how much room there is for interpreting Muhammad’s legacy in order to produce that phenomenon we keep hearing about: ‘moderate Islam.’

Medieval Islam and its understanding of jihad _______________________________________

Medieval Islam, like modern Islam, was not a monolithic religion: there were sharp controversies, and different scholars defended contrasting views on many different points. I make this clear at the outset because whenever one talks about religion accusations easily fly that one has ‘painted with a broad brush’ and ignored the ideological diversity.

But though we must be fair to the various views within Islam, we must also recognize that in a book-based religion the sacred texts will tether the debates around a center of gravity. By measuring the distance that separates the various disputants we can identify the point around which they all circle, thus recognizing the ideological diversity but characterizing also the broad agreement that keeps the disputants in the same intellectual community.

I will examine the views of Abū Muhammad ‘Alī ibn Ahmad ibn Sa‘īd ibn Hazm (or Ibn Hazm, for mercy’s sake), relying on the French scholar Roger Arnaldez, who wrote in 1962 an article entitled Holy War According to Ibn Hazm of Córdoba, where he examines the medieval jurist’s views on the topic of jihad as expressed in his Kittab al-Muhalla.[5]

I have chosen Ibn Hazm because he was 1) from a wealthy and politically powerful family in Muslim Córdoba (Spain), 2) advisor to the caliphs of the imperial Ummayad dynasty in the 12 century, and 3) one of the most prolific and influential theorists in Islam. Ibn Hazm was mainstream.

Another reason Ibn Hazm is convenient is that he sought to write a polemic attacking the controversies that existed within Islam in his time.

Ibn Hazm, says Arnaldez, expresses “profound disgust” for the Muslim society in which he lives; his “purpose [is to] jolt and rouse a Muslim community that he considers to have fallen completely into religious decadence.”[6] The mistaken interpretations of other Muslim scholars were, in his view, responsible for the sad state of Muslim society, and Ibn Hazm worked hard to refute these rival views. Thus, by examining his writings, we can see what distance separated his views from those of his opponents, and hence identify the intellectual center of gravity of medieval Islamic civilization.

In order to follow Roger Arnaldez my readers should know that Islam traditionally divides the world into two regions, Dar al Islam, and Dar al Harb. The first means the ‘House of Islam’: the region where Muslims are a majority and politically dominant; the second, revealingly, means the ‘House of War’: the rest of the world, where Muslims are not yet dominant.

What did Ibn Hazm think of jihad?

“As for holy war,” Arnaldez explains, “it is clear that we do not find in Ibn Hazm’s writings any attempt to spiritualize the notion. For him, the jihad remains essentially a war waged with arms…”[7] Summarizing Ibn Hazm’s philosophy, Arnaldez says:

Jihad is an obligation incumbent upon all Muslims. But when some of them fulfill it, drive back the enemy and bring war (gazwa) to his home territory, when they defend the frontier towns, the others are relieved of this obligation… Nevertheless, in the case of an emergency, every believer who has no serious impediment can be called up to fight. The Muslim in the Dar al Harb who receives orders to fight must obey, unless he has a valid excuse. Ibn Hazm does not mean that the Muslims, even those who are in fact relieved of the obligation, should dissociate themselves from the jihad on the pretext that it is not a personal requirement in the highest degree (fardayn). The texts that he cites are typical of his concern for keeping [all] the believers [whether or not directly killing infidels] involved. The Qur’an, in many verses, insists on this duty: Offer your help, whether you have little or much weight, wage jihad by enlisting your property and your persons. Now, Ibn Hazm says that this is a ‘general’ command, since there is no one who is not ‘either light or heavy.’ According to one hadith, ‘he who dies without having waged war (wa lam yagzu), or without having harbored the hope of doing so (wa lam yuhaddith bihl nafsahu), dies in a sort of hypocrisy.’ According to another, the Prophet [Muhammad] declared: ‘No abandonment [of the cause] after victory, but jihad and steadfast resolve (niyya). And if you are called, come to their aid.’ It seems therefore, that besides the war, strictly speaking, there is something like a permanent psychological preparedness for war. In this latent form, the jihad must not cease.”[8]

In other words, for Ibn Hazm jihad is much more than armed combat against infidels to expand the frontiers of Dar al Islam; jihad is the total contribution that every Muslim makes all the time, in every way possible (excepting occasional valid excuses) toward the success of the permanent war waged on the line dividing Dar al Islam from Dar al Harb.

Arnaldez cites what Ibn Hazm -- basing himself on the hadiths and the Qur’an -- considers the Islamic obligations incumbent on non-combatants, and then makes the following comment: “This text is interesting because it shows the antiquity of a very broad concept of the jihad, which consists of making a fundamental commitment to obey God in everything.”[9] The point of obeying God in everything is to maximize the probability of success for armed combat on the frontiers of Islam: one’s whole life must be oriented toward this goal.

As the scholar Jacques Ellul once observed,

jihad is an institution and not an event -- that is, it is part of the normal functioning of the Muslim world.”[10]

The key point is this: in the context of what he writes, if Ibn Hazm was “profoundly disgusted” with the Islamic society of his times, then he was upset that Muslims were going soft, distracting themselves from their supreme obligation: war. Since Ibn Hazm was influential, it follows that in medieval Islam moderation was perceived to be heterodox, producing in reaction authoritative accusations of betrayal of Islam.

But Arnaldez explains that for Ibn Hazm “it is not enough to be a mercenary run amok to enter Paradise.”[11] The Muslim jurist took pains to clarify precisely how a good Muslim wages jihad, by following the law in everything even as he kills the infidel.

Against those who say that if two Muslims face three or more of the enemy it is legal for them to flee (but not before), Ibn Hazm demonstrates, with asperity, that the Qur’anic verse on which his opponents base their affirmation has been interpreted in a frankly absurd pseudo-literal manner. Islam does not specify any number. The Muslim must always err on the side of attack even when the enemy’s strength is far superior, retreating only when this is tactically advisable to wage a better battle. Ibn Hazm doesn’t go so far as to defend an obligation to ‘martyrdom’ (a suicidal attack), but he does make it clear that martyrdom is positively valued.[12]

Abu Bakr, another Muslim jurist, recommends not to cut any fruit trees or to destroy the cultivated lands of the enemy. Ibn Hazm replies that “in enemy territory it is permissible to burn the produce of the land, the trees and the vineyards,” because the very “Prophet [Muhammad] set fire to the palm groves of the Banu ‘l-Nadir, a Jewish tribe of Medina.” But Abu Bakr is within his rights to make his recommendation, concedes Ibn Hazm, because there is not in fact an obligation to destroy everything, merely a permission to do so, and the decision in each particular case must be made by the commander.[13]

The great Malikite and Hanafite currents within Islam allow the killing of all of the domestic animals which the infidels possess because “war should bring destruction upon the enemy, and everything that is not consumed by the Muslim invader must be rendered unusable.”[14] But Ibn Hazm replies -- in marked contrast with his views on the destruction of lands and crops -- that this is forbidden, and that the domestic animals of the infidels may not even be harmed (except for the pigs, for these must all be killed).

Although the foregoing reveals that for Ibn Hazm not everything is allowed in war, he nevertheless agrees that against the infidels themselves practically anything is permitted. For example, as Arnaldez explains, Ibn Hazm maintains that

“The lives of women and children must be spared, at least when they are not fighting in the ranks with the men. If they are struck down in the course of a nighttime attack (bayat) or unintentionally in the fray, there is no crime. Apart from these two exceptions, it is permitted to kill all infidels, whether combatants or not: merchants, hired servants or common laborers, old men, peasants, bishops, priests or monks, the blind or the lame, without a single exception. Some authors cite various hadiths in favor of other exceptions: old men, monks, merchants. Ibn Hazm rejects them all. Nor does he admit that the permission to kill is limited to combatants. As a justification for his thesis, he recalls the Prophet’s [Muhammad’s] extermination of all the men in the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza, who were put to death without exception, while the women and the children were sold as slaves.”[14a]

(It is worth pointing out that Muhammad had done this with the Banu Qurayza after they had willingly surrendered to Muhammad following his siege of their stronghold.[14b])

Emphasizing his point, Ibn Hazm affirms that, according to the Prophet Muhammad, it is even legal to kill a very old man whose mind no longer works very well if he never “made islam,” which is to say if he never submitted to Allah, thus converting to the true religion (the meaning of ‘Islam,’ in English translation, is usually rendered as ‘submission’).

‘War booty’ refers to that property of infidels which the Muslim army takes by force. Many Muslim scholars defended the view that, in many cases, even if the property of a Muslim were found among the war booty (for example, a slave who had escaped to Dar al Harb), this property should not be returned to the Muslim owner but divided among the soldiers. That such an opinion should have been so widespread provokes Arnaldez to comment: “This teaching is interesting because it shows the importance that the Muslims attributed to the division of booty [among the soldiers], over and above any other consideration.”[15]

Division of the booty is obviously a strong incentive for Muslims to wage war. But Ibn Hazm carefully points out that an infidel cannot legally own what was once the property of a Muslim, because he is a dirty infidel, and so the soldiers may not take another Muslim’s property, even should they find it among the war booty. As Arnaldez says, “The very important thing about these indignant reactions is that Ibn Hazm affirms therein that only Muslim law counts, even when it is a question of non-Muslims”[16]

Ibn Hazm obviously thought that many Muslim mercenaries were beyond the pale, but not because they were in the habit of murdering all infidel men and enslaving the women and children (he was in warm agreement with that), but because they took the property of Muslims found in the war booty.

It is important to see this: the problem was not that Muslim soldiers were genocidal but corrupt. Here lay the decadence of medieval Muslim society that so disgusted Ibn Hazm.

On the topic of lying to the infidels, Ibn Hazm defends the view that this is not a sin: treaties and oaths with infidels have no validity and are made to be broken.[17] What would be a sin against a Muslim is justified with an infidel because the defeat of infidels is the whole point of Islam.

The jurist Abu Hanifa maintained that if an infidel in Dar al Harb converted to Islam and stayed there until the Muslims conquered his country, he should remain a free man when the conquest happened and keep all of his movable property. His children who were not yet of age would also become automatically Muslims and keep their freedom. But the convert’s land, and the fetus in the womb of his wife, even though Muslim, is part of the war booty (in Islamic law it is permissible for a slave to be Muslim). And if the convert had migrated to Dar al Islam, says Abu Hanifa, then everything he left behind becomes part of the war booty when the conquest happens, and will be divided among the soldiers. The same happens if he first came to Dar al Islam as an infidel and then submitted, with the difference that, in this latter case, his children are not automatically Muslims and form part of the war booty.

Ibn Hazm rejects all of Abu Hanifa's teachings because they do not produce the proper incentive for conversion to Islam: the laws must be designed so that infidels realize that the way to protect themselves from Muslim soldiers is to convert. So Ibn Hazm states that he who submits to Allah may keep his children and all his property regardless of where he finds himself when the Muslims conquer his country. The exceptions are the wife and those children who are already adults: these may legitimately be considered part of the war booty, probably because, being adults, they may prove difficult to indoctrinate and hence it is better to enslave them.[18]

This will suffice. The distance that existed between the very influential Ibn Hazm and his opponents does not allow us to say that any medieval jurist defended Islam as ‘the religion of peace.’ Clearly, they were all agreed that Islam was the religion of war -- and terrorist war at that. Here lay the ideological center of gravity. The reason is not far to seek: Muhammad was fond of exterminating infidels, and in particular Jews,[14b] Hence, Islamic jurists in the Middle Ages disagreed only on just how much terrorist destruction it was lawful to apply, and the specific manner of it.

It follows, therefore, that the opinion of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini -- and not that of Pope Benedict XVI, Prince Charles of Wales, or President George W. Bush -- is the one that best matches the medieval Islamic tradition.

According to Western officials and the mainstream mass media, what is a modern ‘moderate Muslim’? _______________________________________

You may remember the civil wars of the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia. Much of this happened in a place called Bosnia, populated by Slavic Muslims, Serbs, and Croats. One of the main protagonists in the Bosnian civil wars was the Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic.

NATO backed Alija Izetbegovic with force because, NATO officials insisted, Izetbegovic was a moderate Muslim trying to preserve a democratic, tolerant, and multi-ethnic Bosnia against what the same NATO officials claimed were the racist and genocidal attacks of the Bosnian Serbs. The Western mass media by and large repeated this representation as if it were obviously true. Here follow a few samples of how Alija Izetbegovic was represented.

In an official statement, the US State Department said after Alija Izetbegovic’s death:

“President Izetbegovic’s personal courage helped the Bosnian people endure one of Europe's greatest tragedies since World War II. His determined leadership was instrumental in Bosnia and Herzegovina remaining a unified multiethnic country.”[19]

Warren Zimmerman, former US Ambassador to Yugoslavia, wrote in Foreign Affairs:

“Izetbegovic was…A devout Muslim but no extremist, he consistently advocated the preservation of a multinational Bosnia.”[20]

The Financial Times, in a headline, called him a

“Former rebel with a pacifist cause.”[21]

The Observer stated:

“Izetbegovic is rapidly emerging as an intelligent and moderate mediator in the conflict in Yugoslavia.”[22]

The Independent:

Alija Izetbegovic, the Muslim President of Bosnia, has tried to steer a moderate course.”[23]

The New York Times:

“The Bosnian President, Mr. Izetbegovic, a Muslim Slav regarded by Western diplomats as a moderate.”[24]

The New York Times again:

“President Alija Izetbegovic, a moderate Muslim Slav…”[25]

The Washington Post:

“Bosnian President Alija IZETBEGOVIC, 70, a moderate Muslim often accused by the Serbs of trying to set up a fundamentalist Islamic state…”[26]

Newsweek magazine,

“The government of Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic…has always been committed to a multiethnic society.”[27]

And Newsweek again:

“The moderate Muslim-led government of Alija Izetbegovic…”[28]

Knight-Ridder News Service, in reference to Izetbegovic’s movement, stated that,

“The Bosnian [Muslims] are struggling for democracy, human rights, and a multiethnic country.”[29]

Inter-Press Service:

“Izetbegovic, a moderate Muslim intellectual…”[30]

United Press International:

“President Alija Izetbegovic, a Muslim nationalist who is considered a pro-reform moderate”[31]

Associated Press:

“Izetbegovic, 66, won a reputation as a moderate…”[32]

You can see from the above why many people got the impression that Alija Izetbegovic was a ‘moderate Muslim’: the media said that he was.

But it would be silly to form an opinion of Izetbegovic from media claims when Izetbegovic himself laid out in black and white what he believed. In a book titled Islamic Declaration (sometimes translated as Islamic Manifesto), and first published around 1970, Alija Izetbegovic wrote:

“Oh Prophet, incite the believers to combat. If there can be found among you twenty who will endure, they will vanquish two hundred, if one hundred can be found, they will vanquish a thousand infidels, because they are people such as cannot understand.”[33]

And also:

“And combat on Allah’s path those who combat you, and don’t disobey. True, Allah does not love the disobedient! And kill them where you will find them; chase them from where they chased you: association is a graver sin than murder. But don’t fight them near the sacred Mosque unless they fight you there first. And if they fight you there, kill them then. Such is the retribution against infidels. Should they cease, Allah is, surely, forgiving and merciful.”[33a]

I think this line in particular is quite revealing: “association [with an infidel] is a graver sin than murder [of a fellow Muslim],” because it tells us what the Qur’anic attitude -- and Izetbegovic’s -- is toward Muslims who wanted to get along with non-Muslims.

Izetbegovic interprets the above two excerpts as a Quranic command on the question of how to conduct “The Relations Between the Islamic Society and Other Societies,” for that phrase is the section title where the two Quranic excerpts appear, without comment or adornment. (The entire section consists of similar Quranic excerpts, all of them equally chilling, and all of them without comment or adornment).

Consistent with this, Izetbegovic affirmed in the same book that “It is not in fact possible for there to be any peace or coexistence between ‘the Islamic Religion’ and non-Islamic social and political institutions.”[34] He also asserted that Muslims were required to take power by coup as soon as they were numerous enough to succeed.

As far back as 1983, Izetbegovic had been jailed by the government of Yugoslavia for inciting Muslims against non-Muslims in Bosnia.[35] Izetbegovic re-released his book -- which was a call to genocide -- as his election platform in the 1990 Bosnian elections, and subsequently recreated the SS Handzar Division.

The original Handzar was a terrorist army created out of tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslim volunteers who committed genocide against Serbs, Jews, and Roma (‘Gypsies’) in WWII, and launched by Hajj Amin al Husseini, former Mufti of Jerusalem. Hajj Amin al Husseini was the father of the so-called ‘Palestinian movement’ and the top leader, with Adolf Eichmann, of the German Nazi Final Solution.[36]

Izetbegovic’s resuscitated Handzar behaved precisely as the original, killing great numbers of innocent Serbs (and the few Jews and Roma that could still be found) during the 1990s. To learn about all this, read HIR’s three-part series:

“WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN BOSNIA?: Were the Serbs the criminal aggressors, as the official story claims, or were they the victims?”; Historical and Investigative Research; 19 August 2005; by Francisco Gil-White.

The views of Alija Izetbegovic, whom Western officials and the mainstream mass media lionized left and right as a great ‘moderate,’ agree perfectly with those of Ibn Hazm and the Ayatollah Khomeini.

He is not an isolated case.

Somebody else who is sold by Western officials and the mainstream mass media as a ‘moderate Muslim’ is Mahmoud Abbas (a.k.a. ‘Abu Mazen’), the current leader of Al Fatah and the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization). In a different piece I have analyzed the representation of Mahmoud Abbas in the mass media,[37] and I will reproduce that analysis here.

I ran a little test on September 20, 2005, that anybody with access to the Lexis-Nexis Academic database can easily repeat.

First, limiting myself to “major papers,” I asked the database to give me any newspaper articles that mentioned the word ‘antisemite’ or ‘anti-Semite’ within ten words of ‘Abu Mazen,’ which is Mahmoud Abbas’s nickname. I got nothing. Zip. Then I tried the word ‘terrorist’ within ten words of ‘Abu Mazen.’ This gave lots of results but when I started reading the articles I noticed that the word ‘terrorist’ and the nickname ‘Abu Mazen’ usually did not even appear in the same sentence.[38] These articles were not saying that Abu Mazen was a terrorist in the least. I was looking for something like, ‘the terrorist Abu Mazen,’ ‘Abu Mazen, the terrorist,’ ‘Abu Mazen, who is a terrorist’ -- anything like that. So I shortened the search to ‘Abu Mazen’ within 5 words of ‘terrorist.’ This time I got only 62 results, and as I started reading the articles I found the same phenomenon: the word ‘terrorist’ would end one sentence and the name ‘Abu Mazen’ would begin the next, as in “...and ceasing the targeted killings of suspected terrorist leaders. Abu Mazen may represent Israel’s best chance...”[39] Or else these were sentences that explicitly alleged that Abu Mazen was not a terrorist, as in “Sharon spokesman Raanan Gissin said: ‘Contrary to Arafat, Abu Mazen is against terrorist activity...’”[40]

So, according to my test, nobody much seems to accuse Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) of being a terrorist. That’s interesting because Fatah is one of the world’s worst terrorist organizations, and “Abu Mazen is... one of the founders of Fatah, one of the original Arafat band of brothers.”[41] Moreover, Fatah is the controlling organ in the PLO, and as early as 1992 the PLO made clear that Mahmoud Abbas would be Yasser Arafat’s replacement.[42]

I tried one more search. This time I asked the database for appearances of ‘Abu Mazen’ within ten words of ‘moderate.’ Now I got a grand total of 121 results. Below I reproduce not a cherry-picked selection of these but simply the first five in the chronologically ordered list. You will notice an obvious -- and lightning quick -- progression.

1) 1992 (Financial Times). “Mr [Mahmoud] Abbas, whose nom de guerre is Abu Mazen and who is regarded as a moderate...”[43]

Notice the words “who is regarded as.” They seem innocent, but they are not. If some people regard Abbas as a moderate, it should matter to the reader who these people are. Are these people sane or insane? Knowledgeable or ignorant? Impartial or biased? All of these things can potentially be ascertained by the reader if only the identities of those who supposedly consider Abbas a moderate are not withheld. Why is the Financial Times leaving out this vital information? The effect of this prose, at least, will be to make most readers think that it is a scientific and/or widespread opinion that Abbas is a moderate (and the first hypothesis for any behavior ought to be that its actual effects were intended).

2) 1993 (Financial Times). “Mr Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), the PLO moderate. . .”[44]

3) 1993 (Financial Times). “Mr Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen)...a key moderate...”[45]

The views at the Financial Times matured quickly in a consistent direction: Abbas began as “a moderate” according to implied but unidentified multitudes, and a year later became “the PLO moderate” (said in passing because it is supposedly so obvious), and also “a key moderate.”

Could Abbas become any more moderate? Yes he could.

4) 1994 (The Observer). “Abu Mazen, the leading moderate in the PLO. . .”[46]

But with a little effort, who’s to say that Abbas could not become an arch-moderate?

5) 1995 (The Guardian). “...the arch-moderate Abu Mazen...”[47]

This is now the ceiling; by 1995, the propaganda had reached its final destination. Abbas had become Gandhi, practically.

Now, here is what ought to be terribly surprising to anybody who was taught by the mainstream media, the US government, and the Israeli government, to think of Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) as a moderate: After Yasser Arafat died, the Fatah terrorists who publicly cried against ‘peace’ and promised to go on killing innocent Israelis were precisely those most eager to see Mahmoud Abbas succeed Yasser Arafat as Fatah chief.

An Associated Press wire dated 27 November 2004 reports that:

“. . .in the Balata refugee camp near the West Bank city of Nablus, about 1,000 Palestinians -- including scores of armed, masked militants affiliated with Fatah -- demonstrated for the continuation of the uprising.

The demonstrators also declared their support for Mahmoud Abbas, the new head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Fatah’s candidate in Jan. 9 presidential elections.”[48]

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade branch of Fatah was passionate, taking Abbas’s side vociferously when it seemed like Marwan Barghouti, another Fatah leader, might seek the post:

“Abbas already has been nominated as Fatah’s presidential candidate, so Barghouti must run as an independent. But as a leading Fatah member, he would likely undermine Abbas’ prospects. . . Zakaria Zubeidi, the 29-year-old West Bank leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a violent group linked to Fatah, said he would back Abbas. ‘Barghouti. . .should resign from Fatah,’ he told the Associated Press.”[49]

The Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, as Newsday once explained, is “the deadliest Palestinian militia,”[50] so what we see above is that the most extreme Arab terrorists in the West Bank and Gaza are also the most enthusiastic supporters of Mahmoud Abbas.

Why? Because Mahmoud Abbas is an arch-moderate?

As we’ve seen above, Abbas is one of the founders of Fatah. The big force behind the creation of Fatah was the afore-mentioned Hajj Amin al Husseini, leader of the German Nazi Final Solution.[51] He received the best anti-Jewish training in the world, because Husseini supervised his training by German Nazis who were in Cairo to improve Egypt's intelligence and military apparatus after the defeat of 1948.[51a] And as historian Howard Sachar explains, “from the outset... the Fatah’s reputation depended largely upon the success of its Moslem traditionalist approach of jihad against Israel.”[52]

Mahmoud Abbas is one of the authors of the strategy of promising ‘peace’ to the Israelis in order to divide them and gain a better position from which to exterminate them.[53] This strategy eventually became the Oslo 'Peace' Process, and Abbas's importance to it may be gauged by the fact that the Oslo process resulted from “secret talks conducted [by]...Shimon Peres, the Israeli Foreign Minister, and Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas].”[53a] It is Abbas's signature, not Arafat's, that graces the agreement, and not coincidentally he is called the "architect" of Oslo.[53b] The entire strategy follows Al Fatah's “Moslem traditionalist approach of jihad,” because traditionally, from ancient times to the present, Muslim clerics and scholars have defended, as we saw in the case of Ibn Hazm's treatise on jihad, that it is okay to lie to the infidel in order to destroy him. Western governments and the mainstream media assist these lies when they represent Mahmoud Abbas as a supposed "arch-moderate."

Given their obvious ideology, if Alija Izetbegovic and Mahmoud Abbas are the modern ‘moderate Muslims,’ then we have once again identified what continues to be the center of gravity in the culture of Islam: terrorist war against non-Muslims.

Do genuine ‘moderate Muslims’ exist? _________________________________

They do, in fact.

For example, in Part 2 and Part 3 of the above-mentioned HIR series on Bosnia, you will learn that a majority of Muslims in Bosnia voted against Alija Izetbegovic and for the Bosnian Muslim candidate who advocated peace with non-Muslims: Fikret Abdic. This was a very slim majority, however, which helps explain why the moderate Bosnian Muslims did not succeed. In fairness, though, the support for Izetbegovic coming from the NATO powers and the Muslim states played a larger role.

Because a majority of Muslims had voted for the moderate Fikret Abdic, Alija Izetbegovic, supported by NATO and the Muslim states, illegally seized power. When that happened, some of Abdic’s supporters decided to fight rather than be ruled by the racist Izetbegovic, and they liberated the so-called ‘Bihac pocket,’ fighting also alongside the Bosnian Serbs to preserve a peaceful, multiethnic Bosnia.

The details of all this are in the above-mentioned HIR series on Bosnia, but consider here just the following wire from Agence France Presse, entitled “Bihac refugees defy Izetbegovic plea to return home.” The Muslim refugees -- refugees from Izetbegovic’s slaughters against dissenters within his community -- obviously did not trust his promises that they would be given amnesty, and chose to go on fighting. I have placed the key paragraph in italics.

[Agence France Presse wire begins here]

Some 10,000 refugees from Bosnia’s breakaway Bihac enclave remained entrenched here Saturday between Croatian army and rebel Serb forces, ignoring appeals from Sarajevo authorities for them to return home.

Izetbegovic on Friday offered fresh guarantees for the refugees’ safety if they returned from the UN-controlled neutral zone between Croatian army lines and rebel Serb forces to the western enclave of Bihac, the former stronghold of routed rebel Moslem leader Fikret Abdic.

But there were no signs that the refugees, many wearing military uniforms, were ready to go back to Bihac.

“We will only return home if (Bosnian President Alija) Izetbegovic’s army withdraws completely from the Bihac pocket,” said one of the refugees, Dzenad Seferic. None of his fellow refugees nearby contradicted his sentiments.

Seferic added that the refugees would stay put until Bihac was “placed under the control of the UN Protection Force and [Fikret] Abdic returns as our head of state.”

Another refugee, Sefer Adic, 43, said he would rather die than return home.

“The world has not understood that Izetbegovic is an assassin, a (Moslem) fundamentalist who represents a danger for the whole of Europe,” he charged. “Of course we are Moslems. But we are moderates, not like those in Sarajevo.”

The Bosnian president had asked European Union officials in the zone Friday to assure the refugees that an amnesty for “soldiers and civilians” in the enclave had been “extended indefinitely.”

Sarajevo said the amnesty covered Abdic’s routed troops, provided they surrendered to government forces [i.e. to Izetbegovic’s illegal government] within seven days.

Croatia has refused entry to the refugees, who fled Bihac fearing reprisals after Abdic’s defeat last week by the Bosnian government army [i.e. Izetbegovic’s illegal ‘government’ army, made up significantly of foreign mujahedin terrorists sent by Iran (see here)], and a dozen Croatian armored vehicles were deployed Saturday to prevent them from moving beyond the UN-controlled zone.[54]

[Agence France Presse wire begins here]

There were lots of moderate Muslims in Bosnia, and, as we see above, they were concerned about the impact of Izetbegovic’s terrorism on the rest of Europe: they cared about their fellow human beings, even when these fellow humans were non-Muslims.

What I wish to impress upon you, however, is the position of a moderate Muslim in the ideological context of Islamic culture. As far as orthodox Islam is concerned, a moderate Muslim is a heretic, and there is precious little support for his position in the Muslim texts. Thus, moderate Muslims can easily be attacked by Muslim clerics and scholars such as Ibn Hazm and the Ayatollah Khomeini for deviating from what the Qur’an demands: the slaughter of infidels. The position of ‘moderate Muslims’ within the culture of Islam is therefore quite fragile, because the trend among Muslim clerics and scholars, taking their cue from the Qur’an, is to preach terrorist war. The moderate Muslim who wishes to live in peace with non-Muslims will thus be told that he is a traitor to Islam. You may think the solution is simple: moderate Muslims, who are obviously uncomfortable with their own religion, should convert to a different religion or become atheists. But this, you see, is punishable by death: one has become an infidel. And since Western governments turn out to be assisting Muslims who advocate terrorism against infidels, it is obvious that moderate Muslims cannot succeed.

From this point of view, the spread of Islam must be understood as a danger to world peace, notwithstanding the fact that moderate Muslims indeed exist.

But why do Western leaders and the media completely misrepresent Islam as ‘the religion of peace’? As you may recall, we began with quotes showing the president of the United States, and the Catholic Pope, to be defending the view, to the millions of Westerners whom they influence, that Islam is a religion of peace. What is the problem, here?

That will be the subject of a future HIR piece on the topic of Islam.

The next piece in this series is:

"Dhimmitude: The fates of non-Muslims in Islamic society"; from THE CULTURE OF ISLAM; Historical and Investigative Research; 9 September 2007; by Francisco Gil-White


Footnotes and Further Reading

[1] Christians in crisis,  The Jerusalem Post, December 24, 2006, Sunday, OPINION; Pg. 13, 712 words

[2] The Pope was wrong on jihad, too,  South China Morning Post, September 23, 2006 Saturday, NEWS; Pg. 13, 1014 words, Riaz Hassan

[2a] “Prince Charles of Arabia”; by Ronni L. Gordon and David M. Stillman; Middle East Quarterly; September 1997.

[3] Bush goes face to face to build anti-terror alliance, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 18, 2001 Tuesday, Home Edition, Pg. 1A, 1015 words, SCOTT SHEPARD [nota de fotografía].

[4] Bostom, A. G. 2005. The legacy of jihad. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. (p.226)

[5] Arnaldez, R. 1962. "La guerre sainte selon Ibn Hasm de Cordoue," in Études d'Orientalism dediees a la memoire de Levi-Provençal, vol. 2, pp. 445-59. Paris: Masionneuve and Larose.

Reproduced in: Bostom, A. G. 2005. The legacy of jihad. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. (pp,.267-81). Translation by Michel J. Miller.

[6] Arnaldez 1960 (in Bostom 2005), p.281.

[7] Arnaldez 1960 (in Bostom 2005), p.268.

[8] Arnaldez, R. 1962. "La guerre sainte selon Ibn Hasm de Cordoue," in Études d'Orientalism dediees a la memoire de Levi-Provençal, vol. 2, pp. 445-59. Paris: Masionneuve and Larose.

Reproduced in: Bostom, A. G. 2005. The legacy of jihad. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. (pp,.267-81). Translation by Michel J. Miller.

[9] Arnaldez 1960 (in Bostom 2005), p.271.

[10] Les Chretiens d'Orient entre Jihad et Dhimmitude: VIIe-XXe siecle. (1991).

Translated to English in: Ye'or, B. 1996. The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam. Cranbury, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (pp.18-19).

[11] Arnaldez 1960 (in Bostom 2005), p.271.

[12] Arnaldez 1960 (in Bostom 2005), pp.272-73.

[13] Arnaldez 1960 (in Bostom 2005), pp.273-74.

[14] Arnaldez 1960 (in Bostom 2005), p.274.

[14a] Arnaldez 1960 (in Bostom 2005), p.275.

[14b] Bostom, A. G. 2005. The legacy of jihad. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. (pp.17-19).

[15] Arnaldez 1960 (in Bostom 2005), p.277.

[16] Arnaldez 1960 (in Bostom 2005), p.278.

[17] Arnaldez 1960 (in Bostom 2005), pp.278-79.

[18] Arnaldez 1960 (in Bostom 2005), pp.279-80.

[19] M2 Presswire; October 21, 2003; Headline: US Dept Of State -  Death of former President Alija Izetbegovic - Press Statement - Adam Ereli

[20] ‘The last ambassador: a memoir of the collapse of Yugoslavia.’ By Warren Zimmerman; Foreign Affairs March-April 1995 v74 n2 p2(19) (8919 words)

[21] Financial Times (London), March 7, 1992, Saturday, Pg. 6, 1108 words, Man in the News:

[22] Bosnia dragged into the bloodbath: Serbia continues its march to the Adriatic, The Observer, September 15 1991, Pg. 13, 957 words, NICK THORPE, BANJA LUKA

[23] Defiant Bosnia heads for showdown, The Independent (London), January 23, 1992, Thursday, FOREIGN NEWS PAGE; Page 10 , 649 words, By STEVE CRAWSHAW, East Europe Editor

[24] Bosnia Calls Up Guard and Reserve, The New York Times, April 5, 1992, Sunday, Late Edition - Final, Section 1; Part 1; Page 3; Column 1; Foreign Desk, 681 words, By CHUCK SUDETIC,  Special to The New York Times, SARAJEVO, Yugoslavia, April 4

[25] Bosnia's Besieged Government Near Disintegration, The New York Times, May 8, 1992, Friday, Late Edition - Final, Section A; Page 10; Column 3; Foreign Desk, 1058 words, By CHUCK SUDETIC,  Special to The New York Times, SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 7

[26] LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD; How the wars began and how the world hopes to end them, The Washington Post, December 17, 1995, Sunday, Final Edition, A SECTION; Pg. A34, 991 words

[27] Newsweek, December 18, 1995, United States Edition, National Affairs; Pg. 32, 1240 Words, Sarajevo On The Spot, By Russell Watson And Rod Nordland

[28] Last Rites for Bosnia, Newsweek, May 10, 1993 , UNITED STATES EDITION, SPECIAL REPORT; Crisis In Bosnia; Pg. 30, 1207 words, By Charles Lane

[29] Bosnia suffers genocide as the world - and America - remains silent. (Originated from Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service) Jennifer Scarlott; Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service Dec 21, 1993 p1221K5689 (696 words)

[30] YUGOSLAVIA: FUTURE STILL UNCERTAIN, IPS-Inter Press Service, February 22, 1991, Friday, 621 words, by Svetislav Maksovic, BELGRADE, Feb. 22

[31] Officials of two republics apparently seek foreign support, United Press International, March 17, 1991, Sunday, BC cycle, International, 749 words, BY NESHO DJURIC, BELGRADE, Yugoslavia

[32] Moderate President No Stranger to Captivity, The Associated Press, May 3, 1992, Sunday, AM cycle, International News, 346 words, AP Photo FRA1, SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina

[33] Izetbegovic, Alija. 1999 [1980]. Le manifeste Islamique (original title: Islamska deklaracija). Beyrouth-Liban: Éditions Al-Bouraq (pp. 118-19).

[33a] Le manifeste Islamique (p.118-19).

[34] Le manifeste Islamique (p.81).

[35] “...The court found the accused guilty because it held that their activity had been directed against brotherhood and unity, and the equality of our nations and nationalities with a view to destroying Bosnia-Hercegovina as a Socialist Republic and thus of undermining the social order of the SFRY.

For the criminal act of association for the purpose of enemy activity and counter-revolutionary threatening of the social order Alija (Mustafa) Izetbegovic was sentenced to 14 years'...”

SOURCE: Copyright 1983 The British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC Summary Of World Broadcasts, August 22, 1983, Monday, Part 2 Eastern Europe; B. Internal Affairs; Yugoslavia; Ee/7418/B/1; , 372 Words, Muslim Nationalists Convicted, (A) Yuqoslav News Agency 1555 Gmt 12 Aug 83 Text Of Report Belgrade Home Service 1700 Gmt 20 Aug 83

[36] "How did the 'Palestinian movement' emerge? The British sponsored it. Then the German Nazis, and the US"; from UNDERSTANDING THE PALESTINIAN MOVEMENT, An HIR series, in four parts; Historical and Investigative Research; 13 June 2006; by Francisco Gil-White.

[37] The analysis is borrowed from the section entitled “Is Mahmoud Abbas a moderate?” from the piece:

“WHAT IS SEEDS OF PEACE?: Does this US Intelligence operation groom young Arab leaders who want peace with Israel, or who wish to destroy Israel?”; Historical and Investigative Research; 21 September 2005; by Francisco Gil-White.

[38] Here are three examples of the common pattern:

“It is clear, however, that Arafat only acts on his own commitment to crack down on Palestinian terrorism when it is too late -- after a massive terrorist attack. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) admitted as much to the New Yorker, stating ‘until March (after the suicide bombings) we weren’t serious.’”

SOURCE: Get serious,  The Jerusalem Post, December 13, 1996, Friday, OPINION; Pg. 4, 824 words

“Until now, Sharon, the architect of Israel's 1982 war against the PLO in Lebanon, has not softened his rejection of the PLO, calling it a terrorist organization and Arafat himself a ‘war criminal.’ The Sharon-Abu Mazen meeting was indeed a watershed event, in that it symbolizes the recognition of the PLO by the right-wing of the Likud.”

SOURCE: The Sharon watershed,  The Jerusalem Post, June 30, 1997, Monday, OPINION; Pg. 6, 850 words. 

“(b) Abu Mazen, longtime deputy to Yasir Arafat; (c) Marwan Barghouti, head of the terrorist Tanzim faction.” 

SOURCE: Office Pool, 2002 ,  The New York Times, December 27, 2001 Thursday,  Late Edition - Final , Section A; Column 1; Editorial Desk; Pg. 19, 705 words,  By WILLIAM SAFIRE; E-mail:, WASHINGTON

[39] AN ALTERNATIVE TO ARAFAT, The Boston Globe, March 23, 2003, Sunday, ,THIRD EDITION, Pg. H10, 472 words

[40] Israel in warning on Arafat deadlock, The Australian, April 23, 2003 Wednesday All-round Metro Edition, WORLD; Pg. 7, 500 words, Robert Tait

[41] THUS FAR AND NO FATAH FOR MR PALESTINE; Resistance is growing within the PLO over Yasser Arafat and the Israeli peace process, The Guardian (London), November 12, 1993, THE GUARDIAN FEATURES PAGE; Pg. 24, 1204 words, DAVID HIRST

[42] “The PLO leadership has agreed that Mahmoud Abbas, known as Abu Mazen, will be Yasser Arafat's successor, Palestinian sources in East Jerusalem said yesterday. However other Palestinians were skeptical of the report. 

According to the sources, Abu Mazen, a PLO executive committee member, and two other leaders will serve as a senior committee to take some of the pressure off Arafat in light of his current health problems. 

The Israeli Arab newspaper, published in Jerusalem, reported that the other two committee members will be Farouk Kaddoumi and Khaled al-Hassan. 

According to the paper, Abu Mazen, 59, was born near Safed and was one of the PLO's founders. He was responsible for making contacts with Israeli leftists and supporting the Palestinian delegation to the peace talks. He studied in Moscow and has a degree in Zionist history. Abu Mazen is known to support the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, believing that such a state would eventually absorb Israel.”

SOURCE: Abu Mazen is Arafat's heir, sources say,  The Jerusalem Post, June 11, 1992, Thursday, News, 464 words, Jon Immanuel and Itim

[43] PLO crisis talks as Arafat is reported missing, Financial Times (London,England), April 8, 1992, Wednesday, Pg. 20, 437 words, By TONY WALKER

[44] Peres joins direct talks with PLO, Financial Times (London,England), September 4, 1993, Saturday, Pg. 3, 448 words, By JULIAN OZANNE and MARK NICHOLSON, JERUSALEM, CAIRO.

[45] How the secret deal was hatched: Only Peres' private coterie knew of talks with PLO, Financial Times (London,England), September 4, 1993, Saturday, Pg. 3, 485 words, By JULIAN OZANNE.

[46] THE PEACE BROKERS, The Observer, January 16, 1994, Sunday, THE OBSERVER MAGAZINE PAGE; Pg. 20, 3200 words

[47] THE AXE IS SHARPENED FOR ARAFAT; He once carried the hopes of his people. Now Yasser Arafat faces their bitterness as the peace process stalls and allegations of corruption, incompetence and even collaboration dog him. In the first of three articles, DAVID HIRST looks atthe slow collapse of the latest Palestinian dream of freedom., The Guardian (London), April 15, 1995, THE GUARDIAN FEATURES PAGE; Pg. 21, 3747 words, David Hirst

[48] Associated Press Online, November 27, 2004 Saturday, INTERNATIONAL NEWS, 991 words, Palestinian Security Unit to Be Disbanded, IBRAHIM BARZAK; Associated Press Writer, GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip.

[49] Barghouti Seeking Palestinian Presidency, Associated Press Online, December 1, 2004 Wednesday, INTERNATIONAL NEWS, 836 words, MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH; Associated Press Writer, RAMALLAH, West Bank

[50] Newsday (New York, NY),  September 8, 2002 Sunday,  NASSAU AND SUFFOLK EDITION,  Pg. A05,  1333 words,  WEST BANK; Inside the Crucible; An occasional series on te Israel-Palestine conflict; Militia Goes More Quietly; Al-Aqsa changes tactics after losses,  By Matthew McAllester. MIDDLE EAST CORRESPONDENT

[51] "How did the 'Palestinian movement' emerge? The British sponsored it. Then the German Nazis, and the US"; from UNDERSTANDING THE PALESTINIAN MOVEMENT, An HIR series, in four parts; Historical and Investigative Research; 13 June 2006; by Francisco Gil-White.

[51a]  Al Fatah's Nazi training was CIA-sponsored; Historical and Investigative Research; 22 July 2007; by Francisco Gil-White.

[52] Sachar, H. 1982. A history of Israel: From the rise of Zionism to our time. New York: Knopf. (pp. 698)

[53] 2005 -- Mahmoud Abbas, who will soon have total control over Gaza, is the one who invented the strategy of talking ‘peace’ the better to slaughter Israelis. The US ruling elite loves Mahmoud Abbas. ( This piece written before Gaza was turned over to the PLO ); from “IS THE US AN ALLY OF ISRAEL?: A Chronological look at the evidence”; Historical and Investigative Research; by Francisco Gil-White.

[53a] THE PEACE BROKERS, The Observer, January 16, 1994, Sunday, THE OBSERVER MAGAZINE PAGE; Pg. 20, 3200 words

[53b] Mr Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), the PLO moderate who initialed last week’s draft Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement in Norway”

SOURCE: Peres joins direct talks with PLO, Financial Times (London,England), September 4, 1993, Saturday, Pg. 3, 448 words, By JULIAN OZANNE and MARK NICHOLSON, JERUSALEM, CAIRO.

“Oslo could, perhaps, have worked. But its architect, the arch-moderate Abu Mazen, warned from the outset that it would lead ‘either to a Palestine state or the liquidation of the Palestine cause.’”

SOURCE: THE AXE IS SHARPENED FOR ARAFAT; He once carried the hopes of his people. Now Yasser Arafat faces their bitterness as the peace process stalls and allegations of corruption, incompetence and even collaboration dog him. In the first of three articles, DAVID HIRST looks atthe slow collapse of the latest Palestinian dream of freedom., The Guardian (London), April 15, 1995, THE GUARDIAN FEATURES PAGE; Pg. 21, 3747 words, David Hirst

[54] Bihac refugees defy Izetbegovic plea to return home,  Agence France Presse -- English, August 27, 1994, International news, 414 words, Sonia Bakaric, TURANJ, Croatia, Aug 27

<  Part 1 -  What, exactly, is "moderate Islam"?

<  Part 2 - The fates of non-Muslims in Islamic society

<  Part 3 -  The progress of Islam in the Western world

<  Part 4 -  The role of Western ruling elites in the sponsorship of Islam
































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Notify me of new HIR pieces!

HIR mailing list