Tarek Fatah on the radicalization of Muslim youth, fatwa by fatwa

From The National Post

Spreading intolerance, one fatwa at a time

Tarek Fatah, National Post Published: Monday, November 09, 2009

Muhammad Salih Al-Munaj jid is a well-known Saudi cleric who has a large following in Canada and the West. Like other so-called Islamic scholars, he maintains an active presence on the Internet, which he uses as a platform to tell young Muslim men and women how to lead proper Islamic lives. His Saudi-based Islamic web portal, Islam Q& A, caters to Muslim youth not just in English, but Mandarin, Cantonese, Turkish, Urdu, French, Spanish, Russian, Uyghur and of course Arabic.

For some time now, I have been following the questions posed by Muslim youth and the responses (fatwas) issued by such Saudi-based clerics. It is fascinating to see how medieval-minded scholars serving a dictatorial theocracy named after an 18th century brigand are shaping the mindset of a segment of Canadian youth.

On Nov. 3, a question asked by an anonymous writer particularly caught my attention. Someone asked the self-described Saudi “Sheikh”: “Can a Muslim be a sincere friend to a kaafir [non-Muslim]?

Sheikh Al-Munajjid replied clearly: “Praise be to Allah. It is not permissible for a Muslim to make friends with a mushrik, or to take him as a close friend, because Islam calls on us to forsake the kaafirs and to disavow them, because they worship someone other than Allah.”

Then, the Saudi cleric quoted from the Koran, adding in his own comments in parentheses:

“O you who believe! Take not as friends the people who incurred the Wrath of Allah (i. e. the Jews). Surely, they have despaired of (receiving any good in) the Hereafter, just as the disbelievers have despaired of those (buried) in graves (that they will not be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection).”

I picked up my copy of the Koran to read the same verse. Lo and behold, there was no reference to Jews, yet the Saudi cleric had found it within his jurisdiction to add words to the Koran as way to inject it with anti-Semitism.

As if this were not sufficient, the Saudi cleric then invoked the supposed words of Prophet Muhammad: “Do not keep company with anyone but a believer, and do not let anyone eat your food but one who is pious.”

Then came the bombshell. Quoting again from the supposed words of the Prophet, the Saudi cleric urged Muslim youth to not live among the non-Muslims, unless the objective of living in the West was to convert the non-Muslims to Islam.

“Do not live among the mushrikeen and do not mix with them, for whoever lives among them or mixes with them is not one of us. But it is permissible to deal with them in a kind manner in the hope that they might become Muslim.”

The Saudi cleric ended with a story:

“There was a Jewish boy who used to serve the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and he fell sick. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to visit him. He sat by his head and said, ‘Become Muslim.’ (The boy) looked at his father who was with him, and he (the father) said, ‘Obey Abu’l-Qaasim (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).’ So he became Muslim, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went out, saying, ‘Praise be to Allah Who has saved him from the Fire’ (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1290).”

This is just one example of the many dubious fatwas being directed at Western Muslims. Well-funded Islamist groups are working tirelessly to convince young Muslims to view their non-Muslim fellow citizens with suspicion and derision. Meanwhile, there is no countervailing effort at any level in the West to counter the Islamists’ hateful message of isolation, segregation and hostility.

Who will rise to challenge this cancer of segregation seeping into the conscience of Muslim youth? The same clerics who sit at inter-faith and multiculturalism conferences and breakfasts with politicians are the very people who endorse the anti-Jew and anti-Christian message coming from their Saudi masters.

The time has come to call a spade a spade. The question is, are there any Canadians willing to fight this hate … or are they too worried about being accused of Islamophobia?

-Tarek Fatah is the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress.

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