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First, when it comes to women and clothing, let’s get one misconception out of the way: “Islam oppresses women.” That is the default statement that even when not stated outright is assumed by non-Muslim westerners, while their minds dance with this image of Muslim women waddling down the road covered in black cloth from head to toe. Down through the…
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           Syria’s Ba’athist regime has a history of bloody crackdowns, especially at the hand of the current president’s father, Hafez al-Asad. Most infamously, he had 10 to 30,000 people massacred almost overnight in the city of Hama in 1982. No opposition could be tolerated by this secularist regime (likewise for Saddam Hussein, his Ba’athist neighbor), especially…
12 May 2011

Jihad Revisited

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I ended the first half of this blog arguing that Sayyid Qutb’s (executed in Egypt in 1966) view of total and permanent war until Islam reigns supreme in the world was: 1) a throwback to the scholarly consensus of Muslim jurists and theologians in the classical period; 2) vigorous push back against the modern Islamic consensus since at least the…
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King David wanted to build a temple for God, but the prophet Nathan told him that God had designated his son to carry out that task (II Samuel 7). Years later he recounts to his son Solomon that the reason God did not grant him that privilege was that “he had killed many men in battles . . . and…