Assalamu Alaikum (Peace Be Upon You)

Islamic Center of Irvine

The LATimesH.G. Reza, reports today a story that demonstrates the true nature and beliefs and commitment of the Muslim community to oppose violence, and terrorism. Officials at the Islamic Center of Irvine reported to authorities the actions of a recent “convert”, Craig Monteilh, who talked about jihad and dropped oblique references to violence.

The LATimes reports:

Earlier this year, Monteilh began shifting religious discussions to jihad, or holy war, talking about “operations” against U.S. military targets, and suggested that he had access to weapons, said Ashruf Zied. No weapons were seen, Zied said in an interview.

“I said, ‘Dude, stop right there, What are you talking about?’ ” said Zied, a software engineer who said that he was born in Ohio and that his father worked for NATO. “I was trying to steer the guy in the right direction. He was talking about something that’s taboo.”

Zied, who testified at the court hearing, said that he was frightened by Monteilh’s rhetoric, and that it was the last discussion between the two.
Former Islamic Center president Asim Khan testified that several worshipers felt threatened by Monteilh and that he talked about getting involved “in a 9/11-type operation.”

Some stopped attending mosque because of him, Khan said.

“We’re members of the American community, and it’s our duty as Americans to make law enforcement aware of these activities,” he testified.

On Friday, an Orange County judge issued a restraining order barring Monteilh from going near the mosque and its employees. Members of the mosque testified Friday in court that the FBI opened an investigation earlier this month.

An FBI spokeswoman declined to confirm or deny that an investigation was underway.

Read the entire LATimes Story here.

There have been numerous posts and comments over at RedCounty/OCBlog that have promoted the rhetorical theory that Islam is a religion of terrorism and hate; that Muslims are taught to wage jihad against “non-believers.”  Even Assemblyman Chuck DeVore has entered the discussion with this comment here on TheLiberalOC.com.

Have you lived in an Arab country? I have. Have you studied Arabic? I have. Have you studied Islamic political thought? I have. Have you traveled to Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, Pakistan, and Israel?

Today on the plane ride back from Sacramento, I read a monologue on fatwa’s and their use by Islamic extremists to justify killing. One interesting point, Islamists often call Jews and Christians monkeys or dogs – this is a precursor to killing them as the Koran teaches that the rules for killing non-humans are more lenient than the rules for killing humans. Some of the MSU UCI speakers have called Jews monkeys and dogs. Interesting bit of hate speech, isn’t it.

I have a suggestion Claudio, read up on Islamists then engage me on the topic. I would enjoy it and the readers of these pages might learn something in the process.

All the best,
Chuck DeVore
State Assemblyman, 70th District
http://www.chuckdevore.com/

My response to Chuck was a simple acceptance of his challenge

Chuck,

Are you wanting us to read up on Islamists or Islamic extremists? Or are you suggesting that they are the same?

And I’m ready for the dialogue when you are. :wink:

We haven’t heard from Chuck on this topic since.

But since Chuck suggested that we do some research, I did.

The entire Qur’an, taken as a complete text, gives a message of hope, faith, and peace to a faith community of one billion people. The overwhelming message is that peace is to be found through faith in God, and justice among fellow human beings. (Source) 

At the time the Qur’an was revealed (7th century A.D.), there was no United Nations or Amnesty International to keep the peace or expose injustice. Inter-tribal violence and vengeance was commonplace. As a matter of survival, one must have been willing to defend against aggression from all sides. Nevertheless, the Qur’an repeatedly urges forgiveness and restraint, and warns believers not to “transgress” or become “oppressors.” Some examples:

If anyone slays a person
– unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land –
it would be as if he slew all people.
And if anyone saves a life,
it would be as if he saved the life of all people.
Qur’an 5:32

Invite all to the way of your Lord
with wisdom and beautiful preaching.
And argue with them
in ways that are best and most gracious…
And if you punish,
let your punishment be proportional
to the wrong that has been done to you.
But if you show patience, that is indeed the best course.
Be patient, for your patience is from God.
And do not grieve over them,
or distress yourself because of their plots.
For God is with those who restrain themselves,
and those who do good.
Qur’an 16:125-128

But what about those passages of the Qur’an that seem to promote wanton violence? For a full discussion of such verses, please visit the FAQ page: Are there verses of the Qur’an that condone “killing the infidel?”

The Qur’an commands Muslims to stick up for themselves in a defensive battle — i.e. if an enemy army attacks, then Muslims are to fight against that army until they stop their aggression. All of the verses that speak about fighting/war in the Qur’an are in this context.

There are some specific verses that are very often “snipped” out of context, either by those trying to malign the faith, or by misguided Muslims themselves who wish to justify their aggressive tactics.

For example, one verse (in its snipped version) reads: “slay them wherever you catch them” (Qur’an 2:191). But who is this referring to? Who are “they” that this verse discusses? The preceding and following verses give the correct context:

“Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loves not transgressors.
And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. But if they cease, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevails justice and faith in God; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression” (2:190-193).

It is clear from the context that these verses are discussing a defensive war, when a Muslim community is attacked without reason, oppressed and prevented from practicing their faith. In these circumstances, permission is given to fight back — but even then Muslims are instructed not to transgress limits, and to cease fighting as soon as the attacker gives up. Even in these circumstances, Muslim are only to fight directly against those who are attacking them, not innocent bystanders or non-combatants.

So Chuck, since you represent the district where the Islamic Center of Irvine is located, and since you appear to hold such anti-Islamic beliefs that clearly are not represented by the main-stream followers of Islam, would you care to comment? 

Or as usual will you “cut and run” from the debate when it is shown that you are wrong? As always, the invitation to discuss is open to all.

Assalamu Alaikum (Peace Be Upon You)  

  40 comments for “Assalamu Alaikum (Peace Be Upon You)

  1. June 30, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    Chris, you don’t at all address my comments about Islamists, now do you? Further, you don’t address my comments about fatwas, nor do you address my factual recitation about specific comments made by hate speakers designed to degrade the targets of their speech to subhuman status, thus more easily justifying killing and oppression. Is this an “anti-Islamic belief” as you write, or simply an understanding of fact? I think the latter, you obviously claim the former.

    Never have I lumped all Muslims into one grouping – something that you either know and fail to cite, or that you deliberately misconstrue for your own rhetorical purposes.

    Now, you can certainly quote all day from the Koran if you wish. To counter I merely have to point out the prevalence of Islamist-inspired violence worldwide. (Danish cartoon riots, anyone? Or, perhaps some violence in honor of the Salman Rushdie knighting?) Should you, and your liberal friends, wish to continue with your heads-in-the-sand approach, I can only speculate at the kinds of losses that will be sustained, both from a national security and from a partisan standpoint.

    All the best,

    Chuck DeVore
    State Assemblyman, 70th District
    http://www.ChuckDeVore.com

  2. June 30, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    Oh, and Chris, you haven’t heard from me because I don’t recall seeing Claudio respond to my specific questions.

    As for the definition of “Islamists” and “Islamic extremists” I tend to see all “Islamic extremists” as “Islamists” while not every “Islamist” is an “Islamic extremist.” Wikipedia has a useful definition of Islamism which I agree with:

    Islamism is a term used to denote a set of political ideologies holding that Islam is also a political system, not just a religion. Islamism holds that Islamic law (sharia) must be the basis for all statutory law of society; that Muslims must return to the original teachings and the early models of Islam; and that western military, economic, political, social, or cultural influence in the Muslim world is un-Islamic.

    As you can well imagine, a person holding Islamist views is not going to be very much in support of women’s rights, pluralism, etc.

    Perhaps this bit of engagement will spark a few more comments.

    I don’t really have the time to engage in limitless back and forth with my liberal critics – although I will speculate that you get more debate and comment out of me than any other partisan elected in California, Republican or Democrat. That said, I bet there are more than a few good liberals reading this blog that may express a different view of this issue than Mr. Prevatt.

    All the best,

    Chuck DeVore
    State Assemblyman, 70th District
    http://www.ChuckDeVore.com

  3. June 30, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    Or as usual will you “cut and run”

    You’re kidding, right Chris?

    Agree or disagree with him, Chuck is the opposite of cut-and-run. If he were what you claim, Chuck wouldn’t set a cyber-foot in this place.

    Why do you have to be to so bloody nasty and insulting to people who disagree with you?

    As for the “Islamist” and “Islamic extremist” distinction, I think it’s a situation where the nomenclature in this debate isn’t quite settled. The former is more and more being used as synonymous with the latter.

    I read that story today in the Times, and I applaud those good folks for their action.

  4. June 30, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    Chuck,
    Thanks for responding. My purpose is indeed to spark a bit of debate. I recognize that you asked Claudio to engage. I responded instead and was hoping for further dialogue.

    That said, to your point about women and Islam…

    Islam sees the woman, whether married or unmarried, as an individual in her own right. She has the same right to own property, earn wealth, and spend it that a man has. Her wealth does not become the property of the man after marriage. A woman does not change her name when she gets married. A woman can seek divorce if her marriage does not work out.

    Men and women are equal before Allah. They are both accountable before Allah. They both receive their reward in the Hereafter for their faith and good deeds.

    Economically, every man and woman is an independent legal entity. Both men and women have the right to own property, engage in business, and inherit from others. Both have the equal right to receive an education and enter into gainful employment.

    Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim. The type of knowledge that is obligatory upon every individual is religious knowledge. It is also obligatory upon some people in society to study every beneficial field of knowledge. For example, society needs doctors, both men and women. It becomes obligatory for some people to go into this field to fulfill the needs of society.

    Women are allowed to pursue their academic interests and strive to fulfill their intellectual curiosity. To prevent women from getting an education is contrary to the teachings of Islam.

    Many people perceive Islam as a chauvinistic religion that belittles women. They cite the condition of women in some Muslim countries to prove their point. Their mistake is that they fail to separate the culture of a given people from the true teachings of the religion that they profess. Women in many third world countries live horrible lives. They are dominated by men and denied many of their basic human rights. This does not apply to Muslim countries alone, nor does it apply to all Muslim countries.

    Oppression of women exists in many cultures around the world. It would be unjust to blame these cultural practices on religious beliefs unless the teachings of the religion call to such behavior. The teachings of Islam clearly do not.

    Source: http://www.islamtoday.com

  5. June 30, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    Chris, here is an interesting bit of history for you and your readers to consider.

    Amin al-Husayni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in the mid-20th Century, is considered by many to be the father of modern anti-Semitism (or, specifically, anti-Jewism). In support of the pro-Axis coup in Iraq on May 10, 1941, he issued a religious ruling or fatwa calling for holy war (jihad) against the British. His fatwa speech was carried by Iraqi and Axis radio stations. In it he said,

    “In Palestine the English have committed unheard of barbarisms; among others, they have profaned the al-Aqsa Mosque and have declared the most unyielding war against Islam, both in deed and in word.”

    When the coup collapsed, Amin al-Husayni escaped to Germany where he encouraged Hitler to accelerate the “Final Solution” to exterminate European Jewry. He helped recruit Bosnian Muslims into the 13th Waffen SS Division, an elite part of the Nazi war machine responsible for killing some 80 percent of Bosnia’s 14,000 Jews.

    In another propaganda broadcast, the Mufti said,

    “Arabs, arise as one man and fight for your sacred rights. Kill Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion. This saves your honor. God is with you.”

    In this broadcast it is interesting to note the parallels to one of the verses you cited, Koran 2:191.

    After the war, Amin al-Husayni escaped to Egypt where he helped organize the Palestinian Field Commands – the forerunner to today’s Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). He died in 1974, unpunished for his war crimes.

    Amin al-Husayni was hardly considered a fringe lunatic, by the way, then, or now. Amin al-Husayni was a cousin of the late Yasser Arafat and is said to have taught Arafat his hatred of the Jews.

    Lastly, as for your recitation of women’s rights using Islam Today as a source, I ask you to look not at claims, but at practice.

    Under Islamic law or Shari’a, compensation for the murder of a woman is half the amount of that of a man. A woman’s legal testimony has the weight of half of a man’s (one reason why rape is so hard to prove). Women are entitled to only half the inheritance of men.

    Under Islamic law a man can marry up to four wives. He can divorce by simply saying “I divorce you” 3 times. Divorce is much for difficult for a wife to initiate. Upon divorce, fathers automatically win custody of boys over the age of six and girls on puberty. Children are considered property of the father with the mother only a caretaker.

    All the best,

    Chuck DeVore
    State Assemblyman, 70th District
    http://www.ChuckDeVore.com

  6. June 30, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    Chuck,

    As I understand it a fatwa is an Islamic religious ruling, a scholarly opinion on a matter of Islamic law.

    A fatwa is issued by a recognized religious authority in Islam. But since there is no hierarchical priesthood or anything of the sort in Islam, a fatwa is not necessarily “binding” on the faithful. The people who pronounce these rulings are supposed to be knowledgable, and base their rulings in knowledge and wisdom. They need to supply the evidence from Islamic sources for their opinions, and it is not uncommon for scholars to come to different conclusions regarding the same issue.

    Muslims, look at the opinion, the reputation of the person giving it, the evidence given to support it, and then decide whether to follow it or not. Technically, a fatwa is nonbinding and recipients are free to shop around for a better ruling. When there are conflicting opinions issued by different scholars, they compare the evidence and then choose the opinion to which God-given conscience guides them.

  7. June 30, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    FYI, I’m going off line for a little while. I will follow-up and respond to additionsl comments later today.

    Chris :smile:

  8. June 30, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    Chris, You are correct about fatwas. And, it’s the lack of recognized hierarchy, combined with a heavy reluctance to criticize other Muslims for their Islamic interpretations that has led to the cowing of moderate Islam to the extremists. After all, if one Muslim’s opinion is as valid as another’s then who are the moderates to say that the extremists are wrong? Especially if the extremists tend to take being called wrong very seriously (car bombs, assassinations, riots, death fatwas, etc.). This particular crisis in Islam was recently chronicled by Pakistani Professor Akbar Ahmed in “Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization.”

    All the best,

    Chuck DeVore
    State Assemblyman, 70th District
    http://www.ChuckDeVore.com

    P.S. I’m checking out of the net for a while — I have to take my family out to the movies.

  9. Amin
    June 30, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    Mr. DeVore,

    A few clarifications:

    Using wikipedia for definitive information is absolutely unacceptable.

    Quoting Muslim extremists is unfair as the views certainly do not represent the majority of Muslims.

    There is no lack of heirachy in Islam. God is the only true leader of the Islamic faith.

    I do agree with you in the sense of muslims holding each other accountable.

    Sharia includes equal rights for both men and women. The actual lack of rights is at the human level and it is in violation of Islamic doctrine.

    Jewish leaders have been quoted for calling Muslims (e.g. Palestinians) things worse than donkeys and dogs. Name calling isn’t limited to Muslims.

    The term “anti-semitism” should be removed from the English language as it is inaccurate and ill-defined. Muslims are also semites. Therefore, how can a muslim be anti-semetic?

    Looking at the practices of religious doctrines instead of the religious doctrine (Sharia) itself is allowing you view things inaccurately. The high majority of Muslim worldwide practice their faith in accordance with Quranic teachings, Sharia, and peacefully. Why do no Conservatives acknowledge that fact?

    I thank you for taking the time to actively respond to these and all posts.

  10. demmother
    June 30, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    Does Pat Robertson speak for all Christians?

  11. June 30, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    Amin:

    Thank you for commenting. As neither Mr. DeVore or myself are Muslim, neither one of us are true authorities. I have been doing a bit of study on the topic of Islam, and have to admit that I have pulled my knowlege from numerous sources.

    Please feel free to correct any of the assumptions or statements that we or any other posters make that are inaccurate. Only through sharing of information and dialogue can we achieve understanding and mutual acceptance of the diversity of cultures and religions in our society today.

  12. June 30, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    DeVore,

    Your take on history is pretty pathetic. Once again, you are blaming the victim.
    Although one can not condone Amin Al-Husseiny’s brief alliance with a bunch of Nazi’s, but that’s exactly what we Americans do. At one point we were allies of Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, and if it was in our interest we would have been Hitler’s allies as well.
    By all moral and legal standards, Palestinians have every right to fight the Zionist occupiers of Palestinian land. To Palestinians both Christian and Muslim, the occupation did not begin in 1967, it began in 1948 when they were expelled from their homes and replaced by European Jewish immigrants. Arafat did not hate Jews because the Mufti taught him, Zionist occupiers taught Arafat to resist the injustices they brought upon his people and his land.
    In case you’re not aware (although I doubt since you brag about living in the Middle East), Palestinian CHRISTIANS have the same feelings towards Israeli Zionists as the Palestinian Muslims do. In fact, many leaders in the PLO were Christian. Furthermore, the founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a group considered more radical than FATAH by the US State Department, was a CHRISTIAN by the name of George Habash.
    Sorry to disappoint your sir, but Christians and Muslims are in it together. I know you’re an Islamophobe and like to blame things on Islam.

  13. June 30, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Replying to Amin:

    Amin makes a point regarding the phrase, “anti-Semitism” — you’ll note I used the term “anti-Jewism” as I am well aware that Arabs are Semites too.

    As for Wikipedia, you have your online sources, I have mine. I agreed with Wikipedia’s definition of Islamism and thought it was well written, so I used it. You are more than welcome to provide your own definition of “Islamism” if you disagree with the one I cited.

    Quoting Islamic extremists is entirely fair as Islamic extremists are largely the ones who appear to be at war with much of the world. That said, what have you done to counter them? Or, have you been silent?

    Regarding Sharia, do you dispute my specific points about Sharia and women’s rights? Please provide citations. Again, I draw mine from actual practice as it exists in the world today.

    The point about name calling is that the Koran, sura 2-61, “I Become ye apes, despised and spurned” and 7-166 “…but when they rebelled against what they were forbidden, we said to them, ‘Become ye apes, despised and spurned!’” have been used by some to justify killing — after all, killing a mere ape does not have the same weight as killing a human. I know that this is likely being taken out of context, I simply point out that it is a disturbingly common tactic in use today by Islamic extremists to use these verses to justify murder. I am not aware of similar name-calling in the Bible, specifically, calling a certain group of people apes, monkeys, pigs, or the like. Revelation 22:15 does refer metaphorically to people “…who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” as dogs, but I have not yet heard this in common use as a mechanism to make it easier from a religious standpoint to kill.

    Perhaps now is not the best time to remark that the failed carbomb attack in Scotland featured a couple of terrorists screaming “Allah” as the driver doused the burning vehicle with more fuel soaking himself in the process. Interesting in light of what we have been discussing.

    All the best,

    Chuck DeVore
    State Assemblyman, 70th District
    http://www.ChuckDeVore.com

  14. June 30, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_1270000/1270038.stm

    The spiritual leader of Israel’s ultra-orthodox Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, has provoked outrage with a sermon calling for the annihilation of Arabs.
    “It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable,” he was quoted as saying in a sermon delivered on Monday to mark the Jewish festival of Passover.

    Rabbi Yosef is one of the most powerful religious figures in Israel, He is known for his outspoken comments and has in the past referred to the Arabs as “vipers”.

    Through his influence over Shas, Israel’s third largest political party, he is also a significant political figure.

    As founder and spiritual leader of the political party Shas, Rabbi Yosef is held in almost saintly regard by hundreds of thousands of Jews of Middle Eastern and North African origin.

    The Palestinian Authority has condemned the sermon as racist and is calling on international organisations to treat the rabbi as a war criminal.

    ‘Arab terrorists’

    Rabbi Yosef said in his sermon that enemies have tried to hurt the Jewish people from the time of the exodus from Egypt to this day.

    “The Lord shall return the Arabs’ deeds on their own heads, waste their seed and exterminate them, devastate them and vanish them from this world,” he said.

    Shas spokesman, Yitzhaq Suderi defended the rabbi, saying his remarks referred only to “Arab murderers and terrorists” and not the Arab people as a whole.

    ‘Stirring up hatred’

    Palestinian cabinet minister Hassan Asfur urged international civil institutions and human rights organisations to consider Rabbi Yosef a war criminal in future.

    The utterances were “a clear call for murder and a political an intellectual terrorism that will lead to military terrorism”, he said in remarks reported on Palestinian radio.

    He added that no punishment would come from Israel “because its political culture and action are in line with [the rabbi's] racist statements”.

    Israeli Justice Minister Meir Sheetrit also condemned the sermon, saying: “A person of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s stature must refrain from acrid remarks such as these.”

    And he added: “I suggest that we not learn from the ways of the Palestinians and speak in verbal blows like these.”

    Salah Tarif, the only Arab cabinet minister in the Israeli government, also criticized Rabbi Yosef, saying “his remarks add nothing but hatred”.

  15. June 30, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    Ahh, Mr. “DJintifada,” a most interesting moniker loaded with heavy meaning, perhaps you can illuminate me on the common Arabic graffiti phrase, “First Saturday, then Sunday”? You can give us your take on it, but I understand it means, “First we kill the Jews, then we kill the Christians.” Perhaps that is why so many Palestinian Christians have fled the region, having been driven out at the hands of HAMAS…

    Care to comment on that phenomena? I look forward to hearing about it. While you’re at it, perhaps you would care to comment on this paragraph from a March 11, 2007 article that appeared in the New York Times

    “In the year since Hamas came to power, some of the fears of a newly Islamist cast to Palestinian society are being borne out. Christians have begun quietly complaining that local disagreements quickly take on a sectarian flavor. And reports of beatings and property damage by Muslims have grown.”

    What is the basis for “…beatings and property damage by Muslims…” against Palestinian Christians? Could this have something to do with Sharia law? Do tell, “DJintifada”, do tell.

    Sincerely,

    Chuck DeVore
    State Assemblyman, 70th District
    http://www.ChuckDeVore.com

  16. June 30, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Assemblyman,

    So you choose to ignore 59 years of Israeli Zionists humiliating Palestinian Christians?

    by the way, I have never heard of the phrase you’re talking about, even though I have lived in the Middle East for more than 18 years. And I do NOT have interest in killing Jews and Christian, otherwise I’d be calling for the murder of my own family.

  17. June 30, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    “DJintifada” one more thing, you write, “Your take on history is pretty pathetic. Once again, you are blaming the victim. Although one can not condone Amin Al-Husseiny’s brief alliance with a bunch of Nazi’s…”

    So, what specifically do you dispute? Or, do you believe that expressing things strongly passes for debate in these parts?

    Amin Al-Husseiny’s “brief alliance with a bunch of Nazi’s” lasted about as long as the German people’s alliance with the Nazis. In fact, quite a few Germans were executed for war crimes of a far smaller magnitude than those committed by Amin Al-Husseiny.

    Keep responding — we are getting places now!

    Sincerely,

    Chuck DeVore
    State Assemblyman, 70th District
    http://www.ChuckDeVore.com

  18. June 30, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    I’m sure you were an admirer of Ronald Reagan ewhen he encouraged the young Jihadi’s from around the world to go kill “infidels” in Afghanistan!

  19. June 30, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    I don’t usually pay attention to extremists, but since that’s what you seem to focus on, here’s a Jewish extremist:

    The spiritual leader of Israel’s ultra-orthodox Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, has provoked outrage with a sermon calling for the annihilation of Arabs.
    “It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable,” he was quoted as saying in a sermon delivered on Monday to mark the Jewish festival of Passover.

    Rabbi Yosef is one of the most powerful religious figures in Israel, He is known for his outspoken comments and has in the past referred to the Arabs as “vipers”.

  20. June 30, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    DJintifada,

    Check out this on YouTube regarding a documentary about Palestinian Christians. Why do you suppose that, “Christians in the Palestinian territories have dropped from 15 percent of the Arab population in 1950 to just two percent today”?

    Lastly, I know of “First Saturday, then Sunday” — that you claim not to does not in any way reduce my knowledge of it.

    Sincerely,

    Chuck DeVore
    State Assemblyman, 70th District
    http://www.ChuckDeVore.com

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LjWV16Lj8A

    “First saturday, then sunday” (first we kill the Jews, then we take care of the Christians)

    Why has there been a great-and little reported-Christian exodus from the Middle East, with some two million fleeing in the past 20 years alone?

    One of the most important aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has been overlooked is the plight of Christians in the Holy Land. Christians in the Palestinian territories have dropped from 15 percent of the Arab population in 1950 to just two percent today. This Christian exodus is a result of many factors, including the fighting between Israelis and Palestinians, the related decline of the economy, but perhaps most significantly, the religious persecution these Christians encounter from their Muslim neighbors.

    English-speaking French journalist Pierre Rehov addresses this alarming trend in his new film, The Holy Land: Christians in Peril. The film is a documentary containing interviews with Christians as well as exclusive footage showing how dangerous their Situation is under Islamic rule.

    http://www.pierrerehov.com/holyland.htm (more) (less)

  21. June 30, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    DJintifada,

    I am well aware of “First Saturday, then Sunday” — that you claim not to be does not reduce my knowledge of it.

    Check out YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LjWV16Lj8A

    Also, care to comment on why, “Christians in the Palestinian territories have dropped from 15 percent of the Arab population in 1950 to just two percent today.”

    Lastly, the leader of the Shas party in Israel does not command car bombs, nor jets, nor tanks, nor has he encouraged jets to fly into skyscrapers in New York, nor has he equipped young boys with suicide vests. He may rant and rave all he wants, but he is no threat to me or to America or the U.K.

    Sincerely,

    Chuck DeVore
    State Assemblyman, 70th District
    http://www.ChuckDeVore.com

    From YouTube:

    “First saturday, then sunday” (first we kill the Jews, then we take care of the Christians)

    Why has there been a great-and little reported-Christian exodus from the Middle East, with some two million fleeing in the past 20 years alone?

    One of the most important aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has been overlooked is the plight of Christians in the Holy Land. Christians in the Palestinian territories have dropped from 15 percent of the Arab population in 1950 to just two percent today. This Christian exodus is a result of many factors, including the fighting between Israelis and Palestinians, the related decline of the economy, but perhaps most significantly, the religious persecution these Christians encounter from their Muslim neighbors.

    English-speaking French journalist Pierre Rehov addresses this alarming trend in his new film, The Holy Land: Christians in Peril. The film is a documentary containing interviews with Christians as well as exclusive footage showing how dangerous their Situation is under Islamic rule.

    http://www.pierrerehov.com/holyland.htm (more) (less)

  22. June 30, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    DJintifada,

    That you claim no knowledge of “First Saturday, then Sunday” does not reduce my knowledge of it.

    As for the Shas rabbi, he has not threatened me, the U.S. or the U.K. He commands no tanks, jets, or commercial aircraft plunging into skyscrapers, nor little boys with suicide vests.

    Palestinian Christians were once 15 percent of the population. They are now about 2 percent. Interesting fact, especially in light of the New York Times piece I quoted from.

    Sincerely,

    Chuck DeVore
    State Assemblyman, 70th District
    http://www.ChuckDeVore.com

  23. June 30, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    Mr. DeVore:

    Perhaps now is not the best time to remark that the failed carbomb attack in Scotland featured a couple of terrorists screaming “Allah” as the driver doused the burning vehicle with more fuel soaking himself in the process. Interesting in light of what we have been discussing.

    Please correct me if I am somehow wrong here, “Allah” is the God of Abraham, the God of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim people of faith. I’m sorry, but I just don’t get what you’re driving at here.

  24. June 30, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    Chuck…

    As for the Shas rabbi, he has not threatened me, the U.S. or the U.K. He commands no tanks, jets, or commercial aircraft plunging into skyscrapers, nor little boys with suicide vests.

    There are terrorists who claim religion as the basis for their terror. These people are members of many different religions. Most terrorists do not have tanks or jets at their command. There are however a few exceptions, most notably the President of the United States.

    According to the BBC, Bush told Palestinian ministers in 2003 that God had told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq – and to create a Palestinian State. In the BBC program, Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazen and foreign minister Nabil Shaath describe their first meeting with President Bush in June 2003. Shaath quotes Bush as saying at the time QUOTE “I’m driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, “George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.” And I did, and then God would tell me, “George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …” And I did. And now, again, I feel God’s words coming to me, “Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East.” And by God I’m gonna do it,'” Shaath quoted Bush as saying. The White House denied Bush made the comments, calling them “absurd.”

    Either both of these guys are great story tellers or the White House is lying. Given the inability of the Bush White Houe to tell the truth about virtually anything, my money is on them lying. As I recall, the terrorists you refer to claim to be acting in the name of GOD. So what is the difference between Bush and the terrorists?

    Other terrorists with tanks and jets have included Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, and Slobodan Milosevic. Milosevic for his attempted genocide of Muslims in Bosnia and Olmert with his warrantless attack on Lebanon.

    From AP: April 30, 2007
    JERUSALEM – An Israeli government probe of the summer war in Lebanon said Monday that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was responsible for “very severe failures” in the conflict, using harsher-than-expected language that dealt a blow to his efforts to hang on to office.

    The long-awaited report said Olmert hastily led the country into conflict against Hezbollah guerrillas without a comprehensive plan, exercised poor judgment and bore ultimate responsibility for a war that Israelis widely fear has emboldened the country’s enemies.

    Sounds awfully familiar to the invasion of Iraq.

  25. July 1, 2007 at 9:35 am

    Chris, regarding your comment last night about the Glasgow bombers shouting of “Allah” that, in your words:

    “Please correct me if I am somehow wrong here, ‘Allah’ is the God of Abraham, the God of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim people of faith. I’m sorry, but I just don’t get what you’re driving at here.”

    I need to ask, must you check your critical thinking skills at the door when you become a liberal? Hmmm, let’s see, Jews don’t refer to the God of Abraham as “Allah.” Neither do Christians, even Arab Christians. So, that leaves only one of the three faiths you mentioned: Muslims. I completely understand that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful, faithful people who are loyal to their homelands – that said there is a rather large grouping of Muslims around the world that does resort to suicide bombs, killings, etc. – often against other Muslims deemed insufficiently pure in faith to be worthy of life in this world.

    Chris, it is head-in-the-sand thinking such as your rather remarkable statement above that has led and is leading many Jewish American liberals to reevaluate their decades long allegiance to the Democratic Party.

    All the best,

    Chuck DeVore
    State Assemblyman, 70th District
    http://www.ChuckDeVore.com

  26. Harold Reisman
    July 1, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Instead of only writing notes, please read “Mohammed, Allah, and the Jews – The Foundational Doctrine” published by the Center for the Study of Political Islam. Please read about the theory of abrogation in Islamic religious law as well as the concept of the dhimma. Then please discuss the “errors” in that review, if there are any. And of course, Abraham, Moses, the prophets and Jesus existed long before the revelation to Mohammed so calling them Muslims is a vast historic stretch. Calling Allah the god of every religion is not a stretch, it is an error.

  27. July 1, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Excellent piece in today’s Guardian. (Is that a liberal enough source for TheLiberalOC.com?)

    Its title: My plea to fellow Muslims: you must renounce terror.

    The piece, by Hassan Butt a former member of the radical Islamist group Al-Muhajiroun, completely spells out what we are dealing with here. I agree with Mr. Butt’s thesis in its entirety. In fact, I have often explained to audiences the central theme of Mr. Butt’s essay as contained in these two paragraphs:

    “How did this continuing violence come to be the means of promoting this (flawed) utopian goal? How do Islamic radicals justify such terror in the name of their religion? There isn’t enough room to outline everything here, but the foundation of extremist reasoning rests upon a dualistic model of the world. Many Muslims may or may not agree with secularism but at the moment, formal Islamic theology, unlike Christian theology, does not allow for the separation of state and religion. There is no ‘rendering unto Caesar’ in Islamic theology because state and religion are considered to be one and the same. The centuries-old reasoning of Islamic jurists also extends to the world stage where the rules of interaction between Dar ul-Islam (the Land of Islam) and Dar ul-Kufr (the Land of Unbelief) have been set down to cover almost every matter of trade, peace and war.

    “What radicals and extremists do is to take these premises two steps further. Their first step has been to reason that since there is no Islamic state in existence, the whole world must be Dar ul-Kufr. Step two: since Islam must declare war on unbelief, they have declared war upon the whole world. Many of my former peers, myself included, were taught by Pakistani and British radical preachers that this reclassification of the globe as a Land of War (Dar ul-Harb) allows any Muslim to destroy the sanctity of the five rights that every human is granted under Islam: life, wealth, land, mind and belief. In Dar ul-Harb, anything goes, including the treachery and cowardice of attacking civilians.”

    The entire piece is a must read for those following this discussion and it can be seen at:

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2115832,00.html

    That said I believe I have contributed enough to this renewed debate as sparked by Mr. Prevatt. I now leave it to others to carry on the discussion as this blog has heretofore been sadly silent with dissenting views other than my own.

    All the best,

    Chuck DeVore
    State Assemblyman, 70th District
    http://www.ChuckDeVore.com

  28. ATW
    July 1, 2007 at 10:46 am

    Peace be upon those who follow the revlation,

    I find Chris Devore offensive and anti-Semitic himself. He insists on such points as the Mufti and his supposed remarks. The answer to this is not in what someone “might have said” in the 1940’s but in what Jewish Rabbis are saying TODAY in the 21st Century!

    “All civilians living in Gaza are collectively guilty for Kassam attacks on Sderot, former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu has written in a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert”

    “If they don’t stop after we kill 100, then we must kill a thousand,” said Shmuel Eliyahu. “And if they do not stop after 1,000 then we must kill 10,000. If they still don’t stop we must kill 100,000, even a million. Whatever it takes to make them stop.”

    Does Mr. Devore support such hate speech? If this is not anti-Semitic then I don’t know what is! Arabs and Palestinians are Semites too.

    What about the statements from Ben Guorion about “cleansing” Palestine from its inhabitants so that Jews could live there?

    This is not new. Virgil Goode also made more bold statements and anti-Muslim remarks. We don’t need to include him here but his remarks are also available on the net.

    I can’t help but observe that such remarks from Mr. Devore are basically an attempt to establish a record with AIPAC. By doing so, he ensures their support at the expense of the truth. This is becoming the way to power in American politics.

    Regards,

    ATW

  29. Louise
    July 1, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Hello Chuck,

    With the large Arab population living in your district and the surrounding area, I find it amusing that you choose to attack Islam and the Arabs. Jews, Muslims and Christians ALL accept Abraham as the founder of their resective religions. Hebrew and Arabic have many similarities. It is difficult for me to believe that you, are as former officer in the National Guard and as an assembly member can be so prejudiced, so I wonder how you would feel now if you had Arabs and Jews under your command in the Guard.

    Somewhere, sometime, you were carefully taught to hate. I wonder what your other prejudices are. I am sure there are others. Not a nice thing for someone who is in elected office.

    Louise

  30. July 1, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Louise:

    I find it amusing that as Chuck discusses Islamic extremists, you characterize that as an “attack on Islam and the Arabs.” Either you’re intentionally misrepresenting Chuck’s views, or you think Islamic extremism is synonymous with Islam and Arabs.

  31. July 1, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    Jubal,

    To Chuck and many hate-mongers like him, the only Arabs and Muslims they consider “moderate” are the ones that sell-out. The ones that are on AIPAC’s payroll making appearances and giving speeches at Anti-Arab events to Arab-bashing Islamophobic crowds; the Israel-first crowd.

  32. Re: DJintifada
    July 1, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    Unbelieveable!

    So the few Muslims who DO take a stand against extremist terrorism are now called SELL OUTS?

    Ridiculous. Ludicrous. Downright stupid.

  33. Northcountystorm
    July 1, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    This thread has followed the same rocky road that most concerning the Middle East take……and as with most it is headed for a dead end.

    I agree with Jubal that the actions of the Islamic Center are to be appluaded. And it gets lost when Chris uses it to call out Chuck who immediately goes to Defcon 3 and in response comes a number of scuds that continue a theological discussion that prompts one to yell “turn down the volume.”

    The reality is that whatever one calls them, radicals who claim to follow Islam are a threat to our security and the security of civilians all over the globe. Denial or rationalizations because of past sins of Ben Gurion or Nixon or Truman don’t cut it. Nor do blanket attacks on Muslims,, most of whom I believe are repulsed by the conduct of those radicals who spread terror to London, Bali or New York and have as much to do with the basic tenents of islam as the Inquisition did with the teachings of Jesus.

    So when there is an article like this talking about how Muslims here are stepping up and acting like the good citizens most of them are, can we just give thanks to whatever God we follow and leave it at that?

  34. July 1, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    When I lived in Egypt, the Coptic Christians there did not call God by the name “Allah.” Their holy language pre-dates the Arabic now used in Egypt. Furthermore, Egypt’s Coptic community is by far the largest Christian community in the Middle East in terms of raw numbers. Perhaps I may be forgiven for thinking that “Allah” was in use only by Arab Muslims. That said I doubt anyone seriously thinks for a millisecond that the would be bombers in the UK were disgruntled Christians of Middle Eastern origin. Rather, I should think that Islamic extremists were the likely candidates shouting “Allah!” as they attempted to kills others and themselves.

    All the best,

    Chuck DeVore
    State Assemblyman, 70th District

  35. July 2, 2007 at 12:23 am

    Indeed, the extremists may shout “Allah” when they attempt to kill others and themselves. They’re shouting it in Arabic. Translate it to English, it will mean “The God.” Why are you having trouble understanding?

  36. July 2, 2007 at 12:46 am

    After two days of commentary regarding this post by my count < Jubal/Matt Cunningham and NorthCountyStorm were the only two commenter's who actually got the point that the leadership at the Islamic Center of Irvine acted responsibly and properly when faced with an individual expressing radical views coupled with indications of possible intent to commit violence. They should inded be prisied for their actions.

    Unforunately, after two days of commentary, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore failed to recognize that indeed the members and leadership of the Islamic Center of Irvine demonstrated, without hesitation, the core peaceful nature of the Islamic faith.

    In addition to his rhetoric, Mr. DeVore answered that commitment with the following in resopnse to commenter Amin...

    “Quoting Islamic extremists is entirely fair as Islamic extremists are largely the ones who appear to be at war with much of the world. That said, what have you done to counter them? Or, have you been silent? “
    Since Mr. DeVore has no way of knowing who Amin was, or even whether he may have been one of the members who raised concerns noted in the LATimes story, he has demonstrated a clear predisposition of belief that all those who have accepted the teachings of Muhammad and the Islamic faith are terrorist sympathizors.

    That’s sad, just plain sad.

    Assalamu Alaikum (Peace Be Upon You) 

  37. Dan Chmielewski
    July 2, 2007 at 7:37 am

    Matt —
    I agree that Chuck is the opposite of cut and run; especially when he is wrong on an issue.

    Chuck — checking critical thinking skills at the door is something conservatives seem quite good at actually; look at all the critical thinking the Bush administration did leading up to invading Iraq (I could cite others, but let’s stay with the theme here …)

    Extremism – fueled by any religion – is the real problem here. And I did notice Chuck referenced the bombings in Scotland over the weekend as being tied to Islamic extremists. But to drop the other shoe, isn’t this why “we’re fighting them over there, so we don’t have to fight them here?” And Britian is helping to fight them over there.

    I like the response from the Brits; they refuse to be terorrized and continue to go on with their daily lives.

  38. rogerjf
    July 2, 2007 at 7:38 am

    When I read the piece, I got the impression the Islamic Center of Irvine kicked the man out because they thought that he was either an FBI informant or a nut job. In any case, chuches kick people out all the time for being nuts or disruptive. Big deal.

  39. Jimmy
    July 2, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    Assemblyline guy;
    It seems that Americans are infatuated with electing stupid and dumb guys into offices, be it City, State or White House or every other place in between.
    The points you are making to demean a religion followed by about 1.5 Billion, that’s a one with 9 zeros next to it so you know i.e., a little stick and 9 round circles after it, and if, as you quote every Islamic hater in your text apparently you guys spit in each others mouth, even %1 of them were following a religion like you describe there would be about 10 Million people, that’s the same stick but this time with only 7 little round circles to its right, wrecking havoc on earth.
    However, if you care to sober up from your self inflicted amnesia, memory loss, blindness and deafness, you would see that there are western armies, American and or other, in Iraq and Afghanistan, both Muslim countries, doing just that to innocent Muslims whom have never threatened America or any other on-Muslim country.
    Your quotes are just the same repeats that we have seen and heard over and over and over ….. go ahead and add more “over”s here if you can figure it out … and you attacks against the ideology of Islam and the taking out of context of the Quran have been answered over and over and over … if you figured out the last assignment repeat it here one more time …. but that same state of voluntary above mentioned illnesses apparently prohibits people like you and your likes from noticing these answers and leads to an endless repetition of these same stupid futile unbased points.
    Look, I am tired of people like you and although I used to participate with answers to those points you have made I see no point of doing it anymore really. You will keep believing what you want to believe with total disregard to simple facts and refusal to accept any explanations. So here is what I have resigned myself to, this world does not discriminate against idiots or bigots and I do accept that they are louder, bellicose and seem to outnumber the other kind of people. But in reality that is not the case, there are still a great majority of good reasonable truthful people alive today, I just have to look away from you to find most of them.
    I think what we need to do is have more of the good people vote so people like you are not allowed any public position.
    Tata …

  40. July 3, 2007 at 9:08 am

Comments are closed.