An-Naim: Does he really believe like his mentor, Mahmoud Muhammad Taha, that the jihad-waging sword of Islam was a surgeon’s lancet, “justifying the use of the sword, we may describe it as a surgeon’s lancet, and not a butcher’s knife…We [the Muslims] have enacted fighting with the sword in order to curtail the freedom of those who abuse it, so the sword brings them to their senses, thereby allowing them to earn their freedom and benefit from their life.” ??
Yesterday’s (3/17/08) New York Post (hat tip Lawrence Auster) ran a piece by the odd Sudanese intellectual (and Emory University Professor) Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im. As I have noted elsewhere, An-Naim’s fantasy Islam, and bowdlerized conceptions of the Sharia were inculcated by his mentor, the much ballyhooed “Koranist”—who in fact was tragically executed in a political murder by the Sudanese government in 1985, on a contrived “apostasy” charge—Mahmoud Muhammad Taha.
An-Naim’s ahistorical claims about Iran in yesterday’s NY Post Op-Ed can only be appreciated in light of his absurd championing of Taha, whose own writings, as translated by An-Naim himself, articulate a classically bigoted and dangerous vision of Sharia.
As discussed here, Taha was extolled in a September 2006 essay by the New Yorker’s shallow and self-important writer George Packer, for his “radically peaceful vision of Islam.” Apparently Packer never read Taha’s defining work, “The Second Message of Islam” (readily available in an English translation by Taha’s fawning acolyte, and Islamic Shari’a-promoting apologist, Abdullah an-Naim) before writing his distressingly stupid puff piece on the Sudanese “Qur’anist.” These extracts from “The Second Message of Islam” reveal that the man whom Packer celebrated as the ecumenical “anti-Qutb” (i.e., Sayyid Qutb, the prolific 20th century Egyptian Qur’anic commentator, and jihad theorist)—Mahmoud Taha—was in fact just more disingenuous than his presumptive polar opposite, Qutb.
Taha proclaims these bowdlerized pieties (in “The Second Message of Islam”) on Islam’s violent Medinan emergence as a polity:
Islam used persuasion for thirteen years in propagating its clearly valid message…When the addressees failed to discharge properly the[ir] duties…the Prophet was appointed as their guardian…once they embraced the new religion [i.e., by coercion]…the sword was suspended…and [they] were penalized according to new laws. Hence the development of Islamic Shari’a law…
And Taha further had the temerity to compare the jihad-genocide waging historical “sword of Islam” to a surgeon’s scalpel—an unconscionable immoral equivalence to this physician:
In justifying the use of the sword, we may describe it as a surgeon’s lancet, and not a butcher’s knife…We [the Muslims] have enacted fighting with the sword in order to curtail the freedom of those who abuse it, so the sword brings them to their senses, thereby allowing them to earn their freedom and benefit from their life [note: “freedom as perfect slavery to Allah”, the Sufi notion of Ibn Arabi, perhaps?]
But Taha’s true sentiments towards non-Muslim infidels are in the end, not concealed from anyone who cares to look. He in fact justifies—consistent with mainstream Islamic jurisprudence—their historical subjugation by violent jihad:
Suffering death by the sword in this life is really an aspect of suffering hell in the next life, since both are punishments for disbelief…for the disbelievers the law of war, and hardship of iron.
This is the context in which to understand Mr. An-Naim’s fantasy piece, in yesterday’s NY Post (“Iran’s Islamic Out rage,” 3/17) regarding the application of Sharia (Islamic) Law in general, or within
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