Tarrant County GOP set to vote on whether to remove vice-chairman because he's Muslim


Shiites are a small minority in Islam.

Regardless, not a single thing you have said contradicts the fact that the Doctrine of Abrogation (and therefore the command to violent jihad) is binding on Muslims. Killing or not killing civilians has nothing to do with the obligation to engage in violent jihad. As we know, of course, civilians are regularly killed by Islamic extremists.

There are plenty of peaceful passages in the Koran and hadith. But the later verses, the violent ones, are the ones Muslims must obey UNLESS the infidel enemy is too strong to overcome.


Just as we interpret various passages in the bible according to our tradition, so that an untrained reader might think we are bound to do something when we aren’t, so also untrained readers of the Koran are not in a position to say authoritatively what is binding and what is not. A more scientific way to discern what is binding is to gather data on what the vast majority of Muslim do - not what they say in response to surveys (which can introduce distortions of their own.) The fact is the vast majority of Muslims do not act like they are under obligation to kill civilians. Your comment that “As we know, of course, civilians are regularly killed by Islamic extremists” does not stand up to scrutiny. A statistic on how many civilians were killed by Islamic extremists is no more relevant to this issue of this thread than statistics on how many civilians were killed by US citizens. (By the way, that number was 17,000 in the US in just one year. And that was over a population that is only 17% of the population of Muslims in the world.)


The Doctrine of Abrogation and its consequences are not my interpretation of anything. That’s the opinion of the Sunni schools of Islamic theology, and the various writers who have read those opinions.

It certainly is possible that most Muslims are heretics in that they don’t accept it. But it’s also possible that many are simply grateful that the “infidel” world is so overwhelmingly powerful that Islam can’t possibly overcome it. Right now, of course, that’s an absolute.

None of what you said, though, changes the doctrine, its applicability among the great majority of Muslims, or its meaning.


Would you accept a Muslim’s interpretation of Papal Encyclicals? No? Then why should your interpretation of “various writers” and their relevance be any more authoritative?

You have not yet established the applicability of the that doctrine, so there is nothing for me to change.


I mean you no offense, but you have not in any manner refuted what I said. You have only said you don’t believe it’s so and that I shouldn’t believe what a non-Muslim writes about Islam.


I am not refuting what the Koran says or what some writers have written about it. But none of that is applicable to the question of the thread, which is should a person be disqualified from holding a political office because he professes he is a Muslim. To do that you would have to establish why that specific person would be unsuitable in his duties. And quoting the Koran or other writers just doesn’t do it. Do you have anything relevant to say about Shahid, other than these generalities? Surely there is more relevance to his past behavior than to quotes from the Koran.

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Please recall that I said these GOP dissidents were making a mistake.

My comment was merely intended to dispel the idea that present concerns about Islam are comparable to the entirely bogus, mostly 19th century fears of Catholicism mentioned by JHareck.


Killing or not killing civilians has nothing to do with the obligation to engage in violent jihad.

I agree, but the distinction is important because the allegation that modern Islamic terrorism - indiscriminate slaughter of infidel civilians - is classically Islamic, is proved false by reading the classical Islamic texts that form the foundation of the orthodox fiqhs.

I’ve read these scholarly commentaries, whereas most people haven’t. The Qur’an doesn’t explain itself apart from the exegetical tradition, any more than the Bible satisfies for understanding Catholicism apart from Sacred Tradition and the Church Fathers.

You can’t just point to a Qur’anic verse and say, “ah, this is a Medinan sura, it comes chronologically after the peaceful Makkan ones, so Islam must condone the slaughter of infidels”. You have to see how Islamic jurists have interpreted the verses in the different schools and in terms of noncombatants, every madhab (school) of Sunni orthodoxy has defined that jihad should strive not to target noncombatants.

So, the Islamic extremist who slit a French priest’s throat in a church a few years back, was clearly acting in a heretical fashion according to Orthodox Islam. And that’s important, I can’t see why you wouldn’t consider it to be of importance.

As for abrogation of the ‘peace verses’, the reality is far more nuanced. The jurist Muhammad b. Idris al-Shafiʿ i (d. 204/820), founder of the Shafi’i school, was the first to permit jihad to be launched against non-Muslims as offensive warfare. The earliest exegetes such as Ibn ʿAbbas, ʿAtaʾ b. Abi Rabah, Mujahid b. Jabr, and Muqatil b. Sulayman had firmly believed that Qurʾan 2:190 forbade the initiation of offensive military hostilities.

Shafi’'i argued that Qurʾan 2:190, which proscribed offensive jihad, was abrogated by the application of Qurʾan 2:190.

This hadn’t been the case in earlier juristic thought.

So, there are possibilities there to revive the other strain in juristic thought that didn’t become canonical but had been prior to Shafi’i and Sunni moderates emphasise this other tradition.
And by the way, I’m not denying the militarism that is more integral to Islam than Christianity. Muhammad, according to the Sunnah, was a military commander. Christ wasn’t. There’s no obfuscating that difference. The Qur’an doesn’t have an ethic of love for enemies (although it does have mercy and tolerance of other views in certain ayats).

But that doesn’t mean that we should caricature Islamic theology in the manner of Robert Spencer’s ridiculous ‘Jihad Watch’.


Yes, and all four schools of Sunni Islam teach the Doctrine of Abrogation, and that includes 9:5 and others. Before that, there was uncertainty. Those who now teach otherwise are heretics to Sunni Islam.

When Muslims war against infidels, they are to give the infidel an opportunity to either convert or acknowledge his submission to Islam by saying so and paying the jizyah. Presumably the French priest did neither. If, however, the terrorist did not offer that choice, he was acting in a heretical manner.

I’m not trying to make Islam into a monster here, but neither am I wishing to ignore its worst aspects as if they didn’t exist.


I’m not trying to make Islam into a monster here, but neither am I wishing to ignore its worst aspects as if they didn’t exist.

Nor am I.

I’m curious, in all the debates you’ve had with an opposite number on this topic, how many have actually concurred with you that classical Sunni Islam does condone offensive jihad?

Because it does, and you know that I’m not denying this. It would be intellectually dishonest to do so, but the pundits in the right-wing factions of the US blogosphere who think they understand Islamic theology actually don’t either, because classical Islam doesn’t condone terrorism or indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, like the French priest. Monks and priests were explicitly placed in the noncombatant immunity category by Abu Bakr, the first caliph, and his statement is accepted dutifully by all of the orthodox schools.

What I’m explaining, likewise, is that the understanding of those Qur’anic verses - whatever you might think they mean yourself, or I myself, which doesn’t count for anything - was not the earliest stance in the juridical tradition. The earliest interpretation we have documentary evidence for didn’t regard the defensive jihad phase as having been ‘abrogated’ - that juristic device hadn’t yet been thought up.

It was thought up to justify Arab imperialism, by Shafi’i.

Now, that the earlier position was sidelined is a travesty - but you’d be far from the truth if you think that there aren’t Western Muslims who’ve studied the early schools and realised that this was an even earlier stream, and have embraced it accordingly as more in consonance with Western international law.

Islamic theology is not some monolithic edifice. There aren’t even clerical hierarchies in Sunnism, as in Shia.

The slavish adherence to the ‘orthodox’ fiqhs is a matter of habit and repute, not fate.

But at least those fiqhs preached noncombatant immunity - the modern Salafists don’t. They are far worse than anything in classical Islam. They are the Islamic version of our Calvinists - purists, chucking away tradition and juridical commentaries.

ISIS scorned all the orthodox schools, which is why most Sunnis viewed them as heretics. That’s the reverse side of the moderates, of course, who are trying to adhere to an earlier tradition - rather than chucking the tradition.


As I best recall, nobody has disagreed once they take a serious look into it.

It’s troubling, and it’s not what we want to think. But the reality is the reality despite the fact that many minds rebel against it. In our own era, particularly, we absolutely don’t want to condemn a religion, almost no matter what it is.

Again, there were various beliefs about the contradictions in the Koran until the Arab scholars resolved it in the Medieval period.


The fact is though, offensive warfare was the norm in the ancient world. Socrates, Aristotle and Plato, those ‘enlightened’ Hellenic philosophers whom we rightly celebrate for their contributions to Western civilisation, didn’t teach anything that Shafi’i didn’t. In fact, they were a good deal worse - the Spartans didn’t afford the luxury of a poll tax to the helots whom young hoplite cadets terrorised for sport.

There’s a tendency to treat Islam (and I’m not alleging you are doing this) as some uniquely awful creed from late antiquity, when in fact the really surprising thing is that unlike the Romans, the Muslims had a super-developed panoply of limitations on jihad which protected noncombatants. It’s impressive that early Muslims did believe in only defensive jihad prior to Shafi’i. Julius Caesar wasn’t so merciful in his wars of divinely ordained imperial expansion, sanctioned by the fetial priests in the name of the Roman gods.

Part of the problem is that we forget how novel many of the ideals trumpeted by medieval Europeans of the 12th century onward actually were, such as theories of natural rights derived from canon law, equality of status, representation and parliamentarism and limited government. Because we forget our own heritage, we assume that proto-liberal values are innate in every cultural tradition.

The Japanese Shinto were far more violent than classical Islam. I don’t recall any Saladins in their midst, who practised realpolitik with the enemy.

In fact, when we look at Islam objectively, its clear that they were a highly civilised culture for their time. The difficulty is that, as a legalistic religion, what was progressive in one generation isn’t necessarily so a thousand years later.

St. Paul liberated Christianity from the “law” and enabled the moral principles of Christianity to be far more accommodating than Shariah is.

But the Robert Spencers are not helpful. They don’t really understand Islam, neither do the apologists on the other side. The reality is far more complicated - as befits one of the world’s great civilizations.

It seems to be nigh impossible to look at Islam objectively and fairly when the two great titans of the Islamophobes and the apologists are bickering.


I’m not arguing any of that, and I don’t care about Robert Spencer.

I am not an “Islamophobe”. As my long ago posts on here would readily demonstrate, I was only a bit short of being rightly called an apologist for Islam. But I have learned quite a bit about it since then, particularly from some Muslims I know, and I no longer have a rose-colored-glasses view of it. Islam is what it is, and no one should demonize or idolize it.

Nor do I of Arab civilization, which was largely Byzantine and Persian civilizations with elements of Arabic culture superimposed on them. Yes, I’m aware Teutonic culture was superimposed on Roman civilization and, in some respects, not all that well. And yes, Slavic culture was superimposed on Byzantine civilization, just as Islam was in the west.


The Abbasids were highly indebted to the Persians and Byzantines, I agree.

But that’s just like the Romans with the Greeks and arguably the Americans with English culture and common law.

I didn’t call you an Islamophobe by the way.


We are indebted to the Romans who were indebted to the GReks, who were indebted to the Myceneans who were likely indebted to someone or other.

But yes, Americans are very much indebted to the Brits for a lot of things. Did you know, for example, that when most American states were founded, they adopted the English Common Law wholesale as their organic law, with the sole exceptions being in their constitutions? American lawyers’ educational text was “Blackstone’s Commentaries”.

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I am glad to see the Republicans defeat this proposal by a few inappropriate Republicans.

And I am also happy to see so many people here express concern about a proverbial religious litmus test.

I expect to see you same folks supporting the next conservative Catholic who implicitly or explicitly is getting harpooned in their hearings, campaigns, etc. (at least in part) because of their Catholic faith.

God bless.


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Concern about radical Islam should not equate concern about all Muslim people period. Unless there is concrete reason to suspect that he holds radical views, it’s unjust discrimination full stop.

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I do realize it is politically correct in this country to adopt a radical acceptance of all religions other than Catholicism when Catholicism’s teachings about abortion are known. But that does not mean we should take no account of such things at all. Obviously, no one thought there were “concrete reasons” to think any of the various Islamic killers in the U.S. were what they were before they committed their acts of terror.

Again, lest one understand, I do think the members of this group acted imprudently.


Along this same principle it looks like the Republicans are out front dealing with
other forms of anti-religious bigotry too
(just like they overwhelmingly [almost a 3:1 margin] did in Tarrant County–see it here). . . .

Thu Jan 17, 2019 - 5:59 pm EST

Senate passes resolution condemning bigotry against Catholics, Knights of Columbus

Calvin Freiburger

Anti-Catholic Bigotry, Ben Sasse, Brian Buescher, Catholicism, Democrats, Kamala Harris, Knights Of Columbus, Mazie Hirono, Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 17, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Senate unanimously passed a symbolic resolution Wednesday disavowing opposition to federal appointees on the basis of membership in the Catholic organization Knights of Columbus, following a series of hostile questions from two Democrat senators.

The controversy began in December, when Sens. Mazie Hirono and Kamala Harris grilled Trump judicial nominee Brian Buescher on his membership in the long-running charitable organization, particularly its “extreme positions” such as opposing abortion and same-sex “marriage,” as well as its status as an all-male society. They questioned whether Buescher could rule “fairly and impartially” despite his association.

The questioning earned the lawmakers widespread denunciation from conservatives, Catholics, and pro-lifers, as well as a letter from the Knights declaring that any fears of the group’s extremism “is not grounded in any truth.”

Earlier this week, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska introduced a resolution expressing the “sense of the Senate that disqualifying a nominee to Federal office on the basis of membership in the Knights of Columbus violates clause 3 of article VI of the Constitution of the United States, which establishes that Senators ‘shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support th(e) Constitution’ and ‘no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.’”

Technically, Article VI, Clause 3 only bars formal religious tests . . .

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