By Raymond Ibrahim
Though this narrative is widely accepted, it is demonstrably false. Consider the following account that took place a couple of weeks ago in Muslim-majority Egypt:
The report goes on to explain how Muslim lawyers and activists went to court to defend Diab's right to a fair trial only to be assaulted by other Muslim lawyers: "They were assaulting us in a beastly and strange way, just because we went there to defend a citizen who happened to be a Christian," said one of the lawyers, adding that exiting the court required security intervention: "We left court in a security vehicle which took us to Security headquarters, otherwise, we don't know what the outcome would have been for us."
More details include eyewitnesses reporting that the Muslim lawyers were "armed with clubs." Several, including reporters, were injured in the ensuing melee, and human rights groups were "forced out of the courtroom by the Muslims."
Was the condemned Christian's attorney right to categorize this incident as "terrorism"? According to Dictionary.com, the primary definition of terrorism is "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes." In other words, terrorism is not just limited to 9/11-type strikes, but involves intimidating, bullying, threatening, etc. — precisely what happened at this courthouse trial.
Some more key points to keep in mind:
The entire issue revolves around something that, by Western standards of freedom, would be a non-issue to start with: insulting a "holy" figure, Islam's Prophet Muhammad. In a Western court of law, the Christian "blasphemer" would not even be tried, but rather the terrorist "lawyers."
The attacks on fellow Muslim lawyers who merely sought to represent the condemned Christian is in keeping with Islam's doctrines of loyalty and disloyalty, which command Muslims always to side with fellow Muslims, while having enmity for non-Muslim infidels — certainly those perceived to have insulted their prophet.
The ultimate lesson emerging from this shameful fiasco is one of sheer predictability. Anyone familiar with the doings of the Islamic world — its history, its doctrines — cannot be surprised at any of the above: rage and violence in response to a non-Muslim insulting the Prophet; rage and violence toward Muslim members of a legal system for trying to represent an "infidel" — these are quite standard, with ample precedent, regardless of whether the enraged Muslims are suit-and-tie wearing lawyers, or kalashnikov-toting jihadis.
Contrary to popular belief, then, and as this episode clearly shows, Islamic terrorism is not a byproduct of "weakness," but rather the typical approach to those who transgress the bounds of Sharia. Whether one man "blaspheming" Muhammad in a Muslim-majority nation (as in this example) or whether an entire nation existing on land perceived to be Islam's (as in the case of Israel), terror is never far behind for those transgressing the bounds of Sharia.
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Raymond Ibrahim, a historian of Islam, Islamism and the Middle East, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and the editor of The Al-Qa'ida Reader, a collection of tranlations of key texts and documents of the Islamist movement. Ibrahim's translations of the religious texts and political propaganda comprising this collection help readers comprehend the origins, development, history, and serious danger of the Islamist war doctrines of Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Founders of Al-Qa'ida.
The foregoing article by Ibrahim was originally published by the Gatestone Institute, April 5, 2012, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a foreign policy think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat. (URL: http://www.meforum.org/3207/courtroom-terror)
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