Music on the Orient Express: a Melodic Whodunit


For me, the greater the melody, the greater the shalange.  And as always, I accept the shalange.”  On that dubious note six-string Inspector Godbout begins to pluck tuneful clues to detect the composer of the greatest melody along the Orient Express route from Paris to Istanbul.  Have a bon voyage aboard his musical mystery tour as you decide whodunit.  The tour concludes with a Turkish medley featuring the wondrous whirling and delightful dancing of alumni of Asmira’s School of Oriental Bellydance

Godbout plays astoundingly adept arrangements of European composers’ works on guitar.  Transforming Beethoven into blues is no mean feat, and Godbout’s skill as a musician can easily rivet you for an hour.”  Avenue Magazine, Calgary
Music on the Orient Express offers a pleasant evening of classical music.  Godbout is a superb musician.  He plays the coolest version of Strauss’ Blue Danube that I’ve ever heard.  Godbout finishes his performance with some Turkish music accompanied by belly dancers.”  Fast Forward Weekly, Calgary
When Godbout is embracing his muse – his guitar – time holds no meaning.  When the melodies flow into the aether, even the angels in heaven may take notice.”  B Channel News

Calgary Fringe Festival, July 29 – Aug. 6, 7:30 – 8:30 pm nightly.  Jacqueline Suzanne’s Bistro, 1219 9th Ave. Southeast.
Heraldbuzz   webuzz   webuzz2  SOLD OUT Sat., July 30, and some other nights as well.

Victoria Fringe Festival, /A\ Vancouver Island, Broad & Pandora, Aug. 25 – 28, Aug. 30 – Sept. 4, 7 – 8 pm.  review 

The first ever melodic whodunit features Beethoven’s Flat Fifth (a blues arrangement of a symphonic theme, and why not, if Beethoven was black?) and Moonlight Soleá (a flamenco take on Moonlight Sonata, and why not, as Beethoven’s grandfather was Flemish, which may be etymologically related to the word flamenco?), Brahms’ Bossa (inspired by Santana’s latinization), Blue Danube Dub (Jamaica meets Vienna in a reggae version of Strauss’ waltz), Chopin’s Samba in C#- (taking its cue from the Brazilian song Tristeza, which translates part of Chopin’s waltz [1:06-1:46] to a samba rhythm), a flamenco version of Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony theme, a gender bending dervish, and more.  Godbout’s musical mystery tour is a comedic counterpart to Agatha Christie’s murder mystery; melodies linger without any murder aboard his Orient Express.  Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman cultures cavort as Godbout’s global guitar conjures a polyrhythmic rapture of Parisian ballerinas and Turkish belly dancers, of Viennese waltzers and whirling dervishes!

Speaker, speaker in my amp, who’s the decomposing champ?  A French Pole, a German Swiss, a pianist, or a Chopin Liszt?
Van Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Debussy, Ravel, or Strauss?  Speaker, speaker heed my call: who’s the greatest of them all?

Does the answer lie in the following syllogism?  If ancient mystics were correct in perceiving the seven notes of a melodic scale as analogous to seven energy centers along the human spine, and if spinal centers culminate in a crown as a melodic scale is generated from the keynote, therefore, the greatest melody could conceivably be found in the shivers of a belly dancer, the ashes of a sultan, or the whirling of a dervish.  We are fearfully and wonderfully composed. 

Dom Ghawazi

Dom Ghawazi, gypsy belly dancer, sways as the beads hanging from her bedlah;
Bells on her toes, cymbals on her finger, accent the beat of the karsilama.

Allahu Akbar

A sultan, dead one thousand years, once from his harem fled in tears,
And had upon a Turkish gate inscripted, “Only God is great.”
Hung high above Istanbul’s noise, as accents of an angel’s voice,
The message from the barbican proclaimed to every caravan: “Allahu Akbar.”

The sultan’s gone, yet in a gust his ashes mingle with the dust
That settles on an ancient gate proclaiming, “Only God is great.”
Hung high above Istanbul’s noise, as accents of an angel’s voice,
The message from the barbican still testifies to mortal man: “Allahu Akbar.” Wafa Sultan: “When Muslims kill, they shout ‘Allahu akbar!‘ – ‘Allah is the greatest!'” (A God Who Hates, 45)

Whirling Dervish

Dervish whirling in God’s holy fire, as in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Step outside the fire, perne within a gyre, and be the dancing master of my soul;
Therefore I have sailed seven seas and come to the city of Byzantium.

Watch the whilring dervish spinning round on two feet that barely touch the ground;
See his gown of white soaring like a kite as the dervish dances in delight.
Watch the whirling dervish in a gyre, free from worldly wisdom and desire;
As his body whirls, whirls and faster whirls, who can tell the dervish from the dance?

In What Every Musician Needs to Know about the Body author Barbara Conable describes the first among “Laws of the Spine:
1) The head must lead spinal movement (as it does in all creatures). …The spine is an ensemble. It plays all together with the head conducting.
”  Energy hogging brain cells account for about two percent of body weight and yet consume about twenty percent of the body’s energy.  French philosopher and advocate of radical hope, Jacques Ellul, regards the brain and its corporeal limbs as analogous to Europe and its surrounding continents; however, Europeans account for twelve percent of global population and consume one third of global resources.  Paul Valery, The Crisis of the Mind, 1919: “’Will Europe become what it is in reality – that is, a little promontory on the continent of Asia – or will it remain what it seems, that is, the elect portion of the terrestrial globe, the pearl of the sphere, the brain of a vast body?’” (from Cornell West, Prophetic Reflections, 115)  If the European Union is a Christian club, Islamic Turkey’s relation to Europe is ambiguous.  Turkey has close ties to other Islamic nations, which would also like to exercise headship over surrounding lands.  In geopolitical terms two heads may not be better than one, for they may end up in a headbutt.  Will the Christian club prove to be a beastly head in imposing its melodic will on surrounding lands? 

The complex harmony of the Christian Trinity is manifest in the harmonic chord and cadential tonality of European classical music, and is expressed in the harmony of genders in European dances, such as the Vienesse waltz.  Musicologist and theologian Quentin Faulkner concludes that “the influence of metaphysical, speculative Christian theology accounts for the complex formal structures characteristic of Western polyphonic music.”  (Wiser Than Despair)  The simple unity of the Islamic deity is manifest in the monotonal key center of scales featured in Arabic and Middle Eastern music, and is expressed in the segregation of genders in Middle Eastern dances, such as those performed by whirling dervishes and bellydancers.  Are these aesthetic and metaphysical differences an indirect cause of war, and may they be surmounted in art?

On a personal note, I am becoming conscious of an ironic relation between the shalange mentioned at the top of this page and my Greatest Guitarist in the World show.  “Ellul ‘s life has continued to exemplify the manner in which the gospel frees us from convention and conformity and liberates us for a radical engagement with God and the world.”  Ellul states: “What constantly marked the life of Jesus was…the choice not to use power.”  I prefer Northrop Frye’s notion that God only exercises power in the contexts of wisdom and love.  Bat Ye’or: “Ellul  complained that his articles were refused by many newspapers and even Protestant publications because of his pro-Israel position.  William Nicholls, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, suffered a boycott for the same reason.  Such cases….illustrated the strenuous resistance against intellectual totalitarianism by an intelligentsia that soon added to this campaign the defence of Christian victims in Islamic lands.” (Eurabia, 88)

Encore to Music on the Orient Express includes first video of Have a Tequila shot in B.C.


In contrast to political and apocalyptic views expressed above, I’ve recently come across books advancing the notion of an Islamic Antichrist.

El Risitas on Mohammad:

Tarek Fatah to Sleepy Senate:

Mosab Hassan Yousef on CBC about Islam:

Yousef: “Many people in the West who stereotype all Muslims as terrorists don’t know about the side of Islam that reflects love and mercy.  It cares for the poor, widows, and orphans.  It facilitates education and welfare.  It unites and strengthens….there is also the other side, the one that calls all Muslims to jihad, to struggle and contend with the world until they establish a global caliphate, led by one holy man who rules and speaks for Allah.” (Son of Hamas, 10)

Yousef: “Islamic life is like a ladder, with prayer and praising Allah as [11] the bottom rung. The higher rungs represent helping the poor and needy, establishing schools, and supporting charities.  The highest rung is jihad.  The ladder is tall.  Few look up to see what is at the top.  And progress is usually gradual, almost imperceptible….Traditional Muslims stand at the foot of the ladder, living in guilt for not really practicing Islam.  At the top are fundamentalists, the ones you see in the news killing women and children for the glory of the god of the Qur’an.  Moderates are somewhere in between.  A moderate Muslim is actually more dangerous than a fundamentalist, however, because he appears to be harmless, and you can never tell when he has taken that next step toward the top.  Most suicide bombers began as moderates.” (11-12)  Yousef: “The militants had the full force of the Qur’an to back them up.” (57)

Walid Shoebat offers an example: “Siraj Wahaj….was the first ‘moderate’ Muslim to deliver the opening prayer before the U.S. House of Representatives.  Yet, when he spoke to a Muslim audience in New Jersey, what did he declare?  Muslims should ‘take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate.’” (God’s War on Terror, 85)  

Yousef: “I was really trying to follow the ethical teachings of Jesus.  Allah had no problem with murder; in fact, he insisted on it.  But Jesus held me to a much higher standard.” (178)  Yousef: “God, Jesus said in Matthew 5:45, ‘causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.’  This was certainly a far cry from the cruel and vengeful god of the Qur’an.” (199)

Walid Shoebat: “The West has a choice to make peace or make war.  To the Muslims, there are only two choices,   Do you want peace?  Then declare the Islamic creed and live in peace. [There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is His messenger (the Shahadatan)]” (God’s War on Terror, 15)  Shoebat: “Siraj Wahaj….was the first ‘moderate’ Muslim to deliver the opening prayer before the U.S. House of Representatives.  Yet, when he spoke to a Muslim audience in New Jersey, what did he declare?  Muslims should ‘take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate.’” (85)

Shoebat: “’Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.’ (Eph 5:25).  Compare this with Mohammed, who said, ‘I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers are women.’…Muslims are not embarrassed when outsiders find out that Mohammed actually married his youngest wife Aisha when he was aged fifty-one and she was only six years old. (some accounts say she was seven).  He consummated the marriage when she was nine and he was fifty-four.  The fact that this occurred is thoroughly documented within Islamic tradition by virtually every reliable collection of Hadith – it would be impossible to deny.  ’Aisha narrated that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).’

When Mohammed died, he was 63 and his wife Aisha was only 18.  If he had lived longer, he would have married someone even younger.  Once, Mohammed looked at a baby girl named Um-Habiba while she was still nursing and said: ‘If she grows up while I am still alive, I will marry her.’  This is the man that Islam calls a ‘prophet of God,’ the supreme example for all mankind and the perfect human being?  A pervert and a pedophile!  Did Mohammed consider whether or not this little baby would have any desire to marry an old man?  Of course not, the girl’s feelings were irrelevant to the ‘prophet.’” (90)

Shoebat: “In the Bible, Satan is described as the one that possesses ‘the power of death, that is the Devil’ (Heb. 2:4).

And yet in the Qur’an we find one title for Allah is Al-Mumeet. It is a name that is counted among the 99 beautiful names of Allah. It literally means, ‘the one who possess[es] the power of death, causer of death, the slayer, and the taker of life or the destroyer of life.’  This title of Allah is nearly identical to the title that is given to Satan in the Book of Revelation: ‘They (the demons) had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon (the destroyer), and in Greek, Apollyon’ (Revelation 9:11). (92)

Shoebat: ‘Harun Yahya, an allegedly moderate and prolific Muslim author,….refers to the Mahdi’s irresistible qualities as one who subdues the whole world: ‘Nobody can stand in the way of the Mahdi and dominion he will have over the world.’

This is also strikingly similar to the Biblical description of the Antichrist who is said to declare war, ‘Who is like the beast, and who can make war with him’ (Revelation 13:4). (93)

Shoebat: ‘in Islam, it’s not the death of Christ that entitles you to heaven, but your own….Without this jihad-style-death, you had better obtain enough merit to outweigh your sins so that you will go to paradise.  This is a dilemma that confounds all Muslims….’He will have seventy-two women [virgins] of Paradise.  Also, he will be allowed to intercede for seventy of his family members (who would have otherwise gone to hell).’

Allah in the Qur’an gives this assurance of salvation ‘And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision’ (Qur’an, Al-‘Imraan:169).  And to alleviate the thoughts of any pain it states: ‘The pain that a martyr feel at the time of death will be reduced so greatly that he will only feel as if he was stung by a mosquito..’”…Sure they do!  How can anyone come back from the dead to prove such nonsense?” (106)

Shoebat: “Never has there ever been such a perverse heresy as Islam….All of the perversity that we have in the West also exists in abundance in the Muslim paradise where there are ‘angels and young boys (handsome) as pearls well guarded’ (Qur’an 52:24), ‘rivers of wine’ (Qur’an 47:15), served with ‘goblets filled at a gushing fountain white and delicious to those who drink it.’ ‘It will neither dull their senses nor befuddle them[;]’ (Qur’an 37:41-48)….’Bosomed virgins for companions: a truly over-flowing cup’ (Qur’an 78:31). These virgins are bashful and undefiled by man or demon.

Sexual enticements play an integral element in recruiting Jihadists.   The late author and journalist Muhammad Gala Al-Kushk wrote; ‘The men in Paradise have sexual relations not only with the women who come from this world and with ‘the black-eyed,’ but also with the serving boys.’  According to Kurum, Al-Kushk also stated, ‘In Paradise, a believer’s penis is eternally erect.’

A Hamas youth leader in a Gaza refugee camp told Jack Kelley of USA Today that, ‘most boys can’t stop thinking about the virgins.’” (108)

Shoebat: “Unquestionably, Mohammed encouraged the spread of his religion by force, rape and even carnal sexual enticement….Sounding somewhat like a parent trying to cajole their kids to finish up their broccoli, Mohammed says that killing infidels is actually good for you: ‘Warfare is ordained for you, though you may hate it; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you. Allah knoweth, but ye know not’ (Qur’an 2:216).” (110)  Shoebat: “Allah is an utter pervert.” (112)  Shoebot: “what was Mohammed’s job?  He was a false prophet and a pirate.” (129)  Tarek Fatah: “Islamists, who riot at any negative portrayal of the Prophet in cartoons, are apparently quite comfortable with the apostle’s depiction as a mass murderer.” (The Jew is not My Enemy, 131)  Michael Muhammad Knight: “what Muhammad called ‘the greatest generation of Muslims’ all killed each other over politics.” (Forget What Is and Is Not Islam, from Leaving Islam, 363)

Shoebot: “From the day of their birth until their death, Muslims will hear it proclaimed millions of time that Mohammed is the mot perfect man that has ever existed….Mohammed literally means The Praised one – The Most Praised.” (142-43)  Shoebot: “Out of all the sinful and evil behaviors the Bible condemns, pride tops them all.  The Qur’an on the other hand considers Al-Mutakabbir, which literally means, The Most Proud One, or the One filled with pride, as one of the 99 beautiful names of Allah.  Describing how important pride is to Allah, He even cloaks Himself with it: ‘Pride is My Wear, Supremacy is My Dress, I will break anyone who vies with me, and for them I do not care.’   And ‘Glory be to the One who rightfully deserves to be called the Most Proud, He is Allah.’” (150)

Pamela Geller: “The idea of a ‘moderate’ Islam does not exist…because the Koran says so and Muhammad said so. The Koran is the word of Allah, given directly to Muhammad, uncreated (unlike the Old or New Testament). Who can ‘reinterpret’ or ‘reform’ the word of Allah? No one. And to attempt such ‘hypocrisy’ is punishable by death.

Moderate Muslims are secular. There is nothing moderate in Islam, and this is the deception that must be unveiled.” (Stop the Islamization of America, 18)  Shoebat: “The Qur’an was dictated to Mohammed; however, this is not inspiration – rather it is know as possession.  All Muslims claim that, ‘The Prophet was purely passive…all was of Allah, and the Prophet was merely a recording pen.’…In a reliable Hadith, Mohammed’s favorite wife Aiesha recalls: ‘Magic was worked on Allah’s Apostle so that he used to think that he had sexual relations with his wives while he actually had not.'” (Terror, 159)

Islam, Jews, and the West

Shoebat: “I cannot forget the first song I learned in school [in Jericho].  It was titled ‘Arabs our Beloved and Jews our Dogs.'” (Why I Left Islam, from Why We Left Islam, 20)  Shoebat: “I was taught that one day the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy by the Muslim Prophet Mohammad would come to pass.  This prophecy foretold a battle in which the Holy Land would be recaptured for Islam and the elimination of the Jews would take place in a massive final slaughter.  This prophecy is found in some of the most sacred books of Islamic traditions know as the Sahih Hadith.  This particular tradition reads as follows and is in the mindset of all radical Islamists:

[Mohammad said:] The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews. (Sahih Muslim Book 041, Number 6985)

When asked where this slaughter would take place, tradition states that it would be ‘in Jerusalem and the surrounding area.'” (Why, 22)

Joel Richardson: “this hadith is the centerpiece of the official charter of Hamas, even guiding the movement.  This view, namely, that it is the divine destiny of Muslims to destroy the Jewish people and the State of Israel, is a theme that has been repeated among Palestinian politicians and religious leaders a thousand times over.  In May 2011, Hamas MP and cleric Yunis Al Astal, on Al-Aqsa TV, stated:

The Jews are brought in droves to Palestine so that the Palestinians – and the unified Islamic nations behind them – will have the honor of annihilating the evil of this gang…In just a few years, all the Zionists and the settlers will realize that their arrival in Palestine was for the purpose of the great massacre…When Palestine is liberated and its people return to it, and the entire region, with the grace of Allah, will have turned into the United Sates of Islam, the land of Palestine will become the capital of the Islamic Caliphate.” (When a Jew Rules the World, 166)

Shoebat: “It’s hard to convey the degree to which someone like me, growing up under the Palestinian education system, is brainwashed.  Every voice in authority speaks the same message: the message of Islam – jihad or hatred of the Jews – and things that no young mind should ever be subjected to.

I remember an occasion at Dar-Jaser High School in Bethlehem during Islamic studies when some of my classmates asked the teacher if it was permitted for Muslims to rape the Jewish women after we defeated them.  His response was, ‘The women captured in battle have no choice in this matter; they are concubines and they need to obey their masters.  Having sex with slave captives is not a “matter of choice for slaves”.’    This was not merely the opinion of the teacher, but is clearly taught in the Qur’an:

Forbidden to you also are married women, except those who are in your hand as slaves, this is the law of Allah for you. Qur’an 4:24″ (Why, 24)

Irshad Manji cites “a passage straight out of an Arabic-language textbook distributed by the Saudis to Muslim schoolchildren in America: ‘The unbelievers, idolaters and others like them must be hated and despised….We must stay away from them and create barriers between us and them.'” (The Trouble With Islam Today, 154)

Tarek Fatah: “In Pakistan…the textbook board agreed, under pressure from the World Bank and other funding agencies, to remove a section from ninth- and tenth-grade textbooks that urged pupils to ‘fight against those who believe not in Allah’ and that asked for ‘Allah’s curse’ on Jews and Christians.  However, after removing the offensive text from books for grades nine and ten, board officials sneaked it into the books for grades eleven and twelve.” (The Jew is not My Enemy, 21)

Hal Lindsey: “Land is looked upon by Islam differently than by other religions. Once Islamic culture is established in an area, it is considered sanctified to Allah. It becomes ‘Dar al-Islam’ – the land of peace. When an invader takes it away, Muslims are obligated to take it back for Allah, no matter what the sacrifice.” (Everlasting Hatred, 130)  Sayyid Qutb: “a Muslim has no nationality except his belief, which makes him a member of the Muslim community in Dar-ul-Islam [the Muslim world];….A Muslim can have only two possible relations with Dar-ul-Harb [the West]: peace with a contractual agreement, or war.  A country with which there is a treaty [of subservience] will not be considered the home of Islam.” (from The Jew is not My Enemy, 29)  Fatah: “When history is written, the twenty-first century will be remembered as the great struggle between the Muslim world on the one hand and the West on the other….epitomized by Israel and world Jewry with its ally, the United States of America.” (189)

Gregory M. Davis: “Already, substantial parts of major European cities – Paris, London, Rotterdam, Malmo – are effectively ruled by Sharia law, enforced by local imams and their true-believing followers.  And while Islam continues to grow in leaps and bounds, the native European populations are collapsing, a trend that has been underway for decades.  Never in the history of the world has a materially sated civilization simply refused to reproduce.  It seems that Europe, having jettisoned its Christian spirituality in order to glory the more in this life, is finding it difficult even to stay alive….Like Communism and National Socialism, Islam divides the world into two warring spheres, one intrinsically good, the other evil.  Dar al-Islam, the House of Islam, is the territory enlightened by Sharia law; dar al-harb, the House of War, the rest of the world upon which war is to be made until it is brought permanently into the Sharia fold.  It is one of the great ironies of our time that tremendous political energy is expended in keeping Western public life thoroughly sanitized of the West’s traditional religion, Christianity, while Islam, an ideology that explicitly conflates – or rather never distinguished in the first place – between the political and the religious, is blithely allowed in through the front door….[172]The hyper-sensitivity in the West today – especially in Western Europe – to anything invocative of national pride or civilizational identity has crippled its ability to assert the legitimacy of its own traditions against those who would destroy them….The gravest mistake of the West today is its insistent hope in a fictive ‘moderate’ Islam.” (Afterword, from Why We Left Islam, 171, 172)

Davis: “It is imperative to reclassify Islam as a political system with religious aspects rather than as a religion with political aspects.  Islam is in fact an alternative form of government in competition with Western governments that seeks to weaken [174] and, ultimately, destroy and replace them.  It is both false and perilous for Western societies to regard Islam as a ‘religion’ and afford it the special protection associated with that term….Any recognition of legitimacy must be reciprocal: It is illogical – and suicidal – for Western governments to regard Islam as a legitimate ‘religion’ when Islam is unwilling to recognize the legitimacy of those same governments.

The West must awaken to the fact that it is facing nothing less than the resurgence of the greatest war machine in world history: an ideology that holds the killing of others, the plundering of their wealth, the conquering of their lands, the enslavement of their people, and the destruction of their institutions to be among the highest virtues and the stepping stone to salvation.  The only appropriate policy will be one of containing Islam: keeping it out of our own societies while being very realistic about our ability to influence affairs in its sphere of influence.  First and foremost, we must abandon the fantasy that asymptotic globalization will somehow prove the cure to Islam’s fourteen-hundred-yearold antipathy to the rest of the world.  Those reluctant to accept the bleak truth should ask themselves: Is their reluctance the result of careful study of the Islamic sources and history, or is it due to their unwillingness to accept a grim reality that will necessitate sacrifice and struggle?” (175)

Davis: “everything that once made the West great and that distinguished it from other civilizations – overseas expansion, Christianity, superior cultural achievement – has been delegitimated by decades of relativist battering.  Recovering the great cultural inheritance of Western civilization – so carelessly squandered by its supposed guardians – will be the great requisite to Western survival.” (Afterword: Where to from Here, from Why We Left Islam, 176)


Tarek Fatah: “The ultra-left Trotskyites even advanced the idea that since Lenin had permitted the continuation of sharia courts in the Soviet [242] Union’s Asian republics after the Bolshevik Revolution, support for the Islamists was in line with socialist principles.

The flamboyant and controversial left-wing British politician George Galloway joined the Islamist cause while visiting Canada.  In a spirited support of sharia, he defended the rights of Muslims to be governed by their own laws….Galloway’s endorsement of sharia was another reflection of  the close working relationship between the ultra-left and the Islamists.  Of course, neither Galloway nor Toronto’s ultra-left would refer to Lenin’s warnings about ‘the need to combat Pan-Islamism and similar trends, which, he wrote, strove ‘to combine the liberation movement against European and American imperialism with an attempt to strengthen the positions of the khans, landowners, mullahs, etc.'” (Chasing a Mirage, 242-43)

Fatah: “Sharia is the legal framework within which the most private aspects of life are regulated for those living in a Muslim society.  These laws are often in conflict with the laws of the country.  Medieval in nature and its origin, sharia tries to deal with all aspects of modern day-to-day life, including politics, economics, banking, business law, contract law, family, sexuality, hygiene, and social issues.” (249)

Fatah: “the Muslim kings (caliphs) first created sharia laws (700-850) to give Islamic legitimacy to their un-Islamic rule.  Then, for the next hundred years, from 800-900, the books [250] on the hadith, the Prophet’s examples, were written to legitimize sharia as Islamic law.” (250-51)

Fatah: “Sharia has become the governing tool of Political Islam.  Its followers believe that God’s divine command is to establish a global Islamic State to apply sharia.  In that sense, sharia is the informal constitution of the institution of Political Islam, which is defined by its founding father Abul Ala Maudoodi in these frank words: ‘Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere in the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam….If the Muslim Party commands adequate resources, it will eliminate un-Islamic governments and establish the power of Islamic governments in their stead.'” (252)  Fatah: “The authoritarian and autocratic nature of sharia violates the Qur’an, which clearly declares that the responsibility of prophets was not to govern, but only to deliver God’s message.” (254)

Mecca and Ishmael

Joel Richardson: “One of the five foundational ‘pillars’ of Islam is that every Muslim believer who is able to raise the necessary funds should at least once I their lifetime make a religious pilgrimage to Mecca.  As a result of the colossal number of Muslims making hajj each year, the Grand Mosque in the city of Mecca is the most visited site on earth.

There is a series of traditions (Arabic: ahadeeth) that involves traveling to Mecca to kiss a black stone embedded on the corner of the shrine known as the Kaaba (‘the cube’).  Muslim tradition holds that this black stone fell from heaven: ‘The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The Black Stone came down from Paradise.”’ [99]…Muslims believe that the stone has the ability to absorb and absolve the sins of those who kiss or touch it: ‘When the Black Stone came down from Paradise, it was whiter than milk, but the sins of the sons of Adam made it black.’

And so, according to these sacred traditions, when a Muslim comes to touch the black stone during their pilgrimage, all of their sins committed until that point in their lives are believed to be wiped clean: ‘the Messenger of Allah…said: “Touching [the Black Stone] is an expiation for sins.”’

Strangely, it is said that the Black Stone will become animated, possessing eyes and a mouth, and actually stand as a witness on the Day of Resurrection and judgment, either condemning or acquitting those whose sins it had absorbed: ‘The Messenger of Allah…said concerning the Stone: “By Allah, Allah will bring it forth on the Day of Resurrection, and it will have two eyes with which it will see and a tongue with which it will speak, and it will testify in favor of those who touched it in sincerity.”’…This, of course, is pure idolatry and a clear remnant of the pagan roots of Islam.  The Islamic hajj is no doubt the great Satanic counterfeit of the true pilgrimage that God has ordained for all the nations who will stream to Jerusalem each year to worship Jesus the King!” (When a Jew Rules the World, 99-100)

Anwar Shaikh: “Islam was created by the Prophet to impose Arab values on non-Arabs.  To make sure that the non-Arab Muslims acknowledge the Arabs as their intellectual masters, the Prophet made Mecca the center of Islamic reverence, in such a way that it became an integral part of the Muslim faith.  The Prophet made the Ka’ba, the cube-like shrine at Mecca, the central Arab shrine, as the House of Allah, and asserted that Allah himself had ordered Adam, the progenitor of humankind, to build this house for him.  Now the beauty of it is that the Ka’ba is also the qibla – that is, the direction of worship.  That means every Muslim, wherever he lives – India , Pakistan, Iran, Nigeria – should prostrate himself in the direction of Arabia, to bend in reverence toward it.  Not only that, a Muslim grave must be dug in such a way that the body when buried faces the Ka’ba, that is, Mecca.  So sacred is Mecca that nobody must defecate facing this city….Allah speaks Arabic.  The Koran is also in Arabic.” (Autobiography of a Dissident, from Leaving Islam, 289)

Ibn Warraq mentions “the two corners of the Ka’ba in Mecca in which are set the Black Stone and the stone which is supposed to mark the sepulchre of Ishmael.” (Leaving Islam, 69)  Al Riyadh Saud (founder of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia): “The power struggle between Israel and the Arabs is a long-term historical trial. Victory and defeat are for us questions of existence or annihilation, the outcome of an irreconcilable hatred.” (from Everlasting Hatred, 125)


Youtube commenters: “The women have to pray separately because the Muslim men can’t control their instinct to rape when a woman bends over in front of them.”  “I actually understand why they put women in the back of their Mosque.  There is a lot of bowing and bending over in their services.  It is not appropriate to have women bending over in front of me.  Even if it only affects a horny 15 year old virgin boy, it can be a distraction.

Fatah on M103.