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Why do cartoons[*] constitute a capital crime in Islam? Why did writing 'The Satanic Verses' bring a death sentence and bounty upon Sir Salman Rushdie? Why does a military psychiatrist fire more than 100 rounds into an unarmed crowd he was trained to heal? Why do Muslims express violent anger concerning differences of religious opinion? The one-word answer to these questions is FITNA.
Fitna is one of the most important concepts in Islam, but it is a totally alien concept to Western philosophy. The concept of fitna totally abnegates our notions of free expression or logical discourse. The concept of fitna subjugates all thought to the method of Mohammed.
Fitna is spotted by the mullahs who also pick the Islamic response to it. In response to the Danish cartoons, they instructed Muslims to riot. Grand Imam Sayyed Tantawi, the paramount authority in Islam, demanded the closing of Jyllands Posten to prevent further fitna. Muslims studiously avoid the word fitna when talking to infidels.
What is fitna then?
The definition is surprisingly simple: Fitna is any disagreement with Mohammed. More precisely, Fitna is any islamicly-incorrect thought which is communicated to others in the public domain.
This definition fits all the confusing facts and makes sense of all the Islamic dualisms. Fitna is a thought crime. Fitna is a dualistic cocktail of blasphemy and treason.
As with almost everything in Islam, fitna is very hard to explain, because it is couched in Islamic dualism. Even Muslims have trouble explaining it, but they can identify it when they see it. And when they see it, they react violently.
There are two distinctly different classes of fitna: inter-Islamic fitna and infidel fitna. In relation to the evil infidels, fitna means 'tempting', 'enticing' or 'luring' another to disagree with Mohammed. Fitna comes from an old Arabic word that means removing the dross from pure metal. Pure Islam is held in check by fitna, so it must be purged.
In modern Islamic usage, fitna is used to describe ideas that cause controversy, testing, fragmentation, scandal, chaos, or discord, disturbing social peace and order within the Muslim community, ...such things as openly disagreeing with the head of state of Egypt or Iran or with something found in Sharia law. When a professor at an Arab university quotes original research on the primary sources of Islam, he is immediately accused of fitna and his life is simultaneously threatened. Inter-Islamic fitna is what most Muslims understand when they think of the word 'fitna'.
Muslims cast a veil over 'kafir fitna'...the politically incorrect free speech of wicked infidels that justifies jihad and brings Allah's just punishment upon them.
Mohammed discovered a brilliant way to criminalize differences of opinion with himself. He called his invention 'fitna' and made it the worst crime in his new religion. Any utterance that tests Mohammed's method is a chargeable offence and a capital crime if it persists. The religious charge of blasphemy veils the serious political charge of treason against Mohammed.
Mohammed is Allah's vice-regent on earth. Not only does Mohammed define the truth, but he has a right to punish those who disagree. Moreover, Mohammed is both the constitution and the Islamic state. By disagreeing with Mohammed, you are calling him wrong, in error or worse yet a liar. That is slander and character assassination, but it is also the crime of treason against the Islamic Nation.
The Koran likes to say infidels are accusing Mohammed of being a liar, since that sounds more dramatic and culpable. The Koran commands the punishment of fitna after making it sound reprehensible. Anyone disagreeing with Mohammed in any way has become an enemy of the state who should be treated severely and with violence.
Private disagreements with Mohammed are acceptable, as long as they do not reach the eyes or ears of Muslims. However, public disagreement demands public Islamic punishment. 'Punishment' euphemistically means the death penalty, normatively by beheading.
In the Islamic religion, Mohammed is the only one who speaks for God. Disputing Mohammed's religious monopoly in public means disagreeing with God Himself...thus putting Allah to the test before Muslims. If Allah has lost face in public, his honor and control of the situation can only be restored by violence. To disagree publicly with Mohammed is to call Mohammed and Allah liars. Koran 29:63 - "Who does more harm than he who tells a lie against Allah?" No one! Anyone who suggests Allah or Mohammed are fakes is the worst criminal.
The Koran tells us that words disputing Mohammed/Allah are more criminal than the deed of murder. This does not make sense.
Obviously, something else is going on under the blanket of religion. That something is a political doctrine called 'supremacism'.
In art, an object is sometimes defined, not by positive use of color, but by negative space and the use of shadow. Fitna reveals Islam's key doctrine of Mohammed's supremacy veiled in shadow. Undermining Mohammed's authority does more harm than anything!
As far as Muslims are concerned, the fact that infidels have wrong thoughts in private is bad enough. The divine plan is for the whole world to agree openly that Mohammed is right. In the meantime, it is good for the infidels to be under Islamic control.
In normative Islam, the public utterance of disagreement with Mohammed is worthy of death. Practically, why is this so?
The death sentence is required for the sake of the political harm done to the Islamic chain of command and the readiness of Muslims as a solid fighting force (Koran 61:4).
Basically, all Muslims constitute one army of which Mohammed is the head. First and foremost, every Muslim male is a potential soldier...a holy warrior...a jihadist. If Islam is to go forward, the Muslim male needs to be emotionally, psychologically and mentally ready for jihad and the Islamic community needs to enthusiastically support jihad.
Jihad is Mohammed's method, the way Islam grows. Mohammed is the only expert on Islam. Anything that stands in the way of jihad is evil, satanic and treasonous! Satan and his followers need to be weakened and destroyed or at a minimum brought under the coercive control of the Islamic state. The Islamic army will be ready only if there is an absence of fitna, so fitna control means information control. Information control precedes jihad.
The tactic of information control was first demonstrated by Mohammed by assassinating his vocal critics, usually at night. Mohammed also gave his complete support to freelance assassins who murdered family members who criticized Mohammed at home...also usually at night. Disagreeing with Mohammed is not permissible if a Muslim is present or becomes aware of it. Mohammed used violence to stamp out the utterance of disagreement and he approved of others who did the same on their own initiative. Mohammed is the role model for all Muslims to emulate.
Assassination is the normative punishment for the crime of fitna. Killing a critic of Islam is a good deed, since it restores the honor of Allah/Mohammed and removes the threat of fitna from the community. Any Muslim is free to carry out the death sentence in the matter of fitna. In Sharia-dominated countries, no punishment will be given and the killer will be a hero. As well, the assassin is guaranteed entry to the highest rank in paradise.
Grand Imam Sayyed Tantawi, the leading cleric of the four Sunni sects declared, 'Muslims are allowed to fight against them (critics), but only to the extent of making them aware that they should not become enemies of Islam.' Here we have the foremost Muslim in the world stating publicly that infidels should be 'fought' (treated violently) if they disagree with Mohammed. Since Tantawi speaks for 90% of Muslims, violence against critics of Islam remains an official dogma of mainstream Sunni Islam. Sunnis number almost one billion.
Most Westerners believed Muslims were angered that Kurt Westergaard (the cartoonist who drew the Mohammed turban-bomb cartoon) called Mohammed, or by extension, that he called all Muslims-violent! Westerners believed their message was: 'Don't say Islam is violent or we'll kill you!'
But Islamic violence is not the issue. Muslims know that Mohammed is violent and that he is their role model. They revel in it. It makes them feel strong and proud.
Jihad is holy violence. Violence is the way Allah removes fitna, removes the dross from pure Islam and removes the infidel scum from the earth which is owned by Mohammed. (Bukhari 4:52:220)
No! Muslims were angered that the Danish cartoonists disagreed with Mohammed, and said so in public. That was political fitna and a crime against honor.
The cartoonists disagreed that Mohammed's violent method is right and made fun of it. The cartoonists removed Mohammed's halo. As a consequence, Allah and Mohammed both lost face. If Allah/Mohammed said violence against the infidels is right... and the infidels laugh at Allah's Divine Command...the infidels obviously need to be taught a lesson. The infidels need to accept that Mohammed owns the earth and their position is one of political inferiority to Muslims. Islamic supremacism is Allah's divine plan and violence is Mohammed's method.
The infidels are to be brought under the control of the Islamic state in thought, word and deed and they are given no choice in submitting to it or not. Allah commanded violence so the infidels will be forced to receive the divine benefit of Islam...'even if the infidels are averse to it!' (Koran 9:33)"
Muslim logic is: The infidels do not understand. They are blinded by Satan. Muslims have to use violence to help the infidels. The infidels should be in terror of Allah and the coercive power of the Islamic Nation. It is for their own good. Allah is great! And has the ability to do all things. And Allah knows best!
That final phrase ends every Islamic verdict and the deeds of jihad follow. Further disagreement is impossible.
Throughout the West, the infidels did not understand! The purpose of the cartoon riots was not to reassert the lost human rights of Muslims under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (UDHR) but to proclaim the political supremacy of Muslims over the infidels and show the willingness of Muslims to support jihad and bring the infidels under their control. Put negatively, the purpose of the cartoon riots was to declare the inferiority of infidels, who should know their place and commit no more 'fitna'. That is...the infidels needed to learn not to disagree with Mohammed in public.
Both Sunnis and Shi'ites believe in the use of sacred violence. The right to coerce the infidels and subdue them was given by Allah to Mohammed as owner of the earth.
Theologically, mocking Mohammed's method of controlling the infidels is blasphemy, for the violent method of Mohammed comes directly from Allah. Allah's method trumps human logic, even the Western ideal of free speech that is based on mere human philosophy and mere human reasoning, rather than Allah's Divine Command. In mere human philosophy, Mohammed's fitna-prevention method is built on a fallacy of logic called the Appeal to Force in place of logical argument. But this fallacious argument is the main argument of the Koran. Muslims know that the Koranic argument for violence against the infidels takes up 2/3 of the Koran and they further know that the Koranic argument cannot be wrong, for it comes directly from Allah and Allah is not a liar.
Mohammed's method for eliminating fitna is jihad and all Muslims should freely use Mohammed's method, since Mohammed is their role model. This is what Muslims did in the Danish cartoon riots. It is also what motivated Dr. Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009.
Normally, Muslims will not kill infidels for merely thinking non-Islamic thoughts. After all, who knows what another person is thinking, even one's own spouse? Sacred violence is authorized when open disagreement with Mohammed is expressed in the public domain, as with a cartoon or an anti-Islamic book. It need not be the guilty person who is punished, so we can never be sure of the physical safety of any infidels, since throughout history, jihads have often included mass slaughters and genocides of men, women and children.
Mohammed approved of such indiscriminate killing of unbelievers on occasion, if it was convenient for him. During a night-time sneak attack on a town, Mohammed was asked about his customary method of sparing women and children (so that they could be sources of revenue as slaves). According to the Hadith by Abu Muslim 19:4322 , Mohammed responded, "They are of them." In other words, the women and children are accomplices in the fitna of the defending males. And besides, it was inconvenient to attack and carry lanterns to check everything that moves in the dark.
Here Mohammed authorized wholesale slaughter of an entire community. The justification for this was the political charge of fitna. So no infidel is ever innocent of fitna, a capital crime.
Such logic was used by Major Nidal Hasan when he committed a wholesale slaughter http://www.faithfreedom.org/islam/islamic-mind-major-nidal-hasan of 13 unarmed American soldiers: ...the American army opposes Mohammed's method...it is guilty of fitna...and the 13 slaughtered soldiers 'are of them.' This made Dr. Hasan a hero to the former mullah of his mosque, because he executed the enemies of Mohammed using deceit and surprise, just like Mohammed did. Mohammed frequently executed unarmed prisoners of war. Dr. Hasan is a rational, pious Muslim. His ideas agree with the official scholarly concensus of normative Islam.
Mohammed's brilliant method of ruthless assassination silences fitna by paralyzing the brain with fear. Mohammed's method may not be judged by any external standard, because his method is itself the standard. Forget the obvious ethical flexibility or opportunism. Mohammed's method takes a position above human logic, ethical analysis and philosophical discourse. To analyze Mohammed's ethical inconsistencies is fitna.
Today, Islamic governments are seeking new ways to control fitna beyond their borders. Kafir fitna is temptation or luring that tempts Muslims to question or lose their faith. Kafirs commit fitna every time they disagree with Sharia law in the public domain, when they mock Mohammed's violent method in cartoons or use reason or logic on the Internet to show Mohammed is wrong.
Such politically incorrect utterance keeps the Islamic state from insuring all information supports the unity and power of that State and its jihadist army.
Information control is normative Islam and is fully acceptable to all pious Muslims, since it prevents fitna, the ultimate crime. Modern Muslims agree that fitna should be removed from human society through censorship of discourse that disagrees with Islam, even in the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. By removing the right to disagree with Islam at the UN, Muslim governments hope to implement global information control.
Politically, this will allow Islamic governments to totally ignore all human rights complaints by claiming Muslims have a unique human right: the right of not hearing any criticism.
When governments of the Islamic Conference say they wish to remove utterances that criticizes Islam, they actually mean 'fitna'...public disagreement with Mohammed.
Islamic governments know fitna control is needed before discriminatory Sharia law can be fully implemented and jihad can go ahead. They seek to shut down the freedom of UN diplomats to discuss any human rights aspect of Islam. They cast a veil over Islamic discrimination against women and minorities in view of the radical claim that Muslims have a superior, unique human right which infidels do not possess.
The Islamic right to censor fitna trumps gender equality, freedom of expression, freedom to change one's religion and other freedoms. In law, this specious argument is called 'special pleading'. It is pure dualism and supremacism. In essence, this makes Shariah law superior to the UDHR and enshrines Islamic discrimination in the name of human rights.
Inter-Islamic fitna, i.e. dissension or discord between Muslims, is the second class of fitna. Theological disagreements between Shi'ite Muslims and Sunnite Muslims are also called fitna. Both sides believe the other worthy of death for disagreeing with Mohammed. Unfortunately, both sides do not see that their own opinion of Mohammed's method may also be in error. Only the other fellow is in error and he is obviously a heretic. 'And Allah knows best.'
Consequently, there is no Sunnite mosque permitted in Teheran and no Shi'ite mosque permitted in Saudi Arabia's holy cities. Fitna/discord between Muslims themselves and between Muslims and infidels is primarily a political question about who possesses the political upper hand. This right of supremacy cannot be discussed, since it comes from Allah and is defended by sacred violence. What you believe about Mohammed determines your human rights status in an Islamic state.
Moreover, the concept of fitna makes pluralism practically impossible, since only one political party can be in perfect agreement with Mohammed. Having an opposition party in an Islamic country would be the evil of fitna...another opinion would obviously disagree with Mohammed and be condemned. Fitna paints Islamic countries into a philosophical corner where dictatorship is the only government system possible.
The ultimate use of fitna is a military one. Fitna is any utterance that demoralizes or confuses Muslim troops so they become weak as a military force, unconvinced of their political mission of world dominance and hesitant to commit jihad. Fitna undercuts the Islamic chain of command. Fitna destroys the cohesiveness and certainty of jihadists...that unquestioning certainty that makes them ready to kill the critics of Mohammed.
Faint-hearted, non-fanatical Muslims will not defend Mohammed's method or expand their Allah-given supremacy over the infidels. If Muslims are in doubt about the rightness of Mohammed's method, they will peter out, while the infidels win the earth for Satan. This must not be. Fitna must be stopped and reversed, since it impedes the Islamic state without borders. Fitna thus becomes a political charge of treason against the Allah-established Ummah (nation) of Islam. Fitna deserves the death penalty because Allah said it is worse than murder (Koran 2:191). It is every Muslim's duty to use sacred violence to stamp out fitna and create the utopian Islamic world where disagreement can no longer exist.
"And fight them (all infidels) until there is no more fitnah (disagreeing with Allah/Mohammed) and the religion (all-pervasive lifestyle and system of Sharia law) will all be for Allah alone (in the whole world). But if they cease (to disagree with Allah/Mohammed) then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do." (Koran 8.39)
"(Allah) sent His messenger with the guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religion, however much the kafirs may be averse." (Koran 9.33)
[*] View the cartoons that were the occasion for a Muslim riot here.
Kenneth Roberts is interested in global affairs, military history and the music of Mozart.
Part 1 was published on December 1, 2009 and Part 2 on December 4, 2009, both on Political Islam website at
http://www.politicalislam.com/blog/fitna-and-the-kafir-part-one-december-1-2009/ and http://www.politicalislam.com/blog/fitna-and-the-kafir-part-two-december-4-2009/, respectively
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