The Paris Mastermind: Abdelhamid Abaaoud or Ibn Taymiyyah? – S. Gurumurthy

Ibn Taymiyyah

S. Gurumurthy

“IS is the latest manifestation of Wahhabi Islam. It attracts Jihadists from all over the world on the theology of Al-Wahhab—read Ibn Taymiyyah. … Russian President Putin has said that 40 nations, including some G20 constituents, fund the IS. … Ibn Taymiyyah’s theology is at the root of the problem of Islamist terror. Is Abaaoud then the mastermind of Paris Jihad? Not at all. He is at best the master-hand. The mastermind is Ibn Taymiyyah who re-weaponised the Jihad and that impelled Abaaoud. It is Taymiyyah’s Jihadi exposition which blew up Paris. In the last several decades, his concept of Jihad has snuffed out hundreds of thousands of innocent lives.” – S. Gurumurthy

Abdelhamid AbaaoudFrench intelligence has named Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian national, as the mastermind behind the Paris carnage. He was killed later. Four of the seven attackers who perished in the process are French. Fifth, the first woman bomber of Europe, later killed herself. Sixth, possibly a Syrian, had landed in Greece in the guise of a refugee and weeks later he bombed Paris. An Egyptian too was perhaps involved. The configuration of unrelated persons raises some fundamental questions that touch the basics. Syrians may target France which had bombed their nation. But why should a Belgian, when France has done no harm to his nation. What have the four Frenchmen to do with Syria or Iraq by birth, language or culture? Why should they target their own nation? Mow down their own people? How they blew themselves to smithereens to harm their own motherland brings out the intensity of their hate. Why such hate for one’s own nation, culture and people? Belgian, Syrian and French, including a woman—the group cannot be more disparate. No one can seriously deny that the common idea that bound and motivated the disparate group is Islam. What strand of Islam it was may be debated, but that their motivation is some strand of Islam is indisputable. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS) has proudly claimed that it did the Jihad in Paris. But the IS is only the hand that hits. Ideology is that what really motivates the hand. What, and not who, made this disparate group converge is the real issue.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (2004)IS Emerges

The IS, led by its supremo Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, aims to re-install the Caliphate—the Islamic State to rule the Muslim world—under a Caliph believed to be descendent of Prophet Muhammad. Tracing the lineage of Al-Baghdadi to the Prophet, the IS appointed Al-Baghdadi as the Caliph, in June 2014. Relying on the Islamic law which mandates all Muslims to owe allegiance to the Caliph, Al-Baghdadi called upon Muslims through a radio message in July 2014 to immigrate to the Islamic State to perform their highest duty of Jihad. Responding to his call, within nine months, by March 2015, some 22,000 Jihadists from 100 nations landed, on their own, in Syria and Iraq. By May, their number rose to 25,000. Take France, the latest victim of Jihad, for instance. Some 520 French (116 of them women) are currently engaged in Jihad in Syria and Iraq with some 137 already martyred.

Islamic terrorist outfits and mobile terrorists are multiplying exponentially. In November 2014, the UAE named 83 Islamist terrorist groups. A study says that, by November 2014, some 60 Jihadist groups in 30 countries had announced support to the IS. The “Caliph” Al-Baghdadi now controls vast parts of Iraq and Syria—in terms of area, population and revenues. Media reported in September that Russian intelligence had offered to the Central Intelligence Agency (US) and the Interpol a massive list of 87,000 Jihadists roaming around in US and Europe, but they refused to receive it because it was “not politically viable in the present atmosphere”. The Paris assault happened exactly 60 days later. Is it a surprise then that on just a radio call of Al-Baghdadi, thousands of ready-made Jihadists roaming all over the world rushed to join IS-led Jihad? Al-Baghdadi just opened the tap of readily available Jihadists. What, then, motivated the huge army of Jihadists ready on the tap? It calls for a throw back to 14th century when, after long lull, militant Jihad again became part of Islamic tradition—an interesting insight into the history of Jihad that has huge contemporary relevance.

MohammadIbn Taymiyyah

In his book God’s Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad, Charles Allen, a renowned historian of the British Raj in India, traces the history of Wahhabism, the guiding ideology of Islamist modern terrorism. Wahhabism was founded in the 18th century but its seeds were sown centuries before. The 14th century Islamic scholar who re-invented and re-weaponised the concept of Jihad was Ibn Taymiyyah.

In Prophet Mohammed’s times, Jihad was an obligation on Muslims to strive for their faith until the entire world had converted or submitted to Islamic authority. But as Islam transformed into a multi-ethnic world religion, the literalist view of Jihad gave way to pragmatism. The pragmatists cited the famous declaration of the Prophet in Hadith on his return from the battle of Bard, that marked the end of his military campaign against the polytheists, that the Lesser Jihad (Jihad Kabeer) was over; the Greater Jihad (Jihad Akbar) had started. This statement was interpreted in Islam as meaning that the outer and less important physical struggle for Islam was over and had given way to a more important inner, moral struggle. But, after Mongols devastated the Islamic heartland, Ibn Taymiyyah found that the Greater Jihad idea had weakened Islam. He stood for a literal, and against a liberal, idea of Jihad. He defied the Prophet Himself on the pragmatic Greater Jihad. Citing two verses in the Quran (Chapter 2, Verse 193; Chapter 8, Verse 39) Taymiyya argued that the Prophet’s division of Jihad in Hadith was not authentic because it contradicted the words of God in Koran. He declared that the (indivisible) Jihad against Islam’s adversaries was the finest act a Muslim could perform. Taymiyyah also classified the infidels of Islam in four categories: the Christian; the Muslims with infidel habits unless brought back to Islam; the Muslims not carrying out Islam’s rituals; and those who rejected Islam while still claiming to be Muslims. He declared that no peace was possible with the first two and the next two must be mercilessly killed.

Muhammad ibn Abd al-WahhabAl-Wahhab

Taymiyya’s theology was rejected in his times. He was branded as a heretic. Even imprisoned. But, says Charles Allen, Taymiyyah’s theology continued to attract adherents. A most famous adherent of his was Muhammad Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab, who founded, in early 18th century, what is now known as the Wahhabi strand of Islam. This most virulent strand of Islam, rejected in the 14th century, was reincarnated four centuries later. Allen says that Al-Wahhab was schooled in Medina under Mohammad Hayya Al-Sindhi and his father from Sind in India, both followers of Ibn Taymiyya. They encouraged their students to “view the militant jihad as a religious duty”. When Al-Wahhab was studying in Medina, Shah Waliullah Dehlawi from Delhi too was in Medina studying Hadith under a Taymiyyah disciple who was the master of Al-Wahhab’s teacher. Al-Wahhab and Shah Waliullah, both young, went back to their respective countries to implement the radical teachings. In Delhi, Waliullah called for “a return to the first principles of Islam”. He attempted to restore “Muslim rule in Hindustan” by even inviting the Afghan ruler Ahmed Shah Abdalli to invade India and destroy the Hindu Marathas in battle to bring back the golden days of Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb. But Ahmed Shah was defeated and the Maratha gained dominance in northern India.

But Waliullah’s Medina-mate Al-Wahhab went beyond. Allen says he “was able to construct and apply almost unchallenged a brand of confrontational and heartless Islam, the like of which had not been seen since the days of Mahmud Ghazni, the butcher, who led twelve loot-and-destroy raids on India in the eleventh century, justifying his actions in the name of Islam.” Al-Wahhab’s book Call to Unity, which later became a four-volume affair, expounded the Wahhabi theology. It declared that there should be but one interpretation of the Quran and Hadith—Al-Wahhab’s—and none else. Pointing out that Islam rose only by Jihad against idolaters and polytheists, it concluded that loving the true Muslims and hating the infidels was the only way—the Wahhabi way.

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al SaudRe-weaponised Jihad

A historic turn came in Islamic history in 1744 when Al-Wahhab allied with Muhammed Ibn Saud, a reputed warrior and leader of a sub-branch of the powerful Aneiza tribe. They mutually recognised each other—Saud as the secular leader (Emir) and Al-Wahhab as the religious head (Imam). The rulers of Saudi Arabia are the descendants of Muhammed Ibn Saud. Thanks to Saudi Arabia owning up Al-Wahhab’s theology, Ibn Taymiyya, outlawed long ago, now occupies a place of honour next only to Al-Wahhab’s.

IS is the latest manifestation of Wahhabi Islam. It attracts Jihadists from all over the world on the theology of Al-Wahhab—read Ibn Taymiyyah. It gets funded and supported. Russian President Putin has said that he has shared with G20 leaders the details of how individuals from 40 nations, including some G20 constituents, fund the IS. Many liberals still think that terrorists are just a handful of misguided persons. Thousands are not a few. They are a mobile army conscripted by Wahhabi Islam. The Taymiyyah-Wabhabi theology guides millions and millions of Muslims who are the catchment constituency from which thousands of Jihadists emerge on the tap. The other strands of Islam, moderate or immoderate, are struggling—in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Afghanistan and elsewhere—for survival. Ibn Taymiyyah’s theology is at the root of the problem of Islamist terror. Is Abaaoud then the mastermind of Paris Jihad? Not at all. He is at best the master-hand. The mastermind is Ibn Taymiyyah who re-weaponised the Jihad and that impelled Abaaoud. It is Taymiyyah’s Jihadi exposition which blew up Paris on Friday last. In the last several decades, his concept of Jihad has snuffed out hundreds of thousands of innocent lives.

Any battle to recover and save moderate Islam should start with disowning Ibn Taymiyyah and Al-Wahhab—the very definitions of today’s hate and terror. There is every reason for moderate Muslims to discard them. For, Ibn Taymiyyah defied the Prophet and Al-Wahhab endorsed Taymiyyah. Will the Islamic world—Saudis in particular—declare them in one voice as apostates of Islam? This will hopefully cause a healthy debate within Islam. Moderate Muslims should ponder.

PS: So long as the world looks at which Islamic outfit organises the Jihad and not look into what so powerfully motivates the Jihadi to kill himself to kill others, it will be missing the cause and treating the symptoms. So long as the root cause remains unaddressed, even if the world weakens one outfit another will promptly emerge—like the IS emerged after the Al Qaeda weakened. – The New Indian Express, 22 November 2015

» S. Gurumurthy is a well-known commentator on political and economic issues.  Email:


No-go zones and the struggle facing Europe – Douglas Murray


Douglas Murray“In 2011 a report commissioned by the Institut Montaigne, and directed by the noted Islamic scholar Gilles Kepel, found that Seine-Saint-Denis and a clutch of other suburbs of Paris were becoming “separate Islamic societies,” holding themselves out as separate from the French state and instituting the rule of Sharia over that of French law. It found that French Muslims were increasingly aligning themselves with Islamist values rather than those of the French state.” – Douglas Murray

François HollandeIn the wake of the massacre in Paris, President François Hollande said that France was “at war”—and that it must be fought both inside his country and outside in the Middle East. As the French air force began dropping bombs on Raqqa in Syria, another operation was under way in towns and cities across France: 168 raids in two days. A battle on two fronts has begun.

Chartres cathedral is one of the great monuments of western civilisation, but Chartres was also home to one of the Bataclan theatre suicide bombers. A man from the same area died last summer in Syria, fighting for ISIS. In Lyon, the raids turned up a rocket launcher. On Tuesday night, a large-scale counter-terror assault was launched in St Denis in Paris. After heavy gunfire, a woman blew herself up by detonating a suicide belt, according to the police.

That the French police know where to look is heartening. That there are so many places to look is not. Long before this week’s slaughter, the French have known that large parts of France are effectively not French.

Ten years ago, when the banlieues lit up and more than 9,000 cars were burnt, the world paid some attention. But it soon sank back into denial. Statesman talk of the danger of “ungoverned spaces” in the Middle East and Africa. But the ungoverned spaces in France and in other parts of Europe were largely ignored.

Earlier this year an American counter-terrorism expert appeared on Fox News and claimed that major cities in European countries, including Britain and France, had “no-go” zones where non-Muslims and the police simply did not go. He was widely ridiculed and even disparaged by the Prime Minister himself. The Socialist party’s mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, went further and said she would sue Steven Emerson and Fox News for harming the ‘image’ of her city. Coming, as this did, only days after the Kouachi brothers gunned down 12 people in Charlie Hebdo’s offices and another gunman slaughtered four Jews in a kosher food market, one might have thought that Paris had other “image” problems going on. But the backlash was striking. Mainly because it looked like what psychiatrists call displacement activity.

Perhaps the murder of cartoonists and Jews just wasn’t enough, and it was always going to take the simultaneous mass murder of concert-goers, football fans and people eating in Peace posters in Molenbeekrestaurants to help the world wake up. In any case, it’s now undeniable that there are no-go zones both in France and Europe. 

This week’s jihadi hunt has focused on the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek. It is thought that two of the terrorists who carried out the attacks last Friday had been living there. Molenbeek is a heavily Muslim suburb—an area over which Belgian authorities admit they long ago lost control.

It undoubtedly shares characteristics with many other poor European suburbs: ugly social housing and high levels of unemployment. But that could be said of many cities. What makes these no-go areas notable is the size and density of their Muslim populations.

It is a problem which no country in Europe experiences so catastrophically as France. In 2011 a report commissioned by the Institut Montaigne, and directed by the noted Islamic scholar Gilles Kepel, found that Seine-Saint-Denis and a clutch of other suburbs of Paris were becoming “separate Islamic societies”, holding themselves out as separate from the French state and instituting the rule of Sharia over that of French law. It found that French Muslims were increasingly aligning themselves with Islamist values rather than those of the French state. It is no coincidence that France has the largest percentage of Muslims in its population (around 10 per cent) of anywhere in western Europe. Wherever the concentration gets above a certain level (perhaps 20 per cent), consequences follow. French social planning put all their Muslim immigrants in one place (and usually a place of mass unemployment). And unsurprisingly, it is in the areas with the greatest density of Muslim population that the greatest problems emerge.

By 2012, the problem of semi-autonomy had got so bad that the French government was forced to unveil plans to reassert the state’s control over 15 areas, including parts of Lyon, Montpellier, Nice, Strasbourg, Amiens and Aubervilliers, where the population is more than 70 per cent Muslim and the police rarely went. Two years later, a leaked French intelligence document warned that Sharia law was being implemented in schools in Muslim ghettoes. The report gave 70 examples of Muslims turning secular French schools into places of religious indoctrination governed by Islamic law.

Sharia in EuropeThe question now for France is whether Hollande’s efforts to reimpose French law are any more successful than the efforts of Sarkozy, and whether they are a spasm or a mission. You could argue that Hollande now at least has events behind him. But in the past there have been quite a number of occasions, although not as bloody as this one, when individual cases have broken the surface and temporarily shocked France from its sleep-walk into dissolution and civil war: the stoning to death of a young Muslim woman in Marseilles in 2004; the torture and murder of a young Jewish man by a Muslim gang in the Parisian suburb of Bagneux in 2006; the murders of pupils at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012. Each time the Republic rallies, but the country’s pulling apart continues.

It is easy for outsiders to point to holes in France’s post-war immigration strategy or the failure of its model of integration. And it is true that France has done immigration and integration badly. But who has not? Yes, travelling on public transport in France you notice lines and routes on which everyone is black and others where nobody is. But there are similar phenomena now across Scandinavia, central and southern Europe.

Nor can we be complacent in Britain. It was appropriate for the Prime Minister to leap to Birmingham’s defence when Fox broadcast their piece in January. But Birmingham is in fact a striking example of our own problem. The city remains one of the biggest producers of domestic terrorists and ISIS fighters in Britain. Perhaps most striking is the fact that nine tenths of Birmingham’s convicted terrorists come from areas where the Muslim Shariah Zone Londonpopulation is between 25 and 50 per cent (the latter figure being more than ten times the national average). Likewise, before anyone notices the centrality of Sharia4Belgium to the continent’s jihad, it is worth noting that the group’s launch was enabled by Muslim extremists from Britain.

Nor is it at all certain that Britain will continue to avoid another mass casualty attack. The Prime Minister recently said the security services had thwarted seven major attacks in the UK in the past six months alone.

Of course, it is important to remember how many Muslims in France and Britain came here precisely to avoid the fundamentalists in their faith. And there were problems long before the current migration wave. But as countries like Germany and Sweden decide to take in an additional 1 per cent of their population each year from majority Muslim countries, it is not scaremongering but a simple statement of fact to say that the Muslim population in Europe will increase. And at some point other European countries will go on to experience the kind of problems France has. Perhaps this will bring a popular backlash similar to that now under way in France.

But in some ways that would be the lesser of two evils. For if the trend of the no-go zone is not at some point halted or reversed, we must realise that for France, and perhaps for Europe, this will not be decline. This will be fall. – The Spectator, 21 November 2015

French Police

VIDEO: Terrorism has no religion? – MrRepzion

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106-43 BC

Terrorism has no religion

With Open Gates: The forced collective suicide of European nations

Reporter buys Syrian papers being sold to ISIS fighters sneaking into Europe – Nick Fagge

Reporter with black market Syrian identity papers.

• Reporter bought $2,000 Syrian passport, ID card and driving licence in Turkey under the name of a real man who was killed in the conflict

• Forger boasted that ISIS fighters are using documents to travel to Europe to start terror sleeper cells or live under false name free of past crimes

• Also being used by economic migrants from other countries exploiting generosity of Europe to Syrian refugees

• Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee told MailOnline the scam was ‘deeply disturbing’ and should be ‘addressed immediately’

• The blank documents are genuine, having been stolen from government offices by militias fighting regime of Bashar Al-Assad

• EU border official admits fraud is rising and bigger than first thought

EU-Islam FlagISIS fighters and economic migrants are able to buy Syrian identity documents that allow them to hide among refugees travelling to Europe with frightening ease, an investigation by MailOnline can reveal.

Our reporter [Nick Fagge] was able to buy a Syrian passport, identity card and driving licence from a fraudster in a Turkish border town this week.

The genuine documents were stolen from Syria when they were blank. The forger added our reporter’s picture and gave him the identity of a Syrian man from Aleppo killed last year.

The documents, on sale for around $2,000, would help an asylum claim in Europe.

The forger who sold us the papers, said that they are being used by ISIS fanatics to travel undetected across borders into Europe hidden among tens of thousands of genuine refugees fleeing the terror and destruction.

Once in Europe they can set up sleeper cells or live freely under a new identity without facing the consequences of their brutal past actions.

As the forger chillingly put it: “ISIS fighters are among the people going to Europe in this way. They are going to wait for the right time to become a fighter for ISIS again.”

The revelation comes as Lebanon warned two in every 100 Syrian migrants smuggled into Europe are ISIS-trained fanatics, with most travelling overland through Turkey to Greece.

The extremist group is sending trained jihadists ‘under cover’ to attack targets in the west, Lebanese Education Minister Elias Bousaab told British Prime Minister David Cameron during his visit to the country on [14 Sept. 2015].

“ISIS will not stop at the border with Lebanon, before you know it ISIS will be in Europe,” Mr Bousaab claimed.

The bogus papers are also being used by economic migrants from other Middle Eastern states who know that a Syrian asylum claim will be met with more sympathy following the civil war which has so far forced an estimated four million people to flee.

The recent death of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old boy pictured after he was washed up on a Turkish shore, has heightened demands for countries to take in Syrian refugees and propelled their plight to the top of the international agenda.

Germany alone is expected to take in a million Syrians this year and is putting other European nations under pressure to sign up to a quota system. 

The forger told MailOnline: “Everyone wants to be Syrian now—because now everyone welcomes Syrians.”

The passport book MailOnline acquired is genuine, made from a batch seized from one of the many Syrian government offices captured by advancing opposition forces.

The forger explained that the militias fighting the forces of Assad make a beeline for government offices when they over-run a town. They know the value of the documents there and steal the passports, papers and even the printers that are used to create identity cards and driving licences.

“I don’t know which town this passport came from because it has happened many times,” he said.

“Fighters—from the Free Syrian Army, Al Nusra, ISIS or whatever—they know the value of these documents. They take them and they give them to us. They ask us to make new identities for them and their families so they can travel outside Syria.

“We do this for them and they leave us some of the books so we can sell them. There are many people—Syrian people—who have lost their passports and identity cards because of the chaos of the war. They want new documents to help them in Europe.”

He went on: “Everyone wants to be Syrian now—because now everyone welcomes Syrians. There are Palestinians, Egyptians, Iraqis, people from all over the Arab world who are pretending to be Syrian so they can have a new life in Europe.

“ISIS fighters are among the people going to Europe in this way. They are going to wait for the right time to become a fighter for ISIS again.”

Alarm bells began to ring as to the scale of the problem earlier this month when German customs officers seized packages containing a large number of blank Syrian passports. The ISISpackages contained both genuine and fake passport books.

Frontex, the EU border agency, has reported an increase in the seizure of Syrian passports for sale although they admit they as yet have no idea of the size of the problem.

“The latest figures confirm that document fraud is on the rise,” a spokesman told MailOnline. “Imposters use another person’s documents taking advantage of their physical resemblance to the original holders, as often difficult to identify.

“Research studies show that the extent of the problem is much wider than can be assessed from the number of revealed cases.

“[Syrian passports] are found in the hands of Iraqis and Palestinians. There is also a rising phenomenon of migrants from Algeria, Egypt or Morocco claiming falsely to be of Syrian nationality.”

The blue passport book is printed with the words Syrian Arab Republic in Arabic, English and French on the cover. It bears a Syrian coat of arms—an eagle holding a shield of the national flag and a scroll with an inscription in Arabic.

The 48-page booklet has a bar code and serial number.

The passport states in Arabic, English and French that the photograph is the image of a 48-year-old Christian man called Jak Abdullah Fraam who was born in 1967 in Aleppo. It states that his father is called Mishail and his mother Lena.

The document gives the holder permission, from the Syrian government, to travel to countries in the Middle East, Europe, North America, African and South America. However Syrians need visas to enter almost every country apart from Sudan and Lebanon. Other Syrian passports have restrictions on which country the bearer can travel to.

The identity card bears the official government seal and is printed using machinery captured by opposition forces and handed over to master forgers.

The Syrian coast of arms is embossed into the card. An image of the Syrian coat of arms sits underneath the photograph. There is a watermark-style image on the right-hand corner and on the back of the ID card.

The international driving licence was issued by the Traffic Police Department of the Syrian Ministry of Interior. It bears the official stamp of the Chief of Governorate Police.

These three documents together provide almost irrefutable evidence of a life in Syria before the war and would support a claim for asylum in Europe.

The manufacture of passports and identity documents by forgers began innocently following the collapse of Assad’s Syrian regime, when many citizens lost their official papers in the chaos and society broke down.

But this ‘public service’ has been hijacked by unscrupulous criminals who will sell anyone the documents to claim they are Syrian.

“At first it was a way to keep normal life going,” a Syrian with knowledge of the practice of creating new passports told MailOnline.

“When someone got married they needed a certificate. When a baby was born they needed a certificate. When someone wanted to go abroad they needed a passport. But in much of the country there was no government.

“However, the people who had worked for the government, local people in each town or city liberated from the regime, were still there.

“They understood that people needed documents, so they helped them and got a bit of money for themselves. But now there are people who are only interested in the money. They don’t care who they sell a passport to—even if they are terrorists.”

Former Scotland Yard detective, and passport and identity fraud expert, Tom Craig, told MailOnline that the passport and other documents would be enough to get someone into the EU.

“While there are some discrepancies the passport is good enough to get someone into Greece or Italy.

“It appears to be an old style passport rather than a modern one. The booklet appears genuine and so does the paper.”

It took just four days for MailOnline investigators to buy the haul in Turkey.

Publishing precise details of the operation would put the lives of Syrian and Turkish investigators in danger, but in essence it was surprisingly easy.

The reporter sent a photograph via social media to the forger in Syria, who made the documents and then smuggled the documents over the porous border and dropped off for collection.

Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Home Affairs committee told MailOnline the revelations were ‘deeply disturbing’.

He said: “The ease with which a fake Syrian identity card has been obtained so easily is deeply disturbing. It is essential that all countries need to obtain the necessary equipment to check the validity of these documents. This represents a huge problem that needs to be addressed immediately.”

Philip Hollobone, Conservative MP for Kettering, said the MailOnline investigation had brought a serious security to light.

He said: “I would like to congratulate MailOnline for your work in exposing this very serious security issue.

“There is little doubt that evil jihadists will be keen to exploit the present refugee crisis to infiltrate their way into Europe and the UK. In the present chaos fake passports provide almost perfect cover.

“The UK Border Force will need to be extra vigilant to separate genuine refugees from ISIS operatives.”

Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley, said: “This is a very worrying development and highlights why we need to properly control our borders and not get so get so overwhelmed by a compassionate desire to help people that we let down our guard.

“There are many people who want to exploit our generosity and the Government must not let it happen.”

MailOnline has contacted the Turkish authorities to inform them of the scam. – MailOnline, 17 September 2015

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar miffed with Pope’s one-upmanship – Shantanu Guha Ray

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Shantanu Guha Ray“In March 2015, Juan Manuel Santos agreed to halt aerial bombing in recognition of a unilateral ceasefire called by FARC on Christmas of 2014. The move by Sri Sri was called ‘Colombia’s biggest breakthrough’ by the Spanish media. ‘The Western nations were nowhere when members of Art of Living worked closely with the rebels, initiating them into daily peace talks and yoga,’ said Gautam Vig, spokesperson for AOL.” – Shantanu Guha Ray

Pope FrancisIndia’s foreign office is keeping itself updated on an interesting, if trifle peculiar, slugfest that’s currently on between the Vatican and Indian spiritual guru, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. 

The Art of Living Foundation (AOL) founder is miffed at recent attempts by the Norwegian government to hijack his peace initiatives in strife-ridden Colombia. In a year-long effort, Sri Sri managed to broker a peace deal between the Colombian government and left guerrilla outfit FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), mediating on behalf of the latter during peace talks held this July in Cuba. In what was seen as the first breakthrough in three years, FARC commander Iván Márquez agreed to adopt the Gandhian principle of ahimsa while continuing to chase political goals in a new unilateral ceasefire. In June, Sri Sri had conducted a meeting in Bogotá with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos.

Juan Manuel SantosSources in Delhi say the guru’s annoyance with the Vatican has reached the top echelons of the government.

Pushed by the Vatican, Norway, which was also part of a four nation pack (including Cuba, Chile and Venezuela) acting as guarantors in the talks, released press notes that claim the peace talks came to fruition because of “painstaking efforts undertaken by a league of Western nations”. Last week, on a 10-day trip to US and Cuba, Pope Francis, the Argentine-born pontiff held a mass in Havana, saying in his address, “May the blood shed by thousands of innocent people during long decades of armed conflict … sustain all the efforts being made, including those on this beautiful island, to achieve definitive reconciliation.”

Sri Sri sees Oslo as deliberately sidetracking his efforts, his supporters tell the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “We are monitoring the developments,” a ministry official said in a telephonic conversation, explaining that protocol doesn’t allow him to be quoted. The official clarified, however, that the Colombian government does not ascribe to the views of the four nations. “It [Colombian government] is fully versed with the situation and is highly appreciative of the efforts of the spiritual leader. Ivan Marquez held all his conversations with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and not with emissaries of the Western nations.”

But a recent joint statement released by the four nations requesting FARC not to escalate violence had no mention of the Bangalore-based guru, who was responsible for bringing Colombian government’s top negotiator to the table after he threatened to walk away from peace talks in Havana and rejected rebel calls for a bilateral ceasefire on the ground that the FARC had previously used truces to rearm and return to violence.

Flag of ColombiaIn recent times, FARC’s main target has been the country’s oil and electricity infrastructure, crippling life for thousands. The militant group has been active in the Colombian armed conflict since 1964, and deemed a terrorist organisation by the UN and America. Latin America’s longest war has killed 2,20,000 people and displaced as many as six million since 1964. The Havana talks are seen as bearing the best results toward conflict resolution.

Peace talks between the parties have been ongoing since 2012. A ceasefire was announced by both but lifted last May after which sporadic incidents of violence were reported.

In March 2015, Juan Manuel Santos agreed to halt aerial bombing in recognition of a unilateral ceasefire called by FARC on Christmas of 2014. The move by Sri Sri was called “Colombia’s biggest breakthrough” by the Spanish media.

“The Western nations were nowhere when members of Art of Living worked closely with the rebels, initiating them into daily peace talks and yoga,” said Gautam Vig, spokesperson for AOL.

According to the Colombia government, FARC had 16,000 fighters in 2001, but the number dropped to 8,000 due to desertions. – Midday,  30 September 2015

Ivan Marquez & Jesus Santrich

We now have concrete proof for love jihad – Balbir Punj

Balbir Punj“How from such gullibility the victims are led on the path to either adopt Islam or if already Muslims, to join the ISIS or other Jihadi outfits, needs to be studied for developing adequate immunity socially against such viruses. The success of ISIS, despite its horrifying mass killings and individual beheadings and throat slittings, is also a warning for civilised societies against complacency of any sort.” – Balbir Punj

A stupid Hindu girl riding to disaster!After several instances of young Muslim boys enticing Hindu and Christian girls in Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra and several other parts of the country with the show of wealth and promises of marriage and then, ferrying them to Kashmir and other places, converting them and recruiting them forcibly into Islamist Jihad came to light, concerns at this Love Jihad were raised. But, our so-called secularist lobby started dismissing these concerns as myths and communal propaganda. What happened last week when the United Arab Emirates (UAE) deported to India a Hyderabad resident lady on charges of secretly working as a recruiting agent for the ISIS through a concealed identity has blasted the secularists’ apology on the charges of Love Jihad. On her arrival from Abu Dhabi, the National Investigation Agency took her into custody and is unravelling her past life as a recruiter for the barbaric killers in the name of religion that the Syria-Iraq based militant movement has turned out to be.

The story of Afsha Jabeen from Hyderabad turns out to be a mix of 26/11 recce agent of Pakistan’s state-supported militant organisation of Hafiz Sayeed and the several Love Jihad Islamist teenagers who were engaged by jihadi organisations for recruiting unsuspecting girls from non-Muslim communities to the Islamist cause. David Headley, who toured India collecting details for staging the 26/11 massacre in Mumbai, claiming to be a Christian and a businessman, was actually a Muslim. He assumed a Christian name to mask his identity and gain unsuspecting access in India. Pakistan’s ISI and Hafiz Sayeed’s JuD were his real handlers. As we know now, he was unmasked while in the US and is currently in jail. American authorities have agreed to share with India much of the details they have gathered after his arrest. In the US itself, he was probably a double agent pretending to work for the anti-terrorism agency but actually was working all the time for the Islamist cause in Pakistan.

The plot in the case of the Hyderabad lady is the same but it is the woman who now assumes a Christian name to hide her real identity and carry on recruitment for the ISIS by luring unsuspecting young men to marry her. It has now come to light that she also pretended to be a British resident settled in the UAE so she could carry greater conviction and persuade her intended victims that they stand to gain by getting to move to the UAE. Her virtual life on Facebook and other social media was so effectively secretive, even her husband — a Hindu working in Abu Dhabi, himself a victim of her charm and had converted to Islam to marry her — was not aware of her secretive work carried on the social media by pretending to be a Christian.

She assumed many Christian names, mainly Nicole Joseph, to make her victims believe that they were getting into a relationship with a British national  and therefore, have a chance of landing up in the UK. The intended victim, knowing her only on the social media, would be wheedled into the ISIS camp through her machinations. After an electronic engineer, a Muslim himself, was lured by her and was persuaded to come to Syria, his attempts to get a visa to that country got the IB to zero in on her.

Afsha Jabeen“She used her false identity to attract non-Muslims to take up Islam like her,” the IB has been quoted in the report about her arrest as soon as she landed in Hyderabad following her extradition from the UAE. The IB was following the lead obtained from the Hyderabad engineer, who was seeking to go to Syria, for the last six months to provide enough documentation of her being an ISIS agent and compel the UAE police to extradite her. The treaty that India has with the UAE  makes it mandatory to send back to India suspected criminal elements from here seeking refuge in the UAE from the law here. Too clever by half, she had withdrawn from her virtual life once her intended victim boasted about his intention to go to Syria and thus, drew attention to such clandestine activities through the Facebook.

The IB could trace her work back to 2008 when she launched a Facebook group called “Islam vs Christianity”, the title being innocent in itself till the intelligence agencies dug up and found much dirt. “Even her husband, Devender Kumar Batra, himself a convert to Islam, was not aware of her virtual life as a recruiting agent….” the IB is quoted as saying in newspaper reports.

Now the IB is watching several people in J&K, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and other places who were her recruits for various jobs as ISIS agents. How far the penetration of this dangerous Islamist organisation has gone will be known only when this lady is investigated fully. It should be noted that the Hyderabad electronic engineer Salman Mohiuddin, who got lured by Jabeen, was under the impression that she was a Christian and a British national and was ready to marry him.

How from such gullibility the victims are led on the path to either adopt Islam or if already Muslims, to join the ISIS or other Jihadi outfits, needs to be studied for developing adequate immunity socially against such viruses. The success of ISIS, despite its horrifying mass killings and individual beheadings and throat slittings, is also a warning for civilised societies against complacency of any sort.

From this event, it is quite evident that for our own safety we cannot take lightly the reports that several young people here are getting lured by religious ideology, hopes of landing up big deals abroad, marriages with persons of Islamic faith to gain access to the oil riches of the Gulf or other attractions.

Love Jihad could be a plot that could be played by not only teenage Muslim boys displaying high lifestyles to attract gullible girls from other communities, it could also be Muslim girls with concealed identity as non-Muslims but cleverly trapping unsuspecting men into Islamist ideology. This is more so, when we see European nations, especially the UK, Germany and France are finding plots after plots being hatched by Islamists in their territory. The frontrunners in these plots are late converts from the dominant Christian community in Europe who fall for the Islamist ideology. That in the UK one such convert beheaded a British soldier some months back in a public place in broad daylight is a sharp reminder of how far this ideology could go in making beasts out of human beings. – The New Indian Express, 21 September 2015

» Balbir Punj is a BJP Raja Sabha member and commentator on political and social issues. E-mail:

This is what happens to stupid Hindu girls who run after Muslim boys with money!

Intelligence agencies believe that the number of Indians who have joined ISIS has gone up to 30.

Bible vs Quran: Test your knowledge of who deserves death in which religion – Valerie Tarico

Three Holy Books

Dr Valerie Tarico“Is the Quran more violent than the Bible as most Americans believe? The question is hard to answer. A tally at the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible counts 842 violent or cruel passages in the Bible as compared to 333 in the Quran. That said, the Bible is a much thicker tome, and even though the New Testament endorses and adds to the violence in the Old, when percentages are compared, the Quran comes out ahead.” – Dr Valerie Tarico

Abrahamic ReligionsThe world has watched in horror while members of ISIS justify the next mass murder or icy execution with words from the Quran, followed by shouts of Allahu Akbar—God is the greatest! If beliefs have any power whatsoever to drive behaviour—and as a psychologist I think they do—there can be little doubt that the Quran’s many endorsements of violence play a role in how exactly ISIS has chosen to pursue religious and political dominion.

At the same time, it should be equally clear a sacred text filled with violence is insufficient to trigger mass brutality unless other conditions are present as well. Culture, empathy, education and empowerment—and other factors that scholars understand only in part—appear to have a protective influence, safeguarding even most fundamentalists against the worst teachings of their own tradition. We know this in part because the Bible contains commandments and stories that are as horrific as those being used to justify butchery in Iraq and Syria.

The following 30 violent exhortations are a mix, drawn from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scriptures. The generic word God is used for all deity names, and names of places or people have been replaced with generic terms. How well do you know your Torah, Bible, or Quran and Hadith? Can you tell which is which?

[The source of the quotation has been added after the quote, as Hindu readers will not be knowing “their” Torah, Bible, Quran or Hadith very well. – Ed]

  1. Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the [holy man] who represents God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)
  2. I decided to order a man to lead the prayer and then take a flame to burn all those, who had not left their houses for the prayer, burning them alive inside their homes. (Bukhari 11:626)
  3. All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)
  4. Fight them until there is no more [disbelief or worshipping of other gods] and worship is for God alone. (Quran 2:193)
  5. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. (Matthew 10:34-35)
  6. Whoso fighteth in the way of God, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward. (Quran 4:74)
  7. Make ready to slaughter [the infidel’s] sons for the guilt of their fathers; Lest they rise and posses the earth, and fill the breadth of the world with tyrants. (Isaiah 14:21 NAB)
  8. [God’s messenger] … was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The [holy man] replied, “They [women and children] are from them [unbelievers].” (Bukhari 52:256)
  9. Then I heard God say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all—old and young, girls and women and little children.” (Ezekiel 9:5 NLT)
  10. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. (Quran 8:12)
  11. Keep [my holiday], for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die. (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)
  12. The punishment of those who wage war against God and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement. (Quran 5:33)
  13. If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)
  14. It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he had made a great slaughter in the land…. (Quran 8:67)
  15. Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. (Numbers 31: 17-18 KJV)
  16. I shall terrorize the [heathens]. So wound their bodies and incapacitate them, because they oppose God and his apostle. (Quran 8:12)
  17. A [holy man’s] daughter who loses her honour by committing fornication and thereby dishonours her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)
  18. So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them. (Quran 9:5)
  19. Everyone who would not seek God was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)
  20. And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction. (Quran 17:16)
  21. But if [a girl wasn’t a virgin on her wedding night] and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her father’s house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against God’s people by her unchasteness in her father’s house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)
  22. The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say.”O [believer]! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.” (Bukhari 52:177)
  23. If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)
  24. God’s Apostle said, “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but God.’” (Bukhari 8:387)
  25. Cursed be he who does God’s work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood (Jeremiah 48:10 NAB).
  26. God said, “A prophet must slaughter before collecting captives. A slaughtered enemy is driven from the land. [Prophet], you craved the desires of this world, its goods and the ransom captives would bring. But God desires killing them to manifest the religion.” (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 484)
  27. Anyone who blasphemes God’s name must be stoned to death by the whole community of [believers]. (Leviticus 24:16 NLT)
  28. When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) [your religion]; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them.… If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them [a tax]. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek God’s help and fight them. (Muslim 19:4294)
  29. Anyone else who goes too near the [Holy Place] will be executed. (Numbers 1: 51 NLT)
  30. Killing unbelievers is a small matter to us. (Tabari 9:69)

Is the Quran more violent than the Bible as most Americans believe? The question is hard to answer. A tally at the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible counts 842 violent or cruel passages in the Bible as compared to 333 in the Quran. That said, the Bible is a much thicker tome, and even though the New Testament endorses and adds to the violence in the Old, when percentages are compared, the Quran comes out ahead. In addition, the kinds of cruelty and violence vary as do the perpetrator and victim and the extent to which any verse can be interpreted as divine sanction for the behaviour in question. Either way, endorsements of violence abound in both.

Bible and Quran believers who recognize verses in this list will no doubt protest that they have been taken out of context, as indeed they have. I think the appropriate response to such a complaint is a question: What context, exactly, would make these verses uplifting, inspiring or worthy of praise? In what context are passages like these some of the most important and holy guidance that the creator of the universe might think to impart to humankind? In what context is a book that contains these passages and many, many more like them the apogee of divine goodness and timeless wisdom?

Members of each Abrahamic tradition are quick to point out the rational and moral flaws in the others. I wonder sometimes, what this world might be like if they were as quick to examine the flaws in their own. –, 1 June 2013

» Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington. Her articles about religion, reproductive health, and the role of women in society have been featured at sites including AlterNet, Salon, the Huffington Post, Grist, and Jezebel. 

Bible & Koran


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