Did you know that I created moderate, Americanized Islam? Neither did I. I had no idea until just a few days ago, when I was sent video of a Muslim cleric, Sheikh M. Salem of Nouakchott, Mauritania, crediting me with the amazing power to invent a whole new form of Islam. He wasn’t joking, either.
“The Western concept of terrorism,” the good Sheikh explains, “is an idea fabricated to counter the original Islam. The West and Bush stated this clearly. They present the war against terrorism as a crusade. Muslims have a long history with this word ‘crusade,’ that takes us back to the period of the barbaric crusades against Muslims. In truth, this war against terrorism is a war against the original and Salafist Islam that desires God’s law to reign over the earth. This ‘anti-terrorist war’ has several aspects: a military dimension, an economic dimension, and an ideological dimension, which is the most dangerous. They have declared war on religion, as per Paul Wolfowitz, the neo-conservative, and Robert Spencer, the American writer, who said ‘We have to fight the spirit of the Qur’an.’ To that end they invented civil and democratic Islam, an Islam with American criteria. Everything which differs from that is considered terrorism and extremism. They fight against long beards, short trousers, hijabs and niqabs, the education of children in Qur’anic schools.”
After I saw this, I felt as if I was late getting back to the planet earth, but you have to give Sheikh M. Salem of Nouakchott, Mauritania credit: he is obviously completely serious, and believes what he says. Such power I have! Imagine how Zuhdi Jasser and Raheel Raza and the rest will feel when they discover they’ve been working for me all along.
Yet while I was pleased to discover my immense powers, I was also a bit puzzled. While Sheikh M. Salem thinks I created moderate Islam, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Georgetown University’s Saudi-funded Bridge Initiative, and other purveyors of the “Islamophobia” myth think I created suspicion of Islam among people in the U.S. and the West in general.
So apparently I created a form of Islam that Westerners will like, while simultaneously stirring people up to dislike Islam. You can only hope that you yourself won’t run afoul of my Zionist black arts.
Anyway, back on earth, this clip of the learned and insightful Sheikh M. Salem is taken from the extraordinary new documentary Jihadists, which will be opening in New York City on January 25 at Cinema Village and February 1 in Los Angeles at Laemmle’s Music Hall theatre. The filmmakers traveled into jihadi-controlled territory in Northern Africa and compiled lengthy interviews with some of the world’s most-wanted jihadists, including Omar Ould Hamaha ‘Red Beard’ of the Belmokhtar Group and Sanda Ould Bounamama of Ansar Dine, both in Mali. They also captured footage of life under Sharia, and intertwined it with footage released by the Islamic State in order to show these ideas in practice.
Reviewing the film for Quillette, the Heritage Foundation’s Robin Simcox says: “Jihadists performs a vital public service by exposing views like these, which offer a glimpse of how cruelty and sadism can be at once justified and indulged and then rationalised and denied….And that is why Jihadists deserves and needs to be seen. By letting the Islamists speak for themselves, Margolin and Salem’s film enhances our understanding of why acts of terror keep occurring. It is effective precisely because no attempt is made to mediate or dilute the message with superfluous context, or experts explaining why the jihadists are wrong or cannot possibly mean what they say. Margolin and Salem’s film demonstrates quite plainly that they do mean it. They do believe it. And it is time that we believed them.”
Indeed. Long past time. But not surprisingly, given today’s near-universal climate of denial, the film faced a major censorship battle in France (the home country of the filmmakers), which you can read about in the Guardian.
If you’re near one of these showings, don’t miss it:
January 25-31, NYC: Cinema Village
January 31, Los Angeles Premiere: Laemmle’s Royal
February 1–7, Los Angeles: Laemmle’s Music Hall
Friday and Saturday night screenings will feature a Q&A with the director, François Margolin, as well as at the LA Premiere on Jan 31.