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Blood from Stones

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A Necessary Reminder of What the Jihadists Are About
Every once in a while, it is necessary to step back from the abstract world of ideas and see what the ideas actually mean in people's lives. That is particularly true as the new administration enters and has to think about what the radical Islamist agenda really means to those who live under it.

It is also worth noting the little-noticed support some of the worst parts of the Islamist agenda get from so-called moderate and mainstream Islamist groups who are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Nothing could be a more stark reminder than the story of the young Somali woman who was stoned to death for adultery after reporting to authorities that she had been raped.

Amnesty International reported that partway through the stoning nurses checked whether Aisha was still alive. They pulled her body out of the ground to ascertain she was still breathing before the stoning continued.

A Unicef statement said: 'She sought protection from the authorities, who then accused her of adultery and sentenced her to death. 'A child was victimised twice - first by the perpetrators of the rape and then by those responsible for administering justice.'

This is what the Taliban means when it talks of sharia law and what has in mind for the rest of the world. This is why the idea of engaging in talks with the Taliban over the future of Afghanistan is such a dangerous idea.

The jihadists cannot compromise and have already demonstrated, during their barbaric governance of Afghanistan from 1996-2001 that they are cannot be part of a civilized coalition to govern anything.

It is worth remembering that the Muslim Brotherhood, including its supposedly enlightened leaders like Tariq Ramadan, do not condemn this barbaric form of justice. Why? Because they can't without disowning the same general goals the Ikhwan share with the jihadist: A world under sharia law where this is not only condoned but mandatory.

Here is the nicest possible description of Ramadan's stand, taken from a sympathetic article in Foreign Affairs magazine.

In front of six million viewers, Ramadan refused to call for a ban on the stoning of adulterers, arguing instead for a "moratorium." This apparently semantic distinction reveals Ramadan's reformist logic: it is a way to stop capital punishment immediately while engaging its proponents on their terms. Ramadan concedes that stoning may be supported in part of the Muslim world and by the instructions of law books. But such punishment, he argues, should be suspended while a debate is held over the conditions of its actual application.

For some critics, this kind of reasoning is unacceptably ambiguous: Ramadan will not categorically denounce stoning! But by calling for a moratorium, Ramadan avoids the Islamic equivalent of excommunication.

So, one would be excommunicated from the Muslim faith, or at least the Muslim Brotherhood, if one denounces stoning? Yet we are repeatedly told by U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups that they are mainstream and moderate. How do they reconcile these opposing statements? They don't. They simply denounce those who raise the questions as Islamophobes and racists.

It is worth remembering that when one engages with groups who cannot disown criminal and barbaric conduct, one legitimizes them. The Obama camp would do well to keep this in mind as the Muslim Brotherhood front organizations come knocking on the door of the new administration, as they will, presenting themselves as enlightened and moderate forces for good.
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