America’s First Madrassah
By: Craig Chamberlain
Islam has been in America a very long time, but only entered the mass American consciousness in the last decade with the attacks of September 11, 2001. Those attacks, were not the attacks of a few misguided fanatics, but was a well thought out, and well executed attack, by Muslims who are well within the mainstream of Islam. More than that it was an all out declaration of war against a civilization that Islam has been trying to extinguish for the better part of 1,400 years. It is a clash of cultures that goes back to the battle of Poitier(732), the Crusades(1095), the fall of Constantinople (1453), the fall of Grenada (1492), the siege of Vienna (1683), the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire (1918), the Iranian revolution (1979), the first gulf war in 1991 all the way up to 9-11 and the second Iraq war and the war in Afghanistan.
Since that date Americans have become quite familiar with Islam. Muslims, and their apologists, insist that Islam is a peaceful religion, and that Bin Laden, and his acolytes, are aberrations and the majority of Muslims disagree with them. The debate about what Islam is, and its place in the world, rages on. The political, and cultural, elites of the west tend to be apologists for Islam who insist that Islam is- at its heart- peaceful and we must show proper respect and sensitivity when talking about Islam. Which, if they had their way would mean never talking about it at all.
We see this in the debate about the mega mosque, and cultural center, at Ground Zero. The vast majority of Americans are against it, believing that tolerance and respect is a two way street, and that it is time for Muslims to start showing some for once. Our leaders, on the other hand, believe that anyone who opposes the project does so only out of bigotry.
Now we come to another project, and my main point(yes, I know it took me a while to get to it) America is about to get its first Muslim College. Zaytuna College in Berkeley California. The college, like the mosque, is not a question of legality, but of sensitivity. Why do they need a college of their own? America is awash in colleges and universities. It’s not as if Muslims are being discriminated against in higher education and can only study in a college of their own. Mormons had to found BYU because of discrimination. Catholics had to found their own universities because of discrimination. Muslims don’t face that. They are beneficiaries of affirmative action, and given special treatment. So it’s not a lack of schools, or discrimination. Then what is it? It can only be to train the next generation of Islamic supremacists right here in America. No need to go to Pakistan, now they can just go to Berkeley.
This college has been founded by three men, let’s have a look at who they are and what the believe. The first is Hamza Yusuf, he was born Mark Hanson in Walla Walla Washington, and converted to Islam in 1977. He is a celebrated Islamic scholar among left wing activists, and apologists like John Esposito. The second is Imam Zaid Shakir, born Ricky Mitchell in Berkeley California. He also converted to Islam in 1977. Is praised as a moderate, But as Mark Steyn points out in America Alone(p.78) this so called moderate calls for the conversion of America to Islam, and the overthrow of the constitution to be replaced with Sharia. His “denunciation” of the Fort Hood massacre called the U.S. “war machine” the “greatest threat to world peace.” The American military is only a threat to world peace for those who want to impose a totalitarianism on the world and attack liberty.
The third, and final, founder is Dr. Hatem Bezian. a Palestinian- American. Born in Nablus, in the West Bank, and educated at San Francisco State University, he is now the senior lecturer in Near Eastern and Ethnic studies, at Berkeley. The good Doctor has quite a record. While at SFSU he was active in the left wing student groups. According the the Golden Gater the university newspaper, he got himself a highly paid position at the magazine “Discourse” for which he did no writing, and when the magazine had no intentions of publishing another issue. The newspaper also reported that his time at the University saw a rise in Antisemitism. And Jewish students saw him as key to creating that environment on campus. Dr. Bezian is a typical leftist, he is anti west, anti Israeli, sees the Israel as an apartheid state, and sees the west was racist.
Dr. Bezian said at a 1999 conference of the American Muslim Alliance:” In the hadith, the day of judgment will never happen until you fight the Jews. They are on the west side of the river, which is the Jordan River, and you’re on the east side until the trees and stones say, oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him! And that’s in the Hadith about this, this is a future battle before the day of Judgment.” Dr. Bezian denies ever making this comment.
So why should it matter that three leftist, pro jihad, Muslims get together and form a college in Berkeley? After all most colleges and universities are already left wing, and most Muslims on campuses are already pro jihad. So what’s one more, and how do we know it will be pro jihad? Well let’s consider what we already know. All three of the colleges founders favor Jihad, their own words say so. Secondly we need to look at what kind of college this is. The college only offers two majors. Islamic law, and theology. That’s not a college, that’s a maddrasah. What good is a degree in Islamic law in America unless you’re planning to wage jihad and govern America by Sharia. If they really wanted to educate people, then where are the other courses. There are no sciences, no arts, no history, nothing but Sharia and theology.
But the main reason we should be wary about this college being a factory of radicalism is that Islam is like no other religion. For a religion that claims to be peaceful, it has a lot of blood on its hands. The Koran proclaims throughout its pages hatred, and violence towards the non believer. No other scripture commands its believers to fight and kill the others. Not the Bible, not the Book of Mormon, not the Buddhist scripture, not the Hindu scriptures, not the Taoist writings or any other religion, only Islam makes it incumbent on the faithful to wage everlasting war against non believers.
We don’t need a college in America with that ideal as its mission statement.