Mecca, Medina… Threadneedle Street?
I read a disturbing interview on Russia Today yesterday morning, titled: Americans ‘have made up a new Islam’. The interviewee, Dr. Nacib Hoteit, is (I believe) a Lebanese government commissioner with a PhD in Architecture from the University of Moscow.
The US government is trying to destroy the Muslim world from the inside by creating a so-called “American Islam” that leaves just the shell of the religion, Lebanese politician and analyst Dr. Nacib Hoteit told RT.
An inflammatory article like this appearing in RT, a Russian-government funded outlet, could easily be dismissed as heavy-handed anti-American propaganda. However, some of Dr. Hoteit’s observations ring true to this blogger, and having lived in the Middle East, I was particularly disturbed to read about ‘jihad al-nikah’. In Dr. Hoteit’s’ own words:
The USA is the main player in the international arena, and it plays people and societies as if they were pawns. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are just pawns as well.
They [the USA] introduced three elements into their new Islam – Takfiris, money and Jihad Al-Nikah.
I’ve heard of takfir, I’ve got first hand experience with the US/UK inserting themselves into Islamic Finance, but ‘jihad al-nikah’ is new to me. Not only that, it is a totally alien concept to what I’ve experienced of fundamentalist Islam in the Middle East.
‘Jihad al-nikah’ is a practice similar to what ‘comfort women’ were to the Japanese military in WWII, except that the woman are recruited with extremist Islamic ideology. According to Al Arabiya:
Jihad al-nikah, permitting extramarital sexual relations with multiple partners, is considered by some hardline Sunni Muslim Salafists as a legitimate form of holy war.
And according to a Tunisian official:
Interior Minister Lotfi ben Jeddou told the National Constituent Assembly in September that Tunisian women had gone to Syria where “they have sexual relations with 20, 30, 100” militants.
“After the sexual liaisons they have there in the name of ‘jihad al-nikah’ — (sexual holy war, in Arabic) — they come home pregnant,” Ben Jeddou said at the time.
Clearly, ‘jihad al-nikah’ is not just about making sons for the fight. This is promoting casual sex in the name of jihad. Sort of like the 1960′s Sexual Revolution retooled for the contemporary Middle East! Indigenous Islamic fundamentalists have some odd ideas, but promiscuity is not one of them (at least not for Muslim women).
The Tunisian Interior Minister Ben Jeddou’s speech on jihad al-nikah is important, because prior to any official recognition, jihad al-nikah was dismissed by some as a ‘smear campaign’. The ‘smear campaign’ hypothesis is still trumpeted by Der Spiegel , which insists jihad al-nikah is just Assad’s– or Russians’, or Iranians’ or Christians’– propaganda. But even Der Spiegel won’t go as far as calling Ben Jeddou a liar. (Der Spiegel is the German magazine that’s supposed to be anti-American because it publishes articles on Snowden by Jacob Appelbaum et alia. ‘Der Spiegel= Anti-American’ is a legend I’m not buying.)
I’d be more inclined to believe jihad al-nikah was an invention of Assad, or of “Russian and Iranian broadcasters” if I didn’t know from personal experience that the US and the UK are trying to ‘build a new Islam’ through Islamic Finance.
Britain’s Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment is the first Western organization to try to ‘standardize’ Islamic finance. In their own words:
The Islamic Finance Qualification (IFQ) is a ground-breaking qualification that covers Islamic finance from both a technical and a Sharia’a perspective, providing the first international benchmark in the area of Islamic finance.
It provides an understanding of the influence of Sharia’a in a business context and prepares candidates to hold key positions in the Islamic finance and takaful (Islamic insurance) industries.
In practice, this qualification supports a very liberal interpretation of Islamic financial law, rubber-stamped by a group of clerics in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This partnership combines a back-door for derivatives trading with the hard-line Islamic prestige of the Holy Land (Saudi Arabia). CISI’s move is 100% cynical and 100% in line with American, and both of our Middle Eastern partners’, power goals. The Bank of Lebanon has also got in on CISI’s act, which Dr. Hoteit, if he is the same Dr. Hoteit who sits on the board of IDAL: Invest in Lebanon, is probably well aware of.
So much for CISI’s ‘Islamic Finance’. What about American-influenced takfiri? Readers will remember that Saudi Arabia, where Sunni-Islam is the official religion, sometimes funds religious extremism as part of its foreign policy goals, as does Saudi Arabia’s long-time partner, the United States. The US had a lot to do with starting Al Qaeda in the first place. Calling somebody else ‘apostate’ is a favorite in every religious fundamentalist’s playbook, and proclaiming a ‘takfir’ is the Islamic version.
So, I know that the first two pillars of ‘American Islam’, as identified by Dr. Hoteit, are facts on the ground. Sunni fundamentalist takfir and CSIS’s Islamic Banking are Saudi/US/UK-backed attempts to influence the development of Islam.
The third pillar, jihad al-nikah, is something new and unusually twisted. In my time in the Middle East, I heard of many instances of non-believers being used for sex– Muslims have their own interpretation of Freud’s “Madonna/whore” complex– but fundamentalists using their own women in this way was unheard of. ‘Respecting their women’ is something that Muslim fundamentalists insist differentiates themselves from infidels. The ‘jihad al-nikah’ strategy, openly prostituting one’s own, is culturally alien.
So who is promoting jihad al-nikah? The women involved in jihad al-nikah come from Chechnya, Egypt, France, Germany, Iraq as well as Tunisia. How many of those countries are now under American influence? Male fighters enter Syria predominantly through Turkey and Libya, female ‘fighters’ probably do too. Jihad al-nikah is not an indigenous idea, and it is promoted through American-controlled areas.
What can we surmise about jihad al-nikah, the third pillar of ‘American Islam’?
1) ‘Comfort women’ are a well-known military tactic.
2) The Tunisian government recognizes jihad al-nikah as a problem.
3) The women in question mostly come from US-controlled regions or US allies, they probably travel through US-controlled regions or allies too.
4) Jihad al-nikah is a culturally alien concept in the Middle East.
In conclusion, I believe it’s very likely that Dr. Hoteit’s third pillar is true as well.
If ‘American Islam’ gains hold, there will be more conflict in the future. What happens when these fatherless children grow up? Gangs of rudderless youths ripe for Al Qaeda recruitment, ready to spread the fight to Germany/France/Tunisia? Generation after generation of war?
I hope this new cult isn’t successful, for the sake of sane Muslims who don’t want poison in their veins, and for the sake of every American GI who didn’t sign up to fight for Al-Qaeda.