The Spectacle Blog

The “Good Arguments” of the Islamists?

By on 8.4.09 | 12:08PM

During a recent visit to Kyrgyzstan, reporter Michael Ludwig of Germany's leading daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), spoke with one "Sanjar", a local leader of the Islamist Hizb ut-Tahrir al Islamijja or "Islamic Party of Liberation". On Ludwig's account, Sanjar made clear that the goal of Hizb ut-Tahrir is the establishment of Islamic rule throughout Central Asia and ultimately "Islamic world revolution." But he had a special message for Christians who might find this prospect unsettling. "We are not monsters [Unmenschen]," Sanjar told Ludwig:

We will suggest to Christians that they convert to Islam and if they refuse, they will still be able to practice their religion within well-defined limits. But in exchange for the right to do so, they will have to pay us a special tax.

Jews, however, will not be shown similar tolerance. "We will exterminate the Jews," Sanjar added.

This nugget is contained in a June 23 article that the FAZ editors astonishingly saw fit to title "The Good Arguments of the Kyrgyz Islamists." (Hat-tip: WADI-blog.) Apparently, not even a first-hand encounter with the literally genocidal extremism of Hizb ut-Tahrir was sufficient for the FAZ editors to treat the "story" as anything other than the alleged repressiveness and corruption of the Kyrgyz and other Central Asian governments against which the Islamists are fighting.

It is not only in Germany that journalists and political commentators appear increasingly inclined to treat the well-known anti-Semitism of the Islamists as somehow just a bit of incidental folklore. And yet the evidence suggests that Sanjar's depiction of the relative treatment reserved for Christians and Jews under Islamic rule is in fact an established feature of Islamist doctrine. Thus, during his 2006 trial, when asked whether in threatening to "destroy you" he was referring to all Americans, Zacarias Moussaoui responded as follows:

No, we have difference we make. You are not all the same for us. Okay? For the American, American Jewish, we will exterminate them. For the Christian, it is different. The Christian, we have a way to accommodate them if they don't fight us.

(For full transcript, see here.)

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