via Andrew Bostom.
Mr. Barfi’s pathetic invocation of his own crude and uninformed apologetics on Islam, will do nothing to alter the ugly, mainstream doctrinal Islamic rationale for Steven S0tloff’s capture, imprisonment, and beheading.
I just viewed a very brief, but excruciating video “response” by a Satloff family representative addressed to Islamic State (IS) “Caliph” al-Baghdadi, in the wake of Steven Sotloff’s beheading. The spokesman, Barak Barfi, identified as “an Arabic scholar and resident fellow at the New America Foundation,” challenged the IS Caliph to a “debate,” ostensibly on the alleged peaceful teachings of the Koran, vis-à-vis jihad warfare.
Barfi’s Koranic challenge hinged on his invocation—and apparent “personal exegesis”—of Koran 2:190. Here are two standard English translations using pious Muslim sources:
Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors. [Pickthall]
And fight in the Way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors. [Hilali-Khan]
Notwithstanding Mr. Barfi’s panglossian gloss on Koran 2:190, what is the mainstream understanding of this verse, as put forth by Islam’s great Koranic commentators? Reproduced below is the critical conclusion of the gloss on this verse from the seminal Tafsir al-Jalalayn, meaning “The Commentary of the Two Jalals,” named after its two Egyptian authors: Al-Suyuti (1445-1505), a brilliant multidisciplinary scholar; and his mentor Jalalu’d-Din al-Mahalli (1389-1459). The great contemporary Dutch Islamologist Johannes J.G. Jansen notes in his treatise “The Interpretation of the Koran in Modern Egypt,” Tafsir al-Jalalayn remains one of the most popular as well as the most authoritative Koranic commentaries in Egypt.
This verse [2:190] was abrogated by Surat at-Tawba (the ninth chapter of the Koran [The Repentance], or by Allah’s words in the following ayat (verses)
Chapter 9 (Surat at-Tawba) of the Koran, believed by Muslims to be the final and therefore defining “revelation” of Islam’s most sacred text, is a series of aggressive, open-ended war proclamations against non-Muslims—Jews, Christians, “Magians” (Zoroastrians), and “pagan idolators,” the latter including the vast swath of Hindu, Buddhist, and Animist humanity.
Returning to the verses immediately following Koran 2:190, i.e., 2:191, 2:192, and 2:193, they read:
And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. But if they desist, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrong-doers. [Pickthall]
And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And fight not with them at Al-Masjid-al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah), unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers. But if they cease, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.) [Hilali-Khan]
Again, the concluding gloss from Tafsir al-Jalalayn on verse 2:193 is pellucid about the aggressive nature of jihad for the purpose of extirpating disbelief in all but the one true faith—Islam.
Fight them until there is no more fitna (shirk; [i.e., “unbelief “ in Islam]) in existence and the din (worship) belongs to Allah alone and none but Him is worshipped.
Molla Khosrew (d. 1480) was a celebrated writer and jurist who was appointed the Ottoman Shaykh-al-Islam (leading religious authority) by Sultan Mehmed II in 1469.One of Molla Khosrew’s widely cited legal works reiterated these classical views on the evolution of mandatory, aggressive jihad warfare in the Koran, and corresponding behaviors of Islam’s prophet Muhammad:
[J]ihad is a fard al-kifaya, that is, that one must begin the fight against the enemy, even when he [the enemy] may not have taken the initiative to fight, because the Prophet . . . early on . . . allowed believers to defend themselves, later, however, he ordered them to take the initiative at certain times of the year, that is, at the end of the haram months, saying, “Kill the idolaters wherever you find them . . .” (Koran 9:5). He finally ordered fighting without limitations, at all times and in all places, saying, “Fight those who do not believe in God, and in the Last Day . . . ” (Koran 9:29); there are also other [similar] verses on the subject. This shows that it is a fard al-kifaya.
Despite Mr. Barfi’s willful denial of this disturbing reality, Steve Sotloff was unfortunately made captive—like innumerable victims before him—because of Islam’s eternal, “sacralized” jihad warfare.
Read it all.
Barfi also threatened the Obama admin: Sotloff Family Spokesperson Accuses Obama Admin Of ‘Inaccurate Statements’ and Using Hostages As ‘Pawns’
“The administration has made a number of inaccurate statements,” Barfi said. “They’ve said that the families have been consistently and regularly informed. That is not true.
“They said that these hostages were moved frequently. We know that for most of the beginning of this part of this year they were stationary.
“We know that the intelligence community and the White House are enmeshed in a larger game of bureaucratic infighting,” Barfi continued. “If there continues to be leaks, the Sotloff family will have to speak out to set the record straight.”
He states Obama’s Syrian rebels sold Sotloff to ISIS, via POLITICO:
A spokesman for Steven Sotloff’s family contends the slain American journalist was sold to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant by Syrian rebels and says the Obama administration “could have done more” to save him.
Appearing on CNN Monday evening, Barak Barfi said that his sources in the region have told him one or more of the Syrian rebels sold Sotloff to ISIL for $25,000-$50,000. He referred to them as “so-called moderate rebels, that people want our administration to support,” a jab at lawmakers and political figures — including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and many others — that have suggested arming the Syrian rebels.
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