Prisoners of their own narrative
Al Azhar is generally regarded as Islam’s most prestigious university and, according to NYT, is Sunni Islam’s leading religious institution. But just what is the position of Al Azhar regarding ISIS? Islamic or un-Islamic?
Al Azhar has never come forward and denounced ISIS or the horrors committed by ISIS as un-Islamic. There is a reason for that. In a recent article in the Middle East Forum, Raymond Ibrahim, a renowned scholar and one of the foremost chroniclers of Islam’s butchery and genocidal programs in the Middle East, presents a forceful account of highly regarded, disaffected graduates of Al Azhar to the effect that ISIS is in fact following the basic precepts taught at Al Azhar. Here is a key quote from a graduate and leader of the renegade Al Azhar graduates who boldly favor civil government:
It can't [condemn the Islamic State as un-Islamic]. The Islamic State is a byproduct of Al Azhar's programs. So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic? Al Azhar says there must be a caliphate and that it is an obligation for the Muslim world [to establish it]. Al Azhar teaches the law of apostasy and killing the apostate. Al Azhar is hostile towards religious minorities, and teaches things like not building churches, etc. Al Azhar upholds the institution of jizya [extracting tribute from religious minorities]. Al Azhar teaches stoning people. So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?
Still, regardless of compelling evidence to the contrary, the Obama team, in their eagerness for rapprochement with Iran, have to maintain that ISIS is un-Islamic. Otherwise, they can hardly maintain that Iran is nothing like ISIS and is a “rational” agent with whom one can negotiate and make treaties. In so doing, according to Michael Ledeen of FrontPage, they have ended up actually carrying out the agenda of Iran:
What it means is clear enough. We've got a President and a whole administration that have convinced themselves that his greatest legacy is the embrace of Iran. It's not just making a nuclear deal. It's not about nukes. It's about embrace. It's about strategic alliance. Whenever we do something in the Middle East and you find it surprising, just ask yourself: What do the Iranians want? And a huge percentage of the time what we have done is what the Iranians want done. Look, for Iran the most important person in the Middle East is Bashar Assad. Syria and the Assad regime are life and death to Iran. Hezbollah is based there. Hezbollah runs Syria. What would happen to Hezbollah if Assad fell and Hezedibes took over? People who don't like Shiites. People who don't like Iran. It would be a catastrophe for Iran, and so they have been in there for years buttressing Assad.
Obama and his team have become prisoners of their own cherished narrative that “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.” They are unable to deal with reality and thereby end up tools of their adversaries.