Liberal Atheist Critic of Islam Falling Right into a Muslim Trap

When atheist author Sam Harris appeared with atheist comedian Bill Maher opposite Hollywood actor Ben Affleck, Harris articulated near perfectly the separation between Islamic terrorists and political Islamists. The former aspires for Islamic conquest through acts of terrorism and the latter aspires to the same conquest by operating through existing political systems.

That’s what makes Harris’s decision to work with the founder of the Quilliam Foundation so curious. During a television appearance in which he was opposite a liberal Muslim woman named Irshad Manji (more on her toward the end of this post), Wise admitted that he is donating to the Quilliam Foundation and co-authoring a book with its founder Maajid Nawaz, a former Muslim terrorist who identifies himself as a reformed Muslim (5:40 mark):

In reality, when it comes to Syria and the demand for the removal of Bashar al-Assad, Nawaz has joined the Muslim Brotherhood and the Turks in wanting Assad’s removal. In an Op-ed for western audiences last year following the chemical attack, Nawaz wrote:

The House of Commons made a terrible error in voting not to allow British action against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Westerners who called for the removal of Assad at this point in history can almost be excused for their naivete on this matter but Nawaz, who was jailed in Egypt in his younger years, knows full well what the removal of Assad means. It is a mutual desire of both the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, along with the Naqshbandi order in Turkey, led by Sheikh Hisham Kabbani. If Nawaz has rejected the Muslim Brotherhood because of their extremism, why is he supporting them taking over in Syria? Why did he support the removal of Mubarak when he had to have known the Brotherhood would fill the vacuum?

Maajid Nawaz was imprisoned under Mubarak in Egypt. (photo via New Statesman)

Maajid Nawaz was imprisoned under Mubarak in Egypt. (photo via New Statesman)

Perhaps a better question is: Why is Harris partnering with him?

The man who serves as Quilliam’s Outreach Officer is Haras Rafiq. In his bio, Rafiq touts himself as a moderate Muslim who has been “countering extremism” since 2005. As has reported, Rafiq co-founded a group with Sufi Naqshbandi Sheikh Hisham Kabbani in 2006 called the Sufi Muslim Council in Great Britain. As recently as 2010, Rafiq referred to Kabbani as a voice of moderation on par with the spirit of Quilliam.

As the head of Quilliam, it is simply not believable that Nawaz hasn’t seen Rafiq’s resume, which includes a multi-year partnership with Kabbani, whom Rafiq still seems to revere as a moderate voice of Islam. That leads us to Kabbani’s mentor and father-in-law, Nazim Kibrisi al-Haqqni, whom has written about before. Here is what the Correct Islamic Faith Foundation (CIFF) writes about Kibrisi shortly after his death:

Nazim (Kibrisi) al-Haqqani has two sons and two daughters. One of his daughters is married to his Murid and Khalifa Shaikh Hisham Kabbani, a Lebanese, who moved to United States in 1990.

The term “Murid” translates to “Oracle”, “Source”, or “Inspiration” and as you can see, Rafiq’s partner is referred to as a “Caliph”. Kabbani is also referred to as Kibrisi’s “deputy in the United States”. Rafiq essentially served as his right-hand in the UK with SMC. Today, he serves Nawaz’s Quilliam Foundation. Durin a speech in 1994, Kibrisi – the mentor of Rafiq’s former partner Kabbani – called for a return to of the Ottoman Caliphate with Erdogan in the front row:

“Our forefathers made the world tremble while holding the flag of Islam, the world was made to tremble. This gathering is a memento from our forefathers. Today is showing that the youth are starting to take care of and protect the inheritance left over from our forefathers. Unfortunately, during these last 70 years, we could not be proper inheritors to the 600 year-old legacy of our glorious forefathers who are carrying the flag of Islam. We find indolence and degradation upon us because we were not proper heirs. The ones who will change the indolence and degradation to dignity is you, oh youth (cheering). Allahu Akbar. You are the grandchildren of the Ottomans. It will be the Ottomans who make the world tremble again. If the Ottomans do not come back, the unbelievers will never be brought down to their knees (cheering)… History is made up of recurrences. Certainly, our glorious era will come.”

Here is the video:

In another instructive video – this one from 2011 – Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna is asked about Nawaz’s Quilliam Foundation. Outwardly, Ramadan is critical of Quilliam and says it is 90% “counterproductive” but also says it is an entity that should be listened to:

Any perceived rift between the Ramadan crowd and the Nawaz crowd does serve a greater purpose for Muslim fundamentalists. That purpose is confusion and distraction. For example, when the SMC was founded in 2006 by Kabbani and Rafiq, a very similar rift was created between SMC and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), a Muslim Brotherhood group.

In 2011, both Nawaz and Ramadan cheered the removal of Hosni Mubarak from power. History records that the Muslim Brotherhood filled the vacuum, which was easy to predict.

As cogent as Harris sounded when debating Ben Affleck while seated next to Maher, it looks like he’s being duped by the very thing he claims to have decoded.


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