Liberal Islamophobia

by Chris Bertram on July 20, 2004

One thought that went through my mind during the recent fuss over the visit of Yussef al-Qaradawi to Britain was this: what did those who, after September 11th, uttered variations on “Islam needs a Reformation” expect the agents of such a Reformation to look like? Martin Luther or Calvin maybe? Because those guys had some pretty nasty views, and yet ….

Marc Mulholland has written “a very useful and serious post”: on “liberal Islamophobia” over at Daily Moiders, and, in comments, Anthony Cox responds.



Steve Carr 07.20.04 at 2:18 pm

Chris, I think we expected (or hoped) that those agents would look like people from the 21st century — you know, after the Enlightenment, the rise of democracy, modern science, and all those good things that have happened in the last five hundred years — and not like people from the 16th century. Do you actually think making a comparison between Qaradawi and Martin Luther in any way reflects well on Qaradawi?


Tom Doyle 07.20.04 at 2:20 pm

Should one be more concerned with Islamist fundamentalism or US and UK militarism?


bob mcmanus 07.20.04 at 2:58 pm

Strict textual interpretation, anti-intellectualism, asceticism, evangelism,intolerance.

Wahabbism looks a lot like Calvin to me.


Chris Bertram 07.20.04 at 3:05 pm

I wouldn’t especially expect them to look like either, Steve. But I certainly wouldn’t expect participants in an intra-Islamic conversation that might _eventually_ end up with (some of) Islam as reconciled to the Enlightenment as (some of) Christendom is (the bits outside Texas anyway!) to sound, initially, like John Stuart Mill.

[Damn! Mill is sooo 19th century. Who did you have in mind as a 21st century person? Glenn Reynolds? Madonna? Donald Rumsfeld?]


Chris Bertram 07.20.04 at 3:09 pm

Yes, Bob, that’s exactly right. Which is one reason why that “Islam needs a Reformation” rhetoric was pretty dumb.


praktike 07.20.04 at 3:27 pm

There’s a relevant book about this very guy and his fellows, called Islam Without Fear: Egypt and the New Islamists.”

As for Mulholland, surely there are some aspects of Islamism that we can condemn. Such as stoning people to death, cutting off hands, etc. Mulholland is really trying to equate the New Left of the sixties with liberalism, and his argument falls flat as a result. Classical liberalism is perfectly capable of demolishing Islamism as a philosophical foundation for ordering our lives, and I’m quite comfortable with that.

On a proactical level, he’s also wrong to say that Islamists in Europe are not a threat. Often these terrorists cells operate via a blurry relationship with Islamist mosques, whether due to sympathy or extortion. Closing your eyes and mouthing claptrap about discrimination won’t change that.


Chris Bertram 07.20.04 at 3:35 pm

Mulholland can speak for himself, and my intention was not to endorse what he says, but rather, to say “Here’s something interesting, an attempt to think about a difficult issue.”

Of course, you may or may not agree with my assessment of whether Mulholland’s piece is interesting, but to represent him as denying that there are aspects of Islam worthy of condemnation, or as advocating that we “close our eyes”, is a travesty, revealing that you won’t or can’t read what he wrote. To pick two sentences out of Mulhollands’ essay:

bq. Liberals have every right to defend their values, and to spread them as they see fit.


bq. By all means, condemn what one wishes in whatever culture,….


Andrew Brown 07.20.04 at 3:39 pm

What on earth was anti-intellectual about Calvinism? It might not be in favour of following enquiry wherever it might lead. That seems to me a different flaw, which can co-exist or not with anti-intellectualism.


Steve Carr 07.20.04 at 3:46 pm

Actually, I think Mulholland’s argument would be against classical liberalism, too. What he’s rejecting in that post is the idea that one can meaningfully attack aspects of another culture as unacceptable or appalling (or at least he’s saying that to do so is to engage in the equivalent of racism). He’s rather clear that all cultures, including those that stone people for adultery and require women to wear a veil, inherently deserve our respect “by virtue of their framing of human existence.”

This is, let’s say it, identity politics at its worst, as is the notion that “minority communities must be granted autonomy.” (Meaning what? That Islamists should be granted a certain number of seats in the House of Commons?) It’s also nonsensical. Simply because a “culture” — whatever that means, since culture is simply what people do, rather than some transhistorical reality — exists does not mean that it has inherent value. If you genuinely believe that, say, a world of free speech, democratic participation, equality for men and women, etc., is better than the alternative, then you have to believe it’s better than the alternative, and that cultures that reject these principles should be changed. A serious liberal who’s interested in the Islamic world has to highlight all that is wrong with Islam, and not to whip up prejudice, but to change it.


Steve Carr 07.20.04 at 3:51 pm

Chris, how can you simultaneously condemn and respect something? And how can you spread your values as you see fit but also avoid highlighting all that is wrong with Islam?


Steve Carr 07.20.04 at 3:53 pm

Chris, how can you simultaneously condemn and respect something? And how can you spread your values as you see fit but also avoid highlighting all that is wrong with Islam?

It’s not that we can’t or won’t read what Mulholland wrote. It’s that he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth, and the side of his mouth that dismisses relentless criticism of Islamism as Islamophobia is talking nonsense.


Adam Kotsko 07.20.04 at 3:55 pm

One could make the argument that liberalism in the broad sense is the most aggressively and even coersively evangelistic system of thought in the history of the world.

Is there really an infinite qualitative distinction between a culture that stones people to death for adultery and one that sentences people to life in prison based on an arbitrary “three strikes” rule, thus almost certainly subjecting them to lifelong physical and sexual abuse? Or how many limbs — of just random people, who happen to be walking down the street or cowering in their homes — are lost during Western bombing campaigns?

I grow weary of forms of moral clarity that do not include standing in radical judgment over one’s own society — a moral judgment can only be truly universal if it “begins at home.”


Chris Bertram 07.20.04 at 4:02 pm

Like I said, Steve, I linked to this because I thought it of interest, not because I necessarily endorse what Marc wrote. But in case you haven’t noticed, he does have comments enabled on his blog, so you might make more progress testing the accuracy of your interpretation of his essay by posting your response there.


Jim Harrison 07.20.04 at 6:05 pm

Islam doesn’t need Reformation, but it sure could use some philology. The Muslim world has yet to undertake a serious examination of its own traditions. In the West, criticism of the Bible played a crucial role in the emergence of enlightenment. The Koran is at least as problematic as the Bible, but Koran criticism remains as rudimentary (and dangerous!) as Bible criticism was before Spinoza.

There are former Muslims such as ibn Warraq who are interested in looking at the origins of Islam in a scholarly way. Most of the standard books on Islam—I’m thinking of Watt’s books, especially—simply take treat traditional Islamic accounts as if they were historically accurate, though from a comparative point of view, they are obviously just another example of a fabricated salvation history like the Moses story, the Jesus story, or the Buddha story.


q 07.20.04 at 6:29 pm

_Liberal Islamaphobia is, in my opinion, the most dangerous prejudice we now face. As an old religion of the Book bearing the imprint of numerous pre-modern societies, there is of course very much that can be found objectionable in its canon._

IE: we are richer, more organised and righter than they are, but we should not be phobic.

_The reaction against relative failure to compete in the modern world – the Middle East is notable for its systematic failure to develop competitive states, a humiliation highlighted by the regional super-power status of tiny Israel – has led to the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism, an opiate to dull the pain of Arab Nationalism’s dashed illusions._

Errr…NO…The rise of Islamic Fundamentalism is PART of the competition – it is competition on Islamic grounds, not Capitalist grounds. The only thing systematic is the foreign policy meddling.

Middle Eastern and African Muslims are not offered “democratic” alternatives – instead they get US puppets…is it no wonder that Islamic Fundamentalism is doing so well. This is good old fashioned imperialism. As long as the world’s choices are between “US Imperialism” and “Islamic Fundamentalism” there will be no peace, more bullets will be used, more massacres of innocents and no-so-innocent. I just don’t want MY children to die in this needless WAR.


q 07.20.04 at 6:50 pm

_”evil, scheming outsiders” making conspiracies … such outsiders should be purged…_

GWB or OBL? Same language, same terms, same war.

One of the terrible things about the entry to the first world war was that the concept of just wars came to be widely accepted. Those people that want to make the 21st Century the healthiest, safest century ever, need to nip this war-IDOLISATION in the bud. War against the warmongers.


Anthony 07.20.04 at 7:30 pm

A small point, but I’m called Anthony.

[Sorry: fixed now]


Zizka 07.20.04 at 8:11 pm

Jim Harrison:

Perhaps Islam needs humanism and Enlightenment more than Reformation. (The humanists (Erasmus, Montaigne, More, Rabelais, some of them philologists) were generally much more humane (duh!) than their contemporaries, the murderous reformers.

Of course, putting on my military history hat, it would interesting to see the Muslim Zizka, Cromwell, Gustavus Adolphus, etc. But not up close.


Richard 07.20.04 at 8:16 pm

I’ve always found it astonishing that people refer to the reformation as a liberalising event, where I had always seen it as producing fundamentalism of a kind that saw much of Europe running with blood; I very much see Calvin’s Geneva as having a great deal in common with modern Iran. I did come across a very good article observing that Islam doesn’t need a reformation (it’s having one and that’s the problem), it needs a renaissance, and that strikes me as closer to the mark. What as more surprising was that this article was from Tech Central Station.

I think the point that liberal values or any sort of values cannot be simply imposed or declared by fiat is reasonable, as is the concern over demonising minorities. My problem with the piece is that I suspect the author might well be less concerned with the imposition of conservative values; as a piece it seems primarily motivated by the author’s own dislike of liberalism (which as is noted above seems to apply as well to classical liberalism as to any modern variant) rather than his views on Islam. Rather brings to mind Peter Hitchens and Roger Scruton, who I seem to recall making similar arguments against intolerant liberalism.


Anthony 07.20.04 at 10:24 pm

The points about reform are interesting, given that some have described Al Qaeda as a reform movement for Islam.


jam 07.20.04 at 10:43 pm

Yes. An “Islamic Reformation”, if such a thing could occur, at the present day would be, should be, informed by 21st century values, whatever those are.

The Christian Reformation took place in the 16th century and was informed by early modern values. The Jewish Reformation (that which gave us Reform Judaism) took place in the early 19th century and was informed by enlightenment values.

Don’t think of Martin Luther as the prototypical agent of reformation. Think of Israel Jacobson.


asg 07.20.04 at 11:07 pm

I saw an interesting post or essay or something somewhere saying that, no, Islam does not need a Reformation, it needs the exact opposite: a Pope. The absence of any authoritative figure to pass judgment on doctrine and custom leads to constant splintering and out-of-control competing interpretations, all twisted to fit agendas of every stripe.


q 07.20.04 at 11:30 pm

_Islam does not need a Reformation, it needs the exact opposite: a Pope._

This is a totally ridiculous concept. Islam is Islam – it does not NEED anything.

We all NEED a bit of peace and quiet, with no shooting, bombs, nuclear warheads, radioactive fallout, chemical weapons, guns, terror, imperial overlords, outside interests funding military projects. We NEED a little less greediness and a bit more COMPASSION.

Jesus felt compassion to those in need. God help us!


Tom Doyle 07.20.04 at 11:38 pm

What Jesus said.


Peter Murphy 07.21.04 at 5:59 am

Does Islam need a new Martin Luther? The author of “On the Jews and Their Lies” and “Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants”? For the love of God, no.


mc 07.21.04 at 8:46 am

What *q* said.

Honestly, no offence to the good intentions of the writers and all, but since we’re talking religion, you know that saying about good intentions… Reading that post almost made me want to become a Muslim fundamentalist myself, and I’m not even religious and not fundamentalist-inclined in anything so, not very likely at all, but that’s how much the arguments were annoying. It’s not enough to argue against patronising to avoid being patronising.

The thing about the envy for superpower Israel as the cause of Islamism – and about the “respect” mentality as the cause of “violence in Afro-American culture” (oh god) – is pure ideological fluff you’d expect from Israeli nationalists and condescending “compassionate conservatives”.

Also I think it’s a very debatable thing to put communities above individuals, and to equate religion with ethnic community identity. For all the Muslim brotherhood talk there’s still a lot of differences, and even animosity, between different nationalities of Muslims and I think the most useless as well as patronising thing is always to speak of Muslims as if they were one single-minded body, and what’s more, reduced to its fundamentalist aspect. Anthony Cox’s reply at least made more sense on that.

I also don’t understand how Mulholland gets to define “liberalism” in such confusing terms. What’s liberal modernity? is he talking about a political concept or a general state of affairs? What’s the culture of wealth and celebrity got to do with, say, human rights principles and the notion of individual freedom? And why that “quite rightly” in “all this is, quite rightly, under constant pressure” when “all this” seems to refer to anything from “homosexuality” to consumerism? Is it not self-evident that sexuality should not be dictated by laws or social pressure?

There’s a much simpler way to argue that Livingstone was not doing anything wrong and Howard was being a shrill opportunist as usual. Whatever Qaradawi is advocating and supporting is not half as shocking as the tabloids were making it, and not so dissimilar from what the Pope in Rome says (we don’t approve of gays, Palestinians are oppressed, war is wrong, we don’t approve of wife-beating but women don’t have the right to divorce – what’s the difference?) so I don’t see why shaking his hand should be that objectionable especially given the kind of really dictatorial-minded folks the British government has been shaking hands with in the past ten years. Anyone who can come up with a good reason why elevating Putin or Musharaf to world leader status is not worth the outrage that Livingstone got over meeting Qaradawi, please speak up now or remain silent.

The only reform needed is a reform of the entire global policies of the west, but it’s too late for that or too complicated so it’s far easier – and therefore, pointless – to be discussing “oh what should WE do about this Islamic fundamentalism thing”. As if that extremism that includes terrorism had never ever been used and manipulated to suit those very policies that are supposed to be fighting it. Please.


Mrs Tilton 07.21.04 at 10:11 am

Bob McManus wrote:

Strict textual interpretation, anti-intellectualism, asceticism, evangelism,intolerance.

Wahabbism looks a lot like Calvin to me.

And then Andrew Brown wrote:

What on earth was anti-intellectual about Calvinism?

Indeed, and one can also argue that evangelism is not particularly essential to Calvinism. There has been much evangelism from within the Calvinist tradition* to be sure, but is it driven by anything very ‘Calvinist’? A hyper-Calvinist could take the position (and some have) that evangelism is pointless. I’d expect the evangelist impulse to be strongest in those denominations marked by Arminianism – Wesleyans, American Baptists and so on.

* Today, of course, the phrase ‘Calvinist tradition’ begs the question that the tradition is in fact Calvinist. If one has had a certain sort of upbringing, ‘tulip’ may evoke more than a flower; and there are still some sternly predestined folk off in the wee glens. But the mainline presbyterian and reformed denominations have remained more faithful to Calvin’s ideas about governance than to his doctrines.

And as for asceticism: Calvin himself was not above enjoying a glass or two of wine.

Intolerance I grant you, but then, that’s hardly peculiar to Calvinism. (Vide, e.g., the Syllabus of Errors of the charming but not notably Calvinistic Giovanni Mastai-Ferretti, better known by his stage name, Pius IX.)


Samer 07.21.04 at 1:31 pm

Reading that post almost made me want to become a Muslim fundamentalist myself

Surely you can’t have been that “annoyed”? Oh, a joke, right?

But, if you really want to join Al Qaradawi, be my (our) guest. It seems you’re bored with western “liberalism” and would like something more exotic (didn’t Edward Said write a book about that?). My cousin (in Egypt) will gladly switch places with you; he’s been trying for landed immigrant status in the U.S., Canada or the U.K. for nearly two years. He’s got a nice, if slightly crowded, apartment in a Cairo suburb and would give you a very reasonable price.


bob mcmanus 07.21.04 at 3:36 pm

“Wahabbism looks a lot like Calvin to me.”…certainly badly phrased

Responding:I make no claim to a scholar’s understanding of anything(I will stand by this), just casual impressions. My understanding of Islam is partially based on reading this:


Mu’tazili theology developed on logic and rationalism from Greek philosophy, and sought to combine Islamic doctrines with the former, and show that they are inherently compatible.


The Asharite school of early Muslim philosophy were instrumental in drastically changing the direction of Islamic philosophy, separating its development drastically from that of philosophy in the Christian world. It was founded by the theologian al-Ashari (d. 945) who gave it its name.

“In contrast to the Mutazilite school of Greek-inspired philosophers, the Asharite view was that comprehension of unique nature and characteristics of God were beyond human capability. And that, while man had free will, he had no power to create anything. It was an ignorance-based view which did not assume that human reason could discern morality.”

This seemed to follow the Christian history, of Scholastics to Renaissance to Reformation. When I said “anti-intellectual”, I meant that I doubted that Luther would accept an understanding of Aristotle to inform his Biblical interpretation, for example.

My impression was that Wahabbism was a direct descendant or return to the Asharite school, but I apparently was ignorant.


“Wahhabis consider Wahhabism to be the true form of Islam. They do not regard Shi’as as true Muslims, and are particularly hostile to Sufism, and to Ash’ari thought as well.”

Appears I need to do some further reading.


bob mcmanus 07.21.04 at 3:45 pm

The “asceticism” comment was based on my impression that the Reformers (?) went for a radical simplicity and lack of ornamentation in church design, vestments, etc. I remembered Simon Schama discussing the “renovation” of the English Cathedrals.

My impression is that the current Wahhabists also build stark and unornamented mosques, at least relatively to tradition.


bob mcmanus 07.21.04 at 3:56 pm


I guess it depends on how you define “anti-intellectualism”. Not simply thinking a lot or really hard on a single source, but searching for and accepting new sources of knowledge seems like a good idea to me.


bob mcmanus 07.21.04 at 3:57 pm


I guess it depends on how you define “anti-intellectualism”. Not simply thinking a lot or really hard on a single source, but searching for and accepting new sources of knowledge seems like a good idea to me.


tcb or tcb3 07.22.04 at 7:51 pm

Since no-one has proposed a _practical_ way of introducing an Islamic Reformation (not a Renaissance, because Classical influences in Mesopotamia actually took root _after_ Mohammed – correct me if I’m wrong), a Pope, or any other imaginary institutions on the wish-list, let me just add that we atheists would like to see ALL religion denied … you know, while we’re dreaming and all.


Quite, but why that particular dichotomy? Why should imperialism result in a religious backlash instead of a rational, secular one?

@Bob McManus:

Exactly. But it’s more complex than that. Intellectualism and anti-intellectualism can, and usually does, reside simultaneously in each person. Religious people are often good thinkers otherwise.

On topic: No, cultural relativism is not especially liberal. It is common among liberal academics and theorists. But liberalism in the West in the past century or so has had fairly absolute views. You really have to, actually, because an absolute is almost the definition of a “goal.”

PS>> Does anyone distinguish any longer between the evangelizing religions such as Christianity and Islam as opposed to (say) Judaism or Buddhism, which have no such official concept? I used to think the latter were more palatable; nowadays I’m not so sure.


thbt 07.23.04 at 8:17 am

“There are former Muslims such as ibn Warraq who are interested in looking at the origins of Islam in a scholarly way.”

It should be pointed out to anyone with an appreciation of scholarship and methodology that Ibn Warraq confuses historical and literary methods, often citing the product of both as proof of his argument; without ever realising that he is contradicting himself.

People should also be wary of quoting Wikipedia as an authority; it is mistaken in its description of “Wahhabism”.

Talk of “Reformation” also assumes that history always moves in certain directions; these are unwarranted assumptions.


q 07.23.04 at 8:34 am

you have me interested… _People should also be wary of quoting Wikipedia as an authority; it is mistaken in its description of “Wahhabism”._

Could you expand this point…?


yabonn 07.23.04 at 12:53 pm

Since no-one has proposed a practical way of introducing an Islamic Reformation

I think france decided that it had enough crazed saudi-funded wahabbis preaching extremism (that’s what they are, apart of the doctrin).

So projects of imam schools have been aired. Without any knowledge of these countries, i’d suppose you’d be able to find similar options in turkey or maybe maroc.

Not really close to a Reformation, but inching in the right direction. Problem is saudi arabia has way more money to spend on these types of things.


mc 07.23.04 at 1:47 pm

samer, thanks for the apartment offer. I don’t quite see how moving to Cairo would turn me into a fundamentalist though, even if I’d meant that literally. But yeah, congrats for getting the point. Not.

I’m not tired of “liberalism” whatever that is taken to mean, and it has been defined in very confusing ways in that post. For the record, I’m for the French secularist approach to all religions. I just don’t see how something like Islamic fundamentalism can be explained away purely in terms of hypotheses on cultural attitudes rather than real policies in which the west, supposedly engaged in a war against said fundamentalism, had a heavy hand.


bob mcmanus 07.23.04 at 4:16 pm

“People should also be wary of quoting Wikipedia as an authority; it is mistaken in its description of “Wahhabism”.”

You betcha I am wary. It was just a first quick survey, for myself as really not knowing the difference between fiqh and sunna and ijitahad.


thbt 07.27.04 at 11:55 am

“Could you expand this point…?”


For starters, the early Wahhabis were pre-modern Hanbalites; to this day Najd, a place reknowned for its xenophobia, is still the home of Hanbalism and not “Wahhabis”. What the early Wahhabis were, in effect, Hanbalis who expressed outrage and dislike for popular religion and popular Sufism. But this criticism is hardly an invention of ibn `Abd al-Wahhab. There is a long tradition of criticising ‘innovation’ in religious practices (which is a severe sin in Islamic formulations of religious ethics), and Hanbalis have long viewed developments like certain forms of Sufism and kalam (loosely, ‘theology’) with suspicion. (Do not, however, draw a line between Sufism and ‘orthodox Islam’ — many highly orthodox chracters enrolled onto Sufi orders, because Sufi ethics was seen as a way of improving ‘moral character’; and a great many Sufi orders are ‘orthodox’ in character, i.e. they follow a legal school and a school of theology. The first well-known Sufi, for example, was a Hanbali.)

The last people to call themselves ‘Wahhabis’ were the Ikhwan of the first Saudi state, who were eventually disbanded because of their zealous acts of violence (especially the Taif massacre). Violence, despite popular (“Western”) opinion, was rejected by the early Muslim community — interested in preservation and unity — in opposition to the extremie religious idealism of the Kharijites. This tradition of political quietism is implicit in much political and legal thought of all Islamic schools. The fact that ibn `Abd al-Wahhab went looking for a ‘political’ leader in al-Saud, ought to show how he would have viewed the relationship between ‘religion’ and ‘state’. Despite ibn Saud creating for himself a kingdom and domain no where do we see a ‘political state’ in the writings of the Wahhabis. Their ideas of ‘state’ would have been firmly and squarely rooted in the Bedouin culture from which they came, and their subjects would not have viewed this any differently. We can glean the concerns of the early Wahhabis from simply reading a few texts as social historians, e.g. Kitab al-Tawhid, a exposition of `aqidah (creed) to be taught and learnt by memory; page after page is an criticism of various practices of popular Sufism. (`Aqidah literature is often a good place to start if you wish to chart the social history of Islam.) This lack of concern for the ‘political’ is in stark contrast to modern Salafisms (more on them below).

On the Indian subcontinent, the word ‘Wahhabi’ is used as a pejorative in intra-sectarian polemics. Bralvis call Deobandis ‘Wahhabi’, while both will call the Ahl-e-Hadith ‘Wahhabis’ (these three form the majority of Sunnism on the subcontinent). The latter movements do overlap in certain places with Arabian Wahhabism, but have origins of their own and so deserve their own voice (note, my call for them to be ‘deserving of their own voice’ is not a moral judgment of their ideas as either “good” or “bad”). Again, one shold not be confused with popularised names and titles; well-known Indian “reformists”, some who set about “purifying” Islamic practices, were Sufis, who based their ideas on complex and intricate Sufi metaphysics.

Salafisms are a broad modern movement, not to be confused with the pre-modern Hanbalites, and find their origins in a merging of anti-colonial Sufi activism, and the mutation and breakdown of Abduh’s rationalist, utilitarian theology. For example, Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, was a Sufi. Some modern Salafis endorse various aspects of ‘modernism’, mutatis mutandis (like the vote, parliament, legal rights from the state and a constitution); they have a well-constructed political ideology (again note, the description ‘well-constructed’ is not a moral approval, or otherwise, of their ideas). In this respects they must leave the pre-modern Hanbalis far behind.

The modern Saudi state is a better described as a Salafi state (though it still uses classical Hanbali texts of law, since all law requires an interpretation); but many of the Saudi `ulema are still too conservative to be involved in “politics”, despite popular perceptions. They prefer to educate the masses in “Islamic virtues”.

Though some Salafis view the Saudi government as the ideal Islamic government, others view them as hypocrites, and have formed political groups to this end. They either take up the call for democratisation in the ME, using the vote to gain popular sentiment, or meld with the peculiar brands who view their destiny to wage war on everyone and anyone, Muslim or not.

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