Friday, June 20, 2008

Rand:Designs for Muslim World

Wow! What a report!

Beginning from the end of the article, “When the European nations began their long campaign to colonize and conquer the rest of the world for their own benefit, they brought their academic and missionary resources to help them with their task.”

This was the same pre-crusade tactic used by the European Kings, when they were threatened by the invading Arab Kings, they came out with a blue print to protect their kingdoms, that gave birth to the idea of Islamophobia:

1. To label the Invading Kings as Muslim, as that was one of the ways to get their subjects to stand behind them and fight for them.

2. To mis-translate the Qur'aan to inculcate animosity towards the invading people.

3. To paint the religion negatively and as a Mohammedan cult.

4. To reinforce this strategy they roped in the Pope to issue a fatwa approving crusades.

Their Blueprint worked well for them and the Arab Kings were pushed back and defeated.

I am surprised at the ease with which Abdul Sattar Ghazali writes this “The recent summit, termed the ³Secular Islam Conference,² in St. Petersburg, Florida, almost coincided with the release of the latest Rand Report. A small group of self-proclaimed secular Muslims from North America and elsewhere gathered in St. Petersburg for what they billed a new global movement to correct the assumed wrongs of Islam and call for an ³Islamic Reformation.²”

The intent of the conference was Muslim bashing feeding frenzy.

Due to this fact, not one of the mainstream Muslims, including the progressive ones, chose to participate in the conference. – More at:

“The report warned that moderate groups can lose credibility and therefore effectiveness if U.S. support is too obvious” It is not just US, funding by any government has a hook in it, if it is genuine goodness, it will pay off, but usually it is not.

I tend to agree with the statement “The report defines a moderate as a Muslim who supports democracy, gender equality, freedom of worship and opposition to terrorism.” I am glad it did not define like the Neocons, which is any Muslim who bashes Islam is a moderate Muslim to those shortsighted bigots.

These guys are always scheming and planning. If they just start living the live like the moderates, they can enjoy their lives too.

Mike Ghouse

# # #
Rand Corp: New Designs for Muslim World

By TMO April 26, 2007
Listen to this article. Powered by

By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

The semi-official U.S. think tank, Rand Corporation, suggests creation of
networks of the so-called moderate Muslims to promote US policy objectives
in the Muslim World.

In its latest report, Building Moderate Muslim Networks the Rand Corp
advocates that the building of moderate Muslim networks needs to become an
explicit goal of U.S. government policy, with an international database of
partners and a well-designed plan.

Just as it fought the spread of communism during the Cold War, the United
States must do more to develop and support networks of moderate Muslims who
are too often silenced by violent radical Islamists, according to the Rand
Corporation report issued on March 26, 2007.

The lead writer of the report, Angel Rabasa, says that the United States has
a critical role to play in aiding moderate Muslims, and can learn much from
the way it addressed the spread of communism during the Cold War.

³The efforts of the United States and its allies to build free and
democratic networks and institutions provided an organizational and
ideological counter force to communist groups seeking to come to power
through political groups, labor unions, youth and student organizations and
other groups.²

The report defines a moderate as a Muslim who supports democracy, gender
equality, freedom of worship and opposition to terrorism. This looks an
amplification on its two previous reports - ³Civil Democratic Islam:
Partners, Resources, and Strategies² (March 2004) and ³US strategy in the
Muslim World after 9/11² (December 2004) - which also suggested supporting
moderate Muslims and exploitation of inter-Muslim religious differences.
Interestingly, a novelist turned research scholar, Cheryl Benard, is the
author of Civil Democratic Islam and co-author of the Dec. 2004 and March
2007 reports.

In the December 2004 study, Rabasa had suggested to exploit Sunni, Shiite
and Arab, non-Arab divides to promote US policy objectives in the Muslim
world. Echoing this theme, the latest report recommends reaching out to
Muslim activists, leaders and intellectuals in non-Arab countries such as
Turkey as well as in Southeast Asia and Europe.

The report recommends targeting five groups as potential building blocks for
networks: liberal and secular Muslim academics and intellectuals; young
moderate religious scholars; community activists; women¹s groups engaged in
gender equality campaigns; and moderate journalists and scholars.

The report warned that moderate groups can lose credibilityand therefore
effectivenessif U.S. support is too obvious. Effective tactics that worked
during the Cold War include having the groups led by credible individuals
and having the United States maintain some distance from the organizations
it supports. ³This was done by not micro-managing the groups, but by giving
them enough autonomy,² Rabasa said. ³As long as certain guidelines were met,
they were free to pursue their own activities.²

To help start this initiative, the report recommends working toward an
international conference modeled in the Cold War-era Congress of Cultural
Freedom, and then developing a standing organization to combat what it
called radical Islamism.

The recent summit, termed the ³Secular Islam Conference,² in St. Petersburg,
Florida, almost coincided with the release of the latest Rand Report. A
small group of self-proclaimed secular Muslims from North America and
elsewhere gathered in St. Petersburg for what they billed a new global
movement to correct the assumed wrongs of Islam and call for an ³Islamic

The St. Petersburg conference, held on the sidelines of the Intelligence
Summit, was carried live on (Islamophobe) Glenn Beck¹s CNN show. Some of the
organizers and speakers at the convention were well-known thanks to the
media spotlight: Irshad Manji, author of The Trouble With Islam, and Ayaan
Hirsi Ali, the former Dutch parliamentarian and author of Infidel were but a
few there claiming to have suffered personally at the hands of ³radical²

One participant, Wafa Sultan, declared on Glenn Beck¹s show that she doesn¹t
³see any difference between radical Islam and regular Islam.² Other
participants were the now public ex-Muslim Ibn Warraq and self-proclaimed
ex-terrorist Tawfiq Hamid.

Surely, the ³moderate² Muslim agenda is promoted because these ideas reflect
a Western vision for the future of Islam. Since the Sept. 11 attacks,
everyone from high-ranking officials in the Bush administration to
anti-Islam authors have prescribed a preferred remedy for Islam: reform the

The Rand Reports about Islam appear to be part of a grand strategy to
³change the face of Islam² as revealed by US News and World Report on April
15, 2005. The report entitled Hearts, Minds, and Dollars: In an Unseen Front
in the War on Terrorism, America is Spending MillionsŠTo Change the Very
Face of Islamreads: ³From military psychological-operations teams and CIA
covert operatives to openly-funded media and think tanks, Washington is
plowing tens of millions of dollars into a campaign to influence not only
Muslim societies but Islam itself.²

According to the well-planned leaks to US News and World Report, this
strategy for the first time stated that the United States has a national
security interest in influencing what happens within Islam. The report also
confirmed that it is, in fact, the US which has been funding an American
version of Islam, called ³Moderate Islam.²

The Rand reports try to create a fictitious vision of Muslims and of Islam,
where it is antihuman, uncreative, authoritarian, and intrinsically against
Western societies. It is an ethnocentric view of Islam that dominates
current representations of Islam that are reductive, predominantly negative,
and encouraging a culture of Islamophobia.

The complexities of the so-called fundamentalism and extremism in the past
100 years or so, whether it be Christian, Hindu, Jewish or Muslim, need to
be understood in the context of modernization, the process of
secularization, the changing nature of religious institutions, the
post-colonial experience in developing countries, globalization, the divide
between wealthy and poor, contesting political power, and the impact of
totalitarian regimes on civil society.

What is not mentioned in the RAND reports is that the reason for the
alienation of Muslims from the West is the ³double standards² the West so
brazenly practices when dealing with Muslim nations. America already has a
very tarnished image in the Islamic world. It has already alienated a great
majority of Muslims throughout the world through its misguided foreign
policy. Who in their right mind will believe that this asinine assault on
Islam and Muslims will win America friends in the Islamic world?

Now a word about the Washington-based semi-official think tankthe RAND
Corporation. Among other government departments, the Rand Corp conducts
studies for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the
Unified Commands, the defense agencies, the Department of the Navy and the
U.S. intelligence community. Obviously, writers of the three reports on
Islam may be considered neo-Orientalists with clear intention to undermine

When the European nations began their long campaign to colonize and conquer
the rest of the world for their own benefit, they brought their academic and
missionary resources to help them with their task. Orientalists and
missionaries, whose ranks often overlapped, were the servants of an
imperialist government who was using their services as a way to subdue or
weaken an enemy.

The academic study of the Oriental East by the Occidental West was often
motivated and often co-operated hand-in-hand with the imperialistic aims of
the European colonial powers. The foundations of Orientalism were in the
maxim ³Know thy enemy². This equally applies to the modern day Orientalists
of such semi-official think tanks as the Rand Corporation.


  1. Friends,

    I am curious how Muslim sociologist and academics feel about the Muslim attacks on Constantinople beginning in the 700s and ending in 1453 with its fall to the Ottomans.

    Is there an Islamic justification for this relentless attack on the capital of Eastern Orthodox Church and the converting of St. Sophia Church into a Mosque?

    If Jihad is a doctrine of self defence, then how do we explain our zeal to attack the capital city of another religion that had no designs on the Ummayds or the Abbsids and themselves were victims of the Crusades?

    I am all ears and open to suggestions that my questions are 'Randy' in nature.

    Tarek Fatah

  2. Dear Tariq,

    Indeed the purpose of religion was to fix the human ailment of insecurity that made them want to subdue others to feel safe, upsetting an equilibrium. Religion taught that a just society is the cure of most ailments, Islam's focus was certainly a just society.

    I would re-phrase the word "Muslim Attack", it was rather driven by greedy, insecure individual who happened to be a Muslim, and that was not really religion, although it was labeled as such. Just as Bin Laden, Bush, Cheney have done it. We cannot label their aggression and destruction of other nations and people as a "Christian attack".

    The time has come to place the blame where it belongs - the individuals, who can be punished and justice be brought to prevail. Blaming a religion does not solve any problem nor does it bring justice. Things continue to hang out with that.

    We need to re-write the history and blame the individuals, so we can maintain justice.

    Mike Ghouse

  3. Mike,

    The attack and invasion of the Byzantine Orthodox empire and siege of Constantinople needs to be explained by Islamists who claim that Jihad is essentially a 'defensive' war.

    The facts suggest otherwise. I am intersted in hearing from academics who comment on "all-things-Muslim" what and how they explain this invasion of a foriegn contry.

    The attack on Constantinople has been justified by a Hadees and involved the companions of the Prophet, so this issue needs some explanation.


  4. Tarek,

    Good point.

    As Muslims we need to muster courage to acknowledge the mistakes Muslim individuals have made in the name of Islam and apologize. We also need to set the history right - blame individuals and not religion.

    History has precedents - Queen of England has apologized to the Indians (and Pakistanis) for the Jalianwala Bagh massacre, Pope had made a similar acknowledgement about Holocaust, and apologies have been made to the native Indians.... we have to do our part.

    Mike Ghouse



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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.