Sunday, June 26, 2011

Answering Abu Yaasir’s article “Refuting Andreas Banoutsos and his article Radical Dawah online in Greece” , by Andreas Banoutsos

First of all I would like to thank Mr. Abu Yaasir for the honor he made to me by writing an entire article (1) and dedicating almost 1,400 words to an “unknown figure to the world of Islamic Research”. Secondly, I would like to inform him that in September 2010, I sent an e-mail to Mr.Ahmed Eldin inviting him to give me an interview for my doctoral research, but he never even answered to my e-mail. Furthermore, Mr. Abu Yaasir is asking me several questions such as “Why can this message (Radical Dawah) harm social cohesion?” “Why should it subvert the Western democratic legal order” etc. Well, he should first ask the Dutch Security and Intelligence Service (AIVD) which I am quoting in my article and which were the first to “invent” the term “Radical Dawah”. However, I will be generous with him and ask him if he wants ultra-orthodox Islamic laws taking precedence over Greek secular law? If yes, is he an advocate of imposing all aspects of Sharia law in Greece? Does he believe that Sharia law is superior in comparison to any “man made” secular laws?

Moreover, he is falsely accusing me that I talked about “1,500 members of the Muslim association ‘El-Rahman’ who we are supposed to be ‘mainly Greek converts to Islam’. My friend, if we had 1,500 Greek Muslims in Athens in one association alone…the entire text”. Mr. Abu Yaasir unfortunately for you I didn’t write this out of my mind. Mr. Ahmed Eldin’s site is mentioning these figures. (2) More precisely it was mentioning (because now he amended it) that ‘El Rahman’ association “numbers more than 1,500 members, mainly people who converted to Islam”. Unfortunately, for you the web retains all the information written, so if you google the name Ahmed Eldin and the number 1,500 it becomes clear to everyone that you were the ones providing this information and not me. But why Mr.Eldin is arguing that the association in which he serves as vice-president numbers more than 1,500 people? Was his intention to show to the Greek public that his association is greater than the Muslim Association of Greece?
Furthermore he states that I made their association look like a mafia organization. I didn’t have this intention honestly, but he seems to be afraid of this self made accusation. Why?
Moreover, Mr. Abu Yaasir is going on by trying to discredit me by arguing that I don’t really know the difference between the term Salafi and Wahhabi. Well, I will help him. Professor Ahmad Moussalli of the American University of Beirut who he is not so much “unknown” as I am, is stating that “Salafism is a very diversified and complicated ideologically and religiously motivated trend and is thus not constructed by one unified discourse or group or authority. As a rule, all Wahhabis are Salafists, but not all Salafists are Wahhabis.” (3) Moreover, Prof. Moussalli states that “Wahhabis differentiate themselves from orthodox Sunnis by calling themselves Salafists, on the assumption that they follow the Prophets’ Companions (sahaba), the Companion’s followers (tabi ‘ in), and the follower’s followers ( tabi ‘I al-tabi ‘ in). Al-salaf al-salih are the model that Muslims should emulate.”(4) Mr. Abu Yaasir do you still believe that “Wahhabi” is a term completely different from the term “Salafi’?
Mr. Abu Yaasir’s article becomes even more entertaining when he says that in reference to Abu Alia in my article I am using Present Perfect Continuous. Well, I suggest him to read again English grammar. In my article I wrote that “Abu Alia (aka Efstathios Tsionis) according to a report from Radio Free Europe (5) was also actively propagating Wahhabi Islam in the Balkans.” I think that this is Past Continuous and not Present Perfect Continuous. By the way, Mr. Abu Yaasir, are you challenging my source? (Radio Free Europe) (6)
Moreover, you are mentioning that “Islamic dawah means to inform people about Islam and their duties towards Allah. We include both Muslims as well as Non-Muslims alike!” I am not saying that dawah is something bad or wrong, but maybe not all Greek people share the same opinion with me and I really don’t know how a Greek court of law will interpret dawah, because according to article 13 paragraph 2 of the Greek Constitution proselytizing is prohibited.
Mr.Abu Yaasir you are accusing me that in my article I connect Dawah and Osama Bin Laden or Al-Qaeda. You are simply misunderstanding my text maybe because you didn’t study properly English grammar. By the way the term neo-Wahhabi was not invented by me. Professor Moussalli is using it. (7)
Furthermore, Mr. Abu Yaasir is trying again to discredit me by arguing that I am living in London and that I am a university student. Well, Mr. Abu Yaasir I am living in Athens for most part of the year and I am a PhD candidate in Intelligence and Security Studies at Buckingham University (UK) and the subject of my doctoral research is “ Greece and the Islamist threat” . By the way Mr. Abu Yaasir is it so bad to be a PhD student? Are you an Islamic Theologian yourself?
Mr. Abu Yaasir the threat that the Radical Dawah is posing to western liberal societies is not the theological concept of Tawhid. The threat for liberal societies is that Radical Dawah is calling Muslims living in the West to despise liberal values and is also asking them to follow a rigid and intolerant interpretation of Islam. I have, I think, the right to doubt whether your aim is only “in getting rid of Greek society’s misconception and distortions of Islam”. Your aim, in my opinion, is to create the preconditions for transforming in the long term Greece into an Islamic state. And I am asking you again. Do you think that Sharia law is superior to Greek secular law?
Mr.Abu Yaasir you are also stating that “I will have to mention the ridiculous accusation of a ‘coalition’ between Islam and the extreme-right activist Costas Plevris.” You are distorting my writings Mr.Abu Yaasir. I only wrote about a ‘coalition’ which is a historic fact. The coalition between Adolf Hitler and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Al Husseini during World War II. That coalition was between Islamism and Nazism, not between Islam and Nazism. Do you know the difference between Islam and Islamism Mr.Abu Yaasir?
Mr. Abu Yaasir, you are accusing me of an illegal act. What is exactly illegal Mr.Abu Yaasir? Are you confusing Greek secular law and the freedom of expression with Sharia law? Fortunately Greece is still a western liberal democracy and not an Islamic State. Finally, don’t expect me to answer to your bullying, high school style, expressions “if you think you are Man enough to face us”. Keep these expressions for your friends!!!
(4) Ibid