Willful blindness. “Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as ‘Legitimate Tenet of Islam,’” from FOXNews.com, May 27 (thanks to all who sent this in):
The president’s top counterterrorism adviser on Wednesday called jihad a “legitimate tenet of Islam,” arguing that the term “jihadists” should not be used to describe America’s enemies.
Why not? That’s how they describe themselves. Wouldn’t it be better to understand how they perceive themselves and what their motives and goals, rather than dismissing such study a priori?
During a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, John Brennan described violent extremists as victims of “political, economic and social forces,” but said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in “religious terms.”
Why not? That’s how they themselves describe them.
He repeated the administration argument that the enemy is not “terrorism,” because terrorism is a “tactic,” and not terror, because terror is a “state of mind” — though Brennan’s title, deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism and homeland security, includes the word “terrorism” in it. But then Brennan said that the word “jihad” should not be applied either.
Terrorism is indeed a tactic, not an opponent. I’ve been saying that for years. But then Brennan falls off the edge of sanity:
“Nor do we describe our enemy as ‘jihadists’ or ‘Islamists’ because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children,” Brennan said.
Brennan should study the Qur’an and Sunnah in order to discover just how Muslims understand what it means to purify “one’s community,” and what the Islamic understanding is of the term “innocent.” He would find, of course, that a community that is fully purified is one in which non-Muslims live as subjugated dhimmis, and that non-Muslims are never understood in the Qur’an and Sunnah as being “innocent.” But he will not undertake such a study, and will never find these things out.
The technical, broadest definition of jihad is a “struggle” in the name of Islam and the term does not connote “holy war” for all Muslims. However, jihad frequently connotes images of military combat or warfare, and some of the world’s most wanted terrorists including Usama bin Laden commonly use the word to call for war against the West.
It doesn’t just “connote” warfare. It juridically means warfare, according to Islamic texts and teachings. There is not a single traditional school of Islamic jurisprudence that does not teach, as part of the obligation of the Muslim community, warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers.
Shafi’i school: A Shafi’i manual of Islamic law that was certified in 1991 by the clerics at Al-Azhar University, one of the leading authorities in the Islamic world, as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy, says that “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims” (‘Umdat al-Salik, o9.0).
Hanafi school: A Hanafi manual of Islamic law emphasizes that jihad is a religious war against non-believers. It insists that people must be called to embrace Islam before being fought, “because the Prophet so instructed his commanders, directing them to call the infidels to the faith.” It emphasizes that jihad must not be waged for economic gain, but solely for religious reasons: from the call to Islam “the people will hence perceive that they are attacked for the sake of religion, and not for the sake of taking their property, or making slaves of their children, and on this consideration it is possible that they may be induced to agree to the call, in order to save themselves from the troubles of war.”
However, “if the infidels, upon receiving the call, neither consent to it nor agree to pay capitation tax [jizya], it is then incumbent on the Muslims to call upon God for assistance, and to make war upon them, because God is the assistant of those who serve Him, and the destroyer of His enemies, the infidels, and it is necessary to implore His aid upon every occasion; the Prophet, moreover, commands us so to do.” (Al-Hidayah, II.140)
Maliki school: Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), a pioneering historian and philosopher, was also a Maliki legal theorist. In his renowned Muqaddimah, the first work of historical theory, he notes that “in the Muslim community, the holy war [jihad] is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.” In Islam, the person in charge of religious affairs is concerned with “power politics,” because Islam is “under obligation to gain power over other nations.”
Hanbali school: The great medieval theorist of what is commonly known today as radical or fundamentalist Islam, Ibn Taymiyya (Taqi al-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymiyya, 1263-1328), was a Hanbali jurist. He directed that “since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God’s entirely and God’s word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought.”
But no, for Brennan it’s just al-Qaeda:
Brennan defined the enemy as members of bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network and “its terrorist affiliates.”
But Brennan argued that it would be “counterproductive” for the United States to use the term, as it would “play into the false perception” that the “murderers” leading war against the West are doing so in the name of a “holy cause.”
Al-Azhar University, Ibn Khaldun and Ibn Taymiyya: Misunderstanders of Islam.
“Moreover, describing our enemy in religious terms would lend credence to the lie propagated by Al Qaeda and its affiliates to justify terrorism — that the United States is somehow at war against Islam,” he said.
The comment comes after Brennan, in a February speech in which he described his respect for the tolerance and devotion of Middle Eastern nations, referred to Jerusalem on first reference by its Arabic name, Al-Quds.
“In all my travels the city I have come to love most is al-Quds, Jerusalem, where three great faiths come together,” Brennan said at an event co-sponsored by the White House Office of Public Engagement and the Islamic Center at New York University and the Islamic Law Students Association at NYU.
Shame on Brennan for calling it “Al-Quds,” the name given it by…Islamic jihadists.