The violent jihad that Jihad Watch is dedicated to exposing and resisting is not, contrary to popular belief, an obscure, isolated, or newly minted phenomenon. It is taught by traditional Islamic theology and law, as I explain in Onward Muslim Soldiers, that the Muslim community must make war against Christians, Jews, and other non-Muslims until they either convert to Islam or pay the non-Muslim poll tax.
This is a far cry from the notions of jihad that American Muslim advocacy groups offer. The Council on American Islamic Relations, for example, defines jihad as a “central and broad Islamic concept that includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, struggle in the battlefield for self-defense (e.g., having a standing army for national defense), or fighting against tyranny or oppression.”
New evidence that significant segments of the Islamic world tend to subscribe more to the traditional view of jihad than to CAIR’s comes from MEMRI today (thanks to LGF), reporting on a “newly-printed textbook produced by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education titled ‘Islamic Culture,’ intended for students in the 11th grade.” It contains, says MEMRI, “incitement for Jihad and martyrdom.”
Some excerpts from the book, with comments:
[One of] the State’s tasks is to strengthen the ties between the people and their Creator”¦ to defend the religion and protect it from [heretical] innovators and doubters”¦ to prepare the nation for Jihad and to defend the country from its enemies”¦
This is an indication that the PA Ministry of Education, at least, envisions that the children will be living in an Islamic state ruled by the Sharia, not in a pluralistic secular state.
Islam is Allah’s religion for all human beings. It should be proclaimed and invite [people] to join it wisely and through appropriate preaching and friendly discussions. However, such methods may encounter resistance and the preachers may be prevented from accomplishing their duty”¦ then, Jihad and the use of physical force against the enemies become inevitable”¦
This is the classic Islamic prescription for dealing with unbelievers. First invite them to accept Islam: this is dawah. Then if they refuse, “jihad and the use of physical force against the enemies become inevitable.” It would be as if you turn the Jehovah’s Witnesses away from your door and they come back with guns drawn. The idea that dawah should be followed by jihad is founded upon the words of the Prophet Muhammad:
Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. . . . When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam [this is dawah]; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya [the special tax on non-Muslims, which is the key mark of their inferior status in Islamic society]. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them (Sahih Muslim, book 19, no. 4294)
Says the Palestinian textbook: “Jihad is an Islamic term that equates to the term war in other nations.”
This is an interesting contrast to CAIR’s technically correct but misleading statement that “‘Jihad’ does not mean ‘holy war.'”
The book continues:
The difference is that Jihad has noble goals and lofty aims, and is carried out only for the sake of Allah and for His glory”¦ [By contrast] wars by other nations are mainly waged because of wickedness, aggression, love of domination, expanding influence, looting properties, murder, and the fulfillment of ambitions and desires, such as the war that the Western countries waged to exploit Islamic countries for imperialistic purposes, to control their Muslim citizens and to rob their resources and richness”¦
This is important because it underscores the fact that radical Muslims do not consider violent jihad, even if it involves mass murder of innocent civilians as on 9/11, to be a war of aggression. Islamic jihad, to them, is purified by its motives.
In Mecca, Allah’s Messenger called [to join] Islam by using evidence and proofs”¦ His weapons and those of his companions at that stage of spreading the message [of Islam] were perseverance and restraint. After the Prophet’s migration to Al-Medina, and the emergence of an Islamic society in it, there was no escaping the fight against aggression and the polytheists”¦ Following that, the duty of Jihad was imposed on all Muslims”¦
This is a common three-stage theory for understanding the Qur’an’s teachings about jihad. First fighting was not commanded, then it was allowed for self-defense; finally it was commanded as an active responsibility of the Muslim community. This third stage is final and abrogates the teachings of the first two. “Moderate” spokesmen often quote Qur’anic verses from one of these first two stages, although they cannot be unaware that a broad strain of Islamic tradition considers these verses to have been abrogated.
Allah’s Messenger practiced Jihad during his sojourn in Al-Medina, his companions and followers followed in his footsteps.
As they do today.
However is Jihad a personal duty [Fardh ‘Ein] that each Muslim is required to fulfill personally, or is it a collective duty [Fardh Kifaya]? It is likely a collective duty. If some Muslims fulfill it, then it is not required of the rest as long as [the acts of those who waged it] are sufficient”¦ [however] if no one practices Jihad, then all Muslims are guilty of negligence.
This is another traditional distinction. Offensive jihad is fardh kifaya “” a duty of the community but not of each particular individual, but defensive jihad is fardh ‘ein “” something that each Muslim must fulfill personally. In Onward Muslim Soldiers I show how Muslim leaders from all over the world have been teaching that defensive jihad in Iraq is fardh ‘ein: every Muslim must go or aid those who go.
The textbook itself makes this clear:
Jihad becomes a personal duty in the following three cases: When Muslims are attacked. When the enemy is present in a Muslim country, it is the duty of the [Muslim] citizens of that country to fight the enemy and chase them away. If they are unable [to do so], the personal duty [of Jihad] passes on to their neighbors, until the enemy is defeated and destroyed”¦
This is the justification used today to get Muslims to go to Iraq to fight.
In the case of a general call to arms. When a Muslim ruler declares it, or calls a specific group, it is the duty of Muslims to answer the call”¦
This is one of the chief reasons why radical Muslims want to restore the caliphate and unite the Islamic world under its rule: they want a universally recognized Muslim ruler who, by virtue of his position, has the right to call an offensive jihad.
The book also discusses “types of Jihad,” including primarily “the physical Jihad -Participation [in battle] against the enemy. To fight him directly with weapons, and with actual participation in the battle and with self-sacrifice for the sake of Allah. This is the ultimate requisite from a [believer]. Allah promised anyone who participates personally in Jihad for His sake Paradise, or that He will return him safely to his family with great spoils.”
This promise of Paradise is unique in the Qur’an, and radical Muslims take it very seriously.
Then there is also
the material Jihad — He who wages such a Jihad gives some of his money in order to equip Muslim armies with various weapons, necessary supplies, land, sea and air transportation, and anything else that those who wage Jihad need in order to defeat the enemy, to glorify Allah’s name, and to strengthen His faith. Included in the material Jihad is the construction of military installations, fortifications, strongholds, airports, and seaports, that are necessary for the Muslim armies, as well as health centers and hospitals for the soldiers of Jihad and their families, and granting money to those who implement Jihad and to their families.
This is why it is so important to follow the money trail from Muslim charities.
The Islamic nation today is in urgent need [of reviving] the spirit of Jihad in its sons, [by using] all types of Jihad and to concentrate all its resources on strengthening Allah’s religion and to force His enemies [to surrender]. . . .
Jihad is one of life’s needs. A nation cannot defend its religion and uphold its honor and its motherland if it does not have the power to do so. This is why Islam imposed [the duty] of Jihad on the Muslim nation when [a Muslim] society and state emerged in Al-Medina”¦
Note also that the writer here sees no contradiction between all this and the Qur’anic verse declaring that “there is no compulsion in religion.” In Onward Muslim Soldiers I explain how radicals reconcile these two seemingly contrary principles.
About this the Palestinian textbook says:
Allah instructed the Muslims to convince people [with the message of Islam] in a wise way, by appropriate preaching and friendly discussions, so that the spread of Islam is achieved through intellectual persuasion, inner gratification and serenity and not through compulsion as Allah said ‘There is no compulsion in religion”¦’ [Koran 2:256]. [However], when the despots confront Islamic preaching, prevent the preachers from bringing the good tidings [of Islam] to the people, build roadblocks and obstacles in preachers’ way, and prevent the word from reaching their people – then Jihad becomes the only means to remove these obstacles, which deprive people of their freedom of choice and prevent the propagation of Islam. Allah’s Messenger instructed those who wage Jihad not to initiate war against their enemies [as a first option], but to offer them Islam, and if they refuse it – to suggest to them to pay Jizya [tax imposed on non-Muslims under Muslim rule]”¦ and if they refuse again, to fight them.
And then there are the glories of martyrdom:
Jihad is considered a way to strengthen the nation and [to secure] its victory in an armed struggle when it uses all its resources, efforts and capabilities for its sake”¦ Jihad is also considered a source of welfare and prosperity for the Muslims. After realizing victory, he who wages Jihad returns to his family high-aspiring with his head high up, thanking Allah for his grace. If he is blessed with Shahada [martyrdom] and honor, his soul returns to its Creator to live a different life, content with the rewards and honor bestowed upon it, a life of grace thanks to Allah, as the Koran says [3:169-170] ‘Do not consider those who died in the cause of Allah as dead, rather as alive at their lord sustained”¦’
The Islamic nation needs to spread the spirit of Jihad and the love of self-sacrifice [Shahada] among its sons throughout the generations, and especially when materialism is uppermost in people’s minds and they abandon Jihad while the enemy desires [to exploit] them”¦ It is clear that the respect and power of the Islamic nation are linked to the preservation of a strong Jihad spirit. When this spirit declines and the nation has no power to help its weak elements and to defend itself from its enemies, then the nation is attacked from the outside, the aggressors desire it, they humiliate it, plunder its resources, kill its people, conquer its land and live there in immorality.
What if the Muslims ignore their responsibility to fight jihad?
A. Enemies occupy Muslim lands, their resources are plundered, their blood is spilled, their honor tarnished and as a result they [the Muslims] live a life of disgrace and oppression. B. Losing the great reward that Allah promised those who wage Jihad and the Shuhada [martyrs]. C. Severe punishment on Judgment Day.
Allah instructed the faithful to partake in Jihad in all circumstances, be it easy or hard, when they are few or many, at times of prosperity or need, when they are strong or weak. Their Jihad should be through self-sacrifice or material for the sake of glorifying Allah’s name. This is the way to enjoy this world and to succeed in the Hereafter.
More at Dhimmi Watch.