Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald explains how acts of violence and terror fit into the jihadists’ larger goals:
Unfortunately, those whose duty it is to instruct us have not bothered to learn what it is they should be instructing us about. As long as they continue to harp on the notion that the only thing to worry about is “terrorism,” that this is merely a “war on terrorism,” then the successful foiling of terrorist acts, the suppression or removal of those in the early stages of planning such acts, and even the carefully-planned avoidance of such acts, will continue to be difficult and well-nigh impossible. Muslims engaging in carefully-planned avoidance of acts of terror? Certainly: not because such acts are considered wrong (they are not), but because acts of Muslim terrorism may inflame the Infidels and interfere with the continued campaigns of Da’wa and the continued expansion of a Muslim presence in the West through still-unstopped immigration and large families. And that presence immediately translates into Muslim demands for special treatment. They want to come as close to the shari’a — for example, in family law — as they can conceivably come in the West: see Ontario, see the “Muslim Parliament” created a few years ago in England, see all the Muslim groups working not to integrate, not to accept the Infidel nation-state, but to promote the ends of Islam. Those ends, it must be understood, are not merely those of an alien creed — alien in the sense of foreign to Judeo-Christian Western civil…or whatever you want to call it (there are plenty of those managing to fit in) — but a hostile creed.
Muslim terrorism is a problem. It is a tactic. It is an instrument of Jihad. There are other instruments of Jihad. Jihad itself, a permanent and immutable feature of Islam, found everywhere in Qur’an, Hadith, and the example of Muhammad contained in the Sira, has here and there in Islamic history fallen into desuetude. In the days of humble villages, cut off entirely form the world, Muslims — under Ottoman rule, for example — were only dimly aware that there were others. True, whenever possible Muslim raiders and slavers continued to wreak havoc on the coasts of Western Europe, and deep into the interior of black Africa — in the former case, taking one million enslaved Christians back to dar al-Islam, in the latter, castrating young boys on the spot, and responsible for possibly as many as 15 million people being taken in what was a much larger slave trade, that began earlier and ended (to the extent it was forced to end by the European powers) later, than the Atlantic slave trade.
Jihad has reappeared because of three things:
1. The oil revenues from OPEC, ten trillion dollars since 1973, which have helped fund the Jihad through the building and maintenance of mosques, madrasas, and a vast propaganda effort.
2. The large-scale immigration of Muslims into, and settlement within, the Bilad al-Kufr, the lands of the Infidels, which Muslims regard (and non-Muslims failed to understand that they so regarded them) as essentially, behind enemy lines. Once it was forbidden by the ulema to live under non-Muslim (Christian) rule. But no longer: because in every way it is understood that Islam is expanding, and what cannot be conquered from without, by direct military conquest, can eventually (slowly it may seem, but in fact, if nothing is done to first halt and then reverse trends, really within a few decades) be conquered by demographic means and by unhindered Da’wa. That Da”wa especially appeals to the economically and the psychically marginal. And modern societies throw off, when they are not careful (and they are not careful) a good many of the economically and psychically marginal, who find in Islam not only a Community of Believers, but for those who like authority and direction, a Total Regulation of Life, a Complete Explanation of the Universe. No more floating about in the ether, a lone Leibnizian monad — no, Islam is here to rescue you.
3. The advances (reverses?) in technology now have made the humblest Afghan villager in the humblest cot, in the most remote mountain valley, no longer unaware of the full meaning of Islam. The steady din of propaganda and of the contents of Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira itself now reach everywhere. There is no longer a Muslim who cannot be reached through audiocassettes (which were so important to Khomeini in his French exile), videocassettes, and satellite channels. The poison of Al Jazeera and Al Manar and other stations oozes everywhere. It is poured into the ears of world-wide Islam, but unlike the poison poured into the ear of Hamlet’s sleeping father, this poison kills not the immediate recipient, but rather, the Infidels, and all their works and days.
This is where those analysts falter who think that Jihad was invented by — oh, name your year, it could be 1954, with Sayyid Qutb, or 1928, with Hassan al-Banna, or 1924, with the fury over Ataturk’s ending the Caliphate, or 1798, with the entry of Napoleon into Egypt. In reality, Jihad is as old as, as continuous as, Islam itself, which is why those who write books with titles such as “After Jihad” must be looked at in wonder and suspicion at their bland and self-assured ignorance.
That’s why all books that remind us that terrorism is only a part of the problem, not the most important part, and that Islam itself is a threat to artistic expression, to science, to all free and skeptical inquiry, and to the emphasis on the individual that is, in Western societies, at the heart of our political and social understandings, are so valuable. This is why all Westerners should regard the collective with suspicion and distaste. In Islam, the individual hardly matters, does not matter. The collective, the umma al-islamiyya, the onward march of Islam itself, the Defense of the Faith, the Protection of the Faith, the Furtherance of the Faith — that’s what counts.
Look around. Look at the past 1350 years. Look what the Muslim conquest meant for the Middle East, for North Africa, for Sassanid Persia, for India. Like what you see? Impressed? No objections if Western Europe is islamized? No problems, none whatsoever, with what happens to the military capability of the former members of NATO? What happens to the Louvre, the Prado, the Alte Pinakothek, the Rijksmuseum, the Uffizi, the National Gallery? No problem with what happens to the universities? To the publishing houses? To free thought everywhere?
Look closely at the Muslim states. Look at the handful that have managed to have a little bit of mental freedom. Look at Kemalist Turkey, a country which for 80 years did its damnedest to constrain and contain Islam as a political and social force. Look at some of the former Soviet republics that had Islam squeezed out of them during the Soviet years and the basmachi revolt, and only some of which are now returning to the old ways and beliefs. Look at Lebanon– but wait, Lebanon was a few decades ago 60% Christian, and the Christian influence is still strong. But where else in dar al-Islam shall we say — yes, and yes, and yes. Do you really have no objection, no objection at all — as long as terrorism is not involved — to living in a future that looks like Egypt, or Iran, or Saudi Arabia, or Pakistan, or Morocco, or…?
Never, never, never, never, never.