An illuminating new piece from the European essayist Wolfgang Bruno:
Andrew G. Bostom, editor of “The Legacy of Jihad,” notes that President Bush has repeatedly stressed the paramount importance of promoting freedom in the Middle East. However, Bostom points out that Hurriyya, the Arabic for “freedom,” and the uniquely Western concept of freedom “are completely at odds.” Hurriyya – “freedom” – is — as Ibn Arabi (d. 1240) the lionized “Greatest Sufi Master,” expressed it -“perfect slavery” under the will of Allah. Bernard Lewis, in his analysis of hurriyya for the venerated Encyclopedia of Islam, maintains that:
–¦there is still no idea that the subjects have any right to share in the formation or conduct of government””to political freedom, or citizenship, in the sense which underlies the development of political thought in the West.”
Meanwhile, the German-Syrian scholar Bassam Tibi, a Muslim reformist, is warning the West against wishful thinking in its “dialogue” with Muslims. “The dialogue is not proceeding well because of the two-facedness of most Muslim interlocutors on the one hand and the gullibility of well-meaning Western idealists on the other.”
Muslims frequently claim, to obscure the realities of the war against non-Muslims, that “Islam means peace.” The word “Islam” does indeed come from the same three-letter Arabic root (s-l-m) as the word “salaam,” peace. “Islam,” however, means “submission,” not peace. “Peace” in Islam equals submission to the will of Allah through his divine and eternal law, sharia. The absence of sharia is the absence of peace. Bassam Tibi explains: “First, both sides should acknowledge candidly that although they might use identical terms these mean different things to each of them. The word ‘peace,’ for example, implies to a Muslim the extension of the Dar al-Islam — or ‘House of Islam’ — to the entire world,” explained Tibi. “This is completely different from the Enlightenment concept of eternal peace that dominates Western thought, a concept developed by Immanuel Kant,” an 18th-century philosopher. “Similarly, when Muslims and the Western heirs of the Enlightenment speak of tolerance they have different things in mind. In Islamic terminology, this term implies abiding non-Islamic monotheists, such as Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, as second-class believers. They are ‘dhimmi,’ a protected but politically immature minority.” According to Tibi, the quest of converting the entire world to Islam is an immutable fixture of the Muslim worldview. Only if this task is accomplished, if the world has become a “Dar al-Islam,” will it also be a “Dar a-Salam,” or a house of peace.”
This strategy of deceiving non-Muslims by twisting words to conceal the real, Islamic agenda while Muslims are not yet strong enough to impose their will is sanctioned by Islamic texts. IslamOnline quotes Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, in stating:
“Lying is forbidden unless it is for necessity. In that case, the principle “necessity makes the unlawful permissible” applies. (“¦) Some of these acceptable lies is what we call connotation, a word carrying a double meaning. The Muslim may use the positive not the negative interpretation of the word.”
“Religious deception of unbelievers is indeed taught by the Qur’an itself: “Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers. If any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah; except by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves from them” (Qur’an 3:28). In other words, don’t make friends with unbelievers except to “guard yourselves from them”: pretend to be their friends so that you can strengthen yourself against them. The distinguished Qur’anic commentator Ibn Kathir explains that this verse teaches that if “believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers,” they may “show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly.”
This strategy seems to be working quite well with the dhimmis of the European Union, who are now promoting an official dictionary to use when writing about matters related to Islam. “Jihad means something for you and me, it means something else for a Muslim. Jihad is a perfectly positive concept of trying to fight evil within yourself,” said an EU official. Really? Writing over six decades ago, Arthur Jeffery belittled as “the sheerest sophistry” such attempts to rewrite the bloody reality of Jihad:
“.. .the early Arabic sources quite plainly and frankly describe the expeditions as military expeditions, and it would never have occurred to anyone at that day to interpret them as anything else”¦”
Armed Jihad is not just a thing of the past. Observers of school textbooks in Egypt of the present age note that “[the] concept of jihad is interpreted in the Egyptian school curriculum almost exclusively as a military endeavour.” Majid Khadduri, a Muslim scholar, whose 1955 treatise on Jihad remains one of the most respected analyses of this institution, summarized these consensus views, as follows:
“The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have declared ‘some of my people will continue to fight victoriously for the sake of the truth until the last one of them will combat the anti-Christ.’ Until that moment is reached the jihad, in one form or another will remain as a permanent obligation upon the entire Muslim community. It follows that the existence of a dar al-harb is ultimately outlawed under the Islamic jural order; that the dar al-Islam is permanently under jihad obligation until the dar al-harb is reduced to non-existence (“¦) The universality of Islam, in its all embracing creed, is imposed on the believers as a continuous process of warfare, psychological and political if not strictly military.”
An observer of Egyptian schoolbooks notes that: “Peace in general is exalted in the Egyptian school textbooks, both as a human and as an Islamic value. It is declared to be Egypt’s goal. But when examined more deeply, it turns out to be a conditional value, both on the political and religious levels. On the political level peace is made conditional upon reciprocity on the part of the enemy, which is interpreted as acceptance of the Arabs’ demands. On the religious level, peace is conditional upon the interests of the Muslims at any given moment. If the Muslims are stronger than the enemy, peace may be legally rejected. The meaning of peace in itself — as presented to the Egyptian students — does not exclude war, and this reaches the point, in several cases, of advocating war in the name of peace.”
In 2006, Iraqi religious scholar Ayatollah Ahmad Husseini Al-Baghdadi explained that Jihad, from the perspective of Islamic jurisprudence, is of two types: Not just defensive warfare if somebody attacks Muslims in their own lands, but also “Jihad initiated by the Muslims, which means raiding the world in order to spread the word that “there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah” throughout the world.” In other words: The ultimate objective of Jihad isn’t merely to preserve Islam at home, but to spread it throughout the world when Muslims are in a position to do so: “If the objective and subjective circumstances materialize, and there are soldiers, weapons, and money – even if this means using biological, chemical, and bacterial weapons – we will conquer the world, so that “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah” will be triumphant over the domes of Moscow, Washington, and Paris.”
Contemporary Muslim theologians such as Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, “spiritual” leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and popular Al-Jazeera television personality, hailed as a moderate voice by some in the West, sanction bombings against all Israeli citizens using Jihad criteria completely in line with those by classical jurists. He argues that in modern war there are no civilians, as all sectors of society aid the efforts if the country is involved in confrontation with Muslims in some way. Which also means that all non-Muslim citizens become legitimate targets of Islamic attacks. Qaradawi says:
“It has been determined by Islamic law that the blood and property of people of Dar Al-Harb [the Domain of Disbelief where the battle for the domination of Islam should be waged] is not protected”¦in modern war, all of society, with all its classes and ethnic groups, is mobilized to participate in the war, to aid its continuation, and to provide it with the material and human fuel required for it to assure the victory of the state fighting its enemies.”
Needless to say, this line of thinking could easily be used by Islamic groups to justify terror attacks such as the ones on the World Trade Center in New York City. In their eyes, they didn’t kill innocent civilians since there are no innocent civilians in the USA. This should be kept in mind when listening to “moderate” Muslim leaders smiling and declaring that Islam is strongly against killing innocent civilians. Indeed, there are some Muslims who would argue that ALL non-Muslims, at least those who have on some point heard the Islamic message and still failed to convert, are guilty of rebellion against Allah and thus fair game.
An undercover investigation caught leaders of a radical Islamic group in the UK inciting young British Muslims to become terrorists. One of their leaders declared it was imperative for Muslims to “instil terror into the hearts of the kuffar” and added: “I am a terrorist. As a Muslim of course I am a terrorist.” In public interviews the same man had condemned the killing of all innocent civilians. Later when he addressed his own followers he explained that he had in fact been referring only to Muslims as only they were innocent: “Yes I condemn killing any innocent people, but not any kuffar (infidels).”
A group of American Islamic leaders announced a fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, against “terrorism and extremism.” An organization called the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) issued the fatwa, and the Council on American – Islamic Relations (CAIR) organized the press conference, stating that several major U.S. Muslim groups endorsed the fatwa. However, according to terrorism expert Steven Emerson, the fatwa was bogus: “It does not renounce nor even acknowledge the existence of an Islamic jihadist culture that has permeated mosques and young Muslims around the world. It does not renounce Jihad let alone admit that it has been used to justify Islamic terrorist acts.”
After the terror bombings in London in July 2005, perpetrated by Muslims, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) declared that “Islam considers the use of terrorism to be unacceptable for any purpose,” There’s only one problem with this: It’s not true. Muhammad himself said that “I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy)” (Bukhari, 4, 52, 220). The Koran, too, repeatedly calls for the use of this tactics, such as in verse 8, 12: “When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”
Andrew Bostom, who has studied the history of more than one thousand years of Jihad that took place on three continents, says that “terrorism was often a prelude to conquest.” Terrorism is psychological warfare, to make the non-Muslims scared of Muslims, soften their resistance and prevent them from mounting a real defense of their lands when Muslims later wage a full-scale war to colonize and subdue them. Physical attacks such as the terror bombings in Madrid or London, but also the great frenzy whipped up over the rather innocent cartoons of Muhammad in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, should all be viewed in this light.
According to scholar Bassam Tibi, “at its core, Islam is a religious mission to all humanity. Muslims are religiously obliged to disseminate the Islamic faith throughout the world. “We have sent you forth to all mankind” (Q. 34:28). If non-Muslims submit to conversion or subjugation, this call (da’wa) can be pursued peacefully. If they do not, Muslims are obliged to wage war against them. In Islam, peace requires that non-Muslims submit to the call of Islam, either by converting or by accepting the status of a religious minority (dhimmi) and paying the imposed poll tax, jizya.”
Interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Hassam El-Masalmeh from Palestinian Jihadist organization Hamas confirmed the organization’s plan to re-institute the humiliating jizya, a blood ransom poll-tax (based on Qur’an sura 9, verse 29), levied traditionally on non-Muslims vanquished by Jihad. Arabic lexicographer E.W. Lane, based on a careful analysis of the term, states that: “The tax that is taken from the free non-Muslim subjects of a Muslim government whereby they ratify the compact that assures them protection, as though it were compensation for not being slain.”
This subjugation of non-Muslims to religious apartheid and second class citizenship in their own country is part and parcel of sharia, Islamic law. And this option is only available to Christians and Jews, not Hindus, Buddhists or others, who have only the choice between embracing Islam or death. Muslims feel “oppressed” when they can’t fully practice their religious laws in the West. But since these laws ultimately require the subjugation of non-Muslims, “freedom of religion” for Muslims essentially means the freedom to make others unfree.
According to Tibi, “world peace, the final stage of the da’wa (call to embrace Islam), is reached only with the conversion or submission of all mankind to Islam”¦Muslims believe that expansion through war is not aggression but a fulfillment of the Qur’anic command to spread Islam as a way to peace. The resort to force to disseminate Islam is not war (harb), a word that is used only to describe the use of force by non-Muslims. Islamic wars are not hurub (the plural of harb) but rather futuhat, acts of “opening” the world to Islam and expressing Islamic jihad. Relations between dar al-Islam, the home of peace, and dar al-harb, the world of unbelievers, nevertheless take place in a state of war, according to the Qur’an and to the authoritative commentaries of Islamic jurists. Unbelievers who stand in the way, creating obstacles for the da’wa, are blamed for this state of war, for the da’wa can be pursued peacefully if others submit to it. In other words, those who resist Islam cause wars and are responsible for them. Only when Muslim power is weak is “temporary truce” (hudna) allowed (Islamic jurists differ on the definition of “temporary”).”
These words are mirrored in the ideas of many Islamic groups today. “[President] Bush says that we want to enslave people and oppress their freedom of speech,” says Abu Abdullah, a senior member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Party of Liberation. “But we want to free all people from being slaves of men and make them slaves of Allah.” “Islam obliges Muslims to possess power so that they can intimidate – I would not say terrorize – the enemies of Islam,” says Abu Mohammed, a Hizb ut-Tahrir activist. “And if after all discussions and negotiations they still refuse, then the last resort will be a jihad to spread the spirit of Islam and the rule of Islam,” he says, smiling. “This is done in the interests of all people to get them out of darkness and into light.”
A schoolbook, in use in public schools in Saudi Arabia as late as 2006, stated that “Jihad in the path of God — which consists of battling against unbelief, oppression, injustice, and those who perpetrate it — is the summit of Islam. This religion arose through jihad and through jihad was its banner raised high. It is one of the noblest acts, which brings one closer to God.”
Notice how the terms “unbelief, oppression and injustice” are used synonymously. Islamic apologists in the West keep repeating the mantra that “Jihad isn’t a fight against non-Muslims, but a struggle against tyranny and injustice.” Again, the problem is that seen with Islamic eyes, there isn’t too much of a difference between these various terms. It’s “oppression” when Muslim immigrants in the West must live by the same, secular laws as the native infidels, not sharia, and “injustice” in the end refers to pretty much all societies not subjugated to obedience to the will of Allah. “Injustice” can thus be used to describe all non-Islamic systems, for instance Western democracy.
The Saudi deputy minister of religious endowments, Abd Al-Rahman Al-Matroudi, stated in an interview on Saudi TV in July 2005 that “the definition of terrorism that concerns us is that it is any act or statement that contradicts the Koran or Sunna, whether in thought or action.” He also said that Muslims should “impose their culture,” and that peaceful ways should be pursued only when they were not strong enough to do this: “If you are strong enough to defend yourself, you must do so…Host: and impose your culture…Al-Matroudi: Yes, and impose your culture. Host: Great. Al-Matroudi: And if you have no such strength, you should do whatever you can to get what you want in peaceful and diplomatic ways.”
Aggression is something only infidels do. The Crusades were a brief and isolated episode in European history, whereas Jihad has been a constant feature of the Islamic world for more than 1300 years, fixed in the Koran and Islamic core texts. Still, Muslims want Europeans to apologize for the Crusades, although they were, as Bernard Lewis and other have pointed out, a belated, defensive reaction against centuries of Islamic aggression. This is because, as Tibi has demonstrated, it is not seen as aggression or war when Muslims attack non-Muslims. On the contrary, it is seen as aggression when non-Muslims resist the Islamization of their lands and thus “place obstacles in the way” of the spread of Islam. They are defying the will of Allah. Since subjugation to Islam alone can bring peace, Muslims consider themselves to be “spreading peace” when they raid, maim and kill from Europe to Central Asia.
According to Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the Muslim community “has been exposed to horrendous invasions and aggressive attacks, one of which is the missionary invasion that aims at uprooting the Muslim community altogether. (“¦) One of its goals is to entice Muslims to convert to Christianity.” He thus considers verbal, non-violent efforts to convert Muslims to other religions a form of aggression, This is also the reason why countries such as Algeria have passed laws banning the call to embrace other religions than Islam. Qaradawi also seems to support the traditional Islamic view that those leaving Islam should be executed. The curious thing is, Muslims in infidel countries consider it an act of aggression if they don’t get to convert non-Muslims.
As I’ve stated in previous essays, Jihad is, simply put, anything undertaken to advance the spread of Islam, peaceful or not. Which means that Jihad is always present, even if there should be a temporary absence of violence because Muslims are too weak to use force. On the other hand, “aggression” is anything undertaken by non-Muslims to obstruct the advance of Islam, non-violent or not.
Based on this information, maybe we could make a sketch of a dictionary to explain what many Muslims actually think when they use various terms Westerners and infidels understand very differently:
Peace: “Peace” in Islam equals submission to the will of Allah through his divine and eternal law, sharia, and the extension of the Dar al-Islam — or ‘House of Islam’ — to cover the entire world. The absence of sharia is the absence of peace. Since it is the will of Allah that Islam will rule the entire planet, entering non-Muslim lands to subjugate the population and wipe out their corrupt, infidel culture is not seen by Muslims as “waging war,” but as spreading peace.
Freedom: Hurriyya, freedom, means freeing all people from being slaves of the laws of men and making them live in perfect slavery, in submission to the will of Allah and his laws.
Religious freedom: Subjugation of non-Muslims to religious apartheid and second class citizenship in their own country under Islamic rule. This option is only available to Christians and Jews, not Hindus, Buddhists or others, who have only the choice between embracing Islam or death. Muslims should practice sharia. Since these laws require the subjugation of non-Muslims, “freedom of religion” for Muslims essentially means the freedom to make others unfree.
Jihad: Peaceful, inner struggle that has killed up to 80 million people in the Indian subcontinent alone, and enslaved or killed tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions of people on three continents for 1350 years. It can also be violent, but only for defensive purposes, such as the Muslims who defended their way from the Arabian Peninsula to the borders of China, wiping out the indigenous cultures along the way.
Aggression: When non-Muslims do anything to preserve their culture and resist the Islamization of their country. Even when this “aggression” is non-violent, such as publishing a cartoon critical of Islam, this intolerable insult to Islamic supremacy on earth can be answered with violence by Muslims. Since a refusal to submit to sharia is a rebellion against Allah, the very existence of non-Muslim communities can be viewed as an act of aggression.