Stop the presses: New jihadist group follows Muhammad’s teachings! “‘Compared to Us, Hamas Is Islamism Lite,'” by Ulrike Putz in Speigel, July 18 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Global power is their goal, and they are willing to slaughter innocents to get there. A group of ultra-radical Islamists are training in the Gaza Strip, and SPIEGEL ONLINE met with one of their leaders.
Salafi extremist Abu Mustafa says more and more Hamas militants like these are defecting to his group.
It’s not easy to find a place to meet the man who goes by the name of Abu Mustafa. A number of places were agreed on and jettisoned. Finally, after hours of cruising around Gaza City with Abu Mustafa’s driver, the call came. The meeting would take place on the beach. There are enough people on the beach that one doesn’t attract so much attention, the caller explained. How absurd this notion was would soon become clear.
Most people don’t stick out on the beaches of Gaza to the degree that Abu Mustafa does. He picks his way across the sand on crutches, his leg wrapped in a cast up to his thigh. The Pakistani clothes he wears are also foreign — and the white shirt that hangs to his knees makes walking on crutches even more difficult. Finally he slumps in a plastic chair. “Peace be upon you,” he says quietly, welcoming his guest.
Many people would like to speak with Abu Mustafa these days — he guesses about 10 men call him each day. Abu Mustafa holds the key to an ideology that many are turning to in the Gaza Strip: Salafist jihadism, a belief in the most radical form of Islam. “We meet secretly in mosques and private homes,” says Abu Mustafa, who has become an entry point to the movement for many. He says the Salafis now number up to 5,000 people, not counting the women and children.
‘A Very Dangerous Man’
“We aren’t well enough organized yet, but we are in the process of building networks,” says the 33-year-old. Eventually, he hopes, a powerful movement will be born. Members are already receiving weapons training and are schooled in both dogma and strategy. “When the fight begins, they will show no mercy,” said a middleman for the interview — himself a fighter in an armed militia — prior to the beach meeting. “Abu Mustafa is a very dangerous man.”
Salafis — sometimes referred to as Wahhabis — dream of a world before Islam became cluttered with new innovations and cultural influences. They seek to live a pious, god-fearing life governed by the laws of religion, a life resembling those of the original Muslims. At first glance, such a belief system doesn’t differ much from that of other utopian sects — were it not for their ideas related to holy war. To make their vision a reality, Abu Mustafa and his men are willing to fight — and they are willing to slaughter innocent bystanders.
“Look,” says Abu Mustafa, whose beard cascades down his chest, “there will be three possibilities. Some will find their way to Islam. Those who don’t want to convert will be able to live in peace under the authority of Islam.” For those who don’t want to accept the hegemony of Islam, however, holy war is the only recipe. “Then we have to fight — just like our brothers on Sept. 11,” Abu Mustafa says.
This is in accord with Muhammad’s directions: “Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war”¦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 withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; 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 tax on non-Muslims specified in Qur’an 9:29]. 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 4294)
The attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. seven years ago were a response to the contempt held for Islam by the Western world, he says. “If Muslims are attacked anywhere in the world, one has to hit back, and it doesn’t matter where.” Salafist Islam is like a cat, he says. “It is very friendly, but if it is attacked, it turns into a tiger.”
This idea — that “one has to hit back” — is traditional Islamic theology: that defensive jihad is fard ayn, obligatory on every Muslim to aid in some way, if a Muslim land is attacked.
Read it all.