Bukhari:V4B52N268 Â Â Â “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘War is deceit.'”Â
Raymond Ibrahim: “Islam’s Doctrines of Deception”
I was recently asked byÂ Jane’s Intelligence GroupÂ to write an essay devoted to taqiyya forJane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst,Â which appeared late September. Below is the unedited version:
To better understand Islam, one must appreciate the thoroughly legalistic nature of the religion. According to sharia (Islamic law) every conceivable human act is categorized as being either forbidden, discouraged, permissible, recommended, or obligatory. “Common sense” or “universal opinion” have little to do with Islam’s notions of right and wrong. All that matters is what do Allah (via the Koran) and his prophet Muhammad (through the Hadith) have to say about any given thing; and how Islam’s greatest theologians and juristsâ€”collectively known as the ulema, literally, the “ones who know”â€”have articulated it.
Consider the concept of lying. According to sharia, deception in generalâ€”based on the Koran’s terminology, also known as “taqiyya”â€”is not only permitted in certain situations but sometimes “obligatory.” For instance, and quite contrary to Christian tradition, not only are Muslims who must choose between either recanting Islam or being put to death permitted to lie by pretending to have apostatized; but some jurists have decreed that, according to Koran 4:29, Muslims areobligatedÂ to lie.
THE DOCTRINE OF TAQIYYA
According to the authoritative Arabic text,Â Al-Taqiyya fi Al-Islam, “Taqiyya [deception] is of fundamental importance in Islam. Practically every Islamic sect agrees to it and practices it. We can go so far as to say that the practice of taqiyya is mainstream in Islam, and that those few sects not practicing it diverge from the mainstream…. Taqiyya is very prevalent in Islamic politics, especially in the modern era.”
Some erroneously believe that taqiyya is an exclusively Shia doctrine. That is because the Shia have traditionally relied on it due to the fact that, as a minority group interspersed among their traditional enemies, the much more numerous Sunnis, they have historically had more “reason” to dissemble. However, Sunnis living in the West today find themselves in a similar situation, as they are now the minority surrounded by their historic enemies, non-Muslims.
The primary Koranic verse sanctioning deception vis-Ã -vis non-Muslims states: “Let believers not take for friends and allies infidels instead of believers. Whoever does this shall have no relationship left with Allahâ€”unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions” (3:28; other verses relied on by the ulema include 2:173; 2:185; 4:29; 16:106; 22:78; 40:28).
Al-Tabari’s (d. 923) famousÂ TafsirÂ (exegesis of the Koran) is essentially a standard reference work in the entire Muslim world. Regarding 3:28, he writes: “If you [Muslim] are under their [infidels’] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them, with your tongue, while harboring inner animosity for them…. Allah has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels in place of believersâ€”except when infidels are above them [in authority]. In such a scenario, let them act friendly towards them.”
Regarding 3:28,” Ibn Kathir (d. 1373, second only to Tabari) writes, “Whoever at any time or place fears their [infidels’] evil, may protect himself through outward show.” As proof of this, he quotes Muhammad’s companions: Abu Darda said “Let us smile to the face of some people while our hearts curse them”; while al-Hassan said, “Doing taqiyya is acceptable till the Day of Judgment [i.e., in perpetuity].”
Other prominent ulema, such as al-Qurtubi , al-Razi, and al-Arabi have extended taqiyya to cover deeds. In other words, Muslims can behave like infidelsâ€”including by bowing down and worshipping idols and crosses, false testimony, even exposing Muslims’ “weak spots” to the infidel enemyâ€”anything short of actually killing a fellow Muslim.
Is this why the Muslim American soldier, Hasan Akbar, attacked his fellow soldiers in Iraq in 2003? Had his pretence of loyalty finally come up against a wall when he realized Muslims might die at his hands? He had written in his diary: “I may not have killed any Muslims, but being in the army is the same thing. I may have to make a choice very soon on who to kill.”
WAR IS DECEIT
None of this should be surprising considering that Muhammad himselfâ€”whose example as the “most perfect human” is to be tenaciously followedâ€”took an expedient view to lying. It is well known, for instance, that Muhammad permitted lying in three situations: to reconcile two or more quarreling parties; to one’s wife; and in war.
As for war, during the Battle of the Trench, which pitted Muhammad and his followers against several non-Muslim tribes (collectively known as “the Confederates”), one Naim bin Masud went to the Muslim camp and converted to Islam. When Muhammad discovered that the Confederates were unaware of Masud’s conversion, he counseled him to return and try somehow to get the Confederates to abandon the siegeâ€”“For,” Muhammad assured him, “war is deceit.” Masud returned to the Confederates without their knowledge that he had “switched sides,” and began giving his former kin and allies bad advice. He also went to great lengths to instigate quarrels between the various tribes until, thoroughly distrusting each other, they disbanded, lifting the siege from the Muslims.
More demonstrative of the legitimacy of deception vis-Ã -vis infidels is the following anecdote. A poet, Kab bin al-Ashruf, had offended Muhammad by making derogatory verse concerning Muslim women. Muhammad exclaimed in front of his followers: “Who will kill this man who has hurt Allah and his prophet?” A young Muslim named Muhammad bin Maslama volunteered, but with the caveat that, in order to get close enough to Kab to assassinate him, he be allowed to lie to the poet. Muhammad agreed. Maslama traveled to Kab, began denigrating Islam and Muhammad, carrying on this way till his disaffection became convincing enough that Kab took him into his confidences. Soon thereafter, Maslama appeared with another Muslim and, while Kab’s guard was down, they assaulted and killed him. One version reports that they ran to Muhammad with Kab’s head, to which the latter cried “Allahu Akbar!” (God is great!)
It also bears mentioning that the entire sequence of Koranic revelations are a testimony to taqiyya; and since Allah is believed to be the revealer of these verses, he ultimately is seen as the perpetrator of deceitâ€”which is not surprising since Allah himself is described in the Koran as the “best deceiver” (3:54). This phenomenon revolves around the fact that the Koran contains both peaceful and tolerant verses, as well as violent and intolerant ones. The ulema were baffled as to which verses to codify into sharia’s worldviewâ€”the one, for instance, that states there is no coercion in religion (2:256), or the ones that command believers to fight all non-Muslims till they either convert or at least submit to Islam (9:5, 9:29)? To get out of this quandary, they developed the doctrine of abrogation (naskh, supported by Koran 2:105) which essentially states that verses “revealed” later in Muhammad’s career take precedence over the earlier ones whenever there is a contradiction.
But why the contradiction in the first place? The standard answer has been that, since in the early years of Islam, Muhammad and his community were far outnumbered by the infidels, a message of peace and co-existence was in order. However, after he migrated to Medina and grew in military strength and numbers, the violent and intolerant verses were revealed, urging Muslims to go on the offensive. According to this standard view, one can only conclude that the peaceful Meccan verses were ultimately a ruse to buy Islam time till it became sufficiently strong enough to implement the “true” verses. Or, as traditionally understood and implemented, when Muslims are weak, they should preach and behave according to the Meccan verses; when strong, they should go on the offensive, according to the Medinan verses.
WAR IS ETERNAL
The fact that Islam legitimizes deceit during war cannot be all that surprising; after all, Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, and Hobbes all justified deceit in war. The problem, however, is that, according to all four recognized schools of Sunni jurisprudence, war against the infidel goes on in perpetuityâ€”until “all chaos ceases, and all religion belongs to Allah” (Koran 8:38). The definitive Encyclopaedia of Islam simply states:
“The duty of the jihad exists as long as the universal domination of Islam has not been attained. Peace with non-Muslim nations is, therefore, a provisional state of affairs only; the chance of circumstances alone can justify it temporarily. Furthermore there can be no question of genuine peace treaties with these nations; only truces, whose duration ought not, in principle, to exceed ten years, are authorised. But even such truces are precarious, inasmuch as they can, before they expire, be repudiated unilaterally should it appear more profitable for Islam to resume the conflict.”
This latter concept of obligatory jihad is best expressed by Islam’s dichotomized worldview that pits Dar al Islam (the Islamic world), against Dar al Harb (the non-Islamic world) until the former subsumes the latter. Internationally renowned Muslim historian and philosopher, Ibn Khaldun (d.1406), articulates this division thusly:
“In the Muslim community, 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. The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense… But Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.”
This concept is highlighted by the fact that, based on the ten year treaty of Hudaibiya, ratified between Muhammad and his Quraish opponents in Mecca, ten years is, theoretically, the maximum amount of time Muslims can be at peace with infidels. Based on Muhammad’s example of breaking the treaty after two years, (by citing a Quraish infraction), the sole function of the “peace-treaty” (hudna) is to buy weakened Muslims time to regroup before going on the offensive once more. Incidentally, Muhammad is quoted in the Hadith saying, “If I take an oath and later find something else better, I do what is better and break my oath.”
Is this what former PLO leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Yasser Arafat meant when, after negotiating a peace treaty criticized by Muslims as conceding too much to Israel, said in a mosque, “I see this agreement as being no more than the agreement signed between our Prophet Muhammad and the Quraish in Mecca”? What of Hamas, who on several occasions has made it clear that its ultimate aspiration is to see Israel destroyed. Under what context would it want to initiate a “temporary” peace with the Jewish state? When Osama bin Laden offered the U.S. a truce, stressing that “We [Muslims] are a people that Allah has forbidden from double-crossing and lying,” what was his ultimate intention? These are all clear instances of Muslims feigning friendliness simply in order to buy time to strengthen.
Most recently, a new Islamic group associated with Hamas called Jaysh al-Umma (Islam’s army), stated clearly, “Muslims all over the world are obliged to fight the Israelis and the infidels until only Islam rules the earth.” Realizing their slip, they quickly “clarified”: “We say that the world will not live in peace as long as the blood of Muslims continues to be shed.” Which is itâ€”until Muslim blood stops being shed in Israel or “until only Islam rules the earth”?
Here, then, is the problem. If a) Islam must be in a constant state of war with the non-Muslim worldâ€”which need not be physical, as the ulema have classified several non-literal forms of jihad, such as “jihad-of-the-pen” (propaganda), and “money-jihad” (economic)â€”and b) If Muslims are permitted to lie and feign loyalty to the infidel, simply to further their war effortsâ€”what does one make of any Muslim overtures of peace, tolerance, or dialogue?
RECIPROCAL TREATMENT OR RELIGIOUS OBLIGATION?
Why did Osama bin Laden, who firmly believes in the division of the world into two entitiesâ€”Islam and the restâ€”which must war until the former dominates the globe, attack the U.S.? The following anecdote sheds some light: after a group of prominent Muslims wrote a letter to Americans saying that Islam is a peaceful religion that wishes to co-exist with others, seeking only to “live and let live,” Bin Laden castigated them as follows:
“As to the relationship between Muslims and infidels, this is summarized by the Most High’s Word: ‘We renounce you. Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us â€” till you believe in Allah alone’ [Koran 60:4]. So there is an enmity, evidenced by fierce hostility from the heart. And this fierce hostility â€” that is, battle â€” ceases only if the infidel submits to the authority of Islam, or if his blood is forbidden from being shed [i.e., a dhimmi], or if Muslims are at that point in time weak and incapable [i.e., taqiyya]. But if the hate at any time extinguishes from the heart, this is great apostasy! … Such, then, is the basis and foundation of the relationship between the infidel and the Muslim. Battle, animosity, and hatred â€” directed from the Muslim to the infidel â€” is the foundation of our religion. And we consider this a justice and kindness to them” (fromÂ The Al Qaeda Reader).
It bears repeating that this hostile world view is well supported by all of Islam’s schools of jurisprudence. When addressing Western audiences, however, bin Laden’s tone drastically changes; he lists any number of “grievances” for fighting the Westâ€”from Palestinian oppression, to the Western exploitation of women and U.S. failure to sign the Kyoto protocolâ€”never once alluding to fighting the U.S. simply because it is an infidel entity that must be subjugated. Indeed, he often initiates his messages to the West by saying “Reciprocal treatment is part of justice.”Â
This is of course a clear instance of taqiyya, as bin Laden is not only waging a physical jihad, but one of propaganda. Convincing a naÃ¯ve West that the current conflict is entirely its fault only garners him and his cause more sympathy; conversely, he also knows that if Americans were to realize that, all political grievances asideâ€”real or imaginedâ€”according to Islam’s worldview, nothing short of their submission to Islam can ever bring peace, his propaganda campaign would be quickly compromised. Hence the constant lying: “war is deceit.”
It should be added that, though the vast majority of the world’s Muslims are not terrorists, bin Laden’s list of grievances against the West is paradigmatic of the average Muslim’s grievances. However, if they are unaware that, according to Islamâ€”not bin Ladenâ€”animosity towards infidels transcends time, space, and grievances, and that religious obligation commands the war continue till “all religion belongs to Allah,” they are either ignorant of their own faith (which is common) orâ€”taqiyya?
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE…
Associated with Hamas, denounced by American politicians for “pursuing an extreme Islamist political agenda,” its members arrested for terrorism-related chargesâ€”CAIR is another Muslim group which appears to be less than sincere to its non-Muslim audience; situated in the U.S. it is also much closer to home. When it comes to the issue of jihad, perpetual warfare, even doctrines such as taqiyyaâ€”indeed, all that has been delineated in this essayâ€”CAIR has been at the forefront of, not only denying their existence, but accusing anyone alluding to them as an “Islamophobe,” thereby censoring any critical talk of Islam.
Could CAIR be taking lessons from the Muslim convert Masud who Muhammad urged to go and live among the Confederate infidels, solely in order to mislead and betray them, that Islam might triumph?
The most obvious example of taqiyya, however, comes ironically from an entire nation: Saudi Arabia. If any nation closely follows shariaâ€”including the division of the world into two warring camps, Islam and Infidelityâ€”it is Saudi Arabia, AKA, America’s “friend.” According to sharia, for instance, the Saudis will not allow the construction of a single church or synagogue on their land; Bibles are banned and burned. Christians engaged in any kind of missionary activity are arrested, tortured, and sometimes killed. Muslim converts to Christianity are put to death. A Filipino migrant worker named Lorenzo was imprisoned and tortured for six years. His crime? Wearing a cross.
Yet for all that, the Saudis have been pushing for more “dialogue” between Muslims and non-Muslims, trying to portray Islam as a tolerant religion that, once again, merely seeks to “coexist” with others. Rather tellingly, Saudi Arabia has not offered to host any of these conferences. Do they fear that a real “debate” might take place, once the non-Muslim participants discover that they are not free to practice their faiths on Saudi soil? The most recent inter-faith conference was held in Madrid, where King Abdullah, despite all the aforementioned, asserted, “Islam is a religion of moderation and tolerance, a message that calls for constructive dialogue among followers of all religions.”
Mere days later, it was revealed that Saudi children textbooks still call Christians and Jews “infidels,” the “hated enemies,” and “pigs and swine.” A multiple choice test in a fourth-grade book asks Muslim children, “Who is a ‘true’ Muslim?” The correct answer is not merely a man who prays, fasts, etc., but rather, “A man worships God alone, loves the believers, and hates the infidels”â€”that is, those same people the Saudis want to “dialogue” with.
Clearly, then, when Saudisâ€”or other Muslims adhering to shariaâ€”call for “dialogue” they are merely following Abu Darda’s advice: “Let us smile to the face of some people while our hearts curse them.”
There is also a philosophical â€“ more particularly, epistemological â€“ problem with taqiyya. Anyone who truly believes that no less an authority than God justifies and, through his prophet’s example, sometimes even encourages deception, will not experience any ethical qualms or dilemmas about lying. This is especially true if the human mind is indeed a tabula rasa shaped by environment and education. Deception becomes second nature.
Consider the case of former Al-Qaeda operative, Ali Mohammad. Despite being entrenched in the highest echelons of the terrorism network, Mohammed’s confidence at dissembling enabled him to become a CIA agent and FBI informant for years. People who knew him regarded him “with fear and awe for his incredible self-confidence, his inability to be intimidated, absolute ruthless determination to destroy the enemies of Islam, and his zealous belief in the tenets of militant Islamic fundamentalism”, according to Steven Emerson.
Indeed, this sentiment sums it all up: for a zealous belief in Islam’s tenets, which, as has been described above, legitimizes deception, will certainly go a long way in creating incredible self-confidence when deceiving one’s enemies.
All of the above is an exposition on doctrine and its various manifestations, not an assertion on the actual practices of the average Muslim.The deciding question is how literally any given Muslim follows sharia and its worldview.
So-called “moderate” Muslims â€“ or, more specifically, secularised Muslimsâ€“ do not closely adhere to sharia, and therefore have little to dissemble about. On the other hand, “radical” Muslims who closely observe sharia law, which splits the world into two perpetually warring halves, will always have a “divinely sanctioned” right to deceive, until “all chaos ceases, and all religion belongs to Allah” (Koran 8:39).
Islamic Dictionary for Infidels
An illuminating new piece from the European essayistÂ Wolfgang Bruno:
Andrew G. Bostom,Â editor of “The Legacy of Jihad,”Â 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 â€“ as Ibn Arabi (d. 1240) the lionized “Greatest Sufi Master,” expressed it -“perfect slavery” under the will of Allah.Â 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 governmentâ€”to political freedom, or citizenship, in the sense which underlies the development of political thought in the West.”
Meanwhile, the German-SyrianÂ 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 â€“ or ‘House of Islam’ â€“ 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.Â IslamOnline quotesÂ 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 theÂ 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 JefferyÂ 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 asÂ a continuous process of warfare, psychological and political if not strictly military.”
An observerÂ 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 â€“ as presented to the Egyptian students â€“ 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-BaghdadiÂ 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.Â 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 radicalÂ Islamic group in the UKinciting 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 toÂ 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).Â 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 JihadistÂ organization HamasÂ 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 manyÂ 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 publicÂ schools in Saudi ArabiaÂ 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 anÂ interview on Saudi TVÂ 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 toÂ 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 countriesÂ such as AlgeriaÂ 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,Â 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:Â “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 â€“ or ‘House of Islam’ â€“ 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:Â 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:Â 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:Â 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:Â 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.