Archive for the ‘Islam – the religion of peace everlasting’ category

Trump should propose real debates

October 4, 2016

Trump should propose real debates, Dan Miller’s Blog, October 4, 2016

(The views expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of Warsclerotic or its other editors. — DM)

The first presidential “debate” was a farce. The next presidential “debates” will likely be as well. Rather than submit to biased mainstream media moderators (but I repeat myself), Trump should propose real debates, in addition to or as substitutes for those currently scheduled. The article is also a bit of a rant about Ms. Clinton.

demdebatemoderator

In a real debate, one resolution is proposed. The candidate in favor of the proposition speaks first and gets a specified amount of time to say why it’s a good idea. Then the candidate against the proposition gets a specified amount of time for rebuttal and the other candidate a specified amount of time to respond. A timekeeper would alert the candidates when time is almost up and then up. There would be no moderator to help one debater and to trash the other; the debaters would be on their own. Both would know the issue in advance and could prepare to address it however they please and with or without prepared notes. Were our presidential debates so conducted, viewers might well learn about the candidates’ positions on the issues by how the candidates address them, rather than via the moderator.

Here are a few possible debate propositions, for illustrative purposes only:

Latin American Immigration

In a recent article, in Spanish, Hillary wrote

that no other region in the world is “more important” for the prosperity and security of the United States than Latin America.

“There is power in our proximity, which means we are not only close geographically but also in our values, interests and in our common cultural heritage,” Clinton said, adding that the “interdependence” of the economies of the two regions, as well as the ties between communities and families, is a tremendous advantage.

“We shouldn’t build a wall between us because of that truth, but rather accept it,” she said, a clear reference to her rival, Republican candidate Donald Trump, who has promised more than once to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico if elected to the White House.

Ms. Clinton has disagreed with Trump’s assertion that “No one has the right to immigrate to this country.”

092216-hillary-retweet

A real debate grounded on the following resolution would deal with the matter raised by Ms. Clinton. Hillary could take the affirmative and Trump the negative:

Resolved: no other region in the world is more important for the prosperity and security of the United States than Latin America.

There is power in our proximity, which means we are not only close geographically but also in our values, interests and in our common cultural heritage. The interdependence of the economies of the two regions, as well as the ties between communities and families, is a tremendous advantage.

We shouldn’t build a wall between us because of that truth, but rather accept it. The wall along our southern border would keep our the good immigrants we need and there is a right to immigrate to America.

Trump would probably point out that his wall would prevent not even one legal immigrant from coming to the United States. He might also suggest that were our immigration laws and procedures more rational (like those of Mexico?) and reflected American interests as well as those of the immigrants, it would be much easier for the immigrants we want to come, legally: those who haven’t committed significant law violations, can soon become self-supporting instead of relying on welfare, do not have serious contagious diseases and appear likely to accept American values rather than, for example, joining gangs and/or importing drugs. Trump could easily provide legal support for the proposition that there is, in fact, no legal right to immigrate to America.

Islam, the religion of peace, tolerance and women’s rights

There has been substantial discussion in the few media outlets providing an “honest discussion” of Islam about the extent to which Hillary and her colleague Huma Abedin have similar views on Sharia law. Under a Clinton presidency, Huma would likely have a high place at the White House, if not as Secretary of State.

Even if Huma were to state that she disagrees with her father, mother and other close relatives about Islam and Sharia law, would she tell the truth or engage in Al-taqiyya (lying to non-Muslims to advance Islamist doctrine)?

Huma

worked on an Islamist journal for 12 years, beginning the year she became a White House intern. She hasn’t commented on that job.

. . . .

In 2012, Rep. Michele Bachmann and four other members of Congress requested information about the influence of Muslim Brotherhood-tied groups and individuals in the U.S. government, including Abedin, who worked for 12 years as an assistant editor of an Islamist journal that spewed extremism.

Abedin’s tenure at the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs began in 1996, the year she began working as an intern at the White house.

While it is certainly possible to disavow the ideology of one’s parents, Abedin has remained silent on their extremism as well as her work with on journal. It remains to be seen whether or not she will repudiate these new findings.

. . . .

Syed Abedin, Huma Abedin’s father who died in 1993, was a Muslim scholar connected to the Saudi Arabian government. According to exclusive video footage from 1971 recently obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, Syed Abedin advocated the following:

As Muslim countries evolve, he said, “The state has to take over. The state is stepping in in many countries … where the state is now overseeing that human relationships are carried on on the basis of Islam. The state also under Islam has a right to interfere in some of these rights given to the individual by the sharia.”

In addition, he is quoted as saying, “The main dynamics of life in the Islamic world are still supplied by Islam. Any institution, as I said before, any concept, any idea, in order to be accepted and become a viable thing in the Islamic world has to come through … Islam.”

Abedin’s mother, Saleha, has an especially strong Islamist ties. She is a member of the female counterpart of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Muslim World League. She leads a group called the International Islamic Committee for Women and Child, a subsidiary of a Muslim Brotherhood-led group that is banned in Israel for its links to Hamas.

In 1999 and three years after Huma began working for the journal, the journal and Saleha Abedin’s group published a book in Arabic titled “Women in Islam: A Discourse in Rights and Obligations.”

The book states that man-made law is inherently oppressive towards women, while sharia law is liberating. According to the text, Muslim women have an obligation to contribute to jihad, apostates are to be put to death, adulterers should be stoned or lashed, freedom of speech should be conformed to the boundaries set by sharia and wives must have sex with their husbands on command, “even if she is not in the mood.“

In addition, the organization led by Huma Abedin’s mother “advocates for the repeal of Mubarak-era prohibitions on female genital mutilation, child marriage and marital rape, on the grounds that such prohibitions run counter to Islamic law, which allows for their practice,” according to an analysis by the Center for Security policy.

The book advocates against laws to assure equality of women, saying, “Man-made laws have in fact enslaved women, submitting them to the cupidity and caprice of human beings. Islam is the only solution and the only escape.”

In terms of women working in high positions, the book states, “Her job would involve long hours of free mixing and social interaction with the opposite sex, which is forbidden in Islam. Moreover, women’s biological constitution is different from that of men. Women are fragile, emotional and sometimes unable to handle difficult and strenuous situations. Men are less emotional and show more perseverance.”

As noted in an article titled PIGGY-Headed,

Honor killings of their own maimed and maltreated women.  Forced conversions and kidnappings and abductions of whole school-loads of girls and women.  Selling these captives on the open market as slaves for the slugs who then abuse the women and girls unto death.  Not to mention torture as a rule, not exception, for captured women.  Nor, of course, the overall banning of women from driving, traveling alone, working outside the home, or suing for their own lives, domestic arrangements, or unheard-of gay right to not have a male husband/overlord.

For all these, the “Ms. Piggy”- quoting smartest woman in the world has done and said…nothing.

What do Muslims worldwide believe?

How about,

Resolved: America is not merely a Judeo-Christian nation and Islam is no less peaceful and tolerant than Christiany and Judaism. To become more diverse, we need more Muslim refugees and should strive to accommodate them by making our laws less offensive.

Hillary could take the affirmative and Trump the negative.

Conclusions

Trump should offer Ms. Clinton an opportunity to provide additional resolutions for debate which he might support.

Were Trump to propose supplemental or replacement debates along these lines, Hillary would very likely reject his offer because she needs support from the moderators and would understand the dangers a real debate would present. If Ms. Clinton declines Trump’s offer, he should feel free to decide whether to participate in the partisan “debate” farce as currently established.

Brennan: Comments That ‘Taint’ Islam ‘Tremendously Detrimental’ to Counterterrorism

October 1, 2016

Brennan: Comments That ‘Taint’ Islam ‘Tremendously Detrimental’ to Counterterrorism, PJ Media, Bridget Johnson, September 30, 2016

(The fantasy religion of peace. — DM)

isishalab-sized-770x415xcISIS video screenshot

WASHINGTON — CIA Director John Brennan said comments that “taint” Islam “as being the source of the problem” are “tremendously detrimental to our interests and to a better understanding of this phenomenon” of terrorism.

Speaking at the Washington Ideas Forum this week, Brennan said he’s met with “princes or presidents and prime ministers throughout the Middle East” who are “outraged that their community — their Muslim community — has been infected by this cancer, individuals who have this distorted and very perverted interpretation of Islam that pursue these psychopathic agendas of horrific violence, and they recognize that they have a very important role — the leading role to help purge their communities of these influences.”

“These individuals who are fanatics — extremists and terrorists — they are driven by this ideology that is not rooted in Islam,” Brennan said. “It’s a psychopathic ideology that is very absolutist, that either you are with us or against us.”

“And that’s why the establishment of the caliphate — the so-called caliphate by ISIL, as well as al-Qaeda’s agenda, really, are trying to cause this …clash of civilizations. They want to drive this wedge between the West and the Muslim world.”

Brennan said he has not spoken with Donald Trump, but “anybody who promotes that type of characterization of the problem, and mischaracterization, in my mind, I would try to describe how those comments are being interpreted and how they are feeding this narrative that the terrorist organizations are propagating, that it does not help to arrest this cancer that has taken over so many of the communities because of a lot of the underlying conditions that exist within Middle East and Africa, South Asia, the areas, because of economic deprivation, political disenfranchisements, lack of opportunity.”

“These terrorist organizations and this perverted version of religion preys upon their sense of hopelessness,” the CIA director continued. “And by making comments that are incendiary and are viewed as attacking a religion or a people or a community only further drive those individuals to grasp onto those extremist views because they interpret a lot of the comments that are made as the Western United States are out against them. And so, when those comments come forward, the comments of a Bin Laden or others resonate with them.”

“And they say, yes, you’re right. You know, the West is determined to exterminate us.”

Brennan was asked how he can separate terrorism from Islam when terrorists are quoting the Quran and enjoy support from some Muslims, particularly in certain parts of the world.

“People can take any faith — the Jewish faith, the Christian faith — and distort it and use it for violent agendas. And we’ve seen through the course of history that individuals who think that they are the vanguard of the effort of Christianity or Judaism or even Hinduism or other religions, really have this distorted interpretation of their faith,” Brennan replied.

“And the overwhelming majority, the 99.9 percent of Muslims do not support that type of violent agenda. Yes, there may be some individuals who are considered to be radical within their Islamic faith or even extremist,” he added.

“But the use of this horrific violence, the type of violence that’s being perpetrated by ISIL is something that we have not seen, I think, previously… their philosophy is, well, even if the innocents are killed, God will sort them out and they’ll go to heaven even earlier.”

DHS Secy to Hamas-linked ISNA: “Your story is the quintessential American story”

September 5, 2016

DHS Secy to Hamas-linked ISNA: “Your story is the quintessential American story” Jihad Watch, Robert Spencer, September 4, 2016

(Please see also, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson addresses ISNA, Muslim group linked to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood — DM)

You have heard us, before multiple audiences of different political stripes, refuse to bend to the political pressure to call terrorism ‘Islamic’ extremism. We know that ISIL, though it claims the banner of Islam, occupies no part of your religion, which is founded on peace.”

He knows that? How does he know that?

“Your story is an American story, told over and over again, generation after generation, of waves of people who struggle for, seek, and will eventually win your share of the American dream. Know the history of this country and you will know that — whether it’s Catholic Americans, Jewish Americans, Mormon Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, Japanese Americas, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, or Muslim Americans — this will be true.”

Yes, you remember when Catholic Americans, Jewish Americans, Mormon Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, Japanese Americas, African Americans, Hispanic Americans flew those planes into the towers, and bombed the Boston Marathon, and murdered 13 Americans in cold blood at Fort Hood, and four in Chattanooga, 15 in San Bernardino, and 49 in Orlando, and tried to commit mass murder at Garland and so many other places. You remember those global terror organizations made up of Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Irish, etc. committing acts of violence around the world, and threatening the imminent conquest of the U.S. and the rest of the free world.

The Obama administration’s solicitude is entirely one-way, toward Muslims as victims of discrimination, which is false and inaccurate in the U.S. anyway. Meanwhile, the jihad advances, as do Islamic supremacist attempts to assert Sharia norms over American norms. Johnson had nothing to say about such things, or about the unaccountable phenomenon of so many Muslims in the U.S. adhering to the version of Islam that he assures us is un-Islamic.

Johnson-ISNA

“Jeh Johnson tells American Muslims, ‘Your story is the quintessential American story,’” by Abigail Hauslohner, Washington Post, September 4, 2016:

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson delivered an impassioned speech Saturday night at the annual Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) conference in Chicago, holding forth on the subject of Muslim empowerment in America….

Here is the text of Johnson’s speech in full:

…As part of that, it’s a great privilege for me to be present in person here today, to speak to this full convention of the Islamic Society of North America. I’m told I am the highest ranking U.S. government official and the first sitting cabinet officer to ever speak in person before this convention. I welcome that, as you have welcomed me. I am proud to have broken that glass ceiling, and to have created the expectation, in the future, that government officials of my rank will attend your annual convention.

President Obama has made it a priority for his administration to build bridges to American Muslim communities.

In 33 months as your Secretary of Homeland Security, I have personally visited American Muslim communities in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, rural Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Detroit, Dearborn, Chicago, Columbus, Houston, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles. I have come to know many of you, and I hope you know me.

You have heard President Obama and me call out the discrimination and vilification you face in this current climate.

You have heard us say that the self-proclaimed Islamic State is neither Islam nor a state; that it is a group of terrorist attempting to hijack your religion.

You have heard us, before multiple audiences of different political stripes, refuse to bend to the political pressure to call terrorism “Islamic” extremism. We know that ISIL, though it claims the banner of Islam, occupies no part of your religion, which is founded on peace.

After I am gone as Secretary, I hope you will always regard us as your Department of Homeland Security, aligned in interest with you for peace, the safety of your family, and the protection of your homeland. I hope you will always regard our new Office of Community Partnerships as your partner.

Tonight, in this last and biggest opportunity I will have as your Secretary of Homeland Security to address an audience of some 10,000 Muslim Americans all at once, I want to take our conversation to a new level.

A leader of this organization reminded me that, we spend a lot of time telling young Muslims in this country what you should not become. A more effective message is to tell you what, in this great country, you can become. We must not simply curse the darkness, but offer a candle.

Tonight I will not look at the large group of Muslims before me in this room through a homeland security lens. Tonight I will not talk to you about counterterrorism. Tonight I will simply address you as who you are, “my fellow Americans.”

Tonight I speak especially to the young people in this audience, and to your parents worried about your future.

Many of the young people in this room worry that, because of the current climate, your religion, your skin color, and your attire, you will never win full acceptance in this country.

I come before you tonight to assure you this is not true. Your struggle for full acceptance in this country is one you will win.

How do I know this? Because my African American ancestors and I have traveled a similar road.

I hear your stories of discrimination, vilification, and of the efforts to tar you with the broad brush of suspicion.

I hear about the bullying and physical attacks that Muslims (and those perceived as Muslim) are experiencing nationwide.

They are familiar to me. I recognize them. I look out on this room of American Muslims and I see myself. I see a similar struggle that my African American ancestors have fought to win acceptance in this country.

Realize it or not, your story is the quintessential American story.

Your story is an American story, told over and over again, generation after generation, of waves of people who struggle for, seek, and will eventually win your share of the American dream. Know the history of this country and you will know that — whether it’s Catholic Americans, Jewish Americans, Mormon Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, Japanese Americas, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, or Muslim Americans — this will be true.

The arc of the American story is long, it is bumpy and uncertain, but it always bends toward a more perfect union.

Some of you are frustrated that you have been publicly denouncing violent extremism for years, sometimes at your own peril, and have not been recognized for it.

Some of you are discouraged that you must continually point to the patriotism of American Muslims, by pointing to your military service, and to those American Muslims who have died in combat for our country….

Muslim cleric from terror sponsor Iran praises Pope for saying Islam is peaceful

August 24, 2016

Muslim cleric from terror sponsor Iran praises Pope for saying Islam is peaceful, Jihad Watch,

He is thanking the Pope for furthering what he must know are false statements that keep people ignorant and complacent about the jihad threat. He is, in effect, thanking the Pope for being a tool of the global jihad.

*****************

“Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi of Qom wrote in a letter to the Pope: ‘I am really delighted to have heard your comments during your last trip to Poland in which you stated “Islam is not equal to terrorism” and further dismissed the association of violence and harshness with any and all divinely-sent religions.’”

Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi of Qom must know better. He must know that the Qur’an and Sunnah teach warfare against unbelievers, as I demonstrate here and in many other places. He is thanking the Pope for furthering what he must know are false statements that keep people ignorant and complacent about the jihad threat. He is, in effect, thanking the Pope for being a tool of the global jihad.

grand anat

“Top Muslim cleric praises Pope Francis for saying it is wrong to identify Islam with violence,” by Carey Lodge, Christian Today, August 23, 2016:

A top Iranian religious leader has praised Pope Francis for saying it is wrong to identify Islam with violence.

Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi of Qom wrote in a letter to the Pope: “I am really delighted to have heard your comments during your last trip to Poland in which you stated ‘Islam is not equal to terrorism’ and further dismissed the association of violence and harshness with any and all divinely-sent religions.

“Your wise and logical stance regarding Islam in disassociating the religion from the inhumane actions and atrocities of the Takfiri groups such as Daesh is truly admirable.”

Pope Francis told reporters on his plane back from Poland last month: “I think it is not right to identity Islam with violence. This is not right and this is not true.”

He was speaking following the murder of Father Jacques Hamel, an 85-year-old Catholic priest in Rouen, France, in an attack that was claimed by Islamic State.

“I think that in nearly all religions there is a always a small fundamentalist group,” the Pope said. “I don’t like to talk about Islamic violence because every day when I look at the papers I see violence here in Italy – someone killing his girlfriend, someone killing his mother-in-law. These are baptised Catholics.

“If I speak of Islamic violence, I have to speak of Catholic violence. Not all Muslims are violent.”

In his letter, Shirazi said that “such barbaric acts have nothing to do with divinely-sent religions and their various schools of thought. Rather, they originate from the inferior materialistic objectives of some corrupt superpowers who seek nothing but to obtain more illegitimate wealth.”…

The Pope and Holy War

August 3, 2016

The Pope and Holy War, Gatestone InstituteDenis MacEoin, August 3, 2016

♦ The West that jihadists now terrorize has allowed itself to be weakened. A combination of political correctness, fear of giving offense, fear of combat, and a reluctance to upset illusory stability has led to an incredible series of opportunities for the jihadists.

♦ We have dropped our guard and turned away. Not because we have no security forces. We do. But because we often are not looking at the right things: the texts and sermons that prefigure radicalisation.

♦ “[T]he Noble Quran appoints the Muslims as guardians over humanity in its minority, and grants them the rights of suzerainty and dominion over the world in order to carry out this sublime commission. … We have come to the conclusion that it is our duty to establish sovereignty over the world and to guide all of humanity to the sound precepts of Islam and to its teachings…” — Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.

On the morning of July 26, a priest serving mass, an elderly man of 85, Father Jacques Hamel,was butchered before his altar by one of two knife-wielding devotees of the Islamic State. His killer slit his throat and might very well have proceeded to behead him, as is the wont of many jihadi executioners. The followers of a faith that honours murderers as martyrs (shuhada’) created a martyr for quite another faith.

In both Greek and Arabic, the terms “martyr” and shahid mean exactly the same thing: “a witness”. Father Hamel was the latest in a long line of Christian martyrs who have been slain by men of violence, supposedly in order to attest to the sole truth of their faith. Many Muslim martyrs have died in much that way, but even more have given their lives while waging war (jihad) to conquer territories for Islam.[1]

The flag of the Islamic State reads “la ilaha illa’llah, Muhammadun rasulu’llah“. The words mean: “There is no God but God; Muhammad is the prophet of God”. Those two phrases are known as the shahada, the bearing of witness. You see it everywhere today, now in Syria, then again in France or the UK. But shahada also means martyrdom. And martyrdom while committing violence is what the killers of an innocent man of God achieved on that day when armed police found them and shot them dead outside the church they had desecrated.

On the following day, the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, issued a statement on the event, and for a moment it seemed that he had finally got things right. He said the world was now at war. Decades after the war started, here was a religious leader and statesman who seemed to have awakened to the fact that Western countries have been unwillingly and ineffectively failing to wage a war against Islamic radicalism. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that Islamic radicalism has been waging a war with us.

But then he blew it. What he then said was:

“It’s war, we don’t have to be afraid to say this … a war of interests, for money, resources. I am not speaking of a war of religions. Religions don’t want war. The others want war.”

What? Is slaughtering a priest at his altar linked to “interests, money, resources”? Were the killers driven by a longing for social justice, for more money, for access to greater resources? Did they think the violent death of a harmless priest would bring them any of that? They had not gone to steal any of the valuable altar table objects, the censers, the candlesticks, the crucifix, the monstrance. The killers had been shouting “Allahu akbar”, literally “God is greater” (than everything, especially, to Muslims, the supposedly non-monotheistic Christian Trinity and the Church). As we know only too well, “Allahu akbar” is a religious phrase that Muslims use often. It is the beginning of the call to prayer, the adhan, repeated six times, five times a day, preceded and followed by the shahada. It has been ringing in Western ears every time Muslims in Europe and North America carry out attacks or as a prelude to a suicide attack. It is precisely because Muslims believe that their God (named in Arabic as Allah) is superior to all other gods, because to them Islam is the greatest of all religions and lastly, because Islam is destined to conquer the world either by conversion or through violence.

What did Pope Francis mean when he said “Religions don’t want war. The others want war”? This is a man with access to endless colleges of scholars, to academics worldwide, to specialists in Islam and the Middle East. It is simply not true. To begin with, who are these “others”? Non-religious people? Atheists? Agnostics? Protestants?

In order to win a war, you have to be able to identify your enemy, understand his motives, figure out just what drives his soldiers to risk their lives in battle, know for what cause mothers and wives should send their sons and husbands to fight, knowing they may never return. Ignore all that, invent false motives for the enemy, or fail to know his ultimate aims, and you will lose. “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles”, said the great Chinese general, Sun Tzu, in his Art of War.

A day after that remark, the Pope sadly compounded his ignorance. A report in a Catholic magazine, Crux, stated that:

The pope said that in every religion there are violent people, “a small group of fundamentalists,” including in Catholicism.

“When fundamentalism goes as far as murdering … you can murder with your tongue and also with the knife,” he said.

I believe that it’s not fair to identify Islam with violence. It’s not fair and it’s not true,” he continued, adding that he has had a long conversation with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the Cairo-based Islamic university often described as the Vatican of the Sunni world.

“I know how they think. They look for peace, encounter,” he said. [Author’s italics]

Unfortunately, it is clear that the Pope (along with hundreds of politicians and religious leaders in the West, although not in Israel) does not know his enemy at all. If he thinks that “religions do not want war,” it is also clear he has never studied Islam or received truthful instruction in it from anyone. Here is why.

The later chapters of the Qur’an contain dozens of verses calling on the believers to go out to fight jihad or to use their resources to pay others to do so. The purpose of jihad is “the strengthening of Islam, the protection of believers and voiding the earth of unbelief”.[2]

According to a modern expert on jihad, “the Qur’an… presents a well-developed religious justification for waging war against Islam’s enemies”.[3]

Islam is not merely a religion; it is a system of governance. Here is Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the ubiquitous Muslim Brotherhood:

Islam is a comprehensive system which deals with all spheres of life. It is a state and a homeland (or a government and a nation). It is morality and power (or mercy and justice); it is a culture and a law (or knowledge and jurisprudence). It is material and wealth (or gain and prosperity). It is an endeavour and a call (or an army and a cause). And finally, it is true belief and worship.[4]

What does this mean for non-Muslims? Banna again makes this clear:

This means that the Noble Quran appoints the Muslims as guardians over humanity in its minority, and grants them the rights of suzerainty and dominion over the world in order to carry out this sublime commission. Hence it is our concern, not that of the West, and it pertains to Islamic civilization, not to materialistic civilization. We have come to the conclusion that it is our duty to establish sovereignty over the world and to guide all of humanity to the sound precepts of Islam and to its teachings, without which mankind cannot attain happiness.[5]

1746Pope Francis (right), recently said that “I am not speaking of a war of religions. Religions don’t want war,” and “I believe that it’s not fair to identify Islam with violence. It’s not fair and it’s not true.” Hassan al-Banna (left), founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, wrote that “the Noble Quran appoints the Muslims as guardians over humanity in its minority, and grants them the rights of suzerainty and dominion over the world in order to carry out this sublime commission.”

The Islamic Tradition literature, found in the six canonical collections, lays down descriptions of jihad and instructions on how to fight it. Please do not be misled by the oft-repeated obfuscation, “The greater jihad is a struggle with the self, a spiritual war”. There is no mention of this idea in the classical texts.[6] For centuries, jihad has meant physical warfare. Even the mystical Sufi brotherhoods have engaged in that extremely physical struggle.[7]

The Islamic prophet Muhammad led his men into battle on many occasions and sent out around 100 raiding parties and expeditions.[8] His successors, the caliphs, did the same. In the half-century after Muhammad’s death in 632 C.E., Muslim forces had conquered half the known world. Jihad wars continued to be fought on an annual basis by all the great Islamic empires, with no exception.

The first two major Islamic empires, that of the Umayyads (661-750) and their successors under a new dynasty of caliphs, the Abbasids (750-1258) carried out annual expeditions (usually two or more per year) against the Byzantine Empire (based in Constantinople). These raids were an ongoing tradition based on the earliest jihad wars in both the West and the East. They were never haphazard, but well planned. There were usually to two summer campaigns, often be followed by winter expeditions.

The summer jihads usually took the form of two separate attacks. One onslaught was called the “expedition of the left”. It was launched from the border fortresses of Sicily, whose troops were mainly of Syrian origin. The larger “expedition of the right” would be carried out from launched from the eastern Anatolian province of Malatya, deploying Iraqi troops. These jihad expeditions reached their height under the third major empire, that of the Ottomans, who conquered Constantinople in 1453, thereby bringing an end to the Byzantine Empire. Constantinople was renamed Istanbul and its chief basilica, Hagia Sophia, was turned into the imperial mosque of the Ottomans.

Today’s jihadist organizations, from the Islamic State to al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Islamic Jihad, Jabhat al-Nusra, Boko Haram, Hamas, al-Shabaab and hundreds of others are simply carrying out, on a broader canvas, the jihad wars of the nineteenth century.[9]

Jihadists seem to do this in preference to missionary work (although other groups such as the Pakistani Tablighi Jamaat do plenty of that) because their wars hark back to the days of Muhammad and his companions, the first three warlike generations. The term salafi, used now for the most radical Islamic groups, comes from salaf, or “ancestor,” but with a specialized meaning of the first three generations of Islam. Muhammad, his first followers, their children and grandchildren. Jihadists do it because, having lost military strength since the collapse of the Ottoman empire in 1918, they seem still to feel compelled to fight back against the power of the West, the triumph of the Christians (or in Israel, the Jews). God, in their eyes, promised his followers, the Muslims, that they would one day rule the world,[10] and for many centuries, Muslims may have thought that was actually happening. Then such hopes were dashed. Western empires started conquering, colonizing and ruling Muslim states, such as northern India, Algeria, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, and elsewhere — a reversal quite unthinkable.

To fight back, jihadists have chosen to use the best weapon at their disposal: terrorism. Worse, the West they now terrorize has allowed itself to be weakened. A combination of political correctness, fear of giving offense, fear of combat, and a reluctance to upset illusory stability has led to an incredible series of opportunities for the jihadists.

The young Islamist who killed the priest in France, for example, had been twice arrested for trying to head to Syria to serve with the Islamic State. At the time of the murder, the kindly authorities had forced him to wear an ankle bracelet with which to be monitored — but his curfew was only overnight. During the day, he was allowed to wander the streets freely. On that fateful morning, he decided to walk with his companion into a nearby church and fulfil his longings for martyrdom and for killing a Christian.

Unfortunately, Pope Francis could not be more wrong. One religion has wanted to fight wars from its inception. We have had more than 1400 years to guard ourselves against that, as when the Ottoman Empire was stopped at the Gates of Vienna in 1683. Now, we have dropped our guard and turned away. Not because we have no security forces. We do. But because we often are not looking for the right things: the texts and sermons that prefigure radicalisation.

Why do young Muslims turn from ordinariness to recruitment for the extremists? Young Christians, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, and Baha’is do not move in that direction. Could it be because so many young Muslims, first in the Islamic countries, now in the West, are taught from an early age that Islam aspires to domination, that jihad is not an evil but rather an expression of their faith, that they suffer as victims of “Islamophobia,” that Western women are immoral, and that other religions are false?

It is time to wake up. We are indeed at war, whether we like it or not. “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you”, Leon Trotsky said.

Our enemy is an extremist version of Islam that has yet to undergo a reformation, one that takes Muslims not back to the seventh century, but forwards to the twenty-first and possibly beyond.

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[1] “The concept of martyrdom developed differently in Islam than it did in either Judaism or Christianity. Martyrdom in Islam has a much more active sense: the prospective martyr is called to seek out situations in which martyrdom might be achieved.” David Cook, Understanding Jihad, University of California Press, 2015, p. 26.

[2] Rudolph Peters, Islam and Colonialism: The Doctrine of Jihad in Modern History, The Hague, 1979, p. 10

[3] Cook, p. 11.

[4] Hasan al-Banna, Message for Youth, trans. Muhammad H. Najm, London, 1993, p. 6

[5] Wendell Charles (trans), The Five Tracts of Hasan Al-Banna (1906-1949), University of California Press, 1978, pp. 70-73.

[6] “Traditions indicating that jihad meant spiritual warfare… are entirely absent from any of the official, canonical collections (with the exception of al-Tirmidhi, who cites ‘the fighter is one who fights his passions’; they appear most often in the collections of ascetric material or proverbs.” Cook, p. 35.

[7] “This paradigm persisted into medieval times, where we often find the Sufi groups fighting the enemies of Islam. For example, after defeating the Crusaders under Guy de Lusignan at the Battle of the Horns of Hattin (1187), the Muslim leaders Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi [Saladin] (1169-91) gave the captive Crusaders to several of his Sufi regiments to slaughter.” Cook, p. 45.

[8] A comprehensive and fully annotated list is available at Wikipedia.

[9] For details of these, see Rudolph Peters, passim.

[10] “He (God) it is who sent his Messenger [Muhammad] bringing guidance and the True Religion in order to make [Islam] dominant over all other religions” (Qur’an 9:33). The fifth verse of that same sura is known as the “Sword Verse”, because it is the first to encourage physical attacks on non-Muslims.