from Toogood Reports

"Jihad" In Their Own Words

Eugene Narrett, Ph.D
October 30, 2001

With units of the army of Pakistan (our ally, according to the Bush administration) attempting to cross their border and fight with the Taliban against us, it is timely to consider the meaning and goals of this phenomenon of "Jihad" we´ve heard so much about. After all, Jihad is the religious basis for Mr. Bin Laden´s 1996 "declaration of war against Crusaders occupying the land of the two sanctities" (Saudi Arabia). Befitting the seriousness of the subject, let us eschew second and third hand information and go right to the source in a quest for inter-cultural understanding.

Islam (the word means "submission" or "resignation" or "pacification") is a liberation theology, writes Al Muhajiroun (London). "It is a universal ideology meant to liberate all mankind." It is for whites, blacks and yellows, Asians, Europeans, denizens of the Western Hemisphere, everyone. It is not exclusive, "cannot be confined to a single people or land." Like the caregivers of the global village or Communist mental health facilities "it has to be offered to all mankind." Note that, "has to be."

Muslim thinkers are practical, and define the State as the means to fulfill their ideals. "In order to deliver this ideology to the rest of humanity, the State that adopts [Islam] shoulders the responsibility of carrying it to new lands." Not only are they practical, but honest, if vague, about the results of their compassionate purpose. "As would be expected, this goal will lead to conflict with other states and their ideologies. This conflict has to be resolved through diplomacy or through force."

Sounds like Jihad, not? The editors of Muhajiroun explain by deploying a rhetorical strategy familiar to readers of Islamic, especially Arab media: first denial, then elaboration of what has been denied. The tactic is meant to stun and immobilize critics. "Jihad cannot be translated as ‘holy war´ … At best its meaning can be understood as ‘using military force where diplomacy fails to remove the obstacles the Islamic State faces in carrying its ideology to mankind." For those human "obstacles" not reassured by this semantic distinction, the editors take a moment to differentiate the Crusades, as they see them, from Jihad. "Unlike the Crusades, the aim of Jihad is not to forcibly convert the inhabitants of other lands. Rather, it is to provide them with the security that comes from the application of Islam."

Setting aside the fact that the Crusades were not about conversion, Muslims want other peoples to realize that they can exchange the status of being an "obstacle" to "worldwide liberation" for the "security" that comes from submission to the will of Allah and the teachings of Mohammed. As they state, the affairs of society must be run according to Islamic law.

The security of Islam is not necessarily about the choice between conversion and removal of human obstacles to its spread. The editors remind readers that there is also the option, for Christians and Jews of "keeping their own religions" in the category of dhimmi  – privileged to pay special taxes, being forbidden to own weapons or horses and banned from worshipping or mourning in public. Dhimmis also must exit the sidewalk when Muslims approach and forego equal protection of the laws which, after all, are made by and for Muslims.

But this is worth it because "Islam uses force openly and justly to carry its mercy to others." And "Jihad is the methods adopted by Islam to protect its lands and save humanity from slavery to man-made regimes" such as the U.S. Constitution and the Torah of Moshe. Just remember this method "cannot be described as a holy war" because it is the global imposition of liberation and mercy.

These professions of concern and mercy and this global reach indicates why the Clintons, the UN and State Department find so much common purpose with the acolytes of Jihad. They all want to save us from ourselves and from our traditions. They all want to RULE.

Jihad is not "fundamentalist extremism" but the essence of the Koran in which "no other action has been explained in such detail… There are many verses which warn of the danger of leaving Jihad [you might get murdered by another Muslim]. Scholars of the Quran have remarked that its [main] topic is Jihad. [The phrase] ‘Jihad as the path of Allah´ is used 26 times. ‘Fighting on the path of Allah´ is used 79 times. In Sura [chapter] Adiyaat, an oath is taken on the horses of the Mujahedin to spread world-wide revolution and spreading Islam through Jihad."

Serious Muslims sum up their creed by saying "that a Muslim who reads the Koran with devotion is determined to reach the battlefield to attain the reality of Jiahd… Muslims who understand the Koran will not distance themselves from Jihad" (October 27, 2001).

Faced with these threatening boasts, one recalls the words of Iranian expatriate writer, Amir Taheri that "the Muslim world today is full of bigotry, fanaticism, hypocrisy and plain ignorance" (Politique Internationale, 10-24-01). Taheri acknowledges the hatred quoted abundantly in my essays (for example, "Mabruk! Mabruk!"). "Anyone who follows the media in the Muslim world knows that the verbal version of the September 11 attacks is almost daily fare. Sermons in virtually every mosque, including many in the west, contain shocking anti-western vehemence."

The "state of denial" that Taheri describes does not apply only to Muslims, but to the governing cadres of the West. Economically motivated diplomacy has created an anti-terror coalition of terror-supporting states (like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia). The Bush administration even now allows the media to puff the propriety of suspending our bombing during the month-long Muslim holiday of Ramadan. Apparently, our ‘leaders´ would prefer to hamstring our military in their battle with an enemy that aims to "remove obstacles an Islamic State faces in carrying its ideology to all mankind."

As Taheri notes, Bin Laden has starred at Islamic Conferences hosted by Khartoum (Sudan), whose government has conspired to supply him with fissionable material for small nuclear weapons (the London Times, 10-27-01). As for the Saudis, their Wahhabi brand of Muslim imperialism includes a doctrine of Arab supremacy that puts them much closer to Bin Laden than to their protectors and supposed allies, the USA ("Why Riyadh Stiffs America," Joshua Teitelbaum, The New Republic, 10-22-01).

What does Islam´s ideology of Jihad mean in fact? Of the 30 active wars in the world today, 28 are in Islamic nations. Two thirds of the world´s political prisoners are held by Islamic States which carry out 80% of the executions in the world, not to mention amputating limbs for theft, tongues for slander and murder daughters and sisters who don´t sufficiently control their glances.

Yet Mr. Bush, who more and more sounds and looks like a candidate made in a Lab, says we are not at war with Islam. Apparently not, but they are most definitely at war with us. In the major media, most egregiously at CNN, Mr. Bin Laden is nearly a cult hero, his image and that of his fighters everywhere. This fits the biographic sensationalism and lust for the other intrinsic to the media´s lust for the other, the exotic, the anyone-but-white men mystique.

It is ironic that the feminists whose faces and mouths dominate the media exude solicitude to a movement of fanatics that will sweep away the dogma of "choice" and replace women´s "liberation" with full-body veils. Nemesis is coming, already has arrived. Ten years ago, Mohammed Atta sat in an Israeli jail, doing time for his role in bombing a bus. Pressure on Israel from two American administrations got him released in one of those "confidence-building measures" by which the State Department rolls Israel back to the ovens. Similarly, the State Department slammed Israel´s execution of Abdel Rahman Hamad for his role in the bombing that murdered 22 young Israelis in Tel Aviv June 01. Hamad had been in jail until Bill Clinton pressured the late Yitzhak Rabin to release him. The Bush Administration like its predecessor seems bent on creating a State headed by Arafat. Prepare for more terror, and more suppression of civil liberties.

In our own nation, Congress fails to move toward deporting even those 250,000 illegal aliens already ordered out by Federal Judges, let alone the 7 million others. Whose side is Congress on? Deporting illegals would destabilize the quota-State beloved by mass media and government alike.

And so it goes. The rulers of the West confound friend with foe, self with anti-self. The confluence of their global agenda with that of Islam makes comprehensible their terrifying alliance, at times overt (as in the Balkans) and at times more subtle (as now, with Pakistan and the Saudis) with those using Jihad to impose the mercy and security of Islamic law on the world.

With Hillary Rodham waiting in the wings for the current administration to crash, the mid-term elections already have assumed foundational, end-times significance.

Eugene Narrett received his BA, MA & PhD degrees from Columbia University in NYC. His writings on American cultural issues and on the history and politics of Israel and the Middle East have been published in newspapers and magazines including Human Events, the Washington Times, Culture Wars, Chronicles, the Outpost, the Jewish Press and the Maccabbean. He is the author of Israel Awakened: A Chronicle of the Oslo War (2001) and Gathered Against Jerusalem: Essays on a False Peace.
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31 oct 2001