Thursday, 22 June 2017
The world is witnessing a massive wave of Islamic terrorist attacks. Hardly a week goes by without such an attack taking place somewhere in the world. Sometimes, militant Muslims carry out several deadly atrocities in just one day.
Europe and the Western world are also increasingly being targeted by such deadly terror. Western politicians and media are quick to claim that the murderous attacks carried out by militant Muslims have nothing to do with Islam. The esteemed author Ibn Warraq disproves this false claim in his new book The Islam in Islamic Terrorism: The Importance of Beliefs, Ideas, and Ideology.
The book is packed with examples showing the continuity of Islamic thought and practices for more than one thousand years. This includes revealing quotes from the Kharijites, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Al-Ghazali, Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, Syed Abul A’la Maududi, the strongly pro-Nazi Palestinian Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husaini, Hassan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb and others from the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammad abd-al-Salam Faraj, Abdullah Azzam, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Many leading figures from the international Jihadist movements have been members of the Muslim Brotherhood. They range from Sayyid Qutb and Abdullah Azzam to Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of the terrorist network al-Qaida after the death of Osama bin Laden, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State (ISIS).
As the author states:
Ibn Warraq reminds us that “Islam, however, is much more all-encompassing and more totalitarian than Marxism or Christianity. Both religious faith and political ideology, Islam oversees every aspect of a Muslim’s life — from what a non-Muslim might consider minor details (such as how to use a toothpick) to larger issues such as prayer, pilgrimage, and marriage. Islam also provides a powerful sense of personal and group identity.”
According to most scholars, Muslims have a duty to command right and forbid wrong. By “right” they mean all that Allah and His Prophet have commanded, and by “wrong” all they have forbidden:
Claims that the term “Jihad” primarily means peaceful, inner struggle against oneself are not credible. There are hundreds of sources for militant Jihad in the major hadith collections, commentaries on the Koran, law books from all the schools of sharia law, and so on. There do not seem to have been any works devoted exclusively to spiritual Jihad. This is clearly a derivative form, since it is not mentioned in any of the canonical collections of hadith:
Ibn Warraq proves that there has been a strong continuity of Islamic thought on Jihad violence for over a thousand years, going back to primary Islamic sources, the Koran, the hadith literature (the sayings and deeds of Muhammad and his Companions) and Muhammad’s personal example (sunna).
Jihad is often viewed as the sixth pillar of Islam. According to the Koran, Muslims alone possess the absolute truth, and they constitute the best of all nations. They should rule all other peoples because they are superior. The ultimate purpose of Jihad is to conquer and dominate non-Muslims. It has never been merely a defensive doctrine. Since the seventh century, aggressive and violent Jihad has been waged to extend the frontiers of Islam.
Muslims cannot accept any other religion or constitution. A Muslim has the right, indeed the duty, to fight anyone who stops him from spreading Islam and Islamic rule. This is defined as a defensive measure. It is a duty for all Muslims to spread the Message of Islam, and anyone who stands in the way must be fought in the military sense, if words do not suffice:
Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the eighteenth-century founder of Wahhabism or Salafism, was not motivated by anti-colonial ideas. He was not even aware of any European presence in the Islamic world. He was mainly concerned with purifying Islam of its impious accretions.
A typical militant Muslim comes from the middle class and has at least average education. Islamic terrorism is not caused by poverty, a lack education, the Israel-Arab conflict, the foreign policy of the USA, former European imperialism or the Crusades. Islamic terrorism is caused by Islamic texts and the teachings of the Koran, which Jihadists quote extensively.
Many Western liberals seem to believe that Islamic terror attacks in the Western world are caused by something bad “we” did to “them,” some form of aggression that must be revenged. They do not understand that their very existence is offensive to Muslims. The mere existence anywhere on Earth of non-Muslim communities who rule themselves according to secular laws is an insult and a form of aggression against the God-given supremacy of Islam.
Syed Abul A’la Maududi was a very influential modern Islamic writer, especially in the Indian peninsula and Asia. As Maududi explains in his treatise Jihad in Islam:
Maududi wished to replace man-made laws everywhere with God-made laws, sharia. The message could not be clearer: Islam must conquer the Earth. Not just parts of the Earth, but all of it. The purpose of Jihad is totalitarian: It demands the engagement of all Muslims until our entire planet is ruled according to the precepts of Islam. All other ideologies, as systems where man-made laws rule, are enemies. Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the Earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam.
The various hadith collections devote much space to psychological warfare as an important component of Jihad, for spreading fear among non-Muslims. The Pakistani Brigadier General S.K. Malik elaborated on this in his work The Quranic Concept of War. Muslims should ideally win the war of wills even before the war of muscles begins. The ultimate purpose of terror attacks is to destroy the enemy’s faith, break his spirit and scare him into submission: “Terror struck into the hearts of the enemies is not only a means, it is the end itself,” Malik states, “It is the point where the means and the end meet and merge. Terror is not a means of imposing decision on the enemy; it is the decision we wish to impose on him.”
There are theological differences between Sunnis and Shias on some issues. However, both main branches of Islam believe in the use of violent expansionist Jihad to achieve the global supremacy of Islam and institute the laws of Allah. As Ibn Warraq concludes:
I have a slight disagreement with the author’s use of the term “Islamist” a few times. I haven’t seen any convincing explanation for what separates Islamism from Islam, so I avoid this term as much as possible. However, this is a minor flaw in an otherwise good text.
Ibn Warraq demonstrates a very high level of knowledge and scholarship. He has done so consistently since the publication of his first book, Why I Am Not a Muslim, in 1995. His latest work is no exception. His only potential flaw as an author is that he can sometimes write long and complex books that appeal mainly to an academic readership.
The Islam in Islamic Terrorism is 355 pages plus bibliography, shorter than many of his previous books. This will make it appeal to a wider audience. The book provides key insights into the mentality and ideology of Islamic terrorists. It is an important and timely work.
Posted on 06/22/2017 5:00 AM by NER
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