Islam and Terrorism: A Politically Incorrect Guide<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
By Kerby <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Anderson
Are we thinking clearly about Islam and the war on terror? Or has political correctness clouded our vision? Two radio interviews I've done recently suggest that the latter is true and that we need a heavy dose of reality.
Robert Spencer wrote, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades. He is also author of Islam Unveiled and Onward Muslim Soldiers. He points out that we are not thinking clearly about Islam and have uncritically accepted a politically correct perspective on the world's second largest religion.
While it is certainly true that there are many peace loving Muslims, it is inaccurate to call Islam a religion of peace. He points out that when Muhammad was in Medina, he raided caravans and fought a number of battles. One of the most important was his victory at Badr. It was a turning point for Muhammad and the Muslims because they were able to defeat a much larger force that came against them. Muhammad even taught that the angels fought with them and gave them victory.
The victory at Badr also set in place many of the terrorist principles we see today in the 21st century. For example, Muhammad taught that Muslims could defeat an enemy even if it had larger forces. Sura 8:65 says, "Rouse the Believers to fight. If there are twenty among you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred; if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the unbelievers."
Sura 8:1 teaches that a military victory entitles Muslims to appropriate possessions as booty. Sura 98:6 teaches that those who reject Islam are the "vilest of creatures" and thus deserve no mercy. Sura 47:4 also teaches that those who oppose Muhammad or his people deserve a humiliating death by beheading.
Key to understanding Islam and the war on terror is a proper interpretation of the word "jihad." The word means "struggle." And it is true that some Muslims use the term in the sense of personal striving in the path of God.
But the more usual interpretation of jihad involves warfare. Consider Sura 9:73, which says, "Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell, and evil refuge indeed." The phrase, "Strive hard" in Arabic is jahidi, which is a verbal form of the noun jihad. This striving was to be on the battlefield.
It is also important to realize that Islamic theology divides the Qur'an into the "Meccan" and "Medinan" suras. The Meccan suras come from Muhammad's career as a prophet. In Medina, his positions hardened and are also filled with matters of law and ritual, and this includes exhortations to jihad.
The verses in the Qur'an that talk about peace and tolerance date from the Meccan period. The Islamic doctrine of abrogation means that Allah can change or cancel what he tells Muslims (Sura 2:106). Thus, the verses of the sword abrogate the peaceful verses.
So what are these verses of the sword? Here are a few. Sura 9:5 says, "Fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleager them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem." Sura 47:4-7 says, "When you meet unbelievers, smite their necks, then, when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds; then set them free, either by grace or ransom, till the war lays down its loads And those who are slain in the way of God, He will not send their works astray. He will guide them, and dispose their minds aright, and He will admit them to Paradise, that He has made known to them."
Paul Williams is the author of The Dunces of Doomsday. The book could just as easily be called the "Politically Incorrect Guide to the War on Terrorism." He is also the author of other books such as The Al Qaeda Connection and Osama's Revenge.
He described ten blunders that he believes gave rise to radical Islam, terrorist regimes, and the threat of what he calls "an American Hiroshima." The first blunder he says we have made is refusing to identify the enemy. He says we end up fighting a war without a name. We are not engaged in a "war on terror." We are not even engaged in a war against Al Qaeda, since there are many terrorists who are not affiliated with Al Qaeda. Williams rightly argues that we can't win if we can't name the enemy.
A second blunder is believing that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance and that Muhammad and that he was a kind and merciful prophet. During his lifetime, Muhammad and his followers raided caravans, fought battles against the rulers of Mecca, and ordered the death of those who were not loyal to him. After Muhammad's death in AD 632, Muslim armies swept east through the Fertile Crescent and west through Northern Africa. They would have taken all of Europe if the Muslim armies had not been repelled by Charles Martel in AD 732. In 1453 Constantinople fell before the sword of Islam. The history of Islam has often been the history of military conquest.
He points to various verses in the Qur'an to illustrate the nature of Islam. For example, jihad is described as a religious duty (Sura 9:29). Martyrdom in jihad is the highest good and guarantees salvation (Sura 9:111). Muslims engaged in jihad should not show tolerance toward unbelievers (Sura 9:5). Acts of terrorism are justified (Sura 8:2).
Another blunder was ignoring the booming nuclear black market. In the 1990s, the U.S. and the Soviet Union began to withdraw nuclear weapons from sites. This meant that the Russians began moving 22,000 nukes when the Soviet Union was falling apart. Is it reasonable to believe all of these were safely transported and secured? Williams documents the movement of these materials in the nuclear black market and warns that some of these weapons could be in the hands of terrorists.
Paul Williams discusses many of the mistakes made by presidents and policy makers in our continuing war on terror. Obviously, some of the mistakes were hard to see at the time, and anyone can be a "Monday morning quarterback." But most of the mistakes were made by people who should have been looking clearly at the growing threat of terrorism but chose instead to believe in a political correct illusion.
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