They're trying to make it seem innocuous.
Of course, rather than address directly the multitudinous Verses of Blood in Islam's "holy" texts, apologists for jihad resort to misdirection, red herrings, and half-truths.
Unfortunately, CAIR's Affad Shaikh, Civil Rights Coordinator, employs (I hope unintentionally) some of the same tactics.
Here's the latest:
Thank you for your reply.
My original question was:
How do you convince jihadists on theological grounds that their following Mohammed's commands to convert non-Muslims, subjugate those who do not convert, [and] kill those who do neither is wrong, immoral, and anachronistic?
It appears that your strategy is to offer an idiosyncratic interpretation of Islamic core texts that ignores the multitude of Qur'anic passages and ahadith requiring the faithful to subjugate and kill non-Muslims for Allah.
How can you convince someone it is wrong to follow Mohammed's example by ignoring Mohammed's example? Or by appealing to one fabricated by excluding whatever is inconvenient in his biography?
As you correctly note, "jihad" means "struggle."
It is curious that you spend many words on use of the term as meaning "inner struggle" and criticize my use of it, but when it comes to its naming offensive warfare against non-Muslims to make the world Islam, you gloss over that fact with one short phrase.
Offensive warfare against unbelievers is fundamental to nearly fourteen centuries of Islamic theology, jurisprudence, and history. This is so because Mohammed demanded it.
The theology of offensive jihad comes directly from Allah's commands and Muhammad's words and deeds (e.g., Qur'an 9:5, 9:29, and Muslim Book 019, Number 4294). They require the faithful to offer non-Muslims three choices: conversion, subjugation with payment of the jizya, or death.
Additionally, all the major schools of Islamic jurisprudence teach the necessity for offensive jihad in order to subjugate unbelievers to the tyranny of Allah.
Your criticism of my use of the word "jihadist" is spurious. Of course the word "jihadist" is not used by Islamic scholars; it is an English neologism. But its use is appropriate as it means "a person involved in jihad," where jihad is used in its common sense of "offensive warfare against non-Muslims."
I'll address a few of your comments specifically. You wrote:
Saint Matamoros’s legend is quite a fitting name in the way of dialogue. Definitely brings a lot of cultural baggage to the table.
Almost in an ironic way anachronistic in itself.
If by "cultural baggage" you mean "historical relevance," then, yes. Just as the ancient peoples of the Iberian Peninsula needed to resist and defeat the hordes of Allah in their Reconquista, so today jihad's onslaught must be defeated.
It took Spain nearly eight hundred years to overcome Islam's "inner struggling" within its borders.
Lets look at the term Jihad. Jihad does not work in the fashion you wish to use it in.
An inaccurate assertion, as you admit below. Your definition addresses only one use of the word while ignoring another usage -- the one that has resulted in the enslavement, rape, and slaughter of billions of people.
I use the term in a manner consistent with Islam's "holy" texts:
"the Messenger of Allah . . . would say: 'Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war. . . . When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. . . . Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them . . .'" (Muslim Book 019, Number 4294).
"fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) . . . " (Qur’an 9:5).
"Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (Qur'an 9:29).
"Allah's Apostle said: 'I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle . . . '" (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24).
"Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do" (Qur'an 8:38, 39).
Was Mohammed commanding that if non-Muslims refuse to convert or submit to Islam that the faithful should seek Allah's help and "struggle inwardly" against them?
Was Allah requiring the faithful to "struggle inwardly" and slay the Pagans wherever they are found?
Was Allah urging Muslims to "struggle inwardly" against those who reject Allah until they submit and feel subdued?
Did Mohammed confess, "I have been ordered to 'struggle inwardly' against the people" until all worship only Allah?
Did Allah mandate "inward struggles" until there prevail faith in Allah altogether and everywhere"?
Your ignoring these texts and their common, traditional, and literal interpretation really hurts your credibility.
You can cite one hadith from a collection not considered traditionally by Muslims among the most reliable, but you are unaware of the Verse of the Sword and its application against non-Muslims until "all religion is for Allah"?
If you are trying to engage in a theological “battle” then you should understand the basis from which the theological terms are used and understood in.
I do. You've only mentioned one use of the term jihad, as if that nullifies the "divine" commands for offensive warfare against non-Muslims cited above (and previously).
The onus is on you and other self-professed moderate Muslims to demonstrate that these Islamic texts are fabrications or to be taken figuratively only. At least demonstrate that the major Islamic schools of jurisprudence do not teach the necessity of offensive jihad to establish the rule of Allah.
Jihad means simply to struggle. If its taken with that basic Arabic definition we can place it within the Islamic theological context which is
"Some troops came back from an expedition and went to see the Messenger of Allah. He said: "You have come for the best, from the smaller jihad (al-jihad al-asghar) to the greater jihad (al-jihad al-akbar)." Someone said, "What is the greater jihad?" He said: "The servant's struggle against his ego (the self, desires, lust)"(mujahadat al-`abdi hawah).
As noted above, that is only one use of the word in a hadith from a collection that is not considered by Muslims to be among the most reliable. It does not establish what you wish it did, that jihad means only or predominantly "inner struggle."
Such sophistry might persuade the stubbornly ignorant and gullible, but how will it convince anyone who reads the core texts?
greater “jihad” (struggle) is against oneself. The use of . . . “jihad” as . . . “military action” is well relegated and specified in the Quran and Sunnah (teachings of the Prophet).
Which is the sense in which I used it: military action according to the word of Allah and the example of Mohammed.
Nearly all of the warfare in which he participated was offensive, not defensive, and since the life of Mohammed is "a beautiful pattern of conduct," it should come as no surprise when those seeking to please Allah imitate his bloodlust.
With that said, to understand and use Jihad the way you are using it is misleading and confusing.
It's actually clarifying and enlightening, as you admit there is a martial application of the term. And since your god and prophet make that application, how can you hope to dissuade your co-religionists from waging (or supporting) jihad against non-Muslims?
Jihadist- complicates the theological discussion in that it doesn’t fit in anywhere in Islamic scholastic dialogue
Obviously, "jihadist" refers to a Muslim involved in jihad. Would you prefer "mujahedin"? Or do they struggle only inwardly too?
it is not understood the way you are using it. If we use- militant fanatics- then yes, we can utilize that far better then jihadist to combat the “militant” ideology espoused by these individuals.
We could just use "devout Muslim obeying Allah's command and imitating Mohammed's example."
You want to use "militant fanatics" because such Newspeak leads non-Muslims and decent Muslims away from the fact that those who engage in jihad do so because Allah and Mohammed demand it. It leads away from the realization that offensive warfare to establish the tyranny of Allah over all mankind is fundamental to Islam.
It distracts reasonable people from the realization that every Muslim is commanded to wage (or support) offensive warfare against non-Muslims to subjugate or kill all who refuse to submit to Allah.Most Western non-Muslims intuitively recognize this, and every time Muslims kill (or try to kill) in the name of Allah, every time a Muslim "civil rights" organization is named an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism funding case, the more desperately apologists for jihad seek to enforce such abuses of language.
I work to challenge this militant attitude and that is the information I am providing you.
If you will not admit and address what the Islamic texts say about offensive jihad and how they have been understood throughout Islam's history, how can you possibly hope to convince the mujahedin to struggle only inwardly and not against Infidel throats?
Well whose interpretation of commands are you referring to? Jesus says many things, but his followers interpret in all sorts of fashion.
What do the texts say? What from 9:5's context makes "kill the unbelievers" acceptable?
Allah's excusing Mohammed from all obligations to non-Muslims except those who kept their treaties with him (and only until the end of the terms of those agreements) does not negate the commands for Infidel blood. In fact, not slaughtering only those who faithfully submit to Islamic extortion and depredations only reinforces the point that Mohammed was a terrorist and a tyrant.
The exemption in Surah 9 proves the rule. Here is the historical context of Surah 9:A clear declaration was made that all the treaties with the mushriks were abolished and the Muslims would be released from the treaty obligations with them after a respite of four months.(vv. 1-3). This declaration was necessary for uprooting completely the system of life based on shirk and to make Arabia exclusively the center of Islam so that it should not in any way interfere with the spirit of Islam nor become an internal danger for it.Ending all treaties so that one might erase the other party's culture is hardly tolerant. And how were they going to do this, by "struggling inwardly" against the unbelievers?In order to enable the Muslims to extend the influence of Islam outside Arabia, they were enjoined to crush with sword the non- Muslim powers and to force them to accept the sovereignty of the Islamic State. As the great Roman and Iranian Empires were the biggest hindrances in the way, a conflict with them was inevitable. The object of Jihad was not to coerce them to accept Islam they were free to accept or not to accept it-but to prevent them from thrusting forcibly their deviations upon others and the coming generations. The Muslims were enjoined to tolerate their misguidance only to the extent that they might have the freedom to remain misguided, if they chose to be so, provided that they paid Jizyah (v. 29) as a sign of their subjugation to the Islamic State.
Which is in accord with the commands to convert, subjugate and humiliate, or kill non-Muslims.In order to prepare the Muslims for Jihad against the whole non-Muslim world, it was necessary to cure them even of that slight weakness of faith from which they were still suffering. For there could be no greater internal danger to the Islamic Community than the weakness of faith, especially where it was going to engage itself single-handed in a conflict with the whole non-Muslim world. That is why those people who had lagged behind in the Campaign to Tabuk or had shown the least negligence were severely taken to task, and were considered as hypocrites if they had no plausible excuse for not fulfilling that obligation. Moreover, a clear declaration was made that in future the sole criterion of a Muslim's faith shall be the exertions he makes for the uplift of the Word of Allah and the role he plays in the conflict between Islam and kufr. Therefore, if anyone will show any hesitation in sacrificing his life, money, time and energies, his faith shall not be regarded as genuine. (vv. 81-96).
So those who claim the Verse of the Sword was about only one battle are not telling the truth.
In the same way Mohammed . . . never taught Muslims to slaughter one another, let alone march millions of Armaniens through the desert displacing them from their homes, treating the children and women and elderly in the most horrendous in human fashion.
Of course Mohammed forbade murdering other Muslims. If only he'd extended the same courtesy toward free non-Muslims!
By the way, I've never seen a Muslim that close to admitting the Armenian genocide.
Whose interpretations do we discuss? Or is there a double standard here? Or is one religion held accountable and another not?
Another red herring. The topic was jihad in Islam.
“convert non-Muslims….”- Basic understanding of the Quran would lead a Muslim to say that there is no compulsion in religion.
2:256 There is no compulsion in religion . . . .
Contrary to that which many non-Muslims hope (and too many Muslims hope they'll believe), none of the verses requiring offensive warfare against non-Muslims contradict 2:256. Mohammed does not say "force them to convert." He says to "invite" non-Muslims to Islam. Sounds great!
But here is where the coercion comes into play: from those who will not convert freely, payment of the jizya is demanded, along with acceptance of submission and humiliation as dhimmis. If that is rejected, then war is the only option left.
In Islam, the community is no different. Unfortunately there are those who are literalist and fundamentalist . . . often times ill educated and simple minded . . . We see that in the Taliban, in al-Qaeda.
Many of the jihadists who make Western headlines are neither poor, ignorant, nor oppressed. They're often well-educated and financially secure (UK doctor jihad, anyone?).
Despite some differences in doctrine and practice, all of the major branches of Islam, all of the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, understand the passages requiring offensive warfare to expand the rule of Allah to be passages requiring offensive warfare to expand the rule of Allah.
They force their brand- or interpretation of Islam on other Muslims.
Numerous passages questioning the sincerity of faith of those who do not aid jihad though they are able give jihadists theological ammunition for their positions.
The question is who represents Islam.
He lied, stole, enslaved, raped (including his nine-year-old "wife" Aisha), slaughtered, and taught others to do the same.
And Allah calls him "a beautiful pattern of conduct." That is perverse.
As a Muslim that is not my understanding of Islam nor is it the way I practice.
Then you are out of the mainstream of nearly one and one-half millennia of Islam.
I guess you as an activist are left to figure out who is winning this “battle for Muslim hearts and minds” and the best way to do that is to get to know more Muslims.
That is not my job. Self-identified Muslims may or may not accurately represent the teachings of their prophet.
My task is to tell the truth about nearly fourteen centuries of the most vile atrocities carried out in fulfillment of Allah's commands and in imitation of Mohammed.
I applaud you taking the first step and contacting a Muslim. Do try to find more Muslims who are like minded and willing to step up to the plate, God only knows we have to bring that part of the Muslim community out of hiding and fear.
How has your argument against the traditional, historical, obvious understanding of offensive jihad worked in convincing mujahedin to lay down their guns, suicide belts, car keys, and box cutters?
Since you oppose offensive jihad against non-Muslims (and those they deem apostates, right?), why do you work for an organization that is an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism funding case, some of whose members have documented ties to terrorists?
How will you modify the (traditional and historical) literal understandings of those verses requiring the faithful to convert, subdue and humiliate, and butcher non-Muslims to make the world Islam, especially since that is what Mohammed taught and practiced?