The Road to Jihad: Peace, Propaganda & Violence... Muslims often complain of popular “misconceptions” about their religion in non-Islamic countries all over the world. However, the most prevalent myths of Islam are the ones held by Muslims and Western apologists. The only glaring exception to this is the misconception that all Muslims are alike (they aren’t, of course), but even Muslims often believe this as well, as evidenced by the various contrary factions insisting that they are the true Muslims, while those who disagree with them are either infidels, hijackers, or hypocrites. Lesser educated Muslims sometimes claim that the root word of Islam is “al-Salaam,” which is “peace” in Arabic. The Truth: An Arabic word only has one root. The root word for Islam is “al-Silm,” which means “submission” or “surrender.” There is no disagreement about this among Arabic or Islamic scholars. al-Silm(submission) does not mean the same thing as al-Salaam (peace), otherwise they would be the same word. Submission and peace can be very different concepts, even if a form of peace is often brought about through forcing others into submission. As the modern-day Islamic scholar, Ibrahim Sulaiman, puts it, “Jihad is not inhumane, despite its necessary violence and bloodshed, its ultimate desire is peace which is protected and enhanced by the rule of law.”(not to mention it’s Sharia law of course) In truth, the Quran not only calls Muslims to submit to Allah, it also commands them to subdue people of other religions until they are in a full state of submission to Islamic rule. This has inspired the aggressive history of Islam and its success in conquering other cultures. PEACE, VIOLENCE, AND ABROGATION IN ISLAM – The alleged seculars & Muslims in the West are quick to point to passages such as Qur’an 109:6 (“You shall have your religion and I shall have my religion”) and2:256 (“There is no compulsion in religion”) as evidence that Islam is a religion of peace. When confronted with harsher passages such as 9:5 (“Slay the idolaters wherever you find them”) and 9:29 (“Fight those who believe not in Allah”), Westernized Muslims interpret these verses in light of the more peaceful teachings of the Qur’an, typically saying something like: “Well, the Qur’an can’t be commanding us to kill unbelievers, since it says that there’s no compulsion in religion.” Hence, Westernized Muslim apologists pick the verses of the Qur’an they find most attractive, and they use these verses to sanitize the rest of the Qur’an. But is this the correct way to interpret the Qur’an? Unfortunately, the answer is no. The Qur’an presents its own method of interpretation—the Doctrine of Abrogation. Qur’an 2:106—Whatever verse we shall abrogate, or cause [thee] to forget, we will bring a better than it, or one like unto it. Dost thou not know that God is almighty? Qur’an 16:101—When We substitute one revelation for another—and God knows best what He reveals (in stages)—they say, “Thou art but a forger”: but most of them understand not. According to the Qur’an, then, when Muslims are faced with conflicting commands, they aren’t supposed to pick the one they like best. Rather, they are to go to history and see which verse was revealed last. Whichever verse came last is said to abrogate (or cancel) earlier revelations. What happens when we apply this methodology to Qur’anic verses on peace and violence? They Abrogate…Simple…!! THE CALL TO JIHAD: THREE STAGES When we turn to Islam’s theological sources and historical writings (Qur’an, Hadith, Sira, and Tafsir), we find that there are three stages in the call to Jihad, depending on the status of Muslims in a society. STAGE ONE— When Muslims are completely outnumbered and can’t possibly win a physical confrontation with unbelievers, they are to live in peace with non-Muslims and preach a message of tolerance. We see an example of this stage when Muhammad and his followers were a persecuted minority in Mecca. Since the Muslims were entirely outnumbered, the revelations Muhammad received during this stage (e.g. “You shall have your religion and I shall have my religion”) called for religious tolerance and proclaimed a future punishment (rather than a worldly punishment) for unbelievers. Perhaps, they even tend to play the victim card in this stage, often calling out for additional security while being a minority. They demand special privileges in the name of secularism and tolerance. This time is used to influence the debate and affect the conversation about Islam. STAGE TWO— Muslims are gaining in number, influence and power. They have built relationships, infiltrated organizations, and begin making demands using finance, propaganda and politics. When there are enough Muslims and resources to defend the Islamic community, Muslims are called to engage in defensive Jihad. Thus, when Muhammad had formed alliances with various groups outside Mecca and the Muslim community had become large enough to begin fighting, Muhammad received Qur’an 22:39-40: Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them; Those who have been expelled from their homes without a just cause except that they say: Our Lord is Allah. . . . Although Muslims apologists often pretend that Islam only allows defensive fighting, later revelations show otherwise. STAGE THREE— When Muslims establish a majority and achieve political power in an area, they are commanded to engage in offensive Jihad. Hence, once Mecca and Arabia were under Muhammad’s control, he received the call to fight all unbelievers. In Surah 9:29, we read: 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, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. Notice that this verse doesn’t order Muslims to fight oppressors, but to fight those who don’t believe in Islam (including the “People of the Book”—Jews and Christians). Surah 47:Verse 35 So do not weaken and call for peace while you are superior; and Allah is with you and will never deprive you of [the reward of] your deeds. This verse clearly states that do not call for peace when you(Muslims) are in a majority. Not surprisingly, we find similar commands in Islam’s most trusted collections of ahadith (traditions containing Muhammad’s teachings). Sahih al-Bukhari 6924—Muhammad said: “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: La ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and whoever said La ilaha illahllah, Allah will save his property and his life from me.” Sahih Muslim 30—Muhammad said: “I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah.” Here again, the criterion for fighting people is that the people believe something other than Islam. It’s clear, then, that when Muslims rose to power, peaceful verses of the Qur’an were abrogated by verses commanding Muslims to fight people based on their beliefs. Islam’s greatest scholars acknowledge this. For instance, Ibn Kathir (Islam’s greatest commentator on the Qur’an) sums up Stage Three as follows: “Therefore all people of the world should be called to Islam. If anyone of them refuses to do so, or refuses to pay the Jizyah, they should be fought till they are killed.” WHEN MUSLIMS REACH STAGE THREE– Abrogation also accounts for shifting attitudes regarding Jews, Christians and other unbelievers in the Qur’an. While Muslims are to be friendly to Jews and Christians when the former are outnumbered, the Islamic position changes when Muslims reach Stage Three, at which point Christians, Jews and all other unbelievers are to recognize their inferior status(dhimmi) and pay the Jizyah (a payment made to Muslims in exchange for not being killed by them). Consider some of Muhammad’s later teachings about Christians and Jews: Qur’an 5:51—O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people. Qur’an 9:30—And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away! Qur’an 98:6—Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein. They are the worst of creatures. Sahih Muslim 4366—Muhammad said: “I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim.” Al-Bukhari, Al-Adab al-Mufrad 1103—Muhammad said: “Do not give the People of the Book the greeting first. Force them to the narrowest part of the road.” Needless to say, these teachings can hardly be considered peaceful or tolerant. MUSLIMS APOLOGISTS – Since Muhammad obviously commanded his followers to fight unbelievers (simply for being unbelievers), why do Muslim apologists deny this? Here we must turn to Surah 3:28, which reads: Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security. According to this verse (which uses a variation of the word Taqiyya, meaning “concealment”), Muslims are not allowed to be friends with non-Muslims. However, if Muslims feel threatened by a stronger adversary, they are allowed to pretend to be friendly. Ibn Kathir comments: “In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship outwardly but never inwardly.” Abu Darda, one of Muhammad’s companions, put it this way: “We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.” Islam’s greatest ally in the secular societies isIGNORANCE. Jihadists can’t subjugate us through physical force, so they are doing their best to subjugate our minds. The ultimate obstacle to global jihad then, is an informed population of free people. Is Islam a religion of peace? No. Islam is a religion that pretends to be peaceful when Muslims are too weak to win a war. Of course, there are many Muslims who aren’t violent. Many Muslims love peace and tolerance. But they didn’t get these values from Islam. They got them from the West and other secular societies all over the world, and now they’re reinterpreting Islam based on their Western and Secular values. Most Muslims in west and in secular societies have been influenced by secular values more than they have been influenced by Islam. They may pray five times a day or fast during Ramadan but their knowledge of Islam doesn’t get much deeper than that. They’ve read very little of what’s in their sources and they know practically nothing about the Islamic doctrine. So chances are when your Muslim friends tell you that Islam is peaceful, they really believe it, no need to accuse them of lying. Sadly your secular Muslim friends aren’t a source of Islamic doctrine. Islamic doctrine is grounded in the Qur’an and the sunnah of Muhammad and these sources are perfectly clear when it comes to Jihad. So I think we need to add another stage to the three stages. Stage zero: The totally clueless about jihad stage.” For dedicated Muslims, however, there are only two possible situations to be in: (1) fighting unbelievers, and (2) pretending to be peaceful while preparing to fight unbelievers. Either way, fighting non-Muslims and conquering the world in the name of Allah is always the goal.