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by Jim Guirard (submitted May 7, 2003)
Abstract / Zusammenfassung
Jim Guirard is a Washington D.C. lawyer and writer. He was longtime Chief-of-Staff to former U.S. Senators Allen Ellender and Russell Long of Long of Louisiana.
The military war in Iraq is essentially over. But Osama bin Laden's so-called "Jihadi martyrs" and the Iraqi "Fedayeen Saddam" (terrorists still willing to die for Saddam Hussein) will remain for many months, even years, to come.
The question now is what special anti-toxin can best be applied to counteract the poisonous appeals which prompt so many young Muslims to engage in suicide mass murder, assassination and other vicious forms of violence.
The invitation from al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizbullah and their ilk to engage in genocidal terrorism is a highly seductive one: "Join the Jihad (the Holy War). Become mujahiddin (holy warriors) and shahiddin (martyrs). Enter into Paradise." The sex-orgy promise of 72 virgins in Paradise and the prospect of $25-35,000 in rewards to surviving families combine to make the invitation a most compelling one.
Naturally, since the toxic invitation is stated primarily in Islamic religious terms, the anti-toxin must also be. You cannot kill a virus with a stick -- or defeat a pseudo-Islamic temptation with Western secular words alone. Such truthful labels as "death squads" and "thugs" work well in English but do not translate easily into Arabic and, even more importantly, do not carry appropriate Islamic religious connotations.
What young Muslim recruits, their families and the "Arab street" need to hear a thousand times over is this authentic Islamic admonition: "Do not wage Hirabah (unholy war). Do not become mufsidoon (evildoers). Do not be cast into Jahannam (Eternal Hellfire)."
Carefully considered by any faithful Muslim, this Islamic disincentive to the sin and the crime of unholy warfare is powerful, indeed. The problem today is that virtually no one is hearing these essential words -- not from the media, not from academia, not from the Muslim community, not from the Government and surely not from those al Qaeda terrorists who are quite delighted to be called "Jihadis" (holy warriors).
Ever since the 9/11/01 atrocities, most Muslim Americans and many moderate Muslims worldwide -- and President Bush, as well -- have asserted that this al Qaeda criminality does not constitute a godly "Jihad" but is a perverse "hijacking" of the authentic Islam of the Qur'an.
Islamic scholars point out that "the greater jihad" is a personal spiritual struggle for a closer relationship with Allah. They explain also that while there can be a "lesser jihad" of a military nature, a) it can be only defensive, b) it can be proclaimed only by high religious and "Caliphate" authority and c) it must be in accord with Qur'anic prohibitions against the deliberate killing of innocents and noncombatants, and against the mistreatment of prisoners.
But few of these experts have taken the necessary next step of calling al Qaeda's un-Islamic suicide mass murder by its precisely correct name -- without which the false language of "Jihadi martyrdom" will continue to prevail by default.
The essential word is Hirabah -- an ancient Islamic word once used to condemn barbarians who would swoop in on horses and camels to murder, pillage and terrorize entire communities. It became known as "war against society" and, according to the distinguished Islamic scholar Abdul Hakim (aka Sherman) Jackson of Michigan University, was "the most severely punished crime in Islam."
But because for a long while no one in the Arab and Islamic worlds was committing Hirabah, the word fell from use. Today, even many Islamic scholars who recognize the anachronistic term do not actively use it. Obviously, they should. The fact that today's mufsidoon (evildoers waging genocidal terrorism) attack on truck-bombs and jetliners rather than on horses and camels, or with explosives strapped to their bodies, constitute superficial distinctions without a difference.
By any objective analysis, modern-day Hirabah (al Qaeda-style unholy war) involves a long list of deliberate violations of Islamic law, thereby making it a tajdeef shaitaniyah -- a satanic blasphemy, punishable by death -- against the "peaceful and compassionate Allah of the Qur'an" who is worshiped by moderate Muslims.
Among the strictly proscribed al Qaeda sins and transgressions are:
o Killing of innocents and noncombatants;
o Committing and encouraging others to commit suicide;
o Fomenting hatred and envy among nations and religions;
o Waging genocidal warfare on nations where Islam is freely practiced;
o Falsely defining all Christians and Jews (and many Muslims) as "infidels"-- when authentic Islam calls them "Children of the Book" (the Old Testament);
o Issuing unauthorized and un-Islamic fatwas (religious edicts), especially bin Laden's illegitimate 1998 call to aggressive military "Jihad;"
o Misquoting and distorting passages of the Qur'an and the Fiqh.
Because of these ruthless transgressions against so many fundamentals of the Qur'an, it is clearly the al Qaeda evildoers (rather than America or Christianity or the West) who are the real enemies of authentic Islam.
If there is to be a godly Jihad -- a truly holy war in Allah's name -- it should surely not be against us but against the Osaman Blasphemy and its ruthless mufsidoon, who are attempting to pervert Islam into a perpetual and merciless killing machine.
Jim Guirard -- TrueSpeak Institute 202-488-2722 Justcauses@aol.com
The request to online-publish this paper by Mr. Jim Guirard is an honor for me, although its content does only in parts reflect my attitude towards the world. Of course Guirard is right when he indicates that Bin Laden is an absolute snorehead and the dangerous type of tempter. Yes, this has nothing to do with the Islam of Muhammad. It is a bit difficult to talk about an "authentic Islam", because you cannot really define that in words, nobody can, but September Eleventh surely cannot be justified with Islam. It was a massaker. Where I have to disagree is that "virtually no one is hearing these essential words" in the Muslim East. I made different experiences. It is a problem that the liberal Muslims are not pushed enough, both within their societies and in the West. But the author considers this in the beginning of the paragraph "A Blasphemous 'Hijacking' of Islam". Yet then again: "But few of these experts have taken the necessary next step of calling al Qaeda's un-Islamic suicide mass murder by its precisely correct name." Is that so?
There are some points in this article which confuse me. Why is there an emphasize on "genocidal" terrorism? This is a weird word to some extend. Then, one cannot accuse a member of another religion of "blasphemy", it is an ingroup word. You can say that it is against the own principles alright. Thus I would not even object to the sentence "It is clearly the al Qaeda evildoers (rather than America or Christianity or the West) who are the real enemies of authentic Islam." Okay, why not. Just like the USA, the real enemy of authentic democracy is not outside. This is everywhere the same. The conclusion, however, really is a backshooter, because when we remember what the Americans exactly did in Iraq it was this:
o Wanton killing of innocents and noncombatants;
o Committing and encouraging others to commit violent force and killings;
o Fomenting hatred and envy among nations and religions;
o Waging warfare on nations;
o Falsely defining pacifists and liberals (and many Americans) as "anti-American" -- when authentic democracy calls them "human beings";
o Issuing decisions unauthorized by the UN, especially Bush's illegitimate 2001 call to war and to the "monumental struggle between good and evil"
o Misquoting and distorting the own constitution, international law, and proof of weapons of mass destruction.
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