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Know the Enemy 1: heretical Jihad vs "orthodox" Islam
various

Posted on 09/18/2001 9:38:38 AM PDT by sanchmo

OK, gang - let's get to know our enemy. In this first installment, let's clarify exactly what Islam is and is not, and understand why the terrorists' views are heretical Jihadism and not "orthodox" Islam. That way we can try to separate friends from foes, enemies from allies. We'll also learn about the 2 major divisions of Islam. Here we go...

A Muslim is described as someone who "believes in Allah and submits to his will as it is described in the Koran." The Koran (Quran) is a compilation of revelations given to Muhammad in the period 610- 632." The Hadith are collections of sayings and acts of Muhammad and the first Muslims.

The Five Pillars of Islam are the minimum sacred obligations on all Muslims if they are to properly follow their Faith. They are:
1. Belief in the Shehada, the statement in Arabic which says: "There is no god but God and Muhammad is Prophet".
2. Salah, prayer five times a day.
3. Zakat, the paying of alms to the poor.
4. Ramadan, the holy fasting month. In Ramadan, Muslims must not eat, drink or make love from sunrise to sunset. In fact, they make up for it by feasting all night. Ramadan is the most social time of the Islamic calendar and consumption of foodstuffs rises so dramatically that there are often shortages.
5. Hajj, pilgrimage to Mecca. This is an obligation for all Muslims who can afford it once in a lifetime. About two million Muslims go on hajj every year to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The trip carries enormous social prestige.

Non-Muslims are divided into two groups, the Peoples of the Book, and the pagans or Infidels. In classical Islamic theology, both Christians and Jews are regarded as 'People of the Book' - the Talmud and the Bible being regarded as Holy Books second only to the Quran. They cannot be forced to convert to Islam and are guaranteed freedom of worship in Islamic societies. Muslims regard Christianity and Judaism as incomplete versions of Islam. So they are obliged to tolerate these two faiths.This is an important point - in Islam Christians and Jews are not infidels, and are not to be the targets of religious war. The violent Jihadists are the heretics.

Islamic Law, or Shari'a, is held by Muslims to be a complete legal system that governs every aspect of individual and social life. In fact, there is great controversy within the Muslim world about what exactly a return to Shari'a would mean.

Jerusalem has the distinction, and the misfortune, to be a Holy Place for three major world religions which have fought over it for centuries: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Palestinians demand access to Jerusalem as their inalienable right and Islamic fundamentalists all over the Middle East demand the Liberation of the Holy City from 'Zionist hands'. Pictures of al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, another mosque in the same compound, adorn the walls of homes in dank refugee camps and tenement blocks across the Middle East.

Islam is divided into two main sub-divisions, the Sunni, who form about a 90 percent majority of the Muslim world, and the Shia, who form about 10 percent. The origins of the two schools are steeped in the early history of Islam. Sunni Islam claims to be the continuation of the religious and political Islam as it was defined through the revelations given to Muhammad and his life. Sunni Islam has a different set of hadiths from Shi'i Islam and puts far more importance into the hajj to Mecca.

Shi'i Islam represents the overwhelming majority (88%) in Iran, the largest religious group in Iraq, and minorities in Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, the Gulf States, Pakistan and India. Shi'ites focus on the trials of the martyrs (rawda kani) and exultation of martyrdom in general, and the use of self-flagellation as part of religious ritual. Another element is the principle of temporary marriage (mut'a), in which a marriage contract can be entered for a set time, for any period of time between 1 day and 99 years. The woman entering the mut'a is paid a set amount of money. According to some Shi'i traditions, a man performing 4 mut'as is secured a place in Paradise.

The term Jihad comes from the Arabic root 'jahada' meaning 'to struggle'. Jihad has two possible definitions: the greater, which is the spiritual struggle of each man, against vice, passion and ignorance. Giving up smoking can count as Jihad, for example, or controlling one's temper. In Islamic theology, these struggles inside the personality are termed 'the Greater Jihad' and struggles with outside forces such as state power or tyrannical armies 'the lesser Jihad'.

The most famous use of the word Jihad is as 'Holy War', and Islamic guerrillas fighting state authority in various Muslim countries use it freely to describe their struggles. The fighter who fights a Jihad - a Mujahid (plural: Mujahidin) - is believed to go straight to Paradise if he dies and his enemy will go straight to Hell. The culture of Jihad and the 'martyr' or shaheed (plural: shuhada) it produces is pervasive in some Muslim countries. While offensive jihad, i.e. attacking, is fully permissible in Sunni Islam, it is prohibited for some of the larger groups of Shi'i Islam, which consider only the Imam (a special leader) as carrying the right to decide to go to war or not.

The Veil - The Quran enjoins both men and women to dress modestly, and also speaks of covering women's adornments from outsiders of the family. Traditional dress codes in fact vary sharply in different Muslim societies. In Iran, the black chador is traditional among wide sectors of society but among the bedouin of the Arabian peninsular, women wear scarves that cover their hair but leave their faces open - just like most of their men. The same is also true in Muslim areas of south-east Asia. The Quran itself merely prescribes modesty rather than actually forcing the wearing of a particular garment.

For more info:
Glossary of Political Islam
Encyclopedia of the Orient
The Spiritual Significance of Jihad


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 09/18/2001 9:38:41 AM PDT by sanchmo
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To: sanchmo
fyi...
2 posted on 09/18/2001 9:44:52 AM PDT by sanchmo (The Documentary Lady, Dog Gone)
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To: sanchmo
Another term, much-overlooked: Dhimmi, from the Arabic word for "pact": those "People of the Book" who live under Islamic rule, often legally disenfranchised and abused as second-class citizens.
Sources from First Things and historian Bat Y'eor
3 posted on 09/18/2001 10:02:35 AM PDT by Dumb_Ox
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To: sanchmo
A few more terms:
Mullah - A male religious teacher or leader.
Imam - A male spiritual and temporal leader regarded by Shiites as a descendant of Muhammad divinely appointed to guide humans.
4 posted on 09/18/2001 10:10:52 AM PDT by sanchmo
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To: sanchmo
Apologists of Islam still insist on perpetuating the myth of an Islam which accorded equality to her non-Muslim subjects, they talk of a time when all the various religious communities lived in perfect harmony in the Islamic lands.

The same apologists minimize, or even excuse, the persecution, the discrimination, the forced conversions, the massacres, the destruction of the churches, synagogues, fire temples and other places of worship. This rosy but totally false picture of Islam is also built up by

(1) ignoring the destruction and the massacres during the actual process of the Arab conquests;
(2) by concentrating almost exclusively on the fate of Jews and Christians, and consequently dismissing the fate of idolaters (are they not human?), Zoroastrians, Hindus and Buddhists
(3) by relying on Muslim sources, as though they are bound to be less biased!
(4) by ignoring, or excusing the appalling behaviour of the Prophet towards the Jews;
(5) by ignoring the intolerant, hostile, anti- Jewish, anti-Christian, and above all, anti-pagan sentiments expressed in the Koran which were the source of much intolerant, fanatical and violent behaviour throughout the history of Islam against all non-Muslims.

EARLY ATTITUDES: Muhammad and the Koran

The Koran has been divided into early and late Suras, the Meccan and Medinan Suras respectively. Most of the tolerant sentiments of Muhammad are to be found in the early, Meccan Suras: cix
"Recite: O Unbelievers, I worship not what you worship, and you do not worship what I worship. I shall never worship what you worship. Neither will you worship what I worship. To you your religion, to me my religion l.45
"We well know what the infidels say: but you are not to compel them." xliii. 88,89
"And [Muhammad] says, "O Lord, these are people who do not believe." Bear with them and wish them 'Peace '. In the end they shall know their folly."
The exceptions are to be found in Sura ii, which is usually considered Medinan i.e. late: ii.256 "There is no compulsion in religion"; ii.62
"Those who believe [i.e.Muslims] and those who follow the Jewish scriptures, and the Christians and the Sabians, and who believe in God and the Last Day and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve."

Unfortunately, as he gained in confidence and increased his political and military power, Muhammad turned from being a "persuader to being a legislator and warrior, dictating obedience." The Medinan chapters such as Suras ix, v, iv, xxii, xlvii, viii, and ii reveal Muhammad at his most belligerent, dogmatic and intolerant. Muslim theologians are unanimous in declaring that no religious toleration was extended to the idolaters of Arabia at the time of Muhammad. The only choice given them was death or the acceptance of Islam. This total intolerance never seems to be taken into consideration by the apologists of Islam when they lay claims to Islamic tolerance.

Unbelievers in general are shown no mercy in the Koran which is full of lurid descriptions of the punishments awaiting them.

xxii.9:"As for the unbelievers for them garments of fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowels and skins shall be dissolved and they will be punished with hooked iron- rods.

The Koran also enjoins all Muslims to fight and kill non-believers:
xlvii.4: "When you meet the unbelievers, strike off their heads; then when you have made wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives."

5 posted on 09/18/2001 10:20:10 AM PDT by ppaul
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To: sanchmo
>OK, gang - let's get to know our enemy....The Quran itself merely prescribes modesty rather than actually forcing the wearing of a particular garment.

FYI -- this business of covering women isn't meant as oppression. On the contrary, Fundamentalist Muslims believe in djinns, spirit beings -- akin to JudeoChristian's Fallen Angels -- who are believed often to take an interest in human women and make off with them. Women are advised to hide their beauty to protect themselves from the djinns. Before we single out these people for their "oppression" of women, this belief in spirit beings lusting after women is so deeply entrenched even in our own Bible that in 1 Corinthians 11 Paul goes on at some length about advising women to cover their heads. He even explicitly references the Fallen Angels in 1 Corinthians 11:10 -- "For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels."

Sorry to go on at some length here, but in some press commentaries I've heard, the attacks don't seem to be so much on Islam or Fundamentalist Islam, but rather on Fundamentalism overall. (I'm sure the left wing commentator I heard on PBS a couple of days ago would have been just as happy denoucning Fundamentalist Christians as he was denoucing Fundamentalist Muslims...) Mark W.

6 posted on 09/18/2001 10:33:52 AM PDT by MarkWar
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To: sanchmo
Interesting post, hopefully it won't deteriorate into a flame war. Thanks.
7 posted on 09/18/2001 10:39:34 AM PDT by ScreamingFist
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To: FreeFly
.
8 posted on 09/18/2001 10:40:01 AM PDT by ScreamingFist
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To: sanchmo
This is an important point - in Islam Christians and Jews are not infidels, and are not to be the targets of religious war.

This is so far out of touch with the reality of the past 13 or so centuries as to be risible.
9 posted on 09/18/2001 10:43:22 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: sanchmo
Good essay...thanks for posting it.
It describes the tenates of Islam as I found them when I did my little bit of research.
All too many want to brand Islam as an inherently violent religion.
Of course, those that do tend to ignore the parts of the Christian Bible that promote the same sort of thing.
They also forget the evil done in the name of the Christian religion:
the Spanish Inquisition and the attempted genocide of the American Indian
are two things that come immediatly to mind...the list is certainly longer.
Granted it doesn't happen now the way that it used to, but no religion
has clean hands when it comes to violence done to the "unbelievers" in it's name.
Demonizing the practitioners of an entire religion is what the Taliban has done.
We don't need to get down on their level.
10 posted on 09/18/2001 11:23:41 AM PDT by freefly
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To: sanchmo
Mullah - A male religious teacher or leader.
Imam - A male spiritual and temporal leader regarded by Shiites as a descendant of Muhammad divinely appointed to guide humans.

This is one area that I find interesting.
My reading indicated that Islam is not supposed to have "religious leaders".
All men are supposed to be equal in the eye of G*d.
A person should read the word of the Prophet and convince themselves as to it being the true word...
He should not "follow" any other man as he is supposed to be listening to and following the word of G*d.
This should prevent anyone from following a leader into wrong thought and action.
How the Mullah and Imam came about is beyond me.
From what I understand, they should not have influence on a true Muslim's belief or actions.
Religious "leaders" have tremendous power over those that practice a religion...
good reason not to have them at all.
11 posted on 09/18/2001 12:02:11 PM PDT by freefly
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To: sanchmo
I'm still waiting for any mullah or imam, anywhere in the world, to stop mouthing platitudes about how they feel the great loss of lives, and state that whoever planned, financed, harbored or aided this attack needs to be treated at least as severely as a woman caught fully clothed in a room in Riyadh with a man not her husband.

Until then, I'm not buying any.

Semper Fidelis

12 posted on 09/18/2001 12:19:35 PM PDT by Jarhead_22
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To: sanchmo
I'm still waiting for any mullah or imam, anywhere in the world, to stop mouthing platitudes about how they feel the great loss of lives, and state that whoever planned, financed, harbored or aided this attack needs to be treated at least as severely as a woman caught fully clothed in a room in Riyadh with a man not her husband.

Until then, I'm not buying any.

Semper Fidelis

13 posted on 09/18/2001 12:19:59 PM PDT by Jarhead_22
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To: Jarhead_22
My apologies for the double post. I seem to be getting a lot of "Page not found" errors today.
14 posted on 09/18/2001 12:23:14 PM PDT by Jarhead_22
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To: freefly
Of course, those that do tend to ignore the parts of the Christian Bible that promote the same sort of thing.

Which parts are they?

15 posted on 09/18/2001 12:26:21 PM PDT by Ditto
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: sanchmo
Bookmark and a BUMP! Thanks, sanchmo.
17 posted on 09/18/2001 12:27:02 PM PDT by betty boop
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To: sanchmo
Thank you for this post, a small cry for sanity and fact amonst the din of inflammatory, hate-mongering posts gushing forth from our own Taliban-like religious zealots.
18 posted on 09/18/2001 12:41:18 PM PDT by longshadow
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To: Malachi
Quoting from history and the Qu'ran is "hatemongering?"
Get a grip!

Before you start accusing, point out where I have erred. Otherwise, shut yer yap about not following President Bush's advice.

19 posted on 09/18/2001 12:55:09 PM PDT by ppaul
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To: Malachi
Quoting from history and the Qu'ran is "hatemongering?"
Get a grip!

Before you start accusing, point out where I have erred. Otherwise, shut yer yap about not following President Bush's advice.

20 posted on 09/18/2001 12:56:51 PM PDT by ppaul
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To: sanchmo

My dear brother and sister FReepers,

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I beg you, if you have not yet donated to FreeRepublic this quarter,  do so now!

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21 posted on 09/18/2001 1:24:37 PM PDT by 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember
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To: Ditto
A lot of the Old Testament -in particular- can be quite violent and
often contradicts what Jesus preached in the New Testament.
If you lift parts out of context, it gets even worse.
Focus on those parts of the Bible have resulted in a lot of ugly things being done in the name of G*d in the past.
There are a lot of websites that go into details on Biblical contradictions.
They too focus on the medium rather than the message, much the way those that I see picking at Islam do.
Focusing on the medium and ignoring the message has led a lot of people from the path(s) that G*d has laid out.
A lot of evil has been done in His name as a result.
I do not believe that He would approve.
(I think that is what He was really referring to when He handed
down the commandment about not taking His name in vain).
If you want details, you can look here and here and here too.
If you'd rather look at contradictions in the Quran, you can look at this site.
A quick search on Bible Contradictions found 30K+ sites.
Some better, some worse.
All focus on the details rather than the message.
IMHO, a mistake.
22 posted on 09/18/2001 1:40:52 PM PDT by freefly
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To: Ditto
Sorry, 1st link is to a site that is under construction.
Too bad, it was actually one of the better thought out ones.
23 posted on 09/18/2001 1:42:58 PM PDT by freefly
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To: freefly
.....what Jesus preached in the New Testament.

Yeah. And what did Jesus do?

Now compare that to what Muhammad, peace be upon him, preached and did.

A fair comparison?
In a nutshell: Peace versus violence & mayhem.

24 posted on 09/18/2001 2:07:08 PM PDT by ppaul
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To: freefly
You referred to the "Christian Bible" which I would consider to be the New Testament, not the Old. I am surely not a Bible scholar, but I know of nothing in the New that calls for violence or bloodshed. It is a message of love and forgiveness throughout.
25 posted on 09/18/2001 2:14:09 PM PDT by Ditto
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To: ppaul
"Peace versus violence & mayhem."

I don't see too many Christians cutting the Old Testament out of their Bibles and throwing it away.
Muslims also believe that Jesus was a prophet of G*d.
They follow His Word about as well as Christians have done over the last 2K years.
Looked at over the long term, I don't see too many religions in a position to be pointing fingers.
26 posted on 09/18/2001 2:43:10 PM PDT by freefly
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To: freefly
Nobody was pointing fingers, freefly, except you. But an across the board comparison of the founders of the religions (regardless of the fanatic actions or words of their followers) is certainly the civilized and rational way to make an educated inquiry upon which to form an objective opinion. Wouldn't you agree?
27 posted on 09/18/2001 2:51:26 PM PDT by ppaul
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To: Manny Festo
What say you?
28 posted on 09/18/2001 3:01:16 PM PDT by ppaul
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To: Ditto
Jesus preached a message that few have followed.
Even the Muslims acknowledge Him to be a prophet of G*d.
All too few Muslims OR Christians have followed His teachings over the centuries.
Self-interest and political agendas keep getting in the way.
Would type more but gotta go.
More another time...
29 posted on 09/18/2001 3:09:06 PM PDT by freefly
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To: Malachi
President Bush said to stop the hate-mongering against the religion of the Moslems. Try following his advice.

My sentiments exactly!

Even before the WTC attack saw many posts advocating the death of all Palestinians and Muslims. Some sick people around.

30 posted on 09/18/2001 3:10:17 PM PDT by ExiledInTaiwan
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

To: ppaul
"Nobody was pointing fingers, freefly, except you."

After reading back through this thread, I have to disagree.
In fact, you were the 1st to do the pointing.
I may be guilty of it myself, but my purpose is to bring up the counter-point
that, while Muslims have been violent -especially in the past-
Christians have been guilty too and they justified their
actions using the Bible, -the whole Bible- not just the New Testament.
As far as a comparing the relative merits of religions,
who do you consider the "founder"?
From what I understand Moses is supposed to be the 1st prophet of G*d.
From him the Jews got their direction.
Jesus (a Jew) is supposed to be the next.
He pointed out a different path than the one that the Jews were following.
Muhammad is supposed to be the next.
His "revelations" are supposed to have occured because the Word of G*d's
1st prophet was corrupted by the Jews (because the Jews claim to be the
"chosen" of G*d and Muhammad did not believe that G*d would play favorites)
and that the Word of Jesus was subverted by opportunists.
Which prophet is the one whose word is to be followed?
Looking at Jesus, YES, His word IS worth following,
whether you are a Christian, Jew, Muslim, atheist or agnostic.
Would He consider following his Word to be a seperate "religion"?

I'm not here to debate which religion is "right".
I'm here because I'm seeing a religion (not my own) and it's followers demonized.
The way that is being done can be EQUALLY applied to other religions.
It is how the Taliban can convince people to do the things that they have done.
It can be used that way by others too.
And it will be just as ugly.
I think the right thing to focus on here is:
Do as you would be done by.
Good advice for everyone.
34 posted on 09/19/2001 7:51:03 AM PDT by freefly
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To: freefly
Let's add an interesting point to this presumption about supposed Islamic tolerance: in Saudi Arabia, a U.S ally, its forbidden for Christians to conduct worship services. Or to wear crosses as jewelry accessories. Ditto for Jews who are prohibited to live in the kingdom and for that matter in Jordan. And then for non-Muslim religious minorities across the Islamic world, their lot is one of enforced submission, harrassment, persecution, and mob violence if they dare to challenge their subordinate status in Muslim societies. And the Jews of the Arab world are virtually all extinct. So tell us again from the viewpoint of Islamic apologists how Islam's record translates into favorable treatment of those who are NOT Muslims.
35 posted on 09/19/2001 8:04:14 AM PDT by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop
As I said more than once:
I see the the "leaders" of those countries using Islam as a tool to dominate and manipulate their people.
Are they currently promoting the tolerant parts of their religion?
No.
Should they?
Yes.
Is Islam the only religion where the political leaders that teach and use it dwell on the parts that promote their agenda?
No.
MOST religions work very well for that...
including Christianity- as can be seen in it's history -using it's religious writings-
by anyone that has the brains to look and the guts to admit it.
The argument that "it's the fault of the religion" is what the Talimud uses to manufacture
hate of the Jews and Christians in their country.
It's the same game as has been played in centuries past with only the names changed.
The only reason I am on this thread is that I don't care to see Christians
fooled into the same hate-filled trap that too many Muslims are in.
When I see people "proving" that the religion itself is the source of the problem, I see the true source being ignored.
Hate them for their actions, hate them for being suckered by their politicians, certainly hate their leaders,
but hating them for their religion?
If you want to fall into that sucker's game, go right ahead.
Plenty of others have done it for thousands of years...including those led by the Taliban.
If you like the company, go right ahead and keep it.

Oh yea, if you think that looking for honest answers and for correct reasons for problems
is reason for labeling someone as an "apologist" then keep on believing it.
People who think just like that got us into this mess in the 1st place.
People that think otherwise will get us back out.
As usual.

FBI SWAMPED WITH OFFERS FROM ARAB-AMERICANS WITH ARABIC LANGUAGE SKILLS TO TRACK THE DIRTY RATS DOWN

INSIDE JIHAD U. (The Education of a Holy Warrior) A long read, but GOOD
36 posted on 09/19/2001 2:21:17 PM PDT by freefly
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To: sanchmo
From INSIDE JIHAD U. (The Education of a Holy Warrior)

One school of thought says it's the Americans' fault: American imperialism and the export of American social and sexual mores are to blame. The other school of thought holds that Islam, by its very nature, is in permanent competition with other civilizations. This is the theory expounded by the Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington, who coined the term "Islam's bloody borders" -- a reference to the fact that wherever Islam rubs up against other civilizations -- Jewish, Christian, Hindu -- wars seem to break out.

Whenever I meet a Muslim fundamentalist, I ask them the same stupid-sounding question: Which is more important to Islam, greater jihad or lesser jihad? The answer, usually accompanied by an indulgent look, is usually something like, "They don't call it 'greater jihad' for nothing." The struggle against the external oppressor waxes and wanes, but the fight to suppress the evil inclinations within is perpetual.

But in my conversations with Haq, and with mullahs across Pakistan and Afghanistan, I kept getting a different answer. "They are of equal importance," Haq said. "Jihad against the oppressor of Muslims is an absolute duty. Islam is a religion that defends itself." Jihad against the devil without has assumed a place of permanent, even overriding importance in the way these mullahs look at the world. This was surprising to me, because not even the leaders of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, or sympathizers of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, ever answered the question this way.

When I asked Samiul Haq to explain why he placed so much emphasis on lesser jihad, he said: "Islam is a religion of limits. There are four pillars of Islam. Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, you must make once, only if you have the means. There is a limit to how much charity you must give. In prayer, we only pray five times a day. And fasting, we fast for only one month, Ramadan. But for jihad, there are no limits. Jihad must be fought without limits. There is no compromise in jihad."

37 posted on 09/20/2001 10:11:47 AM PDT by sanchmo
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New thread: Know the Enemy 2: Scorecard of Terrorist Groups
38 posted on 09/20/2001 12:11:31 PM PDT by sanchmo
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To: sanchmo
Bump
39 posted on 09/20/2001 2:59:00 PM PDT by BigTime
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To: freefly
..but one should not blame Christianity for what dishonest or hopelessly deluded individuals have done to misrepresent Christianity. Probably the case with a number of other religions as well.
40 posted on 09/20/2001 6:05:47 PM PDT by dr_who
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To: dr_who
Thank you.
That is exactly the point.
41 posted on 09/24/2001 5:02:36 AM PDT by freefly
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