A recent MEMRI report titled “Arab Columnists: Stop Talking About Offensive Jihad” alludes to the ultimate problem between Islam and the non-Muslim world: offensive jihad — the Islamic imperative to subjugate the world. The report opens by saying: “One dominant theme during Ramadan in the Arab world is the discussion, in the media and in religious circles, of the commandment of jihad and the obligation therein to wage war against the infidels.” It then focuses on two recent op-eds, written by Arab-Muslims, that discuss the need to tone down Muslim talk of offensive jihad.
One writer, Khaled Al-Ghanami, states that the “wiser” supporters of offensive jihad believe that Muslims “must sit and wait until the era of our strength returns.” In the meantime, according to these Muslims, “there is nothing shameful about taqiyya [deception] until the time is ripe.” Al-Ghanami bemoans the fact that such Muslims operate naively “on the assumption that the world doesn’t read, doesn’t monitor … and is not paying attention to the calls for killing, tyranny, and aggression that we are spreading.”
Similarly, Abdallah Al-Naggar writes: “Today, the Muslims’ circumstances are different [i.e., they are weak], and talk of this aspect [of jihad] requires a smart approach, one that stresses the aspect of self defense, instead of aggression and onslaught,” since discussing offensive jihad “arouses the enmity of people”; thus, “there is a need for wisdom [i.e., kitman] in our impassioned discussions of war and battles.”
These writers are insightful enough to understand that Islam’s imperative for Muslims to wage offensive jihad is the one insurmountable obstacle for peace between Muslims and non-Muslims. Best not to keep reminding the infidel world, then.
Consider: most of the things Islam gets criticized for — lack of democracy, male-female relations, draconian punishments, etc. — are intra-civilizational to Islam; that is, they affect Muslims alone. As such, it is for Muslims to decide on their utility, for it is the responsibility of every civilization to reform itself from the inside, not through outside “help” or coercion, the former mistrusted, the latter resented. Modern democracy in the West developed only after the people of the West wanted it bad enough to fight for it themselves, and only after centuries of bloody — but internal — conflicts. Feminism was not forcefully imported from some alien civilization but homegrown in the West. Pragmatically speaking, then, so long as sharia’s mandates affect Muslims alone, non-Muslims can have no legitimate grievances.