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Offensive Jihad: The One Incontrovertible Problem with Islam

What is the root problem between the Muslim world and the West? Muslims point to U.S. support for Israel and other grievances; Westerners point to Islam’s lack of freedoms and equality. In fact, the ultimate problem is offensive jihad — and that’s entirely Islam’s problem.

by
Raymond Ibrahim

Bio

October 28, 2010 - 12:10 am
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And this is the dividing line: what one civilization maintains as “right” and the “norm” for itself is acceptable. However, when one civilization tries to apply, through force, those same principles onto other civilizations — whether the West trying to import liberalism to Islam, or Islam trying to spread sharia-style fascism to the West — that is objectively wrong. After all, while humans disagree over any number of socio-cultural principles, all humans — secular or religious, Muslim or non-Muslim — agree that being forced to uphold a particular lifestyle against their will is unquestionably wrong, bringing us right back to our topic: the purpose of offensive jihad is to do just that — forcefully impose a particular way of life on non-Muslims, culminating with dhimmitude for those who, after being conquered, refuse to convert.

Worse, offensive jihad is part and parcel of Islam; it is no less codified than, say, Islam’s Five Pillars, which no Muslim rejects.  The Encyclopaedia of Islam’s entry for “jihad” states that the “spread of Islam by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general. … Jihad must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islam. … Islam must completely be made over before the doctrine of jihad can be eliminated.” Scholar Majid Khadduri (1909-2007), after defining jihad as warfare, writes that jihad “is regarded by all jurists, with almost no exception, as a collective obligation of the whole Muslim community.”

Even that chronic complainer Osama bin Laden makes it clear that offensive jihad is the root problem: “Our talks with the infidel West and our conflict with them ultimately revolve around one issue … and it is: Does Islam, or does it not, force people by the power of the sword to submit to its authority corporeally if not spiritually?  Yes. There are only three choices in Islam  … . Either submit, or live under the suzerainty of Islam, or die.”

Clearly, then, it is in the Muslim world’s interest to keep the West ignorant of the fact that, irrespective of all Muslim grievances — real or feigned — nothing less than Islamic law itself mandates a state of constant hostility. Indeed, if the implications of offensive jihad were fully embraced, humanity might be compelled to view the Muslim world as a perpetual, existentialist threat, in need of preemptive containment. That said, and considering the willful ignorance of the West’s political elite — who are guided less by objective facts and more by their “feel-good” ideals — Muslim talk of offensive jihad, no matter how loud or frequent, will likely continue to fall on deaf ears.

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Raymond Ibrahim, a Middle East and Islam specialist, is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings have appeared in a variety of media, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, World Almanac of Islamism, and Chronicle of Higher Education; he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, NPR, Blaze TV, and CBN. Ibrahim regularly speaks publicly, briefs governmental agencies, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and testifies before Congress. He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center; Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow, Middle East Forum; and a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution, 2013. Ibrahim’s dual-background -- born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East -- has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former.
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