Ever since the triumphs of Islam’s prophet became the ultimate inspiration for jihadism almost 14 centuries ago, Muslims have especially revered the bellicose, conquering Muhammad of Medina. (For a pious contemporary example, see Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s “The Prophet Muhammad as a Jihad Model.”) According to a canonical hadith (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0272), Islam in essence belongs to Medina, as a serpent to its lair, the specific words being, “Verily the faith [i.e., Islam] would recede to Medina just as the serpent crawls back into its hole.”
Consistent with the accepted virtues of predatory Medinan Islam and the sacralized jihadism of Muhammad, Libyan despot Muammar Qaddafi recently marked the Muslim prophet’s birthday by declaring a jihad against Switzerland “with all means,” including violent jihad. This was ostensibly in response to the Swiss referendum banning construction of minarets:
We will not give up Jihad, because it is a religious duty. Jihad constitutes a religious duty and self-defense. It is the defense of the religion, fighting for the sake of Allah, defense of the Prophet Muhammad, of the Koran, of the mosques. … Whoever destroys the mosques of Allah before the eyes of the Muslims is worthy of having Jihad launched against him. If Switzerland were situated on our border, we would fight it, for destroying the mosques of Allah. Jihad against those who destroy the mosques of Allah and their minarets is [true] Jihad, and not terrorism. … Switzerland is an infidel and sinful country which destroys mosques. Jihad, with all possible means, should be declared against it.
He decried as “infidels” all Muslims who continued dealings with Switzerland, or the European publishers of the banal Muhammad caricatures which originally appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten:
Any Muslim who buys Swiss products is an infidel. Let Muslims all over the world know this. There are people here from all over the Islamic world. Any Muslim anywhere in the world who deals with Switzerland is an infidel against Islam, Muhammad, Allah, and the Koran. If you continue to have dealings with Switzerland, and the people who portrayed the Prophet Muhammad in the most abominable way in their newspapers. … If you continue to have dealings with them, to buy their products, to support them, to accept their tourists, to accept their planes, to accept their ships, and to host their embassies — you are not Muslims. Any Muslim must boycott them.
Qaddafi’s statement exhorted the global Muslim community:
Boycott Switzerland, its products, its planes, its ships, and its embassies. Boycott this sinful infidel community, which attacks the mosques of Allah. The Muslim masses must head towards all the airports in the Islamic world, and prevent any Swiss plane from landing. They should head to the ports, and prevent any Swiss ship from coming in. They should comb the shops and markets and remove the Swiss products. Allah said: “Let them find harshness in you.”
Libya’s own example indicates these are not idle threats. Over the past two months, Qaddafi’s government has cut its oil supplies to Switzerland, withdrawn Libyan capital from Swiss banks, and moved to close all Swiss companies active in Libya — Swiss Air having already been shut down. And within a week, by Thursday, March 4, Qaddafi’s call for jihad against Switzerland — manifested as economic jihad, for now — was endorsed by Arab League ministers meeting in Cairo. Ministers from Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Djibouti, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE , Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Tunisia each signed a document in support of Libya’s actions, which also denounced Switzerland as “racist.”
Qaddafi’s jihad-sanctioning diatribe and its endorsement by the Arab League ignores the Swiss electorate’s legitimate concerns expressed through their political leadership, notably the Swiss People’s Party (SVP). These actions towards the Swiss and Western Europe in general by Qaddafi, his Arab League supporters, and other Muslim political and religious leaders illustrate simultaneous denial and imperialistic threat — archetypal Islamic behaviors toward infidel civilizations.
For example, the brutal Arab jihad conquest, colonization, and Sharia-based rule of a swath of Western Europe for eight centuries (the 8th through the 15th), although centralized in the Iberian peninsula of mythically tolerant Muslim Spain, included jihadist ravages that beset what is now modern Switzerland.
Charles Emmanuel Dufourcq, the pre-eminent historian of the Arab Muslim jihad campaigns in Medieval Western Europe, has described how Muslim invaders reached Switzerland from their well-established bastion in Provence. Penetrating toward the north, the east, and the northeast:
They reached Gap [~ 100 miles northeast of Marseille] and Grenoble (which they would seize for almost twenty years in the middle of the tenth century), advanced as far as the mountain passes in the Alps, which they controlled, making everyone who traveled through them pay a tax, in particular at the Grand-Saint-Bernard [between Italy and Switzerland]. … They arrived in LeValais [a Swiss canton], up to the Abbey of Saint Gall [presently in the Swiss city of St. Gallen], becoming … “the masters of Switzerland” for a decade or so (during the late 9th century).
Major contemporary Muslim clerics and leaders such as Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi (“spiritual” leader of the Muslim Brotherhood), former Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, and Qaddafi himself have openly extolled this imperialist past as a prologue to modern efforts seeking Europe’s Islamization. Qaradawi’s public fatwa issued December 2, 2002, urged Muslims to conquer Europe, stating: “Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and a victor after being expelled from it twice — once from the south, from Andalusia, and a second time, from the east, when it knocked several times on the doors of Athens.” Sheikh Qaradawi ruled, in addition, that Muslims should reconquer “former Islamic colonies to Andalus (Spain), southern Italy, Sicily, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean islands.”
Such sentiments were reiterated with equal stridency by European Muslim leaders at a conference entitled “Islam in Europe” that accompanied the July 10, 2003, opening of the new Granada Mosque. The keynote speaker at this putatively “ecumenical” conference, Umar Ibrahim Vadillo, a Spanish Muslim leader, implored Muslims to cause an economic collapse of Western economies (by switching to gold dinars, and ceasing to use Western currencies), while the German Muslim leader Abu Bakr Rieger told attendees not to adapt their Islamic religious practices to accommodate European (i.e., Western Enlightenment?) values.