Islamist enmity for infidels, regularly manifested in the jihad, is by now moderately well known. Lesser known, however, but of equal concern, is the mandate for Muslims to be loyal to fellow Muslims and Islam — a loyalty that all too often translates into disloyalty to all things non-Muslim, including the American people and their government.
This dichotomy of loyalty to Muslims and enmity for infidels — which, incidentally, corresponds well with Islamic law’s division of the world into the abode of war (deserving of enmity) and the abode of Islam (deserving of loyalty) — is founded on a Muslim doctrine called wala’ wa bara’ (best translated as “loyalty and enmity”). I first encountered this doctrine while translating various Arabic documents for The Al Qaeda Reader. In fact, the longest and arguably most revealing document I included in that volume is titled “Loyalty and Enmity” (pgs.63-115), compiled by Aymen Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s number two.
I say “compiled” because most of the words are direct quotes from the Koran, the Muslim prophet Muhammad, and Islam’s jurists (i.e., this doctrine is not an “al-Qaeda” phenomenon but rather permeates Islam’s worldview). Those interested are urged to read the whole treatise. For our purposes, however, a few key scriptures must suffice: Koran 5:51 warns Muslims against “taking the Jews and Christians as friends and allies … whoever among you takes them for friends and allies, he is surely one of them,” i.e., he becomes an infidel. According to authoritative Muslim exegete, al-Tabari, Koran 5:51 means that the Muslim who “allies with them [non-Muslims] and enables them against the believers, that same one is a member of their faith and community.” Similar scriptures include Koran 3:28, 4:89, 4:144, 5:54, 6:40, 9:23, and 58:22; the latter simply states that true Muslims do not befriend non-Muslims — “even if they be their fathers, sons, brothers, or kin.”
Conversely, according to Muhammad, “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. … All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith: his blood, his wealth, and his honor” — precisely those three things Islamic law singles out as not being vouchsafed to free infidels. The problem here is that these scriptures are not mere words; American Muslims act on them. Consider the ongoing case of Nasser Abdo, an infantryman assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, who refuses to deploy to Afghanistan: “I don’t believe I can involve myself in an army that wages war against Muslims. I don’t believe I could sleep at night if I take part, in any way, in the killing of a Muslim. … I can’t deploy with my unit to Afghanistan and participate in the war — I can’t both deploy and be a Muslim.” And why is that? “Abdo cited Islamic scholars and verses from the Quran [no doubt such as the above] as reasons for his decision to ask for separation from the Army.” Indeed, his loyalty to Afghanistan’s Muslims is such that, if he does not get discharged, “he will, apparently, be facing a prison sentence.”
Rather than going quietly to prison, Major Nidal Hasan went on the infamous Fort Hood killing spree, slaying thirteen Americans. Maintaining that “Muslims shouldn’t kill Muslims,” he was, like Abdo, adamant about not being deployed to a Muslim nation, his “worst nightmare.” He was also “very upfront about being a Muslim first and an American second,” thereby showing where his true loyalty lay. Tabari’s words come to mind: the Muslim who “allies with them [e.g., Americans] and enables them against the believers, that same one is a member of their faith and community,” i.e., he too becomes an infidel, the worst thing in Islam.
And of course there was sergeant Hasan Akbar, who was convicted of murder for killing two American soldiers and wounding fourteen in a grenade attack in Kuwait: “He launched the attack because he was concerned U.S. troops would kill fellow Muslims in Iraq.” Previous to the attack, he confessed to his diary: “I may not have killed any Muslims, but being in the army is the same thing. I may have to make a choice very soon on who to kill.”