by Tarek Fatah
Twelve years after 9/11 and the beat goes on. If the news of jihadi terrorist bombings in Boston and Bangalore was not enough to wake us from our collective slumber, the arrests of Chiheb Esseghaier of Montreal and Raed Jaser from Toronto this week certainly should. Though I doubt it.
According to RCMP Assistant Commissioner James Malizia, the two Muslim men were allegedly getting “direction and guidance” from al-Qaida elements in Iran. He added: “Had this plot been carried out, it would have resulted in innocent people being killed or seriously injured.”
While ordinary Canadians and non-Muslims around the world are bewildered by these never-ending news reports of terrorism and alleged plots, the response by the leaders of the Islamic community is the tired old cliche – Islam is a religion of peace, and jihad is simply an “inner struggle.”
The fact is these terrorists are motivated by one powerful belief – the doctrine of armed jihad against the “kuffar” (non-Muslims).
It is worth noting that not a single Muslim cleric since 9/11 has mustered the courage to say the doctrine of armed jihad is defunct and inapplicable in the 21st century. They rightfully denounce terrorism, but dare not denounce jihad.
The armed jihad launched against the infidels, is clearly promoted by the 20th-century writings of such Islamists as Syed Qutb and Hassan al-Banna of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and the late Syed Maudoodi of Jamaat-e-Islami of Indo-Pakistan.
Young Muslims across Canada and the U.S. are given booklets titled Towards Understanding Islam, written by Maudoodi. In the booklet, Maudoodi exhorts ordinary Muslims to launch jihad, as in armed struggle, against non-Muslims.
“Jihad is part of this overall defence of Islam,” he writes.
In case the reader is left with any doubt about the meaning of the word “jihad,” Maudoodi clarifies:
“In the language of the Divine Law, this word (jihad) is used specifically for the war that is waged solely in the name of God against those who perpetrate oppression as enemies of Islam. This supreme sacrifice is the responsibility of all Muslims.”
Maudoodi goes on to label Muslims who refuse the call to armed jihad as apostates:
“Jihad is as much a primary duty as are daily prayers or fasting. One who avoids it is a sinner. His every claim to being a Muslim is doubtful. He is plainly a hypocrite who fails in the test of sincerity and all his acts of worship are a sham, a worthless, hollow show of deception.”
If Maudoodi’s exhortations are not enough to motivate Muslims to conduct acts of terror, we have the words of the late Hassan al-Banna being distributed in our schools and universities. Al-Banna makes it quite clear that the word “jihad” means armed conflict. He mocks those who claim jihad is merely an internal struggle.
Al-Banna says this redefinition of the term “jihad” is a conspiracy so that “Muslims should become negligent.”
And here is what Syed Qutb, another Egyptian stalwart of the Islamist movement and the Muslim Brotherhood, writes in his seminal work on Islam and its relationship with the West, Milestones:
“A Muslim will remain prepared to fight against it (non-Muslim country), whether it be his birthplace or a place where his relatives reside or where his property or any other material interests are located.”
Unless the leaders of Canadian and American mosques as well as the Islamic organizations denounce the doctrine of jihad as pronounced by the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami, and distance themselves from the ideology of Qutb, al-Banna and Maudoodi, they stand complicit in the havoc that these jihadis are raining down on the rest of us.
For those who search for the root cause of Islamist terrorism, it’s the doctrine of jihad, stupid.
Categories: Contributor Columns