November 13, 2005
Love & War
Cross posted with permission from a secret blog from arabia....
As the sarcastic saying goes, within these two aspects of life; Love and War are the epitome of fairness and justice. Of course the reality is totally different. Al Qa3da have been fighting on ‘behalf’ of us Muslims for the Love of God and our Prophet for several years now, in a way that has been totally unacceptable. Unfortunately we as an international minority have been complacent about it. Sure, whenever there is an attack on European or American soil there is always a quick condemnation of the assault throughout our community that is rarely covered in the western media. This unfortunately leads to the typical accusation of us (the Muslims) being 'silent' on the issue.
Our perceived silence of the killing of non Muslims seems all the more evident when we woke up to the news of the Jordanian family slaughtered on their own children’s wedding day. Suddenly the whole middle east appeared to be more vocal on their hatred of Al Qa3da. Where was this out cry before?
The Muslims cannot allow America to fight this war on terror, because it is in essence a war against us. It is the Muslims who need to wage jihad against Al Qa3da ,because America and the West are incapable of differentiating between civilians and combatants or Islam and terrorism. We cannot blame them for this confusion because it seems like our own Ummah (the entire Muslim population)cannot tell the difference either.
A famous sheikh recently said that our Ulamah have failed us. The Ulamah by the way are the religious scholars who interpret and explain the correct way we should apply Islam in our lives. However on the problem of terrorism they have failed us. They need to address this issue in much the same vigor that 21st Century Evangelical Christians now have their sights and wallets set on converting the Arabs and tame us in to ‘civility’. (But that’s another topic for another day). We need to address this issue of terrorism, in the same way we condemn the Z!onist oppression of the Arabs in Palestine. Infact we need to be even more concerted and focused on this problem of international terrorism, than we are on the Israeli problem because this is the biggest threat to the Ummah. Unlike what those Neo Cons would like to make the world believe, Islamic Terroism is not as much a threat to the Christian world as it is to the Muslim world.
The biggest sin in Islam is a thing called Bid3ah (innovation). All changes (bid3ah) to how our religion is to be practiced from that of the way our Prophet prescribed for us will ‘lead to the hell fire.’ Jihad is not a bid3ah and as Muslims we should be prepared to fight and kill to protect our religion and our lands…BUT Terrorism IS a bid3ah. There are strict rules of engagement to fighting Jihad that our Prophet Mohamed recommended for us:
1) Women and children are not allowed to be killed. This is a bid3ah.
2) Only Allah is allowed to take human life with fire. Suicide bombings are a bid3ah.
3) It is not permissible to spill the blood of another Muslim. This is a bid3ah.
4) Murder is 100% illegal in Islam. To do this and then ascribe it to our religion is perhaps the worst bid3ah.
It is time Muslims got on the offensive and took the war too Al Qa3da ourselves. We cannot allow America to fight this war for us because she doesn’t care for us. This war on terrorism is not about Us or Them as that idiot Bush said. It is simply about us ...and the Iraq situation is not going to remain contained. That family slaughter in Jordan is proof that we are all at risk
and should be our wake up call...
Once our Ulamah stand up and address this issue without hesitation and explain that this mutated form of Jihad is 100% haram then we can work on being prepared to take this fight to Bin Laden and dismantle that recruiting post him and Bush so skill-fully set up. Al Qa3da are as bad as those Zionist and as those Neo Cons and if need be…we should be prepared (as Muslims) to physically take that fight to all three entities ourselves, whether that fight will be with the use of swords, our tongues or just even with our pens.
by Local Hero
Posted by secretdubai at November 13, 2005 07:19 AM
Filed Under: Islamism
TrackBack URL for this entry:
I have always found the use of the concept Bida' rather, how to say it, 'special' and often hypocritical. Nevertheless, the argument is useful as far as it goes in fighting the takfiri murders in their own terms.
I also find the overall analysis, well, I have issues with it, but let me leave that for later.
Posted by: lounsbury at November 13, 2005 09:50 AM
I posted it because I thought it was an interesting example of Arab-in-the-street reaction to/perspective on this. The writer is quite a young guy (possibly a student?) and it's not intended to be high-flying analysis, it's just from his personal blog.
Posted by: secretdubai at November 13, 2005 09:59 AM
Let it go Louns, not sure if this can be classed as 'Arab in the street reaction' but it certainly does not bear any serious analysis beyond that.
Posted by: Meph at November 13, 2005 11:55 AM
Not allowing America to fight terrorists is fanciful thinking. Al Qaeda targetted Americans for terrorist attacks pretty much exclusively until recently. Nobody else was dealing with them, so they went to Afghanistan themselves. Only now that American commitment to the problem is high, and Arabs are being attacked in the name of Al-Qaeda, can Arab governments finally start focussing on the problem without fear of being toppled by a revolution.
But yes, Islam's religious leadership has been failing its followers for a long time. Maybe now that Arabs are being attacked by Al-Qaeda, they'll take some risks in the face of growing anger at terrorists.
Posted by: zurn at November 13, 2005 12:33 PM
I might add that in rereading the post itself, that I think that it is far more subtle than the initial read in English suggests. Indeed, I believe aside from my dislike of the bida' argument, there are important items here.
However, must fuck off to entertain clients and the like in most haram ways.
Posted by: lounsbury at November 13, 2005 02:16 PM
Clearly, critiques of Islamist terror on their own terms are inherently valuable. The arguments of Westerners will always suffer from a credibility gap and, to a certain extent, inspire a defensive reaction amongst Muslims who would normally be proud to stand against terror perpetrated in their name. I also agree that this comment is a relatively subtle version of an 'internal' critique.
Nevertheless, one thing that consistently bothers me is that, in arguing with terror supporters on their own terms, you concede quite a bit. Note that many internal critiques emphasise that it is unlawful to kill Muslims (see Bid'a number 3, above), or 'innocents' (which can be more or less politically defined). More importantly, the general tone is one of religious identification, in which categories (Muslims, Zionists, Christians) are fixed and inevitably in opposition. The goal tends to be not so much to condemn political or religious violence, but to regulate it. Granted, this sounds a lot like a Weberian definition of the role of the state that we accept as a given in the secular West, but the difference is that state violence is at least theoretically based on a clash of interests, not of identities. The former can be negotiated and redefined, while the latter, especially if religiously determined, are eternal and non-negotiable by definition.
In my mind, it's a tough question – does the intra-Muslim dialogue necessary to confront terror supporters on their own terms merely cement the general divides that make inter-cultural dialogue so difficult? And even if so, is that a price worth paying to isolate the extremists? I'm tempted to say yes, but I do believe that ever greater efforts must be exerted to break down the barriers that divide the West from the Muslim Middle East.
Posted by: hasenauer at November 14, 2005 10:59 AM
He makes one point that has been made in the past but not nearly often enough: the Islamic world is far too ambivalent about condemning Islamic terrorism.
Pat Robertson is a senile lunatic. But when he runs off the rails, authority figures from George Bush to Jay Leno publicly berate him. There is a clear consensus in the popular culture that his worst pronouncements are both offensive and stupid.
By contrast, there's a certain ambivalence toward ObL and the other faces of terrorism in the Islamic world. Islamic "tastemakers" may not publicly cheer them on but they don't make fun of them on Sabturday Night Live, either.
Granted, the idea of terrorism becomes confused in the Israeli-Palestinian context. (I find the Israeli policy of "targetted" assassination almost as abhorent as suicide bombing.) This ambiguity provides some protective cover for other kinds of terrorism. But this merely underscores the need for the Islamic world to come to grips with the differences between things like the Intifada and blowing up Muslim weddings.
Posted by: Anonymous at November 14, 2005 02:52 PM
it seems we keep coming back to the question(s) of "how do the various muslim authorities deal with the challenges of today? who do muslims listen to when it comes to authoritative statements?"
technically, all sorts of things are supposed to happen that aren't and aren't supposed to happen that are. just like patriarchic societies have "islamic" traditions that either are, originally, not connected to islam at all (like female genital mutiliation in egypt) or are even in contravention of shari'a (like forcing daughters & sisters into arranged marriages against the women's will), when it comes to questions like "bid'a" or "terrorism" or, the old biggie, "ijtihad" - there is a chasm between "theory" and "reality".
and i am not sure if that chasm is bridgeable.
please also note that most (if not all) jihadist groups have developed more-or-less intricate theological-legalistic theories of why they actions are not only "not haram" but actually proscribed ... ranging from the argument that "muslims becoming collateral damage through military operations of muslim fighters against oppressors will be considered as 'having died in defence of the faith' & thus will go to heaven" to the takfirist one - that all people who are not with the group are apostates from the faith, and hence condemned to death.
BUT, while the specific "bid'a" line of argumentation might be debatable ... the general point - muslims aren't as moved about islamicist terrorism in the "west" as about terrorism "at home" - is an important one, and i think what L is getting at.
bloody shame that it always seems to need a catastrophe before people get a grip. let's hope that now, in jordan (& maybe even other places), they do.
i'll keep you posted from "over there".
Posted by: raf* at November 14, 2005 04:57 PM
There's another aspect that needs comment. It actually could do with its own thread - interdenominatiol violence withing Islam.
Al-Zarqawi made a statement today.
Al-Zarqawi accused the Jordanian government of hiding casualties among Israeli and American intelligence agents, and he insisted al-Qaida in Iraq was not targeting fellow Muslims.
''We want to assure you that ... you are more beloved to us than ourselves,'' al-Zarqawi said, addressing Jordanians.
Contrast this with the attack on two Shia mosques during Friday prayers today.
Now it's true that the Iraqi insurgency is not monolithic and I believe that there's evidence of an internal debate within Al-Quaeda about targeting Shias. But these sectarian attacks -- and this is far from the first -- highlight that many radical Sunnis don't consider Shias to be true Muslims. In other words, Islamo-facist (or neo-salafist or whatever it is we're calling it) terrorism is first and foremost a problem that needs to be addressed by the Islamic world itself.
As the U.S. did much to encourage the growth of Islamic terrorism by encouraging it in Afghanistan as a weapon against the Soviets, so the Islamic world risks creating a serious long-term problem for itself by tacitly condoning neo-salafi terrorism today. However much you may believe today's "bad guys" may deserve whatever they get, today's bad guys won't be tomorrows bad guys.
Posted by: Anonymous at November 18, 2005 12:42 PM