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Radical Islamism and Jihad ( 27 Jan 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Jihad: Holy or Unholy War? Asks John L. Esposito

John L. Esposito

 

The concept and practice of jihad have been critical in the history of Islam.1 From the rise of Islam and the creation and expansion of the Muslim community, jihad has played a central role in Islam. Jihad (exertion or struggle) is sometimes referred to as the Sixth Pillar of Islam. Throughout history, (as in other faiths) sacred scripture has been used and abused, interpreted and misinterpreted, to justify resistance and liberation struggles, extremism and terrorism, holy and unholy wars.

The importance of jihad is rooted in the Quran’s command to struggle (the literal meaning of the word jihad) in the path of God and in the example of the Prophet Muhammad and his early Companions. In its most general meaning, jihad refers to the obligation incumbent on all Muslims, individuals and the community, to follow and realize God’s will: to lead a virtuous life and to extend the Islamic community through preaching, education, example, writing, etc. Jihad also includes the right, indeed the obligation, to defend Islam and the community from aggression. Throughout history, the call to jihad has rallied Muslims to the defense of Islam.

Since the late 20th century, the word jihad has gained remarkable currency: used by resistance, liberation, and terrorist movements alike to legitimate their cause and motivate their followers. The Afghan Mujahiddin, the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, have waged a jihad in Afghanistan against foreign powers and among themselves; Muslims in Kashmir, Chechnya, Daghestan and the southern Philippines, Bosnia and Kosovo have fashioned their struggles as jihads; Hizbollah, HAMAS, and Islamic Jihad Palestine have characterized war with Israel as a jihad; Algeria’s Armed Islamic Group has engaged in a jihad of terror against the government there and Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda have waged a global jihad against Muslim governments and the West.

The importance of jihad is rooted in the Quran’s command to “struggle or exert” (the literal meaning of the word jihad) oneself in the path of God. The Quranic teachings have been of essential significance to Muslim self-understanding, piety, mobilization, expansion and defense. Jihad as struggle pertains to the difficulty and complexity of living a good life: struggling against the evil in oneself – to be virtuous and moral, making a serious effort to do good works and help to reform society. Depending on the circumstances in which one lives, it also can mean fighting injustice and oppression, spreading and defending Islam and creating a just society through preaching, teaching and, if necessary, armed struggle or holy war.

The two broad meanings of jihad, non-violent and violent, are contrasted in a well-known Prophetic tradition. Muslim tradition reports that, when Muhammad returned from battle, he told his followers “We return from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad.” The greater jihad is the more difficult and more important struggle against one’s ego, selfishness, greed, and evil.

Jihad is a concept with multiple meanings, used and abused throughout Islamic history. Although it has always been an important part of the Islamic tradition, in recent years some Muslims have maintained that jihad is a universal religious obligation for all true Muslims to join the jihad to promote a global Islamic revolution.

If jihad has so many meanings, how are they to be understood? Which interpretations are correct? Which of the meanings promote positive improvements and reforms and which have been exploited to justify extremism and terrorism? These questions are not new – they have been debated by Muslims throughout the ages.

Like all scriptures, Islamic sacred texts must be read within the social and political contexts in which they were revealed. It is not surprising that the Quran, like the Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament, has verses that address fighting and the conduct of war. The world of the Old Testament like that of the Quran (and indeed of medieval Europe) was often a world of tribal raiding and warfare, of conquest and booty, in which fighting and warfare was also the primary means of guaranteeing the security and freedom. The world of Muhammad and the emerging Islamic community was in fact a rough neighborhood. Arabia and the city of Mecca, in which Muhammad lived and received God’s revelation, were beset by tribal raids and cycles of vengeance and vendetta. As Fred Donner has noted:

In this society, war (harb, used in the senses of both an activity and a condition) was in one sense a normal way of life; that is, a 'state of war' was assumed to exist between one's tribe and all others, unless a particular treaty or agreement had been reached with another tribe establishing amicable relations.1

Moreover, the broader Near East, in which Arabia was located, was itself divided between two warring superpowers, the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) and the Sasanian (Persian) empires.

The Quranic command to fight was in response to the political realities of Arabia and its environs and thus “the necessity of preserving the physical integrity of the Muslim community at a time and place when fighting, sometimes preemptively, sometimes defensively, was understood to be the only way to do so. To be sure, Quranic injunctions to fight often take on the appearance of a call to Holy War, i.e., war based solely on a difference of religion. But this is simply because the only people Muhammad and the early Muslims had to fear were non-Muslims. ”(Sherman Jackson) Later jurists would reflect this dichotomous view of a world of us and them, danger, warfare and conquest in their division of the world into the Abode of Islam (Muslim rule, safety and security) and the Abode of Warfare.

1 Narratives of Islamic Origins: The Beginnings of Islamic Historical Writing (Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam, No. 14), 34 (Darwin Press).

The Quran and Jihad

The earliest Quranic verses dealing with the right to engage in a “defensive” jihad, or struggle, were revealed shortly after the hijra (emigration) of Muhammad and his followers to Medina in flight from their persecution in Mecca. At a time when they were forced to fight for their lives, Muhammad is told: “Leave is given to those who fight because they were wronged—surely God is able to help them—who were expelled from their homes wrongfully for saying, ‘Our Lord is God’ ” (22:39–40). The defensive nature of jihad is clearly emphasized in 2:190, “And fight in the way of God with those who fight you, but aggress not: God loves not the aggressors.” At critical points throughout the years, Muhammad received revelations from God that provided guidelines for the jihad.

As the Muslim community grew, questions quickly emerged as to what was proper behavior during times of war. The Quran provided detailed guidelines and regulations regarding the conduct of war: who is to fight and who is exempted (48:17, 9:91), when hostilities must cease (2:192), and how prisoners should be treated (47:4). Most important, verses such as 2:294 emphasized that warfare and the response to violence and aggression must be proportional: “Whoever transgresses against you, respond in kind.”

However, Quranic verses also underscore that peace, not violence and warfare, is the norm. Permission to fight the enemy is balanced by a strong mandate for making peace: “If your enemy inclines toward peace, then you too should seek peace and put your trust in God” (8:61) and “Had Allah wished, He would have made them dominate you, and so if they leave you alone and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah allows you no way against them” (4:90). From the earliest times, it was forbidden in Islam to kill noncombatants as well as women and children and monks and rabbis, who were given the promise of immunity unless they took part in the fighting.

But what of those verses, sometimes referred to as the “sword verses,” that call for killing unbelievers, such as, “When the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush” (9:5)? This is one of a number of Quranic verses that are cited by critics to demonstrate the inherently violent nature of Islam and its scripture. These same verses have also been selectively used (or abused) by religious extremists to develop a “theology of hate” and intolerance and to legitimate unconditional warfare against unbelievers.

During the period of expansion and conquest, many of the ulama (religious scholars) enjoyed royal patronage and provided a rationale for caliphs to pursue their imperial dreams and extend the boundaries of their empires. They said that the “sword verses” abrogated or overrode the earlier Quranic verses that limited jihad to defensive war. In fact, however, the full intent of “When the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever you find them” is missed or distorted when quoted in isolation. For it is followed and qualified by: “But if they repent and fulfill their devotional obligations and pay the zakat [the charitable tax on Muslims], then let them go their way, for God is forgiving and kind”(9:5). The same is true of another often quoted verse: “Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been

forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor hold the religion of truth [even if they are] of the People of the Book,” which is often cited without the line that follows, “Until they pay the tax with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (9:29).

From its origins, the Islamic community faced rebellion and civil wars, violence and terrorism, epitomized by groups like the Kharijites and Assassins. The Kharijites were a pious but puritanical and militant extremist group that broke with the caliph Ali and later assassinated him. The Assassins lived apart in secret communities from which they were guided by a series of Grand Masters, who ruled from the mountain fortress of Alamut in northern Persia. The Assassins’ jihad against the Seljuq Dynasty terrorized princes, generals, and ulama (scholars), whom they murdered in the name of the Hidden Imam. They struck such terror in the hearts of their Muslim and Crusader enemies that their exploits in Persia and Syria earned them a name and memory in history long after they were overrun and the Mongols executed their last Grand Master in 1256.

The response of Sunni Islam and Islamic law was to marginalize extremists and develop a political theory that emphasized stability over chaos and anarchy. This, of course, did not dissuade all from the extremist path. In more recent decades, alongside mainstream Islamic political opposition, terrorist groups have risen up to challenge regimes and terrorize their populations and attack foreign interests. Often they portray themselves as the “true believers” struggling against repressive regimes and in the midst of a “pagan” society of unbelief. They attempt to impose their ideological brand of Islam and “hijack” Islamic doctrines such as jihad, claiming to be defending true Islam, to legitimate their illegitimate use of violence and acts of terrorism.

In Egypt, groups like Egypt’s Islamic Jihad and other extremist groups assassinated President Anwar Sadat and other government officials, slaughtered tourists in Luxor, burned churches, and killed Christians. In Algeria, the Armed Islamic Group has engaged in a campaign of terror against the Algerian government. Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda undertook a global war of terror against Muslim governments and America, distorting Islam and countering Islamic law in issuing their own fatwas (legal opinions) in an attempt to legitimate their war and call for attacks against civilians (noncombatants). Although these groups tend to receive the most media coverage because of the high-profile atrocities they commit, they represent only an extremist minority, not the majority of Muslims.

Terrorists like Osama bin Laden and others go beyond classical Islam’s criteria for a just jihad and recognize no limits but their own, employing any weapons or means. They reject Islamic law’s regulations regarding the goals and legitimate means for a valid jihad: that violence must be proportional and that only the necessary amount of force should be used to repel the enemy, that innocent civilians should not be targeted, and that jihad must be declared by the ruler or head of state. Today, individuals and groups, religious and lay, seize the right to declare and legitimate unholy wars of terrorism in the name of Islam.

When Osama Bin Laden or the leaders of other terrorist groups in North Africa, the Middle East, South, Southeast and Central Asia speak today, like all Muslims they often use the past to legitimate their agenda and tactics. They

place themselves under the mantle of the Prophet, linking their militant jihadist worldviews to famous earlier interpretations of jihad such as the prominent medieval theologian and legal scholar Ibn Taymiyya and the 20th century Egyptian intellectual and Islamic activist Sayyid Qutb, the godfather of modern revolutionary Islam.

Extremists appeal to conditions (authoritarian governments and a wealthy elite, a minority concerned solely with its own economic prosperity rather than national development, and awash in Western culture and values in dress, music, television, and movies) in many Muslim countries to call for a jihad against rulers and elites and those governments (in particular America) who support them. Western governments are perceived as propping-up oppressive regimes and exploiting the region’s human and natural resources, robbing Muslims of their culture and their option to be governed according to their own choice and to live in a more just society.

Thus, the struggle for the soul of Islam going on today is the product of a rich and complex history. Islamic law and Muslim jurists continue to be used both to legitimate and to challenge the legitimacy of a jihad, a practice that continues up to the present day. For example, during the Gulf War, Muslim rulers obtained fatwas to legitimate their participation in the American-led coalition against Saddam Hussein’s declared jihad and Saudi Arabia obtained a fatwa to legitimate the presence of non-Muslim American troops in the Kingdom. More recently, Shaykh Omar Abdur Rahman’s fatwas were used by extremist groups in Egypt and America to legitimate their acts of violence and terror. Osama Bin Laden, though not a mufti, has given his own fatwas to legitimate his global war and call for attacks against Muslim and Western governments as well as Jews, Christians, and other Muslims. At the same time, prominent religious leaders or muftis have issued fatwas condemning acts of terrorism and suicide bombings against civilians. Indeed, the debate over suicide bombing which has been introduced as an instrument of jihad reveals a wide diversity of opinions.

Suicide Bombers

On February 25, 1994, Dr. Baruch Goldstein, a Jewish settler who had emigrated to Israel from the United States, walked into the Mosque of the Patriarch in Hebron and opened fire, killing twenty-nine Muslim worshipers during their Friday congregational prayer. In response, Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) introduced a new type of warfare in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, suicide bombing. Promising swift revenge for the Hebron massacre, the Hamas militia, the Qassem Brigade, undertook operations within Israel itself, in Galilee, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. In Israel-Palestine, the use of suicide bombing increased exponentially during the second (al-Aqsa) intifada (uprising), which began in September 2000. The most horrific example of suicide bombings or attacks was seen in the 9/11 attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Traditionally, Muslims are unconditionally forbidden to commit suicide, because only God has the right to take the life he has granted. There is only one phrase in the Quran that appears relevant to suicide: “O you who believe! Do not

consume your wealth in the wrong way—rather only through trade mutually agreed to, and do not kill yourselves. Surely God is Merciful toward you” (4:29). However, many Muslim exegetes have believed that “do not kill yourselves” can mean “do not kill each other” since it fits the context of the verse. The subject of suicide is therefore little discussed in exegetical literature. The Prophetic traditions (hadith), however, frequently, clearly, and absolutely prohibit suicide.

Historically both Sunni and Shii Muslims have generally forbidden “sacrificial religious suicide” and acts of terrorism. The Nizari Ismailis, popularly called the Assassins, who in the eleventh and twelfth centuries were notorious for sending suicidal assassins against their enemies, were rejected by mainstream Islam as fanatics. However, in the late twentieth century, the issue resurfaced as many, Shii and Sunni alike, came to equate suicide-bombing with martyrdom, relinquishing one’s life for the faith. Although usually associated with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in fact suicide bombings have also occurred in Lebanon, Indonesia, and elsewhere. In Lebanon, they were used by Hizbollah and al-Jihad in attacks such as those against the U.S. Marine barracks and French military headquarters in Beirut in 1983, in which several hundred were killed.

In Israel-Palestine, increased Israeli violence, brutality, and targeted assassinations reinforced the belief among many Palestinians and Muslims that so-called suicide bombers were committing not an act of suicide but one of self-sacrifice, engaged in resistance and retaliation against Israeli occupation and oppression. As student posters at universities in the West Bank and Gaza declared: “Israel has nuclear bombs, we have human bombs.” Or as a Palestinian fighter remarked: “The Israelis blow us up. Why shouldn’t I go to Israel and take some of them with me?”

Suicide bombings, especially those that target innocent civilians or noncombatants, have precipitated a sharp debate in the Muslim world, garnering both support and condemnation on religious grounds. Prominent religious leaders have differed sharply in their legal opinions (fatwas). Sheikh Ahmad Yasin, the religious leader and founder of Hamas, and Akram Sabri, the Mufti of Jerusalem, as well as many other Arab and Palestinian religious leaders, have argued that suicide bombing is necessary and justified. However, others condemn suicide bombings, in particular those that target civilians, as terrorism.

Prominent Islamic scholars and leaders have been sharply divided in opinion. Sheikh al-Sheikh, the head of Egypt’s venerable al-Azhar Mosque and former Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, has condemned all suicide bombing as un-Islamic and forbidden by Islam. Sheikh Muhammad Sayad Tantawi, the Grand Mufti of Egypt and a leading religious authority, has drawn a sharp distinction between suicide bombings that are acts of self-sacrifice and self-defense and the killing of noncombatants, women, and children, which he has consistently condemned. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qardawi, among the most influential religious authorities, has given fatwas that recognize suicide bombing in Israel/Palestine as an act of self-defense, the giving of one’s life for God with the hope that God will grant him or her Paradise. Like others, Qardawi has legitimated the killing of civilians, arguing that Israel is a militant and military society in which both men and women serve in the military and reserves and that if an elderly person or a

child is killed in such acts, it is an involuntary killing. At the same time, he has denounced acts of terrorism elsewhere as un-Islamic or against the teachings of Islam.

Post 9/11 global terrorism remains a threat to the world community as bombings by religious extremists from Morocco and Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, India and Indonesia have demonstrated. In July 2003 at a World Ulama Conference, Dr. Muhammed Sayed al-Tantawi, the Shaykh or head of al-Azhar University, led the assembled religious scholars in condemning the killing of innocent civilians, noting that: “Extremism is the enemy of Islam…Whereas jihad is allowed in Islam to defend one’s land, to help the oppressed, the difference between jihad in Islam and extremism is like the earth and the sky.” (The Straits Times, July 12, 2003) In many parts of the Muslim world today there is a struggle for the soul of Islam, as the Muslim mainstream, often a silent majority, are challenged by the threat of religious extremism to the faith of Islam and to the security and stability of Muslim societies. At the same time, the international community is challenged to distinguish the acts of religious extremists (Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist) and their religious traditions. Critical o the war against global terrorism will be the ability of leaders to recognize that while the military can effectively punish and capture, it is only by addressing the root causes of terrorism (authoritarian and repressive governments, the maldistribution of economic resources, flawed educational, secular and religious, systems and flagrant human rights abuses) that the conditions that breed extremists and their unholy wars can be eradicated.

John L. Esposito is University Professor as well as Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University and Director of the Center for International Studies. Esposito is Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, The Oxford History of Islam, and The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. His more than 25 books include: Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam, What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?, Islam: The Straight Path, Modernizing Islam (with F. Burgat),Islam and Politics, Islam and Democracy and Makers of Contemporary Islam (with John Voll).

1 For this article, I have drawn from Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam and What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam (Oxford University Press, 2002).

 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/radical-islamism-and-jihad/jihad--holy-or-unholy-war?-asks-john-l-esposito/d/1154

 

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Total Comments (5)

  • 5 .

    Date:    Thu, 29 Jan 2009 11:58:22 +0530 [11:58:22 AM IST]

    From:   ghulam muhammed  

    To:       sultan Shahin

     

    Subject: A running thread of deep saffron - By Christophe Jafferlot - The Indian Express

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/a-running-thread-of-deep-saffron/416409/

     

    A running thread of deep saffron

     Christophe Jaffrelot

    Posted: Jan 29, 2009 at 1107 hrs IST

     

    The people behind the Malegaon terrorist attack fell into three categories — Sangh parivar cadres, army men and old Savarkarites. The first person to be arrested by the police, Pragya Singh, was a sadhvi and former ABVP leader. A second group of the accused comprised army men, retired or not, related to the Bhonsle Military School (BMS). Major Ramesh Upadhyay, a former defence services officer was arrested first, but the key figure was Lt Col Prasad Purohit, who had approached Upadhyay when he was posted at Nasik as liaison officer. Purohit and Upadhyay imparted military training to young activists — including bomb making — and were instrumental in getting arms and explosives.

    Most of the training camps took place in the BMS, which had been directed by Rtd Major P.B. Kulkarni between 1973 and 1988, andwho had been associated with the RSS since 1935. In fact, the Bajrang Dal organised training camps in the BMS (Nagpur) as early as 2001. The five accused mentioned above were all members of Abhinav Bharat, a Pune-based movement initiated by Purohit in June 2006, whose working president was Ramesh Upadhyaya but whose president was none other than Himani Savarkar, V.D. Savarkar's daughter in law, who also headed the Hindu Mahasabha. 

     

    The people, the places and the modus operandi are revealing of the continuity that underlines the Hindu tradition of terror, harking back to V.D. Savarkar. The young, revolutionary Savarkar had created the first Abhinav Bharat Society in 1905. The movement drew its name and its inspiration from Mazzini's 'Young Italy', but was also influenced by Frost Thomas's Secret Societies of the European Revolution, a book dealing mostly with the Russian nihilists. The movement was dissolved in 1952, but ten years back, just before finishing his term as Hindu Mahasabha president, Savarkar had created the Hindu Rashtra Dal, another militia whose mission was to impart military training to the Hindus in order to fight the Muslims, Gandhi's followers and the Mahatma himself. This movement cashed in on the work of the same institution — the Bhonsle Military School, started in 1935 by B.S. Moonje, another Nagpur-based Savarkarite, after a European tour which had exposed him to Mussolini's Balilla movement.

     

    Like the Abhinav Bharat of today, the Hindu Rashtra Dal attracted Hindutva-minded Maharashtrian Brahmins — especially from Poona — who found the RSS insufficiently active. Some of them also had connections to the British Army.

     

    Nathuram Godse and N.D. Apte, the two main architects of Gandhi's assassination, are cases in point. Godse thought that RSS strategy contented itself with "organisation for the sake of organisation". The Hindu Rashtra Dal, by contrast, organised training camps where volunteers learnt how to manufacture bombs and use guns from bicycles and cars. The key instructor was N.D. Apte who had served the army as Assistant Technical Recruiting Officer. In this capacity, he could use the War Service Exhibitions — which were intended to attract young Indians to the army — to initiate Hindu Rashtra Dal members into the art of modern arms.

     

    The Hindu Rashtra Dal's terrorist agenda culminated in the assassination of Gandhi, who had already been a Savarkarite target before — in 1934, they threw a bomb in Poona Municipal Town Hall where Gandhi was making a speech against untouchability. 

     

    While today's Abhinav Bharat belongs to an old tradition harking back to Savarkar and even Tilak, the new element here lies in the implication of one serving officer of the Indian army. Certainly, any institution can have a black sheep. But was he that isolated? He has already named other officers who would have been his more or less passive accomplices and his colleague, Upadhyay, who once headed the

     

    Instead of distancing itself from the Hindu terrorists, as it had done in the 1940s, this time the Sangh Parivar has decided to support the Malegaon accused. Bajrang Dal chief Prakash Sharma declared that "policy makers should be worried if the Hindus were taking to arms because of the government's skewed approach to war on terror" and admitted that the Bajrang Dal was running training camps too "to boost their morale [the Bajrang Dal's members]. The country wouldn't get its Abhinav Bindras if there were no armed training for the youth".

     

    In a way, the RSS, with the Bajrang Dal, has created a buffer organisation to handle the dirty work that the Sangh was earlier obliged to do itself — work similar to that of the Savarkarite organisations, whether they are called Hindu Rashtra Dal or Abhinav Bharat.

     

    The writer is a political scientist and South Asia specialist at CERI, Paris

    By Ghulam Muhammed
  • 4 .

    Date:    Thu, 29 Jan 2009 02:49:45 -0600 [02:19:45 PM IST]

    From:   Manoj Padhi

    To:       sultan Shahin

    Subject:            Re: Obama Must Prosecute Rumsfeld for War Crimes By Matthew Rothschild - January 27, 2009

     

    Since when Animal torture has become a crime ?

     

    Terrorists are considered Animals in India and when dogs get mad, we shoot them. Any amount of torture is permitted.

    Must read and forward links

     

     

     

     

    Hope, the following humorous letter written by Don Rumsfeld to a terrorist sympathizer will open your eyes..

     

    I endorse this and if you do , please send a brief comment..

     

    Taking Care of the Guantanamo Detainees

     

    A person wrote a letter to the White House complaining about the

    treatment of a captive taken during the Afghanistan war. Attached is a

    copy of a letter they received back:

     

    The White House

    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, D.C. 20016

    Dear Concerned Citizen:

     

    Thank you for your recent letter roundly criticizing our treatment of

    the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees currently being held at Guantanamo

    Bay, Cuba.

     

    My administration takes these matters seriously, and your opinion was

    heard loud and clear here in Washington.

     

    You'll be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens

    like you, we are creating a new division of the Terrorist Retraining

    Program, to be called the "Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers"

    program, or LARK for short. In accordance with the guidelines of this

    new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your

    personal care.

     

    Your personal detainee has been selected and scheduled for

    transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence next

    Monday.

     

    Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be

    cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your

    letter of admonishment. It will likely be necessary for you to hire

    some assistant caretakers. We will conduct weekly inspections to

    ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with

    those you so strongly recommended in your letter.

     

    Ahmed's meal requirements are simple, but we strongly suggest serving

    meals that do not require utensils, particularly knives and forks.

    Also, these should be "one-handed" foods; Ahmed will not eat with his

    left hand since he uses that for personal matters.

     

    He generally bathes quarterly with the change of seasons, assuming

    that it rains, and he washes his clothes simultaneously. This should

    help with your water bill. Also, your new friend has a really bad case

    of body lice that hasn't been completely remedied. Please heed the

    large orange notice attached to your detainee's cage: "Does not play

    well with others."

     

    Although Ahmed is sociopathic and extremely violent, we hope that your

    sensitivity to what you described as his "attitudinal problem" will

    help him overcome these character flaws.

     

    Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural

    differences. He will bite you, given the chance, but his rabies test

    came back negative, so not to worry. We understand that you plan to

    offer counseling and home schooling. Your adopted terrorist is

    extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human

    life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We do not

    suggest that you ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga

    group. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices

    from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items

    locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.

     

    Ahmed will not wish to interact with your wife or daughters (except

    sexually) since he views females as a subhuman form of property.

    However, he will be eager to assist with the education of your sons;

    have available for their use several copies of the Q'uran.

     

    Thanks again for your letter. We truly appreciate it when folks like

    you, who know so much, keep us informed of the proper way to do our

    job. We think this watching over each other's shoulder is such a good

    way for people to interact that we will be sending a team of federal

    officials with expertise in your line of work to your place of

    business soon, just to help you do your job better. Don't be concerned

    that they have the power to close your business, seize your property,

    and arrest you for any violation of the 4,850,206 laws, codes,

    regulations and rules that apply to your profession. They're really

    there just to make sure you're doing everything the proper way. That

    is what you wanted, right?

     

    Well, thank you for this opportunity to interact with such a valued

    member of the citizenry. You take good care of Ahmed - and

    remember...we'll be watching.

     

    Cordially...Your Buddy, Don Rumsfeld

    ---

    On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 1:14 AM, ghulam.muhammed < wrote:

    Obama Must Prosecute Rumsfeld for War Crimes

    By Matthew Rothschild, January 27, 2009

     

    If I were Donald Rumsfeld, and what a horrible thought that is, I wouldn't be traveling abroad any time soon. And I might be out looking for a disguise here at home.

     

    Because Rumsfeld stands before the world as an unindicted war criminal for ordering torture while he was Bush's Secretary of Defense.

     

    No less a figure that the UN's Special Rapporteur on Torture said on CNN Monday that "Rumsfeld clearly authorized torture methods." The Rapporteur, Manfred Nowak, said the United States has an "obligation" to investigate this, and he has passed his recommendation on to the United Nations.

     

    The smoking gun is a December 2, 2002, directive Rumsfeld issued that ordered sensory deprivation, stress positions, isolation, and the use of dogs on prisoners.

     

    He also admitted hiding at least one detainee from the Red Cross, which violates the Geneva Conventions.

     

    And, according to Seymour Hersh, he set up a Secret Access Program "that was given blanket advance approval to kill or capture." Summary executions constitute a war crime.

     

    Plus, he had "command responsibility" for those under him who were doing the torturing. If he knew about war crimes and did not try to stop them, he's also guilty of a war crime.

     

    "Rumsfeld was intimately involved with the interrogation of a Saudi detainee, Mohamed al-Qahtani, at Guantánamo in late 2002. General Geoffrey Miller, who later transferred many of his harsh interrogation techniques to Abu Ghraib, supervised the interrogation and gave Rumsfeld weekly updates on his progress. During a six-week period, al-Qahtani was stripped naked, forced to wear women's underwear on his head, denied bathroom access, threatened with dogs, forced to perform tricks while tethered to a dog leash, and subjected to sleep deprivation,"

     

    The evidence against Rumsfeld has been on the table for years now.

     

    Back in 2005,

     

    And Amnesty International said that if the United States didn't prosecute Rumsfeld, then foreign governments should. "If anyone suspected of involvement in the U.S. torture scandal visits or transits through foreign territories, governments could take legal steps to ensure that such individuals are investigated and charged with applicable crimes," Amnesty International USA said.

     

    More recently, the general who investigated Abu Ghraib concluded that the most senior Bush administration officials committed war crimes.

     

    "There is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes," Retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba wrote, in the preface to a report by Physicians for Human Rights last year. "The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."

     

    Taguba believes that Bush himself could be brought up on war crimes. "The Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture,"

     

    Finally, the

     

    "Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay was a direct cause of detainee abuse there," it said. He also "contributed to the use of abusive techniques, including military working dogs, forced nudity, and stress positions, in Afghanistan and Iraq."

     

    So why is this man allowed to walk free?

     

    To show that we're a country of laws, to show that we respect human rights, to show that we oppose torture, Barack Obama must instruct the Justice Department to prepare an indictment against Donald Rumsfeld.

     

    And failing that, it'll be up to some courageous foreign government to nab this fugitive from justice.

    By Manoj Padhi
  • 3 .

    From    Ashok Chowgule

    To:       Sultan Shahin

    date     29 January 2009 15:26

     

    Understanding the Muslim Mind

    Author: Dr Omar Zia

    Publication: Islam Watch

    Date: January 29, 2009

    URL: http://www.islam-watch.org/Omar.Zia/Understanding-the-Muslim-Mind.htm

    29 Jan, 2009

     

    Continuing with my last topic of evolution, or lack thereof, in a Muslim mind, let me give you three real-life examples of how I observed Islam’s toxic effect on the mind of Muslims and how, in my view, they will effect the world around us in the foreseeable future.

     

    1.      Mind of a Sri Lankan Muslim

     

    Two years ago while travelling through Sri Lanka I befriended a taxi driver in Colombo.

     

    He was a young devout Muslim from a family of ten: two aged parents and eight grown-up children. He was the youngest member of the family born and bred in Sri Lanka. From my chats with him during several excursions in the city, I pieced together a detailed picture of the conditions and aspirations of Muslims in Sri Lanka.

     

    Muslims constituted only 7% of the population in Sri Lanka. This boy of 22 knew that. He told me in a meaningful way that non-Muslim Sri Lankans are too cautious when it comes to raising a family. They worry about the education and upbringing of their offspring too much; for that reason, birth-rate amongst non-Muslims is quite low. Muslims in Sri Lanka, on the other hand, believe that Allah will provide everything and do not care how many children they have. This boy was prophetic. Current Muslim population of Sri Lanka is listed as 9% according to many guide-books.

     

    Upon my enquiry as to how he got along with his non-Muslim neighbours, he praised them for their placidity and then complained that he found it quite annoying that Muslims had to take their cowardly neighbour religious sensitivity into account and slaughter animals hidden from the public eye. He assured me that as soon as Muslims were in ascendancy in his country, which, he was sure, would happen in his lifetime, one of the first laws to be passed will be sanctioning of slaughtering of animals in the open, like in any Muslim country. While visiting Hindu temples with me, he proudly informed me that Muslims never allow non-Muslim Sri Lankans to enter mosques, as they were unclean. He was also quite sure that if allowed, Muslims being the worthy fighters and jihadis, can sort out the Tamils within a very short time.

     

    In order to understand better the Muslim society in Sri Lanka, I even accepted his offer of a cuppa at his house towards the end of my stay.  All that I had heard from this young ‘time bomb’ proved absolutely certain. Indeed, the visit proved even more shocking: the rest of his family members appeared even more radicalized and angrier at their majority countrymen. I felt absolutely horrified at the prospect of what is in store for the affable, but oblivious to danger, non-Muslim Sri Lankans.

     

    2. Mind of my young, ambitious nephew

     

    On my last visit to Pakistan, my 18 year nephew visited me and implored to arrange a visa for him to go to England. He was close to completing his schooling but was quite despondent of his future prospects in Pakistan. I explained to him that even though I will endeavour to help him all I can, the final word would rest with the British consulate and it would be his academic records, which, in the end, would decide his fate. My motive was to inspire him to study harder as he seemed quite lacking in knowledge for his age. I also told him that he would have to supplement his studies in England with menial jobs. He seemed absolutely comfortable with that news.

     

    As I was once analyzing a disturbing verse from the Quran (9:29), he arrived. I decided to test him on his humanity and asked if he had ever read Quran. He proudly replied that he had, several times, but only in Arabic and therefore did not understand any of it. I explained the verse to him and asked for his thoughts on this fascist verse. Without any hesitation, he responded that he absolutely believes it is correct. Upon my flustered query as to how can he think of subjugating or killing his hosts in England, he replied to my astonishment that once Islam has overwhelmed England, this verse would become mandatory and Allah’s deed must be carried out. I couldn’t help but feel awed at the corrupting power of Islam.

     

    3. Mind of my educated, progressive, and nonreligious Muslim brother

     

    The third incident, which I wish to relate, came soon after the above incidence during a dinner chat with my progressive, highly educated and largely non-religious brother. I was lamenting to him at the Taliban’s tactics of usurping power in Pakistan. He coolly informed me that Taliban are good people except that they have interpreted Islam wrongly and all true Muslims harbour a Taliban within them. Much shocked at this statement, I asked him to show me what part Taliban had misinterpreted from the Quran. Noticing that he was attempting to change the subject, I persisted and asked him if he had read the Quran with the understanding of it meaning. Not surprisingly, the answer was a somewhat embarrassing "NO".

     

    After the dinner, I asked him to bring out his translated copy of the Quran. He did not possess one. What he luckily did have though was a functioning computer in his son’s room. I persuaded him to sit with me and I got out the verses which were being used, with proof and through their own mouth by Osama, Naik, Israr and many other unabashed fascist nuts. I showed him ahadees, which corroborated those verses from the Bukhari and Muslim collection. I could almost hear his Islamic world collapsing inside him and heard his heartbeat rising. I knew that I was very near to my goal of making him see the truth. It was just seconds away when all of a sudden he almost toppled the monitor and got up in a rage screaming that it was all western propaganda. He started an incoherent, and increasingly alarming, tirade against the Jews, the West and America and eventually blamed me for being an instrument in the hands of some Western think-tank. Suffice it to say that I left his house with a heavy heart that there is little no hope for a peaceable future for our globe.

     

    Dr. Omar Zia is a Pakistani-born ex-Muslim.

     

    By Ashok Chowgule
  • 2 .

    RE: Jihad: Holy or Unholy War? Asks John L. Esposito

    =======================================

    No Jihad is valid and allowed without the approval of Ruler of Islamic State.

    Interpretation of Jihad by Wahabis/Ahl-e-Hadith/Salafis

    Jihaad requires preparation and organization, and the existence of a leader of the army who can weigh up the pros and cons. This strikes the balance between those who are reckless and pay no attention to the regulations of sharee’ah, and those who neglect this duty and ignore it completely. It is obligatory to follow the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in all his affairs, which includes preparation and equipping oneself.

    Jihaad is of various kinds, some of which are obligatory upon everyone who is accountable, and some are obligatory upon the community as a whole – if some people undertake them then the rest are relieved of the obligation. And some kinds of jihad are mustahabb.

    Jihad al-nafs (jihad against one’s self) and jihad al-Shaytaan (jihad against the Shaytaan) are obligatory upon everyone who is accountable. Jihad against the munaafiqeen (hypocrites), kaafirs (disbelievers) and leaders of oppression and innovation is obligatory upon the community as a whole. Physical jihad (i.e. fighting) against the kaafirs may become an individual obligation upon everyone who is able to do it in certain circumstances, which will be described below.

    Ibn al-Qayyim said:

    Once this is understood, then jihad is of four kinds: Jihad al-nafs (jihad against one’s self), jihad al-Shaytaan (jihad against the Shaytaan), jihad against the kaafirs and jihad against the hypocrites.

    Jihad al-nafs (jihad against one’s self) is of four kinds:

    1 – Striving to learn the teachings of Islam without which one cannot attain success and happiness in this world or in the Hereafter; if this is missing then one is doomed to misery in this world and in the Hereafter.

    2 – Striving to make oneself act in accordance with what one has learned. Simply knowing without acting, even though it may not cause any harm, is not going to bring any benefit.

    3 – Striving to call others to Islam, teaching those who do not know about it. Otherwise one will be one of those who conceal that which Allaah has revealed of guidance and teaching, and it will not benefit him or save him from the punishment of Allaah.

    4 – Striving to bear patiently the difficulties involved in calling people to Allaah and the insults of people; bearing all that for the sake of Allaah.

    If a person achieves all these four levels, then he will be one of the rabbaaniyyeen (learned men of religion who practise what they know and also preach to others. Cf. Aal ‘Imraan 3:79).


    AL-E-IMRAN (THE FAMILY OF 'IMRAN, THE HOUSE OF 'IMRAN) 3:79].

    Interpretation of the meaning:

    It is not (possible) for any human being unto whom Allah had given the Scripture and wisdom and the prophethood that he should afterwards have said unto mankind: Be slaves of me instead of Allah; but (what he said was): Be ye faithful servants of the Lord by virtue of your constant teaching of the Scripture and of your constant study thereof.

    The salaf were agreed that the scholar does not deserve to be called a rabbaani unless he knows the truth, acts in accordance with it and teaches it to others. Whoever teaches, acts in accordance with his knowledge and has knowledge, he will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    Jihad against the Shaytaan is of two types:

    1 – Warding off the doubts that he stirs up to undermine faith.

    2 – Striving against him to ward off the corrupt desires that he provokes.

    The first jihad is followed by certainty of faith, and the second is followed by patience. Allaah says


    [AS-SAJDA (THE PROSTRATION,WORSHIP, ADORATION) 32:24]

    Interpretation of the meaning:

    And when they became steadfast and believed firmly in Our revelations, We appointed from among them leaders who guided by Our command.

    Allaah tells us that leadership in religion is attained through patience and certainty of faith. Patience wards off desires and certainty wards off doubts.

    Jihad against the kaafirs and hypocrites is of four kinds: with the heart, the tongue, one’s wealth and oneself. Jihad against the kaafirs is more along the lines of physical fighting whereas jihad against the hypocrites is more along the lines of using words and ideas.

    Jihad against the leaders of oppression and innovation is of three kinds:

    1 – Jihad with one's hand (i.e., physical jihad, fighting) if one is able. If that is not possible then it should be with one's tongue (i.e., by speaking out). If that is not possible then it should be with one's heart (i.e., by hating the evil and feeling that it is wrong).

    These are the thirteen types of jihad, and “Whoever dies without having fought or having resolved to fight has died following one of the branches of hypocrisy.” (Narrated by Muslim, 1910).

    Zaad al-Ma’aad, 3/9-11)

    Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz  said:

    “Jihad is of various kinds, with one’s self, one's wealth, by making du’aa’, by teaching and guiding, by helping to do good in any way. The greatest form of jihad is jihad with one’s self (i.e., going oneself and fighting), followed by jihad with one's wealth, jihad by speaking out and guiding others. Da’wah is also part of jihad.  But going out oneself to fight in jihad is the highest form. (Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 7/334, 335)


    Secondly:

    The idea of waging physical jihad against the kaafirs went through a number of stages, depending on the state in which the Muslim ummah was. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

    “The first thing which his Lord revealed to him was to read in the name of his Lord who had created. That was the beginning of his Prophethood, where Allaah commanded him to recite to himself but He did not yet command him to convey that. Then He revealed the words


    [AL-MUDDATHTHIR (THE CLOAKED ONE, THE MAN WEARING A CLOAK) 74:1 AND 2]

    Interpretation of the meaning:

    O thou enveloped in thy cloak, Arise and warn!

    So he became a Prophet with the word ‘Iqra (Read!) and he became a Messenger with the words, ‘O you (Muhammad) enveloped in garments…’ Then Allaah commanded him to warn his closest kinsmen, then to warn his people, then to warn the Arabs around them, then to warn all the Arabs, then to warn all of mankind. He continued to call them for over ten years from the beginning of his Prophethood, without fighting or imposing the jizyah; he was commanded to refrain, to be patient and to be forbearing.

    Then permission was given to him to migrate, and permission was given to him to fight.

    Then he was commanded to fight those who fought him, and to refrain from fighting those who left him alone and did not fight him.

    Then Allaah commanded him to fight the mushrikeen so that the religion would all be for Allaah.

    After jihad was enjoined upon him, the kaafirs then fell into three categories: those with whom there was a truce or peace treaty; those with whom he was at war; and those who lived under the rule and protection of the Islamic state.”

    (Zaad al-Ma’aad, 3/159)

    Thirdly:

    The ruling on physical jihad against the kaafirs is that this is an obligation on the community as a whole (fard kafaayah).

    Ibn Qudaamah said:

    “Jihaad is an obligation upon the community; if some people undertake it, the rest are relieved of the obligation.”

    What fard kafaayah means is that if it is not undertaken by enough people, then all the people are guilty of sin, but if enough people undertakes it, the rest will be relieved of blame. Initially the command is addressed to all of them, as in the case of an individual obligation (fard ‘ayn), but then in the case of fard kafaayah the obligation is dropped if enough of the people undertake to do it, unlike the case with fard ‘ayn where the obligation is not dropped if someone else does it. Jihad is a fard kafaayah, according to the majority of scholars.”

    (al-Mughni, 9/163)

    Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz said: 

    “We have previously explained on more than one occasion that jihad is fard kafaayah, not fard ‘ayn. All Muslims are enjoined to support their brothers with their selves (i.e., physically, by joining them), or with money, weapons, da’wah and advice. If enough of them go out (to fight), the rest are freed from sin, but if none of them do that then all of them are sinners.

    The Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Africa, North Africa and elsewhere are obliged to do their utmost, and if there is a jihad in one country, the surrounding countries should hasten to help them, the closest then the next closest.  If one or two states, or three or more, manage to fulfil the obligation, then the rest are freed of responsibility. They deserve to be supported, and it is obligatory to help them against their enemies, because they are oppressed. Allaah has enjoined jihad upon all Muslims, and they must fight against the enemies of Allaah until their brothers are victorious. If they fail to do that then they are sinners, but if sufficient people undertake to do that, then the rest are absolved of sin.”

    (Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 7/335)

    Fourthly:

    Physical jihad against the kaafirs becomes obligatory in four cases, which are:

    1 – When the Muslim is present in a jihad situation.

    2 – When the enemy has come and attacked a Muslim land

    3 – When the ruler mobilizes the people, they must respond.

    4 – When a person is needed and no one else can do the task except him.

    Jihad is obligatory and becomes fard ‘ayn if a person is present where fighting is going on. This is the first of the situations in which jihad becomes an individual obligation, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    [AL-ANFAL (SPOILS OF WAR, BOOTY) 8:15 and 16]

    Interpretation of the meaning:

    O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless manoeuvring for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey's end.

    The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that running away on the day when the army is advancing is one of the sins that doom a person to Hell. He said: “Avoid the seven sins that doom a person to Hell…” among which he mentioned running away on the day when the army is advancing (agreed upon). But Allaah has made exceptions in two cases:

    1- When it is a military manoeuvre, in the sense that he is leaving to bring reinforcements.

    2- When he is going to join another group, when he has been told that there is a group of Muslims elsewhere who are about to be defeated, so he goes to join them in order to strengthen their numbers. This is subject to the condition that there is no risk to the group he is in; if there is a risk to the group that he is in, then it is not permissible for him to go to the other group. In this case (jihad) is an individual obligation upon him (fard ‘ayn) and it is not permissible for him to leave. 

    The second situation (in which jihad becomes an individual obligation) is when a city is besieged by the enemy. Then he has to fight in defence of the city, because when the city is besieged there is no alternative but to defend it, for if the enemy is going to prevent people from leaving the city or entering it, and prevent provisions from reaching it, and other things which are well known, then in this case the people of the city are obliged to fight in order to defend their city.

    The third situation is when the leader tells the people to mobilize; the leader (imam) is the highest authority in the state, but he need not necessarily be the leader of all the Muslims, because there has been no leader of all the Muslims (khaleefah) for a long time. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Listen and obey, even if you are ruled by an Abyssinian slave.” So if a man becomes a leader, then his word is to be heeded and his commands are to obeyed.

    (al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 8/10-12).

    Difference between Jihad and Qital:

    The word jihad is more general than the word qitaal (fighting). Jihaad may be with the tongue (by speaking out), or with weapons (which is qitaal or fighting) or with money. Each of these categories includes numerous subcategories.

    Jihad with the tongue includes jihad against the kaafirs, as well as jihad against the hypocrites, jihad against the people of bid’ah (innovation), and jihad against the people of misguidance and whims and desires.

    Qitaal may only be done with weapons; it includes fighting the kaafirs, fighting the wrongdoers and fighting the Khawaarij.

    The greatest kind of fighting is fighting those who disbelieve, for Allaah has commanded us to fight them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allaah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allaah and His Messenger  (Muhammad), (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued”

    [AL-TAWBA (REPENTANCE, DISPENSATION) 9:29]

    Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.


    O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him).

    [AL-TAWBA (REPENTANCE, DISPENSATION) 9:123]

    Jihaad against the kuffaar with weapons is of two types: jihad talab (offensive jihad) and jihad daf’ (defensive jihad).

    Jihad talab means attacking the kuffaar in their own lands until they become Muslim or pay the jizyah with willing submission and feel themselves subdued. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I have been commanded to fight the people until they bear witness that there is no god but Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, and establish regular prayer, and pay zakaah. If they do that, then they have protected their blood and their wealth from me, except in cases decreed by Islamic law, and their reckoning with be with Allaah.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

    The purpose of this kind of jihad is not to fight the kuffaar and take their wealth.

    The second type is jihad al-daf’ (defensive jihad). If the enemy attacks a Muslim country or fights a Muslim country, then jihad is obligatory in that case. If the people of that country are able to undertake this obligation, then all well and good, and the others should support them, both financially and spiritually (by making du’aa’ for them). If the people in that country are not able to undertake this obligation by themselves, then those who are nearby must support them, each according to his ability, whether by giving money, speaking out, or going and fighting.

    Following are the two opinions, number 1 is of an Scholar and number 2 of layman like myself

     

    1 - Murder, Manslaughter and Terrorism -- All in the Name of Allah

     

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/12/murder-manslaughter-and-terrorism-all.html

     

    2 - ISLAMIC JIHAD AS PER QURAN & NOWADAYS JIHAD:


    In verse a and b the term Jihad entails struggling for self purification or a spiritual struggleand does not signify holy war in these verses. When the Holy Quran calls upon or permits Muslims to fight it specifically states so, the fighting which has been sanctioned is also dependent on certain conditions. Fighting has to be started by the other side, retaliation must be by those who have been "wronged" and one must have suffered religious persecution. The Merciful Creator makes specific mention of the places of religious worshippers of other religions in the aforesaid verse-"monasteries, churches, synagogues" (The Pilgrimage: 40). Muslims are enjoined to save all places of worship, in which "the Allah's name is commemorated in abundant measure". Tolerance for believers of other faiths is an article of faith and Muslims may also fight (and should fight) to protect the places of worship of Non-Muslims. Planning in respect of kidnappings, hijackings, and suicide bombings are all done in secrecy, which is again is abhorrent to Allah. Justice which is a pivotal feature of Islam is required to be administered openly and after giving the accused ample opportunity to defend himself (it applies on USA/OSAMA AND TALIBAN TOO).  Would these Jihadis and their cohorts like to tell us as to why there were so many leaders of their JIHAD when it is not allowed in Islam to have so many leaders for a single JIHAD as happenned in Afghanistan and later on Kashmir. Islam abhors Secrecy. Where there is Secrecy there is deceit, particularly in Muslim countries, we cannot complain about the West as Shariah does not bind them but we are bound by Shariah. Jehad is only for Allah and cannot be fought secretly and its announcement should be open not like some bandits. Who would for the lives of those innocnet misguided youth sacrificed in the name of Jihad at the altar of Strategic Depths and whereas their own scions were studying abroad in the West. How would you define the War between Taliban (Muslims) and Northern Alliance (Muslims) between 1996 to 1999 and how would you justify the War between Afghan Mujahideen amongst themselves after the departure of Soviets. During the days of Kargil the same Pakistani Establishment/Army and Generals were the heroes of several Jihadi Organizations and after 9/11 the very same Mullah Brigands started issuing Religious Decrees of Kufr against them

    a- "And if any strive (jahad), they do so for their own souls: For Allah is free of all needs from creation" {The Spider – XXIX (Soora Al-Ankaboot) Verse 6}.

    b- "As for those who strive in Us, We surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good. {The Spider – XXIX (Soora Al-Ankaboot) Verse 6}

    c- "And strive in His cause as ye ought to strive (Wajahadu Fillahay Haqqa Jihad-e-Hi). He has chosen you and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion....So establish regular prayer, give zakat and hold fast to Allah!" {The Believers – XXIII (Soora Al-Mominoon) Verse 78}.

    d- "To those against whom war (yuqataluna) is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged; and verily, Allah is Most Powerful for their aid. Those who have been expelled from their homesin defiance of right for (for no cause) except that they say "our LORD is Allah". Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundany measures" {The Pilgrimage – XXII (Soora Al-Hajj) Verse 39 and 40).

    e- "Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors" {The Cow – II (Soora Al-Baqara) Verse 190}.

    f- Lo! Cospiracy is only of the devil, that he may vex those who believe; but he can harm them not at all unless by Allah’s leave. In Allah let believers put their trust. {She That Disputeth – LVII (Soora AL-MUJADILA) Verse 10 and 11}.

    g- "There is no good in much of their secret conferences save (in) him who enjoineth  almsgiving and kindness and peace-making among the people.” {Women – IV (Soora Al-Nisa) Verse 114).

    h- They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homesin the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity), then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them. Except those who seek refuge with a people between whom and you there is covenant, or (those who) come unto you because their hearts forbid them them to make war on their own folk. Had Allah willed He could have given them power over you so that assuredly they would have fought you. So, if they hold aloof from you and wage not war against you and offer you peace, Allah alloweth you no way against them. Ye will find others who desire that they should have security from you, and security from their own folk. So often as they are returned to hostility they are plunged therein. If they keep not aloof from you nor offer you peace nor hold their hands, then take them and kill them wherever ye find them. Against such we have given you clear warrant {Women – IV (Soora Al-Nisa) Verse 89, 90 and 91}.

    By Aamir Mughal
  • 1 .

    This is in response to Jihad: Holy or Unholy War? by John L. Esposito.

     

    9/11 was an attack carried out by a few who took upon themselves the burden of protecting the rights of Muslims or espousing their cause. Whether they were justified or not, is a different question. To avenge this, the response of US was diabolical. No soberiety involved. Emotive decisions taken precedence over reasons. Bush reacting violently launched a large scale attack on the people of Afghanistan and succeeded in unseating the Talibans. The Talibans were guilty of sheltering Osama bin landen, whom was suspected to be brain behind the 9/11 attack on US. Where was then the justification to launch another attack on Iraq in search of non-existent WMD. It took nearaly six years for Bush to admit his mistake in invading Iraq, after so much destruction and loss of life. Is he not guilty of war crimes? Why he is not tried for the acts of crime against humanity? We all admit Saddam Hussein was bad and not a good ruler. But then, who gave the right to Bush to attack and unseat him. The people of Iraq, would have waged a struggle against him and one day they would have succeeded in throwing him out. Saddam was a despot and he would have met the same fate as any other despot in the history had met the fate. But by hanging him in farcical trial, US hanged him and made a hero out of him. Today US and the people of Iraq are paying the price. Not a day passes in Iraq without an ambush or a suicide bombing. Every day people are killed including the soldiers. There is no peace in that country. Neither the people are happy nor the invader. US troops are suffering highest casualties through militant attacks on them. The Iraqi soldiers which melted soon on invasion as resurfacing to attack the allied troops at will. Today, US is received plane loads of coffins of their soldiers and other allied troops are no exception. Is it necessary. Why West accuse Jihadis for causing terror? Who is responsible for the state of affairs?

     

    It was first Russia which tried its luck in Afghan in search of warm waters but ended in a humiliating defeat and ignominous retreat from that country. No before suffering heavily both in men and materials, costing its exchequer heavily. That ultimately saw the end of mighty USSR. History is before the Americans. If they continue to occupy the sacred lands of Muslims in Iraq and Afghan, they too would meet the same fate as the Russians met and for that matter earlier invaders met. Those who are fighting against them, were Vietnamese or Koreans, but a determined nation called Muslims. Through their Jihad, they would soon gain victory over the evil forces occupying their sacred land there.

    Agreed the Jihad was situational when the religion was in infancy state and it has to protect against itself from annihilation. As the world developed and Muslims were secure in their home land, the Jihad had lost its meaning. Jihad has other meanings besides exertion or struggle. Jihad is as relevant today as it was yesterday, meaning to struggle against oppression, illeteracy, injustice, hunger and poverty. It is a continuous struggle for have nots against haves and it is going on in several Muslim countries. It only took the violent form after US trained and financed the fighters in Afghan against the occupation of Russia. US did this not out of love for the people of Afghan. It did it to teach its arch rival Russia a lesson. US was not bold enough to take the highly nuclear armed Russia head on but to defeat them using the Muslim Mujahideen. History is replete with instances where the cowardly American people washed their hands off from the world affairs. They could do little, when Russia invade Czesolovakia, Poland and other Communist block including East Germany, where it stationed several thousands of troops. The Americans were cowards, unable to fight them, just maintained an eerie silence. Similarly, when the whole Europe was engaged by the mighty Germans, Italians and Japanese in the World War II, US remained neutral watching the goings on from a distance. When Japanese attacked the pearl harbour destroying all its mighty fleet, the Americans instead of fighting them, forced them to surrender using nuclear bombs, that wiped out the humanity in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

     

    If Muslims are struggling today in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, it was due to the faulty policies of US and Israel. It tried its luck with Iran. But went short of invading that country for fear of nuclear reprisal by that country.  Iran has the world's sixth largest army armed to the teeth and with nuclear arsenals stockpiled, US could do least with them except indulging in public rhetorics. Its an advice to Obama. Never follow Bush while dealing with the Muslim world. Today they are more strong and would not take any attack on the Muslim interest just sitting duck. A determined reply would await any aggressor. It is for Obama to talk to the people who matter most in the on going struggle and conflict whether it is in Gaza or Afghan or Iraq. Violence begets violence and there is no point in sending drones deep inside Pak causing heavy casualties among the civilians and extensive damage to the properties. By attacking Pak in the name of weeding out the terrorists, US is widening its area of conflict. It would be US undoing in the region which is already volatile and the resurgent Talibans are active. Obama, better deal the situation with discretion and tact. The people of the world need peace and security. This could be achieved through dialogues and not by confronting them.

     

    By A.M. Jamsheed Basha, Chennai, India