The Path of Jihad
|"Allah is the only one that must be worshipped on Earth, and the only way to guarantee this is to control all the land masses, air and sea and give Islam the proper channel to be heard by the people."|
--Sheikh Abu Hamza Al-Masri, Allah's Governance on Earth
"Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the Israeli Likud party said, trying to disparage his enemies: 'The celebrated goal of Islamic Fundamentalism is to secure the worldwide victory of Islam by defeating the non-Muslim and infidels through Jihaad...'. Thank you very much, Mr. Netanyahu, for a very accurate description.”
--Muhammad Abdus Salam Faraj, Jihad: The Absent Obligation
The biggest fault of George Bush is not that he is focused on Islamic terrorism. It is that he understates the nature of the problem to the point of misrepresentation. In his effort to not alienate “moderate” Islamic countries, he speaks of a tiny violent muslim minority within an otherwise innocuous and peace loving Islam. The short term utility of this political correctness is understandable. However, it is an impediment to most people gaining an understanding of the nature of the conflict, and therefore what will be involved in reacting to it successfully.
The recent violence in France by the Muslim population there, and the current riots and killing throughout the world over an obscure Danish newspaper cartoon – among enumerable other examples – bear witness to that.
From a historical perspective, it is not the first time that Islam has pursued the course of Jihadic imperialism. Early on, Islamic military forces experienced it's first great surge, conquering the Middle East, Persia (Iran), Central Asia, North Africa, Sicily, and Spain. Both Christians and Jews throughout Europe were terrified until the Islamic troops were halted by Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours, France, in 732. The Muslim conquest for Italy and Rome lasted nearly 100 years until 916. The struggle played out in various countries well into the 14th century. The Christian Crusades, albiet tardy and often flawed, were a response to Islamic expansionism.
We are in the beginnings of the second great Jihadist era. The strategies being employed are now apparent in this stage of Jihad:
First, inculcate Muslim populations throughout the world in militant Jihadist philosophy and goals, and the obligation for all Muslims to participate. This process has been under way for many years in Mosques and Islamic schools. The effort is bearing fruit in hitting a “critical mass” of millions upon millions of Muslims with Jihadist ideals. Moderating voices in the Islamic community are rare, and certainly not the predominate message being promoted every day in Islamic media, mosques, schools and madrassas. Americans are often shocked and bewildered by the intensity of the hatred toward us in Islamic demonstrations. We largely fail to understand how these populations have since birth heard this drum beat every day of their lives.
Second, establish Islamic theocracies wherever the population of countries is predominately Muslim. Iran was the first overthrow. Afghanistan became a model as well. Syria is essentially now in this camp. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and any other Middle East country not directly under fundamentalist control are targets. Every country with an Islamic dominated population and a secular government is finding itself in a precarious position. Their people are becoming more radicalized every day and sympathetic to regime change. Iraq, though certainly a brutal dictatorship under Saddem Hussein, was not a theocracy. Now the struggle is for which way it will fall.
The underlying rationale of the Bush administration for invading Iraq – beyond weapons of mass destruction and the Bush family legacy – was to create a second “beach head” for western style secular democracy to thwart Jihadist domination in the Middle East after Afghanistan. This is the reason the outcome in Iraq and Afghanistan is so critical.
Third, intimidate, strike fear, and ultimately cripple the west through terrorism. The secondary gain is to embolden, hearten, and recruit Muslims around the globe to the Jihadist cause by demonstrating the viability of the movement and prove that Islam has emerged from a period of self-perceived impotence to make holy war against the “infidels”. The greater the destruction and death tolls, the more effective terrorist strikes will be from their view. Those that doubt these terrorists are seeking and will use nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons are naïve and fail to understand the role of terrorism as a tool within the overall Jihadist strategy and vision.
We often hear western journalists and leaders describe terrorism as “senseless violence”. It is just the opposite. It is a carefully conceived approach to weaken non-Islamic nations by both the tangible damage and the morale / resolve of it's victims. Similarly, the many deaths of Iraqi's by terrorist bombs are designed to send a clear message about the cost of cooperation with non-fundamentalists.
Fourth, utilize ever increasing Muslim populations in every country, a trend that has been underway for some time, as an “invasion force” from within. Immigrants do not relocate to Europe with becoming a soldier of the Jihad as their motivation. It is a push-pull effect of economics. Most Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa have poorly developed economies and high poverty rates. Europe on the other hand has looked to immigration as a way to re-invigorate it's own economies to counteract declining and aging indigenous population trends.
Virtually every European country has experienced dramatic rises in Muslim immigration. Over the last 30 years, Europe’s Muslim population has more than doubled, and its growth rate continues to accelerate. Current projections hold that the number of Muslims living in Europe might double again by 2015. Major Muslim immigration, high Muslim birth rates, and a shrinking traditional population—point to a steady rise in Muslims as a proportion of Europe’s people.
In an influential article in the Washington Quarterly in 2004, Timothy M. Savage of the State Department’s Office of European Analysis estimated that Europe would be 20 percent Muslim by 2050. “Some even predict that one-fourth of France’s population could be Muslim by 2025 and that, if trends continue, Muslims could outnumber non-Muslims in France and perhaps in all of western Europe by midcentury,” he pointed out. It has created a situation ripe for exploitation.
Importantly, this new population growth, far from becoming assimilated into European culture, is forming a second front for Jihad. This development is a paradox to many sociologists, who figured that such behavior was confined to newcomers who brought it with them. Not comprehending the virulence and organized nature of the Jihadist movement, they theorized that with time, immigrants would moderate their views. Instead, it is Europe's second and third generation Muslims who are the most radical.
In 1990, the U.S. Census counted 5.27 million Muslims; today, there are as many as 9 million Muslims in America. Most of that growth, again, occurred between 1990 and 2002. By 2000, the number of Muslims worldwide had exceeded the number of Catholics; by 2010, the State Department estimates that there will be more Muslims in America than there are Jews, making Islam the second-largest religion in America.
Fifth, after establishing strong Islamic nations that have become the majority alliance in the world, we will see direct nation-based military aggression in a final stage of Jihad to complete global domination. The result would of course be catastrophic for everyone. Yet it is a path that seems unlikely to be abandoned at that point if Jihadism succeeds in nearing so close to it's ultimate goal.
The current "crisis" concerning Iranian nuclear capability should be viewed in this context. Their dedication to developing nuclear weapons is part and parcel of preparing for the day of direct warfare. Syria likely obtained some weapons of mass destruction technology if not weapons themselves during the invasion of Iraq. These two countries are now working closely together. The first target for aggression is apparent. Iran's new leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has publicly called for the total irradication of Israel.
This is a man who has visions - literally. He believes that when he addressed the United Nations last September, he was bathed in a holy green light, and "for those 27 or 28 minutes, all the leaders of the world did not blink. When I say they didn't move an eyelid, I'm not exaggerating. They were looking as if a hand was holding them there..". He is pre-occupied with the mystical coming of a Shiite Islamic messiah figure – the Mahdi. The belief is that when he returns, he will reign on earth for seven years, before bringing about a final judgment and the end of the world.
He states,"We don't shy away from declaring that Islam is ready to rule the world".
The Palestinian election victory of Hamas - dedicated in it's charter to the destruction of Israel - is an additional element in the gathering storm clouds. Without intervention, there is no question of what will occur, it is only a question of when.
If this seems to be a polemic against the religion of Islam, let me assure the reader that it is not. That Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – all branches of a common theological tree – should be the source of hatred and violence is a tragedy and travesty that exceeds my ability to express it. That does not obviate our responsibility to describe what is happening and is likely to happen in the future, even if it is politically incorrect to state the truth in unvarnished terms. Though the West does not wish to be at war, we are. To refuse to see or acknowledge the fact is folly.
If we fail to come to grips with the cultural, religious, economic, and military aspects of this conflict and pursue a comprehensive long term response, we may see the copy of the “The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire” joined on the shelf by “The Rise and Fall of Western Civilization”.