The Arabic word dawah means “call”, “summons”, or “invitation”, and refers to the proselytizing of infidels by Muslims in an attempt to convince them to submit to Allah. It is the duty of every Muslim to practice dawah towards the infidel. If dawah fails, then the tenets of Islam require the faithful to wage jihad, or holy war, against the infidel until he submits or is killed.
There’s a little bit of dawah being practiced at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute this week. Over the weekend Dymphna received an email from a woman in Connecticut:
My son is a freshman at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY. He just told me that since Good Friday, the RPI Muslim students have put signs all over campus saying jihad is peaceful and what a great religion Islam is (proselytizing). I am very upset but because my son is a student there and the school President is a good buddy of Hillary Clinton’s, I cannot speak up. I know there would be retribution against him. I am planning to visit him there tomorrow and will see what it looks like. I will be taking along my little digital camera, too.
Is there anything that can be done to highlight the hypocrisy of this type of blatant proselytizing on the holiest of Christian days? Can you imagine the uproar if on the first day of Ramadan, campus Christians and Jews put up signs saying that “Christianity is Cool” and “Judaism Rocks?” I do not believe I am overly sensitive on most matters, but knowing the efforts underway at educational Jihad, this troubles me.
Yesterday, after she had been to campus and taken the photos, she wrote back to say this:
It wasn’t as egregious as I thought it would be. The RPI MSA had what were copy-paper handouts plastered on the foot bridge on campus and in the windows of some classroom buildings. The only objection I would have is of they chose this week (both Passover and Eastern Orthodox/Catholic/Protestant Easter) to have their Islam Awareness Week. I find the timing suggestive of a poke in the eye.
There’s a bit of a disconnect between the message in the images shown at right and the news which arrives every day from the mujahideen in Thailand, or Somalia, or Iraq, or Rotterdam. The promoters of the IAW would probably assert that true Muslims are peaceful, and that the violent zealots are not practicing true Islam. Unfortunately, there seem to be an awful lot of phony Muslims in the world.
These handbills are recapping the standard propaganda put out out by Muslim lobbying groups all across the West. Jihad means an inner struggle, and not holy war; Islam means peace; etc., etc.
I have some linguistic quibbles with the messages on the posters. The word “Islam” does not come from the Arabic root for “peace”; it comes from a word that means submission or obeisance. It has the same root as salaam, and the individual who performs salaam is engaged in the true practice of Islam — that is, prostration before an overlord.
Moreover, “Muslim” does not mean “anyone or anything that submits itself to the will of God.” The Arabic stem mu- refers to a person, or — more accurately — a man. A Muslim is thus a “man of Islam”, a man who prostrates himself before Allah. Similarly, a mujahid is a “man who performs jihad”, and a mullah is a “man of Allah”.
Women, of course, don’t enter into the picture. Nor do animals or things.
But back to Islam Awareness Week at Rensselaer Polytechnic. The event is being sponsored by the RPI chapter of the Muslim Students Association. The MSA is the youth wing of the Islamic Society of North America, and the student organization shares funding and other resources with ISNA. In fact, MSA is often found in association with CAIR, MPAC, and all the other alphabet soup of Islamic lobbying groups in the United States. In my crabbier moments I refer to it as the Jihadjungen.
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IAW occurs annually, and is held at various college campuses around the country. I did some checking, and IAW appears, like Easter, to be a moveable feast. In 2005 it was held at RPI from March 21-24 (Easter was on March 27), and in 2004 from February 15-28 (Easter was on April 11).
Leaving aside the peculiar length of the “week” involved, you can see that there is no correlation with Holy Week. Not only that, different campus chapters of the MSA hold IAW on different weeks, so there’s no conspiracy at work to subvert Easter or Passover.
The big question is: What would happen if a Christian or Jewish student group plastered the campus with proselytizing posters during Ramadan or on Eid ul-Fitr? We know that the Muslims on campus would be offended — that goes without saying — but how would the college administration react? Would the Christians and the Jews be guilty of “insensitivity”? Would they have to make up for their disrespect by taking down the posters and apologizing?
If not, then I see no problem with all the dawah during IAW. However, I have my doubts that the situation will ever be that symmetrical.
A good project for campus conservative groups next fall woul be to test this hypothesis. If your campus was one of those “celebrating diversity” during Islam Awareness Week, wait until Ramadan, print up some big colorful pictures of Jesus calling for sinners to come home, and and plaster them all over the walls and bulletin boards across campus.
Let’s see what happens.