Muslims in India have their knickers in a twist. According to Islam Online, they are quite offended:
CAIRO — Union Home Minister Shri P Chidambram’s remarks linking jihad to terrorism are infuriating Indian Muslims for misinterpreting the true meaning of the Islamic term.
“It is a gross misrepresentation of ‘Jihad’ and also betrays sheer ignorance on the part of your speech writer,” the All India Muslim Majlis-E-Mushawarat, an umbrella body of Indian Muslim organisations, in a statement mailed to IslamOnline.net on Monday, January 4.
So what did Mr. Chidambram do to get himself in such hot water? It seems that last month he linked jihad to terrorism. What a solecism on his part!
Here’s what he said:
“Just as the Cold War came to an end, we witnessed the emergence of another kind of war, namely, jihad,” he said.
“Unlike the original Crusades, jihad is not fought like a conventional war. Jihad employs terror as an instrument to achieve its objectives.”
Needless to say, Mr. Chidambram is ignorant of what “true” Islam means, and the spokesmen for Muslim organizations were only too eager to educate him about his error:
The Muslim umbrella organization said the controversial remarks demonstrate ignorance of the true meaning of Jihad.
“Jihad is a defensive war against invaders and occupiers like the one our forefathers fought against the British occupiers of India.”
We infidels keep getting it wrong. Every time a self-proclaimed mujahid blows himself up with a lot of other people, we make the mistake of thinking that it has something to do with Islam. Every time a shoe bomber or a lap bomber or a rectum bomber shouts “Allahu Akhbar” while trying to bring down an airplane, we seem to labor under the same misapprehension.
Just because he was a devout Muslim who was mentored by a terrorist, we thought Maj. Nidal Hasan was acting in the name of Allah when he gunned down all those people at Fort Hood. How foolish we were! He was simply suffering from PTSD, or maybe a bipolar disorder. Or was it an allergic reaction to the fluoride in his drinking water?
Whatever. In any case, it had nothing to do with “true” Islam.
So what the heck is true Islam? If you listen to the CAIR talking heads on TV, it’s that feel-good religion of smiling people and little children holding hands in a field of flowers. It says, “There is no compulsion in religion,” and enjoins the believer to treat everyone with forbearance and respect and love and kindness.
That’s the cover story, anyway. But suppose you wanted to investigate it for yourself, what would you do?
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First of all, you’d buy some of the books, and I don’t mean Islam for Dummies. Whatever you do, don’t listen the line that in order to understand Islam, you have to be able to read Arabic. This is balderdash, because 80% of the world’s Muslims don’t read Arabic, and many of those are well-educated in their religion. In fact, English is now the most widely-used language for disseminating the Islamic faith.
So pick up English translations of the Koran and the hadith (Bukhari is best). You’ll also need a manual of Islamic law, such as Reliance of the Traveller (’Umdat al-Salik) by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, in Nuh Ha Mim Keller’s translation, which is certified as authoritative by al-Azhar University in Cairo.
Now you’re all set. But before you can argue about Islamic law with success, you need to understand the “doctrine of abrogation”, which is a principle that is considered authoritative under Islamic law. Once you’ve got that down, it’s simple to make coherent arguments about what true Islam consists of.
Abrogation means that the later surahs of the Koran supersede or “abrogate” the earlier surahs. By “earlier”, I mean earlier in time, and not the position in which they appear in the Koran. Fortunately, there is a well-established chronology of the Koran, with broad agreement among the four schools of Islamic law.
For example, Surah 2 is followed in time by Surah 3, which is followed by Surah 5. Surah 2 says:
“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy handhold.” (Koran 2:256)
Virtually any Westerner who knows anything about Islam has heard this one. It seems to say that Islam tolerates other religions, and even allows conversion out of Islam. But what most people have not heard is this:
“Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam will never have it accepted of him, and he will be of those who have truly failed in the hereafter” (Koran 3:85)
So if you have not come to Islam, what is going to happen to you? You’re going to Hell! What’s more:
“Oh ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors; they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them for friendship is of them. Verily Allah guideth not the unjust.” (Koran 5:51)
Based on their chronological appearance in the Koran, Surah 2 is abrogated by Surah 3, which is abrogated by Surah 5. This means that 5:51 is the last word on how a believing Muslim must treat Christians and Jews.
This is a fixed authoritative rule in Islam. It enjoys the consensus of the scholars, and obviously has the agreement of the Shafi, Maliki, Hanbali, and Hanafi schools of Islamic law. This makes it the gold standard among Muslims.
Now we come to jihad.
The final word concerning jihad — the final verse of the final surah, chronologically speaking — is in Surah 9, also known as the “Surah of the Sword”. Verse 5 — the “Verse of the Sword” — abrogates all the earlier verses:
“Fight and slay the unbelievers wherever ye find them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war. But if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them; for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Koran 9:5)
And another apposite verse from the Surah of the Sword:
“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, even if they are of the people of the Book, until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (Koran 9:29)
This is it — Islam doesn’t get any truer than this. If the Koran, the authoritative hadith, and the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree, then you can take it to the bank: that’s Islam.
All of the talking heads and “moderate” Muslims will tell you that you are mistaken, that you are taking these verses out of context, that you need to read them in Arabic, and on and on through all the obfuscatory deflections we’ve come to expect.
But they’re wrong: this is true Islam. It’s as true as it gets, according Islam’s own scholars, as certified by its own universities, as expressed in its own law manuals and textbooks.
However, none of this really matters, because true is as true does. If hundreds or thousands or millions of people are expressing their idea of Islamic faith by blowing people up, or by shooting them, or by cutting off their heads, should we really be spending our time worrying about what “true” Islam is?
True or false, the version of Islam that concerns us is the kind described in the scriptures quoted above. The jihadi who practices it does so to extend the rule of Islamic law and establish a Caliphate over the entire world, because Allah tells him in the Koran that this is his obligation.
That’s the kind of Islam that is poised to overrun Europe and intends to have Canada and the United States for dessert a little later on in the century.
The truth of Islam can be found in the point of the knife at the infidel’s throat. All the rest can be jettisoned.
Hat tip: Esther.