Below is the second of six parts of an article by John J. Dziak about the Islamic counterintelligence state.
The article is reprinted here with permission of the author. It first appeared in Papers & Studies by the International Assessment and Strategy Center, Washington, D.C., on 6 April 2007. It was later republished in the Summer/Fall 2007 issue of Intelligencer: Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies.
Part I is here.
Islamism and Stratagem
by John J. Dziak, Ph.D
II. The Setting
There are numerous facets of Islam’s almost fourteen centuries of imperial experience that could be linked to its practices of stratagem and the West’s response thereto. Two of these are highlighted as of special relevance to this subject: Jihad and Dhimmitude. The universal goal of Islam as handed down by Allah’s prophet Muhammad, was a global order in which all men recognized the rule of Allah as exemplified in Muslim rule, either as believers or as inferior subjects, i.e., Dhimmis. This was to be accomplished through “struggle [or striving] in the way of Allah”, later to become known as Jihad. Ibn Khaldun, the noted 14th-century Islamic jurist and historian put it thus:
In the Muslim community, the holy war [jihad] is a religious duty because of the universalism of the [Islamic] mission and the obligation [to convert] everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force….Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.
When attempting to mask the war context of “struggle in the way of Allah”, apologists for Islamic militancy insist that a personal interior struggle for goodness and self-improvement is what is meant. Islamist advocates use the same line on western audiences but clearly mean holy war when referring to Jihad to their Arabic listeners. And this tactic seems to be the most common deceptive technique in the public and diplomatic realm. But both the history of Islam and the justifications of the Koran and the Hadith leave no doubt that the doctrine of Jihad means that the relations between Muslims and non-Muslims are defined by war between two irreconcilables, the dar al-Islam (the land of Islam) and the dar al-harb (the land of war), or the non-Muslims. Jihad constitutes the Islamic ideology of peace and war. Universal peace in an absolute sense as viewed in the West is a non sequitur; only submission to Islamic domination produces a true stable peace. Peace, as viewed from London, Washington, or Berlin falls for Islam into the realm of passing and temporary truces, invariably encrusted in stratagem and dissimulation. While Western commentators fixate on “peace”, Islam requires submission (which is what it means) — to Allah and, hence, to his earthly viceroys.
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Dhimmitude, or the Islamic system of governing unconverted non-Muslim populations conquered by Jihad wars, entailed existence in a clearly subservient social status and political disenfranchisement including slavery, under predatory and humiliating taxes (e.g., jizya) and other forms of overt discrimination against so-called infidels. Over the centuries the severity of the system ranged between fairly benign patronizing, to the kidnapping of children and genocidal pogroms, and its net effect was to foster a Muslim arrogance to its non-Muslim minorities, which carries over to relations with non-Muslim nations. On the receiving side of Dhimmitude, an unease and defensiveness seemed to characterize Christian, Jewish and other minorities forced to live a tenuous existence if they elected not to convert to Islam. Dhimmi behavior ranged from, among others, servile submission, to elaborate deceptive practices to survive, to defensive emigration as in the cases of the Jewish Diasporas after the various Arab-Israeli Wars or as in the case of Christian emigration from the Palestinian areas and Lebanon — and now Iraq. It also has been noted by the principal scholar of Dhimmitude, Bat Ye’or, that a servile, fearful, and self-deceiving Dhimmi mindset seems to have been absorbed by some Western political and social elites in their dealings with contemporary Islamic minorities, groups, and nations in response to assertive and threatening Islamic behavior, whether domestic or international. The craven and hypocritical response to the Danish cartoon controversy by large segments of the media and academia as well as Western governments — the putative guardians of free speech — is a troubling indicator of just how far the servile psychology of Dhimmitude has advanced in the non-Muslim world. This has not gone unnoted by Islamic militants as witnessed by the adroit way they used the Madrid bombings to help bring down the Spanish government. Jihad and Dhimmitude are forged together in history.
Next: III Sources of Contemporary Islamism — Internal
© Copyright 2007, John J. Dziak
John J. Dziak is an adjunct professor at The Institute of World Politics, a graduate school of statecraft and national security affairs in Washington, D.C., where he teaches a course on comparative intelligence systems. Dr. Dziak is also Senior Fellow, Counterintelligence and Strategic Technology, at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, and the president of Dziak Group, Inc. He retired from a distinguished career in the U.S. intelligence community in 1996. Dr. Dziak has written extensively on Russian intelligence, and holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University.
|||Ibn Khaldun, The Muqudimmah: An Introduction to History, trans. by Franz Rosenthal, Vol. 1, NY: Pantheon, 1958, p. 473.|
|||For deeper treatment of Jihad in history, see: Andrew Bostom (ed.), Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy war and the Fate of Non-Muslims, Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, p.28; and Efraim Karsh, “Islam’s Imperial Dreams”, Commentary, April 2006, pp. 37-41.|
|||See for instance: Bat Ye’or, Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide, Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickenson University Press, 2002; and Bat Ye’or, Eurabia: the Euro-Arab Axis, Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickenson University Press, 2005.|