This article was originally published at LibertyGB in December of 2014; it was edited in 2021.
BBC Misinformation: Jihadism
By Michael Copeland
The BBC, in a by now familiar tactic of deflection and obfuscation, misinform their readers yet again in an article “What is jihadism?”. Characteristically, no author is shown. The BBC employ a number of Muslims: it is hardly likely that management would ask a non-Muslim to write an explanatory article about Islam. It is a reasonable surmise that the author is Muslim. Here is where we need to remind ourselves that Islam authorises its followers to employ deception in the cause of Islam. That’s right: Islam authorises Muslims to lie. There is no shame or sin in doing so: it is righteous and devout Muslim behaviour. “Using deception to mask intended goals” is a stated aim of the Muslim Brotherhood plan, as revealed in a captured secret internal memorandum.
“Permissible Lying” is section r8 of the Manual of Islamic Law, Reliance of the Traveller.
The BBC article’s unnamed writer informs us in a rather anodyne manner that “more than 5,000 people around the world died… as a result of violence…” Let us be clear about this: they were intentionally killed — in Islamic jihad killings. The writer avers that those responsible are “al-Qaeda, its offshoots and groups which subscribe to a similar ideology.” So far so good: this is accurate. What follows, though, is obfuscation: the “similar ideology”, explains the article, is “commonly referred to as “jihadism”. This is deception and obfuscation.
“Commonly referred to…” Really? How commonly? Evidently not “exclusively”, or even “usually”: no, just “commonly”. Maybe “commonly” in mosque circles, or maybe — and this is more likely — it is just an unbacked assertion included to sound authoritative and throw you off the scent. The phrase has a crafty function: it is slipped in to pre-empt any objection. You are left to think that because you have not heard of “jihadism” then you are embarrassingly out of touch, because the BBC tells us it is “commonly referred to”. But is it? By whom? When? Where can these common references be found and inspected? In reality what the writer is doing is artfully steering the spotlight away from Islam.
Jihad is indeed part of Islam, an inseparable part. After the compulsory waffle about “internal struggle” the article correctly explains that jihad can be “war for the faith against unbelievers”. This accords with the Manual of Islamic Law, which explains (o9.0) “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims”, and it is “obligatory” (o9.3). Muslims actively engaged in it can be described as jihadis, or jihadists. Jihad is a “communal obligation” (o9.1). Is there an ideology “commonly referred to as ‘jihadism’”? No. Emphatically not. “Jihadism” is not an ideology. The ideology is Islam, that “ideological political movement”, as Anjem Choudary describes it. This is, indeed, what is followed by al-Qaeda and its offshoots — ordinary basic back-to-the-roots Islam. Jihad is a component of Islam. There is no Islam without jihad, and no jihad without Islam. Islam is the source, the only source.
The writer goes on to introduce, gratuitously, many complexities, all of which usefully steer attention away from Islam itself:
“The term “jihadist” has been used by Western academics… as a way to distinguish between violent and non-violent Sunni Islamists.”
Here we go again: these old chestnuts are really rather tedious. What you are supposed to think, you see, is that jihadists are not proper Muslims: they are “Islamists”. Remember “Islamists”? The article explains: “Islamists aim to reorder government and society in accordance with Islamic law, or Sharia.” Just a minute: that aim — making the whole world Islamic — is identical with the aim of Islam itself. “Kill the unbelievers until the Islam is the only governance” is the import of Koran 8:39. Revealingly, there is no mention of “Islamists” in the Manual of Islamic Law, Reliance of the Traveller. No. It is a word deliberately invented for use in the West in order to deflect attention away from Islam. You see, it has to be anything but Islam itself. It is “Islamists”. More than that, it is not even ALL alleged “Islamists”, either. First of all it is only Sunnis, who, albeit a majority, are only a PART of the world’s Muslims, and of them it is only the VIOLENT ones. Nothing to do with Islam: move along, now.
What the reader is intended to conclude from all this is that the remaining Muslims are problem-free, all Nice and Peaceful. Artfully the article does not actually say so: it leaves that conclusion to be formed through this careful conditioning of the unsuspecting mind. It is all designed to take Islam off the hook.
The text includes a masterful piece of obfuscation:
“The term “jihadist” is not used by many Muslims because they see it as wrongly associating a noble religious concept with illegitimate violence. Instead, they use delegitimising terms like “deviants”.”
Rather at variance is this with what we were told above — that this phenomenon is “commonly referred to” as jihadism. We are now told that the term “jihadist”, though used by Western academics, is “not used by many Muslims”. It cannot be that “commonly” employed, after all. What is important, though, in this passage is to pick up the signals. Here they are: “wrongly… illegitimate… delegitimising… deviants”. There, we really cannot miss the message, can we? You see, it is all erroneous, not proper Islam at all. Notice also it does not actually say so directly: it is done by semaphore, and left to the reader to understand, subliminally, as it were. Again, nothing to do with Islam: keep moving along.
That explanation does not wash. Jihad involves war, that is, violence. Jihad is legitimate, and compulsory: it is not “illegitimate violence”, nor is conducting it “deviant”. Note that the writer does not say that Islam specifies this or that. Oh no, it is the safe “many Muslims”. Why safe? The reason is that many Muslims, we are told, have a warped understanding: they have apparently twisted, distorted, perverted, and misunderstood their Nice Peaceful ideology. In reality, for an understanding of Islam, the matter of many Muslims or few Muslims is a red herring: Islam is not defined by what “many Muslims” think or do. It is defined by its source texts. All this veiling, screening, decoys, smoke and mirrors, are to throw us off the scent.
The article also includes some phrases which need to be translated, as they bear special significance that is not obvious to kuffar (non-Muslims).
“Jihadists share the basic aims of advancing Islam and countering danger to it, but their priorities can vary.”
“Advancing Islam” sounds like harmless missionary work: doing so in jihad means using weapons, and involves attacks, acts of war, woundings, killings, on trains, buses, pedestrians, schoolboys, under-age girls, lone clubbers, and so on and so on. “Countering danger” sounds righteous and prudent, but it covers aggressive demonstrations, “Days of Rage”, displays of thuggery to prevent a film being shown, or a play being performed, or a cartoon being published, or a teddy bear being named. Those constitute “danger”.
The article also includes half-truths which tell only part of the story. Islam has a special Arabic name for this kind of authorised deception — kitman.
“Jihadists divide the world into the “realm of Islam” (dar al-Islam), lands under Muslim rule where Sharia prevails, and the “realm of war” (dar al-harb), lands not under Muslim rule and where under certain circumstances war in defence of the faith can be sanctioned.”
Two observations are called for. Firstly it is not just jihadists who divide the world into the two realms. This is basic Islam. Again the author is directing the spotlight away from Islam. Secondly in the West, which is “Dar al Harb”, the Realm of War, war is permanent: it is NOT restricted to “certain circumstances”. Jihad is taught as a “permanent war institution against Jews, Christians and pagans” by Al Azhar University. The Koran itself, part of Islamic law, says in 8:39, “Fight and kill the unbelievers until Islam is the only governance”. The jihad only comes to an end when there are no more non-Muslims left to kill or subjugate. In the absence of a Caliph only defensive jihad may be waged. This concept is stretched to include “defence” against U.S. foreign policy, cartoons and teddy bears. If there is a Caliph, as there now is, he declares jihad against unbelievers, as he has done. The war is on.
Once again, in a long track record of similar deceptions, the BBC have obfuscated Islam and lied about it. This is not good enough. The public, who pay for the Corporation, deserve better. It is a national disgrace.
- The Manual of Islamic Law, Reliance of the Traveller, can be bought online.
- General reference: www.TheReligionOfPeace.com
For previous essays by Michael Copeland, see the Michael Copeland Archives.