June 13, 2016

Understanding Islam V: Jihad, The Little Engine That Shouldn’t

As I’ve said before, Islam is a machine that runs on an engine powered by jihad. Jihad can come in many different guises, not just violence…and this is where Islam gets tricky…and deceptive. Jihad does not mean holy war (it can include holy war). Jihad actually means “struggle”. It includes much more than war and violence. Jihad can be done with words, a pen, money and courts. The Qur’an lays out the vision of jihad. The Sira (Muhammad’s biography) lays out the strategies of jihad. The hadith (traditions) give us the warlike tactics. Again, all modeled upon Muhammad, because Muhammad is the only perfect Muslim and jihadist. Jihad takes up about two-thirds of the Sira. There was only a nine-year period in which Muhammad pursued intense jihad, but the number of pages that are devoted to it gives you an idea of how important it was to the spread of Islam. It is critical to note that Islam/Muhammad did not succeed until he turned to jihad. It’s obvious then why Muslims would look to jihad as their most useful stratagem.

I know many have heard Muslims say, “The real jihad is inner struggle, the spiritual struggle.” That is the Greater Jihad. The jihad of the sword and war is the Lesser Jihad. But the hadith tell us about the greater jihad— the inner spiritual struggle. By the numbers only approx. 2% of the hadith are devoted to this kind of struggle. The other 98% are about enslaving, taxing or killing the Kafir. Notice again we have a duality. There are two ways to view jihad. A Muslim may choose whichever he needs for the moment when practicing al-Taqiyya during a time of eminent danger (which could be jihad). Their beliefs literally allow them to use circular reasoning in these instances. Present a dual way of thinking. If under threat claim the peaceful option to gain strategic advantage and then switch back to violent methods claiming they were under threat.

The most prominent example of modern jihad is 9/11, African bombings and Paris shootings. All these are patterned after Muhammad. Muslims claimed “We are the religion of peace.” The veil of the religion of Islam was used to hide the political act of jihad. This has been done before as well. Muhammad always covered his political actions with a religious necessity.  Additionally, the World Trade Center was targeted specifically as a business center. It was the hope of Al Qaeda that destroying the WTC would paralyze the American economy. Jihad wherever possible is a political/economic attack. Similarly Muhammad’s attacks on the caravans were to gain wealth for himself and to remove wealth from the Kafirs.

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