religions of peace don’t behead people. people of peace do not make signs promoting violence. the late ayatollah khomeini’s words would have spun all this conventional wisdom to the contrary on its head. if its proponents tell the truth about the kind of islam they are promoting, what else is left to say? (h/t to lgf). here’s what the ayatollah had to say:
Islams jihad is a struggle against idolatry, sexual deviation, plunder, repression, and cruelty. The war waged by [non-Islamic] conquerors, however, aims at promoting lust and animal pleasures. They care not if whole countries are wiped out and many families left homeless. But those who study jihad will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. All the countries conquered by Islam or to be conquered in the future will be marked for everlasting salvation. For they shall live under [Gods law]. …
Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does that mean that Muslim should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill the [the non-Muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non-Muslims] overcome us? Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean that we should surrender [to the enemy]? Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to paradise, which can be opened only for holy warriors!
There are hundreds of other [Koranic] psalms and hadiths [sayings of the prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.
that settles the question for me. it’s interesting that he says the struggle is against repression and cruelty, when those are two characteristics of hard-core islamic states. even some of the real-life events depicted in the fictional story the kite runner are glaring examples of how extremists don’t really practice what they preach. they don’t seem to be very concerned that the struggle between repression and cruelty had been lost. looking in from the outside world, it’s hard to understand why anyone would desire to have an islamic state, at least from a citizen’s POV.
if you need more evidence of the twisted intent of this kind of islam, how about this fatwa against jews and against the united states, originally issued in 1998:
World Islamic Front Statement Urging Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders
(excerpt dated February 23, 1998)
…On that basis, and in compliance with Allah’s order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims:
The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty Allah, “and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,” and “fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.”
This is in addition to the words of Almighty Allah:”And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? — women and children, whose cry is: ‘Our Lord, rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will help!'”
We — with Allah’s help — call on every Muslim who believes in Allah and wishes to be rewarded to comply with Allah’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan’s U.S. troops and the devil’s supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.
should it really be necessary to attach caveats to every criticism of islam that this extremism does not represent every single muslim? i think all reasonable people would agree that it does not. however, it would be impossible to address the war on terror without dealing with the religious aspect of that war. what we are seeing today is a result of the implementation of radical islam, and we need to be honest about this: islam, as it is practiced by extremists, is NOT a religion of peace.
other interesting reading:
Al Qaeda: Profile and Threat Assessment (pdf)
Thomas F. Madden on Crusades on National Review Online
Technorati Tags: islam, religion of peace, islamic extremism