OFFENSIVE JIHAD: THE ONE INCONTROVERTIBLE
PROBLEM WITH ISLAM
By Raymond Ibrahim
One writer, Khaled Al-Ghanami, states that the "wiser" supporters of offensive jihad believe that Muslims "must sit and wait until the era of our strength returns." In the meantime, according to these Muslims, "there is nothing shameful about taqiyya [deception] until the time is ripe." Al-Ghanami bemoans the fact that such Muslims operate naively "on the assumption that the world doesn't read, doesn't monitor and is not paying attention to the calls for killing, tyranny, and aggression that we are spreading."
Similarly, Abdallah Al-Naggar writes: "Today, the Muslims' circumstances are different [i.e., they are weak], and talk of this aspect [of jihad] requires a smart approach, one that stresses the aspect of self defense, instead of aggression and onslaught," since discussing offensive jihad "arouses the enmity of people"; thus, "there is a need for wisdom [i.e., kitman] in our impassioned discussions of war and battles."
These writers are insightful enough to understand that Islam's imperative for Muslims to wage offensive jihad is the one insurmountable obstacle for peace between Muslims and non-Muslims. Best not to keep reminding the infidel world, then.
Consider: most of the things Islam gets criticized for lack of democracy, male-female relations, draconian punishments, etc. are intra-cultural to Islam; that is, they affect Muslims alone. As such, it is for Muslims to decide on their utility; for it is the responsibility of every culture to reform itself from the inside, not through outside "help" or coercion, the former mistrusted, the latter resented. Modern constitutional democracy in the West developed only after the people of the West wanted it bad enough to fight for it themselves, and only after centuries of bloody but internal conflicts. Feminism was not forcefully imported from some alien civilization but homegrown in the West. Pragmatically speaking, then, so long as Sharia's mandates affect Muslims alone, non-Muslims have no legitimate grievances.
And this is the dividing line: what one culture maintains as "right" and "normal" for itself is acceptable. However, when one culture tries to apply, through force, those same principles onto other cultures whether the West trying to import liberalism to Islam, or Islam trying to spread Sharia-style Fascism to the West that is objectively wrong. After all, the age-old argument that "we must supplant your ways, with our better ways, for your own good," works both ways, and, in fact, has been an oft cited justification for offensive jihad since the Seventh Century. Or would the reader be surprised to learn that jihadists (i.e., terrorists) regularly posit their war as an expression of altruism to "liberate" Westerners from their self-imposed "delusions"? Even Al-Qa'ida partially justifies its jihad against America for being "a nation that exploits women like consumer products"; for not rejecting the "immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling, and usury." In short, if the "white man's burden" is to "civilize" Muslims, the "Muslim man's burden" has long been to "civilize" Western man, namely, by enforcing Sharia law. To justify the one is to make allowance for the other.
Yet, while cultures continue to quarrel over the philosophical position of man, one fact remains: all humans secular or religious, Muslim or non-Muslim, from antiquity to today agree that being forced to uphold a particular lifestyle against their will is wrong, bringing us right back to our topic: the purpose of offensive jihad is to do just that forcefully impose a particular way of life on non-Muslims, culminating with dhimmitude for those who, after being conquered, refuse to convert to Islam.
Worse, offensive jihad is part and parcel of Islam; it is no less codified than, say, Islam's Five Pillars, which no Muslim rejects. The Encyclopaedia of Islam's entry for "jihad" states:
Scholar Majid Khadurri (1909-2007), after defining jihad as warfare, writes that jihad "is regarded by all jurists, with almost no exception, as a collective obligation of the whole Muslim community."
Even that chronic complainer, Osama bin Laden, makes it clear that offensive jihad is the root problem:
"Yes. There are only three choices in Islam: (1) either willing submission (conversion); (2) or payment of the jizya , through physical, though not spiritual, submission to the authority of Islam; (3) or the sword for it is not right to let him [an infidel] live. The matter is summed up for every person alive: Either submit [convert to Islam], or live under the suzerainty of Islam, or die." 
Clearly, then, it is in the Muslim world's interest to keep the West ignorant of the fact that, irrespective of all Muslim grievances real or feigned nothing less than Islamic law itself mandates a state of constant hostility. Indeed, if the implications of offensive jihad were fully embraced, humanity might be compelled to view the Muslim world as a perpetual, existentialist threat, in need of preemptive containment. That said, and considering the willful ignorance of the West's political elite who are guided less by objective facts and more by their "feel-good" ideals Muslim talk of offensive jihad, no matter how loud or ubiquitous, will likely continue to fall on deaf ears.
 A special poll tax paid by non-Muslims residing in an Islamic state, paid in return for their protection by the state from outside aggression and as material proof of their acceptance of subjection to the state and its laws.
 The Al-Qa'ida Reader, page 42.
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Raymond Ibrahim, a historian of Islam, Islamism and the Middle East, is the Associate Director of the Middle East Forum, a guest lecturer at the National Defense Intelligence College, and the editor of The Al-Qa'ida Reader, a collection of tranlations of key texts and documents of the Islamist movement. Ibrahim's translations of the religious texts and political propaganda comprising this collection help readers comprehend the origins, development, history, and serious danger of the Islamist war doctrines of Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Founders of Al-Qa'ida and implacable enemies of the U.S.A. and the West.
The foregoing article by Raymond was originally published in Pajamas Media, October 28, 2010, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a foreign policy think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis-ΰ-vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat. (URL: http://www.meforum.org/2767/offensive-jihad)
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