Just as some Westerners have deluded themselves into believing that Islam means peace, others have decided that Allahu Akbar is an always benign expression of faith, even when addressed to non-Muslims or in the context of struggle.
In fact, Allahu Akbar, which means "God is the greatest," is a common expression of Islamic supremacism, used when Islamists are violently on the attack or more broadly assertion the superiority of Islam over other faiths. Also note that Saddam Hussein added Allahu Akbar to the Iraqi flag as a signal of Islamic defiance soon after losing the Kuwait War in 1991.
The Iraqi flag introduced by Saddam Hussein in 1991.
Here follow examples of hiding turning Allahu Akbar into something more benign:
"Peace will prevail": Besotted pro-Israel "peaceniks" let no obstacle get in the way of their kumbaya. Eliyahu McLean provides a first-hand report on 800 "lovers of Jerusalem" who gathered on June 24, 2008 at two of that city's walled gates to celebrate the second "Big Hug of Jerusalem." His account, published in several Jewish newspapers, reads like a self-parody:
Under the palm trees, we started with a small listening circle that grew as many passersby – Israeli, Palestinian, and internationals – joined us. Musicians played peace songs, then we formed a large circle and did a spiral dance and chant for unity. At the same moment 200 people were forming a line to "Hug" the Old City near Jaffa Gate, we formed a chain of several hundred between Damascus and New Gates.
Arab and Jew, young and old, we stood on the green lawn overlooking the Old City Walls, holding 10 minutes of silence for the peace of Jerusalem. At that moment children flew kites right in front of us, it seemed as if the soaring kites were carrying people's intentions upward to the heavens. We then guided the line of people down to the steps of the Damascus Gate. As we filled the area above Damascus Gate, many more people – Palestinian shopkeepers, children, religious Jews, hippies, soldiers and police – joined us.
We led hundreds in a chant and zikr, chanting "Shalom, Salaam, Hu Hu." Spiritual leaders Rabbi Menachem Froman, Sheikh Bukhari, a Hindu woman teacher from India, Haj Ibrahim and a guest from Jordan offered blessings. After drumming, singing and praying, we lifted our hands in unison with an intention for healing the divisions in Jerusalem, honoring our shared love for this Holy City.
The event ended with a large drum circle, led by Eyal Davidov, on the lawn above New Gate. Orthodox Jewish yeshiva students and Palestinian youth drummed and danced together into the night.
Jewish papers provided this caption for the picture above: "Declaring 'Allah-hu akbar,' which means 'peace will prevail'."
Comment: This strange mistranslation, turning an assertion of Islamic supremacism into a part of the "Big Hug of Jerusalem," sums up an entire mentality. (September 3, 2008)
"Thank God": On the Fox & Friends television program, host Brian Kilmeade pointed out to Sen. John McCain that Syrian rebels, after shooting down a government fighter jet, shouted out "Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar," then Kilmeade added: "I have a problem helping those people out if they're screaming that after a hit." To which, McCain replied:
Would you have a problem with American Christians saying, "Thank God, thank God"? That's what they're saying. Come on. Of course they're Muslims, but they're moderates and I guarantee you that they are moderates. I know them and have been with them. For someone to say "Allahu Akbar" is about as offensive as someone saying "Thank God."
(September 3, 2013)