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Re: “What does the Arabic word “Jihad” mean?”

Reader comment on item: What is Jihad?

Submitted by Dr Imran Waheed (United Kingdom), Jan 15, 2003 at 12:55

Mark Da Cunha
The Editor
Capitalism Magazine
P.O. Box F-43664
Freeport, Bahamas

15 January 2003

Re: "What does the Arabic word "Jihad" mean?"

Dear Mr Da Cunha,

This is a letter regarding an article published on the 6th of January 2003 in Capitalism Magazine entitled "What does the Arabic word "Jihad" mean?" The article was written by Daniel Pipes and can be found at http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?id=2295.

We write on behalf of Hizb ut-Tahrir [The Liberation Party] Britain to convey to you the concerns of the Muslim community in Britain that have been raised by this article.

Of particular concern are the following sections of the article:

"The purpose of jihad, in other words, is not directly to spread the Islamic faith but to extend sovereign Muslim power (faith, of course, often follows the flag). Jihad is thus unabashedly offensive in nature, with the eventual goal of achieving Muslim dominion over the entire globe."

"As this suggests, jihad is "holy war." Or, more precisely: It means the legal, compulsory, communal effort to expand the territories ruled by Muslims at the expense of territories ruled by non-Muslims."

"Today, jihad is the world's foremost source of terrorism, inspiring a worldwide campaign of violence by self-proclaimed jihadist groups."

"Jihadists then enslaved tens of thousands of females and children, forced them to convert to Islam, sent them on forced marches, beat them and set them to hard labor. The women and older girls also suffered ritual gang-rape, genital mutilation and a life of sexual servitude."

"The path away from terrorism, conquest and enslavement lies in Muslims forthrightly acknowledging jihad's historic role, followed by apologies to jihad's victims, developing an Islamic basis for nonviolent jihad and (the hardest part) actually ceasing to wage violent jihad. Unfortunately, such a process of redemption is not now under way; violent jihad will probably continue until it is crushed by a superior military force (Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, please take note). Only when jihad is defeated will moderate Muslims finally find their voice and truly begin the hard work of modernizing Islam."

How does one respond to such intellectual dishonesty? It is a question that has preoccupied every Muslim since the West launched its post-modern crusade against the Islamic people. Does one respond in like by demonstrating the pernicious nature of Western colonialism or would that be too easy? Or does one turn an apologetic face in the hope that our way of life is not denigrated - in a way that is so far removed from the truth that it begs the question, what are academics teaching these days? Indeed how does the world of academia tolerate such bias? It is more than just pseudo intellectualism it is grossly irresponsible and it cannot go unchallenged because falsehood by its nature is characterised by inconsistencies, contradictions and in this case blatant lies.

So how do we respond? We challenge Western thinkers to debate these points. There are many of you who wish to see a just and peaceful world, which is why we encourage you to take up this invitation and meet the challenges facing the world through discussion and debate.

As for the article it can be refuted on many points and we shall take just a couple of points to demonstrate the contradictions of this article. With respect to slavery it is well known that Islam prohibits slavery and it was the capitalist nations who institutionalised slavery to build their empires. Indeed the machines of industrialisation were lubricated with the blood of the African people and it continues to be so in the post-industrial age. But perhaps the clearest proof, which demonstrates the inaccuracies of this article, is the fact that there are over a billion Muslims many of whom became Muslim as a result of the Khilafah’s (Islamic State) Jihad and continue to be. Indeed there is not a day that goes by when we do not thank the Khilafah’s armies for liberating our lands from systems, which originated from prevarication. We are indebted to their sacrifice because they sought to remove those obstacles which prevented the people from hearing the truth and as a result people embraced Islam in there millions. Not only that, but different races took up the Islamic banner and continued to struggle for the truth and all that is just and good in this world. Thus Islam transcends all barriers, shaking people’s hearts and minds, awakening them to the truth of this life such that in one example amongst innumerable examples that fill our glorious history, the Roman commander Jerjah became Muslim on the field of battle. If the motivation for Jihad were for other than the truth and justice, Islam would have indeed died an early death.

This experience stands in stark contrast to the colonialist nations whose legacy is one of carnivorous deceit as evidenced in Iraq. Anyone with a semblance of intelligence realises this is an exploitative war because capitalism is an exploitative ideology. Indeed colonialism is integral to the very existence of Western civilisation. The proof of this is how the American colonials fought British tyranny to only surpass the Europeans in their quest for material gain, since capitalism motivates nations to exploit each other. American foreign policy is therefore predicated upon this philosophy, hence it is riddled with contradictions - on the one hand leaders speak of a moral crusade and yet it is the same people who installed and supported these tyrants in the Islamic world. As a result many people throughout the world are rethinking the capitalist system. Indeed how many more wars must we fight before people realise that capitalism is unfit as an intellectual leadership for mankind? How many more people must starve to death before people realise that capitalism has failed to comprehend the economic problem?

The Muslim community believes that the greatest threat today is from Western colonialist states - they must be stopped in pursuing their materialistic ambitions over the entire world. The Islamic Khilafah will be a beacon of light for the oppressed peoples of the world including those millions who suffer in silence in the West.

If we’re wrong then take up this invitation in the spirit in which it is sent. Whether you will or not could very well determine the very future of our children, indeed it is no exaggeration to say that humanity is facing a crisis unprecedented in its whole history. Hence you bear the greatest responsibility since it is the intellectuals who influence and direct nations. Therefore with knowledge comes responsibility and now is the time to discharge it in a responsible way.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Farooq Khan - Member of Hizb ut-Tahrir

Dr Imran Waheed - Representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain

cc: Daniel Pipes

For more information visit www.mindspring.eu.com

Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain - Suite 298 - 56 Gloucester Road - London - SW7 4UB - UK

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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