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Militant Islam Forces Me To Care

Reader comment on item: Burqas and Niqabs in the Classroom?
in response to reader comment: Why do you care?

Submitted by Paul Newcombe (Australia), Nov 16, 2007 at 04:06

You said: "Why does everyone care about Muslims all of a sudden? Everything from what they wear to how they behave to how they practice their religion... Why NOW?"

I think it's true that Western people have only recently begun to study Islam's doctrines and history (as a means of assessing it in the light of modern terrorism). However, caring about the actions of Muslims has been a necessary condition for millions of people over the past 1300 years – primarily because their own religion, culture, country and basic freedoms were being destroyed by violent Muslim conquest.

The non-Muslims living on the Arabian peninsular were the first to be subjugated by Muhammad and his immediate followers. By the time of his death in 632 AD, Muhammad had extended his control in a series of raids and battles over most of southern Arabia. The conquered populations of these areas either had to submit to Muslim rule and pay a heavy protection tax (jizya) or convert to Islam. Near the end of his life, Muhammad sent letters to all the great empires of the Middle East demanding their submission to his authority.

Imitating the example of "great prophet", early Islam spread by violent unprovoked conquest across Byzantium, Persia and Western Europe. Muslim armies also charged into the Holy Land and brutally subjugated what is now known as Iran and Iraq. It then swept west across North Africa, into Spain, and finally into southern France. The Muslim offensive was finally halted in the West at the Battle of Poitiers, not far from Paris, in 732 AD. In the east, however, the violent jihad penetrated deep into Central Asia leaving a sizeable trail of blood and bodies.

Sammy, this is not really a "Why NOW?" situation. Muslim imperialism is something that generations of peoples from a variety of different races and cultures have had to care about. The global jihad which is currently being launched against the West is simply the most recent example of Islamic attempts to convert or subjugate non-Muslim peoples.

The jihad conquests I mentioned above were only the first major wave (the Arab jihads). After reconstituting, a second major series of jihad conquests were conducted by the Islamic Ottoman Empire. Islam, once again, marched against the Christian Byzantine Empire. This second wave of jihad was temporarily held up by the invading Latin Armies during the Crusades, but, by the beginning of the 14th century, the Ottoman Turks were threatening Constantinople and Europe itself. One of the most significant engagements between the invading Muslims and the indigenous peoples of the region was the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, where the Turks annihilated a multinational army under the Serbian King, St. Lazar. After numerous attempts dating back to the seventh century, Constantinople, the center of Eastern Christendom, finally fell in 1453 to the armies of Sultan Mahomet II.

"Why NOW" you ask. Well, right now, Islam is again re-assuming its traditional aggressive posture against the non-Muslim world. A global jihad is gradually accelerating with the West and Israel as its primary targets. Muslims are immigrating into Western countries at fantastic rates. They are largely not assimilating and not protesting against violent jihad when it is conducted against their non-Muslim neighbors in the name of Allah. "Why now?" Only a person who has not been paying attention could ask that question.

The global jihad is heating up around the world. The Israelis are dealing with it in Jerusalem. The Spanish are dealing with it in Madrid. The Thai's are dealing with it in Bali. The British are dealing with it in London. The Russians are dealing with it in Chechnya. The Americans are dealing with it in New York. 58 dead French peacekeepers dealt with it in Beirut. 333 dead school children dealt with it in Beslan. 292 Dead Kenyans and Tanzanians dealt with it at their US embassies. 200 dead Indians dealt with it in Mumbai. Beheaded Western hostages in Iraq, Buddhist monks in Thailand and Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia dealt with it.

Over 500,000 murdered innocents in Darfur dealt with it and the remaining population in the western Sudan are continuing to deal with it – they face genocide, just as the Armenians did at the hands of the Ottoman Turks!

One could easily make the case that caring about Muslims, their religion, and what they do is the one of the most important issues for non-Muslims living in 2007. Since the global jihad is steadily growing – it's hard, in my opinion to understand your indifference.

"Were Germans targeted and blamed for everything when Hitler destroyed human lives? Were Russians because of what Stalin did?"

No. However, neither the German, nor the Russian people were united into the Nazi or Communist causes by a religious ideology. That is the fundamental difference.

The behavior of Muslim people is largely governed by two binding religious texts:

1. the Qur'an, and
2. the Hadith (which provide the lived example and sayings of the prophet Muhammad).

Both the Qur'an and the Hadith contains dozens of passages that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers, and kill the infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called "hypocrites" and warned that Allah will punish them if they do not actively engage in jihad. These verses are mostly open-ended, meaning that they are not embedded within historical context (as are nearly all of the Old Testament verses of violence). They are part of the eternal, unchanging word of Allah, and just as relevant or subjective as anything else in the Qur'an.

The small number of peaceful verses in the Qur'an were produced early in Muhammad's career and are overturned by the violent verses which were produced in the later portion of Muhammad's career (i.e. the Islamic concept of "abrogation" where the most recent "divine revelation" always takes precedence).

Some Muslims do not agree with Jihad, however, if we are interested in truth, we must admit that these peaceful Muslims are choosing to ignore the jihad doctrine contained in the official texts of their own religion. And, if the jihadists have their way, these peaceful Muslims will also be swept aside in the coming conflicts.

Your German-Russian-Muslim analogy does not provide a congruent example and therefore it doesn't make sense.

In regard to face veils. You did not address my point at all. Until you can explain why erasing the human face does NOT effectively erase essential aspects of women's human identity. My opinion stands, basically, unchallenged.

Submitting....

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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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