|Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile|
1 Tevet 5760 / 1 Ramadan / December 10, 1999
Wrong Ideas about Islam:
What the West Should Know
How the Koran (and literature of Hamas) declares
'war' between Israel and the Palestinians
Note: Parts of this article were originally published in 1992 editions of the Jerusalem Post, and a special edition of Jerusalem Vistas Magazine both edited by MbY. The latter was headlined, "Wrong Ideas About Islam: What the West Should Know" by Moshe Sharon, a professor of Islamic studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. It was part of an 8-page special section written and edited by Dr. Jay Rawlings and MbY, entitled "Mixing Terror with Religion". The article also was published on 1 Tevet 5754 (December 1993) in the widely circulated third edition of the Jerusalem Torah Voice and Investigative Report, edited and published by MbY. Some of the material below about Yasser Arafat is of course dated, but the ideological insights into Hamas and Hezbollah remain timely.
Territory once inhabited by Moslems -- such as Eretz Yisrael during the Jewish exile -- changes its status. It becomes dar-al-Islam, the "Home of Islam." The final aim of Islam as stated in the Koran and in the literature being circulated by Hamas is to see the whole world as dar-al-Islam. Regions of dar-al-Islam that remain outside of the control of the Moslem realm are called in the Koran, the "House of War."
The "War" for Moslem control is fought in two phases. The first is that of "peace" or "truce". The war of "peace" or "truce" lasts only as long as the Moslems faithful to the Koran are weaker than their "enemy", also called the infidel ... or any non-Moslem who does not embrace Allah and his prophet, Muhammad. The infidel especially includes the "Jews," but also Christians, who the Koran relegates to the lowest classes.
But when the Koran-faithful believe themselves to be stronger than their enemies, the Koran, indeed the words of the prophet Muhammad, mandate that they resume the physical war and as detailed below ... fight it to the death with promise of very great reward in the world to come should they die as martyrs.
The modern State of Israel has been re-established on territory which the Koran would say belongs to dar-al-Islam, even though Muhammad only visited Jerusalem in a dream. This especially includes the unannexed Israeli administered territories in Judea-Samaria (for 19 years called the "West Bank" of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan). So long as the Israeli Defense Forces have been present in these territories, even though the Palestinian population outnumbers the Jewish settlers almost 10 to 1, the most effective weapon of Islam was school children hurling rocks in a propaganda media war, which falsely painted Israel as the aggressor but justly shamed Israel into knowing the need of its Palestinian citizenry. But with the withdrawal of Israeli forces, the War of Truce is about to end making way for the War unto Death.
It is important for the West to understand that when the Hamas-brainwashed Palestinian people speak of peace, the ideology is not peace as we in the West would understand peace. Their definition of peace is that of the Koran and -- at this writing -- about 40 percent of the Palestinian population remain loyal to this Koran. (NOTE: Since Hamas has taken control of the Gaza, that estimate has almost doubled). While 40 percent may be a minority, it is a minority of the size that the Palestinian Police cannot curtail, assuming Yasser Arafat was playing from a level deck. In other words, if the Palestinians get their state, it is only a matter of time until it will be controlled by Hamas and Hamas will establish a mini-Iran on Israel's borders with Hezbollah free to fortify in Southern Lebanon like a Persian cobra ready to strike.
One can better understand why former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu understood this and at first advocated the position of Likud of refusing to negotiate with Arafat or any Palestinians identified with Islamic terrorist acts or ideology. Only when the Labor government obligated Netanyahu to negotiate with the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) and Arafat was he forced to do so. Efforts to untangle this obligation tactfully worded as "peace with security," "or promise of reciprocity," etc. were undermined by the White House and President William Jefferson Clinton personally. But Netanyahu and Likud understood that in the final analysis, Israel cannot give away territories to a sworn enemy or in any way compromise its security if it hopes to survive.
Yasser Arafat later orchestrated a "truce" which had convinced most of Israel (many in spite of their better judgment) that it could possibly work. The Israelis were worn down. Israel's elite Defense Forces were demoralized by having to fight children hurling rocks before camcorders provided the Palestinians by network media. The media was provoking and promoting their own "media war," with Iranian-backed Hamas' fundamentalists hurling bombs, with Syrian-backed Hezbollah hurling rockets and with the media hurling more insults of its own. Add to that the extortion by President George H.W. Bush and his Secretary of State James Baker (withholding loan guarantees unless Israel stopped building settlements in the West Bank), and the resulting pressure on the economy. It is clear that the resolve of Israel coupled with a sincere hope for peace, had been reduced to resignation.
The most frustrating aspect of this resignation is the humiliation and demoralization of Israel's elite defense as the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) have been relegated to the role of policemen in riot gear and the target of guerilla warfare. And the generation that fought the previous four wars, '48, '67, '73 and '83 is simply tired of fighting as reflected in the results of the latest election of a "reformed" military hero. This also is understandable given that not a household in Israel has not suffered the casualties of ongoing war -- declared or otherwise -- since 1948.
Islam has ascended the higher ground spiritually, or so it believes. Hamas' declared jihad (YEE-HA'D) has been painted by the Islamic press really as a Koranic "way to peace." So I would say State Department 101 should include a course on what it means when one faithful to the Koran talks about peace:
The official explanation is that the aim of jihad is to "create a society where Muslims can worship Allah in peace, without other beliefs or politics being forced upon them." As Muhammad says in the Hadith,
"Moslems are forbidden from being the aggressors in any conflict, and therefore if the enemy offers peace, then Moslems too must put down their weapons."
Of course, Muhammad excepts "religious wars" from this mandate or so the Hamas literature inciting Islamic fundamentalism implies.
"Peace to Islam does not mean accepting the present situation, if that is one of stable but unjust peace-keeping, but enemies and oppressors must be fought without hatred or vengeance ... Hate your enemy mildly; he may become your friend one day." (Hadith)
Hate your enemy mildly? How do you kill an enemy you hate mildly? You see why the West has a hard time with this ideology?
Islam and the morality of war
The Arabic word jihad is often translated Holy War. But the Koran's "higher-ground war" is only considered "a minor and extreme element of the struggle of Moslems to serve Allah." Jihad is clarified by more moderate fundamentalists as the "personal effort made by each individual Moslem to devote his or her life to acts which Allah will reward." On another plane it means "the fight against evil." Although it is no longer politically correct to classify a jihad as a "war" many Moslems believe that the fight against evil and the preservation of Islam may justify going into battle. And of course, Muhammad inspired all of this with his promises of one of Allah's rewards for martyrs who die fighting the infidel ... so many virgins in the World to Come. That hope has sent many a Palestinian terrorist to his willing death as he yelled, "Allah Akbar," (Allah is Great).
Muhammad was asked about people fighting because they are brave, or in honor of a certain loyalty, or to show off: which of them fights for the cause of Allah? He replied,
"The person who struggles so that Allahs word is supreme is the one serving Allahs cause." (Hadith)
Allah's word is most "supreme" when it comes to slaying the infidel. And believe it or not, the Torah of Moses implies the same thing. In the writings of Torah sages, attacking Israel (Allah's cause) is in accordance with the will of the God of Israel to direct Israel back to its Torah. See our recent exegesis of the spiritual dimension to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict revealing that the God of Israel coined the name, Allah, as an aspect of His judgment.
The word for a justified holy war is Harb al-Muqadis. Islam sees self-defense as a just cause for war forbidding Moslems from being the first to attack but again, this does not apply to "religious" wars.
"Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight with you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors." (Surah 2:190)
To think the Palestinians could govern themselves apart from Islam as a kind of secular Islamic state is also a pipe dream and both Bush Administrations and the Clinton State Department have been told that. Islam, being a holistic way of life, governs politics as much as any other aspect. It is not possible to separate things as, for example, in England, where Parliament and the Church have little influence on each other. The right to live in a democracy is seen as being a defensible one ... so long as it is an Islamic democracy. I believe that is what they call Iran since the Shah was driven out.
This is a Persian cobra's nest stirred up by our CIA on behalf of oil companies and the defense establishment's interests in the Persian Gulf. But one day the warring mostly Arab Sunni and mostly Persian Shi'ites will awaken and reconcile and unite and woe be the United States whose foolish leaders planted the seeds of war on both sides of the Persian Gulf.
It is hard to define even the high ground of Jihad without it revealing something of its oppressive nature: Take this definition from a popular CD Rom on various religions:
Jihad is a striving for goodness, a seeking for justice and peace, a conscious effort to improve our own or other people's behavior. In Arabic it means 'to try one's hardest' and involves a look at oneself to make the first changes within; then looking to change others using verbal, physical, or psychological pressure.
Here is how Muhammad said somewhat the same thing from the beginning of the Chapter of the Koran called "Muhammad" and also called "Fight."
"In the name of Allah, the merciful and compassionate.
How does one end a diatribe about insanity? How about this little diddly I often heard the youngest of Palestinian children singing in Arabic as they would skip home from their PLO-infiltrated schools:
"First, there will be no Saturday (meaning no Shabbat); then there will be no Sunday."
Any non-Jews who believe they are immune from the effects of Jihad because they may dwell on the opposite side of the world, are sadly deceived. Islam is a cross-cultural and global ideology wearing a religious veil and attracting in the West, mostly the oppressed masses. The formula is lethal when you consider that this ideology is still the only "religion" that beheads its enemy:
Maggid ben Yoseif