Dan, readers of IB, and other Iron Bloggers… I am thoroughly surprised at you. Instead of giving me the benefit of the doubt, and leaving what you perceived my position to be at what I’ve written, you immediately made the incorrect jump that I am claiming the ENTIRE mass of people practitioning Islam to any degree are crazies, crackpots and terrorists. You will find, in my opening and first rebuttal, that nowhere have I said this, or even implied this. Instead, I have asserted that those who practice Islam more completely, and stick to the pure, strict form of the religion and its doctrines are driven to jihad in any of the three houses, and it is true. I will explain the three houses of Jihad later.
Dan used a tactic that was really a grab at straws, and a double-edged sword. I’ll admit, yes, it was a good idea to use my blog, especially since its sole purpose was to explore the bloodshed in the Middle East, and the problems with Islam itself, but I hadn’t expected the words he grabbed to be used first and foremost. But if he’s pulling information and points from documents I’ve written, does that now mean that I am a reliable source for information? Is what I say now truth?
Of course, I must attack the credibility of that post because it was edited by a faculty member of my school. Yes, it’s true that I wrote about Hegelian dialectics and triads
at Sam’s Blog
some time ago. It’s also true that I was reprimanded for my original post that has since been deleted because of its “offensiveness.” I was given an outline of what I could and could not say, and essentially, I was not given the ability to knock Islam or those who practice it directly. However, I was allowed to blame Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Confucians, Taoists (didn’t matter who just as long as its someone else) for anything they might have done to “damage the collective psyche” of the Muslim world. Why? Because after my project caught the attention of the US Senate (I’ll see if I can get the letters hosted online.. I can email them if requested
) by sending morale-boosting letters to Fallujah, S------- High School thought that any negativity from me would reflect poorly on the school, and given the fact that it was a public school, open to all who come, they didn’t want people thinking the staff was “Muslim unfriendly.” Ain’t Political Correctness great? It’s the reason you all call me Chris, when that is only a shortening of my real name; and it’s an ironic one at that: I am an Atheist named Christian.
However, I was able to embed my original argument in it to a point. Zeitgeist translated from German to English means life of the Present, or state of the now. It encompasses anything and everything that alters or is a part of the current “life” or state of any designated area or group of people, or a commonality among them. What is this commonality in the Islamic Middle East? The Islamic clergy, and theocracy
The Islamic “republics” and monarchies all share one thing- Islamic rule. Many, like Iran, had at one point, Islamic clergy members in its government applying Islam to politics, completing the theocracy in that particular country. They issue fatwas
, edicts, rulings to do certain things, or determine what violated Suras and other Koranic passages. A common position you see is the Allatoyah
- It is their duty to guide their “flock” and to lead them to a life of submission under Allah. It is their role in society (as is the role of clerics and mullahs
to keep the “faithful” from leading lives astray from acceptable and traditional VALUES and BELIEFS.
Essentially, it is the job of the Clergy to preserve Islam. In order to access their fatwas and edicts (translated into English,) it is often useful to read MEMRI
. Believe me; they are not as pretty as one may think they should be. They are steamed about our presence in the Middle East, and I’m not talking about marines in Baghdad, I’m talking about posters of Britney Spears showing her navel, and underwear billboards
… When these people look towards the west, they see our decadent lifestyles, and how we represent everything they are not- we violate just about every core belief of Islam every single day, and instead of the punishment that is promised to the “unbelievers,” we grow richer, and richer, and richer. Some interpret passage (2.137) to justify followers being enabled and commanded to carry out “Allah’s will.” It is this group of people we saw on 9/11. (I must make a small note here that this is the FIRST time I have even referenced this tragic event, or the people who perpetrated it.) It is for this reason I believe that one day, Las Vegas will be a prime target for terror.
But enough about that- what about what “Islam” truly means? Although some believe that “Islam” means “peace”, it most certainly does not. Never has, never will. The most accurate translation of “Islam” is “submission
” with the implied “to Allah’s will.” So when Dan said goodbye yesterday, instead of typing a variant of the popular “Peace” he wrote “submission.” Kinda odd, isn’t it?
However, there is more definition fun we need to have, most notably the definition of a true Muslim.
A Muslim is a believer in or follower of Islam. The word Muslim means one who submits and implies complete submission to the will of God…
Thus a Muslim strives to surrender to God's commands every step of the way. There is no distinction made between daily life and religion or politics.
Here is where I’m going to use a separate model (pre-emptively used in the comments sections… damn free speech….) Take Catholicism for example. There are very few “true Catholics” left in the world, and there is a massive number of “cafeteria Catholics” in their stead. Instead of strictly following the catholic faith, they pick and choose what they believe in, and practice what is acceptable to them in order to reach their peace with god. Though the definition of a Catholic is someone who practices the catholic faith, omission of part or whole of catholic doctrine means that one is no longer truly catholic. These “cafeteria Catholics” are closer to Unitarians, like me, who believe in the search for personal truth above the search for god. If god is Truth, we reason, then it will be our answer to our quest for Truth.
There is a similar phenomenon in the realm of Islam today: Moderate Muslims. Like the cafeteria Catholics, they identify themselves as their original religion, but instead pick and choose what to follow. This is not true Islam
If one word could sum up true Islam, it is submission
. Followers of it must submit themselves completely to Allah and Allah’s will. They must remain unquestioningly in perfect accordance with the will of Allah, or they will find themselves the target of the First house of Jihad:
This happy little Jihad is reserved for friends, and those who are not as righteous as you. It is most often used in battling your own weakness, and personal demons. In this house of jihad, warriors of the Faith are commanded to lead by example, and inquire into the infidelity of purported followers. If they repent, all sins are forgiven. (I’m sorry I have no links, only class notes from Chester College, and my professor’s notes from his field work.)
This is why the answer to the Chairman’s question comes naturally to me- of course Islam is a religion of Jihad! It could not survive without it!! Jihad can mean anything from self-meditation or passing out supportive Islamic passages with the intent to “save” individuals or members of a larger group, or aggressive war to protect the spread of Islam. Jihad is simply “struggle” for Islamic preservation.
[2.137] If then they believe as you believe in Him, they are indeed on the right course, and if they turn back, then they are only in great opposition, so Allah will suffice you against them, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
In the Second House of Jihad, the target of Islamic Warriors are infidels. Friendly infidels. Not quite kufr, but not quite at salvation. It is in this house of Jihad that Warriors are commanded again to lead by example, and to inquire into the vices and weaknesses of their target. This house of Jihad is the turning point in most conflicts, as Islamic “warriors” are often thorough in their petitioning of support for Allah… by that I mean they dig a bit too deep, hit a nerve, and it is not uncommon for an argument or hostile action to ensue. If the infidel repents his sins and submits to Allah’s will here, again, all sins are forgiven.
[2.120] And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah's guidance, that is the (true) guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper.
However, this stage of Jihad sometimes turns to the third house of Jihad:
The struggle against the Kufr, or warrior infidel.
This is the stage of Jihad that the western media has an orgy of words editorials about. Reuters and AP sell their stories, and every time “Jihad!” is declared, ratings jump up ten notches. Why? Because of the implications of this word. Most often, just saying “Jihad” does not mean conflict, it means attempted conversion. However, “Jihad” nowadays is invoked against countries, or influential parties.
But, at this stage of Jihad, there is no hope for salvation for the kufr. If he is met in battle, and surrenders, he will often be beheaded on the spot, or taken prisoner if he is useful, or other fun stuff. We saw this in the Seventh Crusade
when the French King Louis failed to burn bridges behind him when retreating, and his entire army was captured or killed by “holy” warriors.
[8.12] When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.
This stage of Jihad is initially a defensive one- as are both the other houses as they are in place to protect Islam (that’s the clergy’s job.) However, if Islam is threatened by an external source, aggression is justified, and encouraged. This is the “jihad” that Islamic terrorists use to justify their actions in west when they perceive America could pose a threat to the “path of righteousness.” This is not to say that actions taken in the name of the third house of Jihad are just, as baring one’s navel does not justify stoning or maiming.
I hope this has been useful in your understanding of Islam… However I suspect that this is no more riveting than watching Bob Dole speak. Rather than take advantage of ignorance of Islam, I would like to think that I am able to enlighten instead. After all, I’m here to learn as well as you are.
It is with this that I must leave my final rebuttal as I have run out of time (you have any idea how long it takes to flip through an old marked-up Koran?!) I hope I’ve succeeded in enlightening those who read carefully to more of what Islam is really all about.
Salaam (THAT's what ACTUALLY means "peace and wellness!!")-
Christian from NH