Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Ninth Crusade

The most surprising thing about events in the last fifty or so years is the almost total lack of Western Society to realize they are in the midst of a global war and appear to be losing it. This war is a war between Christendom and Islam, which is probably the reason most of the Western Powers have failed to recognize that it is in progress. From the perspective of the Muslims this is another crusade – the Ninth – and they repeatedly refer to the Western forces as “Crusaders”. This reference is fully recognized thoroughout Islam but is viewed as either quaint or nonsensical by the West. This is a grave mistake and this failure to recognize the current worldwide terrorism as a manifestation of this religious struggle between Islam and Christendom weakens the West strategically.

Christendom is composed of many nation states, cultures, and even religions and the West perceives the entire world as composed of these nation states, without regard to the fact that many of these nation states were created by the Western Powers as they carved up the Ottoman Empire at the end of WW I. Hence the West sees Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Syria, Lebanon, etc. as independent countries. The reality is that France and Britain in their usual arrogant and self-serving manner – created these countries as mandates and client states without regard to history or the people and certainly with little to no understanding of Islam. The leaders of these countries never had the support of the people and the countries were never totally stable and certainly never democratic. Of course Kemal Ataturk – a Turkish general over threw the last Ottoman dominated government in Turkey and established a secular government which still exists today, but this is a rarity in the Islamic world.

To some extent these European defined countries do exist but what is not recognized is that Islam is the unifying force, not national pride or patriotism. The unifying force throughout the Middle East is Islam and Islam is at war with Christendom and has been at war with Christendom since the death of Mohammed in the seventh century. The periods of peace between the Middle East and the West are viewed as periods of regrouping by Islam because they have never, and will never, abandon their objective of World Domination because they believe Islam was ordained by God and it is their duty to convert the world to Islam and kill all unbelievers.

Most Westerners view this objective of world domination by Islam as anachronistic, unrealistic, and perhaps even silly, but this attitude actually reflects the almost total ignorance the West has about Islam, its history, and their conflicts with Christendom. One of the most deceptive things being offered by the Muslims living in the West is their description of the term “Jihad”. These Muslims point out that Jihad means struggle and that within the Qur’an this can mean warfare or a moral struggle, so Muslims can be “Jihadists” and not be a threat to their host countries. While their definition of Jihad is correct what they fail to explain is that the use of this term outside of the Qur’an has always – even during Mohammed’s lifetime – meant warfare against infidels and apostates. Mohammed spread Islam by the sword and that has continued as the Islamic practice down to today. With this understanding, the following quote provides some insight into Islam and Jihad[1]

“In this as in so many other matters, the guidance of the Qur’an is amplified and elaborated in the hadi`ths, that is to say, traditions concerning the actions and utterances of the Prophet. Many of these deal with holy war. The following are a few samples.
· Jihad is you duty under any ruler, be he godly or wicked
· A day and night of fighting on the frontier is better than a month of fasting and prayer
· The nip of an ant hurts the martyr more than the thrust of a weapon, for these are more welcome to him than sweet, cold water on a hot summer day.
· He who dies without having taken part in a campaign dies in a kind of unbelief.
· God marvels at people (those to whom Islam is brought by conquest) who are dragged to Paradise in chains.
· Learn to shoot, for the space between the mark and the archer is one of the gardens of Paradise
· Paradise is in the shadow of swords."

Jihad is embedded in Islam from its outset and continues down to today. It is a religious duty for every Muslim, so is it any wonder why Muslims publicly condemn the worldwide slaughter of innocents but do little to stop it? Within Iraq we see Muslims killing Muslims by the hundreds or even thousands but little support is offered to the troops attempting to protect them. To support or ‘collaborate” with the Crusaders would be anti-Islamic. The fundamental point here is that within the world of Islam, the loyalty of the individual is first to Islam and not to a nation because nations are relatively new concepts in Islam. The same is true of governments. Westerners separate religion and government. This wasn’t always so but certainly since the 1600’s there has been a separation of church and state. While Christendom has nations and laws, these transcend the religious considerations but this isn’t the case within Islam. Islam overshadows and may override any government and this Islamic influence can be seen in the new Iraqi constitution where no law can be established that is non-Islamic. This falls short of establishing Shar’ia Law but it leaves open what is non-Islamic.

At the core of the current upheaval, which we call the War on Terror, is a form of religious reformation within Islam and the attacks on the Western Crusaders is part of that reforming activity but not its central thrust. Our reference to these Islamic reformers as “fundamentalists” is not really accurate because this is a Western term that carries subtle meanings that don’t apply. There really isn’t any dispute within the Muslim community over Islam itself, so no one is attempting to change or reform Islam. The dispute is that some Muslims like Osama bin Laden and the Muslim Brotherhood believe that many within the Islamic Community are turning away from the true faith and are becoming “apostate”. They blame this turning away on the West and Western Culture as epitomized by America – hence the reference to America as the Great Satan. More importantly, this view that Westernized Muslims are apostates permits Bin Laden and his supporters to kill other Muslims because the Qur’an specifically allows this and even directs that it be done.

For the West the ramifications of this Islamic reformation are significant for many reasons. Perhaps the first thing is that the West must realize the significance of the terms “the Great Satan” and “Crusaders” because this shows that what we are fighting a religious war and that this war is three sided with us in the middle. The Muslims are struggling internally over what is true Islam but the West represents the common enemy. We must also realize that dealing with national governments in Muslim countries does not have the same significance that we associate with nation states within Christendom. In the West there is a division between the political and the religious but this division does not exist in these Muslim countries. Islam makes no distinction between religion and government and more often than not the heads of state that we deal with are frequently viewed as Western Puppets. We see these as legitimately elected governments but within Islam elected representatives have little meaning and their authority frequently is legitimized only through the ulema (~ clergy).

Islam has – since its founding – been bent on world domination and the conversion of the world to Islam and Shar’ia (law). There has been a dispersion of Muslim across the Western World driven primarily by the oppression of their governments. The result is that within Europe and America there are large and growing Muslim populations. This drive within Islam to re-establish the “true Islam” may not affect all Muslims in the West but it need only affect a small percentage to have an enormous impact. This problem has already manifested itself in France and England and we have had hints of it in the US. We already know that many the Imams in many Mosques within the US preach hatred of the West and the Crusaders. We know that the Muslim community collects large sums for Hamas and Hezbollah. We have a strong belief in freedom of religion so we do not monitor or interfere with these Imams and they use this against us. They view our freedoms as weaknesses and examples of our moral corruption because we permit free speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion. They are opposed to all of these things but we fail to recognize this as a threat to us. The lack of action and condemnation within the Muslim community is a silent warning which we are ignoring. We need to recognize the threat to our internal safety and begin to take action against these Imams. The British have already started but they may have waited to long, we should not make their mistake. We are in the midst of the Ninth Crusade and it is time we recognized it.

[1] Lewis, Bernard, The Crisis of Islam, New York, Modern Library, 2003

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