ACT! for America Mission Statement – From Guy Rodgers- What is Radical Islam…
Posted by paulipoldie on August 16, 2010
It is good that we stop and remind ourselves why we are here, and boldly declare who the enemy is. ACT for America is not afraid to name the enemy….. editor
WHAT IS RADICAL ISLAM?
by Guy Rodgers, Executive Director, ACT! for America
There is no simple or singular way to define or describe “radical Islam.” One person hears the phrase and thinks “terrorism.” Others think “Islamofascism,” “jihad,” “sharia law,” “Islamic fundamentalism,” “Islamism,” “political Islam,” a struggle against the “infidel,” or simply the “Muslim religion.” Others aren’t sure what to think.
Regardless of the name or adjective, radical Islam is a threat to our national security and our freedoms that must be taken more seriously than it has been to date.
For nearly three years I have immersed myself in a study of radical Islam, Islamic history, and Islamic doctrine. My doing so was not merely as an academic exercise, but, as a long-time political strategist, I set out to understand how our enemies think and why they do what they do, in order to effectively combat them.
What I have learned would stun the average American.
It is typical for people to view something they do not understand through the prism of their own experiences. Most Americans know very little about the history or doctrines of Islam. Thus, they tend to impose their own experiences on what they think a “religion” is or ought to be.
What they don’t understand is that Islam is very different from all other major religions of the world.
Where it is similar is the religious practices of devotion to deity and the obligation to a higher moral law. For instance, Judaism, Christianity and Islam all exhort worship, prayer and fasting. They all proscribe acts such as theft.
It is not in these practices that Islam threatens the world. It is the ideology of “political Islam,” most frequently referred to as “radical Islam,” “Islamism,” and “Islamofascism” that is the source of the existential threat to the world.
It is this ideology, enunciated in the Qur’an and Hadith (sayings and traditions of Mohammed), the holy books of Islam, that sets Islam apart from other religions.
The ideology of radical Islam has two key elements.
· It is a supremacist political ideology that advocates the advance of Islamic sharia law and the imposition of such law on all people. It is totalitarian and imperialistic.
· Jihad, or “striving,” is an obligation upon the Muslim “umma” (Muslim community of believers) as a central means of advancing and imposing Islamic sharia law.
Qur’an 9:5 is one among many Qur’anic passages commonly cited as doctrinal justification for the waging of jihad and the advance of sharia:
Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.
Here is what Mawlana Abul Ala Mawdudi, one of the “fathers” of modern Islamism, had to say about Islam:
Islam is not a normal religion like the other religions in the world…Islam is a revolutionary faith that comes to destroy any government made by man…The goal of Islam is to rule the entire world and submit all of mankind to the faith of Islam. Any nation or power in this world that tries to get in the way of that goal, Islam will fight and destroy. In order for Islam to fulfill that goal, Islam can use every power available every way it can be used to bring worldwide revolution. This is jihad. (Jihad in Islam)
Do all Muslims agree with this? Of course not. The fact is most Muslims have never read the Qur’an in their own language, let alone the Hadith. Many who speak Arabic are illiterate and cannot read the Qur’an. Many others practice a more spiritual or cultural Islam. And there are many instances worldwide where Muslims are resisting the imposition of full-blown sharia law by other Muslims.
In other words, as with any religious system, there are degrees of orthodoxy and devotion, as well as differences in interpretation and application, within Islam.
I recently finished reading Escaping Islam by Mano Bakh. Bakh was a high-ranking naval officer in the Iranian Navy prior to the Islamic revolution in 1979. Raised a Muslim, he recounts how his mother was devout while his father was more of a cultural Muslim.
As a third-year cadet at the Italian Naval Academy (a very prestigious assignment) he was given the assignment of educating the other cadets about Islam. To prepare, he gathered numerous books to obtain the information he needed, because he actually knew very little about Islam.
He writes that the more he learned, the more uncomfortable he became. After reading about the role of jihad and the violence it spawned during the early years of Islam, Bakh writes:
As I digested this information, I was stunned. I quietly closed my book, and contemplated what I had just learned. I felt a deep sadness and I was numb to my surroundings. My confusion knew no bounds as I wondered, “Did my kind and peaceful mother believe in this man [i.e., Mohammed]. How could she? How could I? (p. 73)
Surprising? Not really. How many people in America profess to be Christians yet have never read the Bible all the way through – or even parts of it? As in all religions, those who profess the Islamic faith range from the casual to the committed.
Having said this, the cold reality is that most of the world’s leading Muslim clerics, while they may phrase it differently, share Mawdudi’s exposition of the ultimate objective of what we call “radical Islam” and the means by which it is to be achieved. These leaders are serious students of the holy books of Islam as well as the five schools of Islamic jurisprudence (four Sunni, one Shi’a) that spell out the entirety of sharia law.
They are likely familiar with these passages from the Hadith, which advocate jihad for all time:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “…jihad will be performed continuously since the day Allah sent me as a prophet until the day the last member of my community will fight with the Antichrist.” (Sunan Abu Dawud Book 14, Number 2526: Narrated by Anas ibn Malik).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I am commanded to fight with men till they testify that there is no god but Allah, and that Mohammed is His servant and His Apostle…” (Sunan Abu Dawud Book 14, Number 2635: Narrated by Anas ibn Malik).
These leaders, their followers, and the many organizations they have spawned, are “driving the bus” of Islam. As was the case in Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Soviet Union, and Mao’s China, those zealously committed to their ideology set the agenda and the course for their nations. The same is occurring today within Islam on an international scale. It is not the moderates, or the spiritualists, or the cultural Muslims, who are setting the agenda. It is the Islamists.
They have hearkened back to the supremacist political ideology embedded in Islam’s holy books, practiced by Mohammed, the “rightly guided caliphs” who followed him, and the vast majority of the Islamic scholars who developed the five schools of Islamic jurisprudence in the early centuries following the death of Mohammed.
A study of the Qur’an and Hadith reveal hundreds of passages exhorting and commanding Muslims to wage jihad, take plunder and slaves, and impose sharia law and the jizya (protection tax) on conquered peoples. This is the authority Islamists are citing for the growing militancy and radicalism we see among Muslims throughout the world.
The spreading of Islam by the sword, which by some estimates left 270 million dead and millions more enslaved over the past 14 centuries, is a historical fact that is sanitized from most public school and university textbooks. In the first few centuries after Mohammed, his example was emulated as the justification for jihad and conquest.
With the codification of Islamic sharia law by the five schools of Islamic jurisprudence, the doctrine of jihad and the subjugation of non-Muslims to Islamic law became settled law that has been considered immutable ever since. A Muslim who questions this settled law is at best strongly criticized and at worst regarded as a heretic or an apostate.
Thus, when a moderate Muslim argues against the supremacist political ideology of Islamism and its devotion to sharia law, Islamic leaders and scholars rebut his arguments by referencing the holy books of Islam and the Islamic schools of jurisprudence and their codification of Islamic law. It is thus unsurprising that very few Muslims are willing to take on the collective leadership of their religion.
The challenge for the West is, therefore, not merely the obliteration of Islamic terrorism. Terrorism is a means, not an end. The end is the imposition of sharia law on all people, by whatever means necessary.
In other words, if America were to win the “War on Terror”, but lose the struggle against sharia law, we still lose. This is because sharia Islamic law as advanced by radical Islam is thoroughly incompatible with Western law as well as the UN Declaration of Human Rights. The imposition of sharia law is nothing less than the imposition of theological totalitarianism that, among other things, suppresses free speech, eliminates freedom of religion, and oppresses women.
Not surprisingly, the member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference have refused to sign this UN declaration. This should tell us something.
For instance, you will find this description of the role of women in marriage in the ancient Islamic legal text Fatawa-i-Alamgiri:
Marriage…subjects the wife to the power of restraint (by the husband) and on her it imposes submission to him when summoned to the couch and confers upon him the power of correction when she is disobedient or rebellious…
So what must the West in general, and America in particular, do to combat the threat of radical Islam?
I have concluded that, strategically, successfully resisting the advance of radical Islam will require us to do exactly what Osama bin Laden once said – show the world who the strong horse is.
In other words, we must resist the leadership, organizations and the militants who are committed to the ideology of political Islam, the waging of jihad (in all its forms, from violent to cultural), and the forced imposition of sharia law. This will require more than fighting terrorism. On whatever front Islamists seek to advance this radical ideology, from the halls of academia to the courts of justice, we must resist and push back.
What’s more, we must be willing to unashamedly proclaim that the values of Western Civilization have, on balance, given the world its greatest opportunities for freedom, prosperity, and opportunity. It is the very self-loathing of Western Civilization, and the politically correct propensity to blame the West for all the ills of the world, that has enabled Islamism to gain such a foothold in Europe, the UK, Canada, and increasingly in America.
Organized resistance has stopped the advance of radical Islam in the past. Organized resistance can stop it again. Doing so is not only an imperative for the freedom and security of the West, it will be beneficial to Muslims everywhere who, for whatever reason, do not subscribe to the ideology of political Islam, the waging of jihad, and the imposition of sharia law.
Americans must rise up and demand that our culture unshackle itself from the political correctness so clearly embodied in the Pentagon report on the Ft. Hood massacre, which did not make a single reference to “radical Islam,” “jihad,” or “Islamism” anywhere in the body of the report.
We must rise up and affirm that tolerance of an intolerant, supremacist political ideology is no more acceptable when the name was Nazism than when the name is Islamism. As Lee Harris notes so well in his book The Suicide of Reason, the tolerance of Islamist intolerance is not tolerance but cultural suicide.
This is why ACT! for America was founded by Brigitte Gabriel. This is why ACT! for America exists. This is its mission. All freedom-loving people, regardless of political party, ethnicity, color or creed, are invited to join us in this resistance to radical Islam.