Islam’s war against humanity
In the discussion about Robert Pape’s theory of suicide bombings, I had pointed out that the terrorist attacks on Jordan and other Muslim countries contradicted Pape’s assertion that Muslim suicide bombings are only carried out against occupiers of Muslim lands. After the discussion had ended, I noticed something my correspondent had written that put this question in a new light:
Suicide attacks, says Pape, are intended to drive out the occupier. They are simply a weapon used in desperate situations. The victim of the attack is anyone whose death will lead to the occupier leaving.These comments seem to be an accurate reflection of Pape’s views, based on a perusal of the Amazon.com reviews of his book, and are also consistent with everything we know about Islam. In particular, the statement, “The victim of the attack is anyone whose death will lead to the occupier leaving,” provides a clear rationale for the apparent anomaly of Muslim terrorist attacks on Muslim countries. But the logic is even more troubling than that. As long as there is some piece of illegimately “occupied” Muslim land anywhere in the world, any suicide murder that will help drive out the occupier is justified. It doesn’t matter how unconnected the victims may be to the occupation; if their deaths can be seen as leading to the expulsion of the occupier, killing them is justified. So, for example, if killing Jordanians will help destabilize the Jordanian regime, which would perhaps lead to the toppling of the Hashemite monarchy and the ascendancy of a pro al-Qaeda government that carries on a more effective war against Israel (whose very existence is an “occupation”) then martyrdom operations against Jordanian Muslims is ok. The logic is infinitely extensible. The key point is that the legitimate targets are not limited to the actual occupiers. The legitimate targets are any people anywhere whose death can help weaken—or even merely be seen as potentially helping weaken—the occupiers. Any act that will hurt the occupier is allowed, even the mass murder of totally innocent people, even the mass murder of pious Muslims who are on the same side as the terrorists.
Of course, the Koran itself says (and al-Qawadari’s pro-suicide bombing report, discussed in the previous blog article, approvingly quoted it) that it is permissible to kill Muslims in order to get at the infidel.
Such is the absolute nature of the Islamic jihad. And we’re not even speaking here of jihad as a whole, but only of one particular jihadist weapon—suicide killings used against so-called occupiers, which only began in a systematic way in 1994 following the signing of the Oslo “peace” accords. Beyond the discrete issue of suicide bombings, Islam of course calls for eternal war and terror against all non-Muslims. As Islam scholar Armand Abel wrote in 1958:
The [Dar al-Harb], in the view of the Moslem jurists, was not populated by people who had a natural right not to practice Islam, but rather by people destined to become Moslems who, through impiousness and rebellion, refused to accept this great benefit. Since they were destined sooner or later to be converted at the approach of the victorious armies of the Prophet’s successor, or else killed for their rebelliousness, they were the rebel subjects of the Caliph. Their kings were nothing but odious tyrants who, by opposing the progress of the saving religion together with their armies, were following a Satanic inspiration and rising up against the designs of Providence. [Armand Abel, “L’Étranger dans L’Islam Classique,” 1958, in Andrew Bostom, The Legacy of Jihad, Prometheus Books, 2005, pp. 96-97.]Obviously, if non-Muslims are literally Satanic, there must be no limits to the measures used against them.
We may perhaps gain further insight into the jihadist mentality by reference to an example from literature. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythic history of early Middle-earth, The Silmarillion, he tells of the Rebellion of the Noldor (a leading House of the Elves) against the Valar (the divine beings who oversee the creation), which leads to the Noldor’s Fall and near destruction, and the effects of which are still being felt seven thousand years later in The Lord of the Rings. The precious Silmarils, three jewels that contain the divine light captured from the Two Trees of Valinor that light the universe, have been stolen from Fëonor, the Noldor prince who had created them, by Melkor, the Dark Lord of that age, who in the act of theft has also murdered Fëonor’s father. In a mad rage, Fëonor does something that has enormous consequences for himself and the future of the world:
Then Fëanor swore a terrible oath. His seven sons leapt straightaway to his side and took the selfsame vow together, and red as blood shone their drawn swords in the glare of the torches. They swore an oath which none shall break, and none should take, by even the name of Ilúvatar [God], calling the Everlasting Dark upon them if they kept it not; and Manwë they named in witness, and Varda, and the hallowed mountain of Taniquetil, vowing to pursue with vengeance and hatred to the ends of the World Vala, Demon, Elf or Man as yet unborn, or any creature, great or small, good or evil, that time should bring forth unto the end of days, whoso should hold or take or keep a Silmaril from their possession.Anything is justified, any murder, against anyone who stands in the way of their desire to possess the Silmarils. The tragedy is that up to this point, the Elves have been blessed and happy—and immortal—beings. But so attached to the Silmarils are Fëanor and his followers that in response to the crime that has been done to them they throw away all goodness, all virtue, all limits on their own behavior, in order to get the Silmarils back. They essentially declare war against all beings, “Vala, Demon, Elf or Man as yet unborn.” Soon after the oath is taken, they attack and kill a group of their fellow Elves, an unimaginable atrocity, whose only “sin” is that they are in possession of ships that the Noldor need to sail to Middle-earth and pursue their efforts to win back the Silmarrils. This terrible event, known as the Kinslaying at Alqualondë, marks the descent of the Noldor into evil.
If we leave aside the Elves’ high virtues and qualities, their tragic fall from same, and the fact that an actual crime had been committed against them, how alike their possessive, murderous, cosmic hatred is to that of the jihadists, who see all non-Muslims in the world as maliciously holding or taking or keeping what rightfully belongs to Islam, namely, possession of the whole earth. And therefore any violence, any treachery, any despicable behavior is justified against these enemies, until the end of time, or until all the world falls under the One Rule.