From Bryan Fischer of the Idaho Values Alliance
Robert Spencer, one of the world’s leading experts on Islamic jihad, delivered a well-attended lecture last night on the campus of Boise State on the subject of radical Islam.
He made the observation that the phrase “war on terror” is a misnomer, simply because “terror” is a tactic, not an enemy. The reality, he went on to say, is that we are at war with radical Islam.
Osama Bin Laden, for instance, the architect of 9/11, has consistently cited the Koran and the teachings of Muhammad to justify his attacks on the United States. The terrorist Zarqawi, who personally beheaded civilian contractor Nicholas Berg and then released the video of the deed to the internet, justified beheading on the grounds that this is the example Muhammad set for his followers when he beheaded his enemies in his own day.
In fact, Spencer, pointed out, Muhammad engaged in jihad 77 times during his first 10 years in Medina, and the Koran teaches that jihad – the use of force to advance the cause of Islam – is in fact the highest expression of human endeavor.
Jihad experienced a revival in the late 1960’s with the publication of a book entitled “Jihad: The Forgotten Obligation,” which urged modern day Muslims to imitate the example of the Prophet. The book reminded readers of a particular teaching of Muhammad, who, when asked what deed is greater than jihad, said, “I do not know of such a deed.”
A terrorist cell of Yemini Muslims in Lackawanna, New York was inspired to turn to jihad by this teaching of the Prophet, convinced that jihad was an act of such nobility that it would ensure their salvation by outweighing any and all bad deeds on the scale Allah uses to determine who is permitted to enter paradise.
Despite many who say that jihadists have “hijacked” a peaceful religion, jihadists themselves, with good reason, insist that in fact it is they who are practicing the true and pure form of Islam.
Spencer reminded the audience that in Islamic thought, the only three options that infidels – Jews and Christians – have are these: conversion, submission, or war. Either convert to Islam, show abject submission to Islam by paying the jizya, essentially a protection tax, or prepare for war.
Since the West is not prepared to convert, and unwilling to pay submission taxes to Islam, war on the West has complete moral justification in the minds of these Muslims.
According to Spencer, we must understand that most Muslims believe sincerely that the Koran reveals not just a religious system but a political system as well, and reveals the social order that Allah has ordained for all mankind. Evidence that the Koran is political as much as religious is that the Islamic calendar is dated from the moment when Muhammad became a political leader.
Since Islam contains the highest form of society ever revealed to man, Muslims have a duty before Allah to establish the hegemony of Islamic culture all over the world. It is incumbent upon them to impose this culture at the point of the sword, if necessary, in order to bring nations into the Islamic social order.
Spencer warned, well before the U.S. military invaded Iraq, that the quest to rebuild Iraqi society in a Western mold was doomed to fail, simply because Muslims sincerely believe that the social order prescribed in the Koran, by Allah, is superior to any other expression of society, including representative democracy. Because Muslims consider representative democracy inferior to the social order of the Koran, they cannot be compelled to embrace it.
The best we can do, Spencer suggested, is to use the military might of the U.S. to contain the energy and force of jihad, but he indicated that it is unlikely that we will see any genuine political reforms in Muslim countries as long as they remain Muslim.
Once again we see that the Judeo-Christian tradition, which gave birth to the republican form of government we enjoy in the West, with its blend of liberty and justice, is the last, best hope for mankind.
Spencer concluded by saying that all of us in the West must recognize the threat that Islam poses to us. Its threat is not reserved for either conservatives or liberals, but instead targets any and all who will not bow the knee to Allah.
Although it is fashionable to blame Israel for Islamic fanaticism, Spencer pointed out that the Muslim Brotherhood, the wellspring of much jihadi thought and action, was founded in 1928, 20 years before Israel even existed as a sovereign nation.
Further, poverty and oppression cannot explain jihadism – many jihadis are in fact not poor at all (bin Laden being a prime example) and typically are better educated than most Muslims. And for centuries, even when Islam had considerable autonomy and political power, and had no fear of political oppression, it still waged jihad against the nations of Europe.
George Otis wrote a book over 15 years ago, The Last of the Giants, which made the case that it would take more than economic or political conflict to drive the nations of the world to Armageddon. It will take, he said, a dark spiritual energy to drive us to the final cataclysm, and he suggested, correctly in my view, that Islam is the source of that energy.
Spencer suggested that part of the solution to the threat from radical Islam is for the West to become energy independent. This would argue, in my view, that increased domestic energy production is essential not only for our economic growth but in fact now has become a matter of national security.
Opening up new oil fields in Alaska, in the Gulf of Mexico, and off both the east and west coasts is essential in our battle with Islamic jihad. Petrodollars are funding an enemy who is determined to wipe us from the face of the earth, and we will only be safe when that revenue stream slows to a trickle.
As a footnote, and not that this will come as a surprise to anyone, a BSU student who wanted to inform fellow students of Spencer’s appearance on campus was denied the opportunity to send out a departmental email, even though students pushing events sponsored by Planned Parenthood and liberal feminist campus groups were able to do so quite freely.