Terrorism has dominated the history of Islam, as demonstrated by the murder of three of the first four caliphs who succeeded the Prophet Muhammad: Umar ibn Abd al-Khattab (644 C.E.), Uthman Ibn Affan (656 C.E.) and Ali ibn Abi Talib (661 C.E.). Islamic terrorism has been one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes — domestically, regionally and globally — since the inception of Islam in the seventh century. Historically, all Arab regimes have achieved, sustained and eventually lost power through domestic violence, subversion or terrorism.
Currently, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Libya have become battlegrounds of rival Islamic terror organizations. Pro-U.S. Arab regimes such as Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE face clear and present terror threats. Iran and Saudi Arabia — the two leading sources of funding for Islamic terrorism — are confronting each other militarily, economically, ideologically and religiously. Intra-Muslim fragmentation, unpredictability, instability, intolerance, subversion, terrorism and the provisional nature of Islamic regimes have been recently intensified in an unprecedented manner.
So far, the lava of Islamic terrorism has affected mostly Muslims, but it is aiming to spill over into the abode of the “infidel” and is currently spreading into the streets of the U.S., Europe, Russia, China, India, Africa, Asia and Australia.
While most terrorists are Muslims, the majority of Muslims are not terrorists. However, the will of the majority has been systematically suppressed or oppressed in most Muslim societies (including Muslim communities in Western countries). These Muslim societies have never experienced democracy, exposing the majority to tectonic eruptions of violence by rogue regimes and organizations.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the 1,400-year-old volcanic Islamic terrorism has traditionally not been triggered by social and economic deprivation or by the absence of civil liberties. It has been triggered by the 14-century-old megalomaniacal, supremacist, intolerant, anti-democratic, repressive, non-negotiable and eternal aspiration — led by educated Islamic elites — to force the world of the infidel and the apostate to submit to Islam. The latter is, supposedly, the only legitimate religion, divinely ordained to rule the world.
According to the Quran, Islam is the only worthy and legitimate successor to the Abrahamic and Mosaic Judaism. Thus, the subordination of humanity to the legacy of Muhammad should be achieved, preferably, via nonviolent means (dawah), deceit/double-talk (taqiyya) and immigration (hegira). But, in face of defiant infidels and apostates, the believers should resort to non-compromising, non-merciful violence (jihad), subversion, breach of international accords and terrorism.
Unlike the Western definition of terrorism (the deliberate and systematic targeting of civilians), the Quran’s definition of terrorist (irhab) is the derivative of the verb arhaba (to terrify, scare), which is a tactic employed against the infidel to advance the goals of Islam (Quran 8:60). The Muslim bottom line is that “there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.”
Contrary to political correctness — and as demonstrated by the 1,400-year-old track record of Islamic violence and terrorism and the lack of intra-Muslim peaceful coexistence — Islam has never considered itself to be “a religion of peace” as defined by Western dictionaries.
According to Muhammad’s legacy, the term salam (peace) — which is derived from the same root as Islam — is employed when addressing fellow Muslims, but not when addressing non-Muslims, unless constrained by temporary military, economic or political inferiority.
Furthermore, Arab/Muslim societies invoke verses from the Quran and precedents from Islamic history as guidelines for contemporary, daily, personal, tribal, regional and national conduct. For example, Sura 20, verses 47-48 state that “peace be on whoever follows the guidance [of Allah] … and punishment shall afflict those who deny and turn their back [on Allah].” Thus, salam is reserved only for those who submit to Islam, while those who renege on their commitment to Islam are doomed. Moreover, any agreement with the infidel is defined as sulh, hudna, a tenuous truce of limited duration, until the balance of power facilitates total submission of the infidel to Islam.
Sacrificing reality and long-term national security on the altar of political correctness and short-term convenience, key Western policymakers and public opinion molders have refused to recognize the central role (or any role) played by Islam in the intensifying threat of terrorism. These movers and shakers have also insisted that providing employment and educational opportunities is the most effective way to combat terrorism.
Tariq Alhomayed, the former editor-in-chief of leading Saudi daily Asharq Al-Awsat, wrote on February 22, 2015: “ISIS is not looking for jobs, neither are al-Qaida or Hezbollah. … According to [U.S. President Barack] Obama, oppressing the opposition leads to extremism and terrorism. However, the oppression of the Green Revolution by the Iranian regime has not led to extremism or terrorism in Iran. … Why is the entire Middle East, except Iran, targeted by terrorism? Why are some of al-Qaida’s leaders in Iran?”
Winston Churchill’s famous words on relations with communists apply even more so to terrorists: “Trying to maintain good relations with a communist is like wooing a crocodile. You do not know whether to tickle it under the chin or beat it over the head. When it opens its mouth, you cannot tell whether it is trying to smile or preparing to eat you up. … An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping that it will eat him last.”
* This commentary was published by Israel Hayom, on Jan. 10, 2016