Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Jihad and the Koran

Robert Spencer asks, “[I]s the Qur'an the Mein Kampf of the totalitarian, supremacist movement that is the global Islamic jihad?” Some Muslims, who take the Koran literally, site the Koran as their motivation for waging jihad. Is this Islam? Is it a valid form of Islam? Or are they mistaken? Let’s see what Spencer says:

“Last week in New York Oriana Fallaci said … ‘...the Qur’an is the Mein Kampf of this movement. The Qur’an demands the annihilation or subjugation of the other, and wants to substitute totalitarianism for democracy.’ … Fallaci said that there was no moderate Islam; she did not say that there were no moderate Muslims. This is a crucial distinction. As Ibn Warraq has said, ‘There may be moderate Muslims, but Islam itself is not moderate.’ In other words, there are manifestly peaceful people who have no intention of working by violent or subversive means to impose Sharia on the West, and who identify themselves as Muslims.”

Spencer reviews the text of the Koran to remind readers of its jihadist passages. He notes:

“One may attempt to spiritualize such verses, but there is no doubt from the historical record that Muhammad meant them literally. They are also backed up by numerous passages of Islamic tradition and law. Nonetheless, the fact that warfare against unbelievers is not a twisting of Islam, but the Islamic mainstream, and is repeatedly affirmed in the Qur’an, Hadith, example of Muhammad, and rulings of every school of Islamic jurisprudence, still does not make every Muslim a terrorist.”

He reminds us that the Koran is written in Classical Arabic and is rarely understood by Muslims. Knowledge of Islam, therefore, varies through out the Islamic world. Muslims, as well as non-Muslims, need to face the facts about what the Koran says and how it motivates jihadists.

“[I]s the Qur'an the Mein Kampf of the totalitarian, supremacist movement that is the global Islamic jihad? If we take seriously the words of the book itself and how they are used by jihadists, then it clearly is their inspiration and justification. Are we to ignore the jihadists' clear statements on this because they offend contemporary sensibilities? The challenge for genuinely peaceful Muslims today is to confront this fact, rather then deny it... and try to formulate strategies for a large-scale rejection of literalism in the Islamic community in America and worldwide, so that Muslims can coexist peacefully as equals with non-Muslims without the continuing recrudescence of this supremacist impulse.”

Read the whole article and decide for yourself.

18 Comments:

Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

"He reminds us that the Koran is written in Classical Arabic and is rarely understood by Muslims."

...but Spencer understands it. Pure freakin' smelly cheese.

12/6/05, 4:00 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

He relies on scholarship.

12/6/05, 4:05 PM  
Blogger TJ said...

"There may be moderate Muslims, but Islam itself is not moderate" - damn well said! /TJ

12/6/05, 4:31 PM  
Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

"He reminds us that the Koran is written in Classical Arabic and is rarely understood by Muslims."

...but Spencer understands it. Pure freakin' smelly cheese.

Which is why Ducky will now communicate a coherent thought on how and where Spencer is misinterpreting the meaning of "jihad."

Oh, sorry. I thought this was show and tell.

12/6/05, 5:13 PM  
Blogger gandalf said...

I have read the Qu'ran and Mien Kampf, the word "struggle" is common to both tomes.

the Qu'ran speaks of "jihad" this means struggle, Mien Kampf means "my struggle"

There are direct comparisons, the "Ummah" is the equivalent of "leibensraum" to name but one.

the establishing of "a superior race" equates to the statementt in the Qu'ran that "all shall fall before Islam, there will be only Islam".

I have been to the places where the doctrines espoused in Mein Kampf were put into practice, it is truly horrific, Islam is the same, it own history demonstrates that quite adequately.

It must be stopped.

The Qu'ran is Mein Kampf

12/6/05, 5:21 PM  
Blogger JMJ said...

Jason,
I am new to your blog and find it well thought out and excellent!

As with any scholarly work and research in general, one will frequently find in the conclusion of an abstract or the conclusion of the paper the sentence: "we conclude that ... and therefore this SUGGESTS that ....".

The key word is SUGGESTS.

EVERYTHING must be taken with a grain of salt.

But that does not mean we should live a life of paralysis because we cannot be absolutely sure of the meaning of each issue in life. We make the best assessments and conclusions we can after studying the research data or the body of scholarly work available to us and make decisons accordingly.

When one looks at the overwhelming evidence in speech and action that we have seen in "real time" from Islam's practitioners, I think the conclusions of their desire to dominate the world and subjugate or kill all infidels cannot be overstated.

I personally feel that Spencer is an excellent source of information but I do acknowledge having very little ability to confirm much of his translations and conclusions.

But again, we live and work in an imperfect world and we can only study the material that is available to us.

I would ask Mr. Ducky what sources he would recommend for further study of the goals of Islam and its prophet. Spencer, Pipes and Kramer are the best I have found but I am certainly open to further suggestions.


However, sometimes one MUST use anecdotal experiences (as flawed as they are) to make the conclusion that the 18 wheeler bearing down on us will run our ASS over if we don't get out of the street!

12/6/05, 8:55 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

jmj - excellent post. It cuts to the appeal of "common sense" and the whole notion that we use in our legal system, "Beyond a REASONABLE DOUBT". Exercise of this basic notion, "reasonable doubt" is something we entrust to our fellow citizens, even if they aren't particularly erudite. Muslim apologists, on the other hand, do everything they can to obfuscate Islam to a degree where they want to remove Islam beyond a reasonable doubt and into the realm of perfect certainty. Their methods for doing this are fairly obvious by now, one of which is to demand that every single juror be a lifelong scholar, and if one does happen to be a lifelong scholar, then to claim that one hasn't read the proper translation. The point is to try to remove judgement of islam away from the commonsense realm of reasonable doubt (fits rather well, actually, with their basic elitist, supremacist mindset).

The consequence, as you point out, is that you could be standing in front of an 18-wheeler bearing down on you, and you're standing there calculating the minutae of velocity and wind resistance instead of getting the hell out of the way.

Well I'm just an average person, sitting on a jury, asked to make a judgement about Islam. I've seen the evidence. My job isn't to make a judgement that is absolutely 100% certain. My job is simply to make a judgement beyond a REASONABLE doubt as to what Islam is about and whether it represents a threat to me and my fellow citizens. I've made that judgement. I feel very very comfortable with it. This is one juror who isn't losing any sleep.

12/6/05, 9:18 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

"try to formulate strategies for a large-scale rejection of literalism in the Islamic community in America and worldwide, so that Muslims can coexist peacefully as equals with non-Muslims without the continuing recrudescence of this supremacist impulse.”

Need some Pharisees to combat their salafist Sadducees?

12/6/05, 10:01 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Yes, JMJ raises many excellent points. Looking at the salient features of Islam, one finds that the evidence points to a grave problem. I, too, site my sources and keep a web-page of references. I use this page whenever people ask for more information. As JMJ says, where do others get their information? What are other people's sources?

I don’t think Islam is that complicated. Mohammad’s life falls into 2 periods. The mythology is quite simple. Sure there are some esoteric details that may interest others and I’ve read some funny rules and prohibitions – but they're minor points. There is a central trust of the religion as its texts show and as history shows when the religion is taken seriously.

I think Spencer is one person who gets the big-picture right. I’m not sure about every detail. But so what? As Caroline says (in the other thread) you have to use common sense and not get distracted by side-issues - and use some common sense. I pay little attention to the age of Mohammad’s wives. It’s not the main trust of the religion nor what makes it a concern to us. Others might care, but I can’t be bothered.

12/6/05, 11:10 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

According to Jmj:
When one looks at the overwhelming evidence in speech and action that we have seen in "real time" from Islam's practitioners, I think the conclusions of their desire to dominate the world and subjugate or kill all infidels cannot be overstated.

Good point! And using some common sense seems to be called for as well.

Gandalf, too, has posted good info here about those similarities. I rather imagine Gandalf can provide more points of similarities.

Of course, Spencer's comparison is controversial. But where is the reasoned answer from leading Muslims to prove Spencer's error (if he has made one)?

12/7/05, 8:05 AM  
Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Why would leading Muslims bother to respond to someone who has compared the Koran to Mein Kampf?

They ignore him the same way they ignore the rest of you "muslim scholars".

You have no relevence and no standing in scholarship. Why are you surprised when you are ignored?

12/7/05, 10:38 AM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

You have no grasp of Arab psychology. They are listening very closely. Their threats show how much they listen and care. Van Gogh and Rushdie show how much they care.

12/7/05, 12:30 PM  
Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Trying to channel Raphael Patai, Jason. Yeah, I've read him.

Largely discredited these days.

12/7/05, 1:18 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Not quite unless you believe the propaganda from discredited Edward Said. Patai is still the best although he may romanticize Arab culture to a small degree. But no one has surpassed his work in depth and scope.

12/7/05, 1:26 PM  
Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Absolutely Jason, you're qualified to declare patai the most comprehensive. The man couldn't speak Arabic and you consider him comprehensive.

I figured you for a Patai fan right off but don't you tire of coming off as the fool so often?

12/7/05, 4:26 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Couldn’t speak Arabic? Where did you get that? He learned Arabic back in the 1930s and spoke it all his adult life while living in the West Bank long before the state of Israel.

Now I know you didn't read him.

12/7/05, 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From JMJ,

Mr Ducky,

You would be so kind as to confirm or deny that:

The long term goal of Islam is to dominate the ENTIRE world through being the ONLY religion and that all infidels must subjugate to Islam or be killed.

If you could please expound on Islam and its view of killing infidels, it would be greatly appreciated. Details would be very helpful.

JMJ

12/7/05, 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read an awful lot of translations, and used to be of the opinion that "well, they can't be taken seriously" -I'm referring to the many violent and virulent surahs-but as I've aged and acquired some wisdom, I can't in any defend the Koran. It calls for the slaughter of all who refuse to acknowledge it's supremacy in all facets-political, economic, spiritual, filial, et al-of everyone's life. I can defend all the other major religions very well, but anyone who has read -and I do mean read it thoroughly with multiple translations available_ it calls for war, war and more war until no one but muslims are left. Read it, read the Hadiths. The head in the sand crowd will throw their vitriol at me but I used to be a very vociferous apologist for Islam until the middle 90's when I finally got around to reading about Muhammad and his teachings. I had previously relied on what I was told by people I knew who were muslims and sounded earnest and friendly. The actual texts are are as chilling as Mein Kampf-again, dont take my word for it-read them.

12/16/05, 1:58 AM  

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