Jihad is intrinsic to Islam

By Ted Belman

A few weeks ago I participated on a panel on World Affairs on the Michael Coren Show. I have uploaded the program onto UTUBE in seven five minute segments numbered 1 to 7.

In my naiveté, I told the truth, namely the Jihad was intrinsic to Islam and that Jihad ‘s goal is to conquer the world. That didn’t go down well but I didn’t realize that it got stuck in Coren’s throat.

Rochelle Wilner, a good friend of mine and Conservative candidate for the next federal election in Canada wrote to Michael Coren

I watched your show tonight and thought you were all a little dismissive of Ted’s comments and one of your guests even played the politically correct card in trying to silence a legitimate discussion on the important topic of Islamist extremism and what fuels it.

The following is an article that might offer some insight into this very important issue.
Questioning Whether Islam Is Religion of Peace BY YOUSSEF IBRAHIM

    The Islamists are vocal and there are millions of them worldwide. They are not the least bit interested in being politically correct nor are they interested in the preservation of Western values of democracy and freedom – rather, they are interested in using these freedoms to deny us our democratic rights – take the Danish cartoon fiasco as a perfect example.

Speaking the truth is not racist – until and unless more ‘moderates’ like Youseff Ibrahim and Mshari Al Zaydi speak out the world will continue to be attacked by terrorists whether in Scotland, London, Bali, New York, Madrid or Jerusalem. Let’s hope and pray sanity prevails.

I followed up with this letter to Coren bringing to his attention an article by Ed West, Catholic Herald, “Jihad Will Destroy Us If We Don’t Act Now”

It deals exactly with the issue that I raised and which engendered strenuous resistance. Here is an extract.

Jihad Watch, launched in 2003, has allowed him to answer his critics, and especially charges of “Islamophobia”, a label he dismisses.

    “It’s a fictional, trumped-up political term, there to deflect attention away from the violence committed by Muslims in the name of Islam. Victim status equals privileged status in the West. People know they can be free from criticism and ordinary scrutiny.

    The best way to counter genuine hatred of Muslims would be for the Islamic community to end their support for the ideology of violence.”

His greatest critics come from that element of the Left supportive of Islam against “the West”, a marriage seen by renegade liberals and socialists as the most ill-conceived alliance since a distinctly non-Aryan Japan sided with Nazi Germany.

To Spencer it makes perfect sense.

    “There is a deep ideological affinity between the Left and the jihadists. Whenever the hard Left gained power they instituted a reign of terror in order to create what they envisage as a just society, brought about by force. Islamic law works in much the same way: utopia created by force.”

Other critics suggest that by presenting jihad as the authentic voice of Islam, Spencer undermines the religion’s more moderate strains. One opponent even suggested he was a “one-man recruiting agent for al-Qaeda”.

    “I have never said that anyone’s view of Islam is correct, but what I do say is that the jihadists constantly portray themselves as the true voice of Islam, and the moderates have never mounted an adequate comeback,

    There is no true Islam, there is no pope of Islam, but the eight classical schools of Islam all teach warfare against unbelievers. We deceive ourselves if we think [violence] is just something that’s manufactured by the Wahhabis and not present in Islam in general. They teach it but they certainly didn’t invent it.

A chief recruiting ground is secular Europe, where the decline of Christianity has created a dangerous vacuum.

    “No doubt about it, young men feel rootless, they feel that life doesn’t have any purpose. Against the West, which they have come to despise, [jihad] is attractive. It offers adamantine certainties.”

Michael sent me an email in response in which he suggested that my “literal approach does not take reality into account.” He pleaded for more sophistication. I decided not to reprint the email because I don’t have Michael’s permission to do so. Suffice to say it dressed me down.

I responded,

Thanks Michael. I can assure you that the discussions on Israpundit have a great deal of sophistication. It is very hard to force considerable knowledge or sophistication into a two liner.

I watched the program and felt that I presented my views in the little time available quite cogently. The fact that everyone attacked me doesn’t take away from it. On the contrary, it shows the resistance to such views.

Michael responded to Rochelle

Thanks so very much. He deserved far worse. He was crass, facile and did our cause much damage. We need sophisticated criticisms of Islam otherwise we play into the hands of the extremists. I’ve been working for a long time tell the truth about all this and then we have the, “All Muslims are ,,,.” brigade. Spare me. Thanks again.

The strange thing is, I never once said “All Muslims are ,,,.” and never would.

Rochelle came to my defence

I particularly noted your comment that Ted’s comments were ‘crass and facile’ and I must disagree with you. Ted Belman merely made the point that jihad is intrinsic to Islam – is this not true? Why is it crass to say this and how does it hurt the cause to call a spade a spade? I would think it hurts the cause far more to obfuscate the truth. You are quite right that one can not brand all of the Muslims as terrorists but we know from our history that those who stand idly by and do or say nothing about the atrocities they well know are occurring are just as complicit by their silence as those committing the act. The moderate voice, for the most part, has been silent for the very reason you expressed on your show – the death threats are daunting and not all are up for the challenge. But that doesn’t make the situation better.

As far as the argument that world domination is not the agenda – look at Great Britain and the pressure being put on the government to avoid connecting terrorists to Muslims and what about France where 10% of the population is Muslim and fear of democratic institutions eroding are very real and what about Denmark where the incredible cartoon fiasco arose.

Quite amazing, isn’t it, that the entire democratic world was held ransom and freedom of expression was subverted by those who use our very own values and laws to promote their own agenda. I for one am not a believer of Mohammed, yet I was denied seeing the ‘offensive’ cartoons in any mainstream newspaper of media. If only offensive antisemitic cartoons and worse were banned from being published!

Ted said nothing crass – he might have been politically incorrect but we must look realistically at the threats we are facing. If the moderates are uncomfortable then for goodness sake let them speak out against those in their own community who sully their good name.

As a result of this exchange, I decided to make my position clear and wrote to Michael

You misjudged me and I want to set the record straight.

I said Jihad is intrinsic to Islam and non severable from it.” Anyone will confirm this, though some say Jihad means violent struggle and others say Jihad also means inner struggle. So what is the truth?

Daniel Pipes asks What is Jihad?

[..] It means the legal, compulsory, communal effort to expand the territories ruled by Muslims at the expense of territories ruled by non-Muslims.

The purpose of jihad, in other words, is not directly to spread the Islamic faith but to extend sovereign Muslim power (faith, of course, often follows the flag). Jihad is thus unabashedly offensive in nature, with the eventual goal of achieving Muslim dominion over the entire globe.

[..] Jihad in the sense of territorial expansion has always been a central aspect of Muslim life. That’s how Muslims came to rule much of the Arabian Peninsula by the time of the Prophet Muhammad’s death in 632. It’s how, a century later, Muslims had conquered a region from Afghanistan to Spain. Subsequently, jihad spurred and justified Muslim conquests of such territories as India, Sudan, Anatolia, and the Balkans.

Despite jihad’s record as a leading source of conflict for 14 centuries, causing untold human suffering, academic and Islamic apologists claim it permits only defensive fighting, or even that it is entirely non-violent. Three American professors of Islamic studies colorfully make the latter point, explaining jihad as:

    * An “effort against evil in the self and every manifestation of evil in society” (Ibrahim Abu-Rabi, Hartford Seminary);
    * “Resisting apartheid or working for women’s rights” (Farid Eseck, Auburn Seminary), and
    * “Being a better student, a better colleague, a better business partner. Above all, to control one’s anger” (Bruce Lawrence, Duke University).

It would be wonderful were jihad to evolve into nothing more aggressive than controlling one’s anger, but that will not happen simply by wishing away a gruesome reality. To the contrary, the pretense of a benign jihad obstructs serious efforts at self-criticism and reinterpretation.[..]

In the article that I sent you Spencer is quoted

    I have never said that anyone’s view of Islam is correct, but what I do say is that the jihadists constantly portray themselves as the true voice of Islam, and the moderates have never mounted an adequate comeback, There is no true Islam, there is no pope of Islam, but the eight classical schools of Islam all teach warfare against unbelievers. We deceive ourselves if we think [violence] is just something that’s manufactured by the Wahhabis and not present in Islam in general. They teach it but they certainly didn’t invent it.

Accordingly my statement above quoted is correct.

I also said that Islam is bent on world conquest. You thought that I was wrong and only extremists like al Qaeda are intent on it.

Pipes, above quoted, wrote “The purpose of jihad, in other words, is not directly to spread the Islamic faith but to extend sovereign Muslim power..”

Spencer is quoted above “We deceive ourselves if we think [violence] is just something that�s manufactured by the Wahhabis and not present in Islam in general.

So once again I am correct.

I also said that wherever elections in Muslim countries have been held as of late, the Islamists go from strength to strength. This is true in Lebanon, Egypt, Morrocco, Palestinian territories, Turkey and Indonesia to name a few.

With current trends supported by an ascendant Iran, Islamists, if not stopped, will encompass the whole Middle East and also Africa. Pakistan and Afghanistan are likely to fall to them. Europe is teetering on the edge.

Aside from the reality that Muslims are choosing Islamist governments, I said nothing about Muslims in general except to say that if they rejected the view set out above they were considered as apostates. That doesn’t mean that they don’t exists.

But did you know that Saudi Arabia finances Wahabbi madrassas all over the world. They also finance mosques all over the world in which they install Wahabbi trained Imans. It has been recorded that 80% of US mosques are under their sway. They want to do the same thing that al Qaeda wants to do (they are also their biggest financiers) except they are prepared to take longer to do it.

Irshat Manji who styles herself as a reformer just wrote Manji: “moderates” vs “reformers” The Dar Al-Victimhood, Judeopundit

    Irshad Manji, writing in The Australian, makes an interesting distinction between “Moderate Muslims” and “Reform-minded Muslims”:

    Moderate Muslims denounce violence in the name of Islam but deny that Islam has anything to do with it. By their denial, moderates abandon the ground of theological interpretation to those with malignant intentions, effectively telling would-be terrorists that they can get away with abuses of power because mainstream Muslims won�t challenge the fanatics with bold, competing interpretations. To do so would be admit that religion is a factor. Moderate Muslims can’t go there.

    Reform-minded Muslims say it’s time to admit that Islam�s scripture and history are being exploited. They argue for reinterpretation precisely to put the would-be terrorists on notice that their monopoly is over.

Denial that religion has anything to do with terror is one side of the coin. The other side is that many Moderate Muslims, using a vocabulary of concepts supplied by the Western Left, have embraced the politics of victimhood.

And it is not just that Muslims thereby let religious extremism off the hook; political extremism also involves hatred of the West, and religious extremists can recruit among an already enraged population. A recent Al-Ahram editorial (entitled, of all things, “In a state of denial”) presents a wide-spread view of the world divided into the Dar Al-Colonialism and the Dar Al-Victimhood:

Thus Irshat thus advises “mainstream Muslims won’t challenge the fanatics with bold, competing interpretations. To do so would be admit that religion is a factor. Moderate Muslims can’t go there.”

Reform minded Muslims argue for “reinterpretations.”.

In my article America’s Limited Options, I set out my position.

    So it is my belief that we should say what is wrong with Islam itself as opposed to radical Islam so that we strengthen reformers who need our support in so doing. Only this way will they have the courage to come forward.

I received no reply. Nevertheless, I want to stress Michael Coren is one of the good guys fighting the good fight. We just disagree on this issue.

July 27, 2007 | 8 Comments »

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8 Comments / 8 Comments

  1. In cases like this I’ve found it helpful to print up a list of nothing but quotes from the Quran, the Hadith (Bukhari or Muslim), and the Sira (I use Ibn Ishaq’s), along with their corresponding text citation numbers and the link to websites where they can be read in context, that way they can’t say this is Pipe’s opinion, Manji’s opinion, etc.

    I even have photocopied pages out of my Quran with the Arabic text and transliteration alongside the English, highlighting certain parts, so they can see the context.

  2. ized versions of almost al

    Perhaps, like many people, Coren has simply no idea of what “real” or “higher level” religious practices are.

    I can assure all who read here, as if it weren’t obvious, that Islam is more an ideology than a pure religion, although there are reputedly some who have managed to distill some beauty from it.

    What is apparently lost is the fact that God is God, no matter how one worships Him and no matter what name you give to Him. By talking about other religions essentially worshipping the Devil, as if this were God’s competitor, Muslims are in fact committing blasphemy; there can be only one God, no matter how He manifests.

  3. Thanks for posting the series; I read about the show just a few minutes before it ended and so missed it live.

    As you say, Coren is ultimately one of the good guys. Some facts are just too hard to handle.

  4. Saloman Benzimra wrote

    I watched the MC Show last night. I didn’t like the format: too many topics are crammed in hardly 40 minutes, with 4 participants and the moderator all enthralled by too many commercials. There is no way to develop any of the topics intelligently, especially when the issues deal with Russia, China, the Middle East, etc. I think Michael Coren should be made aware of that.

    On the specific issue that you discussed (Islam), I am sure that with enough time you would have clarified your points that were, I believe, largely misunderstood. There is no doubt that the Islamists have an ideology of world conquest and this ideology is entirely inspired by Islam and its core writings (Koran, Hadiths, etc.). However, there are hundreds of millions of Muslims who do not subscribe to it, especially enlightened Muslims like Irshad Manji, Salim Mansur, Sheikh Palazzi and many prominent others. The issue should be: will the “moderate” Muslims dissociate themselves from these Koranic writings and say it openly, or are they tacitly condoning world conquest?

    If the former is right, then it will take a major reassessment of the “word of God”, something akin to what happened in Christianity in the past centuries. But if the latter is true, one may wonder whether the silent majority remains silent by fear or by conviction, and in both cases, the danger wordwide is real.

  5. Gary Gerofsky wrote

    I found the debate very revealing when Ted Belman pointed out that Islam is not a religion of peace but of conquest and when offered democracy they (Islamists) choose Islamic fundamentalism and jihad over secularism, terrorism over humanitarianism, and maintain a world view shaped by violence rather than business and law and order (sharia instead). His point was backed up by his mention of a number of Muslim countries where free choice (or general chaos as in Iraq) has led to more jihad rather than less. The people in the street usually opt for jihad over peace and prosperity.

    Several others on the panel, including Michael Coren, jumped on Ted and basically called him a bigot, simplistic and arrogant. Coren stills holds fast to the notion that a small minority of Muslims are the
    culprits and, the strangest thing he said was that these Islamists just want Islam for their own countries; they are not tied to a collective effort to establish Islam worldwide and their campaign is merely a series of unrelated and separate terror initiatives that have nothing to do with world conquest.

    I am not sure how one can view the individual terror groups and terror states as being disconnected and not part of a larger unified plan to take over. They are connected by dogma and their cultish violent beliefs, by financial backing from the usual suspects, and by close coordination among them. Even the Sunni-Shia split is not enough to stop their work as one unified global terrorist force. We see it happening in North
    Africa, in Europe, and in every arena where Muslims are in charge or in high numbers. Not to mention Hamas, Hezbollah and the others who surely don’t just want Gaza, The West Bank and Southern Lebanon for themselves, but who also want all of Israel (and Egypt and Jordan too). If the terror movement is not viewed as international in scope by the Michael Coren guests, then they must have had their heads buried in the sand
    for last 50 years.

    It will not be possible to stop terrorism until we admit that the Islamic assault on Israel is one and the same as the assault on Iraq and the assault on Pakistan, etc, by the armies of Islam. Poverty is not what
    unites them, because we know that they reject prosperity when it is offered to them on a sliver platter. Terrorism against Israel is the same as terrorism against anyone else. There is no justification for terrorism anywhere and nothing in the history and politics of Israel that grants the right of the pigs of terror to attack and destroy Israel.

    The idea that some terrorism is justified and isolated due to an unresolved need for the Arabs and Islamists to dominate the ME is absurd, bigoted and simplistic: criticisms leveled at Ted for suggesting the opposite.

  6. Solette wrote

    Hi Ted:

    You are a real gentleman. I think I would have spit at Michael Coren, not to mention what I might have done to the dark haired young apologist for all Muslims.

    When Michael disputed so definitively that Islam’s raison d’etre is to take over the world, I was shocked at what is either his ignorance or his postured disingenuousness.

    I was so annoyed, I finally turned it off. Shouldn’t do that but I’m not feeling very patient these days and that was beyond the pale. ‘Hope for you that it got a little better after that point.

    Sitting on public boards, I learned to be more than patient in difficult situations and how to be a politely tough Chairman when necessary. Michael needs to develop some manners and I don’t need to be patient with programs like that.

  7. Harold Pomerantz wrote

    Saw you on TV this evening Ted. You did well. Too many people on the panel to really get everyone in on the conversation. Can’t really say I like Michael. Jo-Ann calls him an anti-Semitic SOB. I had heated conversations with him about Israel on the radio many years ago and through emails. Too pious and self righteous. His Muslim friends only want peace was his line and we seldom agreed on anything.

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