Review by Frederic Leder
In a recently released volume published by Rowman and Littlefield, Professor Richard L. Rubenstein pulls together information critical to the Jewish community and the entire western world. Drawing on decades of scholarship concerning the Holocaust this book analyzes the roots of radical Islam, their ties to Nazi Germany and their intentions toward non-believers, particular Jews and Christians in Israel, Western Europe and America. The conclusions are disturbing, to say the least.
In a review this month in the New English Review, Bat Ye’or wrote the following:
“Using primary sources, religious injunctions, and related modern literature, Rubenstein exposes the universality of the jihad threat. Muslims are under the religious obligation to expand the abode of Islam by war, by peaceful means such as immigration, and da’wa (proselytism). Islamists believe global peace can only be achieved through the worldwide domination of Islam. With scholarly objectivity and balanced arguments, the author analyses the structure and implementation of jihad deployed in time and space. He underlines the two opposing interpretations of jihad, the Muslims and the non-Muslim. The Muslim sees jihad and its consequence – Islamization – as a benefit for humanity. They judge resistance of non-Muslims to Muslim forces to be a criminal war against Islam that prevents universal obedience to Allah’s injunctions. That principle dominates contemporary Islamist international policy and is used to justify its hatred against Israel, regarded as guilty of defending itself, as well as its accusation that America is itself guilty of 9/11 for its “sinful” opposition to Islamist imperialism. Similarly, western opposition to Islamization and the alleged sin of “Islamophobia” are condemned as crimes.
“Rubenstein examines the genocidal potentialities of jihad in the writings of Sayyid Qutb, one of the most influential radical Islamist thinkers. He stresses Qutb’s view that jihad is not a territorial war that can be solved by diplomatic compromise. Islamists regard Jihad as a war for Allah that aims at bringing the whole of humanity under Allah’s law. In this view, the non-Muslim world is characterized by jahiliyya, defined by Qutb as the “state of ignorance of the guidance of Allah.” According to Qutb, jahiliyya is the condition of a sub-humanity condemned to disappear. Qutb belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood movement, one of today’s most powerful organizations that propagates his teachings worldwide. These views are shared by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) that unites 57 Muslim countries and whose ultimate aim is the re-Islamization of the universal Muslim community and the restoration of the Caliphate as a global Islamic empire. This trend explains the return of some shari’a laws in Indonesia (e.g. stoning adulterers in Aceh), and the pro-Islamist evolution of Turkey. Although Qutb’s heirs may diverge on the tactical steps necessary to achieve the global Caliphate, their jihadist activities spread terror and massacres worldwide, including violence against Muslims judged insufficiently religious.”
In his final chapter, entitled “The Fruits of Rage” Rubenstein contemplates the differences between rage and anger. Anger may involve specific issues that can be resolved. Rage, particularly rage based on shame is irreconcilable. The shame of having been defeated in several wars by Jews, people in their view condemned to permanent second class status, and the shame of having been conquered and exploited by the western powers can only be expunged by conquest and domination. There is a religious imperative that impels this kind of action that cannot be debated. This is precisely what makes radical Islam so dangerous and so frightening.
Dr. Richard Rubenstein is President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Religion at Bridgeport University, He is also the Lawton Distinguished Professor of Religion, emeritus, at Florida State University, and the author of numerous books and journal articles including After Auschwitz, The Cunning of History and Approaches to Auschwitz with John K. Roth.