The battle with al Qaeda -- for our safety, for our future and for the hearts and minds of young Muslims like accused Boston Marathon Bombers Dzokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jasser, accused in Canada, by other Muslims, of plotting to derail a passenger train -- is the defining conflict of our times, but it isn't a battle al Qaeda is fighting with America, as al Qaeda claims.
No, al Qaeda is fighting Muslims for the future of our religion, and it's a battle we have known was coming someday since Muhammad's Islam began.Muhammad's companion and friend Hudhayfah reported Muhammad foretold the Muslim world eventually returning to our pre-Islamic times of Jahili/ignorance, propelled there by a series of Fitnah, a word that means a refining, dividing and defining test of our mettle, that would include:
- Muslim-on-Muslim in-fighting, leading to escalating violence and Muslim-on-Muslim murder
- Muslim Leaders playing for personal power instead of good stewardship, playing politics, mixing good deeds and bad
- Devil-hearted men -- only masquerading as Muslims and using their Arabic words and culturally Muslim appearance to do it -- calling out to Muslims from the gates of Hell
Is love what Muslims today are known for? Our Ummah was founded on love: love for Muhammad that made us follow him, love for each other that made us care for each other, and love for this world God gave us that made us strive for a better and more just world.However, love is the opposite of what we are known for now, and Muslims around the world today seem to be striving not for those love-based improvements Muhammad brought with him, but instead for the imperfections that remained:
- Muslim-on-Muslim violence, propelled by arguments over who really IS Muslim, despite the fact that harming other Muslims -- identified solely by the declaration, "La ilaha il Allah, Muhammad -ur-Rasool-Allah" meaning "There is no Lord but The Lord, and Muhammad IS His prophet" -- is the one thing Muhammad said a REAL Muslim would never do. Muhammad's Islam admitted NO distinctions in his condemnations of anti-Muslim violence
- Striving for political power, rather than serving as God's stewards and striving for justice
- Following after demon-hearted and destructive men, who claim that more injustice can fight against injustice, and that indescriminate violence and oppression are righteous Muslim tools
The self-righteous anger that seemed to motivate them, the same self-righteous anger that apparently motivates every Jihadist out there, directed at America for supposedly prosecuting a war on Islam and Muslims just by being America -- buoyed up by the admittedly horrific body count of innocents killed by the nations of the West in our "War On Terror" -- and our nation's support for Israel, that inevitably abets Israel's human rights abuses in the Occupied Territories, is all just hypocrisy. Radical Islamists have killed far more Muslims than America has, and oppress far more people throughout the world than Israel does.
I do not support the way our nations have conducted our "War On Terror," nor do I support what Israel has done in the Occupied Territories. However, killing innocents, killing other Muslims and provoking others to kill innocent Muslims either out of fear or in retaliation are not a part of Muhammad's Islam.
Radical Islam is based on ignorance of Islam, the life of Muhammad and the message of the Quran: while the Quran does contain verses that give Muslims permission to fight against oppressors and aggressors, we got that permission because Islam and Muslims were living under an existential threat -- much like the existential threat still faced by Israel -- and every permission came with it's own "cease and desist" clause in surrounding verses, commanding Muslims to stop fighting when that threat had passed. I often wonder when Muslims will realize that it's that existential threat that requires -- and allows -- Israel to fight for their survival too.
The world Muhammad fought for was a world much like our nations highest intentions, with peace and justice for all regardless of race, creed or gender, and freedom for all to pursue the paths our God had ordained for them -- something we can all strive for together -- best confirmed by his Charter of Medina, that made provision not just for Muslims and Jews, but for other faiths, and for non-believers too. I've blogged before about the example he set us when he promised to protect Christian's rights and freedoms too, and how his conquest of Mecca proved Muhammad didn't care about personal power or personal honour: all he cared about was serving God and helping make this a better world for everyone, whether they were Muslim or not.
My bottom line? Al Qaeda's attraction to ignorant Muslims is based on lies and hypocrisy that prey upon their self-righteous ignorance, men and women drawn to al Qaeda are not Muhammad's kind of men and women, and their Islam is not in any way whatsoever Muhammad's Islam. And in these times of ignorance Muhammad predicted I think that leaves us all with an obvious choice to make.
The only good thing about a Fitnah is that it really gives you a chance to decide who's side you're on.