By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
Islamic terrorism has dominated the history of Islam, as demonstrated by the murder of three of the first four Caliphs succeeding Muhammed: Umar ibn Abd al-Khattab (644 AD), Uthman Ibn Affan (656 AD) and Ali ibn Abi Talib (661 AD). Islamic terrorism has been one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes - domestically, regionally and globally - since the initial eruption of Islam in the 7th century. Historically, all Arab regimes have achieved, sustained and eventually lost power through domestic violence, subversion or terrorism.
Currently, irrespective of Israeli policies and the Palestinian issue, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Libya have become battlegrounds of rival Islamic terror organizations. All pro-US Arab regimes such as Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE face clear and present lethal terror threats. Iran and Saudi Arabia – the two leading world bankers of Islamic terrorism – confront each other militarily, economically, ideologically and religiously. Intra-Muslim fragmentation, unpredictability, instability, intolerance, subversion, terrorism and the provisional nature of Islamic regimes, their policies and agreements have been recently intensified in an unprecedented manner.
The lava of Islamic terrorism has consumed mostly Muslims in the abode of Islam, but it is aiming to sweep the abode of the “infidel,” and is currently spreading into the streets of the USA, Europe, Russia, China, India, Africa, Asia and Australia.
While most terrorists are Muslims, the majority of Muslims are not terrorists. However, most Muslim policy-makers have not represented the will of the majority, which has been systematically suppressed/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 not been triggered by social and economic deprivation or by the absence of civil liberties. It has been triggered by the fourteen 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 Qur’an, Islam is the only worthy/legitimate successor to the Abrahamic and Mosaic Judaism. Thus, the subordination of humanity to the legacy of Muhammed should be achieved, preferably, via nonviolent means (da’wah), deceit/doubletalk (Taqiyya’) and immigration (Hijra’’). 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 Qur’anic definition of terrorist (irhab) is the derivative of the verb arhaba (to terrify, scare), which is a tactic employed against the “infidel,” in order to advance the goals of Islam (Qur’an, Sura 8, verse 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 – 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 Quranic verses and Islamic history precedents as guidelines for contemporary, daily, personal, tribal, regional and national conduct. For example, Qur’an, 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/surrender themselves 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.
According to Hebrew University Prof. Moshe Sharon, a world renowned authority on Islam, "Islam came to being as a fighting religion…. Mohammed imposed his authority by means of his military strength… Islam was born in order to rule [humanity], as is only fitting for the religion of Allah which is one and exclusive…. The laws of Jihad form the basis of the relations between the Muslim world and the West…. The only possible relations between Muslims and non-Muslims are war or a limited ceasefire…. Jihad is the strategy and, therefore, agreements are a [tactical] interlude in the war [against the infidel]…. An agreement which contains anything beyond a limited armistice or ceasefire is null and void.”
Sacrificing reality and long-term national security on the altar of political correctness and short-term convenience, key Western policy-makers and public opinion molders have refused to recognize the central role (or any role) played by Islam – as advocated in Muslim schools, mosques, media and social media in Muslim and Western countries - 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 the leading Saudi daily, Asharq Al-Awsat, wrote on February 22, 2015: “ISIS is not looking for jobs, neither are Al Qaeda or Hezbollah…. According to President 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 Qaeda’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….”