End the Masquerade of the 'Religion of Peace'

The Telegraph reported on September 19th the arrest and conviction of the UK's youngest terrorist, Hammaad Munshi, who was just 15 when he became a member of a "terrorist cell believed to have been plotting against the Royal family". The report stated:

Munshi was arrested on his way home from a GCSE chemistry exam in 2006. He had two small bags of ball-bearings - key components of a suicide vest. Anti-terrorist officers also discovered notes on how to make napalm, detonators and grenades on his home computer. Now 18, he was found guilty last month of compiling information likely to be useful in terrorism.

He was given two years in a young offenders' institution.

What startles about this case is not just Munshi's young age. But all the false statements about Islam that are given voice by the ignorant reporter, as if the texts and tenets of Islam had categorically nothing to do with Munshi's behaviour, nor that of the cell he was involved in.

Mr Malik, the Dewsbury MP and a Muslim, is reported to have said: "It is a real wake-up call for parents because there is a real need to be vigilant, especially when their kids are on the internet [sic]". He stated that:

Mosques have done a lot, but they need to do more in terms of telling young people what is acceptable and what is not in Islam." (emphasis added)

What is the "lot" that mosques have done? Malik failed to clarify, or the Telegraph failed to report him clarify, what he meant by this. Was he saying that mosques have taken steps to combat terrorism and "extremism", and if so, which mosques was he was talking about?

Was he referring to any of the quarter of British mosques shown by a Policy Exchange survey last year to contain hate-literature? Or, perhaps, to some of those mosques that were held up as paragons of moderation, but have since been revealed, in Channel 4's Undercover Mosque documentaries, as hotbeds of misogynist, antisemite and homophobic hate-preaching?

As for Malik's statement, unquestioned in this news report, that mosques "need to do more in terms of telling young people what is acceptable and what is not in Islam", let's get this straight: what is not just "acceptable" but a legal obligation on the Muslim community as-a-whole is to wage jihad-struggle in the "path of Allah"-against non-believers to ensure Islam's pre-eminent place in the world.

This legal injunction, as does all Islamic law, originates from Islam's canonical scriptures. Over a hundred verses in the Qur'an command Muslims to fight non-Muslims, the fundamental goal of which is universal Islamic hegemony. One of the most unambiguous verses puts it thus:

And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression [i.e. desistance from Islam], and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do (8:39) (emphasis added).

As if to pre-empt and counter the possibility of Muslim dissent from this sacred injunction, the Qur'an provides little room for ambivalence:

Fighting is prescribed for you, even though you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, while you know not (2:216) (emphasis added).

According to the great Muslim philosopher Ibn Rushd (1126-1198), also a jurist of the Maliki school of Islamic law (which was named after its founder Malik Ibn Anas (d. 795), perhaps an ancestor of the Muslim MP), almost all Muslim scholars agree that "the compulsory nature of the jihad" is founded on this verse.

The Qur'an also makes clear in numerous verses (for example, 4:74, 4:100, 9:111, 61:10) that intrinsic to the doctrine of jihad is a salvific covenant: in return for sacrificing one's life and wealth for Islam Allah promises redemption in the highest levels of paradise. Islamic martyrdom operations targeting non-Muslims are usually-and wrongly-described by Western media and governments in terms of "suicide" terrorism. The default assumption that "suicide" bombings are borne from despair and desperation has particular traction since the doctrine of jihad and the central role of martyrdom is almost universally ignored.

Jihad -- as warfare to establish Islamic hegemony -- also features strongly in the Sunna, the body of texts that describe the word and deeds of Muhammad. The Sunna is comprised of two sets of works: the hadiths, the "traditions" of Muhammad's words and deeds as recorded by pious Muslim transmitters, and the sira, the biography of Muhammad written by authoritative Muslim scribes such as Ibn Ishaq (d. 767) and al-Tabari (d. 923).

Muhammad's stated mission in the last years before his death was to ensure the absolute reign of Islam. According to a hadith compiled by al-Bukhari, considered the compiler of the most authentic collection of hadiths in orthodox Islam, Muhammad decreed:

I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.' And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah (1:8:387) (emphasis added).

Munshi's grandfather, who is the president of the Islamic Research Institute of Great Britain and a judge at an unofficial shari'a court in Dewsbury, stated:

This case demonstrates how a young impressionable teenager can be groomed so easily through the internet [sic] to associate with those whose views run contrary to true Muslim beliefs and values (emphasis added).

As a shari'a court judge, he ought to know full well that Munshi's views (and planned deeds) were perfectly in line with Islamic law.

Umdat al-Salik, the Reliance of the Traveller, is a manual of Islamic law that serves as a comprehensive guide to the shari'a as it applies to all aspects of Islamic governance. It was complied in the fourteenth century by the Muslim scholar al-Misri, and is authorised by the highest learning institution in Sunni Islam, al-Azhar University in Cairo. It describes clearly the duty of jihad:


Jihad means to wage war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion ...

The scriptural basis for jihad, prior to scholarly consensus is such Koranic verses as:

(1) "Fighting is prescribed for you" (Koran 2:216);

(2) "Slay them wherever you find them" (Koran 4:89);

(3) "Fight the idolators utterly" (Koran 9:36);

and such hadiths as the one related by Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet ... said:

"I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat [alms]. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah";

and the hadith reported by Muslim,

"To go forth in the morning or evening and fight in the path of Allah is better than the whole world and everything in it" (Amana publications, 1994 edition, p.599, section o9.0; italics in the original; underlined italics: added emphasis).

Judge Timothy Pontius, who sentenced Munshi, said, in ignorance of the legal-religious basis of jihad terrorism:

I have no doubt that you, among others of similar immaturity and vulnerability, fell under the spell of fanatical extremists. They took advantage of your youthful naïvety in order to indoctrinate you with pernicious and warped ideas masquerading as altruistic religious zeal.

When will British judges and MPs stop contributing to the masquerade of Islam as a "religion of peace"? It cannot be considered so once it is acknowledged that the doctrine of jihad is an integral feature of its orthodox teachings. Even if some of the earlier "revelations"-which pre-date the apex of Muhammad's militant career and are considered as "abrogated" by orthodox Islamic scholars-are conciliatory in tone, this does not change the pre-eminence of jihad warfare within mainstream Islamic theology and law.

This is not to claim that "radical" Islam is the only Islam or represents the "real" Islam: exposure of the supremacist teachings within Islam's canonical texts does not rely on such a claim. Yet the diversity of Muslim religious practice or Muslim "sects" is no counter argument, as it is sometimes posed, to the existence of the jural-theological centrality of jihad within orthodox Islamic doctrine. No matter whether Muslim individuals or "communities" dissent from or ignore it, classical Islamic doctrine still contains the ideological seeds of violence and intolerance against non-believers. Even if we concede that there are many "Islams"-or interpretations of Islam as is commonly said-then this includes, and does nothing to assist refute, the interpretation of Islam as a supremacist political ideology.

The fact that the doctrine of jihad is supported by the majority of Islamic scholars and jurist-consults in all of the orthodox schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and is based upon the Qur'an and Sunna, presents significant problems for enjoining Muslim support for counter-jihad efforts. Ex-Muslim and non-Muslim scholars such as Ibn Warraq, Bat Ye'or, Andrew G. Bostom and Robert Spencer have made this point eloquently with extensive reference to Islamic scripture and history.

But the fact that this has been consistently denied and obfuscated by Western governments, academia and media presents even greater problems for the West's ability to recognise the importance of formulating counter-jihad strategies in the first place.
The Telegraph reported on September 19th the arrest and conviction of the UK's youngest terrorist, Hammaad Munshi, who was just 15 when he became a member of a "terrorist cell believed to have been plotting against the Royal family". The report stated:

Munshi was arrested on his way home from a GCSE chemistry exam in 2006. He had two small bags of ball-bearings - key components of a suicide vest. Anti-terrorist officers also discovered notes on how to make napalm, detonators and grenades on his home computer. Now 18, he was found guilty last month of compiling information likely to be useful in terrorism.

He was given two years in a young offenders' institution.

What startles about this case is not just Munshi's young age. But all the false statements about Islam that are given voice by the ignorant reporter, as if the texts and tenets of Islam had categorically nothing to do with Munshi's behaviour, nor that of the cell he was involved in.

Mr Malik, the Dewsbury MP and a Muslim, is reported to have said: "It is a real wake-up call for parents because there is a real need to be vigilant, especially when their kids are on the internet [sic]". He stated that:

Mosques have done a lot, but they need to do more in terms of telling young people what is acceptable and what is not in Islam." (emphasis added)

What is the "lot" that mosques have done? Malik failed to clarify, or the Telegraph failed to report him clarify, what he meant by this. Was he saying that mosques have taken steps to combat terrorism and "extremism", and if so, which mosques was he was talking about?

Was he referring to any of the quarter of British mosques shown by a Policy Exchange survey last year to contain hate-literature? Or, perhaps, to some of those mosques that were held up as paragons of moderation, but have since been revealed, in Channel 4's Undercover Mosque documentaries, as hotbeds of misogynist, antisemite and homophobic hate-preaching?

As for Malik's statement, unquestioned in this news report, that mosques "need to do more in terms of telling young people what is acceptable and what is not in Islam", let's get this straight: what is not just "acceptable" but a legal obligation on the Muslim community as-a-whole is to wage jihad-struggle in the "path of Allah"-against non-believers to ensure Islam's pre-eminent place in the world.

This legal injunction, as does all Islamic law, originates from Islam's canonical scriptures. Over a hundred verses in the Qur'an command Muslims to fight non-Muslims, the fundamental goal of which is universal Islamic hegemony. One of the most unambiguous verses puts it thus:

And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression [i.e. desistance from Islam], and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do (8:39) (emphasis added).

As if to pre-empt and counter the possibility of Muslim dissent from this sacred injunction, the Qur'an provides little room for ambivalence:

Fighting is prescribed for you, even though you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, while you know not (2:216) (emphasis added).

According to the great Muslim philosopher Ibn Rushd (1126-1198), also a jurist of the Maliki school of Islamic law (which was named after its founder Malik Ibn Anas (d. 795), perhaps an ancestor of the Muslim MP), almost all Muslim scholars agree that "the compulsory nature of the jihad" is founded on this verse.

The Qur'an also makes clear in numerous verses (for example, 4:74, 4:100, 9:111, 61:10) that intrinsic to the doctrine of jihad is a salvific covenant: in return for sacrificing one's life and wealth for Islam Allah promises redemption in the highest levels of paradise. Islamic martyrdom operations targeting non-Muslims are usually-and wrongly-described by Western media and governments in terms of "suicide" terrorism. The default assumption that "suicide" bombings are borne from despair and desperation has particular traction since the doctrine of jihad and the central role of martyrdom is almost universally ignored.

Jihad -- as warfare to establish Islamic hegemony -- also features strongly in the Sunna, the body of texts that describe the word and deeds of Muhammad. The Sunna is comprised of two sets of works: the hadiths, the "traditions" of Muhammad's words and deeds as recorded by pious Muslim transmitters, and the sira, the biography of Muhammad written by authoritative Muslim scribes such as Ibn Ishaq (d. 767) and al-Tabari (d. 923).

Muhammad's stated mission in the last years before his death was to ensure the absolute reign of Islam. According to a hadith compiled by al-Bukhari, considered the compiler of the most authentic collection of hadiths in orthodox Islam, Muhammad decreed:

I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.' And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah (1:8:387) (emphasis added).

Munshi's grandfather, who is the president of the Islamic Research Institute of Great Britain and a judge at an unofficial shari'a court in Dewsbury, stated:

This case demonstrates how a young impressionable teenager can be groomed so easily through the internet [sic] to associate with those whose views run contrary to true Muslim beliefs and values (emphasis added).

As a shari'a court judge, he ought to know full well that Munshi's views (and planned deeds) were perfectly in line with Islamic law.

Umdat al-Salik, the Reliance of the Traveller, is a manual of Islamic law that serves as a comprehensive guide to the shari'a as it applies to all aspects of Islamic governance. It was complied in the fourteenth century by the Muslim scholar al-Misri, and is authorised by the highest learning institution in Sunni Islam, al-Azhar University in Cairo. It describes clearly the duty of jihad:


Jihad means to wage war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion ...

The scriptural basis for jihad, prior to scholarly consensus is such Koranic verses as:

(1) "Fighting is prescribed for you" (Koran 2:216);

(2) "Slay them wherever you find them" (Koran 4:89);

(3) "Fight the idolators utterly" (Koran 9:36);

and such hadiths as the one related by Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet ... said:

"I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat [alms]. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah";

and the hadith reported by Muslim,

"To go forth in the morning or evening and fight in the path of Allah is better than the whole world and everything in it" (Amana publications, 1994 edition, p.599, section o9.0; italics in the original; underlined italics: added emphasis).

Judge Timothy Pontius, who sentenced Munshi, said, in ignorance of the legal-religious basis of jihad terrorism:

I have no doubt that you, among others of similar immaturity and vulnerability, fell under the spell of fanatical extremists. They took advantage of your youthful naïvety in order to indoctrinate you with pernicious and warped ideas masquerading as altruistic religious zeal.

When will British judges and MPs stop contributing to the masquerade of Islam as a "religion of peace"? It cannot be considered so once it is acknowledged that the doctrine of jihad is an integral feature of its orthodox teachings. Even if some of the earlier "revelations"-which pre-date the apex of Muhammad's militant career and are considered as "abrogated" by orthodox Islamic scholars-are conciliatory in tone, this does not change the pre-eminence of jihad warfare within mainstream Islamic theology and law.

This is not to claim that "radical" Islam is the only Islam or represents the "real" Islam: exposure of the supremacist teachings within Islam's canonical texts does not rely on such a claim. Yet the diversity of Muslim religious practice or Muslim "sects" is no counter argument, as it is sometimes posed, to the existence of the jural-theological centrality of jihad within orthodox Islamic doctrine. No matter whether Muslim individuals or "communities" dissent from or ignore it, classical Islamic doctrine still contains the ideological seeds of violence and intolerance against non-believers. Even if we concede that there are many "Islams"-or interpretations of Islam as is commonly said-then this includes, and does nothing to assist refute, the interpretation of Islam as a supremacist political ideology.

The fact that the doctrine of jihad is supported by the majority of Islamic scholars and jurist-consults in all of the orthodox schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and is based upon the Qur'an and Sunna, presents significant problems for enjoining Muslim support for counter-jihad efforts. Ex-Muslim and non-Muslim scholars such as Ibn Warraq, Bat Ye'or, Andrew G. Bostom and Robert Spencer have made this point eloquently with extensive reference to Islamic scripture and history.

But the fact that this has been consistently denied and obfuscated by Western governments, academia and media presents even greater problems for the West's ability to recognise the importance of formulating counter-jihad strategies in the first place.