Qaradawi's Jackass Jihad
The [Muslim] nation [of Muhammad] must rage in anger. It is told that Imam Al—Shafi' [d. 820, founder of the Shafi'ite school of Islamic jurisprudence] said: 'Whoever was angered and did not rage is a jackass.' We are not a nation of jackasses. We are not jackasses for riding, but lions that roar. We are lions that zealously protect their dens, and avenge affronts to their sanctities. We are not a nation of jackasses. We are a nation that should rage for the sake of Allah, His Prophet, and His book. We are the nation of Muhammad, and we must never accept the degradation of our religion.
Yusuf al—Qaradawi, Qatar, February 3, 2006
John Esposito, Georgetown University Professor and doyen of American apologists for jihadism, has repeatedly identified Sheikh Yusuf al—Qaradawi as one of the most influential contemporary Muslim thinkers. Qaradawi, 'spiritual' leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and head of the European Fatwa Council, reaches an enormous audience during his regular appearances on Al— Jazeera television. During a January 9, 1998 interview, Qaradawi observed that Islamic law divided the 'People of the Book'—Jews and Christians—into three categories: non—Muslims in the lands of war ('Dar al Harb'); non—Muslims in lands of temporary truce; and non—Muslims under the jurisdiction of Islamic law, i.e., the dhimmis. Qaradawi thus summarized concisely the jihad war theory formulated in the 8th and 9th centuries, which continues, through the present, to regulate the relationships between Muslims and non—Muslims.
During many subsequent pronouncements—especially those in the Arabic media—including formal sermons, or interviews, Qaradawi has elaborated both the targets and allowable 'tactics' for those contemporary Muslims whom he encourages to wage jihad. Jews, and Americans or their allies, figure prominently in these statements. For example, at the July 2003 meeting (in Stockholm) of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (which he heads), Qaradawi emphasized the orthodox Islamic basis for martyrdom operations to be directed against all Israeli citizens, whom he further described as classic harbis, licit targets in the Dar al Harb:
Those who oppose martyrdom operations and claim that they are suicide are making a great mistake. the one who carries out a martyrdom operation does not think of himself. He sacrifices himself for the sake of a higher goal, for which all sacrifices become meaningless. He sells himself to Allah in order to buy Paradise in exchange. Allah said: 'Allah has bought from the believers their souls and their properties for they shall inherit Paradise... the one who carries out a martyrdom operation has a clear goal, and that is to please Allah
It has been determined by Islamic law that the blood and property of people of Dar Al—Harb [the Domain of Disbelief where the battle for the domination of Islam should be waged] is not protected. Because they fight against and are hostile towards the Muslims, they annulled the protection of his blood and his property... in modern war, all of society, with all its classes and ethnic groups, is mobilized to participate in the war, to aid its continuation, and to provide it with the material and human fuel required for it to assure the victory of the state fighting its enemies. Every citizen in society must take upon himself a role in the effort to provide for the battle. The entire domestic front, including professionals, laborers, and industrialists, stands behind the fighting army, even if it does not bear arms. Therefore the experts say that the Zionist entity, in truth, is one army. [emphasis added]
Qaradawi's raw Judenhass melds modern racist anti—Semitism with traditional Islamic motifs—Koranic verses labeling Jews as malevolent enemies of Islam, and disobedient slayers of their own prophets who suffered justifiable abasement, including, for some, transformation into apes and swine; or the more profoundly hateful oral tradition, preserved in the hadith, which maintains that the perfidious Jews caused Muhammad's protracted, excruciating death from poisoning, and fomented sectarian strife in early Islam by promoting heresies that threatened the unity of the Muslim community (umma). Thus Qaradawi's admonitions for all out jihad against Israeli Jews, or his constant Jew—baiting, come as no surprise. However he has also called for jihad martyrdom operations against American forces in Iraq , and more ominously, Qaradawi has made unabashed appeals for Muslims to wage a 'jihad re—conquest' of Europe. His public fatwa on December 2, 2002 stated ,
'Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and a victor after being expelled from it twice — once from the south, from Andalusia, and a second time, from the east, when it knocked several times on the doors of Athens.'
Qaradawi's fatwa ruled, in addition, that Muslims should re—conquer,
'...former Islamic colonies to Andalus (Spain), southern Italy, Sicily, the Balkans and the Mediterranean islands.'
Qaradawi's inflammatory February 3, 2006 sermon, which addressed the publication of 12 rather tame Danish cartoons depicting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, must be viewed in the larger overall context of his pious jihadism, most notably Qaradawi's previous characterization of Muhammad as the prototype jihadist,
'Allah has also made the Prophet Muhammad into an epitome for religious warriors [Mujahideen] since he ordered Muhammed to fight for religion.'
The sermon from February 3, 2006 opens with seething, self—righteous anger, segues into Qaradawi's now standard, pro—forma Judenhass, including Holocaust denial, and closes, most disturbingly, with thinly veiled threats of terrorism to '...Westerners, the Americans, and Europeans'.
And there is even a morose irony to Qaradawi's otherwise humorous (self—diagnostic?) description of the Muslim masses to whom he is appealing as 'jackasses.' It was the enormous Christian and smaller Jewish populations, vanquished by jihad, and subjected to the brutal system of dhimmitude for over a millennium, who were forced to ride the ignoble jackass as one of many stigmas of their humiliation. The writings of the much lionized Sufi theologian and jurist al—Ghazali (d. 1111), and almost 600 years later, those of the important Persian Shi'ite jurist Al—Majlisi (d. 1699), provide typical Islamic (Shari'a) legal rulings which institutionalized this debasing practice:
The dhimmi may not ride an elegant horse or mule; he may ride a donkey only if the saddle[—work] is of wood. [Ghazali]
...that they should not ride upon Arabian steeds, or that they should not ride any horses at all, only mules or asses, and that they should not ride upon saddles, only on pack saddles, with [both] legs on one side [Majlisi]
The cartoonish rage being fomented by Qaradawi among erstwhile 'jackass jihadists' is hardly a laughing matter. Westerners who ignore this deliberately incited rage risk having Shari'a reimposed—making worse than jackasses those complacent modern non—Muslims whose victimized ancestors were forced, for generations, to travel side—saddle on lowly asses.
Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad.