Ibn War­raq Takes on Apol­o­gists' Lies in “The Is­lam in Is­lamic Ter­ror­ism: the Im­por­tance of Be­liefs, Ideas & Ide­ol­ogy”

The Jewish Voice - - BOOK REVIEW - By: Bruce Bawer

Dou­glas Mur­ray, whose book The Strange Death of Europe I ap­plauded here the other day, has called him “one of the great he­roes of our time.” I fully agree. His name – or, at least, his pen name – is Ibn War­raq, and he's the au­thor of such im­por­tant and elo­quent works as Why I Am Not a Mus­lim (which I wrote about here eleven years ago), Why the West Is Best (which I re­viewed here five years ago), and What the Ko­ran Re­ally Says. Born in In­dia and ed­u­cated in Bri­tain, War­raq be­gan crit­i­ciz­ing Is­lam in print dur­ing the 1988-89 Satanic Verses con­tro­versy, when he was ap­palled by the fail­ure of cel­e­brated writ­ers and in­tel­lec­tu­als to de­fend Sal­man Rushdie's free­dom of speech. War­raq, who was then based in France and now lives in the U.S., has been pub­lish­ing books on Is­lam ever since, and is one of the essen­tial con­tem­po­rary au­thors on the sub­ject, coura­geously telling ugly truths about a re­li­gion – an ide­ol­ogy – that has been swathed in pretty lies.

His new book, The Is­lam in Is­lamic Ter­ror­ism: The Im­por­tance of Be­liefs, Ideas, and Ide­ol­ogy, is (if it doesn't sound a bit odd to put it this way) a god­send – a com­pre­hen­sive an­swer to ev­ery one of those du­plic­i­tous politi­cians, lily-liv­ered jour­nal­ists, and slimy pro­fes­sional “ex­perts” and “con­sul­tants” who tire­lessly in­sist that Mus­lim ter­ror­ists have hi­jacked a peace­ful faith. Some of us don't need to be told that this “Re­li­gion of Peace” stuff is ar­rant non­sense; but in­nu­mer­able apol­o­gists con­tinue to ab­solve Is­lam it­self of guilt for vi­o­lent ter­ror, and tens of mil­lions of peo­ple in the West con­tinue to buy their bull – some be­cause they are them­selves so pure of heart that they sim­ply can't be­lieve any re­li­gion would ac­tu­ally preach vi­o­lence, and oth­ers be­cause ad­mit­ting the facts would make them feel like big­ots.

Many apol­o­gists in­sist that vi­o­lence in the name of Is­lam is a rel­a­tively re­cent de­vel­op­ment; War­raq makes it crys­tal clear that it's pre­scribed in the Ko­ran and has been prac­ticed from the out­set. Since 9/11, apol­o­gists have at­trib­uted Is­lamic ter­ror­ism to such “root causes” as poverty, the Is­raeli-Pales­tinian con­flict, U.S. for­eign pol­icy, Western im­pe­ri­al­ism, and the Cru­sades – any­thing but Is­lam it­self. About this de­ter­mi­na­tion to for­mu­late so­phis­ti­cated an­swers to a question that the ter­ror­ists them­selves have al­ready an­swered re­peat­edly and defini­tively, War­raq ob­serves that “[t]he cen­tral­ity of re­li­gion in the Is­lamic world is some­thing that Western lib­er­als fail to un­der­stand or take se­ri­ously.” This isn't just true; it's one of the tragic re­al­i­ties of our time.

One by one, War­raq ex­pertly shreds ev­ery one of the apol­o­gists' fake “ex­pla­na­tions” for ter­ror. Im­pe­ri­al­ism? War­raq re­minds us that Mus­lims, too, have been im­pe­ri­al­ists, de­stroy­ing “thou­sands of churches, syn­a­gogues, and tem­ples...in a most bru­tal fash­ion” and ex­ter­mi­nat­ing “whole civ­i­liza­tions such as the Pre-Is­lamic cul­tures of Iran (Zoroas­tri­ans) and the Assyr­i­ans.” Saudi Ara­bia, home­land of fif­teen of the nineteen 9/11 hi­jack­ers, “was never col­o­nized by the West” but was, rather, part of an Is­lamic em­pire – namely the Ot­toman Em­pire, gov­erned by Turks from Con­stantino­ple. If those Saudis were spurred by a rage at em­pire, why not fly a plane into the Ha­gia Sophia?

No, as War­raq demon­strates, there's no way around it: Is­lamic ter­ror­ism is ji­had. And ji­had is a found­ing Is­lamic con­cept. The apol­o­gists, of course, have their own line on this one, too: un­der true Is­lam, they say, the word ji­had­de­notes an in­ner spir­i­tual process, and has noth­ing to do with vi­o­lence; when ter­ror­ists use the word to de­scribe their depre­da­tions, they're dis­tort­ing the word and the faith. War­raq, cit­ing a wide range of schol­arly sources – both Western and Is­lamic, some re­cent and some dat­ing back to the eighth cen­tury – puts that ful­some false­hood firmly in its place: yes, ji­had can be used to mean an in­ner strug­gle, but in the Ko­ran and Ha­dith, and in key texts ever since, it al­ways refers, above all, to the sa­cred obli­ga­tion to ad­vance Is­lam by means of armed ac­tion against un­be­liev­ers.

War­raq also gives us a sweep­ing – but suc­cinct – les­son in the history of ji­had, be­gin­ning with Muhammed's own con­quests, then mov­ing on to ninththrough eleventh-cen­tury Baghdad, sev­en­teenth-cen­tury Con­stantino­ple, eigh­teenth-cen­tury Saudi Ara­bia, and so on, right up to to­day's Mus­lim Brother­hood. Of course the apol­o­gists (Barack Obama among them) would have us be­lieve that the Mus­lim Brother­hood is mod­er­ate and non-vi­o­lent; War­raq es­tab­lishes that through­out its ex­is­tence, to the con­trary, the Brother­hood has preached Holy War, pe­riod. Then there's the Nazis. Some apol­o­gists ar­gue that Is­lam was just peachy un­til some of its lead­ers got chummy with Hitler and were in­fected by his love of vi­o­lent world con­quest and Jew-ha­tred; War­raq es­tab­lishes that if Is­lamic higher-ups co­zied up to the Nazis, it was be­cause their to­tal­i­tar­ian, ex­ter­mi­na­tion­ist doc­trines were al­ready ex­tremely sim­i­lar.

War­raq also in­tro­duces us to a 1979 book that has been called “the most in­flu­en­tial trea­tise on why Ji­had is nec­es­sary and how it must be fought.” Writ­ten by one Bri­gadier S. K. Ma­lik, The Qur'anic Con­cept of War won the en­dorse­ment of no less a ji­had en­thu­si­ast than the late Pak­istani pres­i­dent Zia al-Haq. A brief sam­ple: “The Qu­ranic mil­i­tary strat­egy...en­joins us to pre­pare our­selves for war to the ut­most in or­der to strike ter­ror into the hearts of the en­e­mies.... [The Ko­ran] gives us a dis­tinc­tive con­cept of to­tal war. It wants both the na­tion and the in­di­vid­ual to be at war 'in toto,' that is, with all their spir­i­tual moral and phys­i­cal re­sources.” In ad­di­tion to Ma­lik's tome, War­raq reads (so we don't have to) sev­eral other vile works that have also in­spired the sui­cide-vest set – a ver­i­ta­ble li­brary of holy hate.

War­raq sums up his book's point as fol­lows: “ji­had is essen­tial for the spread of Is­lam, and it is a duty in­cum­bent on all Mus­lims un­til Is­lam cov­ers the whole sur­face of the earth.” And what's essen­tial for the West's sur­vival is for us in­fi­dels to face up to the fact that noth­ing is more in­te­gral to Is­lam than that mon­strous duty. If Is­lamic ter­ror is, as apol­o­gists as­sert, a re­ac­tion to some ac­tion by the West, that ac­tion is, as War­raq points out, noth­ing more or less than our fail­ure to “ac­cept the Ko­ran as a blue­print for a model so­ci­ety.” How­ever much the talk­ing heads may in­sist oth­er­wise, it was Is­lam's ex­plicit call for ji­hadist con­quest, and noth­ing else, that mo­ti­vated 9/11 and 7/7, Atocha and Nice, Bat­a­clan and Ari­ana Grande. If we in­sist on cling­ing to lies about these atroc­i­ties – and thereby lose our free­dom – it won't be be­cause Ibn War­raq hasn't nobly and bravely shouted the truth from the rooftops. (FRONT PAGE MAG)

In Ibn War­raq’s new book, “The Is­lam in Is­lamic Ter­ror­ism: The Im­por­tance of Be­liefs, Ideas, and Ide­ol­ogy,” is (if it doesn't sound a bit odd to put it this way) a god­send – a com­pre­hen­sive an­swer to ev­ery one of those du­plic­i­tous politi­cians, lily-liv­ered jour­nal­ists, and slimy pro­fes­sional “ex­perts” and “con­sul­tants” who tire­lessly in­sist that Mus­lim ter­ror­ists have hi­jacked a peace­ful faith.

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