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Fighting the War of Ideas with Islamic Fundamentalists on Their Own Turf The Only Way for the United States to Win

Fighting the War of Ideas with Islamic Fundamentalists on Their Own Turf – The Only Way for the United States to Win

Introduction

By: Ahmed Subhy Mansour

 

All Muslim Fundamentalists attach the West using the supposedly revealed law of Mohammed to justify actions that are, in fact, opposed to the basic teachings of the Quran.  It is for this reason that I have spent my whole scholarly and religious life in examining the fundamental teachings of Mohamed and have now been able to document a narrative of Islam based on fundamental texts which is consistent with Western ideals.  When one is dealing with fundamentalist religious fanatics, one must examine the same texts to see if the fundamentalist interpretation is actually correct. 

 

I will lay out in the this essay examples of fundamental errors by the Islamic Fundamentalists in the Saudi based Wahabist tradition. It is essential that those of us committed to democratic ideals understand that the Koran itself is the source of democratic ideas and that supposed text-based fundamentalists have subverted the actual language of the Koran and extrapolated from misrepresentation to an anti-Muslim form of Islam.

 America needs the help of Islamic scholars who understand true Quranic principles and Islamic culture, in order to win the War of Ideas.

 

I. The Abandonment of True Islam

 

Authentic Islam — that is, the truth revealed to the Prophet Muhammad and delivered by him through the Holy Quran — has in large measure been abandoned in the Muslim world.  We can, however, discern the truth of Islam by reading the Quran in the original Arabic, and correctly interpreting its special terminology, uniquely linked to the language in which it was written.

 

By reading and correctly interpreting the special terminology of the Quran we can come to understand Islam as a religion of peace, tolerance, justice, and freedom of speech and belief. Due to a shared basis on the universal and unchangeable precepts of the natural moral law, we discover a strong similarity between “traditional American values” and the truths discerned in “forgotten” Islam.

 

Early Arab Muslims established a religion-based political hegemony over a wide area — a “religious empire” — in the generation following the death of Prophet Mohamed.  This was directly contrary to both the social and the purely religious teachings of Islam found in the Quran.  To justify this departure from the purity of the Prophet’s teachings, Sunni scholars during the Middle Ages distorted the purely religious teachings of Islam as well as the universal moral principles found in Quranic jurisprudence, that is, civil laws based on the natural moral law, and thus (unlike purely religious precepts) universal in application without prejudice to anyone’s religious beliefs or convictions.

 

Wahhabism has revived this Medieval Sunni tradition in the modern age.  Due to Saudi influence, Wahhabism has spread throughout the Muslim world as the official religious interpretation of Islam.  The Wahhabi tradition is known today as “Sharee’a.”  Sharee’a is enforced in many Muslim countries through what is claimed to be Islamic law, resulting in tarnishing the name of Islam, and undermining or eliminating completely essential pillars of human society and individual human development such as democracy, justice, peace, religious freedom, and basic human rights.  Instead of being “law,” Sharee’a shrouds the original ethics of the Quran with a fascist mysticism with no basis in the history of Islam.

 

Sharee’a law as promulgated by Medieval Sunni scholars distorted true Islamic religious and social teachings in four distinct ways.

 

1. Misinterpretation and Distortion of Quranic Terminology

 

The most damaging way in which the Medieval Sunni Scholars and their modern Wahhabi descendents distorted true Islamic religious and social teachings was by changing the meaning of critical Quranic terminology.

 

For example, the Arabic Quranic terms Kafir and Mushrik — signifying variously “disbeliever,” “unbeliever,” “atheist,” “pagan,” or “idol worshipper,” have two meanings in the Quran, depending on the context.  The first is related to the Faith, and refers to a person who does not believe in the One, True God.  According to the Quran, God is the only One who will sit in judgment over people on the Last Day.  No mere human being has the right in this life to interfere in this relationship between man and his/her Creator.

 

There is, however, another meaning of Kafir and Mushrik.  This other meaning relates to the criminal behavior of a person who uses the Name of God and His religion to justify committing crimes in the name of religion, as Sunni and Shiites terrorists are doing today.  This other meaning of Kafir and Mushrik was ignored or discarded by the Medieval Sunni scholars, and thus by their Wahhabi descendants.

 

Medieval Sunni scholars related their understanding of Kafir and Mushrik only to faith, that is, to offenses against their understanding of Islam.  This necessarily resulted in the fixed belief that anyone, even another Muslim, who does not adhere to the specific precepts of the Sunni faith tradition is not a true Muslim; even if he is a Shiite or a Sufi Muslim.  Because the Sunnis regarded themselves as the only true interpreters of the Quran, they (in effect) usurped the authority of the One, True God, and assumed the power to judge others in purely religious matters.  Wahhabis believe that they, too, have this authority.

 

Interpretation of the Quran has been strongly influenced by these distortions forced on   Quranic terminology.  This has resulted in the growth of intolerance and fanaticism.  Both are contrary to the religious revelations given to the Prophet, and to the applications of universal principles of the natural moral law found in the Quran.  Understanding Kafir and Mushrik (disbeliever, unbeliever, atheist, pagan, idol worshipper) only in the most narrow and distorted sense of disagreeing with or not believing in the Sunni interpretation of the Quran causes further distortions.  This understanding is related only to Faith and, even then, a perverted version of the faith the Prophet received.  This understanding ignores completely the far more serious crime that abuses the name of God and His religion to advance personal or political ends and goals.

 

It is essential to see that theWahabists have taken the language of parts of the Quran out of their context and then manipulated them in a manner to enhance the Wahbists’ clerical power.  The distortions that have been forced on Quranic terminology can best be illustrated by some examples.  “Yusufali,” “Pickthal,” “Shakir,” refer to specific translations of the Quran.

 

Chapter 9, Verse 36

 

YUSUFALI

 

And fight the Pagans all together as they fight you all together.”

 

PICKTHAL

 

And wage war on all of the idolaters as they are waging war on all of you.”

 

SHAKIR

 

And fight the polytheists all together as they fight you all together.”[1]

 

Saudi official Translation

 

“And fight against the Mushrikûn (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) collectively as they fight against you collectively.”[2]

 

Chapter 2, Verse 286

 

YUSUFALI

 

Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against faith.

 

PICKTHAL

 

And have mercy on us, Thou, our Protector, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk.

 

SHAKIR

 

And have mercy on us, Thou art our Patron, so help us against the unbelieving people.[3]

 

Saudi official translation

 

Have mercy on us. You are our Maulâ (Patron, Supporter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.[4]

 

Chapter 9, Verse 123

 

YUSUFALI

 

“O ye who believe! fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.

 

PICKTHAL

 

“O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him).”

 

SHAKIR

 

“O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).”[5]

 

Saudi official translation

 

“O you who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who are Al-Muttaqûn (the pious).”[6]

 

Obviously, isolating these passages and distorting them by taking them out of context confirms an understanding of Islamas a religion of terrorism, transgression, and aggression.  These passages appear to order Muslims to fight other people who have different religions, solely on the grounds that they do not share the Sunni understanding of Islam.

 

Taking the Book as a whole, however, and putting what is said into context, the astute reader of the Quran will realize that interpreting these passages as advocating religious terrorism directly contradicts the hundreds of verses in the Quran that confirm peace, justice, and full freedom of religion in Islam.

 

The thoughtful reader therefore has to ask him- or herself if the following passages are true, or whether there may be something wrong in the translation from the original Arabic:

 

·       “And fight the Pagans all together as they fight you all together” — This implies that simply being a pagan means that someone is automatically at war against Muslims, so Muslims have the right to attack them.

 

·       “Have mercy on us.  Thou art our Protector; help us against those who stand against faith” — Here we ask God for mercy and protection against those who attack us, so how can we justify the hypocrisy of attacking others?  It is contradictory to attack other people, and then pray to God to help you overcome them.  The only logical meaning is to be peaceful and fight only in self-defense, not to start a war.

 

·       “O you who believe, fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who are Al-Muttaqûn (the pious)” — It is impossible to be both pious and an aggressor at the same time.

 

Clearly there is something wrong with these translations.  Using common sense and taking the passages in context, we realize that the Quranic terms Kafir and Mushrik in these verses have nothing to do with religious belief.  They only mean criminal transgressors in behavior, that is, offenses in the civil order, such as individual crimes or aggression in war, not religious differences or offenses.

 

As noted above, Kafir and Mushrik have two different meanings according to the Quranic context.  In matters of faith, they mean disbeliever, nonbeliever, pagan, infidel, idol worshipper, idolaters.  In matters of behavior in temporal society, however, they refer to someone who commits aggression.  The understanding is transgressor or outlaw, much as criminals are sometimes called barbarians, heathens, or some other pejorative, even though they speak the same language and practice the same religion as law-abiding citizens.

 

In those verses God talks about the transgressors who start war by attacking peaceful believers.  So, the correct translation should be, “and fight the transgressors all together as they fight you all together.”  “And have mercy on us, You are our Protector, and give us victory over the transgressors.”  “O you who believe, Fight those of the transgressors who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who are the pious.”

 

Understood in this way, the mere fact of differing in religious belief or practice does not make any individual or nation a transgressor.  It requires that the Kafir or Mushrik, so-called, actually attack a peaceful believer, not just be different or believe differently.

 

2. Misinterpretation and Distortion of Quranic Laws

 

The second most damaging way in which the Medieval Sunni scholars distorted authentic Islamic religious and social teachings was by reinterpreting Quranic laws.  This they did to conform the teachings to their opinions and beliefs, rather than form their beliefs based on the truths contained in the Holy Quran.  In the west, of course, the most obvious example is the Law of Jihad.

 

Jihad in fighting has its order, its rule, and its final objective.  The rules of Jihad control the order of Jihad, while the order and the rules are under the control of the final goal.  God says, “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors.”  (2: 190). The order here is “Fight.”  The rule is, “in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors.”  So, Jihad by fighting is only to defend, not to attack, thereby starting war.

 

Medieval Sunni scholars distorted this teaching by ignoring the “rules” of Jihad, and focusing on the “order.”  For them, and today’s Wahhabi, the command is to fight others — not according to God’s rule, but for your own human ego, based on your private interpretations of God’s command.

 

The final aim — the goal — of the Islamic Jihad is to prevent religious persecution, and to defend religious freedom.  God says: “And fight them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah (To judge on the Judgment Day), but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.” (2: 193), Also: “And fight them until there is no more persecution and religion should be only for Allah; (To judge on the Judgment Day), but if they desist, then surely Allah sees what they do.” (8: 39)

 

This is an example of how the Medieval Sunni scholars distorted the teaching on Jihad by reinterpreting the Quranic term “Fitna.”  Correctly understood, in the Quran “Fitna” means “persecution” (against peaceful people).  The Sunni scholars reinterpreted the term to signify not “persecution of people ,” but disbelief, that is, those who are not Muslims.

 

The official Saudi version has embodies this reinterpretation. It says: “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah, that is, “disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah,” and “all and every kind of” worship is for Allah alone.  But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zâlimûn (the polytheists, and wrong-doers).” (2: 193)[7]  In another passage the official Saudi version is as follows:

 

And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do. (8: 39)[8]

 

Other translations, however, bring out the real meaning of the two verses:

 

Chapter 2, Verse 193:

 

YUSUFALI

 

And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression.”

 

PICKTHAL

 

And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrong-doers.”

 

SHAKIR

 

And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.”

 

Chapter 8, Verse 39:

 

YUSUFALI

 

“And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.

 

PICKTHAL

 

“And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. But if they cease, then lo! Allah is Seer of what they do.”

 

SHAKIR

 

“And fight with them until there is no more persecution and religion should be only for Allah; but if they desist, then surely Allah sees what they do.”

 

3. Actual Change of Quranic Laws

 

The Medieval Sunni Scholars changed the essence of many Quranic laws, twisting the Quranic term “Naskh” to mean “abrogation.”  The Arabic word Naskh actually has exactly the opposite meaning.  Properly understood, Naskh means to write, copy, or prove.  The Sunni Sharee’a has, however, ignored or changed many Islamic Quranic laws, claiming that this is permitted as Naskh.  We can see this in three translations that bring out the true meaning of Chapter 2, Verse 190:

 

YUSUFALI

 

“Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.”

 

PICKTHAL

 

“Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors.”

 

SHAKIR

 

“And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits.”[9]

 

The Saudi official translation, however, changes the wording in translation, and adds footnotes to transform what is essentially an injunction for self-defense to call for violent Jihad that is against peaceful Islamic Jihad.  As the official Saudi version has it: “And fight in the Way of Allah[10] those who fight you, but transgress not the limits.  Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.” [This Verse is the first one that was revealed in connection with Jihad, but it was supplemented by another (9:36)].

 

 

 4. Interpolated Teachings Falsely Attributed to the Prophet

 

After distorting the Quranic terminology and the Quranic laws, Medieval Sunni scholars forged narration or sayings (Hadith) and ascribed them to the Prophet Mohamed, more than two centuries after his death.  With respect to the teaching on Jihad, they forged this false narration (Hadith): “I am commanded to fight (all) the people until they testify that there is no god but one God, and I am the messenger of God.”

 

Man-made Sunni religion thereby insists on distorting Quranic terminology and the Quranic Jurisprudence, and ascribing false teachings to the Prophet Mohamed, two centuries and more after his death under the name of Hadith and Sunna (customary practice or tradition). According to their Sharee’a, the Medieval Sunni scholars divided the world into two camps; their camp (the camp of Islam), and the other camp: the camp of warfare, of infidels.  According to their Sharee’a, Muslims are ordered to fight the infidel camp until the end of this world.  They also use Sharee’a to accuse other Muslim sects of being “idol worshippers” to justify fighting them as a group and killing them as apostates.


 

II: The Abandonment of True Jihad

 

1. Misinterpretation of the Concept of Jihad

 

Jihad through warfare is only permitted when the intent is to defend the Faith and believers — not to attack peaceful people.  This will be explained in details in this research, but it needs to be stated here.  It is essential to understand that every verse containing the order fight is necessarily subordinate to the rule: “In the cause of God, not to transgress the limits because God does not like the transgressors.”  Sometimes, God describes the transgressors in a different way, as in Chapter 9, Verse 29:

 

Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tribute in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

 

Verse 2:190 clarifies and explains 9:29: “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors.”  We also gain greater understanding of 9:29 when we correlate it with two Quranic rules:

 

·       Allah does not forbid you, with respect to those who have not made war against you, on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice.

 

·       Allah only forbids you in respect to those who made war upon you on account of (your) religion, and drove you forth from your homes and backed up (others) in your expulsion, that you make friends with them, and whoever makes friends with them, those are the unjust. (60:8-9)

 

The official Saudi translation, however, has distorted the meaning of Verse 9:29 to justify the Saudi Wahhabi faith in dividing the world into two camps, and in waging the holy war against the Jews in particular.[11]  We see a graphic example of this in the following verses:

 

28. O you who believe (in Allah’s Oneness and in His Messenger Muhammad )! Verily, the Mushrikûn (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, and in the Message of Muhammad ) are Najasun (impure).[12] So let them not come near Al-Masjidal-Harâm (at Makkah) after this year; and if you fear poverty, Allah will enrich you if He wills, out of His Bounty. Surely, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

29. Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger Muhammad ( ) (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islâm) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah[13] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

30. And the Jews say: ‘Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths, resembling the saying of those who disbelieved aforetime. Allah’s curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth![3]

31. They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allah), and (they also took as their Lord) Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), while they (Jews and Christians) were commanded [in the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] to worship none but One Ilâh (God - Allah) Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He)[4]. Praise and glory be to Him (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).”

 

As we can see, Sunni scholars ascribed to prophet Mohamed this false saying: “The Hour will not be established until you fight against the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him’.”  “The Hour” here refers to the end of this world, and the coming of the Kingdom of Allah, the Lord.

 

2. Adoption of Sharee’a by the Saudi Family

 

Medieval Sharee’a has been revived, restored, and adopted by the Saudi family since 1158 AH (AD 1745).  Their goal is to lead the Muslim World against the Western camp and the Jews.  The Saudi Kingdom and the radical Sunni Muslims have the same strategy to brainwash the billion and a half Muslims in the world, and in using the Muslim communities in the US and the West as a fifth column.  The final aim is to unite all Islam under a Caliphate to conquer and to occupy the other camp, fulfilling that predict of their tradition about the sign of the end of this world.

 

In spite of having the same strategy, the Saudis and the Sunnis use different tactics.  The Saudi Kingdom works to use its influence inside the West and the US to spread Wahhabism under the name of Islam in Europe and in the U.S.  They have the hope that Islam will grow in influence until it is the second largest religion in the West, thereby allowing the Saudi royal family to overcome peacefully the entire West and the U.S.

 

Radical Sunni organizations such as Ben Laden’s do not have the patience of the Saudis.  They seek to hasten the day when they can exercise world domination.  Consequently they fight now, applying the violent Jihad according to their Sunni Sharee’a law.

3. Authentic Islam in U.S. Hijacked by Wahabbism

 

Muslims in the U.S. share the American values of tolerance and religious freedom.  Following their natural inclinations, they should discover the strong similarity between authentic Islam and traditional American values rooted in the natural moral law.  Realizing this, they should work to export these values and reform the entire Muslim world, undeceiving them as to the nature of Wahabbism, promoting and improving the American image in the Muslim world.

 

Instead, the Muslim community in America has been hijacked by Wahhabism.  The Saudi royal family is directly responsible for the rising of this fanatic Sunni Wahhabi trend all over the Muslim world.  They work to spread this fanaticism in Islamic Schools, Centers, and Mosques in the U.S and throughout the West.  Supported by Saudi funding and influence, this terrorist Wahhabi trend is hijacking the name of Islam and abusing the American freedom of speech and belief, threatening America and all of the free world.

 

The Saudi State has insisted on keeping this Wahhabi fanatic sect fixed in its Medieval culture without any reform from within Islam.  Moreover, Saudi influence results in persecuting free Muslim thinkers who struggle to reform Muslims from within Islam.  The Saudis refuse and oppose any reform coming from the West, and at the same time they persecute reformers who call for reform from within Islam.

 

4. Deliberate Saudi Mistranslation of the Holy Quran

 

For the past 25 years, I have struggled against Saudi influence in Egypt.  On coming to the U.S. as a political asylee, I found the same Saudi influence at work in Sunni Mosques, Centers, and schools — most of them controlled by the same fanatics who advocate the Wahhabi culture of terrorism.
 
To take a typical example, the official Saudi translation of the Holy Quran deliberately mistranslates Chapter One, [Al Fatehah] — the opening of the Quran.  It says: “Guide us to the straight path. The path of those on whom You have bestowed Your blessing, not of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray.”
 
The Saudi translation adds commentary on these verses, describing the Jews as those who earned the anger of God, and the Christians as those who went astray.  This Quranic Chapter One, Al Fatehah, is recited seventeen times in the daily Muslim prayers. So, by means of this mistranslation, every American Muslim is brainwashed each day seventeen times to be a terrorist.  Millions of copies of this translation have been distributed in the Islamic centers and schools and mosques in the U.S., asserting that all Christians and Jews are infidels, and — according to the Wahhabi faith — should be killed[14]:
 

1. In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.


2. All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord[15] of the ‘Âlamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists).[16]


3. The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

 

4. The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).


5. You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).


6. Guide us to the Straight Way.[17]


7. The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace,[18] not (the way) of those who earned Your anger[19] (i.e. those who knew the Truth, but did not follow it) nor of those who went astray (i.e. those who did not follow the Truth out of ignorance and error).[20],[21]

 

5. Continued Brainwashing of Muslims

 

If the Saudi influence in the U.S. continues for some decades, a great part of the silent Muslim majority in the Muslim world and Muslim communities in the West and the U.S. will be brainwashed to become terrorists.  We are talking about a billion and a half people, who are increasing daily in number, threatening the West in the near future.  It is enough for the Saudi tactics to brainwash few millions “only” in the West and the U.S. to achieve its aim peacefully without the necessity of armed conflict.  For the terrorist organizations, it is enough for them to use a war of ideas to recruit millions inside the West, the U.S., and in the Muslim world, using them in making dirty bombs to cause chaos among those they believe to be the “camp of evil.”

 

6. Armed Conflict v. War of Ideas

 

American policy misunderstood the importance of confronting Islamic fundamentalism on its own terms by abdicating Muslim theology to the Saudis.  Instead, the U.S. usually has mistakenly fought with guns, whereas the war is in fact  a war of ideas.  The United States has not enlisted the enlightened Muslim community to draw on its expertise in connecting the religious beliefs of Islam to the values which Islam and the West share.  In this essay, I have tried to illustrate the misrepresentation of the Wahabist interpreters and provide the sort of analysis based on the Quran which provides an alternative to the Wahabist theological heresy.

 

The difference between a military war and a “soft war of ideas” is the act of identifying your enemy.  It is very easy in a military war to know your enemy, but in war of ideas, you will achieve half the victory when you define your enemies perfectly and sort them in order, dealing with everyone in the proper way according to the rules of intellectual engagement that provide the logic of debate among those involved.

 

In this analysis, Ben Laden is not enemy number one of the U.S.  On the contrary, the chief enemy is the Saudi royal family.  U.S. policy has therefore been to ally itself with its chief enemy in the war of ideas in an effort to achieve a limited and equivocal military victory against a lesser objective.  Consequently, the U.S. has become bogged down in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, at the cost of billions of dollars and thousands of lives in endless military war, without any hope in achieving real victory.  The only result has been to tarnish the American image, and give more power to the Saudi influence inside the U.S. and overseas.

 

If current US policy continues, it will be disastrous in the coming decades.

 


 

III: The War of Ideas — The Real Battlefield

 

So, here we have some facts:

 

·       Real Islam, with social teachings based on the natural moral law, has essentially the same American values in fields of democracy, human rights, religious freedom, justice, and tolerance.

 

·       Most of Muslim countries are undertheocratic and autocratic regimes that oppose and violate these American/Islamic values.

 

·       Because of dependence on oil and political reasons that date from the cold war with the Soviet Union, the Saudi royal family has had American support in spreading its Sunni Wahhabism inside America and overseas.

 

·       After September11, American policy has engaged in military war against one part of the enemy (Ben Laden), but has still allied itself to the core of Wahhabism (the Saudi Kingdom).

 

·       The American policy has tried to reform Arab dictatorship regimes, but it cannot pressure them because it needs their support in its awkward position in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

 

So, the call for democracy and reforming Arab educational systems was ended, giving the other side more power and more victory. This is a very negative indication for the future.

 

The basic issue here is the war of ideas.  The other side is waging a war of ideas against the West, using the name of Islam while it contradicts Islam in its values, jurisprudence, faith, and morals.  American policy is to fight them militarily, and consequently allies itself to the head of Wahhabism.  Moreover, the U.S. has called those terrorists and fanatics “Islamists,” thereby supporting their false claim of being sincere Muslims.  In fact the Islamists do not believe in Islam

This solution to the challenge of the war of ideas — aligning an authoritative interpretation of Islam (as against the distortions of authentic Islam promoted by fanatics) with Western culture – has not even been initiated much less supported.  This lack of strategic involvement in the war of ideas has evolved from a variety of realities.  The first reason is that Westerners  are not familiar with the ground on which a war of ideas is carried out.  This Islamic topography  requires a very high degree of understanding of authentic Islam.  America previously exhibited a high degree of expertise in a war of ideas during the cold war.  America used this expertise against the former Soviet Union by contrasting the stated values of Marxism with its reality on the ground which allowed the US to support communist dissidents and win without one bullet spent.  In the current situation, the U.S. is dealing with a different culture that is rooted in its people’s mentality that developed for tens of centuries before America itself even existed.

 

1. A New Tactic: Assisting Authentic Islam Against Aggression

 

America has to “Islamize” the war of ideas against the enemy.  There are thousands of Muslim scholars who know that Islam shares Western values and who have expertise in this kind of struggle.  These scholars  share values based on the moral law common to all religions.  They have been waging the war since the 1980s with virtually no resources and without any American support.  America must enlist the moderate Muslims throughout the world as their allies.    This will help America promote its image in the Muslim world, reform the Muslim world from within, defeat terrorism, and save billions of dollars and thousands of lives.


 

IV: Full Religious Freedom

 

Religious freedom lies in the center of this dilemma.  Islam as a religion is based on pure monotheism; or the sincere belief in the One God, and full religious freedom to have every individual responsible for his or her choices before God only, on the Day of Judgment.  Muslim leaders currently allied with the US deny religious freedom.  These leaders are also the troublemakers in the Arab and Muslim world, and even in the Muslim communities in the West and the U.S.

 

As central to Islam and as a responsibility of the U.S., examining the issue of religious freedom in Islam and how it relates to Muslims is an essential aspect of the situation.  Carrying out an in-depth investigation into this issue will give American policymakers the information necessary to develop effective recommendations on how to deal with Islam and Muslims.


 

Research Contents

 

In dealing with this investigation, this research will have three parts after this introduction:

·       Freedom of religion in Islam.

·       Fanatic Muslims violating Islamic value of religious freedom.

·       Recommendations.

 

In the first part (Freedom of religion in Islam)we will discuss:

Preface of Part 1

(1) How to understand the Quran and authentic Islam

(2) Freedom of religion in Islam at a quick glance

 

Chapter I: The Roots of Freedom of Religion in Islam

 

(1) Freedom of religion as a test for humans

(2) Freedom of religion in Quran

 

Chapter II: Dialogue is Evidence of Freedom of Religion in Islam

 

(1) Dialogue is evidence of free will

(2) Decency of dialogue in the Quran

(3) In Dialogue:  Recognizing and accepting religious freedom for the other party

 

Chapter III: Freedom of Religion Applied by the Prophet Muhammad

 

(1) “No compulsion in religion”

(2) Freedom of religion in Prophet Muhammad’s Government

(3) How far oppositions enjoyed freedom of opinion

(4) The Extent of Opposition in prophet Muhammad’s Government

 

Chapter IV: Muslim’s Identity Belongs to His Religious Freedom, not His Country or Nation

 

(1) On the practical level

(2) The essence of belonging

(3) The true believer and nationalism

(4) Migration for religious freedom is the essence of belonging to Islam

(5) Contradiction between the Wahhabi Identity and Islamic Identity

(6) In conclusion:

 

Chapter V:  Religious Freedom and Islamic Values of Justice and Tolerance

 

(1) Between Islamic justice and forgiveness

(2) Infidel, unbeliever, disbeliever are judged by humans according to their criminal religious behavior, not their faith

(3) ‘Az Zolm’ is against justice

(4) “A-sabr” (Tolerance or Patience) as an Islamic value to respond to “Az Zolm

(5) The terrorist is the worst criminal

 

Chapter VI: Religious Freedom and Islam as a Religion of Peace

 

(1) Peace and Islam in a quick glance

(2) The relationship between Islam and peace in Arabic Quranic language

(3) Understanding Muslims and peace in history

(4) Qureish tribe converted to Islam and the disappearance of peaceful Islam after Prophet Mohammed’s death

 

Chapter VII: Legislation of Jihad in Islam is to Confirm Religious Freedom

 

(1) Understanding laws of Jihad in Islam

(2) Jihad and freedom of religion

(3) Rules of alliance in time of war

(4) Rules in battlefield

(5) The first order of Jihad as fighting gives as its objective: to defend churches, monasteries, synagogues and mosques

(6) Conclusion

 

This first part has been finished.

 

The second part, “Fanatic Muslims violate Islamic value of religious freedom,” will discuss this violation in dealing with:

 

·       Non Muslims inside the State: Copts of Egypt as an example

·       Muslim who converts to other religion, (Killing the apostate) after trial

·       Muslim scholars who discuss the Sunni traditions and Sharee’a (Killing the Zendeeq without trial)

·       Persecuting the Muslim minorities like Shiites in Egypt and the Saudi Kingdom

·       Preventing “At-Tebsheer” (preaching Christianity ) in Muslim world

 

Part Three is the most important part.

Part Three will give the American policy makers the religious and historical grounds to help them understand the mentality of Muslims, with focusing on how to deal with Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Kingdom.  Then it will give the recommendations about how to advocate religious freedom in Muslim World along with achieving these targets:

 

·       Promote the American image in the Muslim world,

·       Battling the terrorists and the fanatic (Muslims) in the field  of war of  ideas to defend the American people and the American interests,

·       Reform peacefully the Muslim world from within their religion and culture. (This will make them pro-American. It is impossible to reform Muslims through the Western culture, or by Christian or Jewish scholars. This is a very sensitive issue for Muslims.)

·       Reform the Muslim communities in the West and the U.S. to have them defend America and the West in the name of Islam, and to make them integrate with the American and Western societies.

 

Finally:

This research is not to convince the Western reader whether Islam is good or bad.  It is not to preach Islam among non-Muslims.  It is to save hundreds of thousands of lives and thousands billions of dollars.  America, only three centuries old, will have to deal with Islam, fourteen centuries old, all of this century.  It is therefore essential to understand this religion, and its peoples.

America has to be the super power in the war of ideas.  This war of ideas will dominate the current century in this time of globalism.  It is essential that America — “the last, great hope of mankind” and exemplar of the universal moral principles common to all humanity, the West, and human civilization — survive.

 

America can do it.

Ahmed Subhy Mansour

December, 22, 2009

 



[1]
http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/009.qmt.html

[2] http://www.qurancomplex.org/Quran/Targama/Targama.asp?nSora=9&l=arb&nAya=36#9_36

[3]http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/002.qmt.html

[4]http://www.qurancomplex.org/Quran/Targama/Targama.asp?nSora=2&l=arb&nAya=286#2_286

[5]http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/009.qmt.html

[6]http://www.qurancomplex.org/Quran/Targama/Targama.asp?nSora=9&l=arb&nAya=123#9_123

[7]http://www.qurancomplex.org/Quran/Targama/Targama.asp?nSora=2&l=arb&nAya=193#2_193

[8] http://www.qurancomplex.org/Quran/Targama/Targama.asp?nSora=8&l=arb&nAya=39#8_39

[9]http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/002.qmt.html

[10] (V.2:190) Al-Jihad (holy fighting) in Allah’s Cause (with full force of numbers and weaponry) is given the utmost importance in Islâm and is one of its pillar (on which it stands). By Jihad Islâm is established, Allah’s Word is made superior, (His Word being Lâ ilaha illAllah which means none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and His Religion (Islâm) is propagated. By abandoning Jihad (may Allah protect us from that) Islâm is destroyed and the Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honour is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islâm on every Muslim, and he who tries to escape from this duty, or does not in his innermost heart wish to fulfil this duty, dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite.
Narrated ‘Abdullâh bin Mas’ûd : I asked Allah’s Messenger “O Allah’s Messenger! What is the best deed?” He replied, “To offer the Salât (prayers) at their early fixed stated times.” I asked, “What is next in goodness?” He replied, “To be good and dutiful to your parents.” I further asked, “What is next in goodness?” He replied, “To participate in Jihad in Allah’s Cause.” I did not ask Allah’s Messenger anymore and if I had asked him more, he would have told me more. (Sahih Al-Bukhâri, Vol.4, Hadîth No.41).

http://www.qurancomplex.com/Quran/Targama/Targama.asp?nSora=2&l=eng&nAya=190#2_190

[11] http://www.qurancomplex.com/Quran/Targama/Targama.asp?nSora=9&l=eng&nAya=29#9_29

[12] (V.9:28) Their impurity is spiritual and physical: spiritual, because they don’t believe in Allah’s Oneness and in His Prophet Muhammad ; and physical, because they lack personal hygiene (filthy as regards urine, stools and blood). And the word Najas is used only for those persons who have spiritual impurity e.g. Al-Mushrikûn.

[13] (V.9:29) a) See the footnote of (V.2:193)
b) Narrated Abû Hurairah : Allah’s Messenger said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight against the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him’ “ (Sahih Al-Bukhâri, Vol. 4, Hadîth No.177)
c) Jizyah a tax levied from the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians), who are under the protection of a Muslim government.)

[14] http://www.qurancomplex.com/Quran/Targama/Targama.asp?nSora=1&l=eng&nAya=1#1_1

[15] (V.1:2) Lord: The actual word used in the Qur’ân is Rabb There is no proper equivalent for Rabb in English language. It means the One and the Only Lord for all the universe, its Creator, Owner, Organizer, Provider, Master, Planner, Sustainer, Cherisher, and Giver of security. Rabb is also one of the Names of Allah. We have used the word “Lord” as the nearest to Rabb . All occurrences of “Lord” in the interpretation of the meanings of the Noble Qur’ân actually mean Rabb and should be understood as such.

[16] (V.1:2). Narrated Abu Sa’îd bin Al-Mu’alla: While I was praying in the mosque, Allah’s Messenger called me but I did not respond to him. Later I said, “O Allah’s Messenger, I was praying.” He said, “Didn’t Allah say - Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and His Messenger when he calls you.” (V.8:24). He then said to me, “I will teach you a Sûrah which is the greatest Sû rah in the Qur’ân, before you leave the mosque.” Then he got hold of my hand, and when he intended to leave (the mosque), I said to him, “Didn’t you say to me, “I will teach you a Sûrah which is the greatest Sûrah in the Qur’an?” He said, “ Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbil-’âlamîn [i.e. all the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the ‘Âlamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists)], Sûrat Al-Fâtihah which is As-Sab’ Al-Mathâni (i.e. the seven repeatedly recited Verses) and the Grand Qur’ân which has been given to me.” (Sahih Al-Bukhâri, Vol.6, Hadîth No. 1).

[17] (V.1:6) Guidance is of two kinds:
a) Guidance of Taufîq i.e., totally from Allah, i.e. Allah opens one’s heart to receive the truth (from disbelief to Belief in Islâmic Monotheism).
b) Guidance of Irshâd i.e. through preaching by Allah’s Messengers and the pious preachers who preach the truth i.e. Islâmic Monotheism.

[18] (V.1:7) i.e. the way of the Prophets, the Siddîqûn (i.e. those followers of the Prophet, who were first and foremost to believe in him, like Abu Bakr As-Siddîq), the martyrs and the righteous, [as Allah said: “And whoso obeys Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad ), then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddîqûn, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!” (V.4:69)].

[19] (V.1:7) Narrated ‘Adi bin Hâtim : I asked Allah’s Messenger , about the Statement of Allah: 1. “ Ghairil-maghdûbi ‘alaihim (not the way of those who earned Your Anger),” he replied “They are the Jews”. And 2. Walad dâllîn (nor of those who went astray),” he replied: “The Christians, and they are the ones who went astray” [This Hadith is quoted by At-Tirmidhi and Musnad Abu Dâwûd ].

[20] (V.1:7): Narrated ‘Ubâdah bin As-Sâmit Allah’s Messenger said, “Whoever does not recite Sûrat Al-Fâtihah in his prayer, his prayer is invalid. (Sahih Al-Bukhâri, Vol.1, Hadîth No. 723).

[21] As it’s shown here, they ascribed to the prophet Mohamed this false saying (not the way of those who earned Your Anger),” he replied “They are the Jews”. And Walad dâllîn (nor of those who went astray),” he replied: “The Christians and they are the ones who went astray.”


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