From its inception, Islam has been committed to what it calls jihad — a word meaning holy war. The duty of Muslims is to subjugate or destroy "infidels" — the term the Koran uses for all non-believers.
In the Muslim viewpoint, the world is divided into two regions — those areas controlled by Islam, called Dar al-Islam (meaning the House of Islam) and those called Dar al-Harb (the House of War). The Koran commands Muslims to fight non-Muslims until they exterminate all other religions, leaving Islam as the one and only religion in the world (Suras 2:193 and 8:39). Muhammad is quoted in the Hadith as saying, "I have been ordered to fight with the people until they say, none has the right to be worshiped but Allah" (Hadith 4:196).
Regarding terror, Allah orders Muslims to terrorize non-Muslims on his behalf: "Strike terror (into the hearts of ) the enemies of Allah and your enemies" (Sura 8:60). Allah then assures his followers that he will assist them: "I will instill terror into the hearts of unbelievers. Smite them above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them. It is not you who slay them, it is Allah" (Sura 8:12, 17).
Concerning jihad, the Koran guarantees Paradise to those who fight for Allah (Sura 4:74).1 It promises instant Paradise for those who die in battle (Suras 9:111 and 47:5-6). Dying for Allah is presented as better than living: "And if you are killed or die in the Way of Allah, forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than all that others may amass [of worldly wealth]" (Sura 3:157).
Martyrs are promised a sensual and luxurious life in Paradise (Sura 52:17-22). According to Al-Ghazzali, one of Islam's greatest teachers, when a martyr reaches Paradise, he "will marry 500 companions, 4,000 virgins, and 8,000 divorced women."2 Commenting on this statement, Randall Price, biblical teacher and Middle East expert, observed that the Islamic Paradise is "just the kind of place that adolescent, unmarried men, isolated through their lives from the opposite sex by rigid cultural standards, would die for.3
The murderous imperialistic nature of Islam is clearly revealed in the sermons delivered weekly throughout the Muslim world. Consider the following excerpt from a sermon by Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi that was broadcast live over Palestinian television on June 8, 2001. Referring to a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that had killed 21 Israeli teenagers the week before, he praised the terrorists:4 "Blessings to whoever waged jihad for the sake of Allah. Blessings to whoever raided for the sake of Allah. Blessings to whoever put a belt of explosives on his body, or on his son's body, and plunged into the midst of the Jews, crying, 'Allahu Akbar!' Praise to Allah!"
Then he expressed the imperialistic aims of Islam by issuing warnings to nations that would be "erased:" "Allah is almighty... We must prepare the ground for the army of Allah that is coming according to [divine] predestination. We must prepare a foothold for them. Allah is willing for this unjust state of Israel to be erased. The unjust state, the United States, will be erased. The unjust state, Britain, will be erased."
A similar sermon was delivered the previous year on October 13, 2000, by Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabiya.5 It too was carried live on Palestinian television. He proclaimed that the true terrorists are the Jews "who must be butchered and killed, as Allah the Almighty has said." He called for Muslims to have no mercy on the Jews: "Fight them wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them,... and kill those Americans who are like them — who stand by them." As an incentive to carry out these murderous exhortations, the cleric added: "O brothers in belief, the beautiful bride has a costly price and dowry... Our bride is Paradise. O brothers in belief... the cost of the dowry of this bride... is that we fight in the path of Allah, and kill and be killed."
Keep in mind that these are quotes from sermons! Can you imagine a Jewish rabbi or a Christian minister urging their congregations to go out and kill a Muslim for God?
The Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran was the modern day Islamic spokesman who revived Muhammad's vision of world conquest. He taught that the re-establishment of Israel was a Satanic miracle allowed by Allah because of the lukewarmness of the Muslim masses. He called for a renewal of true Islam to accomplish three purposes:6
- To overthrow the "secular" rulers of Islamic countries (like Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt), just as he had done in Iran.
- To take back the land of Palestine for Allah, exterminating Israel in the process.
- To conquer the rest of the world for Allah.
Notice the first priority was the transformation of secular Islamic countries into religious states ruled by the Koran. Then would come Israel and the world.
In a proclamation made by Osama bin Laden in 1998, he listed the same goals and prioritized them in the same order.7 He then identified the United States as the prime obstacle to the achievement of these goals. Accordingly, he called on Muslims everywhere "to comply with Allah's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it."
It is important to note that the eradication of Israel is not the top priority. Nor is Israel viewed as the major obstacle to world conquest. I emphasize this because many Americans are saying that the key to winning the war against terrorism is to dump Israel. More and more, on radio talk shows, I hear people saying, "Let's cut Israel loose. Let the Arabs have it. Then they will leave us alone."
That is utter nonsense. Israel is not the cause of Islamic terrorism toward the West. If Israel were to disappear tomorrow, Fundamentalist Islam would still be determined to destroy America as part of its plan to take the world for Allah. And if we were to abandon Israel, the Muslim world would interpret it as an act of cowardice, proving our word is meaningless and that we truly are, as they say, "a depraved society devoid of values." Our abandonment of Israel would only whet their appetite. Islamic Fundamentalism cannot be appeased. It must be defeated.
- Ney Rieber, "The Truth about Jihad," an article on the Internet at http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-kills-jihad.htm.
- Randall Price, "Islam and the Middle East Conflict," an undated and unpublished article, page 10.
- Ibid., page 8.
- "The Palestinians in Their Own Words: Palestinian Quote Sheet #50, 16 October, 2000," a document on the Internet at www.iris.org.il.
- Sheikh Usamah bin-Muhammad bin-Laden, "Text of Fatwah Urging Jihad Against Americans," published by Al-Quds al-Arabi on February 23, 1998. Posted on the Internet at http://www.ict.org.il/.
The next article will answer common questions related to Islam.