Know our enemy

Posted: Jun 13, 2006 1:05 PM
The death in Iraq of Muslim terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and the recent arrest of 17 Muslim would-be terrorists in Canada, reminds us that the war on terrorism is global and it will be fought forever. Too many people do not understand the origins and motivations of our enemy – Muslim terrorists.

This lack of understanding causes some politicians to make stupid and anti-American statements that the liberal media lap up and highlight dozens of times. The media hardly mentioned the important developments in Iraq that coincided with al-Zarqawi’s death – namely, that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has completed the appointment and approval of all cabinet positions in the new government. Iraq can now move forward. The media and politicians forget that Iraqis voted for the first time just last year.

I have some breaking news for those who value politics more than patriotism. Our enemy is not the peaceful Muslims of the world, many of whom remain noticeably silent out of fear of reprisals from terrorists. Our enemy is that group of Muslim terrorists whose sole objective is to kill all of us and end western civilization.

Consider the roots of this hatred, which causes so many Muslims to choose terrorism. This is not meant to be a comprehensive description of the teachings of Islam, but rather a broad overview that points to some of the factors that motivate Muslim leaders and their followers.

The roots of Islam began in modern day Saudi Arabia in the year 610 A.D. The Arabian city of Mecca was, and still is, the Arabs’ center of worship. According to Pastor Rod Parsley, author of Silent No More, Arabs from over 270 tribes regularly gathered around a building called the Ka’aba to worship their individual tribal gods. The Quraysh tribe, of which Muhammad was a member, worshipped the god Allah.

Muhammad was an illiterate desert nomad who one day began hearing voices and loud bells in his head. The voices told him he was Allah’s prophet. Muhammad thought he was losing his sanity, but with the encouragement of his wife he began to believe the voices. Muhammad eventually saw it as his mission to unify the Arabian tribes under the teachings given to him by his one true god – Allah.

Muhammad died in 632 A.D. Since Muhammad was illiterate and never wrote anything down, his followers spent the next 60 years compiling his teachings and revelations, based on their memories and notes. The resulting document is the holy book of Islam, called the Quran. But, as Pastor Parsley notes, the Quran is only authoritative in Arabic: “In any other language, the Quran is unofficial and unsuitable for doctrine.” When we consider the fact that approximately two-thirds of the world’s Muslim population today is illiterate, this means the majority of Muslims cannot read their religion’s most important book. Further, it means that Islam can be interpreted and taught any way its leaders desire.

One aspect of Islam that Muhammad taught is the obligation to jihad. Jihad means “struggle” and Islam teaches that men should engage in four struggles: jihad of the tongue, jihad of the hand, jihad of the heart and jihad of the sword. The jihads of the tongue, hand and heart refer to personal discipline and character development. The jihad of the sword requires Muslims to spread their faith throughout the world and convert Christians and Jews – infidels – or put them to death. Numerous passages in the Quran encourage violence against non-Muslims, including “And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere” (Surah 8:39, from the Quran).

Another Islamic principle is the religion’s unique view of the afterlife, in which Muslims will be allowed into its version of Heaven. In the Islamic version of Heaven, men are provided those pleasures denied them on Earth, including wine and women with whom they can freely mate. The Quran is unclear, however, on exactly who is assured a place in Heaven. The devout Muslim tries to live his life according to Islam’s teachings, but he can never be sure if he has done enough good deeds – with one key exception.

Pastor Parsley explains further: “Thus, when Muhammad began to teach that all who die in righteous fighting go to paradise, he established the only means by which a Muslim can be certain of his place in eternity.” In other words, live a devout life according to the Quran’s teachings and you may be allowed a place in paradise. Or, fly a jet plane into the World Trade Center, killing yourself, your partners and 3,000 Americans. You are now an instant martyr and your place in paradise is assured.

Nearly every day, somewhere in the world, a Muslim commits a terrorist act. The arrest of the would-be terrorists in Canada should send a clear and chilling message – that the breeding ground for terrorism is not only in the Middle East, but anywhere fanatical Muslims gather to plot jihad of the sword.

The war on terror has a real enemy – Muslim terrorists. The better we know our enemy, the better we can fight and win the war.