Summary of “The Falsehood of Defensive Jihad.”
By Bo Perrin
This section covers pages 30 through 34
Hizb rejects the claim of their critics that Jihad is merely defensive. Hizb’s third refutation is a cultural defense which denies that Jihad is merely a defensive war.
Hizb claims that Jihad interpreted as merely a defensive war omitting Jihad as an initiation of war is not Islamic. In this argument Hizb does have the upper hand despite arguments by progressive Muslims who are trying to placate the West. There are two excellent books which document clearly Hizb’s claim. The two are “Global Jihad: The Future in the Face of Militant Islam” and “The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims”. The first is out of print but the second is available from organizations like Amazon.com. The reason I mention these two resources which substantiate Hizb’s claim is not because I agree with Islam nor Hizb’s philosophy. The reason I mention the sources is to support Hizb’s claim that Jihad is also the initiation of war against dar al-Kufr! Muslim Brotherhood groups like CAIR and ISNA have been publically vomiting taqiyya about Jihad for so long many Americans seem to truly believe that Jihad is merely a non-violent inner struggle which is nonsense. These books put to rest once and for all the notion that Jihad is merely defensive or an inner struggle. Hizb claims that the true meaning of Jihad became distilled after the Orientalists invaded the Muslim world. Hizb makes it sound as if the Ummah is innocent and merely the object of the West’s hatred of Islam. No, actually, it was Islam who started the war between the Ummah and the West not the other way around. Hizb states that classical Muslim scholars argued over issues like whether the ayat of the sword abrogated the ayat of peace. Yet, the argument was over abrogation and not one of the scholars involved questioned the meaning of Jihad as an initiation of war.
So, the discussion between scholars on this point was whether to accept peace with Kufrs. Hizb is correct that if the scholars believed Jihad was defensive then the whole discussion would be academic for why discuss whether to make peace with an enemy you attacked if Jihad is merely defensive. If Jihad is defensive, Hizb claims, then it mean the suspension of Jihad and the Da’wah of Islam cannot be carried to the world. Instead, Hizb claims there is no room for interpretation for Jihad has one single meaning which is “namely fighting the Kuffar, shedding their blood and seizing their properties if they refuse to respond to the call of Islam.” Here again the author quotes the hadith in which Mohammad states, “I have been ordered to fight against people until they profess that there is no god but Allah and that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah. If they did, their lives and property would be inviolable to except that which is right?”
So, what happened which lead to Jihad being misdefined? Well, according to Hizb the Orientalist is at fault. Of course, he is. For Hizb if something negative happens in the Ummah it is always the fault of non-Muslims. So, the Orientalists, with pen in hand, demonize what the Qur’ an states about Jihad especially in Surat Al-Tawbah (9) of the Qur’ an. So, Muslims who were trying to defend Islam watered down what the Qur’ an states about Jihad naively arguing that the Orientalists’ complaints are justified. These well-intentioned Muslims propagated the idea that Jihad is only a defensive war not an initiation of war. I find it very interesting that Hizb calls the very people, Muslims, who deliberately redefined Jihad as well-intentioned but calls those who, the non-Muslim, correctly stated what the Qur’ an taught demons. What a mind. Hizb argues “This is how the notion of Jihad being a defensive war started off: an onslaught by the Orientalists demonizing the rule of Jihad, followed by a defense from certain Muslims in the shape of an allegation that Jihad was defensive. . . “ So, Hizb seems to blame Muslims for this redefinition as well. Ah, but wait. Of course, how could a well-intentioned Muslim commit such a mistake? Well, maybe they didn’t! Hizb claims “there is nothing to indicate that this defense from the Muslims had been in the first instance concocted by the West, but we cannot rule out the possibility that certain Orientalists might have sneaked it through under the pretense of being fair towards Islam, then the Muslims fell for it.” Amazing! What evidence does Hizb possess to support this accusation? None. Yet, Hizb argues that Orientalists, being the sneaky Kufrs that they are, broke into two competing camps in which one camp attacked Islam and the other praised it. Some poor Muslims fell for the praise.
So, what is behind the campaign against Jihad? It is an attempt to vilify and demonize some of its rules. Specially, the motive behind this demonization by the Orientalists was that Islam had defeated the West. So, the West believed, according to Hizb, that the only way to defeat the Ummah was to abolish Jihad by distorting its meaning. Once Jihad is abolished then the West could attack to take back the lands that Muslims stole from them during their Islamic crusades.
So, what ought Muslims to do? Hizb states it is forbidden for any Muslim to accept the belief that Jihad is merely defensive. Instead of arguing about it, Hizb counsels Muslims to let the Qur’ an decide what is pleasing and repugnant not the views of Colonialists. Hizb is “calling to an unblemished perception of the ayat of the Qur’ an as they have been revealed and with their Arabic and Shari’ ah denotations intact, not as others want us to perceive them so that we may respond to Orientalists.” This unblemished perception will allow the Ummah to prepare for the day when the Khilafah is established and the Khilaf calls upon the Ummah to Jihad which is “namely fighting the Kuffar, shedding their blood and seizing their properties if they refuse to respond to the call of Islam.”
Next: The Duty of the Muslims Today