“And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Genesis 16:11-12
Islam is a religion that began among the pagan Arabs of the Middle East. Its followers believe that the tenets of Islam must be applied not only on a personal level, but on a world-wide scale. The Islamic world view is one that encompasses not only a global religious system, but a political, economic, and social system as well. Many believe that one day Islam will become the dominant force on the earth.
Shari’a is the manifestation of the Islamic life. “The Shari’ah includes both faith and practice. It embraces worship, individual attitude and conduct, as well as social norms and laws, whether political, economic, familial, criminal, or civil.” (1) “The Shari’ah is thus nothing less than the divinely ordained way of life for man. To realize the divine will, man must follow the Shari’ah. To live in Islam is to live according to the Shari’ah.” (1) It is the duty of all Muslims to live according to Shari’a.
Today, violence perpetrated by Islamic extremists is readily identified by the western media as jihad. The Institute of Islamic Information and Education states that, “Jihad means ‘struggle’ and ‘strive’ against evil thoughts, evil action and aggression against a person, family, society or country. Jihad may be a ‘justifiable war’ borrowing the Christian term.”(2) In her article, History of Jihad, writer Bat Ye’or describes jihad in clearer terms. “Jihad doctrine divides the peoples of the world into two irreconcilable groups: the dar al-Islam (the land of Islam) and the dar al-harb, (land of war) the non-Muslim world, destined to come under Islamic jurisdiction either by the peaceful conversion of its inhabitants, or by armed conflict. Jihad is the permanent state of war of the dar al-Islam against infidels until they submit to Islamic domination.” (3) According to the above, jihad is a struggle for dominance that can be accomplished through violence or peace.
Gradualism is seen by some of Islam’s adherents as a way to peacefully advance toward the goal of world-wide sharia through politics and diplomacy.
“Being a divine law, gradualism is to be followed on the political level nowadays. That is to say, gradualism is to be observed when it comes to applying the rulings of the Shari’ah in today’s life when Muslims have been socially, legislatively, and culturally invaded.
If we want to establish a real Muslim society, we should not imagine that such an end can be achieved by a mere decision issued to that effect by a king or a president or a council of leaders or a parliament.
Gradualism is the means through which such an end can be fulfilled. Gradualism here refers to preparing people ideologically, psychologically, morally, and socially to accept and adopt the application of the Shari`ah in all aspects of life, and to finding lawful alternatives for the forbidden principles upon which many associations have been founded for so long.
Gradualism in that sense does not mean we are to procrastinate and put off applying the Shari’ah. Gradualism is not to be taken as a pretext for discouraging people and foiling their pressing demands to establish Allah’s laws.
It, rather, should spur us to spotlight our aims, set our plans, and decide, sincerely and wisely, on the gradual stages to be taken in that respect. In that way, step by step, and through wise planning, organizing, and determination, we can reach the last and long-awaited stage of applying all the teachings of Islam heart and soul.
This was the same approach that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) adopted so that he (peace and blessings be upon him) could change the pre-Islamic life of degeneration and ignorance into the enlightened life of Islam.” (4)
Most western media report that it is Islamic extremism and violence that threaten the western way of life. But when you analyze the reactions from Muslim countries to the published depictions of Mohammed in light of the Shari’a and the doctrine of gradualism, you can begin to see a bigger picture.
Originally, the Danish newspaper that published the Mohammed cartoons was targeted by threats. Then all Denmark was vilified. Then anger spread to include Europeans, then Americans, then Christians. We should all realize that there is a far greater proportion of the Muslim population that holds to the Islamic world view. We should also realize the power that the Islamic world view has on its followers and their governments as well.
Islam is a powerful unifying force. The depiction of Mohammed in cartoons became a rallying point for Muslim individuals and governments alike. Ministers from 17 Arab countries formally demanded that Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen punish those responsible for publishing the cartoons. He refused. The governments of Libya and Saudi Arabia recalled their ambassadors from Denmark. The governments of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates announced boycotts of Danish goods. Embassy attacks were reported in countries like Syria, Indonesia, Lebanon and Iran. An American base in Afghanistan was attacked for several days by mobs. Christian churches were burned in Nigeria, Lebanon, and Pakistan. There were riots in many Islamic nations in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. For the most part, Islamic governments encouraged or were silent when anti-west violence was in their streets. Why?
Consider this: “In May 1991 the National Assembly of Pakistan made the Koran the supreme law, making all aspects of life subject to Islamic tenets.” (5) “Section 295c of the Pakistan penal code carries with it a mandatory death sentence for: blaspheming against the Prophet Mohammed.” (6) In the Islamic worldview, Islam is not relegated to religious matters. There is no such separation. Islam is a way of life.
Pakistan is not the only country to rule by Islamic law. Islamic law has been deeply entrenched in Iran. “It is obvious at first glance that the [Iranian] Constitution is dominated by the sovereignty of Islam and its clergymen. For instance, Article 4 says: “All laws and regulations including civil, criminal, financial, economic, administrative, cultural, military, political or otherwise, shall be based on Islamic principles.'” (7) Iran had its Islamic Revolution in 1979. Libya has also moved toward a government subject to Islamic law. “Before the 1969 constitution, Libya had a dual system of civil and religious courts. The new constitution established the primacy of Shari’a, or Islamic law, unifying the two systems. Civil laws now must conform to Shari’a.” (8) “Afghanistan was a country that was run by mullahs (religious leaders) until the invasion by western forces in October 2001. Afghanistan was forced into reform. Yet, despite the continued presence of international forces, and the continuance of international aid, Afghanistan is still struggling to free itself of rule by Islamic law today.” (9)
The reach of Shari’a can extend to non-Muslims as well as Muslims.
“The Saudi Arabian legal system is based on Shari’a (Islamic law). Shari’a courts exercise jurisdiction over common criminal cases and civil suits regarding marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance. Such jurisdiction extends to non-Muslims for crimes committed in the country. Shari’a courts base judgments largely on their interpretation of the Koran and the Sunna. Cases involving relatively small penalties are tried in Shari’a summary courts. More serious crimes are adjudicated in Shari’a courts of common pleas. Appeals from Shari’a courts are made to the courts of appeal. The Government permits Shi’a Muslims to use their own legal tradition to adjudicate noncriminal cases within their community. There is no comparable right for non-Muslims or foreigners, whose cases are handled in regular Shari’a courts.” (10)
When the ministers of 17 Arab countries demanded that Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen punish those responsible for printing depictions of Mohammed, they were demanding that the Danes recognize the crime of blasphemy and follow Shari’a law. “Shari’a law is the key to understanding Islamic ideology, government, economics, and social institutions. It is the basis for Islamic fundamentalism’s disagreement with Western thought, and it encapsulates the ideology of Islam that is found in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Shari’a brings Islamic theology down to a person’s everyday life. The objective of Islamic ideology is to have everyone in the world governed by Shari’a law. Muslims believe this law expresses the universal will of Allah for humankind. Muslims think they have an holy obligation to impose it upon all the nations of the world.” (11)
Two of the top Islamic organizations, The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Arab League, have taken their fight to the UN to place all the nations of the world under Islamic law. They are calling on the UN General Assembly to “pass a resolution banning attacks on religious beliefs.” Top level authorities in the Arab countries are consulting to “ask the UN to adopt a binding resolution banning contempt of religious beliefs and providing for sanctions to be imposed on contravening countries or institutions.” (12) Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has announced that Pakistan will lobby the UN for the criminalization of blasphemy, a move that could punish nations and institutions for speaking out against Islam or any religion. (13) Will the West cave in and allow shari’a law on a global level in order to achieve a peaceful solution to this crisis?
Thirty years ago, Bat Ye’or coined the term “Eurabia”. “Eurabia” was used “to describe an alleged process of political and cultural incorporation of Europe into the Islamic world, accompanied by a demographic change from a predominantly Caucasian Christian population embodying Western Civilization to a predominantly Semitic Islamic population. The term has come into popular use, and has been used by major media outlets such as FOX to describe the future of a Europe with its young, rapidly growing Muslim population, unwilling to assimilate into European countries.” (14) Europe has seen its institutions under attack. Recent history has brought Europe rebellion and riots all over France. Bombings in Spain that may have changed the course of a Presidential election. Bombings in London that shocked the nation. A Van Gogh murdered in Holland for speaking out against Islamic oppression. A Danish newspaper whose presses magnified the clash of cultures. Many believe that Europe is in a post-Christian era. There is no doubt that Europe is a continent in transition. While it is struggling to achieve its own identity, it is gradually losing it.
We see what gradualism and diplomacy accomplish when we look at the Israeli-Palestian conflict. Although Israel pursues the “land for peace” solution by unilaterally withdrawing from its lands (a political solution that both Israel and Palestine agreed to follow), the Palestinians continue in non-compliance by fostering terrorism against Israel. Terrorist attacks continue to this day there. Moreover, the Palestinians have elected the Islamist terrorist group, Hamas, to lead their country while deposing the secular terrorist group, the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
Hamas (Islam) is not content with ruling Palestine. Its jihad is not over. Hamas has its sights set on the throne of the world.
The following is an excerpt “from an address by Hamas leader Khaled Mash’al at the Al-Murabit Mosque in Damascus. The address was delivered following the Friday sermon at the mosque, and was aired on Al-Jazeera TV on February 3, 2006.” (15)
Mash’al: “Tomorrow, our nation will sit on the throne of the world. This is not a figment of the imagination, but a fact. Tomorrow we will lead the world, Allah willing. Apologize today, before remorse will do you no good. Our nation is moving forwards, and it is in your interest to respect a victorious nation. (15)
The globalization of Islam will not be accomplished by violence alone. The biggest threat to western life is from a false peace achieved through diplomacy.
5- http://www.jubileecampaign.co.uk/world/pak25.htm 2/22/06
11- http://www.muhammadanism.com/Government/Government_ Sharia_Ideology.htm
13- http://www.gulf-dailynews.com/Story.asp?Article=136537& Sn=WORL&IssueID=28343