Monday, July 19, 2004

Four or 10-million American deaths?

Here's an excellent Jonathon Halevi article which you can read at
Intelligence or at
williamwebb.org.  It was from last year but very timely with the Islamists plans for this year.
 
 
Debating Islamic Retaliation: 4 Million or 10 Million American Deaths?
As noted, radical Islamic scholars rely in their rulings on the principle of retaliation while justifying indiscriminate mass murder of Christians. Suliman Abu Ghaith, a prominent al-Qaeda leader, in his famous series of public letters entitled Under the Shade of the Lances and directed at Muslim youth, listed the crimes of the U.S. against the Arab and Muslim world. He argued that the U.S. is responsible directly and indirectly, in its long-lasting war on Islam, for the death of four million Muslims, including 1.2 million Iraqis, 260,000 Palestinians (as a result of its support for Israel), 12,000 Afghans and Arab fighters, 13,000 Somalis, and millions more throughout the world. From his perspective, al-Qaeda's attacks in Washington and New York in September 2001 are not enough to balance the equation of killing. Basing his claims on the Islamic principle of retaliation, Abu Ghaith argues that Muslims have the right to kill four million Americans, including one million children, to displace eight million Americans, and to cripple hundreds of thousands more. Moreover, Abu Ghaith asserts that Muslims are religiously entitled to use chemical and biological weapons in their war against the U.S.19
Nasser bin Hamed al-Fahd, another prominent Saudi Salafi scholar, in an Islamic ruling published in May 2003, approved the use of weapons of mass destruction against America. He also based his indictment on the principle of retaliation, but argued that Muslims have the right to kill ten million Americans in response to the crimes of their government against the Muslim nation. Al-Fahd elaborated the circumstances under which it is religiously permitted to kill non-combatant Americans: During a military operation when it is hard to distinguish between soldiers and civilians and according to military needs or considerations. Ascribing great importance to the military considerations, he asserted that the military leaders who are responsible for the execution of jihad have the authority to make the decisions concerning what types of weapons to use against the infidels. If they decided to use weapons of mass destruction based on military need, it would be an obligation under Islamic law.20
Similarly, radical Muslim scholars have justified the killing of 2,750 civilians in al-Qaeda's September 2001 attacks. A senior al-Qaeda operative named Saif al-Din al-Ansari argued in his book The September 11th Attack that the killing of thousands of civilians in the suicide attacks did not go beyond the "special circumstances" in which Muslims are religiously permitted to kill infidel civilians. These attacks were justified because they were conducted according to the principle of retaliation as well as the Islamic religious principle that permits the killing of civilians when necessary in order to destroy the enemy's fortresses, when it is impossible to differentiate between military and civilians.21 Support for this position has also been expressed by Saudi Islamic scholars Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi and Ali al-Khudeir.

Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi referred to the September attacks in his Islamic ruling as follows: "Any decisions taken by the American infidel state, particularly those dealing with war and other critical decisions, are taken based upon public opinion surveys or representatives' voting in their infidel legislatures. These legislatures represent primarily the people's opinion....Therefore, any American citizen who voted for the war is considered a combatant or at least an accessory [to the war]."22
The Saudi Sheikh Ali al-Khudier wrote in another Islamic ruling: "We should not regret the deaths of civilians in the Twin Towers attack since the American is an infidel because of his connection to his government. He fights for it, supports it with money, opinions or advice, and this is the type of their political regime. Therefore, they deserved what they experienced, since their fighting, support, and opinions deserve punishment."23
Advocating Total Extermination of Islam's Enemies
Al-Qaeda has adopted a broader interpretation of the religious command concerning the killing of infidels. It is considered an absolute command that does not depend on political circumstances, the need or will to take revenge, or a wish to liberate Muslim lands from infidel rule. Saif al-Din al-Ansari, in an article in al-Qaeda's official periodical, presented the new, comprehensive concept of total extermination of Islam's enemies based on the Quranic verse: "And that He may purge those who believe and deprive the unbelievers of blessings" (Al-Imran, 142). According to al-Ansari, this is the way Allah deals with infidels, who are doomed throughout history to total extermination through various types of death, as was the fate of the people of Noah, Hod, Saleh, Lot, Midian, and Pharaoh. Al-Ansari asserted that the extermination of infidels is a permanent Islamic law and unchangeable fate for infidels that is as relevant today as it was in past generations. According to al-Ansari, "Just as the law of extermination was applied to the infidel forces among the nations in previous days and no one could escape it, so it will be applied to the infidel forces in our day and no one will escape it. Namely, similar to the fate of the Thamoud and 'Ad peoples [two pagan Arab peoples which, according to Islamic tradition, were exterminated due to their rejection of the words of the Prophet], so the American state, the Jewish state, and all other infidel countries will certainly be destroyed."24
Al-Ansari further developed his concept of total extermination in a subsequent article. First, he firmly criticized the Islamic movements that raise the banner of daawa (Islamic preaching) and support the gradual spread of Islam through education, social organizations, and the economy as the preferred means to bring about the victory of Islam over other religions. He asserts that Allah has the power and might to subdue the infidels and to exterminate them by his will. However, He has not done so because of His wish to designate this task to Muslims.
Al-Ansari relies on the Quranic verse: "Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace [meaning that Allah will kill the infidels], and assist you against them and heal the hearts of a believing people" (Al-Tawba, 14). The key word in this verse is "by your hands," which indicates the great importance Allah attributes to the physical action of the infidels' extermination. This is even more substantial than the daawa in executing the command of jihad, since the daawa, as important as it might be, could not fulfill God's commandment for extermination.
Al-Ansari wrote: "Allah is capable of exterminating his enemies with no need for intermediaries or the help of anyone. His might is infinite...therefore, when He [Allah] designates the task of extermination of infidels to his believers, He does so as a hidden expression of His power...the infidels' extermination is part of Islamic law, which is operative until the Day of Judgment. Its principal element will be fulfilled only at the hands of the believers, meaning through jihad, which is also to be operative until the Day of Judgment.25

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