Many people would like to read the Qur’an, especially as a way to understand Islam and Muslims. Anyone who embarks on such an endeavor will come to a realization that there are hundreds of different translations to choose from. Which one ought one to read? Read the rest of this entry »
(Disclaimer: Caution! This is a controversial and long post. Perhaps more controversial (at least I think so) than normal. Please proceed forward with caution. Comments are welcome; please keep them civil.)
Two people I admire very much (Dr. Victor Davis Hanson and Oriana Fallaci)—joined with many others I also admire—have made our engagement with Islamism clear: it is not only a war with bullets but also a war of wills and of civilizations (so to speak). If we focus only on the military aspect, we still might loose. We need to focus on all aspects of this war. Read the rest of this entry »
Just because I thought it would be useful:
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The Pakistani province of the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) consists primarily of Pashtuns. One part of the NWFP is special administratively: the Federally-Administered Tribal Area (FATA), which is in the southwest of the NWFP and borders Afghanistan. This is basically an autonomous area, where the tribal authorities basically rule without interference from the federal government of Pakistan or the provincial government of the NWFP. This area has become significant because they harbor fleeing members of the Taliban, fleeing Afghanistan and the Coalition’s assault on and attempt to eliminate the Taliban. Read the rest of this entry »
Many people focus on the martial aspect of jihad. But maybe we are ignoring the other side of the coin, as it were, with regard to jihad. Is there is a non-martial aspect to jihad?
Some Muslims say that jihad is violent is non-violent. The former is the lesser jihad, the armed attempts by Muslims to exterminate injustice, establish the supremacy of Islam, and to protect Muslims from (supposedly) external attacks (that is, attacks in self-defense). The latter is the greater jihad, which refers to internal reformation, spiritual development, faithfulness to obligations imposed by Islam, and other internal aspects. But as Dr. David B. Cook of Rice University expertly explains in his book Understanding Jihad, this is a recent innovation and has no justification in the fundamental sources of Islam at least for the impression given that this has always been how Islam believed in and practiced jihad.
But this does not mean that there may not be non-violent means to help accomplish jihad’s goals (the supremacy of Islam and establishment of a worldwide Islamic state). Could organizations like CAIR, Muslim agitation for special treatment, insistence on respecting Islam, legislation permitting Islamic ways and laws – can these also be considered to forms of non-violent warfare? A psychological and fifth-column aspect?
Then, if we focus on jihad-by-violence only, are we missing half of the problem? This has certainly got me thinking. And I think—and I could be wrong—that this threat, this jihad without force that seeks to accomplish the very thing jihadis who blow themselves up seek to accomplish, is what Oriana Fallaci may have been warning us about.