When I came back from Pakistan, I brought with me a number of books regarding jihad, most of them in Urdu. Almost all of these books discuss jihad in terms of (قتال في سبيل الله, qitāl fi sabīlillāh, “fighting/battling in the path of God”). So, obviously, my focus for some time will be on this aspect of jihad.
The reason I do this is to inform myself and others about what is being written and taught concerning jihad. We hear so much propaganda from both sides – some saying jihad is not violent and we will excommunicate you if you disagree, others saying jihad is always violent and we will kill you if you disagree – so I think it’s important to be aware of what they’re saying to each other in each other’s language. You will notice that what they write in Urdu, for example, does not correspond with what will commonly be found in English. I’d like to bridge that gap – provide in English some of what is being written in other languages.
Having said that, I do not want to ignore nor would I want others to ignore the jihad that goes by the name of “Islamism.” It’s not always violent, true, but it is just as insidious and disastrous as jihad with the sword (جهاد بالسيف, jihād bi-s-sayf, “jihad with the sword”). Considering what I have said about jihad, some might think it a bit harsh to claim that Islamism is jihad, but this is the fact of how things are. Rather than fighting the infidels and wayward Muslims with swords or bullets, these (مجاهدين, mujāhidīn, “jihad-fighters”) fight with persuasive arguments, lies, misrepresentations, propaganda, psychological manipulation, and so forth. Their goal is the same as those with swords and guns: the supremacy of Islam, The West’s surrender to Islam (even if by granting it special privileges and desisting from criticism), tne uniformity of Islam, and the ackowledgement of Islam’s superiority. Note that their jihad will harm nominal Muslims as much as non-Muslims. Islamism is behind such vigilante forces as Saudi Arabia’s (مطوعين, muTawwa‛īn) and Iran’s (بسيجي, basījī): they seek the obedience of all Muslims, by choice or by compulsion.
When the mujāhidīn with swords swept through Christian Asia, they did not convert the masses. The mujāhidīn with soft tongues and promises of advancement, the eloquent preachers and teachers of this new religion of conquerors and warriors – they converted the masses, turning the people away from The West to face Mecca.
I feel no shame in saying that I stand as firmly against jihad with the sword as jihad through Islamism. Both are a threat to The West and must be resisted. And the beginning of resistance is understanding. Knowledge is power, which is why they keep us in the dark.