Skip to comments.Crusade vs. Jihad The rage of Muslim fundamentalists against America, the 'Great Satan
Posted on 07/19/2003 11:36:40 AM PDT by freeforall
Crusade vs. Jihad
The rage of Muslim fundamentalists against America, the 'Great Satan,' can be traced back to holy wars of the 11th century and winds through a history of European colonialism and Cold War competition.
SALIM MANSUR, For the London Free Press
On the Sunday following 9/11, President George W. Bush spoke to Americans reeling from the shock of terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
The twin towers of the World Trade Center had collapsed, but the fires and smoke from Ground Zero were still visible and painted Manhattan's skyline in dull brown and grey.
Bush appealed for calm, for Americans to return to work and restore their normal lives, and then he said: "My administration has a job to do . . . We will rid the world of evildoers. This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while. And American people must be patient."
Since then, America's war on terrorism has unfolded with a grim determination, and its worldwide dimension has become starkly evident.
In Afghanistan, the mad rule of the Taliban regime providing a haven to Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, al-Qaida, was demolished.
In Iraq, the genocidal tyranny of a totalitarian despot, Saddam Hussein, was toppled.
Across the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, South and Central Asia, Malaysia and the island nations of Indonesia and the Philippines, the hunt for members of al-Qaida -- and other Muslim fundamentalist organizations such as the Indonesian Jemaah Islamiyah connected with al-Qaida and responsible for the bombing in Bali -- continues with varying success.
Hence America's war on terrorism appears to be directed primarily against targets identified as assets, organizations and people suspected of terrorist links in the Muslim world, and among Muslims settled in the West.
This has led many Muslims to believe America's war on terrorism is an excuse for what Bush declared to be a "crusade" in his first major statement following 9/11.
But the word crusade is burdened with much history of blood and hate, of wars organized by the Christian West against Islam and Muslims, between the 11th and the 13th centuries, to regain the Holy Land lost to the Arabs in the early seventh century.
In most English-language dictionaries, the first meaning of "crusade" refers to this history.
But in modern usage of "crusade," according to my Concise Oxford Dictionary, means any "vigorous movement" against, for instance, poverty.
In Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, crusade is defined as "a remedial enterprise undertaken with zeal and enthusiasm."
The West today is only nominally Christian, predominantly secular, and much changed in the third millennium of its history since Jesus of Nazareth preached on the shores of Galilee.
Bush's reference to a crusade most likely meant what is understood in its modern usage.
But using the word was an error, and was quickly recognized as such by his advisers. The word seems to have been purged from the president's vocabulary since its first use following 9/11.
History for Muslims, particularly those of the Middle East, is shaded differently.
Their associations with "crusade" are linked to European colonialism and imperialism of the past two centuries and to feelings about the West's scientific-technical pre-eminence and military superiority.
Moreover, the making of Israel is viewed almost uniformly as an instrument of western -- particularly American -- power in the heartland of the Muslim world.
This view of history has led a great many Muslims to believe 9/11, irrespective of who committed the crime, provided an excuse for Bush and his pro-Israeli advisers to mount an assault on the Muslim world to tighten American control over the strategic resources, oil and gas, in southwest Asia.
Global Internet traffic of Muslim communications is inundated with variations and permutations of this view of history -- of the West as the American superpower waging a "crusade" against Islam and Muslims for being the only civilizational entity resistant to its political hegemony.
Here is one random sample of a Web posting last April by Jahangir Mohammed, identified as director of the Centre for Muslim Affairs in Britain. In an essay titled Its Crusade vs. Jihad, Mohammed describes America's war on terrorism as a global war against Islam and Muslims, and summarizes, "the U.S.A. and Britain have taken steps that will lead to the inevitable clash between Islam and the West.
"We can only conclude from now on that it will be a case of what it has always been between the Judeo-Christian West and the Islamic world, Crusade versus Jihad."
But is the war on terrorism really a disguised western crusade, led by America, against Islam and Muslims?
Is it, as formulated by Harvard University professor Samuel Huntington in his widely read essay and later book, The Clash of Civilizations?
A wide segment of Muslims believe this to be the case, and Muslim fundamentalists, fanatics and fascists who have made common cause with bin Laden, Saddam and the Taliban are doing their worst to ignite such a civilizational conflagration.
Any history, and more specifically global history, is complex and multi-layered. No culture or civilization has ever existed by itself entirely sealed and separate from another.
In this sense, the history of every people is one of intermittent or continuous traffic of ideas and goods with others.
The Arab Muslim history itself bears testimony to this traffic. In our time, globalization means this traffic among cultures has become immensely accelerated and intense.
America's involvement with the Arab Muslim world looms large and, in the perspective of Muslim fundamentalists, as threateningly intrusive. But American involvement in the Middle East is recent in history, beginning at the mid-point of last century and coinciding with the Cold War against the former Soviet Union.
America's strategic interest in the Cold War was to contain Soviet communism, to secure order and stability in regions proximate to the Soviet empire, and to maintain access to and control over resources, such as oil, vital for the functioning of a modern industrial economy.
During the Cold War years most Muslim states, with few exceptions, became allies, or clients, of American power. These states, and their rulers, benefited from the arrangement. But for America, the cost of securing order and stability in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Muslim world was the moral and political price paid in supporting authoritarian regimes.
The 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran toppled the shah, a favoured American client, and exposed the dilemma of Washington's Cold War policy in the Middle East. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the clerical leader of the revolution, declared America to be the Great Satan of the Muslim world, and his followers took American diplomats hostage. This was the first salvo of "jihad," or holy war, fired by Muslim fundamentalists against America.
The lesson of revolutionary Iran was widely absorbed by militants in the Muslim world. In Egypt, Muslim fundamentalists staged the killing of president Anwar Sadat. In Soviet-occupied Afghanistan -- ironically, with the strategic military support of the U.S. and its two fundamentalist allies, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan -- Muslim militants rallied in support of Afghan holy warriors against Soviet communism.
During the '90s, the world greatly changed. The Cold War ended, the Soviet Union disintegrated, Saddam occupied Kuwait and was expelled, the American economy entered into an unprecedented expansion, Taliban seized Kabul, and ethno-tribal conflicts in Africa and the Balkans confronted western democracies with difficult political and moral choices over the question of intervention.
Within the Muslim world, a new phase of an old struggle broke out between modernizers and their opponents. The latter grew increasingly militant, emboldened by the Iranian example and success of the Afghan war, and in their pursuit of power precipitated civil wars of varying intensity in a number of Muslim countries, most notably Algeria.
For Muslim fundamentalists, America, the Great Satan, stood between them and their goal of establishing their version of Islamic states along the lines of Afghanistan under Taliban rule.
They determined driving out America from the heartland of the Muslim world, Saudi Arabia, required striking at the heartland of America and American assets globally. The attack on the World Trade Center in February 1993 brought their jihad to America.
Islam arrived in America a long time ago, some records suggest as early as 1717 when slaves speaking Arabic were brought across the Atlantic. Later, Muslims from the Middle East and elsewhere began arriving after the Civil War ended in 1865. They survived and prospered like other immigrants.
The fanatical rage of fundamentalists has set back by decades progress of the Muslim world. Its importation into America by a small segment of Muslims has brought agony to a majority of Muslims, many who fled the troubles of their native lands.
The causes and effects of 9/11, the merits and extent of Bush's war on terrorism, will be debated for a long time among historians in America and abroad.
It is undeniable, however, as the second anniversary of 9/11 approaches, that America is a focus for Muslim fundamentalists and their jihad in a poorly disguised politics of violence against all civilizational values, including Islam.
A convenient starting place for the Muslims. I would say it can be traced back to the aggressive wars of conquest or the 8th and 9th century when Islamic armies conquered 2/3 of the Christian world and forcibly converted the inhabitants to Islam. The only thing that stopped them was the Frankish army at Tours. The Crusades were simply a counter-offensive in an 800 year war started by the Muslims.
They need a taste of American/British/Australian rage.
nk and the islamic mindset are pretty similar. And both are coming close to all out warfare.
I wonder if there is any other way to stop all these hordes, besides using nucs?
Well, the earth was destroyed by the Flood once, and the next time, the elements will melt with fervent heat. Is this what you could be referring to?
1683 - POLAND Saved Europe from Islamic JIHAD
Before they were utterly defeated by the King of Poland, Jan III Sobieski, at the Battle of Vienna in 1683, the followers of Muhammad had laid seige to Vienna in their attempt to "convert" and conquer Europe.
Here was their declaration and widely published prayer (sound familiar?):
Eternal God and creator of all things, and thou O Mahomet his sacred and divine prophet. We beseech thee let us not dread the Christians, who are so mean and silly to rely on a crucified god. By the power of thy right hand, so strengthen ours that we may surround this foolish people, on every side, and utterly destroy them. At length fulfill our prayers and put these miscreants into our hands, that we may establish thy throne for ever in Mecca, and sacrifice all those enemies of our most holy religion at thy tomb. Blow us with thy mighty breath like swarms of flies into their quarters, and let the eyes of these infidels bedazelled with the lustre of our moon. Consume them with thy fiery darts, and blind them with the dust which they themselves have raised. Destroy them all in thine anger. Break all their bones in pieces, and consume the flesh and blood of those who defile thy sacrifice, and hang the sacred light of circumcision on their cross. Wash them with showers of many waters, who are so stupid to worship gods they know not: and make their Christ a son to that God who ne're begot him. Hasten therefore their destruction we humbly entreat thee, and blot out their name and religion, which they glory so much in, from off the face of the earth, that they may be no more, who condemn and mock at thy law. Amen.
And, here is an excerpt from the King of Poland's letter to his Queen, after the Battle:
.....The Rarities which were found in the Prime Vizor's Tent, were no less Numerous than Strange and Surprising, as very curious Parrots, and some Birds of Paradise, with all his Banios, and Fountains, and some Ostriches, which he Chose rather to Kill, than let 'em fall Alive into our Hands; Nay his Dispair and Jealousy transported him so far, as to Destroy his very Women for the same Reason.
The whole Army Attributes the Glory of this Victory to God, and Us, and all the Princes of the Empire, with the Great Officers, as the Dukes of Bavaria and Lorrain, Prince Waldek, etc. were so far transported with my Valour and Success, that their Thanks and Praises were more Numerous, than was their Fears before; and Count Staremberg the Governour, Saluted me with the Title of his Mighty Deliverer. The Common People in my going to and from the Churches, pay'd their Veneration even to my very Garments, and made their Cry's and Acclamations reach the Sky, of Long Live the King of Poland.....
In the battle we Lost some of our Friends, as Prince Halicki, and the Treasurer of our Household. The Reverend Marinus Daviano, heapt on me his Pray'rs and Blessings, and told me he saw a White Dove fluttering o're the Army, which he look'd upon as an happy Augure of our Victory.....
Thanks be to Heaven, now the Half-Moon Triumphs no longer o'er the Cross, And 'twas thrown down from St. Stephen's Steeple in Vienna (whom it had o'retopt so long) immediately on the Defeat: Neither have the Turks any occasion to upbraid us with their Blasphemous Mahometan Proverb: Ye Christians where is Your God?
After the Battle Jan Sobieski entered Vienna in glory. The King and his Polish army had won lots of fame after their victory. Jan III Sobieski was not only looked upon as the savior of Vienna, but as a savior of the whole of Europe from the Ottoman Turks.
WorldNetDaily.com: "CANADIAN IMAN SUPPORTS JIHAD AGAINST U.S." by Art Moore (ARTICLE SNIPPET: "A North American Muslim leader says he supports Saddam Hussein's call for jihad and believes Middle East Muslims should take up arms to expel U.S. troops from Iraq. "If I were there, I would fight with them," said Gamal Solaiman, imam of the mosque in Canada's capital, Ottawa. "I would fight the Americans with my nails and teeth," he declared Sunday in an interview with the CanWest News Service.") (April 8, 2003)
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