Sunday, May 14, 2006

From VDH - in case ya missed it.

Sword Without Leniency

I've pointed much of this out before, but consider it a reminder.

In 636 A.D., the caliph Umar gave these instructions to the commander he sent to Basra during the conquest of Iraq: “Summon the people to God; those who respond to your call, accept if from them, but those who refuse must pay the poll tax out of humiliation and lowliness. If they refuse this, it is the sword without leniency.”

Nearly fourteen centuries later, another Muslim leader, President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — who like Umar is fulfilling the Prophet’s injunction to “fight those who believe not in Allah” — has issued a similar summons to President Bush, leader of the most powerful nation in what once was called Christendom: “Undoubtedly through faith in God and the teaching of the prophets, the people will conquer their problems. My question to you is: ‘Do you want to join them?’”


...

Once again, we see the continuity and coherence of Islamic jihadist tradition across fourteen centuries. Yet here in the West, we refuse to listen to what the jihadists tell us and take them seriously in their own terms. We dismiss this continuity as an illusion masking the “real” causes, which must be material and psychological. No, no, we are told, the pursuit of jihad is not the fulfillment of a spiritual command, the expression of belief sanctified by Allah. Rather, it is the distorted rationalization for political dysfunction, lack of jobs and economic opportunity, distress over the absence of a Palestinian homeland, anger over the occupation of Iraq, self-esteem wounded by intrusive globalization, or lingering resentments of Western colonialism and imperialism.

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Read the rest.

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