9/11, Jihad, and Islam: Our Security Depends on Acknowledging the Connections

Fifteen years ago today, September 11, 2001, the United States experienced mass murderous, cataclysmic acts of jihad terror. Islam, via its most effective historical instrument of Islamization—jihad war—attacked the U.S. seeking destruction of its economic (Wall Street), military (The Pentagon), and political (Capitol Hill) nerve centers. The worst—and most dangerous—enduring legacy of the 9/11/01 trauma is the stubborn, self-righteous denial by our political, military, religious, “academic,” and media elites of this irrefragable truth. Presidents Bush II and Obama, along with their most senior leadership and advisory staff, and those partisans outside their administrations who incessantly opine on these matters (even when “confronting” each other across the partisan divide), have uniformly embraced, and continue to embody, this mental aberration of Islamic denial.

The crux of what these bipartisan leadership elites have till now, negated, to the great detriment of our national security, was characterized, succinctly by a towering figure in the annals of Islamic jurisprudence, historiography, and “proto”-sociology, Ibn Khaldun (d.1406). Citing Islam’s canonical texts—the traditions of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad or “hadith,” and the Koran itself—Ibn Khaldun explained how jihad terror was central to the Islamization process.

Muhammad said: “War is trickery (deceit).” [Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Numbers 267/268/269]One understands Muhammad’s statement: “I was helped through the terror (that befell the enemy) [Sahih Bukhari, Book 4, Volume 52, Hadith 220; Koran 3:151/8:60/33:26] … The same fact explains Muhammad’s victory with small numbers over the polytheists during his lifetime, and the victories of the Muslims during the Muslim conquests after Muhammad’s death. Allah took care of His Prophet. He threw terror into the hearts of the unbelievers… Terror in the hearts of their enemies was why there were so many routs during the Muslim conquests

Ibn Khaldun further elucidated how these conquests fit into Islam’s unique Allah-inspired mandate to impose the totalitarian Sharia, Islamic “law”, universally, via jihad:

In the Muslim community, the holy war (jihad) is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the (Muslim) mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force. Therefore, caliphate and royal authority are united in (Islam), so that the person in charge can devote the available strength to both of them at the same time. The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty to them, save only for purposes of defense. It has thus come about that the person in charge of religious affairs in (other religious groups) is not concerned with power politics at all. (Among them,) royal authority comes to those who have it, by accident and in some way that has nothing to do with religion. It comes to them as the necessary result of group feeling, which by its very nature seeks to obtain royal authority, as we have mentioned before, and not because they are under obligation to gain power over other nations, as is the case with Islam. They are merely required to establish their religion among their own (people).

In a related discussion Ibn Khaldun expresses, authoritatively, timeless Islamic attitudes toward Christianity and Christian peoples, germane to the U.S., and the dominant American Christian faith:

…among the Christians with regard to their religion and to Christology… [w]e do not think that we should blacken the pages of this book with discussion of their dogmas of unbelief. In general, they are well known. All of them are unbelief. This is clearly stated in the noble Koran. (To) discuss or argue those things with them is not up to us. It is (for them to choose between) conversion to Islam, payment of the [deliberately debasing] poll tax, or death.

Notwithstanding `~30,000 acts of jihad terror since 9/11/01—including the recent mass killings of Americans at San Bernadino, CA, and Orlando, FL—the prevailing American discourse on Islam refuses to acknowledge the immediate ongoing relevance of what Ibn Khaldun expressed so unabashedly, and with great fidelity to the Muslim creed. Indeed, the San Bernadino carnage—rooted in the mid-19th century traditionalist Indian Muslim Deobandi movement—was foreshadowed in open calls for jihad to be waged by North American Muslims to Islamize our continent during a 1977 U.S.-Canadian tour of mainstream Islamic centers (and U.S. universities!) by the modern Deobandi ideologue, Abul Hassan ali-Nadwi.

Yet bowdlerized discussion of Islam was not characteristic of American statesmen and diplomats (here; here; here; here), legists (here; here), and prominent religious and military leaders, from the era of nascent America’s first encounter with Islam and jihad terror, i.e., the Barbary Wars, in the late 18th through early 19th centuries, till at least the 1950s. Accordingly, the U.S. was fully capable of recognizing and neutralizing any acute threats Islam posed to our national security and interests, avoiding major, self-destructive involvements with Islamic societies and their Sharia-based pathologies, and most importantly, not importing Sharia-supremacist votaries of Islam, en masse, into the U.S. It is long overdue that we return to those informed, rational, and humane behaviors, fully consistent with our Constitutional ideals.

James Freeman Clarke, an American abolitionist, and her first (and arguably still greatest) scholar of comparative religion, offered this pellucid, concise description, in 1871, of Islam’s Allah-derived totalitarian essence, antithetical to America’s Judeo-Christian rootedness in individual liberty:

Islam saw Allah, but not man. Saw the claims of deity, but not the rights of humanity. Saw authority, failed to see freedom. Therefore hardened into despotism.

Finally, Theodore Roosevelt, in 1916, summarized the devastating historical consequences of not forcefully repelling predatory Islam:

The civilization of Europe, America, and Australia exists today at all only because of the victories of civilized man over the enemies of civilization . . . [including] those of Charles Martel in the 8th century [over Arab jihadists] and those of John Sobieski in the 17th century [over Ottoman Turkish jihad­ists]. During the thousand years that included the careers of the Frankish soldier [Martel] and the Polish king [Sobieski], the Christians of Asia and Africa proved unable to wage successful war with the Moslem conquerors; and in consequence Christianity practically vanished from the two continents; and today nobody can find in them any “social values” whatever, in the sense in which we use the words, so far as the sphere of Mohammedan influence [is] . . . concerned. . . . There are such “social values” today in Europe, America, and Australia only because during those thousand years the Christians of Europe possessed the warlike power to do what the Christians of Asia and Africa had failed to do—that is, beat back the Moslem invader. It is of course worthwhile for sociologists to discuss the effect of this European militarism on “social values” but only if they first clearly realize and formulate the fact that if European militarism had not been able to defend itself against and to overcome the militarism of Asia and Africa, there would have been no “social values” of any kind in our world today, and no sociologists to discuss them.

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism " (Prometheus, November, 2008) You can contact Dr. Bostom at @andrewbostom.org

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