Are the bitter fruits of Senator John McCain’s “diligent diplomacy” a humiliating prisoner “exchange”—innocent US NGO workers, for hardened jihadists, including the notorious “Blind Sheikh” Umar ‘Abd-al-Rahman, who orchestrated the murderous 1993 World Trade Center bombing?
My colleague at Translating Jihad has fully translated an Arabic Al-Arabiya story entitled (pathognomonically), “ ‘Umar ‘Abd-al-Rahman at Forefront of Egyptian-American Prisoner Exchange Deal.”
If the crux of this story is accurate, it will represent a modern variant of capitulation to the anti-modern dictates of jihad warfare. Jihad, this ancient, but vibrant Islamic institution grounded upon hatred of the non-Muslim infidel, has long used captured infidels—including, prominently, non-combatants seized as “booty” during endless, unprovoked incursions into the lands of the infidel—to ransom in exchange for captured murderous jihadists.
This was true, for example, of the Barbary jihad piracy—an enduring, formidable enterprise—which confronted America soon after our nation was established (i.e., between 1786-1815). During the 16th and 17th centuries, as many Europeans were captured, sold, and enslaved by the Barbary corsairs as were West Africans made captive and shipped for plantation labor in the Americas by European slave traders. Robert Davis’ methodical enumeration indicates that between one, and one and one-quarter million white European Christians were enslaved by the Barbary Muslims from 1530 through 1780. White Gold, Giles Milton’s remarkable account of Cornish cabin boy Thomas Pellow, captured by Barbary corsairs in 1716, also documents how earlier 17th century jihad razzias had extended to England [ “By the end of the dreadful summer of 1625, the mayor of Plymouth reckoned that 1,000 skiffs had been destroyed, and a similar number of villagers carried off into slavery”], Wales, southern Ireland [ “In 1631…200 Islamic soldiers…sailed to the village of Baltimore, storming ashore with swords drawn and catching the villagers totally by surprise. (They) carried off 237 men, women, and children and took them to Algiers…The French padre Pierre Dan was in the city (Algiers) at the time…He witnessed the sale of the captives in the slave auction. ‘It was a pitiful sight to see them exposed in the market…Women were separated from their husbands and the children from their fathers…on one side a husband was sold; on the other his wife; and her daughter was torn from her arms without the hope that they’d ever see each other again’.”], and even Reykjavik, Iceland!
Such behaviors—past as prologue to what is happening now in Egypt—are sanctioned by the “law” of jihad, and emphasize the notion of jihad ransom.
The classical Baghdadian jurists Abu Yusuf (from the Hanafi school of jurisprudence, d. 798) and al-Mawardi (a Shafi’ite jurist, d. 1058) were prolific, respected scholars who lived during the so-called Islamic “Golden Age” of the Baghdadian-Abbasid Caliphate. They wrote the following, based on their interpretations of the Koran and Sunna (i.e., the recorded words and deeds of Muhammad):
[Abu Yusuf] ..that one can even ..finish off the wounded, or kill prisoners who might prove dangerous to the Muslims.. As for the prisoners who are lead before the imam, the latter has the choice, as he pleases, of executing them, or making them pay a ransom, for the most advantageous choice for the Muslims, and the wisest for Islam. The ransom imposed upon them is not to consist either of gold, silver, or wares, but is only in exchange for Muslim captives..
[Al-Mawardi] …As for the captives, the amir [ruler] has the choice of taking the most beneficial action of four possibilities: the first to put them to death by cutting their necks; the second, to enslave them and apply the laws of slavery regarding their sale and manumission; the third, to ransom them in exchange for goods or prisoners; and fourth, to show favor to them and pardon them.
Indeed such odious “rules” were iterated by all four classical schools of Islamic jurisprudence, across the vast Muslim empire. Specifically, Ibn Abi Zayd Al_Qayrawani (d. 996), head of the North African Maliki school at Qairuan, and the famous Syrian jurist Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328) of the Hanbali school under the Mamluks, wrote the following:
[Ibn Abi Zayd Al_Qayrawani ] There is no inconvenience to kill white non-Arabs who have been taken prisoner…
[Ibn Taymiyya] …If a male unbeliever is taken captive during warfare or otherwise, eg., as a result of a shipwreck, or because he has lost his way, or as a result of a ruse, then the imam may do whatever he deems appropriate: killing him, enslaving him, releasing him or setting him free for a ransom consisting in either property or people. This is the view of most jurists and it is supported by the Koran and the Sunna…
The US can ill afford to capitulate to such a barbaric and dehumanizing “code” which will only embolden an increasingly aggressive global jihadist movement epitomized by the Arab Spring triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood and other mainstream jihadist elements which represent Egypt’s—and the region’s—Muslim masses.
The full disturbing story is translated below, from Translating Jihad:
The Egyptian government began taking steps to respond with the American offer to release 50 Egyptians being held in American prisons–including Shaykh ‘Umar ‘Abd-al-Rahman—in exchange for the release of 19 Americans accused in the case of foreign funding of civil society organizations. This is according to what was confirmed by Major General Muhammad Hani Zahir, an expert in military studies and international counterterrorism.
Zahir in comments to the newspaper ‘al-Masriyun’ said it was necessary for Egypt to exploit America’s weak position, especially after condemning its citizens in cases affecting Egyptian sovereignty over its territory. He added that Egypt should not permit this exchange to take place unless the American administration agrees to release more than 500 Egyptians being held in American prisons, of whom the Egyptian foreign ministry knows nothing.
He added that the Egyptian foreign ministry asked the Egyptian embassy in Washington to take inventory of the number of Egyptians imprisoned in the United States. He also stated that the Egyptian consulate began taking steps to inventory the numbers of Egyptians imprisoned and being held up in investigations in various cases in the United States. He also added that among those imprisoned and whose files the consulate has studied is Shaykh ‘Umar ‘Abd-al-Rahman, the mufti of al-Jama’a al-Islamiyya, and who is currently imprisoned in America.
Zahir closed his remarks by saying: “In my character as an international expert on counterterrorism, corruption, and money laundering, I ask the Egyptian government to direct to the Americans accused in the case of unlawful foreign funding of unlawful civil society organizations the accusation of “supporting and funding terrorism” within Egypt. This is because all of the physical and solid evidence confirms their involvement in supporting terrorism in Egypt. This is what verily happened in Muhammad Mahmoud Street, Shaykh Rihan Street, and Mansur Street, and in the events of the Ministers’ Council. If this accusation is directed against them, they will be condemned to death by hanging, or to do hard labor for life. This will force the American administration to carry out all the Egyptian requests, at the forefront the release of all Egyptians being held in American prisons and the amendment of the terms of American aid, to where they give cash like they do to the Israelis, rather than giving commodities which don’t provide any benefit to Egypt to the degree that it diminishes Egyptian sovereignty.”