After the terrorist attacks in Paris, we should finally consider a fact which is bordering taboo in our Western societies where the culture of political correctness has prevailed. If we are to have a chance of successfully standing up to terrorism, we have to find and identify its causes first. We cannot keep turning a blind eye to the real motivation of jihadists, which is openly declared by the terrorists themselves.
Hopefully, after Paris no one considers the myth of “lone wolves” who carried out the attack due to a psychological disorder relevant. In the context of terrorism of 21st century, the claim that these attacks were caused by the economic frustration of poor people doesn’t hold either. Prominent terrorists prove the opposite – they often rank among the most educated and financially secure members of society. Osama bin Laden, probably the most famous terrorist, is an excellent example. Bin Laden viewed his activity as a jihad, just like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (the leader of the IS), who has a Ph.D. in Islamic studies, views his own activity today. Jihad was a religious duty for bin Laden, which he clearly declared, accompanying his words with quotations from the Islamic doctrine. Bin Laden directed the following statement at Saudi intellectuals who tried to talk to Americans in a conciliatory tone and conceal the violence in Islam.
“In fact, Muslims are obligated to raid the lands of the infidels, occupy them, and exchange their systems of governance for an Islamic system, barring any practice that contradicts the sharia from being publicly voiced among the people, as was the case at the dawn of Islam… Thus they make claims and speak about Allah without understanding. They say that our sharia does not impose our particular beliefs upon others; this is a false assertion. For it is, in fact, part of our religion to impose our particular beliefs upon others. Whoever doubts this, let him turn to the deeds of the Companions [of Mohamed] when they raided the lands of the Christians and Omar imposed upon them the conditions of dhimmi[tude]… Let the signatories review them so they know that we are to force people by the power of the sword to [our] particular understandings, customs, and conditions, all in order to induce debasement and humility, just like Allah commanded when he said: “[…] until they pay the jizya by hand, in complete submission and humility.” [Koran 9:29] Now, if you are incapable of jihad and placing people into the religion, like the Companions did, your impotence does not mean that it is not a legitimate aspect of the religion.”
Source: Raymond Ibrahim: The Al Qaeda Reader (pp. 50-51).
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