February 02, 2007

Clash of Civilizations on Our Streets: Muslim Soldiers Called Apostates, Traitors; al Qaeda Infiltration in U.K. Government?

An article in the British press today shows Muslims accusing fellow Muslims who serve in the military of being "apostates" and "traitors"---and often times both. To us the two words have distinct and seperate meanings, but to many Muslims the two are related. Let me explain.

There really are two problems in the Muslim community: the first is Islam, the religion; and the second is Islam, as a nation. In the first instance Islam as a politco-religious ideology. The second is Islam as a self-identified "nation" [ummah]. In the first case young Muslims are inspired to commit acts of aggression by following traditional Islamic teachings and the example of Mohammed. A Muslim who joins with the "kuffar"[infidel] "crusader" army is then seen as an "apostate".

You do know what the penalty for apostasy is under Islamic law, don't you? A Muslim who has commited "apostasy" is someone who has "changed their deen [Islamic way of life]" (ie, turned their back on Islam). Muhammed, the hadiths tell us, said, "If someone changes his deen - strike his neck!" Translation: behead the apostates.

So, it should come as no surprise when groups such as al Qaeda or The Army of Ansar al Sunnah first declare their many Muslim hostage victims "apostates" before they cut off their heads. And it should also come as no surprise when extremist British Muslims pick those they see as a Muslim "apostates"---those serving in the kuffar army---as their potential beheading victims.

clash_of_civilizations.jpgIn the second case young Muslims are inspired to commit acts of aggression because many think of themselves as a member of the "ummah", or the Islamic nation, and not as "British" or "American". Thus, many Muslims in the West identify themselves as "foreigners" living as expatriates amongst us.

The problem is more severe in Europe than in the U.S. where years of mulitculturalism has discouraged Muslim immigrants from assimilation. When Britain fights in Afghanistan or Iraq these Muslims see themselves as kin to the jihadis in those countries, and not to the soldiers they share a homeland with. Muslims who fight with the British are considered "traitors" to the "nation of Islam".

When they think of "us", they think of a Taliban or al Qaeda fighter---the "true Muslims". When they think of "them", they think of Americans or British soldiers. This second meaning of the word "Muslim", then, is a manifestation of what Samuel Huntington calls "the clash of civilizations."

While many Muslims accuse "neo-cons" [especially in the Bush administration] of perpertrating the language of the clash of civilizations, it is on Islamist websites where Huntington's thesis is most fully exploited. These websites are filled with imagery of Muslim "victims" of Western "aggression". Forget the fact that in Afghanistan British troops fight side-by-side with Afghani Muslims against the Taliban, or that U.S. troops are supporting a democratically elected government in Iraq. The images are not of Western countries supporting Muslims, but of Western nations committing acts of aggression and unspeakable attrocites against the "Muslim nation".

And these websites are not just in Arabic, Turkic, Urdu, and Farsi. No, these websites are also in English, Hindi, French, Russian, and Spanish. The audience of these websties are Western converts and the children of Muslim immigrants.

What makes this even more scary is that, according to Huntington, the majority of bloodshed in the world takes place at the faultlines between civilizations---especially where the "bloody borders" of Islam meet the rest of the world. Huntington imagined those faultlines to be in places like Chechnya (where Islam meets Orthodoxy), Kashmir (where Islam meets Hinduism), Sudan (where Islam meets animism/Christianity), or Israel (where Islam meets the West).

But as plots are uncovered all over the West of Muslims planning to bring the jihad home, it is becoming increasingly clear that those faultlines are here, amongst us. As long as Muslims in the West continue to identify themselves as sharing a closer kinship with Muslims around the world, the future clash of civilizations will be fought in Birminghan, London, Madrid, Berlin, and Los Angeles.

Confusing the matter even more is that, for many Muslims, it is impossible to disentangle the religious basis for joining the jihad against the West from the nationalistic reasons. So we should not be surprised that many Salafi websites [see below] claim that any Muslim who fights against the jihadis in Iraq or Afghanistan is both a traitor and an apostate. And whether you are a traitor or an apostate, to many Muslim extremists you are now a legititimate target.

Further, we should not be surprised that the highest levels of the British military may have been infiltrated by al Qaeda sympathizers [see below]. You and I might call an al Qaeda mole in the military a "traitor". But for a British Muslim, who thinks of himself as a citizen of the "nation of Islam", then passing information to a jihadi network is not an act of "treason" but of "espionage". He is not a "British traitor" but a "Muslim patriot". A spy for his nation.

The solution? The end of multiculturalism would be a start. Muslims in America are far less likely to feel estranged than Muslims in Europe. But that is only half the equation. The other half, as Robert Spencer reminds us on a daily basis, would be for Muslims to attack the roots of jihadi violence which can be traced back to the Quran, the hadiths, and the sunna [example of Muhammed]. And unfortunately, the prospects for that are slim.

First, an article sent to me by Glen Jenvey, about what Islamist websites say about Muslims serving in Western militaries. Telegraph:

The question of British Muslims joining the Army, said to have been a key issue behind the suspected Birmingham beheading plot, has been buzzing around the internet.

The debate was inflamed by the death of Muslim Lance-Corporal Jabron Hashmi in Afghanistan in July. A posting on a website carrying the name Hizb ut-Tahrir called him a "Muslim traitor who got what he deserved". The site was later disowned by the radical group of the same name.....

On another site, Mahmud Abdul Baari, a follower of the exiled preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed, called Hashmi a terrorist, adding: "Although born Muslim [he] grew up to become an apostate traitor to Islam and professional terrorist who unlike members of al-Qa'eda took a salary."

A member of a chatroom run by the Followers of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah, said joining the British Army or police is "clearly haram [forbidden] and a sin." One leading member of the group said that anyone who did the following was a non-believer: "applying for jobs that are asking Muslims to join the MI5 to infiltrate the community; co-operating with the Government by asking Muslim parents to spy on their children; working with deviant sects who ask us to join the crusading British Army; swearing an oath of allegiance to the fallible Queen".

Second, this article via
. Looks like al Qaeda moles are already in the British government. Times Online:
Defence chiefs have launched an urgent investigation into how a gang of suspected Islamic terrorists obtained a list of names and addresses for 25 serving British Muslim soldiers as part of an alleged plot to kidnap and behead a serviceman. Senior officers are alarmed that the hitlist includes home addresses as far apart as Glasgow and the West Country. A priority will be to ensure that no Ministry of Defence “mole” provided the suspected terror cell with such top-secret personal information.
Last, I know all of you are already LGF readers, but if you haven't already seen this video put up by Charles about reaction at the leading mosque in Birmingham, you really need to.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:07 PM | Comments |