The Islamic State (ISIS) attack in Medina shows once and for all that ISIS is not Islamic, right? After all, how could a Muslim group, much less a self-styled “caliphate,” set off a bomb in the city of Muhammad himself? That proves that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam, no? That’s what many Muslims would have us believe. Unfortunately, this is just more deception from practiced masters of deceit – and it’s deception that is increasingly dangerous and offensive as the jihad death count climbs ever higher.
Maher Zain, a Multi Platinum-winning singer and songwriter who is Muslim, wrote on Twitter to his 1.47 million followers: “Still need proof that ISIS is the foremost enemy of Islam? They attack the Prophet’s City. Terror knows no religion!” Boxer Amir Khan tweeted to his 1.75 million followers: “The attack in our beloved Prophet Muhammad’s city Madinah proves that Isis has no religion!” The UK Muslim broadcaster Mohammed Shafiq wrote: “The attack on #Madinah was an attack against all Muslims. We need unity against this evil.”
Neither Zain nor Khan nor Shafiq nor anyone else, however, explained why this it would be out of the question for jihadis to strike in Medina. Did Muhammad command jihad warfare against unbelievers? Yes: a hadith depicts Muhammad saying: “Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war…When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them…. If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them. (Sahih Muslim 4294)
In commanding this, did Muhammad forbid jihad against unbelievers in his city? He did not. But of course, in Medina there are only Muslims, no? And the Qur’an forbids Muslims to kill other Muslims (4:92). But Islam also mandates death for those who are considered heretics and apostates – and the Islamic State, in claiming to be the caliphate, the one true government to which all Muslims owe allegiance, and in demanding the obedience of all Muslims worldwide, has placed itself in the position of considering any Muslims who reject its authority to be heretical by virtue of that very rejection, and therefore worthy of death.
That is all the more true regarding governments of Muslim states that do not accept the caliphate. The Islamic State regards the House of Saud as illegitimate, and therefore to undermine it is a holy act. Reuters reported Sunday that the Islamic State jihadis targeted “a security headquarters at a mosque in the holy city of Medina,” and that “a suicide bomber detonated a bomb near the security headquarters of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, the second-holiest site in Islam. Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television said an initial death toll from the Medina blast included three suicide bombers and two security forces officers.”
So the target was not Muhammad’s mosque itself, but a security headquarters nearby – an outpost of the hated Saudi state, which the Islamic State considers to be heretical and apostate. Considered in light of the other recent Islamic State jihad bombings in Turkey, Bangladesh, and Iraq, it becomes clear: the Islamic State is targeting Muslim countries and trying to undermine their governments, with the ultimate goal of bringing them into the purview of its caliphate. However unattainable that goal may be in practice, it doesn’t prevent them from killing people in hopes of bringing it closer to attainment, and in hopes of pleasing their god who commands jihad warfare against unbelievers, without exempting Muslim rulers who are deemed to have left the straight path.
There is no doubt, however, that the deception and denial will continue. The lies from Islamic apologists are as much of a certainty in life as death and taxes, if not more so.
After Islamic State jihadists screaming “Allahu akbar” murdered twenty hostages at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka on the night of July 1, the serially deceptive Islamic apologist Qasim Rashid tweeted: “In #Ramadan’s final 10 days, Daesh has mass murdered dozens in three Muslim majority nations Please tell me more about how Islamic they are.” In another tweet, he included a photo captioned: “So you’re telling me they killed Muslims during Ramadan and you still blame Islam? Are you that incompetent or that bigoted?” To that, Rashid added: “Likewise, how I feel when I hear Islamophobes claim Islam was somehow behind the #DhakaAttack.”
Echoing Rashid was no less illustrious a personage than Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who insisted: “Anyone who believes in religion cannot do such act. They do not have any religion, their only religion is terrorism.”
This from a woman who adheres to a religion whose holy book three times exhorts Muslims to kill unbelievers (2:191, 4:89, 9:5), and tells believers to “strike the necks” of unbelievers (47:4) and to “strike terror in the hearts of the enemies of Allah” (8:60). In other words, she must know better when she says “their only religion is terrorism” Even after the Medina bombing, their religion is quite clear. And unless and until the West starts to speak honestly about this motivating ideology of terrorism, and to formulate realistic ways to confront it, it will continue to advance.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.
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