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Robert Spencer: Ramadan is the Month of Jihad


Another Ramadan is upon us, and the Islamic State has called upon Muslims to show their piety during this month by carrying out jihad attacks in the U.S., Europe and Russia. In a new video, Muslims are told to “wait and hide for them,” that is, non-Muslims, “in houses, corners, roads,” and kill them. This is reminiscent of the Qur’an’s exhortation to “kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush” (9:5), and constitutes yet another reminder that Ramadan is quintessentially the month of jihad.

A jihad group explained it back in 2012: “The month of Ramadan is a month of holy war and death for Allah. It is a month for fighting the enemies of Allah and God’s messenger, the Jews and their American facilitators.” Referring to a jihad attack that happened at that time, the message continued: “One of our groups aided by Allah managed to bomb a bus full of Jewish tourists, plunderers of holy lands, after careful tracking. The holy war is not confined to a particular arena and we shall fight the Jews and the Americans until they leave the land of Islam.”

In contrast, President Trump issued a statement asserting that “the spirit of Ramadan strengthens awareness of our shared obligation to reject violence, to pursue peace, and to give to those in need who are suffering from poverty or conflict,” and claiming that recent jihad terror massacres in Britain and Egypt were “acts of depravity that are directly contrary to the spirit of Ramadan.”

So which is it? Are jihad attacks “acts of depravity that are directly contrary to the spirit of Ramadan,” or is Ramadan “a month of calamity everywhere for nonbelievers”?

Islam’s core beliefs make it clear that the latter statement is closer to the truth. During Ramadan, Muslims are exhorted to renew and deepen their devotion to Allah. Hence it is a time when they’re supposed to grow more generous and kind toward their fellow Muslims. However, the Qur’an says: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves” (48:29). If the Ramadan imperative is to become more devout, the Muslim who applies himself diligently to the Ramadan observance will simultaneously become more both merciful to his fellow Muslims and more severe against the unbelievers.

Murdering infidels thus doesn’t contradict the spirit of Ramadan; it embodies it. The Kavkaz Center, a website operated by Chechen jihadists, explained in a 2010 article that the idea of Ramadan as a time for warfare against infidels went back to Muhammad’s time: “The month of Ramadan in the life of the Prophet (pbuh) and the righteous ancestors was a month of forthcoming. The greatest battles during the lifetime of the Prophet (pbuh) occurred in this blessed month, the month of jihad, zeal and enthusiasm.”

Trump was, unfortunately, following the example of his two immediate predecessors when he claimed that jihad terror attacks were “acts of depravity that are directly contrary to the spirit of Ramadan,” and severely misleading the American people. Ironically, even in doing this he failed to satisfy Muslims, or anyone: the Washington Post ran a lengthy piece in which several Muslims explained why Trump’s statement was unsatisfactory to them. Shadi Hamid of the Qatar-funded Brookings Institution declared: “Trump has so rarely recognized that American Muslims even exist, but this offers apparent proof that he is aware of our existence. Great! Putting all that context aside, it’s offensive and pretty much terrible.”

Why? Because Trump had the temerity to mention jihad terrorism. Hamid continued: “We, as American Muslims, shouldn’t be defined solely in our relationship to bad things that we have nothing to do with. We’re also normal people who happen to be Muslim and to see us and our history in America so narrowly is plain out offensive.”

What is actually offensive is that Hamid would try in this way to absolve the Muslim community of any responsibility to root out jihad terrorist from its midst. There is certain to be more jihad terrorism during this Ramadan, and some of it may be committed by Muslims in the U.S. Hamid, if he cared about this, would be confronting honestly the teachings of Islam that make Ramadan the month of jihad, and working to reform them.

Meanwhile, it would be dangerous, suicidal folly for Infidels to pretend that Ramadan is not the month of jihad. And as our Ramadan willful blindness continues, more Infidels will die.

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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