Thursday, September 29, 2016
Are all Muslims jihadists?
The problem with Spencer's terminology denoting the problematic Muslims as "jihadists" -- aside from the overarching problem of distinguishing Muslims at all (as though one could discern with sufficient certainty which Muslims are dangerous and which are not) -- is that it implies the existence of innumerable Muslims around the world who are not enabling jihad.
As far as I know, Spencer has not provided a definition of "jihadist" (or the more (supposedly) Arabically correct variant he sometimes uses, jihadi). One surmises that what he means by it is, a Muslim who engages in terrorism motivated by Islam. I.e., a Muslim terrorist pursuing the Jihad-bil-Saif (i.e., Jihad of the Sword). If so, this would be the fallacy of "the rose by another name".
Which raises the question: What do we call all the Muslims who in various ways enable the Jihad of the Sword? Apparently, Spencer's go-to word to denote the problematic Muslim, jihadist, signifies what would more accurately be termed the front-line soldier -- and perhaps also including their military strategists ("lieutenants", "generals", etc.; i.e., those who are part of the Islamic terrorism operation, but do not actually do the killing and/or being killed).
If this is the case, why doesn't Spencer just say "Islamic terrorists" or "Muslim terrorists"?
At any rate, the broader problem with Spencer's favorite term is that jihad is not merely summed up by Jihad of the Sword. There are many styles of jihad out there -- both the styles one can find adumbrated in Islamic texts & tradition itself, and the styles we Infidels can discern being deployed by Muslims.
As for the former, the ones most people in the Counter-Jihad Mainstream know are the Jihad of the Sword, Jihad of the Pen, and Jihad of the Tongue -- the first being military (or para-military) violence; the latter two being the propaganda activity of what has been termed stealth jihad. There are many others in Islamic texts & tradition, but many of them strike the Infidel reader as being species of the aforementioned propaganda -- examples, from the website Ummah.com:
Al jihad al Khair, or jihad bil mal the good jihad which refers to struggle to better the human condition through giving freely ones wealth, time, skills and capabilities.
Al jihad al Kabeer or jihad bil Quran the great jihad. This is intellectual activity inviting people to goodness using revelation, reason and scientific arguments.
Al jihad Akbar, the great jihad. This is inner struggle against immorality and shortcomings with the ultimate goal of self-purification.
While these rosy descriptions may be true on one level in Islamic tradition, we know from our autodidactic study of Islam, they tell only half of the story -- namely, that Muslims while pursuing these lofty values are also at the same time psychotic fanatics who sincerely try to cultivate these values while also at the same time sincerely believing that violence, terror and hatred are necessary and good elements in that pursuit. That's the other, darker half which initial, superficial Dawa slyly telegraphs but doesn't say openly: kitman for deceiving the Harbi (the non-Muslim who is "at war" against Islam -- i.e., all non-Muslims who refuse to submit to Allah and His Prophet); and for the potential convert to Islam, biding its time until the initiate is ready to deepen his hatred of all things non-Islamic.
More importantly are the styles of jihad we can discern which Muslims are actually deploying against us. I have compiled a list of all that I can think of. Aside from Jihad of the Sword and Jihad of the Pen and Tongue, we have the following:
Jihad of Criminality
Jihad of the Feet
Jihad of the Womb
Jihad of Lawfare
Jihad of the Publicity Stunt
Jihad of Victimology & Grievance
Jihad of the Phony "Hate Crime"
And, perhaps the subtlest Jihad of all:
the Jihad of Just Being Here -- merely settling into the West, setting down roots, getting jobs, raising families, having sandwiches, walking around in the streets, shopping, going to school, attending college, joining gyms, etc., all non-verbally telegraphing the overall message: "We're here, we are insinuating our threads into your cultural fabric, get used to it."
(For more details, see my article, The Multifarious Strategy of Jihad.)
This rumination came to mind because of a recent essay by Robert Spencer in which, consequent upon a Muslim killing five in a mall in Washington State this past week, he ponders the question of the "non-jihadist jihadist", who doesn't seem to have a history of Islamic piety, and therefore seems to have been not directly motivated by Islam, yet still is psychologically and culturally suffused with "Islamic values" such that he effectively committed a Jihad of the Sword -- only, sort of unintentionally. Or something. It's not clear what Spencer is tying himself up in knots about here. He could release the tension of all those knots by simply adopting, and proposing, a rational prejudice against all Muslims, such that, because we can't, and shouldn't have to, sift through and try to disentangle the distinctions (if they really exist) among Muslims who are confused, Muslims who are genuinely decent, Muslims who are sorta kinda enabling Islamic Jihad, Muslims who are indeed enabling Islamic Jihad but who deploy various deceptive subterfuges to throw us off (including seeming to be truly secularized), and Muslims who are bonafide "jihadists" -- we should stop fretting over the distinctions and just presume guilt without waiting around for innocence.
There have been other Mohammedans who seemed to have led lives not in synch with our caricature of the pious and devout "Salafist extremist" -- such as Mohamed Bouhlel, the Muslim who massacred 86 people (and wounded over 400), by plowing through crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France, about whom Jihad Watch reported that he "took drugs, used a dating site to pick up men and women" and also reported that Bouhlel's Muslim cousin claimed that he "drank alcohol... ate pork...".
Spencer's essay certainly implies my argument of prejudice based on zero tolerance; but, of course, he can't quite go there because he's evidently committed to believing in innumerable decent Muslims. On this, see my recent essay (and the links therein): Robert Spencer on the problem of Muslims.
Meanwhile, a typical example of Spencer's flawed template which he indulges far more frequently was published on Jihad Watch back in June when, in a report about how the French government is sanctioning Muslim staff at the Paris airport who have a Koran in their lockers and who refuse to trim their Salafist beards, Spencer wrote:
This indicates that underneath all the politically correct nonsense, French authorities know very well that there is a correlation between devout adherence to Islam and interest in jihad terror activity — not in each and every case, but frequently enough to cause grave concern: not all devout Muslims are jihadis, but (despite mainstream media obfuscation on this point) virtually all jihadis are devout Muslims.
Since my aforementioned list of styles of jihad embraces pretty much all the behaviors we can discern from all Muslims, not just Spencer's "jihadis", I think the answer to my titular question is clear.