The Kardashians don’t have anything to worry about: Abd Al-Hamid Dabbous, an Islamic scholar, may be the only person in the world who associates glamor with jihad violence, but he seemed to be serious recently when he appeared on Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Gazan Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds Al-Youm TV and explained that jihad was the “pinnacle of Islam” and was what made Islam as “glamorous, strong, and lovable” as we all know it to be. You don’t think of Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 hijackers as cuddly, amiable lugs? You don’t regard Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as a teen idol? Well, don’t forget, he did appear in a glamor shot on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Dabbous, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), explained that “through Jihad, Allah conquers lands as well as hearts and minds.” He emphasized that it was a means of self-defense for the Muslim community, but (contrary to the oft-repeated claims of Islamic apologists in the U.S.) that there was an offensive aspect as well: “Jihad is the means by which the Muslims, first of all, defend their lands, their lives, their honor, and their religion, and in addition, it is a means to spread this religion, because the bottom line is that Allah sent down this religion so it would spread throughout the world until all the people become Muslims.”
Fourteen years of Islamic history bear out what Dabbous says here: Islam has for the most part spread not by proselytizing, but by conquest, followed by the subjugation of the native people that could be ended by their conversion to Islam. Egypt, for example, was ninety-nine percent Christian at the time of the Islamic conquest; now it is about ten percent Christian. The Christians didn’t pack up and leave the country; over time, they converted to Islam to escape the onerous burdens Islamic law places upon non-Muslims.
Dabbous, however, did not think of this as terrorizing those non-Muslims in any way: “We do not want to kill or terrorize people,” he asserted, “nor do we want to plunder people’s lands or rights, but we want people to convert to Islam. This is Allah’s will, not ours.” If your opinion differs as to the will of the deity, however, Dabbous is decidedly uninterested in your views. He explained that “when groups of [Muslims] set out on jihad for the sake of Allah, they first call people to join Islam. If they accept this – this is what Allah wants and what the Muslims want. Then, those [people] become Muslims with the same duties and rights as ours. If not, they must pay the jizya poll tax in humiliation, or we will fight them, until we attain either martyrdom or victory, with the help of Allah.” The jizya poll tax, as The Critical Qur’an explains in detail, is a Qur’an-mandated (9:29) tax that non-Muslims must pay as a sign of their submission to Islamic hegemony.
Forcing people to accept this hegemony is, as far as Dabbous is concerned, the highest manifestation of Islam: “Jihad is the pinnacle of Islam. It is what makes Islam glamorous, strong, and lovable.” In Dabbous’ view, Islam is so glamorous, strong and lovable that even those who were forced to accept it are now happy they were: “Even people who were coerced into converting to Islam through jihad for the sake of Allah expressed regret that they had to be forced. They said: ‘If only we had the sense to convert on our own will…’ This is because Islam is the best religion sent by Allah.”
Dabbous’ words will pass unnoticed in the establishment media, but the media will have no choice to make at least some mention of the acts of violence that will without any doubt be committed by young men who believe the same ideas that Dabbous explains here. Ever since George W. Bush walked into a mosque six days after 9/11 and proclaimed that “Islam is peace,” American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, as well as American policymakers, have proceeded according to a series of false assumptions, often built upon each other, leading them into numerous blind alleys and wrongheaded analyses.
The Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the war in Afghanistan, and the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) are just three of the innumerable areas where American policymakers have proceeded without an understanding of these basic elements of Islam, despite the fact that Islam played (and still plays, regarding Israel and the Palestinians) a central role in how our adversaries have understood the conflicts. Nor will this change anytime soon. At least not while Joe Biden’s handlers are running things. They, like Bush, assume that Islam is peace, if not “glamorous, strong, and lovable.” And they have been carefully conditioned to fear the very idea of committing the wrongthink of wondering if it really isn’t all that peaceful after all.