A civil war is raging within the Islamic religion. Not just in Iraq, but around the world. The traditionalists want to fulfill the Koran's command to make the whole world Islamic, by force if necessary (and it would definitely be necessary) and they have found a potent new weapon: Terrorism.
The traditionalists are not a majority, but because of the sheer number of Muslims in the world, even a minority of traditionalists is a sizable number of people who are constantly and aggressively recruiting young new members as fast as they can.
The majority of Muslims would like to have democratic freedoms, but it is strictly against the teachings of the Koran. Not only that, the Koran says the true believer must either live in a country governed by Islamic Law, or keep undermining their "man-made" government until it is governed by the laws of Allah.
To make matters worse, any Muslim who tries to help create a democratic government is known by traditionalists as an "apostate," that is, a Muslim who has renounced the faith. Apostates are enemies of Islam and the traditional punishment for an apostate is death.
So the two major categories of Muslims are slugging it out, and of course the traditionalists are attacking the West too (it's their religious duty as they see it, to defeat the non-believers).
The majority of Muslims see the traditionalists as misinterpreting the teachings of the Koran. But what has apparently happened is that the Muslim majority has twisted and distorted the teachings of the Koran into a peaceful religion. They still consider themselves Muslims, although the traditionalists think otherwise.
We recently got a comment on Essay On Terrorism. The commenter says,
It is the most prejudiced account of Islam and I'm sure that the writer is unaware of the true message and teaching of Islam.We've just recently moved this blog over from a web site, and since Citizen Warrior was created shortly after 9/11, we've been online for a long while and we've gotten lots of comments like this from well-meaning Muslims around the world. They often want to quote chapter and verse to us to prove Islam is really a peaceful religion and that the terrorists have got it all wrong. They give us historical references and interpretations, sometimes going on for several pages.
It sounds innocent enough, but the defensiveness is actually part of the problem. What these well-meaning Muslims are saying is that the authors like Serge Trifkovic, PhD and Aaron Lynch don't really know what they're talking about. And even former Muslims like Mark Gabriel and the writers in Leaving Islam and the man who wrote us this letter must be making it all up.
These well-meaning Muslims who write in want to tell us what Islam is REALLY like. They imply that these quotes from the Koran somehow don't actually mean what they explicitly say. And the traditionalist Muslims who have earnestly tried to follow the teachings of the Koran to the letter, like the Taliban in Afghanistan, have got it all wrong, and the true story portrayed in Not Without My Daughter somehow misrepresented the devout Muslims following Islamic Law in the movie. And ditto for the documentary, Terrorists Among Us.
In fact, it must mean that all the suicide bombers around the world have it all wrong and don't know the true teachings of the Koran.
The Muslims who write to us imply they have it right and all the above-mentioned people have it wrong, and if we only listened to the well-meaning Muslims, we could straighten everything out. Unfortunately, it doesn't really matter. We're not worried about peace-loving Muslims. We're worried about the Muslims who DO use the Koran to recruit and blow up infidels. Understanding what's going on is the first step, and no matter how well-meaning a Muslim believer is, their justification of Islam, while understandable, doesn't help clarify things.
It doesn't matter what the "true teachings" of Muhammad are. We're never going to convince the terrorists. And for us non-believers the "true" teachings of the Koran are irrelevant. What matters is understanding what the terrorists believe and what motivates them. And one of the reasons it matters is that to a fundamentalist Muslim, Islam is perpetually at war with the rest of the world until the whole world submits to Islam, and in the Koran, deception is an accepted tactic of warfare.
In other words, we don't really know if the Muslims who write to us have good intentions. We have given them the benefit of the doubt. But a fundamentalist who is intent on destroying the West would say exactly the same thing: "You don't understand, you've got it all wrong, Islam is a religion of peace." These comments, if we believed them, would hinder our ability to defend ourselves.
If you are a Muslim and you're offended by this, read this: A Message to Peaceful Muslims.
If you are a non-Muslim, understanding what's going on is the first and most important step. Here is a good place to start: The Cause Of Terrorism.
If you're interested in more articles about Islamic Terrorism, we have a menu of links to articles on the subject.