AGENDA OF ISLAM - A WAR BETWEEN CIVILIZATIONS
Professor Moshe Sharon
is no Fundamental Islam.
is a word that came from the heart of the Christian religion. It means
faith that goes by the word of the Bible. Fundamental Christianity, or
going with the Bible, does not mean going around and killing people.
There is no fundamental Islam. There is only Islam full stop. The
question is how the Koran is interpreted.
of a sudden we see that the greatest interpreters of Islam are
politicians in the western world. They know better than all the speakers
in the mosques, all those who deliver terrible sermons against anything
that is either Christian or Jewish. These western politicians know that
there is good Islam and bad Islam. They know even how to differentiate
between the two, except that none of them know how to read a word of
Language of Islam
see, so much is covered by politically correct language that, in fact,
the truth has been lost. For example, when we speak about Islam in the
west, we try to use our own language and terminology. We speak about
Islam in terms of democracy and fundamentalism, in terms of
parliamentarism and all kinds of terms, which we take from our own
dictionary. One of my professors and one of the greatest orientalists in
the world says that doing this is like a cricket reporter describing a
cricket game in baseball terms. We cannot use for one culture or
civilization the language of another. For Islam, you've got to use the
language of Islam.
Principles of Islam
me explain the principles that are driving the religion of Islam. Of
course, every Moslem has to acknowledge the fact that there is only one
it's not enough to say that there is only one God. A Moslem has to
acknowledge the fact that there is one God and Mohammed is his prophet.
These are the fundamentals of the religion that without them, one cannot
be a Moslem.
beyond that, Islam is a civilization. It is a religion that gave first
and foremost a wide and unique legal system that engulfs the individual,
society and nations with rules of behaviour. If you are Moslem, you have
to behave according to the rules of Islam which are set down in the
Koran and which are very different than the teachings of the Bible.
me explain the difference.
Bible is the creation of the spirit of a nation over a very, very long
period, if we talk from the point of view of the scholar, and let me
remain scholarly. But there is one thing that is important in the Bible.
It leads to salvation. It leads to salvation in two ways.
Judaism, it leads to national salvation - not just a nation that wants
to have a state, but a nation that wants to serve God. That's the idea
behind the Hebrew text of the Bible.
New Testament that took the Hebrew Bible moves us toward personal
salvation. So we have got these two kinds of salvation, which, from time
to time, meet each other.
the key word is salvation. Personal salvation means that each individual
is looked after by God, Himself, who leads a person through His word to
salvation. This is the idea in the Bible, whether we are talking about
the Old or the New Testament. All of the laws in the Bible, even to the
minutest ones, are, in fact directed toward this fact of salvation.
there is another point in the Bible, which is highly important. This is
the idea that man was created in the image of God. Therefore, you don't
just walk around and obliterate the image of God. Many people, of
course, used Biblical rules and turned them upside down. History has
seen a lot of massacres in the name of God and in the name of Jesus. But
as religions, both Judaism and Christianity in their fundamentals speak
about honouring the image of God and the hope of salvation. These are
the two basic fundamentals.
Essence of Islam
let's move to the essence of Islam. Islam was born with the idea that it
should rule the world.
look, then, at the difference between these three religions. Judaism
speaks about national salvation - namely that at the end of the story,
when the world becomes a better place, Israel will be in its own land,
ruled by its own king and serving God. Christianity speaks about the
idea that every single person in the world can be saved from his sings,
while Islam speaks about ruling the world. I can quote here in Arabic,
but there is no point in quoting Arabic, so let me quote a verse in
English. "Allah sent Mohammed with the true religion so that it
should rule over all the religions."
idea, then, is not that the whole world would become a Moslem world at
this time, but that the whole world would be subdued under the rule of
the Islamic empire was established in 634 AD, within seven years - 640 -
the core of the empire was created. The rules that were taken from the
Koran and from the tradition that was ascribed to the prophet Mohammed,
were translated into a real legal system. Jews and Christians could live
under Islam provided they paid poll tax and accepted Islamic
superiority. Of course, they had to be humiliated. And Jews and
Christians living under Islam are humiliated to this very day.
Held That All the Biblical Prophets Were Moslems
did accept the existence of all the Biblical prophets before him.
However he also said that all these prophets were Moslems. Abraham was a
Moslem. In fact, Adam himself was the first Moslem. Isaac and Jacob and
David and Solomon and Moses and Jesus were all Moslems, and all of them
had writings similar to the Koran. Therefore, world history is Islamic
history because all the heroes of history were Moslems.
Moslems accept the fact that each of these prophets brought with him
some kind of a revelation. Moses, brought the Taurat, which is the
Torah, and Jesus brought the Ingeel, which is the Evangelion or Gospel -
namely the New Testament.
Bible versus the Koran
then is the Bible not similar to the Koran?
explains that the Jews and Christians forged their books. Had they not
been changed and forged, they would have been identical to the Koran.
But because Christians and Jews do have some truth, Islam concedes that
they cannot be completely destroyed by war [for now].
the laws a very clear - Jews and Christians have no rights whatsoever to
independent existence. They can live under Islamic rule provided they
keep to the rules that Islam promulgates for them.
Rule and Jihad
happens if Jews and Christians don't want to live under the rules of
Islam? Then Islam has to fight them and this fighting is called Jihad.
Jihad means war against those people who don't want to accept the
Islamic superior rule. That's jihad. They may be Jews; they may be
Christians; they may be Polytheists. But since we don't have too many
Polytheists left, at least not in the Middle East - their war is against
the Jews and Christians.
few days ago, I received a pamphlet that was distributed in the world by
bin Laden. He calls for jihad against America as the leader of the
Christian world, not because America is the supporter of Israel, but
because Americans are desecrating Arabia with their filthy feet. There
are Americans in Arabia were no Christians should be. In this pamphlet
there is not a single word about Israel. Only that Americans are
desecrating the home of the prophet.
Koran sees the world as divided into two - one part which has come under
Islamic rule and one part which is supposed to come under Islamic rule
in the future. There is a division of the world which is very clear.
Every single person who starts studying Islam knows it. The world is
described as Dar al-Islam (the house of Islam) - that's the place where
Islam rules - and the other part which is called Dar al-Harb - the house
of war. Not the "house of non-Muslims," but the "house of
war." It is this house of war which as to be, at the end of time,
conquered. The world will continue to be in the house of war until it
comes under Islamic rule. This is the norm. Why? Because Allah says it's
so in the Koran. God has sent Mohammed with the true religion in order
that the truth will overcome all other religions.
the Islamic vision of this world, there are rules that govern the lives
of the Moslems themselves, and these rules are very strict. In
fundamentals, there are no differences between schools of law.
there are four streams of factions within Islam with differences between
them concerning the minutiae of the laws. All over the Islamic world,
countries have favored one or another of these schools of laws. The
strictest school of law is called Hanbali, mainly coming out of Saudi
Arabia. There are no games there, no playing around with the meanings of
words. If the Koran speaks about war, then it's war.
are various perspectives in Islam with different interpretations over
the centuries. There were good people that were very enlightened in
Islam that tried to understand things differently. They even brought
traditions from the mouth of the prophet that women and children should
not be killed in war.
more liberal streams do exist, but there is one thing that is very
important for us to remember. The Hanbali school of law is extremely
strict, and today this is the school that is behind most of the
terrorist powers. Even if we talk about the existence of other schools
of Islamic law, when we're talking about fighting against the Jews, or
fighting against the Christian world led by America, it is the Hanbali
school of law that is being followed.
civilization created one very important, fundamental rule about
territory. Any territory that comes under Islamic rule cannot be de-Islamized.
Even if at one time or another, the [non-Moslem] enemy takes over the
territory that was under Islamic rule, it is considered to be
is why whenever you hear about the Arab/Israeli conflict, you hear -
territory, territory, territory. There are other aspects to the
conflict, but territory is highly important.
Christian civilization has not only been seen as a religious opponent,
but as a dam stopping Islam from achieving its final goal for which it
was created to be the army of God, the army of Allah. Every single
Moslem is a soldier in this army. Every single Moslem that dies in
fighting for the spread of Islam is a shaheed (martyr) no matter how he
dies, because - and this is very important - this is an eternal word
between the two civilizations. It's not a war that stops. This was is
there because it was created by Allah. Islam must be the ruler. This is
a war that will not end.
in Islam can exist only within the Islamic world; peace can only be
between Moslem and Moslem.
the non-Moslem world or non-Moslem opponents, there can be only one
solution - a cease fire until Moslems can gain more power. It is an
eternal war until the end of days. Peace can only come if the Islamic
side wins. The two civilizations can only have periods of cease-fires.
And this idea of cease-fire is based on a very important historical
precedent, which, incidentally, Yasser Arafat referred to when he spoke
in Johannesburg after he signed the Oslo agreement with Israel.
me remind you that the document speaks of peace - you wouldn't believe
that you are reading! You would think that you were reading some science
fiction piece. I mean when you read it, you can't believe that this was
signed by Israelis who are actually acquainted with Islamic policies and
few weeks after the Oslo agreement was signed, Arafat went to
Johannesburg, and in a mosque there he made a speech in which he
apologized, saying, "Do you think I signed something with the Jews
which is contrary to the rules of Islam?" (I have obtained a copy
of Arafat's recorded speech so I heard it from his own mouth.) Arafat
continued, "That's not so. I'm doing exactly what the prophet
the prophet is supposed have done becomes a precedent. What Arafat was
saying was, "Remember the story of Hodaybiya." The prophet had
made an agreement there with the tribe of Kuraish for 10 years. But then
he trained 10,000 soldiers and within two years marched on their city of
Mecca. He, of course, found some kind of pretext.
in Islamic jurisdiction, it became a legal precedent which states that
you are only allowed to make peace for a maximum of 10 years. Secondly,
at the first instance that you are able, you must renew the jihad [thus
breaking the "peace" agreement].
Israel, it has taken over 50 years in this country for our people to
understand that they cannot speak about [permanent] peace with Moslems.
It will take another 50 years for the western world to understand that
they have got a state of war with the Islamic civilization that is
virile and strong. This should be understood: When we talk about war and
peace, we are not talking in Belgium, French, English, or German terms.
We are talking about war and peace in Islamic terms.
as a Tactical Choice
makes Islam accept cease-fire? Only one thing - when the enemy is too
strong. It is a tactical choice.
he may have to agree to a cease-fire in the most humiliating conditions.
It's allowed because Mohammed accepted a cease-fire under humiliating
conditions. That's what Arafat said to them in Johannesburg. When
western policy makers hear these things, they answer, "What are you
talking about? You are in the Middle Ages. You don't understand the
mechanisms of politics."
mechanisms of politics? There are no mechanisms of politics where power
is. And I want to tell you one thing - we haven't seen the end of it,
because the minute a radical Moslem power has atomic, chemical or
biological weapons, they will use it. I have no doubt about that.
since we face war and we know that we cannot get more than an
impermanent cease-fire, one has to ask himself what is the major
component of an Israeli/Arab cease-fire. It is that the Islamic side is
weak and your side is strong. The relations between Israel and the Arab
world in the last 50 years since the establishment of our State has been
based only on this idea, the deterrent power.
You Have Islam, You Will Have War
reason that we have what we have in Yugoslavia and other places is
because Islam succeeded into entering these countries. Wherever you have
Islam, you will have war. It grows out of the attitude of Islamic
are the poor people in the Philippines being killed for? What's
happening between Pakistan and India?
there is another fact that must be remembered. The Islamic world has not
only the attitude of open war, but there's also war by infiltration.
of the things which the western world is not paying enough attention to
is the tremendous growth of Islamic power in the western world. What
happened in America and the Twin Towers is not something that came from
the outside. And if America doesn't wake up, one day the Americans will
find themselves in a chemical war and most likely in an atomic war -
inside the U.S.
is highly important to understand how a civilization sees the end of
days. In Christianity and in Judaism, we know exactly what is the vision
of the end of days.
Judaism, it is going to be as in Isaiah - peace between nations, not
just one nation, but between all nations. People will not have any more
need for weapons and nature will be changed - a beautiful end of days
and the kingdom of God on earth.
goes as far as Revelation to see a day that Satan himself is
obliterated. There are no more powers of evil. That's the vision.
speaking now as a historian. I try to understand how Islam sees the end
of days. In the end of days, Islam sees a world that is totally Moslem,
completely Moslem under the rule of Islam. Complete and final victory.
will not exist, because according to many Islamic traditions, the
Moslems who are in hell will have to be replaced by somebody and they'll
be replaced by the Christians.
Jews will no longer exist, because before the coming of the end of days,
there is going to be a war against the Jews where all Jews should be
killed. I'm quoting now from the heart of Islamic tradition, from the
books that are read by every child in school. They Jews will all be
killed. They'll be running away and they'll be hiding behind trees and
rocks, and on that day Allah will give mouths to the rocks and trees and
they will say, "Oh Moslem come here, there is a Jew behind me, kill
him." Without this, the end of days cannot come. This is a
fundamental of Islam.
There a Possibility to End This Dance of War?
question which we in Israel are asking ourselves is what will happen to
our country? Is there a possibility to end this dance of war?
answer is, "No. Not in the foreseeable future." What we can do
is reach a situation where for a few years we may have relative quiet.
for Islam, the establishment of the state of Israel was a reverse of
Islamic history. First, Islamic territory was taken away from Islam by
Jews. You know by now that this can never be accepted, not even one
meter. So everyone who thinks Tel Aviv is safe is making a grave
mistake. Territory, which at one time was dominated by Islamic rule, now
has become non-Moslem. Non-Moslems are independent of Islamic rule; Jews
have created their own independent state. It is anathema.
(this is the worse) Israel, a non-Moslem state, is ruling over Moslems.
It is unthinkable that non-Moslems should rule over Moslems.
believe that Western civilization should hold together and support each
other. Whether this will happen or not, I don't know. Israel finds
itself on the front lines of this war. It needs the help of its sister
civilization. It needs the help of America and Europe. It needs the help
of the Christian world. One thing I am sure about, this help can be
given by individual Christians who see this as the road to salvation.
Moshe Sharon teaches Islamic History at the Hebrew University,
Jerusalem. This article appeared on the Betar UK website (http://www.betar.co.il)
December 24, 2003.