Since September 11, 2001 one word has occupied world politics and the Middle East:– JIHAD.
“Jihad” is considered a sacred duty of all Muslims and means, simply, the struggle of the individual to be a faithful Muslim, and the struggle of Muslims to defend Islam in the face of its enemies. However there are numerous forms of practising Jihad:
The best Jihad is the word of Justice in front of the oppressive Sultan [ruler]. (Quotation attributed to 13th century Islamic scholar Ibn Nuhaas)
The Messenger of Allah was asked about the best jihad. He said: “The best jihad is the one in which your horse is slain and your blood is spilled.” (Also atributed to Ibn Nuhaas)
The highest kind of Jihad, is “The person who is killed whilst spilling the last of his blood.”(Ahmed 4/144)
To fight against the infidels is Jihad; but to fight against your evil self is greater Jihad. (Abu Bakr–Trusted adviser and Father-in-law to the prophet of Islam)
Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors. And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. (Sura 2, al-Baqara, verses 190-191. The Quran)
The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom; Save those who repent before ye overpower them. For know that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Surah 5, al-Maaida, verses 33-34. The Quran)
When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. This is because they acted adversely to Allah and His Messenger; and whoever acts adversely to Allah and His Messenger– then surely Allah is severe in requiting (evil). (Sura 8, al-Anfaal, Verses 12-13. The Quran)
These are just some of the verses that are most commonly cited with regards to Jihad. The world’s media spotlights and concentrates on this aspect of Jihad and the actions of those Muslims that are engaged in terrorism. We see the terrible events that are occurring around the world perpetrated in the name of Islam and Jihad. Whilst it is a minority of Muslims that do become indoctrinated into this form of extremism in countries outside the Middle East, there is much support within the Arab World.
Throughout history Western Governments have engaged in military campaigns around the world to spread their Empires and secure access for Trade. This access has not only been to protect traders and their businesses but also to gain access to raw materials. So , in order for the free passage of raw materials (such as Gold, Ore, Rubber, Minerals, Diamonds, Oil etc) these Governments saw the need to control every aspect of these things. Initially, in order to keep costs down to a minimum, slaves were used in the production of Cotton, sugar in the West Indies and Americas. These slaves were sourced mainly from Africa and bought from African slave traders (many of whom were Arabs) and then shipped abroad to the slave markets of Europe and the Americas. Slave Trading eventually was outlawed and soon after Slavery itself was outlawed by Western governments. Western countries continued to prosper, in spite of having to pay workers for their labour. In some ways this worked out cheaper as Plantation owners no longer had to feed, clothe and (in some cases) educate the slaves. Now they simply paid them a meagre wage for their labours. These Empires were spurred on by their belief in the “Church” and that God was on their side.
Countries expanded their empires across to Asia and with it access to silk, spices and tea (amongst other goods). These were expensive commodities that only the very wealthy could enjoy. Shipping costs were high. Transporting these goods from Asia and the Far East by land soon became extremely difficult and dangerous because it meant entering into territories that were also being colonised by a rapidly expanding Arab Empire spurred on by its belief in Islam and the belief that God was on their side.
Sea routes were developed and, in order to protect their merchant fleets Naval forces were sent to protect them from foreign Pirates (some who worked for themselves and were viewed as criminals, whilst others were in the pay of various governments to harass and prevent foreign competitors from gaining the upper hand).
Wars would be fought between rival empires such as the Wars between Britain and Spain (especially after Britain’s breaking away from Roman Catholicism), The Napoleonic Wars, The American war of Independence, The war between the US and Spain in the Philippines, The Wars between Britain and the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
Even within Empires wars erupted. The British had various rebellions to deal with such as the Indian rebellion, the Cyprus rebellion, the rebellion in Yemen and the Boxer rebellion in China. The first World War brought an end to a number of empires across Europe with the defeat of Germany and its allies. The defeat of the Turkish Ottomans meant the break up of its empire. One of the areas that had been under the control of the Turks was the Middle East. Britain fought alongside the Arabs in order to expel the Turks out of the Middle East. This was glamorised in the Film “Lawrence of Arabia” by David Lean. It depicts the life of the British Officer T. E. Lawrence and the war fought in order to repel the Turks who the Arabs considered as foreign invaders but the British saw as enemy allies of Germany.
This resulted in the creation of new countries with the establishment of new Monarchies in the Middle East. It also brought into focus the plight of the Jews who had been displaced and persecuted p across Europe as well as the Middle East itself.
Britain was given the mandate over the region known as Palestine and plans were drawn up as how to deal with the Holy Land (as it was known). A plan had been discussed, and a proposal made by the British Prime minister Balfour to establish in Palestine a place of safety for the Jews. Palestine was their ancient homeland and it was from there that the Jews had been expelled in 70 AD by the Roman Armies of Titus. The Arabs also had their own aspirations for Palestine which did not include a place of safety for the Jews. The Arab leaders began to resent the British and were appalled at the influx of Jewish refugees who had begun to enter Palestine from various Arab countries and Europe because of persecution. A number of these leaders saw an obvious ally in Germany.
Germany had now regained its pride after its defeat in WW1 and its humiliation under the Treaty of Versailles. With the rise of the National Socialist Party to power Hitler had turned his attention to rebuilding Germany and restoring Germany to its former glory, as well as reclaiming those areas that were formerly German and whose people were ethnically German. Hitler saw the Jews as being the root of the world’s problems, from the leaders of Captitalism to the founders of Communism, Entertainment, Industry, Science, everywhere. Jews appeared to be at the forefront of everything so, Hitler reasoned (as did his supporters) that the only solution was to remove the “Jewish Problem”. This led to the “Final Solution”, the extermination of every single Jew.
The Arab cause, under the leadership of Grand Mufti al-Husseini, became influenced by the politics of the National Socialist Movement and various groups were formed with overtly National Socialist aims such as the Bathist Party of Iraq as well as influencing various Arab leaders such as Hassan al-Banna (founder of the Muslim brotherhood), Ahmed Husayn founder of the Young Egypt Party which produced one of its greatest leaders Gamal Abdel Nasser.
The Mufti’s role in influencing the Nazi Movement in both the Middle East and in Germany itself cannot be underestimated as can be seen from the transcript of the Eichmann trial:
State Attorney Bach: This is our document No. 281. Mr. Steiner first tells us that Wisliceny (Dieter Wisliceny was Adolph Eichmann’s representative in Bratislava) described his talks with Eichmann, why Palestine cannot be considered as the destination for emigration: “When I asked him why, he laughed and asked whether I had never heard of the Grand Mufti Husseini. He explained that the Mufti has very close contact and cooperation with Eichmann, and therefore Germany cannot agree to Palestine being the final destination, as this would be a blow to Germany’s prestige in the Mufti’s eyes.”
Then he goes on: “At this further conversation Wisliceny gave me more details about the cooperation between Eichmann and the Mufti. The Mufti is a sworn enemy of the Jews and has always fought for the idea of annihilating the Jews. He sticks to this idea always, also in his talks with Eichmann” – and here we have one of the points about which Wisliceny has reservations – “who, as you know, is a German who was born in Palestine. The Mufti is one of the originators of the systematic destruction of European Jewry by the Germans, and he has become a permanent colleague, partner and adviser to Eichmann and Himmler in the implementation of this programme.”
Here Wisliceny adds: “I have read these descriptions and find them correct, except for this, that Eichmann was born in Palestine, and that the Mufti was a permanent partner of Himmler’s; this is not what I said.”
The Trial of Adolf Eichmann Session 50 (Part 7 of 7) (Courtesy of the Nizkor Project).
al-Husseini was not simply a Nazi sympathizer, he was a full blown Nazi with access to leading members of the German Government and one of the architects of the Holocaust itself!
His further influence can be seen in the continuing conflict between the Palestinian Arab Movement and the Israelis. The former leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization Yasser Arafat was actually the devoted nephew of the Grand Mufti.
The influence of National Socialism can still be witnessed in the images of various terrorist organizations in the Middle East:
The only thing that has been changed with regard to Hitler’s ideology is that the Racial Superiority of the Aryan Peoples has now been replaced by the Religious Superiority of Islam.
This mentality is part of the drive behind the whole of radical Islamist ideology that has been growing around the world. It has influenced the thinking, and is the inspiration, of those people who are engaged in the recruitment and execution of every Radical Islamist Terror Group. The acts of barbarism carried out by these various groups, the tactics, propaganda and political systems are similar (if not identical) to those of Nazi Germany.