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November 12th 2008 print

Bill Muehlenberg

Thinking About Global Jihad

Everyone now knows about radical Muslim terrorists and their campaign of bloodshed and intimidation. In response, the West has declared war on terror.

Everyone now knows about radical Muslim terrorists and their campaign of bloodshed and intimidation. In response, the West has declared war on terror, and military operations are underway, either covertly or openly, in order to bring this threat to an end.

Patrick Sookhdeo is well aware of the global terror campaign. His new book, Global Jihad (Isaac Publishing, 2007), makes this quite clear. But he is also aware that there is much more to this struggle than just suicide bombers. There are theological, political, moral and ideological issues as well. Thus this book is not entitled “Global Terror,” for that would give a misleading impression of what this battle is really all about. Terrorism is simply one facet of a multi-lateral approach to achieving Islamic supremacy around the world.

Sookhdeo is eminently qualified to speak on this subject. Indeed, he was born into a Muslim household in South America (although now he is a Christian residing in London). He has spent his life studying Islam and the jihadists. He is more than familiar with Islamic history, theology, culture and practice.

In this substantial volume of nearly 700 pages, Sookhdeo examines how the global Islamic challenge is being manifest, and how it can be withstood. He looks primarily at the theology and beliefs of Islam, and argues that only a major reform of Islam itself can really turn things around.

While many are happy to believe that “Islam is peace,” the truth lies elsewhere. In fact, the radical Islamists are not some aberration to Islamic belief and practice, but are really an integral part of it. Many people nonetheless want to distinguish between Islamist terrorism and Islamic terrorism.

“However this is really a meaningless distinction,” says Sookhdeo. “Islamism is simply the essence of classical Islam, and violence and terror are found within both of them.” Although the major sources of Islam provide the inspiration for terror, that does not mean that all Muslims are terrorists. Most Muslims in fact reject the jihadists.

But if Islamist violence can be justified by, and found within, the main Islamic sources (the Koran, the hadith, the life and teachings of Muhammad, etc.), then only a major reform of Islam, and a new reinterpretation of it, can help to curb the violence.

Thus the war on terror is really just a small part of a much larger war, that is, the 1400-year-long war of Islamic expansionism. The pursuit of Islamic power and hegemony is what jihad is all about. The struggle for Islam includes not just violent military means, but all manner of other means as well.

Islam understands jihad to be a permanent struggle, one which will continue until all of Allah’s enemies are subsumed and sharia rules the earth. Until then, there can be no real peace. Sure, temporary peace can be negotiated when Islam is not in a position to achieve complete dominance. But whenever Islam becomes the ruling ideology of a country, then all non-Muslims must submit, or endure dhimmitude.

Dhimmis must submit to the demeaning regulations of Islam, including payment of the jizya (poll tax). Persecution of non-Muslims in Muslim lands is an ever-present reality, and more Christians are being killed today in Islamic lands than anywhere else. And many moderate Muslims are being killed by the Islamists as well.

Sookhdeo here offers extensive documentation and explanation of Islamic jihadist thought and practice. Countless Muslim thinkers, jurists, Imams, commentators and strategists are quoted here. He clearly makes the case that the ideology and aims of jihad are contained in the very heart and soul of Islam.

Meaty chapters explore various issues, such as the life and history of Muhammad; the nature of the Koran, the hadith and sharia; the Islamic understanding of peace; the theology of war and empire-building; and responses to Islamic terrorism.

Consider one chapter, on taqiyya. This is the Arabic term for deception or dissimulation. It has long been held by leading Muslim authorities that Muslims have a right to practice deception with non-Muslims if there is a conflict between faith and expediency.

This practice has especially served well Muslim apologists and evangelists who want to convince gullible Westerners that Islam is really a religion of peace. It is a regular practice of those who “expend much energy to convince non-Muslims that Islam is and has always been peaceful and tolerant”. This puts non-Muslims off guard, and prepares them for eventual Muslim rule and domination.

Sookhdeo has penned a number of previous works on Islam, but this is his magnum opus, at least for now. It is a gold mine of information, facts and figures on what is one of the greatest threats facing the free West today. It is only because of ignorance about the contents of this book – and others like it – that we are in such a predicament today.

We can no longer remain unaware about the threat that we face. Ignorance can no longer be an excuse. We must arm ourselves with truth, and with information. We must be aware of the Islamist enemy. As Sookhdeo says, “Ultimately to gain victory over the Islamists will require the exercise of the will and a right understanding of the situation.”

This volume certainly provides all the necessary information for understanding the nature of the war we are in. Whether we have the will and the guts to stay in the battle and see it thought to the end is another