A War Between Civilizations
The Agenda of Islam through Fundamental Islam
By: Moshe Sharon
Professor at Hebrew University
"Fundamentalism" 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 only how the Koran is
interpreted. All 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 Arabic.
The Language of Islam
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.
Driving Principles of Islam
Let 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 God. But 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. But 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
behavior. 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.
The 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. In 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. The 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. But 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.
Secondly, 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 honoring the image of God and the hope of
salvation. These are the two basic fundamentals.
The Essence of Islam
The essence of Islam was born with the idea that it
should rule the world. Let's 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 sins, 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." The 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 Islam.
When 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.
Mohammed Held That All the Biblical Prophets Were Moslems
Mohammed 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.
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.
The Bible versus the Koran
Why then is the Bible
not similar to the Koran? Mohammed 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].
Nevertheless, the laws are 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.
Islamic Rule and Jihad
What 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. A 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 where 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.
Islamís Two Houses
The 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 has 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.
Within 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.
However, 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. There 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. These 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.
Islam and Territory
This 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
perpetually Islamic. This 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.
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. Islam 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 war between the two civilizations. It's not a war
that stops. It is an eternal war that was created by Allah. Islam must be the
ruler. This is a war that will not end.
Islam and Peace
Peace in Islam can exist only within the Islamic
world; peace can only be between Moslem and Moslem. With 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. Let 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 civilization. A 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 Mohammed did."
Whatever 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. Thus, 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].
In 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.
Cease-fire as a Tactical Choice
What makes Islam accept cease-fire? Only one thing -
when the enemy is too strong. It is a tactical choice. Sometimes, 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." Which 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. Now, since we (Israel) face war and we know that we cannot get more than
an impermanent cease-fire, one has to ask, 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 of power.
Wherever You Have Islam,
You Will Have War
The 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
civilization. What are the poor people in the Philippines being killed for?
What's happening between Pakistan and India?
Furthermore, 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. One 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.
End of Days
It 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. In Judaism, it is going to be as
in Isaiah, peace between all 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. Christianity
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. I'm 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.
A complete and final victory. Christians 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. The 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. The
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.
Is There a Possibility to End This Dance of War?
The 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? The 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. But 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.
And (this is the worst) Israel, a non-Moslem state, is
ruling over Moslems. It is unthinkable that non-Moslems should rule over
Moslems. I 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.