Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as 'Legitimate Tenet of Islam'

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by ajtr, May 28, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as 'Legitimate Tenet of Islam'


    The president's top counterterrorism adviser on Wednesday called jihad a "legitimate tenet of Islam," arguing that the term "jihadists" should not be used to describe America's enemies.

    During a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, John Brennan described violent extremists as victims of "political, economic and social forces," but said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in "religious terms."

    He repeated the administration argument that the enemy is not "terrorism," because terrorism is a "tactic," and not terror, because terror is a "state of mind" -- though Brennan's title, deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism and homeland security, includes the word "terrorism" in it. But then Brennan said that the word "jihad" should not be applied either.

    "Nor do we describe our enemy as 'jihadists' or 'Islamists' because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children," Brennan said.

    The technical, broadest definition of jihad is a "struggle" in the name of Islam and the term does not connote "holy war" for all Muslims. However, jihad frequently connotes images of military combat or warfare, and some of the world's most wanted terrorists including Usama bin Laden commonly use the word to call for war against the West. Brennan defined the enemy as members of bin Laden's Al Qaeda network and "its terrorist affiliates."

    But Brennan argued that it would be "counterproductive" for the United States to use the term, as it would "play into the false perception" that the "murderers" leading war against the West are doing so in the name of a "holy cause."

    "Moreover, describing our enemy in religious terms would lend credence to the lie propagated by Al Qaeda and its affiliates to justify terrorism -- that the United States is somehow at war against Islam," he said.

    The comment comes after Brennan, in a February speech in which he described his respect for the tolerance and devotion of Middle Eastern nations, referred to Jerusalem on first reference by its Arabic name, Al-Quds.

    "In all my travels the city I have come to love most is al-Quds, Jerusalem, where three great faiths come together," Brennan said at an event co-sponsored by the White House Office of Public Engagement and the Islamic Center at New York University and the Islamic Law Students Association at NYU.
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Muslims, we must call out the extremists


    As I boarded my flight this week to New York's La Guardia Airport, I felt a bit uneasy. After all, I'm a young Muslim man of Southeast Asian ancestry with a trimmed beard, and I was headed to a city still reeling in the wake of a foiled bomb plot in Times Square. In the eyes of the TSA, the flight crew, or even my fellow passengers, I could easily fit the profile of the now-infamous car bomb suspect Faisal Shahzad. Here was also a young Muslim man of Pakistani origin pictured in his social web photo with a trimmed beard.
    What differentiated me — or the millions of Muslims that call America their home — from Shahzad, or the ideology of extremism that ensnared him? Much more than meets the eye.

    Persecution and violence

    Shahzad hails from Pakistan, a place where those extremist ideas were born. The country stands today as an unfortunate example of religious abuse. I know this because I belong to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a denomination that is severely persecuted in that country.

    About 100 years ago, the community's founder claimed to be the awaited Muslim Messiah. Because he categorically rejected any violent notion of jihad, a belief contrary to the extremist Muslim clerics, he and subsequently the Ahmadiyya Community were targeted for religious persecution. Since the 1980s, the clerics forced through actual amendments to the Pakistani constitution that prohibit, with penalty of imprisonment, members of my faith from so much as offering the Muslim greeting. Several of our mosques and offices have been bombed and members have been murdered — all in the name of Islam.

    But does Islam really stand for the intolerant policy observed in Pakistan? Not by a long shot.

    Pakistan's politically influential band of clerics needs to be set apart from the founder of Islam the Prophet Muhammad. Fourteen hundred years ago, the Prophet told his followers that "loyalty to country is a requirement of faith." His famous "Pact to Christians" mandated that Muslim heads of state protect the rights and religious freedom of minorities. The pact goes so far as to instruct Muslims to help Christians build their churches.

    Numerous other sayings and documents from the Prophet completely contradict the radical ideologies of the modern-day clerics. I, as a member of the Ahmadiyya Community, along with the silent majority of Muslims in America, believe that Islam is a religion of peace and that there is simply no place for terrorism.

    Shahzad is not us

    Clerics reportedly prompted Faisal Shahzad to detonate a bomb in a busy section of Manhattan. Is this also the daily thought of American Muslims? On the contrary, the vast majority care intensely about the progress of their nation. They valiantly serve in our military. They contribute to the fabric of humanity that binds us together, particularly in times of need.

    I am reminded of a trip I took in 2005, alongside dozens of members from my Muslim community, to provide medical relief for displaced citizens after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. I just took another trip with those colleagues to Haiti in order to aid the suffering earthquake victims. I know firsthand that the sea of American Muslims reject the destructive ideas which prodded Shahzad to harm his adopted country.

    But we as American Muslims have an added responsibility: to call out the extremist clerics that foment hatred and violence against our nation and her citizens. We need to speak out against them and to openly extol our teachings of peace. Instead of posing as quiet bystanders in the national debate about methods to quell terrorism, we must join our political leaders and law enforcement authorities in rooting out any extremist elements within our nation. We also need to ensure that they do not penetrate our shores. We are ideally positioned as American Muslims to help in the war against extremism.

    Despite the initial worries about my flight to New York City, it turned out to be smooth and pleasant. It is heartening to know that as Americans we generally do not judge people simply by their outward appearance. We try to look beyond the surface. Faisal Shahzad may look like me, but it is my duty as an American Muslim to state loudly that he does not represent me. We will protect our fellow Americans against extremism.

    Sohail Husain is a pediatrician in New Haven, Conn., and Youth President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Connecticut.
     
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Muslims demand loyalty to America - as part of faith


    Can a Muslim be loyal to America without going back on his faith? While Muslims from all over America have already condemned the attempted bombing in Times Square, one Muslim group is taking the lead and asking all Muslims to remain loyal to this nation. Should a person feel their loyalties lie elsewhere, and terrorism is they only method they find to express themselves, such persons are asked to leave our great nation.
    Dr. Faheem Younus, President of the USA Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Youth Association spoke at a press conference in New York. He emphasized that Islam condemns violence, re-emphasized the Islamic requirements of loyalty, and offered solutions to those who are torn between their faith and loyalty.


     
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  5. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    ^^ Ahmaddiyas - Muslims treat them as worse than Kaafirs !
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    ya for muslim ahmadiyas are qayadins/ blasphemer
     

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