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Article: By the Sword

August 17, 2007

Bruce Thornton / VDH Private Papers:

One can indulge the laughable rationalization that jihad is really “inward striving” to be a better Muslim. This minority interpretation of jihad appears late in Islamic history, and is looked on with scorn by many Muslims themselves. Listen to the Ayatollah Khomeini, creator of the first modern Islamic nation, writing in 1942: “Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! . . . Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and the shadow of the sword.” And again in 1979, from a speech delivered at the Feyziyeh Theological School: “Islam grew with blood . . . . The great prophet of Islam on one hand carried the Koran and in the other a sword . . . . Islam is religion of blood for the infidels but a religion of guidance for other people.”

Some Westerners, following duplicitous Muslim apologists, no doubt would argue that Khomeini, a revered Muslim theologian, is distorting the traditions of his faith. But given that the 1979 speech was delivered at a theological school, where the audience is knowledgeable about their faith and so could identify distortions of its tenets, this rationalization is incredible. Common sense tells us that Khomeini and the other modern jihadists know their own faith and its doctrines, and are speaking squarely in that tradition, as can be documented from the Koran, Hadiths, and subsequent Muslim theologians, jurists, and other commentators (see Andrew Bostom’s invaluable anthology, The Legacy of Jihad). All these sources tell us that jihad indeed is the imperative to follow the example of the prophet Mohammed, who said in his farewell address: “I was ordered to fight all men until they say, ‘There is no god but Allah.’”

Full article here.

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