Almost from the moment the news broke of the massacre at Fort Hood by a Muslim soldier, the mainstream press has tried desperately to explain it as anything but an act of Islamic religious devotion. Time wondered if stress had caused the psychiatrist to snap. Even as evidence piled up that clearly showed an Islamist connection, CNN was asserting a ludicrous theory of vicarious post-traumatic stress disorder.
Bunk. The man who screamed “Allahu Akbar” while gunning down soldiers was committing an act of jihad as a devout Muslim. But, aside from the sheer horror of the atrocity itself, a lack of understanding of Islamic doctrine makes it difficult to comprehend how someone who had been given the best of everything by his colleagues in the Army could then turn on them. How could someone practicing what we’ve been told again and again is a “Religion of Peace” shoot down a pregnant woman in cold blood?
Raymond Ibrahim supplies some answers. In a two-part article at Pajamas Media, he explores the Islamic doctrines that provided the intellectual and spiritual framework for Hasan’s assault. In the series, he looks at
- Wala’ wa Bara’, the doctrine of loyalty and enmity, which requires of the Muslim absolute loyalty to his Islamic brethren and hatred of all things un-Islamic, including people. This is crucial to understand.
- Taqiyya, the doctrine of permissible lying and deception, pretending to be a friend and ally of unbelievers while hiding the enmity in your heart.
- Jihad. War for the sake of Allah.
- Sakina. The peace that comes over the mujaheddin as he enters battle with the infidel. By all accounts, Major Hasan displayed it.
- Da’wa. Islamic preaching and proselytization in order to bring people to Islam. One of the few reasons under sharia law it is permissible for a Muslim to live in non-Muslim lands.
I can’t emphasize enough that these articles are excellent introductions to what is an all-too obscure topic. We can’t hope to defeat the jihadist enemy unless we know how he thinks. Otherwise we’ll again be left fishing for lame excuses when the next attack occurs.
RECOMMENDED READING: Mr. Ibrahim is the editor of The al-Qaeda Reader, a collection of translated documents written by Osama bin Laden and his deputy psychotic mass-murderer in al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri. The first part collects essays aimed at other Muslims, marshaling arguments based on the Qur’an, the hadiths, and sharia rulings to justify their actions. The second collects propaganda aimed at Westerner, often very different from what they say when “speaking among themselves.” It’s dry, but I recommend it highly.