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Radical Islamism and Jihad (21 Oct 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Zawahiri Challenges Islamic Scholars That Don’t Support Military Action

By Isaac Kfir

1 October 2019

On the 18th anniversary of 9/11, al-Qaeda’s media outlet As-Sahab released a 30-minute video on Telegram. The video message titled ‘And They Shall Continue to Fight You’, referencing verse 2.217 of the Quran, sees Zawahiri further clarifying al-Qaeda’s strategic outlook.

Many key jihadis appear in the video, including Abd al-Aziz al-Rantisi. Rantisi was a founding member of Hamas, though al-Qaeda never formally worked with him. The reference to Rantisi is probably based on his leadership role in Hamas, whose first suicide attack in April 1994 was described as a response to the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre.

Rantisi and others claimed that all Israelis either serve in the military or support the occupation of Palestine and oppression of Palestinians – no Israeli can claim to be a civilian.

Zawahiri challenges Islamic scholars that don’t support military action, arguing that only through violence can Muslims survive the abuse, corruption, and hardship that they face daily. A common theme in Zawahiri’s defence of jihad, in the form of violence, is appropriate because “America does not understand anything except the language of force.”

By referencing Rantisi, al-Qaeda is sending a message to many Islamic scholars who argue that al-Qaeda shouldn’t attack civilians because, in the eyes of al-Qaeda, there are no civilians in this cosmic war. Each person must make a choice: will they side with al-Qaeda and those fighting for Muslims and Islam, or will they side with the Kafirs, apostates, and takfirs.

Secondly, Zawahiri returns to the need to challenge the corrosive powers of the US and Israel, who apparently have ‘religious enmity’ towards Muslims and the Muslim world.

This further reinforces the message that, for al-Qaeda, this is a war that can’t be lost; doing so would mean to give up on Islam.

There are no suggestions that al-Qaeda should carry out the military action as he so declares. “Surveil the enemy and make your preparations,” Zawahiri says, adding “Do not expect anyone to help you, except very little help perhaps. Seek help from Allah alone, and do not show any weakness.”

This should be understood as a call for individual action, associated with Abu Musab al-Suri, who more than any other Salafi-Jihadi strategist reconceptualised al-Qaeda following 9/11.

In the video, Zawahiri also refers to the need to be inventive and that the global Jihadi network should attack the enemies of Islam “at a time and place of our choosing”.

The call for innovation is particularly significant as it is a reaction to successful counterterrorism measures by many states which have weakened al-Qaeda Central and ISIL. Undoubtedly, many within the Salafi-Jihadi community are respectful of the skill, capabilities, commitment, and intelligence of the security apparatus.

They know that they must innovate if they are to continue in their jihad, but because they recognise the technological advantage that states have over them, there is a growing focus on home-grown extremism.

The Sri Lanka bombings serve as a reminder of their persistence in finding weak spots in the counterterrorism regime, as the bombers exploited political and governance divisions within the Sri Lankan government.

Zawahiri connects the local and global by pushing the idea that Muslims are currently under a crusader attack much like the regional battles they are currently fighting.

His video statement also reflects his critical view of Muslim scholars that challenge al-Qaeda’s attacks on civilians, emphasising that the Pentagon, World Trade Centre, and Congress were legitimate targets, as there is no distinction between military, economic, political, and social institutions.

It seems that, in the message, Zawahiri is also challenging critics to test whether they can launch attacks against purely American, British, French, and NATO military targets, as a way to remind them that they can’t simply focus on the military that is “littered with American bases.” Not only that, but he also seems to suggest attacks on China, India, and Russia – states that have been oppressing Muslims.

The message further emphasises al-Qaeda’s networking of Salafi-jihadis, best seen in As-Sahab’s logo. It represents four other al-Qaeda media branches: Az-Zallaqa, Al-Andalus Media, Al-Malahem Media, and Al-Kataib Media.

Al-Qaeda’s current role is to educate and distribute ideological reasoning as to why action is necessary.

It seems that this mission has been rather successful as their claim of having reached more countries than ever before in their 40-year history would suggest.

These entities exploit humanitarian crises, lack of human security, and poor governance.

As we reflect on 18 years of warfare, we must recognise that even though some key actors are dead, the ideology remains resistant to our counter-narratives, appealing to the disillusioned.

The concern that we must have as we reflect on Zawahiri’s message is threefold. Firstly, the Salafi-Jihadi movement continues to threaten international peace and security, which is why any claims that this movement is defeated are erroneous and dangerous.

Secondly, the movement is fragmented and is likely to remain so, and to see it as hierarchical aggregated force is a mistake. It is a network connected by shared ideals and the belief that formal ties are what drive their agenda. In fact, as a decentralised network, it will pose a greater threat to global security, as it will seek to inspire responses from lone actors and target weak states.

Lastly, we need to remain creative and attuned to the threat that this movement poses, as even though they are less likely to cause mass casualty attacks today, we don’t know what they are planning.

Original Headline: What can we take from Zawahiri’s latest message?

Source: The Policy Forum

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/radical-islamism-and-jihad/isaac-kfir/zawahiri-challenges-islamic-scholars-that-don’t-support-military-action/d/120049


  • Zawahiri abuses Quran 2:217 to call Islamic scholars to battle is proven here, since he again does not read the entirely chapter of Quran 2 to give comment.  Let's assume the word, fight in Quran 2 has to be interpreted as physical violence instead of struggling.
    Al-Baqara (The Cow) - 2:61
    وَإِذْ قُلْتُمْ يَا مُوسَى لَن نَّصْبِرَ عَلَىَ طَعَامٍ وَاحِدٍ فَادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُخْرِجْ لَنَا مِمَّا تُنبِتُ الأَرْضُ مِن بَقْلِهَا وَقِثَّآئِهَا وَفُومِهَا وَعَدَسِهَا وَبَصَلِهَا قَالَ أَتَسْتَبْدِلُونَ الَّذِي هُوَ أَدْنَى بِالَّذِي هُوَ خَيْرٌ اهْبِطُواْ مِصْراً فَإِنَّ لَكُم مَّا سَأَلْتُمْ وَضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الذِّلَّةُ وَالْمَسْكَنَةُ وَبَآؤُوْاْ بِغَضَبٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ يَكْفُرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَيَقْتُلُونَ النَّبِيِّينَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ ذَلِكَ بِمَا عَصَواْ وَّكَانُواْ يَعْتَدُونَ (2:61)
    Basit -   Hussari -   Minshawi -  f
    Waith qultum ya moosa lan nasbira AAala taAAamin wahidin faodAAu lana rabbaka yukhrij lana mimma tunbitu alardu min baqliha waqiththaiha wafoomiha waAAadasiha wabasaliha qala atastabdiloona allathee huwa adna biallathee huwa khayrun ihbitoo misran fainna lakum ma saaltum waduribat AAalayhimu alththillatu waalmaskanatu wabaoo bighadabin mina Allahi thalika biannahum kanoo yakfuroona biayati Allahi wayaqtuloona alnnabiyyeena bighayri alhaqqi thalika bima AAasaw wakanoo yaAAtadoona
    Topics discussed in this Verse:
    2:61 (Asad) And [remember] when you said: "O Moses, indeed we cannot endure but one kind of food; pray, then, to thy Sustainer that He bring forth for us aught of what grows from the earth - of its herbs, its cucumbers, its garlic, its lentils, its onions." Said [Moses]: "Would you take a lesser thing in exchange for what is [so much] better? [46] Go back in shame to Egypt , and then you can have what you are asking for!" [47] And so, ignominy and humiliation overshadowed them, and they earned the burden of God's condemnation: all this, because they persisted in denying the truth of God's messages and in slaying the prophets against all right: all this, because they rebelled [against God], and persisted in transgressing the bounds of what is right. [48] -  
    The phrase, they persisted in denying the truth of God's messages, here implies they do not believe in Allah.  The phrase, in slaying the prophets..and persisted in transgressing the bounds of what is right, here against implies these pagans were evil in killing prophets.  As they slaughtered prophets, it caused Allah to have no choice to gather Muslims to protect the prophets to gather Muslims to fight against them.  This verse cannot be applicable to this modern world since this verse is applicable when Muslims are under the attack from non-believers and that is why this verse call Muslims to defend against them and yet nonbelievers in this modern world do not fight against believers, how could he use Quran 2:217 to call Muslims to fight against non-believers.  Besides, the word, prophets, is mentioned in this verse and yet last prophet was Prophet Muhammad.  After the last prophet Muhammad, there would not be any new revelation from Allah to be added to Sura in the Quran.  As there is no Sura to be added to Quran, there should not be any new prophet in the prophet, certainly this man, Zawahiri cannot be prophet.  As he is not prophet, how can Quran 2:217 be applicable to him since Quran 2:61 mentions the calling of war to defend prophets.  As Quran 2:61 is about the command to defend prophets and there should not be any prophets after Prophet Muhammad in this modern world, how could Quran 2:217 be applicable to this modern days.
    Quran 2:73 mentions it is God's will to save lives instead of creating hatred among Muslims to kill, and yet this man, Zawahiri calls people not to save lives to creating hatred among Muslims to kill non-believers.  The following is the extract:
    Al-Baqara (The Cow) - 2:73
    فَقُلْنَا اضْرِبُوهُ بِبَعْضِهَا كَذَلِكَ يُحْيِي اللّهُ الْمَوْتَى وَيُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ (2:73)
    Basit -   Hussari -   Minshawi -  f
    Faqulna idriboohu bibaAAdiha kathalika yuhyee Allahu almawta wayureekum ayatihi laAAallakum taAAqiloona
    Topics discussed in this Verse:
    [Allah's signs]
    2:73 (Asad) We said: "Apply this [principle] to some of those [cases of unresolved murder]: [57] in this way God saves lives from death and shows you His will, so that you might [learn to] use your reason." [58] -
    The phrase, God saves lives from death and shows you His will, here implies God's will is to save lives and yet this Muslim extremist promotes people to kill as if it is His will not to save lives from death but to kill.
    Quran 2:82 mentions clearly that all those who believe in Allah and do righteous deeds to paradise.  Yet this man calls people to do evil deeds in killing and do things contrarily to Quran 2:82.  Quran 2:82 mentions only those who do good deeds to paradise instead of evil deeds.  The following is the extract:
    Al-Baqara (The Cow) - 2:82
    وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ أُولَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ (2:82)
    Basit -   Hussari -   Minshawi -  f
    Waallatheena amanoo waAAamiloo alssalihati olaika ashabu aljannati hum feeha khalidoona
    2:82 (Asad) whereas those who attain to faith and do righteous deeds -they are destined for paradise, therein to abide. -  
    Quran 2:85 condemns the pagans who kill Muslims.
    Al-Baqara (The Cow) - 2:85
    ثُمَّ أَنتُمْ هَـؤُلاء تَقْتُلُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَتُخْرِجُونَ فَرِيقاً مِّنكُم مِّن دِيَارِهِمْ تَظَاهَرُونَ عَلَيْهِم بِالإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَإِن يَأتُوكُمْ أُسَارَى تُفَادُوهُمْ وَهُوَ مُحَرَّمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ إِخْرَاجُهُمْ أَفَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَابِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ فَمَا جَزَاء مَن يَفْعَلُ ذَلِكَ مِنكُمْ إِلاَّ خِزْيٌ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَى أَشَدِّ الْعَذَابِ وَمَا اللّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ (2:85)
    Basit -   Hussari -   Minshawi -  f
    Thumma antum haolai taqtuloona anfusakum watukhrijoona fareeqan minkum min diyarihim tathaharoona AAalayhim bialithmi waalAAudwani wain yatookum osara tufadoohum wahuwa muharramun AAalaykum ikhrajuhum afatuminoona bibaAAdi alkitabi watakfuroona bibaAAdin fama jazao man yafAAalu thalika minkum illa khizyun fee alhayati alddunya wayawma alqiyamati yuraddoona ila ashaddi alAAathabi wama Allahu bighafilin AAamma taAAmaloona
    Topics discussed in this Verse:
    [Allah:is not unmindful of what you do] [Captives]
    2:85 (Asad) And yet, it is you who slay one another and drive some of your own people from their homelands, aiding one another against them in sin and hatred; but if they come to you as captives, you ransom them - although the very [act of] driving them away has been made unlawful to you! [69] . Do you, then, believe in some parts of the divine writ and deny the truth pf other parts? What, then, could be the reward of those among you who do such things but ignominy in the life of this world and, on the Day of Resurrection, commitment to most grievous suffering? For God is not unmindful of what you do. -
    The phrase, it is you who slay one another and drive some of your own people from their homelands, here indicates how evil the pagans were when Muhammad was around at that time.
    Now read Quran 2:217 again.
    Al-Baqara (The Cow) - 2:217
    يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الشَّهْرِ الْحَرَامِ قِتَالٍ فِيهِ قُلْ قِتَالٌ فِيهِ كَبِيرٌ وَصَدٌّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَكُفْرٌ بِهِ وَالْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَإِخْرَاجُ أَهْلِهِ مِنْهُ أَكْبَرُ عِندَ اللّهِ وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَكْبَرُ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ وَلاَ يَزَالُونَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ حَتَّىَ يَرُدُّوكُمْ عَن دِينِكُمْ إِنِ اسْتَطَاعُواْ وَمَن يَرْتَدِدْ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَيَمُتْ وَهُوَ كَافِرٌ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ (2:217)
    Basit -   Hussari -   Minshawi -  f
    Yasaloonaka AAani alshshahri alharami qitalin feehi qul qitalun feehi kabeerun wasaddun AAan sabeeli Allahi wakufrun bihi waalmasjidi alharami waikhraju ahlihi minhu akbaru AAinda Allahi waalfitnatu akbaru mina alqatli wala yazaloona yuqatiloonakum hatta yaruddookum AAan deenikum ini istataAAoo waman yartadid minkum AAan deenihi fayamut wahuwa kafirun faolaika habitat aAAmaluhum fee alddunya waalakhirati waolaika ashabu alnnari hum feeha khalidoona
    Topics discussed in this Verse:
    [Fighting (and striving) in the ca'use of Allah] [Kabah:fighting at] [Masjid al Haram] [Months]
    2:217 (Asad) They will ask thee about fighting in the sacred month. [202] Say: "Fighting in it is an awesome thing (grave transgression); but turning men away from the path of God and denying Him, and [turning them away from] the Inviolable House of Worship and expelling its people there from - [all this] is yet more awesome (greater transgression) in the sight of God, since oppression is more awesome (greater transgression) than killing." [Your enemies] will not cease to fight against you till they have turned you away from your faith, if they can. But if any of you should turn away from his faith and die as a denier of the truth - these it is whose works will go for nought in this world and in the life to come; and these it is who are destined for the fire, therein to abide. -  
    The phrase, your enemies will not cease to fight against you till they have turned you away from your faith, here implies the pagans in the past were very violent and they would not cease in fighting against Muslims.  This phrase has no implication in this modern days since nonbelievers would not fight against Muslims.    Besides, as mentioned earlier, the phrase, slaying prophets, is mentioned in the extracted Quranic verse above.  As there would not be any prophets after Prophet Muhammad and Quran is the last Sura from Allah, how could this man, Zawahiri, be prophet?  As he is no prophet, how Quran 2:217 be applicable to him in this modern day?  All these prove that Zawahiri has abused Quran 2:217 to call Muslim to fight.
    By zuma - 10/21/2019 5:30:16 PM

  • Verse 2.217 asks you to fight those who try to turn you away from your religion. Neither the Israelis nor the Americans are trying to turn Muslims away from Islam. Killing their civilians, including women and children, would make us savages. These are political issues and land issues and should be dealt with by political and governmental entities, not by calls to religion by terrorists like Zawahiri.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 10/21/2019 1:01:32 PM

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