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Regarding A Harvard Extraction of Jihad and the Incorrect Label “Salafi Jihad”

I wished to addressed some marginal errors or misnomers in the article that can be locatd here Defining and confronting the Salafi Jihad.

1. The initial title of the article is flawed for reasons which will be highlighted right now and as well in oncoming points below.

There is no such thing as a “Salafi Jihad” in Islam. There is merely and only “Jihad” in Islam. The most that one is able to say is that “salafis” are those who are the only group to expound and disseminate the knowledge and methodology of jihad. However this description is itself flawed as well.

Likewise, not only is the label of the article erroneous, but the descriptive attributes that is described throughout the article as part of jihad in the first place.

As for my feed back on this specific point, then, there is only Jihad in Islam and those who profess its tenants and rulings within the various schools of thought among the traditionalist are those who claim to be “salafi”.The only problem is that Many of its proponents who profess to be salafi are not actually salafi. The meaning of being a salafi according to the jurist of Islam (and Im consolidating their views in one statement here) is
“One who restricts the understanding of the religion of Islam in terms of doctrinal beliefs and spiritual practices to the limits set by the Prophet, his companions, and the two preceding generations after the companions”

The jurist Imam Malik (whom the school of the thought called the “malakis” is attribtued to) stated
“Whatever was not part of the religion in their time (meaning the time of the companions) cannot be a part of the religion at any other time”

keeping this statement in mind, there are numerous unfounded views coming from these propagandists about jihad that have no foundation among the early generations. In the view of salafism itself, those who propagate a new idea into the religion cannot be truthfully called a “salafi”. This is why the title of the article is fundamentall flawed from its basis because it brings forth a perception that the innovated views of certain political groups are actually a part of the call of “salafism” which therefore continues to fuel the misnomer of salafism being a “radical form of Islam” as they say.
So from here on out, it may seem that I am politically manuevering myself into swaying opinions, then it is only because some statements made about jihad maybe true but must be clarified, and others maybe unfounded Islamically. So for the sake of clearing up confusion as much as I can, I will resort to label what is established by the religion as correct, true, actual salafism, actual jihad. As for those statements which is clearly unfounded and baseless from the religion will be negated and thus being spoke of in the negative voice.

2. it was stated that

To those who are disoriented by modernity, the Salafi Jihad provides a new sense of self-definition and belonging in the form of a membership to a supranational entity

there is no such thing as Muslims being disoreiented by modernity. And this depends mostly on the outlook of people on the view of what is modernity. The view of modernity betwen the western paradigm and the Islamic paradigm is vastly at odds. That is because the western view of modernity incorperates “everything” and “anything” new whereas the Islamic view of modernity, while it has this same view, it adds an extra element, which is the aspect of “halal and haraam” or the permissible and impermissible.
In other words, Muslims, for the most part, are open to modernity unless it falls into the arena of the religion where it become a violation and therefore prohibited. an example of a halal vs haraam modernity

In modern times, we have the invention of a computer. since there is nothing inherently prohibited about computers, Muslims do not find themselves being “disoriented” by this aspect of modernity and the thousands of other things that fall under this field. However, if part of modernity is for women to display themselves by uncovering themselves, then for Muslims, they do not call this modernity, they label it what it is, immoral.

3. it was stated
First, the primary focus of ideologies is the group, whereas that of religions is the individual

I would have to concur with Adam Garfinkle here as his observations seem to be correct and backed with anthropological evidence
As for the religious evidence
This is inaccurate generally, and it specifically does not apply to Islam at all. Any Muslim who has even a rudimentary level of understanding of his or her religion will be the first to admit that Islam is not a religion. Islam for the average Muslim that walks on any street, at any given city, at any randomly picked country on earth will clearly view Islam as a complete and systematic way of life governing ALL spheres of life, social, economic, political, spiritual, doctrinal, methodological, entertainment, etc. This is because in Islam, the essence of faith consist of “belief in the heart, statements of the tongue, and actions of the limbs” and anyone who falls short from what is required from Islam in the performance of any of these three aspects is considered as lacking in faith. And a part of faith for Muslims is the keeping company of the Muslim populace (through one’s locality). In a western country, religion is restricted to individuality between them and their Lord. In Islam, there are three spheres of worship.
There is
A. Devotion to Allah specifically fulfilling His rights. This represents the fundmanetal pillar of worship. The other two are results of this pillar. The other two are done for the “sake of God” where as this first point is done to God.
B. Acts of worship to your fellow man, the community, family.
C. Acts of worship regarding your self (like sleep, eating, feeding the intellects, etc)

I have dealt with having to repel the arguments of certain misguided extremists, and from all of what I have gained of experience in this field is that they do not call to loyalty to the group. Most of them from the root merely advocate a return to the religion. However, that poses a problem because the entirety of salafism, a portion of its fundamental is advocating a call to the return of the implementation of the religion. Thus whoever propagates this theory cannot be deemed under academic honesty as “an extremist”. Their problem is like the problem of other types of Muslims, like modernist, progressives, and the secular muslims, and that is they do not have the necessary evidences of Islamic knowledge to be able to discern a correct view from an incorrect view within Islam. To best describe this phenomenon I can only relate an example of hadith literature. In hadeeth literature, there are issues or topics that may contain 3, 5, 20, 100, or more narrations regarding a single subject. Thus in order for a Muslim to be able to understand the subject well, He or she will have to have within their intellectual capacity of having the knowledge of all of these narrations of hadeeth literature adding to that the scholastic and juristic explanations for that given subject. Someone who lacks the knowledge of the evidences is by default considered as ignorant in the subject, and ignorance within the religion of Islam results in a myriad of negative realities that come with it.

Back to the topic at hand, there are very very few ideologues that profess partisanship to their group.

As for religion being individual, likewise this is not Islam. There are numerous narrations from the Prophet of Islam who stated that whoever abandons the jama’ah (the congregation of Muslims) has abandoned Islam and similar narrations of this effect with slightly different wordings with each narration. In Islam, the companionship of fellow brothers and sisters is necessitated by the religion and greatly emphasized.

4. I think it is more correct to label the school of thought as understood by OBL and his cohorts is that they are adherents to sects. This is a great point because it is claimed that OBL and those of like-minded beleifs are “salafi oriented”. That poses a problem because the leading salafi authorities of this century, Nasr-u-Deen al-Albani, Bin Baz, al-Uthaymeen have all unanimously ostracized OBL for his unsalafi (i.e. unislamic) practices and beliefs and have even considered hm to be from the sect known as the khawaarij. And that is precisely what the extreme modern day groups of this nature are, they are the khawaarij that have been relayed to the Muslims in many of the hadith literature.

5. It was stated
Second, Salafi-Jihadists describe their strategy and mission as a religious one. Their struggle is a jihad, which they themselves define in military terms, as opposed to the ‘internal war’ against human temptations.”

Salafis, who are deemed as “ahlu-sunnah wal jama’ah” by the orthodox sunnis fall in the middle path, like every other issue, between all extremist groups, either from the dangerous or the liberal view.

the ultimate aspect of jihaad under the parameters of islamic terminology is jihad of “qitaal” or “fighting”. This type of jihaad is viewed as the utmost aspect of jihad, but is not considered the ONLY aspect of jihad. That is where salafis split between both radical groups the khawaarij like OBL and his associates, and the liberals who constrict jihad to one of fighting off temptations and lusts.

For salafis, the orthodox sunni scholars have classified jihad into different categories each having a place and time to be performed. The salafi understanding of jihaad is the reflection of 1400 years of scholastic/juristic deductions of the textual sources that have been narrated about jihad. It is for this reason, under the real Islamic definition of jihaad in current times, is not to be called ‘holy war” or any of these akward tabloid labels. My definition of jihaad in current times, after having reviewed some of the annuls of jihad is the modern equivalent to “foreign policy” because if one reads the chapters and books related to jihad from the various schools of legal thought in Islam, the issue of jihad is not discussed from ‘one single avenue” which is commonly rendered in our times as “fighting the infidels” rather it is related with multifarious situations and matters that mainly deal with our stance as an Islamic state, with other nations.

6. It was stated
Accurately labeling the nature of Salafi-Jihadist doctrine as a religious ideology is not merely an exercise in academic theorizing, but has important policy implications

Allow me to be blunt in this regard. the essence of extremists views eminating from these groups, in actuality, is the result of American foreign policy for which even prominent political figures western political analysts have voiced themselves which goes unoticed and unreported for obvious reasons that stem beyond the arena of this reply.

7. It was stated
A counter-terrorism approach that highlights the corruption of Salafi-Jihadists ideology not on religious, but on secular grounds is more likely to have the desired effect of weakening the appeal of the Salafi Jihad

That represents the pinnicle of this current phenomenon. The reason extremist elements continue to survive is due to the puruit of secular thought. That is why extremist kharijism (which is labeled in this article as “salafi jihad”) continues to amass strength and appeal and is increasing by the day. Secularism, from its core, is just as radical as extremist kharijism except that they operate on two radically different platforms. It is just that the reason why extremist kharijism is viewed the way it is viewed is because it is the minority viewpoint, and what happens to any political entity when it is known that they are a minority viewpont. They attempt to change the status quo. The matter is how they try to affect the status quo. Indeed there are certain organizations that attempt to do this through violence, who happen to fall outside of being Muslims.

In all honesty, the only thing I can truely say is that if the west continues to seek as its campaign to
A. democratize the Islamic world
B. Continue the ideological influences being spoon fed to the Islamic world and
C. continues to push the secularization process of the Muslim world
then we will continue to see this new phenomenon of terrorism that is only 50 some odd years old.

8. It was stated
Rather than highlighting the doctrinal and theological inconsistencies within Salafi-Jihadists, the United States and its allies would be wise to grasp every opportunity they have to highlight the disastrous consequences that Salafi-Jihadist violence has wrought on the everyday lives not only of Westerners, but first and foremost on Muslims themselves.”

It is a simple, though not sufficiently emphasized fact that the primary victims of Salafi-Jihadists are Muslims, who are killed and maimed in far greater numbers than non-Muslims.”

This is overlooking the facts. For Muslims, it does not matter the amount of Muslims die in the process of trying to evade the western onslought of the above three outlines I provided above. That is why their increasing adherents continue to increase, because it is a result of their foreign policy through physical (war) and ideological means (promotion of secularism and humanistic philosophies) that contuinues to make the propagation of extremists ideologues more palatible.

We have just recently found that this site where the link is posted up top has just deleted this reply from their blog. We had realized beforehand that they were not civilized enough to allow for viewpoints to be expressed as most westerners hypocritically claim. So we had saved the information provided in this post for the purpose of preserving truth and viewpoints that we were so sure that such people and organizations would try to cover up.