Louis Palme / Aug 03, 2010
Not long ago President Obama was interviewed about Africa. When asked about opinions attributing radical Islam’s impact on the development and stability on the African continent, Obama called Islam “a great religion,” but added that the radical version views as anti-Islam “any efforts to modernize, any efforts to provide basic human rights, any efforts to democratize.”  (Emphasis added.)

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attack on New York and Washington, D.C., David Forte, a Law Professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Ohio, stated, “Bin Ladin and other Islamic radicals claim that they represent ancient Islam. It is true that they do represent one tradition in Islam, but it is a tradition that Islam early on rejected as opposed to the universal message of its Prophet. . .  Today, radicals like Bin Laden replicate that ancient sect (of Kharajites) that threatened to destroy Islamic civilization at its inception.  They copy that sect that stood against what came to be a civilization known in its time for its learning, science, openness and toleration.  They engage in tactics that are far beyond what is acceptable in the Islamic moral tradition.  They insult the vast multitudes of Muslims who abhor such actions.”

Not long ago, there was a DVD distributed and sold widely in the United States by the title, “Obsession – Radical Islam’s War Against the West.”    The implication of all of these references to radical Muslims is that a small group of religious fanatics somehow “hijacked” the peaceful religion of Islam and used it to wage war on Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

It is interesting to note that the dictionary definition of the word “radical” has two, almost contradictory meanings:  1. Arising from or going to a root or source; basic; and 2) Departing markedly from the usual or customary, extreme.   The word “radical” comes from the root word, radicalis, “having roots.”  We get the word “radish” from the same Latin source.   In all of the uses cited above, the context of  “radical” implies “extreme, departing markedly from the usual or customary.”  In other words, bin Laden and the Islamic “radicals” are holding to an extreme interpretation of Islam.

The reality, however, is that there is only one version of Islam, only one Quran.  If the pronouncements of terrorists and terrorist organizations are extreme, then they would have to depart markedly from the ideology of Islam.  To test this popular notion that the terrorists follow an extreme belief system, I have identified the “signature” statements of the most widely-recognized terrorists and terrorist organizations below. When they quoted sacred texts, I marked those references in BOLD. If the statement merely reflects a statement by Muhammad or a sacred text, then I also identified that source in BOLD.  As to whether these sources are “basic” or “extreme,” I will let the reader decide.


Osama bin Laden, Fatwa Urging Jihad Against America (23 February, 1998)     

On that basis, and in compliance with God's order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims: The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, "and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together," [Surah 9:36] and "fight them until there is no

more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God." [Surah 2:193] This is in addition to the words of Almighty God: "And why should ye not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? -- women and children, whose cry is: 'Our Lord, rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will help!'"[Surah 4:75] We -- with God's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's US troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson. Almighty God said: "O ye who believe, give your response to God and His Apostle,

when He calleth you to that which will give you life. And know that God cometh between a man and his heart, and that it is He to whom ye shall all be gathered." [Surah 8:24] Almighty God also says: "O ye who believe, what is the matter with you, that when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of God, ye cling so heavily to the earth! Do ye prefer the life of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and  put others in your place.” [Surah 9:38-39]


Hamas, in the Hamas Covenant of 1988: 

Preamble: As Imam Hassan al-Banna said, “Israel will exist and continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” As the Quran states, “Ye [Arabs] are the best nation that hath been raised up unto mankind: ye command that which is just, and ye forbid that which is unjust, and ye believe in Allah. And if they who have received the scriptures [the Jews] had believed, it had surely been the better for them; there are believers among them, but the greater part of them are transgressors. They shall not hurt you, unless with a slight hurt; and if they fight against you, they shall turn their backs to you, and they shall not be helped. They are smitten with vileness wheresoever they are found; unless they obtain security by entering into a treaty with Allah, and a treaty with [Muslim] men; and they draw on themselves indignation from Allah, and they are afflicted with poverty. This they suffer, because they disbelieved the signs of Allah, and slew the prophets unjustly; this, because they were rebellious, and transgressed.” [Surah 3:109-111]

Article 13: There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad. . . “Verily ye [the Muslims] are stronger than they [the Jews], by reason of the terror cast into their breasts from Allah. This, because they are not people of prudence.” [Surah 59:13]

Hezballah, from the Hezballah Program, 1985

Who are we, the Hizballah, and what is our identity?  We are the sons of the ummah (Muslim community) – the party of Allah (Hizb Allah) the vanguard of which was made victorious by Allah in Iran. There the vanguard succeeded to lay down the bases of a Muslim state which plays a central role in the world. . . WE are an ummah linked to the Muslims of the whole world by the solid doctrinal and religious connection of Islam, whose message Allah wanted to be fulfilled by the Seal of the Prophets, i.e. Muhammad. . .  As for our culture, it is based on the Holy Koran, the Sunna, and the legal rulings of the faqih who is our source of imitation.  Our culture is crystal clear. It is not complicated and is accessible to all. . .  We combat abomination and we shall tear out its very roots, its primary roots, which are the US.  [see Surah 74:5] . . Therefore our struggle will end only when this entity [Israel] is obliterated. We recognize no treaty with it, no cease fire, and no peace agreements, whether separate or consolidated. [see Surah 9:29]

Muslim Brotherhood,  from “The Message of The Teachings” by Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood

Regarding Jihad: By jihad, I mean that divinely ordained obligation which is reflected in the following saying of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and which Muslims are to carry out until the Day of Judgement: ‘Whoever dies without struggling in the Way of Allah, or wishing to do so, dies a Pre Islamic Jahiliya death.’ [see Muslim hadith 4562-64, narrator Abu Hurayrah]

Its weakest degree is the heart's abhorrence of evil. and its highest degree is fighting in the Way of Allah. Between these two degrees are numerous forms of jihad, including struggling with the tongue, pen, or hand, and speaking a word of truth to a tyrannical ruler. This call (to Islam) cannot survive without Jihad. The more lofty and far reaching the call, the greater the struggle in its path. The price required to support it is huge, but the reward given to its upholders is more generous. ‘And strive in the Way of Allah as you ought to.’ [Surah 22:78]

By this, dear brothers, you know the meaning of your slogan "Jihad is our way".

Regarding Sacrifice: By sacrifice I mean giving one's self, wealth, time, energy, and everything else for the cause of Islam. There is no Jihad without sacrifice, nor will there be sacrifice without generous reward from Allah. Those who refrain from sacrifice are sinners: ‘Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their goods, for theirs in return is Paradise.’ [Surah 9:111]

‘Say: If it be that your fathers, sons, brothers, mates, or kinsmen; the wealth that you have gained; the commerce in which you fear a decline, or the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Apostle or the jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah brings about His decision, and Allah guides not the rebellious.’ [Surah 9:24]

‘Nothing could they suffer or do without having it reckoned to their credit as a deed or righteousness, whether they suffered thirst, fatigue, or hunger in the Cause of Allah; walked paths that raised the ire of the unbelievers; or received any injury whatsoever from an enemy. Allah does not cause the reward of those who do good to be lost.’ [Surah 9:120]

‘So if you show obedience, Allah will grant you a goodly reward.’ [Surah 48:16]

Thus dear brothers, you understand the meaning of your slogan: "death in the Way of Allah is our greatest hope".

Muslim Brotherhood in The General Strategic Goal for the [Muslim Brotherhood] in America, dated 5/22/1991

The process of settlement is a "Civilization-Jihadist Process" with all the word means. The

Ikhwan (Brotherhood) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious

over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and

have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim's destiny to perform Jihad and work

wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that

destiny except for those who chose to slack. But, would the slackers and the Mujahedeen be equal.


[This statement reflects the reliable Bukhari hadith, Vol. 4, Number 220: “ Allah’s apostle said, “I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror, and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand.”  See also, Surah 48:28]

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