Bottom Line Up Front: Iraqis know that terrorists are not martyrs when they die for their "faith" in acts of terrorism and and we can win the war on terror when we understand this concept, too.
Bassim al-Jabouri, brother of the fallen Iraqi police officer in Iraq who bravely gave his life to stop a suicide bomber, said this in the video:
I think my brother is a martyr, but the insurgents are not martyrs. They will go to hell; they are evil in this world.
That statement is absolutely true and most of us know it. What we don’t know, however, is that we do a disservice the war on terrorism when we refer to acts of terrorism as Jihad. It is not and in order to isolate the terrorists, we need to refer to what it is: Hirabah.
Jihad means to make an effort to overcome difficulty or to struggle. It includes an internal or personal, social and institutional struggle for justice and against oppression and sin. Jihad can not be used to force people to convert or kill non-Muslims. This is contrary to Islamic law.
Hirabah on the other hand is rebellion and terrorism, considered heresy within Islam. Acts of hirabah are capital crimes in Islam. It contains the principle of Jihad but carries out acts of “persuasion” to meet its objective.
According to Dr. Robert D. Crane of the Islamic Research Foundation International (IRFI),
There is no such thing as Islamic terrorism, but there have always been Muslim terrorists. Today there are many alienated extremists who rely on their own resort to violence in protest against perceived injustice, rather than relying on the jihads of akbar, saghrir, and kabir, with the help of Allah and ecumenical cooperation in peacefully building a better world. In effect, these extremists rely on and worship themselves. They are exhibiting the most serious crime condemned in the Qur’an, which is the root of almost all the other crimes, namely, arrogance. They are committing the crime of hirabah, which is the attack on the very roots of civilization, and justifying it in the name of Islam. There can be no greater evil and no greater sin. If there is to be a clash of civilizations, a major cause will be the muharibun, those who commit inter-civilizational hirabah.
There is only one effective cure for such hirabah. This is cooperation by the heretofore silent majority of both Muslims and those of other faiths in a jihad to marginalize extremism by putting their own houses in order through the pursuit of peace through justice.
In July 2006, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki addressed the United States Congress in Washington, D.C. saying:
Thank you for your continued resolve in helping us fight the terrorists plaguing Iraq, which is a struggle to defend our nation's democracy and our people who aspire to liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. All of those are not Western values; they are universal values for humanity.
I know that some of you here question whether Iraq is part of the war on terror. Let me be very clear: This is a battle between true Islam, for which a person's liberty and rights constitute essential cornerstones, and terrorism, which wraps itself in a fake Islamic cloak; in reality, waging a war on Islam and Muslims and values.
The truth is that terrorism has no religion. Our faith says that who kills an innocent, as if they have killed all mankind.
We’ve seen Iraqis turn against al-Qaeda and insurgents particularly in Al Anbar Province, which include the cities of Haditha, Ramadi and Fallujah. They have turned toward Coalition forces only as we “win hearts and minds” by familiarizing ourselves with their religious customs and terminology, showing that we are not the enemy. Aside from that, Iraqis see the hopelessness of hirabah and are emboldened to turn against the movement and its participants as an act of religious devotion. WE NEED TO CAPITALIZE ON THIS.
When we properly call terrorism hirabah rather than jihad, we alienate terrorists like al-Qaeda from the Muslim population and marginalize their efforts. In doing so, we show consideration for the Muslim religion, no matter what our personal opinions may be on the religion itself, and persuade good Muslims to support the effort against apostates like Osama bin Laden and the rest.
Calling terrorists "jihadists" may be more en vogue than referring to it as hirabah, but we risk legitimizing the likes of Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah in the Islamic world if we refer to their terror as jihad. It's murder, terrorism and hirabah. This is why the war on terror can be won; Muslims want to stop the assault on their religion as much as the rest of us do.
Killing innocent civilians in the name of Allah is not Jihad and Muslims know it... they're simply waiting for us to understand this as well.
Cross-posted @: Bottom Line Up Front