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By labeling the acts of radical Islamists as mere “terrorism” we imply that there is an Achilles heel to expose — a political demand or a territorial gain with which they might barter, with which we might naively appease.

The reality is completely different. Their goals are nihilistic and non-negotiable: they want the total elimination of all who are not with them. Nairobi was possibly the most explicit demonstration of such.

Qanta Ahmed – The new jihad — a violent, intrusive and dangerous threat to world order | Fox News – 10/9/2013.

Someone raised expectations, perhaps; someone provided explicit instruction; someone’s words were received amplified, heightened, deified, perhaps; and someone challenged The Wisdom, saying in effect, “Prove it – it is either of the stars or not.”

Along the line of the Christian anti-Jihad, there is no way away from elements of scripture delivered in practical and literal terms.  Their experience of what on this blog I call “shimmer” starts with their examination of the Quran plus impression from history plus, finally, an acquaintance with Hadith.  None of that ends well, and less for Christian pride than its basis in Jewish thought after Hillel.

For the Jews, the noise starts somewhere beyond the arguments and themes inspired by — but seldom stated explicitly in — the Torah.  Even with something as simple as “The Binding of Isaac”, the reader is never told whether the test is of Abraham’s obedience, which is the common interpretation, or one given to children by their parents, or of conscience, which is a little bit more incisive and likely to arrive as epiphany with sufficient fascination and reflection.

The Jews long ago formed a culture apart and have learned a great deal about themselves and others.  Credit the Torah for that.  Or credit the necessity of separation given the humanity that must have gathered in the ancient desert appalled with the world, and, later, with Pharaoh.  Muslims, by comparison, have formed of the seduced or the conquered of the world, and whatever spirit predated Muhammad would seem to persist in expression now conflated with Islam.

Whether what is in Qanta Ahmed to grasp as a modern Muslim woman a progressive and humanist Islam is actually in Islam, I don’t know, for there are many forces in the Ummah — the “Islamists” but a facet, the “sword verses” another, the conflations with child marriages and honor killings producing yet additional self-slander and fuel for critics, and the  history of conquest (start with the wholesale slaughter of the men and rape of daughters and wives of the Banu Qurayza) — that would belie the assertion.

For the Kurds fighting Al Qaeda today in northern Syria, nothing has changed: they know their old enemy.

Additional Reference

Concerns with terrorist atrocities in Christian or western states may overlook the inkblot spread of Al Qaeda-defined conflict in ungoverned or autonomously governed spaces.  That context tells of a format in warfare as familiar to the 7th Century as it is to the morning news sifted by foreign affairs wonks.

The Kurdish community in northern Syria hasn’t to care about the modern humanist assertion, reformation, or survival of Islam: a Muslim army, self-appointed, self-defined, has arrived on their doorstep to convert or annihilate them, and they know it and have taken up defensive positions and initiated diplomatic efforts congruent with that.

Syrian Kurdish Leader Urges Turkey to End Support for Salafists – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East – 10/9/2013.

Syria: Al-Qaeda wants to control Iraq and Turkey border zones | News | World | Mail & Guardian – 10/5/2013.

Syria: Al-Qaeda Branch Battles Kurds, Threatens Ankara | Al Akhbar English – 10/1/2013.

Al-Qaida claims rare attacks in northern Iraq Republican American – 10/8/2013.

Addendum

Abdul Hakim Quick – a preacher from the Islamic Education and Research Academy, who has called upon God to “clean and purify Al-Aqsa from the filth of the Yahood [Jews]” and to “clean all of the lands from the filth of the Kafirun [non-believers].” He has also stated: “They said ‘what is the Islamic position [on homosexuality]?’ And I told them. Put my name in the paper. The punishment is death. And I’m not going to change this religion.”

UK Charity Commission Permits Hamas Charity :: Gatestone Institute – 10/4/2013.

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