I went to my pharmacy awhile back to pick up a prescription for my daughter. One person was ahead of me, an older woman—almost the stereotypical grandmother: white hair, glasses, slightly hunched. But she wasn’t acting like a grandmother doting on her granddaughter and offering her cookies.

Instead, she was in full-throated roar yelling at the twenty-something technician behind the counter.

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Because she was going to have to wait for her prescription. No explanation mattered to her. The technician spoke softly. She was unfailingly polite and gentle. But the old lady refused any attempt at mollification. She kept yelling.  She kept demanding her prescription be given to her immediately. “There’s no one ahead of me!” she insisted, ignoring the stacks of prescriptions being filled for those who had called in but hadn’t gotten there yet. No one else was physically standing in front of her. It didn’t mean that no one was ahead of her.

When faced with haters, it is only natural to want to understand them. Whether it’s a coworker going ballistic, or a family member, or just someone at the store. And at last it came out: “I have a toothache and that medicine will make it stop hurting.” So there was an explanation for the old woman’s out-of-control rage.

In the same way, we’d like to find explanations for the larger conflicts on the world stage. Surely we can find common ground with our enemies, discover the “toothache,” and achieve a lasting and just peace. When 911 happened, the first instinct of many was to wonder “what did we do? How have we offended them?” We wanted an explanation. Many believed we must somehow be responsible for our suffering.

When we watch the combatants in the Middle East, we want to believe that there must be equal blame on all sides. Surely if we make changes in how we behave as a nation, if we make better choices, say nicer words, then those who hate us will learn to love us.

But sometimes, those who hate us aren’t reacting to a toothache or some perceived, whether legitimate or not, slight. Sometimes, there is no way to resolve the conflict. Sometimes, there can be no peace.

Such, sadly, is the case with ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Moslem Brotherhood and the like. You cannot make peace with those who want but one thing: for you to convert or die. There is no middle ground, nothing to give, no hope. They don’t have any other agenda.  There’s no other grievance.

MEMRI.org has published what Al-Qaeda wants. The words are not new.  One can find the same thing in the demands of Hamas, the Taliban, Hezbollah, or the Muslim Brotherhood. Some might want to ignore these words. Some might want to believe that they can’t really be serious. Some might want to just pretend the sky is green.

Al-Qaeda’s broadcasting arm Al-Sahab released an audio lecture that sets the standards of friendship and enmity with infidels as defined by Islam. The lecture was delivered by Abdul Samad, a militant Pakistani cleric who speaks in Urdu.

The lecture was titled “Standards of Friendship and Enmity in Islam.” It was released through various jihadi forums. Citing hadiths and Quranic verses, Abdul Samad argues the following points:

  1. The most powerful and binding relation is Islam.
  2.  The believers, who do not disassociate themselves from nonbelievers and do not distinguish their ranks from people who have interest in worldly things, can never serve Islam effectively.
  3.  Our friendship and enmity should only be for Allah’s cause.
  4. Our friendship, relationship and love should only be with the people who believe in Islam and Allah as the ruler.
  5. The people, who do not accept Allah as the ruler and do not believe in Islam are our enemy and we should disassociate ourselves from them even if they are our close relatives and from our tribe.
  6. The infidels, whether they are the Jews or Christians, atheists and polytheists, are the real infidels and are the enemies of Allah’s faith (Islam).
  7. The Quran has termed friendship with Kuffar (infidels) as a sign of disunity and unbelief, as it is associated with the foundations of belief.
  8. The people declared by Allah as our enemy can never be our friends.
  9. The non-believers are the enemies of our elderly people, women and children. They kill the Muslims with bombs either in Kashmir, Iraq, or Palestine. There is hardly a day when a Muslim escapes their cruelty.
  10. They open several fronts (against Muslims) after entering a region. One of their fronts is education. They used it in the Egypt and Turkey; and they currently use it in Pakistan against the Muslims.
  11. Our enmity towards Hindus is not due to the Kashmir issue; our enmity towards America is not due to Iraq and Afghanistan; the enmity between us and the Jews is not due to the Palestine; the real cause is that they do not accept our system and Islam.
  12. Our enmity towards them (the non-believers) will continue even if they renounce all their crimes.
  13. Enmity towards infidels is a must. It is part of our faith. Islam says the Muslims should stay away from the infidels and their countries.
  14. The best way to get rid of them (infidels) is to continue jihad until the Allah’s faith (Islam) is completely enforced all over the world.


They don’t hate us for our freedom.

They don’t hate us because we did something to them.

They hate us because we don’t believe what they believe.  They hate us because we exist.

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