French soldiers heading to Mali, January 2013..
(photo credit: Reuters)
Muslims often say “sabeel Allah fi-al-sayf,” “the path of God is by the sword,”
and this path, which once led to the gates of Vienna, or to Spain, or to France,
or Asia, now seems to be leading to Africa.
Mali, Morocco, Algeria,
Sudan, Libya, Nigeria and Egypt are all experiencing terrific violence at the
hands of forces claiming to be carrying the banner of Islam.
looks on and acts slowly, if at all. Meanwhile, weapons proliferate, and many
Hundreds of thousands of refugees stream across Mali, as the UN
debates what to do – much as it did when tens of thousands were slaughtered in
Egypt’s mostly nonviolent revolution was hijacked by the Muslim
Brotherhood, whose leader says Jews and Christians are descended from apes and
pigs. Egypt remilitarizes the Sinai Desert, and the US sends it F-16’s and more
Tunisia’s secular opposition leader has been murdered, and the
Islamic agenda rises in both Tunisia and Egypt, even as Christians are
slaughtered in Egypt and Nigeria. Areas once conquered by Islam and now deemed
somehow insufficiently Islamic, as well as areas not completely conquered by
Islam are now being targeted by forces who call themselves “true Muslims.”
Villages are destroyed in Algeria and Nigeria, their inhabitants often
ISLAM HAS been knocking loudly and violently at the gates of
the non-Muslim world ever since the prophet-general known as Muhammad sanctified,
as jihad, land grabs for his “religion of peace.” In some respects, jihad was a
way to sublimate the territorial urges of the Beduin that used to find their
outlet in periodic raids known as ghazwa. Jihad, as scholars observed, was a
both a religious duty and a pragmatic safety valve.
Jihad is the “sixth
pillar” of Islam, whose five basic commandments are known as khamsat arkaan
– the five pillars of Islam. Jihad, in other words, would be a bit like
what Jews and Christians would call “the eleventh commandment” of the Ten
This is important information, but it is being studiously
avoided by leading Western officials who prefer to take a politically correct
approach to Islamic conquest.
In his State of the Union speech, US
President Barack Obama patted himself on the back for sending some transport
planes to help France try to push back against the Islamic terrorists in
Obama claims to have eviscerated al-Qaida, but the actions of
al-Qaida-inspired or linked groups in Africa make a mockery of his claims.
Meanwhile, China and Russia, which have their eyes on the minerals of Africa,
play the usual diplomatic games of supporting Islamic terror by refusing to
countenance “interference in domestic affairs.”
Obama and his CIA
director-designee John Brennan take a benign view of some of the Islamist
movements, even helping the Brotherhood in Egypt, much as Jimmy Carter once
helped the ayatollahs in Iran. Brennan, who speaks Arabic (badly), has publicly
called jihad a “spiritual journey,” and both he and Obama believe that they know
where Islam is headed.
They think it is headed to Indonesia – the most
populous Islamic country in the world.
Obama and Brennan both spent part
of their youth in Indonesia. They think Indonesia is an example of what Islam is
and should be. But the Indonesia of their youth is not the model for most
Muslims, who prefer to look to Mecca. Indeed the Islam of east Asia – Indonesia,
Malaysia and the Philippines – is itself becoming much more violent and
The more radical Islamic forces are on the march, and they
are not really impressed by Western solidarity, by speeches by Obama and
Brennan. Many of the victims of jihad are now in Africa, but they will probably
not be the last.The writer, an expert on Arab politics and
communications, was a strategic affairs adviser in the Ministry of Public
Security and is the author of
Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the
Terror Threat published by Threshold/Simon and Schuster.