Special to WorldTribune.com, May 19, 2016
By Yossef Bodansky, Senior Editor, Global Information System / Defense & Foreign Affairs
The initial alienation of grassroots, European-born and educated Muslim youth was a result of the overall deteriorating economic and social conditions throughout Western Europe. But this socio-economic frustration quickly transformed into a jihadist upsurge and fervor as radical preachers and their message of enmity toward, and confrontation with, Western society and civilization became immensely popular. Unemployed, frustrated youth were taught that their plight was a result of the infidels’ anti-Muslim conspiracies and discrimination and not their own lack of skills and all-European economic downturn.
This transformation was clearly demonstrated in the French intifada of 2005 and the grassroots reaction to the economic crisis starting 2008, particularly the ensuing widespread unemployment among Muslim youth in Europe’s growing rust zones.
Under these conditions, the impact of returning jihadists from the lands of jihad and radicalized migrants from the “Hub of Islam” was immense. The message of avenging jihad against the West played into the frustration and rage of the European-born Muslim youth. The jihadists argued that there could be no compromise or reconciliation between Europe’s Judeo-Christian authorities and the Muslim communities in their midst. The new goal of Europe’s Muslim youth, the returning jihadists taught, was to neither avenge the discrimination by the hostile West nor restore the socio-economic conditions of their parents’ past, but rather to gradually destroy the tormenting West from within “until Islam rules the earth”.
Despite the declared commitment to destroying the West, the leaders of European Islam remained cognizant of the inherent strength of the lands they were living in and their inability to wage an all-out jihad. The emerging Islamist- jihadist posture in Western Europe necessitated a profound analysis of the situation and audacious theological assertions. With the Shurah Kabirah still focused on the “Hub of Islam”, Islamist luminaries in Europe endeavored to provide their own remedies and guidelines through a series of fatwas. This dynamic served to further distance Europe’s Muslim communities from the traditional Islamist-jihadist establishment.
Hence, the luminaries of European Islam revisited the situation of their own communities in a profound manner, culminating in the emerging definition of Dar ul-Kuffar (The Abode of Infidels) as a new state of being. Indeed, the theological transformation over the last decade or so has been unprecedented for the Islamists-jihadists defined for themselves the third new state of being — Dar ul-Kuffar — to describe life in strong, affluent Judeo-Christian society in the West that had to be fought, subverted and defeated from within over time. This is the first and only change to Islam’s division of the world since the 7th Century AD when the first Caliphs divided the world into the Dar ul-Islam (the Abode of Islam where Islam ruled the land) and the Dar ul-Harb (the Abode of War, where infidels lived and which must be occupied by Muslim forces in the immediate future). In daring to assert and define the new Abode they were living in, the Islamist-jihadist leaders in Western Europe also stated their independence of the guidance and leadership of the Shurah Kabirah in Afghanistan-Pakistan.
This, however, did not mean that Europe’s jihadists separated completely from the lands of jihad. On the contrary, the jihadists of Europe are traveling to the lands of jihad (Syria-Iraq, Chechnya, Afghanistan-Pakistan, Libya, etc.) in growing numbers in order to gain training, expertise and tempering-by-combat. They make friends and partners there. However, when they return to Western Europe (and U.S.-Canada for that matter) they gravitate anew around local charismatic imams and combat leaders who float in the European/Western milieu. Together they wage their own unique jihad for the Dar ul-Kuffar. They are inspired to a point by the teachings of Al Qaida and the Islamic State/Caliphate about the imperative to resurrect the Muslim World by the uncompromising sword of jihad, but they do NOT take orders or even guidance. Thus, bombing Raqqa has no tangible impact on the jihad in Paris or Brussels. It will only confirm the jihadists’ conviction that the West is adamant on preventing the resurrection of Islam in the Dar ul-Islam and will therefore embolden the jihadists of Europe to further subvert the Dar ul-Kuffar from within through jihad.
The theological ascent of the Islamic State/Caliphate since mid-2014 proved to be a profound development for the European jihadist trend. From the beginning, the theological leaders of the Caliphate endeavored to re-examine all contemporary issues of the Muslim World in the context of the original surge of Islam in the Seventh Century AD. They found precedents and guidance for the current jihad in the Dar ul-Kuffar in the early struggles of Prophet Mohammad and his small group of devotees against the hostile and disbelieving society around them. With that, the Islamic State/Caliphate endeavored to provide theological leadership for the escalating jihad at the heart of the West without attempting to take over operationally.
On May 14, 2015, the Caliphate released a sermon by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, entitled “March Forth Whether Light or Heavy” that provided an up-to-date articulation of the role of the Caliphate in the worldwide Muslim and jihadist trends.
It was a call for jihad and action all over the world.
There can be no conciliation between the Believers and the rest of the world, starting with the Jews and Crusaders, even for Muslims living in the midst of foreign societies. For Muslims living in the West there are only the options of either immigrating to Muslim lands or fighting Allah’s enemies at home. Baghdadi emphasized that “fighting the disbelievers, Hijrah (emigration), and jihad will remain until the establishment of the Hour.” The Caliphate as the leading Islamic State is but the guide and beacon for this all-Islamic struggle.
Baghdadi repeatedly emphasized that it is the obligation of all Muslims to wage the jihad. He stressed that “every Muslim in every place [has] to perform Hijrah to the Islamic State or fight in his land wherever that may be”.
The quintessence of Islam, Baghdadi claimed, had always been fighting the jihad for the dominance of the world.
“O Muslims, Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war. Your Prophet … was dispatched with the sword as a mercy to the creation. He was ordered with war until Allah is worshipped alone. … His companions after him and their followers carried on similarly. They did not soften and abandon war, until they possessed the Earth, conquered the East and the West, the nations submitted to them, and the lands yielded to them, by the edge of the sword. And similarly, this will remain the condition of those who follow them until the Day of Recompense.”
It is therefore the sacred obligation of the current generation of Believers to persevere and continue fighting the sacred jihad. For the Muslims living in the West, Baghdadi specified, there was no hope or prospect for acceptance by the Jewish and Christian societies. He warned the Muslims in the West that “the Jews, the Christians, and the rest of the disbelievers will not approve of you nor abandon waging war against you until you follow their religion and apostatize from yours”. The only way to prevent the subjugation of the Muslims of Europe was by a jihadist insurrection which would devour the West from within, al-Baghdadi asserted. …
The ongoing escalation in the Middle East could not but precede the End-of-Time Battle, Baghdadi declared. Therefore, the entire Muslim World must steel itself for the challenges and climax ahead. “So prepare yourselves for your war, O Muslims everywhere,” Baghdadi implored. The enemies of Islam already sensed, he said, the calamity which inevitably awaited them and therefore were escalating their anti-Islam campaign. But Allah already had put fear in their hearts through the jihadist raids in the heart of the West. “Here are the Christian crusaders and the nations and religions of disbelief gathered alongside them, with the Jews behind them all, not daring to come by land to fight a small group of mujahedin,” Baghdadi said. “They know what awaits them at Dabiq and Ghouta of defeat, ruin, and devastation. They know that it will be the final war, and thereafter — by Allah’s permission — we will raid them and they will not raid us, and Islam will lead the world once more until the establishment of the Hour [of Judgment Day].” …
The authors of Dabiq Issue 14 argued that the wave of jihadist terrorism engulfing Europe was the harbinger of the jihad which would bring Europe to knees and enshrine Muslim rule.
“Bullets and shrapnel will slash and pierce all those whom Allah’s soldiers reach. Survivors will be scarred physically and mentally, haunted whenever their eyes are closed, whenever they blink. The sounds of sirens will fill the air, preceded by blasts from bombs planted in all the right places. The damage to their economy, their infrastructure, and their sources of income will make their lives harder than they now imagine. And it will not end there, not until the rule of Allah reaches east to west and the Muslims walk undisturbed by the kafir filth beneath them.” There would be no stopping of the jihadists for they were committed to martyrdom, and “[t]here is thus no possibility of their surrender to humans. The crusaders, on the other hand, have no eventual choice but to accept defeat. While arrogance will prevent them today, it is only a matter of time — after as many blessed operations as Allah facilitates for His soldiers in their lands — before the crusaders’ resolve dissipates and they fall at the feet of the invading lions, appealing for amnesty and begging to pay jizyah.”
With the German Government desperately trying to conceal the jihadist character of the latest attack in Munich, and with the flow of illegal migrants into Europe continuing, there is every reason for the jihadist leaders and the on-site mujahedin to be optimistic about the course of their jihad.
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