When the al Shabaab jihadi group from Somalia attacked the mall in Kenya, they gathered the crowd together and asked who were Muslims and let them go. According to the media, they then started killing the non-Muslims who were left. But non-Muslims is not the word what the terrorists would have used. No, they would have called them Kafirs (actually they would have called them the Arabic plural of kafir, kuffar. Kafirs is the standard English plural form).
Why did members of al Shabaab do this? Why did they ask the Muslims to leave and keep the Kafirs and start killing them? Let’s start with the word terrorists. Members of al Shabaab are not terrorists, they are jihadists or mujahedeen. That is what they call themselves.
So what difference does it make which words we use? Non-Muslim or Kafir? Terrorists, militants, jihadists or mujahedeen? It makes all the difference in the world. You cannot think precisely with imprecise words and a Kafir is much more than non-Muslim.
The word “non-Muslim” does not imply anything, except not being a believer in Islam.
Kafir, on the other hand, has enormous implications. Kafir is the actual word that the Koran uses for a non-Muslim. Indeed, one of the many remarkable things about the Koran is that over half of its text is devoted to the Kafir. Think about that: most of the Koran is not about how to be a Muslim, but about the Kafir. Every single verse about the Kafir is not just bad, but terrible. Allah hates Kafirs and plots and schemes against them. The cruelest punishments await the Kafir in hell, but who cares about that? The real problem is what is promised to the Kafir in this life—torture, hatred, death, ridicule, rape, enslavement, political domination and deception.
It is the same with mujahedeen or jihadist as opposed to militant or terrorist. The words militant or terrorist do not tell anything about the motivation of the militant or terrorist, only that they are using violence.
Notice that the words non-Muslim and terrorist are not related to each other; they stand alone. There is no implication of one by the other. But that is not true about Kafir and jihad. Jihad is only carried out against Kafirs. Jihad implies Kafir and vice versa.
Jihad and Kafir are all part of a system of Islamic politics. Mohammed preached the religion of Islam for 13 years and garnered 150 followers. When he turned to politics and jihad, he died ruler of all of Arabia, and every Arab was a Muslim. The religion of Islam was a failure, and Islam triumphed by the use of politics and jihad, war against the Kafir.
Islamic doctrine is found in the Koran, Sunna (Mohammed) and Sharia law and divides all of humanity into Muslim and Kafir. There is no middle ground. Unfortunately, both Christian and Jewish leaders have bought into the fiction that they are all People of the Book and are brothers in religion. When you read the fine print (as none of them have done, being professionally ignorant), they are brothers in Abraham who must be politically and religiously subjugated, but that is a small detail.
If jihad, mujahedeen, and Kafir are pure Islamic doctrine, we can now understand why the media refuses to the correct words that Muslims use – it is all too horrible to contemplate. We are not just having independent terrorist events, such as the West Gate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya or the Boston Marathon bombing; we are in the middle of a civilizational war with a historic enemy — an enemy who is winning because we are in total denial.
Published as an article on American Thinker.
Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam
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