Notes from the Islamic Front in War of Ideas
In my ongoing research, I receive a regular communication from Khilafa.com, a popular Islamic website that claims it is devoted to a non-confrontational informational and spiritual service to worldwide Islam. Khilafa.com portrays itself as the one outlet available to Muslims everywhere that presents the news without bias and Qur’anic teachings without sectarianism.
On Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2003, Khilafa.com notified me by email that the current edition of Khilafa Magazine was online and available. When I pointed my browser to the link, I was presented with a list of headlines that linked to individual stories. Here is that list:
Should you take the time to review these articles, you will discover a common thread. Each is taken from an outside source that has some general credibility, and each is subtly anti-American or at least anti-Bush administration. Taken together, along with thousands of other articles stretching back 460 issues to Sept. 30, 2000 , they create the impression that America is perpetrating an unjust war against worldwide Islam.
A quote from an article in the Khilafa Magazine for Feb. 11, 2001 may shed some light on Khilafa’s perspective:
“Democracy: The Rule of Man versus the Rule of Allah ….
“In democratic societies, people feel that they have the right to decide whether to accept liberal values, terminate the life of a baby, exterminate populations in ‘humanitarian’ wars such as Iraq, or severely place a people in hunger such as in Afghanistan. The fundamental principle here is that man possesses the right to legislate and make rules and laws. Individuals are appointed in parliaments and legislative houses to debate, scrutinise [sic] and enact law. The basis of legislation is the majority decision of these selected people, who will vote according to their own personal experiences, their party line, their business interests (more often than not) and the like.
“This is something that is contradictory to the very foundations of Islam and its basic beliefs. Here, there is a total disregard for Allah … the Sovereign Master, and thus, the only One … that may lawfully determine legislation and rules for the rest of creation. Mankind has no right but to hear and obey the orders of Allah …. ”
Another quote from the Khilafa.com webpage posted on Nov 25, 2001, that defines Khilafa, puts things into better focus:
“Dar al-Islam is the land where Islamic Law is implemented in all matters of life and ruling and whose security is maintained in the name of Islam even if its citizens are non-Muslims ….
“The Khilafah is the global leadership for all the Muslims in the world. Its role is to establish the laws of the Islamic Shari‘ah and to carry the da’wah of Islam to the world ….
“The establishment of a Khaleefah is an obligation upon all Muslims in the world. Performing this duty, like any of the duties prescribed by Allah … upon the Muslims, is an urgent obligation in which there can be no choice or complacency. Negligence in performing this duty is one of the greatest sins, for which Allah … punishes severely.”
On May 8, 2001 , Khilafah.com announced that:
“Khilafah magazine recently received an e-mail from a brother that included a group of authenticated Ahadith and their chains of narration regarding the return of the Khilafah, Insha’Allah. In giving glad tidings of the re-establishment of the Islamic Khilafah, tranquillity and ease was brought to the hearts of the believers, driving the Muslims, especially those who are working to re-establish the Islamic State, to work more seriously and with greater sincerity. Insha’Allah, may Allah … honour them with the return of the Khilafah through their efforts so that they may achieve the great reward in both worlds: a mighty victory in this world and a noble residence in the Akhirah (the afterlife).”
Khilafah.com then went on to say that “submission to the rule of Islam necessitates the existence of the Islamic State; therefore, the hadith indicates that the Islamic State is coming, and that it will bring the whole of the earth under its authority.”
Following the 9/11 attacks, Khilafah.com carried articles from many sources, but all with the kind of bias evidenced in this quote from the Guardian taken from the Sep. 14, 2001, Khilafah Magazine:
“[A]ny glimmer of recognition of why people might have been driven to carry out such atrocities, sacrificing their own lives in the process – or why the United States is hated with such bitterness, not only in Arab and Muslim countries, but across the developing world – seems almost entirely absent. Perhaps it is too much to hope that, as rescue workers struggle to pull firefighters from the rubble, any but a small minority might make the connection between what has been visited upon them and what their government has visited upon large parts of the world.
“If it turns out that Tuesday’s attacks were the work of Osama bin Laden’s supporters, the sense that the Americans are once again reaping a dragons’ teeth harvest they themselves sowed will be overwhelming.”
And finally another quote from a Khilafah article in the aftermath of 9/11:
“Whether the World Trade Center perpetrator is Osama Bin Laden, or one of countless Arab or Muslim subgroups, we should not have any doubt: this attack was welcomed in much of the Arab and Muslim world. Palestinian leaders may have given it pro-forma condemnation, but the people on the Arab ‘street’ were smiling and flashing ‘V’ signs when they heard the news.”
These guys seem to be in the business of molding Muslim public opinion so that Muslims worldwide are prepared for what Khilafah sees as the inevitable conflict between Islam and the rest of the world that will result, in their opinion, in a world dominated and controlled by a Taliban-like Caliphate ruled under the strictest interpretation of the Shari’ah, with the complete obliteration of democracy, and any kind of self rule. They twist and distort anything and everything, they use the words written by others, in context where possible, or forced into a context suited to their goals where necessary.
This is the venue into which the U.S. military public relations apparatus fell when it decided to use the Jessica Lynch rescue to enhance the public’s image of military operations in Iraq.
The article about Pfc. Lynch included in the index for the current Khilafah magazine originated with the “BBC,” and takes complete advantage of this situation. Lynch is painted as a bitter, anti-military young woman who was used by her own military for unseemly propaganda. And this situation was set up by our own guys, not on purpose, but they did it nonetheless.
In an interview on Fox News last week, Bill O’Reilly asked Diane Sawyer about her own interview with Lynch. Sawyer emphasized that she had sensed no bitterness in Lynch. On the contrary, according to Sawyer, Lynch was proud to have served, and wished that the military had not singled her out for its publicity effort. Lynch feels that she should have been treated no differently than her fellow prisoners. It seems that the news media took her statements out of context.
Unfortunately, this out-of-context reportage has gone way beyond what we have come to expect from a media that seems hell-bent on destroying the public’s still positive opinion of the Bush administration. During Lynch’s hospitalization by the Iraqis, she attempted to stay continuously awake in order to avoid being taken unwillingly to Baghdad and used there for propaganda purposes. It turns out, thanks to an inept U.S. military PR apparatus, she is now the poster child for worldwide Khilafa and the new Islamic Order.
Well done, guys. Your hearts may have been in the right place, but your heads were somewhere else.
Robert G. Williscroft is DefenseWatch Navy Editor