Violent Jihad

What Has Islam to Do With Medina?

The Saudi Gazette says that the attacks on the Prophet's Mosque in Medina prove that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. Sadly, that's obvious nonsense.

BY CounterJihad · @CounterjihadUS | July 5, 2016

Image courtesy of Omar Chatriwala from Doha, Qatar – The “Enlightened” City, CC BY 2.0.

A suicide bombing struck the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, Saudia Arabia, considered to be the second holiest mosque in Islam.  The attack brought widespread condemnation from Muslim scholars, and an assertion by the Saudi Gazette that the bombing proves that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam.

Muslims all over the world gathered on social media to strongly condemn the act sharing a common reaction of shock and horror. The majority of comments stressed the importance of Islam being a promoter of peace and condemned every attacker who uses the name of Islam to kill…. [U]ser ‘@Lesexample’ tweeted: “ISIS killed 125 people during the holy month of Ramadan in Baghdad. Can someone please tell me what is Islamic about that?”

Ayat Al Qassab said: “You’re threatened for being human, it’s not about religion anymore. Pray for humanity.” Faisal Fahad AlOutaibi tweeted: “One of the holiest places in Islam was attacked — that proves that terrorism has no religion.”…

A pilgrim present at the time of the attack said: “I want the world to listen to me. Tell me, do you still believe that Muslims are the terrorists here? Do you still think they are following Islam? I am in deep shock and shaken by the event. How dare they attack our Prophet’s Mosque, who by the way spent his life with the sole purpose of establishing peace. These people are not from our religion. The world needs to see that and acknowledge these lunatics have no religion.”

To take the one question — explaining what is Islamic about the murders in Baghdad — the answer is that the twin attacks by the Sunni Islamic State (ISIS) targeted Shia neighborhoods.  In other words, the attacks were explicitly about Islamic concerns over doctrine and religious authority.  They are part of a civil war between two divisions of the Islamic world struggling with each other for primacy in that region.

The Islamic State practices takfiri, the declaration that some Muslims are apostates because they do not practice the faith in the way that ISIS approves.  In point of fact, the mourners are engaged in takfiri declarations themselves.  Claims that these attacks prove that the attackers “have no religion” are a form of declaring their fellow Muslims to be apostates.  That is also an Islamic practice, and one particularly common among the Salafis and Wahhabis funded and trained by Saudi imams and Saudi schools. Al-Wahhab himself:

…condemned the practices of Shia, Sufi and other Muslims as bid’a (innovation of the religion), and al-Wahhab’s followers slew many Muslims for allegedly pagan (kufr) practices.

This is just a continuation of the practices that the Saudi government has made the cornerstone of its claims to legitimacy.  It has worked to spread these ideas around the world.  The attacks in Medina are just its own brand of Islam coming home to roost.

Apostates in Islam can be killed according to sharia law.  The declarations by the aggrieved in Medina — and no one doubts their grief is honest and legitimate — are also declarations about the penalty that ought to attach to the act.  The penalty for murder is also death, so even if one disputes sharia’s penalty for apostasy one can still support the death penalty for this act of terrorism.  But the debate over whether these attackers even are Muslims is also, in fact, a part of Islam.



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