Islam and Jihad/Program 2
|By: Dr. Emir Caner; ©2009|
|A look at Islam’s founder Muhammad for further insight into what jihad meant in his time and what it teaches us regarding jihad today. We’ll also touch briefly on how his early followers interpreted Muhammad’s teaching, eventually dividing into different traditions that vary in degree regarding their beliefs concerning jihad.|
Today on the John Ankerberg show, Muhammad taught it, and the Muslim Caliphs practiced it for a thousand years. Now in our day Today Osama bin Laden the leader of al Qaeda, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the President of Iran, Hasan Nasrallah the leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Ismail Haniyah, the leader of Hamas in Gaza are all calling for jihad against the United States. What is Jihad? Where did it begin? Does Islam still teach it today? Why will Islam never accept Jesus’ teaching to love your enemy?
- Caner: Muhammad was the perfect example. He went on raids, three that he led himself, military expeditions by the dozens, the killing of Jews, beheading 800 Jews at once in one time at the Battle of the Trench. Muhammad was the personification, the embodiment of jihad.
- Announcer: Islam is the world’s second largest religion with 1.5 billion adherents. Nearly 7 million Muslims live in North America. And every single day, 64,000 more people become Muslims worldwide. And people around the world are asking do increasing Islamic terrorist acts represent Islamic extremism or a return to Islamic roots?
- Ankerberg: Would you say that Islam is reverting back to a purist view of what Muhammad taught? They’re going back to his time?
- Caner: That’s exactly right. When you hear mass media speak of extreme Islam, this isn’t extreme Islam. The Wahhabis are not extreme Muslims just because they said other Muslims should die. That’s happened throughout history. That’s not extreme. They are purists. They want to revert back to the seventh century.
- Announcer: Many politicians and television commentators have expressed different opinions about Islam and Jihad. But today you will learn what Islam’s most authoritative sources, the Qur’an and Hadith, teach about this subject?
- Caner: Jihad defined sometimes as an internal struggle, sometimes for the betterment of the community; but it’s also defined as a, a military conflict, in both chapter 8 and chapter 9 of the Qur’an.
- Announcer: My guest today is former Sunni Muslim Dr. Emir Caner, who turned away from Islam and placed his faith in Jesus Christ. When he told his devout Muslim father he had become a Christian, his father disowned him. He went on to receive his PhD in history at the University of Texas at Arlington and today he is the president of the Truett-McConnell College in Georgia. He is a best-selling author of 20 books including Islam and Jihad and has appeared on ABC, NBC, and CNN as one of the foremost experts in the world on Islam and Christianity. Join us for this special edition of the John Ankerberg Show.
- The Truth about Islam and Jihad. And I’ve got one of the greatest scholars in evangelical Christianity in the world today, Dr. Emir Caner, who is with us. He coauthored this book with me. He has written an over two million word commentary on the Qur’an verse by verse from an evangelical perspective. It’s coming out here in the future. And nobody’s ever done that before. And he’s written other books. And as you will hear he’s got the Qur’an and the Hadith, the authoritative sources of Islam, memorized.
- And we’re talking today, what does Islam teach about jihad? We’re all concerned about this because we remember the 9/11 bombings, the World Trade towers, and what happened at the Pentagon in Washington. We’ve heard about what happened in Madrid, Spain; we’ve heard about the London bombings. And we want to say, why did these people want to kill us? But there’s a further question, why is it that Muslims are killing other Muslims? What’s this internal struggle that’s going on? And particularly you’ve been watching what’s been happening in Gaza with the Israelis going in, but the fact is, that was caused by turmoil between Fatah and Hamas in the Palestinian territories. And the fact is that we’re going to find out why is that the Muslims are calling for jihad on other Muslims?
- And, Emir, we’ve got to start at square one: we’re not going to be giving our opinion on these things; we’re going to be trying to document the answers to these questions from the authoritative source, namely the Qur’an and the Hadith. For people that missed last week, what is the Qur’an, what is the Hadith? Why do 1.5 billion Muslims in the world follow what is taught in those books?
- Caner: Well, the Qur’an, from the Arabic for “to recite,” is the recitation of Allah, it is the dictated words of Allah, passed down through the angel of revelation, Gabriel, to the Seal of the Prophet, Muhammad, and considered absolutely 100% perfect and infallible for today’s use by 1.5 billion Muslims. The Hadith are the sayings of Muhammad. That is considered the constitution, the jurisprudence, for anything considered an Islamic republic.
- Ankerberg: Now, you have these authoritative sources of Islam, and you say, okay, if the 1.5 billion Muslims all agree that these are the authoritative sources, and they give you the rules to the road of how you do jihad, did anything in the Qur’an, was there any place in the Qur’an, was there any place in the Hadith, where Muhammad himself was commanding jihad on other Muslims?
- Caner: Well, that’s where it gets really interesting, because Muhammad explicitly stated in the Qur’an chapter 4 and verse 59, that you are to listen to the Caliph, to the leader, to Muhammad, or to the authority. Upon his death the last thing he preached, his final sermon was “Muslims must not fight other Muslims.” But as you know, if a preacher preaches something, he may be worried that it could happen. And a religion that was birthed by the sword can also die by the sword. And that was his worry. And it came to fruition very quickly. Whereas in Christianity, most of Christianity was unified for the first 300 years until it conglomerated itself with the state. Islam began, from its inception, to question the authority that would adhere and pull forward Islam itself.
- The Sunnis believe that the first leader of Islam, Abu Bakr, was called by the people; while the second largest, the Shi’a, which make up about ten percent or a little bit more of all of Islam, are known as the party of Ali, because they believe that the leader of Islam must be related to Muhammad, as Ali married Fatima. And so you have this picture of Sunni versus Shi’a that already begins the divisiveness in Islam. It culminates, the Shi’a party finds its perpetuity, when Ali’s son Hussein is killed by Sunni military forces, which then goes down in history as something that they commemorate each year in existence. He was killed in Karbala, Iraq.
- Ankerberg: What’s the tension between Sunnis and Shiites? And, the fact is, how many Sunnis in the world versus Shiites?
- Caner: Well, between 85% or so at any time are Sunni, and another 10-12% are Shi’a, and then you have different groups outside of that. Ankerberg: Okay, but the fact is, what’s the tension like right now between Sunnis and Shiites?
- Caner: Well, as you can see even by the mass media, you have different voices in Islam attempting to gain authority. You have Sunni Islam represented most definitely by the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia, who build, the vast majority of mosques in the world are funded part or in whole by Wahhabis. Across Africa and America that is the case. At the same time, Ahmadinejad of Iran wishes to be the voice for Islam, and he’s Shi’a. You start seeing these power plays to try to expand Islam according to what they see and how they interpret Islam.
- Ankerberg: Alright. Muhammad was the authority, he could call jihad when he was living. That authority was passed on to the Caliphates, okay, and they had it. And then when you go all the way up until the twentieth century, the fact is, that was it, the Caliphates could actually call jihad, and every Muslim was obligated, according to the Qur’an and the Hadith, to go and fight in jihad, correct?
- Caner: That’s correct.
- Ankerberg: Alright. Now, how did it come to an end in terms of that power? And then how is the power passed on traditionally in Islam to the people are left?
- Caner: Well, one of the keys is, even though they battled over who would have authority, at some point someone had authority, and he was the one who led the Islamic council or the Caliphate. Whether that was in Baghdad or whether that was in Egypt, they knew who the authority was, they knew who would call it. But when colonialism came in and broke up this large empire into a smaller empire, you started having nation states which came in the twentieth century. This end of this Islamic council actually came from my people. My father is Turkish, and Caliphate ended when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk disintegrated it.
- Ankerberg: He absolutely wiped out all the rules that were in place before. And you have an Islamic country that basically was open to democracy, was open to freedom, open to the way you dress, the choices that you made. I mean, he was a revolutionary in the true sense for Turkey.
- Caner: And he was the hope of the Turks, still considered such a hero because he brought Turkey back from the grave. And he was an indigenous ruler. If we are going to see success in Iraq, and everything that we did, what I believe is worthy, it will have to come from an indigenous ruler, like a Kemal Ataturk, who is willing to look into the countrymen’s eyes and say, “We must modernize ourselves.” Turkey literally forbade different Islamic rules, such as the garb to which they would wear, the disintegration of the Caliphate, and the secularization of education. The bringing in of Western philosophy and sciences was completely radical, but this was the country that was the Ottoman Empire; that was the ruler of Islam for centuries; the country that was founded upon the taking over of Byzantine Christianity in 1453 at the fall of Constantinople and the beginning of Istanbul. Yet it was here where the modernization of Islam began and traditional Islam fell behind. And this is where traditional Muslims, such as the Wahhabis today, are trying to convert to Islam back into its seventh century precepts.
- Ankerberg: Right. So the fact is, that’s when it broke up, but then the power shifted and it was delegated traditionally to the nation’s leaders, or the tribe leaders. They could call a jihad, alright? Now, my question to you is this: you’ve got Ahmadinejad and he’s called a jihad against Israel; you’ve got Hamas that has called a jihad against Israel; you’ve got Hezbollah that has called a jihad against Israel. Are the rest of the Muslims obligated, or is it just pertaining to the people in those nations?
- Caner: Well, the problem is, Muhammad put the rules in place to assume two things: one, whenever a territory is conquered, it will always be Islamic; and two, Muslims will never be conquered again. When those two things fell by the wayside, then chapter 4 and verse 59 had to be seen in light of modern history. The authority will be the authority to which you fall under: if you are an Iranian, you must listen to Ahmadinejad; if you are part of this Palestinian territory, you must listen to its leader. And so what we’ve actually done in Palestine today by allowing these elections to go through is we have authenticated terrorism in the Middle East. We have allowed terrorists to set up a legislature, call on holy war; and this is why it is an absolutely terrible idea to have this two-nation state when the nation state that is known as Palestine wishes to conquer and destroy Israel.
- Ankerberg: Alright, Emir, we hear a whole lot about the Wahhabis. They’re powerful; why are they so powerful? Where do they get their power from? What are they doing?
- Caner: Well, named after the prophet Wahhab, who lived more than 200 years ago, they have really become the catalyst for the resurgence of the Islamic movement around the world. They own the mass media. They’re the ones creating schools around the world. They’re planting many mosques across the globe. You can see much of it in Africa where they’re taking what has been folk Islam and traditionalizing it. You’re seeing that as well in Indonesia. That is, when the West wishes and hopes for a moderate Islam, what they forget is the resurgence of traditional Islam, purist Islam, the Wahhabis, is making its way around the globe, that in the last twenty years more than twelve countries have established Islamic law where Islam is the official religion. Ankerberg: Why are the Saudis giving them so much money?
- Caner: Well, the Saudis are Wahhabis. They’re the ones who own the money, they own the oil fields, every jurist in Saudi Arabia is now a Wahhabi jurist. All the madras’s are run, the Islamic schools, are run by them. Their power comes from the oil.
- Ankerberg: Alright. We’re going to take a break. When we come back I want to continue talking about jihad. And we want to talk about Muhammad’s progression of thought toward Jewish people. He started out trying to court them, and it didn’t work; they wouldn’t convert. And we want to talk about the progression of hatred that Muhammad developed toward the Jews in his own lifetime that was passed on to his successors and comes down to us today. And why is it that Islam wants Jerusalem so much? What is the reason behind this, alright? We’re going to talk about that we come right back, so stick with us.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back. We’re talking about the truth about Islam and Jihad with renowned scholar Dr. Emir Caner, who’s probably with his brother the world’s foremost scholars on Islamic and comparing it with Christianity. And I want to start this section by talking about Muhammad’s ideas about the Jews, how they develop and progressed and hardened into hatred toward them that’s been progressed and passed down the line. And I want to start with an illustration that we’re all familiar, and that is, in 2005 a Danish newspaper actually published some cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. And the world went up for grabs. I mean, there were millions of Muslims that were demonstrating in the streets. One protester demanded of the Danish government, “We demand that the government make a clear and public apology for the wrongful crime.” What was the crime? And if illegal, what should be the punishment? Even here in our country many of our television broadcasters, almost all of them, refused to air and show that cartoon. Okay? Now, some people might think that the Muslims were extreme. If you know the Qur’an, they were following the example of Muhammad. They were perfect in what they were doing; they should have done that. Explain where the example came from in terms of Muhammad’s own life.
- Caner: Well, it really is the East meets the West in every way, fashion and form. Muhammad himself, when he found a poet who was mocking, killed that person due to the jest that was found therein.
- Ankerberg: It was a lady who was just being sarcastic.
- Caner: And you come now fourteen centuries later, you find the same thing, where a Danish cartoonist puts together a very provocative piece. Now, people think that it’s the same as, for example, when we saw the pictures or the demonstration of Jesus being dipped in urine. There’s a difference between provocation and profanity; there was no point to the profanity, but there’s also the demonstration that Christians didn’t call for the death of the person responsible. Whereas provocation argues that there’s also truth in there. If you’ll remember, one of the cartoons was Muhammad and his headdress was wrapped in what looked like a bomb. The question being, is Islam a violent religion? But the most stunning reaction wasn’t from the Muslims who called out for death – just like what Muhammad did in his excellent life, according to the Qur’an – but the cowards that refused to air it in the West, that is, they were willing to give up freedom of speech, one of the basic rights of the West, because people were willing to threaten them with killing. Whereas they weren’t willing to give up that when what was being mocked was Christianity.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. The main point I want folks to get across here is that Muhammad set the example, and Muslims by almost demanding the death of the cartoonist, were following the example of Muhammad: that sarcasm against Islam is unacceptable, and it’s punishable by death.
- Caner: And the example is set as such that the government is responsible for persecuting those who speak against Islam. In Pakistan it’s known as Section 295-C of the blasphemy code, where if you say anything it’s Islam, Muhammad, or anything of the theology of Islam, you can be imprisoned or put to death. And they were declaring that that law was just, and freedom of speech was unjust; Islam was right and Western idealism, secularism or the Judeo-Christian ethic, was unjust. This is a clash of worldviews. And if we cower, if we kowtow to the Islamic world here, we will simply see the denigration of Western values.
- Ankerberg: Would you say that Islam is reverting back to a purist view of what Muhammad taught? They’re going back to his time?
- Caner: That’s exactly right. When you hear mass media speak of extreme Islam, this isn’t extreme Islam. The Wahhabis are not extreme Muslims just because they said other Muslims should die. That’s happened throughout history. That’s not extreme. They are purists. They want to revert back to the seventh century. They’re tired of the modernization, the allegorization of Islam. They’re tired of it taking second stage to other things and other ideals. And so they’re willing to do whatever is necessary in order to recalibrate Islam across the world.
- Ankerberg: Alright, let’s talk about Muhammad in setting up an example for the rest of Islam to follow that is being followed today in terms of his thought toward the Jewish people, okay. And then we want also talk about why Islam is so interested in hanging onto Jerusalem, or actually getting all of Israel back, okay. Talk about, first of all, how it progressed. He started off thinking of them as People of the Book.
- Caner: Yes. And even at one point he said, “We should pray towards Jerusalem,” showing the importance of Jerusalem, “but then turn towards Mecca.” Muhammad had hoped to convert the Jewish people. He called them People of the Scriptures in chapter 33 and verses 25-26; but he said that he’ll break down the strongholds of these people. That is, he turned against them because they would not turn to him. And he started to speak of them as perpetual enemies, chapter 4 and verse 160 of the Qur’an says; that they are cursed by Allah, chapter 4 and verse 46 says. And when you jihad, you have jihad against religious enemies.
- And there’s a very valuable Hadith progression that we should see here. In Muslim Hadith, that is the second most respected Hadith of other community, where in volume 19 they start to speak about being aggressors, number 4315 say, and that Allah will give them victory, in 4318; that they can even unintentionally kill women, 4321, they could destroy the environment, in verse 24 of the same one; they get the spoils of war, in 27; and then finally in verse 4366 you expel the Jews from the land. And there you see that anybody who is an enemy of Islam can be expelled from the land, removed from the land, or at least subjugated to Islamic law. And thereby begins the Islamic history of the persecution of the Jews.
- Ankerberg: Alright, Emir, you have a Ph.D. in history, so quickly take me through the dates after Muhammad, the Caliphate started to march, and they started to conquer. Go through the territories that they conquered quickly. What were the dates?
- Caner: Yeah, if anybody believes Islam was the defensive conflict, that they only fight in defense of their own faith, they don’t understand Islamic history. I mean, after all, Muhammad dies 632 AD, and the first Caliph, Abu Bakr, consolidates the power in what is the Arabian Peninsula today. But then they take over Damascus two years after Muhammad’s death. They take over Baghdad two years thereafter, and Jerusalem two years after that, and parts of Egypt around 639. They cross over all of North Africa and conquer all the way to the ocean. They move up through the Strait of Gibraltar up into what is the Iberian Peninsula, Spain and Portugal today, where in 711 they conquer Toledo and other parts of what is in that peninsula. And finally, of all places they’re halted, they’re halted in central France where Charles Martel, Charles the Hammer, pushes the Muslims back across the mountain where they will continue to have sway over on the Iberian Peninsula for the next seven centuries.
- Ankerberg: Okay, so they conquered all of this vast territory, and once in the House of Islam it’s always in the House of Islam. In fact, you’ve got to get back. Where does that come from?
- Caner: Well, now you have to look back to see that the House of Islam, chapter 9 and verse 5, that you must fight those who do not believe in Allah or the last day, verse 29, until the religion becomes Allah’s, verse 33. And there it is set up this collaborative, this collective of community, verse 122 of chapter 9, and that they are open enemies, chapter 8 and verse 67. All of this puts together that once it is a territory of Islam it must perpetually be a territory of Islam. And everybody that is in there and is conquered must fall under the surrender treaties of what is known as the second leader of Islam, the Pact of Umar.
- Ankerberg: That’s why Osama bin Laden called for backing up the Palestinians in their fight against the Jews, and why Ahmadinejad is saying we’ve got to take back this land. All of that goes back to Muhammad and back to the philosophy that he established. The thing is that this land they believe belongs to them theologically as well is because they conquered it. What’s the theological angle?
- Caner: Well, the theological answer, of course, is found in the Dome of the Rock, Al-Aqsa Mosque, and so forth. Where to the Muslims Jerusalem holds the third holiest site in Islam. Outside of Medina and outside of Mecca where, of course, is the hajj. Jerusalem is where it is the reminder of the establishment of true monotheism, not what the Jews have perverted in the Old Testament, not what they Christians have perverted in the New Testament. But they are the holders of all things sacred. And when they conquered they conquered purposefully to reestablish Islam, that they believe was their faith: that Abraham was a Muslim, that Adam was a Muslim, that Moses was a Muslim; and therefore that’s their property.
- Ankerberg: So they changed history on that. In our book we’ve put a quote from Winston Churchill, a politician that actually led World War II from England. He knew his enemies, he examined countries, and he talks about Islam. He says, “Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities; thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen. All of them know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Islam is a militant and proselytizing faith.” What do you think?”
- Caner: I think in today’s world, which is a world now verbose in politics and theology, I would hope another Winston Churchill raises up, and not Evangelical leaders who pray “in the God most compassionate, most merciful,” syncretizing Islam with Christianity; most definitely not in politicians who travel to the Middle East to apologize for our values. Instead, we have to realize that what we have fought for in the past is what we’re fighting for for our future.
- Ankerberg: Alright, next week we’re going to continue. We want to talk more about does standard middle of the road Orthodox Islam, if you want to put it that way, mainstream Islam, do they still believe that we must remove the Jews from Israel, okay? We’re going to talk about that and much more next week. I hope that you’ll join us.