An old (and tiresome) debate appears to have been settled by those best positioned to settle it. According to Andrew Gripp, a former political science professor:
“Since 9/11, one of the defining fault lines in American and Western politics has concerned whether jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS are motivated by their religion or by politics – or more specifically, by grievances against Western foreign policy. Some insist that Islamic doctrine is the basis of their violence, while others insist that such groups are not truly Islamic, but are instead using the guise of religion to lash out against Western influence and intervention.”
After indicating how “jihadist groups’ political behavior is consistently traceable to their beliefs about what the Quran, hadith, and respected commentaries say they have a divine injunction to do,” Gripp writes:
“For years, however, making this case has been a challenge. This is in part because al-Qaeda was intentionally speaking to both sides in this debate. As the scholar Raymond Ibrahim demonstrates in The Al Qaeda Reader, the terrorist group would regularly frame its grievances in political terms when broadcasting its message to the West (so as to insinuate that once the West withdrew, peace would come). Yet when speaking to the Muslim world, the group would make highly sophisticated religious arguments, explaining why its actions, however reprehensible on their face, were in fact justified by a close reading of the holy texts.”
Now, however, the world need not rely on my translations and can get it straight from the horse’s mouth: “In a recent article titled ‘Why We Hate You & Why We Fight You,’ the Islamic State gives six reasons. Reason number one says it all:
“We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah – whether you realize it or not – by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme against Him, claiming that He has a son [Christ], you fabricate lies against His prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices. It is for this reason that we were commanded to openly declare our hatred for you and our enmity towards you. ‘There has already been for you an excellent example in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, ‘Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone’ (Al-Mumtahanah 4 [i.e., Koran 60:4]). Furthermore, just as your disbelief is the primary reason we hate you, your disbelief is the primary reason we fight you, as we have been commanded to fight the disbelievers until they submit to the authority of Islam, either by becoming Muslims, or by paying jizyah – for those afforded this option” [‘People of the Book’] – and living in humiliation under the rule of the Muslims [per Koran 9:29].
This is as plain as it gets, not to mention wholly grounded in Islam’s traditional worldview. As has been repeatedly pointed out, if Muslims are persecuting their fellow country men and women – people who share their nationality, ethnicity, culture, and language – on the simple basis that they are Christians, why should there be any surprise, or excuses of “grievances,” when Muslims terrorize the “infidels” of the West?
(Ibrahim, “Confirmed: Islam, Not ‘Grievances,’ Fuels Muslim Hate for the West,” FrontPageMag Online, 8/19/16)