State Department Endorses Canadian Islamist Manual that Describes Jihad as ‘Noble’

by Andrew C. McCarthy

At the Washington Free Beacon, Adam Kredo reports that the State Department has issued a tweet endorsing a manual that promotes sharia and admonishes investigators not to use terms like “jihad,” which it describes as “a noble concept” in Islam.  

The manual, United Against Terrorism, is said by its sponsors – the Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA) and the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) – to combat the radicalization of young Muslims. Yet, after being consulted during the manual’s writing, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police rejected the final product due to its “adversarial tone.”

That’s putting it mildly. Upon reading the book, Toronto Star columnist Anthony Furey observes that it frowns on “liberal values,” forbidding such things as the intermingling of the sexes in civil society and the marriage of a Muslim woman to a non-Muslim, while promoting the treatment of adultery and premarital sex as crimes for which “punishments are harsh.”

The manual admonishes that “Terrorism is not jihad. Jihad is a noble concept in Islam.” It further discourages Muslims from cooperating with law enforcement officials, even if the police are seeking information about Islamic radicals – the very “extremists” the manual ostensibly sets itself against. It also derides investigative measures designed to gather intelligence against terrorists.

Yet, the U.S. State Department lauded the manual yesterday, tweeting: “Canada: handbook to help parents understand extremists, combat recruitment [with a link to the manual.]”

As Mr. Kredo notes, the State Department’s approbation struck some Twitter users as curious. It should not have. The State Department, throughout the tenures of Secretaries Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, has been second only to the White House itself in championing the Muslim Brotherhood, whose promotion of sharia and project to forbid notice of the Islamic doctrinal roots of Islamic terrorism are amply reflected in the manual.

The airbrushing of jihad is also familiar. It is the same spin I discussed here in 2010 when then-White House counterterrorism czar (and now-CIA director) John Brennan claimed that we must not “describe our enemy as ‘jihadists’” because “jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam” that merely means “to purify oneself or one’s community.”

In point of fact, according to the authoritative sharia manual Reliance of the Traveller, which has been endorsed by scholars at al-Azhar University in Cairo (the seat of Sunni scholarship since the tenth century) and by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (the Muslim Brotherhood’s think-tank), “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims.” As Answering Islam’s Yoel Natan has recounted, jihad is referred to in 164 verses of the Koran, almost exclusively in terms of combat.

Moreover, if – even as jihadists are rampaging – you want to indulge the Brennan/Obama administration fantasy that jihad has evolved, Brennan’s anodyne rendering of the concept is hopelessly flawed. I explained why in the 2010 column:

Jihad is, always and everywhere, the mission to implement, spread, or defend sharia, the Islamic legal code. It is not exclusively violent; an army doesn’t need to be violent if its enemies are willing to give ground. But jihad only “means to purify oneself or one’s community” in a very narrow sense. It is not the syrupy quest to become a better person but the command to become a better Muslim; it is not the smiley-face mission to “purify” one’s community of crime but the command to cleanse one’s community of non-Islamic influences.

The inextricable bond between jihad and sharia is also easily explained. In Muslim doctrine, sharia is deemed the necessary precondition for Islamicizing a society. Islam’s designs are hegemonic: Even in its less threatening iterations, it is taken as a given that believers must call all of humanity to the faith. What separates the true moderates from the faux moderates and the terrorists are the lengths to which one is willing to go in carrying out that injunction. That it is an injunction, however, is not open to debate.

Our political leaders can continue to trivialize jihad as if it were some benign struggle to brush after every meal. They can continue to ignore the core tenets that make sharia antithetical to a free, self-determining society. But they can’t do that and do the only job we need them to do: protect our lives and our liberties.

Again, if the State Department, the administration, and the Beltway political class are going to keep looking at Islamists –i.e., Islamic supremacists who promote sharia – as part of the counterterrorism solution rather than a big part of the anti-American, anti-Western liberalism problem, we are never going to get out of our own way.

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