How many times in the recent past have you turned on the television or radio, or perhaps surfed the Internet for news articles looking for information on the latest Islamic terror attack, and whoever that was doing the reporting either avoided using the terms Islam or Muslim, or simply reverted to the misleading terms like “radical” or “radicalization”?
Then, when the interviews were done with those who passed themselves off as Muslims, the confusion was heightened, because ISIS or al-Qaeda was served up as examples of those who are not the real Muslims. Why, they were just a bunch of “thugs,” as President Obama recently labeled them in his blustery retort on Sunday evening.
What is a person to do? What does it even mean to be “radicalized”? Are all Muslims just peace-loving believers in the Creator who would never harm a fly? Or is all of this confusion and guesswork simply the product of a carefully constructed strategy employed by obedient Muslims to wage social and cultural jihad for the sake of imposing an eventual caliphate?
First of all, there is no such thing as a “radical” Muslim, nor is there any “radicalization” process that transforms a person from a quiet, genteel, marshmallow into a bloodthirsty murderer who is willing to strap on a bomb belt to sacrifice himself for the cause of Allah. There are only obedient Muslims. All the rest are mere wannabes.
Obedient Muslims accept the Koran as God’s word and follow its dictates, fervently, which includes mandates to fight anyone who dares get in their ways, whether Jews, Christians, or pagans. In fact, murder (2.191-92; 9.5; 47.4) and “slaughter” (8.67) is encouraged, as well as is terrorizing those who do not go along with Muslim wishes (3.151; 9.29).
The Koran and the Hadith are literally filled with these kinds of injunctions and the obedient Muslim is to follow them to the letter. For those who do not, the questions are asked, “What is the matter with you that when you are asked to march forth in the Cause of Allah (i.e. Jihad) you cling heavily to the earth? Are you pleased with the life of this world rather than the Hereafter? But little is the enjoyment of the life of this world compared to the Hereafter” (9.38).
So, to learn that another Muslim has carried out an act of terror or carnage somewhere in the world against what he believes are “infidels” has nothing to do with him being “radicalized.” It is simply the Muslim being obedient to what the Koran, the Hadith, and the Sunnah (Muhammad’s example) demand of him. Islam is a religion of compulsion, not non-compulsion or peace. All the bloodshed and body parts strewn about are the evidence.
Second, all claiming to be Muslims that are disobedient to the aforementioned are not Muslims at all. They are wannabes. They put on the garb, put on a show, and then do everything possible to circumvent their Shari’ah responsibilities. In everyday parlance, they would be known as hypocrites. But, hypocrites are not real Muslims, except in name only.
As staunch Muslim author and forerunner to today’s Muslim Brotherhood, Seyyid Qutb, expressed, “This obedience to the Shari’ah of God is necessary for the sake of this harmony [of God’s universal laws], even more necessary than the establishment of the Islamic belief, as no individual or group of individuals can be truly Muslim until they wholly submit to God alone in the manner taught by the Messenger of God…thus testifying by their actions that there is no deity except God and that Muhammad is God’s Messenger” (Milestones, 89).
In other words, unless Muslim confession is followed up by compliant action, then that person is not a Muslim. He is a wannabe. Part of that compliance is doing as prescribed above, which too many have confused as “radicalization.” Blowing up a building or beheading a journalist are not “radical” acts, though, if one is a Muslim. It is what Islam and the Koran prescribe as the norm.
What too many non-Muslim journalists, academics, and political pundits have done is to impose their own religious and morals standards upon Islam in order to try to rationalize all the carnage. Such imposition, however, only leads to confusion, which is exactly what the obedient Muslim strives for, as he slowly transforms the host societies thinking to see Islam favorably through his own worldview. In Islam, this is known as I’dad or preparation.
Ultimately, such “preparation” stymies any real, substantive response on the part of the non-Muslim world, and like the frog in the pan of water illustration, whereby the frog dies a slow death by gradually being boiled to death, the Muslim through I’dad is slowly killing the jahili world through scheming and deception. Jahili society or Jahiliyyah are Islamic designations for non-Muslim ignorance of Allah’s guidance.
So, there is no such thing as a “radical” Muslim, nor is there any such thing as a Muslim going through some process of “radicalization.” There are only obedient Muslims following the marching orders inherent in Islam, much of which includes murder and oppression of those unwilling to bend to the demands of Islam, and all the rest of the wannabes. Those who fail to understand this definition, or proceed to use terminology that inaccurately describes just what it means to be a Muslim, are only slowly cooking their own frog, and that without remedy.