Raphael Israeli, Islamikaze- Manifestations of Islamic Matryrology (Frank Cass, London, 2003, 494 pp.)
At the end of June 1996, an article which had originally appeared in the London Arabic publication Al-Watan al-Arabi, was translated into English and cited by Ha’aretz, describing a slogan proudly displayed at the main entrance to a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, which became known as the “Kamikaze Barracks”. The proclamation was: ‘Jihad-Istishhad-Paradise-Islamic Kamikaze-Human Bombs’, meaning, ‘The Holy War of Islam-Death in Martyrdom-The Promised Hereafter-By Means of Muslim Kamikaze-who are Human Bombs’. This banner captures the essential elements embodied by Raphael Israeli’s designation, “Islamikaze”. The author summarizes these relationships as follows:
“…Typologically then, the Muslim fundamentalist self-immolating assassins- who have nothing suicidal about them nor resemble the hari-kari of either the imposed or the voluntary type- come closest to the kamikaze in organization, ideology, execution of their task, posthumous glory, and historical background of self-effacing loyalty, murderous fanaticism (samurai and fida’i, kamikaze and shahid) and culture of shame. It is therefore proposed to adopt the appellation Islamikaze to describe them, combining their inner Islamic motivation and vocation with the other outward attributes of their fellow kamikaze.”
“Islamikaze” is an uncompromising, and meticulously documented work. The author first traces the development and largely unchallenged proliferation of Islamikaze to two unique Islamic institutions- jihad war, and its corollary institution dhimmitude. He summarizes elegantly the salient features of Bat Ye’or’s conception of dhimmitude as,
“ …not only a subservient status…in political, social, economic, and judicial terms, conferred on Jews and Christians…from which they could not disengage unless they converted to Islam, but it also became a state of mind..which dictated caution, surreptitious maneuvering in order to survive and a self-humiliating sycophancy towards the Muslim ruler in the hope of gaining his favor…[amounting] in the final analysis, after many centuries of oppression and contempt by the rule of Islam, to self-diminution of the dhimmis…self-flagellation…and a total distortion of their self-image and the image of their oppressors. So much so that many Christians and Jews, years after being liberated from dhimmitude continued to think and act as dhimmis, namely to hold themselves grateful to their Muslim masters who beat, humiliated and mistreated them. What is more , the spirit of dhimmitude has been adopted, or taken over, by many Western societies today which for reasons hard to understand or explain, pretend not to hear or comprehend Muslim threats, smile and evince ‘understanding’ in the face of those threats, and seem to be marching foolishly towards spiritual and cultural capitulation and enslavement.”
Israeli also maintains that a widespread societal dhimmitude renders the West susceptible to wanton acts of terror by Muslim perpetrators, sanctioned by jihad- an institution Islamic societies have never abrogated. And, he notes it,
“…remains only a question of practicability whether [jihad] is enforced or postponed to better days.”
The specific ideology and basic goals of Islamikaze can be gleaned from various Islamist writings presented by the author, including those of the prominent Muslim Brotherhood cleric (and Al-Jazeera “television personality”) Yusuf Qaradawi, and Umar al-Bakri, leader of the Islamic Movement in Britain. In various fatwas, Qaradawi sanctions “martyrdom operations”, murderous Islamikaze attacks, particularly against Israelis, all of whom are considered legitimate targets. Despite the Qur’anic prohibition against “suicide”, Qaradawi argues cogently, that Islamikaze attacks, as acts of “martyrdom”, are sanctioned, and in fact, sacred. Qaradawi’s reasoning is consistent with the analysis of the great Islamic scholar Franz Rosenthal in a 1946 essay ("On Suicide in Islam", from Journal of the American Oriental Society). Rosenthal concludes:
"The great authorities of the hadith leave no doubt as to the official attitude of Islam. In their opinion suicide is an unlawful act....On the other hand, death as the result of "suicidal" missions and of the desire of martyrdom occurs not infrequently, since death is considered highly commendable according to Muslim religious concepts. However, such cases are no[t] suicides in the proper sense of the term."
The peripatetic al-Bakri makes clear the larger overall goal to be furthered by Islamikaze attacks-a triumphalist restoration of the Caliphate- in a statement addressed to Osama Bin Laden himself:
“Oh Osama!..You and you brothers are breathing new life and dignity into the body of the umma…Our main mission as Muslims is to carry the Islamic message to the entire world…we are an umma of jihad, and beyond doubt we have been chosen by Allah to lead the whole world if we hold to his command…The opportunity is here and we must not pass it by…Our Muslim brothers are firm in their jihad so we must not lose time aimlessly and act now…”
Israeli’s taxonomy of supporters of Islamikaze includes the following appropriate designations –enthusiastic (such as Qaradawi and al-Bakri), hypocritically “ambivalent” (for eg., the dithering Sheikh Tantawi of Al Azhar University), or “opportunistic” (for eg. Dr. Fatihi, below). All three “strains” of Islamikaze supporters unite, however, in their sanctioning of the annihilationist jihad against Israel and “Zionism”, which since 1920 (as openly enunciated in correspondence to the British High Commisioner by then Arab Palestinian Congress President, Musa Kazem el-Husseini) has sought to reimpose the Shari’a in all of historical Palestine (i.e., all of modern Jordan, Israel, and the disputed territories of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza). In a most horrifying anecdote, the author demonstrates how the unabashedly violent (“enthusiastic”) strain descends to uncharted depths of depravity as part of its ongoing, genocidal campaign to liquidate “Zionist” Jews, and the state of Israel:
“…In Nablus, during the Palestinian Intifadah that broke out in October 2000, a most disturbing ‘exhibition’ was presented to the general public in the city public square, which showed in inhuman detail the replicas of blown-up limbs and body pieces of Israelis who had perished in a restaurant attack by Hamas Islamikaze. It was only the reports of the deeply disgusted foreign correspondents, and the protests of the Israelis who did not want to relive that horror by seeing it replicated on the screens, which convinced the Palestinian Authority to move the exhibition indoors, not to close it down, and arrest its promoters.”
Clearly less vile, but pernicious still, Israeli recounts the machinations of the “opportunistic” strain as personified by former Harvard Medical School instructor (and Saudi Arabian citizen) Dr. Walid Fatihi. The good doctor was initially concerned about how the 9/11 attacks might have a profoundly deleterious impact on Muslim proselytization efforts. But he later gushes on about his outreach efforts, including how the reading of English translations of the Qur'an supposedly brought a Boston area audience of non-Muslims to tears, and that post-9/11 proselytization campaigns were wildly successful in gaining new Muslim converts. However, as Israeli recounts,
"…the same Dr. Fatihi, who praised the lofty principles of Islam and bragged about his successes, like the Prophet in bringing non-Muslims to tears, could not retain for long his feelings of obscene bigotry towards the Jews, and started boasting- he who acted for understanding and harmony- about destroying the Christian-Jewish dialogue. Again, let this eminent intellectual and champion of Islamic-style fraternity speak for himself.."
The author continues by quoting Dr. Fatihi:
"…Jewish organizations have called upon us to open dialogue with them, because they are afraid of the Christian-Muslim dialogue in the churches, mosques, and campuses…the Muslim community in America in general, and Boston in particular, has become perplexing to the Zionist lobby. In fact, what the Qur'an [chapter 3: verse 112/113] said about them is true: 'They will be humiliated wherever they are found, unless they are protected under a covenant with Allah, a covenant with another people. They have incurred Allah's wrath and they have been affected with misery. That is because they continuously rejected the signs of Allah and were after slaying the Prophets without just cause, and this resulted from their disobedience and their habit of transgression'. "
Israeli then makes these trenchant observations:
“…Now, this is not a Bin-Laden or a medieval obscurantist, but a professor of medicine, trained in the West and enjoying he religious freedom which allows him to convert Americans to Islam, to maintain Islamic institutions within his tolerant host-society that he wants to transform, and to hate the Jews, under the guise of anti-‘Zionism’, whom he wants to push back to dhimmitude. This is not fanaticism or extremism, this is mainstream Islam which is spoken loud and clear throughout the Islamic world day in, day out, including in Egypt, which made peace with the Jews more than two decades ago. This is mild stuff compared with what Muslim radicals have in mind and express in rhetoric and writing, for they also strive to apply by force those beliefs contrary, one should hope, to more civilized Muslims such as Dr. Fatihi and his like.”
The author concludes with a most unique and unflinching prescription for how Western democracies should respond to the Islamikaze threat. He proposes the creation of an Alliance of Western and Democratic States (AWADS), consisting of a nucleus of the United States, Canada, Australia, and Western Europe (and these core nations can sponsor other countries proven to conform to its rules and standards), with the following six avowed “rules of engagement”:
Strict control of immigration from Muslim countries without reliance on the "efforts" of the countries of origin, who have shown neither the will nor the means to stop this massive flow, much of it already illegal. This policy should include interception and routine unceremonious repatriation of the illegal immigrants themselves, and expulsion from AWADS nations of those who assist them.
Reciprocal arrangements for controlled immigration, tourism and educational exchanges between Muslim countries and AWADS nations to guarantee equivalent, unimpeded bilateral flow- Muslim nationals to AWADS, AWADS nationals to Muslim countries- devoid of characteristic Muslim discriminatory regulations towards other races, faiths, or nationalities.
Rendering various forms of economic, technical/infrastructural, health, agricultural, and educational assistance by AWADS to Muslim countries contingent upon basic conditions met by the applicants, including: accountability; progress in human rights; meaningful efforts at population control; renunciation of force/violence in dealing with other nations/communities; and monitoring and controlling incitement to hatred and violence in mosques and media outlets.
Terminating all military assistance and weapons sales by AWADS to non-member states, supplemented by a policy that any weapons-manufacturing third party which sells or transfers weapons to those regimes will itself forfeit the right to deal with AWADS members.
Mosque construction, as well as the building of other Muslim institutions in AWADS nations, particularly projects funded by Saudi Arabia, will be contingent upon reciprocal arrangements to construct religious institutions for other faiths in Muslim nations, including each country situated on the Arabian peninsula, and the binding commitment by all parties- AWADS and non-members of AWADS-that no incitement or hatred will be propagated in any of these religious institutions.
The importation into AWADS nations from Muslim countries of cultural commodities and assets-books, movies, art shows and exhibits, performing arts groups, clerics and missionaries, print media or audio/video tapes- must also be reciprocal, contingent upon the unrestricted flow of similar AWADS assets into Muslim countries- and all such assets will be required by law to be devoid of messages that disseminate hate.
More than a decade ago, Bat Ye’or observed prophetically,
“…The jihad which the Islamist trend is waging against the West, is a many-sided, multi-dimensional struggle which cannot be defined precisely. It emerged in the terrorism of certain states (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya), in economic pressure or threats (the oil weapon) and in psychological conditioning…Modern terrorism is linked to the border raid. The means of transport now available allow the contemporary [terrorist] to sow death in the very heart of the Dar al-Harb [non-Muslim abode of ‘War’], as their ancestors used to massacre the inhabitants of border villages. In recent times it fell to Palestinian Arab terrorists to revive the glory of the old ghazis who set ambushes in order to attack civilians…At a historical level, the jihad, whether it be anti-Israel or anti-Western, only represents two interdependent and interactive facets of the same battle against the People of the Book [‘Book’=Bible, i.e. Jews and Christians]…The resurgence of traditionally Islamic policies is certainly not a passing phenomenon. These patterns of behavior are rooted in thirteen centuries of history and develop in accordance with permanent realities of an ideological, religious, demographic, and political nature. The last jihad advance was halted at Vienna in 1683. Yet, the stabilization of frontiers barely interrupted the Islamization process of those territories originally populated exclusively by non-Muslims. As in the earlier Arab conquests, the processes whereby the original Dar al-Harb was transformed into Dar al-Islam, stretched over many centuries and extended the aims of jihad to domestic policies…”
And writing over eighty years ago, in 1922, the historian Louis Bertrand chastised Western governments, who, in their interactions with Islamic societies, tried “to appear more Musulman (Muslim) than they (the Muslims) themselves”, warning,
“…The times are too serious for us to engage any longer in the antics of dilettantism and played-out impressionism."Dr. Israeli’s careful analyses elucidate and confirm both Bat Ye’or’s and Louis Bertrand’s prescient words. The current era of global Islamikaze attacks are aimed at no less than a worldwide imposition of the totalitarian Shari’a, and the brutal inequality it embodies. Raphael Israeli offers very concrete and sober recommendations to combat the burgeoning Islamikaze phenomenon. Policy makers in the US and other Western democracies will imperil their own societies if they ignore Israeli’s sound advice.