The vicious murder and beheading of British Army drummer Lee Rigby by British Muslims Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo has once again brought the specter of violent homegrown jihad into full view. Unlike the case of the Boston Marathon bombing, where the Tsarnaev brothers remained unidentified long enough to allow for rampant media speculation as to whether the attack was carried out by right-wing extremists or tax protestors, the two butchers held court in a Woolwich street on video, so they could not be misunderstood. In the video, they declaimed their grievances, including referring specifically to Sura 9 of the Koran (Al-Tawbah). That Sura includes two infamous verses, the “Verse of the Sword” (9:5), and Sura 9:29.
Sura 9:5 reads:
Then when the Sacred Months (the Ist, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikun (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Sura 9:29 reads:
Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
This is a call to implement the Sharia, Islamic law (i.e., “nor forbid that which has been forbidden”), and to do so by violence.
In response to this outrage, British Prime Minister David Cameron felt it necessary to warn:
This was not just an attack on Britain – and on the British way of life. It was also a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country. There is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act.
Who do you imagine understands better what Islam does or does not justify, Adebolajo or Cameron? Despite the best efforts of the Woolwich butchers to have their message delivered, British politicians and the media have done their utmost to bury it. Instead they express concerns about the “backlash” which, as author Bruce Bawer notes, has yet again failed to materialize.
The British government has responded, not with indignation, but by arresting those who express indignation, including nearly a dozen individuals who commented on Twitter, and an 85-year old woman. They’ve also moved to provide Islamic hate preacher Anjem Choudary, in whose entourage one of the killers was frequently seen, with police protection.
Meanwhile, as some British politicians seek additional surveillance powers, it is revealed that not only did British security service MI-5 already have Adebolajo on their radar but they may have attempted to recruit him. And British diplomats provided the man with assistance; helping him return to Britain from a Kenyan prison after Kenyan security services arrested him for attempting to join Islamic militants in Somalia.
Even if the British government does receive additional surveillance powers, or establishes a task force against hate preachers (as PM Cameron has also requested), prior experience suggests these new tools will be used against those outraged over Jihadist violence, rather than against the Jihadis themselves.
Of course, it is common to point out (correctly) that not all Muslims support the implementation of Sharia, and certainly not all are jihadis. It is equally common to ask why “moderate Muslims” do not speak out against the betrayal (to use Cameron’s term) of their co-religionists.
But given the reprehensible servility of British elites, why should “moderate Muslims” not support Sharia? Why should they speak out against jihad, and the imposition of Islamic law, and take a stand against it, when Western governments do not? Are they expected to give a more full-throated insistence on separation of mosque and state than does the state? Should they be expected to oppose the Islamists who dominate the mosques and Muslim community organizations in Britain, when Western governments partner with those same Islamists? The quote from Osama Bin Laden about the people favoring “the strong horse” may be over-referenced, but given the current trends, a simple cost-benefit analysis suggests that siding with Sharia may be the right choice.
Nor are the British elites alone in their efforts to “feel themselves subdued.”
It can scarcely escape notice that in connection with the attack in Benghazi, only a Coptic Christian filmmaker has been imprisoned, while the President of the United States has warned “that the future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam…” Or that the staff of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo “tweeted” their apologies for the movie even as the black Shahada flag of Al Qaeda was raised over the embassy after a mob stormed the building.
Until the West stands up for its own way of life, and for its’ own national laws and traditions, it is a hopeless dream to imagine that large swathes of the Muslim population in the West will do the same.
As the North American Muslim Brotherhood’s An Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group In North America notes, “a kind of grand jihad” is underway, “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within” and “sabotaging its miserable house by their hands…”
Not by the bloody hands displayed by Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo on a Woolwich street.
But by our hands.
Kyle Shideler is the Director of Research and Communications for the Endowment for Middle East Truth (emetonline.org)