Raymond Ibrahim, author of Defenders of the West, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Two recent and rather unnatural atrocities underscore the murderous hate that Islam mandates for any and all who are perceived to defy its—or those who associate themselves with its—authority.
On Aug. 13, in France, a 25-year-old Muslim man beheaded his own 60-year-old father with a knife. When police arrived on the scene, the defiant murderer tried to attack them while crying Islam’s triumphant war-cry, “Allahu Akbar,” thereby establishing his jihadist frame of mind.
One day earlier, on Aug. 12, in India, the decapitated body of a young woman was found, and the murder traced back to her 50-year-old Muslim father. He had beheaded her because she rejected a nikah, an arranged Muslim marriage.
As horrific as these murders are, surely they have nothing to do with Islam, a religion and culture well known for its strong familial, or tribal, bonds?
Alas, even these murders are tied to the teachings of Muhammad, particularly in connection to the doctrine of al-wala’ w’al-bara’ (which can be translated as “loyalty and enmity” or, more simply, “love and hate”). It commands Muslims always to aid and support fellow Muslims while hating everyone perceived to be in opposition to Islam and its followers.
It is the hate that concerns us here. It manifests itself so regularly that even those in the West who are not necessarily acquainted with the particulars of Muslim doctrine sense it. For instance, after a series of deadly Islamic terror strikes in the West in late 2015, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump said, “I think Islam hates us.… There’s a tremendous hatred there. We have to get to the bottom of it. There’s an unbelievable hatred of us.”
What makes this “tremendous” and “unbelievable hatred” unintelligible to the West is that it is not a product of grievances, political factors, or even an “extremist” interpretation of Islam. Rather, it is a direct byproduct of mainstream Islamic teaching. Koran 60:4 is the cornerstone verse of this doctrine. As Osama bin Laden once concluded, after quoting that verse:
Such, then, is the basis and foundation of the relationship between the infidel and the Muslim. Battle, animosity, and hatred — directed from the Muslim to the infidel — is the foundation of our religion (The Al Qaeda Reader, p. 43).
Similarly, after citing Koran 60:4, the Islamic State once confessed to the West that “we hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers.” As for any and all political “grievances,” these are “secondary” reasons for the jihad, ISIS said:
The fact is, even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam. Even if you were to pay jizyah and live under the authority of Islam in humiliation, we would continue to hate you.
But surely this hate has nothing to do with slaughtering fellow Muslims—especially family members, including the aforementioned father in France and daughter in India beheaded by their son and father, respectively?
Actually, the doctrine of al-wala’ w’al-bara’ encompasses even these killings. Consider Koran 58:22, another key verse supporting this doctrine:
You shall find none who believe in Allah and the Last Day on friendly terms with those who oppose Allah and his Messenger — even if they be their fathers, their sons, their brothers, or their nearest kindred. Allah has inscribed the faith in their very hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit from himself. He will admit them to gardens watered by running streams, where they shall dwell forever.
Now consider the exegesis of Ibn Kathir, whose commentary on the Koran is mainstream among Muslims:
It was said that the phrase from the Most High—“even if they be their fathers”—that it was revealed about Abu Ubayda when he slew his father at [the battle of] Badr; “their sons” was about Abu Bakr [Muhammad’s successor and first caliph] when he intended to slay his son, Abd al-Rahman; “their brothers” was about Mus’ab bin Umayr, who slew his brother, Ubayd bin Umayr; “or their kin” was about Omar [the second caliph], who slew one of his relatives. Also Hamza, Ali, and Ubayda bin al-Harith: They slew Utba, Sheeba, and al-Walid bin Uitba [their kin] at that battle (The Al Qaeda Reader, 75–76).
After prevailing at the battle of Badr, Muhammad “consulted with the Muslims regarding the captives.” Because most of the captives were other relatives of the Muslims, Abu Bakr advised that they pay ransom and be offered Islam again, but Omar, the future second caliph, fiercely argued against such “leniency”:
This goes against my thinking, O Messenger of Allah. Let me slay so-and-so (a relative of Omar), and let Ali slay Aquil [Ali’s brother], and so-and-so slay so-and-so—so that Allah may know that there is no love in our hearts for the idolaters.
From here, the recent patricide and filicide committed by a Muslim son in France and a Muslim father in India evince their Islamic pedigree.
That the Muslim son was found screaming “Allahu Akbar” emphasizes a jihadist mood immediately following the beheading of his father—indicating that, whatever their quarrel, the son at least believed he was somehow acting on behalf of or vindicating Islam. As for the father who beheaded his daughter, that she dared defy his command to marry whomever he had chosen directly contradicts Islam’s mandated (and uber-patriarchal) hierarchy, which permits fathers to slaughter their own children for disobedience.
There is a final and highly relevant lesson from all this: If Muslims are called on to hate and even murder their own flesh and blood— including fathers, sons, brothers, and wives — whenever they are perceived as going against Islam, is it any surprise that so many Muslims hate the born and avowed enemies of Islam—foreign “infidels,” such as those who live all throughout the West?