What Drives Islamic Terrorism?

April 25, 2013
Written by D. L. Gary Pandol

What drives Islamic terrorism? One Islamist leader informs us: “There is [an] eternal hostility and hatred of the infidels,” and he vows to slaughter them and chop off their heads. [See MEMRI’s 03.23.2013, Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor, Weekend Summary].

Al-Qaeda leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, confirms that it is “absolutely out of the question that the U.S. will defeat the spirit of jihad in the Islamic nation.” [See MEMRI’s 9.12.2012 Special Dispatch 4946].

Such statements date back centuries ago. Archival evidence shows that in Prophet Muhammad’s farewell address in March 632, he states: “I was ordered to fight all men until they say, “There is no god but Allah.” The Ayatolah Ruhollah Khomeini, a Shi’ite Muslim from Iran stated in 1979: “We will export our revolution throughout the world . . . until the calls ‘there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah’ are echoed all over the world.”

Interviews conducted in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 also made clear that despite differing nationalities and ethnically diverse groups, Islam remained the great uniter among Islam’s followers going forward in the 21st century. And while some Muslims condemned the attacks, they justified them in the next breadth by condemning U.S. foreign policy.

Of the 24 most dangerous terrorist groups in the world all 24 are Muslim terrorist groups, according to the U.S. State Department. And the United States’ National Counterterrorism Center indicates that over 90% of the total number of terrorist attacks worldwide has been perpetrated by Muslims. 

As long as Muslim preachers curse Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims as Allah’s enemies, (see televised clips of Islamic preachers on YouTube), and cite Koranic verses such as 8:12: “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them,” the United States, Israel, and the rest of the West are in trouble. 

Indeed, while there remain individuals willing to embrace an ideology rooted in Koranic verses that describe and divide the world between Muslims: the Dar al-Islam, against the infidels, the Dar al-Harb, Islam’s followers will deepen the great gulf of enmity between civilizations.

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