Monday, September 10, 2007

September 10, 2007: Clear Blue Skies Today, But Tomorrow?

Osama Bin Laden in 2001
"Oh, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now..."
(Image from Wikipedia)

Living in Seoul, I'm one day ahead of most Americans, so today is already September 10th, meaning that tomorrow is the 6th anniversary of that infamous day in 2001.

What will happen now that Bin Laden has called America to embrace Islam?
A shopkeeper in Cairo, who gave his name as only as Mohamed, said bin Laden's call was not serious.

"I think his call for the West to convert to Islam is a prelude for him to issue new threats against them. He will then say 'I had offered you peace by asking you to convert' to justify the threats." (Inal Ersan, "Bin Laden video stirs Arab world," Yahoo! News, September 9, 2007)
This shopkeeper is referring to the same thing that I meant two days ago in writing:
I expect that we'll be hearing from you again, Mr. Bin Laden, but we recognize that your invitation for us to embrace Islam is merely a softly worded threat meaning "embrace Islam ... or else."
In 2001, as I recall, Bin Laden was criticized by some Muslims for not having first called America to repent and convert to Islam, so he's covering his assets this time.

The view that Muslims must first invite nonbelievers to Islam before attacking them is reported in Sahih Muslim, Book 019, Number 4294:
It has been reported from Sulaiman b. Buraid through his father that when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) appointed anyone as leader of an army or detachment he would especially exhort him to fear Allah and to be good to the Muslims who were with him. He would say: Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, do not embezzle the spoils; do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children. When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. Then invite them to migrate from their lands to the land of Muhairs and inform them that, if they do so, they shall have all the privileges and obligations of the Muhajirs. If they refuse to migrate, tell them that they will have the status of Bedouin Muslims and will be subjected to the Commands of Allah like other Muslims, but they will not get any share from the spoils of war or Fai' except when they actually fight with the Muslims (against the disbelievers). If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them.
This passage comes from Sahih Muslim, Book 19, titled "The Book of Jihad and Expedition" (Kitab Al-Jihad wa'l-Siyar), and is graciously provided by the Muslim Students Association, University of Southern California.

Bin Laden has invited us to Islam. If we neither accept it nor pay the jizya, then he has the 'right' to attack us -- according to this passage, among others.

As if we didn't already know his intentions...

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