Friday, May 12, 2006


An Islamic Declaration of War

What’s the best way to summarize the letter from Iranian President Ahmadinejad to President Bush?

I’m afraid that Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs nails it on the head, headlined An Islamic Declaration of War:

Only a few blogs (and almost no mainstream media) have realized the truth about Iranian madman Ahmadinejad’s letter to President Bush. It was not an offer to negotiate, and it was not simply a lunatic’s rant. It was a calculated invitation to convert to Islam, a da’wa—an Islamic requirement (commanded by Mohammed) before waging war against unbelievers.

LGF links to Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom, who explains the context of the letter, and how the Muslim world would decidedly read it as a declaration of war against the infidel. This is dramatically underscored by Ahmadinejad’s use of a particular phrase at the close of his letter to President Bush.

The New York Sun explains the phrase Ahmadinejad used, its history and significance:

"Vasalam Ala Man Ataba'al hoda." What this means is "Peace only unto those who follow the true path."

It is a phrase with historical significance in Islam, for, according to Islamic tradition, in year six of the Hejira - the late 620s - the prophet Mohammad sent letters to the Byzantine emperor and the Sassanid emperor telling them to convert to the true faith of Islam or be conquered. The letters included the same phrase that President Ahmadinejad used to conclude his letter to Mr. Bush. For Mohammad, the letters were a prelude to a Muslim offensive, a war launched for the purpose of imposing Islamic rule over infidels.

Surely the wider Muslim audience knows full well the significance of what the Iranian letter contained.

Think Johnson, Goldstein, and the editors at The New York Sun are extreme in their views? No more than the Iranian President himself:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here Thursday that his letter to President George W. Bush did not concern the nuclear dossier, but rather was an invitation to Islam and the prophets culture.

He made the above remarks in reply to a reporter while attending press conference on his letter to President Bush in Jakarta in the afternoon of the third day of his stay in Jakarta. Stressing that the letter was beyond the nuclear issue, the chief executive said that in principle, the country’s nuclear case is not so significant to make him write a letter about it.

“We act according to laws and our activities are quite clear. We are rather intent on solving more fundamental global matters.”

“The letter was an invitation to monotheism and justice, which are common to all divine prophets. If the call is responded positively, there will be no more problems to be solved,” added the president.

The president said that the letter actually contained a clear message of invitation to human beliefs, adding that its response will determine the future.

Just submit. Then we have no problems with you. Oh, and your women must wear burkas and you need to kill all the Jews.

Now comes news – an unauthorized leak, presumably from someone connected to the UN International Atomic Energy Agency.

The U.N. atomic agency has found traces of highly enriched uranium at an Iranian site linked to the country's defense ministry, diplomats said Friday. The finding added to concerns that Tehran was hiding activities that could be used to make nuclear arms.

The diplomats, who demanded anonymity in exchange for revealing the confidential information, said the findings were preliminary and still had to be confirmed through other lab tests. But they said the density of enrichment appeared close to or beyond weapons grade _ the level used to make nuclear warheads.

(Nice to know these leaks of confidential information can tip the other way sometimes. I’m sure El Baradei didn’t mean to have this come up the day he strongly suggested that Iran has valid reasons for wanting nuclear weapons.)

We can continue to squabble over the threat, how big, how bad, what the right tools are. We can continue to argue over what our enemies real intentions are. WE can debate what are there many grievances. Some may even question whether there’s any threat greater than President Bush and his Administration.

Or we can take our enemies at their word. I, for one, think they’re telling the truth. They mean for us to submit, they want to annihilate the State of Israel, they desperately want nuclear weapons as a means to accomplish both those objectives.

Okay, they haven’t admitted that last bit about nukes. But if the man holding a gun your head says “he doesn’t want to hurt you,” keep in mind that what he means is, “don’t make him hurt you,” and plenty of times, he shoots you anyway.

Links: Thunder Run

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