Saturday, January 10, 2009


Hiraba. Arabic for "waging war against society." Assassins. Fire setters. Well poisoners. Hmm. Assassins, who kill not for military but political purposes. Fire setters, like, say, with bombs. Well poisoners ... sort of a chemical warfare, wouldn't you say? Hariba was once, in Islam, counted as among the gravest possible sins -- a war against God. It includes the killing of the resident and the wayfarer -- noncombatants, that is.

The muharibun exist in order to destroy or spread ruin, and hariba was once, in Islam, considered so "serious and repugnant" that those who practice it were never to be granted quarter or sanctuary anywhere. Never. Anywhere. They are mahdur ad-damm, whose blood must be shed. Their crime was called fasad fi al-ard: "corruption on earth".

The Islam that makes this distinction is an Islam that we might respect. It is civilized.

It's about controlling language, and so controlling perception. The lefty I've been, uh, commenting with wants to call Mr. Bush a terrorist. "George W. Bush has killed a lot more people than Osama Bin Laden." Well, this is, as a matter of fact, true. We've killed a lot more muharibun than they've killed soldiers and civilians. Well, soldiers, anyway. What that means is we're better at fighting wars than OBL and his mufsed fel-ardh. This is a good thing. But my lefty immediately added: "George W. Bush is by far the more effective terrorist." To which my response was, "I think you mean 'monster,' or 'fiend.'" Words have meaning. A terrorist is not just any bad thing, or every bad thing, but a specific bad thing.

The same with jihad. In Moslem terms, jihad is always a good thing. We should recognize this, regardless of our real opinion. It’s called prudence. Tactful speech makes allies. If the issue had been framed in terms of universal enemies of mankind, rather than religious warfare, it would have been possible to find common cause with any theoretical moderate Moslems. Probably too late, now. But it’s not too late to correct the vocabulary, regardless of whether or not it’s effective. Words have meaning. And the terrorists are not jihadis. Simply not. They are brigands, muharibun. If their society converts to their way of thinking, hariba will become jihad. But right now, the word still means what it means.

Now if we could only get the lefties to think of the Crusades as a good thing.



Will C. said...

where is this conversation with the lefty? I love to see a good dismantling. Alas, their scapegoat for all of the world's ills is actually giving up his seat of power very soon I hear. Didn't we have to kill Hitler to get him out of power? Guess the comparisons don't hold up...

Jack H said...

Water under the bridge, m'lad. A brave new dawn is at hand. The sun will never set again. Ah, how warm the globe is becoming.