War against Islam
War against Islam, War on Islam or Attack on Islam, is a coined term to describe a perceived campaign to harm, weaken or annihilate the societal system of Islam, using military, economic, social and cultural means. The campaign is alleged to be waged by non-Muslims and "false Muslims".[clarification needed]
The phrase or similar phrases have been used by Muslims such as Ayatollah Khomeini, Sayyid Qutb, Osama bin Laden, the imam Anwar al-Awlaki, Chechen militant Doku Umarov, Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary, Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan, and the organization Islamophobia Watch. The English-language political neologism of "War on Islam" was coined in the 1990s and popularized only after 2001, with the "War on Terror" denounced as a "War on Islam" by critics.
The alleged perpetrators of the war include Western powers (especially the United States), pro-Western Muslim states, and non-Western, non-Muslim states such as Serbia (Genocide in Bosnia), Russia (for its actions in Chechnya and the Caucasus in general), and India (for the conflict in Kashmir).
According to scholar David Cook, what some believe is scriptural evidence for the existence of the alleged war is found in a popular hadith, one that supposedly prophesies a war against Islam "is the Tradition of Thawban"[clarification needed]:
The Messenger of God said: The nations are about to flock against you [the Muslims] from every horizon, just as hungry people flock to a kettle. We said: O Messenger of God, will we be few on that day? He said: No, you will be many in number, but you will be scum, like the scum of a flash-flood, without any weight, since fear will be removed from the hearts of your enemies, and weakness (wahn) will be placed in your hearts. We said: O Messenger of God, what does the word wahn mean? He said: Love of this world, and fear of death.
On the authority of Thawbaan, Mohammad said:
“The People will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their food.” Someone asked, “Will that be because of our small numbers at that time?” He replied, “No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be froth and scum like that carried down by a torrent (of water), and Allah will take the fear of you from the breasts (hearts) of your enemy and cast al-wahn into your hearts.” Someone asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what is al-wahn?” He replied, “Love of the world and dislike of death.”
— An authentic hadith recorded by Abu Dawud and Ahmad
An early modern example of belief in the alleged war is the book Qadat al-gharb yaquluman: dammiru al-Islam, ubidu ahlahu (Western Leaders Are Saying: Destroy Islam, Annihilate All of Its People) written by Jalal `Alam and published in 1977.
A measure of the strength of the belief that a non-Muslim power (the United States) is at least attempting to weaken, if not annihilate, Islam can be found in opinion polls that showed, as of late 2006/ early 2007, strong majorities — at least 70% — in the Muslim countries of Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, and Indonesia, answering "yes" to the pollsters' question: do you believe the United States seeks to “weaken and divide the Islamic world?”
Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon write in their book Age of Sacred Terror:
In the Middle East and Pakistan, religious discourse dominates societies, the airwaves, and thinking about the world. Radical mosques have proliferated throughout Egypt. Bookstores are dominated by works with religious themes … The demand for sharia, the belief that their governments are unfaithful to Islam and that Islam is the answer to all problems, and the certainty that the West has declared war on Islam; these are the themes that dominate public discussion. Islamists may not control parliaments or government palaces, but they have occupied the popular imagination.
And in particular, the idea of a Western war against Islam is a belief "at the heart of the radical Muslim and especially the globalist radical Muslim;" a factor "binding globalist radical Muslims together."
The following Muslims have either written or spoken about the alleged war, or at least alleged malicious conspiracies:
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Iranian Revolution and founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, preached that Western imperialists or neoimperialists sought to make Muslims suffer, to "plunder" their resources and other wealth, and had to undermine Islam first because Islam stood in the way of this stealing and immiseration.
[The Imperialist plan] is to keep us backward, to keep us in our present miserable state so they can exploit our riches, our underground wealth, our lands and our human resources. They want us to remain afflicted and wretched, and our poor to be trapped in their misery … they and their agents wish to go on living in huge palaces and enjoying lives of abominable luxury.
"Agents" refers to Westernizing Muslim rulers such as the Shah of Iran, whom Khomeini aggressively opposed.
[European-Imperialists] have known the power of Islam themselves for it once ruled part of Europe, and they know that true Islam is opposed to their activities. They have also realized they cannot make the true religious scholars submit to their influence, nor can they affect their thinking. From the very outset, therefore, they have sought to remove this obstacle from their path by disparaging Islam and besmirching the religious leaders. They have resorted to malicious propaganda so that today, we imagine that Islam simply consists of a handful of legal topics. They have also tried to destroy the reputation of the fuqaha and the `ulama, who stand at the head of Islamic society, by slanderous accusations and other means.
The agents of imperialism are busy in every corner of the Islamic world drawing our youth away from us with their evil propaganda.
Come to the aid of Islam; save Islam! They are destroying Islam! Invoking the laws of Islam and the name of the Most Noble Messenger (upon whom be peace and blessing), they are destroying Islam! Agents – both foreigners sent by the imperialists and natives employed by them – have spread out into every village and region of Iran and are leading our children and young people astray 
Western plots were not recent but hundreds of years old:
The British imperialists penetrated the countries of the East more than 300 years ago. Being knowledgeable about all aspects of these countries, they drew up elaborate plans for assuming control of them. Then came the new imperialist, the Americans and others. They allied themselves with the British and took part in the execution of their plans.
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Sayyid Qutb, possibly the most influential Islamist author, often described as "the man whose ideas would shape Al Qaeda", also preached that the West was not just in conflict with Islam but plotting against it. In his book Milestones he wrote:
The Western ways of thought … [have] an enmity toward all religion, and in particular with greater hostility toward Islam. This enmity toward Islam is especially pronounced and many times is the result of a well-thought-out scheme the object of which is first to shake the foundations of Islamic beliefs and then gradually to demolish the structure of Muslim society.
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden emphasizes the alleged war and urges Muslims to take arms against it in almost all of his written or recorded messages. In his 1998 fatwa where he declared the killing of "Americans and their allies—civilians and military—is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it," bin Laden listed three reasons for the fatwa: the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia, the increase in infant mortality in Iraq following US-supported sanctions there, and US aid to Israel.
All these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on Allah, his messenger, and Muslims.
Other examples of accusations of war by bin Laden:
What bears no doubt in this fierce Judeo-Christian campaign against the Muslim world, the likes of which has never been seen before, is that the Muslims must prepare all possible might to repel the enemy, militarily, economically, through missionary activity, and all other areas. It is crucial for us to be patient and to cooperate in righteousness and piety and to raise awareness of the fact that the highest priority, after faith, is to repel the aggressive enemy that corrupts the religion and the world. Nothing deserves a higher priority, after faith, as the religious scholars have declared. It is crucial to overlook many of the issues of bickering to unite our ranks so that we can repel the greater Kufr.
According to journalist Lawrence Wright, evidence that bin Laden's accusations have struck a chord among many Muslims was found in the popularity of bin laden T-shirts among Muslims including children in Kenya and Tanzania following the 1998 American embassy bombings, despite the fact that all but a handful 224 people killed were Kenyians and Tanzanians, not Americans.
Bin Laden says,
The West is incapable of recognising the rights of others. It will not be able to respect others' beliefs or feelings. The West still believes in ethnic supremacy and looks down on other nations. They categorise human beings into white masters and coloured slaves.
So now you incited Russia and so it came and took over the Chechnyan people - those who (have always) made Jihaad and made Jihaad, until they established a state. So they came and said "destroy this state", this house is not sound, destroy it, so they destroyed their house, and now they are masaakeen, like the strange animals that wander in the forests. If they (the Ikhwaan, Jihadis) had only left them (the Chechnyan people) (after their independence), they would have bettered themselves in terms of their religion, and both spiritually and materially. But they never gave them a chance to do this, but they only hastened them, until they granted the Russians the chance (to attack them), and so they destroyed them. And now they transgress upon the Muslims in the entire world, from America to Japan to Australia, to every place and to every (Muslim) society, and to all forms of destruction, and evils. So the Muslims in the eastern and western parts of the earth are faced with humiliation and degradation at the hands of Atheistic Kuffaar, and they made the Afghan society and its state to face destruction and ruin and to the falling of this state - and now they cry of over it with false tears of crocodiles - all at the hands of the Americans and Northern Alliance which was led by the Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon.
The Shaikhs of Jordan on Recent World Events, in a publication mentioned:
Hence it is obligatory upon all Muslims to beware of the plots and plans of the non-Muslims and their machinations and intrigues, and that they should adopt the matters which cause assistance from Allaah such as holding fast to the rope of Allaah, upon the word of Tawheed, and the Manhaj of the Sunnah, and the absence of division into sects and parties, just as Allaah, the Most High said, "And be not of Al-Mushrikun (the disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, polytheists, idolators, etc.). Of those who split up their religion (i.e. those who left the true Islamic Monotheism), and became sects, [i.e. they invented new things in the religion (Bid'ah), and followed their vain desires], each sect rejoicing in which is with it"(Rum 30:31-32)
And amongst the causes of weakness and the enemies overpowering us, is differing and dissenting, and being far from the legislation of Allaah and referring to it and implementing it, and from ordering the good and forbidding the evil, and the absence of striving against the enemies of Allah, the occupiers of the lands of the Muslims and their sanctities - as well as being attached to the world, and hating death - all of which makes to inherit weakness and leads to becoming scum. As has been said by our Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), "The nations are about to invite each other upon you, just as a group of people invite each other for food". It was said, "O messenger of Allaah! Will we be few in number on that day?" He said, "No, however you will be like the scum on the river. Weakness will be placed into your hearts and the fear of you in the hearts of your enemies will be removed, due to your loving this world and hating of death".
And Allaah, the free from all imperfections, says, "Say: It (the calamity) is from your ownselves".
And it is also known that the evil does not bring about except evil and forced control does not bring about except which is more bitter and more calamitous, hence whatever the United States of America exercises of continues, unrestricted propping up of the Brethren of Apes and Pigs, the occupiers of our land of Palestine and the precious Aqsaa, the place of the ascent of our Trustworthy Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), and what follows on from that of the total disregard of the affairs of the Muslims, and a great prejudice against their rights, then all of this makes the US reap the fruits of its own actions, and whoever sows bitter seed, will reap bitter fruit.
Claims of proof
According to historian R.M. Savory,
"The existence of Islam has always made the West profoundly uneasy. Islam was the only major world religion to be revealed after the rise of Christianity, and consequently it was, from the moment of the revelation of Islam in the seventh century A.D., viewed by Christendom as a direct threat and challenge to itself.
On the theological and religious level, the reaction of the West was strong, sustained and, almost without exception, hostile. Hostility was based on fear, and fear had its roots in ignorance. Christendom feared Islam, and therefore misrepresented it. Christians were ignorant of Islam, at least in part, because Christendom, prompted by odium theologicum had no desire to understand or tolerate Islam.
Islam on the other hand, was ignorant of the West because it was indifferent to it.
This fascinating experiment in co-existence was not permitted to endure. Christendom had not reconciled itself to a permanent Muslim presence in Europe, especially as this presence could not be ignored, for Islam, far from whithering [sic?] away, had produced great philosophers and scientists."
Muslims who use this term often point to the Crusades and European colonization of the lands that Muslims themselves had taken by force a few centuries earlier, believing it to be an example of an attempt to destroy the Muslim way of life. In addition to believing the West had "a well-thought-out scheme the object of which is first to shake the foundations of Islamic beliefs", Sayyid Qutb for example maintained that the medieval Christian Crusades were not "a form of imperialism," but rather Western imperialism was a new form of the Crusades, "latter-day" imperialism in Muslim lands being "but a mask for the crusading spirit."
This claim appears to have at least some factual historical basis. Savory says:
It is not surprising, therefore, to find a great similarity between the medieval view that it was safe to speak ill of Muhammad because his malignity exceeded whatever ill could be spoken of him, and the tone of nineteenth-century missionary tracts which exhorted the Muslims in India to abandon the false religion which they had been taught. There were even echos of the old crusading spirit. When the French occupied Algeria in 1830, they declared that they had in mind 'the greatest benefit to Christendom'. Similarly, Canning's solution to the 'problem' of the Ottoman empire was to bring it into modern Europe under Christian tutelage. When the French invaded Tunis in 1881, they considered their action a sacred duty 'which a superior civilisation owes to the populations which are less advanced.
More recently, Western support for the continued existence of the State of Israel has been declared part of a "war against Islam." Osama bin Laden has declared that "the West's rejection of the fairly elected Hamas government is a reaffirmation of the 'injustice, aggression, and rancor' against Palestinians." Enver Masud, an Indian Muslim and author of the book The War on Islam complains that while there are no Muslims in high-level policy making and media jobs in the United States, "Jewish Americans occupy nearly every single position relating to US Arab-Israeli policy."
India's control of Muslim-majority Kashmir has been called a "Zionist-Hindu war against Muslims" by Osama bin Laden.
In modern day, events alleged to be attacks on Islam include media portrayal of the religion and the War on Terrorism. Statements portraying Islam as a destructive ideology have been made by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn, V.S. Naipaul and Ann Coulter following the 9/11 attack. Franklin Graham, the son of famed American Christian evangelist Billy Graham, declared in November 2001 that "the God of Islam is not the same God. He's not the son of God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It's a different God and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion."
On September 16, 2001, George W. Bush referred to the war in Afghanistan as a Crusade: "This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while. And the American people must be patient. I'm going to be patient." 
According to Boston-based novelist and author James Carroll, the conflict between Muslims and Westerners "has its origins more in `the West` than in the House of Islam." And can be traced to "the poison flower of the Crusades, with their denigrations of distant cultures," and other Western injustices. Proponents of this view often consider the War on Terrorism with the accompanying 2001 military activity in Afghanistan, 2003 invasion of Iraq to be part of the war against Islam. The Western colonial domination of the Middle East for a good part of the 20th Century is also regarded as such an attack by some.
Alleged conspiracies against Islam sometimes involve other Muslims who are accused of being apostates. The Ayatollah Khomeini believed that "agents of imperialism," the term he gave to secular pro-Western Muslims, were "busy in every corner of the Islamic world drawing our youth away from us with their evil propaganda." Muslims at TheMajlis.net find evidence of "the primary conspiracy against Islam...not [in] Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair," but in "the enemy which lurks within the Ummah. The most poisonous and lethal enemy for Islam in this century consists of the munaafiqeen (hypocrites)and murtaddeen (apostates) who are concealing within the folds of the Ummah," but "products of kuffaar universities" and have cast doubt on traditional interpretations of the Sharia (Islamic law).
Danish cartoon controversy
The 2005 Danish cartoon controversy were cartoons depicting Muhammad in a Danish newspaper that led to riots and the burning of the Norwegian and Danish Embassies in Syria, and are seen by Osama bin Laden as part of the "Zionist-crusaders war on Islam". In an audio message, bin Laden described the cartoons as taking place in the framework of a "new Crusade" against Islam, in which he said the pope has played a "large and lengthy role."
"You went overboard in your unbelief and freed yourselves of the etiquettes of dispute and fighting and went to the extent of publishing these insulting drawings," he said, "This is the greater and more serious tragedy (than bombing Muslim villagers), and reckoning for it will be more severe."
Among others, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed a "Zionist conspiracy" for the row over the cartoons. The Palestinian envoy to Washington alleged the Likud party concocted distribution of Muhammad caricatures worldwide in a bid to create a clash between the West and the Muslim world.
Fitna film controversy
In 2008, Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician, published a film called Fitna, exploring Qur'anic motivation for terrorism, Islamic universalism, and Islam in the Netherlands. Wilders has said the 15-minute film will show how verses from the Qur'an are being used today to incite modern Muslims to behave violently and anti-democratically based on those verses. He later described the film as “a call to shake off the creeping tyranny of Islamization,” and a push for a Leitkultur, a culture that “draws on Christian, Jewish, humanistic traditions and that poses a challenge to the Islamic problem.”
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) protested the film saying "The film is solely intended to incite and provoke unrest and intolerance among people of different religious beliefs and to jeopardize world peace and stability," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the film as "offensively anti-Islamic" and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said it was "hateful". Iran called the film heinous, blasphemous and anti-Islamic, and Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation and a former Dutch colony, said it was an "insult to Islam, hidden under the cover of freedom of expression". The Saudi Arabian embassy in The Hague said the film was provocative and full of errors and incorrect allegations that could lead to hate towards Muslims.
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- e.g. Abid Ullah Jan, War on Islam?: What Does the "war on Terror" Mean for the Muslim and Non-Muslim World? (2002).
- Here Osama bin Laden says:
This is why they established institutions and enacted laws to maintain their supremacy by creating the United Nations and the veto power.... They regard jihad for the sake of God or defending one's self or his country as an act of terror. US and Europe consider jihad groups in Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq and Afghanistan as terrorist groups, so how could we talk or have understanding with them without using weapons?
- Human Rights Watch: Chechnya: Research Shows Widespread and Systematic Use of Torture
- Chechnya Holds Parliamentary Vote, Morning Edition, NPR, 28 November 2005.
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- [dead link] Here Osama bin Laden mentions:
Meanwhile, a UN resolution passed more than half a century ago gave Muslim Kashmir the liberty of choosing independence from India and Kashmir. George Bush, the leader of the Crusaders' campaign, announced a few days ago that he will order his converted agent [Pakistan President Pervez] Musharraf to shut down the Kashmir mujahidin camps, thus affirming that it is a Zionist-Hindu war against Muslims.
- Cook, Understanding Jihad (2005), p.143
- Abu Da'ud, Sunan, (Beirut, 1988), IV, p.108 (no. 4297) quoted in Cook, Understanding Jihad - Abu Dawood declared some of Hadiths (including the abouve) in his book to be unauthentic (2005), p.143
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- Khomeini, Islam and Revolution (1981) p.139
- Some speculate that the figure of 300 years may come from the date of farthest advance of Muslim armies. On September 11, 1683, the king of Poland began the Battle of Vienna where the army of the Ottoman Empire under Grand Vizier Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha was defeated. In the next two centuries the Ottoman Empire was militarily rolled back and economically overshadowded and by Western Christian military power and technology. see: Wright, Lawrence, Looming Tower, (2006), p.171
- PBS program America at the crossroads "Qutb, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, visits America in 1948"
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- bin Laden, Messages, (2006)
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- Savory, R.M., Christendom vs Islam: interaction & co-existence, Introduction to Islamic Civilisation, p.127
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- Savory, R.M., Christendom vs Islam: interaction & co-existence, Introduction to Islamic Civilisation, p.134
- Osama bin Laden: Taking Stock of the "Zionist-Crusader War" By Michael Scheuer
- What is worse than terrorist attacks?
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- President: Today We Mourned, Tomorrow We Work
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- Young, British and ready to fight
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- Khomeini, Islam and Revolution, (1981), p.127
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- [dead link]
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