By Robert Spencer
Another Ramadan is upon us, and no less an authority on Islam than Barack Hussein Obama has assured us that the Muslim month of fasting is a time in which Muslims “cherish family, friends, and neighbors, and to help those in need.” Meanwhile, in Minnesota a bank robbery defendant has secured a postponement in hearings on his case until after Ramadan, successfully convincing a judge that there are “two tenets that must also be adhered to during Ramadan: The faith calls for not engaging in conflict and argument; and to work to reconcile differences and seek peace.”
Meanwhile, a group of Muslims in Thailand were so filled with pious fervor as Ramadan began Friday that they murdered one infidel and injured seven in two jihad bombings. And in Bulgaria, a hitherto unknown jihad group calling itself “Qaedat al-Jihad” (Jihad Base) claimed responsibility for the jihad mass murder of Jewish tourists in Bulgaria last week, and explained: “The month of Ramadan is a month of holy war and death for Allah. It is a month for fighting the enemies of Allah and God’s messenger, the Jews and their American facilitators. One of our groups aided by Allah managed to bomb a bus full of Jewish tourists, plunderers of holy lands, after careful tracking. The holy war is not confined to a particular arena and we shall fight the Jews and the Americans until they leave the land of Islam.”
So which is it? Is Ramadan a time to “cherish family, friends, and neighbors, and to help those in need,” and to “reconcile differences and seek peace,” or is it “a month of holy war and death for Allah”?
It is easy to assume that Obama and the accused Minnesota bank robber are simply being disingenuous, or even (although this is certainly much less plausible) ignorant of the fact that Ramadan in Islamic tradition is often associated with violence. But in fact, what they say isn’t really false, it’s just so incomplete as to be seriously misleading. Ramadan really is a time during which Muslims are exhorted to renew their religious fervor. Hence it is a time when they’re supposed to grow more generous and kind toward their fellow Muslims. However, the Qur’an says: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves” (48:29). If the Ramadan imperative is to become more devout, the Muslim who applies himself diligently to the Ramadan observance will become more merciful to his fellow Muslims and more severe against the unbelievers.
Murdering infidels in Thailand and Bulgaria thus doesn’t contradict the spirit of Ramadan; it embodies it. The Kavkaz Center, a website operated by Chechen jihadists, explained in a 2010 article that the idea of Ramadan as a time for warfare against infidels went back to Muhammad’s time: “The month of Ramadan in the life of the Prophet (pbuh) and the righteous ancestors was a month of forthcoming. The greatest battles during the lifetime of the Prophet (pbuh) occurred in this blessed month, the month of jihad, zeal and enthusiasm.”
Barack Obama is severely misleading the American people when he focuses exclusively upon Ramadan’s exhortation to charity (the part of the Qur’an verse about being “merciful” to one’s fellow Muslims) without mentioning its imperative to terrorize infidels (the other part, about being “severe” toward the unbelievers.” But as we have seen just last week in Thailand and Bulgaria, all too many Muslims around the world are fully aware of that part of the Ramadan observance, and are ready to carry it out.
It is folly to pretend that that aspect of Ramadan doesn’t exist: dangerous, suicidal folly. But the Ramadan postponement granted last week in Minnesota showed how widespread that folly is – and that postponement followed the one granted before Ramadan began to the five 9/11 plotters on trial at Guantanamo. That one was extremely strange, since to recognize the defendants as pious Muslims who wish to observe Ramadan is to contradict an iron dogma of the government and the mainstream media, as well as of Islamic spokesmen in the U.S.: that the 9/11 plotters and hijackers, and Osama bin Laden himself, were not really true Muslims at all.
Why not? Because they so transgressed the peaceful teachings of Islam that other Muslims -- the vast majority -- not only detested what they did on 9/11, but did not even consider them to be Muslims. I have heard this many, many times from Muslims in the U.S. Once, before the State Department went completely mad, I was speaking at a State function and got into a conversation with a State official who referred to the 9/11 hijackers in passing as “Muslims” -- whereupon he looked at me, clearly embarrassed, and stammered, “Well, I shouldn’t call them Muslims...”
All right. If they aren’t Muslims, why are they getting Ramadan off? Which is it?
The cognitive dissonance here equals that about Ramadan itself. And as our Ramadan follies and willful blindness continue, more Infidels will die.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Did Muhammad Exist?, is now available.