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Emet m'Tsiyon

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Islamic law of War and Peace [according to Prof Majid Khadduri]

Where does Islam really stand on the issue of war and peace?

Yoram Ettinger has kindly brought together significant quotes from the book, War and Peace in the Law of Islam, by Prof Majid Khadduri. Khadduri was an Arab nationalist historian who was made a professor at Johns Hopkins University [1949]. This happened long before Edward Said got into American academe. So Khadduri [b. 1909-d. 2007] was a strong voice --and not the only one-- representing Islam and Arab nationalism in the American university, although Said complained in his books that the Western university world was not listening to the poor Arabs and Muslims, nor trying to succor them and their manifold afflictions in their time of difficulty. Khadduri was an admirer of Haj Amin el-Husseini [al-Husayni], Hitler's chief Arab collaborator --a collaborator in the Holocaust too. Emet m'Tsiyon has already posted several items that quote from Khadduri's book, Independent Iraq. These excerpts from Khadduri's book concern the 1933 massacre of Assyrians, the 1941 massacre of Jews [called the Farhud], Amin el-Husseini's connections with the highest echelons of the Iraqi government and his dealings with the British, etc. Khadduri wrote a hagiography of Husseini in his Arab Contemporaries (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ Press 1973). It is noteworthy that he chose to focus on Husseini who had long been relatively inactive politically when Khadduri's book was published [1973], whereas the whole book only offers biog sketches of Husseini and two or three others. Our previous post quoting an old book on Husseini's Holocaust role may help to correct the rosey colored hues of Khadduri's hagiography of this mass murder collaborator.

As indicated, Khadduri had the habit of omitting significant facts that might put the Arabs in a bad light, a habit not so unusual after all among historians, including Arabs, "leftists," and Westerners. But Edward Said wanted to complain that the Arabs were being unfairly and unkindly portrayed. Be that as it may, the fact that Khadduri was inclined to leave out facts and events unfavorable to Arabs [not all such facts, to be sure], gives more credibility to what he says about the Islamic law of war and peace, which does put the Arabs and Muslims in a bad light, at least among reasonable people.

Now, the first edition of Khadduri's book on the Islamic law of war and peace was published in 1940 and the second edition in 1955. So there has been plenty of time for Western diplomats, international relations specialists [like walt & mearsheimer and Condoleezza Rice, etc], politicians, "statesmen," even journalists, to read it and get a realistic view of how Muslims, particularly Arab Muslims, view war. Khadduri points out, as quoted below, that war is the normal state of relations between Muslim states and non-Muslim states. In that case, it is obvious that when Arabs/Muslims believe that they have a geostrategic or other advantage over a non-Muslim adversary, they will exploit that advantage and go to war. Surely they would do it in the case of Jews whom they hate anyhow and have hated for centuries. So if Western policymakers and diplomats really believe that peace is possible between militant Arab nationalists and a weakened Israel, then they are stupid and/or ignorant. On the other hand, maybe they merely pretend that peace is possible in such circumstances. Then they are liars. In either case, Khadduri's authoritative book has been around for a long time.

Here is Ettinger's presentation of Khadduri's conclusions:
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Straight From The Jerusalem Cloakroom #208, Nov. 2, 2007


1. While western democracies consider Peace a permanent and a sublime strategic goal, Islamic law defines peace as a tactic and as the short intervals which are not war.

2. 1,300 years (since the 7th century) of inter-Arab, inter-Muslim and Muslim-Non-Muslim conflicts, wars, terrorism and violation of commitments are lucidly explained by “War And Peace In The Law Of Islam”, authored by the leading global authority on Islamic war & peace making, the late Prof. Majid Khadduri (Johns Hopkins University):

“The Jihad, reflecting the normal war relations between Arabs and non-Muslims…was a product of a warlike people…Islam could not abolish the warlike character of the Arabs who were constantly at war with each other…institutionalizing war as part of the Muslim legal system…transforming war into a holy war, ceaselessly declared against those who failed to become Muslims…The short intervals which are not war, are peace (pp. 53-4).”

“The importance of the Jihad lay in shifting the focus of attention of the tribes from their intertribal warfare to the outside world…The world…was sharply divided in Muslim law into the abode of Islam and the abode of war… The abode of Islam was always, in theory, at war with the abode of war (p. 62, p. 52).”

“Throughout the history of Islam, fighting between Muslim rulers and contending [Muslim domestic] parties was as continuous as between Islam and external enemies…This state of affairs accentuated the struggle for power and created instability and anarchy in the world of Islam (p. 69).”

“The Jihad may be stated as a doctrine of a permanent state of war, not a continuous fighting…The concept of Jihad underwent certain changes. These changes did not imply abandonment of the Jihad duty, it only meant the entry of the obligation into a period of suspension – it assumed a dormant status, from which the [leader] may revive it at any time he deems necessary…No [permanent] compromise is permitted with those who fail to believe in God. They have either to accept Islam or fight (pp. 64-75).”

“If a catastrophe had befallen the Muslims, [they] might come to terms with the enemy… on the grounds of force majeur, provided that the Muslims should resume the Jihad after the expiration of the treaty…Defeated Muslims always maintained that their battle with the enemy would be resumed, however long they had to wait for the second round (pp. 154-6).”

“The Prophet Muhammad has set the classic example by concluding a [628 A.D.] treaty with the Makkans, known as the Hudaybiya Treaty…as a model for subsequent treaties…A peace treaty with the enemy is a valid instrument if it serves Muslim interests…The Prophet and his successors, however, always reserved their right to repudiate any treaty or arrangement which they considered as harmful to Islam…The Hudaybiya Treaty established the precedent that Muslim authorities might come to terms with [the enemy], provided it was only for a temporary period…A temporary peace with the enemy is not inconsistent with Islam’s interests (pp. 203-12).”

“Treaties must be of temporary duration, for in Muslim legal theory the normal relations between Muslim and non-Muslim territories are not peaceful, but warlike…If the [leader] entered a treaty which he was incapable of fulfilling, the treaty was regarded as void (batil). He was permitted to declare its termination…(pp. 220-1).”

3. A WAKE UP CALL BEFORE ANNAPOLIS: The Two State Solution defies Prof. Majid Khadduri’s teachings. It constitutes a phase in the permanent Jihad to eliminate the Jewish State, the outpost of western democracies, the Abode of War. Ignoring Prof. Khadduri’s teachings rewards terrorists and rogue regimes, radicalizes Arab expectations/demands, exacerbates Arab terrorism, fuels an all out war, further destabilizes the Mideast and damages the pursuit of long-term peace, thus undermining vital US national security interests.
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Islamic law favors war against non-Muslim enemies --only desisting from war against them [jihad] when the non-Muslim enemy, the Harby, is too strong. Hence, by weakening Israel by giving territory strategically necessary to Israel away to Israel's enemies, the Western powers, especially including the USA, the UK, and Germany, are encouraging the Arabs to make war on Israel, an Israel weakened by territorial loss and partly demoralized for that same reason. Arab states that have been dissuaded from warring on Israel due to its control of strategic, mountainous territory in Judea-Samaria, will have to think again about making war. That is because their religion commands them to make war when they are stronger than the Harby. Consider how Muslims think about peace treaties after reading about the Hudaybiyyah Treaty mentioned above.


Note: if you look at Khadduri's book, Independent Iraq, bear in mind that the first and second editions are not so close. The second edition has some important info about Husseini that is not in the first edition, and the first edition may have some info not found in the second.
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Coming: peace follies, propaganda, Jews in Jerusalem, Hebron, Land of Israel, the Annapolis war and genocide conference, etc.

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