On January 27, 2004, MEMRI’s President Yigal Carmon presented the following paper to the 2004 Stockholm International Forum on Preventing Genocide:
Jews, Christians, and Sabians [a monotheistic cult from the dawn of Islam] are, according to Islam, ‘Ahl Al-Kitab,’ or ‘People of the Book,’ and thus have special status. Their lives are protected, although their status is inferior to that of Muslims. However, non-Muslims who are neither Jews nor Christians are defined as infidels belonging to ‘Dar Al-Harb,’ the camp which Muslims must fight until Islam dominates.
Although these definitions are clearly set out by Islamic law, they are disregarded by extremist Islamist circles, which brand both Jews and Christians – that is, all the West – as infidels, whether because of their religion, because of their actions or policies, or simply because they believe in democracy, which some Islamists define as a religion. Muslims whom they consider supportive of the West, either individuals or entire regimes, also fall into this category. By declaring Jews, Christians, and these Muslims to be infidels and enemies, they permit their murder, and include them among those who, according to divine directive, must be fought.
Extremist Islamist circles believe that these infidels must be fought by means of Jihad – and some feel that, in the context of Jihad, weapons of mass destruction may be used to annihilate them. They find support for their ideology in Islamic sources, such as Qur’anic verses, Hadiths from the Prophet Muhammad, and Shari’a.
One major ideological source who is very influential in fundamentalist Islamist thought is Sayyid Qutb. Qutb, an Egyptian, was active in the Muslim Brotherhood movement, convicted of treason for plotting to assassinate Egyptian President Gamal Abd Al-Nasser, and executed in 1966. He wrote extensively on a wide range of Islamic issues. According to Qutb, “There are two parties in all the world: the Party of Allah and the Party of Satan – the Party of Allah which stands under the banner of Allah and bears his insignia, and the Party of Satan, which includes every community, group, race, and individual that does not stand under the banner of Allah.”
This article examines contemporary Arab Islamist sources advocating this approach to non-Muslims. It should be stressed that these views are held only by extremist groups, and that the majority of Muslims adhere to mainstream Islamic thought.
I. Defining the West as The Enemy of Islam
A. Crusaders, Jews, Shi’ites, and Leaders of Muslim Countries Threaten Islam
B. The Christians and the Jews are ‘Infidels’ and ‘Enemies of Allah’
C. All Who Believe in Democracy, The Religion of Heresy, Are Infidels
D. Jews Aren’t Even Human – They’re Apes and Pigs
II. Islam Must Fight the West
A. Jihad Against the Jews and the Crusaders
B. Killing the Infidels: Repayment in Kind [Al-Mu’amala Bil-Mithl]
III. The Entire West Should Be Annihilated
A. The End of America and the Jews: Annihilation Like the Peoples of Noah, ‘Aad, Thamoud, and Pharaoh
B. The Promise of the Stone and the Tree
IV. The Annihilation Will Be Mostly By Your Hands
V. Killing Women, Children, and the Elderly is Permitted
VI. The Annihilation Will Be By Weapons of Mass Destruction