Illustration: NAS Blue Angel Pilot demonstration over Pensacola Beach by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Johnson/Released [U.S. Navy photo U.S. government work] via Flickr
The roots of the December 2019 murder of three U.S. soldiers on the Pensacola Naval Air Station by an Islamic Saudi terrorist, are independent of U.S. policy in the Middle East, as are all previous cases of anti-U.S. and anti-Western Islamic terrorism.
For example, the launching of the anti-U.S. terror stampede by Iran’s ayatollahs was initiated in 1979, even while the U.S. supported the Ayatollahs ascension to power in Teheran and betrayed the Shah of Iran. Moreover, Erdogan’s intense support of Muslim Brotherhood terrorism, which has targeted the U.S. and all pro-U.S. Arab regimes and is aimed at advancing Erdogan’s vision to reestablish the Ottoman Empire and undermine U.S. interests, is in spite of Turkey’s NATO membership and the multi-year, mega-billion dollar U.S. investment in Turkey’s national security since 1947.
Islamic rage and anti-Western terrorism are not driven by economic, social, or educational goals. The roots of Islamic rage against Western culture, in general, and the U.S. as the leader of Western democracies in particular, are nurtured by a worldview, which precedes the 1776 independence of the United States of America and the 1620 landing of the Early Pilgrims in New England.
According to Prof. Bernard Lewis, a world-leading expert on Islam and the Middle East, the anti-Western Islamic rage represents an early edition of a clash of civilizations:
“If the fighters in the war for Islam, the holy war ‘in the path of G-d,’ are fighting for G-d, it follows that their opponents are fighting against G-d…. The army is G-d’s army and the enemy is G-d’s enemy…. In the classical Islamic view, to which many Muslims are beginning to return, the world and all mankind are divided into two: the House of Islam… and the House of Unbelief, or the House of War, which it is the duty of Muslims ultimately to bring to Islam…. Muslims from an early date recognized a genuine rival — a competing world religion…. This was Christendom…. The struggle between these rival systems has now lasted for some 14 centuries. It began with the advent of Islam, in the 7th century…. It has consisted of a long series of attacks and counterattacks, jihads and crusades, conquests and re-conquests…. America had become the archenemy, the incarnation of evil, the diabolic opponent of all that is good, and specifically, for Muslims, of Islam….”
The roots of the religious, cultural, political, legal and military Islamic treatment of the “infidel” — especially the dhimmi (the “infidel” under Islamic rule) — derive from the Koran-based Pact of Umar, the second Caliph (following Muhammad), who has been a role model of Islamic leadership. The Pact of Umar was extended to “infidels” in areas conquered by Muslims. It ensured the “protected,” i.e., inferior, status of “infidels,” who paid a special tax known as jizya (safety tax) and submitted themselves to the rule of Islam, self-defined as the only legitimate religion, divinely-ordained to rule humanity.
Because the Pact of Umar serves as a major guideline for contemporary Islamic authorities — as documented by Egypt’s Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood (the largest Islamic terror organization with political subsidiaries in the Middle East, Europe and the U.S.) and considered to be the most influential Islamic scholar alive whose sermons are broadcast live throughout the globe — it is worthwhile to review the Pact’s list of restrictions on — and privileges of — the “protected” dhimmi:
Dhimmi structures (homes or churches) may not over top Muslim structures;
No erection of new monasteries, churches, convents or monks’ cells, and no repair of such houses of worships in Muslim quarters;
No public display of crosses and dhimmi books (such as Bibles) and symbols;
No public manifestation of the dhimmi religion;
Only low-volume clappers may be used in churches;
Showing respect toward Muslims, for example, rising from seats when Muslims wish to sit;
No possession of weapons;
No Arabic inscriptions on dhimmi seals;
No imitation of Muslim garments and manner of speaking;
Wearing the zunar (a wide belt or girdle), which distinguishes dhimmis from Muslims: for Christians, a blue belt or turban; for Jews, a yellow belt or turban — the origin of the “yellow badge”;
Striking a Muslim removes “protection;”
A violation of these restrictions and privileges forfeits the status of “protected” dhimmi, making one liable to penalties of sedition and contumacy.
Sheikh Qaradawi referred to the Pact of Umar as a cardinal Islamic legacy in his 2012 book “Jerusalem: the concern of every Muslim.” In an October 2000 Cairo Arab Summit speech, Yasser Arafat stated that “the Palestinian struggle is in accordance with the Pact of Umar,” which was violated by Israel’s claim of sovereignty over Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.
The text of the Pact of Umar is featured on a marble plate in the courtyard of the Umar Mosque in Jerusalem’s Christian Quarter, and is displayed in many Arab shops and during demonstrations in Judea and Samaria.
Islamic terrorism has also been a systematic feature of intra-Arab and intra-Muslim politics — domestically and regionally — since the 7th century. Its toll has dramatically exceeded the toll of anti-Western Islamic terrorism.
While the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists, most Middle Eastern Muslim societies are non-democratic, ruled by rogue regimes, which suppress the voice of the majority, employing terrorism as a tool to advance their worldview. Western democracies cannot expect Islamic terrorism to be kinder toward the “infidel” than it has been toward fellow “believers.”
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger is the director of The Ettinger Report: Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative. Click here to read more of this writer’s work in The Jerusalem Herald.