Submit or Die: The Geostrategic Jihad of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda (Part Two)

Article ID: JAI155-2 | By: Charles Strohmer

This article first appeared in the Christian Research Journal, volume29, number5 (2006). For further information or to subscribe to the Christian Research Journal go to: http://www.equip.org

SYNOPSIS

Rarely reported by the America media, an intellectual civil war is occurring in Islam between scholars of the emerging Muslim reform movement and radicals who promote militant interpretations of Islam. This is a battle for the hearts and minds of the Muslim mainstream in the Middle East. The reformers see Islam as a flexible, nondogmatic religion adaptable to the modern world, and some even call for the separation of mosque and state. The militant extremists want to squeeze followers of Islam into a tight-fisted sectarianism at war with the entire “infidel” world. Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda epitomize the destruction that the latter are capable of inflicting. The late Sayyid Qutb, a religious ideologue followed by bin Laden, maintained that there was a true and a false Islam and that Muslims must purify their lives according to his interpretation of Islam and then become part of a new vanguard of militants. This vanguard would advance into the world, militarily if necessary, with this original (pure) form of Islam to transform both Muslim societies and the West. It is a totalitarian vision that seeks to legislate its demands for what it calls social justice, wherever it goes. Qutb’s unorthodox view of violent jihad is the centrifugal force behind the momentum of the extremists, and it is competing with nonviolent versions of Islam for Muslim allegiance today.

Sayyid Qutb, the radical Egyptian ideologue whose theological/political dogma energizes Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, wrote extensively about implementing a totalitarian rule of Islam, nation after nation. Qutb’s rationale was straightforward: neither the contemporary Muslim world nor Western philosophical, political, or religious traditions could heal what he perceived as history’s fatal flaw: the deep divide between secular and sacred created by societies and nations. All societies and nations were following the idolatrous assumptions of a secularism that had reduced God’s rule to private religious life in order to keep God out of public and political life. By the 1950s, Qutb was calling this deep divide “the hideous schizophrenia” and was offering his own well-thought-out Islamic solution.

The well-read Qutb, however, knew that some Western philosophers, politicians, theologians, and even some scientists were troubled about the direction the world was headed. He was glad to see this awareness in their writings, but he lambasted it because, in his estimation, their fundamental analyses were wrong. They did not acknowledge the secular/sacred divide as the root problem; thus, their prescriptions were missing the mark and could not be efficacious.1 Being a religious person, Qutb had some sympathy for the Christian clergy of the day who acknowledged the secular/sacred divide as the problem; however, for him, even these clergy loomed large in the West’s decline, because they were not capable of processing the kind of internal changes required for Christianity to overcome the hideous schizophrenia.2

Qutb’s True Islam

In place of what Qutb perceived as a failed Christianity and its historical, Western social and political experiments, Qutb offered what he believed was true Islam. It was to be more than a social experiment. It was to heal the secular/sacred divide, in the West and in the contemporary Muslim world. In a major work titled Social Justice in Islam, first published in 1949, Qutb shows what the “features and properties” of true Islam would look like in a society. The book is a careful explication of what Qutb calls “universal Islamic theory.” Its authoritative source, Qutb notes, is not Greek philosophy but “the Qur’an and the Traditions,” which provide a “general scheme” that is essential to grasp before one can begin to implement the future Qutb has in mind. Six points salient to this universal theory of justice can be identified:

1. Allah (God) is, a priori, an absolute unity.

2. “The Active Will” of Allah, from which “all creation” is “issuing,” or “emanating,” and is sustained and ordered, implies an “all-embracing unity” in nature and in the world of man.

3. The Creator gives “direct care and constant attention” to nature and the world of man, in which all of the “aspects [of life] are interconnected [politics, economics, faith, history, conduct, work, jurisprudence, etc.] so that one cannot possibly be separated from another.”

4. Mankind, however, had “lived through long ages without arriving at any comprehensive theory” by which to unite himself and the aspects of life to the essential unity, having developed and followed human creeds that militate against its “fundamental solidarity.”

5. This had produced a perennial struggle in which individuals and societies have differentiated between “spiritual and material powers” and either “denied one of these in order to strengthen the other, or…admitted the existence of both in a state of opposition and antagonism”; thus “the struggle between the two types of power continued, with men continually uncertain and perplexed and without any definite assurance as to the true solution.”

6. Then “came Islam, bringing with it a new, comprehensive, and coherent theory in which there was neither this tension nor this opposition, neither hostility nor antagonism. Islam gave a unity to all powers and abilities, it integrated all desires and inclinations and leanings, it gave a coherence to men’s efforts. In all these Islam saw one embracing unity which took in the universe, the soul, and all human life. Its aim was to unite earth and Heaven into one world; to join the present world and the world to come in one faith; to link spirit and body in one humanity; to correlate worship and work in one life. It sought to bring all these into one path—the path which leads to Allah.”3

LEGISLATING JUSTICE

With this working theory, Qutb makes clear his well-thought-out theological doctrines and domestic policies for legislating social justice. These policies address areas of public life, such as human rights, taxation, legislation, banking, debt, inheritance, charity, hunger prevention, theft, murder, property ownership, and courtroom testimony. His proposed policies, however, intrude into places where Western jurisprudence dare not legislate, touching areas of conduct that more overtly concern morality, such as adultery, fornication, mocking, flogging, drinking alcohol, hoarding, frivolous spending, overindulgence, and wastefulness. Throughout the book he juxtaposes many examples of what he means by social justice in Islam with policies of the West and the Soviet bloc, and he acknowledges issues on which Christian thinking agrees with Islam.


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Tucked into the book, however, is a purpose so fundamental to Qutb’s passion that it should be considered as a seventh point in his universal theory: “There can be no permanent system in human life until this integration of unification has taken place; this step is a prerequisite for true and complete human life, even justifying the use of force against those who deviate from it, so that those who have wandered from the true path may be brought back to it.”4 This brings us to the mission of the vanguard.

Calling Forth the Vanguard…

In Milestones, a short book with a militant tone, Qutb calls forth a new breed of Muslim leadership, a vanguard—evidently borrowing the image from Lenin’s vanguard party movement—to implement his view of Islamic social justice. In the book, Qutb’s totalitarianism becomes aggressive, nonnegotiable, and revolutionary, which at first seems paradoxical given that much of the book is spent rebuking Muslims. Qutb, however, was no fan of his contemporary Muslim world. He boldly labeled it jahiliyah (in Muslim doctrine this word applies to anyone who is ignorant of divine guidance; according to Qutb, the word also describes such people as idolatrous). Muslims had always used the epithet derogatively to describe non-Muslims as pagans. It was a terrible insult, then, when Qutb used it to describe Muslims.

“Islam knows only two kinds of societies,” Qutb wrote, “the Islamic and the jahili. The Islamic society is that which follows Islam in belief and ways of worship, in law and organization, in morals and manners. The jahili society is that which does not follow Islam.”5 Relying on the Islamic doctrine of submission to God, Qutb concludes:

All existing so-called “Muslim” societies are also jahili societies. We classify them among jahili societies not because they believe in other deities besides God or because they worship anyone other than God, but because their way of life is not based on submission to God alone. Although they believe in the Unity of God, still they have relegated the legislative attribute of God to others and submit to this authority, and from this authority they derive their systems, their traditions and customs, their laws, their values and standards, and almost every practice of life.6

…To Remediate History’s Fatal Flaw

By this, Qutb means the Muslim world’s increasing assimilation to American materialism, to Western political philosophy and cultural norms, or to atheistic socialism. “The Muslim community,” he writes bluntly, “has been extinct for a few centuries.”7

With the whole world in such a sorry state and Qutb backed into this existential corner, he called forth a vanguard of sold-out disciples who would gather round him and take their cues straight from his interpretation of Muhammad’s generation. Only the rise of a purified vanguard could set things right, first, by taking concrete form in a nation:

If Islam is again to play the role of the leader of mankind, then it is necessary that the Muslim community be restored to its original form….In order to bring this about, we need to initiate the movement of Islamic revival in some Muslim country. Only such a revival will eventually attain to the status of world leadership. How is it possible to start the task of reviving Islam? It is necessary that there should be a vanguard which sets out with this determination and then keeps walking on the path, marching through the vast ocean of Jahiliyyah which has encompassed the entire world….I have written Milestones for this vanguard.8

Jihad: The Force behind the Vanguard

The vanguard was to be propelled by another of Qutb’s radical doctrines, his view of jihad, which gives today’s new jihadi groups their unrelenting, violent centrifugal force. Conventional wisdom today posits two, perhaps three, types of jihad. One would be a military jihad. Known as the “lesser jihad,” it is the call to war by a Muslim state against an enemy nation. It may be authorized only by the state and may be declared only by a legitimately recognized religious authority. It is somewhat similar to Western just-war theory. Another jihad is practiced by individual Muslims. Known as the “greater jihad,” it is the daily inner struggle against whatever seeks to prevent one from becoming a better Muslim. Seen this way, the concept is not unlike the Christian notion of personal struggle against sin. The greater jihad, however, may emerge as a nonviolent struggle against social, political, and economic injustice for the good of the community or nation. This third type of jihad could be called a social jihad. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, whose mosque was just blocks from the World Trade Center, calls it a group jihad.9 The concept has parallels to nonviolent Christian social and political activism.

For Qutb, however, there is no picking and choosing—jihad is one. Jihad is a continuum—an unstoppable world-dominating process; but because Qutb considered Muslim religious and political leaders to be idolatrous, he thought it first necessary that “the Muslim community be restored to its original [pure] form…which is buried under the debris of man-made traditions…crushed under the weight of those false laws and customs which are not even remotely related to the Islamic teachings.”10 For this “revival” to occur, it will not do for today’s vanguard simply to strap on the ammo and rush into battle. The vanguard must be held back and cleansed by studying the Qur’an, and only the Qur’an, for guidance. Once purified, then, and only then, will they be ready to prevail. Spiritual purity first, war second, social justice third. That was Qutb’s perceived pattern of the original vision of Islam (described in part one of this series), and he insisted that the vanguard follow it. “Only such a revivalist movement will eventually attain the status of world leadership,” he writes. “It is essential for mankind to have new leadership….Without doubt, we possess this new thing which is perfect to the highest degree, a thing which mankind does not know about and is not capable of ‘producing.’”11

Qutb frequently reminds his readers of the very practical nature of his vision “to wipe out tyranny, and to introduce true freedom to mankind,” and he is quite clear that this may need to occur militarily:

The method of this religion is very practical….[It] uses the methods of preaching and persuasion for reforming ideas and beliefs; and it uses physical power and Jihaad for abolishing the organizations and authorities of the Jahili system which prevents people from reforming their ideas and beliefs but forces them to obey their erroneous ways and make them serve human lords instead of the Almighty Lord….[It] is a practical movement which progresses stage by stage, and at every stage it provides resources according to the practical needs of the situation and prepares the ground for the next one.12

Milestones therefore describes jihad as a world-dominating process moving inevitably from individual renewal, emerging to transform Muslim societies, and then surging into nations, eventually conforming peoples everywhere to Islamic law. Radicals since Sayyid Qutb, writes political and social science researcher Olivier Roy, “explicitly consider jihad a permanent and individual duty….This is probably the best criterion with which to draw a line between conservative neofundamentalists and radical ones….Among the few writings of Osama bin Laden, the definition of jihad as a permanent and personal duty holds a central place.”13

“GOD SENT US”—SUBMIT OR DIE!

What about Sura 2:256, the much-appealed-to verse in the Qur’an that states “there is no compulsion in religion”? It is often quoted as a proof text that Islam does not force anyone to convert, and even Qutb himself in Milestones tries to prove that. I do not wish to take issue with the beliefs of countless millions of sincere Muslims for whom Islam is a peaceful, nonviolent religion; but our concern here is Qutb’s militant extremism, and in that context his verdict about Sura 2:256 seems disingenuous. There is no space in this article to articulate the entire case, only to mention some conclusions I have reached.

Many scholars agree that Muslim conquests through war (military jihad) were, strictly speaking, not about making conversions but about spreading the totalitarian rule of Islamic law (shari‘a, see glossary).14 Sura 2:256, however, has not been able to prevent forced conversions to Islam or oppression and persecution of non-Muslims, including Jews and Christians, or enforced teaching of the Qur’an in the schools of the conquered.15 Muslims do not pleasantly broach such topics, for they are a stain on Islam that many Muslims would just as well forget, not unlike Christians would the Crusades and the Inquisition. Forced conversions, religious oppression, and so on, then, seem to result whenever the objective of Islam’s totality of life rule is strictly followed, and therefore it supersedes a passivist interpretation of Sura 2:256.

There is also the fuller context of the verse. The first half of Sura 2:256 reads, “There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error.” This could be interpreted to mean that for those who already see the light there is no need to make them believe, for the truth of Islam has become self-evident to them; they already believe.

Further, Qutb’s view of Islam as a totality for all of life includesIslam’srule overreligion.When his vanguard obeys its commission to implement that totality of life rule in a nation, it will therefore inevitably get around to ruling over everyone’s religious life. If the Taliban’s reign in Afghanistan was any indication, that rule will be harsh. Even if a conquered people are not forced to convert, many might choose to convert, as many did in the past, just to make life a bit easier for them—a sorry consolation prize from invaders who brought war to the people’s borders and proclaimed, “Submit or die!”

Qutb’s appeal to Sura 2:256 as a prohibition of forced conversion, therefore, begs too many questions to be believed. He is unapologetic that force will be necessary, and sanctioned, whenever preaching fails to change people’s behavior to conform to Islamic law. In fact, he does not see preaching as particularly effective in changing people’s behavior: “The establishing of the dominion of God on earth…and the bringing about of the enforcement of the Divine Law (Shari‘ah) and the abolition of man-made laws cannot be achieved only through preaching. Those who are opposing God’s creatures are not going to give up their power merely through preaching.”16

This attitude toward war is difficult for Western minds to understand from within their just-war tradition; but Qutb’s way of reasoning is not Western. It derives from his radical Islamic worldview, in which he turns the notion of war inside out. He states, “The Islamic Jihaad has no relationship to modern warfare, either in its causes or in the way in which it is conducted. The causes of Islamic Jihaad should be sought in the very nature of Islam and in its role in the world.”17 Qutb in fact sees jihad as “defensive war.” By this he means the right of his followers to attack those who resist efforts to implement the rule of political Islam in their lands. He explains,

If [Muslim warriors] had been asked the question, “Why are you fighting?” none would have answered, “My country is in danger; I am fighting for its defense” or “The Persians and the Romans have come upon us,” or, “We want to extend our dominion and want more spoils.” They would have answered…“God has sent us to bring anyone who wishes from servitude to men into the service of God alone, from the narrowness of this world into the vastness of this world and the Hereafter, and from the tyranny of religions into the justice of Islam.”18

War, then, for those who resist the totalitarian rule of Islam, becomes inevitable due to the submit-or-die ideology of the vanguard:

As we have seen, Islam reckons itself to be a worldwide religion and a universal religion; therefore it could not confine itself to the limits of Arabia, but naturally desired to spread over the whole world in every direction. However, it found itself opposed by political forces in the Persian and Roman Empires, which were its neighbors; these stood in the way of Islam….Therefore it followed that these political forces had to be destroyed….The Islamic conquests, then, were not wars of aggression….They were simply a means of getting rid of the material and political opposition that stood between the nations and the new concept that Islam brought with it. They were an “intellectual war” with respect to the people and a physical war with respect to the powers that held these people, and which denied them access to the new religion through the exercise of power and coercion….Three possibilities are placed before the people of a conquered country, one of which everyone must choose—Islam, the poll tax, or war….to refuse both Islam and the poll tax indicates clear insistence on maintaining the material forces that intervene between Islam and the minds of men. Hence this insistence must be removed by physical force, which is ultimately the only way.19

A people’s resistance to a totalitarian Islam that seeks to overthrow their state is viewed by Qutb as an attack on Muslims that prevents them from practicing their faith. This stunning euphemistic doublethink—turning the aggressors into those transgressed against—would have made the rulers of Orwell’s future state proud.

STRATEGIC OPTIONS, COMPETING GOALS

Sayyid Qutb’s totalitarian ideology represents but one movement in a terribly complex, high-stakes geopolitical drama that is gripping the West and the Muslim world, especially since the tragic events of 9/11.20 It is forcing governments of all sorts to ask: What do Muslims really want in and for our nations? Qutb’s militant extremism in the hands of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda is but one of the answers coming back. It would be wrong, therefore, to stereotype the billion-plus Muslims worldwide as Qutbists, or to conclude, as some have, that Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, or even the Taliban plan a return to the seventh century. Even the militant’s call to implement a true—or pure, or original—Islam does not represent a process of resocialization that is divorced from westernization and globalization. This is because Islam’s radicalization has occurred in the context of, not apart from, our modern world. Olivier Roy shows from his vast research that even the radicals’ backlash to westernization and globalization “does not mean a return to a ‘premodern’ society….It is more an attempt to ‘Islamise modernity.’”21

There are, then, different kinds of Islam, as there are different kinds of Christianity. For instance, whereas Qutbists seek sudden overthrow of the West through violence, some Muslims prefer what is often called incrementalism, a slow, long-term, nonviolent process of Islamization of a nation that may take generations.22 The process can sometimes be identified in the push by Muslims in England, France, Germany, and elsewhere for the introduction of Islamic laws into society. The West’s response to this push, so far, seems to follow the demands of the times and the dictates of certain ideologies, such as multiculturalism, political correctness, and, chiefly, democratic liberalism.23

Other faithful Muslims prefer the objectives of the Muslim reformers.24 This growing and increasingly influential group includes scholars and writers who hold a wide array of views but who, in general, see Islam as a flexible, nondogmatic religion adaptable to the modern world. They would call themselves moderates, liberals, or progressives, and they generally hold to nonfundamentalist approaches to the Qur’an and shari‘a.

Much smaller groups are the secularists and the traditionalists. The secularists go so far as to see the shari‘a as an impediment to modernizing the Muslim world. Seizing on the idea of separation of mosque and state, this group typically sees the secular state as providing “the optimum freedom and protection to religion from the state, its autocrats, or the enemies of religion.”25 The traditionalists “tend to adopt moderate, almost apolitical positions.”26 “They have no specific agenda of political change,” writes Graham Fuller, former vice-chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, “[they] do not seek to shake up the system, and are generally accepting of existing political authority.”27 In the sense that they are usually adaptive to new political realities to keep Islam alive, the Muslim traditionalists are not unlike the Christian Orthodox communities who have struggled, sometimes against great political odds, such as during the Soviet communist era, to act as a force of religious cohesion, perseverance, and preservation in their nations.

Further complicating matters, one finds overlapping concerns, interests, positions, and doctrines among these different groups. Even after a careful reading of many nonfundamentalist Muslim sources, ambiguity may remain around the question: “What’s your ultimate goal for the West? What do you really want?” The self-described liberal Muslim Dr. Muqtedar Khan is a case in point. Professor Khan, an Indian Muslim, teaches political science at the University of Delaware and is in great demand as a speaker in the United States. He believes that his liberal voice offers an alternative to that of fundamentalist Islam, and he is bold to declare it, such as he did in a stunning article that he titled “Memo to Mr. bin Laden: Go to hell!”28 Even so, one finds some ambiguity where one would like clarity. In American Muslims, where Khan calls the faithful to become more active in the American political process, he writes, “The task of not only articulating but also manifesting a moderate, peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, compassionate and moral model of Islam falls on the American Muslim community.”29 That sounds pretty conclusive, and even the book’s title is instructive, enlisting the word “American” as an adjective before “Muslim,” rather than the other way around. In an article titled “Who Are Moderate Muslims?” however, Khan writes, “I believe that moderate Muslims are different from militant Muslims even though both of them advocate the establishment of societies whose organizing principle is Islam.”30 This is a very revealing statement. It seems to suggest a desire for an America ultimately shaped by Islam; yet, perhaps Khan’s desire is similar to that of many Christians who simply seek a godlier America.31

Answers to basic questions like these are a vital part of the honest dialogue that remains between Muslims, Jews, Christians, and Western secularists who want to make the world politically and socially safer for communities, families, and nations. They see things differently but seek nonmartial alternatives for sorting out their differences. The great task here is to find what the Christian wisdom tradition would call “mutual ground” answers, and they will be found only through exercising heights of imagination previously unknown to us. One thing seems clear: this dialogue is one in which the submit-or-die ideologues cannot participate.

Glossary for Part Two

Shari’a: Islam’s body of sacred law, which is based on the Qur’an and the traditions (see below). Shari‘a deals with religious, legal, and economic issues, such as principles of worship, justice, rights, and penalties. The shari‘a’s premises are similar to that of Jewish law in the Bible—that God is the ultimate sanctioner of laws, human law ought to embody God’s will, and there is no distinction between a religious and a secular offense against the law. “For Muslims also, God as the supreme and transcendent Sovereign has revealed His Laws through His prophets. Shari‘a is the concrete embodiment of the Divine Will, and in its most universal sense it embraces the whole of creation…and is to be implemented to regulate society and the actions of its members rather than [as in Western jurisprudence] society dictating what laws should be” (Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity [New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2002], 117). Some believe that, because different kinds of Muslim scholarship (e.g., reformed, liberal) are offering varied ways to interpret the shari‘a, it makes more sense today to talk not about a monolithic body of Islamic law but rather about Islamic laws.

Traditions: Qutb’s name for the Hadiths and the Sunnah. The Hadiths, meaning, roughly “news” or “reports,” are the teachings and actions of the prophet Muhammad that are not in the Qur’an but are said to have been recorded by his close companions and family. The Sunnah, meaning “custom,” is the writings surrounding the habits and religious practices of Muhammad, also recorded by his close friends and family, and regarded as ideal Islamic norms. The Hadith and the Sunnah are large bodies of writings that together regulate a wide array of issues and are enshrined, along with the teachings of the Qur’an, in the shari‘a.

notes

1. Sayyid Qutb, Islam: The Religion of the Future (Salimiah, Kuwait: International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations, n.d.), chaps. 3–4. Qutb affirmed certain critical assessments of Western civilization offered by English philosopher Bertrand Russell, scientist Alexis Carrell, and President Eisenhower’s secretary of state John Foster Dulles, but he believed that their analyses failed to penetrate to the heart of the problem.

2. Ibid., 95–96.

3. Sayyid Qutb, Social Justice in Islam, trans. John B. Hardie, rev. trans. Hamid Algar (rev. ed., Oneonta, NY: Islamic Publications International, 2000), 38–43, 113.

4. Ibid., 41.

5. Sayyid Qutb, Milestones (Damascus, Syria: Dar-al-Ilm, n.d.), 93.

6. Ibid., 82–83.

7. Ibid, 9.

8. Ibid., 9, 11–12.

9. Feisal Abdul Rauf, What’s Right with Islam (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2004), 135–38.

10. Qutb, Milestones, 9.

11. Ibid., 7–11.

12. Ibid., 55–56.

13. Olivier Roy, Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), 41–42.

14. This point is acknowledged even by conservative analyst Daniel Pipes, In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power (New York: Basic Books, 1983), 44.

15. See the scholarly, panoramic books of Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1996), and Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2002).

16. Qutb, Milestones, 58–59.

17. Ibid., 57.

18. Ibid., 70–71.

19. Qutb, Social Justice in Islam, 198–200.

20. Charles Strohmer, “Wise Foreign Relations,” Christian Reflection Journal, A Series in Faith and Ethics: Christianity and Islam Issue (Baylor University) (2005): 28–35.

21. Roy, 19–20.

22. For discussions of this, see, for example, Patrick Sookhdeo, “The Islamization of Europe,” Briefing no. 38, August 11, 2005, Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, http://www.isic-centre.org; or Bat Ye’or, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis (Madison-Teaneck, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2005).

23. The British government, for instance, which had Europe’s most liberal immigration polices toward Muslim radicals, has been forced to revise them since the July 7, 2005, bombings on the London underground.

24. See Charles Strohmer, “Change Agents: The Voices of Muslim Reformers,” Christian Century, August 9, 2005, 24–27; and Charles Strohmer, “Muslim Women on Islamic Reform,” Sojourners, October, 2004, 44–46.

25. Graham E. Fuller, The Future of Political Islam (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 60.

26. Pipes, 125.

27. Fuller, 47–48.

28. This was published in the Washington Post (Feb. 16, 2003), the Arab News (Saudi Arabia), the Times of Central Asia, and many other outlets.

29. M. A. Muqtedar Khan, American Muslims: Bridging Faith and Freedom (Beltsville, MD: Amana Publications, 2002), 3.

30. Muqtedar Khan, “Who Are Moderate Muslims?” October 5, 2002, IJTIHAD, http://www.ijtihad.org/moderatemuslims.htm.

31. In my conversations, to date, with Dr. Khan, I have not had this particular ambiguity of his resolved in my mind.