Jihadi Islam: A Response to John Azumah
by Mark Durie, Fulcrum via meforum.org, September 30, 2014
“…Azumah’s main criticism of what I have written is that I claim that groups like the Islamic State have the ‘correct’ understanding of Islam as delivered by Muhammad. This is not my belief. My point rather is that such groups claim – vigorously and ably – to defend their views on the basis of the essentials of Islam as delivered by Muhammad. I am not saying their defence is correct: I merely point out that for many it is a compelling defence.
In regard to Azumah’s theological silver bullet – that the Islamic State’s jihad is invalid because only a legitimate leader can declare a jihad – I would draw attention to the position of the jihadis. It has long been accepted by jihadi ideologues that when Muslim lands are occupied, jihad becomes fard ‘ayn, an individual obligation, without the need for a leader to declare it. This is also a mainstream view of Islamic jurists. It is also widely accepted by jihadis that Muslims lands are occupied by unbelievers today, despite Azumah’s claims that this does not apply to Iraq or Syria today, and it did not apply “prior to 9/11″.
The point is not whether John Azumah believes Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan are occupied. The point is that Muslim radicals believe this. And not only they, but many leading others have made similar statements in the past. Bin Ladin considered that Saudi Arabia was occupied by Americans during the Gulf War, and it was this that led him to found Al-Qa’ida a few years later….”