Islamic scholar, Dr. Harold Rhode of the Center for Security Policy, writes:
“Only by understanding what compels Islam to conquest and the means employed to achieve it will we have a chance to avoid the fate of myriad lost civilizations gone before us which was crushed under the onslaught of Islamic forces. Because the commandment to global conquest by jihad is obligatory for all Muslims today just as for those of the 7th century—until the world ‘be all for Allah’ (Q 8:39)—Islamic warfare of both the violent and stealthy kind will never cease unless forcibly defeated. 21st century jihad in the Dar al-Harb—the non-Islamic West—is being fought as often as not with asymmetrical means: airliners brought down with explosives secreted in a laptop; the individual jihadi suicide bomber; the car, the gun, the knife.”
Europe, America, and other regions of the world (call all these areas the “West” for simplicity), are in the same boat as Israel concerning Muslim terror, although they won’t yet admit it. We all suffer from it, but the West reserves the term, “terror,” for attacks against all its component states with the exception of Israel. The rationale for this misconception is that Israel “deserves” the attacks against it, because 1) it stole the land of Palestine from the Palestinians, and 2) Israel is Jewish. Up until now, it doesn’t seem that there is much that Israel can do about this except to fight on, often by itself, handicapped by the rest of the world’s ignorance and anti-Semitism.
The latest fracas here is all about the Temple Mount, located in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is generally accepted, except by some Arab Muslims, that the Jewish Temples stood on the Temple Mount, making it the holy of holies for the Jews. The Muslims claim the identical place as their third holiest place, the location of Al-Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock shrine. The Palestinian Arabs go so far as to avow, repeatedly, that the Temple Mount (they call it the Noble Sanctuary) is holy to Muslims alone and eventually all people will be Muslims.
Israel’s problems with the Temple Mount started, ironically, with the capture of Jerusalem’s Old City in the 1967 Six Day War. “The Temple Mount is in our hands,” was the victorious cry as Israeli troops successfully routed the Jordanian occupiers. The Minister of Defense, the legendary eye-patched warrior, Moshe Dayan, quickly gave religious control of the Temple Mount itself to the Waqf, the Muslim religious body which supervises all Muslim territory, while retaining security as Israel’s responsibility.
Dayan, who was one of the first children to be born on an Israeli kibbutz, grew up with relatively friendly Arab clans nearby. Totally devoid of religion, Dayan had no idea how sacred a place the Temple Mount is for the Jews. For someone who was so devoted to archaeology (he managed to collect – illegally – many objects for his personal use), Dayan failed to connect Jewish destiny with our most sacred place.
During the brief war in 1967, in a matter of hours, the Israeli flag was taken down and replaced by the Muslim flag of conquest. Ever since then, Israel has had to contend with Jordanian and other Arab plots to restrict Jewish activity on the Temple Mount. Today, the only restraint on religious freedom in Israel is the prohibition against Jewish prayer on the Mount, enforced by Israeli police, contrary to the decision of Israel’s highest court. The much vaunted “status quo” is pointed to as sacrosanct whenever Israel (but not Jordan, which Israel appointed to supervise the Waqf) attempts any improvements to infrastructure or security on the Temple Mount. Jordan itself has run roughshod over the antiquities, purposefully trying to destroy anything relating to Jewish history.
The “sanctity” of the Temple Mount, of the Old City, and Jerusalem itself is merely a facade for the Muslims, who have never accorded importance to Jerusalem except when it was in “infidel” (Jewish or Christian) hands. When Muslims controlled it, for most of the period after the 7th century Muslim Conquest, Jerusalem was a backwater. No Muslim capital was ever established in Jerusalem, nor was it a large city. Jews became the majority of the city’s population in the mid-19th century, even though “Palestine” was under Ottoman Turkish rule (1517-1917). Some Muslim holy place! Even when Jordan occupied the Old City (1948-1967), no Arab rulers came to the Temple Mount to pray at Al-Aksa except for the Jordanian king, Abdullah I, who was assassinated there by a local Arab.
The recent kerfuffle resulted after two Israeli Arabs drastically broke the status quo on the Temple Mount by murdering two Israeli policemen. The fact that the police were Druse Israelis is not relevant. The terrorists had hidden weapons in the mosque and retrieved them for their attack, which came at the policemen from behind, as they stood guard protecting the worshippers.
Don’t think that hiding weapons in a holy place or killing people in its vicinity is something forbidden to Muslims. It happens nearly every day in Syria, for example. It has been much publicized in the past, especially when the PLO in 2002 forcibly took over the Christian Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem for more than a week. In the 2014 war in Gaza, Israel hit 5 Gaza mosques used to hide weapons. So, though the Muslims changed the status quo themselves, and Israel reacted to protect Arabs and Israelis, the world took the Muslims’ side, as is its custom.
Unfortunately, the Israeli government hastily made a familiar but unforgivable error, taking action before thinking through the consequences. Within a week, the entirely predictable, violent Muslim backlash forced the government to rescind all its new security restrictions, meekly returning to the aforementioned “status quo.” Predictably, the Muslim crowds, encouraged by Israel’s weakness, carry on their violent protestations.
The Muslims’ problem with the State of Israel stems from the overriding fact that, according to Muslim dogma, a Jewish state is forbidden, as is any other sovereignty over “Arab land” except Muslim. (Which sect of Islam will rule is the question in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.) As Dr. Rhode explains, any territory once under Muslim rule is Muslim forever. The Muslims may be pushed out temporarily, as in Israel or in Spain, but they will eventually conquer and rule again. Until such time that conquest is possible, it’s permissible for Muslims to maintain a temporary truce with their enemies, but no “peace” is possible until the interlopers are expelled. Ultimately, all non-Muslim lands will be conquered or reconquered, as the case may be, and all the inhabitants will become Muslims in the ensuing Caliphate. Then, peace will reign – but only after the Muslims sort out their Shia/Sunni battle.
So, while the West may draw an imaginary line between itself and Israel, Europe (and America later) is clearly a target for Islam, along with the rest of the non-Muslim world. Even the myopic Europeans (the public, not the leaders) are beginning to understand the trouble they are in from allowing, and continuing to allow, masses of immigrants from Muslim lands. These migrants, mostly men, for the most part have no interest in assimilating or becoming Western in any way, except to take advantage of the over-generous benefits lavished on “refugees.” Summing up, all of us in the West are in the same boat. Realizing that fact is just the beginning of the struggle to maintain a strong and prosperous future for Western civilization.
Dr. Harold Rhode, who earned a Ph.D. in Islamic History at Columbia University, specializing in the history of the Turks, Arabs, and Iranian peoples, also studied in universities in Iran, Egypt, and Israel. He speaks Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew, and Turkish, and served as an advisor in the U.S. Department of Defense for many years. His monograph, Modern Islamic Warfare is available for purchase (almost free!) in Kindle and paperback format at Amazon.com.