You are here

Suleiman Shahbal: “I Deeply Resent How They Misinterpret My Religion”

Suleiman Shahbal: “I Deeply Resent How They Misinterpret My Religion”

News Date: 

Sharia Watch: A more honest approach is that displayed by this Islamic scholar:

Among Muslims and non-Muslims, there is an urgent need to address those obsolete and problematic elements of Islamic orthodoxy that underlie the Islamist worldview, fuelling violence on both sides. The world’s largest Muslim organisation, Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama, of which I am General Secretary, has begun to do exactly that.
The truth, we recognise, is that jihadist doctrine, goals and strategy can be traced to specific tenets of orthodox, authoritative Islam and its historic practice. This includes those portions of Shariah that promote Islamic supremacy, encourage enmity towards non-Muslims and require the establishment of a caliphate. It is these elements – still taught by most Sunni and Shiite institutions – that constitute a summons to perpetual conflict.

Also available in this PDF:

An article by Suleiman Shahbal, a Kenyan Muslim, about the terrorist attack in Nairobi carried out in mid-January 2019 by Al-Shebaab, is worth revisiting for its all-too-common blend of laudable sentiments and a disturbing inability to recognize Jihad as essential to Islam.

In the midst of pain and anguish, our security forces made us proud. Even as we mourned, we were proud to see the Recce squad storm dusitD2 Hotel and rescue over 700 people besieged by terrorists.

Make no mistake, we are at war with a terrorist organisation that exploits our religion (I am a Muslim, and like many Muslims, I deeply resent how they misinterpret my religion). It exploits local politics and conditions to propagate a world view that threatens Muslims who don’t subscribe to their views, and has contempt for Non-Muslims. We must recognise unpleasant facts that require a change in strategy to support our men in uniform.”

He is a Muslim, and he may “deeply resent how they [the terrorists] misinterpret my religion,” but others, such as you or I, might with considerably more justification “deeply resent” how Mr. Shahbal “misinterprets [his] religion.” Are we expected to believe that Mr. Shahbal is unfamiliar with the more than 109 Qur’anic verses that command Muslims to wage Jihad against the Unbelievers, to “fight them” wherever they are to be found, to “smite at their necks,” and to “strike terror”in the hearts of the Unbelievers? Are we further expected believe that Mr. Shahbal is unacquainted with that celebrated claim of Muhammad in the hadith that “I have been made victorious through terror?” Mr. Shahbal may “wish” that Islam were as he misleadingly describes, but that does not make it so. He has a duty to expose what is contained in the texts and teachings of Islam, not to protect Islam by practicing taqiyya. He denies, rather than deplores, aspects of Islam that explain not only Al-Shebaab’s latest attack in Nairobi, but all the attacks by Al-Shebaab, Al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah, and other groups that have been responsible for more than 33,000 terrorist attacks since 9/11/2001. When Mr. Shahbal decides to recognize the magnitude of the terrorist threat, and its source in the Islamic texts, we will have less reason to distrust him.