An Islamic scholar and grand imam in Egypt was demoted from his senior status and banned from giving lectures or Friday sermons for daring to question the legitimacy of the concept of Islamic conquest.
Zarraa pointed to the consequence of promoting the concept of Islamic conquest:
“The risk with sanctifying Islamic conquests in such an absolute way is implicitly condoning the approach by that terrorist organisations that use conquests as justification for jihad against all those who disagree with them in thought and belief, despite the fact that Islam restricts jihad to self-defense and does not justify the use of intimidation, killing and enslaving women to spread the faith.”
“When [the Islamic State] ISIS entered Syria and Iraq, it applied the same approach about the history of Islamic conquests,” Zarraa added. “Some jurisprudence books say that, when an imam conquers a country, he has the right to kill the men and capture the women.
“The extremists’ claims cannot therefore be rejected without first critiquing and revising the heritage associated with the conquests and debunking the fallacies surrounding them that have been used against humanity.”
For bringing up this issue, Zarraa was subject to a “vicious campaign” by scholars at al-Azhar, an institution considered to be the worldwide authority of Sunni Islam.
Yet, Zarraa’s point opens a huge question: Outside of al-Azhar, are Muslims – or non-Muslims — even allowed to bring up this issue in our day and age?
Hundreds of years ago, brutal conquest was a way of life in the world. From the Byzantines to the Romans, the Crusaders and the Mongols, invasions were how ruling empires dealt with each other.
In tribal societies like Arabia where Islam was born, barbaric tribesmen would draw a sword and kill if a camel from one village crossed over to another. It was the way things were done.
We can’t change history, but we can certainly learn from it. And theoretically we have: Today, any kind of war of conquest is seen as brutal and barbaric.
Yet, what Muslims have done over a period of 1,400 years is still glorified in their history books and sermons — even their most heinous crimes. No criticism is allowed.
If you look at school history books in most Muslim-majority societies, they abound with tales of conquests, invasions and subjugation. So much so that they have given these conquests a “religious flavor” by calling them “Muslim conquests,” when in fact they were conquests by power-hungry warriors.
The spread of Islam was a by-product of these conquests. But giving it an Islamic designation conveniently rules out any critique.
Where does this place us? How will history judge the newest wave of conquests – namely, immigration and the total inability of the West to deal with political Islam.
While most people don’t perceive immigration as a conquest, if we look closely at what has happened in Europe, it is a conquest (albeit a weaponless one): Masses of people have overtaken the dominant culture of Europe and imposed their own ideology on it.
In France, President Emmanuel Macron recently launched a campaign against political Islam, outlining tougher immigration policies so that France is not seen as a “land of asylum.”
The UK is facing its own challenges, and in one way, Brexit is a tactic to stem hordes of immigrants spilling over from Europe and war-torn lands in the Middle East.
In Canada, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper lost the election for calling Islamism the greatest threat of our time. In Quebec, there is pushback against immigration because Quebecers consider themselves a “distinct society” which would be threatened by unchecked immigration.
Are we allowed to critique these conquests?
One thing is certain: Those who don’t learn from history and give in to these latest “Leftist”/Islamist conquests will be their victims.