Journal of Religion and Popular Culture
Volume 10: Summer 2005

Mbaye Lo
Cleveland State University
Kent State University


This article analyzes the associational relationship between Islam and terrorism as embedded in the current popular culture. Two questions are examined: (a) whether from a historical and political perspective current organizations that are terror threats and Bin Laden are natural outgrowths of the Islamic tradition; (b) whether the Muslim popular tradition has historically interpreted some Qur’anic terms such as Jihad and Kuffar „allegedly infidels“ to promote hate and violence against non-Muslims. In view of this discussion, the article suggests that the current terror treats is due to the politicization of the Muslim faith, rather than rooted in Islamic teachings.

Introduction: Scope and Thesis

[1] The aim of this article is twofold. First, to address whether from a historical and political perspective, current organizations that are terror threats and Osama Bin Laden, the founder and spiritual leader of al-Qaeda, are natural outgrowths of Islamic tradition. Second, to survey the understanding of the terms Kuffar, Jihad and the concept of non-Muslims in the Muslim popular tradition. Finally, the article illustrates that the roots of terrorism is in the misinterpretation and politicization of Islam.

[2] In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, a popular trend of thought quickly emerged that Islam is the root of terrorism. A range of religious leaders, academicians and public intellectuals subscribe to this theory. For example, Franklin Graham, a popular evangelical leader, told NBC News that Islam is a „very evil and wicked religion. When you read the Qur’an and you read the verses from the Qur’an, it instructs the killing of the infidel, or those that are non-Muslim.“1 Another religious leader and broadcaster, Pat Robertson, is the founder and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), asserted that upon reading the Qur’an, he found Islam „not a peaceful religion that wants to co-exist.“2 Bernard Lewis, professor of history at Princeton University seized the opportunity to use the event of September 11 as proof of his long held-theory that there is a „clash of civilization“ between Islam and the West.3 Daniel Pipes, a columnist for the New York Post and Jerusalem Post, equated converts to Islam with converts to violence.4 He considers collective Islamic organizations the same as terrorist groups who have been promoting „violence against the U.S. for more than two decades.“ Another writer, Jonah Goldberg of the New Republic, describes Islam as „alien, sometimes medieval, and often corrupt, theoretical fascism.“5

[3] With such strong beliefs that Islam is the source of terrorism, one might ask what evidence associates Islam with terrorism? The relevant literature centres on two types of evidence: empirical and relational. First, more than two-thirds of the terrorist organizations on the U.S. State Department’s terrorist list are linked with Islam. These organizations, under the pretext that Qur’anic teachings encourage Jihad and call non-Muslims Kuffar (infidels), use Islam as a rallying point to perpetuate violence against the U.S. and U.S. nationals. Second, Osama Bin Laden, a follower of Islam, and al-Qaeda, a purported Islamic organization, was behind the heinous act of September 11.

The Origin of Modern Islamic Organizations

[4] As to the first kind of evidence, a historical look at the true origin of modern Islamic organizations offers no proof that they promoted hate or violence. Actually, Islamic organizations emerged in the late nineteen and early twentieth century to reconcile Islamic intellectualism with European modernity. The history of modern Muslim groups, reformists and Islamists alike, goes back to five towering figures who laid the intellectual foundation for collective activism in modern Muslim society.

[5] The Salafi movement was started in the turn of the nineteenth century by Muhammed Abduh (1844-1905), an Egyptian intellectual reformer, and Seyyed Jamaluddin Afghani (1838-1897), whose last name „Afghani“ refers to his Afghan-Persian heritage. These two met while in exile in Paris, where they established a religious society called the Salafi movement that sought to remedy Islamic schism by attempting to rationalize the laws of the Qur’an with what they called the Nahdah movement (renaissance). While Abduh focused on Egypt and rest of the Arab world, Afghani traveled across India, Persia, Afghanistan, Egypt and the Ottoman Empire. Abduh’s conciliatory views between Islam and the West are evident in his perspective on reform. He returned to Egypt in 1889 to become the Grand Mufti of Egypt and a close friend to Lord Cromer, the British consul general. From this powerful position of controlling all religious establishments, he took on the task of transforming the educational systems from the shackles of religious tradition.6 He criticized both radical as well as progressive interpretations of Islam; called for de-politicizing the educational system, and advocated good relationships with Western countries. He once explained to a group of journalists who confronted him on his return from Europe, „I found Islam [in the West], but not Muslims, and in the Muslim World I found Muslims, but not Islam.“ His statement views Islam as tantamount to freedom, transparency and rule of law, which he admires in the West.7 The impact of these two figures on Arab and Muslim intellectual circles around the turn of the twentieth century was similar to the impact of the European renaissance in the sixteenth century.

[5] The third illustrious figure was Hasan Al-Banna (1906-1949), an Egyptian ideologue and founder of Ikhwanul-Muslimeen (The Muslim Brotherhood) in 1928. Al-Banna followed the lead of the Salafi movement, but capitalized on spiritual reformation as going hand in hand with socio-political reform in the Muslim world. Al-Banna had the most profound influence on modern Islamic organizations. His movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, used the symbol of Jihad in unifying Muslim nations, fighting illiteracy and poverty. By 1948, the Muslim Brotherhood had branches that included hundred of thousands in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and Sudan. The movement built schools, created clinics, and disseminated the idea of civic activism to the masses. Although Al-Banna has repeatedly explained the centrality of spiritual struggle and self-purification in his definition of Jihad, he has been widely and incorrectly portrayed as a man of violence. He was assassinated by the Egyptian secret police in 1949, because he was perceived as a threat to the Egyptian government.

[6] Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), An Egyptian teacher and a social critic who joined the Muslim Brotherhood movement after his return from a two-year study in the United States in 1950, brought the intellectual aspects of Islam to the Brotherhood. His two books: Social Justice in Islam and Inthe Shade of the Qur’an mirror his wish for a just political system that reconciles Western modernity and Islamic values. Looking beyond Qutb’s sharp criticism of democracy, which he considers bankrupted in the West, one will not find any contradiction between Qutb’s focus on the Islamic concept of Shura, which he considers the principle of Muslim politics, and the concept of democracy as it is practiced in the West.8 Shura, the Arabic word for consultation, refers to the process of mutual consultation in Islamic law, in which the ruler must consult his followers in making decisions. Qutb was detained in concentration camps by President Jamal Abudu Nasser of Egypt and eventually executed in 1966.

[7] Sayyid Abu’l-A’la Mawdudi (1903-1979) established the Jama’at al-Islami Party in Lahore, Pakistan. He assimilated Western ideas of activism and oppositionalism to postulate a mechanism of power transfer in an Islamic state. Mawdudi, one of the most important Islamic revivalists, rejected the case of Jihad in Kashmir and underwent imprisonment in Pakistan as a result.

[8] For each of these figures, the term Jihad was mostly seen in its spiritual meaning, as a struggle for self-purification, and physical Jihad is interpreted as non-existent except in the case of protecting oneself and preserving ones property or religion. Although Western scholars have widely portrayed Qutb as the spiritual father of current radical Muslim groups, 9 and the „Islamic world’s answer to Solzhenitsyn, Sartre, and Havel“ who „easily ranks with all of them in influence,“ to quote Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon,10 scholars throughout the Muslim world consider Qutb an intellectual, a person of letters and not a source of religious knowledge.11 His literary style is used in language and literature courses to demonstrate the discursive potency of the Qur’an and never to draw religious edicts.

The Ideological Foundation of al-Qaeda

[9] As to the second kind of evidence, related to Bin Laden, an analytical study of the ideological foundation of the organization and Bin Laden’s narrative discourse gives a clear view that this man and his organization are products of what the Egyptian press calls Petrodollar ideology and fanaticism. The term Petrodollar was coined by the Egyptian press in the late 1980s to attack the Wahhabi ideology that was spreading throughout the Muslim world. „Petro“ denotes the oil wealth of the Arabian Peninsula that supports this ideology, while „dollar“ denotes the Western backing of this radical interpretation of Islam. Wahhabi ideology became the surrogate army in fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. In Charlie Wilson’s War, George Crile explained how the U.S. government sponsored the biggest Jihad of the twentieth century through this ideology.12

[10] The leading terrorist groups on the U.S. State Department’s terrorist list are militant Kashmiri groups, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines, Armed Islamic Group in Algeria and its radical offshoots known as the Salafi groups. What these groups have in common is that their core leadership is exclusively battle-hardened and highly motivated Afghan fighters¾former Mujahideen or Arab Afghans.

[11] Wahhabism, which is the ideological underpinning of Bin Laden, is monolithic in its origin and conservative in its interpretation of Islam; it has long been rejected by the overwhelming majority of the Muslims. Both the theology and the political apparatus of Wahhabism came from Hijaz (modern day Saudi Arabia) to remedy what was perceived as a deviation by the Muslims of Arabia from the true Islamic faith. In 1744, Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, a religious leader, agreed with Muhammad bin Saud, the founding father of the Saudi Royal family, to take an oath that they would work together to bring the Arabs of the Peninsula back to the simplest and purest form of Islam. This marriage of interest between the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam and the Saud dynasty was revived in the rebirth of Modern Saudi Arabia in 1932.

[12] Following the large oil revenues of the 1970s and early 1980s, the Wahhabi stream became the driving force throughout the Muslim World. On the one hand, it used the wealth of the Arabia to pay royalties to its citizens, the Arab world, and promote its vision of Islam to other Muslim countries. It also carefully placed its graduates in religious schools, called Madarasa in Southeast Asia, Khalwa in North Africa and Dara in West Africa. On the other hand, Western powers used the Wahhabi movement as the vanguard for resisting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Bin Laden’s early messages as a fund-raiser for the Afghan Mujahideen were directed to the Arabian royal families. He reminded them that the fight against the Soviets was not only to protect Afghanistan, but also to defend them from the creeping communism. Bin Laden’s early messages were printed in leading Arabic journals of the Gulf such as Majallatul Al-Faisal, Majalatul Al-alam, etc.

[13] Wahhabism is radical in its interpretation of the formal moralityof Islam, and naïve in its interpretation of the ritual practices of Islam. Although it is a Sunni subgroup, it repudiates other Muslim sects¾Shiites and Sufi as well as other Sunni reformists such as Muhammad Abduh, Jamaluddin Afgani, Hasan Al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb and Sayyid Mawdudi.

Bin Laden’s Narrative Discourse

[14] A linguistic analysis of Bin Laden’s speeches in his current rhetorical manipulation through Al-Jazirah and Arabic newspapers, uncovers that Bin Laden crafts a selective and biased, i.e., distorted interpretation of Islam, while ignoring the moderate interpretation that is more popular and widely adopted in the Muslim world. There are two aspects to Bin Laden’s rhetorical strategy. First, there is a common denominator between his vocabulary and that found in Wahhabi literature. The only difference is that Bin Laden shifted this rhetoric from condemning Muslim opponents of the Wahhabi ideology as it was used before, to addressing Westerners in general and American and Israelis in particular. Second, recognizing his flimsy religious base, Bin Laden uses two sets of vocabulary in his speeches. In some instances, he uses religiously oriented language such as Kuffr (infidel), Mushrik (polytheist), Mufsid fil- Ard (oppressor), Mutajabbir (arrogant) and Hubal (of the age). In others, Bin Laden uses politically oriented vocabulary such as language regarding police state, rights of the people, Muslim issues in alQuds and Palestine, and deaths of Iraqi children, in order to denounce Arab regimes‘ alliances with the U.S.

[15] On the first level, Bin Laden’s target audience is his core adherents¾those who fought with him in the Afghan war. They are known across the Arab world as the „Arab Afghans,“ but Bin Laden has constantly addressed them as the true Mujahideen, thus breaking rank with the mainstream Arabs and Muslims who do not keep the Mujahideen label for these former fighters. In a linguistic sense, the term Mujahideen is from the root word Jahada from which the term Jihad is formed. Jihad means „to strive in the cause of Allah,“ therefore, Mujahideen literary means „strugglers in the cause of Allah.“ In popular Islamic Fiqh (jurisprudence), Jihad is applied widely to many forms of peaceful striving such as providing for one’s family, seeking knowledge, resisting one’s desire, etc.13 The term also has developed some special meanings over time to center on two concepts: the first concept is Jihad ul-akbar [the highest form of Jihad], which is spiritual Jihad or self-purification, and the second concept is Jihad ath-thukhra [the loWest level of Jihad] that may involve physical struggle.14 Among Muslim social scientists, the physical struggle, including war, is only justified if it is to protect oneself, preserve one’s property or to stop oppression.15 As such, keeping the status of Mujahideen for these former fighters, as Bin Laden does, is a selective and deliberated misuse of Jihad outside its traditional context. Ironically, Bin Laden may not be alone in this self-serving usage of the term. Western popular actions films such as The Living Daylights (1987) and RamboIII (1988) have portrayed the Mujahideen flatteringly. They have depicted Afghan fighters as Mujahideen, heroes and freedom fighters defending their country and the rest of the „free world.“

[16] On the second level, Bin Laden’s target audience is mainstream Arab society, which is only unified with respect to the Palestinian issue and linguistic heritage. In the absence of any political opposition to the widespread despotic and totalitarian regimes in the Arab world, Bin Laden appears as the only true and independent political alternative. As Shafeeq Ghabra, a popular Kuwaiti intellectual, noted: „if an election were held in Saudi Arabia today, Bin Laden would win it.“16 Obviously, such a victory would have a political base, not a religious one.

[17] What Bin Laden did was shift Wahhabi ideology from its traditional Muslim-bashing base to serve his own political convictions, including violence. As Said Aburish wrote in A Brutal Friendship: The West and the Arab Elite, „The Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia are a mere 20 percent of the population of the country and are favored in a way that allows them to control all aspects of public and private life in the Kingdom.“17

Muslim Popular Tradition and the Interpretation of the Qur’an

[18] A closer look at Muslim popular tradition shows clearly that it contradicts current Western popular interpretations of the Qur’an from two perspectives. First, in the West, popular and even intellectual interpretations of the Qur’an, as witnessed in the post 9/11 era, clearly depart from Islamic tradition. While this new interpretation emphasizes the semantic meanings of the sacred texts, the Muslim tradition combines them with the directives of the Sunnah. In his 1970s book, Muhammad al-Nuwayahi, a leading Islamic scholar, explains that „Islam does not grant any special group or person the right to monopolize interpretation of its teachings or the representation of the community of Muslims … some binding Qur’anic laws at the time of the Prophet were eliminated in later periods, even as late as the period of the second caliph. Thus, legislation concerning worldly affairs was not meant to be eternal, literal or unchangeable. The principle of Hurf (‚community interest‘) is at the root of all Islamic legislation.“18

[19] In the Islamic sciences, Quran’ic verses are not taken at face value. Traditional Muslim scholars have agreed that a correct interpretation of the Qur’an is either by the Qur’an itself or by Sunnah, the tradition of the prophet Muhammad and his companions. The science of interpreting the Qur’an „At-tafsir“ has been one of the most exclusive avenues of Islamic sciences. It requires scholarly understanding of Arabic hermeneutics, and the biography of the prophet of Islam, Sirah. A popular Hadith (saying of the prophet of Islam) reads, „Whoever interprets the Qur’an intellectually is wrong even if he appears to be correct.“19 Interpretation of any given verse in the Qur’an is only valid if there is a Daleel, which means precedent example from Sunnah, to support that view. There are two sciences that need to be incorporated in interpreting the Qur’an: first, Al-nasekh wal Mansoukh (the science of abrogation), which enables a reader to understand the verses in the holy Qur’an that have been invalidated and abrogated by other verses. Second, Sababu an-Nuzul (occasion of revelation), which helps a reader determine the period in which each verse or chapter of the Qur’an was revealed, thus understanding the circumstances for its revelation. These two sciences are fundamental in understanding the historical circumstances of the life of the prophet of Islam—the attribute of each period of his life is evident from the verses revealed in that period, whether in war or peace.

[20] Second, saying that the Qur’an itself promotes violence by using the word Kuffar („infidels“) with reference to non-Muslims is antithetical to Muslim popular tradition. The term Kuffar is from the Arabic root word Kaffara, which means „bury something in the ground/cover.“ Etymologically, the structure of the word Kuffar means those who bury/cover. Although many verses of the Qur’an call ahlul kitab (Jews and Christians) kuffar, as they objected to or suppressed the message of Islam during the time of the Prophet, most Muslim scholars consider this as only referring to those who fought against Islam when it was presented to them by the prophet of Islam. As the word Muslims is used in the Qur’an to describe Jews, Christians and Muslim alike, the word Kuffar is also used to describe the vigorous rejection of Islam at the time of its inception. In Islamic tradition, the word Kuffar has not been used to address others in the sense of ideological pejorative or name-calling. Hassan Hathan has noted, „As matter of fact, the term „infidel“[as it is used to translate the term Kuffar] is of European origin used at the time of the Crusades to describe Muslims.“20 The Qur’an rejects name-calling,21 and never allowed forced conversion of other people because that contradicts the universality and inclusiveness of the Islamic message.22 Throughout premodern history, Jews and Christians as minorities in Muslim societies were granted citizenship rights under a national pact (‚ahd) that dictates their rights as Dhimmis („protectees“). This pact granted them protection under the law, security of life and property, and their places of worship, in exchange for paying Jizya („tax“) on mutually agreed upon terms. In non-Muslim societies, Bernard Lewis explains, „During eight centuries of Muslim rule in Spain both Judaism and Christianity survived and in some limited measure flourished … The Muslim states, both in old and in newly conquered Muslim realms, were more tolerant.“23

[21] Islamic history is rampant with examples of tolerance and acceptance being depicted as wisdom and virtue. After the conquest of Mecca in 630 C.E., the Prophet destroyed all the idols in the Ka’ba, except an icon of the Virgin Mary and a painting of the prophet Ibrahim.24 Another example is when the second caliph Umar Ibn Qattab conquered Jerusalem. He refused to pray in the Church of Ascension, knowing that if he had done so, the Muslims would convert the church to a mosque.

Muslim Intellectual Tradition and the Interpretation of the Qur’an

[22] A close reading of the four most revered books in the science of interpretation of the Qur’an reveals that Muslim scholars have used a simplistic interpretation of Islam when addressing people of other faiths. Ismael ibn Kathir, a fourteenth century scholar,25 Ibn Jareer Al-Tabari, a tenth century scholar,26 Imam Al-Qurtubi, a thirteenth century scholar, 27 and As-shawkani, a sixteenth century scholar,28 have all suggested a peaceful and harmonious attitude toward non-Muslims, and did not use the term Kuffar as synonymous with infidel. Their interpretation of the meanings of the Qur’an has centred on an approach that looks at the teachings of Islam as a faith not a territory, through verses of the Qur’an that promote respect, and justice toward others such as „there is no compulsion in matters of religion,“29 and „bear witness to the truth in all equity and never let hatred of others lead you to deviate from Justice. Be just for this is closest to righteousness. Remember God is well aware of all that you do.“30 There is also a common call for the imperative of cooperation between the races based on the Qur’anic verse „Oh, Mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another [not to despise each other]. Truly, the most honored of you in God’s sight is the one who is most righteous.“ 31

[23] Leading jurists in Islamic criminology such as Imam Abu Hanifa (700-768), Abu Yusuf (731-803), and their contemporary jurist Imam Abu Layla, considered equal treatment between Muslims and non-Muslims an absolute fact in Islamic jurisprudence. They draw their arguments from the last sermon of the Prophet in 632, C.E. In their views, this sermon made it clear that „All humankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, and a non-Arab has no superiority over an Arab. A white person has no superiority over a black person, and a black person has no superiority over a white person, except by piety and righteous actions.“32

[24] Drawing on this tradition, modern Muslim public intellectuals extend the concept of ahl-al-Dhimm, „people of covenant, which is traditionally limited to Jews and Christians,“ to include any non-Muslims, Sabeans, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, etc., who chose to reside in a Muslim land.33 Non-Muslims are accorded the same rights as those of Muslims. Contemporary Muslim social and educational institutions such as the Muslim World League, Al Azar University, and the Pakistani Council of Ulama „scholars“ have all endorsed the rights of non-Muslims in any Muslim society. Rashid Ganoushi, an exiled public intellectual from Tunisia, notes that „It is the consensus of opinion among modern Muslims scholars that non-Muslims in modern Islamic states can even criticize Islam itself freely and praise their own religion.“34

[25] Moreover, modern Muslim scholars have rejected the notion of „clash of civilizations“ as it is used to describe the relationship between Islam and the West. In a lengthy critical article, Dr. Quasim Abdu Qasim, a famous Egyptian historian, dismisses the idea of „clash of civilization“ because it simply contradicts the universality of Islam.35 Speaking in the name of Arab and Muslim public intellectuals, Dr. Sulaiman I. Al-Askari of Kuwait calls for an intellectual dialogue between the two sides rather than misinterpretation of religion. Terrorism, in his view, is as dangerous to Islam as it is to world order and harmony. It is rooted in corrupt groups and individuals, and unjust policies in the world, and has nothing to do with the Islamic tradition.36


[26] In sum, a thoughtful look into terrorism that are perpetrated in the name of Islam through historical and political contexts would see its roots in contemporary corrupt politics and fanatical ideologies, rather than in the Islamic teachings. Alain Krueger and Jitka Maleckova of Princeton University have made a definite point in their study of the roots of terrorism as correlated with despotic political regimes and self-serving ideologies.37 Practices associated with political oppression and ideological corruption are the results of colonial subjugation, intellectual stagnation and wrong priorities—and have little to do with Islam. A proper and comprehensive interpretation of the Muslim faith based on its popular and intellectual traditions would not find it as the root cause of the terrorism that we are continuing to face.


1 Comments made on NBC Nightly News, November 19, 2001.

2 Remarks made during Robertson’s „700 Club“ television program with co-host, Lee Webb, on February 21, 2002. Also see Alain Cooperman, Washington Post, February 22, 2002.

3 See Bernard Lewis’s views in The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror (New York: Modern Library, 2003). Also read his May 2003 article in The Atlantic Monthly, „I’m Right, You’re Wrong, Go to Hell.“

4 Read, for instance, his New York Post article „Convert to Violence,“ October 25, 2002.

5 Jonah Goldberg, „the Goldberg File“ In the New Republic, October 1, 2001.

6 Albert Hourani, Arab Thought in the Liberal Age, 1798-1939 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970).

7 See Mbaye Lo, Muslims in America: Race, Politics and Community Building (Beltsville, MD: Amana Publications, 2004), 134.

8 See for instance, Inthe Shade of the Qur’an: Sura al-Shura (chapter 42 of the Qur’an).

9 See John Esposito, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality? (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 135.

10 Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, The Age of Sacred Terror: Radical Islam’s War Against America (New York: Random House, 2002), 62.

11 See Muhammad Ibn Abdurrahman Al Makhrawi, Al- Mufassirun (Interpreters of the Qu’ran), vol. 2 (Riyadh: Dar Tayyiba, 1985), 319.

12 George Crile, Charlie Wilson’s War (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003).

13 See these forms in Bukhai’s collection of Hadith (sayings and tradition of the prophet of Islam), Sahihu-l Bukhari, which is the most common and accepted source of Hadith. Volume 1 has 241 chapters under the title of Jihad; the English version is in volume 4 (34-275). Sahih Muslim, which is the second most common source of Hadith, has 100 chapters under the title of Jihad; the English version is in volume 3 (942-1063).

14 This is the official Fatwa of all Muslim educational institutions in the Muslim world as well as in the Muslim diaspora. It is based on a story that upon the Prophet’s return from a battle he said, „We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad [the struggle against the evil of one’s soul].“ In Tarikh al Baghadadi, vol. 13, 493.

15 See interpretations of the Qu’ran 22:39-40.

16 This quotation is from his May 14, 2003 address to the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, Cleveland, Ohio.

17 Said Aburish, A Brutal Friendship: the West and the Arab Elite (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997) 14-15.

18 M. al-Nuwayahi, Nahwa athawra fi-l fikri al-dini (Toward New Religious Thought), (Beirut: Dar al-adab, 1970).

19 This is an authentic Hadith that has been related in the main sources of Abudawud, At-tirmizi and An-nisa’i.

20Hassan Hathan, Reading the Muslim Mind (Indiana: American Trust Publication, 1998), 15.

21 Qur’an: 4:148; 17:53; 28: 55.

22 Qur’an: 21: 107; 2: 256.

23 Bernard Lewis, The Multiple Identities of the Middle East (New York: Schocken Books, 1998), 116-17.

24 This story is mentioned by Abu Al-Walid Al-Azraqi (d. 845) in his book Akhbar Makkah [News of Mecca] (Cairo: Maktabat Mustapha al-Babi al-Halabi, 138), vol. 2, 160. And also see Martin Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources (Rochester, VT.: Inner Traditions International, 1983), 300.

25 Ismael Ibn Kathir, The Commentary of the Glorious Qur’an (Cairo: Mu-assasatu Al-Mukhtar Linashri wa-tawzi), 2001.

26 Ibn Jareer At-Tabari, Jaami-ul-Bayaan (Cairo: Tabaha Publications, 1967).

27 Muhammad Al-Qurttubi, Al-Jaami’u li-Ahkaamil-Qur’an (Cairo: Dar al-Kutub al-Masriyah, 1959).

28 Imam As-shawkani, Fathul Qadir (Damascus: Al Matbah Al-Ilmiyyah, 1976).

29 Qur’an 2:256.

30 Qur’an 5:8.

31 Qur’an 49:13.

32 All versions of the sermon are available in several traditional sources as Al-Bukhari and Al-Muslim. Also read Muhammad Al-khudari’s book, Nuru-alyaqin (Beirut: Darul-Jabal, 1987), 305.

33 See Rashid Gannouchi, „The Rights of Non-Muslims in a Muslim State,“ in The Message International (New York: ICNA Publications, April-May 2004), 27.

34 Gannouchi, „Rights,“ 27

35 See Alarabi Magazine, published by Ministry of Information of the state of Kuwait, January 2004 edition.

36 Alarabi Magazine, July 2004 edition.

37 Alan B. Krueger and Jitka Maleckova, „Seeking the Roots of Terrorism,“ Chronicle of Higher Education (June 6, 2003).