by Richard L. Benkin (April 2012)
Why quiet jihad?
It certainly is not because the victims do not scream. It is not
because Temples make no sound when destroyed. And it is not because
cries of Allahu Akbar do not accompany the carnage. It is a quiet jihad because we have allowed it to proceed, quietly, for decades; victimizing more people than all the jihadi terrorism in all the 9/11s that have come to define jihad for most people today. We tend to associate jihad and
the radical Islamist threat with events that are by design loud,
violent, and attention grabbing. The September 11, 2001 attacks on
the United States come to mind almost immediately. So too do the
constant drumbeat demonizing Israel with false data and counterintuitive
arguments, the violent terror attacks that go along with it, and the
adamant refusal to accept the very notion of a Jewish State while making
it sound like self-defense to the uninformed. High profile terror
attacks from London to Bali, Mumbai to Chechnya; the Taliban’s 2001
destruction of Afghanistan’s ancient Buddha statues; the deadly riots by
Muslims worldwide over cartoons of Mohammed; and even the image of
Iran’s late Ayatollah Khomeini all represent jihad in its most blatant and aggressive incarnations. But the threat facing all civilized and decent peoples goes well beyond that.
If those violent attacks were all there was to jihad, western
and other militaries could crush it without much effort or concern
about geo-political complexities. It would be a battle between good and
evil so blatant that even the most reflexively cultural relativists
would not attribute the terror attacks to some variant of local color.
President Barack Obama’s 2009 “Af-Pak” speech was an excellent example
of why jihad needs more to succeed than the Sturm und Drang of radical Islam. The problem with this major policy speech was not that Obama failed to recognize al Qaeda and
the Taliban as our enemies. In fact, he has done a fairly good job
of that during his tenure. The problem, as I wrote at the time, was he
assumed that aside from those groups, everyone else in Pakistan (and you
can broaden this to other countries) was our friend. That is the amoral
convenience that quiet jihad allows. Recognizing that additional and critical component is the real “inconvenient truth” of our time.
“Quiet Jihad” is complimentary to Robert Spencer’s important concept of “Stealth Jihad”; as both recognize a less obvious form of jihadi terror than what the media and others allow most decent people to see. In his 2008 book, Stealth Jihad,
Spencer wrote that “terror attacks involving bombings and shootings are
not the sum total of terrorist aspirations, but are just one component
of a larger initiative. The goal of that initiative is the imposition of
jihadists’ ideology over the world.” Spencer goes on to tell readers that jihadis
will use a variety of methods to accomplish their goal; in fact, for
them, the particular method is not very important. The goal of
Islamist hegemony is. Quiet Jihad refers to one method in
particular: the progressive elimination of non-Muslim populations from
areas under the control of an Islamic government. Please take note
of the fact that Quiet Jihad does not require an Islamist government, like the former Taliban rulers of Afghanistan or the mullahs in Iran. Compliant Islamic governments generally do the trick.
take one example, after the 1947 partition of India, Hindus were just
under a third of East Pakistan’s population. In 1971, when East Pakistan
became Bangladesh, they were fewer than one in five; 30 years later
less than one in ten; and they are estimated to be less than eight
percent today. During that same period, regular reports of anti-Hindu
atrocities have poured out of Bangladesh and continue to do so even
under a self-styled “pro-minority” government. Serious anti-Hindu
actions occurred at the rate of almost one a week on its watch in 2009;
and they have continued without let up in 2010 and 2011. Professor
Sachi Dastidar of the State University of New York calculates that well
over 49 million Hindus are missing in Bangladesh. This puts every one
of Bangladesh’s remaining 13-15,000,000 Hindus at risk; and the problem
has spread across the border into West Bengal, India, threatening
have been studying this “quiet case of ethnic cleansing” for years,
through on-site investigation in South Asia’s refugee camps,
universities, and along its open borders, among other venues, and
developing reliable networks of allies and informants who independently
have verified these atrocities. For three days in 2009, for
example, there was an anti-Hindu pogrom in Bangladesh’s capital of
Dhaka—immediately behind a police station. You might have read
about it on my web site or in an article I published in one Indian
newspaper Hindu; but that is probably it, despite the fact that
victims were hospitalized, many rendered homeless, a Hindu Temple and
deities were destroyed; and all under the watchful eye of police who
were present during the attacks and allowed them to proceed.
my resources really that much greater than CNN’s and the rest of the
media’s? I would not think so, and that underscores the complicit nature
of major media and others in promoting quiet jihad by ignoring it and assiduously maintaining the fiction that only a small number of radicals are the problem.
perpetrators of that pogrom might have been driven by radical ideology,
but they were not radicals themselves; nor are the countless others
that have violently driven millions of Hindus from their ancestral
lands. They are “average” Muslims, and that makes this especially
chilling. For history shows that the most successful cases of
genocide occur when a cadre of true believers incites average citizens
to engage in heinous acts against a targeted minority; acts they
otherwise would not dream of committing. There might be no Gestapo or
Janjaweed in Bangladesh, but its Hindu community is facing a similar
process of destruction at the hands of the Bangladeshi majority. Welcome
to quiet jihad.
quiet jihad’s only victims were the Bangladeshi Hindus, it still would
be human rights atrocity with victims numbering more than the Nazi
Holocaust, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur combined. Unfortunately, the
problem is worse than that. Non-Muslim communities are disappearing
wherever Islam has gained hegemony. Christian communities dating
back to Jesus’ time are being systematically eliminated in a new Middle
East that not only refuses to let them live, but is trying to erase
their history so as not to allow even the thought that Islam’s roots go
back to a time of conquest and are not ordained by God. The same is true
for Middle Eastern Jewish communities with even earlier origins dating
to the sixth century B.C.E. Ten of the 14 countries identified as the
worst abusers of religious minorities by the US Commission on
International Religious Freedom are Muslim-ruled. They all impose a form
of Sharia on their people; and three are officially “Islamic States,”
as well. Coincidence?
again. It seems almost unbelievable that on the eve of World War I, the
Turkish capital of Istanbul (then called Constantinople) had a
population that was about 50 percent non-Muslim. Today, with a
population well over 90 percent Muslim, it has the aspect of any Muslim
capital that is increasingly hostile to an intimidated non-Muslim
population; and that is after seven decades of being hailed as a model
is an extremely important point. Up until the last few years when
Turkish policies became more openly Islamist, most western diplomats,
journalists, and other leaders and opinion makers continued investing a
lot of personal and more tangible capital in supporting the Turkish
regimes, even while they allowed the progressive diminution of their
non-Muslims citizens. Similarly, no one will ever confuse
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with the Ayatollah Khomeini or
even her political rival and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia with
Mullah Omar. Yet, both have allowed their Hindu citizens to be murdered,
chased from the country, or forcibly converted to Islam (which is not a
crime; and the first two crimes are not prosecuted when the victims are
is a city near Jerusalem and the location of one of Judaism’s holiest
sites. The Cave of Machpelah is regarded as the burial site of Judaism’s
patriarchs and three of its four matriarchs. According to the
bible, it is also the first piece of land that Abraham purchased after
coming to modern-day Israel almost 4,000 years ago. The site is also
claimed by Muslims. Hebron had a continuous Jewish presence from
Abraham’s time until 1929. In that year, Hebron and vicinity’s entire
Jewish population was either massacred or driven out in an anti-Jewish
pogrom by Arabs. Every mosque and imam in the region incited and
supported the atrocity. “House to house, they went, bursting into
every room looking for hiding Jews…Religious books and scrolls were
burned or torn to shreds [and] the carnage went on for hours, with the
Arab policemen standing down – or joining in. Blood ran in streamlets
down the narrow stone staircases outside the buildings."
1967, Israel reclaimed the area, prior to which Jews were barred from
the area, and thereby deliberately prevented from paying homage or
praying and this very holy site. Israeli Jews, who now could return to
Hebron for the first time since the pogrom, observed that almost four
decades after the 1929 massacres, traditional Jewish amulets, or mezzuzot, were
still affixed to many doorposts. Some years later, as the Arab
population concentrated in the city itself while Jews lived in the
surrounding areas like Kiryat Arba, people observed that the mezzuzot
had been removed, but one could still see their outlines on the
doorposts. Eventually, Israelis noticed that the doorposts
themselves had been replaced, especially as the conflict between Jews
and Arabs in the area became ever more intense and there was a decided
attempt by Arabs to deny that Jews had any title to the area; thus their
effort to erase all trace of the ancient Jewish community in Hebron.
And now after the Arabs essentially falsified the historical record, the
world has the utter gall to call the descendants of the victims
“settlers” and those of the attackers Hebron’s rightful owners!
is again significant that this process of deliberate attempts to
de-Judaize Hebron and its history did not proceed under an openly
retrograde Islamist state. Rather, each of the responsible parties was
lionized by western leaders and opinion-makers as an epitome of
tolerance and a partner for world peace. First, it was the Ottoman Turks
whose capital was only half Muslim; then, the very “moderate”
Jordanians; and finally, those “peace partners” in the Palestinian
or not one attributes these phenomena to something in Islam itself is
not even the point. The fact is that one cannot even join the debate in
the West or try to explain the historical record without facing charges
of being Islamaphobic, racist, or bigoted. Perhaps that will change
when we are told that London’s Old Bailey was established to enforce
Sharia law and the Eiffel Tower was built in homage to Allah. Preposterous? Ask those who put mezzuzot on their doorposts in Hebron, built Buddha statues in Afghanistan, or Hindu temples in Bangladesh.
 Robert Spencer, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs. (Regnery Publishing, Inc.: Washington, 2008), pp. 4-5.
 Dastidar, S. (2008) Empire’s Last Casualty: Indian Subcontinent’s Vanishing Hindu and other Minorities. (Kolkata: Firma KLM Private Limited).
 Richard Benkin, A Quiet Case of Ethnic Cleansing: the Murder of Bangladesh’s Hindus. (Akshaya Prakashan: New Delhi, 2012).
 Richard Benkin, “A Terrifying Existence, “The Daily Pioneer, July 21, 2009.
 Edwin Black, The Farhud, Roots of the Arab-Nazi Alliance during the Holocaust (Dialog Press: Washington, DC, 2010), pp. 205-206.
 Also see Richard L. Benkin, “The Modern Destruction of the Temple Mount,” Bible and Interpretation, May 2003.
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