Riyadh "Riyadh Daily"
The Ideological Warfare Center addresses key thorny ideological polemics.. coexistence, jihad and nation state.

One of the most radical paths that the extremist thought seeks to work on and adapt to achieve its objectives is the path of employing the religious texts and historical facts, in addition to the most common ideological polemics. These are two parallel lines that were worked on by the Ideological Warfare Center at the Ministry of Defense through its Twitter account and in a unique way in addressing the common ideological polemics, as well as stripping and striking the roots of the fruitless causes of the extremist thought in employing the religious texts and historical facts to fulfill its ends.

1- Difference between extremism and terrorism

As for the difference between "extremism" and "terrorism", the Center opined that the answer could be shortened in that both adopt bigoted views, about which disagreement is not justified, and lead to an isolated intellectual state.

The Center explained that if they are mentioned in a related context, such when we say: "extremism and terrorism", their meaning differ. The first is limited to carrying ideas, and perhaps extremism to impose them by force, or incite them, and this is the violent extremism, without causing any panic, terror or civil corruption. 

If it reaches degree, so is terrorism.

The Center explained that "if the two names are paired by description as when we say "terrorist extremism", it is intended to define terrorism. Yet, extremism is mentioned along with it to refer to the common intellectual description between them. Thus, it cannot be said that the whole of extremism is merely a theoretical case; as violent extremism is not limited to it.

2- How has "extremism" mixed between the legal text and its implementation mechanism?

The Ideological Warfare Center also explained the confusion in "extremism" between the legal text and the mechanism of its implementation, stressing that while this mechanism is only a matter of opinion, it varies according to time, place, habits and conditions, as is the legal basis. 

The Center considered that "if the legal test is obligatory, the discretionary formula of implementation is obligatory only if it is determined by the organization of the guardian, as it goes in the arrangements of public affairs. 

The guardian ends the disagreement in the discretionary matters whose general interest is that everyone should take one approach which is appropriate, especially in some joint issues that do not match with diversity and difference (Whenever the interest is, the law of God is).

3- Jihad is not assault or compulsion

As for the concept of jihad, the Center's deep discussions showed that "jihad" is a general name that includes the entire meanings of exerting effort regardless of its positive area. This includes, for example, seeking knowledge, urging the self for doing good deeds, abandoning evil deeds and spending money. It also includes the meaning of fight that God has legislated under specific controls to stand against injustice and deepen the values of right and justice, not assault and compulsion, reciting God's word's: "Fight in God’s cause against those who fight you, but do not overstep the limits: God does not love those who overstep the limits."

4- Moderate Islam

As for the great deal of debates on the "moderate Islam" concept, the Center opined that it is "description that shows the reality of Islam on one hand, which is a well known structure in the language of Arabs, and distinctive description of it away from bigotry on the other hand", "do not overstep the bounds of truth in your religion". Moderate Islam is as the just nation, "We have made you into a just community" If the Muslim is moderate, his approach in religion is moderate as well. 

The Center recited: "We have made you into a just community". It said that the Islamic civilization took the initiative, over its history, to communicate with other civilizations to achieve the common humanitarian and inter-goals, going far beyond the theories of clash, conflict and hatred.

5- Nation state concept

On the concept of "national state", which is the subject of many debates and polemics, the Ideological Warfare Center responded to the vision of "extremism" by excluding the concept by claiming that the Muslim scholars agreed that the five necessities of Sharia are: preserving the religion, the self the mind, the supply and the money, but they do not include the homeland, and hence extremism has fought the nation state concept.

The Ideological Warfare Center responded to the suspicion by saying that "these agreed necessities cannot be preserved except by a preserving entity by God's command, which is the "guarding authority", anciently and recently represented by the nation state, no matter how many they are in the same period, as it used to be in the early centuries when there were the first generation of senior scholars and founders of schools of jurisprudence and they were in agreement with the authorization of this pluralism and the legitimacy of its entity. 

It pointed out that (the concept of caliphate) is represented in every nation state as it was represented in the early times of Islam and beyond, despite its multiplicity, and that all is consistent with the provisions, purposes and rules of Sharia, as well as in accordance with the defining status of the caliphate at both linguistic and terminological levels.

6- "Moderation" and "Moral Degeneracy"

As for the terms "moderation" and "Moral Degeneracy", the Center explained that they are "opposite terms of in word and meaning" (Moderation) means the behavior of the proper approach to the understanding of the legal texts about the erroneous concepts adopted and promoted by the generation of the so-called the "wake" in 1400 AH – 1979 AD, where the guidance of Islam in tolerance, ease and kindness to people, shocking the right interpretation of texts and rules of Sharia in the budget and the preference between the virtuous and the sinful. 

The second term is "Moral Degeneracy" is the behavior of the approach of negligence, and the attempt to erase the religious identity and violate the sanctity of Islam and the harmonious values of the Muslim community, which separated from this all with an extremist approach in the midst of misleading the interference with the manifestations of moderation with the risks of dissolution.

7- Positive coexistence

As for the "positive coexistence" concept among all, the Center emphasized that this is an Islamic principle, reciting God's words: "God does not forbid you to deal kindly and justly with anyone who has not fought you for your faith or driven you out of your homes: God loves the just".

This verse reflects the difference between the "contentment of belief" and the "contentment of coexistence" as a cosmic principle in which Islam is distinguished by calling for kindness and the must of bringing justice, as God concludes in the verse: "God loves the just."

8- Meaning of disbelief

In its precise debate on the word "disbelief", the Center said that it means in Sharia, the time it was sent down, the unbelief in the religion or denying it. This is a description that is related to the faith aspect, but it does not aim at humiliating the mankind's dignity that God has granted to all the children of Adam, securing their legitimate rights and justice. 

God Almighty says: "Verily we have honored the Children of Adam." The Center gave an example of what Abraham expressed about himself and his folk that they disbelieved in the faith of their people. God Almighty says: "You have a good example in Abraham and his companions, when they said to their people, ‘We disown you and what you worship besides God! We have disbelieved in your religion". 

Disbelief is also interpreted as rejection, and so it has been mentioned in some translations as: "We have rejected you." The Center also tackled in details the other meanings of the word "disbelief" such as "cover and veil". It stressed that the aforementioned was meant to correct the translation and clarify the ambiguity. It also stressed that disbelieving in the true religion is the manifest error.

9- Thorny ideological polemics

On this track, the Center's account is characterized by deep analysis and careful rereading of the most important intellectual controversies that the extremist thought and others have tried to adapt to its objectives. The Center's account asserted that the facts of history have proven that "departing from of the umbrella of Muslims, which is the name of Islam over other invented names, whether of parties or groups calling for entering their crowd which stands out of the moderation and tranquility of the public body and its nation states, proved them to be the largest triggers for division, destruction and abuse of Islam."

The Center considered that "piety becomes right and advantageous when it does not violate the Islamic Law and is reflected on behavior and values. The gap between them indicates that the piety of some people has become a habit but not worship, which therefore leads to the misreading of piety."

10- Difference, diversity and pluralism.. divine principle that extremism cannot realize

The Center emphasized in a myriad of tweets that difference, diversity and pluralism are divine principle that is hard for extremism to realize. God Almighty says: "And if your Lord had willed, He verily would have made mankind one nation, yet they cease not differing, save him on whom your Lord has mercy; and for that He did create them." It said that extremism has missed the understanding of the divine principle does not mean conviction of the contradictory ideas, as understanding differs from conviction, for everyone has his own conviction of his religion, culture and civilization, even though he benefits from the other in respect of coexistence with respect and love.

The Center narrated situations by the Prophet, peace be upon him, such as his preservation of Mut‘im ibn ‘Adi (a non-Muslim) and his historic stand with Muslims, and he, peace and be upon him, in the Battle of Badr (ordained on Muslims as the rest of the battles) wished Mut'im was alive at that time to free the prisoners of Badr who fought Muslims after they had wronged and persecuted them for his sake if he asked for it; to pay him back. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said about Hilf al-Fudul (League of the Virtuous), which had been there for Quraish before the emergence of Islam: "If I were called to it now in the time of Islam, I would respond."

11- Extremism's employment of texts and facts .. fabrication, ignorance and fallacies

One of the most prominent works of the Ideological Warfare Center is its profound analysis of the extremism's employment of religious texts and historical facts, unveiling to what extent extremism, in the midst of its error, misses the interpretation of priorities and upshots. Extremism does not consider the rules, codes and wholes the Sharia and the purposes of its texts, in particular the preference between the virtuous and the sinful, where there is full ignorance of the methods of reasoning, valuing its methodology which is isolated from the Islamic nation on void perceptions, conclusions and judgments that led it to its stray thought. According to its utilitarian rule (the end justifies the means), extremism bets on the infiltration of its fabricated materials with their misleading information and provisions falsely attributed to the Sharia into the less conscious minds, where the distortion of texts and ignorance of their purposes and rules.

The Center pointed out that most of the pitfalls of extremism come from its consideration of the significance of texts and reading of facts and events from "one corner". This results in grave errors in distorting the meanings of the Shari'a texts, exceeding their purposes and misrepresenting facts, events and purposes.

12- Deeper reading

As the Center listed many verses that are the most cited by "extremism", it also reread them and took them back to their meanings. As an example for one of the most famous verses extremism misuses to indicate loyalty in the doctrine in God Almighty's words: "O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who takes them for friends is one of them. Lo! Allah guides not wrongdoing folk.", the Center interpreted "They are friends one to another" as meaning that each has his own belief, but not meaning cooperation and coexistence, as when our Prophet died, his shield was mortgaged by a Jewish man, and he was under the protection of Mut‘im ibn ‘Adi (a polytheist), and said about Hilf al-Fudul: "If I were called to it now in the time of Islam, I would respond."

As for one of the verses that are misused by extremism, "And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor will the Christians, till you follow their creed", the Center interpreted "pleased" as the religious contentment, not a worldly one; and so our Prophet dealt and coexisted with everyone, and even he was under the protection of Mut‘im ibn ‘Adi who was of great status for Muslims, and he allowed Muslim men to marry non-Muslim women, and God has made the wife as a dwelling for the husband, surrounded by love and marital mercy according to the Qur'an.

13- Dealing with religious texts

The Center warned that dealing with religious texts is a sort of knowledge, understanding and an independent quality than being just collected and memorized which misled many people, and that fascination with holders of knowledge without jurisprudence is very great and common anciently and recently, regardless of their too many conversations and books, and this is what the people of knowledge have warned against. The Center added: "Not all the public are worthy of evaluation and recommendation in this important matter, but the former well-established scholars are those who recommend and permit. Carrying the academic qualification enriches the subject with knowledge and gives recommendation of conducting research and study and publishing it in the academic deliberative environment which is capable of dialoguing and discussing, but does not necessarily provide establishment in knowledge and discretion. 

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