“As recent as 2006, former top Pentagon official William Gawthrop lamented that “the senior Service colleges of the Department of Defense had not incorporated into their curriculum a systematic study of Muhammad as a military or political leader. As a consequence, we still do not have an in-depth understanding of the war-fighting doctrine laid down by Muhammad, how it might be applied today by an increasing number of Islamic groups, or how it might be countered.
This is more ironic when one considers that, while classical military theories (Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, et. al.) are still studied, the argument can be made that they have little practical value for today’s much changed landscape of warfare and diplomacy. Whatever validity this argument may have, it certainly cannot be applied to Islam’s doctrines of war; by having a “theological” quality, that is, by being grounded in a religion whose “divine” precepts transcend time and space, and are thus believed to be immutable, Islam’s war doctrines are considered applicable today no less than yesterday. So while one can argue that learning how Alexander maneuvered his cavalry at the Battle of Guagamela in 331 BC is both academic and anachronistic, the same cannot be said of Islam, particularly the exploits and stratagems of its prophet Muhammad—his “war sunna”—which still serve as an example to modern day jihadists.
For instance, based on the words and deeds of Muhammad, most schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree that the following are all legitimate during war against the infidel: the indiscriminate use of missile weaponry, even if women and children are present (catapults in Muhammad’s 7th century, hijacked planes or WMD by analogy today); the need to always deceive the enemy and even break formal treatises whenever possible (see Sahih Muslim 15: 4057); and that the only function of the peace treaty, or hudna, is to give the Islamic armies time to regroup for a renewed offensive, and should, in theory, last no more than ten years.
(…) The greater irony—when one talks about Islam and the West, ironies often abound—is that, on the very same day of the ASMEA conference, which also contained a forthright address by premiere Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis (“It seems to me a dangerous situation in which any kind of scholarly discussion of Islam is, to say the least, dangerous”), the State Department announced that it had adopted the recommendations of a memo stating that the government should not call Al Qaeda-type radicals “jihadis,” “mujahadin,” or to incorporate any other Arabic word of Islamic connotation (“caliphate,” “Islamo-fascism,” “Salafi,” “Wahhabi,” and “Ummah” are also out).”
About the use of certain words, Jihad Watch reported precisely about that some days ago:
Government officials should depict terrorists “as the dangerous cult leaders they are” and avoid words that aggrandize them, like “jihadists,” “Islamic terrorists,” “Islamists” and “holy warriors,” the Department of Homeland Security says in a paper released Friday.
“Words matter,” the agency says in the paper, which also suggests avoiding the term “moderate Muslims,” a characterization that annoys many Muslims because it implies that they are tepid in the practice of their faith.
“Mainstream,” “ordinary” and “traditional” better reflect the broader Muslim American community, it says.
Dan Sutherland, head of the agency’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and author of the paper, said the paper is a recognition that words can help the government achieve its strategic goals.
Sutherland said he is starting to see results, with government officials using the term “mainstream Muslims” in meetings.
Sutherland’s nine-page paper says the government should be careful not to demonize all Muslims or the Islamic faith or depict the United States as being at war with Islam.
“The terminology the [government] uses should convey the magnitude of the threat we face, but also avoid inflating the religious bases and glamorous appeal of the extremists’ ideology,” the paper says.
(…) Some argue that “war” is too grandiose and adds legitimacy to the other side, because there are two legitimate sides to wars.
So, if the man with an “internal struggle” wants to fight because the rest are infidels, how are they going to name that?
La terminología que usa el Gobierno debe anunciar la magnitud del problema al que nos enfrentamos, pero también debe evitar exagerar a las bases religiosas y la llamada glamurosa de la ideología extremista.
(…) Algunos argumentan que la “guerra” es demasiado grandiosa y que añade legitimación al otro lado, porque hay dos lados legítimos en las guerras.