Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer rejects Al Qaeda call to convert invites Gadahn to embrace democracy
September 5, 2006
Al Qaeda operative invites me to join Islam
American al Qaeda operative Adam Gadahn's convert to Islam-or-die message to America released last Saturday, he extends a special invitation to the President, as well as to Daniel Pipes, Michael Scheuer, Steve Emerson -- and me:
Gadahn praises Western leftist sycophants and apologists for the global jihad, and invites them to become Muslims as well: "Why not surrender to the truth? Escape from the unbelieving army and join the winning side. As for those who have expressed their respect and admiration for Islam, and acknowledged that it is the truth and demonstrated the support and sympathy for the Muslims and their causes like George Galloway, Robert Fisk, and countless others, I say to them, isn't it time you stopped sitting on the fence and came over to the side of truth?...Abandon unbelief and accept the truth."
It is important to note that Gadahn's "invitation" to Islam is coupled with a threat of violence: "To Americans and the rest of Christendom we say, either repent (your) misguided ways and enter into the light of truth or keep your poison to yourself and suffer the consequences in this world and the next..." In this, Gadahn is following the example of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, who told his followers: "When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of actionů.Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against themů.If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya [the tax on non-Muslims specified in Koran 9:29]. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them" (Sahih Muslim 4294). Muhammad's directions here to extend an invitation to Islam and follow it with a threat were also followed recently by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. For his part, Gadahn calls the Islamic prophet Muhammad "the chief and master of Adam's children, and the embodiment of high morals and good character."
Now I have my own message for Adam Gadahn, whose journey to al Qaeda I traced in an article a couple of years ago: Thank you for your invitation to me to become a Muslim and wield my sword against the enemies of Allah. But I must decline. While I appreciate the fact that becoming your "brother in Islam" might afford me a measure of personal security that I don't enjoy today, some things are more important than that. I cannot and will not give in to violent intimidation, come what may, and I don't want to live in a society that bows to such intimidation.
I believe that societies that respect the equality of rights before the law of all people, including women and religious minorities, as well as the freedom of conscience, are superior to those that do not. I hope that such societies will be able to summon the will to resist you and your "invitation" in all its implications before it is too late.
Meanwhile, Adam, I have an invitation of my own for you: I invite you to accept the Bill of Rights, and enter into the brotherhood of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. My invitation does not focus on my religion, although I invite you to that also, but rather on a framework within which people of differing faiths can live in peace, harmony, and mutual respect -- provided that none of the groups involved cherishes supremacist ambitions to subjugate the others.
I hope you will consider my invitation carefully.
Mr. Spencer is director of Jihad Watch and author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)" and the forthcoming "The Truth About Muhammad" (both from Regnery -- a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).