The word radical has often been understood to mean someone who’s an extremist. But radicals are only extreme because they fervently follow a root idea (Latinâ€”radix = root).
The American revolutionaries were radicals. They believed that â€œall men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.â€ They had the radical idea of setting up a regime in which the people ruled themselves.Â
Islamic jihadists arenâ€™t radical just because they do what we consider extreme and awful things such as flying planes into buildings, public beheadings, ripping a woman apart with trucks. Theyâ€™re radical because they follow their prophet, Mohammed, in a despotic fifth-century religio-political systemâ€”dramatically opposed to the American system.
Never have I seen such a clear connection made between Mohammed and the current jihad as in the YouTube video â€œThree Stages of Jihadâ€ by David Wood of AnsweringMuslims.com. This is a concise primer for understanding jihad today.
Stage one, Stealth Jihad, occurs when Muslims are in the minority and seek tolerance for their beliefs and alliances with non-Muslims, but privately plotting eventual war against non-Muslims. Wood said Mohammed did this in polytheistic Mecca andÂ beganÂ mocking Meccans’Â religion and traditions, causing the Meccans to throw him out.
Stage two, Defensive Jihad, happens when Mohammed is stronger and plays the victim of the Meccansâ€™ rejection. Then he starts using terror by attacking the caravans that are the lifeblood of Mecca. When the Meccans finally decide to fight, he defeats them.
Stage three, Offensive Jihad, occurs when Mohammed wars against Jews, Christians and pagans to force them to accept Allah. One of the goals at this stage is to drive non-Muslims out of the Arabian Penninsula.
He identifies America as being primarily in stage one and Europe in stage two, where cartoonists can be killed for lampooning Mohammed.
Wood adds that some Muslims are unaware of their religionâ€™s teachings and so arenâ€™t involved in jihad.
His video is interspersed with pro-Islamic statements by President Barack Obama.
Wood follows up by offering a free pamphlet summarizing his talk