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Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Woolwich Killing: "We must fight them as they fight us."

Today in Woolwich, England, a man reported to be a British soldier was cut down by two Anglo-African Muslims wielding knives and a machete.  One of the killers, speaking in a home-grown English accent, is heard (here) to say:
The only reason we have killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British solidiers, and this British soldier is one, is a eye for a eye and a tooth for a tooth. By Allah, we swear by the Almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. So what if we want to live by the sharia in Muslim lands. Why does that mean you must follow us and chase us and call us extremists and kill us? Rather you are extreme. You the ones.  When you drop a bomb, do you think it hits one person, or rather your bomb wipes out a whole family. This is the reality.  By Allah if I saw your mother today with a buggy I would help her up the stairs.  This is my nature. But we are forced by the Qur'an in Sura at-Tauba [Chapter 9 of the Koran], through many, many ayah [verses] throughout the Koran that [say] we must fight them as they fight us, a eye for a eye and a tooth for a tooth. I apologize that women had to witness this today, but in our land our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your governments.  They don’t care about you. Do you think David Cameron is gonna get caught in the street when we start busting our guns?  Do you think the politicians are going to die? No it's going to be the average guy, like you, and your children. So get rid of them.  Tell them to bring our troops back so we ca.., so you can all live in peace. Leave our lands and you will live in peace. That's all I have to say.  Allah's peace and blessings be upon Muhammad ...

(Earlier versions of this post had less complete transcripts.)

Eyewitnesses said that the victim had been wearing a 'Help for Heroes' t-shirt.  Help for Heroes is a charity to help British soldiers wounded in current conflicts.

Eyewitnesses also reported that the killers attempted to behead the soldier, and that they asked bystanders to call the police, and moved towards the police as if to attack them, as soon as they appeared.

While some said the killers were crazed, the contrary seems to be the case.  They appear to have been acting in accordance with a theologically determined logic which can be understood on the basis of Islamic teachings.  In the midst of perpetrating this carnage, they found time, calmly and clearly, to explain their motivations on camera.

The killer captured on video was referencing passages from Islamic sacred texts. "We must fight them as they fight us" is a phrase found repeatedly in the Koran.  He specifically mentions Sura at-Tauba (chapter 9, i.e. verse 36) and 'many, many' other verses from the Koran, namely:

"fight the polytheists all together as they fight you all together"  (Sura 9:36)
"fight in the cause  of Allah those who fight you ... And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for fitnah (oppression, persecution) is worse than slaughter; ...  if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. " (Sura 2:190-9)
"Permission to fight (against disbelievers) is given to those (believers) who are fought against, because they have been wronged and surely, Allah is Able to give them (believers) victory" (Sura 22:39)
The Arabic word for 'fight' used in the Koran in these passages is qātilū which literally means fighting to kill.  (See here for an explanation of the meaning of Sura 2:190-91, a passage used by Muslim jurists to justify killing.)

The reference 'an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth' is also from the Koran (although ultimately borrowed from several passages in the Mosaic law):
And We prescribed for them therein: The life for the life, and the eye for the eye, and the nose for the nose, and the ear for the ear, and the tooth for the tooth, and for wounds retaliation. (Sura 5:45)
The Muslim killers here are invoking a religious ruling that it is permissible to fight and kill people who wage war against Muslims.  As Bin Ladin put it in his letter to the American people:
"It is commanded by our religion and intellect that the oppressed have a right to return the aggression. Do not await anything from us but Jihad, resistance and revenge."
The belief which seems to underly the Woolwich attack is that because the British government is fighting a war against Muslims in Muslim lands, it is therefore legitimate for Muslims to wage jihad against the British.  British people, who voted the government into power, are also considered to be personally culpable, which is why they 'will never be safe' and are told to 'remove your government'.

The killer's language is strikingly reminiscent of Bin Ladin's November 2002 letter to the American people, in which he not only spoke of 'removal' of governments (in Muslim lands), but also explained that it was legitimate to attack American civilians because they are the ones who voted their government into power:
"... the American people are the ones who choose their government by way of their own free will; a choice which stems from their agreement to its policies. ... The American people have the ability and choice to refuse the policies of their Government and even to change it if they want. ... the American army is part of the American people. ... This is why the American people cannot be not innocent of all the crimes committed by the Americans and Jews against us. ... Allah, the Almighty, legislated the permission and the option to take revenge. Thus, if we are attacked, then we have the right to attack back. ...  whoever has killed our civilians, then we have the right to kill theirs.
The phrase 'you people will never be safe' is reminiscent of Muhammad's instruction to his followers to invite non-Muslims to Islam by telling them aslim taslam "Accept Islam and you will be safe" (see here).  The implication is that non-Muslims are not safe because their blood and property can be taken until they convert.  Thus Muhammad said to his cousin Ali, on the eve of the attack against the Jews of Khaibar:
"Fight (qātilū) until they bear testimony to the fact that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger [i.e. until they convert to Islam] and when they do that, then their blood and their riches are inviolable [safe] from your hands." (Sahih Muslim. Book of the Merits of the Companions of the Holy Prophet 4:29:5917).
It seems  the killers desired martyrdom in accordance with their beliefs, because they asked bystanders to call the police and immediately moved to attack the police when they arrived on the scene.

This slaughter on the streets of Woolwich has all the hallmarks of a theologically motivated attack, and keys to understand it can be found in the Qur'an and the teachings of Muhammad.

Whether the views adopted by the killers are 'legitimate' interpretations of the Koran and Muhammad's teachings may be disputed.  What cannot be disputed is the source where they found their inspiration.

Mark Durie is an Anglican vicar in Melbourne, Australia, author of The Third Choice, and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.


  1. The article is 100% correct. Unfortunately having just spent an hour listening to the American and British media pundits who simply refuse to understand that these Islamic believers are not radicalized Muslims; they are carrying out the fundamental commands of true believers as set out in the Koran, the Hadith and the Sura. Even PM Cameron is a total idiot claiming we will not buckle to terorists. The British and European governments by allowing Sharia law to be practiced in Britain and European cities and areas called no go zones for non-islamic citizens have already buckled big time. Listening to the major mushy mass media BBC and CNN and the like can drive one crazy. Until they wise up, the public will continue to be ignorant of the truth of the threat of Islam to the civilized world. Thanks Mark for the truth.

    1. Well put Richard. And PM Cameron still wants to 'unite not divide' .. when will they accept the facts? When will they see the truth. Its very worrysome to have uneducated people in power. Power to not not act. Power to speak on behalf of the people. When the people are not correctly represented, nor their views. I appreciate that people are speaking out and encourage them to keep doing so. Although we have governments and laws in place, we must keep reminding them to adhere and uphold the laws, if we wish to remain a civilised people.

  2. Mark you present the facts clearly. Thank you for consistently pointing us to the truth and reality that a major difference between Islam and other religions is that Islam actually supports and endorses these atrocious and violent acts.

    1. Thanks, the facts were actually spoken by the killers, but Mark did an excellent journalistic and brave presentation, as many will not report the facts - out of fear and potential vengance - against the truth being spoken as we know anyone who questions the Qur'an is a disbeliever. Its the only religious political state who do not tolerate - any questions about what 'love' is and how to display it. Peace is only through Islam? Well then why is there so much discord within their own 'religious political state'? Hmm !!

  3. Total backing of what you say. And may more and more people hear. The killers spoke utterly clearly. The evidence from religious texts is also clear.

  4. What is the sura?

    1. Sura means 'chapter' and ayah means 'verse'.

  5. shariah is actually a good system, it will fix the problems in england

    1. If you had an education you would know better. But you are not allowed one. You are not allowed to question either. If you were a comedian .. you still wouldn't be funny. Either your turban is over heating your brain or your burka is not allowing enough air for you to think straight. Sorry no, you are not entitled to question anything outside what Mohammed said ... So to actually read comments by Mark .. you must have a few questions .. keep searching .. You will discover the truth !

    2. Shariah denies people the free will that God gave us.

  6. It's unclear whether these killers were converts to the Salafist-Wahabi strand of Islam - of which Al Qaeda is the one of the most violent manifestations - from a traditional Islamic background or whether they were new recruits from outside the religion altogether. But what is certain is that beheading British soldiers has been an aim among those inspired by Al Qaeda for some time.

    For example, Parvix Khan from Birmingham received a life sentence in 2007 for plotting to behead a soldier "like a pig"

    Yesterday's assassins were taking a well-trodden path - albeit one with a peculiarly modern end: of inviting passersby to videoed his ideological propaganda.

    As one of yesterday's assassins put it: "We want to start a war in London".

    Government needs to grasp that violent religion has its roots in violent ideology - which infects the minds of young men like a virus, and lends them identity, position and power within their religious group. And this is evil ideology.

    Most politicians must recognise, none the less, that Britain has been a warm home for Muslims and many do acknowledge in private (but not in public) that the driving cause of yesterday's bloody horror on the streets of Woolwich isn't deprivation, or inter-generational tension, or even foreign policy, but ideology: the belief that Muslim-majority countries must defeat and destroy western democracies, and that the solution lies in an Islamic religion which has at his core a twisted totalitarian ideology just like communism and naziism.

    I wonder how many Al Qaeda terror assaults it will take to spark attacks on Muslims and mosques. It is time the government got real to the threat within and stopped lying to us about multiculturalism and sharia law and the building of mega mosques.

    Naomi - England

    1. Yes there are many branches of Islam, but only one Mohammed, who wrote the laws to abide by. Sure there are many who converted to avoid extra taxes, or to save their lives - I beleive these make up the majority who are non-extreme. Can they leave = NO. However these were converts and yet so entranced by ?? Martydom? To recruit people - possibly at their lowest point .. well thats not a hope and a future.
      I do find it a HUGE shame, that the non-muslim people do not unite and retaliate in the way that (here its a miniority) muslims aggregate to violent protest. Multiculturalism, globalisation, and Agenda 21 is all a joke. I'm not sure about how many seats are on the UN panel, but I think its like 56 are held by Muslims .. They are moving into powerful territory .. Naomi, look at the food in your pantry/fridge, there is so much there that pays for HALAL certification, which is a tax for being non-muslim. Halal means permissable, the Qu'ran says something like 'it is permissable once you dedicate it to allah' Halal, is directly related to meat and blood. Here we have shampoo and fruit products paying a tax (certification) to muslims - namely The Brotherhood - for consumables - not required - yet that tax is passed onto consumers - this is a sharia tax applied to non muslims, or Kaffirs as thats what a non muslim is, its a tax to allow us to live, else they would annilihate us, (which they are anyways) Anyways in Australia its not compulsory to advertise 'Halal' certification .. Dont know what the UK is doing, but as you are so infiltrated .. guess not. I suggest you look at our website You may wish to change your spending choices on everyday items, or inform your mates on their choices, as many of our daily purchaces are supporting financially those we oppose.
      Hey we can only do our part, wishing you well.

  7. No - Sharia is not a good system and Islam is not good either. Both produce males in the image of Mohammed and totalitarian governments, either dictators or theocrats as well as slavery, injustice, misogyny, sex-and-drug trafficking, great, great poverty, much suffering, continual conflict and economic instability.

    Samuel Hannah

  8. I agree with you Richard, the british media here are so ignorant of Islam and its ideolgy, as is the average Britsh person. the radical cleric anjam Chowdary was on channel 4 news and completly over ran the female interviewer, she was so out of her depth. It was intersting that Chowdary spoke " we muslims here in the Uk are under a covenant of security, while being protected no muslim should attack a uk citizen while there is no sharia". Even the London mayor Boris Johnson was so misinformed in words he has said. I have often asked muslims here even so called moderates, would they approve of sharia here in our town, every response is Yes of course!

  9. Notice the pronoun use at the end there: "tell them to bring our troops back",

  10. Tommy Robinson is great in this video regarding Woolwich Killing


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