(Resuming my Lenten series on Islam and Christianity, Crescent vs. Cross)
Most everyone has heard of jihad, the term for “struggle” in Islam that sometimes is expressed as suicide bombers and terrorism, and other times is expressed as not doing anything that might discredit Islam or its revered prophet, Muhammad. Muhammad was the original jihadi, someone who put everything and everybody beneath the honor of Allah. Good Muslims try their best to emulate Muhammad in all things, especially in his dedication to the religion. Jihad is the No. 1 most important imperative of Islam, described and exhorted in the Qur’an numerous times.
But have you ever heard of the second-most important concept in Islam, hijra? It is also something striking that Muhammad did. A term for it might be “Muslim migration on behalf of Islam.” Just as Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Medina in the seventh century in order to amass power and build Islam, so Muslim people are under obligation to leave their homes, if they can, in order to advance Islam. It’s called hijra. The Qur’an exhorts them to do this: “Anyone who migrates for God’s cause will find many a refuge and great plety in the earth, and if anyone leaves home as a migrant towards God and His Messenger and is then overtaken by death, his reward from God is sure. God is most forgiving and most merciful.” (Surah 4:99b, 100)
When Muhammad made hijra into Medina, he started leading parties of raiders against passing caravans and isolated tribes of people, collecting their treasures, land, women and children as booty, splitting it with his men and becoming more and more victorious and powerful. So if you migrate for Allah, you get rich, the theory goes, Muslims take over, and more people join Islam.
Similarly, observers say, Muslims realize that the social welfare benefits of living in Europe and the United States would make them 10 times wealthier than their best-case scenario in Middle Eastern countries where Islam is already dominant. So, many people think, the mass migrations of the last decades of Muslim people from Middle Eastern countries to Europe and the U.S. is no accident. It is devout Muslims following the lead of their Prophet and doing the hijra as a way of jihad. A Muslim person has been taught that the likelihood of gaining paradise is much higher if he or she has done jihad, first, but hijra as a close second. It is another way of becoming an honored Islamic martyr, if you sacrifice in order to leave places where Islam already dominates, with a goal of spreading it into dominance elsewhere.
This is similar in many ways to the last, and most important, commandment of Jesus Christ as He rises to heaven after His Resurrection. He tells His followers in Matthew 28:19,20: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
The difference is that Christians undertake mission work as a way to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but not to interfere with the foreign governments, cultures, people or way of life (unless it is clearly harmful). In contrast, when Muslims migrate into other lands, it is with the express purpose of eventually subjugating that foreign society’s system of government, its laws, its people’s behavior, and its religions, all to Islam. Islam is much more of a political system than a religion, as its tradition of hijra shows.
It is important to note that about four-fifths of the content in the Qur’an is about governance and behavior among Muslims, not religious concepts. Islam is much more about expansion, conquest and growing its base than it is about spirituality.
This is why we see Somalians, used to a very hot climate in Africa, colonizing in Anchorage, Alaska, and Minneapolis, Minn., and refusing to assimilate with local norms. They are on hijra. They are waging “civilization jihad.”
Longtime political figure Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota goes as far as to call Muslim hijra a “planned invasion.” See if you agree: