A lot has been made of The Letter being a declaration of War on the part of Irans Mullahcracy, focussing mainly on the final sentence of The Letter: "Vasalam Ala Man Ataba'al hoda." (Peace only unto those who follow the true path). I still was keeping open the option that several commentators were reading too much into this.
But now I have seen that option closed. Not by some insightful analyses from some fellow blogger infinitely greater then me in skills of writing, analysis and devotion. But by Lord Apocalyps himself:
Basically, what Ahmadinejad is saying here: The Letter was an invitation to Islam. Accept the invitation and all will be well. reject it and suffer the consequences. To our Western, religiously desensitized, nature this all seems rather quaint. But in fact it is exactly equivalent to the Declaration of War some blogs have been warning us about.
"We act according to laws and our activities are quite clear. We are rather intent on solving more fundamental global matters."The letter was an invitation to monotheism and justice, which are common to all divine prophets. If the call is responded positively, there will be no more problems to be solved,"
In Islam the aHadeeth (Acts of Mohammed, sorta) play a major role in setting precedents for behavior. They have to be, since the Quran itself gives precious little practical guidelines on what, where and how. The two main ones are Bukhari and Muslim.
Now, I'd like to present to you a snippet from the Sahih Muslim, book 19(1), hadith 4294:
Make a holy war, do not embezzle the spoils; do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children. When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. Then invite them to migrate from their lands to the land of Muhairs and inform them that, if they do so, they shall have all the privileges and obligations of the Muhajirs. If they refuse to migrate, tell them that they will have the status of Bedouin Muilims and will be subjected to the Commands of Allah like other Muslims, but they will not get any share from the spoils of war or Fai' except when they actually fight with the Muslims (against the disbelievers). If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya(2). 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.So Lord Apocalyps' invitation is the last but one step before war. First you invite to Islam. When refused you ask for racket money. If that is also refused: Death to the infidel (and Israel of course. Lord A.'s not been coy about that subject either on his visit to Indonesia).
I wonder what the demand for jizya is going to look like. Maybe GW will find one morning am invoice to the tune of 2.4 billion from the Iranian IRS on his desk? (3)
Anyway, I really don't see how Lord A. could make his intentions any clearer: "The letter was an invitation to monotheism and justice, which are common to all divine prophets. If the call is responded positively, there will be no more problems to be solved". But in the western media (and the EU diplomatic corps, I'm afraid to say) this letter has been hailed as an opening to negotiations to get out of the crisis peacefully. Almost five years after 9/11, haven't any of these people spent a little time getting educated about Islam? Did nobody read anything that goes beyond the taqeeya aimed at western, woolly socked flower children?
Yes, there's going to be a war. Whether we fight it or no. Whether we want it or no. Three decades of multiculturalism could not cope with the tenaciousness, the viciousness of Islamic doctrine and would not let us cope with it instead. And now we will be made to pay. Except it is not going to be the Members of the Church of the Left on the frontlines. They'll be sitting and standing around each others parties, sipping on a Cabertnet Sauvignon, bitching about the 'cultural hegemony of the US' and the way GW got us into a war with Iran. And thus the vile cluster among the vile and leave us to do the real, hard work.
I am reminded of Churchill (though this quote is a bit jumping the gun, perhaps): "You had a choice between war and dishonor. You have chosen dishonor. You will have war". And that's all there is to it, really.
(1) That book, number 19, btw, is called Kitab Al-Jihad wa'l-Siyar, or: The Book of Jihad and Expedition. And to disabuse yourself of the notion that Jihad means anything other then all out war on the infidel, I'd suggest you read a couple of the hadeeth in Book 19 of Muslim. No 'Greater Jihad' for the spiritual muslim there. Book 19 is completely devoted to the Islamic conduct of war (or the conduct of Holy War, if you prefer that misnomer).
(2) A poll tax specifically levied on infidels to keep Islam solvent. When the Sicilians did it in the thirties in the US it was called racketeering. A more modern epiphet would be 'blackmail'.
(3) [UPDATE001] And hop! The Jizya demand is in. Flares into Darkness reports this tidbit: Lord A. thinks the Western world in general and Europe in particular should should pay compensation for establishing Israel: "If the Holocaust indeed happened, then those who committed the crime should compensate for it." In true diabolical fashion he refers to it as compensating Jews for the Holocaust, but something tells me that money isn't going to the intended beneficiaries. Kinda brilliant, really: Openly demanding extortion money while (not so) subtly playing on the western liberal guilt complex about the existence of and reason for Israel. Lord A. is starting to look more and more like a charicature of a wise guy.
(h/t Blue Crab Boulevard)