Adam Levine published a story Monday on CNN's "Security Clearance" blog titled: "Study: Muslim extremists not looking for world domination."
Citing an Arizona State University study that was supported by a grant from the Office of Naval Research, Levine paraphrases:
Muslim extremists are more concerned with defending against foreign intrusion than foisting Islam on the world, according to a new study of extremist texts. The study suggests that a Western approach of claiming extremists are seeking world domination is misdirected, and instead should seek to counteract claims of victimhood. [...]
The study concludes that extremists, at least based on how they quote from the Quran, do not reflect "an aggressive offensive foe seeking domination and conquest of unbelievers, as is commonly assumed. Instead they deal with themes of victimization, dishonor and retribution." [Emphasis added]
To combat the efforts of extremists, Arizona State University recommends "alternative approaches," citing a State Department video of Ayman al-Zawahiri calling for violence to overthrow despotic rulers interspersed with images of protesters in Tahrir Square. If that fails, Arizona State University also suggests "undermining" the "champion" narrative of the extremists.
But even CNN's commenters find the study dubious. Though "world domination" is certainly not the desire of mainstream Muslims, to claim that the Islamic extremists want otherwise is to ignore centuries of literature and years of their leaders explicitly telling the West their intentions.
One commenter, named "Omar," wrote that the study only undermines ASU's credibility:
...the [Islamists] are fighting the wars that are currently in front of them to reach their desired goal: the supremacy of [Islamic] law in the regions under contention. However, their guiding books and ideology make it clear that [Islamic] law is the ONLY legitimate law on the planet and that every expression of man made law or instance of power in the hands of non-muslim over muslim is illegitimate and an abomination. World domination may not be on the menu today, but it will be tomorrow, at least once anything resembling the caliphate is resurrected.
Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch compiled a brief list of prominent figures contradicting Arizona State University's study:
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said, “Have no doubt... Allah willing, Islam will conquer what? It will conquer all the mountain tops of the world.”
Omar Ahmad... [of the] Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), has said that “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”
Majid Khadduri was an Iraqi scholar of Islamic law of international renown... Khadduri says this about jihad: "...The Islamic state, whose principal function was to put God's law into practice, sought to establish Islam as the dominant reigning ideology over the entire world....The jihad was therefore employed as an instrument for both the universalization of religion and the establishment of an imperial world state." [...]
A Shafi'i manual of Islamic law endorsed by the most prestigious institution in Sunni Islam, Al-Azhar University in Cairo? It says that the leader of the Muslims "makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians...until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax,"...
There is an overwhelming difference between average Muslims and Islamic extremists, and to pretend that they are the same is patently dangerous. Arizona State University has seemingly overlooked years of speeches, warnings and promises in compiling their study, and it doesn't look like many people are buying it.
After all, it is kind of difficult to interpret "Islam will conquer...all the mountaintops of the world" as anything other than wanting a form of global domination.
Whether the extremists have any chance of realizing that goal, however, remains to be seen.
Click here to download a copy of the Arizona State University study.
(H/T: Jihad Watch)