«(...) the all too common inability to transcend one's own culturally-ingrained notions of right and wrong, [leads to] ascribing to them a universal pedigree.»Ou seja, tendemos a julgar universal a nossa maneira de ver o mundo, pelo que nem chegamos a conceber que pode ser visto de modo radicalmente distinto. Passemos ao caso concreto:
«A typical seventh-grade textbook, for instance, teaches that "jihad represents the human struggle to overcome difficulties and do things that are pleasing to God. Muslims strive to respond positively to personal difficulties as well as worldly challenges. For instance, they might work to be better people, reform society, or correct injustice." Strictly speaking, this is by and large true. However, by not explaining what it means to be "better people, reform society, or correct injustice" — from a distinctly Islamic, as opposed to Western, perspective — the textbook abandons students to fall back on their own (misleading) interpretations.»Serão os conceitos «ser melhor pessoa», «reformar a sociedade» e «corrigir injustiças» idênticos no islão e no Ocidente?
«(...) In Islam, killing certain "evil-doers," such as apostates or homosexuals, is a way of "correcting injustice"; overthrowing manmade constitutional orders (such as the United States) and replacing them with Sharia mandates, and subjugating women and non-Muslims, are ways of "reforming society." Those enforcing all this are, in fact, "better people" — indeed, according to the Koran, they are "the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong [3:110]," that is, ruling according to Sharia law.»Assim, qualquer ocidental de boa vontade é enganado sem seque sonhar que o foi. Ibrahim prossegue o artigo passando ao seu tema principal: a zakat, ou esmola islâmica:
«So it is with the Muslim concept of zakat, a word often rendered into English as "charity." But is that all zakat is — mere Muslim benevolence by way of feeding and clothing the destitute of the world, as the word "charity" all too often connotes? (...) [Westerners] conflate a decidedly Islamic concept, zakat, with the generic notion of charity. Is this justified? As with all things Islamic, one must first examine the legal aspects of zakat to truly appreciate its purport. Etymologically related to the notion of "purity," zakat — paying a portion of one's wealth to specifically designated recipients — is a way of purifying oneself, on par with prayers (see Koran 9:103).
The problem, however, has to do with who is eligible for this mandatory "charity." Most schools of Muslim jurisprudence are agreed to eight possible categories of recipients — one of these being those fighting "in the path of Allah," that is, jihadis, also known as "terrorists."[Jihad fi sabil Allah: in its section on zakat, the Arabic-English edition of the standard legal text, 'Umdat as-Salik, translates fi sabil Allah as "those fighting for Allah." Next to the index entry for fi sabil Allah, it simply says "see jihad."]
In fact, financially supporting jihadis is a recognized form of jihad — jihad al-mal [jihad financeira]; even the vast majority of militant verses in the Koran (e.g., 9:20, 9:41, 49:15, 61:10-11) prioritize the need to fund the jihad over merely fighting in it, as fighting with one's wealth often precedes fighting with one's self. Well-known Islamists — from international jihadi Osama bin Laden to authoritative cleric Sheikh Qaradawi — are well aware of this and regularly exhort Muslims to fund the jihad via zakat.
More revealing of the peculiarly Islamic nature of zakat is the fact that Muslims are actually forbidden from bestowing this "charity" onto non-Muslims (e.g., the vast majority of American infidels). "Charitable" Muslim organizations operating on American soil are therefore no mere equivalents to, say, the Salvation Army, a Christian charity organization whose "ministry extends to all, regardless of ages, sex, color, or creed." In Islam, creed is a major criterion for receiving "charity" — not to mention for receiving social equality.
«American zakat has, in fact, been used to fund the jihad. (...) American Muslim "charities" are subject to ["excessive" scrutiny] by law enforcement. Yet this scrutiny is itself a direct byproduct of the fact that American Muslim "charities" have, indeed, been funding the jihad, both at home and abroad.»
Eis como Ibrahim demonstra concludentemente como um conceito como a zakat/esmola islâmica ― aparentemente não apenas anódino, mas até benévolo ―, se vem a revelar, na verdade, uma prática segregativa ―uma vez que, como vimos, a zakat só pode ser dada a muçulmanos ― e homicida ― visto que uma das actividades propostas como destinatárias da doação é a jihad. Voltemos, para finalizar, à jihad, conceito com o qual Ibrahim iniciou o seu artigo. Já vimos que lutar para «mudar o mundo», ser «melhor pessoa» e «corrigir injustiças» não quer necessariamente dizer, na mentalidade islâmica, exactamente a mesma coisa que para um ocidental desprevenido. O mesmo se passa com a jihad fi sabil Allah, a guerra santa em nome de Alá.Para nós, trata-se de terrorismo, de inaceitáveis actos de violência, independentemente da justificação aludida. Vejamos o que pode significar para os muçulmanos:
«[A westerner] may be surprised to discover that men such as Osama bin Laden actually see their jihad—yes, with all the death and destruction entailed—as an act of altruism, as an ugly means to a beneficent end (see Koran 2:216), that is, the establishment of Islamic law across the world (which is, incidentally, another Muslim duty). One of the most renowned Muslim clerics and hero of modern day jihadists, Ibn Taymiyya, has written at great length describing jihad as the ultimate expression of "love." And, at any rate, it seems a safe bet that most Muslims will be inclined to adhere to his opinions, i.e., his fatwas, as opposed to [some westerner's] casual thoughts on the matter.»
Qual a lição que, segundo Ibrahim , devemos retirar?
«The lesson here? Well meaning [people] would do well to cease interpreting age-old Muslim doctrines—from jihad to zakat—according to their Western epistemology and instead rely on the standard rulings of mainstream Islam, as articulated by its authoritative schools of jurisprudence. That is, after all, what Muslims do.»
Termino recordando que a zakat é um dos cinco pilares do islão, prática absolutamente obrigatória para todos os muçulmanos. Fiquemos ainda com Ibrahim, e com uma história que liga zakat e jihad:
«After Muhammad's death in 632, several Arab tribes, while still identifying themselves as Muslims, refused to pay zakat, much of which was being used to fund ongoing military operations. Abu Bakr, the first "righteous" caliph, responded by launching the Apostasy Wars, which claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Arabs. In this context, neither the uses of zakat, nor Abu Bakr's murderous response, seem very "charitable." (Who ever heard of killing people for not being "charitable" enough?)»De Raymond Ibrahim pode ler The Al Qaeda Reader.