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Wednesday word: dawah

July 7, 2010

Dawah is Islamic proselytizing.  It’s also a term of art that means, “convert or die.”  Here’s an excerpt from Esposito’s sesquipidalean definition:

Call. God’s way of bringing believers to faith and the means by which prophets call individuals and communities back to God. Militant submovements interpret dawah as calling Muslims back to the purer form of religion practiced by Muhammad and the early Muslim community. Historically, missionary dawah accompanied commercial ventures or followed military conquests. Dawah was also the function of the caliph, extending authority over Muslims outside Islamic lands and promoting Islamic unity. In the twentieth century, dawah has become the foundation for social, economic, political, and cultural activities as well as domestic and foreign policy strategies; jusitification for breaking away from the secular and colonial West; legitimation for claims to independent authority within the nation-state; and a call to membership in the righteous Islamic community.  (Oxford Dictionary of Islam)

Proselytizing to radical Islam has been and continues to be a major problem in the U.S. prison system.

Oh, and if you don’t accept the “call,” to conversion, Muslims take that as license to fight you.  Like when Osama Bin Laden offered Americans the “choice” of converting to Islam or killing our soldiers in Iraq.

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