Following are excerpts from a public address delivered by members of the Islamist group Hizb Al-Tahrir in Lebanon, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on July 21, 2009.
Salah Al-Din 'Adhadhda, member of the press bureau of Hizb Al-Tahrir in Lebanon: We have come here to talk about the pinnacle of Islam – Jihad for the sake of Allah. Since Jihad – like other precepts of the Shari'a - has been subjected to distortion and perversion, due to the ideological and cultural invasion from which our nation continues to suffer, and since the nation has lost the true meaning of Jihad, and in the mind of many of us, Jihad has become tantamount to resistance, conducted by a group of young Muslim men with some capabilities – the Jihad of a nation over 1.5 billion strong has been reduced to the killing of an American in Iraq, a Briton in Afghanistan, a Jew in Palestine, or a Russian in Chechnya. Thus, the nation takes to the streets of its cities to celebrate the killing of a dozen here or a hundred there.
The nation has lost sight of the fact that it should not really celebrate, even if Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan are liberated, because these occupations resulted from the nation's negligence and silence, in the face of these corrupt regimes. Although the crimes of these collaborating rulers are obvious – as is their assistance in the occupation of our countries by the infidel countries – our nation has forgotten that true celebration should only occur with the conquest of the capitals of the world by the message of Islam, in order to save and liberate humanity, by pulling the people out of the darkness and tyranny of capitalism into the light and justice of Islam.
Muhammad Ibrahim, member of the advisory council of Hizb Al-Tahrir in Lebanon: Jihad in Islam is two-fold. The first type is the offensive Jihad, in which the Muslims engage the infidels in fighting in order to bring the message of Islam to them, and to pull them from darkness and into the light. This type of Jihad has suffered the most violent ideological and cultural campaign by the West, because of what the infidels viewed as the shattering of their earthly interests – interests that exploit human beings, sucking their blood. Jihad is the path to save mankind from the deprivation and hardship of their lives. The West has directed its arrows intensively against the Jihad, because it realized how dangerous Jihad is to Western civilization and culture. The West has distorted Jihad, presenting it as a blatant attack against people, by shedding their blood, subjugating them, oppressing them, plundering their resources, and so on. It has distorted the true meaning of Jihad.
It is sad that some Muslims have clung to the West and been influenced by its culture. Such people went as far as to repeat the claims of many Orientalists – that Jihad is a defensive war only, and that there is no truth in what is being spread about offensive Jihad or offensive war. Thus, they aligned themselves with Western culture. Worse are those who bleat like the enemies of Islam, and consider Jihad to be aggression and terrorism.
Some people tried to interpret Jihad to mean nothing more than self-defense. Thus, the Muslims abandoned the pinnacle of their glory, and relinquished their responsibility toward the world, as a result of their ideological weakness and their lack of understanding of the laws of the Shari'a of the Prophet Muhammad. In principle, Jihad is an offensive Jihad, which was instated in order to spread Islam throughout the world.