Islamists will denounce terrorism in all its forms. They can do that because terrorism is not the same as Jihad:
Maulana Mohammad Abdul Aziz is considered one of the most dangerous, yet influential, men in Pakistan.
And while his movements in the country are restricted by the government, the 57-year-old former head cleric of Islamabad’s oldest mosque – Lal Masjid, better known as the Red Mosque – is still allowed to inspire new generations with his radical rhetoric.
“We don’t see Pakistan anymore our destination, we will come out as a force to establish Islamic rule over the entire world,” Aziz told Fox News last week in a telephone interiew, from his Islamabad compound known as Jamia Hafsa, a seminary school that boasts around 1500 girls and 2000 boys. “You will see the change within 10 years - if you stay alive.”
In the government's endeavor to root out terrorism, Aziz is banned from the mosque – which technically belongs to the state. But he and his wife continue to oversee teachings just a few miles away.
“We want Sharia within our country and I, along with my pupils, will go to any extent to implement Sharia – even at the cost of waging a war against the country coerced government,” he declared.
Aziz has long been known for his inflammatory sermons, anti-American ideology, for sparking global jihadist movements and supporting designated terrorist groups. In 2014, he even named his school’s library the “Martyr Usama Bin Laden Library” in honor of the former Al Qaeda leader and 911 financier.
“Usama had good relations with my late father, thus we don’t support the American narrative, declaring him a terrorist,” Aziz said. “He did jihad, to implement Sharia around the world. So, for us he is an Islamist warrior. We title our library after his name with audacity.”
This is why we need to change our criticism against terrorism into criticism of "Jihad". Jihad covers the destruction of America's national sovereignty, which may not include acts of violence.