Muslim cleric in the U.S. tells followers not to engage in offensive jihad: “not quite ready yet….”

The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) opposes offensive jihad in the West, but for reasons that may surprise you. In an Arabic fatwa (religious decree) that doesn’t appear on its English website, it states that “the Islamic community does not possess the strength to engage in offensive jihad at this time [emphasis added].”

This doesn’t mean that all jihad is to be abandoned. “With our current capabilities, we are aspiring towards defensive jihad, and to improve our position with regards to jurisprudence at this stage. But there is a different discussion for each situation,” it said.

It is important to notice that it was issued in Arabic on the website of its Secretary-General, Salah Al-Sawy. Even though AMJA is based in Sacramento and its mission is to serve their American Muslim audience, it decided against issuing this fatwa in English. If it wasn’t translated by the Translating Jihad blog and reported by Andrew Bostom in 2011, we probably wouldn’t know about it.

Deception is something that AMJA approves of. In an English-language fatwa on its website, issued by Al-Sawy in  2005, Muslims are authorized to lie for the sake of “repulsing evil” if there are “compelling strokes of necessity.” In that case, “he can indirectly say something that his listener can understand something else.”

(That’s the concept of necessity, also known as darura.)

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