In part 5, Sayyid Imam takes up one of the more clever arguments of his earlier book: visas are the equivalent of an Islamic pact of safe passage (aman), which means that Muslims on visas in foreign nations cannot attack the citizens of those nations. Of course, Imam throws in a little spice as well, disclosing that Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, Abu Hafs, and a mysterious third person were the only people who knew the specifics of the 9/11 plot.
Only three people know of the 9/11 operation before it happened: Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, Abu Hafs al-Masri, and a third person–not Zawahiri–who found out about it only 24 hours before it happened. Everyone else knew there would be an operation against the U.S. but didn’t know the specifics. The Sharia Council objected on Sharia grounds because Bin Laden had not sought the permission of Mullah Omar. It also objected to harming human shields. However, it did not discuss the permissibility of attacking inside the U.S. while on a visa because it didn’t know that’s where the attack would take place.
When the attack happened, some said it violated the pact of safe passage that a visa represents. Others like Z say that a visa is not a pact of safe passage. In the Exoneration, Z bases his argument on definitions from foreign dictionaries, contravening the practice of Muslim jurists. It’s just one more example of the “jurisprudence of justification.”
When confronted with a new phenomenon, like visas, democracy, or socialism, we have to discern the Sharia reality behind it. With regards to visas, the Sharia reality is, “permission to enter a country is contingent on respecting the lives and property (of its inhabitants).” Even if the visa itself doesn’t explicitly state that this is so, it is assumed; thus a visa is a pact of safe passage. Ibn Qudama argued along the same lines in his Mughni, as did Shafi`i. However, instead of applying this sophisticated reasoning, Z relies on Encarta and Britannica to make his argument that a visa is not a pact of safe passage.
Classical jurists say that if you enter their country through a ruse, you still cannot betray the pact of safe passage once you are given permission to enter.
Z said visas were a matter of ijtihad [ie one should make up his own mind on the issue], which is untrue. None of the classical jurists disagreed on the point that permission to enter a country implies a pact of safe passage.
* The heresy of “even if the visa is a pact of safe passage, it is permissible to violate it”
This is one of the pillars of mass killing, which is one of al-Qaeda’s heresies.
No one disagrees about America’s crimes. But these crimes are not a justification for perverting religion.
Z relies on Nasir al-Fahd to justify violating visas even if they are pacts of safe passage. Fahd admits that visas are pacts of safe passage, but says they can be violated for two reasons.
First, Fahd argues that the Companions of the Prophet gave their enemy, Ka`b b. al-Ashraf, a pact of safe passage, then killed him. I believe this argument is wrong in three respects:
- It is true that they killed him, but it’s not true that they gave him a pact of safe passage.
- According to the consensus of the scholars, one can use trickery in warfare but not when agreeing to a pact of safe passage or a treaty.
- You can’t analogize the case of Ka`b to violate visas in infidel countries because Ka`b was an unbeliever in the Abode of Islam, but the 9/11 attackers were in the Abode of Unbelief.
Second, Fahd argues that America has broken treaties with Muslims so Muslims can do the same to America. Moreover, he says that Muslim governments that make treaties are illegitimate so their treaties are illegitimate. Fahd also says that even if their treaties are valid, there are hundreds of other reasons to violate them because of the aggression of the Crusaders. Nasir acknowledges that those who object to this cite the hadith that says treaty breakers will never catch a whiff of Paradise. Critics of his position also argue that you have to weigh the benefit and harm to Muslims that may come as a consequence of killing Americans.
Document (Arabic): 11-23-08-al-masry-al-youm-denudation-5