Many of those who have opted to risk their lives to come to Europe have done so for economic reasons,” said Davies. Oh, and then there’s this: last February the Islamic State said it would soon flood Europe with as many as 500,000 refugees. But they couldn’t actually be doing it now, could they? Inconceivable! And the Lebanese Education Minister recently said that there were 20,000 jihadis among the refugees in camps in his country. But they couldn’t be heading to Europe, could they? Inconceivable! The 80% of migrants who claim to be fleeing the war in Syria but aren’t from Syria at all couldn’t have hijrah or jihad on their minds, could they? Inconceivable!
Hijrah, or jihad by emigration, is, according to Islamic tradition, the migration or journey of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Yathrib, later renamed by him to Medina, in the year 622 CE. It was after the hijrah that Muhammad for the first time became not just a preacher of religious ideas, but a political and military leader. That was what occasioned his new “revelations” exhorting his followers to commit violence against unbelievers. Significantly, the Islamic calendar counts the hijrah, not Muhammad’s birth or the occasion of his first “revelation,” as the beginning of Islam, implying that Islam is not fully itself without a political and military component.
To emigrate in the cause of Allah – that is, to move to a new land in order to bring Islam there, is considered in Islam to be a highly meritorious act. “And whoever emigrates for the cause of Allah will find on the earth many locations and abundance,” says the Qur’an. “And whoever leaves his home as an emigrant to Allah and His Messenger and then death overtakes him, his reward has already become incumbent upon Allah. And Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.” (4:100) The exalted status of such emigrants led a British jihad group that won notoriety (and a shutdown by the government) a few years ago for celebrating 9/11 to call itself Al-Muhajiroun: The Emigrants.