Back in October, 2001 Linda Chavez wrote:

For nearly 1,000 years, Europe was under nearly constant siege from Islamic invaders, from the first Moors who conquered Spain in 710 to the last Ottoman attack on Vienna in 1683. So long as the trend within the Moslem world today is toward a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, the West will continue to face a new threat to its survival.

In some sense, from 1683 until the rise of Islamic extremism, we in the west have been living in a time of hudna with Islam. What is hudna? A temporary truce. According to Wikipedia:

Hudna (هدنة) is an Arabic term meaning “truce” or “armistice” as well as “calm” or “quiet”, coming from a verbal root meaning “calm”. It is sometimes translated as “cease-fire”. In the Lisan al-Arab (Ibn al-Manzur’s definitive dictionary of classical Arabic, dating to the 14th century) it is defined as follows:

“hadana: he grew quiet. hadina: he quieted (transitive or intransitive). haadana: he made peace with. The noun from each of these is hudna.”
A particularly famous early hudna was the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah between Muhammad and the Quraysh tribe.

According to Umdat as-Salik, a medieval summary of Shafi’i jurisprudence, hudnas with a non-Muslim enemy should be limited to 10 years: “if Muslims are weak, a truce may be made for ten years if necessary, for the Prophet made a truce with the Quraysh for that long, as is related by Abu Dawud” (‘Umdat as-Salik, o9.16).

Given that those who are not Muslim are said to belong to “the House of War,” it needs to be recognized that the fundamentalists will continue to hate us until we either die or join them in the “House of Islam.” From their perspective, the Hudna that began when the Moslems were driven from the gates of Vienna has gone on way too long.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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