Osama bin Laden is just latest in a long string of Jihadists that are fulfilling the Muslim obligation of bending the population of the Earth to their will. There should be no doubt in anyone's mind of the undeniable fact that, although they may disagree with his tactics, Muslims everywhere agree with the outcome: the Islamization of all the world's people and submission to Allah. Andrew G. Bostom gives yet another compelling explanation in his essay "The Global Jihad" at FrontPage in which he critiques Professor Efraim Karsh, author and professor of Middle East studies.
As Karsh emphasizes, September 622 C.E. marks a defining event in Islam—the hijra. Muhammad and a coterie of followers persecuted by fellow Banu Quraysh tribesmen, fled from Mecca to Yathrib, later known as Medina. The Muslim sources described Yathrib as having been a Jewish city founded by a Palestinian diaspora population which had survived the revolt against the Romans. The Jews of the north Arabian peninsula were highly productive oasis farmers. These Jews were eventually joined by itinerant Arab tribes from southern Arabia who settled adjacent to them and transitioned to a sedentary existence.
Following Muhammad's arrival, he re-ordered Medinan society. The Jewish tribes were isolated, some were then expelled, and the remainder attacked and exterminated. Muhammad distributed among his followers as "booty" the vanquished Jews property—plantations, fields, and houses—using this “booty” to establish a well-equipped jihadist cavalry corps. For example, within a year after the massacre (in 627) of the Jewish tribe the Banu Qurayzah, Muhammad, according to a summary of sacralized Muslim sources,
. . . waited for some act of aggression on the part of the Jews of Khaybar, whose fertile lands and villages he had destined for his followers . . . to furnish an excuse for an attack.
But, no such opportunity offering, he resolved in the autumn of this year [i.e., 628], on a sudden and unprovoked invasion of their territory. Ali (later, the fourth “Rightly Guided Caliph”, and especially revered by Shi’ite Muslims) asked Muhammad why the Jews of Khaybar were being attacked, since they were peaceful farmers, tending their oasis, and was told by Muhammad he must compel them to submit to Islamic Law. The renowned early 20th century scholar of Islam, David Margoliouth, observed aptly:
Now the fact that a community was idolatrous, or Jewish, or anything but Mohammedan, warranted a murderous attack upon it.”
Muhammad's subsequent interactions with the Christians of northern Arabia followed a similar pattern, noted by the scholar of Islam’s origins, Richard Bell. The “relationship with the Christians ended as that with the Jews (ended)- in war”, because Islam as presented by Muhammad was a divine truth, and unless Christians accepted this formulation, which included Muhammad's authority, “conflict was inevitable, and there could have been no real peace while he [Muhammad] lived.”
The modern Muslim scholar Ali Dashti's biography of Muhammad 23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad has also chronicled Muhammad’s “changed course” at Medina, where the Muslim prophet begins to “issue orders for war” in multiple and repeated Koranic revelations (chapter [Sura] 9 being composed almost entirely of such war proclamations—permanent injunctions against pagans, Jews, and Christians). Prior to enumerating the numerous assassinations Muhammad ordered, Ali Dashti observes:
Thus Islam was gradually transformed from a purely spiritual mission into a militant and punitive organization whose progress depended on booty from raids and [tax] revenue….The Prophet’s steps in the decade after the hejra [emigration from Mecca to Medina] were directed to the end of establishing and consolidating a religion-based state. Some of the deeds done on his command [were] killings of prisoners and political assassinations…
Fretting Westerners can wonder "Why they hate us" until the cows come home. The answer will always be the same: bin Laden and his ilk as well as the majority of the world's Muslims hold non-Muslims in contempt, show disrespect and disdain simply for one reason: we are not Muslim. Everything else is a peripheral supporting reason.
Many Westerners remain unconvinced that Jihad means more than terror warfare. Jihad is striving or struggling for Islam, using any means necessary. Thus Jihad is economic warfare, warfare using education, Da'wa, or the struggle to convince through reason, jihad is warfare through jurisprudence and sociology, or the law and the courts and social changes. Jihad is these and many more practices that a slowly eating away at the fabric of our lives.
Read it all with supporting internal links.