Question: What in your opinion is the definition of the Ideological Attack (al-ghazwa al-fikrī)? 
Answer: The term, " The Ideological Attack " is a modern term, which refers to a set of efforts, undertaken by a particular nation, in order to conquer or influence another nation, such that [the attacked nation] is steered in a particular course of direction because of it.
It is far more serious than military warfare, since it aims at secrecy, seeking to achieve subtle objectives initially; so that the attacked nation does not perceive it, nor prepares to halt it, nor stand in its way – thereby falling victim to it. The eventual result of this onslaught is that this nation becomes diseased in its thoughts and its senses; loving what the enemy wants it to love and hating what they want it to hate. It is a chronic disease, which attacks nations, doing away with its characteristics, removing its foundations and strength. The nation, which is struck by it, does not even feel what has hit it, or what it even is! That is why curing it becomes somewhat difficult, and making [the attacked nation] understand the ways of righteousness becomes a struggle.
This war takes place by means of school curriculums, general education, media, small and large size publications, and other such channels. Through this the enemy hopes to deviate the nation from its beliefs, becoming attached to what the enemy throws at it. We ask Allāh for safety and protection from this.
Who is subjected to this attack?
Question: Are the Arabs generally subjected to this type of warfare, in particular the kingdom of Saudi Arabia?
Answer: Yes, the Muslims in general, including the Arabs, the kingdom, and other than them, are all subject to a great ideological attack from the various nations of unbelief (kufr); from both the east and the west. The severest and most serious of these [ideological] attacks are:-
- The attack of the christian crusaders.
- The zionist attack.
- The communist and atheistic attack.
The attack of the christian crusaders is today at its most intense. Since Salāhud-Dīn al-Ayyūbī achieved victory over the christians crusading in the Muslim lands, with their strength and weapons, the christians realized that even though they had achieved [some] victories, nevertheless these victories were temporary ones that did not last. That is why they started thinking about the most destructive alternatives. After numerous case studies and assemblies they arrived at [something] that was far more dangerous and destructive than military warfare; which was that the christian nations, both individually and collectively, should launch an ideological attack on those Muslims who were just beginning to grow and develop. This is because conquering the hearts and thoughts of a people is far more permanent than conquering their lands! The Muslim whose mind has not been corrupted cannot bear to see the unbelievers wielding authority, and ordering and prohibiting in his own country. Therefore such a Muslim strives his utmost to expel and distance them – even if he has to sacrifice his own life, or his most cherished possession for this cause; and this is what happened after the major conquest of the crusaders.
As for the Muslim who is exposed to this filthy attack, he becomes ill in thought and desensitized to this disease; he may not even see any danger with the presence of christians in the lands of the Muslims. Indeed, he may even think that their presence is a source of goodness, which aids and advances civilization.
So the christians have sufficed themselves with this ideological attack, as opposed to the military one, because it is more effective and more permanent. What need do they have of deploying troops or spending huge sums of money, when there exists amongst the children of the Muslims those who can actually fulfill their wishes, intentionally or unintentionally, with a price or without one! This is why they do not resort to openly fighting the Muslims with weapons and arms, except in rare cases when necessity dictates this. They resort to this in situations where speed is sought; such as what happened in Uganda and Pakistan. Or when there is a need to stabilize the advancement, or establish centers, or to establish bases, which engage in destructive ideological warfare; such as what happened in Egypt, Syria, Irāq, and other countries, before their expulsion.
The zionist war is just the same. The jews strive their utmost to corrupt the beliefs, morals and manners of the Muslims. The jews scheme and crave after possessing the Muslim lands, as well as the lands of others. They have fulfilled some of their plans and continue striving hard to implement the rest of them. Even though they do engage the Muslims in warfare involving strength and arms and have occupied some of their lands, they also fight them by spreading destructive thoughts, beliefs and ideologies; such as Freemasonry, Qadiaanisim, Bahaaism, Teejaanism and others – seeking the support of the christians and others, in order to fulfill their objectives.  As for the communist/atheist war, then presently it is spreading like wildfire across the Muslim lands. This happens as a consequence of there being a void, weakness of faith in many people, wide spread ignorance and the lack of a correct and sound [Islamic] cultivation. The communist parties from Russia and China, as well as others, have managed to ensnare every spiteful, malicious person; driven by those weak in faith or having no faith at all! They selected these types of people as being their puppets and plants in that country, spreading through them their vile ideology of atheism and communism.
They lured these puppets with promises of high positions of power and status. Through them they tore apart the Muslim ummah since they were made [to act as] the troops of Satan.
They were aided in this by the christians and the jews, who sometimes assisted in their preparation, whilst at other times they offered other forms of aid and support. Thus, even though they do have differences between them, yet they become a single hand against the Muslims. They view the Muslims as their worst enemy, that is why we see them co-operating with each other as allies against the Muslims. So it is Allāh’s aid that is sought; He suffices us and is the best of guardians.
16 From Majmū Fatāwā wa Maqālāt Mutanawwiah (3/438-446).
17 It is appropriate here to address some of the allegations that continue to be leveled against the Shaykh, rahimahuullah, with regards to his verdict (fatwā) about the peace treaty with the jews which, even though it was first published in al-Muslimūn newspaper on the 21st of Rajab 1415H, certain misconceptions still continue to be circulated about it. From them:
- The fatwā implied that there should be love and allegiance between the Muslims and jews.
- It implied that Palestine should remain permanently in the hands of the jews.
- It implied that the educational curricular in the Muslim lands should be altered so as not to offend or antagonize the jews.
- It required that all of the Muslim world abide by the treaty.
- It stated that the peace treaty be permanent and ever-lasting.
The following are extracts taken from a clarification made by the Shaykh two months after the initial fatwā, which was published in at-Tawhīd magazine (vol.23; no.10):
"A peace treaty with the jews does not imply having love for them, or taking them as friends and allies Rather it only means peace between the two sides and that each of them will not harm the other, as well as other things such as buying and selling, exchanging ambassadors, and other dealings which do not mean love for the unbelievers or taking them as friends and allies. The Prophet sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam established a peace treaty with the people of Makkah, and that did not mean that they loved them or took them as friends and allies. Rather, the enmity and hatred remained between them until Allah facilitated the conquest of Makkah, in the year of the Conquest; and the people entered Allāh’s Religion in multitudes …"
"So all of this shows that peace treaties and truces do not necessitate love, friendship and affection for the enemies of Allāh – as is thought by some of those who have scant knowledge of the Sharīah rulings. Thus it will be clear to the questioner and others, that peace with the jews, or other unbelievers, does not mean that we change the educational curriculae, nor any other dealings related to love and allegiance; and Allāh alone grants success.
"The peace between the Muslim leaders of Palestine and the jews does not mean that the jews will permanently possess the lands that they possess now. Rather, it only means that they will be in possession of them for a period of time, until either the truce expires, or until the Muslims become strong enough to force them out of the Muslim lands – in the case of an unrestricted peace. Likewise, when we have the ability, it is obligatory to fight the jews until they enter into Islām, or until they give the jizyah (a tax levied from those non-Muslims who are permitted to live under the protection of the Muslim state) in servility …"
"The peace between the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the jews does not necessitate what the questioner mentioned with regards to the rest of the countries. Rather each country sees what is beneficial. So if it sees that it is beneficial for the Muslims in its land to have peace with the jews and to exchange ambassadors and to engage in trade and dealings that are deemed to be lawful by the pure Sharī’;ah of Allāh, then this is alright. However, if it sees that the benefit for it and its people lies in cutting-off from the jews, then it should act as the Sharīah requires and benefit necessitates."
"So all of this is when one is unable to fight the unbelievers, or to make them give the jizyah – if they are from the People of the Book (ahlul-kitāb). However, when one does have the ability to wage jihād against them, then what is required is to call them to enter into Islām, or to be fought against, or to pay the jizyah if they are from its people. So in this case it is not permissible to seek peace with them, nor to abandon fighting, nor the jizyah.
Rather, seeking peace is allowed when there is a need or necessity; when you are unable to fight them, or unable to enforce the jizyah upon them, if they are from its people …"
A Final Point: The Shaykh issued this fatwā seeking to safeguard the Religion, life and property of the Muslims in the best possible manner taking into consideration the attendant circumstances in that particular region, as well as the associated benefits and harms. The Prophet sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam said in a hadīth reported by al-Bukhārī (13/318) and Muslim (no.1716): "When a judge strives and judges and is correct, he receives two rewards. If he strives and judges but errs, he receives a single reward."
Thus it is hoped that what has been quoted from the words of the Shaykh suffices as a clarification for any misunderstandings and allegations. So – O fair-minded reader – let this be considered!
18 This certainly was the case at the time these questions were posed to the Shaykh, fifteen years ago in 1404H.