Ten Arabic Words: Bracken’s Challenge to National Security Professionals


If you are a politically-correct bliss-ninny with a coexist bumper sticker slapped on the back of your Subaru, and you don’t have the slightest clue what the following ten words mean, then this essay is not meant for you. You are excused.

dawah, dhimmi, hijra, jizya, kafir, shaheed, shariah, takfir, taqiyya, ummah

But if you are a national security professional, senior military officer or political leader involved in any aspect of the “Global War On Terror,” AKA “Countering Violent Extremism,” these are ten words that should already be a part of your working vocabulary. If you can’t readily discuss their meaning, significance, and relationships, then you are worse than a fool, you are disgrace to your office and a danger to your country.

If you don’t already have a firm grasp of the meaning of these words, then you are as prepared to conduct the GWOT as President Obama’s “Pajama Boy” is prepared to fight a heavyweight MMA champion in a no-quarter steel-cage death match.

  • DavidinNorthBurnaby

    And the lights went out …

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    I had to look up “takfir”.
    That, to me, was a new one.
    I knew of the practice, but not the name for it.

  • Justin St.Denis