The Long History of Terror as a Political Instrument

The Long History of Terror as a Political Instrument
David J. Jonsson
Author: David J. Jonsson
Source: The Family Security Foundation, Inc.
Date: April 23, 2007

 

Have you heard of ‘The Fort of the Assassins?’ FSM Contributing Editor David J.Jonsson takes us on a captivating historical journey back to the roots of modern Islamic terrorism. Was the Prophet Muhammad the instigator of Muslim barbarism? David describes how it all began.

The Long History of Terror as a Political Instrument

By David J. Jonsson

“The Fatimid state arose in the beginning of the 10th century, and it formed an umbrella over North Africa, and under its banner all of the tribal, denominational, political, and ethnic differences fused, and they all became one single Fatimid identity, which lasted 260 years and extended as far as the Arab East.

Islam has a long history of using terror as a political instrument. The most famous of these was the ‘Fort of the Assassins’ of the founder of the Ismaili order.

Terrorism, by which we mean the threat and use of violence against innocents, has a long tradition in Islam going back to Prophet Muhammad himself according to N.S. Rajaram in the article: Grandmasters Of Terror.

The most famous of the Islamic terrorist organizations was the Nizari Ismailiyun, a Shiite politico-religious sect, founded in 1094 by Hasan-e Sabah. He and his followers captured the hill fortress of Almaut in northern Iran, which became their base of operations. Hasan styled himself Grand Master and went on to set up a network of terrorist strongholds in Iran and Iraq. He had trained assassins, most of whom according to Marco Polo were drug addicts. According to Marco Polo, young boys captured by the Grand Master were turned into addicts by giving them progressively large doses of the drug hashish. This way they were totally dependent on him and would do anything in return for hashish. They came to be known as hashishin, from which get the word ‘assassin.’ So the use of narcotics in terrorism is nothing new.

Some historians doubt Polo’s account, but it is difficult to believe that he made up the whole thing. What is not in doubt, however, is the fact that Hasan-e Sabah and his successor Grand Masters commanded an army of assassins who spread terror among the people in Iran and Iraq. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, The Grand Master had “a corps of devoted terrorists, and an unknown number of agents in enemy camps and cities, who claimed many victims among the generals and statesmen of the Abbasid caliphate as well as several caliphs.”

The Nizari Ismaliyun or the Order of the Assassins expanded into Syria after its founder’s death. In the 12th century, Rashid ad-Din as-Sinan, famous as the ‘Old Man of the Mountain,’ set himself up as an independent Grand Master of the Assassin Order in the impregnable castle of Masyaf in Syria. For over a century and a half, from 1094 to 1256, these Grandmasters and their assassins spread terror throughout the Middle East. Their end came at the hands of the Mongol warriors of Haleku Khan—the grandson of Chengis Khan. He captured and destroyed assassin strongholds in Iran one by one, and finally Almaut itself in 1256. Two years later, in February 1258, Haleku’s soldiers sacked Baghdad itself and ended the Caliphate by executing the Abbasid Caliph al-Mustasim and his sons. So, the main result of the activities of the Assassins was the end of the Caliphate.

In more recent times, terror was used to gain political ends by Mohammed Ali Jinnah. In 1946, his call for ‘Direct Action’ in support of his demand for Pakistan led to street riots all across North India. The Congress party, which had won the election by promising that it would not allow India to be divided, capitulated and agreed to the Partition of India.

In all this, there is an almost religious belief that terrorism pays. In the Pakistani official manual The Quranic Concept of War by Brigadier Malik, it is explicitly stated: “Terror struck into the hearts of the enemy is not only a means; it is the end in itself. Once a condition of terror into the opponent’s heart is obtained, hardly anything is left to be achieved… Terror is not a means of imposing decision upon the enemy; it is the decision we wish to impose upon him.”

One major point to ponder, when thinking about The Quranic Concept of War, is the title itself. The Quran is presumed to be the revealed word of God as spoken through his chosen prophet, Mohammed. According to Malik, the Quran places war fighting doctrine and its theory in a much different category than western thinkers are accustomed to, because it is not a theory of war derived by man, but of God. This is God’s war fighting principles and commandments revealed. Malik attempts to distill God’s doctrine for war through the examples of the Prophet. By contrast, the closest that Clausewitz comes to divine presentation is in his discussion of the trinity: the people, the state, and the military. In the Islamic context, the discussion of war is at the level of revealed truth and example, well above theory—God has no need to theorize. Malik notes, “As a complete Code of Life, the Holy Quran gives us a philosophy of war as well. . . . This divine philosophy is an integral part of the total Quranic ideology.” From Parameters, US Army War College Quarterly, Winter 2006-07, pp. 108-27.

The authority for this is the Qur’an (Anfal 8:59-60): “And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s Purpose). Lo! They cannot escape. Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.” (Yusufal)

When Will Muslims Damn Chlorine Bombers?

When Will Muslims Damn Chlorine Bombers?
Henry Porter, The Observer
 
At least nine of the large-scale attacks in Iraq since the beginning of the year have involved the use of chlorine. These bombs strike a particular fear because if people are not killed by the blast, they may easily die an agonizing death when the chlorine is dispersed and inhaled.

Chlorine reacts with the water in moist human tissue, such as the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and forms an acid which then burns the tissue. It was first used as a weapon during World War I in April 1915 by a German chemist named Fritz Haber who synchronized the release from 6,000 cylinders along a four-mile stretch of the front line. The attack caused the death of about 5,000 allied troops with another 10,000 suffering from inhalation, skin burns and blinding. In most cases, the gas is consumed by the explosion, but when a truck bomb exploded in Ramadi in Anbar province on April 6, scores of people suffered from the effects of chlorine.

It is now established that this tactic has been one of Al-Qaeda’s gifts to Iraq. Large quantities of chlorine, commonly used in water treatment plants in the Middle East, was stolen in Anbar, where Al-Qaeda has a strong presence. A dozen truck bombs loaded with gas cylinders are said by intelligence sources to have been prepared by the group which is seeking, among other things, to dominate Sunni resistance in Iraq and is showing signs of the Khmer Rouge’s blood lust.

The pathologies of Iraq are hard to pin down and most people in the West have long given up trying. One bomb follows another; British and American troops are killed at an increasing rate; suicide bombers are able to penetrate the Green Zone in Baghdad and there are signs that the Shiite death squads are returning. Even when the bombers struck the capital last week with five separate attacks, the largest of which killed 140 people, the Western media devoted the majority of their attention to the killings at Virginia Tech.

We turn away, taking a perhaps rather odd refuge in the certainty that this is all the fault of the neoconservatives, of the arrogance of Bush and Blair and what is strangely called a policy of “liberal intervention.” A majority were against the war in 2003 and almost everyone is now.

But this carries you just so far. It is certainly true that none of this would be happening if, in the first place, the invasion had not gone ahead and if, in the second, the Pentagon had not decommissioned the agencies, police force and military units of Saddam’s state. But let us just remember a few points before switching channel.

If the number of attacks diminished, the Americans and British troops would leave Iraq far faster than seems likely at the present. The situation, therefore, can no longer be taken for a classic resistance of an occupying force. Nor can it be entirely seen as the opposite, that is to say a guerrilla war that is maintained by Islamist, Shiite and Baathist groups for the sole purpose of engaging the American and British military.

The proof of this lies in the fact that the great majority of casualties are caused by Arabs killing Arabs, Muslims slaughtering Muslims.

This brings us back to the chlorine bombs being built by Al-Qaeda to terrorize and kill their Muslim brothers, who, we must remember, were so recently oppressed by the atheistic regime of Saddam Hussein. It is as if Protestant and Catholic groups in the French Resistance used the Nazi occupation to blow up each other’s churches and market places and slaughter each other’s children. Actually, it is weirder in Iraq because the Sunni extremists of Al-Qaeda are killing and torturing more Sunnis than Shiite, let alone US soldiers.

So we are talking about civil war and the convergence in Iraq of a number of opportunistic death cults, the most crazed and narcissistic of which is probably Al-Qaeda, though the Shiite death/torture squads fielded by Moqtada Sadr run a pretty close second. Is this Bush and Blair’s fault? Ultimately, yes because they opened the fissure that released the superheated gases of Islamist fanaticism.

But we cannot leave it at that. Somewhere in Iraq, for example, there is an individual who allowed two young children to travel into Baghdad as passengers in the back seat of car that was loaded with explosives. Naturally enough, the children’s presence lowered suspicion at the checkpoints. The car entered the city, the adults hopped out and detonated the bomb with the children still inside.

That is badness of a high order and you would expect it to have offended every loving parent across Islam. You would certainly expect to hear some stern religious voices in Middle East calling for the cessation of such barbarity in the name of one or other sect or tribe or, indeed, Allah. There are murmurs of disquiet, even horror, but in a way, the Americans and British have become everyone’s alibi or at least plea of mitigation.

Our catastrophic blunder has removed the need for any moral calibration in Islam of what Muslims are doing to Muslims in Iraq. In the West, there are many, who, because they were passionately against the war, fail to see that they ought to refine their judgment on the men who thrill to the idea of perfecting a chlorine bomb that will maim, blow apart or asphyxiate the workman who has just got off shift, the housewife loaded down with groceries, the student waiting to meet a friend. The chlorine bombers are not freedom fighters.

There is nowhere for us to go on Iraq. There is darkness but no hint of dawn: a sprawling civil war that could last five to 10 years and change the course of world history on a very grand scale indeed.

There may be just a few opportunities to save the region. The first comes in early May when the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, meets the foreign ministers of Iraq’s neighbors in Egypt. The era of what has been called Bush’s “moralizing foreign policy” is over and Rice is said to be on a mission to listen. It is hoped that bilateral talks with Syria and Iran will take place afterward, but America and Britain need to show much more penitence for the ungodly mess we have created. Among the Middle Eastern powers, there has to be recognition that many of the demons let loose in Iraq are the product of religious fanaticism.

The Muslim world has to find its own way of speaking up for humanity and civilization and, for a start, to condemn the chlorine bombs.

Myths of Islam: How Many Do You Buy Into? Read this and pass it along very important information

Exclusive: Myths of Islam: How Many Do You Buy Into?
Susan MacAllen
Author: Susan MacAllen
Source: The Family Security Foundation, Inc.
Date: April 23, 2007

Conservative voices warn of the danger of Islam, and are called racist crazies.  Liberals advocate for understanding.  But who is the real voice of reason in this increasingly important debate? FSM Contributing Editor Susan MacAllen searches for the truth while exposing widespread myths about Islam.   

Myths of Islam: How Many Do You Buy Into?

By Susan MacAllen

I was recently present at a dinner conversation that became heated when the subject of Islam and terrorism came up.  As usual, the liberals shouted down the conservative voice, convinced of their own infallible belief in the good of all religions, their commitment to multiculturalism at all costs, the stupidity of those who think Islam a threat.   “It’s about a few radicals!” they exclaimed in exasperation.  “Islam is a peaceful religion!”

The truth is, this is the belief of many in the West.  Given the foundations of our way of thinking, the values at the very core of our societies, it is nearly impossible to get the truth into people’s heads: that Islam ITSELF is a problem.   So why should it matter whether people get this concept as we go about our daily lives or to our dinner parties?  To the extent that people fail to realize the blatant fact that Islam itself is the problem, we remain unprepared, and the danger to us all increases. 

Over time, societies change.  Power shifts from one group to another, one cultural background to another, one religious system to another.  This is the history of human kind, and such change is inevitable.  However, not all changes in history have been for the good of the populace.  Some changes have resulted in a supreme power shift, bloodshed and destruction.  Which are we headed for?

The answer to that question will depend upon how honest we are about discussing the coming change.   But we in the West tend to misunderstand fundamental realities about Islam, and thus we make dangerously inaccurate assumptions about its values.   In this limited space, I would like to address just a few of the myths about Islam one hears at dinner parties and at water coolers, and unfortunately on the nightly news…

Myth:   Islam is a peaceful religion.

Truth:   When we hear this, we understand the meaning of the statement from a very Western perspective, but the meaning intended by the Muslim speaker is very different.  “Peaceful religion” to a Judeo-Christian trained mind means a religion that embraces and practices peaceful intentions toward all others.  When an Islamist says “peaceful religion” he means a religion whose ultimate goal is peace upon earth – when all non-believers submit to it.  “Islam” does not translate to “peace” as some people falsely believe.  Its meaning is “submission;” – that is, submission to Allah and to Islam, of all peoples of the earth.  This is the mission of Islam – using violence against non-believers to achieve that goal is absolutely condoned and is a stated legitimate tenet of Islam.

Myth: Mohammed was a prophet for peace and a “good person”. 

Truth: It is true that Mohammad had some wise things to say.  In his early days of preaching he was peaceful.  However, as his following grew, his frustration at his political rivals also grew.  He became a killer – a leader of a band of thugs who “converted” by the sword.  (When not by sword physically, it was by social deprivation and isolation – forced submission to Islam.)  He was brutal and merciless, intent on spreading his ideology primarily for political purposes.   Many “moderate” Muslims struggle greatly with reconciling this history with their desire to see good in their faith.  What do you do when you hunger for wisdom and your prophet is a brute?

Myth: Most Muslims don’t believe in violence. 

Truth: This is a moot point.  Those who don’t embrace violence are silent and intimidated, while those who do are in power – in Muslim society, in the
Middle East, and in the West.  An opposition which has been bullied into acquiescence is not a real opposition threatening the bullies in any realistic way.

Myth: We need to embrace Muslims as peaceful people and be inclusive in our culture.

Truth: For us, practicing multiculturalism means showing respect for the beliefs of others.  But for many Muslims it means that we should implicitly acknowledge the superiority of Islam or, in other words, our own submission.  We fail to comprehend that Islam is not a religion in the same sense Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taosim, or Judaism are.  It is not a code for ethical living in relation to morality and all humankind, including the propagation of peace.   In fact, Islamism is more a political ideology, advocating openly for the establishment of Islam as law of the land. The idea of ethical Islamist living is not separable from political power.  There is NO separation of church and state in Islam. 

Myth: Suicide bombers come from poor families, are underprivileged, uneducated and war-weary.

Truth: The majority of suicide bombers are middle class or even wealthy.  They are usually literate and educated.  They have in common that they have been indoctrinated by an Islamist-philosophy-based society to believe that killing the infidel is a path to glory and that their faith requires it as the ultimate sacrifice for the good of Islam.

Such few examples only begin to illustrate the enormous differences between the mind of a person raised in the West or in Buddhist tradition, or Hindu tradition, and that of one raised in Islam.  Recently I read a piece where the very articulate writer, whom we’ll call Larry X, made a common mistake in judgment – precisely the type of which we are speaking. He speaks of the radicals who have hijacked Islam and made it violent.  I wrote to him:

“I appreciate your thoughts very much.  But you seem to be making the mistake many in the West make.  For example, when you say the radical Islamists “have taken Islam and turned it into a violent medieval ideology”, you are mistaken.  Islam IS and always HAS been a violent medieval ideology.  Assuming that Christians and Muslims can somehow get together, sing Kumbayah and write up a list of human rights declarations is naive:  the very core, the very values of Islam are so different from those of the West, that this common ground would be evasive.”

I realize that it makes Westerners uncomfortable to be confronted with the statement that negotiation with Islam is not possible.  We want to believe that there is always room for negotiation, for joint efforts in peace building.  However, clinging to that belief in the face of the reality of an Islamist mindset is not realistic, and it will be the death of Western society.  As we spin our wheels trying to negotiate peace with a religion that does not define peace in the same way we do, the political agenda of a political religious ideology is easily establishing itself within our shores, and this is in direct opposition to many of our constitutional values.  The issue isn’t all about us versus them.  It’s about our commitment to peace not only for ourselves, but for millions of Muslim lives caught up in the violence of Islam.  And so our final most important myth:

Myth: Islam is a religion like any other, worthy of respect.

Truth:   It is unlike any other.  True Islam advocates violence, is political in nature, embraces dominance, tortures its own followers, and does not contain a seed of tolerance for other belief systems.  When one understands this, one cannot in good conscience treat it as an equal to other religions.  We need to correct our teachers, politicians and newscasters who make incorrect assumptions that we all share values in common.

I wish you were right about it, Larry.  But I know you aren’t.  We need to be better informed, and to be brave enough to say at the next dinner party: Islam IS the problem.

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor  Susan MacAllen writes a political blog, http://askew.blogharbor.com and has written on an extensive array of subjects over 20 years.  She has lived overseas and been intimately involved in the French culture since the Muslim immigrant population emerged in the south of France.

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Islamic intimidation in the West

Islamic intimidation in the West

Intimidation.jpg

Did you know that two people in the West — one in Norway and one in Canada — have been physically attacked recently for remarks that Muslims perceived as critical of Islam?

I didn’t think so. That’s the subject of this week’s Jihad Watch videoblog at Hot Air.

U.S. Officialdom vs. Middle East Reality

U.S. Officialdom vs. Middle East Reality
By P. David Hornik
FrontPageMagazine.com | April 23, 2007

“U.S. State Department hails
Israel’s geopolitical transformation,”
says a recent headline on WorldTribune.com. The article says that “The United States regards the endorsement by
Israel’s major right-wing parties of a unilateral Palestinian state as extremely positive. An outgoing senior Bush administration official said the decision by then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank in 2005 marked the end of the nationalist ideology of the ruling Likud Party.”

The outgoing official—Peter Rodman, assistant defense secretary responsible for Pentagon international security affairs from 2001 until February 2007, now with the Brookings Institutions—added that: “This is an extraordinarily positive evolution in Israeli politics.”

 

But he lamented: “And the Palestinians elect a Hamas government that wants to go back to the 1946 borders or God knows what their position. This is insane and suicidal, literally and figuratively for the Palestinians. This is their choice. Right now, the diplomacy is frustrated because of who is the interlocutor.”

 

Rodman appears never to have suspected a causal link between Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and the northern West Bank in summer 2005—not to mention the previous twelve years of capitulation to and empowerment of Palestinian terror movements—and the election in January 2006 of Hamas, whose main rallying cry was precisely its success in using violence to drive Israel into retreat. Rodman also sees Hamas’s popularity among the Palestinians as a form of baffling insanity instead of connecting it to the obvious growing popularity of jihadism, Islamism, and anti-Israeli hatred and violence in the
Middle East at large.

 

The article, however, cites another “
U.S. official” as affirming that: “Rodman’s assessment reflected that of most career officers in both the Pentagon and State Department. The official said that during the Bush administration, senior officials urged Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and President George Bush to support
Sharon’s plan for a unilateral withdrawal. . . .”

 

The official is quoted directly as saying that: “The overriding U.S. assessment continues to be that any Israeli withdrawal is a positive development and bolsters
U.S. influence in the Arab world.”

 

Returning to Rodman, the article cites him as saying that: “the Bush administration has sought to strengthen Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in an effort to convince Palestinians to recognize
Israel. . . .  He said the United States was ready to pressure
Israel to accept any compromise with the Palestinians.”

 

One wonders if these officials ever bother with a casual reading of the Israeli press to check if these venerable orthodoxies are holding water. Just this weekend, for instance, they could have read “Senior IDF officer confirms Iran training militants in
Gaza”
and found out that:

Southern Command Major General Yoav Galant has confirmed that Iranian terror and guerrilla experts are in the Gaza Strip training Palestinian terror organizations. Galant says the Iranians are the source of most of the know-how coming to the West Bank, Lebanon and
Iraq on the use of land mines, explosives and anti-tank missiles.

 

…Galant said terrorists move freely between the Gaza Strip and Egypt and from there to Syria, Lebanon and
Iran for training. “Iranians also come to
Gaza to inspect the situation and hold training exercises,” he said.

 

Galant contends that the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the military wing of [Mahmoud Abbas’s] Fatah, has already become an Iranian organization.….

 

Galant said he believes a large number of Iranian terror experts are operating in the Gaza Strip, receiving know-how, money and equipment from abroad, mainly from Iran, to carry out attacks on
Israel. 

Galant said Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees are investing major efforts in sending suicide bombers into
Israel. Hamas is not active right now, “but is ready to attack at a moment’s notice.”

 

He said Hamas smuggled 30 tons of explosives from Sinai to the Gaza Strip last year for use against
Israel.

Since we know that “any Israeli withdrawal is a positive development and bolsters U.S. influence in the Arab world,” apparently there is nothing here for
U.S. officials to be perturbed about. So probably they also would not be much interested in
“Gaza a ‘no-go’ zone for journalists since BBC reporter’s kidnapping,” which reports that: “The foreign press corps has abandoned the Gaza Strip in the five weeks since the kidnapping of BBC reporter Alan Johnston” and that “some of the smaller groups [in Gaza] with suspected ties to al-Qaida, are trying to emulate the kidnapping of foreigners in Baghdad.”

And then there’s
American

Int’l
School blown up in
Gaza”
:

Masked gunmen on Saturday morning blew up large parts of the American 

International
School in the Gaza Strip after stealing equipment and furniture….

No group claimed responsibility for the predawn attack on the school, but Palestinian Authority security sources said they did not rule out … that it was carried out by a local al-Qaida-linked group….

“This [said the sources] is the only international school in the Gaza Strip and it’s one of the most important academic institutions.”

Last year, unidentified gunmen kidnapped two staff members, one Dutch and the other Australian. The two were later released unharmed. Since then all the teachers have left, leaving the school under exclusive Palestinian control.

No one was injured in the attack, but heavy damage was caused to the building…. The attackers overpowered a number of guards before detonating a series of explosive charges inside the school….

A Fatah spokesman in the
West Bank said the attack was in the context of attempts by “forces of darkness” to turn the Gaza Strip into a Taliban-style country. He added that those behind the attack were also responsible for bombing Internet cafes, theaters and music shops and for assaults on young women in the Gaza Strip. 

But, after all, the Likud Party is making progress in abandoning its nationalism, so why worry about details like “Terrorists Launch Seven Rockets at Sderot, Negev”:

Palestinian Authority terrorists in Gaza fired seven rockets into the Negev Saturday evening and Sunday, injuring several people and damaging a home in Sderot. Six members of a family were treated by emergency services for shock after one of the first rockets slammed into their home, causing extensive damage….

In a joint statement, the Islamic Jihad, the Hamas-controlled Popular Committees and Fatah’s Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the Saturday rocket attacks…. They declared that the barrage was retaliation for an Israeli counter-terrorism operation in Jenin earlier Saturday, in which three PA terrorists were killed—two of Fatah and one of Islamic Jihad.

And Hamas seeks control of security in
West Bank
informs us that the beneficent trend is spreading:

Having failed to establish a military force in the
West Bank parallel to the one it has in the Gaza Strip, Hamas is instead working to infiltrate its operatives into the official [PA] security branches, a high-ranking officer in the IDF Central Command warned on Thursday….

“If this continues they will eventually take over the security forces,” warned a senior Israeli defense official….

The officer … said Hamas was involved in terrorism “at all of its levels” and that its infiltration of a car bomb into Tel Aviv on [Passover] night with the intention of carrying out an attack was supported by Damascus-based Hamas Khaled Mashaal as well as its local West Bank and
Gaza terror chiefs.

The officer said that after the car-bomb attack attempt, the IDF rebuilt roadblocks that it had removed in the Kalkilya area as part of a gesture by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in December.

These are, to repeat, gleanings from a single weekend. They relate to Gaza and the West Bank from which
Israel has withdrawn fully and partially, respectively. Perhaps officials like those mentioned in the World Tribune article can explain why it should automatically be U.S. policy to push for and applaud Israeli land concessions even when these lead to the further political, military, and ideological empowerment of actors like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Qaida, Fatah, and Iran, to marked destabilization through increased terrorism and combat, to intensified anti-Israeli and anti-American hatred throughout the Arab/Muslim world as images of the violence are beamed far and wide, and to the descent of Palestinian society into poverty, chaos, and Islamism.

Perhaps these officials can also explain how the other major recent Israeli withdrawal—from southern Lebanon in 2000—was a “positive development” and how the boost in Hezbollah’s popularity and power, and the current crisis in Lebanon that largely stems from that boost, serve U.S. interests.

  

And perhaps they can disclose the calculus of how many Israeli lives are worth sacrificing to “gestures” to Abbas.

 

Orthodoxies are hard to question even when they fly so blatantly in the face of facts. Notions like the “road map” and the “two-state solution” are recipes for further aggravating the situation graphically evident in this weekend’s Israeli press; they presume an Arab-Muslim moderacy toward
Israel that does not exist to any significant degree. It makes no sense for the United States to keep fighting the jihadists in other places and keep working, in effect, to strengthen them against the
Middle East’s one solidly democratic, pro-Western outpost—while always encouraging trends of appeasement in the outpost itself.

 

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Iran warns women over slack dressing

Iran warns women over slack dressing

“Since the plan started at 10:00 am on Saturday, 1,347 women have been warned and given Islamic guidance.”

Sharia Alert. By Farhad Pouladi for AFP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran has issued more than a thousand warnings and arrested dozens in a new drive aimed at forcing women whose dress is deemed inappropriate to adhere to Islamic dress rules, officials said Sunday.The nationwide drive — an annual pre-summer crackdown given greater prominence this year — is aimed primarily at women whose coats are seen as too tight, trousers excessively short or hejabs (headscarves) overly loose.

It foresees handing out warnings and guidance to women found to have infringed its dress code in public. Those who show resistance to change can be arrested and then be the subject of legal proceedings.

“Since the plan started at 10:00 am on Saturday, 1,347 women have been warned and given Islamic guidance,” the head of information at Tehran city’s police force, Mehdi Ahmadi, told AFP.

“There were 170 arrests. Of these, 58 were released after making a written commitment and rectifying their appearance. The cases of the rest, who already had a record, were handed over to the judiciary,” he said.

Iranian newspapers printed pictures of women in tight and colourful clothing being given warnings on Tehran’s streets by female police officers dressed in chadors as the crackdown got underway on Saturday.

Twenty shops selling inappropriate clothing were also closed down, Ahmadi said.

The programme was aimed at “improving the security of society with an approach of moral security,” he added.

“Its duration depends on when society feels that there are no longer signs of short trousers, tight mantos (coats), tight clothing and very skimpy hejabs.”

The authorities have argued the “bad hejab” drive is aimed at encouraging women to dress in line with Islamic dress code and it appeared the emphasis is more on handing out warnings than detaining offenders.

Saudi Royals Mask A Jihad Agenda

Saudi Royals Mask A Jihad Agenda

Youssef Ibrahim reports on the Saudi double game in the New York Sun (thanks to James):

…For half a century, the West has preferred to believe that its choice in Saudi Arabia is the moderate, friendly Saudi royal family or the wild-eyed, sandal-clad zombies of jihad, disregarding the seamless relationship between the two.We have blithely ignored that Mr. bin Laden was a product and a protégé — even a full-fledged member — of the ruling establishment in Saudi Arabia. Indeed, his 52 brothers and other members of his family have intermarried widely with the royal family.

Since Abdulaziz Al-Saud founded his kingdom in 1932, power in Saudi Arabia has rested in the hands of one rabid group of Muslim jihadists: the 40,000 perfumed princes and princesses of the Saud tribal dynasty. They are the public face of Saudi Arabia, the folks who show up in the White House as ambassadors to America.

In Saudi Arabia, these royals nurture a vast entourage and infrastructure of palaces, attached mosques, religious schools, and charitable networks at home and, more important, abroad. These institutions are tied to elegant public princes, but also to many more we never see overseas. They dole out the money and in return demand blind obedience and a steady stream of Wahhabite devotees.

Saudi royal wealth has funded not only hundreds of religious schools inside the kingdom, but also hundreds more in Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan, Britain, America, and Asia.
The network stretches far and wide, and Wahhabi recruits create the fodder that supplies suicide bombers for Hamas, the Taliban, Iraqi jihadis, and Pakistani-British transit bombers.

Read it all.

Jihadis aspire to ‘conquer France’

Jihadis aspire to ‘conquer France’

“The second stop of the Islamic conquest of Europe, France, after Andalusia, Spain.”

“Jihadis aspire to ‘conquer France’: Al-Qaeda forum calls for jihadis to ‘complete’ medieval war and take over France,” by Yaakov Lappin for Ynet News, with thanks to the American Israeli Patriot:

As the French people went to the polls to select a president, jihadi members of an al-Qaeda online forum exchanged messages discussing their aspiration to “reinvade France (and convert it into) an Islamic country.” The internet discussion appeared as Spanish security forces warned that both Spain and France were targets of al-Qaeda terror plots.A post that appeared on the al-Firdaws jihadi forum, submitted by a user named Faisal al-Baghdadi, contained a lengthy historical account of “the second stop of the Islamic conquest of Europe, France, after Andalusia, Spain.”

The post took a nostalgic look at the battle of Tours in 732, in which Muslim forces, commanded by Rahman al-Ghafiqi, who invaded a portion of France, were repelled by the Frankish general Charles Martel (“the hammer”), and forced to retreat. The battle stemmed the medieval Islamic conquest of Europe.

“The Islamic army was left with a large number of martyrs, especially the great shahid (martyr) Abdul Rahman a-Ghafiqi… this battle is mentioned in history, and is known at the battle of Tours,” the post explained.

“We ask that Allah sends us a genuine Rahman al-Ghafiqi, to finish what he started in Europe, and conquer the Vatican as promised in our beautiful Islamic verses,” the post concluded.

“Allah bless the writer and carrier of the message which recalls the days of glory and honor of Islam,” another user responded.

How a British jihadi saw the light

From

April 21, 2007

How a British jihadi saw the light

Ed Hussain, once a proponent of radical Islam in London, tells how his time as a teacher in Saudi Arabia led him to turn against extremism

During our first two months in Jeddah, Faye and I relished our new and luxurious lifestyle: a shiny jeep, two swimming pools, domestic help, and a tax-free salary. The luxury of living in a modern city with a developed infrastructure cocooned me from the frightful reality of life in Saudi Arabia.

My goatee beard and good Arabic ensured that I could pass for an Arab.

But looking like a young Saudi was not enough: I had to act Saudi, be Saudi. And here I failed.

My first clash with Saudi culture came when, being driven around in a bulletproof jeep, I saw African women in black abayas tending to the rubbish bins outside restaurants, residences and other busy places.

“Why are there so many black cleaners on the streets?” I asked the driver. The driver laughed. “They’re not cleaners. They are scavengers; women who collect cardboard from all across Jeddah and then sell it. They also collect bottles, drink cans, bags.”

“You don’t find it objectionable that poor immigrant women work in such undignified and unhygienic conditions on the streets?”

“Believe me, there are worse jobs women can do.”

Though it grieves me to admit it, the driver was right. In Saudi Arabia women indeed did do worse jobs. Many of the African women lived in an area of Jeddah known as Karantina, a slum full of poverty, prostitution and disease.

A visit to Karantina, a perversion of the term “quarantine”, was one of the worst of my life. Thousands of people who had been living in Saudi Arabia for decades, but without passports, had been deemed “illegal” by the government and, quite literally, abandoned under a flyover.

A non-Saudi black student I had met at the British Council accompanied me. “Last week a woman gave birth here,” he said, pointing to a ramshackle cardboard shanty. Disturbed, I now realised that the materials I had seen those women carrying were not always for sale but for shelter.

I had never expected to see such naked poverty in Saudi Arabia.

At that moment it dawned on me that Britain, my home, had given refuge to thousands of black Africans from Somalia and Sudan: I had seen them in their droves in Whitechapel. They prayed, had their own mosques, were free and were given government housing.

Many Muslims enjoyed a better lifestyle in non-Muslim Britain than they did in Muslim Saudi Arabia. At that moment I longed to be home again.

All my talk of ummah seemed so juvenile now. It was only in the comfort of Britain that Islamists could come out with such radical utopian slogans as one government, one ever expanding country, for one Muslim nation. The racist reality of the Arab psyche would never accept black and white people as equal.

Standing in Karantina that day, I reminisced and marvelled over what I previously considered as wrong: mixed-race, mixed-religion marriages. The students to whom I described life in modern multi-ethnic Britain could not comprehend that such a world of freedom, away from “normal” Saudi racism, could exist.

Racism was an integral part of Saudi society. My students often used the word “nigger” to describe black people. Even dark-skinned Arabs were considered inferior to their lighter-skinned cousins. I was living in the world’s most avowedly Muslim country, yet I found it anything but. I was appalled by the imposition of Wahhabism in the public realm, something I had implicitly sought as an Islamist.

Part of this local culture consisted of public institutions being segregated and women banned from driving on the grounds that it would give rise to “licentiousness”. I was repeatedly astounded at the stares Faye got from Saudi men and I from Saudi women.

Faye was not immodest in her dress. Out of respect for local custom, she wore the long black abaya and covered her hair in a black scarf. In all the years I had known my wife, never had I seen her appear so dull. Yet on two occasions she was accosted by passing Saudi youths from their cars. On another occasion a man pulled up beside our car and offered her his phone number.

In supermarkets I only had to be away from Faye for five minutes and Saudi men would hiss or whisper obscenities as they walked past. When Faye discussed her experiences with local women at the British Council they said: “Welcome to Saudi Arabia.”

After a month in Jeddah I heard from an Asian taxi driver about a Filipino worker who had brought his new bride to live with him in Jeddah. After visiting the Balad shopping district the couple caught a taxi home. Some way through their journey the Saudi driver complained that the car was not working properly and perhaps the man could help push it. The passenger obliged. Within seconds the Saudi driver had sped off with the man’s wife in his car and, months later, there was still no clue as to her whereabouts.

We had heard stories of the abduction of women from taxis by sex-deprived Saudi youths. At a Saudi friend’s wedding at a luxurious hotel in Jeddah, women dared not step out of their hotel rooms and walk to the banqueting hall for fear of abduction by the bodyguards of a Saudi prince who also happened to be staying there.

Why had the veil and segregation not prevented such behaviour? My Saudi acquaintances, many of them university graduates, argued strongly that, on the contrary, it was the veil and other social norms that were responsible for such widespread sexual frustration among Saudi youth.

At work the British Council introduced free internet access for educational purposes. Within days the students had downloaded the most obscene pornography from sites banned in Saudi Arabia, but easily accessed via the British Council’s satellite connection. Segregation of the sexes, made worse by the veil, had spawned a culture of pent-up sexual frustration that expressed itself in the unhealthiest ways.

Using Bluetooth technology on mobile phones, strangers sent pornographic clips to one another. Many of the clips were recordings of homosexual acts between Saudis and many featured young Saudis in orgies in Lebanon and Egypt. The obsession with sex in Saudi Arabia had reached worrying levels: rape and abuse of both sexes occurred frequently, some cases even reaching the usually censored national press.

My students told me about the day in March 2002 when the Muttawa [the religious police] had forbidden firefighters in Mecca from entering a blazing school building because the girls inside were not wearing veils. Consequently 15 young women burnt to death, but Wahhabism held its head high, claiming that God’s law had been maintained.

As a young Islamist, I organised events at college and in the local community that were strictly segregated and I believed in it. Living in Saudi Arabia, I could see the logical outcome of such segregation.

In my Islamist days we relished stating that Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases were the result of the moral degeneracy of the West. Large numbers of Islamists in Britain hounded prostitutes in Brick Lane and flippantly quoted divorce and abortion rates in Britain. The implication was that Muslim morality was superior. Now, more than ever, I was convinced that this too was Islamist propaganda, designed to undermine the West and inject false confidence in Muslim minds.

I worried whether my observations were idiosyncratic, the musings of a wandering mind. I discussed my troubles with other British Muslims working at the British Council. Jamal, who was of a Wahhabi bent, fully agreed with what I observed and went further. “Ed, my wife wore the veil back home in Britain and even there she did not get as many stares as she gets when we go out here.” Another British Muslim had gone as far as tinting his car windows black in order to prevent young Saudis gaping at his wife.

The problems of Saudi Arabia were not limited to racism and sexual frustration.

In contemporary Wahhabism there are two broad factions. One is publicly supportive of the House of Saud, and will endorse any policy decision reached by the Saudi government and provide scriptural justification for it. The second believes that the House of Saud should be forcibly removed and the Wahhabi clerics take charge. Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda are from the second school.

In Mecca, Medina and Jeddah I met young men with angry faces from Europe, students at various Wahhabi seminaries. They reminded me of my extremist days.

They were candid in discussing their frustrations with Saudi Arabia. The country was not sufficiently Islamic; it had strayed from the teachings of Wahhabism. They were firmly on the side of the monarchy and the clerics who supported it. Soon they were to return to the West, well versed in Arabic, fully indoctrinated by Wahhabism, to become imams in British mosques.

By the summer of 2005 Faye and I had only eight weeks left in Saudi Arabia before we would return home to London. Thursday, July 7, was the beginning of the Saudi weekend. Faye and I were due to lunch with Sultan, a Saudi banker who was financial adviser to four government ministers. I wanted to gauge what he and his wife, Faye’s student, thought about life inside the land of their birth.

On television that morning we watched the developing story of a power cut on the London Underground. As the cameras focused on King’s Cross, Edgware Road, Aldgate and Russell Square, I looked on with a mixture of interest and homesickness. Soon the power-cut story turned into shell-shocked reportage of a series of terrorist bombings.

My initial suspicion was that the perpetrators were Saudis. My experience of them, their virulence towards my non-Muslim friends, their hate-filled textbooks, made me think that Bin Laden’s Saudi soldiers had now targeted my home town. It never crossed my mind that the rhetoric of jihad introduced to Britain by Hizb ut-Tahrir could have anything to do with such horror.

My sister avoided the suicide attack on Aldgate station by four minutes. On the previous day London had won the Olympic bid. At the British Council we had celebrated along with the nation that was now in mourning.

The G8 summit in Scotland had also been derailed by events further south. The summit, thanks largely to the combined efforts of Tony Blair and Bob Geldof, had been set to tackle poverty in Africa. Now it was forced to address Islamist terrorism; Arab grievances had hijacked the agenda again.

The fact that hundreds of children die in Africa every day would be of no relevance to a committed Islamist. In the extremist mind the plight of the tiny Palestinian nation is more important than the deaths of millions of black Africans. Let them die, they’re not Muslims, would be the unspoken line of argument. As an Islamist it was only the suffering of Muslims that had moved me. Now human suffering mattered to me, regardless of religion.

Faye and I were glued to the television for hours. Watching fellow Londoners come out of Tube stations injured and mortified, but facing the world with a defiant sense of dignity, made me feel proud to be British.

We met Sultan and his wife at an Indian restaurant near the British Council. Sultan was in his early thirties and his wife in her late twenties. They had travelled widely and seemed much more liberal than most Saudis I had met. Behind a makeshift partition, the restaurant surroundings were considered private and his wife, to my amazement, removed her veil.

We discussed our travels.

Sultan spoke fondly of his time in London, particularly his placement at Coutts as a trainee banker. We then moved on to the subject uppermost in my mind, the terrorist attacks on London. My host did not really seem to care. He expressed no real sympathy or shock, despite speaking so warmly of his time in London.

“I suppose they will say Bin Laden was behind the attacks. They blamed us for 9/11,” he said.

Keen to take him up on his comment, I asked him: “Based on your education in Saudi Arabian schools, do you think there is a connection between the form of Islam children are taught here and the action of 15 Saudi men on September 11?”

Without thinking, his immediate response was, ‘No. No, because Saudis were not behind 9/11. The plane hijackers were not Saudi men. One thousand two hundred and forty-six Jews were absent from work on that day and there is the proof that they, the Jews, were behind the killings. Not Saudis.”

It was the first time I heard so precise a number of Jewish absentees. I sat there pondering on the pan-Arab denial of the truth, a refusal to accept that the Wahhabi jihadi terrorism festering in their midst had inflicted calamities on the entire world.

In my class the following Sunday, the beginning of the Saudi working week, were nearly 60 Saudis. Only one mentioned the London bombings.

“Was your family harmed?” he asked.

“My sister missed an explosion by four minutes but otherwise they’re all fine, thank you.”

The student, before a full class, sighed and said: “There are no benefits in terrorism. Why do people kill innocents?”

Two others quickly gave him his answer in Arabic: “There are benefits. They will feel how we feel.”

I was livid. “Excuse me?” I said. “Who will know how it feels?”

“We don’t mean you, teacher,” said one. “We are talking about people in England. You are here. They need to know how Iraqis and Palestinians feel.”

“The British people have been bombed by the IRA for years,” I retorted. “Londoners were bombed by Hitler during the blitz. The largest demonstrations against the war in Iraq were in London. People in Britain don’t need to be taught what it feels like to be bombed.”

Several students nodded in agreement. The argumentative ones became quiet. Were they convinced by what I had said? It was difficult to tell.

Two weeks after the terrorist attacks in London another Saudi student raised his hand and asked: “Teacher, how can I go to London?”

“Much depends on your reason for going to Britain. Do you want to study or just be a tourist?”

“Teacher, I want to go London next month. I want bomb, big bomb in London, again. I want make jihad!”

“What?” I exclaimed. Another student raised both hands and shouted: “Me too! Me too!”

Other students applauded those who had just articulated what many of them were thinking. I was incandescent. In protest I walked out of the classroom to a chorus of jeering and catcalls.

My time in Saudi Arabia bolstered my conviction that an austere form of Islam (Wahhabism) married to a politicised Islam (Islamism) is wreaking havoc in the world. This anger-ridden ideology, an ideology I once advocated, is not only a threat to Islam and Muslims, but to the entire civilised world.

I vowed, in my own limited way, to fight those who had hijacked my faith, defamed my prophet and killed thousands of my own people: the human race. I was encouraged when Tony Blair announced on August 5, 2005, plans to proscribe an array of Islamist organisations that operated in Britain, foremost among them Hizb ut-Tahrir.

At the time I was impressed by Blair’s resolve. The Hizb should have been outlawed a decade ago and so spared many of us so much misery. Sadly the legislation was shelved last year amid fears that a ban would only add to the group’s attraction, so it remains both legal and active today. But it is not too late.

© Ed Husain 2007

Extracted from The Islamist, to be published by Penguin on May 3, £8.99. Copies can be ordered for £8.54 including postage from The Sunday Times BooksFirst on 0870 165 8585

Confederacy of dunces

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