The Rise of the Ignoramus Jihadist

The Rise of the Ignoramus Jihadist

Posted By Wm. B. Fankboner On May 14, 2010 @ 12:03 am In FrontPage | 13 Comments

It is still widely believed in leftist circles that the generic Islamic terrorist is the product of ignorance and poverty. This idea – that terrorists are a persecuted minority of the ignorant and downtrodden – dovetails neatly with another liberal tenet: that the problem of modern terrorism is amenable to a socioeconomic solution. Typical of this putative class of terrorist is “shoe bomber” Richard Reid. A petty criminal who was arrested in his teens for assaulting an elderly woman, and who was in and out of prison for most his adult life, Reid considered himself a victim of racism. He was thus promising material for conversion to Islam: the Jihadists love to glom onto disaffected and benighted losers to do their dirty work.

But even liberals are coming around to the view that many acts of terror are being planned and carried out by “educated” members of the Islamic middle class, not a few of whom have come from affluent and privileged backgrounds. Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist and former CIA case officer, states in his book Understanding Terror Networks that a high percentage of al-Qaeda operatives are college educated (34 percent) and come from skilled professions (45 percent). A governmental report prepared for the CIA in 1999 entitled “The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why?” reached the same conclusion.

However, some qualification of the word “educated” is in order. While secondary education in some Islamic countries like Malaysia is modeled on the Western system, in the Middle East it is largely the responsibility of the madrasahs (religious schools), which are dedicated almost exclusively to religious instruction and indoctrination. Though not all these institutions are stridently anti-Western, the fact that the curriculum is entirely religious-based, i.e., focused on the Quran and the hadith, means that the average madrasah graduate is blissfully unaware of the modern world and thus a receptive vessel for the anti-American narrative promoted by militant jihadists.

For example, if you were to ask a madrasah graduate to explain what role the Christian democracies have played in world affairs in the twentieth century (the Anglo-American alliance that defeated German imperialism in 1918, the Nazi-Fascist Axis in 1945, and international Communism in 1989), they would have no idea what you were talking about. Indeed, so profound is their ignorance of current events and world history, few would even know there had been a Cold War.

If the number of Nobel laureates is any measure—Islam, 20% of the world’s population, has produced 6, while the Jewish community, a tiny minority of 0.2%, has produced 165—intellectual curiosity is not a highly rated virtue in the Koran; “Islam” is a Syriac word meaning submission, which is the surrender of the mind to faith, i.e., the abdication of free conscience and independent thought to the teachings of the Prophet. Most so-called “educated” jihadists, those who see themselves as symbolic emissaries of Islam and are fully convinced of the rectitude of their cause, suffer from a cognitive disorder Thomas Aquinas called “invincible ignorance.” The best (or worst) you can say of graduates of the madrasahs is that their knowledge of history and world affairs is roughly equivalent to that of an average American fourth-grader. In no other culture, society, or religion is the pursuit of knowledge viewed with such virulent contempt and ignorance of the world considered evidence of virtue.

So when we speak of “educated” jihadists we are referring to training and expertise in a specialized technical field or in one of the professions, like medicine. Practically all university-educated jihadists are engineers and technologists. In terms of general education, however, middle-class, university-educated jihadists like Mohammed Atta, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Jordanian double agent Mulal al-Balawi aren’t much better off than ordinary graduates of the illiberal and benighted madrasah, i.e. they reason with the intellectual sophistication of superstitious children. Exposure to Western science and technology does not erase years of obscurantist religious indoctrination and conditioning. Like their fellow supplicants, they have been taught from early childhood to believe that the West, and Israel and America in particular, are their mortal enemies; and that Western Enlightenment values, and the temptations of Western popular culture, constitute a diabolical conspiracy to defile and undermine their religion.

According to a Congressional Research Services report published in 2008, radicalized madrasahs in Afghanistan were incubators for the Taliban movement:

In the 1980s, madrasas in Afghanistan and Pakistan were allegedly boosted by an increase in financial support from the United States, European governments, Saudi Arabia, and other Persian Gulf states all of whom reportedly viewed these schools as recruiting grounds for anti-Soviet mujahedin fighters. In the early 1990s, the Taliban movement was formed by Afghan Islamic clerics and students (talib means “student” in Arabic), many of whom were former mujahedin who had studied and trained in madrasas and who advocated a strict form of Islam similar to the Wahhabism practiced in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.

The Madrasahs are, in fact, indispensable to the perpetuation of Islam’s medieval worldview. Deprivation of information about life and the ways of the world is an essential tool for infantilizing generations of Muslim students: isolated from reality, these adolescent novitiates never encounter the world as it is and thus never achieve full adulthood. Their maturation into self-actualized individuals is defeated by a distortion field of fanatical dogma and a rancorous hatred of the infidel; while Islam’s demonstrable inferiority to the West fans a searing humiliation and inchoate resentment that cuts them off from every decent human instinct.

Since these embryonic jihadists have no inclination or opportunity to discover their own humanity they will never sense any solidarity with the community of mankind. In the Muslim view the non-Islamic world constitutes “the other,” i.e., the enemy of Islam. In place of humanity Islam offers its young men the spiritual blessings of imams, mullahs, and ayatollahs, and the unsurpassed exhilaration and exaltation of martyrdom.

But while the motivations of information-deprived terrorists are comprehensible, the complacence of Dar al-Islam is unfathomable. One can only gasp with disbelief on learning that in nuclear-armed Pakistan, an ally which the U.S. has bankrolled with over a billion dollars in aid yearly, 64 percent of the population views the U.S. as an enemy. What is to be said of a country where one in five trust Osama bin Laden more than Barack Obama, and of the population that clings to these beliefs after Taliban militias have penetrated to within sixty miles of Islamabad, and after Al Qaeda has, according to estimates of the World Health Organization, killed 150,000 Muslims in Iraq alone? The forces of paranoia, superstition, and ignorance will not be quelled by reason: the roots of anti-Western sentiment are deep, global, and generational in Islamic society. Indeed, how could it be otherwise in Middle Eastern states where outlawing political debate, saturating the media with anti-Western slogans, and propagating hate speech in mosques and in school textbooks, have become institutionalized strategies to maintain political power and prop up incompetent tyrants?

I happened to be teaching at a government prep school in Malaysia, a country that practices a relatively benign version of Islam, during the siege and occupation of the U.S. embassy in Teheran by revolutionaries of the Ayatollah Khomeini, and I was surprised when a devout but gentle Muslim teacher approached me and half-apologetically explained his admiration for the revered Iranian religious leader who had lately occupied the world stage. I hadn’t expected him to repudiate the Ayatollah for fomenting revolution against the Shaw (self-determination is the right of every decent society) but I was disturbed to hear him countenance the storming, and the imprisonment the staff of, an American embassy that was under the protection of international law.

So sacrosanct is the concept of diplomatic immunity that the Italian Minister Bettino Craxi allowed Mohammed Abbass, leader of the Achille Lauro hijacking, to leave Italy because he had a diplomatic passport issued by Iraq. In the history of revolution, some perpetrated by ruthless and vicious regimes, the taking of hostages of a foreign embassy was unheard of. Moreover, to countenance Ayatollah Khomeini was to countenance his barbaric fatwa against Salmon Rushdie, a criminal incitement to the assassination of a celebrated novelist and blatant attack on the very roots of Western civilization. What did such reckless and defiant acts portend for the future of Islam and the world? The lawless Ayatollah had passed the infallible litmus test for fascism that had been the mantra of every tyrant in history: What’s Mine is Mine and What’s Yours is Mine.

The complacent attitude of my Islamic colleague whose faith in the Iranian Ayatollah was absolute and who believed the revered spiritual leader could do no wrong, was almost as disturbing as the event itself; for me and my generation, his viewpoint bore an eerie resemblance to the mindless adoration of the German people for Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. How a gang of inept sociopaths succeeded in taking over the country that gave the world Kant, Goethe and Beethoven is still something of a mystery. When asked about it, most Germans simply shrug and say they awoke one morning and found the Nazis in control. Something like the Nazis’ stealthy seizure of power seems to be taking hold in Islam: a cabal of sociopathic clerics masquerading as a holy religious cause appears to be co-opting Islam in an apocalyptic confrontation with the civilized world with the passive compliance of Islam itself.

The 2005 Pew survey below would seem to indicate that the support of mainstream Islam for violence is diminishing. Such fluctuations in attitude are probably due to increased awareness of the self-liquidating nature of the jihadist philosophy and internal contradictions of Islamic fundamentalism. Such trends can be misleading because the primary cause for jihadist violence still exists, i.e. a culture that has no intellectual tradition, and that uses information deprivation to manipulate the faithful.

As the examples of Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and the Khmer Rouge show, unanimity is not a prerequisite for the takeover of a society. With a misinformed, cowed, and submissive populace, a scant minority of determined fanatics can do the job. What Dar al-Islam does not fully understand or refuses to admit, even to itself, is that the rise of child-martyrs and ignoramus-jihadists in its midst holds more peril for Islam than it does for the West.

Dealing with Islamic mentality for the first time can be a startling and eye-opening experience for a Westerner. Confronted with Islam’s negative view of the West, one is beset with an overwhelming sense of futility. The problem lies not in only correcting facts, or in supplanting illusion with objective information; this is a mentality so steeped in obscurantist tradition and ignorance that it has never developed any standard for truth; rather “truth” is something used to hoodwink an opponent. And this is an ignorance so absolute and on a scale so extensive that it is impossible to convey it to anyone who hasn’t experienced it. One quickly realizes that in an ignorance this total any fiction, no matter how outrageous, can not only survive but take permanent residence and flourish.

This is a problem that can only be corrected by a major overhaul of the Islamic educational system. For where there is no concept of truth, there is no idea of free inquiry. Thus, it would appear that the tender-minded liberals had it right after all: this is a socioeconomic problem. The children of Islam are the disadvantaged educationally-deprived victims of deliberate parental abuse and theological violation, and nothing will change until this problem is remedied, either by Islam itself or by the political and cultural disaster that certainly awaits it over the horizon of history.

Finally, for those who question the power of the Mosques and madrasahs to infantilize and dehumanize Muslim society, and to cocoon a population in near absolute ignorance, there was this AP filing on April 19, 2010:

A senior Iranian cleric says women who wear immodest clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes. “Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes,” the cleric, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Mr. Sedighi is Tehran’s acting Friday Prayer leader. Women in Iran [1], one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, are required by law to cover from head to toe but many, especially the young, ignore some of the stricter codes and wear tight coats and scarves pulled back that show much of the hair. “What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble?” Mr. Sedighi asked during a prayer sermon on Friday. “There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes.”

It would probably be disrespectful to suggest that Sedighi is himself getting off on those sexy Iranian bints in tight coats and exposed locks. Nonetheless the lip-smacking relish with which this revered Shiite cleric describes the cause and effect between male arousal and earthquakes is certainly suspicious. Surrealistic decrees from Iran’s delusional leadership have taught us not to be shocked by any communiqués originating in Teheran, but Westerners would probably be surprised to learn how many listeners in Sedighi’s audience actually agree with this childish nonsense. More to the point, the grim-mouthed cleric spouting this vile claptrap is the venerated prayer leader for a regime that is acquiring the capacity to build nuclear weapons and the rocket technology to deliver them.

William Fankboner is the author of The Triumph of Political Correctness and A Hypertext Field Guide to Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media. He runs a web site at: His e-mail address is:

The Jihadists’ Deadly Path to Citizenship

The Jihadists’ Deadly Path to Citizenship

By Michelle Malkin | America’s homeland security amnesia never ceases to amaze. In the aftermath of the botched Times Square terror attack over the weekend, Pakistani-born bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad’s U.S. citizenship status caused a bit of shock and awe. The Atlantic magazine writer Jeffrey Goldberg’s response was typical: “I am struck by the fact that he is a naturalized American citizen, not a recent or temporary visitor.” Well, wake up and smell the deadly deception.

Shahzad’s path to American citizenship — he reportedly married an American woman, Huma Mian, in 2008 after spending a decade in the country on foreign student and employment visas — is a tried-and-true terror formula. Jihadists have been gaming the sham marriage racket with impunity for years. And immigration benefit fraud has provided invaluable cover and aid for U.S.-based Islamic plotters, including many other operatives planning attacks on New York City. As I’ve reported previously:

— El Sayyid A. Nosair wed Karen Ann Mills Sweeney to avoid deportation for overstaying his visa. He acquired U.S. citizenship, allowing him to remain in the country, and was later convicted for conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that claimed six lives.

— Ali Mohamed became an American citizen after marrying a woman he met on a plane trip from Egypt to New York. Recently divorced, Linda Lee Sanchez wed Mohamed in Reno, Nev., after a six-week “courtship.” Mohamed became a top aide to Osama bin Laden and was later convicted for his role in the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Africa that killed 12 Americans and more than 200 others.

— Embassy bombing plotter Khalid Abu al Dahab obtained citizenship after marrying three different American women.

— Embassy bombing plotter Wadih el Hage, Osama bin Laden’s personal secretary, married April Ray in 1985 and became a naturalized citizen in 1989. Ray knew of her husband’s employment with bin Laden, but like many of these women in bogus marriages, she pleaded ignorance about the nature of her husband’s work. El Hage, she says, was a sweet man, and bin Laden “was a great boss.”

— Lebanon-born Chawki Youssef Hammoud, convicted in a Hezbollah cigarette-smuggling operation based out of Charlotte, N.C., married American citizen Jessica Fortune for a green card to remain in the country.

— Hammoud’s brother, Mohammed Hammoud, married three different American women. After arriving in the United States on a counterfeit visa, being ordered deported and filing an appeal, he wed Sabina Edwards to gain a green card. Federal immigration officials refused to award him legal status after this first marriage was deemed bogus in 1994. Undaunted, he married Jessica Wedel in May 1997 and, while still wed to her, paid Angela Tsioumas (already married to someone else, too) to marry him in Detroit. The Tsioumas union netted Mohammed Hammoud temporary legal residence to operate the terror cash scam. He was later convicted on 16 counts that included providing material support to Hezbollah.

— A total of eight Middle Eastern men who plotted to bomb New York landmarks in 1993 — Fadil Abdelgani, Amir Abdelgani, Siddig Ibrahim Siddig Ali, Tarig Elhassan, Abdo Mohammed Haggag, Fares Khallafalla, Mohammed Saleh, and Matarawy Mohammed Said Saleh — all obtained legal permanent residence by marrying American citizens.

A year after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, homeland security officials cracked a massive illegal alien Middle Eastern marriage fraud ring in a sting dubbed “Operation Broken Vows.” Authorities were stunned by the scope of the operations, which stretched from Boston to South Carolina to California. But marriage fraud remains a treacherous path of least resistance. The waiting period for U.S. citizenship is cut by more than half for marriage visa beneficiaries. Sham marriage monitoring by backlogged homeland security investigators is practically nonexistent.

As former federal immigration official Michael Cutler warned years ago: “Immigration benefit fraud is certainly one of the major ‘dots’ that was not connected prior to the attacks of September 11, 2001, and remains a ‘dot’ that is not really being addressed the way it needs to be in order to secure our nation against criminals and terrorists who understand how important it is for them to ‘game’ the system as a part of the embedding process.”

Jihadists have knowingly and deliberately exploited our lax immigration and entrance policies to secure the rights and benefits of American citizenship while they plot mass murder — and we haven’t done a thing to stop them.

British Islamists’ Cyber Camouflage

British Islamists’ Cyber Camouflage
Dominic Whiteman – 4/18/2007
Partly due to the pressure of new terror laws in Britain and partly because of the effectiveness of Destroyers of jihadi websites like Internet Haganah, British-based radical Islamists have sought more imaginative online solutions both to maintain an online presence (even when they are banned) and to keep on recruiting (something they are increasingly desperate to do in a climate justifiably increasingly hostile towards them).

Whereas, in the past, Al Mujahiroun and its banned surrogate groups such as Al Ghurabaa and the Saviour Sect maintained an open web presence under Islamic generics like “Followers of Ahl Us-Sunnah wal Jamma”, “Ummah” or “Salaf”, with open generic domain websites set up under variations of these names, now – infiltrated as they are – they consider even the password-protected forums they attach to these generic sites as lacking in security.

Following the example of more technically-aware radical Islamist groups like Hizb ut Tahrir – who have cleaned up their British websites, which (see retrospective search engines) used to be overloaded with anti Semitic and extremist content – the radical British Islamists have recently chosen to operate a defensive, layered approach to their online activities, now with added camouflage.

In the case of groups which are yet to be banned, this involves having a primary layer website associated with their name – which meets all terror law requirements. These sites are normally full of prejudiced political articles about the “Global war on Muslims”, about the failure of “Western Society” (stories of grannies in the west dying alone in poverty, of alcohol abuse by children and pedophilia supposedly rife in western society) and pick-and-mix religious articles, which use lines of the Qur’an willy-nilly to suit whatever particular point they are trying to make, whether justifying Iranian nukes or ensuring that their sister is wrapped from head to toe in black Egyptian cotton in case she’s offered cash by a scout from Plumpers gentlemen’s magazine (or, more likely, chooses to use facial expression to disagree with her misogynistic and repressive brothers).

In the case of banned groups, the primary layer is purposefully obvious – in the case of Al Mujahiroun-linked groups, sites such as (named after Al Mujahiroun’s founder) include the odd extreme article and hot-headed video or audio file, hoping to attract and then delay less gifted law enforcers. Banned group names don’t get a mention, though tone and content both point blatantly to ownership by the banned group members.

The second layer of websites vary. In the case of groups which are not banned, they tend to use their foreign branch sites to get their true message across (Hizb ut Tahrir’s .org and .info websites link to their more extreme brother sites, based in places like Indonesia and Bangladesh, where they are less scrutinized and can get away with more extreme language). In the case of banned groups and groups yet to be banned, both tend to use second layer generics – for example (the date of the end of the Caliphate as used by Hizb ut Tahrir in various formats….even Hizb ut Tahrir leader Imran Waheed’s publicly available cell phone number is 07074 1924 00) or (Followers of Ahl Us-Sunnah wal Jamma used by Al Mujahiroun) – to stock their more extreme material (much of which is illegal under current British terror legislation). Again, words like Ummah, Islam and Salaf keep springing up as parts of domains for their sites –, for example, currently houses a lot of al Mujahiroun stock material (Bakri rants, Izzadeen lectures etc) and through its password-protected forums within a few clicks you’re soon onto the more hardcore stuff (beheading videos, al Qaeda recordings and incriminating speeches). They figure that authorities will not dare ban names using Islamic generics as they would obviously be acting in an Islamophobic way.

But the real innovation of the last weeks, in terms of virtual British radical Islamism, has been the disguise of old radical Islamist websites, which have been redundant for several months. Whereas before the redundant sites simply displayed “This page cannot be displayed” or “under construction”, now these sites (the authorities know the names) display a brand-less search engine, made to look just like a Google affiliation or other affiliation site. At first glance, the enquirer will simply clock the standard advertisements and click away – thinking the domain redundant (as so many previously active domains used by these radicals are redundant). Even at second glance, pictures of bikini-clad women or dating services make the enquirer confirm his first suspicion – that the site is redundant, as the last thing prudish radical Islamists are going to do is have photos and advertisements of such kuffar (non-believer) wickedness on their active sites, even if their hero Bin Laden made regular drunken appearances in the early 1970’s at Beirut’s brothels or in later years fantasized endlessly about that arch kuffar temptress, Whitney Houston.

Even when you click on the search engine links of these particular sites, other links appear, which have been copied off genuine affiliation sites or actually link to genuine affiliations. Only the really curious will see this as an Aladdin’s cave of prosecutable material, where an “Open Sesame” password or technique is required. Most will click around on the links a bit and get directed to genuine advertisements and genuine sites – and go away bored. Even those who type jihadi terminology in the search box are referred to sites as you’d expect from standard search engines like Google or Altavista – they get nowhere either.

The thing is, these search engines are a cover. There is a way of getting into these “caves” if you want to. It’s not a question of guessing keywords to enter in the search engine, nor is it a question of wasting time clicking on loads of links with their annoying pop-ups and further links – much simpler. Once you’re inside you see that the radical groups are unaffected by new laws and government initiatives designed to curb Islamist extremism – that they and their contents are as radical as ever. That their first and second layer sites are tame compared to these.

How do you get in? Put it this way – the new sites have been designed like mazes, as if all visitors are entering at ground level. They fail to comprehend that an aerial view can be readily obtained by those with the necessary wings. No point even trying to get in – unless you are licensed or don’t mind law enforcers walking off later with your computer.

Right now there must be a lot of Britain’s radical Islamists wasting their time thinking up how to cover their true purposes. They fail to recognize that they do not have the guile or the funds to beat their enemy, whatever they try. They fail to halt the progress of the army of hackers who follow their every move, who have spread, and daily spread, their virtual spy ware into the very heart of their online operations. The Islamists are scared stiff of the “jinn” (ghostly beings living on earth in a parallel universe) – well, it seems the jinn are friendly Tinkerbell fairies compared to the virtual weapons of radical Islamists’ unrelenting tormentors.

The Islamists are still using the Internet as if it was set up by cranks like Ayman al-Zawahiri or Taqiuddin al-Nabhani –or perhaps the fairy jinn themselves. Look at the WHOIS data behind domain names used by the radical Islamists in their online operations and more often than not they fall for using anonymous registration services – just as the less lazy Islamists use software to hide their IP addresses when they communicate with their extremist brothers. Do they really think their data is protected? Do they really think that companies like Whois Privacy Protection Service Inc are going to hold out against intelligence agencies, with whom they are obliged to work hand in glove? Online the Islamists can get messages to each other in drop accounts and in code without much chance of being found out – but they can’t recruit as they’d want to by being secretive (Islamism is the combination of Islam and politics – successful political action involves making statements to the many not the few and thus they are exposed in the House of Internet, which never belonged to them and never will).

The British radical Islamists’ old advantage online was the languages they spoke, which British intelligence officers lacked. Amazingly, some of them think that this advantage still exists – ask al Mujahiroun’s diminutive Abu Yahya who daily virtually builds his own jail cell in – but they fail to recognize how many of their so-called brothers and sisters make really good money out of being born polyglots. Nor the use of various names by the Islamists – Trevor Brooks, for example, is Abu Izzadeen is Omar Brooks is on bail – nowadays beats even the village Bobby’s (basic) analyst notebook software. Sure, the Islamists’ multiple name usage is annoying, but not nearly as annoying as having to listen to Omar Bakri talking about ankle exposure when listening to audio needing transcription (five minutes before and five minutes after for context) for the courts.

The Internet is a big place. But those radical Islamists who use the Internet to try to recruit, attract and grow – however much they try to conceal their true aims – will always be watched, translated and transcribed. As for their search engine camouflage – back to the drawing board, lads……

Dominic Whiteman is spokesperson for the London-based VIGIL anti-terrorist organization – an international network of terror trackers, including former intelligence officers, military personnel and experts ranging from linguistic to banking experts.