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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Getting into the game

Winning against the radical Islamists requires doing much better at the media game. Realizing how they use our media to manipulate public opinion in the West is important but knowing what circulates in the media in the Middle East also matters. Evidently, Glenn Beck is giving it a try with this special report on CNN Headline News - Exposed:The Extremist Agenda.

This article is a wakeup call to the West from someone who should know. The man holding forth wants us to get serious.

Dr. Tawfik Hamid doesn't tell people where he lives. Not the street, not the city, not even the country. It's safer that way.

This medical doctor, author and activist once was a member of Egypt's Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (Arabic for "the Islamic Group"), a banned terrorist organization. He was trained under Ayman al-Zawahiri, the bearded jihadi who appears in Bin Laden's videos, telling the world that Islamic violence will stop only once we all become Muslims.

He's a disarmingly gentle and courteous man. But he's determined to tell a complacent North America what he knows about fundamentalist Muslim imperialism.

"Yes, 'imperialism,' " he tells me. "The deliberate and determined expansion of militant Islam and its attempt to triumph not only in the Islamic world but in Europe and North America. Pure ideology. Muslim terrorists kill and slaughter not because of what they experience but because of what they believe."

"The first thing you have to understand is that it has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with poverty or lack of education," he says. "I was from a middle-class family and my parents were not religious. Hardly anyone in the movement at university came from a background that was different from mine.

"I've heard this poverty nonsense time and time again from Western apologists for Islam, most of them not Muslim by the way. There are millions of passive supporters of terror who may be poor and needy but most of those who do the killing are wealthy, privileged, educated and free. If it were about poverty, ask yourself why it is middle-class Muslims -- and never poor Christians -- who become suicide bombers in Palestine."

"We're not talking about a fringe cult here," he tells me. "Salafist [fundamentalist] Islam is the dominant version of the religion and is taught in almost every Islamic university in the world. It is puritanical, extreme and does, yes, mean that women can be beaten, apostates killed and Jews called pigs and monkeys."

I can tell you what it is not about. Not about Israel, not about Iraq, not about Afghanistan. They are mere excuses. Algerian Muslim fundamentalists murdered 150,000 other Algerian Muslims, sometimes slitting the throats of children in front of their parents. Are you seriously telling me that this was because of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians or American foreign policy?"

He's exasperated now, visibly angry at what he sees as a willful Western foolishness. "Stop asking what you have done wrong. Stop it! They're slaughtering you like sheep and you still look within. You criticize your history, your institutions, your churches. Why can't you realize that it has nothing to do with what you have done but with what they want."


The PostModernist delusion and baby boomer self absorbtion make this difficult to accept. Then again, it may be even more in our face sooner than we think.

2 comments:

Duck said...

Ironically the "problem" is that they haven't killed enough of us yet. As terrible as 9/11 was, it hasn't been repeated. We've been too successful in combatting it, so many of us have the luxury of denying that we really are at war. We may continue to have this luxury for some time. Self-loathing is a luxury that only the prosperous and protected can indulge in.

Bret said...

duck wrote: "Self-loathing is a luxury that only the prosperous and protected can indulge in."

Or the soon-to-be dead.