Friday, April 16, 2004

The Really BIG Problem? Too Many People Just Can't THINK

The NYT, in spite of its reputation as "liberal", nonetheless provides daily gems of right-wing "reasoning". In the April 15 edition we were treated to this from a Paul Berman Op-Ed piece:

"But everyone who feels drawn to that conclusion [we would have been better off staying out of Iraq altogether] had better acknowledge its full meaning: the unavoidable implication that we would be better off today with Saddam Hussein in power; better off with economic sanctions still strangling the Iraqi people; better off with American army bases still occupying Saudi soil (Osama bin Laden's original grievance against us); and better off without the progress on weapons proliferation in the Muslim world (unless you believe in the sheer-coincidence theory, in which case, you think that progress would have happened willy-nilly). That is a pretty horrifying set of alternatives."

Now I don't want to brag, but I could have seen through this piece of pathetic misdirection in high school. I come from a VERY small town (about 2000 people), my high school graduating class numbered 82, and the nearest city was 50 miles away. But even out in the boonies, we studied LOGIC--something that pundits and editorial writers apparently are completely unfamiliar with. The most popular form of poor thinking is displayed in grand style in the excerpt above--false dilemma.

For those of you with the same kind of university education (or is that now an oxymoron?) as many published writers and popular wags, this means offering (usually) only two choices when, in simple and plain point of fact, there are many. This form of unreasoning relies upon the ignorance if not stupidity of the American people to make a point. Let's take this illogical--dare I say stupid--paragraph apart.

1) "the unavoidable implication that we would be better off today with Saddam Hussein in power"

OK. This means that either the US invades Iraq with over 100,000 troops and enters into a protracted and bloody occupation of a foreign land OR Saddam Hussein remains in power. The obvious idea that there were in fact many, many other steps the US could have taken to topple Saddam is not permitted to enter our thinking. No--either we invade Iraq OR Saddam stays in power. He cannot be taken out by bombs, Special Ops, a popular uprising, a military coup, or any of the other ways that bloody tyrants have been deposed over time. Nope--either the US invades Iraq or Saddam stays.

2) "better off with economic sanctions still strangling the Iraqi people;"

Apparently we had no choice whatsoever but to impose economic sanctions exactly as we did. Berman apparently is willing to admit that economic sanctions were devastating to Iraq while at the same time arguing from the Neocon perspective that Iraq was a grave and looming threat to the world's greatest military power 6000 miles away. If he is trying somehow to argue that the Oil for Food Program was not working, that is a far different argument--and the remedies are legion, only one of which is a full-scale invasion.

3) "better off with American army bases still occupying Saudi soil (Osama bin Laden's original grievance against us); "

So, unless we invade Iraq we HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO LEAVE BASES IN SAUDI ARABIA! This one is particularly galling. Why? Why? Why? Other than protecting Saudi oil fields (from their owners), what strategic value do air bases in Saudia Arabia have? And just what sort of air strike or mission could have been launched from those bases that could not have been launched from the largest aircraft carriers on the planet? What kind of tactical missions could they accomplish that could not be handled with cruise missiles or high altitude long range bombers? If Turkey is a NATO ally and a member of the European Union, why (given just cause) could the US not mount missions into that region from Turkey?

4) "and better off without the progress on weapons proliferation in the Muslim world (unless you believe in the sheer-coincidence theory, in which case, you think that progress would have happened willy-nilly)."

Once again--why should we conclude that ONLY the invasion of Iraq could bring about "progress on weapons proliferation in the Muslim world"? And how can he write this drivel in the aftermath of the revelations about A. Q. Khan and his nuke secrets bazaar? Are we to believe that $100 billion US dollars and the loss of thousands of lives* was the ONLY way to get Qaddafi to come clean? And, while we're discussing logic, I must point out that no one has established the supposed "cause and effect" relationship between the Libyan leader's abandoning weapons programs and the US invasion of Iraq. Colonel Qaddafi offered over $2 billion to settle the Pan Am 103 hijacking case on May 29, 2002! That's right--more than 10 months BEFORE the US Iraq invasion, Libya was already kowtowing to the US and Britain. If Qaddafi ever stated publicly that the Iraq invasion frightened him into giving up WMD, I have never read it--yet this unproven assertion is now being offered as an after-the-fact major justification for US miltary action.

The simple and pervasive (and offensive) cases of false dilemma are so common when anyone in the Bush Administration talks, that it's trivial to point them out:

"You're either with us or against us!" -- Sounds like the Sharks and the Jets or the Bloods and Crips, but it is a logical fallacy: false dilemma.

"America--Love it or Leave it!" -- Usually employed by someone who thinks that flying a flag is the pinnacle of partiotism and disagreeing with the president is treasonous.

"The terrorists didn't tell us EXACTLY where, when, or how they were going to strike, so there was nothing we could do." -- Maybe taking the entire month of August 2001 off without even meeting with the DCI after two months of heightened terror alerts and numerous warnings of impending attacks was not the best course. But concluding that there was NOTHING you COULD do because you did nothing is beyond insultingly stupid. Even common ordinary everyday people, Mr. Bush, (the kind you think of as patriotic cannon fodder) install home security systems and alarms in case someone attempts to break in SOME DAY, even though thieves do not tell them EXACTLY when, where, and how they will do it.

Not all lying is simple falsehood. No, good lying is designed to confuse you and then make you feel good about coming to entirely the wrong conclusion. And politicians--all of them--are very good at it. So, come November 2004 and you are forced to pick from a limited slate of candidates for POTUS (not false dilemma but a dilemma nonetheless), keep in mind that even though all of them lie, not all lies are equal. Count the dead, the disenfranchised, the poor, the incarcerated, the angry, the hungry, the tax loopholes, the deficit dollars, the broken promises, and then decide which liar to vote for.


* As of April 156, 2004, there have been 794 coalition deaths, 691 Americans, 59 Britons, five Bulgarians, one Dane, one Estonian, 17 Italians, two Poles, one Salvadoran, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and five Ukrainians, in the war as of April 15, 2004.

Civilian deaths in Iraq are ESTIMATED (the US does not "do body counts") at between 8875 and 10725.


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Nutwatch 2004 Update 2--Common Dreams Quotes Tehran News Agency

Nutwatch 2004 is blowing gale force the day after we've had the opportunity to "render unto to Caesar" as it says in the Good Book.

We now have a group of Americans linking to Iranian news sources--and suggesting the inevitable "planting of WMDS" by the highly-credible, widely respected and certainly free Iranian Mehr News Agency. (Of course it probably does have more credibiltiy than the New york Times, but that's another rant for another day.)

This latest group of un-medicated schizophrenics can be observed at http://www.commondreams.org/community.htm and if you go there and look at "America's Progressive Community" you will begin to understand the darkening storm here in America.

At this rate, we are only a couple of decades from the crumbling of the Republic as we now know it.

It is obviously time to put anti-psychotics in the drinking water--we are reaching a critical mass of people who are suffering mass delusions--a group of people so twisted and out there that we simply don't have the mental health workers to deal with them.

What would possess any group of sane, rational Americans to quote an IRANIAN news service in an attempt to continue the propaganda war against America?

Have the content disorders of these "progessives' deteriorated to the point that they would collude with an enemy, Islamic state?

Has their madness progressed to the point they can't read the thousands of statements from other left-wingers like Tom Daschle, Ted--the Butcher of Chappaquidick--Kennedy, John Kerry, and others that unequivocably stated Sadam Hussein possessed WMDs?

Apparently the answers to both questions is, yes.

Please e-mail this group and suggest they begin to take their medications regularly.



Published on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 by the Mehr News Agency (Tehran, Iran)
New Reports on U.S. Planting WMDs in Iraq


BASRA -– Fifty days after the first reports that the U.S. forces were unloading weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in southern Iraq, new reports about the movement of these weapons have been disclosed.

Sources in Iraq speculate that occupation forces are using the recent unrest in Iraq to divert attention from their surreptitious shipments of WMD into the country.

An Iraqi source close to the Basra Governor’s Office told the MNA that new information shows that a large part of the WMD, which was secretly brought to southern and western Iraq over the past month, are in containers falsely labeled as containers of the Maeresk shipping company and some consignments bearing the labels of organizations such as the Red Cross or the USAID in order to disguise them as relief shipments.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that Iraqi officials including forces loyal to the Iraqi Governing Council stationed in southern Iraq have been forbidden from inspecting or supervising the transportation of these consignments. He went on to say that the occupation forces have ordered Iraqi officials to forward any questions on the issue to the coalition forces. Even the officials of the international relief organizations have informed the Iraqi officials that they would only accept responsibility for relief shipments which have been registered and managed by their organizations.

The Iraqi source also confirmed the report about suspicious trucks with fake Saudi and Jordanian license plates entering Iraq at night last week, stressing that the Saudi and Jordanian border guards did not attempt to inspect the trucks but simply delivered them to the U.S. and British forces stationed on Iraq’s borders.

However, the source expressed ignorance whether the governments of Saudi Arabia and Jordan were aware of such movements.

A professor of physics at Baghdad University also told the MNA correspondent that a group of his colleagues who are highly specialized in military, chemical and biological fields have been either bribed or threatened during the last weeks to provide written information on what they know about various programs and research centers and the possible storage of WMD equipment.

The professor also said these people have been openly asked to confirm or deny the existence of research or related WMD equipment. A large number of these scientists, who are believed to be under the surveillance of U.S. intelligence operatives, have claimed that if they refuse to comply with this request, they may be killed or arrested on charges of concealing the truth if these weapons are found by the Bush administration in the future.

He said that the Iraqi scientists believe their lives would be in danger if they decline to cooperate with the occupation forces, especially when they recall that senior U.S. officer Michael Peterson once said, “Iraqi scientists are at any case a threat to the U.S. administration, whether they talk or not.”

A source close to the Iraqi Governing Council said, “In the meantime, many suspect containers disguised as fuel supplies have been moved about by some units of the U.S. special forces. The move has been carried out under heavy security measures. Also, there are unofficial reports that the containers held biological and bacteriological toxins in liquid form. It is possible that the news about the discovery of the WMDs would be announced later.”

He also said that such mixtures had been used by the Saddam regime in the 1990s.

The source added that some provocative actions such as the closure of Al-Hawza periodical by U.S. administrator Paul Bremer, the secret meetings between his envoys with some extremist groups who have no relations with the Iraqi Governing Council, the sudden upsurge in violence in central and southern Iraq, a number of activities which have stoked up the wrath of the prominent Shia clerics, and finally, the spate of kidnappings and the baseless charges against the Iranian charge d’affaires in Baghdad are providing the necessary smokescreen for the transportation of the WMD to their intended locations.

He said they are quite aware that the White House in cooperation with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has directly tasked the Defense Department to hide these weapons. Given the recent scandals to the effect that the U.S. president was privy to the 9/11 plot, they might try to immediately announce the discovery of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in order to overshadow the scandals and prevent a further decline of Bush’s public opinion rating as the election approaches.

© Copyright 2004 Mehr News Agency


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An Al Hayat Editorial on Iraq

WW NOTE: Here's an editorial from the English Dar al hayat that we've got to hope some of our "transistion" leaders in read



Iraq: Five Geographic Federal States

editorial Al-Hayat 2004/04/7

Before we display the political program, which we consider to be vital we should exhibit the actual facts in the current Iraqi situation, which could be summarized as follows:

The rise of sectarian and national strife:

The Iraqi society today is witnessing a rise in sectarian strife, and this phenomenon is quite dangerous and notable. Many politicians and even non-politicians are denying this sectarian conflict. The sentiments of national partition between the Arabs and Kurds are growing in an unprecedented negative manner. The proposed solutions to counter this phenomenon are still naïve, unorthodox and unrealistic based on denying the facts on the ground. The optimum solution to counter this substantial problem is by establishing five federal states in Iraq based on what we will be discussing about this program.

The military institution collapsed from the first days of the war, even before there was any decision to dismantle it. The Kurds do not accept to return to the previous political situation. The Kurds, who have long suffered from the previous governments of the former Iraqi regime, insist on establishing federalism in Iraq, which would guarantee their rights as Kurdish citizens or even as Iraqi citizens participating equally in the reconstruction of their country. The Sunnis refuse the current situation. The current Iraqi conviction among the general public in Iraq whether among the Shiites, Kurds or any other national group or even among the Sunnis themselves that the governance in Iraq during the past was under the direction and hegemony of the Sunnis. Today, the general conviction among the Sunnis is that their power was confiscated after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, and their current role is marginalized in the new political situation. The Sunnis now believe that the Shiites and Kurds now control power in Iraq, and accordingly the Sunnis are not ready to accept this current situation.

The Shiites refuse to return to the previous situation. The Shiites in Iraq are the majority of the population. They were persecuted and repressed by the former Iraqi regime. Their territories were deprived of developmental projects whether economic or cultural.

The solutions to these dangerous problems will not be achieved unless a federal democracy that would not permit any hegemony or sectarian dominance is established. The minorities in Iraq also refuse to return to the centralist rule of the previous regime. The major sects and minorities in Iraq are attached to the democratic paradigm and the notion of freedom. They all refuse to return to the previous situation of the past and they all refuse to be marginalized in the new formula of the new Iraq. The non-sectarian parties and political forces nationalist or leftist lost their image and their ability to influence any event. Despite the fall of the former regime, which had depended on enforcing totalitarianism, this perception still exists in the minds and conduct of many politicians and party leaders in Iraq. They will not refrain from establishing a regime that will implement despotic ideas at any opportunity given, and they will find the old centralist rule the best mean to reinstate dictatorship.

Many Iraqis are disappointed with the false promises and programs that were presented by the majority of the parties and political forces in Iraq, whether they were leftist, nationalist, socialist and that led to military coups and accelerated the rise of successive totalitarian regimes that destroyed all features of civil constitutional democratic life. Therefore, democratic federalism in Iraq would guarantee the end of dictatorship in Iraq, because a centralist government in the capital means hegemony and control over the entire Iraqi system. Democratic federalism would help the Iraqis retain a cultural and intellectual balance. After the fall of Saddam's regime many Iraqis had hope in the possibility of engaging in production, trade and various economic activities. The capacity of the Iraqi economy and the geographic distribution of resources would encourage the decision of establishing democratic federalism, as federalism depends of independent federal states based on a central administrative government.

Federalism in Iraq should be implemented on all regions and the republic and it should not be restricted in one area. Five federal states should be established and the name of the country would be Unionist Republic of Iraq.

State of Kurdistan: this state would the following territories: Arbil, Sulaimaniyah, Dahook, Kirkuk and Kirkuk would be a special case.

The central state that would include the territories of Mosul, Anbar, Salah Al Dean, and Dyala.

The state of Baghdad that would include Baghdad city and its suburbs.

The state of central Euphrates that would include the following territories: Najaf, Karbala, Babylon, Al Diwaniyah and Qut.

The southern state that would include the following territories. Basra, Al Omara. Al Nassiriyah and Al Samawa.

Due to the current circumstances in Iraq, Baghdad should not be attenuated to any administrative unit or any federal state. Baghdad should remain a separate federal state, especially that its population of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds along with other ethnic and sectarian groups.

Because of the national and sectarian discrimination exercised during the past, some territories in Iraq were developed as opposed to others. Therefore the natural resources and revenues should be distributed equally between all five federal states. Each state should keep the revenues within its geographical jurisdiction. All national revenues should be collected and then distributed equally among the five federal states based on their population. The armed forces and the army should remain under the authority of the federal government. The federal government should sign defensive treaties with federal states to guarantee the independence sovereignty of Iraq. National education remains under the auspices of the federal government. All federal rules and regulations should be implemented in a manner that would serve the interest of the Iraqi people. The benefits of federalism would be summarized as follows:

Federalism would give decentralized authorities, which would accelerate the implementation of programs and it would diminish the suffering of the people due to bureaucratic routine;

It would put an end to military coups;

It would put an end to the conflicts between the Arabs and the Kurds;

Federalism would stop the dangers of sectarian strife between the Sunnis and the Shiites;

Federalism would give a better chance for the evolution of democratic life;

Federalism would implement a fair and realistic mechanism for the distribution of national resources;

Federalism would give the Iraqis a chance of electing their local officials. This would ultimately break the monopoly of militias and political parties;

It would be easier to choose a president for the country regardless of his affiliation; Federalism would enhance regional political and administrative unity in the context of a unified government.

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Thursday, April 15, 2004

Why Do They Hate Us?

Terrorism (Al-Irhaab) the fashion of the 21st Century

William's note: Here's an article for all those supposedly non-partisan members of the 9/11 commission and all the brain-dead politicians in Washington that can't seem to comprehend that we are facing a religious war.

The article is from Al Muhajiroun a London-based site that is part of the growing Islamist legions. The writer uses the Koran to legitimize terrorism and includes WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION as legitimate. I bring up the weapons of mass destruction issue again--because there are very disturbing articles already published in the non-classified arena that suggest the Islamists plan to launch a WMD strike against the infidels (that's you and me) sooner than many analysts can comprehend.

Both bin-Laden and Ayman Zawahiri have suggested they have already acquired a nuclear device. In July 2003, radical Saudi Sheik Nasser bin Hamd al-Fahad issued a fatwa, or religious edict, granting legal religious authority to the use of weapons of mass destruction against both the United States and Great Britain and their civilian populations.

I would suggest that religiously-motivated hatred plus a nuclear device equals grieving family members and another round of commissions--although there is a good chance the next commission may have to convene somewhere other than Washington.

When they finally do succeed in launching a WMD attack against a U.S. city, there is no politician or intelligence analysts who can read that will be able to say we weren't warned it was coming.



Allaah (swt) says in the Qur’aan: “We shall strike terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve (kuffaar – Jews, Christians, Mushriks, apostates etc.), because they joined others in worship with Allaah.” (EMQ Aali-‘Imraan, 3: 151)

In this verse, Allaah (swt) clearly informs us that he will terrorise and strike terror into the hearts of the disbelievers i.e. the non-Muslims, due to the shirk they commit – associating partners with him. A form of shirk (associating rivals with Allaah) is to vote for man-made law, legislate kufr (non-Islamic) constitutions, saying that Allaah has a son, arbitrating to the United Nations etc. Therefore, it is inevitable for the non-Muslims to live in fear and tremor, as they associate with Allaah false gods that cannot benefit them or prevent harm from reaching them. They worship their desires, the law of the land, idols, priests, rabbis etc. And due to this great crime, Allaah (swt) vows to terrorise them.

Furthermore, Allaah (swt) says in the Qur’aan: “Prepare against them (disbelievers) all you can of power, including steeds of war (tanks, planes, missiles, artillery, weapons of mass destruction etc.) to terrorise the enemy of Allaah and your enemy.” (EMQ Al-Anfaal, 8: 60)

In this verse, Allaah orders the believers to terrorise (turhiboun) the enemies of Allaah and our enemies, by preparing as much artillery, power and weapons as possible. In this verse, Allaah is directly ordering us to use terrorism against the aggressors and enemies of Allaah, all praises are for him.

The acts of violence by the Mujaahideen against the enemies of Allaah in places such as New York, Washington, Bali, Turkey, Riyaad and Madrid are indeed acts of Terrorism (Al-Irhaab), and those who carry out such violence are definitely terrorists. Likewise, the acts of violence committed by the US, UK and coalition forces in areas such as Afghanistan, Filisteen (Palestine), Sheeshan (Chechnya), ‘Iraaq, Kashmir etc… are indeed acts of terrorism against women, children and the elderly. On both sides acts of terrorism are being used to propagate and inject their ideology across the world; so who are the criminals?

There are two types of terrorism, one that is praised by almighty Allaah (swt) and one that is dispraised and worthy of severe punishment in this life and the hereafter. Violence is also of two, one that is pro-life and one that is against life. Violence against aggressors, oppressors and tyrants is pro-life, whereas violence initiated (such as that by the US & UK in Afghanistan and in Iraq) against young women, children and the elderly is against life.

The form of terrorism used by the US, UK and its alliance is indeed aggression, crime, corruption and tyranny – worthy of severe punishment and disgrace by almighty Allaah, due to it being directed at people who have sanctity for their lives, wealth and property (i.e. Muslims). Whereas the terrorism used by the Mujaahideen is the praised, exalted and blessed form of terrorism due to it being against people who have no sanctity for their lives, who support aggressors and tyrants and spread corruption and evil on the earth. Furthermore, it is in response to the command of Allaah, who orders the believers to terrorise His (swt)’s enemies.

However, these acts of violence by the Mujaahideen are carried out against people who support, worship and obey Taaghout. It is also against people who they have no covenant of security with. Islaam condemns betrayal i.e. to live among people with whom you have a covenant of security and then to kill them and take their wealth. For those who have a covenant of security, such as those who have citizenship or an agreement with the regime they live under in countries such as the US, UK, Spain, Italy etc…(as opposed to living under the apostate rulers in Muslim countries) it is completely prohibited to carry out any acts of violence against those whom they have a covenant with, and is in fact a great sin and considered to be betrayal in Islaam.

The definition of terrorism according to the kuffaar is irrelevant and insignificant for Muslims. This is because we only refer to Islaam as a marji’ i.e. a reference point and furqaan (criteria). In any case their definition of terrorism is also applicable to themselves as they systematically use acts of violence against ‘innocent’ people to further their own selfish political aims.

Muslims should not be afraid of being called terrorists, fundamentalists or extremists. Firstly, because it is just part of the disbeliever’s propaganda against Islaam and Muslims, which was also used against the messenger Muhammad (saw) and his companions; who were labelled as terrorists, extremists, magicians, liars and sorcerers! Secondly, because it is true; we are terrorists as Allaah commands us to use terrorism. We are also fundamentalists, as we refer to the very fundamentals of Islaam, such as Tawheed and extremists, since we are extremely against pornography, alcohol, night-clubs, oppression, tyranny, corruption and crime etc…i.e. man made law.

The Muslims should be aware that the disbelievers will always play a war of terminology in order to silence the believers and make us appear to be the aggressors. However, this will never effect the Muwahhideen (those who love Allaah more than anyone else and associate none with him) as they are aware that we are in a war between Islaam and kufr and the truth will always be among the minority. Allaah (swt) says: “And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allaah's Path. They follow nothing but conjecture, and they do nothing but lie.” (EMQ Al-An’aam, 6: 116)

Their love and fear of Allaah prohibits them from fearing the kuffaar and their propaganda. They become firm in the time of crisis and difficulties, always asking Allaah for support and victory (not the UN or local MP’s). They know the Lord they worship (his names and attributes) and understand the true meaning of Laa ilaha illallah – to give up ones desires, false gods, customs, traditions etc. and then to believe in Allaah exclusively.

The messenger Muhammad (saw) said: “Islaam came as something strange, and it will return as something strange. Paradise is for the strangers. He (saw) was asked: ‘Oh Rasoulullaah! Who are the Ghurabaa’ (strangers)? He replied: Those who withdraw themselves from their people (tribes, customs, traditions etc.)”

Therefore, in this time of crisis, it is vital to be with the minority and those who are looked at as strangers. May Allaah return to us the Khilaafah (Islamic state) sooner then later and give us the correct understanding of Tawheed, his names and attributes.

The Followers of Ahl us-Sunnati wal-Jamaa’ah Website: www.muhajiroun.com, Email: almuhajiroun_uk@yahoo.co.uk, Phone: 07956 600 569 or 07956 920 006

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Why do they hate us?

Ajai Sahni
Editor, SAIR; Executive Director, Institute for Conflict Management used by permission of
South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal


After the shock and horror of 9/11, many Americans turned inwards in incomprehension: 'Why do they hate us?' they asked, and a substantial literature of rationalization was constructed, drawing largely on America's past foreign policy errors and excesses, as well as the 'historical wrongs' inflicted on the 'Islamic world' by the 'West'. Not everyone was seduced by this literature of dubious justification, and at least some rightly pointed to the proliferating 'assembly-lines of jehad', the well funded 'schools of hatred' - the numerous and powerful marakiz (Islamic religious centres) and madrassahs (religious seminaries) that have systematically poisoned the minds of children, demonised non-Muslim cultures, and mobilized, motivated and trained armies of radicalised terrorists for their 'global jehad' against 'unbelievers', 'crusaders', Jews, Christians and Hindus. As attitudes towards terrorism hardened globally, some of the regimes that have historically sponsored and supported Islamist extremism and terrorism turned eagerly to seize upon this alibi, denouncing these 'aberrant institutions', and promising 'madrassah reforms'.

Prominent among these terrorist-sponsoring states has been America's new 'major non-NATO ally', Pakistan. General Pervez Musharraf's regime has, over the past years, been insisting that the madrassahs and the radical clergy that leads the most extreme among them, will be 'regulated', and a process of registration - ignored with impunity by the overwhelming majority of such institutions - has been established.

Behind this elaborate smokescreen, however, not only have the madrassahs continued with their subversion of innocent minds, but a deeper and more sinister reality has been, till now, rather successfully concealed: the psalms of hatred are not only taught in some supposedly 'renegade madrassahs', but are an integral component of Pakistan's state administered public educational system. This has long and widely been known among those who study Pakistan with any measure of diligence, and has been systematically documented by several reports in the past - but has largely escaped the attention of most Western 'experts' on terrorism in South Asia. Even such experts may, however, find it difficult to remain ignorant, as a succession of controversies explodes in Pakistan on precisely these issues.

Early in March, the fundamentalist alliance, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) disrupted the National Assembly and staged a walk-out on the grounds that a certain reference to jehad as well as other Quranic verses had been 'excluded' from the new edition of a state prescribed biology textbook. Later, the Punjab Teachers Union announced its decision to launch a protest movement from Gujranwala, commencing April 15, if the verses were not 'reinstated'. On March 30, 2004, however, Education Minister Zobaida Jalal clarified that no chapter or verses relating to 'jehad' or 'shahadat' (martyrdom) had been deleted from textbooks, stating further that the particular verse referring to jehad had only been 'shifted' from the biology textbook for intermediate students (Classes XI & XII) to the 'matriculation level courses' (Class X). The education ministry in Pakistan has not found it expedient to inquire - as most people familiar with the discipline of biology would - what references to jihad were doing in the biology curriculum in the first place. This is unsurprising, since it is the Ministry of Education, and its subsidiary Curriculum Wing, that put these references there.

The systematic slanting of the state prescribed curricula for all levels of the public education system in Pakistan has, once again, been exposed in great detail by a report recently published by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad, titled The Subtle Subversion: The State of Curricula and Textbooks in Pakistan, which is attracting a storm of protest from Islamist fundamentalist groupings in Pakistan. The report is abundantly clear on where the responsibility for these persistent distortions lies: "Over the years, it became apparent that it was in the interest of both the military and the theocrat to promote militarism in the society. This confluence of interests now gets reflected in the educational material." The state's curriculum directives demanded, and textbooks included, according to the Report,

Material creating hate and making enemy images
A glorification of war and the use of force
Incitement to militancy and violence, including encouragement of Jehad and Shahadat ·
Insensitivity to the actually existing religious diversity of the nation, and perspectives that encourage prejudice and discrimination towards religious minorities.
"It is clear," the SDPI Report notes further, "that in the presence of such material, peace and tolerance cannot be promoted."

The process began in the 1960s, and has been consistently sustained and elaborated since then. Despite "subtle and significant differences" in curricula during the Ayub, Bhutto and Zia era, however, "there is an immense overlap which lends credence to the argument that Pakistan has remained essentially a military state even during ostensibly civilian rule."

To understand, within this scheme, how jehad ends up in a biology textbook, it is useful to note the "basic principle that recurs repeatedly in the Pakistani curriculum documents":

In the teaching material, no concept of separation between the worldly and the religious be given; rather all the material be presented from the Islamic point of view. [Curriculum Document, Primary Education, Class K-V, 1995, p. 41]


This principle conforms to the position argued by Syed Abul A'la Maudoodi, the founder of the Jamaat-e-Islami, and an inspiration to many contemporary radical Islamist ideologies, that "all that is taught would be in the context of the revealed knowledge, therefore every subject would become Islamiat."

The process begins at the earliest stage of schooling, and permeates every single subject - language, literature, the sciences, social studies, and, of course, the specialized courses in Islamiat. The last of these are compulsory for all Muslim students, but the minority of non-Muslims is also offered an incentive of 25 marks for taking up the subject.

It is useful to see how the state imposed curricular requirements work their poison. The National Curriculum, Social Studies for Classes I-V, issued by the Curriculum Wing in March 2002, (very much within the tenure of the present 'moderate' regime headed by the 'democratising dictator', General Pervez Musharraf') for instance, provides the following instructions:
"Concept: Jehad
Activities: To make speeches on Jehad
Learning outcome: Evaluate the role of India with reference to wars of 1956 (???) (sic), 1965 and 1971 AD.
Evaluation: To judge their spirits while making speeches on Jehad, Muslim History and Culture."

These instructions, it is useful to note, are for classes of students in the age group 5-11 years, and constitute part of a 'Social Studies' curriculum.

The SDPI Report notes "four primary themes that emerge most strongly as constituting the bulk of the curricula and textbooks of the three compulsory subjects" (Social Studies/ Pakistan Studies, Urdu and English):

that Pakistan is for Muslims alone;
that Islamiat is to be forcibly taught to all the students, whatever their faith, including compulsory reading of Qu'ran;
that Ideology of Pakistan (sic) is to be internalised as faith, and hate be created against Hindus and India;
and students are to be urged to take the path of Jehad and Shahadat.
The 'Ideology of Pakistan', the Report notes further, is Islam, and curricular policies insist, is to "be presented as an accepted reality, and never be subjected to discussion or dispute" or to "be made controversial and debatable." Further, "Associated with the insistence on the Ideology of Pakistan has been an essential component of hate against India and the Hindus… the existence of Pakistan is defined only in relation to Hindus, and hence the Hindus have to be painted as black as possible."

The 140-page SDPI report illustrates the many and complex ways in which these ideologies of hatred are disseminated through the state's educational system, creating a fanatical and unrelenting mindset at an early age, and systematically reinforcing such tendencies throughout the schooling process. While the report does not cover University education, the same processes continue at work there. Very significantly, the Federal Public Service Commission, which selects the country's superior bureaucracy, in its competitive examination (according to the Rules issued on August 25, 2003) also prescribes a compulsory paper on Islamiat with a full 100 marks, which includes the concept of Jehad among the "Fundamental Beliefs and Practices of Islam".

It is, thus, not renegade madrassahs that have seeded the hatred in the minds of the people of Pakistan, raising armies of international terrorists. On the one hand, these madrassahs themselves have been supported and sponsored by the Pakistani state. There are, moreover, only a small part of the elaborate structure of indoctrination that has systematically been exploited by successive governments over the past three decades and more.

When the rich don't understand a problem, they throw money at it. So it is with Western aid to Pakistan. Uncomprehending of the floodtide of hatred they provoke among Muslims, Western policy makers are trying to 'solve' the problem of the radicalisation of the Pakistani mind by investing very substantial sums of money in 'madrassah reform' and investment in education. Part of the investment is going towards creating the infrastructure for 'technical and scientific education' and the teaching of English in Pakistani madrassahs and schools. But if you combine technical competence with a fanatical mindset, the probabilities are - as terrorists coming out of the 'Gucci mosques' of Europe demonstrate - that you will only produce more efficient terrorists. Investing in these spheres can only increase the distortions inherent in these systems.


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Monday, April 12, 2004

AL-QAEDA'S INTELLECTUAL LEGACY:


AL-QAEDA'S INTELLECTUAL LEGACY:
NEW RADICAL ISLAMIC THINKING JUSTIFYING THE GENOCIDE OF INFIDELS



Jonathan D. Halevi*

Here's a very good article that explains the Islamists justification for mass murder of you and me. This comes from the Intelligence and Information Center

The Islamic victory over the USSR in Afghanistan, the creation of the al-Qaeda global network, and the spread of Islam in many Western countries are seen as signs of an Islamic awakening that from the radical Islamist perspective may lead to the restoration of Islam as the world's most dominant power.
In this emerging world order, Christians and Jews are no longer protected minorities under Islam. As a result, there is a dangerous trend among militant Islamist clerical authorities, especially from Saudi Arabia, justifying not only acts of terrorism against individuals, but also mass murder against whole groups of people regarded as infidels. Their call for the complete extermination of peoples means they have moved ideologically toward the justification of genocide.
Jihad against America is the realization of "the right of self-defense" in retaliation for the terrorist war waged by the United States against the nation of Islam. Based on the Islamic principle, one al-Qaeda leader argues that Muslims have the right to kill four million Americans, while a Saudi scholar argues for killing ten million.
The citizens in democratic Western countries become full participants in governmental decision-making by voting in elections and therefore they are no longer considered "non-combatants." Democracy is a prohibited innovation that contradicts Islamic values and embodies a new heretical religion.
An official al-Qaeda publication presents a new, comprehensive concept of total extermination of Islam's enemies. Al-Qaeda's Saudi clerics are also having a growing influence on other militant groups, from Hamas to Chechen groups to the mujahideen in western Iraq: their legal rulings appear on the websites of these organizations in Arabic.
There has only been a partial moderation of these trends as a byproduct of Saudi Arabia's internal struggle with al-Qaeda since May 12, 2003; some clerics have called for discontinuing the practice of takfir - branding Muslims as infidels worthy of destruction. But they have not altered their harsh doctrine against Christians and Jews.
Seeing the West as "God's Enemy"

Global terrorism sprouted and thrived in the strongholds of radical Islam. Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis, in "The Roots of Muslim Rage,"1 explains the rise of Islamic radicalism and the increasing hatred of the West as a response to Western superiority and to the undermining of Islam's authority by Western culture. The Islamic hatred is, according to Lewis, an outcome of the collision between the Western and Islamic civilizations and "an Islamic historical response to secularism and the Jewish-Christian heritage." Lewis' approach provides an essential interpretation of the roots of the current clash of civilizations, but it lacks a reference to the implications of the accumulating hatred for the West, which is viewed by many Muslims as "God's enemy."

The present-day radical Islamic outburst against Western civilization's hegemony emanates from a perception of achievement: the Islamic victory over the USSR in Afghanistan, the establishment of Taliban rule, the creation of the al-Qaeda global network, and the spread of Islam in many Western countries. These are seen as signs of an Islamic awakening that may lead in the twenty-first century to the restoration of the glory of Islam as the world's most dominant power.

In this context, the radical Islamic struggle against "God's enemies" has brought about a significant change in traditional Islamic attitudes toward the protected religions - Christianity and Judaism. During the golden age of Islam, in most cases Islamic regimes treated Christians and Jews with tolerance for being monotheists like themselves. They were considered ahl al-dhimma, non-Muslim monotheistic believers who had the privilege to be under the protection of Islamic rule, although some humiliating laws were imposed on them (payment of a head tax; synagogues and churches had to be built lower than mosques, etc.). The destiny of infidels and polytheists (those who attribute associates to God) under Islamic rule, however, was either conversion to Islam or execution.

The End of Protected Status for Christians and Jews

In recent years, radical Islamic scholars have renounced the privileges that Christians and Jews had enjoyed under Islamic rule and denied their status as ahl al-dhimma, accusing them of crimes against Islam and deviation of faith in God by attributing associates to God. This opened the way to justifying mass killing of Christians and Jews under the flag of jihad for the sake of Allah.

The roots of radical Islam's denial of protected status for Christians may be found in the long-standing, accumulated hatred of the U.S. and other Western countries as leaders of the Christian world. The U.S. is viewed as a global infidel force menacing Islam with its ideology, social and economic values, and hostile policy, seen in terms of a modern Crusader war against Islam. Abd al-Aziz al-Jarbou', a prominent radical Saudi scholar, lashed out at the U.S. in his book The Foundations of the Legality of the Destruction That Befell America, presenting a thesis that was publicly lauded by many Saudi scholars, headed by Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi and Ali al-Khudeir. Describing the U.S. as "the source of evil, moral corruption, oppression, despotism, and aggression," al-Jarbou' explained that the U.S. "spreads abomination and corruption in the world," "is the biggest source heretical movies," "has more sex channels and wine and cigarette companies than any other country," "wages war against Allah's religion...and strives to impose its heresy and values out of arrogance and a desire to dominate." "Even Satan does not behave like America does," he wrote.2

On May 6, 2002, fourteen Saudi scholars published a special announcement claiming that the escalation in tensions between Islam and the West stemmed from American and European foreign and economic policies reflected in their siding with Israel, supporting globalization, and waging war on global terrorism. They asserted that, "observing this conflict...between Islam and the Muslims who follow righteousness, on one side, and heresy and its forces, on the other side, will expose the identity of the enemy and its flag [ideology], which developed after the rise of what is called the new world order, the Madrid and Oslo conventions, other conventions held in America and Sharm Al-Sheik [Egypt], and the criminal war against Muslims called the war on terror. Thus, the genuine hatred and the nature of this conflict between the camp of Islam and the camp of ahl al-dhimma - the Jews and Christian Crusaders, and the hypocrites who follow them [Arab leaders] - becomes clear."3

The confrontation between Islam and the West is considered a zero-sum game, the outcome of which is to be the absolute and total victory of Islam in the twenty-first century. In his public message to the Muslim world on the occasion of the holiday of Eid al-Adha (February 19, 2002), Hamas leader Ahmad Yassin clearly justified the jihad against the U.S. in Muslim and Arab countries on the basis of Islamic law. Jihad against America is a positive commandment in every respect and is the realization of "the right of self-defense" against "the Crusaders' war" and the terrorist war waged by the United States against the nation of Islam in Afghanistan and against the Islamic jihad movements in the world. Yassin emphasized that jihad has a defined goal, which is to "bring Islam to a dominant global position and release it from the hegemony of America and its Zionist allies." He encouraged Muslims to perform jihad and to prepare for an extended battle against the U.S., promising that the current century, the twenty-first, is the "Islamic century, the century of liberation, victory, and the fulfillment of potential."4

The Future Conquest of Rome and All of Europe

Similarly, the prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Qatari-based spiritual authority for the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood, issued an Islamic ruling that, despite the pessimism among Muslims, Islam will definitely prevail and eventually become master of the entire world.5 One of the signs of Islamic victory will be the conquest of the Italian capital, Rome, by the Muslims. Occupying Europe and defeating Christianity will become possible, according to al- Qaradawi, with the spread of Islam inside Europe until it becomes strong enough to take over the whole continent. Al-Qaradawi asserts that "the signs of salvation are absolute, numerous, and as plain as day, indicating that the future belongs to Islam and that Allah's religion will defeat all other religions." He relies on ancient Islamic traditions quoting the Prophet Muhammad, who allegedly argued that the conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul) and then Romia (Rome) are considered signs of the victory of Islam. Al-Qaradawi wrote:

And Romia is the city we name Rome, the capital of Italy. The city of Herqel [Constantinople] was conquered in 1453 by the young Ottoman, aged 23, Muhammad Ibn Mourad, known by his nickname Muhammad the Conqueror. Nowadays, the conquest of the other city Romia [Rome] remains unfulfilled. Namely, Islam will return once more to Europe as a conqueror and as a victorious power after it was expelled twice from the continent....I assume that next time the conquest [of Europe] will not be achieved by the sword [i.e., war] but by preaching (daawa) and spreading the ideology [of Islam]....The conquest of Romia [Rome] and the expansion of Islam will reach all the areas where the sun shines and the moon appears [i.e., the entire world]....That will be the result of a planted seed and the beginning of the righteous Caliphate's return....[The Islamic Caliphate] deserves to lead the nation to the plains of victory.6

Al-Qaradawi's influence, it should be stressed, is widespread. His religious rulings not only appear on the websites of Muslim Brotherhood subsidiaries, like Hamas, but also on the websites of Saudi-inspired groups fighting the U.S. in western Iraq and on the websites of Chechen Islamists.

The State of Confrontation with the West

The state of confrontation with the West is considered by radical Muslim scholars not as something predestined from God, which Muslims have to endure until salvation, but as an opportunity to promote Islamic awareness and to release themselves from Western dominance and values. The first step to be taken from a religious perspective is to define the United States, the leader of the free world, as an "enemy" that is waging a "religious war" against Islam, and on this basis to issue Islamic rulings that the U.S. and its allies belong to dar al-harb (the realm of war). The command of jihad applies not only to Muslims on the confrontation lines in the Muslim and Arab worlds, but to all Muslims living in the areas of the enemy as well. Al-Jarbou' has ruled that the current state of relations between Islam and the West is to be expressed as one of total war against the infidels. America, according his viewpoint, is not a regime with which Islam can maintain normal relations until Islam becomes strong enough to launch a jihad against it. Nor is it a regime that deserves the tolerant and peaceful attitude from Islam accorded to Christians and Jews as protected minorities under Islamic rule (ahl al-dhimma). Criticizing other Muslim scholars who "neglected their duty" to define the state of relations with America as one of all-out war, al-Jarbou' unequivocally ruled that the definition of the U.S. as dar al-harb obliges all Muslims to prepare in practice for the war against the infidels.7

Another Saudi scholar, Salman bin Fahed al-'Auda, in his book The End of History, asserts that the solution to Islamic distress - that may bring about the fall of America and the Western world - "exists in one word which is Jihad" (emphasis in original). According to al-'Auda, the meaning of jihad is much broader than fighting with a sword (the Islamic symbol of jihad). Appealing to Muslims throughout the world, he wrote: "We should not simplify this issue and narrow its meaning to a restricted military battle in one of the Islamic regions or even to an all-out war against the West, which is possible and predicted and we assume is arriving [emphasis added]." He continues: "Life as a whole is a battlefield. The weapons are not only the rifle, the bullet, the airplane, the tank, and the cannon. Not at all! Thinking is a weapon, the economy is a weapon, money is a weapon, water is a weapon, planning is a weapon, unity is a weapon, and so there are many types of weapons."8 In The End of History, al-'Auda concluded that the West by itself was already in an advanced state of decay: "The West, and above all the United States, and Western culture, in general are undergoing a historical process that is deterministic. This process leads to its total collapse, sooner or later." His jihad was intended to accelerate that collapse. During the 1990s, he was regarded as the most influential preacher in Saudi Arabia.9

Civilians in Infidel States Deserve to Die

Islamic law concerning the state of war between Islam and the West also requires Islamic scholars to deal with issues regarding the laws of war and the definition of "combatants" and "non-combatants." The innovation observed in Islamic religious rulings issued by radical Muslim scholars in recent years refers to a broadening of the definition of "combatants" who deserve death in jihad to all residents living in infidel states. The laws of war are considered to apply to all civilians and they are perceived in the same way as soldiers fighting on the battlefield. Such a position cancels the right of Jews and Christians to receive protection under Islam and from a religious perspective turns all Western civilians into "combatants." It relies on various religious arguments: Imitating the way of life and behavior of the Prophet Muhammad in his policy toward ahl al-dhimma, reacting on the basis of retaliation, and excluding Jews and Christians from the definition of monotheism and re-defining them as polytheists.

On June 28, 2002, 28 scholars from the Al-Azhar Institute in Egypt determined that killing large numbers of Israeli civilians in Palestinian suicide bombing attacks was the "noblest act of jihad." They justified killing Jews by arguing that Israel is a racist, military state that took Muslim land illegally by force. Muslims have, therefore, the right under Islamic law to rise up in jihad against the occupation in order to liberate their lands. The Al-Azhar scholars argued that in conducting jihad there is no need to make any distinction between soldiers and civilians. The correct distinction has to be made between peace-seekers (Muslims) and warmongers (Jews), and between the attackers (Jews) and the attacked (Muslims). Following this religious outlook, the Jews are robbers of Islamic land who contaminate the sacred sites of Islam and, therefore, they have been defined as "combatants, no matter what kind of clothes they wear."10

In April 2002, Sheikh Hamed al-Ali, a lecturer on Islamic culture in Kuwait and one of the leaders of the radical Salafi stream,11 clarified in a religious ruling the circumstances in which it is permitted to kill civilians in the cause of jihad without violating the Prophet Muhammad's command prohibiting the murder of women and children. These include:

Participation in war - For civilians "who knowingly take part in combat or advise and encourage others to do so, etc., the prohibition against killing them does not apply and it is permitted to kill them in war....It should be noted that an army involved in modern warfare also includes soldiers who are non-combatants, some of whom serve in combat support roles and without whom conducting a war would not be possible. For example there are those who operate computers which manage military activities; military personnel involved in strategic planning; reserve forces who supervise mobilization of soldiers and prepare them for battle, if only on an administrative level; intelligence personnel, etc. All are included in the fate of those who encourage war against Muslims, and it is permitted to intentionally kill them in battle." According to al-Ali, all citizens of Israel are to be considered combatants because of Israel's compulsory military service law, which includes women, in addition to the fact that its general population is party to government policy due to the taxes it pays and its participation in elections.
Collateral damage to civilians during attacks on military targets - "When Muslims are forced to launch an all-out attack on enemies or bomb them from a distance and this may cause the death of women, children, and other civilians, it is imperative to ensure that they are not killed intentionally. However, if they are killed during such attacks, killing them does not constitute a sin."12
In a similar vein, Sheikh Suliman bin Nasser al-Ulwan, a Saudi scholar, issued a ruling on May 18, 2001, which defined the suicide attacks against the "exploitive Jews" in "Palestine" and against the "aggressive Christians" in Chechnya as "acts of self-sacrifice according to the way of Allah," and are therefore legitimate means of warfare from a religious perspective." He is cited in a December 2001, al-Qaeda videotape when a visiting Saudi tells Osama bin Laden that he is bringing "a beautiful fatwa" from al-Ulwan.

Sheikh al-Ulwan argued that it is not prohibited to kill children as a consequence of suicide actions if the perpetrator of such an action had no premeditative intent to kill them. Nevertheless, al-Ulwan includes "all the Jews in Palestine" in his definition of "combatants," adding that, "If jihad fighters are not able to kill combatants [only] without [also] killing children [who are with them], there is no problem in such cases if they [the children] are killed." In this context, al-Ulwan provides religious legitimacy for blowing up buildings "on the Jews' heads" indiscriminately and permitting the murder of Jewish women, who serve in the military and take part in the "aggression" by the very fact of being part of the "plundering" of Muslim lands, and because of their "moral corruption."13 His impact has reached beyond the borders of Saudi Arabia. For example, al-Ulwan's writings have been found in schools belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Thus, one of the major al-Qaeda spiritual leaders has been influencing the development of religious and political thinking of the Palestinians as well.

A more decisive approach to ordering the indiscriminate killing of Jews is presented by the learned Saudi cleric Muhammad Saleh al-Munajjid in a fatwa issued in April 2003: "The Jews distorted the religion of Allah...murdered the prophets and denied the existence of Allah; they are intriguers, frauds, and traitors...bringing corruption to Muslim communities...set fire to the Al-Aqsa Mosque...desecrated the Quran...committed massacres; so how is it possible for Muslims not to rejoice at murdering the infidel, thieving Jews? Moreover, Allah will satisfy his believers by destroying and exterminating them all. This is our right as Muslims as was promised by our Prophet....Allah will bring us to defeat and master them according to the Islamic tradition: Fight the Jews and defeat them until the rock says: 'O Muslim, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!'"14

All those involved in fighting Muslims, both Christians and Jews, are regarded as "combatants" in Muslim eyes. However, a particularly negative status is reserved for Jews, who are regarded as the source of all evil not only in the context of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict but due to their "inherent characteristics" and the "danger they embody to mankind." In a statement issued in December 2002 to "enlighten young Muslims," the Hamas movement describes Jews in wholly anti-Semitic terms in a way that divests them of any vestige of humanity. Jews are described as a nation of "despicable lowlifes," "traitors," and "liars" who are "arrogant," "corrupt," and "cursed," who include other gods in their beliefs and distort the Holy Scriptures." The Jews are accused of attempting to murder the prophet Muhammad, of seditiously creating the religious conflict that resulted in the split between the Shia and the Sunni, of the murder of Ali (founder of the Shia), and of supporting the collapse of the Ottoman Caliphate. The document ends with an appeal to Muslim youth warning that "the Jews control the centers of power in the world," "spread lechery and abomination," "are behind all current and past wars," and are responsible for "almost all corruption and perversion that occurs in the Muslim world."15

A similar description of the characteristics of the Jewish nation can be found in a sermon given by the imam of the central mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Sudays, in May 2002, describing the Jews as "infidels," "calf-worshippers," "prophet-murderers," who even "tried to kill the prophet Muhammad," "distorters of prophecies," the "scum of humanity," "corrupt," 'treacherous," and "conniving." He prayed to God saying: "I wish the enemies of Islam and Muslims, the Jews, the pagans and other corrupted people, will be humiliated....Allah, exercise your power against the Jews. Allah, destroy them with sharpened tools and take them out of Al-Aqsa Mosque."16

One of al-Qaeda's leaders, identified by his nickname, Abu Ayman al-Hilali, in an article published in the periodical Al-Ansar, defined the U.S., Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Germany, and Australia as "enemies," while praising the mass-murder attacks committed by al-Qaeda operatives in the U.S., Tunisia, Yemen, Bali, Moscow, and elsewhere. He justified killing Western civilians in these attacks for the following reasons:

The citizens in democratic Western countries become full participants in governmental decision-making by voting in elections and therefore they are no longer considered "non-combatants" as in past wars.

The citizens in Western countries are full participants in the war their governments are waging against Islam. Their designation by al-Qaeda as "targets" was a reaction to the aggressive policies of their governments. Al-Hilali asserted that even those in the West who oppose their governments' policies have no immunity from al-Qaeda's jihad since they are a small minority without real influence and cannot be distinguished during the commission of attacks.17
Democracy: The Religion of the Infidels

Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, leader of the Bayat al-Imam extremist group whose operatives were arrested in Jordan in 1995, takes a further step in his book Democracy is a Religion in denying the traditional protection given by Islam to Jews and Christians. They become "combatants" and infidels and lose their status of ahl al-dhimma not only because of their participation in elections, but as a result of their endorsement of democracy and its values. For al-Maqdisi, democracy is a prohibited innovation that contradicts Islamic values and embodies a new heretical religion. Its followers are "infidels" and "polytheists," even if they consider themselves as Jews or Christians by religion. Al-Maqdisi based his claim on the following arguments:

"Democracy gives legitimacy to the legislation of the masses or to the despotic regime. It is not [the expression of] the rule of Allah....Allah ordered his Prophet to execute the commands given to him and forbade him to follow the emotions of the nation, the masses, and the people."

"Democracy is the rule of the masses or the rule of paganism, which is conducted according to a constitution [written by humans] and not according Allah's laws....It [democracy] has become the mother of laws and is considered [by the masses] as a holy book. The religion of democracy has no relation to Quranic verses or the Prophet's way of life and it is not possible to legislate according to them unless they are compatible with the holy book [the constitution]."

"Democracy is an outcome of despicable secularism and its illegitimate daughter, since secularism is a heretical school striving to separate religion from state and government."
Al-Maqdisi concludes: "Democracy is a religion that is not Allah's religion....It is the rule of paganism...it is a religion which includes other gods in its belief...the people represented in the religion of democracy by its delegates in the parliament...who are actually standing idols and false gods placed in their chapels and their pagan fortresses, namely, their legislative councils. They and their followers rule according to the religion of democracy and the constitution's laws upon which the government is based, and according to the paragraphs of their legislation....Their master is their God, their big idols who approve or reject legislation. He is their emir, their king, or their president."18

Debating Islamic Retaliation: 4 Million or 10 Million American Deaths?

As noted, radical Islamic scholars rely in their rulings on the principle of retaliation while justifying indiscriminate mass murder of Christians. Suliman Abu Ghaith, a prominent al-Qaeda leader, in his famous series of public letters entitled Under the Shade of the Lances and directed at Muslim youth, listed the crimes of the U.S. against the Arab and Muslim world. He argued that the U.S. is responsible directly and indirectly, in its long-lasting war on Islam, for the death of four million Muslims, including 1.2 million Iraqis, 260,000 Palestinians (as a result of its support for Israel), 12,000 Afghans and Arab fighters, 13,000 Somalis, and millions more throughout the world. From his perspective, al-Qaeda's attacks in Washington and New York in September 2001 are not enough to balance the equation of killing. Basing his claims on the Islamic principle of retaliation, Abu Ghaith argues that Muslims have the right to kill four million Americans, including one million children, to displace eight million Americans, and to cripple hundreds of thousands more. Moreover, Abu Ghaith asserts that Muslims are religiously entitled to use chemical and biological weapons in their war against the U.S.19

Nasser bin Hamed al-Fahd, another prominent Saudi Salafi scholar, in an Islamic ruling published in May 2003, approved the use of weapons of mass destruction against America. He also based his indictment on the principle of retaliation, but argued that Muslims have the right to kill ten million Americans in response to the crimes of their government against the Muslim nation. Al-Fahd elaborated the circumstances under which it is religiously permitted to kill non-combatant Americans: During a military operation when it is hard to distinguish between soldiers and civilians and according to military needs or considerations. Ascribing great importance to the military considerations, he asserted that the military leaders who are responsible for the execution of jihad have the authority to make the decisions concerning what types of weapons to use against the infidels. If they decided to use weapons of mass destruction based on military need, it would be an obligation under Islamic law.20

Similarly, radical Muslim scholars have justified the killing of 2,750 civilians in al-Qaeda's September 2001 attacks. A senior al-Qaeda operative named Saif al-Din al-Ansari argued in his book The September 11th Attack that the killing of thousands of civilians in the suicide attacks did not go beyond the "special circumstances" in which Muslims are religiously permitted to kill infidel civilians. These attacks were justified because they were conducted according to the principle of retaliation as well as the Islamic religious principle that permits the killing of civilians when necessary in order to destroy the enemy's fortresses, when it is impossible to differentiate between military and civilians.21 Support for this position has also been expressed by Saudi Islamic scholars Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi and Ali al-Khudeir.

Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi referred to the September attacks in his Islamic ruling as follows: "Any decisions taken by the American infidel state, particularly those dealing with war and other critical decisions, are taken based upon public opinion surveys or representatives' voting in their infidel legislatures. These legislatures represent primarily the people's opinion....Therefore, any American citizen who voted for the war is considered a combatant or at least an accessory [to the war]."22

The Saudi Sheikh Ali al-Khudier wrote in another Islamic ruling: "We should not regret the deaths of civilians in the Twin Towers attack since the American is an infidel because of his connection to his government. He fights for it, supports it with money, opinions or advice, and this is the type of their political regime. Therefore, they deserved what they experienced, since their fighting, support, and opinions deserve punishment."23
Advocating Total Extermination of Islam's Enemies

Al-Qaeda has adopted a broader interpretation of the religious command concerning the killing of infidels. It is considered an absolute command that does not depend on political circumstances, the need or will to take revenge, or a wish to liberate Muslim lands from infidel rule. Saif al-Din al-Ansari, in an article in al-Qaeda's official periodical, presented the new, comprehensive concept of total extermination of Islam's enemies based on the Quranic verse: "And that He may purge those who believe and deprive the unbelievers of blessings" (Al-Imran, 142). According to al-Ansari, this is the way Allah deals with infidels, who are doomed throughout history to total extermination through various types of death, as was the fate of the people of Noah, Hod, Saleh, Lot, Midian, and Pharaoh. Al-Ansari asserted that the extermination of infidels is a permanent Islamic law and unchangeable fate for infidels that is as relevant today as it was in past generations. According to al-Ansari, "Just as the law of extermination was applied to the infidel forces among the nations in previous days and no one could escape it, so it will be applied to the infidel forces in our day and no one will escape it. Namely, similar to the fate of the Thamoud and 'Ad peoples [two pagan Arab peoples which, according to Islamic tradition, were exterminated due to their rejection of the words of the Prophet], so the American state, the Jewish state, and all other infidel countries will certainly be destroyed."24

Al-Ansari further developed his concept of total extermination in a subsequent article. First, he firmly criticized the Islamic movements that raise the banner of daawa (Islamic preaching) and support the gradual spread of Islam through education, social organizations, and the economy as the preferred means to bring about the victory of Islam over other religions. He asserts that Allah has the power and might to subdue the infidels and to exterminate them by his will. However, He has not done so because of His wish to designate this task to Muslims.

Al-Ansari relies on the Quranic verse: "Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace [meaning that Allah will kill the infidels], and assist you against them and heal the hearts of a believing people" (Al-Tawba, 14). The key word in this verse is "by your hands," which indicates the great importance Allah attributes to the physical action of the infidels' extermination. This is even more substantial than the daawa in executing the command of jihad, since the daawa, as important as it might be, could not fulfill God's commandment for extermination.

Al-Ansari wrote: "Allah is capable of exterminating his enemies with no need for intermediaries or the help of anyone. His might is infinite...therefore, when He [Allah] designates the task of extermination of infidels to his believers, He does so as a hidden expression of His power...the infidels' extermination is part of Islamic law, which is operative until the Day of Judgment. Its principal element will be fulfilled only at the hands of the believers, meaning through jihad, which is also to be operative until the Day of Judgment.25

Notes
1. http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/90sep/rage.htm
2. Abd al-Aziz al-Jarbou', Al-Ta'asil li-Mashrou'iyah Ma Hasals Li-Amrica Min Tadmir, Nov. 2001, p. 19-22 ("The Eighth Foundation" chapter). See also Saif al-Din al-Ansari, Al-Harb Al-Mu'asirah, January 2002.
3. http://www.saaid.net/fatwa/f23.htm
4. http://www.palestine-info.info/arabic/palestoday/dailynews/2002/feb02/19_2/detail.htm#1
5. For background on Qaradawi, see Reuven Paz, "Sheikh Dr. Yousef al-Qaradawi: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Policywatch, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, October 18, 2001.
6. http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=2042
7. Abd al-Aziz al-Jarbou', Al-Ta'asil, p. 72-73.
8. http://66.34.76.88/SalmanAldah/NihayetTareekh1.htm
9. Mamoun Fandy, Saudi Arabia and the Politics of Dissent (New York: Palgrave, 1999).
10. http://www.alshaab.com/GIF/28-06-2002/Q.htm
11. Salafi - A follower of the Prophet Muhammad's immediate successors, the pious ancestors (al-salaf al-salihin). Salafi movements have sought to restore Islam on the basis of its seventh-century teachings - that is, Islam as it was under the Prophet Muhammad and his immediate successors. Salafis usually belong to one of several groups, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wahhabis.
12. http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=67739
13. http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=35806
14. http://www.islamonline.net/fatwaapplication/arabic/display.asp?hFatwaID=96437.
In this context, see also http://islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=31548;
http://islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=71076;
http://islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=48811;
http://www.qassam.org/hamas_fire.htm
15. http://www.kataeb-ezzeldeen.com/Taqrer02_12_02.htm
16. http://www.alshaab.com/GIF/03-05-2002/Palestine%204.htm
17. Abu Ayman al-Hilali, "Risalah Al-Imam Wa-Malamih Al-Khuttah Al-Mustaqbalia," Al-Ansar, vol. 21, Nov. 20, 2002, pp. 17-22.
18. Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Al-Dimouqratia Din. http://almaqdese.com/c?c=1.1 Ali al-Khudeir defined secularism as "shirk" (polytheism). Ali bin Khudeir al-Khudeir, Al-Qawa'id Al-'Arba' Al-lati Tufariq Bayna Al-Muslimin Wa-Din Al-'ilmiyeen, al-Quaim, Saudi Arabia. http://www.saaid.net/Warathah/khudier/kh3.zip. See also Abu al-Saed al-'amili, "Al-Dimoqratia: wsilah Li-'ihtiwa Al-Tayyar Al-'islami," Al-Ansar, Vol. 23, December 19, 2002, pp. 25-30.
19. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/abubanan/message/780; http://groups.yahoo.com/group/abubanan/message/790.
20. Nasser bin Hamed al-Fahd, Risalah Fi 'istikhdam 'asliha Al-Dammar Al-Shamil Did Al-Kuffar, May 2003.
21. Saif al-Din al-Ansari, Ghazwa 11 Sebtenber, September 2002, pp. 10-12.
22. http://saaid.net/Warathah/hmood/h40.htm
23. http://alarabnews.com/alshaab/GIF/26-10-2001/fatwa2.htm
24. Saif al-Din al-Ansari, "Wa-Yimhaq Al-kafirin," Al-Ansar, vol. 15, Aug. 10, 2002, pp. 4-8.
25. Saif al-Din al-Ansari, "Yi'adhibuhoum Allah Bi-'aydikum," Al-Ansar, vol. 16, Aug. 24, 2002, pp. 4-9.

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Sunday, April 11, 2004

A terrorist speaks

By Alyssa A. Lappen and Jerry Gordon
FrontPageMagazine.com | April 2, 2004

On Thursday March 25, former PLO terrorist Walid Shoebat1 mesmerized a Wesleyan University audience. Nearly 200 students, faculty and Connecticut residents cleared ironclad security and packed room 107 in Shanklin Hall: According to Wesleyan Public Security and the Middletown police, an email from the Bank of Bahrain had placed a $10 million price on Shoebat’s head.

The crowd took no comfort from the technical deficiencies of this particular Islamic threat: It arrived unaccompanied by a fatwa (religious ruling)—and unsigned by a Muslim sheikh. Concern for Shoebat’s safety was nevertheless palpable: His rejection of Islam, to which he was born, his avowal of Christian faith and his support for Israel, all make Shoebat a potential target of his own Muslim family and other Islamic radicals. Shoebat’s peril is all the greater for his intimate acquaintance with many PLO terrorists and their operations, in which he once willingly participated.

Turnout at Wesleyan was bolstered by Shoebat’s 30 minute interview that morning on Hartford’s WTIC news talk radio, an Infinity broadcasting affiliate. After Jim Vicevich featured Shoebat on Connecticut Today, WTIC’s switchboard lit up. Eager listeners swamped the station with calls, says producer Mike Constantino, who immediately invited Shoebat to return to the show.

Jerry Gordon conceived of Shoebat’s Wesleyan appearance after the university hosted a radical February 7 “training day,” co-sponsored by Students for a Free Palestine (SFP) and Al Awda. The latter group seeks Israel’s political destruction through a supposed Arab “right of return.” Gordon connected with Shoebat and Irish Jewish publicist Keith Davies through New York playwright Glyn O’Malley, whose one-act drama Paradise concerns Islamic suicide bombing and earlier earned him Muslim ire2. After reading of Shoebat, O’Malley contacted and spoke at length with him. He then emailed Gordon, extolling Shoebat’s message. Gordon contacted Davies and obtained a preview DvD.

Gordon had learned of Wesleyan’s plan to host radicals on February 7 in an urgent February 1 email from New York Jewish activist Janet Lehr: over Tu B’shevat weekend—the Jewish Arbor Day—the university would feature an Al Awda “training day” anchored by the group’s anti-Semitic chief, Yale Medical School geneticist Mazin Qumsiyeh. Coincidentally, Shoebat grew up with Qumsiyeh in the village of Beit Sahour near Bethlehem. Their families are well acquainted. Qumsiyeh participated in terrorist activities as a teenager in the 1970’s, according to Shoebat.

More than one third of Wesleyan’s 2,500 students are Jewish. One fifth of its 250 full time faculty are Jewish, as well. By contrast, says junior Todd Stock, only five SFP members are Jewish. Despite vociferous protests from the Jewish community in advance protests of the Al Awda session, Wesleyan held the February 7 event as scheduled.

Matthew Scherzer, assistant head of Connecticut’s American Jewish Committee chapter, immediately exposed the rabid Jew-hatred Al Awda3 advanced there in the Jewish Ledger. Local AJC and Anti-Defamation League leaders then followed up with Kol Israel students and 10 Jewish Wesleyan faculty members.

Gordon proposed that Shoebat come to Wesleyan to counter Al Awda’s poison. On March 2, he previewed the Shoebat DvD with Kol Israel leaders Stock and freshman Vlad Gutkovich at Bayit House on campus. They invited Shoebat to Middletown on March 25th.

Shoebat’s talk was nuanced and effective.

He described an educational system that inculcates students with Jew hatred through every imaginable medium: Nursery songs paint Jews as dogs and pigs; caricatures and ubiquitous graffiti decorate every wall in Arab villages. Walid attended two elementary grades at an Anglican Lutheran school. Even Christians there perpetuate and legitimize Jew hatred, he said. Their “liberation” and “replacement theology” call for Israel’s destruction. Fatah propaganda incorrectly portrays the Jewish Jesus as a Palestinian revolutionary, he noted. For the crown of thorns, PLO churches substitute barbed wire adjoining refugee camp fences. He said Hanan Ashrawi and George Habash—one a prominent Christian member of Arafat’s PLO, the other a terrorist and founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine—graduated from schools that foment Islamicized Christian Jew hatred.

The “Palestinian refugee” problem, Shoebat said, results from international hypocrisy. Fifty-six years after the first Arab-Israeli war, Arabs continue to live in deplorable squalor in camps maintained by UNWRA, he said. Past Israeli governments often proposed replacing the camps with apartment buildings, he said. But Palestinian and Arab UN general assembly members vociferously rejected each such plan as "provocative." Meanwhile, Shoebat said, Middle Eastern Arab and Muslim governments expelled more than 900,000 Jews after Israel’s 1948 war of Independence—and confiscated their homes, bank accounts, even their clothing—without recompense. Israel resettled Jewish refugees, he said. They became productive citizens. Arab League member states, by contrast, refused to help their brothers in Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Instead they exploited the “refugee” camps as a propaganda tool that even today perpetuates the international jihad with a myth of Arab and Muslim victim hood, he said.

Unlike American teenagers, Shoebat spent his youth stoning Jewish worshipers at the kotel—the western wall—from the Temple mount. He was briefly detained in the Russian compound prison, he said.

After his release, Shoebat worked with Fatah bomb makers in Jerusalem, including a relation of Dalal Al-Mughrabi 4, who murdered an American, Gail Rubin, and 35 Israelis in a 1978 Jerusalem bus hijacking and open market bombing. Then Shoebat’s turn came. Mahmud Al-Mughrabi gave him a hollowed loaf of Jewish bread packed with explosives. This operator directed Shoebat to destroy the Bethlehem branch of Bank Leumi. He told Shoebat its timer was set to explode late that night; in reality, it was set for—and detonated at—6 p.m. Fortunately, Shoebat arrived at the target early, he said. There, he saw Palestinian children circulating outside. Concerned for their safety, he tossed the bomb onto a nearby roof, where it exploded harmlessly shortly thereafter. Otherwise, Al-Mughrabi’s bread bomb would have rendered Shoebat an involuntary suicide bomber.

Shoebat also described an attempted lynching. He and fellow Beit Sahour rioters attacked an Israeli officer and stripped him of his bullhorn, sidearm, plastic shield and helmet. They clubbed and pounded his head with a nail-studded stick, until the officer became a bloody gore. “Thank God I do not have Jewish blood on my hands,” he said: IDF reinforcements arrived and the officer regained enough strength to rise and jump to safety over a burning wall of tires. Shoebat said he hopes eventually to find him and make personal amends.

Al Awda’s Mazin Qumsiyeh participated in that Beit Sahour incident, Shoebat said privately. The Shoebat family, he noted, had once sold property to the Qumsiyehs. Nearly three years older than he, Mazin “was a product of Arab Christian education, a society that absorbed lethal confusion and hatred from its Islamic surroundings.” Shoebat would like to debate Mazin Qumsiyeh publicly, perhaps at Yale University.

Shoebat came to the US to attend Loop College in Chicago, he said. There, he worked as a PLO student organizer. Of perhaps 100 Palestinians he knew, who enrolled at that time in American colleges, only a handful actually graduated. They were too busy holding rallies and raising funds for their terrorist cause. They collected for battle fatigues, which they sent to PLO forces in Lebanon, for example. To attract participants, they advertised events deceptively, Shoebat said. In Arabic a poster might announce “a fund raiser for the cause.” In English, the same poster would invite students “to a middle east feast with baklava and lamb.”

Shoebat said he fears that Islamist hatred of Jews could lead to another holocaust in the 21st Century. To prevent such an outcome, he said the “terrorism factories” in the disputed territories and throughout the Middle East must be destroyed. Unfortunately the international community fails to even recognize the problem, he added. But even if the United Nations should unexpectedly dismantle the educational systems that mass manufacture hatred 5, Shoebat said, Jew hatred could not be expunged from Palestinian Authority, Arab or Muslim societies in less than a generation. He lamented the current lack of hope that such a process can ever begin.

During the Wesleyan Q+A, Shoebat was asked how and why he “converted.” He first read the Old Testament, he said, to counter the objections of his nominally Catholic third wife to his demand that she convert to Islam. He also hoped to prove to her the illegitimacy of the Jewish people and their claim to Israel. Much to his surprise, he found that the Tenach radiates with compassion, contrasting sharply with the Koran he had been taught. Thus Shoebat undertook biblical training. He gladly fled hatred of Jews and Israel and converted to Christianity, Zionism and love for Jews. He and his wife now teach this tradition to their children.

Following Shoebat’s Wesleyan talk, 30 students and community members adjourned to a campus lounge for further discussion. He enthralled them.

Central Connecticut State University Professor Jay Bergman, President of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Association of Scholars, found Shoebat’s talk “a revelation, even for someone like myself,…an unequivocal and enthusiastic supporter of Israel and the democratic principles it practices.” That Shoebat had participated in violence gave “his testimony a special credence and credibility that it might otherwise lack. All those on the left and in America and Europe who turn a blind eye to the blatant and vicious anti-Semitism pervasive in the Middle East should be required to attend one of [his] lectures.”

Kol Israel student leader Stock said, "The evening was a success; every one I spoke with was impressed…. [Many] people…left with a new found understanding." For once, he said, the perpetrators of hatred were silenced.

Before Shoebat’s Wesleyan appearance, Hartford JFACT president Marty Shapiro heard Shoebat on WTIC radio. He phoned associate Bob Fishman to ask if Shoebat “was for real.” Assured that he was, Shapiro abandoned plans to watch UConn basketball and brought his wife to hear Shoebat in person. Now, Shapiro intends to invite Shoebat for another Connecticut visit.

A Christian WTIC listener approached a Connecticut organizer following Shoebat’s Middletown talk. “It’s about time such a message was heard,” he beamed. Most Wesleyan and UConn students were equally impressed. They echoed student reactions Shoebat received at many other campuses this spring.

One especially noteworthy response came at Montreal’s Concordia University, where Muslim students, in September 2002, had rioted to prevent former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 6 from speaking. They kicked, punched, spat and threw chairs on Jewish students entering the auditorium. Montreal police quelled the melee only with tear gas. “I was never so scared in my life,” a Jewish student told Lappen last month. Riot instigator Samir Elatrash 7, ostensibly suspended for three years, still remains enrolled 8. Muslims continue even now to accost Jewish students 9 on the Concordia campus, the young woman reports. Elatrash has been emboldened by his central role in a National Film Board of Canada documentary 10 on the riot, which he decries for its “bias.” His recent anti-Israel screen for Montreal Muslim News 11 is featured in the news archive 12 of the Islamic Association for Palestine terror group.

To this tense campus, Walid Shoebat arrived on March 10 13. Elatrash came, once again intent upon shouting down a Zionist speaker. But Elatrash was stunned, according to Shoebat, to encounter in this pro-Israel Palestinian his own cousin. Shoebat easily won student hearts. Elatrash led the Muslim toughs who confidently sought to disrupt his presentation.

Shoebat would have none of it. “This kind of behavior has made the Middle East dysfunctional,” he told them. “In Canada, we do not accept such incivility. Listen to me, and during Questions and Answers, you will each get your own opportunity to speak.” The crowd cheered wildly.

When their turn came, the Muslims lined up at the mic and spoke one by one. The audience booed each one. Shoebat again upended them. Then Elatrash reached the mic and complained of Jewish oppression. “How do you know,” Shoebat asked his cousin. “You never lived there.” Shoebat recalled a shooting committed by Samir’s father. Muslims had blamed on the Jews, he said. Rabbi Tovia Singer broadcast the two-hour program over Israel National Radio in a segment entitled: “Former PLO Terrorist Succeeds where Bibi failed.14 ”

At Wesleyan, Concordia—and many other venues—Shoebat earned well-deserved standing ovations. His truthful message 15 should be replicated on college campuses across North America.


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