Bible Commentator

ISLAM AND THE WEST

Rabbi Moshe Reiss

moshereiss@moshereiss.org

3. FUNDAMENTALISM

A. INTRODUCTION

B. THE BALKANS CONFLICT

C. HINDU – MUSLIM CONFLICT

D. NATIONALISM AND POLITICAL ISLAM

E. ISLAMISM OR RADICAL ISLAM

F. ARAB FAILURES

G. BASIS OF ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM

H. TERRORISM

I SUICIDE BOMBERS - 24

J. MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD - 33

K. AL QUADA AND OSAMA BIN LADEN

L. CONCLUSION


ISLAMISM OR FUNDAMENTALIST ISLAM    

A. INTRODUCTION

Fundamentalists are at war with World or at the very least a specific part of the world. Fundamentalists battle for the Rule of God, whether they are Tamil separatists who introduced the era of suicide bombing, Aum Shinrikyo the Japanese Apocalypt who threw a gas bomb in a Japanese subway, Sikh Separatists, Hindu Nationalists, Jewish Nationalists, Arabs terrorists, Serbian Orthodox Christians or Protestant Fundamentalists. There is a strand of aggressive thought in all the major religions. The question to be addressed is does God approve of all these people killing in His name? Or are all these ‘religious spokesmen’ imagining God in their own image?

According to a translation of an article written by Abu Ayman al-Hilali, a senior al-Quadaaeda leader and ideologist, the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Germany, and Australia are "enemies" and attacks against their civilians are justified. Since Western governments are engaged in a war against Islam, he argued, the civilian voters who elect those governments cannot be considered non-combatants and are legitimate targets for terrorists. These fundamentalists have defined their enemies and then justified killing them. 1

Fundamentalists per se are not the problem; religious violence is the problem. According to its believers religious violence is sacred violence and is a blend of sacrifice and martyrdom. The enemy is sacrificed while ones own side offers martyrs. Juergensmeyer notes that the Palestinian’s, Israeli’s, Egyptian’s, Iranian’s, Sikh’s, Sinhalese and Algerian’s all claim metaphorically to be the good and their enemies to be evil. 2 Many of these (although not all) have used suicide bombers violently killing men, women and children. These violent images ‘although terribly real, are then sanitized by being symbols; they are stripped of their horror by being invested with religious meaning’ almost as if they were the religious ritual of animal sacrifice. 3

Violent fundamentalists see power as indivisible. They primarily come from societies where power is indivisible and wish to replace that power. Does this make these movements an ideology rather than a religion? What is clear is it not democratic. Democracy is about sharing power. Fundamentalists abhor sharing power; after all would God share His power?

Once one believes that a Holy Book comes directly from God the result is that God alone determines ethical behaviour. The Qur’an states ‘Let there be formed of you a community inviting to good, commanding what is laudable, and restraining [others] from what is disreputable’ (Sura 3:104). This is an inevitable problem. Only a theological government can fulfill these commands.  Reason is thrown out of the window, and paradoxically the subjectivity of the interpreter reigns. Fundamentalists believe they and only they know God’s truth, thus their truth is not subjective. Of the three Abrahamic Holy Books each contains verses that both preach hatred and love. Each teaches about metaphysical evil and metaphysical good. Each person or ethnic group chooses which verses to follow and which group will be defined as the metaphysical evil.

Inasmuch all these individuals believe that God supports their position how is this to be solved – how is peace among God’s followers to be established?

DEFINITION OF FUNDAMENTALISM:

Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appelby in their five volume study define the features fundamentalism as follows:

1.Opposition to Modernism includes autonomy of the individual; hegemony of reason and an ideology of progress. This would include Empiricism, Scientism and Meritocracy. Thus fundamentalism can be seen as a response – perhaps a panic based response to modernism.  Fundamentalists have no interest in democracy, pluralism, religious tolerance, free speech or peace. They are only interested in realization and actualization of their version of the Truth. Nonetheless, despite their anti-Secular position, all have in fact embraced  modernity. They make extensive use of the latest state of the art technology, computers, the Internet, airplanes and the most modern weapons money can buy. As Olivier Roy, the French scholar, puts it, "Rather than a reaction against the modernization of Muslim societies, Islamism is a product of it." 4

2. Infallibility and Divine Inspiration of Scriptures including its own and only its own traditional commentary.

3. The have the only Truth – absolute Truth, the Only Road to Salvation, exclusiveness and intolerance. Only two types of ‘servants’ exist in their theology; servants of God or servants of the Devil. Fundamentalists are eschatological and ‘seize upon a particular historical moment, matched by the sacred text and tradition, and interpreted according to an uncanny calculation of time and space’. 5  

4. Salvation comes only as a member of their anti-individualistic exclusive community..Members of other religions are the source of all evil.

5. Fundamentalism is reactive, defensive and selective.  ‘Fundamentalism is a religious response to marginalization of religion and a pattern of religious activism. . . . Its intention is to gain religious hegemony.’6

A. Sachedina, an Islamic scholar defined Islamic fundamentalism as ‘the religious idealism that promises its adherents that once the Islamic norm is applied, it will effect dramatic change and vanquish the manifold sociopolitical and moral problems afflicting the Muslim peoples . .  secularism, which in the context of modern Western civilization signifies a movement away from God, will inherently remain alien to Islam’s theocentric emphasis’. 7  If one were to substitute the word Jewish in the above quotation the identical philosophy would apply.

Fundamentalists belief that they have the exclusive ‘ear’ to God’s word. Furthermore they are totally convinced that their specific brand and specific goals and aims can overcome reality. ‘We do not see any contradiction between the Qur’anic report and the historical reality’. 8

No fundamentalist considers him/her self a fundamentalist. Fundamentalists consider themselves traditionalists defending the truth in ritualistic and therefore conventional ways. Fundamentalists defend their positions and actions (whether violent or not) through the truth. Since they know the truth they refuse to dialogue about it.

Tradition is under enormous strain as a result of Globalization. Fundamentalism can be seen as a defense of Tradition. Anthony Glidden called in ‘beleaguered tradition. . . and tradition defended in the  traditional way ’ in his 1999 Reith Lecture.

‘A substantial body of research indicates that fundamentalist movements in the Abrahamic traditions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) are particularly attractive to graduates in the applied sciences (such as engineering, computer programming and other highly technical trades). Graduates in the arts and humanities who are trained to read texts critically may be less susceptible to the simplistic religious messages put forward by such movements. Technical specializations discourage critical thinking. It may be that technicians from “pre-Enlightenment” cultures operate on separate epistemological tracks. The cultural, emotional and spiritual knowledge embedded in the religious tradition they inherit has not been integrated with the technical knowledge they acquire by training and by rote.’  9


WHAT CAUSES FUNDAMENTALISM?

Marty and Appleby suggest that the impact of social upheaval in a traditional society often creates the collapse of social structures. Among such disruptive events one may include rapid rural to urban movement, modernization, cultural educational and welfare transformations. These events can cause the collapse of long held assumptions about the ‘way the world is supposed to be.’ When these occur many people feel disoriented, uprooted and lose purpose.

‘The Truth is the Truth whether it comes from the minority or the majority. If the majority is wrong and the minority is right, then the right course of action lies with the minority.  Religion requires its government to follow the Truth, even if it comes from the minority. The Truth must be followed. Thus not only does the minority have the right to be present in the Parliament, but also if it is right, the whole Parliament must recognize that right and submit to it and adopt it.’ 10 This statement was issued by Abassi Madani, the leader of the FIL – the terrorist group in Algeria - it could have been issued by any fundamentalist group.

The West sees Islamic fundamentalism as a threat. If the West represents Scientism and Modernity fundamentalists are its anti-thesis. Fundamentalism is based on its opposition to modernity; if there were no modernity there would be no Fundamentalists.

Radical Islam sees long term Western ideology as an attempt to destroy Islam. This view dates back to the Crusades and stretches to Napoleon’s invasion,  colonialism, the breakup of the Ottoman Empire and the western establishment of the State of Israel on Islamic land.

Unfortunately violent fundamentalists be they religious, ethnic or national act in the same way. They all kill in the name of God, using God as their justification for killing. Does this suggest that religion is by its nature violent? ‘Islamic fundamentalism is both fully politics and fully religion’. 11

As Spengler noted: 'Culture enables past generations to speak to the living, and the passing generation to speak to the future. For us to be remembered, not merely replaced like the beasts, our culture must continue. . .  What threatens the ummah today is not the invasion of territory, but creative destruction: social mobility, equality of the sexes, global communications, and all the other pallbearers of traditional society. The encounter of mainstream Islamic practice with the creative destruction of the West is tragic.' 12


Ralph Linton in an article ('Nativistic Movements') noted that '[W]hen a culture seems threatened by another certain current or remembered elements of culture are selected for emphasis and given symbolic value. The more distinctive such elements are with respect to [the] other culture . . . the greater their potential value as symbols of the society's unique character'. Everyone chooses what symbols to use as a cultures unique character.


Sayyid Qutb, the major theoretician of Islamic fundamentalism believed he heard God speaking to him  (13He said 'The role of the white man came to an end. . . his role ended whether he was Russian or American, English or French, Swiss or Swedish. . .   If they follow God's way of life, then they are within God's religion. If they follow another way of life, they do not follow God's religion.'  He believed his unchanging God created unchanging laws written in an unchanging book. Some believers in my Book  - the Hebrew Bible - have the same belief. Why would God defined in the Qur'an as 'the most merciful and the most compassionate' do this to His creatures - all of humankind. Why not give us all valid messengers?


In a newsletter published by the Lubavitch -the largest Hassidik orthodox movement in the Jewish world  - Rabbi Moshe Wisnefsky stated 'If you talk to God, you are holy; if he talks to you, you are insane' (Farbrengen, Passover 2000).  The Rabbi was suggesting that we need to be careful towards persons whose psychology is such that they belief God NEEDS their interpretation.

The Sages of the Talmud asked similar questions about Ezekiel (Mishna Megilla 4:10, BT Yoma 77a and about Hosea (BT Pesachim 87a-b).  Their answers were not complementary to those two canonized prophets.


Qutb chose his God words. All words by human beings are chosen, God words when accepted by believers can be uplifting or tragic. Qutb could have chosen as his medieval spiritual father Ibn Taymiyya did in fighting the 'khawarig';  those ancient Islamic marcionist's who believed that whoever did not believe their view of God's word were unbelievers and therefore subject to death.  Ibn Taymiyya as earlier the Prophet's Companions, waged war against this cult of 'metaphysical evil' - an evil only surpassed according to Ibn Taymiyya by the cruelty of the Mongol invaders.(Jansen, pg. 33-34). One wonders what Ibn Taymiyya would have thought of the words and actions of Osama bin Laden. Osama bin Laden’s  Arab followers in the Sudan now ethnically cleanse, that is murder and rape African Blacks in Sudan and Chad.


Qutb's choice of God words - those quoted above and others - being the Islamic fundamentalist’s motto - are tragic for the Islamic ummah as well as the rest of us.


Poverty does not cause fundamentalism; prosperity cannot cure it. Fundamentalists seek their Future in the Past; Modernists seek the future in the Future.

Some Islamic conflicts consist of national or ethnic problems. Two that have come to force in the last decade are in the Balkans with Muslims battling Orthodox Christian Serbs and Catholics and in India between Hindus – a non-Abrahamic religion living for centuries peacefully with Muslims - and Islam.


B. THE BALKANS CONFLICT

It is difficult to comprehend what happened in the former Yugoslavia.

During the years of the leadership of Marshall Tito Yugoslavia was considered a successful semi-capitalist multi-ethnic state. Tito was Croatian and was a charismatic leader of the anti-Fascists during WWII. However typical of even the best of benevolent dictators he did not provide for legitimate succession at his demise. His death coincided with an economic downturn and Slobodan Milosevic, a Serb created his ‘legitimacy’ based on being the nationalistic ‘Protector of the Serbian People’. He considered the Serbs a victimized people.  Moral legitimacy, Liberal Democracy and the Rule of Law can never be justified by Nationalists – it is inherently intolerant to minorities.

Sabrina Ramet states that ‘Yugoslavia was always a Tower of Babel whose builders not only spoke different languages, but talked past each other.’ 14 Paradoxically Tito metaphorically understood all the languages. It was his policy that if Serb was arrested for a political offense, a Croat and a Muslim would equally be arrested.  When his government promoted a Croat, a Serb and a Muslim had to be promoted as well. He believed in and encouraged ethnic harmony through his version of equal opportunity.

In 1990 Yugoslavia was composed of six Republics and two autonomous Regions, 18 ethnic communities, 14 different dialects of a language (Serbo-Croat) common to 90% of the population, despite two separate alphabets (Cyrillic and Latin)  and three major religions – Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity and Muslim. The Serbs had been ruled by Turkish Muslims for 500 years until they liberated themselves in the mid 19th century. By contrast the Croats were an integral part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and thus escaped Turkish rule. Prior to WWII the majority of Bosnia was made up of ethnic Serbs. In the course of WWII the Serbs who fought Nazi Germany had a great loss of lives. After WWII the ethnic make up of Bosnia included 43% Muslim, 31%  Serbs and 17% Croats.

A perceptive American Slavic scholar noted when in 1989 when visiting Yugoslavia that ‘Serbs feared everyone, everyone feared the Serbs, Macedonians and Montenegrins feared the Albanians, and Montenegrins feared each other’. 15

Prior to the decline of Yugoslavia, in the days of Tito, a feeling of oppression was shared equally by all Churches and Mosques throughout the land. The Orthodox Christians were oppressed in Kosovo and Croatia. In Serbia the Catholics were oppressed. In Serbia and Croatia the Muslims were oppressed. In Macedonian Russian Orthodox Church felt oppressed against the Greek Orthodox and in Serbia belonged to the Russian Orthodox Church the Greek Orthodox were oppressed.  When Milosevic took power in 1987 the Serbian power and oppression increased exponentially. Even in areas where Muslims had a numerical majority (Kosovo and Bosnia) they were on the defensive and adopted a quiescent social and cultural tone.

In the 1990’s nearly one half of a million Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats and mostly Albanian, Kosovoian and Bosnian Muslims were killed by each other for Religious-Ethno-National reasons in Europe. Paul Mojzes stated that ‘insofar as this is a ‘religious war’ it is being fought largely by non-religious people who wear religion as a distinguishing badge but do not know what the badge stands for’. He called it an ‘Ethno-national’ war. 16

 ‘On June 28, 1989. at the Gracanica monastery in Kosovo, the Serb Orthodox Patriarch led a procession of 300 Priests in Scarlet Robes to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the death of Prince Lazar at the Battle of Kosovo the central hero of Serbian mythology in 1389. For a week preceding the commemoration, Serb pilgrims in the monastery had prayed before the  relics of Lazar. Nearby on the plains of Gazimestan the site of the battle 500 years earlier, a vast crowd estimated at one million gathered. Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic (an ex Communist) taking full advantage of the event, mounted a stage with a backdrop depicting peonies, the flower that symbolized the blood of Lazar, and an Orthodox cross with a Cyrillic ‘C’ at each of its four corners. (CCCC stands for ‘Only Unity Saves the Serbs’.) The crowd chanted ‘Kosovo is Serb’ and ‘We Love you, Slobodan, because You hate the Muslims’.’ 17

The recently deceased Catholic Tudjman (another ex Communist) considered a ‘messianic  figure’ by his people, led his people to acts of unspeakable evil in the name of Jesus.  Fanjo Cardinal Kuharic told his Islam counterpart that the killing and expulsions of Muslims was ‘justified’. The Metropolitan Amfilohije described the Bosnia Serb community as ‘the last redoubt of unsullied holiness, of untroubled and unpolluted Truth’. 18

All the above was declared in the name of Jesus!

Did these two ex communists represent Christianity? Do they represent an Ethno-Nationalist Theology? Or were both religiously illiterate? Pope John Paul II disagreed; standing in Zagreb in front of Tujman he stated ‘the risking of idolizing a nation, a race or a party and justifying in their name hatred, discrimination and violence’.is unGodly 19

While Pope Paul II could not control the ethnic hatred of Croatia’s Catholics, the problem is even greater with the Serbs.  Their Orthodox Church is unreformed and its believers tend to be scriptural literalists and less modern.  

Some Catholic clerics (Cardinal Vinko Puljic and Cardinal Franjo Kuharic of Banja Luka, a Muslim stronghold), some Orthodox Christians (Patriarch Pavel of Serbia and Bishop Irinej who excommunicated those who burnt Mosques) and some Muslim Clerics have been martyred for not having accepting the brutal definition of their religion. However their religious objections were too late and too few.  Too Many Clerics adhered to the Evil. Their Orthodox Bishops reveled in the Kosovo commemoration and believed in a “Greater Serbia’. (Does that remind the reader of the search for some other ‘Greater’?)

In 1992 the people of Bosnia were composed of 44% Muslims, 32% Serbs and 17%  Croats. Among the 109 districts – 11 districts were composed of more than 70% Muslims, 11 were composed of 70% Serbs and 10 districts were 70% Croats. The remaining 77 districts were composed of mixed populations and had lived that for hundreds of years. It was the politicians that created this hatred.

In early 1992 a deal was struck between Tujman and Milosevic to partition Bosnia. The Bosnians voted in favor of autonomy although not necessarily for secession; Croatia and Slovenia had already seceded. Milosevic claimed that his Muslims were Serbs of the Muslim faith. Tujman claimed that his Muslims were Croats of Muslim Faith. Their intention was that – one way or another – the Muslims would convert. Brian Hall 20 stated that the Bosnian Muslims were treated like the Jews in Nazi Germany.

Croat Bosnia was effectively ethnically cleansed of Serbs. A Croat journalist stated that the UN cannot indict our people because we won the war. ‘It never happened in history that the winners were put on trial. The U.S. committed war crimes in Vietnam and Nagasaki, but it has never apologized. The British Army bombed Dresden and the goal was to kill civilians, and no one put them on trial’.

Why did Europe decline do react?

Faud Ajami suggested that Bosnia encompassed the Death of an Idea; the idea that in Europe an multiethnic people could live in one country in peace. The Bosnian Muslim were the most Europeanized Muslims in the World, They intermarried and lived together with Serbians and Croats. They were in fact heretical Muslims – they even had women clergy. 21 But it did not matter to the Serbs and the Croats – they were Muslims and therefore had to die or be transferred out.

Dr. Radovan Karadzic, (a psychiatrist) the head of the Bosnian Serbs and his General Tatco Mladic remain in hiding after years of hiding. The U.N. troops have trying for years to find them in the Serb part of Bosnia. Milosevic has been indicted at the Hague for Genocide. Karadzic’s face is emblazoned on T-shirts and buttons all over Serbia. The motto says ‘Every one of us is Radovan’. His most recent book of children’s poetry is a best seller. His aspirations continue to represent that of many Serbs. He has in effect been beatified He has become a legend of the Serbian Knight fighting the Turks at Polje in 1389.

The people of Kosovo are made up of almost 2,000,000 Albanian Muslims and 200,000 Serbs. In 1990 at the demand of Milesovic the language of the University of Pristina was changed to Serbian. In Lower and Middle schools the language of Albania was terminated. Street signs were changed to Serbian names. The Kosovo Academy of Sciences was eliminated. In 1992 the Kosovan Shakespearian scholar Ibrahim Rugova, a pacifist, was elected President of the Republic of Kosovo. His election was rejected by Milosevic. The Serbian government offered Serbs free land to resettle into Kosovo. By April 1999 it is estimated that 75% of the Muslims had been ethnically cleansed by the Serbs, over one million refugees.

In Kosovo, freed by NATO KLA members who committed atrocities against Serbs are heroes and once indicted will become, according to a publisher of the most important Kosovo newspaper ‘untouchable’.

How is it possible that Serbs – the major murderers -  the Croats and the Muslims all committed so much evil. They all claim to be victims; yet they all murdered their ethnic enemies.

Serb radio claimed that Muslims fed Serb children to the Zoo animals – despite the animals had all been killed or starved to death earlier and took Serb soldiers and put then of a pit like a lamb to be roasted.

At the latest election in late 2002 each ethnic group, the Serbs, Muslims and Croats won their election, nobody votes for a politician from another ethnic group.

Former U.S. ambassador Warren Zimmerman said ‘these nationalist figures give people a sense of confidence and superiority – it makes each group feel they are “Chosen”. It is just one step from saying “we’re just as good” to saying “We’re better”, which is another way of saying the wars are not over.’

Perhaps ethno-nationalism has become a substitute for religion.


C. HINDU – MUSLIM CONFLICT

The Indian conflict is an additional example that ethnic hatred is not confined to the three monotheistic religions. It is the goal of Nationalist Hindus to ethnically cleanse India from the Muslims. Their aim is to create a religious state to be called Hindustan. These nationalist Hindus are not a danger to the West because they care only about Hindustan; but they are a danger to the Muslims who have lived in India fro centuries. The danger is that Pakistan, part of the sub-continent and India both have nuclear weapons and they share a land conflict over Kashmir.

India is the largest democracy in the world. Pakistan as a quasi-democracy, who backed the Taliban in Afghanistan and despite the government‘s policy towards the U.S. is quite Conservative in terms of Islam. Pakistan is clearly an enemy of India. In terms of sheer numbers there are over 800 million Hindus and perhaps 150 million Muslims in Pakistan.

Mahatma Ghandi stated that who say that religion and politics are separate do not understand politics or religion. His successor Jawaharal Nehru wrote to his daughter Indira (who was her father’s successor) while he was in a British jail ‘It is curious and rather wonderful to compare other countries with India in the matter of other religions’. Nehru was specifically referring to India’s religious tolerance. Muhammad Iqbal a well known Indian Muslim theorist stated that ‘in Islam, God and the universe, spirit and matters of church and state, are organic to each other’. In it this ideology that was the basis of Britain creating the State of Pakistan.

Though a single country India does not have a single native language. Seven different languages are spoken by at least 25 million people; within those there are hundreds of dialects in which people cannot understand each other. Paradoxically the official language English is only spoken by perhaps 50 million people out of one billion. There are more polyglot persons in India that in any other country in the world. India is difficult country. Government officially fosters national Integration. This itself is very revealing fact. National identity is not a central issue for the inhabitants of America, Russian nor China, three of the most populace countries in the world.  People know who they are. Only India has a Minorities Commission.

The minority problem is largely based on Muslim oppression for centuries and the shorter period of British oppression. In the 11th century the Muslim invader Mahmud of Ghazni wrote of the destruction ‘the Hindus became like atoms of dust scattered in all directions.  . .Their scattered remains cherish, of course, the most inveterate aversion toward all Muslims.’ 22 That remarkable statement made almost 1,000 years ago seems like a prophecy.

The most critical point between India and Pakistan – both with nuclear weapons is Kashmir. This vast area has an overwhelmingly Muslim majority; 70 thousand Hindus and 6 million Muslims. It is controlled by India.  Bitter riots are not unusual. The Police and Army are Hindus.

Ghandi may be a world-wide hero of non-violence, but many Indians rejected his ideas even during his lifetime. He was far more religious than many of his followers and by his successor Jawaharal Nehru, who were secularists. His political party the Congress Party’s platform include national Unity, social justice,  political democracy and most important Secularism.

On the evening of Jan. 30, 1948, five months after India’s independence from Britain Mohandas Ghandi was assassinated. Ghandi considered the creation of   Pakistan as a separate homeland for the Muslims a personal failure. Religious strife began almost immediately. Eight million Muslim Indians moved to Pakistan and one million died in religious conflict. His assassin who did not try to escape - Nathuram Godse stated that Ghandi was ‘constantly and consistently pandering to the Muslims’. He was died singing a hymn to the ‘living Motherland, the land of the Hindus’.  He was a member of the Hindu nationalist organization called the RSS and a Brahmin, a member of the highest class in the Hindu religion.

The founder of the RSS was Keshav Baliram Hedgewar and was composed of religious rightists who were opposed to non-violence.  For them the meaning of ‘National Unity’ meant a country to be called Hinduism. The meaning of Social Justice was to retain the caste system. For them democracy meant ‘in any democratic country only the majority has rights . . .the minority will have only the rights which the majority bestows upon them at its pleasure’.

The leader for 33 years (1940-1973) Madhav Sadshiv Golwalker stated the ‘Hindus could profit from the example of the Nazi’s who had manifested race  pride at its highest by purging Germany of its Jews. Jews were guests but Muslims and Christians were invaders. The foreign races in Hindustan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold the  Hindu religion in reverance and glory the Hindu race and culture. Or must stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges. 23

In 1964 the VHP was founded as a political-religious offshoot of the RSS. Members of the VHP stage huge processions to intimidate other minority groups. They affirm ‘Hindu Values’. They are attempting to create an all encompassing ethno-national ‘Religion’. They are inclusive (as opposed to the RSS) and try to include the Untouchables, Sikhs, and Buddhists into their ranks.

In 1980 the BJP was formed as a pure political party related to the VHP. In 1998 Atal Bihari Vajpayee won the most seats in the Parliament (178 out of 543) and became Prime Minister.  

Vajpayee openly criticized the assassination of Ghandi by a nationalist. He continually speaks of Hindu culture and India as a Hindu nation. The Congress Party – the party of Ghandi and of his political successor Nehru are a Secular Party.  The conflict is clear – is India to be a secular state or Hindu state?

Why does Hindu nationalism assume an aggressive, exclusive form?  24 Hindu nationalists self perception is that of one huge Indian family. They are propelled by a family of closely-related ideas and together with their networks and organizations constitute an enormous right-wing platform. The movement brings together fundamentalists, traditionalists, anti-modernists, and right-wing conservatives who covet a form of anti-liberalism, repugnance for the left, a commitment to a distinctive and exclusivist variant of nationalism. They have a relentless antipathy to Muslims, and to a lesser extent, to Christians and to the secular-minded who desire equal citizenship for all Indians.

India is a land of contrasts, dilemmas and paradoxes. Despite modern India’s embrace of Globalisation – with its attendant bounty of branded white goods, ever-expanding choice of cars, shopping malls and flyways there remains an obsession with a mythical medieval temple in the town of Ayadhya in the province of Uttar Pradesh. They are avenging the 1,000-year humiliation of Muslim invasion. In Gujarat during an election year in February 2002, it resulted into an anti-Muslim pogrom.

The  Hindu Temple in Ayadhya

In 1992 the famous Babri Mosque was burnt down by Hindu nationalists. Hindus claim the Lord Ram was born there and a previous Temple devoted to him was destroyed in 1528. A mythological shrine of worship of course, cannot be shared.  On September 25, 1990 the previous leader of the BJP - L. K. Advani – took a pilgrimage by as an air ‘chariot’ to Babri – a journey of 10,000 kilometers and 35 days. (Does this remind one of another similar journey by a secular person later to become Prime Minister Sharon) to a holy of holy site - in competition? If one ever have the opportunity to listen or read  speeches by India national political spokesmen and the Israeli governments political spokesmen one could believe they write each others speeches.) Advani was stopped by the police shortly before completing his pilgramage. Two years the Mosque was destroyed brick by brick by 200,000 Hindus.

According to Vidya Subahamanian, an Indian journalist, the VHP has a plan for the Temple. 25 “Step one: the VHP threatens to set a date for the construction of the Temple coinciding with a crucial election. Step two: the BJP remain non-committal to begin with. Step three: the VHP, undeterred and now backed by the RSS, talks of a plan of action. Step four: the BJP – party as opposed to government – lends cautious support to the cause. Step five: the VHP-RSS combine to announce a series of meetings to be conducted on the disputed site. Step six: a BJP spokesperson (preferably its sole and doubtless very lonely Muslim in this role) pronounces these ceremonies legal. Step seven: pilgrims descend on Ayodhya. Step eight: the assemblage assumes the dimensions of a law and order problem. Step nine: Constituents protest but nonetheless express confidence in the secular credentials of prime minister’.

The first four steps have already been achieved. An upcoming election has recently been announced (February 2004); will the remaining five steps be  acted upon? Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has recently promised to have the Temple rebuilt.


D. NATIONALISM AND POLITICAL ISLAM

‘We . . . is the necessary foundation for any durable political system . . . and only the nation-state possesses this necessary sense of identity wrote an anonymous theorist. 26

Octavio Paz, the world renown South American writer wrote in ‘One Earth, Four or Five Worlds’ that ‘the strongest, fiercest, most enduring political passions are nationalism and religion’. 27

The Nation-State developed in Europe during a period of over a millennium but culminated after 1800. Parts of Great Britain were parts of France for centuries and the English language is partly Anglo, partly Scandinavian, partly German and partly French.  Germany, Italy and Hungary were unified in the 19th century. Parts of Transylvania are still disputed between Hungary and Romania.  Much of the Eastern European nation-states were created after WWI and with the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire andTurkish Empire Middle Eastern countires were created.  Some of the former Yugoslavian countries became independent, as recently as the late 1990’s.  

Why is Singapore a city-state; it is attached to Malaysia, a separate nation? (it is interesting that both countries are highly ranked in the Globalization index. 28

Why is the island of Borneo divided into parts of two different states, Indonesia and Malaysia? Who determined the borders of Iraq with its three different cultures, Sunni Islam, Shiia Islam and Kurds? And who determined the borders of Jordan, Syria and Palestine? Who established the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan? Are Afghanistan or Pakistan nation-states or tribal enclaves? Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica three islands within 100 miles of each other speak three different languages, Spanish, French and English; all European, how did that come about?

The answer to all these questions is the result of the colonial powers. How legitimate are these borders? Islamic fundamentalists consider some of these borders and its nation states not applicable to Islam.  


To live a fully Muslim life requires living in accord with the many laws of the Sharia. The Sharia includes difficult-to-implement precepts pertaining to taxation, the judicial system, and warfare. Its complete implementation can occur only when the ruler himself is a pious Muslim (though an impious Muslim is much preferable to a non-Muslim ). For Muslims, rule by non-Muslims is an abomination, a blasphemous inversion of God's dispensation.

This explains why one finds a consistently strong resistance to rule by non-Muslims through 14 centuries of Muslim history. Europeans recognized this resistance and in their post-crusades global expansion stayed largely away from majority-Muslim territories, knowing these would awesomely resist their control.

The pattern is striking: For over four centuries, from 1400 to 1830, Europeans expanded around the world, trading, ruling, and settling — but distinctly in places where Muslims were not, such as the Western Hemisphere, sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, and Australia. In a clear pattern of avoidance the imperial powers —Britain, France, Holland, and Russia — took control of far-away territories, while carefully avoiding their Muslim neighbors in North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.

Only in 1830 did a European power (France) find the confidence to frontally confront a Muslim state (Algeria). Even then, the French needed 17 years just to control the coastal region.

As European rulers conquered Muslim lands, they found they could not crush the Islamic religion, nor win the population over culturally, nor stamp out political resistance. However suppressed, some embers of resistance remained; these often sparked a flame of anti-imperialism that finally drove the Europeans out. In Algeria, a successful eight-year effort, 1954-62, expelled the French colonial authority.

In 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte appeared in Egypt with an army and declared himself a friend of Islam who had come to relieve the oppressed Egyptians of their Mamluk rulers. His successor as commander in Egypt, J.F. Menou, actually converted to Islam. But these efforts to win Egyptian goodwill failed, as Egyptians rejected the invaders' proclaimed good intentions, and remained hostile to French rule. The European-run ‘mandates’ set up in the Middle East after World War I included similar lofty intentions and also found few Muslim takers.” 29

Bassam Tibi, a Syrian national working in Germany tells that he has worked in dozens of countries in the Mid East and few people in those countries identify themselves as citizens of the state, but rather as Arabs and Muslims or as tribes or extended families. He has described the Mid East and Northern Africa excluding Egypt and Morocco as ‘tribes with a national flag’. 30 Citizenship in most Muslim countries is tribal and patriarchal rather than a community based on election as a free social organism. It is for that reason that Radical Islamicists look toward an Islamic State, based not on free elections by a citizenry but through a patriarchal tribal and clerical selection.

The West as a Civilization is composed of Nation-States, democratic with human rights and a free economic system. Islam as a Religious Civilization is based on a Universal Mission to all Humanity directed from God. These represent two different views of the World Order. The former can be seen as based on the Secular idea that Man determines its own institutions and its destiny, the latter that institutions are God determined.

Anthony Gidden’s claims the major factor behind the growth of nation-states is globalization.  31


E. RADICAL ISLAM OR ISLAMISM

Sabir Tu’ayam stated that ‘Islamic rules are not restricted for Muslims and to their societies. They are designed to organize all human relations be they Islamic or not yet Islamized, be it in peace or in a state of war; for Islamic rules create an international law.’  32


Mark R. Anspach in his article ‘Violence against Violence: Islam in Comparative Context’ suggests that at least some Islamic scholars believe in ‘jihad’ or holy war against non-believers, not defensively but aggressively. 33 Martin Kramer in his article ‘Sacrifice and Fratricide in Shiite Lebanon’ discussed the beginning of suicide bombing or self-martydom by Hizbollah and Amal as a Shiite phenomenom. His article was written before suicide bombing were adopted by the non-Shiite Hamas and others in the Israel/Palestine conflict. 34

Despite Judaism and Christianity having legitimacy in Islam directly from the Qur’an, Islamic fundamentalism changed their status by making them infidel representatives of the West. Osama bin Laden stated in his fatwa declaration of Jihad against the Jews and Crusaders on February 23, 1998.

‘Killing the Americans and their allies – both civilians and military personnel – is a commandment for every individual Muslim who can do this, in any country in which he can do this, in order to free the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Al-Haram Mosque from their grasp, and so that their armies will leave all the lands of Islam defeated and no longer a threat to any Muslim. This is in compliance with the words of Allah: 'Fight the polytheists all together, as they fight you all together [Qur'an 9:36]' and 'Fight them until civil strife ceases altogether' [Qur'an 8:39]. . . . Killing the Americans and their allies – both civilians and military personnel – is a commandment for every individual Muslim who can do this, in any country in which he can do this.  This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, “and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,” and “fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God.”

In a famous  Hadiths compiled by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, the Prophet said, "Do not kill the children’. Despite this one Islamist writer actually based his justification for killing these noncombatants on the conduct of the Prophet Muhammad himself. In an essay published in September 2001, titled ‘The Truth of the New Crusader War,’ the writer, who calls himself ‘The Crusader Oppressor Salah Al-Din’ (after Salah Al-Din Al-Ayyoubi, the 12th-century conqueror who took Jerusalem from the Crusaders) set out the circumstances under which killing infidel women, children, and elderly is permitted according to Islam. . . . Perhaps someone will say that if those who died [on September 11, 2001] are innocent women, elderly, and children, who must not be harmed even if they belong to a group from Dar Al-Harb [the non-Islamic world], then how are these operations permitted by religious law? We say [in response] that the sanctity of the blood of women, children, and the elderly [from among the people of Dar Al-Harb] is not absolute. Moreover, there are certain cases in which it is permitted to kill them when they [belong] to the people of Dar Al-Harb…’

The Qur’an tells us that Christians and Jews are monotheists and yet bin Laden says they are polytheists. To state that killing –  civilians - is a positive religious commandment is a distortion of a world-wide religion.

The reason for these is related to the population mix in the with Middle Eastern and is not necessarily true for Islamic societies outside of that area..

Of the almost 300 million people who live in Middle East, five million are Jews who live almost exclusively in Israel and nine million are Coptic Christians who live primarily in Egypt. If we exclude the Jews and the Coptics less than 1% of the population are non-Muslims. Hence the context makes for a very segregated society. In Europe 10% of the population is non-Christian. The United States has a more than 10 % non-Christian population. In the United States close to 20% of the population’s mother tongue is not English – slightly lower percentages exist in Europe. In the Mid-East more than 95% of the population’s mother tongue is Arabic (with the exception of Iran and Turkey – for this example considered Middle eastern). Thus in the Arabic countries people are accustomed to a homogenous population with identical language and religion.


In the United States particularly and Europe (less so) Multi-Culturalism and Multi-Identification seem an appropriate definition of those societies. There are ethnic neighborhoods – some based on religious identity and some based on national identity - some people prefer assimilation others separation. There is also a class issue – immigrants often take the lowest paying jobs. Some people choose to join the majority culture and others do not. Not joining the majority culture has a price to pay. Not speaking English is the United States is costly in terms of acceptance. Not being Christian no longer is. Women, Blacks and Jews have been Senators and Governors and have a serious possibility of becoming the President of the U.S. Jesse Jackson ran for the Democratic Parties nomination in 1992. Senators Lieberman and Mrs. Clinton are considered possible candidates for the Democratic Nomination for the Presidency in 2004 or 2008. France and the United Kingdom have had Prime ministers who were Jewish.  None of this is conceivable in any of the Middle Eastern countries.


F. ARAB FAILURES

A report published in 2002 by the United Nations, written by Arabs stated that the Arab world is rich but not developed, its economies are stagnant, illiteracy is widespread, political freedom is rare and its people, especially women are denied the capabilities and opportunities of the modern world.  As governments one of whose functions is to care for the economic welfare of its citizens it is an utter failure.  (This is precisely Bernard Lewis’ analysis in his recent book ‘The Crisis of Islam’.) Arab societies are being crippled by a lack of political freedom, the repression of women and isolation from the world of ideas stifles creativity. The study said the Arab world needs improvements in economic, social and political institutions. It calls for the promotion of good governance by providing more opportunities and freedom and by liberating women and others in need. It underlines how far the Arab states still need to go in order to join the global information society and economy as full partners and to tackle the human and economic scourge of joblessness, which afflicts Arab countries as a group more seriously than any other developing region. And it clearly outlines the challenges for Arab states in terms of strengthening personal freedoms and boosting broad-based citizen participation in political and economic affairs.

Almost 60% of the population of Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan are under the age 25. Are young people more aggressive than older people? Probably.  In Egypt 60 % of a great number of University graduates are unemployed. Their employment opportunities are few. In Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan these young people became Fundamentalists.

A study of the quality of life shows that Saudi Arabia had an 80% higher GNP that Israel in 1985 but the Saudi Quality of Life was only 60% of Israel’s. In fact despite the Middle East having a GNP 150% higher than Latin America the latter had 30% higher quality of Life.


Country        Population         Per Capita GNP   Physical Quality

                       millions                    $ 1985                of Life Index 35

Israel              6.0                            5,000                       96

UAE                1.1                          19,270                      74

Qatar                .3                          16,270                       73

Kuwait            1.9                          14,480                       84

Bahrain            .4                            9,420                        81

Turkey             51.4                        1,080                        73

Egypt               51.9                           610                        60

Saudi Arabia  14.8                          8,850                        56


 MidEast                                          4,183                        61

Africa                                                  524                        43

Latin America                                  1,414                        80

Why does the Mid East - have with the exception of Africa – the worst Quality of Life Index (QLI) in the world? Latin America with 35% of the GNP of the Mid East has a substantially higher QLI. The data comparing Asia with the Mid East is worse; 50 years ago East Asia had lower GNP than the Mid East, now it is far superior rates of GNP and QLI. And the situation is getting worse. Ten years ago the Mid East represented almost 11% of world exports, last year 3.5%. Part of that problem is the great growth of population in that part of the world; 40% of the population is under the age of 15.  Almost every country in Latin America  and East Asia is at least somewhat democratic.  And all have accepted Globalization as the wave of the future. In the Mid East only Israel is democratic. Thus they can demand a higher quality of their lives. Only Israel in the Mid East has adopted Globalization. (It is worth noting that the same could have been said of Roman Catholic countries in 1965. A look at the world map then would have shown numerous countries, in Latin America, Eastern Europe and elsewhere, that had predominantly Catholic populations ruled by authoritarian regimes. Did this allow us to relate Catholicism to authoritarianism?)  


The United Nations Development Report, Human Development Index for the year 1998 ranks Israel as 23 among the 174 countries ranked. Its neighbors rank as follows: Saudi Arabia 75, Lebanon 82, Jordan 92, Syria 111 and Egypt 119. 36

Among the eighteen countries who comprise the Mid East six are monarchies, seven dictatorships and three with one party government’s and two participatory democracies. 37 The two democracies are Israel and Turkey. The World Audit ranking of democracy in 2003 ranks Israel as 40th among 149 countries. Its neighbors ranks as follows, Jordan 96, Saudi Arabia 109, Lebanon 123, and Egypt and Syrian at 127.  38  The first fifteen countries included the countries in the Europe Union, the United States, Australia and Canada.

As stated by Hichem Djait, an Arab ‘ I feel humiliated to be belong to a state with no outlook for the future nor ambition, a state that is authoritarian if not despotic, in which there is neither science, nor reason, nor beauty of life, nor real culture…I suffer at being governed by uneducated and ignorant leaders. .. It is human and legitimate that I project my malaise onto my society, but the popular revolts are testimony that this malaise is not just an intellectual construction.’ 39

In 1990, then President George H. W. Bush went to Saudi Arabia. He meant to have his Thanksgiving Day dinner with United States military personnel stationed there to defend the kingdom and its thousands of princes. Even on an American base, the Saudis ruled that he must not say Grace at the festive dinner if held on Saudi soil. The President of the United States bowed to this dictum, and celebrated Thanksgiving Day dinner aboard a U.S. Navy vessel at sea where he could say this simple prayer without offense to the kingdom.

The Six Day War symbolized the Arab failure. It ended an Arabic era. It was a failure of momentous importance. The Pan Arabism of Nasser and the Ba’ath Socialist revolutionaries of Syria and Iraq failed.

‘The Iman came forward repeating that we lost because we deviated from morality  . . . The opposition leader insisted that we lost because the men in power monopolized total power . . . The engineer came forward asking for new machines and new factories  . . .  all found in the enemy what justified their argument, The theologian found justification in the theocratic orientation of our enemy; the politician in the fact that our enemy had a parliament; the engineer emphasized the abundance of the enemies technical schools. Only few were able to observe that the religious faith of the enemy, his democracy, his technology, were all useful instruments but that the principal factor was the enemies social organization, his sense of individual freedom, his lack of subjugation, despite all appearances, in any form of finalism or absolutism’. 40 The Mufti of Jordan said it was Allah’s will ‘as a result of our abandoning our religion’. 41

After the Six Day War a noted Muslim writer Sadeq al-Azm noted that for Arab’s the idea that they could be the masters of own destiny was alien. ‘Is it possible to enter a modern war that requires movement and initiative when the society is permeated by passivity and reluctance to initiate decisions?’

Despite the obvious failure little has changed in the thirty five plus years since the Six Day War. Arab governments have failed to provide what Western governments (including Israel) have provided their citizens.

Instead of using their wealth to develop its own arms the Middle East purchased 40% of the world’s arms transfers in 1983. 42 They had given up on cultivating the scientific method.

‘The 9/11 hijackers were not poor and dispossessed, but young men of good families and relatively good prospects. That is, unless you count the decline of the Arab world as evidence of their being dispossessed of their ancestors’ pride in leading the world in science, arts, government. It was their humiliation, not their poverty that fueled their violence. The[y chose the] path of dreaming of supernatural solutions, of revival and revenge instead of rethinking. Whatever towers fall, whatever brief victories are achieved, that path will only lead in the end to more humiliations. How long does it take a people to get over humiliation? How will we know when they have done so? What will it take for proud and humiliated Arabs to feel once more simply proud?’ 43

G. BASIS OF ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM

What are the origins of Islamic fundamentalism?  It began shortly after the death of Muhammad with a group known as the ‘khawarji’ the Rebels. They surfaced from the village of Najd in Arabia. They believed that anyone not holding their belief was an apostate and subject to death. They were puritanical heresy hunters. They declared Caliph Uthman (one of the four righteous Caliphs) and Ali the son-in-law of Muhammad as apostates. There is a Hadith alleged from Muhammad that says ‘the one who kills them or is killed by them is blessed. They are dogs of the people of hell’. 44They created the first theological civil war within Islam which lasted for hundreds of years.

Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328) was a fundamentalist who opposed the ‘khawarji’ and is considered the spiritual ancestor of modern day Islamic fundamentalists. He only recognized the first four righteous Caliphs as legitimate; the Caliphs who ruled for 600 years after these four and until his lifetime he considered ‘illegitimate’. . He declared war on the Shi’as, the Sufi’s, Greek philosophy and the Mongols who had by then converted to Islam.

The next group of Islamic fundamentalists was founded by Abd al-Wahhab (1703 - 1792) and became known as the Wahhabis. He was born in Najd (as were the ‘khawarji)’ and he considered them as his spiritual ancestor. He was anti-Turk and anti-Shi’a. He stated ‘if you did not follow him you would be killed, your women and daughters raped and your possessions confiscated.’ Another Hadith alleged from Muhammed about the city of Najd stated from that place will come only earthquakes, conflicts and the horns of Satan’. 45    Al-Wahhab contracted with tribal leader named al Saud for a totalitarian marriage. When they conquered Kerbala (the Shia holy city) they slaughtered all the residents and scattered the bones of Hussein, the grandson of Muhammad. Decades later when they re-conquered Medina (with British help) they slaughtering one half million persons and scattered the bones of Muhammad’s son Ibrahim (who died very young), Hussan the grandson of Muhammad and the mother, grandfather and the first wife of Muhammad.  The only body they did not desecrate was Muhammad himself. Their ‘spirtuality’ helped create the Muslim Brotherhood, the father of Hamas and Al Quada. The fundamentalists in Central Asia and Southeastern Asia were trained by the Wahhabis.

The Saudi government professes its brand of fundamentalism to its own residents and teaches it to the Islamic world.  In 2001, the year of Sept. 11 according to the Saudi official re[orts they founded 1500 Mosques, 202 colleges and over 2000 Medrasses (elementary schools) almost all their brand of Islam. 46  There is not a single Church or of course Synagogue in the entire country. In 1969 a faywa was declared that the earth was flat and revolves around the sun.47  When George Bush President of the United States and the protector of its security of the Saudi government and its Holy sites went to a Thanksgiving Dinner to celebrate with His troops he had dinner on a ship outside of the Saudi waters since he needed to say a prayer over the dinner.  He was not permitted to say a prayer to Jesus Christ on Saudi territory.  This government is simply a family dictatorship clothed in puritanical Islam.

The latest movement adopting a fundamentalist ideology is in Iran. Iranian are Persian and not Arabs.  They are very close geographically to Arab lands but are Shi’ites considered by most Sunni theologians and lay people as an heretical sect. . The Shi’ite modern version of Islamic martyrdom - suicide bombing - can be attributed to the Ayatollah Khomeini. He elaborated on the Shi’ite tradition using the Qur’anic term ‘mustazafin’ – the weak, the disinherited and the enfeebled who in Christian language will inherit the earth. They became the leaders of his revolution. During the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988) he convinced ten of thousands of defenseless boys and teenagers to go through fields mined by the Iraqi’s to die yelling ‘Ya Hussein’. There deaths became a form of redemption earned through works – the works being death by suicide/martyrdom.  

Despite these martyrdoms Khomeini lost the war to Iraq and signed a ceasefire of February 15, 1989.  To hide his bitterness and shame of this defeat on the previous day February 14, 1989 he signed a ‘fatwa’ against Salmon Rushdie seeking his death.  

Khomeini developed a theology of death from a fringe shi’ite theology.  In this he goes back to the beginning of Shi’ism begun in Kerbala in the year 680.  In the 1300 years since Kerbala however the vast majority of Shiite thinking has been of a ‘quietists’ nature. This school does not believe in a totalitarian theocracy run by clerics. This is the position of the current Grand Ayatollah al Sistani (Iraq) and the Grand Ayatollah Ali Montozeri (Iran) and their century’s long predecessors. The other three Iraqi Grand Ayatollahs are also of the ‘quietist’ school as are most of the ten current Iranian Grand Ayatollahs.

Thus all of the Sunni fundamentalists in the Islamic world are based directly or indirectly on Arabic culture. The Shi’ite theology despite its current influence is from a fringe shi’ite movement.

Spengler a columnist for the Asian Times noted that ‘culture is the stuff out of which we weave the illusion of immortality ... Frequently, ethnic groups will die rather than abandon their 'way of life'. . .  assimilation implied abandoning both their past and their future. Historic tragedy occurs on the grand scale when economic or strategic circumstances undercut the material conditions of life of a people, which nonetheless cannot accept assimilation into another culture. That is when entire peoples fight to the death’ (May 17, 2004).  

When a ‘nativist’ culture seems threatened by another ‘certain current or remembered elements of culture are selected for emphasis and given symbolic value. The more distinctive such elements are with respect to [the] other culture . . . the greater their potential value as symbols of the society’s unique character’. 48  Everyone chooses what symbols to use as a culture’s unique character. Some choose life some death; the choice is noted in the Torah (Deut.30:19) . Japanese Kamikaze’s, Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers, and the Marxist oriented Kurdistan Workers Party all chose self sacrifice as a symbol of their culture. Khomeini chose as a symbol for Saddam his being agent of the ‘Great Satan’ the United States and Saddam chose as a symbol of Khomeini his being the agent of the ‘Little Satan’ Israel.

Sheik Ikremeh Sabri, the highest ranking cleric in the Palestinian Authority preached in Al Aqsa mosque ‘They think they scare people. We tell them: In as much as you love life, the Muslims love death and martyrdom’. It is not his Islamic theology that is abhorrent, it is culture. His culture sees death as standing as the appetizer of a lifetime ending it before it really begins. His ‘they’ who are the rest of us accept death as dessert after a lifetime. His ‘they’ are also his despised ‘other’.  The Torah tells us forty one times to treat the ‘other’ as equal.

There is no uniform Islamic fundamentalism; Qutb, the Egyptian differs from Mawdudi, an Indian; the Wahhabis differ from Jemaah Islamiah the Indonesian radical group led by Abubakar Baayir.

One of the major issues in Islamic fundamentalism is ‘apostasy.’ This was critical to ibn Tamiyya as well as the Wahhabi’s. This was the accusation against Socrates, Jesus, Galileo and Spinoza. The first two were executed, the third agreed to betray his views in exchange for his life and the last was excommunicated.  Can a majority of the umma be apostates? Apparently yes if you consider yourself part of remnant of the elect. Each religion has such believers.


H TERRORISM

Islam has a history of martyring/killing its leaders.

Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet was killed as he entered the Mosque to lead the prayers. Ali’s son Hasan began the Shi’ite movement by refusing to recognize the selected Caliph. Hasan was forced to retire and was probably poisoned. His brother Hussein then became the third Imam. Hussein was beheaded at Kerbala as was his one year old son. This event is celebrated annually by flagellation as a ritual commemorating Hussein’s martyrdom by Shi’ites. This created a cult of martyrdom. The first of the Muslim Suicide bombers were from the Shi’ite Hizbollah. It is unclear how the Sunnis who consider the Shi’a and their ritual flagellation as an heretical sect adopted the shahid (martyrdom) syndrome. Suicide is an act prohibited by the Qur’an. 49

Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattabwas was stabbed in 644; Uthman was hacked to death in 656; Marwan was smothered by his wife in 683; Uman ibn Abd al-Aziz was poisoned in 720 and Al-Walid ibn Yazid hacked to death.


What Is Terrorism:

Terrorism is a distinct political and moral phenomenon, though of course interlinked with the issue of revolt and opposition to oppression. Terrorism refers to a set of military tactics that are part of military and political struggle, and which are designed to force the enemy to submit by some combination of killing and intimidation. 50

Terrorism as an ideology and instrument of struggle, is a modern phenomenon, a product of the conflict between contemporary states and their restive societies. It has developed, in rich and poor countries alike, as part of a transnational model of political engagement. Its roots are in modern secular politics; it has no specific regional or cultural attachment; it is an instrument, one among several, for those aspiring to challenge states and, one day, to take power themselves.’ 51

1. It is a premeditated act not planned in advance and not an impulsive act of rage.

2. It is political—not criminal, but designed to change the existing political order.

3. It is aimed at civilians—not at military targets or combat-ready troops.

4. It is carried out by supranational groups, not an army of a country – although it can be supported by a country or a failed country such as like Afghanistan in the late 1990’s.

5. Modern terrorism used modern weapons and seeks spectacular sometimes almost theatric events.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Syria had terrorists. They executed them or exported them out. Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood was born, executed them or kept them in Jail. When terrorists invaded the Holy Place in Mecca, Saudi Arabia executed them. Iran killed the Mujahadeen rebels in the 1980’s. Iraq gassed them to death.  Syria killed them in the town of Hamas in the 1980’s as punishment and as an example. A democratic state like Israel has more difficulty achieving these aims.

The aim of terrorism is to not to change or convert minds but to terrorize.

Terrorism is the negation of everything religion stands for.

Islamic Terrorism is based on Jihad.

Jihad in its purest and spiritual form - its truest meaning - is the inner struggle to obtain peace. In this sense it can be compared to the Hebrew term ‘tikkun’ to correct one self or ‘tikkun olam’ to correct the world. It is an individual struggle for personal moral behavior. It is often used by Islamic mystics - as tikkun is used by Jewish mystics - as an individual struggle for personal growth within the tradition of each religion. Most western Muslims in fact so define Jihad.

In a less pure and more popular form it means a ‘holy war’. In fact Osama bin Laden and most non-western Muslims, have defined Jihad in this its more popular form.  In this sense it is a ‘reverse crusade’.  ‘Jihad-al dafaa’ means ‘defensive war’, analogous to Christian’s ‘just war’. It is based on ‘Do not slay the soul sanctified by God except for just cause’ (6:151). If there is just cause war is justified. Muslims have evoked that in Afghanistan (against the Soviet Union), in Bosnia and in Chechnya. Al Azhar University declared America’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 a ‘jihad-al-dafaa’.

Osama bin Laden’s own organization is named the ‘International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders’. In similar tones war and terrorism is waged in Algeria, Egypt, Sudan, Chechnya, Kashmir, Israel among other places around the world.

September 11 will be seen as a crisis point in a new Jihad.

George W. Bush was prepared to run his Presidency as an isolationist. September 11 changed all that.  Since then President Bush gave three important speeches.

*On September 20, 2001 he said ‘Those who sacrifice Human Life to serve there own vision follow in the path of the totalitarianism of Hitler and Stalin.

*On January 29, 2002 he referred to an axis of Evil – a religious term – a term not well accepted in Europe and the rest of the world and a term reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s Evil Empire. He specified Iran, Iraq and North Korea.

*On June 24, 2002 Bush spoke about the Mid East conflict. He said that the PLO needed to reform - he was not willing to support a corrupt government and one who refused to fight terrorism. They would need to give up their fantasy of destroying the State of Israel (already agreed to by Saudi Arabia). If the Palestinians could accomplish that the U.S. was willing to guarantee them a contiguous State in Peace and Security.

Within weeks of September 11 the United States bombed and then invaded Afghanistan. In March 2003 the United States and its coalition partners invaded Iraq. These were the direct result of September 11.


I. SUICIDE BOMBERS

Introduction

In the three monotheistic religions salvation or redemption is the ultimate goal. Most believers expect the Kingdom Of Heaven to occur in Paradise rather than on this earth. Some however call the ‘heavenly world’ the ‘True World’. All believe humanity began in a ‘Garden of Eden’; an occurrence resulted in mankind being exiled to a place of suffering. The objective is to return to this ‘Garden of Eden’. In this return one joins or rejoins God.

Mystics do not choose to await death but prefer to enter into a relationship with God Now - have salvation Now. Mystics believe they need to, in Islamic terminology, attach their 'inner soul’ to God’s ‘outer soul’. The mystic wishes to ‘be absorbed’ into God’. He fears this world and its enticing worldly pleasures. For mystics hell is here on earth - because they are not with God. Leaders of these groups often think of themselves as bringing the Kingdom of God and being ‘judges’ on the ‘Day of the Lord’. There is selfishness in mystics - instead of doing God's will here on earth they prefer joining God in the Garden of Eden.  

Non-mystics are interested in the belief system of their religion and for the orthodox the rituals of the religion. Most of those believe God created this world for humanity to conquer (Gen 1:28) and to serve (Gen 2:15) and to live in it ethically. God created humanity to have 'His Divine presence in the world’.

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik in defining non-mystics in the Jewish religion as 'halakhic men' says their ‘ontological outlook differs radically from that of the mystic'. 52  He is referring to Jewish mystics. He makes similar comments about 'Christian Saints'. 53 The Rabbi does not claim halakhic man is superior to mystics nor Jews superior to non-Jews. While the Rabbi does not refer to Islam the same is true of Islamic mystics.. Despite this distinction there are similarities between the Halakhic Man and mystics’. They are not opposite but emphasize different forms of ‘reality’.  

Rabbi Soloveitchik lived a long life teaching thousands of Jews and non-Jews).  That is what he considered his job and he would do it at long as God wished him to do it. When he died and where he went after death was up to God. It simply was not a concern of his - his God given job was here on earth.

To believe in redemption is to be engaged in this world. Does believing in redemption suggest this world is inadequate? Or can a believer accept both worlds as being adequate unto themselves?

II. Islam

In some religions this mystical escapism has a longer history and greater significance than in others.

Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet was killed as he entered a Mosque to lead the prayers. Ali’s son Hassan refused to recognize the selected ‘righteous’ Caliph. Hassan was forced to retire and was probably poisoned. His brother Hussein then became the third Imam.

The key date in Shi’ite Islam began on October 3, 680 CE (61 in the Islamic calendar) on the Plain of Kerbala.  Hussein ibn Ali, stood facing a several thousand man army of the Umayyad Caliph Yazid. This was the beginning of the Sunni - Shi’ite conflict.  

Hussein and his family and perhaps two hundred men entered into the conflict in Kerbala. Being barred by their enemies from drinking water Hussein released his men from an oath to fight; some departed. But seventy-two of his companions (and his family) refused. They died; Hussein was beheaded as was his one year old son. This event is celebrated annually by flagellation as a ritual commemorating Hussein’s martyrdom by Shi’ites.

These deaths became the founding myth of the Shi’ite movement. There are some obvious parallels to Jesus’ crucifixion.

Even outside the Shi’ite martyrdom violent death seems to have followed the early Islamic leadership. Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab was stabbed in 644; Uthman was hacked to death in 656; Marwan was smothered by his wife in 683; Uman ibn Abd al-Aziz was poisoned in 720 and Al-Walid ibn Yazid hacked to death in 745. These violent deaths include two of the four non-Shi’te ‘righteous Caliphs’.

The Shi’ite religious tradition of martyrdom filtered into the Sunni terrorists world-view. This developed from Khomeini through Osama bin Laden in the Afghanistan war and from Hizbullah to Hamas. Thus a cult of martyrdom or death developed first in the Shi’a world and then in the Sunni world.

III. The Clerics

Would some Islamic clerics object? Muhammad Sa‘id Tantawi, Sheik and Mufti of Egypt's Al-Azhar Mosque and University, had been unequivocal about the issue of suicide bombers in past declarations. He declared that the Shari‘a (Islamic law) ‘rejects all attempts on human life, and in the name of the Shari‘a, we condemn all attacks on civilians, whatever their community or state is responsible for such an attack.’ 54 Echoing Tantawi's ruling, Sheikh Muhammad bin ‘Abdallah as-Sabil, member of the Saudi council of senior ulema (clerics) and Imam at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, also decried the suicide attacks. ‘Any attack on innocent people is unlawful and contrary to the Shari‘a," he announced, adding, "Muslims must safeguard the lives, honor, and property of Christians and Jews, attacking them contradicts the Shari‘a’.  Islamic legal arguments against suicide operations relied upon three principles of Islamic law: the prohibition against killing civilians, the prohibition against suicide, and the protected status of Jews and Christians.

But the fundamentalists objected. The harshest rebuttal came from the Egyptian-born Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and currently head of the Sunni studies faculty at Qatar University.  ‘I am astonished that some sheikhs deliver fatwa’s that betray the mujahideen, instead of supporting them and urging them to sacrifice and martyrdom,’ announced Qaradawi.  He argued that ‘Israeli society was completely military in its make-up and did not include any civilians … How can the head of Al-Azhar incriminate mujahideen who fight against aggressors? How can he consider these aggressors as innocent civilians?’  

Qaradawi also stressed the distinction between suicide and martyrdom. Islam clearly prohibits suicide, yet views martyrdom as a noble act, while assuring individuals a place in heaven. Qaradawi told the Qatari newspaper Al Raya in April 2001, ‘They are not suicide operations. These are heroic martyrdom operations, and the heroes who carry them out don't embark on this action out of hopelessness and despair but are driven by an overwhelming desire to cast terror and fear into the hearts of the oppressors.’

Tantawi subjected to criticism began to issue confusing and contradictory statements, effectively abrogating his earlier fatwa. In an interview with the Egyptian state-owned magazine Ruz al-Yusuf, Tantawi claimed that his earlier rulings had been distorted, stating, ‘My words were clear…a man who blows himself in the middle of enemy militants is a martyr, repeat, a martyr. What we do not condone is for someone to blow himself up in the middle of children or women. If he blows himself up in the middle of Israeli women enlisted in the army, then he is a martyr, since these women are fighters. ‘

In later statements he reiterated this formula, declaring, ‘I repeat that those who defend their rights by blowing themselves up in the midst of their enemies who murder his people, occupy their land or humiliate their people, are martyrs, martyrs, martyrs.’

In January 2002 Tantawi attended a conference in Alexandria, Egypt together with the chief Sephardik Rabbi of Israel, the Palestinian Latin Patriarch, Rabbi Michael Melchior, a Minister of the State of Israel and others. They signed a document known as the First Alexandrian Document’ which stated (among others clauses) the following:

’We declare our commitment to ending the violence and bloodshed that denies the right to life and dignity.’


IV. September  11

September 11 was high point of this terrorist form of Jihad. Muhammad Atta was the leader of the nineteen suicide bombers and the only Egyptian. Fifteen of the remainder were Saudi Arabians who were educated in the Wahhabi puritanical and intolerant sect of Islam that helped found Saudi Arabia two centuries ago. Atta grew up in a middle-class Egyptian family and appeared to have a promising career ahead of him as an engineer. Ziad Jarrah, another of the suicide pilots, was educated, well-off and planning to marry. These did not appear to be mentally unbalanced people. "The crucial quality that recruiters look for is mental stability," said Jerrold Post, a psychiatrist at George Washington University who recently completed a study of 35 Palestinian militants in Israeli jails, several of whom had recruited suicide attackers. In addition to level headedness, terrorist organizations look for a willingness to conform and obey. These are also attributes of religious laypersons.

Atta left a multi page document in his luggage; probably written by him. It has been called a ‘Doomsday Document. 55 It is a ‘religious’ document. It begins with ‘In the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate. Remember the battle of the prophet… against the infidels, as he went on building the Islamic state’.  The document ‘time and again promises victory and paradise, effortlessly mixing Qur'anic allusions with reassurance of God's support.’ 56

‘Once seated inside the plane [we] should pray remembering God’. The text discusses the violence needed to seize the plane by these acts. It admonishes that killing is to be done without anger and ought not cause pain, while insisting that no prisoners be taken and no compassion ought [to] compromise the mission and to sanctify the shedding of blood.’ The document further states ‘You are traveling to almighty God . . . Be happy, optimistic, calm because you are heading for a deed that God loves and will accept. . . .when the hour of reality approaches . . . wholeheartedly welcome death for the sake of God. Always be remembering God. Either end your life praying seconds before the target, or make your last words ‘There is no God but God and Muhammad is His messenger’. (section 25, 34-35). 57 Rona Fields described the letter as a request to do God’s will in an ecstatic state and merging with Him 58, a typical mystic request.

As Abu Ghaith, a spokesman for Al Quada stated after the September 11 mission ‘these youths that destroyed Americans with their planes, they did a good deed. There are thousands more young followers who look forward to death like Americans look forward to living’. 59


V. The  Bombers

Who are these young bombers and what are their motives? 60

There is an emerging understanding that contradicts the notion that suicide bombers are deranged fanatics. The evidence is just the opposite: They tend to be free of obvious mental illness. Many are competent and successful. What, then, triggers these acts? In the end, the suicide terrorist sees his mission as acceptable, logical, even noble. ‘It can be perceived as a very idealistic act,’ said Yale and Harvard Medical School’s psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton who has studied cults and suicide.  ‘They believe there's a higher purpose, that in some way they are bringing about a purification, a perfection. They are destroying the world in order to save it… I think in this sense, all suicide has to do with making a lasting statement one could not make in life.’ 61 Clearly these men belong to a band of religious zealotry.

A common trait of nonpolitical suicides--people who take their own lives without harming others--is a feeling of isolation or disconnectedness from the world. Suicide terrorists are anything but isolated. Often, they have connected with others deeply, and this affiliation helps prepare them to take their own lives, said Clark McCauley, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania who studies terrorism. ‘It's the group that's abnormal and extreme,’ McCauley said. ‘The bombers themselves are psychologically as normal as you and I.’ The best evidence that these terrorists are mentally competent is the planning and patience required for many of their missions. They are not socially dysfunctional.

Of Palestinian suicide bombers, 47% have an academic education and an additional 29% have at least a high school education. 83% of the suicide bombers are single.    64% of the suicide bombers are between the ages 18-23; the rest are under 30 years of age.

They are supported by a remarkable part of their population. According to a poll conducted in May 2003 among Palestinian adults from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank including East Jerusalem by Dr. Nabil Kukali and the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, ‘a substantial majority (76.1%) support suicidal attacks like that of Netanya [May 2003], whereas 12.5% oppose, and 11.4% express no opinion.

What brings a young Palestinian man to detonate himself amidst a crowd of other young persons? Is it a religious upbringing with promises of Paradise in reward for acts of martyrdom? Is it the parental support he receives for his convictions? Is it brainwashing, or encouragement from a Palestinian society who see no other means of fighting back against occupation, oppression and humiliation?

A Friday night bombing outside a Tel Aviv discotheque took the lives of 20 young Israelis. The suicide bomber was identified as 22-year-old Saeed Hotary, a Jordanian who had been living in Kalkilya. ‘I am very happy and proud of what my son did and I hope that all the men of Palestine and Jordan would do the same', Saeed's father Hassan told The Associated Press. His brother said Saeed ‘was very religious since he was young; he prayed and fasted.’

While the language used by the bombers and their organizations is always distinctly Islamic, the motives of the bombers are much more complicated. Mahmoud Ahmed Marmash, a twenty-one-year-old bachelor from Tulkarm, blew himself up in Netanya in May 2001. On a videocassette recorded before he was sent on his mission, he said: ‘I want to avenge the blood of the Palestinians, especially the blood of the women, of the elderly, and of the children, and in particular the blood of the baby girl Iman Hejjo, whose death shook me to the core.... I devote my humble deed to the Islamic believers who admire the martyrs and who work for them. In a letter he left for his family he wrote, ‘God's justice will prevail only in jihad and in blood and in corpses.’ Such references to jihad are not as common as references to revenge. In the Middle East this can be considered a death made to satisfy ‘honor’.

Mouin Rabbani, director of the Palestinian American Research Center in Ramallah, claims, ‘Religious or ideological fervor appears to offer only a partial explanation.’ Palestinian suicide bombers are neither products of a passive and unquestioning obedience to political authority nor pressed into service against their will.’ Instead, Rabbani stated that the common thread among all suicide bombers is the ‘bitter experience of what they see as Israeli state terror. Without exception, the suicide bombers have lived their lives on the receiving end of a system designed to trample their rights and crush every hope of a brighter future… Confronted by a seemingly endless combination of death, destruction, restriction, harassment and humiliation, they conclude that ending life as a bomb – rather than having it ended by a bullet - endows them, even if only in their final moments, with a semblance of purpose and control previously unknown’ (MEMRI Dec. 16, 2003).

According to Christopher Reuter who interviewed many failed suicide bombers, they are increasingly self-selected. The role of terror organizations has declined, and the interval between decision and mission execution has vastly decreased. Eight of the fifteen interviewees volunteered for missions; five of fifteen began to execute the mission within ten days of committing do to so, and fourteen undertook their mission within one month.

Throughout the course of the second intifada, it appears that an individual's psychological preparation for bombing often takes place without ties to a cell or institutional training.

These findings are consistent with the Reuters depiction of a cult of death that has developed in Palestinian society; the culture being a community-wide message of defiance rather than a descent into despair. 62

Children in this culture have increasingly grown to idolize suicide bombers and others who are seen as having sacrificed their lives for the Palestinian cause, said Dr. Eyad Serraj, a psychiatrist in the Gaza Strip in a Christian Science Monitor interview (March 10, 2004). The reason, he says, is that they see "martyrdom" as the ultimate redemption. In a poll held in the summer of 2003, 36 percent of 12-year-old boys in Gaza said they believed that the best thing in life was to die as a martyr, according to Dr. Serraj.

‘In their minds, the only model of power and glory is the martyr,’ he said. ‘Palestinian society glorifies the martyr. They are elevated to the level of saints and even prophets. Out of the hopeless and the inhuman environment they live in, there is the promise that they will have a better life in heaven.’

The martyr's image, he said, contrasts sharply with the way Palestinian youth view their fathers, Serraj says. In studies he has conducted, fathers are seen as ‘helpless, unable to protect his children in the face of bombings.’

Raymond Stock, an expert on Arabic literature and media based in Cairo is quoted by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times (May 23, 2004) referring to Iraqi suicide bombers. ‘They are mainly imported cookie-cutter killers, created by a combination of Arab mass media, certain extremist elements in Muslim culture, and some very shrewd recruiting by Al Qaeda and its ilk. When young, angry, futureless, sexually repressed people are taught that death is a permanent vacation of guilt-free pleasure, and they see it glorified in countless videos, all you need is a willing truck driver to ferry them over the border from Syria, Jordan, Turkey or Saudi Arabia and presto — a human bomb.’

A young man caught before he denoted his bomb said ‘I despise Israeli’s. . they took our land’. When asked if there was anything he admired about Israeli’s he said they had good soccer player whom he watched on television and admired there playing skills. When asked whether he would take his bomb and blow himself up in an Israeli soccer stadium, he said ‘on a soccer field  . . . No I couldn’t do that’. 63

A Hamas suicide bomber blew up two armed Palestinians who attempted to rob him at gun point in the Gaza Strip.

Rather than relinquish his explosives, the bomber detonated them, killing himself and the two robbers near the border fence between Gaza and Israel.

Palestinian security officials said the gunmen were criminals who were involved in a car theft ring which brought stolen vehicles from Israel to Gaza. Hamas said the bomber was on his way to infiltrate into Israel, accompanied by another Hamas member and a guide, when they were stopped by the armed men.

The robbers forced the bomber to lie on the ground and tried to steal the bomb, but the militant detonated it, killing all three. The other Hamas member together with the guide escaped.

A Hamas official said that whatever their intention, the two should be considered agents of Israel. "Anyone who tries to stop a fighter from doing his work is a collaborator," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

VI. Famale Suicide Bombers

Wafa Idris

On January 27 Wafa Idris, a 27-year-old Palestinian woman from the Al-Am'ari refugee camp near Ramallah, attained the fame of becoming the first female Palestinian suicide bomber. At the age of 16, Idris wed her cousin Ahmad and nine years later, they were divorced because she was unable to bear children.  Following the divorce, Idris volunteered for the Palestinian Red Crescent. She was a volunteer paramedic who had founded a women's relief group to assist victims of the conflict with Israel. She was not known as an Islamic extremist.

Friends reported that in her work, she was exposed to horrible sights of Palestinian wounded and dead, and speculated that this is what led her to become a suicide bomber.

Relatives conjectured that Idris' divorce and the dearth of opportunities available with which to make a new life for herself were factors in her decision. An aunt said, "He [her husband] killed her when he discarded her. She watched his second wedding from her window.  (MEMRI June 25, 2002)

In an interview Barbara Victor’s had with Wafa’s mother Mabrook, reported in The Observer (April 25, 2004) she stated that Wafa had been a constant target for mocking after her husband divorced her. 'My daughter's husband divorced her because she couldn't have children,' Mabrook said. 'Wafa knew she could never marry again, because a divorced woman is tainted... She was young, intelligent and beautiful, and had nothing to live for.'

Wafa distributed sweets to friends and family when she learned that her former husband had become a father. ‘He broke her, but she maintained her pride. I think,’ said girlhood friend Raf'ah Abu Hamid, ‘her experience with divorce and society's rejection of her as a divorced woman who couldn't have children gave her a feeling of deficiency, for which she tried to compensate with her work and the social relationships she formed after the divorce."  (MEMRI Feb. 12, 2002

Barbra Victor interviewed Dr. Tzoreff, Professor at Ben-Gurion University of Women and the Middle East, she said.  'If we take Wafa Idris,' 'the ultimate shahida, who is she after all? She is a talented young woman, married and divorced because she was sterile, desperate because she knew perfectly well there was no future for her in any aspect of the Palestinian society. She knew better than anyone else that the only way for her to come out against this miserable situation was to kill herself. Look at her funeral and what the Palestinian leadership said about her, calling her a national flower and the embodiment of Palestinian womanhood. She knew her own society and the limitations they put on her and on women like her, and she understood better than anyone else that she had nothing left - no hope, no future.'

Victor writes that Mabrook Idris greeted me in her shabby living room, holding the tattered poster of her child, which she picks up automatically the moment I appear, seemingly by rote after so many months of practice, when local dignitaries, neighbours, friends and Western journalists have visited her to pay their respects. 'Thank God,' she says. 'I am proud that my daughter died for Palestine, proud that she gave her life for us all. Thank God, thank God...'  But after an hour of sitting with her, talking with her, listening to her, Mabrook Idris is weeping. 'If I had known what she was going to do, I would have stopped her,' she says. 'I grieve for my daughter.'

Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat

On October 4, 2003, Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat, a 29 year old unmarried female attorney from Jenin detonated a bomb in a restaurant in Haifa, Israel killing herself, 19 Israelis and injuring 50 others. Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat wrapped her waist with explosives and fought her way past a security guard at a restaurant. Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat was a single woman who had recently graduated Law School and worked as a lawyer. Her younger brother Fadi, a 25-year-old, and older cousin, 34-year-old Salah had been killed by Israeli forces in the raid on Jenin in June of 2003. Her family said she did not tell anyone where she was going and they assumed she was on her way to the law office in Jenin where she worked.

In an additional incident a mother of two blew herself up at the main check point crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip, killing four people and injuring seven. It is believed this was the first mother to act as a suicide bomber. She was identified as Hamas member Reem Al-Reyashi, 22, of Gaza. She had two young children, a 3-year-old boy and 1-year-old girl.

She told soldiers at the check point that she would set off the metal detector, because she had a metal implant from surgery repairing a broken leg. She was then ushered to a special room for a security search. When a stranger offered to help, the woman brushed her off and then blew herself up.

In a videotape she is seen smilingly cradling her rifle, and said she had dreamed since she was 13 of ‘becoming a martyr’ and dying for her people.

‘It was always my wish to turn my body into deadly shrapnel against the Zionists and to knock on the doors of heaven with the skulls of Zionists," said Reyashi, wearing combat fatigues with a Hamas sash across her chest. She said ‘God gave me two children and I loved them so much. Only God knew how much’.

Is Female suicide bombing the Islamic form of feminist equality?

Dr Abdul Aziz al-Rantisi, admitted to Victor during an on-camera interview that, Hamas, Islamic Jihad or the Palestinian Authority, whoever takes responsibility distributes a lifetime stipend of $400 a month is paid to the families of male suicide bombers. He points out that the families of female shahidas such as Wafa receive $200 per month. It would seem that even in death women are not treated equally.

Barbara Victor stated that ‘it was never another woman who recruited the suicide bombers’. Without exception, these women had been trained by a trusted member of the family - a brother, an uncle - or an esteemed religious leader, teacher, or family friend, all of whom were men. I also learnt that all four who died, plus the others who had tried and failed to die a martyr's death, had personal problems that made their lives untenable within their own culture and society. (Jaradat was reputably accused of adultery.)  Women suicide bombers are concerned with private issues rather than public issues.  There performances are choreographed by men.

These men had managed to convince women associated with them in one capacity or another that given their 'moral transgressions', or the errors made by a male family member or for revenge, the only way to redeem themselves and the family name was to die a martyr's death. Only then would these women enjoy everlasting life filled with happiness, respect and luxury, and finally be elevated to an equal par with men. Only in Paradise, and only if they killed themselves; they are true ‘black widows’.

VII. Mothers

The mother of 14 year-old Muhammad Sha’rawi when speaking of her son who was killed in the clashes:  ‘He had sought martyrdom and found it... He always said he would die as a Shahid and asked me not to cry for him or be sorry, because he was going to Heaven.’

Sheik Abd Al-Halim ’Ayyash says: ‘The family of the Shahid, and especially his mother, are sorry, are in pain, and even crying... [after all] death is death. However, when the dead is a Shahid, the issue is somewhat different. The Shahid has secured [for] himself, and possibly [for] his family too, a place in Heaven’.

The mother of Hilal and Bilal from the village of Ya'bad who were killed on the same day describes how religious belief helps her overcome the pain: ‘During the day, when I try to forget and calm myself. I follow the Koran and thank Allah and ask for forgiveness for my children, and especially when I hear that the Shahids [belong] in Heaven. I ask Allah to forgive them and recite the verses of the Koran that I know by heart. However, when I am alone even for some moments, I live with them and imagine all their movements... then I feel the pain exhausting me.’

Another mother whose son was killed describes the feelings she experienced when she received the news of his death: ‘I felt deep sorrow, but the fact that my son died as a Shahid cooled the fire in my heart and alleviated my pain.’ (MEMRI June 25, 2001)

Umm Nidal Farhat

Umm Nidal Farhat was filmed helping her son Muhammad Farhat leave home to carry out a suicide bombing on the March 20, 2002; he was killed. Approximately a year later her second son, Nidal, was killed by Israeli forces. She was interviewed in both the Israeli-Arab Kul Al-Arab weekly and the London Arabic-language daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi,  

Question: ‘As the mother of two Shahids, what has changed in [your] life?’

Umm Nidal: ‘Nothing has changed. The strength and honor have only increased. It doesn't matter to me whether I have two or three Shahid [sons]. [As far as I'm concerned], let all my sons be Shahids. What matters is doing what Allah wills and waging Jihad for the sake of this homeland. This is [Allah's] grace, and we are in the service of the religion and the homeland.’

Question: ‘The Shahid Muhammad was a bachelor, but Nidal was married and had children. Do his children ask about him?’

Umm Nidal: ‘... Every day when I see the sons of the Shahid Nidal, I feel pain. 'Imad, four, Nidal's eldest son, asked me a few days ago: 'Where is my father? Why did he become a Shahid? I miss him.' These things burn my heart. Nidal's sons burn my heart every day...’

Question: ‘If you could convey a message to the two Shahids Muhammad and Nidal, what would you tell them?’

Umm Nidal: ‘I would tell them, 'My sons, I pray to Allah that I will see you in Paradise and that Allah will accept your Shehada. You have carried out the [commandments] of honoring your father and your mother [in the best way].' I did not expect that my children would carry out [the commandment] of honoring their father and mother [in a better way] than Shehada for the sake of Allah.’

Question: ‘What is your message to the mothers of Shahids?’

Umm Nidal: ‘I hold their hands and ask them to be patient and to remember that death by martyrdom grants the martyr entrance into Paradise. I pray to Allah to strengthen them because the pain is hard and not easy to forget; but I say to all of them: 'Despite the pain and the battles and the blood that is shed, we must continue in the way of Jihad until victory or Shehada, until the entire homeland is liberated. The reward of the believing Muslim will never end. . . . Allah be praised that he chose my two sons to be among the Shahids. Every Palestinian mother or wife must be proud and lift up her head because Allah chose her husband or her son to be among the Shahids. This is the best thing in this world and in the next world.’  (MEMRI Feb. 28, 2004)

Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris preacher of Ijlin Mosque was quoted as saying ‘Are we terrorists? We, terrorists?! We face burning rockets that leave the martyr no flesh, bone, head, or foot. When the news of the death of her son reached the martyr's mother, she said to the youths: 'I want to see my son.' They were patient with her and took him to the cemetery to be buried. She learnt of this, and went there, asking: 'Where is my son?' Her son is a pile of flesh in a container, in a small sack. She watched while they buried him, and she said: 'If only a foot remained, I would kiss it.' Allah Akbar, is she a terrorist?! A terrorist, this woman who wants to find the foot of her son so she can kiss it before he is buried?! With these statements, Umm Muhammad broke the hearts of those present.’ (MEMRI March 16, 2004)


VIII. Fathers

A father whose son died as a suicide bomber said: ‘I ask, on my behalf and on behalf of every father and mother informed that their son has blown himself up: 'By what right do these leaders send the young people, even young boys in the flower of their youth, to their deaths?' Who gave them religious or any other legitimacy to tempt our children and urge them to their deaths?’

‘Yes, I say 'death,' not 'martyrdom.' Changing and beautifying the term, or paying a few thousand dollars to the family of the young man who has gone and will never return, does not ease the shock or alter the irrevocable end. The sums of money [paid] to the martyrs' families cause pain more than they heal; they make the families feel that they are being rewarded for the lives of their children.’

‘Do the children's lives have a price? Has death become the only way to restore the rights and liberate the land? And if this be the case, why doesn't a single one of all the sheikhs who compete amongst themselves in issuing fiery religious rulings, send his son? Why doesn't a single one of the leaders who cannot restrain himself in expressing his joy and ecstasy on the satellite channels every time a young Palestinian man or woman sets out to blow himself or herself up send his son?"  (MEMRI Oct. 10, 2002) ‘

This culture of death is based on a theory of leadership that includes a strategic design based on their beliefs and way of life that supports their political and social support system.


IX. Culture or Theology

Sayyid Qutb, the major theoretician of modern Islamic fundamentalism believed he heard God speaking to him.64  He said 'The role of the white man came to an end. . . his role ended whether he was Russian or American, English or French, Swiss or Swedish. . .   If they follow God's way of life, then they are within God's religion. If they follow another way of life, they do not follow God's religion’.’'  He believed his unchanging God created unchanging laws written in an unchanging book. Some believers in my Book  - the Hebrew Bible - have the same belief. Why would God defined in the Qur'an as 'the most merciful and the most compassionate' do this to His creatures - all of humankind. Why not give us all valid messengers?

In a newsletter published by the Chabad, the largest Hassidic Orthodox movement in the Jewish world,  Rabbi Moshe Wisnefsky stated 'If you talk to God, you are holy; if he talks to you, you are insane' (Farbrengen, Passover 2000).  The Rabbi was suggesting that we need to exercise caution with persons who believe that God NEEDS their interpretation.  The Sages of the Talmud posed  questions about Ezekiel (BT Yoma 77a) and about Hosea (BT Pesachim 87a-b) for some of their comments. Their conclusions were not complementary to those two ‘canonized’ prophets.

Qutb chose his God words. All words uttered by human beings are chosen, God words when accepted by believers can be uplifting or tragic. The words he chose became the Islamic fundamentalist’s mottos. That is tragic for the Islamic ummah as well as for the rest of us.

Leaders of terrorist organizations incite people to martyrdom through suicide bombing. Yet no terrorist leader in the world is known to have led one of his own children to a martyrdom operation. These leaders are willing to sacrifice their followers but not their own children for their absolutist messianic/utopian vision.

These acts are not suicides. A suicide is based on individual pathology. The individual who performs suicide bombing (with the possible exception of female suicide bombers) does not commit suicide; they are involved in a culture of death.

This form of Jihad and its terrorism will not end until moderate Islamic clerics like Dr. Abdurraham Wahid, a leading cleric, an opponent of Jihad and the former President of Indonesia; the Grand Ayatollah Husein-Ali Montozeri, the original heir to Khomeini who has favors the reformers and democracy in Iran; the Grand Ayatollah Motraza Motahhar (Khomeini’s teacher) who stated that ‘your only enemy are soldiers’ and considered that the rights of humanity were more important than individual and national rights or Marwan Barghouti, a leading Palestinian (convicted of murder) who has consistently stated ‘I am ‘against killing innocent people, against murdering innocent woman and children’ – lead a movement against this terrorism. Radical Islam must be declared as a form of Marcionism; an ancient Christian heresy and not a holy war.

We has concentrated on the Palestinian killing of Israelis however today Muslim suicide bombers now kill more of there own brethren – Iraqi’s, Saudi Arabians and Pakistanis. In the first three months of 2004 eight suicide bombs occurred in Israel and twenty eight in the rest of the world by Arabic oriented persons This culture of death has now extended far beyond the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

This ‘ideology is an extreme case of borrowing; some elements from Sunni Islam, some from Shi’a Muslims, and mixing both with modern nihilism, a cult of extreme heroism, self-sacrifice, anti-globalization rhetoric and nationalism.  It is an ideology that thrives on its intoxicating incoherence’ 65 and is based on existential despair.

Arab/Muslims claim the inheritance of Abraham – calling him an ‘Imam to the nations (Sura 2:124). The key event in Abraham’s life was the sacrifice of Isaac. The Qur’an does not mention the name of the ‘son’ (Sura 37:101-111) but notes the sacrifice. This was according to Qur’anic commentary a trial of Abraham and of the son’s faith (Sura 37:106). The intended sacrifice was ‘a complete human sacrifice like those to Moloch’ (Sura 37:104). 66 It is clear that ‘child sacrifice’ to Moloch was an abomination. Are not suicide bombings by children and teenagers an equal abomination?

One of the more puzzling commandments in the Torah (part of the Abrahamic inheritance) is the one describing the procedure to be followed if a murdered dead body is found outside of city limits and the murderer is not found (Deut 21:3-4).

The elders and judges of the closest city must go to the spot where the person was killed, behead a young heifer and wash their hands as they confess that they were not personally responsible for this person's death. From that day on, the spot where the calf was beheaded would never be cultivated. The place where a man was murdered becomes an eternal reminder that a society failed to prevent a crime or bring those guilty to justice.  This perversion of justice must never be forgotten and never allowed to happen again.

In commenting on this strange ritual, the Mishna asks, ‘Why would it ever occur to us that the elders of the court were murderers?’ (Sotah 9:1,6)  That is not the real question. The Torah is teaching that a murder occurring without compensating justice is unacceptable. Every citizen must investigate his own responsibility.

How did Muslims respond to the beheading of the Jews Daniel Pearl and Nicholas Berg? The heifer beheading rite described above would suggest crying out to heaven and imploring us to act proactively in the future so that innocent blood would never again be spilled. This concept would be consistent with the Qur’an.

How does the Quran respond to murder?

‘We ordained for the Children of Israel [for believers] that if any one slew a person - unless [or except] it be for murder or for spreading mischief [or corruption] in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land (5:32).

This appears to be a clear prohibition of murder confirming the importance of every single human being. The problem is that the words ‘unless’ or ‘except’ when combined with the words ‘spreading mischief’ or ‘corruption’ are problematic. The murderers of Nicholas Berg claimed; ‘We tell you that the dignity of the Muslim men and women in Abu Ghraib and others is not redeemed except by blood and souls’ a form of spreading corruption in a Muslim land. This can be a justification for any ‘jihad’ operation, quite different from the Mishna quoted above. This appears more like ‘honor’ killing and vengeance.

According to Minnesota based psychoanalyst and Arabist, Dr. Nancy Kobrin, Arabism is a culture in which shame and honor play decisive roles and in which the debasement of women is paramount.

The Torah teaches us about ‘honor’ killing.

In Genesis (but not in the Qur’an) there is the story of the ‘defilement’ of Dinah the daughter of Jacob and the ‘honor’ killing preformed by Simeon and Levi. We are told that ‘Schechem loved Dinah – his soul cleaved to Dinah’ (Gen. 34:3). He defiled her (34:2) by approaching her without her father’s permission, required under Mid Eastern culture. He asked his father Hamor to speak to Jacob for permission to marry Dinah. During the negotiation Jacob’s sons deceived Hamor and after he agreed to circumcise all the males Simeon and Levi slaughtered them. Jacob rejected his son’s honor killing; a rejection that remained with him for a lifetime.  Decades later at his deathbed he cursed their action. ‘Simeon and Levi are brothers instruments of cruelty. . . cursed be their anger’ (49:5,7). Levi apparently repented, Simeon did not. When Moses, grandson of Levi blessed the tribes shortly before his death Simeon does not even appear (Deut. 33:6-25). Honor killing was rejected by both Jacob and Moses.

How can one inherit the mantle of Abraham, his grandson Jacob and then Moses (all prophets according to the Qur’an) and justify the abominations noted in this article?

However it should be noted that all of the holy scriptures have statements suggesting that under certain circumstances killing is acceptable. The Book of Joshua seems to justify genocide. According to the Gospel of Matthew a crowd of Jews state ‘his [Jesus'] blood be on us and on our children' (27:25). This statement has been used to justify the killing of Jews.

X. Conclusion

Islam is a religion with a system of beliefs, doctrines, rituals and answers for the believer questions of morality, mortality and final destiny. This is based on the Qur’an, the Hadith and its commentaries. In this way it is similar to Judaism based on the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud and its commentaries. Islam as a culture and a social and political system while influenced the Qur’an, the Hadith and the commentaries is more influenced by nationalism, ethnicity, geography and the history of the separate Islamic groups. The same is true of Judaism.

Throughout the history of Islam there were periods when tolerance, pluralism and respect of multi-ethnic groups were prevalent. This was true for several hundred years in each of the following periods: the Ottoman Empire, the Muslim Spanish Empire (known by Jews as their Golden Age), the Indian subcontinent and the Muslim control of the Bosnia. During these ages Muslims excelled in mathematics, the sciences, astronomy and philosophy. The Islamic world was scientifically intellectual and ahead of the remainder of the world. On the other hand the Christian world has in almost its history been more intolerant than Islam.

What are the origins of Islamic fundamentalism?  It began shortly after the death of Muhammad with a group known as the ‘khawarji’ the Rebels. They surfaced from the village of Najd in Arabia. They believed that anyone not holding their belief was an apostate and subject to death. They were puritanical heresy hunters. They declared Caliph Uthman (one of the four righteous Caliphs) and Ali the son-in-law of Muhammad as apostates. There is a Hadith alleged from Muhammad that says ‘the one who kills them or is killed by them is blessed. They are dogs of the people of hell’.67 They created the first theological civil war within Islam which lasted for hundreds of years.

Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328) was a fundamentalist who opposed the ‘khawarji’ and is considered the spiritual ancestor of modern day Islamic fundamentalists. He only recognized the first four righteous Caliphs as legitimate; the Caliphs who ruled for 600 years after these four and until his lifetime he considered ‘illegitimate’. . He declared war on the Shi’as, the Sufi’s, Greek philosophy and the Mongols who had by then converted to Islam.

The next group of Islamic fundamentalists was founded by Abd al-Wahhab (1703 - 1792) and became known as the Wahhabis. He was born in Najd (as were the ‘khawarji)’ and he considered them as his spiritual ancestor. He was anti-Turk and anti-Shi’a. He stated ‘if you did not follow him you would be killed, your women and daughters raped and your possessions confiscated.’ Another Hadith alleged from Muhammed about the city of Najd stated from that place will come only earthquakes, conflicts and the horns of Satan’. 68  Al-Wahhab contracted with tribal leader named al Saud for a totalitarian marriage. When they conquered Kerbala (the Shia holy city) they slaughtered all the residents and scattered the bones of Hussein, the grandson of Muhammad. Decades later when they re-conquered Medina (with British help) they slaughtering one half million persons and scattered the bones of Muhammad’s son Ibrahim (who died very young), Hussan the grandson of Muhammad and the mother, grandfather and the first wife of Muhammad.  The only body they did not desecrate was Muhammad himself. Their ‘spirtuality’ helped create the Muslim Brotherhood, the father of Hamas and Al Quada. The fundamentalists in Central Asia and Southeastern Asia were trained by the Wahhabis.

The latest movement adopting a fundamentalist ideology is in Iran. Iranian are Persian and not Arabs.  They are very close geographically to Arab lands but are Shi’ites considered by most Sunni theologians and lay people as an heretical sect. . The Shi’ite modern version of Islamic martyrdom - suicide bombing - can be attributed to the Ayatollah Khomeini. He elaborated on the Shi’ite tradition using the Qur’anic term ‘mustazafin’ – the weak, the disinherited and the enfeebled who in Christian language will inherit the earth. They became the leaders of his revolution. During the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988) he convinced ten of thousands of defenseless boys and teenagers to go through fields mined by the Iraqi’s to die yelling ‘Ya Hussein’. There deaths became a form of redemption earned through works – the works being death by suicide/martyrdom.  

Despite these martyrdoms Khomeini lost the war to Iraq and signed a ceasefire of February 15, 1989.  To hide his bitterness and shame of this defeat on the previous day February 14, 1989 he signed a ‘fatwa’ against Salmon Rushdie seeking his death.  

Khomeini developed a theology of death from a fringe shi’ite theology.  In this he goes back to the beginning of Shi’ism begun in Kerbala in the year 680.  In the 1300 years since Kerbala however the vast majority of Shiite thinking has been of a ‘quietists’ nature. This school does not believe in a totalitarian theocracy run by clerics. This is the position of the current Grand Ayatollah al Sistani (Iraq) and the Grand Ayatollah Ali Montozeri (Iran) and their century’s long predecessors. The other three Iraqi Grand Ayatollahs are also of the ‘quietist’ school as are most of the ten current Iranian Grand Ayatollahs.

Thus all of the Sunni fundamentalists in the Islamic world are based directly or indirectly on Arabic culture. The Shi’ite theology despite its current influence is from a fringe shi’ite movement.

Spengler a columnist for the Asian Times noted that ‘culture is the stuff out of which we weave the illusion of immortality ... Frequently, ethnic groups will die rather than abandon their 'way of life'. . .  assimilation implied abandoning both their past and their future. Historic tragedy occurs on the grand scale when economic or strategic circumstances undercut the material conditions of life of a people, which nonetheless cannot accept assimilation into another culture. That is when entire peoples fight to the death’ (May 17, 2004).  

When a ‘nativist’ culture seems threatened by another ‘certain current or remembered elements of culture are selected for emphasis and given symbolic value. The more distinctive such elements are with respect to [the] other culture . . . the greater their potential value as symbols of the society’s unique character’. 69 Everyone chooses what symbols to use as a culture’s unique character. Some choose life some death; the choice is noted in the Torah (Deut.30:19) . Japanese Kamikaze’s, Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers, and the Marxist oriented Kurdistan Workers Party all chose self sacrifice as a symbol of their culture. Khomeini chose as a symbol for Saddam his being agent of the ‘Great Satan’ the United States and Saddam chose as a symbol of Khomeini his being the agent of the ‘Little Satan’ Israel.

Sheik Ikremeh Sabri, the highest ranking cleric in the Palestinian Authority preached in Al Aqsa mosque ‘They think they scare people. We tell them: In as much as you love life, the Muslims love death and martyrdom’. It is not his Islamic theology that is abhorrent, it is culture. His culture sees death as standing as the appetizer of a lifetime ending it before it really begins. His ‘they’ who are the rest of us accept death as dessert after a lifetime. His ‘they’ are also his despised ‘other’.  The Torah tells us forty one times to treat the ‘other’ as equal.


We probably can never imagine the suffering of ‘others’.

We probably can never imagine the pain of ‘others’.

But creating suffering and pain to the ‘other’ can never bring Salvation.

Terrorists kill innocents and cause pain and suffering - a sin by any religious person’s definition. Would a God defined as ‘the most merciful and the most compassionate’ in the Qur’an not only allow them but actually invite these persons into Paradise?

Culture and religion differ from each other. Religion can and is intended to purify cultural tendencies. What we have seen represents a culture of death which has developed for a long period of time in the Arabic culture.  Islam and the Qur’an do not represent a theology of death; however they have


J. THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD 70

The beginning of Arab terrorism can be traced to the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al Banna (1906-1949). It was founded as a social and charitable. In 1939 it added a violent political mode to its organization. Al-Banna described his organization as ‘a Salafi movement  [a reform movement founded by Muhammad Abduh], an orthodox way, a Sufi reality,  a political body, an athletic group, a scientific and cultural society, an economic company and a social idea’. 71 This definition makes it all things to all people; al Banna was a populist. As we shall see his successor was much more specific as to his ideology. The movement assassinated the Prime Minister of Egypt in 1949 and shortly thereafter al Banna himself was assassinated.

His successor was Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966) was arrested by Nasser in 1954, shortly after he became the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. He was tortured and jailed for ten years. After his release he was rearrested and then executed in 1966. His brother Muhammad fled Egypt to Saudi Arabia became a distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies whose most famous student was Osama bin Laden. The movement killed Anwar Sadat in 1981.They supported the rebels against Syrian government in the city of Hamas which resulted in 25,000 Syrians being massacred.  A follower of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheik Yassin  founded HAMAS, the Palestinian terrorist organization.

Sayyid Qutb

Sayyid Qutb is perhaps the most important Islamic theological fundamentalist – in fact he is the theologian of Arab terrorism. ‘Inevitably Islam shall rule’.

In 1948 he visited the United States for two years, earning a Masters degree in engineering at Colorado State College. As a puritanical Muslim he was appalled at mixing of the sexes he saw in school and elsewhere. He later wrote “this individual freedom, devoid of human sympathy . . . this materialistic attitude which deadens the spirit, this behavior, like animals, which you call free mixing of the sexes, this vulgarity which you call emancipation of women, this unfair and cumbersome laws of marriage and divorce, which are contrary to the demands of practical life, and this evil and fanatic racial discrimination.’ Qutb was a dark skinned Egyptian and suffered from black discrimination in America. At one time he said ‘the white man is our primary enemy. 72

During his more than ten years in prison he wrote five books as well as a six volume exegisis of the Qur’an whose influence has far outlived him. He wrote books of political propaganda and very serious exegesis on the Qur’an. He called the current Islamic societies barbaric ‘jahiliyya’ in Arabic. The term was used by Muhammad to describe the world before his revelation. There was for him, no legitimate Islamic state in the world. There were for him no true believers, since none live in an Islamic state. He stated that what was necessary was  ‘to establish the dominion of God on earth and to abolish the dominion of man, to take away sovereignty from the usurper [man] and return it to God’ . . .  Those who have usurped the authority of God and are oppressing God’s creatures are not going to give up their power merely through preaching’. 73 He was preaching national fundamentalist revolution. His doctrine was very different than al Banna’s version of community work.

Shariah, in Qutb's view, meant 'the abolition of man-made laws.’ In the resurrected caliphate, every person was going to be 'free from servitude to others.' The true Islamic system meant 'the complete and true freedom of every person and the full dignity of every individual of the society. On the other hand, in a society in which some people are lords who legislate and some others are slaves who obey, then there is no freedom in the real sense, nor dignity for each and every individual.'

He insisted that shariah meant freedom of conscience -- though freedom of conscience, in his interpretation, meant freedom from false doctrines that failed to recognize God, freedom from what he called modern schizophrenia. Shariah, in a word, was utopia for Sayyid Qutb. It was perfection. It was the natural order in the universe. It was freedom, justice, humanity and divinity in a single system. It was a vision as grand as any of the other totalitarian doctrines of the 20th century. It was, in his words, 'the total liberation of man from enslavement by others.' It was an impossible vision -- a vision that was plainly going to require a total dictatorship in order to be enforced: a vision that, by claiming not to rely on man-made laws, was going to have to rely, instead, on theocrats, who would interpret God's laws to the masses. The most extreme form of despotism was all too visible in Qutb's revolutionary program. That much should have been obvious to anyone who knew the history of the other totalitarian systems of the  20th century - the Nazis, the Fascists and the Communists.

‘Though Qutb himself never explicitly advocated violence against individuals, the myth of the jahiliya state, supported by the west, sustains Islamist militants from Algeria to the Philippines. Yet before his ‘conversion’ to Islam Qutb had been a member of the Egyptian intellectual élite. A protegé of Taha Hussein and the poet Abbas Mahmud al-Aqqad, leading lights in Egypt’s liberal western-oriented intelligentsia, he received government funding to study in America, where he attended universities in Washington DC, Colorado and California. It was exposure to western (particularly American) culture, not ignorance that led to his revulsion. His is the paradigmatic case of the “born-again” Muslim who having adopted or absorbed many modern or foreign influences discards them in his search for personal identity and cultural authenticity.’ 74

Qutb wrote a famous essay written in the 1950’s and repeated many times states that Islam has the only Divine truth, every other religion is false and ‘truth and falsehood cannot coexist on earth  . . . The liberating struggle of jihad does not end cease until all religions belong to Allah’.  75

He defines the Jews as follows:

Judaism is a surrogate of the West. ‘The Jews feel that they are a group cut off from the tree of life, and they just wait for humanity to meet with disaster. They harbour hatred for others. Thus they suffer the punishment due those who hate and bear rancour. Consequently, they make others suffer these same punishments repeatedly, in the form of dissensions among peoples and war which the Jews themselves foment in order to make profits from them.  . .  All of the evil arises only from their destructive egoism.’ 76  And since in his view the West had ended it historic role in world history so did the Jews.

His solution is a return to the Qur’an which will dis-empower the Jewish ‘parasitic non-entity feeding off the offal of Muslim self-degeneration. Jewish strength would collapse and its rodent-like purveyors would scatter in fear to all corners’. 77  The theological basis for his anti-Semitism is his view of the Qur’an ‘[The Jews] said ‘Our hearts are uncircumcized’ (2:88).  He comments on this verse that Qur’an ‘confronts [the Jews] harshly with what they said and did, stripping them of all their arguments and excuses in which they lay concealed their haughty [rejection of the ] truth and their hateful selfishness  . . . cause by the fact that some one other than they had been given the blessing’. 78  


K. AL QUADA AND OSAMA BIN LADEN

Osama bin Laden is the most Fundamentalist of Islamic believers. He, like Qutb believes that there is no virtue in any non-Muslim religion or person and non believers should be destroyed. His belief system is death and destruction. He is a true Apocalypt. He is willing to destroy the world for his belief system.

Since September 11, bin Laden became the most infamous terrorist in the world. He is the leader of al Quada, a world wide organization with loose affiliation with many other Islamic terrorist groups. He defined his major enemies as the U.S. with its support of Israel and its support of the ‘apostate’ governments of Saudi Arabia (where he grew up), Egypt and Pakistan. His major supporters are in those countries and in the South East Asia countries of Indonesia (a state which a huge majority of Muslims) and the Philippines, a Catholic country with fifty million Muslims.

Al Quada represents the first multinational – in fact Global - terrorist group. It’s purpose is to terrorize the West and destroy it.

‘Islamic governments have never been and will never be, established through peaceful solutions and cooperative councils. They are established as they [always] have been by pen and gun by word and bullet, by tongue and teeth’. 79

The seminal event in his life was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 occurring after his graduation as an engineer from King Abdel Aziz University in Jedda. He told CNN ‘I was enraged and went there at once’. 80.

His father died in the early 1980’s. He inherited perhaps $300 million. He went back to Afghanistan and with his money established an organization called the ‘Services Office’ based in Peshar a Pakistani city bordering on Afghanistan.. Its purpose was to fund and train Arab, North African and Southeast Asian Muslims to be trained and fight in Afghanistan and later in Chechnya, Bosnia, Algeria and Somalia. During that time he and the mujahadeen were supported by the United States and the C.I.A. He recruited and trained perhaps 25,000 mujahadeen. The recruitment offices called ‘Al Kifah’ were located in Britain, France, Germany, Norway and Sweden, every Middle Eastern country and several Southeast Asian countries and various American cities.  

In 1988 he founded al-Quada and returned to Saudi Arabia .He as a war hero became a noted speaker in Mosques and through tapes of his anti-American Pro Palestinian speeches.  When the Gulf War began in 1990 and the Saudis supported the United States, bin Laden, opposed having the American infidels in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian government was based on a fundamentalist Muslim puritanical sect called Wahhabism. Iraq was run by Saddam Hussein based on the Ba’ath Party, an anti religious secular government who persecuted Islamic clerics. Bin Laden had worked with the U.S. in defeating the Soviets. He stated to CNN that ‘Saudi regime is but a branch or an agent of the United States. . . Since Allah spread out the Arabian peninsula, created its desert and drew its seas, no such disaster [the American troops in the Gulf War] has ever struck as when those Christian legion spread like pest, crowded its land, ate its resources, eradicated its nature and humiliated its leaders. 81  Fighting in Afghanistan bin Laden felt empowered and inspired to fight the Christians despite working with them against the atheistic Communists.

In 1991 after opposing the American led coalition against Iraq he was expelled from Saudi Arabia.  He went to the Sudan; The largest Africa’s country ruled by fundamentalist Muslims. Hundreds of his former fighters from Afghanistan joined him in the Sudan. There he developed al-Quada as an international corporate power basing its goals as a terrorist organization. Al-Quada is a franchise operation, some operations owned and controlled by him, some simply funded by bin Laden. In the Sudan he bought and controlled a large bank in Khartoum, created an investment company controlling the countries exports, and a construction company that built a 750 mile road from Port Sudan to the capital city of Khartoum. He established three training camps for terrorists.

In 1994 he opened an office in London that was used to fund al Quada throughout the world and bought into Yemen and Albania. He also began developing sleeper cells in Kenya, Tanzania, Pakistan, Britain, France, Germany and the U.S.

The first attack on the World Trade Center was in 1993. Their plan was to knock down one of the Trade centers into the other collapsing it. While six people died, the chief planner Ramzi Yousef felt he failed; he had hoped 250,000 people would die. He was an associate of Osama bin Laden.

In 1996 under American pressure bin Laden was expelled from the Sudan and he moved to Afghanistan where the Taliban had recently taken control. In Afghanistan he declared his first war against the U.S. He wrote ‘to his Muslim Brothers in the whole World and especially in the Arabian Peninsula’ and declared ‘A Declaration of Jihad Against the American Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Mosques: Expel the Heretics from the Arabian Peninsula.’

In 1998 he founded the International Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, a consortium of 29 different terrorist organizations. Its Charter stated that ‘If some people have formerly debated this fact of the occupation, all the people of the peninsula have now acknowledged it. The best proof of this is the Americans continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are against their territories being used to that end. Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance the Americans are once again trying to repeat the horrific massacres. Third, if the Americans aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and the murder of Muslims there.  . .  . Good Muslims must fight and kill American civilians and soldiers wherever whenever they can in accordance with the words of the Almighty God’. 82

On February 23, 1998 he signed a fatwa entitled ‘The World is at War’.‘The fatwa to kill American and their allies civilians and military – is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in whch it is possible to do it, in order to liberate al-Aqsa Mosque and the Holy Mosque (Mecca) from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim’ (dated February 1998). 83 The fatwa was widely publicized by the World Islamic Front of Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders’.

Bin Laden and Sheik Mohammad Omer merged their forces. The Taliban were even more puritanical that the Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden became the Treasurer of this bankrupt country. He also developed many relations with the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies.

In 1998 two of his Saudi terrorists bombed the American Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya killing over 200 persons and almost simultaneously bombed the American Mission in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The U.S. having determined that bin Laden was responsible bombed Afghanistan and a chemical factory in the Sudan.

Bin Laden is not an Islamic visionary, but rather a ‘mujahadin’ fighter. He said ‘I’m fighting so I can die as a martyr and go to heaven to meet God. Our fight is against the Americans. I regret having lived until now. I have nothing to lose.’ 84 He and those like him are against the nationalism of Hamas or the FIS in Algeria, they have no overriding Islamic theory like the Qutb and the Muslim Brotherhood – they have no vision other than terrorism. They have no coherent strategy or ideology. In Egypt some the younger terrorists have given up on the Brotherhood, have given up violence and are attempting to become a political party. In Palestine while Hamas is best known as a terrorist organization, the real danger is they will become more popular than the PLO and take over the authority as political leaders, they have a political platform. They are deeply involved with their community. The mother of a suicide bomber from Gaza said of her son ‘Those who call him a suicide bomber are wrong. Those who commit suicide drown themselves in the sea or shoot themselves. But my son killed Israelis with his body. He’s a martyr. Therefore, he lives’. He was her youngest son. Hisham Hamad said in a tape to his family, ‘I swear there is no tear or sadness in my eyes in leaving you but forgive. Meeting God is preferable to living in this world’. His family was middle class. 85 He and others like him have a political goal – freedom for Palestinians.

As opposed to his families bin Laden and his associates have no community, no political goals – their ‘goal’ if it can be called that – is anti-Americanism, anti-Israel and anti-West. They are anarchists believing only in an Apocalyptic end to the world. They are for death and destruction. “We do not consider it a crime to use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. Our Holy land is occupied by Israeli and American forces. Acquiring [this] weapons for defend ourselves and to liberate our Holy Land is a religious duty’. 86 In February 2003 in a statement against the Americans and British who had armies around Iraq, he asked the Iraqi’s to Martyr themselves against the Crusader war.

After Sept. 11, and the U.S. destroyed their bases in Afghanistan al Quada moved to other areas where they had influence – Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen, the Philippines and Indonesia. Al Quada exploits the freedom, tolerance and multiculturalism of Western Europe and the U.S., to create cells. There are many Muslims in these countries and some are radical Imams who are funded ironically by either al Quada or Saudi Arabia.

The reason Osama bin Laden and his ilk have attacked America has little to do with Israel. America is the ‘far enemy’ as an infidel state. The ‘near enemy’ are their own rulers. Their own rulers – Egypt, Algeria, Syria, and Saudi Arabia – are too brutal to be defeated. America and Europe being free countries are easier to penetrate and terrorize.

One could argue that Osama bin Laden and others represent the failed Arab states and use murder as compensation for failure.

Osama bin Laden has a series of Arabic commentators defining his life as Muhammad-like. He is portrayed as a Jihadic warrior. Atiyyat Allah one such author plants in its readers an image that could easily turn bin Laden in young Muslim minds into a kind of a “new Muhammad.” The admiration for bin laden by Muslim youth, which is constantly growing, becomes here a personification of the best of the Prophet and the stages he experienced during the divine revelation to him. bin Laden’s immigration—Hijrah—is to Afghanistan, and his worst period of ignorance—Jahiliyyah—is the American “invasion” of Arabia in 1990-91: “the most sinful crime in the history of Arabia.  And the biggest high treason in Islamic history.  Which was blessed by an unanimous categorical Islamic Fatwah that said that these forces came for the defense of the purity of Islam, and whoever fights them is a fighter against Allah.”  87

Although bin Laden and his partners were able to create a structure in Afghanistan that attracted new recruits and forged links among preexisting Islamic militant groups, they never created a coherent terrorist network in the way commonly conceived. Instead, al Quada functioned like a venture capital firm—providing funding, contacts, and expert advice to many different militant groups and individuals from all over the Islamic world.

Today, the structure that was built in Afghanistan has been destroyed, and bin Laden and his associates have scattered or been arrested or killed. There is no longer a central hub for Islamic militancy. But the al Quada worldview, or “al Quadaism” is growing stronger every day. This radical internationalist ideology—sustained by anti-Western, anti-Zionist, and anti-Semitic rhetoric—has adherents among many individuals and groups, few of whom are currently linked in any substantial way to bin Laden or those around him. They merely follow his precepts, models, and methods. They act in the style of al Quada, but they are only part of al Quada in the very loosest sense. That's why Israeli intelligence services now prefer the term “jihadi international” instead of “al Quada.”

Al-Quada is now an umbrella group, almost a franchise of like-minded individual groups rather than an actual organization. It is a symptom of a much deeper attitude. The ideology is the key, not an organization. This ideology is a force in itself and not the result of socio-economic conditions; it cannot be solved, for example, through a Marshall Plan type of response.


L. CONCLUSIONS

   Radical Islamist clericals justify not only acts of terrorism against individuals, but also mass murder against whole groups of people regarded as infidels. The ‘infidel’ becomes a ‘stranger’ or the ‘other’ almost inhuman.  Their call for the complete extermination of peoples means they have moved ideologically toward the justification of genocide. One al-Quada leader argues that Muslims have the right to kill four million Americans, while a Saudi scholar argues for killing ten million.

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. 88

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." 89

Similarly, the prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Quradawi, 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. 90

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-Quradawi, with the spread of Islam inside Europe until it becomes strong enough to take over the whole continent. Al-Quradawi 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."

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." 91


Terrorism is a means to an end, not an end itself. Terrorism is the means chosen by these "holy warriors," who believe that it is their religious duty to kill Americans and that if they die in the attempt, they will be rewarded in paradise.

They can kill civilians as they are doing in Iraq and Israel; but the numbers of people they murder represents a cult of death. But they remain Evil people. Rather than fighting a war we are fighting a plague.

The greatest influence on Osama bin Laden was the victory of Afghanistan warriors over the Soviet Union, but the Soviet Union was on the verge of being a failed country. A decade later it did in fact fail. He assumed they had won for theological reasons. But he was wrong. The United States is not a failed country, but the one superpower left in the world.

There are countries in danger. The terrorists may wreck Pakistan and Saudi Arabia; they are actually close to being failed countries.

Saddam Hussein not understanding that the United States and its allies would destroy him and his government suggest he was living in a fantasy world. The inability of Osama bin Laden (despite his still being on the loose) and his ilk to foresee America’s reaction to September 11 suggest they may also live in a fantasy world. The Arab based terrorists can in fact not defeat America; nor can they defeat Israel.


1 Steward Bell, in the National Post, May 15, 2004.

2 J.uergensmeyer, Mark, The New Cold War?, (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1993) pg. 156.

3 Juergensmeyer, Cold War, pg. 156.

4 Quoted by Daniel Pipes, talk on June 30, 1998 entitled ‘Distinction Between Islam and Islamism’ to the Center for Strategic and international Studies. An example of this is Fat'hi ash-Shiqaqi, a well-educated young Palestinian living in Damascus, recently boasted of his familiarity with European literature. He told an interviewer how he had read and enjoyed Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Sartre, and T.S. Eliot. He spoke of his particular passion for Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, a work he read ten times in English translation "and each time wept bitterly."1 Such acquaintance with world literature and such exquisite sensibility would not be of note except for two points - that Shiqaqi was, until his assassination in Malta in late 1995, a fundamentalist Muslim and that he headed Islamic Jihad, the arch-terrorist organization that has murdered dozens of Israelis over the last two years.

5 Marty & Appleby, pg. 819.

6 Appleby, Sacred, pg. 101.

7 Quoted by Marty and Appleby, Fundamentalism, pg. 817.

8 Nusse, Nettler, pg. 106.

9 Malise Ruthuen, Cultural Schizophrenia, Sepetember 27, 2001, Open Democracy.

10 Kramer, M., The Islamic Debate, (Tel Aviv University, 1997) article by Daniel Brumberg, pg. 28.

11 Jansen, Dual, pg. 1.

12 Asia Times, May 17, 2004.

13 Jansen, Johannes, 'The Dual Nature of Islamic Fundamentalism', pg. 52).

14 Ramet, pg. 329.

15 Ramet, S.P., Balkan Babel, (Westview Press, Boulder Colorado, 1999) pg. 117.

16 Quoted in Appleby, Religion, Violence and Reconciliation.

17 Appleby, pg. 70.

18 Ramet, Balkan Babel, pg. 254-255.

19 Ramet, Balkan Babel, pg. 258.

20 Hall, Brian, (The Impossible Country,

21 Mousavizadeh, N., Ed. The Black Book of Bosnia, (Basic Books, N.Y., 1996, Ajami, g. 149.

22 Embree, A.T., Utopias in Conflict, (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1990) pg. 80.

23 Pankaj Mishra, NYT, Feb. 2, 2003

24 Rajeev Bhargava, Asian Times, may 11, 2003

25 Vidya Subahamanian, Asia Times, June 11, 2003

26 Quoted in Lawrence, Bruce, Shattering the Myth, (Princeton Univesity Press, Princeton, 1998) pg. 10, The Economist, 23, Dec. 95-5, Jan. 1996, pg. 17-18.

27 Quoted in Lawrence, Shattering, pg. 12.

28 The Globalization Index was developed by A.T. Kearney and Foreign Policy

29 Daniel Pipes, ‘The Roots of Iraq’s Rebellion, #439, April 13, 2004.

 http://www.danielpipes.org/article/1723

30 Tibi, Bassam, The Challenge of Fundamentalism, (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1998) pg. 8.

31 Giddens, A., Global Capitalism    (New Press, N.Y., 2000).

32 Tibi, Challenge, pg. 91.

33 Juergensmeyer, Mark, ed. Violence and the Sacred in the Modern World, Frank Cass, London, 1992, pg. 24-25.

34 Juerensmeyer, Violence, pg. 30-47.

35 Life Expectancy, Infant Mortality and Literacy, Overseas Development Council, in Bill, James and Springborg, R., Politics in the Middle East, (Harper Collins, 1990) pgs.16-19.

36 http://www.cbc.ca/national/news/unreport/list.html

37 Esposito, Political, pg. 4

38 http://www.worldaudit.org/democracy.htm

39 Mernissi, Islam, pg. 46.

40 Abdallah Laroud, quoted in Ajami, Fouad, The Arab Predicament, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992) pg. 30.

41 Ajami, pg. 39.

42 World Military Expenditure and Arms\ Transfers Quoted in Mernissi, Islam, pg. 44.

43 David Belden, Humiliation: How to Get Over It. Open Democracy, March 1, 2004

44 Schwartz, Stephen, The Two Faces of Islam, (Doubleday, N.Y., 2002) pg. 36

45 Schwatrz, pg. 73.

46 Schwartz, pg. 184.

47 Schwartz, pg. 118.

48 Linton, Ralph, ‘Nativistic Movements’, American Anthropologist, NS, 45 (1943), quoted in Jansen, Johannes, J.G., The Dual Nature of Islamic Fundamentalism (Cornell, University Press, Ithica, 1997), pg. 16.

49 For a good discussion that does not leave a firm conclusion see Navid Kermani ‘Roots of Terror: suicide, martyrdom, self-redemption and Islam, February 2, 2002, published in OpenDemocracy March 2004. The author does discuss the concept of ‘active nihilism’ developed by F. Nietzche, particularly in his ‘Genealogy of Morals’ and the idea of Master Morality and Servant Morality. But he concludes that the ‘missing link’ has yet to be discovered.

50 Fred Halliday, Terrorism in Historic Perspective, Open Democracy, April 22, 2004

51 ibid

52 Soloveitchik, J., B., Halakhic Man, (JPS, Philadelphia, 1983)  pg. 49.

53 Op cit, pg. 65.

54 Al-Akhbar (Cairo), Dec. 4, 2001. This and the next five quotes are quoted from by Haim Malka, Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2003

55 Translated and commented on by Juan Cole at the Yale Center for Genocide Studies Conference on April 9, 2003.

56 Conference at the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago, The Divinity School, December 2000, by Bruce Lincoln, ‘Mr. Atta's Meditations, Sept. 10, 2001: A Close Reading of the Text’.

57 ibid.

58 Rona Fields, Terrorism and Martyrdom: The Psychology of Commitment, Yale Center for Genocidal Studies, October 2003.

59 Quoted by Bruce Hoffman, from a CIA document dated April 3, 2002, in Al Qaeda, Trends in Terrorism, Future Potentialities, pg.12, Rand Corporation, May 20, 2004.

60 Almost everyone is aware of the 72 black eyed virgins that await martyred males as they enter the pearly gates. This is not in the Qur’an. This author has never read or heard of the female reward.

61 By Benedict Carey, LA Times, July 31, 2002

62 Reuters, Christopher, My Life Is A Weapon: A Modern History of Suicide Bombing, (Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2003).

63 Juergensmeyer, Mark, Terror in the Mind of God, (University of California Press, Berkeley, 2000), pg. 241.

64 Jansen, Dual, pg. 52, the next two quotes are from Jansen pgs. 76, and 33..

65 Fred Halliday, Terrorism in Historic Perspective, Open Democracy, April 22, 2004.

66 The Holy Qur’an, Text, Translation and Commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, (Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an Inc., Elmhurst N.Y., 2001) pg. 1205, ft. 4102.

67 Schwartz, Stephen, The Two Faces of islam, (Doubleday, N.Y., 2002) pg. 36

68 Schwatrz, pg. 73.

69 Linton, Ralph, ‘Nativistic Movements’, American Anthropologist, NS, 45 (1943), quoted in Jansen, Johannes, J.G., The Dual Nature of Islamic Fundamentalism (Cornell, University Press, Ithica, 1997), pg. 16.

70 See among others: Rubin, Barry Rubin, J.C., eds. Anti-American Terrorism And The Middle East (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2002);

71 Brown, L.Carl, Religion and State, The Muslim Approach to Politics, (Columbia University Press, N.Y., 2001) pg. 146.

72 Brown, Religion, pg. 155.

73 Shadid, pg. 60.

74 74 Malise Ruthuen, Cultural Schizophrenia, Sepetember 27, 2001, Open Democracy

75 Israeli, Raphael, Muslim Fundamentalism In Israel, (Brassey, London, 1993) pg. 102.

76 Israeli, Muslim, pg. 103.

77 Israeli, Muslim, pg. 103.

78 Quoted in Asher Lopatin, in Nettler, pg. 75 (underline added).

79 Gunaratna, Rohan, Inside Al Qaeda, (Columbia University Press, 2002) pg. 5.

80 Wright, pg. 248.

81 Wright, pg. 251.

82 Reeve, Simon, The New Jackals, (Northeastern University Press, Boston, 1999) pg. 268-270.

83 Rutheun, Maline, The Eleventh of September, International Affairs, Vol. 78, April 2002.

84 Shadid, pg. 89.

85 Shadid, pg. 94.

86 Reeve,  Jackals,  pg. 214.

87 Reuven Paz, Global Jihad and the United States: Interpretation of the New World Order of Usama Bin Laden, PRISM Series of Global Jihad, No. 1

88 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.

89 http://www.saaid.net/fatwa/f23.htm

90 For background on Qaradawi, see Reuven Paz, "Sheikh Dr. Yousef al-Quadaaradawi: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Policywatch, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, October 18, 2001.

91 http://www.alshaab.com/GIF/28-06-2002/Q.htm.