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In his address to the nation on May 24, President George Bush said:
Our terrorist enemies have a vision that guides and explains all of their varied acts of murder. They seek to impose Taliban-like rule, country by country, across the greater Middle East. They seek the total control of every person, and mind, and soul; a harsh society in which women are voiceless and brutalized. They seek bases of operation to train more killers and export more violence. They commit dramatic acts of murder to shock, frighten and demoralize civilized nations, hoping we will retreat from the world and give them free reign. They seek weapons of mass destruction, to impose their will through blackmail and catastrophic attacks. None of this is the expression of a religion.
It is this mindset that caused Americans to be caught so off guard on Sept. 11. All of this is the expression of religion – President Bush is absolutely wrong!
Isser Harel (founder of Mossad, Israeli intelligence) knew this very pertinent fact in 1979. He and I talked about the religion of the Islamic fundamentalists birthed on April Fools Day. A Shiite ayatollah, Ruhollah Khomeini, called it the “first day of the government of God.” Harel said America was developing a tolerance for terrorism. He was convinced the target would be the tallest building in New York City. (Harel understood the religious implication of the phallic symbol in most cultures, and why the Islamic fundamentalists would interpret New York’s tallest spire as a symbol of America’s strength and dominance.)
I was so positive Harel was correct that I spoke of this worldwide, and even wrote a novel in 1999 based on the concept that Osama bin Laden and Islamic Jihad purchased a nuclear device to blow up New York.
Why were American politicians and the American public so blindsided by the Sept. 11 attack? Why were the FBI, the CIA, Congress, the Pentagon, the mayor of New York and the president of the United States caught so unaware? They were busy studying the politics of the Middle East, and not the religion of Islamic fundamentalism.
As long as President Bush refuses to admit that Ground Zero for the war on terrorism is a religion called Islamic fundamentalism, we will not be able to win the war. It has been said that he who defines the terms, wins the debate.
Yigal Carmon (expert on terrorism and former adviser to Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin) spoke at the Pentagon on Feb. 26, 1993. In his speech, he warned: “Radical Islam is an imminent threat to America”. Following his briefing, smirking critics retorted: “We don’t consider a religion to be a threat to our national security.” How wrong they were!
Those who have tried to point out the danger have been jeered and ridiculed – much as Yigal Carmon was mocked during his visit to the Pentagon in 1993. (By the way, that same day, Carmon flew from the Pentagon to New York City where, at 12:18 p.m., Islamic terrorists attempted to blow up the World Trade Center. A thousand were injured and six killed, but still, no one connected the dots to religion.)
During the Persian Gulf War in 1991, I had lunch one afternoon with the governor of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammed Khalid (commander in chief of the Saudi Royal Air Force and the Arab multinational forces). Khalid and I talked about Islamic fundamentalists and the threat they and their fanatical religion could be to the West. My words antagonized Khalid, who said:
“Your country is a lot more dangerous than ours. You can walk our streets at two in the morning and nobody will bother you. You can’t do that in L.A., New York, Chicago or most of the big U.S. cities.”
“Are you telling me Islamic fundamentalists are peaceful?” I asked.
“No,” he said, “they’re not. But they represent no more than 10 percent of Islam.”
“Excuse me,” I replied. “That really comforts me to know that only a hundred million or so people want to kill me in the name of their religion.”
If the concept of Islamic fundamentalism as a “peaceful religion” is a true assessment of the 100,000 million Muslims who adhere to the teachings of the Quran – how can we account for such inciting passages as:
- “… kill the disbelievers wherever we find them.” (2:191)
- “… fight and slay the Pagans, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem.” (9:5)
- “… slay or crucify or cut the hands and feet of the unbelievers, that they may be expelled from the land with disgrace and that they shall have a great punishment in the world hereafter.” (5:34)
Abraham Lincoln was fond of asking, “If you called a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs would he have?” The person would inevitably respond by saying “He would have 5 legs”. “Nope,” Lincoln would then reply with a smile, “Just because you call a dog’s tail a leg doesn’t make it one.”
When will someone have the courage to stand up and say: “Islamic fundamentalism is not a religion of peace – it is a religion of terrorism! It is being bolstered by a demonic doctrine – Wahabism – exported from Saudi Arabia, and practiced, most notably, by Osama bin Laden.”
- Islamic fundamentalism has produced glassy-eyed suicide bombers who creep into cities and towns in Israel, in Europe, in the Middle East with only one purpose in mind – kill the infidels (anyone who does not embrace Islam.) The latest figures according to the International Institute of Strategic Studies recently revealed that 18,000 young Muslim men willing to strap on vests laden with explosives, or drive vehicles loaded with dynamite to bring about death and destruction, are scattered around the world.
- Islamic fundamentalism is the religion that has turned Israel’s streets into a blazing inferno of death and destruction for the innocent.
- Islamic fundamentalism birthed the 19 men who commandeered four U.S. airliners for the sole purpose of causing murder and mayhem on Sept. 11, 2001.
- Islamic fundamentalism produced the Taliban, responsible for the subjugation of the nation of Afghanistan.
- Islamic fundamentalism has supported such terrorist organizations as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Hezbollah, al-Jihad, Palestinian Liberation Front, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, al-Qaida and others too numerous to name.
- Islamic fundamentalism is responsible for the deaths of numerous young American soldiers in Iraq.
Not many have taken the time to connect the dots. Most of the violence perpetrated by these radical fundamentalists follows a hate-filled diatribe by a mullah or ayatollah in the local mosque. This seems especially true in Israel and in Iraq.
America has been in Osama bin Laden’s murderous crosshairs since 1998 when he issued a fatwa calling on Muslims everywhere to kill Americans. Few in the United States took him seriously when he wrote:
The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies – civilians and military – is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. 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.”
We – with God’s help – call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan’s U.S. troops and the devil’s supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.
Yes, Islamic fundamentalism is a religion … and it kills. The enemy is among us, and we can no longer define who that enemy is. Like a frog in a pot of water, we are perfectly happy to take our ease – not realizing until it is too late that the pot reached the boiling point while we were lulled into a false sense of security.