Posted by Wordsmith on 1 August, 2010 at 7:59 am. 129 comments already!

It is true that there were some Palestinians “dancing” in the streets, jubilant that “America got what it deserved” on 9/11. But do those Palestinians who did celebrate represent the feelings of the entire Muslim world? All Palestinians (many of whom have grievances with the U.S. for reasons as much to do with politics as it does with the Quran)? Or can it be chalked up to something other than religion?

Consider:

The Images below are from a peaceful candlelight vigil on the streets of Tehran, Iran. (September 18th, 2001)
The pariticipants lit candles, mourned, and prayed to showed their grief over the loss of innocent life in the tragedies of Sept. 11th.



The following image is from a peaceful rally in the Muslim country of Bangladesh,
who were showing this sympathy with Americans
who have lost loved ones in this Tragedy


The picture to the right is a poignant image of two Palestinian women mourning the loss of life in the tragedies of September 11th.

– The terrorist act was strongly condemned by every single Palestinian organization including Fatah, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hamas, Workers Unions and Committees, Human Right organizations (AlHaq, Law, Palestine Center for Human Rights), student associations, municipalities, mosques and churches, etc.

– The US Consul General in Jerusalem reported that he has received a huge stack of faxes from Palestinians and Palestinian organizations expressing condolences, grief and solidarity. He himself was pained to see that the media chose to focus on the sensational images of a few Palestinians rejoicing.

– The Palestine Legislative Council condemned the terrorist attack on the United States and sent an urgent letter of condolences to Mr. J Dennis Hasterd, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

– Palestinians in East Jerusalem held a candle-light vigils on 12 and 14 September to express their grief and solidarity with the American families struck by this tragedy. Mr. Abdel Qader Al-Husseini, son of the late Palestinian leader Faisal Al-Husseini led one of the vigils.

– Jerusalem University students, along with the President of the University and the Deans of the various Faculties, began a blood donation drive in East Jerusalem. Students and professors went to hospitals in order to donate blood for the American victims who need it.

– The 1 million Palestinian students in the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, stood five minutes in silence to express their solidarity with the hundreds of American children who have been struck by this strategy, which resembles in its shocking effects their daily sufferings. (see image to the right)

-In Iran, Tehran’s main soccer stadium observed an unprecedented minute’s silence in sympathy with the victims.

-Iran’s Ayatollah Imami Kashani spoke of a catastrophic act of terrorism which could only be condemned by all Muslims, adding the whole world should mobilise against terrorism.

Were the expressions of condolences sincere? Or just “obligatory” governmental lip service and image propaganda? After all, it’s easy to be cynically skeptical of Hamas and Yasser Arafat shedding one teardrop of sympathy for the United States for anything other than political cover. But what about the people themselves? “Ordinary”, everyday Muslims, whether defined as “radical” or “moderate”?

And if our skepticism for the sincerity of the well-wishes is well founded, then it should also extend to those that have nothing to do with Islam itself, but to anti-Americanism in general; anti-Americanism that isn’t fueled by religious fanaticism but rather perceptions of American imperialism and wrongful foreign policy bullying by the world’s sole hyperpower.

Were the French and our other European allies sincere in their mourning? I’m sure many were; but along with that, there were probably those who felt “America’s chickens have come home to roost”, and this was all “blowback”.

From pg 8-9 of Jean Francois-Revel‘s Anti-Americanism,

After the first gushings of emotion and crocodile condolences, the murderous assaults were depicted as a justified retaliation for the evil done by the United States throughout the world. This was the reaction of most Muslim countries, but also of rulers and journalists in some sub-Saharan African countries, not all of which have Muslim majorities. Here we see the habitual escape hatch of societies suffering from chronic failures, societies that have completely messed up their evolution toward democracy and economic growth; instead of looking to their own incompetence and corruption as the cause, they finger the West in general and the United States in particular. Classic displays of voluntary blindness to one’s own shortcomings though these were, they were but overtures; even more remarkable performances were to come. After a discreet pause of a few days, the theory of American culpability surfaced in the European press- in France above all, it goes without saying- among intellectuals and politicians, of the Left and the Right.

Shouldn’t we interrogate ourselves about the underlying reasons, the “root causes” that had pushed the terrorists to their destructive acts? Wasn’t the United States in part responsible for what had happened? Shouldn’t we take into account the sufferings of the poor countries and the contrast between their impoverishment and America’s opulence?

This line of argument was not only made in countries whose populations, keyed up to fever pitch by jihad, instantly acclaimed the New York catastrophe as well-deserved punishment. It was also heard in the European democracies, where soon enough, insinuations were made that- with all due respect for the dead, of course- a careful look at the terrorists’ motives was called for.

I believe that the anti-Americanism that saw fit to celebrate the 9/11 attacks against the U.S. as a well-deserved “bloody nose” longtime in coming can be chalked up not to religious extremism, but to world politics.

In David Killcullen’s The Accidental Guerilla, he writes on pg 249-250:

Observers of the situation are often confused by their own category errors, for example, equating liberal politics with nominal theology and nonviolence, or fundamentalist theology with extremist politics and terrorism. These traits may in theory cluster together, but are not the same thing. In fact, Quintan Wiktorowicz has argued, theology is a poor predictor for political extremism and violence. He argues that though Salafist groups share a common religious perspective, political divisions emerge when they apply enduring religious principles to contemporary problems:

Although Salafis share the same approach to religious jurisprudence, they often hold different interpretations about contemporary politics and conditions….The different contextual readings have produced three major factions in the community: the purists, the politicos, and the jihadis. The purists emphasize a focus on nonviolent methods of propagation, purification, and education. They view politics as a diversion that encourages deviancy. Politicos, in contrast, emphasize application of the Salafi creed to the political arena, which they view as particularly important because it dramatically impacts social justice and the right of God alone to legislate. Jihadis take a more militant position and argue that the current context calls for violence and revolution. All three factions share a common [theological] creed but offer different explanations of the contemporary world and its concomitant problems and thus propose different solutions. The splits are about contextual analysis, not belief.

~~~

in 2004, an International Crisis Group report found that Salafism and terrorism rarely occur together in Indonesia, and another report made the same finding in Saudi Arabia; earlier, Francois Burgat identified a similar pattern in North Africa. Many of the most violent Iraqi groups are primarily nationalist and only nominally Islamic, as are some of the most extreme Palestinian groups. And the Netherlands security service (AIVD) identified the same wide spectrum in European radical Muslim communities in 2003. Hence, regardless of theological or political categorization, field evidence suggest that Islamic theology as such has little functional relationship with violence. On the basis of this demonstrated analytical weakness of theology as a predictor for violence, Wiktorowicz argues that we “should focus on the competing political analyses and interpretations and not necessarily the specific [theological] content of jihadi beliefs.”

If theology is a poor predictor for violence, it follows that radicalization (which includes political or theological components, or both) is relevant to counterterrorism in its political, not its theological dimension. Indeed, a focus on Islamic beliefs (equating “radical” theology with violent extremism) may be an analytical sidetrack. Rather than theology, the evidence suggests, it may make more sense to focus on recognized behavioral and sociological indicators of propensity to violence. As Marc Sageman has shown, biographical, psychological, and sociological factors are more useful predictors for terrorist activity than religion. Membership in a subversive or revolutionary political group may also indicate that an individual is “primed” for violence if an appropriate catalyst emerges- but a trigger event is needed and, again, the driving factor is political, not theological.

John Esposito:

The charge that Muslims do not condemn terrorism has been made repeatedly, despite that post-9/11, many Muslim leaders and organizations in America and globally have consistently denounced acts of terrorism. But major media outlets do not seem to find them newsworthy, and thus they must be found in smaller outlets on the internet.

The Myth of the Silent Muslim Majority:

Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001 ‘Western’ academics, intellectuals, and politicians have been apparently blind to the massive amount of condemnation coming from the Muslim majority; that is, those who oppose Wahhabism and Osama bin Laden. Indeed, the question of “why haven’t Muslims condemned the atrocities of 9/11 and other terror” is more a definitive statement than an open-ended issue for many commentators. Moderate Muslims are seen as a weak majority, unwilling to condemn and work against the ‘radicals’ like bin Laden and others.

~~~

This conception of Islam is quite commonplace among Evangelical Christians, Atheists, Zionists, politicians in the West, and media commentators generally. However, the belief that Muslims believe that the tragic events of 9/11 were justified or that bin Laden represents “mainstream” Islam is quite ridiculous. Even commentators who should know better seem to have amnesia or deliberately lie to make their case. For example, after the London bombings, Thomas Friedman stated that:

“To this day–to this day– no major Muslim cleric or religious body has ever issued a fatwa condemning Osama bin Laden”.

Apparently Friedman did not read his own newspaper on October 17th, 2001 in which a full page ad from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty proclaimed that “Osama bin Laden hijacked four airplanes and a religion”. This ad also published statements from some of the most prominent Muslim leaders and institutions. Among those who signed were Sheikh Abudulaziz al-Shaikh (Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairmen of the Senior Ulama), Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai of Pakistan, Zaki Badawi (Principal of the Muslim College in London), King Abdullah II of Jordan, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Even earlier, on September 14th, 2001 the BBC reported condemnations of the 9/11 attacks as acts of terror by significant and influential clerics; for example Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar University (viewed by many as one of the highest authorities in Sunni Islam), and Ayatollah Kashani in Iran.

Yet another example of over forty Muslim scholars and jurists condemnation of the events on 9/11.; a few notable scholars were Mustafa Mashhur (General Guide, Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt), Qazi Hussain Ahmed (Ameer, Jamaat-e -Islami, Pakistan) Sheikh Ahmad Yassin (founder, Islamic Resistance Movement-or Hamas, Palestine), and Fazil Nour (president, PAS- Parti Islam SeMalaysia, Malaysia). Just a piece of their condemnation:

The undersigned, leaders of Islamic movements, are horrified by the events of Tuesday 11 September 2001 in the United States which resulted in massive killing, destruction and attack on innocent lives. We express our deepest sympathies and sorrow. We condemn, in the strongest terms, the incidents, which are against all human and Islamic norms [my emphasis]. This is grounded in the Noble Laws of Islam which forbid all forms of attacks on innocents. God Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an: “No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another” (Surah al-Isra 17:15).

Surprising to many in the West, Hamas and Hizbollah condemned the atrocities in London in 2005. Hamas claimed that “targeting civilians in their transport means and lives is denounced and rejected”, while Hizbollah joined on “humanitarian, moral, and religious grounds”.

Commentators like Harris, Graham, and Friedman obviously didn’t do any research or have motives for distorting the truth. Whatever conclusion one may come to, the scholarliness and truth of work by any of these men is questionable. This conclusion should not be surprising. According to Edward Said in his Covering Islam:

From at least the end of the eighteenth century until our own day, modern Occidental reactions to Islam have been dominated by a radically simplified type of thinking that may still be called Orientalist. The general basis of Orientalist thought is an imaginative and yet drastically polarized geography dividing the world into two unequal parts, the larger, “different” once called the Orient, the other, also known as “our” world, called the Occident or the West”. (pg. 4)

Said goes on to outline a entrenched bias in the West in its coverage and reaction to Islam. Whether one accepts his conclusion about the inherent bias of the West towards Islam and the long history of Western imperialism (See: Orientalism), it is quite clear that “mainstream America” seems haphazardly ignorant on Islam, its history, and contemporary Islamic/Arab reactions to current events. Condemnation of Osama bin Laden and the atrocity on 9/11 has been supplied by literally thousands of Islamic scholars, jurists, and ordinary muslims. As has been shown, these condemnations were immediate and strong.

Lets recall the Qur’anic verse that reads:

“Who so ever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and who so ever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind,” (Al-Ma’dah:32).

While almost every nation condemned the 9/11 attacks and joined the US in fighting a defensive “war on terror”, there was one particular “secular” Arab-Muslim leader who did not condemn the September 11th attacks:

Iraq was the only Arab-Muslim country that did not condemn the September 11 attacks against the United States. A commentary of the official Iraqi station on September 11 stated that America was “…reaping the fruits of [its] crimes against humanity.” Subsequent commentary in a newspaper run by one of Saddam’s sons expressed sympathy for Usama Bin Ladin following initial US retaliatory strikes in Afghanistan. In addition,the regime continued to provide training and political encouragement to numerous terrorist
groups,

Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001

Saddam was not exactly a pious Muslim, for which he was hated by radical, puritanical Islamists who saw his regime in a similar light to how they saw Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and all the other “apostate”, secularlized Muslim states. And like the Saudi government who funded the extremism of wahhabi Islam, Saddam might not have trusted jihadists, but he was willing to “do business” with Islamic terrorists anyway and provide training, funding, and safe haven as a kind of insurance policy agreement that takfiri terrorists would direct their assaults outside of Iraq and at other apostate secular Muslim regimes as well as at mutual enemies.

Even though the war in Iraq (especially after abu Ghraib) probably did give al Qaeda and the global jihad movement new life, it also exposed al Qaeda for the monster it is, and delegitimize its ideology in the eyes of most in the Muslim world:

Last year, Sheikh Salman al-Awdah, a popular Saudi Islamic scholar criticized Osama bin Laden who once lionized him.

Mufti Sheikh Abd Al-’Aziz bin Abdallah Aal Al-Sheikh, the highest Islamic religious authority in Saudi Arabia, issued a fatwa prohibiting Saudi youth from engaging in jihad abroad. Tareq Al-Humaid, the editor of Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, points out the significance:

“It is true that some of these [young people] have become enslaved by Al-Qaeda and its ideology, and are now beyond hope; however, the importance of the fatwa lies in the impact that it will have on most of the Saudi public, and in particular the fathers and mothers. Its value lies in the fact that it will wrest from the hands of the ‘politicized sheikhs’ the card that they have been using all this time.

“Where are the moderates?” Mainstream Muslims have been rejecting terrorism and al Qaeda’s brand of Islamic ideology, even as we remain suspicious of the sincerity and heart of those who profess to be practitioners of the Islamic faith.

The most recent astonishing and important rejection and condemnation of al Qaeda comes from Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, also known as Dr. Fadl.

Who is Dr. Fadl?

Lawrence Wright, author of the most definitive account of the history of al-Qaeda, The Looming Tower, writes in the New Yorker:

Last May, a fax arrived at the London office of the Arabic newspaper Asharq Al Awsat from a shadowy figure in the radical Islamist movement who went by many names. Born Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, he was the former leader of the Egyptian terrorist group Al Jihad [Egyptian Islamic Jihad], and known to those in the underground mainly as Dr. Fadl. Members of Al Jihad became part of the original core of Al Qaeda; among them was Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s chief lieutenant. Fadl was one of the first members of Al Qaeda’s top council. Twenty years ago, he wrote two of the most important books in modern Islamist discourse; Al Qaeda used them to indoctrinate recruits and justify killing. Now Fadl was announcing a new book, rejecting Al Qaeda’s violence. “We are prohibited from committing aggression, even if the enemies of Islam do that,” Fadl wrote in his fax, which was sent from Tora Prison, in Egypt.

Fadl’s fax confirmed rumors that imprisoned leaders of Al Jihad were part of a trend in which former terrorists renounced violence. His defection posed a terrible threat to the radical Islamists, because he directly challenged their authority. “There is a form of obedience that is greater than the obedience accorded to any leader, namely, obedience to God and His Messenger,” Fadl wrote, claiming that hundreds of Egyptian jihadists from various factions had endorsed his position.

A year ago, MataHarley had blogged on the NIC Global Trends 2025 Report:

The two primary strategic aims of al-Qa’ida—the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate and the removal of US and Western influence so that “apostate” regimes can be toppled—are clearly threats to many existing Muslim governments and are resulting in stronger counterterrorism measures.

There is little indication that the vast majority of Muslims believe that such objectives are realistic or that, if they could come to pass, would solve the practical problems of unemployment, poverty, poor educational systems, and dysfunctional governance. Despite sympathy for some of its ideas and the rise of affiliated groups in places like the Mahgreb, al-Qa’ida has not achieved broad support in the Islamic World. Its harsh pan-Islamist ideology and policies appeal only to a tiny minority of Muslims.

According to one study of public attitudes toward extremist violence, there is little support for al-Qa’ida in any of the countries surveyed—Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The report also found that majorities in all Arab countries oppose jihadi violence, by any group, on their own soil.

Al-Qa’ida is alienating former Muslim supporters by killing Muslims in its attacks. Recent scholarly research indicates that terrorist groups that kill civilians seldom accomplish their strategic goals. Although determining precisely the number of Muslims worldwide who have died in al-Qa’ida attacks is difficult, examination of available evidence suggests that at least 40 percent of the victims have been Muslims.

The roughly 40-year cycle of terrorist waves suggests that the dreams that inspire terrorist group members’ fathers to join particular groups are not attractive to succeeding generations. The prospect that al-Qa’ida will be among the small number of groups able to transcend the generational timeline is not high, given its harsh ideology, unachievable strategic objectives, and inability to become a mass movement.

Mata writes:

Muslim supporters are alienated by jihad movements killing Muslims!

And where has the global Islamic jihad movement gained the majority of their PR by wreaking bloodthirsty welfare on fellow Muslims?

Iraq. Point made.

This single element… changing the hearts and minds of Muslims… come to us not only because of the courage and fortitude of our US and allies’ military personnel, but also because of the very failings of the enemy itself. We can be certain that it was not part of Iraq strategy to have the jihad and rebel movements shed the blood of so many innocent Iraqis merely to allow them to show their true colors. But we can also be certain that had we not made them so desperate as to attempt to tear Iraq in two, it’s likely the Muslim world may have continued to hold them up as honorable religious fighters.

Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower, the definitive account of al Qaeda history, wrote about al Qaeda’s Master Plan in the New Yorker. Toward the end of the article, he writes:

Al Qaeda’s apocalyptic agenda is not shared by all Islamists. Although most jihadi groups approve of Al Qaeda’s attacks on America and Europe, their own goals are often more parochial, having to do with purifying Islam and toppling regimes in their own countries which they see as heretical. Many of these groups would be happy to see Al Qaeda disappear, so that their campaigns can be understood as nationalist guerrilla struggles with specific political goals.

This rupture has grown increasingly apparent in the past five years. Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, Hezbollah’s spiritual leader, publicly denounced the September 11th attacks and condemned Al Qaeda’s use of suicide bombers, even though the tactic was employed in the 1983 attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and the barracks of American and French troops in Lebanon, both of which are believed to have been carried out by Hezbollah. After September 11th, leaders of the Egyptian Islamist organization, Gama’a Islamiya, which has worked closely with Al Qaeda in the past, publicly condemned Al Qaeda’s tactics and its goals of worldwide jihad. Even some of Zawahiri’s former colleagues in the Egyptian terror group he formed, Al Jihad, argue that Al Qaeda has undermined the cause of Islam by instigating anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. and the West.

It is notable how seldom these ideologues refer to the words of bin Laden or Zawahiri, the nominal leaders of the movement, perhaps because the declarations of Al Qaeda’s leadership are directed more at Americans and Europeans than at the jihadis. “Beware the scripted enemy, who plays to a global audience,” David Kilcullen, the counterterrorism strategist at the State Department, wrote in a paper now being used by the U.S. military in Iraq as a handbook for dealing with the insurgency. Al Qaeda, he wrote, propagates a “single narrative” aimed at influencing the West; but each faction within the jihadi movement has its own version of this narrative, often sharply different from the message being put forward by bin Laden and Zawahiri.

Here are more useful links:

Statements from leading Muslim leaders, condemning the terrorist attacks of September 11th

* Organization of the Islamic Conference, Doha, Qatar. October 10th, 2001: (representing 56 Muslim nations)
“These terrorist acts contradict the teaching of all religions and human and moral values.”

*“Terrorists are mass murderers, not martyrs”, states Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.

*“Bin Laden’s Violence is a heresy against Islam”, states Abdul Hakim Murad

*Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi denounced the attacks against civilians in the U.S.

*Sheikh Mohammed Sayyed al-Tantawi of Al-Azhar, the highest institution in Sunni Islam, warned that those who attack innocent people will be punished by Allah, in his weekly sermon to thousands of worshippers in Cairo. “Attacking innocent people is not courageous, it is stupid and will be punished on the Day of Judgment,” the moderate Sheikh Tantawi said at Al-Azhar mosque. “It’s not courageous to attack innocent children, women and civilians. It is courageous to protect freedom, it is courageous to defend oneself and not to attack,” he said.

* “Hijacking Planes, terrorizing innocent people and shedding blood constitute a form of injustice that can not be tolerated by Islam, which views them as gross crimes and sinful acts.” Shaykh Abdul Aziz al-Ashaikh (Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulama, on September 15th, 2001)

*The terrorists acts, from the perspective of Islamic law, constitute the crime of hirabah (waging war against society).” Sept. 27, 2001 fatwa, signed by:
Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi (Grand Islamic Scholar and Chairman of the Sunna and Sira Countil, Qatar)
Judge Tariq al-Bishri, First Deputy President of the Council d’etat, Egypt
Dr. Muhammad s. al-Awa, Professor of Islamic Law and Shari’a, Egypt
Dr. Haytham al-Khayyat, Islamic scholar, Syria
Fahmi Houaydi, Islamic scholar, Syria
Shaykh Taha Jabir al-Alwani, Chairman, North America High Council

*“Neither the law of Islam nor its ethical system justify such a crime.” Zaki Badawi, Principal of the Muslim College in London. Cited in Arab News, Sept. 28, 2001.

*“It is wrong to kill innocent people. It is also wrong to Praise those who kill innocent people.” Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, Pakistan. Cited in NY Times, Sept. 28, 2001.

*“What these people stand for is completely against all the principles that Arab Muslims believe in.” King Abdullah II, of Jordan; cited in Middle East Times, Sept. 28, 2001.

The above statements by high ranking international Muslim scholars appeared in an advertisement placed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, in the NY Times, October 17th, 2001 (p. A 17)

*CANADIAN MUSLIM SCHOLARS REJECT “MISGUIDED” CALLS FOR JIHAD : The Canadian office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR CAN) and the Canadian Muslim Civil Liberties Association (CMCLA) today denounced a series of recent statements made by Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network that state that Muslims should wage a “jihad” against Americans.

“Islam respects the sacredness of life, and rejects any express statement or tacit insinuation that Muslims should harm innocent people. Despite our disagreement with certain American policies, we must never abuse the concept of Jihad to target innocent civilians.

Jihad, which literally means ‘struggle,’ has an internal, societal and combative dimension. The internal dimension of Jihad encompasses the struggle against the evil inclinations of the self, and the spiritual project to adorn the self with virtues such as justice, mercy, generosity and gentleness. The societal dimension includes struggling against social injustice and creating a communal identity based on charity, respect and equality. Finally, the combative aspect of jihad is only to be used as self-defense against aggression or to fight oppression, and, even then, to be observed with strict limits of conduct that preserves the life of innocents and the sanctity of the environment.

Moreover, this latter type of Jihad can only be declared by a legitimate, recognized religious authority. Using the concept of Jihad to justify harming the innocent is contrary to the letter and spirit of Islam.We condemn any violence that springs from this misguided interpretation.”

*Ingrid Mattson, a professor of Islamic studies and Muslim-Christian relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, said there was no basis in Islamic law or sacred text for Mr. bin Laden’s remarks. “The basic theological distortion is that any means are permitted to achieve the end of protesting against perceived oppression,” said Dr. Mattson, a practicing Muslim.

Islamic law is very clear: terrorism is not permitted,” she added. “Even in a legitimate war — even if Osama bin Laden were a legitimate head of state, which he’s not — you’re not permitted to indiscriminately kill civilians, just to create terror in the general population.” (“Experts Say Bin Laden is Distorting Islamic Law“, NY Times, Oct. 8, 2001)

Al-Sheikh

An Islamic scholar in Saudi Arabia has said the terrorist network alqaeda goes against the principles of Islam. The statement was issued after al-qaeda militants were arrested last month in S. Arabia.

The Saudi scholar, Al-Sheikh said:

“The things that al-Qaeda members do in Saudi Arabia must be unacceptable to any Muslim,”

“He who commits crimes such as those of the deviant sect (refering to al-qaeda) is nothing but a wicked person who has abandoned his faith and behaves like animals or barbarians.”

“Supporting them means committing one of the biggest sins.”

Given that “Muslims dancing in the streets” in celebration of the 9/11 attacks appears to have been overexaggerated by media sensationalism and that most Muslims either were never on board with the global jihad movement or have since rejected al Qaeda’s theology of hate, who then are we at war with? Who attacked us on 9/11 if Islam is not to blame?

>