Andrew Bostom wrote me,
"This piece lays bare much of what I believe to be the sheerest sophistry (if not deliberate deceit, and hypocrisy) emanating form those who argue there is a so-called "War Within Islam." The absurd and offensive pronouncements by Muslim apologists (most notably, the OIC itself) and their useful idiot abettors in the aftermath of Mumbai made clear to me that this "paradigm" had to be tested against reality."
How a Real “War Within Islam” Would Look
December 11th, 2008
“Cynicism” and “calculated
misuse,” versus attacks entirely consistent with the
uniquely Islamic institution of jihad war (including jihad terrorism) across a
13-century continuum, notwithstanding, I agree with Ganor’s admonition that
it is “primarily” the responsibility of “the Muslim world itself” to confront
jihadism. But it was documentary
filmmaker Sean Langan’s harrowing account (just
reported in the NY Daily News 12/6/08) of his three-month captivity by a
resurgent Taliban/Al Qaeda within Pakistan (in the so-called “lawless
tribal belt”), along the Afghanistan border, that clarified how a moral,
intellectually honest, and concrete “war within Islam” should be waged, without
delay. Langan has identified—once again—those who must be the obvious targets of
a campaign by Muslims to “reclaim Islam” from radical, barbaric “hijackers” of
Jailed in the cramped, dark
room of a house, Langan heard the constant sound of machine guns, mortars and
grenades, accompanied by the steady hum of U.S. Predator drones overhead. “I was
in a valley surrounded by training camps, bases and caves. Arabs were having
meetings there—Al Qaeda—making plans,” Langan
told NY Daily News reporter James Meek. One of Langan’s captors explained,
bluntly “We are meeting and
discussing global jihad issues.” The captured filmmaker recalled
listening to an ex-Pakistani minister on the BBC one day denying Al Qaeda
operated camps inside the country. “I had to turn up the radio to hear his
denial over the sound of gunfire from all the training camps,” Langan, smiling,
told the Daily News reporter. “The world’s leading terrorists are there –safe,
and with the time to plot and plan attacks,” Langan asserted. During his
captivity Langan also became convinced of the jihadists utterly depraved
indifference to human life. He was shown the photograph of a bomb-laden young child blowing up a U.S. Humvee, and
just prior to escaping, Langan was forced to view jihadist sniper and beheading
videos with the toddler son of a jihadist.
Pakistani President Asif Ali
Zardari, in the wake of the Mumbai massacre wrote a December 9, 2008 New York Times Op-Ed entitled, “The
Terrorists Want to Destroy Pakistan, Too.” Zardari at least acknowledged the
significant presence of Al Qaeda in his country, claimed to be committed to the
fight against this jihad terrorist organization—perhaps even more so than
NATO—and sought worldwide support for his efforts:
The challenge of confronting
terrorists who have a vast support network is huge; Pakistan’s fledgling
democracy needs help from the rest of the world. We are on the frontlines of the
war on terrorism. We have 150,000 soldiers fighting Al Qaeda, the Taliban and
their extremist allies along the border with Afghanistan — far more troops than
NATO has in Afghanistan.
Ignoring serious concerns
about the dubious
use of some $5 billion in US military aid to Pakistan (via Coalition Support
Funds) since 2002—ostensibly to combat Al Qaeda and its allies in the tribal
areas—I maintain that Zardari’s plaintive appeal for assistance—military and
financial—be heeded primarily, if not exclusively by
Muslim nations from the now 57 member Organization of the Islamic
After all, the OIC Dakar
Declaration of March 13-14, 2008 from the 11th Session of
the Islamic Summit Conference has sworn the 57 Muslim nations to combat
terrorism. The OIC statement even highlights a convention assembled for this
purpose, along with “other international initiatives by the Islamic geographical sphere,” citing this involvement
as proof of its unequivocal willingness “…to fight against the heinous
phenomenon [of terrorism],” and the global Muslim organization’s “total
rejection of it [terrorism].” However, in a statement issued 12/2/08 (“Islam, the
religion of peace, tolerance and compassion”), shortly after the murderous
attacks in Mumbai, the OIC, while mentioning, “…the multiplicity of terrorist
attacks perpetrated recently by deviant and fanatic individuals,” decried the
…tendency of a section
of the media, to interpose the word ‘Islam’ in reporting these incidences..
maliciously trying to establish conceptual link between such evil and wicked
practices and Islam, the religion that condemns, scorns and outlaws them…Those
who refer to the perpetrators, as acting on behalf of Islam, help them by
offering them justification, anchor and premise that they don’t have or deserve.
On the other hand, the generalization of the guilt of a few aberrant misguided
individuals, to engulf the adherents of a religion of 1.5 billion followers is
an outrageous judgment and amounts to an illegal collective punishment on a
global scale. Moreover, any attempt to implicate all Muslims in such a wicked
and wanton acts goes contrary to the well established principles of
international law. It is therefore hoped that media will avoid resorting to any
reference to Islam when narrating such events in order not to disseminate
erroneous information that might jeopardize the basic human rights of Muslims,
the world over.
But the 12/2/08 OIC
statement also insisted,
Islam, the religion of
peace, tolerance and compassion, that sanctifies the human soul, and whose
universal message is one of mutual peaceful coexistence among all the peoples of
the world, regardless of their ethnicities, race, religions or languages, and
which calls for kind reasoning and dialogue with all their fellow human
beings, abhors and despises all such criminal acts and had enacted the
utmost severe punishment for their
argue that the OIC—currently headed by its Turkish representative Ekmeleddin
Ihsanoglu—is uniquely suited to marshall the military and economic might to
“enact the utmost severe punishment” for Al Qaeda and Taliban “perpetrators” of
“anti-Islamic” acts of terrorism. Turkey and Egypt—key OIC member states—have
large, modern, well-equipped armed forces (here;
including air forces (here; here),
and both nations are believed to have been victimized by Al Qaeda attacks (here;
These Muslim nations—with formal, enthusiastic sanctioning by the OIC—should
send large military contingents to reinforce the
“150,000” of their Pakistani Muslim brethren under President Zadari already
doggedly engaged in combating the “anti-Islamic” terrorists of Al Qaeda and the
Taliban on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
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