Thank You, Al Qaeda, For Revealing Yourself
Thank You, Al Qaeda, For Revealing Yourself
By Firas Al-Atraqchi
Finally, in the holy month of Ramadan, the barbarous cult of murdering hooligans known as Al Qaeda has discarded its mask of presumed piety and resistance and shown the Arab and Muslim World its merciless, treacherous zeal for killing.
This is the real Al Qaeda. This is the Al Qaeda who have neglected, ignored and bulldozed over Islamic ideals, Quranic teachings and the traditions of the Prophet Mohammed. In the wake of the tragic events of September 11th, many Muslims rallied to Al Qaeda’s side saying they supported the terrorist organization’s attacks on civilians around the world.
All of a sudden, Islamic scripture was rewritten to justify the killing of civilians when the Quran explicitly, consistently and persistently outlaws such actions. The Prophet Mohammed laid out the conduct during battlefield exchanges; so meticulous were his decrees that it was forbidden to destroy the environment or structures that sustained life. Women, children, the elderly and even clergy (whether Muslim, Jewish, or Christian) were not to be harmed unless they took up arms, in which case, the precedent would be one of self defense.
In the Riyadh bombings in recent days, 18 innocent civilians were killed and more than 125 wounded. Although there were some foreigners in the fatalities, the bulk of dead and injured were Arab citizens. Many of the dead were children. The Arab world is in shock and mourning.
In Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims and destination for more than 3 million pilgrims during the Hajj (pilgrimage) season, two men blew themselves up last week. Hundreds of copies of the Quran, usually distributed to Muslim pilgrims during and after Ramadan, were booby-trapped with explosives.
I raised the issue of Al Qaeda’s carnivorous cult of murder and their chilling crimes in Riyadh and Mecca with a few Arabs in phone and email interviews. In the first day of the aftermath, there was all-round denial that this was Al Qaeda’s work. Anyone else, but not Al Qaeda, was the response I got, as if Al Qaeda were holy warriors of Islam. A few argued with me about the legitimacy of killing people who had killed Muslims. I wondered how a four-year old girl could have killed Muslims. She probably had a difficult enough time trying not to pee in her Pampers, let alone plan and coordinate attacks against Muslims.
Then the issue of suicide bombings came up (doesn’t it always?). I had made it clear in many of my articles and live TV debates that suicide bombings were abhorrent to Islam and had nothing to do with Islamic teaching. I could not understand how anyone could legitimize and justify the killing of women and children.
“But the grandfathers and fathers of these children killed Palestinians and stole their lands,” someone said to me. I see. So, the child must be blown to bits for something they are not responsible for? A child is a child is a child is holy is sacred. This is indisputable.
Palestinian resistance is legitimate, indeed, it is perhaps holy. Defending of homes and land against the barbarity and bloodlust of the ruthless Israeli Army is a legitimate right enshrined in the United Nations Charter. An occupied people have a right to resist, which cannot be disputed. The Israelis are usurpers and occupiers of a land that belongs to the Arabs (1967 borders). However, suicide bombings are an illegitimate form of resistance and have done nothing for the plight of the Palestinian people.
And neither has Al Qaeda done anything to better the political and military status of Muslims around the world. In the three short years since Al Qaeda began their murderous spree, Muslims have become the targets of conspiracy theories, Muslims in Western countries are routinely harassed, their assets seized, their travels monitored, the conversations tapped, their financial dealings scrutinized. Afghanistan, already a Stone Age civilization was bombed into further oblivion, Iraq has been invaded and torn asunder, and now there is pressure and the threat of war in Syria and Iran.
Had Muslims around the world stopped to consider their position since Al Qaeda appeared on the scene, they would have noticed that the Al Qaeda murderers have been the single greatest threat to stability in the area and have indeed provided the fodder for the ravaging of Arab and Muslim countries.
Al Qaeda have done more to harm the interests of Muslims than 1,400 years of Crusades, wars, racism, and imperialism.
But now they may have cut their own throats. While the Middle East still reels in shock (a Saudi newspaper reported yesterday that a pregnant women was impaled onto a steel rod from the impact of the explosions) a news magazine in London reported receiving claims of responsibility in an email from Al Qaeda. It was the usual Al Qaeda channel of communication. At press time, reports from security sources in Saudi Arabia reportedly revealed that one of the dozens of men detained for questioning in relation to the Riyadh bombing admitted that the bombing was the work of Al Qaeda but that it had targeted Americans and not Arabs. He claimed it was a logistical mistake.
The death of an innocent knows no logistical mistakes. An innocent life taken is an innocent life taken, whether it is Muslim, Jewish, Jamaican, Italian, or Chinese. However, the insult to Islam is unquestionable. Such rampant and wanton violence in the holiest of months is absolutely unforgivable. That such violence occurs in Mecca is sacrilege.
History is cold, it sheds no tears for innocent deaths. However, it does teach those who are willing to learn. The lesson here is that Al Qaeda is little more than a terrorist organization, a death cult pushing the Arab and Muslim World into a ravine. But is the audience listening.
Will this event change the dynamic of the Middle East?
One can only hope.