- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Expose the subversive activities of Islamist extremists around the world or in the United States and speedy CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) pops up with accusations of Islamophobia.

Before Abdurahman Alamoudi, a U.S. citizen and prominent leader of Washington’s Muslim community confessed to a Libyan-funded assassination plot, CAIR denounced his detractors as Muslim bashers. CAIR suddenly fell silent when Alamoudi plea-bargained with the U.S. for a lighter sentence, in the range of a quarter-century, instead of life for his part in a Gadhafi plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdullah.

It would behoove CAIR to care more about an institutional memory called MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) and read or listen to what it plucks daily from Islam’s air waves.

Recent samples:

• “I say to you the American people, according to the Koran … your lives are lost, you will collapse, and America will collapse.” (Friday sermon at Tehran University titled “America will collapse.”)

• “The liberated Western woman works more with her breasts than with her hands, dancing in brothels. … Where are the lies about her liberation and the honor accorded her?” (Friday sermon in Medina, Saudi Arabia.)

• “From the day civil strife began in Islam, the Jews were behind it. There is no evil in the world that the Jews were not behind.” (Saudi Sheikh Abd Al-Qader Hammad’s sermon titled “A Muslim is not allowed to open his heart to the enemy of Allah.”)

• “The Jews are behind all moral corruption and perverse thinking. This is a putrid history whose stench is sickening.” (Friday sermon in Bahrain titled “Treachery runs in the Jews’ blood.”)

• “Why do your brethren want to perform martyrdom operations? Why are there so many martyrs among us? Because we are a nation graved with Allah’s mercy. Because with every Shahid (martyrdom operation), Allah saves 70 of his family members who had been destined for the fires of hell.” (Sheikh Abu Hamza Al-Masri in Jordan.)

• “The Jews in France go back to the history of the Holocaust and Auschwitz and use these events to gain sympathy. But the magic of these events is gone.” (Day of Solidarity with Al-Manar TV titled, “Yes, Our Discourse Is Anti-Semitic.”)

• “Bush’s crimes are a direct continuation of Hitler’s genocide. By controlling and censoring the news about the war in Iraq, the U.S. prevented the publication of information regarding its chemical and biological bombardment of Iraq.” (Iranian TV news commentary.)

Pakistan, promoted major non-NATO ally (MNA) by the Bush Administration, has an Urdu-language press that also oozes venom daily:

• “Allah has told us to make atom bombs. America is telling us not to. Who should we listen to O Muslims, Allah or America? Jihad, jihad, jihad is the answer.” (Mohammed Ishaq, one of leaders of MMA, six-party politico-religious coalition.)

• “I have come here because my duty is to tell you that Muslims should not rest in peace until we have destroyed America and India.” (Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, chief of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, at Jamia Ghousia mosque, Rawalpindi.)

• “We pray Iraqis will continue to resist American tyranny and terror and we believe victory will come to them. … The invasion was motivated by U.S. designs to grab the oil of the Iraqi people and enslave them.” (Masood Azhar, chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad.)

• “We have the nuclear capability that can destroy … Tel Aviv. Washington cannot stop suicidal attacks. Taliban are still alive and with their friends they will continue the holy war against the U.S.” (Qazi Hussain Ahmed, president MMA, Islamabad.)

• “There are thousands ready to go to for Jihad but they are waiting for a request from Taliban. … Musharraf is playing the role of an informer of the U.S., and Islam declares the death penalty on such people.” (Senator Sami ul-Haq, MMA vice-president).

• “The real war has just started. After Palestine and Afghanistan, Iraq will now give birth to more holy warriors. Who will free me from the clutches of Jews?” (Joint statement by Jaish-e-Mohammad, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen.)

In most parts of the Muslim world, the war against global terrorism is viewed as a U.S.-Israel crusade, engineered by an alliance of neoconservatives and the Christian Right, against Islam and the Muslims. Pictures and video of dead women and children during the siege of Fallujah, the Abu Ghraib prison pictures of U.S. Army guards humiliating Iraqi inmates, U.S. troops firing at Iraqi insurgents from behind headstones in the huge Shi’ite cemetery in Najaf, or forcing Iraqi civilians to lie face down in the street, hands behind their necks — all have combined to a steady stream of hate-filled commentaries in Muslim newspapers and on Arab satellite TV channels.

With anti-U.S. feelings running high on Arab streets, Middle Eastern governments are reluctant to open the valves of reform lest newfound freedoms backfire against the regimes that initiate them. Reforms at this juncture could well promote the kind of radical elements they are intended to neutralize. Democracy, U.S.-style, has given reforms a bad name.

It is hard to escape the conclusion that Iraq, during the past 18 months, has been a force multiplier for the kind of Islamist extremism that breeds more, not fewer, recruits for transnational terrorism.

Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.

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