- The Washington Times - Monday, December 25, 2006

These are tough times for the Islamists in our midst, forced to live in the dirty, rotten society they couldn’t wait to get to. First there was Hannakuh, cheering the Zionists. Then came Christmas, lifting the spirits of the Crusaders. And now here comes Kwanzaa, thrilling in Swahili.

All across the nations of the 21st century there’s singing, dancing, imbibing of spirituous libations and maybe even someone practicing photography. It’s enough to make a radical imam kick his dog.

A casual reading of the Islamist “theology” available on the Internet demonstrates just what the moderate Muslims, eager to participate in the American dream on the terms familiar to the rest of us, are up against. A North Carolina imam named Badi Ali — and he’s one bad Ali — has compiled his list of “idiots of the year.” If his insult was stolen from Lenin, who famously described the well-meaning dupes of Marxism as “useful idiots,” his list is not. His “idiots” are familiar to anyone who reads newspapers.

No. 1 is Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, who is resigned to living in the 21st century with the inevitable of the real world, “a toy in the hands of the Israelis and his Western backers.” Other villains of the fevered jihadist imagination are King Abdullah of Jordan (“a playboy who fulfills the current agenda of the imperialist powers”), President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan (“when America has had enough of him he will be thrown out like a rat”), President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt (“fills his prisons with [those] suspected of being ‘Islamic fundamentalists’ “), President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan (“the Taliban are waiting to string him up”), Prime Minister Tony Blair (“a dupe of the Zionists, he thinks he can fool Palestinians into recognition of ‘Israel’ “), and of course Donald Rumsfeld (“America’s warlord and attack dog”). It’s an impressive list, illustrating just what George W. Bush must contend with to make America safe from a perverted religion that is not actually a religion at all, but a malignant political ideology.

No one knows this better than certain followers of the religion the Islamists pervert. A group of intellectuals weary of life in the 12th century not long ago talked about the lives of the mind in Saudi Arabia, the wellspring of so much of the evil that has spread from the Middle East over the past three or four decades. The excerpts, from a Saudi television broadcast, were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“When a Saudi researcher published a serious study about the [education] curricula,” said Hussein Shubakshi, a journalist, “about using astronomy to observe the moon, he was sentenced to thousands of lashes. This demonstrates clearly how much we accept dialogue.”

Teachers in Saudi schools, he says, often practice a “covert” curricula. “When he deals with a certain element during their breaks he passes on to them his convictions, views, booklets and cassettes … these are views that are packaged in a political wrapping. This is very dangerous.”

The interviewer cites a ninth-grade text in Saudi schools that explains why photography is evil. If there’s a broken heart for every light on Broadway, there seems to be an evil spirit in hell for every virgin in paradise, and photographers aren’t entitled even to one virgin: “Whoever takes a photograph will be most severely tormented on Judgment Day. For every picture taken, a spirit will be sent to torment him in hell.”

One of the Saudi intellectuals recalled how his fifth-grade son came home to tell him that he would not listen to his father any longer. “The teacher said that if your father and mother listen to songs, do not obey them.”

A colleague nodded agreement. “The same thing happened to me. But there was something else. Once I got a message from school that my son must wear Islamic clothing. I went to school and asked, ‘What is this Islamic clothing you want him to wear?’ They began to describe Afghan clothing. It was a private school, so I went to talk to the principal, and discovered they had abandoned the curricula and were indoctrinating them with Taliban ideology. Imagine what goes on in government schools.”

We in the West can hardly imagine, which is why so many Americans of the hard-left persuasion, drunk on their contempt for George W. Bush, prefer to imagine that the only religious extremists to fear are churchgoing Republicans. Not all the fools live in Arabia.

Pruden on Politics runs Tuesdays and Fridays.

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