Evil Speaks -- Will the Left Listen?
This lengthy interview paints a portrait that is, by turns, chilling, banal, despicable, and pathetic. Conducted last year, well before the recent London subway attacks, it provides an insight into the terrorist mindset that resonates all the more strongly today. While I cannot more emphatically urge you to read the whole thing, here I want to highlight a few key quotes, and place them in conversation with ideas typically heard on the Left, some of them even put forward by the ambivalent, and at times clueless, interviewer.
Left: Terrorist acts are a reaction to specific policies, such as Tony Blair's role in the War in Iraq. They are not an attack on our values or way of life.
In Britain, the majority [of Islamic extremists] I know are of Pakistani descent and really are fed up with the British way of life, British standards; they are even fed up with un-Islamic Pakistani culture and traditions.Left: Islamists merely want to be left alone in the Middle East, and are responding to the occupation of Iraq and other Arab countries by the West. They have no aggressive intent.
The idea is that Muslims in Britain need to keep to their Islamic identity and work for the re-establishment of an Islamic caliphate, or khalifah as they would say, based upon the first four caliphates of Islam...I don't see why the rest of the world, the White House, 10 Downing Street, shouldn't come under the banner of Islam.Left: The word "terrorist" is biased, judgemental, and racist. It is more respectful to use the term "insurgent," "bomber," or "radical."
Left: The Patriot Act is an unjust infringement on civil liberties that doesn't even impact terrorist activities. The European model of civil liberties is preferable.
I would agree to being called a radical and one day I may even be called a terrorist, if Allah permits me. That is something it would be an honour to be called...There is a speech by the Prophet in which he says: Allah gave me five things. One of them was the power to strike fear, to strike terror into the heart of the enemy from a mile's distance...in the Koran the word irhab is the root word for terror in Islam, and irhabiyun is the word for terrorist. Allah mentions the word in the Koran many times—the one who strikes terror into their hearts is an irhabiyun. If I could have that title Islamically then I would be more than happy to take it and be proud of it.
Britain is a very liberal country in comparison to America where Muslims don't have many rights. This is the type of country where you do have a lot more rights. Now with Afghanistan gone, the Muslims don't really have a place where they can come back to and regroup, have time to think and relax, without the authorities breathing down your neck.Left: This rise of extremism among British Muslims is rooted in economic disadvantage.
I think that's a myth, pushed forward by so-called moderate Muslims. If you look at the 19 hijackers on 9/11, which one of them didn't have a degree? Muhammad Atta was an engineer [he was actually an architect and town planner] at the highest level. His Hamburg lecturer said, “I didn't have a student like him.” These people are not deprived or uneducated; they are the peak of society... Even Osama himself, Sheikh Osama, came from wealth that I could never dream of and he gave it all up because it had no value to him. Who can say he came from an economically deprived condition? It's rubbish.Left: Suicide bombers are driven by unhappiness and desperation.
Left: It is demeaning to suggest that suicide bombers are driven by crude visions of the afterlife.
There is a difference between suicide and martyrdom. Suicide is about unhappiness, depression. That's not what these people are. These people have an urge to be with Allah, to be with the Prophet, live among him, to be close to him. They are happy before committing these actions. They are probably at the highest level any human being can be before doing this. They are the most peaceful and content.
I know that if I was to pass away in my sleep, then I would not have the mercy of Allah upon me because I have been such a bad person. And I don't see myself in any way as getting into heaven that easily, except through martyrdom.Left: Immigration policy has no relationship to risk of terrorism.
Immigration is lax in Britain—you know as well as I do that London has more radical Muslims than anywhere in the Muslim world...There has to be a place we can come...America is much more difficult to get into than Britain—it's so far from the rest of the world.Left: The media neutrally reports the facts about terrorist attacks and terror groups.
My role is someone who tries to use the western media to get our message across...I realised that the media was probably the most powerful tool, even more powerful than military warfare: using the media you can change nations, public opinion—you can get your message out there. Ayman al-Zawahiri actually propagates that: “Yes, you can be a martyr, but you've only done half your job unless you get your message out there.”Left: Islam means peace.
And this is what we believe: we are going to set the foundation for Islam bringing true peace, true security to the world. [Interviewer: Will there be a lot of killing?] I can't see it not happening.
UPDATE: Welcome Watchers! I am honored and flattered to be nominated by the Council -- feel free to stick around and check out some of my follow-ups. I think you will also enjoy this fisking, if you haven't seen it already.