While we often hear arguments for viewing terrorist groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others as groups that do a lot of social good by way of their charitable works, we rarely hear of Arab dissidents who publish material strongly opposing the ideology of radical Islam. That ideology supports the taking of hostages, beheadings and suicide bombings. I’ve even heard some Americans voice their support of suicide bombing. They have become convinced by the propaganda put out by these groups that Arabs and Muslims have no other recourse.
It’s ironic that some Americans are viewing the world through the eyes of radical Islam, because Arab dissident writers are now coming forward to state that such views are reprehensible and indicative of conscience-less manipulation by sheiks and other religious figures. Translations of these articles have been provided by the Middle East Research Institute.
Dr. Shaker Al-Nabulsi is one such progressive. He has condemned terrorism and extremism and asks in one article “Why have the Arabs gone crazy in such a manner?” Al-Nabulsi suggests that if Arabs had a well-burnished mirror in which they could see themselves “they would be stricken by fear and panic…” The image would be that “we have become the most terrorist nation and the greatest spillers of blood in the world.” Other nations resolve their problems through dialogue, diplomacy, conventions, and through appeal to intellectuals and the world’s better judgment, he says. “[W]e have become a nation devoid of reason!” Bin Laden is a “counterfeit religious totem,” he declares.
Al-Nabulsi suggests that one motivating factor is that terrorists have “huge incomes from the charity tithes” flooding in from around the world. Singling out Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi as an example, he states the imam is said to be worth tens of millions of dollars. The author notes that when U.S. intelligence shut down the Al-Taqwa bank because it allegedly held terrorist funds, Al-Qaradawi, who was one of the biggest shareholders, lost 3 million dollars. The sheikh is well-known for his advocacy of suicide bombings. Other dissident writers suggest the sheikh promotes the killing of Americans in Iraq because he is bitter over his financial loss.
Human rights activist Abu Khawla wrote an article titled “The Arab Silence on Darfur Revisited.” He lambasts the “deafening silence” while a “horrendous crime” was being committed by “fellow Arabs” in Sudan. Khawla fingered the “two fascisms” of Islamism and Pan-Arabism as culprits. “Fighting infidels until they either convert to Islam or submit to Muslims as ‘Dhimmis’ is still considered by Islamists to be a religious duty.” But he points out, Muslims were also being slaughtered in Darfur. In theory, Muslims aren’t allowed to kill other Muslims, he notes, but in reality, practice is very different.
Iraqi columnist Aziz Al-Hajj wrote a passionate article for the reformist website Elaph (www.elaph.net). “What kind of national cause is this that uses children like kerosene for igniting a total war of destruction in the name of national and religious liberty?” he cries. “The Islamic-Arab terrorism has turned into the greatest danger in the world, and threatens civilization, security and life everywhere. It is today the symbol of evil, religious fanaticism, and moral degradation, and it is the essence of political crime…”
Another writer for Elaph, Dr. Abd Al-Khaliq Hussein, did not mince words with his condemnation of Al-Jazeera and Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, the ‘holy’ host with one of the network’s most popular shows. “Finally Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi has removed the veil from his true face,” Hussein wrote, “the same face as that of all the masked terrorists, and declared himself to be a religious authority and propagandist for the terrorists, without shame and without hesitation.” Hussein also addressed a fatwa the sheikh issued for the killing of Americans in Iraq. “We, as Iraqis, were not surprised by the fatwa or the propagandist of terrorism, for he is the religious guide for the Qatari TV channel Al-Jazeera, which the Iraqis rightly call ‘the satellite channel of the masked [terrorists], and which makes great efforts day and night to encourage terrorism in Iraq.”
Hussein Sanjari wrote a bold article for the Iraqi Al-Ahali newspaper in September of last year. He denounced sheikhs that incite to murder, calling them “terrorists.” They “give weekly sermons encouraging youth to murder and to spill blood…look what happened in the massacre of the children in Beslan and remember what the whole world remembers, that Syrian, Jordanian, and Yemenite Arabs were among those who shouted ‘Allah Akbar, we are here to die…'”
Sawsan Al-Sha’er, a Bahraini author and journalist, wrote in her September 7, 2004 column in the Bahraini daily Al-Ayyam of sheiks who are masters of doublespeak. “There are sycophants among us who defend this trend of suicide bombers, and walk the middle ground [between suicide bombers and their critics]. They see to it that every word that escapes their mouth will be ambiguous..As long as we do not acknowledge our responsibility, our time will come and so will the turn of our clerics and sheikhs…”
As long as media do not acknowledge their responsibility to report on the doublespeak mastered by Islamist figures here in the U.S., our time also may come. Again.