The “Tiny Minority” Makes Its Voice Heard
In the days following the killing of arch-terrorist Osama Bin Laden, a number of things have come sharply into focus. One of them, the duplicity of our supposed ally “Pakistan,” which claims to have been blissfully unaware of Bin Laden’s immense residence and safe house, located smack dab in the middle of Abbottabad, one of Pakistan’s major military and intelligence centers. An interesting, but unsurprising development for those who have been followed the lengthy jihadist support offered by Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI.
What was perhaps most ironic was our government’s decision that, despite being repeatedly told by the administration that Bin Laden and his cohort represented a false — indeed perverted version of Islam, we provided him with a full Islamic burial ceremony — although at sea. Did the large swathes of the Islamic population take righteous offense that a mass murderer and terrorist was treated as an honorable member of the Muslim faith, and granted the same ceremony which U.S. Muslims who serve in our own military enjoy?
Of course not.
From Pakistan, to Indonesia, and from the Gaza Strip to right here in America, statements of support for Bin Laden arose. “A Muslim and Arab Holy Warrior,” said Hamas leader Ismail Haniya of Bin Laden. Fatah and the Palestinian Authority were little better, despite hurried attempts by Mahmoud Abbas to defuse these statements by issuing reversals in English. Fatah supporters joined with Hamas partisans to march through the streets in support of a Palestinian unity agreement, while wielding images of Bin Laden. On the Palestinian Ma’an website Fatah’s military wing, the Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade called the death of the “sheikh” and “Shahid” Bin Laden “a catastrophe” for the “Islamic nation” in their Arabic announcements. In the English version of the same story however, Palestinian news ironically reported, “Palestinian reactions to the announcement that the Al-Qaeda leader had been assassinated were mixed.”
In Egypt the “largely secular” (according to the incomprehensible analysis of Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper) Muslim Brotherhood protested the killing as well, and condemned the United States for associating “Islam” with “terrorism.” Yet it is Muslim Brotherhood leaders who have honored Osama as “a sheikh,” a “martyr” and a “Jihad-fighter.” Hundreds of Egyptians rallied in favor of Osama on the streets of Cairo, an act which likely would have been impossible under Mubarak’s rule, and just another rewarding result of our failing Middle East policy.
Pakistan’s reaction was perhaps to be expected. A majority of Pakistanis polled were saddened by the death of Bin Laden. Thousands rallied in support of Osama, a hundred of thousand purchased posters of the terror mastermind. Pakistani lawmakers offered Bin Laden funeral prayers, as our so-called ally has been attempting to pay high-powered D.C. Lobbyists to help cloud the fact that Bin Laden was sheltered there for nearly 5 years. And in terrorist hot-spots like Somalia and Sudan, support for Bin Laden comes as no surprise.
But what happened in Indonesia, the largest-Muslim country, which we are repeatedly reminded practices a “tolerant and moderate Islam?” Protests and support for Bin Laden broke-out there as well. Our NATO ally, previously secular Turkey, saw protests raging throughout the country. The same happened in the Philippines, which is far removed from what we are told are the real cause of Islamic terrorism: the petro-tyrants, Zionists, or other geo-political concerns. In Kuwait, which American soldiers went to war to liberate from the clutches of Saddam Hussein, a female columnist romantically speculates what it might have been like to marry a mass murderer, in the way teenage girls’ dream of boy-band singers:
“I dreamed of being Osama’s companion there, where the utmost danger lurks, so I could clasp his galabiya, stained with the blood of martyrdom, to my bosom, so I could be his companion as he [counted] the burdensome seconds, waiting to join the convoy of [his martyred] comrades and friends…”Osama, the knight who dismounted from the horse of worldly pleasure, donned a [cleric's] turban, gripped a Kalashnikov, and entered the tunnel from which there is no return. From there I saw his stature reach to the heavens, as he recruited the knights in response to the voices of the women of Islam, whose honor has been violated and whose strength is gone, and who cry out [to him], ‘Osama!’…
Even in Britain and the United States, Bin Laden received praise and support. In the United Kingdom, British Muslims honored Osama , and called for revenge against the United States and the United Kingdom. The British press, ever helpful, explained that these Muslims were “Bin Laden Supporters” to differentiate them from the crowd of British working-class youth shouting “U.S.A, U.S.A,” which were labeled “extremists.”
In the United States, the front organizations of the international Muslim Brotherhood, which make up the most influential Muslim groups in the country, were more cautious about their statements, but even so the veil slipped. The M.B.-linked Muslim American Society issued a press release entitled, “Agreeing to Disagree about the death of Osama Bin Laden”, which referred to the mass murderer as a visionary who loved children. Former Fiqh Council of North America member Salah Soltan said openly on the Muslim Brotherhood website that Bin Laden’s terrorism was “in defense of Islam.” Soltan is an advisor to Bahrain’s “Islamic Affairs” Ministry.
This “tiny minority of [Muslim] extremists”, we should now know if we did not before, is neither tiny nor an insignificant minority. We ignored it when we were told that 1/4th of American Muslim youth supported suicide bombing in some instances. We ignored it when we learned that 40% of British Muslims sought to live under Sharia law. And, while support for Osama Bin Laden as an individual was not always high, support for his cause, the imposition of Sharia law and Islamic government, has remained high. Large percentages in many Muslim countries continue to favor Sharia punishments like stoning adulterers, the cutting off hands for thieves, and the execution of apostates who leave Islam, and a not insignificant number support suicide bombings, “in defense of Islam.”
It is long since past time for us to stop pretending that support for terrorism, and indeed for jihad against the West in all its forms, is an aberration that sprang forth wholly unaided from the mind of Osama Bin Laden. As though Al Qaeda, like S.P.E.C.T.R.E in the old James Bond films, is an organization dedicated to villainy solely for its own sake, and without any ideological goal or intent.
No, Al Qaeda, and its fellow Islamic terror groups, are sharks swimming in a sea of like-minded individuals. And until we come to accept that, no matter how many more Bin Ladens we successfully terminate, we will not succeed against this foe.