Merit takes second place to gender and religion When all the political sophistry is said and done, there is no denying that the claim to fame of the Democratic Party’s two superstar candidates, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, is that the one is a woman, the other black and from something of an “ambiguous” religious […]
Will the recent killing in Pakistan of “senior” Al Qaeda leader, Abu Laith al-Libi, have any tangible effects on the “war on terror”? Considering the headline news coverage, one might assume so. In fact, whenever any major Al Qaeda operative or leader is slain, the media is abuzz with it, implying that we are one step closer to eradicating Al Qaeda’s terror. But will the death of al-Libi—or any other Islamist leader—make any difference at all?
“Stop hurting us and we’ll stop hurting you.” That is the message Americans get from al Qaeda. In his fascinating new book, historian Raymond Ibrahim explains that the jihadists say one thing to CNN, and quite another to fellow Muslims.
I had the opportunity to interview Ibrahim last summer at the Library of Congress, where he is a researcher in the Near East section of the African and Middle Eastern division. Ibrahim summarized Osama’s message to Muslims: “Irrespective of what the West does and does not do, they are always the enemy for no other reason than that they won’t accept Islam.”
Full of the same old complaints, threats of retaliation, and victim status role that have become mainstays of al-Qaeda propaganda, Osama bin Laden’s latest release would seem to offer nothing new. It dwells on the many “crimes” the West insists on visiting upon the Muslim world, simply because “their only sin is that they are Muslim”; it, once again, tries to justify the 9/11 strikes as acts of “reciprocation”; and it again informs the West that it has “no religion, morals, humanity or shame.” When analyzed properly, however, this audio-taped communiqué also contains something of an encouraging revelation.
National Review Online Much of the current debate surrounding Iran’s nuclear aspirations centers on the National Intelligence Estimate report which “judge[s] with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.” While such reports tend to be accepted as authoritative — witness the ongoing political maelstrom caused by it — it is […]
National Review Online By now, the oft-recurring negative portrayals of Christianity in major Hollywood movies have become hackneyed and predictable. The recent rendition of Beowulf only reinforced this trend. The same subtle depictions and motifs present in movies from decades past were once again present, a favorite being the attempt to try to depict pagans as “open-minded” […]
Recently, Raymond Ibrahim edited and translated into English a decade’s worth of public releases by al Qaeda’s leadership. Published by Broadway Books, with partial proceeds donated to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Ibrahim’s The Al Qaeda Reader is not only a timely fountainhead for the United States citizenry’s understanding of our Jihadi enemies, it is also a necessary release for all Muslims living under secular governments to grapple with in the coming years.
The most important magazine article you’ve never read this year appeared Sep. 21 in The Chronicle Review, a publication of The Chronicle of Higher Education.
It’s about a librarian. Really.
The author, Raymond Ibrahim, describes how it is he came to translate the internal communiques and theological statements of the leaders of al-Qaeda, and what those leaders really say. Here’s a hint: It’s not what Israel’s new batch of best-selling critics say they say.
The Al Qaeda Reader and Mein Kampf National Review Online A number of book reviewers have recently pointed to the similarities between The Al Qaeda Reader and Mein Kampf. For instance, writing in the New York Observer, James Buchan notes that, In their [al Qaeda’s] brutality and candor, their fulminations against democracy and loose morals, their obsession with […]
There’s a tendency among many who, like me, identify on the left side of the political spectrum to treat terrorism as an issue with one fundamental cause: American foreign policy in the Middle East. According to this view, terrorist organizations are essentially resistance fighters against American imperialism and arrogance, reacting to everything from America’s support of the Shah of Iran to its contemporary close ties with Israel.