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.
For the strong silent type, Osama bin Laden has actually talked a lot. One expects this from his tediously didactic counselor, Ayman al-Zawahiri, but somehow not from the abstemious Emir himself. Yet in dozens of statements disseminated as letters, videos and audiotapes since at least 1994, bin Laden has expressed an evolving view of the world. This brew of rumination, analysis and exhortation has emanated from Sudan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, his three bases over the past decade or more. His audience has been twofold: Muslims whom he seeks to mobilize in a war against Western aggression as well as Western publics themselves. On occasion, as when he has proffered a truce to European governments, bin Laden speaks to both audiences at once. In that case, the message to his Muslim audience was that he was the equal of European prime ministers.
Chronicle of Higher Education Translations of this item: Danish When the September 11 attacks occurred, I was in Fresno, Calif., researching my M.A. thesis on the Battle of Yarmuk, one of the first yet little-known battles between Christendom and Islam, waged in 636 A.D. That battle, in which the Arab invaders were outmatched and yet […]
Information.dk Oprindelig engelsk tekst: The Two Faces of Al Qaeda Den 11. september 2001 befandt jeg mig i Fresno, Californien, i færd at researche til en akademisk afhandling om Slaget ved Yarmuk i 632 – et af de første, men et ret lidet kendt slag imellem Kristenheden og Islam. I dette slag stillede de arabiske invasionshære […]
About a year ago, I discovered that I had acquired an entry in Wikipedia, the free online encyclopaedia.Wikipedia is a controversial project. It is used by billions of inquirers who want easy-to-get-at information on every conceivable and many inconceivable subjects. But its entries are not subject to peer review. This means that literally anyone can register online and insert or modify an entry.
As with every message directed to the West, Osama bin Laden’s most recent address begins and ends with his hallmark sentence: “Peace to whoever follows guidance.”
What exactly are Americans and Europeans to understand by this simple statement?
A new book of never-before-translated documents and press statements by al-Qaida leaders offers new insight into the motives behind the group responsible for carrying out the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Raymond Ibrahim, a technician at the Library of Congress, edited and translated into English statements by Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and others dating from 1998 to 2006 for “The Al Qaeda Reader.” Ibrahim said the inspiration for the book came about in the course of shelving Arabic books, one of his duties at the Library.
Few things are more demonstrative of the sad state of affairs of modern academia than the increasingly fictionalized portrayals of the founders of the two largest religions in the world: Jesus and Mohammad. Though the same dubious methods are used for both — ignore the most historically valid texts and documents, build ponderous theories atop evidence of the most tenuous kind — the goals are markedly different. In academia today, we find Jesus, far from the Son of God, portrayed at once as a wandering “magician” and a hippie-like philanderer inclined to homosexuality. Mohammad, whom the most authentic Muslim sources portray as, among other things, a warlord who had entire tribes executed and plundered, their women herded into harems, their children sold into slavery, appears as a peaceful and altruistic ruler whose governance ushered in, among other improvements, a sort of seventh-century “feminism.”
The cases of Pope Benedict and Osama bin Laden Private Papers After being accused of having a special vendetta against Muslims, Pope Benedict XVI is back in the spotlight for offending Jews, Protestants, and the Orthodox. In back to back moves, he formally removed restrictions from annually celebrating an old Latin Mass which includes prayers […]
This volume, a collection of essays and broadcasts by Ayman Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden, does the Al Qaeda leaders no favors. Whatever their capacities as terrorists, Dr. Zawahiri tends toward the wordy and Mr. bin Laden is inordinately proud of his military exploits. As he refights Tora Bora for the nth time deploying the salt cellar and the humidor, we might be in some soporiferous midtown gentlemen’s club.