Monday, September 12, 2005

Own goal for Islam

September 11 tragedy marked biggest terror attack carried out by Islam against itself

Those who planned and carried out the September 11 attack intended for it to be a unifying and constructive event for Islamic nations. The hoped their success would help in distributing Bin Laden’s doctrine among hundreds of millions of Muslims all over the world,
thus recruiting them for the Islamic revolution. They envisioned the demise of the American empire and the rise of the Muslim jihad.

However, the attack not only failed in achieving its goal, it also helped direct the Muslim world in the opposite direction. In Afghanistan the extreme Muslim regime of the Taliban/al-Qaeda was toppled, and the slow recovery of the country’s economic, social, political and cultural life began.

In Iraq Saddam’s terror regime was also overthrown, parliamentary elections were held, a proposal for a national-religious constitution was formulated and civil institutions are being established.

In Libya Qaddafi announced he is abandoning the way of terror and improved his relations with the U.S., Western Europe and even Israel. Syria was cast out of Lebanon, and the Lebanese people elected a parliament in which the pro-Western countries are in the majority.

In Egypt relatively free elections for president were held; Mubarak was re-elected but the low turnout rate rocked the regime’s foundations. It turns out that the citizens of Egypt strive for a full-fledged democracy.

In Pakistan, Indonesia and Turkey – key countries that were on the brink of an Islamic revolution – moderate governments were established that are hostile to extremism and are reaching out to the West.

The intellectual discourse in Muslim societies has also shifted – people are talking about democratic laws rather than about Islamic ones.

This list of changes is impressive, and it is reminiscent of the historic momentum in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union that resulted in the end of communism. But democracy has yet to prevail in Baghdad and Beirut, Cairo and Karachi. The positive trends are still reversible. The extremist Islam is far from giving up; it has strengthened in U.S.-controlled areas in the Middle East and it still appeals to young, lost Arabs in Western Europe.

Al-Qaeda has formed terror networks among jihad cells dispersed all over the world and is capable of recruiting new terrorists and carrying out the occasional mega-attack in Western and Arab countries.

But the organization’s influence is diminishing. The snake’s head has not been smashed, but its tail has been clipped and it is forced to hide in the darkness.

Would this rapid series of changes in the Arab-Muslim world have occurred without extremist Islam’s declaration of war on America in September 11, 2001 and America’s response to it? I suppose not. I am certain they changes would not have occurred.

The democratic ambitions in Islamic countries would remain buried deep in the desert sands.

In contrast to Bin Laden’s predictions, the American empire has not crumbled - but the evil empire of the Islamic extremists is.

Looking back, the planes that crashed into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon four years ago marked the biggest terror attack carried out by Islam against itself.

From Bill: I truly cannot remember where I got this or who wrote it. If you know, please post a comment or email me.

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