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Monday, July 26, 2004

Battle Causes of Terrorism - Challenger - Opening Arguments



The roots of Islamic fascism, who I will refer to as Jihadists, are religious first and foremost but historic as well. The primary points of my argument can be enumerated:

1) The Jihadists believe that the once great Islamic nations have been corrupted by the secularism of their former colonial masters.

2) The West is powerful in comparison to Islam only by means of Shaitan (Satan)

3) Allah is more powerful than Satan and it is Allah's intent for Islam (specifically the Wahabbist version of Islam) to be the dominant religion on Earth

As a result of the above, the strategic plan recognizes that the West is powered by the US economy and culture. The US is the flagship of Western powers which stands in the way of the rising again of Islamic dominance. Therefore, the sinking of the flagship that is the US or at least forcing them to disengage from the Middle East and North Africa, is the key to overthrowing the governments there, gaining control of the oil, and ultimately dominating the planet.

How, um, Austin Powers. Yet I think I can make a plausible case that all of this is the most likely explanation.

Argument the First Part

"After the fall of our orthodox caliphates on March 3, 1924 and after expelling the colonialists, our Islamic nation was afflicted with apostate rulers who took over in the Moslem nation. Moslems have endured all kinds of harm, oppression, and torture at their hands..."

"These young men realized that an Islamic government would never be established except by the bomb and rifle. Islam does not coincide or make truce with unbelief, but rather confronts it. The confrontation that Islam calls for with these godless and apostate regimes, does not know Socratic debates, Platonic ideals, or Aristotelian diplomacy. But it knows the dialogue of bullets, the ideals of assassination, bombing, and destruction, and the diplomacy of the cannon and machine gun.

"The young came to prepare themselves for jihad, commanded by the Majestic Allah's order in the holy Koran: 'Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah and your enemies, and others besides whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know.'


The Declaration of Jihad Against the Country's Tyrants
'Al Queda Training Manual'

To the Jihadists, the Ottoman Empire was the pinnacle of Muslim achievement.

The First Caliph acquired the station after Muhammad's death. The Abbasid Dynasty which followed sometime later had number of Caliphs between approximately 750 to 1250. Baghdad became the center of Islam and probably Islam's greatest achievements occurred during this period. But it went into decline and was decimated by Genghis Khan and the Boys from Mongolia. The rebuilding of the Caliphate came about by means of the Ottoman Empire which at it's height controlled almost the whole of North Africa, the Near East and the Balkans. India was overrun and a peaceful penetration of the East Indies and the Philippines took place. In the 1400s Istanbul (then called Byzantium) fell and Muslim besieged and took Vienna. Their expansion stopped at the gates of Central Europe.

The expansionism came at a price: autocratic regimes and injustice based on religion and extremely high taxes. And then the fatal mistake: the Ottoman Empire took the side of Germany in WWI....and lost.
The Ottoman Empire was destroyed, European colonization began, and the Caliphs were gone. To many the Golden Age of Islam's supremacy was gone, destroyed by the West. In truth, the Ottoman Empire destroyed itself; overindulging in lustful hegemony.

But today's Jihadists look back at this time as the Golden Age of Islam which was sacked by the Infidel West and left in ruin.

From what I can tell, the Jihadists conveniently forget that their spiritual ancestors, the Wahabists, were hunted down and killed by the armies of the Ottoman Empire, a story I will briefly tell since it is germane.

Sometime around 1700 Ibn Abdul Wahab was born and he took the central precept of Islam "there is no God but God" to extremes. As far as he was concerned, if you venerated anything but Allah, you were committing shirk; sin. He set about destroying holy shrines that stemmed from the days of Muhammad because to his way of thinking, these had become idols. He was also responsible for the deciding that the Shiites were evil because they venerated men they considered to be very holy. He also didn't like Sufis much. His greatest legacy, though, was that for the first time "jihad" against Muslims was legitimatized. His justification was that you were an Infidel if you did not adhere to the Wahabist Code of Religious Conduct. His greatest (actually, only) supporters were the tribal House of Saud who some say had their own political reasons for supporting him. Generally that reason was through Wahabism, they were free to go raiding other Islamic Arabic and Persian tribes and collect booty. They were very successful, insh'Allah. Wherever the Saudi's went, they took land, slaughtered people and brought Wahabism to justify further raids and land grabs. The blood lust and religious fervor of the Saudis spread Wahabism to the Persian Gulf, Oman and Bahrain, Mecca itself and parts of what is today Iraq.

These guys wound up being a bit too cocky, not to mention ambitious, and after a terrible massacre was effected by the Saudis in Karbala, The Ottomans took action and in the early 1800s the house of Saud was crushed by the Ottoman armies and their leader taken captive.

Since Islam means submission to Allah, anyone considered a scholar of the Quran, and a holy guy, can not be discredited. All he needs is a "constituency"; generally people who believe he is "channeling" Allah. Well Ibn Abdul Wahab, whose constituency was the Saudis and everyone they conquered, took his place among the "authorities" of Islam. As a result, while the Ottomans were able to crush the Saudi threat, they never were able to discredit Wahabism doctrinally.

And one of the reasons for this was that by now, the Ottoman leadership was thoroughly corrupt and did not live their religion as it had been lived in the early days of glory. There was no longer any authorized example for what a good Muslim should be besides the Wahabis. As a result, even after the Saudi's defeat at the hands of the Ottoman Army, they went underground and continued their inquisition, terrorizing the Indian sub-continent and setting up centers in Central Asia in addition to places they had already infected.

It wasn't long after this that the Ottomans were defeated in War by the West. The influx of Westerners to the area brought, necessarily Western ideas. The Wahabists saw this as corrupting influences and still do to this day. Ever since then, Jihadists have been awaiting the return of the Caliph who will unite the Islamic world and put the boot to everyone else.

Argument the Second Part

"This statement marks the beginning of worldwide Islamic jihad. To make so serious a call upon the Muslim ummah there must indeed be dire circumstances. It is only right that the basis for this call to jihad be clearly explained. Right now the battle with shaitan is being lost. In modern terms this is the battle against western secular materialism.

"You must know deeply in your heart that the influence of western secular materialism is the influence of shaitan. Western secular materialism takes us from our prayers, takes us from our Islamic culture, takes us from our Islamic economic system, takes us from our Islamic educational system, takes us from our Islamic values, turns our minds from Allah, and robs our children of an Islamic future. Western secular materialism gives us a society of crime, violence, drug abuse, alcoholism, prostitution, pornography, homosexuality, exploitation of people and resources, and reduces life to a meaningless exercise in futility. Western secular materialism creates in the minds of our children atheistic thought, disrespect for parents and elders, hopelessness, disregard for knowledge, and love of a debased animalistic lifestyle focused on only the crudest pleasures of the flesh. Do you not know this is exactly what shaitan most desires?

"Right now the Western nations are actively pushing their shaitanic culture upon the rest of the world. They are the most powerful nations militarily and economically that have ever existed in the history of the world. They use that military and economic power to remake the world in their image. They also have the most effective tools of propaganda and influence the world has ever seen. This form of brainwashing is carried out through their news media, television, movies, popular music, and fashion. They have been very successful in the developing countries and the Muslim nations in using these powerful tools of influence to mold and twist the minds of the young so that they crave, praise and participate in that depraved Western culture."


The Final Jihad
found at http://islamic-world.net/

To the Wahabist, the Saudi legal system and culture is not Islamic enough. In his Declaration of War on the US, Osama wrote:

"Ignoring the divine Shari'ah law; depriving people of their legitimate rights; allowing the American to occupy the land of the two Holy Places; imprisonment, unjustly, of the sincere scholars."


We know that Osama was much more comfortable with the cultural milieu enforced by the Taliban. By looking at the social strictures imposed in Afghanistan during their reign, it is possible to glean what is considered lawful by the Jihadists.

Men were required to wear beards.

Women were required to be covered from head to toe, were not allowed to attend school after the age of 8, and must always be accompanied by a male relative when outside their home.

No religion other than Islam could be discussed and no one could be a member of any other religion.

People were ruled by the Mullahs interpretation of Shar'ia; elections were not allowed

Music was not allowed

To the Jihadists, this is what Allah requires.

To the Jihadists, Western liberal Democracy is completely anathema to Islam.

But Osama was very specific and we need not infer. In his Letter to America in November 2002, he enumerates the evils of American culture:


Our constitution is evil because it is an invented system of laws; i.e. it is not Shar'ia.

Interest rates are considered Usury

We permit the making and drinking of alcohol

We permit immorality through personal freedom

We exploit women

We permit gambling


The evidence of a culture devoted to Shaitan is everywhere.

Therefore all good Muslims must oppose the US, the Great Satan

Argument the Third Part

"Praise be to Allah, who revealed the Book, controls the clouds, defeats factionalism, and says in His Book: "But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)"; and peace be upon our Prophet, Muhammad Bin-'Abdallah, who said: I have been sent with the sword between my hands to ensure that no one but Allah is worshipped, Allah who put my livelihood under the shadow of my spear and who inflicts humiliation and scorn on those who disobey my orders."

Fatwah allowing the killing of Americans and their allies, 23 February 1998
-Osama bin Laden, et. al

(Q2) As for the second question that we want to answer: What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?

(1) The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.

(a) The religion of the Unification of God; of freedom from associating partners with Him, and rejection of this; of complete love of Him, the Exalted; of complete submission to His Laws; and of the discarding of all the opinions, orders, theories and religions which contradict with the religion He sent down to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam is the religion of all the prophets, and makes no distinction between them - peace be upon them all.

It is to this religion that we call you; the seal of all the previous religions. It is the religion of Unification of God, sincerity, the best of manners, righteousness, mercy, honour, purity, and piety. It is the religion of showing kindness to others, establishing justice between them, granting them their rights, and defending the oppressed and the persecuted. It is the religion of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil with the hand, tongue and heart. It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah's Word and religion reign Supreme. And it is the religion of unity and agreement on the obedience to Allah, and total equality between all people, without regarding their colour, sex, or language....

The Islamic Nation that was able to dismiss and destroy the previous evil Empires like yourself; the Nation that rejects your attacks, wishes to remove your evils, and is prepared to fight you. You are well aware that the Islamic Nation, from the very core of its soul, despises your haughtiness and arrogance.

If the Americans refuse to listen to our advice and the goodness, guidance and righteousness that we call them to, then be aware that you will lose this Crusade Bush began, just like the other previous Crusades in which you were humiliated by the hands of the Mujahideen, fleeing to your home in great silence and disgrace. If the Americans do not respond, then their fate will be that of the Soviets who fled from Afghanistan to deal with their military defeat, political breakup, ideological downfall, and economic bankruptcy.

This is our message to the Americans, as an answer to theirs. Do they now know why we fight them and over which form of ignorance, by the permission of Allah, we shall be victorious?


Osama bin Laden's Letter to America, November 2002

'nuff said?

Conclusion

A discussion such as this necessarily requires us to delve into the realm of motivation and psychology. But can we really know another's motivation behind their action without the benefit of asking and after being answered assess the truth of what we were told? And even after we have done all of this, can we really be sure we understand? The answer of course is no, we can not.

What we can do is convince ourselves of a motivation based on careful analysis and then present our arguments and our conviction. Others will then judge for themselves.

The Chairman has asked for understanding. I have presented my understanding and will defend it. My opponent will present his understanding and defend it. Perhaps my arguments will prevail, perhaps his will prevail. Perhaps each of us hold separate pieces of the same puzzle that when put together, we will all understand more. Or not.

Humans are a complex of motivations and passions; reason and logic. But regardless, there are larger streams, and rivers, and oceans of history of which we are all apart one way or another, and ultimately the complexity of our actions dissolve and become a part of the current in which we ourselves are caught. So what I present is the current I see driving the individuals involved: the Jihadists. It will affect the motivations of each individual to a greater or lesser extent, but it will be the background upon which the battles will be fought. Is Osama using religion as a cover for material power? I don't know. But what I think is that regardless of his personal motivations, it is the religious meme that is driving the Jihadists.

It's clear that Allah and Shaitan are like oil and water and they don't like each other much (to put a dualist spin on things).

It's clear the Jihadists believe that they represent the true word of Allah. It's also clear they believe the US is on the side of Shaitan.

The Jihadists have broken down all barriers with regards to the rules of war: they intend to win by any means possible. Nothing will restrain them because to kill a non-Muslim is not a sin and Muslim is defined very narrowly allowing them to kill those whom they have decided are not true Muslims in addition to those who espouse other religions or no religion at all.

And if you ain't with 'em, you're against 'em.


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