FORMER AL QAEDA: ISLAMIST TERROR DAMAGES ISLAM
Forget Western elite apologists and the aggressive American Muslim leadership, the Arab/Muslim heartland has little difficulty comprehending the American sensitivities about building a mosque on ground zero. 58% of the Arab world saw the mosque as "a project of folly" and even more, 63% consider America to be a tolerant country. They know that if the West is beginning to view Islams suspiciously, it is because Islamists attempts to convert the world by force to Islam is giving the religion a bad name. So, instead of demanding that the world treat Islam as if it has nothing to do with Islamism, they demand that Jihadist cease and desist their terrorist activities. Noman Benotman, A Libyan former Al Qaeda member writes:
In New York, your un-Islamic actions have caused hurt, loss, pain and anguish to thousands of innocent people and their families. One consequence is that those Muslims seeking to build a House of God in New York are today being compared to Nazis..
And now we hear that on the anniversary of your attack an American preacher is even planning to burn the Quran in revenge! Indeed Muslims living in democratic and free societies around the world are now experiencing the consequences of your irresponsible acts.
In Switzerland and France, countries in which Muslims were able to freely and openly practise their religion, they have been forced to abandon symbols of their faith.
In China, our brothers and sisters face daily oppression by the Communist government on account of al-Qaeda’s actions elsewhere.
In Iraq, a proud and noble nation, an entire population lives in fear of takfir (excommunication) and daily suicide bombings. In Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other countries, people live in fear of men who believe they are allowed to commit murder in the name of Islam and take lives in exchange for their own shahada (martyrdom).
Is this really the path to paradise? On this issue, I strongly advise you to seek the guidance of authentic scholars for “a Muslim can still be saved as long as he does not spill inviolable blood” (Sahih Bukhari).
He could have added the rise of anti immigrant party in Sweden.
"This election is a catastrophe," said Mohamud Farah, who has made Sweden his home for more than two decades after fleeing war in Somalia."It's deplorable, and worrying."
As he hoped, the letter got the attention of American Indian Muslim CNN talk show host, Fareed Zakaria. As could have been expected, Zakaria saw an opportunity to forward his contention that Al Qaeda alone is a threat. Benotman has difficulty cooperating. He repeatedly asserted that Al Qaeda is a branch of damaging Islamist terror while Zakaria attempted to limit the damage terrorists wrought to Al Qaeda. Zakaria also tried to spoon feed Benotman the terms and conclusions he wished him to reach. It starts with definitions:
ZAKARIA: And we are back with Noman Benotman, a former associate of Osama bin Laden, who is telling us about the past, present, and future of Al Qaeda . Why did you renounce terrorism? BENOTMAN: When I became Islamist or jihadist or, as you mentioned, terrorist, if you like, despite I not agree with this term --
Zakaria tries to whitewash him using the common liberal excuse. Benotman responds with confusion as he does not consider him a terrorist:
ZAKARIA: And you said you don't agree with the term because I'm guessing you saw yourself as a freedom fighter or a national liberation movement.
BENOTMAN: Yes, kind of this. A rebel, if you like, or whatever. Because myself at the personal level, I've never, ever committed like any crime about -- against any, if you like, civilian target or whatever. I'm proud of myself, you know, during the fight against the Soviet Union. I was a very armed soldier. I do respect my AK-47. You know. I do respect it a lot.
ZAKARIA: But you did find in the jihad against the Soviet Union?
BENOTMAN: Yeah. ZAKARIA: Along with bin Laden?
Having established his bone fide, Zakaria gives him finally an opportunity to answer the question:
ZAKARIA: And why did you renounce it all?
BENOTMAN: That's it. Because it's the political agenda. Always I believe it's just a political agenda. It's manmade. It's not Islam. Because Islam, it was there more than 1,500 years ago. I've never, ever subscribed to this idea of like fighting against the world. I am politician. I understand exactly what's the meaning of politics. It's a very crazy idea. It's extremely nonsense idea to just -- to commit your life to fight against the entire world, you know. To believe like your duty is to force every single human being to be a Muslim by force. This is exactly the bottom line of Al Qaeda understanding of Islam, you know, which is a crazy idea. That's why I'm strongly believe, 100 percent committed to complete disarmament of all Islamic groups, complete, without a doubt about this.
ZAKARIA: What kind of person agrees to become a suicide bomber?
BENOTMAN: I see a lot of people, they said OK, Al Qaeda giving me meaning. I live here in this X country but have no hope, I have no meaning. I'm not associated to my country. So Al Qaeda here comes and tell them, OK, you are Muslim. I will tell you exactly who you are. You are a Muslim. And -- which is Islamist. I will give you the meaning. I can make you make good use of your life and then you'll be in paradise.
Zakaria then asks him the number of Al Qaeda remaining in Pakistan/Afghanistan probably in the hope of demonstrating that the US has no reason to stay there. Benotman refuses to cooperate:
ZAKARIA: But what is your sense of how many people are left in Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Pakistan?
BENOTMAN: I think a few hundreds. It's an insignificant number. Al Qaeda presence now, I think there's a shift, if I might say, in terms of like the -- at the operational level from-now they call it Al Qaeda, the headquarter there in Pakistan, Afghanistan, they call it the general command, which means like the leadership of Al Qaeda. That's the official name.
I think there's a shift from the general Al Qaeda, general command to Yemen, towards Yemen. Now, I think if you assess the situation there, the number has been increased recently. We talk here about a few hundreds, maybe 200, 400 personnel there, mainly in Shabua (ph) and Abiyan (ph), southern part of Yemen. But they're very active. . . .
ZAKARIA: So you wrote this letter. And the end of it, you say"I believe I am expressing the views of the vast majority of Muslims, who wish to see their religion regain the respect it has lost, and who long to carry the name of Muslim with pride." And you give a lot of details in this letter to convince bin Laden of your credibility. Do you think he will read this letter? And do you think it will make an impact?
BENOTMAN: Yeah. I am 100 percent sure he will read it and the people around him. So I'm thinking about the young Muslims, which they still at the age, maybe they will, as I told you, want to be a terrorist, want to be Al Qaeda. It will give them like a second thought about it. I'm giving them, because terrorism, I believe it's a circle. It used to have just one gate, which allows you to get in. The problem is we need to open gates to help you to get out of that circle.
This is my work. I believe it will help a lot of people, you know, our youth or young Muslims. To think about other choices, other opinions from someone like me. I know exactly this business, you know, the field of jihad, or terrorism, or organizations. So I'm giving them my experience. Please don't do it. Al Qaeda, it's a human being organization. Bin Laden, he's just a human being. He's not a prophet. And he's capable of doing a lot of deadly mistakes.
Benotman is a heartland Muslim. So he wishes to influence Bin Laden. Unfortunately, Zakaria, like the rest of the Muslim Diaspora leadership prefers to fucus on weakening the Western response to Islamism.
That's the rub!
This gives hope: Abdel-Samad: . . . Islam doesn’t have to be demonized, but it does need to be modernized from the ground up.
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