Daily Archives: 10 September 2004

Mansoor Ijaz on Jihad and Islam

In an opinion piece headlined Jihad in Chaos: The extremist ideology is in collapse, Mansoor Ijaz sees hope arising out of the latest jihadist atrocities.

Zawahiri’s appearance on al Jazeera this week to once again threaten the U.S. was particularly poignant, since it was the Egyptian physician who, in his infinite wisdom, wrote in 2001 prior to the September 11 attacks that if the “jihadist vanguard” improperly executed its plans to spread Islam’s words by force, the movement would become isolated and separated from the Muslim masses. He was right, and is now desperately trying to rekindle the unified spirit al Qaeda had achieved prior to the 9/11 attacks….

Just look at recent terrorist acts to see how desperate the jihadists have become to regain their footing among Islam’s increasingly skeptical masses. The most informative example is what happened in Russia last week.

The massacre of innocent children at Beslan, where terrorists turned guns on each other to coerce obedience to the plan, demonstrated the very failure of extremist Islam’s ideology to inspire — and how the hideousness of their actions could sow doubt in even the most criminally hardened minds. When even the terrorists are at a loss to see how killing over 150 schoolchildren can help their cause, you know they have a problem. Most Chechens have now turned away from the very radicals who seek to free them because they see the horrific lengths to which the extremists will go, and realize that they too could be the targets of the assassins.

Like him or not, Vladimir Putin’s resolve to stare down Beslan’s terrorists — about whom he understood nothing — will (if by accident) be seen one day as a turning point in the war against extremism, because the depravity of Beslan’s architects has turned the silent majority in the Muslim world on its ear. Editors, political leaders, and mullahs from Jeddah to Istanbul to Jakarta are decrying the insanity of the Beslan murders. And they are beginning to realize that always blaming others for their woes won’t help elevate their disaffected people or spread the word of their failed vision any faster or better.

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Macam-Macam on the Jakarta Bombing

Macam-Macam has photos and a series of updates on the suicide bombing outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, and Simon World has a round-up of blog and news media reactions.

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Cronaca on Forgeries

Cronaca, who has returned from a brief hiatus, has an interesting post on art forgeries.

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Jodi in Kyrgyzstan, 11 September 2001

Jodi of the Asia Pages, has posted a memoir of where she was three years ago on 11 September.

I was in the town of Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan, serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in a country not too far from Afghanistan. As one of the few volunteers who had a telephone, I was automatically designated as a safety warden, the go-to person Peace Corps contacted in a time of emergency and the person who is then responsible for relaying that message to the many phoneless volunteers in her area.

September 11 also happens to be my birthday.

When I received the phone call, the selfish person that I am thought, “Oh, how nice! Peace Corps is calling to wish me a happy birthday.”

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