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Can We Win the War for Hearts & Minds?

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When the bombings in Madrid change the election's outcome, for a moment the antiwar movement was looking for ways to deal with terror, instead of ignoring it hoping it will go away. Let us take a moment with the latest killings in Afghanistan to try to contemplate an intelligent way to deal with terror. Yes if the US behaved itself, some of the fuel for terror would eventually dry up. But what are we going to do in the meantime?

We in the West would like to convince Muslims that Prophet Muhammad would never approve of killing a whole bunch of people in two large buildings and taking hostages along for the ride ie 9/11. None of us can ask him. However driving a truck into a gate, killing only oneself, is very close to such things as falling on ones sword. Al Qaeda can tare down reconstruction projects faster then the west can build them but this doesn't have to mean the war for hearts and minds is inevitably hopeless.

Sometimes people have an important point to make, but they are unable to do so because they exaggerate what they are trying to expose.

A number of people are claiming that the Osama bin Laden wing of al Qaeda is twisting around, and changing Islam, to make it easier to be victorious.

This is not an academic point. Many years ago, Elijah Muhammad, began proselytizing Black Americans to join Islam, which he felt would free Blacks over hear from oppression. He was impressed with the Middle East and later visits reinforced his impressions. However, he didn't like the way Muslims were being mistreated (And realized a major reason was the lack of Islamic influence in the West). He, and Fard Muhammad who inspired him, rearranged the faith to make it more appealable to Black Americans, and at first succeeded beautifully. He managed to get Blacks who weren't Muslims to sympathize with Muslim issues, which sympathy for Palestine ended up somewhat a central focus. Incredible, even managed to persuade many White Americans to sympathize with the Palestinians.

However, the growing complaint among ordinary Muslims that the Black Muslims were heretics prevented Elijah Muhammad from changing history.

Moderate Muslims in the US, like to claim that Prophet Mohammad would never execute someone for denying their faith. In most societies people are free to say what they want as long as they don't accomplish anything. And the early followers of Islam weren't about to snoop around trying to overhear comments of ordinary people. However, recently in Afghanistan, Abdul Rahman who earlier became associated with a man, a Western missionary who actively proselytized against the Muslim faith. He didn't on his own decide the Prophet was wrong, or just happen upon the Bible. So we don't really know what would have happened in the 7th century if a similar incident had occurred, that of a wife tattling on her husband, who had similarly been in touch with an anti-Islam recruiter.

Claiming that Prophet Mohammad never would have asked Muslims to fly planes into buildings, is like claiming Prophet Mohammad never ordered anyone to use a gun. However, when bin Laden picked the busiest time of day to attack two American embassies in Africa, killing the innocent Muslims who were unintentionally providing cover for the attack. We can be sure that no 7th or 8th century Muslim would approve ever charging though knocking over Muslim woman and children as a cover to get into a castle before a drawbridge was raised or gate was slammed shut. Neither would any Muslim back then approve of driving a truck into a gate, killed oneself any more then they would charging head first into a castle wall. It is clear Prophet Mohammad opposed suicide, to say otherwise is to begin to build a new heresy. Historic Islam never used little children as look outs and spies. There was no Joan of Arc's in ancient Islam. The Taliban is taxing drugs instead of banning them. Bin Laden believes Muslims should be prepared for centuries of upcoming war, instead of being distracted like Muslims were during the first Millennium battles with the West. However, a nation that taxes drugs to get extra tax toward victory, will sooner or later be pressured by circumstance to tax brothels as well.

The Black Muslims respect true Muslims, and would never try to recruit them into a streamlined fast food version of the faith. Al Qaeda can make more changes in Islam than Elijah Mohammad would dream of doing.

Bush claims the surge is now working in Iraq. What is working is the little propaganda ploy of claiming that Zarqawia fell off his stretcher to get away from the Americans. But the CIA keeps secrets from itself, meaning that President Bush actually believes the surge is working.

Our economy is quite fragile. Doctors were picked for the latest British suicide event, and three months earlier sent the cryptic message, "Those who heal you will kill you," to change immigration policy to stop importing talent. German business is crying about needing skilled programmer and other talent from abroad but immigration laws get in the way, handicapping German business in the world market. High tech and private contractors to keep official US casualties down is incredibly expensive. In the next depression Americans won't patently stand in long soup lines. Mass theft will be the norm, which will make things ever worse.

Whether we admit it or not Al Qaeda could win, but Muslims need to contemplate what kind of victory it may be.

The US fighting al Qaeda is like an elephant fighting with mice. An elephant is no match against determined mice. However individuals can successfully challenge al Qaeda, like the Queen of Jordan did until al Qaeda agreed to leave Jordan alone.

Blog: Ramblings from the Hornets Nest http://ramblingsfromthehornets.blogspot.com/

 

http://ramblingsfromthehornetsnest.blogspot.com/

I'm 61 years old, fear the computer even though I am stuck before the screen. I fear cyber-hacking by the government or vigilantes. Few activists know where each other live or even meet. So mail, email, phone calls and cyberbills secretively not (more...)
 

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To convert, persuade, or educate is always a form ... by John Hanks on Friday, Dec 28, 2007 at 4:53:04 PM