I am one of the leading figures in the growing Islamic reform movement, open or clandestine, particularly in Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, Egypt and Kazakhstan where people take great risks to question the popular sectarian dogmas.
Men and women of reason who have been promoting Islamic reform since the 1970's by rejecting religious dogmas have been the target of Sunni and Shiite extremists, terrorist groups and oppressive governments. Many of those who converted to rational monotheism are oppressed, some are forced to emigrate, others are forced to hide their whereabouts, and a few have been assassinated. For instance, my friend, Dr. Rashad Khalifa, was assassinated in Tucson, Arizona, by an al-Qaida affiliate terrorist group al-Fuqra or al-Fuqara (this is claimed to be the first terrorist act committed by al-Qaida in the USA); my Turkish comrade, Ms. Gonca Kuriş, was kidnapped, tortured and assassinated by Turkish Hizbullah, allegedly a tool of a faction in the Turkish secret police agency. And with the publication of the Quran: a Reformist Translation, we are concerned about my co-translator Layth who lives in Saudi Arabia, an oppressive and regressive monarchy supported by the US-Inc, which has been incubating a frustrated and bigoted population.
It is our conviction that some powerful interest groups do not wish the voice of a progressive Islamic reform movement to be heard, a movement that does not justify state terrorism and atrocities as a response to group violence and terrorism; a movement that rejects serving the recently increased appetite of the imperialistic hegemony and military adventures of U.S.-Inc., which has been advocated and conducted in the Middle East and beyond by the coalition of Neocon, right-wing Evangelical Christians, the Oil/Weapon industry, AIPAC, and the axis of Anglo-fascists, under the guise of national interest, freedom or security. Modern world history is filled with numerous examples showing that the terrorism, atrocities, genocides, covert operations, destruction and misery caused by military and police forces of governments are by far much worse than the ones committed by terrorist gangs and organizations.
The US military spending accounts for 47% of the world's total arms expenditures. Read again this sentence to the chicken-heart patriots who are easily manipulated by war profiteers and their agents. They used to scare us by exaggerating the power of Communism and Russia, and now they are scaring us by the exaggerated power of terrorists, which should be dealt with not by huge militaries and wars, but by FBI, CIA, Interpol and smart diplomacy.
It is a fact that suicide bombers and terrorists are generated by dictatorships, military regimes and occupations. Just look at the pattern: a USA-backed fascist Israeli regime incubated and generated suicide bombers. A USA-backed Saudi dictatorship incubated and generated 15 of the 19 terrorist bombers and their leader Ben Laden. USA-backed mujahids incubated and generated al-Qaida. USA-backed generals incubated and generated Taliban (who later took control of Afghanistan). A USA-backed Shah incubated and generated mullahs. A USA-backed Saddam Hussein incubated and generated mass murderers. The list is long and it includes numerous countries in three continents.
The fruits of USA-Inc helping dictators and military thugs have been the following: wars, atrocities, repression, oppression, poverty, civil wars, destruction, torture, tragedies, regression for the citizens of third world countries AND enormous profits for the USA's "military industrial complex" and other big multinational corporations such as Oil and Construction companies.
Abacha of Nigeria, Hugo [Banzer] of Bolivia, Batista of Cuba, Botha of South Africa, General Humberto of Brazil, Vinicio of Guatemala, Roberto Cordova of Honduras, Alfredo of El Salvador, Ngo Dihn of Vietnam, General Samuel of Liberia, Duvalier of Haiti, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, General Franco of Spain, Hassan II of Morocco, Ferdinand Marcos of Phillippines, Mobuto of Zaire, General Montt of Guatemala, General Noriega of Panama, Shah Pahlavi of Iran, Papadopoulos of Greece, Chung Hee of South Korea, General Pinochet of Chile, Pol Pot of Cambodia, Salazar of Portugal, Somoza of Nicaragua, Suharto of Indonesia, General Videla of Argentina, General Zia ul-Haq of Pakistan, Mubarak of Egypt, and now General Musharraf… What did these former and current USA-Inc stooges offer to their people? And who gained from these dictatorships?
Al-Qaida might be the enemy of a civilized world (whatever it means), but now we can be sure that al-Qaida is the enemy of Muslims AND the biggest benefactor of American Weapon, Oil and Construction industries. Arms dealers and the filthy rich are not morally better than used-car sales people, and they care neither about the American taxpayer nor the world. They care about their bottom line, which is: MONEY. Al-Qaida is the biggest bonanza for USA-Inc after they lost the Communist bogeyman. And dictators and Muslims with a slave mentality are petty stooges to justify their plunder and hegemony.