I’ve mentioned the MEMRI before in a past blog entry. This site provides an invaluable service by translating articles from various Middle Eastern media into English and posting them online. For those of you who wish to have a greater insight into how the folks in Al-Qa’ida can justify acts such as flying planes into skyscrapers the folks at MEMRI offer up a translation of an article titled On the Importance of Jihad as a Means of Destroying the ‘Infidel Countries’. Here’s a couple of snippets:
“Regardless of the norms of ‘humanist’ belief, which sees destroying the infidel countries as a tragedy requiring us to show some conscientious empathy and… an atmosphere of sadness for the loss that is to be caused to human civilization – an approach that does not distinguish between believer and infidel… – I would like to stress that annihilating the infidels is an inarguable fact, as this is the [divine] decree of fate…”
“The question now on the agenda is, how is the torture Allah wants done at our hands to be carried out?… This torture will not, in any way, be carried out by means of preaching [Da’wa], because preaching is activity of exposure, aimed at clarifying the truth in a way that makes it more easily acceptable. Preaching has nothing to do with torture; Jihad is the way of torturing [the infidels] at our hands.”
“By means of Jihad, Allah tortures them with killing; by means of Jihad, Allah tortures them with injury; by means of Jihad, Allah tortures them with loss of property; by means of Jihad, Allah tortures them with loss of ruling. Allah tortures them by means of Jihad – that is, with heated war that draws its fire from the military front…”
“Material power is [to be] confronted with material power, and ideological power is [to be] confronted with ideological power… It would be idiocy to rely on the power of the truth in the face of F-16s. Allah is capable of destroying His enemy without anyone’s mediation and without anyone’s help, as His capability is absolute and unsurpassed. In spite of all the characteristics of power at their command, these infidel states are no more than a handful of creatures on the speck of dust called Planet Earth… [But] Jihad serves as a trial by suffering for the Muslims by means of the infidels, and for the infidels by means of the Muslims.”
Yeah, I suspected as much. Incidentally, before anyone gets the idea that this sort of thinking is unique to the radical muslim mindset, allow me to quote from Pope Urban II as he called upon his fellow Christians to take up arms and started the first Crusade in November of 1095:
“For you must hasten to carry aid to your brethren dwelling in the East, who need your help, which they have often asked. For the Turks, a Persian people, have attacked them I exhort you with earnest prayer – not I, but God – that, as heralds of Christ, you urge men by frequent exhortation, men of all ranks, knights as well as foot soldiers, rich as well as poor, to hasten to exterminate this vile race from the lands of your brethren Christ commands it. And if those who set out thither should lose their lives on the way by land, or in crossing the sea, or in fighting the pagans, their sins shall be remitted. Oh what a disgrace, if a race so despised, base, and the instrument of demons, should so overcome a people endowed with faith in the all-powerful God, and resplendent with the name of Christ. Let those who have been accustomed to make private war against the faithful carry on to a successful issue a war against the infidels. Let those who for a long time have been robbers now become soldiers of Christ. Let those who fought against brothers and relatives now fight against these barbarians. Let them zealously undertake the journey under the guidance of the Lord.”—The passage appears in August C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eye Witnesses and Participants (Gloucester, Massachusetts: Peter Smith, 1958).
Sound familiar? This is one of the problems I have with religion, all religions with but few exceptions, in general is the fact that they have this dark side to them that allows, even encourages, that kind of overly self-righteous thinking. The sort of thinking that dehumanizes anyone who isn’t of a similar mindset and makes atrocities such as the Crusades or September 11th not only morally acceptable, but almost a requirement to be a true believer.