Article By Dr. Richard Benkin

[Comments are welcome at our Dialogue Corner]

Al-Qaeda's War on Islam

The recent terrorist bombs in London muffled another significant event. Near Baghdad, Al-Qaeda assassinated Egyptian diplomat, Ihab el-Sherif, never even negotiating for his release. The group stated that its self-proclaimed Islamic court convicted el-Sherif of "apostasy". Their statement arrogantly slapped the face of official Islam, which never recognized a change (or attempted change) in el-Sherif's religion. So, why are they afraid? What is their real agenda?

They seek to create a bifurcated world posing Muslims against the other three-fourths of humanity, as seen in their calling Egypt an ally of "Jews and Christians." So branding Egypt is also curious considering that far more Egyptians have died fighting Israel than have Islamist terrorists. What is their real agenda?

The answer: their rhetoric is a sham. Far from being defenders of the faith, they are at war with Islam. And in that war they have killed huge numbers of Muslims:

According to the US State Department, half the victims of Islamist terror in 2003 were Muslims.

Between 1992 and 1998, Islamists killed about 150,000 Muslims in Algeria.

Since 1980, more than 40,000 Pakistani Muslims were killed in Shi'a-Sunni terror attacks.

According to Iraqi Interior Minister Baqir Jabbur, terrorists killed 8,175 Iraqis and wounded another 12,000 just this year.

Victims of Muslim terror in the Sudan are overwhelmingly Muslim.

Muslim terrorists have carried out attacks in overwhelmingly Muslim countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia and Iraq. In the past year, Bangladesh's Rapid Action Battalion arrested 636 Muslim terrorists in Chittagong, the nation's second largest city and its major port. Al-Qaeda and its like have been responsible for the murder of Islamic leaders including Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Afghanistani war hero Ahmed Shah Massoud, and others.

El-Sherif's murder should be a wake-up call to Muslims worldwide that their enemy is neither the United States nor Israel, but Al-Qaeda and other Islamists. Figures show that Muslims are far more likely than non-Muslims to be killed by Muslim terrorists claiming to defend their faith. Let's also remember that it was the US who came to the defense of oppressed Bosnian Muslims when no one else would. Al-Qaeda forces fought against those Muslims! So, who is waging war on Islam? Who is killing Muslims?

In the few days since murdering Egypt's el-Sherif's, Al-Qaeda has tried kidnapping diplomats from the Muslim countries of Pakistan and Bahrain. They promise that more will follow.

The US aided oppressed Muslims in Bosnia, Kuwait, and Iraq, including Kurds. Israel was the first Middle Eastern country to give Muslim women the vote. All the while, Islamists worldwide have been waging a worldwide war on Islam, killing far more Muslims than all the nations of the earth combined.

Fortunately, the tide of history is clearly against them. Al-Qaeda's retrograde platform to keep Muslims out of the twenty-first century mirrors similar, failed efforts by Christian Crusaders, Nazis, agrarian communists like Pol Pot and others. And like the others, they and their War on Islam will not prevail.

Dr. Richard Benkin, 4/August/2005

Originally published by the Bangladeshi daily Amader Shomoy


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