is or is not authentic transcription of Islamic dogma, we do know
that the people who ran the airliners into the World Trade Center
believed that a Koranic voice was telling them to do what they did.
We have the four-page document that told them not only what to do,
but what to think. "Kill them, as God said; No Prophet can
have prisoners of war."
not cavil, their clerical dispatcher knew, but even so there was
a reiteration of the sacradeness of their mission. "Recognize...what
God has prepared for believers in endless happiness for martyrs....
Be steadfast and remember [that in] God you will be triumphant."
Here is a strategic
suggestion from the Western high command. Declare in full voice
that Islam is widely profaned and mistaught. That if it isn't
if the Koranic high exegetes are paralyzed with doubt whether such
as the Ladenites are true to their faith then the faith being
practiced must be disavowed by the legitimists. Say as much and
say also that the Western world is prepared to denominate the imposters
as such and to call for a restoration of a Muslim religion consistent
with civilized conduct.
We have done
such a thing in the political world. Without using the language
of excommunication as such, what we got around to doing in the postwar
world was to exclude Communism as an acceptable model for the organization
of political life. We did this because, by our experience with Communism
in practice and by the exercise of reason, we judged it incompatible
with irreversible advances in human behavior. When finally the United
States abolished slavery, the word went out: No more. No Christianity
cum slavery. One or the other.
We have now
Islam to deal with. We do not need to make the point that its political
and economic record is miserable, that only one of 18 Muslim states
(Turkey) is democratically governed. There are those who are willing
to advertise the individual hypocrisies. A spokesman from the Jamiat
Ulema-e-Islam party, while calling on his faithful to overthrow
the government of Pakistan for the sin of maintaining equable relations
with the United States, sends his own two sons to the United States
to school. The Taliban has taken unmarried women detected in pregnancy
and buried them to neck level before execution. Where is Islamic
condemnation of such practices? For that matter, where is condemnation
of Saudis chopping pickpockets' hands off?
We read of
the mobs in Karachi who denounce the United States and flaunt signs
that call out to "CRUSH AMERICA." In a pinch, we have
to gamble. Perhaps human nature isn't reliably self-interested enough
to prefer liberal democracy to protracted tyrannical misery. But
we have to hope that the raw instinct is there to welcome relief.
There were Kuwaitis who prostrated themselves with gratitude to
liberating GIs, even as there are millions of Afghans who flee the
wretched world of their Muslim oppressors where they have been kept
alive by American food shipments to Afghanistan and bank now on
American food shipped to Pakistan, where they will reasonably hope
that before America is entirely CRUSHED we will have stored enough
food for them and their children.
It is thought
to be a sign of toleration to defer to Islam as simply another religion.
It isn't that. It is a form of condescension. Carefully selected,
there are Koranic preachments that are consistent with civilized
life. But on September 11th we were looked in the face by a deed
done by Muslims who understood themselves to be acting out Muslim
ideals. It is all very well for individual Muslim spokesmen to assert
the misjudgment of the terrorist, but the Islamic world is substantially
made up of countries that ignore, or countenance, or support terrorist
activity. Mustafa Kamal Uddin, a 32-year-old body-and-fender man
in Karachi, explained it to a New York Times reporter. You
see, he said, holy wars come about only when Allah has no other
way to maintain justice, times like now. "That is why Allah
took out his sword" on September 11th.
We demand to
know: Who taught Mustafa Kamal Uddin to reason in that way, and
the crowds in Karachi to support such thinking? Pending an answer
to the question, and the unmistakable assumption by reputable Muslims
of the responsibility to extirpate such misteaching, renounce modern
Islam. Either restore the proper Allah or get ready for a