Thursday, September 23, 2004
Rising call by clerics for jihad
Question is not whether but how to defeat U.S. aims
For Sheikh Mohammad Ali Mohammad al-Ghereri, a Sunni Muslim cleric, the question is no longer whether his followers should fight the Americans -- that is a given -- but how to wage the war properly.
"The holy warriors should have a clerical leader with them to advise them
on all points, such as how to properly treat the Americans they capture," he said just days before militants beheaded two American hostages.
"Jihad is a necessity for each Muslim," said Ziad Farhan, a student at Islamic University in the Khadimiya section of Baghdad. "The prophet gave up everything for elevating the religion. In Islam there is either death or jihad. There is no other way."
The last quote is telling:
Ghereri, who ministers to poor people from an austere mosque in Baghdad's Zafarenieh district, often sees the suffering caused by the insurgency and the U.S. response -- destroyed houses, maimed children, dead fathers. But despite the toll, he tells his followers that the holy war must continue.
"No price is too high pay to regain our lost glory," he said.
Lost glory? As in Arab despots that for centuries, have turned Arab society into a cesspool?
Lost glory, as in returning to regimes that have left Arabs among the most poorly educated in the world, according to a recent UN study?
Lost glory, as in restoring regimes that haven't seen functional economies in centuries?
Lost glory, as in yearning for a time when subjugating non Mulsims was a way of life?
Lost glory, as in a religion calling for and glorifying the death of anyone they disapprove of, and putting a religious seal of approval on such killings?
The Sheikh is right-- Arab glory was lost. It wasn't taken by the Americans or anyone else. It was frittered away by corrupt and evil men who never gave a damn about those they ruled and controlled.
As is always the case, Arabs refuse to acknowledge what has become of them and why, and they want to blame others for their own failures.