Fighting Against a Phantom
are being hit one blow after another and not only don’t we know how to defend
ourselves we even don't know what is hitting us.
worst terrorist attack in
took place in Feb. 28 by a man who loved
Ra’ed al-Banna was born in
in 1973 to a wealthy merchant family. He was a lawyer in his country. In 2001,
sometime before 9/11, al-Banna moved to the
, where he lived in
for nearly two years. He seemed to fit in well, growing his hair long, and
taking up American popular music. In one photograph he sent to his family, he is
seen standing in front of a military helicopter while holding an American flag.
He even planned to marry a Christian woman until her parents demanded that the
wedding take place in a church.
; he told his family back in
about the honesty and kindness of Americans. "They respect anybody who
is sincere," he told his father. Talal, a young man engaged to one of
Ra’ed’s sisters, explained how Ra’ed “loved life in
, compared to Arab countries. He wanted to stay there.” His father,
that, despite the September 11 attacks, Ra’ed “faced
no problems with his American workmates, who liked him.”
visited home in 2003 but on his return to the
he was denied entry accused of falsifying details on a visa application.. He
and became withdrawn, holing up in a makeshift studio apartment, sleeping late,
and displaying a new interest in religion. He began praying five times a day
and listening to the Quran. In November 2004, he went on pilgrimage to
Feb. 28 Banna blew himself up at a health clinic in Al-Hilla, killing 132
people and injuring 120, the worst such attack of the 136 suicide bombings that
have taken place since May 2003. On March 3, the family received a call
informing them of Ra’ed’s fate. “Congratulations, your brother has
fallen a martyr.”
this easygoing, modernized, educated young man go from loving
to become a terrorist? The answer in
one word is Islam.
has bad moments. Everyone goes through crisis in life and may want to seek
comfort in religion. But when a Muslim goes through crisis and seeks comfort in
his religion, he is likely to become a terrorist.
The father noted
that Ra’ed wore Western-style clothing, rarely went to mosque, and was
ignorant of the names of local sheikhs. “I am shocked by all of this
because my son was a very quiet man, not very religious and more interested in
pursuing his law profession and building a future for himself.” He said.
Macleod of Time
Ra’ed apparently led a
double life, professing affection for
while secretly preparing to join the holy war against the U.S.
Daniel Pipes the director of the
Forum and author of Miniatures wrote:
comes to Islamist terrorists, appearances often deceive. That Banna was said to
“love life in
,” be “not very religious,” and be interested in “building a future for
himself” obviously indicated nothing about his real thinking and purposes. The
same pattern recurs in the biographies of many other jihadis.
Macleod and Dr. Pipes are mistaken. Ra’ed was not living any double
life. He was not a terrorist when he came to
. He became a terrorist when he became interested in Islam, began praying five
times a day and started listening to the Quran. As long as we fail to see the
role that Islam plays in making Muslims terrorists, we won’t be able to fight
it. The problem with us, our experts and our governments is that we have not yet
recognized the cause of terrorism and are unwilling to see the role of Islam in
We are fighting the shadow of the enemy while sleeping with him,
protecting him and trusting him. This is like proclaiming Hitler a man of peace,
calling his Mein Kampf a sacred book and giving Nazism a prominent status while
fighting the WWII.
that Islam has anything to do with Islamic terrorism is like denying germs have
anything to do with contagious diseases and claiming the patient who up until
yesterday was healthy, was sick from the start and was feigning health.
year earlier, Muhammad Ali al-Ayed a 23 year
old Saudi millionaire's son who went from a freewheeling Houston college
student to an observant Muslim, pleaded guilty to nearly decapitating his
longtime Jewish friend. Al-Ayed who had severed his ties with his Jewish
friend Ariel Sellouk for two years, called him one evening, invited him for a drink,
took him to his apartment and stabbed him to death and almost decapitated
him. Al-Ayed’s roommate told police the two were not
arguing before Al-Ayed killed Sellouk. The blow came suddenly and
unexpectedly. The reason for this crime was "religions
differences" said al-Ayed's attorney.
Banna were normal people, educated and from well to do families. Ayed was
amicable to his Jewish friend and Banna loved
. They became terrorists when they sought refuge in their religion and embraced
Banna are not the exceptions. Every single Muslim is in danger of becoming a
terrorist. All it takes is that he faces a crisis and seeks solace in his
religion. Muslims are not born terrorists; they are good humans no different
from the rest of us. They become terrorists when they seek their religion for
Other examples are Mike Hawash (Former Intel Corp. engineer
who conspired to fight against
) and Mohammad Atta (The
leader of the attacks of 9/11) who not only gave no outward and visible sign of
being devout Muslims, but in fact were NOT devout. That came along with the
crises that each experienced, which prompted returns to Islam. Islam is akin to
a dormant virus.
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