An al Qaeda man in the Gaza Strip made modest headlines across the United States last week by warning Americans: “Islam is coming, and there is no other choice. This is something that no one can prevent. We will raise the Islamic flag on every point on earth where Muslims live, and we will chase all enemies of Islam wherever they are. Even in the West, in Europe, and in the United States.”
The speaker was Abu Saqer, a leader of the extremist Muslim group Jihadiya Salafiya, and he was speaking on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” over WABC in New York. While he did not suggest Islam would take America by violence, he did mention that when the jihadists finish off President Bashar Assad in Syria, they would next turn their anger on Israel and the United States because both are “enemies of Islam.”
Far from dying, al Qaeda is more alive than ever
Several points are of interest here. He is, for one, evidence that al Qaeda is not quite so dead as was pronounced by the U.S. administration before last fall’s election. A year before that, Praveen Swami, diplomatic editor of London’s Daily Telegraph who covered Asian security issues for almost 20 years, assessed al Qaeda’s power as far greater than it had ever been before, and it has been steadily gaining strength ever since. Today it is at the center of violence in Pakistan and Syria and last week was described by the Washington Times as “driving Iraq towards chaos.” Yet in August of 2008, Peter Bergen, a fellow of New York University’s Center on Law and Security, could confidently write: “Today al Qaeda in Iraq is dead.”
Well, it wasn’t, and it is so far from dead now that it was named by the U.S. State Department as the chief reason for shutting down some 30 diplomatic posts in the Middle East this month. What becomes ever more unnerving, however, is the determination of the U.S. not to recognize the self-evident fact that they are in a religious war.
Does anybody actually believe Abu Saqer?
The characteristic Western response to this supposedly imminent conversion to Islam is that people like Saqer represent only a tiny minority of Muslims. The rest are peace-loving people just like us, because Islam is, you know, a “religion of peace.” Whether it is or isn’t doesn’t matter. What does matter is the fact that a very few deftly directed loonies can pose a terrible threat to any civilized nation. So if Islam is indeed intent on peace, it should prove it by getting rid of these monsters in their midst. If such gentry are in fact only a tiny minority, that shouldn’t be very hard.
- “This war isn't over yet,” The Telegraph, Aug. 4, 2013