Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, alleged leader of Jemaah Islamiah, a radical Islamic group in Indonesia says the Bali bombing was an American conspiracy to justify and prove this argument that Indonesia was a terrorist cell. “Because of their hatred towards Islam they are pointing their accusation to me,” he says with self-pity.Read the BBC story.
Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein claims the U.S. has bullied everyone to submit to its evil intentions toward Iraq. Read a N.Y. Daily News editorial.
Osama Bin Laden makes video tapes praising acts of violence against non-Islamic people and promising more bloodshed to come.
What is the common thread? Simply put, the use of religion as a device to cower behind and cry persecution while attacking their perceived enemies. It is a pre-meditated strategy these and other extremists are taking in lock-step to achieve a goal. That goal is to divide moderate Islamic people from those of the western democracies, the U.S. in particular.
Like the true cowards that they are, these religious zealots take on the mantle of legitimate religious belief to blend in and form solidarity with the people of that faith. The success they have at engendering sympathy among those whose beliefs they mock determines their level of operational ability.
But will this approach work? To the extent that the people in these states are held captive by lack of education and opportunity, the likelihood of success on the part of religious terrorists increases. Is it a coincidence that literacy rates have fallen below 50% in Iraq? Doubtful. Ignorance has always been the weapon of the religious zealots. Perhaps its opposite is our best ally in the war we are engaged in.