Friday, August 28, 2009

Myths and Facts about al-Qaeda

The media myth of a global Islamic conspiracy never got much traction in America before 2001 because the minority Muslim American population simply did not seem like much of a threat, because Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States are loyal US allies, and because Americans generally have a positive attitude toward wealthy investors. After 9/11 pro-Israel propagandists exploited public ignorance and created a nightmarish fantasy of al-Qaeda in order to put the US and allies into conflict with the entire Islamic world. What is al-Qaeda? What do they believe? What do they actually do?

Osama bin Laden first used the term “al-Qaeda” in an interview in 1998, probably in reference to a 1988 article written by Palestinian activist Abdullah Azzam entitled “al-Qa`ida al-Sulba” (the Solid Foundation). In it, Azzam elaborates upon the ideas of the Egyptian scholar Sayed Qutb to explain modern jihadi principles. Qutb, author of Social Justice in Islam, is viewed as the founder of modern Arab-Islamic political religious thought. Qutb is comparable to John Locke in Western political development. Both Azzam and Qutb were serious men of exceptional integrity and honor.

While Qutb was visiting the USA in 1949, he and several friends were turned away from a movie theater because the owner thought they were black. ‘But we’re Egyptians,’ one of the group explained. The owner apologized and offered to let them in, but Qutb refused, galled by the fact that black Egyptians could be admitted but black Americans could not,” recounts Lawrence Wright in The Looming Tower. Qutb predicted that the struggle between Islam and materialism would define the modern world. He embraced martyrdom in 1966 in rejection of Arab socialist politics.

Azzam similarly rejected secular Palestinian nationalist politics as an impediment to moral virtue. He opposed terrorist attacks on civilians and had strong reservations about ideas like offensive jihad, or preventive war. He also hesitated to designate any Muslim leader as an apostate and preferred to allow God to make such judgments. Inspired by the courage and piety of Afghan Muslims struggling against the Soviets, Azzam reinterpreted Qutb’s concept of individual and collective obligation of Muslims in his fatwa entitled “Defense of the Muslim Lands, the First Obligation after Iman (Faith).” Qutb would have prioritized the struggle of Egyptian Muslims to transform Egypt into a virtuous Islamic state while Azzam argued that every individual Muslim had an obligation to come to the aid of oppressed Muslims everywhere, whether they are Afghan, Kosovar, Bosnian, Thai, Filipino, or Chechen.

John Calvert of Creighton University writes, “This ideology… would soon energize the most significant jihad movement of modern times.”

At Azzam’s call, Arabs from many countries joined America’s fight against Communism in Afghanistan. No Arab jihadi attack was considered terrorism when Azzam led the group, or later when bin Laden ran the group. Because the global Islamic movement overlapped with the goals of the US government, Arab jihadis worked and traveled frictionlessly throughout the world between Asia, Arabia and America. Azzam was assassinated in Pakistan in 1989, but legends of the courageous sacrifices of the noble Arab Afghans energized the whole Islamic world.

After the Soviets left Afghanistan, bin Laden relocated to Sudan in 1992. At the time he was probably undisputed commander of nothing more than a small group, which became even smaller after he lost practically all his money on Sudan investments. He returned to Afghanistan in 1996, where the younger Afghans, the Taliban welcomed him on account of his reputation as a veteran war hero.

There is no real evidence that bin Laden or al-Qaeda had any connection to the Ugandan and Tanzanian embassy attacks or any of the numerous attacks for which they have been blamed. Pro-Israel propagandists like Daniel Pipes or Matthew Levitt needed an enemy for their war against Muslim influence on American culture more than random explosions in various places needed a central commander. By the time the World Trade Center was destroyed, the Arab fighters surrounding Osama bin Laden were just a dwindling remnant living on past glories of Afghanistan’s struggle against Communism. Al-Qaeda has never been and certainly is not today an immensely powerful terror organization controlling Islamic banks and charities throughout the world.

Al-Qaeda maintained training camps in Afghanistan like Camp Faruq, where Muslims could receive basic training just as American Jews go to Israel for military training with the IDF. There they learned to disassemble, clean and reassemble weapons, and got to associate with old warriors, who engaged in great heroism against the Soviets but did not do much since. Many al-Qaeda trainees went on to serve US interests in Central Asia (e.g. Xinjiang) in the 1990s but from recent descriptions the camps seem to currently provide a form of adventure tourism with no future enlistment obligations.

Although western media treats al-Qaeda as synonymous with Absolute Evil, much of the world reveres the Arab Afghans as martyr saints. Hundreds of pilgrims visit Kandahar’s Arab cemetery daily, believing that the graves of those massacred in the 2001 US bombing of Afghanistan possess miraculous healing powers.

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women. Joachim Martillo contributed to this article.


Unknown said...

You say:
Al-Qaeda maintained training camps in Afghanistan like Camp Faruq, where Muslims could receive basic training just as American Jews go to Israel for military training with the IDF.

Come on Ms. Friedemann- enough with the disinformation. ! No American Jews go to Israel for training unless they become Israeli citizens and are required to do so. The Israeli army has no "program to train American Jews."

Where do you pick up such stupid ideas from?

Joel Bainerman
(a resident of Israel for 30 years)

Anonymous said...

I first noted the anti-Islam hype being waged by zionists, neocons and Israeli apologists when they said that Western Civilisation was faced with a threat from Islam. As if this was not outrageous enough, these same provocateurs extrapolated the imagined threat to include Muslims who do not practise their faith and descendants of Muslim immigrants in Western Europe and North America.

Having engaged in elective wars in the Iraq and Afghanistan, the US, the UK and other Western powers have embarked upon programme of persecution of Muslims and Muslim communities using spying, campaigns to coerce individuals to be state informers and the arbitrary use of "disruption, destabilisation and baiting" tactics to harass and hound individuals not identified as actual threats but who have the potential for activism or are of having leadership qualities.

Basically the West is marching to the drum beat of the zionist agenda and are targeting their own citizens, based upon religion and colour, to further its on going wars for resources.

Mark said...

The problem regrding American society is one of myopia, sadly. For every worldly, informed, educated on of us there is a mob of idiots with their torches ready. I think we've definately become "the bad guy", and the shame of it is that the vast majority of us don't have an inkling of this, because our mainstream media is such trash. Good article.

friend_of_tesla said...

I think history will prove you right re your comments re al-Qaeda
when you look at the science of the triple tower demolitions and
the relationship of Osama Bin Laden
with the US administration right up to 9/11. Who better to blame if
you are zionist terrorist group.
When you look at the military and
scientific resources of America that can not find a man on a camel, and a dumb population that can not see through the lies and
coverups of 9/11, it's no wonder
the US is destined for third world status.

Unknown said...

Thanks Karin. Some new stuff to me here too. I realised that "once again" we were being lied to by our own excuses for leaders and press after reading a couple of Bin Laden's speaches. Nothing in them was threatening, extremist or irrational, and mostly I found his words to be moderate and even occassionally inspirational.

Compared to the extremism, obvious lies and the rhetorical devices, the religious fervour and the implied and stated threats which come out of our "leaders" in the West, OBL was the wisest and most moderate and our leader's words were the scary ones..

Anonymous said...

RE:Bombing of US Embassies in Kenya!
I happen to work on project near Kenyatta INT.Airport in Nairobi
I happen to give a lift to GSU Personals (general Service equivalent in Kenya of CIA or homebased security in USA) few times and they told me that soon there will be FIREWORK in Nairobi by Strange Speaking Americans i.e. Isrealis
Within few days after that US Embassay was bombed!

Jeremy Lynes said...

I agree with the comment on 9/11 coverup. Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth do an excellent analysis of demolitions used in the three World Trade Center Buildings that day. Any ten year old can see bldg 7 was a controlled demolition. Even the FBI admits they never sought a grand jury indictment against OBL for 9/11 due to lack (no) evidence. We became a lynch mob. Still are. One million and counting.
It's never too late for the truth. It is absent in this one, Karin, try it in the next, o.k.?

Anonymous said...

We know al Qaeda is a CIA/Mossad fiction. See:

BBC’s killer documentary called “The Power of Nightmares

"Top CIA officials openly admit, Al-qaeda is a total and complete fabrication, never having existed at any time. The Bush administration needed a reason that complied with the Laws so they could go after “the bad guy of their choice”

Rick said...

Israel offers training programs for Jews or anyone who can afford to pay. They also train groups of American cops. You are the one giving disinformation

Joachim Martillo said...

Dear Joel Beinerman, I took a look at your website. It has so many lies and half-truths that I have to assume you are a professional online masbir (Zionist propagandist).

As far as I know, there are several programs for Americans to volunteer to serve as civilian para-military assistants to IDF. Rahm Emanuel served in one during the first Gulf War.

Lots of American Jews make aliyah, serve in the IDF, and then return to the USA to serve as masbirim, saya`nim, and subversives on behalf of Zionism.

Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic is a particularly prominent example.

If an American Jew serves in one of the Israeli military or para-military civilian services or if he takes Israeli citizenship, he should be stripped of American citizenship on the quite reasonable presumption that after the intense Zionist indoctrination he will subordinate American interests to "what's good for the Jewish people."

Loosing citizenship was the rule for those doing such service before May 29, 1967 when Jewish Zionist subversive and Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas manipulated the Supreme Court in the midst of hysteria orchestrated by Jewish Zionist media into overturning the established precedent of Perez v. Brownell, 356 U.S. 44.

Ever since Fortas' treason, Zionists have been able to recruit and indoctrinate young American Jews via Israeli military or para-military civilian service in order to turn them into agents of a racist, murderous, genocidal state, which has no values in common with the US and which uses its agents in the USA to poison the American political, economic, and legal system.

In the aftermath of the Gaza Rampage, there is no doubt that the IDF should receive the status of Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity with the legal consequence that both Zionist agents in the USA and also American Jews interfering with US foreign policy by buying stolen property in Palestine will be subject to arrest for aiding and abetting terrorism.

As for the general dishonesty of your web site, I have to point that all Jewish obligations of charity are confined within the Jewish community while Jews are free to exploit non-Jews with a clear conscience.

In his Sefer haMitzvot, RAMBAM explicitly identifies a Jewish obligation to lend to Jews without interest and a separate obligation to lend to non-Jews with interest.

I could go on, but it is probably sufficient to point readers to the following blog entries that address a lot of your blog site dishonesty:

1. [wvns] The New "Blood Libel"?

2. Culling Palestinians for Organ-Harvesting

3. Not [Only] the Occupation Corrupts: A Critique of the Israeli Left

4. Long Version: Zionizing Muslims via Interfaith Dialogue

5. Jewish Financial Aggression, Worldwide Economic Nakba

6. Collection: Chief Zionist Frauds

7. Jewish Peril 1933 Versus 2009

Anonymous said...

You state:

"Pro-Israel propagandists like Daniel Pipes or Matthew Levitt needed an enemy for their war against Muslim influence on American culture more than random explosions in various places needed a central commander."

So, " Al-Qaeda" was invented by Zionists who wanted war against Muslims and wanted the US to do the fighting. While your thesis is certainly more plausible than the alternative you cite, the hypothesis about the existence of "a central commander" behind some terrost-looking acts. But, those are not the only two possibilities:

1. Al-Qaeda exists in the form etched in the Western minds by its meadia.

2. Al-Qaeda is a Zionist invention for the sake of justifying war against Islam.

Since 1. Is absurd, clearly 2. is a better explanation, but that does not make it the best explanation. Any number of hypothesis could be formulated that are more probable than 2. For example,

3. An actually nonexistent entity Al-Qaeda was conconted by usual designers of the US foreign policy (CFR, CIA, Pentagont, etc.) and as part of conspiracy the plan consists of making the false hypothesis 2. seem plausible to smart people, thus removing the suspicions that the "myth of Al-Qaeda" concides with real US interests to wage aggressive wars across the globe.

Hence, the Zionists, rather than being originators of the "myth of Al-Qaeda" could be simply a tool of US elites that are in reality still very WASPish.

And in fact, the author of this cite, may simply be a plant whose purpose, among other things, is to appear as an Anti-semitic wackjob, in order to deflect away from something like explanation 3. In the direction of the implausible explanation 2. and thus, paradoxically (since 3. is never entertained) provide support to the wakiest of ideas in the for of explanation 1.

Unknown said...

no one believe any of this crap.


hegelian dialectic.

Unknown said...

To the resident of Israel who is not familiar with IDF training camps for American Jews I suggest you look at Chris Hedges article at

Joachim Martillo said...

Thanks for the info! I put Hedges' article up on my website at [Truthdig] Israel's Toy Soldiers.

Anonymous said...

Zionist = Goyim - Humanism = Gog & Magog.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to say to Joel that also here in Holland, were I live, Jews especially go to Israel to undergo training and voluntarily join the Israeli army because they see it as some kind of duty serving Israel.

So this is absolutely no disinformation as I've seen this a couple of times that even Dutch people join the Israeli army.

HuBris said...

Here is proof that Jewish people go to Israel to train with weaponry:

"Terrorist" targets popular at West Bank gun range

Inadvertantly Reuters also managed to give us a glimpse of the anti-Semitic nature of political Zionism - see the last 3 paragraphs:

. . . But Gat says his course is not just about shooting guns; it also teaches "Zionist values."

"The usual Jew abroad is not like us," he says. "They learn to be doctors and lawyers. There's an impression that they want to earn money and not that they're strong people.

"I thought it would be nice to be next to the people who have fought in all the wars and fought for Israel. It gives you pride in being a Jew."

That is a view of Jewish people almost indentical to the one held by a certain Mr A Hitler Esq.

It springs from the Zionist views articulated by Anti-semitic Zionists of the early/mid 20th century such as Jabotinsky.

Chaim Weizmann is quoted by Lenni Brenner in Zionism in the Age of Dictators as saying something along the lines of:

"To be a Zionist, one must be somewhat anti-semitic"

JBgarbuz said...

The support of anti-Jewish blood libels by Jewish Leftists comes as no surprise to me, as Karl Marx himself wrote about the "Jewish question." The rise of Bolshevism in Russia invariably led to the radical equal and opposite reaction with the quick rise of fascism and Nazism in Europe and Germany in particular.
The latest and most modern blood libel being promoted by anti-Jewish Jews is that 9/11 was in fact another Jewish conspiracy. As my now deceased mother -herself a Holocaust survivor- taught me: Times may change, but people don't.

JBgarbuz said...

As late as 1939, celebrities as distinguished as Charles Lindbergh insisted that Adolf Hitler was no threat to the US, and that it was only the Jews who were insistent on dragging America into war. Today, 9/11 has been twisted into another Jewish conspiracy. The blood-libels, and need for the Jew as scapegoat, apparently never cease.

JBgarbuz said...

It's good that some Jews go to to Israel to get military training, and I wish every Jew did. My family was murdered in the Holocaust, and every Jew should have military training so that never again will we go to the slaughter with impunity. If the Holocaust taught us anything at all, it should be that we can NEVER count on anyone for our own defense.

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