Ayman Al Zawahri, Al Qaeda's ideologist and spokesman, released on July 6th 2007 a sophisticated video in which he calls upon all muslims to rush to Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Palestine to join the armed forces of Djihad.
This global trend of Islam has been called religious fanaticism, religious extremism, and lately, Islamo-Facism. The religious dimension has always been the prefix that would be followed by a more accurate qualification. With Islamo-Fascism, we're getting closer and closer, and might just need to cross out the prefix.
We wish to "call upon all readers and journalists" to realize that we might need to change the words we use to describe this global phenomenon. This would help clarify what Al Qaeda --and its ramifications-- are really about. It might also direct a message to those who are desperate and come to think that they have found a noble cause to die for, to kill for.
This trend is a about murder and nihilistic aspirations for which death is presented as a reward. The religious wrapper around these aspirations is just thick enough to give credibility and meaning, for the sole purpose of recruiting: a poor fellow in Pakistani slums who'll explode himself so his family can get a few dollars, a young medical doctor established in England with an identity crisis and a grudge against the West, educated men and women living under dictatorships with no hope to voice any form of opposition, jobless and illiterate populations who are suddenly given a mission and a social status when they join the Djihad and Military Training Camps.
Islam is the bate. Not the purpose.
Al Qaeda's project may be summed-up in one sentence: "go die so that our goods and resources may remain ours and may not be exploited by the West, so that our women may not access the freedoms that threaten our male authority, so that no Jew or Christian may rule any Arab holy land or people".
That does not add up to Zawahiri being a Muslim Religious Fanatic engaging the world in a holy war. That adds up to him being a protectionist, racist, phallocratic(1) and criminal politician.
Do you see anything else? Do you still see Islam?
If you still do that's because Bin Laden, Al Zawahri and many others before them have blurred the picture by quoting parts of the Quran, by wearing costumes bearing signs of sanctity, by using new viral media like no other.
The poor Pakistani fell for it, and died.
Should we not express clearly and loudly, in every comment we make, in every media coverage, in every article, that we are not buying the religious motivations behind these crimes? When we speak of "Religious Groups" in the New York Times are we not providing these Criminal Groups with the credibility they seek to recruit more and more suicidal assassins ? Can't you hear our young medical doctor thinking to himsef that "even the New York Times said it was religious, so yes, I will go blow myself in Iraq"?
Each time we speak about the criminals running Al Qaeda using the words "religious" or "Islam" we're doing them a great favor. Some ears hear it as a confirmation that Al Qaeda's actions are good (i.e "If it is done in the name of Islam, then it must be good"), those ears hear it as a validation and almost a recommendation.
So let us rephrase : Al Zawahri, the ideologist of a racist, phallocratic and criminal organization, released a video on July 6th 2007. He called upon men and women around the World to die in the name of protectionism, racism, male dominance and murder.
Ahmad Sherif (2)
(1) Phallocratic means dominated by men (Phallus means Penis in latin)
(2) A secular Egyptian artist, citizen journalist and video blogger.