Osama bin Laden: Does he have a point?
This year marks the 20th year that “Central View” has appeared each week in newspapers across the “central” part of our great land. The readers of “Central View” are probably not the kind of folks whose personal habits are likely to fan the flames of hatred among Muslims such as Osama bin Laden and other adherents of radical Islam. Indeed, except for radical Islamists who figure their only way of admittance to Paradise is to kill non-Muslims, the vast majority of traditional Muslims might find much in common with the readers of this column.
For example, traditional Muslims are offended by TV programs like “Two and a Half Men,” by song lyrics from 2 Live Crew and by British TV programs such as “Footballers Wives,” and “Couplings.” They conclude (wrongly, one hopes) that such behaviors are representative of life in America and Great Britain. So, maybe, all this terrorism directed against Americans and Britons is just a bad case of mistaken identity. Apparently, just as we have difficulty distinguishing Sunnis from Shiites or Arabs from Iranians, the radical Islamists can’t tell Madonna from Mother Theresa.
But, if you read The Enemy at Home by Dinesh D’Souza, you find that our perceived immorality is only part of the problem many Muslims have with America and the West. Perhaps, of even greater concern to even traditional Islamists are U.S. foreign and cultural policies which Osama bin Laden contends are direct attacks on Islam.
Hold the phone. Readers of this column haven’t been attacking Islam. Prior to 9/11, most Americans never gave Islam a second thought. Yet, admittedly, at the foreign policy level, one of the facets of the Cold War was our support for regimes whose leaders (according to bin Laden) were more interested in frolics with prostitutes in Paris than adhering to the tenets of the Islamic religion. Specifically, bin Laden cites our alliances with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
But wait. There’s even more. Even traditional Islamists go on to assert that a host of western governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) aggressively target Muslim families in an effort to convert them to ways of living that are contrary to the teachings of the Koran and Islam.
But, before listing just some of the organizations Osama bin Laden finds offensive, let’s set aside the canard about radical Islam being a response to the Crusades. Even the radical Islamists know the Crusades were the Christian response to the sacking of Jerusalem by the armies of Islam. In their heart of hearts, they know the Crusades would never have taken place had the Islamic armies not sacked and occupied Jerusalem.
So, when Osama bin Laden complains about crusaders, he is really referring to the “crusading” efforts by: the ACLU, People for the American Way, Center for Democratic Development, Center for Constitutional Rights, Feminist Majority Foundation, Human Rights Watch, National Abortion Rights Action League, National Organization of Women, Global Fund for Women, Women Living Under Muslim Laws, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Al Fatiha Foundation (for gay, bisexual, and transgender Muslims),Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood, National Endowment for the Arts, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Amnesty International, and certain programs funded by the U.S. Department of State and the United Nations.
As Walt Kelly’s Pogo famously said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Who knew those organizations were spending billions to try to get Muslims to conform to their world view? While that doesn’t excuse violence, one might understand why Osama bin Laden is ticked.
The great irony, of course, is that the same kinds of cultural liberals Osama bin Laden despises are the same kinds of folks who are trying to use their current majority in Congress to keep us from defending ourselves from Osama bin Laden. Anyone who thinks that makes sense has, obviously, forgotten to take their medication.
Syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Naval War College and a former research fellow at the U.S. Military History Institute of the U.S. Army War College. He is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2007. William Hamilton.