Attack On U.S. Embassy In Damascus May Reflect Arab Terrorist Infighting
Particular reference may be made to two paragraphs on pages 124-25 of the book.
"There is a well known saying of the Prophet (Mohammed) that the blood of Muslims cannot be shed except in three instances: as punishment for murder, or for marital infidelity, or for turning away from Islam. The pious Anwar Sadat was the first modern victim of the reverse logic of takfir.
"The new takfiris, such as Dr. (Jamal al-)Fadl and Dr. (Siddiq) Ahmed, extended the death warrant to encompass, for instance, anyone who registered to vote. Democracy, in their view, was against Islam because it placed in the hands of people authority that properly belonged to God. Therefore, anyone who voted was an apostate, and his life was forfeit. So was anyone who disagreed with their joyless understanding of Islam--including the mujahideen leaders they had ostensibly come to help. and even the entire population of Afghanistan, whom they regarded as infidels because they were not Salafists. The new takfiris believed that they were entitled to kill practically anyone and everyone who stood in their way; indeed, they saw it as a divine duty." Often, they killed off rivals for power within their own organization.
Now, we see why Iraq, Afghanistan and other locales in the Muslim world have become so blood soaked. Arab terrorism is a prescription for endless murder.
It is within this context that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda operate. So when things happen that may be related to al-Qaeda or other strands of Arab terrorism for that matter, we have to ask, first of all, just who are the terrorists trying to get.
That question is certainly pertinent today, as we contemplate the mysterious attack against the U.S. embassy in Damascus. Syrian guards and police came to the rescue, killing all four attackers. There were no casualties among Americans. The Syrian government, normally no friend of the U.S., was quick to blame al-Qaeda.
If this assessment is correct, it would seem that al-Qaeda may have been attacking in Syria as much to embarrass the Syrian government as to do injury to Americans. Suppose they had succeeded and the embassy was destroyed and all the Americans in it killed. Wouldn't there have then been a bitter American reaction against Syria?
Why would al-Qaeda want to cause trouble for Syria? Likely, because in the recent Middle Eastern war, Syria aided Hezbollah, and Hezbollah is a Shiite organization while al-Qaeda is largely a Sunni organization, and Sunnis and Shiites are beginning to fight all over the Middle East, and maybe soon in the rest of the world.
It all helps explain what we are up against in the War on Terror, namely a merciless bunch of bloodthirsty guttersnipes whose hatred knows no bounds.