AN OPEN LETTER TO AL-QA'EDA
and all their supporters worldwide
Sunday, November 17, 2002
by Richard E. Berg-Andersson
I read this morning, with admittedly some bemusement- but, at the same time, no little amusement- of an alleged 'Manifesto' purporting to be from al-Qa'eda which was discovered by a reporter for al-Jazeera, the Arab-language television news outlet in Qatar which frequently receives such communiques (whether genuine or no) from representatives of Osama bin Laden and others in his group. Now I, obviously, don't have the slightest idea whether this alleged 'Manifesto' is the least bit authentic (apparently, al-Jazeera as an organization has been, at least at the start, distancing itself from this document)... but, since this report will allow me- as an American citizen and a human being who has the audacity to fully believe I am free, as well as Commentator for TheGreenPapers.com- to now get more than a few things off my chest, I will- if only for the sake of the argument (and this particular Commentary)- treat this al-Qa'eda 'Manifesto' as if it were, in fact, genuine.
One of the sentences reported as being part of this 'Manifesto' evidently reads as follows:
We have the right to attack our attackers, to destroy villages and cities of whoever destroyed our villages and cities, to destroy the economy of those who have robbed our wealth and to kill civilians of the country which has killed ours...
You-all among al-Qa'eda and other groups acting in support of same might, indeed, have the right to attack your (overt) attackers (though I notice that nowhere does the phrase 'self-defense'- which might actually justify such attacks on your part- appear!: though this is certainly understandable, considering that there is no defensibility for your illegal activities and your terrorist acts): after all, we are attacking YOU for what was done to us back on 11 September 2001 (and I have to also presume we will also retaliate for any future attacks on us)... but as to your claim that you have the "right" "to destroy villages and cities", "to destroy the economy", "to kill civilians": where on Earth do you get such silly ideas?! You-all best stop paying all that much attention to extremist mullahs and crack open the Qur'an for yourselves every once in a while! (And, yes, I have read the Qur'an- cover to cover, in fact- many times: though admittedly only in the best "Islam-friendly" English translations available and not in the original Arabic [and I also well understand the limitations of just such an approach, though I have been quite careful to have read several of these translations so as to get the vast majority of the nuances that translation from one language into another can provide])
You guys just don't get it, do you?... My Life, my Liberty and- yes- my Pursuit of Happiness (and true Happiness is clearly something none of you at all understand, particularly considering that the only true happiness you feel is when you are out there destroying lives and damaging property), among other rights and privileges accruing to me as a Human Being, are- to paraphrase my own country's Declaration of Independence- "endowed by my Creator"... that is, endowed by Allah Himself, that same God you yourselves purport to- but so regularly fail- to obey as you-all sit around plotting your various and sundry nefarious machinations against the innocent... The Qur'an, no less than the Holy Bible or any other Sacred Scriptures of any other of the Great Religions of Mankind, says nothing at all that changes this essential fact!
YOU don't speak for Allah/God!... ALLAH/GOD SPEAKS FOR ALLAH/GOD!!!... get that through your thick heads, fellas! (and I am here assuming that, given your especially twisted version of Islam, non-fellas are not all that much of a factor in your world [even though you are certainly not above (mis)using those of the other gender and even though none of you would be here in the first place (and- oh- wouldn't we all have been much better off were that actually a fact!) if it weren't for women!!])... You simply fail to accept, let alone understand, the clear and convincing fact that Freedom is so very precious and worth so dearly defending because it is not a mere commodity that can be taken away- for it is not at all given- by mere mortals. Freedom should never be taken for granted precisely because if one does take it for granted, some damn fool out there will get the crazy idea that he or she granted it and stupidly try to then take it away! But, of course, one cannot take away that which one did not give in the first place!!
Islam means "submission" and a Muslim is, thus, supposed to be "one who submits"... but you-all submit to nothing except a collective delusion further fueled by abject egoism. Your idea that your martyrdom- especially if you take several to upwards of several thousand unwitting and unwilling participants (whom you have, on your own- with no other outside frame of reference other than to that collective delusion you in your groups share, conveniently [simply because it suits you]declared to be your "enemies") in the course of your martyrdom- will lead you to Paradise is merely the highest pinnacle of such abject egoism. It is also all so childish ("I'm closer to God than you are... nya-nya-nya-nya-nya-NYA!")... puh-LEEZE!!
But, more to the point, it is the ultimate confusing of Action with Accomplishment... for, has the Islamic World now become that much more free of that Western influence you yourselves decry because the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center are no longer to be seen in the skyline of Manhattan? Hardly! The simple fact is that you have actually done- and can do- nothing whatsoever to alleviate the economic hardship and political slavery of the teeming millions of the Middle East and elsewhere... because your own political program, fueled by your twisted religious beliefs, is- in the main- even more enslaving than that which you decry!
Even more to the point, you are ultimately going to fail: sheer numbers well predict this... for what are you, in reality (despite the tens of thousands of desparate- yet still misguided- people who so often counterproductively cheer your terrible deeds)?-- a few, or- at most- several, thousand religious fanatics who, instead of opening up to the good within the greater culture available on this planet, insulate- where not isolate- yourselves from the bad in that greater culture through blind adherence to the hate-filled teachings pushed upon your impressionable- where not downright undereducated- minds in scores of extremist madrassas?! Put those numbers, though, up against the hundreds of millions who are able to live under Democracy and Freedom... put those up, again, against the hundreds of millions- if not billions- more (including hundreds of millions of Muslims, mind you!) who are wrongfully denied their own Democracy and Freedom and who hunger for the very Freedom and Liberty which you attack. The numbers don't lie!
Yeah- I know- more than a few of you (especially those among your leadership) have lived, worked and studied in the West and have come to despise what you have witnessed here... and you're not all that alone, actually: for there are people, non-Muslims, born and raised here in the West who despise what they see here as the 'decay of culture' just as much as- if not even more than- you yourselves do... some of these people have even gotten to serve in the highest councils of Western governments (including those here in the United States of America, "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave" itself-- but, after all, like ol' 'Honest Abe' Lincoln himself once opined, you CAN "fool all of the people some of the time and even fool some of the people all of the time")... and, like you, they- in their case, well outside of Muslim tradition (if not outright counterposed to it)- make the same silly mistake you do of wrongfully assuming that the best way to deal with what they don't like about what they see in the surrounding culture is to forcefully- where not violently- deny Freedom and Liberty to their fellow citizens... but what, then, is YOUR counter-argument?-- that the best way to defeat what you yourselves don't like about Western culture is for Muslims to go ahead and act as stupid as these anti-Libertarian Westerners?! Seems like the quintessential Self-Defeating Proposition to ME!!
At one point in what is alleged to be your 'Manifesto', there is an urging of Americans to convert en masse to Islam in order to avoid further September 11th-style attacks on our major metropolitan areas and our economic system... NOT HAPPENING!!!... YOU don't tell me what religion to follow or what morals and ethics I should most hold dear! To repeat: YOU don't speak for Allah/God!!... my morals and my ethics, my religious beliefs and spiritual values are MINE, baby!!!-- they belong to ME, not to a Religion (whether yours or anyone else's) or to a State (whatever its constitutional form and political philosophy) because, again, they are not YOURS (nor anyone else's) with which to tinker!... to paraphrase "Old Hickory"- Andy Jackson: you've made known your morals and ethics and your religious positions- now let's see you enforce them!!
Yes, you can- if you would wish to- kill and maim us in the thousands, the tens of thousands, the hundreds of thousands- even the millions- but you will not ever succeed in killing the ideals and concomitant ideas of Western Democracy and Republican Liberty... go ahead and attack us, but- as long as 'The Green Papers' is around- you can always go onto the Internet anywhere in the world and, on this very website, still read of people freely participating in elections despite that which you might yet do to us...
because, in the end, you WILL lose!