The Al-Qaeda Reader
By Janet Levy
FrontPageMagazine.com | 7/17/2007
Recently, a shoeless President George Bush accompanied by female aides in makeshift hijabs (Islamic prayer scarves) spoke at the rededication of the Islamic Center of Washington. The president sang the praises of a “religion of peace,” despite the fact that the Center is a Saudi-funded promulgator of Wahhabism, a strict form of Islam that critics say has spawned Muslim fundamentalism and extremism. He extolled a “faith that has enriched civilization for centuries” as he stood surrounded by representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Islamic Society of North America, organizations that fund the Muslim Brotherhood and affiliated Islamic terrorist groups. Bush emphasized America’s solidarity with Muslims in the fight to preserve religious freedom and liberty and to combat terrorism. In his speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Islamic Center, Bush thanked Muslim leaders who oppose extremism and railed against “radical extremists who use the veneer of Islamic belief to support and fund acts of violence.”Yet, this public reassurance by Bush amidst the apologists and supporters of jihad belies new evidence of just how closely Islamic extremism derives its strength and core beliefs from the basic tenets of the Islamic faith itself. A recently translated collection of Al Qaeda treatises, The Al-Qaeda Reader, calls into question many of the operating conceptions the Western world holds about the religion of Mohammed and its attitudes toward the West. Written by Osama Bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri, the #1 and #2 Al Qaeda leaders, and translated by Raymond Ibrahim, a Middle East and Islam historian who works for the Library of Congress, The Al-Qaeda Reader contains exhortations and religious exegeses directed to Muslims, as well as propaganda tracts and warnings to non-Muslims of their imminent defeat and the consequences they will suffer for their perfidious actions, plus, invitations to embrace Islam. A timely and critically important collection, it provides a clearer picture of our enemies and casts serious doubt on the President’s assumptions of shared Muslim/Western aims.