Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Ignoring radical Islam will lead to peril
September 24, 2008
"Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West," a Liberty Film Festival winner for best feature documentary film in DVD form, is a must-see movie for anyone.
The president of the Hudson Institute, a respected think tank, writes, "If you haven't seen it, you should! And if you have seen it, you should insist that others see it as well. Our future may depend on it." United States Naval War College Professor Jeffrey Norwitz sees it as "expertly produced with solid historic research; ... every viewer regardless of background will learn something."
The film is "about a radical worldview, and the threat it poses to us all, Muslims and non-Muslims alike," according to the nonprofit, non-partisan organization that made the film. The organization's mission is to educate Americans about national security issues through documentary films, Web sites and educational materials.
The one-hour film is especially valuable, as in it the radical jihadists tell the story themselves. Unedited footage from Arab television shows rare scenes, from the education and indoctrination of Arab children in the classroom, where they are taught to value jihad and "the love of fighting, ... for the sake of Allah," to a suicide-bomber induction ceremony and fiery speeches in Middle East mosques and in London and New York City streets, preaching the Islamization of the world and the destruction of the Jews, the Americans and the British.
What Wikipedia called "notable counter-terrorism figures" provide the analysis in the film. Among them are Egyptian-American writer Nonie Darwish, a graduate of the American University in Cairo, daughter of an Egyptian lieutenant general who headed Fadayeen terror operations against Israel, and was assassinated by the Israelis in 1956 when Darwish was 8; Bethlehem-born Walid Shoebat, with a Palestinian father and an American mother, an anti-Israeli activist turned supporter of Israel after Sep. 11, 2001, a controversial former Palestinian Liberation Organization terrorist; West-Bank-born Khaled Abu Toameh, with an Israeli Arab father and a Palestinian Arab mother, a graduate of the Hebrew University, and a senior reporter for the Jerusalem Post; Alfons Heck, a member of Hitler Youth who became a Nazi officer, described by Wikipedia as "a fanatical adherent of Nazism's ideologies."
The film contains footage of radical Muslims' global jihad attacks in New York City, London, Madrid; in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe -- "all fronts of a global jihad," says one analyst.
Analysts were unanimous that "history repeats itself," as the film reviews Hitler's Mein Kampf of the German "Aryans" against the "Jewish peril," connects "the dots" showing parallels between radical Islamists' jihad and the Nazi holocaust, the similar propaganda techniques of continuously demonizing enemies, the remarkable resemblance in manipulating young minds toward fanatic hatred and training followers to accept death -- the difference being death for the Fatherland was dictated by Hitler, a man, while death for the sake of Allah claims the sanction of the Almighty.
As the film shows, the 1998 Jordanian and Palestinian school book teaches, "This religion (Islam) will destroy all other religions through the Islamic Jihad fighters," a final goal of the radical jihadists.
"I was an intense believer in the Nazi ideology," says Heck in the film. "I know what a supreme dedication to an ideology can do."
"We need to understand the culture that produces terrorism," says Darwish. After 9/11, people asked "why do they hate us?" Some blame themselves and U.S. foreign policies. This "distracted" from the real reason of an "ideology that wants to destroy us."
Professor Robert Wistrich of the Sassoon Center for Antisemitism thinks of a "particular strand" in Islam represented by the radicals that challenges the "sacredness of life" embraced by Western culture.
The film shows Sheik Ibrahim Mahdi speak on Palestinian TV: "We must educate our children on the love of Jihad for the sake of Allah. And the love of fighting ...." And Palestinian TV footage of 1998 shows children recite, "I march quickly toward my death."
The former dean of Islamic Law at Qatar University laments, "We have not succeeded in making our children love life ...."
Analysts asked in the film: If radical jihadists dehumanize the West and preach every day that it is evil and must be destroyed, and if Palestine and Saudi TV preach kids to want to become suicide bombers,"what do you expect will happen?
Palestinian journalist Toameh says, "As a Muslim I feel pretty worried, ... and I feel shamed; ... Islam has been hijacked by different fanatic groups." He hopes it is "out of fear and not out of sympathy" that the "silent majority" of Muslims don't speak up.
Professor Wistrich asserts that that there is "No evil that simply has disappeared on its own accord." He laments, evil triumphs "because there is not enough people who stand up" to defeat it.
You "can't claim ignorance anymore," says Darwish, and analysts in the film agree if we continue to ignore radical Islam, we do so "at our own peril," and "risk our own demise."
A. Gaffar Peang-Meth, Ph.D., is retired from the University of Guam, where he taught political science for 13 years.