* World War III has already begun, says former Israeli spy chief
* In nod to Muslims, pigs axed from Chinese TV ads during China’s “Year of the Pig”
1. Former Israeli intelligence chief: World War III has begun
2. British Muslims urged not to use vaccines because they are “un-Islamic”
3. A pig problem in China
4. Australian Hizb ut-Tahrir calls for a pan-global Islamic state
5. Muslims protest hit television series “24”
6. 40 percent of young British Muslims “want UK to be governed by Sharia law”
7. Jordan and Pakistan discuss nuclear cooperation
8. Kuwaiti parliament speaker upset over Jordanian parliament support for Saddam
9. Morocco court postpones Islamists’ trial to March
10. Morocco set to abolish death penalty
11. “World War III has already begun, says Israeli spy chief” (AFP, Jan. 27, 2007)
12. “Muslims urged to shun ‘unholy’ vaccines” (Sunday Times, Jan. 28, 2007)
13. “French Muslim jailed for attacking gynecologist” (Reuters, Jan. 26, 2007)
14. “Yemenite Jews attacked” (AP, Jan. 30, 2007)
15. “Muslims protest terrorism role of hit series ‘24’” (AP, Jan. 22, 2007)
16. “Why do they CAIR about Jack Bauer?” (National Review, Jan. 29, 2007)
This dispatch concerns developments in the Muslim world.
FORMER ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE CHIEF: WORLD WAR III HAS BEGUN
A former head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency has told the Portuguese newspaper Expresso that “World War III has begun.” Ephraim Halevy (who is a subscriber to this email list) said that people “don’t get a sense that we’re at war,” but that the battle against Islamic fundamentalism would rage on for at least 25 years during which time it is likely that terrorists will detonate a nuclear weapon, possibly a “dirty bomb”. Halevy headed the Mossad between 1998 and 2003.
BRITISH MUSLIMS URGED NOT TO USE VACCINES BECAUSE THEY ARE “UN-ISLAMIC”
Dr Abdul Majid Katme, head of the Islamic Medical Association in Britain, is telling Muslims not to vaccinate their children against diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella because it is “un-Islamic”.
Since many of the vaccines contain products derived from animal and human tissue, they are considered “haram,” or unlawful, for Muslims to take, he says.
Katme is a prominent doctor on the pay of the British government. He is the head of one of only two national Islamic medical organizations as well as being a member of the “mainstream” Muslim Council of Britain. He argues that leading “Islamically healthy lives” would be enough to ward off illnesses and diseases. His warning has been criticized by the British Medical Association, which said Katme risked increasing infections ranging from flu and measles to polio and diphtheria in Muslim communities. For more, see the second article below.
Some other Islamic leaders in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of India, have told their followers to refuse vaccines from the West, having been told that they contain products that the West has deliberately added to make the recipients infertile.
The third article below reports that “a French Muslim who attacked a male gynecologist for examining his wife just after she had given birth, saying it was against Islam, has been jailed for six months by a Paris court.”
The fourth article is a rare report from the mainstream media on the plight of “about 45 Yemeni Jews [who] have fled their homes and were taking refuge in a hotel under government protection after receiving threats from Shiite Muslim rebels.” The Yemenite Jews, including women and young children, have been accused of “sorcery” and “immoral acts” and were told they needed to leave their homes in the northern province of Saada.
A PIG PROBLEM IN CHINA
In February, China will celebrate its New Year, which this year is the “Year of the Pig”. China Central Television, the national state-run TV network, this week decided for the first time to ban all images and spoken references to pigs in commercials, including those tied to the Lunar New Year, China’s biggest holiday.
The aim is to avoid offending Muslims, who consider pigs unclean. In a notice sent to advertising agencies, the network’s ad department said “China is a multiethnic country… To show respect to Islam, and upon guidance from higher levels of the government, CCTV will keep any ‘pig’ images off the TV screen.”
As the Wall Street Journal puts it: “Suddenly, companies reaching out to China’s booming consumer market have a pig problem. The edict has sent Nestlé and others scrambling to adapt to the last-minute rule change, altering spots that had included pigs.”
There are 20 million Muslims in China, but they constitute less than 2 percent of the population and for the majority of the Chinese, the pig has powerful and positive cultural associations as one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac. The year of the pig occurs every twelve years and pigs are meant to symbolize prosperity and good fortune as well as fertility and virility.
For more on Muslims and their relationship with pigs see the dispatch, Iran bans The Economist & Turkey bans Winnie the Pooh (June 21, 2006).
AUSTRALIAN HIZB UT-TAHRIR CALLS FOR A PAN-GLOBAL ISLAMIC STATE
In a conference held in Sydney last Sunday, the Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation) called on all Australian Muslims to make sacrifices and support a global Islamic state under a single leader. “We will call on all of Islam to be ready for a jihad,” an Indonesian cleric who addressed the meeting said. The Australian newspaper reported Monday that Attorney-General Philip Ruddock had instructed authorities to monitor the activities of the Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Separately, a radical Muslim cleric in Australia has been widely condemned over a series of videos in which he encourages children to become martyrs for Islam and ridicules Jews as pigs. He snorts as he speaks to indicate that in his opinion Jews are pigs and then says they will go to hell.
Australian-born Sheikh Feiz Mohammed, head of the Global Islamic Youth Center in Sydney, has made videos urging Muslims “to have children and offer them as soldiers defending Islam.” He has also asked Muslim parents to “teach them this: There is nothing more beloved to me than wanting to die as a mujahid [holy warrior]… put in their soft, tender hearts the love of martyrdom.” The videos were widely distributed.
MUSLIMS PROTEST HIT TELEVISION SERIES “24”
Muslim groups in America have protested the hit Fox TV drama “24” which has cast Islamic terrorists as the villains who launched a stolen nuclear missile in an attack on America.
In the last series Russian separatists played the bad guys but the current season began with Muslim terrorists waging an 11-week campaign of suicide bombings across America, culminating in the detonation of a suitcase-sized nuclear bomb in Valencia, California, about 25 miles north of Los Angeles. The estimated death toll is 12,000.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced its fear that “this would serve to increase anti-Muslim prejudice in American society.”
The network points out that “Over the past several seasons, the villains have included shadowy Anglo businessmen, Baltic Europeans, Germans, Russians, Islamic fundamentalists, and even the (Anglo-American) president of the United States. The show has made a concerted effort to show ethnic, religious and political groups as multidimensional, and political issues are debated from multiple viewpoints.”
Writing in the final article below, Zuhdi Jasser, the chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, criticizes hardline Muslims in CAIR: “So if this drama hits too close to home, perhaps offended Muslims should use this TV program as an emotional stimulus for change… It’s time for hundreds of thousands of Muslims to be not only private but public in their outrage – and to commit themselves to specific, verbal engagement of the militants and their Islamism. We, as American Muslims, should be training and encouraging our Muslim-community youth to become the future Jack Bauers [the hero of “24”] of America.”
40 % OF YOUNG BRITISH MUSLIMS “WANT UK TO BE GOVERNED BY SHARIA LAW”
According to a through survey carried out by the British political think tank, Policy Exchange, young British Muslims are far more zealous than their parents or grandparents.
Forty percent of Muslims between the ages of 16 and 24 said they would prefer to live under Sharia law in Britain, rather than under British law. The figure among over-55s, in contrast, was only 17 percent. In some countries, people found guilty under Sharia law face penalties such as beheading, stoning, the severing of a hand or being lashed.
One in eight young Muslims said they admired groups such as al-Qaeda that “are prepared to fight the West.”
On issues of faith, 36 percent of the young British Muslims questioned said they believed that a Muslim who converts to another religion should be “punished by death.” Among the over 55s, the figure is only 19 percent.
Three out of four young Muslims would prefer Muslim women to “choose to wear the veil or hijab,” compared to only a quarter of over-55s.
The findings of the report also contradicted the idea propagated by left-wing organizations like the BBC that Muslim attitudes were primarily the result of racism against them. 84 percent of those questioned said they believed they had been “treated fairly” in Britain.
Separately, British police are calling a pre-dawn raid in central England yesterday morning “a major counter-terrorism operation.” Nine suspects (all of Pakistani origin) were apprehended in the city of Birmingham and charged with “suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.” Officials said the Birmingham raid was part of a nation-wide operation. The UK is presently on “severe” alert, indicating that a terrorist attack is highly likely.
JORDAN AND PAKISTAN DISCUSS NUCLEAR COOPERATION
Officials said Pakistan, the only Muslim country with a nuclear weapons arsenal, has offered Jordan help to develop a nuclear program. They said the two countries would explore options over the next few months.
Nuclear cooperation was discussed during the visit by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to Amman on Jan. 23. Officials said Musharraf and King Abdullah agreed to expand strategic relations, including defense and security. “Musharraf pledged to help Jordan technically for the construction of a nuclear reactor for peaceful purposes,” an official said.
Jordan is one of six Sunni Arab countries now exploring nuclear options in response to Shia Iran’s rush to acquire a nuclear arsenal.
For more, see Saudis “to buy nuclear bomb” from Pakistan to counter Iranian threat (Dec. 17, 2006).
KUWAITI PARLIAMENT SPEAKER UPSET OVER JORDANIAN PARLIAMENT SUPPORT FOR SADDAM
The Kuwait News Agency reported on January 27, 2007 that Kuwaiti National Assembly (Parliament) Speaker Jassim Mohammad Al-Kharafi had “expressed incomprehension over the Speaker and members of the Jordanian Lower House’s sympathetic conduct of mourning the ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein after being executed.”
Saddam’s execution came after his being convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity, and the consequences of his “brutal” crimes against the Kuwaiti people were still apparent, he added.
Al-Kharafi expressed great disappointment for such acts of sympathy, particularly (he said) after the positive role played by Jordan’s King Abdullah II in mending Kuwaiti-Jordanian relations, which were strained in the aftermath of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
MOROCCO COURT POSTPONES ISLAMISTS’ TRIAL TO MARCH
A Moroccan court has postponed the trial of 50 Islamists accused of plotting to overthrow the monarchy and replace it with a purist Islamic state, court officials and lawyers have announced.
The trial will now begin on March 23 to give the court time to appoint government-funded counsel for the defendants, who are charged with belonging to a “criminal gang preparing to stage terrorist acts” and undermining the public order and collecting money to fund terror attacks.
Security services said at the time of their arrest in August they were planning a bigger attack than the Casablanca bombings in 2003 that killed 45 people. Officials also said the group had recruited members of the police and the military.
Rabat’s secular-minded government has said the capture of the group plotting jihad (holy war) proved the existence of an increasingly sophisticated menace to the stability of the kingdom of 30 million.
MOROCCO SET TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY
Morocco could become the first Muslim country and the 100th worldwide to abolish the death penalty. The official announcement could be made as early as next week, when the 3rd World Congress Against the Death Penalty takes place in Paris, France. This year’s conference will focus on persuading countries in the Middle East and North Africa to end the practice.
I attach six articles below.
-- Tom Gross
“WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF A THIRD WORLD WAR”
World War III has already begun, says Israeli spy chief
Former head of Israel’s intelligence service tells Portuguese newspaper it would take at least 25 years before battle against fundamentalist terrorism is won; says nuclear strike by Muslim terrorists ‘very likely’
Agence France Presse (AFP)
January 27, 2007
A third World War is already underway between Islamic militancy and the West but most people do not realize it, the former head of Israel’s intelligence service Mossad said in an interview published Saturday in Portugal.
‘We are in the midst of a third World War,’ former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy told weekly newspaper Expresso.
‘The world does not understand. A person walks through the streets of Tel Aviv, Barcelona or Buenos Aires and doesn’t get the sense that there is a war going on,’ said Halevy who headed Mossad between 1998 and 2003.
‘During World War I and II the entire world felt there was a war. Today no one is conscious of it. From time to time there is a terrorist attack in Madrid, London and New York and then everything stays the same.’
Violence by Islamic militants has already disrupted international travel and trade just as in the previous two world conflicts, he said.
Halevy, who was raised in war-time London, predicted it would take at least 25 years before the battle against Islamic fundamentalist terrorism is won and during this time a nuclear strike by Islamic militants was likely.
‘It doesn’t have to be something very sophisticated, It doesn’t have to be the latest nuclear technology, it can be something simple like a dirty bomb which instead of killing millions only kills tens of thousands,’ he said.
Halevy served as an envoy for former Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres and is a former Israeli ambassador to the European Union.
“IT IS FORBIDDEN IN ISLAM TO HAVE ANY OF THESE HARAM SUBSTANCES IN OUR BODIES”
Muslim urged to shun ‘unholy’ vaccines
By Abul Taher
The Sunday Times (of London)
January 28, 2007
A Muslim doctors’ leader has provoked an outcry by urging British Muslims not to vaccinate their children against diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella because it is “un-Islamic”.
Dr Abdul Majid Katme, head of the Islamic Medical Association, is telling Muslims that almost all vaccines contain products derived from animal and human tissue, which make them “haram”, or unlawful for Muslims to take.
Islam permits only the consumption of halal products, where the animal has had its throat cut and bled to death while God’s name is invoked.
Islam also forbids the eating of any pig meat, which Katme says is another reason why vaccines should be avoided, as some contain or have been made using pork-based gelatine.
His warning has been criticised by the Department of Health and the British Medical Association, who said Katme risked increasing infections ranging from flu and measles to polio and diphtheria in Muslim communities.
Katme, a psychiatrist who has worked in the National Health Service for 15 years, wields influence as the head of one of only two national Islamic medical organisations as well as being a member of the Muslim Council of Britain. Moderate Muslims are concerned at the potential impact because other Islamic doctors will have to confirm vaccines are derived from animal and human products.
There is already evidence of lower than average vaccination rates in Muslim areas, reducing the prospect of the “herd immunity” needed to curb infectious diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella.
Katme’s appeal reflects a global movement by some hardline Islamic leaders who are telling followers to refuse vaccines from the West.
In Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of India, Muslims have refused to be immunised against polio after being told that the vaccines contain products that the West has deliberately added to make the recipients infertile.
Katme said he was bringing the message to Britain after analysing the products used for the manufacture of the vaccines. He claimed that Muslims must allow their children to develop their own immune system naturally rather than rely on vaccines.
He argued that leading “Islamically healthy lives” would be enough to ward off illnesses and diseases.
“You see, God created us perfect and with a very strong defence system. If you breast-feed your child for two years – as the Koran says – and you eat Koranic food like olives and black seed, and you do ablution each time you pray, then you will have a strong defence system,” he said.
“Many vaccines, especially those given to children, are full of haram substances – human parts, gelatine from pork, alcohol, animal/monkey parts, all coming from the West who do not have knowledge of halal or haram. It is forbidden in Islam to have any of these haram substances in our bodies.”
Katme singled out vaccines such as MMR as ones to avoid, despite doctors saying that they are essential to keep a baby healthy. Others included those for diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis and meningitis.
Dr Shuja Shafi, a spokesman for the health and medical committee of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “In terms of ingredients in vaccines, there are so many things that are probably haram, but in the absence of an alternative we are allowed to take it for the sake of our health.”
FRENCH MUSLIM JAILED FOR SIX MONTHS FOR ATTACKING GYNAECOLOGIST
French Muslim jailed for attacking gynaecologist
January 26, 2007
A French Muslim who attacked a male gynaecologist for examining his wife just after she had given birth, saying it was against Islam, has been jailed for six months by a Paris court.
Fouad ben Moussa burst into the delivery room at a Paris hospital last November and shoved, slapped and insulted Dr Jean-Francois Oury as he examined the woman after a complicated birth, the prosecution said in court. Police had to intervene to remove him.
Ben Moussa, a 23-year-old lorry driver, apologised for the attack and said he had requested a female doctor. French state hospitals comply with such requests when staffing permits but say patients must accept treatment from the doctors on duty.
“This is a public and secular place,” prosecution lawyer Georges Holleaux said of the state hospital where the attack occurred. “This is not the place where one can invoke religion to get different treatment.”
French media have reported cases in recent years of Muslim men barring male doctors from treating their wives, sometimes resorting to violence, but legal cases against them are rare.
France’s five million Muslims make up eight per cent of the French population, Europe’s largest Islamic minority.
YEMENI JEWS ACCUSED OF SORCERY AND IMMORAL ACTS
By Ahmed Al-Haj
The Associated Press
January 30, 2007
About 45 Yemeni Jews have fled their homes and were taking refuge in a hotel under government protection after receiving threats from Shiite Muslim rebels, one member of the group said Monday.
Dawoud Yosef, 23, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from the hotel that they were accused of sorcery and immoral acts and were told they needed to leave their homes in the northern province of Saada. Yosef was not specific about the threats but said they had fled out of fear for their lives.
The 45, who include women and children, left about two weeks ago and were staying in a hotel elsewhere in the province, about 112 miles north of the capital San’a.
“This is the first time we face such serious threats or problems. We have always been living like the rest of Yemenis,” Yosef said.
About 70,000 Jews lived in Yemen before the creation of Israel in 1948. Most have left and only about 400 are believed to still live in the Persian Gulf Arab state.
The rebels, led by Abdel-Malek al-Hawthi, are known as “The Young Faithful Believers” and accuse the Yemeni government of being corrupt and too close to the West. The rebels first took up arms against the government in 2004.
On Monday, President Ali Abdullah Saleh warned the rebels to surrender after a weekend of fighting and artillery bombardments. Aides to al-Hawthi said seven rebels had been killed, and police reported six security forces killed in the clashes in Saada.
“The situation today is calm,” an Interior Ministry official said Monday, after a night of shelling of rebel positions. Security forces had detained 12 members of the rebel faction, the official added.
The al-Hawthi aides accused the government of rejecting a rebel call for a cease-fire. The aides spoke on condition of anonymity because they fear government reprisal.
The rebellion began in June 2004 when Shiite cleric Hussein Badr Eddin al-Hawthi, the brother of the current leader, ordered his followers to revolt against the government, which had accused him of sedition, forming an illegal armed group and inciting anti-American sentiment.
The cleric was killed in clashes with government troops in September 2004.
The Young Faithful Believers is known for incitement against the United States and Israel, but is not linked to the al-Qaida terror network, whose members have carried out a number of attacks in Yemen.
MUSLIMS PROTEST AT BEING PORTRAYED AS HEARTLESS WRONGDOERS
Muslims protest terrorism role of hit series ‘24’
The Associated Press
The Jerusalem Post
January 22, 2007
Two years ago, Muslim groups protested when the plot of the hit Fox drama 24 cast Islamic terrorists as the villains who launched a stolen nuclear missile in an attack on America.
Now, after a one-year respite in which Russian separatists played the bad guys on the critically acclaimed series, Muslims are back in the evil spotlight.
Unlike last time, when agent Jack Bauer saved the day, the terrorists this time have already succeeded in detonating a nuclear bomb in a Los Angeles suburb.
Being portrayed again as the heartless wrongdoers has drawn renewed protests from Muslim groups, including one that had a meeting with Fox executives two years ago about the issue.
“The overwhelming impression you get is fear and hatred for Muslims,” said Rabiah Ahmed, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. She said Thursday she was distressed by this season’s premiere.
“After watching that show, I was afraid to go to the grocery store because I wasn’t sure the person next to me would be able to differentiate between fiction and reality.”
She said the council had a conference call last week with Fox executives to protest the plot line and request more positive portrayals of Muslims on the show, but was not promised anything.
After a January 2005 meeting with the council, Fox aired a commercial in which the show’s star, Kiefer Sutherland, urged viewers to keep in mind that the show’s villains are not representative of all Muslims.
In a written statement issued after last week’s meeting, the network said it has not singled out any ethnic or religious group for blame in creating its characters.
“24 is a heightened drama about anti-terrorism,” the statement read. “After five seasons, the audience clearly understands this, and realizes that any individual, family, or group (ethnic or otherwise) that engages in violence is not meant to be typical.
“Over the past several seasons, the villains have included shadowy Anglo businessmen, Baltic Europeans, Germans, Russians, Islamic fundamentalists, and even the (Anglo-American) president of the United States,” the network said. “The show has made a concerted effort to show ethnic, religious and political groups as multidimensional, and political issues are debated from multiple viewpoints.”
New season’s start
The current season began with Muslim terrorists waging an 11-week campaign of suicide bombings across America, culminating in the detonation of a suitcase-sized nuclear bomb in Valencia, Calif., about 25 miles north of Los Angeles. Estimated death toll: 12,000.
Sohail Mohammed, a New Jersey immigration lawyer who represented scores of detainees caught up in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, dragnet, watched the episode depicting the nuclear attack with an Associated Press reporter. “I was shocked,” he said. “Somewhere, some lunatic out there watching this will do something to an innocent American Muslim because he believes what he saw on TV.”
Engy Abdelkader, a member of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee from Howell, NJ, launched a campaign last week to encourage Muslims offended by the program to complain to Fox.
“I found the portrayal of American Muslims to be pretty horrendous,” she said. “It was denigrating from beginning to end. This is one of the most popular programs on television today. It’s pretty distressing.”
Concerns about Muslims’ civil rights, detention of terror suspects in Guantanamo-like holding centers, and stereotyping are given vastly expanded treatment on 24 this year.
In one exchange, the show depicts the president’s national security adviser challenging the White House chief of staff about the detention of Muslims without criminal charges.
“Right now, the American Muslim community is our greatest asset,” the security adviser says. “They have provided law enforcement with hundreds of tips, and not a single member of that community has been implicated in these attacks.”
“So far,” the chief of staff responds.
“WE SHOULD BE TRAINING AND ENCOURAGING MUSLIM YOUTH TO BECOME THE FUTURE JACK BAUERS OF AMERICA”
Why do they CAIR about Jack Bauer?
24 is an opportunity for American Muslims to fight the real enemy: Islamism
By M. Zuhdi Jasser
January 29, 2007
Yet again, the old, tired “major” American Muslim organizations have come out in full force to object to something unobjectionable. This time, they’re angry about the storyline of 24, the highly popular TV drama on Fox: When the recent premiere episode ended with a terrorist network detonating a nuclear device in a Los Angeles suburb, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced its fear that “this would serve to increase anti-Muslim prejudice in American society.” The show had begun with a depiction of an America gripped in fear after an eleven-week run of suicide bombings, apparently by radical Islamist terror cells, in cities across the country.
The show addresses a real concern. While the U.S. has not been the victim of an attack since 9/11, a vast array of networks have been dismantled around the world – including a plot run out of London that was targeting the U.S. And, since 9/11, there have been a number of successful attacks upon civilian populations in other parts of the globe – in Bali, Istanbul, Spain, London, Egypt, Jordan, and other places.
As an American and as a Muslim, I find 24 to be not only a profoundly engaging program, but one whose portrayal of Muslims in quite fair. In the show, the president’s sister works for a “leading” Muslim civil-rights organization in D.C.; she is portrayed as a protector of constitutional freedoms. The head of this Muslim organization, who is in detention, reports to authorities on prisoners’ terrorism-related conversations that have alarmed him.
The show also shows the darker, extremist side of Islam – for example, an Arab-Muslim youth, a previously beloved neighbor in suburban L.A., turns out to be a terrorist thug who provides a key part of the nuclear device while terrorizing his friend’s family. This is another, undeniable part of today’s Muslim reality: While suitcase nuclear devices have yet to be used, the threat is there, and such characters are probably quite true to life in their depiction of members of al Qaeda cells or other jihadist networks in the West.
Any ethnic group can, of course, voice complaints regarding its portrayal in pop culture. From the frequently maligned American Italian community in organized-crime dramas to the Russian community that was the focus of last year’s 24, no ethnic group is entirely safe from the silver screen. But the sad reality is that such crime rings or “networks,” which exploit ethnic and religious communities, exist; and they do affect our security.
For American Muslims, though, 24 offers an opportunity to address a key question: To the extent Muslims have a bad image on TV, what can we do to change that?
All patriotic American Muslims who watch 24’s evil Muslim characters unfold their plot to destroy the U.S. quite naturally are enraged. We have an overwhelming desire to reach into the TV set and let all the non-Muslim characters witness a Muslim leading the nullification of this radical Islamist threat.
But the public face of American Muslim activity against terror – and the against the ideology that feeds it – has so far been inadequate. Other than press-release condemnations, there has been virtually no palpable public effort from the greater Muslim community in this regard. If that public movement against Islamism existed, 24’s writers would probably have included it in the story line.
So if this drama hits too close to home, perhaps offended Muslims should use this TV program as an emotional stimulus for change. To this point, the Muslim community has been able to completely avoid any real debate over Islamism. In fact, we see now a movement in England and the West to blame the West’s foreign policy as a root cause of terror rather than the real root cause – theocratic Islamist ideology.
It’s time for hundreds of thousands of Muslims to be not only private but public in their outrage – and to commit themselves to specific, verbal engagement of the militants and their Islamism. We, as American Muslims, should be training and encouraging our Muslim-community youth to become the future Jack Bauers of America. What better way to dispel stereotypes than to create hundreds of new, real images of Muslims who are publicly leading this war on the battlefield and in the domestic and foreign media against the militant Islamists.
Condemnations by press release and vague fatwas are not enough. We need to create organizations – high-profile, well-funded national organizations and think tanks – which are not afraid to identify al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah by name, and by their mission as the enemies of America.
If Muslim organizations and the American Muslim leadership were seen publicly as creating a national, generational plan to fight Islamism – rather than searching for reasons to claim victimhood – then the issues and complaints surrounding such TV shows would disappear. The way to fight the realities of 24 is to create a Muslim CTU, a deep Muslim counterterrorism ideology and a national action plan for our security.