In case you haven't read part I, it might be a good idea to read yesterdays posting first (just scroll down a little)
Because of Bashir Uddin’s silent nature, it makes more sense to take a left and visit Bin Laden’s friend Khalid Khawaja. This former ISI officer and ex-air force man makes up for Bashir Uddin’s absence of words. Because Khawaja, in his mid-fifties, is a talker. Oh, a big talker.
He helped Bin Laden during the jihad against the Russians in Afghanistan. And more recently, in 2001, Khawaja was the mediator between the Al-Qaeda/Taliban regime and a group of infuential Pakistani religious leaders. The aim was to get Bin Laden to leave Afghanistan and avoid, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, an American onslaught on Afghanistan. That mission failed miserably. Since then, Khawaja has been helping Al-Qaeda members and their families in Pakistan who ran into trouble with the law.
Khawaja isn't liked by Pakistan's military any more. Especially because he once was one of them. And his, suspected involvement, in the beheading of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, hasn't helped either. His open adoration for Bin Laden is a huge embarrassment to Pakistan's president Pervez Musharraf. This because Khawaja isn't some kind of village idiot who resides in a remote part of Pakistan. No, Khawaja speaks perfect English, lives in Islamabad and - as stated before - loves to talk to anybody who wants to hear his voice. Every now and then, Khawaja gets arrested, to be release a couple of weeks later.
Khawaja is waiting for me outside the door of his apartment. For some kind of reason, in the hall next to the stairs, somebody has put a table tennis table.
“Oh, the attacks in Madrid [the Al-Qaeda trainbombing in 2004, killing 191, wounding over 1000] were an enormous success,” he begins, “An eye for an eye. The Spanish government has pulled its troops out of Iraq. I’m telling you [With you he doesn't specifically mean me, but the West, or more generally: Unbelievers, h.d.]: This is the beginning of our victory, just like our fight against the Russians in Afghanistan.”
Khawaja goes on: “There will be hundreds of attacks in Europe – another hundred Madrid's. And you can not beat us. We have a superior ideology. Who the hell are you guys? Where do you stand for? Your soldiers don’t have a heart for the matter, they only fight for money, which makes them professional killers. We fight for God and for God only.”
In order to avoid his wife, mother and daughters, we now move to the guest room of the apartment. Khawaja orders a servant to bring tea and cake. In the meantime, I show Khawaja an issue of Newsweek containing a cover story on the Al-Qaeda attack in Madrid. Pictures of total destruction and utter suffering. Images of the dead, the wounded and the shocked. I tell him I see madness, innocent people, terror.
Khawaja doesn’t agree. “The real perpetrators are responsible for this,” he claims, “America, the Jews, Satan.”
As Khawaja looks at the pictures in Newsweek, I ask him:
“What does Europe have to do to avoid such Al-Qaeda attacks in the future?”
“Madrid,” answers Khawaja, “was the result of the battle between the slaves of God and you – the slaves of Satan. Surrender to God and the attacks will stop.”
“But religion isn’t important for us,” I try, “And nobody wants to become a muslim.”
“Look,” Khawaya says, “That is your big problem. That is the power of Satan over you. Islam gives you the right for liberation. Nobody deserves to be ruled by the devil. Accept Muhammad, peace be upon Him, as the last prophet and as the messenger of God. We will help you to reach justice. The time will come that we shall liberate you from your oppressors. We will liberate you from democracy. People do not have the right to rule, that is only to God.”
The battle between good and bad, between God and Satan, truth and lie, and believers and kaffirs – unbelievers – are already central themes in the Quran, let alone in Al-Qaeda’s beliefs. Al-Qaeda considers itself an organisation of hardcore idealists, of Utopians. They only want to do good by implementing God’s laws on earth.
Its members ask themselves often the following question: How is it possible that the rest of the world doesn’t see the truth; doesn’t want to accept God’s will on earth?
Worse even: Many muslims willingly choose the wrong side.
The governments of Saudi-Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan are all pro-American and serve Satan. Even the Syrian government is satanic. For sure, they might be enemies of the US. But the Syrian government is secular. Just as bad. Or take Iran. Very, very anti-America. But its inhabitants and government are shi’i, not sunni. In other words: Satan-worshippers. Even the Hamas government in Gaza is quickly loosing Al-Qaeda's support. "We caution some of the Islamic groups, among them Hamas, which are risking the bloods of their sons ... to cleanse and purify their jihad of contemporary jihadi pollutants," said Abu Yahia al-Libi in a 90-minute videotape, posted on the net, last Monday. "Patriotism, nationalism, shared unity, the supreme interest and other slogans ... none of these have any space in the religion of Allah the Glorious and the Great," he said, criticizing groups such as Hamas for "abandoning jihad and jumping into the ballot boxes." Another reason for Al-Qaeda's anger at Hamas is this: Hamas gets most of its money from "Satanic Iran". This qualifies Hamas, in Al-Qaeda's eyes, to be branded "heretics".
Sorry for delay, during the weekend: Part 3