Jan 21, 2010

To Al Qaeda

Farooq Sulehria

Hi! Honestly, I wasn’t surprised at Der Spiegel’s recent report that between 2004 and 2008 your members killed eight times more Muslims than non-Muslims. During this period, "Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for 313 attacks resulting in the deaths of 3,010 people," the German newspaper said in the report.

These attacks also included terrorist incidents in Madrid (2004) and London (2005). Of the casualties only 371 (12 percent) were Westerners.

In fact, such report should not surprise anyone. In Iraq, for instance, the number of Iraqis killed by your suicide bombers far exceeded the number of body bags dispatched to the United States. And these Iraqis were not merely collateral damage. They were targeted victims of a well-thought-out campaign because they were Shia Muslims. It does not imply that your members show any mercy for Sunnis. Your innovative leadership has a fatwa ready even to justify children’s deaths. That is, only when it is not the leaders’ own children.

Your Amir, Osama bin Laden, has fathered almost two dozen children. None of them exploded himself. Similarly, his bloodthirsty Egyptian lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has not found it necessary to prematurely dispatch his own offspring to paradise by way of suicide bombings. As for al-Zawahiri himself, while he is eager to inflict grisly violence on others, he broke down under police torture in an Egyptian dungeon and revealed the names of his comrades. I know that many activists subjected to torture applied by sadistic cops will break. Only a few committed souls like Pakistani student leader Hassan Nasir prefer death to betraying their comrades under torture.

But your leadership’s hypocrisy is not incidental. It is ideological and institutional. Here I will not detail the bankruptcy of your violent methods. It is not just history that teaches us that liberation from imperialism is never achieved through terrorism. Contemporary Latin America, from Cuba to Venezuela, illustrates that it takes mass political and economic revolutions to send the Yankees home.

It is not merely your clandestine, secretive methods that necessitate your elitist approach, which has nothing to do with the masses. The poor never appear on your horizon because of the petrodollars lavishly funding your costly secret war. It is in the interest (and on behalf) of filthy-rich banking sheikhs and merchants that your leadership wants to secure Arab lands and Arab oil. All the talk of Arabs or the Muslim world is an attempt to cloak you in sacred robes. The bin Laden family has greatly benefited from the Saudi system based on tribal nepotism and cheap labour from South Asia or North Africa, employed to accomplish construction wonders in the desolate desert.

It was exactly the kind of corruption Osama bin Laden blames these days on the Saudi royal family which enabled his father, from a Yemeni mason, to become a Saudi construction tycoon. It is therefore no surprise that Osama bin Laden’s objective of pulling down the coercive Saudi system is legitimised in the name of the Sharia, and not its replacement by one guaranteeing democracy, human rights, trade union rights, and above all, equal rights. These are the causes the masses have been fighting for across the Muslim world. Osama bin Laden’s dispute with the children of Saud is their bond with US capital. Through your fedayeen, he wants to secure Arab lands exclusively for Arab capital.

I am writing this not in the hope of changing your mind and methods. Through these lines, I only want you to know that more and more people in the Muslim world now understand that you are killing Muslims in the name of Muslims to secure Arab markets for petrodollars.

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