Monday, July 02, 2007

Small, Inept Attacks Have Significance (Dr. Tawfik Hamid: Review 1)

I have many pages of notes from Dr. Tawfik Hamid's June 29, 2007 lecture at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. I foresee at least three posts on that lecture, which lasted nearly two hours. This is the first of those posts.

Because of the recent attacks in the UK, I have decided to post briefly about the motives of jihadists, in part because right now, our media are missing crucial points.

According to what Dr. Hamid said in his lecture, the following are the three primary motivators for jihadists:

1. Focus on the dream to die as a shaheed (martyr for Allah). According to this verse (K 3: 169):

And reckon not those who are killed in Allah's way as dead; nay, they are alive (and) are provided sustenance from their Lord [meaning they are enjoying their 72 virgins in heaven]
Only dying as a shaheed guarantees eternal life. Considering all the brainwashing tactic of sexual deprivation, which Salafism forces upon young males, no wonder so many Muslim males are so obsessed with sexual gratification! Young males are told that in Paradise they can have sex 100 times a day!

At my former site, Always On Watch Classic, on July 15, 2005, I wrote a post entitled "Sleeper Cells May Not Be the Problem." In that post I focused on the eternal reward for jihadists. What I heard from Dr. Tawfik Hamid bore out the conclusions I had reached two years ago, but his lecture was the first time I had heard such conclusions stated by a Muslim.

2. The joy of causing pain to infidels. For this reason, Muslims throughout the world rejoiced on 9/11.

3. The feeling of victory. This feeling is both personal, as in Point 2 above, but also one of experiencing victory for Islam, for furthering the will of Allah. Even if the act of terror is a small one, the cause has been furthered.

Our media often make a point of the ineptness and small scope of an attack, planned or carried out. Dr. Hamid maintains that dwelling on the size of an attack is a mistake. Even the smallest attack has a ripple effect on the psyches of Muslims yearning for the caliphate and for jihadists seeking their eternal reward. In other words, there is more to consider than damage and loss of life when an attack occurs.

The don't-worry-be-happy attitude on the part of our media and our leaders is the wrong reaction to Islamist attacks. Yet, the West continues in that mode, thereby contributing to its own destruction and to the enabling of the Islamists' agenda. Worse, such an attitude gives jihadists the idea that what they are doing is the will of Allah because the significance of their attacks is minimized.

As you consider the above points, remember that Dr. Tawfik Hamid was himself one of those preparing to be a jihadist. From his bio:
Born in Egypt to a secular Muslim family, Tawfik Hamid joined the extremist Islamic group Jamma'a Islameia, while he was a student in medical school. In his studies he was learning to heal, but in his thoughts, as he says, he "dreamed to die for Allah and to share in terrorist acts." His colleague in these formative days of the terror movement was Dr. Al Zawaheri, then an acquaintance with whom Tawfik used to pray, and now the number two person of Al Qaeda.

Eventually Dr. Hamid questioned the hatred and impulses to violence that participation in extremist Islam was fomenting within him. When he began to preach in Mosques to promote a message of peace instead of violence and hatred, however, he himself became a target of the Islamic extremists who had been his friends. They threatened his life, forcing him and his family to flee Egypt, then Saudi Arabia and from there to the West....
Read more here about this Muslim reformer. My short, in-the-field interview with Dr. Hamid is here.

What stopped Dr. Hamid from carrying out attacks? Why is he letting us know how the jihadist's mind works? The brainwashing of his conscience was not complete. My next post on Dr. Hamid's lecture will discuss that brainwashing process.

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