To really understand what your enemy intends and how he thinks, you need to listen to what he says. This is the reason I read the translations published every day by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). You can read them, too - and you should - by clicking the link on the left side of the screen.
MEMRI report number 1529, published on March 30th, provides the translation of a 'debate' among several Islamists and Islamic intellectuals on the meaning of jihad. Since the rise of militant radical Islam, the word jihad has been used, abused, and misunderstood on all sides. 'Moderate' Muslims claim it refers to a personal, internal struggle for goodness and religious purity, while radical Islamists use it to refer to violence commanded by God to be employed against any non-Muslim. The MEMRI translation chronicles a chilling exchange, and puts to rest any doubts one might have over what an Islamist means when he uses the word.
Sheikh Omar Bakri, a Syrian-British Islamist, states that "The 9/11 operations were a response to great acts of aggression by America - its attacks on Afghanistan, on Iraq, on Sudan, not to mention the historic Crusades from long ago, and so on." The interviewer asks, "How do you explain...", and Bakri responds, "They were magnificent, even though they were terrorists. The fact that they carried out a terrorist act does not prevent us from calling them 'magnificent,' because this is what religious scholars call 'commendable terrorism.'"
Think about that for a minute. Asserting that the murder of more than 3,000 people on 9/11 was 'commendable terrorism,' and including the Crusades (which, you will recall, ended more than 700 years ago) among America's 'acts of aggression' (ignoring the fact that there has only been an America for less than 300 years) is shocking and reflects the utter single-minded bigotry and ignorance of the Islamist.
But it gets better...
Bakri goes on to say, "I am not trying to justify the events of 9/11," and the interviewer responds, "But, to a certain extent, you are justifying the killing of innocent people." Bakri responds that "Killing innocent people is forbidden in Islam. But who is innocent - that is another question." The interviewer goes on: "There were women, children, and people who had nothing to do with it. They had nothing to do with U.S. policies." Bakri's answer: "In any war, women and children might be killed unintentionally."
If you think there's a rational mind behind such an Islamist position, this exchange ought to disabuse you of that opinion. No one - man, woman or child, Christian, Jew, or Muslim, American or not - was unintentionally killed on 9/11. They were murdered by religious bigots whose ruthless and single-minded hatred of those who don't believe as they do led them to believe that God would reward them for a brutal and reprehensible act.
George Orwell would have been proud of the twisted language Islamists use to justify their ghastly crimes. A young man deliberately blowing himself up in a crowded market is carrying out a 'martyrdom operation', not committing murder. Twisting the definition of innocent so that every man, woman and child can be considered a legitimate enemy is disgusting.
If you need any reminding of the type of mind we are dealing with, read a few of the MEMRI translations. If you are an apologist who thinks that the West is reaping only that which it has sown, you should enlighten yourself by reading the words of the Omar Bakris of the world and their kind. Make no mistake: these are people whose minds are utterly closed, who believe God not only permits them to kill you, but will reward them for doing so. They are like the science fiction character of The Terminator: they can't be reasoned with; they don't feel remorse or pity; and they absolutely will not stop until we are dead and they have brought their vision of religious bliss to the world.
This is what we are up against. Think about it before you blindy assume the West is evil and deserves what it gets. If this is what you think, you deserve what you'll eventually get.
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.