An AP story today reveals how Iraqi mosques are becoming recruitment centers for anti-American jihadists.
The article quotes a preacher’s Friday sermon: “‘It’s not enough for them to defile the land, they also wanted to defile God’s book and then violate the sanctities of Muslims,’ the preacher shouted, his words carried into the street by loudspeakers. ‘The grandsons of monkeys and pigs, who don’t know their mothers or fathers, trespass on the book of God!'”
The “grandsons of monkeys and pigs” is, of course, a reference to the Qur’an’s Sura 5:59-60: ” Say: ‘O people of the Book! Do ye disapprove of us for no other reason than that we believe in Allah, and the revelation that hath come to us and that which came before (us), and (perhaps) that most of you are rebellious and disobedient?’ Say: ‘Shall I point out to you something much worse than this, (as judged) by the treatment it received from Allah? those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil;- these are (many times) worse in rank, and far more astray from the even path!'” Since the “People of the Book” in the Qur’an are primarily Jews and Christians, calling them “monkeys and pigs” on the basis of this verse has become commonplace among radical Muslims.
“Moustafa Mohammed, a 19-year-old college sophomore squatting in the mosque, listened in anger and pain. ‘Islam today is being humiliated,’ he said. ‘We ask God to make us victorious. They are hurting Muslims. … It’s horrible.’ . . . Some mosques in Mosul have become channels for anti-American rhetoric, drumming on Muslim resentments over perceptions of Western dominance and painting the occupation as a religious struggle.”
This is something to remember: it doesn’t matter how many times Americans deny that this is a clash of civilizations. The other side wants it to be a clash of civilizations, and is doing everything it can to make it so.
Next in the article comes a dose of dhimmi temporizing: “While arguing that many clerics espouse pro-occupation views, American officials say they are keeping an eye on mosques that could be fueling resistance to the coalition administration. But they say local Iraqi authorities have removed only one imam in Mosul for anti-U.S. speeches.”
I’d like to hear from those clerics espousing pro-occupation views. Especially since later on in the article we get this: “Across the Middle East, Friday sermons are a traditional way of measuring popular sentiments. The faithful unite around mosques for guidance and support, especially in times of chaos and crisis. A group of Sunni clerics in Mosul, the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq, issued a statement Friday warning people against cooperating with U.S. forces. ‘Beware of supporting the occupiers and know that contacting them, without a legitimate necessity, is sinful,’ it said.” . . .
“At al-Shaheed Bashar Qalander mosque, Sheik Abdel Jawad Mohammed Safo said mosques have a responsibility to direct people and raise their awareness. ‘I always stress that the people ruling over us are nonbelievers,’ he said. ‘We always say that this war is a religious war. … It’s a war between Arabs and Jews; America is a mere toy in the hand of the Jews.'”
Islamic law forbids a non-Muslim to hold authority over a Muslim “” that’s why the key part of this sheikh’s statement is “the people ruling over us are nonbelievers.”
“Safo said his pulpit ‘is always one of jihad.’ Asked if that includes armed jihad, he answered: ‘Yes. We call for it in public, without any hesitation.'”
Lt. Col. Chester C. Egert, a chaplain with the 101st Airborne Division, isn’t concerned: “In general, I don’t think the population is inclined to buy into jihad or fighting against the coalition.”
The article concludes: “Saleh Khalaf, director of the office that oversees mosques and other places of worship, traces anti-U.S. sentiment to nonreligious sources. ‘The talk of the preachers is a result of the social pressure in their areas,’ he said. ‘For instance, the neighborhood lacks services and there’s a lot of unemployment. If these things are taken care of, I promise … that 95 percent of the problems between the coalition forces and the people will be solved.'”
This is a common assertion: Islamic radicalism is a result of poverty. And maybe some of it is. But Osama bin Laden is a very rich man. Americans ignore religious motivations at our own risk.