Says Reuters: “Unidentified men on a motorbike have handed Reuters an audio cassette purporting to be of supreme Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, two years to the day after his hardline regime fled Kabul.”
Says Omar: “I am talking about faith and Islam among the commanders, about those who are not participating in the jihad. I sacrificed my rule and all I had and if I can stand for my honour, why can’t you? If you can’t stand for your honour, it means your faith is weak. If you claim to among the faithful, why can’t you be ready for sacrifice? I have sacrificed everything.”
Omar appealed to Afghanis on the basis of their Islam: “If you have strong faith and have strong honour you should stand up to protect your country and your religion. Every Muslim should ponder and awaken his honour and protect Islam and the Koran and, God-willing, if he dies, it will be a great success and if he lives then it will also be a victory.”
This is how radical Muslims gain recruits around the world, as I explain in Onward Muslim Soldiers: by portraying their struggle as a fight for Islam. They appeal to those who want to live out their faith in its fullness. This religious dimension of their appeal is denigrated and denied by those who wish to pretend that global terrorism is merely a response to American imperialism, or to Israel. They deny that there is a clash of civilizations, as if their opinions will influence what people like Mullah Omar think.