Islamic Coalition Warns Of Holy War

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What is the probability that a U.S. attack on Afghanistan will lead to World War III, with all that this implies?

Hyperlink: http://www.iht.com/articles/32861.html

Copyright 2001 The International Herald Tribune |, Fair Use for Educational and Research Purposes Only

Islamic Coalition Warns of Holy War Pamela Constable Washington Post Service; Tuesday, September 18 2001 LAHORE, Pakistan Leaders of a coalition of 35 Islamic groups warned Monday that the United States would be taking on "the entire Muslim world" if it attacks Afghanistan, and they said they would formally announce a "holy war" to defend both Afghan and Pakistani sovereignty if such an attack comes.

The coalition, calling itself the Afghan and Pakistan Defense Council, represents an array of rival factions within the Sunni Muslim community, from extremists allied with the radical Taleban regime in Afghanistan to more mainstream religious parties such as Jamaat-i-Islami, which claims nearly five million followers across Pakistan.

"I wish from my heart that President Bush does not do a wrong thing" by attacking Afghanistan, said Maulana Sami ul-Haq, the coalition chairman and leader of a pro-Taleban religious party. "There are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world. Will America take on all of them to go after just one Arab?"

American officials have warned they may attack Afghanistan if the Taleban regime refuses to turn over Osama bin Laden.

Taleban officials have repeatedly said that they will continue to protect Mr. bin Laden unless presented with solid proof of his involvement in the attacks. They have warned they will attack any country that supports a U.S. assault, including Pakistan, and they are widely reported to be preparing a military defense.

Many speakers at the coalition meeting here condemned the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. They denied Muslims were responsible and blamed the attacks on Israeli and Jewish interests, which they asserted seek to provoke a cataclysmic confrontation between the West and the Muslim world and to distract attention from Israel's mistreatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories.

"This is an attempt to accelerate the clash of civilizations," said Qazi Hussain Ahmed, leader of Jamaat-i-Islami. "Islam is spreading fast in the West and this is an attempt to stop it. The only ones who benefit from this attack are not Muslims but Zionists. We must not fall into this trap." He called on all Islamic groups here to form a "wall of steel" in defense of Pakistan's interests.

Several Islamic leaders here were highly critical of Pakistan's president, General Pervez Musharraf, for agreeing to cooperate with the United States in tracking down Mr. bin Laden and facilitating a possible U.S. attack on Afghanistan. But pro-Taleban groups here have already staged anti-American street demonstrations in several cities this week. On Monday, the Islamic coalition called for a national strike Friday and said it would stage further demonstrations in the coming weeks.

The group also said it was forming a Civil Defense Task Force that would formally announce a "holy war" in case of a U.S. attack.

In an interview on Monday night, Hussain Ahmed, the Jamaat-i-Islami leader, said that his group did not endorse the Taleban regime's harsh brand of Islam, and that it was striving for a democratic, peaceful Muslim government in Pakistan. But he also said the United States had no right to attack Afghanistan because of Mr. bin Laden, and that all Pakistani Muslims must oppose such an attack.

"This is not a question of one man but of principles," he said. "We do not believe in the clash of civilizations, but no state has the right to attack another by force." He said the United States had unwittingly turned Mr. bin Laden into a symbol of Muslim defiance against the West. "Once you create a symbol," he added, "all those who are against you will try to associate themselves with it."



-- Robert Riggs (rxr.999@worldnet.att.net), September 18, 2001

Answers

Unfortunately, Mr. Ahmed is wrong. According to the Treaty on which the United Nations is based, every nation has the right of self- defence. If Mr. Bin Ladden has declared war on the US and has begun to carry out his declaration, than the United States has the right to defend itself against him and his people. Because of the form of warfare Mr. Bin Ladden has chosen, this means that the United States must defend itself "pro-actively." After all, waiting to be attacked is a simple method to ensure that more US Citizens die - no matter what.

Unfortunately, the issues driving Mr. Bin Ladden don't lend themselves to a negotiated solution. A good friend of mine, who's studied these issues, especially the impact of resurgent fundimentalist Islam described the problem facing those who stand for pluralistic society as: "Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated."

Her comparison of Bin-Ladden to the Star Trek's "Borg" is intentional. The Borg did not negotiate, nor take any prisoners. The only way to live is to totally surrender and be absorbed fully within "the collective." Those who have studied Bin Ladden make it painfully clear that he is of the exact same nature and will only accept the same outcomes. For example, see http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/90sep/rage.htm

-- Rich Marsh (marshr@airmail.net), September 18, 2001.


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