The Fruits of Rage, Part II

by Richard L. Rubenstein (April 2009)

        (Continued from Part I)



On December 18, 2008, Hamas declared an end to the six-month old ceasefire with Israel. Six days later it Hamas ratcheted up its mortar and rocket fire against Israeli targets. To end the rocket attacks, Israel launched air strikes on December 27 at targets in Gaza. Almost immediately, French President Nicholas Sarkozy, speaking as president of the European Union, criticized Israel for a “disproportionate response.” [1] Often repeated, Sarkozy’s complaint failed to confront a crucial issue in the conflict: What is the appropriate response of any community to an enemy on its borders that has openly and unconditionally stated that it is under a divinely-sanctioned mandate utterly to destroy that community and its people? Would any of the states condemning Israel for its alleged “disproportionate” use of force tolerate the aggression of such an entity? How indeed does one relate to a group that uses hospitals as its military headquarters and mosques, schools, refugee camps, and civilian housing to store and fire its weapons?[2] Would any other government add to the hazards facing its own people by permitting the enemy’s civilian population, deliberately placed in harm’s way by its own rulers, to dwell in safety? Just how many deaths and injuries is Israel expected to sustain before retaliating?

The fundamental cause of the Gaza war of 2008-2009 was Hamas’s use of its rockets to make normal life untenable in an ever-expanding area of Israeli territory. Both the UN and the so-called “international community” have acted as enablers by routinely condemning any serious Israeli attempt to defend its citizens and its territory. In spite of having been labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and other Western powers and widely distrusted by many Sunni Arab governments, Hamas has largely succeeded in garnering widespread, tacit international support for its attacks against Israel. For example, on January 4, 2009 Sandro Magister, an Italian authority on the Vatican, commented in Chiesa, his daily blog, that while the Vatican had condemned the “massive violence” in Gaza, it did not exhibit a comparable concern for “the existence of Israel-which its enemies want to annihilate, and is ultimately at stake in the conflict.” Magister added that, in spite of having diplomatic relations with Israel, “Every time a conflict erupts, the [Vatican’s] judgment is that the Arabs are the victims. Even Islamist terrorism is traced back to this basic cause.”
[3] Magister makes the seldom discussed point that one reason for the Church’s pro-Arab stand is that it believes Israel’s existence is “temporary” and that only its military superiority guarantees its survival.

A similar, if not more hostile, attitude has long pervaded the UN as well as the foreign offices, media, churches, and relief organizations of most Western European countries. Implicit in their one-sided complaints is the conviction that without Israel, there would be no Middle East conflict and the influence of radical Islam would be greatly diminished.

When one compares the inaction of the West and the UN when actual mass murder and  genocide have taken place in Rwanda, where in 1994 an estimated 800,000 were killed in 100 days, and in Darfur, where 300,000 are estimated to have been killed and 2,500,000 displaced, with the eagerness with which Israel has been repeatedly singled out for condemnation and vilification, it would appear that something other than rational political behavior is operative.
[5] At one level, such behavior seems to reflect the fact that there are far more Muslims in the world than Jews and that close to 25,000,000 Muslims live in Western Europe.


Sando Magister’s observation that the Vatican regards the existence of the State of Israel as a transitory phenomenon may offer a clue concerning the root of the issue. I would like to suggest that there is a religious element in this widespread bias and that long after literal religious belief has lost much of its credibility, it may retain a powerful subterranean influence on culture. I would further suggest that this subterranean religious influence is especially prevalent in the persistent tendency of European governments, civic institutions, and media to ignore historical context and consistently to judge Israel guilty in its conflicts with the Palestinians and the larger Muslim world.


The work of the Protestant theologian Stephen R. Haynes may help us to understand this phenomenon. In his book, Reluctant Witnesses: Jews and the Christian Imagination, Haynes writes of the “witness-people myth” which he describes as “the belief that whatever happens to the Jews, for good or ill, is an expression of God’s providential justice.” As such, it is a sign “for God’s church.[6] According to Haynes, the witness-people myth is “a deep structure in the Christian imagination…a complex of ideas and symbols that, often pre-critically and unconsciously, informs ideas about Jews among persons who share a cultural heritage (emphasis added).”[7] Moreover, Haynes argues that “Jews must always be special cases in products of the Christian imagination, because of the uniquely ambivalent place which the Jewish people inhabit there.”[8] He notes that this is also true of Israel as a nation among nations.


Haynes’s insights go a long way to explain Christian and post-Christian attitudes toward contemporary Israel. In the perennial Christian narrative, the unbelieving Jewish community is destined sooner or later to lose unless and until it accepts Christ as its Savior. In this narrative, which has its roots in the religious thinking of St. Augustine, a remnant will “survive but not thrive” as “witnesses to the prophecies which were given beforehand [i.e. before Christ’s coming] concerning Christ.”[9] And, there is one location where Jewish good fortune is especially problematic, the Holy Land, known to the medieval Church as “Christ’s patrimony.”[10] 


From the time of the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., Jewish misfortune and defeat has historically been understood in Christian thought as divine chastisement for Jewish unbelief and as evidence that Christ is Lord and Savior. Towards the end of the nineteenth century a number of Jewish leaders became convinced that the Jews of Europe were fated for elimination one way or another, the most influential leader being the journalist Theodore Herzl (1860-1904),  the father of political Zionism. Herzl became convinced that only mass emigration and resettlement in a territory of their own could save Europe’s Jews. He devoted the rest of his life to the realization of that goal. There was much that was problematic in Herzl’s thinking, but his prescience concerning the impending doom of Europe’s Jews is undeniable.[11]


One of the earliest Christian responses to Herzl’s project was published in the authoritative Jesuit journal, Civiltà Cattolica, four months before the meeting of the First Zionist Conference in Basel, Switzerland, August 29-31, 1897:


1827 years have passed since the prediction of Jesus of Nazareth was fulfilled, namely that Jerusalem would be destroyed…that the Jews would be led away to be slaves among all the nations, and that they would remain in the dispersion till the end of the world…According to Sacred Scriptures, the Jewish people must always live dispersed and wandering among the other nations, so that they may render witness not only by the Scriptures…but by their very existence. As for a rebuilt Jerusalem, which would become the center of a reconstituted state of Israel, we must add that this is contrary to the prediction of Christ Himself (emphasis added). [12]

Civiltà Cattolica’s
editorial is an important example of the witness people myth. Pope Pius X expressed a similar sentiment in the audience he granted Theodore Herzl on January 25, 1904. When Herzl requested the Pope’s support for Zionism, the Pontiff replied:


We are unable to favor this movement. We cannot prevent the Jews from going to Jerusalem – but we could never sanction it. The ground of Jerusalem, if it were not always sacred, has been sanctified by the life of Jesus Christ. As the head of the Church I cannot answer you otherwise. The Jews have not recognized our Lord, therefore we cannot recognize the Jewish people. [13]


Much of this theology is shared by traditionally oriented Protestant and Orthodox churches. Even ardently pro-Israel Evangelicals concur, although they add that the return of the exiles to Zion and the establishment of the State of Israel are preconditions for the second coming of Christ. Save for pro-Israel Evangelicals, there was not much theological support for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine although some Christians did support the creation of the State of Israel for humanitarian reasons, especially after in the years immediately after World War II.


The Vatican and the State of Israel finally entered into diplomatic relations in 1993. The State of Israel had demonstrated its durability and it was the political authority in a region of historical importance to the Church. As it had accommodated itself to a wide array of regimes, not all to its liking, so the Church accommodated itself to diplomatic relations with Israel, but the theological rejection of a sovereign Jewish state never ceased.


In reality, there should be little reason for surprise at the growing chorus of anti-Israel hostility. Latent attitudes and emotions can often surface after relatively long periods of dormancy. One does not have to be a doctrinaire Freudian to see the “return of the repressed” at work in the so-called “new anti-Semitism,” especially in relation to the State of Israel and its conflicts. I would like to suggest that what had been repressed for decades was the darker side of Christian ambivalence toward Jews and Judaism that resulted from knowledge of and horror concerning the Holocaust. Undoubtedly, that is an important reason why Holocaust denial has been fostered by the government of Iran and Islamist writers and thinkers while, at the same time, threatening a new Holocaust. Holocaust denial facilitates the reawakening of that dark side by alleging that the historical reality was a devilish Jewish conspiracy to extort political and financial support for Israel and other Jewish causes from unduly guilt-ridden Christian nations.


Implicit in the claim that Israel’s response to Hamas in Gaza was disproportionate, if the criticism is serious, is the expectation that the Israeli government will act as if Hamas were a rational political actor whose Covenant does not mean what it plainly says when it declares that the destruction of Israel and its people is a fundamental objective of the “Palestine Resistance`Movement.” Unfortunately, after Auschwitz it is difficult to see how such an explicitly stated threat can be dismissed, at least by Jews, especially when it is endlessly repeated by the Muslim “street” and by some of Islam’s most prominent religious leaders. We need not offer a complete catalogue. A representative sample will have to suffice.

We take as examples of clerical concord with the Muslim street, Sheikh Amin Al-Ansari, an Egyptian Sunni Islamist, and the better known Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. On January 26, 2009, the day before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Al-Rahma (Mercy) TV, the Egyptian Sunni Islamist channel, broadcast its own version of the Holocaust featuring Al-Ansari.[14] Unlike Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Al-Ansari makes no attempt to deny the Holocaust. On the contrary, he glorifies it as Allah’s “way of wreaking vengeance” on the Jews and offers graphic film images of the most inhuman Nazi cruelty as the behavior Allah expects from pious Muslims. In Al-Ansari’s narrative, the Germans are the innocent victims and the Jews the evil oppressors.

After cursorily examining alleged Jewish wickedness throughout history, Al-Ansari offers his justification for the Holocaust: “The corruption spread by the Jews was very great. Very great. It got to the point that the rulers themselves had no solution but to annihilate them.” Some very gruesome clips of death-camp scenes are exhibited as Al-Ansari comments: “Let us watch how oppressors are killed by the people they oppressed.” Skeleton-like Jews are shown awaiting their turn to be burned to death. There are also horrific scenes of Jews being tortured after which Al Ansari addresses the TV audience: “The [Jews] are oppressors. They are being deported.” When a film clip shows mounds of Jewish corpses being bulldozed into mass graves, Al-Ansari exults: “Ibn Mas’oud was right when he said: “All the oppressors are killed by those they oppress.” Close-ups of dead bodies are shown. Al-Ansari tells his viewers: “These are bodies, these are dead people, these are skulls. These are the bodies of the Jews being loaded like animals. Watch this tractor clearing away the corpses of the Jews, and these are the refugees awaiting their turn to be killed.” As a Muslim religious leader, he expresses the pious hope: “This is what we hope will happen, but, Allah willing, at the hand of the Muslims (emphasis added).

Al-Ansari’s Holocaust propaganda actually exceeds in viciousness anything Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Propaganda Minister, ever contrived. The Nazis were careful to hide their extermination program from public view. By contrast, Al-Ansari and Al-Rahma TV offer for public viewing some of the worst examples of the Nazi extermination program and torture as models of Allah’s vengeance with the prayer that Muslims be permitted to repeat and complete the Nazi performance. This is both an expression of and an incitement to hatred, rage, and genocide as a holy act. Unfortunately, the average Muslim does not possess the kind of knowledge with which to recognize the viciousness and mendacity of such programs. Unfortunately, the statesmen who talk of “peace in the Middle East” ignore the power of this kind of propaganda.    

When we turn to Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, we find a similar message without the Nazi trappings.
 Al-Qaradawi is the author of over 100 books on Islam and Islamism and is one of the most widely read contemporary Islamic scholars. He also has had a weekly program on Al-Jazeera TV, al-Shari’a wal-Hayat (Shari’a and Life) and is the co-founder and president of the International Association of Muslim Scholars and the European Council for Fatwa and Research. He has, however, been refused entry into the United States and has been barred from entering the United Kingdom as a “threat to peace and security.”
[15]Although controversial, Al-Qaradawi is not a fringe figure but a major Islamic leader capable of influencing millions.[16]


During the Israeli action against Hamas in Gaza, Qaradawi delivered a TV sermon on Friday January 9, 2009 in which he called for the complete extermination of the Jews:


“Oh Allah, take your enemies, the enemies of Islam. Oh Allah, take the Jews, the treacherous aggressors…. this profligate, cunning, arrogant band of people. Oh Allah, they have spread much tyranny and corruption in the land. Pour Your wrath upon them, oh our God. Lie in wait for them. Oh Allah, You annihilated the people of Thamoud at the hand of a tyrant, and You annihilated the people of ‘Aad with a fierce, icy gale…. and You destroyed the Pharaoh and his soldiers — oh Allah, take this oppressive, tyrannical band of people. Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one.” [17]


Having implored Allah to destroy the Jews, Qaradawi urges his fellow Muslims to join in doing Allah’s work:

We wait for the revenge of Allah to descend upon them, and, Allah willing, it will be by our own hands: ‘Fight them, Allah will torment them by your hands, and bring them to disgrace, and will assist you against them, and will heal the hearts of the believers, and you will still the anger of your hearts.’ This is my message to the treacherous Jews, who have never adhered to what is right, or been true to their promises, who violate each time the promises they make to you.”

Qaradawi’s call to genocide was not an angry, momentary outburst. On the contrary, the sermon is an Islamic legal argument that carefully leads to the conclusion that the extermination of all Jews is not only justified but mandatory under Islamic law. He begins the argument by reminding his viewers:


“The Islamic Countries… Received [the Jews] with open arms [when they were banished from Europe]… [but the Jews] turned their backs on [us], and we have become their victims.”


Qaradawi then characterizes the Zionist settlement in Palestine as the work of “plunderers, who acted arrogantly toward the servants of Allah in the land of Allah.” He reminds his listeners that Allah has already punished the Jews for spreading “corruption in the land twice.” He first sent Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, “who… destroyed their homes, razed their temples, and burned their Torah, and took them into captivity in Babylon for 70 years.” When they repeated their offense at a later date, Allah sent the Romans “as masters upon them.”


He then complains of the Jewish ingratitude:

“The Jews have lived as dhimmis in our land for a long time, and no Muslim violated the covenant with them…. Despite this, they were not faithful to the [covenant]. When they were banished from Europe, they found no compassionate bosom, no cave to shelter them, except for the lands of Islam… but when [the Jews] gained influence, they turned their backs on them, and we have become their victims.”

In essence, Qaradawi’s complaint is that the Jews have broken the dhimma,
the pact of surrender and submission which they or their ancestors had concluded with their Muslim overlords in exchange for the right of peaceful domicile. Since even minimal human rights for dhimmis in Islam are conditional upon fulfillment of the conditions of the dhimma, Muslims are under no obligation toward them. Their lives and property are now forfeit.


In reality, most of the Jews who migrated to Palestine never agreed to any pact of subordination by which they would have become dhimmis. They came to Palestine from Christian Europe to escape the ever more dangerous hazards of powerlessness and subordination. Those who came from Muslim countries after World War II did so to escape the persecution, pogroms and expulsions that were visited upon them. That hardly mattered to Qaradawi. In his narrative, all Jews were or should have been dhimmis. Facts were of no importance. He wanted to give the ummah, the worldwide community of Muslim believers,a license to kill all Jews. On January 9, 2009 he conveyed that message on Al Jazeera TV to Muslims throughout the world.[18]


Jihad, Rage and the Muslim “Street”


On September 30, 2005, the Jyllands-Posten, a Danish daily newspaper published 12 editorial cartoons most of which depicted Muhammad. The editors explained that they were attempting to contribute to the debate concerning the limits of freedom of expression in dealing with criticism of Islam. A discussion of that important issue is beyond the scope of our inquiry, but many Muslims regarded the cartoons as an insult to their religion and were enraged by their publication. Their sense of outrage intensified as the cartoons came to be reprinted in newspapers in more than fifty countries.[19] Many Westerners suspected that some Muslims were using the incident to control what non-Muslims could write about Islam. The protests simmered for a time, together with boycotts and threats of boycotts of Denmark and other Western governments that insisted on the right of free expression. In London the situation came to a head on February 3, 2006 when Muslims marched through the city’s streets chanting and carrying posters threatening Denmark, the Jews, and the West in general. A collection of photographs taken at the demonstration and others like it are available on the web.[20]


The following is a brief description of such photographs. They are a representative sample.


  • A woman wearing a hijab, a head cover, stands next to a London policeman holding a poster with the message, “Europe You Will Pay; Your 9/11 Is On Its Way!!!”
  • A person hidden behind two policemen holds up a sign reading “Kill Those Who Insult Islam.”
  • Woman dressed in black with black hijab carries a sign that reads, “Be Prepared for the Real Holocaust!”
  • A young man holds a sign that reads “Islam Will Dominate the World”
  • A poster carries the message, “Behead Those Who Insult Islam”
  • A woman wearing a hijab carries a sign reading, “Freedom Go To Hell”
  • A group picture with several signs,. One sign reads: “Europe, You’ll Come Crawling When the Mujahadeen [a Muslim involved in jihad] Come Roaring!’
  • In a photograph taken at a Melbourne, Australia demonstration, A woman in a hijab carries a sign that reads, “Cleanse the earth from dirty Zionists.”[21]

As chilling as are the photographs, they do not convey the atmosphere of rage and visceral hatred nearly as well as do video clips taken at such events and made available on YouTube. Most of the clips cited below were taken at demonstrations that occurred during the Gaza war of December 2008 and January 2009. However, we begin with demonstrations protesting the Jylands-Posten cartoons. Like the photographs, the video clips are representative of Muslim “street” reaction in Western countries to the cartoons and Israeli response to Hamas’s rockets in 2008-9. In the West, the Muslim “street” is, at least in appearance, solidly middle class. The people shouting threats and curses do not appear to be fringe people.


  • London, February 24, 2006: Demonstration at the Danish Embassy. Numbering several hundred, the crowd chants “Allah hu Akbar” in front of the Danish Embassy. A poster is held high reading, “Europe, You will pay. Your annihilation is on the way!!!” Other signs read: “Death to you, by God, May Allah Bomb You, May Usamah bin Laden Bomb You,” “We Love Usama. Usama bin Laden, we love you!” ”Usamah and [Ayman] al-Zawahiri-They Are Men. They Will Bomb You. Allah Will Be With Them.” “[May they] bomb Denmark so that we can invade their country and take their wives as war booty” “Europe. You’ll Come Crashing When The Mujahadeen Come Roaring,” “Annihilate Those Who Insult Islam,” “You have Declared War Against Allah And His Prophet.” Someone shouts, “You have declared war against the Muslim ummah… for which you will pay a heavy price. Take the lesson of Theo van Gogh. Take the Lesson of the Jews of Khaybar for You will pay with your blood” The crowd responds by repeating, “With your blood, with your blood” and “Down, down Denmark, Burn Burn,  Denmark, Burn, Burn France, Burn, Burn Spain, Allah hu Akbar,”  “Denmark, Watch your back, Bin Laden’s coming back,” The crowd repeats, ”Kill, kill Denmark, UK you will pay, 7/7 [date of the London bombings] On its Way. Jihad is on its way. We want Danish blood” A boy of about 11, shakes his fist and holds up sign reading, “Europe, you will pay, your 9/11 is on its way.”[22]


  • London, January 3, 2009, There are a disquieting series of video clips taken during London demonstrations in which Muslims chase as many as 50 policemen through the streets. The Muslims chant “Free speech, Palestine” and “Allah hu Akbar” as the police retreat, ceding control of the streets to the demonstrators. A demonstrator leader shouts at the retreating police, “Run you, f…ing cowards, kuffar, and swine, pigs.”[23]   


  • Washington, DC, January 10, 2009: Video clips taken at Lafayette Park, opposite the White House, followed by clips taken at other locations. Thousands gathered at the Lafayette Park demonstration sponsored by allegedly “mainstream” Muslim organizations, such as the Muslim America Society and the Council on American Islamic Relations.  In the first clip the crowd chants “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”  In another Washington clip taken the next day, a typical sign reads, “The cancer of the Middle East, Israel Must not Exist!” In a clip taken at a pro-Hamas rally in Manhattan on January 11, 2009, a man holds a poster with the message “Death to the juice,” an intentional misspelling. In another clip taken at the same demonstration, a woman in a hijab carries a large sign with the message, “Zionism: Go back to the oven; We need another Hitler!” In a clip taken in Washington on December 30, 2008, the message, “Holocaust, It’s Time to Open the Ovens Again!” is painted on the back of a male figure’s white outer garment while the crowd chants, “Down, down Israel, free, free Palestine!” In other demonstrations in Chicago, New York, Houston, and Oklahoma City, the crowd chants, “Khaybar, Khaybar, ya, Yahud,” and “Khaybar, Khaybar ya Yahud, jaysh Muhammad sauf ya’ud.” (“Khaybar, Khaybar, O You Jews, the army of Muhammad shall return.”[24] In a Montreal clip, children scream, “Palestine is ours; the Jews are our Dogs.” In a Los Angeles clip, January 6, 2009, the crowd chants repeatedly, “Long live Hitler! Long live Hitler!” and “Put Jews in Ovens,”[25]  


  • Amsterdam, January 3, 2009: In one clip, the crowd, numbering several hundred chants, “Hamas, Hamas, joden aan het gas!” (Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!) In the foreground, Harry van Bommel, a Socialist member of Parliament chants repeatedly, “Intifada, Intifada!” The crowd repeats the chant in unison.[26]


  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida, December 30, 2008, A clip shows several hundred people in the city center. A much smaller group of pro-Israel counter demonstrators are on the sidewalk behind a police barrier. A Muslim girl in hijab shouts at “You’re loosing, you’re loosing, you’re dead! Your mother is a whore! Yes, you’re loosing!” Then lifts up a sign, “Nuke Israel” and screams ““Nuke, nuke Israel. Yes, there is no Israel!” Muslims shout at the pro-Israel demonstrators who carry signs and Israel flags but do not answer them when they shout “Go to Hell, Go to Hell Israel!”[27]


  • Copenhagen, January 10, 2009, “Pro-Arabisk Demonstration,” The clip begins with a chant: “Down, down Israel, down, down USA, down, down Denmark!” Later, the crowd chants, “Denmark: Heil! Down with democracy. All the Jews should be killed, Allah hu Akhbar!” As in many other demonstrations globally and over the decades, the crowd repeatedly shouts, “Khaybar, Khaybar, ya, Yahud,” and “Khaybar, Khaybar ya Yahud, jaysh Muhammad sauf ya’ud.” (“Khaybar, Khaybar, O You Jews, the army of Muhammad shall return.) [28]


  • Montreal, Quebec, January 4 and 11, 2009: The crowd demands the murder of the Jews and chants in French ““Khaybar, Khaybar, Ô Juifs, l’armée de Mohammad va revenir” and in Arabic, “Khaybar, Khaybar, ya Yahud.” The scene is repeated the following Sunday. The crowd is angrier and louder than the previous week. “Chavistas,” followers of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, join the demonstration and chant in Spanish “The people united will never be defeated.” There are also Arabic chants addressed to Hezballah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, “Oh Nasrallah, Oh beloved, Strike, Strike Tel Aviv!”   [29]

There are laws prohibiting “hate speech” in the Netherlands, Canada, France and Italy and for the past ten years the Saudi-based Organization of the Islamic Conference has pushed the UN to adopt a universal ban on defaming Islam.[30] The chief complainants demanding prosecution for what they perceive to be hate speech have been Muslims as in the Canadian prosecution of serious writers such as Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant..[31] At the same time, we see that a critical mass of Muslims feel free to call for mass murder and genocide and in the case of Amin Al-Asari show films of the Holocaust as a model for Muslim behavior while public authorities are loathe to enforce the same “hate speech” laws against Muslim offenders. These scenes were reported neither by Britain’s mainstream media nor by CNN. [32]





Between November 26 and 29, 2008, a gang of Islamist terrorists from Pakistan murdered at least 195 people and wounded several hundred others in Mumbai in a 60-hour rampage. According to World Gazeteer, Mumbai is conservatively reckoned to be the world’s second largest city with a population in 2008 of 13,662,885.[33] Indian police claimed that 10 terrorists took part in the attack, nine of whom were killed and one, Ajmal Amir Kasab, was captured. Given the meticulous planning that went into the attack, the number of participants seems doubtful. A columnist writing in Asia Times, a Hong Kong-based, English language newspaper, claims he was “reliably informed” that the actual number was closer to 30, “not counting support personnel in Mumbai who arranged safe houses with extra ammunition and explosives months in advance of the attack.”[34] Kasab told the police that he was instructed to continue killing until he himself was killed. He also said that the terrorists planned to kill 5,000 people and completely destroy the luxurious, hundred-year-old Taj Mahal, the city’s most prestigious hotel.


Whatever the strategic thinking of the Islamist leadership, at least ten terrorists were willing to go to their deaths in a sadistic orgy of indiscriminate murder and mayhem perpetrated against people they did not know and who had done them no personal harm. They were undoubtedly promised the heavenly rewards of numerous female companions -72 virgins being the most frequent estimation – a rich, other-worldly compensation for lives lived “in pure frustration, with no opportunity to experience sex, love, tenderness or even understanding from the opposite sex.” [35]Nevertheless, there were other, more this-worldly rewards, some psychic, others material, awaiting the terrorists. There is, for example, no greater assertion of power by one individual over another than the ability to take a life, especially when, rightly or wrongly, the attacker is convinced that he or she has been injured by the victim or what the victim represents. In preparation for the assault, Kasab and the other terrorists received months of training in the use of weapons and explosives. They were also drilled in close quarter combat. [36]When captured, Kasab told his interrogators, ‘I have no regrets…I have done right.”[37] Kasab’s pride in his murders is typical of all of the Islamist killers we examine here below. They feel no guilt. They are not reluctant to confess when apprehended for their confessions are in their eyes their record of divinely sanctioned achievements. They dwell in an alien moral universe.


Most of the victims in Mumbai were attacked at random simply because they happened to be unlucky enough to be at a location the terrorists planned to assault, such as the Taj Mahal and Oberoi hotels, and they were not Muslim. There was, however, nothing random about the torture and murder of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his pregnant wife Rivkah and four other Jews, all of whom were present at Nariman House, the Chabad community center in Mumbai. Before the rampage, Mumbai’s Jewish population was estimated to be about 4,000. If, as seems likely, Kasab’s testimony is reliable, the terrorists had the information necessary to take over the Chabad center and its inhabitants well in advance of the attack.[38]Nariman House was hidden away on a narrow, remote side street. It was, however, as deliberately targeted as the five-star Taj Mahal hotel. Kasab is reported to have told police that, in order to familiarize themselves with the building, some of the terrorists disguised themselves as Malaysian students and rented rooms at the Chabad center before the attack[39]


According to Kasab, the Chabad group was singled out “to avenge atrocities on Palestinians.”[40] Like many other Muslims, Kasab believes that Jews have no right whatsoever to be in Palestine save as dhimmis under Muslim domination. Hence, they consider any warlike act by Israel, defensive or offensive, to be an atrocity. It is in that sense that we can understand Kasab’s claim that the assault on the Chabad center was, in his mind, a legitimate act of vengeance.


In any event, the Chabad Jews were obscenely tortured before being killed. Writing from Mumbai, Damien McElroy of the Daily Telegraph (UK) reported, “Doctors expressed horror at the condition of the bodies recovered from the Nariman building.” The mortician who examined the bodies said, “I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was traumatized. It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured.”[41]  Regarded as shaheeds, martyrs, by the Islamists, the killers, were actuality torturers in the name of their God. Their behavior was consistent with that advocated by Sheikh Amin Al-Ansari in his TV address that we discuss above.

Seeking information and control, religious and political institutions have used torture as an instrument of compulsion for centuries. This was evident, for example, in the Albigensian Crusade (1209-1229) in which the newly established Inquisition played a major role in the destruction of the dualist Cathar sect in the Languedoc region of France.
[42] The Inquisition sanctioned torture to identify and rout out heresy. In our time, torture has been used to extract information such as an enemy’s intentions or the identity of his clandestine agents. Nevertheless, such torture was seldom an end in itself and was normally terminated when the torturer achieved his objective.


One of the reasons the torture, degradation, and murder of prisoners at Abu Ghraib elicited such widespread revulsion was that most of the abuses were acts of pure sadism with no purposeful objective. The torture was an end in itself perpetrated by military personnel who thought they could act with impunity. This was also the case at the Chabad center in Mumbai. Torture was inflicted on the young rabbi and his wife simply to intensify the pain of their deaths. If nothing else, such sadism demonstrates dominance, a dominance Islam has not achieved over the State of Israel. Moreover, as painful as was the torture inflicted on the young rabbi, the worst pain may have been having to watch helplessly as others, including his pregnant wife, were tortured. The vengeful sadist enjoys a symbolic victory when genuine victory is unattainable. Unable to defeat real enemies, he takes revenge on a defenseless surrogate. Nevertheless, such satisfaction is ephemeral and cannot alter the shame of real defeat.


One of the most obscene cases of rage-induced sadism occurred in Paris on January 21, 2006 when Ilan Halimi, a Jewish clerk, was abducted by a predominantly Muslim gang who appropriately called themselves “the Barbarians.” The gang demanded ransom money from llan’s family who were too poor to pay. Losing interest in money, the gang then used their helpless victim to gratify their rage through three weeks of incessant beating, burning, and other forms of torture in the basement of the 11-story apartment block in a predominantly Muslim area on the southern edge of Paris. Nor was the gang’s treatment of Ilan unknown to many of the inhabitants of the block.[43] Finally released on February 13 as he was about to expire, he was found naked by a railroad track with eighty percent of his body covered with burn marks and knife wounds. He died on the way to a hospital. Although mainstream French Muslims have often massed in protest against perceived injustices, they had no interest in the Halimi case.[44]

Other examples of the same phenomenon include ritualistic decapitation and near­ decapitation of innocent victims in the name of Allah, such as Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, French-Jewish DJ Sebastien Selam in Paris, Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam, and Ariel Sellouk in Houston, Texas. Pearl was the South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, stationed in Mumbai. He came to Pakistan ostensibly to investigate possible connections between Al Qaeda and Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber,” who was arrested in December 2001 for attempting to ignite explosives hidden in his sneakers while on a Paris to Miami flight. There is some suspicion that Pearl’s real interest lay in investigating links between Al Qaeda and Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).
[45] Pearl was kidnapped on January 23, 2002 while seeking an interview in Karachi with Mubarak Ali Shah Gilani, a radical Muslim cleric. On or about February 1, 2002 he was gruesomely murdered, an event that was recorded on video tape by his captors and released on the internet under the title “The Slaughter of the Spy-Journalist, the Jew Daniel Pearl.” The video lasts 3 minutes and 36 seconds. It includes Pearl’s statement that he is a Jew and a Zionist. [46] One minute and 55 seconds into the video, Pearl is shown with his throat slit. An unidentified man then decapitates him. His body was subsequently found in a shallow grave cut into ten pieces. A copy of the video was delivered to the U.S. consulate on February 21, 2002. On May 14, a 30 second clip of the beheading was shown on CBS News in spite of appeals by the Pearl family and the Departments of State and Justice to CBS to refrain from showing it. CBS News reported obtaining the video from a dissident Saudi journalist who found it on an anti-American Arabic web site where it was being used by jihadists as a recruiting tool. [47]  


According to the 9/11 Commission Report, “No one exemplifies the model of the terrorist entrepreneur more clearly than Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks.”[48] KSM was arrested by the ISI in Pakistan on March 1, 2003 and has been in American custody ever since. On March 10, 2007 KSM proudly declared at a Combatant Status Review Tribunal Hearing at Guantánamo Bay:

I was the Operational Director for Sheikh Usama Bin Laden for the organizing, planning, follow-up, and execution of the 9/11 Operation….I was the Military Operational Commander for all foreign operations around the world under the direction of Sheikh Usama Bin Laden and Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri. I was directly in charge, after the death of Sheikh Abu Hafs Al-Masri Subhi Abu Sittah, of managing and following up on the Cell for the Production of Biological Weapons, such as anthrax and others, and following up on Dirty Bomb Operations on American soil.

I hereby admit and affirm without duress that I was a responsible participant, principal planner, trainer, financier (via the Military Council Treasury), executor, and/or a personal participant in the following:


KSM then listed twenty-nine major operations, not all of which were brought to fruition. Far from being a confession of wrongdoing, his admission was in reality a boastful claiming credit. The third item on his list was his statement about Daniel Pearl:


I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan. For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head (emphasis added).[49]


This was clearly an operation that gave him great satisfaction. KSM could make a claim because he was firmly convinced that his actions were those of a faithful Muslim fulfilling Allah’s commandments. According to Ibn Ishaq, one of Muhammad’s earliest biographers at one point Muhammad told his followers, “Kill any Jew that falls into your power.”[50]

Jews have by no means been the sole objects of Muslim rage. Apart from the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon with its huge loss of life, there have been other horrendous events on a smaller scale, among them the murder and mutilation of fifty-eight foreign tourists on November 18, 1997 at the site of Egypt’s Luxor temple by six armed members of an Egyptian extremist, Islamist group led by Ayman al-Zawahiri who was safely ensconced in Kandahar, Afghanistan at the time. [51] We deal with this incident in greater detail in another chapter.


Both rage and pride in sacralized sadism were also evident in videos available for sale and viewing at London’s Finsbury Park Mosque. In 2002, journalist Jason Burke reported on the sale and widespread distribution of such videos at the mosque. One video, “Algeria,” was produced by the Groupe Salafiste pour Prédication et Combat (Salafist Group for Preaching and War or GSPC) had titled “Algeria;” a second, “The Mirror of Jihad,” was produced by a group allied with the Taliban in Afghanistan.[52]. According to Burke, the Algerian film consists of “graphic footage of the deaths of more than 20 young conscripts in an ambush.” These were ordinary Muslims conscripted for military service by the Algerian government. There was no way they could have refused military service. The film shows the trucks that carried the conscripts hitting a GSPC mine and exploding. The Salafists then slit the throats and shot the survivors. Other pictures of dead soldiers were shown, some with skulls shot away and brains exposed, followed by images of joyful “Islamists congratulating each other and offering prayers of thanks.” The murder scenes are preceded by the injunctions on the screen: “Fight them until the sentence of God is carried out on Earth” and “You have to kill in the name of Allah until you are killed….The whole Islamic world should rise up to fight all the sick unbelievers. The flag of Jihud will be forever held high.” There is further commentary: “God loves people who kill in his name. The enemies of Islam are scared. The Jews and the Christians know that they have lost [the war] and want to stop us from spreading the truth (emphasis added).” The Taliban film was equally gruesome, featuring Taliban warriors torturing and decapitating Northern Alliance troops in Afghanistan. Far from disturbing the mosque’s faithful, the films were freely available at the mosque for £l0 each and, like the video of the Daniel Pearl beheading, were used as a recruiting device by Islamists. The Finsbury Park Mosque offered its believers multiple opportunities vicariously to enjoy unmitigated sadism and an imagined victory over imputed enemies, all in the name of God.


On March 3, 2006, Mohammed Reza Taheri-Azar, an American citizen of Iranian origin and a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C. Taheri-Azar deliberately drove a rented four-wheel drive Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicle into a crowd in a pedestrian commons at the university at 11:45 A.M., a time and place where students customarily gather for lunch. He struck nine people. When asked later by reporters whether he intended to kill, he answered “Yes.” He repeated his affirmation at his trial on August 12, 2006.[53] The police reported that he told them he had been planning the assault for two years and had rented a four-wheel-drive vehicle because he could “run things over and keep going.”[54]Fortunately, none of the victims was seriously hurt. Taheri-Azar also told the judge at the preliminary hearing, “I am thankful you’re here to give me this trial and to learn more about the will of Allah.”[55]  In his value system, he had done nothing wrong and saw the trial as an opportunity to instruct non-believers in the true faith. He did, however, express some regret. He told the police that he regretted that there were not more people in the commons area when he struck and that he had not killed anyone, claiming that his attempt at mass murder was a divinely sanctioned act to “avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world.”[56] Such thinking is, of course, consistent with the doctrine of jihad and of an Islamist tendency to see themselves as victims.


Effectively hiding his destructive intentions over a period of several years, Taheri-Azar’s outburst can be seen as an example of cold rage. At Chapel Hill, he was an above average student and had been admitted to a doctoral program in Nova University in Miami while surreptitiously planning the one event that, in his mind, would give his life meaning. Daniel Pipes has characterized such behavior, often perpetrated by isolated individuals, as terrorism and has identified them as “Sudden Jihad Syndrome.” Pipes argues that Taheri-Azar “fits into a widespread pattern of Muslims who lead quiet lives before turning to terrorism” and that his behavior “represents the ultimate Islamist nightmare: a seemingly well-adjusted Muslim whose religion inspires him, out of the blue, to murder non-Muslims.”[57] I would add that such behavior is only sudden from the point of view of its intended victims rather than the perpetrators. Like the perpetrators of 9/11 and the 2008 assault on Mumbai, Taheri-Azar’s assault took time and planning. I would also add that such acts are impelled by rage so consuming that the perpetrator is more than willing to kill themselves in the process of killing others.

In yet another instance of what Pipes has identified as Sudden Jihad Syndrome, on February 12, 2007, Sulejman Talovic, a 22 year old Bosnian Muslim with a United State Permanent Residence Card (green card), suddenly began firing into a crowd at the Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City, Utah. Before being stopped by two off-duty policemen, Talovic had killed five people and wounded at least four others. Characteristically, neither the police nor the FBI agent involved in the case could find reason to label the attack as either a terror attack or religiously motivated. Indeed, unless the perpetrator openly proclaims his deed an act of vengeance, all too often, public officials in the West have preferred to characterize such attacks as isolated incidents for which no motive can be assigned. Moreover, there has been a tendency on the part of the police and the FBI to deny that random acts of homicidal violence perpetrated by Muslims are religiously motivated even though the assailants themselves often assigned such motives for their deeds.


Such expressions of rage often serve the strategic interests of the larger Muslim community in its relations with government and non-government institutions concerned with the maintenance of public order. This was certainly the case when angry Muslim mobs belatedly responded in February 2006 to the publication of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons in September 2005 and to Pope Benedict XVI’s lecture at the University of Regensburg on September 12, 2006 in which he cited the negative opinions on Islam offered in 1391 by the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus. As noted above, in response to the Danish cartoons, more than 200 people were killed in rampages throughout the world [59] Response to the Pope was of shorter duration but included the murder of an elderly Italian nun and her body guards in Somalia. Western institutions have been given graphic examples of the price to be paid for arousing Muslim ire. Unfortunately, Muslim ire has been aroused and, at least among Islamists, it will not be calmed until they are convinced that the shame and disgrace of Muslim defeats from the Battle of Lepanto (1571) to the Israeli War of Independence (1948) and the Six Day War (1967) has been erased.



[1] Dore Gold, “Is Israel Using ‘Disproportionate’ Force in Gaza?” Jerusalem Post, December 30, 2008,

[2] On Hamas’s use of the basement of Gaza’s Shifa hospital, see Amos Harel, “Sources: Hamas leaders hiding in basement of Israel-built hospital in Gaza,” Haaretz, January 12, 2009, York Times,  January 11, 2009, .

[3] Sandro Magister, “In Gaza, the Vatican Raises the White Flag,” www.chiesa, January 4, 2008,

[4] This attitude has often been expressed but seldom as crudely as it was by the late Daniel Bernard, former French Ambassador to the Court of St. James, .at a London dinner party in December 2001. The diplomat said, “All the current troubles in the world are because of that shitty little country Israel.” He added, “Why should the world be in danger of World War III because of those people?” See Tom Gross, “Prejudice and Abuse,” National Review On Line, January 10, 2002, .

[5] For a brief overview on Rwanda, see “Rwanda: How the Genocide Happened,” BBC News, December 18, 2008, , accessed January 14, 2009. For the figues on Darfur, see “UN,: 100,000 more dead in Darfur than reported,”, April 22, 2008, .

[6] Reluctant Witness, pp. 8ff.

[7] Ibid., emphasis added.

[8] Reluctant Witnesses, p. 3.

[9] St. Augustine, City of God, trans. Henry Bettenson, (London: Penguin Books, 1972), Book XVIII, Ch. 45, p. 828. For this citation, I am indebted to James Carroll, Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001), pp. 216-217.

[10] See John Riley-Smith, The Crusades: A Short History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987)p. 16.

[11] Herzl, for example, sought a top-down solution to the Jewish problem seeking, for example, the support of Kaiser Wilhelm II and Sultan Abdul Hamid II as well as such Jewish notables as Baron Maurice de Hirsch. Moreover, he offered no realistic assessment of the possible response of the Islamic world to the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.

[12] Civiltà Cattolica, May 1, 1897, cited by Minerbi, op. cit., p. 96

[13] Theodore Herzl, The Diaries of Theodore Herzl, trans. and ed. Marven Lowenthal (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1962), p.428.

[14] “To Mark ‘Holocaust Holiday,’ Egyptian Cleric Amin Al-Ansari Revises History, And Comments On Footage of Prisoners Being Tortured in Dachau, Mauthausen, and Belsen, Saying: ‘This Is What We Hope Will Happen But, Allah Willing, at the Hand of the Muslims’,” MEMRI, Special Dispatch No. 2215, January 27, 2009. Video clips with sub-titles are available at the web site, On International Holocaust Memorial Day, see “General Assembly Designates International; Holocaust Remembrance Day,” UN News Centre, November 1, 2005,

[15] Jenny Booth, “Muslim Outrage as Yusuf al-Qaradawi refused UK visa,” TimesOnLine, February 7, 2008, .

[16] For a biographical essay on Qaradawi, see Ann Bélen Soage, “Shaykh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi: Portrait of a Leading Islamic Cleric,”Middle East Review of International Affairs, Volume. 12, No. 1, March 2008).

[17] “Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi On Al-Jazeera Incites Against Jews, Arab Regimes, and the U.S.; Calls on Muslims to Boycott Starbucks and Others; Says ‘Oh Allah, Take This Oppressive, Jewish, Zionist Band of People… And Kill Them, Down to the Very Last One,’” MEMRI Special Dispatch, No. 2183, January 12, 2009,

[18] It is interesting to note that Qaradawi has been cited by Georgetown University professor John Esposito as among the eminent scholars who are engaging in the “reformist interpretation of Islam and its relationship to democracy, pluralism and human rights.”John Esposito, “Practice and Theory,” (A response to the symposium on “Islam and the Challenge of Democracy),Boston Review: A Political and Literary Forum, April/May 2003,

[19]See “List of newspapers that reprinted Jyllands-Posten’s Muhammad cartoons,” Wikipedia,, accessed January 18, 2009. 

[20] Religion of Peace Demonstration London Google Image Search,
, accessed January 18, 2009.

[21] This photograph can be found in Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, “Genocidal Chants at Anti-Israel Rallies Worldwide,” Arutz Sheva:, January 6, 2009, .

[22] YouTube, “Chilling Islamic Demonstration of Cartoons, London,” February 3, 2006, .

[23] YouTube, “Muslims Attack London Police (January 3, 2009),” and YouTube, London, Jsnuary 11, 2009, YouTube, “Starbucks cafe smashed by protesters (opposite Israeli Embassy),”

[24] In this chant, Muhammad, the prophet and military commander, serves as Islam’s sanctified role model. In 629 Muhammad and his followers launched against the Jews of Khaybar in the Arabian peninsula. According to Robert Spencer, “When modern-day jihadists invoke Khaybar, they are … recalling an aggressive, surprise raid by Muhammad which resulted in the final eradication of the once considerable Jewish presence in Arabia. To the jihadists, Khaybar means the destruction of the Jews and the seizure of their property by the Muslims.” It is what they have in mind for Israel. Robert Spencer, “Khaybar, Khaybar,” Jihad Watch, August 9, 2006,

[25] “War Protests or Pro-Hamas Hate Rallies?” an essay with video clips of the Investigative Project on Terrorism,

[26] YouTube, “090103 pro-Hamas Hizbollah expressions during anti-Israel demonstrations,” January 3, 2009, .
[27]YouTube, “Pro-Hamas Demonstration – Fort Lauderdale FL,” December 30, 2009,

[28] YouTube, “Pro-Arabisk Demonstration,” Copenhagen, January 10, 2009,

[29] “Appels au meurtre des Juifs au centre-ville de Montréal,YouTube, January 4, 2009, and “Huit minutes de haine à Montréal,” YouTube, January 11, 2009, .

[30] See Nina Shea, “Worldwide Hate Speech Laws,” The Weekly Standard,  November 24, 2008, Volume 14, Issue 10, and Glenn Greenwald, “The Noxious Fruits of Hate Speech Laws,”Salon, January 13, 2008,

[31] For an overview of Muslim use of “hate speech” legislation to constrain legitimate discussion of Islam, see “Free Speech in an age of jihad,” The New Criterion: A special pamphlet, Summer , 2008.

[32] I discussed the behavior of the police in an e-mail communication with an English colleague who wrote: The whole demonstration was totally unruly, menacing and disorderly, and if the Police had stopped it they would have been accused of breaking up a “peaceful” protest….and the YouTube footage would only have showed the police reaction to the violence and “non-violent” protesters being “attacked” by “out of control cops!” E-mail communication to author, January 28, 2009.

[33] World Gazeteer, “World’s Largest Cities and Towns,”
, accessed December 29, 2008.

[34] Spengler, “The Failed Muslim States to Come,” Asia Times, December 16, 2008,, accessed December 29, 2008. A similar estimate was offered by Ehud Barak, Israel’s Defense Minister. See “Captured terrorist says Israelis specifically targeted in Mumbai, six victims identified,” DEBKAfile, December 5, 2008,, accessed December 29, 2008.

[35]See the discussion by French filmmaker Pierre Rehov of suicide bomber motivation on MSNBC’s “Connected” program, July 15, 2005, “The Psychology Behind Islamic Suicide Bombings,” . For a discussion of the contemporary debate on virgins as a reward for martyrdom in contemporary Islam, see “’72 Black Eyed Virgins’: A Muslim Debate on the Rewards of Martyrs,” MEMRI,, Inquiries and Analysis, No. 74, October 31, 2001,


[36] Matt Wade, “Captured terrorist reveals plot to kill up to 5,000,” The Age (Australia), December 1, 2008,

[37] Loc. cit.

[38] Jeremy Kahn, “Jews of Mumbai, a Tiny and Eclectic Group, Suddenly Reconsider Their Serene Existence,” New York Times, December 2, 2008, .  

[39] “Mumbai locals helped us, terrorist tells cops,” The Times of India, November 30, 2008,,prtpage-1.cms .

[40] “Mumbai locals helped us, terrorists tells cops,” The Times of India, November 30, 2008,

[41] Damien McElroy, “Mumbai Attacks: Jews tortured before being executed during hostage crisis,” Daily Telegraph (UK), February 12, 2008, .

[42] On the Albigensian Crusade see, for example, Zoeé Oldenbourg, Massacre at Montségur: A History of the Albigensian Crusade, trans. Peter Green (New York: Pantheon Books, 1961; see also Joseph R. Strayer, with an epilogue by Carol Lansing, The Albigensian Crusades, (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992).

[43] Sebastian Rotella and Achrene Sicakyuz, “Parisians Stare at the Evil Within,” Los Angeles Times, February 26, 2006, .

[44]See Nidra Poller, “The`Murder of Ilan Halimi,” Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2006, .

[45] Abdullah Iqbal, “Pearl was probing spy agencies’ role,” (United Arab Emirates), March 25, 2002,

[46] For an interpretation of what transpired immediately before and during the shooting of the video, see Bernard- Lévy, Who Killed Daniel Pearl? trans. James X. Mitchell  (Hoboken, NJ: Melville House, 2003), pp. 34-43.

[47] “Government urges CBS, Web site host to refrain from airing Pearl murder video,” The News Media and the Law, Summer 2002, .

[48] The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorists Attacks Upon the United States (Washington: U.S. Government Printing House, 2004), p. 145.

[49] Verbatim Transcript of Combatant Status Review Tribunal Hearing for ISN 10024 (Unclassified),, accessed January 3, 2009.

[50] A. Guillame, trans., The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirrat Rasul Allah (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2004), p. 369. For an explanation of the context of this saying, see,, March 13, 2008,  

[51] Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006), pp. 252-258: Douglas Jehl, “70 Die in Temple Attack,” New York Times, November 18. 1997 and “At Ancient Site Along the Nile, Modern Horror,” New York Times, November 19, 1997.         

[52] Jason Burke, “You have to kill in the name of Allah until you are killed,” The Observer (UK), January 27, 2002,,1442,640288,00.html and “Terror video used to lure UK Muslims,” The Observer, January 27, 2002,,,640079,00.html .

[53]Jessica Rocha, “Suspect says he meant to kill,” The News & Observer (Chapel Hill, NC), March 7, 2006, News & Observer, August 13, 2008, .

[54]“Police: Suspect considered UNC attack for two years,” Fayetteville Online, ‘Turn to Terror,” New York Sun, March 14. 2006,

[55]Jessica Rocha, “Suspect says he meant to kill,” The News & Observer (Chapel Hill, NC), March 7, 2006,

[56] Brenda Goodman, “Defendant Offers Details of Jeep Attack at University,” New York Times, March 8, 2006,

[57] Daniel Pipes, “The Quiet-Spoken Muslims Who Turn to Terror,” The New York Sun, March 14, 2006, h
, accessed November 16, 2008. 

[58] Robert Spencer, “Salt Lake Jihad?,” Front Page Magazine, February 15, 2007,, accessed November 16, 2008.

[59] Over 100 were killed in Nigeria alone. See Lydia Polgreen, “Nigeria Counts 100 Deaths Over Danish Caricatures,” NewYork Times, February 24, 2006,, accessed January 5, 2009..

Richard L. Rubenstein is President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Religion at the University of Bridgeport and Lawton Distinguished Professor of Religion Emeritus at Florida State University. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Jewish theology, the Holocaust and other issues including After Auschwitz: Radical Theology and Contemporary Judaism, The Cunning of History, My Brother Paul and Dissolving Alliance: The United States and the Future of Europe.


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