Jews, Crusaders and beyond

Jameh mosque domeOnce again, an important issue in the Jordan coverage today is whether news organizations allow the al-Qaida (as always, the spellings are varied) statements to say what they say. A new Associated Press report is up at The New York Times contains some blunt passages.

So this is pretty predictable:

The al-Qaida statement said all the bombers “are Iraqis from the land between the two rivers,” alluding to Iraq’s ancient name, Mesopotamia. “They vowed to die and they chose the shortest route to receive the blessings of God,” it said.

But this is not:

It also threatened Israel, Jordan’s western neighbor. The statement noted that Jordan, which it described as Israel’s “buffer zone,” was now “within range” and “it will not be long before raids by the mujahedeen come” to the Jewish state itself. …

The plot was carried out in response to “the conspiracy against the Sunnis whose blood and honor were shed by the Crusaders and the Shiites” and with the connivance of the Arab League, which is trying to arrange an Iraqi reconciliation conference, the statement said.

A conspiracy of the “Crusaders and the Shiites”? I know that this is a reference to events in Iraq. But this is also a sign of the degree to which Muslims who want to work with the West in any way are increasingly in danger.

The Washington Post‘s second story — or third, it keeps sliding down — has another biting quote from the alleged statement by the bombers.

“After studying and observing the targets, the places of execution were chosen to be some hotels which the tyrant of Jordan has turned into a back yard for the enemies of Islam, such as the Jews and Crusaders,” the group said in a statement.

Now, I realize that many GetReligion readers say that this is all overkill and old news. I do not. I think the most important story in the Middle East right now is the increasing evidence of divisions within Islam over how to deal with Israel and the West. The Islamists are a threat to a wide variety of Muslim camps, as well as to “the Jews and the Crusaders.”

Yet these various Muslim groups — click here, or flash back to those recent headlines from Iran — do not have the same attitudes toward Israel and the West.

Please hear me. The goal is not to continue quoting the harsh religious language as a way to automatically blame Muslims. The goal is provide information about what the various different camps — within Islam, for a start — believe. We cannot understand the actions of the terrorists unless we take seriously their explanations for why they are acting.

I have a question for readers: Does anyone know of a solid, trustworthy site that actually posts the public statements by the terrorists? English translations? I assume the MSM bureaus have these statements, somewhere.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • mjbubba

    Iraq’s al-Qaida said it had carried out the bomb attacks, in a statement posted on the internet.

    “A group of our best lions launched a new attack on some dens … After casing the targets, some hotels were chosen which the Jordanian despot turned into a backyard for the enemies of the faith, the Jews and crusaders,” the statement on a website usually used by the group, said on Thursday. “Let the tyrant of Amman know that his protection…for the Jews has become a target for the mujahideen and their attacks, and let him expect the worst,” it added.
    found at:
    http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/4A915634-96C8-4672-8559-DF9BDB2F7460.htm


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