Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Here are two articles that show two sides of the same coin.  On one hand, poor and uneducated Muslims are recruited through madrassas to become suicide bombers.  On the other hand, highly educated and well off Muslims choose to become suicide bombers.

In "Why Schools For Suicide Bombers Succeed" the article delves into the role of madrassas in the recruitment of young people to become suicide bombers.

In "We need a smarter way to fight the jihadi elite" Anne Applebaum chronicles the path of  Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a successful Jordanian doctor who also chose to become a suicide bomber.

In both cases the unifying element is Islam, and the global Jihad being waged against non-Muslims, and Muslims not meeting the pious standards of the radicals.  The comparison of the two extremes illustrates the universal appeal to Muslims to wage Jihad.


Why Schools For Suicide Bombers Succeed

January 12, 2010: The Taliban have developed a curriculum that combines sex, religion and Islamic radical preaching, to produce suicide bombers. The object of all this is to induce young Afghans, or Pakistanis, to willingly be suicide bombers. The basic pitch is that if you die in defense of Islam, you go straight to paradise, and an eternity of sex and luxurious living. The indoctrination work is done in religious schools, and parents send their sons anyway, because the students do get some education, and their parents don't have to support the kids in these boarding schools. Parents know that only a few percent of the young men are convinced that being a suicide bomber is the way to go. But twenty percent or more of the students are attracted to being a paid gunman for the Taliban, and, often drug gangs as well.



We need a smarter way to fight the jihadi elite
By Anne Applebaum

Somehow, he conned the Jordanian secret service into thinking he was their agent. Then he conned the CIA into thinking he was their agent, too. After that, he conned both the Jordanians and the Americans — his "enemies," he told al-Jazeera — into believing he could track down leaders of al-Qaeda. Nevertheless, by far the most intriguing thing about Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi — the suicide bomber who killed eight people at a CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan, two weeks ago — is his wife, Defne Bayrak.
"My husband was anti-American; so am I." That was what Bayrak told the editors of Newsweek's Turkish edition last week. Bayrak is a 31-year-old Turkish journalist and Turkish-Arabic translator who says she met her late husband in an Internet chat room. Her publications include articles for Islamist publications and a book called "Bin Laden: Che Guevara of the East." Unlike others in her family, she wears a black chador, which in Turkey is not merely religious clothing but also a political symbol. She is no shrinking wallflower. "I am proud of my husband, he carried out a great operation in this war. I hope Allah will accept his martyrdom, if he has become a martyr," she told reporters in Istanbul.

Bayrak is a shining example of what might be called the international jihadi elite: She is educated, eloquent, has connections across the Islamic world — Istanbul, Amman, Peshawar — yet is not exactly part of the global economy. She shares these traits not only with her husband — a doctor who was the son of middle-class, English-speaking Jordanians — but also with others featured recently in the news. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, for example, grew up in a wealthy Nigerian family and studied at University College London before trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane on Christmas Day. Ahmed Saeed Omar Sheikh ("Sheikh Omar") was born in Britain and studied at elite high schools there and in Pakistan and dropped out of the London School of Economics before murdering American journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan was born in Arlington, graduated from Virginia Tech and did his psychiatric residency at Walter Reed before killing 13 people in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood.