Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
In August 1988, nine men met in Osama Bin Laden’s house in Peshawar, Pakistan, to start a group that would end up playing a dramatic role in shaping the United States of the early 21st century. They called the group al-Qaeda, which means “the base” in Arabic. As a result of its terrorist activities, the US would see the most lethal attack ever on its homeland, would embark on a war that has already lasted for 17 years, would spend an estimated $2.8 trillion to protect itself from attack, according to a recent Stimson Centre report, and would see its politics changed in fundamental ways that endure today. In the wake of that founding meeting, al-Qaeda records show, the “work of al-Qaeda commenced on September 10, 1988,” 30 years ago. Twenty years ago last month, al-Qaeda made its intent to wage global war on the United States unmistakable when it bombed the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killing 224 people. Seventeen years ago on Tuesday, al-Qaeda killed 2,977 people in the United States.
Against the backdrop of this history of violence, what is the threat to the United States today from jihadist terrorists?
September 11, 2001. A group of radical Islamic terrorists attacked the United States of America. Six years later in 2007, when I visited the US and went to meet my fellow journalists in the Wall Street Journal, from the window I witnessed with greatest sorrow the place of occurrence. At that time construction of the Ground Zero monument was going on. Standing there I could imagine the density of the notoriety of preachers of jihad and the pains and tears of those, who lost their loved ones. In silence I prayed for the peace and salvation of those departed souls.
As a human being, it was really unbearable on my part witnessing such cruelty of the Islamists. Hope God will place the evil souls of the attackers in eternal hellfire. I do firmly believe, this Ground Zero will remain as the symbol of courage and strength to my American friends, brothers and sisters, and every peace loving individual in the world in standing firm against radical Islam and confront this evil.
September 11 certainly is a day of mourning for all of us. It is a day, when we feel the urgency of standing in unison against radical Islam and jihad. It is the day, when all of us need to take the oath of doing whatever we can in eliminating radical Islam. Let us know, every element of radical Islam are our enemies. Be it Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Al Shabab, Boko Haram, Muslim Brotherhood, Abu Saiyaf or Hamas. While we need to embrace the essence of interfaith harmony, we should not, in the name of democracy, allow Muslim jihadists and radical Islam in spreading wings in the US, the West or rest of the world. All of us know how radical Islam has been spreading wings in the US and rest of the world. We know, Muslim mosques and so-called community centres have turned into breeding ground of radical Islamic militancy. If we carefully watch our Muslim neighbours, we will see, how most of the Muslim men and women and their children are turning into lone wolves. In our neighborhood, they are being transformed into predators.
Can’t we stop radical Islam from growing further? Can’t we say ENOUGH to jihad? Can’t we become more alert and save our countries from going into the grips of radical Islamic jihadists? Let us be vigilant on the nearby stores or markets selling Islamic hijab and burqa. We must know, every year, sale of hijab and burqa are increasing. Every year, the numbers of silent terrorists are increasing. They want to kill us! They want to destroy us! But, we should never allow them in becoming much lethal and organized.
Our moral obligations are to defeat radical Islam. If we succeed in doing so, our remembrance of 9/11 will be meaningful. We must win this battle against radical Islam.
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Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is the editor of Blitz.
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