Meanwhile, millions of Muslims gathered in Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj. There was some security there, too -- but not to protect Muslims against Americans. To protect them against other Muslims. ?The authorities want to thwart possible attacks by al Qaeda, which has waged a 20-month campaign of violence in the kingdom,? noted the Associated Press.
Now, if the United States wanted to kill millions of Muslims, everyone knows we could have on that day -- literally at the touch of a button. Yet they gathered without fear, because they also know we won?t. They know we?re better than that, and they know we?re at war with Islamic extremists, not Muslims in general.
Of course, it?s now up to mainstream Muslims to take their faith back from the extremists. And they?re starting to do so.
After a recent attack killed two of his sons, Iraqi politician Mithal al-Alusi told Radio Free Europe, ?[the extremists] claim that Islam is a message of killing, while Islam is a message of peace. They claim that the principles encourage killing, while the only principles that encourage killing are the principles of the Ba?ath and of the heathens from al Qaeda groupings.?
?They are using the faith, Islam, as a cover,? Abdulluh Ali Mohammed, security director for the Iraqi city of Irbil, told The Washington Post. ?We have to explain to these young terrorists that this is not the real Islam.?
It?s a start.
In his book, Scheuer was correct about one thing, although for the wrong reason. ?Bin Laden is out to drastically alter U.S. and Western policies toward the Islamic world,? he wrote in his introduction.
Well, mission accomplished, as they say. After decades of turning a blind eye to Arab dictators (as long as they were ?our? dictators, not Soviet dictators) we?re now exporting American freedom and democracy.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, that?s remaking the Islamic world -- or, more correctly -- it?s allowing Muslim people to remake their own world.
Maybe someday even Melanie Redman and her fellow Canadian-wannabees will notice.