Anyone who has flown since September 11 has experienced the heightened security put into place as a result of the attacks. Most of us have adjusted to the new realities. And we?re not the only ones adjusting. The people responsible for the heightened security?al Qaeda?have also adjusted.
After September 11 officials stepped up their scrutiny of people seeking to enter the
As Robert Leiken of the
We saw a glimpse of this tactic in the case of British convert Richard Reid, the ?shoe bomber.? More recently, a French Muslim convert is alleged to have ties to a suspect in the
Al Qaeda targets these people. ?They are full of rage, and they want to prove themselves.? They?re eager to ?show other Muslims their worth.? And al Qaeda is only too happy to oblige them with radical imams publicly preaching violence and martyrdom, as articles in the New York Times this weekend underscored.
Remember, too, that this tactic isn?t limited to
So, even if authorities find a way to cope with European converts, there?s still the problem of the home-grown variety.
These developments remind us that, whether we admit it or not, we are in a clash of civilizations with the Islamic world. That doesn?t mean that we are at war with every Muslim. What it means is that there?s something about Islam that poses a potential threat to our security and our way of life. If you doubt that, ask yourself whether you can imagine a graduate of Prison Fellowship?s full-time prison program setting off a dirty bomb.
We need to pray that our leaders can adapt to this frightening new reality. And we need to remind them that a religion where proving ?your worth? consists of killing civilians shouldn?t be called a ?religion of peace.?
For further reading and information:
Patrick E. Tyler and Don Van Natta, Jr., ? Militants in Europe Openly Call for Jihad and the Rule of Islam ,? New York Times,
Robert S. Leiken, ? Fair Game: Al Qaeda?s New Soldiers ,? New Republic,
Isambard Wilkinson, ? Fearsome dilemma of Spain?s Muslims ,? Telegraph (
Charles Colson, ? Evangelizing for Evil in Our Prisons ,? Wall Street Journal,
Charles Colson, ? An Unlikely Blessing ,?
Wendy Murray Zoba, ? Islam, U.S.A. ,? Christianity Today,
Timothy George, Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammad? (Zondervan, 2002).
Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response (J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002).