David Ignatius’s column today explains jihadists’ reactions to the Obama election.
Before the election, the radical Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradhawi even issued a fatwa supporting John McCain: “Personally, I would prefer for the Republican candidate, McCain, to be elected. This is because I prefer the obvious enemy who does not hypocritically [conceal] his hostility toward you . . . to the enemy who wears a mask [of friendliness].”
Obama makes the jihadists nervous because he is an appealing new face whose ascension undermines the belief that Islam and the West are locked in an inescapable clash of civilizations. “The Democrats kill you slowly without you noticing it. . . . They are like a snake whose touch is not felt until its poison enters your body,” observes Qaradhawi.
Maybe the “like a snake” line was published before, but I didn’t see it. Although even I think Qaradhawi gives the Dems too much credit, it paints an interesting picture: The Dems are cunning and subtle; Republicans are hotheaded fools who react with their emotions instead of their brains.
The real danger of Islamic terrorism, which the war hawk Right is too foolish to see, is not what they can do to us. It’s what they can provoke us into doing to ourselves.
“Even in the Arab world, Obama is very popular,” explains Jean-Pierre Filiu, a French scholar of Islam. “The global jihadists leaned toward McCain because they hoped the confrontation would get worse.”
Four more years of Bush was just what they wanted, and they didn’t get it. On the other hand, the financial crisis is cheering them considerably. Part of Osama bin Laden’s original plan was to lure us into an expensive war in the Middle East that would topple our economy, remember.
Filiu says that among radical Muslims, there is a growing belief that we are entering an apocalyptic “Battle of the End of Time” foretold in a famous saying of the prophet Muhammad. This hadith predicted that the climax would come in the land known as Khorasan, which today includes Afghanistan, the tribal areas of Pakistan and parts of Iran. Filiu has gathered evidence of this Muslim eschatology in a new book called “L’Apocalypse dans l’Islam,” which will be published soon in English.
Maybe they and the extremist Christian fundies can build an apocalyptic theme park where they can act out their fantasies without killing the rest of us.