Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Looming Tower by;Lawrence Wright- a book report

Al-Qaeda and the road to 9/11 A longtime friend Glenn Puncochar advised me about this book. He knows my concern about the threat to world peace, which in my opinion, is the rapid spread of Islam into all parts of the Earth. I immediately ordered it and have been reading for three weeks. This is an outstanding effort by Mr. Wright. I can’t even begin to contemplate the research necessary to accomplish such a monumental piece of work. After reading I have a much clearer understanding of how the events unfolded over the past 70 years which culminated in the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City on 9/11. As I have been reading and researching for the past eleven years I have learned a lot about Islam and Muslims. After 9/11 occurred I went to the Library and brought home three books about Islam. I read them and became more confused as I read any number of good things such as caring for widows and orphans and treating people with respect. As the years progressed many new books were published about how Islam really works and the evil it personifies in our present world. To name a few; “The Grand Jihad”, Cruel and Usual Punishment”, Marked for Death” and “Infidel”, they inform the reader of the harsh reality of Islam today. Whether you read this review or not, I am taking my time to write and it will of necessity be long. It is far too complicated to give it it’s just due with just a few words. I would certainly be happy to find that a few of you would be interested enough to buy and read for yourselves. I’m not optimistic that you will. Islam has been revised and adjusted over the centuries. Until the advent of the discovery of oil in Arab lands, these customs and practices were known only to themselves. Their barbaric treatment of women is a well-documented fact. Just this week a Pakistan father killed his 16 year old daughter by pouring acid on her. Her perceived offense was turning her head on a bicycle to look at a boy. My oldest granddaughter turned 16 this month. She is a beautiful, intelligent young girl with a bright future. It is inconceivable to me that there exists in this world a so-called religion that supports, defends and encourages this type of behavior. They are allowed up to four wives. Osama bin Laden had as many as six and produced between 20 and 26 children according to Wikipedia. In this book, just a few months before 9/11 to took another bride. She was 15. The purpose of this book is not to denigrate those aspects of Islam but to clearly show how violence against the West began with a few individuals who learned to hate Western culture and started the organizations that culminated in 9/11 and exist today, more capable than ever, dedicated ever more to the destruction of America, Israel and subverting Europe to their way of life. It began in 1948 when a young man, Sayyid Qutb came to America from Egypt on a scholarship. He learned to despise American culture with, in his opinion, obsession with sex, materialism and racism. He, himself experienced racism due to his dark skin color. He said “The white man in Europe or America is our number 1 enemy. The white man crushes us underfoot while we teach our children about his civilization, his universal principles and noble objectives… We are endowing our children with amazement and respect for the master who tramples our honor and enslaves us. Let us instead plant the seeds of hatred, disgust and revenge in the souls of these children. Let us teach these children from the time their nails are soft that the white man is the enemy of humanity, and that they should destroy him at the first opportunity,” Upon his return to Egypt he joined forces with Hasan al- Banna, the founder of the Muslin Brotherhood which was dedicated to convert to Sharia Law. Banna said “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” Qutb was thrown into prison and tortured. He was hanged on August 29, 1966. His legacy continued to advance. The next person of interest is Ayman al Zawahiri. He successfully built up a cadre of like-minded people. On October 6, 1981 followers of him assassinated Anwar Sadat, the President of Egypt. Zawahiri was captured. He was released in 1984. He emerged a hardened radical whose beliefs had been hammered into brilliant resolve. Osama bin Laden developed into the terrorist he ultimately became. There are many pages devoted to him. It starts on page 72. We learn of his birth in January 1958. He was the son of Mohamed bin Laden’s fourth wife. The 300 pages of the rest of the book chronicles his life. Early on he became a successful construction manager. After the Soviets occupied Afghanistan Osama gathered together Islamists mostly from Egypt in Pakistan to aid in the fight against the Russians. In February 1989 the Soviets withdrew. The fight now was against the Communist Party left in control. The Taliban were the primary force. They tolerated bin Laden and allowed him to stay. He joined forces with Zawahiri and created al-Qaeda whose goal is to lift the word of God and to make His religion victorious. Bin Laden stated that his hatred for America started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American fleet helped them. As an aside, on page 149 a paragraph is devoted to the Saudi Arabia government which set out to evangelize the Islamic world, using billions of riyals at its disposal to construct hundreds of mosques around the globe. Music disappeared in the kingdom creating a joyless environment for their citizens. At this point I have concluded that it would take too many pages to do justice to this book. Suffice it to state that bin Laden and Zawahiri are responsible for the growth and intensity of terrorist acts throughout the world. This includes the first attempt to destroy the World Towers 2/26/1993 by followers of the blind sheik, the suicide bombing of the American Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam on 8/7/1998. Also on October 12, 2000 a fishing boat approached the USS Cole and blew itself up while blasting a huge hole in the Destroyer. The culmination of their combined efforts occurred on 9/11/2001 with the destruction of the Towers and damage to the Pentagon. It is stated on page 272 that bin Laden’s goal stated in 1998 was to lure the United States into Afghanistan. Even though he has today been killed his legacy lives on. We still have Americans in that country sacrificing their lives while America is bled financially in the vain attempt to eliminate the fanatics who continue their single minded purpose of converting the world to Taliban government. The purpose of this book and my attempt to review is that Islamic terrorism did not always exist at least to the extreme extent it now does. I consider it the greatest threat to world peace. It must be stopped somehow. No government, including our own seems to understand the threat or are willing to put forth the effort to stomp it out. This book needs to be read by persons in authority. I also recommend it to you. Jack B. Walters December 2, 2012

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