Tags: Al-Qaida: | Klux | Klan | with | Turbans

Al-Qaida: Ku Klux Klan with Turbans

Monday, 22 August 2005 12:00 AM

The underground movement was successful in its aims of protecting whites, placing blacks under heel, and reducing the power of post-war carpetbaggers and scalawags by fighting Northern Congressional laws that placed Southern whites under the control of a party composed principally of ex-slaves.

While many of the Klan chapters withered away, the organization soon fell into the hands of outlaws and violent men, whose vigilante terror operations led the original group to become tarred with the worst excesses of some of its followers, including cross burnings, torture, lynching of blacks, murders of Southern Republicans and an accepted world-view based upon racist and religious certainties. Over the years, thousands were killed, and Ulysses S. Grant led the Congress to pass the Ku Klux Klan Act in 1871 to combat the terrorism. The Supreme Court, however, declared this unconstitutional in 1882.

Like the KKK, al-Qaida has an unmistakably similar pattern. It is a secret jihadist organization of fanatical Islamists whose world-view is absolute. Where the KKK vilified Jews, Catholics and blacks, al-Qaida hates Jews, Christians and non-Islamic societies. The KKK famously used midnight rides to kidnap, torture and kill their targets, wearing white hoods and robes to frighten their victims and disguise themselves.

With its own black masks, flags, automatic rifles and daggers, al-Qaida is not always as finely targeted: although it frequently kidnaps and beheads selected individuals, more often it prefers to indiscriminately kill dozens of innocent victims with explosives. As 9/11 and the Khobar Towers bombing have shown, when hundreds or thousands are killed, al-Qaida is that much more pleased.

When the revived Klan sought new followers, it fed into their fears by summoning the patriotic instincts that coursed through the veins of white Southerners, along with the notions of white supremacy and community spirit, with the added exhortation that it was doing God's work here in America.

Osama Bin Laden's henchmen find recruits and martyrs by means of "true believer" religious zealotry, stoking the fires of deep religious and ethnic hatreds while exacerbating the loathing of the non-Islamic world.

As a national organization, the KKK was structured along the lines of a fraternal order, with fanciful titles like Imperial Wizard, Grand Dragons, Giants, and Titans to demarcate regional lines of authority. Rank and file Klansmen were affectionately known as Ghouls.

Bin Laden assumes the role of worldwide Imperial Wizard, and his semi-autonomous jihadist network in practice functions as a franchise operation. Although there may be independent operators among these groups, government intelligence suggests that jihadist cell leaders come to Bin Laden with various terror projects to ask both his blessing and.funding.

By the 1990s, the Klan had fallen under widespread public disapprobation, and with the effects of crippling lawsuits, imprisonment, poor leadership and dwindling members, various factions survive today only as species of private clubs.

What served to destroy the Klan's power could similarly be used against al-Qaida. Outlaw all terrorist organizations, aggressively kill or imprison their leaders and sympathizers, remove their weapons, destroy their propaganda apparatus and meeting places.

All Arab governments should adopt these measures if they are serious about stamping out al-Qaida, and at the same time, they and their religious leaders must actively counter the siren song of jihad with convincing messages to their populations about how evil these men really are. Mideast governments must provide no haven for terrorists nor should they silently encourage them by favorably reporting on their activities via the media.

It is only when the fanatic Islamists are isolated and discredited in public opinion — when the Muslim populace turns against them — will we see a marked decrease in their numbers. Given the stakes, until this happens, the War on Terror will have no end in sight.

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Monday, 22 August 2005 12:00 AM
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