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Author: There is Light at the End of the Terror Tunnel

Sunday, 24 November 2002 12:00 AM

These are comforting words to the uninitiated who worried if sooner or later U.S. incursions into Iraq might enrage and draw together a broader slice of a threatened Muslim world.

No way, explains the author, who suggests that Wahhabism has traditionally fought other Muslims for religious supremacy. “In fact, the Wahhabis have always allied themselves with foreign troops.”

So what’s with all this rhetoric by bin Laden about the imperative to drive the infidels from the Holy Land?

“Bin Laden may be a Wahhabi,” Schwartz tells NewsMax, “but he is first and foremost a propagandist.” The fact of the matter, he explains, is that there is no real Islamic concept of “holy territory, only holy sites such as Mecca and Medina.”

According to Schwartz, the bin Laden message so often cited by the media is but “a pretext, as there are no U.S. or allied troops anywhere near the holy sites.”

If, as you say, Wahhabism is the purest form of Islam, the reputed religion of peace, what accounts for this element of violence?

Schwartz explains that Wahhabism is hallmarked as being the “death cult; it is supremacist in that it puts Islam ahead of all other religions. It stands for the proposition that Muslims are the natural rulers over all other religious communities. Recall, that at the time of the Prophet, the Koran was not yet written down…”

Like his book, Schwartz is exacting and complete in his explanations, reeling off millenniums of history during any one discourse on any one issue.

Suffice it to say for our purposes here that by nature the purist Wahhabi Muslims are separatists, long committed to the violent tossing out of a lot of traditional Muslim notions.

According to Schwartz, you can also throw in a measure of “The End Times,” the biblical doctrine that a Judgment Day is imminent. The Wahhabis see this to-say-the-least compelling time as ripe for a final conflict between the various faiths of the world.

To further complicate matters, consider the theory offered by Schwartz that bin Laden’s strike on the U.S. on 9-11 might actually have been a diversionary action to distract attention from his real design of forcefully moving his brand of Islam into satellite states bordering on Afghanistan.

“Is such is the case,” says Schwartz, “he could not have picked a worse guy to go up against than George Bush. He’s really just an ordinary, hard-working guy, not at all like his Connecticut Brahmin father. If you mess with this guy you’re in trouble.”

Be that as it may, do you think that U.S. policy has accounted for notions such as you espouse in your book – particularly considering that Saudi Arabia is the current stronghold of Wahhabism and that so many of the 9-11 hijackers were Saudi nationals?

“I’m not in the business of giving military advice,” says Schwartz, but there have been certainly political mistakes made. For one, we need to stop treating the Saudis as our unqualified friends.”

Schwartz explains that the dominant faction in Saudi Arabia is not our friend and that any cultivation of the West by them is owing to a desire to build military force.

“What we should have done on the heels of 9-11 and what we still need to do now is to demand from the Saudis an accounting of their involvement in 9-11 -- all the details of involvement in recruiting and funding...”

Schwartz maintains that if 15 of the 19 hijackers of 9-11 had been from any other country other than Saudi Arabia, we would have immediately been in their faces demanding to know what was what.

So what’s so special about the Saudis that they have earned this hands-off approach?

“The Saudis have always been in a special position,” he explains. “If Israel wants something, they still have to lobby hard for it, but the Saudis just pick up the phone and call and get it…” How about the standard, “they’ve got the oil” thing?

“You can’t argue with that,” Schwartz begrudgingly admits, perhaps disappointed that the answer is not steeped in history and the idiosyncrasies of ages-old culture.

In the meantime, Schwartz tells NewsMax that he is pleased his new book is being discussed -- despite a concerted effort from the Saudis to hammer home the notion that all he says and suggests in the tome is but “a marginal position.”

Next time, NewsMax continues its conversation with Schwartz, covering, among other things, how he perceives the State Department as “a bastion of wrong thinking.”

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These are comforting words to the uninitiated who worried if sooner or later U.S. incursions into Iraq might enrage and draw together a broader slice of a threatened Muslim world. No way, explains the author, who suggests that Wahhabism has traditionally fought other...
Author:,There,Light,the,End,the,Terror,Tunnel
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2002-00-24
Sunday, 24 November 2002 12:00 AM
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