Another Piece of Furniture to Set the Stage

The premier scholar of Oriental Studies Bernard Lewis, is widely regarded as the world’s foremost expert on Islam. Even many Muslims regard him as such and look to his writings to understand how the West views Islam.

In his excellent primer on the current challenge presented by fundamentalist groups like Al Qaeda, The Crisis of Islam, Lewis issues several prescient warnings. One of them is that it is the stated objective of Al Qaeda, working with other jihadist groups, to accomplish their Allah-ordained task of world domination through global jihad, by first removing the current ‘corrupt and secular leadership’ of Muslim nations.[1] For Al Qaeda, the majority of Middle Eastern and Muslim-dominant countries had governments that failed to implement Sharia and mobilize their resources to accomplish the task of global jihad, which ought to have been their primary concern. Instead, they were led by regimes and dictators who held position only to amass a personal fortune. They were corrupt and secular, in bed with the Great Satan (United States) and unwilling to annihilate the Little Satan (Israel) which continuing existence was a terrible affront to the glory of Allah.

Bin Laden made his strategy for Al Qaeda clear: First, replace the corrupt and secular leaders of Muslim and Arabic nations with fundamentalist regimes that would install Sharia, then mobilizing those nations’ resources to conduct global jihad to subjugate the entire world to Allah. Al Qaeda sought to follow this route early in its history when it based itself in Sudan. Bin Laden’s goal was to assist the northern Muslim government in its war against the Christian south where the bulk of Sudan’s mineral and petroleum wealth lies. Failing in Sudan, Al Qaeda moved and attempted to garner more support for its cause by major attacks like the USS Cole, embassy bombings and 9/11.

Al Qaeda has now returned to its first goal of regime-change in Muslim nations. That is what is behind the civil unrest that’s spread across the Middle East. While those who protest and riot are doing so for various reasons, some of them being highly personal, the radical jihadists stoke the flames of unrest and arm the protesters because it serves their agenda of destabilizing these governments. In the aftermath of the regimes’ fall, they have positioned themselves to take power. They know they cannot seize control of Tunisia, Egypt (the ideological-twin to Al Qaeda there is the Muslim Brotherhood), Syria, and Libya under the banner and label of Al Qaeda because the West would react swiftly, so they’re coming forward as “freedom-fighters” who want to install a culturally-relevant form of democracy. It’s all a façade, a lie calculated to assuage the West of concern that radicals are replacing what had been steady regimes. Once the rebels have taken control and are ensconced firmly in power, it will be seen that they are ideologically jihadists of the most virulent sort.

Especially troubling is what’s taking place in Libya. Kaddafi is/was a brutal tyrant, a corrupt dictator who ought to have been replaced long ago. What’s distressing is the “ruling council” of rebels positioned to replace him. Just who are they? The few reports that have identified them consistently mention the presence of Al Qaeda operatives. Early reports made it clear that many of fighters attacking Kaddafi’s forces were foreigners; trained combatants from other countries. Why were they there? What would motivate them to risk their lives in a political struggle not their own? Unless it is. And NATO is supporting the rebels in their attempt at regime change in Libya – a country, like Sudan, rich in petroleum resources and unlike Sudan, strategically positioned in the Mediterranean.

Libya is one of the nations in Ezekiel 38 that will be a part of the end-time collation that attacks Israel. Could we be witnessing the leadership-shift that will install the leadership that will join that coalition?

What of Syria? Egypt? Turkey? The world is a chessboard where the pieces are moving at a frantic pace.

[1] • Al Qaeda’s objectives reflect the ambitions of leader Osama bin Laden, and are in keeping with the goals of radical Islamic groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood who came before him:
• Removing Islamic / Arab countries’ current leadership. They are perceived as secular, promoting corrupted forms of Islam, and guilty of permitting foreign (e.g. Americans) occupation;
• Removing American military, as well as economic and cultural, influence from the Middle East and Islamic countries; weakening Israel, an American ally, is a corollary goal.