The Egyptian writer, Naguib Mafooz, was born to a humble family in the Fatimid quarter of Cairo. He was bequeathed with the name of the Coptic physician who assisted in his birth. The youngest of seven children, raised within a Muslim family with strict orthodoxy he once commented, “You would have never thought that an artist would emerge from that family.” But buried deep within his genome map were the gifts of an artist. What is known as the Cairo Trilogy, is perhaps his best remembered work. In 1988 Naguib Mafooz received the Nobel Prize for Literature. His literature elevates the human soul. And his trilogy remains in the category of favorites, in my home library.
The Nobel Prize for Literature will not be awarded to the editor of the Spring edition of the al-Qaeda magazine “Inspire”. There is literature, and then there is the work of disturbed minds.
Having recently received a copy it seems good to remind the readership to choose legitimate media organizations to assist in the opinion-making process. “Inspire” is not journalism. It is a niche industry run by hot-headed jihadi seeking out cohorts with reptilian brains.
The magazine has certainly evolved over the years. Oriented more toward a Western audience, the cover shows a man with a ball cap and hoodie looking toward a well-lit multi-story residence.
The cover feature is a real attention grabber: “Home Assassinations: Making explosives for home Assassinations – parcel bomb, magnetic car bomb and door trap bomb”. I am reminded that the very word “assassination” is a spelling reminder that we are not meant to act like twin donkeys. It is not good for greater society.
After viewing this exciting cover I had a moment of illumination. All praise be to Abu Hamza! Quickly picking up the telephone I called my stockbroker. There is a bright future for the prosthetics industry! Who is the best in the industry for glass eyes and prosthetic hands?
Of course there is the usual “put the bomb in a book” scenario. I once viewed a video where a man was blown to smithereens with a bomb placed in an old VHS video case. Very effective. But then again…. the prosthetics industry awaits the lone wolf of the inspired variety.
The magazine has definite formatting issues. Cover articles are usually situated near the front of a magazine and not at the end. I guess the editor wanted to end it all with a big bang. No pun intended.
The magazine seeks legitimacy by devoting two pages to comments from professional journalists and includes a blurb from Michael Hayden (former CIA and NSA director). It is the kind of name-dropping which I find detestable because the reporters are merely doing their job. They are reporting the news. They would not spit on the editor were he on fire. It is a waste of spittle.
Ahmed Mohamed (the Clock Boy) receives a small shout-out, with the iconic image of him with President Obama. As I am a personal friend of the parents and children, I am aware of how this news has affected the nuclear and extended family.
There is one interesting image which makes me wonder if the artist was thinking of the Day of Requittal. An obscure Hadith comes to mind. His fate is already written.
A page is devoted to “Words of Wisdom” from al-Qaeda leadership, both living and now deceased. This is followed by a section on Palestine. Usama bin Ladin merits a few pages, and Anwar al-Awlaki is on full display on the back cover. The images of both men have been airbrushed and photo-shopped to ridiculous levels. Perhaps it is to achieve the valued look of serenity which is the trademark for jihad warriors.
One of the articles is deeply disturbing. As a humanist who looks at all people without my first thought being, “Gosh! Is this person a Jew… a Bangladeshi… a German?’, there is zero tolerance for the line of fire laid down by the author. The article boasts of a “knife revolution” coming to America. “How many Jews are in America, Europe and other kufr countries?” Let me merely note the obvious. How many Muslims are in America? Should I begin to take an interest in that little fact?
Pick up a knife if you will. We also have a will which is greater than your own. It is the collective will of the American people. We strive hard to live in peace. This peace, includes protection for Muslims, Jews, and all who choose proudly call themselves Americans. Pick up a knife, and you are done. Period.
The current issue of Inspire is 89 pages in length. Eighty-nine pages of hatred, angst, paranoia and bigotry. Yet across much of the world most of us go about our daily business. We are busy learning how to construct temporary housing with 3-D printers. Medicines are being brought to the marketplace which will improve quality of life. Farmers are tending their soil and bringing their produce to market. Shepherds are herding their sheep. Educators in the classroom and assuring that the next generation of children will be ready to take our places when the time comes.
Al-Qaeda? Alpha males are seeking out their fellow wolves. We don’t live in al-Qaeda’s world. Nor do we want a world which resembles it.