Book Review: Title Withheld
Picking up the telephone, I called a friend whose area of expertise is the old Soviet Empire and a modern Russia’s capability for disinformation. At the end of the day, it all comes down to one thing. Who can manipulate whom?
The selection which had just been purchased last week was found on the shelf of Half Price Books and the scholar was one with which I am familiar. A duo of previous scholarly writings reside in my personal library and I am familiar with his style: dry but sufficiently interesting. What was surprising, as I opened the pages of what was presented as a Muslim travelogue, was a triggering device placed early within the opening pages of the book. Recognizing that I was about to enter a cryptograph, the selection was read in very short order.
Should I shake the tree? That was my question. The book presented as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This simple travelogue was really a prep, guidance, encouragement, and targeting guide for jihad. At the very least, the words on the page could adversely effect the individual reader. With a worst case scenario, the selection could have been written with a sleeper cell in mind.
Spying. The actual beginning point for the book reminds the Muslim that he is not to spy on his brother. This issue presents as a Catch 22, a perplexing one, for our intelligence agencies. With Islam, one is to seek permission to enter a home. So if a Muslim enters a home without permission and sees grandma sewing a suicide vest, he is not to report out. He was not given permission to see it. If the same Muslim enters a home with permission and sees grandma sewing a suicide vest, he shouldn’t report out. He will have violated a trust. Why did the book remind Muslims they are not to report out?
There is an interesting section regarding visiting an airport. Great detail is given on how to pass through airport security. Space is devoted on preparations which should be made for this type of travel. The emphasis is comparable to the song by John Denver, “… Leaving on a jet plane. Don’t know when I’ll be back again.” The writer talks of a simple flight as if it is a final flight and gives guidance for preparation for the Day of Judgment. In fact, in a chilling manner, one section is subtitled, “Going Not Coming Back”. To have a proper sense of gravitas I revisited the film “United 93” last night. While Muslims believe that to Allah you return, perhaps “We the People” do not wish to return with you. It reminds me of the old joke, “Grandpa died peacefully in his sleep, not screaming in terror like his passengers.” Whilst the hijackers may have had a sense of serenity for what they managed to pull off on 9/11, it is fair to say their fellow travelers died with their mouths wide open. What happened on all of our flights on September 11th disgusts me.
Detail is dedicated to the topic of entering a court of justice where the defendant is perceived as a hostile witness. Please, do not give up any small bit of information which can be used to the benefit of the court. Again, there are secrets to protect.
A visit to cave sites which are important to Islam remind the Muslim of the refuge which can be found in the caves. Whether it is Abu Bakr and Prophet Muhammad hiding from their enemies in the cave known as Thawr or the significance of Surah al-Kahf, Muslim historians understand how the geological space of caves occupies a psychological space regarding your doctrine.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hid in a boat covered with a tarp. He wrote a message on the walls of the boat. In part, “God has a plan for each person. Mine was to hide in his boat.” Here is the hard question with the easy answer: Q. Did Tsarnaev envision himself in a cave-like place of refuge? A. Yes. Except in the case of Tsarnaev, he was not seeking refuge from persecution. He was a spree killer fleeing justice.
So it is a bit disconcerting for the scholar to write of a mosque being built above a cave. Here is another hard question with an uneasy answer. Is it possible there are Shura Councils in existence, mosques which are built, for the sole purpose of providing cover for sleeper cells in America? Perhaps we have lacked diligence in closing some facilities which have provided long-term cover for those who would seek to tear our societal fabric.
The book selection covers several areas of interest for the author and includes sections which seem benign enough. Some of the battles from the early days of Islam are recounted with a reminder that it is not tactical strength alone which wins the battle, but commitment to the cause. But overall the book contains vivid imagery of the tortures of hell and what must be done in this life to avoid it. Paradise can be earned with blood, and what better blood than that of those who exhibit behaviors which are acceptable to the Western man, but not to the Muslim? What better blood to offer Allah, then the martyrdom of a Muslim?
Perhaps there is one thing which drew me to write a “Title Withheld” book review. The author included a list of targets which included venues which are popular with small children. Do you really want to visit jihad on a zoo? He also included a venue which is very popular for our senior citizens. I can conceptualize and somewhat emotionally isolate some of the suggested hardened targets. Rain down fire on our municipal offices and our mayor. Ambush county law enforcement. We will find you and bring you to justice. But seek out our most vulnerable? You get a book review.