Friday, September 7, 2007

Bin Laden's New Video

Osama bin Laden has something in common with J. K. Rowling. Somehow, copies of Rowling's final "Potter" book were released early. I felt sympathy for the loyal fans, whose excitement and enjoyment of the final Potter book's release was blunted by the premature exposure.

Osama bin Ladn's new video was found and released, apparently before Al Qaeda wanted, by America. Not long after Washington said it had the video, "all the Islamic militant Web sites that usually carry statements from Al Qaeda went down and were inaccessible, in an unprecedented shutdown."

It's frustrating, when the impact of a major media work is diminished by early release. Somehow, though, I can't find it in me to feel sorry for Al Qaeda.

One expert said he thought that Al Qaeda took down the sites, in connection with trying to find out how the video was leaked.

There's a transcript of the video on the Fox News site.

This is the first bin Laden video released since October, 2004. If he were a singer, I'd say that his career was in trouble.

Joking aside, the news reports say that there's no definite indication of a 9/11-type attack on America, and it's possible that this video was intended to impress the infidels over here with bin Laden's superior beliefs.

I've heard, and read, that Islamic belief and tradition forbids conversion-by-force without first telling the infidel to adopt Islam. I'm skeptical of the online resources I found, though, and don't have easy access to works like the Hidayah.

So, I don't know whether bin Laden's offer to Americans to embrace Islam is a example of an ask-first-then-attack custom, or not.

It's late, I'll get back to this another day.

A note about this blog: to date, I've been referring to bin Laden's outfit as "al Qaeda." Starting today, I'll by writing, "Al Qaeda," since the definite article in the organization's name is part of the name, just like "the" is part of the name of "The New York Times."

Related posts, on Individuals and the War on Terror.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.