I just finished reading The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright. I was very familiar with the flow of the book given that so many of the blogs I read have commented on so many parts of the book. I know bloggers expect politicians to have et least read this book in understanding the threat we face from radicalized Islam. Most haven’t read this or anything else on the subject.
The book reads like a novel. I just picked it up at the Prescott Library book sale for 3.50 on Friday and finished it today. The author did a great job in painting the human side of Bin Ladin. I was amazed how much his organization was held together by his ability to pay a minimal salary. I’m sure salaries are still being paid by someone. The issue that struck me was the issue of “takfir”. This term surrounds the issue of Muslims killing innocents and fellow Muslims in their suicide bombings. Both suicide and murder are expressly forbidden with some exceptions for murder. One of them is if a Muslim has backslid or apostatized. This is the logic that says since the Muslims who died on Friday Sept. 11th were not in prayer that morning they were not really Muslims.
I talked about these issues with the Muslims I knew in Zambia. The weakness of the law is that everyone is guilty of breaking it in one way or another. A radicalized Muslim could be manipulated to murder anyone. I read an article at a West Point Website concluding that the war must be fought by overcoming and exploiting these doctrinal points within Islam. In the book agent Soufan uses his Arabic and knowledge of Islam to break Bin Ladin’s captured body guard following the 9/11 attacks.
I am back to believing that part of the last days scenario is a resurgent Islam, but also God finding Muslims within that surge and bringing them to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.
You can’t help but remember your 9/11 experience as the book winds down with to the climactic attack upon the Twin Towers.