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The Al Qaeda Leader’s ‘New Look’ - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Led by Hassan-i-Sabbah, the Assassins, commonly known as al Hashashin, are the first and most notorious group in the world of organized assassinations.

Their leader relied on tactics in which his followers would smoke copious amounts of hashish to drug their senses and numb their minds, rendering them capable of executing acts  both the acceptable and the abominable.

Today, and implementing the Machiavellian methodology that the end justifies the means, the terrorist Taliban group residing in the fields and caves in Afghanistan are seeking to increase their opium poppy cultivation. Opium, a devastating drug, is then extracted from the plants and sold for exorbitant prices. Needless to say, the illicit money earned is declared halal (lawful from an Islamic standpoint) with the help of some muftis who choose to turn the blind eye on such practices.

Emerging from that same womb, al Qaeda continues to seep its poison and destructive ideology into the world. And now, once again, the leader of the organization makes another appearance to address the world revealing a ‘new look’. The new terrorist videotape footage is tinted with a new ‘hue’ marked by an interest in self-appearance and a theorizing about finance, the economy and politics.

All what the tape lacked was a sponsorship by Clairol or L’Oréal, the world’s biggest two companies manufacturing hair dyes. Regardless of the skeptical campaigns disputing the authenticity of the tape, despite the fact that the head of al Qaeda had not changed his clothes or the décor since the last video, the real source of grave concern in the mind of any rational observer who questions the existing reality in the region is the support and compassion that such leadership and ideology receives.

Thousands of innocent people have died and lived in panic and terror while the theorizing continues through the videos being released out of the studios of ‘Torawood’*. But to make matters worse, there are some among writers and media figures who still refer to Osama Bin Laden as ‘Sheikh’. But this not surprising during times in which the title ‘Sheikh’ is used deservedly and unjustifiably.

Adhering to, and believing in the myth of al Qaeda movement and its leader is an utterly delusional thing to do. There is little difference between it and Satanism. Everybody believes that salvation only exists in their own choice of ideology no matter how erroneous their orientations may be.

The history of al Qaeda is a black one and its deeds ugly; however the real concern remains to be the irrevocable schism between the intellectual reference and authority of this movement in terms of the views and literature that exist among us on the one hand, and between the educational, awareness and proselytizing in Islamic countries that still adopt important elements from this ideology [al Qaeda’s] in their discourse.

The world is no longer willing to listen to apologetic or vindicating discourses that state that “you have misunderstood the matter’. The truth is that there are some fatal errors in the issue itself. If no confrontation of this kind were to take place, then you can count on the persistence of the approach of the Assassins that reveres drugged killings and death.

*A reference to the Tora Bora Mountains region where Osama Bin Laden is believed to be hiding, and Hollywood.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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