Fwd: Confronting the Mob

From: Chen Yixiong, Eric (cyixiong@yahoo.com)
Date: Sun Oct 14 2001 - 23:18:51 MDT

The world just got more dangerous recently. Time to prepare to evacuate from Planet Earth.


Confronting the Mob
Muslim leaders must now side with Bush or bin Laden. For most, it’s a dangerous choice

Oct. 22 issue — In the Nasser neighborhood of the Gaza Strip, a few dozen men sit on white plastic chairs and sip bitter coffee at a wake for 13-year-old Abdullah al-Ifranji. The boy had been struck in the head by a policeman’s bullet. Two days earlier, shortly after leaving his school across from the Islamic University, he walked into the middle of a violent demonstration. Handwritten condolences from Hamas, the radical Islamic group, hang on every wall of the house.

If not, many Arab officials privately say, this could be the eve of destruction for the old order in the Middle East. The very regimes that Washington is depending on as allies in the war on terror—from Saudi Arabia to Egypt—could be toppled. And that’s just what Osama bin Laden wants. While most demonstrations remained fairly small last week, pessimists fear a violent Islamic backlash that begins with street protests and pictures of bin Laden, and ends in a Taliban- or Iranian-style revolution. At a rally inside Cairo’s Al-Azhar mosque, people held the Quran in the air and raised banners declaring JIHAD IS THE SOLUTION.

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