Thursday, December 20, 2007

Do you have any questions for the Al-Qaeda leadership?

If you do, please send a "brief and focused" question addressed to Al-Zawahri, and he will respond ASAP. huh??
(and please be "brief and focused" ... you really don't want to upset this guy...)

From Faithworld at Reuters:
Al Qaeda’s second-in- command Ayman al-Zawahri will take questions from around the world next month in a video interview. This news got buried a bit in the reporting on his latest video but I asked our correspondent Firouz Sedarat in Dubai for some more information. He says this looks like the first time that Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man will go interactive like this.

As-Sahab, the Al Qaeda online media outlet that broadcasts these videos, has asked its viewers to send in “brief and focused” questions for the elusive Egyptian. “We urge the brothers overseeing the gathering of the questions to pass them on without any changes, be they pro or con, and As-Sahab will do its best to issue the answers by Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahri to these questions as soon as possible,” it said. It gave no further details about the format.

Ah...the wonderful world of internet. I guess soon we will start getting their messages via itunes for a buck a piece. It has also been suggested that Al-Zawahri is now getting his ideas from Presidential debates (after all there have been only 515 debates so far this season - though, we are still waiting for a Science Debate - but that is a different topic):
Zawahri himself didn’t mention any Q&A in the 97-minute video, so it’s not clear if he knows about the YouTube debates in his hideout. He talks about both religious and political issues in his videos, although his statements related to security issues usually grab the headlines. Among the religious issues in the latest video was an attack of Saudi King Abdullah for meeting Pope Benedict at the Vatican last month. In an unusually fast reaction, the Vatican responded by saying he seemed afraid of dialogue with other religions.
Also, please if you can, avoid unnecessary nudity in your youtube question.


hedge said...

"Don't you realize that God doesn't exist"?

Is that brief and focussed enough? I thought about adding "you big nitwit" to the end, but one shouldn't necessarily succumb to the desire to be rude just because it's the internet.

Salman Hameed said...

Oh..this is precisely to the point!

And too bad that your internet politeness will leave out the key part of your question.

On a more serious note, Scott Atran has been working on Al-Aqaeda and suicide bombers. And he does not find religion as a central feature in their motivation. He gave an excellent talk at the beyond belief 2 conference in November I will have a post about it in a week or two. In the mean time here is a link to his powerpoint of another talk:

and his article on Suicide bombers in Science (this is a pdf):

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