For nearly two decades, the leaders of Al Qaeda have denounced the Arab world’s dictators as heretics and puppets of the West and called for their downfall. Now, people in country after country have risen to topple their leaders — and Al Qaeda has played absolutely no role.
In fact, the motley opposition movements that have appeared so suddenly and proved so powerful have shunned the two central tenets of the Qaeda credo: murderous violence and religious fanaticism. The demonstrators have used force defensively, treated Islam as an afterthought and embraced democracy, which is anathema to Osama bin Laden and his followers.
So for Al Qaeda — and perhaps no less for the American policies that have been built around the threat it poses — the democratic revolutions that have gripped the world’s attention present a crossroads. Will the terrorist network shrivel slowly to irrelevance? Or will it find a way to exploit the chaos produced by political upheaval and the disappointment that will inevitably follow hopes now raised so high?
John Makely writes: Graffiti credited to secretive British artist Banksy has been appearing in Los Angeles over the past few days. The artist is nominated for best documentary for “Exit Through the Gift Shop” at the Oscars. I wonder if he will show his face to accept the award.
A bevy of nuns graced the Edna Barnes Salomon Room at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street during Monday’s Thom Browne Catwalk Fashion Show. We think this photo by Peter Stigter demonstrates the diversity of the Library’s appeal… A wholly holy sanctuary one day, celebrity haven…
The survey findings also show a significant correlation between trust in Fox News and negative attitudes about Muslims. Americans who most trust Fox News are more likely to believe that Muslims want to establish Shari’a law, have not done enough to oppose extremism, and believe investigating Muslim extremism is a good idea. There are even differences among Republicans and white evangelicals who trust Fox news most and those who trust other media.
At least that means 65% believe the opposite! Right?!?