Hearts, Minds and Suicide Bombs
al Qaeda continues to dispense terror to the people of the Muslim world using the tool they have mastered: the suicide bomb. A day following the horrific attack on Iraqi children in Baghdad that killed 24 children and wounded and maimed scores, further attacks using suicide bombs are conducted.
Al Qaeda obviously believes the tactic of using suicide bombs against civilian targets is working, but they fail to properly gauge the impact of their gruesome methods. John Tabin of The American Spectator brings to light a survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project that should give the jihadis pause (hat tip Instapundit). Support for Osama bin Laden and suicide bombings are plummeting throughout the Muslim world. Mr. Tabin neatly summarizes the data.
Support, among Muslims, for suicide bombing against civilians has also faded. (Only Muslims were asked this question.) The percentage saying the practice is "never justified" jumped since March 2004 from 35 to 46 in Pakistan and from 38 to 79 in Morocco, and jumped since the summer of 2002 (the last time the question was asked in these countries) from 54 to 66 in Indonesia and from 12 to 33 in Lebanon. (The Turks held stable on the issue, with 66% saying suicide bombing is "never justified," statistically identical to the 67% who gave that answer in March 2004.) Most interestingly, opposition to suicide bombings in Iraq specifically was higher, in several countries, than opposition to suicide bombing in general; 56% of Pakistanis and 41% of Lebanese oppose that "insurgent" tactic, along with 43% in Jordan, where only 11% oppose suicide bombing in general (and by "general," obviously, they mean "Israel" ).
This should come as no surprise, as al Qaeda has directed most of its mass casualty attacks against the Muslim world. Muslims who to not adhere to the strict and oppressive brand of the Salafi/Wahabi Islam are demeaned worthy of death. Women and children are not excluded, and are often targeted in mosques. Deroy Murdock documents the mosque attacks in Afghanistn and Iraq (hat tip Joe Katzman):
* June 1, 2005: A suicide bomber blasted the funeral of Mullah Abdul Fayaz, a moderate cleric, at his eponymous mosque in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He killed Kabul's police chief and 20 others, while wounding 50.
* January 20, 2005: A suicide bomber exploded inside the Ghocha Park Mosque in Sheberghan, injuring 21, six reportedly in critical condition.
* January 16, 2005: An anti-personnel mine went off at the Sal Metra mosque in Urozgan province, wounding two worshippers.
* June 30, 2003: An earlier bombing at Fayaz's mosque injured 16.
* May 23, 2005: A car bomb at a Baghdad mosque killed two and wounded 22, including 11 children.
* May 19, 2005: A bomb at a Saydiya mosque killed two and hurt five.
* April 22, 2005: A car bomb at a Baghdad mosque disrupted Friday prayers, killing nine and wounding 26.
* March 10, 2005: A suicide bomber detonated himself during a funeral at a Mosul mosque, murdering 47 people and injuring at least 101.
* February 18, 2005: On Ashoura, Shiites' holiest day, homicide bombers attacked two Baghdad mosques, killing 25 and wounding 30.
* February 18, 2005: A car bomb killed eight and hurt 10 at an Iskandariyah mosque.
* August 26, 2004: Mortar shells pummeled a Najaf mosque, leaving 27 dead and 63 injured.
* March 2, 2004: Homicide bombers, mortars, and hidden explosives at mosques in Baghdad and Karbala killed 181 and wounded 573 Ashoura worshippers.
* August 29, 2003: A car bomb outside a Najaf mosque killed 85 and injured 140.
Add the 386 killed and 970 injured in Iraq to the Afghan figures above: The terrorist pals of Guantanamo's al Qaeda and Taliban residents have butchered 407 Muslims and injured 1,059 more in these mosque attacks alone.
When Muslims watch al Qaeda murder their own women and children and destroy their places of worship, they will naturally begin to question the methods and ideology of al Qaeda. This is a major facet of the ideological struggle against al Qaeda. Direct engagement in the Middle East forces al Qaeda to expose their true nature. As they are unsuccessful at dislodging American forces with suicide tactics, they are forces to hit softer targets - places where women, children, the infirm - all fellow Muslims gather.
al Qaeda has a problem. As it is unable to successfully engage America (or even local Muslim nations) in open combat, it must resort to the tactics of terror. Al Qaeda has perfected the design and use of the suicide bomb, which are now placed on cars, trucks, tractors, canines, boats and airplanes.
The purpose of suicide bombs is to instill fear and despair among those "collaborating" with the West. As the polling shows, the opposite result is achieved. But you don't need to look at polling data to see that Muslims are beginning to question the purpose of the Islamists.
Hassan Mohammed, whose 13-year-old son Alaa also died, swore at insurgents for attacking civilians. "Why do they attack our children? They just destroyed one US Humvee, but they killed dozens of our children," he said as women screamed, slapped their faces and beat themselves over the head. "What sort of a resistance is this? It's a crime," he added.