Sunday, September 03, 2006

Al Qaeda wants you to convert to Islam! (Gasp!!!)

The latest installment in the OBL Crew's Greatest Video Hits burst onto TV screens around the world on Friday. The timing is impeccable, as usual -- 10 days before the 5-year anniversary of 9/11. The video stars Ayman Zawahiri (2nd in command al qaeda bad guy), and another guy known as "azzam the american". Azzam speaks english and is clearly addressing the general public rather than any government. He makes the usual complaints ("the airing of grievances": every day is festivus to al qaeda), but this time he also invites the west to embrace islam. The offer expires pretty quickly, though: "Decide today", he advises "because today could be your last day".

More than anything else on the tape, the invitation to islam has conservatives in a lather. They see it as proof that al qaeda wants to take over the world (cue "pinky & the brain" music) and establish an international islamic caliphate. Right -- b
ut isn't this call to worship exactly the same thing evangelical christianity does? Evangelizes? Spreads the word and convinces people to accept jesus as saviour? Evangelicals even use the same apocalyptic imagery -- "decide today or you'll be left beind"... "you'll burn for eternity in a lake of fire"... and so on.

Al Qaeda tapes are always a little disturbing because of the violence they might portend. But to be disturbed by an invitation to convert to islam -- well, the hypocrisy is mindblowing.