This article first appeared in the 28 January edition of Irish Independent and is reproduced here with their kind permission.
Al-Qaedaism: The Threat to Islam, The Threat to the World By Richard Whelan (Ashfield Press, €15)
Think of Cambodia’s killing fields under Pol Pot. Now imagine that Cambodia’s cruel dictator wasn’t a communist but a mad religious zealot. That ghastly image gives you an idea of what the world would look like if Osama bin Laden or Abu Musab al-Zarkawi got their way.
This is something that Irishman, Richard Whelan, clearly understands. His new book on Al-Qaedaism is far from the leftist apologia for Jihadist savagery one usually gets from Irish commentators. Instead, he gives a fascinating insight into a fascist dogma with global scope and deadly intent.
And what makes Whelan’s achievement even more remarkable is that he is not a specialist. He works as a financial consultant and devotes only his spare time to researching international affairs. But his book does not suffer on that account. As a non-academic without politically correct pretension, Whelan writes clearly and passionately about a subject he has mastered better than most experts.
By outlining the history of Al-Qaeda’s ideology, Whelan proves what most leftist commentators shamefully deny – that everyone who does not subscribe to Al-Qaeda’s fanaticism is worthy of slaughter. And that includes Shiite Muslims as well as moderate Sunnis. That explains why Jihadists in Iraq have no qualms about blowing up hospitals and schools containing fellow-Muslims.
Second, by showing that Al-Qaeda’s hatred of the West is caused more by our ‘decadence’ than by anything we have done in the Middle East, he smashes the view that Western foreign policy is to blame for spawning the terror squads. Palestine, Afghanistan, and Iraq are but pretexts for a bigger battle to restore the lost Islamic Caliphate or empire. And once that is achieved, the crusade to convert the infidel lands of the West will begin in earnest.
In his final chapter Whelan proposes four ways to defeat Al-Qaedaism. They include preventing, by any means necessary, weapons of mass destruction falling into terrorist hands. But he also recommends that the West assist moderate Islam in its own struggle against the fanatics. One way of doing this, he suggests, would be to admit Turkey into the EU.
But the problem for us Westerners is that the fanatics are ahead of the game. As last year’s Paris riots highlighted, Arab extremists have already seized the immigrant Muslim communities at the heart of Europe. This means it has become harder for moderate Muslims to integrate for fear of retribution.
And, as the hub of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, Ireland is no exception to this rule. As Richard Whelan shows, Al-Qaeda has its roots in the Muslim Brotherhood and is still guided by its ideological goals. And it was the Brotherhood that orchestrated and manipulated the attacks on Paris.
But still we allow the Muslim Brotherhood to run its European headquarters from Dublin. Unless that changes, says one of my Muslim sources, “we will have a repeat of Paris on the streets of Dublin within 5 years”.
Richard Whelan’s fine book tells the awful truth behind the evil phenomenon of Al-Qaedaism. The best way of responding to that scourge is to follow his advice and attack it on every frontier. In the end, however, our victory will only come when we drop our multicultural pieties and confront the zealots in our own backyard. That is what moderate Muslims demand of us. To ignore them will spell their doom as well as hastening ours.
Dr Mark Dooley is a political commentator and journalist.