Its Own Worst Enemy
Al-Qaeda in Iraq's Islamo-puritanism sealed its doom.


Deroy Murdock

“They threatened to kill me if I used an electric shaving machine,” barber Atta Sadoun told AFP. He added that AQI forbade the removal of men’s facial hair and forced him to install a sign saying he used scissors but no electric shaver. He said several colleagues who refused were killed. AQI also bombed women’s beauty parlors.

According to restaurateur Hashim Abdullah Al-Hamdani, AQI murdered two of his employees and injured his son. Why? His establishment served both male and female students from local colleges.

Episodes like these eventually led exasperated Iraqis, including Sunni imams, to work with American and Coalition forces to boot al-Qaeda from Iraq. This has helped Iraq enjoy its current relative peace.

These bizarre, frightful incidents illustrate the bottomless depravity of America’s chief enemy in Iraq. This is a glimpse of how Iraq could look if U.S. forces prematurely withdrew, and the bad guys returned. This also is a cautionary tale of the insanity that likely would erupt wherever al-Qaeda or any of its allies gained power.

Finally, al-Qaeda’s chilling tenure in Mosul and elsewhere in Iraq puts the lie to the notion that Islamofascists merely are defending themselves against America’s allegedly over-assertive foreign policy and Israel’s supposed anti-Muslim menace. Combating ice, cucumbers, and wedding gowns has nothing to do with the policies of the Pentagon or the Knesset. It’s all about building a bridge to the 7th century.

Deroy Murdock is a New York-based columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution. © 2008 Scripps Howard News Service


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