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Inside Islam

Date: 02-25-03
Host: George Noory
Guests: Craig Winn

"According to Allah the most vile of creatures is a peace-loving Muslim," said author and Islamic terror expert Craig Winn, Tuesday night's guest on the show. Winn said his study of translated versions of the Koran and the Hadith (books of Mohammed's teachings) show the manuscripts to be riddled with exhortations to commit violence and terror against those who don't follow their doctrine.

"Muslims are the victims of Islam...The greatest service we can do for mankind is to release them from this tyranny," Winn continued. He believes that the public is widely misled about Islam, thinking that it is a peaceable religion that was hijacked by a small segment of fundamentalists, when it is actually based on violent teachings. Winn puts forth that the western world must own up to the fact that "Islam is at war with us." One of Winn's solutions is to try and separate fundamentalist doctrine from the money that powers it.

He does not believe that al-Qaeda masterminded the 9-11 attacks, but rather it originated from a different terrorist group based out of a mosque in Hamburg, Germany. "There will be another attack in the next decade and it will be much more massive than 9/11," said Winn. He speculated that New York or Washington would be hit by a radiological or biological weapon that could potentially kill 30,000 people. Winn believes that America's potential strike in Iraq is misguided and that we should pull our troops back. "Iran is infinitely more dangerous. We're picking the wrong villain at the wrong time for the wrong reason," he said.

Spotlight: Wahhabism

Craig Winn, an authority on terrorism and the Middle East, has looked at the roots of al-Qaeda. The term Wahhabism has been used to describe the religious sect of Islam that may have influenced the ideology of such groups as al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Wahhabism was a movement that began in the mid-18th century. It called for a renewal of the Muslim spirit via a cleansing of the morals, and a cease to any changes in Islam. Started by Muhammed bin Abd al-Wahhab, the movement is closely tied to the development of Saudi Arabia.

In fact Ali Al-Ahmed, a Muslim who grew up in Saudi Arabia told Frontline that their school curriculum teaches that there are the chosen ones (Wahhabis) who will go to heaven and all the rest including other Muslims, Jews and Christians. Those people are "supposed to be hated, to be persecuted, even killed…Bin Laden learned this in Saudi Arabia. He didn't learn it on the moon." said Al-Ahmed.

Some of the prohibitions and commandments of Wahhabism include:

  • No other name than Allah may enter a prayer.
  • No smoking of tobacco.
  • No shaving of beards.
  • Mosques must be built without any ornamentation.
  • All men must attend public prayer.
  • Butchers slaughtering animals must have their life styles scrutinized.

Source: Encyclopaedia of the Orient

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