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How come the family did not know about their son?

Reader comment on item: [Ra'ed Mansour al-Banna:] The California Suicide Bomber

Submitted by N. Khaledi (United States), Apr 7, 2005 at 21:59

Re: The California Suicide Bomber, April 4th, 2005.


Dear Dr. Pipes,


To get an unbiased view of you as a lecturer and writer about Middle East and Islam, I attended one of your lectures at University of Pennsylvania few months ago regarding Islamic Militants. In that lecture, I walked out after the lecture with the impression or understanding your point that Islamic militants whom you named them in that lecture as Islamists which are different from Muslims and those Islamists represent 10%-15% of Muslims' population. Your definition of Islamists included militants and others having the ideology of anti-Western countries. So, I did not see why some parties in the media are against you.


However, I am kind of confused in this recent article written by you which makes no distinction between Muslims, Islamists vs. "normal" Muslims as I understood from your above mentioned lecture. I may be missing some thing.


By stating in your April 4th article that "In brief, Banna's evolution confirms the point I have made repeatedly about the regrettable but urgent need to keep an eye on all potential Islamists and jihadis, which is to say Muslims," you are, to my understanding, combining all Muslims not just Islamists. I hope I am mistaken in this. Otherwise, I see your Islamists percentage jumped from 10%-15% to 100%.


In April 4th article, I think that you are building your argument on what Banna's family, friends and relatives said about him. "The father notes that Ra'ed wore Western-style clothing, rarely went to mosque, and was ignorant of the names of local sheikhs."I am shocked by all of this because my son was a very quiet man, not very religious and more interested in pursuing his law profession and building a future for himself." As Time cautiously concludes from this tale, On the basis of accounts given by his family, friends and neighbors, Ra'ed apparently led a double life, professing affection for America while secretly preparing to join the holy war against the U.S. in Iraq. "Something went wrong with Ra'ed, and it is a deep mystery," says his father Mansour, 56. "What happened to my son?"

I would like to make point in reference to your quote from his family above. I will assume that you did not read Middle Eastern Media regarding how Mr. Banna's family celebrated his terrorist act in Iraq. They celebrated his act by giving out and distributing desserts and sweets to people in his town, Al-Sult, in Jordan. As a person who spent time in that region, you know what it means to celebrate with sweets and dessert. People do that when good news or events accrued. My question is that how come his family claims that they did not notice any thing or did not even predict that their son will commit such an act. I do not think this came from no where. It is the family environment. And as a well established writer and researcher, you should not rely on their account to build up your argument without searching independent sources for your article (at least news outlets broadcasting the tension between the Iraqi and Jordanian Governments regarding Banna's family celebration).


Again I refer to another sentence in your article that you should look at thoroughly. The coming quote contradicts the celebration of Banna's "Martyr" by his family and "unobservable" event, his action that killed 100+ people.
"(3) Taking up the Islamist cause, even to the point of sacrificing one's life for it, usually happens in a discreet manner, quite unobservable even to a person's closest relatives."


So, closest relatives had no clue about what is going to happen. Then where the celebration of killing 100+ people fits in the whole story. Still I am missing a part of the story.
Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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