If you read one book this year, let it be “I Was Told to Come Alone,” by Saoud Mekhennet,  This book is the culmination of the author’s journey to analyze and answer a question by Maureen Fanning, the widow of a New York City firefighter who had died in the collapse of the World Trade Center, on 9/11.  Mrs. Fanning directed the title question toward Saoud who, although German-born, is of Turkish/Moroccan descent.

There are two key factors in Ms. Mekhennet’s background that, perhaps, make her the ideal person to even attempt to understand this multi-facetted dilemma:

  • As the child of immigrant “guest workers,” Saoud felt the harsh reality of discrimination, oftentimes not being considered “German, German,” even though she tutored other German students in “German”.   Many young Muslims in Europe, who perceive being rejected by society, are prone to radicalization!
  • Ms. Mekhennet’s parents were born into different sects within the Sunni/Shia schism; however, she and her family had always lived as secular Muslims.  In fact, Saoud only came to realize the problem in her later teens, but without any emotional biases.  The religious instability caused by the Schism back home, merely fuels the flow of Muslims to the West, further compounding the growth of Terrorism–especially among the young!

Ms. Mekhennet’s journey took her to various countries within the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Western Europe, during which, Saoud interviewed a number of al-Qaeda, ISIS and Taliban leaders.  Even though those interviews placed her at considerable personal risk, as a journalist, she knew that they were vital to her understanding–and explaining–of both sides of the issue.

A considerable amount of this book is devoted toward Ms. Mekhennet’s attempt to understand how and why young European Muslims have become radicalized, and join the Jihad.  Is it a legitimate cause, necessary to save the Islamic way of life, or is it a false reality, based on a hijacked version of Islam–merely replacing one version of beliefs for another?

Throughout the book, Ms. Mekhennet also questions the false assertions behind such ideas as Weapons of Mass Destruction, false intelligence reported by various Western agencies, and the lack of concern for civilian deaths.  Basically, if we throw off our parochial views and narrow-mindedness, we might begin to understand that there is plenty of blame, for the entire terrorism issue, to go around.

As somewhat of a summation to her journey, Saoud Mekhennet points out that “…some people in Western countries don’t see the hazards of setting standards for others, as if our way is the right way and the only way.  This is the same argument that ISIS makes.”

NOTE:  And oh, by the way, toward the very end of her journey, Ms Mekhennet solved one of those pesky questions that was on everyone’s mind, when she unmasked “Jihadi John”, who played a key role in those ISIS videoclips!


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  1. #1 by Doug on August 20, 2017 - 6:20 PM

    OHMIGOD.. You mean they found me??

    • #2 by cheekos on August 20, 2017 - 7:51 PM

      Doug, the Curly, Larry and Moe crime family have got their GPS’s trained on you.

  2. #3 by Marcello on August 21, 2017 - 5:45 AM

    Recognition of Western Complicity and Responsibility

    “When Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the U.K.’s Labor Party, during recently election campaign stated that —the foreign policy of his country (Britain) had contributed to terrorism—he was attacked from every side.
    Here we have only space to provide a partial list of Western complicity that has produced disenfranchised masses over the last 100 years:

    • The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 (between France and Great Britain, who in secret carved up the Middle East with straight lines and a disregard for ethnicity, religion and sect).
    • The Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the Treaty of Sevres of 1920 (which cemented the agreement of 1916, providing the seed for the creation of a Jewish state and making would-be broken promises to Kurds); the creation of Israel accompanied by unconditional U.S. support (and the deprivation of a Palestinian nation).
    • The Western-inspired coup in the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadeq and U.S. blind support for the Shah of Iran (factors that contributed to the Iranian Revolution of 1979).
    • The support for Arab Mujahedin in Afghanistan (to force Russia out of Afghanistan, which in turn inspired Osama bin Laden and the creation of Al-Qaeda).
    • The support for Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship and his eight-year war with Iran (which undermined the credibility of the United Nation’s Security Council) and the provision of outlawed chemical weapons to kill and incapacitate tens of thousands of Iranians (which tarnished the West’s moral standing).
    • The two Gulf wars, especially the Second Gulf War (which provided a haven for ISIS).
    • The selling of arms to illegitimate rulers to wage wars against their own people (in progress in Bahrain).
    • And Donald Trump’s tirades dividing the Middle East along ethnic and sectarian lines. While these were all important, they are in the past; but the fuel and continuing driver of terrorism are three interrelated factors that must be addressed simultaneously if terrorism is to ebb and eventually be defeated.
    1) The West, and in particular the United States since WWII, has supported oppressive and corrupt dictators in the Middle East while espousing support for freedom, human rights and representative governments. The U.S. has done, and continues to do, this in the name of stability and the war on terror, while it sells arms and secures other business opportunities and sidelines human rights in oppressive Muslim lands.
    2) The supportive ideology, scaffolding and lifeblood for the U.S. approach toward the Muslim World is provided by a small group of Zionists, and the NeoCons with two passports who are either ignorant about Middle East or have personal agendas against Islam and Muslims. NeoCons have taken a few words from the Quran, constructed a false scaffolding of Islam and then attacked their own false creation as the reason why Islam is at the center of social and economic failure and, in turn, terrorism.
    3) The U.S. has become the self-appointed designator of terrorist entities, and invariably brands Muslims who oppose them for any reason as terrorists. The vast majority of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims do not accept the U.S. designation of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorists. This unhelpful U.S. practice divides the Muslims world; it permits rogue entities to adopt force and other harsh measures toward those who disagree with them (conveniently branding them as terrorists and gets U.S. backing); and, in turn, alienates more and more Muslims from the West as they see the hand of foreigners in their oppression.
    Analysts have concluded that a brand of Sunni Islamism that called for political participation and electoral legitimacy, of which the Muslim Brotherhood is perhaps the best example, was seen as almost an existential threat, because it offered a different model of Islamist politics to that of the Saudi state.
    The fallout of shortsighted Western policies is everywhere to see—oppressive dictatorships in many Muslim countries, ineffective institutions, under-performing economies and oppressed and disenfranchised masses with little hope for a better future. Muslim rulers supported by the U.S. are invariably illegitimate and represent a perversion of Islam. Islam advocates freedom for all; rulers who are answerable to their community adhere to Islamic teachings—the effective institutions of Islam with justice at the center, equal opportunity, societal trust and distribution and redistribution to avoid opulence alongside poverty and deprivation. It is in the failed state of Muslim societies that terrorist groups find their breeding ground with their young sympathizers from the West (ISIS are Wahhabi sect of Islam from Saudi Arabia which has attempted to fill the void, preaching another false version of Islam to pursue their own agenda.)”

    • #4 by cheekos on August 22, 2017 - 3:05 AM

      Marcello, I “listened” to Trumpie speak tonight as I was reading One Minute to Midnight, by Michael Dobbs, about the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. It was much more enlightening than a half-hour photo-op, given at Ft. Meyer, an Army base that doesn’t billet Infantry units, If he wanted to surround himself with the “Grunts”, who will do the actual fighting, he should have gone to: Benning; Bragg; Pendleton or Quantico.

      When he talks about helping the Afghans take-over their own country, outsiders cannot do that. Never could, going back to Genghis Khan! Our firepower and technology are meaningless in an unconventional war! The various boundaries, drawn by the Major Powers, after WWI, crossed many ethnic and tribal boundaries; but, in that part of the world, blood is thicker than politics. Consider that the President of Afghanistan is nothing more than the Mayor of Kabul, just like the government of Iraq hardly strays from the Green Zone.

      What could we not do over the past 16 years that will be accomplished in the near future?

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