This issue looks at Fatah’s true character, Iran’s new Defense Minister, Saudi Arabia’s attempts to reduce terrorism, and offers a writing tip to help avoid a common writing and speaking mistake. Since I will be out of the country for 2-1/2 weeks, the next edition will not be posted until the week of September 20th. I’d appreciate your prayers as I help lead two pastor training conferences in the Philippines.


One Jerusalem reports

The list of deadly Al-Aqsa terrorist attacks attests to its mission. The pure bred terrorist organization proved such an embarrassment to Fatah and its President that they created the fiction that Al-Aqsa had been disbanded. Then a week ago this ghost organization made headlines by threatening the comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.

Then, this supposedly non-existent organization emerged at the Fatah convention in Bethlehem. Several Al-Aqsa principals became delegates to the Fatah convention and lo and behold President Abbas officially designated them the official armed wing of Fatah. These unrepentant terrorists are now card carrying allies of Fatah.

Today, the Fatah convention also reconfirmed that they feel that the Palestinians are the only owners of Jerusalem. Fatah are the so-called “moderates” who President Obama is urging Israel to accept as a peace partner.


The Jerusalem Prayer Team reports

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has named several cabinet ministers to serve under him during his second term in office as Iran’s president. Eli Lake reports that Ahmadinejad has named one Ahmad Vahidi to serve as Iran’s defense minister. Among other things, Vahidi is one of the most wanted terrorists sought by Interpol in connection with the deadly 1994 attack on a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 and injured more than 100.

The 1994 Buenos Aires bombing isn’t the only impressive item on Vahidi’s résumé. Serving as the Israeli deputy defense minister, Reza Kahili recently wrote, Vahidi oversaw the distribution of arms and missiles to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas, was the commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Forces and the chief intelligence officer of the Revolutionary Guards in charge of terrorist activities outside of Iran. Vahidi’s promotion to defense minister obviously recognizes the quality of his past service to the Iranian regime.

Saudi Terror Reduction?

According to an article by Tawfik Hamid in Newsmax magazine, the rate of terror plots in Saudi Arabia in the last couple of years and the number of Saudi citizens involved in such plots deserve serious attention. In 2008 Saudi security forces have arrested 70 militants for allegedly plotting to carry out terrorist attacks on oil facilities and other vital installations across the kingdom.

On August. 19, 44 al-Qaida suspects were arrested for planning attacks using remote electronic detonators and for attempting to recruit youths to finance their activities through charitable donations. The ability of the Saudi intelligence to abort these attacks before manifesting must be applauded. However, this high number of Saudi citizens (many of them highly educated) who are involved in terror plots raises doubts about the effectiveness of the measures used to weaken Islamic radicalism.

Saudi Arabia has offered young terrorists rehabilitation from a life of violence in the name of jihad. Saudi authorities claim a rehabilitation success rate of 80 to 90 percent. While this seems attractive to many, some fundamental points should be considered. Will the Saudi system also consider changing some traditional violent concepts in Shariah law such as dar al-harb (house of war) and dar al-Islam (house of Islam) that have created the mindset for violent jihad? In particular, [consider] the mainstream Islamic concept that Muslims have to declare or wage wars on non-Muslims to offer them a choice between three options: convert to Islam, pay jizia (humiliating tax), or be killed. This concept sets the basic foundations for violent jihad in the mind of many young Muslims, including myself [Tawfik Hamid] at an earlier stage of my life.

The jihadists of our modern times have twisted this concept, which promotes violence at the nation or “ummah” level, to use at the individual level in the form of terror attacks. The distortion of the meaning of jihad in this case was not from a peaceful concept to a violent one, but rather from an originally violent concept to a barbaric one. Without changing the former rule of “dar al-harb and dar al-Islam,” it is very hard to have an effective end to individual jihad.


Objective Pronouns

After prepositions, always use the objective form of pronouns (me, him, them) instead of the subjective (I, he, they), even when used together with other nouns or pronouns.

Please pray for he and his wife at this difficult time.
(You wouldn’t say “Please pray for he at this difficult time,” so adding his wife doesn’t change the pronoun.
Please pray for him and his wife at this difficult time.


Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic, our government could find a single cow, born in Canada almost three years ago, right down to the stall where she slept in the state of Washington? What’s more, they tracked her calves to their stalls, too. But they are unable to locate eleven million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.