The fashion magazine Dhimmi Marie Claire that glamorized the ultimate symbol of female oppression here has taken the final step over to the dark side. The piece is a the worst kind of mind f**k. As if glorifying the cultural jihad weren't horrid enough -- now love and murder is the vogue.
The writer, Paul Cruickshank, has appeared in The New Republic, The Washington Post, and on CNN. His documentary on Malika airs on CNN International .....
This is a story about love — love that lives and grows in the least likely places. It's a story about soul mates joined in the soulless business of terror.
Malika met Abdessattar at a tram stop in Brussels. She was fully veiled; he bore the deep marks of prostration before Allah, of ritually pounding his forehead into the ground. They grew passionate — about each other, and about jihad. Two years later, Abdessattar would become a martyr. This past December, Malika would be arrested in a vast counterterrorism operation in Belgium, with authorities calling her "an al Qaeda living legend." Utter devotion led them there.
I first came into contact with Malika el Aroud four years ago when I obtained a rare copy of her self-published memoir, Soldiers of Light, while I was helping to research a book and CNN documentary on Osama bin Laden. I found her e-mail address, but it would take six months of phone calls before she would agree to meet with me for an interview.
Malika el Aroud, shown here in 2003, was arrested three months ago in a massive counterterrorism operation in Europe. Herman Ricour/AP Images
Two more short-lived marriages followed. Then one day, Abdessattar Dahmane, wearing glasses and a fezlike Tunisian cap, gingerly approached Malika while she was waiting for a tram. He explained, as she stood there fully veiled, that he had heard about her through the center and wanted to meet her. Apologizing for being so forward, he gave her his phone number and asked if they could continue the conversation by phone. Attracted by his courtesy and warm smile, Malika agreed.
In early 1999, the two had long talks and walks in the city's public parks, and a chaste romance developed. "He was very gallant and gentle toward me," Malika told me, her eyes shining. What she did not know was that Abdessattar, who had also been married and had pursued media studies at Tunis University, had caught the attention of Belgian security services because of his connection to a group of pro-al Qaeda extremists. When she met him, he had just returned from trying to get into Kosovo, where he wanted to fight jihad against Serb forces targeting Kosovo Muslims.
In the early months of his marriage to Malika, Abdessattar talked incessantly about how an alliance of non-Muslim powers led by the United States was oppressing Muslims around the world. He spoke of "global jihad," which had been recently declared by bin Laden from the mountains of Afghanistan. "He made me understand certain things," Malika told me. "I felt the same pain he felt, seeing our brothers and sisters massacred and killed. I felt such anger that I wanted to take up arms myself." Russian military actions against Chechen Muslims particularly agitated the couple.
One evening in late 1999, Abdessattar caught sight of bin Laden on the evening news: The self-styled prophet, dressed in flowing white robes, was calling for volunteers for his global jihad. "My husband was transfixed," Malika told me, dreamily. "There was a fascination, a love. It was very clear, and I felt the same. Osama had a beauty in his face." At that very moment, Malika said, her husband resolved to leave Belgium for Afghanistan to volunteer for jihad. She agreed that she would eventually join him.
Once or twice she saw the wives of bin Laden, when they came to visit with him from Kandahar, al Qaeda's headquarters in the south. Despite well-worn tales of scant freedoms — of virtual house arrest for the wives of Islamic fundamentalists — "they seemed happy, from what I could tell," she said. "They were radiant, even. Otherwise they wouldn't be married to him. I don't think he was forceful with them." Malika never met bin Laden, because of strict segregation between the sexes, but called his appeal magnetic. "It's easy for me to describe the love that Abdessattar felt for him because I felt it myself," she told me, her voice brimming with passion. "It was he who helped the oppressed. It was he who stood up against the biggest enemy in the world: the United States."
A few months after her arrival, she and Abdessattar moved into a more comfortable residence in an enclave of homes reserved for bin Laden's most trusted operatives near Jalalabad's main river. But Abdessattar was determined to school Malika and show her more of the real Afghanistan, taking her on tours of run-down hospitals and villages ravaged by war and hunger. Her husband told her, "Look, look at this closely, because this is the work of the Americans, the result of the U.N. sanctions."
One day, Abdessattar took Malika on a tour of his training camp, where, to her delight, he showed her how to fire a Kalashnikov assault rifle, even allowing her to squeeze the trigger, making the mountain valley echo with the thunderous sound of high-intensity rounds. But Abdessattar had not taken her there just for her amusement; he was teaching her how to protect herself from the nearby Northern Alliance, which was fighting against bin Laden and the Taliban. He told her, "If they come when I am away, fire on them till they kill you. Don't let yourself be taken alive." From that day on, Malika would never sleep without the weapon at the foot of her bed.
y September 12, the suicide mission was an open secret in Jalalabad, where people in the streets were celebrating the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. and the death of Massoud. Malika learned of her husband's death when she stepped outside and a woman warmly congratulated her on being the wife of a martyr. Malika recalled in her memoir, "My heart jumped."
A succession of visitors came to congratulate her over the next few days, seemingly unaware of how stricken she was with grief. Eventually a courier, sent by bin Laden, dropped off a videotape that her husband had made in the hope that she would hear the news from him first. "Abdessattar gently prepared me for the fact he was no longer there," Malika said, as if speaking of the most tender kind of love token. "He told me he loved me, but he was already on the other side." The courier also gave her $500 in cash from bin Laden to settle her husband's debts. "It's the pinnacle in Islam to be the widow of a martyr," Malika told me proudly. "For a woman, it's extraordinary."
The next morning, an al Qaeda escort brought her across the border into Pakistan. She was lucky to have left when she did. Soon after, the U.S. initiated an intensive bombing campaign after receiving intelligence that bin Laden was hiding at Tora Bora.
On her return to Belgium, Malika was interrogated by authorities, who eventually charged her with complicity in the assassination of Massoud. But she was cleared in a 2003 trial and went on to meet another Tunisian-born man, Moez Garsallaoui, who shared her incendiary views. They married, and she moved in with him in Switzerland, away from the media attention in Brussels. There, Malika devoted herself to promoting bin Laden's cause online. The computer-savvy Moez set up an Arabic Website for himself and helped his wife administer a French-language counterpart called Minbar-SoS, a reference to the pulpits in mosques, called minbars. Under the pseudonym Oum Oubeyda, a variation on Abdessattar's al Qaeda code name, Malika regularly voiced her support for al Qaeda, while others posted videos of bloody attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq. The site eventually attracted a following of more than 1400 full-time members.
So what? I have thousands of full time members. Would Marie Claire ever do a story on someone like me, American blogger fighting the jihad? They'd sooner submit to sharia.
Then she took me to the computer in her bedroom and showed me how she administered her Website, where she openly encouraged people to join bin Laden's jihad. As one posting said, "I intensely hope and pray every day that our fighters massacre those American pigs and their allies."
But Malika is the star here. She's the one who inspired the men who were arrested — along with countless others — Belgian counterterrorism sources say. Now in prison after her latest arrest, she awaits her trial in an isolated cell, while every counterterrorism agency in the world watches. One can only imagine the sense of satisfaction she feels, having advanced the work of her beloved Abdessattar. Helping each other realize their dreams — that's just what true lovers do.
As Malika put it in her memoir, "Ours was the most beautiful love story that any woman could dream of."
Next month ...Eva Braun's sex tips -- how to keep your Nazi satisfied!
There's a lot more of this traitorous propaganda. How low can they go?
UPDATE: Heidi adds,
"I was more pissed about the fact that the reporter was attempting to project this image of these animals as being mere freedom fighters, and not refering to them as the Terrorists they are. Additionaly, what got my irish up was the fact that the journalist wasn't giving any historical context for Malika's claims regarding her desire to push back, nor specifics about what was being taught in her Islamic Fundie school, which for the readers of this rag who are not familiar with anything remotely associated with al-Qaeda's perceived "struggle", will accept this lunacy as gospel, and will in turn have even more fuel for their ever appologetic fire. GAH!