Curious report from the Washington Post this morning: apparently the majority of web sites that carry Al-Qaeda information (like their periodic terror videos) disappeared from the web on September 10. Only one of these semi-official terrorist web sites remains in operation.
I, for one, don’t really understand how these sites existed in the first place. Al-Qaeda certainly has an interest in spreading its message (and communicating with its followers), but if one of Osama bin Laden’s lackeys wanted to put their hateful, violent gibberish on my server I’d probably say ‘no’ and call the FBI. It baffles me that various Internet authorities and businesses—DNS operators, domain registrars, IP registries, hosting providers, and so on—have permitted these sites to operate unchecked on their networks.
Of course, I could say the same about media outlets like Al-Jazeera that blithely broadcast Al-Qaeda videos unedited across their airwaves whenever they come out.
The answer, however, is pretty simple (but not very ‘politically correct’). Al-Qaeda represents one of the most evil ideologies the world has ever seen, but most Muslims around the world—even those labeled as ‘moderates’, ‘journalists’, and ‘Internet professionals’—seem unwilling to condemn them and their actions with any seriousness. Instead, they welcome Al-Qaeda (and Hezbollah and Hamas) as valid corners of Islamic thought, dialog, and policy. This tacit, widespread endorsement of mass-murder and those who would commit it shows Islam for what it truly is, more than Al-Qaeda’s evil acts ever could.