I WAS TALKING to two men I was working with (who don't know I am involved in the counterjihad movement — I had never worked with them before). I said, "Have you guys seen the movie 'The Kingdom' with Jamie Foxx?"
One of them said, "I've seen part of it." The other guy said he hadn't seen it. "It's a really good movie," I said, "other than the ending, which really pissed me off."
They looked at me curiously, so I said, "Well, the movie is about a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia. You know how they have enclosed compounds there for Americans to live in — Americans who work there?"
They both nodded.
"In the movie, there's a baseball game inside one of these compounds, with lots of people there, enjoying a sunny afternoon with their families, and these terrorists drive up and started shooting into the crowd, and then a suicide bomber dressed as a policeman walks into the panicking crowd and blows himself and everyone else to smithereens. Then when the first responders show up, the terrorists set off a truly enormous explosion, killing even more people."
"Back in the United States, Jamie Foxx is an FBI agent, and he's talking to a bunch of his fellow FBI agents, giving them a briefing on what happened. One of their agents was at the scene, was one of the first responders, and died in the blast. When Jamie says this, one of the women agents in the front row of this briefing room starts to cry, but Jamie Foxx walks over to her and whispers something to her, and she stops crying.
"So the movie goes on, and the FBI agents go to Saudi Arabia, and eventually track down the mastermind behind the bombing and near the end of the movie, the old mastermind gets shot, and he's dying, and his grandson is hugging him and crying, and the old man whispers something and the grandkid stops crying.
"At the end of the movie, we find out that what Jamie Foxx whispered into the FBI woman's ear and what the old terrorist guy whispers into his grandson's ear. They say the same thing: 'Don't worry, we'll kill them all.'
"And that's what pissed me off, because when the FBI agent said that, he meant, 'We're going to kill all the bad guys who participated in this brutal slaughter of our good friend,' but when the terrorist mastermind dude said it, he meant, 'We're going to kill them all — all the Americans, all the infidels.' The movie tried to imply that they were the same. And that just irked me."
One of the men I was talking to, the older one, said, "You know, there's only the tiniest difference between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam," and he said this like it was something we all knew, and this was only the preamble to something else he was going to say, but I interrupted.
"There is actually an enormous difference between them. I'm only saying this because I have just finished reading the Koran. And although I know Muslims like to say they're all very similar, they are very different in important ways."
The other one who hadn't spoken much, a young man, looked curious, like he wanted me to say more, so I said, "Yeah, you would expect the founder of a religion to be a certain way, and Muhammad, the guy who founded Islam, was not at all what you'd expect."
The older man said, "He was a warlord!"
"Yeah," I said, "he ordered the assassinations of people who criticized him, he personally took part and oversaw the beheading of over 600 people in one night. Actually it took a couple days. And he knew a group had hidden treasure, so he tortured a rabbi for information. He had the rabbi tied down and they lit a fire on his chest to get him to talk. I mean, this is just not the kind of thing you'd expect from the founder of a religion. But you have to admit, it explains a lot!"
They both nodded. "The bad news is that it says in the Koran — their most holy book — it says 91 times that a Muslim should use Muhammad as an example. They're supposed to imitate him."
This is sobering information, and it came like a wall of reality, hitting them like a big, fast-moving wave, and there was a good reason to change the subject, so I did. I got in a few really strong facts with very little resistance.
Hopefully we'll have more conversations, or they will be curious and try to learn more. But whatever happens, they are very likely to never hear that line the same way again — the line that "the three Abrahamic religions" are similar to each other. And they won't be so quick to believe someone who says Islam is a religion of peace. They'll have doubt in their minds about that. And when legislation comes around that encourages cutting off money to Saudi Arabia or stopping Muslim immigration or preventing a mosque from being built at Ground Zero, they will be less likely to dismiss it out of hand.
This is the kind of brief conversation happening all over the free world between non-Muslims. Slowly but surely, we're informing ourselves. Like the passengers on Flight 93, we're sharing with each other what little pieces of information we can gather, and the reality of our situation is collectively beginning to sink in.