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Fox News Live

Friday, June 18, 2004; 14:00

 

Beheading of Paul Johnson

 

 

Martha McCollum: Alireza, your thoughts first of all on this beheading, this horrific act that has taken place this afternoon. Clearly this is part of a very easy way to get a very big effect, a very big impact on the American people isnít it?

 

 

 

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Definitely Martha, first of all this is very, very appalling and anybody has to condemn this; whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims. They are misusing the religion of Islam; In the religion of Islam you cannot even mutilate an animal, let alone treating human beings like this. So that defiantly needs to be condemned; they are doing the biggest disservice to the religion of Islam. Their purpose is to defiantly intimidate, to frighten people, to get them to give in to their demands and I think the biggest mistake, on the other hand, would be to comply with their demands. I think what really drives terrorism; this kind of terrorism by Islamic extremism is to make them believe that this is profitable. And so long as this is profitable, and it produces some thing, they would have all the reasons in the world to continue it. So, however unfortunate the outcome has been, I think we need to be very decisive, very firm against this, to make sure they understand that nobody is going to give in to this kind of horrible acts.

 

Martha McCollum: When you look at the possibilities of who might have done this, we know from the Nicolas Berg murder that Zarkawi is said to have been in that photo that his voice said to have been the one on the web site clearly there are a lot of the same marking in this act, do you think that this is, either condoned or suggested or inputted by Zarkawi, or that he might have possibly been in Saudi Arabia.

 

 

 

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well, It is not very clear. But I think the one thing that is very clear to me is that this whole global network of Islamic extremists and Islamic fundamentalists that are operating, and you saw that case before in Iraq, and now in Saudi Arabia. Similar things have happened before in Iran against their opposition. Now, specially these Islamic extremists, they donít have to have that level of direct communications or funding or organization and they just simply get the message from one another, once they hear that this thing happened here, then the other groups follow the same lines, this is kind of a united font of Islamic extremists that with minimum communication they can operate and duplicate what ever they do in different countries.

 

Martha McCollum: And that is exactly what terrorism is, isnít it, you can perform and act like this a heinous horrible act, take this poor manís life and get so much attention for it, from probably a relatively small group of people. What about Saudi Arabia, do you think they have done enough, do you see any sign that they are doing more to crack down on this type of terrorism in their country?

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: I know they are in a very difficult situation right now. But I can tell you the only way out of this is for them to really come out very strong not to be intimidated by this, and to go head-on and try to strike at the heart of Islamic extremists. This is the only way out of this, if any body thinks whether people in Saudi Arabia or in other countries, if they think there is an easier way, a short cut of being soft on the Islamic extremists, and at the same time being able to eliminate them; they are wrong.

 

Martha McCollum: Alireza, thank you we ask you to stay with us, to come back to you.

 

Martha McCollum: Alireza, to bring you in here, in terms of the terrorists that we are dealing with, which groups, what kind of a philosophy do you think or you are seeing take place here. I know we talked about Zarqavi earlier, that his group and his philosophy is very centered on getting Americans out of the Middle East, whereas what we heard of Bin Ladenís philosophy, although that is also a priority for him, he would like to attack, from what we know and what we have seen, westerners here in the United States. Which dynamic do you see winning out here and what do you think the tactic change represents.

 

 

 

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: I think the bottom line, there might be different views within the Islamic fundamentalist world but the overall view is that they definitely want to target westerners, target the Americans. What we need to do is two things. Number one, we have to turn this whole terrorism business from a profitable thing for these terrorists into a very costly thing. Unfortunately, in the past two decades I must say, this is not limited to what we see today in Saudi Arabia, this is much much broader in the whole Middle East region, in the Islamic world, terrorism has been very profitable, and they have not paid a price for this. The Marine Barrack bombing in Lebanon in 1983, what price did Iran pay for that? The Khobar Tower bombing, the Jewish Community Center bombing in Argentina. They didnít pay a price for that, they officially took responsibility for that and nothing happened to that. So, that has to be taken into serious consideration.

 

On the other hand, we need to make sure that this kind of an Islamic extremist view is fought with an alternative view, that is a modern, democratic, and tolerant view of Islam, which is the true message of Islam, and that needs to be strengthened whether it is in Iraq, or Saudi Arabia, or Iran, or any other Islamic countries. Unless we can strengthen and further unite this anti-fundamentalist, anti-extremist world, we are not going to win.

 

Martha McCollum: Yes, I think that is true. Thank you very much Alireza Jafarzadeh and Marc Ginsberg. Please stay with us.

 

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