I am currently at the Princeton Radisson press conference with the panel of three ex-terrorists (Walid Shoebat, Zak Anani and Ibrahim Abadallah).
It is chilling. I have just shaken the hand of a man who has killed 223 people during Lebanon's militia violence. Hearing them talk about what they have done and the zeal with which they recount their former Jew-hatred is completely unsettling.
Each of the ex-terrorists have either killed or seriously injured people. Each of the ex-terrorists has had attempts on his life. One of the panelists mentioned he has been attacked 15 times and has had his daughter injured as a retaliation for his speaking. One of the panelists (Ibrahim Abadallah) was born and raised in Dearborn, Michigan.
Each of the panelists agree that recruitment by terrorist organizations was not significant to their having become terrorists. Rather, terror is part of the "fiber of the culture" and joining terror organizations was organic and natural. They agreed that terror indoctrination permeates Muslim society. Fortunately, they were all able to deprogram themselves, primarily through conversion to Christianity.
Here are some quotes from the panelists:
Walid Shoebat: "There is no wall in the area where I grew up that was not filled with grafitti, with slogans such as 'we knock on the gates of heaven with the skulls of Jews.'"
Zak Anani: "The problem is not land. It is generations of hatred passed from one generation to the next."
Ibrahim Abadallah: "My hatred for the Jews permeated my heart. I hated the Jews with all my heart, my soul and my passions. Anything I could do to harm the Jewish state, the Jewish people, I would do."
[Ironically, Abadallah had attended a Quaker school in Dearborn.]
"The text [Koran] tells you who your enemy is. The Jew first, then the Christian. Hence the hatred for America."
I just asked a question to the panel about the recent reports of the Palestinian election of a Fatah member named "Hitler" in Jenin and the fact that at least 25 PLO members go by the name of Hitler or Abu Hitler. Could any of them comment personally about how Nazism was perceived?
Walid Shoebat: "Mein Kampf has been a best-seller throughout the Muslim world. Haj Amin Husseini, who was a guest in my family's home, was nicknamed the Fuhrer of the Muslim World."
"There was never any excuse given for Nazis for their hatred of Jews. When it comes to Islamic terrorists, we make all the excuses in the world"
Ibrahim Abadallah: "Most Arabs consider Hitler a hero precisely because he killed 6 million Jews."
Shortly after the press conference was a lecture. I will hopefully write up my notes later. Right now, however, I am feeling shock over what I witnessed and amazement that such people have the possibility of redemption.