Al Qaeda's 'Warrior Poet'-in-Chief
6:47 PM, Sep 24, 2008 • By KATHERINE EASTLAND
Recordings of bin Laden reciting his penwork were found on some of the 1,500 cassettes discovered in Kandahar, Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks. Flagg Miller, an assistant professor at University of California, Davis, has been studying them and will publish his findings next week in the October issue of Language and Communication. Yale is currently cleaning and digitizing the cassettes.
Miller affords us the insight that "Bin Laden is an entertainer with an agenda" and "uses poetry to tap into the cultural orientation, the history and the ethics of Islam," while BBC gushes a bit, saying "â€¦Saudi-born Bin Laden [is] a skilled poet who weaves mystical references as well as jihadist imagery into his verse, reciting 1,400-year-old poetry alongside more current mujahideen-era work."
He weaves? If so, there are more than a few unseemly strands in the fabric. Check out his work below:
An unnamed Arabic specialist quoted in the Times says that the poems are a "adolescent and brutal," "a disgrace," and don't merit publishing. You can say that again.