In a July 23, 2007 op-ed on the liberal website Bila Hudud, Moroccan Berber author Abdelhamid Assassi writes that the vast majority of the Muslim world lives in ignorance and would prefer Osama bin Laden to secular democracy. He argues that these societies must, with help from the international community, take a difficult path towards secularization.
Assassi, who lives in the Rif region of northern Morocco, writes regularly for Arabic-language liberal websites and heads the youth section of the liberal Moroccan Renewal and Equity Party.
The following are excerpts from his July 23, 2007 article: 
Most Arabs Would Prefer a Bin Laden-Led Caliphate to Secular Democracy
"It is true that the Hamas organization rose to power in a transparent, democratic manner. It is also true that a significant portion of the Palestinians voted for Hamas, supposing that it could solve their problems with Koranic verses about taking refuge in Allah and the Day of Judgment, and through hadiths about [Muhammad's horse] Al-Buraq and about the stones and the gharqad tree:
"'Abu Hurayra related that the Prophet said: Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews. The Muslims will kill them such that the Jew will hide behind the stones and the trees, and the stones and the trees will say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, here is a Jew behind me, come and kill him – except for the gharqad, for it is the tree of the Jews.'
"If the same atmosphere of transparency and democracy were present in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood would be able to reach the [Presidential] 'Abidin Palace. And if the path of the Islamic Salvation Front had not been blocked in Algeria… there would have been a catastrophe… If the Moroccans were given the choice between a reasonable constitutional regime and the visions of [Islamist leader] 'Abd Al-Salam Yassin, they would choose [to play] with the angels.
"And if all the peoples of Ignoranceland (jahlistan) were given the choice between secular democratic regimes and a rightly guided Islamic Caliphate led by Osama bin Laden and [his deputy] Al-Zawahiri, they would choose the latter, by more than 90 percent.
"The flaw is not in the regimes, but in the conceptual and doctrinal makeup of the herds [of people] that have been programmed by CDs full of the wars of Khaybar, chastisement after death, and the signs of Judgment Day. These herds gargle night and day with the urine of the righteous forefathers, ritually cleanse themselves in the mire of divine retribution...., and never tire of dreaming of a lost paradise...
"The Masses That Cry Out 'Khaybar Khaybar, Oh Jews, Muhammad's Army Will Return'… Are Brigades of Idiots"
"These herds do not give a thought to the losses. They do not consider things as they really are, and do not look out for the good of the coming generations. They do not know that engaging in wars necessitate that the state convert its economy to a war economy, and that the results of war are millions of wounded, sick, and thirsty, a destroyed economy, and a threadbare education sector.
"They believe that Allah will assist them [by sending] angels who will fight in their ranks. The masses who cry out: 'Khaybar Khaybar, oh Jews, Muhammad's army will return' are not just juvenile; they are brigades of idiots. They want war, and they want to throw Israel into the sea, slaughter the Jews, and win back Al-Andalus [Islamic Spain]. The masses see the campaign of the green banner [of Islam], and the arsenal of jurisprudents of darkness, as a savior that will once again bring them glory, victory, and the good life.
"Hamas rose to power because it does not believe in Israel's right to exist, and [because it believes] that the Palestinian state must encompass not just the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, but all parts of Palestine, from the waters to the waters [i.e. from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River], with Tel Aviv coming before Jerusalem, Kiryat Shemona before Gaza, and Eilat before Ramallah.
"This is what the Hamas leadership deeply believes. But they believe something that is worse: They believe in the conquest of Rome.
"[Hamas believes that] Palestine is an Islamic endowment of [Caliph] Omar [ibn Al-Khattab]… The Hamas leadership believes in this, and they cannot deny it; if they deny it, they are two-faced…
"At first, Muhammad used to pray in the direction of Jerusalem, in order to seek the sympathy and support of the Jews in the [Arabian] Peninsula, who carried great economic and social weight. Then he traded the Jews' direction of prayer for that of the pagans, in order to rally the Arab tribes to his preaching. For this reason he later took revenge on the Jews by expelling them, slaughtering them, robbing them, and taking their women as wives.
"Muhammad's landing [in Jerusalem] on [his horse] Al-Buraq and his praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque was what gave legitimacy to the [Muslim] ownership of this spot. [Then] Omar ibn Al-Khattab secured Palestine's belonging to the Abode of Islam with his infamous racist pact. Here is what Omar's genius generously granted [the Christians], in what is called the Pact of Omar:
"The text of the Pact of Omar as found in Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya:
"'When the Muslims occupied Greater Syria, Omar ibn Al-Khattab laid down the following conditions on its Christians:
"'They must not build any new monasteries, churches, or monks' cells in their cities or the surrounding areas;
"'They must not rebuild those that were destroyed;
"'They must not refuse any Muslim who wishes to spend three nights in a church, and they must feed him;
"'They must give no harbor to spies;
"'They must not conceal any disloyalty to the Muslims;
"'They must not teach their children the Koran;
"'They must make no public show of polytheism;
"'They must not prevent their relatives from [converting to] Islam if they so desire;
"'They must show reverence for the Muslims;
"'They must give up their seats if the Muslims wish to sit;
"'They must not resemble the Muslims in any way in their clothing;
"'They must not adopt Muslim surnames;
"'They must not ride on a saddle;
"'They must not carry swords;
"'They must not sell wine;
"'They must cut their bangs short;
"'They must wear their [i.e. Christian] clothing wherever they may be;
"'They must wear a sash around their waists;
"'They must not display a crucifix or any of their [holy] books in the Muslims' path;
"'They must not bury their dead near the Muslims;
"'They may only sound the prayer gongs softly;
"'They must not raise their voices when reading in their churches in the presence of Muslims;
"'They must not carry palm branches [on Palm Sunday];
"'They must not raise their voices [when mourning] their dead;
"'They must not carry candles at their funerals;
"'They must not purchase slaves whom the Muslims captured in war.
"'If they violate any of these conditions, they will not enjoy protection, and the Muslims will be permitted to do with them as they do with those who resist them.'"
The International Community Must Mobilize to "Remold the Nation of Ignoranceland and Strip it of the Sword of Stupidity"
"This then is the Pact of Omar, one of the giants of Islam in whom [Sheikh Yousef] Al-Qaradhawi, [Al-Azhar Sheikh Muhammad] Al-Tantawi, and [Sheikh] Al-Sha'rawi take pride. This is the same Omar whom the Muslim clerics mention to the Christian clergy when breaking the fast during Ramadan and at the hug-fests… and the Christian clergy nod their heads in wonder at Omar's inimitable justice…
"The reason for the popularity of bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri, Al-Zarqawi, and the brigades of the green banner [of Islamism] is… the filth on which the tamed herds feed and for which they have developed a grievous addiction.
"The best way to rehabilitate these sick people, and to treat their addiction, is to force the regimes of Ignoranceland to undertake democratic reforms, to reform school curricula… to try to universalize secular, modernist, enlightenment thought, and to keep the religious establishment out of politics. This is a responsibility that is incumbent upon all, in order to avert a great disaster that will encompass all humanity…
"It is true that this operation will not be easy, and will require much effort, much time, steely determination, and great sacrifice. One cannot, in the span of a few years, wipe out 15 centuries…
"This is a large-scale international project, under which the international community, human rights activism groups and organizations, and democratic governments must mobilize, with the aim of remolding the nation of Ignoranceland and stripping it of the sword of stupidity, so that its future generations will be free to occupy themselves with building, development, and useful sciences, instead of thinking about plundering, looting, killing, and sleeping with the captured white women... "
"If humanity succeeds in this great human project, it will have effectively shattered a tremendous idol... and saved millions from a pernicious and lethal disease."
 This hadith is cited in Article 7 of the Hamas Covenant; see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1092, "The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas," February 14, 2006, The Covenant Of The Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas.
 This is a reference to the recent controversy over the Mufti of Egypt's assertion that the Prophet's Companions used to drink his urine; see MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 363, "Media Uproar Following Egyptian Mufti's Fatwa on Companions of the Prophet Muhammad Being Blessed by Drinking His Urine," June 13, 2007, Leading Egyptian Government Cleric Calls For: 'Martyrdom Attacks that Strike Horror into the Hearts of the Enemies of Allah'.