Friday, December 09, 2005

Part 10

Is Islam the cause of terrorism and the large anti-Americanism felt in the Arab world and indeed throughout the Muslim World? Is there a Clash of Faiths? Do Muslims dislike Americans because we are predominantly Jews and Christians? To begin with Islam is not the cause of all terrorism. The IRA of Northern Ireland is a terrorist group and so is the MTA, the Basque separatists of Spain, and neither is affiliated with Islam. But is Middle Eastern Terrorism against the United States caused by Islam? We do call it Islamic terrorism and we call the perpetrators Muslim fundamentalists so it is linked to Islam. But how? To be sure what we call Islamic terrorism is not necessarily directed against all non-Muslims because many Arab countries have large Christian populations so that 10% of Egypt, 10% of Syria, 50% of Lebanon, 5% of Jordan and about 25% of Sudan is either Christian or animist. Even though these countries have sizeable Christian populations, the vast majorities of people whether Christian, Muslim or other are generally anti-American. There are serious grievances between Arabs and Americans and they generally transcend religion and go beyond personal beliefs and matters of faith. While Arab opinion of the United States is negative independent of religion, the terrorists that have committed the acts of September 11, 2001 do speak of Islam as their driving force; they speak of fighting infidels and tend to come from Islamic movements. A closer look, however, clearly demonstrates that terrorism predates the current tide of Islamic terrorism. In August 1943, Yitzhak Shamir, a future prime minister of Israel, wrote “Neither Jewish morality nor Jewish tradition can be used to disallow terror as a means of war... We are very far from any moral hesitations when concerned with the national struggle. First and foremost, terror is for us a part of the political war appropriate for the circumstances of today...” This quote unmistakably articulates that terrorism is a tactic for political gain of Jewish groups in the 1940s and it is exactly the same for Muslim groups today. Islam is simply a tool for the implementation of the strategic goals through the use of terrorism but its ideology does not condone terrorism whether conducted by Jewish groups or Muslim groups. Islam is simply a unifying force for Middle Easterners who are in need of a force of liberation to address many grievances including the region’s dictatorial and cruel governments, the question of Palestinian liberation, Iraq’s instability and the United States’ historical and ongoing obstruction of these goals.

10 Comments:

Blogger Hernan said...

Being born in South America and having experienced first hand poverty and lack of opportunity, I can understand why do the hate us. And while I don't necessarily agree with all the reasons why they hate us, I can say that misguided American foreign policy, imperiaslitic attitudes, and ethnocentric views of the world, and very limited understanding of it have led us to this state of affairs. Case in point, the Bush administration's treatment of Latin America (both Sr. and Jr.) During the last 15 years, Latin America was "instructed" to sell every publicly-owned company, reduce tax-barriers and open up markets. They did, and the poor got poorer, while America (and Europe) continued to take care of its own, like its farmers, and approved massive agricultural subsidies. What message does it send? Then from its position of leadership in the IMF, frequently adovcated for its multinational corporations. And so did most members of the G8. Until there is an honest debate of the root causes of poverty and marginality, and all industrialized countries treat under-developed countries with respect, negative attitudes will continue to dominate the perception America and Western Europe.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Hernan said...

this is my opinion

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Blogger Tony LA said...

Hey, I am really glad you are running this blog; rational discussions lead to understanding which helps bring people together. I respect your opinions, but I wish to disagree with something. You mentioned the Shamir quote justifying terrorism. But that was 1943, a time when the Zionists desperately sought to rescue their co-religionists in Europe, who were being slaughtered in the Nazi holocaust. Britain, the colonial masters of Palestine, had restricted Jewish immigration, and Jews who sought to escape Europe were being denied entry all over the world. The Jewish terrorism Shamir spoke of, if I am correct, was terrorism against military targets--against British colonial troops who were enforcing the ban on Jewish immigration. The purpose of the terror was to sabotage British colonial rule, to hopefully make it possible for more Jews to enter Palestine and escape the butchery going on in Europe. I don't understand the equivalence to the terror we see today. And even if there is an equivalence, two wrongs don't make a right.

1:28 AM  
Blogger Tony LA said...

I want to add that, at times, some Zionists (the fanatics of Irgun and the Stern Gang) did indeed conduct terror against Arab civilians, setting off bombs in markets and public places. This was barbaric, and was condemned by the Zionist community. It was, however, a response to Arab terror that had been going on for years. And much of the Arab terror was aimed at impoverished, Palestinian Jews (not European immigrants) whose families had lived in Palestine for hundreds of years. Check out the Hebron massacre of Jews, in 1929. How can this be explained as a response to oppression or a grievance?

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Blogger juicyhowie said...

Many Ku Klux Klan members claim to be Christians and purport to be doing "the Lord's work," when harassing minorities.

They fall under the category of Christian fundamentalists, although the majority of standard Christians do not condone their actions.

If only more US Americans in the "durrty" South could understand that not all Muslims are terrorists, then they would stop stereotyping Middle Easterners and go back to whatever they usually do...like playing the banjo. ;-)

7:31 PM  
Blogger juicyhowie said...

Many Ku Klux Klan members claim to be Christians and purport to be doing "the Lord's work," when harassing minorities.

They fall under the category of Christian fundamentalists, although the majority of standard Christians do not condone their actions.

If only more US Americans in the "durrty" South could understand that not all Muslims are terrorists, then they would stop stereotyping Middle Easterners and go back to whatever they usually do...like playing the banjo. ;-)

--Howie
www.myspace.com/cowboytrix

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