It is nice to read the newspaper and find out that the international Muslim community is mad at something other than the United States and Israel:
Britain’s top Muslims have branded the London suicide bombings “utterly criminal, totally reprehensible, and absolutely un-Islamic”.
A joint statement of condemnation came as 22 leaders and scholars met at the Islamic Cultural Centre, in London.
But Britain’s highest ranking Asian police officer, Tarique Ghaffur, says Muslims and their leaders must do more than just condemn the bombings.
Bomber Hasib Mir Hussain’s family said on Friday they were “devastated”.
Police in Egypt arrested chemistry student Magdi Mahmoud al-Nashar, 33, wanted in connection with the bombings.
At the meeting in London, Muslim leaders said there could never be any excuse for taking an innocent life, it said.
Good. While I, too, think that the long-term situation is not going to change until internal pressures from within the Muslim community alter the culture, I am getting a little tired of calls for Muslims to ‘condemn the bombings.’ Why? Two reasons.
First, it assumes that most Muslims don’t already find suicide bombing and the murder of innocents to be horrid. We don’t require every Catholic to condemn pedophile priests. We don’t require every Christian to condemn Falwell when he spouts off at the mouth about America deserving 9/11. We just sort of assume that is the default position for sane people.
Second, what is needed is not just loud and ritualistic condemnations. What is needed are affirmative steps to change the culture so that the minority view that violence is acceptable is simply eradicated.
I beleive that the majority of Muslims condemn suicide bombings, however, when some Muslims speak out about terrorism they seem to inject a “yes it’s bad, but you have to understand…insert pet grievance here”. Moderate Muslims should not qualify terrorists’ actions at all, it sounds like they are trying to excuse terrorism. How would it sound if I said, “yes, the abortion clinic bombers are horrible, but you have to understand their outrage at the government’s policy on abortion.” It sounds like I’m trying to justify the bombers’ actions, and on some level, I agree with his actions. Would you beleive I really disagreed with the bomber after that conversation? This is the main problem I have with alot of moderate muslims.
I think the bombings in Britain are having an effect on Muslim’s thinking, and the notorious “but” will finally be banished from their responses.
While I want to agree with you on this, I’m sorry to advise that there are substantial amounts of muslims who think that bombings are good. Please see support levels via the Pew report.
Let me know when you get even 1% of Catholics supporting priestly pedophilia.
Did I speak to soon?
Muslims were denouncing the 9-11 attacks on 9-12.
Muslims are not a monolithic population any more than “christians” are.
The terrorist movements are grounded in fundamentalism, which just happens to be Muslim. But fundamentalism is an evil that crosses religious and cultural boundaries. Fundamentalist christian sects which preach violence or bigotry are no less worrisome than equivalent Muslim ones.
Fundamentalism will exploit whatever fuel is available. The fact that the Muslim world provides some fuel at the present time is less a reflection on Islam than it is on the dark side of the human race in general.
To be blunt: Fundamentalism carried to a pathological extreme is the enemy. Wherever it exists, and whoever it infects.
You know, ppg, I’m going to disagree with you, and agree with Stormy and John (Cole) here.
The heart of any “asymmetric war” lies in the willingness of a group of people to passively conceal the guerillas in their midst. Through a combination of terror and ideology — typically maintained by talking up the victim status of the larger group — the larger group is kept from disclosing the identities of the guerillas, making it impossible for the State to round them up. (As an aside, I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that organized crime syndicates also depend on the similar failure to disclose the criminals, or that the syndicates tend to implode when the passive concealmeant ends.)
Look at the strategy the 9/11 death cults have pursued, then, and compare it to the classic asymmetric warfare strategies. It’s the same — massive terror aimed at the Muslim communities in which the death cultist hide, coupled with an almost Rovian drumbeat refrain of the (very real) grievances that the Palestinians (both Muslim and Christian) hold.
But that also tells us what the response to the death cults needs to be. Affected Muslims need to rise up against their real oppressors, the death cultists, and turn them in to the civil authorities. That means that leaders in the many Muslim communities need to stand up and say “If you turn in a false brother, and your information turns out to be valid, the community will stand up for you and your family, here and anywhere, and fight to protect you and keep you safe. Yes, we have grievances, and they are valid, but we need to recognize that our civil duty is to work legally and peacefully to get those grievances fixed. Mass murder won’t fix things — it only creates more Iraqs.”
That’s the step beyond mere outrage, and it’s the next step that I think most reasonable people are wiating for.
The “heart” of asymmetric war could be many things, and your assertion’s item would be way down on my list.
First, you need grotesque asymmetry in the first place. Huge, established power versus powerless. That sort of thing.
Second, you need radicalization on an effective scale. If you need an icon for this, think OBL. Think IRA.
All organized criminal activity is covert, whether we are talking Mafia, or Al Qaeda. In a world that lacks homogeneity, and values freedom and privacy, being covert is not really that hard to do. To call this the “heart” of the problem is really a serious misunderstanding of the problem, as I see it.
I am beyond skeptical of silver-bullet approaches to the problem of terrorism. Getting responsible Muslims to expose their evil cousins may be useful, but it’s hardly a comprehensive solution to anything. Rounding up all the usual suspects whenever there’s an event, same thing. Tossing a few hundred bad guys in a camp, same thing.
Once Americans have had enough of the tv-show approach to this stuff, and want to get serious … we’ll focus on more useful measures. Hardening our soft spots: Food, transportation, borders, energy facilities and resources. Vigilance, the way Israelis practice it. Those kinds of things. We are doing a very lousy job of these things right now, with the possible exception of airport passenger security.
It may very well be that another attack or three will be necessary to teach Americans that they can’t just vote for politicians who mouth slogans and expect that this problem will be remediated. It’s going to have to be a much more grassroots movement, with an informed populace and with consistency in approach. We don’t have enough 20-year-olds to go out and invade every country that pisses us off, and besides, terrorism is not a country, and it doesn’t live in a country.
My “grassroots” concept may be analagous to your “passive concealment” concept, not sure. But if I were king, I’d start with the assumption that terrorism is not going away, and job one is to protect ourselves from it.
Moderate Muslims can’t be held responsible for their sociopath cousins. They can help, of course, but that’s all. Just help. Meanwhile, we have to help ourselves.
I haven’t seen any one supporting pedophilia, but I have seen a number of Catholics questioning whether a priest should have to live his life in celibacy. A happily married pastor is much less likely to commit these crimes than a sexually frustrated bishop.
Likewise, I see an almost universal number of American Muslims condemning suicide bombings while still supporting the principles of the bombings – a free Palestine, Middle Eastern self-rule, the spread of Islam, etc. The means are questioned, the ends are supported. Hence many of the statements from Muslims that go, “I don’t support the bombings, but…”
I’m sure a number of people here are pro-life who don’t support shooting abortionist doctors. Being against the gunman doesn’t mean you have to be for the abortion. Alot of Muslims are getting caught in this crossfire. They’re against the act of terriorism, but they still support the politics these terrorist acts are trying to bring about.
Storch at OTB pissed me off good about this item, by concluding that the clerics in question were refusing to condemn terrorism, because they reserved possible approval for suicide attacks against “occupying forces.”
It strikes me as obvious that if (1) I consider my country to be illegally occupied by another’s military and (2) I blow myself up to take some of the occupying forces with me, then (3) I’m not a terrorist. I may be a bad guy, but that’s just not terrorism.
It’s the difference between ‘terrorist’ and ‘freedom fighter’ which is to say, there’s no difference at all when you’re on the other end of the bullet or the bomb blast. I’m sure the German military thought the French Resistance was a bunch of terrorist scum, and if we were in Vietnam today the Vietcong would undoubtably be labeled a terrorist organization. Within your own country it’s a hard line to draw.
Outside your own country… I don’t think even the most liberal/conservative (I don’t quite know how the political spectrum runs in this regard) Muslim cleric could call the attacks on 9/11 or the bombings in Madrid and London acts of Freedom Fighters. That’s like shooting up a state-funded orphanage in Syria to protest their terror involvements. Killing day-to-day businessmen and on-the-go moms and low-income transit workers hardly sticks it to the man. There is no excuse for condoning these acts of violence.
Modern war has taken war directly to civilians. I think I don’t have to provide examples, there are too many.
Given this fact, how is “killing businessmen” any different from any other permutation of modern warfare?
Why does the “mom” distinction make one thing terrorism, and another thing a justifiable war, when the result — dead moms and businessmen — appears to be the same thing?
If the clerics would prefer that the Palestinians still blow up Israeli women and children, then they are terrorist appeasing bastards. If I ran Israel, one terrorist crosses that fence when it’s done then an act of war has been committed by the Palestinian state, and I would light them up. I care nothing for death cult-like Palestinians. The decent ones have fled to America and other countries.
Wow. Even for the Internet, that’s about as sick as it gets.
Stormy 70, read the story. The clerics “would prefer” nothing of the kind, and I think it’s pretty obnoxious to frame such an
statement. As you can now see.
As for ppqaz (how do you pronounce that?)’s
This is obviously pernicious inasmuch as it offers Osama a justification for 9/11. That is why I think it’s essential to admit that “taking war directly to civilians” is wrong, whether it’s Osama doing it, or Israel, or the U.S. Unless you favor some special get-out-of-morality-free card for states, then it’s very hard to justify firebombing cities.
Which is why, post-9/11, I’ve wished that we could revisit our deeds in WW2 and admit that intentionally incinerating civilians, including children and babies, is w-r-o-n-g, no matter what collateral “military goal” may be achieved.
Consider that the Brits turned to area bombing because they had no other effective means of directly harming their enemies. Does that sound familiar? It was wrong then with Lancasters or B-17’s, and it’s wrong now with suicide bombers or jetliners-cum-missiles.
Oh, and it’s a g, not a q.
ppg = intitials
az = state abbreviation
pronunciation = “curmudgeon”
Ah, Welsh, I take it. Thanks!
Ancestry is German and Scottish.
We’re very bossy people.
I hesitate to make a recommendation to a bossy curmudgeon, but maybe you should use all caps so your signature is more legible. Just a thought.
The Sanity Inspector
A certain former Creator of Worlds pops out the ether from time to time. Just recently, he reminded us of some good advice he gave, long ago.
Meaning, all these folks issuing condemnations of terrorism in Islam’s name today may have been cheerleading for it yesterday. Caveat lector
It’s not condemnations that I’m after but fatwas and declarations that these bombers are in hell, the preachers who lead them astray are well on the road to hell and that the theological framework that produces these bombers is a threat that is an important enemy to the muslim community.
The telltale “but” needs to disappear and the moderate muslims need to get serious about their theology. I hear that the british muslims are preparing a fatwa against suicide bombing. That’s the sort of thing that I’ve been waiting for for years. What took them so long?
The Disenfranchised Voter
I completely disagree. They are not trying to excuse terrorism–they are attempting to show that the terrorists are committing these acts for reasons other than “Allah”. If we really want to win this “war on terror”, we need to realize that the middle east has legitimate reasons to hate the US. For over 40 years, our foreign policy towards the middle east has been horrible. Not only did we prop up Saddam and assist him in silencing his political opponents, we also trained, supported and supplied the Mujahideen and Osama Bin Laden. There are also other reasons.
In order to combat the terrorist threat we must address the roots causes of terrorism. This would erode terrorist recruitment. Our government needs to address these issues and start reaching out–not bombing–the middle east more.
I have a pretty good understanding of why those people attacked us on 9/11; but that does not mean I think their attack was justified. It certianly was not. There is a huge difference between saying you understand someone’s motives and saying that their actions were justified. Terrorist attacks only lead to more suffering on both sides–Unnecessary violence only breeds more violence.
By “light them up” do you mean attack all Palestinians? I’m going to presume that you do, because your post implies that and from what I know of you, you would advocate such a thing.
The unbelievable irony of your claim is that you are advocating terrorism. You are saying you would commit terrorist acts on the Palestinians in retaliation for attacks upon your state. Israel has done this before, so it wouldn’t be much different if you were leading the country. Terrorism is the deliberate attacking of civilians. Whether this is committed by a group of people or by a nation is irrelevant. It is still terrorism, and terrorism is wrong.
The sheer hypocrisy of your post is appalling. However, I am not surprised to see you post something like that.
I would condider it an act of war by the Palestinian State, and I would go to war. You justified the terrorists with that post up there, which tells me what category to stick you in: Appeasement Root Causes Party. Bin Laden was clear in his reasons for attacking the US, he wants an Islamic State that is ruled by an iron fist, and all infidels dead. The reason noone trusts the left to keep them safe, is that the left wants to understand these killers, and try to appease them. It won’t work.
You think it’s possible to wipe out all of the terrorists? Good luck. It’s a shame that you don’t understand the importance of the London attack: the terrorists apparently were home grown. So how do you intend to wipe out all the terrorists when they’re spread throughout the world? It’s a whole lot more complicated than wiping out a single country.
The lefties aren’t weak on national security. They understand something that you macho supporters don’t get: The most effective way to cut off the terrorists is to get rid of the root causes that produce them in the first place. You consider that weak but look at how well your strategy is working. Terrorism has thrived while our military is beginning to weaken. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re losing the war on terror. What does it take for you to understand that?
The Disenfranchised Voter
Hmm, it was pretty clear to me I specifically said I do not think the 9/11 attacks, or any terrorism is justified. Talk about being a blind Bush supporter, read my fucking post you scum:
“I have a pretty good understanding of why those people attacked us on 9/11; but that does not mean I think their attack was justified. It certianly was not. There is a huge difference between saying you understand someone’s motives and saying that their actions were justified. Terrorist attacks only lead to more suffering on both sides–Unnecessary violence only breeds more violence.”
Funny how you accuse me of justifying terrorist attacks when I obviously did not.
The only one arguing FOR terrorism in this thread is yourself stormy. You said that you would retaliate against the Palestinians using terrorism.
Fucking hypocrite. Look in the god damn mirror.