Sunday, September 9, 2007

Islam and Terrorism

Five Reasons that western intellectuals give for terrorism and the Arabs/Muslims hatred of the west:

1. Israel's oppression of the Palestinians and lack of a Palestinian state
2. America's support for Israel
3. America's support for non-democratic Arab/Muslim regimes
4. Poverty and economic backwardness of Arabs
5. Western exploitation of Muslims (oil)

And Five Reasons why they are wrong...

1. Every time Israel and the Palestinians get close to some kind of peace agreement terrorism increases. The Palestinians would have had their state a long time ago were it not for Hamas and the second intifada.

2. Osama bin Laden couldn't care less about the Palestinians, whose lot only worsened after 9/11. If suddenly there were Pal-Israel peace, would Ibn Laden go away? Would Muslims stop blowing up Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Ssudi Arabia, Sudan?

3. The Arab world is not ready for democracy. What happened when Algeria, Gaza and Iraq tried to democratize? Islamic fundamentalists took over and guess what? terrorism. America has supported plenty of non democratic govenments in its history, without promoting terrorism. The 9/11 terrorists came from well off families, professional men.

4. Poverty and economic backwardness abounds in Africa, South America, and parts of Asia. Impoverished Hindus, Vietnamese, Brazilians, Cubans? No terrorism.

5. There is economic interdependence between OPEC countries and the west, not exploitation. The west's economy needs oil, and OPEC's countries get huge amounts of cash.

The west's excuses are just wishful thinking and adopting of the Islamists own narrative. If only WE would be good the terrorists will go away...

So, what are the real reasons?

1. Arabs and fundamentalist Muslims are offended by Western infidels' dominance of the world and their own backwardness. This contradicts their religious expectations, sensibilities, history and sense of justice.

2. As much as they hate the West, they hate even more their own co-religionists who cooperate with the West. Thus their first goal is to topple "pro-western" muslim and Arab regimes.

3. A global economy and technological development have allowed previously impossible activities for terrorists. Cheap Asian made weapons, cellphones, internet and computers have given terrorists access to the logistics and coordination previously available only to governments or large organizations. While guerrilla warfare and terrorism also existed in the past, it was much harder and much less deadly. So now the fundamentalists have new tools at their disposal. They are empowered with new abilities.

4. The Islamists understand the modern West's weaknesses and how to exploit them: tolerance, sensitivity to suffering and loss of human life, democratic systems of government.

Despite the differences, there are remarkable similarities between the rise of Islamicism and the rise of Fascism. They are populist movements, led by demagogues who take advantage of the inferiority complex of peoples, fueled by resentment from real or imagined grievances, and whose growing power and danger are underestimated by liberal western societies. Western attempts at appeasement only encourage the Islamists and strengthen them.

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