Move along, nothing to see here. When a spokesman for a group that is linked to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and that has had several of its officials convicted of various jihad terror-related offenses, tells us where not to look in order to understand the motives and goals of the terrorists, that ought to be a tipoff that there is something there they don’t want us to see. But the mainstream media and law enforcement officials have still by and large not caught on to the CAIR agenda.
“Extremist attacks are not rooted in religion,” by Dawud Walid in the Detroit Free Press, May 17:
Recent attempted extremist attacks with international connections should prompt us to take a deeper look at root motives instead of simplistically faulting religion.
The tired cries of the un-nuanced…
I love that phrase! “Jihad Watch: The tired cries of the un-nuanced!” Thanks, Dawud!
The tired cries of the un-nuanced, such as former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani stating that President Barack Obama is complicit in the recent failed Times Square attack because he fails to use the nomenclature “Islamic terrorism” to define such attacks, plays no constructive role in making our nation safer.
Why not? Wouldn’t it play a constructive role in making our nation safer to identify the belief-system and ideology of those who hate us and have vowed to destroy us? How does ignoring what our enemies believe and what they’re trying to accomplish make our nation safer? How can we formulate an effective response to the enemy’s challenge without knowing what that enemy is trying to do, and why?
Moreover, the Giuliani-type discourse misses a clear yet painful point. Many of these criminal acts are direct blowback in response to our foreign policy missteps.
In other words, it’s all our fault. Barack Obama believes this, too, as he demonstrated in his June 2009 Cairo speech, when the only explanations for jihad terrorism that he offered were all the fault of America and the West: colonialism, the Cold War, and the rottenness of Western pop culture. The possibility that Islamic jihadists may hate us for reasons of their own that ultimately have nothing to do with our behavior and cannot be changed by anything we do or don’t do never seems to occur to Obama, and Dawud Walid seems anxious to make sure that you dismiss it — for reasons of his own.
The admitted Times Square attacker, Faisal Shahzad, who is of Pakistani origin and ethnically Pashtun, did not have a history of radicalism up until close to one year ago. Like the overwhelmingly majority of Pakistanis, Shahzad held a sharply negative view of the expansion of drone attacks in the Wazirstan province of Pakistan, which have resulted in a large percentage of civilian causalities. Moreover, his Pashtun kinsmen in Afghanistan have also suffered civilian causalities by drone attacks, and many of them view our presence in the region as a military occupation.
Prof. Robert Pape, who leads the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, states that there is little connection between terrorism and extremist interpretations of Islam or any world religion; oppression, a sense of marginalization and occupation are the primary causes for international terrorism. Like points have been made by U.S. Reps. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, regarding the correlation between extremist attacks such as the Times Square incident with the large number of civilian causalities via drone attacks, which some casually dismissed as “collateral damage.”
The subtext here is that America should do nothing to rein in even “extremist interpretations of Islam” — they’re harmless. Unfortunately for Pape, Kucinich and Paul, however, jihadists routinely invoke these interpretations of Islam in order to explain and justify their actions, and to make recruits among peaceful Muslims. Thus they are not harmless at all, and should not be ignored or cavalierly dismissed.
The painful reality is that violence begets violence and that there will always be a small percentage of people who will commit acts of extremism when they see their civilian family members and kinsmen subjected to violence. We can only imagine how some of us would react if Americans were subjected to drone attacks by Russians.
America was subjected to an attack, a serious one, not by Russians but by Islamic jihadists, on 9/11. And Americans did not respond by becoming terrorists. Contrary to CAIR’s lurid and mendacious fantasies, Muslims in America have not been persecuted or harassed since 9/11. CAIR has even had to fabricate hate crimes against Muslims in order to maintain their victim status.
While our government cannot abstain from implementing measures that assist in making us more secure, it must be more cautious in avoiding tactics that may have the opposite effect. Increasing drone attacks, for instance — about which a United Nations special representative on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings stated have “absolutely no accountability in terms of relevant international law” — are not making us any safer.
This is not to excuse the likes of Shahzad or anyone else who wishes to commit crimes against civilians, which violates American law, international law and Islamic law.
How does Shahzad’s attempted jihad attack violate Islamic law, Mr. Walid? Please explain.
Misguided people, who act from pain and unhealthy emotions can justify wanton violence that no religion sanctions or teaches.
If we truly wish to decrease the potential rise of internationally based radicalism, it is incumbent upon us to look at the true roots behind the motives instead of using religion as a scapegoat.
Fine. As soon as the jihadis stop invoking the Islamic religion as the explanation for their actions, I’ll stop looking at it.