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Into the fray: It’s Islam, stupid!

  

Category:  News & Politics

By:  buzz-of-the-orient  •  9 years ago  •  33 comments

Into the fray: It’s Islam, stupid!

Into the fray: Its Islam, stupid!

By Martin Sherman, The Jerusalem Post, January 8, 2015

One out six people all over the world is a Muslim... trying to say anything in general about this huge community 1.5 billion people will be wrong... The vast majority of these populations are not involved with all whats happening with violence and terror all over the world.... I dont think there is anything essential that connects between this huge and historically important religion and all the terrorism thats going on
Sami Abu Shehadeh, secretary-general of Balad, Tel Aviv-Jaffa

With these words, Sami Abu Shehadeh, of the anti-Zionist Arab party Balad, commenced a debate with me on The rise of anti-Muslim sentiment in the West, which took place in the i24 News studios last month.

Clearly, the events in Paris on Wednesday, in which 12 people were brutally gunned down, gave the topic new and urgent relevance.

Islam is to terror as rainfall is to flooding

Of course, there is much truth in Abu Shehadeh claim that most Muslims are not actively involved in terrorism. While this claim is factually correct, substantively it is meaningless.

For anyone with an iota of intellectual integrity and reasonably informed of world affairs, the answer to whether Islam and violence and terrorism are causally connected should be unequivocally clear. To ask whether Islam is associated with terrorism is a little like asking if rainfall is associated with flooding. Of course it is as can be irrefutably deduced from Abu Shehadehs attempt to exonerate it.

After all, if one in six people in the world is a Muslim, it would mean that five out of six are not. Right? So if there were no inordinate affinity of Islam for violence/ terrorism, Muslim acts of terrorism should be one-fifth of those of non-Muslim terrorism i.e. if Islam had no greater propensity for terrorism, one would have to expect non-Muslim acts of terrorism to be five times (!) those perpetrated by Muslims.

This is clearly not the case, and terrorist attacks committed by adherents of Islam far outweigh those carried out by non-Muslims.

It would therefore seem that in stark violation of the protocols of political correctness there is little choice but to conclude what many in the West sense instinctively: There is a disproportionate causal connection between Islam on the one hand, and acts of ideo-politically motivated violence against civilian populations, i.e. terrorism on the other.

Writing on the wall?

Without wishing to appear callous, the carnage in Paris could hardly be considered unexpected. In many ways the writing has been on the wall for several years.

After all, it comes in the wake of a string of incidents of murderous Islamic-motivated violence across the country.

In mid-March 2012, several off-duty soldiers were gunned down in Montauban and Toulouse by a French-born Muslim of Algerian origin.

A few days later, he slaughtered a rabbi and three children, aged three to eight, in an attack on a Jewish day school in Toulouse.

More recently, just before Christmas, France was racked by a spate of lone wolf terrorist attacks, in Dijon, Nantes and Tours, which prompted the British Independent to report the incidents under the ominous headline France gripped by fear at Christmas after third street attack in three days. (December 23, 2014) In both the Dijon and Tours incidents, the attacker is reported to have shouted Allahu akbar, dispelling any suspicion that the assaults were perpetrated by Buddhist extremists.

Muslim violence has been simmering in France for years, boiling over regularly around Christmas and New Year, when hundreds of cars are torched in Muslim-majority neighborhoods to usher in the start of the Gregorian year.

Typically, reports in the mainstream media studiously avoid mention of any connection between this criminal arson on a massive scale and the culprits ethnic origins.

Catalogue of carnage

The slaughter in Paris takes its place in a long list of acts of butchery, all committed in the name of Islam.

Consider the following (and decidedly partial) catalogue of carnage, of the gory events that took place across the globe over the past two decades and shocked the world with their brutally.

New York Cataclysmic destruction of the Twin Towers Washington Attempt to demolish the Pentagon London Coordinated attack on the public transport system; the beheading of an off duty soldier in broad daylight in full public view Madrid Bombing of crowded commuter trains at rush hour Nairobi Seizure of Westgate shopping mall and murder of scores of innocents Burgas, Bulgaria Bombing of a tourist bus Mumbai Murderous attack on the Taj Mahal Hotel, Chabad House and other sites Boston Bombing of the citys annual marathon Bali Bombing of crowded tourist locations Buenos Aires Deadly attacks on Jewish institutions and the Israeli Embassy Ottawa Assault on the Canadian Parliament Sydney Recent seizure of a downtown caf and murder of two customers In-Amenas, Algeria Seizure of a gas facility and murder of dozens of civilians Chibock, Nigeria Abduction of almost 300 schoolgirls, reportedly to serve as sex slaves This bloodcurdling list is in no way complete, and numerous other incidents could be added. It certainly does not include all the attempted attacks that were foiled by security services in various countries, preventing the commission of even more gruesome atrocities by adherents of Islam.

Horrors of intra-Muslim strife

Try as one may, there is no way that, in the modern world, any other faith/creed can be associated with such violence/ terror in scope, size, frequency or ubiquity of occurrence.

But as appalling as Muslim violence against non-Muslims might be, it pales into insignificance when compared to violence between Muslims themselves.

It would be impossible to give a comprehensive survey of the intra-Muslim carnage that has raged and still rages across vast swathes of the globe, from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the islands of Asia-Pacific. A brutally condensed synopsis will have to suffice.

Even before the unspeakable barbarism of al-Nusra and Islamic State began to sweep across much of the Levant, merciless massacres of Muslims at the hands of Muslims abounded.

For example, in the almost 10-year Algerian civil war, internecine frictions between rival Islamist factions resulted in massive fratricide with a death toll reaching, by some estimates, 150,000. Acts of unimaginable brutality were perpetrated with entire villages wiped out and victims bodies mutilated.

Likewise, regular bombings of markets and mosques across countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have produced massive loss of Muslim life at the hands of belligerent brethren yet hardly generate a footnote in the mainstream media. The intra-Muslim conflict seems so intense and complicated that even a reasonably informed layman would find it almost impossible to figure out who is killing whom, and why...

As a gauge of the scope of the slaughter, the Pakistani site Dawn reported in a post titled Islam at war with itself that al-Qaida affiliates and other extreme Islamist groups have perpetrated indiscriminate violence against civilians...resulting in over 48,000 deaths...

The majority of Muslims

The pervasive violence in the Muslim world inevitably raises the question of the general character of Islam and the kind of behavioral patterns it seems to generate.

It also raises the thorny question of minority actions vs majority inaction.

Thus, while Abu Shehadeh is probably right when he claims that only a minority of Muslims are engaged in abhorrent acts of terrorism, it is highly unlikely they would be able to sustain this activity without the support or at least the tacit approval of much larger segments of the population.

Even if the majority does not actively endorse the conduct of a delinquent minority, there is little evidence of effective disapproval, let alone active opposition to it. (In this regard one can only hope that the extraordinarily courageous speech by Egypts president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, calling for a religious revolution, will prove to be a harbinger of some radical change in the course Islam is currently set upon.) So, although, as Abu Shehadeh contends, it is difficult to formulate accurate generalizations for 1.6 billion people, several edifying measures are available that paint a daunting picture of the views held by much of the Muslim world.

The reputable Pew Research Center has conducted numerous in-depth surveys across much of the Muslim world. Its findings show solid at times, overwhelming majorities in many countries (and significant minorities in others) in favor of harsh corporal punishments (whipping/amputation) for theft/robbery; death by stoning for adultery; and death for apostasy.

With such a propensity for violence as a widely accepted cultural norm, it is not implausible to assume that wide sections of the Muslim population would not find the use of violence and terrorism totally incompatible with their core beliefs.

Attempts at apologetics: The colonialism canard


Numerous attempts have been made to explain away much of the prevalence of violence in the Muslim world and conflict with the West.

Arguably the most prominent among such apologists was none other than President Barack Obama. In his 2009 outreach address in Cairo, he offered the following explanation for the sad state of affairs between the West and Islam which, he alleged, followed centuries of coexistence and cooperation. (Really?) Obama suggested that more recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims.

This of course holds no water.

For while it is true that much of the Middle East was under imperial rule for centuries, this was mostly Muslim imperialism i.e. the Ottoman Empire.

After all, with perhaps the exception of North Africa, Western colonialism was imposed for a relatively short period after World War I, and ended soon after World War II. This hardly seems sufficient to engender the obdurate Islamic enmity we see today.

So if complaints are to be lodged regarding colonialist deprivation of Muslim rights and opportunities, shouldnt they be directed at the Muslim imperialists? Strangely, the the crucibles of todays most extreme anti-Western Islam were barely touched by colonialism the Arabian Peninsula and Iran.

Although neither has endured any imperial including Western rule of any consequence, the former birthed the Sunni-derivative version of Islamic radicalism and the latter the Shia-derivative. This fact sits uneasily with the diagnosis ascribing ongoing tensions between Muslims and the West to colonialism.

No call to Kill for Krishna?

Moreover, one might well ask why the iniquities of colonialism have not afflicted, say, the Hindu-majority in India, whose people were certainly denied rights and opportunities under the yoke of British imperialism in the same way as the Muslims of Pakistan.

Yet, somehow we hear no cries of Kill for Krishna or Ganesh is Great from embittered Hindu terrorists, blowing themselves up in crowded buses, markets, cafes and mosques, as we do across the Muslim world including in neighboring Pakistan.

Nor do we see aggrieved followers of Shiva embarking on a global holy war to subjugate all to the Hindu creed.

Why has India been able to put its colonial past behind it, and become a vibrant economic juggernaut? Why has it not allowed itself to remain tethered to the past and mired in homicidal frustration? Since by far most victims of Muslim violence are other Muslims, rights and opportunities allegedly denied by foreign occupiers seven decades ago seem a poor explanation for current conduct.

Modernity as culprit?

Some have tried to contend that the onset of modernity and globalization has created a sense of threat to Islamic values, which has precipitated the tensions with the West.

Thus, in Cairo, Obama suggested that the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to Islamic traditions.

This too is difficult to accept.

After all, Islam is the youngest of all major religions, founded centuries even in some cases, millennia after Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity. Why would the newest religion find that the developments of modernity threaten its traditions in a manner that, apparently, does not threaten the traditions of faiths far more ancient? Why do they not generate the same tensions with the West that we find in the case of the Muslim faith? Could it perhaps be that Islam is fundamentally incompatible not only with modernity but with anything that is not Islam, and that many cannot or worse, refuse to recognize this?

A clarion call

Europe in general and France in particular are on the cusp of a grim, probably gruesome, future.

European leaders would do well to heed the clarion call from someone who has intimate knowledge of Islam the Somalian-born former Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was forced flee to the US because of threats from Muslims who objected to her criticism of Islam. She warned: Islam is not a religion of peace. Its a political theory of conquest that seeks domination by any means it can. Every accommodation of Muslim demands leads to a sense of euphoria and a conviction that Allah is on their side. They see every act of appeasement as an invitation to make fresh demands. (March 21, 2009)

Europe had best heed this dire caveat and tailor its policies accordingly, for if not, the consequences will be dire.

Martin Sherman ( www.martinsherman.org ) is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies www.strategicisrael.org .


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Krishna
Professor Expert
link   Krishna    9 years ago

Mais ou allez-vou si vites?

Je vais a la bibliotheque pour acheter du pain!!!

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
link   author  Buzz of the Orient    9 years ago
Votre Francais est terrible.
 
 
 
Michael C.
Freshman Expert
link   Michael C.    9 months ago

No call to Kill for Krishna?

I should certainly hope not!

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
link   author  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Michael C.   9 months ago

Holy Smoke!  How did you find that?  I certainly recall the Muslim acts of terrorism in Paris that prompted me to post that article but I sure as hell forgot that I posted it.  It seems that so many causes and societies have their useful idiots.  Hamas has theirs as you can see from the world-wide protests, just as Judaism has with its Voices for Justice in Palestine and Jews for Jesus.  Even America does with its MAGA devotees.  It sure is a shitty world out there these days.  How many times do I have to beg Scotty to beam me back to the early 1950s?

 
 
 
Michael C.
Freshman Expert
link   Michael C.  replied to  Buzz of the Orient   9 months ago

How did you find that?

I am a researcher at heart! :-)

BTW I have never seen so many , & so large anti-Israel demonstrations. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
link   author  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Michael C.   9 months ago

Yeah, Hamas hit the nail on the head with that outright lie about the hospital bombing.  So many people believing a terrorist's lie makes me feel that the line reputed to have been said by P.T.Barnum is wrong, it should have been 'There's a sucker born every SECOND."

 
 
 
arkpdx
Professor Quiet
link   arkpdx  replied to  Buzz of the Orient   9 months ago
Even America does with its MAGA devotees

And you ignore Black Lives Matters and Antifa. Why?

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
link   JBB  replied to  arkpdx   9 months ago

Of the approximately one thousand insurrectionists charged with crimes on January 6th how many were ANTIFA or BLM?

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
link   Tessylo  replied to  JBB   9 months ago

0, zip, zilch, nada, diddlysquat, none

 
 
 
Right Down the Center
Senior Guide
link   Right Down the Center  replied to  JBB   9 months ago

How many of the thousands of rioters during the summer of midnight shopping were maga?

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
link   author  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  arkpdx   9 months ago

I try my best to stay on topic - do you?  I had no particular feelings about BLM until I discovered that they support Hamas/Palestinians.  As for antifa, it's not  something that's on my mind at all.

 
 
 
arkpdx
Professor Quiet
link   arkpdx  replied to  Buzz of the Orient   9 months ago

MAGA is not on topic either. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
link   author  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  arkpdx   9 months ago

1.  I'm not sorry if what I said about MAGA insulted you or hurt your feelings.

2.  My reference to MAGA was one of a few examples I posted to clarify what I meant by "useful idiots" when I spoke of Hamas supporters. 

3.  I originally posted that seed so I. not you, am the one who determines what's on topic and what isn't.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
link   Texan1211    9 months ago

A good article, and as true today as it was eight years ago.

And I know how serious the article is, but this just struck me as funny:

the attacker is reported to have shouted Allahu akbar, dispelling any suspicion that the assaults were perpetrated by Buddhist extremists.

Too many people are excusing the actions of extremist Muslims.

Far too many are ignoring the fact the author points out--much of Muslim terrorism would stop if not supported by the majority of Muslims.

That's why I always say it is time for Palestinians to cease letting Hamas use them and represent them. They have to take some responsibility for their own fate.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
link   JohnRussell    9 months ago

This article should be deleted. 

It is blatantly anti-Muslim, not just anti-terrorist. 

"With such a propensity for violence as a widely accepted cultural norm, it is not implausible to assume that wide sections of the Muslim population would not find the use of violence and terrorism totally incompatible with their core beliefs."

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
link   Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell   9 months ago
This article should be deleted.  It is blatantly anti-Muslim, not just anti-terrorist. 

Then you clearly have misunderstood it.

What do you think of the author's point about the number of terrorist acts committed by Muslims in relation to their numbers on the planet?

It is like your comments regarding the Palestinians--you simply ignore that they allow Hamas to use them and abuse them and 'represent' them. They have to take some responsibility for that.

The author pointing out facts shouldn't be considered anti-Muslim by anyone.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
link   JohnRussell  replied to  Texan1211   9 months ago

I'm not interested in your uninformed opinions. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
link   Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell   9 months ago
I'm not interested in your uninformed opinions. 

Or in rational discussion, either, unfortunately.

Cheerleading for radical Muslims committing acts of terrorism isn't my thing.

Excusing acts of terrorism is silly, pointless, and irrational. Acts which would not be occurring with such frequency if not for the 'support' of the majority of Muslims.

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
link   George  replied to  JohnRussell   9 months ago

Because it is too hard to defend all your uninformed opinions? and actual facts would be too confusing?

 
 
 
Right Down the Center
Senior Guide
link   Right Down the Center  replied to  JohnRussell   9 months ago
I'm not interested in your uninformed opinions. 

You have made it abundantly clear that the only opinions you are interested are your own or people that think exactly like you do.

 
 
 
MonsterMash
Sophomore Quiet
link   MonsterMash  replied to  JohnRussell   9 months ago
I'm not interested in your uninformed opinions.

Most of us aren't interested in your anti-Israel and pro terrorist comments.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Participates
link   Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell   9 months ago

That's not your choice to make, thankfully.

What parts of the article do you find anti-Muslim?  The article simply expresses the truth about Islam, which some people try to deny.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Participates
link   Greg Jones    9 months ago

Iran is masterminding all of this. If they keep it up their citizens might gain enough courage to toss the mullahs out.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
link   Texan1211  replied to  Greg Jones   9 months ago
If they keep it up their citizens might gain enough courage to toss the mullahs out

Doubtful.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
link   author  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Greg Jones   9 months ago

Didn't America previously depose the Iranian government and install the Shah in its place?  America did it once, so now that Iran is supporting, brainstorming, advising and supplying terrorism among other proxy nations, is probably responsible for what Hamas did and Hezbollah is doing and Syria is likely starting and the missiles launched from Yemen and declaring they will put a "ring of fire" around Israel, what is America waiting for?

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
link   author  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Buzz of the Orient   9 months ago

Have no doubt about my personal feelings about what Israel is doing.  If the Gazan civilians did not want their leader to carry out its aims against Israel it could have revolted against them - they put Hamas in control, they have maintained their loyalty to Hamas over the years and it was up to them to put them OUT of control.  They could have cooperated with Israel, they could have named and pointed the militants out to the Israelis, they could have revolted about being used as human shields defending the militants.  They could have shown where the tunnel entrances were.  I have no doubt some knew where the hostages were being held.  They could have snitched to Israel what hospitals and mosques and schools were used by Hamas to store weapons and maintain their facilities, their locations being examples of how much Hamas gives a shit about "international law, and humanitarian rights" that the rest of the world is now asking Israel to adhere to - i.e. for Israel to use an eyedropper to fight a fire.  The Gazan civilians didn't do those things, and now they are paying the price for aiding terrorists.  

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
link   Kavika     9 months ago

A few comments in the article struck me as questionable and one in particular avoided the reality of history. Since the article has France as its center point this ''blind spot'', IMO does not really deal with the reality of France in the past or today.

After all, with perhaps the exception of North Africa, Western colonialism was imposed for a relatively short period after World War I, and ended soon after World War II. This hardly seems sufficient to engender the obdurate Islamic enmity we see today.

France occupied Algeria for 132 years.

The Algerian War for Independence was fought from 1954 to 1962. The Algerian War was one of the most brutal conflicts in the history of decolonization. Hundreds of thousands of Algerians and about 25,000 French troops lost their lives. It toppled the France government and the Ghosts of that war hang over France today.

To me, that seems a pivotal time in French history with Muslims. It should not have been glossed over as it is central to the situation in France today.

I am not siding with anyone, just pointing out an important part of history that author avoided.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
link   author  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika   9 months ago

Thank you for your contribution.  

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
link   Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient   9 months ago

OK, with what is happening in France today it seemed to be germaine to the article. The terrorist attacks by Muslims in France today are exactly what the French did for years to the Algerians only on a far larger and deadlier scale.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
link   author  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika   9 months ago

I posted the seed 8 years ago as a response to Muslims' "getting even" as you put it, back then although their violence 8 years ago was aimed at Jews specifically, even though it was unlikely historically that those who may have massacred them in Algeria were Jewish.  By your argument if Spanish Jews today were to attack Catholics there it would be understandable because of the Inquisition.  I guess it was Krishna who felt the seed was applicable today.  

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
link   Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient   9 months ago

I think that you missed the point, Buzz. I said nothing about getting even nor anything about Catholics/Jews and the Inquisition. What I pointed out was the lack of information from the author on that part of the very recent history. The current situation in France came about because of the colonization of Algeria and the subsequent brutality of the French in the War for Independence. Today they are divided in many factions and each remembers what they want to remember to support their own actions. 

If you check the violence in France over the years has not been exclusive to Jews, the Muslim population is attacking both Jews and non Jews. It all goes back to the colonization and later the war of Independence.

There are many articles and polls regarding the treatment of Muslims in France and the discrimination that they face. 

All of this should be very obvious to most but it isn't. So with that I'll retire from the article.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
link   author  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika   9 months ago

I have to admit I never had a clue about the Algerian war.  I never was much good with history that wasn't of interest to me anyway, so thanks for bringing it up.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Senior Expert
link   Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Kavika   9 months ago
The Algerian War for Independence was fought from 1954 to 1962.

An exceptionally brutal civil war that I first learned of the the movie, The Battle of Algiers.  It was an exceptional movie, filmed like a documentary, an exceptional cynical and cruel documentary.

I think France fought longer and harder since there were 1 million French settlers (or pieds-noirs, “black feet”) living in Algeria at the time.  Like most countries, including ours, it has tried to hide the unnamed war.

 
 

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