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What is the goal of terrorism?

Reader comment on item: The Limits of Terrorism

Submitted by Terrorism works for its protagonists (United States), Apr 23, 2009 at 01:58

Dear Dr. Pipes,

before we decide whether Islamic terrorism works or not, we must decide what the goals of terrorism are? Let us say that the goal of Islamic terrorism in Iraq, Israel, and Kashmir is to gain independence of these three lands from their current political set up. Let us assume that Hamas truly wants a separate nation for Palestinians. Let us say they resort to the methods adapted by Mahatma Gandhi or Dr Martin Luther King.

Let us assume for a minute that Hamas drops their guns, commits to education and peace and invites Israel and the other members of the International community for talks. I have very little doubt that if Hamas shows this kind of commitment the international community will refuse this kind of an offer. I am almost certain that the liberal popiticians of Israel and the rest of the world will jump on such a proposal and in fairly quick time a two nation solution in the middle east will emerge.

Similarly, if Iraqi people show any sign of democratic process (say a million Iraqi hold a peach march on the streets of Baghdad), I have no doubt that President Obama will pull the US troops out as soon as possible. If Kashmir promises a secular democracy in which the rights of all people are preserved, who knows the Indian may not mind an Independent Kashmir.

But none of these things is happening. Not even moderate muslims are proposing any solutions on these lines and challenging the world to reject such proposals. So peace is not what is in the terrorist's minds. Deep down in the minds of these people and their supporters there is a belief that their systems of governance, spirituality and thought are better than everybody elses and must be imposed on everyone else.

The purpose of terrorism in Israel, Iraq, Pakistan and Kashmir is to intimidate free thinking people and make them run from their lands for some foreign land. Each bomb scares a Kashmiri Hindu to leave Kashmir, a free-thinking muslim to leave Afghanistan, and some young talented Jew to leave Israel. So let us not fool ourselves into believing that terrorism does not work. It works very very well for its perpetrators.
To curb terrorism we will have to change hearts of the actual perpetrators of terrorism and their sympathisers.

Submitting....

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