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To Yuval and J.S.

Reader comment on item: Sudden Jihad Syndrome (in North Carolina)
in response to reader comment: Sudden Jihad, a misnomer

Submitted by Mark (United Arab Emirates), Mar 19, 2006 at 04:50

Yuval,

Supposing we do fear Islamist terror. Will that cause us to act in a way that make us more safe or will it somehow lead to wasted energy and anxiety?

The whole concept of Terrorism is the instill fear and take away the sweet dreams of the supposed enemy. They know that can't beat the west in a head to head confrontation. Especially when they don't even have the support of Muslim governments. So they hope to instill fear and terror in the Great Satan..

Well I don't think I am fearless or foolhardy. But I don't live in fear.

I live in the Middle East in a Gulf state. I have had 'Death to America' spray painted across my outer fence on my villa in 1998. So yeah at that time I was a bit annoyed but I wasn't expecting the knife to my throat just yet.. In that particular situation I assessed it as a bit of pent up frustration, the US was prosecuting a bombing campaign on certain Iraqi targets at the time..

I live among muslims without fear. But I have seen the kookier side of their religion and ideas. I have seen students put down flags of Israel just so that they could walk on them. (the only time it seems a flag of Israel is allowed is so that it can be burned or walked on)

I have had a student hysterical in a class of mine shouting that she was going to teach all her children to hate and kill Jews (this was when the Intefadda started again in 2000)..

Shortly after 9/11 I witnessed students passing around photos of Osama Bin Ladin as if he were some kind of hero..So yeah I have seen some strange stuff.

But on a normal day to day basis I have found muslims to be kind, generous, honest (as in never steal anything, you can leave your car with the engine running honest).. So I am immersed in a sense of security. You might say false security but I aim to keep my sweet dreams.

That does not mean that I am accepting of or even complacent toward Islam. I do not join with my western collegues living here in supporting Islamic charities or in complementing islam on its acheivements. I keep my opinions about islam to my self in my professional setting because they certainly would be unwelcome. I feel more free to comment here on this site.

I do think that Islam is a problem. I am not sure what the solution is..

All we can do on this site is discuss ideas. I am of the belief that secular humanism is the only hope for unity in this the world. Islam cannot accept other religions and other religions are also often not very good at getting along with each other. The West today is a great place for ideas because of secular humanism.
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