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Simplistic Analysis in DC and in the media

Reader comment on item: 100 Bin Ladens on the Way?

Submitted by Avraham (United States), Apr 8, 2003 at 23:25

In contrast to this article, many in the media, in Washington and around the world believe that a military operation in a Muslim-dominated region fuels Islamism and leads to terrorism. The mistake here is twofold:

1) Those who fear that this war will increase Islamism assume that the
root/cause of Islamism is non-Muslim policy against Muslims.

2) They also assume that whenever a Muslim gets angry, he/she will immediately
be willing and able to successfully conduct a spectacular terrorist attack.

As for the first mistaken assumption, Islamism exists because contemporary Arab and Islamic culture are conducive to self-pitying conspiracy theories. America, Israel, India and most of the other countries whom bin Laden blames for "atrocities" have committed none, and these countries are almost unwaveringly accepting of Islam. Blaming the Jews and America is the oldest trick in the book, and I am ashamed that some of my fellow Americans implicitly legitimate such hatred. Furthermore, it takes a long time for the average young Muslim fanatic to become a highly-trained terrorist killer. Angry Islamists may throw rocks and use home-made explosives, but they will not be even 1/10 significantly organized, trained and dedicated enough to carry out a large and symbolic attack.
We should not take the hatred of our enemies at face value. The Nazis could not be negotiated with or appeased, and neither can Sayyid Qutb-inspired Islamists. Moreover, this war will geostrategically separate Iran and Syria, the world's top two terrorism-sponsoring-states. In turn, many Muslims may gain a short-term hatred for us, but the long term benefits of democratization and security will be infintely greater than the hatred of even the most devoted Islamist.
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