Condemned to Violence
"So do you condemn terrorism or not?" a young, immature journalist asked me with a mix of agitation and sarcasm.
I refused to answer.
I told him that I hated the pretentious, tainted term: "terrorism." He thought it was a poor attempt to escape the ritual condemnation of terrorism that is necessary for all who wish to be accepted into civil societies, especially in the West.
But of course I condemn terrorism, if terrorism means the murder of innocent people for the sake of gaining political influence, or for inflicting punishment or simply to advance an argument. I condemn all kinds of terrorism -- that of a nation-state, no matter how mighty, as much as that of a solitary sniper gunning down innocent men and women. But in practice, it is only the powerless who receive retribution for it.
"Terrorism" is seen only in one context: the effect, but never the cause, as though suicide bombings, the Moscow theater hostage crisis, the Kurdish rebels' frequent attacks on the Turkish army and more were all born in a vacuum.
In an interview with a National Public Radio station two months after the deadly attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, I reiterated to a thoughtful host: "We must try to see through the pain of the innocent thousands killed on that dreadful day. We cannot be so blinded by our anger to the point that we fail to see how violence begets violence. If we are keenly interested in bringing terrorism to a halt, we must have the courage to examine its roots."
Growing up to become a suicide bomber is simply not the course of normal human behavior. Leaving one's children behind in Grozny, going to Moscow and seizing hundreds of people at gunpoint in a theater is not an act born out of some ingrained Chechen hatred for Russians. Nor have the Kurds fought for more than 15 years simply because they are, in some mysterious way, bad folk, full of unexplainable hostility.
I sank into my chair in disbelief when I heard how many people were poisoned by Russia's use of gas in retaking the theater in Moscow. But I admit it: I also lamented the death of the 50 rebels. Condemn me if you wish, but I couldn't hold back my tears when I saw the images of more than 10 Chechen women, clearly young, crouching on their knees, some gazing heavenward, all dead.
We are not programmed to pity such people: They are the ones who initiated the violence; they are the insurgents, the rebels, the terrorists. All we owe them is unquestioning condemnation.
But I will ask questions. When such groups as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International call for an international investigation of Russia's actions in Chechnya, why have the United Nations, the American administration and other Western governments not pressed the issue? Why is Russia allowed a free hand in Chechnya? Why have the Chechens endured so many massacres at the hands of the Russian army?
We can only hope that Moscow will recover from its nightmare and return to normality. We can hold out no such hopes for Grozny, though. The Russian army is still there. The fighting, the occupation, the puppet government, the daily terror, mass arrests, rape and torture are all still going on. Human Rights Watch, largely alone, continues with its routine updates on crimes against the civilian population. But who has time to read?
The Chechen suffering doesn't excuse the violent hostage-taking, but it explains it. We can stick our heads in the sand like ostriches and scream aloud, "nothing justifies terrorism." We can block our ears, our brains and accuse those who disagree with us of being "sympathetic with the terrorists" even of being traitors. But that will change nothing.
Moscow will likely find itself the victim of more desperate Chechen attacks. The unilateral cease-fire of the Kurds in Turkey is likely to be ended by the Turkish army's continuing violence against the Kurdish population. Suicide bombings in the Mideast may subside or change style or targets, but they will not cease.
"Fighting terror" is the new trend, whereby aggressive, powerful countries crush their weaker foes, deprive them of freedom, of humanity even, terrorize them, degrade them, arrest them en masse, test their latest weapons on them -- while continuing to blame them for all the wrongs of the world.
And we, the people of this world who mean well but fail to act, are expected to believe everything we are told. Israel is defending itself as though it were the Palestinians who occupy Israeli territories, besiege the Israeli people, blow up their homes, steal their land and gun down their children. (Israel's Ariel Sharon was not content just to condemn the Chechen hostage-takers but also praised the Russian "victory.") We are expected to hate the Kurdish rebels and deny any feelings of sympathy toward the Chechens, because the powerful set the tone of the battle, the definitions -- what deserves to be condemned and what is regarded as a victory.
When will we treasure the lives of all nations on an equal level, whether American, Afghani, Iraqi, Israeli, Palestinian, Turkish, Kurdish, Russian, Chechen and all others? How long will we remain blinded by empty slogans, unexplained hatred and pretentious condemnations?
The writer, a Palestinian journalist, is editor in chief of PalestineChronicle.com.
Source: The Washington Post
Topics: Conflicts And War, Russia, Suicide Attacks, Terrorism
It seems that Allah's name has to be everywhere including every sentence in every post. While I respect Allah, there is no reason that any God's name should be included after every phrase that we write and speak. It causes the focus of any argument to change to religion. Religion, I believe has been the cause of all troubles and misunderstanding. Using God's name is everything is an example of extremism not moderation.
>Also Grendizer said:- I liked your little pitch about your so-called multiculturalism >though....read like a real tourist pamphlet. But it cant mask America's rap sheet. If >you cant handle the facts, then thats your problem.
Here is Islamic rap sheet. I would like to inform you that Muslims living peacefully, having all amenities and freedom have elected to cause bloodsheds and separation for religious reasons (example India Pakistan Partition). Religion somehow causes them to loose all power of reasoning and sane judgment. In its name ordinary people turned on their neighbors and slaughtered them. In the name of religion, they vote for incompetent politicians and use their voting power to support those political candidates that serve religious causes rather than national causes, thus indirectly causing to sow seeds of division in societies. And it does not help to know that Muslims don't believe in national boundaries but Ummah. Hence they will gladly oppose their host countries to support issues of Ummah.
Muslims today are reaping the fruits of their misdeeds & intolerance towards others. Your complaints about other's injustice are worthless in light of your own behavior and actions in the past. Also Islamic activity and terrorism has had never anything to do with the cause of Palestinians, etc. Even if these issues did not exist, there would have been constant friction. That's the nature of this beast.
Let's remove the misconception that it is fight between West against Muslims, it is Muslims against Rest of.. Con
Stop commiting, financing and praising terrorism in the first place if you detest it so ! Which reminds me...the US just vetoed a resolution against Israel for killing UN aid workers at the UN.
p/s: u have the right to choose ...
Thanks to the unseen forces (read hot gospellers, Bible thumpers and Jimmy
"Evangelical" Swaggarts) these verses were restored back into a subsequent version.
One of the most absurd treatises is the concept of Trinity, God is Almighty, son is Almighty and Holy Ghost is Almighty... but they are not 3 Almighties but one Almighty. If this is the case then who was controlling the universe when Jesus was (supposedly) dead? If the three are inseparable and are a holy union, if one dies, so will the others... Trinity is as bogus as a three-dollar bill.
Where did Jesus say, "I am god" or "Worship me"? If you worship Jesus because he has no earthly father, then why don't u worship Adam or Milchesedek who had no father no mother?
I liked your article very much. keep up the great work that you do.
1. Please mention any 'inflammatory rhetoric' I have posted in this thread.
2. Please mention something that I have declared without facts.
That doesn't sound too hard, now does it? Feel free to include lots the youthful banter we all know and expect from you, but please, do try to cut and paste quotes from my posts to back up your prattle. I think we'd all prefer it if we knew what you were trying to refer to while you are foaming at the mouth.
Before we Muslims are so quick and eager to please the kuffar by condeming any form of "terrorism" we need to ask the kuffar, "What was done to these people that they are willing to blow themselves up in order to take out their enemies?" Sisters and brothers, we need to remember that we will answer to Allah, not the kuffar and so we shouldn't be trying to please them. It's not our job to condemn "suicide" bombings, we shouldn't say that, we should say we condemn ALL forms of terrorism. My two cents.
please check this out http://www.miftah.org/images/pow/POW23.cfm
csaba,esther this is what your sick and ugly media will never show you on the news.
john please don't ever come to this board and boast about your lovely country israel and how it stands for democratic values.
You want facts "csaba," get offline, power down your playstation and start reading some books...start with any title by the great historian Howard Zinn. Believe me, you'll forget all about your precious little beauty contest after acquanting yourself with some progressive works by true American patriots. YOu're welcome, junior.
Oh, Allah, please provide help for all who are suffering under oppression, according to Thy Will -- Ameen.
full of insults, but yet, no content. What a
surprise. Grendizer (3d?) do you have any content
to share, or do you just type as much as you can
while they clean your cage?
It's funny how you say that it's my problem if I
can't handle 'the facts', but then you don't mention
any facts. Are there any facts in particular that
you feel I can't handle, or is it all facts in
William Pfaff IHT
Thursday, December 5, 2002
PARIS A part of the neoconservative intelligentsia in Washington is trying to turn the Bush administration's "war against terrorism" into a war against Muslim civilization and the Islamic religion.
Such influential figures as Eliot Cohen of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Kenneth Adelman of the Defense Department advisory policy board, a former Reagan administration official, criticize President George W. Bush for his efforts to assure Muslims that his war is against terrorism, not against their religion.
The Bush critics say Islam itself is America's enemy because Islamic religion and civilization are intolerant, hostile to Western values, proselytizing, expansionist and violent.
Their implicit argument is that Islam was hostile to the West before Israel came into existence, hence that the Israel-Palestine conflict has nothing to do with Islam's crisis with the West. This is a novel argument likely to leave many unconvinced.
A segment of the evangelical Protestant community in the United States adds to this an assertion that Islam is "evil." That is the view of the clergyman who was part of the Bush inauguration in 2001.
Cohen, Adelman and their fellows in the U.S. policy community have yet to explain what they mean about war against Islamic civilization - against the second largest religious community on earth, with more than a billion adherents on six continents. One would have thought that President Bush already has his hands full with Iraq and Al Qaeda.
These intellectuals have fallen into Samuel Huntington's pernicious fallacy that civilizations, which are cultural phenomena, can be treated as if they were responsible political entities. They identify the members of Islamic civilization not in terms of their actions but in terms of what they are.
America is nation of good people whose lazyness and apathy have the placed worst type of leaders in charge of the nation. I liked your little pitch about your so-called multiculturalism though....read like a real tourist pamphlet. But it cant mask America's rap sheet.
If you cant handle the facts, then thats your problem.
Now, why is it that God declares in the Qu'ran, "Oppression is worse than murder"? Similarly, many paths of wisdom and the sages throughout history had mentioned the dire consequences that oppression and injustice wrought.
If our concerns do not go beyond securing what is best for No. 1, regardless of others, we will continue facing the repeated cycles of terror and insecurity. We are all in this mess together. The call to the right action is clear: the people of God are those who champion the oppressed and the downtrodden. We do not become civilized sitting at the table dealing with who can produce, consume and exploit more and more of *things* cheaply. Neither wealth, nor power, nor military might marks the sum total of wellbeing. We uplift others and ourselves by our commitment to struggle for the dignity and justice for all.
A reminder for those who have hearts to reflect: "And why should you not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being powerless, are oppressed?--Men, women, and children, whose cry is: 'Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You, one who will protect; and raise for us from You, one who will help.'" (The Noble Quran, 4:75)
Grendizer - what part do you think needs substantiating? Have you ever been to the US? There are people of every race, nationality and religion there. All of the races and religions Thinker mentioned have large populations in the US, as well as the rest of the West. Of course, this is not news to you - you were just looking to toss off yet again.
Would you care to substantiate your claim of routine violations of international law, treaties, and "interventions", or is substance something that you talk about, but never really get around to putting into practice? I know 'bad things' were done, but it would be nice to see content from you for once.
In the future, you might want to try a little less anger, and a little more comprehension.
Also, according to Charles Jacks, it was the Muslims who created all that is good with 'Western' culture. Somehow, the West was englightened by their contact with these almost mythical Muslim benefactors, but yet, they took the shine off of everything for the Muslims, and now the West has democracy, and the poor Muslims are left scrabbling in the dirt. That's about the gist of it, right? Sounds more like a failure on the part of the Muslims than anything else. If what you say is true, in the way you make it seem, then what went wrong? Oh wait, don't tell me - the West!, the West!, Muslims are blameless victims regardless of what they do, down with beauty, terrorism isn't terrorism just as long as I'm killing an infidel along with the children, yada yada yada.
Also, Charles, who is fighting with their lives for democratic self determination? Can you name a Muslim
1) Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. We followed it with atomic bombs on civilians.
2) Iraq invaded Kwait. We followed it with an embargo that killed hundereds of thousands of civilians.
When these people started worshiping themselves and Jesus instead of The Creator, God turned away from them. Now the devil has such a strangle hold on their frontal lobes they haven't got a clue. Clearly they are a danger to themselves and all humanity. But the Muslims need to pay attention. Many have come to imitate their oppressors and that is anti-Islamic. Intentional use of indiscriminate weapons is unacceptable. Read carefully around 5:45. Our duty includes(at least) 1: empower, educate and enrich those we come in contact with. 2: promote monotheism, submission and good deeds (at least one of these if possible) 3: protect and serve all creation be it plant or animal. Never take life indiscriminately. 5:27-30. Our judgment must be in alignment with God not human created names. A believer is one that believes in one God be they "Jew, Christian, Sabian or Muslim"
Feel free to re-read the article before posting lame unsubstantiated comments...if you want peace...start behaving in a peaceful manner and hold your "civilzed" governments accoutable for atrocities in your name.
of the eyes The 'heart' is the seat of emotions,
of sympathy for suffering humanity, of true under-
standing and of the realization of right & wrong.
The heart may be like a dark & dilapidated house,
or it may be stonyhard without emotion/sympathy.
How we conduct ourselves does reflect on the
state of our hearts. The more a person is bent
upon doing wrong (sin), the more his heart gets
sick, sometimes to the point of no return. Only
the Mercy of Allah SWT can bring such a heart
back to the Right Path. The power and riches have a blinding effect. We should set aside some time
to reflect upon the Creation of Allah and upon
our own doings.