Condemned to Violence

Category: Middle East Topics: Conflicts And War, Russia, Suicide Attacks, Terrorism Views: 3025

"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

Source: The Washington Post

  Category: Middle East
  Topics: Conflicts And War, Russia, Suicide Attacks, Terrorism
Views: 3025

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Older Comments:
contd..Let's remove the misconception that it is fight between West against Muslims, it is Muslims against Rest of World. And you people constantly claim that the Prophet advised to treat Christians and Jews with equal honor, those who believe in monotheism. So what did he say about others such as Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, etc? There is too much double talk that you people do.
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.

>Some poster said: 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.
>Also Grendizer said:- I liked your little pitch about your so-called multiculturalism > 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

JFScott, when you snap out your willfull may be horrified to find that it is you and you cabal of a civilization which is the one ad odds with the rest of the planet, not Islam. That sick and twisted colonial mentality of divide and conquer is showing.
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.

we have to choose either right or wrong, heaven or hell but no in between???

p/s: u have the right to choose ...

The mentality of Islam versus the mentality of the rest of the world on the issue of tolerance and peaceful coexistence with other cultures and religions, is putting Islam on a collision course with human existence - since there is virtually no possibility that the human race will ever submit to the goals that pure Islamists seek. Mainstream Islam makes little effort to restrain pure Islamists. In fact, it appears that the Islamic world either sanctions, or at least defers to the radical Islamists. There have been no Fatwas or death sentences proclaimed against Osama Bin Ladin and other extremist terrorists for their incredible blasphemies, rather only apologies for their acts laying much of the blame on US policy! Yet mainstream Islam is really the only hope to eradicate this lethal form of extremism that has no parallel in other cultures and religions regardless of "opression". If these extremist atrocities must be addressed from outside Islam them Islam will be the ultimate victim.

Please read the Revised Standard Version 1952 Edition, which used the earliest known biblical manuscripts, also had the blessing of biblical scholars of 50 Church denominations. Lo and behold, John 3:16 "For God so loveth the world..." is omitted, not only that, the verses on Ascension are also missing; the verses on trinity are also dropped. It was said that these verses were a fabrication and hence had to be removed.

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?

With over 1000 denominations of Christianity map, lets make allowance for differences in opinion over theology. Study history and you find that tritheism was chosen by a pagan emperor as the official theology for the lands under roman control. That spread with European colonialism. Monotheistic Christianity survived outside that area of influence. "What would Jesus do" (say). In John 17:1 Jesus explicitly indicates his dependence and therefore distinctiveness. I will not worship a "dependent god" as that is blasphemous. See Mark 15:34. Go back to the definition of a christ. One can not be a Christ and be The Creator. The two are mutually exclusive. I think Jesus understood his humanness, Mark 10:18 Matthew 4:10. But being a Christ and having God speak through Jesus could cause confusion in a pagan area where they worshiped humans as "gods". Throughout the old testament, The Creator states "Thy God is a jealous God" and the position of the devil is to get you to worship something besides God. I don't think these timeless constants have suddenly changed with the birth of Jesus. It is only gracious and merciful to point out that many Christians could be deeply disappointed with their individual results come judgment day. However disabusing long held believes given by the devil can engender a third phase cybernetic backlash, typically violent. For example the creation of the inquisition and the period known as the burning times of Europe or the deaths of Jesus, St. Nicolas and St. Valentine. Those teaching love must accept a violent reaction. This third phase resistance can be minimized but the "crystallization effect" prevents its total abatement. Take it step by step. To be a christ is to be human. To be human is to be not The Creator. To worship other than The Creator is to be abandoned to violence to your soul. Other tritheism errors that have come up and been put down before. If you will return to the worship of The Creator, God will return you to peace.

I applaud you for your unpretentious and honest and conscious effort to open the hearts and minds of those who are blinded by falsehood.


Eid Mubarak to you and peace and justice to the Palestinians.
I liked your article very much. keep up the great work that you do.
muslim sister

I like your article "Condemn to Violence" cannot say a truer word.

Grendizer - I'll make this easy for you (`cause you seem to need it that way)
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.

AHMAD F. FROM U.S. said:

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.

Assalamu alaikum brothers and sister.
please check this out
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.

LOL haha you are hurting. You're the one whose been insulting yourself by posting idiotic inflammatory rhetoric with typical pavlovian resort. Dont blame me for calling you what you are = a shallow ignoramus with plenty to declare, but little in the way of facts.
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.

If Israel can find some other champion, then there would appear to be blessings even in tragedy.

Oh, Allah, please provide help for all who are suffering under oppression, according to Thy Will -- Ameen.

I'd like to respond to Mr. Jacks about his erroneous portrayal of what Christianity is and is not. Please give proof that Christianity commimted "wide genocide" in 3 continents. Also, Christians do not "worship" ourselves. That is absurd. However it is true that we do worship Jesus Christ the Messiah. We do not believe in polytheism because God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are One. We did not make this up and it is very clear in the Bible. But, I realize that Mr. Jacks wants to distort or twist words as evident in his post on 12/5 to suit his agenda. His post makes no sense when he is refering to Matthew 20:26 what he says is not even remotely close to what Jesus was talking about. What Jesus was talking about if we want to be the greatest person in God's kingdom is to be a servant of all. He calls us to love, and be a servant to everyone. In other words we put the needs of others before our own selfish needs and to love Christian and non-christians alike. Being a Christian is not automatic when we are born to Christian parents. It's when we realize that we are sinful, repent and ask God to forgive us our sins and asking Jesus into our hearts. Jesus is the Living Water and He satisfies our soul's thirst. see John 4:13.

Israel can exist obly as long as it rules and not a day longer.As everything unjust and evil the destiny of Israel is destruction and humiliation.

Why look, 'Grendizer' spoke up with another post
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

Stop calling Islam the enemy
William Pfaff IHT
Thursday, December 5, 2002

Totalitarian thinking

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.

Continued at:

Better to be oppressed than an oppressor. Mr. Cere I'll let the facts speak for themselves. Read around Matthew 20:26 The courageous man strengthens his neighbors and becomes stronger and protected thereby while the coward gathers all strength to himself and turns his neighbors into allies of his enemies, which he comes to fight alone. The wise man teaches others so that his children might have teachers while the tyrants plans are dashed on rock headed henchmen. The generous man enriches his neighbors and enjoys a prosperous community while the miser impoverishes his own life selling nothing to impoverished neighbors. As Jesus said, those who wish to be first among you must be your servants. Who is fouler than he who fouls his environment and lords his strength over others. "The things of this world are but a trial" Read Mathew 19:24 We can use them to abuse others or to raise them up. The concept of democracy is that people get to decide for themselves what they will integrate into their society. I feel the Christians (and some Muslims) have become like the communists and feel their own society is so superior that they deserve to force it on others against the others will. "You are not put here to decide their affairs but to warn and teach." I think we need to take Christianity to the Christians. Not the one they created for themselves but the one taught by God through Jesus and the other prophets. A grassroots 12 step program. That would be easer than trying to get them to take the big leap into Islam.

Csaba, spare me your little jingoistic ego trip. I'm well aware of US history, for it is by FAR the best prognostic sign of America's pathology = Ignorance and Arrogance.
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 like a real tourist pamphlet. But it cant mask America's rap sheet.
If you cant handle the facts, then thats your problem.

Casba cre...My friend you sound really confused, I dont think you have read past history. Do yourself a favor study a little more it will be for you own benfit...good luck

The writer highlights the basic laws (cause-effect), or karmic cycles of this world. To think that oppression or injustice as the (deserved/undeserved) lot of "Them People Out There", and that somehow it has nothing to do with "Us", nor will it affect "Us", is to be in deep denial. Each thing that happens in this world becomes a cause and condition for other things to happen.

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)

I'm fairly new to this site, but I've already decided that this is one of the worst places around for reading comprehension. For instance, Grendizer, in what seems to be his usual insulting form, writes in telling Thinker that he should re-read the article before posting, yet it is obvious that he didn't read Thinker's post before commenting!

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

Here are two examples of conventional warfare responded to with terrorism.
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.

OK FROM .. said:
Thinker your defination of civilized was very interesting. LOL Good christian Russia a nation that killed over one million Afghans and tried to invade that nation, as a result of which many more died indirctly beside that over a million deaths & still dying. Who is right now killing innocent Chechens & holding their nation & them hostage against their will. You are calling it a civilized nation & 1 that USA would want around its table? That is obvious that USA gov't always had the opressors & killers around its table as its friend & thank you for confirming the already confirmed FACT! "India, which is Hindu is a good friend of the US," Did you know that in india they burn alive christians & and muslims & their places of worships? Did you know that they consider low cast hindu's as "achot" or dirty & don't allow them to become religious leader or attend temples etc? Did you know that it starts religious violence in order to turn votes in its favour & gain political seats? Did you know that its police instead of protecting its people opresses, tortures, rapes, takes bribes & much more to its people? You call that civilized? Did you know that it passed a law making conversion into another faith illegal? So where is now USA trying to defend the rights of those converts? That is your civilized india. "Japan is Buddhist," did you know that your civilized Japan had and still wants to delete its war crimes against those it fought during world wars from its school text books? "Isreal is Jewish" While the world, muslims included called the attacks of sept 11 wrong, Did you know that every day there are on purpose acts of far worse crimes commited by israeli army in Palistine? Including shooting down new born children & demolishing homes with its ocupants still inside crashing them to death? China abuses & kills its own citizens who does not obey the commie rules! As far the other muslim nations you listed. They are lab dogs of USA. Who opress their people.

There is a simple measure we can use to determine the violence or peace of a community. Have the people in contact with it had their lives enriched thereby? Since three of the four continents where Christianity holds sway are characterized by continent wide genocide and the Israelis have called for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine since its creation these two cases are rather obvious. Whereas it was the contact with Islam that brought Europe out of the dark ages where people were unwashed, roman numeral using slaves to the land (serfs) under Church installed dictators holding all rights for themselves and the "nobility". Now they live in democracies use the Arabic numeral system, enjoy the fruits of algebra, and take medicines that came from the Muslim science of alchemy. Oblivious answer there as well. Now those that ethnically cleansed and enslaved four continents, started two world wars and nearly destroyed all life on earth during the Bay of Pigs incident think nothing of calling those that resist them and fight with their lives for democratic self determination terrorists. Can you say hypocrisy?
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"

Great article. "Thinker" you want to snap out that trance now. To call hegemons like the US, China, and India "civilized" nations despite their routine violation of Internatinal law and treaties and numerous "interventions" is an act of pure hypocrisy and deceit.
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.

Well Britain and America wants to attack Iraq because of 2 reasons human rights and the claim that Iraq is aqcuiring mass destructive weapons.Russia has weapons of mass destruction,attacks chechens and are conquering their land has the chechens have no right to fight back???No they has their rights i wonder if America can defend Quwait when the Iraqis forces attack then why can't they defend checnya???Are they afraid or just being too selfish and choosy who to protect and who not to protect:(

Blindness of the heart is worse than blindness
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.

At no point in this article was there any mention that civilized people have always been welcome at the table of the United States. India, which is Hindu is a good friend of the US, Japan is Buddhist, Isreal is Jewish, China PRC is Daoist and ROC is anything that goes. So I think the argument that it's the West against the Muslems is pretty hollow. We aren't on a crusade, we don't care what you think or believe as long as you are peacefull. Anyone peaceable can sit at the table. That is the reality. Indonesia and Turkey are Muslem, yet we don't have problems with them. What it looks like to me is that the Arabs have there own political interests and they are using Islam to pressure other nations to do their bidding.