Evil in Return


The attack on Christians in Pakistan and the murder of the missionaries in Yemen has once again refocused the world's attention on the problem of "Islamic extremism" in the Muslim world. These two words are commonly offered as the succinct explanation for every instance of Muslim violence, whether it is the simplistic criminality of Abu Sayyaf or the independence struggle of the Chechen mujahideen. While this conflation of legitimate struggles for self-determination and freedom with acts of terror such as September 11 and Bali has delegitimised otherwise legitimate struggles, it also obfuscates attempts to understand the true causes of the violence and the solutions. The very subjectivity of this notion of "Islamic extremism" means that it is left ill-defined.

The defining feature that distinguishes the Islamic movements from the terrorist organizations is that the latter attacks non-combatant civilians; thus transgressing the laws set down by the Prophet (1) that prohibit attacking non-combatants. Even though some groups that claim to be Islamic may carry out such attacks, and even though there are some scholars who might permit such attacks, the irrefutable fact remains that the Prophet (1) made the prohibition on targeting non-combatants a non-negotiable feature of this religion.

The explanation most frequently offered in the West for such behavior is that of the ideological malady of "extremism". It is, of course, true that there is a strong ideological dimension to the contemporary terrorist groups: they invariably lack a proper understanding of Islamic law and have little contact with the Islamic scholars. However to limit the cause of terrorism to ideology, is to ignore reality.

It is a commonality of most all manifestations of extremist thought that it appears in environments that are politically or economically unstable . Extremist thought, and the terrorist behavior that flows on from it, is a reaction to external factors and not a proactive impulse.

The crucible of extremism is the belief that something is wrong - whether in reality or in perception. Whenever a person finds himself in a situation which he cannot possibly accept, he unconsciously seeks to resolve that situation by reacting in opposition to it. As the driving forces become stronger, so the reaction becomes stronger. If the opposing force is strong enough or escalates far enough, then the reaction may become one of radicalism and violence.

Most contemporary Islamic extremist movements have their empirical origins in the jails of Gamal Abdel Nasser. When the Muslim Brotherhood began making progress politically, posing a threat to Nasser's Arab Nationalist governance, Nasser began imprisoning and torturing the Muslim Brotherhood members and their families en masse. When they were released from prison, often after having witnessed atrocities committed on the female members of their family, many became violent and that violence was initially directed at the police who had been their torturers and imprisoners. These people went one to reject the method of peaceful socio-political reform favored by the Muslim Brotherhood, instead breaking away and resorting to violent means of 'reform'.

As the government cracked down further on the movements, the circle of legitimate targets widened to include anyone who worked for the government, including school teachers and nurses. Finally, the violence escalated to the horrific crescendo witnessed in the 1990s with the murder of the tourists at Luxor; the justification being that a fall in tourism would hurt the government. Ayman al-Zawahiri, right-hand man of Osama bin Laden and widely regarded as the brains behind September 11, is a graduate of this movement.

The suppression of democratic freedoms is a characteristic of most all Muslim countries. In 1992, Algerian elections were cancelled when it looked certain the Islamic opposition party was set to win. The Algerian army, backed by the French, brutally put down a popular uprising, escalating the violence into a civil war that left thousands dead. In the same year, the Turkish army overthrew the democratically elected Refah government when it became apparent that they would not toe the rabidly atheistic line demanded by Kemalism.

The anti-Western sentiment that permeates the Muslim world and the violence that is so often directed at Westerners can only be understood in this framework. As much as the West may impugn the Islamic world for not producing a fully-functioning democracy, such analysis overlooks the fact that the only real opposition to these despotic regimes is often the Islamists themselves. It is only through the military and economic support for the West, particularly America, that these bunker regimes can continue to brutally oppress their people with impunity. For Muslims in these societies, when their governments strangle their freedoms, they see American hands inside Muslim gloves.

The "War on Terror" cannot be won unless war is also declared on the oppression that Muslims endure from their governments throughout the so-called Muslim world. Anti-Western terrorism and sentiment will not abate until Western support and strengthening of these regimes ends. Until then, the world would do well to remember the ominous words of the poet Auden: "I and the public know, what every school child learns. Those to whom evil is done, do evil in return."

Source: A True Word


  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: Conflicts And War, Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser
Views: 2102

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Older Comments:
KELELAWAR FROM MALAYSIA said:
Bush's Other War -- Battling AIDS
Commentary. William Pesek Jr. is a columnist for Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.

By William Pesek Jr.

Tokyo, Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush should be applauded, and loudly, for his about-face on HIV/AIDS. It could just be the most important thing he'll do for the global economy as U.S. president.

On the issue of HIV/AIDS, Bush has impressed me. The world, least of all the wealthy U.S., still isn't doing enough to halt its spread. But there was a message behind Bush's sudden commitment to ``turn the tide against'' HIV/AIDS by tripling U.S. funding to a record $15 billion: He finally gets it.
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KELELAWAR FROM MALAYSIA said:
U.S. Stocks Fall as American International, Lucent Shares Drop
By Justin Baer

New York, Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks fell for the first day in three. Financial shares led the decline after American International Group Inc., the world's largest insurer, wrote off $1.8 billion to add to reserves.
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AMIN said:
You're right Jew Magoo, the American government is hated all over the world not Americans.
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MUJEEB AHMED FROM WASHINGTON, DC (USA) said:
How is it that Americans are inquisitive about the psychological make-up of the Columbine (Colorado) killers....but don't care to know why a thirteen year old in Palestine is willing to give his life away ??? The answer is simple...we just need to think about it !!
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JEW MAGOO FROM USA said:
You need to quit propagating hatred. Americans are NOT hated all over the world. Hate is a bad thing. Preach love instead.
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DONALD C. MAROWSKI FROM AMERICA said:
Please, in the name of TRUTH and HOPE For a Better World, send your last paragraph as a "letter to the editor" to every major America
newspaper, newsweekly, newsmonthly, and college
newspaper and magazine in the world. Extremism and terrorism can only gain a foothold when people are ignorant of the true facts. The United Nations Development Report shows how the greedy, powerful "leaders" in Abab nations are holding down the one thing that will set their people into living happy lives...FREEDOM!!!! The pure Islam of Mohammad is a GOOD THING...he was fair to all his followers and to women. I pray that Islam and the West can become brothers and sisters IN TRUTH & LOVE.
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AMIN FROM USA said:
The kufr do kill the innocents,
but they do not have Gods law, like we do so called abdulwahab
the kufr will not get such a punishment as violent evil muwafaqeen that do these horrible killings in Allahs name and in the name of the prophet and Islam.
Those who support these ideas will see the fire, change your ways or suffer Allahs wrath. I look forward to looking on your crusader warmongering lot from heaven while you burn for your Haram. Islam is about patience and a soft heart, not violence and revenge. WE must make them stop their actions and protect are own.
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ABDULWAHAB ALI FROM KENYA said:
asalam aleykum.i r5ead your article but i was not that impressed. there is an ayat in the Quran which says kill them as they kill you. the kufr kill innocent childern and women "non combtant" and we have a write to kill them whenerver they are whoever we can, like sept11 ,bali and anyother attack against them as long as they kill us we kill the.ALLAH KNOWS BEST
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KELELAWAR FROM MALAYSIA said:
the very pity to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia because the oil and Haji will not going to be their possessing anymore due to the close corporation with the US and it allies.

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SHUJA SYED FROM TORONTO, CANADA said:
Ah'. What this Saud Al Faisal of Saudi Arabia is doing in White House. Giving allegiance to the big boss under the table. Don't worry boss. We are with you. We are just fooling the poor and ignorant Muslims. We know, you have planned to kill 5 million Iraqis. But, who cares. While Hajj will be going on our side, you are free to nuke Iraq. We know how to control the foolish Muslims. If King Faisal had been today, few would have dared to attack Iraq and Afghanistan.
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AZAD FROM US said:
The fundamental difference between western democracy and the Islamic concept of shura is that in the former case the sovereignty belongs to people and in the latter case the sovereignty belongs to Allah SWT. In Islamic system, the majority cannot make a law that goes against Allah's law. The freedom, which is granted by Allah SWT for people, cannot be over ruled by the shura. And that's why in western democracy it is the chosen few who can limit the human freedom but in latter case it is Allah who limits the human freedom.

To maintain a system where Allah is sovereign it is very important that the judicial system has to be free from those who make laws.

Wassalam.
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AMIN FROM USA said:
Ehab
I think that is an interesting comparisan to the Sharia, I like it. I doubt anyone is hiding the Supreme courts roots however, the system was develop out of the Briticsh system which in turn may have been influenced by the Islamic system, therefore I don't think anyone realizes its roots, and I don't think western leaders would be embarassed nor care as to the roots of the system, but again I do like the idea, you cut right to the point
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HASSAN FROM USA said:
good points that reiterate what many realistic analysts have put forth...This issue of extremism will not go away until the underlying causes are dealt with. The threadbare slogans of "they hate us because of our freedoms et al" just don't address the roots...Muslims must also stay vigilant in living and promoting the true Islam through daw'ah and du'a to Muslim and kafr alike...Where Muslim lands and honor are usurped i.e. Kashmir, Palestine, Chechnya etc. we know what has been prescribed, but in no way should Muslims become transgressors...
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EHAB HASAN FROM USA said:
Br. Shafeeq,

I found your comments on this article and on the comparison of Shurah to democracy to be very thought provoking. I would like to inquire: I feel that in the democratic process the Shurah is emulated visa vis the Supreme Court. Unfortunately for the democratic process, the Courts in the United States have been politicized by the appointments of the president (and the political arm wringing of Congress during confirmation) and have been stripped of their regulatory power. So as the job of the Shurah is to declare potential laws Islamic or Un-Islamic, so too is the job of the Supreme Court to declare laws constitutional or otherwise. This is something the American Government goes to great lengths to hide, especially with respect to Iran, which incorporates this process (with mixed results) in its political system. It would also be embarrassing for Western political leaders to note that one of the cornerstones of Western political function has roots in the Islamic style of governance. Your thoughts?
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SHUJA SYED FROM TORONTO, CANADA said:
It is the abstract failure of the educated or west based Muslims to prevent the atrocities against their fellow Muslims all over the world, that has caused some forces (so called extremists) to take the matters in their own hands. I kindly ask the writer, who will cry for the brutal murder of 10 thousand innocent and poor Muslim inhabitants of Gujrat. Who will cry for the complete levelling of Chechnya? Where are the so-called, the Muslim moderates, or Muslim elites when 1.5 million innocent Iraqis were murdered in the past 12 years? Where are the so called-enlightened today hiding, when the barbarism of United States, Israel and Britian is about to be unleashed upon a hapeless Iraq? East-Timor can be liberated, then why not Kashmir? It is not the failure of the Muslim extremist, but it is the cowardliness of the Mulim elite or educated like us. Had we courageously resolved and politically and economically participated in the well-being of our poor fellow Muslims, the forces of Bin Laden would not have risen, to begin with. For the past 100 years, the moderates like Bhutto, Nawaz Shareef, Mubarak, Sadat, Fahd etc... have ruined the Muslim world. Bin Laden never ruled us! Abu Sayyaf never ruled us! Who has looted the Pakistani treasury? Who has made Turkey a third class country? The self-proclaimed moderates! Why Algerian elections were revoked? Today, we are again blaming some minute extreme forces, who never had the opportunity to rule us. In my opinion, it is not Bin Laden or Abu Sayyaf, but because of my failure, because of our failure, the west has dominated us. Had Fahd and company listened to the personal pleas of Bin Laden not to invite United States to liberate Kuwait - and instead resolve the problem talking directly to Iraq, the current situation would have been avoided. There are million and one other such instances can be provided. Yes, we have to see in the mirror. But refrain of making scapegoats of Bin Laden and company. Shuja
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AMIN FROM USA said:
Sham Ali
Don't think of revenge,
As Muslims we avoid revenge but rather fix a problem so that it will not happen again
This is not the Muslim path.
Mohamad PBH forgave the Quareshi
who had commited nameless crimes against himself
and God's people. He forgave them and many converted. But he still tore down their social system and replaced it. He would have fought and even killed the Qureshi if necessary to do this but not for revenge but rather to bring about God's true order.
Think of secular nationalism as an age of ignorance like the Qureshi are job is not to kill them or wreck vengenous but rather to bring God's order and to punish crimes, in order to deter those punished and those who might do the same.
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GMAX FROM USA said:
Actually "mike," I'm just calling you out on cheap racism and pathological ignorance and arrogance.
If you cant even express yourself without any respect for others, you're going get knocked down hard. Think it over in your trailer.
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ALI FROM USA said:
This article is absolutely wrong because it advocates appeasment. Extremists will perceive reforms as a sign of victory for their methods, and, rather than stopping, they will accelerate their barbaric, unislamic attacks on innocent civilians. They view retreat, or concessions as a sign of weakness (after the USA retreated from Somalia, extremists were emboldened). The solution lies, not in half-baked "repression" favored by more "moderate" states like Egypt, which often results in clemency for extremists. The solution lies in more decisive crackdowns, so that extremism and terrorism become wholly unpalatable options to those who are failures in life, and think that they can compensate for their failures by becoming pseudo-Islamic terrorists. Only after the failure of extremism becomes manifest, and Islamists are discredited, should any reforms be pursued, if required.
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THOMAS FIDDLER FROM USA said:
Excellent article. It gets right to the point that many Gentiles and Westerners over look either out of willful blindness or simply by being victims herd mentality.
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SHAM ALI FROM AUSTRALIA said:
My blood flow almost reverses when I hear of Muslims being tortured, especially when it involves our sisters. What makes it worse is its done in so called Muslim countries.

The thought of my sweet Muslim sisters, who should be treated with tenderness, love, and be given every comfort for their happiness, instead being gang raped in front of there family and in prison cells, puts me in a state of anger that I cannot put into words.
May Allah provide unlimited rewards to all my sisters who have suffered, I WISH I WAS THERE FOR YOU, TO PROTECT YOU!!!

I can only pray that one day Allah will put me in a place where I will have my vengeance on behalf of my sisters. I will gladly tear apart the bodies of those mujremeen (criminals)......slowly and a small piece at a time!!
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MOHOMID FROM POLAND said:
I really enjoy your article, i like how it relates to cab drivers like me
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MIKE HALE FROM USA said:
gmax - I refuse to be brought once again into a war of words. You do an excellent job of name calling and it's a shame you don't utilize the ability to elucidate your opinions without resorting to stupidity. Or possibly you just don't have the ability. You certainly have not demonstrated that anything other than vile hatred of other cultures is your reason for being on this planet. ..
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AMIN FROM USA said:
Gmax... What is your problem?
If you don't agree with Mr. Hale's opinions then provide a basis as to why he is wrong. This may require a bit of research on your part, but it will work much better than calling him imbred and simply saying he is a racist. If he is wrong about what he says than you are doing him a great injustice by making him believe he is right. When someone insults someone else because of their opinion it makes them think they are correct, since a better arguement was not provided. Noone on here is 100% correct in their opinions, nor 100% in agreement but that is why we talk.
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SHAFEEQ QAASIM FROM USA said:
I like the article. It is pretty accurate and makes a great point in the end. However, there is one thing that seems to be omitted, and maybe it was intentional. I don't believe that Islam truly embraces democracy. We believe in the Shurah. Democracy says one man, one vote. That means that if the devil has 51% of the vote, then we support him. In Islam, we can never support the devil even if he has 99% of the vote. Perhaps this is why Muslim countries embracing democratic principles are poor examples of the Islamic creed. Surah Ash-Shura, ayah 38 says, "...and who conduct their affairs by mutual consultations...". And of course, there are many ayats about and prohibiting taking the kufaar as friends of the Muslims. I think it should be clear, but perhaps it could be open to interpretation. There is no doubt in my mind that democracy is not a method of the Muslims, though the Shurah can be considered similar to the democratic process.
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GMAX FROM USA said:
Hey its Chickenhawk "mike hale" ready to offer his predictable mix of racism, utter stupidity and lack of history. A true bigot to boot. This moron obviously has a soft spot for segregation.....must be a "conservative christian" or whatever walmart grazing southerners in the American South call themselves when they arent cloning themselves with their nearest of kin. Forget Middle East history, you dont even know the history of your own country.
Where were educated little mike ? Bob Jones University perhaps.....or Jerry Falwell's cellar ?

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AMIN FROM USA said:
A good article I hope to see more from this writer in the future.
I think this again points to the problem. The real root of most problems in the world are economic, or of leaders trying to impose western nationalist philosophies on people in their lands regardless of ethnicity. The treatment by the nationalist colonials on the Arabs and the treatment of the Jews by nationalistic Germans leads to the flawed idea that you are different and that you are better and that they are oppressing you because of that.
The irrational belief (that I see here from Arabs, Muslims, zionists and Nationalistic Americans are) that you are better, that your culture can do know wrong is snowball like in affect. You will cause those you dislike to like themselves more and hate you more at the same time. This is how Abdul Nasser's prisons gave fire to Islamic Nationalism
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MIKE HALE FROM USA said:
I thought this was an excellent article. The fact that the Muslim Brotherhood learned their lessons from Nasser's jails reminds me of the jails the Germans built in the early 40's for the Jews. Maybe that is one of the starting points for the Jewish viewpoint of what they consider Arab agression.
And like Amin, I find every government in the Middle East to be a detriment to peace in the world.
Is the solution for the Muslim and Non-Muslim world to separate themselves totally? Segregate the societies completely? Draw a line at a border and say no Muslims past this point, that all Non-Muslims cannot enter? Commerce must stop, foreign aid must stop?
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