Even by modern standards, the last month has been spectacularly bloody in the scale of the political violence seen. It opened with the Ashura killings in Iraq and Pakistan, in which several hundred Shi'a were slaughtered. Later in the month we also had the terrorist attacks in the Spanish capital, Madrid, in which over 200 commuters were killed by bomb explosions on trains during the morning rush hour. We have also seen huge bloodletting in Palestine, where Israeli troops killed over 70 people during March, even before the assassination of Shaikh Ahmed Yassin (March 22). In Kosova, we have a re-emergence of tension and violence between the Serb and Kosovar communities, sparked by the killing of three Kosovar children by Serbian youths. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kashmir and many other places, the day-to-day violence that is now the norm continues unabated.
Some might argue that all these are different cases; but what they have in common is that they are indiscriminate attacks on people, the like of which cannot possibly be justified. A number of these atrocities, including the highest-profile ones, have been blamed on Muslims. In the case of the Ashura and Madrid bombings, it probably is true that Muslims are responsible; unfortunately there are Muslim groups with a record of committing such atrocities, however much we might wish that these atrocities could be blamed on others. It goes without saying that all right-minded Muslims must condemn such indiscriminate and mindless slaughters, even (or perhaps especially) if other Muslims are responsible. Those who seek to make excuses for the perpetrators of atrocities are seriously misguided.
What we can say with absolute certainty is that the Muslims perpetrating these acts are marginal and almost insignificant elements within the 1.1 billion Muslim Ummah. The vast majority of Muslims, even as they might share some of the world view held by these marginal groups, such as their understanding of the modern West (and the US in particular) as malign forces whose power needs to be opposed, understand that such acts are totally beyond the pale and need to be opposed with all the force at our disposal.
This is in stark contrast to the forces responsible for political violence in the modern West. The West routinely uses violence in pursuit of its interests, with absolutely no moral scruples. The examples of the US's military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan are before us. Conservative estimates put civilian casualties in Iraq as a result of the US invasion at more than 10,000. Another example is Israel's brutal repression of the Palestinians. One can point also to Chechnya, Kashmir, Algeria and other examples. There are many forms of the violent, ruthless exercise of power, apart from the military. Political power can also be violent; consider, for example, the US's exploitation of its dominance over international institutions to impose and enforce economic sanctions on Iraq for over a decade. Conservative estimates suggest that several million Iraqis, many of them children, may have died from hunger, lack of clean drinking water, the lack of medicines, and illness and other causes. Not bombs in trains, perhaps; but the political use of power and terror, no less.
Similarly the West has never hesitated to promote and support the most repressive governments provided they are pro-Western; governments which routinely killed thousands or more of their own people to remain in power. Nor has the West ever hesitated to support violent opposition movements against popular, democratic governments that happen to be anti-American in their outlook. Again these policies have caused death and suffering beyond measure in countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Today we are seeing concentration camps established by the West in places like Guantanamo Bay, the Bagram Airbase in Kabul and several places in Iraq, where political dissidents are subjected to physical and psychological torture for daring to demand the freedoms that the West claims to champion. Terrorism? Maybe not, strictly speaking, but there is more than one way to destroy life.
Political violence is ubiquitous in the modern, west-created world. If some Muslims are guilty of adopting methods that are totally alien to Islam because they see them working for our enemies, they must be opposed. But the Ummah has at least a moral framework demanding that we do not accept or condone these atrocities. Behind the rhetoric, it is clear that the West has no such framework, indeed is happy not to have one, preferring instead the benefits a powerful hegemon can obtain from the amoral exercise of its power.
Source: Crescent International
I just spent the last 1/2 hour meticulously reading your last comments and answering them point by point, because I genuinely believed each one warranted a frank and conciliatory response. But I decided to delete them when I came to this remark:
"I don't believe that you really care about the Uighurs. You brought it up to deter the hotspot off the main issue."
Here I was opening my heart to you only to have you render my efforts at rapproachment moot by calling me a liar. My attempts at constructive dialogue with you will never bear fruit as long as you dispute my sincerity. Therefore, instead of wasting further efforts I've decided to leave you with the following thoughts:
Islam is a good religion. Many Muslims are not good people. The worst of your brethren constitute a palpable threat to my friends and loved ones. Therefore, I support those governmental policies that directly address and confront those threats. Whether said threats root from a popular ideology or are isolated to certain groups, the ultimate goal remains clear. We must boldly elimate terrorism through the most effective means available.
My experience in South Africa would help you understand my deep resentiment with the Christians. I do not hate Christians, just let live, I get the least involved with them as possiple on personal relationship. I dislike their bigotry and hypocracy of peace-makers and love for mankind. My opinion.
As regarding 9/11, USA should address the root problem and concentrate her efforts on the country's overall security system. They went after al-Qaeda? That's not the answer to her grievance. al-Qaeda is an ideology that feeds itself on Western inequity. As long as US promotes agression and unjust solutions to paramount problems(even solely vetoing UN?!), al-Qaeda will thrive and grow. Once these problems would be addressed and hopefully solved in a dignified manner, al-Qaeda would become obsolete.
I know quite a bit about the Uighurs. Since my maternal grandfather was a Crimean Tatar(a true Mongol Muslim, closer to the Uighurs than Turks), I follow those developments. Extremely tragic. I don't want to call you any bad name before I have the certitute that your intentions are not kosher. Begging your pardon, without downplaying on the tragedy of the Uighurs or other Muslim nations in the world, as long as a Palestinian problem exists, any attrocity agains Muslims will be overlooked, simply because if UN or US would try to intervene, they would be asked by China, India, etc., "what about your doings in Palestine?" Palestine is the Holy Land. East Turkestan is not.
Why do you say "finally agree on something"? We actually significant common ground on a number of issues. In fact, many of your brethren who have attacked me would find that I agree with them on a number of issues. Unfortunately, they've jumped to the conclusion that I hate Muslims just because I oftenj disagree with them. Of course, their misconceptions about me are their own problems rather than mine.
Sorry to hear about your experiences in South Africa, though at least you're doing better now in Canada. Bigotry is a pain in the arse, no? But as long as we don't let it consume us, we can claim victory over it.
I view much of what happens on the global stage through the 9/11 lens. Probably many Americans see things this way as well. That doesn't mean that I disregard the suffering of others, but I do recognize my government's duty to put the lives of Americans before the lives of others.
Anyways, regarding Palestine I believe that the Muslim world needs to get its priorities straight. Not to say that Palestine is unimportant, but there are Muslims in other parts of the world that are hurting much more than that. You've heard of the Uighurs of China, right? Imagine the the worst allegations of atrocities levelled against the Israelis. They would pale in comparison to what the People's Republic of China has done to your Muslim brethren in East Turkistan. (Do a search on the Uighurs and you'll find out what I mean.)
And yet you don't hear from any OIC member states. Not even the supposedly great Mahatir Mohammed has ever spoken on behalf of Uighurs, as far as I know. Here you have Muslim leaders boasting about the "Ummah" being like a single body that collectively feels the pain of any of its parts without doing a damn thing about those Muslims who need their help the most.
You are not alone experiencing racism. I grew up in the famous country of apartheit, South Africa, don't you think they wrote me in "white" on my ID. My definition there was, "Asian", religion was the main determining factor. My looks are Aryan or Caucassian, if you will. I got much of racial remarks, like "raghead", "sand-nigger", "hubba-bubba" and of course the vernacular, "kaffir". I learned to double on their insults as a coping mechanism, while a teen-ager. I got my mug bashed in a couple of times, but then I joined professional boxing for a while, that gave me enough edge later on in life to take care of big-mouthed bullies. Now I am too old for that and thanks God I live in Canada where nobody could freely spew on me his unchecked racism.
I am hurt for what is going on the world. The article is stressing on this rise of violence. You know, it shouldn't be here. Especially, today we can inflict far more casualties than, 1000 years ago. When you mention the 9/11 victims, no disrespect for them and their bereft families, but the Muslim world has to cope with hundred times that number. In the end, numbers do not mean much. If I lost my loved one in such a disaster or in a US bombing, personally it won't matter how many died in the process. The difference would be the death of my beloved one. Nick, you cannot uphold the validity of the tragedy of 9/11 by disconsidering the losses on the side of the innocent population of the Middle East. This is a great concern. These losses create sentiments of revenge, vendetta, if you will. Invading, bombing, occupying and trying to impose American ways on a different culture won't solve the conflict. I admit, the American vision of democracy might seem great, but do the Iraqis want it?
I have no problem agreeing with you that Western culture is at times a cesspool of immorality. Hell, even Jerry Falwell and Franklin Graham would agree with you on that count. So I'll concede that you might be right that Islam as a religion is more moral than Western civilization.
Regarding the "Filipinos are dogs" comments, I do not consider it "bearing a grudge" so much as taking notice of a potential danger. I've encountered too much racism directed at me both in America and abroad to dismiss it as a mere joke. And that's why I'm sensitive to its presence, and I do my darndest to resist my own darker urges whenever they even hint at arising.
I believe that within each person lies the capacity for both good and evil. For me, the most important part of living a moral life is my struggle to conquer the evil in my heart by doing good even at the most difficult times. That's what I believe, and that's why I cannot respond to bigotry with bigotry. For whenever any of us give in to the temptation of sin, evil wins.
As for your apology, I accept it without condition. No one's perfect, and for all I know I could be the worst of all men. But just so you know, I posted comments to you in another part of this website before I read your most recent post here. Feel free to disregard those comments, because I wrote them thinking that I was speaking to a racist.
Definitely. I just cannot digest the suicidal bombers. It is relly sad that some of the Muslims resume themselves to tactics of some predecessors not even from the Middle East(kamikaze) that caused US to nuke. Not if that would be the moral thing to do though. Stop declaring the irradication of Israel as the general opinion of the Palestinian people. That opinion is voiced though through the media in order to motivate the Zionist aggression. Hypocracy and bigotism, but that's politics, pal.
Come on, Nick, don't tell me that you really bear a grudge on me on the issue that the Philipinoes were dogs?! Are you serious? Calling me a racist and all? Let me break the knews on you, we all are dogs, man! Why, don't you greet down south, "What's up, dog?" Don't hip hop stars call themselves dogs? Snoop-Dogg, Hot-Dog, Cool-Dog, whatever-dog?! We all are dogs and niggas! Pawns in the system. We can shout, or bark for that matter, but who will listen? You & I.
If it makes you feel better, accept my apologies, the "dog" epithet attached to the nation of the Philipinoes was a slip of wrath and not racially intended.
Anyways, why do you keep trying to debate with me over Israel's conduct? I already declared on this site that I disagree with it and that Palestine should be a sovereign state. However, my opposition Palestinian terrorism has not changed. And I do not support those who wish to eradicate another sovereign state. But even you said that you don't support terrorism and that you would agree to a two-state solution.
Now, what are you arguining about again? Oh yeah, Filipinos are dogs. ;)
I oppose this article because it excessively villainizes the West, even though it'd be more helpful to call for all sides to come together in the spirit of shared values to promote peace.
But such is the nature of rhetoric presently heard from the Muslim world.
The Muslim world is not a "syndicate", but it does have certain qualities that suggest a singular identity. Several millena ago, the Greek philosopher Socrates compared a well-ordered community to a single human body. As you know, a pinprick in one part of the body can be felt throughout. Similarly, an entire community can feel the pain of a single member.
Many Muslims seem to agree with this Socratic metaphor when referring to groups like the Chechens, the Palestinians, and the Bosnians. In that sense, it is as if the Muslim world views itself as a single entity, or "syndicate" as you put it, that shares characteristics with a single human body.
I hope that clarifies things for you, my brother!
I don't think I did miss the article's point, which I believe it summarized in the following excerpt:
"But the Ummah has at least a moral framework demanding that we do not accept or condone these atrocities. Behind the rhetoric, it is clear that the West has no such framework, indeed is happy not to have one, preferring instead the benefits a powerful hegemon can obtain from the amoral exercise of its power."
And as I have demonstrated through various historical examples during the past few weeks, the Muslim world can claim no historical moral highground over the West. Furthermore, America does have a moral framework, and that moral framework is our Constitution.
Getting back to the topic of Israel and Palestine, do I believe that a fair, two-state solution is the answer to the Israel-Palestine issue? Absolutely. Do the leaders in Palestine agree? Abdel Aziz Rantisi once stated, "I swear we will not leave one Jew in Palestine." Moreover, in many offices of the PA one can find symbols of Palestine encompassing an entire area that is currently Israel, suggesting the dissolution of the Israel. Seems to me that Palestinian leaders really don't want a two-state solution as a bottom line so much as a starting point from which to eliminate Israel.
And now OBL has vowed to "retaliate" against people like my friends and family, who clearly have nothing to do with this mess, for the alleged misfortunes of the Palestinians. So why does the author of this article suggest that the Ummah has a superior moral "framework"? I want peace, but I'm unwilling to sacrifice my loved ones in its pursuit.
also, i'd like to know of this "muslim world" - "islamic world" syndicate. this monolithic organization thats supposed to be the spokesperson for every muslim alive. nick cameron, kindly tell me when the spokesperson comes on the tele. i'd really like to know what the 'muslim world' thinks.
I agree with you 100%. The problem is that judging by the articles published on Iviews as well as the responses from many Muslims here, the Muslim world is not yet ready to fully accept the idea of self-critique. Until that day comes, America will frequently come into conflict with the Muslim world regardless of what we do. That's just how things are for the time being.
I beleave that we are all children of God, all of us, brothers and sisters. Please know that this war is not the doing of all Westerners, this is the doing of a powerful government over which I have no control. People in the US are basically good, some are just confused, angry and uninformed. I see what is happening and my heart aches. I pray for us all.
Also, it might be worth considering how many Iraqis the current U.S. administration has killed, compared to the previous two U.S. administrations. Whenever "non-believers" appear (for some reason) to be heeding Al Quran and ahadith, "believers" typically appear to be in denial regarding that, too.
"Political violence is ubiquitous in the modern, west-created world. If some Muslims are guilty of adopting methods that are totally alien to Islam because they see them working for our enemies, they must be opposed. But the Ummah has at least a moral framework demanding that we do not accept or condone these atrocities."
If this is true, then why is the Muslim world is not so vocal (to put it mildly) when Palestinians, Pakistanis, and Chechens kill non-Muslims as they are when the reverse happens? I think it is intellectually dishonest to suggest that the Muslim world has consistently condemned the use of violence to further interests of Muslim regimes. Did the Muslim world ever condemn the Ottoman Turks for 1915? (http://www.armenian-genocide.org/) We don't hear much about this.
If the Ummah has a "framework" against atrocities, then one is forced to wonder why we can find so many deviations from this "framework" throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. I believe that the Muslim world, for all of its ideals, has not moral high ground over the West at this time. Dig deep enough, and we can see moral weakness on both sides.