Category Archives: Al Qaeda

Who Attacked India? Terrorists or Insurgents

India ShootingDuring the last few days, newspapers from around the world have been headlining with the tragic story unfolding in India. Beyond the details of the story, newspapers from the Middle East have characterized the attackers as ‘insurgents’ and ‘gunmen’. Al Jazeera’s Arabic edition left out the word ‘terrorist’ altogether, unless quoting an Indian source, and their English version repeated the same non-indicting labels. The English version of Al Arabiya described how ‘gunmen’ and ‘attackers’ were terrorizing Mumbai, without using the dreaded ‘t’ word, even in a verb capacity.

To the Arab world, the perpetrators are ‘gunmen’, ‘attackers’ and ‘insurgents’, all labels which could be positive, depending on whose side you’re on; ‘terrorist’ carries only negative connotations. In the west, these innocuous attackers are terrorists. From France’s Le Monde and Le Figaro to the leftist newspapers in Italy (Corriere della Sera), the UK (the Guardian) and, gulp, the New York Times, these ‘attackers’ are ‘terrorists.’

Until Muslims in the Middle East and around the world believe that the men currently hunting British and American innocents are terrorists, not simply valiant insurgents, tragedies like Mumbai are doomed to recur.

Afghanistan’s Hope and Terror’s Enemy: Education

afghan_girl

For hardliners in Afghanistan, the enemy isn’t the United States—it’s culture. In this year alone, the Taliban have bulldozed and razed 115 schools, and last week, they adopted a new tactic to handle Afghani girls seeking education. Acid-filled water pistols.

From the AFP:

Men on motorbikes used a water pistol to spray acid into the faces of Shamsia and around dozen other girls as they arrived at school wearing all-covering burqas in the southern city of Kandahar on Wednesday.

Shamsia, 17, was the most badly wounded and had some acid enter her eyes. She was transferred to a military hospital in Kabul where she was visited Saturday by other schoolgirls, accompanied by media.

“I will go to my school even if they kill me,” she told reporters. “My message for the enemies is that if they do this 100 times, I am still going to continue my studies.”

America’s ‘me’ generation of students willing to shoot fellow classmates for their sneakers should be forced to learn from young people like Shamsia who risk everything for the opportunity to learn.

I also hope that military and political leaders, now considering a troop surge in Afghanistan, will recognize the need for a culture overhaul. If Afghanis can’t access alternatives to poppy crops and religious fanaticism, in the form of knowledge and opportunity, they are destined to continue down the medieval road they’ve set out for themselves. And the United States is doomed to fail in their effort to root out al-Qaeda.

Education and modernity remain the greatest threats to Islamic terrorists and Muslim despots.

The Forbidden City? Saudi Women Protest Olympic Absence

Anti-Islamic Censorship

bakar-bashir.jpggeert-wilder.jpg

Yesterday, the U.S. company and proud registrar of Hizbollah.org, Network Solutions decided to take down the website of Geert Wilder’s upcoming provocative short, Fitna. The film’s title comes from an Arabic word meaning severe disagreement or civil war, and exposes, what he believes to be, Islamic militancy’s main instigator—the Koran.

Citing the “number of complaints,” the webhost took down the site. Bloggers from Creeping Sharia, raised an embarrassing point: how could it have violated their policy when the film wasn’t yet posted? What could they have found objectionable? A photo of the Koran? Not to be left out, Google has removed the search, fitnathemovie.com, from their search results. The subject matter seems to hot to handle.

These days it seems freedom of speech only applies to communists, terrorists and the porn industry. I mean if “objectionable content” is all it takes to get a website removed, Al Jazeera, that Kos site, and the Huffington Post better look out.

Amazing. On the very day a video of Indonesian cleric Bakar Bashir debuts, calling for violence against non-Muslim tourists whom he likens to “worms, snakes and maggots,” an Islamic critic’s attempt at dialogue is thwarted.


Kill the Christians!

Christian persecution

Yesterday’s al-Qaeda claim of responsibility for a kidnapping of two Austrian tourists in Tunisia was largely obscured by the ‘governor with the hooker’ story, but it reminded me of a little blurb in Italy’s Panorama which detailed recent Islamist oppression around the world.

Iraq: On the day Iraqi Christians celebrated Christmas Eve, seven holy sites were attacked. In Baghdad, terrorists hit the Chaldean Church of San Giorgio, a Greek Orthodox Church, and a convent of the nuns of Chaldea at Zaafraniya. In Mosul, the church of San Paulo was almost destroyed, and the entrance to an orphanage run by nuns of al-Noor was demolished.

An Iraqi Christian described how difficult it is for him to watch Muslim women pray in the spot where he used to worship before his Church of Mary in Baghdad was overrun by Muslims. Priests have been kidnapped and killed by terrorists in Iraq and an Orthodox Pope was beheaded in January of 2007.

Christians aren’t just under fire in Iraq. In the last few days Ashraf Ramaelah, the Italian representative of the Copt Christians who represent the largest religious minority in Egypt wrote a letter to the Egyptian ambassador denouncing the violence against the Christians along the Nile in 2007. Copt girls were raped and forced to convert to Islam. They were subjected to discrimination and arbitrary arrest; Christian shops were burned and looted in Isna, in Upper Egypt.

January 4, in Pakistan, 5 Christians were kidnapped in Waziristan by Taliban militia and subsequently released, but only after strong pressure. Rapes, accusations of blasphemy against Islam, forced conversions have all increased in number. And natives are increasingly hostile to mixed couples.

In India, Christians are considered outcasts and forced into humiliating work.

In soon to be independent Kosovo, Christians are exhuming their dead to prevent Muslims from desecrating their graves. Twelve tombs have been opened in Pec and three in Pristina. Coffins of Christians were transported into Christian Orthodox territory in Serbia. Gravesite vandalism isn’t new for them. When Milosevic was defeated, Muslims exacted revenge on the Serbs by burning more than 150 churches and monestaries.

Even in Turkey, an allegedly secular state, Christians are suffering from religious subjugation. Armenians, Syrians, Greeks and Catholics are species in extinction. Forty years ago in Istanbul, the ancient capitol of Christianity, there were 300,000 Christians. Today, only five thousand are left.

Meanwhile, we’ve got al-Jazeera and the rest of the Arab press along with the Western media giants pushing the notion that the most abused and exploited ethnic group are Muslims. I beg to differ. But until we’re willing to raise the difficult questions and depart from our endless practice of self-flagellation, the debate will continue to be waged by just one voice.

 

SIDE NOTE: Just as I was going to bed, I spotted this depressing bit of news courtesy of The Jerusalem Post:

A 19-year-old Israeli Arab woman has survived an attempted “honor killing” by her brother on Tuesday in the Arab village of Na’ura, near Afula, after two bullets fired at her head shattered on impact, failing to penetrate her skull. Paramedics said the girl survived by playing dead, leading her brother to stop shooting and kicking her.

The most disturbing part of the story wasn’t the attempted honor killing…It was the reaction of the girl’s family:
The 24-year-old suspect was warmly praised by some members of his family for the attempted murder. He is in police custody.

70,000,000 Ready to Join Al Qaeda

Bin Laden and Zawahiri 

A Gallup poll released this week hasn’t received the attention that I believe it deserves.  On the bright side, 93% of the 50,000 Muslims polled condemn the 9/11 attacks. On the dark side, 7% support them. Since there are about one billion Muslims world-wide, that means about seventy million (one-fourth of the U.S. population) would like to see Western civilization replaced by a backward and uncivilized troop of Koran thumpers. 

The Executive Director of the Gallup Center of  Muslim Studies believes that politics, not religion, is the motivation behind the support for terror. From the Melbourne Herald: 

“Politics, not piety, differentiate moderates from radicals in the Islamic world.” The Director adds, “Terrorism sympathisers don’t hate our freedom. They want our freedom.” 

The respondents to the survey believe a lack of respect for Islam is the the biggest obstacle to better relations between Muslims and Westerners, Christians and Jews. The problem with their rationale appears every day in the news. Just this week, Iran instituted death as a penalty for apostacy. Today, terrorists in Mosul kidnapped the Chaldean Archbishop, and a Berlin art gallery was bullied into removing an art exhibit featuring the Kaaba in Mecca.  

If it’s not the religion it is the culture. Either way, it has to change. Christians don’t threaten violence, kidnap and blow up mentally disabled adults to achieve their goals. A healthy amount of Islamic introspection, not a heightened sympathy or respect for the religion of Mohammed, is the only hope for peace.   

The extremist Christian becomes a nun, priest or missionary. The radicalized Muslim joins al-Qaeda.