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Critical Thinking on Terrorism 

By  Prof. Ibrahim B. Syed,
President
Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc.
Louisville, KY
The writer can be contacted  by E-Mail  at <IRFI@INAME.COM>

 

I join Americans of all faiths, and all people of conscience worldwide, in condemning these barbaric crimes (July 7, 2005  Subway bombings in London) that can never be justified or excused.  I offer my sincere condolences to the loved ones of those who were killed or injured in the London Subway attacks and call for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators.


Muslim scholars, clergy and organizations worldwide continue to condemn violent acts of terror committed against humanity. 

Can we eliminate terrorism or destroy the terrorists. It is very well know that violence begets violence.  Like headache, terrorism is a symptom and not the disease. For headache one takes an analgesic like aspirin or Tylenol. The analgesics treat the symptom but not the disease.  Science and logic teach us "Cause and Effect."  Terrorism is the effect. We need to look into the cause or causes of Terrorism.  It is reported that Osama bin Laden said "If you bomb our cities, we will bomb yours."  British cities were a target since Tony Blair decided to join President Bush's "war on terror" and his invasion of Iraq.

To get more mileage out of the attack, the G8 summit meeting time was chosen. The terrorists are not interested in destroying what we hold dear, they are trying to get public opinion to force the alliance forces to withdraw from Iraq. Spain already withdrew its forces. Robert Fisk wrote, "It is easy for Tony Blair to call London bombings "barbaric"- of course they were-but what were the civilian deaths of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in 2003, the children torn apart by cluster bombs, the countless innocent Iraqis gunned down at American military checkpoints? When they die, it is "collateral damage"; when "we" die, it is "barbaric terrorism". If we are fighting insurgency in Iraq, what makes us believe insurgency won't come to us?"

Can fighting the terrorists there (Iraq, Afghanistan) rather than let them come here, as Bush constantly says, is valid any longer?  The same intelligence experts were there who previously claimed there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when there were none, this time also totally failed to unearth a months-long plot to kill Londoners.
Terrorists have no religion. During the Vietnam War the Buddhists were the insurgents. In Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tigers (Hindus) are fighting the Sinhalese (Buddhists). Tamil Tigers who are of the Hindu faith used suicide bombers many times higher than that are occurring in Palestine or Iraq.  In Northern Ireland there is violence between Catholics and Protestants. In Chechneya there is violence between Muslim and Christians. In Kashmir the Jehadis are killing both Muslims and Hindus. In Iraq the insurgents are killing both Muslims and Christians. In Palestine there is violence between Muslims, Christians and Jews.

NO RELIGION TEACHES VIOLENCE AND MAKES IT'S FOLLOWERS TERRORISTS.  Biology teaches us "Stimulus and Response."  A human being irrespective of RELIGION responds what he or she deems fit according to the situation (circumstances) or environment.


British Prime Minister Tony Blair said it is crucial to address terrorism's underlying causes, which he identified as deprivation, lack of democracy and ongoing conflict in the Middle East.  A recent CNN survey report, showed that the major root cause of terrorism was political extremism followed by Middle East conflict, lack of democracy and deprivation.

Walter Laqueur wrote in the Wall Street Journal (July 12, 2005) "Whenever a major terrorist attack occurs, the politicians' speeches are predictable -- that the terrorists are barbarians, that they won't succeed in destroying our values and undermining our way of life. All this is correct and probably bears repeating, even though it's not exactly new and doesn't help us understand what happened and what may happen in the future."

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), recently wrote:
"We call upon the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom to take the first, courageous steps to end the cycle of violence by exercising uncommon restraint in their response to the London bombings. Let the moral depravity of the attacks stand alone for the peoples of the world to condemn and unite against. Do not compound the moral outrage of the mass killings in London with further U.S.-UK military attacks that will put at risk still more innocent civilians and fuel further hatred. Those responsible must be held accountable under the rule of law.

We call upon President Bush and Congress to change course now to address the root causes of violent extremism and war, to pursue alternatives to war such as those suggested in the Smart Security legislation introduced by Representative Lynn Woolsey (CA), and to take political steps to reduce the level of violence in Iraq such as declaring that it is U.S. policy to remove all U.S. troops and military bases from Iraqi soil."

The Guardian last week said that the war against terrorism will not be won until we better understand the Arabs and their grievances.

Majority of the Muslim countries are ruled by dictators or Kings. Dr. Condoleezza Rice has become the Secretary of State in the United Sates. If she were born in any Muslim country she could not have become even an Ambassador, particularly in an Arab country where a woman is forbidden to vote.

I am at a loss to understand as to why the prestigious Thank Tanks located in United States and Europe do not look into the causes of Terrorism and shape the Foreign Policy of United States and the  European Union.

 

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