A Muslim Problem Needs A Muslim Solution

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Adam's Apple, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Good article by Tom Friedman. Printed in its entirety as it comes from a subscription site.

    If It's a Muslim Problem, It Needs a Muslim Solution
    ByThomas L Friedman, The New York Times
    July 8, 2005

    Yesterday's bombings in downtown London are profoundly disturbing. In part, that is because a bombing in our mother country and closest ally, England, is almost like a bombing in our own country. In part, it's because one assault may have involved a suicide bomber, bringing this terrible jihadist weapon into the heart of a major Western capital. That would be deeply troubling because open societies depend on trust - on trusting that the person sitting next to you on the bus or subway is not wearing dynamite.

    The attacks are also deeply disturbing because when jihadist bombers take their madness into the heart of our open societies, our societies are never again quite as open. Indeed, we all just lost a little freedom yesterday.

    But maybe the most important aspect of the London bombings is this: When jihadist-style bombings happen in Riyadh, that is a Muslim-Muslim problem. That is a police problem for Saudi Arabia. But when Al-Qaeda-like bombings come to the London Underground, that becomes a civilizational problem. Every Muslim living in a Western society suddenly becomes a suspect, becomes a potential walking bomb. And when that happens, it means Western countries are going to be tempted to crack down even harder on their own Muslim populations.

    That, too, is deeply troubling. The more Western societies - particularly the big European societies, which have much larger Muslim populations than America - look on their own Muslims with suspicion, the more internal tensions this creates, and the more alienated their already alienated Muslim youth become. This is exactly what Osama bin Laden dreamed of with 9/11: to create a great gulf between the Muslim world and the globalizing West.

    So this is a critical moment. We must do all we can to limit the civilizational fallout from this bombing. But this is not going to be easy. Why? Because unlike after 9/11, there is no obvious, easy target to retaliate against for bombings like those in London. There are no obvious terrorist headquarters and training camps in Afghanistan that we can hit with cruise missiles. The Al Qaeda threat has metastasized and become franchised. It is no longer vertical, something that we can punch in the face. It is now horizontal, flat and widely distributed, operating through the Internet and tiny cells.

    Because there is no obvious target to retaliate against, and because there are not enough police to police every opening in an open society, either the Muslim world begins to really restrain, inhibit and denounce its own extremists - if it turns out that they are behind the London bombings - or the West is going to do it for them. And the West will do it in a rough, crude way - by simply shutting them out, denying them visas and making every Muslim in its midst guilty until proven innocent.

    And because I think that would be a disaster, it is essential that the Muslim world wake up to the fact that it has a jihadist death cult in its midst. If it does not fight that death cult, that cancer, within its own body politic, it is going to infect Muslim-Western relations everywhere. Only the Muslim world can root out that death cult. It takes a village.

    What do I mean? I mean that the greatest restraint on human behavior is never a policeman or a border guard. The greatest restraint on human behavior is what a culture and a religion deem shameful. It is what the village and its religious and political elders say is wrong or not allowed. Many people said Palestinian suicide bombing was the spontaneous reaction of frustrated Palestinian youth. But when Palestinians decided that it was in their interest to have a cease-fire with Israel, those bombings stopped cold. The village said enough was enough.

    The Muslim village has been derelict in condemning the madness of jihadist attacks. When Salman Rushdie wrote a controversial novel involving the prophet Muhammad, he was sentenced to death by the leader of Iran. To this day - to this day - no major Muslim cleric or religious body has ever issued a fatwa condemning Osama bin Laden.

    Some Muslim leaders have taken up this challenge. This past week in Jordan, King Abdullah II hosted an impressive conference in Amman for moderate Muslim thinkers and clerics who want to take back their faith from those who have tried to hijack it. But this has to go further and wider.

    The double-decker buses of London and the subways of Paris, as well as the covered markets of Riyadh, Bali and Cairo, will never be secure as long as the Muslim village and elders do not take on, delegitimize, condemn and isolate the extremists in their midst.
     
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  2. 007
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    007 Charter Member Supporting Member

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    It's an excelent article Adam. Howevere, it puzzles me why peaceful Muslims haven't figured this out a loooooooong time ago.

    It's like, "OK, now tell me something I DON'T know".
     
  3. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Good article and to elaborate it appears that the majority of Muslims are content to live in the middle of both worlds. Why? Is it because they are not quite sure which side will win the ideological war?

    They are under no pressure from the west to declare thier allegiance to a country or the interpretation of the Koran that they subscribe to. They comfortably sit on the fence in a win-win situation. What motivation do they have to pressure the jihadist? They can live where ever they wish and practice any form of Islam that they wish. The Muslims in America are not suffering any retaliation other than maybe mild profiling or surveillance.

    Why not just sit quietly when the best of both worlds are available are sitting in your lap. Condemn Jihadists? Why should they put themselves in danger needlessly?
     
  4. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    I appreciate your truthful comments on this matter, Dillo. Perhaps the work being done by King Abdullah and like-thinkers in the Middle East will make it possible for the noncombative Muslims to take a stand against these terrorists. It's risky business for the moderate arabs, too. I recently read that Jordan intelligence had captured some guys who were going to fly planes over Jordan and Israel, spraying VX gasses, which would have killed the populations of both countries.
     
  5. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Perhaps the US could find a method of providing them with motivation to pick a side here but I'm afraid it wouldn't be PC enough for the American left. Brits are photographed 300 times a day by surveillance cams. Americans would stand for this "invasion of privacy" and is didn't stop the bombings. Hopefully some information can be obtained regarding the perpetrators however long investigations that yield very little intel can consume a lot of manpower and other assets.
     
  6. Gabriella84
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    Tis a very informative article. The problem is, some Muslim countries do not take the threat seriously enough. Primarily Saudi Arabia, which openly hosts more terrorist cells than any country in the world. Yet, we continue to do business with them.
    You can deal a blow to terrorism by striking at their hosts. Refuse to allow American business interests to do business with any country that supports terrorism. You don't have to invade a country to deal a blow to their vital interests.
     
  7. Said1
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    Said1 VIP Member

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    They do take the problem seriously, too bad they find it easier to appease them, in order to continue living their lavish hypocrytical lifestyles.

    I don't think that will happen with SA to a large extent..
     
  8. freeandfun1
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    freeandfun1 VIP Member

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    Over the past couple of years the Saudi's have done a better job although they still need to do more. As for not doing business with the Saudis... as we saw with Iraq, if we don't do business with them somebody else will. Believe me, the Chinese, French, Germans, Russians would love to fill our shoes in Saudi Arabia. That cannot be overlooked. If we were to stop doing business with SA, we - the USA - would be the only ones to suffer as we would lose a vital source of oil. Whether the libs want to recognize that or not, it is the truth. I would argue that SA is not the largest "host" of terrorists cells. Syria is by far with Iran a close second. The Iranians are smart though... they don't use Iranians, they use Saudis, Syrians and Palestinians to do their dirty work.

    I don't think that will happen with SA to a large extent..[/QUOTE]
     
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  9. Said1
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    As it stands right now, France is something like the 4th largest foreign investor into their economy, mainly in the service (banking, credit etc) sector. Not sure who comes before or after them though.

    Don't forget the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, nasty bunch. At one time they were heavily funded by the Egyptian government. In fact, I was reading recently that since many of them have been released from jail, they've been trying to get a political party going. Ack!
     
  10. theim
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    theim Senior Member

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    And why shouldn't we look upon local Muslims with suspicion? How many fiery-eyed Jesuits have walked into a Mosque with 10 pounds of explosives strapped to their chest? Rabbis? Bhuddist monks? Druids? Answer: none. So logically, in which direction should we look concerning possible future terror attacks?

    And this is what I am sick of: Pretending that Olga Svetlana, the 63-year-old Swedish grandmother, is just as likely to blow something up as Achmed Abu Mohammed bin al-Kabum, just so we can thump our chests and say "well at least we aren't racially profiling!". HELOOOO! And when some police officer does suspect the latter over the former, they get accused of being "racist". Waaaaaa.

    And where is this supposed majority of the "Religion of Peace"? Where are they? I havn't seen them, have you? Any imbecile can go in front of a TV camera and say how they don't like suicide bombing, but what matters is what they say in the mosque, in the madrassa. The simple fact is that Islam is not a Religion of Peace, as any study of history shows. In Time a week or two ago there was a letter from an American muslim who didn't know which was worse, the Iranian dictatorship or the alcohol-drenched culture of today's youth. Gee....I know which one's worse! Until I see some "peaceful mainstream" Muslims actually denounce these things, they deserve everything they get in my opinion.
     
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