Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

This war is not about terror, it's about Islam
The Sunday Telegraph (U.K.) ^ | 10/07/2001 | David Selbourne

Posted on 10/06/2001 5:14:11 PM PDT by Pokey78

THE war of the hour, we are told, is against "global terrorism". So declared President Bush in his speech to Congress on September 20 and Tony Blair in his oration to his Party Conference last week. It is nothing of the sort.

The Soviet Union was once the evil empire challenging the West. Now it is the resurgence, or insurgency, of Islam that looms over the non-Islamic world. The momentum of the Islamic revival has been gathering pace at least since the 1950s. Yet the West's justified fear of this resurgence and a desire to avoid offence to the Islamic faith have had our leaders treading on eggshells over the events of September 11.

The hostile engagement between Islam and the West has not been in doubt for years. Thus, when Baroness Thatcher reminds us that it was Muslims who brought down the World Trade Centre, and Muslim spokesmen express their outrage that anyone should relate the act to Muslims, it is hard to know whether to laugh or weep.

Our very declaration of war - against the "global terror" - is itself bogus. There is no war to declare. There has been a war on for decades. It has included savage hostilities among Muslims (as within Algeria, Lebanon, Iraq, and so on) but, more pertinently for us, between Islamists and the West. Russia and China have been caught up in it too.

When President Bush announced his National Missile Defence Programme, citing the risk of attack from "rogue states", it was not North Korea he had in mind but those Islamic countries with nuclear, chemical and biological weapons already acquired, or being acquired. Moreover, of the seven nations on the State Departments list of terrorist nations, five are Islamic.

With New York skyscrapers turned to rubble and thousands dead, there have been few boundaries, whether of territory or moral principle, of method of combat or falsification of word, that have not been transgressed on this battlefield. Yet taboo, a false tact and short-term memory loss serve between them to cloud our knowledge of what is afoot. US and British bombers patrol Iraqi airspace, Israeli forces carry out assaults in Gaza and the West Bank, and President Clinton launched missile attacks on Afghanistan and Sudan without the declaration of war. There has been no need.

There have been many other wars since 1945 that have nothing to do with Islam. But from the 1950s, and especially once the fall of Communism in 1989-1991 had freed the Muslim states of the Soviet bloc from their straitjackets, Islam has taken the lead in anti-Western activity politically, religiously and militarily. It has brandished guns in one hand and sacred texts in another, demonising America, Zionism and Christianity. But from an explicable desire not to include in our objections "the good Muslim" - of whom there are millions - we avoid saying what we know and fear.

Nevertheless, there are few areas in the world, from the Caucasus to Kashmir, from the Moluccas to Manhattan, from Tunisia to Tanzania, that have not suffered from the Islamic convulsion. In previous upsurges Islam gained an empire from the Indus to the Pyrenees. It created the aesthetic glories and sufferings of Islamic Spain, and brought the Turks and their Ottoman Empire to the gates of Vienna.

Black-masked, flag-burning Islamist militants are hard to connect with their predecessors who created the Alhambra in Granada or Seville's Alcazar, and with the great Islamic philosophers of the Middle Ages, the friends and intellectual peers of Christian and Jewish sages of those times. The "good Muslim" may take his moral distance from hijackings, inter-Muslim brutalities, the blowing-up of embassies, book-burning and so on. But the fount of Islamic energy, of its destructiveness and high aspiration, are the same as they have always been: the desire to protect the purity of the Islamic faith and to vindicate its claim to be the final revealed religion on earth.

Islamophobia has exacted a brutal toll in reprisal for Islamic violence. This includes the shooting down by the US of an Iranian airliner in July 1998, the assassinations carried out by the Israelis, the savaging of Muslim Chechnya by the Russians, the hangings of Islamists in Xinjiang by the Chinese - still continuing - the coalition turkey-shoot of the Iraqi army after its retreat from Kuwait and the near-genocide of Muslims in Bosnia.

But then this is war, undeclared as may be. It has already taken a bewildering variety of forms and struck in many places. In 1972, Israeli athletes were murdered by Islamist militants at the Munich Olympics. The attempt on the Pope's life was made by a Turk whose controllers remain unknown. A Libyan plot brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland in December 1988. In February 1989, the Iranian fatwah against Salman Rushdie was pronounced by Khomeini. In Sudan, Muslim sharia law was introduced by the Islamist government in 1991 and civil war has raged between Muslim north and Christian south ever since.

The upheavals provoked by the resurgence have taken millions of lives. The Sudanese civil war and famine have led to some two million deaths. The Biafran civil war in 1967 in Nigeria between the dominant Muslim majority and Christian Ibo immigrants killed some one million people. Even the largely unheard-of 1991 Tajikistan civil war, provoked by Islamist secessionists, caused tens of thousands of dead.

In addition to the corpses in this war have been refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers. Millions have fled the Islamic world; some three-quarters of the world's migrants in the last decade are said to have been Muslims. They have been variously escaping sharia law, inter-Muslim conflict, economic chaos, Muslim-Christian violence and, not least, anti-Muslim aggression. Escapees, victims, scapegoats, malefactors and "sleepers" awaiting their moment, they signify that an aroused and angered Islam is on the move.

For politicians simply to call all this "terror", and to promise to extirpate it with precision strikes and the denial of funds is a folly. As the equivocations of Saudi Arabia and a nuclear-armed Pakistan reveal, the Islamic nations know that it is the resurgence of Islam not "terrorism" which has prompted the West's call to action. These nations cannot afford to support this call wholeheartedly, no more than can any "good Muslim" spokesman in Britain, whatever Baroness Thatcher may expect of them.

In every war, the first casualty is said to be truth. In this one, our politicians have not even begun to admit to us what it is really about.

David Selbourne is author of The Principle of Duty: An Essay on the Foundations of the Civic Order

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-8081-93 next last
To: Ulmo
They make fine medications for what you have.
61 posted on 10/07/2001 8:21:23 AM PDT by LS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: kosta50
First, I disagree that the "core" message never changes. With revelation, it certainly does become clearer. Abraham had no real idea of what the Messiah, or the Resurrection, entailed. He worked on the basis of the revelation he was given. Even Paul did not have the advantage of the "Holy Bible"---any of the letters written by John, Peter, James, etc. were not availble to him.

The Jews had the "core" of God's plan, but certainly didn't have all the details. They had to walk by faith on what they had. Remember, prior to Exodus, the Jews didn't even have the "ten commandments," so technically it wasn't breaking God's law to kill. You can't be charged with a crime that isn't on the books. As for "reformers," I think you are being way too harsh: what makes you think that the original inspired message cannot be perverted or corrupted by sinful men? The Reformation sought to RETURN to the original Gospel, not amend it.

Again, however, this may or may not apply to Islam. There are rules for reading the Bible, but these same rules may not apply to the Koran or Hadith.

62 posted on 10/07/2001 8:27:42 AM PDT by LS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Anamensis
See, this is what I said earlier, though: it is imperative, in dealing with so-called "Muslim countries" that we determine "How Muslim are they?"

There are American Christians, including Falwell and Robertson, who claim that the attack was due to God's "lifting his protection" from the U.S. because we were not "Christian" (ie., "holy") enough. How "Christian" is Christian?" 50% of the people devout? 75% devout?

I agree with the person who says that the Islamic scholars say "no one takes the Koran literally anymore." That statement is possibly true---in the circles these scholars travel. (How many "devout religious" academics do you know? I know few, and I teach at a Catholic school).

What we as Westerners have to figure out is whether or not MOST of our ENEMIES who go by the name Muslims accept the Koran/Hadith as "divine truth" or whether it is a book on the mantle the way the Bible is for many Christians. This is the essence of our challenge. If most are not "devout," then we have nothing to worry about. If most are, then I suggest that the Koran and Hadith endorse violent subjugation and conversion, and that means that our war is indeed against Islam.

63 posted on 10/07/2001 8:35:30 AM PDT by LS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Anamensis
Yes! You get it precisely. Now, which group "defines" Islam today? The "moderates" who seek to be educated, "westernized," and apparently peaceful, or the militants who are "fundamentalists"? I don't know, but we all need to find out.
64 posted on 10/07/2001 8:37:17 AM PDT by LS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

You may be right. It is incumbent on us to be sure, though, and not just assume. Declaring war on a religion, especially one as big as Islam, is serious business.
65 posted on 10/07/2001 8:39:06 AM PDT by LS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: LS
OH this article is SO DEAD ON....pass it around!
66 posted on 10/07/2001 8:44:00 AM PDT by Alkhin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 65 | View Replies]

To: LS
. There are rules for reading the Bible

Interesting concept. Do you care to expand on this? Who made the rules? Who enforces the rules?

67 posted on 10/07/2001 8:50:49 AM PDT by been_lurking
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 62 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78

68 posted on 10/07/2001 9:34:54 AM PDT by Nick Danger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LS; kosta50
Allow me to highlight the following, for clarification:
Koran-[9:111] GOD has bought from the believers their lives and their money in exchange for Paradise. Thus, they fight in the cause of GOD, willing to kill and get killed. Such is His truthful pledge in the Torah, the Gospel, and the Quran - and who fulfills His pledge better than GOD? You shall rejoice in making such an exchange. This is the greatest triumph.
Gospel teaches to kill in the cause of God? Speaking of the devil... kosta50

Yes, this is satanic verbage. To imply that God needs to purchase anything from humankind is satanic because it sets the entire of creation on its head, implying that the created are greater than the Creator. Satan would like for we humans to swallow that lie, if for no other reason than it will give him more roommates when the final division of the spiritual universe is done.

Islam, as the Koran characterizes belief/faith, is a works religion and all such religions are a subset of the lie begun in the Garden that appeal to humans making themselves 'good enough'; the lie to Cain's heart was that he could bring any damn offering he chose, regardless of what God instructed, and God should have to accept it! This same lie is only slightly inverted to read 'God needs money and bodies and bloody warriors, so He has to purchase them in exchange for paradise.' The terrorists believe this and so do the vast mnajority of Muslims, whether Wahhabist or otherwise; that is the nature culmination of a works based religion.

Judaism as currently practiced by Jewish fundamentalists falls into the same fold of works-based belief ... but the OT shows it is the purview of God what sacrifice will be accepted, forshadowing the coming supreme gift of Grace in Christ. [end of the dogma according to Marvin; take it or leave, as you wish]

69 posted on 10/07/2001 9:43:51 AM PDT by MHGinTN
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 62 | View Replies]

To: meadsjn
They're almost as big a threat to us as ALL the Democrats, half the Republicans, all the statist bureacrats, and all the other home-grown aspiring tyrant-wannabees.

Thats what I have been screaming. Predaters and parasites, thats what they are!Nonetheless I have a feeling that fact is about to change.Our last P was controlled by satan. President Bush looks to the God of the bible for his authority.

70 posted on 10/07/2001 9:58:18 AM PDT by winodog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: kosta50
Genesis, Ch.3

That's it?! LOLOL!!!!! Read the rest of the Bible. There's Deborah, Martha & Mary, Ruth, Rebekah, Queen the NT, Aquila and Priscilla are husband and wife and refered to as equals.

71 posted on 10/07/2001 7:54:42 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 59 | View Replies]

To: LS
We have no choice in this matter. THEY have declared war against us, our religion, and our way of life. Their views on these matters and ours are inherently incompatible.

Unfortunately, you will see this being brought to the fore in the days to come as Pakistan waffles and collapses, the Saudis cut off oil, and violence erupts in Indonesia and right here in the U.S. in Islamic neighborhoods.

72 posted on 10/08/2001 6:11:04 AM PDT by ZULU
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 65 | View Replies]

To: wildandcrazyrussian,father_elijah
re : General Satish Nambiar, head of NATO forces during that time.

Wow first head of NATO who was not a member of any military affiliated to NATO.

He is an Indian General who headed the UN mission, he recognised that there were enough atrocities committed on all sides to give all those pervo types a raging hard on for years to come, and to keep the apologists of all religions and nationalities busy as well.


73 posted on 10/08/2001 6:23:09 AM PDT by tonycavanagh
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

I tried to read it and fell asleep. What I saw though was a religion in which the "good rules" only applied to muslims. Infidels are to be shunned, taxed, and converted by the sword. In addition there is no equivalent passage to "render onto Caesar etc." The lack of this crucial tenet leaves muslims totally at odds with the western (and a lot of the eastern also) world. We should bear this in mind while passing immigration laws.
74 posted on 10/08/2001 6:23:23 AM PDT by Righty1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
Looks like the two terms are becoming more interchangeable every day....
75 posted on 10/08/2001 6:23:54 AM PDT by TADSLOS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mathurine
I like GWB, but I do think he is about one or two more Islamic attacks from getting it.

I suspect he gets more than you're giving him credit for.

76 posted on 10/08/2001 7:10:26 AM PDT by VoiceOfBruck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
Terror=Islam. 'Nuff said.
77 posted on 10/08/2001 7:12:22 AM PDT by Republic of Texas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
78 posted on 10/08/2001 7:14:42 AM PDT by Aurelius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
I don't really care who it's with. If ANYONE wants to kill me, I'm going to try to kill them first!!
79 posted on 10/08/2001 7:19:31 AM PDT by rogers21774
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
"This war is not about terrorism it is about Islam" is Osama Bin Laden's mantra and belief !!

"This war is not about Islam it is about Terrorism" is GW Bush's statements and belief !!

Now, guess which one I will side with and believe. I really wish people would "stop" perpetuating Bin Laden's beliefs !

Which side are we on folks ??????????????

80 posted on 10/08/2001 7:23:37 AM PDT by DreamWeaver
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-8081-93 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson