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Sources of Terror

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The Times of London has an essay on the Sources of Terror that looks at the success in rounding up the bomb suspects of 7/21 and the laying down of arms by the IRA this week.

…One reason for the IRA statement is that since the events of September 11 the world has changed profoundly. Terrorism is being seen for what it really is right across the West.

The IRA campaign of violence is another victim of Osama Bin Laden’s global jihad. The atrocities perpetrated by the Islamists, who seem increasingly to resemble the bizarre cults that have emerged in the West in recent decades, put politically motivated terror beyond the pale. There is a big gorilla on the block now and the monkeys are suing for peace.

An interesting note in the essay reads,

In the inquest that will go on after the atrocities of July 7, we should not forget that successive governments have played a role in fostering this alienation. Not only were the alleged July 21 bombers given sanctuary by Britain, but they went on to become part of our entrenched underclass. They failed in education, one was imprisoned and almost all lived off benefits. As social mobility has eroded in Britain, they turned to a corrupted Islam as their escape route.

This is indubitably true, yet one fears that this is a problem both of the personal and the political spheres. All other things being equal, why did Person X adopt one way and Person Y another?

Is there a Faculty X that predisposes men to evil?

On a similar note, Pakistan President Musharraf’s decision to expel all the foreign students in Pakistan’s madrasas has raised the concern, not unreasonable, that this is unfair to those interested in a spiritual pursuit and study of Islam. Furthermore, one might ask, why not root out the ‘bad ‘uns’, students or seminaries? Even better, modernize these so-called seats of learning? What Pakistan and the Islamic world needs is not more scholars of the hadith, but more scientists, engineers, doctors and thinkers. Islam once in history held the torch while others floundered in the dark. Things are quite different today, for manifold historical reasons. President Musharraf could spearhead a new Islamic Revolution, a great leap forward, as it were, for the Islamic world, and create a center of excellence for all the world.

The Daily Times of Pakistan cautions that the moves may not be enough

…One does not need to marshal arguments to prove that there can be no modern, progressive Pakistan while the country has a parallel, medieval and millenarian streak running through it.However, having said this, we need to put the new measures in a perspective.

First, and let this come as no surprise, some of these measures are not new. Banning extremist organisations, arresting their leaders and streamlining and registering seminaries, are measures the government decided to take, with no less fanfare, back in 2002. Since then, their implementation has been the story of inefficiency and selectivity.

A truly insightful comment in the Daily Times editorial reads, referring to the private madrasas,

The sanctity of a private entity is directly proportional to the good that the entity can produce in a society. It does not mean freedom from regulation to do things that are patently against accepted or legal norms of behaviour or, as in this case, obviously murderous and criminal.

Not all terrorists come from the seminaries. But there is enough evidence to suggest that some seminaries have a dubious character on that count. Moreover, nearly all seminaries produce students with sectarian biases and narrow, particularistic ideologies. So it makes sense to tackle the problem in all its aspects.
the real problem in the longer run lies with the nature of the state itself. That brings us to other facets of the problem about which General Musharraf remains quiet. The problem, as it stands, has been the creation of his constituency. While he might want to move against the seminaries, he is not prepared to put the army in its correct place within the polity. Neither has he shown any desire to link up with regular, mainstream parties.

President Musharraf, make the Islamic Renaissance happen!

Also: Enlightened Moderation for Dummies

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About aacool

  • RKC

    President Musharraf, make the Islamic Renaissance happen!

    All he needs is a magic wand.

  • AND big cojones

  • Terrorism is the background noise of a free society. Trying to make terrorism impossible, just like trying to appease terrorists, is incompatible with freedom. The civilized world and its leaders must not let terrorists dictate our core values, our policies, or the structures of our governments.

    We already know what needs to be done to make the world a better place. Our main task is to get on with that work. The sooner we realize this, and stop letting terrorism take center stage in every policy debate, the better off we all will be.

    No other strategy would more effectively reduce terrorist activity than letting the terrorists grind their teeth in frustration, knowing nothing they can do could weaken the determination of the world’s civilized peoples.

  • Mihos

    Right On Victor! Im going to go have a bloody mary and toast to that remark.
    Catreus wallichi !

  • theunknownshredder

    The REAL Terrorists are OUR GOVERNMENT and RIGGED Elected officials
    They were behind 911,Oklahoma City,Waco,London shall I go on?????
    Bin Laden was created and trained as well as the Saudis that flew the planes by the CIA…Can anyone say INSIDE JOB
    This Terrorist “Threat” is creating a climate of Fear that Bush has used to take away our Civil Liberties(see Bill of Rights)with The Patriot Act which makes anyone with an Extreme viewpoint a “Terrorist” and infringes on our Freedom and Privacy very Unconstitutionally
    America is 1 step away from Martial Law and The New World Order
    Notice how the London bombing coincided with Bush urging Congress to extend and expand the powers of The Patriot
    These events are used to scare the general public(most of which is easily misled and downright stupid)into giving up their rights for supposed Security against “Terrorists” that dont even really exist
    I believe if we were smart we would heed Ben Franklins words “If we give up Liberty for Security We shall have Neither”
    Check out this site for the TRUTH about your Government

  • LOL, an InfoWars drone rears his shaven head.


  • And what does all that have to do with the sources of terror?

  • Ah, you don’t realize that the Bush administration and its ties to the new world order are part of a conspiracy to control the world through the use of terrorism?

    Bush blew up the WTC, you know….really.


  • No – it’s the Worshippers of Ma’at – egged on by Pinhead and the other cenobites

    Seriously, though, what would it take for a true multi-pronged approach to the sources of terror, as addressed in the Daily Times editorial?

  • RKC

    There is no “War on Terrorism”. Terrorism is a tactic — not an enemy.

    Those who utilize terror as a tactic do so because other tactics are not at their disposal.

    We are facing an enemy intent on driving Westerners out of their part of the world. We are facing a form of natiomalism combined with religious fundamentalism.

    It is obvious why the “terrorism” misnomer is used. We don’t want to admit that we are fighting nationalism.

    To be honest we should stop calling it by the euphemism that disguises the reason for the attacks.

  • one with no name

    As I’m from Karachi, I might be able to add a bit to Aaman’s article.

    I remember in the 80s and 90s, I often had to shoo away people from my front gate, who wanted me to go with them to the mosque… and give them MONEY.

    These visits happened everywhere, every week.

    Now since last 2, 3, 5, years (specially since Mushi), these islamic pests have VANISHED. I haven’t seen or heard of one since last 2 years.

    So its a slow process, but it is taking place for sure.

    I also notice one-tenth the number of women covering their heads (compared to early 90s) and even less men keeping beards. This might seem like a small thing, but actually it isn’t.

    Also, the number of people reporting their cable-tv cables being cut, has come down dramatically. This is what the madressa swine do when they’re bored. They declare cable-tv, the work of the devil and go around climbing poles to cut cables. They are often caught, given a beating and handed over to the cops.

    If you study Pakistan’s history, you will see that nothing happens here suddenly or dramatically. Its always small evolutionary steps. This place moves like a leviathan and takes years to change its direction. The direction has already changed though it might not be seen as such by outsiders.

    Its clear to me… judging from the signs on the ground….which direction we are going in. But don’t expect anything much until the next couple of years.

  • Mihos

    “Comment 10 posted by RKC on July 31, 2005 08:54 PM:
    There is no “War on Terrorism”. Terrorism is a tactic — not an enemy.

    Those who utilize terror as a tactic do so because other tactics are not at their disposal.

    We are facing an enemy intent on driving Westerners out of their part of the world. We are facing a form of natiomalism combined with religious fundamentalism.

    It is obvious why the “terrorism” misnomer is used. We don’t want to admit that we are fighting nationalism.

    To be honest we should stop calling it by the euphemism that disguises the reason for the attacks.”

    Im cutting and pasting this to the signature of my email. You are a seer my fine feathered friend.

  • Thanks onewithnoname – your perspective is valuable and we will appreciate more details – my father was from ‘Rawalpindi, and my mom was from Murree, so I have ancestral ties to your beautiful country

    Keep the Faith!

  • I don’t buy it. It’s still a war on terror, not just nationalism. There are plenty of forms of nationalism which are not our enemy. People dressing in costume and doing their national dance isn’t a problem. The French getting some common sense and voting down the EU constitution is nationalism which has a positive outcome.

    What distinguishes the individuals, organizations and states which we are fighting is their willingness to murder civilians at random to advance their nationalistic causes.

    So it’s not the nationalism which we’re fighting, it’s the combination of nationalism and – for lack of a better word – evil.