Thursday, February 11, 2010

How Many Times Do the Islamic Terrorists Have to Hit Us . . .

before we believe that the Islamic Jihadists are trying to kill as many of us as they can?

It’s Still Not Islamist Extremism?

By Supna Zaidi
Muslim World Today

It seems that every time there is an actual or attempted terrorist attack, the media goes into a tailspin, asking experts, pundits and politicians how such a thing could happen, and what we should do to prevent another incident in the future. Unfortunately, it is usually only a matter of time before another incident occurs, only to renew such empty commentary on TV yet again.

Sadly, the ineptitude illustrated by the latest terrorist effort by Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalib in airline, airport, and immigration visa security policies reveals a systemic lack of resolve from the executive branch to the TSA and Homeland security to fight Islamist extremism. And without real resolve at the top, we shouldn’t expect much more than apathy from a domestic bag checker or consulate officer abroad.

Resolve requires believing there is a common enemy. Yet, current and past administrations deny that the Islamism, or political Islam behind the indoctrination of men like Muhammad Atta, Nidal Hasan, and now Umar Farouk Abdulmuttab. It is not Islam or a strain of Islam because we say so, but because the terrorists believe so. Empowered by Qurans, printed with militant anti-colonial commentaries from Muslim Brotherhood icons, or the anti-American and anti-western tirades of the South Asian Maulana Mawdudi’s version of Islam, Deobandism, Muslims are taught to interpret their social political ills through a lens of the most violent, separatist, and antiquated passages of Islam.

Yet, everyone, non-Muslim and Muslim alike on the airwaves seems confident in stating, "This isn’t Islam." Well, if it is not, where is the competing interpretation of the faith spreading globally to marginalize Islamic extremism. Oh, wait, the Saudi’s won’t fund that? Shocking.

That is because central to Islamist pr is deflection. By convincing everyone that all the craziness since 9/11 is strictly America’s fault, Islamists proceed to attack fellow Muslims with impunity.

The recent attack by Islamist extremists on a peaceful Muharram procession in Karachi by the minority Shiite community where over 40 were killed is but one illustration. A second glaring example is the democratic revolt in Iran, which has been labeled a western conspiracy and "un-Islamic" by the dictators in charge.

And where does the son of a wealthy banker like Mr. Abdulmutallab fit in? Well, as the college president of an Islamic society absorbed in rhetoric hostile to the West, or "at least in its interaction with the Muslim world," not very far. The Islamic Society, as the New York Times, notes, "provided comfort" to Abdulmutallib, posting YouTube videos revealing that the organization, "served in recent years as a forum for agitated debate about the "oppression" of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims by the United States and other Western countries."

Let’s not forget that oppression justifies legitimate jihad in the Islamic world. And where a man’s worldview is filtered by his faith, not a secular identity, its Muslim versus non-Muslim wherever he goes. This encourages boys like Abdulmutallib to reduce global politics to the world simply, and intentionally "out to get" Muslims, ignoring a myriad of factors that complicate that equation which would also make local elites and politicians accountable for the poor position of millions of Muslims worldwide.

Addressing Islamist indoctrination remains the most important and most ignored aspect of Islamist terrorism. While it continues to create boys like Abdulmutallib, immediate security concerns will remain.

But, instead of distributing body scanners, and any other technological innovations airports may need, the TSA will be forced to unduly debate the need for full body scanners because of privacy issues.

Television stations like CNN will repeatedly air terrorist affiliated CAIR messages imploring Americans not to ethnically profile, and our politicians will remain awkward when talking about Islamic extremism because, they themselves, apparently think Americans are intelligent enough to distinguish between Muslims engaged in a global political movement from ones who also want to live under democratic laws that protect women, ethnic and religious minorities under a regime that keeps religion out of politics.

By remaining reactive rather than proactive new innovative terrorist attacks will only grow. Richard Reid used his shoes to carry the same PETN powder Abdulmutallib carried in his underwear. So now, we take off our shoes when going through security and we debate body scanners. With everyone forgets that while we plug holes in security as the terrorists reveal them to us, they are searching for new ones for "next time."

(Supna Zaidi is assistant director of Islamist Watch, a project at the Middle East Forum and editor of Muslim World Today )

article reprinted from

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