Defeating terrorism

I intended to write a post about problems in Europe and about its changing relationship with the United States. That topic is so complicated, though, that I shall have to break it into several pieces. One of those pieces is terrorism, particularly as it relates to the Muslim world.

Many Muslims are fleeing war and poverty, seeking safety and a chance for a new life in Europe. Many more have died attempting to reach Europe. The crisis is a humanitarian problem not directly related to terrorism. On the other hand, many Europeans and North Americans have linked the problems of human migration and terrorism, using the religion of the migrants as a linking factor.

Muslim terrorist organizations claim that they are fighting in a war between Islam and western civilization. They view this violence as valid because they have been exposed to the decadence that freedom of expression has allowed in western nations. Fundamental Muslims are not so much opposed to Christianity or the Constitution of the United States as they are opposed to Jersey Shore and the Kardashian family. This decadence is what they believe they are attacking when they explode bombs and engage in acts of violence in public places.

Americans serve no good purpose when we agree that the war being fought is a war between Islam and western civilization. All we accomplish by agreeing with that idea is greater success for the recruiting efforts of terrorist groups. A far better approach is to label terrorism as the actions of a few deranged individuals, actions that are opposed to the principles of Islam as well as to the principles of western civilization. The more North American and European governments cooperate with North African and West Asian governments to battle terrorism, the better all these governments can persuade Muslim populations that western civilization is not at war with Islam; it is combating terrorism, which is the right thing to do.

Ironically, one method for governments to respond to terrorist threats is to reduce human rights—those very rights to which the terrorists object. To catch all the terrorists before they cause harm, governments must closely monitor communication, internet usage, and other aspects of our lives that are not generally the government’s business. European and North American governments have tried to find a balance between respecting personal rights and protecting citizens from harm. Most government decisions—and most government controversies—are a balancing act of this kind, trying to maintain two good things that contradict each other. The governments are probably doing as well as they can when some citizens are complaining that the governments are not doing enough while other complain that they are doing too much.

When President Franklin Roosevelt received letters from Jewish citizens of the United States asking why the U.S. was not doing more to end the Holocaust in German-held lands, Roosevelt said that we were doing everything we could to end the Holocaust. The only way to end it, Roosevelt said, was to win the war and defeat the German government. The same approach is needed today. Eliminating the conflicts that migrants currently flee would relieve a lot of pressure on European governments regarding those migrants. Seeing capable governments established in Libya, Iraq, and Syria would make it easier to eliminate cells and training institutions of terrorists in those countries. Overcoming the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria while cracking down on other terrorist groups would make the world far safer. The United States cannot do this alone, or even with help only from our European allies. Winning the war against terror requires the help of governments in Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and their smaller neighbors. Even Israel has a role to play and a strong motive to play that role.

We can and should expect leaders of governments throughout the world to communicate and cooperate in order to defeat terrorism. Complete victory will not happen in our lifetime, or probably any time before Judgment Day. Marginalizing terrorist groups and stifling their opportunities and motives to cause harm will bring improvement, though, and improvement is a worthy goal. J.

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10 thoughts on “Defeating terrorism

  1. I am really enjoying your world events posts Salvageable, as you have vast knowledge on a wide variety of topics. As with anything important, there will be disagreements of opinion but it’s good to get these topics out in the open for intelligent discussion like this.

    My views on Islamist terrorism are very much in alignment with Andy McCarthy who writes for National Review. He writes extensively on this topic and believes there must be a clear line drawn between those Muslims who practice their faith in peace but don’t wish to force anyone else to do so and those that most certainly do. He calls those folks Sharia Supremacists because of their strong desire to not only live by that freedom suffocating, bloody pathology, but incorporate it in other countries via jihad and other violent means. That’s the ideology we must call out and fight against.

    Here’s a good article that explains more.http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444823/national-security-immigration-islam-screen-sharia-supremacist-ideology-not-religion

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  2. Thank you for sharing what you know on this subject. I look forward to more blogs. I agree that the nations of this world have obligations to keep their people safe even though it is not possible to work together from a “spiritual” perspective. Didn’t the United States have communist allies during WW 2? I expect to learn from you. And I need to learn from you; I am so skeptical about what I hear and read if I do not have confidence in the source.

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  3. While I value your opinion and strongly support your right to post it, I’m not quite sure that it is founded upon a valid comprehension of Islam. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you do not appear to be Muslim, so any personal experience within the ranks of faith in the Quran is undoubtedly lacking.

    Also apparent is any realization that Islam fundamentally encourages: ” “Fight and slay the pagans (idolators) wherever ye find them and seize them, confine them, and lie in wait for them in every place of ambush” (Surah 9:5) The ‘purifying’ of the earth is the main aim of all Muslims in the name of ALLAH – the only true God. Anyone who professes faith or devotion to any other deity is by default a ‘pagan’ or ‘idolator’.

    Of course, just like many other religions – a great number of followers do not practice (or worse), do not even know what their professed religion teaches. So, fundamentally, Islam is NOT a ‘peaceful’ religion; it only offers peace to Muslims who blindly submit. Of course, ISIS has murdered more Muslims than non-Muslims.

    Furthermore, most Muslims are not very studious and tend to reject scholarship in favor of their own version of things. The same problem exists in other religions, where too frequently, what is taught is blindly accepted, with few researching available information from outside sources to verify what is true.

    Any objective research into the origin of Islam will prove it to be among many subverted ideologies that qualify as nothing more than FALSE RELIGION. The historical evidence shows that Islam’s founder, Mohammad, was ‘educated’ by Alexandrian Jews, whose own bias against Christ presented a less-than-truthful story of God’s dealing with men. Mohammad took those stories and retold them according to his recollection and personal bias to create a fabricated version of reality – quite similar to Joseph Smith’s visitation by the angel Moroni (the 96th chapter of the Quran is said to have been the first chapter revealed by the angel Gabriel to Muhammad).

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    • I fully expected that reaction and am prepared to present my qualifications to write about Islam. My first college roommate was Muslim. We had conversations about our beliefs. He started one of those conversations with the classic line–one I frequently quote in the classroom–“We Muslims have great respect for your prophet Jesus. Why don’t you have any respect for our prophet Mohammad?” The next year I took a class on Islam, part of my religious studies major. Two thirds of the students who enrolled were Muslims from west Asia and north Africa who wanted to see how their religion would be taught in an American college. The class had many discussions about the nature of Islam from literate Muslims who disagreed with one another about several things, including creation v. evolution, and the role of women in society. Since taking that class, I have reread the (English translation of the) Quran. I have taught about Islam in World History classes and in Comparative Religion classes.
      It is easy to select a few verses of the Quran to present a picture of the religion that is violent, combative, and warlike. I could find some sayings of Jesus in the four gospels which could be treated the same way. As a Christian, I have no desire to prove my point by pursuing that line. And, as a Christian, I fully agree with your statement that Islam is a subverted ideology and a false religion. Jesus is the Son of God, but the Quran says emphatically that God has no son. Jesus is the only Savior, but the Quran demands that everyone act as his or her savior. While the commandments given to adherents are remarkably similar–honor and glorify God, worship no false gods, be kind to your neighbor, help the poor and the oppressed–Islam has no promise to match the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. It flat-out denies that Gospel as it denies his divinity.
      Good call comparing the Quran to the Book of Mormon. I agree completely. The apostle Paul prophesied the rise of Islam in the first chapter of his letter to the Galatians, warning them not to believe a new teaching even if it is presented by an angel from heaven.
      All that said, I assert that we need the cooperation of everyone we can enlist to thwart terrorism in today’s world. We cannot pray with Muslims, because we are praying to different Gods, but we can cooperate politically and militarily with Muslims. Declaring all of them enemies, not in a spiritual sense but in a worldly, military sense, makes more trouble than we need and solves no problems.
      Thank you very much for reading and commenting. I look forward to any other thoughts you would like to share.J.

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      • Thanks for your reply CLARIFYING much.

        You stated: “It is easy to select a few verses of the Quran to present a picture of the religion that is violent, combative, and warlike. I could find some sayings of Jesus in the four gospels which could be treated the same way.” I fully agree, and as a Christian theologian and apologist the specific need to place a proper distinction between ‘spiritual’ and ‘physical’ enemies is most prudent. While military action is NOT necessary against ALL Muslims, never-the-less – suspicion of ALL Muslims is.

        True believers (of every religion) place their beliefs as the foundation upon which they build their life-style and relative ideology. So, mind-set becomes the primary motivating factor to determine one’s proclivities. If someone believes killing in the name of God is righteous, I suspect THAT person can be possibly persuaded to follow that belief to fruition.

        I hoped we were in agreement theologically. It is good that you shared more of your ‘qualifications’. THAT helped me understand your perspective much better. However, I continue to advocate ‘keeping my guard up’ regarding Muslims. NOT to discriminate, but quite like my views toward homosexuals, I’m tolerant – as long as such tolerance doesn’t equate as an endorsement or approval of their beliefs, ideologies, or life-styles. But if /or when either attempt to personally persuade me differently, I abjectly oppose them. I defend my right to do so, even more so if physical violence is involved. Sticks & stones…

        Thanks again, and God bless you!

        Liked by 1 person

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