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May 22, 2007

Comments

toasterhead

I'm out of this discussion. I have no interest in having a debate with people who unashamedly support terrorism.

Well, you'd better not talk to 54% of the U.S. population, then!

Sohaib

You could suggest that "in defense of Christianity" is the analogue to "in defense of Islam", but in another sense it would be more appropriately "in defense of the West" or "civilised values" or something that would have a similar significance.

Also, it always seems strange that the method (suicide bombing) is made the focus of discussion rather than the use (killing whether civilian or military targets). There is nothing in non-suicide bombings that makes killing civilians OK, and there is nothing in suicide bombings that necessitates killing civilians. Why the constantly skewed discussions?

alle

You could suggest that "in defense of Christianity" is the analogue to "in defense of Islam", but in another sense it would be more appropriately "in defense of the West" or "civilised values" or something that would have a similar significance.

Agree completely. And on that note, let's not forget that for 50 years, the USA had a defense doctrine that rested on the promise of nuclear extermination of the civilian population of the Soviet Union, if Moscow dared make a serious threat.

...which, by the way, I think made some sort of sense at the time. I just think it's utterly hypocritical to say Muslims can't reason the same way -- the debate should be about what values are worth a terrorist defense (democracy, the West, religion, an ally, civilian life, national sovereignty, etc), not if we could ever allow it. Because clearly, we could.

R

Its interesting that no one is commenting on the fact that the Pew survey also estimates the Muslim population of the USA at 2.3 million which is far less than the 6-8 million claimed by Muslim groups such as CAIR.

ShelbSpeaks

This is so interesting, I was just debating with some idiot liberal who thought that radical islam would never seriously effect the U.S. I can't believe so many young muslims in our country even SOMEWHAT agree with suicide bombing!

Curious? Check out

Alsadius

What Islamist terrorism boils down to is deliberate murder of civilians for the purposes of spreading a religion that preaches the deliberate murder of civilians(be they women who got raped, girls who want to dress or educate themselves, men who shave, or anyone under any circumstances who believe in a different religion). The brand of Islam these people are spreading is, frankly, beneath contempt - it is a complete abdication of all that is good about human civilization.

Compare that to the targeting of innocent civilians in wartime by Western militaries that you're all so eager to equate it with - something that has only ever really happened at any scale in recent history with aerial bombardment in WW2, not before or since. It was done with a definate strategic goal(destruction of industrial capacity), and it targeted the apparatus the enemy used for warmaking. Because this was WW2, the most all-encompassing war ever fought, that basically meant everything in enemy-held territory was a semi-legitimate military target, which is the reason why it was so widespread. But killing civilians wasn't the goal, it was merely the methodology, and it quite often did its job, since bombed-out ruins tend to be rather unproductive. I'm not saying that it's a tactic we should embrace at every opportunity, but in situations of sufficient gravity, strategic bombing campaigns may well be better than the alternatives of a longer, or even a losing, war. And those are the only circumstances in which anyone will say it's justified(barring lunatics like Ann Coulter, of course). Nobody advocates strategic bombing or any other similar tactic unless it is happening in such a severe environment that killing tens or hundreds of thousands of people whose only crime was working at factories is actually going to net a benefit that outweighs that horrendous cost(and it *is* horrendous, don't think I'm trying to minimize it).

Now which of those is worse? Killing people because you believe them to be infidels, or killing people because you believe that it'll save lives in the long run? Comparing them is insanity.

jr786

The incoherence of the preceding post is proof positive of the existence of nafs-i-ammara.

alle

alsadius -- you don't get the point, do you? first, that western militaries have only used targeted violence against civilians in WW2 is laughable; it was the preferred tool for most colonial ventures, to take one example. and your islamophobic bigotry, i'll just ignore.

second, the whole point is that many of the muslim respondents may very well be thinking along the lines of WW2: their answers are similar to those of non-muslim respondents. the only difference is that they're going to see islam as one of the values that could (perhaps) be protected through terror warfare, whereas a non-muslim wouldn't, for obvious reasons, but would (as the polls above show) be fine with employing the same tactics towards other ends. be it "western civilization", "christianity", "god", "the nation", "freedom" or some other buzzword.

that leaves a fringe of the fringe that, unlike the baseline support for terror tactics as a last resort among both muslims and non-muslims, thinks along the lines of the jihadis, that "islam" should be "protected" (or spread) through usama-style random terror. no one is defending that, or denying it; just saying it's not a widespread phenomenon, at least not to judge from these polls.

Patience

I wonder whether the fact that German Muslims grew up in an educational system acutely conscious (at least from all reports I've seen) to the legacy of the Holocaust and Nazism explains in part the contrast between their attitudes towards suicide bombings and the attitudes of Muslims in other European countries.

sakthi

Can suicide bombings of civilian targets to defend Islam be justified? Not only in Islam,We cannot accept or encourage suicide bombings of civilian targets by any religion...No one have the rights to kill the innocent public,we have to avoid killings both in the form of War and Terrorism...
Breakdown Insurance

Celal

A more interesting question is : what happened in Pakistan between 2004 and now to cause the responses in the "sometimes" column to go down from 41% to 14% ?

Otherwise the results correlate with those of British Muslims who are mostly of Pakistani origin.

RandallJones

There should be a survey that asks Americans, regardless of religion the following questions:
#1) Do you agree with the U.S. government helping Saddam Hussein into power, knowing he was a murderous torturer?
#2) Do you agree with the U.S. supporting Saddam Hussein, strategically and financially, when he was committing his worst atrocties?
#3)DO you agree with killing millions of Iraqis through bombings, destrucution of infrastructure, and sanctions?
#4) Do you agree with the use of depleted uranium and cheimcal weapons that results in deformed babies and destruction of the land?
#5) Do you think if the U.S. government officials, who are responsble for the 3-5 million dead from the bombing of Vietnam and Cambodia, were prosectuted for their crimes, the United States would not still be going around and enaging in regime change, bombing cohtries, exploiting the naturlal resources of other countires, and fueling wars by selling weapons to boht sides of conflicts?

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