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A New Round of Anger and Humiliation: Islam after 9/11
Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 2002, pp. 41-61. ^ | 10 jun 02 | Daniel Pipes

Posted on 06/10/2002 7:55:44 AM PDT by white trash redneck

A New Round of Anger and Humiliation: Islam after 9/11
by Daniel Pipes
Edited by Wladyslaw Pleszczynski
Our Brave New World: Essays on the Impact of September 11
2002

Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 2002, pp. 41-61.

"The world has changed" Westerners often say, commenting on the events of September 11, but few Muslims echo that view. In dueling statements issued on October 7, the day the war in Afghanistan began, President George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden exemplified this contrast. While the former referred to the "sudden terror" that had descended on the United States just twenty-seven days earlier, the latter reported that the Muslim world had experienced more than eighty years of "humiliation and disgrace" at American hands, during which its sons were killed and its sanctities defiled. Twenty-seven days versus eighty years sums up the difference between a stunned American sense of ruptured innocence and the brooding militant Islamic feeling of epochal betrayal and trauma. For this and other reasons, the Muslim world was not nearly so jolted by the death of over three thousand Americans as was the West.

More broadly, to understand the impact of September 11 on the Muslim world requires putting aside the response in the West and immersing oneself in Muslim sensibilities. The best place to begin is with an understanding of the deep resentment against the West that bin Laden articulates and so many Muslims share.

Islamic History and Hostility to the West

This anger has deep roots. From the Islamic religion’s origins in the seventh century and for roughly the next millennium, the career of Muslims was one of consistent worldly success. By whatever standard one judged - power, wealth, health, or education -Muslims stood at the pinnacle of global achievement. This connection between accepting the Islamic message and apparent reward by God endured in so many aspects of life in so many places for such a long time that Muslims readily came to assume that mundane well-being was their due as a sign of God’s favor. To be Muslim meant to be on the winning team.

But then, starting about 1800, things went awry. Power, wealth, health, and education moved elsewhere, and specifically to Europe, a place long scorned as backward. For two long centuries, Muslims have watched as other peoples, especially Christians, surged ahead. Not only did France, England, and the United States do so on the grandest scale, but more recently East Asia has outpaced the Muslim world. As a result, a sense of failure has suffused Muslim life. If Islam brings God’s grace, many Muslims have asked themselves, why then do Muslims fare so poorly? This traumatic of things going all wrong is the key to understanding modern Islam.

It has spurred deep questions about what needs to be done to find the right direction but few satisfying answers. Despite extensive soul-searching, Muslims have not yet found an answer to the question "what went wrong?" Instead, they have bounced from one scheme to another, finding satisfaction in none of them. A succession of false starts have left Muslims deeply perplexed about their predicament, and not a little frustrated. In all, Muslims sense their own conspicuous lack of success in emerging from the humiliation of their current circumstances.

This sense of failure goes far to explain the acute hostility to the West that prevails in most Muslim societies. Muslims vaguely realize that a thousand years ago, as Martin Kramer puts it, "the Middle East was the crucible of world civilization" whereas today, it "sulks on the margins of a world civilization forged in the West."1 That sulking has translated into anger, envy, hostility, irrational fears, conspiracy theories, and political extremism. These emotions go far to account for the appeal of a host of radical ideologies, both imported (fascism, Leninism) and home-grown (Pan-Arabism, Pan-Syrianism). Each of these movements in turn confirms the sense that the West is the enemy.

These days, the strongest vehicle for such emotions is militant Islam (also known as Islamism), a political movement that takes the religion of Islam and turns it into the basis of a totalitarian ideology that shares much with prior versions, namely fascism and Marxism-Leninism. Like them, for example, it seeks to replace capitalism and liberalism as the reigning world system. The appeal of militant Islam goes far to account for the anti-Western hatred coming from Muslims in many places around the world, including Muslims resident in the West itself.

Islamists discern a long list of countries – Algeria, Turkey, Egypt, and Malaysia are prominent examples – where they believe local Muslim rulers are doing the West’s dirty business in suppressing their movement. They also have another list – Kashmir, Afghanistan, Chechnya and Sudan rank high here – where they see the West actively suppressing noble Islamist efforts to establish a just society. Whenever Muslims move toward the emergence of an Islamic State, an Islamist explains, the "treacherous hands of the secular West are always there in the Muslim world to bring about the defeat of the Islamic forces."2 Islamists see themselves surrounded and besieged by the West. Around the world, they feel, they are stymied by an arrogant and imperialist West.

Hatred of the United States

In particular, Islamists see the United States as an aggressive force that seeks to steal Muslims’ resources, exploit their labor, and undermine their religion. A wide consensus exists that Washington and Hollywood have joined forces to establish a hegemony over the world (the "new world order"). In the words of Ayatollah Khomeini, perhaps the most influential modern interpreter of Islam: "The danger that America poses is so great that if you commit the smallest oversight, you will be destroyed. . . . America plans to destroy us, all of us."3 In the words of an Egyptian, the Americans "have us by the throat."

This outlook has the crucial implication that violence against Americans is viewed as defensive in nature. That in turn justifies Muslim attempts to harm Americans or even destroy the United States. Ikrama Sabri, Yasir Arafat’s man running the Palestinian Authority’s religious hierarchy in Jerusalem, often inveighs against the United States in his Friday sermon at Al-Aqsa mosque, a prestigious and influential position. For example, he made this choice plea to God in 1997: "Oh Allah, destroy America, her agents and her allies!"4

To dehumanize Americans, fundamentalists portray them in beast-like terms - vermin, dogs, and bacteria - thereby making these into enemies deserving of extermination. The Westerner, in the view of ‘Adil Husayn, a leading Egyptian writer, is "nothing but an animal whose major concern is to fill his belly."5 Immoral, consumerist, and threatening, he deserves to die. The conspiracy theories that so many Middle Eastern religious establishments espouse also dehumanize Americans, turning them into cunning plotters grasping at Muslim lands, wealth, and women.

One result is the expression of delight on hearing about American fatalities. Ahmad Jibril, a Palestinian leader, publicly shared his joy on hearing about the loss of life due to the San Francisco earthquake in 1989, then added: "I don’t know how I would have managed to take revenge on the United States, but it seems that God did it for me."6 One also finds such vicious views expressed by Muslims living in the United States itself: responding to the news of a U.S. Air Force accident not long after, Islam Report, a San Diego-based publication, published a headline that read, "O ALLAH, LOCK THEIR THROATS IN THEIR OWN TRAPS!"7

This litany of statements points to two facts: Osama bin Laden is not a unique figure but echoes views promoted by some of the most authoritative and influential Islamic authorities; and this viewpoint resonates among Muslims around the world, even including some living in the West.

This context helps explain why the Muslim world responded as it did to the September 11 atrocities, even before it was clear who had perpetrated them. In most of the world, initial reactions to this news was mournful. Peoples and governments alike responded with heartfelt grief and with the sense of common humanity. But among Muslims, the killing of thousands of Americans prompted less a sense of grief than one of pleasure.

"Bull’s-eye," commented Egyptian taxi drivers as they watched reruns of the World Trade Center collapse. "It’s payback time," said a Cairene. Other Egyptians expressed a wish for George W. Bush to have been buried in the buildings or exulted that this was their most happy moment in decades. And so it went around the Middle East. In Lebanon and the West Bank, Palestinians shot guns into the air, a common way of showing delight. "We’re ecstatic," said a Lebanese. In Jordan, Palestinians handed out sweets in another expression of joy.

Outside the Middle East, a good many Muslims expressed the view that Americans got what they deserved. Nigerian papers reported that the Islamic Youth Organisation in Zamfara province organized an event to celebrate the attacks. "Whatever destruction America is facing, as a Muslim I am happy," came a typical quote from Afghanistan. A Pakistani leader said that Washington is paying for its policies against Palestinian, Iraqi, Bosnian, and other Muslims, then warned that the "worst is still to come."

Around the Muslim world, nearly identical anti-American slogans were heard over the next weeks: "U.S., Go to Hell!" (Indonesia), "Go To Hell America" (Malaysia), "Death to America" (Bangladesh), "Death to America" (India), "America is the enemy of God" (Oman). "America is a great Satan" (Yemen), "U.S. go to hell" (Egypt), "Down, down USA!" (Sudan).

Most Muslim governments were on best behavior after September 11, decrying the loss of American lives. But here too, there were cracks. Iranian officialdom, for example, found it very hard to be sympathetic to Americans and insisted on bringing the Arab-Israeli conflict into the discussion. Some analyses connected the terrorism to America’s "blind support of the Zionist regime" and others actually accused Israel of organizing the attacks, in a supposed effort to deflect world opinion from its own conflict with the Palestinians. (This subsequently became an accepted verity in many Muslim countries, with elaborate conspiracy theories about the Mossad’s role.) In Iraq, not surprisingly, the state-controlled media approved of the violence, commenting that the "the American cowboys are reaping the fruit of their crimes against humanity." It also announced that the "myth of America was destroyed along with the World Trade Center."

Love of bin Laden

Even before September 11, Osama bin Laden enjoyed a very high reputation due to his unremitting hostility to the United States. His biographer, Simon Reeve, wrote in 1999 that "Many who had never met him, whose only contact was through one of his interviews, a radio broadcast or Internet homepage, pronounced themselves ready to die for his cause."8 Hasan at-Turabi, the powerful Sudanese leader, found that bin Laden had developed "as a champion, as a symbol of Islam for all young people, in the whole Muslim world."9

When he emerged as the man behind the September 11 attacks, his reputation soared to extraordinary heights around the Muslim world. "Long live bin Laden" shouted five thousand demonstrators in the southern Philippines. In Pakistan, bin Laden’s face sold merchandise and massive street rallies left two persons dead. Ten thousand marched in the capitals of Bangladesh and Indonesia. In northern Nigeria, Bin Laden had (according to Reuters) "achieved iconic status"10 and his partisans set off religious riots leading to two hundred deaths.11 Pro-bin Laden demonstrations took place even in Mecca, where overt political activism is unheard of.

Everywhere, the Washington Post reported, Muslims cheered on bin Laden "with almost a single voice."12 The Internet buzzed with odes to him as a man "of solid faith and power of will."13 A Saudi explained that "Osama is a very, very, very, very good Muslim."14 A Kenyan added: "Every Muslim is Osama bin Laden."15 "Osama is not an individual, but a name of a holy war," read a banner in Kashmir.16 In perhaps the most extravagant statement, one Pakistani declared that "Bin Laden is Islam. He represents Islam."17 In France, Muslim youths chanted bin Laden’s name as they threw rocks at non-Muslims.

Palestinians were especially enamored. According to Hussam Khadir, a member of Arafat’s Fatah party, "Bin Laden today is the most popular figure in the West Bank and Gaza, second only to Arafat."18 A 10-year-old girl announced that she loves him like a father.19 Nor was she alone. "Everybody loves Osama bin Laden at this time. He is the most righteous man in the whole world," declared a Palestinian woman.20 A Palestinian Authority policeman called him "the greatest man in the world … our Messiah" even as he (reluctantly) dispersed students who marched in solidarity with the Saudi.21

Survey research helps understand these sentiments. In the Palestinian Authority, a Bir Zeit poll found that 26 percent of Palestinians considered the September 11 attacks consistent with Islamic law.22 In Pakistan, a Gallup found a nearly identical 24 percent reaching this conclusion.23 Even those who consider the attacks on September 11 an act of terrorism (64 percent of both Palestinians and Pakistanis) showed respect for these as acts of political defiance and technical prowess. "Of course we’re upset that so many died in New York. But at the same time, we’re in awe of what happened," said a young Cairene woman.24 An online survey of Indonesians found 50 per cent seeing bin Laden as a "justice fighter" and 35 per cent a terrorist.25 More broadly, I estimate that bin Laden enjoyed in those first weeks the emotional support of half the Muslim world.

With the exception of one government-staged anti-bin Laden demonstration in Pakistan and very few prominent Islamic scholars, hardly anyone publicly denounced him in September or October 2001. The only Islamic scholar in Egypt who unreservedly condemned the September 11 suicide operations admitted that he is completely isolated. 26 Further, not a single Muslim government came out publicly in support of the American bombings against him. American officials were waiting in vain for Muslim politicians to speak up. "It’d be nice if some leaders came out and said that the idea the U.S. is targeting Islam is absurd," notes one U.S. diplomat.27 They did not do so because to so meant to contradict bin Laden’s wide adulation.

But then a remarkable change took place.

Disappointment with bin Laden

The U.S. government began its military campaign in Afghanistan on October 7. For a month, there were no visible results. As late as the morning of November 9, the Taliban regime still ruled the territories that had been under its control for several years – or almost 95 percent of Afghanistan. But then the Taliban rule collapsed. Days later it controlled just 15 percent of the country and by December 7, it had lost control of Kandahar, its last city, and was on the run in the hills and the caves of Afghanistan, a spent force repudiated widely by joyous Afghans.

This quick change of fortunes resulted in large part from the powerful use of air power by the United States, but also to the lack of perseverance on the part of Taliban troops. Awed by American power, many of them switched sides to the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance. According to one analyst, "Defections, even in mid-battle, are proving key to the rapid collapse across Afghanistan of the formerly ruling Taliban militia."28 American muscle and will made militant Islam a losing proposition. The force that had ruled their country was disintegrating before their eyes and the Taliban’s own forces realized they were on the losing side, having no desire to go down with it, and decided to do something.

This readiness to switch sides fit into a larger pattern that became evident within days of November 11; Muslims around the world sensed the same shift of power away from militant Islam and they responded similarly.

This was especially evident in Pakistan, where enthusiasm for the Taliban cause had been extremely high in September and October 2001. Here is a report, in the Los Angeles Times, starting with an account of the scene in Quetta, near the border with Afghanistan, on Oct. 8, or one day after hostilities began. After demonstrators "burned effigies of the American and Pakistani presidents, set fire to cars, stormed the police station and smashed shop windows," firebrand religious leaders addressed 10,000 people in Ayub Stadium each Friday. They

had vengeance in their bellies, they had outrage in their hearts, their anger came out in such a flood of words that some of them got hoarse. "The time will come when the American heads are on one side and our guns are on the other!" one shouted. "Prepare yourself for jihad, and I assure you that success will be ours!"
But then, as American military success became clear, the anti- American zealots lost their nerve. The same stadium that a month earlier held 10,000 two months later had less than 500 people. "A lone, badly wrinkled poster of Osama bin Laden bobbed in the front row. After a parade of religious leaders fumed at the microphone about jihad, or holy war, the crowd, which had sat almost silent through two hours of speeches, could barely muster a chorus of Allahu akbar (God is great) at the end." In Swat Valley, some 20 percent of the 10 to 15 thousand men who were inspired by cries of jihad to go off to fight the United States in Afghanistan did not return. In some cases, the losses were much higher: one Pakistani reported that 41 out of 43 of his comrades lost their lives in Afghanistan.29 These losses generated intense resentment of the militant Islamic leaders who prodded them to go off to war, unprepared and even unwelcome, while they themselves stayed back in the comfort of their native villages.

Pakistanis turned against the militant Islamic groups, especially those that encouraged devout Muslims to travel to Afghanistan and help the Taliban. For example, Tehrik Nifaz Shariat-e-Mohammedi has acknowledged that two to three thousand of its volunteers are missing and feared dead; the organization’s leader, Sufi Muhammad, found himself jailed by the Pakistani authorities when he returned from Afghanistan in November. There is also a widespread anger against him. "We curse Sufi Muhammad for sacrificing so many innocent lives," said one tribal elder. "It is because of him that so many children have become orphans and women widows."30 More broadly,
The battle fervor that swept this region at the beginning of the war has largely evaporated, as thousands of foreign volunteer fighters - many of them Pakistani - were left in the gun sights. … In these frontier communities, where the mullahs have always had more pull than the government, there is a deepening resentment of the religious leaders who called away so many young men to a certain death.31
To put it mildly, this is hardly the expected reaction to the American air campaign in Afghanistan, which many analysts predicted would convulse Pakistani society and perhaps even lead to an overthrow of the government by those sympathetic to militant Islam. Instead, a convincing demonstration of U.S. power led to the cowering and retreat of militant Islam.

A similar sequence can be seen in the Arabic-speaking countries. Martin Indyk, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel, noted that in the first week after the U.S. airstrikes began on Oct. 7, nine anti-American demonstrations took place. The second week saw three of them, the third week one, the fourth week, two. "Then – nothing," observes Indyk. "The Arab street is quiet."32 This is all the more remarkable given that the Arab-Israeli conflict, perhaps the most emotional touchstone of Arab life, heated up considerably at about the same time. A well-traveled reporter came to a similar conclusion:
nearly two months into an intense military campaign, and halfway through the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the Arab "street," or public opinion, appears to have responded to bin Laden’s call for an anti-Western uprising in the same way it has reacted to similar calls in the past from Islamic militants, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and others - by changing the channel and proceeding with business.33
In fact, the mood rapidly shifted in the opposite direction. For example, in Kuwait, where the law code was close to being brought into line with Islamic requirements and punishments before September 11, the reality of U.S. strength led to a rapid change in mood. "America’s swift reaction to the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and the scenes of Afghan joy at abolishing the very same religious restrictions, quickly damped enthusiasm" for such changes, reported the Wall Street Journal.34 A leader of Kuwait’s militant Islamic party forthrightly acknowledged the connection: "The secular people, they are triumphant now, they feel they are getting power.… Now, the secular people want to abolish all Islamic rules that are applied in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. There are even some voices about permitting alcohol."

In similar fashion, the Arab media turned on bin Laden when he began looking like a loser. Generalizing about this trend, the Washington Post found that "there has been a clear effort to discredit bin Laden in religious terms and shed light on his criminal bent, political aspirations and pretensions of piety."35 Indeed, some analysts went so far as to suspect that the damage bin Laden had caused Islam was an Israeli plot! "If world Zionism spent billions of dollars to tarnish the image of Islam, it will not accomplish what the terrorists have done with their actions and words."36 So far had bin Laden fallen that he was now no better than a tool of the alleged Jewish conspiracy.

The same patterns can be found throughout the Muslim world, in such countries as Indonesia, India, and Nigeria, where the overwrought passions of September quickly became distant memories.

American military success so encouraged the authorities that they began, finally, to crack down. This was again most evident in Pakistan. "There has been a profound shift in the politics of religious extremism in Pakistan over the last few weeks," reported the Los Angeles Times, which went on to explain that the government for years had permitted militant Islamic groups to operate with almost total freedom, seeing which way the wind was now blowing, it began to "rein in the jihad organizations and check their pervasive influence on the nation’s educational, political and social welfare systems." Those Swat Valley preachers, for example, found themselves behind bars. The most significant step came on 12 January 2002, when President Pervez Musharraf attacked militant Islam in a major speech ("The day of reckoning has come. Do we want Pakistan to become a theocratic state?") that one observer suggested "has the potential - the potential - to be the kind of mind-set-shattering breakthrough for the Muslim world that has not been seen since Anwar el-Sadat’s 1977 visit to Israel."37 Making good on his word, in just the first week after this historic speech, Musharraf had government forces close hundreds of religious offices and arrest over two thousand people. Militant Islamic groups aired much displeasure with these steps but did almost nothing to obstruct them ("We cannot fight against our own state, we can only wait for a better time").38

This pattern was replicated in other countries. The effective ruler of Saudi Arabia admonished religious leaders to be careful and responsible in their statements ("weigh each word before saying it")39 after he saw that Washington meant business. Likewise, the Egyptian government moved more aggressively against its militant Islamic elements. In Yemen, the government cracked down on the Islamist foreigners coming into the country. Similarly, in China, the government prohibited the selling of badges celebrating Osama bin Laden ("I am bin Laden. Who should I fear?")40 only after the U.S. victories began. Ironically, the same strengthening of resolve could be seen even in the United States itself; after monitoring the Holy Land Foundation, an Islamic "charitable" foundation, since 1993, the federal authorities only closed it down in December 2001 when it felt the confidence that came from its own successful military campaign.

9/11 vs. 11/9

The events of the brief three-month period following September 11 send a powerful and unambiguous message about the fortunes of militant Islam and the exercise of power.

If militant Islam achieved the acme of its achievement on 9/11, then 11/9 could be when the movement began its descent. The first date marked the peak of militant Islam, its day of greatest success in humiliating the West, causing death and panic. The second date, when the Taliban lost their first major city, marked an apparent turning point, with the West finding its resolve and its strength to deal with its new main enemy.

The marked contrast between these two dates has several implications for understanding the Muslim world. First, public opinion in the Muslim world is volatile, responding to developing events in an emotional, superficial, and changeable way. Second, as the Los Angeles Times notes, "popular support for militant Islam is not nearly so broad as was once believed."41 The movement is loud and it is vociferous, but it does not command more than a small minority of the Muslim world’s active support. Third, that militant Islam is a bit of a paper tiger – ferocious when unopposed but quite easily intimidated. Fourth, the so-called street has little bearing on developments. It rises up with much noise but without much consequence, unable to force governments to take its preferred actions. It dies down when its favorite causes fare poorly.

This is not to deny that much anger continues to be directed against the United States ("Jihad will continue until doomsday, or until America is defeated, either way")42 or that in some circles bin Laden retains his appeal (one Afghan: "to me, he is a god").43 It is only to say that American strength and resolve makes these sentiments less likely to become operational.

U.S. Policy Implications

For two decades – from the time Ayatollah Khomeini reached power in Iran in 1979 with "Death to America" as his slogan – U.S. embassies, planes, ships, and barracks were assaulted, leading to hundreds of American deaths. These attacks took place around the world, especially the Middle East and Europe, but also in the United States itself. In the face of this persistent assault, Washington barely responded. The policy through those years was to view the attacks as no more than a sequence of discrete criminal incidents, and not as part of a sustained military assault on the country. This approach had several consequences. It meant: As Muslims watched militant Islam hammer away at Americans and American interests, they could not but conclude that the United States, for all its resources, was tired and soft. Not knowing the nature of democracy – slow to be aroused but relentless when angered – they marveled at the audacity of militant Islam and its ability to get away with its attacks. This awe culminating in the aftermath of September 11, when Osama bin Laden and the Taliban leader called openly for nothing less than the "extinction of America."44 At that time, this did not seem beyond reach.

These ambitious claims shed light on the goals of the September 11 attacks. Although one cannot be sure of their purpose, it makes sense that they were intended severely to weaken the United States. Judging from militant Islam’s previous successes, Al-Qaeda must have thought that it would get away with this attack with no more than the usual criminal probe. Further, having seen both the American unwillingness to absorb casualties and the damage the Afghanistan-based Islamists did to the Soviet Union a decade and more earlier, Al-Qaeda probably thought that its hits would demoralize the American population and lead to civil unrest, perhaps even beginning a sequence of events that would eventually lead to the U.S. government’s collapse. If this was their thinking, they probably counted on the American police protecting government buildings, not tracking down Al-Qaeda operatives.

How could bin Laden and his colleagues know that their acts would lead to a rousing call to arms? Why should 240 deaths in a Beirut barracks lead to no retaliation and just over three thousand deaths on the east coast mobilize the country in a way not seen since Pearl Harbor? One can hardly fault them for not having foreseen this shift. It has something to do with the mysterious forces of democracy and public opinion, about which they are highly ignorant.

Even less could they have understood that a paradigm shift took place on September 11, whereby terrorism left the domain of criminality and entered that of warfare. This change had many implications. It meant no longer targeting just the foot soldiers who actually carry out the violence but the organizations and governments standing behind them. It meant relying on the armed forces, not policemen. It meant defense overseas rather than in American courtrooms. It meant organizations and governments sponsoring terrorism would pay a price, not just the foot-soldiers who carry it out. It meant dispensing with the unrealistically high expectations of proof so that when reasonable evidence points to a regime or organization having harmed Americans, U.S. military force can be deployed. It meant using force so that the punishment is disproportionately greater than the attack. It also meant that, as in conventional war, America’s military need not know the names and specific actions of enemy soldiers before fighting them. There is no need to know the precise identity of a perpetrator; in war, there are times when one strikes first and asks questions later.

It might seem mysterious that the military model was not adopted earlier, it being so obviously more appropriate than the criminal one. But the fact it, it is also much more demanding of Americans, requiring a readiness to spend money and lose lives over a long period. Force works only if part of sustained policy, not a one-time event. Throwing a few bombs (such as was done against the Libyan regime in 1986 and against sites in Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998) does not amount to a serious policy. Going the military route requires a long-term commitment that demands much from Americans over many years.

The pattern is clear: So long as Americans submitted passively to murderous attacks by militant Islam, this movement gained support among Muslims. When Americans finally took up arms to fight militant Islam, its forces were overwhelmed and its appeal quickly diminished. Victory on the battlefield, in other words, has not only the obvious advantage of protecting the United States but also the important side-effect of lancing the anti-American boil that spawned those attacks in the first place.

The implication is clear: There is no substitute for victory. If the U.S. government wishes to weaken its strategic enemy, militant Islam, it must take two steps. First, continue the war on terror globally, using appropriate means, starting with Afghanistan but going on to wherever militant Islam poses a threat, in Muslim-majority countries (such as Saudi Arabia), in Muslim-minority countries (such as the Philippines), and even in the United States itself. As this effort brings success, secondly Washington should promote moderate Muslims. Not only will they represent a wholesome change from the totalitarianism of militant Islam but they, and they alone, can address the trauma of Islam and propose ideas that will ease the way for one sixth of humanity fully to modernize.

Ironically, while Muslims did not feel the impact of September 11 as intensely as did Westerners, it is they in the long run who might well be far more profoundly affected by it.

1 Martin Kramer, "Islam’s Sober Millennium," 31 December 1999.
2 Shamim A. Siddiqi, Methodology of Dawah Ilallah in American Perspective (Brooklyn, N.Y.: The Forum for Islamic Work, 1989), pp. ix-x.
3 Imam Khomeini, Islam and Revolution trans. Hamid Algar, (Berkeley, Calif.: Mizan Press, 1981), pp. 286, 306.
4 Voice of Palestine, on 12 September 1997.#1e
5 Ash-Sha`b (Cairo), 22 July 1994. #101
6 The Sunday Independent, 26 November 1989. #37
7 Quoted in Steven Emerson, "The Other Fundamentalists," The New Republic, 12 June 1995, p. 30.
8 Simon Reeve,The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden, and the Future of Terrorism (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1999), p. 203.
9 Quoted in Reeve, The New Jackals, p. 213.
10 Reuters, 19 October 2001.
11 Reuters, 14 October 2001,
12 The Washington Post, 9 October 2001.
13 Reuters, 8 October 2001.
14 Time, 15 October 2001.
15 The New York Times, 13 October 2001.
16 Reuters, 11 October 2001.
17 The New York Times, 30 September 2001
18 The Boston Globe, 10 October 2001.
19 The Independent, 11 October 2001.
20 The Guardian, 9 October 2001.
21 The Independent, 11 October 2001.
22 IRI, 11 October 2001.
23 Newsweek, 14 October 2001.
24 The Washington Post, 9 October 2001.
25 Reuters, 17? October 2001. http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/asia/story/0,1870,77031,00.html
26 Newsweek, 15 October 2001.
27 The Washington Post, 9 October 2001.
28 Associated Press, 17 November 2001.
29 The New York Times, 27 January 2002.
30 Associated Press, 11 December 2001.
31 Los Angeles Times, 3, 10 December 2001.
32 Newhouse News Service, 16 November 2001.
33 Howard Schneider, "Arab ‘Street’ Unmoved by News," The Washington Post, 30 November 2001.
34 31 December 2001.
35 The Washington Post, 23 November 2001.
36 Nabil Luka Bibawi in Al-Ahram, cited in The Washington Post, 23 November 2001.
37 Thomas L. Friedman, "Pakistan’s Constitution Avenue," The New York Times, 20 January 2002.
38 Reuters, 18 January 2002.
39 Arab News, 15 November 2001.
40 Associated Press, 17 November 2001, quoting Beijing Youth Daily.
41 Los Angeles Times, 3, 10 December 2001.
42 The New York Times, 27 January 2002.
43 The Times (London),, 19 January 2002.
44 Associated Press, 15 November 2001.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 911; islam
Great article on how the Islamofascists didn't realize what a hornets' nest they were poking on 9/11, and how it will come back to destroy them.
1 posted on 06/10/2002 7:55:45 AM PDT by white trash redneck
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To: all
I don't feel like contributing today. ~~~ Wait until you see "Unable to locate server"
I don't have money. ~~~ Help with the fundraiser. Bump the threads, ping your FRiends.
There's plenty of time to donate. ~~~ Bill collectors don't see it that way.
I don't know where to contribute. ~~~ Credit card, mail: FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 , Paypal: JimRob@psnw.com
I've got too many other things to do first. ~~~ Don't we all?
I can't contribute much, what's five dollars. ~~~ If everyone contributed one dollar a month, we'd never have a fundraiser again.
The dog ate my credit card. ~~~ Shoot the dog.
Just let me finish freeping. ~~~ BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Don't wait until it's too late. Do it today. Do it now! Free Republic is funded solely by us. It's up to us to keep it running. Do your part, contribute if you can. Bump the fundraising threads. Help keep this place alive!

2 posted on 06/10/2002 7:56:50 AM PDT by WIMom
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To: white trash redneck
Bump for later reading.
3 posted on 06/10/2002 8:02:45 AM PDT by DoctorMichael
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To: white trash redneck
Islamo-apologistic crap. Sounds like a speech Al Gore wrote. Utterly irrelevant. When enough Americans have been murdered by these savages, we will destroy them. The pity is that more thousands of Americans have to die first.
4 posted on 06/10/2002 8:03:07 AM PDT by pabianice
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To: white trash redneck
To be Muslim meant to be on the winning team.

Hardly.
It's a one-way ticket to hell.


5 posted on 06/10/2002 8:04:34 AM PDT by ppaul
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To: pabianice
How do you read this:

The implication is clear: There is no substitute for victory. If the U.S. government wishes to weaken its strategic enemy, militant Islam, it must take two steps. First, continue the war on terror globally, using appropriate means, starting with Afghanistan but going on to wherever militant Islam poses a threat, in Muslim-majority countries (such as Saudi Arabia), in Muslim-minority countries (such as the Philippines), and even in the United States itself. As this effort brings success, secondly Washington should promote moderate Muslims. Not only will they represent a wholesome change from the totalitarianism of militant Islam but they, and they alone, can address the trauma of Islam and propose ideas that will ease the way for one sixth of humanity fully to modernize.

as "Islamo-apologist crap"? Pipes has always been a hard liner in the Mideast.

6 posted on 06/10/2002 8:06:31 AM PDT by white trash redneck
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To: Economist_MA
Wake up Ping
7 posted on 06/10/2002 8:07:13 AM PDT by Maceman
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To: pabianice
More broadly, to understand the impact of September 11 on the Muslim world requires putting aside the response in the West and immersing oneself in Muslim sensibilities...

I "understand" the impact, allright, and I do it just fine without the touchy-feely New Age BS.

I am as "Immersed" as I need to be....Now.

I was always receptive to other points of view, but as of September 11, 2001, I do not wish to hear one thing from a (deleted) murder cult, except "Goodbye".

As if they have even SEEN a "Response from the West" yet!

8 posted on 06/10/2002 8:11:10 AM PDT by Gorzaloon
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To: WIMom
Very informative article. We can applaud President Bush for pursuing his policy of hammering at pockets of militant Islam while promoting ties with moderate Arab leaders.
9 posted on 06/10/2002 8:14:00 AM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: white trash redneck
Not knowing the nature of democracy – slow to be aroused but relentless when angered

It's not the nature of democracy (France is a democracy)-- it's the nature of AMERICA!!!!

10 posted on 06/10/2002 8:19:31 AM PDT by Maceman
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To: white trash redneck
Not only will they represent a wholesome change from the totalitarianism of militant Islam but they, and they alone, can address the trauma of Islam and propose ideas that will ease the way for one sixth of humanity fully to modernize.

Hmmm......sounds like wishful thinking to me.

11 posted on 06/10/2002 8:24:24 AM PDT by adx
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To: pabianice
Islamo-apologistic crap.

Read the whole article.

12 posted on 06/10/2002 8:35:37 AM PDT by mondonico
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To: white trash redneck
The major vulnerability of Islam is its fatalistic viewpoint on events happening because it's "the will of Allah". When things go seriously wrong, the obvious reason is that Allah has turned against their cause
13 posted on 06/10/2002 9:08:04 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor
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To: Gorzaloon
That isn't touchy-feely New AGe BS, it's knowing your enemy.

"Know yourself and know your enemy, and in a hundred battles you will never be in peril." Sun Tzu, The Art of War

14 posted on 06/10/2002 9:13:23 AM PDT by Poohbah
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To: white trash redneck
How could bin Laden and his colleagues know that their acts would lead to a rousing call to arms? Why should 240 deaths in a Beirut barracks lead to no retaliation and just over three thousand deaths on the east coast mobilize the country in a way not seen since Pearl Harbor? One can hardly fault them for not having foreseen this shift. It has something to do with the mysterious forces of democracy and public opinion, about which they are highly ignorant.

Yup, they provoked the "American Street."

Bad move. They should have consulted Yamamoto.

"In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success."

Great post. Bookmarked, and probably emailed to everyone I know :)

15 posted on 06/10/2002 9:17:11 AM PDT by Britton J Wingfield
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To: white trash redneck
"the Muslim world had experienced more than eighty years of 'humiliation and disgrace' at American hands, during which its sons were killed and its sanctities defiled."

Wrong!

the Muslim world had experienced more than eighty years of 'humiliation and disgrace', during which its sons were killed and its sanctities defiled, and the Muslims themselves are to blame. No one else.

The sooner Muslims realize that they are responsible for their own destiny--for their own humiliation and disgrace--for the death of their sons and the defiling of their sanctities--for their poverty and backwardness--the better off they're going to be.

And the September 11 massacre, the dancing in the streets afterward, the Muslim terrorism have defiled Islam even further--have brought nothing but disgrace to Islam and Muslims--have been a profound humiliation to them before history and all the world.

Muslims can thank themselves.

"...a sense of failure has suffused Muslim life. If Islam brings God’s grace, many Muslims have asked themselves, why then do Muslims fare so poorly? "
Because Islam does not bring God's grace. The best thing for these benighted people to do is to repudiate Islam and convert to Christianity.
"Despite extensive soul-searching, Muslims have not yet found an answer to the question 'what went wrong?"
That's easy. They worshipped a false "idol" insead of God. They accepted a phoney "religion". Their entire commitment was to baloney. They need to convert.
"They have bounced from one scheme to another, finding satisfaction in none of them."
They're trying everything except the one thing that is the answer: Abandon Islam. Convert to Christianity.
"Islamists see the United States as an aggressive force that seeks to steal Muslims’ resources,"
No.
" exploit their labor,"
No.
" and undermine their religion. "
Yes. A worthy goal.

All the problems that plague the unfortunate souls can be solved by their conversion to Christianity.

Islam is the problem. They are worshipping a false "idol". Whether they know it or not--and on some level they probably do--they have been worshipping Satan--not God.

They need to turn to God--not Satan.

God will help them. He is the answer.

16 posted on 06/10/2002 9:29:12 AM PDT by Savage Beast
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To: Ciexyz
Ironically, the same strengthening of resolve could be seen even in the United States itself; after monitoring the Holy Land Foundation, an Islamic "charitable" foundation, since 1993, the federal authorities only closed it down in December 2001 when it felt the confidence that came from its own successful military campaign.

Strange, isn't it, that this change of heart came at the same time the regime changed from Clinton to Bush? This happened because Bush is a man of principle, not an empty moral and ethical suit like Clinton, and not from gaining confidence from a successful military campaign. The successful military campaign resulted from the same man's resolve.

17 posted on 06/10/2002 9:33:20 AM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot
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To: white trash redneck
Despite extensive soul-searching, Muslims have not yet found an answer to the question "what went wrong?" Instead, they have bounced from one scheme to another, finding satisfaction in none of them. A succession of false starts have left Muslims deeply perplexed about their predicament, and not a little frustrated. In all, Muslims sense their own conspicuous lack of success in emerging from the humiliation of their current circumstances.

And so, militant Islamists prove to be an immature group flashing juvenile tempers and fashioning impotent responses when faced with adult challenges. Their main problem is that as the world moved to from tyranny to the liberty of a republic, they remained, and still remain focused on an afterlife continuing to subject themselves to the will of those claiming to control access to that afterlife.

The latter half of the second millenium has shown that tyrannies are no match for republics, although they can cause a great deal of damage when left unchecked. Muslims will find their lives much more rewarding and the world a whole lot more friendly and understanding once they ditch their overlords.

18 posted on 06/10/2002 9:55:35 AM PDT by laredo44
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To: Poohbah
That isn't touchy-feely New AGe BS, it's knowing your enemy.

True. To know is good. To sympathize, however..... :-)

There was a tone of "Compassionate understanding" beneath the surface that put me off.

19 posted on 06/10/2002 9:57:23 AM PDT by Gorzaloon
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To: pabianice
Islamo-apologistic crap. Sounds like a speech Al Gore wrote.

You clearly didn't read the whole article. Please do so.

20 posted on 06/10/2002 9:57:47 AM PDT by Dan Day
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To: Gorzaloon
To a certain extent, you HAVE to "sympathize" with ytour enemy--you have to understand WHAT he wants, why he REALLY didn't get it, and why he THINKS he didn't get it.

That takes, among other skills, the ability to empathize with one's fellow human beings.

21 posted on 06/10/2002 9:59:32 AM PDT by Poohbah
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To: white trash redneck
the Muslim world had experienced more than eighty years of "humiliation and disgrace" at American hands

And that's before you pissed us off.

22 posted on 06/10/2002 10:01:27 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Gorzaloon
I "understand" the impact, allright, and I do it just fine without the touchy-feely New Age BS.

Try reading the whole article. Its point is that given the Muslim outlook, the harder we hit them, the less enthusiastic they become about terrorism, the more discredited their whackos become, and the more influence the moderates in their society gain. It makes a great case that Bush was right, and the "but you'll just make them mad" peaceniks were wrong.

23 posted on 06/10/2002 10:01:27 AM PDT by Dan Day
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To: white trash redneck
"Power, wealth, health, and education moved elsewhere"

Those things tend to happen under a cruel, totalitarian dictatorship.

24 posted on 06/10/2002 10:05:49 AM PDT by MEGoody
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To: pabianice
2 yrs ago, i doubt it would have mattered how many were killed. It would have been followed by legal action and maybe a few missiles. History says that.
25 posted on 06/10/2002 10:08:54 AM PDT by smith288
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To: white trash redneck
The only disagreement I have with this is the term "Islamists" to label the enemy. I prefer something along the lines of "Jihadist" so as to differentiate from the term Islam. We're not exactly dealing with very sophisticated peoples where literacy is prevalent.
26 posted on 06/10/2002 10:11:03 AM PDT by ValenB4
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To: pabianice
You probably didn't do very well on your SAT verbal test did you?
27 posted on 06/10/2002 10:12:31 AM PDT by ValenB4
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To: Poohbah
You have it correct,as any good salesman can tell you,
there is a very great difference between sympathy and empathy.
28 posted on 06/10/2002 10:14:19 AM PDT by tet68
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: white trash redneck
"If Islam brings God’s grace, many Muslims have asked themselves, why then do Muslims fare so poorly?"

A) Because of an inherent hostility to anyone not muslim
B) And because they worship a MOON GOD.
30 posted on 06/10/2002 10:21:44 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic
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To: Gorzaloon
It sounded like a "This is why they are confused and on the wrong side of victory" type of explaination.

Reading an entire article does wonders.

31 posted on 06/10/2002 10:38:55 AM PDT by smith288
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To: white trash redneck
Their "humiliation" is rooted in their original refusal to enter the 20th Century, now compounded by the fact they've fallen yet another century behind!

At the rate the Arab world is progressing, it's "Middle Ages, here we come!"

32 posted on 06/10/2002 11:20:00 AM PDT by Redbob
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To: smith288
I'm an Economist, so while I may lack the specific training, I can usually muscle through the math if given time, so I'd appreciate any explanation from someone with a better understanding than the average book reviewer

I admit to a lack of patience. If something appears to be headed in an unacceptable direction, my mind instantly gags on it.

I was not this way on September 10th of last year.

There have been so many articles that turn out sympathetic to the killers, that I cannot see beyond my fury, and sadly, admit it.

..And admit, that on certain matters, I "Simply do not want to hear it." It is a sad thing to happen to someone who was brought up by accepting and nonjudgemental parents.

But I am, with a lot of others, someone else now.

33 posted on 06/10/2002 11:26:53 AM PDT by Gorzaloon
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To: Gorzaloon
Bah.Wrong quote was in my "Cut and paste buffer"! Don't even try to make sense of the prior post!!!!

Sorry!

34 posted on 06/10/2002 11:28:10 AM PDT by Gorzaloon
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To: white trash redneck
I'm glad the scholars of the world are willing to wade through this much BS to understand things. Personaly I find it tedious. It all boils down to something much easier to understand.

Muslims MUST kill Jews. This is the center of their being in this age. We won't let them so we deserve to die. That's the real crux of the matter. Islam is paltry religion that has fostered little but corrupt potentates and misery. The West has fostered a lot of crap it's true. We've also raised mankind to his greatest heights. We are still a people of charity more than a people of pornographic excess.

As long as Islam insists on violence we should return it to them ten fold.

35 posted on 06/10/2002 11:35:44 AM PDT by mercy
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To: white trash redneck
In similar fashion, the Arab media turned on bin Laden when he began looking like a loser... Indeed, some analysts went so far as to suspect that the damage bin Laden had caused Islam was an Israeli plot!

ROTFLMBO -- that says it all!

36 posted on 06/10/2002 11:39:12 AM PDT by justanotherfreeper
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To: white trash redneck
Reminds me of the quote about Germans:
"The Hun is either at your throat or at your feet."

A solid firepower demonstration and these dogs shut up.
37 posted on 06/10/2002 11:52:44 AM PDT by Kozak
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To: Kozak
BUMP
38 posted on 06/10/2002 12:06:07 PM PDT by Pagey
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To: Gorzaloon
I appreciate your honesty... 9-11 did alot to alot of us.
39 posted on 06/10/2002 12:30:28 PM PDT by smith288
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To: white trash redneck
bump for later
40 posted on 06/10/2002 12:56:16 PM PDT by iceskater
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To: ValenB4
You probably didn't do very well on your SAT verbal test did you?

624 (in 1963). Corrected to today's scaled-up score, 702. And you?

41 posted on 06/10/2002 1:25:41 PM PDT by pabianice
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To: white trash redneck
The Westerner, in the view of ‘Adil Husayn, a leading Egyptian writer, is "nothing but an animal whose major concern is to fill his belly."5 Immoral, consumerist, and threatening, he deserves to die.

hmmm consumerist west? Maybe, but at least we do not consume such ridiculous rhetoric regarding our enemies. Americans would be ashamed of themselves if the thought of calling Middle Easterners that way crossed their minds.

42 posted on 06/10/2002 1:55:32 PM PDT by lavaroise
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To: pabianice
624 (in 1963). Corrected to today's scaled-up score, 702. And you?

Anyone can say anything on the internet. Regardless, I don't care if you had an 800. Your reply #4 indicates that you either didn't read the entire article or that your reading comprehension has declined since 1963.

By the way, how were you able to come up with such a precise score translation? I'd like to see my updated numbers.

43 posted on 06/10/2002 2:12:44 PM PDT by ValenB4
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To: white trash redneck
Will this myth that Islam failed in the 19th century or that they had some sort of superior culture in the middle ages ever get debunked by the professionals?

1)We turned them back at the battle of Lepanto centuries before that.

2) The intellectual achievements of Islam were those of the conquered peoples and as soon as a generation or two passed these acheivements wained. Islamic cultural acheivements are based in the culture of Hellas, the eastern Roman Empire and Persia. They are not Islamic, Arab or even Turkish in origin or inspiration. Even at the time of Suleman, the gifted players in the Ottoman Empire were Europeans that were captured as boys, mostly in the Balkans. With the exception of the "damascus" steel technique, a technique that predates Islam, all of their military technologies were direct copies of western ones. Often their master shipwrights, smiths and gunsmiths were in fact westerners.

Finally, most of this "legacy" is merely the transmition of Ancient Greco-Roman knowledge to late Medieval Europe.

This notion that there was this golden age of islam that rivaled the achievemnts of the west is just so much multicultural BS promulgated by leftists in academy. What is particularly noxious here is the attempt to exclude the accomplishments of the ancient world from a consideration of European Civilization. This is not the case - a millenium before the Prophet the Greek produced a cultural achievement unmatched by few civilaization. Perhaps only the Chinese can claim parity; Islam most certainly cannot do so.

This business is as loony has the Nazi's imaginary pre-christian, aryan golden age or Pol Pot's ancient golden age for the Khmer. This reading of history betrays a basic knowledge of fact and an incredible philsophical naivete.

44 posted on 06/10/2002 2:32:50 PM PDT by CasearianDaoist
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To: white trash redneck
the Arab media turned on bin Laden when he began looking like a loser

Remember that video of Bin Laden when his beard was all grey and he looked weak and ill? I'll bet that's when he began to lose his mythical god-like status. He began to look like the tired, old limp-wristed self-absorbed swine that he is in real life. Also, watching the Afghanis celebrate his departure was priceless.

45 posted on 06/10/2002 4:07:43 PM PDT by foreshadowed at waco
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To: sabertooth
Interesting read
46 posted on 06/10/2002 4:27:03 PM PDT by sarasmom
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To: ValenB4
624 (in 1963). Corrected to today's scaled-up score, 702. And you?

Anyone can say anything on the internet. Regardless, I don't care if you had an 800. Your reply #4 indicates that you either didn't read the entire article or that your reading comprehension has declined since 1963.

By the way, how were you able to come up with such a precise score translation? I'd like to see my updated numbers.

In 1979, SAT scores were "re-normed" because they had fallen so far, so fast. At that time they added 78 points to verbal scores and 24 points to math scores. This system remains in place.

I did not have the entire article to read. Someone sent me the first part, with a link to the FreeP posting. I replied to that.

47 posted on 06/11/2002 12:11:13 PM PDT by pabianice
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To: smith288
I appreciate your honesty... 9-11 did alot to alot of us.

Thank you. I think the best thing I should do is simply not post on threads with these subjects, and shall try to avoid it in the future. Like most people, I dislike ugly thoughts and feelings, and I am afraid that is all I presently have regarding Islam.

I am ashamed to say this, but this entire event has made me understand personally how ordinary middle-class people in Germany felt regarding the Holocaust, whether by passive denial, or by actual encouragement.

Presently, were a meteorite to strike Mecca when it was most crowded, I would have little compassion-and despite my curmudgeonly posts on other matters, that is really not typical of my personal feelings.

I just do not see any peaceable way the West and Islam can be reconciled, nor can I imagine them coexisting.

The mere mention of the "I" word is like a red flag to a bull for me, and it doubtless would make me a happier person if I never thought of it.

Nothing has ever done this to me before.

48 posted on 06/11/2002 4:16:05 PM PDT by Gorzaloon
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