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It’s time to define Islamism as a crime against humanity

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by AroundTheWorld, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. AroundTheWorld

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    The attacks at Nairobi, Kenya’s Westgate shopping mall follow a familiar pattern to other attacks that occurred in the last few days: in Pakistan, where 81 were killed in the bombing of a church, and in Nigeria where 159 people were slaughtered by Islamists near Maiduguri.

    The attacks at Nairobi, Kenya’s Westgate shopping mall follow a familiar pattern to other attacks that occurred in the last few days: in Pakistan, where 81 were killed in the bombing of a church, and in Nigeria where 159 people were slaughtered by Islamists near Maiduguri.

    The media and political reactions also follow a neatly crafted script we have all become accustomed to.

    First Islamist terrorists attack civilians, attempting to sort out the Muslims from the non-Muslims so as to kill only one group. There are the condemnations of “senseless acts of violence” and appeals for “calm and unity.” Then all is forgotten.

    Those terrorists captured alive will be put on trial and perhaps executed. And life goes back to normal with the refrain, “terrorism will not prevail.” The problem is that this script misses a central facet of Islamist terrorism: We must stop treating it as a simple isolated crime; even the word “terrorism” has begun to downplay its actual horror; rather it must be defined as a worldwide crime against humanity.

    When the al-Shabaab attack began in Kenya, witnesses related that Muslims were permitted to leave. “They came and said: ‘If you are Muslim, stand up. We’ve come to rescue you,’” Elijah Lamau told the BBC.

    The Muslims put their hands up and walked past the gunmen. “One man with a Christian first name but a Muslim-sounding surname managed to escape the attackers by putting his thumb over his first name on his ID. However... an Indian man standing next to him who was asked for the name of the Prophet Muhammad’s mother was shot dead when he was unable to answer.”

    Similarly, in 2004, 17 al-Qaida terrorists attacked the Oasis compound housing oilcompany employees in Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

    Upon entering the compound, the terrorists waylaid the first Arab looking man they saw and said: “Are you Muslim or Christian? We don’t want to kill Muslims.

    Show us where the Americans and Westerners live.” The killers then came upon a US citizen from Iraq named Abu Hashem.

    He later told reporters that the attackers were polite; “They gave me a lecture on Islam and said they were defending their country and ridding it of infidels.” “Don’t be afraid,” they told him, “we won’t kill Muslims, even if you are an American.”

    The murderers then proceeded to hunt down non-Muslims from the US, South Africa, Sri Lanka, India, the Philippines, Egypt and Sweden. After a 24-hour siege, 22 of the residents were murdered and many others wounded.

    In another instance, on November 27, 2008, in the midst of the Mumbai terror attacks, the perpetrators received a call from their Pakistan-based masters, asking, “How many hostages do you have?” The terrorist responded that they had killed a Belgian hostage but had others.

    “I hope there is no Muslim among them.”

    “No, none,” replied the killer.

    Later the Pakistani handlers called the terrorists at the Oberoi Trident Hotel and spoke to those located on the 10th floor. The intercepted conversation goes as follows: “Kill all the hostages, except the two Muslims, keep your phone switched on so we can hear the gunfire.”

    They reply, “We have three foreigners, including women from Singapore and China.”

    Then the terrorist can be heard telling the hostages to line up, asking the two Muslims to stand to one side. Gunfire reverberates, followed by cheering from the terrorists.

    IT IS interesting how quickly reports of these attacks downplay the guilt of the attackers and filter references to the focus on non-Muslims and the allowing some Muslims to escape the carnage. In November 2009 Fareed Zakaria at CNN did a special on the Mumbai transcripts. Zakaria claims the men were sent from Pakistan with “instructions simply to kill.” After playing one clip in which any reference to letting Muslims live is absent, he notes that “they were told to go to Mumbai and kill as many people as they could.” Actually they were told to go to Mumbai to kill non-Muslims.

    Zakaria emphasizes that the terrorists were poverty-stricken children. “These are peasant boys,” he says. To his credit, he does play a transcript from the terrorist attack at Nariman house, where the Chabad center was targeted. The CNN host mentions the “animus against Jews” but then claims, “in the ’60s and ’70s most Indian Muslims would not even know where Palestine was.”

    He compares the actions of the terrorists to “brainwashing... it’s sort of the Manchurian Candidate writ large.” Later in the program the presenter again attempts to emphasize how young the terrorists were “these are peasant boys... these kids seem like teenagers... it [their action] seems almost mercenary.”

    Note how often Zakaria stresses that these were “boys” – he calls them “boys” twice, “kids” twice and “teenagers” once.

    The only terrorist captured alive, Ajmal Kasab, was 21 at the time of the attacks.

    The oldest attacker, Nasir Abu Umar, was 28, while the youngest was 20.

    Why the conscious effort to redefine these men as children? Why the conscious decision not to include the part of the transcript including the instructions not to kill Muslims, and to paint the attack as indiscriminate? The real story was that these men set out to kill as many non-Muslims as possible.

    The media seeks to hide this facet to foster the narrative of “unity,” yet presenting Muslims and non-Muslims as the victims of terror obscures the genocidal nature of the crime. When the radical, right wing Golden Dawn party gained popularity last year, the media highlighted the “antiimmigrant violence” it was involved in.

    There was no downplaying the members as “peasant boys” or obscuring of who the violence was directed at.

    THESE THREE examples – Mumbai, Khobar and Nairobi – are only the tip of the iceberg. From southern Thailand, to Mindanao in the Philippines, to Syria and beyond, the Islamist or jihadist mentality leads to the mass killing of either non- Muslims, or sometimes to the sectarian slaughter of Muslims, usually Shi’ites.

    Hundreds of Shi’ites are massacred every year in Pakistan by the Taliban, for instance.

    In many cases the terrorists separate Shi’ites from non-Shi’ites, usually identifying them by their first names. For instance, on August 17, 2012, it was reported that “gunmen wearing army uniforms checked the identification cards of the passengers, lined up the Shi’ite passengers on the roadside, tied their hands and then opened fire on them.” Sound familiar? Many over the years have identified Islamism as “Islamo-fascism” and argued that it champions a form of genocide. But it has not sunk in. We don’t prosecute terrorists as war criminals committing crimes against humanity. Instead, we often obfuscate the nature of terrorist attacks, pretending that terrorists are “misguided youth” who “set out to kill as many as possible.”

    The genocidal nature of this type of terror is downplayed. The New York Times described the Nairobi perpetrators as “Shabaab militant attackers.” Really? When they killed 78-year-old Ghanian poet Kofi Awooner and Kenyan radio host Ruhila Adatia-Sood, was that part of a “military” operation? The scenes of piles of dead women sprawled on the floor of the mall; is that “militant?” In a Times article on the anniversary of the Ku Klux Klan bombing of a church in 1963 the perpetrators are not called “militants.” Yet the objectives and methods of the KKK were no different than the Shabaab or Taliban: the killing of specific groups. No one pretends the KKK “set out to kill indiscriminately.”

    The KKK is estimated to have killed 4,743 people between 1882 and 1968. The number of primarily sectariantargeted killings in Iraq in 2012 was 4,574.

    That’s just Iraq.

    Adding up the number of victims from attacks patterned along the lines of the one carried out in Kenya, or the ethnic cleansing of non-Muslims in places such as Egypt and Northern Nigeria, would bring the number up to tens of thousands in the past decade – millions in the past century. This is a “soft” genocide, embodied by the firebombing of a church in Egypt or the shooting of Alawite truck drivers in Syria.

    It is time to stop hiding what connects Mumbai to Westgate and Khobar. It is a worldwide campaign of ethnic cleansing and murder, and the world community must define this as a crime against humanity and not just as “terrorism.”

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Column...e-Islamism-as-a-crime-against-humanity-326888
     
  2. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    ATW, You know I have the ability to criticize Islam when needed, but read the comment section for that article. Do you really want to be associated with those wackos? I mean... "shut down all mosques".... or "Islam should be proscribed and its practice forbidden"?
    80% of the comments there are about some sort of extermination of Islam or banning of it. Those are the type of people that read and agree with that article. Are you finally down to their level? You always preached how you were really good at distinguishing between a regular Muslim and an extremist. Just think what would happen if "Islamism"... was considered a "crime against humanity". My mother is a loving caring individual who practices Islam. If the entire world associates Islam as a "crime against humanity", do you think someone like my mother would be spared by the hate rhetoric if she practices something where people consider it a "crime against humanity"?
     
  3. da1

    da1 Member

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    You've officially gone off the deep end.
     
  4. itstheyear3030

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    Though I'm not a huge fan of Islam or religion in general, I find it hard to take seriously any article written by someone who thinks that comparing the entirety of the Muslim world to the KKK is in any way a valid analogy.
     
  5. AroundTheWorld

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    fchowd311, you know better than to care about what people post in these comments. If you read them, I'm sure you also read the comments of the Islamist nutcase that basically said the mall victims deserved what they got because the mall was partly Israeli owned.

    The comments don't impact the validity of the point the article makes: These terrorist attacks and murders are not really isolated incidents: They have a common theme: War against non-Muslims and assertion of a superiority of Islam. And if you were to follow the money trail, they are also funded out of the same countries. Basically, the people who fund this are using the actual terrorists to help them lead an ideologically motivated, deeply disingenuous proxy war.
     
  6. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    How about we outlaw all religion as a crime against reality?
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. itstheyear3030

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    Did you just use a colon within a colon? :eek: Props.

    Anyway, it seems to me that the ultimate point of the article is somewhat unclear. Is the author saying that acts of Islamic terrorism should be called a crime against humanity or the practice of the religion itself?

    In the case of the former, I doubt whether you call it terrorism or a crime against humanity will much change the perception of the acts in the eyes of the majority of the world's population; namely that they are atrocious acts of violence motivated partly by religion and partly by socioeconomic factors. Of course, the extent to which religion plays a role is up for debate.

    In the case of the latter, I'm not sure how helpful that would be given that such a label would be inaccurate as to a significant potion, if not the majority, of Muslims (i.e. non radicals). Calling the practice of Islam a "crime against humanity" would just be water off a duck's back for extremists, but would also serve to radicalize more Muslims.
     
  8. OmegaSupreme

    OmegaSupreme Contributing Member

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    as an aside, when was the last time you were in münchen, atw?

    yo dawg, we put a colon in your colon, so you can punctuate when you punctuate (did i do that right?).
     
  9. AroundTheWorld

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    P.S.: fchowd311, I assume your mother does not aggressively assert superiority of Islam over other beliefs, right? So I am pretty sure this article has nothing to do with her.

    If I had to make a comparison between the relationship of a person to their country and to their religion, I would compare your mother to a regular patriot, which is perfectly fine - I would compare someone who thinks their nation is better than others and should have power over others (a nationalist) to an Islamist and someone who actually pursues this violently (a militant nationalist like the Nazis) to a militant Islamist.
     
  10. AroundTheWorld

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    Last week - going back there soon. Oktoberfest...
     
  11. AroundTheWorld

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    LOL, I was typing from my phone.

    Obviously not the practice of the religion itself. I think that should really be obvious. If I had to define it: The militant assertion of superiority of one religion over other beliefs should be considered a crime against humanity.

    From my point of view, as I said, the main interesting point the article makes is another one: These incidents are not to be seen as isolated from each other. They are following a common theme (war against "non-believers", path to establishment of a caliphate = subjugation of non-believers, funding from the same sources) and are part of an overall plan and scheme.
     
  12. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    So then you wouldn't define Islamism as a crime against humanity -- only militant Islamism?

    Even that would not in my view qualify unless it is applied in a coordinated and systematic manner. So extreme oppression or violence by a state or by a group in its local area on the basis of alleged Islamic doctrine could be perhaps characterized as a crime against humanity. But not Islamism itself.
     
  13. bongman

    bongman Member

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    In your opinion, does the Crusades, Salem witch hunts, forceful conversion to Christianity of conquered countries, holocaust, etc qualify?
     
  14. AroundTheWorld

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    Yes...
     
  15. AroundTheWorld

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    You don't think the worldwide attacks are (at least loosely) coordinated? Do you think they are all locally funded?
     
  16. conquistador#11

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    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dq65tZJkhQQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  17. NewRoxFan

    NewRoxFan Contributing Member

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    So is one religion asserting superiority over another is the key? My mom was Jewish, which made her, and me, part of the Chosen Few. But not my dad, who was Catholic. Which also meant my mom's and dad's families did not like each other. And neither's churches recognized the marriage. I am now a Chrstan, and as such I am saved, and can enter Heaven, but others can't. Are not all theses examples of a religion asserting superiority over another?

    More to the point, once we start assigning blame for wrong acts indiscriminately we risk wrongdoing to those who are innocent. In other words, this sort of article risks violent acts against people like fchowd's mom...which seems as wrong as the very wrong acts of violence the article supposedly opposes.
     
  18. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    Don't lable the majority of Muslims as being guilty of a crime against humanity because a minority of that religion are guilty of a crime against humanity.
     
  19. mugrakers

    mugrakers Member

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    The troll be loose and hungry after the summer.
     
  20. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Far more violence has been committed in the name of Islam than by the KKK. To compare the overall negative impact of the KKK to Islam is insulting. It isn't even close, the impact of violence done in the name of Islam FAR out paces any damage that the KKK has.
     

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