Saturday, February 23, 2008

The War on Terror: It's Not All Uneducated Muslims and Attacks on America

"It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims."
(" 'Innocent religion is now a message of hate' " Telegraph (UK) (April 9, 2004))

I would put more emphasis on the "almost" in that statement, but it's essentially true.

There are non-Islamic terrorists, of course, like And there are non-Islamic groups like the white-supremacist National Alliance, and the militia that inspired Timothy McVeigh, which teach intolerance as much as Al Qaeda or the Taliban.

Even so, jihadist Muslims have earned Islam a reputation for having a near-monopoly on terrorist attacks.

The terrorist-on-the-street also has a reputation for being an uneducated loser, and American news media may give the impression that America is almost the only target of terrorism.

Recent events, starting with the London/Glasgow attacks last year, show that terrorists aren't necessarily ignorant, uneducated, and on the low end of the economic ladder. And, although I think that the "great Satan America" is a major target of Islamic terrorists, it isn't their only target. For example, "The Times of India" discussed the recent arrests of several Islamic terrorists:
  • Muzammil Sheikh
    software engineer
    (2006 train bombings in Mumbai)
    Arrested after police learned that his brother, Faizal Sheikh was an LeT (Lashkar-e-Toiba ("Army of the Pure")) leader
  • Sabeel Ahmed
    MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery, I think)
    (London terror plot and attack on Glasgow (UK) airport)
  • Kafeel Ahmed
    PhD scholar in aeronautical engineering
    (London terror plot and attack on Glasgow (UK) airport)
    Died of burns suffered in Glasgow attack
  • Mohammed Asif
    MBBS student
    (Unspecified terrorist activity)
  • Asaduallah Abubaker
    MBBS student
    (Unspecified terrorist activity)
  • Yahya Khan1
    (Unspecified terrorist activity)
Another Indian Muslim proved the point that not all Muslims are terrorists:
  • Mohammed Haneef
    a physician in an Australian hospital
    (London terror plot and attack on Glasgow (UK) airport:
    accused courts found no evidence and freed him: (is a cousin of the Ahmed brothers, but not linked to terrorism otherwise))
Dr. Mohammed Haneef was detained by Australian authorities in a display of inept buffoonery worthy of Arthur Conan Doyle's Inspector Lestrade. (I harangued about that debacle in "Cool Heads, Lukewarm Brains, And Dr. Haneef" (July 30, 2007).)

The Times of India's article discussed what is still regarded as something of an oddity: These accused terrorists are well-educated men, not the sort of 'poor, uneducated, and easily-led' person that a terrorist is supposed to be.

More of my view on this assumption in
1Yahya Khan's activity gets a little more attention in "Terrorists as an Oppressed Class: That was Then, This is Now" (February 23, 2008).

"The Times of India" articles referenced in this post:

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.