Saturday, March 29, 2008

The War on Terror: It's Not Just the Middle East

Just a reminder: The war on terror isn't limited to the Middle East. There's trouble all over. And, the situation is complicated. These are excerpts: headlines and the first two or three paragraphs from today's news.

"Somalia sinks into greater chaos as Islamist insurgents gain ground"
International Herald Tribune (March 28, 2008)

"MOGADISHU, Somalia: The trouble started when government soldiers went to the market and, at gunpoint, began helping themselves to sacks of grain.

"Islamist insurgents poured into the streets to defend the merchants. The government troops got hammered, taking heavy casualties and retreating all the way back to the presidential palace, supposedly the most secure place in the city. It, too, came under fire."
"For victims of Tibet riots, a complex fate"
International Herald Tribune (March 28, 2008)

"SHANGHAI: In life, the five young women who burned to death in a Chinese clothing store during rioting in Tibet on March 14 were not the types who would make headlines.

"One had received permission from her family to follow her fiancé to Lhasa; another sent home most of her wages to support 13 relatives; several sent text messages in the minutes before they died, warning loved ones to stay indoors as violence erupted.

"In death, though, the women are being treated as martyrs. The Chinese government has been using their deaths to support its version of what happened on "3/14," when Tibet experienced its worst day of violence in 20 years. In that version, broadcast by state-controlled media, ethnic Tibetans took to Lhasa's streets, unprovoked, burning and looting shops that were owned by Han Chinese."

(I think that China is going to be involved in the war on terror, if it isn't already. The Chinese government has much to gain by exploiting instability in its part of the world. I doubt that Chinese leaders will ignore the opportunity.)
"Hollywood stars help sustain Darfur aid flights-WFP"
Reuters (March 28, 2008)

"GENEVA, March 28 (Reuters) - Money from Europe and a charity co-founded by Hollywood actors George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle will help maintain humanitarian flights in Darfur through April, the United Nations said on Friday.

"The $6 million donated by Ireland, the European Union and the Clooney-backed Not On Our Watch will allow the U.N.'s World Food Programme (WFP) to hire helicopters and aircraft to ferry aid workers to Sudan's war-torn region for 30 days."

Darfur, Sudan's western region, is a mess. I wrote about it, back in November of 2007. It doesn't look like much has changed: except that some Hollywood celebrities collected enough money to fly food to people there for another month. Which does help.
As I said: the war on terror isn't just in the Middle East.

Last year, Sudan's Islamic leaders seemed more focused on a blasphemous teddy bear, than on the chronic disaster in Darfur.

Today, Somalia is still without anything that could be called a stable government. Or a "government," period. So, Somalis have a situation where "government" soldiers loot grain, and insurgents try to protect the merchants from the soldiers.

Meanwhile, China is trying to look as if it isn't the overlord of an unwilling Tibet. There aren't any Muslims involved: but I'm still inclined to see that situation as part of the current global conflict.


qazi said...

Why blame Islam?

Individuals, not religions, carry out inhuman acts.

Islam is a religion of peace, accepted and practiced by more than 1.25 billion people worldwide. It is the fastest-growing religion in the world, and if it was what some critics claim, why should the people from all walks of life from around the world keep embracing Islam? Where is the sword now?

In Islam, a person has the right to defend himself, his family, his country or his neighbor(s), which justifies the resistance being offered by the people of Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Iraq, Kashmir and Palestine, to attacks on their soils by the so-called liberators, who are actually the occupiers.

The Holy Qur’an clearly states that if a person saves one life, it’s as if he saved humanity, and if a person kills one human being, it’s as if he killed humanity.

What is happening in the enslaved Muslim countries is a natural reaction to occupation, bombings, killing and terrorizing of innocent civilians (children, old men and women), rapes, in addition to looting of resources, national antiques and artifacts, above all destruction of property by the occupiers.

Terror breeds terror.

We assure those who bash Islam that if there was no occupation in this world by foreign invaders, there would be no resistance – the so-called terror.

We would like those who criticize Islam to explain the following acts committed by the Christians on Jews, other Christians and Muslims alike, throughout history:

- Hundreds of thousands of Muslim men, women and children killed by the crusaders, who were Christians.

- Inquisition of Jews and Muslims from Spain by Queen Isabella, a Christian.

- Millions of people killed by the European and American Christians during the two world wars.

- Atrocities committed on millions of Jews and Christians by Adolph Hitler, a professed Christian.

- Hundreds of thousands of Christians killed every year by the Irish Christians, including the British and the IRA, both Catholics and Protestants, during the past few centuries. Why are they not blamed to be “Christian Terrorists?”

Both of them believe in Jesus Christ, who told them to turn the other cheek, and both of them believe in the same Lord, Who commanded that “Thou shall not kill.” Period.

- Timothy McVeigh, who bombed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, was a Catholic. Are all Catholics terrorists?

Last but not least, the bombings, killings, rapings and lynchings of both American Indians and black slaves (Afro-Americans) during the past 200 years in the United States.
What about them?

Will those filled with hate for Islam blame Christianity for the above inhuman acts by Christians in various parts of the world since its inception?

If not, then why are they blaming the religion of Islam for what is a natural reaction to occupation of Muslim countries by foreign invaders?

Most importantly, these folks should know that the three great Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – have one common basis, and that is one God Almighty.

“All men (and women) are created equal, and we all are one nation under Almighty God,” is a statement according to the Holy Qur’an and is very well elucidated in the U.S. Constitution.

Lastly, yet importantly, as brothers in humanity, we recommend those filled with hate get an education in the history of Islam and Muslims, before they dare to write nasty letters full of personal, ingrain hate and vendetta.

We would be pleased to provide anyone with free copies of the Holy Qur’an and Islamic literature in English, which would help them to understand the truth about Islam and Muslims and get rid of hate from their systems, God willing.

May God Almighty show you the light, Amen.

Brian H. Gill said...


I see you've got a template. For efficiency's sake, I'll follow suit.

Agreed. If you take the very best of one group, and the very worst from another, the first group will look nice, and the second won't.

I try not to do that.

Links to posts about religion, culture, and the war on terror: "Islam, Christianity, Religion, Culture and the War on Terror."

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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.