World's Muslim population faces tough challenges

What others say

Posted: Thursday, August 04, 2005

After every suicide bombing, there is a ritual. We search for meaning, the reasons that the bombers have left behind in their trail of human misery and destruction. ...

The answers are unsatisfying.

The same is true of the presumed suicide bombers who killed and wounded scores in London earlier this month. They, like many others, didn't fit the classic image of bombers as poor, uneducated religious fanatics.

These days, answers often are filtered through the political prism of Iraq. Those who consider the war unjust see the suicide bomber's rage as an understandable, if despicable, outgrowth of that invasion. ...

But the debate about whether U.S. policies in Iraq or elsewhere are to blame for suicide bombings or other terrorist acts is largely misguided and futile. It not only blames the victim for the crime, but allows the terrorists to dictate American foreign policy and specify the terms upon which they may be persuaded to stop the attacks. ...

But it's worth noting that suicide bombers attacked this nation on Sept. 11, 2001, long before Iraq or Afghanistan. And terrorists who decry the mistreatment of Muslims in one part of the world say nothing while Muslim insurgents slaughter Muslim civilians day after day in Iraq. ...

If in some Muslim hearts suicide bombers are heroes, that is not the case for the bewildered and grieving Muslim families of their victims. Still, this war of ideas won't be won until suicide bombers occupy a place of contempt in Islamic culture somewhere below child molesters. ...

— The Chicago Tribune,

July 31

Today, we are not at risk only for short-term terrorist attacks, but (we're also facing) long-term risks by allowing for the uncontrolled growth of Islamic powers, that are capable of intimidating the many Muslims who are underrepresented precisely because they are not extremist.

We carefully cultivate the legend according to which there is a ''moderate'' Islam. Experts say, however, that it doesn't exist.

There are Muslims that appreciate democracy, civil rights, equality of the law between male and female, and that would prefer not to be governed by Islamic law. Then there are the others, those with whom we struggle to understand what ''dialogue'' would be based on.

Unfortunately, there are many ways to suffer and to die. The most stupid way is to give-up self-defense for fear of being labeled as reactionary.

— Corriere della Sera (Milan),

Aug. 1

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