A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Riots Sweep Muslim World

When news of the bombings of London subways and buses reached the Middle East and other heavily Muslim areas, riots in protest of the desecration of a noble religion quickly swept into the streets. Muslims around the world quickly banded together to decry the damage al-qaeda extremists were doing to the religion of Muhammad.

"Islam is a peaceful religion, a tolerant religion. These al-qaeda terrorists do not represent our faith, and we condemn their actions," was the official statement from a highly regarded Imam. That sentiment was echoed by the throngs that filled the streets in Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere in the Muslim world.

Muslims threw tomatoes at a picture of Osama bin Laden, and burned the terrorist's screed against Westerners in protests Friday from Iraq to Indonesia over the alleged desecration of Islam's holy principles in the London bombings.

Waving copies of the Quran, many of the thousands of demonstrators across the Middle East and Asia chanted anti-al-qaeda slogans and demanded an apology from the terrorist group, as well as punishment for those who treated the religion with disrespect by killing innocents in U.S., Spain, and London.

Al-qaeda operatives claimed responsibility for the London blast, but contend it was merely a response to England's involvement in the War in Iraq and deny that their actions reflect poorly on Islam. Friday's protests were organized before the operative's comments in Europe.

Many Muslims were outraged two years ago when a similar attack was perpetrated against the Madrid subway system. "The defilement of our holy religion is outrageous because we consider it to be the word of God," said Asiya Andrabi, head of the Daughters of the Community and one of about 50 women clad in black Islamic veils who marched through Srinagar, India.

Some marchers burned symbolic copies of bin Laden's rants against Western culture and effigies of the well-known terrorist. School and offices were closed for the demonstration in Srinagar. Later, police fired tear gas and used batons to disperse hundreds of men who gathered outside a mosque.

Police watched many of the rallies, which were mostly peaceful and organized by Islamic groups around the world shortly after reports of the London bombings were received.

In the Egyptian city of Alexandria, some 12,000 Muslims and followers of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood filled a three-story building and spilled onto surrounding streets, which were sealed off by riot and street police.

Through loudspeakers, speakers called on the government and Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, grand imam of Al-Azhar Mosque, the Sunni Muslim world's most prestigious seat of learning, to demand an apology from the terrorist organization.

"Oh arrogant extremists, the Quran is our constitution," read some banners.

A demonstration in downtown Cairo drew about 1,000 people, mostly lawyers, who were surrounded by twice as many riot police. In the Lebanese capital, Beirut, about 1,000 demonstrators burned pictures of bin Laden and his chief advisor, Zarqawi, and held black banners with the inscription, "No God But God, Muhammad is God's Messenger."

The protests also spread to Sudan, where thousands gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum and called for a serious investigation into all violations against Christians by Muslims throughout Africa.

Nearly 1,000 people demonstrated in the predominantly Shiite southern Iraqi city of Basra to protest the alleged desecrations.

Two straw dolls of bin Laden and Zarqawi were beaten with shoes and slippers.

More than 15,000 people marched in Pakistan, including the cities of Islamabad, Karachi, Quetta and Lahore.

In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, a small crowd of protesters in the capital of Jakarta pelted a portrait of bin Laden with tomatoes. The 50 demonstrators were outnumbered 4-1 by police.

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Now, wouldn't it be nice if I had written this without my tongue firmly, firmly planted in my cheek? Sadly, it is not so. Most of the text is from an AP article discussing the riots in the Muslim world following the false Newsweek allegation that the Quran had been flushed down the toilet at Guatanomo. Flush a book, riots and outrage. Bomb innocent people going to work, killing dozens and injuring thousands, nary a peep.

Sigh. By way of comparison, here is the original AP piece, by Maggie Michael on May 28, 2005, that I modified above.

-----------------------
CAIRO, Egypt Muslims spat on the American flag, threw tomatoes at a picture of President Bush and burned the U.S. Constitution in protests Friday from Iraq to Indonesia over the alleged desecration of Islam's holy book at Guantanamo Bay prison.

Waving copies of the Quran, many of the thousands of demonstrators across the Middle East and Asia chanted anti-American slogans and demanded an apology from the United States, as well as punishment for those who treated the book with disrespect at the U.S. lockup.

U.S. investigators admitted Thursday there was mishandling of the Quran but contend it was mostly inadvertent and deny that one had been put in a toilet. Friday's protests were organized before the officials' comments in Washington.

Many Muslims were outraged earlier this month when Newsweek reported interrogators at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, flushed a Quran down the toilet to get inmates to talk. The story later retracted sparked deadly riots in Afghanistan.

"The defilement of our holy book is outrageous because we consider it to be the word of God," said Asiya Andrabi, head of the Daughters of the Community and one of about 50 women clad in black Islamic veils who marched through Srinagar, India.

Some marchers burned symbolic copies of the U.S. Constitution and the American flag, and school and offices were closed for the demonstration in Srinagar. Later, police fired tear gas and used batons to disperse hundreds of men who gathered outside a mosque.

Police watched many of the rallies, which were mostly peaceful and organized by Islamic groups around the world shortly after the Newsweek report came out.

In the Egyptian city of Alexandria, some 12,000 Muslims and followers of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood filled a three-story building and spilled onto surrounding streets, which were sealed off by riot and street police.

Through loudspeakers, speakers called on the government and Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, grand imam of Al-Azhar Mosque, the Sunni Muslim world's most prestigious seat of learning, to demand an American apology.

"Oh arrogant America, the Quran is our constitution," read some banners.

A demonstration in downtown Cairo drew about 1,000 people, mostly lawyers, who were surrounded by twice as many riot police.

In the Lebanese capital, Beirut, about 1,000 demonstrators burned American and Israel flags and held black banners with the inscription, "No God But God, Muhammad is God's Messenger."

The protests also spread to Sudan, where thousands gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum and called for a serious investigation into all violations against Muslims held in Guantanamo.

Nearly 1,000 people demonstrated in the predominantly Shiite southern Iraqi city of Basra to protest the alleged desecrations.

Two straw dolls of Bush and a rabbi were beaten with shoes and slippers, and American, British and Israeli flags were burned.

More than 15,000 people marched in Pakistan, including the cities of Islamabad, Karachi, Quetta and Lahore.

In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, a small crowd of protesters in the capital of Jakarta pelted a portrait of Bush with tomatoes. The 50 demonstrators were outnumbered 4-1 by police.

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11 MAR 2004: A series of coordinated islamic terrorist bombings against the commuter train system of Madrid, Spain killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,800.

15 APR 2004: Fabrizio Quattrocchi was murdered by islamic terrorists. The terrorists forced Quattrocchi to dig his own grave and kneel beside it wearing a hood as they prepared to film his death, but he defied them by pulling off the hood and shouting, "Now I will show you how an Italian dies." He was then shot in the back of the neck.

08 MAY 2004: Nick Berg's beheaded body was found in Iraq. Responsibility was claimed by islamic terrorists.

13 JUN 2004: Al-Jazeera televised the murder of Robert Jacob, shot by islamic terrorists.

18 JUN 2004: Paul M. Johnson, Jr. was beheaded by islamic terrorists in Saudi Arabia.

22 JUN 2004: Kim Sun-il was beheaded by islamic terrorists in Fallujah.

24 AUG 2004: Two Russian passenger jets were blown up by islamic terrorists while in-flight, killing 89 people.

01 SEP 2004 - 03 SEP 2004: Beslan (Russia) school siezed by islamic terrorists on 01 SEP, taking hundreds hostages. The terrorists detonated explosives on 03 SEP, killing 323 people, 156 of which were children. More than 540 people, mostly children, were wounded.

09 SEP 2004: A car bomb was detonated by islamic terrorists outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, killing at least 9 people and wounding over 140 people.

20 SEP 2004: Eugene Armstrong was beheaded by islamic terrorists.

21 SEP 2004: Jack Hensley was beheaded by islamic terrorists.

07 OCT 2004: Kenneth Bigley was beheaded by islamic terrorists.

02 NOV 2004: Dutch Filmmaker Theo van Gogh was slain in Amsterdam by a muslim. The motive was apparently van Gogh's movie "Submission," which criticized the treatment of women under islam.

03 NOV 2004: Shosei Koda was beheaded by islamic terrorists.

07 JUL 2005: Claims of responsibility come from islamic terrorist group, The Secret Organization of al-Qaida in Europe, for a series of coordinated bombings on London's subway system and a double-decker bus. Current reports have civilian casualties listed as over 30 dead and at least 300 wounded.

07 JUL 2005: An islamic terrorist groups claims to have killed Ihab al-Sherif, Egypt's leading envoy to Iraq, with the statement, "We announce in the al-Qaida in Iraq that the verdict of God against the ambassador of the infidels, the ambassador of Egypt, has been carried out. Thank God." Al-Sherif was kidnapped by islamic terrorists in Baghdad, Iraq on 02 JUL 2005.

These are just a few of the enemy's recent attrocities. Excluding the embassy bombing and the alleged death of the Egyptian diplomat (and possibly Fabrizio Quattrocchi - he was a security guard), all targets were civilians. That's over 640 civilians murdered in the name of the "religion of peace", if we only count these incidents listed, in the past 16 months.

I expect the terrorists to plan and execute more attacks in the future, and one day there will be a disgruntled Westerner or two who decide that blowing up mosques with muslims inside would be a fair form of retribution. By the time people in the West decide to retaliate in kind, how many in the West will fail to care about the muslims killed in that retribution?
 
Wow you really had me going there for a minute! :) But this is the reaction that Muslim leaders SHOULD have. These terrorist attacks solve absolutely nothing and only serve to give Islam in general a big effing black eye.

One wonders - if Muslim leaders did in fact call for an apology by the terrorists, would they give it? Probably not.. but it would be a huge step towards the cessation of Islamic terrorism if "run-of-the-mill" Muslims started nay-saying their most radical counterparts.
 
We need to change our policies to "take no prisoners". They are not interested in religious conversion. They are not interested in negotiation. They will not be reformed by Western ideals. They only want genocide of the West. We need to give a litte back. Not all Muslims: just execute the terrorists we find on the spot from this point forward. Their greatest weapon is their certainty that we won't.
 
Amen to all of you.
 
Rottan T is definitely correct when he says that one of the greatest weapons in the terrorist's arsenal is the knowledge that, if captured by us, the result won't truly be harsh. Terrorists know that they will get their precious little koran, halal meals, and all sorts of bend-over-backwards type of privileges from the great satan.

I don't know if I'd just kill the terrorists on the spot, though. They already have no fear of death, and they will end up being a martyr painted on some wall in Damascus, or Gaza, or the West Bank. If we're going to go that route, let's hit them where it hurts: Send images of the captured terrorists wearing women's clothing/underwear, eating pork products, taking care of pigs, etc. Cruel? Maybe, but not as cruel as getting blown to pieces on your way to work some morning. Propaganda for al-queada recruiting? Maybe, but it could also serve as a deterrent to those considering a career as a foot soldier for allah and a return to the caliphate.

It doesn't matter, though. We won't do it. Blame it on being too civilized, too ethical, too weak, or too whatever; we won't fight the enemy as viciously as they fight us. I fear that the terrorists will need to spill the blood of many more Western civilians before we start grabbing the enemy by the short-and-curlies and making them cry uncle.

Finally, in the spirit of Cato the Elder, and also in poor Latin, "Islam delenda est."
 
The more I think about this, the more I think that this could be the rift that tears the West apart. Not necessarily the terrorist bombings in London alone, but the general attitude of those who believe that violence should be avoided at all costs and that war is always wrong versus the general attitude of the others of us who believe that it is high time that we kick the living snot out of these suicidal animals.

Sure, today there will be solidarity and condemnations of the attacks. The pacifists, appeasers, and anti-West crowd will join in choruses of, "We are all Londoners today," much like many of them did following the September 11th attacks. That will change within a week or two at the most. Then the big ol' "but," "however," or "alas" will be added so that they can blame America, the U.K., and/or the West in general.

Hell, idiots like Galloway in Scotland were already practically doing that today. He gave the standard speech about the tragic loss of civilian life that can't be justified, but the violence needs to be stopped by changing the policies of the U.K. and/or America which are causing the violence. Nice. Are we sure his middle name isn't Chamberlain?

Part of his argument, and it will be a big part of the argument that will surface in the coming weeks, is that if we weren't in Iraq then the attacks wouldn't have occurred; the terrorists wouldn't have had cause. The problem with this argument is that the terrorists don't need a cause. They hate us and, if we don't submit, they will find an excuse to use as justification for their murderous attacks.

Bin Laden/al qaeda declared war on America in 1996 after the Khobar towers were hit. The justification was our "subjugation" of Iraq, our presence in Saudi Arabia (it has those holy cities, you know), and (of course) our support of Israel/the Jews.

About half-a-year before our embassies were hit in Africa, bin Laden issued a fatwah which called for all muslims "to kill the Americans and their allies - civilians and military," due in large part to war against Iraq to liberate Kuwait, the sanctions that were in place against Iraq, and the military force which remained in theater to enforce the no-fly zones and sanctions.

In the last quarter of 2001, after the September 11th attacks and our subsequent retaliation against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, bin Laden issued three separate statements which, together, condemned America, Israel, the United Nations.

If we pull out of Iraq, al qaeda will complain about our presence in Afghanistan and it will blame any problems in Iraq (or the middle east, for that matter) on our military campaign there. It doesn't matter what we do; the terrorists will blame us for their problems (perceived or otherwise), and use that to justify further attacks.

Will the West unite to fight them? I doubt it. Like I have said, the pacifists, appeasers, and anti-West side will be excusing the terrorists from responsibility within the next week or two. Instead, they will blame the West and its policies for what "we brought upon ourselves." The rift will grow in the West, the terrorists will exploit the lack of focus, and more innocent civilians will be injured or killed.

Again, I think this is a place where Rottan T had it right: we need to change our policies. Let's not just change the policies towards the terrorists, though, but let's also change our policies towards the pacifists, appeasers, and anti-West groups. If they want to accuse the governments of the West of being draconian entities who cause the deaths of innocents either through their policies or armed forces, then let's be that for them and to them. Crack some protester skulls, loosen the sedition laws to allow their imprisonment in the "gulags of our time," and the like.

I'm sick of hearing the accusations of the terrorists, pacifists, appeasers, and anti-West types. If we're going to be accused of these things, then, by God, let's earn those condemnations in earnest by making them a reality for those throwing the accusations.

Cuncti Islami delenda est.
 
Very well put, Mojo.
You made the very point I was about to: they don't need a martyr or an excuse to carry out their "Holy War". If they can read their justification into a holy book, they'll find reasoning anywhere they can find it.
Which is why we have nothing more to lose by terminating them with extreme prejudice as we find them.
 
Regarding tearing the West apart, that has already started. The murder of Theo van Gogh, and the anti-Muslim sentiment it created, was listed as one of the main reasons that the Netherlands voted against the Euro Constitution.
This would seem to be a pretty major development considering how "liberal" we think that country is. But we're basing that solely on a red light district and a bunch of hash bars.
 
Folks:

Please do not go around the bend on the retaliation aspect of this war. The fact that your enemy is devoid of compassion does not mean you need to be likewise devoid of compassion. More importantly, the fact that our enemy has no regard for the Rule of Law, does not mean we can be similarly dismissive.

The big thing we have over the terrorists is the call of our civilization to those not already fully immersed in the death cult of fanatical Islam. Most Muslims want to live free, normal lives under the protection of the Rule of Law. They do not want to feel fear when there is a knock on the door, or when they travel on a bus, or when they shop at the market.

We must NOT descend to the level of our enemy. It is critical we do not do so-- for then the only distinction between them and us IS our religion, and who will the average Muslim prefer then? The lawless, murderous Muslims, or the lawless, murderous Christians and Jews?

All that said, I do think we should stop bending over backwards to accomodate our prisoners. The Rule of Law extends you only so much protection-- it does not protect you from incarceration and limited coercive interrogation. Where the line between interrogation and torture lies is murky, and I'd prefer to err on the side of caution, but certainly flushing a book, playing loud music, threatening with dogs, etc. would not fit my definition of torture.

Mostly, I wish I saw more outrage within the Islamic community to acts of terror like the bombings in Madrid and London and the attacks of 9/11. Hopefully that will come as the Rule of Law slowly seeps into the soil and culture of the middle-east and other Islamic countries.
 
We have an enemy who has no fear of death, so we must either destroy every last one of the enemy (unlikely to happen), or we must find the enemy's fears and exploit them. I don't see that as being around the bend. Besides, this isn't even a war to our enemy; it is an ancient vendetta. We need to mold our tactics to match their view of the conflict, and fight them with the same ferocity with which they fight us. If we don't, then one of their future attacks is going to push your average Joe Sixpack over the edge and he and his buddies are going to get payback.

If you want to avoid the complete disregard for the rule of law, then we will need to hit the enemy (not all muslims, but the enemy) creatively, and with force and brutality. Without that, this will devolve into the Hatfields and McCoys.

I don't see us being able to fight the enemy like that, though. The West doesn't have the stomach for it.

And, yes, cracking protesters' skulls and becoming what we are accused of being is probably around the bend. Call me a thug long enough, however, and I will stop protesting the accusation and start embodying it. Much like a foolish wish, the pacifists, appeasers, and anti-West crowd should really be careful what labels they apply, they may actually get it.

Cuncti Islami delenda est.
 
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