Tag Archives: Terrorism

Why Most Terrorists are Muslim: An Introduction to the Origins of Modern Islamic Terrorism

Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy. —George F Kennan, American Cold War diplomat and father of “Containment Theory”

Introduction

Islamic terrorists serve as useful tools for carrying out the slaughter and butchery that the CIA and other intelligence agencies perform as their day jobs. A terrorist attack can kill “only” 100 people but entirely change the course of an election or precipitate a country into war, and this can be extremely useful for achieving certain geopolitical goals. Israel funds Islamic terrorists in Syria today and treats them in its own hospitals because it wants them to succeed in ending the non-Israel-friendly Syrian government. The fact that these Islamists slaughter innocent women and children means nothing to Israel’s admirable people, because what matters is that they achieve their geopolitical goals, no matter the moral costs.

Iran has been funding Sunni Kurdish and Shiite Arab Islamists in Iraq for decades to weaken the country. In return, Iraq used to fund and host the communist terrorist organization Mujahiden-e-Khalq, who were responsible for killing hundreds of people in bombings in Tehran and elsewhere.

Today, Islamism is the most easily exploitable ideology for attacking one’s enemies while keeping one’s hand’s clean, as the CIA and Israeli support for Islamic terrorists shows. Tomorrow it might be communism that serves the same purpose. For an intelligence agency wanting to destroy an enemy, the ideology does not matter, what matters is that mass slaughter of people is carried out in a way that affects an entire country’s morale, politics and economy.

A Short History

The United States invented modern Islamic terrorism (the al-Qaeda/ISIS flavor) in 1979 as part of its efforts to fight the Soviet Union’s influence in Central Asia, that all-important part of the world, control of which is necessary for any would-be world hegemon.

The groundwork had been laid by the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that started out as a welfare and education society but grew too powerful for its own good. Its major political work was their helping in the war against an army of Jews eager to repeat the Hebrew Bible’s conquest of Canaan by systematically killing Palestinian men, women and infants in a poetic reenactment of the Book of Joshua; see the Deir Yassin Remembered website, run by a Jewish man who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Since it was Jews carrying out terrorism and genocide, rather than whites, those who carried out these atrocities are celebrated as heroes, rather than being universally condemned for the Jewish replicas of the Nazis that they are.1 David Ben-Gurion, who commanded the ethnic cleansing of 700,000 Palestinians, has an Israeli international airport and a major Israeli university named after him. Moshe Sharett, one of the terrorists who carried out the King David Hotel Bombing, in which Israelis dressed as Arabs bombed the offices of the British Mandate in Palestine, killing 96 people, would later go on to become foreign minister and then prime minister of Israel. The Israeli war hero Ariel Sharon, 11th Prime Minister of Israel from March 2001 until April 2006, oversaw the execution of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, killing 3000 innocent men, women and children.2

From the perspective of Quranic law, the Muslim Brotherhood’s involvement in the war against these terrorists was justifiable, as the Brotherhood wasn’t acting independently, unlike today’s Islamic terrorists. It was helping in a conflict that involved existing sovereign states (Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, members of the Arab League). The Muslim Brotherhood’s war was exactly the opposite of conflicts launched by modern Islamic terrorists, it was an anti-terrorist force in the conflict, helping governments fight terrorists that were carrying out bombings and massacres, intent on terrorizing all Palestinians into leaving the territories that these Jews had decided belonged to them as God’s Chosen People.

The Brotherhood’s power grew to the point that it developed its own intelligence and covert operations arm, known as al-Jihaaz al-Sirri (The Covert Apparatus), which was involved in assassinations and bombings, such as the assassination of Ahmed El-Khazindar Bey, President of Egypt’s Court of Appeal, and Mahmoud El Nokrashy Pasha, Prime Minister of Egypt, both in 1948. Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Brotherhood, condemned both of these assassinations, but he had practically lost control over his organization, since powerful factions within it wanted violence, and they had the power to bypass al-Banna’s wishes.

The Egyptian intellectual Sayyid Qutb, well-known among Egypt’s intelligentsia and student of the famous Egyptian journalist Abbās Mahmūd al-Aqqād, reverted to Islam after a life of secularism and adopted the Brotherhood, while also, perhaps without realizing its true consequences, building the intellectual foundations necessary for the Brotherhood’s violent arm to carry out its insurgencies. If Sayyid Qutb’s highly partisan biographer is to be trusted3, his house was used as a meeting place for Gamal Abdel Nasser and his friends as they planned the 1952 July 23 Revolution in Egypt against the British occupation.

Once president of Egypt, Nasser wanted Qutb on his side, offering him high government positions, which Qutb always refused.4 Once he despaired of Qutb joining him, he started persecuting him and his associates, imprisoning him for a decade. Nasser ordered Qutb’s hanging on the 24th of August, 1966, after a show trial. These events turned Qutb into the perfect martyr, a secular convert to Islam, a literary critic, a warrior for social justice, and a revolutionary who was stabbed in the back by Western-friendly seculars that he had supported into power.

The Brotherhood distanced itself from Qutb, going back to its early position of advocating peaceful activism (at least openly), but extremists around the world wishing for a resurgence of Islam continued to follow him as their primary source for both knowledge and inspiration.5

Brzezinski’s Genius

By the 1970’s, the time was ripe for any would-be terrorist to launch his own holy war against whoever he disliked. The CIA jumped right into the action, training, arming and encouraging these terrorists as tools for protecting US interests abroad and fighting its major enemy, the Soviet Union. Operation Cyclone, conceived by the Jewish US foreign policy strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski, armed and financed jihadi warriors in Afghanistan to use them as a buffer against Soviet influence from 1979 until after 1992, to the tune of $630 million per year by 1987.

What judgment to render on all this is a matter of perspective. Asked in 1998 if he had any regrets about having helped instigate Soviet intervention in Afghanistan6, Zbigniew Brzezinski, in many respects the god-father of Operation Cyclone, reacted with astonishment. “Regret what?” he replied. “That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?”

The interviewer pressed the point. Hadn’t subsequent rise of radical Islamism tranished that victory? Not in Brzezinski’s view. “What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?”7

Check out Edmonds’ interview with Pat Buchanan’s American Conservative magazine: Who’s Afraid of Sibel Edmonds?

This brilliant program to manufacture Islamic jihadists to fight America’s enemies resulted in the creation of Operation Gladio B, the United States program to train al-Qaeda terrorists and their affiliates, exposed by the FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds.

In her interview, Edmonds  insisted that after its initial exposé, the Times’ investigation had gone beyond such previous revelations, and was preparing to disclose her most startling accusations. Among these, Edmonds described how the CIA and the Pentagon had been running a series of covert operations supporting Islamist militant networks linked to Osama bin Laden right up to 9/11, in Central Asia, the Balkans and the Caucasus.

While it is widely recognised that the CIA sponsored bin Laden’s networks in Afghanistan during the Cold War, U.S. government officials deny any such ties existed. Others claim these ties were real, but were severed after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989.

But according to Edmonds, this narrative is false. “Not just bin Laden, but several senior ‘bin Ladens’ were transported by U.S. intelligence back and forth to the region in the late 1990s through to 2001”, she told this author, “including Ayman al-Zawahiri” – Osama bin Laden’s right-hand-man who has taken over as al-Qaeda’s top leader.

“In the late 1990s, all the way up to 9/11, al-Zawahiri and other mujahideen operatives were meeting regularly with senior U.S. officials in the U.S. embassy in Baku to plan the Pentagon’s Balkan operations with the mujahideen,” said Edmonds. “We had support for these operations from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, but the U.S. oversaw and directed them. They were being run from a secret section of the Pentagon with its own office”.

Edmonds clarified, “the FBI counterintelligence investigation which was tracking these targets, along with their links to U.S. officials, was known as ‘Gladio B’, and was kickstarted in 1997. It so happens that Major Douglas Dickerson” – the husband of her FBI co-worker Melek whom she accused of espionage – “specifically directed the Pentagon’s ‘Gladio’ operations in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan at this time.”

In testimony under oath, Edmonds has previously confirmed that Major Doug Dickerson worked for the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) under the weapons procurement logistics division on Turkey and Central Asia, and with the Office of Special Plans (OSP) overseeing policy in Central Asia.

[…]

Edmonds said that the Pentagon operations with Islamists were an “extension” of an original ‘Gladio’ programme uncovered in the 1970s in Italy, part of an EU-wide NATO covert operation that began as early as the 1940s. As Swiss historian Dr. Daniele Ganser records in his seminal book, NATO’s Secret Armies, an official Italian parliamentary inquiry confirmed that British MI6 and the CIA had established a network of secret “stay-behind” paramilitary armies, staffed by fascist and Nazi collaborators. The covert armies carried out terrorist attacks throughout Western Europe, officially blamed on Communists in what Italian military intelligence called the ‘strategy of tension’.

“You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game” explained Gladio operative Vincenzo Vinciguerra during his  trial in 1984. “The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people… to turn to the State to ask for greater security.”

While the reality of Gladio’s existence in Europe is a matter of historical record, Edmonds contended the same strategy was adopted by the Pentagon in the 1990s in a new theatre of operations, namely, Asia. “Instead of using neo-Nazis, they used mujahideen working under various bin Ladens, as well as al-Zawahiri”, she said.8

The US tradition of spreading the American ideals of peace and liberty in the Middle East by funding and training Islamic terrorist groups continues to ISIS, also known as ISIL, Daesh or the Islamic State.

James Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Emerging Threats at NATO – now that’s a lovely title – recently gave a talk at a private club in London on the Islamic State/Daesh. Shea, as many will remember, made his name as NATO’s spokesman during the NATO war on Yugoslavia in 1999.

After his talk Shea engaged in a debate with a source I very much treasure. The source later gave me the lowdown.

According to Saudi intelligence, Daesh was invented by the US government – in Camp Bacca, near the Kuwait border, as many will remember — to essentially finish off the Shiite-majority Nouri al-Maliki government in Baghdad.

It didn’t happen this way, of course. Then, years later, in the summer of 2014, Daesh routed the Iraqi Army on its way to conquer Mosul. The Iraqi Army fled. Daesh operatives then annexed ultra-modern weapons that took US instructors from six to twelve months to train the Iraqis in and…surprise! Daesh incorporated the weapons in their arsenals in 24 hours.

In the end, Shea frankly admitted to the source that Gen David Petraeus, conductor of the much-lauded 2007 surge, had trained these Sunnis now part of Daesh in Anbar province in Iraq.

Saudi intelligence still maintains that these Iraqi Sunnis were not US-trained – as Shea confirmed – because the Shiites in power in Baghdad didn’t allow it. Not true. The fact is the Daesh core – most of them former commanders and soldiers in Saddam Hussein’s army — is indeed a US-trained militia.

True to form, at the end of the debate, Shea went on to blame Russia for absolutely everything that’s happening today – including Daesh terror.9

Then there are reports like this, of US troops feeling completely safe in the presence of ISIS:

For years, Iraqi politicians, including members of parliament, have accused the US of airdropping supplies for ISIS. Since what they say goes against the US narrative, these accusations are given no airtime in the West.

The Psychological Stress of Terrorism on the Muslim Mind

Terrorism is an extremely stressful phenomenon for Muslims. It uses Islamic rhetoric to justify acts that disgust and horrify most Muslims. For Muslims, the problem with terrorism, and the reason they still haven’t figured out what to do about it, is that it is something entirely new. We Muslims are like the American Indians who were exposed for the first to time to European germs they had never faced before when Columbus discovered the Americas. Most of these native Americans had no defenses against these germs, and so they succumbed to them by the millions. Our societies, too, have no defenses against terrorism-supporting extremist ideologies because terrorism was never a threat before.

Terrorism, this new European-incubated germ (if we think of Americans as Europeans, for their European genes and culture), forces two choices on the average Muslim just trying to get on with their life. The first choice is to renew their allegiance to Islam, to convince themselves that these terrorists aren’t acting according to the true version of Islam. This argument feels weak, but they don’t know anything better, so that they try not to think about it too much and instead direct their hatred at terrorist groups like ISIS and find solace in theories that blame Western powers and Israel for the raise of these terrorist organizations, to absolve themselves of the guilt they feel. Some of the kindest and most admirable people they know are fellow devout Muslims, so while they cannot consciously tell what the fundamental difference is between Muslim terrorists and peaceful, devout Muslims, they know in their hearts that the difference exists.

The second choice is to entirely abandon Islam as something evil, outdated and barbaric. Every major terrorist attack renews the pressure on Muslims to take this choice, and many do. And from their newfound post-Islam position, they attack Islam as the embodiment of all that is evil in this world.

We are caught between a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam that claims to be the only true version of Islam, and that provides the fuel that provides the ideological justification for these terrorists, and a secularism that entirely abandons Islam. Every new terrorist attack creates intense cognitive dissonance where we have to continually repeat to ourselves that this is not true Islam, hoping to preserve our faith until we can forget about the massacre and go on with our lives.

Terrorism is nothing but an intense genetic-cultural evolutionary pressure10. We are faced with two ways forward:

  • We remain in our present state of weakness, continuing to provide fertile ground for the FBI and the CIA to recruit terrorists among us and use them for their own purposes, becoming nothing but dehumanized tools of war among empires. More and more of us would feel pressured to abandon Islam, and in this way Islam fails and becomes extinct, as our children, deciding to be more enlightened than us, abandon Islam in favor of a secularism that feels much more sensible and civilized.
  • We evolve into a new type of Muslim population whose very foundations reject and cripple the terrorist ideology that has been so perfected by the peaceful and freedom-loving geniuses at the CIA.

If we are to evolve, this evolution has to happen at the level of our intellectuals, scholars and preachers, who are the midwives responsible for birthing Islam into the 21st century.

Ending Terrorism

A previous incarnation of this essay blamed the root causes of Islamic terrorism on hadith-primacism, the Islamic establishment’s focus on inherently unreliable narrations regarding the Prophet, peace be upon him, at the cost of the Quran’s teachings and principles. I have come to question this thesis, however. I continue to research this topic to find out an answer. It is obvious that the Islamic establishment is not very capable of handling this new threat, what it must do to evolve remains an open question.

I do not know if anything can be done when the world’s most powerful countries are willing to spend billions of dollars recruiting and arming ignorant youth from around the world to do their dirty work for them in the name of God and Islam.

Islam and Christianity have both been exploited by vicious and blood-thirsty rulers for most of their respective histories. Islamic terrorism might simply be another incarnation of this trend.

The Coming Multipolar World

The final solution to terrorism would be for the United States not to be the world’s hegemon, the big bully that can get away with anything it wants. As Russia and China’s power and influence grows, just as the United States continues its decades of decline, Russia and China will be increasingly capable of throwing wrenches into America’s terror-exporting business.

This is already evident in Syria, where Russia has been a big thorn in the side of the CIA’s various al-Qaeda spin-offs. What is crucially needed is for Chinese businesses to become heavily invested in Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest of America and Israel’s playgrounds. Once this happens, Chinese intelligence and its military will start doing what Russia is doing in Syria, protecting their investments and regional interests, not letting America/Israel get away with being the only geopolitical manipulator on the scene.

As I discuss in my essay Forecasting the World’s Top 50 Most Powerful Countries in 2035 Using the HQI, China is on track to become two and a half times as powerful economically, technologically and militarily than the United States within the next few decades, and when that happens, we will be living in a very different world indeed.

Below is a beautiful illustration of the coming times:

Those people in Israel are sad that there are new players in the field getting in the way of themselves being the only people in the Middle East with the right to kill and bomb anyone they want. The presence of these new players means that Israel has to, for once, stop acting like a mafia of Stone Age thugs and more like a civilized nation, worrying about the consequences of its actions, instead of acting the way it has always acted, like a god over the gentiles, deciding who lives and who dies, what country survives and what is turned into a war zone, with idiotic Christians doing their dirty work for them and paying them for the privilege.

How Political Exploitation of Muslim Immigrants by America’s Liberal Elite is Endangering Lives

There is something strange going on with the liberal political elite in the United States. Clintonland liberals have no qualms about the wholesale slaughter of Muslims outside the United States. US-sponsored conflicts have resulted in the mass murder of one to two million Muslims over the past 15 years. The liberal president of hope and change, Obama, wins the award for being the first US president to approve the extra-judicial execution of a US citizen (through a drone strike), a citizen who was Muslim and 16 years old at the time.

As a Muslim I am glad Donald Trump won. Because Hillary is creepy. As if Obama’s continuation of the US policy of perpetual war in the Middle East wasn’t bad enough, Clinton was promising to escalate things further, even risking war with Russia in the process.

Despite liberal apathy toward the mass murder of Muslims around the world as a direct result of US policies, inside the US, the liberal elite are to be seen pretending to be protectors and representatives of Muslim interests. Clinton loved showing off her token Muslims during her rallies.

Why do the liberal elite love US Muslims so much? Because they think of Muslims as guaranteed Democratic voters. The Democrats are importing Muslims at an industrial scale, without proper screening, and without any thought to the possibility that some of the people they import may have no good intentions toward the United States. The Democrats are desperate to import voters as that is the only way they can maintain viability as a political force due to the simple fact that conservatives are growing faster than liberals in the United States.

Ohio State University stabbing attacker was imported through Obama’s voter importation policies.

Some of these imported Muslims then carry out attacks in the United States in the name of Islam. This increases resentment for Muslims in the country and leads to revenge attacks on Muslims who had nothing to do with the importation of the attackers and the ideologies said attackers believe in.

It is a testament to the tolerance of the American people (and to the power of the police state and corporate media) that there have been no pogroms against Muslims in the United States even though month after and month and year after year Muslim attacks on US citizens continue to mount.

And to make things even worse, liberals launch pathetic defenses of these terrorists in the media with no consideration for the poor victims of the attacks, not out of love for Muslims, but because they know they themselves are responsible for these people being in the country in the first place.

The Ohio State attacker himself seems to have been a victim of another liberal policy (besides the liberal policy of voter importation): The promotion of the White-racism narrative to attract voters to the Democratic side (which the liberals exploited in the 2012 congressional elections to their loss). He was taking a class that covered “micro-aggressions”, a theory that promotes anti-White paranoia among non-Whites by encouraging them to see White racism everywhere.

Liberals import hundreds of thousands of Muslims into the country every year, knowing that due to their poverty they will be dependent on government welfare (the thing that liberals use to attract the poor to their camp) for years and possibly decades. They then expose these imported voters to liberal propaganda designed to show them that the average White American hates them, to further push them toward the Democratic side. And as anyone with a functioning brain can predict, this practically ensures that the US will continue suffering terrorist attacks month after month. The people that are being imported are constantly being told that they deserve to fight back, that it is the fault of White Americans that their countries are poor and dysfunctional in the first place, and that they will continue suffering from White oppression while residing in the United States. They will believe all of this nonsense because it is other Whites (and White-looking Jews) saying it, at universities and political rallies, in newspapers, magazines and on TV.

Who suffers most from this insane policy of importing people and teaching them to hate the locals? It is the five to ten million Muslims who are already here trying to lead peaceful and normal lives, as hatred and prejudice against them increases despite the liberal media’s best efforts to censor the identities of terrorist attackers and blame the attacks on White people.

The liberal elite (in the US and Europe too) continue to test White people’s tolerance by importing refugees that are orders of magnitude more criminal than the local populations. There is only so much rape and murder that White people can suffer before they decide enough is enough.

Muslims will be blamed for all of this, even though they have been nothing but tools used by the liberal elite to ensure perpetual rule over the population through inflating the number of liberal-leaning voters and weakening and dividing the native population by pushing them into corners (either you support liberal policies, or you are a conservative racist).

Why there are so few Christian terrorists

Color me curious. Raised Protestant, joined American Navy and saw the world, the Dome of the Rock is a supremely beautiful building. Such beauty, why NO COMPASSION! by radicals? I don’t understand the mindset. .. Beauty and hate

The issue is not religion, but politics. Radical Muslims are no different from radical communists. They believe their countries are being controlled and oppressed by evil capitalist tyrants, and that superpowers like the US are supporting the most evil governments on earth (such as in Saudi and Egypt), and that the US is against freedom and democracy if tyrants fit its needs better, all of which are true. For example, the US orchestrated a coup that ended democracy in Iran in the 50′s.

Religion just happens to be a useful tool for these groups, as it gives their followers the courage to die for their cause.

You should also not forget that many terrorist groups are funded by intelligence agencies, both Western and otherwise. If you are an intelligence agency looking to create havoc anywhere in the world, Islamism provides a great tool for this, since Islamist soldiers are brave and do not require the payments needed for hiring non-religious mercenaries.

Many in the Middle East consider ISIS a US-Israeli creation made to perpetuate war in the Middle East and prevent any Muslim country in the area from getting too strong or stable. For all we know, this might be true.

Radical Muslims could just as easily have been Radical Christians. It just so happens that the political situation in the world today has made Muslims the underdogs controlled and stepped on by mostly Christian superpowers. Christians too have a long history of justifying mass violence and murder for their own ends, but since Christians acquired supremacy over the earth after the Middle Ages, and as Christian belief weakened, Christianity stopped being an effective tool for carrying out political goals. A hot-headed Muslim is easy to convince that he is being oppressed, while it is a lot more difficult to convince a Christian, since he knows Christians rule most of the world.

Terrorism is not common among Muslims. A few in 100,000 might condone violence. But everyone ignores the remaining 99999. Why aren’t they terrorists also? Because terrorism is based on political ideas that most Muslims do not support.

Christianity can just as easily be used to create terrorism. But since modern Islamic terrorism was created by Christians (such as in Afghanistan in the 80′s) to accomplish the goals of Christian countries like those of the US in the Middle East, it is Muslims who die for it and Muslims who are mostly killed by it.

Muslim countries do not have the intelligence capacities to organize and support Christian terrorist groups in Christian countries to weaken such countries and create markets for their defense and intelligence industries. It is extremely easy to use Christianity to create terror groups, it just so happens that there is not enough money and power to be gained by the world’s superpowers through Christian terrorism, therefore they are instead spending their billions organizing and supporting Muslim terrorist groups.

And if Islamic belief weakens in the Middle East and stops being an effective terrorist-recruitment tool, the superpowers will simply switch to another ideology, such as communism or a modern incarnation of it. They would then create and organize communist terror groups to perpetuate war inside the countries they want, and Fox News will start talking about the dangerous communists next door who hate you because of your freedom.

Muslims and their stance on terrorism and ISIS

I noticed a difference between how moderate Christians and Muslims discuss extremists. Christians will say that fundamentalists like the members of the Westboro Baptist Church are not “True Christians.” Muslims, from what I’ve seen, say that violent extremists are un-Islamic. I asked an Imam about this, and he said that the terrorists are still Muslims even though they are acting in a violent way. Would you agree with that statement? If they are Muslim, what can the community of Islam do to reach out to them?

Mainstream Islam is a very decentralized religion. There is no single authority that people follow, and the leaders of the mosques have no authority, they are simply people who serve the community, and ultimately people feel free to ignore them and think differently. Mosques are not centers of power, they are public service institutions very much like public libraries.

This decentralized nature of mainstream Islam is very important to take into consideration when thinking of anything that Muslims say or do. The various communities in an area all operate independently, and even the community that gathers inside the same mosque. There are no consensuses to be reached, no power plays or efforts to make one’s opinion or agenda supreme over others. Everyone is free to build their own community and to focus on the things they like and to fit the religion to the concerns of their time and culture. Thus the Muslims of Turkey may live and act very differently from those of Malaysia, and in a way every man and woman is his/her own sect and community, free to apply the religion in ways that make the most sense to them. Islam provides a skeleton or framework that anyone can flesh out in the way they like.

In Islam saying someone “is not a true Muslim” is like saying a professor “is not a true academic”. There is no hard definition, and no authority that gives and takes the “Muslim” label from people. Anyone that states the testimony of faith is a “Muslim”, and if they do something un-Islamic, they may always repent. If they break the law, it is job of law enforcement to deal with them.

No pious person will freely make statements about whether a certain person is a Muslim or not, or if their deed causes them to stop being Muslim. It is not our job to judge people, it is God’s job, and the mainstream Muslim community is rightfully suspicious and mistrustful toward Muslims who involve themselves with the job of judging people.

Whether someone is a Muslim or not is a matter of the heart, and we cannot see inside a person’s heart. A person who appears to be the best Muslim may actually not be Muslim at all and may be pretending to be so for his/her own personal benefit.

The common Muslim belief about terrorists is that they are usually foolish youth enamored by promises of glory and greatness. Their leaders or inciters are often or always people working for intelligence services, whether Western or Iranian or Saudi (etc.), using Islamic rhetoric to motivate these youth into carrying out their dirty work for them. Are these youth guilty or innocent, or a mixture of both? I cannot say. They often believe themselves to be the purest in faith and to be doing things that the average mainstream Muslims are too lazy or cowardly to do.

I expect some time in the 80’s or 90’s intelligence services realized that Muslim jihadists are perfect soldiers, as they do not require payment and are fearless, wishing for death. The US made use of them against Russia in Afghanistan, and somebody made use of them to carry out 9/11 and other terrorist attacks, to justify the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria. War is very profitable for some people (especially lenders), and jihadists make great soldiers, I expect there are enough people around the world ready to make use of them for their own economic and political ends.

Terrorists are extremely rare, media hyperbole notwithstanding. Even if there currently are 100,000 Muslims in the world subscribing to terrorist ideas, that makes up 0.00006% of Muslims, or 6.6 out of 100,000 (while there are 354 Americans with AIDS out of 100,000). We can say that Muslims have been extremely successful at curbing terrorism. In the mainstream Muslim community terrorists are extremely rare and foreign beings. I have never met someone in my entire life who went on to join a terrorist group. We sometimes hear stories of the type “this person’s friend’s cousin knew a guy who went on to join a terrorist organization”, the stories are usually similar to stories of ghost sightings.

This is not to say that Islamic terrorism should be ignored. We Muslims have double the reason to dislike terrorists and wish for an end to them: their crimes, which cause suffering for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike (the vast majority of victims who have died because Islamic terrorism have been other Muslims), and secondly, the effect of their deeds on the way non-Muslims see us and treat us. While to a non-Muslim terrorism is a distant threat similar to hurricanes, a Muslim living in the West has to suffer daily persecution when he or she is looked upon as a potential terrorist by many.

How do more moderate Muslims attempt to change the minds of terrorists and the “foolish youth” that follow them? Is there an effort to use Islamic doctrine to convince them that violent acts are not acceptable in Islam?

The issue is complicated, therefore many speakers and scholars are silent on the extremist doctrines, except when those who subscribe to such doctrines carry out actual terrorist acts, in which case there is usually widespread denouncement of the act. The main issue is that if someone speaks out against ISIS, for example, he can be easily misconstrued to be supporting the Iraqi or Syrian governments, which are equally evil. Therefore they often see the safe route as simply not speaking on it, or only speaking of particular acts instead of attacking the doctrine.

Another issue is that of jihad, when is the use of violence justified? There are various opinions on this, and many speakers/scholars are afraid to come up with anything new as it makes them easy targets for personal attacks and character assassination (i.e. “this new scholar seemingly disagrees with this respected ancient scholar, therefore the new scholar must have strayed from the right path”).

Scholars are increasingly under pressure to clarify and modernize jihad doctrines to make them fit the modern context. The correct and sensible doctrine is that jihad is simply a matter of states. If the US comes under attack, jihad would be to join the US army and defend the country. During the time of the Prophet when the Muslims did not have a state of their own, there was no fighting, no violence, even when their antagonists did violence toward them. Eventually the Prophet was democratically elected to be the leader of the city-state of Medina, and thus, like any state, it had to engage in wars to defend itself, and thus the Quranic verse (22:39) was sent down that permitted the Muslims to engage in fighting against another state.

Modern jihadists ignore these facts, aided by ambiguous texts on jihad, and say that jihad means to engage in violence against any oppressor, at any time. Luckily the vast majority of Muslims consider this false and corrupt, and thus we see that Muslims around the world follow the law and go about their daily lives. Eventually the texts of jihad are going to be properly codified to outlaw terrorism, but it is a slow process, as scholars do not want to be seen to be breaking away from tradition.

As for how we “convince” people that terrorism is wrong, there is no standard practice. As said earlier, there might be 6.6 militant individuals per 100,000 Muslims. There are 15.5 would-be murderers among a population of 100,000 blacks. We do not ask blacks how the “moderate” among them try to convince their fellow blacks not to commit murder, and we do not ask parents how they convince their children not to have incestuous sex with each other. The question is wrong because it implies categorical guilt and responsibility upon the people we are questioning, for something extremely rare and exceptional. A father is not responsible for convincing his son to not have sex with his daughter, and a Muslim father is not responsible for convincing his son not to be a terrorist, because in both cases it is assumed that the son has learned, throughout his entire life, that incest/terrorism is wrong.

Muslims do not have to teach that terrorism is wrong, any more than they need to teach that the sky is blue. Non-violence is the assumption that governs all our interactions with each other. The overwhelming majority of Muslims never come in contact with a militant person, and so they do not have any experience in convincing people not to be terrorists, the same way that most people do not have any experience in trying to convince a man with a very rare mental illness that he is not a duck.

Muslim children are raised to be productive members of society, to be doctors, engineers and firefighters. They do not have to be taught not to be terrorists, any more than black children need to be taught not to be murderers. The entire fabric of the Muslim community is based on the assumption of peace and prosperity, and children grow up wanting a peaceful and productive life.

Therefore Muslims do not have anti-terrorism strategies the same way parents generally do not have anti-incest strategies. If a person shows militant tendencies, similar to a person showing pedophilic tendencies, family and relatives may seek help from community leaders or therapists. If that fails, if they think there may be a danger to the public from said individual, they may alert the authorities, like Muslims have done on a number of occasions in the US in cases of terrorism.

I hope this answers your question. There is no need for an “effort” to convince people that terrorism is wrong, the same way there is no need for an effort to convince people that incest or pedophilia are wrong. It is taught everywhere in society, every day. We cannot blame society for a pedophile’s crime, saying he did not get the memo that it is wrong. It is the same with Muslim society and terrorism. Pedophiles and terrorists are deviants, and an effort to convince them that what they do is wrong is completely ridiculous, since their entire lives they have been learning that what they do is wrong and unacceptable.

Still, due to the collective blame that Muslims receive, most Muslim writers, journalists, speakers and bloggers have spoken out against terrorism. But they are simply repeating what the general Muslim population says; at dinner tables, classrooms and mosques, and their writings and speeches are less for the benefit of the Muslim community than they are for the benefit of non-Muslims who may be wondering what Muslims think about the issue of terrorism.