Saturday, November 29, 2008

Assault on Mumbai

The terror assault on Mumbai appears to be over. For over 60 hours, Muslim terrorists went on rampage in this financial center of India, formerly known as Bombay. In their wake some 195 innocent men, women, and children were murdered, including a rabbi and his family, and close to 300 others were wounded. 20 of the dead were Indian soldiers. These killers attacked approximately 10 civilian targets in various locations, but mainly in areas frequented by Western tourists. Of the hostages taken, these cowards focused primarily on unarmed Americans, English, and Jews. According to the Maharashtra government spokesman, Bhushan Gagraini, 11 of these murders were killed by Indian soldiers and commandos, and one was taken alive (hopefully that situation will be corrected quickly after his intense interrogation).

While the world will morn for the innocent lives lost and curse those souls of those who committed these brutal acts of cowardice, this represents just one more black mark against Islam, a religion of peace, which appears to have been hijacked by madmen. Over the past 25 or so years (beginning with the bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut in 1983), extremists have all but silenced the voices of reason and compassion in the region in favor of a distorted interpretation of the Koran. Presumably theirs is out of fear of losing whatever authority they feel they may. As an example, the Islamic extremists believe that women should not be educated. So, instead of confining their beliefs to their own family or communities, they attempt to intimidate and bully others, including throwing acid in the faces of young girls on their way to school. But what they don’t realize is that every girl’s scares serve a public testament of their fears. But it doesn’t stop there. Women are forbidden to show their faces, legs, arms, or anything else. Why? I suppose it's because the men fear women. So rather than deal with their own insecurities, they impose their fear on others. And equal rights? Forget it. As a woman, you have none whatsoever. No job; no money; no education outside the home; no driving; no going anywhere without a male escort; and owning nothing. A son can have near complete power to control his mother’s life in the absence of the husband.

So what do these people want? Well, the answer is rather simple really, though completely unrealistic. They want to either convert or murder all Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Pagans, and followers of Confucius, the Native American religions, not to mention atheists and agnostics. They want to substitute common law with strict religious Sharia Law. They want to return to a world of Caliphs and the so-called “Golden Age of Islam”. Seriously. There is no serious negotiating or compromising with these individuals, and why should they?

What Americans, and indeed, the world, doesn’t understand is that this is a war not about land or resources, though that’s apart of it, but a war of religion. When you have G-d on your side, and they completely believe they do, there is no need to negotiate or compromise with anyone (besides, from their perspective, negotiation and compromise are emblematic of weakness). What the West (and the Asian East for that matter) has failed to learn is that this war is never-ending so long as “infidels” remain. No sacrifice or horror is too terrible. No loss of life, theirs or ours, is too great. They don’t want to live with you. They want to destroy you, albeit be by mass murder or using our existing laws to force accommodate for them under the guise of religious and political freedom, and later, to outlaw ourselves. If Nazism was the politics of hate, then radical Islam is the religion of hate (I should add that extremism by any group is just as dangerous). What these zealots have failed to understand is that the Golden Age of Islam represented extreme religious tolerance, not hatred. Islam represented the cultural and scientific apex of civilization of the time.

However, what we saw in Mumbai isn’t representative of that Islam. There are those who are moderates. They accept the rights of women and tolerance of other cultures and religions. However, they have remained largely silent. Radical Islam must be defeated by Rational Islam. Neither the West nor Asian East can do it by military or economic force. They can, however stand as bulwark against the spread of the extremism. This means taking a hard line against terrorist. In hostage situations, it means cutting off all supplies and especially media coverage to the terrorists (which is, after all, what they’re after). It means providing them with an opportunity to allow the hostages to go free---but not them. It means killing one of theirs (either a terrorist or prisoner) every time they kill or harm a hostage. And most importantly, it means denying the terrorists a Moslem burial. This takes the religious equation out of the picture. It makes their deaths meaningless, and with that, fewer recruits willing to die for an empty cause.

It also means aggressively promoting human rights globally, including complete religious tolerance and the right to practice the religion of your choice as well as equality for women and the right of all citizens regardless of gender to attend school. It means too helping Islamic moderates develop modern governing systems, which includes creating a solid middle class (I say “systems” because not all countries want or need democracies). Too many of these extremists come from countries where there is only the very rich ruling class and the poor masses. Workers should be free to form unions of, by, and for the betterment of the working class which should be free from government interference. Moderate or rational Islam must be nurtured and allowed to blossom and both the West and Asian East must aggressively encourage and support it.

This war will not be won in matter of a few years, or with the changing of an American president. It will not be won based on the brave acts of the Indian military or the courage of lone Buddhist monks. It will not be won by on the strength of Israel. It will be won by people of the world over standing up and say “no” to fear and intimidation; By people determine to go on with their lives; By people not standing by when someone canes a woman, girl, or man for refusing to go along with their hateful dogma; By people who refuse to give up or give in; By people willing to shine the light of truth into the eyes of those who see only intolerance and shout “freedom” at those preach hatred.. When we do this, we’ll see these madmen run back into the shadows like the cockroaches they are.

Poll Results

Our two poll results were amazing, and the results were somewhat surprising. The first question asked where you considered yourselves on the political spectrum. 16 of you said you were either conservative or very conservative, and 8 said they were center Right. 8 (four each) were either moderate or center Left, and 18 of you were Liberal or Far Left!

As for which political party best represented you, 20 of you said Democrat while 11 said Republican. 4 of you lean Libertarian, while 6 of you considered yourselves non-Republican conservatives, and interestingly, no one listed themselves non-Democratic Left leaning.

So what does this say about AO? Well, here at AO, we try to remain an independent free thinking editorial site (how dangerous is that?), and it looks we’ve nailed it! Our readers seem to cover the full political spectrum from Left to Right, and just about everyone in between. Thank you as always dear readers!

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