President François Hollande said the trivial: “No barbaric act will ever extinguish the freedom of the press.” That the statement is self-falsifying seemed to bother him little: That barbaric act literally extinguished the press. Literally. They are dead. Their freedom is thus of little relevance.
Claire Berlinski, on ricochet.com (8 January 2015)
I’m not so sure that Islam is a peaceful religion. After the attack at the offices of the French satirist Charlie Hebdo, I revisited the chart I’d found on Wikipedia some weeks ago, the chart about armed conflicts around the world. It appears at the bottom of this post. Of the 45 conflicts currently reported, 23 directly involve Islamic states, jihads led by Islamic forces, or insurgencies led by Islamic groups. Of the 22 remaining conflicts nine are in Africa, eight in Asia, four in the western hemisphere, and one in Europe (the Ukraine), Given that several of these 22 conflicts take place in countries with large Muslim populations (Indonesia, The Philipines, Sudan, South Sudan, The Ukraine, etc.), it is possible that there is a jihadist element in the rebellions or civil wars, but they are not known as conflicts driven by ideology or religion.
We are not all Charlie. Much of Europe, which, as a political entity, is not fully grappling with the totalitarian madness of Islamism, is not Charlie. Certainly much of journalism is not Charlie. Any outlet that censors Charlie Hebdo cartoons out of fear of Islamist reprisal is not Charlie. To publish the cartoons now is a necessary, but only moderately brave, act. Please remember: Even after Charlie Hebdo was firebombed in 2011, it continued to publish rude and funny satires mocking the essential ridiculousness of the Islamist worldview. That represented a genuine display of bravery. CNN, the Associated Press, and the many other media organizations that are cowering before the threat of totalitarian violence represent something other than bravery.
Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic (8 January 2015)
Ahmed Merabet, a French policeman – and a Muslim – died defending the laws that allow satirists to mock his religion.
It’s particularly surreal then that the footage of Wednesday’s carnage involved the terrorists approaching Merabet and executing him as he sat wounded on a sidewalk in the 11th arrondisement, begging for his life.
Adam Chandler, The Atlantic (8 January 2015)
It is one of Islam’s tenets that one should not take the life of another Muslim.
BUT there is the fact that 94 percent of terrorist acts in the United States (from 1993 to 2013) were not committed by Muslims. Of the 104,000 terrorist acts around the world from 1970 to 2012, you can thank, among others, Christian abortion clinic bombers as well as the
- Ku Klux Klan
- Medellin Drug Cartel
- Irish Republican Army
- Anti-Castro Group
- Mormon extremists
- Vietnamese Organization to Exterminate Communists and Restore the Nation
- Jewish Defense League
- May 19 Communist Order
- Chicano Liberation Front
- Jewish Armed Resistance
- American Indian Movement
- Gay Liberation Front
- Aryan Nation
- Jewish Action Movement
- National Front for the Liberation of Cuba
- Fourth Reich Skinheads
Of the 2,400 attacks that took place in the United States during that time, about
- 2.5 per cent were related to Islamic groups or individuals
- 4.9 per cent were attributed to Jewish groups
- 7 per cent were attributed to Christian groups.
Of the ten most costly (in terms of U.S. dollars) terrorist attacks, one took place in Kenya, one in Sri Lanka, three in the United States, and five in the U.K. The most costly was, of course, the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and Timothy McVeigh’s attack in Oklahoma City is in the top ten. The five U.K. incidents were all perpetrated by the I.R.A.
There is growing concern among those who study terror that the greatest future threat will come from individuals, not groups. Individuals are much harder to track than are coordinated efforts by groups, groups can be infiltrated, their plans uncovered, their members can betray one another – even when the group is composed of cells. The lone operative is almost impossible to detect..
How nations view religion
Pew Research Global Attitudes (2005)
Now, here’s the thing: most terrorism is not generated out of religious hatred. A study undertaken by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism found
Between 1970 and 2011, 32 percent of the perpetrator groups were motivated by ethnonationalist/separatist agendas, 28 percent were motivated by single issues, such as animal rights or opposition to war, and seven percent were motivated by religious beliefs.
War/No More Trouble
The lyrics of War are derived from a speech in the United Nations by former Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie.
The conflicts listed beginning with the Libyan Civil War through the Kashmir conflict are driven by jihadist/ideological concerns (as opposed to conflicts over natural boundaries, traditional tribal jurisdictions, economic disruptions/motivations, etc. – which mark the conflicts that begin with the South Sudanese Civil War).
HOWEVER, to put this in perspective, worldwide more Muslims are subjected to terrorist attack than any other group AND Sunnis, the Muslims most often supported by the United States, are most often the perpetrators of terrorist attacks led by Muslims. Where will you find Sunnis? On the Arab peninsula. Who befriends Saudi Arabia? That’s right. Uncle Sam.