Saturday, December 1, 2007

Islam and terrorism

Many people believe that all religions have an element of ‘extremists’. Like the ‘bible bangers’ that most people whom I have spoken with have run into. Although most do not become violent, some do support more extreme ideas and public figures that promote more extreme viewpoints. Islam has 1.1 billion people. A common belief is that only a small minority of Muslims supports the extreme ideas in Islam. I disagree, to a certain extent.

Was the overwhelming election of Hamas a surprise? I have believed for a long time (15+ years) that if elections were held in other countries of the Islamic world, many would see similar results. Why? One key reason is because Hamas believes in many of the ‘authentic’ laws of Islam. While the vast majority of Muslims do not want Osama Bin Lauden running their country, they support much of the ideology that he acts upon. Islamic law is hostile and incompatible with the legal system of the United States. It makes sense that the U.S. is seen as being hostile to Islam.

In 1944, the vast majority of Germans and Japanese were good people. Yet they fought for evil. Robert E. Lee did not like owing slaves. He found them difficult to manage and motivate. He fought for evil, and he fought very well and honorably. Can you think of a worse cause to fight and risk your life for?

I am not trying to say that we should go over there and start killing everyone. I am saying that we can expect resistance from good people who honestly believe that their way of life is good. Any number of them can be expected to become violent. We are asking them to change that way of life. I have studied the biographies of thousands of soldiers. By far, the vast majority cites as the original reason that they undertook the life of a soldier was to protect their way of life. This is one of the reasons so many that did not own slaves fought for slavery. I can understand. It will be over my dead body before anyone will send my kids to an Islamic school. We can expect them to feel the same way. One of the ways that extreme Islam can be reduced to a level that is more common with the rest of the world is to change the educational systems. The changing of the educational systems in Japan from 1945 to present is largely responsible for the long-term change in attitudes away from militarism and suicide attack.

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