My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Wrong-headed thinking on the cause of terrorism...

Last week in the UK, Muslim community leaders published their report on the bombings in London. They cited two reasons for the terrorist attack: poverty among muslims and anger over British foreign policy.

Amir Taheri looks at these two reasons.
The poverty argument as a justification for terrorism is too discredited to merit detailed refutation. Throughout history, terrorists have come from middle class and well-to-do backgrounds. The man who assassinated Caliph Omar was a wealthy Persian pearl merchant. Caliph Osman was assassinated by a group of Qureish aristocrats. Caliph Ali's murderer was the well-heeled leader of a political faction. Julius Caesar was murdered by a group of Rome's highest aristocrats. The Narodnik terrorists in Russia, the Anarchists in Central and Western Europe and, more recently, the Red Brigades and the Bader Meinhof terror gangs, all belonged to the upper middle classes.

We see a similar pattern in the recent history of Islamist terrorism. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Fedayeen Islam in Iran recruited their assassins from middle class families and were financed by wealthy merchants. The Al Qaida's central leadership, now disrupted, included at least four millionaires.

The second cause cited by the "Muslim community leaders" is even more problematic. To begin with the "leaders" cite absolutely no evidence that British Muslims disagree with any aspect of British foreign policy. The reason for this is obvious. British Muslims are as divided on issues of foreign policy as are their non-Muslim fellow citizens.

In any case Britain is a democracy with several political parties representing a rich diversity of views and policies. Any British Muslim opposed to this or that aspect of British foreign policy could join any of the opposition parties or, even, join one of the several anti-Blair wings of the governing Labour Party.

The report produced by the "Muslim community leaders" is dangerous because it implies that as long some British Muslims are poor and some British Muslims angry about foreign policy, terrorist attacks would be understandable if not justifiable.

The report creates an "us and them" dialectics in which British Muslims see their non-Muslim fellow citizens as "others". And from that to treating non-Muslim Britons as the kuffar (infidel), is but a short step.


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