The Glorification of Suicide Bombers: Response to CNN’s John Blake

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Washington DC – August 14, 2009 (Farid Ghadry Blog) – I read a Twitter posted by Martin Kramer that drew my attention. It was a response to an article posted by John Blake on CNN website, who uncannily points to three reasons why suicide Muslim young men resort to violence as suicide bombers. Disfranchisement, humiliation, and the romance of embracing a worthy cause.

It’s hard to resist writing about a subject dealing with violence and Islam, especially when it affects directly the cause so dear to my heart.

In his article, Blake interviews Fathali M. Moghaddam, director of the conflict resolution program at Georgetown University in Washington. Moghaddam hits the nail on its head when he says that hopeless youth living under a hapless life produces horrific ends. In my mind, there is no doubt that Arab youths, whether in Damascus or Riyadh, are very well prepared to become violent because their lives are empty and they have no future. In fact, Moghaddam puts it best when he says:

“There’s no opportunity for voice, no opportunity to express yourself. Politics is out of the question for the secular opposition — you’re either dead or go to jail.”

The third part dealing with romanticizing a cause is also adequately correct. Dictatorial Arab regimes produce mediocrity in education because the ceiling is set as high as their capacity to rule or to govern. The lucky ones who escape to the west become successful scientists or educators or engineers.

Those who cannot escape their poverty, their capabilities are buried deep inside and only extricated by zealous clergymen wearing robes and turbans who put their skills for the service of Islamic terror supported by one Arab violent dictator or another (Assad comes to mind as having perfected the art of using religion to suit his survivability). The Imams easily romanticize violence dressed as Jihad to impressionable young minds to produce suicide bombers who never cease to amaze the west with their capacity to be so well prepared in taking their lives and that of others.

It is the second part dealing with humiliation that I have an issue with.

Blake either shows a mental block in truly understanding how violent Islam is created (Even though he described it well in the first section of his article) or he has a different agenda that seems perfectly well suited to be inserted within the framework of his article.

Given his access to the information provided by the comments of Moghaddam, which I believe is the root cause of terror emanating from the Arab world (That’s why supporting Iraqi democracy is so important no matter the costs) I have to assume that there is a hidden agenda at work here.

Humiliation by Arab youths is a myth. If humiliation plays an important part in defining the profile of the next suicide bomber why the Shia of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, who have been humiliated for decades, have not turned into violent Saudis against the Kingdom or someone else for that matter? Why humiliated young Sunnis in Syria who have to endure the oppressive rule of the Alawite minority have not turned violent against the Syrian regime? Why humiliated Egyptian Copts who have to endure the Azhari clergy rulings and Fatwas have not turned violent against anyone? Why the Druze in the occupied Golan Heights have not turned violent against Israel?

The reality is that Arab violent dictators speak for the suicide bomber when he murders on a Jerusalem bus or kills innocent Iraqi civilians. Arab dictators use the clergy to indoctrinate our youths to commit violence by instilling into their minds the notion that justice and fairness are only possible through violence. What they do not tell them is which justice and fairness. Instead of in-country justice, it’s justice for the Palestinians. Justice that serves the interests of the Arab violent dictator.

All you have to do is watch an Arabic al-Jazeera program parading an extremist Imam to ask yourself this question: Why would the Qatari ruling family of al-Thani promote such vile clergymen who speak of nothing but hate and Jihad? Why do such extreme individuals appear on TV to influence the millions of Muslim watchers? Because the al-Thanis regard the industry of violence as rewarding as the industry of oil and gas. It’s like having an insurance policy for the bad days.

Citing Israel as the culprit skirts the main issue and serves the interests of a media intent on committing itself to Arab dictatorial regimes as a mean of dodging the responsibility to support human rights in the region. A responsibility it does not want to shoulder because is it not their problem. So instead, they blame Israel for injustices instead of themselves for indifference. Israel, once again, becomes the focus instead of oppression as the root cause of our problems as Muslims and Arabs.

Even if Israel disappears tomorrow, violent Arab dictators will find another reason to continue one mechanism of survival or another on the basis of blaming someone else for the problems their own policies are causing.

This response is not in defense of Israel but rather in defense of the truth. Justice in the Middle East will only prevail when Arab governments become accountable to their own people. Then and only then, young people full of hope will view suicide bombers as a sad history of our past.


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