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Monday, September 12, 2011

Examining the Terrorists' Logic

Sometimes I have to wonder just how much we've learned since the attacks ten years ago. First, I thank God that Al Gore wasn't president--his first instinct was to ponder what we did to anger Osama. I can sum up why terrorists hate us in three short words: We're not Muslims.

Just for the sake of accuracy, let's entertain the arguments made by the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots. Their excuse is that we had no right to split up the Ottoman Empire after World War I. They see that empire as the last great caliphate, and resent that America and Europe had the audacity to disband it into several weaker entities. This resentment, however, stands in direct conflict with the facts. The dissolution of the Ottoman Empire began with the Arab Revolts, a series of rebellions by dissidents within the empire seeking to liberate the Arab peninsula. They were initiated by Sherif Hussein bin Ali in 1916 and greatly weakened the Ottomans, contributing to their downfall. By the end of World War I, not much was left of the Ottoman Empire for the Europeans to dissolve.

However, even admitting that some political interference was made after the war, it must be conceded that it was the Ottomans' own doing. By entering into a secret treaty with an imperialistic Germany and seeking to secure disputed lands using the conflict as an excuse, the Ottoman Empire set the scene for its own downfall. It was inevitable, really; by the 1900s, the Ottoman Empire was know as "The Sick Man of Europe." It had been in decline for years, and was showing no signs of recovery. At least it can claim that it went out with a bang rather than a whimper.

The second thing terrorists use to justify their idiocy is the existence of Israel. However, this too is a farce. Israel has always had a substantial Jewish presence. Even when ruled by Egypt or Arab powers, Palestine has been the homeland of the Jews. The creation of Israel as a Jewish state simply formalized what had been a matter of fact since Biblical times. It is true that some Arab Palestinians were forced to leave their homes in Jerusalem and the surrounding area, but what is never mentioned is that they were offered a substantial recompense for doing so. They were not being expelled from the country. What it boils down to is the issue of eminent domain. In some ways, I sympathize. However, if you refuse the money and end up being forced out, that's your choice. Either way, this happened the better part of a century ago. It's time to get over it and join the modern world.

The attitude of the terrorists is not entirely unlike the attitude of any people who were once wronged. Resentment generations later simply impedes progress. There is no point to rehearsing a list of past misdeeds, especially when this is done by murdering those who were not even alive when they happened. Sorry, terrorists, but you make no sense. America doesn't bargain with idiots. (Okay, we do domestically, but we're not talking about welfare policy right now.)

Terrorism is keeping the Muslim world from reaching its cultural and economic potential. There will never be another Golden Age until Islam has left the Crimson Age.

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