Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Roots of Terrorism

My friend CIP, likes to think that it is lack of jobs and hope and so on that is the root cause of terrorism. It is however only one of the possible causes, and that operates only sometimes.

The Ali al-Tamimi quoted in the post below this one, has the following bio. from Wikipedia - some deprivation he suffered!
Al-Tamimi was born in Washington, DC, and raised in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood. His father, a lawyer, worked at the Iraqi embassy, and his mother was a noted scholar of psychology. When he was 15 his family moved to Saudi Arabia, where he became interested in Islam. On returning to the U.S. two years later, he attended The George Washington University and the University of Maryland, College Park. He received a doctorate in computational biology from George Mason University on the topic of "Chaos and Complexity in Cancer". In the early 1990's, Al-Tamimi led a five person delegation from the Islamic Assembly of North America in the United Nations 4th World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China. Al-Tamimi contacted Shaikh Abdel Rahaman Abdel Khaliq, who wrote a book about women in Islam, which Al-Tamimi translated into English.

He lectured often at the Center for Islamic Information and Education in Falls Church, Virginia. He was a founding member of the Center, which is also known as Dar al-Arqam.

Prior to al-Tammi's prosecution, 11 members of the Virginia Jihad Network were charged with a number of charges related to their participation in a terrorist enterprise. Although the group trained with paintguns they also were convicted of using and possessing various firearms, rocket propelled grenades and explosives. Nine members of the group were found guilty.

Dr. al-Timimi remained under Grand Jury investigation as an unindicted co-conspirator during the trial of the Network members. After the conclusion of the Virginia Jihad Network trials, prosecutors then successfully proved that al-Timimi was the spiritual leader of the group and had encouraged them to wage Jihad on India and the US.

What CIP does not realize is that, e.g., US Christian fundamentalists do not typically come from deprived backgrounds. Nor do these jihadis. Not al-Tamimi, nor the Virginia 11. Unlike the Christian fundamentalists, these guys' fundamentalism teaches them to be violent.

The whole fear of bringing religion into politics, or slandering a religion of peace, or some obscure liberal inability to comprehend that there can be entire groups of people who are not nice, mysteriously keeps this from the comprehension. It is an illusion that everyone wants peace. These blinders are strange, because it is not at all difficult to acknowledge that there are totally undeprived, unpoor, unoppressed people who become religious fundamentalists. There are plenty in America. It is just an additional step to understand that some fundamentalisms involves a lethal embrace of holy war.

PS: It is even more mysterious, this inability to see, when e.g, CIP himself would acknowledge that an entire American elite, the neo-cons, commandeered the apparatus of the state to wage their war of choice. So at least grant that this can happen with other elites, too.


CapitalistImperialistPig said...

Terrorists are not predominantly from deprived backgrounds, but like those you cite, Bill Ayers and the weather undergrounders were privileged kids motivated by real injustices real and perceived.

Would there be Islamic terrorism today if Israel didn't exist and India had held and abided by the promised referendum in Kashmir? Maybe so, but the targets would almost certainly be much different.

Anonymous said...

Well, it was the Pakistani Army's invasion of Kashmir in 1947 which took India to the UN. At that time Pakistan had also refused to agree to accession of Hindu majority Hyderabad to India. Only after the September 1948 death of Jinnah did India forcibly integrate Hyderabad into the Indian Union.

Meanwhile in this period Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan also tried their best to get Hindu majority princely states in the heartland of Indian mainland like Rampur and Bhopal to accede to Pakistan.

There is no principle with which Pakistan has operated on except land grab. India doesn't owe Pakistan any territory Pakistan could not win in wars initiated by Pakistan.

Anonymous said...

And to say that Pakistani Army trains and arms terrorists to attack Indians on Indian soil to address injustices in India is beyond laughable. Let the Pakistani Army address injustice in Pakistan, India is none of their business.

Anonymous said...

Here is Mountbatten in August 1947:
"Viceroy's Personal Report No. 16
8 August 1947
4. On the 5th August, the Nawab of Rampur came to see me with his Chief Minister, Zaidi. They arrived in a very harassed condition having driven through rioting mobs in Rampur to appeal to me for help. The Nawab is an old friend with whom I have stayed twice in the last four years, and he told me that Jinnah had been bringing every possible pressure to bear on him personally to stop him from acceding to the Dominion of India. Zaidi even gave a categorical account of a meeting with Liaquat and other Muslim Leaguers at which grave threats were uttered as to what would happen to Rampur if he deserted Pakistan and joined India. Zaidi had replied that if the League could arrange to have Rampur transferred to the Pakistan area, they would gladly join Pakistan; otherwise they had no option but to join India.

Liaquat was adamant, whereupon Zaidi asked him specifically how Pakistan would help Rampur if it came to a showdown with India. The reply was "by moral support". Zaidi said this was insufficient, and that he had no choice but to advise his Ruler to join India.

5. They have now carried out their threats and the League organisations in Rampur have staged riots which have become serious, several Government buildings have been set on fire and the servant of an Inspector of Police having been burnt alive. I immediately despatched 300 of my Crown Representative's Police and half a battalion of troops.

6. The only satisfactory part about this sordid story is that Patel entirely endorsed my action and told the Nawab that after the 15th of August the States' Department would continue to help the States in this matter. Patel has now decided to take over the whole of my Police as a Federal Police Force for the Dominion as a whole and for loan to any Ruler who requires internal help.

7. Bhopal is still giving me a lot of trouble. . ."

Anonymous said...

And Rampur was 10% Muslim and in the heart of United Provinces, far from Pakistan's bordes, yet Pakistan's rulers wanted its accession to Pakistan because its Nawab was Muslim.

Look, until India's 150 million Muslims move to Pakistan, India will not acquiese in any further religion-based partition in Kashmir or elsewhere.

Since India's 150 million Muslims will never move to Pakistan, it is better to stop lecturing India to acquiese in any further religion-based partition of India, including in Kashmir.

banerjee said...


I agree with Anonymous on Kashmir.

During Partition my family had to leave a hindu majority region in the middle of what is now Bangladesh. Are you saying that if hindus were to make life miserable for Bangladeshis using terrorism that would be acceptable? And then we could get our land back and finally have some place to call home instead of moving from place to place?