America & home-grown terrorism

So I made the mistake of tuning into CNN today for longer than 5 minutes, and was disgusted with what I heard.  And this was CNN International, mind you, so I can’t imagine the crap on CNN America.

Anyways, the news was that a new report had come out claiming the risk of home-grown terrorism was higher than ever.  So I thought: wow, finally, they’re getting it: you treat Muslims like they don’t belong in your country and that their religion is violent, then they will slowly pull away from you and some will get sucked into radical causes.  Seems pretty logical, and it’s something I see happening in Europe as well.

But no. They somehow found a way to blame it on Muslims…again.  It’s about Islam, it’s about Iran, it’s about violence, they hate our values.

For God’s sake, get over yourselves. This is not about values. For many Muslims, it’s about US foreign policy.  It’s about supplying Israel with money and weapons to continue dehumanizing an entire peoples while at the same time claiming to uphold human rights.  It’s about illegally invading two countries in the past decade.  It’s about always blaming someone else.

Now this is not me defending terrorists.  I think they’re disgusting and a disgrace to human kind.  But like Imam Rauf said – America did not deserve 9/11, but US foreign policy was partly responsible. And I totally agree.

Just like US foreign policy and American Islamophobia is now leading to the growth of home-grown terrorism.  The more you isolate people, the more inward they will turn.  And some will turn inward and then get sidetracked by extremists.

It’s definitely not this black and white.  But I do feel like US policies are responsible for a lot of the terrorism in the world today, and it’s time for them to be honest and realize that.  Invading more Muslim countries will only create more extremists.  Worse, it will alienate moderate Muslims, like me, who are sick of the double standards, hypocrisy, and violence.

Amazing article: click here.



27 thoughts on “America & home-grown terrorism

  1. I’m sorry but I disagree with you.

    No Muslim (or anyone) should find an excuse to do what happened on 9/11. When a hijacker told everyone scared silly on those planes “don’t do anything stupid” (everyone has heard the tapes) and he drives a knife into a pilot, is foreign policy running through his mind? You’ve got to be pretty sick in the head to be able to do something like that. Lots of people get angry over politics.

    If the USA is partly responsible for all the innocent people that died in 9/11, does that mean that Iraq was responsible for being invaded? Does that mean Palestine is partly responsible for Israel? Or does that only work when we’re talking about America?

    NOBODY is stupid enough to think that killing 3,000 innocent civilians in a slow and terrifying way is going to help anything. Especially someone who claims to understand the Qur’an. No normal person could be persuaded to do something so sick. Likewise, I’m not going to blame any other country for the death of their citizens.

    • Maybe you misunderstood my post. There is no EXCUSE or JUSTIFICATION for terrorism, and I would never say that. However, understanding terrorism, which by the way is something many academics are trying to do, means also looking at the global political arena, something I feel many American politicians refuse to do. Thus they choose to blame the terrorist’s hate of US values instead of the blatant bias of the US towards Israel.

      Just to make it clear: I am not saying citing US foreign policy is a justification for killing innocent people.

  2. You say the more isolated Muslims get in Europe, the more inward we turn and the more likely we are to become extremists. Well I know plenty of muslims in europe and america, you and I are muslims europe and as far as I can see we’re not plotting to blow up buildings.

    Nobody I know is either.

    So what’s the difference between us and the ones who do become terrorists?

    How come we can deal with it yet they have to try to kill innocent people? I’m just not convinced.

    • “You say the more isolated Muslims get in Europe, the more inward we turn and the more likely we are to become extremists.”

      That’s not what I said. I said some become extremists. At least that has been the case here in Holland. Many Muslims I talk to here feel they aren’t accepted by Dutch society. MOST do not become terrorists, SOME do. This is also something that’s been reported to happen a lot in England. Am I saying that’s an excuse to become a terrorist? No. But it’s an important element in understanding home-grown terrorism, or at least the integration problems in Europe.

  3. Sorry for writing a third comment.

    Basically there are sick people and murderers in the world. Those home-grown terrorists probably would have been serial killers had they not had the excuse of religion.

    We all sometimes feel we’re treated unfairly, difference is we blog about it or have a moan and they go out and plot to kill. They’re common pyschopath nutjobs and if we haven’t been driven to it, neither should they be.

    • I don’t know why you feel I was defending the terrorists. Thought I made it pretty clear that I wasn’t.

      My point was that American commentators have been trying to explain 9/11 since it happened by referring to Muslims, Islam, and values. I believe, on the other hand, they would be better off looking at political double standards and illegal wars. I don’t see how me saying that means I’m defending terrorists.

      • I don’t feel you are defending terrorists, I understood that you believe there is no excuse for terrorism but that US foreign policy is partly to blame. I respect your opinion and was giving out mine. SOME do become terrorists yes – but I don’t believe that occurs out of a reaction to anything. People who kill would likely find another reason if it wasn’t politics or religion – normal people can’t be turned into killers in my opinion.

  4. Very good post, cant more then agreee..funny thing is the USA calls a lot of states for terrorstates or sponsors of terror, while the only country found guilty of supporting terrorism is the U S A…

  5. If those terrorists actually based their inhumane actions on hatred towards our govt foreign policy etc…then why fly airplanes into buildings full of ordinary citizens and not do something like assasinate the president or something similar. That is usually what political miscreants do. Flying planes into buildings just says one thing…we hate you. Period.

    There is nothing you can do with this sort of hate except feel the ramifications of it when it manifests itself in such a tragic way. You cant protect yourself against people that plot to fly commerical airliners into buildings simply because 99.9 % of the worlds humanbeings would never even think to do something so horrendous much less let it even cross their minds.

    As someone said, if it wasnt one thing it would have been another…some people are just wired to cause mayhem and destruction…some use god..others use satan as their excuse. Death occurs either way.

    btw bahlool..ur funny.

    • I agree to an extent but other than 9/11 I feel there are many instances where people are driven to extreme acts because of foreign policy, such as Palestinian acts of resistance (and I don’t mean suicide bombing cause that’s a really complicated topic). 9/11 was definitely an extreme case and the only reason that Bin Laden cited for planning it is because of the US troops based in Saudi Arabia, which is a foreign policy issue. Regardless, there is no justification.

      • Just wanted to add, Bin Laden may have known what he was doing, but the guys recruited were simply filled with propaganda.

        Just like US Troops, they are fighting but they don’t know the politics behind what they are doing, they are just filled with propaganda about being patriotic, etc..

        Terrorists, for the most part, are from poverty and are recruited through propaganda..

        Of course in Europe it is a bit different, home grown terrorists are mostly college educated students who want to join a cause.. I agree that this has to do with isolation from European society, and also important to add, an isolation from one’s home country also. Feeling like one does not belong anywhere, in any society, and some isolated people turn to extremist groups to feel a sense of belonging.. I think this does have much to do with Social prejudice, and how the society views Islam and Muslims..

        Foreign policy, ummm, maybe for Palestinians, for sure.. For those directly affected, of course. But in Europe and America? I think it has more to do with Social Prejudice than foreign policy.

        • Almost Clever – good point, it’s important to make a distinction between those who plan and those they send to carry out the plans, who are usually brainwashed or choose to be ignorant.

          It’s also interesting that there is the distinction in Europe where most home-grown terrorists are highly educated and often talk about their rejection from European society.

    • or the U.S reply to terrorism committed on its soil by attacking a country that basically had nothing to do with it? (aka iraq?)
      Just because you announce it doesn’t make it right, the one sided war that is.

      As Sara said terrorism is complicated, unjustifiable but complicated. its time usa stopped tooting its proverbial values horn and starts seeing things the way it actually is.

  6. If Bin Laden had issues with US troops in Saudi..then I would have to say he should have had airplanes flying into Saudi buildings to show his displeasure at HIS countries willingness to host US military. It seems he ignored the old adage…dont shoot the messenger…so to speak.

    Also, using the phrase “people are driven to extreme acts” is merely giving them an excuse. That makes it sound as if they had no control over their actions…a heat of the moment sort of thing.

    For instance, when I discovered what my husband had been doing to our children I immediately grabbed the nearest weapon I could find, which happened to be a baseball bat, and went after him. He is damn lucky he was faster than me cause my emotion was driving me to commit and extreme act…but those men plotted, planned, thought deep and hard about what they were doing and how to do it. The only driving force in that scenario is the desire to take as many lives with them as possible. At any point up until those planes crashed into the buildings…they could have stopped themselves….stopped what they were doing…it was a cold and calculated descision.

    Agreed, there is no justification.

    • Just wanted to add that there have been a number of attacks on Saudi Arabia so it’s not like they got off scot free.

      I agree with you, Coolred, that terrorist attacks in themselves are completely planned: there’s no way they can’t be. But when it comes down to it, people are motivated from *something*. I don’t claim to understand the terrorists’ motivation for the 9/11 attacks but I do think that there was more behind it than wanting to kill. If it was, then why even bother to target the world trade centre? They could’ve just done what they had been doing for years already, targeting foreign embassies and such.
      I think it’s just more complicated than any of us can really understand because we’ll never know what was inside their twisted minds.

    • Totally agree with Coolred, this is what I’m saying. It’s not a reaction to being angry about politics, we all do once in a while. Plotting, planning comes from a very evil desire to destroy and kill. I don’t think these people were ‘created’ out of a political situation. Would those people, who planned to take 3,000 lives have been kind and good people had the political situation been better? I very much doubt it. They would have done something else under another name.

      • I think Jasmine and Coolred make good points, and I can tell you two know much about abuser/victim situations, because we all know it is never ok to blame the victim of the abuse.

        I think it is also good to know where the abuser comes from and why it happens, which I ultimately think CLA is trying to do. To have an understanding of how terrorism comes about is extremely beneficial for all of us, and in this case, I believe many terrorists are simply victims themselves. Puppets to larger powers, and filled with propaganda from very intelligent sources that want to recruit and wage war.

        I think it is best to understand those men who are pulling the puppet strings. Ultimately, I think this is CLA’s intention. It is mine also, I think it is a fascinating subject and one we need to grasp in order to try to make things better. To treat the problem, and make a real solution, we have to understand how the problem originates, no?

        • That was exactly what I was trying to do with this post: understand where all the anti-West sentiment is coming from. I guess I chose a bad example with the terrorists, since it obviously gets a lot of people mad. What about discussing the anti-Western sentiment many, many moderate Muslims/Arabs feel now? Myself included, at times. Or the anti-American sentiment felt by many of my Dutch friends here. Then I would argue that US foreign policy and double standards are the main issue, not a clash of values.

          • That is such a good point, thanks for bringing it up. Yes, and also the men pulling all the strings are, I am sure, motivated by U.S. foreign policy. Let’s face it, our policies are horrible! I was just reading about Obama’s renewal of the “anti-settlement” activity in Israel, it expires mid September, and all I could think was, when has American Government actually took action on their “anti-settlement” rhetoric?! As far as I can tell, it is happening regardless of a few words of protest.

            Now that is horrible foreign policy! I hate our foreign policy especially in regards to Muslim countries. It is extremely dysfunctional and biased.

            I completely understand the anti-western sentiments, I feel it also, strongly at times when I bump up against ignorant Americans who seek to enforce these unhealthy “policies.”

  7. I will agree that US foreign policy is to blame for many, many terrible things. I mean, we helped train and arm the Taliban, for goodness sake! The US has blood on its hands for sure.

    But some of this IS about clashing values. Some of this is because people don’t want to be victims forever, they want to feel like they have some control. And some of this is because people are so damn scared of each other it makes them crazy.

    • Values are always an issue but for many Muslims they are not the *main* issue. Besides, America kept talking about “saving Afghan women” which clearly insinuated that they think their values are better. So maybe for those who used that rhetoric it was about values?

  8. I 100% agree with your point Cairo, governments should be prepared and should expect a backlash when they plunder countries and invade territories.

    Having said that, that backlash is still hypocritical. Islamic countries have very offensive foreign policies also – and every Muslim in the world knows that.

    The Western philosophy with liberal sexual values, alcohol, women’s rights, gay rights and freedoms IS offensive to the Islamic religion and the Islamic religion with it’s ban on the major revenue streams of the West (ban on movies, insurance, stocks, shares, music and alcohol) IS offensive to the Western. The two cannot be in the same space with any kind of harmony until both sides change – and Islam doesn’t change because if it did, it would lose it’s authenticity and it’s claim to authenticity.

    Therefore the twain will constantly be a thorn in the other’s side and there is no policy that one can create that will not p*ss off the other.

    To add to the mix, you have a Wahhabi regime which prides Jihad above all else aggressively pushing it’s values and dictating it’s values across the Islamic hemisphere.

    Civilian groups should stop collecting into groups of destruction and start lobbying if they seek understanding and stop doing horrific acts.

    • I wouldn’t say those things are offensive to me as a Muslim at all. They are just not things I would do (drink alcohol is the only thing on that list I see as a non-Islamic value). Plus there are many Islamic countries where none of those things are banned because it is left up to individual choice.

      Having lived in a place where Muslims, Christians, Westerners, and everyone else gets along without value clashes, I have to say that it is not impossible.

  9. This is the first Jasmine who commented, not the lovely Jasmine above ^^ 🙂

    I do believe that while the main criminals are indeed the masterminds behind the plotting, the ones who actually hijacked were said pyschopaths used and brainwashed by people like Osama bin Laden for his own ends. If it hadn’t been him – I do believe for these men it would have been something else.

    I believe that this is the case with homegrown terrorism and those 17 educated Arab men used in the 9/11 attacks. In other attacks, desperately poor teenage Pakistani boys with no reason to live for are given a reason to die. This is a different case, and while they are still very, very guilty they were probably more susceptible from a young to be ‘driven’ to do such crimes.

  10. I enjoy reading your posts since they are thought provoking so I hope my comment isn’t that long for you.

    Let me start by US Policy point. Arabs and/or Muslims citizens are angry for many things before and after Sep-2001 especially the Palestinian issue as you mentioned but this doesn’t mean being terrorist. The problem is that mainstream media + some far-right-wing politicians step into generalizing with statements like they hate us – they hate our values while they can’t see the reasons for such anger especially after 9/11.

    As for terrorism: In my opinion, Al-Qaeda (and alike) are looking for establishing their own version of the world as they see it, thus they can claim that ‘US Policy’ is the reason for their actions or blame the world to justify thier bloody actions but they are blind enough to see the twisted principles they use.

    Of course, politics have ruined many things especially after invading Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a complicated world so anyway, I see USA is changing since Obama at least but the question is about the future.

  11. We can’t assume that just because we as individuals operate, think, feel, respond in a certain way, that the community to which we belong is the same as us.

    The real measure of the majority of what is acceptable and what is not is a countries laws. Islamically we have Sharia which is supposed to represent that, UK we have laws, America they have constitution etc etc.

    I think an essay that reads: “Compare and contrast Sharia with the US constitution” would be the best way to highlight all of the areas of conflict that just cannot be reconciled due to each side’s absolute and unswerving commitment to these things

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