Nov 10, 2005 9:59 pm


My condolences to the victims of the recent Jordanian bombings. But I will be less than honest to write that the Jordanian demonstration do not annoy me."Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!" Jordanian finally shouted. It annoyed me that they needed a terrorist attack on their soil before they turned against the mass murderer they were so busy enabling:

Iraqi government spokesman Laith Kubba said the attack should alert Jordan that it needed to stop playing host to former members of Saddam Hussein's regime.

"I hope that these attacks will wake up the `Jordanian street' to end their sympathy with Saddam's remnants ... who exploit the freedom in this country to have a safe shelter to plot their criminal acts against Iraqis ."

I could not agree more. Nor can I ignore the latest PEU finding that while"the number of people who think the use of suicide bombing and other forms of violence is justified in defense of Islam has dropped from 73 percent in the summer of 2002 to 39 percent now. Smaller drops were seen in Morocco, from 40 percent a year ago to 13 percent now, and in Pakistan and Indonesia. In Jordan, the number of people who feel such violence is justified has grown slightly." 55% of the Jordanian approve of Osama Bin Laden.

Why? One reason may indeed be the one forwarded by Husain Haqqani that Muslims the throws of "A Cult of Warriors"

Ironically, the cult of the warrior has defined the Muslim worldview throughout the period of Muslim decline. But the more the Muslims have admired"Shamsheer-o-sinan" (the sword and the spear), the less victorious they have been. But textbooks still speak of the victories of earlier fighters and orators still call for latter day Mujahids to rise and regain Islam's lost glory. More streets are named after Muslim generals than have been dedicated to thinkers, writers, inventors or other men of learning. Even civilian dictators in the Muslim world like being photographed in military uniforms, Saddam Hussein being a case in point. . . .

The Muslim cult of the warrior explains also the relatively muted response in the Muslim world to atrocities committed by fellow Muslims. The tragedy in Beslan, where Chechen terrorists took innocent women and children hostage received only pro-forma criticism in most Muslim countries. Many commentators still insisted that the real explanation for the terrorists' behaviour lay in the injustices committed against Chechens by the Russians. Hardly any one pointed out that Muslims are ostensibly the followers of a Prophet who taught his followers the qualities of mercy and compassion. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) went and inquired about the health of a woman who threw garbage at him every day, when one day she failed to show up to hurl the load at him. Surely the Prophet's conduct teaches Muslims not to seek justification for terrorist violence in the bad behaviour of the designated enemy.

The general acceptance of terrorism in the Muslim world comes not from Islam but from the cult of the warrior that dominates the politics of most Muslim countries. Former Kuwaiti Minister of Information Dr. Sa'd Bin Tefla, a journalist, recently wrote an article in the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat titled"We Are All Bin Laden," in which he criticized the equivocation of most Muslims about Osama bin Laden. He asked why Muslim scholars rushed with fatwas against the alleged blasphemy by Salman Rushdie but have issued none against bin Laden. There has been a noticeable absence of outrage or street protests in the Muslim world against atrocities of the kind that the world has witnessed, from before 9/11 to Beslan. Muslim governments often speak against terrorism when prompted by the dictates of international diplomacy and not instinctively. There is often the caveat that the murder of innocent women and children of other nations and religions is somehow explained, if not justified, by the humiliation and injustice of Muslims.

While the Muslim world's obsession with military power encourages violent attempts to"restore" Muslim honour, the real reasons for Muslim humiliation and backwardness continue to multiply.

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