Blogs > Liberty and Power > Dealing With a Border Problem

Aug 20, 2007 11:28 am

Dealing With a Border Problem

In the pages of The Washington Times today Arnold Trebach suggests how the government can deal with the connection between the Jihadists and Mexican Drug cartels in a meaningful way. These ideas were first put forth in his book Fatal Distraction: The War on Drugs in the Age of Islamic Terror.

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Keith Halderman - 8/23/2007

Maybe I am being to harsh here.

Mark Brady - 8/23/2007

I certainly don't think that Munira Mirza was seeking to excuse terrorism. To look for an explanation and an understanding of a particular manifestation of terrorism is not to excuse it.

Keith Halderman - 8/23/2007

My point is this, one of the reasons that the jihadists are able to succeed in their repugnant endeavors is because they have the tacit philosophical and moral support of many other Muslims and that we in the West are not willing to confront those Muslims and their complicity concerning the terrorist acts. In addition we are not sufficiently supporting those Muslims who do want to challenge the jihadist interpretation of their religion. When I read that last quote you posted it seems to me to be somewhat an excuse for terrorism. The jihadist is not at fault, cultural forces are to blame.

Mark Brady - 8/22/2007

Munira Mirza continues: "Rather, the contemporary jihadist is a product of wider cultural forces, emerging spontaneously in response to his own environment. What is more, these cultural forces operate in the West, as much as anywhere else."

Keith, I really don't get your point.

Keith Halderman - 8/22/2007

Mirza writes "Such findings suggest that we cannot isolate the factors that determine the contemporary jihadist to any particular country, lifestyle or religious denomination." I do not know how she can say that and then spend the rest of her article talking about Islam. She talks about the terrorist being an extreme manifestation of a broader social trend and this is precisely the problem. While there may not be a large number of people willing to actually set of a bomb there are a large number of people who will tolerate this and even applaud it. Until Islam truly becomes a religion of peace, and I do not think you can say that now, the West has a problem that is not really of its own making. The problem is an internal problem of the religion itself and continually blaming ourselves for it only hinders those within Islam who want to do something about it.

Mark Brady - 8/21/2007

And here's Munira Mirza's essay where she argues that "[f]or all the talk of hotbeds of radicalism in Britain, these small, isolated sects are shaped by Western politics and self-loathing."

Mark Brady - 8/21/2007

You mention many countries, including Britain. The fact of the matter is that the alleged jihadist threat to Britain is not what it seems. Mick Hume argues persuasively that although Islamic terrorism is real (bombs go off from time to time), the notion of an Islamic terrorist threat to society is the product of our own insecure imaginations. And Brendan O'Neill explains that today's radical Islamists are made by mainstream society.

Keith Halderman - 8/20/2007

It is not just America, it is Theo Van Gough in Holland, the people on the subway in Madrid, the Danish cartoonist, Salman Rushdie, and those at the Glasgow airport. Anyone, including the people in Switzerland who does not accept the supremacy of Islam is threatened. There are Muslims in this world who believe that everyone must accept and honor Islam and they feel that violence is perfectly justified in pursuit of that goal. They exist and their numbers are growing on a daily basis. Just because George Bush and the American government in general has chosen very screwed up ways to deal with this threat does not mean the problem does not exist.

Mark Brady - 8/20/2007

Professor Trebach writes about "the jihadists who want to destroy America and its people, except for those who accept Islam."

If that be true, we might ask why "jihadists" don't seek to destroy, say, Switzerland and its people. Perhaps it's got something to do with the fact that the U.S. has intervened in the Middle East since the 1930s and massively since the Second World War.

That said, I suggest "jihadists" don't "want to destroy America and its people, except for those who accept Islam." They are seeking to oust the U.S. from the Middle East, and nineteen of them (mostly from Saudi Arabia) hijacked four aircraft and flew them into large buildings to make their point. Perhaps they figured that this administration would waste hundreds of billions, even trillions, of taxpayer dollars at home and abroad invading a country (Iraq) that had nothing to do with 9/11 and alienate non-jihadist populations in the Middle East. If so, they were remarkably successful.