Terrorism Rooted in Occupation, Not In Islam

Much of the narrative surrounding the ongoing U.S. military adventures in the Muslim world have been articulated around the idea that Islam is inherently anti-Western. This rhetoric had sipped into the hearts and minds of millions in the West as was obvious during the recent controversy over the building of a Muslim community center in New York followed by the acrimonious -eventually aborted- call for a “Burn a Koran Day.” For Islamophobes the equation is quite simple: they hate us and attack us for what we are, and not for what we do. But little they know that a new research now shows that terrorism in the name of Islam has little to do with Islam itself and more to do with foreign occupation, as says Robert A. Pape in an article published in Foreign Policy:

New research provides strong evidence that suicide terrorism such as that of 9/11 is particularly sensitive to foreign military occupation, and not Islamic fundamentalism or any ideology independent of this crucial circumstance. Although this pattern began to emerge in the 1980s and 1990s, a wealth of new data presents a powerful picture.

More than 95 percent of all suicide attacks are in response to foreign occupation, according to extensive research that we conducted at the University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Terrorism, where we examined every one of the over 2,200 suicide attacks across the world from 1980 to the present day. As the United States has occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, which have a combined population of about 60 million, total suicide attacks worldwide have risen dramatically — from about 300 from 1980 to 2003, to 1,800 from 2004 to 2009. Further, over 90 percent of suicide attacks worldwide are now anti-American. The vast majority of suicide terrorists hail from the local region threatened by foreign troops, which is why 90 percent of suicide attackers in Afghanistan are Afghans.
(Source: Foreign Policy)

There’s little chance this would convince the Gellers, Spencers and Wilders of this world but that’s at least a solid argument to back what every reasonable mind knew already.

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The Ground Zero of Politics

Bin Laden and associates must be celebrating in glee watching the degeneration of American politics those days.

Allen West is the Republican candidate for congress in Florida this year. Here he is speaking about Islam in a public forum:

Writing on ThinkProgress.org, blogger George Zornick gives a bit of a background about Allen West:

West began his political career after resigning from the military following an investigation into his interrogation tactics. In 2003, West was interrogating an Iraqi policeman who was not being cooperative. According to his own testimony during a military hearing, West watched four of his men beat the suspect, and West said he personally threatened to kill the man. According to military prosecutors, West followed up on his threat by taking the man outside and firing a 9mm pistol near his head, in order to make the man believe he would be shot.