Counter-Terrorism: Koran Power

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August 21,2008:  Worldwide, Islamic radical groups have increased their violence towards Western aid groups, and even local operations that are trying to introduce anything the radicals consider "un-Islamic." Afghanistan and Somalia are two of the most dangerous places for aid groups. So far this year, 19 aid workers have been killed in Afghanistan alone. Several have been killed in Somalia. Everywhere that foreign aid groups operation in Moslem countries, there are threats. Often this turns into extortion, which some Islamic terrorists justify as a "tax" that infidels living in Moslem areas have paid in times past. This sort of extortion is mentioned in the Koran, so it has some religious sanction.

But in areas where the Islamic terrorists are well funded, especially Afghanistan (heroin gangs), the policy turns from extortion to expulsion. And the easiest way to make that happen is to start killing aid workers. The basic strategy is to eliminate foreign influences, and anything that will dilute local control by the Taliban (maintained, as always, by force and intimidation.)

Another Islamic terror tactic is to attack schools for girls. These attacks represent, to the Islamic conservatives, an attempt to bring back the good old days, when women were, literally, barefoot and pregnant most of the time, and illiterate and submissive all the time. Islamic conservatives note that the more education women get, the less eager they are to do whatever the men want. So burning down girls schools is very popular with the Islamic radicals. In the tribal areas of Pakistan, about 28 percent of the girls schools have been shut (either destroyed, damaged or just shot down because of threats).

Now the majority of Moslems in these areas want the foreign aid efforts and the girls schools. But the Islamic radicals are willing to kill to get their way, and most are also willing to die trying. Thus the more moderate Moslems are at a disadvantage, especially given the weakness of government institutions (especially police and courts) in most Moslem countries. In short, the power of Islamic radicals, and the publicity they get, is far less than the popularity they enjoy among their own people.

 

 


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