Counter-Terrorism: Don't Let The Goyim Know

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February 1, 2009: They don’t actually say it, but the public face of the Islamic world in response to the terrorist wackos is somewhat in the spirit of the old Jewish saying “Don’t let the goyim (non-Jews) know.” That is, a disgraceful thing has occurred, but we have to keep it under wraps. You can see this most starkly (if you read Arabic) in the differences between discussions in the Arab language media, versus what is said in English language editions of those media.

The discussion in Arabic is quite concerned about Islamic terrorism, and Islamic radicalism in general. Granted, many of those running the media are more secular (because they are more educated), but many Arab journalists are quite religious, and they are increasingly horrified at what Islamic radicalism is doing to the Moslem world, and the reputation of Islam in the non-Moslem world. Those journalists who were educated in the West are fed up with trying to explain all the violence and hatred to Western friends and associates. The Arab journalists, and, apparently, the majority of Arabs, are more afraid of Islamic radicalism than non-Moslems in the West. Arabs know that most of the victims of Islamic terrorism are Moslems. They often see the ill effects of Arab radicals in their own countries. Many have heard the sermons of radical Islamic clergy, sometimes in their own mosques. It's scary stuff, and it's right in their face.

But most Arabs have gone beyond the "I'm shocked" phase, and are increasingly trying to do something about it. What the West likes to call "moderate Moslem clerics," Arabs refer to as simply traditional and orthodox. These clerics and scholars are increasingly encouraged to speak out against the radicals. This is no easy thing, as in all Arab nations there is the risk of physical violence against clerics, or non-clerics, who speak out against Islamic radicalism. While government officials and the wealthy have bodyguards, others, including most clerics, do not. People are murdered, beaten or harassed for speaking out. The police go after the attackers, but these guys are on a Mission From God, and are not much deterred by arrest or prosecution. But this violence hurts the radicals big time. Each attack on someone who denounced the violence, creates more people who are willing to inform on the radicals. While many Arabs agree with the radical calls for just government (something that is rare in the Arab world), they are less eager for the kind of "Islamic Republic" that the radicals strive for. Then there is the increasing hostility between the Arab world and Iran. This is largely a cultural conflict (between the historic masters of the region, and the newly wealthy Arab states that don't want to be mastered).  The oppressive and corrupt nature of the Iranian "Islamic republic" is also well known to Arabs, and they want no part of it. Naturally, the dictators, despots and monarchs that rule most of the Arab world don't want an Islamic Republic either, and use the rising anti-radical mood to help suppress the Islamic terrorists that are trying to shake things up.

All this is largely confined to the Arab countries. The rest of the Moslem world has always been less receptive to Islamic radicalism. Saudi Arabia has spent billions over the last few decades to export their ultra-conservative brand of Islam to the rest of the Moslem world, with some success. Where they were most successful, as with the Pushtun tribes of Afghanistan and Pakistan, Islamic terrorism has also taken root. But even there, this harsh and archaic form of Islam is seen as foreign, and is rejected by many. It is in the Arab nations that the Islamic radicals have had the most success, and suffered the bloodiest defeats. Now the Islamic radicals are finding themselves living in an increasingly hostile environment, a hell of their own making, where even their fellow Arabs are intensely opposed to the use of Islamic terror. Alas, this has happened before, in a cycle of terror, and anti-terror, within the Islamic world. Stopping the cycle is another matter entirely.

 

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