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Thread: Pre-emptive strike or dialogue

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    Pre-emptive strike or dialogue



    I've been wondering how the western world should react to Islamic Fundamentalism, in light of the idea that if you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem.

    In recent years there has been an increase in the number of "madrasah" opening up in muslim countries. These are pseudo-schools where students really only learn about the Koran. Moreover, they are required to memorize it, a task which takes three years on average. Despite proponents of the madrash suggesting that students receive a balanced education, a 1995 government study in Afghanistan (before the war) found that only 5% percent of children could pass a basic quiz in reading, writing, and arithmetic. The reality is that many children reach the age of 15 having studied nothing but the Koran.

    Many madrasah are funded by charity organisations which are fronts for terrorist organisations such Al Qaeda. There are generally no tution fees, nor is payment required for board.

    Governments in which madrasah exist obviously deny links with terrorist ideology. Pakistan's president said "Any madrasah which is preaching terrorism or militancy...we would like to move against it".

    Here are some comments from madrasah students:

    "The madrasah is free and includes room and board, so why waste money on schools?"

    After a student was asked whether a man has ever walked on the moon, he replied, "This isn't possible". He was eager to impress the interviewer however and announces that dinousaurs exist: "The Jewish and American infidels have created these beasts to devour Muslims".

    "I will go to Afghanistan and kill Americans. It is the duty of every muslim to participate in holy war" (replying to the question of what he would do if US launched an attack on Afghanistan; before US invaded).

    I was wondering how to counter these attitudes? Is it possible to show the brain washed people that the west does not want to hurt them and that we want to live in peace? Maybe instead we should take the initative and attempt to kill the misguided fundamentalists? What are our governments actually doing to change the attitudes of Muslims? What kind of image are they proposing?

    What do you guys think? Do you think that it's possible to revert to religious tolerance, or is the situation getting worse, possibly to result in worldwide religious war?
    Last edited by Index; 13-03-05 at 09:00.

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    Here's an article which suggests how Islam might be able to reverse the self-imposed 'dumbing' of it's own diaspora, and how to recover the hunger for intellectual development.

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    I am all for Pre-emptive strike against the war against radical extremist Islam. You cannot negotiate with these terrorists; they are bent on doing one thing. That is to slit our throats.

    At the outside many would look at why these radical extremist Muslims are so against the US more than any other country. Is it because of our loose culture? One would think this because our society is very loose. No it is not because of our loose culture. If that was the case they would attack Europe in which is somewhat looser than the US (more liberal). It is because the US is primarily a Christian nation, the biggest in the Western World. These Islamic extremists still think they are in the crusades in the middle ages. Though I do agree that Christians did in the Middle Ages was wrong, but it is over. They NEED to get over it and move ahead.

    Another but reason why they attack US more than any other in the Western World is because of our support in Israel. All the US and a few European nations are trying to do is make peace between Jews and Muslims. These Islamic extremists think we are instead trying to conquer them. Bullsh*t!

    So what is the point I am trying to make? The point is Pre-emptive strike will only work with these radical extremists Muslims. If we don't attack them first, they will attack us first. If we let our guard down they will slit are throats, period.

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    The Middle East made very big advances in mathematics in the middle ages and was very big. However in recent times these children have been taught to kill infidels more than advance in the science field. How can they advance or pass any tests with all these Islamic extremists around?

    The only way to save the Middle East is through killing these terrorists and bring role models that don't support "kill your infidel neighbor" or whatever. That is why Pre-emptive strike is important for doing this.

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    Whoah. This could get hot. Back to comment soon!
    Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice.

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    I don't know if it is at all possible, or even something the capitalistic nations would have any interest in doing, but wouldn't making a good education free and easily accessible be countering these people. If the people could take more control of their lives, through eduaction, wouldn't they see the effects of a good education, and not buy into these "cult" offshoots of Islam. I say cult cause rest of the Muslim world don't agree with their interpretation of the Koran.

    Anyways, I'm quite hesitant to go around slitting throats, and don't promote pre-emptive strikes.

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    The idea of promoting education is a good one, but practically it would be difficult to implement because we are not talking about one country here. Madrasah exist in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Pakistan, who knows how many states, so the education campaign would have to be global, which means expensive. Also, education system changes would have to go through the corresponding governments, not all of which might be interested in accepting western (to their eyes American) aid, for example those that still sponsor terrorism.

    Interestingly, during the late eighties and early nineties the US sponsored an education programme, including producing textbooks. They used a novel approach for mathematics, where children were taught to count by counting the dead bodies of Soviet soldiers or the number of Kalashnikovs found.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Index
    Despite proponents of the madrash suggesting that students receive a balanced education, a 1995 government study in Afghanistan (before the war) found that only 5% percent of children could pass a basic quiz in reading, writing, and arithmetic. The reality is that many children reach the age of 15 having studied nothing but the Koran.
    Quoting Afghanistan under Taliban rule doesn't really prove much.

    Many madrasah are funded by charity organisations which are fronts for terrorist organisations such Al Qaeda.
    Some are, some aren't. Do you have any statistics?

    Governments in which madrasah exist obviously deny links with terrorist ideology. Pakistan's president said "Any madrasah which is preaching terrorism or militancy...we would like to move against it".
    Madrassas exist in Western countries, too, e.g. in Germany. I have some doubts that the German government would be overly supportive of terrorist structures in there. Fundamentalist is not the same as extremist is not the same as terrorist. You should be a bit more cautious with your generalising attitude.

    I was wondering how to counter these attitudes? Is it possible to show the brain washed people that the west does not want to hurt them and that we want to live in peace? Maybe instead we should take the initative and attempt to kill the misguided fundamentalists?
    Yep, showing them that the West doesn't want to hurt them by killing fundamentalists. That would work.


    Quote Originally Posted by Silverbackman
    Another but reason why they attack US more than any other in the Western World is because of our support in Israel. All the US and a few European nations are trying to do is make peace between Jews and Muslims.
    Trying to make peace? Maybe the Muslim world sees this slightly different. Maybe the way the US ignores UN resolutions regarding Israeli occupation & behaviour, while enforcing quite heavy handedly (or even illegaly) resolutions e.g. against Iraq, plays a role?


    Quote Originally Posted by Silverbackman
    The only way to save the Middle East is through killing these terrorists and bring role models that don't support "kill your infidel neighbor" or whatever. That is why Pre-emptive strike is important for doing this.
    Being a role model for not killing by killing someone? Don't you see the oxymoron here?

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    Pre-emptive strike?

    I usually am against unilateral military intervention of any kind. It does not have a long track record of success. However, we are already at war with radical Islam, so the idea of a pre-emptive strike seems kind of redundant. What would we hit, and with what?

    In effect, we have taken on Islam, and not just the radicals. Many/most/all of Islam regards the West--not just the USA--as an enemy of the faith on some level or another. And since we are losing the battle for the hearts and minds in the media, I do not see it getting much better.

    If you really want an effective pre-emptive strike on Islam, I would suggest a semi-persistent lethal nerve agent--one with a 99% mortality will do nicely. You can always use nuclear weapons on really difficult targets. The way we are going it is either that, or you had better start taking Arabic lessons and start shopping for a nice rug.

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    A pre-emptive strike on Islamic militants would only prove to the rest of the Islamic world that the west is as intolerant of Muslims as they had been told. Dialogue is the better way. Your average citizen of a Muslim country is just as normal as a Christian in a western country. They have the same worries, problems and hopes. Christianity and Judaism have the same problem extremists, but nobody seems to have problems with them the same way we have problems with extreme Muslims. Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't the man who did the Oklahoma bombings was an extremist. The KKK is a extremist cult. They use Bible teachings to justify their hatred of blacks and jews. It is a twisted view on Christianity, but no different from Radical Muslims, who are taught to hate the west. The US gets most of the flak because it is seen as the head of the west. Why go for the lower countries when the leader is the obvious target. The real b**** about this is that the leaders of some of these groups owe their training and money from doing business with the 'decadant west'. As for these madrasahs being used to recruit people, you' will probably find that they are from poor uneducated families, and these are prize grounds for them. It is easier to brainwash an uneducated peasant than a rich educated person. As for learning the Koran, I thought this one one of the requirements for being a Muslim.
    I find it strange that Jews, Christians and Muslims have this hate problem when they are branches of the same faith with the same God and prophets.

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    Quoting Afghanistan under Taliban rule doesn't really prove much.
    It shows the state of affairs relating to literacy. It's not much better in places like Pakistan, India, Iraq or Iran.

    Some are, some aren't. Do you have any statistics?
    I unwittingly implied that they all are. My apologies.

    Madrassas exist in Western countries, too, e.g. in Germany. I have some doubts that the German government would be overly supportive of terrorist structures in there. Fundamentalist is not the same as extremist is not the same as terrorist. You should be a bit more cautious with your generalising attitude.
    I don't see your point regarding the German government. In any case if you can't acknowledge the existence of state terrorism then you are seriously misinformed. Regarding generalisitaton, I haven't suggested that fundamentalism=extremism=terrorism. I proposed that there are fundamentalist madrasah which produce students with a certain attitude, represented to a certain degree by the quotes I included. You might consider reading a little more carefully before criticising.

    Yep, showing them that the West doesn't want to hurt them by killing fundamentalists. That would work.
    There's no point talking about this if you can't read...did you notice I wrote "maybe instead"? This means that I was proposing an alternative suggestion. I'm getting flashbacks to talkling with J-bot.

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    However, we are already at war with radical Islam, so the idea of a pre-emptive strike seems kind of redundant. What would we hit, and with what?
    That's what I'm asking you. But in any case, I was hypothesizing hitting the madrasah and those who run them, and not just in Iraq.

    I started this thread to get some opinions and ideas about what could be done to counteract the problem of fundamentalist teaching practices which don't provide a good education and can potentially produce extremists, not to argue.

    As for learning the Koran, I thought this one one of the requirements for being a Muslim
    They don't just learn the Koran, they memorize it at the expense of learning practically anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Index
    It shows the state of affairs relating to literacy. It's not much better in places like Pakistan, India, Iraq or Iran.
    Funny that you mention India here. India is for the greatest part non-Islamic. Are you saying that some 12% of the population have such a great influence on overall Indian literacy levels? India has an overall literacy level of 61.3%, Pakistan 41.5% (numbers by UNESCO), Iran 79.4%, Iraq 40.4%, Afghanistan 36% (by the CIA).

    Isn't it also funny that Iraq with a largely secular regime scores so low, but Iran which has a fundamentalist government scores much better? Funnier yet, Saudi Arabia, which is quite fundamentalist as well & finances a lot of madrassas around the world, has a score similar to Iran?
    Maybe the existence (or even the number) of madrassas is largely unrelated to literacy levels?


    I don't see your point regarding the German government.
    Well, you should at least be aware of what you yourself write. I quote your words again: "Governments [of countries] in which madrasah exist obviously deny links with terrorist ideology." I suppose you meant it the way I wrote it (perhaps you should learn how to express yourself properly, or else there is no point in reading your posts ). Madrassas exist in Germany, the German government does not really "deny links with terrorist ideology." Easier to understand now?

    In any case if you can't acknowledge the existence of state terrorism then you are seriously misinformed. Regarding generalisitaton, I haven't suggested that fundamentalism=extremism=terrorism. I proposed that there are fundamentalist madrasah which produce students with a certain attitude, represented to a certain degree by the quotes I included. You might consider reading a little more carefully before criticising.
    State terrorism? Where did you mention state terrorism in your post that I reacted to? I must really improve my reading skills if I missed that.

    Maybe you mean your quote of the Pakistani president? Does that then mean that you think the great ally of the US in its war against terror, Pakistan, is some kind of double agent: actually supporting Islamic terrorism?

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    Funny that you mention India here. India is for the greatest part non-Islamic. Are you saying that some 12% of the population have such a great influence on overall Indian literacy levels? India has an overall literacy level of 61.3%, Pakistan 41.5% (numbers by UNESCO), Iran 79.4%, Iraq 40.4%, Afghanistan 36% (by the CIA).

    Isn't it also funny that Iraq with a largely secular regime scores so low, but Iran which has a fundamentalist government scores much better? Funnier yet, Saudi Arabia, which is quite fundamentalist as well & finances a lot of madrassas around the world, has a score similar to Iran?
    Maybe the existence (or even the number) of madrassas is largely unrelated to literacy levels?
    The statisics I found were different actually, putting Iran at 54%, Pakistan 38%, Afghanistan 29%, India 48%. Maybe outdated by a few years though. Literacy levels are related to the education system of course, not madrasah.

    The point I was making was that in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan where the public education system has collapsed, madrasah are doing nothing for education (except the memorization of the Koran).

    I admit I was sloppy when I said "governments of countries in which madrasah exist...". I should have written "the Pakistani governmnet...", though earlier in my original post I did write that I was talking about Muslim countries. My mistake for being unclear.

    State terrorism? Where did you mention state terrorism in your post that I reacted to? I must really improve my reading skills if I missed that
    Like I said, I couldn't see the point of your reference to Germany (though now I see it was related to my ambiguity regarding which government), and I thought you were implying that Governments don't sponsor terrorism.

    Maybe you mean your quote of the Pakistani president? Does that then mean that you think the great ally of the US in its war against terror, Pakistan, is some kind of double agent: actually supporting Islamic terrorism?
    In relation to funding for madrasah in Pakistan, education and intelligence officials of Pakistan themselves say that much of the money comes from hard line Islamic groups and charities from such Muslim countries like Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and some say from Osama bin Laden as well. Despite this, the president of Pakistan praises madrasahs and claims they are the biggest welfare organisation anywhere in the world and plays-down their role in breeding anti-American fanaticism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Index
    The point I was making was that in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan where the public education system has collapsed, madrasah are doing nothing for education (except the memorization of the Koran).
    I agree.
    But (yeah, that was foreseeable), that's not the duty of religious schools, anyway. They teach religion & that should be it. Religious institutions should not interfere with general education, IMO. If they do teach general stuff there, their curriculum should be strictly regulated by the state.

    Despite this, the president of Pakistan praises madrasahs and claims they are the biggest welfare organisation anywhere in the world and plays-down their role in breeding anti-American fanaticism.
    I doubt that "they are the biggest welfare organisation", but I also doubt that their role in "breeding anti-American fanaticism" is that great. Mind you, according to the World Bank, madrassas "account for less than 1 percent of all enrollment in the country and there is no evidence of a dramatic increase in recent years".

    Bush's wars & the USA's pro-Israel stance do more to promote anti-US feelings in the Muslim world than anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    I agree.
    But (yeah, that was foreseeable), that's not the duty of religious schools, anyway. They teach religion & that should be it. Religious institutions should not interfere with general education, IMO. If they do teach general stuff there, their curriculum should be strictly regulated by the state.
    You're right, but some madrasah are starting to branch out into other subjects. The Institute of Islamic Studies in Pakistan, whose imam says "we thrive on the charity of Muslim brothers blessed by Allah", has apparently broadened it's curriculum (though who knows what that includes), and they use computers in class. In the words of a public school teacher, "at least in the religious education of the madrasah, there is a chance of a good life in the hereafter or a steay job as a religious leader. That's more than we can offer".

    I doubt that "they are the biggest welfare organisation"
    You are absolutely right, but this was a direct quote from the Pakistani president.

    I also doubt that their role in "breeding anti-American fanaticism"
    I agree that the US led war and the issue with Israel has a lot to do with it, but similar anti-Western attitudes exist in places like Indonesia which has not been invadaed, nor is it affected by the territorial disputes going on in Israel/Palestine. Plus these attitudes and madrasah existed before the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, so while the war may not be helping the issue, I don't think it necessarily started it.

    The quotes in my original post are all from madrash students, by the way-wouldn't you agree that they sound a little fanatical?

    Mind you, according to the World Bank, madrassas "account for less than 1 percent of all enrollment in the country and there is no evidence of a dramatic increase in recent years".
    That's a relief actually. Interesting article, though I admit I only read the abstract and conclusion . It would be interesting to find out what percentage of terrorists went to a madrasah. On the other hand, 1% is a small proportion, but if they produce fanatics, they are unjustified, I would say. As the study points out though, there are different kinds of madrasah, and this would need to be specified before making any pro-active steps...

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