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How to Make a Terrorist

Here’s an eye-opening article from the indefatigable Glenn Greenwald, which underscores why the government/media establishment absolutely cannot tolerate honest answers to the question: “why do they hate us?”

The transformation of Anwar al-Awlaki

The Washington Post today has the latest leak-based boasting about how the U.S. is on the verge of “defeating” Al Qaeda, yet — lest you think this can allow a reduction of the National Security State and posture of Endless War on which it feeds — the article warns that “al­-Qaeda’s offshoot in Yemen is now seen as a greater counterterrorism challenge than the organization’s traditional base” and that this new threat, as Sen. Saxby Chambliss puts it, “is nowhere near defeat.”  Predictably, the Post‘s warnings about the danger from Yemen feature the U.S. Government’s due-process-free attempts to kill U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, widely believed to be in Yemen and now routinely (and absurdlydepicted as The New Osama bin Laden.

The Post says Awlaki is “known for his fiery sermons” (undoubtedly the prime — and blatantly unconstitutional — motive for his being targeted for killing).  But what is so bizarre about Awlaki’s now being cast in this role is that, for years, he was deemed by the very same U.S. Government to be the face of moderate Islam.  Indeed, shortly after 9/11, the Pentagon invited Awlaki to a “luncheon [] meant to ease tensions with Muslim-Americans.” But even more striking was something I accidentally found today while searching for something else.  In November, 2001, the very same Washington Post hosted one of those benign, non-controversial online chats about religion that it likes to organize; this one was intended to discuss “the meaning of Ramadan”. It was hosted by none other than . . . “Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki.”

More extraordinary than the fact that the Post hosted The New Osama bin Laden in such a banal role a mere ten years ago was what Imam Awlaki said during the Q-and-A exchange with readers.  He repudiated the 9/11 attackers.  He denounced the Taliban for putting women in burqas, explaining that the practice has no precedent in Islam and that “education is mandatory on every Muslim male and female.”  He chatted about the “inter-faith services held in our mosque and around the greater DC area and in all over the country” and proclaimed: “We definitely need more mutual understanding.” While explaining his opposition to the war in Afghanistan, he proudly invoked what he thought (mistakenly, as it turns out) was his right of free speech as an American:  “Even though this is a dissenting view nowadays[,] as an American I do have the right to have a contrary opinion.”  And he announced that “the greatest sin in Islam after associating other gods besides Allah is killing an innocent soul.”

Does that sound like the New Osama bin Laden to you?  One could call him the opposite of bin Laden.  And yet, a mere nine years later, there was Awlaki, in an Al Jazeera interview, pronouncing his opinion that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s attempt to blow up a civilian jet over Detroit was justified (while saying “it would have been better if the plane was a military one or if it was a US military target”), and urging “revenge for all Muslims across the globe” against the U.S.  What changed over the last decade that caused such a profound transformation in Awlaki? Does that question even need to be asked?  Awlaki unwittingly provided the answer ten years ago when explaining his opposition to the war in Afghanistan in his 2001 Post chat:

Also our government could have dealt with the terrorist attacks as a crime against America rather than a war against America. So the guilty would be tried and only them would be punished rather thanbombing an already destroyed country. I do not restrict myself to US media. I check out Aljazeerah and European media such as the BBC. I am seeing something that you are not seeing because of the one-sidedness of the US media. I see the carnage of Afghanistan. I see the innocent civilian deaths. That is why my opinion is different.

Keep in mind that I have no sympathy for whoever committed the crimes of Sep 11th. But that doesn’t mean that I would approve the killing of my Muslim brothers and sisters in Afghanistan.

And in his Al Jazeera interview nine years later, he explained why he now endorses violence against Americans, especially American military targets:

I support what Umar Farouk has done after I have been seeing my brothers being killed in Palestine for more than 60 years, and others being killed in Iraq and in Afghanistan. And in my tribe too, US missiles have killed 17 women and 23 children, so do not ask me if al-Qaeda has killed or blown up a US civil jet after all this. The 300 Americans are nothing comparing to the thousands of Muslims who have been killed.

A full decade of literally constant (and still-escalating) American killing of civilians in multiple Muslim countries has radically transformed Awlaki — and countless other Muslims — from a voice of pro-American moderation into supporters of violence against the U.S. and, in Awlaki’s case, the prime pretext for the continuation of the War on Terror.  As this blogger put it in response to my noting the 2001 Awlaki chat: “it’s interesting to think about how many other people followed that same path, that we don’t know about it.”  In other words, the very U.S. policies justified in name of combating Terrorism have done more to spawn — and continue to spawn — anti-American Terrorism than anything bin Laden could have ever conceived.  The transformation of Awlaki, and many others like him, provides vivid insight into how that occurs.

* * * * *
It’s equally instructive to note that if the Post were to give Awlaki a venue to express his opinions now — or if the Pentagon were to invite him to a luncheon — those institutions would likely be guilty of the felony of providing material support to Terrorism as applied by the Obama DOJ and upheld by the Supreme Court.

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  • JengaBob

    Hey bobbie, remember me? You aren’t going to respond to any of my criticisms now?

    Maybe if I weren’t continuously blocked I would.

    I guess that’s fair, but you act as if Muslims around the world are flocking to al-Qaeda’s banner. We all know that’s not true so just give it a rest already.

    20,000 Muslims flocked to Afghanistan to fight in Jihad. I think a similar number went through al-Qaeda and affiliate training camps during the 90’s. Oh, and there’s been some 2,000 suicide bombings in Iraq – most have been foreigners who’ve gone to Iraq – plus thousands more to take part in traditional combat.

    But I guess the latter is a bit of an improvement compared to Afghanistan in the 80’s. We can also mention the numerous franchises opening up across the Muslim world. At this rate, AQ will compete with McDonald’s for most Muslims served.

    (Oh, and did you catch the recently announced AQ in the Sinai?)

    Why is Somalia a local conflict with the foreign fighters mostly being Somali Americans who have family in the region?

    From what I’ve heard is there are a few hundred foreigners in Somalia, including a white American, Omar Shafik Hammami.

    While you think on that, perhaps we should look at the history of American adventures in extremism.

    Go ahead. Let’s compare the number of Christian radicals fighting holy war in Uganda, Congo, India, Indonesia or Ireland to their Muslim counterparts. I’d love to see what the numbers are for both sides.

    Interesting, black Africa seems just too far for them. As I said the Somali militants are mostly Somalis and Somali Americans. Guess Africa is just too scarey for those dumb teens.

    Well, if you want to insinuate certain amounts of racism inherent in Islam and this being rubbed off on new converts, then go ahead. I personally don’t think a few hadiths of Muhammad calling Africans ‘raisin heads’ should tarnish the entire religion….but more power to you.

    Why is it that so many whities get sucked into the very forms of extremism that you seem the think all Muslims are part of?

    Most of them seem to be Muslim ‘extremists’ and Left Wingers. I think that should answer your question.

    Indeed, those white Muslims who get sucked in are almost invariably converts who were not raised in traditional Islam and have no real social contact in the community. I believe that would be check and mate at this point little bobby boy…

    Well, you certainly are living up to your degree in Poli Sci or whatever it was you ordered in the mail. I think a term I recently heard used was ‘multi-variable analysis’. Look it up and get back to me on that one.

  • http://www.thebandofstrangers.org Jack Cope

    Yes, I should have been clearer Zakariya, by no means are more than a few converts like that. When I am responding to bob I tend to go into autopilot mode and type rather sloppy comments… not worth the time to write something decent is it?

    I agree with all of your stuff, it’s funny how some seem to think that becuase you are from X community or ‘race’ you can’t be as good as someone from Y community or ‘race’. I get it a fair bit. I don’t wear a robe, I don’t have a beard and a I think that any sort of hat makes me look daft. I also go to prayers in a pressed shirt and trousers, why not? It fits all the criteria Islam sets down. You’ll also note that I have steadfastly refused to change my name to an ‘Islamic’ one. Why? Jack means ‘God’s grace’, sounds Islamic to me! When people say ‘Islamic name’ what they really mean is an ‘Arabic’ one…

    I think people forget that the Prophet said that God looks to the heart and not the outward appearance. Indeed, I’ve caught at least one ‘religious looking’ Muslim I know buying cans of Tiger Beer at the local shop. I also remember that the Saudis when I lived in the UAE could outdrink most expats. Appearance is nothing.

    But yeah, the ‘hard rock’, it’s true. You may have heard of the ‘Cream Puff Brigade’. This was a bunch of ‘jihadists’ from Germany that the German intelligence services followed going into Pakistan for training. They were the usual bunch of wannabe thoughts and ones out for adventure… at least one ran crying home to his Mum after week and the rest lasted a bit longer before they packed it in. I think most are like this; I know bin ladan had a reputation as a bit of a softy and not a very good solider.

    Also I agree with Jim, I chose Islam because it’s the one that makes sense. I’m an ‘ex-atheist’ BTW but I still get that certain group of Christians that think I did it just to rebel. Of course, when I ask them if I would still just be doing it to rebel if I ‘converted’ to Christianity then they dry up… and of course the whole Jesus thing doesn’t make sense to me; why should call the secretary and ask them to put my message through when I’ve got the boss’s direct line phone number? And why do I need to be ‘saved’ by someone? This is meant as no offense to those of the Christian faith, it’s just something that baffles me.

  • Dawood

    @Zakariya: “Speaking as a Libyan” Wow dude, you’re Libyan background? (Unless I totally misunderstood, of course) That’s awesome… never thought I’d ‘meet’ a Libyan Shi’a. :)

    Although I enjoy reading your posts, I have a feeling that you’re wasting bandwidth as Bob will never address your points and rather skirt around the issue instead.

  • Cynic

    As if wearing a t-shirt and listening to metal makes me somehow ‘less Muslim.’

    Haha exactly. I recall you saying you listened to Orphaned Land which I thought was a one off comment . Evidently not :P.

  • JN

    “Once again, the point is to look at the evidence for the claims being made.”

    Indeed. When we do so, it becomes obvious that you don’t have a leg to stand on.

    “I can claim and provide evidence that the Iraq war has resulted in overall lower reduction in support for terrorism.”

    You haven’t presented any evidence that that is the case. Not a shred.

    The only factual evidence you’ve cited indicates that Muslim support for suicide bombing has gone down since the invasion of Iraq. You then throw in the unsupported premises that:

    A) This is a complete and accurate metric of extremism in general
    B) The United States’ presence in Iraq is responsible for the change

    When in reality, the far more logical explanation, which you actually championed before it became inconvenient, is that Muslims are disgusted by the mass casualties inflicted on Muslim civilians by groups like al-Qaeda in Iraq.

    Suicide bombing is the type of attack most likely to kill civilians, usually far more so than military personnel. The research you cite says absolutely nothing about approval of attacks against military targets that don’t kill civilians.

    I have, however, encountered the evidence in the past. Here’s a BBC poll from March 2007:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6451841.stm

    If you scroll down to the “violence” section, you’ll find that 51 percent of Iraqis themselves found attacks on coalition forces to be acceptable.

    Iraqis have also held extremely low opinions of al-Qaeda in Iraq. So what, Bob, you expect us to believe that that equates to them being cowed by US foreign policy?

    To put the final nail in your completely absurd argument – that the extremism was already abundant in 2002, and only briefly “spiked” in the years immediately after the invasion, I’ll let PEW do the talking for me.

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1512/restoring-americas-reputation-globally-gains-may-be-fragile

    These surveys chronicled the rise of anti-Americanism around the world for much of the past decade. Favorable ratings of the U.S. plunged in many countries following the invasion of Iraq and remained low through 2008. In 2009, we began to document a revival of America’s global image in many parts of the world reflecting confidence in its new president, Barack Obama.

    ….

    However, it is clear that America’s image problems in much of the Muslim world are of an enduring nature, and years of polling suggest there will be little real progress until: 1) Muslims come to see the U.S. as being more fair-minded in its handling of Israeli-Palestinian situation — and most do not believe Obama will be fair-minded; 2) Muslims no longer view American anti-terrorism efforts as anti-Muslim; 3) No American forces are at war in Muslim countries. The U.S. will have to manage its image problems in the Muslim world. A likely cure seems far off.

    Your contention rests on a dubious correlation that makes no sense and runs completely counter to the evidence, including the analysis of the source you yourself cite.

  • Jim Kirk

    Because you should pray to God (Allah) and not Jesus, just as Jesus prayed to God and not to himself.

  • Jim Kirk

    True Jack, though I think it’s a bit of a stretch to imply ALL or even most converts to Islam are rebellious teens/young adults looking to make a statement.

    I converted to Islam because it is the most awesome true religion! Sure, my parents thought I was rebelling, but they wanted me to pray to Jesus. Yikes!

  • Jim Kirk

    I do my best to read statements from OBL, et al. I note the ubiquitous religious slogans in their statements, appeals to the texts and teachings of holy books and their interpreters and couching their actions in religious dogma (and a belief that they are merely following the orders of a higher power).

    Sounds like Mr. Spencer is trolling again, or at least one of his big fans, using the whole “texts and teachings” canard.

  • Zakariya Ali Sher

    True Jack, though I think it’s a bit of a stretch to imply ALL or even most converts to Islam are rebellious teens/young adults looking to make a statement. Certainly there are some, and I think that all of those who go overseas to training camps or some other such nonsense fit the bill. But we should remember that Islam accepts converts of all races and nationalities, and always has, just as with Christianity and Buddhism. Neither whites nor blacks have any more (or less) claim to Islam than Arabs, Turks, Asians or whatever ‘race’ you want to name.

    We can go on and on about the hanifiyyah and the succession of Prophets back to Adam and whether or not the Qur’an existed before the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). But at the end of the day, we have to accept that ALL of Muhammad’s companions, even Imam Ali, Fatimah al-Zahra and the rest of his family, were ‘converts’ (or ‘reverts’) to Islam in as much as that the Revelation given to Muhammad was new. There weren’t tons of scholars with centuries of literature and study to instruct them on how to be Muslim. There was only Muhammad the final Revelation given to him. That was it. So if we give a hard time to converts, then we aren’t being very good Muslims. Both the Ahl-ul-Bay’t and the Sabaha were ‘converts’.

    And indeed, converts have continued to be an important force in Islam, from Samori Touré who created the Wassoulou Empire in West Africa to Marmaduke Pickthall who translated the Qur’an into English, from popular musician Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam) to heavy weight champ Muhammad Ali (who I believe fought Superman at one point!). All great men, regardless of their faith, and all people who deserve just as much recognition as anyone ‘born’ Muslim. The key trend is that these people chose to be part of the Ummah, and didn’t buy into the wackiness. I think that is one challenge many potentially well-meaning converts face. Some of them, due to internalizing stereotypes, come to believe that ‘true Islam’ is represented by some guy with a full beard, long robe and a Saudi accent. As if wearing a t-shirt and listening to metal makes me somehow ‘less Muslim.’

    The thing is, it’s easier for someone without knowledge of Islam to fall into the preachings of some charismatic (and most of all, ‘authentic’) nutcase. And this applies to many Muslims who are born and raised in non-practicing families too. I strongly suspect that many Somali American teens get into that because they feel it connects them with some sort of imagined homeland. I know what it’s like to be an outsider. I know what it’s like to be picked on and ignored. Hell, that sounds alot like the kind of crap I had to endure for most of high school. I can understand how ‘being part of something bigger’ would have it’s appeal. But I guess I’m lucky that I have always been much more of an individualist.

    The real danger comes from those who, as you said, want to do it for the ‘adventure.’ The ‘hard rock’ of the 20th century. I like that quote. I think that it does cover quite a few of the radical white converts, as well as some prison conversions. Like I said, it seems that many of those types of converts intentionally try to stay outside the community. In fact there’s almost a certain degree of racism or cultural chauvanism, where they give off the vibe of not WANTING to be equal to an Arab or a ‘Paki’ or whatever. They act as if they understand ‘the one true Islam’ (patent pending obviously) and nobody else does. In fact, that might be part of the reason they opt to get involved in fighting ‘the jihad'; they view Palestinians, Afghanis or whomever else as victims who are fundamentally incapable of defending themselves…

    But it IS quite interesting that none of those extremist converts (that I am aware of anyway) have joined the fighting in black Africa. It’s as if Asia and the Arab states are somehow more acceptable than the ‘Dark Continent.’ Heh, I wonder how much has to do with racism…

  • Mosizzle

    “There is no evidence linking support for extremism among the general Muslim population to invasion/occupation.”

    Except the testimony of actual terrorism experts and the Muslim extremists themselves.

  • Mosizzle

    “So why did Mosizzle’s article claim it was Iraq that was the major catalyst for terrorism and extremism?”

    Epic fail, Bob. The ex-M15 Boss (a person who had far far more expertise than you) said:

    “Our involvement in Iraq, for want of a better word, radicalised a whole generation of young people, some of them British citizens who saw our involvement in Iraq, on top of our involvement in Afghanistan, as being an attack on Islam”

    The reason she was emphasising Iraq was because she was speaking at the Chilcot Inquiry. You would know that if you read the article. Otherwise her point is that bad foreign policies such as invasion are seen as being attacks on Islam and thus contribute to terrorism.

    Before you argue your point further, you must tell me why the head of M15 is wrong about the cause of terrorism and you are right.

  • http://www.thebandofstrangers.org Jack Cope

    Yes, that is a very good point there Zakariya; an awful lot of the ones who go to AQ etc are white ‘converts’. Most of those I hear of are doing it just for the ‘adventure’ or as an act of rebellion. Someone said today that ‘political/extremis Islam’ is the 21st centuries ‘hard rock'; the sort of thing that kids do to stick it to their parents and ‘the system’ during their younger years. I think that is quite accurate, even the non white ‘converts’ joining seem to fit this descriptor quite well. It certainly describes the ones I come across during debate and the ones that flood my inbox with hate mail. Some just take it a little further and don’t grow out of it like bin ladan.

  • Zakariya Ali Sher

    Hey bobbie, remember me? You aren’t going to respond to any of my criticisms now? I guess that’s fair, but you act as if Muslims around the world are flocking to al-Qaeda’s banner. We all know that’s not true so just give it a rest already. The real reason your here isn’t to argue this – it’s to try and suck in anyone who happens to stumble onto this blog. You don’t have to be right; you just can’t afford to publicly admit when your wrong. I get it.

    But let’s look at ideological extremism. Yeah there are some few foreign fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan. What about Libya? Speaking as a Libyan there aren’t many; Qaddafi has a history of hiring mercenaries, a significant number of whom are Touareg or even black African, but that’s about money plain and simple. Why aren’t there Turks or Indonesians or Albanians flocking to his side in Libya? Or why aren’t they flocking to the side of the rebels? Why is it that Libya is purely a local conflict. Why is Somalia a local conflict with the foreign fighters mostly being Somali Americans who have family in the region?

    While you think on that, perhaps we should look at the history of American adventures in extremism. You yourself should be quite well aware that during the Cold War there were… I hesitate to say misguided so let’s just be honest and say stupid instead… there were stupid American Commies who went to the Soviet Union to join the Party and fight for international worker’s rights. That most of them came from comfortable middle-to-upper class white Anglo-Saxon backgrounds seemed to be of little consequence. There were also right wingers who went to South Africa to support the white government there. And others who have gone to join the Taleban. Interesting, black Africa seems just too far for them. As I said the Somali militants are mostly Somalis and Somali Americans. Guess Africa is just too scarey for those dumb teens.

    So what is it about American youth that makes them so gullible and idealistic? Why is it that so many whities get sucked into the very forms of extremism that you seem the think all Muslims are part of? Indeed, those white Muslims who get sucked in are almost invariably converts who were not raised in traditional Islam and have no real social contact in the community. I believe that would be check and mate at this point little bobby boy…

  • http://www.thebandofstrangers.org Jack Cope

    “No, but not one of the three terrorists I cited became religious extremists.

    OBL may have been an extremist, but he was qualitatively different in that he was a religious extremist.”

    There is a difference between ‘religious extremists’ and ‘extremists’? How? Why? They are extremists that is that. I could probably take Harry Potter and start an extremist cult with blowing stuff up and so on, would I be a ‘lesser’ extremist becuase of that?

    “So why is foreign policy so naturally associated with Muslim radicalism? Have we seen or are we going to see an uptick in Buddhist extremism resulting from China’s occupation of Tibet?”

    There is actually, you know how China keeps swamping Tibet with riot police? Or how people keep dieing over there?

    “How about Northern Ireland? Should Britain anticipate Italian or Mexican Catholics coming to her shores to bomb her cities?”

    People in the US did quite well sending money and guns to the IRA. What is your point?

  • JengaBob

    Read any transcript by someone like bin ladan then get back to me. Again, they don’t wake up one day and say ‘well, it’s Sunday, I’ve not got anything planned so I’m going to blow myself up in that market’.

    No, but not one of the three terrorists I cited became religious extremists.

    OBL may have been an extremist, but he was qualitatively different in that he was a religious extremist.

    So why is foreign policy so naturally associated with Muslim radicalism? Have we seen or are we going to see an uptick in Buddhist extremism resulting from China’s occupation of Tibet?

    Should we expect a global crusade against Uganda and the Congo due to these governments fighting against the LRA?

    How about Northern Ireland? Should Britain anticipate Italian or Mexican Catholics coming to her shores to bomb her cities?

  • http://www.thebandofstrangers.org Jack Cope

    Alright, on the one side we have:

    – as Pew and others show and the extremists themselves say the actions by the US and others in the world cause or at the very lease exasperate extremism.

    or

    – your argument that… well extremists just wake up one day and shoot stuff.

    Unless you’d like to expand on your point then I think it speaks for itself.

  • Zakariya Ali Sher

    But see, the thing you guys all forget is that bob isn’t an academic. He’s not a scholar. He’s not even an intellectual. He’s a populist, someone who preys on the weak-willed and ignorant by playing on their emotions. “Remember 9-11,” he’ll screech to anyone who listens. It’s about keeping people afraid and ignorant. That’s all. That’s why he doesn’t NEED to speak Arabic. It’s why he doesn’t NEED to find sources. He just cherry picks and says “look what those evil Muslims are doing here or there”. And it’s all the same. But it’s ultimately just a way of changing the subject.

    I think it’s worth remembering a little about bobby boy’s past too. He USED to be a commie – another ideological cult of deluded fools sucked in by pretty words and charismatic leaders – before he fell under the influence of evangelical trash like Paul Weyrich. That should tell you everything you need to know about the little shit (which is ironic since Weyrich died in his own filth; karma’s a bitch).

  • JengaBob

    Actually, naming Afghanistan as the source for extremism is also just as short sighted. Support for terrorism dropped and is lower today than it has ever been, even with the invasions and occupations of Iraq *AND* Afghanistan (and the increase of violence in the latter).

    So what you’re saying actually works against you. There is no evidence linking support for extremism among the general Muslim population to invasion/occupation.

  • http://www.thebandofstrangers.org Jack Cope

    bob, all your points have been adequately answered both here and in previous threads.

    “Joe Stack, Tim McVeigh and Anders Breivik were all extremists, but they didn’t become religious fanatics as a response to Big Government, Waco/Ruby Ridge, and the bombing of Serbia.”

    They didn’t just wake up one day and go and kill people either. It was a reaction to something.

    “And how exactly is there a relation to Islamic extremism and foreign policy?”

    Read any transcript by someone like bin ladan then get back to me. Again, they don’t wake up one day and say ‘well, it’s Sunday, I’ve not got anything planned so I’m going to blow myself up in that market’.

  • JengaBob

    One word – Afghanistan.

    Oh, so it’s Afghanistan now.

    So why did Mosizzle’s article claim it was Iraq that was the major catalyst for terrorism and extremism?

    Nevermind.

    It’s pointless to argue for or against Afghanistan because neither of us have polls supporting our beliefs.

  • JengaBob

    Bob, did you even read the article:

    I see. I suppose that’s why he wrote an article ‘Why Muslims love death’ in 2002, before the Iraq war and his bombing of his village (which, I guess was after he joined an AQ franchise) and religiously mentored two of the 19 al-Qaeda hijackers (which, btw, was before the war in Afghanistan).

    And how exactly is there a relation to Islamic extremism and foreign policy?

    Joe Stack, Tim McVeigh and Anders Breivik were all extremists, but they didn’t become religious fanatics as a response to Big Government, Waco/Ruby Ridge, and the bombing of Serbia.

  • http://www.thebandofstrangers.org Jack Cope

    “I disagree that occupation causes extremism. It may create an environment for extremism to be expressed in its most violent form but the evidence is that Muslims were more extreme in 2002 (no Iraq occupation and invasion) than in 2005, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10 and ’11.”

    One word – Afghanistan.

    Second bit; as stated before it’s not just these occupations that have caused it. It’s the whole package.

  • Zakariya Ali Sher

    Oh please, you expect bobbie boy to actually read an article from someone at University of Chicago? That’s a private university with one of the best Middle East departments in the country. Bobbie boy went to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a public university, and got a masters in Catholic history. And he knows so much about Islam that he doesn’t even need to SPEAK Arabic, or do field work, or anything like that. In fact, his sole two academic works didn’t even have anything to do with Islam….

    LOL…

  • JengaBob

    Quite clearly occupation does create extremism

    I disagree that occupation causes extremism. It may create an environment for extremism to be expressed in its most violent form but the evidence is that Muslims were more extreme in 2002 (no Iraq occupation and invasion) than in 2005, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10 and ’11.

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