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Who is to blame?

Howard Oggman Berkeley
Tuesday July 02, 2002

To the Editor: 

Unfortunately there are still a lot of people in the Western world who blame U.S. foreign policy for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It is important to understand that U.S. policy toward Islamic regimes is a consequence of Islamist ideology in Arab countries, and certainly not its cause. 95 percent of current conflicts on earth involve Islamists (e.g. Kosovo, Algeria, Philippines, etc). 

We should not consider ourselves responsible for the behavior of Islamic fundamentalists. The terrorist attacks on the U.S. soil didn't occur because of our own behavior but because of theirs, their education, indoctrination, fanatism, education, obscurantism, lack of human freedom, lack of freedom and justice for women, lack of pluralism, and lack of respect for other cultures and religions. The Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamyan in Afganistan, not because of U.S. policy, but because of their deficit of respect for other cultures and religions. 

We have been hit because we do not believe in such restricted values that limit in a tremendous way human freedoms, and especially women’s rights. A camel is more valuable for Islamists than a woman whose only role is to deliver babies. How many women were killed because they went into a hairdresser or school, or even worse because they had been raped. We also need to understand the differences between Islam and Islamism. Islamism is a set of ideologies in Islam that apply the laws of Islam (Sharia) to its full extent. Fortunately most Muslims do not comply or accept this extreme practice of Islam. 

Will we stop believing in democracy, respecting pluralism and other religions, listening to music and watching movies, drinking alcohol, having sex, or enjoying our freedom just to please Islamist fundamentalists that apply the Sharria as delineated by the Koran? Should American men grow long beards and women wear a tchador to please them? Politics are an essential objective of Islam, the extension of which can only be done via territorial conquest. It is an 

obligation for Islam to conquer non islamic lands (Djihad) and to let non-Muslims decide between conversion or extermination. What a program. Or rather, what a pogrom... 

We should face the truth, not deny it, and each nation should back Israel and the United States in their fight against Islamic terrorism. A murderer who kills dozen of civilians in a bus, a restaurant, ian ice-cream parlor or a night club should not be compared to his innocent victims. He died because he is a murderer and it's morally wrong to consider him as a victim of his own crime. Fanatism and indoctrination made him become a homicide bomber, not despair. Plenty of desperate people all over the world, who also claim for for a state and for independence are not involved in such ignoble criminal acts (e.g. in Tibet and Kurdistan). 


Howard Oggman