Saturday, August 23, 2014

Islamists Militants “kill reporter James Foley on Video”

“And this, ultimately, is the most important point: terrorist groups have beheaded hostages and prisoners, Westerners and non-Westerners, for many years. What is shocking is not that they are extreme sadists, but that they are extreme sadists with a conventional army and nation-building aspirations. This is what makes them different. By their own admission, their aim is to “drown all of you in blood”. They are incapable of compromise, uninterested in moderation, and hell-bent on territorial expansion.”

Language counts. It is time to define the radical Islamic terrorists as just what they are, radical Islamic terrorists.

A major unacknowledged but obvious important conflict in international affairs is between moderate and radical Muslims, with the radical Muslims being defined as those who are willing to use lethal force based on religion as a means to their ends. This has included stoning women to death for infidelity, honor killings, assassinations for “blasphemy”, executions of farmers and journalists for political control, kidnapping and selling young women, suicide bombings, and terrorist attacks. As usual, the ends are used to justify the means. The means, however, define any group as much as the ends, and the means often come to distort the ends.

It is also time to better define, understand, and convey our own values and to contrast them with those of the radical Islamic terrorists. Have we learned nothing from the tragedies of the 20th Century. Our primary moral concept of equality, understood as a respect for human dignity and our common humanity, at least has the capacity for some accommodation in what is now a pluralist global community.