Terror Will Continue until Muslims Reject the Idea of the Caliphate

Aug. 22 2017

Responding to the recent terrorist attacks in Spain, Ed Husain—a former radical Islamist—assails the Western tendency toward self-flagellation and points to the true motives behind the violence. (Free registration required.)

Consider the facts on Spain: on March 11, 2004, al-Qaeda terrorists killed 192 and injured 2,000 on trains in Madrid. Spain had 1,300 troops in Iraq at the time (America had 135,000 and Britain 8,700). Three days after the bombing, Prime Minister José Maria Aznar lost the general election to a left-wing party committed to ending Spain’s involvement in Iraq. On April 18, 2004, the new prime minister ordered the withdrawal of Spain’s troops. Scarred by the Madrid bombing, fearful of reprisals after the terrorist attacks in France, in November 2015 the Spanish government refused to join a global coalition against Islamic State. So what did Spain do wrong?

We are asking the wrong questions. Spain’s foreign policy shows that we cannot stop terrorism by changing our behavior. In the mind of the Muslim extremists, Spain is not Spain, but al-Andalus, part of a Muslim empire that lasted in Spain for 700 years. Today’s Spain is considered to be “occupied land” that must be liberated. . . .

We have to be honest. Across the West we now have 30-million Muslims who are Westerners. There is no war against Islam. The freedom of Muslims to worship and live proves that the old, imperialist paradigms of Islamic State’s Dar al-Harb [the “abode of war” to be invaded by the caliphate] and Dar al-Islam [the “abode of Islam”] are outdated. Most Muslims are quietly thriving in business, politics, media, sports, and more. In Britain, Mishal Husain’s voice wakes us up on the Today program. Nadiya Hussain of The Great British Bake Off prepares cake for the queen. [The distance runner] Mo Farah reinstates British sporting pride. The list goes on. But there is a dark, sinister movement growing, too. . . .

Enough of blaming the West. . . . Muslims must reject the idea that we need a caliphate. Unless we discard the drive for a Muslim super-state, many more will be killed in pursuit of it.

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More about: European Islam, Islam, Jihad, Politics & Current Affairs, Spain, Terrorism

No, Israel Hasn’t Used Disproportionate Force against Hamas

Aug. 15 2018

Last week, Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza launched nearly 200 rockets and mortars into Israel, in addition to the ongoing makeshift incendiary devices and sporadic sniper fire. Israel responded with an intensive round of airstrikes, which stopped the rockets. Typically, condemnations of the Jewish state’s use of “disproportionate force” followed; and typically, as Peter Lerner, a former IDF spokesman, explains, these were wholly inaccurate:

The IDF conducted, by its own admission, approximately 180 precision strikes. In the aftermath of those strikes the Hamas Ministry of Health announced that three people had been killed. One of the dead was [identified] as a Hamas terrorist. The two others were reported as civilians: Inas Abu Khmash, a twenty-three-year-old pregnant woman, and her eighteen-month daughter, Bayan. While their deaths are tragic, they are not an indication of a disproportionate response to Hamas’s bombardment of Israel’s southern communities. With . . . 28 Israelis who required medical assistance [and] 30 Iron Dome interceptions, I would argue the heart-rending Palestinian deaths indicate the exact opposite.

The precision strikes on Hamas’s assets with so few deaths show how deep and thorough is the planning process the IDF has put in place. . . . Proportionality in warfare, [however], is not a numbers game, as so many of the journalists I’ve worked with maintain. . . . Proportionality weighs the necessity of a military action against the anguish that the action might cause to civilians in the vicinity. . . . In the case of the last few days, it appears that even intended combatant deaths were [deemed] undesirable, due to their potential to increase the chances of war. . . .

The question that should be repeated is why indiscriminate rocket fire against Israeli civilians from behind Gazan civilians is accepted, underreported, and not condemned.

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More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, IDF, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict