Comments: Where does terrorism start? [Jahed's Posting]
- Some of these comments, including from Muslims, seem to make sense although strongly refute this supposedly great article. World is maturing first, some Muslims too. A fast-track change. -Alamgir.-------------------------------------------------------
Comments: Where does terrorism start?
Sunday 25 September 2005, 16:59 Makka Time, 13:59 GMT
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A secelction of comments in response to Soumayya Ghanoushi's editorial - Where does terrorism start?.
The West has hurt Latin American countries, African Sub-Saharan countries and others just as it has hurt Islamic nations. Yet, those people are not setting off bombs in Western cities.
Of course, one cannot reach complete conclusions from these simple facts. But it is food for thought, and something that needs to be more fully discussed.
Mahmoud Zadeh, US
Again the blame is placed on Western policy. What about the history of violence that has always been part of the fabric of Arab societies? Retribution and "eye for eye" mentality prevail.
So what went wrong along the way? As we can all see most of the conflicts in the world over the last two millenniums have been caused by religion or the interpretation of it.
It is time we stop all forms of violence in the name of Islam. We have suffered through the ages and it will make little difference if we want to fight back. We will be wiped out by the numbers.
In order to live in peace it is time for the Muslims to regain their intellectual prowess and build the Islamic nation as rationalised by the prophet and the current intellectuals.
Any attempt by the Muslims to fight back will only lead to chaotic disorder and distrust among Muslims. Islam will prevail if the Muslims are willing to forgive and show the other religions that they have a place on this earth as the rest.
Self-criticism is a prerequisite to self-improvement. If one knows one's own faults, one can also improve on those faults. My point is Wahabism. Extremism runs through the Islamic worlds, in the form of Wahabism and its ilk, as fascism ran through Europe in the 1920s.
Just as alienation, poverty and humiliation furthered fascism, it does the same today for extremism in Islam. But that is no excuse. Europe had to start two wars that killed 66 million people before it turned to moderation as a way of life. I hope the same will not be required to the Middle East .
Klaus Ammitzboll, Denmark
I think it is time we Asians digest the fact that the Americans and the British are acting like the cunning wolves who instigate the two ignorant lambs to fight each other. If we fight each other then we are the loser.
Kiran Ajaykumar, India
What you're saying is that as long as the US & UK continue their current foreign policies, the murderous militant Islamists cannot really be blamed for their actions?
The thing is, as long as the murderous militant Islamists continue their foreign policies, the US , UK & other civilised states can not be blamed.
Osama bin Laden is right about one thing, we (people of the West) yearn for life more than death. There are too many Muslims living in bin Laden's "Nation of Martyrdom; the Nation that wants death more than you desire life." It is quite obvious who sees the world rationally and who sees it in some twisted, perverse manner according to these terms.
The writer implies that the terrorists were inspired by attacks by the US (and UK ) on Iraq - as if that is what we do for a hobby.
The impotent UN could not enforce sanctions that Saddam agreed with to end the Gulf war. After 10 years, the old regime thought they had us fooled. We had no choice but to act, with or without the supposed existence of WMD.
I think if more Muslim scholars condemn terrorist actions, there would be less terrorism. Instead, it is easy to blame the West for creating terrorism.
I do not argue that some of Bush's policies are not wrong. But suicide bombings do not solve anything. The Brits and the Americans would be out of Iraq by now if the people had acted more like a defeated Germany or Japan .
They need to find a more effective way of showing their disagreement than blowing up innocent people.
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The author of the following article published in The Boston Globe maintains that science and religion reside in different domain.
Here is a food for thought: "Biologists and intelligent designers may point to the same tiger, but because one asks how and the other why, they talk past each other. It's a nondebate. And that's what we can teach. Throughout history, into our own day, how and why -- both, neither alone -- have defined the human project. Nations that would be guided by one question, not both, usually make a mess of things."
Science vs. design: no debate
PRESIDENT BUSH has suggested that we ''teach the debate" concerning intelligent design and evolutionary biology. Impossible. To a have a debate, you and I must speak to the same question and use evidence we both accept.
Let's illustrate: We can all agree that the Bengal tiger is a wonder of nature. A biologist points to the tiger's stripes and says: ''What are these, and how did they come to be this way?" An intelligent designer, who argues that nature is too complex to be explained away by science, might ask: ''Why do these stripes form such an astonishing pattern? Who or what could have done this -- to what end?" The poet William Blake wondered much the same:
Tyger! Tyger! Burning brightIn the forests of the night:What immortal hand or eye,Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?For that matter, what immortal hand or eye framed our symmetry? At bottom, that's what intelligent designers think they know, that's what they want to teach, and that's exactly where science will not venture. Science can describe the tiger's stripes. But who or what made the tiger, other than the forces of natural selection? No testable hypotheses there.
Biologists and intelligent designers may point to the same tiger, but because one asks how and the other why, they talk past each other. It's a nondebate. And that's what we can teach. Throughout history, into our own day, how and why -- both, neither alone -- have defined the human project. Nations that would be guided by one question, not both, usually make a mess of things.
How has given us Einstein and Euclid; why, Virginia Woolf, Homer, Moses, and Mother Teresa. Have we not learned, even yet, to untangle these questions? They should be, and have ever been, debated endlessly, but never with much success in the same breath. We need both but must pursue each alone.
At the end of life, no one wants another description of the tiger's symmetry. We want what William Blake did: to know that those stripes, and our lives, are not accidents of matter colliding in the void. Until scientists, the masters of how, can give us that, we will ask why.
There is no debate over intelligent design, only different ways of knowing and the mystery of tigers burning bright.
Though the U.S. defense department did play its historical role in the invention of modern Internet, so did the Chinese play similar role inventing printing press, and many other nations and races with their own invaluable contributions to the progress of our civilization, from mathematics to science to art. No nation and political ideologies should have absolute monopoly on any universally used medium such as Internet. This is NOT "a matter of national policy", this IS a matter of respecting our humanity.</>
PS: Please note the following rebuttal of this article and my comment from the following link: http://sohelkarim.blogspot.com/2005/09/us-insists-on-keeping-control-of-web.html#comments
U.S. Insists on Keeping Control of Web
By BRADLEY S. KLAPPER
The Associated Press
Thursday, September 29, 2005; 8:59 PM
GENEVA -- A senior U.S. official rejected calls on Thursday for a U.N. body to take over control of the main computers that direct traffic on the Internet, reiterating U.S. intentions to keep its historical role as the medium's principal overseer.
"We will not agree to the U.N. taking over the management of the Internet," said Ambassador David Gross, the U.S. coordinator for international communications and information policy at the State Department. "Some countries want that. We think that's unacceptable."
Many countries, particularly developing ones, have become increasingly concerned about the U.S. control, which stems from the country's role in creating the Internet as a Pentagon project and funding much of its early development.
Gross was in Geneva for the last preparatory meeting ahead of November's U.N. World Summit on the Information Society in Tunisia.
Some negotiators from other countries said there was a growing sense that a compromise had to be reached and that no single country ought to be the ultimate authority over such a vital part of the global economy.
But Gross said that while progress was being made on a number of issues necessary for producing a finalized text for Tunis, the question of Internet governance remained contentious.
A stalemate over who should serve as the principal traffic cops for Internet routing and addressing could derail the summit, which aims to ensure a fair sharing of the Internet for the benefit of the whole world.
Some countries have been frustrated that the United States and European countries that got on the Internet first gobbled up most of the available addresses required for computers to connect, leaving developing nations with a limited supply to share.
They also want greater assurance that as they come to rely on the Internet more for governmental and other services, their plans won't get derailed by some future U.S. policy.
One proposal that countries have been discussing would wrest control of domain names from the U.S.-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, and place it with an intergovernmental group, possibly under the United Nations.
Gross dismissed it as unacceptable.
"We've been very, very clear throughout the process that there are certain things we can agree to and certain things we can't agree to," Gross told reporters at U.N. offices in Geneva. "It's not a negotiating issue. This is a matter of national policy."
He said the United States was "deeply disappointed" with the European Union's proposal Wednesday advocating a "new cooperation model," which would involve governments in questions of naming, numbering and addressing on the Internet.
In 1998, the U.S. Commerce Department selected ICANN to oversees the Internet's master directories, which tell Web browsers and e-mail programs how to direct traffic. Internet users around the world interact with them everyday, likely without knowing it.
Although ICANN is a private organization with international board members, Commerce ultimately retains veto power. Policy decisions could at a stroke make all Web sites ending in a specific suffix essentially unreachable. Other decisions could affect the availability of domain names in non-English characters or ones dedicated to special interests such as pornography.
Two Teams Identify Chinese Bat as SARS Virus Hiding Place
By LAWRENCE K. ALTMAN
The SARS virus, which has killed 774 people worldwide, has long been known to come from an animal. Now two scientific teams have independently identified the Chinese horseshoe bat as that animal and as a hiding place for the virus in nature.
The bats apparently are healthy carriers of SARS, which caused severe economic losses, particularly in Asia, as it spread to Canada and other countries. In Asia, many people eat bats or use bat feces in traditional medicine for asthma, kidney ailments and general malaise.
The Chinese horseshoe bat does not exist in the United States.
The finding is important in preventing outbreaks of SARS and similar viruses carried by bats because it provides an opportunity for scientists to break the transmission chain.
One team from China, Australia and the United States reported its findings yesterday in the online version of Science. The other team, from the University of Hong Kong, reported its findings on Tuesday in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"It's pretty pleasant to see two teams that did not know each other reach similar findings," Dr. Lin-Fa Wang, a virologist at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory, said in a telephone interview. After collecting hundreds of bats from the wild and from Chinese markets, each team reported identifying different viruses from the coronavirus family that are very closely related to the SARS virus.
SARS, or sudden acute respiratory syndrome, first appeared in China in 2002. It spread widely in early 2003 to infect at least 8,098 people in 26 countries, according to the World Health Organization. The disease died out later in 2003, and no cases have been reported since.
SARS now appears to join a number of other infectious agents that bats can transmit. Over the last decade, bats have been found as the source of two newly discovered human infections caused by the Nipah and Hendra viruses that can produce encephalitis and respiratory disease. In the SARS outbreak, attention focused on the role of Himalayan palm civets in transmitting it after scientists identified the virus in this species and in a raccoon dog sold in markets in Guangdong. But W.H.O. officials and scientists elsewhere cautioned that these species were most likely only intermediaries in the transmission, largely because no widespread infection could be found in wild or farmed civets. So, the teams assembled a variety of specialists, including veterinarians, zoologists, virologists and ecologists.
Dr. Wang said his group focused on bats largely because of the team members' earlier pioneering work on the Hendra and Nipah viruses. One member, Dr. Jonathan H. Epstein, a veterinary epidemiologist at the Consortium for Conservation Medicine in Manhattan, led the scientists in gathering bats from the wild and market places.
After obtaining fecal and blood samples, the scientists released the bats into the wild or returned them to the markets. The specimens were tested for a variety of viruses that infect animals.
Laboratory analysis of the coronaviruses' makeup provided strong genetic evidence of the close relationship between those found in the bats and the SARS virus.
Although it is logical to assume that the bat viruses infected the animals in the live markets to cause the outbreak, the studies were not planned to prove that point.
"The genetic relationships do not tell you anything mechanistically about if or how the virus moved from the bats to civets and from the civets to the humans," said Dr. Donald S. Burke, a virologist and professor at Johns Hopkins. "It's not a perfect story yet. But until I see otherwise, the working assumption will be that this is the reservoir species."
Dr. Wang said that "there is no rule" to establish proof that a certain species is the reservoir, or hiding place, of a virus, but that scientists make the judgment based on criteria like how widely the infectious agent is distributed in a species, the absence of symptoms among the animals and finding high levels of antibody but low amounts of virus in the animal.
The Chinese horseshoe bat fits those criteria and the civets do not, Dr. Wang said. The bat feeds on moths and other insects and generally does not bite animals. It was highly unlikely that insects transmitted the SARS viruses to bats, because the viruses do not grow in insect cells in the laboratory, Dr. Wang said.
Most civets that are sold in China as a delicacy are farmed, Dr. Wang said, and the government should ensure civet farms are distant from bat colonies, monitor farmed civets for SARS-like viruses and allow just noninfected animals to go to market.