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"Do riots save Islam's honor?"
Irshad Manji asks an interesting question in the Los Angeles Times: "Do riots save Islam's honor?"
It is a question worth asking. Muslims rioted after a Newsweek story indicating American soldiers had flushed pages of the Koran down the toilet. (The story turned out to be a fabrication.) Even if it was true (which it was not), does desecrating the Koran merit rioting, destruction, mayhem and murder?
While Newsweek has taken a lot of heat for their fabricated "story", the magazine's lack of ethics is not the real issue here. What this should do is remind us of exactly what we're dealing with in this War on Terror. We are dealing with people who believe an insult to their "honor" calls for bloodshed. This isn't anything new, as Manji points out. Muslims rioted after a newspaper columnist made an offhand remark about the prophet Muhammad. Who can forget the fatwa ordering the murder of Salmon Rushdie in 1989 after he insulted Islam with his book "The Satanic Verses"?v
But it goes deeper than that. Muslim terrorists are not just willing to kill others over a small provocation like an "insult". Muslim terrorists kill themselves on a regular basis for a chance to kill their enemies. These are people whose devotion to their religion is so strong that they have no regard for human life.
Think about that for a minute. Some have decided to use "homicide bomber" rather than "suicide bomber" to describe these terrorists. I think "suicide bomber" is a better fit because it underscores just how fanatical Muslim terrorists are. Ted Kaczynski and Tim McVeigh were homicide bombers, but they maimed and killed from a distance. Suicide bombers are more than willing to die in order to kill a few infidels.
Compare and contrast this with the concept of a martyr. A martyr might be willing to die for his faith, but he does not actively kill himself. A martyr, when told to reject his faith or die, chooses to allow the people persecuting him to end his life rather than reject his God. Actively blowing yourself up, on the other hand, is fanaticism, not devotion.
Not only are Muslim terrorists willing to kill themselves to kill a few infidels and willing to kill after an "insult", but they make no distinctions for innocents. The horrifically evil acts perpetrated by Muslim terrorists in a Russian school last year underscore this fact. Muslim terrorists took children hostage and brutally slaughtered them.
If we're going to win this War on Terror, we have to take off the blinders and look objectively at who are enemies are. We are dealing with people motivated to kill because of their religion, and who have no regard for their own lives. September 11 was merely an escalation of the jihad that has been raging for over three decades. This is a religious war. If you don't believe that, you're fooling yourself.