Merchant of Death
Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Blood from Stones

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What is Missing in the Current Debate on Islam
It has become quite fashionable now to give a relatively small group of Muslim scholars free rein to talk, unchallenged, about what Islam does and does not teach. In the Sunday Washington Post, the Outlook section devoted most of this week's pages to letting Muslims of different viewpoints speak out. Newsweek Magazine and the Post have a joint inter-faith dialogue, Georgetown University has given Tariq Ramadan more time than anyone could reasonably used, and the list goes on.

What is strikingly missing in reading through these pages is any recognition that there are significant push factors that are extremely important in the radicalization of many of today's _jihadis._

While it may be true that U.S. foreign policy has contributed to some radicalization, and poverty and racism have their place, what of the billions of dollars the Saudis and others, often through mosques controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, used to teach people how to hate us? Might that not be a factor as well?

It is a topic that only rarely is raised by all these voices claiming that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. One can (and a few do) argue for a radical reinterpretation of the texts that promote violence, jihad and hatred. But no one getting all the free space and time talks about what the children in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, UAE etc. etc. are actually being taught, and have been for the past decades or centuries.

That is, in many cases, that Allah requires one to reject the world and all those in it who are not Muslims. The textbooks explicitly teach that Jews and Christians are pigs and monkeys, and that the closer one is to Allah, the more the rotten nature of the world will become manifest, and that this wretched condition must be fought.

This, in large part, was the role of "Milestones," and why it still stands, while other texts have fallen by the wayside. It gives a strong theological justification for violent jihad against a world that is in utter darkness and beyond salvation except by the sword of Islam.

These are push factors in mosques across the Arab Peninsula, Europe and the United States that help answer the question people so often like to ask: Why do they hate us?

In part the answer is simply that that is what they are taught. It is not a mystery. Catholic missionaries used to brag that if they had a child to the age of 5, they had a Catholic forever. That indoctrination at that age is powerful, powerful tool that is being wielded through BILLIONS of dollars in teaching and preaching to those most vulnerable to accepting it.

But we prefer to blame outside circumstances, ourselves, our society etc. There may be some truth to all of those. But the central fault lies in the teachings, by Muslims to Muslims, that the world is against them, violence is an accepted remedy and that, beyond being acceptable, it is in fact what Allah calls them to.

I do not object to real interfaith dialogue, or allowing people to discuss their theology. I do object when the blame is entirely placed on factors that pull those who radicalize, rather than Muslim assuming responsibility for the push factors that should also be a major part of the debate.
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