Is it a Muslim Problem?

After the London blasts, Jeff Jarvis said he is not sure if the Western world is dealing with the problem of terrorism directly. However, he thinks that Tom Friedman has made it clearer when he said, “it's a Muslim problem, it needs a Muslim solution.” Humoud Abu-Talib, writing for Al-Watan daily, has quoted these words of Friedman:

Either the Muslim world begins to really restrain, inhibit and denounce its own extremists – if it turns out that they are behind the London bombings – or the West is going to do it for them. And the West will do it in a rough, crude way – by simply shutting them out, denying them visas and making every Muslim in its midst guilty until proven innocent.

Abu-Talib wrote: “It is sad that Friedman said ‘every Muslim in its midst guilty until proven innocent’, and it seems that this is what is going to happen.” He also blames the British authorities for being indulgent with the extremists. Abdul Rahman al-Rashed expressed the same idea. “Not only are they admitted to the country, they are also provided with accommodation, a monthly salary, and free legal advice for those who want to prosecute the British government,” he wrote for the English edition of Asharq al-Awsat.

Abu-Talib thinks that what happened will open the gates of hell on Muslims, especially Arab Muslims. “Muslims in Europe will pay the price for the idiocy of lunatics who commit crimes in the name of Islam.”

Is it a Muslim problem so Muslims have to solve it themselves, or is it a global problem and the whole world is responsible to find the solution?


  • What about Christian extremists here in the US who want to create a theocracy?

  • I’d say it’s a global problem that Muslims are in the best position to solve.

  • And further, whoever implements the solution will be in the best position to manage the outcome.

  • At a first level it is a Moslem Problem for sure. Moslems are those who payed
    the highest price in Human lives.

    But the world’s interaction on global problems makes it also a global
    problem since insecurity is every where now and not only in the Moslem world.

    We need each one’s help and cooperation to eradicate this new phenomenon.

  • Rufus Lee King

    I think both appraoches discussed in the first Pipes article, above, have merit.

    1) Let Muslim rule follow through with its violent predilictions and it will self implode.

    2) Don’t allow unnecessary brutality of elected Islamic rule and persecution when it can be bypassed.

    We are doing both. The countries we have intervened in have already been shepherded into civl rule and rights, the likes of which they would not have ever seen under their prior status quo.

    The other Islamic threat countries to us, way too numerous to intercede into, have an Achilles heel in the Islamic tradition of using outrageous violence on itself and its closest neighbors, as well as the despised infidels. We have chosen some moments (such as Iran – Iraq) to hold the coats and provide arms to warring Muslim countires and factions. And we have thereby let them thin themselves out at their own expense and a marginal one to us. We thereby neutralize the obliging intercombatants when it proves feasible, reserving our forces for the most serious offenders who will require our blood and treasure to keep tied up.

    This approach has been practical and moderate, compared with the impulses terror makes us susceptible to to “take down all Muslims” as eternally self-avowed menaces to civilized global harmony. The only problem with this continued step-by-step management of each developing threat is the changing technology of weapons allowing small, undefensible bands to weild WMDs.

    Waiting until that certainty arises is preposterous. But trying to reform a religion based on the war mongering words of its sole prophet, who imposes a death penalty for the aposatcy of altering his scripture, also seems like a crazy aspiration.

    I’m out of ideas and ready for some new ones, provided they don’t rely on either of the above two catastrophic formulas.

  • I’m reminded of a report on The World where Palistinians(sp?) where interviewed for their reaction on London bombings. Although many expressed outrage at the actions of the bombers. Many qualified their statement with an understanding of the bombers actions. Who knows what these people really thought, to an American reporter, they may have decided to appear to condone the attacks while in spirit sort of supporting the attacks.

    I don’t think the heart of many Muslim people when there is a deeper problem present. One that the west has much more control.

    The dirty secret of a free market/capitalistic economic system is for there to be winners, there have to be losers. Looking at a small scale, at say a community level, there are rich people (who have more then they ever need), middle class people ( who ussually have what they need), and poor people (who dont have everything they need). The same economic ideas apply at a world level, where a rich person become a rich country, and poor person becomes a poor country. It doesnt matter what scale the economy is, you could be poor as a millionare, if everyone else makes more money then you do.

    As long as we stay in a free market economy, we always have poor people. So it becomes up to the goverment to control income gaps and distribution and decide what services will be provided by the goverment to those people who cant regularly afford health care, shelter, schools, etc.

    We covered the economic stuff, now lets get back to the main topic and specifically focus on the Palistinian / Israel conflict. Although there are other issues in this conflict, I’m going to focus on the economic issues related to this conflict. There are huge economic disparities between Palastinianes and Isrealies, this is due to both how Isreal treats the Palastinians and how the West supports Isreal. Palistinians have high unemployment at about 26% while israel is at a much lower 10%. Poverty rates are 60% amoung the Palistinians and around 10-20% amoung Israelies. Ireal distrupts trade and commerce with thier wall and roadblocks in the name of security.

    So in the name of secuity, thier messures have hampered the economic well being of the palastinians, and hence created more fertile recruiting grounds for muslims with extreme agendas. Sort of a self-fufilling prophecy. As we Americans show solidarity to the British as a ally and also where this country has its roots, many Muslims show solidarity to the plight of the Palistians in Israel.

    But its not just that, many muslism countrys as well have some of the same economic issues. They may not be influced by Israel, but instead the global free market.

    What needs to be done is, not so much packages that provide debt relief (Looks good politically, but does not address the dirty secret of the free market), violently force democracy (true and stable goverment reform takes years and is best done a step at a time), or create trade agreements (simply allows corporations to exploit cheaper labor and resources). But instead we need to look at changing the global economic system. That comes from everyone, the US especially with its egocentric economic polcies.

    I’m going to end it there, there are more non economic issues that are also creating this climate for voilence. Somone else can discuss those. I apologize for any grammar and spelling mistakes. Thank You, and Good Night.

  • John

    Mike Cohen asks:

    What about Christian extremists here in the US who want to
    create a theocracy?

    They’re pretty nasty, but they aren’t blowing anyone up.

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