11 Nov 2005

Thoughts of an ignorant, peaceful, naive and simple man

Al-Qaeda a name that is synonymous to global terrorism. A name that is associated to every bombs, every deaths, every mishaps that happened in this world after 9-11. A name that will forever bears the hard-line mentality of every Muslim in this world.
After 9-11, the world was suddenly awaken to a new global threat that till this very day, resembles a disease that has no apparent cure. In fact as time goes by, this disease seems to be able to effectively defy any remedies that might be prescribe.

Never in recorded history of the world, have we lived in a time where chaos, resentment, oppression and anger was more apparent to the common man. Prior to now, all our insecurities towards an “evil force” was so far away that our daily life were never seem to be affected by it but alas no longer do we have such luxury.
Every battle, every fight is taken by the common man.
No more by men who are in need to be in a uniform.
No more by men who intention is by pure greed of power.
No more by men who wishes to balance the status quo.

Singapore in its very small way, took part in a brave attempt of global cleansing when it in itself was threatened by the folks from Jemaah Islamiah aka JI (a local branch of the Al-Qaeda) in an attempt to bomb several military posts and Israel embassy in Singapore.
From then onwards, Singapore went on a maximum overdrive in identifying, capturing and interrogating all members, almost members and any of their family members whom are a suspect in this particular plot or any other that might have been planned. The government didn’t just stop at just that, some of the suspects were detained indefinitely without a trail and spent their time rehabilitating their so called “wayward” understanding of Islam as well as co-operating with the authorities in every aspect of these group network.

The local authorities took step to further enhance security all-around the island where a lot of its securities policies were either revamped or outdated as well as the creation of several new agencies to tackle the problems of global terrorism. Lately one of the measures was to make sure that all pre-paid mobile cards were registered to an owner so that these facility cant be abuse by terrorists in their deceitful activities.

A couple of days ago, one of Asia wanted man, Azahari Husin, the so-called mastermind of several bomb attacks in this region allegedly blow himself up to pieces when he was caught in a crossfire with the local police in Indonesia. This somewhat prompted a lot of media to bravely announce that global terrorism took a heavy blow from his death and with Azahari demise, the local JI’s network will now be easier to be targeted and destroyed.

Personally I have a lot of views that I want to share regarding global terrorism. First and foremost, I never regarded this movement as a terrorist movement but more a revolutionary.

Why?

Simply because, history has taught us that, when a common man found himself stuck in a corner being oppressed by a force that is unbecoming of the nature of his living, he has no choice but to violently push the force away and do his utmost to make sure that the very same force, no longer exist and change is just a natural way of progression.

We REALLY need to remind ourselves this, GOOD and EVIL is a matter of opinion. There is no such things as the Evil Axis or the Good Axis of power. Both in their own entity believe in what they are doing as a good thing and it a global yet cosmic way, it is natural for both entity to exist as they create a natural order of life.

No revolution in the recorded history of the world has there no blood that bled.
Where mother will lost their child, children will lose their parents.
Friends will lose their friends and lovers will lose their lifes.

How many revolutions are there that made evidently natural changes in the world, not just politically but in its civilised fate?

Remember the American Revolution where the American drove away their British oppressor so they can dictate their own fate. How about the Civil War in America, where changes was evidently required and changes can only be made through bloodshed.
How about the Cuban Revolution or the Communist Revolution or the Revolution that changes Japan from a monarch state to a democratic country.
Here in Singapore itself, we have fought against the Japanese, Communist, British and that only modern history. What about the times we fought against, the Majapahit Empire, The Siamese’s Army.

All these major conflicts in the world produce deaths, misery, hatred, vengeance, rages and anger but at the end of it all, the victor of each battles will always take precedent in creating a new world and this started because someone had an idea on how he see the world, and how he felt wronged living in a world where he has no say of.

What then is the difference of the battles we now faces as a global community in our fight against these so called terrorist?

All of us need to take time and really think, what makes these terrorist act the way they do and what are their demands actually. Largely the media have portrayed each act of terrorism as an act between Islam and the rest of the world. Of course they would coyly say that these factions of Islam are very different that the conventional and moderates Muslims but the truth is, in religion, there is only one Islam.
Should one Muslim brother done wronged, then its almost natural that all Muslims have but to share the same amount of blame of his acts.
If one thing this religion has taught me is that of unity and pride. Unity to hold the arms of your brothers in sickness and in health and no to forego him in his time of need. Pride in the believe that we as not just a religion but as a civilisation bear testaments of our contribution to the world in the fields of mathematics, medicines, philosophy, the arts, politics and diplomacy, trade and many others.
So how can we as Muslims not felt hurt and wronged that these war against so called terrorism are not directed to Islam as a whole.

To me, this “war” is not and never will be a war between Islam and the rest of the world. It is a war, a battle against the world’s indignation, sloth, greed, manipulation and rape of the Islamic world. These terrorist see America and its allies as a force that has unjustly abuse their authorities and influence in aligning their political needs and demands in the Middle East especially the treachery that was done in Palestine.

How many of us know exactly what is happening in Palestine other than the random news reports we hear or read. The atrocities that was done to the Palestinian people and the rape of its land by Israel was evidently clear and yet very little was done till of late to help (with the pull out of the Jewish Settlers) and aid the people of Palestine of their rightful land and freedom but what we all made to know and believe was that the militant group, HAMAS, was an evil force that was hell bent in destroying Israel.
Very few people in this world was willing to help the cries of suffering and despair of Palestine. Most just stood there and did virtually nothing but talk and talk, discuss and discuss.

Fundamentally this indignity that was felt by the Palestinians, is the root of the problem that is facing us now. The brewing resentment by the people whose cries of help fell into deaf ears but yet the very same people who have the ability to help only helped themselves to the riches of the Arab Land. The defiling of its land, its people and its resources.

In Afghanistan especially where the Talibans was driven out of power by the American forces but yet the war there still rages on. Iraq too has become a victim of America’s growing pride and their definition of human rights and freedom. Kuwait are indebted to them for freeing their country from the evil clutches of Saddam while Saudi Arabia, the only nation I felt whom should take a stronger role in defining this war, has to much commercially at stake to rile up the Americans or its allies. Turkey unfortunately is caught in between European ideals and Islamic’s Fundamentals. While the rest of the Middle East are too much caught up in modernization to really be seen as an effective leader to the Islamic world or they are too much in poverty to really make a difference.

How then can one really wipe out the threat of global terrorism?
Truth is, there none till everyone go back to their respective corners and start figuring out their personal priorities.

America MUST show humility and decide on its own what is best for its people. Does interfering in other countries process of democracy and freedom is way to stamp American’s dominance in the global stage is a good way or maybe it should decide to act fair in its due process in providing aid for countries who are really in need of it.
If so, America should assist the countries in Africa who are affected by famine, civil wars, corrupt government, poverty, human rights abuse but yet their called for aids are often rebuked by the same very people who readily help the oil-rich nations in the Gulf State in the Security Council of the United Nations.

America’s allies too need to reassess the roles they are willing to take in being an equal yet pro-active partner in making this world a better place for EVERYONE, not just for themselves. They need to realise whether it is good for them to be seen as an American lackey especially Australia where once the former Prime Minister of Malaysia accuses them for trying to be “deputy sheriff” of the world.

The European Union MUST reassess their involvement and the level of participation they should have with the Americans as they need to be seen politically as well as globally, as an independent and influential organisation of European countries, NOT a spokesperson to the American regime.

The Arab states too need to think of their own priorities and in a way remember what Islam has taught them in the dealings of the world. Violence was NEVER encouraged in any aspects of living and our acts when we are mortals are ONLY for god and the betterment of the human race. If we go on and killing people especially innocent lives, how then can we face the god that we love, cherished and fear with the clearest of conscience, as we have failed to do what is ask of us.

Al-Qaeda, as a group need to come to the table with all the representatives of the Arab States as well as the OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Countries) to talk about their struggles and demands of what they see as an ideal situation. This is because, where can there be struggles when there have been compromises.
A win-win situation can be worked out for what is common in all parties is the glory of god, no matter how different they define it.
Only when we are able to engage the Al-Qaeda as a legitimate and diplomatic entity,amoong the Arab Nations, then the rest of the sub-groups of the Al-Qaeda that might have splintered away, clearly are without proper cause for a revolution and from then the sentiments of the global community towards this problem will change dramatically.

In Asia too, we need to realise that our over reliance towards the Western world need to stop. We are a proud civilisation right here in the East and through sheer hard work and ingenuity we have managed to define our values and success. Let face it, till the day men have no greed, that will be the day when there are no wars, no deaths of fighting, no hurt and no disappointment.
We really need to shift our liberties in facing this global phenomena. We need to act in a manner where define Asia collectively and not be afraid in dealing with our own insecurities as a unit.

Singapore on its hands need to stop thinking that is it like the Jewish State of the East. True it is surrounded by countries where collectively have Muslims as a majority but in friendship and love, there’s NO lines that differentiate what god you pray to.
If our security is undermined by that philosophy that clearly we havent matured enough as we think we have.

In this region alone, Singapore spent more than $2 billion dollars on defence (if I can remember correctly) and other than education that is the highest amount the government are willing to spend on its annual budget. This is an amount that is really hard to match by a lot of countries and in all honesty I personally think that we do have the best defence forces here in this region. Man per man, we are no match to any countries maybe with the exception of East Timor but through our advanced technological capabilities, we are definitely up there among the big boys.
So the need to shed our apparent fear of the rest and to step up in our involvement in assisting and aiding countries in need in a humble and respectful manner without propagandising every good deeds we took upon ourselves.

Singapore must be seen as an entity that is pro-freedom. Not a staunch nation who only believes that if the PAP say its right, then whatever the rest has to say that doesn’t fit in their ways, are wrong.
My daily dealing with people, I always get the sense that a lot of us are ready to take a proactive actions in bettering our lifes but yet when it comes to the people in power, we just shudder the thought of it and do what we think is best not necessarily right.

For example, if your girlfriend was harassed by another person of influence, what would you do? Would you go all the way to report the act or just ignore it since it was done once and it might never happen again?
If you were to report it, you have to go through the hassle of wasting your time, where your integrity and pride will be put on question, where your act of righteousness is seen as a hassle, bothersome, troublesome by others or you could just live with it, knowing that you might have just saved yourself from a lot of unnecessary problems.

That what we are doing to ourselves. Ignorant is a social condition but APATHY/ is a dangerous social disease. If we have the ability to know but we refuse to be informed and learn about something, then what need are there for a brain.
With apathy, we are only poking our eyes and stabbing our ears so that we cant see nor listen. If were to be able to solve the so called problem of global terrorism, we, the people need to be proactive in our political decision. Realise that we as the people are in charge of our own freedom. Singapore isn’t a welfare state and never will it be one but politically, we are ever so dependant on the government for answers.
How can that be?

Singapore and in this I mean us, the people must be together combating apathy first before we decide to take on the “Axis of Evil”. No I didn’t ask for a bloody political revolution. As much as I feel the need for change in our political climate, I definitely have much respect and admiration of what the government has already done for its people. The good times and even the bad times but a need for new solutions, the definitions, new realisation of our place, our roles our destiny requires, new people and I hope all of us will eventually lead our own bloodless battles in determining who we are, where we are and what should be done.

These are my private thoughts and as much as some of these thoughts are considered ignorant and naive, as i am, i seek no hurt nor harm to anyone. All there is for all of us regardless of who we are, is to embrace each other without fear or apprehension.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

great points but your English is questionable.

clyde said...

"Al-Qaeda, as a group need to come to the table with all the representatives of the Arab States as well as the OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Countries) to talk about their struggles and demands of what they see as an ideal situation. This is because, where can there be struggles when there have been compromises."

There's no doubt about Bush and his administration having exploited the Middle East. But I highly doubt Al-Qaeda will ever gain credibility as a legitimate organisation representative of muslims. Negotiation and talks of 'compromise' go out the window when you fly 2 planes full of civilians into one of their major cities. And you can never justify such an atrocity. Al-Qaeda and its derivatives are viewed as global criminals and will be hunted down like criminals.

Second, it is America's policy not to negotiate with terrorists. Remember that terrorists are not reasonable people. Their actions can never be logical or lie in the true spirit of Islam.

"There is one thing that is always common to any sort of terrorist action, wherever it happens and whoever performs it. It aims at death, not the death of anyone in particular, just death. It does not matter to the killers if their victims are Christian or Muslim, Hindu or Humanist; what matters is that they show that they can kill where they please." - Archbishop of Cantebury (England), Dr Rowan Williams.

strom said...

"A couple of days ago, one of Asia wanted man, Azahari Husin, the so-called mastermind of several bomb attacks in this region allegedly blow himself up to pieces when he was caught in a crossfire with the local police in Indonesia. This somewhat prompted a lot of media to bravely announce that global terrorism took a heavy blow from his death and with Azahari demise, the local JI’s network will now be easier to be targeted and destroyed."

You seem to have a lot of sympathies toward this man. So you don't agree that JI's network "will now be easier to be targeted and destroyed?" Why would you think that? You didn't explain anything.. but you went on to say:

"Personally I have a lot of views that I want to share regarding global terrorism. First and foremost, I never regarded this movement as a terrorist movement but more a revolutionary.First and foremost, I never regarded this movement as a terrorist movement but more a revolutionary."

So have you considered the implications of your preferred definition? Revolution against what? Against the Americans who your self-styled 'revolutionaries' flew two planes right into the WTCs? But what was it the Americans did that prompted those acts? Can you tell me?

But this is exactly the problem with terrorists and their mindsets, isn't it? It's all a revolution to them too. And suicide-bombing is just another weapon in the Revolution.

"For example, if your girlfriend was harassed by another person of influence, what would you do? Would you go all the way to report the act or just ignore it since it was done once and it might never happen again?
If you were to report it, you have to go through the hassle of wasting your time, where your integrity and pride will be put on question, where your act of righteousness is seen as a hassle, bothersome, troublesome by others or you could just live with it, knowing that you might have just saved yourself from a lot of unnecessary problems."


So I suppose.. you could also just kill the guy who harassed your girlfriend? Or bomb him to bits? You didn't explain anything here. Who's the protagonist and antagonist in your analogy Or are you implying that the US and the its allies should not have done anything after 9/11, and "just ignore it since it was done once and it might never happen again?"

"All these major conflicts in the world produce deaths, misery, hatred, vengeance, rages and anger but at the end of it all, the victor of each battles will always take precedent in creating a new world and this started because someone had an idea on how he see the world, and how he felt wronged living in a world where he has no say of.

What then is the difference of the battles we now faces as a global community in our fight against these so called terrorist?"


The difference is, if the Muslim extremists and terrorists ever win these 'battles'... [enter your own conclusions, people]

"Al-Qaeda, as a group need to come to the table with all the representatives of the Arab States as well as the OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Countries) to talk about their struggles and demands of what they see as an ideal situation. This is because, where can there be struggles when there have been compromises."

Oh, you want some keeshas and pizzas to go along with the roundtable talks? You don't think Al-Qaeda should be exterminated, do you? Get this: Al-Qaeda ain't just a group. They are a global terrorist organization!

While I agree with some of your talking points regarding S'pore, this post of yours, as a whole, is hopelessly inconsistent and reeks of Islamic extremism. It's just a bully pulpit to preach your jihadist mindset. You're not fooling anyone. Instead of condemning the acts of the terrorists and disseminating the peace of Islam, you are acually condoning their actions! What's wrong with you?! It's people like you that gives Islam such a bad name.

Your title in bold - Thoughts of an ignorant, peaceful, naive and simple man.

Ignorance, Naive and Simple, yes; Peaceful, no; and APATHY - you got the worst case.

The Legal Janitor said...

what a load of bullshit. you make it sound like suicide bombers have an excuse because they feel that their 'brothers' are oppressed.

Do you know that majority of those who suffer from the attacks of suicide bombers in Iraq are Muslims themselves? Do you know that the suicide bombers specifically target Muslims in Iraq who wish to have a secular government?

I agree with you on one thing though. There is no such thing as 'moderate Muslims'. There are only Muslims and crazy people. Those who choose to kill, maim and harm in the name of Islam are not Muslims. They are murderous nutjobs.

The Legal Janitor said...

Let me say this as a libertarian. You cannot have peace if you do not have the means, the will and the power to protect that peace. These terrorists are not 'so-called' terrorists. They ARE. They wish to kill and destroy us because we do not live according to their dictates, and we do not wish to.

For all those lefty-wingers, do not for a moment doubt that the terrorists wish to take away what those in the West can take for granted: women's rights, GLBT rights, the right to free speech etc.

I have no respect for someone who tries to whitewash the evil acts of these terrorists by trying to say that 'evil is a matter of perspective', or that 'its ok because they have an excuse'. 2 wrongs don't make a right, and your trying to make them sound like martyrs make it worse.

clyde said...

I believe Ian is supporting the "movement" but not the action of Islamic terrorists, as flawed as that may sound. There are anti-western sentiments which is acceptable amongst people except when you start bringing terrorists into the picture. What draws the line between a political activist and a terrorist?

There are some interesting points mentioned above and I'm certainly hoping Ian will be able to defend his arguments.

Anonymous said...

I read this blog almost daily but this is the first time a post made me cringe with embarrassment for the author.

Anonymous said...

i fully agree with Strom. Ian, i wont jump to conclusions, for I believe talks like these are needed so as to understand and learn the inaccuracies in life. rather then labeling and comparing the WEST, we should find similarites amongst each other.

as for the PAP govt, this is solely another issue. I for one do not blame the govt. for the people's shortcomings, i blame the people. practically all s'poreans are contented with what the govt. did, does and will do. Through its educational system - we have been programmed into believing that the PAP govt is and will be the best thing that ever happened on this little island who orginally belongs to Indonesia. The people have to stand up for themselves and simply 'do the right thing' be it from a religious or humane point of view, but the question of 'by whose judgement' will be another issue.

There is no such thing as a CORRECT system, but we shouldnt give up on the hope of sanity and peace

Anonymous said...

If Singabloodypore does indeed prde itself on being a blog that applies "stringent analyses its contributors make on local issues and public policy", I request that the author of this post responds to the criticisms above and consider withdrawing it.

soci said...

My sense and my Repercussions

I am not a pious man but I understand the logic of the greater power that governs everything and anything. A power that is way beyond mortal comprehension but yet in its invisibility and unrealness, many of us believe in it, not only just believe but put our faith on this greater power.

A few days back, I wrote an article that I felt were under prepared but it was an article which I felt genuinely about and believe strongly in. My intent was a naïve one. I only wanted to put out an alternative standpoint regarding terrorism and what dynamics it can encompass as well as the kind of resolutions that might be available. In doing so not only did I put my integrity on the line but I too, put my credibility and pride in it as well.

Unfortunately for me, unlike myself, my English didn’t go to college and this showed in my written piece and I duly apologise to those who have read my article and “cringe with embarrassment for the author” . Not only did people cringe but a lot of people felt strongly for the article and lambasted me for its content and demanded that I defend what had been written and I should even consider of withdrawing it.

I have no qualms in withdrawing my article. It’s as easy as a click of button away but before I do that, let me defend to the antagonists who have deemed that my thoughts are unworthy for serious consideration. It seems that suddenly everyone forgot the sufferings of innocent people when other countries decided to do what were best for them.
Remember Korea, remember Vietnam, remember Cuba, remember Afghanistan, remember Palestine, remember Iraq, remember Sierra Leone, remember Somalia and maybe other numerous countries whose fates were affected but never reported in the atrocities that some of us called “in the pursuit of freedom”

So let me defend against the atrocities that were done to my thoughts, which I strongly feel didn’t contain “reeks of Islamic extremism”.
If there is one thing I am guilty of for writing what I did, I was guilty in believing of the existence of better rationale and open mindedness of men to options, no matter how faults-inclined they were. If it reeks of Islamic extremism which I am accused of, I would have written ”in the name of God, let us kill ALL the infidels” but not only did I NOT ask anyone to be killed but I clearly and strongly point out that the piece was meant for us to maybe, just maybe, hold on to our rigid definitions and open up to other solutions so that the process of eliminating fear can take precedent even more, Eliminating FEAR, not people.

Clyde responded to my article,

Clyde said...
"Al-Qaeda, as a group need to come to the table with all the representatives of the Arab States as well as the OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Countries) to talk about their struggles and demands of what they see as an ideal situation. This is because, where can there be struggles when there have been compromises."

There's no doubt about Bush and his administration having exploited the Middle East. But I highly doubt Al-Qaeda will ever gain credibility as a legitimate organisation representative of Muslims. Negotiation and talks of 'compromise' go out the window when you fly 2 planes full of civilians into one of their major cities. And you can never justify such an atrocity. Al-Qaeda and its derivatives are viewed as global criminals and will be hunted down like criminals.

Second, it is America's policy not to negotiate with terrorists. Remember that terrorists are not reasonable people. Their actions can never be logical or lie in the true spirit of Islam.

"There is one thing that is always common to any sort of terrorist action, wherever it happens and whoever performs it. It aims at death, not the death of anyone in particular, just death. It does not matter to the killers if their victims are Christian or Muslim, Hindu or Humanist; what matters is that they show that they can kill where they please." - Archbishop of Canterbury (England), Dr Rowan Williams.

What I meant when I wrote that section of the article was that. Instead of us hunting down Al-Qaeda like criminals as most of us would like to believe. Why don’t we engage them in a manner that will be more productive to conclusive peaceful solutions? Al-Qaeda is a movement or an organisation that will take ages if not forever to be dismantled. Yeah sure, Al-Qaeda as a group of criminals can be dismantled but what about the people who shared in the same belief as the organisation but are Not part of it? How can we be so sure that once Al-Qaeda is dismantled, there wont be another terrorist group that wish to terrorize?
So instead of in probability, be a catalyst towards a cloned Al-Qaeda movement, why don’t we bring these groups of people in a manner that would be more productive? I specifically said that only the Muslims countries should engage with them, not the world because the fact is that Al-Qaeda would only listen to arguments, impositions, demands from an Islamic standpoint, not a global one. The fact does remain that Al-Qaeda fundamentally believes that their actions are acts of revenge against the oppression against Islam and its agents.
The common word here is “Islam”. It is an Islamic world problem and only the Islamic community of the world must come together collectively and only they can and be able to come out with a resolution to tackle Al-Qaeda holistically. Just look at the other terrorist organizations especially HAMAS, whose acts of terrors have been accredited towards Israel’s reactions in killing Palestinian in the name of security towards their own people. It is a problem and the world did try their best to “dismantle” the organization through several ways but still HAMAS, exists.

Clyde also mentioned that “terrorists weren’t reasonable people” and their actions weren’t in true spirit of Islam. I definitely agree with Clyde that their actions of killing and bombing aren’t what Islam teaches to its followers. Islam didn’t ask to kill and hurt people. Islam is an act of surrender to god and nurturing and contributing towards everything that is good in man. But I really would like everyone to stand still for awhile and just imagined that we were on the other side, that we were the “terrorists”. With the little “know hows” we have acquired, the dogmatic approach towards religion that we have cultivated, with the little choices that are available, the mortal struggles we have not only with the environment but also with the people around us, how then would we act? What are our priorities in life? To call this group of people are without reason, seems to be quite wrong. For a person not to have reason, then he has no brain to think, no heart to feel, no spirit to hold on to.
However I would like to thank Clyde, for giving me the opportunity to rephrase my thoughts, explained myself even more and providing me with an optional standpoint.

Another remark that was lambasted at my direction was from Strom,

strom said...
"A couple of days ago, one of Asia wanted man, Azahari Husin, the so-called mastermind of several bomb attacks in this region allegedly blow himself up to pieces when he was caught in a crossfire with the local police in Indonesia. This somewhat prompted a lot of media to bravely announce that global terrorism took a heavy blow from his death and with Azahari demise, the local JI’s network will now be easier to be targeted and destroyed."

You seem to have a lot of sympathies toward this man. So you don't agree that JI's network "will now be easier to be targeted and destroyed?" Why would you think that? You didn't explain anything... but you went on to say:

"Personally I have a lot of views that I want to share regarding global terrorism. First and foremost, I never regarded this movement as a terrorist movement but more a revolutionary. First and foremost, I never regarded this movement as a terrorist movement but more a revolutionary."

So have you considered the implications of your preferred definition? Revolution against what? Against the Americans who your self-styled 'revolutionaries' flew two planes right into the WTCs? But what was it the Americans did that prompted those acts? Can you tell me?

But this is exactly the problem with terrorists and their mindsets, isn't it? It's all a revolution to them too. And suicide-bombing is just another weapon in the Revolution.

"For example, if your girlfriend was harassed by another person of influence, what would you do? Would you go all the way to report the act or just ignore it since it was done once and it might never happen again? If you were to report it, you have to go through the hassle of wasting your time, where your integrity and pride will be put on question, where your act of righteousness is seen as a hassle, bothersome, troublesome by others or you could just live with it, knowing that you might have just saved yourself from a lot of unnecessary problems."

So I suppose... you could also just kill the guy who harassed your girlfriend? Or bomb him to bits? You didn't explain anything here. Who's the protagonist and antagonist in your analogy Or are you implying that the US and the its allies should not have done anything after 9/11, and "just ignore it since it was done once and it might never happen again?"

"All these major conflicts in the world produce deaths, misery, hatred, vengeance, rages and anger but at the end of it all, the victor of each battles will always take precedent in creating a new world and this started because someone had an idea on how he see the world, and how he felt wronged living in a world where he has no say of.
What then is the difference of the battles we now faces as a global community in our fight against these so called terrorist?"

The difference is, if the Muslim extremists and terrorists ever win these 'battles'... [enter your own conclusions, people]

"Al-Qaeda, as a group need to come to the table with all the representatives of the Arab States as well as the OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Countries) to talk about their struggles and demands of what they see as an ideal situation. This is because, where can there be struggles when there have been compromises."

Oh, you want some keeshas and pizzas to go along with the roundtable talks? You don't think Al-Qaeda should be exterminated, do you? Get this: Al-Qaeda ain't just a group. They are a global terrorist organization!
While I agree with some of your talking points regarding S'pore, this post of yours, as a whole, is hopelessly inconsistent and reeks of Islamic extremism. It's just a bully pulpit to preach your jihadist mindset. You're not fooling anyone. Instead of condemning the acts of the terrorists and disseminating the peace of Islam, you are actually condoning their actions! What's wrong with you?! It's people like you that gives Islam such a bad name.

Your title in bold - Thoughts of an ignorant, peaceful, naive and simple man. Ignorance, Naive and Simple, yes; Peaceful, no; and APATHY - you got the worst case.

I went on to check my dictionary for the conclusive meaning of the word terrorism and revolution and my findings are as below,

revolution
2 a : a sudden, radical, or complete change b : a fundamental change in political organization; especially : the overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed c : activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation d : a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm

Terrorism :
the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion

A thought came to me, that in a lot of revolutions especially those that involves force, means of terror was used. Terrors were used to extract fear from your oppositions. I bet a lot of us can think of many ways on how we can extract fear from our opponents, just ask your friendly neighbourhood bully but the difference in that of a bully is that his acts weren’t done to change a fundamental approach to politics or forms of governance.

In the recorded annals of history there were,
the American Revolution -- (1774-1783),
French Revolution -- (1789),
English Revolution -- (1642-1653),
Russian Revolution of 1905 -- (1905),
Mexican Revolution -- (1910),
Xinhai Revolution -- (1911) and many others.
Each and everyone of those revolutions, innocent lives were lost and let us ponder on this thought, don’t you think the government at present during those times would consider their oppressors as terrorists? Because if we were to follow closely to the definitions of terrorism, then these so called “oppressors” did apply “use of terror especially as a means of coercion” but history also did teach us that for each and every revolution, it brought about fundamental changes in its society. The question left is how good or bad were those changes.

I have used the term revolutionary to describe the battles that all of us is facing against Al-Qaeda and its agents simply because; I want to highlight the possibility that for every story, there is always a flipside to it. You either see the glass half full or half empty.

I do not reserve any sympathy towards the demise of Azahari Husin. If he was guilty for his alleged crimes, then he has to bear the just repercussions. I know by saying “alleged” in the previous sentence alone, can be used against me strongly again but have we forgotten the very principle of justice, “innocent till proven guilty”? Personally I feel that even with his demise, JI as a whole wont be dismantled easily because the very fact that JI is based in Indonesia where the majority of its people are Muslims and among that section of the population we cant ignore the possibility that they (JI) have managed to recruit more members, convinced more believers of their brand of theology. One man’s demise can be easily replaced and like a large network with several cores, one missing link, isn’t too much of a significance. Azahari was either played as a link or one of the cores, it’s basically up to us by what we were informed to either believe, which role was he in.

Strom asked of what American’s action that prompted two civilians plane to be crashed into WTC in New York. Do I really need to tell you that? Have you been blind to some of America’s Foreign Policies? Its engagement with several countries both as a democratic country as well as a fundamental entity in the Security Council of the United Nation?

These people whom most of us gladly called terrorists acted in a violent way, in a way against the fundamental teaching of Islam because they felt utter injustice. I am not trying to be Anti-American here but I am not blind either. I am a person with sense and rationality. I can decipher what is justice and what is inequality, and even if it were by people whom I loved and care for, a fact still remained as a fact. Did what America do justified the act of crashing two civilians plane? Of course not but go and tell the people who lost lives, loves and limbs because a country that is so ever powerful failed to act in a manner that is just.

So it’s a fact that Strom cant lived in a world that is controlled by Muslims extremist, hell so cant I but when I said, “What then is the difference of the battles we now faces as a global community in our fight against these so called terrorist?" it was more in referring in parallels towards the past battles and wars that History has so ever delightfully taught us. Why don’t you now imagine a world that is controlled by Communist? Or a world that is controlled by Leftist or a Racists. Fact is, we only have to imagine because we have already fought our battles with elements that we see as a threat and unfavourable and we won decisively.
And I doubt by using stereotypical sarcasms such as “keeshas and pizzas “ reeks of maturity either. We, Muslims do eat other stuffs too. I don’t have a Jihadist mindset. I never wailed a battle cry to kill all non-Muslims for the glory of god, heck I never even ask any of you to kill nor did I justified the actions of killing another person.

Another point which I would like to make about the analogy I’ve made. Well there are other solutions to solve the issue but Strom conveniently decided to use kill and bomb as suggestive acts to decipher the content of the analogy. Neither was I implying that America has no ground to retaliate when they were attacked. Just look at the amount of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) they found in Iraq.

All I wanted to imply on that analogy was the fact that a lot of us aren’t pro-active enough to put forward our views and our definitions in the local political realm. Local means Singapore because we fear that our views and suggestions might be seen as too extremist, too leftist, too pro-terrorist, too ‘reeks of Islamic extremist and having Jihadist mentality”, which I found out soon enough. It wasn’t an implication onto the justification of America and its allies. All I wanted was for us to be able to see out all the differences and embrace each other without fear or prejudice and I was called, “It's people like you that gives Islam such a bad name.”

Apologies again, for people who “cringe with embarrassment for the author”. If it was for my English, then yeah definitely you have grounds but if it was for something that you cant agree upon due to my “ignorance” of political issues, then I cant say much can I without running the risk of slander.

Another reader remarked,

Anonymous said...
i fully agree with Strom. Ian, i wont jump to conclusions, for I believe talks like these are needed so as to understand and learn the inaccuracies in life. Rather then labeling and comparing the WEST, we should find similarities amongst each other.

As for the PAP govt, this is solely another issue. I for one do not blame the govt. for the people's shortcomings, i blame the people. Practically all s'poreans are contented with what the govt. did, do and will do. Through its educational system - we have been programmed into believing that the PAP govt is and will be the best thing that ever happened on this little island that originally belongs to Indonesia. The people have to stand up for themselves and simply 'do the right thing' be it from a religious or humane point of view, but the question of 'by whose judgment' will be another issue. There is no such thing as a CORRECT system, but we shouldn’t give up on the hope of sanity and peace

Thank you for not being mean and sounding reasonable to me. I really appreciate that. I understand the need to educate and correct any inaccuracies that might have been transpired within the article and I am but truly appreciative should there be any inaccuracies in my arguments and all of you guys are willing to correct me. I am but ready to take on and understand new ideas and thoughts.
Thank you for not being mean and sounding reasonable to me. I really appreciate that. I understand the need to educate and correct any inaccuracies that might have been transpired within the article and I am but truly appreciative should there be any inaccuracies in my arguments and all of you guys are willing to correct me. I am but ready to take on and understand new ideas and thoughts.

We have to stand up for what is right and I believe that peace is right and that is the only way for us to come together and realise common grounds. Its just unfortunate that we are in an environment that are not susceptible to that cause.

Another reader left this remark,

shianux said...
what a load of bullshit. you make it sound like suicide bombers have an excuse because they feel that their 'brothers' are oppressed.
Do you know that majority of those who suffer from the attacks of suicide bombers in Iraq are Muslims themselves?
Do you know that the suicide bombers specifically target Muslims in Iraq who wish to have a secular government?
I agree with you on one thing though. There is no such thing as 'moderate Muslims'. There are only Muslims and crazy people. Those who choose to kill, maim and harm in the name of Islam are not Muslims. They are murderous nutjobs.

Let me say this as a libertarian. You cannot have peace if you do not have the means, the will and the power to protect that peace. These terrorists are not 'so-called' terrorists. They ARE. They wish to kill and destroy us because we do not live according to their dictates, and we do not wish to. For all those lefty-wingers, do not for a moment doubt that the terrorists wish to take away what those in the West can take for granted: women's rights, GLBT rights, the right to free speech etc.

I have no respect for someone who tries to whitewash the evil acts of these terrorists by trying to say that 'evil is a matter of perspective', or that 'its ok because they have an excuse'. 2 wrongs don't make a right, and your trying to make them sound like martyrs make it worse.”


When I wrote this piece, did I really want it to be called, “load of bullshit”? nor did I want it to be called a political masterpiece but I wrote it because like Shianux, I thought I was a libertarian as well, though it was hard to swallow for someone whom believe in free speech, doesn’t appreciate the fact that I spoke freely in a way that is free for me to define, no matter how right or wrong it were.

I really didn’t try to justify all the wrong doings in the world especially when innocent lives are at stake but seriously is there any wars that no innocent lives are killed and again the term “innocent” here are so diversified that it can resemble a lot of significant.

I know the crimes that were done to the civilians in Iraq from both sides of the war. Let it be from the terrorist movement or the Americans but fact is I am not just referring to these places alone. What I want to highlight was more towards a holistic approach. I am not trying to whitewash what is wrong or what is evil. I am merely trying to remind myself and people who cared enough to what is really happening and what are the causes to it.

It’s true that there have always been wars between the Sunnis Sect and the Shiite Sect in the Muslim World because both of them cant agree to each dogmatic definitions to Islam but is it right for a foreign power, to come in and decides to favour on one side and proclaimed secularity on the side it is in? I say, let the people decide without fear and prejudice on what is freedom, what is secular, what is the life I want to lead.

Seriously, do you really think the bullets or bombs from anyone are so technologically advanced that they can differentiate what is a “innocent lives” what is a “innocent Muslim” or what is a “bad person”? I do agree with Shianux and time and time again I have said, Islam does NOT ask you to kill anyone for its glory. It NEVER has and it NEVER will. Those who have done it, are misled in believing something which is wrong but what some of us can do is but to call them, “nutjobs”.

Shianux also mentioned that these terrorists without a doubt will rob all of us of our freedom. Whatever brand of freedom we believe in. This is as good as an assumption one can get. Why, even I, believe of such a predicament. Two wrongs didn’t make a right as well. Which is another correct and good moral/ethical statement and a statement which I have faith in as well. But you don’t need a terrorist to take away your human rights, such as women's rights, GLBT rights, the right to free speech etc. All you need is a screwed up government and maybe a Legal Act that authorise your detention without trail at the accordance of an authority.

Its ok that Shianux have no respect for me, I have enough respect for myself that can last a lifetime. I am NO leftist, nor extremist, or someone who is contemplating to be a Muslim terrorist. All I ask for, is that all of us take a time out and maybe, just maybe, for a tiny second acknowledge that there is a flipside to everything and just maybe, we can be a little more patient in our demands to the exterminations of Islamic terrorists.

All I want to is to embrace all without me having to fear and bear prejudice for never once I have failed in my faith to believe in the goodness of man.
And since there are called from my withdrawal from this site, a site where I have loved and come to believe in its purpose and ideals, I will duly obliged for my integrity and credibility will never again, be put out on trial.

posted by ian at 11/15/2005

Anonymous said...

u have my support ian.
sometimes life is not as simple as it seems.
an alternative view should be debated objectively.
everyone would benefit from the discussion.
don't let intolerant people put u down.
God bless.
-fools are those who think they are too wise to learn from others-

spawn said...

one cannot deny though, that just because suicide bombers do something irrational in our eyes, does it mean that it is irrational in theirs.
No it probably is the most rational thing in the world for them. They have made the biggest decision in their lives.

The ignorance and apathy of the people to examine the psyche of what drives the terrorist mind is what will lead any form of counter-attack to be worthless.

Ittay said...

You write, “Very few people in this world was willing to help the cries of suffering and despair of Palestine.” This is untrue. The EU, America and even Israel have given millions to the PA(Palestinian Authority) to help it govern its own people. This money has been donated for the purposes of building hospitals roads and an airport and financing one of the largest “police” forces in the world per capita. Whilst some of this money has good to its intended use, many of it has been lost through corruption. Arafat died with over 40million USD in his and his wifes bank accounts.
Isreal has also offered the palestinains 97% of the westbank(at the camp david negotiatiosn in 2000) and already withdrawn from gaza as a gesture of goodwill. In return, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have intensified their shooting, rocket and suicide bombing attacks against israeli civilians.

DEe said...

Reading this post and its comments was interesting as it clearly roots out those who understand this issue of islamic fundamentalism, terrorism and definitions of freedom, and those who do not.

I agree with Ian on many issues here. the problem with this rise in islamic fundamentalism is that it is essentially something that the rest of the world has created. suppressing political islam is never going to work, because islam is not JUST a religion, but a way of life and cannot be seperated from all other "secular" aspects of life.

in the south east asian region, political islam has long been fighting for a voice, from the darul islam to jemaah islamiyah. JI wasnt created overnight. The whole concept of JI was to create a pan islamic network. That this particular group feels that it needs to engage in terrorism is a show of the sad state of affairs we have created for ourselves.

government reactions towards the apparent increase in islamic fundamentalism in the region has been increased security. but is that alone enough? Ian's idea of engaging the AQ is not engaging these groups as terrorists. within all groups there are factions, and i would not be suprised if there are factions within AQ who are willing to sit down and discuss what is happening. And all other muslim groups as well.

And fears of Islamic states popping up left and right will probably be unfounded. if ordinary muslims are given the power to make decisions for themselves. they too can see the failure of turkmenistan, iran, and afghanistan. they would not want that for themselves. and if they have some form of power for themselves, these fundamentalists would be quashed easily.

just my two cents
Cheers
DEe