By: ALI AwDOLL
It is now a decade since that fateful 11th day of September which would be known as 9/11 attacks. If there is anything that has emerged crystal clear contrary to the anticipations of many Americans is: Islam is not a fertile ground for growing terrorists. Islam is not terrorism and obviously Muslims are not terrorists despite America going to war, overtly and covertly, in several countries spending nearly $8 trillion on what was termed by the US authorities "security," but was in actual sense the bureaucratization of security. Ironically, a recent Pew poll revealed that Muslims are more peaceful and tolerant than Christians.
What the American Muslims proved post-9/11, notwithstanding the frenetic demonizations by FOX, other media houses, much of the GOP, and right wing Christians that tagging Muslims as terrorists is misplaced. In the comprehensive public opinion survey there was no indication of increased alienation or anger among Muslim Americans in response to concerns about claims of domestic-grown Islamic terrorists, controversies about the building of mosques, and other pressures that have been brought to bear on these American citizens. As a matter of fact, much of the motivation of those Muslims who do become terrorists has more to do with personality disorders than religion. However, al Qaida, Abu Sayyaf, Hamas, and Hezbollah strongly identify themselves as Islamic in composition and purpose and though there is a pattern of attacks and attempted attacks, observed over decades, by persons and groups with a common ideological narrative, one would reasonably direct his or her attention to that ideology's fanatics making the Muslims synonymous with terrorism. We have also seen terrorist attacks and mass murders by non-Muslims, yes, but no ideological narrative is often told. Where do the Klu Klax Klan get their inspiration from? The fact that they were Christians, didn’t make all the people who identify with that faith as terrorists
There have been very few attacks in the US by Islamic extremists—and nothing remotely on the scale of 9/11. The "sleeper cells" authorities speculated of proved to be mostly nonexistent. This is often attributed to that country’s excellent work by the FBI, CIA, and other law enforcement agencies, the war in Afghanistan, and the Bush administration's aggressive treatment of suspected terrorists. But those that deserved the most credit were: American Muslims.
Millions of Muslims live in the United States. Had even a tiny percentage been radicalized enough to commit violence, they could have done immense damage. Despite all the efforts to upgrade security at a few crucial places, it really wouldn't be hard for any group to kill lots of people.
A car bomb in a stadium parking lot, a couple of semi-automatic rifles in a shopping mall, in a crowded bus, a bomb on a railroad track, a runaway pickup on a city sidewalk—there's an endless list of easy pickings.
There are too many targets to secure them all. It would have been a simple task for a handful of minimally trained volunteers to keep us in a constant state of fear. Apparently it is estimated that fewer than 40 Muslim Americans planned or carried out acts of domestic terrorism which may sound like a lot, until one realizes that there are 15,000 murders a year in the US. It was reported that, of the 83 terrorist attacks that took place between 9/11 and the end of 2009, only three "were clearly connected with the jihadist cause." Three!
There are a lot of allegations abound of radical American imams preaching jihad. If so, it is either they were not getting the radical messages through or it owing to the simple fact that the American Muslims didn't sympathize with religious extremism and almost none were willing to practice it. So are the 1.5 billion Muslims all over the world. Suicide bombers proliferate in places where followers of Islam feel oppressed—as many living under Arab dictators do, as many living under Israeli control do. Some reports attribute American Muslims clearly value what America offers them. They like living in a democracy that respects their rights. People with good lives are not inclined to throw them away in grisly acts of violence. All these, despite, a decade ago, American Muslims were called by the jihadists to rise up and slaughter their fellow citizens. Al Qaeda must have wondered why it never heard back from them
There is also a parallel argument which asserts the cause of all this as having nothing to do with the Muslims, it's the western world greed for resources and global domination, and it’s the arrogance and disrespect of anything that's not like the ‘west’. The same school of thought runs on the premise of the US more than a century meddling in Islamic countries and the unconditional support of Israel. The US can pretend that they are right and they wrong but the wars that the US started after 9/11 have killed and injured millions and it's still going on. So who is wrong?
The number of technically-skilled and operationally-experienced personnel in the al Qaida organization and affiliated groups was reduced by operations around the world, over the past decade, in which these key personnel were captured or killed. The effect of these losses on al Qaida’s ability to conduct operations is difficult to measure.
It can be said without doubt that much of al Qaida's effort (and the effort of affiliated groups) was refocused to Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade. But even with those diversions, al Qaida and its affiliates conducted the 7-7-2005 attacks and attempted a second set of attacks in 2007, both in the UK, and attempted 2006 airliner bomb plot, also intended to be launched from the UK. That implies that al Qaida was not after all not Islam and Muslims in America or in the West or in any place in the world didn’t buy al Qaida’s endeavor to sneak in their ideals as the tenets of Islam.