Thoughts on economics and liberty

Muslim terrorism is like cancer, and cancerous “cells” have to be individually isolated

Shantanu has published a link to talk by one Tarek Fatah. The talk is worth listening to, just to get one particular perspective, but one must be careful not to jump to conclusions based on that talk.

Here are the (slightly edited/expanded) comments I made on Shantanu's blog – that discuss how Islamic terrorism can be tackled:

COMMENT

The idea of a lower standard of law for Muslims (e.g. Taliban) should not be tolerated. In BFN I have advocated a COMMON MINIMUM STANDARD for all religions in India. That is not the same as universal civil code, but it will ensure that no one is treated badly just because he or she happens to have been born into a religion that has a lower standard (in some forms of its practice).

I don’t agree with Fatah in his key thesis, however. This war(against so-called “Islamism – I’m unable to make such an artificial distinction from Islam, for Islam must first PROVE that it is different from Islamism by excommunicating such “Islamists”) can’t be fought physically.
 
In addition to the connivance by Muslim leaders world wide (save a few exceptions) the problem is aggravated by the continuance of soft racism in the West (AND IN INDIA). The greatest danger therefore comes from Muslims who have migrated to the West – and can’t find jobs because of social discrimination. In Mumbai, too, Muslims complain that they can’t get houses to rent. All this leads to so-called “Islamism”.
 
The spread of the ideas of liberty is the ultimate solution to this disease. But two intermediate steps are crucial if this problem has to die:
 
a) Muslims LEADERS (not atheist “Marxists” like Tarek Fatah who have ZERO credibility in the Muslim community) must VIGOROUSLY and PUBLICLY excommunicate ALL those who take the name of the Quoran to preach violence. Unless I hear EVERY Muslim leader excommunicate such killers, I’m unable to distinguish them from other Muslims. (I'm an OBJECTIVE observer: I need PROOF that such killers are not Muslims. Just citing a few extracts from the Quoran to me won't do. The Muslim leaders MUST excommunicate them). 
 
Indeed, Muslim leaders should know by now that the greatest number of those killed by Muslim terrorists are Muslims themselves. These men of violence have no concept of humanity or mercy. 
 
b) The world (including the West and India) must work hard to eliminate racism/stereotyping. Unless Muslims (the good ones that remain, after excommunication) are treated equally in all respects – and not discriminated against, a small proportion of them will inevitably gravitate towards violence, and justify it with the convenient “logic” of “Islamism” – a branch of Islamic thought.
 
This problem is unlike fascism in that it the enemy does NOT have an army that can be defeated. This problem is unlike communism in that it is NOT geographically isolated to a few countries, and is NOT guaranteed to self-destruct.
 
This problem is more like leukaemia – a cancer that lives WITHIN OUR SOCIETIES. In fact, physically fighting it recklessly (careless “surgery”) can metastasise the cancer and spread it even wider, by giving fodder to the “logic” of the so-called “Islamists”.
 
The fight has to be more subtle, with TWO pincers –
 
1) to ISOLATE each Muslim who adopts Islamism (Muslims MUST excommunicate), and

2) to EQUALISE treatment of each Muslim (the West and India MUST reduce racial discrimination).

The Muslims MUST excommunicate first – to avoid the misconception in the broader society that Islam is the cause. After  that happens, the West (and India) must vigorously ensure equal treatment of Muslims.
 
That way the “bad” Muslims will be isolated and (hopefully) rehabilitated.
 
Madly sending more soldiers into the Middle East to “fight” an unknown enemy (as Fatah wants) won’t solve this problem.

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