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Islamic terrorism – extrinsic or intrinsic?

Have Islamic terrorism and violence – in Muslim and non-Muslim countries – been extrinsic or intrinsic elements of Islam?

Since September 11, 2001, there have been 31,722 Islamic terrorist attacks, mostly hitting Muslims. In August, 2017, there were 180 Islamic terrorist attacks in 32 countries, resulting in 1,014 murdered and 1,090 injured.

Christianity is on the verge of extinction in the Middle East
. In the past century, over 50% of Middle East Christians emigrated or were killed. According to the May 13, 2015US House Foreign Affairs Committee testimony, “Christianity could be eradicated from large swaths of the Middle East in the next five years…. In the last decade, the Christian community in Iraq has plummeted from 1.5 million to under 300,000, half of whom are displaced…. [In Muslim countries], there is also real persecution of [Muslim] Yazidis, Turkomen, Shia and Sunni….”
The New York Times reported: “Nearly every day seems to bring a new horror to the streets of Western Europe…. Death and injury have been dealt out by truck, ax, handgun, kebab knife and bomb….”
11 million Muslims have been killed since 1948, of which 35,000 (0.3%) were killed during Arab-Israeli wars.  Over 90% were killed by fellow Muslims.
This background – which is consistent with inter-Muslim relations since the rise of Islam in the seventh century – begs the following questions:
1. Is it logical to assume that dramatic concessions to rogue Muslim regimes would convince them to accord “the infidel” that which they have denied their fellow-“believers” for 1,400 years: peaceful-coexistence and tolerance?
2. What are the roots of Muslim aggression against “believers” and “infidels”?
3. Is Muslim contempt toward Western culture extrinsic or intrinsic to Islam?
4. Has the absence of democracy and civil liberties, in all Arab countries, been consistent or at variance with Islam?
5. Why is Muslim violence intensifying in Europe – as Muslim immigration to Europe is expanding – despite the goodwill showered upon the Muslim world and Muslim immigrants by most European governments and societies?
6. Why has there been an expansion of no-go zones in European cities – forbidden to Christian “infidels” – simultaneously with the proliferation of Muslim organizations, in Europe, calling for Jihad (holy war against the “infidel”)?
7. Is the motto of the Muslim Brotherhood – the largest Islamic transnational terror organization – consistent or at variance with Islam: “Allah is our objective, Muhammad is our leader, the Quran is our constitution, Jihad (holy war) is our venue and Shuhada (martyrdom) on behalf of Allah is our wish”?
8. Why has the US – which has never ruled Muslim societies – been targeted by Islamic violence/terrorism, while the USSR/Russia – which has aggressively ruled over millions of Muslims – enjoyed preferential Arab/Muslim treatment?
9. Why has Arab/Muslim violence/terrorism targeted the US, despite the US regional arms embargo during the 1948-9 Israel’s War of Independence (while arms supplied by Soviet-satellite Czechoslovakia saved Israel); or the brutal US pressure on Israel during, and following, the 1948-49 War; the US non-recognition of Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem (since 1948); US pressure, which yielded the complete Israeli evacuation of the Sinai Peninsula (3 times larger than Israel) following the 1956 Egypt-Israel War; the US embargo on Israel following the 1981 Israeli bombing of Iraq’s nuclear reactor; US punishment of Israel during Israel’s hot-pursuit of the PLO in Lebanon in 1982/83; the US recognition of the PLO, support of the establishment of a Palestinian state, and sustained pressure to freeze construction in Jewish settlements?
10. Why has the US been targeted by Islamic violence/terrorism (e.g., 52 American hostages held by the Ayatollahs for 444 days), despite President Carter’s stabbing in the back of the Shah of Iran, which provided a tailwind to the rise of the Ayatollahs?
Is the current hate-education and anti-“infidel” incitement in Muslim kindergartens, schools and mosques at variance or consistent with Islam?
According to Prof. Bernard Lewis (The roots of Muslim Rage), the luminary of Middle East and Islamic studies: “The struggle between [Islam and Christendom/Europe] has now lasted for some fourteen centuries. It began with the advent of Islam, in the 7th century, and has continued virtually to the present day. It has consisted of a long series of attacks and counterattacks, Jihads and crusades, conquests and re-conquests…. Since the US is the legitimate heir of European civilization and the recognized and unchallenged leader of the West, the US has inherited the resulting grievances and become the focus for the pent-up hate and anger….”
In Islam and Other Religions, Prof. Bernard Lewis states: “The difference [between contemporary and original Islam] was probably less radical in Islam than in either Judaism or Christianity….
“There has always been incessant and unavoidable discrimination embedded in the Islamic system…. While women and slaves have no choice but to remain inferior [to men and masters], while infidels are inferior by choice…. Jews and Christians were offered divine truth, in its perfect form [Islam], but [according to Islam] rejected it maliciously, spitefully and foolishly….
”The history of the relations between the Muslim state and its non-Muslim subjects and, later, neighbors, begins with the career of the Prophet…. For Jews and Christians [the choice was] Islam, death or submission…. [Quran, Surah 5:60 – “Who will suffer the wrath of God? Those whom God cursed and transformed into monkeys (Jews) and pigs (Christians)]….
“In Muslim law and practice, the relationship between the Muslim state and the subject non-Muslim communities was regulated by a pact called Dhimma, and those benefiting from this pact were known as Dhimmis…. provided that they unequivocally recognized the primacy of Islam and the supremacy of the Muslims….
“Lands where Muslims rule are known as the Dar al–Islam, the House of Islam; the outside world, inhabited and governed by infidels, constitutes the Dar al-Harb, the House of War…. Between the realm of Islam and the realms of unbelief there is a canonically obligatory perpetual state of war, which will continue until the whole world either accepts the message of Islam or submits to the rule of those who bring it.  The name of this [worldwide] war is Jihad… struggle in the cause of God….”
Following in the footsteps of Muhammad, non-democratic Muslim regimes have sustained the tools of Islamic violence, in order to advance the permanent, overriding goal of Islam: domination of the Abode of the “Infidel.”



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The Abraham Accords – the US, Arab interests and Israel

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan believe that the expansion of the Abraham Accords, the enhancement of Israel-Saudi defense and commercial cooperation and the conclusion of an Israel-Saudi Arabia peace accord are preconditioned upon major Israeli concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

Is such a belief consistent with Middle East reality?

Arab interests

*The signing of the Abraham Accords, and the role played by Saudi Arabia as a critical engine of the accords, were driven by the national security, economic and diplomatic interests of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan.

*The Arab interest in peace accords with Israel was not triggered by the realization that the Jewish State was genuinely seeking peaceful-coexistence, nor by a departure from the fundamental tenets of Islam. It was motivated by the assessment that critical concerns of the respective Arab countries would be effectively-served by Israel’s advanced military (Qualitative Military Edge), technological and diplomatic capabilities in the face of mutual and lethal enemies, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs and Muslim Brotherhood terrorism.

*Saudi Arabia and the six Arab peace partners of Israel (including Egypt and Jordan) are aware that the Middle East resembles a volcano, which occasionally releases explosive lava – domestically and/or regionally – in an unpredictable manner, as evidenced by the 1,400-year-old stormy intra-Arab/Muslim relations, and recently demonstrated by the Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2011 and still rages.

They wish to minimize the impact of rogue regimes, and therefore are apprehensive about the nature of the proposed Palestinian state, in view of the rogue Palestinian inter-Arab track record, which has transformed Palestinians into an intra-Arab role model of subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude.

*They are anxious about the erosion of the US posture of deterrence, which is their most critical component of national security, and alarmed about the 43-year-old US diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs, which has bolstered the Ayatollahs’ terroristic, drug trafficking and ballistic capabilities. They are also concerned about the US’ embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Sunni terrorist entity with religious, educational, welfare and political branches. And, they are aware of the ineffectiveness of NATO (No Action Talk Only?), the European vacillation, and the vulnerability of all other Arab countries.

Israel’s role

*Saudi Arabia and the Arab partners to peace accords with Israel feel the machetes of the Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood at their throats. They consider Israel as the most reliable “life insurance agent” in the region.  They view Israel as the most effective US force-multiplier in the Middle East, and appreciate Israel’s proven posture of deterrence; flexing its military muscles against Iran’s Ayatollahs in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran itself and against Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorism. They respect Israel’s unique counter-terrorism intelligence and training capabilities, and its game-changing military and counter-terrorism battle tactics and technologies.

*The Arab view of Israel as a reliable partner on “a rainy day” has been bolstered by Israel’s willingness to defy US pressure, when it comes to Israel’s most critical national security and historic credos (e.g., Iran, Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria).  In addition, Saudi Arabia and Israel’s peace-partners aim to leverage Israel’s good-standing among most Americans – and therefore among most Senators and House Representatives – as a venue to enhance their military, commercial and diplomatic ties with the US.

*Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are preoccupied with the challenge of economic diversification, realizing that they are overly-reliant on oil and natural gas, which are exposed to price-volatility, depletion and could be replaced by emerging cleaner and more cost-effective energy.

Thus, they consider Israel’s ground-breaking technologies as a most effective vehicle to diversify their economy, create more jobs in non-energy sectors, and establish a base for alternative sources of national income, while bolstering homeland and national security.

*The Abraham Accords – as well as Israel’s peace accords with Egypt and Jordan – and the unprecedented expansion of defense and commercial cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel, demonstrate that critical Arab national security interests may supersede fundamental tenets of Islam, such as the 1,400-year-old rejection of any “infidel” sovereignty in “the abode of Islam.”  Moreover, critical national security interests may lead to a dramatic moderation of the (Arab) education system, which is the most authentic reflection of one’s vision and policies.

Thus, contrary to the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates has uprooted hate-education curriculum, replacing it with pro-Israel/Jewish curriculum.

Abraham Accords’ durability

*The success of the Abraham Accords was a result of avoiding the systematic mistakes committed by the US State Department. The latter has produced a litany of failed peace proposals, centered on the Palestinian issue, while the Abraham accords bypassed the Palestinian issue, avoiding a Palestinian veto, and focusing on Arab interests. Therefore, the durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the interests of the respective Arab countries, and not on the Palestinian issue, which is not a top priority for any Arab country.

*The durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the stability of the individual Arab countries and the Middle East at-large.

*The Abraham Accord have yielded initial and unprecedented signs of moderation, modernity and peaceful coexistence, which requires the US to support the respective pro-US Arab regimes, rather than pressuring them (e.g., Saudi Arabia and the UAE).

*However, one should not ignore the grave threats to the durability of the accords, posed by the volcanic nature of the unstable, highly-fragmented, unpredictable, violently intolerant, non-democratic and tenuous Middle East (as related to intra-Arab relations!).  These inherent threats would be dramatically alleviated by a resolute US support.

*A major threat to the Abraham Accord is the tenuous nature of most Arab regimes in the Middle East, which yields tenuous policies and tenuous accords. For example, in addition to the Arab Tsunami of 2010 (which is still raging on the Arab Street), non-ballot regime-change occurred (with a dramatic change of policy) in Egypt (2013, 2012, 1952), Iran (1979, 1953), Iraq (2003, 1968, 1963-twice, 1958), Libya (2011, 1969), Yemen (a civil war since the ’90s, 1990, 1962), etc.

*Regional stability, the Abraham Accords and US interests would be undermined by the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River (bearing in mind the intra-Arab Palestinian track record). It would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River; transforming Jordan into another platform of regional and global Islamic terrorism, similar to Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen; triggering a domino scenario, which would threaten every pro-US Arab oil-producing country in the Arabian Peninsula; yielding a robust tailwind to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China and a major headwind to the US.

*While Middle East reality defines policies and accords as variable components of national security, the topography and geography of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Golan Heights are fixed components of Israel’s minimal security requirements in the reality of the non-Western Middle East. Israel’s fixed components of national security have secured its survival, and have dramatically enhanced its posture of deterrence. They transformed the Jewish State into a unique force and dollar multiplier for the US.

*The more durable the Abraham Accords and the more robust Israel’s posture of deterrence, the more stable the pro-US Arab regimes and the Middle East at-large; the more deterred are anti-US rogue regimes; the less potent are Middle Eastern epicenters of anti-US terrorism and drug trafficking; the more bolstered is the US global posture and the weaker is the posture of the US’ enemies and adversaries.

*Would the Arab regimes of the Abraham Accords precondition their critical ties with Israel upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, which they view as a rogue element? Would they sacrifice their national security and economic interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue? Would they cut off their nose to spite their face?

The fact that these Arab regimes concluded the Abraham Accords without preconditioning it upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, and that they limit their support of the Palestinians to talk, rather than walk, provides an answer to these three questions.

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