Friday, June 15, 2007

The Extremists amongst us

The extremists amongst us

Indeed, the extremists in all faiths have the same characteristics;

a) eager to force their way of thinking and living on to others,
b) willing to die in enforcing their way and above all,
c) believing that God is personally on their side.

They will slaughter people in the name of Jesus, in the name of Allah and in the name of Israel and yet, they represent less than 1% of the population or a group.

Anthony Chibara commented "The terrorists strap the bombs around their chest and kill a bunch of people, whereas in the name of civility, we strap the bombs to the Jet fighters, and kill a whole township". What is the difference?

As a civil society, we cannot be resorting to the same techniques of killing as they do, it generates more of them. Instead we need to adopt an approach of engaging them and dialogue with them. It will stop the violent cycles. Please refer to Laser Barking at

Mike Ghouse

Extremists in 3 faiths share views
Friday, June 15, 2007 ,NEW YORK, Reuters

Violent Muslim, Christian and Jewish extremists invoke the same rhetoric of "good" and "evil" and the best way to fight them is to tackle the problems that drive people to extremism, according to a report obtained by Reuters.

It said extremists from each of the three faiths often have tangible grievances -- social, economic or political -- but they invoke religion to recruit followers and to justify breaking the law, including killing civilians and members of their own faith.

The report was commissioned by security think tank EastWest Institute ahead of a conference on Thursday in New York titled "Towards a Common Response: New Thinking Against Violent Extremism and Radicalization." The report will be updated and published after the conference.

The authors compared ideologies, recruitment tactics and responses to violent religious extremists in three places -- Muslims in Britain, Jews in Israel and Christians in the United States.

"What is striking ... is the similarity of the worldview and the rationale for violence," the report said.

It said that while Muslims were often perceived by the West as "the principal perpetrators of terrorist activity," there are violent extremists of other faiths. Always focusing on Muslim extremists alienates mainstream Muslims, it said.

The report said it was important to examine the root causes of violence by those of different faiths, without prejudice.

"It is, in each situation, a case of 'us' versus 'them,'" it said. "That God did not intend for civilization to take its current shape; and that the state had failed the righteous and genuine members of that nation, and therefore God's law supersedes man's law."

This worldview was common to ultranationalist Jews, like Yigal Amir, who killed Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, to U.S. groups like Christian Identity, which is linked to white supremacist groups, and to other Christian groups that attacked abortion providers, it said.

"Extremists should never be dismissed simply as evil," said the report. "Trying to engage in a competition with religious extremists over who can offer a simpler answer to complex problems will be a losing proposition every time."

Harvard University lecturer Jessica Stern, the conference's keynote speaker, spent five years interviewing extremists for her 2003 book "Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill."

She said it was dangerous for U.S. President George W. Bush to use terms such as "crusade" or "ridding the world of evil."

"It really is falling into the same trap that these terrorists fall into, black and white thinking," Stern told Reuters on Wednesday. "It's very exciting to extremists to hear an American president talking that way."


  1. Thank you for the post. I agree wholeheartedly that there are extremists from all the Abrahamic faiths, extremists who are atheists, Buddhists, secularits or of any other "ideology".

    However, I wanted to address Muslims because they are the current world-wide scapegoat.

    Let's not forget that in the Muslim world, there is a lot of anger because of the Western powers constantly invading &/or trying to re-shape their land, their lifestyle, their culture, their govt etc. These are very REAL issues... just as people of other ideologies are sometimes fighting against such oppression.

    Given all the domination being forced on the Muslim world (both by Western powers & the Muslims' own greedy dictatorial govts), particularly in the middle east, and the fact that there are 1.2 BILLION Muslims in the world which is an entire 1/5 of the world population, I am very surprised at how much the "violence option" is NOT the choice of Muslims -- that there is much more peace than the proportion of wrongs being committed against them.


  2. Until more people realize that everyone is part of and is ONE entity-such division seems likely to repeat itself.We really are, you know