Saturday, August 20, 2005

Unite Against Terrorism

An online petition speaking out against terrorism has been initiated.
Endorsements are coming from all over the political and religious spectrums.
I am passing it on. It says, in part...

The vast majority of the victims of al Qaeda's violence have been Muslims. Those who have suffered at the hands of violent Islamic Fundamentalist movements in Iran and Algeria have also been ordinary Muslims.This terrorist violence is not a response by 'Muslims' to the injustices perpetrated upon them by 'the west'. Western democracies have been responsible for some of the ills of this world but not for the terrorist murders of these deluded Bin-Ladenists.

These attacks did not begin in 2003. The first attempt to blow up the World Trade Center took place ten years before, in 1993.These terrorists do not hate what is worst in the societies they attack, but what is best. They despise individual liberty, critical thought, gender equality, religious tolerance, the rights of minorities and political pluralism. They do not criticize democracy because it sometimes fails to live up to its principles; they oppose those principles.

In areas of conflict, the terrorists have damaged attempts at peaceful and political solutions to problems. They choose killing and reject mutual recognition, accommodation, negotiation, understanding, and compromise.In the face of such an enemy, we believe it is vital that democratic political forces in all countries unite. We need a global movement of solidarity linking together communities threatened by terror. United we stand against terror.

Among the growing list of signatories is Christopher Hitchens, whose on-point comment says...

Association with this statement and with many of its fellow-signatories involves two commitments. The first is the elementary duty of solidarity with true and authentic resistance movements within the Muslim world, such as the Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq and the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, who were fighting against Ba'athism and Talibanism (and the latent alliance between the two) long before any American or British government had woken up to the threat.

It should go without saying that, though the suffering of their peoples was intense, neither Jalal Talabani nor Ahmed Shah Masoud ever considered letting off explosive devices at random in foreign capitals. I have my political and ideological differences with both groups, but these differences are between me and them, and are not mediated through acts of nihilistic murder.

My second commitment is equally elementary. The foreign policy of a democracy should be determined only at election times or by votes in Congress or Parliament. It is one hundred per cent unacceptable even to imply, let alone to assert, that a suicide-murderer or his apologists can by these means acquire the right to any say in how matters are decided.

Thanks go to Scott Fergusson, whose energy and vision are grooming PunditDrome into one the most exciting developments in the blog world. He says...
I support this statement because it plainly asserts that terrorism is NOT a characteristic of Islam; but a perversion of it--a view apparently not held by a certain popular conservative echo blog that does not appear on PunditDrome.
I don't often say this, but Pass it on...

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