Dershowitz on suicide bombings

Alan Dershowitz, professor of law at Harvard University, wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal a couple of day ago: “The Worshippers of Death

A few people wrote advising me to not to mention Islam on a blog about India’s economic development. They think it is taboo to mention Islam and point out its influence on the world today. That is puzzling to me.

It makes perfect sense to me that violent strife cannot be conducive to anything beneficial. All development — not just economic — is threatened by violence, domestic or foreign. It is clear to anyone who is even minimally aware of the state of the world today that terrorism is a wide-spread problem. Every living person is affected by it, however indirectly. That is part of the price we pay for living in a globalized world where you can enjoy YouTube videos in the morning and get blown up by an Islamic suicide bomber in the afternoon.

I am sure to get some mail/comment which would not have appeared if the last sentence had not contained “Islamic” in it. At least to some people, anyone naming the motivation for the overwhelming instances of terrorist suicide bombing immediately loses all legitimacy and further examination of evidence is considered totally unnecessary.

Well, I am not willing to do that. Because it is motivated by Islamic ideology, it has to be recognized as such. It hurts the feelings of devout Muslims to be told that the ideology kills. But hurt feelings are well worth risking if the first step to stop the killing of innocents is to recognize the fountainhead of the violence. Whether we want to admit it or not, globally humanity is suffering from violence and much of that violence is ideologically motivated. We have to pay attention.

Some excerpts from Dershowitz:

Now there is a new image of mothers urging their children to die, and then celebrating the martyrdom of their suicidal sons and daughters by distributing sweets and singing wedding songs. More and more young women — some married with infant children — are strapping bombs to their (sometimes pregnant) bellies, because they have been taught to love death rather than life. Look at what is being preached by some influential Islamic leaders:

“We are going to win, because they love life and we love death,” said Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah. He has also said: “[E]ach of us lives his days and nights hoping more than anything to be killed for the sake of Allah.” Shortly after 9/11, Osama bin Laden told a reporter: “We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the big difference between us.”

“The Americans love Pepsi-Cola, we love death,” explained Afghani al Qaeda operative Maulana Inyadullah. Sheik Feiz Mohammed, leader of the Global Islamic Youth Center in Sydney, Australia, preached: “We want to have children and offer them as soldiers defending Islam. Teach them this: There is nothing more beloved to me than wanting to die as a mujahid.” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech: “It is the zenith of honor for a man, a young person, boy or girl, to be prepared to sacrifice his life in order to serve the interests of his nation and his religion.”

How should Western democracies fight against an enemy whose leaders preach a preference for death?

Categories: Islamic Terrorism--Jihad

6 replies

  1. The professor makes a pertinent observation. But why exactly should so many continue to believe it, and that too over a period of centuries? Ordinarily, traitional practices are tried and tested by large numbers people of before bing accepted as “rules”, and when they are no longer viable, die a natural death.

    The “death love” anomaly, in my opinion, is an indirect consequence of the principle of equality as stated in the semitic books. These faiths claim that all of their adherents are equal in the eyes of god. For the semitics, it is taken to imply(falliciously) that there should not be much of a disparity between any two men. Of course, this can never be the case in the real world. These faiths have not attempted to explain the disparities in normal life, and equality before god is extrapolated to mean equality in all aspects of life as well.

    Societies are usually composed of two categories of people; the achievers and the ordinary(a vast majority), and these groups are easily distinguished from each other. However, the mob aspires to rise in status, which is usually not possible. The semitic faiths offer an option where no one is above any other, and every opinion is supposedly valid. In the ensuing commotion, reasonable voices are invarably
    outnumbered, since each believer is quite convinced of his own sincerity. An opinion that the mob fancies often gains hold and becomes the basis of law. The aim of the mob is rarely the elevation of themselves but the destruction of those with status(financial, educational). Innumerable examples of such behaviour, here the well off are targetted by the mob are available as apart of the historical record. This
    behaviour could be extrapolated to a global level, where the poorer countries target the richer ones. In essence, it is a case of jealousy.

    The arabs cannot hope to equal the west in prosperity. It is doubly humiliating for them(who consider themselves as god’s chosen ones) that the west can walk over them at their pleasure, and what more, not once does god chastise them. Coupled with the incessant and very public islamic indoctrination that is a feature of the arab nations, it is not surprising that suicide bombing finds acceptance among those peoples.

    Europe escaped this fate because of the renaissance occurred and ever since, the people in general(except a minority) separated their work and religion gradually. Morever, the sects from northern europe encouraged commerce, and soon enough the reality of wealth(as opposed to that of heaven) was obvious to all.


  2. Here is a slightly different view on terrorism, specific to US though:

    According to Mr. Scheuer the real driving force behind terrorism is interventionism. In his interview on Hannity and Colmes yesterday he said, “What they hate us for is the unusually virulent strain of obsessive compulsive disorder that’s present in the American governing class, and that’s called interventionism. That’s what the cause of this war is.”

    Mr. Sheuer is the author of many books including Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror. As the head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit he was among those pointing to our foreign policy as the key reason bin Laden is able to recruit willing terrorists. In his comments he stated, “Mr. McCain is very confident, but he’s clueless. Mr. Obama is equally clueless. They continue to tell Americans, ‘These people are Islamo-fascists, and they hate us because of our freedoms,’ and ‘they hate us for our liberties.'”

    In a speech before the House of Representatives in July of 2005 Paul said, “Understanding why they sacrifice themselves is crucial to ending what appears to be senseless and irrational.” He referred to Robert Pape’s Dying to Win and Congressman Paul concluded in his speech, “It is time for us to consider a strategic reassessment of our policy of foreign interventionism, occupation, and nation-building. It is in our national interest to do so and in the interest of world peace.”


  3. In so far as there is a problem, it is with all faiths. Just attacking one religion is missing the point by a long shot. I do really mean that, and expected a lot better from this blog. Dershowitz has anything but unbiased motives, and mentioning his critique without mentioning some recent factual history of Israel is no better than the half-truths that comes out of those you’re trying to denounce. That is not a moral equivalence, because there is no such thing. Perpetrating half-truths is perpetrating half-truths. It’s as simple as that.

    John McCain was endorsed by a Pastor Hagee (Jerry Falwell’s replacement) this week, that and even faux global warming is a bigger threat to me personally than a Palestinian suicide bomber who Dershowitz is referring to. I’m really getting tired of reading posts like this one complete with commenters who link to jihadwatch. Both sides are wrong as far as I’m concerned and I couldn’t care less about either point of view.


  4. Devangm
    One religion at present is the MOST EVIL.
    Its one thing for some one to say you’r going to hell.
    and another to threaten you with death.
    and often when its out of their jurisdiction.
    So Fuck it its about islam


  5. Inyadullah loves death.
    Americans love pepsi.

    How can both sides make each other happy?

    Inyadullah orders pepsi for Americans
    and Americans kill Inyadullah.

    They both get what they are looking for.


  6. After having watched fear mongering coverage on Fox networks, and because Rupert Murdoch has a big share of WSJ, I am sceptical about the opinions expressed in this article.


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