Fareed Zakaria At Newsweek: ‘Terrorism’s Supermarket’

Full piece here.

Zakaria suggests that Pakistan’s roots may hold part of the problem:

“The Pakistani scholar-politician Husain Haqqani tells in his brilliant history, Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military, how the government’s jihadist connections go back to the country’s creation as an ideological, Islamic state and the decision by successive governments to use jihad both to gain domestic support and to hurt its perennial rival, India.”


‘Those [terrorist groups] that threaten and attack the people of Pakistan have suffered the wrath of the Pakistani Army. But then there are groups that threaten and attack only Afghans, Indians, and Westerners—and those groups have largely been left alone.’

A few thoughts:

1.  One moving piece of this puzzle is the use of American military force to quell terrorist activities, or extreme and violent groups whose goal is to cause terror, strike at Western and other targets, and enact violence wherever possible. It’s obvious that these groups vastly overstep the bounds of reasonable action (beyond legitimate grievance and a response to injustice which works against genuine understanding, and also uses religious claims to justify such actions).  We have our national security at risk, which is probably the main reason we continue in the AfPak engagement, but the use of military force has other consequences that are worthy of long term consideration.  What are other ways of containing terror?  Are they working? Where are the Europeans?

2. Another piece is Muslim immigration to Western societies for economic and educational opportunity, and how those countries have and haven’t successfully integrated them (for Muslims certainly bring their religion with them; coming from countries that do not have freedom of speech, separation of Church and State, and not often representative government as we mostly know them).  One of my main interests is the failure of Western multiculturalism and excessive relativism to maintain a reasonable outlook which serves the people of these Western countries in handling that influx.

3.  Another moving piece is the availability of technology for communication, travel, weaponry, and training which has made the world quite small, and much more interconnected.

Any thoughts and comments are welcome…

Also On This Site:  What map are you using to understand this conflict:  From The American Interest Online: Francis Fukuyama On Samuel Huntington

Ayan Hirsi Ali has used the ideals of the West (especially women’s rights) to potentially confront Islam; which has served her politically as well:  Repost-Ayan Hirsi Ali At The CSM: ‘Swiss Ban On Minarets Was A Vote For Tolerance And Inclusion’

Is Islam incompatibile with freedom as we define it here in the West, or is this a false choice?:  From YouTube: Roger Scruton On Religious Freedom, Islam & Atheism

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2 thoughts on “Fareed Zakaria At Newsweek: ‘Terrorism’s Supermarket’

  1. Why a number of disaffected American youth seek refuge in cyber space and go on to treacherous trajectories that at times lead them exposed and vulnerable to exploitation by mischievous elements? This is a matter which gives rise to far pressing questions not addressed in any of Fareed Zakaria’s discussions adequately enough.

    For example you never hear Fareed asking why despite spending astronomical fortunes on the upbringing of the young generation, the Muslim youth in USA get so easily dissuaded? United States combined Federal State and Local Government Spending on Education for the Fiscal Year 2010 is $ 1,046.6 billion.

  2. Jeff,

    Thanks for responding. I think it’s complex, but Islam makes demands of its followers as any religion does, and unifies them. Certain ideological groups of Muslims attract young people with over-simplified religious zeal borne of cultural strife and great suffering (Egyptian prisons) genuine injustice (Egyptian prisons, many of the worst parts of British, Russian and American involvement in the Middle East) and allows them to briefly have an identity of strength and purpose and religious justice (against the woes and weakness of the Muslim world economically and culturally). Of course, they are little more than pawns in the hands of militant, half thought through violent extremists and ideologies, but…there you go. It’s tough to find a majority of Muslims condemning such extremes at the moment…but there are some, and they are bearing a lot.

    For all that, I suspect there are other American Muslims (especially teenagers, and the lonely/loner sometimes mentally unbalanced types) who will follow suit. From a security standpoint, all it takes is one. From a personal perspective, I think multiculturalism’s efforts to ghettoize and include them in the multi-culti world view will lead to some of the problems that Europe is facing at the moment.

    The best I can think of is lead by example, and to be wise keepers of our freedoms, for that will be the most compelling argument for our way of life. It isn’t always that simple, however, but we can’t get too far from it.

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