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ETpro's avatar

Should America expand our "War on Terror" to target all of Islam?

Asked by ETpro (34503points) September 11th, 2010

Newt Gingrich is now marketing a slick new, cleverly produced documentary showing absolutely horrific images of the death and destruction of 9/11 interplayed with images of Arab Leaders, Muslims worshiping, President Obama meeting with the Saudi King… Gingrich says the movie America at Risk: The War With No Name will drive the “national dialogue” about President Obama’s failure to address the rise of “Radical Islam” and its attempt to impose Sharia law on the United States. The argument goes—Some say we are at war with al Qaeda and a handful of Islamic Extremist. NO! We are NOT. All of Islam is out to get us, and we better recognize that. A number of other Republicans are picking up that banner in an attempt to paint themselves as the party that understands how things really are, and their opposition as weak and full of appeasers who will give America away rather than fight.

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, a right-wing Christian group, called for a ban on building permits for any mosques or Islamic Centers throughout America and wants all Muslim immigration halted and all Muslims purged from the US Military. Who is Bryan Fischer, you might ask. He’s a headline speaker along with Gingrich, Mitt Romney and other notable Republicans such as Rep. Michele Bachmann, Sen. Jim DeMint, Sean Hannity, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Rep. Mike Pence at the Values Voter Summit in Washington next week.

If the mainstream GOP decides that Islamophoobia is a winning issue for it, they will be playing a game as dangerous as juggling nitroglycerin. There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world, 800,000 of them are Americans. If we really do go to war with Islam, we are looking at the largest ethnic cleansing program in the history of Earth. We would have to exterminate 200 times as many people as Adolph Hitler killed for religious bigotry. In a nuclear age, any effort to murder over a billion people living all around the globe would almost certainly end in an all-out nuclear confrontation between the superpowers. So it could spell the end of all human life on Earth.

If Islam or any other religion, for that matter, actually does try to impose their will and ways on all of us, I will fight and I suspect that all who love their religious freedom will join me. But I will also fight a bunch of callous demagogues using cultural differences and fear mongering for political gain when they risk touching off a nuclear holocaust in their thirst for power.

What do you think? Are we currently at war with all of Islam? If we are not, doesn’t shameless political pandering suggesting that we are play right into the recruiting hands of al Qaeda? Surely they will show Gingrich’s film again and again to “prove” all Americans hate Muslims. And finally, does such demagoguery risk actually provoking an all out war in which one of the two most populous religions on Earth must have all its members exterminated or forcibly converted?

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9 Answers

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Gustave Gilbert, a U.S. Army psychologist is interviewing Hermann Göring in his cell during the Nuremberg Trials

Göring: “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some
poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that
he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece.”

“Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in
England, nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is
understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who
determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the
people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or
a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.”

Gilbert: “There is one difference. In a democracy the people have some
say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the
United States only Congress can declare wars.”

Göring: “Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the
bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them
they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of
patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in
any country.”


john65pennington's avatar

Could you compare the ideals of Islam to the ideals of The Black Panthers?

ETpro's avatar

@hiphiphopflipflapflop Great Answer. Here we go again.

@john65pennington Would you expound on the comparison, please?

Disc2021's avatar

Maybe I’m undereducated on this issue, maybe my knowledge isn’t up to date. Perhaps I’m overlooking something but it seems Muslims (be in in our country or over seas, in the middle east) have the impression that it’s us that hate them and recently I’ve been getting the impression that we justify our hate for them by rhetorically stating that it’s them that hate us.

Personally, I say we all just need to grow up and learn to respect each other. The bombing needs to stop, the wars need to stop and the blame game needs to end.

To add, I say we make a big country for those of us that respect/tolerate everyone equally no matter the race, gender or beliefs and another big country for those of us who dont. Let the people who want to fight battle it out and let those of us who want to live peacefully enjoy our lives free from the nonsense.

laureth's avatar

1. Being at war with Islam would imply that all of Islam supports attacks on the United States. However, after 9/11, the vast majority of Islamic nations either condemned the attacks, called them “barbaric,” and/or offered aid to us. Pretty amazing actions for “enemies,” I would think.

2. In both places, however, there are warmongering fundamentalists in both camps. Here, Newt Gingrich is telling folks that Islam is at war with America, and Osama Bin Laden is preaching over there that America is at war with Islam. Both men represent crazy fringe lunatics, IMHO.

3. To sum up, rational people seem to understand that the crazy people are crazy. However, crazy people seem to be, through the sheer passion of the craziness, climbing to positions of power. Hopefully the rational people can turn out in enough numbers to let reason prevail at the polls, but they seem to be swimming in apathy or hopelessness. And all that is necessary for Crazy to succeed, in this case, is for rational people to do nothing.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

With my favorite historical admonishment on warmongering out of the way, I doubt this will end up going very far. Many establishment applecarts depend upon our relationships with Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Indonesia. Maybe not ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ relationships, but at least economically productive ones.

ETpro's avatar

@laureth Excellent points.

@hiphiphopflipflapflop I think you are probably right.

woodcutter's avatar

are we really targeting any of Islam? I think we are after those who plan and do bad things in its name, among others.

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter Did you read the Question Details and look at any of the links therein?

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