Friday, October 07, 2005

Why Bali?

Clifford D. May wrote in Townhall The latest suicide-bombings in Bali should make us stop and think: What did the people of Bali do to so anger Militant Islamists? Balinese troops are not battling Baathist insurgents and al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq. Bali was not involved in toppling the Taliban in Afghanistan. Bali hasn't sided with India over disputed Kashmir or with Israel over the disputed West Bank.

Of course none of those are the real reasons they are killing people; those are just excuses people trump up to explain things, because they don't want to confront the real reasons.
Indeed, Bali's foreign policy can hardly be regarded as objectionable by anyone – because Bali has no foreign policy. The predominately Hindu island is not independent. It is part of Indonesia which happens to be the largest Muslim nation in the world. Yet Bali has now been struck twice by terrorists, the first time three years ago. There also have been two attacks in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, one outside the Australian Embassy last year, the other at a hotel in 2003. What do the Islamists want? The purpose of terrorism is to terrorize – to frighten, to intimidate. The Islamists want relatively liberal democratic Indonesia to knuckle under. Like the Nazis and Communists, Militant Islamists are totalitarians – they despise democratic societies. The difference is that where Nazis saw democracy as decadent, and Communists viewed democracy as bourgeois, Militant Islamists regard democracy as blasphemous: It awards to citizens powers that belong to God -- as interpreted by them, of course.

Islamists also are offended by Indonesia's traditional tolerance of its religious minorities. In the militants' view, Hindus, Christians, Jews and other groups living in “Muslim lands” can aspire only to be dhimmis -- second-class citizens who are grudgingly endured and whose faiths are aggressively discouraged.
Which is why these "Muslim lands" should cease to be "Muslim lands", and instead be lands where all religions, including Islam, can be followed, but where all religions must be treated equally.
And, of course, Bali hosts Australians, Americans and other infidels who sit on beaches wearing skimpy clothing, drinking alcohol and engaging in additional behaviors of which Islamists disapprove. The Indonesian journalist Sadanand Dhume wrote last week that “Saudi and Gulf petrodollars” have been used in recent years to undermine the country's “easy-going” Islamic traditions while indoctrinating young Muslim men to react with violence to “the sight of a beer bottle, a church steeple or a woman's bare head.”

Indonesia is not the only Muslim country the Islamists are targeting. In August, scores of bombs rocked Bangladesh. Only a few people were killed and the international community shrugged. But Bangladeshis got the message loud and clear: “Become more like us, more Muslim – as we define the term -- or we will make you suffer. No one can protect you. No one will even try.”

Similarly, and again with little attention from the U.N., the media or just about anyone else, southern Thailand has become the bloodiest killing ground for Muslims after Iraq. Although most Thais are Buddhists, Muslims predominate in three southern provinces. There, bombings, beheadings and drive-by shootings have killed more than 1,000 people, including moderate Muslims and Buddhist monks and teachers.

One conclusion should be obvious: If nations such as Indonesia, Bangladesh and Thailand can not make themselves inoffensive to Militant Islamism there is no way that the United States could perform such a feat, no matter which policies we changed or how much our public diplomacy improved.
And anyone that suggest we can satisfy them if we just do x, y, and z is a fool.
Americans received no credit in the eyes of Islamists for their assistance to Muslims rebelling against Soviet domination of Afghanistan, their rescue of Kuwait from Saddam Hussein's clutches, their intervention on behalf of Muslim communities in Kosovo and Bosnia.
Or their generosity (far more than Muslim countries) when Indonesia was hit by the tsunami

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These Musilms won't stop until the world is a hell. It is so important for us to unite against Islamic barbarism.

Bali is a tourist area and also Muslims are minority in that area. Therefore, they attacked Bali to kill to birds using one stone.