• How We Should Fight Terrorism

    no-to-terrorism-2In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, many are asking how we should fight terrorism. I think this is an important question and I have a really good answer for it.

    First, let us be clear here. While obviously not all Muslims are terrorists, the fact is that the terrorists that attacked Paris were Muslims and when we think about terrorism around the world today, most people are thinking about Muslim terrorists (i.e. terrorists claiming to be inspired my the religion of Islam). Republicans and hawkish Democrats want to wage war on the Arab world. The conventional wisdom is to use drone strikes, train foreign fighters, put boots on the ground, and create no-fly zones. Some have even promoted the idea of torturing Muslims for information (Dick Cheney, I’m looking at you).

    I think all of those things are bad ideas. They are strategies that have proven not only ineffective, but counter-productive. Those courses of action have only created more extremists and have pushed moderates into joining the cause of extremism. These are the very strategies that created the Islamic State (ISIS) and have allowed them to recruit less extremists to their extremist cause.

    What I am suggesting is to take the gloves off. I don’t mean that we should let loose with military might, but instead to let loose with the might of logic and reason. We can’t be afraid to spread the reality that Allah is imaginary and that Mohammad was not a prophet. Instead of dropping bombs, we should be dropping facts about reality. We should be out there pointing out the scientific and logical problems with the Muslim religion.

    But we can’t do that because if we point out the absurdity of the Muslim religion, we would also be pointing out the absurdity of the Christian and Jewish religions. I’m fine with that, but most of the people in our country are not. As a result, we are forced to wear kid gloves and not offend our own population. This prevents us from using our best weapon against terrorism.

    The fact is that terrorists around the world would be far less likely to be terrorists if they were no longer religious. In fact, atheism is the cure not just for terrorism, but for a lot of social problems here in America too. There would be far less homophobia and bigotry in America if Christians stopped being Christian. Issues like Climate Change, women’s rights, etc. are all propagated by religion. We could drastically reduce the opposition to these issues if we just got religious believers to stop believing in religion.

    So here we have a cure not only for many of society’s problems but also the current wave of terrorism around the globe. All we have to do is convince people that their deity of choice is imaginary and that their ancient superstitions don’t match up with reality. Unfortunately, because of the superstitious beliefs of many in our own country, we are prevented from even trying.

    Category: AtheismfeaturedIslamReligionTerrorism

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    Article by: Staks Rosch

    Staks Rosch is a writer for the Skeptic Ink Network & Huffington Post, and is also a freelance writer for Publishers Weekly. Currently he serves as the head of the Philadelphia Coalition of Reason and is a stay-at-home dad.

    9 comments

    1. Sir, I couldn’t agree with you more! The problem with the “War on Terrorism” is that you can’t wage war on an ideology (extreme Islam), or in this case, the tactic of asymmetric warfare (a.k.a. terrorism). You can only convince those who believe in the ideology that they’re wrong, or those who use the tactic that it is ineffective. You’ve correctly identified the problem with fighting the ideology which is driving them, and the problem with fighting the tactic is that they have living proof that it works: i.e.; Israel.

    2. You CANNOT expect logic and reason to work with religious fanatics – their whole mindset is the exact opposite of logic and reason.

      1. Sure, it isn’t like we will just make an argument and they will be like, “oh shit, Islam is totally bullshit. What was I thinking for my entire life.” No, it doesn’t work that way with any religion. But when religious people keep seeing that their arguments aren’t valid over and over again, after awhile some of them start to have doubts. We have to keep at it and encourage those doubts. Sometimes they even have doubts before we get to the argument stage. We can’t give up and we have to keep fighting the beliefs not the believers.

    3. I’m sorry but I believe your solution to Islamic extremism is naive. ISIS needs to be crushed militarily. They will not respond to reason and argument. They will use every means at their disposal to try to destroy the west. This enemy is much more committed to their ideology than the average American is committed to western philosophies.

      ISIS created itself out of chaos and opportunity – not because we did things some Muslims don’t like. Did France do something to provoke the recent attack? I don’t buy that we have helped create jihadists. Just by our existence of freedom and not believing in Islam we are infidels and deserve to die.

      1. I think your view is simplistic. The reality is a little more murky. Obviously not all Muslims are going to de-convert overnight. No one is saying that. Many of their leaders like Christian leaders will not de-convert because it doesn’t suit their needs. But many will over time. And fighting a war of ideas will strip ISIS of their troops and might even cause their ground forces to rebel against them. Will there still need to be military engagements? Maybe. But right now, those engagements are creating more ground troops than they are killing. They are pushing less extreme Muslims into becoming more extreme. Drone strikes and bombs kill lots of innocent people and those people have family, friends, and neighbors. Those people find sympathy with ISIS and gives them a stronger hold in the region. It makes intelligence gathering more difficult and in a war like this, valuable intel is critical.

        Awhile back, we captured and tortured someone who had nothing to do with terrorism. Then we turned him into a spy for us. He was able to use this torture experience to infiltrate terrorist organizations and provide us with valuable intel. The problem was that he was a double agent. He ended up as a suicide bomber walking into a CIA stronghold and murdering many of our top agents. Keep in mind, that prior to us capturing him and torturing him, he was basically a non-practicing Muslim who couldn’t have cared less about religion. But we turned him into a religious fanatic who was willing to kill himself in order to receive 72 virgins in Heaven.

    4. There is little evidence our actions turn innocent by-standers into committed terrorists. You didn’t answer the question of what Socialist France did to deserve to be attacked using your logic. What about Muslims who don’t agree with the ISIS brand of Islam who are also being slaughtered, raped and beheaded. What did they do to deserve their treatment?

      No, there is nothing we can do or not do to “provoke” these barbarians. They have to be defeated just like the Nazi’s and others had to be defeated in WWII.

      1. ??? You know you have lost the argument when you invent strawmen positions and assign them to the other person. I never said France or anyone else did anything to deserve being attacked. That’s not my logic!

        My position is that the Koran, Bible, and Torah all contain hideously violent passages that can easily be used to justify terror and murder. So in my view, instead of killing people we should be attacking the merits (or in this case lack of merits) of their religious beliefs. Once we take the religious motivation for terrorism off the table, the war on terror will be effectively over.

        1. I have no problem showing how religious beliefs are bogus. But do you really think you’re going to change the mind of a radicalized jihadist? An Islamic terrorist who is willing to brutally kill innocent people and kill himself in order to kill infidels will not engage in a robust debate. What has to be done is what France has done the past several days. The jihadists have to be rooted out and killed. There is no other way to protect us from further attacks.

    5. Great post . I appreciate you speaking out against the bigotry against Muslims that this “war on terror” has inspired. However, if you don’t agree with putting boots on the ground how would you go about dismantling ISIS? I agree that convincing all Muslims of the falsity of their religion but I don’t think ISIS would be convinced by us atheists’ logical arguments. I believe some kind of combination of diplomatic and combative solution is necessary. And since the bombs being dropped and the drone strikes have been causing many civilian deaths I think “boots on the ground” would be a better solution that (assuming the soldiers were not careless idiots) would see a huge decrease in needless casualties. Thoughts?

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