November 5, 2009 |
Three Muslim students approached me after I had finished a speech at Harvard University. I was there to talk about the threat of radical Islam across the globe, as part of the Ethics and Public Policy Center's Program to Protect America's Freedom. The students, one man and two women, wore Western-style clothes and spoke English with little or no accent. They disputed my description of Islam as it's practiced in the Middle East, maintaining that al-Qaeda's version of Islam in no way reflects the Islam that is practiced around the world.
September 20, 2006
RE POPE Benedict XVI's comments about Islam: It amazes me how leaders in the Muslim world, political or religous, say whatever they want about whoever they want, but the rest of us worry about being politically correct. Islamic extremists want to kill us. When someone critizes them, they kill innocents all over the world. Too much of America has forgotten that horrible day on 9/11. Bill Newbold Philadelphia
April 1, 2003
UNILATERALISM means going it alone, a disastrous mistake in an interlocked world. George W. Bush's brand has gotten us into a new Vietnam quagmire that merits consideration of his and Dick Cheney's impeachment. His contempt for allies who were acquired by far wiser presidents, his endangering our valiant troops without just cause, his attacking Saddam because he cannot find Osama, his use of conventional weapons of mass destruction against as-yet-unused chemical Iraqi weapons, his plan to "democratize" the entire Mideast, his inflaming of all the Muslim world against us, his putting deficits where surpluses used to be, and his illegal recourse in war in order to get re-elected truly warrant the impeachment of both.
June 11, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - A group of assailants shut down Kabul's airport for several hours Monday in a brazen predawn attack that shook the capital hours after Afghan President Hamid Karzai delivered a speech in which he implied that U.S. counterterrorism policies had radicalized Muslims around the world. Afghan police snapped into action moments after residents of the city awoke to thundering blasts about 4:30 a.m. At least seven gunmen, including two wearing suicide vests, had taken refuge in buildings under construction adjacent to the northern tip of the airport compound, which includes an international military base.
September 14, 2012 |
OVER THE PAST two days, the Muslim world has been rocked by a range of volatile incidents. First, Egyptian protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy, tearing down the United States flag and posting a flag saying, in Arabic, "There is no god but Allah. " Then a group of extremists targeted the U.S. Embassy in Libya, killing Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. Of course, my first instinct is to focus on the human dimensions of this tragedy. Too often, as critics and private citizens, we jump right into our talking points and instant analyses instead of acknowledging the faces, names and stories of the people who died.
August 31, 2012 |
Taliban insurgents beheaded 17 people at a party in southern Afghanistan on Sunday night. The attack may have been part of a power struggle between rival factions, but one government official said it was intended to punish the attendees for listening to music and dancing. Are music and dance prohibited in Islam? The prophet Muhammad made seemingly contradictory statements about the performing arts, providing justification for people on either side of this doctrinal dispute. According to some accounts, Muhammad promised that Allah would turn musicians into "monkeys and pigs.
December 18, 2002
IT SEEMS likely we will get the war President Bush has been pushing for since well before the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. We are already bombing strategic targets saying they shot at us first. We may have war for Christmas. Bush declared he would not risk the life of a single American soldier by trusting Saddam Hussein to keep his word. How many Americans and how many others in the Middle East will die in George Jr.'s war unless it is deterred somehow? Terrorism against Americans and Britons at home and abroad is likely to be multiplied by all-out an war on and and any occupation of Iraq.
February 2, 2009 |
Every new president flatters himself that he, kinder and gentler, is beginning the world anew. Yet, when Barack Obama, in his inaugural address, reached out to Muslims with "to the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect," his formulation was needlessly defensive and apologetic. Is it "new" to acknowledge Muslim interests and show respect to the Muslim world? Obama doesn't just think so; he said so again to millions in his Al-Arabiya interview, insisting on the need to "restore" the "same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago. " Astonishing.
January 12, 2015 |
On Friday, the day French police killed the terrorists who attacked Charlie Hebdo, the liberal Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was publicly flogged in Jeddah for insulting Islam. The two cases are bookends. The terrorists, who apparently had links to al-Qaeda and ISIS, murdered 10 journalists in the name of Islam because the journalists "insulted" the prophet Muhammad. Badawi, a brave human-rights activist, was sentenced to 15 years by a Saudi court - and 50 lashes once a week for 20 weeks - because he critiqued the way Saudi clerics interpret Islam.
June 9, 2009 |
President Obama's speech at Cairo University last week constituted the most direct public diplomatic outreach to the Muslim world in U.S. history. As such, Obama should have focused squarely on the one issue that Muslim publics most directly control: the widespread acceptance, if not embrace, of violent extremism. In this respect, the president failed tremendously. To be sure, Obama spoke in no uncertain terms about the evils of violence, calling it contrary to Quranic teachings that decry the killing of innocents.