Sunday, October 02, 2005

Religion of Peace Speaks Again in Bali

Once again, Muslim extremists have detonated bombs in Bali, resulting in the deaths of more than two dozen people. The group believed to be responsible is Jemaah Islamiyah, which is thought to have ties to Al Qaeda. The same group is believed to be responsible for similar bombings of a Bali nightclub in October, 2002, and the bombing of the JW Marriott hotel in Jakarta in August, 2003 and one outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta in May, 2004. That's one major bombing a year for the past few years for those who are keeping count.

The disturbing thing about these acts is that they come without fanfare, before or after the fact. There are no announcements, at least none reported by the international media, that these bombings will cease when certain demands are met. Unlike other groups committing atrocities elsewhere, they're not demanding that US and British troops withdraw from Muslim holy lands, that Israel be exterminated from Palestine, etc. Which makes them probably the most honest group of radical Muslims in the major leagues of terrorism.

No, the only thing that will make JI happy is an Islamic caliphate consisting of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei and Cambodia. Let's see, did I leave anyone out? That would make such a caliphate a pan-Southeast Asia nation of 420 million people, according to Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook. Assuming all of them stay to experience the joys of living under Islamic law, that is.

And that's why I find the silence so disturbing. This is not a group that's merely happy to kill innocent civilians and use the excuse that they're doing so to protest the British and American "crusaders". They have a mission, and they're deadly serious about it. They don't pretend to give a damn about Iraq or the Palestinians. And I fear that they're more indicative of the radical Islam movement than the handful of oddballs and losers as portrayed in the media. This is an organized and alarmingly cohesive movement with a deep hatred of everything un-Islamic and I'm afraid that the world will continue to under estimate the size and scope of the problem until it's too late.

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