Terrorism 2005, By Mordechai Kafry

First published as part of an on-going debate on What do the terrorists want? on Cyberkwoon.


Terrorism 2005

By Mordechai Kafry

The key issue in understanding fundamentalist Islamic terrorism is the difference in time perspectives. We think in terms of the next 5 or 10 years. We know that too many unknown influences will make further estimates unpractical. The fundamentalists think in perspectives of hundreds of years. By then they are sure of victory for Islam over the world. Their thinking is not by the scientific method they are taught to despise, but by religious doctrines and repetitions of former waves of Islamic conquest. If you will try to think in their terms you will have less ground for pro-western optimism.

There were two waves of Islamic attack on the infidels. In the first wave 6 to 9th century they have taken all of the Middle East, North Africa and Spain. In the 13 to the 17th century the Turkish tribes have taken Central Asia and Northern India, and their Ottoman Sultanate has taken Byzantium, almost all the Balkans and Hungary. They were stopped while attacking Austria when the Polish cavalry arrived suddenly and broke their siege on Vienna. Now the fundamentalists think it is the time for a third wave. If you think they are stupid or unrealistic – think again.
1) They know the West is highly vulnerable to terror and responds to it by fighting wars that bypass lack of success in defeating terror. Now is just the beginning.
2) They think they have no other choice but war on the West, because western culture is the Devil that will destroy Islam if it is not stopped. So it is: “kill or die!”

Both theses are debatable. But they have enough substance from the point of view of the fundamentalists to make them act.

The people who have written the theory of fighting to death against the West were all Muslims who came to the west, went through a culture shock and responded with outmost hostility. The first were the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt 75 years ago. Need I add Ayatollah Khomeini? Many more Muslims came to the West and had the best of times. But it is the bad guys who make history, did you not know?

To know the difference in our and their values and ways of thinking ask yourself what is the purpose of human life. In the West it is the pursuit of happiness in many various ways. To the fundamentalist’s human life is only the corridor and trial before the real eternal life you earn in Heaven or in Hell. So when a revered preacher makes you an offer to go to Heaven right away, with great honor and prize in money to your family, and the fringe benefit of 72 holly virgins – well is it not a bargain? Not everybody is sure, of course, but those who are, blow themselves up with us in a moment of happiness. An Israeli research scientist devoted her PHD to the arrested would be suicides caught before they pressed the button and they all turned out to be deeply religious boys. The women were a different case. They were mostly cases of “shame to the family” and faced the choice of being killed to clear the family’s honor or blowing themselves up with the Jews – in great honor to themselves and their families.

The people who equipped and directed the suicides and were arrested turned out to be usually not religious and even highly cynical people who would not dream of blowing themselves up. Some one has to lead, be the irreplaceable link – so they argued, in jail.

The propaganda directed at the world does not say: “we are coming to get you!” That would be stupid – Ahbel is the word in Arabic. So they raise all real and plausible grievances as if they would stop the war on the West if it would be more conciliatory. To the Muslims they say much more – justification for killing innocents.

Terror is culturally related to traditions of blood vengeance. Look at Europe, not all countries had terror movements in the seventies. England, France or Holland did not. But all those that had them had blood revenge in their folk history. Italy, Germany (Foehme), Ireland, the Basks, the Chechens etc. European terrorism was directed against symbolic institutions or against leaders. Blood revenge in Arab tradition is not directed against those who have wronged you, but against innocent members of their family or tribe – to demonstrate their collective responsibility. You must figure this out before you will be killed, afterwards what will be the use?

There is no doubt Western culture is very attractive and is corrosive to Fundamentalist Islamic values. There is room for accommodation. Thus the Sikhs, Orthodox Jews, the Amish, very religious Catholics and Protestants all criticize the prevailing values, some even shoot abortion doctors, but they don’t feel the future of their religion to be threatened.

Islam has traditions of conquest and domination over other religions. A situation in which Muslims are in a minority as in the Western countries seems intolerable to them. This has to change. The moderate Muslims can maintain and practice their own culture, but must also learn to respect the culture of the majority and accommodate to it or leave the country. No one can coexist for ever with a mortal enemy.

Having said it I must repeat: No one has ever won the war against a religion – except in cases in which all of its adherents have been killed or expelled, and this has happened in many cases in history. So don’t criticize Islam as such and learn how to deal only with it’s fundamentalists in very rigid terms. They don’t compromise – neither can your state.

Now it must be said that so far the West is loosing the battle, and the fundamentalists know it better then we do. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the whole world. Europe is getting old and its native population is not reproducing itself. It must import young workers and most of the candidates come from overpopulated Muslim states. This is not the case in the USA because it has a selective policy of immigration aiming at those with a potential for entering its middle class.

The bad luck for the fundamentalists was they started the fight with Israel long before they have picked on the rest of the world. Israel had to solve the problems of dealing with the whole issue and was successful enough to make them look for places where they could be more effective. In Israel most of the suicides either can’t penetrate or are arrested on their way. The west is learning from those who have the most experience. Not everything we have done is justified, especially the settlement policy. But even we are learning that sticking your head into the lion’s mouth is not an intell
igent and long lasting policy.

Mordechai Kafry,
kibbutz Gal On



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  • ת"ת  ביום 19 ביולי 2005 בשעה 12:59

    דברים נכונים אבל יותר מדי פסימיים. זה לא נכון שהמערב כל כך רגיש לפיגועים ושהאיסלאם הולך לנצח במלחמת דתות. המוסלמים יכולים לפוצץ אוטובוסים וגורדי שחקים, אבל את המערב הם לא יכניעו ולא ישנו את סגנון החיים שלו. המוסלמים חלשים ולא מאורגנים ואין להם סיכוי מול המערב.


  • משתמש אנונימי (לא מזוהה)  ביום 20 ביולי 2005 בשעה 14:50

    לצערי המגיב הקודם טועה… קודם כל הם מאורגנים… נכון, הם בורים וברברים ברובם הגורף, אך בשבילם יש את הצמרת המשכילה והעשירה כדי להאיר את "הדרך הנכונה". והדרך שלהם לא כוללת שימור התרבות המערבית

    יכול להיות ואני טועה (הלוואי ואני טועה!), אבל כל המנהיגות של מערב נראת לי נוסח שמעון פרס ויוסי ביילין – שהרעיונות שלהם יפים מאוד אך לא קשורים למציאות


  • משתמש אנונימי (לא מזוהה)  ביום 21 ביולי 2005 בשעה 16:50

    just read the following summary report on last London bomings ….


  • מרדכי כפרי  ביום 21 ביולי 2005 בשעה 17:31

    A response to my article “Terrorism 2005”was: you are too pessimistic.

    Anyone who knows me recognizes I am optimism in flesh. I feel the need to ask a dyed in the wool pessimist –my son – to criticize all I write. He is good at it and balances my over-cheerfulness, and then I rewrite some points. Now, to the point: The strength of the West in atom bombs and most weapons is useless against Terror. Only the strength in espionage and commandoes counts… The strategic balance is not composed of everything both sides possess, but of terror and counter terror.

    Israel has worked out its balance. As the religious philosopher and true prophet Yeshayahu Leibovich has said in 1967, when we occupied the Palestinian territories: if we will not get out right away a third of our people will have to devote their lives to policing them. Now we are getting out (and building a wall to separate us), starting with Gaza.

    Unlike the rest of the west, Israel is reproducing itself with an average of 2.3 children born to a family. The USA is also growing by way a middle class orientated immigration policy. Japan, Singapore and most of Europe are loosing population quite rapidly. Until now Europe did very little to act against terror. It just scared away Arab tourism, most of it innocent, from coming to the west. Everything else was not politically correct.

    I can not prophesize, so I will draw an example from the past. That is no proof but is perhaps an illustration. The Roman Empire was overthrown when it has destroyed its social structure and its farmers became its Parasites. To keep an army they had to recruit Barbarian farmers. Ultimately wave after wave of Barbarians have vanquished Rome. Greek Rome, Byzantium, has lasted for a 1000 more years.

    I am just warning the people who live in the past. Don’t think you are invulnerable. If you will not fight terror with deadly determination it could win.
    Mordechai Kafry
    Kibbutz Gal On


  • דוד כפרי  ביום 21 ביולי 2005 בשעה 18:46



  • דוד כפרי  ביום 21 ביולי 2005 בשעה 19:34

    שווה קריאה, שניה ושלישית:


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