By Adil James, MMNS Southeast Michigan Correspondent
Novi–November 15–About 400 well-heeled Muslims gathered at the Novi Sheraton for a $75 per plate fundraiser for a little-known but vital link in the chain of institutions that serve Muslims in America–ISPU.
ISPU is essentially conceived as a Muslim think tank designed to use the writings and research of Muslim professors and scholars whose expertise is accepted relative to mainstream American institutions–to use such scholars to do unbiased and accurate research of the Muslim community.
The night was essentially a fundraiser for ISPU, which garnered approximately $200,000 during the night to perpetuate its institutional objectives. The amount of ISPUâ€™s budget is relatively insignificant compared to its competitors, Rand and Brookings, and others, who have very strong institutional support.
The keynote speaker at the fundraiser was Robert A. Pape, Jr. (born 1960), a political scientist known for his work on international security affairs, especially strategic air power and suicide terrorism. He is currently a professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago.
The thesis argued convincingly by Pape is that suicide terrorism is not, as it is usually conceived, a religiously motivated unthinking act; rather it is a deliberate and rational (if unjustified) political means of forcing a large democratic countryâ€™s occupying army out of the suicide terroristâ€™s country.
Pape has created a complete database of suicide terrorist attacks, including all videos by suicide terrorists of their attacks that he could glean, and available biodata on all suicide attackers, as well as videos made by suicide terroists in contemplation of their attacks. As the worldâ€™s leading expert on suicide terrorism Pape speaks to CIA and NSA professionals on terrorism; and he has advised the Obama campaign on its strategic course of action in light of findings about suicide terrorism.
He shows that the most active terrorist group is a Hindu one, not a Muslim one–and that most terrorist acts have been performed by that group, the Tamil Tigers, not by any Muslim group.
He delinks suicide terror from Islam by pointing out that the only Muslim groups that perform terrorist acts have solely secular political aims in performing their campaigns of suicide terrorism–and the evidence of this is the negative–that many extreme Muslim sects (those which lack a secular motive of repelling a foreign occupying army) have never performed a suicide terror attack. He showed also that groups famous for having performed suicide terror attacks, such as Hezbollah, performed their campaign of such attacks only during and in response to the occupation of their nation by a foreign occupying army–and he showed that Hezbollah did not perform a single suicide terror attack except during the Israeli occupation of Lebanon.
Perhaps the most moving detail of his research is his evidence that the essential motivational tool of Al Qaeda as a suicide terror organization is not â€œ70 virgins,â€ as it is always portrayed to be by the predominantly ignorant and knee-jerk American response, or â€œhatred of our freedoms,â€ (which Pape did not point to directly but which is another commonly cited excuse for military action against Muslims) but rather by the presence of American soldiers on Saudi Arabian soil, and now Iraqi and Afghan soil–Pape has prepared charts which show the direct correspondence between the presence of US soldiers on a nationâ€™s soil and the resulting increase of suicide attackers from that country. He shows the rise in number of attacks in response to hostile occupation. He shows the lack of attacks from unoccupied nations considered â€œfundamentalistâ€ such as Iran and Pakistan. Pape shows convincingly the disturbing recent increase in suicide terrorism from the occupied areas of Pushtoon Afghanistan–areas occupied only recently (not occupied, as commonly believed, at the beginning of the 2001 invasion) by American and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Pape shows convincingly that–far from stopping terrorist attacks–the foolhardy ventures into Afghanistan and Iraq have vastly increased suicide terrorism–and that the increase in Al Qaeda terrorism has been a very rational and ruthless long-term strategy of prying away Americaâ€™s allies in occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Based on his vast evidence and study, Pape argues that President-elect Obama must restrict military ventures into Afghanistan.
Papeâ€™s team of researchers includes speakers of all languages spoken by Muslims except one very important language, Pushtoon, and he is seeking Pushtoon speakers.
Please contact him if you are interested in helping him with his groundbreaking work which is beneficial to Muslims in making transparent the fact that the religion of Islam is blameless in relation to suicide terrorism.