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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Connector of the day: Vali Nasr

September 28th, 2009
08:22 PM ET

The secret to defeating Islamic extremists may well lie in targeting the Muslim world's ever increasing middle class.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/28/art.vali.nasr.gi.jpg caption="Vali Nasr is an expert in Middle Eastern affairs."]

That is just one of the many theories put forward in a new book by one of the world's most distinguished Middle Eastern commentators.

As an academic and scholar, the opinions and thoughts of Vali Nasr are sought by politicians the world over.

In his latest book “Forces of Fortune,” he suggests many solutions to the problems that have beset relations between Muslim countries and the West.

A senior advisor to the Obama administration, this is your opportunity to send questions to one of the most respected thinkers of our time.

What do you want to ask Vali Nasr? Send us your questions and we'll put them to him during the show on Tuesday.

soundoff (190 Responses)
  1. christin harrison

    how can you stope the extrimist when there are lots of underground simpatisers in the arab worid,i hope your theory works,which i dont see it coming,

    christin harrison

    September 28, 2009 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  2. Graham Pfister - Vancouver Canada

    You can elect your politicians but you can't elect or change your religous leaders and history has shown that when religous leaders mix with politics and the running of a country it leads to humanitarian disasters.

    Do you believe it is possible for the Muslim world to separate their religon from their politics and let the politicians run their respective countries without interference?

    September 28, 2009 at 11:17 pm | Reply
  3. Jalal Ishaq

    You can only tackle extremism if America and the world has one yard stick for all countries. If a single jew is killed in Israel, a lot of hue and cry is raised by the world media and Americans, but if ten Palestinians are killed, the world reaction is quite indifferent as if nothing serious happened.
    The world must realize that a palistinian killed is as serious a matter as a jew being killed.Only then can you tackle extremism. All human beings should be considered equal in all spheres of life.
    The unjust treatment given to the muslims and the preferential treatment given to the jews is the root cause of extremism in the middle east.

    Jalal Ishaq

    September 28, 2009 at 11:51 pm | Reply
  4. Kim Lloyd George

    Dear Graham in Canada: Answer: No. I am an American living and working in Malaysia and Im telling you its not possible.

    Think about the ramifications of this and draw your own conslusions; I have.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:30 am | Reply
  5. P Rajeswaran

    Educate and strengthen the middle class Muslims; wean away from oil dependency and hasten usage of alternate fuel; wean people away from dependence and total belief on Scriptures (including Torah, Bible and Quran) and encourage spiritualism; not an easy task. A long way to go.
    Policies of like-minded and democratic governments should be to allow science to educate the public on the point that God does not send 'Angels' to communicate with some 'select' individuals or 'His Son' to redeem humanity. Instead, perhaps such individuals 'realised' the need of the hour and envisioned some 'path' for humanity which 'can and must' be amended when necessary by humanity as a whole without waiting for a 'second coming'.
    Unless this basic misconception about God and His Angels is dispelled, there is no end to the tunnel of darkness.

    September 29, 2009 at 5:54 am | Reply
  6. Greg Chen - Indonesia

    Poverty, disillusionment, oppression & conceptions about "the enemy" certainly seem to make recruitment for certain positions easier within terror organizations and religious groups.

    However, doesn't this apply to most (if not all) major religious groups throughout history? The Catholic Church exerted stronger influence in Europe during the middle ages as various Protestant churches do in U.S. politics today. Pakistan basically broke away from India because of religious demography. Saudi Arabia & Iran's "middle class" voices seem to be muted by the ruling leaders.

    All these nations have been & are ruled & supported by elites with deep pockets, certainly deeper than all of the wealth of the middle class populace it seems.

    Is this really the answer?

    I believe more can be achieved if all our religious leaders focused on the essence of their respective faiths in their daily/weekly religious teachings/preachings: Love, respect for others, compassion, honesty & faithfulness to a life of peace & harmony with other people & our surroundings.

    Then again, will religious leaders ever stay out of politics since most seem to believe involvement in politics is necessary to "cure" the very ills they sometimes end up supporting? What do you think?

    September 29, 2009 at 6:46 am | Reply
  7. Ellis Ajoku

    Mr Nasr, don't you think that any method(s) to be used in combating Islamic extremism should be simultaneously implemented around the Muslim world? I say this because at times, when one side of a particular problem is tackled, the remaining part tends to develop a resistance to that solution before it is applied.

    September 29, 2009 at 7:07 am | Reply
  8. Ellis Ajoku

    Mr Nasr, don't you think that any method(s) to be used in combating Islamic extremism should be simultaneously implemented around the Muslim world? I say this because at times, when one side of a particular problem is tackled, the remaining part tends to develop a resistance to that solution before it is applied.

    Writing in from Owerri, Nigeria.

    September 29, 2009 at 7:09 am | Reply
  9. Mohamed, kenya

    Vali Nasr talks from perspective of the ignorant. Muslims judge issues on the basis of islam which combines as political ideology,legislation,intellectual doctrine and religion. The war between west and islam is a struggle between falsehood and truth which never reconcile until all forms of idol worships (cross worship,cows,stomach worship/capitalism) are eliminated

    September 29, 2009 at 7:54 am | Reply
  10. max nduaguibe

    Religion has turned out to center on an impervious struggle between political and religious authority, for rights and privileges to dominate the minds of the people. PEACE in the world will require the same solution as europeans princes employed: Imprison the Pope,exile him,until he comes to the realisation that he should submit to the rule of the majority,

    September 29, 2009 at 8:01 am | Reply
  11. steve

    Mr. Nasr – do you think that all the problems that have accompanied the West in the muslim world stem from the fact that they're approaching them all as extremists?
    Will your new "middle class" change this?

    September 29, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  12. Clive

    Until you can get the Muslim Clerics worldwide to condemm these acts of terrorism, and admit that these acts are against Islam, you will have an uphill task. Muslim clerics need to be far more pro-active in speaking out against extremism.

    September 29, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  13. steve

    Dont you think that its about time we ask how also to stop christian extremism ,which has and still does leave much misery and destruction in its enlightened path??

    September 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  14. saj

    We are afraid of muslims, you speak one and act another one, you wait for a chance to move to west, if you got a chance, you will move then you will start to show your colour, you follow the fundamentalist ideas of quaran, than living truths, many muslims, you can't change without leveing the religion itself.............funding from PAKISTAN, SAUI ARABIA, ETC. spoiled islam............unless you follow the path of TURKETY, WHERE THEY FOLLOW STRICLTLY THE SECULAR IDEAS,....IT SHOLD BE ADOPTED ALL OVER ISLAMIC COUNTRIES...MUSLIMS CAN'T LIVE A FREE COUNTRY...IT IS TRUE, ...BECAUSE, ISLAM PROPAGATES HATE, SLAVERY, ETC...

    September 29, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  15. steve

    Mr. Nasr, I of course dont know the full locus of your argument.
    However dont you think tha the danger lies also in the fact that
    christian extremism is not in general properly adressed neither
    historically nor contemporeaneously ??

    September 29, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  16. kori - in Turkey

    From a western perspective, the west's struggle to obtain peace with the muslim world, is that it sees too many ideological (muslim) roots in governance. From a "muslim" perspective, the struggle to obtain peace with the west lies within the lack of ideological (muslim) influence in goverment. Is there a tangible solution to this dilemma?

    September 29, 2009 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  17. Jane Williams

    The only way to stop people becoming extremists like this is if and when they understand that the prophet they claim to follow was not an extremist and would never have condoned their extreme behavior. The same goes for fundamentalist Christians, Hindus or the misguided followers of any religion. The great founders of all the religions have been so horribly misunderstood, and the religions so perverted, it is no wonder sensible people question them.

    September 29, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  18. zakari

    First of all I don't believe in the theory of Islam being negatively extremist. but instead when islam is misunderstood it can lead to negative extremist actions. don't you think that the solution will be in the proper understanding of islam ?

    September 29, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  19. Muneeb Azhar

    Realize that Islam and muslim is the future and stop the mindless campaign against Islam as it shall prevail no matter how much you try to distrub as ultimately the will of Allah prevails over everyone.

    Muneeb Azhar

    September 29, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  20. alex

    bcome/convert to muslim .anyway thats what they want , i doubt even then if islamic terrorism would stop as then they would be at each others necks shia/sunni .

    September 29, 2009 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  21. nigel blackett

    I spent a number of years in Israel,.my initial sympathies for the
    Jews soon evaporated as I realized the massive injustices
    imposed on the indigenous Palestinian population by folk
    whos birthplace was often far from the Middle-East!...Obviously
    the strategic Geographical position of Israel(in amongst all that OIL!)
    has been at the route of all this American/Western meddling-
    if this region was in the middle of nowhere and there weren,t
    hugely influential Jews involved..no Western Government would
    have had the slightest interest in their fate..As to "winning" the war
    against Islam..how many centuries has this been going on?..
    I,m a British Catholic,..but I cant help admiring Islam...not
    a religion to trifle with ..GOODLUCK TO THEM!

    September 29, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  22. Vladimir Bohinc

    The moment there is a word "defeat" in a solution, it is probably doomed already.
    A good solution would make both sides winners.
    Current "solutions" all involve defeating by killing. All?
    This has never worked.
    Do you see a solution by curing the causes and not symptoms?

    September 29, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  23. Tawanda

    Sort out the Palestine issue coz Israel is behaving just like an extremist being supported by the US which is viewed by many Arabs as the evil behind the extrimism of the Israels.

    September 29, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  24. Raoul

    Islamic extremists is growing for a reason. Unless we understand the reason and solve it, it will keep growing. No force, no weapon, nothing can stop it.
    How can you stop someone who is ready to die for a reason? kill him? it is like adding fuel on fire.
    The main reason for islamic extremists is the disrespect of their well being. Their lands are being occupied, their homes are being bombed and their women and children killed.
    Unless Israel withdraw from all occupied lands and the US and western allies withdraw from the Arab regions, their will be no peace and extremism will keep growing.
    Leave them alone and let them decide their own faith and live in peace, otherwise they will make our lives like hell.
    911 would not have happened if the US wasn't in Saudi Arabia, the sacred land for muslims.

    September 29, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  25. Prasad T.R.M

    Don't you think emanicipation of women in terms equal rights to education,voting and participation in local governance in the muslim world help?

    September 29, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  26. Molly

    Dear Mr Nasr, If the muslim world cannot separate church and state, perhaps they need to look to a communist model? No church, equality, and wealth sharing. Like the revolution in eastern Europe the communists would have to fight fire with fire. If leaders with emtreme veiws became the targets, would they become the ones who are afraid to speak out?

    September 29, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  27. Isabelle D.

    Where does education factor into your solution for Islamic extremism?

    September 29, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  28. uli sihombing

    Mr. Nasr
    Do you think misinterpretation to the Koran is one of the factors which entails radicalization in the Middle East or other parts of the world. To what extent you see the role of whole religious leaders as well as Scholars to decrease such radicalization

    September 29, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  29. peter

    give them(muslims) their land back..... the holy land is unfortunately the root cause for all islamic extremism in any part of the world.

    September 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  30. George Day

    Unfortunately, I think a large part of the answer to Muslim extremism lies in subduing Israeli expansion, combating what is perceived as "Zionism," and giving the Palestinians what they feel is their rightful homeland. In a larger sense, the Arab and Western worlds may as well be different planets... until they each get off the others turf and quit trying to impose their religion & culture on the other, there will be no peace.

    September 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  31. jesse

    "the Muslim world’s ever increasing middle class" – in what dimension of reality is the Muslim world's Middle Class increasing? I think Vali Nasr needs to get his head out of the clouds an spend a few days over here. The dream of a middle class is slipping away from us at an increasing rate. There are EX-PATS in Dubai that may qualify, but they aren't muslim or the ones where the extreemism is comming from.

    Why dont you take a stroll through Down town Amman, Damascus or Cairo and talk to me about the emerging middle class. There is like 3-5% of the population that controlls the wealth here due to coruption and greedy lazy self-entitled leaders appeasing western interests / wester companies with predatory versions of consumerism and Hyper capitalism. End that, and then you may have a chance at ending Islamic extreemism.

    September 29, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  32. Shareef

    Injustice and hatred create extremism whether Home, Work, Nation or World.

    September 29, 2009 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  33. Henderson

    Are u a Prophet, a Messenger of Allah? If not, you're just a waste of our time.

    September 29, 2009 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  34. ettore falconieri - Geneva . Ch

    We never heard of islamic clerics speaking against terrorism, this is the problem. If they are really against terrorism they have to speak out, loudly. And this will help.

    September 29, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Reply

    The mixture of religion and government has been a plague all around the world, notably in the Midle East, Africa and Latin America, being this a cultural matter and theoretically a lack of definition by the political authorities of the scope of the church,this is specifically tipical of Brazil, in the Middle East where radicalism makes the situiation even worse, what can be done and by who, to change the culture and especially the values taught to the youth, where all the bad influences begin, the examples given by the adults that in the deffense of the religion even to kill in God's name is fair. Is this changeable within how many generations?

    September 29, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  36. Jim Norris

    Unlike Christians, who mostly look to their education to make decisions based upon facts, unfortunately many, many Muslims look to a 2nd century document for guidance in everyday activities.
    As one of my good friends tell me “the Koran teaches us everything we need to know about the world and life and how to conduct our affairs”….unfortunately the book is so open to wide interpretations that lead to the deaths of innocent people that one always wonders when dealing with a Muslim – do they believe that it’s ok to lie to an unbeliever to protect a believer? Many do. You wonder, do they believe that my three options as a Christian are to 1) Convert or 2) Pay a tax or 3) die…..many do.
    Islam must admit that it is the only religion in the 21st century that still has millions of people who are followers that believe these things and practice them throughout the world.
    How would the world react if the Vatican was off limits except to practicing Catholics? How about Norte Dame – off limits to unbelievers? Yet, the city of Mecca is exactly that.
    I am told all the time that “it’s cultural and you must understand”…no I don’t – change the culture that has so many people convinced that such conduct is ok in the 21st century.
    Give women the freedom to dress, work and speak their minds in all forums. Stop using derogatory terms for others of other faiths – they are not infidels, any more than Muslims are camel jockeys or rag heads.
    Stop teaching your children that others are lesser people than you because of their belief. This one applies equally to all religions around the world. From the Japanese and their preoccupation with not marrying a round eye, to the white American getting upset at a black woman married to a white man….and yes, most definitely to the Muslims who accept marriage of any woman to a Muslim man and consider it a dishonored Muslim woman that marries a devote Christian or Jew….never mind that the woman and her children will be honored and cared for very well for life…..
    The key to peaceful co-existence is the recognition that NO ONE has a claim on God. That God loves and accepts all his children here, and is pleased with ANY devoted worship of Him. Until such time as a religion can achieve that standard it will be a bigoted theology capable of harm to others.

    September 29, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  37. Brian Burleigh

    Mr. Nasr-

    I've not read your new book but the idea of placing squarely on the shoulders of the middle class Muslims the burden of being responsible for the eradication of Muslim extremism seems at best starry-eyed and at worst ignorant. I live in an Islamic country – Kuwait – which *has no middle class* but also falls prey to very little extremist activity. Then again, this country is run by a hereditary regime that perpetuates the deep division between the labour class and the wealthy nationals. Is *that* a solution? I would certainly hope not because it's morally reprehensible and socially irresponsible.

    September 29, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  38. David Maples

    The solution is simple. Stop using oil. They run out of money and can't buy weapons. Then who cares if they want to be extremists if they can only throw rocks. The money we have spent in Iraq would have easily paid for massive solar, wind, geothermal and nuclear power in the USA, enough to convert to electric cars. If the USA stops buying oil, the world price will collapse.

    September 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  39. Amber

    I would really like to know more about how your view female empowerment and education as assisting in combating this issue?

    September 29, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  40. Vern Edwards

    Isn't it true that we cannot defeat the Islamic extremists as long as we continue to do what we have been doing in the Muslim world? Isn't it our very presence in the Muslim world, our "special" relationship with Israel, and our support of the existing power structure what fuels extremism? If that's true, and if we are not willing to change our ways, then are we not stuck with Islamic extremism for at least another two generations? In which case, won't we and our children's children have to keep taking off our shoes in airports?

    September 29, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  41. Stephen King

    How can the "Western World" best aid in the reduction of extremism when the majority of the power is held by corrupt muslim leaders. The rage these people feel is projected unto us when is rightfully belongs closer to home. My question to you is how can we best reform Muslim countries from the top down, not the bottom up...or in this case the middle outwards?

    September 29, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  42. Vijay Choudhary

    Separate Islamic religion from politics? If not, you cannot succeed. Religion is a peronal matter. Politics is modern time necessity to run the Country.

    Interpret the Islamic religion in the modern concept and not in the background of sixth century archaic interpretation. Only then you can succeed.

    Religion is anathema to the concept of Democratic State? Hence, Constitution has to be above religion. Do you have political will to do that?

    Vijay Choudhary

    September 29, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  43. Haroon Yusuf Khan

    Its a comi tragedy that the westren countries who regularly "democratically" elect religious fanatics to highest public offices and who actually support a state based on religious extremism, i.e. Israel , so freely label other people following the same demented path, as extremists ...
    Before preaching moderation to muslims the westren states need to demonstrate the same love for moderation which they want so desperately others to follow ...

    September 29, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  44. Mohamed

    poverty + ignorance are dominating this part of the world.
    Instead od helping the poor (a more just international economic and trade practice and enviromental protection), and instead of respecting the ignorant until they get educated or we helped eductate them..
    instead of this, we are telling the poor to (sit down and shut up), and we are telling the ignorant (you stupid).
    We should realize that human nature is the same everywhere.. no sane and normal human being can go out to just hurt or kill people, for anyreason.
    By helping the poor, and respecting the ignorant, we remove the fear and anxiety from their minds and hearts, and the universal language of love and trust is released and peoples of the world can communicate (normally).

    September 29, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  45. amir khan

    America and Europe have to stop doing baby sitting for Israel, and the problem will be over, i suppose its all because of this love and caring that has made the crazy religious leaders to create the army of simple minded uneducated people, thus ,if this unequaled treatment is gone, i think everything will cool down.

    by the way ,adolf hitler was not muslims, he killed 11 million jews, which is one of the cruelist event and saddest event in the history of mankind, i give this example to show the proof ,,that to kill the evil mind,we need to tackle it with love and give them equity .. i don't think if anybody is happy with all this hatred and division and all this horror , everyone loves there children and they want there good future in peace, lets take a step forward for our future generations and leave the religion as a second thought.

    September 29, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  46. Valerio Puggioni

    Why is the U.S. so vehemently opposed to Islamic extremism, jumping at every chance she gets to attack it, when there are plenty other sorts of extremists in their own nation? It seems a bit hypocritical that the U.S. government is focusing on violating the first amendment for foreign nations, resulting in wars and famine, when there are people in the U.S. that need more help. Was Islamic extremism not a vacuum that was filled indirectly by the U.S. when they wanted to get rid of secular nationalism?

    September 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  47. Edward Cagape Jr.

    As long as there is hate there will be no cure for extremism.

    September 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  48. Amarender Reddy

    I am in full agreement with the views of Jalal Ishaq.
    He very aptly states the root cause of all trouble in the world – USA applying different yardsticks to different countries.
    If USA thinks that they are the sole superpower, they have to introspect more than any other nation.
    Unless USA mends its ways, there can be no peace in the world.

    September 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  49. Aizat

    How do you differenciate the terrorist and liberator? When the USA and their allies attacking Iraq and Afganistan, what the label/name being given to them? In the name of democracy they kill and banish the muslim in their own country. Israel nowdays becoming bigger and the Palestinian being chase down in their own land. You should re-think again when you say the muslim is the terrorist.

    September 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  50. Keith

    There will always be extremists in any organized religion or body politic whose primary aim is to influence, coerce, or force others to subscribe to their point of view. At present, Muslim extremists are using occupation of former Palestinian land and the restriction of Palestinian people by Israel as the cause celebre for their efforts to wreak havoc and vengeance.

    Citing security as their concern Israel has steadfastly refused to restrict or stop the bulding of settlements. Some Muslims refuse to entertain the continued existence of Israel. Both of these position only perpetuate the conflict. Until the World Governments desiring peace in the Middle-East communicate to both Israel and Muslims that this is unacceptable and find ways to ensure the security of both there will remain an unbridgeable gulf in the achievement of a true and lasting peace.

    A negotiated settlement of the issue would deprive the extremists fon both sides of their battle cry. As Muslim, Hebrew, and Christian doctrines preach peace among all of the sons of Abraham it is the World's greatest irony that religion is used as a weapon instead of a spiritual guide in the journey towards Heaven.

    The institution of slavery existed until all the countries involved in its propagation agreed that it needed to be abolished and subsequently it was. If this situation is recognized as equally unacceptable then perhaps it can also be brought to an end by mutual agreement.

    September 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  51. ga

    the middle class like all other classes of moslems in jordan, egypt, palistinians, iraq and pakistan are the breeders of islam extremity and discrimination. islam is a religion that breeds terror as its very words in that holy book are loaded with hatred and terror. these concepts are used by educators, teachers, media people and government officials to poison people of all classes to breed hatred toward others regardless of color, religion, nationality or citizenship.the only way to rid the world of islamic terror is either reducing their numbers or reeducate them through schools, media, laws, etc. new ways of education must be innovated to reduce the impact of that hating book or evil god of theirs

    September 29, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  52. gabril

    In my opinion, the most important way to defeat the islamic and or any other theological extremism is to increase the education level in that country since science and religion fortunately disagree because one is based on belief while the other is based on reasoning

    September 29, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  53. Ben B

    One of my dear Muslim friends, who is a representiative of your Muslim middle class, basically says that if he speaks out against Muslim extremism, he is visited by the local Mullah and silenced with threats against his family. Someone who wants to live for his family is not about to argue with someone who wants to die for his religion. How do you think you are going to address this basic issue?

    September 29, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  54. jami kazi pakistan

    resolve palestine issue, extremism will come to an end

    September 29, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  55. Henry Robinson

    I have no answers to this world problem, but I would like to congratulate all those who bravely contributed – it is this kind of forum which in itself will help people to understand oneanother.

    September 29, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  56. CJ

    Its quite simple. Lust for shedding blood is absolutely not Islam. However the power crazy politician psychopaths calling themselves mullahs have the upper hand amongst too many who call themselves muslims because they point to the Zionists addiction to blood. The majority of Zionists (but please do not misread this to mean ALL) have no interest in peace as they would be unable to feed their addiction to shedding blood. Any danger of peace breaking out and they would immediately kill another dozen or more women and children to stop it. (Remember the great Yitzhak Rabin, one of their victims).

    Unfortunately you will deem this blog not printable as it is an uncomfortable truth. So keep on not wishing to know the truth and then know that you are also responsible for denying free speech and allowing the violence to continue on all sides. Until the Zionists come to terms with their violent bloody disposition and learn to deal with it this will sadly continue. All humanity remains wounded by it.

    September 29, 2009 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  57. Tomaž

    How does he explain, then, that Islamic terrorists that struck within Western countries in the past years, from 19 9/11 Hijackers to attacks in London and Madrid, were well to do, middle class men?

    The real target should be the fanatical clerics, who thrive off hate. A thriving middle class would help, but it is not as vital as destruction of these factories of hate.
    After all, Nepal doesn't have neither a thriving middle class, nor terrorists. Saudi Arabia has both. It doesn't take much effort to determine the two are not entirely dependent on each other. Masking global wealth transfer into fight against terrorism is a bad and outright dangerous policy.

    September 29, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  58. M Ali

    There are a lot of muslim clerics, the prominent ones in the eyes of muslims, that talk against terrorism as it is anti-islamic. They just don't talk in English or appear on CNN as they are busy addressing the population in the middle east. This is a fact. Political representation is a different story.

    And for terrorists advocating through the use of verses in the holy quran, there is a a lot of misinterpretation there. And this is also addressed by the muslim clerics, the prominent ones in the eyes of muslims. Am sorry for those who will reply back trying to quote. First learn arabic well, then read. If you will go for an english translation, then please go to a scholar. Plain common sense: If the verse was to be complete in meaning without the rest of the verses beside it (to complete the meaning), then the verses were going to be displayed independently which is not the case.

    Don't mix between islam and a reaction of the desperate to occupied lands. A minority of the desperate have attributed their anger and islam. This is not a message to the west as much as it is a message to the middle east leaders who have been passive about arab land.
    There are christian victims in the occupied land of Palestine.

    September 29, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  59. Rikske Jan

    Do you agree with the following assertions
    a) ALL muslims (with no exception) believe that the Coran comes directly from God (being a copy of the Mother book)
    b) The Coran contains many violent stimulations (more than 800!!)against robbers (cutting hands), against adultery women (stoning), against apostats (quiting Islam religion) (death), against people without religion (killed), against homosexuals, etc...
    c) As (for a Muslim) these words are coming from God, never Muslim extremism will stop: there will be always enough Muslims to apply the violent part of the Coran. Even 1% represents 25.000.000 muslims...
    Please read the book "why I am not a Muslim" from Ibn Warrad

    September 29, 2009 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  60. Dr Gopinath

    Islamic extremism can never be cured. It is a scourge like Atilla, Genghis Khan, small pox and HIV. Only ruthless containment and strong counter measures will work. Muslims are conditioned not to integrate and live peacefully with others. They are taught that violent insistence and resistance are desirable virtues and will ease their passage to Heaven. They view with deep suspicion any attempt to talk them out of their mindset. This is evident in all classes of Muslims whether educated or not, poor or rich. When such views are so deeply ingrained how can you talk about re-educating a muslim, middle class or otherwise?

    September 29, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  61. Gulam S. Murtaza

    What we see today is not Islamist extremism but an extremism exhibibited by a growing number of disgruntled muslims around the world.The root cause (I'm sure there is one as for every action there has to be a cause either just or unjust) has been hijacked, left unattended and replaced by the agenda of rogue elements and fundamentalists rendering the situation more complex and difficult to resolve.Contributing to the scenario is not just the unjustified and brutal action of the extremists bu the equally insensitive and prejudiced response aimed not at the malady but at the symptom.

    September 29, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  62. La Stel

    Only muslims can help themselves. They have to decide whether to go forward or backwards. Please dont blame others for your problems. You have all the resources available like oil, so make use of it in a positive way instead of blowing up innocent people.
    Everyone has problems but they do not react like muslims. It is time the world pay attention to other people suffering in this world. We are too engrossed in trying to solve problems created by Muslims themselves.
    It is time to help the Africans who are suffering, the natives in Malaysia and SE Asia and the poor in India. Nobody gives a damn for these people. Are their lives not worth saving?

    Thank you.

    September 29, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  63. Richard

    The problem is that the Islamic world has a very different view of "the rule of law" then the rest of us and it also has avery different world view. Throughout much of the time since Mohammed they have been at war with the rest of the world and spread their world view at the point of a sword. Our need to purchase oil has reignited this basic conflict. Now even if we stop buying oil radical Islam will continue to spread for decades. There are things to try like the Muslim "middle class" but they are without influence with the radicals and there is a lack if competition between ideas in the Muslim world, a major problem.

    Find a way for ideas to compete in peace and have uniform and just laws and you will have peace! Easy to say , hard to do!

    September 29, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  64. odiwala

    extremism cannot be eliminated from religion till religious preachers wish to..if preachers become so concerned with their way only way and such sort of things and forget that others are human too...god can only help them..extremism can be dealt with more and more muslim preachers educating more and more muslims about real allah, judgement day and such things..speak in their language and enligten them..for any logical person it doesnot make sense at all that all powerful god would need a terrorist to have its way!!!..but for extremist , he is convinced that it is god's wish..so that can be dealt by speaking his language and can be done by religious leader ...

    September 29, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  65. John in Vancouver

    Dear Mr. Nasr:

    The history of humanity is replete with mayhem and murder committed in the name of someone else's god.

    How can we defeat Islamic extremists who use religion to justify their mayhem and murder?

    I submit that religion is a major source of human conflict. Religion is entwined in human DNA. Bottom line: Religion–and conflict–are here to stay.

    September 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  66. Don Williams

    I find "our" (!) support for the usurption of palestinian land totally immoral. Even allowing zionists the A bomb and testing their new (dime) explosives among the kids (and the home made rockets) makes we westerners the focus of hate among the Muslim world.
    Even that crazy Bin Laden said the US (and we Australians) support for the disenfranchisement of the palestinians was the principal reason for 9/11. Remember guys ?
    AND for goodness sake gentlemen – the US has troops permanently based in saudi Arabia to support a rotten regime (sound familiar?) ..and big oil has been paying the plethora of petty princeps across the MEast ...making the whole Arab world remain in a feudal state ..and such misery makes us humans turn for psychological crutches – the inanity of religion takes root. Even Chechyna is screwed for its oil in Russia – they are mostly muslim as well.
    So the solution is that the USA/Oz/Britain GET OFF ADDICTION TO OIL ..& save the planet in consequence !!...let racist Israel fight its own wars that it started and get the hell out of the middle east.
    LET Iran get its bomb ...the MAD principle should work (again) and Israel will get rid of its contempt for UN resolutions very quickly and reach a reasonable compromise with the ARABS ...but for pitys sake big cousins – STOP mindlessly supporting Israel....!!! Palestinians have rights as well ...and if I was living in a refugee camp for the past 50yrs I would be shooting US/Australian/NATO etc soldiers every time I had enough ammunition ..is it so hard to understand ????

    September 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  67. Tom Warson, Ph.D.

    I suggest you take a look at "The Source of Terrorism: Middle Class Rebellion" published by Booklocker in April 2009. Thomas Belvedere's analysis is unlike any other, and has enormous practical ramifications..

    September 29, 2009 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  68. Jalal Ul Deen

    Current Islamists extremism is a defensive/offensive state of mind due to actions of big shots. Opertunists use these actions to brainwash the innocent youth. Extremists are effective due to the huge piles of money and resources being made available in past to them from US, British and western agencies and from Arabs as well to fight USSR.

    The solution to current problems is not magical. West need to fix the perception problem and also need to help develop the infrastructure destroyed in past wars and conflicts. There is a big gap of eduction and skills.

    Followings can definitely help.

    1. Just and fair actions of super powers while ignoring the personal interests and wishes
    2. Help build the enducation infrastructure

    Thats it.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  69. Volker E. Kummrow

    I fully agree wiht Mr. David Maples and would like to add:

    Peaceful "war" of ideas equals Americanisation, of course it does, but it is not inherent to just the American people as such: „Amerika gibt es nicht. Es ist ein Name, den man einer abstrakten Idee verleiht.“ Henry Miller; America doesn’t exist, it is a name given for an abstract idea; which in turn is practised on the soil of the United States of America, Canada for last 230 years and since the end of WWII in Europe as well, one might add.

    And would it be to far fetched then to argue that “Americanisation” was “invented” when Arab Muslims, Christians and Jews lived peacefully in a "War" of ideas on the Iberian peninsula some 1200 years ago!? Of course at that time the catholics were the extremist, because the pope et.al were afraid of loosing their dictatorial power.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  70. Rami

    Islam order Muslims to turn to peace if the others choose to urn to peace ,it orders muslims to be justic with all people and the who save one life is considered that saved the lives of all mankind, but how could that happened while you are supporting Isrealis which occupying Palestine and killing palestinians through decades even after we accepted to share our land with them. what you did in Iraq and what you are doing in Afganistan. the solution is very clear ( justic) whithout it no peace , whith it ,as I mentioned, Islam order Muslims to be justic.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  71. Mtumishi wa YESU ( Dar es Salaam, Tanzania )

    Dear Vali Nasr: a SPIRITUAL WAR can NEVER be resolved by any government, diplomatic or political mission , or even CIA or NATO tactics....only THE CHURCH of CHRIST can overcome the "Islamic extremist" and all the Islamic powers, regardless is called "Allah, Madina, Mecca, Jidah, Mombasa, Al-Qaida ( all are hopeless & helpless already )...
    It's written, the words of LIVING GOD on REVELATIONS 17:14

    14These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful

    No matter why the Iranian President is talking harsh and rubbish to the Israelist and ISRAEL nation, why ?... read your Bible, the Babylon has fallen, and will NEVER win, , and the so called muslim or whatsoever will never win....JESUS CHRIST is the LORD

    Visit http://www.jhm.org ( Pastor John Hagee ) for more clarification on the best way to OVERCOME all the islamic extrimist and Al-Quida, they are all dead already. Read REVELATION 20:11-15

    Be blessed by the LORD.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  72. John Richards

    How do we defeat any religious extremism? How do we remove everything after the 2nd standard deviation? How do make people logical and moral? Cmon, as if it is just one isolated issue.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  73. Jonathan S.

    Outlaw Islam.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  74. Naushir Engineer

    As long as there are politicians there will be religion and as long as there is religion there will be extremism. So there is no solution to any kind of religious extremism, Islamic or otherwise, other than a world without religion. The world needs just one common religion, HUMAN LIFE; one temple THE HUMAN BODY; and one practice, LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR ALL HUMANITY. Utopian but not unimaginable.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  75. Dis Abang

    Very honestly and no offense meant, you Americans have no clue on what is happening, you need to live in the Muslim world to understand the Islamic hype. Vali Nasr could go on but having lived here in Malaysia all my life I'll tell you this.
    IN Malaysian all Muslims or at least 90 percent of them and they form about 60 percent of the population are middle class, they attained that status at the expense of the non Muslim population, we have to subsidize their purchase of their homes, we have to give way to them for places in the University, we have to give way to them for top jobs, it is part of the so called socio economic system, after all this they are becoming more extreme.
    Why only now if you look at CNN a lady is going to get whipped here for drinking beer, the system bred the arena for the training of top terrorists, Noordin Top included, they arrest people without trial, they kill and get away with it, you may think I exaggerate ask your ambassador to Malaysia he'll tell you the truth.
    The prevent us from using the word Allah, they prevent us from printing the Bible in the national Language, they delay approvals for the building of churches, and temples, but mosques sprout up even in Non Muslim areas, and as early as 5.00 a.m they have the Azam in full volume without due regard to the non Muslim majority in the area.
    To them it is only one way the Islamic way or no way.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  76. advaita

    Would it not be much better to spend all that money for the military in Iraq and Afghanistan on housing and schools in Palestine, Iraq, Egypt and others? Would people with a house and education be as willing to blow themselves up in a suicide attack?

    September 29, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  77. Robert R. Harper

    Jalal Ishaq, blogger number three, said it all. He wrote "The unjust treatment given to the muslims and the preferential treatment given to the jews is the root cause of extremism in the middle east." I have found most Jews feel the same about Israel and the Arab attitude.

    Perhaps (and that is a silly perhaps, I know) both sides could try and see the positions of the others.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  78. Dave in Nova Scotia, Canada

    There are many factors which may cause people to use terrorism as a means to an end, but in the case of Islam, the cause is the misinterpretation of the Qur'an, the use in any form of the Hadith and finally the Sunnah of Mohammad.

    The Qur'an is nothing more than a bad retelling of the Jewish Torah and mostly repetition.

    The Hadith, based on oral history several hundred years after the fact, are even worse than the Qur'an for their repitition and self serving tales.

    As for the Sunnah of Mohammad, it is all situational verbage.

    Muslim scholar, Rashid Kalifia, was at first a great hero within Islam for postulating the number 19 as proof positive of the accuracy and authenticy of the Qur'an and then several years later was assassinated for expressing his disdain at the modern interpretation of the Islamic texts and the use of the Hadith and Sunnah as "Inspired" text.

    The Qur'an, according to several verses, is supposedly complete and does not requiring interpretation. Sadly, the majority of Muslims cannot read the archaic Arabic and even though they are able to "recite" they have no inkling of understanding of either the Qur'an or the greater world.

    Education, education, education ...... and not in the Madrasas where nothing but hatred is taught.

    By the way, modern genetics has shown that ALL humans are directly related and date back many hundreds of thousands of years – and yet the Biblical story of Genisis is still believed by many ... how can this be?

    Regards to all, dave

    September 29, 2009 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  79. PeaceMaker

    These types of stories merely serve the purpose of deflecting attention from the real causes of the conflicts and mayhem that prevails in the world at the moment.

    If one has to be honest with oneself and step back and try to understand (with an open mind) the current state of the world, it becomes clear that the extremists that the peace-loving and justice-seeking people of the world should be targeting are those that control the governments of the imperialist countries such as USA, Israel, Britain, France etc who are trying to impose their despotic world order on the masses of the world.

    It's clear that given that Islam is the last major obstacle in the way of the despots who are trying to impose their nefarious world order, all types of plans are been hatched to undermine the credibility of this great religion. But as God has promised, truth and justice will ultimately prevail!

    September 29, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  80. Eisa Hamouda

    Well that is true................my father was once a middle class and educated Muslim what he engraved in me about Islam is what continued to 'guide' perception of ‘the other’. However, it is not only about being a middle class! It is ‘a two way road’: teaching Islam in western media and educating muslim children about ‘the other’
    It’s about the future of those children- We should not be making sacrifices for someone’s political aspiration and or rushing to make headlines- for how long would Osama Bin Laden, as human being, live?

    Eisa, MD

    September 29, 2009 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  81. Phil Young - Charlotte

    You need to go after the Madrasses where the very young are indoctrinated into hating. Unless that stops this will go on forever!

    September 29, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  82. Anas Isam

    Do you think that a just political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will help de-legitimize Islamic extremists in the eyes of their sympathizers?

    Anas Isam

    September 29, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  83. joe blogs

    Roots Islamic Extremism:

    Miss informed understanding of Islaam:
    This is equal with regards to both muslims and non-muslims alike. The root cause of this is laziness. Everyone wants to Voice an opinion but no one wants to put in the work to substantiate their facts. This just adds to the confusion. (ex. comment made by "Jim Norris" is a classic example)

    When a person loose all hope of any possibility of a Humane existence, what else is left for them? Add opportunists like Al Qaeda and the Taliban to the mix and what do you get? Recruites!

    How is it we are constantly reminded about the atrocities of the Holocaust while it has been only 50 years since white and black students could sit in the same class room in America (that's right folks, only 50 years) At least the Jews were able to cut the curls and change their name to avoid the atrocities African Americans faced for 400 years.
    So why should the Palestinians pay for the crimes commited by Germany? I am not anti-semetic...just a bit puzzled.

    Address these three issues and the problem is solved.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  84. Kam San

    Extremism and terrorism abounds because of misguided individuals being manipulated by religious leaders who are pursuing their own political or personal agenda. I believe most of us are peace loving and respect others right to live the way they deem best. Polticians must uphold justice and fairness and love, tolerance and respect for life must be practiced. How would any decent person send another son and daughter to blow themselves up to kill in the name of religion and God.

    September 29, 2009 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  85. Joe

    Sure. Give them money (or opportunity to do so) and they'll stop blaming other people for their oppressive lives.

    September 29, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  86. Khalifa

    Leave islamic countries alone, and do not interfere with politics in the region. Also, stop supporting Israel blindly, this creates a feeling of inequality.

    September 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  87. Thurston A. Hassler Jr

    In light of the historically successful usage by the Jewish community of sophisticated multimedia images and ideas to direct public opinion in the western world, why doesn´t the Moslem community do the same?

    September 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  88. Dan

    Whenever an ideology is imposed against the individuals own will it will lead to conflict. This has always been the case throughout recorded history. Real and permanent change comes within each individual's knowledge and understanding of that particular ideal. Education! Change is most desired when the ideal presents an advantage or benefit over the present condition whether to fulfill the individual's spiritual, social, or economic needs. This is a basic human instinct coded in our DNA, which triggers self-willing change.

    September 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  89. Eddy Maya

    In targeting the middle class what in concrete terms can be done and will it not be percieved as undue influence and meddling?

    Secondly, do you not think that the west especially America needs to understand and appreciate the issues, background, upbringing and environment of the middle east so that it better deals with them?

    September 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  90. faiyaz

    Islam is believeing in ONE LORD who is the creator everything else is created by him.No one can force anyone to become muslim only we can convey the message. Injustice should not be tolerated, extremism comes if there is opperssion by goverments with lots of weapon.

    September 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  91. Sathyavrath

    If you read the Koran and other “religious” text of the Muslims, you will come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a moderate or secular Muslim. The Koran advocates the killing and the decimation of non-Muslims. This is fact. Pseudo intellectuals gloss over this point.

    The problem then is the absolutism of the political/theology of Islam. Muslims do not accept the plural paths to God or Salvation or and alternative lifestyles or thought. Or for that matter Atheism which is an acceptable way to live and the right of anyone to adhere to.

    Now I only state the following to exaggerate to make my point, No retalatory terrosim is advocated here!!!!

    "The correct thing there for if you want to rectify Islam’s violent aspect towards the rest of the world is to give them some shock treatment of their own: Bomb Mecca and Medina and pulverize it to the ground. For the matter we should pulverize any religion that thinks they are the last word in salvation and code of conduct. By “god” (what ever that is) permitting such an abomination, a decent debate can then be pursued as to veracity of alternative lifestyles allowed by god and the futility of absolutism.

    This education will take about 24 hrs."

    September 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  92. Rami Mouakassa

    Before giving solutions, tackle the problem. We live in a world of imperfection! The west consider that they are superior to the rest of the world. Calling Arabs third world, yet when Dubhai exhibits fortune and high class it's given a profound quality name among other Arab nations, this is how it will always be. One man looks at an image and interpret it as he or she please. Equality is a key, separation of Religion and Government is also an important role here. But who are we fooling, take SAUDI ARABIA for example, richest country in the world, yet people living in slumps. So, it is easy for any organization whether extremism or whatever it is to prey on the poor and hungry, and recruit them with barely any effort. Let the west use the power for good not for weapons and etc... Then maybe people start believing, because talk will never get us no where.

    September 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  93. David, Singapore

    The article, "Counter-Ideology. Jihad: Let's go back to intellectual roots" by Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School in Nanyang Technological University's Mohamed Redzuan Salleh and Muhammad Hanif Hassan, for The Straits Times (in The Straits Times, Monday, September 28, 2009, Page A19. REVIEW & FORUM) – suggests an interesting way to defeat Islamist extremism.

    The suggestion: Have the representative intellectuals of moderate Muslims' Islam, take on the representative intellectuals of extremist Muslims' Islam – in very fair and credibly moderated public debates.

    Something CNN might want to carry out, with live coverage through world's TV stations?

    September 29, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  94. A. Mathew

    Most Muslims site (and suport) many reasons for Islamic extremism today - Israel-Palastenian conflict, "bad" Western values, etc. But the underlying real cause is the fanatic intolerance of anything other what Muslims beleive us their superior spiritual values. Until Muslim nations are willing to recognize that other religions are equally acceptable to them, and begin to act in that manner, there will only be hatred.

    Today, most Muslims believe they know what their God wants them to do. They interpret and teach Koran often in their ignorant and intollerant ways. There is no hope for reducing Islamic extremism until enlightened rulers see the merit of tolerance and non-violence.

    The only other alternative is mass annihilation of their own people from major conflicts brought about by their own foolish actions.

    September 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  95. Judah

    As the U.N group's push for Israel to be singled out and punished for war crimes and crimes against humanity, how do you respond to the fact that after 8 years of being attacked with thousands of missiles and mortars, there has not been a single united nations resolution against the palestinians in support for or defense of the human beings and civilians in Israel.

    September 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  96. Andy

    When Muslim basic education will relay on Aristotelean logic there will be a hope. As long as they use memory to understand world is no hope.

    September 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  97. PAWAN

    When you speak for yourself, no one listens. When you speak for someone who is absent, someone listens. And when you speak in the name of God, for God, millions Listen.

    And evil people put evil force behind the so called words of God. God and Satan are inventions of Man to influence masses and gain power by hypnotising their weak dependent confused minds.

    It's a power play and sonner or later the desire for evil travels on only one common road. That of crime, evil and inhumanity!

    September 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  98. fik

    What is the meaning of Islamic extremism. Islam as a faith preaches moderation. That is why Muslims are called witness over mankind or the middle community, neither too extreme like the isrealis or too soft like the Christians. But the current world factor is caused by injustice on the part of the world powers like the USA,Britain and France winners in WW2 and out of their arrogance imposed an illegal entity called "Israel" in the middle east. There is so much anger at the level of bias and one sidedness of America in respect of Jews to Arabs. They support Jews 100% but claim to be an arbitrator in the disputes between Jews and Muslims. It is very clear who America supports but they still insincerely claim to be peacemakers. without justice the world will know no peace. if this injustice is not reversed, the world will end in catastrophe and Armageddon. if there comes justice, there will be peace and love among humanity.

    September 29, 2009 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  99. Aaron

    Have the Palesinians and Muslims as a whole suffered injustices? No doubt- history is full of bad things happening all around the world to all different peoples.

    But when you have one side purposely targetting innocent civilians- women & children- and the other side targetting extremists, you simply have no starting point for true 'peace' talks. Yes, there are a few isolated incidents where Israel or Israeli soldiers conducted themselves unlawfully. I don't mean to dismiss these incidents but they pale in comparison to what the extremists and their sympathizers do.

    Every life is as valuable as the next. But again, 'casualties of war' are inevitable when you are trying to root out these suicidal extremists. Perhaps if the Muslim people TRULY want peace, they should stop allowing the extremists to live among them. THEY are the real enemies of Islam. Instead they are glorified as 'freedom fighters' by many in the muslim community.

    If you sympathize with them and allow them to use you as a human shield, then I am sorry but your 'cause' loses all legitimacy with me. I'm sick of people saying "well, they have nothing else to live for so...." Nonsense. No amount of hardships or injustices (perceived or real) should motivate someone to kill innocent people in order to gain support for their cause. There is no possible way to justify these actions and the fact that many are so willing to die AND kill others in the process of doing so, makes this an impossible situation.

    They have been brainwashed to think that by killing others, they are doing god's work. They love death, we love life. I hate to generalize and make it an 'us versus them' situation. But no amount of concessions seems to satisfy them.

    The extremists are not seeking justice; they simply want to take us all back to the 6th century and remove any non-muslim from the planet. You can't negotiate with people like this. Their very religion tells them that it is OK to lie in peace negotiations until a time when you are strong enough to conquer your enemy. So why should they be given any concessions whatsoever?

    If they don't like suffering and poverty, they should go to their own religious leaders and demand equality and justice before they use anyone else as a scapegoat.

    September 29, 2009 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  100. Brave

    Extremism is our terminology, Islam teaches to hate Christians and Jews and all other people who are non Muslims, Islam calls for Subjugation and submission. The perfect will of Allaha will only be accomplished if the whole world is under Islam. Educating middle class or not its not going to help, as long as they are Muslims, they will fight in the ways of Allha and that means all the other faiths and believes must be exterminated and this act according to them is rewarding, and for non Muslims its extremism…So if some one is trying to sell the concept of tolerance and coexistence to Muslim, think again you are selling a freezer to Eskimos.

    September 29, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  101. Moi

    How to put an end to islamism? just destroy islam

    September 29, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  102. Michelle

    It's very easy you eliminate Islamic Extremism by withdrawing your U.S. American Troops from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq.

    September 29, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  103. Mephistopheles

    Fools! Don't you understand they are my disciples?
    Recite, Muhammad, recite, recite!

    September 29, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  104. Greg Barbour

    Muslim extremism has arisen and has been sustained by decades of American foreign policy which supports injustice in the Middle East, whether it be the blind backing of Israel or the aquisition of oil resources via corrupt Arab regimes, The Koran demands that every muslim must fight any injustice.
    When American foreign policy is based on human rights and support of international law, then extremism will be undernourished and will die a slow death. To correct American foreign policy the US must first disempower the Israeli and corporate lobbies in Washington. I won't hold my breath.

    September 29, 2009 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  105. Javed H

    99% of the muslims dont read or understand the meaning of the holy quran they just recite or hear to the recitation, encourage them to learn the meaning of the verses in the holy quran and implement it in their daily life.....once they started implementing it then automatically extremisim will vanish.

    September 29, 2009 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  106. Alex

    Do you feel that the lack of Opportunity is at fault in the Middle East? When I say opportunity I'm referring to jobs, education, etc,.
    I believe the problem although complex has a relatively simple solution. There must be ample jobs for the mid and lower classes in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, etc.,
    Young men (and woman) must be given an opportunity to work and occupy themselves to live a normal lifestyle.
    I would closely relate the situations that young people in the Middle East are in to some of the inner cities in the United States. Gangs are the fruit of a lack of opportunities, hence "forcing" some young adults to take an alternate and darker path.
    Your thoughts???

    September 29, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  107. Asjad

    the war games of the west & its baby-bomb israel r clearly visible now....what extremism r u talking about in muslim world.then what r the u.s. wars in iraq,the iraeli illegal,brutal & bullish cupation of palestine territory etc etc etc..u keep a mum on this & put 4ward ur hypothesis of muslim world.......tell me what will u do wen some outsider attacks & takeover the control of your homeland overnight

    September 29, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  108. Dean in Saudi

    The problem is us.

    That's right... we ourselves are the problem. The Holy Scriptures in the Bible, Qu'ran or the Tora are not at fault here. The problem lies in us as imperfect human beings misinterpreting the word of God. As long as there is imperfection and weakness in the hearts & minds of men (and women) then the misinterpretations will continue. The ideological struggles will continue. As long as people hold an extreme view of anything in their hearts then they will find something in the Scriptures to support their views and justify their heinous acts as "the will of God". This hold true for people of any religion... Christian, Muslim, Jewish... no one is immune.

    I believe we need to look inward and clean ourselves up as individuals, then communities, then societies, and so on...

    Once we purge ourselves of as many imperfections as possible, only then we may finally open our eyes and see our fellow man and our precious planet as the treasures they are. Until that happens on a truly global scale I believe we are in for more of the same of what we have now.

    May God help us all.

    September 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  109. Rubem

    Is there a so called non-extremist crowd in Muslim world?

    Or they within themselves truly and quietly cheer for the terrorists?

    If you only educate a person with only religion, up to the universities, they sure will hear voices in the desert. And believe in sacred commands from men of God with agendas.

    Let's educate them! Not bomb them.

    September 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  110. Aftab Masood . Pakistan

    The rule of westen Media is showing muslims as Extrimist . if any muslim man involved in any killing the USA Media concider compulsory to tell the world his religion is islam.
    and when any none muslims are involved in killing they dont show about there religion they show only his name . so it is like muslims people should be call not by name just by religion which every one has same . . Does USA want democracy in world. If yes then Why USA supported such a military dictator in pakistan for 8 years when the Bush declear war in iraq for Wepeans of mass Destraction and when did not find them then USA says we went to war to bring democracy . What is this Duble Stander for >>> When The USA keep Support hussni Mubbarak Egypt President for 30 years and win every time with 99% vote and Call Ahmedi Nijed a Dictator .
    The importent to Defeat the Extrimist we must be honest to every one and Say truth and do not lie and do not even Think of any one religion . Who was hitler who killed 50 million people. Was he muslim. ????
    The only think i am thinking is i must think that We got such Stupid leaders who are Puppet to The USA. i dont hate American or USA because I have my Wife in USA and i love her and i have my Step Daughter who is none muslima and a great Family Friend who is not muslim . So i dont think so it will help to Defeat if we just Say islamic extrimists we should say Extrimist can be any religion followers . can be jews can be hindu can be muslim can be christain etc.

    September 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  111. Colin

    A better question is can American fundamentalism be curbed? Islamic fundamentalists killed 3000 folks in Western countries in past decade. It's sad, but a fraction of what we've done in their homelands.

    Islamics have guns; we have trillion dollar militaries with nuke bombs. Both of us have crazies...think about it.

    September 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  112. M.Joseph

    Except for a small minority (probably less than 5-10%) , practcially every Muslim shares the same beliefs and support (openly or secretly) the Islamic extremists. What can you expect when every Muslim is indoctrinated from a small age by idiotic Mullahs and Imams who hardly have any genuine tolerance of others' values? Today, it is Israel, America and the West that are their evil; tomorrow it will be Christianity, modernity or something else. These people have the cell number for their God, and that God tells them what to do!

    September 29, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  113. Andrew

    How about stop bombing them?! You may call them extremists and terrorists but when you attack there will be somebody who will stand up for your attack!

    September 29, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  114. Kirti Pandey

    Is Islamic fundamentalism about religion or is it a political issue?
    What brought things to this head?

    September 29, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  115. Rhett Jones - Japan

    Mr. Nasr – I have read that torture breeds a deep determination for revenge, especially in the case of al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's main co-conspirator. Is there any way the West can give mass reparations to all the Muslim torture victims so that they do not turn towards Islamic extremism?

    September 29, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  116. Anonymous

    Separate religion from the government. That's all there is to it. Don't allow religious leaders to hold places in the government, this will prevent their influence over foreign matters. Religion and government do NOT mix.

    September 29, 2009 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  117. Ebad

    I think American should focus more on their own environmental, social and economical crisis then to try fixing things that does not need their assistance. Killing of civilians in Afghanistan & Iraq by mistakenly taking wrong targets in ground has created a lifetime hatred for Americans.

    What happened in Abu Garib jail, women raped by many soldiers, men tortured by electric shocks were all muslims. Even the innocent 14 years old girl raped by Mr. Green (soldier in Iraq) and then executed her, she never did any extremist activity.

    Black Water killing civilian in public places when extremist suddenly attacked them is another case. Middle Class is more aware of the fact that US invaded Iraq making the reason that it has a nuclear weapon to protect Israel and eventually found no nuclear weapon. They also know that America attacked and killed thousands and thousands of Talibans just for one man "Osama bin Laden". If America wanted him dead, they could have taken him some other way.

    Why American are so keen to protect a country which eventually will be taken over by Arabs after all. killing of Palestinian in Gaza and Lebonan and no one ever threatened Israel to stop immediately.

    Now tell me that young people with good education would turn into militant or rebels (what western call muslim extremist).

    In my words this is not extremism, its revenge in Western philosophy and Jihad in muslim terminology simple as that. And if America thinks that they could do one favour for USA people, quit as soon as possible from Middleeast. Storm is coming and not to end soon.

    September 29, 2009 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  118. Fareed

    "Justice to all" is a solution . So long as israel is supported to confiscate lands and kill using phosphorous and defy international Law. There will be no peace until all the muslims are killed. I am sure many muslims have given this solution but it might not be published in your page. Let us not undermine the basic truth. Carter has said it , so did Michael Schoer , Noam chomsiky and many more scholars have said it , but the press keep on undermining them

    September 29, 2009 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  119. Matthew

    As long as the q'uran is still read and believed by anyone to be a holy book, Islamic violence will continue to destroy humanity. it is not a question of poverty or disillusionment otherwise Africans would be exploding everywhere, it is the teachings in the book which is violent, authoritarian and anti human. Muslims kill and maim more muslims than anyone else but no one talks about it, they marry 10 yr old kids because of "family honor" and no one raises an eyebrow. the so called experts are only misleading the world.

    September 29, 2009 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  120. Ludwig Brenner

    The matter of exodus of christians from the Middle East. Does it lead to social rotation in the region ? In what way ? Is Pan-islamism gaining momentum at the expense of Pan-Arabism ?
    Will Kurds (who have no friends, and are not friends among themselves) ever see dreamed-of

    September 29, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  121. Alex

    Mr. Vali Nasr. Do I understand you correctly when I take the essence of your story as: When leveling up welfare, basic life, education, materialism, healthcare and so on to a ' growing fact" in the muslim world , 'general' fundamental religious extremism (and also Islam)will dissappear? Are there similarities with the situation in China? I mean this countrie also has been and is dramatically changing into a richer consumer society. Allthough there is a difference in " religious colour" are not all people in the world nowadays looking for a more then good material existence? Shouldn't America combat religious fundamentalisme by taking care the people overthere also have a good life, instead of seeing them as people living in a place that mainly can benefit the welfare of the U.S.? Oil!.

    September 29, 2009 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  122. David Nelson

    I cannot help but believe that someone in authority is teaching extremism. It cannot simply just come about without a catalyst that goes beyond day to day occurrences. Those Muslins, Jews, Christians that have a good secular education, hold jobs and follow world events would not simply give up and devolve to extremism. They may try to gain monetarily by exploiting it, though. There has to be a charismatic catalyst beyond the realm of events, something that kindles hatred and divisiveness rather than seeking reconciliation and dialogue. The rise of various "teachers", mainly cloaked in religious dogma and holding sternly to self-interpreted doctrine, is the main cause of the problems, insinuating themselves as salt into various historical wounds. These imams, holy men, preachers and officials that have the public ear can subvert a population quite easily - especially one already in precarious economic or political shape. This would explain the destructive bent of muslim extremists against the more verbal extremism of the jews and christians in more affluent countries, Israel included (Israel would put down its arms if the Palestinians and sponsors would, but would the Palestininas and sponsors do so if Israel acted first?).

    A better economic and political environment translates to a more docile religious population. Contrary to to most popular opinion, the US presence in the middle east has nothing to do with oil and everything to do with subverting a movement that proved it could enter the west and cause real destruction. Those in leadership in the muslim extremist world knew exactly how the US would react to 9/11, and from a psychological viewpoint, they fomented a violent movement composed of a gullible, but relatively small, number of people who had no sense to understand the world beyond their immediate problems: poverty; poor infrastructure; Israel (in their poor region, but a well-to-do, politically and economically stable country in contrast to them).

    Strict tenets of any religion imposed on a people for decades, even centuries, causes a them to behave with violent fervor whenever the religious authorities declare an injustice - they know no other way, Muslims in the middle east and central Asia in general, and the extremists in particular, are gut reactors to their religious puppet masters, the poorer ones, regardless of education, more so. This explains neatly why Jews and Christians in the west are not training suicide bombers to target an enemy - they have personal freedom and a will and reason to survive and excel. They look outward at the world and deign to thrive in it. The extremists look inward, see the local deficiencies and cannot come to blame themselves. Religious statecraft simply does not foment progress and stability, and they will not se this, blaming all those outside for their predicament.

    So, none of this will stop until these extremists can get over the inferiority complex engendered by the west, settle down and build up their countries rather than tear them down or attempt to tear down others. The west is not a threat. They build their world through the path of political stability. The political landscape of the muslim world by and large is simply not conducive to economic might, because it is religious politics by and large. That Saudi Arabia and to a greater extent the UAE have risen is due to oil wealth and directed growth focus (still many have-nots there!), not political stability and the self determination of the populace (anathema to religious and dictatorial authority). But even in these cases, muslim exploits muslim - ask how Dubai or the Jedda industries would fare without Pakistani worker bees, for example (poor Indian and Filipino workers are also exploited - nothing like inferior religions in play to reason their status). Historically, when religion gets into the day to day workings of statecraft, troubles ensue - just read you history, and note the power of religious 'police' in some of these countries.

    In conclusion, freedom, self determination and political stability are needed. As long as religion is in the fore, as demonstrated in Europe many centuries ago, the muslim world will continue its moral decline and its lashing out.

    September 29, 2009 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  123. khadija.


    Why only islamic Extrimist why not Christains Extrimist in USA their are Mafias & gangs who kill people and they are all None muslims Christains mostly .

    Killing is Killing The objective of those who are extrimist or Gangs
    the objective of both is killing . To Sentence people to Death in Jail or to shot him in head or to cut of the head . The objective is same killing.

    The Reason of the problem in world is not Religion it is the political.
    Why Muslims dont think China is bad or Japanis are bad or German are bad or Franch are bad. Why only USA is bad acording to muslims. It is all the USA Support for Isreal where USA block all Resolution in UN that Pressure Isreal and its 3.6 billion USD in Tax cut and its Military Arms free Access to Isreal.
    USA is the back Bone of Isreal And Our Idiots Arabs Leader will never Realise that unless they lose their Kingdoms .
    God bless muslims and May Allah be with us Ameen
    Khadija Saleh . Kuwait

    September 29, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  124. neelza

    Only way is go back and find through secret scriptures.Till i believe with proof on old scripture's i don't think other's are in correct path,so i will keep fighting to take you to right path.we have our way which is i believe true,so leave us alone and please try to stop destroying human disaster's
    like pornography,homosexuality and alcoholism. all these killing sin woman and man.end of the day its all against woman and woman never tells how much she suffers due to this.so lets stop first these before we forgot we are forgotten people.

    September 29, 2009 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  125. Greg Barbour

    I would like to ask Vali Nasr:

    Would you agree that the root cause of extremism is a perception of injustice? If this is true, would not the correction of such injustices have the effect of disabling extremist movements? If the new muslim middle class perceives injustice differently and tends to allow wealth acquistion to overshadow basic muslim principles, would not this further enable the extremists?

    September 29, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  126. Matthew

    Sympathizers of Islamic terrorism should stop using the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis as the reason for their cruel behaviors. do you think a Pakistani exploding a bomb in a mosque in Pakistan is doing so because Israel is killing Palestinians? do you think Al shabab is killing hungry Somalis because Israel is killing Palestinians? do you think an Indonesian or Malaysian exploding somewhere in Asia is doing so because he is angered by Israeli? there was Islamic terror long before 1945 and it will be there even if Israel did not exist. some of the most violent Muslims are the most educated amongst their lot. the problem is the Q'uran period, stop teaching it and we are all safe, continue using it and the world will remain on fire.

    September 29, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  127. michael

    Its not that complicated...it really isnt... Here is the solution that no one wants to acknowledge.
    1. Israel Palestinian conflict must be resolved... with a degree of fairness.
    2. USA must leave Saudia Arabia (its the muslim holy land)

    Then popular support ends for these groups. They may be around to terrorize their own repressive regimes but not the western countries.

    Please read Robert Fisks interviews with Bin Laden, and or look up Bin Ladens letters online and you will see it really is that simple.

    They want fairness and to be left alone like we in the west want.

    September 29, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  128. Mohamed

    It's Easy get out of their countries, Stop interfering with their beliefs and Politics and stop Bombing them. So simple yet so hard

    September 29, 2009 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  129. Gordie Labelle

    An afgan citizen left his country about 6 months ago because the Taliban were accusing him of being a spy for the ennemy and he could not live there anymore, beacause he would have been eventually killed. It seems as if if you are not for the Taliban, you are against them and they run after you. So how may people are on their side, just to stay alive. How do you win the war. I hope he has some answer (Ali Nasr).

    September 29, 2009 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  130. Jennifer Allen

    Let's defeat all religious extremism. To prove we're sincere, we must start by eliminating Christian extremism here at home.

    September 29, 2009 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  131. Pulak

    In order to put an end to Islamic extremism, it is vital that the west (US and its allies) realize that something is not dangerous just becuase its not their way of life. The west at several instances has ridiculed islamic culture (movies, shows, cartoons etc). Its time they understand that not every culture or not all people can take such things lightly and the same can lead to negative feelings.

    That being said, this islamic extremism is spreading to countries like wild fire and someone (not the US alone) needs to put an end to it. Whatever might be the underlying reason, killing people in the name of false beliefs is not part of any religion and the same should be made clear to the extremists in a soft or a harsh way, whatever may be deemed necessary.

    Hope one day the gap is bridged although I am not too optimistic that it will happen in my life time.

    September 29, 2009 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  132. Venkatesh

    Its high time we stop given an "identity" to extremists by calling them "islamic" or "hindu fundamentalists" or whatever. Giving an identify indirectly provides them with recognition. We should just start calling them , "stupids", "barbarians" (yes, I am serious and I mean it). This would ensure that these terrorists loose any identity or association to any so called "cause" for which they do these heinous crimes. This would also ensure no new misguided recruits join them. We will prevent them from being heard. They loose all their publicity and sympathy, if any, they want to seek by being called "islamic terrorists". These terrorists would certainly vanish into oblivion.

    September 29, 2009 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  133. Mike

    Most of the comments here contain the emotions that continue to fan this fire. Both sides insist on a fair solution. The question here is, fair to whom? Since both feel they have been treated unfairly in the past, each is looking to be level with (really a little better than) the other.

    The simple truth, in my opinion, is that neither side wants to resolve the problem. Apparently, achieving a peace that stops the killing is not enough of an incentive for either side. Rather each seems to feel they are owed more than that. I wonder what that may be.

    Face it, life is not fair and what's done is done. I'm sure everyone knows this but we have conveniently forgotten them in order to reach a less noble objective. The leaders of both sides should go back and read Dale Carnegie's 'How To Win Friends And Influence People.' Once they decide they really want to solve it they will not need any help from the rest of the world to do so. Until that happens there is not much the rest of us can do. In fact the evidence shows outside intervention only makes things worse.

    The question I have for Mr. Nasr is this: What can be done to raise the incentive to a level that would achieve a human solution? I would think that anything less, even if it seemed to help, would not support a permanent peace.

    One comment regarding incentives. History has proven time and time again that punishment only raises resentment. (Just in case you were wondering why sanctions don't work.)

    September 29, 2009 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  134. Don

    Muslim terrorists are just obeying the literal commands of the Koran. They are being obedient to Allah!

    To solve the problems , Allah will need to change the Koran and remove all instructions re killing, enslaving, taxing robbing and persecuting infidels.

    Don't blame Muslim 'terrorists' for obeying Allah.

    What we have to do is stop avoiding this matter of obedience and actively push for changes to the Koran else the problems must persist..

    September 29, 2009 at 6:37 pm | Reply
  135. Pat

    Teach morality and priorities. Yes Teach – no pretensions of equality of the right of opinion.

    – Killing is bad, renounce the killing of apostate Muslims.
    – Women are equal human beings, renounce their subjection.

    The West, and the majority of Muslims in the world have gotten past these 7th Century ideas a long long time ago. It is immoral – and extremely stupid politically – to promulgate these ideas today.

    Learn it, live it and welcome to the 21st Century – there is a great wonderful world out here, a point which most Muslims understand. Don´t learn it and you are a simple religion-obsessed criminal, to be imprisoned in the West or dealt with expeditiously on the battlefield.

    September 29, 2009 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  136. petersanning

    To me the key is to get the group pressure factor to be against the extremist. If you are a discontent youth you still want your family to be proud of you. Perhaps you see yourself as a Warrior of God.... After you do your terror acts your parents and relatives are proud of your acts, well regarded by their peers. If instead the parents have to change name and movein shame to another town, another country, and are looked down on as parents and relatives of a "murderer" – not a holy warrior. Then you have brought shame on the once you care the most about. And perhaps then it will be more difficult to recruit new terrorists. At least this is my view. The "main group" of Muslims, the normal people with normal lives, must express their dislike for the extremists out loud! I realize that the extremists tend to punish those who – especially Muslim – dare stand up to them. But if Muslims unite and stand up as One, then the extremist – who are few – have to run for cover. Muslims Unite against the Muslim extremists – this is the only way. Granted the confusion between Religion & Politics within the Muslim world doesn´t make this task easy – but its still do-able.

    September 29, 2009 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  137. Brent

    "Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religions" – Oscar Wilde. It is time humanity dumped religion and focused on scientific pursuits. This ridiculous argument about whose religion is more righteous simply exposes religion for what it is; political power dressed up with a lot of guilt and the silly notion that there will either be unimaginable pain or pleasure in some afterlife. The fact is there will never be peace as long as there is religion. Remember that religious leaders are fighting for control of your “soul” (if you believe you have one) and the money in your pocket and whether they are Islam, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or whatever they will stop a nothing to get it (both actual – soul and money). We should cast these thieves out and stand on our own two feet. There is no “God”, “Allah” “Buddha”, “Tooth Fairy”, or “Santa Claus” they just DO NOT exist! Vali Nasr should go peddle his ruminations in third world bazaars.

    September 29, 2009 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  138. geoffrey

    i bet the surest way of defeating extremist is simply holding israel accountable. i guess the arabs feel humiliated and they dont mind retaliating. why arent these extremists attacking china: coz china respects other people whereas israel and USA despises them!!!

    September 29, 2009 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  139. Omer B

    As a dual citizen (USA/TURKEY) who has an Islamic background and who has lived and/or visited almost every country in the Middle East I can tell you with great certainty that the most effective way to defeat Islamic Extremism is to give them a new enemy. You cannot stop a suicide bomber's beliefs, but you can influence them to attack a different target.

    September 29, 2009 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  140. ridwan naibi

    You think Muslims are some kind of discrete structure where you can apply theories to.....I think is a bad Idea. Justice is what fellow Muslims are asking for, though some go about it in ways not permitted by Islam, but does not change the fact that great turmoil and confusion is the order of the day . Tackle your own part to the contribution first. Don't create confusions America. Remember Every Reaction has an EQUAL AND OPPOSITE REACTION people, is not rocket science.

    September 29, 2009 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  141. Seyed

    I tell you the reason of extremism in the middle east.
    Corrupted governments and sending mixture of good and bad signals to those governments. Those governments feed the terrorism.

    Very good example would be Iran. Corrupted government torture and rape the prisoners. But all Obama's concerns are nuclear activities of Iranian government.

    September 29, 2009 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  142. james walmsley

    It is much more porfitable to drive the economy by building technology and machines to destroy than to sit down and discuss ways to build cooperation amoung nations and religions.

    Until the cost of prosperity exceeds the benifits of constructing a meaningful dialog between nations and religions for the good of all participants not much is likely to change.

    September 29, 2009 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  143. brian

    it is a matter of tme for water to get through the hardest rock. it is impossible to tackle the issue from afar without destroying the true foundaton of islam. the matter is not just interpretation but the text itself. moderation in islam amount to diluting the core message.

    September 29, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  144. Ramos in Miami

    Long Term Solution: Educate the Muslim World
    Short Term Solution: Kill as many of the nuts as we can!!
    Reality: If the West suffers another 9/11 or two, we are going to see genocide in the Muslim World of an order that will make the Holocaust pale in comparisson. You will see all our supposed "civility"go by the wayside and lots of people, both innocent and guilty will be incinerated mercilessly. Count on it!!

    September 29, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  145. Mccoul

    To tame Muslim extremists, why not maximize trade, as American businessmen, whatever may be their faults, are highly infectious carriers of the Rule-of-Law disease

    September 29, 2009 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  146. varsityheroes

    Bomb all of them. Like carpet bombing – no need to be precise (were we ever?). In the process, motivate a million more suicide bombers. They'll inevitably find us and destroy us.

    Once we're gone, they'll live peacefully everafter.

    There's your plan

    September 29, 2009 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  147. Dude


    Here is why:

    Palestinians on Tuesday urged the United Nations to "punish" Israel as a scathing U.N. report accused the nation of war crimes during its military offensive in Gaza last winter.

    The report accused Israel of committing "actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity" during its military incursion into Gaza from December 27 to January 18.

    Richard Goldstone, the South African judge who headed the U.N. investigation into the conflict, demanded that someone be held responsible for crimes committed during it.

    "The lack of accountability for war crimes and possible crimes against humanity has reached a crisis point," Goldstone said Tuesday. "This is the time of action."

    He formally presented the report to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday.

    It claims that the Israeli Defense Forces "failed to take feasible precautions required by international law to avoid or minimize loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects."

    Extremism = "The lack of accountability for war crimes by Israelis and their US supporters"

    Extremism = US conservatives fundemantalists supporting the Zionists

    Extremism = US shipments of cluster bombs to Israel

    Extremism = Billions of Dollars to Israel so they kill more Arabs

    Extremism = One sided, blind eyed support for Zionisms by US

    What more can one say!!!

    September 29, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Reply
  148. anonymous

    I couldn´t agree more with Brent:

    " Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religions” – Oscar Wilde. It is time humanity dumped religion and focused on scientific pursuits. This ridiculous argument about whose religion is more righteous simply exposes religion for what it is; political power dressed up with a lot of guilt and the silly notion that there will either be unimaginable pain or pleasure in some afterlife. The fact is there will never be peace as long as there is religion. Remember that religious leaders are fighting for control of your “soul” (if you believe you have one) and the money in your pocket and whether they are Islam, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or whatever they will stop a nothing to get it (both actual – soul and money). We should cast these thieves out and stand on our own two feet. There is no “God”, “Allah” “Buddha”, “Tooth Fairy”, or “Santa Claus” they just DO NOT exist!

    And by the way: constitutions and legislations should definitely on a higher plane that any religon.....or do people who do NOT have a religion have no rights either?

    September 29, 2009 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  149. Nayla

    Mr. Vali needs to define "middle class". What makes up middle class that would somehow assist in diminishing the extremism act where a minority of Muslims are the cause of it? To solve a major problem as this may not need to have those middle class being involved. It needs to target the whole community; the rich the poor and what Mr. Vali defines as middle class. The society is made up of all sorts people with different financial and educational hierarchy. This is a given. We as humans who are responsible for our world we live in need to have an open mind in accepting the reason behind the creation of religious extremism. Not just extremism in the religion of Islam. The reason is purely misguidance that is implanted in a person by himself/herself. Unlawful acts may only be caused due to injustice occurring in the world. And that injustice seen in our own eyes would definitely stir the hearts of Muslims – the rich, the poor (not just the middle class). Most Muslims find a peaceful route to solve such problems. Others, which are the extremists, tend to sway towards unlawful acts, i.e. the killing of innocent people, that have been condemned in the religion of Islam.

    We live in a world full of tyrannies who would selfishly input evil ideologies in the name of Islam unfortunately. This is a disillusion that many people would unintentionally would fall into no matter how educated they are.

    May God guides whomever He wills.


    September 29, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Reply

    there were no such extremist before event of 9/11.as a pakistani i will like to tell that one of the reasons so many extremist are there is because of poverty,anger and isolation.if u see afghanistan,and some parts of pakistan (5%) mainly in N.W.F.P.there are many poor ,isolated but not angry children,and because of this they are an easy target for taliban,al qaeda.hate for others are produced by extremist through brain washing and as a result they are sent for bomb blast.west has to realize that by drone attacks,killing innocent muslims either in afghanistan or gaza will make the situation even worse.taliban and al qaeda are living like they are in 1000 AD.they both do not represent islamic community or islam.there interpretation is 99.9% on hate and voilence that islam doesnot allows.this problem could be tackled if the poor children are education,and globalized especially in developing world.
    i want to say to Don that "my friend" first go to google.com .type quran englsh translation.read quran in english and then say whether it tells to killing, enslaving, taxing robbing and persecuting infidels or harmony.islam is the second largest religion int his world so this doesnot mean billions of muslim like what don is saying written in quran.same goes to all those who unfortunately hate islam because thet totally rely on secondary source rather than primary source.i would say just read quran english meaning to understand islam not follow it.its for ur knowledge.

    September 29, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  151. jai Singh

    Islamic extremism can never be defeated irrespective of the material standards different Islamic societies enjoy or are deprived of them.The new breed of terrorists come from middle class backgrounds with a liberal educational. The only way to tackle this scourge is to take a hard line in the West against fundamentalists even if it means curbing human rights temporarily. The second step is to pullout all troops from embattled areas and let the local centres of power fight it out to choose their own fate , their leaders and their way of life and make sure that their conflicts are confined to their lands only.

    September 29, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  152. Mohamed

    Its very simple, STOP supporting Israel's injustices.

    September 29, 2009 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  153. marc manser, rome - italy

    Dear Mr.Nasr, i haven't read your thoughts (or that of all the commentators on this issue) but would hope that they are built on a foundation of East-West, Islam-Jewish/Christian cultural knowledge and first-hand experience. _______My thoughts and questions for you:______ Do you think it possible that a unilateral approach to the apparent clash of ideologies and socio-religious environments, which, together with a millennium of 'bad blood' since the Crusades, are the base of current world-wide conflict and concern, can be solved on just one side of the metaphorical fence?______Can any proposal exclude serious soul- and sociological searching on the part of both 'cultures' involved?______I am convinced that the chasms dividing any and all 'enemies' can begin to be bridged, only when both sides do their part in breaking the back of their own demons: blinded extremists, shameless capitalists and heartless humans of all PROCLAIMED FAITHS. I sincerely hope your 'formula' includes a scheme to instigate individual citizens, including leaders et al., to responsible action and consciousness raising exercises. Wishing you the GRACE of your choosing!

    September 29, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  154. Richard

    The posts here by the extremist muslims display their mindset. Us versus them. Killing of one Jew versus ten muslims. Killing is a very common and comfortable term used by them. They do not look on a life as a human life. It is either a muslim life or a non-muslim life, not a human life. The only solution to the problem is education. The closure of Islamic schools, as was done in Turkey. That is the source of their brain-washing. Cut off the source and eventually their ridiculous but violently totalitarian ideology will disappear.

    September 29, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  155. Amit Deshpande

    You cannot defeat extrimism especially by waging wars. The middle class people could be the answer but that does not mean the lower class people will suddenly disappear. They will always be there and the extrimists will always exploit them. The only way to stop extremism is by negotiations. Follow the non-violence principles preached and implemented by Mahatma Gandhi. Do not retaliate when they strike. In some cases, they might kill us (including me) but do not retailate. When we retaliate, we also kill some innocent folks. Their sons now become extremists and fight with us. So by killing the so called 'extremists', we create more enemies and extremists. This is a vicious circle that we intelligent people need to break. There is no way the people will understand this model, soits very difficult for the President to implement this but if you truly want to eradicate extremism, then this is the only answer.

    September 29, 2009 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  156. Hector (MX)

    On my opinion violence generates more violence but the root of the problem is ignorance. Promoting consumist values is just switching the angle of this ignorance. People would always be manipulated by religion or dogma unless they are truly free to think on their own. What kind of true reform could give middle east the educational level to understand this? Maybe forbidding religious education in schools? Splitting state from religion?


    September 29, 2009 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  157. Silver

    While middle class values may help broaden a person's perspective, they are not enough to end Islamic extremism. Many volunteer (not coerced) suicide bombers come from middle and upper classes, as well as from the poor. Many were western-bred and educated. Good education does not in itself, prevent Islamic extremism.

    Mr. Nasr and all the politically correct pundits avoid the truth – the real problems lie in Islam itself. Islamic clerics and scholars do not criticize hateful writings in Islam. They do not organize international movements to condemn suicide killings of innocents. Representatives of Islam either openly or tacitly promote racism and hatred against "apostates" and non-Muslims. Until Islamic leaders openly admit and renounce these destructive imperatives in Islam, there will be no peace with Islam.

    Religion always trumps earthly ideas and ideals. Religion can get away with irrational decrees. Such decrees cannot be denounced and defeated by logic, they can only be defeated by being renounced by Islamic leaders. So far, nobody in Islam questions the legitimacy of Islamic teachings.

    Muslims need to face the truth.

    September 29, 2009 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  158. Matthew

    Micheal, you might be living in another planet, who said that muslims don't attack china? china only treats them ruthlessly, arrested and sentenced to death within days. find out about those muslims who wanted to stage an attack during the last olympics or simply find out what is wrong with the Uighurs in xinjang province. if muslims can attack Kenya, Tanzania, what is so different about china? have you forgotten that an attack in kenya in 1998 left 200 kenyans dead? there is absolutely no other reason for islamic fanaticism other than blood thirstness.

    September 29, 2009 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  159. Ziad Kurdi - Saudi Arabia

    Dear Vali Nasr

    as Arabian and Muslim i can tell you two things :

    1- corrupt religions leaders : Muslims are free to choose to follow any religions leaders * or Shaikh* , if the corrupt leaders give his OK for "Jihad" then his followers well do it , they don't care if there is a peace deal or if other leaders said don't fight them

    2- the Arab–Israeli conflict : Many corrupt religions leaders use this as fuel and motivate the young Arabs to take arms against the invading enemy's and all it's supporters

    sadly only a follow Muslims can changes and fix those issues but those who can are too weak to act against corrupt religions leaders and governments

    September 29, 2009 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  160. Mike

    or convert burkha babes into bud light bikini girls

    September 29, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  161. Carmen

    You are all missing the point.

    In Koran, it says 100 times [directly and indirectly], to kill anyone who is not a muslim. If you raise the kids with this idea what kind of a person will he and she be? They will hate anyone who is not a muslim. Even an educated leader who would want to have peace, will be killed sooner than later by his own people. [Remember Sadat?]
    There is no solution to the terrorists problem, until the hate will be taken out of Koran, otherwise they will take over the world.

    Matthew, above, has a good point, very close to mine.

    September 29, 2009 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  162. Richard

    Mohamed writes "Its very simple, STOP supporting Israel’s injustices." It is very simple, but not the solution you suggest. India, for example, supports Palestine and condemns Israel but that has not stopped it from being attacked. Islamic "extremists" want world domination and wont be satisfied till everyone is subjugated to their obnoxious laws and ideology. The solution is cutting off the source of their indoctrination – the islamic schools. They will eventually die out like the dinosaurs.

    September 29, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  163. Fr. Antonio Elfeghali

    Love will defeat the darkness.
    Love does not commit injustices towards the Muslim world.
    Love does not disregard the Muslims problems.
    Love does not impose solutions on the Muslim world.
    Love does listen to the cry of the lonely, desperate people.
    Without respecting justice, truth, love, and freedom, there is no peace on earth.

    September 29, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  164. Ramos in Miami

    Sorry Muslims, can not put the cart before the horse. Israel is a sovereign country founded with the blessing of the UN, thus it has the same legitimate rights of self defense as any other law-abiding country in the world. The Muslims refused to accept the will of the world, even before the founding of Israel and have not, at any time, ceased to justify their desire and intent for Israel's distruction. Thousands of rockets from Gaza to Israel and , not a pip from any of these hypochrites, however, Israel invokes its rights to self-defense against an enemy who hides in schools and hospital wards and all the anti-semites , both in the Middle East and throughout the world find an instant cause to rally behind. Tpugh!! You ran into a Western country that will not just turn the other cheeck. Not one step back Israel !!!!

    September 29, 2009 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  165. zafer

    the only way to stop islamic extremism is giving back the stolen holy land to the arabs

    September 29, 2009 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  166. Sandy

    Islam is a religion which frightens people of other faiths including muslims themselves. Examples of selfless love, piety, forgiveness, compassion etc are in short supply. Do we ever hear of a modern saint of the likes of Mother Theresa in the muslim religion? ...the answer is a big NO. The religion is incapable of showing the magnanimity like other contemporary religions be it in social services, education etc.
    Instead we hear of their religious leaders teaching their followers just the opposite. Why is that most of the terrorists in the world are muslims? Why are muslims finding it difficult to adapt in liberal societies? Why are muslims suppressed in most parts of the world? From the USA to Russia, China and India....The answer is is simple, their mindset and philosophy hasnt' progressed beyond the middle ages. Like all other great religions, they should open up and bring in the reformation phase in their culture and religion.

    September 29, 2009 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  167. Jero

    5 "E"'s: Educate, educate, educate, enable and empower. Transfer knowledge instead of weapons. And don't promote western democracies as the ultimate pinnacle of political systems to countries who have no use for it (yet). Respect is the 6th "E", and there is no respect for different cultures and mentalities if you -force- your own beliefs on others. Unfortunately, there is an intolerant interpretation possible for almost every religion, and people are susceptible to these extremist interpretations when they are afraid, afraid that the rug may be pulled from under their feet, that "liberal" thinking or letting people make up their own minds disrupts traditional social structure on which they feel their fragile (local, regional) economy is based. Extremism feeds off fear. Fear feeds off ignorance. Education costs money. Religion is free. Especially that taught by extremists.

    September 29, 2009 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  168. Chase

    What a small god the Muslims must believe in such that they would perpetrate and tolerate such atrocities in the name of their god. What intelligent person could believe that god really wants women to be concealed under a sheet, that a beard has to be a certain length, that you have to bang your head on the floor five times a day, that women should be stoned for adultery, etc. etc. God is a lot bigger than that!

    September 29, 2009 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  169. ric chan

    If the extremism continues and threatens the existence more and more of the rest of the world, then the West, Russia, and China has the military means to destroy everyone in those places fostering extremism. Maybe mass carpet bombing of those nations responsible. Major, massive, quick killing of hundreds of millions of extremist muslims to end this continued crap. Its been going for 1400 yrs and its about time they either become civilized or be exterminated. The only language these violent morons understand is that of ruthless violence to give 'em a dose of their medicine that they cannot ever swallow and peace shall eventually reign !

    September 29, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  170. Aftab Masood

    MATHEW u dont know what ???....... islam is the religion of peace never supported an innocent killing . Quran says Killing of An innocent person is killing of Humenty. If u Kaffer dont know plz watch what obama said in his Cairo speach.

    What about the lady Who Call Obama Terrorist While his campian for Election what about the lady who said to MaCain i hate Obama he is muslim Arab . What about the MaCain suppoter Who said in A Sarah palin Campain Kill Obama. hahah Obama is not muslim then why this all hate for him Because he is Black . To have beard is so you are Terrorist then Juses must be the big Terrorist he had big beard then muslims. If women Wear hijab or cover their body is Terrorists Then For surre all those nune who work in Church And cover their head and body Should be the big Terrorists . U Support Jews Look what Hitler said About them . i Could have wiped out all of jews from world but i left some of the jews so in Future the world will Know Why i killed them. Things will be so much better when China Became The Super power the world will be balanced as it was in 1980s .

    USA is Not as Effactive as it was in 2002 USA has got such image all over the world that belive We cant trust the USA govt . China will be the New Ecnomic Super power after 15 years hahah i think China is already Ecnomic super power Since China give 1 trillion loan to USA and ha ha ha GOD bless China we love Chines since they are our best friends . Pak China Zindabad VIVA China

    Dont Mess with muslims . We will kick u all Iqnorant.

    September 29, 2009 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  171. K. Dehner

    Mr. Nasr,

    The U.S. has a large middle class, but it hasn't stopped the religious right with its patriarchal (authoritarian) agenda from dominating U.S. politics for decades. It's not just growing a middle class that counts, but how you educate them. There's a deep misogyny in Islam, as exemplified by Sharia law–of course, this is true if you closely examine the doctrines of Judaism and Christianity. Look at how women are treated in India or Pakistan. Democracy can't grow or thrive without making the equality of women (who for the most part rear the children) its centerpiece, and this means moving from societies dominated by religious ideologies to those that are secular (which statistically have been proven to be the most peaceful). How do you propose that this can be achieved if the middle class in Muslim countries are run by religious ideologues?

    September 29, 2009 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  172. Ian Clegg

    Is not extemism just a manifestation of the sense of injustice felt by those people who see their lands and fellow muslims oppressed by Israel and the West. A just solution to the Palestinian issue, and the removal of western forces from Iraq and Afghanistan would surely dilute the logic of extremism.

    But there is another factor at work here. The flames of terrorism are fuelled by the gasoline of a bigoted religious mind-set. Clearly no religious belief is superior to any other, but Islam as it is taught in Saudi Arabia gives its people an elitist mentality. Mosques exist all over the world in all countries. In Saudi Arabia, if you arrive at the airport with a Bible in your suitcase, they will confiscate it. If you are a Christan lay preacher and you hold a meeting they will deport you. How many churches do you think there are in that country? I had the desire to learn arabic at one time, and I was told by a Muslim (in the Kingdom) "When you learn to speak Arabic you will not like what they are saying about you in the mosques!"

    Western children in schools are rightly taught religious tolerance and understanding of other cultures. Not so in Islamic countries. My question therefore is how do you address the mentality of a terrorist who is raised in such an environment of intolerance against other human beings? Where do you start?

    September 29, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  173. K. Dehner

    The U.S. has a large middle class, but it hasn’t stopped the religious right with its patriarchal (authoritarian) agenda from dominating U.S. politics for decades. It’s not just growing a middle class that counts, but how you educate them. There’s a deep misogyny in Islam, as exemplified by Sharia law–of course, this is true if you closely examine the doctrines of Judaism and Christianity. Look at how women are treated in India or Pakistan, too. Democracy can’t grow or thrive without making the equality of women (who for the most part rear the children) its centerpiece, and this means moving from societies dominated by religious ideologies to those that are secular (which statistically have been proven to be the most peaceful). How do you propose that this can be achieved if the middle classes in Muslim countries are run by religious ideologues?

    September 29, 2009 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  174. Muhammad Quraish Mazinga, Uganda

    Ask Nasr?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    He is simply a professional ignorant about Islam

    Ask the Muslim scholars who carry the undebatable devine understanding of Islam not the west-shapped great thinkers whom no spiritually health Muslim will ever respect

    No solution to spiritual confrontations until its only Allah worshiped, its truth against falsehood. Just think why you remain a non Muslim when many of your known friends have seen their noble way to Islam

    Just think why every plot to stop Islam only results to its expansion!!

    Why a son of a Muslim father and a living Muslim grandmother and a well established Muslim family is in command of US!!!
    Yes, he isnt a Muslim but could you immagine it three years ago? So dont wait to rot in your grave with jesus and democracy when the white house above you is turned into a Mosque

    September 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  175. Sulaiman AlWylee

    The Qur'an states "There is no compulsion in religion". The phrase is as clear as it gets (though the Arabic word for compulsion, Ikraah, carries a bit more effect). That line alone would invalidate nearly every aggressive act committed in the name of Islam.

    Do you think that spreading the knowledge of the particular Qur'anic verses that clash with the actions of extremists might create a kind of a cognitive dissonance that would help dismantle the control over the lower classes that the Islamist Forces-That-Be hold?

    September 29, 2009 at 9:40 pm | Reply
  176. Muthyavan.

    Islamic fanatic violence against any adaptation of culture change is destroying many Islamic societies from modernising itself to the internationally accepted fair justice way of living. Middle east is the birth place of many religions and is the hot bed for many long deadly conflicts. can't these religions and its preaching find a peaceful way of life of coexistence method of live and let live others. Is the Islamic world anger against the western world because of its creation and protectionism of the nation Israel. Was it because of this Iraq was invaded and now Iran is singled out for international condemnation.

    September 29, 2009 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  177. Matthew

    Aftab, what you have just said is utter rubbish, muslims never mean what they say, the quran is full of verses that remind its followers to murder, when did you get out of the mosque without your preacher saying death to yahoud (Jews)? I have never heard of another religion that tells its followers to murder apart from Islam and by the way if Israel is the problem how come the quran which was written thousands of years ago agitate for the murder of Jews? , you have a premeditated plan to murder, get civilized or perish

    September 29, 2009 at 11:41 pm | Reply
  178. Moez A. Abdel-Gawad

    How do you expect you can defeat the truth?? That baffles me!

    Please read.

    Allah (The One True God), in the Quran (Ch. 8, verses 36-40), says, in an approximate translation of the meaning:

    (36) Verily, those who disbelieve spend their wealth to hinder men from the Path of Allah (The One True God), and so will they continue to spend it; but in the end it will become an anguish for them. Then they will be overcome. And those who disbelieve will be gathered unto Hell.


    (39) And fight them until there is no more disbelief (worshipping others beside The One True God) and the worship will all be for Allah Alone in the whole world (at the time when Jesus, son of Mary PBUT, will descend on the earth). But if they cease worshipping others beside The One True God (Allah) then certainly, The One True God is All-Seer of what they do.

    (40) And if they turn away, then know that The One True God is your Patron, Protector and Supporter - what an Excellent Protector, and what an Excellent Helper!

    Do you realize the truth?

    September 30, 2009 at 2:49 am | Reply
  179. Sam Chacko

    This argument put forth by Nasr, is complete baloney. The 9/11 hijackers were not poor, they were all from rich Saudi families, the rich are always the ones who sponsor terrorism, after all you need a lot of money to carry elaborate and expensive terrorist acts. For extremists money is not a problem, they think that by killing others, they go to heaven, so they don't think about money at all in all of this.

    September 30, 2009 at 4:54 am | Reply
  180. Halabee

    Vali Nasr is a joke.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  181. Dee

    This is all crap!! Who in the world has most money right now without even moving their hands? Skirt wearing Sheikhs! Wich country is building new cities? All OPEC countries. These people are exploiting US people for their oil addiction. Govt. runs behind Mexican cartel and leave thes people open to make fool of public.. Why don't middle eastern countries start doing charities or raising Muslims population economic level? Why do US has to increase its debt for these people?? I have seen so many rich Muslims here in US but still their women are made to wear Burqas or head scarf.. What about them???

    September 30, 2009 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  182. Dee

    Reading comments from Muslims here, can prove the fact- that in their whole lives they read only one book. And women are not allowed to do that too. Good luck to the people who wants to bring under 'human' category...

    September 30, 2009 at 11:35 pm | Reply
  183. myrtlebeachrealestateguru

    My son will be going to Afghanistan soon (he is a Marine officer). I've always taught him that a smart man never fights; instead of using his brawn, a wise man uses his brain. My son is a Pacifist, but he has a strong sense of duty.

    I've asked him what he knows about the Afghani culture. I strongly believe that he should have knowledge of the culture he is about to immerse himself in.

    How much are we teaching our young men and women about the Afghani culture before we send them out there? He should at least have a rudimentary knowledge of the language, customs, religion, etc. Are we teaching our troops enough about the people they will be surrounded by?

    Is there anything I can give him before he leaves that will help him understand their culture? Is there anything I can give him that will help him respect the people of Afghanistan and build a constructive presence there?


    October 1, 2009 at 4:04 am | Reply
  184. Beelzebub

    Fools! Don't you know these nomads are my disciples?
    Recite, Muhammad, recite, recite!

    October 1, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  185. David, Singapore

    Dear myrtlebeachrealestateguru.

    Present day Afghani culture is dominantly Islamic culture. One can therefore never understand the key features of Afghani culture without understanding the key features of Islamic culture and Islam.

    Only one way to accurately understand Islamic culture and Islam: Know "the two sides of the Islam coin". And a good start to knowing “the two sides” of the Islam coin”:

    Surf answering-Islam.org – and Islam’s counter site, answering-islam.com

    Wishing your Marine officer son a very safe tour of duty in Afghanistan,


    October 2, 2009 at 1:43 am | Reply
  186. james walmsley

    Some propose a solution by having the west vacate countries whose predominate culture is of another religion if that is a true solution then those of that same religion should also withdraw from other contries throughout the world and return to those coutries.

    October 4, 2009 at 8:00 am | Reply
  187. AB

    As I see it, it will not suffice to remove the state of Israel, the underlying wound is still not healed.

    The point, as I see it, is that moslems refuse to accept the develop-ment of time. During the early Medieval age the moslem civilization was obviously well ahead of Europe, no doubt about it. But then came the depredations of Chhinghis Khan and then Timur-e-Lang, destroying wholesale around and creating economic crisis. And twelve years after the death of Timur-e-Lang Cadiz was conquered by the Portugueses, ushering in the Age of Discoveries, putting moslem countries even deeper down in crisis and lagging development.

    But orthodox Moslems refuse to accept this fact. They insist on their fundamental superiority, demonstrative evidence of the opposite is bitterly opposed. Why is the economical centers of the world New York and London not Cairo? Why is fashion created in Paris and Milan not Damascus? Why are the scientific languages latin and greek not Mecca-arabic? Why are the most prestigious university in the world Harvard and Oxford, not Al-Azhar? What has the Vatican got that Mecca lacks? Why is no Nobel prize awarded for Moslem theology?

    So the existence of the state of Israel is really only salt in a festering wound. Bin Laden's holy war is actually part of a long-lasting campaign to take back the leadership as the measure of civilization advancement. I hardly think that a strong and empowered Moslem middle class will do much to heal this wound either. An author spoke about the "clash of civilizations", I believe he was PARTLY right, world peace will not come to be before unchecked population growth is curtailed, a common ethical denominator is established – and most importantly: Cultural insularism rooted on religion is broken.

    So you see, I am a pessimist. Bin Laden may not succeed but there will be reincarnations of him, again and again, to carry on his holy war against western business, technology and democracy. Western powers will not give in without a fight – brutal persecutions, Bosnia-style and Dar Fur-style are awaiting us. My great-great-grandchildren will be lucky to be alive...

    October 6, 2009 at 8:59 am | Reply
  188. nk from Middle east

    Dear Vali,

    There are so many poor, uneducated Muslim in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Egypt, Palestine , Syria , Iran and ... and until we have them we will have extremist who are willing to do anything if carefully brainwashed by fundamatalist.

    I am a muslim and many times i hear that not all muslim are terrorist or extremist. Well The Muslim Population around the world is quite high these days and yes maybe not all are fanatic but lets be honest a high percentage are extremist and are willing to sacrifice their own life to end up in heaven according to their beliefs.

    I recently travelled to Canada and you wold be surprised how many females and young girls I saw with Burkas or had scraf. This for me is someone who is an extremist whether we like it or not and try to sugar coat it.

    I think we need to wake up as human and stop saying that our religion is a peaceful religion. It might be in Philosophy but reality of what is being practice is different.

    The reality is that when any religion rules it people and its culture that nation has seen the darkest days in history. Look at all the things the catholic church did in history and still what they are doing in poor countries such as Philipines.

    I admire the France for the revolution they had and how they over came religious leaders.

    I guess we have to only dream of having such a life one day.

    Religious leaders get power and money from the ignorance of poor , uneducated people. And if anyone questions them they will seek cruel vengance on that person.
    Just look at the faith of Salman Rushdi and people like him. Or a Cartoonist in Denmark.

    October 11, 2009 at 1:25 am | Reply
  189. Emenike Egelle

    Vali Nasr, You have pointed out various measures on the theory of secrets to defeating Islamic extremists which you said may well lie in targeting the Muslim world's ever increasing middle class. I believe this is just one point as the middle class is not majorly the target in the action of these islamic extremists. i guess the so called middle class islamic extremists are highly backed up and sponsored by some highly influential authorities in the islamic world. In that case, what modalities are you putting on ground to address the issue of major financiers or sponsors of this class of people?

    January 4, 2010 at 11:21 am | Reply
  190. Charley Harvilla

    good website to capture info like this,need to bookmarked to come back once again

    February 1, 2011 at 1:16 am | Reply

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