web analytics
October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Five Years Later: The Roots Of 9/11


Beres-Louis-Rene

The roots of 9/11 lie deeply embedded in civilizational hostility – in its distinctly partial – but nonetheless – primal Islamic hatred for western modernity. This fixed and growing hatred extends to other major religions, especially Judaism, but also to certain elements of Christianity. And although it is true that the greatest portion of Muslims rejects terror violence as a means of fulfilling presumed Islamic expectations, the remaining portion is not statistically insignificant. This group numbers (at least) in the tens-of-millions.

Several million Muslims who accept the current Jihad are fully prepared to enter “paradise” at a moment’s notice by becoming “martyrs.” This means that the current “war on terror” should not be based upon traditional military operations or on the corollary eradication of extremists. Rather, it must be founded upon the undiluted understanding that, for the most part, Islamic terror is plainly the most visible and dangerous expression of an entire civilization in desperation and regression.

To be effective, the war on terror must now confront a far-reaching Islamic effort to usher in a new Dark Ages, a determinedly titanic struggle in which resurgent medievalism seeks to bring fear, paralysis and death to legions of “infidels” and “unbelievers.” Moreover, in the next several years, the preferred terrorism tactic in this distinctly unholy war is likely to involve chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. The stakes are now extremely high, and the western imperative to achieve victory is now overwhelming.

Our truest war, therefore, is not against Osama Bin Laden or Hassan Nasrallah or even the particular Islamic states that nurture and encourage their generally unhidden programs for mass murder. Even if Bin Laden and Nasrallah and every other identifiably major terrorist were apprehended and prosecuted in authoritative courts of justice, millions of others in the Islamic world would not cease their impassioned destruction of “those whose blood lack sanctity” – that is, of all non-Muslims. Naturally these millions, like the zealots who destroyed the World Trade Center, attacked the Pentagon, and more recently sent thousands of razor-filled bombs to Israeli schools and hospitals from Lebanon, would never intend to do evil. On the contrary, they would choose to mete out death and injury to innocents as an expression of faith. Sanctified killers, these millions would gleefully generate an incessant search for more “godless” victims. Though mired in blood, their search would always be tranquil and self-assured, born of the endlessly reinforced knowledge that their “God-fearing vicars” were neither evil nor infamous, but heroic and “sacrificial.”

Let us be clear. For those millions engaged in an Islamic war against the West, violence and the sacred are always inseparable. To understand the rationale and operation of previous and still-planned terrorism, it is first necessary to understand these conceptions of the sacred. Then, and only then, will it become clear, that Islamic terror is, at its heart, a grotesque manifestation of religious worship known in cultural anthropology as “sacrifice.”

This is the truest meaning of Islamic terrorism, and the root meaning of 9/11. It is a form of sacred violence oriented toward the sacrifice of both enemies and “martyrs.” It is through the ritualistic killing of Americans, Jews and certain others – including Christians – that the “holy warrior” embarked upon Jihad, can buy himself free from the penalty of dying. It is only through such murder, and not through diplomacy, that “allah’s will” may be done.

Ironically, the suicide-bomber fears death much more keenly than do normal human beings. It is precisely because of this acute fear that he or she is willing to commit “suicide.” The apparent paradox is easy to understand, as the planned suicide/homicide is merely a small annoyance. After all, it is only a momentary inconvenience on the explosive path to eternal life.

When we have finally understood that terrorism is only a tactic, and that it is a method related to certain religious patterns of Islamic sacrifice, will we then be able to confront our uniquely lethal enemy. Soon-to-be armed with weapons of mass destruction, quite likely through the “good offices” of the expressly genocidal president of Iran, Islamic terrorists may shortly have within their capabilities the unprecedented capacity to kill hundreds of thousands or even millions of men, women and children. Until now, the fusion of terror with religious sacrifice is an understanding that has lent itself to insubstantial theorizing. Now, however, it is time for greater sophistication. Now, it is time that Islamic terrorism is recognized, at least in part, as a bloody and sacred act of mediation between millions of death-worshipping believers and their deity.

America is now routinely characterized as a malignancy in the Islamic world. An article, several weeks ago in an Egyptian newspaper, spoke of “the cancer, the malignant wound, in the body of Arabism, for which there is no cure but eradication.” Such references are far more than a vile metaphor. They are profoundly theological descriptions of a despised enemy that must be excised; that is, “liquidated.” Where this “liquidation” would be accomplished by self-sacrifice, possibly even terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction, it would be life-affirming for the killers. Naturally, some Islamic governments and movements would deny such end-of-the-world thinking, but it operates nonetheless.

What is to be done? The truth of the terrorist threat to the United States and the West is vastly more serious than is commonly understood. We face suicidal mass killings with unconventional weapons in the future, not because there exists a small and identifiable number of pathological terrorist murderers, but because we are embroiled – albeit unwittingly – in an authentic clash of civilizations. While we all wish it weren’t so, wringing our hands will get us nowhere. Our only hope is to acknowledge the true religious source of our now existential danger – the spreading roots of September 11 – and proceed to fight the real war from there.

Copyright, The Jewish Press, October 6, 2006. All rights reserved.

LOUIS RENE BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is author of many books and articles dealing with terrorism and war. He is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

About the Author: Louis René Beres, strategic and military affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, is professor of Political Science at Purdue University. Educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), he lectures and publishes widely on international relations and international law and is the author of ten major books in the field. In Israel, Professor Beres was chair of Project Daniel.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Five Years Later: The Roots Of 9/11”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat meet with security officials over Oct. 22 terror attack.
Netanyahu Convenes Top Brass in Jerusalem Over Terror Attack
Latest Indepth Stories
Bills to restore the balance of power in Israel will be fought by the not-so-judicial left.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

Grave site of terror victim Leon Klinghoffer.

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory

More Articles from Louis Rene Beres
Louis Rene Beres

President Obama’s core argument on a Middle East peace process is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Louis Rene Beres

Once upon a time in America, every adult could recite at least some Spenglerian theory of decline.

President Obama’s core argument is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Specific strategic lessons from the Bar Kokhba rebellion.

Still facing an effectively unhindered nuclear threat from Iran, Israel will soon need to choose between two strategic options.

For states, as for individuals, fear and reality go together naturally.

So much of the struggle between Israel and the Arabs continues to concern space.

An undifferentiated or across-the-board commitment to nuclear ambiguity could prove harmful to Israel’s’s overall security.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/five-years-later-the-roots-of-911/2006/10/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: