Strengthen Women's Rights To Reduce Terrorism

Wednesday

WE ARE AT WAR. Like it or not, some Muslims have declared a holy war against you and me. Many innocent people will die because some fanatics are hell-bent on destroying us. We must fight them or we will lose this war by default. And we must fight them aggressively.

You can afford to use primarily defensive tactics when you fight honorable men; but you cannot afford to sit and wait when the enemy is willing to use sneaky tactics. They hide among the children and in holy places. They exploit our honor and our rules. We have no choice but to seek them out before they kill us.

But we must do more. The trouble with battling evil is it destroys life. It destroys people and families and buildings and futures. Fighting takes time and resources that could have been spent building a better world and wastes it. War may be necessary, but the free world must go one step further.



We have more than the two obvious options (avoid trouble or fight against it). We have the intelligence to do what no other animal can do: We can figure out what good action would eliminate this trouble. What could we build or strengthen that would weaken terrorism?



It is a sound and universally-applicable principle: When you spend time and money building up the good, you make the bad easier to handle. In the case of terrorism, there are many things that could be built to weaken terrorism — democracy, free speech, free enterprise, schools, and maybe most important of all: women's rights.



The most violent cultures are the ones with the least female influence. The more balanced the power and influence of both sexes, the less violent its people. And the more balanced the culture, the more prosperous the people. The cultures that support terrorism have always been the most out of balance. Female rights and influence are missing.



The fewer rights women have, the more violent the men and the poorer the people. When a woman is free to do and say what she wants alongside men, the country grows stronger and saner. Female influence balances men and brings out the best in both sexes.



So although we must fight this war against fanatical Muslim men, it would be in our best interests to also build and strengthen the rights of Muslim women. They fought for forty years in Kuwait for the right to vote. Women in Muslim countries have fought long and hard for a voice in their own world. Their desire to have a voice already exists. We'd be wise to do all we can to support it (we have practical ways for you to offer your support at the end of this article).



The moment women have the vote, their country becomes more balanced and easier for other countries to deal with. The voice of women could restore sanity and balance to countries that sorely need both.



The antidote to terrorism lies in women's rights. Free the women. Give them equal rights and a voice and the power to influence their country. As women grow stronger, terrorism gets weaker.



Very few women wanted to live under the Taliban, but they had no say in the matter. No woman wants to be stoned to death for the way she dresses or the job she works. Inside male-dominated non-democratic countries are millions of women, most of whom are potential allies against the religious extremists. Brave soldiers fight terrorism in this un-asked-for war. But to really win we must do more: We must build more of what works, like free enterprise, democratic countries, and women's rights.



Read what Islamic law says about women's rights.



WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SUPPORT WOMEN'S RIGHTS:

The possible ways of accomplishing this are very large. Women should have human rights.

See an excellent movie about how women lived under the Taliban. It is the first movie made in Afghanistan after the Taliban was defeated, and it was made by people who lived through it. Powerful.

Read more about how working for women's rights can help defeat terrorism.


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Ideas

Tuesday

Here is a growing list of ideas. Either you can apply them yourself, or you can share them with people who can apply them. Either way, it is something you can do about terrorism. Good ideas make a difference. When you think of a new idea or hear a good one, please send them our way so we can publish them here.

1. Support womens' rights. The possible ways of accomplishing this are very large, and over the long run this is probably the best course of action we could take. When women have basic human rights, they have greater influence on men and their influence tends toward calmer, more inclusive, less violent solutions. Besides, it is simply right that women have human rights. Read an article on this.

2. Incorporate your commitment to defeat terrorism into the work you do for a living. For example, Steve Penny is a corporate trainer and a consultant. He has blended his commitment to foil terrorism with his work, so he gives Citizen Warrior Basic Training to employees of businesses, to help them deal with their fears and eliminate any last trace of defeatism from their thinking. In his work, he is helping to make a strong and healthy population — the kind of population that is highly immune to terroristic bullying. Steve is helping to make the free world a poor medium for the growth of terrorism. How can you incorporate your commitment to defeating terrorism with your livelihood?

3. Write to your representatives and senators. Let them know what you think. When the government is doing something you support, let them know. If you have ideas about what ought to be done, let them know. This is an easy way to make your opinion known. You can also send these addresses to your friends and encourage them to make their opinions known to their representatives. Put the pressure on. Your message is more influential than you'd think. Very few people write to their representatives, so to the representatives, every message you send represents a large number of people.

4. Promote values. Some values are universal, believed in by anyone of any religion and appreciated by every nationality: Kindness toward others, determination, honesty, etc. This is a level at which all sane people can unite. By promoting the values themselves, you are helping people of different ethnic backgrounds and believers of different doctrines find an important common ground. Read more about that at Values In Action. Take the VIA Signature Strengths questionnaire and learn what your strengths are at authentichappiness.org.

5. Participate in civil defense. The American Civil Defense Association is a non-profit, non-political organization dedicated to providing strategic civil defense, disaster preparedness and disaster mitigation solutions to all sectors of American society and abroad, and to promoting reasonable disaster preparedness activities and sanctity of life for all.

6. Here is an extremely easy thing you can do to help the cause: Put a signature in your email program that points people to this site. We have several signatures to choose from that you can copy and paste. This is an easy way to get the word out.

7. Therapists, counselors, and advisors across the nation could begin a purpose campaign, helping their clients become purposeful and take actions that defeat terrorism. A sense of purpose is psychologically healthy. Responding to terrorism with purpose is a mentally healthy response.

We received a note from C.G., Certified Coach . She is taking actions that defeat terrorism. She wrote:

I found your website while searching for articles to share with my clients and newsletter subscribers regarding yesterday's news. I have never come across a more useful site in my years of doing research over the internet. I haven't yet read every word of your site, but I can start planning my strategy now.

As a Certified Coach (personal coach), I can (a) write about your articles in my newsletter; (b) urge them strongly to visit your site; (c) ask them to forward my newsletter to every person they know, and encourage the same of everyone who, in turn, receives it; (d) start a "Purpose Campaign" with my subscribers (who span many areas of the globe); and (e) encourage them to send their good ideas to your site.

Your site has inspired me and strengthened my sense of purpose. With my writing skills, BS in Psych, coach training, and a strong desire to serve others during these uncertain times, I have confidence I can carry forth your work.


She not only thought about it and planned it, she executed her plan. This result is the purpose of CitizenWarrior.com: Motivated action that defeats terrorism.

8. If you are a promoter, and advertiser, or a salesperson, you can use your expertise, just as entertainers did to raise money for families of the victims of September 11th, and do something you are uniquely qualified to do: Come up with ways to help win the propaganda war, and in this way help defeat terrorism. Even if the U.S. is takes honorable actions, if the terrorists reach more people more effectively with their message, we can lose international support. The battlefield of the war on terror is the human mind. That is your field.

9. Help the Freedom House, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization working for democracy and freedom around the world. Through a vast array of international programs and publications, Freedom House is working to advance the remarkable worldwide expansion of political and economic freedom.

10. Just as we have national monuments people can visit, how about making Jerusalem an international monument. People from all over the world could come and visit, just as they do with the Lincoln Memorial or the Washington Monument. People of all kinds can visit monuments and enjoy them without having to agree on its value. By making Jerusalem an international monument, much of the dispute over that small piece of real estate could be settled and could be taken out of partisan hands and put into the hands of the world community. If you like this idea, promote it. Send the idea to your representatives. Send it out in emails. Send it to members of the U.N. Get it talked about on the radio.

11. Help Amnesty International stop the human rights abuses of Saudi Arabia. Start here. This organization is dedicated to helping specific people in specific places, and their successes are abundant. You can help. Read more about Saudi Arabia's human rights status here.

12. We received the following from Christopher Cross:

We no longer have the luxury to sit idly or silently by; relying upon others to protect our communities and the citizens. Citizen involvement is critical and we must collectively work together if we are to safeguard our homes and our nation. Coinciding with this, the Direct Intervention for Victims of Emergencies (D.I.V.E. TEAM ©) program was created to not only increase the viable pathway for citizen involvement during massive emergencies, but also to ensure effective utilization of resources and manpower. It is the first national response program of its kind and the first to have been written by a citizen for citizens. Unfortunately, getting governmental support for more in-depth and valued citizen involvement on a national level has not been easy and because of this, I need your help in letting our officials know that this program is an immensely valued tool in the overall responses to any given massive emergency. For a free copy of the program outline, please email me at christopherstjo@yahoo.com and write to your city and state officials to request their proactive review of this program for trained citizen involvement beyond the limitation of city limits.

Respectfully,
Christopher Cross
Program Founder and Developer


We encourage you to support Mr. Cross's efforts. Go here to learn more about the D.I.V.E. Team.

13. Jim Sanders just sent in an idea that is so far out of the box, it might work. Read his idea here and you can write to him and/or add your comments.

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Use Your Time Well

Monday

Jihadis take the time to plan. They are effective in their execution. They have goals, and they don't waste time. When they "succeed," it is not because they are on the side of "right." And we will not succeed because we are on the side of right. We will succeed if (and only if) we are more effective than terrorists. If we use our time better.

Here is one good way to improve your effectiveness: Subscribe to Brian Tracy's free time-management newsletter. The information is excellent, comes out once a week, and is very concentrated. It contains advertising, but the information is not a teaser. It contains fundamental, useful principles that will make you more effective.

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War Of Memes

Sunday

A MEME IS ANYTHING that can be copied from one mind to another. An idea is a meme. A melody is a meme. The custom of shaking hands when you meet is a meme. The word "meme" is a meme and it has just been copied from my mind to yours. Read more about memes here.

The most dangerous kind of terrorism on the planet is Islamic terrorism. The memetic source of Islamic terrorism is a collection of memes called the Koran. Muslims believe the Koran is the word of Allah. They believe this because it says so in the Koran. It also says that a good Muslim must make continual war on all unbelievers until the entire world is subject to Sharia law. Quite a few memes within the Koran enhance and support this premise, and those who follow its teachings to the letter are a threat to freedom and democracy everywhere.

But memes outside the Koran also help the terrorists — memes that exist in non-Muslim minds. For example, the widespread belief that Islam is a religion of peace diverts effort and attention away from the real source of the problem and toward things that will not solve the problem. That's where you come in.

If you will help us spread the word about the Koran, international attention can eventually be turned to solving the real problem. But when you do this, you will get resistance. People will argue with you. An argument is a battle of memes and I want to help you win these battles. I'm not talking about arguing with Muslims about their faith. That is probably close to impossible because the memeplex itself has its own protection, its own "memetic immune system."

But the people you know who are not Muslims and live in a free society probably think Islam is a religion of peace. And they probably don't know much about Islam. What you can do is learn about it (start here) and then tell others about it, and sometimes they will argue with you. Then you can use the principles below.

So here are some rules of engagement that will help us win the long-term war of memes:
1. Don't argue. Don't even think of it as argument. What you're doing is trying to persuade. The responses you think of when you're arguing are sharp and hurtful and belittling. Persuasion responses avoid that and try to win someone over to your way of thinking. That's very different and much more effective. One of the reasons people don't like to discuss things with conflicting opinions is that they argue. Arguing tends to be upsetting. Persuasion can be fun. Read more about the fine art of persuading others here.
2. Use facts. Give your sources. Memorize key facts so you can quote them and say where you got those facts. Facts are the most important weapon in your arsenal. A good way to memorize facts is to mark the pages with little post-it notes as you read (or copy and paste if you're reading online). Then record those passages onto a cassette tape or digital recorder, and listen to it while you drive. When you've listened to something six or seven times, you will be able to bring the exact facts to a discussion with confidence. Or you can buy audiobooks. You can also find good sources online.
3. Remain calm. Cultivate calmness and tranquility. When you find yourself getting fired up, remember this is not an argument. You are persuading, and you can't force acceptance of your ideas. They have to be willingly accepted by the other. And people are more swayed by calm understatement than intensity and overstatement. In order to truly stay calm, you will have to be calm in your life, not just in the moment. Read more about becoming a calm person here. When you are calm, you are more persuasive.
4. Good conduct. Use social grace. Good manners. Conduct yourself with class. It is more persuasive.
5. Know what meme you want them to accept. People throw in all kinds of sidetracks and diversions into conversations. Keep clear on one or two simple memes you want them to accept and stay on course.
6. Build concessions slowly, piece by piece. Take smaller parts of the meme that they don't agree with, and convince them with facts that the new understanding is better than the old. Build up these concessions until you can get them to accept the meme you're aiming for. The first concession is your source of facts. Say where you got them and get the other's agreement that your sources are legitimate and authoritative.
7. Be specific. Define your terms. This will make it much easier to stay on track and get partial concessions.
8. Tell them your story. When they say they disagree, simply tell them that you once believed as they do (if this is true and it probably is), and that you slowly and with skepticism were convinced by the facts to change your point of view. This kind of story is very persuasive and prevents you from accidentally making them feel like a fool for not already believing as you do. Here's an example. Here's another example.
9. Be humble. Make it clear you know you don't know it all. Insults or sharp rebukes — or anything that seems to imply that "I know it all and you are grossly uneducated" — has no place in persuasion. It puts emotion up as a defense so new memes cannot can get through. It causes hatred, one-sidedness, and self-righteousness. It even causes wars.
10. Work on one point at a time. Ask "Do you agree with about this small point?
11. Graciously concede those points you agree with. Make it perfectly clear you agree with those points. There is a kind of give-and-take in discussions, and a kind of commerce or reciprocity. If you are willing to concede legitimate points they make and say so, they are more willing to concede legitimate points you make and say so, and so your conversation can get somewhere.

Develop your persuasion skills to do the one thing that needs to be done: Educate the Public.

Read more about memes:

Thought Contagion
The Meme Machine
Virus of the Mind:: The New Science of the Meme

Read some good answers to common objections you will get: Answers to Objections When You Talk About Islam.

Read more...

Influencing Others

PART OF YOUR MISSION is influencing people. You can help people learn to cure their feelings of demoralization and reduce their anxiety. You can help them learn to become active rather than passive in the war on terror. Influence by people like you is what is needed and wanted.

But influencing people requires skill. Persuasion is difficult sometimes, even when your intentions are good. People are prone to feeling defensive if they feel you disapprove of them, or if you try to persuade too heavy-handedly.

So below we have a list of links that take you to material you can study and practice to improve your ability to influence people. This is an important mission. World events, as shocking as it seems, revolve around very human feelings such as being offended, losing face, and personal pride. The skills of diplomacy and persuasion are some of the most important abilities you can develop in the war on terror. Skillfulness with people can make you extraordinarily influential.

The best resource for persuasion is How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It is available at any bookstore. It has been around for 70 years, and it's still on the shelves. And for good reason. The principles can be found online too.

When you practice the principles, don't try to do them all at once. Work on one skill at a time. Take one principle (for example, Give honest and sincere appreciation) and concentrate on that one for a couple days. Master it. Then take another principle and do the same.


Persuasion 101

Always curb your desire to overstate your case. If you err, err toward understatement. As anti-intuitive as it seems, you are more persuasive when you are calm and conservative in your statements than you are when you get emotional or exaggerate. Les Giblins wrote:

"In one experiment, the researchers put together three 15-minute talks on dental hygiene. For one group of students, the researchers emphasized the threat of not following the guidelines: cancer, tooth decay, gum diseases, etc.

"The second group received a milder form of the same thing — facts mixed with what might happen if care was not taken with their teeth.

"The third group just heard information without any scare tactics.

"One week later, in a follow-up test, the researchers discovered that the more scare tactics were used, the less the students changed their behavior."

And here is a hot tip from Benjamin Franklin, a man with a proven record of persuasiveness:

The way to convince another is to state your case moderately and accurately. Then say that of course you may be mistaken about it; which causes your listener to receive what you have to say, and, like as not, turn about and convince you of it, since you are in doubt. But if you go at him in a tone of positiveness and arrogance you only make an opponent out of him.

Learn more about influencing your friends:

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Finding and Supporting Our Common Bonds

Saturday

ONE OF THE MOST important benefits of religious and spiritual practice is the encouragement to exercise certain values — compassion, honesty, kindness, etc. This is a fundamental core of all religions and spiritual practices.

There may be a few values that exist in one religion but not another, but overall, there is a huge overlap. In other words, there are many important values that almost all religions respect. And these same values are respected by all psychologically healthy people all over the world.

If you talked to any healthy person from any country or any religion, any race or any political denomination, they would very likely tell you what they aspire to be is more compassionate, kinder to others, more honest, wiser, etc., and what they want their children to grow up to be is honest, wise, fair, etc.

So maybe an emphasis on the values themselves might be a sort of antidote to religious clashes. Because each shared value would be a point of unity.

If you agree with this, check out the following two resources. The first is The Foundation For a Better Life. This organization has no affiliations with any religion. It only promotes values. And the organization literally promotes values. They put the values on billboards and television spots.

You can see their TV ads and billboards and a list of all the values they promote on their site. Click on any of the values and you'll be able to read a true story that illustrates that value. Take a good look at that list of values and I think you will see that everybody you know would agree that those are good values. Those are the values we feel are important, no matter who we are, and those are the values we want our children to respect when they grow up.

You can help make this world a better place by promoting values. Or help The Foundation For a Better Life promote values by sharing it with your friends and family.

Along the same lines is another resource I'd like to tell you about. A group of well-respected psychologists, mostly top researchers, decided that the whole field of psychology has spent the vast majority of its effort and research money on getting rid of what's wrong with people. The DSM (the standard book psychologists and psychiatrists use to diagnose their patients) is all about mental illness. It's about how to help people get rid of problems. There is a place for that, of course, but this group of psychologists wanted some of that funding and research effort to go into building human strengths. They wanted to strengthen and encourage the best in people. What about a "DSM" for mental health?

The question is, how do you define sanity? What are its "symptoms?" What constitutes mental health? Can character be strengthened? And if so, how?

Using scientific methods and very thoroughly studying the questions, they came up with a list of virtues or character strengths. They call these strengths "values-in-action." They are universal values. They studied history and an enormous number of cultures, they looked at polls, scientific surveys, every major holy book of every major religion, etc. They narrowed the list down to only those character strengths that are universally admired and aspired to. They used a strict set of criteria to determine which character strengths to include and which to leave out. You can read their Classification of Character Strengths here: Values in Action.

They also wrote a book to sit beside the DSM on every mental health professional's shelf. This is perhaps the first book of virtues with scientific authority. The work is based on research — on what is known. There is very little speculation, and when it occurs, it is clearly admitted to be speculation. The book is over six hundred pages and it's expensive, but if you're interested, here it is: Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification.

If we promoted universal values, and focused on the values themselves that we hold in common as human beings, perhaps people of all faiths and nations and races could find a very important common ground. It would certainly be a good beginning.

The promotion of values successfully requires some skill in influencing people. Learn more about influencing people with integrity here.

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Cyberspies Against Terrorism

SHANNEN ROSSMILLER lives in a little town in Montana. She has a good job. But in her spare time she visits chat rooms and tries to befriend potential terrorists. One of her discoveries led to the arrest of Ryan Anderson, an American National Guard soldier (and Muslim convert) who was about to be deployed in Iraq. He was willing to reveal American troop vulnerabilities to Rossmiller, who Anderson believed was a fellow militant Muslim (an Islamist).

Many cases have been cracked or aided by regular everyday citizens who want to do something about terrorism. What started out as a group of unrelated individuals trying to do something has organized itself into the 7Seas web site, a "global security and intelligence team." And they have a track record of successes.

FBI spokesman Bob Wright said, "We've always relied on our good relationship with citizens as our eyes and ears in the community. This is just a new twist on an old theme. It's sort of like a cyber Neighborhood Watch."

Because new surveillance technologies now make it difficult for terrorists to communicate via phones, they have resorted to using the internet. But 7Seas is out to disrupt this. They pretend to be fellow jihadists (or Islamists) in chat rooms and bulletin boards. They gain the confidence of terrorists, who then reveal their plans and identities. 7Seas then turns this information over to the FBI or the Department of Home Security.

Rossmiller goes by another name online. She learned the name of the nearest mosque and put a reminder on her computer when it was prayer time, all in an effort to appear to be a genuine Islamic terrorist.

Todd Stewart of the National Academic Consortium for Homeland Security said, "This is really an intriguing phenomenon. What you're seeing is people taking to heart the calls for increased vigilance."

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Promote The Cause

Friday

Here's a simple way to help people discover CitizenWarrior.com. Copy one of the following ads and paste it into the SIGNATURE feature of your email program:


FIND OUT WHAT YOU CAN DO
ABOUT TERRORISM

www.citizenwarrior.com


THERE IS SOMETHING
YOU CAN DO
ABOUT TERRORISM

www.citizenwarrior.com


WORRIED ABOUT TERRORISM?
DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT
www.citizenwarrior.com


DEFEAT TERRORISM
Become a Citizen Warrior.

www.citizenwarrior.com


FIGHT TERRORISM
WITH YOUR BARE HANDS

www.citizenwarrior.com


CITIZENWARRIOR.COM



THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMITMENT

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Pleasantville and Islamic Supremacism

Saturday

They discover they are inside the TV program.
The movie, Pleasantville is the story of the rise and fall of an Islamic state. I know that sounds crazy, but bear with me for a moment. I've been immersed in studying about Islam, terrorism, and Islamic states like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan (when the Taliban were running things). I didn't realize before that it is a Muslim's duty to create an Islamic state, wherever they live. And to kill and die for this purpose if that's what it takes. I recently watched Pleasantville. I had seen the movie before, but this time I saw it in a new light.

If the movie can be seen as a metaphor, let's look at the parallels. First, someone had a vision of a perfect world. In the movie, it was the creator of the Pleasantville TV show, and in Islam, it was Muhammad (or Allah speaking through Muhammad). They each had a vision of an ideal world. (Learn more about that here.)

Now, if everybody does what they're supposed to do, this vision can become a reality and people can enjoy a peaceful, orderly society. The key is getting everyone to do what they're supposed to do. The problem is, people love freedom. And of course freedom brings with it unwanted side-effects, as you see in the movie (and as you can see by looking around you).

But the lack of freedom also has side-effects. Which is better, living in a Pleasantville world but having to do what you're supposed to do all the time — or living a life where you choose your own destiny but also have to live in a society with others who are choosing their destiny too? I don't know who can answer that question for all of us, but I know which one I prefer. Give me liberty or give me death.

The movie is about the danger and the splendor of freedom.

When the movie begins, the teenager, David, is in a modern American high school, living in a free society complete with its dangers and side-effects. David is a fan of an old television show from the fifties. Everything was perfect in the show. It was an ideal world where people treated each other courteously, parents had loving, conflict-free marriages, and kids were wholesome and innocent. David yearns for a life like that instead of the messy, chaotic world he lives in. And he gets his wish. He is magically transported into the Pleasantville television show. It's in black and white. Every day is a perfectly sunny 72 degrees. It never rains.

But he discovers that there is a cost to living in paradise — a drastic lack of freedom. In the movie, when the teenagers started having sex and the world was beginning to go Technicolor, the leaders of the town were horrified. Things were getting out of control. And you can see they had good intentions when they tried to make it go back the way it was.

That's what the Taliban did in Afghanistan back in the 90's (you can see an accurate depiction of their perfect world in the movie, Osama). And that's what Iran tried to do with their revolution. And what Saudi Arabia is doing. They're trying to force it back in the box. They're trying to fulfill the vision written in the Qur'an of the perfect world. They are struggling against human beings' natural desire for freedom. They have to use force to get people to do what they're supposed to do all the time. They use extreme force and they still can't get everyone to conform.

And who hasn't had the same conflict in their own life? Haven't you? Haven't you gone through cycles of cracking down on yourself and then loosening up? Haven't you ever gotten a regime all worked out so you can get in shape or whatever and then after awhile you start feeling closed in by it and you want to break out of the restricting and regimented monotony?

When I was younger, I spent many fruitless hours trying to come up with the perfect system. A perfect week would have a certain amount of exercise, a certain amount of communication with loved ones, writing time, goofing off time, etc. A perfect life plan is not very difficult to come up with. But actually doing it turns into a nightmare of routine. Most people would never do something like that voluntarily for very long. I loved creating the perfect system, but I hated living in it. And it was my system. What if some else created the system? It would be nearly impossible to make me conform to it.

Our longing for freedom and change and adventure always makes us want to break out. The Qur'an has an idea: Enforce the system from the outside. People can't do it on their own. But if you could make everyone in a society follow the perfect system, you could have a perfect society.

In the movie Pleasantville, the men join together and try to restore order, under the banner of the Pleasantville Chamber of Commerce. They try to enforce pleasant behavior. They create a code of conduct for everyone to live by and they punish the ones who rebel. And what you see is what happens in real life. People feel a conflict. Yes, they want a pleasant society, but not at the cost of their personal freedoms. Many wonderful and terrible things didn't exist in the perfect world of Pleasantville: Art, sex, women's rights, creativity, exciting music, novelty, love, passion, anger, awakening, self-discovery, self-expression, disagreement, conflict, change, violence, book-burning, discovery, exploration, experimentation, new experience, rebellion, defiance, personal growth, and the list goes on and on. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

What does it take to keep the ugly and bad stuff away? You have to get rid of a lot of the good stuff. That's what it takes. And you have to make it a crime to step out of line. You have to have punishments. So the perfect world has its own ugly side. Do you know about the punishments in Islamic law? If you steal something, they cut off your hand. If you have premarital sex or drink alcohol, you get flogged. For adultery, both the man and the woman are stoned to death.

The punishments are intentionally extreme so they are a strong deterrent. They don't cut very many hands off because that law really discourages theft, and after getting caught twice, you don't have any hands left to steal anything with. I'm not advocating this by any means. You already know how I feel. I believe in freedom. But that doesn't mean people who try to come up with the perfect systems are necessarily evil.

I think the movie could help freedom-lovers sympathize with the perfect-world-lovers because after all, we in the audience are also attracted to the perfect world of Pleasantville at first. We sympathize with David, who wants to get away from his ugly, sometimes painful life, and doesn't realize or appreciate how much freedom he enjoys until it is taken away from him.

And the movie could also help the perfect-world-lovers see the beauty and magnificence of freedom — and the joy of not knowing what's going to happen next. And the satisfaction of choosing your own destiny.

In the book, Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals, Robert Pirsig wrote about the difference between static quality (the perfect world) and dynamic quality (a free society), and how these two forces are always and necessarily in conflict, and in a way the tension between the two is a good thing in the long run, or at least could be a good thing.

In one of the scenes in the movie, David and his girlfriend are out by the lake. She has just found out that David has seen the world outside of Pleasantville. She never has, and until recently, didn't even know it existed. She asks him, "So what's it like out there?"

He says, "Well...it's louder. And scarier, I guess. And it's a lot more dangerous."

"It sounds fantastic!" she says enthusiastically. Sure. For someone whose life has been ordered and perfect, a little dynamic quality would be like cool water to someone dying of thirst. That's the glory and the downside of human nature living in a free society.

With freedom, you have to learn to live with the fact that things aren't the same any more and never will be. That's both tragic and wonderful.

Learn more about the teachings of Islam.

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Is Islam Violent?

DOES THE KORAN COMMAND its believers to make war on unbelievers? I wanted to check this out for myself because I'm skeptical that all this vilifying of Islam could be Christian or Jewish or Hindu propaganda. So I found web sites with English translations of the Koran. This is one. And here's another.

This is a chapter. I chose the chapter at random. Now keep in mind this is an Islamic-promotion web site rather than an anti-Islamic web site. Here are some of the passages from that chapter:

57. So if you gain the mastery over them in war, punish them severely in order to disperse those who are behind them, so that they may learn a lesson.

59. And let not those who disbelieve think that they can escape from the punishment. Verily, they will never be able to save themselves from Allâh's Punishment.

60. And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war (tanks, planes, missiles, artillery, etc.) to threaten the enemy of Allâh and your enemy, and others besides whom, you may not know but whom Allâh does know.

65. O Prophet (Muhammad)! Urge the believers to fight. If there are twenty steadfast persons amongst you, they will overcome two hundred, and if there be a hundred steadfast persons they will overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are people who do not understand.

67. It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he had made a great slaughter among his enemies in the land. You desire the good of this world (i.e. the money of ransom for freeing the captives), but Allâh desires for you the Hereafter. And Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise.

On the other side, I did see a hopeful passage in that chapter:

61. But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and put your trust in Allâh. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.

But the downside is that this quote is within the context of having defeated an enemy and gained the country. And the peace has lots of stipulations, including a choice of conversion to Islam or death, or for Christians and Jews, a heavy tax and fewer rights.

I'm not a Christian or a Muslim or a Jew or a Hindu. I don't think any religion is "right." And as Christian friends of mine are quick to point out, the Bible has quite a few nasty verses, and they have been used to commit atrocities.

But somewhere along the way the majority of Christians have openly admitted the Bible is not perfect, and I think that makes extremism is less likely.

In defense of Muslims in the Middle East, it is risky to say something as mild as "I think maybe the Koran may not be perfect." Seriously, in some of those countries, you may end up dead making a comment like that.

Read an excellent account of one man's experience in Egypt a few years ago. He has since converted to Christianity, so he's got quite a bit of born-again enthusiasm, but he is an expert on Islam, having studied at the most well-respected university in the Islamic world (where he specialized in Islamic history) and he was born and raised in Egypt, so he knows a lot about Islam. His insight is fascinating. His book is called Islam and Terrorism.

Update: I have found a very readable version of the Koran. I reviewed it here: A Simple Koran. It is made to be easily understood by the English-speaking reader.

Another update: Read a scientific analysis of the ideas that make up the Islamic religion: The Unsettling Brilliance of Islam.

Read more...

Know the Quran

Does the Quran urge Muslims to kill infidels? Or is it a book of peace? You can read commentary on the Quran all day long, but in the back of your mind you know you may be getting more spin than facts. The only solution is to find out for yourself. And it is easy to do.

Here are some online Qurans in English.

Does the Quran tell Muslims to make war on unbelievers? I originally wanted to check this out for myself because I was skeptical that the villainizing of Islam could be Christian or Jewish or Hindu propaganda.

So I found web sites that have English translations of the Quran online like the ones above. I picked a chapter at random, which in this case was chapter 8, known as Al-Anfal (every chapter has a name) and read through it. Here are some of the verses from that chapter:

57. So if you gain the mastery over them in war, punish them severely in order to disperse those who are behind them, so that they may learn a lesson.

58. If you (O Muhammad ) fear treachery from any people throw back (their covenant) to them (so as to be) on equal terms (that there will be no more covenant between you and them). CertainlyAllâh likes not the treacherous.

59. And let not those who disbelieve think that they can outstrip (escape from the punishment). Verily, they will never be able to save themselves (fromAllâh's Punishment).

60. And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war (tanks, planes, missiles, artillery, etc.) to threaten the enemy of Allâh and your enemy, and others besides whom, you may not know but whom Allâh does know.

65. O Prophet (Muhammad )! Urge the believers to fight. If there are twenty steadfast persons amongst you, they will overcome two hundred, and if there be a hundred steadfast persons they will overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are people who do not understand.

67. It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war (and free them with ransom) until he had made a great slaughter (among his enemies) in the land. You desire the good of this world (i.e. the money of ransom for freeing the captives), butAllâh desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise.

On the other side, I did see a hopeful passage in that chapter:

61. But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and (put your) trust in Allâh. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.

But the downside is that this quote is within the context of having defeated an enemy and gained the country. And the peace has lots of stipulations, including a choice of conversion to Islam or death, or for Christians and Jews, a heavy tax and fewer rights.

I recently read a great version of the Quran. One of the things that makes Qurans difficult to read is their strange organization. The chapters are not arranged in the order they were written, but rather from the longest chapter to the shortest. So the events jump around, seemingly at random, and often the reader feels confused about what's going on.

In addition, the passages in the Quran sometimes refer to events in Mohammad's life, but the Quran doesn't tell you what those events were.

And the third thing that makes the Quran difficult for a modern reader is the strange tendency of many English translations to use King James' Bible-style Old English, using "thee" and "thou," for example.

"A Simple Koran" fixes all three of those problems without losing the meaning of the passages. Every passage of the Quran is in "A Simple Koran," arranged in the order it was written. The book fills in the events of Mohammad's life so you understand what the passages are about, and the writing is normal, modern English. This is the best, most readable version I have yet to come across.

An interesting thing comes to light in reading this new version. Because the chapters are laid out in chronological order, you can clearly see the progression from tolerance at first — tolerance of the Jews, and even seeking the approval of the Jews — to rejection of them and their "evil ways," to outright hatred, condemnation, and a call to war against them.

The way the Quran is normally laid out, the chronological order is scrambled, so you would never notice that.

The bad news is that when passages written later in Muhammad's life contradict passages written earlier, the later one overwrites the earlier one. When reading this version in the order it was written, you can clearly see the passages get more and more violent and intolerant as Muhammad got older and more politically powerful.

I wanted to make sure this version said the same thing as the authoritative version I already own (The Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali), so I took specific passages (the Quran is numbered, chapter and verse, just like the Christian bible) from one Quran and compared it to the same passage in the other. And I found the meaning was identical. But "A Simple Koran" was much easier to read.

Read more...

What Can I Do SPECIFICALLY About Islamic Supremacism?

Friday

BY FAR THE MOST COMMON question we've received at CitizenWarrior.com is, "Can you be more specific? What kinds of things can a person do to help defeat the third jihad?"

The question has become so common, we now have a growing list of practical actions you can take. But the best contribution you could make is probably unique to you. The best way to find out what to do is think. And the best way to think is with paper and pen. Read more about that here.

Specifically, write the following at the top of a blank sheet of paper: "What are my interests and talents?" Make a list of what you're good at, what you are knowledgeable about, and what you like to do.

Then get another piece of paper and ask, "What problems need to be solved? What is needed?" Make another list. Depending on how serious you are, this process could take fifteen minutes, or many hours.

Put your list in order from most important (or most interesting to you) to the least.

Now pick the number one problem (or need) and head another sheet of paper with this question: "How can I use my strengths, interests, and knowledge (from the first list) to solve this problem?" Make a list. Write the numbers one through ten. Force yourself to fill in all ten spots with an idea. Tomorrow do it again. Do it every day for a week.

Now look through your list and pick the best one. Then tell someone your idea. Write an editorial and submit it, tell your friends about it, send the idea to your senator or some other political person working on the problem, or send it to us here at CitizenWarrior.com and if it has merit, we'll post it. What does an ordinary citizen do who wants to do something about terrorism? Here are some examples:

Example number one is an accountant, a father of two kids, and recently divorced. He is good with people, energetic, and loves to both learn and teach. The biggest problem he saw (right after September 11th) was the safety of planes. He has decided to use his energy, his desire to learn, and his people skills to learn what he can about airplane security and think up ways it can be improved. That will become his part-time passion. He can't devote himself full-time to it. He still needs to work and spend time with his kids. But he can work on the problems, learn about the situation, and brainstorm for ideas during some of those hours he normally spends watching TV.

"But," you might ask, "how will he come up with something the airplane experts haven't thought of?" Well, maybe he won't. But then again, maybe he will. Of course, he never will if he assumes he can't. But if he tries, he can surely come up with some ideas, and he can send them out on the internet or to the editor of Aviation Safety magazine or to his representatives (this is where his people skills and interest in teaching come into play).

People outside a field can sometimes come up with solutions that the experts in the field didn't think of.

Example number two: A woman with sales experience is now a hairdresser. She's good at organizing, has a strong ability to focus, and good at managing her personal finances. The problem she is most interested in is how to prevent another Jihadi terrorist attack, but that is too big. The goal is too broad. No one person can accomplish that goal. She could become a motivational speaker and motivate others to work on the problem or even simply interact with her hairdresser clients and get them fired up about it, handing out brochures from AFA to those who are interested, for example.

But in her case, she got more specific. She asked herself, "What part can I play in preventing another attack?" She had been reading a lot and concluded that part of the reason Jihadis are so powerful is that the U.S. government gives too much support to non-democratic governments like Saudi Arabia. She thinks there is a better way to deal with the situation, so she starts learning more about it, thinking up ideas, and discussing them with her clients, who enjoy the involvement and who contribute some original ideas.

She starts writing to her representatives regularly, making well-reasoned and educated arguments in favor of new foreign policies. She is fighting jihad at its root, as far as she is concerned. And if only one idea she suggests makes it into congress and gets adopted by the government, it could make a difference in the long run to millions of people.

But if she makes the assumption, as most of us have, that "little ol' me can't have an effect on national or global events," then she needs to straighten out her thinking before she goes any further. She should undemoralize herself by reading Morale For The Citizen Warrior, because her pessimistic assumption will remove any impulse to try, and if she doesn't try, she won't accomplish what she could really accomplish.

Do these ideas seem too vague, too distant? Perhaps you're looking for something you could do that might be more immediate? Easier? Something you could do right now? Go to: What Can a Civilian Really Do To Stop Islam's Relentless Encroachment?

And you can generate new ideas by doing something most of us don't like to do: Think.

It's not that thinking is an unpleasant activity. In fact it can be very enjoyable, especially when you come up with something ingenious. But it takes some discipline and persistence. Most of us would prefer it if someone just gave us a good idea and we could just go do it. That's why I ask you to please send us ideas you think of.

Read more...

Recommended Resources

Each of the following links goes to a review of the book or DVD.

The Sword of the Prophet
By the time you are finished reading this book, you will finally understand the cause of terrorism.

Thought Contagion
Certain elements of Mohammed's teachings cause the religion to spread and take over countries.

Terrorists Among Us
On this DVD, Steven Emerson infiltrates Islamic groups within the United States who exhort their members to help overthrow the U.S. government. He also exposes groups pretending to raise money for orphans, but instead sending the money to terrorist groups.

A Simple Koran
This is the version of the Koran that fixes some of the most difficult barriers to reading it. To fight Islamic terrorism effectively, more westerners need to know what is in this book.

The Insurgency
This is a PBS program you can watch online about the insurgency in Iraq.

Leaving Islam
This is a book of first-hand accounts by people who have renounced their belief in Islam, why they do it, and what happens to them when they do.

Target America
This video by FrontLine traces the history of America's relationship with terrorism, starting with the beginning of the Reagan Administration.

Osama (the movie)
Available on DVD, this was the first movie made in Afghanistan by Afghans shortly after the fall of the Taliban. Get a taste of what it is like living under Islamic law.

Not Without My Daughter
Starring Sally Field, this movie gives a good depiction of the lack of human rights under Islamic law, in this case, Iran. This is a true story.

Jihad: Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorism
A book written for a teen audience, this overview of Islamic terrorism is essential reading, not just for beginners, but to those who already know quite a bit about the subject. The brevity helps bring the whole picture into sharp focus.

Islam and Terrorism
If you're only going to read one book on Islamic terrorism, make it this one. The author was a Muslim and taught in a Muslim University. You can't get more authoritative than this.

Islam: What the West Needs to Know
If you'd like to know what Islam is really about, and what it has to do with terrorism, this is the DVD for you. It is also a great way to share information with your friends.

Terrorism: You May Be The Target
A one-hour DVD, packed with information on how you can help prevent terrorist attacks in your area and how to protect yourself if an attack occurs.

Read more...

The Short Answer (to the question, "Why is there so much Islamic terrorism these days?")

THE NATION OF ISLAM is in the midst of a civil war. On one side are Muslims who want to keep the old ways. On the other side are Muslims who want to modernize — to change some customs that no longer seem compatible with the 21st century or with human rights.

The reason the West is involved in this civil war is because the old-way Muslims want to fulfill Mohammed's original goal: World domination. That is, the goal of getting all of the world to submit to Islam, by force if necessary.

The situation is similar to the American Civil War. The South wanted to keep the old way. They wanted to hang onto slavery. The North wanted to change the old way. And the two sides went to war with each other.

Now imagine what would have happened if during the war Southerners went on raids across the border into Mexico and captured Mexican citizens, and brought them back and made them slaves in Southern cotton fields. What would the Mexican government have done? They would have joined the Union's fight against the South.

For propaganda reasons, the South would have characterized this as "Mexico's war against America" but that wouldn't be right. They had only declared war against a faction within America that was attacking Mexican citizens.

The majority of Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq want to live in a democracy. To do that, they have to discard some of the traditions in Islam, and they are willing to do that in order to enter the 21st century, in order to have greater freedom, and in order to have human rights and rights for women.

A faction within the Muslim community in those countries does not want democracy, does not want to modernize, and wants very much to bring back the old ways. That faction is at war with both America and the Muslims who want a free country.

Other old-way Muslims from other Muslim countries are sneaking into Iraq to fight this civil war.

If the old-way Muslims win the war, it will be dangerous for everyone (except old-way Muslims).

Read the long answer
.

Find out what you can do about terrorism
.

Read more...

Islamic Terrorism Menu

The Cause Of Islamic Terrorism
Terrorists know their enemy very well. They have used our respect for religious freedom against us. They have used our commitment to free speech and human rights against us. They know us very well, but most of us don't know anything about them. In a very real sense, our ignorance is the cause of terrorism.

The Islamist War On Civilization and Computers
Masked gunman busted in on 17 young men busy surfing the internet and forced them to stand on chairs while the gunmen broke all the screens, and then burned all the computers. Why? Is this a raid on Westerners? Is this in retaliation for U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia? No. The computer nerds were Palestinian and so were the gunmen. This is but one of many indications that the grievances of the Islamic world are merely pretexts. The actual goal is to convert the whole world into an Islamic state.

The Persecution Of Believers
Islamic jihad violence has captured worldwide attention when focused on unbelievers – in the Twin Towers, as well as in London, Madrid, Bali, and in so many other places. But the jihadists don’t hesitate to target fellow Muslims as well, when they regard them as insufficiently Islamic.

Islamic Terrorism and the Western Newsmedia
Watch a short clip of an interview with an ex-Muslim, and see the strange conversation where a western journalist who knows nothing about Islam defends it and a woman raised as a Muslim tries to enlighten him.

The Terrifying Brilliance Of The Islamic Memeplex
A short course in memetics and an insight into the clever collection of memes known as Islam.

Read The Koran
You don't need to rely on someone else's opinion about Islam. Their holy book is available for purchase. Or you can read it online. And decide for yourself.


Most Terrorism Is Not Perpetrated By Muslims
True or false? The statement was made in an article in the Washington Post September 11th, 2007. It was an article supposedly debunking myths about terrorism. But follow that link and read Robert Spencer show how stupid the statement is.

The Terrorism Of "Islamists"
What is the cause of Islam-style terrorism? Why is there so much of it? What can be done to slow it down or stop it? What are they after? What are they ultimately trying to accomplish? Find out here.

Islam and Terrorism
Mark A. Gabriel was born and raised in Egypt. He was a Muslim who had memorized the Koran by the time he was 12 years old. And he spent eleven years at the most respected university in the Islamic world: Al-Azhar. He earned his bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees there studying Islamic history. If you want an author with enough knowledge to write and authoritative terrorism book, this is the man.

Warning To The West
An ex-Muslim tells us what we need to worry about.



Blind Faith
Irshad Manji, the author of this article says, "Religion is no innocent bystander in the violence perpetrated by Muslims. Just as moderate Christians and Jews acknowledge the nasty side of their holy texts, modern Muslims ought to come clean about how our sacred script informs terror. One can argue that certain passages are being politically exploitedand, indeed, they are. The point is, however, that they couldn't be exploited if they didn't exist."

How Islam Spreads
Certain elements of Mohammed's teachings cause the religion to spread and take over countries.



Dar al-Harb vs. Dar al-Islam
A crucial distinction made in Islamic theology is that between dar al-harb and dar al-islam. To put it simply, dar al-harb (territory of war or chaos) is the name for the regions where Islam does not dominate, where divine will is not observed, and therefore where continuing strife is the norm. By contrast, dar al-islam (territory of peace) is the name for those territories where Islam does dominate, where submission to God is observed, and where peace and tranquility reign.



The Life Of Muhammad
Each Muslim is told over seventy times in the Koran to follow Muhammad's example. What kind of example did he set? Read about it here.



Is Islam a Religion of Peace?
This link goes to a site that simply lists all the Islam-inspired violence around the world since September 11th. It is an amazingly long list. It makes you wonder.



Osama's Worst Nightmare
If you'd like to know more about Islam and its role in terrorism, go to this page. Read articles and listen to interviews by Irshad Manji, author of the book, The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith


Ms. magazine has named her a “Feminist for the 21st Century” and The New York Times has dubbed her “Osama bin Laden’s worst nightmare.” She takes that as a compliment.



What Is al Qaeda Up To?
The long-range strategy of the Third Jihad depends on the accomplishment of three strategic goals.

1. The U.S. withdrawing from the region just as it did in Southeast Asia, following Vietnam.

2. The terrorists taking control of the oil wealth in the Muslim countries, which would be upwards to 75% of known reserves, and

3. Using nuclear weapons or other WMDs to annihilate Israel.

A further outcome of successfully achieving these objectives would be to place the United Nations as the sole arbiter in East/West negotiations.


"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction."
- Blaise Pascal

How To Create An Islamic State
The point of this article is that there has been a pattern to the transformation of countries into Islamic States and there are planners behind these takeovers even when the vast majority of both Muslims and non-Muslims are unaware of these activities. Compare the following recipe with what has happened and is happening in Malaysia, Philippines, Sudan, Indonesia, India-Pakistan-Kashmir, Britain, Algeria, USA, etc. It's enough to send a cold shiver up your spine.



The Islamization of Europe?
Only a few years ago, mass-murder attacks on the West in the name of Islam, like those of September 11, would have seemed like a thriller writer’s fantasy. Nor would anyone have imagined that a bombing by Islamists could swing a general election in a European country, that a Dutch movie-maker might be shot dead on the street for a film about the abuse of women in Islam, or that one might find oneself watching, on television, the beheading of Western hostages by men crying out Allahu Akhbar! over their savage deeds. Pakistan now has a nuclear bomb, and this weapon is widely described as an Islamic bomb. To judge by their pronouncements, the Islamist leaders of Iran can hardly wait to perfect and use their derivative of it.

Pathways To Jihadi Terrorism
A psychologist who specializes in criminology has some new insights into the forces driving Muslims to turn into Jihadi terrorists.

The Indictment Of An Entire Religion
Michael Graham, the man who was fired from his talk-show-host job for his hard-hitting comments about Islam, wrote this op-ed piece.

Is Islam a Violent Religion?
What are we dealing with? The issue may be much bigger than Iraq and al Qaeda. Check out this quote from the Koran: "Fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)." (Sura 9:5) Of course all this might be political propaganda (or Jewish, Hindu, or Christian propaganda).

Common Bonds
Sane people of all faiths and nationalities and races share certain universal values. If we focused on the values, we might create a strong common bond.

Strengthen Women's Rights To Reduce Terrorism
What is the best way to eliminate a problem? To try to get rid of it or to try to create a solution that makes it go away on its own?




"In a world full of bluffers,
the ruthless will rule."
- Lee Harris
from Civilization and Its Enemies

Read more...

Copyright

All writing on CitizenWarrior.com is copyright © CitizenWarrior.com 2001-2099, all rights reserved.

Article Spotlight

One of the most unusual articles on CitizenWarrior.com is Pleasantville and Islamic Supremacism.

It illustrates the Islamic Supremacist vision by showing the similarity between what happened in the movie, Pleasantville, and what devout fundamentalist Muslims are trying to create in Islamic states like Syria, Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia (and ultimately everywhere in the world).

Click here to read the article.


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