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Religious convert arrested for recruitment center bomb threat in Baltimore

Any clues as to what religion he may've converted to?

Authorities say a 21-year-old man has been arrested in the Baltimore area for plotting to blow up a military recruitment center.

Sources tell CBS News that the man is a U.S. citizen and a convert to Islam. His name is Antonio Martinez, but now calls himself Muhammed Hussain.

The source told CBS News that he had been "mouthing off" to friends and "wanted to retaliate against the military for the wars," and when others heard about it, "they wanted nothing to do with it."

An FBI undercover agent was able to develop a relationship with the suspect as part of the investigation. A source tells CBS News "this was a good catch but not a sophisticated plot."
Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore, tells The Associated Press the suspect will appear in court Wednesday afternoon. An FBI spokesman also confirmed the arrest.

An official who was briefed on the arrest told AP on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information that the person was given a phony bomb and was arrested after trying to detonate it.

The suspect is expected to be charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and was under surveillance by law enforcement for months.

Clearly the FBI is once again guilty of entrapment.

And probably racism. Just ask Bruce Henry.


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Comments (52)

Send Antonio to Gitmo. He ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Send Antonio to Gitmo. He can be a virgin for 72 other inmates.

I know this question is a b... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

I know this question is a bit off topic but when these clowns convert to Islam what do they have like a list of only two or three names to pick from to assume their new identity?

Let's play the left's littl... (Below threshold)
John:

Let's play the left's little game. Instead of being thankful that the FBI has taken a potential terrorist off the streets, let's accuse the FBI of taking orders from the Obama white house to entrap a bunch of innocent loners so he'll look tough on terrorist. I expect this to ratchet up as the 2012 election approaches. Isn't that what Bush would have done?

"A source tells CBS News... (Below threshold)
John S:

"A source tells CBS News 'this was a good catch but not a sophisticated plot.'"

But if his new FBI "buddy" had picked a target, designed a sophisticated plot, and then given this loser explosives training, then the bureau could claim it had stopped a terror attack. But they were too busy running that scam in Portland.

Another stunning score for ... (Below threshold)
Captain Obvious:

Another stunning score for Obama's Law Enforcement team.

And to think - they didn't have to break the law to do it too! Amazing!

Poor Dick Cheney. I bet his colostomy bag is just overflowing because of this! I'm sure he's still rooting for the terrorists.

Wait, wait; I'm getting whi... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Wait, wait; I'm getting whiplash here.

Are you lefties saying its a FBI scam or an Obama law enforcement victory?

I guess, once again, Allah ... (Below threshold)
Roy:

I guess, once again, Allah wasn't willing. Will these clowns ever figure that out?

Captain oblivious - what la... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Captain oblivious - what laws did Chenney break to capture terrorist scum? Think carefully, considering that team Obama has left in place nearly every single Bush-era tactic for fighting terrorism.

I guess, once agai... (Below threshold)
Brett:
I guess, once again, Allah wasn't willing. Will these clowns ever figure that out?

Their understanding of God's will is about the same as the KKK's.

C.O.:I don't know ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

C.O.:

I don't know anything about "Dick Cheney's colostomy bag," but clearly your lobotomy bag is overflowing.

The irony, of course, is th... (Below threshold)
Caesar Augustus:

The irony, of course, is that airheaded liberals in Baltimore and elsewhere won't be able even to grasp the irony.

I see your widdle feewings ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I see your widdle feewings are still hurt, Rick. Get over it. If you're gonna cast aspersions on an American citizen because of the ethnic origin of his name, people are gonna call you on it. If not me, someone else will.

I bet the fact that this guy's motivation was radical Islam was placed in the second sentence of the story really pisses you off. Now how can you whine about the Lamestream Media minimizing the problem?

I followed the link Rick us... (Below threshold)
Captain Obvious:

I followed the link Rick used to play the victim (poor baby!). Clearly Rick had singled out the person in question solely because of his name - and yes, it's just like Nazi Germany to single people out by virtue of how their name is spelled.

People such as Rick are fueling the hate between Muslims and Christians. The only problem I see is that Rick enjoys doing it so much he and people like him are making the problem worse.

But clearly Rick wants to play the poor persecuted Christian.

Anyone got a cross and some nails? That'll make him happy.

Bruce Henry: "I bet the fac... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Bruce Henry: "I bet the fact that this guy's motivation was radical Islam was placed in the second sentence of the story really pisses you off."

That's impossible.

Eric Holder would have told us that radical islam is a contributing factor for some of these terrorists if that were true.

He specifically told us it isn't.

Wow.

Are you disagreeing with Eric Holder?

Gulp. No way around it now. You disagree with Eric Holder because you "straight up hate that black man".

(things do seem much clearer to me now that I have adopted "Lefty Logic")

I have just one word for yo... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I have just one word for you, Drago:

Huh?

I notice that Bruce did not... (Below threshold)
Harmon:

I notice that Bruce did not deny that he don't "straight up hate that black man". I guess that means he is a racist. Of course if he denies it, we can't believe him because racists always lie about their racism.

See Bruce, when the Left gets into "discussions" like this, the premise is always that the conservative is both wrong and eeeevil so there is not purpose in truly engaging in civil discourse. Don't believe it? just take a look at the insults and invective thrown at anyone who expresses a POLICY dispute with the Obama administration.

Oh, and in case it was not ... (Below threshold)
Harmon:

Oh, and in case it was not eminently clear, my comment #16 above about Bruce being a racist was pure sarcasm. I have never read anything in his comments that would lead be to believe that he harbors any racist attitudes.

However, the sentiment I expressed about the lack of civil discourse was not intended as sarcasm. Even though it sometimes feels good to slam the opposition, the end result is always a negative. Which is why the juvenile antics of so many on the left have become so tiresome to me. You can't really talk to someone whose attitudes are frozen in a tightly wound mass of smug ignorance.

Glad you got that off your ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Glad you got that off your chest, Harmon.

Whatever.

Oh, and speaking of insults and invective, try criticising any action of the Israeli government here on Wizbang. You'll be branded "anti-Semite" so fast it'll make your head spin.

Mr. Henry, contrary to what... (Below threshold)
Walter Cronanty:

Mr. Henry, contrary to what you write, the story did not say that the "guy's motivation was radical Islam." The first sentence reads as follows: "A 21-year-old construction worker who had recently converted to Islam and told an FBI informant he thought about nothing but jihad was arrested Wednesday."
Thus, it wasn't "radical Islam" that motivated him, it was simply "Islam." "Islam" is what motivated him to think "about nothing but jihad" - at least according to CBS. I guess they're in on the conspiracy to fuel hatred between Christians and Muslims, too.

I was looking at what Rick ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I was looking at what Rick excerpted, not whatever story you're referring to, Mr Cronanty. And you're right, though, that neither version used the word "radical." My bad.

I was referring to previous pieces here, when conservatives boohooed that reporters didn't write stories using the approved wingnut formula.

Harmon,"See Bruce,... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Harmon,

"See Bruce, when the Left gets into "discussions" like this, the premise is always that the conservative is both wrong and eeeevil so there is not purpose in truly engaging in civil discourse."

Wrong on all counts, Harmon, mostly because you are making generalizations that cannot be sustained. Like anyone else, conservatives are right sometimes and wrong other times. Sometimes I disagree with conservatives, and sometimes I disagree with liberals. That's the way things work. Anyone who assumes that conservatives are "always wrong" and/or inherently "evil" is ideologically blinded. AND the opposite argument is true as well.

So, now where do we go with your generalization about "the left" or "the other sides" or "those who have different views?"

The only people who can't engage in civil discourse are those who are completely unwilling to listen to different perspectives (either that, or they don't actually have an argument to make and are simply parroting ideological talking points). So, which camp are you in? Are you willing to listen to opposing points of view, or do you automatically make generalizations and assumptions about people if they express contrary political opinions?

"Don't believe it? just take a look at the insults and invective thrown at anyone who expresses a POLICY dispute with the Obama administration."

There are plenty of reasons to disagree with the policies of Obama, clearly. Now, where do you want to start?

Rick's Method:1. F... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Rick's Method:

1. Find an article that mentions an act of terrorism by a Muslim
2. Disregard specifics as mere details
3. Write post on Wizbang making sweeping generalizations about Islam as a whole

Seriously Rick, this is your stock and trade these days. Yes, there are certainly Muslims who are terrorists--and they come from particular regions and ideological backgrounds. We get that. EVERYONE gets that. But why don't you get the idea that you can't keep making claims about "Islam" as a whole based upon the actions of specific groups? Why is this so difficult?

Let me ask you this: member of MS-13 come from places like Central America, and they certainly commit what might be called "terrorist acts." So these guys are often from Catholic communities. Is the problem Catholicism, or is the problem the behavior and ideology of MS-13? Do we blame "religion" or do we blame the individuals and groups themselves?

With Islam, there are of course numerous different interpretations, and millions of people around the world. Particular groups use Islam as a recruiting tool, and as a political tool. They also use it to justify terrorism. So, is it accurate to say that the REAL PROBLEM we are dealing with is ISLAM per se? Or is the real problem the groups--Al Qaeda, the Taliban, etc--that use Islam for political, ideological, and violent ends?

I argue for the latter, and I think it's an important distinction...lest we want to keep playing the guilt by linguistic association game.

Maybe it would be a good idea to AT LEAST consider some of these points.

"If you're gonna cast asper... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

"If you're gonna cast aspersions on an American citizen because of the ethnic origin of his name, people are gonna call you on it. If not me, someone else will."

BH makes a solid point, especially considering the post that he is referring to. Rick has been flying off the handle with his logic of late. This post, and the one in which he makes assumptions based upon an individual's name, are cases in point.

Sometimes, Rick, it's a good idea to at least consider what the "other side" has to say. Because the strength of you argumentation of late has grown ever weaker.

Maybe it's time for a little less reactionary posting, hmmm?

I don't really see the prob... (Below threshold)
LiberalNitemare:

I don't really see the problem here.

Its not like he was doing something really evil, like raising taxes when we have 10% unemployment or something like that.

"Muhammed Hussain."<p... (Below threshold)
914:

"Muhammed Hussain."

Yeah but "Hussain" should not be confused with "Hussein" One is a christian name. Why is islam so violent?

"Do we blame "religion" ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Do we blame "religion" or do we blame the individuals and groups themselves?"

The short answer is "Yes".

Normally we would blame the individual. We will hold this individual accountable for what he was doing. His decisions are his own. His decision to follow a warped, hateful creed that calls for its adherants to murder others was his own. Traditionally, Americans have believed in individual responsibility and that remains true here.

However, he represents a significant fraction of islam. Whether you believe that to be significant only with respect to their actions and influence or if you also believe that it is also significant in total numbers the fact remains that it is a significant force within that religion.

The brand of islam he follows is what informs this man's actions. Like it or not his faith has instructed him to take certain actions. For some people their faith leads them to self denial, others acts of charity. For this man his faith calls him to commit murder.

He is responsible for his actions. No one should deny that. But his actions are informed by a twisted faith that is followed by many millions. So the answer is that both are to blame in different ways.

Ryan ,The problem ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Ryan ,

The problem with you MS13 analogy is that they do not commit their crimes in the name of the church or in the name of their religion. Their faith isincidental to their actions.

For the islamic terrorist their faith is their motivation. They believe that their faith commands them to take up arms against the infidel and that they will be rewarded for doing so.

Muslims typically do not drink alcohol. You do not hear anyone suggesting that we round up tea-totalers as suspected terrorists. It isn't the abstaining from drink that informs their actions.

Your example doesn't fit.

"wanted to retaliate agains... (Below threshold)
Jinx McHue:

"wanted to retaliate against the military for the wars"

So.......... What's his Democrat Underground handle?

jim m:"The short a... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

jim m:

"The short answer is "Yes""

Ya, and the more well thought out answer is definitely no. Sorry jim, your logic falls short. Let's use a historical example: during colonization of the Americas, Spanish conquistadors often invoked the Judeo-Christian God. These conquests were often pretty violent. Now, would it make sense to blame "Christianity" for these actions? In my view, if makes a lot more sense to place blame on the specific individuals, groups, or institutions that used Christianity to achieve certain material, economic, and political ends.

"However, he represents a significant fraction of islam. Whether you believe that to be significant only with respect to their actions and influence or if you also believe that it is also significant in total numbers the fact remains that it is a significant force within that religion."

So? It's a segment of a whole, and there is no reason to assume that all one billion Muslims agree with what this guy did, or with the actions of AQ, let alone certain terrorist organizations. This is a completely illogical assumptions on your part. Sorry jim, but this doesn't fly. You're making these connections because you already have your opinion set. I agree that there are absolutely highly dangerous organizations that use Islam as a key tool for recruitment and terrorism. No argument from me there. But that by no means justifies ANY broad brush proclamations about the motives, intentions, and culpability of the entirety of Muslims.

"The brand of islam he follows is what informs this man's actions. Like it or not his faith has instructed him to take certain actions. For some people their faith leads them to self denial, others acts of charity. For this man his faith calls him to commit murder."

Exactly--it's one brand of Islam. It is part of a particular political and ideological use of Islam toward violent ends. And this is a serious problem--but that does not justify you or anyone else making baseless claims about innocent people who did not commit or support (or even know about) these acts. What about all of the Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere who have been the victims of this violence? What about the Muslims in the US who the US is trying to "work with"? Your broad brush arguments about Islam as a whole are, sorry, complete bullshit. It's pure opinion, and that's about it. Nothing wrong with that, except when you start making claims as if you have something to support them.

"He is responsible for his actions. No one should deny that. But his actions are informed by a twisted faith that is followed by many millions. So the answer is that both are to blame in different ways."

Islam is a religion, like Hinduism and Christianity and a whole slew of others. Islam doesn't DO ANYTHING automatically, since it's a set of ideas and practices that vary across the world and are united by the umbrella term. Islam isn't even practiced the same all around the world, and there is no reason to assume that all Muslims automatically share some mindset because they share the same NOMINAL religion.

In this case, the blame absolutely falls with the individual, and it falls with the specific groups or organizations that preach and promote this particular brand of Islam--and that's about it. There is ABSOLUTELY no reason to blame each and every Muslim in Morocco, Indonesia, Ghana, France, and the US for the actions of this individual and the organizations he is connected to. Your argumentation is basically ideologically fixed, and you can't support these broad claims with anything other than alarmsism and unsubstantiated guesswork.

Sorry jim, I'm not buying what you're selling.

As for the MS-13 analogy, I... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

As for the MS-13 analogy, I agree that it is by no means perfect. It is just something to think about when we start making assumptions about groups based upon where they come from or what they supposedly believe.

"For the islamic terrorist their faith is their motivation. They believe that their faith commands them to take up arms against the infidel and that they will be rewarded for doing so."

It's not all due to faith--you should know that. Do you really believe this simple explanation--that these acts are committed purely out of some blind devotion to faith? If that's the case, how do you explain the fact that the vast majority of Muslims DO NOT commit these acts of terrorism? Of course, you can't explain that, because you are mistaking a correlation with cause. And your logic with this is horribly flawed.

You can't forget about political ideology in all of this, jim. Islamic extremism is by no means just about religion. Just like the colonization of the Americas was by no means just about religion--despite what some folks try to argue. Blaming all of Islam for the actions of specific terrorist organizations today makes about as much sense as blaming "Catholicism" for the decimation of Native Americans. Sorry, no dice with either of those arguments.

typo in #29:"What ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

typo in #29:

"What about the Muslims in the US who the US is trying to "work with"?"

Should read:

What about the Muslims in the ME who the US is trying to "work with"?

Captain Oblivious-... (Below threshold)
2012 the next frontier:

Captain Oblivious-

"Poor Dick Cheney. I bet his colostomy bag is just overflowing because of this! I'm sure he's still rooting for the terrorists."

So Dick Cheney shits out Husseins likeness because he failed on the quest for a virgin cherry bomb?

"how do you explain the fac... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"how do you explain the fact that the vast majority of Muslims DO NOT commit these acts of terrorism? Of course, you can't explain that, because you are mistaking a correlation with cause"

Ryan,

You miss the point entirely. For some muslims, they find that their religion instructs them to kill infidels (or at the very least oppress them and discriminate against them severely). That is the case for the islamic terrorist. Why do I say that? Because they have claimed it.

Their actions are informed by their religious beliefs. They claim that the motivation for murder, for decapitating people, for bombing trains etc is that allah via the koran tells them to. They claim that they are obligated to jihad by the words of mohammad. This is not correlation this is causality. To call it that is merely to be blind to reality. You are either being willfully ignorant or you are working very hard to deceive yourself.

AS to why do many more not engage in hat activity; the reasons are many. Some believe differently. Some lack the courage to act out their convictions. Others support them and believe that terrorism is right but do not actively seek out an opportunity to act. Still others give financial and other aid to front organizations.

Christianity calls or believers to evangelize the world. Why don't all Christians proselytize everyone they meet? For many of the same reasons above. It isn't that they don't believe in it or don't want to. It's that they have various reasons why they do not.

For muslims, many millions more than those that actually commit acts of terrorism actually believe that committing such acts is the right thing to do.

You are quite wrong that I am confusing correlation with causality. Muslims themselves have claimed the correlation. I have no reason to doubt those claims.

"The suspect is expected to... (Below threshold)
914:

"The suspect is expected to be charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and was under surveillance by law enforcement for months."


So for the Hussein regime simple explosives are WMD. But for Boosh in Iraq, 300,000 tons of the shit were a mere bag of shells used by Hussein for fireworks on ramadan..

Hypocrites..

It's come to this kind of s... (Below threshold)
Rick:

It's come to this kind of stuff from the left:

Let me ask you this: member of MS-13 come from places like Central America, and they certainly commit what might be called "terrorist acts." So these guys are often from Catholic communities. Is the problem Catholicism, or is the problem the behavior and ideology of MS-13? Do we blame "religion" or do we blame the individuals and groups themselves.

I'm lectured by a guy using this as the foundation of his argument? Really?

Freakin' pitiful. Just pitiful.

And we're supposed to take this seriously? I'm supposed to at least consider this as thoughtful?

And change the content of my posts based on this kind of thinking?

I think I've heard it all now. Honestly.

So, Rick, it took you all n... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

So, Rick, it took you all night long to come up with a snarky response to Ryan's comment, a comment he has ALREADY clarified and amplified upon?

You attacking Ryan, one of the most thoughful and moderate commenters on Wizbang, for intellectual weakness is hilarious.

By the way, don't know if you noticed, but despite the fact you linked on my name, not one commenter defended your bigoted nonsense on the "Democrat Senator" thread. Not even the most loathsome Muslim-haters in your usually reliable coterie of commenters could rouse enough dishonesty to pretend what you said there wasn't racist bullshit. Pathetic.

I gotta give Jim M props, though. Even though he's wrong, I think, he at least put forth a cogent, logical argument this time, instead of attempting to read others' minds.

And he had the courage to address Ryan's "Conquistador" analogy, rather than the admittedly weaker MS-13 thingie. Something you, Rick, did NOT have.

If allegations raised so fa... (Below threshold)
James H :

If allegations raised so far are true, this case looks a bit less like entrapment than some others. But a second question bothers me about these prosecutions.

The way I figure it, you have would-be terrorists who without outside intervention would most likely sit at home and yell at the walls. And then you have would-be terrorists who, absent intervention, will actually go out, get bombs, and join Ye Olde Jihadde.

Every time the FBI catches somebody who essentially plotted a bombing alongside an FBI informant or an undercover FBI agent, I wonder if we caught the former or the latter.

James H,OK say tha... (Below threshold)
jim m:

James H,

OK say that they are the "would-be terrorists who without outside intervention would most likely sit at home and yell at the walls."

Would you rather that the outside intervention came from some real life terrorist looking for others to carry out his plans or from the FBI? Does not this kind of terrorist need to be identified so they too can be neutralized? Does not this kind of action by the FBI discourage potential terrorists to remain sitting on their hands rather than joining with some instigator?

James, you can always make ... (Below threshold)
John:

James, you can always make that argument after the FBI does it's job, what argument do you make when they don't? Think Timothy McVeigh, if he had been chatting up an FBI guy there might have been a different outcome. I would rather error on the side that says if they guy says he wants to blow up buildings and kill people believe it and act accordingly.

While I am all for rounding... (Below threshold)
George True:

While I am all for rounding up real Islamic terrorists wherever they can be found, James H does make a good point. After reading about the Oregon caper and this latest one, I have serious doubts about whether the FBI is catching the real terrorists, or spending their time trolling for guys who shoot their mouth off, and then encouraging/assisting them to take action. Consider the fact that Obama appointees are running all departments and agencies of our government (one exception - Bob Gates at DOD). I am wondering if the FBI is doing this so the Obama administration can say, "See, we're tough on terrorism". Or maybe trolling for wannabee terrorists and then helping them follow their dream is just a lot easier than ferreting out the real terrorists.

Rick,"I'm lectured... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Rick,

"I'm lectured by a guy using this as the foundation of his argument? Really?"

Classic! Admittedly not my best analogy. Shit happens. But it's hardly the FOUNDATION of my argument, and if you have any reading comprehension skills, you know it. That was one example I came up with on the fly--the colonialism argument has more weight because conquistadors absolutely invoked religion and God as reasons for their actions.

But, nice attempt at dodging the issue by focusing on the ONLY part that you can possibly respond to. Weak, Rick, very weak.

"And we're supposed to take this seriously? I'm supposed to at least consider this as thoughtful?"

Read my entire argument, Rick, and see if you can at least come up with a reasoned response. This is just a cheap way of dodging the issue, and you know it. Take some cues from some others around here who can at least formulate a decent counter argument. All you have for your counter argument is more of the same reactionary BS that informs the vast majority of your posts on this site.

Anybody who is that easily ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Anybody who is that easily convinced to go out and try to kill people is not a victim of entrapment. People are losing sight of the fact that the jerk in Portland wanted to kill 25,000 people. Sure, that was not a realistic expectation for the crime he was committing, but the point is that he wanted that outcome.

Do you really want to argue that people who lack a basic understanding that it is wrong to murder innocent civilians should be left to find an enabler? That we should only detain these people after they blow up a few hundred people?

Any normal person would not be persuaded to blow up people they don't know for any reason. These individuals have defective thinking. The FBI is not making religious zealots they are identifying them.

Bruce Henry missing the poi... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Bruce Henry missing the point of the post is like saying the sun came up this morning. He always starts off with a snarky, personal attack on Rick and later qualifies his "mistake".

Ryan, others have told you, but radical muslims who kill infidels in the name of Islam do so out of their devotion and obedience. You think we made that up when in fact they site that all the time.

When a Christian commits a heinous act, the Pope and every mainstream religion comes right out an denouces the act as UnChristian. We do not have that coming from the Muslim community. We do get many warnings about how persecuted they might be. It is all on the muslims back to take care of this problem. ww

ryan, your analogy sucked a... (Below threshold)
jim m:

ryan, your analogy sucked and was way off base. Your inability to understand that when someone says that they are motivated by some belief that they are testifying to causality and not correlation is evidence that you do not understand the issues nor do you understand the difference between causality and correlation.

You use the terms without understanding them. You present an analogy that is completely false. Why should we take your arguments seriously?

jim,First of all, ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

jim,

First of all, while we disagree, thanks for sticking to the issue. I appreciate it.

"You miss the point entirely. For some muslims, they find that their religion instructs them to kill infidels (or at the very least oppress them and discriminate against them severely). That is the case for the islamic terrorist. Why do I say that? Because they have claimed it."

No jim--I get that. I absolutely agree with you that SOME MUSLIMS rationalize their behaviors in this way. Absolutely. But this does not encompass the behavior or motivations of ALL MUSLIMS. We're talking about specific groups here. These are specific ideologically and politically influenced forms of Islam, each with specific histories.

"Their actions are informed by their religious beliefs. They claim that the motivation for murder, for decapitating people, for bombing trains etc is that allah via the koran tells them to. They claim that they are obligated to jihad by the words of mohammad."

Yes, jim, this is absolutely the case for some people who are Muslims. Definitely. But this does not tell us about the supposed tendencies of "Islam" as a whole. It tells us about particular factions of Islam. That's my whole point.

"This is not correlation this is causality. To call it that is merely to be blind to reality. You are either being willfully ignorant or you are working very hard to deceive yourself."

Making a causal argument with this is only reasonable if you stick with specific groups. When you talk about followers of OBL, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, etc, then it makes some sense to connect "Islam" with terrorism. Why? Because Islam is absolutely a primary tool that those groups use to recruit, etc. But once you extend the population you're looking at by talking about ALL 1.3 billion Muslims, there is no basis for this argument. You aren't talking about some inherent nature of "Islam" on the whole, jim. The actions of the Taliban or AQ by no means explain or even represent the beliefs, actions, and motivations of every Muslim.

Don't misread my argument. I am not saying that Islam is not or cannot be a key part of these terrorist groups. It can. But it can also be used by run of the mill Indonesian farmers who have practiced Islam for generations. Putting all of the causality on "Islam" completely misses the mark. Just like blaming "Christianity" for colonialism is incredibly false and reductive. Catholicism may have played a role, but there is no basis for arguing that it was the ROOT cause of what happened. People twisted Christianity and used it to justify all sorts of actions.

"AS to why do many more not engage in hat activity; the reasons are many. Some believe differently."

EXACTLY. Which means that Islam is not JUST ONE THING, one practice, one belief. Islam means different things to different people around the world. You just made my point right there.

"Some lack the courage to act out their convictions. Others support them and believe that terrorism is right but do not actively seek out an opportunity to act. Still others give financial and other aid to front organizations."

Right, and the key word is SOME. SOME people passively support this stuff, and some people agree with certain terrorist agendas, but don't act. Definitely, and this is an unknown factor. But it's equally important to keep in mind the fact that SOME (many) do not support those actions in any way shape or form. So, we all need to recognize the realities of the situation. Yes, people commit terrorism in the name of Islam. And some people support those actions. But many do not, and there is no reason to assume that the actions of SOME terrorist groups tell us what we need to think about Muslims on the whole. To me this is incredibly important to keep in mind, for some reasons that I hope are fairly obvious.

"Christianity calls or believers to evangelize the world. Why don't all Christians proselytize everyone they meet? For many of the same reasons above. It isn't that they don't believe in it or don't want to. It's that they have various reasons why they do not."

It's because, jim, "Christianity" is not just ONE THING around the world either. Despite sharing the same nominal religion, Christians do not all do things exactly the same around the world. Look at all the different factions and sects. Look at the differences between "Christianity" in Latin America, the US, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. It's exactly the same point that I am making about Islam. People often talk about these terms as if they mean only ONE CLEAR THING. They don't--and volumes of historical and anthropological data bear this out.

"For muslims, many millions more than those that actually commit acts of terrorism actually believe that committing such acts is the right thing to do."

Well, now you're in the land of conjecture. This is an unknown variable or factor, and there is no reason to simply fill in the blanks where there is no clear data. There are surely people who support terrorism in a more passive sense, but that's about all that can be said. By no means do all Muslims around this world support this. We're talking about a billion people here. I understand the point you are making jim. I get it. This stuff is real, and there are threats out there. Definitely. But do you see my point?

"You are quite wrong that I am confusing correlation with causality."

When it comes to Muslims on the whole, yes, you are confusing correlation with cause. When you stick to specific groups, you are right on the mark because we KNOW that terrorist groups like AQ and the Taliban use Islam as a primary justification for their actions.

"Muslims themselves have claimed the correlation. I have no reason to doubt those claims."

SOME Muslims, jim. Not ALL Muslims. Don't extend your argument just out of convenience. You might think this is just splitting hairs or more BS liberal "nuance." I don't. I seriously think that it's absolutely critical to break apart the details and actually talk about specifics rather than make general claims about groups of people based upon the actions of a subset of the population.

Anyway, thanks again for your replies. Sorry for the long response.


"ryan, your analogy sucked ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

"ryan, your analogy sucked and was way off base."

Shit happens. Tell me when you're done with that and we can move on. So how does the Christianity/colonialism analogy work for you?

"Your inability to understand that when someone says that they are motivated by some belief that they are testifying to causality and not correlation is evidence that you do not understand the issues nor do you understand the difference between causality and correlation."

Read my other post. It depends on the population under question. If you are talking about all 1.3 billion Muslims, then you are going to have a hard time making a causal connection between "Islam" and terrorism, because there are numerous instances (far more actually) in which people DO NOT commit terrorism. So there is no way to make a that argument for Muslims on the whole. It's a completely invalid argument, jim. The argument DOES hold when you stick to specifics.

And I absolutely DO understand the differences between correlation and cause. You are making a classic mistake by using a subset of a population to explain the characteristics of the whole. And your logic is based upon a particular political understanding of the situation--since I doubt you have undertaken a global survey of all Muslims that guarantees statistical reliability.

"You use the terms without understanding them. You present an analogy that is completely false. "

Do you want to talk about statistical sampling and causality? Do you want to get into a discussion about sampling bias and interpretation? Do you want to discuss social science research methodology? By all means, jim, let's get the conversation started.

As for the analogy...we all come up with examples that aren't the greatest of all time. Are you telling me that all of your ideas and statements on this site have been 100 percent perfect? If so give me your address and I'll send you a gold star for your efforts. If not, get over it. And feel free to address the other example, if possible.

"Why should we take your arguments seriously?"

Hey, do what you want. I take your arguments seriously, but if you want to dismiss mine due to your political viewpoints, go ahead.

Bruce @ 18Care to ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Bruce @ 18

Care to cite examples of honest criticism of the Israeli govt that lead to a dog pile?

Ok Ryan.You finall... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Ok Ryan.

You finally admit the point. I suppose what you do not get is that I AM talking about muslim terrorists and only you are conflating them with the population at large, I have my own opinions about the general muslim population and culture but I was not addressing them here. I thought that was obvious.

As for my question about why we should take your arguments seriously it was partly rhetorical. You are making poor analogies. You clearly confused causality and correlation denying the obvious link between the islamic religion and the terrorist's actions. Why deny that link when the terrorist himself claims it? It just makes you look obtuse.

George, personally I would ... (Below threshold)
John:

George, personally I would not make the claim that Obama is engineering these stings to build up political capital without proof. It assumes the worst possible motives and is the sort of thing the left consistently did to Bush. While I understand the temptation I think it's simply wrong, we should be thankful the FBI is focused on this and seems to be making progress and only jump down Obama's throat if and when it's proven that he's manufactured these events for his own gain. I'm no fan of Obama but where catching potential terrorists is concerned I'll give credit where credit is due unless proven otherwise not before.

ryan a, the problem with yo... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

ryan a, the problem with your "theorizing" is that lives hang in the balance. We as a nation do not have the luxury to take our time and decide who is bad, who is on the bad person's side and/or who is neutral. At this point, since most muslims in this country have not risen up with one voice loudly protesting the radical Islamists, we have to assume they are suspect also. Because without that caution, people will die. Innocent people. So be mindful of your "spitballing" these ideas of yours. Lives hang in the balance. ww

jim,"I suppose wha... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

jim,

"I suppose what you do not get is that I AM talking about muslim terrorists and only you are conflating them with the population at large, I have my own opinions about the general muslim population and culture but I was not addressing them here. I thought that was obvious."

Look, I don't make any assumptions about what people are or are not arguing. I can only work from what you type on here. Glad to hear that you are actually talking about a specific subset and you're not making generalizations about Muslims on the whole. I think it always make sense to clarify, especially considering the general argument of Rick's original post.

"As for my question about why we should take your arguments seriously it was partly rhetorical. You are making poor analogies."

The MS-13 wasn't my all time favorite--but that was one side example off the top of my head that you and especially Rick made a bigger deal out of, while ignoring the main argument that I was putting forth. The MS-13 example was supposed to be somewhat far-fetched, for a reason. It was supposed to be another illustration of how stupid it is to make broad generalizations about massive groups of people based upon the actions of a few. But yes, that example is does not perfectly correlate to the situation. The colonialism example is clearly more directly applicable since Christianity was absolutely used as a justification for political violence. And you still haven't addressed that one.

"You clearly confused causality and correlation denying the obvious link between the islamic religion and the terrorist's actions."

I am making a more specific argument about correlation and cause, and arguing AGAINST blindly attributing cause to the entire Muslim population based upon the actions of a subset of the population. When it comes to making assessments or evaluations of large groups of people, it pays to be specific about who and what you are talking about. Is "Islam" a cause? Yes, IN SOME CASES. With specific groups. Does this mean that it is then accurate to say that Islam is the root cause of terrorism? NO, it doesn't. Because first of all there is not one all-encompassing "Islam" that all Muslims follow to the letter. There is variation in how people enact and practice Islam. Therefore, directly attributing terrorism to "Islam" CLEARLY ignores some other key factors in the equation. There is no need to be sloppy with arguments about causation, and there is every reason to be careful and specific.

Willie:"ryan a, th... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Willie:

"ryan a, the problem with your "theorizing" is that lives hang in the balance. We as a nation do not have the luxury to take our time and decide who is bad, who is on the bad person's side and/or who is neutral."

Bullshit, Willie. We "as a nation" do this all the time. Why do you think we are engaged in military struggles in key regions? Why do you think we are working WITH specific Muslim populations in Iraq and Afghanistan? If we didn't take the time to differentiate, then we would be at war with ALL Muslim nation states on earth. Time to rethink your argument, Willie.

"At this point, since most muslims in this country have not risen up with one voice loudly protesting the radical Islamists, we have to assume they are suspect also."

Absolute bullshit. What happened with "innocent until proven guilty" Willie? What about rule of law? What about basic rights? Do you seriously believe this crap? So you want to go track down Kareem Abdul Jabbar and lock him up for being Muslim, or what? Good grief, don't lose your head over this. This is the kind of thinking that lead to Manzanar in WWII.

"Because without that caution, people will die. Innocent people. So be mindful of your "spitballing" these ideas of yours. Lives hang in the balance."

That's the whole point, Willie. Lives are in the balance. There is definitely a need to track down terrorists--do doubt about that. I am with you there. But there is no need to simply blame every Muslim for the actions of some Muslims. Why should we blame innocent people for something that haven't done? Why should we just forgo laws and principles and let the hysteria take over? We shouldn't. That's what I argue. And history provides numerous examples of why this argument is important.




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