We must stop calling them fundamentalists.

Muslim (or Islamic) militants and terrorists are not appropriate names either. By standard norms in most countries, those who commit suicide while mass murdering as many innocent men, women and children as possible are insane. This is not to say that we should feel pity or sorrow for them. They deserve the fate they have chosen for themselves. However, not even crazy people are excused and forgiven legally for killing anyone else. The murderers are not even Muslims, though that is the word by which they identify themselves. They more closely resemble the anarchists of western Europe at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. They most certainly do not follow the rules prescribed for Muslims in the Quran. No more than Hitler followed the teachings of Christianity. The Prophet Muhammed himself refused to bless the body of a man who had committed suicide, even though he had done so to avoid the agony of the disease from which he suffered. Suicide itself is the supreme sin in Islam, followed closely by the muder of innocents. The word jihad has two meanings. One is a personal struggle to find truth, to become a better Muslim. That kind is totally nonaggressive. The other kind of jihad (the version that the murderers misrepresent) is a holy war in defence of Islam. At this time, no one and no country threatens Islam, despite what the twisted imams teach their desperate followers. The holy war kind of jihad can only be launched by declaration of a legitimate Quranic authority whose truth and wisdom have been proven. Bin Laden and his acolytes are not scholars. They have invented new readings they claim are from the Quran. They have taken legitimate Quranic versions out of context and forced them to mean the opposite of what they were intended to convey. Even if western countries had attacked and harmed Muslims, the Quran still has rules that must be followed. Women and children must not be killed. Those who have not personally offended Islam must not be attacked. No hostages may be taken and prisoners must not be mistreated, tortured or killed. As the world knows from reading news accounts from Iraq, the Qaeda gangs have killed far more Muslims than Christians or Jews. Dozens of innocent Muslims die daily in Baghdad alone from suicide bombs. Frederick Forsyth, author of 'The Afghan,' a novel I highly recommend, says the murderers should be called "The New Jihadists." I disagree with that term as well because it sullies the term jihad which is legitimate and valid within Islam and would usually not be questioned by those of other religions (the jihad against Salman Rushdie declared by Iranian ayatollahs being a clear exception). The mass murderers are nothing more than gangs of thugs, not significently different from the organised crime gangs led by Afghan men many of whom are now in the Afghan parliament because they have been pardoned. They want to have their orders, their whims and their wishes obeyed immediately and without question, in the name of Islam and Allah. That would be the same non-existent Allah as the God that Adolof Hitler claimed directed his thoughts to launch the Holocaust. No fundamentalists of any religion teach the kinds of behaviour that the murderers of the Middle East commit today on a daily basis. "Fundamental" means "back to basics." No religion in existence was founded on mass murder or suicide. Let's now proceed to think of the search for terrorists and the search for mass murderers whose sole objective is to put the world into disarray and take control of as much land and as many people as they can. ('The Afghan,' by Frederick Forsyth, 2006, G.P. Putnam's Sons) Bill Allin 'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems,' a book about real and inexpensive solutions to community problems most people think are inevitable evils of modern society. They aren't. We just have to look in the right place.

Learn more at http://billallin.com Contact author Bill Allin at turningitaround@sympatico.ca