catapult magazine

catapult magazine


Christian Suicide Bombers??


Apr 06 2004
12:31 pm

Ever wondered why we don’t see more of this??

Also, some interesting points regarding the Spain attacks and our earlier discussions.


May 20 2004
06:17 pm

okay, here goes …

LAURENCER – He is talking specifically about the situation with Paliestinians in Israel, “Are Christian Palestinians less occupied?”
- there is a curious difference between what you have mentioned of terrorists and suicide bombers. While both are heinous, suicide bombings, as relate to this discussion are unique to Islam.

no, christians are not less occupied; an article written by a palestinian christian for the national catholic reporter illustrates this point well. “Why, then, are there no Palestinian Christian terrorists?” asks prager. i think the answer to this has more to do with power than with religion. i haven’t completely worked out this idea yet, so it may still be a bit sketchy.

palestinian christians are, by far, the minority in the palestinian population. in fact, the 25% figure prager used is misleading (it’s used quite often, though). according to bernard sabella, professor of sociology at bethlehem university, christians [i:96a0179004]in palestine[/i:96a0179004] now make up only 2% of the population. due in large part to their insignificant numbers, palestinian christians are not in any role of power and have therefore been “forced” to advocate nonviolent resistance (2). it is impossible to respond to the power of violence with violence if you haven’t the means.

palestinian muslim fundamentalists, on the other hand, are a part of the religious majority (though, admittedly, they are a minority in that group) and have a seemingly inexhaustible supply of resources at their disposal. why? mainly because of power struggles within the islamic community (much of the same happens in american christianity), with fundamentalists framing the israeli/palestinian conflict as the archetype pitting christianity and judaism against islam. some in the islamic community are using fear as a means to power in much the same way we christians have in the past (see communism).

also, using suicide as a means to an end isn’t unique to islam. during world war II, the japanese used kamikaze pilots as weapons against allied ships. heck, even the bible has an account:

[b:96a0179004]Judges 16:26-30 (NIV)[/b:96a0179004]
Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. Then Samson prayed to the LORD , “O Sovereign LORD , remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.

one final note: simply because i’m advocating justice for palestinians (and, ultimately, israelis) does not mean that i’m also advocating suicide bombing.

i think that’s all for now. man, that took way too long!


May 24 2004
12:23 pm

thomas friedman’s take on suicide bombing from today’s new york times.


May 27 2004
05:31 am

There is also an interesting book out now called “Good Muslims, Bad Muslims” which traces the origins of terrorist groups to American foreign policy decisions in the early 1980’s. The author seems to suggest that the problem lies in mixing religion with politics, something Reagan did when he started throwing the term “Evil Empire” around. Though I agree that the U.S. ought to confess its own culpability, this does not mean we should give the U.S. “equal” responsibility as Palestinian terrorists themselves. People who promote understanding the reasons why Muslim terrorists do what they do sometimes
start to sound like they’re justifying the behavior or equalizing the level of wrongness. I would like to know too if the author of “Good Muslims, Bad Muslims” acknowledges that there really is a religious foundation for politics, even if Reagan’s coined phrase was inaccurate.