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photo of an arrest in spainjoin the discussion: What do you think about Europe's approach to the threat of radical Islam?

Dear FRONTLINE,

I was just wondering...If there are indeed 4000 websites authored by radicalist groups, bent on violence towards the rest of society.

Then it is logical to assume they use the internet as a tool.

At the same time the internet is also plagued with hackers intent on inflicting indiscriminant viruses toward all on the web. My

suggestion would be, if these hackers are this bored, why dont they

direct this negative energy towards these radical sites,at least it

would have some kind of twisted purpose or meaning :) just an idea.

Keith S
north, New

Dear FRONTLINE,

As a PBS donor and non-relgious person, I felt a chilling affect by this program. First, I thought it was a Fox presentation not by PBS. The program tried to convenience audiences that current wave of terrorism has nothing to do with political situation in Middle East or else ware. A few crazy radicals (who dream of a greater Islamic state) and Al-Jazeera are about to convert all secular or non-practicing Muslims to terrorists. Program did not offer any solution to the current situation. Obviously, there was no need for PBS to offer any solution to the situation because after watching something like this every stupid person can come up with the "final solution". Unfortunately, we have a quite few of those in our society. Even some of the posts in this section can verify my point. An extremely disturbing thought!

Mike W
Portland, OR

Dear FRONTLINE,

Having watched for years how these Muslim terrorists toture, murder and mame an unending stream of INNOCENTS, I honestly feel that the time has come to sink down to their level and gain revenge.

The Liberals amongst you will be horrified but it is the ONLY language these low life scum understand. By killing THERE innocents perhaps pressure will be brought on them by there own people to STOP!

John Jackson
london, UK

Dear FRONTLINE,

My thoughts and prayers go out to all victims of the London attacks, as well as their family and friends.

I greatly appreciate the directness and clarity of the information stated in the report made in the last program. Let me also say that I hope this sparks awareness in the viewers, as it did me, as to the gravity of the situation we find ourselves in.

Malcom X once described the Kennedy assassination as a “result of the climate of hate” that has been cultivated in the US. We have placed US and Allied troops into the reaches of the Arab world, indeed most areas of the world feel US military presence. It seems that our policies are taking on less and less of a diplomatic strategy, and more and more of an intimidating and aggressive one.

To site only the most recent and most obvious US military activity, we have lost some 1,800 US troops; those are 1,800 husbands, mothers, sons, sisters, brothers, and fathers dead, taken from their family’s lives. No two sources on civilian body-counts in Iraq agree exactly, though all estimates lie in the realm of tens of thousands: tens of thousands of non-military, non-insurgent men, women, and children that have died since the US campaign in Iraq began.

I offer no theories on the US government’s motivations in this campaign, but it seems to me that these acts have served as fodder for militant religious fanaticism. We are cultivating a global climate of hate, and I fear not only for the living generations, but my children’s generation that will pay the price for these acts of brutality and oppression. We are continuing on a path of aggression that will be met in kind by those we target; we will continue to see the rise of terrorist networks and their activities, there will be no decline in attacks on either side, and we will quickly find ourselves in a devastating dead-lock as this cycle continues.

With this situation developing as it is, I find myself having less and less faith in the current administration’s ability to protect the lives of Americans both at home and overseas; it is simply impossible to keep all acts of terrorism in check, to arrest every single suspect, to monitor every major area of public congregation.

The US cannot rely on martial strategies to protect the American people, it must change its policies so that the people of other nations do not suffer, are not threatened, and are not incited to act with violence against us.

Roland Bell
Philadelphia, PA

Dear FRONTLINE,

Congratulations on the speed to air you had with the program broadcast.

Watching this program I was in awe of the presentation of the maps and the theory that Islamic Fundamentalists want the geography cited. There is a huge disconnect though between taking all that land and the stated plan. Taking that much land today would require armies and more fire power than I can imagine. It cannot be done taking lives indiscriminatly and in small numbers. Though terrible the actions will ultimately be unsuccessful.

There was an ommission as well. Perhaps the Islamic Fundamentalists are willing at this time to bomb and terrorize and Christian Fundamentalists are not. But to presume that Christian Fundamentalists would not be willing if the tables were turned seems to ignore history. Horray for the Western World that allows all to practice their faith openly. And shame to all in the Western World that would curtail this freedom because of the few zealots. And shame on all zealots that believe they have the one true religion.

Mary Costello
Sandusky, Ohio

Dear FRONTLINE,

In the show and on this forum it has been implied that the problem is that these people need to be assimilated into the culture when, infact, this is the very thing the immigrants think they are struggling against. None of us, as Americans, wish to loose our identity under any circumstances or conditions. Unfortunately, many European Muslims seek to retain their culture by becoming torchbearers for a religion many of them never actively practiced. This is the source of the problem, as they are easily misguided. To make matters worse, there are policies enacted like those of France and those that Denmark seeks to enact, preventing Muslims from openly practicing at all, and legalizing further discrimination- which only exacerbates the problem.

In my opinion, the only valid solution is to create an atmosphere of "assimilation" wherein people would be taught that not only do they have civic obligations but also civic rights. Where they will be treated as equals in society, so long as they carry their weight. Then, there would be no reason for this boiling rage that is cooking in the European caldroun. The vast majority of immigrants, to Europe and the U.S are very diligent, hard working people who just want an equal chance at a better life...just like anyone else. Religious understanding AND tolerance on all sides are the only ways we will be able to break this cycle of ignorance and violence.

As a note to Frontline, I personally find it horribly offensive that the Quran was being played, more than once, over such abhorrent text, implying that the two were interrelated. Additionally, the showing of the woman who was fully covered when referencing "the increasing extremist population" when she simply opts for a higher level of modesty. I only mention these as matters of cultural sensitivity.

A. Tillman
South , Fl

Dear FRONTLINE,

Great show as usual.

I second to the expressed opinions that you should make a special show "How to deal with terrorism" and let people like

Michael Scheuer offer his views on how to fix the problem.

His views look to the core of the current problems - years of arrogant western foreign policy with all its double standards

and "forgotten" acts in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Pakistan etc. I will never forget that in a week after 9-11 Saudi Arabia published a special advertising section in "Business Week" saying how great of a friend Saudi Arabia is to the US. It is so sad to see that current policies only compound previous mistakes and erroneous views of the world.

And these mistakes are so obvious.

It would be sad to see if today's attacks in London were perpetrated by people trained in Iraq.

Anyway, your shows offer that much needed deep look into the history of current political events. Unfortunately, policymakers do not watch "biased" coverage that NPR/PBS provide

these days.

Dennis S
Philadelphia,

Dear FRONTLINE,

We all need to realise that we are here for a very short time and we need to cherish life. I am not a religious scholar indeed I am not particularly religious but there is nowhere in the christian text or indeed the islamic that tells us to wage war on others. The US/UK alliance has not got a right to be doing what they are in Iraq. They are causing untold grief and hardship. Equally the martyrs are misguided in their belief that they are going to Allah. From the Gaza strip to Kings cross station the world is in turmoil. The human being is unique or so we tell ouselves in that we have the power of reason and we pride ourselves on our great insights in the realm of science, philosophy etc so why is it that we still rely on religious beliefs that lead us to do these abhorrent things to each other. We are all human, all feel pain, hurt, joy, and the gamut of emotions. We are also supposed to be highly evolved, so why is it we treat each other the way we do. No animal other than man kills another in the way that we do, in this nasty ugly and mostly greedy fashion. Forgive this very simplistic argument but i cannot fathom why religion creates such hatred. The only way i can explain this to myself is that we are not, for all our learning very highly evolved and are as a race cold callous and above all in thrall to a superstitious nonsense

Tom Logan
Cardiff, Wales, UK

Dear FRONTLINE,

Your show gave me a window into why the U.S. and Europe are split over how to deal with the islamists. From what I gather from your interviewees, their view is that Islamic terrorism is a much bigger problem for Europe than it is for the U.S., and they know better how to handle it than we do. To them Sept. 11, 2001 was just a sideshow compared to what's "really going on", in Europe where the real battle rages. After all, just from going from their ideology, they want Spain, Italy, and part of Russia as part of their dreamed Caliphate. I don't think the Europeans have the whole picture.

If this is all true, why did they attack the U.S. so ferociously? The Madrid bombings of 3/11/04 killed 393 people. It traumatized Spain, and I don't want to diminish their feelings of fear and loss. We in the U.S. lost nearly 3,000 people to their attack on 9/11/01. I would ask Europeans to try and fathom the loss of that many people on such a day, and try to imagine how they'd feel about the situation then. Also, if it's a bigger problem for Europe than the U.S., why did they choose to begin their large attacks with the U.S., rather than somewhere in Europe?

I can see that we and the Europeans view the Muslim world through different lenses. They see it as something that's kind of in their back yard. They deal with the Muslim refugees all the time. Americans such as myself see it through the Israeli-Palestinian situation, and our dependence on the region for oil. We have a different political make-up as well. A lot of people here value the existence of Israel, but it's not just for religious reasons. We recognize the history of the jewish people as well. Europeans apparently think that Israel is negotiable, and could even be thrown away if it would placate the Islamic radicals. Another difference between us is we are less willing to simply put up with problems. Sometimes we choose to address them head-on. Perhaps Europeans are willing to wait 100 years or more for such problems to be resolved through diplomacy. By and large we are not.

Mark Miller
Boulder, CO.

Dear FRONTLINE,

I anxiously await for you to devote your impressive resources to investigating the causes of the Islamic anger towards us, as well as possible solutions.

As a non-religious person in New York, I am equally and more directly threatened by Christian and Jewish fundamentalism. It is time for you to link the three.

In addition, I am very directly threatened by my nation's foreign policy, one that is problematic, unattainable and undemocratic. Imperialism, driven by greed and energy dependence is, to me, unamerican.

It is also suicidal. We need to immediately free our nation from the slavery of corporate direction, release ourselves from the petro-chemical monopoly, incorporate environmentalism's relevance to our survival as humans and as Americans with a new foreign policy.

In addition we need to address the racism that underlines all this discussion.

A Cl
New York, NY

Dear FRONTLINE,

While, much of Europe blames the Bush administration and it's

policies in Israel/Palestine and Iraq for the recent explosion

in islamic terrorism, in reality Europeans also have to accept

some of the blame for these problems

first of all, When the first generation immigrants to Europe arrived at the height of the Economic boom of the 50s and 60s they were not considered European but transcient labour that would go home after making some money. Therefore little attempt to intergrate these people into European society was made. The second generation in the 70s and 80s experienced the slowdown in the European economy and increased racism. In the 90s, Eastern Europeans moved into Western Europe and they were more accepted then the immigrants from the middle-east.

Increased racism and Economic dispartities came at a time when

Governments a cross North Africa, Middle-East used violent methods to surpress opposition movements. In turn, many European Governments in particular France, Germany, UK maintained friendly ties with these governments.

Therefore, Even after Spain withdrew from Iraq these terrorists will planning another terror campaign in Spain. No EUROPE it is not entirely America's fault for your terrorism problem

Doug Characky
Santa Clarita, California

Dear FRONTLINE,

Interesting documentary, the fact that struck me most was the recruits background. A lot of them started out not very religious, travelling to another country for school, engineering, science, what not.

Lonely kids, bored, getting sucked in. Believing the hype.

jeremy lynch
berlin, Germany

Dear FRONTLINE,

Reading some of the other comments here really brings home the cluelessness of western governments. We are taking deeply alien people into our midst and when they reach a critical mass of population, the inevitable ethnic/racial tension boils over into violence.

The simple solution is to admit our mistake and not allow any further islamic immigration to occur and deport all Muslim/arab non-citizens.

Hopes of assimilation or appeasement are not realistic. Spain appeased the Madrid bombings and was rewarded with uncovering new and far larger plots.

Roger Kennedy
Anchorage, Alaska

Dear FRONTLINE,

Having lived in an industrial town outside Madrid, Spain that had many Muslim immigrants from Morocco and Pakistan, I had the opportunity to meet and befriend many factory workers, gaining their trust during late night meetings at their homes.

As we got to know each other better, they shared their feelings of anger and mistrust due to their perceived second-class status due to being Muslim. As I listened more, it became clear that simmering sentiment was held by the vast majority of my growing circle of friends and associates. Despite better living conditions and higher pay than in their home countries, the idea that they could assimilate and achieve some form of social parity in Europe simply did not exist in their minds. Religious polarization had clearly taken root.

Perhaps if European society offered clearer alternatives for Muslims to achieve self-actualization, it would help prevent the buildup of such internalized anger that is required for the Jihadists' indoctrination.

We simply cannot afford any more violence, either in action or response.

Collin Baber
Seoul, Korea

Dear FRONTLINE,

I applaud Arab Americans and Muslims who have spoken up on this forum to offer a fair portrayal of their religion/culture. It is true that not all Muslims are Jihadists and not all Arabs are terrorists.

I believe Frontline did not intentionally mean to stereotype Arab Muslims as Jihadists. The reality, however, is that there are extremists within the Muslim faith who are willing to use whatever violent means possible to achieve their political agenda.

The threat of extremism is very real today, and is not only limited to one or two ethnic-religious groups. Arabs and Muslims have a right to speak up against this stereotype. What I believe Frontline is saying is that it's easier to declare a "War on Terror" than to address the underlying political, economic, and social tensions that have spurned the growth of jihadist terrorism.

Mohammad Atta, one of the key leaders of the 9-11 terrorist attack, was a disgruntled engineering student in Germany when he was recruited by Al-Qaida.

Oliver W.S. Bordallo

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posted jan. 25, 2006

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