Jewish World Review April 28, 2003 / 26 Nisan, 5763

Bill O'Reilly

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No pain, no gain? | So let me get this straight. We know that for 25 years Saddam Hussein tortured, murdered and brutalized his people. Then in three weeks, coalition forces removed him and his thug pals from power. Then, a few days later, thousands of Iraqis took to the streets and beat themselves silly in a bloody display that made slasher flicks look tame.

Do I have this right?

Now you might think that these self-abusers would take a few days off from pain. How about a spring break from physical abuse? After suffering so long through the horrors of Saddam, why not relax a bit and smell the sand dunes? I understand that the display was done in the name of religion, but I think any deity would cut his devotees some slack here. Taking the torture chamber to the streets so soon after the brutal dictator was deposed might be seen as, well, somewhat nuts.

And therein lies the problem. The United States is faced with a situation whereby it is trying to reason with people who believe that the Rolling Stones had it nailed when they recorded "Let it Bleed." The Bush administration wants to convince fundamentalist fanatics that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison are the way to go. But unless the new Bill of Iraqi Rights contains provisions whereby you have the right to pulverize yourself with a hammer, things may get dicey.

The New York Daily News ran a front-page photo of hundreds of bloody guys running around the town of Karbala. They were Shiite Muslims marking the anniversary of the death of the Prophet Muhammed's grandson in the 7th century. In addition to beating themselves silly, many of the demonstrators loudly demanded that the Americans leave immediately so they can impose more such celebrations on the entire country.

The tragedy is that most Iraqis think that kind of display is as loony as most Westerners do. But the adamancy and irrationality of fundamentalist Islam is so intimidating that the majority of clear-thinking Muslims are fearful of speaking out. Thus, the fundamentalists can and have imposed a system of government that brutalizes people in the name of religion. The Taliban did this, and so did the mullahs of Iran.

The United States and Britain cannot allow this to happen in Iraq. Fundamentalist Islam is the enemy of human rights. It is a danger to the world and the primary reason the USA was attacked on 9-11. Even in the politically correct world in which we live, all decent people should be outraged that governments exist where women are treated as dogs and people of other faiths are considered infidels to be killed with impunity.

Where is the worldwide outcry against fundamentalist Islam? Why is this violent culture deemed an acceptable form of behavior? Most Muslims are not fundamentalists but are being demonized because of this fanatical sect. That is unfair and unjust; it would be like saying David Koresh is the poster boy for Christianity. But moderate Muslims must lead the charge against the fanatics because non-Muslims are far too frightened to do so.

It should be clear to everyone by now that the entire world is threatened by the likes of Osama Bin Laden and his followers. There is no discussion here. These people will use any weapon they get their hands on to kill little kids and everyone else they see as not following the true path.

The United States is going to have to confront the bloody faces in Karbala sooner or later. If the Bush administration does not, they will turn Iraq into another Taliban operation by using murder and terror. These people are worse than Saddam Hussein, whose tyrannical regime was tied down inside a poor country.

Fundamentalist Islam is a worldwide threat that cannot be reasoned with. Freedom of religion does not include the imposition of brutal methods to regulate a barbaric code of conduct. America did indeed free the Iraqi people from terror, but another kind of terror is lined up to step right in. It had better be dealt with quickly.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.


04/21/03: We stand of guard for thee
04/14/03: The spoils of war
04/07/03: When the truth is a casualty
03/31/03: Yes, you're entitled to your uninformed opinion
03/24/03: That's the way it isn't, Walter
03/17/03: This loyal Catholic believes that, humanistically, the Pope is one of the many Saddam enablers
03/10/03: The new Nazis
03/03/03: Hey, it's personal
02/24/03: A peace of the action
02/18/03: Cash for what?
02/10/03: Runaway train
02/03/03: Dissenting dishonest dissent
01/27/03: The Clooney Factor
01/21/03: Poverty-inducing entertainment
01/13/03: To protect and serve
12/30/02: Global double Crossing
12/30/02: The villains of 2002
12/23/02: Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness
12/16/02: The Houston lesson
12/09/02: Somewhere Santa is weeping
12/02/02: A taxing situation
11/26/02: Talk is expensive when it comes to Bill Moyers
11/18/02: Sanity has left the building
11/11/02: The right stuff
11/04/02: The Attorney General blues
10/28/02: This ain't no game
10/21/02: It's only rock and roll, but it's brutal
10/14/02: The root of all evil
10/07/02: When children murder
09/23/02: The death of outrage
09/17/02: Singing a different tune
09/09/02: Answering my critics about the Roush case
09/03/02: Let's misbehave
08/26/02: Money makes the world go 'round
08/19/02: Long live the King
08/12/02: A friendly reminder
08/05/02: Heaven only knows
07/29/02: Blood money
07/22/02: Suffer the children
07/15/02: Reaching critical mass
07/08/02: Believe it or not
07/01/02: Charity begins at home
06/24/02: Spinning a tale and the case for "Stupid White Men"
06/17/02: Blank those Europeans!
06/10/02: What does Bono want from us?
06/03/02: On fighting evil
05/28/02: A Tale of Two Churches
05/20/02: Crimes against humanity
05/13/02: Silence of the lambs
05/06/02: Hide the children
04/29/02: 'Paul, Paul, Paul!'
04/22/02: Barbarians in the Church
04/15/02: Pray for peace, polish the weapons
03/11/02: Do no harm? Time to spank "Dr. Phil"
03/04/02: Promoting the general welfare
02/25/02: Who's responsible?
02/19/02: Lay it on them
02/11/02: Buy dope, fund terror
02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
01/14/02: Hey, Paula, take it to the bank and hush up
01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
11/26/01: Waiting in the Bushes
11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
09/14/01: Evil on display
09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate