The Lebanese man arrested in an alleged plot to bomb New York transit tunnels under the Hudson River had been recruited by al-Qaeda three years ago and members of his cell had been attempting to seek help from the organization for the attack, U.S. and Lebanese officials said yesterday.Economically and educationally, they lift the national average with incomes 8% higher than the US mean. They're twice as likely as the middling American to have a bachelor's degree, and they're more heavily represented in professional and managerial positions. As with immigrants from other places lacking close proximity to the US, we're getting the cream of Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria.
Only one-fourth of the Arab-American population (totalling 1.2 million) is also Muslim (most are Lebanese Christians), a category comprising a little over 300,000 people according to US Census numbers, although Arab groups believe that number to be significantly understated, putting the total Arab-American population at 3.5 million. Most American Muslims (even more highly educated than Arab-Americans) are actually from South Asia and Iran. Many of them have come to America to escape from the miasma that is the contemporary Muslim world.
Still, the putative belief that destitution causes terrorism is hardly airtight. Former CIA agent Marc Sageman conducted an analysis on 400 terrorists connected in some way to the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania:
The 400 terrorists on whom I’ve collected data were the ones who actually targeted the “far enemy,” the U.S., as opposed to their own governments. I wanted to limit myself for analytical purity to that group, to see if I could identify anything different from other terrorist movements, which were far moreThis crucial difference between relatively unsophisticated localized terrorist movements and well-financed, elite terrorist cells is drastically underreported by traditional media sources. A news consumer has to be pretty diligent to find thoughtful discussion on it.
Most people think that terrorism comes from poverty, broken families, ignorance, immaturity, lack of family or occupational responsibilities, weak minds susceptible to brainwashing - the sociopath, the criminals, the religious fanatic, or, in this country, some believe they’re just plain evil.
Taking these perceived root causes in turn, three quarters of my sample came from the upper or middle class. The vast majority—90 percent—came from caring, intact families. Sixty-three percent had gone to college, as compared with the 5-6 percent that’s usual for the third world. These are the best and brightest of their societies in many ways.
Al Qaeda’s members are not the Palestinian fourteen-year- olds we see on the news, but join the jihad at the average age of 26. Three-quarters were professionals or semi-professionals. They are engineers, architects, and civil engineers, mostly scientists. Very few humanities are represented, and quite surprisingly very few had any background in religion. The natural sciences predominate. Bin Laden himself is a civil engineer, Zawahiri is a physician, Mohammed Atta was, of course, an architect; and a few members are military, such as Mohammed Ibrahim Makawi, who is supposedly the head of the military committee.
It is the most erudite Muslims that are potentially the most threatening to American security. Do we trade general prosperity for security via statistical discrimination? Considering the performance of Asian-American immigrants (20% higher incomes and twice the percentage of bachelor's degrees compared to the national average) and northwestern European immigrants (those from Norway, Denmark, and Switzerland all have incomes averaging more than $60,000 annually), an argument can easily be made that simply instituting a proportional increase from these areas of the world and a corresponding decrease from the Muslim world would neutralize the productive detriment.
Perhaps more tasteful than simply disallowing all immigration from certain countries would be to follow in the footsteps of Germany and the Netherlands and require tests to be passed prior to the granting of legal residency status that focus on cultural issues where the West and the Islamic world are starkly at odds (homosexuality, the role of women in society, and liberalism in general). But that's not a very strong filter. Besides, gender equality is currently on the march in the lands of Sharia:
A group belonging to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party announced on Monday that it had recruited 100 Palestinian women to launch suicide attacks against Israel.Fatah, the more secular of the two Palestinian forces, provides Muslim women with more opportunity for advancement than does Hamas:
A woman who identified herself as Um al-Abed told reporters in Gaza City that so far about 100 women had expressed their desire to carry out suicide attacks against Israel. She claimed she was a spokeswoman for the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah.
Since September 2000, Palestinian women have carried out seven suicide bombings inside Israel, in which 37 people were killed and more than 250 were wounded. ...
Four of the female suicide bombers belonged to Fatah, two belonged to Islamic Jihad and only one belonged to Hamas.
Indians need to be asking themselves similar questions. While India does not have 'imperial' extensions comparable to those of the US, Kashmir provides plenty of pretext for bitter Pakistani Muslims. Although poor by Western standards ($3,300 PPP), the country is wealthier than neighboring Muslim Pakistan ($2,400) and Bangladesh ($2,100). Europe, the US, and India should mutually support one another as they are all forced to take harder looks at Muslims at their doors. Hindi civilization and Christian civilization share a common threat in 'radical' Islam.
In any event, we should at least reject those choosing academic career paths that definitely do not fall into the category of subjects Americans won't do:
Hammoud [arrested Lebanese man from above] attended Concordia University in Montreal from 1995 to 2002, graduating with a bachelor's degree in finance and international business.(Terrorism)