What is terrorism? Edward Herman, Emeritus Professor from Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, has offered a politically neutral, straightforward definition of terrorism, "the use of force or the threat of force against civilian populations to achieve political objectives."
What Is The Cure For Fundamentalism?
By Shah N. Khan

Fundamentalism Is An Obsession
Fundamentalism is not mere point of view characterized by rigid adherence to fundamental or basic principles. It is an obsession with some activity, not only religious but anything like socialism, ethnicity, football etc. to the point of taking unnecessary risks, creating animosity or abhorrence, neglecting one's obligations towards all or some of such things as career, family, hobbies, home and community or mankind. So different types of fundamentalism require different treatments.

The word fundamentalism was coined because of the Conservative Protestant movement in the United States, beginning in the late 19th century.

Christian Fundamentalism
The word fundamentalism was coined because of the Conservative Protestant movement in the United States, beginning in the late 19th century. It emphasized the following beliefs as basic to Christianity: the infallibility of the Bible, the virgin birth and divinity of Jesus Christ, the sacrifice of Christ on the cross as atonement for the sins of all people, the physical resurrection and second coming of Christ, and the bodily resurrection of believers. A series of Bible conferences in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Christian fundamentalists wanted tough measures to be taken against alcoholism, drug addiction, prostitution, adultery, corruption, nudity and what is now known as MTV culture. They rejected Darwin's theory of evolution. The movement lost momentum in the early 1930s, primarily because most Americans accepted modern scientific theories and liberal religious doctrines.

Zionism As A Fundamentalist Movement
It was Zionism - a fundamentalist movement of world Jewry that arose in Europe in the late 19th century with the aim of reconstituting a Jewish state in Palestine. Islamic Fundamentalism arose in its reaction. If the European Jews had settled in US, Canada and Australia they would have made much better contribution towards world peace and economic development of the world. 

It was Zionism - a fundamentalist movement of world Jewry that arose in Europe in the late 19th century with the aim of reconstituting a Jewish state in Palestine. Islamic Fundamentalism arose in its reaction. If the European Jews had settled in US, Canada and Australia they would have made much better contribution towards world peace and economic development of the world. 
Jews of Arab origin -- Sephardi Jews -- have been living side by side with Muslim and Christian Arabs for centuries in peace. It was the influx of European Jews in the newly found state of Israel that gave rise to militancy among Palestinians whose lands were grabbed by Jewish migrants.

Power And Influence Of Jews In Western Societies
There are 2 billion Christians, 1.2 billion Muslims, 780 million Hindus, 360 million Buddhists and only 18 million Jews. Such a small group to have such a great influence on America and the world.

Because of their generally higher IQ level and organizing mutual help in money making the Jews have also been central to all the important events of the twentieth century. Jews were important component of the Bolshevik revolution that created the Soviet Union, and they remained an elite group in the Soviet Union until at least the post-World War II era. They are regarded as prime movers of the post-1965 cultural and ethnic revolution in the United States. 

During the British occupation of Palestine the Yishuv, or Jewish community, in Palestine increased manifold when large numbers of Jews fled Nazi persecution before and during World War II (1939-1945). The development of extensive Zionist agricultural and industrial enterprises in Palestine also took place, in spite of Arab opposition to British rule and to Zionism's designs to establish Israel.

The hard-line and imperious policies of Israel and unprincipled support to Israel by US have created terrorist groups like Alquida and Hamas.Their fanaticism and misuse of the word Jihad has tarnished the image of Islam and delayed the independence of Palestine and vacation of Arab territories occupied by Israel besides thwarting the economic progress. 
In 1947 Britain decided to leave Palestine, and the United Nations (UN) passed a resolution calling for the partition of the area into Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as an international zone under UN jurisdiction. Israel's development and power continued to increase as the rich Jews in US and other Western countries gave them massive aid. Hard working and enterprising European Jews turned underdeveloped land into a modern and progressive state. 

First Arab-Israeli War
Arab resentment for partition erupted in violence, leading in 1948 to the first Arab-Israeli war, called the War of Independence by Israel. American Jews gave massive financial aid and supplied modern armaments. The war involved Egypt, Tran Jordan (now Jordan), Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, and other Arab armies battling against Israel, and it ended in 1949 with UN-arranged armistice agreements, including defined frontiers, between the countries. In later war Israel grabbed more Arab land and has ignored the United Nations resolutions on return of conquered territories, it continues to ignore the settlements on the West Bank of the Jordan river and has annexed Jerusalem as its capitol in defiance to UN resolution. Independence of Palestine has not been possible due to dilatory tactics of Israel and the support of US.

The hard-line and imperious policies of Israel and unprincipled support to Israel by US have created terrorist groups like Alquida and Hamas.Their fanaticism and misuse of the word Jihad has tarnished the image of Islam and delayed the independence of Palestine and vacation of Arab territories occupied by Israel besides thwarting the economic progress. 

Holy Prophet (sws) had forbidden killing of innocent people even in times of war.
Middle Eastern Terrorists Are Not Islamic Fundamentalists

The recent rally by Christians in Lebanon in favor of Hizbullah demonstrates that Arabs are Arab first and Muslim or Christian second. Use of such terms as Militant Islam, Islamic Fascism and Jihadi Terrorists depicts not only misconception but also offends Muslims all over the world.   .

Middle Eastern terrorists are not Islamic fundamentalist but fundamentalist of freedom struggle. They are an exclusive group that regards the Israel, US and its Allies as usurpers and enemy. Those in Muslim world who are not terrorists - especially the Middle Eastern Muslim and Christian Arabs also view the Israel and its supporters with some antipathy.  Al-Qaeda is opposed to the USA and their Allies in particular, not the west in general.  Western countries that do not interfere with Islamic countries and their interests are not targeted with terrorist attacks.

Since they don't have missiles, artillery brigades, tanks and air force, they use gorillas and suicide bombers. William Blum in his book defines a Terrorist as: "A person who has the bomb but does not have the air force." 

 The Cure
Though the beliefs as well as the ways of prayers, meditation and worship differ, in almost all religions great emphasis is laid on believing in the equality of man; and the things that are considered essential parts of religious duties include doing justice, loving mercy, charity, respect to different cultures and faiths and cooperation with people of different races and religions for the good of society and the mankind.

In his Inaugural lecture at the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Delhi. Dr. Salman Akhtar who is an eminent psychoanalyst, an award-winning professor of Psychiatry, Jefferson Medical College, a lecturer at Harvard Medical School and a well known author and poet, and scholar in residence at the Interact Theatre Company, Philadelphia, USA) asked that if fundamentalism and terrorism are pathology, what is the solution? 

In his view the solutions reside in addressing the pathology. We have to make it possible for people to bear the burden of sanity. And how can we make people bear the burdens of sanity? 

By offering them compensating factors, such as a feeling of safety. And if the feeling of un-safety is real, then we have to restore a feeling of safety. If the feeling of un-safety is manufactured for political purposes, then we have to teach, ignore and fight against it and inform people that this is a manufactured dread not a real dread.
 In my view equally important are factors for equal opportunities for economic activities, better education and skill development programs, elimination of corruption, assistance for generating and enhancing economic activities for alleviation of poverty, fair dealings, a sense of participation in the affairs of the State and justice in pluristic environment. 

We must also realize, as the author Bob Burg has pointed out that our belief system is first given to us by our family and then finely chiseled by our environment. Once formed, our basic beliefs are extremely difficult (though certainly not impossible) to change because they are carried primarily on an unconscious level.

As we get older we seem to believe less and less and yet to believe what we do believe more and more. But we have to keep on sharpening our reasoning powers just as a woodcutter sharpens his saw from time to time for the process of learning continues from cradle to grave. Unless we maintain objectivity and neutrality in every matter, we would not be able think correctly. Reason can function properly only in an atmosphere that is free of selfish desires and motives. 

As Bertrand Russell said, "Those who forget good and evil and seek only to know the facts are more likely to achieve good than those who view the world through the distorting medium of their own desires."

Truths could be classified in two kinds - those of reasoning and those of fact or appearances. The truths of reasoning are necessary and their opposite is impossible; the truths of fact are contingent and their opposites are possible or they differ from person to person according his perception or circumstances. For instance if we write a figure of 6 on black paper and give it another person turning upside down, it may be read as 9. If you draw an arrow on windowpane inside a room, it would point to right to those who see it from outside. 
 Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you may usually be a good rule but not always. From different alternatives we must choose the best that would be understood and considered as of mutual benefit or would be of help in creating harmony and understanding or eliminating hostility or tension. 

American Zionist Lobbying Groups
In the contemporary world, organized American Zionist lobbying groups and deeply committed Jews in the Pentagon, Bush administration and the media are behind the pro-Israel U.S. foreign policy that is leading to war against virtually the entire Arab world. That is why the critics like Wilbur Sensor opine:

"Zionism will never become a democratic movement because it is a doctrine of divine right. It is rooted in blood, mysticism and return to the soil."
"Zionism has forged its case. It has used deceit, broken promises, backroom diplomacy, violence, blackmail and terrorism to achieve its ends. It has slept with the Devil while posing as an angel"._Wilbur Sensor

British Journalist Robert Frisk wrote:" A growing number of Americans know they are being suckered by their own government and their own press, that their country's foreign policy is being manipulated to give maximum support to one ­ and only one ­country in the Middle East. So will "certain aspects of its sovereignty".

Solution Of Core Problem In Middle East
Both Arabs and Israelis have to make compromises to arrive at a lasting peace and UN peacekeeping force need to be deployed to ensure safety of Israel instead of collective punishment of entire Palestinians by brutality of Israeli bombers and army. And all the Arab territories occupied by Israel should be vacated unconditionally and the suspected terrorism prisoners released. Jerusalem is given back under the control of UN. That will make it easier for Islamic States to recognize Israel.
All foreign troops in different Middle Eastern countries must go back. Let the Iraqis solve their own problem with the help of forces from Islamic countries if requested by Iraqis. And a long-term agreement with OPAQE countries is reached for stability of oil prices. 

Muslim Fundamentalists 
As compared with European Jews the general IQ level of Arabs is lower. Muslim Fundamentalists constitute not even 1% of total Muslim population but their Mullahs preach against rationalism and liberalism. More than 40% Muslims are ignorant and illiterate. And the surprising thing is that many of such fundamentalists Mullahs are badly educated. They rely on ancient and out dated books of traditions and interpret literally the things described in them metaphorically, without deducting the underlying principle with reason or logic. Their knowledge of Islamic history and philosophy and even doctrine is garbled. But that does not mean that there are no authoritative books and outstanding scholars. The literature about Islamic ideology, history and biographies of Holy Prophet (sws) and his companions in different languages including English is very rich and detailed and of high standard. 
Moderate Muslims
Enlightened Muslims are in overwhelming majority and they know that Islam is not opposed to modernism and multi-culturism and great emphasis is laid in Quran for acquisition of knowledge, kindness, charity and above all Justice without any discrimination. But organizations like Alquida and Taliban have tarnished the image of Islam. If we Muslims have friends like them, we don't need enemies.
Here is an extract from Edward Montet, 'La Propaganda Chretienne et ses Adversaries Musulmans,' Paris 1890. (Also in T.W. Arnold in 'The Preaching of Islam,' London 1913.) 

Islam is a religion that is essentially rationalistic in the widest sense of this term considered etymologically and historically.... the teachings of the Prophet, the Qur'an has invariably kept its place as the fundamental starting point, and the dogma of unity of God has always been proclaimed therein with a grandeur a majesty, an invariable purity and with a note of sure conviction, which it is hard to find surpassed outside the pale of Islam.... A creed so precise, so stripped of all theological complexities and consequently so accessible to the ordinary understanding might be expected to possess and does indeed possess a marvelous power of winning its way into the consciences of men.

Soft-Spoken, Self-Effacing Fundamentalists.
As one American journalist said there are plenty of soft-spoken, self-effacing examples of the fundamentalists. It isn't a question of style. Nor is the opposite of fundamentalism lukewarm ness, or the tiresome liberal prejudice that the truth always lies somewhere in the middle. Tolerance and partisanship are not incompatible. 

About Christianity he goes on to say that The New Testament author known as Luke is presumably aware that Jesus was actually born in Galilee. But he needs to have him born in Judea, since the Messiah is to spring from the Judea-based house of David. A Messiah born in bumpkinish Galilee would be like one born in Gary, Indiana. So Luke coolly invents a Roman census, for which there is no independent evidence, which requires everyone to return to their place of birth to be registered. Since Jesus' father Joseph comes from Bethlehem in Judea, he and his wife Mary obediently trudge off to the town, where Jesus is conveniently born.
Many fundamentalists do not pose danger to the world peace if they belief that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy. I admire Buddhist and all those fundamentalists and Sufis who preach peace and love but not hatred. 
The Popes Against The Jews
There was a time when books like 'The Popes Against the Jews': Before the Holocaust by GARRY WILLS and The Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism by David I. Kertzer were published and described the Jews as -- eternal insolent children, obstinate, dirty, thieves, liars, ignoramuses, pests and the scourge of those near and far . . . managed to lay their hands on . . . all public wealth . . . and virtually alone they took control not only of all the money. 
The discovery of Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 helped in softening attitude of Roman Catholics towards Jews. A few skeptics say that these scrolls are fake. That is a collection of about 600 Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts, discovered in Jordan, at the northwestern end of the Dead Sea. 
Late Malachy Martin SJ was said to be in the liaison with Jewish authorities at the Vatican Councils that expunged criticism of the Jews from Roman Catholic teaching etc. After reading 2-vol of The Palestine Diary Malachy Martin is attributed of saying to the author Robert John that if he had known what he now knew from the book he would not have undertaken that mission. (Robert John. 14 Oct. 2001 as quoted in a post by Ichee@aol.com)
There was uproar among Jewish people, though the story depicted in Mel Gibson's movie Passion of the Christ gave unbiased account of the crucifying Jesus Christ. Gibson had to prove that he is not anti-Semite by tendering an apology to Jewish people for hurting their feelings. 
On the other side, Anti-fundamentalists are not people without passionate beliefs; they often misconstrue not only religion but also science and think that human reasoning is infallible. Atheism is spreading fast in the Western world and the belief in existence of God is declining. But agnosticism is found among people born as Christians, Muslims, Jews or Hindus etc. and they believe that the existence of God can be neither proved nor disproved. Many people have incorrectly been called atheists merely because they rejected a popular belief in a particular form of divinity. With the increase in scientific knowledge and the consequent scientific explanation of phenomena formerly considered supernatural, atheism has become a less controversial philosophical position.
Bertrand Russell regarded religion as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race. The most vocal critic of religion Richard Dawkins writes, “
Theology is a field in which obscurantism is the normal path to success, and a favorite trick is to insist that religion has its own 'dimension(s)', completely separate from those of science; science and religion are about different kinds of truth and you cannot use the criteria of one to judge the other; religion answers those questions which are outside the territory of science. On the other hand many scientists regard religion as meme as miraculous cure and achievements have been possible with the individual’s own power of faith. Religion’s role in enforcing moral standards for the good of society is also acknowledged by many social scientists but few thinkers like Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity Opines, “Whenever morality is based on theology, whenever right is made dependent on divine authority, the most immoral, unjust, infamous things can be justified and established.” Fundamentalism In The Westernized Countries

Almost all the Western countries are well developed not only in industrial and technological fields but also in education, art and literature. The importance that is given their own country on justice, multiculturalism, freedom of speech etc. is admirable. Despite over 90% literacy rate the development of petty and unrealistic prejudices in some segments of population in supposedly most liberal and most developed secular societies is not surprising because of inherent weaknesses in human nature. That appears to be reason why GBW said:

You are all fundamentalists with a top dressing of science. That is why you are the stupidest of conservatives and reactionists in politics and the most bigoted of obstructionists in science itself. When it comes to getting a move on you are all of the same opinion: stop it, flog it, hang it, dynamite it, stamp it out. _George Bernard Shaw 

The belief that secular and democratic State is ideal for peace and progress needs to be reviewed. Secularism and democracy cannot guarantee good governance, law and order or progress and prosperity. That is merely a method for the transfer of power according to popular mandate allowing maximum participation of the electorate. Everything depends upon the character and ability of the leaders elected!

Good democracy is said to be commensurate with good education, class, wealth, and occupational convergence. Quite a few Western scholars lament that less-than-perfect democracy has been achieved. Some think that the cure for evils of democracy is more democracy. But my view is that there should be stricter qualifications for the candidates as well as the voters. Jerks, prostitutes, criminals and convicted persons should be debarred from voting. John F. Kennedy said; The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all. 

Ignorance, illiteracy and poor civic sense among the masses obscure the democratic values and prevent election of the right candidates. That is why democracy has not been as beneficial in Asia and Muslim countries as it has been in the West. But the West does not owe its progress and prosperity solely to secularism and democracy. It was the attitude of their people towards work, law and order, mutual cooperation, exploration, education, research and training that has contributed in over all progress in all spheres including sports, literature, leisure besides trade, industry and commerce as well as science and technology. But their material progress has not been without loss of spirituality to some extent and morality to great extent. 

Many social scientists agree with Bertrand Russell that the fundamental concept in social science is Power, in the same sense in which Energy is the fundamental concept in physics. But regrettably few politicians do not realize that the power has only one duty-to secure the social welfare of the People.

Joseph S. Nye Jr. dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University discusses American supremacy and how long it will last. The United States has unprecedented military power, but the sword alone won't ensure American preponderance in the long term, he argues. If the United States wants to remain strong, Americans need to pay attention to our soft power" -- our ability to attract others to our way of life and get them to want what we want, Mr. Nye argues. Soft power arises in large part from our values, he writes.

Many American intellectuals have been critical of such unrealistic Foreign policies but their voice does not reach the American masses in the din of rhetoric of selfish politicians. For instance Noam Chomsky, U.S. linguist, political analyst (and a Jew) has plainly ascribed the terrorist attacks on US as the reaction to imperious foreign policy. 

U.S. international and security policy … has as its primary goal the preservation of what we might call "the Fifth Freedom," understood crudely but with a fair degree of accuracy as the freedom to rob, to exploit and to dominate, to undertake any course of action to ensure that existing privilege is protected and advanced"_Noam Chomsky

A trend for agnosticism is emerging in many countries. People like Thomas Jefferson say, "Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear."

In the developing world, however, people do not deny existence of God and divine beings, but religious obligations are generally neglected. Secret doubts about existence of God lurk in the minds of many except when in adversity they pray to God or Goddesses for help and fulfilling their wishes. That helps them to cope with stress and strain and to find solution for their problems.

Shah N. Khan

Since they don't have missiles, artillery brigades, tanks and air force, they use gorillas and suicide bombers. William Blum in his book defines a Terrorist as: "A person who has the bomb but does not have the air force."