"There is no use in giving concessions. The more you concede, the more generous you are, the more it is seen as weakness and they will attack you again to get more concessions." - former Muslim extremist "Tawfik Hamid"
The recent bombings in Egypt echoed the attacks that have taken place in the United States, Britain, Spain, Iraq, Israel and elsewhere at the hands of Islamic terrorists. With each new act of horror and destruction we are faced with a series of heart-wrenching questions: Why do terrorists target vacationing families and commuters on their way to work? What is their motivation? What can be done to stop them?
After September 11, 2001 a number of persons spoke out and blamed the terror attacks on America's foreign policy. America was attacked because of its support for Israel, they said. On July 7, 2005, four suicide bombers succeeded in killing dozens of people in London, and Britain's foreign policy was blamed. Britain was attacked because of its support of America in Iraq, they said. This weekend, hundreds of people were killed and injured in Egypt. Why Egypt? What did they do wrong?
The answer is simple, but nonetheless chilling. The 88 people who died in Sharm el-Sheikh were tourists and unwitting Egyptians, not politicians or soldiers. They were murdered by men who believed that blowing up Westerners would further their cause. It is a cause for which these men were willing to take the lives of hundreds of innocent Russian school children, to blow up unsuspecting Spanish commuters on their way to work, and to murder old men and nursing mothers.
We long to understand what motivates terrorists. We believe that if we understood their reasons, we could fix the problem and ensure peace. This logic argues that if September 11 was a direct result of America's foreign policy, then America should change its policy. The people of Spain used this logic after ten bombs ripped apart commuter trains in Madrid on March 11, 2004. The bombings, they reasoned, were due to their participation Operation Iraqi Freedom, and so they voted in a new Prime Minister who would pull Spanish troops from Iraq.
History has shown, however, that appeasement never satisfies terrorists. More often that not it encourages more terrorism, because the men behind the bombs see that terrorist tactics bring results. French President Francois Mitterrand offered a friendly hand to the leaders of terrorism in the 1980s, including Yasser Arafat, Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, and Iran's Khomeini. Yet, for all Mitterrand's willingness to address the terrorists' alleged grievances, Paris department stores and restaurants were bombed by Iranian Lebanese extremists in 1986.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair stated recently that he would not allow terrorist tactics to dictate British policy: "Let us expose the obscenity of these people saying it is concern for Iraq that drives them to terrorism. If it is concern for Iraq then why are they driving a car bomb into the middle of a group of children and killing them?"
To fight terror, Blair argued, the world would have to confront the very ideology of the terrorists. "11 September for me was a wake up call. Do you know what I think the problem is? That a lot of the world woke up for a short time and then turned over and went back to sleep again."
The cause of Islamic terrorism is not the quest for social justice. It is not freedom for a specific group of subjugated people. The goal of Islamic terrorism - ultimately - is to bring the whole world into subjection to their version of fundamentalist Islam. No amount of appeasement will stop them. They do not want peace unless it comes with the world's submission to Islam. That is why they hate Israel. It is a Jewish state in the middle of an otherwise Muslim-dominated part of the world. That is why they punish Muslim states that are moderately friendly to Westerners - like Egypt. They are at war with the non-Islamic world.
"Fight and slay the pagans (infidels) wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war." - Quran, Sura 9:5
Ultimately, the war with terror is a religious battle. More importantly, it is a spiritual battle. The souls of millions of people, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, are at stake. Only by prayer and reaching out in the love of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit will these people come to know the Prince of Peace. It is at the feet of the One True God that they may find the hope of eternal life.