Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin

Ladies and gentlemen, the nation’s top terrorist hunter, Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin:

During a January church speech in Daytona, Fla., Boykin recalled a Muslim fighter in Somalia who bragged on television the Americans would never get him because his God, Allah, would protect him: “Well, you know what I knew, that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol.”

The Somali was captured, and Boykin said he told the man: “Mr. Atto, you underestimated our God.”

In a phone conversation, Boykin tells NBC he respects Muslims and believes the radicals who attack America are “not true followers of Islam.”

Boykin also routinely tells audiences that God, not the voters, chose President Bush: “Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. Why is he there? And I tell you this morning that he’s in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this.”

46 thoughts on “Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin”

  1. If more of the military had this understanding we would not be in a mess in Iraq. GEN Boykin understands the culture.

  2. He is certainly not a wise man, but some of what he says is based in fact. Radical Muslims hate us because we are not Muslim. They want to draw the world into an religious war. Unfortunately, General Boykin enjoys baiting them.

    If the terrorists insist on killing us for religious reasons, then let us conduct a war to defend Freedom and Reason. To mug a phrase from another controversial (and also deeply religious) general, let those other poor dumb bastards die for their imaginary friend.

  3. And we wonder why the rest of the world mistrusts (at best) or hates us? This guy is a bigoted jerk; he has no business representing the interests of the US in any context whatsoever. This is NOT a Christian nation, at least not to the founders, the framers of the Constitution, or tens of millions of us non-Christians. This guy Boykin hurts the interests of the US very badly – he is a major liability, not an asset to the struggle against terrorism. Any Secretary of Defense or Chair of the Joint Chiefs would fire the guy for these bigoted comments out of hand. I guess the Rumsfeld and Meyers agree with him – maybe they are bigots too?

  4. Glenn above states “…but some of what he says is based in fact. Radical Muslims hate us because we are not Muslim.” I must disagree.

    First, the US was attacked NOT because *some* of us are Christians. Rather, the US was attacked because our foreign policy kills many people…lately many of which are Muslims. As well as the hypocrisy of our stance…we armed and support both bin Laden and Hussein just a short while ago. They committed atrocities then but it was in our ‘interest’. As soon as it was not, they became enemies that must be destroyed.

    Second, the people you say hate Americans in fact do not…they hate US foreign policy. There’s a huge distinction there and people over here never can understand that.

    Finally, Boykin’s statements that Muslims worship idols is not only completely wrong but completely sacrilegious to Muslims around the world.

    This man has no right to be in a position of authority with such deep rooted prejudices and misconceptions. To top everything off, he believes Bush was put in the White House by God…now that’s a truly scary thought!


  5. I am an Egyptian green card holder who will soon become an american citizen.I lived 35 years in Egypt where I was shot by the Islamic Jihad whose leader is Alzawahry (Second man in Alkaeeda)and whose terrorists are still the back bone of the group.
    Let me first tell Lt. Gen. William Boykin that not only do I admire your piculiar integrity but I am praying for you among many others for sure.
    The problem of the americans who attack the general is simply this “they are theoratical”, they have never have a first hand experience with Islamic Mojahideen.This in particular is the reason I insist that the general is accurate in everything he said.
    The text in both religions support what he said.
    Yes every war a cristian has to face is not against flesh and blood but aginst the kingdom of Satan.The text in Islam too is calling every moslem to constantly prepare what he cn afford of strength & power to “Terrorise” the “enemies of Allah” (a term that includes christians and jews).The truth is Bin Laden is a true moslem and the media stars are politicians who sold their lies to those who do not know and stay on their seats but attack those who are in the battle field.
    My advise to the attackers of the General read the bible and the koraan and decide for you selves. DO NOT READ ABOUT THEM.

  6. I would like to tell this Egyptian green card holder that I have read the bible, the Koraan and the old testament and some of the sayings of Talmud. I am a Druze (Non-Muslim and Non-Cristian). All organized religion is bad when it uses the name of God to kill thousands. Cristians have done it, Jews have done it and Muslim do it too and If Druze was a big I am sure they would have done it too.
    Gn Boykin is no different than Bin Laden, Bush and Rumsfiel are no different than Bin Laden, Sharon or Hitler. The comments that this general makes are word that Satan wouldn’t say.
    For your information too, Allah is only the arabic translation of God. It doesn’t mean that is a different God. If you had and Gen Boykin were not so blindly ignorant, you would not use that analogy. It saddens me that such people like Gen Boykin and Bush have power to lead such a great nation, USA.
    God bless US and the people who are not ignorant and blinded by hatered.

  7. I like the comments of Mr Boykin. He seems to realize that some, maybe the majority, of Islam are people who strive to be good. He seems to take the Bible seriously and to realize that, in the end, we war not against flesh and blood. The comments of Wahid Einashfan are also encouraging.

  8. I hope the Dorzi guy tell us how many Dorzi did moslems kill in Lebanon.
    Is it true that they are hundreds of thausands or am I “ignorent” too?
    It seems to me he/she considers everone who does not know things the way he/she wants them to know them is ignorent.

  9. Z my friend:
    Whom do you think will I believe?
    Bin Laden just after 9/11 (as soon as Bush asked Molla Omarto turn him in)addressed the whole Islamic world calling them to “Jihad” against the CHRISTIANS and Zionists (jews).
    Most of the islamic world still beleive that the Mosad and the jews were responsible for the WTC distruction.
    Do you think we can buy what you say?

  10. Anti Z,

    So, one well financed person (bin Laden) makes a statement and you think that he represents the estimated 1.2 billion Muslims throughout the world?

    Who cares what bin Laden said after 9-11…he hates the US and will manipulate whatever he can to further his goals. This includes trying to flame the fear Americans have of other cultures. Can’t you see this furthers his end? Don’t fall prey to his petty rhetoric.

    While bin Laden may be a Muslim, he’s a radical militant and that’s what really matters. There are millions of extremist militants throughout the world of all religions. Take the folks in Wako…and some of the Latin American monsters the US has trained at the School of the Americas.

    If you still think bin Laden’s defining characteristic is his purported religion (purported because he is obviously not a true follower of Islam), here are a few excerpts from a BBC article in March 2003 on who is bin Laden ( ):

    “…the young Bin Laden was religious but not especially so.”
    “…he joined the fighting against the Soviets (in Afghanistan).”
    “…was backed with American dollars and had the blessing of the governments of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.”
    “Instead, half a million US soldiers were invited onto Saudi soil – a historic betrayal in Bin Laden’s eyes.”

    and the rest is history. He feels Saudi Arabia and the US turned their back on him…and he’ll do whatever it takes to get even.

    We must put aside our unfounded fears of others and not allow the demagogues running our country (or the bin Laden’s of the world) to manipulate our fears to control us…or bomb others!


  11. Z my friend
    For the second time my friend:
    Whom shall we believe? Is it true that bin Laden is the only Moslem or even one of a few who have those “feelings” against non Moslems (specially Americans)
    (1)The Moslem FBI agent who forced his superiors to accept the fact that he can spy and gather information on anyone as long as he/she is NOT A MOSLEM.
    (2)The Moslem soldier who threw a grenade on his colleagues (by random)in Kuwait just because they were not Moslems or may be because they were following orders he did not like.
    (3)Very well paid two Moslem interpreters and a Moslem preacher in the Naval Base Guantanamo Bay who are accused of espionage and co-operating with enemies and downloading classified information.
    Those are few examples in US. Do you need more to believe that bin Laden is the legitimate son of the culture of hate and discrimination that is dominant among the 1.2 billion Moslems.

  12. AntiZ,

    In short, yes…it would take *much* more. 3…or even 50 examples have 0 relevance when looking at billions of people.

    Should I start listing white people who have committed atrocities in order to convince you that they (any white male) are the ‘legitimate sons of the culture of hate and discrimination that is dominant among the hundred of millions of whites?’

    It would be quite simple to do…Hitler, Benito Mussolini, David Koresh, Timothy McVeigh, etc. Ten of millions of people have been killed by these few individuals…that’s tens of millions more than bin Laden.

    So, if you are going to believe that bin Laden is the leader of the Muslim world and that they all (not just bin Laden a few hundred followers) are intent on killing all American Christians, please don’t by hypocritical…embrace the legacy of hate leadership I only begun to list above.


  13. to Z and Anti Z,

    You both strike me as intelligent and moderately well-read commentators on this subject. I use “moderately well read” not as a insult, but because it seems that each of you is informed by the dominant discourses (pro-Bush strategy, anti-Bush strategy) in the press today. That’s a good start, but you need to go beyond that to understand what is happening. First of all, I suggest you track down and read Emmanuel Sivan’s “Radical Islam: Medieval Theology and Modern Politics.” It was written in 1985, but it hits the mark.

    I am more sympathetic to Z than Anti Z, and I suspect that Z will be more likely to find the Sivan book because Anti Z doesn’t want to address information that does not support his claims. Basically, Anti Z, I think you’re an intelligent, moderately well-read bigot (which is a hell of a lot better than a stupid, unread bigot because well presented opposing views are necessary for debate). But you need to get past this Islamophobia. They do not hate us because we are Americans, or because we are powerful—but they very much do hate us for what we do AS Americans and what we do WITH our power. If we continue along the present course, the gulf will become unbridgeable. But if we change course, you cannot expect their attitudes to change overnight. It will take a generation or two (yes, that is 30 to 50 years) and I doubt you are the kind who can sit and wait around seeing as we could kill most of them in 45 minutes if we decided to.

    Okay, Z—while I like your basic position, I would like you to read more and find better arguments to support it. Few people hate anybody just for who they are; but a lot of people hate others because of what the THINK those others will do. And a lot of conservative Muslims (not radical, just conservative) have a basic problem with how we structure our society. What we see as temporary social ills that accompany progress (teenage pregnancy, unwed mothers, drug addiction, economic stratification), many conservative Muslims see as endemic failings of a flawed system—and as a side-note, this is not just random disapproval, but these social ills were precisely the same kinds of problems that were plaguing the urbanized Bedouin tribes in Mecca and Medina in the early 600s and that Islam focused on eliminating. Now, our flawed system wouldn’t bother them so much if it weren’t creeping into their culture through TV, movies, music, and most importantly, though leaders that use these tools to promote “secularism”, which is not much more than an attempt to weaken the old order and consolidate their power.

    Yes, our foreign policy supports these leaders, but it is our soft power that is the real threat. Conservative Muslims are not afraid that if we attack them, all their children will rush to join our army against them; but that if they watch enough of our TV shows, they will become, well, crack-smoking pimp daddys. And don’t forget the intrusive economic policies of the World Bank and IMF, two institutions that could be great supports for economic growth, but are so wrapped up in their own corporate cultures that they couldn’t help me balance my checkbook. (read Joseph Stiglitz’s “Globalism and its Discontents”)

    What I am trying to get at is that conservative Muslims DO have a serious problem with us and our culture. It goes against everything they were taught. So when we do attempt to bridge the gulf, we have to expect distrust in return. The west has had its foot on the neck of the Islamic world for the last 200 years, and has been talking about doing it for more than a millennium, so why should they trust us. Also critically important, we need to know what to respect and accept in their culture as we try to bridge the gulf. This means understanding what they deem very important (even if we think it old-fashioned or trivial) and trying to identify what they see as flaws in THEIR system that we might be able to help them with in non-intrusive ways. This will cost us money, but that is our job as the “unipolar power” and we need to step up. But if we go in there handing out copies of Adam Smith, John Locke and Dr. Phil, they are going to try to kick us out again.

    I hope this makes sense, sorry about the length.

  14. inbetween Z and anti Z (now that just sounds funny),

    Sometimes I respond directly to people and miss important points that ought to be discussed about a particular issue. Thanks for looking at the bigger picture,

    I do agree with you that many Muslims have issues with our culture. To expand that, many devout Catholics (I mention that group due to familial experience) have significant issues with American culture. My intention with the above posts was to (hopefully) help people understand that Muslims (as a whole) do not want to kill Americans (as Boykin’s sweeping generalization stated). Some may…most would never even think that…just like most Catholics…most are fine…but there are a few that scare the heck out of me.

    Personal experience is also so important. I’m amazed at the generalizations people will make without any personal experience. In this case, perhaps it means more reading around the history, issues, etc. Or, even better, spending time with a Muslim. This would make all the difference in the world, imho.

    I’ll add the suggested book to the list…now I just have to figure out how I’ll ever find the time! 🙂

  15. inbetween
    Few remarks my friend(with the intenetion of communication not argument):
    Your accusition to me was “Anti Z doesn’t want to address information that does not support his claims. ”
    My comment “this is very true because of a very simple fact:
    *in a debate every party adopt a certain view and defend it and this enriches everyone who reads both sides
    and a more contraversial opinion:
    *The american media is very much biased when it comes to its petro-interests except when Isreal is a party
    and thirdly is the systematic:
    *Islamic brain washing that intoduces a very selective Islam or “Islam as you like it” to each segmant of every society jumping above any contraversial text in Koraan or Sonna (everything recorded as said, done, or approved by the prophit of Islam)as long as the barrier of learning the difficult Arabic language exists and the memory of everyone can remember that much.
    Thank you for not denying the facts and disagreeing only about the weight of the number of the examples.
    I still disagree with you without any fear of being put in your black list (though I am Not white).I still believe that if a free elections happen in Pakistan for instance The Saudi Bin Laden will win against Mosharaf, Boto, or anyone else because of the very closed culture of hate and discrimination that is dominant there.
    Do you know the number of babies who were named Usama in Pakistan? Is that not a popular poll?

  16. Listn Anti Z.
    As I read your comments, I understand – you are anti Islamic. But believ me, this people that you refer as expample of islam or muslim people. Believe me they are not. The Usama Bin Laden is also hated by most of the muslim people.

  17. I personally have known Lt Gen Boykin since he was a young captain — he is of unquestionable character, integrity and absolutely dedicated to our country and would never knowingly make a statement that would intentionally lack respect for others. This man is a true hero! The Press and the “politicians” need to get a grip on reality!! Get over it — we in this country need to care about our own for a change instead of worrying about upsetting the “apple cart” elsewhere. This is an unfortunate “politically correct” mistake — who hasn’t made one — here and abroad. Jerry Boykin knows the terrorists history from the beginning — he is a true professional in every sense of the word. Leave him alone and get on with more important items to deal with in our government — why is it someone always has to get the upper hand!! Jerry — if you read this — God Bless you!!!!

  18. I understand Z. One has only so much room to get a point accross on these discussion boards.

    While most of the Muslims in the world do not hate us, that can still change–that’s all I am saying. We are creating the security problem that we fear. And we have done sufficient damage to our relationship with the Muslim world that it will take a prolonged, consistent, and authentic diplomatic effort to diffuse the problem.

    If you come along any good reads, forward them along to me as well. I will try to fit them in.

    MaH (this name is easier, yes?)

  19. Jack
    You are not a judge brother to say a verdict that everyone must accept. Even judges are to write the reasons of their verdicts.
    I gave very clear and known examples to support every word I said, why don’t you kindly write something other than verdicts so that the other readers will benefit from our dialogue?
    By the way:
    Do you know why does the Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia refuse allowing the hundreds of thousands of Christians working there to worship or build any church in this great country? Is that the kind of “love” you believe in?

  20. Hey Anti-Z

    The Saudis are their own flavor of Islam (Wahhabism after ibn Wahhab who started it, or Salafi as they call themselves). Up until about 10 years ago, a Wahhabi was something one Muslim called another if he wanted to start a fight. Times have changed, and this is where I do agree with you to some extent. Wahhabism is becoming popular in the Islamic world, and this is the conservative envelope in which radicals can find shelter and support. What I don’t think you really get is that the rise of this conservatism and anti-Western, anti-American sentiment has some basis in real political and economic circumstances.

    The west didn’t go after the Muslims in the 18th and 19th centuries because they dressed funny, but because for the last 1000 years, some Islamic state or a number of others were running the world economy. In order to rise, the west had to take them down. Okay, that’s not too unusual, but the last 200 years since we gained a great economic and political advantage, we have been putting the wood to them. This is what gets them angry. Worst of all, we put the wood to them in the name of saving them–not just religiously, but by “improving” their political and economic systems without really understanding what we were playing with. Some of it was malicious, some of it was just callous and underinformed. But we have to reverse the process, and we won’t do it with Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz or Boykin barking all the time.

    By the way, just to save time, you can skip defining the technical terms for me. I am familiar with Qur’an, hadith, sunna, taqlid, ijtihad, qiyas, jihad (al-nafs and asghar) shirk, bid’a, etc.

  21. Dear Penny Floyd

    I personally do not want to contest that Gen. Boykin is a good man. He has accomplished far too much to be the raving idiot the press is trying to make him out to be. But the point is, unless you want to declare war on 1.5 billion people globally and over 50 Islamic nations, you need to show a little more caution about what you say publically–even if it is with people who agree with you.


  22. I am a Jordanian , phd student in US

    I think these posts and many discussion boards proof that the majority of US citizens are parrots, I got my bachelor and master in Europe and when u discuss such issues with any Europian u will see what does it means that it took thousands years of conflict between islam in middle east and christianity in Europe til we came both to a level of mutual understanding just like the mutual understanding that is existed between arabs – muslims and christians – both respect each others – as is – and dont say rude, idiot, stupid remarks like those Mr General said that proof that he is another cowboy, nothing more , it does not affect islam or christianity, 2 relegions has been there for centries and does not need supporting opinions to make them there

  23. I thought that the people on the “left” are for freedom of speech. Why is it that you people always push for freedom of speech until it is something that you disagree with, or is politically incorrect? I admire this General for not being afraid to say his opinions. These people who try to say that our country was not founded on Christian principles are proof of the poor state of our education system. We are in a battle against evil, and I thank God that he has given us leaders like President Bush, and Gen. Boykin. I only hope that they don’t cave to this political correctness that is exactly what these evil terrorists would love to see. If given a choice i’m sure they would rather face a spineless wimp than a Hero such as Boykin.



  24. Richard

    Just because I don’t agree with what Gen. Boykin says, and don’t think it is prudent for a person in his position to say things that will incite more tensions and conflict, does not mean that I am infringing on his first amendment rights. I didn’t say lock the guy up, I didn’t even say he should lose his job (although many do). I just would like to see a bit of decorum from our officials. And since when did the “right” come to see the first amendment as a guarantee against criticism.

    I agree Richard, we are in a fight against evil. I have absolutely no problem with that statement. However, I hope you can see that the evil is not all on their side and the good all on ours–it’s those statements that frighten me. Both sides of the fence contain good and evil. It is the responsibility of both sides to root out their own evil, and to support those who are good on the other side of the fence to do the same thing.

    Personally I don’t see this as a fight between Christians and Muslims, but between the tolerant and the bigots. First look within yourself before you start casting stones.


  25. Inbetween
    I am more convinced now that you are not inbetween at all.You are more Z than Z himself.
    Now help me understand:
    you and Z you are trying to convince us (and I am repeating your words) that:
    (1)Bin Laden “and his few hundred followers” are not Moslems (or true Moslems).
    (2)Saudis have a flavor or version of Islam “the Salafey or Wahhaby” that is considered an insult among other Moslems.
    (3)Denying the hundreds of thousands of Christians in Saudi Arabia the right to worship or have a church in this huge country is just something the “bad” Wahabbi Salafi guys did and not Moslems.
    (4)Even if I mention 50 examples of actual hate (or acts of hate) & descrimination (committed by Moslems) this does not represent Islam.

    Tell me please are you the only two “true” Moslems in the world?
    Did I not say before that the Islamic culture is about fabricating a selective Islam “An Islam as you like it” for every culture jumping above and fully ignoring all the acts, facts and scriptures that do not please the targeted receivers.

    Face the truth brothers do not sell us an Islam made in your imaginations that has nothing to do with the reality on the ground.
    A good beginning is to reply to the facts I mentioned above instead of evaluating someone you will never know his identity

  26. Lt. Gen. Boykin is scripturally correct on all major points that are in question. Great job to the General!! Sorry, but Allah is not God. Especilly, the God of Israel, Abba |father, Father of Jesus Christ. The Bible also says that
    all positions of authority are appointed by God.

    We need to continue to suport Boykin, Bush, and Israel! Check your Bible and the Koran.Read Unvailing Islam by Kaner.

    My prayers are with all of you , especially, the non-Christians……………Tim

  27. Actually, Timothy, Boykin has apologized for and modified some of what he said. Here’s a quote from the article: ‘After a 1993 battle with Osman Otto, a Muslim warlord in Somalia, Boykin said: “I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol.” After Otto’s capture, Boykin has said he told Otto, “You underestimated our God.” Boykin’s statement said the comment was misinterpreted, that he spoke of Otto’s “worship of money and power; idolatry,” not of his religion. “He was a corrupt man, not a follower of Islam,” Boykin said.’

    He’s still claiming that the fight against terrorism is a “spiritual” one. I can’t find the full statement, unfortunately.

    Here are the articles:

  28. Wow, Anti-Z

    You obviously are reading a lot into what I say. Most impressive is that you even disagree with me on the points we agree on…spectacular.

    Okay. Let me address your points directly.

    1) I am not going to judge if bin Laden and Islamic radicals are true Muslims. For one thing, it is not my place (I’m not Muslim). Second, the debate over who is a true Muslim is one of the most complex issues you can imagine. That is exactly the internal war raging in Islam today.

    2) Over the past 200 years, the Wahhabis have been held in contempt by most Muslims. Understand that in the late 18th century, the Wahhabis stormed Mecca and tried to tell the majority of the world’s Muslims that they were not pure enough, using violence to back their words. No, they were not liked. My point is that in the current religious and political context, even Wahhabism is seen as a viable option because so many other options for reform or resistance are being closed off, and the reason reform and resistance are necessary is because they fear for their very existence as a community, and even as individuals.

    3) When Islam becomes radicalized, it will attack non-Muslims and non-Muslim places of worship around them. Islam became radicalized in Saudi Arabia about 200 years ago–the vigor has waxed and waned. Right now is a high tide of radicalism. I think what they are doing is wrong, very wrong. Most wrong because it is state supported, and that is a real problem that this administration refuses to address (at least until we open up other reliable sources of oil).

    4) You are not trying to “represent” Islam, you are trying to essentialize Islam, and no amount of examples justifies essentializing a tradition as broad as Islam. Yes, Islam is becoming more violent in many places. And I believe the conservative Islamic is expanding, and that more conservatives are radicalizing. It’s a bad thing. ALL I AM SAYING IS THAT THREATENING TO BLOW THEM UP IS NOT GOING TO SETTLE THINGS DOWN. UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO KILL 1.5 BILLION PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE MUSLIM, YOUR COMBATIVE APPROACH WILL FAIL. AND IF YOU DO WANT TO KILL 1.5 BILLION PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE MUSLIM, EVEN JESUS CANNOT SAVE YOUR PITIFUL SOUL.

    Am I clear now? You are a hate driven, empty, flawed and bitter creature, and I hope something wonderful happens to fill you with hope and love again.


  29. Z & Inbetween
    Originally committed Christians represented by Boykin were accused of…. (Read all the above notes).
    In an effort to put balance to the picture I just showed by examples that neither Boykin & Christians are “wolves” as some would like to believe nor Moslems are “lambs”.
    I did claim and I still do that there is a humongous amount of hate and discriminations in the “normal”, “street men” Moslems hearts against Christians in particular and westerns in general
    because of a constant/systematic brain wash from a very hateful and deceitful media, education and religious doctrines (not only the Wahhabbies & examples are available).
    I also touched a minor example of the situation and treatment of non-Christians in the country that claims to apply the Islamic Laws to the letter (Saudi Arabia does not allow non Moslems to worship or build a place of worship).
    I am asking the “truth seekers” among the readers to read all what I wrote and find for themselves:

    -Did I essentialize Moslems?
    What did I say?

    -Did I ever speak or agree to the use any level of violence against Moslems?
    What did I say?

    It is easy to use the tactic of “Attack, it is the best way to defend yourself”.

    The hard thing is to deal with the reality as it is to help your community and the world to have less suffering due to the vicious circle of violence and counter violence.


  30. Anti-Z

    You and I have one fundamental disagreement from which many of the others flow. You believe Muslims are angry because they are being brainwashed by their media, education and religion to hate Christians and the West. I disagree with that point. I think the Islamic world has justification for being angry at the west.

    I think it is primarily an economic problem that impacts their spiritual wellbeing. This is agravated by the Saudis who 1)are the most radical Muslims and 2)have the most money while the other 3/4 of the Islamic world is poor. This gives their radical message an aire of legitimacy.

    We both agree that Muslims should stop their violence. But because of the first disagreement, we see the solution differently. I think the west has to put aside its greed and help the entire developing world (not just the Muslims) become economically viable, even if it costs us some control of the world economy. This will decrease the legitimacy of the Saudis. I think your answer, while not violent, probably involves deciding their religion is wrong and joining another (I’m guessing Christianity).

    (If you haven’t noticed, Bolivia is full of angry Christians who think the advanced western nations are screwing up their economy too.)

    I’m also guessing I know more about Islam than you do. I don’t mean that as an insult. You see, I’m doing a PhD on Islamic reform in one of the best universities in America. I work in an organization that deals with security issues in accross Asia. I have lived in Islamic countries.

    I am also a deeply spiritual person who does not dismiss the idea of religious truth, I just don’t believe that any community has a monopoly over it. And don’t quote me “I am the way, the truth and the light, no one will reach the father except through me.” These words were not uttered to breed hate, but to inspire one to love and aid and nourish and forgive and strive hand in hand with your fellow man.

    I don’t want to attack you, Anti-Z. Please put away the fear and hate.

    Thank you

  31. Inbetween
    Now we agree brother.
    It is very true that I firmly believe that the economic justification of the “anger” of moslems is a minor reason compared to education, media and poisoned Islamic doctrines of hate and descrimination.
    Back to examples:
    (1)Alzawahry is the son of

  32. The rest of the above posting:
    Back to examples:
    (1)Alzawahry is the son of a wealthy moslem family. His grandfather was the Highest Azhar Sheikh some decades ago.His uncle and himself are very successful medical doctors and just before he joined forces with Bin Laden he worked for a very high salary in Kuwait.
    (2)If you just read what I wrote above about the very well paid Arabic interpreters and the Islamic Imam arrested in the American base in Kuba and accused as spies you might accept the fact that this is not a money problem.
    (3)If I remember 12 Saudis were among 14 who destroyed WTC

  33. More examples:
    (4)Bin Laden himself is the son of one of the wealthiest Saudi families that should be known to anyone who makes business with the kingdom + the 3 billion and a change the CIA gave him in the early eighties to fight Soviets.
    (5)Among Alkaeeda operatives are kuwaitis, yamenies,americans, canadians, british, french, germans, danish,australians…

  34. My point is:
    This concept is preached by some of the Arab communists who adopted the Islamic cause 2 decades ago when they lost hope that they may ever reach power as communists in Isamic countries (Adel Hussien is one of many examples).
    I fully agree that the greed of the west as a whole with many starving countries (Islamic or not)will surely lead to more catastrophies but this is surely not a mjor or important cause to explain the Islamic hate and descrimination.
    your last sharing was very good.I hope you keep telling us more of those great ideas though we might disagree.

  35. Thank you, Anti-Z

    Sorry to come down so hard on you in earlier posts. Arguments may start loudly and harshly, and then settle into a true debate. Still, some of my comments were over the top.

    I do want to address your comments about the rich Saudis, because it is a good point, although I think I can defend my position. There are a couple arguments that underlie my understanding of the situation that I want to make explicit.

    1) Revolutions are brought about not by the poor, but by declining elites (or middle classes, though not applicable in this case) who have something to lose by the continuation of the present order. They are the ones who have the resources and connections for the movement to endure, and not be a short rebellion.

    2) The poor get pulled into the revolution because they have little to lose and much to gain, especially whey you dangle martyrdom (and the easy path to heaven it entails) in front of them. However the poor are crucially important to a revolution because A) they supply the manpower (rich people usually don’t want to die) and B) because they provide the connection between these aloof, angry, rich people who hate the larger society so much that they want to destroy it, and the common men and women who’s lives the revolution will effect.

    The Saudis have become powerful in the Islamic world for two reasons, they have oil ($), and they have used this money (and the legitimacy of having control over Mecca and Medina) to export religious revival throughout the Islamic world. This is their soft power, and it is very important because their military couldn’t beat Duke in a football game. If states around them secularize, then their soft power may be greatly reduced (especially if they are anti-religous secular states like Nasser’s Egypt in the 50s and 60s, whose religious pogroms sparked the whole militant Sunni Islamic thing). This is why some rich Saudis fear they have something to lose if western culture and governance are adopted, because they are bankrolling the revival. I think they are mistaken, and that a secular state doesn’t need to be anti-religious, but I have grown up in a religiously tolerant system, whereas they have not (and I don’t mean Islam but Nasserism and the less agressively secularist regimes that have followed).

    The poor in Saudi Arabia (and Egypt and Palestine and Syria and Iraq–the audience bin Laden is playing to) tend to be religiously conservative and angry at the west. This is the group that I see as pivotal. You will never be able to stop the bin Ladens of the world from wanting to do us harm. But you can cut off their manpower and legitimacy. The terrorists that pulled off the 9/11 attacks were well-off western educated Arabs, I know. But the likelyhood of them becoming as radicalized as they did without a throng of less well-off, less well-educated folks cheering them on and giving them encouragement in their moments of doubt is greatly reduced. One is simply not a martyr if not recognized as one; then it is just suicide.

    This is why the economic angle , and to Z’s credit the foreign policy angle too, is so important. We cannot change what the the Islamic street is taught, but we can help to make that teaching seem rediculous. If we can help Iraq become prosperous, and do so without eliminating Islamic beliefs, practices, and–yes–values (basic Islamic values are quite similar to basic Christian values, and I would like to talk about with you in the future–I think we could both learn from that conversation), then Osama bin Laden starts sounding foolish.

    As I said before, it will take a couple generations at least for things to change. It has taken a while for the problems to develop and progress in stages, it will take time for it to roll back. But we should start now, not because it is getting late, but because it is never to early to do the right thing.

    By the way, the progression of the problem is not centuries old. the progession in short hand looks something like this:

    1) treaty of Versailles after WW I refuses to acknowlege Arab self rule despite their participation in the Turkish campaigns. The British then grant the land promised to the Arabs during the war to the Zionists in a surprise move. The British try to make up for by establishing Iraq, but when the Arabs protest the French and British bomb Damascus and Baghdad. STRIKE ONE.
    2) Nasser comes to power in Egypt through a military coup and starts rounding up members of the Muslim Brothers, an organization of Islamic preachers who are providing the poor with food, medicine, books etc. The British want to remove Nasser, but the US vetos the invasion in the security council (sound familiar?). The arrested Muslim Brothers rot in jail for a decade or so and come out hardened revolutionaries. STRIKE TWO!
    3) Six days war against Israel, and the beginning of US support for anything Isreael does. STRIKE THREE!!

    Everything after that (OPEC, the Great Satan, Saddam Husein and the 1st Gulf War) result from these three issues–that’s way oversimplified.

    Again sorry for the length. I hope to hear from you soon, Anti-Z.



  36. Inbetween
    Let me thank you first and praise your humility and assure you that I do not take anything personal.
    To be perfectly honest my friend your last reply confirmed what I said ” that the economic factor is a minor factor to explain or justify the Islamic violence” and I do not need to repeat my examples though this is a major point you brought up in this discussion.
    I also want to agree with you about those major 3 events but add to them the birth of the state of Isreal in 1948 that justified (to the radical moslems)the existance of a religous Islamic war machine to confront “the Jewish State”.
    I also want to go back to the issue that began this discussion:
    The Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin’s case is one that will take a long time to be forgotten because it is like the X rays that will reveal where everyone stands.I think I firmly stand with him (as a brother) because
    (1)He firmly stood with/on the foundation of my faith “The word”/The bible.
    (2)Like Mr. Aschcroft he reflected very sincere & honest opinions that could be proved right both from the secular and the spiritual point of view.
    (3)They want him to be the sacrifice of those who are more aggressive physically yet very politically correct in front of the microphones.
    (4)They used dirty tactics such as getting sentences out of its context and ommitting too much of what he said initially or as an answer to his critics.

  37. Anti-Z,

    I think at this point we can agree to respectfully disagree on the economic approach to solving the larger problem.

    As for Gen. Boykin’s comments–as a public figure you must be careful what you say, but I think he has been raked over the coals more than enough. I personally would rather have people express their positions than keep them hidden. Boykin is not alone in his views, as you and others have shown.

    I think what scares the “left” is that he is stating out loud what we fear is being whispered about at the top. We on the left do not want a war against Islam, or even a “war against terror” that is so vaguely defined. So the left reacts with outrage at public statements that suggest that our worst fears are coming true.

    I am willing to bet that Gen. Boykin is not committed to eradicating all Muslims, and the left is not gaining much by claiming that is what he said. He may not even dislike Muslims particularly, but as an aspect of his faith and belief, he must state that his religion (thus, God) is better than the Muslims. No one can fault him for stating his beliefs.

    At the risk of sounding un-Christian (which is a risk I have taken my whole life), I don’t think that Allah is a false god. Not because Islam claims the same spiritual heritage through Abraham, but because I am unwilling to believe that there is only one path to salvation (liberation, enlightenment, etc). To many, that makes me a bad Christian, and after much time spent thinking (and praying) I am willing to accept the criticism.

    My disagreement with WHAT Boykin says is personal, and I have no position to criticize him for not agreeing with what I choose to believe. My disagreement with HOW he said it (in public) has a bit more validity, but certainly not enough to demand he stop.

    Take care

  38. General Boykin is a true combat hero who has spent the better part of the past 25 years personally fighting the war which America has been fighting since at least the time of the hostage taking in Tehran in 1979. On 9/11 the scale of this war escalated, bringing a back burner event into the forefront of the national consciousness. General Boykin has been on the front lines of every major engagement, from the failed hostage rescue attempt in 1979, leading the famed Black Hawk Down raid in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993 and now he has received his third star and is leading the intelligence effort in the Pentagon to hunt down and find Osama Bin Laden and his ilk.

    General Boykin is also a devout Christian and his 25 years of experience in this war has led him to the belief that Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and the rest of the temporal players in this war are merely the physical manifestation of a larger sprititual battle discussed in scripture. A battle to which every Christian is called and in shoring up support for that call General Boykin went to churches and prayer meetings asking his fellow Christians to do their part in the spiritual battle while soldiers fight the physical battles. They can do their part as we all can – by keeping the soldiers, our president and each other in our prayers.

    He spoke in terms common to fundamental Christianity. A journalist from the LA Times made his way into one of these prayer meetings with an intent only he knows in his heart. While Gen. Boykins fellow Christians may have left those meetings with a greater understanding of the true nature of the threat we all (Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists alike) face from this nefarious enemy, this reporter left instead with notes he had taken of the Generals talk.

    Instead of releasing these notes, or possibly making a transcript of his full speech available, as they obviously have videos provided by the churches in question to play on the evening news from which transcripts could be taken if they so chose, this reporter chooses to only release the most incendiary quotes he can find. Surely a journalist is well acquainted with the Constitutional provisions of freedom of speech and freedom of worship. They will surely invoke those freedoms when they refuse to release a source who may provide information in this war – in the name of freedom of the press. They understand freedom of speech when one wishes to burn an American flag so I don’t believe they do not understand that the General has every right to speak and worship without governmental molestation. What can be gained by releasing these inflammatory quotes out of context other than inflaming the moderate Muslims whom the Bush administration has been trying to woo to our side in this fight on behalf of freedom loving people everywhere of all religions and races. I don’t dispute this journalists right to write what he pleases – I certainly question his methods and motivations.

    Many Congressmen and Senators have called for General Boykin, a public official, to be removed for his views. A brief quote from Representative Conyer in a letter demanding the Generals resignation or removal to the Bush administration:

    “I am writing to express my extreme displeasure over Lieutenant General William Boykin’s remarks about the war and the Muslim religion. Lt. Gen. Boykin serves as deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence and is charged with heading a Pentagon office that focuses on finding Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and other targets. This is a critical policymaking position, and it is outrageous that someone who holds such extreme, closed-minded, zealous views would be allowed such a prominent position in our military.”

    I would like to bring to the Congressman’s attention Article VI, Section III of the US Constitution, a possibly-soon-to-be-forgotten relic of American history if positions such as this Congressmans are allowed to remain unchallenged:

    3. The senators and representatives before-mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

    Representative Conyers advocation of the Generals removal from the office or public trust of his position in the Pentagon is most definitively a religious test. Read again his objections to the General – is it his ability to perform his job? – no, it is his religious views and the audacity he has shown in speaking them – in a Church, of all places, – that draws his ire.

    The most vocal advocates of removing General Boykin are the most liberal members of our government, most of whom are avowed separationists and should be familiar with the letter of Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists in which the famous phrase “separation of Church and State” is found:

    “Believing … that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”
    — Thomas Jefferson to Danbury Baptists, 1802

    Just in case the limitation of government to reach actions only; and not opinions, a distinction that the Congressman in question and his supporters fail to make, I’ll quote Justice Fields as he elaborates on this same letter in Reynolds v US in 1878:

    “Coming as this [Jefferson’s letter] does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment thus secured. Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order.”

    Notice please, Mr. Conyer, that Congress (psst…that means you) was deprived of power over mere opinion, regardless of how extreme, closed-minded, or even (gasp!) zealous (can you imagine a zealous religious person in office?) they might be.

    As Americans we need to stand behind General Boykins, a true American hero who has carried the banner against terrorism allowing the rest of America for the most part to rest safely in their beds for the past 25 years while this war has been ongoing and fought by men such as he. What we do not need to do is to sacrifice this good man on the altar of political correctness.

    We can and should take this opportunity to demonstrate to the world, including the Muslim community here at home and abroad, that when we claim the United States of America as a bastion of freedom to worship as the individual conscience sees fit, we mean it and our government does not try to ruin the career of a good man for the perceived crime of being “zealous” – I would submit that this country would be much better off if we had many more zealots who would stand up for their beliefs as General Boykin has. Whether we agree or disagree with his beliefs we should stand shoulder to shoulder with him in his fight to hold them.

    God Bless America and the World.

  39. Hello Pete

    Thank you for your post. It is well written and well argued for the point it seeks to make, that the government should have no say in religious matters and that freedom of speech is an unalienable right. These are points that both the left and the right need to pay great attention to.

    It is important for the left not to try to discredit Lt. Gen. Boykin for his religious beliefs, or to claim that one should not speak his or her faith. However, it is equally important for the right not to try to discredit critiques of Boykin as attacks on his civil rights.

    Given that Lt. Gen. Boykin’s position contradicts the official position of the US Government (although likely it does not contradict the personal views of many running the Government), such statements should not be tolerated FROM A MAN IN HIS POSITION. I do not believe he should lose his job. His statement was not made in his official capacity. Boykin is a man with strong beliefs who commited a tactical error by making them public in a disruptive way and at a bad time. But he should have been publically reprimanded by his superiors (Rumsfeld and Pres. Bush).

    This is not an infringement of one’s civil rights, but an issue of tact and professional behavior, both on the part of Boykin and his superiors. How Bush can criticize PM Mahathir Mohamed of Singapore for anti-Semitic comments but not Boykin for anti-Muslim comments escapes me (both should have been criticized).

    My criticism is directed more toward our President who seems to be unwilling or unable to see things in a balanced fashion. He projects tha the same behaviors are good if done by the US or its allies and evil if done by our enemies. This thinking is immature, and the left had hoped our nation had outgrown it. Apparently not.

    I want a better America. And before you say it, I don’t want Clinton back, either. I want our country to move past both of these administrations and to learn how to reach out to the world with genuine respect and concern for their needs. Boykin and Bush seem incapable of this, and this is why the left want them both out.


  40. Talk. Talk. Talk. While it is good to debate, we must remember that words can only spark “reactions”. If we really want a better America, then we must get about the business of fixing our own country. WE have plenty of junk in the front lawn, the back lawn and under the rugs.

    To continue to talk and not “do” anything while our own communties and towns and cities fall further into seperation and dissent between rich and poor, white and black, christian and jew, muslim and jew, christian and muslim, liberals and conservitives, republican and democrat, all undermine what is we are trying to accomplish.

    It is obivious that the Behavioral Modification Doctrines created six thousand years ago are not working. Maybe the incompatible parties should try something new, like SHARING.

    In my opinion, the majority of people don’t notice the chances they have to repent and rejoin the Kingdom of God; therefore they fall victim to various forms of retribution that seem to come from nowhere.

    Just airing my unimportant opinion on this state of affairs we find ourselves in.

    PEACE to you all.

  41. This is actually aimed at the person Jessie who pointed out this is not a christian country.

    You are correct. It is illegal to discrimanate against people for their religous views. That includes this general. He is quite capable of performing his job. To remove him based on his religous views breaks that constitution you are throwing around.

    Yes.. the constitution protects everyone, christian, moslem, jews, druze, atheists, everyone. You can not just choose for who it will work. It does not simply protect the minority. The general does not “represent” the United States. We have elected officials for that. Nor does a general make policy, he enforces policies that our elected officials decide upon.

    Personally, I do not agree with everything this man has said. I will agree that most of the moslems that conduct terrorist attacks are not real moslems. Just as a christian who will kill someone for not being a christian is not truly a christian.

  42. This thread is starting to collect spam (which I’ve deleted) and the discussion seems to have stopped, so I’m closing comments.

  43. Pingback:

Comments are closed.