Islamist Assassinations in the West
Horrific as the first two forms of terrorism are, assassinations are the most terrifying and effective. Whereas the first two can happen to anyone and have the effect of creating a vague dread, the third focuses on a small pool of targets and sends a specific signal to others not to follow in their footsteps. Assassinations intimidate the most and have the gravest consequences.
Terrorism broadly takes two forms: against random individuals who happen to be at a market place or on a bus at the wrong time; or against specific individuals because of who they are. The latter in turn divides into two: against broad categories of people (the military, Jews, people who were eyeglasses) and against specific public figures, either individuals or institutions. In effect, these last are assassinations (defined by Merriam-Webster as "to murder (a usually prominent person) by sudden or secret attack often for political reasons").
Horrific as the first two genres are, assassinations are the most terrifying and effective. Whereas the first two can happen to anyone and have the effect of creating a universal but vague dread, the third focuses on a small pool of targets and sends a specific signal to others not to follow in their footsteps. In general, therefore, assassinations inspire the most consequential fear, intimidate the most, and have the greatest consequences.
Specific Western victims of actual Islamist violence, actual or foiled, have included:
- 1980: Ali Akbar Tabataba'i, Iranian dissident, in the United States*
- 1980: Faisal Zagallai, Libyan dissident, in the United States
- 1990: Rashad Khalifa, Egyptian religious innovator, in the United States*
- 1990: Meir Kahane, Israel politician of American origins, in the United States*
- 1991: Hitoshi Igarashi, Japanese translator of The Satanic Verses*
- 1991: Ettore Capriolo, Italian translator of The Satanic Verses
- 1993: William Nygaard, Norwegian publisher of The Satanic Verses
- 1995: Pope John Paul II (in the Bojinka plot)
- 2003: George W. Bush, U.S. president (by Ahmed Omar Abu Ali)
- 2004: Theo van Gogh, Dutch artist*
- 2008: Martin Rynja, British publisher of The Jewel of Medina
- 2009: Lars Viks, Swedish artist (by Jihad Jane)
- 2010: Kurt Westergaard, Danish cartoonist
- 2010: Lars Vilks, Swedish artist
- 2010: Jyllands-Posten, Danish newspaper
- 2012: Charlie Hebdo, French satiric magazine
- 2013: Lars Hedegaard, Danish historian and political analyst
Notes: (1) * indicates a fatality. (2) Mu'ammar al-Qaddafi, head of the Libyan government, was an Islamist in 1980. (3) I do not list here victims of Muslim but non-Islamist assassinations, such as Malcolm X in 1965. For the record, a Palestinian Christian killed Robert Kennedy in 1968.
(1) Listed by their identity, the victims include 9 connected to culture and the arts, 4 political figures, 2 religious ones, and 1 analyst. Of the 9 cultural attacks, 4 involved cartoons and 3 Salman Rushdie's novel, The Satanic Verses.
(2) Vilks is the only person to have been twice the target of Islamist assassination. (Pope John Paul II's Muslim would-be assassin of 1981, Mehmet Ali Ağca, was not an Islamist.)
(3) Geographically, 10 incidents took place in Europe, 5 in the United States, and 2 in Asia. Of the European cases, 6 took place in Scandinavia and 3 in tiny Denmark. Germany is conspicuously missing from the list.
(4) State involvement can be discerned only in the first 3 cases (Iranian, Libyan, and Saudi, respectively).
(5) In terms of deadliness, 5 attacks led to a fatality, 12 did not.
And a personal note by way of conclusion: the Feb. 5 attack on Hedegaard – a friend and colleague at the Middle East Forum – inspired me to compile this listing in the hopes that aggregating these loathsome crimes will help wake more Westerners to the danger within.
Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2013 All rights reserved by Daniel Pipes.
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|Adding to the list [38 words]||Jesper K.||Mar 19, 2013 08:45|
|The ideal weapon [99 words]||Ciccio||Feb 27, 2013 08:04|
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by Burak Bekdil
So in the EU-candidate Turkey, a pianist should be punished for his re-tweets, but a pop-singer should be congratulated for her first-class racist hate-speech. This is contagious.
No reporter present at Mr. Ihsanoglu's campaign launch speech thought about asking him if his commitment to the "Palestinian cause" included any affirmation of the Hamas Charter, in particular a section that says, "…The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
Turkey is also the country where a few years earlier, a group of school teachers (yes, school teachers!) gathered in a demonstration to commemorate Hitler.
by Debalina Ghoshal
Despite Chapter VII of the UN Charter and UNSC Resolutions, it seems that North Korea will continue developing its missiles -- and eventually weaponize them with nuclear warheads.
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On March 26, 2014, North Korea reportedly test-fired medium-range ballistic Rodong missiles -- capable of reaching Japan and U.S. military bases in the Asia-Pacific region.
Since February, South Korean officials claim that North Korea has confirmed at least 90 test-firings, among which ten were ballistic missiles.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
It is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza trip were under the false impression that it was all about improving living conditions for the Palestinians by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
To understand the true intention of Hamas and its allies, it is sufficient to follow the statements made by their leaders after the cease-fire announcement this week. To his credit, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader, has never concealed Hamas's desire to destroy Israel.
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by Burak Bekdil
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Hamas's Charter is must-read fun.
by Bassam Tawil
What is sad is that the Gazans have not yet been able to free themselves from the yoke of Hamas.
The world seems not to understand that Hamas, like ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, does not exist in a vacuum. It is one cog in the radical Islamist wheel that threatens the Arab and Muslim world and the major cities of Europe.
The Western world also seems not to understand that it has to incapacitate or totally neutralize the countries funding terrorism, such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey, for whom the Palestinian problem is only a pretext on the way to destroying the Western world as we know it and replacing it with only Islam.