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UA News
Choke the fire before it burns the house down

By Mariam Durrani
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday October 29, 2002

What do you believe in? That's the painfully honest question that I put forth to you. Is there anything in your life that fills you with passion, boils your blood and inspires you to stake your life on? Are you ready to die for a belief?

On Saturday, 50 Chechen rebels died. Let that sink in.

Fifty men and women died.

They want freedom for their people and risked their lives as well as other people's lives for this cause. Those crazy Muslims are at it again. Killing innocents for no reason.

They keep on using "terrorism" to serve their needs. They strap bombs to their bodies and allow other people to die as part of their cause. That probably hit a nerve.

CNN covers terrorist attacks in Israel, Bali, New York and the list goes on and on. But what you all don't get to see CNN covering day and night on television is what else is happening in the world. Have you ever wondered why these people are willing to die? What makes someone reach a point where they are willing to kill themselves and other people to make a point?

If you were to go to the Human Rights Watch Web site (http://www.hrw.org) and research Chechnya, you would find many articles about the terrorism that the Russian government is inflicting upon Chechens. Between September 2000 and January 2002, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights released a 49-page report detailing 87 cases of "disappearances" at the hand of the Russian army in Chechnya. Apparently, there are 87 people who have just dropped off the face of the Earth. President and ex-KGB spy Vladimir Putin has told the army to "behave" but he refuses to allow the U.N. to investigate why these people are disappearing. Take a minute to let that sink in.

Done? Now get this. The Russian army goes door-to-door in Chechnya to find rebels. Thus, the male members of a household leave so they are not at risk for arbitrary arrest. Meanwhile, soldiers have gone into the houses and beat the women's butts with rifles, asked them for blowjobs and raped them before leaving. Afterward, one woman smeared blood on her face and changed her dress so her grown son wouldn't know she was raped. The soldier was never punished.

In a memorandum to the HRC on the human rights situation in Chechnya in March 2002, it was recognized that Chechnya is the only place in Europe where civilians are killed on a daily basis in armed conflict. Is this not terrorism? The word is defined as the "unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property." Is the Russian army not committing terrorism against the Chechen society?

Oops. My mistake. The United States is allied with Russia. So this petty, problematic Muslim issue isn't terrorism. Georgie shouldn't worry about this as part of his global war on terrorism because who cares about a bunch of Muslims being raped and "disappearing" when Saddam Hussein might, just might, be involved with al-Qaeda and he might, just might, want to terrorize Israel or the United States. But if people are terrorizing some Muslims in a remote corner of Russia, it doesn't really matter.

After Sept. 11, Putin tried to find a way to link Chechen rebels with al-Qaeda because in today's world, if you are a Muslim and are willing to die for any cause, you must be a terrorist.

Read why the situation reaches the point when someone is willing to die to make a point. Why were these rebels taking hostages in Moscow to free Chechnya from the Russian chokehold? There is a history to every "terrorist." In today's media, if I say that the Jewish state of Israel is criminal because of its cruel treatment of Palestinians, I become anti-Semitic. But if I say that Islam breeds terrorist networks, I am a patriotic American and fighting the "real" evil in today's world.

For those of you out there who ever wondered why these people are ready to kill themselves, try to find out the history behind the scenes and the current events that aren't reported on television. There is no reaction without an action to encourage it. All these terrorist reactions are spurred by a terrorist action, whether that is the Russian army, the Israeli government or an American foreign policy.

We have to find the base of the fire before we blame the flames for burning the roof of our house. After all, the fire began because someone in our own house left the stove burning.


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