“The suicide murder community is almost perfectly faith based.” – Christopher Hitchens
On Real Time With Bill Maher, Hitchens claims that because an Islamist in the 1800’s used the Koran to justify atrocities, it means that today the issue with Al-Qaeda is due to the Koran.
…[W]e now have the first complete data set of all suicide terrorist attacks around the world from 1980 to 2009,…research on who becomes a suicide terrorist showed that virtually none could be diagnosed as mentally ill, while many were religious and, most striking, nearly all emerged from communities resisting foreign military occupation….
From 1980 to 2003, there were 345 completed suicide terrorist attacks by 524 suicide terrorists who actually killed themselves on a mission to kill others, half of whom are secular. The world leader was the Tamil Tigers (a secular, Hindu group) who carried out more attacks than Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) during this period. Further, at least a third of the suicide attacks in predominantly Muslim countries were carried out by secular terrorist groups, such as the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey. Instead of religion, what over 95% of all suicide terrorist attacks before 2004 had in common was a strategic goal: to compel a democratic state to withdraw combat forces that are threatening territory that the terrorists’ prize. From Lebanon to Sri Lanka to the West Bank to Chechnya, the central goal of every suicide terrorist campaign has been to resist military occupation by a democracy….
It was the Hindu, avowedly antireligious Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka, whose 157 suicide terrorists totaled more than Hamas and all other Palestinian suicide groups combined. Of the Palestinian suicide terrorists, more than a third were from secular groups, such as the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Of the suicide terrorists associated with Hezbollah in Lebanon during the 1980s, only 21% were Islamic fundamentalists while 71% were communists and socialists; 8% were Christians. In Turkey, 100% of the PKK’s suicide attackers were secular. Overall, Islamic fundamentalism cannot account for over half of the known affiliations of the 524 total suicide terrorists from 1980 to 2003—184 were from Islamic fundamentalist groups (35% comprising 73 Al Qaeda, 5 Lebanese, 5 Kashmiri Rebels, 69 Hamas, 34 Palestinian Islamic Jihad) and 236 from secular groups (45% comprising 157 Tamil Tigers, 42 Al-Aqsa, 22 Lebanese, 15 PKK), while 12 (21%) had unknown ideological affiliations….
Further, notice that there are no suicide attackers from Iran—one of the largest Islamic fundamentalist populations in the world, with a population greater than Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, and Syria combined.
– Robert Pape and James K. Feldman, Cutting the Fuse
Hitchens also failed to mention Japanese Kamikaze pilots.
By focusing on the aspect that terrorists are religious, Hitchens is implying religion is the cause of the terrorism.
Then the fighters realized that the gang in the White House could not see things clearly, and that their leader (that idiot they obey) was claiming that we envied their lifestyle — when the truth, which this Pharaoh would like to hide — is that we are attacking them because of their injustice toward the Muslim world, and especially Palestine and Iraq, as well as their occupation of the land of the two sanctuaries. When the fighters saw this, they decided to come out of the shadows and take the fight into their territory, into their homes.
– Al Qaeda in Its Own Words, edited by Gilles Kepel and Jean-Pierre Milelli, translated by Pascale Ghazaleh (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press; Cambridge, Massachusetts: 2008), p. 62.
The youth hold you responsible for all of the killings and evictions of the Muslims and the violation of the sanctuaries carried out by your Zionist brothers in Lebanon. You openly supplied them with arms and finance. More than 600,000 Iraqi children have died due to lack of food and medicine, and as a result of the unjustifiable aggression (sanctions) imposed on Iraq and its people. The children of Iraq are our children. You, the U.S., together with the Saudi regime, are responsible for the shedding of the blood of these innocent children. Due to all of that, whatever treaty you have with our country is null and void. It is a duty now on every tribe in the Arabian Peninsula to fight jihad in the cause of God and to cleanse the land from those occupiers… In 1304 A.H. (1936) the awakened Muslim nation of Palestine started their great struggle, jihad, against the British occupying forces… Terrorizing you, while you are carrying arms on our land, is a legitimate and morally demanded duty.
– Declaration of Jihad Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries (from Jihad: Bin Laden in His Own Words, Declarations, Interviews, and Speeches by Brad K. Berner; Peacock Books: 2006), p. 45, 55, 56.