Halo 2 is not the right, best strategy to use to fight terror

Aman Ali's View

This week, I finish the theory I pulled out of my ass by explaining how to win the war on terror.

Critics have blasted the Bush administration for not capturing Osama bin Laden. To quell criticism, the president recently doubled the reward on bin Laden from $25 million to $50 million. Big mistake. Increasing terrorist rewards only feeds their egos. In the 1800s, think about how cowboy outlaws would brag amongst one another about how large their rewards were. People like bin Laden think the world dwells on every Al-Jazeera tape they release. By the way we’re trying to spot bin Laden and kill him, we’re only failing to kill his spotlight.

The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman came up with a different solution in an article he wrote earlier this month. He said instead of doubling the reward on bin Laden, reduce the reward to a penny and an autographed picture of President Bush. Friedman explained that reducing the bounty on terrorists will let them know that “Americans don’t think they’re worth more than a penny.”

I will never downplay what bin Laden did on Sept. 11, but he is a curse to the Muslim world and poses more of a threat to my religion than to this country. It will mean more to the Muslim countries if they handle him. You can’t put a dollar sign on ending the reputation damage he’s done to my people.

The United States also needs to end its “Halo 2 terrorism strategy.” Running into countries and taking out any bad guy in sight only makes matters worse. Take the insurgency in Iraq for example. Although Iraq is reforming its government, the insurgency has gotten worse. Insurgents are coordinating attacks better, infiltrating American strongholds and even crippling electricity and sewer grids. Killing these guys off one by one only gives rise to another dozen.

The war on terror is a war of ideas. Terrorists pervert the peaceful teachings of Islam to promote their hate agendas. Using their ideas against them is the key to win the battle. In an article that appeared in The Christian Science Monitor earlier this month, a judge in Yemen named Hamoud Al-Hitar and four other Muslim scholars challenged terrorists locked up in Yemeni prisons to Islamic debates. Al-Hitar challenged detainees by saying, “If you can convince us that your ideas are justified by the Quran, then we will join you in your struggle. But if we succeed in convincing you of our ideas, then you must agree to renounce violence.”

The terrorists were unable to argue the hundreds of verses in the Quran that say to respect other religions, use war only in self-defense and not to kill innocent civilians. Upon denouncing terrorism, Al-Hitar and the scholars released the prisoners and helped them get back on their feet by helping them find jobs. Since the first round of Islamic debates in December 2002, Yemen hasn’t had a single terrorist attack. Our country hasn’t even considered this option. Instead, we torture the terrorist prisoners.

Stop terrorists by cutting off their propaganda. Killing them is only giving in to their demands.

Aman Ali is a junior information design major, president of the Muslim Students Association and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].