Nuclear Proliferation and Islamic Extremists

An extremist Islamic mindset has been the root cause of many terrorist attacks over the last 13 plus years, from the 9/11 attacks in New York City (2001) to the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris (2015) earlier this month. But many people do not realize the ultimate goal of these extremists: to conquer the world. They believe not only that have a right and duty to kill anyone whom they deem to be guilty of some sin or crime, but also that they should force everyone to adhere to their extremist version of Islam. And their ultimate goal is a worldwide Islamic caliphate (kingdom) in which everyone adheres to their extremist belief system (or is put to death). The group calling itself “Islamic State” (ISIS, ISIL, or DAISH) chose that term to express their goal to form a worldwide Islamic State.

What do these extremists think of moderate peaceful Muslims? They call them “apostates”, as if they were not Muslims at all. I think it is the other way around. These extremists are not really followers of a religion; they merely use religion as an excuse for their hatred and their crimes against humanity.

What could make this situation worse? Nuclear proliferation. Of all the Muslim nations, only Pakistan has nuclear weapons — so far and as far as we know. But Iran has had a nuclear weapons program for many years; they have poured billions of dollars into the enrichment of uranium as well as the research and development of nuclear bombs and missiles. How close are they to making nukes? It is uncertain. Maybe they are years away, maybe months. There is an outside chance that Iran already has a few nuclear weapons.

Pakistan is not run by extremists — well, not as extreme as some other nations or groups. But they are always one coup or bad election away from putting nukes in the hands of extremists. The leaders of Iran are already extremists. They would like to wipe Israel from the map. They find the expression “Death to America” socially acceptable, politically acceptable, and even obligatory. And they may soon have nuclear bombs. Then the next step is nuclear missiles.

Once any nation led by extremists gets nuclear weapons, other Muslim nations or extremists groups could plausibly buy nukes from them. Iran founded and sponsors the terrorist group called Hezbollah, and Iran provides support to other terrorist groups. So it is entirely plausible for nuclear bombs to eventually end up in the hands of extremists.

What have the U.S., the U.N., the E.U., and Israel done to stop nuclear proliferation among Muslim nations? Not enough. Iran has defied sanctions and continues to enrich uranium. Pakistan just completed their fourth nuclear power plant. The danger there is that weapon-grade plutonium can be harvested from spent fuel rods. Sooner or later nuclear weapons will be in the hands of some rogue nation or terrorist group. Then the problem of terrorism by Islamic extremists will suddenly become much worse.

– Thoreau

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