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Old 11-09-2004, 01:05 PM   #46
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When you live in an extremely legalistic environment, perhaps there is an element of jealousy to live without the "burdens" of trying to live the rules of a "righteous" life.
Then why rally around groups (for example, al Qaeda) who are largely in favour of increasing the level of restriction on people's everyday lives?
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Old 11-09-2004, 01:35 PM   #47
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Then why rally around groups (for example, al Qaeda) who are largely in favour of increasing the level of restriction on people's everyday lives?
Good question. These people don't want to be like us. They want something out of an alleged "golden age" of Islam, and they think it's the seventh century of our era, the first century of Islam. Both the Wahhabists and the Deobandis teach that this is "pure Islam" that modern Muslims should emulate. The people who don't share this illusion are the ones who want to get rid of the damn rules and live in the modern era.
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Old 11-09-2004, 01:51 PM   #48
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Good question. These people don't want to be like us. They want something out of an alleged "golden age" of Islam, and they think it's the seventh century of our era, the first century of Islam. Both the Wahhabists and the Deobandis teach that this is "pure Islam" that modern Muslims should emulate. The people who don't share this illusion are the ones who want to get rid of the damn rules and live in the modern era.

and, ironically, this is why many muslim societies have been left behind by modernity. modernity is predicated upon the separation of church and state, the belief in science and progress over inherited wisdom and mindless tradition. sadly, the further behind a society falls the greater the allure of strict interpretations of religious text and codes of conduct, which only deepens the morass the society already finds itself it.
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Old 11-09-2004, 02:42 PM   #49
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and, ironically, this is why many muslim societies have been left behind by modernity. modernity is predicated upon the separation of church and state, the belief in science and progress over inherited wisdom and mindless tradition. sadly, the further behind a society falls the greater the allure of strict interpretations of religious text and codes of conduct, which only deepens the morass the society already finds itself it.
That's right. The reach back for the first century of Islam keeps the Islamic authorities in charge of Islamic countries. The only Islamic country that isn't officially run on the Shari'ah, or Islamic law, is secular Turkey. They have reached a certain level of progress in that country, as their people are not officially restricted by Islamic law. But even Turkey is a very tradition-bound country, with a high rate of abuse of women, according to government studies. It's one thing to change the laws, it's another thing to change people's hearts. That's why I'm so pessimistic about the future of democracy in Iraq. There are people here who disagree with me on this. That's cool, I'm glad that not everyone is pessimistic about Iraq. But their religious scholars, I'm afraid, are going to implement Shari'ah law in Iraq, and then God knows what will happen. When they have elections they will probably vote for a whole slew of Shi'ite clerics.
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Old 11-09-2004, 03:21 PM   #50
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But, if they didn't want to live with the burdens of a 'righteous' life, wouldn't they just go secular instead of becoming terrorists? I'd think the terrorists would be the most strict with their religion, though in the case of terrorists 'righteous' is not a good word
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Old 11-09-2004, 03:27 PM   #51
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But, if they didn't want to live with the burdens of a 'righteous' life, wouldn't they just go secular instead of becoming terrorists? I'd think the terrorists would be the most strict with their religion, though in the case of terrorists 'righteous' is not a good word

religious is more of a justifier than an actual cause, but it is a very, very powerful justifier. i remember a very powerful documentary about religion and 9-11 and how one priest said that once he saw a plane hit the towers, he knew it was the work of religion. only the fear of god and the promise of an afterlife could cause a man to fly an airplane into a building, or convince a 18 year old girl to strap a bomb to her chest and run into a supermarket.

organized religion -- can be a very, very scary thing in the wrong hands.
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Old 11-09-2004, 03:34 PM   #52
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Yes, if they didn't want to live with the demands of a "righteous" life they would indeed go secular. It's strange, they had to take Turkey kicking and screaming out of the age of Shari'ah back in the '20's and be really rigid about secularism. Five years ago the present Prime Minister of Turkey, Tayyep Erdogan, was actually busted for reading a poem in public with the line "the mosques are our foundation". He was declared ineligible for public office, and after his party won elections in early 2003 he had to be cleared by the country's highest court--I forget exactly what they call it--to take office as Prime Minister! I think the other Islamic countries are more tradition-bound than Turkey is. I mean, hell, Turks have been maintaining wine cellars for centuries. They still do. They've never particularly given a damn about the strict letter of Islamic law. The other Islamic societies do.
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Old 11-09-2004, 03:37 PM   #53
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Firstly here is an AQ training manual, to understand the inspiration behind such groups a picture emerges, and it is one of religious hatred, I doubt that anybody on this forum can get their minds around such a hatred, I know that I cannot begin to comprehend it.

http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/trainingmanual.htm

Secondly I am of the opinion that the cause is one of religious hatred. These Islamist groups know how to hold a grudge, they are still declaring war because of the freaking crusades, and their aspirations are giant. It will not end if Israel is blown into a radioactive dirtpile, or if the United States pulls its millitary out of everywhere, this is about bringing a global Islamic superstate in the mould of the Taliban into being, this objective would be a threat to every free individual on the planet be they Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist or Hindu. Every time that the west is defeated it shows our weakness - for example look at the after effects of Somalia, 18 American Soldiers die and even though the mission was a success the US leaves - this type of action demonstrates the US as a paper tiger, it cannot endure casualties and while it may appear strong simply killing Americans in the most shocking way (e.g. Beheadding of Daniel Pearl in Karachi, Pakistan in 2002) will acheive the results. We should be more objective in our analysis of terrorism - it is very easy to project our own motivations upon those that commit such deeds but it is a lot harder to sit down and listen to what they are saying.
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Old 11-09-2004, 03:56 PM   #54
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Holy smokes. Yes, this is based in religious hatred. In Wahhabist Saudi Arabia, any political philosophy that is separated from their view of Shari'ah is rejected as "secular" and "atheistic". It is hard for us to imagine how philosophically confining that religious tradition is. There's no room for democracy as we know it. Unfortunately, these ideas have spread and now Wahhabists are all over Iraq, particularly in the Sunni triangle, where they continue to wreak havoc with "evil" western forces. These people have built schools all over the other Islamic countries and elsewhere, even in the United States. They want to keep "western" ideas out of their countries based on the fact that they are based on "infidel" ideas. They're still harping on the Crusades. In general, modern Catholics don't have a particularly sanguine view of the Crusades, but my goodness, it's been a few centuries, hasn't it?
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Old 11-09-2004, 05:49 PM   #55
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A couple points I'd like to make in general about the arguements of this thread....

1. Diamond--your analysis is shallow and simple. Push it further. If hate and envy cause terror, what causes hate and envy? Much social and political research has shown that the trigger is shame. A -Wanderer, I have the same question for you. Religious hatred is a *symptom*, not a cause. What causes religious harted? Bravo, however, for pointing out that we do need to listen to terrorists and perhaps even take their ideas seriously about why they do waht they do (which does not, of course, mean agreeing or condoning).

2. To those debating if poverty is the cause of terror or not the cause: there is no ONE cause of terror. Poverty does not "cause" terror, since as Kitty and Diamond pointed out, if this were the case, we'd see a lot more of it. Yet it can and does interact with other specific political and social and personal contexts to breed terror. In the language of social science, it is a "necessary but insufficent" condition. I'd add (to Jamilia) though, that this certainly doesn't mean it's okay therefore to ingore poverty. If that's your concern, Jamilia, I don't think anyone has argued that. As you've said before, we have to fight poverty because it's just the right thing to do!

A few titles I've read in my conflict analysis program which might interest folks who want to delve into this further

Mary Clarke: Violence and the Sacred
James Gilligan: Violence
Chris Hedges: War is a Force that Gives us Meaning (nice easy read )
and the final one, Man's Search for Meaning (I can't remember the author...sorry!)

Peace,
SD
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Old 11-09-2004, 05:57 PM   #56
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Good point about needing to pinpoint the causes of religious hatred. That's a big topic, I really don't think I could do it justice in an FYM post. You just can't say "Wahhabism" because there are plenty of Wahhabists in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere who are not terrorists and are not particularly bitter or hate-filled people. They are ordinary people who work hard, support their families and do their best. It's definitely food for thought.
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Old 11-09-2004, 06:15 PM   #57
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I still consider religious hatred to be a driving force here and not an effect of some root causes. If one is exposed to enough propaganda, if one is indoctrinated into believing that to become a shahid is the highest religious calling and the religious leaders themselves foster this belief then it will drive terror. To put this into context about a quarter of Palestinians are Christians, but Christian Suicide Bombers are practically unheard of. This ability for some to use devout believers is a component and it should not be overlooked or reduced.

Now we must be very careful in our definitions here, it would be foolish to argue a group like Baader-Meinhof is motivated by religion. What I am talking about is suicide terrorism, this is not standard assassination or bombings, this is the type of terror that requires true believers be they a Palestinian or Tamil. I am stating that for an Islamist group to operate effectively and to recruit new members religion must become the driving force of the organisation. Again I know that I cannot begin to comprehend religious hatred, but to continue a reductionist process furthur and furthur it would seem that we get bogged down in logical loops.
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Old 11-10-2004, 06:42 AM   #58
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A Wanderer, asking yourself about root causes isn't getting "bogged down" in loops. It's not enough to say hate causes something. WHY does a certain group hate a certain other group? Unless we can identify this, our analysis is superficial. Certainly, the indoctrination you speak of is a huge factor...but what explains its success? What explains the motivation to so indoctrinate others? Some terror groups have organized around religion, and some have around ethnicity or a nation. As for the lack of Christian suicide bombers, what need have Christians ever had of them? They/we are on the top of the global power structure.....

Saying terror is caused by hate is like saying someone acts crazy 'cause he's nuts!

Peace,
SD

PS In case anyone was in fact interesed, Man's Search for Meaning is by Victor Frankel--I found the author
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Old 11-10-2004, 06:44 AM   #59
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Old 11-10-2004, 07:11 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sherry Darling
A couple points I'd like to make in general about the arguements of this thread....

1. Diamond--your analysis is shallow and simple. Push it further. If hate and envy cause terror, what causes hate and envy? Much social and political research has shown that the trigger is shame. A -Wanderer, I have the same question for you. Religious hatred is a *symptom*, not a cause. What causes religious harted? Bravo, however, for pointing out that we do need to listen to terrorists and perhaps even take their ideas seriously about why they do waht they do (which does not, of course, mean agreeing or condoning).

2. To those debating if poverty is the cause of terror or not the cause: there is no ONE cause of terror. Poverty does not "cause" terror, since as Kitty and Diamond pointed out, if this were the case, we'd see a lot more of it. Yet it can and does interact with other specific political and social and personal contexts to breed terror. In the language of social science, it is a "necessary but insufficent" condition. I'd add (to Jamilia) though, that this certainly doesn't mean it's okay therefore to ingore poverty. If that's your concern, Jamilia, I don't think anyone has argued that. As you've said before, we have to fight poverty because it's just the right thing to do!

A few titles I've read in my conflict analysis program which might interest folks who want to delve into this further

Mary Clarke: Violence and the Sacred
James Gilligan: Violence
Chris Hedges: War is a Force that Gives us Meaning (nice easy read )
and the final one, Man's Search for Meaning (I can't remember the author...sorry!)

Peace,
SD
excellent post.
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