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laPapessaGiovanna

The Islamic Fundamentalism and its ties with terrorism

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laPapessaGiovanna

Here we are. Thanks @Curious for creating the possibility to have this much needed discussion. I hope we will manage to be civil.

I want to say a thing that I didn't say in tha Paris thread nor in the specularium to avoid to worsen things, but I really have to say it. I am mourning for what happened in Paris and to all the people who died and were wounded in any way, but I would like to see the same mourning of our European Institutions also for the hundreds who died at sea and on our shores trying to escape from the hell that ISIS is. With this I don't want to diminish the tragedy that happened in Paris but to remember and mourn all the lives whose loss was cause by this craziness, this monstrosity. Because all lives matter.

I don't think Islam has ANYTHING to do with ISIS and its actions. I believe that as happened many times in history a religion is an excuse to perpetrate the worst. 

Edited by laPapessaGiovanna
typos grammar and sense

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nausicaa

Lots of questions over here:

I'm interested in what people think is the best way to fight ISIS. I'm confused by the right wing approach that we send in a bunch of troops and "fight" them in the traditional sense. ISIS does not have a cohesive military and it will just be Afghanistan all over again. Also, would this really destroy ISIS? I think of ISIS as an ideology becoming a state, not a state adopting an ideology like the USSR or 1930s Germany. Wouldn't the same ideas just go underground and another group pop up a decade later with a different name but the same beliefs and goals? I mean, in a lot of ways, that is what allowed ISIS to develop in the first place.  I do think something needs to be done; I just have no idea what that is. 

Second, do you think that ISIS is as cohesive as we think of it? There are some who believe it is several disparate groups who claim ISIS association to seem more legit. The name becomes like the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. 

And I've never gotten a good answer for this. A lot of ISIS's profits come from their illegally held oil refinery. Why are Turkey and Kurdistan, too fairly liberal areas that wouldn't want to live under ISIS's values anyway and are close enough to fear ISIS's expansion into their territories, buying their oil? And if we successfully destroy their oil refineries, do they have another source of income?

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VelociRapture

Lots of questions over here:

I'm interested in what people think is the best way to fight ISIS. I'm confused by the right wing approach that we send in a bunch of troops and "fight" them in the traditional sense. ISIS does not have a cohesive military and it will just be Afghanistan all over again. Also, would this really destroy ISIS? I think of ISIS as an ideology becoming a state, not a state adopting an ideology like the USSR or 1930s Germany. Wouldn't the same ideas just go underground and another group pop up a decade later with a different name but the same beliefs and goals? I mean, in a lot of ways, that is what allowed ISIS to develop in the first place.  I do think something needs to be done; I just have no idea what that is. 

Second, do you think that ISIS is as cohesive as we think of it? There are some who believe it is several disparate groups who claim ISIS association to seem more legit. The name becomes like the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. 

And I've never gotten a good answer for this. A lot of ISIS's profits come from their illegally held oil refinery. Why are Turkey and Kurdistan, too fairly liberal areas that wouldn't want to live under ISIS's values anyway and are close enough to fear ISIS's expansion into their territories, buying their oil? And if we successfully destroy their oil refineries, do they have another source of income?

I don't know if I really have a good answer on how to solve the Daesh (I REFUSE to call them what they want to be called!) problem. The current situation is very similar to the Vietnam War - it's incredibly difficult to try and tell who is on which side because the members of Daesh are so good at blending in with the crowds. I think that is the main reason why sending troops in wouldn't help matters too much - they wouldn't be able to tell who was innocent or a victim and who was actually the enemy.

I think one of the best approaches that Western nations can take to stop them is to remember that not every person who worships the Muslim faith is a terrorist. It is so easy for them to take advantage of our fears and use it as proof that the West really is at war with "Islam."

(Islam is in quotes there because I don't consider Daesh's views or beliefs to truly represent the Muslim faith or people.)

Here we are. Thanks @Curious for creating the possibility to have this much needed discussion. I hope we will manage to be civil.

I want to say a thing that I didn't say in tha Paris thread nor in the specularium to avoid to worsen things, but I really have to say it. I am mourning for what happened in Paris and to all the people who died and were wounded in any way, but I would like to see the same mourning of our European Institutions also for the hundreds who died at sea and on our shores trying to escape from the hell that ISIS is. With this I don't want to diminish the tragedy that happened in Paris but to remember and mourn all the lives whose loss was cause by this craziness, this monstrosity. Because all lives matter.

I don't think Islam has ANYTHING to do with ISIS and its actions. I believe that as happened many times in history a religion is an excuse to perpetrate the worst. 

I completely understand and I agree. The people fleeing Syria for Europe are doing so because they honestly fear for their lives and the lives of their families - they would not risk their lives at sea as they have if that weren't the case. Their lives mean just as much as those lost in Paris and acknowledging that doesn't minimize the losses that France has suffered in anyway.

And I completely agree with your last point as well. Daesh does not speak for the Muslim faith, nor do they represent the millions of peaceful Muslims either. It's a bunch of assholes who got together and decided to terrorize people around the world because they can.

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jaelh

I thought this was an amusing take on it: 

faisalalmutar.com/2015/11/16/i-am-a-jihadist-and-i-am-tired-of-not-being-given-credit/

(and I say that as a liberal liberal liberal.)

I think it's one thing to say there is nothing inherent about Islam that leads to terrorism.  Just as there is nothing in Christianity that leads to the bombing of abortion clinics. 

However - there is currently a vein of Islamic belief/practice that is tied to terror.   Ideologically, the best place to counter is within faith parameters. That's where the logic/knowledge emerges from; faith forms the borders of the applicable reason. 

And yes, of course - addressing all the social issues as well.  But I don't know if I can go as far as:

 

 I don't think Islam has ANYTHING to do with ISIS and its actions.  I believe that as happened many times in history a religion is an excuse to perpetrate the worst.  

 

"Islam" isn't something that exists separate from its practice.  It's not a theory - it's a lived practice.  It's also not a unitary "thing".  Islam is a term that encompasses an enormous range of practices.  So no - "Islam" isn't about terror etc..  But there is a particular vein of Islamic practice that's tied to terror; a vein of religion law that's used to legitimate terror. 

I think your second sentence is true.  But I'm not sure it breaks the nexus between act and religion.  It's still there.  The difference between an 'excuse' and a 'legitimation' is a pretty thin one

Edited by jaelh
AGH FORMATTING AGH!

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OkToBeTakei

Thanks Curious. I do think a decent space to exchange opinion, fears and thoughts without an obvious agenda and prejudice being pelted upon commenters will be interesting and informative.

A short addition to the discussion until I have more time was an interview I heard today with a Professor on Terrorism, I can't link as on my phone. In his opinion one reason that sets IS apart from other/previous terrorist organisations is the Internet and in particular social media. Slick, professional and accessible. IS can be in any body's living room on anybody's phone, in any teenager's bedroom.

They use it and they use it very effectively. How that can be minimised seems impossible?

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Cleopatra7

I don't think one can say that ISIS isn't Islamic. Religion can mean anything you want it to be. More often than not, religion simply reflects whatever the status quo happens to be at the time, for good or ill. Of course, it depends on how you read Islamic texts and traditions, but ISIS fighters are quite explicit that theirs is a religious fight. To me, that's like saying the Crusaders weren't Christian because they were violent. Maybe they were bad or immoral Christians, but the Crusaders were definitely steeped in a level of Christianity that is hard to imagine today. It's true that most Muslims aren't advocating terrorism or other forms of violence, but the vast majority of Muslim majority nations also aren't advocating liberal democratic values. It's quite possible to be a Salafi Muslim and be content to simply spread your message through peaceful means (the vast majority are), but at the same time, Salafis believe a lot of things about women that most FJers would find offensive, even if they aren't violent people. This is what our "friends" the Saudis do, which is export their extremist beliefs abroad via printing textbooks, building mosques and schools, and printing literature. To me, advocating for Salafi or Wahabbi Islam is a form of violence, even if you aren't blowing yourself up or stoning people.

For example, the Klan is often brought up as a sort of Christian version of ISIS. But what a lot of people don't know is that for much of American history, the Klan was very much a mainstream organization, and not a bunch of fringe kooks. "Birth of a Nation" (1915), one of the most famous movies in history, both portray the Klan in a positive light, as does the book version of "Gone With the Wind" (the movie simply referred to it as a "political meeting"). The second iteration of the Klan in particular (1915-1930s) was established explicitly as a Protestant organization devoted to protecting white Anglo-Saxon Protestantism against Catholics, Jews, and blacks, and had over 3 million members all across the nation. This leads to question of whether the Klan was an accurate representation of American Protestantism. Yes and no. The views of Klansmen were not that different from non-Klansmen. Many Protestants were afraid of "the racial stock" of the country declining due to immigration, and considered Catholics to be unable to be good citizens, much like what conservatives say about Muslims today. They considered white Protestants to be the real chosen people, and didn't mind a bit of violence being used to maintain the racial status quo. And the truth is that these ideas never went away, they're just couched in dogwhistle terms and now Catholics of European descent are considered white and can join in on the racism. Once again, you can say the Klan's version of Christianity was wrong and evil, but it represented a strain of thought that still exists in white conservative American Protestantism to this day.

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sawasdee

I thought this was an amusing take on it: 

faisalalmutar.com/2015/11/16/i-am-a-jihadist-and-i-am-tired-of-not-being-given-credit/

(and I say that as a liberal liberal liberal.)

 

Quotes are screwing up for me again! Thanks, Jaelh, for that link - the comments afterward were very thought provoking,  and I need to think a bit now before posting again on this subject.

 

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treehugger
OkToBeTakei
Ok I watch this and I SORT of agree with Bridgette. Why aren't more Muslims condemning ISIS? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry3NzkAOo3s 

I have never understood this type of thinking. I was brought up Catholic in 70's 80's Britain the IRA terrorists regularly bombed and murdered many innocent people. Was every catholic supposed to stand up publicly to condemn them?

In the past week I have seen in the UK many Mosques and Muslims condemning the terrorist acts but it is this type of unattainable standard that not 'enough' or 'every' Muslim is seen to be condemning the acts that fosters distrust. Fear would be a huge a factor I should imagine ..... If you live in Syria or an area with a strong IS presence .. How vocal would you be if you felt your life or the lives of those you love were in danger? Even in supposed safer demographics it could be dangerous. I doubt those sitting in a TV studio asking those type of questions are interested in fact.

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OkToBeTakei

I posted that same video at least 4 times, it was completely ignored

Yes, because when you google her name it sends you to lovely pages like 'right wing watch.' Most posters have learned to completely ignore your links. 

Or as succinctly put by a comment in response to her deranged ranting.............

 

'She tried her best to belittle the questioner, but in reality , she just made a complete twat of herself. ' They even use that word you hate about her Islamophobe *gasp*

 

You are boring in your predictable responses Latraviata. We all get it. You will like or support any site, belief, rant that is blatantly right wing and or anti-Muslim. If your only purpose is to derail another thread for your own amusement whilst others wish to exchange opinion and thought it merely just affirms what has become blatantly obvious in the past few weeks. Desperation. Yours. Your repeated cries of persecution, or all the 'I don't cares' you liberally sprinkle around are quite untrue. You very much do care, otherwise you would just calmly walk away from this subject. Instead you have plummeted to the level of behaving like an immature teenager. It is quite sad. 

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OkToBeTakei

And? 

They were Belgian. They travelled into Syria. To evade capture as they were most likely under surveillance they used 'migrant routes' to return to the country of their birth to carry out terrorist attacks.

As usaual you have just read the headline without reading the actual story. I am sure you immediately thought......Bingo they were migrants/asylum seekers I WAS RIGHT!!! 

It is concerning that known extremists are evading surveillance amongst many other worrying issues. It does not though 'prove' your deep desire to prove that all asylum seekers are terrorists. 

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OkToBeTakei

Ok I watch this and I SORT of agree with Bridgette. Why aren't more Muslims condemning ISIS? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry3NzkAOo3s 

Also LtL (now I'm off phone and on comp.)

It might be useful to see the agenda that this lady supports. Nothing like her own words to maybe shed some light.

'The difference, my friends, between Israel and the Arab world is the difference between civilization and barbarism. It's the difference between good and evil .... this is what we're witnessing in the Arabic world, They have no soul, they are dead set on killing and destruction. And in the name of something they call "Allah" which is very different from the God we believe.... because our God is the God of love.'

Or this gem.

'She believes that Americans should "acknowledge that our Western culture is better than others.'

Hmmm.

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Whoosh

Does anyone recall where the video is that discusses one aspect of what luv2laugh is asking about?  It might be good to post here also, but I can't remember where it is.  I can explain the idea based on my own upbringing, though.  The church I grew up in taught that no one has all the answers and that we should be respectful of others and their belief systems.  Clearly, a big part of that is that one should not proselytize or evangelize.  So, while one may think that the faith of another is bizarre or wrong, the teaching is that you should not step in and try to impose your own beliefs on that individual.  I would say that there are clearly limits to where this is an appropriate approach to things and that when people sit silently by and watch "christians" do something like beat their child "in the name of the lord" that is very wrong and can't be explained away by a teaching of their faith.  However - this is why I said I am just discussing one aspect of this type of thing.  As others are saying, many other factors come into play AND all kinds of people with moderate belief systems (including Muslims) are actually going against this teaching of their faith and speaking out.

So, to try to state that more clearly - radical or conservative or extreme versions of many faiths tend to teach that members should try to force or impose their beliefs on others, convert everyone, and speak out loudly to condemn others who don't do exactly as they do.  In sharp contrast, moderate and (I think) more evolved versions of various faiths such as Islam or Christianity teach that you should not condemn the beliefs and practices of others (let alone start loudly condemning them and trying to convert everyone).  If you ask me, the results are pretty damn unfortunate, but people who choose to subscribe to conservative or radical or extreme versions of any belief system are simply wrong when they believe that more moderate believers share a belief or practice simply because they don't start screaming hellfire down on people they disagree with (or even politely telling others why they are wrong and must convert).

Edited by Woosh
added a thought and riffles

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Meh
formergothardite

Ok I watch this and I SORT of agree with Bridgette. Why aren't more Muslims condemning ISIS? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry3NzkAOo3s 

Just curious, how many friends and acquaintances do you have that are Muslim? Granted, I don't know a huge number of people who are Muslim, but I do have friends who are Muslim, and through the joy of FB I can see what they like and comment on. They comment, like and share lots and lots of posts by numerous everyday Muslim people condemning ISIS.

Also, taking the woman in video as serious and a reliable source of info is like taking the Pissing Preacher as serious and a reliable source of information. 

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Pretzel

Just curious, how many friends and acquaintances do you have that are Muslim? Granted, I don't know a huge number of people who are Muslim, but I do have friends who are Muslim, and through the joy of FB I can see what they like and comment on. They comment, like and share lots and lots of posts by numerous everyday Muslim people condemning ISIS.

Also, taking the woman in video as serious and a reliable source of info is like taking the Pissing Preacher as serious and a reliable source of information. 

I wonder how many people would feel compelled to distance themselves from the PP, if he ever were to do something horrible. I don't think anyone would at all expect Christians to distance themselves.

Edited by Pretzel

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laPapessaGiovanna

@jaelh and @Cleopatra7 sorry that last paragraph was all but clear. I meant to say that IMHO wars, terrorist attacks, and often revolutions too, are very rarely exclusively motivated by ideologic or religious reasons. Most often the motivations are to be found in struggles for power, for oil, for nautural resources, raw materials for industry, general economic reasons and the likes. Ideologies and religions are the ideal cover and validation to convince the masses that a war is dictated by "good reasons", "defence of values" etc and divert the attention from the fact that the interests of an elite are the true motivations for it. I think the current war with ISIS makes no exception to this. Fundamentalist Islam is the official validation for ISIS, but not the real reason behind it (about this I think @nausicaa25 questions are spot on) . Fundamentalist Islam it the tool to prey on the discontent of marginalized populations and to give and ideological justification that enables them to use European homegrown nutters and sociopathics to carry on terroristic attacks.

However I absolutely don't claim that islamic fundamentalists aren't to blame for this situation, they are totally responsible for radicalization and brainwashing of youths and psychos, for giving a general validation to this, for enabling terrorists to call terrorism jihad, for definitely endorsing and helping to create the current situation. This is the reason for I started this thread, I think that as a board voted to bring to light the dangers of religious fundamentalism FJ needs to discuss Fundamentalist Islam. 

BUT I also think that between Islamic Fundamentalists and mainstream Muslims there is at least as much difference then there's between mainstream Christians of any denomination and the PP. Unfortunately lately it seems that this concept is never clarified enough for people to understand it.

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VelociRapture

I just want to say, I always enjoy reading your posts @Cleopatra7

You always give such informative and well thought out comments on various topics - there have been times you really make me step back and think about things carefully from another angle. So thank you for that. :pb_smile:

Ok I watch this and I SORT of agree with Bridgette. Why aren't more Muslims condemning ISIS? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry3NzkAOo3s

 

I know a young man who immigrated here from Iran about ten years ago - he has since completed his undergraduate degree, earned his citizenship, married his beautiful (American-born) wife, bought his first home, and is working on building a pretty beautiful life here. He has always been extremely vocal about his gratitude to the US for providing him the opportunity to do so. He is, pretty much, the model citizen.

He recently wrote an impassioned post on Facebook - not just condemning Daesh assholes and offering his sympathy to the Paris victims, but reminding the people he is friends with that the things they are calling the Syrian refugees also apply to him. Things like "terrorist" or "evil" or "not welcome here."

The fact that he has to remind people who should damn well know better is absolutely appalling to me. Even worse is the fact that we have Presidential candidates seriously discussing the idea of forcing all Muslims to register in a national database and wear IDs showing that they are Muslim. Apparently they think we live in Nazi Germany.

If people want to question the screening process that's fine. We should be doing everything we can to make sure only innocent people are being allowed into the country. But so many people are taking it way too far out of fear or sheer ignorance and there is absolutely no valid excuse for it.

I'm sorry to say this so bluntly, but if you don't realize that there are many Muslims or people of Middle-Eastern descent speaking out against the Daesh assholes - then you simply aren't looking or paying attention.

Edited by VelociRapture
Because the quoting was really weird.

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laPapessaGiovanna

Also my Italian Catholic mother would never think of or understand if someone thinks that she should apologise for that poor excuse for a human of PP's speeches. They both call themselves Christians though.

Edited by laPapessaGiovanna

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SpoonfulOSugar

I found this article very informative:

Washington Post: Terrorist's dad traveled to Syria to stop his son

I am coming to the conclusion that comparisons between these radicals and American mass shooters are most accurate:  it's not about a faith - it's about disenfranchised youth getting a skewed world view and expressing their angst in the most dysfunctional way possible.

I have some very visceral reactions to some of the most recent comments about refugees, but I have to think about what I want to say for a bit.

Also - I have started a news thread for the Mali hostage story, if others want to follow and/or contribute.

 

Edited by SpoonfulOSugar

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nausicaa

Didn't Lat say in the other thread that she would never post another link ever again since we just dismiss them or misinterpret them?

That didn't last long. 

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Cleopatra7

I think the difference between American Christian fundamentalists and Islamic fundamentalists is that the former have to at least pay lip service to liberal democracy, and are generally willing to further their goals within the political system. As far as I can tell, the Duggars and their fellow ATIer truly believe in American democracy, even though they think the country is going to hell in a handbasket because of LGBT rights, legalized abortion, and immodest dress. Their solutions are certainly distasteful to most FJers -- supporting extreme right-wing candidates, using a TV show as a soapbox for their extreme views, thinking they can outbreed non-believers, spreading misinformation about via their speaking gigs -- but they're all peaceful and well within what is allowed by the Constitution. One could argue that the Duggars' political beliefs are violent in the sense that they are advocating for legalized violence against various groups of people they dislike (I would say this), but as far as we know, they aren't going the Timothy McVeigh route and encouraging terrorism.

Here's another example, in a previous life you might say, I attended a Latin Mass parish, and a good number of the people there claimed that monarchy was the only truly "Catholic" government. However, to my knowledge, none of them ever did anything to further the creation of an American Catholic monarchy besides complain. And then they voted for Ron Paul (I know, I don't get it either). While there may be extreme right-wing Christians who claim not to believe in liberal democracy, they don't seem to be doing anything about these beliefs other than complain to like-minded individuals and daydream. If they were really serious about acting on their dislike of liberal democracy, you can bet the FBI, the NSA, and the CIA would be monitoring them. The PP is basically the same way, where he says a lot of crazy stuff, but it's just talk. Of course, when he made threats against the president, the authorities were all over him, which only proves the point about how American Christian fundamentalists are restrained due to their acceptance of liberal democracy.

In comparison, many Islamic fundamentalists don't like liberal democracy and are actively working against it. This can range from peaceful Salafis who spread their anti-liberal message via the Internet, books, and face to face teaching to violent jihadis who are ready to kill and be killed for their beliefs. Once again, I think the Saudis and their petro dollars are doing a great deal to spread these illiberal ideas, especially in parts of Africa and Indonesia, both of which used to have their own brands of Islam that were more tolerant than Saudi Wahabbism. I confess that I don't know how to make liberal democracy attractive to disaffected Muslims. Sometimes I think the only think that will work is for them to live under religious rule and then get sick of it, which is what happened in much of Europe.

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sawasdee

I think most people would trace the rise of ISIS to the power vacuum left after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and the later breakdown of the state When there was rebellion in Syria against Assad.

At the end of WW2 many countries in  western Europe were devastated. So was South Korea at the end of the Korean War. In both cases, the US invested very large sums of money in rebuilding, re-creating economies, and establishing politically strong states. Today, we see stability in these zones, and in many cases, a legacy of support for the US.

In Iraq, again large sums were earmarked for reconstruction, but very little seems to have been done properly.. We have all seen pictures of incomplete projects, and it is estimated that at least $8 billion is unaccounted for. There are some private companies, particularly those providing security, that have prospered, but the Iraqis  as a whole are very definitely worse off than under Saddam - and the Americans have gone home and left them to it. A great well of resentment has been formed.

This is by no means a reflection on the average US citizen, whose taxes have funded what should have been a rebuilding. Rather, it is a reflection on the level of corruption that has been allowed to pervade post war Iraq, and nobody seems to have been fully called to account. Through this corruption, a great opportunity was lost.

www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/03/25/$8-Billion-Tax-Dollars-Wasted-Rebuilding-Iraq

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