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Old 02-01-2017, 01:24 PM   #2081 (permalink)
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ANY belief system coupled with poverty and poor education can be taken advantage of.

The people there couldn't trust their government (since we've installed despot after despot in order to control the region) or the outside world (since everyone seems to want their oil). Who would you turn to? The only person who seems to be on your side and claims to have all the solutions. In this case, their religious leaders.
This right here is why terrorism exists, especially why it exists in 2017 in the Middle East and Eastern Africa. Poor countries, lack of government power to enforce contracts/too much government power abuse, and lack of exposure to outside ideas or culture. Islam, in isolation, isn't the driving force behind terrorism. If it was, we'd have so many more attacks in so many places. Islam is twisted, parsed, and manipulated by people with aspirations of power in this life and impressed on the young, the gullible, and the desperate. Point out a verse in the Quran calling for the deaths of unbelievers and I'll show you one in the Bible proscribing death for wearing poly-blend fabric.

Whether it's nationalism, racial hegemony, religious invocation, etc. all of these tribal mindsets, which as recently evolved creatures we're susceptible to, can trace their roots to the inculcation of the weak and the stupid (stupid as in 'not knowing', not a statement of intellectual capacity).

I recently finished a book by Brian Fishman (a counterterrorism fellow at International Security Program and former Combating Terrorism Center director at West Point) titled The Master Plan: ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Jihadi Strategy for Final Victory. It was a fascinating read for many reasons but the last 3-4 pages or so should be passed around Capitol Hill. Think we have fake news in the States? Imagine what passes as news in authoritarian or semi-lawless areas of the world. Trump's complete lack of nuance fuels a wrongly held belief (although these days it's tipping into half) that America hates Islam. We don't give a damn about Islam. Much like we don't care about what any one person believes. Free expression - it's a glorious thing. But when Trump is quoted as saying "ban all Muslims" no matter the context he thinks it was in, it is blasted to all the poor, dispossessed, aimless, and hopeless youths in countries ravaged by Western meddling and local power squabbles and makes a compelling case for sticking it to the great Satan.

The language Trump uses is so un-nuanced (and this is me generously assuming that he truly has no problem with Muslims) that a casual Muslim observer in say, Indonesia, now thinks that it is American policy to exclude and possible persecute Muslims. Thus, this person is more susceptible to whispers of 'crusader invasions' and 'desecration of the holy land'. This travel ban was broad, preemptive, unreviewed, and as we've seen, unpopular. Trump claims he has a mandate for this action. Depends on which poll you read and how the question was posed. What this does show is that Americans have a FUNDAMENTAL misunderstanding of what Islam is and what it teaches. Look at Catholicism in the 1500's. Look at Protestantism in in 1650-1750 in New England. And if you're thinking "well duh, but Christians grew up" I'd ask you to look at Mecca, Medina, Baghdad, Istanbul at those same times - centers of civilization, learning, culture.

Long post and sorry if it's a bit ranty. I'm pretty convinced that most Americans know about Islam solely through bin Laden's propaganda videos and the bad guys in True Lies. But hey, they're brown and write in squiggles, so why should we try to understand their 1300 year old culture.
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Old 02-01-2017, 02:00 PM   #2082 (permalink)
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^^^^^

Outstanding post. Watch Bourdain's episode where he visits Saudi Arabia to get a real perspective.

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Old 02-01-2017, 02:13 PM   #2083 (permalink)
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^^^^^

Outstanding post. Watch Bourdain's episode where he visits Saudi Arabia to get a real perspective.

Looked like a bit of confusion from his Saudi host when he said "I'm blown away."
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Old 02-01-2017, 02:23 PM   #2084 (permalink)
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1. My point was this fundamentalist ideology exists in EVERY RELIGION. This gets to my belief that religion in general needs to fade away, but that's another discussion. There's a sleeping dragon waiting behind every person with a belief system that does not require proof but does require absolute devotion.
Amen. A bit of an extreme take on religious people, but overall I agree with you.
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Old 02-01-2017, 02:35 PM   #2085 (permalink)
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This right here is why terrorism exists, especially why it exists in 2017 in the Middle East and Eastern Africa. Poor countries, lack of government power to enforce contracts/too much government power abuse, and lack of exposure to outside ideas or culture. Islam, in isolation, isn't the driving force behind terrorism. If it was, we'd have so many more attacks in so many places. Islam is twisted, parsed, and manipulated by people with aspirations of power in this life and impressed on the young, the gullible, and the desperate. Point out a verse in the Quran calling for the deaths of unbelievers and I'll show you one in the Bible proscribing death for wearing poly-blend fabric.

Whether it's nationalism, racial hegemony, religious invocation, etc. all of these tribal mindsets, which as recently evolved creatures we're susceptible to, can trace their roots to the inculcation of the weak and the stupid (stupid as in 'not knowing', not a statement of intellectual capacity).

I recently finished a book by Brian Fishman (a counterterrorism fellow at International Security Program and former Combating Terrorism Center director at West Point) titled The Master Plan: ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Jihadi Strategy for Final Victory. It was a fascinating read for many reasons but the last 3-4 pages or so should be passed around Capitol Hill. Think we have fake news in the States? Imagine what passes as news in authoritarian or semi-lawless areas of the world. Trump's complete lack of nuance fuels a wrongly held belief (although these days it's tipping into half) that America hates Islam. We don't give a damn about Islam. Much like we don't care about what any one person believes. Free expression - it's a glorious thing. But when Trump is quoted as saying "ban all Muslims" no matter the context he thinks it was in, it is blasted to all the poor, dispossessed, aimless, and hopeless youths in countries ravaged by Western meddling and local power squabbles and makes a compelling case for sticking it to the great Satan.

The language Trump uses is so un-nuanced (and this is me generously assuming that he truly has no problem with Muslims) that a casual Muslim observer in say, Indonesia, now thinks that it is American policy to exclude and possible persecute Muslims. Thus, this person is more susceptible to whispers of 'crusader invasions' and 'desecration of the holy land'. This travel ban was broad, preemptive, unreviewed, and as we've seen, unpopular. Trump claims he has a mandate for this action. Depends on which poll you read and how the question was posed. What this does show is that Americans have a FUNDAMENTAL misunderstanding of what Islam is and what it teaches. Look at Catholicism in the 1500's. Look at Protestantism in in 1650-1750 in New England. And if you're thinking "well duh, but Christians grew up" I'd ask you to look at Mecca, Medina, Baghdad, Istanbul at those same times - centers of civilization, learning, culture.

Long post and sorry if it's a bit ranty. I'm pretty convinced that most Americans know about Islam solely through bin Laden's propaganda videos and the bad guys in True Lies. But hey, they're brown and write in squiggles, so why should we try to understand their 1300 year old culture.
Well said. I've also tried to throw Trump some benefit of the doubt and assume he doesn't actually hate Muslims - but there is a reason we leave diplomacy to the diplomats.

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Amen. A bit of an extreme take on religious people, but overall I agree with you.
Of course. I was just using his language to make a point. I doubt there's a sleeping dragon behind my poor old grandma.
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Old 02-01-2017, 03:18 PM   #2086 (permalink)
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Pretty much
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Old 02-01-2017, 04:34 PM   #2087 (permalink)
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This right here is why terrorism exists, especially why it exists in 2017 in the Middle East and Eastern Africa. Poor countries, lack of government power to enforce contracts/too much government power abuse, and lack of exposure to outside ideas or culture. Islam, in isolation, isn't the driving force behind terrorism. If it was, we'd have so many more attacks in so many places. Islam is twisted, parsed, and manipulated by people with aspirations of power in this life and impressed on the young, the gullible, and the desperate. Point out a verse in the Quran calling for the deaths of unbelievers and I'll show you one in the Bible proscribing death for wearing poly-blend fabric.

Whether it's nationalism, racial hegemony, religious invocation, etc. all of these tribal mindsets, which as recently evolved creatures we're susceptible to, can trace their roots to the inculcation of the weak and the stupid (stupid as in 'not knowing', not a statement of intellectual capacity).

I recently finished a book by Brian Fishman (a counterterrorism fellow at International Security Program and former Combating Terrorism Center director at West Point) titled The Master Plan: ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Jihadi Strategy for Final Victory. It was a fascinating read for many reasons but the last 3-4 pages or so should be passed around Capitol Hill. Think we have fake news in the States? Imagine what passes as news in authoritarian or semi-lawless areas of the world. Trump's complete lack of nuance fuels a wrongly held belief (although these days it's tipping into half) that America hates Islam. We don't give a damn about Islam. Much like we don't care about what any one person believes. Free expression - it's a glorious thing. But when Trump is quoted as saying "ban all Muslims" no matter the context he thinks it was in, it is blasted to all the poor, dispossessed, aimless, and hopeless youths in countries ravaged by Western meddling and local power squabbles and makes a compelling case for sticking it to the great Satan.

The language Trump uses is so un-nuanced (and this is me generously assuming that he truly has no problem with Muslims) that a casual Muslim observer in say, Indonesia, now thinks that it is American policy to exclude and possible persecute Muslims. Thus, this person is more susceptible to whispers of 'crusader invasions' and 'desecration of the holy land'. This travel ban was broad, preemptive, unreviewed, and as we've seen, unpopular. Trump claims he has a mandate for this action. Depends on which poll you read and how the question was posed. What this does show is that Americans have a FUNDAMENTAL misunderstanding of what Islam is and what it teaches. Look at Catholicism in the 1500's. Look at Protestantism in in 1650-1750 in New England. And if you're thinking "well duh, but Christians grew up" I'd ask you to look at Mecca, Medina, Baghdad, Istanbul at those same times - centers of civilization, learning, culture.

Long post and sorry if it's a bit ranty. I'm pretty convinced that most Americans know about Islam solely through bin Laden's propaganda videos and the bad guys in True Lies. But hey, they're brown and write in squiggles, so why should we try to understand their 1300 year old culture.
Beautiful post. One of the best I've seen on this thread so far.

One minor point: Christianity, rationally speaking, doesn't relate much back to anything in the Old Testament since it predates Jesus's birth. The Qur'an is a different story: Mohammad and his life is the ultimate ideal, not Jesus's. That's where you start seeing fundamental differences in ideology.
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Old 02-01-2017, 04:44 PM   #2088 (permalink)
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My big issue with the modern, liberal conception of Islam is that so many people claim that the worst parts come from the Hadith (and other **** I don't know) as if that and other things have no importance simply because they aren't from the Quran. But if the Hadith is important to modern fundamentalist Islam then does it really matter if it isn't a part of the actual Quran? Like, so many ****ty parts of Christianity may or may not come directly from the Bible, but if they don't then does it matter if those ****ty parts are still believed?
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Old 02-01-2017, 04:49 PM   #2089 (permalink)
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The hadiths are controversial as to whether or not Muhammad actually said them. The Quran is universally accepted by the Islamic community as legit (well, generally; there's a lot of fuss about translations and all that).
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Old 02-01-2017, 04:52 PM   #2090 (permalink)
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The hadiths are controversial as to whether or not Muhammad actually said them. The Quran is universally accepted by the Islamic community as legit (well, generally; there's a lot of fuss about translations and all that).
Yeah, no, I know that full well, but how much of the Muslim world recognizes the Hadiths? It's kind of important the percentage of those who do and don't. If the Hadiths are ignored by a significant majority then it's whatevs, but if a large enough portion of Islam consider the Hadiths to be at least important then saying that they're not exactly 100% canon is kind of pointless.
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