Muslim extremism vs. American imperialism [kill em with kindness]

radikal
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Muslim extremism vs. American imperialism [kill em with kindness]

This is my first post in the forums. However, I am a long time fan of rational responders and also an atheist. There is one thing about the rational responders, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins that I believe is highly irrational (no pun intended): the caricature of muslims as religious fanatics in the middle east. By focusing the problems in the Middle East on solely religious grounds, we are totally missing what I think is the giant gorilla in the room, american imperialism (or western imperialism).

Dawkin and Harris's arguments, in particular, are eerily similar to the neoconservatives. Their argument goes something like this: The USA and Britain must  take Muslim extremism seriously because it is a dangerous threat to our security. Therefore, we (western countries) are the noble ones and muslim extremists are bad.  I call it neoconservative because it is very black or white, kind of clint eastwood like in its terminology

This argument is irrational for several reasons.  First, it assumes that religion is causing them to be extreme and not exploitation and poverty. Lets take Al Queda for example. They originated from a saudi and CIA funded Moujahadeen (holy warriors) to fight off Soviet occupied Afghanistan. The USA did not think these muslims were extreme back then, and also notice that since Soviet Union pulled out of Afganistan there has been no terrorist attacks on russia (by Al Queda factions).  This was an example of Soviet imperialism, where muslims in and around Afghanistan didn't like being occupied by a foreign nation.

Today, we see Hamas, Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and Hezbollah labled as muslim extremists. But if we look at their history individually it traces back to foreign intervention and imperialism. So, here is my question. Is Muslim extremism a serious issue? Or is it a scape goat to justify American imperialism? Perhaps both?

I do think there are some muslims who are highly intolerant of other peoples beliefs. With that said, I think it is a huge mistake to assume it is America's job to make them tolerant or force them to our beliefs.  In my opinion, and it is supported historically, America is more ruthless and extreme than most muslim extremists. I would like to hear fellow atheist opinions, especially.  But all opinion is welcomed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Well, in all fairness,

Well, in all fairness, if it is reasonable to link the imperialism of one actor to the extremism of another, would not it be reasonable to make other links as well?

 

Sure, if we had our druthers, we would probably build Wall Marts all over the middle east. However, the Muslim world is not lacking in people who want to spread their own brand of imperialism to the west as well. If imperialism is sufficient reason to justify extremism, then it ought to work in reverse as well.

 

Many of the leaders in the middle east want us to be more like them, we don't want to change our ways, so we get to attack them. The only thing is that instead of four passenger aircraft, our weapons are armies. The whole mess could easily lead to a never ending cycle of violence begetting invasions begetting violence and so on. That doesn't really seem too rational to my way of thinking.

 

On the other hand, why should there be a moral equivalence between building a Wall Mart in Dubai and killing innocent civilians in the West? For the most part, the people of the West have no huge problem with people from the Moslem world moving into our territory and setting up mosques, provided that they are willing to abide by our social contract and behave in a reasonable manner.

 

On the other hand, if they want to enjoy the life that exists in the west and yet continue to live like stone age barbarians when they get annoyed by some stupid cartoons or whatever, then Westerners may have a problem.

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I disagree with the

I disagree with the summation of Harris and Dawkins' statements regarding fundamentalism. As far as I am aware both authors in their books and speeches have taken pains to point out that the characteristic they are targeting is extremism, especially violent extremism, fuelled by religious fundamentalist belief of any description. We happen to live at a point in time where this translates into effective terrorism emanating from within the muslim faith, but again I believe both Harris and Dawkins have rightly stated that we are arguing only questions of slight degree when we compare the actions of these fanatics to their christian equivalent. The political motivations might differ greatly, but the motivation to commit atrocity derived from religious belief is remarkably similar. Indeed both men have drawn attention to Bush's frequent overtures to his own religiously naive beliefs when explaining or justifying his bellicose foreign policy.

 

Dawkins deplores it because he sees it as an atavistic tendency in human development. Harris is more inclined to the view that it is of much more immediate danger to human existence. But neither man identifies the problem as one solely with the muslim faith. Its solution is not in eliminating any one faith but in eliminating the compunction, encouraged by religion, to place a value on ignorance and the resultant ignorant adherence to irrational concepts. As long as a sufficient proportion of humanity continues to do so their intellectual disability will be utilised to manipulate their behaviour in the ostensible name of religion but  in reality in order to fulfil political goals.

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Hmm thought the story of the

Hmm thought the story of the middle east was

West supports nasty mainly secular dictatorships (it supports an occassional  religious one to)

This is response doesnt produce Gandhi but produces nasty religious movements dedicated to fighting the nasty secular governements (which as far as they are concerned is American/Western imperialism).

Generally governments of nasty secular governments dont give the West any trouble but their populations do.

Note this is not Islam versus Western Liberal democracies its Islam versus western backed dictatorships

 

 


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I think your answer is "some

I think your answer is "some of both".  Ayaan Hirsi Ali does a good job of explaining how corruption causes people to support fundamentalists in order to have some stability in society in Infidel.  There's no reason to believe that Islamic fundamentalists don't believe in the violence they advocate.  We've all seen enough actions aligning with rhetoric to believe they will follow through on what they say if they have the opportunity.  Therefore, they are a credible threat.

That said, U.S. based companies feeding of corruption and our government's interference help corrupt officials hold onto power in many countries and makes the underlying problems worse.  The poverty and exploitation do send people to religion for comfort and stability in their crappy lives.  Then the visible and dangerous fundamentalists can be blamed for all the problems in a given region. 

I would keep in mind that tolerant christianity's emergence does coincide with higher levels of education and financial security for the masses in the west.  It does seem like pick-and-choose Islamism ought to be an option for Islamic societies eventually.  I don't think that will happen while so many people live in poverty and want to escape from their lives. 

 

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islam

Of all the superstions that plague humanity islam is the worst.  Any superstition that advocates the murder of a 13 year old girl, by stoneing, for the crime of being raped needs to be destroyed.  Maybe the reason they live in poverty in spite of all the oil wealth, is that they are savages, unable to survive in a civilized world.


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Thanks for the detailed

Sorry for such a late respond. I forgot all about this question.

Thanks for the detailed responses.  I think Answers in Genesis made an interesting point. However, there is one element missing. One nation is the military super power and the others are 3rd world countries.  The USA has a history of overthrowing democratic leaders and supporting ruthless dictators in the Middle East.

No middle eastern country has invaded or attacked America's homeland. It is America that is attacking their land. This is how we know its imperialism. America attacks weaker countries and occupies them. Id like to focus on this. There is no muslim country that can rival the level of destruction America causes.

I also agree that many in the Middle East want us to be like them, today. However, If one follows the history of the middle east, most of the countries were isolationists and secular before Western countries invaded them. After western countries exploited middle eastern countries, we begin to see the rise of muslim extremism and foreign aggression.

As for calling them barbarians, that's just propaganda.  Every imperial country calls the victims of imperialism derogatory names. Its a way to dehumanize them, so we no longer feel bad for committing immoral acts.

 

 


radikal
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Actually if you study a bit

Actually if you study a bit about Islam, it is almost identical to the old testament in terms of its beliefs. After all, Islam derives from judaism and it doesnt take that radical of a departure from it.

Muslims countries have some serious issues. I will not argue against that. But this does not justify American invasion and occupation of muslim countries. 200 years ago America committed one of the worst crimes in human history with its slave trade. America also imposed sanctions against Iraq which killed over 200,000 children. How is this rational? Some muslim countries do stone children, and that should be condemned, but how is this sanction that killed 1000 times as many kids anymore rational?

I don't think I have misstated Dawkins or Harris's positions. If I did, I will apologize. But on Sam Harris's site he recommends books written by Paul Berman.  Berman believes in spreading "democracy" in the middle east and "civilizing" the muslim world. Dawkins, on the other hand, is harder to analyze. He did criticize the way the iraq war was handled. But I get the impression he supports the "war on terrorism." He certainly is not outspoken critic of military agression.

 

 


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I can't believe I missed

I can't believe I missed this when this was first posted.

 

The fundamental attribution error is previelent in U.S foriegn policy and pretty much led to the tortures in Gitmo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison and the suspension of human rights in the U.S, including warrentless searches or Arabs/Muslimsetc...

 

It also gives the U.S an excuse not to look in the mirror with their policies.

 

"Well, they're evil Arab/Muslim terrorists! We have to protect you from them!"

 

Then they "protect" us and the Mid East gets more pissed at us.

 

It's a deadly cycle that needs to end.

 

 

 


radikal
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Exactly. That was my point.

Exactly. That was my point. You summed it up far better than I did. If we continue to invade and occupy these countries, terrorism and muslim extremism will increase.

 


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It's another Zionist plot

It's another Zionist plot carried out by Christianists!


radikal
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I think you were being

I think you were being sarcastic. I do think Zionism plays a significant role though. Israel is guilty of some of the worst human rights abuses. We hear a lot about muslim hatred for infidels and how violent they are. Little to nothing is mentioned of Israels despicable treatment of the palestinians.


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the subject of the middle

the subject of the middle east is extremely complicated.  anyone who wants to understand the religious situation there should check out hans kung's brilliant (and rather long) trilogy, "the religious situation of our time."  his basic philosophy is that there will be no world peace until there is peace between the religions, and no peace between the religions until the religions understand each other, hence his presentations of the three abrahamic religions.  while i find his philosophy both simplistic and utopian, his trilogy is unparalelled in its objectivity, erudition, and readability.  anyone who would want a basic understanding of the histories of the three major religions and the underlying religious issues of the middle eastern conflicts, i would direct to these books. 

the last volume, islam, just came out in english in 2006.  the volumes on judaism and christianity came out in the early '90s, so you get to see some development and, unfortunately, some of kung's hopes shattered.  he comes down very hard on both bush administrations in these books.  kung is a swiss catholic priest and theologian and one of the leaders of the world council of churches.  he and the current pope have known each other since seminary and represent two very different trends in modern catholicism: kung is a tireless ecumenicist who is constantly on the outs with the vatican and ratzinger of course is a staunch reactionary.  despite his potential christian bias, kung's objectivity, as i said before, is truly commendable, and i consider it a plus that his trilogy has offended conservatives in all three religions.

well, the reason i'm reccomending these so strongly is that they really are the most concise place to go, and the amount of detail necessary to become conversant in the middle eastern conflicts just cannot be condensed into an internet forum without the danger of grave misunderstandings.  that being said, islam definitely glorifies the idea of a holy warrior, but so does almost every other religion.  islamic terrorism is a fairly modern phenomenon, and essentially reactionary against superpower imperialism.  these superpowers include not only the united states, but of course colonial britain and the soviet union as well.  while these latter superpowers no longer exist, the effects of their foreign policies linger on and still inform the ideologies of islamic extremism.  there would have been no moujahadeen without the soviets, no iranian revolutionary guards without the shah of iran and his american backers, no hamas without aggressive israeli settlers.

the extremists are as necessary to the US bourgeoisie as the communists once were.  without bogeymen, there is no need for a military.  without a military, there is no need for military contracts.  without military contracts, lockheed, honeywell, et al. do not get paid.  if they don't get paid, the politicians don't get bribed.  if they don't get bribed, they have no interest in perpetuating bogeymen.  and so the circle continues.

of course islamic extremists are dangerous.  but they're also underfunded and poorly equipped.  i'm not a conspiracy theorists, but the idea than bin laden cannot be found, when i know goddamn good and well the CIA can pinpoint exactly when i scratch my ass in my backyard if they want to, well...something smells funny. 

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 From my time in the Navy I

 From my time in the Navy I have spent quite a lot of time "over there". I have lived in town with muslims and most are just as peaceful as you or me. They just want to be left alone and live thier lives. This whole notion that they hate us because of our freedom is complete BS. They hate us bc we occupy thier land. Imagine if China came and overthrew our corrupt government and then decided to stay and tell us how to run our country. We would do the same thing. I don't like to see our service men and women get blown the fuck up everyday but I do understand why they do it. 

On a similar note, I think the whole threat of terrorism is hyped up way more than it should be. When I travel from base to base I always think "how could I infiltrate this base and blow something up if I wanted to." (I never really wanted to, it was just a game I would play" The bases are very vurnerable, and if someone really wanted to blow something up and do some heavy damage it would not be very hard. And I find it hard to believe that the Feds are doing that great of a job preventing terrorism. We all saw how well they did on 9/11. 

Bottom line is that those people have been living their way of life a lot longer than we have been living ours and we are not going to change them by force, it is something that the people need to do on their own. Hell, we overthrew Saddam, and they repay us with car bombs. I say get the fuck out and let them kill each other. Why should our guys die bc they disagree on who mohammod's successor should have been. It makes not sense. It will just be about 10 or 15 years before we have to go back over there and do the same old crap again. Of course it is all about oil anyway. 

 

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and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


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Am I the only one fed up

Am I the only one fed up with the lie that islam was peaceful until we invaded them?

 

Regarding islam: Do a quick bit of research, it's always been a religion of force, spread by the sword (and now I.E.D. or suicide bomber).

Attacks against the U.S. and its interests began in earnest in 1983 with the Beiriut Marine Corps base bombing, but it goes way back.

 

The line in the Marine Corps song "The shores of Tripoli" reference the fight against the Barbary Pirates, all good moslems.

 

Any religion is bad, scietology and islam lead the way, IMHO.

 

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


EXC
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radikal wrote:This argument

radikal wrote:

This argument is irrational for several reasons.  First, it assumes that religion is causing them to be extreme and not exploitation and poverty.  

Perhaps religion is causing exploitation and poverty. Religion is an opiate for the misery of war and poverty and hence propitiates all three.

Islam has spread by the sword. Yes, 99% are peaceful. They are the carrot to get you to join the religion, but the 1% violent jihadist are there to bully and intimidate people that don't go along with the religion and it's odious laws. Islam overtook more peaceful religions like Buddism in Afganistan by intimidation and violent threats. Islam was spreading in this manner long before the USA became a country.

So it's wrong to think that Muslims are just these peace loving people that just want to be left alone. They were the original 'imerialists' and 'invaders' in the middle east. Sure there were abuses by American governments and corporations. But they were largely invited in by the leaders of these counties to get money for oil.

So it is a serious issue. We can't change the past, so we have no other option but to fight them if we want to survive as a secular nation and world. This is a war to be won with intellegence, espionage, stategic bombing and propaganda, not invading armies.

radikal wrote:

America is more ruthless and extreme than most muslim extremists

 

Now you're the one being irrational. Where is there any evidence to back this up?

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC wrote:Now you're the one

EXC wrote:

 

Now you're the one being irrational. Where is there any evidence to back this up?

 

http://www.americanwest.com/pages/indrank.htm

But we'll keep that in the "oops, no longer relevant" department. Eye-wink


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EXC wrote:Now you're the one

EXC wrote:

Now you're the one being irrational. Where is there any evidence to back this up?

 

the dominican republic, guatemala, nicaragua, cuba, puerto rico, vietnam, cambodia, the marshall islands, micronesia, the phillipines, iraq, iran, afghanistan, korea, guam, bosnia-hercegovina, kosovo, etc., etc.

i would be willing to bet that if one could get a hold of the raw numbers, the casualties directly resulting from american imperialist foreign policy (i'm not taking into account anything from the two world wars) within the last hundred years would dwarf anything ever done by islamist extremists, and that includes the iranian revolutionary guards.

shit, throw in the expansionism of the umayyads and the abbasids too, i bet the usa would still come out ahead.

 

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
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iwbiek
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EXC wrote:Islam has spread

EXC wrote:

Islam has spread by the sword.

yes, BUT...

EXC wrote:

Yes, 99% are peaceful. They are the carrot to get you to join the religion

not typically.  the islamic sphere of influence spread by the sword, the religion did not, and most muslims, including extremists, are not interested in enticing you into becoming a muslim.  the fact of the matter is, the great muslim empires (umayyads, abbasids, safavids, seljuks, mamluks, mughals, ottomans) didn't want converts to islam, just like the roman patricians didn't want any more patricians.  non-muslims were a great source of revenue, in the form of poll taxes and such, and it's established that christians, jews, and zoroastrians enjoyed more religious freedom under the muslim empires than under their contemporary christian counterparts, as long as they were willing to obey the laws and accept the status quo.

even during the classic arab expansion under the four "rightly-guided" caliphs in the generations immediately following the death of muhammad, a non-arab converting to islam was severely discouraged, except in the case of very prominent or wealthy persons.  the idea was that islam was a religion for the arabs, and the arabs were meant to inherit the earth, not muslims in general.  non-arab muslims were second-class citizens right up until the end of the umayyad caliphate, when the persians and turks began to outnumber the arabs in the empire.

there was no wide-scale aggressive islamic missionary activity.  unlike medieval catholic europe, there were no forced conversions.  islam has never been a religion of apologetics, and in general muslim apologists only arose in response to challenges from the christian world.  islamic missionary activity is a relatively recent phenomenon, and still very undeveloped when compared with christian evangelism.  unlike jesus in the gospels, muhammad never gave any kind of "great commission."  islamic expansion was on the whole purely political.

even when islamic extremists decide to become aggressive against another religion--like for example the hindus and sikhs in the punjab (though in this case usually in reaction), or the coptic christians in present-day egypt--it is with the object of suppressing or annihilating the devotees of the other religion, not converting them.  muslims have traditionally been satisfied with political power, and as long as the other religious groups beneath them stay docile, they have no interest in changing their beliefs.  in fact, like jews, muslims are far morely likely to devote their apologetic and missionary energies to converting each other.  historically, a sunni is more likely to engage in unprovoked religious debate with an ahmadiyya, an ismaili, or a druze than a christian, jew, or atheist.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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iwbiek wrote:EXC wrote:Islam

iwbiek wrote:

EXC wrote:

Islam has spread by the sword.

yes, BUT...

EXC wrote:

Yes, 99% are peaceful. They are the carrot to get you to join the religion

not typically.  the islamic sphere of influence spread by the sword, the religion did not, and most muslims, including extremists, are not interested in enticing you into becoming a muslim. 

 

 Are you just making this up or being deliberately deceitful? I'll go with taqqiyah as my best guess.

Here: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6990811.stm

A group of South Koreans held hostage by Taleban militants in Afghanistan have said they were beaten and ordered at gunpoint to convert to Islam.

iwbiek wrote:
the fact of the matter is, the great muslim empires (umayyads, abbasids, safavids, seljuks, mamluks, mughals, ottomans) didn't want converts to islam, just like the roman patricians didn't want any more patricians.  non-muslims were a great source of revenue, in the form of poll taxes and such, and it's established that christians, jews, and zoroastrians enjoyed more religious freedom under the muslim empires than under their contemporary christian counterparts, as long as they were willing to obey the laws and accept the status quo.

www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2008/10/11/iraqi-christians-told-to-convert-pay-jizyah-or-die/

At least 900 Christian families have fled Mosul in the past week, terrified by a series of killings and threats by Muslim extremists ordering them to convert to Islam or face possible death, officials said Saturday.

And that's only a recent example. Ok, I think we've established that you're outright lying. Oh, and here's the actual wording from the quran:

“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” — Qur’an 9:29

For anyone to state that islam allowed other religions to peacefully coexist is laughable.

iwbiek wrote:
there was no wide-scale aggressive islamic missionary activity.  unlike medieval catholic europe, there were no forced conversions.  islam has never been a religion of apologetics, and in general muslim apologists only arose in response to challenges from the christian world.  islamic missionary activity is a relatively recent phenomenon, and still very undeveloped when compared with christian evangelism.  unlike jesus in the gospels, muhammad never gave any kind of "great commission."  islamic expansion was on the whole purely political.


Well, that's certainly changed. Recent expasion of the religion of peace and associated behaviour would show otherwise.

I have a plethora of abrogation of Sura 2.256 (Let there be no compulsion in religion) should you need me to post them. Suffice to say that in the early days of the fledgling cult the moslems didn't have the resources to battle and were understandably pragmatic in their observance and passivity. This changed once they became strong enough to spread the word by the sword.

 

iwbiek wrote:
even when islamic extremists decide to become aggressive against another religion--like for example the hindus and sikhs in the punjab (though in this case usually in reaction),

Usually in reaction? To what? Being looked at funny? As we are currently seeing in the West it's in reaction to some percieved slight. The molsems are masters of victimhood.

iwbiek wrote:
or the coptic christians in present-day egypt--it is with the object of suppressing or annihilating the devotees of the other religion, not converting them. 

Right-o, then. They are just ridding the world of other religions, not trying to add to their numbers.

iwbiek wrote:
muslims have traditionally been satisfied with political power, and as long as the other religious groups beneath them stay docile, they have no interest in changing their beliefs.  in fact, like jews, muslims are far morely likely to devote their apologetic and missionary energies to converting each other.  historically, a sunni is more likely to engage in unprovoked religious debate with an ahmadiyya, an ismaili, or a druze than a christian, jew, or athei

 

Satisfied with political power......Yeah, they will put up with dhimmitude from everyone else for a price. Jizyah.

 

You tell me I'm a kuffur to my face, we'll take it from there.

 

Your islam is a death cult, nothing more. It has no place in free society.

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


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does anyone else see a

does anyone else see a pattern. Muslim country=crap

 


EXC
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iwbiek wrote:EXC wrote:Now

iwbiek wrote:

EXC wrote:

Now you're the one being irrational. Where is there any evidence to back this up?

 

the dominican republic, guatemala, nicaragua, cuba, puerto rico, vietnam, cambodia, the marshall islands, micronesia, the phillipines, iraq, iran, afghanistan, korea, guam, bosnia-hercegovina, kosovo, etc., etc.

i would be willing to bet that if one could get a hold of the raw numbers, the casualties directly resulting from american imperialist foreign policy (i'm not taking into account anything from the two world wars) within the last hundred years would dwarf anything ever done by islamist extremists, and that includes the iranian revolutionary guards.

shit, throw in the expansionism of the umayyads and the abbasids too, i bet the usa would still come out ahead.

 

So if the USA did not exist, there would be no more wars or killing in the world?

So China's intervention in Korea and Vietnam was good while the USA's was all bad? The USSR's intervention was good while the USA is to blame for all the bad? Japan was good in the Philippines and the USA was bad? Saddam would never have killed anyone if he was left in power?

How did Genocide in Cambodia happen since we didn't intervene to stop it? How did Rwanda and the Holocaust happen if only USA imperialism is the cause of all war and killing in the world?

And how many people in South Korea would have been killed and starved to death if the USA had allowed it to become Communist like North Korea?

And isn't US imperialism a reaction to Communists and Islamists that push and maintain their agenda by violent means and outlaw other systems?

 

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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You know what's gold? The

You know what's gold? The situation in Pakistan right now. If Alison's argument (parroted by a theistic arm chair political scientist) held any water (that Al Qaeda strictly exists due to U.S. intervention, only attacks belligerent nations, etc), the Pakistan armed forces shouldn't be having to hunt them down right now, should they? I mean, I thought they were just fighting for their own national sovereignty? And yet here their own fucking country (they no longer have any appreciable public support in Pakistan. The locals feel that they're too fundamentalist and batshit insane. Go figure) has to go and track them down (the funny part is that they're still out blaming America, France and Britain as the aggressors, even as the bullets of their own countrymen buzz over their skulls. lolz). If they're fighting for the interest of their country and the liberty of the arabic public, shouldn't they be willingly surrendering to the Pakistanian authorities? Shouldn't they acknowledge their loss in public support and agree to come to terms with the progressive movement in Pakistan?

If Alison was right, of course they should. But they aren't, because she's wrong. They have no interest in American intervention, Pakistanian sovereignty or the public good. America is simply their bogeyman; the source for which they can claim all evils originate (in the same way the Iranian government is right now sewing propaganda through Twitter that America is behind the protests in Iran). As Obama brilliantly put it in a recent press conference, "...America sometimes makes for a wonderful political football."

Al Qaeda is interested in the 'good old days' when women were considered property, justice was meted-out wth beheadings and there were no Jews in their 'Holy Land'. Period. End of story. The rest of it is bullshit they invent to gain some political support from ill-informed moderates. It isn't a matter of poverty (Osama Bin Laden himself is hardly cut off from his family, whom are among some of the most affluent individuals on the planet, and used to recieve a large allowance from them), education (people of all walks of life have been suicide bombers for Al Qaeda, including doctors, businessmen and architects), nationality or even ethnicity. The only common thread is their feverish devotion to their religion and the literal word of the Koran. 

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Quote:Dawkin and Harris's

Quote:

Dawkin and Harris's arguments, in particular, are eerily similar to the neoconservatives. Their argument goes something like this: The USA and Britain must  take Muslim extremism seriously because it is a dangerous threat to our security. Therefore, we (western countries) are the noble ones and muslim extremists are bad.  I call it neoconservative because it is very black or white, kind of clint eastwood like in its terminology

This argument is irrational for several reasons.  First, it assumes that religion is causing them to be extreme and not exploitation and poverty. Lets take Al Queda for example. They originated from a saudi and CIA funded Moujahadeen (holy warriors) to fight off Soviet occupied Afghanistan. The USA did not think these muslims were extreme back then, and also notice that since Soviet Union pulled out of Afganistan there has been no terrorist attacks on russia (by Al Queda factions).  This was an example of Soviet imperialism, where muslims in and around Afghanistan didn't like being occupied by a foreign nation.

While I actually agree that there is a double standard at play here (it is not fair that in 'The End of Faith' Harris goes at length to criticize muslim violence, for example, while giving American collateral damage a free pass simply because the elements of faith present in the American foreign policy decisions were grounded in greed rather than religion), you aren't giving the Afghanistan war an accurate portrayal. Have you read any of the Moujahadeen quotes from that conflict? They were implicitly fighting the soviets because they were 'atheist communists'; Osama Bin Laden himself went on lengthy tirades about it. For fuck's sake, Bin Laden wasn't even from Afghanistan. Hardly any of the fighters were; they marched in from other countries to repel the evil communist atheists.

Yes, the CIA was careless in arming them and hugely to blame for the debacle (themselves adhering to the dogmatic 'domino model' for communism, which today is considered ludicrous). But let's not pretend the Moujahadeen was fighting for their sovereignty. They were fighting to keep secular influence out of their 'Holy Land'.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Ahhh the good old "religious

Ahhh the good old "religious apologist" argument

 

 

I have no clue as to whether or not say, Robert Pape or Mia Bloom are Theist or atheist, [if you study logic, it may very well be irrelevant. What DOES matter is their arguments.] Both have credentials and don't qualify as "arm chair political scienctists"

 

But Scott Atran has gotten into arguments with Sam Harris, and I'm pretty sure that Atran is atheist.

 

All three have something in common" They actually study suicide terrorism. Atran has conducted interviews with Jihadists for example.

 

 

Oh and BTW Kev, now that you brought up Pakistan, they are clearly steeped in Islam, why aren't they supporting Al-Qaeda?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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As for an actual response to

As for an actual response to Kevin's stupidity:

 

1] Osama Bin Laden is from Saudi Arabia, not Pakistan. He was expelled from Saudi Arabia, I believe due to his critisim of Saudi government support for the U.S 

2] To say they would surrender is insane. First FARC isn't welcome in Colombia why don't they surrender? The Soviet communist part wasn't popular, why didn't they just pack up and leave?

 

So in other words, all you have done is set up a straw man and knocked it down.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Quote:if you study logic, it

Quote:
if you study logic, it may very well be irrelevant

...How is having a ridiculously obvious bias within the subject you're researching irrelevant? Robert Pape is a practicing member of an orthodox religion. That means he has a pretty clear predisposition towards defending religious practices. Sticking out tongue

 

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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...And you didn't answer the

...And you didn't answer the question, you dodged it. We're not talking about FARK or the communists.

If (as you claim) Al Qaeda is a nationalist movement rather than a religious one, why has their entire nation state turned on them? Why are they concerned for the entirety of the Persian Gulf? It's not like they have states that are friendly to them all over the region.

Osama Bin Laden claims that it's because the area has holy significance, but I guess you & Pape know better than the man himself, right?

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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This is pretty funny. I

This is pretty funny. I guess (according to Kramer), Pape doesn't actually discount religion having a negative effect.

Oops.

 

You sure you read that book, Alison? Or maybe you just read it and applied your own prejudices?

Now I think i'll have to have a go at it.

 

EDIT:

Quote:
Professor Pape emphasizes the large number of Saudis among Al-Qaeda suicide attackers. So for his thesis to hold, he has to maintain that Arabia, too, is under a humiliating foreign occupation. But the size of the occupying U.S. forces is placed at only about 12,000 in 2001, on the eve of 9/11. In Table 10 of his book, Arabia appears as the occupied region with the largest population of any occupied place: 50 million.

...Wait. Wat?

Oh. Oh, man. Alison, you lying little bitch.

(Don't worry - I said that with a smile on my face)

 

You intimated that Pape said Al-Qaeda was acting in response to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. But that's not what he said at all. He claimed they were acting in response to the U.S. occupation of Saudi Arabia.

That's so funny I'm crying. Oh, man. I can't believe I even bothered debating this the whole time. I thought this was a real book.

 

Saudi Arabia has never, ever, ever been occupied by the United States. Like, ever. OPEC has had the U.S. (and most other idustrialized countries) by the balls for decades due to their monopoly on the world's oil supply. Saying that the entire planet's trade agreements and alliance of convenience with OPEC counts as an 'occupation' is an obvious absurdity. I mean, fuck, Dubya was on a first name basis with many of the Saudi leaders. They got along just fine.

So, Bin Laden has a problem with that. Well, fine - but then Pape seeks to legitimize Bin Laden's world view by backing-up his claim that Saudi Arabia is 'occupied'? Gee whiz, substantial portions of Alberta are being 'occupied' by China, then, and the U.S. is pratically being besieged by Mexico.

 

What a joke.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:

[url=http://www.geocities.com/martinkramerorg/PapeKramer.htm]This is pretty funny[/url]. I guess (according to Kramer), Pape doesn't actually discount religion having a negative effect.

Oops.

 

You sure you read that book, Alison? Or maybe you just read it and applied your own prejudices?

Now I think i'll have to have a go at it.

 

 

Yeah, he argues that religious difference plays a role, and he even admits this is not a crucial considering the PKK and the LTTE attacked same religion targets.

 

 [Edit]

 

Oh and as for the article saying suicide attacks started with Islamists, I don't recall the Japanese Kamakizis reading the Koran

 

[/EDIT]

 

 

Kevin R Brown wrote:

 

You intimated that Pape said Al-Qaeda was acting in response to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. But that's not what he said at all. He claimed they were acting in response to the U.S. occupation of Saudi Arabia.

 

 

Nope, I said the attacks by Iraqis was from the occupation of Iraq. Another strawman.

 

 

Kevin R Brown wrote:

 

 

Saudi Arabia has never, ever, ever been occupied by the United States. Like, ever. OPEC has had the U.S. (and most other idustrialized countries) by the balls for decades due to their monopoly on the world's oil supply. Saying that the entire planet's trade agreements and alliance of convenience with OPEC counts as an 'occupation' is an obvious absurdity. I mean, fuck, Dubya was on a first name basis with many of the Saudi leaders. They got along just fine.

So, Bin Laden has a problem with that. Well, fine - but then Pape seeks to legitimize Bin Laden's world view by backing-up his claim that Saudi Arabia is 'occupied'? Gee whiz, substantial portions of Alberta are being 'occupied' by China, then, and the U.S. is pratically being besieged by Mexico.

 

What a joke.

 

 

 

When AL Qaeda started suicide attacks, guess what their targets were? U.S military bases in Saudi Arabia

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Oh and

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Oh and as for the article saying suicide attacks started with Islamists, I don't recall the Japanese Kamakizis reading the Koran

  

First recorded suicide attacks were in the 17th century by Dutch against the Taiwanese, unless you want to cite Sampson and his temple shaking rage against the Philistines?

 

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 Nope, I said the attacks by Iraqis was from the occupation of Iraq. Another strawman.

 

 

It was moslems trying to disengage the percieved invasion by infidels. You may want to start with the muslim brotherhood trying to run off the British in 1935 from Palestine.

 

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

When AL Qaeda started suicide attacks, guess what their targets were? U.S military bases in Saudi Arabia

 

Not quite true. The first bombing of the WTC (that everyone seems to forget) in 1993 was on U.S. soil and allegedly in response to the first Gulf War. Before that we had the 1983 bombing of the Marines Barracks, perpertated by early hezbollah trying to rid Lebanon of infidels. It goes as far back as muredrous cult of islam once mo was in a position to be aggressive. It is a fascist ideology bent on world domination. Read the quran and/or The Politically Incorrect Guide to islam.

 

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


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Abu Lahab

Abu Lahab wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Oh and as for the article saying suicide attacks started with Islamists, I don't recall the Japanese Kamakizis reading the Koran

  

First recorded suicide attacks were in the 17th century by Dutch against the Taiwanese, unless you want to cite Sampson and his temple shaking rage against the Philistines?

   

Depending on your definition of "suicide attack" we could go back to feudal japan/asia, Nordic Berserkers, hell... even Greek fireships

What Would Kharn Do?


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My point to the delightful

My point to the delightful Pineapple is that they (moslems) are the ones STILL doing it.


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Abu Lahab wrote: It was

Abu Lahab wrote:

 

It was moslems trying to disengage the percieved invasion by infidels. You may want to start with the muslim brotherhood trying to run off the British in 1935 from Palestine.

 

 

But did they use suicide attacks?


 

 

Quote:

Not quite true. The first bombing of the WTC (that everyone seems to forget) in 1993 was on U.S. soil and allegedly in response to the first Gulf War.

 

 

I said suicide attacks. The WTC wasn't suicide.

 

 

Quote:

 Before that we had the 1983 bombing of the Marines Barracks, perpertated by early hezbollah trying to rid Lebanon of infidels. It goes as far back as muredrous cult of islam once mo was in a position to be aggressive. It is a fascist ideology bent on world domination. Read the quran and/or The Politically Incorrect Guide to islam.

 

I don't recall saying that say Al-Qaeda or Hamas aren't Islamist.

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:But did

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

But did they use suicide attacks?


 

 

Abu Lahab wrote:

Yes. Donkeys strapped with explosives, believe it or not.

 

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I said suicide attacks. The WTC wasn't suicide.

 

Abu Lahab wrote:

Last minute cowardice, ineptitude? The plan was for there to be a martyr.

 

 

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I don't recall saying that say Al-Qaeda or Hamas aren't Islamist.

 

 

Abu Lahab wrote:

Just making sure the message comes across lound and clear: islam is a death cult!

 

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


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Why are you quoting

Why are you quoting yourself?



 

 

Abu Lahab wrote:

Yes. Donkeys strapped with explosives, believe it or not.

 

I meant suicide as in humans, I don't think the donkeys wired the bombs themselves. Also IIRC, dogs were used in Kosovo.

 

 

 

Abu Lahab wrote:

Last minute cowardice, ineptitude? The plan was for there to be a martyr.

 

It was a truck bomb and I believe set to a timer or a remote control.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Why are

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Why are you quoting yourself?


 

Why? Does it bother you?


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Quote:When AL Qaeda started

Quote:
When AL Qaeda started suicide attacks, guess what their targets were? U.S military bases in Saudi Arabia

So what? In order to make this argument, you have to agree with Pape that the United States had invaded and was occupying Saudi Arabia, causing misery amongst the populace which Al Qaeda then responded to.

Is that your argument?

 

EDIT: The alleged misery can also not be caused by insensitivies to the local reglious beliefs. In fact, it must not, or your entire argument breaks.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Kevin R Brown wrote: Is

Kevin R Brown wrote:

 

Is that your argument?

 

No, that's Pape's. I'm not saying he's COMPLETLY right, nor is he completly wrong.

 

Kevin R Brown wrote:

EDIT: The alleged misery can also not be caused by insensitivies to the local reglious beliefs. In fact, it must not, or your entire argument breaks.


Well, according to Scott Atran and Marc Sageman [a bunch of religious apologists I'm sure]

 

only 13% attatended Islamic religous schools, and 25% were deeply religious when young.

 

And Atran's studies shows that the terrorists know little about Islam, and "self-indocternate" withing a social group over the injustices they see the west doing.


http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5701806759199654816

 

 

 

 


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I think a thread entitled

I think a thread entitled
"Israeli Jewish extremism vs. American imperialism [kill em with kindness]", would be equally interesting and revealing to discuss.

After all, the US is the enabler of such stuff as Isreal dropping white phosporous on kids, genocide,
endless expansionism with new settlements occupied by hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jewish extremists.

Without the US and its preoccupation with ME oil, Israel wouldn't have carried out extremist acts which in turn radicalized Palestinians, and other Arabs.


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I'm bumping this

I'm bumping this topic. 

I've noticed that those who disagreed with me did so without taking into consideration American imperialism. It always comes back to Islam being irrational, which is off topic to my point. I am left with a couple questions. Do those of you who disagree think that America is not an Empire? Or do you think America being an empire is a good thing?

 

 


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Honestly, I never cared much

Honestly, I never cared much about Islamic Fundamentalism, 9/11, or any of that -until they started censoring South Park. Now I think we should just...

 

Edited for content.


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War is how humans have

War is how humans have evolved to deal with the problem of overpopulation/lack of resources. Unless and until there is a consensus on an alternative means to deal with this fundamental problem(or even recognize that this is the true common enemy of all mankind), wars must play themselves out. This debate about who is more moral in all this is ridiculously mind numbing.

Just build a tight bomb shelter with plenty of supplies. Pop your head out once in a while to see if anyone else has survived with whom you can breed. This is the best we can do until humans evolve into a more rational species.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC wrote:War is how humans

EXC wrote:

War is how humans have evolved to deal with the problem of overpopulation/lack of resources. Unless and until there is a consensus on an alternative means to deal with this fundamental problem(or even recognize that this is the true common enemy of all mankind), wars must play themselves out. This debate about who is more moral in all this is ridiculously mind numbing.

Just build a tight bomb shelter with plenty of supplies. Pop your head out once in a while to see if anyone else has survived with whom you can breed. This is the best we can do until humans evolve into a more rational species.

 

The main thing I like about you, is how positive you are Sticking out tongue

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Well, at least now we have a

Well, at least now we have a pretty definitive answer as to whether Muslims fanatics are simply 'reacting' to American Imperialism, as real as said imperialism may be:

No.

 

Does Denmark have a history of imperialism? Has Denmark recently invaded or occupied Muslim countries? 

 

And yet we've had Danes killed in the streets, Danish embassies put to the torch, Danish ambassadors threatened... because the Danish PM wouldn't censor some cartoons in a newspaper.

 

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Kevin R Brown wrote:Does

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Does Denmark have a history of imperialism? Has Denmark recently invaded or occupied Muslim countries?  

yeah, but you have to understand that denmark=nato.

...but of course it's not as simple as that either.  there's a definite growing trend in europe--albeit indirectly influenced by what extremists characterize as western cultural imperialism--of muslim minorities lashing out at secular governments who do not allow them to enforce, and spread, sharia.  but just like encroaching christian fundamentalism in the states, this a movement of a tiny yet vociferous minority operating out of a law-abiding and more or less westernized majority.  the problem with this majority, of course, is that it's passive, same as the "moderate" christian majority in the US.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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It is an interesting dilemma

It is an interesting dilemma for western nations though...on one hand you have enshrined laws about freedom of expression and religion, and on the other you have a large group of people who's opinions and religion require an overthrow of the liberal western state.

It is interesting to watch it all play out.  Honestly, unless the Muslim moderates and liberals start to balance the literalists in a more aggressive way I don't see how things can reach equilibrium.

I'm not even sure I've heard of any potential pathways to get fundamentalists to liberalize.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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mellestad wrote:I'm not even

mellestad wrote:

I'm not even sure I've heard of any potential pathways to get fundamentalists to liberalize.

Education.


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chndlrjhnsn wrote:mellestad

chndlrjhnsn wrote:

mellestad wrote:

I'm not even sure I've heard of any potential pathways to get fundamentalists to liberalize.

Education.

 

If you can force certain standards, sure.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.