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Six western views of Islam and the anwer to why they blow themselves up

hawk2

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The following excerpt is from the most recent acticle by Timothy Garton Ash of the Guardian. I almost never agree with anything written by this whacko liberal but he, I believe, has accidentally hit upon the most basic reason we are confronted with the evil of Islamic Fascism, or fanatical Islam, or however you define the the threat that we face which is generated by fanatics within the Islamic religion.

He has identified the six views of Islam as seen by the eyes of us in the west.
They are posted below I would like all you intellectuals to carefully read and analyse each and then place tick marks beside each one that most correctly defines the problem we face.

When you respond please give your reasons for choosing as you did. I will give my opinion at the end:

By Timothy Garton Ash
Why? What's the nub of the problem? Here are six different views often heard in the west, but also, it's important to add, in Muslim countries such as Iran. As you go down the list, you might like to put a mental tick against the view you most strongly agree with. It's logically possible to put smaller ticks against a couple of others, but not against them all.

1 The fundamental problem is not just Islam but religion itself, which is superstition, false consciousness, the abrogation of reason. In principle, Christianity or Judaism are little better, particularly in the versions embraced by the American right. The world would be a much better place if everyone understood the truths revealed by science, had confidence in human reason and embraced secular humanism. If we must have a framed image of a bearded old man on the wall, let it be a photograph of Charles Darwin. What we need is not just a secular state but a secular society.

This is a view held by many highly educated people in the post-Christian west, especially in western Europe, including some of my closest friends. If translated directly into a political prescription, it has the minor drawback of requiring that some 3 billion to 5 billion men and women abandon their fundamental beliefs. Nor has the track record of purely secular regimes over the last hundred years been altogether inspiring.

2 The fundamental problem is not religion itself, but the particular religion of Islam. Islam, unlike western Christianity, does not allow the separation of church and state, religion and politics. The fact that my Iranian newspaper gives the year as 1384 points to a larger truth. With its systematic discrimination against women, its barbaric punishments for homosexuality and its militant intolerance, Islam is stuck in the middle ages. What it needs is its Reformation.

A very widespread view. Two objections are that such a view encourages a monolithic, essentialist understanding of Islam, and tries to understand its history too much in western terms (middle ages, Reformation). If we mean by Islam "what people calling themselves Muslim actually think, say and do", there is a huge spectrum of different realities.

3 The problem is not Islam but Islamism. One of the world's great religions has been misrepresented by fanatics such as Osama bin Laden, who have twisted it into the service of a political ideology of hate. It's these ideologists and movements of political Islamism that we must combat. Working with the benign, peaceful majority of the world's Muslims, we can separate the poisonous fruit from the healthy tree.

The view promulgated by Qur'an-toting western politicians such as George Bush and Tony Blair. Well, they would say that, wouldn't they? They're not going to insult millions of Muslim voters and the foreign countries upon which the west relies for its imported oil. But do they really believe it? I have my doubts. Put them on a truth serum, and I bet they'd be closer to 2, while many atheist or agnostic European leaders would be at 1. On the other hand, this analysis is made with learning and force by distinguished specialists on the Muslim world.

4 The nub of the problem is not religion, Islam or even Islamism, but a specific history of the Arabs. Among 22 members of the Arab League, none is a home-grown democracy. (Iraq now has some elements of democracy, but hardly home-grown.) Needless to say, this is not a racist claim about Arabs but a complex argument about history, economics, political culture, society and a set of failed attempts at post-colonial modernisation.

A case can be made. There are democracies with Muslim majorities (Turkey, Mali). The political scientist Alfred Stepan has written a fascinating article suggesting that, in the democracy stakes, non-Arab Muslim countries have fared roughly as well as non-Muslim countries at a comparable level of economic development. But I'm struck by the fact that even in a traditionally anti-Arab country such as Iran, very few people think the trouble is just with Arabia.

5 We, not they, are the root of the problem. From the Crusades to Iraq, western imperialism, colonialism, Christian and post-Christian ideological hegemonism have themselves created this antipathy to western liberal democracy; and, at the extreme, its mortal enemies. Moreover, after causing (by the Holocaust of European barbarism), supporting or at least accepting the establishment of the state of Israel, we have for more than half a century ignored the terrible plight of the Palestinians.

A widespread view among Muslims, and by no means only among Arabs in the Middle East. Also shared, from a different starting point, by some on the western left. Of course, even if this simplistic version of history were entirely true, we couldn't change the past. But we can acknowledge the historical damage for which we are genuinely responsible. And we can do more to create a free Palestine next to a secure Israel.

6 Whatever your view of the relative merits of the west and Islam, the most acute tension comes at the edges where they meet. It arises, in particular, from the direct, personal encounter of young, first- or second-generation Muslim immigrants with western, and especially European, secular modernity. The most seductive system known to humankind, with its polychromatic consumer images of health, wealth, excitement, sex and power, is hugely attractive to young people from often poor, conservative, Muslim backgrounds. But, repelled by its hedonistic excesses or perhaps disappointed in their secret hopes, alienated by the reality of their marginalised lives in the west or feeling themselves rejected by it, a few - a tiny minority - embrace a fierce, extreme, warlike new version of the faith of their fathers. From Mohammed Atta and the Hamburg cell of al-Qaida, through the bombers of Madrid to those of London, this has become a depressingly familiar story.

I wish I could find some compelling evidence against this claim. But I can't. (Can some reader help?) Even if we were to assist at the birth of a free Palestine and pull out of Iraq tomorrow, this problem would remain. It threatens to make Europe a less civilised, comfortable place to live over the next 10 years.

Now, which of the six views got your largest tick? In answering that question, you will not just be saying something about the Islamic world; you will be saying something about yourself. For what we call Islam is a mirror in which we see ourselves. Tell me your Islam and I will tell you who you are.
 

cnredd

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[Moderator Mode]

As per forum rules...

8. Copyrighted Material - All material posted from copyrighted material MUST contain a link to the original work. Please do not post entire articles. Proper format is to paraphrase the contents of an article and/or post relevant excerpts and then link to the rest. Best bet is to always reference the original source. Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 107 http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html

[/Moderator Mode]
 

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All of the above.
None of the above.

All 6 points boil down to the very same issue.
A is not B and B is not A. Despite their tight quarters in our alphabet, they are as different as they are similar. Two (humans) letters capable of (thought, action, etc), starting words, forming sentences. comprising books, yet unable to change their very (nature) basic function. A is a vowel, B a consonant. They can never be anything but what they are.

"The world would be a much better place if everyone understood the truths revealed by science, had confidence in human reason and embraced secular humanism."

So says A (the Aetheist), but B (Jew, Christian, Muslim, take your pick) says something entirely different. Who is in such a position to enforce which ideology on the other?

By the by, has it gone unnoticed that the truths of science are subject to change with evolution and greater resources available and are therefore rendered obsolete over a period of time? Is it possible to embrace an ever changing thing?

Mr. Garton Ash may very well have struck upon some valid questions, but convention can't deny that those questions will only lead to more questions than available answers to the current problems facing A and B.

Now divide those two very close, but very different letters by 13 and just look at all the diversity A and B have to deal with.
 

hawk2

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cnredd said:
[Moderator Mode]

As per forum rules...

8. Copyrighted Material - All material posted from copyrighted material MUST contain a link to the original work. Please do not post entire articles. Proper format is to paraphrase the contents of an article and/or post relevant excerpts and then link to the rest. Best bet is to always reference the original source. Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 107 http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html

[/Moderator Mode]
Sorry if I've violated the rules here. I did not post the entire article...... just enough to keep it coherent. If I understand what you have said correctly....if I had posted the source, I would have been OK......am I correct?
 

cnredd

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hawk2 said:
Sorry if I've violated the rules here. I did not post the entire article...... just enough to keep it coherent. If I understand what you have said correctly....if I had posted the source, I would have been OK......am I correct?
[Moderator mode]

The rules also require you to provide the source. There should be a link added...

[/Moderator mode]
 

hawk2

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To all participants:

The title to this thread implies that the answer to why they blow themselves up, is clearly stated in one the views........that is obviously incorrect......you must interpret one of the views to deduce the answer.
 

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hawk2 said:
To all participants:

The title to this thread implies that the answer to why they blow themselves up, is clearly stated in one the views........that is obviously incorrect......you must interpret one of the views to deduce the answer.
Does this mean I'm wrong... :doh
EDIT ooops...

Am I spoiling the fun?:mrgreen:
 

hawk2

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VTA

Your first answer was incoherent to me........Try reading all six views with some degree of comprehension. If you comprehend the conclusion inferred by each view, you cannot possibly conclude they all have the same meaning which I believe you postulate.

For example number 5 is the view of most liberals in this country:

5 We, not they, are the root of the problem. From the Crusades to Iraq, western imperialism, colonialism, Christian and post-Christian ideological hegemonism have themselves created this antipathy to western liberal democracy; and, at the extreme, its mortal enemies. Moreover, after causing (by the Holocaust of European barbarism), supporting or at least accepting the establishment of the state of Israel, we have for more than half a century ignored the terrible plight of the Palestinians.

The conclusion here is that WE, in the west, are to blame for all of the violence. When in actual fact, the Wahabi sect which was formed in Saudi Arabia in approx 1750, has been intimidating and murdering other Muslims in order to force their views on the remainder of the Muslim world. The Wahabis interpret the Koran to give justification to their form of intimidation.......use of the sword to convert apostates to the true form of Islam, in accordance with the Wahabi belief.

Therefore number 5 in entirely different from the conclusion is number 1, that ALL religion is bad and should be discarded to be replaced with Darwinism or Evolution thereby eliminating all the violence caused by various religions since history began.

In the event you want to make a joke out of this discussion, please take it to another thread. This is meant to be a serious discussion of a serious problem.
 

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It appears I am... spoiling the fun that is.

Down to the basics, all theories, these six not excluded, are boiled down to the same meaning: they are based upon Perceptions/Perspectives.

My Perception/Perspective is that no matter what label we place upon each persons own view, it all comes down to each person being different and enjoying/suffering a different point of view. No one specific view and all of the above collectively are the answer.

If you feel there was any sort of ridicule in my 2nd response, I'll apologize for that and only for that.

My comprehension skills are just fine and my initial response is most certainly valid and relevant to your post.

If an enforced answer or choice is to be expected, then it's sensible to assume that complete honesty isn't.
 

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VTA said:
If an enforced answer or choice is to be expected, then it's sensible to assume that complete honesty isn't.
I have no idea how you have formed the perception that allows you to use such logic but you have convinced me you are not interested in having an adult conversation about the motivations of Fanatical Muslims who blow themselves up.

Have a nice day.
 

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hawk2 said:
I have no idea how you have formed the perception that allows you to use such logic...
By recognizing your inability to accept my completely valid response to your post.

hawk2 said:
...but you have convinced me you are not interested in having an adult conversation about the motivations of Fanatical Muslims who blow themselves up.
Well Perception can be very convincing...

hawk2 said:
Have a nice day.
I always do.
You do the same.
 

hawk2

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OK......apparently none of the six views rang a bell for any of you intellectuals but number six resonated with me. I posted this to see if any of you bright people could help me formulate a reasonable answer as to why they blow themselves up.

I repost number six for your persusal but it is my opinion that you cannot separate number six from number two which deals with the nature of the religion of Islam.

Number six identifies, at least to me, a very plausible reason for becoming so fanatical that young Muslims willingly commit suicide in the name of Islam and Allah. Please read it and see if you agree with me that the decadence of western values, especially the obsession with nudity, public sex, and worship of money becomes so repugnant to some young Muslim people that they obsessively and compulsively want to wipe it from the face of the earth. Please do not misread this to mean I am defending them or their motives......merely trying to find an answer to...."Why they do it".

If my reasoning is correct......it means that Islam is fundamentally incompatible with Western values and Western society in general. It means that there is nothing we can do to change their motivations because we certainly can't reverse the trends of our culture to make them more compatible with theirs. It means that the Liberal mode of thinking which blames the war in Iraq, Bush, the crusades, and all of the western hegemony and imperialism, is flat wrong. It means that there will be a clash of the civilizations.......it is just a matter of when,not IF, and there is nothing anyone can do to prevent it

Quote from the article:
6 Whatever your view of the relative merits of the west and Islam, the most acute tension comes at the edges where they meet. It arises, in particular, from the direct, personal encounter of young, first- or second-generation Muslim immigrants with western, and especially European, secular modernity. The most seductive system known to humankind, with its polychromatic consumer images of health, wealth, excitement, sex and power, is hugely attractive to young people from often poor, conservative, Muslim backgrounds. But, repelled by its hedonistic excesses or perhaps disappointed in their secret hopes, alienated by the reality of their marginalised lives in the west or feeling themselves rejected by it, a few - a tiny minority - embrace a fierce, extreme, warlike new version of the faith of their fathers. From Mohammed Atta and the Hamburg cell of al-Qaida, through the bombers of Madrid to those of London, this has become a depressingly familiar story.

The key players in all the bombings were young, well to do, educated, first and second generation immigrants who became obsessed with the call to enter paradise and meet the 72 virgins who will greet them. They saw this as their calling to cleanse the world of as many apostates (non-believers in the true Islam) as they possibly could.

It is only a matter of time before they acquire a nuclear device that will destroy any of our large cities in one giant blast. Does anyone agree with me
 

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mustafa said:
No .... hell no

Oh.....struck a nerve, EH? Tell me why I'm wrong.
 

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in a way you are correct.
but it isnt the fault of the young muslims, but in fact the older ones that teach their children that killing people of the west will gurantee that they enter paradise.
your right.

however i would like to draw your attention to another fact: muslims do not only kill people of the west.

believe it or not, im a muslim, but if you asked anyone from the middle east if i was a muslim, they would say i am not. i am from a particular sect of islam called Ahmadiyyat, and from the day this sect was born, other sects of muslims have been out to get us. why? because we destroyed their belief that killing people from the west will gurantee them a place in heaven, with logic. from the very start, Ahmadi Muslims have been persecuted, jailed, stoned, robbed, raped and humiliated because we held the 1 belief that the time for the Jihad of the sword was over, and it was time to fight a different holy war, a holy war of the pen, which i am attempting to fight right now.
there is a actual LAW in the constitution of Pakistan restricting Ahmadis from calling themselves muslims, or from practicing their religion in any way.

Ahmadis do not by any means share the same values as Western civilizations, for example Ahmadi women wear their Hijabs like other muslims. but the main difference is that the men are not allowed to lay even a finger on their wives in anger if they do not wear their Hijabs.

Basiclly, Ahmadiyyat is an Islamic way of life suited for the West.

Yet they still torture my kin on the streets of Afghanistan. Can you justify this?


for information about the persecution of Ahmadis visit www.alislam.org
 

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clone said:
in a way you are correct.
but it isnt the fault of the young muslims, but in fact the older ones that teach their children that killing people of the west will gurantee that they enter paradise.
your right.

however i would like to draw your attention to another fact: muslims do not only kill people of the west.

believe it or not, im a muslim, but if you asked anyone from the middle east if i was a muslim, they would say i am not. i am from a particular sect of islam called Ahmadiyyat, and from the day this sect was born, other sects of muslims have been out to get us. why? because we destroyed their belief that killing people from the west will gurantee them a place in heaven, with logic. from the very start, Ahmadi Muslims have been persecuted, jailed, stoned, robbed, raped and humiliated because we held the 1 belief that the time for the Jihad of the sword was over, and it was time to fight a different holy war, a holy war of the pen, which i am attempting to fight right now.
there is a actual LAW in the constitution of Pakistan restricting Ahmadis from calling themselves muslims, or from practicing their religion in any way.

Ahmadis do not by any means share the same values as Western civilizations, for example Ahmadi women wear their Hijabs like other muslims. but the main difference is that the men are not allowed to lay even a finger on their wives in anger if they do not wear their Hijabs.

Basiclly, Ahmadiyyat is an Islamic way of life suited for the West.

Yet they still torture my kin on the streets of Afghanistan. Can you justify this?


for information about the persecution of Ahmadis visit www.alislam.org
That's very interesting Clone... I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties.
Your second paragraph (sentence) is significant to my initial point: Any sign of perceived deviation and difference and the extremists' first reaction is violence. Their own kind, not their own kind, it doesn't matter how you slice it, label it, live it; they will not tolerate a difference of ideology.
 

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thats a better way to put it.

sidebar: it wasnt always like that, when the Muslims ruled over spain they let people from any religion practice whatever they wanted freely. Muslims, christians and Jews CAN and DID live together peacefully, for a while at least. this intolerance for other ideas and faiths is a fairly new concept.
 

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Clone

Thank you for your intelligent response and education about your unique sect of Islam. I to, am disturbed to hear of the persecution of your sect but I'm certainly not surprised, and agree with VTA that it is consistent with the fanatics intollerance of any deviation from the Wahabi intention of enforcing the strict interpretation of the Koran, as being puritanistic Islam. (Correct me here if I am wrong in my understanding of Wahabism vs other fanatical interpretations).

I have never heard of your sect and it may be beneficial to the West if you made yourselves known. I think it is possible that you would receive assistance from our gov't because it is our interests to assist moderate Muslims against the fanatics.

I also agree with you that much of the fault lies with Older Muslims but most specifically the Immams who preach hatred in our midst with seeming immunity. That is why they must be indentified and deported in accordance with the policy announced by PM Blair IN England.

I have bookmarked your link to the web site of your sect and will try to learn more about you.
 

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the only assistance the govenrment offers is citizenship to ahmadis that come from the middle east. i think the government needs to stop those mullahs, they are the real terrorists.
 

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hawk2 said:
To all participants

Here is a link to the Timothy Garton Ash article:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1570236,00.html
To tell you the truth, I already knew they hated us, and didn't really know why. Then the towers, then the tapes saying,"Destroy America." I really didn't and sort of don't give a damn. I wanted them destroyed. I see arab/muslim society's forced, gangster style dominance over their populations as strong contributor to the problem, and therefore support regime change in most arab countries. I appreciate you raising the issue. I will look into it. Thank you, sir.
 

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thoracle said:
To tell you the truth, I already knew they hated us, and didn't really know why. Then the towers, then the tapes saying,"Destroy America." I really didn't and sort of don't give a damn. I wanted them destroyed. I see arab/muslim society's forced, gangster style dominance over their populations as strong contributor to the problem, and therefore support regime change in most arab countries. I appreciate you raising the issue. I will look into it. Thank you, sir.
Thanks for your comments thoracle......I also had been struggling to find a logical reason for the creation of the kind of fanaticism that could possibly turn a well educated, intelligent human into a suicide bomber. View number 6 by Timothy Garton Ash, suddenly opened my eyes.......the light bulb suddenly came on over my head as I realized that this was the answer I had been searching for.

People like Atta(the pilot of the first plane to hit the towers) and the other well educated, highly intelligent young Muslim men (and some Women) become so obsessed by the constant bombbardment of Western decadence which is in direct conflict with their own religious values, that they suddenly step off the cliff into nihilistic suicidal neverland.
They are compelled to sacrifice themselves for the good of other Muslims.....and.....because of the hypnotic belief that paradise with 72 virgins awaits them. This is the real evil of the particular interpretation of the Koran that promotes death over life in the form of a reward for their sacrifice.

I would appreciate further comments on this thesis in creating suicide bombers especially from Muslims who are completely knowledgeable concerning any interpretation of the Koran which speaks of paradise as the reward for killing infidels and the act of martyrdom.
 

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hawk2 said:
Thanks for your comments thoracle......I also had been struggling to find a logical reason for the creation of the kind of fanaticism that could possibly turn a well educated, intelligent human into a suicide bomber. View number 6 by Timothy Garton Ash, suddenly opened my eyes.......the light bulb suddenly came on over my head as I realized that this was the answer I had been searching for.

People like Atta(the pilot of the first plane to hit the towers) and the other well educated, highly intelligent young Muslim men (and some Women) become so obsessed by the constant bombbardment of Western decadence which is in direct conflict with their own religious values, that they suddenly step off the cliff into nihilistic suicidal neverland.
They are compelled to sacrifice themselves for the good of other Muslims.....and.....because of the hypnotic belief that paradise with 72 virgins awaits them. This is the real evil of the particular interpretation of the Koran that promotes death over life in the form of a reward for their sacrifice.

I would appreciate further comments on this thesis in creating suicide bombers especially from Muslims who are completely knowledgeable concerning any interpretation of the Koran which speaks of paradise as the reward for killing infidels and the act of martyrdom.
They're suicide bombers because they have no other resource against a superior military. They can't fight us conventionally.

In contention with number 6, what could the reasoning be of the killings of Buddhists and Christians in Thailand? Coptics in Egypt? Certainly not their decadance.

Don't let their rhetoric fool you; they're in no way purer in thought and deed and therefore easily offended by American decadance. They don't hold women in a high regard and are only against the role women play in Western civilization. Furthermore, their 'religious values' and concern for other Muslims becomes highly transparent when in the throes of killing their own kind. Muslims are the number one killer of Muslims with ethnic cleansing, and severe 'punishment' for any deviation, or perceived deviation from the ideology they want enforced (see the above mention of Buddhists, etc).

The striking difference in our cultures at this time is mainly tolerance and evolution. Despite our different ideologies in the West, we manage to have Synagogues, Mosques and Chruches largely existing in a peaceful manner.

Educated and highly intelligent, unfortunately does not readily equal tolerance, rationale and being impervious to faulty perception/brain washing. They are unfortunately being schooled by hateful ideologues, with a manipulated message/view point, to be used as tools to enforce a singular ideology.

One can be very educated in his hatred, but that does not make him wise or legitimize his actions.
 
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<They're suicide bombers because they have no other resource against a superior military. They can't fight us conventionally.>

But the point is.....what pushes them over the edge psychologically to commit suicide?

You certainly pose a good question about using suicide bombing to kill their own kind.........I have no answer for it.

I certainly am not defending their actions......don't get the wrong impression of my motivation for posting this discussion. They certainly are not of purer thought.......on the contrary, their thoughts of intimidation and brutality in forcing conversion to their ideology to me is pure evil. I am merely attempting to find a rationale for their suicide..........the key lies in the fanatical hatred spewed by the immams of the mosques where they congregate to pray. These evil men must be indentified and removed. An individual can be at the tipping point but probably wouldn't go over the edge unless spurred on by their immam.
 
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