By Geopolitics Made Super
Certainly, the end of this year’s Ramadan will go down as one of the century’s bloodiest. First Istanbul; then, Dhaka, rounded off by Baghdad, Qatif, Medina, and Jeddah. It’s not wholly clear just how much the Islamic State controlled or directed these attacks, or merely inspired them, but owing to their scale, scope, and timing, they are worth examining in the wider context of the geopolitical view of Sunni supremacist terrorism.
Thus we must embark upon the road of understanding, of causation and explanation, to pinpoint sources and posit solutions. We needn’t empathize with the madness, only know that it has its own form of rationality it is playing by.
So rule number 1: remember that Islam is not a thing.
Not in the physical sense, anyway. It is an idea held together by a collection of human brains and human-produced texts. (Look aside if the Qu’ran is the literal word of God; I think we can all agree my Barnes and Noble Qu’ran was printed by a machine, which was built by some person somewhere.) The texts are meant to bring consistency to the many human brains, which are inherently inconsistent.
But the texts are also vast: beyond the Qu’ran itself lay the Sunni hadith, or sayings of the Prophet Mohammed, compiled by various writers over the centuries. There is also the sunna, or way of the Prophet, again compiled over time by many different people. Memorizing the Qu’ran itself is well-neigh impossible for most people, let alone having down pat the hadith and sunna.
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