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  • Dan Dredger wrote a new post, Admit It: These Terrorists Are Muslims 4 years, 1 month ago

    By Maajid Nawaz

    The atrocious attack in Orlando, Florida, was an act of ISIS-inspired jihadist terrorism that targeted gays. It must concern us all.

    Before any of our assumed multiple identities, we […]

    • My admiration for this man continues to grow; he’s made a very difficult journey from Jihadism to journalism.

    • Condemn? Condemn the attack? What good will that do? About as much as a moment of silence and a prayer vigil.
      Condemn yourselves first for being believers in a Holy Book that tells its adherents that it’s right and just to hate and kill homosexuals.
      The Bible has a similar passage. There was a guy who was taken off YouTube who deserves to be arrested, a pastor or preacher of some kind who was praising the massacre. This hatred and ignorance and pathology exists in isolated areas all over this country.
      Yes, we should all “condemn” the attack but first have the courage to renounce our association with these vile, worthless and highly dangerous so-called Holy Books. Let’s start there, Maajid. Your statement is banal!

    • I heard Obamas speech after the attack, and I think there are good points to be made on both side of the argument.

      Obamas point is a point of numbers. In deciding where to focus efforts in fighting terrorism, it doesn’t help when you dramatically increase the number of “enemies” by classifying ideas in Islam, or amongst muslims in general, as the source of the problem. He argues that we would only help the recruitment process of the extremists if we identify such a huge number of people as possible enemies. He’s point is that it would be easier to focus efforts on other patterns that identify people who might actually do harm, and he identifies gun ownership as one such pattern. I see his point.

      But I also see the other point, when strictly talking about facts it seems clear that ideas in Islam are highly relevant for what’s happening. Fighting these ideas, even if it means increasing your target group, could certainly yield results. Douglas Murray points out that a poll among people who identify as muslims in the UK showed a 52% favor in laws making homosexuality illegal. Even if all these people would never consider violence to promote their ideas, it still seems that their faith is the source of the problem.

      So which argument has more merit?

    • Comment # 2 cont.

      What I am getting at is this: this is no easy matter! Can a real Muslim actually disagree with the word of Allah and still be a Muslim? Is the Koran the word of Allah? Always? Does Allah even exist? Can the Koran be wrong? Those are the questions that have to be addressed. That is a difficult question. Asking people to say: “yes’m, yes’m; it’s wrong, it should be condemned” is no solution; even if one means it. Reform must go deeper.

      If you want real reform and not banality and superficial, sentimental gestures then you have to ask the tough questions, get into the belly of the beast, and ask other Muslims, and sick, violent Christians, who and what they are and whether they are prepared to say that this or that part of scripture IS WRONG!

      I’d like to hear Obama say that the loathsome passage in the bible that refers to “sodomites” is just wrong. That would shake a few people up. This is not about proving that Muslims are worse or better than Christians, or vice-versa.

      It would help to discuss both religions, and present this as a single issue (fundamentalism, or whatever you might choose to call it) so as not to single out one group, which isn’t helpful. This is about what happens when you have a Holy Book telling people that it is good to hate. You get this, genocide.

    • We are a primitive stone age species trying to live in 2016. The Lord of the Flies lies deep within us all, and can be unleashed in the right circumstances.

      A documentary by Dr David Eagleman, Secrets of the Brain, third episode, 2nd half explores genocides. The documentary studies the brain with experiments and scans. Eagleman used the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia as a test case. The conclusion was that ordinary people can be strongly motivated by words from people in positions of authority, Generals, Presidents, religious authorities to do great evil. Eagleman explored the power of propaganda on our mind. Propaganda is truly terrifying. We are subject to its sway. He also found that if the propaganda can cast the “Others” as not human, normal people will commit genocide. Most of the Germans where good catholic family men. I recommend the video.

      As an aside, consider the words uttered by Donald Trump, through the lens of the above research. He is empowering stupid white men to hate… and they will…. and some will act. People in positions of authority have a responsibility to understand power their statements wield.

      This psyche article, The Evolutionary Psychology Of Mass Shootings, touches on the Stone Age brain hidden in all of us, but most lethal in young males. I found it informative. As it relates to the question in this article…. Short of speeding up Evolution, there is little that can be done for this primitive species, Homo Sapiens. In a society where the whole planet is educated, intellectually aware, rational and evidence based, you may be able to limit the damage young males do in the world…. But this has about as much chance of occurring as the second coming.

      http://www.iflscience.com/brain/if-you-give-man-gun-evolutionary-psychology-mass-shootings/

      We have to contain and limit what we can. Implementing Australian gun laws in America would be a start. Amending the 2nd Amendment so that it reflects modern lethal weapons, and not muzzle loading ball and shot muskets in the hands of a “Well Regulated Militia” would help. Making decisions based on evidence which Trumps (Chortle chortle) ideology would help.

    • “The killer of Orlando was a homophobic Muslim extremist, inspired by an ideological take on my own religion, Islam.”

      Allow me to speak candidly. These words are, again, trite – and pusillanimous. The ideas in your article will have little if any impact as they are harmless. Moreover, “an idea that is not dangerous is hardly worthy of being called an idea at all.” —Oscar Wilde

      His “take” on your own religion? Sorry. Hatred of gays is part of the religion of Islam, sir, as taught by the Koran, and is part of the Holy Bible too. Extremist? He’s an extremist and we are not; fine; but maybe he and others like him think that we are the extremists in going against their own religion.—And they have the actual text to back up their claims, unfortunately. As I said, are you or any other prominent public intellectuals of the Muslim faith prepared to say that the Koran is simply wrong? And if it is wrong you need to then ask yourself what else is wrong in it, and whether it is in fact a “Holy Book”, and then, ultimately, why you need to be religious. You miss the point, to use your own words. So long as you have a holy book telling people that gays and adulterers, etc are subhuman in the eyes of God, then you will get genocide.

      If we truly want reform, I think we need to face the political and psychological reality that in all likelihood nothing short of a revolution in the minds of men must be brought about.

      Calling people extremists and asking people of all faiths to condemn these acts is all well and good, but won’t get the job done.

      “It is midnight in the social order. It is midnight in the psychological order. It is midnight in the moral order.” — Dr. Martin Luther King

    • Dan

      Sorry. Hatred of gays is part of the religion of Islam, sir, as taught by the Koran, and is part of the Holy Bible too.

      Crass in the extreme. Religions aren’t their books, thank goodness. The RCC showed the way. The shamans and the bullies at the gate decide the take aways. Until we target these manipulators or become alternate manipulators ourselves you have nothing to fight and nothing to do. Books are unkillable.

    • Phil

      Not the holy books, not the people, not the religion. What in God’s name is it then? It’s all three. I never advocated killing books. I advocate killing fundamentalism somehow. That starts by getting people to say that the books are wrong. A good start. Killing for one’s God is becoming mainstream. Religion is showing its true colors yet again. That’s not the real Islam? What is the real Islam and christianity then, if not that which is stated in our God inspired Holy Books? Vicious hatred and bigotry is all there in black and white, in the Koran and in the Bible. This has serious ramifications.
      Crass in the extreme? You deny a fact? You? (This massacre just happened. Perhaps I am more shrill than I would otherwise be.)
      I don’t placate Catholics just because they are no longer burning witches. If someone is not killing for their God they should renounce their religion. (Cynical? You bet!)

    • Dan

      What is the real Islam and christianity then

      A religion is what its adherents believe it to be.

    • Caelon, there are quite a few logical connections missed out of your short piece. Would you like to take another swing at it and flesh it out some more?

    • caelon @ # 11.

      Hello.

      I’d be grateful if you’d elaborate on your post please; I find the correlation between the events you cite and this comment thread unclear.

      Thanks.

    • Why engage this fellow? His comment is extremely simplistic, offensively so, and there is nothing to clarify. No one here is advocating persecution of Muslims if that is what the gentleman is suggesting. It does not warrant any reply (as you may soon see) other than my comment here, a simple point:

      That assassination was the mere pretext for the attacks. “Kristallnacht was followed by additional economic and political persecution of Jews, and is viewed by historians as part of Nazi Germany’s broader racial policy, and the beginning of the Final Solution and The Holocaust.” Hutchinson Encyclopedia, 1988

    • So long as Islam officially teachers murder of gays, apostates, and unmarried mothers, it is on the hook.
      It cannot escape on a cloud of religious tolerance.

      Christianity is is a similar position.

    • @Roedy (16), Phil, others

      Roedy, I am now prepared to agree with you about this issue. Many people hate. But on top of that, their Holy Book says they should. This is what you get: violent automatons, genocide, like in Orlando. This is what happens when someone believes that the Koran or the Bible is divinely inspired and should be taken literally. And isn’t that just being devout? Enough pussy-footing around!

      And religion is what its adherents believe, Phil. You are quite right. And there will always be adherents who believe what their Holy Books tell them.

      Until the books are re-written or recognized as man-made myths, or until the minds of the adherents undergo a radical transformation, or all of the above, homicide and hate will continue as a direct result of these pernicious, stupid, vile, outdated monstrosities called Holy Books.

    • I think most people don’t realise that for 100% muslims the Quran is the unexpurgated WORD OF GOD. And not in fact the ramblings of a paedophile , sheep-herding psychopath. Try telling them that and see what happens!

    • Well this has degenerated into ugliness quite quickly.

      Atheists doing the work of the Imams and hoping for miracles. Perfect terrorist fodder.

    • Dan

      Why engage this fellow? His comment is extremely simplistic

      Because it is a learning opportunity, and perhaps for onlooking like minds with un-thought through ideas.

    • Phil 21

      ok

      20

      No fodder from me. I am just stating a strong opinion. How we deal with this problem is another matter. I agree with what you’ve said in the past about being smart about it, politically savvy.

    • Dan

      I advocate killing fundamentalism somehow. That starts by getting people to say that the books are wrong.

      after Phil had said-

      The shamans and the bullies at the gate decide the take aways.

      You have my point but without the insight. Here is a point of traction. Not the book, not Muslims, but the hate mongers.

      Once you have finished the the understandable revulsion and anger you have to form a coherent political plan and begin. You need allies and you need people in place to do the heavy lifting. After ten years and a few good bits of progress (the pushback from those seeing theocracy threatened is exactly to be expected) I’m tired of this unfocused wish thinking and emotional flailing around.

    • Dan @ # 15.

      “No one here is advocating persecution of Muslims if that is what the gentleman is suggesting.”

      Precisely; so what is he saying?

    • Caelon

      Personally I’d feel far less threatened in a mosque than walking through NYC at night.

      It really depends on the mosque, where it is and what happened afterwards. I can imagine you might want to think your test through a little more, if dressed in my strictest, correctional weekend leisure wear. The religious contrast is with the Westborough Baptist Church, perhaps?

    • phil rimmer #28
      Jun 16, 2016 at 9:40 am

      The religious contrast is with the Westborough Baptist Church, perhaps?

      . . . and with any equivalents of more mainstream churches, which invited members of Westborough Baptist Church to preach to their congregations or teach in their Sunday Schools!

    • There is a key difference between WBC and Christian churches in the west. They have a respect for actual laws. Their minds are a horror show for all that…

      Westboro Baptist Church Celebrates Pulse Nightclub Shooting In Orlando: ‘God Sent The Shooter’

      The desire to operate within the law doesn’t stop homophobic Christian Fundamentalists trying to change laws elsewhere, like sub-Saharan Africa to turn their homicidal desires for homosexuals into a legitimate execution of God’s work. (Link later.)

      Respect (!) for civil law and due process seems the sole differentiator between Christian and Muslim fundamentalists here.

      (As a complete aside and rather sweet, the old bugger, Fred Phelps, of WBC infamy, underwent a conversion towards the end of his life. He crossed the street from his church to the rainbow Diversity House (?) defiantly across from it. He had a cup of tea with the guy in charge of the place. He called him a good man. Fred got booted out of his own church as a result.)

    • http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/how-uganda-was-seduced-by-anti-gay-conservative-evangelicals-9193593.html

      They were pushing for the death sentence and though they didn’t get it the US Christian Evangelicals incited enough homophobic revulsion (they lied and lied in their accounts of homosexuality) that lethal attacks have become commonplace….

    • David R Allen states that “We are a primitive stone age species trying to live in 2016”
      I would contend almost the exact opposite: We are a potentially enlightened species operating under the self imposed restriction of primitive stone age BELIEFS. The theologies we persist in holding on to are ancient, obsolete and the product of primitive patriarchal societies who understood almost nothing about anything. Yet because these authors were clever enough to understand that their words would probably be consigned very quickly to the dustbin of history precisely BECAUSE of the evolution of the species, they decided that the best way to have people take long-term notice of them was to state that their words “came from God”. Unfortunately that has meant that people have been unwilling to update theology, considering that do do so is “blasphemy”. Updated theological ideas could probably be of great help to humanity right now, the problem would be however, its “newness”. For some reason our culture considers “old” to be good and worthwhile and “new” to be radical, dangerous and heretical, particularly if it contradicts the “perceived wisdom”. For the moment however, our stoic refusal to reassess our bronze age theological constructs condemns us to constantly repeat the scripturally justified violence we see in the world today.

    • caelon @ # 33.

      First wave feminists used to say that all men are potential rapists, but as far as I know it never resulted in one of them murdering a man.

      They also used to say that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bike, which is witty, but sadly true.

      The author of this article was a British born and bred Jihadist who organized terrorist cells in a number of countries, and spent five years in an Egyptian prison for his pains.

      If you go online you’ll find any number of videos of him debating over the years; follow them through chronologically and you’ll understand the extraordinary degree of knowledge he has to impart about Islam, and how radically his world view has changed.

      Or, you can simply pay attention to what the Jihadists themselves repeadly say motivates them.

      Either way there is a clear pattern and consistancy.

      By the way, no one here is or has ever blamed Muslims; the criticisms are of the doctrines of dogmas Islam.

      And of course you’re correct, there are indeed 1.5 billion Muslims, but fortunately only a tiny percentage of them are extremist, but when extremists take over, the majority are rendered irrelevant, as in Germany in the 1930s.

    • To Alan, Stafford, Phil, Dan, and others, your patience is admirable.
      I have stopped trying to debate with anyone who insults first.

      I spend most of my time on this thread to read, and learn.
      I do have one statement or question.
      Is this misunderstanding about LGBT people due to the intentional denial of genetic diversity because of religion? And isn’t that once again related to education?

    • alf1200 #40
      Jun 16, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      To Alan, Stafford, Phil, Dan, and others, your patience is admirable.
      I have stopped trying to debate with anyone who insults first.

      I spend most of my time on this thread to read, and learn.
      I do have one statement or question.
      Is this misunderstanding about LGBT people due to the intentional denial of genetic diversity because of religion?

      I would say it was an absence of understanding of biology, combined with a blind acceptance of dogma in place of education.

      And isn’t that once again related to education?

      It is a lack of education, but combined in some cases with denial of education, resulting from the deeply ingrained preconceptions of dogma.
      Who sees a need for education when their faith tells them they already confidently know-it-all”?

    • alf1200 @ # 39.

      “Is this misunderstanding about LGBT people due to the intentional denial of genetic diversity because of religion? And isn’t that once again related to education?”

      I think it’s most probably a deadly cocktail of all of them; cop that lot in one go and you’ve really drawn the short straw!

    • 22,000 ISIS fighting Muslim jihadist fanatics, is not some small cult like Westboro Baptist Church!

      Boko Haram is no small group either!

      These are like cancers in their geographical areas and engage in forced recruitment and forced conversions.

    • @ R. Jimla #36 “… The theologies we persist in holding on to are ancient, obsolete and the product of primitive patriarchal societies who understood almost nothing about anything. Yet because these authors were clever enough to understand that their words would probably be consigned very quickly to the dustbin of history precisely BECAUSE of the evolution of the species, they decided that the best way to have people take long-term notice of them was to state that their words “came from God”. …”

      Actually the Hebrews’ trump card was to write everything down so obsessively. The later adoption of Judeochristian scripture by Imperial Rome in the 4th. Century was a fortuitous if unfortunate accident of history. Of course the idea was subsequently copied in turn by the Arabs with even more disastrous consequences for humanity.

    • @ Caelon 27, others,

      I agree that if we as a species were to somehow succeed in getting people to completely renounce the religions that allow hate to be expressed in their holy books and by their leaders, it will not end violence and terrorism. It would not be a panacea, as there are no panaceas; but it would be very important step in the right direction.

      Religion, particularly Islam and Christianity, is the drug of choice of the people. Unfortunately, too many people are getting stoned – figuratively and literally. (I do understand that religion serves many functions, is not merely “the opiate of the masses,” and does have other meanings; I am speaking in broad terms.)

      Couldn’t one also argue that a small percentage of murder is committed by the mentally ill? And one could argue as well that a large percentage of terrorists were physically abused as children so it isn’t the religion; it’s something else, etc., etc. This is just fruitless. I think religious inculcation is itself a crime, or can be, and that the issue of religiously motivated crimes needs to be addressed. The combination of religious indoctrination on the one hand and hate and violence on the other is a singularly lethal one. You don’t agree?

      Religion is, in many cases, totalitarian.

      We can argue this forever and argue in circles, but the fact remains that religion is a delusion; it is not good for people; It is educationally pernicious and what makes religion all-the-more dangerous is the appeal to an ultimate authority that you must not question.

      Statistics are on our side, actually. Listen to Sam Harris. You’d be surprised, he has said, by how many non-violent religious Muslims if pressed, support acts of violence against gays and other “undesirables.” (And presumably this applies to evangelical Christians. ) There’s a pervasive acceptance of violence and deep prejudice; that can’t be a good thing.

      I was born and raised in NYC, have lived here my whole life. I feel safe here and would feel safe entering a Mosque as well, although I might feel uncomfortable. So what?

      There are many reasons to speak out against religion. It’s not just about murder.

      Read The God Delusion. Read about this. A lot has been written. Read Harris and Hitchens and Dennett. There are others.

      “Christianity attacks us in our deepest integrity. It says we wouldn’t know what morality was, that we wouldn’t be able to derive ethical statements or actions if we didn’t have divine or supernatural permission to do so. So it essentially robs us of our responsibility and our freedom. It says that we are the objects of a design—I call it a supernatural, celestial dictatorship which shapes our ends, demands things of us, plays with us, is capricious with us, and it is mythologically based. Delusions are not good for people” -Hitchens

      And it has stood in the way of mental freedom, and of science from time immemorial, and in the way of women’s equality of rights and liberation from discrimination and repression. Many of them don’t even know they’re repressed.

      Look what’s happening all around us, in the world today. Look at history – and not just the history of wars. We have been paying a large price in the form of bigotry and ignorance – and ignorance is not condemned; it is actually fostered by these loathsome unHoly Books. The mischief and horror which comes directly from the Bible and the Koran is much too great, outweighs whatever good they do. And they do no good at all. None.

      Name one good thing that belief in a supernatural being does for us as a civilization! —There is nothing good that religious (superstitious) Beliefs have done that cannot be replaced by more wholesome things, that do not require us to put the precious ability to think critically in our shirt pockets and kept there until it’s forgotten! There is nothing that religion provides, such as a sense of belonging to a community, that cannot be provided in some other way. Become an activist, or join a theater workshop, or a hiking club, or hang out with friends, neighbors, family. Organize weekly get-togethers. Come on, be creative.

      Well that’s what I think. Complex issue. None of us have all the answers. My attitude has changed somewhat, and will change again, I am sure.

    • Phil,

      The idea that we can assail the Koran to better convince a Muslim that jihadism is wrong, seems rather farfetched. It is also dangerous.

      What’s the solution?

      I myself don’t know what else to suggest other than making books available in Muslim countries and helping to bring about political change and a shift to democracies, so that access to and susceptibility to ideas, and acceptance of new ideas, will not be thwarted. But I am deeply skeptical. Perhaps religion and hate have taken root and nothing will ever change. They will only get worse. The forces we are opposing are too powerful.

      I question Malala’s optimism.

    • P.S.

      Re: How?

      In order to curtail racism and bigotry and violence we must get down to causes and conditions. Religion is a symptom and a cause. Nationalism is a symptom and a cause of violence. Racism and xenophobia themselves are symptoms. Poverty and ignorance, economic and social inequality and injustice, disenfranchisement, bad parenting, genetic factors, mental illness, the politics of power…
      So many elements. So many facets to hate and violence. I just heard about forty-one year old Labor MP, Jo Cox. Her life was snuffed out by a racist. Was her killer religious? Maybe. Maybe not.
      So many elements and facets to hate and violence; it is like a multi-headed hydra.
      But I still think we need to start somewhere. Let us promote critical thinking and a secular world view.
      How do we do that? Not exactly sure.
      I expressed some doubts and uncertainty above (47), but I also have some hope that we can make progress.

    • Dan

      The idea that we can assail the Koran to better convince a Muslim that jihadism is wrong, seems rather farfetched.

      And rather too late. My point was exactly that the book is not the place to start so I don’t know why you should address such a thing to me.

      Do you remember about childhood over-imitation, why and how it happens? Why it is the very basis of culture itself? One of Schopenhauer’s most brilliant observations was of it. And I thank you for drawing my attention to it.

      What do you remember of it?

      Hint….this is why Malala is exactly right and highly effective and why she gets my money and why she got shot.

    • Overlapping sets. This latest mass murderer was:

      homophobic
      muslim
      american
      a heavily armed violent sociopath

      There have been how many deaths from mass shootings in the USA this year? Some target blacks, some target gays, some target relatives, workplaces, clinics, cinemas, the list goes on…

      But, in this case the debate is Islamic Terrorist vs Homophobic Asshole.

      What about “another violent sociopath with too much firepower”? That seems to fit the bill a whole lot better. But the NRA don’t want you thinking along those lines.

      So, lets not crack down on Muslims because of this, or even Homophobes (though they could do with some re-education), or Americans. But yes to cracking down on the last set. Disarming them, and keeping them disarmed, would be a good start.

    • Phil

      I wasn’t implying that you think that books are the place to start: I was making a point, asking you to respond.

      Education (and inculcation) of children. Yes, I remember the Schopenhauer quote. So how do you get that to change in these parts of the world? I know what the answer might be; the question is How; not What.

      My only criticism of Malala (a great person, although young) is that she thinks that education is the answer to ignorance and the hate that it engenders. Yes, and peace is the solution to war.

    • O Hooligan

      All of the elements you mentioned need to be addressed.

      I am for gun control too, and for better health care re mental illness and for reform in the Muslim world and for promoting critical thinking and ending nationalism and for more education and for ending this that and the other thing.

      What is the root of bigotry or is this problem multi-rooted?

      Ending religion will not end bigotry. Gun control won’t end it. We have to start somewhere, yes. But what is the root? Racism and xenophobia must be uprooted.

      I suspect that education is key, but many educated people are vile and loathsome sadists.

    • Phil

      Get children to think for themselves, Schopenhauer said. Again, how? How? We can try to do that here in America and elsewhere, and we have, and have succeeded to some extent; but it’s not so easy in some other places I could name.

    • A sane society would hold that anyone, whose religious beliefs caused them to consider anyone else to be worthy of being ostracised or killed, is mentally ill and they would be treated as such. Unfortunately, at the moment at least, we live in a world that is willing to bend over backwards to be “respectful” of religious bigotry instead of rejecting it as the vile product of irrational fanaticism. Take a recent example of the Jamaican Attorney General objecting to the presence of the rainbow flag flying over the US embassy in Kingston, post Orlando, because it was “disrespectful” of their laws that criminalise homosexuality. This undoubtedly religiously sponsored and state legitimised hatred of difference is something that should never be respected no matter how many bigots it upsets. How can we say that we stand against hatred while at the same time giving tax breaks and disproportionate support to the very organisations that are , more often than not, responsible for it?

    • I have found the following piece very interesting. It is by Neale Donald Walsch, who advocates the adoption of what Richard Dawkins calls the Einsteinian pantheistic god model as a replacement for the primitive Abrahamic god of the bible and other obsolete tracts. Yes I know it mentions the God word, but it least it postulates a better view of the world than anybody else seems willing to think possible. It argues that we have to question, as a species, the baseline model of who we think we are and what we are doing here.

      “How is it possible that almost 8 billion members of a single species could all say they want the same thing — survival, safety, security, peace, prosperity, opportunity, happiness, and love — and be utterly unable to produce it…even after trying for thousands of years?

      Is it possible that there is something we don’t fully understand about about Life, the understanding of which would change everything? Could there be something we do not fully understand about ourselves, and about each other, the understanding of which would alter our lives forever for the better?

      If we do not solve this mystery, we run the risk of bringing a sad ending to The Human Experiment on this planet within the next half century — or sooner. We will absolutely end our adventure here if we simply refuse to even acknowledge that the questions exist, much less that it is fair to ask them and vital to answer them.

      [Edited by moderator to bring within Terms of Use.]

    • R. Jimlad #55
      Jun 17, 2016 at 5:33 am

      “How is it possible that almost 8 billion members of a single species could all say they want the same thing — survival, safety, security, peace, prosperity, opportunity, happiness, and love — and be utterly unable to produce it…even after trying for thousands of years?

      The answer, is that we should not confuse what people say with what people do.
      Civilisation is only superficial and skin deep, so once competition for resources intensifies (as it does increasingly with overcrowding), self-interest and selfishness kicks in.

      Is it possible that there is something we don’t fully understand about about Life,

      There is quite a good understanding about ecology, population stability, resource management, and conflict reduction among scientists.
      The problem, is denial of this by politicians, the manipulative selfish rich elite, and the deluded religious.

      the understanding of which would change everything? Could there be something we do not fully understand about ourselves, and about each other,

      We need to recognise the competition for resources and the conflicts between the interests of individual, community survival, and the evolved trend for individual genes, gene groups and tribal populations, to expand their reproduction and resource base, at the expense of others.

      the understanding of which would alter our lives forever for the better?

      We need to better manage our human global population, to provide a more equitable availability of land and resources to humans and to other species, along with managing sustainable systems long-term in a responsible manner.

      Very large sections of the population, and many powerful organisations, (including religious ones), have no commitment whatever to achieving this, but prefer to sit in denial of available information, and promote short-term selfish interests of themselves and associates with whom the identify. They operate their seized control of resources and power, to further unbalance stabilising control mechanisms within communities, and on the planet as a whole, while prioritising expanding their influence and control.

      Like locusts, they expand their numbers and consumption, ruthlessly exploiting local area resources, and then invade and swamp the neighbouring areas, destroying or overwhelming the native populations which were living sustainable life-styles.

      The worst of them, divert the added resources into armies and weapons, to feed-back into the destructive processes, characteristic of colonisation by invasive species which lack restraining mechanisms on their exploitation of new habitats.

    • Thanks, Olgun. This is very useful additional information. Along with OHooligan noting sociopathy (and access to weaponry capable of industrial scale homicide) this really does remove Islam from being a proximate cause. Its certainly in the mix of a troubled aggressive masculinity, though.

    • Olgun #57
      Jun 17, 2016 at 7:30 am

      powerful-explanation-orlando-shooting/

      @ – link – So basically he was ignorant, self-conflicted, racist, sexist, homophobe, had a sick admiration for authority and was obsessed with guns and violence, eventually acting upon all of that.

      It looks like he picked up “The resentful American way of life” from the US media, dubious employment, and the streets, rather than any foreign sources.

    • Dan #53

      My only criticism of Malala (a great person, although young) is that she thinks that education is the answer to ignorance and the hate that it engenders. Yes, and peace is the solution to war.

      But identifying ignorance as a root cause of the problem and especially the total ignorance inflicted on half of the population by the exploitative bully patriarchy, is not something that everyone accepts or understands. You yourself appear to think it is just education when the first people to educate are girls. They are the missing voices and sensibilities. They need choices and they need another voice in their head. Not just a father, elder brother or uncle’s voice.

      “Over-imitation” means childhood education (from birth to puberty) is better understood by the term indoctrination. This is how culture becomes more or less hard wired. THIS is what the religious and ideological people understand. This is why aggressive patriarchies fear girls with books. This is exactly why Amina Tyler put that image out of herself signalling not just a physical but also an intellectual repossession of herself.

      Education in the middle east is funded often with Saudi money. Huge amounts flooded into Pakistan, (It still does.) , funding the education of boys in madrassas. More money followed to take these brainwashed young men, now part of the Pak Taliban to supplement the rather weak Taliban forces in Afghanistan and boost them to 300% of their former size. This is a specific that needs countering.

      Give money for the education of women in vulnerable third world countries. Many charities exist to do this. Join me in propagandising for Third world aid to be tied more directly to female education. This root ill of fundamentalist Islam is shared by a number of other fundamentalisms. Maybe later I can get to go through some of the great educational initiatives (and how technology can help).

      There are plenty of other levers to pull, but just sticking to education and here in the UK, where we have for half a century had much immigration from the Indian sub continent, more recent immigrants have been subject to very poor standards of education. There is a mountain to climb here, reasserting proper quality control, throwing out the SA-funded books. By propagandising for the abolition of all faith schools as inappropriate for the education of children given the newly understood fact of over-imitation, we may at least get assurances for a guaranteed quality standard ensuring the conferring of personal choice for the educated child. With this in place we better push for it in other countries in return for aid etc..

    • Dan

      Your Schopenhauer quote

      “The ordinary method [of education] is to imprint ideas and opinions, in the strict sense of the word, prejudices, on the mind of the child, before it has had any but a very few particular observations. It is thus that he afterwards comes to view the world and gather experience through the medium of those ready-made ideas, rather than to let his ideas be formed for him out of his own experience of life, as they ought to be.”

      The only fault with this is to note how powerfully true and tested this is. The earliest imprints are for life and reach right in to your aesthetics and subconscious heuristics.

    • @R Jimlad

      “How is it possible that almost 8 billion members of a single species could all say they want the same thing — survival, safety, security, peace, prosperity, opportunity, happiness, and love — and be utterly unable to produce it…even after trying for thousands of years?”

      One answer is that we are not all morally good, and we are not all equally susceptible to the motives you listed above. Moreover, many people have no compunction about acquiring what they feel they want through treachery and by doing harm. There are other desires, wants and character traits that the rest of us have to contend with – within ourselves and more importantly, in our dealings with others, the rest of humanity: greed, cruelty, lack of conscience, lust for power, domination, self-seeking, egotism, treachery, envy, fear, intolerance, stupidity, ignorance, fanaticism, dishonesty, the need to feel superior…

      Look at the animal kingdom. It is replete with pain, suffering and misery, a constant struggle for survival. That is the norm. That is existence, whether we like it or not. We have more developed brains, yes, but does that separate us from the rest of nature? Clearly not. It does not follow that we should be optimistic about the future of humanity just because we have more developed brains. On the contrary, we are merely able to devise more sophisticated ways of inflicting pain on others.

      (Morality does not spring from the brain. If it did than non-human animals would all be moral, which they are not. Neither are they immoral. They, like us, simply act, respond to motives.)

      Ironically, the animals, that we exploit and dominate and abuse, have no malice, are not cruel; and there is a balance of nature there; one species preys on another, but this is self-preservative. In the case of Man, no such balance is guaranteed. We have offset that balance. It is precisely our faculty of Reason, a double-edge sword par excellence, that enables us to be conscious of motives (greed, hate, malice, envy) that does not exist for the rest of nature, at least not on this scale.

      So we, with our great brains, raise ourselves unreflectively above nature, making gains and creating much. But as we move forward and upwards, away from nature, we also destroy – and we have now, as we all know, a situation where we are in the process of offsetting the balance of nature, through our use of pollutants and warfare in an overpopulated, agitated world…

    • Dan

      Morality does not spring from the brain. If it did than non-human animals would all be moral, which they are not.

      You can’t go on making unevidenced assertions against the evidence. At least add “in my opinion” or counter the myriad of stuff posted earlier from Frans de Waals and the like. Besides the quote above is seriously missing some logic.

    • Phil, let me run this past you.

      “IF CHOCOLATE WAS FREE, NOBODY WOULD EAT PEANUT BUTTER”!
      (in my opinion)

    • Caelon, this article is not about Joe Cox. There are other articles to read.
      Diversionary tactics do not work very well here.

    • @caleon

      RE: the murder of “Joe” (Jo) Cox, your post(s) reek of false equivalence. Note the OP. The Jo Cox murder was/is heinous, but that’s simply not what’s being discussed here. By all accounts her murderer was a local Scot born Brit who is likely a white supremacist. And he killed one; this was not a mass murder.

    • @alf1200 – you read my mind.

    • Dan:
      “Ending religion will not end bigotry. Gun control won’t end it. We have to start somewhere, yes. But what is the root? Racism and xenophobia must be uprooted.

      I suspect that education is key, but many educated people are vile and loathsome sadists.”

      Hi Dan, isn’t this another sign of a diverse genetic spectrum?
      Yesterday in China a group of men killed over thirty people with knives.

      I think part of the problem is the age old tribalism people feel comfortable with.

      I look at myself as an Earthling, American, and then as a resident of Washington State, then as a resident of some obscure city.
      Society tends to look at the same factors in reverse order.
      “I’m from 42nd street, I’m a catholic, I’m white,,,,,,etc.

      Not sure how we will ever get around that logic.

    • caelon #66
      Jun 17, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      I love the righteous indignation about Islamic nutters,

      I take it you have nothing constructive to say about the problem of Islamic terrorism, despite the fact that it is ravaging several countries at present and being exported to others.
      Several examples have been provided, but you do not follow up with reasoned responses.

      don’t see anyone on this site sounding off about the murder of Joe Cox.

      That could be because the topic of this discussion is on terrorism and Islamic terrorism.
      Jo Cox suspect’s far-right links a ‘priority line of inquiry’

      It is also because on a site promoting evidence based reasoning, sounding off before investigations have provided evidence of terrorist links, is unlikely to be productive or constructive.

      There are certainly posts condemning right wing extremism in other discussions on this site!

      Ah, but then she wasn’t murdered by a religious maniac, so I suppose she doesn’t matter.

      How would you know that, before the investigation has been carried out to see what motivation from an ideological, religious, criminal, or personal grudge, could have been involved ?
      “Faith-thinking” perhaps?
      If you have some evidence, do please tell!

      I’m outta here.

      Nothing to offer but random disconnected assertions and petty sniping???
      That’s a shame!
      Many people learn a great deal and improve their reasoning skills from debating on this site!

    • caelon #11
      Jun 16, 2016 at 5:11 am

      In 1938 a Jew, Herschel Grynszpan, murdered the German ambassador in Paris. Feeling that one Jew was as bad as another, the German public responded with the kristallnacht in which several hundred Jews were murdered and thousands more sent to concentration camps.

      I’m not sure what the fascist Roman Catholic Hitler, and the long standing anti-Semitic attitudes of the early 20th century German Christian churches, has to do with the extensive modern-day Islamic terrorism.
      A shared homophobia perhaps?

      It’s a pity you have not responded to the requests for more details of your thinking to clarify the point you were trying to make.

      Evidently the Richard Dawkins Foundation for “Reason and Science” (sic) has learnt precisely nothing from history.

      As it stands this looks like a rather comical example of mirror-imaging psychological projection when addressing some posters who have debated such subjects in detail in the past.

    • Caelon

      Why don’t you read the comments instead of putting us all down? I mentioned Jo Cox last night (Comment 48), and have addressed the problem of blaming everything on one thing a number of times on this thread.

    • Hi, Alf1200,

      I always enjoy your comments.

    • Is Assholism a mental illness or a lifestyle choice? Just wondering.

    • OHooligan, I don’t think its learned behavior as I did when I was young. I blame genetic diversity.
      But as a former Asshololigist, I really don’t have a cure.

    • So until they fail to breed, we’re stuck with them? We’ve got a long way to go….

    • phil rimmer #21
      Jun 16, 2016 at 8:19 am

      Why engage this fellow? His comment is extremely simplistic

      Because it is a learning opportunity, and perhaps for onlooking like minds with un-thought through ideas.

      I agree with Phil, even though engagement sometimes produces negligible reasoned responses.

      It very much illustrates the properties of “faith-thinking” when theist posters come to this site, making disjointed assertions, and are full of disparaging the RDFS standards of reason and science, only to go on to illustrate a lack of any grasp of scientific methodology, no understanding of identifying reputable sources or competent research techniques, and a near total inability in the the use of reasoning from evidence to follow up in replies!

    • Dan @ # 73.

      You should know better than to let a troll wind you up Dan.

    • “As it stands this looks like a rather comical example of mirror-imaging psychological projection when addressing some posters who have debated such subjects in detail in the past.”

      Correct.

    • Dan #73
      Jun 17, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      I mentioned Jo Cox last night (Comment 48)

      @- BBC – Thomas Mair, charged with MP Jo Cox’s murder, gives his name as “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain” to UK court

      He is clearly some sort of extreme right-wing nutter, who probably belongs in a mental institution, and has nothing to do with Islamic terrorism!

    • Alan 81

      Hi. That was my point when I referenced the savage murder of the MP. I was saying that violence and hate has many causes – like a multi-headed hydra. What is the root? Maybe there are many roots. Religion is a big part of the problem, but its demise would not be a panacea.

    • Dan #73
      Jun 17, 2016 at 3:46 pm + Dan #84
      Jun 19, 2016 at 4:41 am

      caelon #66 – Jun 17, 2016 at 1:39 pm – I love the righteous indignation about Islamic nutters, don’t see anyone on this site sounding off about the murder of Joe Cox. Ah, but then she wasn’t murdered by a religious maniac, so I suppose she doesn’t matter.

      To Caelon – Why don’t you read the comments instead of putting us all down?
      I mentioned Jo Cox last night (Comment 48), and have addressed the problem of blaming everything on one thing a number of times on this thread.

      Indeed the response to the comments was denial of the religious aspects of the causes of the terrorism, a refusal to look at, or debate them, and persistent attempts at diverting topics away from issues uncomfortable for theists. – Very much negative defensive emotive responses projected on to critics, with mental blanking of criticism of religions in general, followed by ducking the issues and running away from places where some theists will not look!

    • Olgun @ # 82.

      Hilarious!

      Thanks.

    • Stafford G. (80), Alan (72), others

      Such obduracy, as exhibited by this eminent gentleman, is indeed comical; the absurd is always somewhat comical – but it is also disturbing. It illustrates the difficulty of trying to reason with unreason. When one’s passional nature is not guided by one’s intellect, but one’s intellect is (mis)guided by one’s passional nature, no argument will suffice. That is the rub. Reason can speak to reason only. Compassion can speak to compassion only.

      To broaden this a bit, I will say that I have always been opposed to war; the argument that force must be used against unreasoning people who do harm on a large scale (and I am not alluding to individuals, but to organizations), as no rational argument or appeal to their humanity will work, is an argument that I would resist – but I am not, at the present time, entirely unsympathetic either. — What else can one do in certain instances? Turn the other cheek? Nations cannot always do that. There are other ways, of course, for nations to apply pressure on other nations. I remain strongly opposed to war. But lately, in the face of all this terrorism (and yes, we have played a role in bringing it about) I am not quite sure what we should do. Blast them out of existence somehow? Well that is what we are now trying to do. I feel two ways: comforted in so far as I am, like everyone else, somewhat fearful. —And uncomfortable; history has shown that that doesn’t work. There must be other, more humane and creative ways of confronting and vanquishing the obduracy of evil. But what are they?

      (You know what we all heard when we were kids: “try to reason with him (the bully); if that doesn’t work, I guess you’ll have to try something else. Here let me see your jab. Good…A little more snap…” That was our parents speaking.)

      Just thinking aloud, as it were.

    • I think when faced with anthropogenic global warning, runaway inequality with and within the greediest populations who incidentally seem focused increasingly on their own victimhood, what gives me the greatest fears about terrorism is the terrorised.

      Grow up. Prioritise. Work steadily.

    • @dan

      try to reason with him (the bully); if that doesn’t work, I guess you’ll have to try something else.

      The most effective I’ve seen is based on (I think) Wing Chung Kung Fu, the style made famous by Bruce Lee, in which all defensive moves include some payback, not just avoiding or blocking, but including a strike or two, all done in the instant, part of the move. No need to “hit him back”, he instead hurts himself from his own action. And if he happens to fall badly all the better. I’ve seen it promoted as a female-appropriate self defense as it doesn’t rely on strength. It includes grip-breakers that can become wrist-breakers for those slow-witted (or testosterone-impaired) enough to fail to let go in time. Usually just enough of a sting to underline the “Leave Me Alone” message.

      I don’t know how that might apply to international relations, though.

    • I guess it’s hard to wage a war against an ideology. I don’t see any solution to this problem of violent extremism. Perhaps we should just accept it, live with it. It’s like an infestation of rats. It stems from the religion. Is it the people or the religion? Both. Religion is here and it’s here to stay, for many more years. Education? Forget it, Malala. Forget it, Phil. Naive and unrealistic. Maybe in a thousand years, we might be able to make some inroads that way.
      And we are not victims; but we are facing a dangerous threat; if you had a loved one killed by some little asshole who wants to be a big man, part of something powerful and perfect, not to mention rewarded in heaven for being a suicide bomber, perhaps you’d feel differently. And I am not sure anymore just how many Muslims are prepared to say publicly or even privately that their holy book contains bullshit. The same goes for white supremacists of the Christian faith.

    • Dan

      Maybe in a thousand years, we might be able to make some inroads that way.

      But culture turns on a dime sometimes. It is simply a need to interrupt the efficiency of childhood indoctrination. Racism and sexism have seen astonishing generational turnarounds in rich enough cultures.

    • Let me introduce “Carly Simon Syndrome”….you probably think this struggle is about you…

      We may be more on the edge of it than we like (!) to imagine.

      That doesn’t mean we simply don’t get involved, but it does mean we can form clearer eyed policies.

    • @Phil #90

      You’re right; things can turn on a dime, societies can change politically and culturally, and sooner than we think. (My father used to say that.) Sometimes for the worse too. I must confess: I have not presented a very sophisticated analysis of this problem; I simply don’t know enough about it. I hope you’re right. But change comes from the bottom up, as C.L.R. James said. Some politicians like saying that but don’t fully realize what is entailed. There are entrenched interests. How do you get rid of repressive and despotic governments without some kind of revolution? And revolutions – of the mind and heart, and not necessarily ones that involve warfare – are violent upheavals….

    • Dan

      And revolutions – of the mind and heart, and not necessarily ones that involve warfare – are violent upheavals….

      So…

      Soap opera.

      http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/television/india-launches-its-first-muslim-soap-opera

      The tools at our disposal are mostly cultural.

    • So…

      Soap opera.

      We already have an Islamic soap opera……..it’s called “Game of thrones”!

    • M27

      We already have an Islamic soap opera……..it’s called “Game of thrones”!

      I note approval of its advancing narrative. The obligatory sex at the twenty minute mark and sundry rapes are allegedly giving way to a more empowered female set of stories. Progress is possible!

    • In light of the new information just released, I’d like to quote a pre-eminent expert on this subject: “Admit it: These Terrorists are Muslims.”.

    • Phil, others

      Am I an hysteric or not? You decide.

      What’s this about stupid soap operas, Phil? That show looks godawful. Thank God I am an American and don’t have to watch that crap. That means nothing. That’s not revolutionary. That is for profit, not the art of the people.

      I read a story, and it really happened. A woman told her husband, a Mr. Hassan – and they were living in Buffalo, NY– that she wanted a divorce. He took a sword and decapitated her after stabbing the poor woman forty times. That’s what the women are up against. No soap opera is going to change that. He no doubt thought that it was his right according to his culture. He was arrested. Pure savagery. And he was not considered an extremist, was a “moderate”, made the shows you’re telling us about.

      http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/02/16/buffalo.beheading/index.html?eref=onion

      This happened in 2009. Same responses as now. “Oh let’s not blame Islam. Let’s all condemn, condemn, condemn, this act. He was just some psycho, no correlation between the act and the culture, or the religion” No none at all. Same old song.

      “The Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America responded with an ‘Open Letter to Muslim Leaders’, expressing shock and sadness at the murder, condemning [!] domestic violence, and calling on imams and Muslim leaders to ‘provide support and help to protect the victims of domestic violence’ and ‘to never second-guess a woman who comes to us indicating that she feels her life to be in danger’ ”

      Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great. [Quran Verse 4:34]

      What did I say on top (#2)? They love to “condemn” and yet the atrocities continue because of vile, pernicious nonsense like this (above)!

    • Read it. Not worth reading. Straw man. No one would hesitate to call an act an act of terrorism because the perpetrator is “white.” But you can’t call every act of murder an act of terrorism. I wouldn’t call the murder that I posted about (99) above yours an act of terror either and that guy’s a Muslim. The Oklahoma bomber was a terrorist.

    • Schizophrenia is common in societies and schizophrenics often become violent when undermedicated or undiagnosed. Schizophrenics often give voice to whatever prevailing cultural driver can account for their actions. Their post hoc narrator is still working to explain away their unwanted thoughts and action (or what would be unwanted by their better selves). Most schizophrenics give voice to religious thoughts because their supernatural endowment effortlessly transcends more prosaic narrative limits. Likewise government or powerful political groupings and conspiracy theories can serve the same role with clever tech or drugs explainingf the truly inexplicable. In the fifties it was aliens and communists.

      The sad part is fundamental Islam is the perfect explainer of those feelings of hate (it may well have stirred them in the first place). It is the perfect excuser of your need to act violently.

      Violent schizophrenics are always single actors and will always find excuses for their actions. In the US they can also readily find weapons for industrial scale homicide.

    • Dan

      In your mind who is watching this soap? In my mind it is a child or young teen seeing another mode of living and its characters thinking some of her thoughts.

    • Phil,

      That guy in the article that I presented (99) is clearly nuts in my book, but…

      Look here at the tremendous resistance to a sensible law to make it illegal to beat the crap out of women. “UnIslamic” the many protesters said. Are they all schizophrenic? How do you know who is schizophrenic? (Many schizophrenics are non-violent.) Are you treating and diagnosing people now? This is not just about schizophrenia. Violence against women, is a problem here too, to a lesser extent. It’s cultural and it is about religion to a very large extent.

      Soaps? That’s your solution? It might help a little, I guess… Where’s your cherished evidence that it’ll liberate people and empower them? This a might-be if there ever was one.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/rampant-violence-against-women-in-pakistan-revealed-as-groups-fight-un-islamic-law-against-domestic-a6969311.html

    • The single actors are the most likely to be schizophrenic. Of course this is not a general answer or general excuse for religious violence. But it probably does tie together Orlando and Jo Cox. I know about schizophrenia.

    • I don’t doubt that you know about schizophrenia. I agree that Cox’s killer was probably schizophrenic. But were the brown shirts that beat up my grandfather in Germany schizophrenic? And the Orlando guy was a repressed homosexual who chose or was encouraged to turn his hate outwards. This is about group psychology at its worst, terrible repression. And it is absolutely about religion that has aspects which have to affect the psyche and influence behavior, and a somewhat course and brutish patriarchal, macho culture that demeans women. Making them cover themselves is an act of violence in itself.

      I am highlighting the worst aspects of Muslim life and generalizing. I am not an expert on this, as I said. Don’t want to be.

    • Dan

      Making them cover themselves is an act of violence in itself.

      I think it is an act of sexual violence. I view burkas as bdsm gear. Trouble is sadism is often met with masochism. Women, more often than we would like, choose compliance and become happy with it. Losing choices is a relief to many not brought up to expect any. Legal adult choices are to be respected….nope never…are to be tolerated. The unhealthy ones are to be educated against and where possible held up for moral judgement and finally ridicule.

    • Dan

      But were the brown shirts that beat up my grandfather in Germany schizophrenic?

      There is nothing in what I said that could begin to imply this.

    • Dan

      I am not an expert on this, as I said. Don’t want to be.

      Broad brush analysis isn’t good enough to plot the way forward or identify all the pullable levers. We must see in the finest detail possible.

    • Phil, Olgun, others

      The comment about the Brown Shirts was rhetorical, Phil. My point – and this is all I am saying – is that it is not helpful to regard the problem of violence as having one cause. There is mental illness, as you say, there is ideology (religion) group psychology, thugs and marginal characters getting sucked in by terrorists, many elements at play. — But we mustn’t unwittingly fall into the trap of minimizing our criticism or painting a false picture out of fear of offending another culture. That can happen to the best of us.

      The broad strokes I painted above (106) were as accurate as they are broad; I was merely confessing that I haven’t studied this issue, am not an expert or a scholar on, say, the endless wars and conflicts between different factions over there, or about our culpability. But I think I can safely say that this problem of Islamism is about the religion itself to a very large extent, about a religion with a celestial dictator; He makes good people do bad things, as Dawkins said, and makes bad people cut people’s heads off. I am sick of Islam at this point, and religious fundamentalism in general, and wish it would go away. We’re talking about vicious people (not psychopaths), made vicious and sick and cruel by processes I don’t claim to understand, and many of the moderates are as bad as the extremists. Do good people think what bad people do? They condemn left and right, but they will not say “I am not a Muslim if I have to believe what the Koran says.” They cannot rebel, or so it seems. That is infantile and highly dangerous – yet understandable. They are indoctrinated and frightened by their total leaders.

      The women agree with the men about how to dress and behave, as you say. That’s another problem.

      So that’s what I think.

    • Just read the news posted by Alan.
      Easy access to military use firearms allows these ISIS inspired mad people to perpetrate, easily perpetrate, unimaginable carnage.
      Cowardice and greed.
      We have a corrupt finance system that will destroy us. Sanders is right about that.
      It’s an Inferno!
      (I need to get a grip on myself, but I am so sick of these assholes, these Republicans, these white-haired old men telling women what to do with their bodies, and defending the 2nd Amendment, and taking bribes, and cowering in fear, and raking in the dough.)

    • Dan

      There is a mountain of terrible Islamist behaviour.

      There is some merit in noting when Islamism or even Islam is possibly not a proximate cause of terrible behaviour. Most “acts of terror” executed by loners have a strong aspect of mental illness lying behind them. Ideologists find each other out for support and help and reward. The mentally florid have very few productive social interactions.

      It helps to be seen to be as fair as you can be so your criticism has greater value, not least to the regressive left. (Yeah…crap term. But we should give them as little traction as possible. We’re squeaky clean and they are as dirty as hell and dangerous too.)

      We don’t need to hussle every piece of evidence onto our rap sheet when it isn’t clear what the charge is. Its long enough. Besides I can promise you another religious or ideological outrage will be along fairly shortly.

      113 Yep!

    • “Besides I can promise you another religious or ideological outrage will be along fairly shortly.” -Rimmer

      A multi-headed hydra? That’s not very optimistic. Was Schopenhauer right then? Is the word essentially a bad place? Would it have been better not to have been?

      Even so, the bottom line, in my opinion, is that we have to confront, face, each issue, each obstacle, as individuals, and as it presents itself – and put our pessimism (realism) aside. It’s about taking the action and not worrying about the results or the future. We should try to alleviate suffering for our own sakes, not for the sake of the word, which may never outgrow its predilection towards atrociousness.

      “We must help our neighbor for own sake, not for his.” – Oscar Wilde

      Mankind will survive or not, improve or not. The individual can always take a stance.

    • Olgun, others

      Why is it that no one ever talks about that? (I didn’t read the article carefully, but got the gist of it.) And why did I lose sight of it? I am getting swept up too, have been flooded with emotion. Yet I take pride in my sense of fairness and my lack of bias in favor of or against anyone. As I said, violence and hate is multi-rooted, and some of the feelings of deep resentment are justified. Here’s a YouTube video I meant to post earlier; it shows two things: how people emulate their leaders and how disgusting that is, and two: that I am willing, as we all should be, to “put on someone else’s shoes”‘ as you said.
      Can’t find the video; I must have deleted it. I hope I selected a good article. Hard to sift through them. Here’s an article about those damned Israelis.
      http://www.wrmea.org/1998-may-june/israel-celebrates-its-50th-anniversary-as-palestinians-struggle-for-their-own-independence.html

    • Olgun,

      P.S. I don’t know. It’s complicated.

      (From your article):

      “Secretary Rice[‘s] underlying assumption as that of Sir Edward Grey of 1916 is that people in the Middle East are incapable of running a democratic society and have no capacity for human decency.”

      Well at least she was up front about it. There’s some truth to the former claim; they aren’t ready for democracy, are they? And they were even less ready in the past. (The Israelis don’t have a democracy either.) And would the Middle Eastern countries have refrained from colonizing the West had they had the means, the weapons and power?

      Aren’t we all just a bunch of savages and righteous hypocrites to some extent?

      To be honest and direct, I must ask you this: why would anyone choose to live over there if they had a choice at the outset and had no heritage, no stupid loyalties – just conditions to look at?

    • Thank you, Alan.