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kojax
Post  Post subject: Do Islamic Extremists have the monopoly on crazy?  |  Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:55 am
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I don't really believe that any one culture is all that different from another. The idea that a seriously fundamental difference could exist between our own and another culture like that is the basis for cultural separatism and sometimes even racism. It's not impossible that it could be true, but it's wise to bias our judgment toward seeing it as unlikely.

Every culture must have people who are violent at heart, and want some kind of crazy excuse to go out and kill others. Probably most of them either get to co-opted into our military, our "spy" organizations, or our criminal element, or they become loners waiting to go on a serial killing spree. I'm sure some also form cults or secretive organizations. (Not necessarily fully secret organizations. Most secretive organizations are well known, such as Bilderberg, Skull and Bones, Masons.... etc.)

I think maybe Islamic terrorism is just a small part of a wider epidemic. The world simply has too many under-evolved people who feel an instinctive drive to do violent things and can't channel it anywhere. There's also poverty, but you'd think that would.... I don't know.... maybe motivate people to become farmers, tradesmen/women, or ... some other constructive direction. Y'know... something that actually has the potential to solve the problem?


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Do Islamic Extremists have the monopoly on crazy?  |  Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:16 am
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i read somewhere that to have many frustrated young males in one area with nothing better to do (both through unemployment or restricted access to females) is a recipe for trouble - sometimes that trouble translates in acts of terrorism

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kojax
Post  Post subject: Re: Do Islamic Extremists have the monopoly on crazy?  |  Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:58 am
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So China should be on its way to a meltdown.

I wonder if affiliation with terrorist groups increases the chance for a young Arab male to get laid? He's got the "devoted idealist" thing going for him, even if his prospects for amassing great wealth are pretty poor and his lifespan is likely to be short.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Do Islamic Extremists have the monopoly on crazy?  |  Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:40 pm
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kojax wrote:
I wonder if affiliation with terrorist groups increases the chance for a young Arab male to get laid? He's got the "devoted idealist" thing going for him, even if his prospects for amassing great wealth are pretty poor and his lifespan is likely to be short.

Given that most terrorist groups are devout and fundamentalist religious, associated specifically with religions where women are seen as dirty and part of some sort of subclass of society, I'm gonna propose that the answer this question is an almost certain NO.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Do Islamic Extremists have the monopoly on crazy?  |  Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:23 pm
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kojax wrote:
So China should be on its way to a meltdown.


hmmm - you got a point there
which means that there must be another factor, one that tolerates or suppresses that sort of behaviour

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Hermit
Post  Post subject: Re: Do Islamic Extremists have the monopoly on crazy?  |  Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:37 pm
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My wife came up with an interesting hypothesis. Her view is that, since the Islam religion is 500 years younger than Christianity, it has reached the stage of development that Christianity reached 500 years ago.

Back then, Christians were doing all sorts of dreadful things to Jews, to 'witches', to Muslims and any other who did not share their faith.

So are Muslims just 500 years behind the times?


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John T. Scopes
Post  Post subject: Re: Do Islamic Extremists have the monopoly on crazy?  |  Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:33 am
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I think religion can often function as the vehicle for "crazy" but I suspect that's just because it's an organizational structure outside traditional power structures and thereby serves as a conduit and outlet for anti-establishment or anti-order tensions. the current regime in China is very deeply distrustful of religion, any religion, for instance because religion has played a focal role in Chinese history for rebellions that came close to overthrowing the dynasty in power at the moment -- the Taoist-inspired Yellow Turbans who challenged the Han in the 2nd century A.D., the Buddhist Red Turbans' uprising against the Yuan-Mongol dynasty in the 14th century, and the Christian-inspired Taipei rebellion that almost toppled the Qing-Manchus in the 19th century. For the Chinese government today, religion seems to create fanatic crazies who try to destroy society (i.e., the government) and therefore religions require strict state control. Throw in problems with Tibetan Buddhists in Lhasa and Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang province, and Beijing clearly sees religion -- any religion -- as a threat. This is a traditional view long held by many Chinese governments.

In the 16th century when the Ottoman Turks finally conquered Hungary, they strongly encouraged Hungarians to forgo their Roman Catholic churches for a Calvinist Protestant sect called Református/ Reformism, simply because Catholicism was a European-wide organized religion (supported strongly by the Ottomans' enemies, the Habsburgs) whereas Calvinist Reformism was a disorganized collection of disconnected small congregations unlikely to organize any challenge to Ottoman authority. Today, about one-fifth of Hungarians are still Reformist.

I think an important element in Islamic unrest today is that Islamic civilization is perceived as being backward and certainly unable to provide its members with the kind of living standard they see elsewhere. When Muslim states were powerful and ascendant from a material culture point of view -- the Ummayad and Abbasid empires, the Ottoman Turks, the Volga Bulgars, the Fatimid and Mamluk states of North Africa, the Cordoba Caliphate -- they could be quite magnanimous and were not prone to the extremism more common in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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kojax
Post  Post subject: Re: Do Islamic Extremists have the monopoly on crazy?  |  Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:04 am
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Perhaps multi-culturalism is simply doomed to fail. All a secular government can tell you is what is not allowed. Defining what is praiseworthy is the domain of cultural leaders, religions, and stuff like that. We can't all live by the same set of definitions for that. (Not without thought police, anyway).

So, what happens when one culture defines it as praiseworthy to strap a bomb to your chest and blow everyone else up? If the definition of right and wrong being given by that culture is so strong that people become totally unafraid of the consequences, then the secular rules simply become ineffective at influencing their behavior and anarchy reigns. Then we have to make a choice. Do we follow the examples of earlier more primitive governments, and start bringing increasingly severe measures to bear (try to make the consequences stronger)? Do we practice separatism, or genocide like some others have attempted?

My favorite option would be to openly mock them until they feel humiliated. Every time some artist makes a painting of Muhammad in a compromising position, massive outcry surges from the Muslim community. In severe enough cases, Fatwas may be issued against the artists' life. Then there's all this talk about how that was "disrespectful to their beliefs". Maybe disrespecting dangerous beliefs is exactly the direction things need to go. Nazis are certainly ridiculed now, because we've seen where that belief system' vision leads. (But it's not illegal to be a Nazi, just heavily ridiculed.) Do we need a similar war in order to see where Islam is going?


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Do Islamic Extremists have the monopoly on crazy?  |  Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:50 pm
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still, whatever people may say, and even it's only a minority of muslims who turn rethoric into action, it's a fact that non-muslims who criticise or make fun of their religion or their prophet better start getting police protection :

French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo attack condemned

likewise for the danish cartoons, Theo van Gogh, the Satanic verses, etc.etc.

maybe there's other organisations /religions who have their share of crazies, but with a small number of exceptions (the Tucson shooting of Gabrielle Giffords springs to mind) you normally don't have to fear for your life if you ridicule or even disagree with them

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Hermit
Post  Post subject: Re: Do Islamic Extremists have the monopoly on crazy?  |  Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:11 pm
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The United States has its share of crazies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_McVeigh

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbine_ ... l_massacre

and so on......

The truth is that crazies can and do appear in any society. Not just Muslim, although the Muslims do seem to have the edge.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Do Islamic Extremists have the monopoly on crazy?  |  Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:16 pm
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apart from the anti-abortion mob you don't particularly feel targeted if you've accidentally offended someone else's beliefs - massacres like in Columbine are just random and personal, free of ideology, whereas McVeigh didn't particularly target individuals who may have slighted him (i see him more as a second cousin to the suicide bombers who attack general political targets)

similar to the anti-abortionists are the ALF to whom the life of animals takes precedence to that of human beings, but still they don't tend to be so prolifically lethal as muslims with a grudge

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John T. Scopes
Post  Post subject: Re: Do Islamic Extremists have the monopoly on crazy?  |  Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:51 am
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Depends where you are. If you're comparing well-fed middle class American Christians with Third World impoverished Muslims, then I think you're making an unfair apples-and-oranges comparison. If you want to see how both groups behave when on more equal socio-economic status grounds, consider Christian and Muslim groups in Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia, East Timor, etc. where violent gangs from both groups hunt one another and commit grisly atrocities against each others' communities.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Do Islamic Extremists have the monopoly on crazy?  |  Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:30 am
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John T. Scopes wrote:
Depends where you are. If you're comparing well-fed middle class American Christians with Third World impoverished Muslims, ...


the people on the 9/11 planes were not impoverished, neither were the people who committed the 7/7 London bombings, nor the person who killed Theo van Gogh

the examples of Nigeria, Indonesia etc. are more akin to the sectarian violence that used to happen in Northern Ireland, and have little to do with the "monopoly on crazy" of the thread title

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kojax
Post  Post subject: Re: Do Islamic Extremists have the monopoly on crazy?  |  Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:44 am
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Maybe Islam is just better at making use of its nut jobs. We try to convince our crazies to get help, or put them on pills or in prison. The US military won't take them because they fail the psych evaluation. Terrorists recruiters meet the same unstable person, and their response is more like "Really? You're having thoughts of suicide?"


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John T. Scopes
Post  Post subject: Re: Do Islamic Extremists have the monopoly on crazy?  |  Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:02 am
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Quote:
the people on the 9/11 planes were not impoverished, neither were the people who committed the 7/7 London bombings, nor the person who killed Theo van Gogh


Indeed, neither Osama bin Laden nor N. Lenin were poor or under-educated, but most of their followers were. But poverty itself is not necessarily the issue, as perhaps the perception of inequality, of inferiority. Ever since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1920, there has been a very keen awareness in the Middle East of just how economically and politically backwards the Muslim world is in relation to almost every other civilization. This local frustration with political ineptitude and petty despotism coupled with the increasingly apparent lack of economic opportunities has served as an ample feeding ground for terrorism, which manifested initially after WW II as terrorism against lingering European colonialism, then in the 1950s-70s as Ba'athist-inspired political terrorism, graduating finally in the late 1980s to Islamicist terrorism. Generations of the same people(s) all driven to violence (or support for violence) in an effort to improve their own lot. This isn't to excuse what they did, only to try to understand it.

A parallel can be found in the late 19th and early 20th century Balkans, as various Balkan terrorist groups sprang forth like weeds, espousing ethnic nationalism (e.g., the several Serbian organizations created after the 1908 Habsburg annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina such as Crna Ruka), political goals (e.g., the Croatian Ustase created in 1929 to break Croatia from Yugoslavia, or the Bulgaro-Macedonian IMRO dedicated to annexing Macedonia to Bulgaria, or Ypsilanti's and Vladimirescu's anti-Turkish terrorism in 1820s Romanian Wallachia) or religious extremism (e.g., the 1890s Pomak Republic which revolted against Christian Bulgarian rule in Ottoman Rumelia, or Dovbush's Ukrainian pro-Orthodox Christian bands that terrorized Western Christians and Jews in the eastern Carpathians). At the end of the day you can wonder if there's sometyhing in the local water that makes people crazy, or you can try to understand what drives people anywhere to extremism and violent behavior they would likely not otherwise endorse or support.

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"Ideology offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them." - Václav Havel, "The Power of the Powerless," 1978


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