Thursday, June 21, 2007

Placing Blame Where It Belongs

Irshadi Manji's latest essay is certainly not going to win over many in the dark and depraved underworld, which is also known as radical Islam.

GROWING up in Vancouver, I attended an Islamic school every Saturday. There, I learned that Jews can't be trusted because they worship "moolah, not Allah", meaning money, not God. According to my teacher, every last Jew is consumed with business.

But looking around my neighbourhood, I noticed that most of the new business signs featured Asian languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Punjabi and plenty of Urdu. Not Hebrew, Urdu, which is spoken throughout Pakistan.



Those that want to explain away the atrocities of the depraved killers that kill in the name of Allah as misunderstood, may want to read her piece with an open mind. (That includes Jimmy Carter and those that look to him as a political deity.) For, she is in a unique position to know and understand these things. It doesn't make sense to thoroughly discount what this woman says, just because one hates George Bush and thinks he is the main reason these thugs hate America (and Israel) so much.

24 comments:

Greg said...

It doesn't make sense to thoroughly discount what this woman says, just because one hates George Bush and thinks he is the main reason these thugs hate America (and Israel) so much.

Really? Personally, I pine for the days before BusHitler when the islamic supremacists loved America and Israel. ;)

Dude, not only are those in the "dark and depraved underworld" of islamic supremacism going to be pissed (doesn't matter what she says - she's uncovered and working outside the home!), so will their allies on the extreme left in Europe and America. Take a look at the treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali from leftists. It's despicable. I'll try to find an article on what they've said about her for daring to criticize the mysoginistic attitudes and racist violence of "radical" islam.

(Some say this form of Islam is not radical, but rather a literal interpretation of the Koran. It's fundamentalist, but not radical. Symantics, perhaps.....)

ms. miami said...

las- sure, fundamentalism of any stripe is dangerous since it discourages critical thinking and moderation.

i'm more personally familiar with the equally dangerous christian variety. luckily, most americans sympathetic with fundamentalist views aren't feeling the economic and political desperation that leads to activism and violence.

you've piqued my interest- who is it that sees carter (or any other politician) as a deity??

Greg said...

equally dangerous christian variety

You should do stand-up, MsM.

Greg said...

economic and political desperation that leads to activism and violence

Equally amusing.

LASunsett said...

MsM,

//i'm more personally familiar with the equally dangerous christian variety.//

Can you name one "equally dangerous" Christian fundamentalist group? Because from where I sit, I see none (absolutely none) from the Christian faith carrying out suicide bombings, lopping off heads of those captured, or trying to do anything else of that nature to further advance their cause. Did the Southern Baptists drive out the Mormons or Catholics from Bibb County, Georgia by force, executing many of them after they were captured?


//luckily, most americans sympathetic with fundamentalist views aren't feeling the economic and political desperation that leads to activism and violence.//

Then, maybe the Saudis could share some of their wealth and not build a palace or two, once in a while, and share the oil wealth with their Palestinian brothers and sisters, so they would not be so economically and politically oppressed. They could do that instead of blaming Israel's existence and then, I bet there would be less fundamentalism on the part of radicals. Because they would not have the discontent as fertile ground in which to spread their seeds of discord and hate.

Sorry MsM, I cannot disagree with you more on either of these points.

LASunsett said...

MsM,

//you've piqued my interest- who is it that sees carter (or any other politician) as a deity??//

Not a deity, a "political deity".

ms. miami said...

las/greg- sorry, i didn't sufficiently clarify the distinction i was trying to make between fundamentalism being generally "dangerous" and american fundamentalists not normally resorting to "violence" (although this happens in rare instances).

the point i was trying to make is that any fundamentalism, in discouraging critical thinking, leads to general dangers like general intolerance and discrimination, women being conditioned to accept abusive circumstances, and families discouraging their children to pursue education and perpetuating cycles of poverty (a few examples).

violent movements, on the other hand, flourish in societies with a widespread sense of political and/or economic desperation. i know that you guys disagree with me, but i assure you that many poly sci studies on the process of radicalization and the life cycle of extreme movements demonstrate this...

ms. miami said...

Then, maybe the Saudis could share some of their wealth and not build a palace or two, once in a while, and share the oil wealth with their Palestinian brothers and sisters, so they would not be so economically and politically oppressed.

las- btw- i recently read about trends in palestinian hip hop music and the popularity of lyrics that express just such disappointment in fellow arabs not helping them and exploiting the palestinian problem for their own agendas.

LASunsett said...

MsM,

//violent movements, on the other hand, flourish in societies with a widespread sense of political and/or economic desperation. i know that you guys disagree with me, but i assure you that many poly sci studies on the process of radicalization and the life cycle of extreme movements demonstrate this...//

Worded like this, I wouldn't totally disagree with you. History can certainly bear a great deal of this out. But worded like this:

//i'm more personally familiar with the equally dangerous christian variety.//

It communicates to me that you equate Falwellism with Bin Laden and Zarqawi (and the many others).

I think there are some instances that can throw some wrenches in your highlighted theory on economic desperation, within a Christian community. The victims in Darfur, as I understand it, are primarily Christian and yet, they are the ones that are being slaughtered by the more privileged Muslim rulers.

And, in the great depression, Christians that lost everything did not resort to organized violence as means of righting the injustice of being in a state of economic despair. Maybe some turned to petty crime, and such. But, I read nowhere that great movements to overthrow the government or to make others of other cultures and religions pay for their demise, rose up in response.

ms. miami said...

las- please understand that i'm not claiming that fundamentalist views and/or violence always accompany economic desperation, simply that this is a significant factor among others (resources and effective mobilization efforts, for example, are also required).

(btw- on the depression note, a lot of desperation was expressed via suicide at the time)

regarding your earlier saudi arabia comment (i think that i originally misunderstood your point), it's clear that most saudis aren't suffering economically. however, i can see room for political desperation playing a role.

the main point i'm trying to make is that the key factor is desperation and that extreme movements don't de-radicalize until that desperation is dealt with.

regarding "danger," yes, christian fundamentalists (and there's more to it than falwell) aren't targeting the public at large. the danger, however, can be very real on a physical and mental level for those within fundamentalist families and groups (especially for women and children).

Anonymous said...

La bonne volonté pédagogique et la patience de ms.miami me sont une source d'admiration constamment renouvellée!!!

(And through Google translation service):
The teaching goodwill and the patience of ms.miami are to me a source of admiration constantly renouvellée!!!

Hi ms.miami :-)

Flocon

LASunsett said...

MsM,

//regarding "danger," yes, christian fundamentalists (and there's more to it than falwell) aren't targeting the public at large. the danger, however, can be very real on a physical and mental level for those within fundamentalist families and groups (especially for women and children).//

I do not think that anyone with an ounce of sense could disagree with you as you state it here. But this, in a sense, is like comparing apples to oranges. There are many that do as you say. But I do not think it is as much of a societal norm, as it is in other more backward cultures.

Without getting too theological, those people that use the Bible as a pretext for being abusive to their wives and children have misused it to justify their actions are to be condemned, in my book. Even if I take the texts they use as literally as possible, I still see nothing that legitimizes abuse in the eyes of God. Laws are in place that forbid such things; but realizing that laws can only go so far in protecting people that fall into this category, I would also say that in many Arab and other predominantly Muslim societies have no such laws.

ms. miami said...

flocon- salut tonton :)

las- personally, i don't see any point in fixating on muslim fundamentalism. i think we should recognize that all fundamentalisms (even the ones at home) are dangerous.

LASunsett said...

MsM,

//personally, i don't see any point in fixating on muslim fundamentalism.//

When it is Muslim fundamentalists that are actively seeking to attack us, I do not see it as fixating. Vigilance is a more accurate term, in this case. At such time as other fundamentalists from other religions start to endanger the American people and communicate their desires to see our society destroyed, then I will be more than supportive in being vigilant towards those groups, as well.

Somebody has to watch, somebody has to make a determination on whom to watch, all based on present and past actions. Since fundamentalist Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, and other major religions are but a mere fraction of those responsible the death toll these days, I would rather think that someone is watching those that present a "clear and PRESENT danger", over and above one that "might be one someday, given the right conditions".

Mojo_Risin said...

Greg, I'm curious about your research into the treatment of Ali by the left wing. How's it coming?

LASunsett said...

Mojo,

Here you go, Mojo. I think this fits the bill as critical of Ali. In fact, it all but calls her a liar.

Anonim said...

I think desperation is but one ingredient. Many desperate people in desperate societies/conditions, left to their own devices, might resort to petty crime, infighting and the like. Resorting to outward violence, on the other hand, is probably more a direct outcome of the efforts of learned ideologues, who turn to teach desperate people what is in, what is out to begin with. When the rules of engagement that these types propound are somewhat legitimate and descent, and when their cause has some validity to it, we tend to call it fight for freedom, independence, etc. Otherwise, i.e., when neither condition is satisfied, we have to call it terrorism, I guess.

That said, I don't see what kind of bearing the second half of this girl's testimony has on the first. Absence of Hebrew signs in her neighborhood? Which is in Pakistan? In what sense does that contest or disprove the claim that Jews worship money, not God. Did they also teach her that all people good with money are Jews, or something? Anyway, ignore me speaking pure logic (I don't have anything against Jews, save the war-mongering neo-con types). Also, bear in mind that I haven't checked out the full essay.

Mojo_Risin said...

Greg,
I read that article, and it's hardly a hit job. The writer says that Ali is right about many things that are wrong with the Muslim culture's treatment of women (genital mutiliation, lack of education, etc.), but that the degree is off, and that Ali has been accused of fabricating some of her past to lend weight to her opinions.

As a left-wing character assassination, it's pretty tepid -- hardly "despicable". It sounds more like a reasoned argument for healthy skepticism from a moderate Muslim.

Actually, to me, the more interesting point you brought up is the difference between "literalism" and "radicalism". My thinking is that literalism, when combined with the right personality, too easily shifts into radicalism. That an extreme personality type, when armed with what they think is the Word of God -- and taking it literally -- can easily turn to extreme measures.

LASunsett said...

That's fine Mojo, but it wasn't Greg that left it. I did.

LASunsett said...

//My thinking is that literalism, when combined with the right personality, too easily shifts into radicalism. That an extreme personality type, when armed with what they think is the Word of God -- and taking it literally -- can easily turn to extreme measures.//

I pretty much agree with this.

Schizophrenics, for instance, will almost always ruminate and fixate on one (or more) of three things: Politics, Religion, Sex.

They may not focus on all three at the same time, but at various points, they will fixate on one of them. There are other psychiatric diagnoses that will display this as well, especially when there is a delusional element to the condition.

Mojo_Risin said...

Sorry, LAS,
I'll also add that the article was less left-wing than insider Muslim...

But I wasn't talking about personalities that are THAT extreme. I've known plenty of personalities that aren't clinically deranged, but can still be considered extreme.

LASunsett said...

Mojo,

//But I wasn't talking about personalities that are THAT extreme. I've known plenty of personalities that aren't clinically deranged, but can still be considered extreme.//

Those were a bit extreme to be sure, but it's important to note the different kinds of disorders and the levels that go with them. Schizophrenia is a thought disorder. Other disorders like Obsessive Compulsive and Anti-social are personality disorders. It's possible to have traits from these disorders, but not enough to warrant a full-blown diagnosis.

Point is, I see your point. ;)

Greg said...

I knew that there was a left-wing terrorist apologist who had attacked Hirsi Ali. Here, she is ironically referred to as a "bombthrower" and is said to cater "more to Islamophobes than Islamic women."

http://tinyurl.com/2qjdkq

I don't have any attacks on Ms. Manji. Yet.

In fact, I hadn't heard of her until LAS did his post. Then just coincidentally last night, I caught a PBS special on her - part of the America at a Crossroads series. She is incredibly funny. And brave. In one scene, a veiled woman confronts her outside her apartment, accusing her of being the "Devil incarnate" for "blaspheming Islam." Hanji looks almost amused and tries to make friends with the woman, who refuses to shake her hand. Hanji asks her if it isn't very hateful and unIslamic to call someone the devil, to which the veiled woman responds, shrugging, "Freedom of speech." Classic. Hanji has also been repeatedly threatened. If you can catch the thing when it runs again, you should take the time to watch it.

ms. miami said...

las- well, i worry about how fundamentalism (of any stripe) adversely affects those living in it (not everyone chooses it), not just how someone else's fundamentalism might possibly affect me.