dexeron: (Angst)
[personal profile] dexeron
Leaving public for two reasons. Firstly, it relates to the previous two posts (that I left public.) Secondly, the comments section below is worth reading, because it exemplifies exactly the attitude I'm warning about here.


Why did I share the two posts immediately preceding this?

It's so tempting, in the wake of horrible tragedy, to simply accept the narrative we're being sold that lumps everyone even slightly different than us into an "other" category and blame them for all of our misfortune. It's easy to say: "we are at war with Islam" or to blame the refugees for these actions. Even some who would not go so far will still say: "ISIS is exploiting the refugee crisis, thus all refugees are suspect/the borders should be closed." It makes us want to think of the world in stark black/white terms - yet that is exactly what the terrorists want us to think. That is how they think: that the world is the stage for a conflict between "the West" and "Islam," and they want that war. They want the everyday Muslim to be marginalized and victimized by folks in the countries that they have wounded. They want mosques to be burned down (as just happened in Ontario.) They are in the minority, but they want to get more people onto their side, to see their way of thinking.

They want us to do their work for them.

The real world is, of course, far more complicated than some fantasy of "good" vs "evil." Yes, the actions of ISIS are evil, but too many who buy into this black/white mindset are unwilling to differentiate "ISIS" from "Muslim," or ask "Why aren't Muslims fighting or speaking out against ISIS" when so many Muslims are, every day, putting their lives on the line to do so. Understanding these complexities is vital to moving on to find real solutions to these problems, instead of continuing to follow policies that ultimately just further the cycle.

If you haven't already, please go down and read the previous two posts made to my journal, both shares of the words of another, but important words that discuss some of the facts of what's really going on in this ongoing conflict.

Let me close this by quoting yet another friend from Facebook. I won't link this one directly, or give his name, because he chose to keep the post restricted:

"Do not side with terrorists:

A friend posted an image saying that we are at war with Islam. This worries me, as I do NOT want to be on the same side as the tiny Salafist takfiri extremists who want the West to be at war with all of Islam. It is how they hope to take control of the average Muslim. Remember: DAESH, killer of too many fellow Muslims to count, ~wants~ the French and the rest of the West to react in anger and fear and wage war against all of Islam. Please do NOT promote what they want."

Understand who the enemy actually is. Fight the enemy, if it is required. But do not let their quest to make us give in to fear and hatred succeed. Do not do their work for them. Fight them first and foremost by refusing to follow their dance.

Date: 2015-11-16 10:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
(Here via the LJ Home Page)

Islam is at war with entire world. They, not us, are the ones who have chosen to divide the world into two categories: Dar al-Islam (house of Islam) and Dar al-Harab (house of war).

Guess where we fall in that little sorting exercise?

Anyone who bothers to read the Quran and the other Islamic texts would know this fact. (If not the actual terms, then at least the idea.) It's not like the texts are ambiguous about this. And it's not like the jihadists themselves are shy about saying it.

How sad that no matter how many years go by, no matter how much blood is spilled, people WILLFULLY refuse to see it.

What is even more despicable is people like you making people like ME out to be the real enemy, for just stating this fact!

Now that is pure evil.

Part 1

Date: 2015-11-17 02:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Islam is at war with entire world."

How are you defining "Islam?" Every Muslim? Shi'a? Sunni? Takfiri? We need to define terms. I'll quote a friend (whose words I quoted in a previous post yesterday as well.)

-Muslims who believe that Islam should be the basis of the state are Islamists.
-Suuni Islamists who believe the Islamic state should be built off of 14th Century principles or the restoration of the Caliphate are Salafists.
-Salafists who are willing to break the law of the Koran by declaring another Muslim apostate and kill them are Takfiri.

Takfiri are largely our problem.
Not Salifists.
Not Islamists.
And certainly not Muslims.

To simply say "Islam is at war..." is of no more use than if we'd said "Christianity is at war..." when Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah building or when a white supremacist Christian shot up a black church - all terrorist actions done in the name of Jesus, but in no way establishing "Christianity" being at war with anyone. (And indeed, more people are killed every year in the US in the name of Jesus than Allah - yet why aren't we asking "how sad that no matter how many years go by, not matter how much blood is spilled, people WILLFULLY refuse to see it?" Have you spoken out, recently, about Kevin Swanson calling for the death of gay people?

But that question was facetious. Christians are not a problem. I would never argue that. The problem is a specific tiny minority of people using religion as a justification for political murder, just as in Islam the problem is Salafism, Wahhabism, and their more radical subsets. And yes, of course, we have to address that. We can't just ignore it, and I advocate no such thing. But we have to understand who the enemy is (and who it is not) if we have any hope of victory against it.

More in part 2, because this comment got too long.

Re: Part 1

Date: 2015-11-17 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
How are you defining "Islam?"

*I* don't define Islam. Islam is defined by its texts and by the example of Mohammad. He is the example/model/pattern to be followed by Muslims, according to Surah 33:21: "There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often."

"To simply say "Islam is at war..."

It is. Two houses. You can keep pretending otherwise all you want.

"is of no more use than if we'd said "Christianity is at war..." when Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah building"

What filthy lies.

Timothy McVeigh never claimed to be a follower of Christ.

Timothy McVeigh never claimed that his actions were in obedience to any Christian teaching.

Most importantly, the Bible has ZERO open ended commands for either Jews or Christians to commit violence against unbelievers. That's why there are no Jews or Christians committing any such acts, on a regular basis, in obedience to such commands.

Take your lies and attempts at moral equivalency elsewhere.

Perhaps your time would be better spent reading the Quran, Sira and Hadith.

Re: Part 1

Date: 2015-11-17 08:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"the Bible has ZERO open ended commands for either Jews or Christians to commit violence against unbelievers"

I am not attempting to paint moral equivalency, but to highlight where your argument breaks down. No, the Bible does not have any "open-ended commands" for violence (as if that justifies the commands for violence that do exist - but that's another argument for another day...) Yet this lack of "open-ended commands" has not stopped Kevin Swanson or Theodore Shoebat from publicly calling for the murder of gay people. It did not stop Scott Roeder from murdering George Tiller, or Jim David Adkisson from opening fire at children putting on a play. Bible or no, they killed in the name of Jesus. Before you leap to the defense, I am not saying this makes Christianity "equal" to Islam - but we should note that followers of Christ do kill in his name. Do we judge "Christianity" by their actions? Of course not.

Meanwhile, what if the Quran contains such commands? Literal billions of Muslims today (and millions more throughout history) are not running around murdering people, nor do they believe such actions are justified. Why do we judge Islam not based on their actions, but on the actions of a handful of monsters?

Are you going to base your entire opinion on one and half billion people you have never met on a couple of phrases in an old book, rather than on their actions? Is that really what you are saying here?

"Perhaps your time would be better spent reading the Quran, Sira and Hadith."

I'll quote Clancy again:

"Salifist-Takfiri are prolific writers and readers, and they don't cite the Koran, they cite *scholars* of the Koran. Not unlike politicans today are likely to cite founding father and courts are likely to cite court cases.

Indeed trying to understand what's going on in modern Islamic militant fundamentalism by only reading the Koran book is like trying to understand the history of US politics in the 20th Century by only reading the magna carta."

If you still want to think of Islam as somehow innately "evil," I cannot change your mind. But what you should consider is that when we're faced by a threat like ISIS, there is a big difference between saying "1.57 BILLION people are the enemy" and saying "Salafist-Takfiri is the enemy." At the very least, from a military perspective, it is the difference between engaging in endless war without end and spreading ourselves too thin, and going in and actually addressing the people actually committing violence.

"It is. Two houses. You can keep pretending otherwise all you want."

The only people saying that are pundits peddling fear, and ISIS themselves. The people with a lifetime of historical, political, and military experience and expertise in the middle east do not see it that way, and instead frame it quite differently. You have a choice as to which narrative you buy into. I, for one, balk at accepting, without question, the narrative that ISIS wants me to accept. I'd also argue that "I have read the Quran, so I understand everything about Muslim history and politics" is a shallow pool from which to dip.


Also, I think you are somehow interpreting my enjoinder against reacting in fear as some kind of call to just sit around and sing "Kum-Ba-Yah" with the terrorists. Far from it. I applaud the actions of the Kurdish fighters taking this war to ISIS directly, and our involvement in supporting these brave people as they try to retake their homelands. Those who have committed murder must be brought to justice, whether it be by the hand of police, or with the fist of military action. But that doesn't mean that actions do not have consequences, and treating all of "Islam" as the enemy (for example: just ignoring collateral damage, or arresting or violating the Constitutional rights of Muslim citizens here) is playing into the real enemy's hands. History has shown how these groups recruit, what they take advantage of. Why should we make their job easier? Are you saying you want an all out war between the west and Islam? "Kill them all, and let God sort them out?"

At some point, we need to learn to be more selective, because unless we learn to work in the realm of realpolitik, we will never solve any of this.
Edited Date: 2015-11-17 08:52 pm (UTC)

Re: Part 1

Date: 2015-11-17 10:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Notice how you don't even recant your false claim that Timothy McVeigh was a follower of Christ and did his evil acts in the name of Christianity or in obedience to the Bible?

Instead you go on to give even MORE examples of people who are (supposedly) doing/saying things commanded by or condoned by Christianity - while yet again providing ZERO evidence that any such things are, in actuality, commanded or condoned by Christianity.

Meanwhile, what if the Quran contains such commands?

Maybe if you bothered to READ IT, you would know. But you have not. And you will not.

I'll quote Clancy again:

I have no idea who that even is, or what his claim of authority on the matter is.

How about quoting either the Bible to back up your endless accusations, or the Quran? That's what's at issue here, not someone else's opinions.

I am done here. I am livid.

Re: Part 1

Date: 2015-11-17 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You are choosing to hyper-focus on a perceived attack upon your faith as an excuse to ignore everything else I said in a multi-part reply. That is convenient, but it is also your prerogative.

But I have made my case as to why it is ahistorical, illogical, and simply unwise to declare 1.57 Billion people whom you have never met your "enemy" based solely upon words in a book that you, not they, have decided are important. You have declared yourself an expert on Islam and on what Muslims believe, and to hell with what anyone else says (even those with vastly more experience in the history and politics of the region and religion in question.) Continuing to follow your comforting narrative despite this is, as I said, your choice to make.

Part 2

Date: 2015-11-17 02:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Salafist Takfiri did not even exist until very recently, with its origins in folks living near the end of the 18th century. It gained power along with the rise of Arab Nationalism near the end of the 19th century and into the 20th. Islam went along just find for thousands of years (experiencing both peace and war, just like Christianity was doing at the same time) until the rise of these groups. "Reading the Quran" is meaningless here - the Quran was read for thousands of years and most people who read it didn't run off with swords to behead unbelievers. Takfiri don't use the Quran to justify their actions anyway, but specific "scholars" of the Quran (from the last couple of centuries) who basically made up whatever they wanted to support their political goals (much like Khomeini completely reversed the old policy of Shi'a staying out of politics and sticking to scholarship, instead preaching that as the best scholars, it was their duty to rule.)

Hell, folks held prisoner by ISIS have reported that they saw no Qurans, and the soldiers never prayed.

I know you've got an obvious counter-argument to my statements above about radical Christians vs. radical Muslims: "But these Christians aren't actually killing anyone - Muslims are, and the so-called 'peaceful' Muslims aren't speaking out against it, or fighting it!"

Ignoring the examples I showed of Christians actually killing people, that kind of statement merely betrays ignorance as to the actual facts. Christian murder is still going on, all over the world, every day! - and there's silence from your everyday Christian. (This is not a criticism, most Christians just don't know about it.) Meanwhile, Muslims are out there protesting, every day, and speaking out - even in Middle Eastern countries, against these atrocities! And there are thousands of thousands of Muslims putting their lives on the line to fight groups like ISIS in Afghanistan and Iraq, dying to try to preserve freedom from these groups. The Kurds are actually seeing some success, and have taken back some land from ISIS. They loudly say: "ISIS does not represent Islam."

In fact, the people most loudly saying "ISIS represents all of Islam" or "Islam is at war with the West" are ISIS themselves. That's the narrative they want everyone to agree with. That's the purpose of these attacks. They want the West to see "Islam" as the enemy, to treat all Muslims as suspect, for people to burn down mosques (as just happened in Canada.)

They want us to do their work for them.

I am not making you out to be the enemy. I don't think you are an enemy. But I think all of us are so easily tempted to react in an all-too-human way to attacks like these. We react in fear. We want to fight back. We want a concrete foe to point at, to hate, to get revenge on. And there is a concrete foe - but it's not "Islam," it's not refugees fleeing these monsters, and it's certainly not the average Muslim.

We should fight back (and we have been. The military has been conducting thousands and thousands of air-strikes against ISIS targets over the last few years, and have been very successful. The fact that ISIS is now resorting to this kind of attack, instead of their previous strategy of merely "state-building" is actually a testament to that.) We should all stand strong against extremism (in any ideology that preaches violence!) but what we must not do is agree with the terrorists. We must not let them frame the conditions and the battleground for this fight. We must not let them define for us the nature of this war (or the nature of the faith of billions of people who live in peace - because let's be honest, if "Islam" really was the enemy, we'd all already be dead.) We must not let them win, and giving in to fear is surrendering to them before the fight's even really begun.
Edited Date: 2015-11-17 03:47 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-11-17 02:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lastly, here are links to two previous posts I made, both quoting my friend Tim Clancy, who is very knowledgeable about world politics and history, much more so than I am.

Here's his discussion on the specific nature of the threat:

And here's his discussion on what some Muslims are doing to fight the threat:

EDIT: I really need to quote something from that first link, because even if you disagree with everything I said above, this is a good practical reason of why not to simply say "Islam is the enemy:" it's simply impractical. To quote Clancy again:

"(1) Every *legitimate* problem solving method in the world seeks to reduce the scope of the problem by separating wheat from chaff, signal from noise. Almost every form of analysis is an attempt to isolate further, what is the root cause activity that is driving the negative behavior. Because once you find that smallest can focus on it, put all your attention into that part and not defuse any effort by spreading it thin on the uninvolved.

It's a form of logic - given group A and group B, and group B is the root cause of behavior C - no matter how much effort you spend working to modify group A, you will not change group B and therefore not improve behavior C.

Everything bad you could say about Salafist-Takfiri I would accept and add a few more.

This very small subset of all Muslims is punching far above its weight and are a true manifestation of evil on this planet. So why waste our time and resources on the other 1.49B Muslims who *aren't* Salafist Takfiri? This is not about political correctness, this is about utility in target selection.

(2) I call this fractal segmentation and it's based off of statistical self similarity of fractional units, or more easily called "the coastline of britain problem". Stated simply as you increase the fidelity of your measure, and are able to read in ever smaller units of measurement, the figure you are studying literally changes in its shape,dimensions and measurement. The thought experiment which demonstrates this is if you imagine measuring the Coastline of Britain with a 200km stick, it will be one shape and have a distance of 2400km. But if you measure the Coastline of Britain with a 50km stick, it will have a very different shape, and a coastline distance of 3400km.

When someone says "Muslims are the problem" their 'stick' is 1.4B people large. The Salafist Takfiri measurement 'stick' is maybe a few million. The shape and nature of the problem generalists describe is very different than the actual shape and nature of the actual problem. The generalists rough blob of a measure is like looking at a 10,000 piece puzzle after you've spent the night in a mexican bar drinking the worm - it's fuzzy, hard to describe and not easy to work on. The Salafist Takfiri measurement is like picking up a single piece of the puzzle, with clarity, and saying "this...this is what we need to focus on."

In professional (private sector) analytics, the segmentation goes down to micro clusters of 10,000 people and in some cases gets down to the "protocol of one", measuring a problem a single individual at a time. This is fairly new because the computing and instrumentation power to do this simply wasn't available in the past."
Edited Date: 2015-11-17 03:55 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-11-17 10:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Fighting a war with 30,000 is doable. Fighting a war against 2 billion?

I hope you've rejected your own theism, since you want others to do so too.

"people like you "

So passive aggressive. If you are going to suggest someone is despicable, have the sack to do it directly.

Date: 2015-11-20 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've deleted the reply I made to you earlier today, because i think it was needlessly snarky and didn't accomplish anything productive. There's a time for venting, but it wasn't appropriate to this venue. Sorry.


dexeron: (Default)
Daniel Lustig

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