From: Wade Allsopp (email@example.com)
Date: Sat 11 Feb 2006 - 14:53:41 GMT
The idea that those carrying out suicide/martyrdom attacks in the name if
be rewarded in the afterlife and in particular can expect to be "given" 72
On 2/11/06, Douglas Brooker <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Wade Allsopp wrote:
> > On 2/11/06, *Kate Distin* wrote
> > Your analysis strikes me as having hit the nail on the head. I've
> > conversations with very moderate, culturally English, not
> > religiously observant Muslims in the UK, who feel very strongly that
> > although they condemn violence and terrorism they can nonetheless
> > understand the feelings behind the violence and terrorism. As you
> > say,
> > there is a perception of being marginalised and not having their
> > met within Western society. And another part of the problem is of
> > course the entanglement of any encounter between Islam and the
> > West with
> > the situation in Israel/Palestine. All of this creates a strong
> > feeling
> > of identity with fellow Muslims, whatever their behaviour, and a
> > consequent reluctance to condemn even very extreme behaviour by
> > within that brotherhood. Heightened in this case by identifying
> > the feelings of outrage about the prophet being ridiculed and
> > denigrated. Then we as non-Muslims hear even our very moderate
> > friends
> > expressing sympathy with the feelings underlying terrorism - and the
> > alienation is exacerbated.
> > I agree, this is the point I was trying to make when I said that the
> > main losers of all this
> > have been the moderate Muslims living in the west whose main goals are
> > not jihad
> > but simply to get on well with their lives and live peacefully with
> > their neighbours.
> > My sense is that many moderate British Muslims and those such as Jack
> > Straw who
> > strive to represent their views, were wrong footed by the cartoons.
> > The initial reaction was:
> > "this is outrageous, people are linking Islam with terrorism, this is
> > yet another example of the
> > prejudices we face, these publications should not be allowed."
> > We then saw maybe 50-100 radical Islamists (representing about 0.007%
> > of the British Muslim population) outside parliament screaming "behead
> > the cartoonists, let's have another 7/7, go go Bin Laden etc etc"
> > In an important sense it was these people who the REAL cartoons.
> > Remember the idea behind a cartoon
> > is to exaggerate real features of the subject to comic effect.
> > Whereas the original cartoons were pretty weak images published in a
> > Danish newspaper months previously and would have had approximately
> > zero impact on British people's perception of Muslims, these real live
> > cartoons got headline coverage on every TV news channel and just about
> > every serious newspaper in the UK for 2 or 3 days. They will have had
> > a material effect on reinforcing the prejudice against Muslims in the
> > UK. It was only a day or two later that moderate Muslim opinion
> > seemed to wake up to this and begin a largely ineffectual counter
> > offensive.
> > What I think moderate Muslims have not woken up to is that successful
> > cartoon images "work" because they magnify aspects of the subject that
> > are really there. Think of the domineering, handbag bashing Spitting
> > Image puppet of Margaret Thatcher or the grey, mousy puppet of John
> > Major.
> > I think the comedy side of this whole story has not received much
> > attention to date. The Muslim reaction to the cartoons
> > has generally been that because they are cartoons they are there to
> > "ridicule" and perhaps humiliate Muslims. In fact I would say that
> > this is to mistake the nature of comedy and cartoons, at least in
> > British society. Comedy is there to bring us down to earth in a non
> > violent, non threatening way, to prevent us from taking ourselves too
> > seriously. When successful it is perhaps the most effective form of
> > criticism, which is presumably why in just about all of the major
> > world dictatorships, from Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein
> > to the current Islamic theocracies, making fun of the leader and
> > regime in public was something that could rapidly lead to prison or in
> > many cases death.
> > Most discussion of the cartoons has centred on the one with Muhammad
> > with a bomb in his turban, which is really just making the point of
> > the link between Islam and terrorism. I think most people have said
> > that the only one of the cartoons which is actually funny is the one
> > with Muhammad sitting on a cloud being approached by a line of suicide
> > bombers saying "sorry we've run out of virgins". This is the one (or
> > something like it) which should be on posters all over Gaza, Baghdad,
> > Kabul and Bradford, because there is a very dangerous meme out there
> > which needs to be doused and the traditional forms of argument simply
> > don't work against it.
> What is the very dangerous meme out there that needs to be doused?
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This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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