RE: Knowledge, Memes and Sensory Perception

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sat Jan 12 2002 - 03:48:39 GMT

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: RE: Knowledge, Memes and Sensory Perception
    Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 22:48:39 -0500
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    >From: "Richard Brodie" <>
    >To: <>
    >Subject: RE: Knowledge, Memes and Sensory Perception
    >Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 15:19:36 -0800
    > >>So we don't have to worry about Muslim children being taught that the
    > >>highest goal in life is to kill themselves in an attack on Americans?
    > >
    > >
    ><<If the kids use these memes for that purpose, then, yes you hae to worry
    >about them. But the memes themselves can be used for other purposes, such
    >as defending the faith in other ways. The teachers are using the memes to
    >attack Americans. The Taliban used basically the same memes to attack
    >Afghans. The memes themselves are not anti-American.>>
    >Please explain how the meme "the highest goal in life is to kill yourself
    >an attack on Americans" is not anti-American.
    Muslim is a general category.

    There are the more rabid Islamicists who wage jihad against the "Great
    Satan" or other infidels. The extremist factions have anti-USian and
    anti-Israeli bents. bin Laden has taken the cake with his fatwas against the
    US and his terrorist network al-Qaeda is waging jihad on the US. These
    factions are about as anti-USian as it gets.

    The Taliban (not necessarily to be conflated with al-Qaeda) were a group of
    religous students who set out to change the tide in Afghanistan and to tame
    the unruly mujahideen from the war on the Soviets. They intepreted Islam in
    a very fundamentalist manner, much more so than the more moderate and
    modernist types living in some of the cities in Afghanistan that the Taliban
    overran and imposed their mindset. The taliban wasn't anti-American *per
    se*. They were supposedly gonna stem the flow of opium which was a
    possibility which made U.S. policymakers quite happy. They were also courted
    by a couple oil interests (IIRC Unocal and Argentina's Bridas), because
    there was a plan for an oil pipeline through Afghanistan and the Taliban was
    a big factor in stability.

    Now since the Taliban have harbored bin Laden and his "Arab Afghans", the
    Taliban are closely associated with al Qaeda, yet I'd assume distinct still.
    Besides the harboring of terrorists and their training camps the Taliban
    also has a very extreme interpreation of Islam and Sharia which is a
    throwback and should be thrown out in this modern world. The misogyny alone
    is enough to make one turn away in disgust.

    There are other streams of Islam, much of which I don't have a grasp on. In
    Afghanistan there are the Sufi mystic sect, for instance.

    Within Islam is the perrenial Sunni/Shiite split which pulls Iran apart from
    much of the Islamic world not to mention Iranians having some Persian
    (versus Arab) roots. There's also the distinction between Islamicism and
    Arabism. Also, strangely enough, isn't the "butcher of Baghad" a member of a
    quite secular political party (the Ba'ath), though he may play the
    Islamicist card whenever the need arises. I wonder how often Hussein kicks
    back and reads the Koran or whether he believes in the divinity of Muhammed.

    Isn't Turkey one of the most moderate states which have Muslim populations?
    Turkey is more or less on friendlier terms with the US. Jordan is less
    antagonistic towards Israel than many of the rest. Egypt, after Carter's
    Camp David work has been also more friendly, though much extremism is
    harbored within its borders and Sadat payed for moderation with his life.

    Strangely Saudi Arabia is an ally, yet along with Pakistan's ISI, have
    played a quite peculiar role in shaping Islamicism.

    I'm not quite sure what to make of Iran. They are apparently not too
    friendly with the Taliban. IIRC several years ago Iran had massed several
    hundred thousand troops on the border with Afghanistan after some of her
    diplomats were killed. Ironic isn't it considering they had taken some
    US-ians hostage for 444 days. The recent arms bust en route to Palestinians
    was apparently of Iranian origin, so that makes things more complicated,
    especially if we are allied with Israel.

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