RE: Islamism

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Mon Jan 21 2002 - 01:59:27 GMT

  • Next message: Joe Dees: "Re: Islamism"

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    > "Lawrence DeBivort" <> <> RE: IslamismDate: Sun, 20 Jan 2002 08:41:34 -0500
    >My God, Joe, I must say that you are a great memeticist, but stunningly
    >ignorant on the Middle East and Islam. It is as if you are a newbie to the
    >subject and eagerly showing off you most recent learnings, but without the
    >depth of knowledge to really make much sense of it all. Combined with your
    >potshots ("Islamofascist" -- where in the world did you pick up this phrase,
    >or is it all yours?), it is clear that scholarly learning and reflection is
    >not what you are after, but the most trivial of sidewalk argumentation.
    >Please see my notes below, correcting your most egregious mistakes, though I
    >admit that I respond here not with the hope that you will learn anything,
    >but to continue the discussion with others on this list who are genuinely
    >interested in the Middle East situation, and who put curiosity and learning
    >before ranting and arid assertion.
    >I won't respond to your diabtribal comments, but will to matters of
    >significant fact if it seems that others on this list might give them
    >Meanwhile, I will continue to read your comments about memetics with
    >interest and anticipation.
    Knee-jerk apologia cannot masquerade for profundity in the face of recent history.
    >Joe Dees:
    >> Wrong. The clerics in Shi'a Islam are born that way; they are
    >> descendants of Ali, Mohammed's son-in-law and the husband of
    >> Fatima. They are not elected or appointed to exercise such
    >> capacities; they are supposedly divinely licenced. That is not
    >> the case for Israel, where both legislative and executive are
    >> elected by popular vote, like in the US.
    >I can't believe that you really think that the rich and varied history of
    >the Shi'is can be distilled into one or two nonsense simplifations like
    >these. I don't have time to write an essay of Shi'i history and beliefs here
    >so will refer you to a very accessible book, Karen Armstrong THE BATTLE FOR
    >GOD, chapter 2. Simply put, _ulema_ are drawn from the theological _fiqh_
    >schools. They are not 'born that way' at all, and I would guess that by far
    >the greatest number of them do not claim descent from 'Ali -- or no greater
    >a proportion than is found in the general Shi'i population, claiming such
    >descent being a very popular thing to do.
    Okay, they are 'purported' descendants of Ali. But the fact remains that they train selectees from childhood to reinforce and preserve the hegemony of shari'a over all governmantal functions. Democracy is an alien idea to them; power issues from the apex, Allah and his spokeshamans, not from the popular will of the people.
    >> The word Islam translates into
    >> 'submission'; these folks are raised from birth to believe that
    >> submission to the will of Allah, as explained to them by their
    >> Mullahs, is their ticket to Paradise.
    >A better way to understand the nature of Islamic 'submission' is much like
    >the Buddhist notion of 'acceptance,' a theological notion. It has nothing to
    >do with 'submitting' to 'clerics.' The slightest experience of the Muslim
    >world would make this clear to you, Joe. [Please note that 'islam' can be
    >translated in several ways. 'Submission' is the way most Westerners do so,
    >but equally accurate is 'reconciliation (to the will of God)'. Not my
    >personal cup of tea, but fairly standard theological fare across all
    >monotheistic religions.]
    Sorry, but it literally means submission to the will of Allah, and who decides that for the masses but their mullahs? One problem that the Islamic world has is that, unlike, say, roman catholicism, there is no central authority for the religion, so that any terrorist mullah can issue a fatwa and no other cleric has the authority to void it.
    >> Many of these people are
    >> raised to be like Manchurian Candidates, with the read queen
    >> already flashed, and all infidels the targets.
    >This is an example of your inability to think clearly about Islam. I can
    >only wonder, where in the world does this kind of rhetoric come from? Is it
    >all post-Set. 11 shock? Can the norms of research and thoughfulness have so
    >deserted you?
    It comes from ther fatwah that I posted on list, where Osama Bin Laden baldly stated that it was the duty of all good Muslims to kill Americans wherever and whenever they could, making no distinctions between military and civilian. Combine this with the brainwashing that occurs in Pakistani madrasas and in Palestinian and Egyptian media, and the message is clear, and the street support that has been registerd for Osama Bin Laden, as well as the reported 70,000 that have traveled to attend Al Quaeda terror training camps, makes it clear that the message has been heard and accepted by many.
    >> In Islam, the
    >> world is divided into two camps; Dar-Al-Islam (the World of
    >> Submission) and Dar-Al-Harb (The World of War). The only way
    >> that peace can reign upon the globe, according to Muslim
    >> doctrine, is for Dar-Al-Islam to rule the world over, and many
    >> Muslims will not stop fighting and killing infidels for their god
    >> and his kingdom until they achieve that global totalitarian
    >> hegemonistic peace.
    >Nonsense. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and here we have a good
    >example of it. Yes, the world is divided in Muslim theology, into these two
    >worlds. But the 'World of War' refers to the conditions to be found OUTSIDE
    >the 'World of Peace'. The perception of the early Muslims is that the
    >Christian and Jewish and Arab tribal worlds, for example, were ones of chaos
    >and war. Muslims would create a world of peace, leaving the rest of the
    >world one of war. Yes, there have been some Muslim theocrats who argued that
    >Islam must spread until all embraced it, if necessary spread by the sword,
    >but this is akin to comparable Christian calls for forcible and universal
    >conversion. The notion of a perpetual Islamic war with the 'World of War' is
    >alien to general Muslim beliefs and practice. Indeed, the Muslims were the
    >first to develop a code of international law that described the diplomatic,
    >commercial, and legal relationship between themselves and the 'World of
    You are quite wrong about this. Another problem that Islamofundie have is that they have never come to terms with modernity. They are stuck in the same mindset inhabited by the crusader Christians of the middle ages. The actually do believe that it is Allah's will that Islam rule the globe (they do not make a distinction between church and state, as westerners do), and bend their energies and will to achieving that objective by all means they can muster.
    >If you really want to learn more about this, I can point you to several
    >books on Islamic international law.
    >Please don't bounce back blindly with the popular view of the 'jihad' thing.
    >To anticipate: jihad is a broad concept; its 'warfare' element is one of
    >five. You may wish to look into the other four before offering us gory
    >pictures of Arabs sweeping down on French Foreigh Legion posts....
    You might also check out the source Koran, which is supposed to be followed fundamentalistically and literally, and note that the earlier more accomodatory passages were trumped by the later, forced assimilatory ones. I once again urge you to closely read what former Muslims themselves have to say about such matters, at:
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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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