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Public Diplomacy

06.06.06 | 11 Comments

While doing a quick search for a statistic, I found an interesting PDF out of Stanford titled A Practical Guide to Tapping America’s Underappreciated, Underutilized Anti-Islamist Allies across the Muslim World. It appears to be a short paper on decreasing terrorism by using Muslims who aren’t fundamentalists to “drain the swamp” of the radical Islamism.

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11 Comments

Comment by Jerry
2006-06-06 15:40:54

I hope someone in the state department reads that article.

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Comment by Kyle
2006-06-07 08:39:17

Not to be a constant source of disagreement, but I have come across some literature that pretty much indicates there’s no such thing as a “moderate” Muslim. As soon as I’m through with the book, I’m going to forward it on.

Also, take a look at http://www.jihadwatch.com. This guy was written pretty extensively on the subject, and is considered an expert on the Muslim mindset.

The website alone is well-worth the daily read.

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Comment by Prest0
2006-06-07 08:55:02

Then it just comes down to a matter of what sources you choose to believe, I suppose. As I menioned in one of my comments in the previous post, there are an estimated 1 billion Muslims. If they were all out for blood, then I think we’d already have experienced WWIII. I’ll even conceed that the majority *might* even *think* thoughts of violence against non-Muslims, but clearly only a small fraction acts upon such thoughts. I really don’t give a damn if you don’t like me, but as long as you aren’t trying to kill me or destroy my way of life I’m willing to do the same. Personally, I’m not ready to make the leap that every one (or even 90%) are really out for blood.

Comment by Kyle
2006-06-07 09:15:28

Simply read what they are taught, and I think you’ll find they are being taught to kill us, convert us, or subjugate us. Read the Koran and Surahs. Read Mohammed’s history. The conclusion is really inescapable. Why the push isn’t happening is a wonder to me as well, but historically, it’s coming. Witness the Crusades. Probably the only reason it’s not happening is because we can defeat any such movement militarily. Deterrence does work, to some extent. However, since an all-out military campaign won’t work right now, terror and the spread of the religion will, until their military might is on a par with ours (in other words, until they develop nuclear weaponry, which should scare you about Iran). Again, just because it’s not happening is not proof the intent is not there. The proof of the intent is plainly evidenced by what they are taught in their sacred writings.

Choose to believe as you will, but to ignore the evidence of their own holy writings is pretty plain. Again, there is an objective standard of right and wrong at work (read: good and evil) that can be evaluated, and must be evaluated.

Mohammed made a living off attacking caravans and villages before he became recognized as the prophet of Allah. Contrast to Jesus. What is the follower of one or the other probably going to do??

This author also seems to completely gloss over another great way to deal with the problem: the propagation of Christian ideals through missionary work. Lead by example.

I agree to an extent: leave us alone and I don’t really have a problem with you. That is actually a central tenent of Christian thought, and what became codified in out Constitution: come on board if you want, but we’ll love you just the same. You don’t have to be one of us. We won’t kill you or persecute you.

But if leaving me alone is a prelude to attacking me when you’re strong enough, there’s a problem. Again, history speaks quite loudly about this sort of thing.

Comment by Prest0
2006-06-07 15:54:21

Okay… I feel like we’re moving further and further afield from my original premise and in essence arguing about two different things. The last thing I’m going to do is defend Islam as a religion. It’s simply not what I’m talking about.

My premise, quite simply, is that humans (especially groups of humans) are too complex for simple labels. You keep coming back to Islam as a counter-example, but since every other group I can think of is too complex to be so easily defined I can only conclude that the same holds true for them.

Let me give you yet another example of humans who defy their labels. The Bible seems pretty straightforward on its stance on about homosexuality. Yet there are many people who are homosexual who also consider themselves Christians–devout Christians even. (Lets leave aside the whole issue of the stance of other Christians or the church. For the purpose of this example what other people think isn’t important, only how the individual sees him or herself.) So how does one reconcile this gulf? Well, quite simply people believe what they choose to believe. The parts that are inconvenient to their world view are swept under the rug.

Now, I can almost hear what you’re going to say next. That’s not the way faith is supposed to work. You buy into it or not. That’s true, in theory. But you and I both come from a place with a high concentration of hypocrites, so we’ve seen proof that theory and reality don’t always coincide. It’s also true that we in the West have greater freedom of religion. But even under more strict conditions, people privately make choices about what parts of their belief they’re actually willing to act upon.

Regarding the linked PDF, I think you have to look at it in the context of the title. This was a very focused strategy that would clearly have to be only one prong of a multi-pronged approach. Certainly missionary work is another. All of this ties in to those words you hate to hear from me–Cultural Imperialism. I know you seem to think that means wrist-slapping and UN sanctions (okay, I just repeated myself), but real cultural imperialism is much more severe. It is systematically dismantling an entire culture. It’s like genocide without the killing. It’s turning them into something else, so that in the end it is as if the entire culture died from war or famine. It is no more. THAT is the only way we’ll “drain the swamp”.

 
 
 
 
Comment by Ed
2006-06-07 15:30:44

I agree with Kyle on this one. After 9-11 I read much of the Koran. Muhammed did refer to Christians and Jews as People of the Book, and I did not read anything that said kill them. But it was full of references to never trust a Christian or Jew and that followers of Islam are to rule the world through control of powers. The faith does not recognize any difference between religious law and governmental law. It is the same, therefore all women should be covered, and anything western is evil.

In the US, we profess a basic belief that there must be separation of Church and State to PROTECT the right to worship of all people and religions. They DO NOT believe this. There is only one religion, one government, and one way to live. This is why I do not believe we will be successful building a Republican form of government in Iraq.

my 2cents,

Ed

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Comment by Prest0
2006-06-07 15:55:11

See my reply above.

 
 
Comment by Kyle
2006-06-07 16:04:11

I think Ed’s got a very good point regarding Iraq and a republican form of government. Our game plan won’t bring this about. The only way to do it is probably through force of arms, the same as was done in Japan at the end of WWII. But the problem there is thus: in Japan, Shinto and Bhuddism as the central religions still didn’t call for ruling the world, and killing unbelievers, etc. That’s why Japan isn’t trying to kill us right now. Well, if they are, they’re being awfully ninja about it.

The only way to win this coming war is to get the source of the problem. That involves making a value judgment, and implementing a pretty harsh solution to the situation. The only way to do that is to defeat them militarily, and then allow the spread of Christianity. That won’t happen under Sharia law, and any Islamic nation is going to live under Sharia. And the cycle will endlessly repeat until one side or the other wins.

Tolerance isn’t an option when the other side wants to either kill you or convert you. Unless you want to tolerate being converted or killed, that is.

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Comment by Prest0
2006-06-07 16:33:06

But remember the Decisive Victory. Japan’s culture was/is such that it respects such a concept. The Arab culture doesn’t even conduct war the way we do. They simply don’t believe in such a thing as a Decisive Victory. At most, it’s a lost battle over wars lasting millenia. They’re still pissed about the crusades while we in the West treat it as ancient history. So the only two solutions are genocide (which, aside from being morally wrong, is impractical) or a systematic dismantaling of the culture that feeds this behavior.

 
 
Comment by Kyle
2006-06-07 16:39:49

Sometimes the gulf can’t be reconciled. In your example, for instance. Again, I think you hesitate to say that homosexuals who are Christians; unrepentant homosexuals, that is…are wrong. Simple. They pay lip service to something, but when it comes down to it, they gloss over what isn’t convenient for them. They don’t do what they’re supposed to because they are in the grip of something they don’t want to give up. Then, they scream that the religion is wrong for saying what it does about them.

Don’t judge the religion by their hypocrites, that’s a common fallacy that is a great tool for chasing people away from religion. We’re all going to fall short of the mark. That doesn’t mean we just give up and say it’s too tough.

I do agree. The only way to win this is to dismantle the culture completely. You have to essentially destroy it and replace it with SOMETHING BETTER. Emphasis added, big time.

But we ALL fall into categories, and at a macro level, can be lumped into a particular group. Only at a micro level can you make distinctions. But a group of elephants is still a group of elephants. They’re all elephants. There are some smaller than others, uglier than others, etc. Some like a certain kind of leaf to eat. Others don’t. But you can’t say they’re not all elephants. And you have to treat them all with the same degree of caution that you would with elephants in general.

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Comment by Kyle
2006-06-08 11:28:29

The perhaps the decisive victory is total elimination of the enemy, at least until the point they realize their culture will vanish from the face of the Earth, or they must surrender. I think this is what you are talking about.

We did the EXACT same thing with Japan, with a culture that did not honor the concept of surrender at all, either. The bomb was dropped because we realized we would be facing every man, woman and child left on the islands of Japan in mortal combat. The only option was the nukes, and to show them they will die as a culture and race if they continue this madness.

We rebuilt it and gave them a better way to live. “Death before Dishonor” is a Bushido concept, which Japan embraced in WWII to a man, until they saw the light. Two really big flashes of light, to be exact. Much the same with radical Islam, I fear.

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