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What will it take to fix the Islamic world's mess?

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#1 Delvo

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 06:37 AM

Certainly, although many of you don't agree with my assessment that the current trend toward berserk maniacal bloodthirst is the true nature of Islam, there can be no serious argument that it is a problem that's rather conspicuopusly prevalent within it. Other religions have had some pretty funky problems before, and some have gotten over it. But how? What can kickstart the change "back" to sanity?

#2 Lord Ravensburg

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 06:56 AM

Time.

Although for the record I too disagree with your assessment.

#3 Lea

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 08:14 AM

US built and funded these very same terroristic organisations to fight against Soviet Union in that region, and when they became strong enough they turned against US. So it's surely not the problem with islam but the problem with US bad foreign policy. Changing US foreign policy for it would stop creating gobal mess, is clearly the job of people in US.

(US is the biggest force, and it means that nobody else's wrong decisions can create remotely that big harm to the whole world as US wrong decisions. And US government/president are not gods so they do make mistakes.)

Not considering Islamic worlds inferior would help a lot - i.e. not thinking that you might know better how they should live, but accepting that this is something they know the best. Deciding how to change Islamic worlds is the business of people who live there.

Anyway, thanks for starting this topic. It's good if people care to think about what's wrong.

BTW, Delvo, why do you think that bloodthirst is the true nature of Islam? How much do you actually know about Islam? How many Muslims do you personally know?
(You don't have to answer to the last two questions if you don't want, but I'm very interested to hear your answer to the first question.)

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#4 Godeskian

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 08:16 AM

Time, distance, and a change oft he prevalent culture that supports and condones the behavior of the religion in question.

The western world can bomb them, can demonise them, can flatten entire coutnries and it will make no difference, because the societies that spawn this violence still accept it.

It's the big mistake the western world is making at the moment, is that trying to force them into being nice is ultimately doomed to failure.

For the record, I disagree with the assesment that Islam is a fundamentally violent religion.

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#5 tennyson

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 08:52 AM

The United States did not build any of the organizations that are currently attacking the US and other countries. Al-queda was formed from people who were veterns of the conflict against the Soviets but it did not exist in the late 1980s when the American support for the Afghanistan mudgehaddin(sp?) stopped. Al-Queda was founded in the mid 1990s intially using the personal fortune of Usama bin Ladden and later supported by donations from groups and people from around the world, and it was formed from a core of people who had served in Afghanistan but quickly bagan to absorb followers who hadn't even been born when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. he only positive connection between Al-Queda and the US is that some people who used to be fighting in Afghanistan happened to be part of the later organization.
It's like a group of people who had worked for say Boeing, the gaint aircraft company were discharged and then couldn't find work so they decided to start thier own smaller aircraft company using thier skills and money. They may have learned skills at Boeing but it is the choice of the discharged workers how they use those skills.
As for other terrorists organizations, the US has never suported HAMAS, Islamic Jihad or any off the blanket umbrella of organizations that target Isreal  and has tangled with them on and off since the early 1980s.
Niether has the US supported the umbrella of Al-Queda associated organizations in Iraq and the Phillipines. The US has supplied aid to the Phillipines for years to help them find a solution to thier own home-grown terrorist problem.
To reinterate, Al-Queda did not exist when the US stopped funding the the Afghan resistance, and while personnel that served there would go on to link up with radical elements and form Al-Queda, as Al-Queda they have never had anything but an antagonistic relationship with the US.
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#6 Delvo

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 09:18 AM

Lea, on Nov 21 2003, 07:14 AM, said:

it's surely not the problem with islam but the problem with US bad foreign policy. Changing US foreign policy for it would stop creating gobal mess
That is not true at all. The problem existed in the Middle East before the USA had done anything, and exists throughout Islamic countries all over the world where the USA still hasn't done anything, and isn't even always aimed at the USA. I'm talking about the bigger picture here.

#7 Shalamar

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 09:24 AM

I disagree with Delovs thought that Islam is an inately violent religion, but there are aspects of it that can be percieved as advocateing violence..though Islam is scarely alone in that regard...

Historically the violence in the region goes much further back than the 1960's or even the 1900's..it is a region that has been troubled with violence time immorial..but again isn't most of the world...

but thats a dirgession..

I think that it is the people themselves that must decide to change, to give up the belief that violence and terror will get them what they want...

not because it won't get them what they want..it might well.. ( the quote from Heinlines StarShip Troopers comes to mind  ..." Tell the city fathers of Carthage" )

but becuase it is a vicious never ending downward spiral that can esacelate some day to the unthinkable...

but if the people don't want to change, I don't think we can effectively make them...I think we just have to keep their violence from being aimed at us... part of me very coldly says get out of the region...every western civilization, let them do what they want as long as they don't do it to us...

then I see in my mind's ruthless eye, the faces of children in Saddam's prisons, the bodies of those dead in a suicide bombers attacks, and worse...and know it is just tiredness, and frustration...

and pick up hope like a sword, and believe that people can change, can grow and work together some day instead of against....

People can change, can work together...I just hope its soon enough
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#8 Themis

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 09:30 AM

Frankly I'd like to be able to put a dome over the whole middle east and let them either kill each other off or decide to live together.  Not very constructive, I know, but at  least they'd have to solve their own problems without interference....  Of course that would cut us off from their oil also so it would never happen even if it were possible...

Could the harsh landscape over there have anything to do with the apparent willingness to do atrocious things in this life and find the reward in the next life??

I wish someone  did have a solution.   :(

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#9 Drew

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 09:42 AM

You know what it'll take to fix the world's Islamic mess? It'll take the world's Islamists. They will have to change their ways, they will have to reign in their extremists, they will have to learn the value of peace. (And I'm not even sure that's possible.) But until they reform, nothing will fix this mess.

Edited by Drew, 21 November 2003 - 09:42 AM.

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#10 Yama

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 10:37 AM

I may have a thought or two on this subject.  Perhaps over the weekend, I will copy and expunge one of my thesis.

Postscript.  Having written on this subject, I probably no far less than anyone else here. :eh:  :dontgetit:
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Posted 21 November 2003 - 10:41 AM

Delvo, on Nov 21 2003, 11:37 AM, said:

Certainly, although many of you don't agree with my assessment that the current trend toward berserk maniacal bloodthirst is the true nature of Islam, there can be no serious argument that it is a problem that's rather conspicuopusly prevalent within it. Other religions have had some pretty funky problems before, and some have gotten over it. But how? What can kickstart the change "back" to sanity?
I'll be brutally honest...

NOTHING.

IMO, the very thought of religious "sanity"  in Islam is nothing more than a naive, idealistic fantasy. In order for something like this to work, there would have to be an INCREDIBLE amount of open-mindedness and willingness to discuss problems between the different Islamic factions.

Frankly, I'll go so far as to say such a thing is laughable.

#12 Rov Judicata

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 10:43 AM

Grating as it is, I think the only solution may well be time. Given how chaotic the system currently is, there's simply no way it can continue in its present state indefinitely.

Whether the timetable can be accelerated is an open question. Ultimately, though, the Islamist world must look for solutions from within.
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#13 MuseZack

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 11:09 AM

Lumping together a disparate array of countries such as Turkey, Algeria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia under the heading "the Islamic" world is just silly, reductionist nonsense.  Some of these countries are doing pretty well; others aren't.

But if reform is what you're after, probably the best thing we could do would be to seriously develop alternative energy in the United States, Europe, and Japan.  All of the sudden you'd take away the major funding source (Saudi Arabia) for the most backward, retrogade elements of Islam, and give the more progressive, native-born elements (Sufism, Iranian reformism, Indonesian and Malaysian folkways) room to grow and prosper without the competition from Saudi Wahabism.

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#14 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 11:56 AM

MuseZack, on Nov 21 2003, 12:09 PM, said:

But if reform is what you're after, probably the best thing we could do would be to seriously develop alternative energy in the United States, Europe, and Japan.  All of the sudden you'd take away the major funding source (Saudi Arabia) for the most backward, retrogade elements of Islam, and give the more progressive, native-born elements (Sufism, Iranian reformism, Indonesian and Malaysian folkways) room to grow and prosper without the competition from Saudi Wahabism.

Zack
That's probably the best solution posted so far. If we used alternative energy...the USA's oil interest in that region wouldn't exist.

Then the Islamic nation should be happy...They would be free to brutalize and degrade women, committ their violent acts, and generally violate people's rights with impunity...in their own little world.

For the record, I agree with Delvo. Islam IS a fundamentally violent religion.

I mean, look at the facts...In Saudi Arabia they allowed school children to die in a fire, by beating the female children back into a burning building...all because they weren't "Decently dressed". I don't need to rehash how the women in Afghanistan were treated, do I?

And I won't even mention how the people in Iraq were treated.

So, if the USA can harvest and use alternative energy, it would be free to basically tell the Islamic world to go Frell itself. And that if the Islamic world decides to attack US forces, or civilians, then be prepared for a couple of Nukes to be landing on their doorstep.

Is my opinion harsh...most certainly. But, when dealing with a violent society, such as Islam...you have to deal with them FROM A POSITION OF STRENGTH!
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#15 Rov Judicata

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 12:06 PM

All right, let's deal with "Islam is fundamentally violent".

For the record, I don't have a dog in this fight; I'm on the outside looking in.

First: Iraq was a secular state. As such, using treatment of Iraqis as an argument against Islam is a bit dubious.

Second: People are mistreated in parts of the world that aren't Islamic.

Third: People are treated well in parts of the world that are Islamic.

Fourth: If Islam was inherently violent, it would follow that most of the followers would likewise be violent. That's simply not the case. Most estimates I see show about 10% of the Islamic community is radical.

Fifth: All religions have had their dark spots. While I hate to use what's almost a cliche at this point, anybody read about the Crusades? The Inquisition? Abortion clinic bombings?

Sixth: Trying to label a religion that way only serves the interests of the terrorists. If we frame this as an "Islam vs. the World" or-- even worse-- "Islam vs. Christianity/Judiasm" war, then we lose even if we win.

Seventh: Zack is right in that the "Islamic world" is far too broad a term. Would the "Christian World" include, say, the United States and Brazil?

Eigth: Zack is also right that alternative energy is the way to go. While he made a throwaway line in his State of the Union speech, there's been no real effort to make it practical. Once cheap alternative energy is a reality, the power of the Middle East diminishes overnight.

I *think* that's everything...
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#16 Consubstantial

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 12:14 PM

Having studied the faith and having several Islamic friends, I can say unequivocally that Islam is not an inherently violent religion and all Islamics are not inherently violent.  

Christianity is at least as violent, if not more so, as Islam.  Some Christians beat gays to death.  Some Christians commit premeditated murder of doctors who perform abortions in the name of their faith.  Neither of those truths makes Christians inherently violent any more than the fact that some Islamics engage in violence makes Islamics inherently violent.

Having read both the Koran and the Bible, I can attest that the two books share many commonalities.  Both religions encourage peace and pacifism in some parts of their texts and both allow for conversion by force in others.  

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#17 Lover of Purple

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 12:28 PM

I in no way think Islamic is an inately violent religion. There are violent subgroups, just as any religion may have. The problem I see is that these violent subgroups often take over and rule. The nature of most peacefull religous people allows this to happen. So, no I don't think the religion needs to be changed. I do think that the radical groups need to be delt with in some way (and yes, I feel the same about any so-called-Christian group that does these kind of things).

There is the possibility that by helping countries (Like Iraq) to develop a self-governing democratic style of government might help others see they can also have it. Perhaps (my hope) is that they will then force change in their system and oust some of the more radical groups.

May or may not happen, but I can hope and pray.

Alternate forms of energy is a nice idea, but I don't think the world economy allows it at this time.


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#18 Delvo

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 12:56 PM

Ignoring the off-topic PC-feeling stuff that belongs in another thread...

I had a feeling many people would say it's just the oil, and I posed the original question open-endedly to see if I'd get that without prompting for it.

But I just can't buy it. It's just another way of blaming everything on the evil Infidel West so that the real perpetrators don't have to be held responsible for their own actions. And if you think they're resentful of depending on us, how resentful do you think they'd be if we yanked the thing they depend on out from under them? No, trade fosters friendly relationships between countries, and economic severance heightens the likelihood of war, not the other way around.

...Especially when it would surely lead to the economic ruin of many of the countries on one side but not the other. We're talking about our side finding another way to sustain itself after cancelling a deal both rely on right now, but haven't yet imagined how the other side will. Buying stuff from us for oil is the only way the Middle East can have it in many cases, due to the ratio of population to resources in that region. And we're not even talking just about luxury items here; they can't even produce enough food or procure enough water on their own, nevermind merely sustaining a wealthy lifestyle. (Although other parts of the Islamic world wouldn't be hit as hard as its birthplace.)

#19 HubcapDave

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 01:58 PM

Javert Rovinski, on Nov 21 2003, 10:06 AM, said:

Eigth: Zack is also right that alternative energy is the way to go. While he made a throwaway line in his State of the Union speech, there's been no real effort to make it practical. Once cheap alternative energy is a reality, the power of the Middle East diminishes overnight.
When did Zack make a State of the Union speech?

;)

#20 G1223

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 02:07 PM

The problem is not the faith. It is the people  behind that faith. We have leaders among theose people who insist on twising the reradings of that faith to excuse thier behavior. It is a reason why to me that the Rainbow six concept has merit.

Edited by G1223, 21 November 2003 - 02:07 PM.

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