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Why Islam is incidental.

Written By: - Date published: 12:21 pm, May 26th, 2017 - 133 comments
Categories: International, political alternatives, political education, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , ,

A thought provoking piece in today’s Guardian from Arwa Mahdawi that is absolutely worth the two minutes of your time it would take to read in its entirety. It begins…

There are lots of ways to be a disaffected, disenfranchised young man. You can spout anonymous abuse online. You can shoot up a school. You can bomb abortion clinics in the name of being pro-life. You can kill black people peacefully praying at church, in the name of white supremacy. You can murder teenagers singing joyfully along at a pop concert, in the name of Isis and Allah.

What you are called, when you do those things, varies. Sometimes you’re a criminal. Sometimes you’re a terrorist. Sometimes you’re a mental health statistic. How you are treated, when you do those things, varies…

The piece goes on to touch on killings motivated by notions of white supremacy before focusing on the case of Devon Arthurs, a white supremacist turned Muslim who allegedly stabbed his white supremacist flatmates because they were planning terrorist attacks. The prevalence of attacks in the US that are motivated by notions of white supremacy, and the lack of money, policy and training geared towards confronting it, is looked at before the piece concludes…

Arthurs is a timely reminder that the road to extremist violence can take many paths but it often starts from the same place: notions of threatened masculinity and feelings of worthlessness and humiliation.

Arthur’s metamorphosis from a neo-Nazi to an Islamist should remind us to eschew the narrative of a Clash of Civilizations that is often pressed on us and, instead, interrogate more universal sources of anger.

The interplay of many socio/economic and psychological factors can result in vulnerabilities that can then be exploited to create a fanatic. Who is exploiting, or in what name the exploitation is occurring, is somewhat incidental when placed alongside those underlying factors. Surely then, our focus as a society ought to be on eradicating the conditions that enable fanaticism, and ceasing any actions that might be pushing any of those underlying conditions in a negative direction.

As a footnote, I’m somewhat heartened by some of the more spontaneous, people centred reactions that are being reported in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing. Maybe someone needs to tell those in authority that the sun may well be setting on their day of hate and fear.


133 comments on “Why Islam is incidental.”

  1. McFlock 1

    Nice post.

    Sometimes I get the impression that it’s often more difficult to stop teens and young people killing themselves or others than it is to get them to do it, regardless of the flag they fly. Sigh.

    • Bill 1.1

      There is that. Notions of being six foot two and bullet-proof riding shot-gun on a head full of righteousness goes a long, long way…

    • weka 1.2

      I also thought nice post.

      re your comment am thinking about the youth suicide rate and how it’s probably higher than we realise because the guys ostensibly having accidental deaths (e.g. road accidents) aren’t in the suicide stats. We are so bad at giving young men in particular a suitable rite of passage into adulthood that makes them feel worthy, and that on top of the socioeconomic issues and the end of the world is upon us thing that I think younger people feel in quite different ways than us oldies.

      Every time, I think this is about community. It’s the worst thing about the last 30 years, the push to end the connections that make us feel like we belong and that we matter. I expect the solutions to terrorism in particular are complex and varied, but it’s hard to not see community rescue as underlying it all.

      • gsays 1.2.1

        Hi weka, I think you are correct with the lack of rites-of-passage for our young men.
        A friend of mine in northland does a bit of this work.
        Very powerful for all concerned.

        At the risk of ruffling feathers… I do have a problem reconciling community and identity politics (at least my understanding of it)

        Great communities I have been involved in, there is a distinct lack of self, me, mine.

        • weka

          You and I use the term identity politics differently I think, or we see it differently. For me identity politics is inherently about solidarity. So that fits into community very well. We include everyone, rather than excluding people on the basis of identity (gender, ethnicity, body ability, etc).

  2. Et Tu Brute 2

    Would it be fair to say then that white supremacy is also incidental? The common denominator then is toxic masculinity and socio-economic problems.

    • mordecai 2.1

      No. Both existed in the depression, and didn’t result in people blowing people up.
      The common denominator in virtually all terror activity today is Islam. Stop avoiding the issue, and we may be able to do something about preventing it spreading.

        • mordecai

          “The Bath School disaster, sometimes known as the Bath School massacre, was a series of violent attacks perpetrated by Andrew Kehoe on May 18, 1927 …”

          “The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place during the 1930s. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s.”

          Got your timelines out a bit eh?

          • McFlock

            oh well, joe mentioned boeing 247 anyway.

            • mordecai

              Come back when you can find dozens of them, and I might take some notice.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                No, you wouldn’t. You’d clutch even harder at your rote-learned hate speech.

          • Draco T Bastard

            And everything before the Great Depression was all roses and light:

            However, for many Americans, the 1920s was a decade of poverty. Generally, groups such as African-Americans, women and farmers did not enjoy the prosperity of the Roaring Twenties. More than 60 per cent of Americans lived just below the poverty line.

        • mordecai

          Gee that’s a huge list, compared to this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Islamist_terrorist_attacks

            • mordecai

              “Basque nationalism is rooted in Carlism and the loss, by the laws of 1839 and 1876, of the Ancien Régime relationship between the Spanish Basque provinces and the crown of Spain. ”

              Back to school.

              • joe90

                Catholic, through and through.

                • mordecai

                  “Carlism (Basque: Karlismo; Catalan: Carlisme; Galician: Carlismo; Spanish: Carlismo) was a traditionalist and legitimist political movement in Spain seeking the establishment of a separate line of the Bourbon dynasty on the Spanish throne. “

                  • joe90

                    So much like the post’s title, Catholicism was incidental, too.

                    • mordecai

                      Incidental? Not even relevant. Unlike terrorists who do their bidding while yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’!!

            • reason

              ” Believe in “terror” and Isis wins. Believe in justice and Isis is defeated.” https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/manchester-attack-muslim-islam-true-meaning-a7754901.html

              For a modern religious horror story …….. it’s hard to go past the Catholic church ….mainly the fascist, Catholic, extremist Ustasha http://emperors-clothes.com/docs/backin.htm

              “The murder methods applied by the Ustasha were extraordinarily primitive and sadistic ” … God and Croatia

              “In Bosnia… the Croatian fascists began a massacre of Serbs which, in the whole annals of World War II was surpassed for savagery only by the mass extermination of Polish Jews.” [End quote]

              The above quote was repeated by all versions of Encyclopedia Britannica from 1971 until 1987.” ….

              The past reaches forward to the present …. with Nato re birthing these Nazis … Karl du fresne plays a role as a racist pro war tub thumper ….and gives us the modern echo of Nazi dehumanization. http://www.tenc.net/letters/dufresne.htm

              “I especially urge you to read the interview in which Cedomir Prlincevic explains why Albanians fled Kosovo during the NATO bombing in 1999. It sheds much light on how great powers foment racist terror and demonize the victims of terror in the Balkans and elsewhere.” …. Jared Israel

              • RedLogix

                And just in today:

                Gunmen opened fire on two buses and a truck carrying Coptic Christians in Minya, Egypt on Friday, killing at least 26, including children. Some 26 people were also injured in the attack.

                The group of between eight and 10 gunmen approached the convoy in three four-wheel-drive pickup trucks before opening fire, according to local media reports and the Egyptian Interior Ministry.


      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.3

        Bigot has gun.

        • mordecai

          FWit uses words he doesn’t understand.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Ugh ugh! Gun go bang! Bigot like gun! Ugh! Ugh!

          • gsays

            Hi mordecai, head over to daily review and check out the story about the businessman giving food away because of his religious beliefs.

        • keepcalmcarryon

          I think the tenor here is unneccesarily PC – Mordecai is pointing out an unpleasant reality – islam has an extreme incarnation which is a big issue.
          Wahhabist islam as being preached, funded and spread by the saudis is a big part of the problem, its dumb to pretend extreme islam is not a contributing factor.
          another good huffpost article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-yousaf-butt-/saudi-wahhabism-islam-terrorism_b_6501916.html

          ““Saudi Arabia has not stopped its interest in spreading extreme Wahhabism. ISIS…is a product of Saudi ideals, Saudi money and Saudi organizational support, although now they are making a pretense of being very anti-ISIS.”

          In fact, Saudi blogger Raif Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, made a similar observation about her husband’s flogging: “the Saudi government is behaving like Daesh [a derogatory Arabic term for ISIS].” About 2,500 Saudis are thought to be in ISIS’ ranks.

          Ensaf Haidar’s quip exposes a deeper truth. One could reasonably argue that the House of Saud is simply a more established and diplomatic version of ISIS. It shares the extremist Wahhabi theo-fascism, the lack of human rights, intolerance, violent beheadings etc. — but with nicer buildings and roads. If ISIS were ever to become an established state, after a few decades one imagines it might resemble Saudi Arabia.”

          “Although the Wahhabi curriculum was modified after the 9/11 attacks, it remains backward and intolerant. Freedom House published a report on the revised curriculum, concluding that it “continues to propagate an ideology of hate toward the ‘unbeliever,’ which include Christians, Jews, Shiites, Sufis, Sunni Muslims who do not follow Wahhabi doctrine, Hindus, atheists and others.” This is taught not only domestically but also enthusiastically exported abroad.”

          Remove funding, close the madrassas and stop their hate message from reaching the vulnerable would be very sensible.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            its dumb to pretend extreme islam [sic] is not a contributing factor.

            Yeah thanks for that. Obviously leading criminologists must be dumb too.

            You want to smear this bullshit all over yourself, be my guest, just don’t imagine you’ve discovered a persuasive reality-based argument.

            I can’t decide whether you and the rest of the parrots are genuinely convinced by it, or whether you just find an excuse for bigotry too difficult to resist. It would be an interesting academic study if it weren’t for the extra deaths it fosters.

            Perhaps it’s just cowardice: you don’t want to examine the actual causes of terrorism because you are afraid to learn that anyone (including you) is capable of perpetrating it.

            • keepcalmcarryon

              No refutation of the quotes I see OAB.
              Ease up on your bigotry calls you are becoming a parody of yourself.
              I dont think any keyboard warriors should go around accusing each other of cowardice it just adds to the stupid.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I didn’t refute your quotes because attempts to understand/explain hatred as a consequence of ideology are futile: ideology is incidental, which is the theme of the post.

                I didn’t accuse you of cowardice: I said it might be a reason why people prefer not to look at the actual causes of terrorism too closely.

                Yeah, I’m all for denying oxygen to hate groups, and we have enough homegrown ones to worry about before we can go advising other people how to close theirs down.

                Not mention the care required: Don Brash preaches hate and lies behind a veneer of concern. Are we going to criminalise his hate speech too? How exactly does it work?

              • mordecai

                “No refutation of the quotes I see OAB.”
                You seriously didn’t expect any. Bloke is a troll, whose only response is ad-hominem.

      • Et Tu Brute 2.1.4

        What about the Oklahoma City bombing or the shooting of abortion doctors?

        • mordecai

          That’s why I said ‘virtually’ all.

          • Et Tu Brute

            Yeah but you can’t have a root of ‘virtually’ all violence. Then it isn’t a root. It is just doing a half-arsed attempt to find a root. You need to dig deeper – hence toxic masculinity and socio-economic problems. Whether Islam or white supremacy is incidental.

            • One Anonymous Bloke



              Now, what possible motivation could a right wing bigot have for not wanting to examine eg: toxic masculinity and socio-economic problems?

              What could it be?

              • weka


                I’d also like to know how people see toxic masculinity being solved.

                • Sabine

                  well its fairly simple

                  remove birth control
                  remove legal abortion
                  promote abstinence until marriage (only applies to the girls)
                  promote marriage young
                  promote child bearing as a duty to god, husband and fatherland
                  pay women less and lesser
                  prevent women from climbing the corporate/working world
                  remove social nets that predominantly serve single parents and their children (and yes, there are single fathers but they are not the majority – even tho they too suffer hardship equally)
                  remove publicly provided healthcare

                  basically make the survival of women and their children dependent on man, such as it was before the pill was made freely available to women married and unmarried and the arrival of the Domestic Purpose Benefit, and you will see Men restored to their right full place on the head of the table (Headship) who will be served joyfully and meek, Of course, by his spousal unit (helpmeet),

                  And then you have restored Men to their rightful place, just under God, and then toxic masculinity is not to be discussed anymore, and bloodied women and children will just have to learn to be ‘quieter’ around Dad when he comes home from work, all tired and such.

                  oh, and to add, in the US of A and places as such, remove any pretense that humans a darker shade then white have rights. They don’t and the faster they learn the better it is.
                  Cause thats the beef with these little fuckwits.

                  The guy from jemen, palestine, iraq, etc actually has a reason to be fucked up.

                  The little white boys in the US? IF they can’t get a job, if they can’t get laid, if they can’t hustle to make some cash, how come that the others can? Oh, its because they are the white working class with economic issues and if the blacks, latinx and womens were just to go back to 1951 all would be good.

                • The New Student

                  Give our young men an outlet. Useful rites of passage. Something to channel all that energy that they have.

                  Something that builds their confidence and experience, instead of tearing it down.

                  Something that ALL can access, regardless of socioeconomic background. But I suppose that’s impossible

                  • weka

                    sounds good to me. What did you have in mind?

                    • Grafton Gully

                      Urbex, rock climbing, caving, ocean swimming, tramping, trail running, mountain biking, paragliding, sailing, base jumping, wrestling.

                    • weka

                      nice. I reckon some non-sporty things for the less sporty too. Geek stuff for the geeks, that kind of thing.

                    • keepcalmcarryon

                      Yes Grafton Gully, also hunting, fishing, kayaking, diving, the list is immense.
                      Get away from the urban prison and out burning off that energy, learning life skills along the way.
                      edit: yes Weka absolutely.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      This is Sparta!

                      No, wait…

                      What to teach young men? Same as everyone else: whatever they want to learn plus some basics that everyone gets.

                    • weka

                      It wasn’t about what to teach young men, it was how could society provide useful rites of passage for them transitioning to adulthood. And while I think having choice and learning how to make good choices is part of that, I also think that the elders have a responsibility to not just leave young people to it like they currently do.

                    • keepcalmcarryon

                      “What to teach young men? Same as everyone else: whatever they want to learn plus some basics that everyone gets.”

                      Seems to be working in our feminised schooling system ? Predominance of female teachers and teaching methods favouring female learning styles. A great way for males to start out feeling less able and confident.
                      That certainly is a balance that needs redressing now you mention it OAB, and a chance for more positive male role models at school.

                      [Aw gawd. Seriously? Don’t. You want to run this stuff, then do it on Open Mike.] – Bill

                  • Bill

                    Freedom would be nice. (Hmm – maybe a bit too socialist that one.)

              • Draco T Bastard

                He knows damn well that the policies that he supports brings it about and so he has to deny that truth.

            • keepcalmcarryon

              I dont like your toxic masculinity line, it sounds anti male.
              There are female suicide bombers too.
              We have a huge suicide problem amongst our young men which is never talked about, to me part of the reason is positive identity amidst constant negative male stereotypes. Give our boys and young men good role models and let them celebrate being men instead of constantly expecting them to apologise for it.
              Maybe you arent implying anything intentionally.

              • McFlock

                Well, I don’t know about “constantly apologising” for being male, but I think the role models and positive identity are good points.

                I tend toward the Marxist theory of alienation, where the system artificially makes individuals view each other as commodities.

                People (especially those who are further alienated because of cultural, social, or poverty reasons) look for communities to join and ways to become more than themselves. Become chosen, become loved, become respected, become famous, become powerful, make a splash. And then those folks (mostly male) encounter a cult recruiter, bomb maker, whatever. Or they just branch out on their own with an assault rifle or what have you.

              • greywarshark

                If the males are just being men and behaving in a positive way, there is nothing to apologise about.

              • weka

                I’m not a huge fan of the term ‘toxic masculinity’ myself, but I think the point here is to have a way to differentiate between what you describe (good role models, celebrating men, positive identity) from what society imposes on young men in particular that works against them (a whole bunch of negatives, and ways of behaving that become problems).

                • RedLogix

                  Totally agree with what you are saying here. No quibble with the notion of toxic masculinity at all. The problem for too many young men is a paucity of positive models to replace it with … which leaves them in an empty, deprived place that all too often feels ‘anti-male’.

                  Keep in mind the correlation between Rogernomics and the almost quadrupling on the young male suicide rate over the subsequent five years or so. More than anything else young men need to be demonstrate to themselves that they can be successful at something. Almost anything. Masculinity is an essentially performative act; deprive them of that opportunity, that purpose, the ability to define themselves in their 20’s … and there are always bad consequences.

                  Whether they take it out on themselves, or others.

            • mordecai

              Toxic masculinity and socio-economic problems cannot account for your examples, so by your logic they are not a root either.

      • Bill 2.1.5

        The common denominator in virtually all terror activity today is… fucked up people – not Islam or anything else – unless you want to argue that some forms of terror activity are carried out by people who aren’t fucked up in some way. You want to go there? I’m thinking not.

        So, what’s fucking them up?

        (Note – I’m not really so interested in what’s exploiting their fucked uppedness)

        • weka

          “So, what’s fucking them up?”

          And, once someone is fucked up, what can we do about it?

          • Bill

            Well, obviously it’s exploitable. So one thing would be to exploit it favourably as it were. Like I said up the top somewhere, six foot two and bullet proof allied with a head/heart full of motivation goes a long way.

            edit – which is to say, restore a sense of worth and purpose and well being that works both for them and for society. (Can you see the obvious barrier to that?)

            • weka

              I don’t know what that last sentence means.

            • weka

              I can see lots of barriers to that 🙂 Socio-economics, neoliberal capture of society, break down of community and family, identity conflict, lifelong socialisation. Perhaps you could be more specific.

              • Bill

                No. That was basically where my thoughts were on that – that we live in a culture/society that disempowers swathes of people – that diminishes and divides humanity.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  So practically speaking, we can take steps to significantly reduce inequality, and the resentments and divisions it fosters.

                  If there’s little that can be done about bigotry, bigots can still be denied a ready source of easy recruits.

                  • weka

                    yes, and I think that in order to have the political and social power to reduce inequality, we need to build bridges between opposing groups of people. If it were just a matter of us lefties knowing what do to we’d never have had neoliberalism ;-). So how do we convince enough of NZ for instance that the way to create wellbeing in society to via equality?

                    It’s why I found the US election debate so hard going. Lots of division, very little attempt to find ways to connect. I’m still wondering what’s happened to so many people in the US who aren’t political or left wing.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            There are some good things happening in Pakistan. Not so much in the UK, where the ‘prevent’ strategy has become a toxic brand.

        • mordecai

          “So, what’s fucking them up?”
          Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out.
          Quran (4:74) – “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.”
          Quran (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”

          • Sabine

            ever fucking read the bible?

            • mordecai

              How many Christians are using the Bible to justify killing tens of thousands of people?

              • McFlock

                Well, let me start the list off with George W Bush.

              • Dv

                Eg crusades.

                • mordecai

                  …were acts of warfare against invading/conquering armies, and were centuries ago.

              • woodpecker

                you for one

              • katipo

                Well I hazard a guess quite a few “Christians” had a hand in a lot of these post 2001 deaths…
                *Over 370,000 people have died due to direct war violence, and at least 800,000 more indirectly
                *200,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting at the hands of all parties to the conflict
                *10.1 million — the number of war refugees and displaced persons
                *The US federal price tag for the post-9/11 wars is about 4.8 trillion dollars
                *The wars have been accompanied by violations of human rights and civil liberties, in the US and abroad
                *The wars did not result in inclusive, transparent, and democratic governments in Iraq or Afghanistan

          • Bill

            So the kid in Birmingham or London or wherever, who has never read the Quran, is fucked up because of stuff written in the Quran. 🙄

            • RedLogix

              No the fucked up kid in Birmingham was happily exploited by fucked up fundies for their own political purposes.

              There are two components to what happened in Birmingham; absolutely one relates to alienated, dis-empowered young men like Abedi who terribly prone to being derailed into committing deranged acts. In that respect I totally agree with almost everything said so far.

              But this does not, cannot erase the political aspect; that fundamentalist Islam is a real political movement with values and aims antithetical to almost all notions of modern, liberal society.

              • Bill

                But this does not, cannot erase the political aspect; that…

                Sure. But as said elsewhere, toxic ideologies are ‘ten a penny’, and to hold whatever of them up as the only thing in the cross-hairs doesn’t get us anywhere, and often enough sets us back a step or three, eg – the ideologue who’s views harden when challenged logically, or the co-radicalisation that can emerge from such a focus.

              • mordecai


            • mordecai

              It isn’t just knowledge of the Koran, it’s indoctrination of it’s twisted contents.

      • the pigman 2.1.6

        Actually, the common factor in terrorism and its perpetuation is “misrecognition” – the driving factor behind disconnection from civil society that enables terrorism’s perpetrators to “split” groups into good/bad.

        It’s no surprise that since 9/11 and the “War on Terror” began, the rate of deaths caused by terrorism has increased ten-fold.

        People like you, mordecai, perpetuate this cycle because you gleefully engage in misrecognition of the Other by saying “Duuh… Islam BAD.” To which those angry young men look at your society, from which you exclude them, and say “Derrp.. civil society BAD!”

        And so the bloodshed continues and escalates.

        • mordecai

          Bollocks. What utter drivel. Acts of terror in the name of Islam have been performed since the 7th century. It is a primitive death cult in whose name people were murdering innocents long before 911.

    • Bill 2.2

      Would it be fair to say then that white supremacy is also incidental?

      Yes. Toxic ideologies are “ten a penny”. Our time would be better spent on eradicating the conditions that act as spring-board for them, rather than just constantly decrying their toxicity.

      Also. When was the last time you ran into an ideologue and changed their mind or world view by dint of reasoned debate/argument? I’ve run into a few in my life, and I’ve never known that approach to yield results. If anything, it can tend to harden their stance.

      Then there’s the whole danger of tarring entire groups of people with the same brush. If I run around spouting Islamophobic stuff, I’m helping to create or maintain an atmosphere that some will see or use as an excuse to kick in the heads of people just because they’ve walked out of a Mosque, or dressed in a particular way, or whatever.

      • RedLogix 2.2.1

        I’m sorry but what you are saying here is akin to describing the Holocaust as ‘fucked up behaviour by a number of authoritarian, prison camp militia’ … and relegating political Nazism as ‘incidental’.

        • Bill

          What were the underlying factors that gave rise to fascism and nazism?

          Unless none existed, then yes, their rise is incidental to those underlying conditions…ie – it could have been something else equally or even more heinous that rose in their stead.

          The Holocaust on the other hand was a direct result of Nazism having risen.

          edit – Because of underlying factors, Nazism rises, because Nazism rises, the Holocaust happens.

          • RedLogix

            I’ll reply here. Simply put … if only a small fraction of what the Yazidi people report about ISIS (the currently most visible incarnation of fundie Islam is true) then minimising such an ideology as ‘incidental’ frankly gives me the creeps.

            Don’t misrepresent me here; what you are saying about ‘underlying causes’ resonates very strongly with me. Yet here are some of the characteristics of ALL extremist ideologies:

            1. Totally against any compromise with the other side and intensely demonise them
            2. Entirely sure of their position.
            3. Advocate and sometimes use violence to achieve their ends.
            4. Highly polarised down racial, nationalistic or cultural lines
            5. Deeply intolerant of dissent within their group.

            ISIS and all the other nutter Islamists tick all these boxes in bright neon highlighter.

            My primary political model is Eric Blair. Here is a man who understood and wrote about underlying causes more intimately than any other in his age. Yet he also stood defiantly against both Fascism and Stalinism, both ultimately political manifestations of that authoritarianism which paints such broad streak down the underbelly of humanity. And I strive to resist in all it’s forms.

            I get the logic of your argument Bill. It makes good sense to shift the focus of the debate away from a seductively superficial demonisation of Islam. But we are all shaped by our experiences, and like Psycho Milt, I’ve been too personally and closely exposed to the intolerant, bigoted and dangerous aspects of fundamentalist Islam to give it the free pass you seem to be happy to hand out here.

            • Bill

              The ideology in and of itself, can be any ideology that finds a way to hook into people and encourage them to do heinous shit. The precise characteristics of the ideology are irrelevant.

              That’s not to minimising the real world effects of any given ideology or giving out any ‘free passes’.

              Wahhabism as it exists in Saudi Arabia where it’s, I was going to say institutionalised, but I guess it actually is the establishment – has now extended its influence to encompass regions of Syria and Iraq and Libya and the Yemen, and is akin to any heinous ideology that gains and extends power (eg – fascism or nazism or state communism).

              And the question isn’t about whether a ‘free pass’ is being given or not -of minimising the real world consequences of that extension of power (in this case) through the ME and N. Africa, but about understanding how it manages to export to ‘the west’ and hook into people.

              That doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s not people experiencing some spontaneous “change in consciousness”. There are reasons and/or circumstances that enable it to happen.

              And the ideology can be Wahhibism/Salafism, or it can be white supremacy or whatever…it’s all the same in the context of people ‘being hooked in’ – ie, there is something wrong here, with us, with our society that we should be paying attention to.

              • RedLogix

                Fair enough … I think we’ve managed to converge the conversation to within touching distance.

          • John

            Hitler was very Pro-Islamic in his quotes “The peoples of Islam will always be closer to us than, for example, France”.

            Islam allied with the Nazi’s with Gran Mufti Amin al-Husseini who met Hitler in 1941. Below is from the Islamic hadith.

            “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (the Boxthorn tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews. (related by al-Bukhari and Muslim).” – Sahih Muslim, 41:6985

            Khalid al-Hud al-Gargani of Saudi Arabia said Muhammad acted the same exact way as Hitler in driving the Jews out of Arabia just as Hitler drove the Jews out of Germany.

            Bosnian Muslims fought in the Nazi Waffen-SS. 16 Islamic countries currently ban Israeli Jews from entering their country.

  3. joe90 3

    Before someone says the Muslim community needs to do more, this.

    The missed opportunities to catch Abedi were beginning to mount up last night. The Telegraph has spoken to a community leader who said that Abedi was reported two years ago “because he thought he was involved in extremism and terrorism”.

    Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, said: “People in the community expressed concerns about the way this man was behaving and reported it in the right way using the right channels.

    “They did not hear anything since.”

    Two friends of Abedi also became so worried they separately telephoned the police counter-terrorism hotline five years ago and again last year.

    “They had been worried that ‘he was supporting terrorism’ and had expressed the view that ‘being a suicide bomber was ok’,” a source told the BBC.

    Akram Ramadan, 49, part of the close-knit Libyan community in south Manchester, said Abedi had been banned from Didsbury Mosque after he had confronted the Imam who was delivering an anti-extremist sermon.


    • North 3.1

      Well spotted with that link Joe90. The likes of Mordecai offer far less sensible comment. Exacerbate hatred first then look for the practical ‘right-now’ answer. Which given the exacerbated hatred will likely be unefficacious or misdirected or too late as might be thought re the latest perpetrator.

      On a lighter note (horrifically) there’s not much that’s helpful about Trump’s “Losers!” input. Looks too much like Trump strutting past Trump Tower in a world where all that ulitmately matters and all that works is bellicose executive dictate. Soundbite from the ‘Greatest Show On Earth’, the campaign. Whom amongst world leaders having the power to make input really believe that’s the way to go ?


      • joe90 3.1.1

        The likes of Mordecai

        Terror attacks are intended to provoke hysteria and overreactions and fuckwits like mordecai oblige the perpetrators with their hysteria and overreaction.

    • Bill 4.1

      I actually get a bit depressed over this ‘expectation’ that the Muslim community should constantly offer up a loud voice of condemnation. It kind of plays into the superficial analysis that yes, maybe terrorism does actually arise from something inherent to Islam.

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        Sometimes it seems to me that it’s the groups of people who insist that Muslims should constantly condemn “Islamic” extremism who also get outraged when, say, Cunliffe addresses men’s violence against women.

        Dissonance can be a funnything, I guess.

    • Seems like a lot of communities should condemn like pretty much all of them/us

    • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 4.3


      Islam Permits Lying to Deceive Unbelievers and Bring World Domination!

      Muslims lie when it is in their interest to do so and “Allah” will not hold them accountable for lying when it is beneficial to the cause of Islam. They can lie without any guilt or fear of accountability or retribution. A lie in the defence of Islam is approved even applauded in their “holy” books.

      • Bill 4.3.1

        You just linked to a hate site, why?

        • Gabby

          Is it a hate site or a disagreeswithbill site?

          • Bill

            By all means, go have a look. No-one’s stopping you.

            As well as rabidly anti-Islamic tosh, it does throw in a bit of anti-Catholicism around the origins of torture. I guess that was their idea of balance. Please don’t take that suggestion seriously – I’m being sarcastic.

            Seems they’re in the business of building up, not just an anti-Islamic Christian mneme, but a Protestant one to boot.

            • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster

              Yes, you are correct, Bill, I should not have linked to that particular site – but I wanted to point out that Islam sanctions lying to non-believers.

              I have no doubt that many many of the imams who condemn violence in the name of Islam are genuine – but they are allowed to lie!

              I should have quoted directly from the Quran, but didn’t have time.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.3.2

        Muslims lie when it is in their interest to do so

        So do Christians.

        Low-life politicians tell lies too.

        I missed the part where you demonstrated that eg: John Phillip Key’s behaviour can be smeared onto all New Zealanders.

        • John

          Christianity is much less of a threat today then Islam. Jesus Christ wasn’t a illiterate tribal warlord who spread the faith by the sword like Muhammad was & Christianity today certainly doesn’t think its okay to kill apostates who leave the religion unlike Islam still does.

          Many ex-Muslims fear for their lives in the West because as soon as their family, communities find out about their apostasy they either exile them or kill them.

          Several stories of Muslim migrants in the West are violently attacking & even killing homosexuals.

          52% of British Muslims believe homosexuality in the UK should be illegal.

          One Syrian woman who fled to Germany after she was gang raped was stabbed to death by her own Islamic family who branded her “unclean”.

  4. adam 5

    Two for one in the Philippians as we speak, with both side resorting to violence http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/25/philippines-army-arrives-islamic-state-linked-militants-go-rampage/

    I get that the president there is trying to sort out the economic nightmare the country is in which feed extremist. For a country with such high levels of poverty I’m surprised this has not happened sooner.

    A colleague of mine is from the same Provence and she was freaking out last night as the army went in, she had a good point. Whilst the army and violence may end this current crisis, violence means nothing for the future of people, who think they have no future. If you have nothing to lose, then nothing is lost. (paraphrasing her, not a direct quote)

  5. Theresa May’s War on Terrorism was most probably launched to look tough for the elections. It would have been launched without thought for the fact that whilst the U.K. is an American lackey and funds and arms despots, if those weapons are then turned on the U.K. it only has itself to blame.

  6. Adrian 7

    This may be bullshit but I have read somewhere that the most common investigators thing find in the home of young Brits like Abedi is a copy of Islam for Dummies.
    These attacks are more about anger and revenge for who knows what slights.
    I don’t even know if it is a book.

    • Bill 7.1

      The book thing’s irrelevant.

      Hell, for those that burn down mosques and what not, maybe an internet history that always contains trash like that linked to by Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) at 4.3 above.

  7. Lara 8

    The most common attribute of mass killers? Close to 98% male.

    But we’re not allowed to talk about that now are we Bill. And others.

    Men on the left don’t like it.

    • keepcalmcarryon 8.1

      The grown ups are talking about it (“toxic masculinity”) above if you’d care to join in.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2

      98% male

      ^^^this too.

      • keepcalmcarryon 8.2.1

        Put your stilted gender stereotypes aside and open both eyes.


        “The number of women involved in suicide bombings is increasing, partly due to groups like Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, the Taliban, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). These groups are using women to commit attacks against security forces and local populations. States should be concerned about female suicide bombers’ role in creating instability. ”

        “Throughout history, women have participated directly and indirectly in extremist organizations. According to a study conducted by Yoram Schweitzer, between 1985 and 2006, female bombers committed more than 220 suicide attacks, representing nearly 15 percent of the overall number of such bombings.”

        “Studies suggest that women comprised 30 percent of the LTTE, 30–40 percent of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and 40 percent of Peru’s Shining Path”

        So, women increasingly used as bombers , averaging 15% of bombings to 2006 and increasing (who knows what percent now?).

        Interesting to note http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10576100801925695?src=recsys&journalCode=uter20

        “A log-linear analysis found that female suicide terrorists were motivated more by Personal events, whereas males were motivated more by Religious/nationalistic factors. Females were equally likely as males to be recruited through peer influence, exploitation, or self promotion, whereas males were more likely to be recruited as a result of religious persuasion. The results highlight the need for continued research into female terrorism”

        • Bill

          Perhaps Lara was referring to what we might term criminal acts in the context of civil society as opposed to acts in war zones or acts of terrorism? I dunno and she might enlighten you, but then, I suspect she just dropped in to ‘poop and go’.

          • keepcalmcarryon

            She plucked an easily googled statistic off the web that I believe refers to mass killing gun violence in america and is irrelevant regarding a terrorist bombing in the UK.

            She probably isnt aware most bombings happen in countries where there isnt a women only gym.

          • Lara

            To some extent you’re right Bill.

            I was referring to acts outside of war.

            And if we want to include the Kurds we could claim women are responsible for much more violence.

            And I’m not “pooping and going”. So much as disillusioned with the conversation here at TS. And the left in general.

            So I rarely read it, and almost never comment anymore.

            • Bill

              I get the disillusion and sorry for making the assumption. The solution is to shape to some extend – via submitting posts (as opposed to comments). 😉

        • Stuart Munro

          Your point is slightly diluted by Al Shabaab meaning ‘the Boys’.

  8. Tui 9

    Islam is the only religion that protects women from rape!

    • John 9.1

      Nonsense, explain Rotherham & all the mass sexual assaults by Muslim Asylum seeker men across Europe towards Women,Girls.

      Women in the Islamic world when raped get stoned to death as rape is considered adultery under Islamic law.

      Islam doesn’t protect Women it oppresses them. A woman’s testimony is worth half of a man & women inherit half of the inheritance compared to a man in Islam.

      Gender segregation with women sitting at the back of room at Islamic meetings & praying separately to men.

      Go look at how women dressed in Iran before the Iranian Islamic revolution compared to now. Iranian women used to dress just like western women do today.

      Women go to jail for reporting rape in Islamic countries.

      Muhammad had sex slaves (Concubines) who were the wives of the men he killed.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1

        This is just like the responsibility you bear for Christian rapists like the Parker-Hales gang, Skipton, Schollum and Rickards. Let’s bomb you.

  9. NZJester 10

    More people have been killed in the US by Christian Terrorist, White Supremacist, and so-called militia groups than have been killed by Muslim Terrorists. When you look at how many were killed in the 9/11attack by Muslim Terrorists and know that they didn’t even come close to the numbers killed over the decades by the Christian Terrorist, White Supremacist, and militia groups, you have to wonder why there is not more focus on tackling their own homegrown terrorists in the US the majority of whom claim to be Christian.

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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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