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Sources for claims regarding reasons for suicide bombings etc

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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19 February 2016 05:11
 

Maajid Nawaz has some things to say on why people follow propaganda messages. What the actual trigger is can be very different, but the basic message of Muslims fighting with everything they’ve got against *Insert Evil of Choice Here* does apply to all perceived injustices:

Islamist Extremism has advertised itself and (by the amount of airtime given to it by the west) has been advertised as the proverbial hammer for any nail Muslims in the Middle East might want to hit.
So no matter what your actual Pork (not Beef) is, religious violence is the only way to make sure you will be able to express it. Even if what you are fighting is another’s religious extremism. That is the message put out by Jihadists.

Again, it is not necessary to differentiate whether violence is chosen because of its perceived utility or the lack of alternatives: in any case, it is considered by the perpetrators a both justified and viable response.

 
 
SkepticX
 
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SkepticX
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19 February 2016 05:29
 
mightypirate1 - 16 February 2016 02:37 PM

I’ve spent a lot of time listening to Harris’ compelling arguments regarding religions role in geopolitics. One thing that often comes up in debates and discussions is the self expressed reasons that various terrorists/suicide bombers state for committing their crimes, and it seems to me that the argument is often hinged on that. However, I have not been able to find a source for some of the claims.

For instance, could anyone point me to a source that says the 9/11 attackers were motivated by sheer religious motives, and that they were all/most college educated / PhDs?
The only ones I find claim that they said they did it for other reasons, like US foreign policy (Israel etc). Mainly I’m interested in statements made by the attackers themselves, as it seemed Harris implied such statements existed.

There are many similar claims made by Harris, but simply googling for a source is very hard because the topics are often very sensitive and a LOT of misinformation is spread. Any help on finding sources for any claim similar to the one mentioned would be greatly appreciated!


There’s pretty much no distinction between church and state in most Islamic countries, so political reasons = religious reasons in those cases. We may not see politics and religion that way, but we’re not the subjects here ... eh? My issue with Harris’ take on this is that religion isn’t a thing unto itself, it’s a category of human thinking and behavior—part of our nature. It’s not a thing to be blamed for causing anything. It’s psychology and sociology—culture. On that I’m not sure I’m actually disagreeing with him at all, and if so it’s more subtle than I think the description really illuminates (i.e. between our takes on this we may have a difference of opinion that’s a distinction with little if any actual difference).

The bigger issue is that people don’t generally have a completely accurate sense of self/self-image, particularly people who live in a perceptual and intellectual fog of dogma. So what highly indoctrinated people claim to believe often doesn’t accurately reflect what they really do believe. Again though, when they engage in high stakes behaviors that tends to increase their credibility on that count. That doesn’t rule out that they’re way off—that they regurgitate a lot of dogma rather than actually getting to what’s really going on in their system of motivation, but at least it does say that they’re not just buelshitting about it like many bumper sticker/armchair quarterback type “beliefs” that are essentially just affirmations that they’re with the Home Team.

I’m not sure either of these disagreements/potential disagreements has any effect on how you deal with the matter though—that’s also what I find regarding free will, which is probably why it doesn’t interest me so much.

 
 
mightypirate1
 
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mightypirate1
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20 February 2016 01:33
 
SkepticX - 19 February 2016 05:29 AM

I’m not sure either of these disagreements/potential disagreements has any effect on how you deal with the matter though—that’s also what I find regarding free will, which is probably why it doesn’t interest me so much.

Some interesting points you bring up! I’m not sure about how to best achieve large scale change in the way people think, but I do think that it makes a difference why they hold those believes in the first place. I think you might have a very good point that most people probably don’t even know why they chose to believe certain things, but I disagree when you say that it doesn’t matter because the approach to dealing with it remains the same.

Running the risk of again misrepresenting Harris again (joke, no harm intended!), one could over simplify the stance he has taken in some debates to something like this: “Islamists (specifically violent ones) have support in a general population, who believe on pure religious reasons that violent deeds are encouraged by Islam. Furthermore, this is the ONLY reason they even sanction violence in the first place.”

Going by that, he clashes with a more Chomsky-like position, because it would imply that our foreign policy doesn’t matter, for instance.

I interpret what you say as meaning in this context, “those people probably don’t even know themselves why they believe what they do, and most likely they are using whatever argument is available, and culturally well supported, to rationalize stuff”. This to me seems to make a huge difference, by opening up the possibility for a more sensitive foreign policy (or indeed just anything that would reduce poverty, and probably other ways that smarter people can come up with) to indirectly reduce support for fundamentalist views.

To me this is an extreme point of interest, as I’m in Sweden and this is kind of the conversation we should be having, instead of a polarized “debate” between idiot regressive left and we can’t do anything because they are muslim. Ty for your input!

 
mightypirate1
 
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mightypirate1
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20 February 2016 01:53
 
Twissel - 19 February 2016 05:11 AM

Maajid Nawaz has some things to say on why people follow propaganda messages. What the actual trigger is can be very different, but the basic message of Muslims fighting with everything they’ve got against *Insert Evil of Choice Here* does apply to all perceived injustices:

Islamist Extremism has advertised itself and (by the amount of airtime given to it by the west) has been advertised as the proverbial hammer for any nail Muslims in the Middle East might want to hit.
So no matter what your actual Pork (not Beef) is, religious violence is the only way to make sure you will be able to express it. Even if what you are fighting is another’s religious extremism. That is the message put out by Jihadists.

Again, it is not necessary to differentiate whether violence is chosen because of its perceived utility or the lack of alternatives: in any case, it is considered by the perpetrators a both justified and viable response.

I feel like I’m missing out on something interesting here because my reading comprehension fails somewhat (I am not a native English speaker). Is your point that the key issue is that Islam (or some common interpretation) does sanction violence in very many circumstances, and that this makes it the issue one needs to address to reduce said violence? Would you agree that if we could somehow reduce the amount of pork/beef, violence would be reduced too?

 
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