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Islam, Xenophobia, and France

It has been suggested a lot recently that there’s a big difference between Islam as a faith and the violence of some of it’s practitioners. I used to lean in that direction as well, but now I don’t know. I’m starting to lean with Sam Harris on this one. It really seems that to whatever degree Islam is a religion of peace is directly proportional to it’s adherents deviation from the original text.

That’s partly why so much Islamic violence is aimed at other Muslims. It’s because the “fundamentalists” also believe that a peaceful version of Islam isn’t an accurate interpretation of Islam if you measure accuracy by behavioral parity with the source text. With us against us mentality.

It’s almost like asserting the possibility of an inclusive tolerant version of the KKK. You can’t really do that without making it into something other than the KKK. Sure, some skinheads aren’t violent, but that’s just because they ignore the logical conclusions of the core idea. If you really believe X you must at least be in favor of Y.

Religions are like nations in that they place their own existence at the apex of importance. Again like the KKK they are intrinsically supremacist. Well above ethical considerations when you get right down to it. (I’m quick to add that nationalism itself is essentially/behaviorally/psychologically/etc a religion.)

Islam in particular seems intrinsically violent on balance expressly because it seems remarkably self aware of its nature and true objective. I think it is this very honestly and consistency that grants it lasting appeal actually.

Contrast Saudi Arabia with the Vatican. Not exactly apples to apples I realize but still, you see my point. It seems like the mental flexibility required to twist Islam into a murder/torture justification isn’t very demanding in relation to the other major religions.

Because really, we need to admit that some religions are more violent than others. (Maybe develop an objective way to measure it. Perhaps by counting the separate instances of justification for murder?)

This is obvious when you think about it. I mean just look at the Aztecs. You have to admit that wherever Islam is politically ascendant, relatively more overt religious barbarity follows, and this isn’t the case with all other faiths.

The solution is to undermine what makes a violent faith practical. People aren’t stupid actually, nor are they robots. As hard as that is to believe at times. It is not upbringing and training that sustains this madness. It’s more basic than that. It’s about food and water and shelter and communications. Secularity triumphs mostly in areas of prosperity.

I’m quick to add that prosperity doesn’t just mean money. It means physical and cultural wealth.

Terrorism is contextually emergent. It springs up like puddles in rain. To fix it you need to change the underlying context. You need gutters and storm drains if you don’t want to see puddles. Bombing a puddle just means a deeper puddle next time it rains.

The refugees in this context are going to teach us an important lesson. How to include people. If we master that. If we get our shit together to the point that we can ethically and practically recruit better than our enemies, we will win. This entire political sphere depends on the existence of poverty and the dismissal of suffering.

That’s why the problem seems so intractable. Because the only solution is a root solution, one which we don’t even apply to ourselves yet. Essentially we have to kill poverty at home and then invite others into that home. The 1% and their minions aren’t having that.

Their solution is variations on a gated community which is just a passive spineless version of concentration camps. We need to be honest about that as well.

Paris is going to get it’s own patriot act before long. :/ But it’s understandable. ISIS is not like the other terrorist threats. It’s real and different. It’s more like actual legitimate war. 🙁

Also looking at the French attacks you can see the uniqueness of ISIS in living memory.

ISIS is something atrociously special. I can’t think of anything like it in modern history. It’s going to make for a decade of great action movies. Like the chinese curse, may you live in interesting times. And a little bit of be careful what you wish for.

I feel that much of our terrorism thing has been manufactured and exaggerated. Allowed to happen. Intentionally cultivated. Baited even. So let’s just hope this doesn’t turn into the boy who cried wolf.

We haven’t had such a legitimate enemy since the Nazis. These people aren’t like typical terrorists with legitimate grievances. They are a nation state death cult that has openly declared war that they intend to fight forever.

They actually expect to lose it by our standards. (See link below.) They’ve made it clear how to crush them militarily, and are begging for it. Literally begging their god for it.

So I’m curious how France will look in 10 years. I think this is their 911. I think they’ll never be the same. But it’s not like ours. They didn’t need it like the 1% needed 911. None of the cultivation I mentioned on our part applies to them. I think the official story is essentially accurate.

France is an extremely reasonable country in my view. I don’t expect them to go hysterical like we did and surrender to fear and baseless irrational war mongering. And unlike some of the shittier elements of popular culture, I have zero illusions about their lethality.

ISIS is completely foolish (from my perspective) for attacking France. But like I said: Death cult. Thinking about their desire to be crushed, it was actually really wise. Indeed more wise than attacking us.

We can’t really bring them the epic stomping they want. That’s what we get for crying wolf twice and putting said wars on the credit card. No one would rally behind us, or Russia for that matter. But France? Yeah.

That was the wrong (or right as I said) move. They are going to discover that picking a fight with France, a real fight, is a bit like trying to invade Switzerland. Just about the dumbest plan ever. I think we’re going to see some true social Darwinism in action in the coming years.

See Also:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

He regards the claim that the Islamic State has distorted the texts of Islam as preposterous, sustainable only through willful ignorance. “People want to absolve Islam,” he said. “It’s this ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ mantra. As if there is such a thing as ‘Islam’! It’s what Muslims do, and how they interpret their texts.” Those texts are shared by all Sunni Muslims, not just the Islamic State. “And these guys have just as much legitimacy as anyone else.”

Updated: November 21, 2015 — 2:16 pm

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