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Offline Alpha60

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A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« on: October 15, 2018, 12:54:57 AM »
It has occurred to me that the Salafist is not, like the Japanese kamikaze pilot, motivated solely by nationalism and the mythos of a warrior culture, but in many cases might be driven by absolute existential terror, prompted by the both te religion and the civil authorities that enforce its precepts, that could, ceteris paribus, induce suicidal tendencies, but Islam decrees people who merely kill themselves are damned, and the Islamic terrorist groups offer the perfect way out, which is the suicide mission.

Consider this terrifying quote from a book on Islamic prayer popular among the Sunnis, the Kitaab-Uus Salat.

Quote
“The Holy Prophet has said: “Whoever lets the Prayer lapse, and then offers it
after its due time, will burn in hell for not praying on time, for a period of one
"Haqab".”
One "Haqab" equals 80 years, and one year has 360 days, and the Day of
Resurrection will equal a thousand years. Which means that one who lets just one
Prayer lapse, will burn in hell for a period of 28,800,000 years !! (May Allah protect
us - A'ameen).
Allamah Amjad Ali Aazmi (may Allah have mercy on him) mentions that abandoning
Prayer is terrible in itself, but see what Allah, the Supreme, says about those who let
it lapse: “So “vail” (or ruin) is to those offerers of Prayer - Those who are neglectful
of their Prayer.” (Surah Maoon)
“Vail” is the name of a dreadful valley in hell, from which hell also seeks refuge. This
will be the destination of those who let their Prayers lapse. (Bahaare Shariat)

Now, I should point out this text in the grand scheme of things is relatively moderate; it is more specifically frightening than a superficial reading of the Quran or books such as “A Manual of Hadith,” on the other hand, compared to the firery polemics of Salafists, this book is fairly tame.  We should further be distressed to consider this particular book is the writing of a moderate faction of Pakistani, Indian and Bagladeshi Sunni Sufis, who have a reputation for opposition to Salafism and violence.  The polemics of Salafism can be much worse.

So I propose the mechanism which causes Muslims to be radicalized is fear instilled in them even by texts like the above, issued by sects which are considered to be not radical (indeed, in the UK the preponderance of Muslims from Kashmir and surrounding areas in Pakistan and India are Barlevis, and many have been radicalized by hate preachers like Anjem Choudhary.   Fearful of damnation, the Muslim seeks to atone for his sins by joining a more “pious”, in reality, more radical sect.  Once there, he is reminded of various grievances Muslims have with the West going back to the wars with the Byzantines and the Crusades, and continuing into all the conflicts of the present; instances where Christian countries successfully intervened to help Muslims, even with hostility against other Christians, such as the Crimean War, fought to save the Ottoman Empire from destruction by Russia, or Eisenhower’s intervention to prevent Britain, France and Israel from retaking the Suez Canal from Egypt, and indeed more recent events such as the US support of Mujahideen in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion and the liberation of Kuwait.

This creates a sort of dualistic schema wherein the Muslim becomes fully radicalized as he is distracted from the terrors concerning his own sins (and in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, fear of the terrible corporal punishments that await transgressors of Shariah) by having something to fear and hate more, that being the West.   Then, all the leaders of the terrorists have to do to turn him into a suicide bomber or suicide-attacker is to then remind him of his own sins, from which he had been distracted, and steadily ratchet up the pressure.  This could be done on the level of individuals, small groups or even entire congregations at mosques, which could result in multiple people, those with particularly high guilt or fear issues, ultimately deciding to “drink the Kool Aid” to use a metaphor from another suicidal cult almost as frightening as radical Islam, and will produce for the orchestrators of terrorism a human harvest of people strongly motivated to kill themselves and others.

It seems to me the best way, from a religious perspective, for us to intervene as Christians, is to talk in the abstract, not preaching to Muslims but making the Gospel heard in their general direction, almost incidentally, the core message, which Islam does not teach, that being that God is love.  We also need to pray that these people are delivered from their fears which are the basis of their exploitation and transformation into suicidal mass-murderers.  I am not a huge fan of FDR, but regarding the root cause of the process of radicalization, I think he was right, in that fear is what we must be most afraid of.  I think fear, induced by the dire eschatological visions presented by Islam, is the actual enabler of the pscyhological process of indoctrination, radicalization, and homicidal ideation, and not feelings of victimization resulting from a perceived sense of social ostracism, linguistic isolation, and casual acts of racism and segregation, although these feelings of rejection definitely fan the flames.   They also underscore the need for Christians at all times to treat Muslims in the most loving manner possible, following the precepts of Jesus Christ; if we say in a general way “God is love” and in our personal conduct towards Muslims provide superabundant love, forgiving and setting aside the memory of the evils committed against us by their coreligionists, we have a chance at preventing someone from being radicalized, not just by removing a contributory factor, that of ostracism, but also by addressing what I propose is the root cause - fear.

Terrorists are a product of pscyhological terror, and to prevent terrorism we must fight against the terror people contend with on an individual level.

One might also hope for the prevalence of more liberal forms of Islam which are known for renouncing violence and which stress love in their worship and praxis, such as the Alevis, but alas, these groups are widely perceived as heretics, so it would be an uphill battle.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 02:17:38 AM »
But what Orthodox texts are there that can produce psychological terror in people? Tollhouses anybody? Or the comment from St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite about how if you forget to confess a sin due to laziness, you might wind up going to Hell for it anyway? That's pretty scary stuff.

Or, in terms of Catholicism, how about Alphonsus Liguori's teaching that God's patience does sometimes run out, causing Him to refuse to forgive even the repentant?

In fact, one could despair over something as simple as "Narrow is the way."

Not a lot of Christian suicide bombers out there, of course, so that suggests to me that there must be something else behind Muslim terrorism.
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Offline biro

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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 02:20:15 AM »
There are still abortion clinic shooters. And Tim McVeigh blew up the Murrah Federal Building, killing over 150 people.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 03:21:41 AM »
There are still abortion clinic shooters. And Tim McVeigh blew up the Murrah Federal Building, killing over 150 people.

Right. But just like it's kind of hard to tie that directly to their pseudochristianity, I'm not sure that Muslim terrorist can be directly said to be caused by Islam, as ironic as that might be.
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Offline biro

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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2018, 04:05:36 AM »
You can tie anti-abortionism directly into the extreme right factions of Christianity. And Tim McVeigh was a member of the Traditional Roman Catholic Church. You don't get much more hard-line than that.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 04:30:28 AM »
You can tie anti-abortionism directly into the extreme right factions of Christianity. And Tim McVeigh was a member of the Traditional Roman Catholic Church. You don't get much more hard-line than that.

McVeigh acted on anti-government and New World Order paranoia, nothing quintessentially Tradcath or even Christian.

"Anti-abortion" does not equal "wants to blow up clinics or shoot people."
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Offline FinnJames

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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2018, 07:06:47 AM »
Right. But just like it's kind of hard to tie that directly to their pseudochristianity, I'm not sure that Muslim terrorist can be directly said to be caused by Islam, as ironic as that might be.

You might change your mind if you were better acquainted with Islamic scripture (Koran, hadith). The calls to kill those--particularly Jews, but others as well--who reject Allah and his prophet Mohammad are clear and numerous.

It's instructive that while Christian theologians/scholars have had to go to great lengths to bend Biblical texts in order to find support for the just war theory, Muslim clerics/scholars need to resort to contorted logic or simply ignoring part of their scripture if they wish to argue that Koranic/hadith texts oppose murder as a form of jihad.




Offline juliogb

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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2018, 07:40:22 AM »
I'd say that islamic terrorism in the last years is a byproduct of the soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the american/western support of the saudi and afghan mujahedins in that country, adding to that, the Quran and the Hadiths also provide a lot of textual justifications to the use of violence for religious and political reasons (one of the goals of Islam is this political entity called Ummah).

Poligamist societies also may play a role on that, those kind of society concentrates women with a few men and creates a huge amount of unmarried men with no perspectives of a marriage and offspring, add also economic hardship and some preacher telling those men that if they commit terrorism against the infidel they will go to Jannah where 72 virgins await for them.

There is a very interesting and well sourced report about Tim McVeigh by journalist James Corbett, worth the view.



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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2018, 09:46:29 AM »
You can tie anti-abortionism directly into the extreme right factions of Christianity. And Tim McVeigh was a member of the Traditional Roman Catholic Church. You don't get much more hard-line than that.

McVeigh acted on anti-government and New World Order paranoia, nothing quintessentially Tradcath or even Christian.

"Anti-abortion" does not equal "wants to blow up clinics or shoot people."

Nice try, but no.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2018, 09:55:35 AM »
Right. But just like it's kind of hard to tie that directly to their pseudochristianity, I'm not sure that Muslim terrorist can be directly said to be caused by Islam, as ironic as that might be.

You might change your mind if you were better acquainted with Islamic scripture (Koran, hadith). The calls to kill those--particularly Jews, but others as well--who reject Allah and his prophet Mohammad are clear and numerous.

It's instructive that while Christian theologians/scholars have had to go to great lengths to bend Biblical texts in order to find support for the just war theory, Muslim clerics/scholars need to resort to contorted logic or simply ignoring part of their scripture if they wish to argue that Koranic/hadith texts oppose murder as a form of jihad.

There are over a billion Muslims on earth today. If it were really so straightforward, we would all be dead. Leaving aside questions of Quranic exegesis- for which everybody here is quite unqualified- it must be admitted that the number of Muslims who put these ideas into action are a tiny sample, and, moreover, almost entirely followers of a particular form of Islam that was invented in the past few centuries and which rose to prominence with the encouragement of British, French, and American imperialism.

Which isn't to say that Islam that existed before was peaceful, but as it spread and developed it did what most religions do... it calmed down a little as the difficulties of managing large states and multiple cultures set in. And that created a certain civilizational attitude that is quite different from the Salafist mindset and which we should encourage insofar as it enables coexistence and mutual understanding.

Simply pointing out, "Look, the book says x! Therefore you have to believe x!" is almost never a useful way of understanding or engaging with a religion, especially not an old and widespread one.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 10:04:01 AM by Iconodule »
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2018, 04:43:11 PM »
You can tie anti-abortionism directly into the extreme right factions of Christianity. And Tim McVeigh was a member of the Traditional Roman Catholic Church. You don't get much more hard-line than that.

McVeigh acted on anti-government and New World Order paranoia, nothing quintessentially Tradcath or even Christian.

"Anti-abortion" does not equal "wants to blow up clinics or shoot people."

Nice try, but no.

What's wrong with my analysis, specifically?
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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2018, 05:08:20 PM »
When a terrorist attacks in the name of Christianity, Christians (both real and sectarians) roundly condemn the person.  Not so with Muslims.
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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2018, 05:15:59 PM »
When a terrorist attacks in the name of Christianity, Christians (both real and sectarians) roundly condemn the person.  Not so with Muslims.

I've seen plenty of Muslim condemnations of terrorism.

Of course, I suppose they could never do it enough to please those that don't like them (seems like Orthodox in the US were in a similar position in the days of the Red Scare).
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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2018, 08:10:47 PM »
Statistics should be included in this conversation. They’re helpful in telling us what Muslims believe & what % believe in X & in what country, 


They have certain beliefs that are mainstream among them & these beliefs are validated by Fiqh/Ijma. We have statistics on number of adherents believe in X. Statistically belief death penalty for apostasy & stoning for adultery are mainstream beliefs among Muslims as pew research shows

 http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/30/the-worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-overview/

And justification for suicide bombing(as a form of jihad) is not a uncommon belief among them as pew research shows 

http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/07/01/concerns-about-islamic-extremism-on-the-rise-in-middle-east/pg-2014-07-01-islamic-extremism-10/

I mean sure, not all who believe X put X into action, but that doesn’t negate that many believe X.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2018, 08:33:52 PM »
There are still abortion clinic shooters. And Tim McVeigh blew up the Murrah Federal Building, killing over 150 people.

But what Orthodox texts are there that can produce psychological terror in people? Tollhouses anybody? Or the comment from St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite about how if you forget to confess a sin due to laziness, you might wind up going to Hell for it anyway? That's pretty scary stuff.

Or, in terms of Catholicism, how about Alphonsus Liguori's teaching that God's patience does sometimes run out, causing Him to refuse to forgive even the repentant?

In fact, one could despair over something as simple as "Narrow is the way."

Not a lot of Christian suicide bombers out there, of course, so that suggests to me that there must be something else behind Muslim terrorism.

I propose that Christian terrorists are probably motivated by the same root cause - fear, which is then in some cases exploited by organized terroristic entities like the IRA or the Protestant Ulstermen militias, to give an example, using similiar vectors as the Islamic organizer of terrorism.

However, there is less fear inducing material in Christianity, and I propose we can present a balance between the more frightening teachings of St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite in the Pedalion with those of his contemporary Athonites the Kollyvades Brothers, who famously modified the Eucharistic invitation to what I consider to be the far-superior form “With faith and love and fear of God draw near.”   And we have a vast array of loving Orthodox saints like St. Seraphim of Sarov, St. Maximus the Confessor, St. John the Theologian, St. Basil the Great, St. Nicholas of Myra and St. John Maximovitch to refer persons who are experiencing despair over their salvation to.

It should be stressed that despair over the prospects of ones salvation, as opposed to a healthy repentance which produces tears of compunction, is almost universally considered a sin or an unhealthy passion in Orthodoxy, and I propose that essentially it is unmitigated despair over salvation or despair over future prospects in this world that represent the proverbial fuse waiting for an agigator who desires terrorism to light; the match is the political cause which results in hateful resentment, the feeling the Russians refer to as obida (obida along with prelest are two very helpful words when discussing the human condition).

So certainly the same basic vectors should exist among all religious beliefs, as well as atheistic beliefs like communism.  The difference in Orthodocy is that instead of ominous spectral figures like the Sheikhs of Sufi Islam or the Sunni commentators, we have a vast array of saints who were glorified on account of superabundant love who we can use to psychologically “disarm” the Orthodox Christian who is developing unhealthy attitudes or is falling into despair and is at risk of being exploited, for example, by orchestrators of political violence in Eastern Ukraine or Bosnia.
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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2018, 08:40:26 PM »
Fear the LURKER!!11!

Offline Alpha60

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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2018, 08:44:39 PM »
Right. But just like it's kind of hard to tie that directly to their pseudochristianity, I'm not sure that Muslim terrorist can be directly said to be caused by Islam, as ironic as that might be.

You might change your mind if you were better acquainted with Islamic scripture (Koran, hadith). The calls to kill those--particularly Jews, but others as well--who reject Allah and his prophet Mohammad are clear and numerous.

It's instructive that while Christian theologians/scholars have had to go to great lengths to bend Biblical texts in order to find support for the just war theory, Muslim clerics/scholars need to resort to contorted logic or simply ignoring part of their scripture if they wish to argue that Koranic/hadith texts oppose murder as a form of jihad.

There are over a billion Muslims on earth today. If it were really so straightforward, we would all be dead. Leaving aside questions of Quranic exegesis- for which everybody here is quite unqualified- it must be admitted that the number of Muslims who put these ideas into action are a tiny sample, and, moreover, almost entirely followers of a particular form of Islam that was invented in the past few centuries and which rose to prominence with the encouragement of British, French, and American imperialism.

Which isn't to say that Islam that existed before was peaceful, but as it spread and developed it did what most religions do... it calmed down a little as the difficulties of managing large states and multiple cultures set in. And that created a certain civilizational attitude that is quite different from the Salafist mindset and which we should encourage insofar as it enables coexistence and mutual understanding.

Simply pointing out, "Look, the book says x! Therefore you have to believe x!" is almost never a useful way of understanding or engaging with a religion, especially not an old and widespread one.

Indeed so; Islam by itself is not the cause.  I would argue that certain forms of it are merely an increased risk factor for acts of suicidal terrorism, in the same manner that smoking is an increased risk factor for cancer (but by no means a guarantee that you will get it).  Actually even smoking might be too strong a metaphor; it might be if we consider all of Islam and the very small number who are violent more akin to the signs on the walls of some buildings in California or on some products advising that the building or product is known to the State of California to contain chemicals that cause an increase risk of cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

I don’t want people to misinterpret my OP as stating that every Muslim is a ticking time bomb; God forbid.  My best friend in Ghana was a Muslim originally from Burkina Faso and I was best man at the secular portion of his wedding in 2008; I was devastated to learn he had died in 2015.   He was one of the most gentle and non-violent people I have known.

The actual number of suicidal Islamic terrorists are probably a few thousand, if we count ISIL fighters, tens of thousands or maybe a hundred thousand, out of a worldwide population of what, two billion? 

I am merely proposing the vector wherein a Muslim gets radicalized is different from the previously supposed cause of social alienation; I think fear is the cause and alienation is merely a contributing factor.  And I believe this pattern likely exists among Christian terrorists, Communist terrorists and other people who for some given cause are prepared to detonate themselves and the innocent people around them.
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2018, 08:45:38 PM »


Another interesting book on this subject is Terrorism and Collective Responsibility, by Professor Burleigh T Wilkins.
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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2018, 09:49:22 PM »
Great point, Alpha.

You might change your mind if you were better acquainted with Islamic scripture (Koran, hadith). The calls to kill those--particularly Jews, but others as well--who reject Allah and his prophet Mohammad are clear and numerous.

It's instructive that while Christian theologians/scholars have had to go to great lengths to bend Biblical texts in order to find support for the just war theory, Muslim clerics/scholars need to resort to contorted logic or simply ignoring part of their scripture if they wish to argue that Koranic/hadith texts oppose murder as a form of jihad.
+1

Simply pointing out, "Look, the book says x! Therefore you have to believe x!" is almost never a useful way of understanding or engaging with a religion, especially not an old and widespread one.
Yes, but it means there are sources of extremism prior to any individual neurosis.
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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2018, 12:30:01 AM »
I'd say that islamic terrorism in the last years is a byproduct of the soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the american/western support of the saudi and afghan mujahedins in that country, adding to that, the Quran and the Hadiths also provide a lot of textual justifications to the use of violence for religious and political reasons (one of the goals of Islam is this political entity called Ummah).
No, it precedes that.  It has more to do with the occupation of Palestine by foreign Jews.
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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2018, 07:30:02 AM »
I'd say that islamic terrorism in the last years is a byproduct of the soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the american/western support of the saudi and afghan mujahedins in that country, adding to that, the Quran and the Hadiths also provide a lot of textual justifications to the use of violence for religious and political reasons (one of the goals of Islam is this political entity called Ummah).
No, it precedes that.  It has more to do with the occupation of Palestine by foreign Jews.


As far as I know, the palestinian resistance and terrorist organizations were way more connected to arab nationalism, anti-zionism and pan-arabism than with any kind of islamic radicalism, and the first documents concerning the creation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization didn't have any mention to islam, it was purely nationalistic. The islamization of palestinian resistance (represented by Hamas) is a recent phenomenom.

The modern islamic terrorism is a diferent phenomenom, it is way more conected to the western support to afghan warlords (characters like Gulbudin Hekmatyar) and saudi jihadists during the soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the consequent creation of Al Qaeda and its spinoffs like Daesh, Jabhat al Nusra, Boko Haram, Al Shabab...

Offline hecma925

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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2018, 08:34:48 AM »
Jews are the problem.  Clearly.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2018, 09:15:08 AM »
Right, early PLO was Arab nationalist. That was when PFLP was a big deal too- nowadays they're pretty much a non-entity. In the 50's to the 70's secular Arab nationalism was a big deal and was undermined almost everywhere by the US and British in favor of Wahhabism or Wahhabi allied movements. The occupation of Palestine serves as a useful rallying cry for jihadists but it is really a side issue for them and they are even willing to cut deals with Israelis as seen by the Al Qaeda soldiers who were treated in the Golan heights and then sent back to fight in Syria. And Saudi Arabia has stopped even pretending to care about Palestinians.
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Offline juliogb

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Re: A thought on why Muslim extremists commit terrorism
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2018, 11:54:54 AM »
The only remnant of arab nationalism today is Syria probably, Iraq was invaded by the US and the coalition based on false intel and Lybia was destroyed and balkanized by western powers using ''rebel'' terrorist groups as proxies.