Are the Pashtun, who are Pashtun while referring to themselves as “B’ni Israel” both a little bit Jewish and Muslim?
There are ethnic elements in the invention, uptake, and adaptation of Islam that may not be separated from “Muslim” — not “Islamic” — self-concept and volunteered description. When for tribal business, independence, security, or survival one civilization accepts the overlay of another, it becomes difficult in time to pry apart that melding. At the same time, an ethos that drives against the grain of humanity, i.e., as that possessed by the “Islamists”, needs must be ejected at least in part.
There is an argument to be had about the character of Muhammad and that of Islam with some who would put all Muslims in the al-Qaeda (or similar) box even though Muslims appears the first victims (and warriors against) that efflorescent fascism that has no place among good people.
We are born with our identities: culture and its customs and laws, our parents, and our families, our names. God (Nature and the Universe) provide us with no choice in those earliest matters. However, as we are not fixed as characters in books and much less in place and time, we as adults may confirm our cultural self-concept or change it. Over time, change is what we do because “back there” in time includes ideas and practices that become for each “new world” — a generational concept — maladapted.
We think of refugees and displaced people in a spatial context.
Somebody has lost their home, their security, their purchase on the control of their own life, and so they wander in-country or beyond, and depending on their personal characteristics – the movies always say “character”, but social reality is much different – they’ll grow again where they plant themselves or suffer the indignity of loss and rootlesness.
The segment you’re interested in is wandering through time with an unhelpful toolkit, and the obedient base can’t figure out why it’s not working. They’re mired in conflicts wrought by mutual greed and jealousy, and, perhaps like Imam ______, the more clever of tongue thrive on the turmoil by offering the unreachable untrue.
I recall a Star Trek episode in which a “holodeck” (synthetic surround theater) Dr. Moriarty achieved sufficient mastery of his own artifice and cyber environment to threaten the ship. Spoiler Alert! The solution at the end, which had to be negotiated because Moriarty really had interfaced with ship’s control, was to provide him and his woman (it’s complicated) with a cyber universe of their own. The world that would seem infinite to the evil couple was in the greater reality contained (and possibly ejected into space).
One might say of Catholic and otherwise conservative or orthodox observance in religion that all of it sustains something that took place a long time ago.
The figures have been frozen in time. The particular above have been especially well preserved by Keats’s poem.
Most of the religious in the modern world who attend a service also leave it with something taken away, and that adds its part to their lives and their search for a place for themselves. The monastery exists too. Add pope and papacy, the “Christ Process” – got that one from a Jesuit supplying blankets to the Four Corners region – and the existence of a timeless space maintained in the mind with the volition of the thinker.
Muhammad and his Islam may have had issues with boundaries – related on BackChannels: “Facsimile Bipolar Political Sociopathy” – just an opinion, of course, and that got into the patronizing and permits and orders produced within the Qur’an, not so complete for this world but ever so demanding in its build around injunction. The Muslims — the Islamists — that interest you may believe they are carrying out still relevant orders when they are raiding their targets – murder, theft, rape, and rapine – but in reality they are doing so much only for the aggrandizement of their chosen authority beneath the Eye of Heaven.
What is the escape plan from the medieval worldview and its imposition – and impoliteness – today?
Universally, nature figures out how to destroy or mutate monocultures, whether in agriculture or in human existence. While we may be in a divine sense of “One cloud, one earth, one sky”, we are nonetheless highly differentiated humans x person x family x clan x tribe x nation.
For agriculture, the related science industry strives to maintain comprehensive seed banks as part of the arsenal at hand to address natural mutations adverse to production — of the simple enjoyment of something gardened — in the growing environment.
For the discussion of culture, BackChannels promotes the view that our planet’s cultural inventory” links to fewer than 7,000 living languages, each of which represents how a group of people in comparative isolation — population-in-place — used human sound and sign to aid in perceiving and addressing from their perspective their own particular environmental and social challenges and opportunities.
Often, instead of typing “The Jews (live in Israel)”, the note may be similarly but more tellingly expressed as “The Hebrews are back in the Land of the Hebrews”.
Arab, Baloch, Kurds, Pashtun — same treatment.
As “The English” — and English — have gone everywhere in some fashion, the language today provides a modern medium for communication without the demand for the erasure of other language cultures. And with the age of English colonial expansion now past, one may expect the resurgent greater being of other language cultures in their cores (x ethnolinguistic cultural density) and at their margins and finally in the mixing bowls of heterogeneous (multi-cultural) political spaces.
The American slogan, well linked to the European invasion of or presence in — interpretation is moot — North America, well reflected the necessity of tolerance and varying degrees of separation and mixing in the New World beneath the benevolent and idealist umbrella of a secular and humanist vision of governance. The delivery thereby of great personal freedom — to be Christian, Jewish, Muslim or of any other faith community — and to speak the new language, English, while retaining the power to speak also every other language on earth, to be multilingual by choice, has been also part of the bargain. Arabic, Hebrew, Latin, Pashto, Urdu, “Jamaican” — no problem, mon.
The American way has worked in America.
Other of the authentic open democracies of the world have found similar equilibrium and a key to prosperity and survival in related law and rule of law.
Other systems, much less liberal, some totalitarian, appear still invested in the feudal / medieval worldview and they “express” in nefarious methods (e.g., “Active Measures“, deception, disinformation, disingenuous speech, etc.) and vanguards their desire to impose their singular will — criminal, despotic, intolerant — far beyond their own context, and not only in space but in time as well.
For the most part for those preferring to live “back there” somewhere, the world goes on around them and evolves a both more inclusive but also widely varied cargo packed into the myriad cultures of humanity.
It is an awful campaign as well as an awful politics for Americans.
Hillary Clinton – Red-Green alliance Donald J. Trump – Brown new nationalists
Both themes go back to Moscow (but I may try to give up that obsession for a while). 🙂
Basically, we are too divided a nation, and we should really be wrestling with the sources of that division. They’re not necessarily in our lifestyles nor justified by the latest outrages appearing in the news.
We’ve been a compassionate people, a Christian-majority nation, with a secular Constitution and the courage to have come this far with much of the implementation of its ideals and sense of mission. Why the candidates and the public are whipping up so much mud — or getting into so much trouble — and spattering the same everywhere eludes answers.
Has our nation simply become bored with itself and in a mood to rumble?
Although the Obama Administration appears to be taking the pacifist tack of refusing enmity with Moscow (say, over the demise of Turkey as a NATO-spirited state and potential European Union partner), BackChannels finds it impossible to dismiss the presence of the Cold War’s “Russia v NATO” / “Moscow v Washington” contest over existence beneath the shadow of nuclear mutually assured destruction.
That argument seemed to have been settled in 1991 while functioning democracy and rule of law seemed also to have been on its way to the former Soviet communist state.
What perhaps has gotten in the way is an inherent medievalism characteristic of Russian political culture.
Flipping from the tsars to the Party to the “vertical of power” federation has changed primarily who is in charge, not produced (in the Soviet Era) any “dictatorship of the proletariat” or now in Putin’s era the distribution of power and expansion of economic development familiar to the more true democracies of the west.
One may ask what is happening to those democracies — as well as America’s — as each “Allahu Akbar attack” promotes xenophobic nationalism and post-Soviet disinformation produces legions of misdirected “old comrade network” politicos and strident (also anti-Semitic) Muslims and “Islamists” (on BackChannels, the two intertwine to become the “Red-Green Alliance” involving organizations as familiar as Black Lives Matter, Palestinian Solidarity, and International Solidarity).
One should ask: what is Syndicate Red Brown Green doing in the United States?
How is it that whether generally aligned with the Democratic Party or the Republican, we appear — at least as portrayed through general mass media — to have become vicious toward one another?
While Russians in their majority continue on track with economic suffering (and Syrians not directly protected by Assad continue suffering Russians), “Moscow” appears to be getting “Washington” to look much like itself with breathtaking corruption associated with candidate Clinton and in Trump the now recognizable brawling, sprawling, and outsized narcissism more familiar to Moscow lackeys like Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yanukovych.
Trump, to his credit and perhaps innocence after all, has yet to rack up a record of scandals associated with a term in office, but for that odds may be even between Clinton, the consummate Washington insider, and himself, the very opposite as a Washington outsider.
Here at the beginning of this day, the heightened “Red-Green” presence in the Democratic Party and its reflection in the “Brown” resurgent populist nationalism of the Republican Party bode ill for the United States as we approach the November elections.
This online journal is a forum for some of the more recent academic essays of Professor Matthew Raphael Johnson. Given current events in eastern Ukraine and Russia’s extraordinary rebuke to American liberal arrogance internationally, alternative and revisionist work on Russian history and politics is sorely needed. He was the first among English speaking Orthodox writers to understand Putin as a needed balance to the American empire. This postmodern imperium, headquartered in the US, is a demonic, serpentine dominion that spreads the postmodern acid of American mass-zombification to the world. It is Antichrist.
The Soviet empire was malignant, but what replaced it in the 1990s was worse. The Russia that survived Napoleon, Hitler and Stalin almost disappeared under liberalism. It was the creation of the American postmodern Imperium. It is more insidious and sophisticated than the USSR because it is not based on state power. Instead, it is based on the rule of private capital. The cosmopolitan and neurotic American capitalist seeks to “liberate the individual” so as to more easily enslave him to his passions. Then, this isolated mass-man, this crippled, malformed cipher of a human being, is offered the satisfaction of his passions for a fee.
The rise of Novorossya is the most significant political development since the collapse of the USSR. It is a new politics, one that combines nationalism and socialism into a Christian, humane and just political order that has not been seen before. That it rises on the ashes of “independent Ukraine” and on Orthodox territory is no accident.
I am certain that Donald J. Trump doesn’t know the region between Islamism and Islamic Reform as he should, but he knows how to be thorough in assessing and working through a challenge, and he’ll come up to speed on an issue that is essentially about extremism and incitement PLUS the amplification of similar qualities in others, i.e., with every “Allahu Akbar” attack, a portion of the recipients elevate their response — and Putin, who has set out to destabilize the west, loves it!
You know what . . . let’s keep in mind that the greater framework for Islamic extremism and terrorism is in fact the Cold War and its shadows — the Phantom of the Soviet, state sponsor of terrorism and proxy wars, lives on in structure in a revanchist neo-imperial Russia. The sooner everyone sees that, the sooner we’ll get through this together and come out with still modern, secular, pluralist, humanist, and amazingly free democracies that work.
I think the demonizing slung from both sides in this ugly election season skews our perception, but of the two, I prefer his straight talk, and I think he knows he’s a tenderfoot among politicians and needs to come up to speed, fast!
Also, again, the framework for the “islamic Small Wars” — we’ve all seen a lot of change — Arab Springs to the failed coup in Turkey — in the past decade, but it takes reading and research to see the same wrapped in the themes of the Cold War.
We’re going to be voting character plus the character of the party associated with the election’s winner.
it doesn’t bother because there are black people struggling to make lives for themselves and there are refugees whose families were caught and abandoned between armies in 1948. It bothers me because it links back to the Soviet Era and the mentality of Russia’s Communist Party and hypocrisy in promising paradise and brutalizing millions for the privileges of party apparatchik.
Tell me, after 68 years, how much the leaders of the PLO / PA and Hamas shown compassion or empathy with regard to the lives of the refugees of 1948?
Clinton / Trump – Washington Insider / Washington Outsider — it’s not going to make any difference if WE don’t find our way back to the center of the aisle — “Moderate Conservatives / Moderate Liberals”.
When it comes to autocracy and insanity, more or less, think “Different Talks — Same Walk.”
The combines of bipolar and malignantly narcissistic psychology cross cultural, ideological, and religious divides to produce the kind of person that becomes a dictator or the kind of person that becomes a terrorist.
Scaled in terms familiar in social psychology, some percentage of population drifts toward and into the available extremes at the margins of their chosen channels.
While the “Kool-Aid” varies, there are a lot of language- and information-related processes ferrying the right kind of personality into their kind of combat or political action.
With Islam — as opposed to, say, post-Soviet neo-feudal Russian nationalism — I / we, perhaps, have been on a journey from knowing very little to knowing enough to at least get the big picture about right, and with that we’re getting to see how the “jihadists” differ from Muslims who really have no wish to force on others or otherwise vigorously purvey “Political Islam”.
Greater than Islam may be our general transition and transformation from the medieval worldviews represented by “Red Brown Green” to the modern one of greater cooperation, integration, integrity, and inclusion plus, not a small thing, the want of being helpful to others.
Although one cannot overlook the medieval character of medieval religions and related behaviors; however, one may choose to set aside aspects of the content of one screed or another to more closely focus on the political and social psychology at work — to be found on this blog: “social grammar”, “malignant narcissism”, “medieval vs modern”, etc.
That fanaticism may be rooted in a decontextualized and literal reading of the Qur’an, the will to express power by definitively superseding other religions while obtaining absolute control over the lives of others and their assets and otherwise productive energies.
That the Islamic enterprise either contains or has enabled this political program should go without saying; the extent to which the main body either abets, enables, or impedes the progress of “Islamist” elements is arguable. Egypt, for example, reversed the course of the Brotherhood (in Egypt), which handily proved itself anti-democratic and unconcerned with practical and progressive governance; the appearance of the “Islamic State” in Iraq appears to have met either widespread Sunni cooperation or plainly insufficient resistance north of Baghdad despite the development of a military vastly outnumbering the fighters within the incursion.
The comment responded to Adnan Oktar’s latest deploring Islamist aggression in the middle east and Muslim failure to protect Christians and Christian assets in the region: http://www.weeklyblitz.net/2014/07/christian-church-middle-east/ – 7/15/2014.
In relation to my assertion about a “decontextualized and literal reading of the Qur’an”, fate would have me post the following prior to the above:
How ISIS thinks: ““We haven’t given orders to kill the Israelis and the Jews. The war against the nearer enemy, those who rebel against the faith, is more important. Allah commands us in the Koran to fight the hypocrites, because they are much more dangerous than those who are fundamentally heretics.” http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/.premium-1.605097 – 7/15/2014.
Is the Islamic State’s reading of the Qur’an valid or invalid?
If the interpretation is invalid, what are the proofs supporting that position?
While the world may be uncomfortable with the projection of the Islamic superhero who defends all that is “truth, justice, and the Islamic way”, to parody another well known trope, it may prefer a little bit of that to the mindless cruelty of the cookbook Islam whipped up by the host of Muslim Brotherhood affiliates that have expressed their presence in the world through blooms of blood and horror.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – A Syrian government delegation in Geneva urged mediator Lakhdar Brahimi on Monday to condemn the violence in the mainly Alawite town of Maan in central Syria in which at least 41 people were killed on Sunday.
Extremist Islamic rebels overran a village in central Syria populated by Assad’s Alawite minority, killing at least 40 people Sunday, activists said. Half of the victims in the attack in Maan were civilians and the rest were village fighters defending their homes, said the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
There’s something cosmetic about peace talks and related optimistic political prognoses: Bashar al-Assad’s Syria is done; the Syria to come is not even envisioned with coherence or cohesion; the theater has long been a playground for Islamic Jihad and anarchic violence set loose across the land, the appointment of General Salim Idris as titular leader of a well-intended revolution notwithstanding.
While Russian President Putin enjoys the winter games at Sochi and American President Obama attends to domestic issues, it is doubtful either will countenance the development of an Islamist Syrian Republic in place of the merely Arab one recognized. However, it seems both will let the spontaneous internal demolition continue until the curtain closes on the bloody first act, which ends with fevered diplomacy amid scattered fighting and political anarchy.
Syrians displaced and refugee, Syrians suffering with dread and loss, need an army of their own — not the dictator’s army, which serves the dictator, not the armies of God that serve primarily themselves even while cloaked in religion. However, the Syrian army wanted would seem today the one routed from the field or diminished in its capacities.
About a month has passed since the running of the above-cited headline, “Salim Idris has failed as leader of Syrian rebels, coalition says.’ Doubtless, however, diplomatic and war planning activity continues around Salim Idris and the necessity of sooner or later confronting, containing, (and dismantling) the al-Qaeda-oriented fronts that seem to spread with deadly — and soul-deadening — exuberance.
In sum, Syria embodies multi-layered “spider web-like “ networks of Sunni and Shia militias and paramilitary forces, and this can only continue to plunge Syria into violence and chaos not unlike the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), although Syria’s war is at least 100 times worse and intense and potentially will last a lot longer.
The supporters of these proxy rebel groups, like Saudi Arabia, the UAE , and other GCC states on the Sunni jihadists’ side, and Iran on the Shia side, have no regard for the innocent civilians suffering horrifically in Syria and also as refugees in neighboring countries. These proxy supporters are as guilty of atrocities as Bashar al-Assad. All sides are guilty of war crimes
In the order encountered in the above article: The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS); Free Syrian Army; Ahrar al-Sham; Jaysh al-Islam; Suqour al-Sham; Liwa al-Tawhid; Liwa al-Haqq; Ansar al-Sham; Kurdish Islamic Front; Hezbollah; Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“I want to say to the clerics to fear Allah. They have destroyed people. They have destroyed families. They have destroyed all people. They have destroyed young people. They lie to them and lure them. For what? For Jihad for the sake of Allah. All this is nothing but slander and brainwashing.”
We can thus say with high confidence that at least 1,200 European Muslims have gone to Syria since the start of the war. This is a remarkable figure; we are talking about the largest European Muslim foreign fighter contingent to any conflict in modern history.
Hey, guys, let’s put on a war and see who shows up!
The Mohammad Must Off Ya Club, partially invited by the Old Soviet Boys Network and the Shiite Propeller Beanies — everyone’s making money but the fighters, and some of those are making money too — have found their calling in Syria:
Explosive weapons, including bombs, killed seven in 10 of the more than 11,000 Syrian children under the age of 17 who have died in Syria’s brutal civil war, according to a report released on Sunday . . . Most often, they were killed by explosives, but also from executions and torture. Since March 2011, 113,735 civilians and combatants have been killed in the Syrian conflict.
Exercise your imagination with this factoid from the above cited Al Jazeera piece:
Small arms fire from guns and rifles accounted for 2,806, or 26.5 percent, of the children killed, with 764 children who were executed and 398 killed by fire from a sniper. And among those children who were executed, 112 were tortured, including some infants.
Upon arrival in Syria, the mercenaries were told that their employers were private individuals, not the Syrian government, and the weapons they were told they’d be given, including T-72 tanks, were replaced by antiquated tanks that didn’t run, and by makeshift armored vehicles with machine guns. Also, they soon learned that instead of guarding oil fields, they were supposed to be recapturing them from jihadists.
Oh what a tangled web we weave when what we do best is set out to murder and deceive.
* * *
St Petersburg newspaper Fontanka interviewed some mercenaries who said that they were lured by a promise to get $4,000 per month and a solemn oath that the first salary would be transferred within days.
They were taken on a flight to Beirut, Lebanon and from there they were transferred by cars to Damascus. When they reached the Syrian border they traveled with a convoy of local guardsmen. In Damascus they were taken to a local hotel. The following day they were transferred by a plane to Latakia, and from there to a Syrian military base.
The Islamic Small Wars are no longer about infidels, Islam, or states: they’are about kinds of persons, sometimes the absolute autocrats one feels comfortable referring to as “malignant narcissists”; sometimes common bandits, murderers, psychos, and thieves taking the opportunity to cloak themselves in patriotism or religion; sometimes nothing more than young men in the hormonal sway of grandiose messianic delusions.
Perhaps it will turn out a good thing to have had them gathered so in one bloody place.
They’re all easier to see that way — and what a spectacle they make of themselves.
While the malignancies do the chop-chop and Kalashnikov war dances, Oxfam on Syria notes the following:
The UN estimates that almost 7 million Syrians inside of Syria are in need of assistance, including 4.25 million internally displaced.
Thousands continue to flee Syria daily.
The total number of refugees in neighboring countries is now more than 2.2 million.
It is estimated that the population of Lebanon has increased by more than 25% and the population of Jordan by 6%. This is putting extreme pressure on local infrastructure.
“One 24-year-old man, suspected of organising journeys to Syria, was in touch with several “fixers” who facilitated travel between Turkey and Syria, while another previously fought with an Islamist group in Syria, the sources said.”
In casual and often jocular language typical of messages on social media, the authors paint a rosy picture of life on the front, stressing the pious atmosphere and the sense of brotherhood-in-arms shared by the fighters. They note that recruits may come with their wives and children, and stress the practical advantages of joining the jihad community in Syria, such as the prospect of finding a bride and the low cost of living.