The inspiration came from a Facebook status line note involving a Pakistani Muslim who found himself on the receiving end of conservative Australian vitriol targeting Muslims, never mind the person’s stance as anti-Wahhabi, pro-Zionist, and in multiple facets western.
One of us! In other words — or one congenial in my own circles and with apparent attitudes congruent with my outlook, i.e., representing one among hundreds of Facebook relationships developed across the boundaries of culture and nation and based on discovered affinity as verbally signaled.
Here’s the note:
I have found within conservative circles and the “anti-Jihad” more investment in absolute attitudes toward Islam than accurate apperception and flexibility. Perhaps as one moves toward more centered and on to liberal circles, that may change. In may case, which is Englishy and romantic tempered by a few years of experience with empirical methods, I’ve certainly taken note of “shimmer” in the realpolitik — or there would not be Muslim refugees fleeing Muslim fighters — plus the presence of Islamic humanists, progressives, and reformers, plus then the underlying cultures overlaid by the sweep of the introduction of the religion, and so on.
Bigotry, even with a basis as evident as the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and the hundreds to thousands of Islamist organizations, bands, and fighting units, seems to me always ignorant and vicious. Rescue or secure the good, says I, and take aim at true targets well known, well identified, and definitely not friendly.
Inherent fear or, if writ larger, paranoia in persons provides evil great leverage, and while we see that in play within Islam (or fear and loathing of the Jews would not be so endemic and nurtured), we may fail to see similar emotional mechanics in play in ourselves or more aligned circles.
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Political psychology would seem to me not a field for “black-and-white” thinkers. Rather drift, spectrum, and trend may better define separable positions around what might be conceptualized as a mountain with central and core features, numerous dimensions radiating off that core, and, of course, no end of fringe and far out intellectual inventory.
As regards the Islamic Small Wars, I would predict the center-right a little more likely to want to look over the separable political and social divisions related to who is fighting, who is fleeing, who is enthused for their side, whatever that may be, and who has hunkered down in prayer to weather the storm with the least involvement possible. The reasoning behind my guess is that conservatism may be associated also with the “business of business” and engineering, i.e., more aligned with the western zeitgeist as it relates to defense and war. The reduction of the passion of war in favor of more clinically approaching a large problem then coincides with at least knowing who is NOT the enemy. Such a manner of observation and empiricism works against large-label prejudice.
I let my correspondents know that something they have said has inspired a note here, so in the note that followed this post, I went on a bit:
fyi — https://conflict-backchannels.com/2014/01/15/ftac-a-note-on-perception-and-political-topology/ Hi, X. — with conservative, so I presume, also Christian, I presume, Aussies — you face several dimensions involving prejudice.
At this point . . . I think I am just another “child of God” and like Q.A.: I like everyone who can be liked on the basis of a common and thoughtful good ethics.
I’ve got to mention this and hope you don’t mind.
In the Torah, as Adam and Eve become possessed of knowledge (having eaten the forbidden fruit), they cover their genitals (fig leaves). Christianity teaches that they do so for shame, but I would note — and I don’t know what Judaism teaches although I consider my reading close and alert — that they do so not for shame but to spare one the other too continuous an access and tease. Later, same chapter, God Himself sews skins for the two to wear as he prepares them to leave the Garden of Eden and walk out into human life.
Those who from Islam invoke the term “crusader west” have as their dearest wish the development of a truly crusading west.
Most, if not all, leading politicians to this point have refused that gambit.
There is no “crusading west”, really, and there hasn’t been one for centuries, and westerners don’t want one, most being out in the world and feeling free in their polyglot cultural and religious possibilities.
However, and it’s unavoidable that along the spines of the anti-Jihad, the Muslims vs. Christian axis cannot be quelled for sheer numbers subscribed to each religion. Add to that Muhammad’s prescription against too bonded and sincere a friendship with Christians, which admonishment, of course, festers in the Christian world while it in fact — this is how it works — assures the self-destruction of Muslims who a) believe it and b) press it. It — Surat 5:51, Al-Mā’idah — will be one that reformers will have to consider as they wrestle with the message, which has proven arguable to the extent that Muslim-on-Muslim violence has been the primary social conflict produced in relation to civil and other internecine conflicts within Muslim-majority states.
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