ISIS: "Islamic" Extremism?

2014 ,    »  -   131 Comments
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ISIS: "Islamic" Extremism?

For many throughout the world, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, otherwise known as ISIS, has come to represent the modern day boogeyman. Characterized by vicious acts of violence, forced conversions, kidnappings and beheadings, their campaign of terror is projected into our homes on a nightly basis via the news or other forms of media. But what is ISIS, how did they evolve, how do they operate, and to what extent do they accurately reflect the fundamentals of Islamic faith and ideology?

This profoundly pertinent topic serves as the basis for the documentary titled ISIS: "Islamic" Extremism?, a thoughtful examination of a movement which has managed to generate ire and occasional support from citizens across every corner of the globe.

Classified as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, ISIS is a rebel group composed of radicalized Islamists who have conquered scattered regions throughout the Middle East, and seek to take control of many others. Their formation and rise to dominance came on the heels of the American-led war on terror, which resulted in the dethroning of al-Qaeda from the region. "Chaos is fundamentally an environment that ISIS [lives] on," observes Aymenn Al-Tamimi, an expert in Middle Eastern affairs and extremist groups at Oxford University, early in the film.

In addition to Al-Tamimi, the film also provides commentary from an assortment of other fascinating voices, including Abu Rumaysah, an ISIS supporter living in Britain, as well as ISIS detractors Dr. Usama Hasan, a senior researcher at the Quilliam Foundation, Mohammed Ali-Hilli, Islamic speaker and researcher, and Sayed Yousif Khoei, an esteemed Shi'a Islamic scholar.

In the midst of their observations, and disturbing footage of several grisly atrocities carried out by ISIS, comes the notion that these radicalized groups have perverted the purity of the ancient Islamic religion. According to Maulana Shahid Raza, Executive Secretary of the Muslim Shariah Council in the UK and another of the film's interview subjects, ISIS has "nothing in common with the great Islamic moral and spiritual teachings of tolerance, love, peace and coexistence."

Hosted by British Muslim political analyst Mojtaba Masood, ISIS: "Islamic" Extremism? expresses a need for all influential figures to join together to combat the scourge of ISIS and other extremist groups like them, and to combat the destructive perceptions of islamophobia that they instill in the hearts and minds of people throughout the world.

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131 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Fabien L'Amour

    I am unsure they twisted the words of the Q'ran, here are two verses that are pretty descriptive of what should be done to non believers and opponents of the faith :

    Quran (8:12)
    - "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore
    strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"

    Quran (5:33) - "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement"

    Looks like promotion of beheading, murder, crucifixion and maiming to me.

  2. Vlatko

    Actually you can find lot of similar verses in the Bible too, if not more. However, there are no Christians around terrorizing people and waging war in the name of Jesus or God.

    That tells me that there have to be something more than having an outdated religious book in your hands in order to commit such crimes against humanity. In the mix you need to add proper geopolitical situation, poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, etc. Only then you'll have people primed to commit crimes solely in the name of one religion.

    Christianity was in that phase few centuries ago when people shielded by its dogma made unbelievable atrocities around the globe, though they still continue to commit minor (if they can be called minor) crimes against humanity to this day, like anti-condom campaigns in Africa, protecting and hiding pedophiles, stagnating bio-research, etc.

  3. Fabien L'Amour

    You might want to look at the Lord's Resistance Army, they fit the bill as an active Christian terrorist group so your first statement seems inaccurate.

  4. the silenced masses

    I guess you missed the entire 8 years of the Bush administration, because every single address he gave he talked about god and doing god's work and fighting evil.

    Also, almost all Islamic extremism is supported by the west. They had to create an enemy to justify all of their illegal oil wars. The west has overthrown numerous moderate secular governments in the middle east and turned those countries into failed states and breeding grounds for extremists. All the while, the west plunders their resources.

    Also, the west has probably killed 10 000 innocent civilians in the middle east, for every every innocent civilian that a Muslim has killed in the west.

    Google, "US supporting al Qaeda", "US created ISIS", "US arming al Qaeda/ISIS" and you find hundreds of articles on the subject.

    Take the time to do the research and free your mind from government and media propaganda

  5. watchtheduck

    A book could be written on the subject about how all 3 of the major religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) has been and continues to be responsible for most of the world's atrocities. All have Abrahamic origins. Christianity has been at odds with Islam since the days of Empirical Rome.

    Today Judaism fans the flames and has been largely controlled by the financial powers of the Rothschild Zionists whose banking empire paved the way for the existence of the State of Israel. The creation of Israel and Western Christianity recognition and support of Israel has been a huge affront to the Muslim Arabs.

    If the creation of Israel didn't offend the Muslim Arabs enough, when Western powers invaded and occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, it was like pouring alcohol onto an open Arab wound and opened the door to a steady flow of insurgents ready to take up arms against the West. Those who have joined the fight against the West are not "radical extremists" as we are led to believe, these are people who see their nation and their way of life under attack.

    Their nation and their way of life is completely integrated with their religion, therefore, to attack their nation and their way of life is to attack their religion, and is a holy war to them. Those who take up the fight do so in the belief that they are defending their religion and their God, Allah. There is nothing extreme between those who fight and those who don't in terms of religious dogma.

    Those who fight are those who feel justified in fighting the West after their country, their culture, their way of life came under attack by the West.. first by the Zionists who claimed Palestine and then by the Western allies who continue to support the Zionist takeover of Palestine in the creation of Israel.

    What is happening is not simply "radical Islamist" gone berserk, it's a consequence of a sequence of actions which have threatened and claimed the lives, the land and the culture of Islamist Arabs, stirring up power struggles not only against the west but against other Arabs. The chickens have come home to roost.

  6. Vlatko

    Although partially correct, what you wrote has nothing to do with my argument. You talk pure politics, I was talking about the religious aspect.

    For example Bush, or the West in general never derived its reasons for invasion directly from the Bible. They compiled political (terrorism) and security (WMD) reasons to plunder sovereign countries.

    On the other hand, Muslim fundamentalists strictly and quite clearly justify their actions with the content of their scriptures. Further more I reason that even that is not enough. There must be poverty, ignorance, illiteracy, etc in the equation.

  7. Martin Ellacott

    Evil done in the name of islam....I'm sick to death of these blighters....They taint every Society in the Western World that they infest. Our Governments have done us no favour by allowing moslim immigration.

  8. Harry

    Religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) are not responsible for most of the world's atrocities. they are the most convenient excuse to justify atrocities.

  9. JFJ

    ENOUGH with this babble and non-sense. Anyone interested in humanism and a secular society should disregard this pathetic sympathiser positing. RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING.

  10. pipofix

    this is an interesting doc imo, thanks. its a bit slow but makes a good point i think, recommended :)

  11. S:N/N:A

    Harry, i def agree. If you study history and connect the dots(think about it); you'll see that economic and political factors, have been at the root at most wars. Religion has been used as a pretext/scapegoat to wage these wars. We think we're so "civilized"; yet we're still allowing religion, to be used as a pretext, to slaughter those we see fit.

  12. zebram zee

    Both religion and secular humanism are false. Neither are true, people pick one or the other or some mix based on their own personal preferences, nothing else. The same way you might pick vanilla ice cream over chocolate.

  13. a_no_n

    do you know what humanism is?

  14. a_no_n

    That's exactly what they want. To live in a world where everything is decided on violence rather than reasoning...people like you are handing that world to them on a plate.

  15. a_no_n

    we've had this argument before Vladko. Christians may not have been doing it for the last twenty years, but for the other 1800 they've been pioneering and perfecting the art of oppressive religious violence.

    Christianity was NOT in that place centuries ago...those of us in Britain can still remember the IRA. Catholic bombers and Gunmen fighting against a protestant army. People in Norway remember the Oslo Gunman (may we all forget his name). People in India still remember the British Empire.

    Also you have to remember that over 90% of the victims of muslim related terror attacks are themselves Muslim.

  16. a_no_n

    But then how are we any better than them?

  17. whoopi goldberg

    we should pool our money together and send isis a giant box of snicker bars

  18. gustave courbet

    I disagree with those that say that it is Islam itself (or Judaism or Christianity) that is the primary cause of violence in conflicts involving so called 'religious radicals.' Rather, these ideologies act as the 'lens' through which violent human behavior is expressed. Human violence predated any sort of organized religion, and has been with us since the inception of the species because it has conferred an evolutionary advantage. Indeed, the modern era demonstrates multiple examples of secular ideologies that are just as brutal as ones based on theocratic notions. It is rather, a complex interaction of environmental factors (such as availability of resources, political and economic stability, etc) and cultural and behavioral factors (such as the psychological effects of previous cycles of violence, or the propensity of young males to act aggressively) acting on a given culture that are the main causal factors in seemingly ideologically based violence. The ideology itself (be it Wahhabism, Communism, Zionism, or Republicanism), while not entirely disconnected from violence, is not its primary generator.

  19. over the edge

    “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things
    and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil
    things, that takes religion."

    Steven Weinberg

  20. misfit

    because most of us know the difference, because rational thought is more widespread, easily to learn and accessible. It's no longer only attributed to philosophers and tertiary scholars anymore. Because systems that create an ignorance of knowledge ironically disempower themselves through internal hypocrisy. A quote by Frank Herbert in Dune Messiah encapsulates this sentiment:

    “Government cannot be religious and self-assertive at the same time. Religious experience needs a spontaneity which laws inevitably suppress. And you cannot govern without laws. Your laws eventually must replace morality, replace conscience, replace even the religion by which you think to govern. Sacred ritual must spring from praise and holy yearnings which hammer out a significant morality. Government, on the other hand, is a cultural organism particularly attractive to doubts, questions and contentions. I see the day coming when ceremony must take the place of faith and symbolism replaces morality.”

  21. walterbyrd

    The facts are against you - big time.

    What ISIS is doing is exactly what Mohammad did, and what Mohammad commanded his followers to do. And Mohammad is the perfect example.

    If you become part of a group that espouses a certain ideology, you cannot claim that you do not espouse that ideology yourself. For example, you cannot join the KKK and claim that you are not a racist. Even if you have never lynched anybody (most in the KKK have not) you clearly accept the ideology.

    Forcing infidels to submit to Islam has been a key part of Islam from the very beginning. The evidence of this is overwhelming: the life of Mohammad, the teachings of Mohammad, the clear messages from Muslim holy books, the 1400 year bloody history of Islam, the actions of modern Muslims all over the world: ISIS, Hamas, Al Qaeda, 25,000 Muslim terrorist attacks since 9/11; and I could go on.

    As I said, the facts are against you.

  22. JFJ

    Thanks for your empty comment.

    Even if what you say were valid (which partially I tend to think is the case), you seem to imply not only that each choice a person makes are insignificantly different (whether it be how you choose to think and act vs the type of ice cream you like) and bear no real meaning or impact, but more importantly that we Have no real concept of human prosperity and flourishing. I.e., that because we don't know the exact way to live we should just not bother.

    If you believe this - why are you here? You even committed your own accusation - applying reasoning to comment I made. The only reason you could do that is because we understand that language and reason can be applied to interact.

    Please respond - I am interested in your response.

    Thanks

  23. Vlatko

    Yes, a I know we've had this argument, but you're still forgetting one thing: IRA, Oslo Gunman, etc, were not shouting "praise Jesus" while blowing themselves up in public places or while beheading innocent people on TV. IRA or Breivik, didn't use their religious beliefs as a DIRECT cause and excuse for murder. Religion was surely playing a role (somewhere in the back of their heads), but not in a direct form as it is playing now when it comes to Islam.

  24. a_no_n

    So the IRA and Oslo gunmen weren't terrorists...is that what you're saying?

    I didn't realise terrorism was defined based on what you were shouting...silly me i thought it was about who you were killing.

    YES the IRA did use their religion as a DIRECT cause for their attacks on Britain Just as Britain used their religion as justification for attacks on them in the past, The Troubles in Northern Ireland were a war between Catholics and Protestants... and The Oslo gunman wrote an entire Manifesto about how he was killing people to stop the islamification of northern europe in the name of christ.

  25. a_no_n

    So because we can propagandize ourselves into thinking we're better we can get away with it...that's comforting. ..extremely hypocritical but i'm sure there's a spin for that too.

    I don't get what your quote is meant to add to the argument...you might as well have quoted the happy days song.

  26. Vlatko

    There's a huge difference. The Oslo gunman was a freaking SINGLE lunatic, while today's terror is total WAR run by people motivated by their religious texts. Plus his crazy manifesto tells us that he was against ALL immigrants in Europe, not just Muslims. For sure he was not an atheist, but religion in his motivations and actions was playing a minor role.

    IRA was fighting for Irish independence, against the Crown, not for establishing a pure Christian State by ripping apart several neighboring countries, that would be run by a strict Bible code and where they would stone people to death for minor crimes. Not at all. You're so easily comparing these things, but obviously they're apples and oranges.

  27. a_no_n

    that seems like a pedantic argument to me.

    Muslim terrorists tend to be lone psycopaths too...When compared to the number of non psychotic muslims they are a relatively tiny percentage of the population, so i think my comparison stands perfectly fine.

    The IRA were and in some cases still are a Catholic army fighting against the control of a protestant nation (which had previously subjicated them and tried to wipe out their catholicism).

    There's no apples and oranges to it. If you think that the state set up by the IRA would be any different to the state being set up by IL then i'm sorry but there's a bias in your argument.

    Why is it so difficult for you to accept that all these things are the same? why must the Christian versions be seen as something different or better?

    Oh and about the whole war on terror thing you said...how else are you supposed to fight an army like Americas? You can't meet it in open battle, you can't form a battle line against it. Your only method of fighting a machine like that is through stealth and ambush attacks...Same thing happened to Napoleon in Spain, and the Germans in France.

  28. Vlatko

    It's paramount to be pedantic, especially while discussing such a sensitive subject. Otherwise you'll end up making sweeping generalizations, like your comparisons of IRA and Oslo Gunman with ISIS. They're entirely different things in terms of religious influence, geo-political setting, economics, motives, etc.., but yet you're painting them with the same brush.

    I suggest watching several lectures and interviews by Sam Harris on this subject (Islam and ISIS). You can begin with this 3-hour YouTube interview "WVl3BJoEoAU"

  29. a_no_n

    yeah you also run the risk of making statements that quite uncomfortably seem to suggest that white lunatics with guns are better than brown ones. and that Christian terrorists are happy go lucky scamps whilst muslims are the manifestation of all evil.

    I don't want to start chucking the R word about because i know that's not really what's going on, but you are treading awfully close...there's a definate bias there that's effecting your judgment.

    So far i've neglected to raise the history of both religions with you, mostly because i know that usually ends up with us going around in a circle because you refuse to accept history as an important factor.

    Is that the same sam harris who tried arguing that torture was ethical?

  30. Vlatko

    I see, now you're using considerable portion of your comment to describe me, or my personality, on the verge of painting me as racist. Nice one. You're also claiming something I never said, for example that Christians are good, and Muslims are bad. That is another sweeping and at the same time false generalization right there on the spot. It's obvious that as we're getting deeper into this debate your arguments are becoming more and more general, bordering with an ad hominem.

    As for Sam, if you make an effort to understand his arguments, you'll see that the torture is presented as an ethical dilemma, a philosophical concept, not as an argument to justify it or endorse it.

  31. a_no_n

    Ah...so suddenly pedantics don't matter quite so much. i quite specifically didn't call you a racist.Though if you read exactly half of my comment and leave it there that's the conclusion you might draw. I'm merely pointing out that your personal bias is leading you in a way you wouldn't usually tend to go.

    An ad hominem is a personal attack, which i did not make. I think that your biases are effecting your argument, and i pointed out where that bias was...i didn't just call you a poopyhead.

    The only difference as far as i can see behind any of the groups and people that we've argued about is that one does it for Allah, the other for Jesus. You seem to think that makes a moral/ethical difference and i'm struggling to understand why.

    There is no dilemma behind torture. In a real court room evidence gained under Duress is inadmissible as evidence because it is entirely unreliable as evidence, because people will say anything you want them to if you slice enough pieces of them off. For this reason alone Torture is unethical as it is unreliable.

    You also can't judge a person for treating their captives like animals and then go ahead and torture one of them, it's a hypocricy. for that reason also torture is unethical because it's turning you into exactly what they want you to become.

    It's also easy to philosophise about torture when you're not the one likely to end up strapped to the table.

    I'll try and get around to listening to his arguments...but somehow i doubt they're going to bend reality.

  32. Vlatko

    Again, half of your comment is about me and my bias, not about the validity of my arguments, which exactly proves my point that I was making in my previous comment.

    Pedantics are of course important when talking about sensitive matters. From where you concluded that I claimed the opposite is beyond me.

    At the same time, for some reason, you're refusing to admit the existence of moral and ethical dilemmas in some situations. Look up "The Mad Bomber dilemma", and see the context in which Sam is talking about the torture (which of course is illegal), so you can no longer make the mistake of saying that he's approving it.

  33. a_no_n

    yes, because i believe your bias is effecting the validity of your argument...

    If i had said, you're racist therefore you are wrong. that would be an ad hominem. But i didn't do that at all, i said you were heading toward that way of thinking. I saw a problem with your conclusions and then detailed what those problems were...that there seems to be a very clear and definite bias that means two people can do the exact same things, but one of them apparantly isn't a terrorist and it just so happens to be the white Christian.

    All i'm saying about torture is, if the information gained from it is unreliable and cannot be trusted then how can there possibly ever be an ethical reason for it. it's a flawed premise from the beginning. But i will have a look when i have a spare minute and come back to it.

  34. a_no_n

    Can i just point out that i don't actually think you're a racist. I've had enough conversations with you to know better than that. But i do think there is a bias possibly not even a concious one on this particular issue.

  35. Vlatko

    Right, then basically you're saying to me: "you're biased, therefore your argument is not valid." I hope you now see the absurdity of that claim, because at one point either of us can state that and supposedly "end" the debate relaying on a personal subjective opinion.

    Further more bias requires some sort of sympathy to one of the sides. For example if I was a Christian, you would have had a point, or if I was IRA sympathizer. In both cases I'm not, therefore from where my "bias" is coming is not clear. The truth is you've made up that on the fly, and I can surely do exactly the same, but I choose not to.

    And, flawed or not, the torture dilemma exists (as many other moral dilemmas) and Sam is only talking about it, nothing more. He's a philosopher above all.

  36. a_no_n

    but if your argument is based on a bias then it's not a logical argument.

    I'm not attacking you i'm attacking your argument! How are you having such a problem seeing this? By your logic ALL arguments are ad hominem attacks.

  37. Vlatko

    Hahaha... but how did you determine I'm biased? It just happened or you have solid evidence that I have sympathy towards Christianity over Islam? Or that I prefer serial Norwegian killers over Muslims? it's just ridiculous.

  38. WTC7

    Although your argument sounds logical to a certain level of analysis, allow me to ask why, for example, did the Christianity, the message of love, turn into a bloody religion during its dark age. Did the Christian savior propagate violence like Mohammad did?

    On the other hand, if Mohammad was so clearly calling for violence in his teachings, why are not all Muslims, including all the offshoots of that religion - currently or in the past - violent or terrorists? Besides, Muslims are to thank that a lot of European culture and scientific achievements have not been lost during the Dark Age. In addition, the Muslim world has contributed greatly to the cultural and scientific achievements of the human civilization as a whole.

    Religion as a brainwashing mechanism aside, I think that gustave courbet provided a much more substantiated explanation for the violent behaviour of humans, past, current and future, in general.

  39. gustave courbet

    Again, history is replete with examples of people doing terrible things for secular ideologies, democracy, and communism come to mind. I think the problem goes deeper into the human psyche than a superficial belief system.

  40. gustave courbet

    I wouldn't disagree with your facts, but I do disagree with how you're interpreting them. You see a particular ideological world view as the primary cause of the adherent's behavior, in this case violence. I am arguing that violence is a much more basic trait of the human species and would be extant regardless of whether or not religious ideology existed. Further, it seems more likely to me that humans manufacture violent ideologies because they have violent tendencies, not the other way around. And I'll add that, if you read my first statement carefully, I allow that ideologies can be A cause of human violence, just not THE primary cause.

  41. gustave courbet

    As an afterthought to my reply, I'll add that because humans have a deeply wired propensity for violence, we can't simply banish this behavior by squelching religion (I'll further add that I am emphatically not a proponent of religious belief). I'm reminded of the old episode of 'South Park' where Cartman goes to the future, to find atheists brutally battling each other...

  42. walterbyrd

    > On the other hand, if Mohammad was so clearly calling for violence in his teachings, why are not all Muslims, including all the offshoots of that religion - currently or in the past - violent or terrorists?

    According to many polls, a huge percentage of Muslims approve of such violence.

    Look at Muslims countries, like Saudi, or Iran. Blasphemy, or apostasy, could certainly carry a death sentence there.

    When Muslims are in a tiny minority, they are usually not outwardly violent. Once they feel they can get the upper hand is when they become violent. This is what is commanded in the Qur'an.

  43. walterbyrd

    > I am arguing that violence is a much more basic trait of the human species and would be extant regardless of whether or not religious ideology existed.

    There is probably no religious group, or non-religious group, that is completely free of violence. But let's not manufacture a false equivalence.

    Islam is *far* more violent than other religions. And it is no wonder, children are taught to hate, and fight, from a young age.

    Mainstream TV shows, for children, teach hatred of Jews, and the like.

    Most religious, and non-religious groups, at least tolerate one another without trying to kill one another just on the bases of religion. With one huge exception: Islam.

    Muslims hate, and kill: Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and - by far - most of all: other Muslims.

    There are cases of Christian crazies killing abortion doctors and the like. But that sort of thing is exceedingly rare. By contrast, there have been 25,000 Muslim terrorist attacks since 9/11.

    Human nature, being what it is, will probably always have some degree of violent behavior. But while some cultures strive to eliminate such behavior, other cultures revel in it.

  44. walterbyrd

    But it is ideology none-the-less. Is it not fair to say that some ideologies are more violent than others?

    Is it not likely that somebody brought up in an ideology that teaches hate, and violence, would be more inclined such behavior? And if so, shouldn't the ideology itself be blamed for such behavior?

  45. gustave courbet

    Thanks for the reply. I don't disagree that there are strains of Islamic culture that revel in violence, but would add that Christian history is very long and incredibly violent (and a religion based on the words of someone advocating charity and forgiveness to boot). I would also add that Islam has had more liberal manifestations in history, for instance the so-called 'golden age' of Baghdad which ended with the Mongol invasion of 1258. One hadith states "the ink of a scholar is more holy than the blood of a martyr." That being said, I think the world community must find a way to deescalate the self-perpetuating cycles of violence that beset our species, be they justified by 'martyrdom to Allah', or 'defending freedom and democracy.'

  46. over the edge

    But I cannot think of any examples of atheism being a rally cry to incite others to do vile things. While there have been some brutal leaders who were atheist. Atheism was never cited as their motivation as far as I know.

  47. S:N/N:A

    What? So, you're aware that much of the "fundamentalism", is a byrpoduct of western influence; yet that doesn't matter? And much of the poverty you see, is also a reflection; of US foreign policy. The cartels are doing just as nasty of things, if not worse; yet it's not a religious matter. What are the common denominators? Well, poverty...and the US(the us has been occupying various regions of latin america, for over a century). We've been wreaking havoc, all over the world; and then blaming them for it.

  48. S:N/N:A

    The west fund most of them; why is that not nearly the end of the argument? We need to take control of our damn political system.

  49. walterbyrd

    > Christian history is very long and incredibly violent

    "History" being the key word. There is no Christian version of ISIS today. I am concerned with what is going on now, not what happened 800 years ago.

    > Islam has had more liberal manifestations in history

    Here again, "history" is the key word. Modern Islam seems to be going backwards.

    > I think the world community must find a way to deescalate the self-perpetuating cycles of violence

    Sure, world peace would be nice. Good luck with that.

    > be they justified by 'martyrdom to Allah', or 'defending freedom and democracy.'

    Wait a minute. That seems like something of a false equivelence: 'defending freedom and democracy' is hardly the same thing as 'martyrdom to Allah.' Certainly the west has a right, and a responsibilty to defend itself against Muslim aggression.

  50. S:N/N:A

    Do these sound similar?

    Quran 8:12 “When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”

    Leviticus 24:16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him.

  51. slpsa

    In my own personal experiences traveling to many Muslim countries before all this hostility broke out, in my opinion, people are the same all over the planet. I have shared this story once many years ago, on this forum. The one about the men I worked alongside in Iran. In a room of thirty men, professionals in mining and repair of said equipment, not your everyday laborers. When it was prayer time, only one man got down on his mat and bowed to Mecca. This, in a country that praying is mandatory, and has serious repercussions for not doing so. I sat sort of dumbfounded, as I pondered what was going on. I asked the man who had me over for dinner with his family several nights earlier, why this person was the only one who did so when it was mandatory. He laughed at me and simply said:

    Is everyone in Canada religious...........of course not sir.

    The light bulb went on. Right then and there. He went on to also say, they are just bad Muslims he guessed. LOL. Not to mention that he had a bar full of liquor, again, in a country that bans alcohol. So you see, all this is not so cut and dried as the media outlets would have you believe.They are really not all hating on white westerners or other cultures in Iran or many other Muslim or Islamic countries. That is a small minority of Muslims you read and hear about doing these horrific deeds. A very very small number indeed. I have Muslim friends in my community. They bleed red, they worry about the same things I do, they openly and verbally attack these ISIS scum, and no matter which one I have raised this subject with, they to a person condemn these actions and vehemently at that. I was never convinced like many who post here that Islam is for peace, and they are cherry picking what parts they stand behind and stand for. My mind has been changed after befriending several of these Muslims that are new to my City, and got to know them on a personal level. I see now, I was wrong in assuming a lot of things, and past posts I have put up right here, tell that story. I was never convinced that a Muslim can pick and choose what they believe, but lo and behold, they do! Like 99.9 per cent of Christians do not live by the holy book verse for verse, and if they did, they would be no better considering what some of the words of the bible say... I think it is simply that much like other religions, the moderates as some call them, do not literally take the book to its word. Like other religions, over the century's, it has become more of spiritual guideline, some passages are not to be taken literally as the times do not support those insinuations.This is my experience...

    You have understand, that people are people. Some people are violent , and some are not. Religion is an excuse for some to commit horrible crimes. I have never subscribed to religion, and I generally detested the people that play with sky fairy's in their heads.

    Over the last few years, Ive grown a little older, a little wiser, a little more open to others beliefs. I considered a few posts here on this subject, and I agree with many. Human beings are violent as a species, and using religion as an excuse has been done by each and every one of the major faiths on this planet.

    To blame all Muslims for ISIS and violence is misguided. So is blaming religion.

    Its a choice all people have, some choose to go the wrong way. That has always been our history, and it probably always will be.

  52. slpsa

    I tend to agree with you sir. There are violent human beings who make a choice to be that way. Then there is the opposite people. Non violent. Religion is a catalyst to a point. But it is a choice each person makes. Human history is replete with war and death. It is not always religion that is the cause. It is just people...

  53. ZeissIkon

    For all of those outside of the UK, the new Adam Curtis documentary "Bitter Lake" turned up on BBC iPlayer last week, which does an excellent job of explaining the history of this situation, so hopefully it'll pop up on here shortly, as it's worth a watch.

  54. Ramome

    If a government has (serious repercussions for not praying) how is this compared to Canada as you seem to be saying here. Canada has no law saying you must be Christian. Whether Iran strongly enforces the law or not has nothing to do with the fact that it was enacted with the people's consent. Those men you are talking about, would be on their knees instantly if the police came in and enforced the law. That would not happen in Canada.
    I believe people in those countries would like a more secular life in their countries, but they have no will to make that happen it seems.
    Islam is a danger to the world and it's foundational structure proves that in the very fact that The Religion is the core of their governments just like the Constitution is in the US.
    The trap you fall into here, is a common one. On the battle field when soldiers from opposing groups show mercy momentarily, like letting someone live or even escape, does not mean there is suddenly peace.
    I could go on here, but I think you get my point. I wish there was a beautiful no-mans land of love, but it seems to be an illusion.

  55. Ramome

    I assume by (Republicanism) you mean a ( Republic Government) not the Party?

  56. a_no_n

    actually it was not enacted with the peoples concent at all.

    If you'll remember Iran had a different government once upon a time...A democratically elected one. But the Americans didn't like the people in charge because they weren't being profitable. So the Americans overthrew it and installed the Ayatollah who then went about turning Iran from a fairly liberal developing country into a murky faith dominated backwater.

    I'd suggest you learn the history before commenting on it.

  57. a_no_n

    yeah...in 600AD.

    You've seperated the events entirely from their historical context and then judged them by the morals and standards of today.

    If you submitted that at an elementary school history project you'd have gotten a big fat F.

    EVERYONE was doing it then, and it wasn't so much a conquest as it was throwing off the yoke of the Romans (who had previously conquered those lands and occupied them through military force)

    Christianity was a lot worse back then...you should have seen all the awful things Christians were doing in the name of God in 600AD.

  58. a_no_n

    Bullsh/t Name those polls!

    Either you're trusting the terrorists own propaganda (and thus helping them) or you're just making stuff up (also helping them).

    Either way your misinformation helps no-one but the terrorists.

  59. Ramome

    Have you ever heard of the (Shau of Iran) ?

    Here is a Paragraph from Wikipedia just so you don't think I made it up. ( Several other factors contributed to strong opposition to the Shah among certain groups within Iran, the most notable of which were United States and UK (support)for his regime, clashes with Islamists and increased communist activity. By 1979, political unrest had transformed into a revolution which, on 17 January, forced him to leave Iran. Soon thereafter, the Iranian monarchy was formally abolished, and Iran was declared an Islamic republic led by Ayatollah Khomeini. Facing likely execution should he return to Iran, he died in exile in Egypt, whose President, Anwar Sadat, had granted him asylum. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi is often called "the last Shah of Iran" or more commonly and simply "the Shah".) The Ayatollah (Khomeini ) was installed by the people in a revolution which fully developed after the Hostage Crisis. I won't be as rude as you about your education, but anyone can find this information if they try.

  60. a_no_n

    right...and if you scroll down a little bit further to where it says Iranian Coup d'etat...

  61. a_no_n

    wait a minute...I see the problem...we're talking about different shahs!

  62. Wil Van Natta

    It is not a choice...authoritarian elites impose wars on the 99% and use race, religion and cultural differences to dehumanize the place that they want to rob through war.
    War and this kind of violence is a result of a few bad apples who come to power through violence and then use people like you to explain it away as just part of "human history". The elites came to power through violence against the masses. "violent human nature" is an elitist construct to justify their own sociopathy.
    Most people must be forced to commit acts of violence no matter how provoked they may seem to be.

  63. cdnski12

    I have a problem believing Muslims, who pray every day of their "Islamic" life ... that killing me, raping my wife and enslaving my children is a "religious" duty. Also praying to an obvious god called "Mohammed" ... who promulgated sex with 9 year old children and killed immediate followers, so he could have sex with their wives? What kind of a bizarre religion is that? The Quran says that Muslims can lie, cheat and steal from non-Muslims. It also encourages taking payoffs from persecuted non-Muslims. This is obvious criminal activity in any society. Why in God's name ... do we allow they fiends into our countries?

  64. RWNorth

    "According to Maulana Shahid Raza, Executive Secretary of the Muslim Shariah Council in the UK and another of the film's interview subjects, ISIS has "nothing in common with the great Islamic moral and spiritual teachings of tolerance, love, peace and coexistence."

    The word "love" is used in the Quran, but never to love another who believes differently.

    The word "tolerance" is not used at all. Same for "coexistence."

    There are many mentions of "peace." For example:

    490 "If they (non-believers) let you be, and do not make war on you, and offer you peace, do not make war on them."

    491 "Hence, if they do not offer you peace, and do not stay their hands, seize them and slay them."

    In other words, be tolerant unless seriously threatened. Then, kill. No in-between.

    Many religious doctrines speak of peace. I am a former Catholic and Jesuit. But, those same doctrines imply that "we" are good, and non-believers are bad. The Pope, for example, speaks of the "mother church," which means, "we have the truths that others need."

    Folks, that is war ultimately. Tolerance is nothing but a cover for "We will eventually conquer." Look at the history of most religions. Apologists always say, "Those were extremists" who persecuted and killed. No, whenever one says, I have the absolute personal truths and you do not, persecution and killing will follow.

  65. zebram zee

    Yes, I do. That's why I said what I said.

  66. zebram zee

    Congratulations for not understanding what I said.

    Religion and secular humanism are moral philosophies. Moral value does not exist. I did not say other types of values don't exist. For example, one might value vanilla ice cream in the sense that it brings pleasure through good taste and thus we might feel like eating it. That is something we also call 'value', just not a 'moral value'.

  67. Achems_Razor

    You are using 2 usernames zebram zee and zee88, only use 1 please, thanks (MOD)

  68. RWNorth

    Mr. Gourbet:

    I find your insights to be so helpful. You are right, there are secular and theological religions. As you pointed out, the
    blind embrace of democracy is one of them.

    You state that the tendency to violence as inborn in all of us. I also find the tendency to be love/guarded, that is, to love another unconditionally and to guard against his unwillingness to be love/guarded. The later defines great character. Unconditional love of another without guardedness is naive; and guardedness to the point of never loving self-defeating.

    Dogma religions clearly reflect and support the member’s feelings of inadequacy--as well as their desire for authorities to teach them about God, rather than make their own discoveries. Why else would a person identify with a belief system not based on evidence except to feel
    secure in the embrace of fellow believers, above others, and righteous.

    For those reading this, Jesus was against religion. He saw the problem and articulated a solution—mostly unknown. He would not endorse Christianity or any dogma secular or theological religion, precisely because they
    promote division, we against them.

  69. a_no_n

    so what exactly is your definition of humanism?

  70. JFJ

    Congratulations on your three card trick.

    You should accept the logical and probable implications of what you say.

    If you make such a simple statement within a subject as vital to human knowledge as ethics or moral philosophy then expect an answer inviting you to elaborate.

    Putting aside your meaningless (to this discussion) points of moral value and economic value (I know it is generous for me to suggest ice cream utility is economic value but I assume that is what you meant).

    I don't think you can simply make the assumption that religion and humanism are competing moral philosophies unless your aim is to regurgitate textbook categories.

    I implore you to make the case for religion being a relevant and competing moral philosophy in the past, present or future. And if you feel like responding to my initial comment, make the case in the context of secular humanism (or you comparable category/ definition).

  71. zebram zee

    Your previous post was not about an 'invitation to elaborate'. You conflated moral and other value together. I stated that moral value did not exist and you said therefore I am claiming no value exists. That was your previous post, nothing to do with these new points you have brought up. That distinction is not 'meaningless', as you claim. Moral nihilism does not say no values exist, it only says moral values don't exist.

    With regards to religion and secular humanism, I consider them both to be false. In that way, they are comparable and equal. In terms of religion, it makes additional false claims apart from moral claims (such as stories of prophets and whatnot), while secular humanism only makes moral claims. In that way, religion has an additional category of falseness. However, in terms of it's moral claims, it is the same as secular humanism, that is, false. The reason you consider secular humanism to be qualitatively different is because you like its ideals or goals. Guess what, some people like the goals and ideals in religion. There is no way for you to demonstrate that the goals of secular humanism is something we all ought to do.

  72. JFJ

    Preferences aside, do you think it is meaningless to avoid the pursuit ideals that may foster human flourishing (in general)? I understand your argument and so if what you say is valid then why think or act at all?

  73. bluetortilla

    This is a great documentary. i don't why it scored so poorly. I found it not only touching but highly informative. To have brought together so many Muslim Imams and leaders together expressing moderate and loving views towards all is not only refreshing to hear, but I say the typical Muslim view- though you'll never get that view from the mass media. i say this out of living in an international Muslim community for three years and having nothing but wonderful experiences with them. I remember going to a humus restaurant and sitting down with three burly young men who were from Palestine. Boy was I nervous when they asked me where I was from, thinking but not daring to say, 'oh, you know, I come from the land that's supplying the weapons to bomb your families'. You can imagine. But I never met friendlier people than those young man. They made sure my plate was full and the conversation lively. There is trouble from all sides for them, not just Israel, but from Lebanon too. They have a number of Israeli friends, in fact. Mostly they were looking for an exit strategy and cutting their losses to their homeland. Sad. They were angry foremost at mass media, and they had a good understanding that Westerners believe what they are told because they know no better.
    I also met Muslims I would trust with my life and who I still call today. I've had dinner in their hospitable homes, as a honored guest. I have had conversations with their daughters and played with their children. One man once offered his daughter's hand in marriage to me as she was getting old. I realize that sounds sexist but one must consider what a tight knit community Muslims build. For the most part I have found the charm and manners of the Muslims I have met to be impeccable. I may not agree on their customs and laws, but it is, after all, none of my business. Every human society has its rituals and taboos.
    I have no cause to believe at all that nearly all Muslims are just ordinary people searching for happiness like us all. I also am extremely resentful that when they fight back under extreme pressure the outside world does not try to understand what is going on but blames them for causing all the trouble. As if to say, 'why can't these people just passively accept being bombed out of house and home? What does it take to make them give up?' The media denies the bombs, the killings and torture, the depleted uranium weapons, the destruction of entire communities. The rise of a fanatical, genocidal group like ISIS under such circumstances is not a matter of surprise, it is a foregone conclusion.

  74. bluetortilla

    Perhaps it is Western Imperialism with its bombardier diplomacy coupled with ecologically devastating and mind-numbing consumerism that poses by far the greatest danger to the world?

  75. bluetortilla

    Outstanding! A voice of reason in this horrifying ongoing witch hunt. Thank you.
    Just because you may be an atheist or a rationalist folk doesn't mean you now have a crystal ball on how world events develop. I would suggest to looking for mundane causes for war such as greed and the lust for power.

  76. bluetortilla

    Great points. Dogma is found in any sort of ideological creed, political or religious. Motives create dogma; it is quite obvious that the search for truth must be exclusive to pre-defined systems of belief. Tell that to your guru!

  77. bluetortilla

    I don't think the moderators should allow you the use of the word 'infest.' It's genocidal language that implies an eradication of an ethnic group.
    I'm calling you on it.

  78. bluetortilla

    That's an old saw that's bunk. The world's atrocities have occurred without association to any particular creed, religion, faith, or dogma. Study your history. The reason for the Middle East uprise has to do mostly with oil and strong-armed imperialism and nothing to do with religion. That's a very strong empirical argument.
    In the meantime, tell me what the Khmer Rouge had to with Abrahamic religions.

  79. bluetortilla

    While I'm not disagreeing, I wonder just what percentage of psychopaths that is? And then, do those numbers compare with say the number of American psychopaths like Dick Cheney, for example?

  80. RWNorth

    Bluetortilla:

    You say: "the search for truth must be exclusive to pre-defined systems of belief." I agree with you.

    In other words, in order to grow, one suspends steadfast beliefs to see reality. He then reconstitutes his beliefs, only to suspend them again. If his goal is oneness with others no matter their beliefs, he will become a wonderful person.

    Secular and theological religions teach the reverse, for people to double down on their beliefs and not challenge them daily.

  81. slpsa

    What I am saying Ramome, is this. People are the same all over the world. The good hard working people. Who don't kill for any reason and only want to provide for their family's and be safe. I am also saying in a nutshell, that the Iranian people are not who the media makes them out to be. For one thing, they are highly educated, the younger people especially. They are net savvy, upward thinking, and pro freedom and pro Western for the most part. I was there for a while, I met many people from many different backgrounds. As I said, most of the men I met and women as well, were not religious, but had to keep up appearances depending on where they were at, when prayer time fell and who was watching.

    All we hear about is the religious nonsense in the news. Along with the Clerics and Ayatollahs yapping off about Israel, the Great Satan, etc, etc. The opinions of the majority of people there do not reflect the Governments views. Those born after 1979 especially do not favor the Government they have, the problem exists where they are not free to express that openly, but I promise you that behind closed doors, after some generous amounts of booze, the real opinions start flowing. May I add that I worked in and visited more than one Muslim country and I found with the exception of one of them, this seems to be the way it is for the blue collar and even some white collar workers in the mining Industry. I am talking about educated professionals or tradesmen. I met very few people outside of that demographic, I didn't travel the countryside in any of them. We are also talking late 80's until 2000. I have never been back since 2000, it was a different place back then. All this craziness wasn't going on. Iran and Iraq had a beef for sure, but open war was over when I was there. Bottom line is. I don't believe anything the media says about any of these Country's and I do not subscribe to the idea all the Muslims want us dead either. I have kept in touch with several of the men I met back then, they have not changed one bit and they have grown children and grand children, whom live the way of Moderates who want what any other man wants. My one buddy, I talk to all the time. He wants his family to prosper, his children to grow old, and that they do so safe from danger. They are not fanatics nor do they take the Koran to its literal word. The problem they face is one I could understand when my one friend said this: They have all the guns and all the power, spies everywhere, eyes everywhere, looking for groups of people who oppose them and may or may not be planning rebellion. The Iranian secret police are some very serious and well trained people. Unless we want to die. We shut up. Those were his words.

    People disappear in those Country's for speaking out. You saw the Orange Revolution or whatever it was called. Brutally stamped out.

    The percentile of actual zealots compared to moderates by my own observations is a very very small number. I was told as much by the very people who live there.

    Your statement about they have no will to make that happen, is easy to say.....

    But what if you lived there my friend.

    Are you going to take up arms against them alone.......Would you sacrifice your wife, and children, grandchildren, dog and cat, and all your relatives lives, brothers, sisters, grandparents...., when you know that outcome is certainly failure unless you have an army behind you....

    You seem an intelligent chap. Islam is not a danger to the World. People who are zealots and use religion as an excuse to murder, to be barbaric beyond words.....and return to medieval times.....Those crazy uneducated cowards are the threat. Not the ones like my friends and many like them. It is the Governments of several of these country's that stand behind this. The majority of the innocent citizens of those places are not the Government and if they had the money and guns and armies to overthrow them, they would. That is an educated guess. I speak from a place where I have been there and listened to what they say and how they feel.

    I do not ever stick up for murderers and barbaric pieces of human trash. They need to die. The ones who do not have hate in their hearts for their fellow man are no different than you or I. They are geographically challenged. Ruled by scum. That is about as plain jane as I can go. Gutter talk.

  82. slpsa

    People like me then. Well well..I guess in the almost six decades i have lived, traveled and studied, I would just be one of ....those people.....

    So let me get this straight... elitists invented violent human behavior....

    And they use me to propagate those tendencies....

    And what is it your smoking today....

    Of course it is the elitists, how could i have missed that.

    lol....wow. I cant even begin to debate this with you if it begins with people must be forced to commit violent acts.

    I am afraid to even say another word considering what you just said.

  83. slpsa

    I concur with all you said.
    I traveled to many of these places.

    People are the same all over this planet. Your are exactly right. The majority of them want what we all want.

    It is only the few, who are to put it bluntly, violent and crazy and uneducated.

    Although the foregone conclusion you speak about is in my mind, barbaric beyond words. There is no excuse or reason to behave as they do, and no wrong that has been done to them at Western hands justify what these animals are doing. ISIS members do not deserve to live. There is no talking to them. They understand nothing but what they sow. For that, I make no apologies.

    Good men need to exterminate this threat, whatever it takes.

    This is not about Religion, it is about cruel men, doing cruel things, and nothing more.

  84. slpsa

    Indeed. Nice quote, and spot on.

  85. Ramome

    I can absolutely agree with your views here, but the Zealots as you call them, rule the religion with the power they get from the Government that they also control. Your friends are good honorable people but they do not control the zealots. The zealots control them. From that stand point the religion is a danger to the world. Your friends would pick up arms against you if their government forced them to. Just like brother against brother in our civil war. Those people would take up arms just like we would if our government forced us into a war. This is what I'm trying to say to you here. It is not disrespect for you or your friends that makes me say this to you. Reality sets in and over shadows mine and your trust for our friendships and peace. I wish our common love and friendship of others could overcome this but you know as well as I do that it doesn't. Even if your friends were willing to give their lives for you, the majority of the people in those counties would do what they are told and fight against you, just like we would do if our government and power groups forced us to. Islam does not provide any leniency for non-believers in it's strictest form. The people with the power to implement aggression against you, follow that strict form of Islam. I suppose we could die holding hands and refusing to follow them, but that is surely what it would take to relieve ourselves of the situation. Can you see what I'm saying now. I agree with your description of people are the same every where but we are also the same every where when it comes to following our country's demands. Would you agree with that. This is a very fruitful discussion and I am enjoying it immensely.

  86. slpsa

    I always enjoy intelligent conversation, I agree. The question of whether or not my own friends would fight against me personally or my country is one I hope never to have to find out.

    Judging the character of some people is a skill. I tend to consider myself a good judge of character.

    I do not believe that any of those people would support a war with the West, as they truthfully understand the consequences. We did speak more than once about the media, they ask me how Canadians react to the propaganda, mostly the type put out through their own Government, not ours or the Americans tripe. Again, we are talking about educated, web wired people who are not sheep herders or village elders or farmers. They are professionals. So they are not by any means out of touch with the world, and they do understand the end game if the US and allies decide they want to take out the nuke capability's for example. They are like any other citizen of any Country. You are powerless save and except for large scale revolutions with weapons that exceed or equal the firepower you are dealing with. We only have to look at Syria to see that in some cases, everyone turns on the Government and then it gets crazy. Everyone fighting everyone for their own interests. The Government becomes secondary, as we see now. The Middle East and its politics are tough to understand, but as we also know, Iranians are not Muslim, they are Persian, and Islamic. Their history is not that of Muslims. When they say they never attacked anyone, they are speaking the truth. That is history. But whether or not they would attack anyone now is a guess. I have my own thoughts on that one. The Ayatollah has survived many a US President. He is not a fool. I seriously doubt that Iran would venture like fools into a war with the West or Israel. The outcome is certain in any war with those powers. I read about the 12th Imam and all that they spew about that situation, and I still am not convinced they are that foolhardy or suicidal to attack anyone with the way the current political climate is. The old guy with the white beard is definitely savvy politically speaking, and he is still alive because of that. The Iranians actually just decided to take a page out of many other country's books of World Politics 101, Its funny that they finally figured out if you have nukes, then the US will not attack you. It worked for North Korea, Pakistan, India, Russia. They don't fight open war with Nuclear powers.

    As for their claim they do not possess nukes or have any intention of having them, I do not believe that for one second. They have pretty much made it obvious they only wanted to buy time to perfect the technology, and I have no doubt in my mind that when all this is said and done, they made them so that the Americans cannot do to them, what has been done to several countries....

    If you want to protect yourself from bad intentions on a mass scale, arm yourself with those toys. No one will go too far with you once that is accomplished. A little skirmish here, and there. Nothing major though. Since WW2 right......Proxy wars don't count.

    India and Pakistan havent nuked each other yet, and that front gets very little coverage. If there is one place that we should worry about, its that border. Just saying.

    Pakistan is a different place though man. That was the place I spoke of earlier that i worked in. It is scary to be honest. I wanted out asap, and i managed to not spend a lot of time.

    Everyone has guns. They are all Tribal, and they despise foreigners for the most part. That was my bad experience, maybe others may not have had that experience. I am actually dark in color, and more so in the summer time. Native blood in me, dark hair... so i actually fit in, but they knew i was somehow not a local...lol.

    Anyways.....

    There is always an outside chance that something like that could happen in Iran if push came to shove. The people could rise up, and they could not. The track record suggests they would have no support, US Presidents have hung them out to dry when they started to revolt in Iran.

    Anyways, all that is off topic, but semi related.

    I do not believe in my mind, that all people would do as they were told, I certainly would not unless these so called enemy's were in my Country, attacking and killing innocents. War and killing has never solved much, but when its been the only way out, it worked well.

    Also, many a despot met their fate at the hands of their own people.

    Nikolai Causcescu rings a bell.....

    Him and his wife, dragged onto the steps of their Government building, and shot in the head, on national TV.

    Its happened, all it takes is people to reach the F&*k it point, and they have nothing to lose.

  87. slpsa

    When we step back and take a long hard look at it. War is big business. Its always about money and/or power. That has always been the case. Now, it is blind greed. As far as who is financing war goes. There is always a banker financing both sides. Follow that trail, the cause is usually sitting at a desk, with a $2000 suit and a pen. And a disarming smile. While rubbing their hands in anticipation of getting very filthy stinking rich. They usually gravitate towards the one they think will win. The spoils of the victors plunder are worth a lot of dineros. Iraq. Enough said.

    They remind me of the bankers on the show Game of Thrones (to which i seem addicted, very strange indeed, I hate TV, lol) where the bankers have no moral or obligational feelings about anyone or anything but numbers, profit and payback.

  88. bluetortilla

    War profiteers certainly play a role in the causes and continuation of wars, but their activities do not explain all the complexities of war by a long shot. The stage for war is more a consequence of a reactive, collective rage than a controlled enterprise. Who has more worth in this world- a young peasant woman who lost her husband in a beheading or the banker who profits it?
    Deliberate profiteering from war is parasitic and criminal. Those who bankroll war should be should be subject to the same justice as any other war criminal. That said, I don't perceive such opportunists as the sole or root cause of wars or the people we need to focus most on, namely, the victims of war. From what I've gleaned from these forums, there are plenty of people who would disagree and see a higher conspiracy behind all politics. I'm not sure about your point about financiers, but I find a lot of such explanations as naive and wishful thinking. The world is extremely complex.

  89. bluetortilla

    Unfortunately, there are times when it comes down to that I am sure. I am extremely fortunate to have never been in such a situation.
    However people can change, no matter what is in their past. It could be today, years from now, or sadly never. People must do what what they must, but the responsibilities of our governments are certainly not to exterminate.
    Everything you said about ISIS can also be applied to Washington and Wall Street. People who order and carry out bombing of innocent civilians also are cruel men; people who just don't care, who have lost any vestiges of being a true human. We have no authority in this world to look toward to protect us.

  90. Wil Van Natta

    I don't smoke anything. And I am concerned with what I write as well....not afraid...but I stand by the fact that most people must be coerced into violence. "People" are inclined to cooperate...that is our nature...loose talk about "violent human behavior" is an elitist construct which hides the elite's coercive behavior. Also, elitists tend to "end the debate" when this fact is pointed out.
    I apologize for my accusatory words, but I must challenge the "violent behavior of humans" sophistry whenever I see it. Oh yeah....and the violence is usually depicted as Black against White....a neat story to tell.

  91. bluetortilla

    I would agree that in large part people are coerced into violence through propaganda, fear, trauma, and dehumanization. There are countless studies and historical documents to support this fact.
    If people feel threatened enough, they will kill. And propaganda can be used to make people feel threatened. Classical examples are Germans under NAZI rule and Americans under the Cold War.
    Throughout the centuries past, war was grisly and horrifying in detail. If you didn't witness it directly, you had to imagine it through stories over a campfire. In these days of automation, people sitting in their homes watching air strikes on CNN experience a numbing separation between the weapons of war and the aftermath in the form of corpses after attacks. The latter are not shown.
    ISIS is bringing back that middle-age hand to hand slaughter to show (in their rationale) fearlessness before a God that rewards violence. The West is using such horrific scenes to shock, disgust, and above all as propaganda to justify a continued war in the Middle East. While ISIS is arguably the Frankenstein's monster to emerge from the Iraqi Invasion.
    But all of it is insanity. When people fear enough, daily, when they lose loved ones to violent weapons- they eventually become to know evil. When they are secure, they are generally magnanimous, which is a natural state.
    I am sure that this chaos does not lie solely with old cronies drawing up war plans in big New York skyscrapers, stirring up hornets' nests on interactive maps, playing wars like Risk and sitting back to reap the profits. The biggest problem we the people have is in an irresponsible, lying and corrupt government that does not have a tight reign over the military (one that is spiraling out of control, amoral and mechanistic in killing without little regard for human life), and leaders willing to sell out what they know to be moral so that may stay in power. The problem is a legislature and an executive branch that yields more and more power to an unaccountable oligarchy because its members will cling to any power they can get. They will compromise people rather than protect if they fear losing their seats.
    A solider who pulls a trigger and kills has made a choice he will have to live with. He may be forgiven and his pressures and fears understood by the rest of us, certainly I have such compassion, but that does not negate the fact that he had a choice to kill or not to kill.
    So is there any one level that makes violence real and possible? I think not- it only works with the cooperation of all involved, including you and me.

  92. Black Scholar

    More of the same, In-The-Box propaganda. Just another US v THEM methodology for demonizing them so America can take their STUFF. ISIS does NOT exist. duh

  93. slpsa

    Well, if you go back and read some war history, you will find that there are bankers financing both sides. Prescott Bush....enough said my friend. :)

  94. slpsa

    I see your point about the suits. Read my feelings about suits in earlier posts...lol.

    I am a pacifist by nature Mr Blue. I do not like to see anyone or anything die. Ever.

    I admit though, when confronted by the images of people being beheaded, burned alive, along with watching ISIS documentary's from Syria and other video of them operating in Raqqa and other towns and villages across the Middle East. I do not hesitate to share my feelings about their way of doing business.

    If there is such a thing as evil. These people are it.

    When good honest men, protectors of the innocent, sit idly by and waffle at the task of undoing the situation by any means necessary, it reminds me of earlier history lessons. When politicians have waffled, some pretty serious repercussions have ensued. That can be applied to many wars.

    My own opinions of those who behave like the medieval powers of ye olde empires, is that they need to be dealt with. They parade these atrocities across the internet and television. Like animals, they kill innocent people. Slaughter them, cold. They are about on the level of Adolf Hitler or Pol Pot and any number of savage, brutal dictators or empires.

    It is not simple. It is very complex at this point, Who is fighting who, and all the hundreds of splinter groups that have pledged allegiance with the ISIS ideology.

    I am not the expert about any of this, but my gut feeling is, if they are left to spread, this group will be a cancer, and a danger to the whole world.

    These animals make no secret about their intentions. They threaten the President, they threaten other heads of State from, Israel, Canada, Australia, Britain, France, Belgium, the list does not end. They threaten them openly, brazenly. As they execute their kidnapped citizens.

    The King of Jordan is doing what is necessary more than most in the last few weeks. I applaud that man for understanding the situation. He is a fighting man and he knows what the stakes are.

    I will also admit, my world view has changed a lot in the last year or two. When you have a pile of grand kids, with whom you love with all you got, and your children too, you start to question as a man, if this is the type of world you want them to grow up in. If you want them to grow up afraid of the men who will come and cut your head off if you don't praise their sky fairy....

    Going from pacifist to realist is easy it seems.....when you are looking at the people who are your young family members and imagine how the parents and family's of the people who were brutally killed on a camera for the world to see must feel. How would I feel or react. Id lose my mind. I would defend my family by any means necessary as any person would. These people would kill them all, with no afterthought if you do not pray to Allah.

    I cannot really sit here and say, I don't want to see all the military's of all the countries they threaten to go into four or five other countries and do what must be done. If they are allowed to go about unhindered, the end game is one we all should worry about.

    I refuse to pretend that they will not keep on keeping on with the brutality and killing. In my own humble opinion, any man or woman that does not reject these animals are doing so at their own risk. Anyone who thinks that diplomacy will work is naive. Watching that poor Jordanian pilot burn did it for me.

    I have seen enough. Send them all to Allah. For the first time in my life, I wish bad things upon other humans. and once again, I make no apologies.

    Once upon a time, my elders, family and older friends were faced with people like this. They chose to confront it. Good choice in hindsight. I believe this is another scourge that must be taken out. We should all think deeply about what we have seen from ISIS. I do not want these animals doing this to my family and friends. Or innocents in any country.

    There is right and there is wrong.

    There is no wiggle room here. That is obvious.

    The problem is this. Who is the enemy. What are they wearing. Where are they all....

    That is the crux of the real tactical problem of taking them all out. You do not know who they are. They hide.

    Cowards.

    No that is not who I want to run this world. How do you deal with a zealot.......there is no easy answer. No white knight. Tough call as it always is in the Middle East.

  95. bluetortilla

    You were shown a video in which a man was burned alive, and yet it was you that chose to not avert your head but indulge yourself in watching it. No one makes me watch such scenes. My imagination is strong enough.
    I hate the break the news to you, but it's not virtue you're fighting for, it's revenge. And you've been gullible enough to be led by a mass media that wants war, while behind you, where you dare not look, an empire continues exterminating civilians without a whole lot of discrimination or remorse. 'Causalities of war' I believe they are called (let's add to that 'casualties of commerce' as well). You are ignoring the physics of action and reaction, and you see history as a legacy rather than a continuum. History is what we are doing every day; we are making history now. Your reaction is typical, banal, and without honor; you've let wild passions set off by some goof ball news networks and documentaries trample over your judgement, balance of mind, and sense of justice.
    Pacifists are not cowards nor are they unrealistic. They are intolerant of violence while accepting that it exists. It takes just as much courage to fight against a war as it is to fight for one. We who are committed are willing to lay down our own lives toward the cause for a better world.
    You're worried about your grandchildren? Who that is blessed to have them is not? I think you should study world political actors more, don't believe one side in everything you see on video- project and extend your imagination toward all our problems. In the future people are more likely to be shot over a can of gasoline than their religious beliefs.

  96. bluetortilla

    I distrust the notion of tiny groups of people controlling whole continents of people. The point I'm trying to make is that just because there are war profiteers hedging both ends doesn't necessarily mean that they have the power to start wars (though sometimes they might), or that they are able to engineer wars on their own. There are just way too many variables and interests involved to clearly point to the run-up for wars.
    War is not about maintaining control but rather the result of an escalation of events that finally spin out of control.

  97. deliaruhe

    Keep in mind that Washington is suffering from Enemy Deprivation Syndrome, and so until China can be provoked into being Evil Empire II in Cold War II, Washington must make do with Arabs who grow more and more angry over US interference in the Middle East and Muslim countries in Africa. The more Washington demonizes ISIS, the more willing it is to live up to that view. It's more than blowback; it's also payback.

  98. PacMan

    This isnt entirely true. Alot of people in Iraq welcome Western involvement in the hope that they will one day be able to live a normal life. Iraq once welcomed all kinds of religion but Saddam was absolutely insane and was destabilising the middle east (Iraq/Iran conflict). Sunni and Shia used their religious beliefs post suddam to capitalise on U.S mistakes made during the occupation. Now its a country full of illiteracy but know all about islam. Shia movement is almost entirely directed by Iran and so they have been using Iraq as a staging ground to pour hate on U.S' (poor) efforts whilst at the same time diverting attention away from them (most recently being Iran backed militia to successfully overthrow the yemen govt). Now Iran are raising thir flag in Iraq which has meant US will not help Iraq military on the battlefield and Sunni will fight a seperate fight. This has caused further divides in Iraq. Hence why alot of people in Iraq welcome western nations to help. And I mean, are Washington Demonizing Daesh, or are Daesh just pure evil? They kill muslims aswell as "infidels". Sharia law doesn not permit what they are doing. They have no motives and what scarier is its obvious that al baghdadi is not the leader. That is very obvious.

  99. PacMan

    Dude what are U.S taking from Iraq? They bleed Iraq dry during the Bush days. Iraq need help. Iran are only helping because the Iraqi leadership is shia. The PEOPLE of Iraq are worried by the influence of Daesh, Iran and the Sunni/Shia militias. U.S dont want to be there. But if you want to wait until Daesh have taken the whole of the middle east and have a global terrorism network more than 10 times the power as it has now, then thats just not cool.

  100. slpsa

    I wont even respond with any type of logic to your post. Its blathering and a bunch of nonsense. ISIS is no fake media game and you can think what you like about me. I have honor, more than you seem to. I dont waste time talking to imbeciles, look at older posts to see exactly that. I am no fool, nor an honor less man. Get your head out of your nether regions or quit taking drugs, because all that nonsense you just spewed amounts to this. 0. Enjoy your haze...

  101. Pie

    Just like that english bloke Lawrence managed to unite the Arabs to fight organized against the turks.It is a fact that western influence makes it possible for ISIS to exist at all. It's sad when you think about is. without the influence of especially the US, UK and France, ISIS will not be able to show muscle. Just like the German's needed the resources from the US to get their planes of the ground in ww2. ISIS needs the west to get their organization running.
    The funny thing is that religion has nothing much to do with it all really. Its all about money, oil, weapon deals and other shady contract business. But that will be common knowledge in about 70-100 years. Right now we all sit watching the news everyday and get suckered in, again.
    What is happening in the middle east is about similar what the monroe doctrine did to south-american countries.
    Western capitalism never tolerated any form of independance to any part of the world if it is not economical benificial. its a centuries old trick being played over and over again. destabilizing other countries so your own can have the money or the stuff. And not for the reason so that we have and they dont, but out of fear of not having it all (drug addicts and alcoholics think the same way but that's an other story)

  102. Pie

    Any idea how many people got rich and still getting richer from that bleeding dry? Halliburton, exxon/mobile, shell etc etc. Ofcourse we want to be there, actually it is THE place to be!

  103. Russ Tul

    Islamic "scholars"? This is a contradiction in terms. How can these primitives be called anything but ignorant barbarians, whose stage of intellectual development is comparable to that of cavemen.

  104. Russ Tul

    deliaruhe, yes, a brilliant summary. Sadly, the USA's economy is based largely on arms production and arms export. And the only way to stoke arms production and demand for hightech arms on the world market is by maintaining existing tensions and wars in the world and creating new ones. And this is what the USA has been doing all along. The USA's economy would go bellyup very fast in an environment of global peace. This is so obvious.
    The USA is using the same principle in its "war on drugs" with respect to its prison industrial complex. By criminalising drugs, it keeps its prison industry booming, with more prisoners per capita than even in the world's most tyrannical regimes.

  105. Russ Tul

    There is a generic, and almost genetic conspiracy among the 1%ers. They are by their very nature sociopaths and psychopaths. And as such, they don't need to get together in secret in order to scheme and plot conspiracies. They do it naturally and instinctively -- and always in line with the interests of their fellow-1%ers. (I use the term 1%-ers for the sake of convenience, because, thank god, the actual percentage of these deranged criminals is much lower, being much closer to 0.01% of the human race).

  106. Russ Tul

    Yes, events such as the Maidan overthrow of an elected head of state in Ukraine. There is plenty of evidence that it was instigated by the ruling elites (mainly of the USA), whose sole aim is to keep the world on the brink of war (with Russia, in this case) in the interests of the military-industrial-prison complex.

  107. Russ Tul

    Spot on! - with the help of the UK and Pritish Petrlelum.

  108. Russ Tul

    anon, you are right. The troubles in Iran started way back in 1953, when Mossadegh, the medmocracitally elected President, was overthrown by the USA in collusion with the UK because Mossadegh had nationalised Iran's petroleum industry.

  109. Russ Tul

    There are no secular religions, only theological ones. Perhaps you mean "ideology" when you say "secular religion", in that case, why not use the correct term?

  110. Russ Tul

    But sadistically- or homecidally-inclined religious fanatics love to murder ppl if their particular god sanctions such acts, and especially if their "holy books" order them to murder "infidels" and other such undesirables. Christians used to do it too up till only a few centuries ago.

  111. Russ Tul

    Absolutely! Good news is that the percentage of "bad apples" is vanishingly small. Even Saudi Arabia, a culturally backward and Suni-governed monarchy, had trouble finding an official executioner. Last time I heard, they were still advertising for one.

  112. Russ Tul

    Any religion that allows or encourages killing, for whatever reason, is helpful but it's neither necessary, nor sufficient to turn ppl into homicidal maniacs. Because, sadly, there are those among us who would murder even without religious sanction. But I suppose they find it reassuring to have its moral approval when they indulge their depraved leanings. Thankfully, their percentage is extremely small (probably less than 0.01%). Wouldn't this be a great world without them?

  113. Russ Tul

    It goes without saying that ideologies that teach hate should be rejected by reasonable ppl out of hand. But we're going round in circles. I believe we all agree that even among followers of modern-day Islam, which according to some interpretations is a violent religion, the proportion of those who resort to violence is extremely small, and chances are that this small percentage of sadistically-inclined perverts would be likely to act out their homecidal tendencies even without religious encouragement.

  114. Russ Tul

    Generalisation could be seen as the first step to truth, but it takes a lot more steps to get there.

  115. Russ Tul

    Yes, Israel is continually acting in violation of UN resolutions, gnawing away at Palestinian land and running the world's biggest open-air prison. The injustices being committed by the Israelis and supported by the USA are creating much frustration and hate, not only among the Palestinians (most of whom are not religion-oriented, by the way), but among fair-minded people worldwide. I feel anything but pride in humanity when I see what Israel is doing to our fellow-humans in the West Bank. I am sure that ISIS gets much of its following as a result of this feeling of indignation.

  116. walterbyrd

    But look at nations like Iran and Saudi. Look at the insane violence against their own people - and it's all because of their religion.

    The violence is not done by some tiny handful of crazies, or criminals. The violence in institutionalized. Heads of state, religious leaders, and the general population support this because it is Sharia law.

    In the Muslim world, it is not unusual for fatwa to issued by heads of state, and by religious leaders. Where else do you see this sort of behavior?

    In Hamas, their calls for the extermination of all Jews. This is just like the Nazis.

    Muslims believe that the prophet Mohammad was the perfect example for Muslim men to follow. So no wonder we have ISIS. What ISIS is doing is exactly the soft of thing the prophet Mohammad did, and what Mohammad demanded of his followers.

  117. slpsa

    Money, makes it all happen. Lots of money to be made from murder of innocents. Or protection of such. Depends what team your on. Doesnt it?

  118. slpsa

    I respectfully will disagree with the notion that very small groups of people don't influence in very strong terms, attacking sovereign countries or instigating dissent with opposition groups. In order to facilitate making large amounts of money and gaining influence and footholds in any number of countries. Iraq 1 and Iraq 2 and Afghanistan were exactly that. The Project for a New American Century paper.... Written by the very people who facilitated those outward wars of news cameras and propaganda and lies, that think tank document lays it all out anyone to read. An interesting read. They do not hide the fact they wanted a war to go in there and take what they needed. I challenge anyone to read that document, the part about the Middle East and come and debate what you read. Ive always wanted someone to read that and seriously tell me what Bush and the cronies were saying in that section. Ive seen that document mentioned, but have never had an intelligent conversation or debate about its significance. Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Libby, Rice and a dozen other hawks all wrote that paper in a think tank in 1999. Some names have been redacted and removed since then, but I can assure you that for two years from 2001 to 2003 those names were there. I saw them myself, and I know a lot of other people have also seen it all those years ago.

  119. Russ Tul

    Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all religious terrorists are Muslims. Isn't that strange?

  120. bluetortilla

    Not in N. Ireland recently. Not during the Crusades. 'Not all' Muslims are terrorists? What are you, blind? Proportionately, Terrorist Muslims are EXTREMELY RARE.
    Are you anti-Islamic? Brainwashed by the crap the war mongering mass media feeds you?

  121. bluetortilla

    Where did all your Western math come from you loaf of bread?

  122. Russ Tul

    You are right. Permit me to qualify my assertion, which should read : "By far not all Muslims are terrorists, but all religious terrorists are Muslims these days." Can we agree on that?

  123. Eddy

    Lolz " Loaf of bread " ..thats amusing

  124. whorton

    The countries have been destabilized for some time.

    So you think this is all about "Western capitalism" not tolerating any firm of independance?

    Your post seems to ramble with no data to support a conclusion.

  125. Pie

    Please let me shock you. type Buddhist terrorism in your search bar.
    Eyes open yet? I only agree with you if you stated ...but all religious terrorist IN THE WESTERN MEDIA are muslims these days. No need to apologize, as a person with a buddhist background I never met anyone in Europe that knew this.

  126. Pie

    There is actually quite an amount of evidence the Western countries deliberatly destabilizing regions in this world for their own benefits. And on this website are a lot of doc's that are about this topic. I didn't suck it out of my thumb. Yes maybe i didnt put no data, but i'm certainly not goign to type over whole documentaries here if you could just click them and watch :)

  127. Russ Tul

    Yes, the history of Christianity is very violent, and yes, some Irish Protestants and Catholics still engage in an occasional skirmish for lack of better things to do, and yes, an odd "witch" was burned here and there (the last witchburning happened in about 1800 in one of the Scandinavian countries if my memory serves me right). But on the whole, since Martin Luther and the Reformation, violence is no longer a hallmark of the Christian religion. Unfortunately, this cannot be said about Islam, which was originally an enlightened religion under which science once flourished. But somehow it lost its bearings and morphed into a primitive, homicidal ideology, where stonings of pregnant women for "allowing" themselves to be raped, beheadings of aid workers and similar forms of "entertainment" is a common spectacle in some Islamic countries.
    It is high time for an Islamic Reformation.

  128. ZUHAIB

    All religions came to keep humanity away from evils but unfortunately we most like vicious style of life than simplicity.

  129. Capt Chaos

    Did you all see how Vlatko tried to distract us all from the language of the Koran? Yep he and those like him often try to accuse Christians of being no different but I bet Vlatko can not quote Jesus saying "Kill those who do not believe in me, fight those who do not believe in me or believe in my beliefs, and do so until those who do not accept me as the GOD submit and pay a Jizzya". No sorry Vlat your attempt to say other religions are just as intolerant and evil as Islam failed.
    Fabian was right when he noted that the Koran is simply being followed by ISIS and there are roughly 109 such intolerant verses that establish Islams order to its followers for dealing with non muslims and that is to fight them until they convert, submit and pay a jizzya or die. Islam even allows for slavery, after reading the Koran I think we can call Islam religious apartheid.

  130. Bdoon

    The Old Testament is rife with violent statement but the New Testament only if you hurt children. I have a hard time viewing the Prophet as a spiritual being like Jesus, the Buddha, etc. The way he lived, what he espoused and what so many of his believers espouse just doesn't strike me as spiritual. I find only Buddhism to be concurrent with what we know about the Universe now but then again, what we know is the physical, not the spiritual, unfortunately. We know How but not Why. Much violence was perpetrated in the name of Christianity such as enslavement of black Africa, persecution of Protestants including before they knew they were Protestants (cause the Pope had them all killed), etc. The New Testament is a guide book to spiritual life as are the teachings of Buddha. People interested in power and controlling others can use anything to justify their madness ... look at American History (no need to look at Mideast). Perhaps if Americans would stop worshiping the god Greed for a little while , they might get a better perspective on what to do and realize that technology and materialism does not mean progress. Sure technology cured polio but we have 100 times as many cancer deaths now. OUR MATERIALISM IS KILLING US. Go figure.

  131. Shiyaz

    I hate extremists. some people claims to be islamic terrorists. even if they did kill people in the name of god if it is wrong it wont be justified because it was a wrong deed. they wont be muslims. because their actons are clearly wrong. we dont have to kill or murder anyone because of the religion. and we dont need to harm innocent people who have done nothing to us, god made us all to love each other. so why cant we stop fighting and live together. i have no grudge with a person with another religion, i will respect people,no need to be extreme everyone has their own will to follow which ever religion they wont to be. no need to kill anyone

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