• No, Islamic Radicalism Isn’t Caused By Muslims’ “Victimhood”

     

    One of the most popular tactics among Islamic apologists who try to portray Islam as just one religion like any other and explain away crimes motivated by Islamic ideology is painting Muslims as victims, responding to hostile conditions like a cornered animal (let’s call it Cornered Animal Syndrome) would. As such, Islamic crimes are attributed to a whole host of factors (poverty, foreign occupation, past colonialism, lack of education, political authoritarianism, etc). What all these lines of apologetics have in common is that they all regard Islam as coincidental to the culprits actions, even if the culprits have all directly (or sometimes indirectly, such claiming to seek justice for victims they have absolutely no ties other than a shared faith) named Islam as their motive. I have written about such “dismissers” (as I like to call them) often in the past, for example, here:

    Robert Pape, author of Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, found that almost without exception, suicide bombers are members of communities that feel humiliated by an occupying force. In fact, of all suicide bombing campaigns, 95 percent were carried out with the objective of driving out an occupying power. This was true in Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Chechnya, Kashmir, as well as Israel and the Palestinian territories.

    Another very ugly example of this attitude was displayed by the despicable Glenn Greenwald, who cannot even call a Muslim assailant a terrorist without using quotation marks.

    (Never mind that the conditions I’m calling Cornered Animal Syndrome do not affect Muslims exclusively by any stretch of imagination.)

    But reality tells us a very different story.

    I have often written about increasing Islamic radicalization, specifically in non-Arabic speaking Muslim majority nations (such as Pakistan, Malaysia and Turkey) to which, for completeness sake, I should add Indonesia, where Islamic “love” is coming out in the form of public lashings and caning for such horrendous “crimes” as homosexuality, gambling, and extramarital sex. According to dismissers such as Greenwald, Reza Aslan, CJ Werleman, Bobby Ghosh, Foreign Policy Research Institute and others, there isn’t a single one of these countries where the motivator for radicalism is a violent interpretation of Islam, but rather one or another form of the Cornered Animal Syndrome. Except that an average American considers him/herself a lot more “cornered” that a national of any of the named countries.

    According to a recent survey by Pew Global, the subjective sense of well being is growing the fastest among “emerging economies”, with the some of the highest rates of rising optimism since 2007 among the nations I just named. Indonesia actually tops the list at 33%. A failed and disintegrating Pakistan has seen a staggering growth of 22%. Malaysia’s growth in optimism has been 20%, and Turkey’s 13%. All the while, all of these “moderate” countries have grown more conservative, and implemented one stripe or another of Islamism in government. By contrast, optimism in the US has stayed pretty unchanged.

    So the next time someone tries to tell you Islam is coincidental to Islamic violence, the answer should be clear: “You might say that, but Muslims themselves don’t think so”.

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    Also on Debunking Christianity.

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    Article by: No Such Thing As Blasphemy

    I was raised in the Islamic world. By accident of history, the plague that is entanglement of religion and government affects most Muslim majority nations a lot worse the many Christian majority (or post-Christian majority) nations. Hence, I am quite familiar with this plague. I started doubting the faith I was raised in during my teen years. After becoming familiar with the works of enlightenment philosophers, I identified myself as a deist. But it was not until a long time later, after I learned about evolutionary science, that I came to identify myself as an atheist. And only then, I came to know the religious right in the US. No need to say, that made me much more passionate about what I believe in and what I stand for. Read more...
    • Tommy Hass

      Anti western animus is mostly caused by support to Israel though. And this is something I’ve heard Imams say.

      • NoCrossNoCrescent

        It doesn’t mean though, that any amount of concessions from Israel will be enough for the hardcore ones (eg regime of Iran) to stop using this for incitement of violence, short of its complete “wiping off of the map”_(to use their own words).

        • Hayden

          As far as I can tell, Iran only does the “wipe Israel off the map” dance after Israel starts ranting about EEEVIL Iran coming to destroy them all unless they get a jackboot grinding their face into the dust.

          Really, once you start spouting shit like that, don’t be surprised when your opposition returns the favor.

          • NoCrossNoCrescent

            Ayatollah Khomeini came to power with the explicit slogan of destroying Israel and founded Israel’s mortal enemy, Hezbollah.

    • Are there any Muslim-majority nations which are becoming more moderate and secular rather than more religiously radicalized?

      • NoCrossNoCrescent

        Tunisia. I hope.