The Once and Future Caliphate

Postby strange_person » Sat Jul 11, 2009 2:58 pm

Johnny Zell wrote:I am saying that it doesn't matter what the people or governments of the West do. Establish a military base? Terrorism. Write a book? Terrorism. Draw a comic? Terrorism. The West shouldn't have to excuse itself. If some Muslims are using American military activities in Arabia as an excuse for killing people, it's completely irrelevant. The problem is Islam. The problem is the dream of the Caliphate that still has a place in the majority of Muslim minds around the world. There hasn't been a Caliphate for 86 years but they want it back and they are actively working to get it back. That's the problem here, not Israel, not the US, not even Danish cartoons. There is a group of people who have declared war on Western civilizations who are supported by the majority of adherents of the second largest religion in the world and they seek to destroy freedom and have a dark overlord rule over us all. I wish things were more complicated than that, but they aren't. The bad guys are pretty obvious here. This is pure fucking Lord of the Rings-stuff, for crying out loud!
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Re: The Once and Future Caliphate

Postby RaharuAharu » Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:42 pm

strange_person wrote:
Johnny Zell wrote:I am saying that it doesn't matter what the people or governments of the West do. Establish a military base? Terrorism. Write a book? Terrorism. Draw a comic? Terrorism. The West shouldn't have to excuse itself. If some Muslims are using American military activities in Arabia as an excuse for killing people, it's completely irrelevant. The problem is Islam. The problem is the dream of the Caliphate that still has a place in the majority of Muslim minds around the world. There hasn't been a Caliphate for 86 years but they want it back and they are actively working to get it back. That's the problem here, not Israel, not the US, not even Danish cartoons. There is a group of people who have declared war on Western civilizations who are supported by the majority of adherents of the second largest religion in the world and they seek to destroy freedom and have a dark overlord rule over us all. I wish things were more complicated than that, but they aren't. The bad guys are pretty obvious here. This is pure fucking Lord of the Rings-stuff, for crying out loud!


This is pretty much true, but it can also easily apply to any extreme religions. Sects of Christianity also want to do similar things.

The True enemy is extreme religion on earth. Religion is not bad as long as you do not force it on others, people should be allowed to go off and live their own way. Take the Amish for example. Largely they hurt no one but themselves. There will always be a portion of a population that likes to be counterproductive.

Overall I think that humans can not reasonably handle their religions at the momen, Extreme Islam, Extreme Christianity, Scientology. All seek to subjugate people. To put absolute power over all, in the hands of a few, who claim to know the mind of their god.
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Re: The Once and Future Caliphate

Postby strange_person » Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:31 pm

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Johnny Zell wrote:I don't agree. It is very important to note that Islam is the worst religion in the world right now. Most brag-atheists (atheists who brag about being atheists) seem very fond of claiming that all religions are equally sucky and they seem very afraid of mentioning an imam without mentioning a priest and a rabbi in the same breath. But some religions are worse than other religions. The enemy here is not religion in general, it's Islam. If we don't acknowledge the uniqueness of Islam we can't properly deal with it.

This is not about God, or angels, or life after death, or any form of theology. This is about a fascist ideology seeking to recreate a dead dictatorship. We need to stop seeing this as a spiritual movement and learn to see it as a political movement.
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Re: The Once and Future Caliphate

Postby Tychomonger » Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:50 pm

Why exactly are you trying to bring this argument here without contributing? It's impossible to debate the points if the person making them isn't here.
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Re: The Once and Future Caliphate

Postby strange_person » Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:37 am

True.

I'll call him.
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Re: The Once and Future Caliphate

Postby Monocheres » Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:34 pm

I agree with this Johnny Zell (whoever he is) and would add that it's more than just a clash of religion against secularism. It's even more than just a clash of ideologies. In fact, it's a clash of cultures. The Islamic Middle East, at one time, was the most sophisticated, most educated, most creative, most innovative, even the most scientifically advanced, culture on the planet. We get words like algebra, algorithm, azimuth, hazard, mattress, nadir, sugar, zenith, zero, from that culture. But the Mulsim heyday passed more than 7 centuries ago. What has Islamic culture contributed to the world since then?. Zilch. Meanwhile, the West has brought innovations such as the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the Scientific Method, the Information Age, and the Space Age. And in the process the West has achieved phenomenal success, wealth beyond the wildest dreams of any preceding culture. Oh, the Middle East has wealth in the form of oil money but most of that goes into the pockets of the Royal House of Saud. The average Muslim lives a life-style barely above that of the Third World. They look at our wealth, our success, our intellectual achievements -- and they can't stand it. They think they belong on top of the heap, because they have fond memories of the glories of Khwarezm. That's why they hate the West.
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Re: The Once and Future Caliphate

Postby Skatche » Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:22 pm

Monocheres wrote:They hate our freedom, etc.


Leaving aside the nonsense about "contributions", do you have any notion whatsoever of the history of Western meddling in the middle east? They have damn good reason to hate us. The only real crime they can be accused of is attacking civilians instead of our military.
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Re: The Once and Future Caliphate

Postby draque » Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:04 am

I'm very much on board with the ideas that radical Islam is a massive problem and that within the culture/religion of Islam, radicalism is much more common than its apologists would have you believe. That's simple enough, but just because the problem is simple doesn't mean that the solution is. If the problem is a religion or philosophy, that is to say: a style of thinking, there is no easy fix. I think we can agree here that any kind of thought policing such as outlawing the beliefs or banning their worship would be more distasteful than the damage that's being done now. So how should the problem be solved? Even waiting and acting defensively is difficult, because we only end up making martyrs of the violent members that are stomped out or imprisoned.

I'm not suggesting a solution here because I honestly can't think of one that I don't either have objections to or simply would not work. I'm just saying that this is a Gordian knot, and I would very much like to see this one unraveled without a sword. : \
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Re: The Once and Future Caliphate

Postby Monocheres » Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:45 am

Skatche wrote:
Monocheres wrote:They hate our freedom, etc.


Leaving aside the nonsense about "contributions", do you have any notion whatsoever of the history of Western meddling in the middle east? They have damn good reason to hate us. The only real crime they can be accused of is attacking civilians instead of our military.


You misquoted me. I said they hate our success. I do not deny that they might have cause to dislike us because of the history involved -- but that alone cannot explain the sheer hatred. Many people around the world could possibly make the same argument about Western meddling, yet we do not see this sort of obsessive radical violence emanating from those quarters. (My own ethic group, the Greeks, have ample cause to despise the Turks for subjecting them to 400 years of near enslavement, yet you do not see Greeks today staging suicide bombing attacks on Turkey. [EDIT: Eh, strike that. Inapt comparison. It's been a while since those days.]) I assert that the hatred coming out of the Islamic world toward the West is based on the fact that our success is a product of our culture. Whatever judgment you make about Western values and mores it is undeniable that Western culture and science has increased the overall average standard of living of the entire human race (even for the peoples the West has supposedly exploited). The Islamic world just can't stand it that their culture doesn't seem to lend itself to that kind of success. Their religion happens to be inextricably welded into their culture as a whole, but that is (almost) beside the point.
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Re: The Once and Future Caliphate

Postby Ashes » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:49 am

Monocheres wrote:The overriding sentiment is th

... is what?
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Re: The Once and Future Caliphate

Postby Monocheres » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:02 am

Ashes wrote:
Monocheres wrote:The overriding sentiment is th

... is what?


Sorry, stray text.
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Re: The Once and Future Caliphate

Postby Idiot Glee » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:32 am

The Muslim world doesn't hate us. Hell America is still loved and admired the world over, people are just sick of us being the global heavy weight.

We're envied too, but they're not so green they want to kill us all. The great culture clash is entirely internal to each country in the middle east.

Take Iran, the 79 revolution was against the Shah, the US was allied to him yes, but he was their direct problem. The revolution wasn't Islamic alone, there were communists, liberals, you name it. The post overthrow infighting brought the Islamic Republic into existence, but there's still communists, liberals and so on in Iran, along with royalists, plotting for when they'll be in power one day.

Al Qaeda is just one of those groups in a regional political clusterfuck. Their way of building a base is to attack the US to look more powerful. None of their attacks has been all that impressive compared to an actual viable movement to take over a country. The only countries they've operated in have been ones looking for a spy network to extend their reach (Sudan), or ungoverned backwaters (Somalia, Afghanistan post soviet invasion, and now the mountains of Pakistan). To them terrorism is just an ad campaign.

Yes they (Al Qaeda) are murderous scum, but we're fighting them the wrong way. They gain so much from a "clash of civilizations" - not least of which they get to act like they represent a civilization. They're like the mafia, not an army. They're common thugs and criminals, not soldiers.

We'd be winning against them if we were only going after the people who want to kill us, not diving into a massive regional civil war. Al Qaeda doesn't represent the Muslim world any more than the communist parties represented the people of eastern Europe, or the Republicans or Democrats represent the people of the "Western Capitalist World".

I repeat: We're not fighting a civilization, we're fighting common criminals.
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The Once and Future Gross Generalization

Postby Pharmakeus Ubik » Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:35 pm

Interesting that you omit the crucial detail that Shi'a Islam does not subscribe to this notion. Also, from the Sunni Islamic view, the Caliph is to rule over all of Islam, not over all. Conversions by the sword are much less frequent these days.
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