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Posted by on Jun 14, 2014 in Terrorism, War | 4 comments

“Lining its streets were the decapitated heads of policeman and soldiers”

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This isn’t Islam.

“They’re knocking at a policeman’s door. It’s the middle of the night, but the cop soon answers. Then they have him. He’s blindfolded and cuffed. They take him to the bedroom. And, reports say, they decapitate him with a knife.” ...WaPo

It’s ISIS, the “Islamic State of Syria and Iraq” and it is a parody of Islam in much the same way as, though to an even greater extent than, our local fundamentalists’ parody of Christianity. Fundamentalists are about fear and loathing, not about respect for any god.

No one wants to go up against fundamentalist gang called ISIS — least of all the Iraqi army, many of which fled from them, shedding US-provided military uniforms as they ran.

As the Washington Post report reminds us, there’s plenty of blood in the Bible as there is in the Koran. We do it and they do it in the name of religion but it’s religion turned against itself and against its people, religion used as a political weapon, religion as threat. The Post quotes from a 2005 piece by historian Timothy Furnish. Much of what we’re seeing has to do with the need for ever bloodier and more appalling forms of violent to impress the audience. That audience is you and me … “the west.”

The February 2002 decapitation of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, true to its intention, horrified the Western audience. Chechen rebels, egged on by Islamist benefactors, had adopted the practice four years earlier, but the absence of widely broadcast videos limited the psychological impact of hostage decapitation. The Pearl murder and video catalyzed the resurgence of this historical Islamic practice. …

…The purpose of terrorism is to strike fear into the hearts of opponents in order to win political concession. As the shock value wears off and the Western world becomes immunized to any particular tactic, terrorists develop new ones in order to maximize shock and the press reaction upon which they thrive. …Furnish,MiddleEast Quarterly/WaPo

We’re observers in all of this — we are the designated audience. Are the designated audience, then, complicit? Or are we distant “victims,” watching the towers fall over and over again on our TV screens?

Cross-posted from Prairie Weather

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    I’ve come to feel that there is a relationship between the number of fundamentalist believers in a religion and the number of those willing to do violence in that religion’s name. When government collapses or is seriously weakened they get their chance to act on the bigotry they have towards those who aren’t true believers because those who don’t share their dogma aren’t really human.

  • Jim, this is nothing new, it’s been going on for thousands of years. A majority of the residents of the British Isles remained pagans/Wiccans but pretended to be Christians because they knew they would be put to death if they didn’t. And then there is Spain. The Ottoman empire turned it into an Islamic state. When they were outed we had the Spanish Inquisition where people were tortured and put to death in horrendous ways.


    I wouldn’t dream of claiming it’s new. My reference was to how it seems to work currently, though.

  • My point was that organized religion has been a plague on humanity. It’s primary purpose has always been to consolidate political power – very little spiritual about it.

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