Monday, November 16, 2015

Are You An Easy-To-Scare-&-Manipulate ISIS-Bedwetter?

UPDATE IV:  Don't be an ISIS support, don't "feed the terror-panic".

UPDATE III:  "If we want to defeat ISIS, we are going to have to accept some outcomes we don’t like."

Read Slate, Iraq’s Least Worst Options.

UPDATE II:  "When Americans engage in high-profile, attention-seeking acts of blasphemy, they are not joining U.S. military and intelligence forces at the front line; they are complicating and undermining their work. Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State thrive on the narrative of the West vs. Islam. The United States and our Muslim allies benefit from the narrative of civilization vs. barbarism. . . The isolation rather than elevation of radical Islamism is essential to the successful conduct of the war against terrorism.

Modern technology has made the job of ideological containment much harder by creating a forum for endless provocation and offense taking, not to mention radicalization and recruitment. The alternative, however, is not to demand that religious people become less religious — a hopeless task when much of the world will become less secular in the 21st century.

What is needed is 'theological work,' according to the former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, Jonathan Sacks. Speaking at a recent conference of the Faith Angle Forum, Sacks argued that religion remains 'the most powerful creator of groups, stronger than ideology, race, nationalism.' When monotheism is tied to dualism — the belief that history is a cosmic conflict between the children of light and the children of darkness — it becomes 'the most dangerous doctrine ever invented,' allowing people to 'commit evil with a clean conscience.'

Both Judaism and Christianity have made progress over the centuries in weeding out dualism — reinterpreting their violent scriptural texts and finding resources of 'respect for the other.' For Christianity, this transition wasn’t easy, involving the Reformation and the Thirty Years’ War. But this bloody, chaotic process eventually produced a flowering of powerful ideas in the 17th century: the social contract, human rights and liberty of conscience.

Islam is a younger faith, going through a similar internal struggle. Sacks believes that serious, sympathetic dialogue among the Abrahamic faiths can 'speak to our better angels' and challenge the violent narrative of sibling rivalry. He may prove naive, but it is certainly a better strategy than mockery. "

Read the Washington Post, The violent narrative of religious rivalry.

UPDATE:  "Republicans who suggest [that ISIS is a grave threat to the U.S.] have forgotten Christianity and Judaism’s own history of violence."

Read Slate, ISIS Isn’t the New Soviet Threat.

Some people never miss an "opportunity to feed the terror-panic."

Read Slate, The ISIS-Bedwetter Watch Continues.

Read also, The New York Times, Struggling to Gauge ISIS Threat, Even as U.S. Prepares to Act, which notes that "[s]ome officials and terrorism experts believe that the actual danger posed by ISIS has been distorted in hours of television punditry and alarmist statements by politicians . . . 'with claims that the nation is honeycombed with sleeper cells, that operatives are streaming across the border into Texas or that the group will soon be spraying Ebola virus on mass transit systems — all on the basis of no corroborated information.'"

Without fear, anger and hatred, where would the Republi-cons be.