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People who feel a part of the national community do not join ISIS.
It is disturbing, to say the least, to hear that an American was killed fighting for ISIS, and that, depending on which estimate one reads, anywhere from a few dozen to three hundred Americans may have likewise joined up. Even more disturbing is that there are "twice as many" British Muslims serving in combat with ISIS than there are serving in that country's military, according to Khalid Mahmood, a member of the British Parliament. Think about that.

Let me now make clear what this article is and is not about. It is not an endorsement of any specific level of U.S. military action in Iraq or Syria, or military action by other Western countries. It is also not an argument about the level of military threat posed by ISIS—irrespective of the horrific, evil nature of their acts—to the United States. One astute writer warned against overestimating that threat. Nor am I accusing Muslim communities in the West of failing to condemn the brutal violence committed by ISIS. In fact, I wrote just the opposite a little over a week ago.

What I am writing about is this: people leaving Western countries to join ISIS means that there is something wrong in those societies—both in the mainstream and the Muslim communities—something that is emblematic of a larger problem. Namely, Western democracies overall are failing to successfully integrate newcomers into the society and the national community. The problem appears to be even worse in Europe—in particular among Muslim immigrants in Europe—than in the U.S., despite the heinous 2009 murder of thirteen American military personnel by a Muslim American, Nidal Malik Hasan.

Compared to Europe, the U.S. has had much more experience and success integrating immigrants. This includes Muslims, who show a "negligible" level of support for jihadi extremism according to extensive surveys done by Pew in 2007 and 2011. Furthermore, from the 2007 report:

"Although many Muslims are relative newcomers to the U.S., they are highly assimilated into American society. On balance, they believe that Muslims coming to the U.S. should try and adopt American customs, rather than trying to remain distinct from the larger society."

Nevertheless, we, along with our fellow Western democracies, need to do more to help immigrants integrate, and certainly not only because of ISIS.

Please follow me beyond the fold for more.

What is the problem? At a fundamental level, Western societies, in particular those in Western Europe, have simply not reached out and encouraged Muslim immigrants to identify themselves as members of the national community, affiliate with the national identity that binds together the country's citizens, and integrate into the larger culture and society. That was the finding of a comprehensive report from late 2005 that examined the UK, France, Germany, and Spain. The report noted that "social deprivation, discrimination, and a sense of cultural alienation may make some European Muslims—especially those of the second or third generation — more vulnerable to extremist ideologies."

British author Kenan Malik has written extensively on the subject of integration as being crucial to countering the appeal of extremism:

Many second-generation British Muslims now find themselves detached from both the religious traditions of their parents, which they often reject, and the wider secular society that insists on viewing them simply as Muslims. A few are drawn inevitably to extremist Islamist groups where they discover a sense of identity and of belonging. It is this that has made them open to radicalization.

[British policies] led to the de facto treatment of individuals from minority groups not as citizens but simply as members of particular ethnic units...result[ing] in the creation of fragmented societies, the scapegoating of immigrants and the rise of both populist and Islamist rhetoric.

We see the failure of integration in the comment made by a radical Muslim cleric in the UK named Anjem Choudary, in response to the ISIS video in which a man with a British accent beheaded American journalist James Foley: “It’s not important if it’s a British person carrying out the execution because you’re Muslim first and British second.” One wonders whether someone who leaves the UK to join ISIS remains British at all.

To really understand the situation, we can ask someone who was an active Islamist, who participated in a group that called for the creation of an Islamic Caliphate, i.e., a state governed by religious law which would encompass all the Muslim faithful of the world. Here's what Ed Husain—who, while remaining Muslim, has since renounced these extremist beliefs and now works actively to counter them—had to say about why extremism attracts Muslims whom Britain failed to integrate:

On a basic level, we didn't know who we were. People need a sense of feeling part of a group – but who was our group?….Nobody ever said – you're equal to us, you're one of us, and we'll hold you to the same standards. Nobody had the courage to stand up for liberal democracy without qualms. When people like us at [Newham] College were holding events against women and against gay people, where were our college principals and teachers, challenging us?
Western societies must do these things. We must help Muslims feel part of our group, something that Mr. Husain is absolutely right about people needing. That process is a two-way street, but it starts with what the majority does, both on an individual level through personal interactions, and a societal level through policy and the broader culture. That means that going forward we must treat Muslims and all immigrants as well as anyone potentially alienated by mistreatment or discrimination as full members of the community. In return, we expect that they respond by adopting liberal democratic values, and identifying themselves as members of the community as well as with the common interests of the country. Both the mainstream and Muslim communities must challenge extremist ideology by vigorously promoting an affirmative, inclusive vision of the nation. Both sides bear responsibility for integration's success. At this point, integration in Western Europe is clearly failing.

In the U.S., one person who does get these issues is Barack Obama. Although he cannot make integration happen all by himself, he can have an impact. Take a look at these off the cuff remarks by the president at a town hall gathering from late July, where he responded to a question about how the U.S. government is "helping American Indian people revitalize their language and culture."

The Bible says without vision a people will perish.  And what happens when you start losing your language and you start losing your culture and you don’t have a sense of connections to ancestors and those memories that date back generations is you start feeling adrift.  And if you’re living in a society that devalues that, then you start maybe devaluing yourself and internalizing some of those doubts.

Now, the good news is what we started seeing -- for example, at the pow-wow that existed at the reservation, there was a Lakota language school for little kids, starting very early.  They were learning math and science and all the subjects, but they were also in an immersion school, essentially, in their own language to empower them.

Now, the good news is what we started seeing -- for example, at the pow-wow that existed at the reservation, there was a Lakota language school for little kids, starting very early. They were learning math and science and all the subjects, but they were also in an immersion school, essentially, in their own language to empower them.

And part of what I’ve been talking to Secretary Duncan about and Sally Jewell, who is the head of the Department of Interior, about is how do we incorporate more effectively into the school curriculums, into social programs, et cetera, a recognition of the distinct cultures of these native peoples.  Because if young people come up proud of their past, then they’ll have a more powerful sense of direction going forward.

Now, one thing I have to just say about all this, though, is the world is what it is. It is a global world. We live in the 21st century...You can’t just live in the past; you also have to look to the future--which means that all the young Native Americans are also going to have to learn math, science, computer sciences, engineering. There has to be an adaption to what is increasingly a world culture, even as you are also then connecting it back to your roots. And sometimes that’s hard.

And part of what’s great about America is the way that we all take these different cultures and we make one culture out of it. And we shouldn’t lose that. That is--we’re not just a collection of Jews and Irish and Native Americans and black--we’re also Americans, so we have a common culture that binds us together. There’s no contradiction between knowing your culture--the traditional cultures out of which your families come, but also being part of the larger culture.

This is the formula that multiethnic democracies need. They must allow and encourage all their people—whether they are immigrants or indigenous folks whose forebearers have been in the land the longest—to maintain their roots, the ties to their ancestral heritage(s) that provide a sense of connectedness for many. Yet, at the same time, they must incentivize and actively help those very same people become part of what the president called "the larger culture" and, as he has so often spoken of for the United States going back to 2004, our "one American family." When it comes to ethnic and national identities, it's not either/or that we need, but rather the both/and of democratic pluralism.

Ultimately, integration is the key. And integration requires something much more substantive than just "tolerance" and a bland, thin gruel of cosmopolitan humanism that fails to get neighbors who might come from different religious and cultural backgrounds to feel united as brothers and sisters who share a sense of peoplehood. People who feel connected in that way to their fellow citizens will fight for one another, for the rights and liberties guaranteed to them, and for the common good of their country. They certainly won't go join ISIS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Apologies, but I can't hang around tonight (7+ / 0-)

    I will read and reply in the AM. Thanks for stopping by.

  •  I don't mean to sound callous and (12+ / 0-)

    I also agree very much with your prescriptions for a successful  plural democracy, but, although I think ISIS is clearly bad, is it really bad that these people are out there with them? What I mean by that is this: aren't these the brown muslim equivalent of the white christian wackos who are filling up all these militias?  Wouldn't we, as a country, be better off if instead of hanging out at Cliven Bundy's ranch they went off the Ukraine and joined a separatist movement before a swift departure from this Earth? I would think so. Likewise, I would think the people running off to join ISIS are folks that I would overjoyed to learn are no longer a part of North American society. Good riddance to bad rubbish, as they say.

    •  ahhh... no (9+ / 0-)
      Good riddance to bad rubbish, as they say.
      These are human beings you're talking about. Not rubbish. And by "good riddance", do you mean from this life? Because when coupled with
      ...joined a separatist movement before a swift departure from this Earth?
      you seem to be advocating that.

      No. We do not wish death upon our fellow humans. Sometimes a violent death is inevitable given the choices we and they make, but we do not wish death upon our fellow humans.

      Screw John Galt. Who's John Doe?

      by Mike Kahlow on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:15:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good riddance (6+ / 0-)

        Better that the disaffected Americans leave the United States than to stay here, if they are believers in what we are witnessing the "faith" to be.

        It might be a leap wishing all of ISIL death.

        Okay. Maybe not.

        •  Right, why is it our job to make (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mconvente, nocynicism, Edgeworth, Ang, bobtmn

          alienated radical islamists feel at home.? If they want to go fight in overseas radical islamist groups like ISIS or Al Queda, then I'm glad they're leaving--and their citizenship should be stripped as well.

        •  At this point Iraq's AAH, the Army, two battalions (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mosesfreeman, Ian Reifowitz, BYw

          of Iranian army, and even a few Sunni military people are putting together an enormous army to go after ISIS.

          Temperatures have to come down a bit more to make large scale logistics feasible. Then it looks like 750,000 total against some 5,000 to 10,000 ISIS raiders.

          Between AAH and the Sadr operation, they have more than sufficient strength to protect civilians. 500,000 trained men.

          Then we get to the 200,000 main Shia troops from the Iraqi Army and some 50,000 from Qods Force, Sebarin, and regular artillery units. Makes up quite a counterattack force.

          Like Samarra and Tikrit, they can surround any ISIS city. Then kill them all.

          Plus, why stop at the Syrian border? What there is of that legal fiction.

          Keep going. Kill them all in bits and pieces. Then Surround Raqqa and finish ISIS for good.

          The West can keep its Sadists, psychopaths and the like. The "Islamist" ones, surely. No ISIS, one fewer home for crazies. And the Salafi money boys as well.

          "The illiteracy of our children are appalling." #43

          by waterstreet2008 on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 06:18:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  About time (7+ / 0-)

            For everyone to make a stand, is that what you're saying?

            ISIL cannot be victorious on a large scale.  Unless you think Jim Jones operated on a large scale.

            For real.  It seems passing strange that Turkey is just, like, quietly waiting.  For what word, I can't imagine.  If this loosely held group of cobbled together disaffected human beings want to march around and assert their agenda on my home turf, brother:

            I have a mother and I have a sister.  That this appears to be largely driven by men who have no respect for either ; well if that is true, when or if i hear of ISIL fighters being picked off by drones, let's just say I'll weap not.

            I'm a woman, and I have no patience for ISIL.  They are no brothers or sons nor fathers of mine.

            •  The army working out of Samarra have been (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BYw

              trashing ISIS since mid-July. Killing them by the hundreds.

              ISIS troops are the stray dogs of MENA Sunni communities, plus a few westerners. Psychopaths. They go off to Syria because they want a chance to kill somebody.

              As soldiers ??? Not worth a damn against the forces led by General Suleimani.

              "The illiteracy of our children are appalling." #43

              by waterstreet2008 on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 07:35:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Be careful with the "kill them all" (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rich in PA, bobtmn, waterstreet2008

            I've been saying things like that regarding Hamas, which shares a similar extremist ideology with IS, and run into a lot of grief here. But the fact is, they DO need to either change or be killed.

        •  They want to leave the country, fine. (4+ / 0-)

          And I think they should be stripped of citizenship if they leave.

          And if they get in the way during military action, well, that's the downside of playing soldier. Shrug. When you shoot at people, they shoot back. If it's our soldiers that are doing the shooting, so be it. You made the choice.

          When you're with a group that beheads women and children, someone else might decide to take you out. Should have thought of that before you joined up.

          Some might deserve death. Still, I don't wish death upon anyone. That may sound contradictory... but I would hope that they undergo a change of heart, a repentance.

          And I know I might as well be wishing for a unicorn for my next birthday. But still, I cannot and will not wish death upon my fellow human beings.

          Screw John Galt. Who's John Doe?

          by Mike Kahlow on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 06:48:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Not so sure I agree completely (24+ / 0-)

    Well, the American who was killed fighting for ISIS was native-born and well-integrated. The ISIS fighter who beheaded Foley seems to have been a rapping DJ, which hardly suggests he wasn't a part of mainstream British society. At most, I think Muslim alienation from Western societies is only a partial answer. People also become zealots for Christianity, Scientology, polygamous Mormonism, and so on. Religious fundamentalism as a substitute for reason, it seems to me, is a much bigger slice of the answer. Unfortunately, radical Islam still sees violence as the answer, as was true of Christianity as late as the wars of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. It's not as easy as making sure we make Muslim immigrants feel like full citizens of whatever polity they wind up in. In my opinion, at any rat3.

    •  Much more succinctly and classily put that what (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ian Reifowitz

      I tried to say, above.

    •  Thanks for Making What Would Have Been My Point... (6+ / 0-)

      ...that alienation does not have to be those from the same culture.  In the "olden days" people looking for adventure joined the French Foreign Legion -- on my retirement bucket list is reading more about that "militia" and how it was used... but it was essentially people from other countries doing the French government's bidding whereever.

      When I was young, I hung out in Irish Pubs and supported the IRA (still do support the IRA to a point).  I talked some about going to Ireland and fighting with and for the IRA.  I'm Irish, so that was a natural connection, though I still haven't gotten enough information about my ancestry to even be considered for dual citizenship!  I digress, but my point here is that when we are young and getting a bit radicalized, we tend to look for things like this and romanticize them.

      Back in the 1970s it was harder to pick-up and travel to Ireland, let alone Syria or Iraq, than it is now.  Particularly for some of those who have been radicalized by Al Queda or Isis and come from families with resources.  So if you combine the sense of adventure and romanticism with a bit of radicalization -- even if one has to disregard (or believe in) the anti-women and anti-gay bias of these groups -- with easily available travel and easier communication with like-minded folks and/or ISIS itself, it's definitely a breeding ground for a whole new "Foreign Legion"!

      •  I agree with you and the previous comment (0+ / 0-)

        as well. When young people find a cause they consider worthwhile, it is natural for them to want to go farther and become more actively involved. The difference is whether or not that cause is embraced by our society in general, or if it is shunned by the majority of people in our society.

        Most young people spend a tremendous amount of time trying to fit in to their micro societies: in schools there are clubs, teams and indiviual sports, the "in" table of kids at lunch and on the playgrounds. In general the pressure to conform is a powerful motivation towards  socialization that is considered "normal".

        What happens to the kids who fail to fit in? What happens to the kids who want to fit in but don't? What happens to kids who do not want to fit in and look for validation at the extremes of what society considers acceptable?

        I think that the answer is that they become vulnerable and open to a kind of brainwashing in the opposite direction of social and peer pressure to conform.

        For some kids on this spectrum the need to rebel can make them into leaders of social movements that have great cultural importance both personally and generally.

        For others, there are cults like the bunch at Cliven's ranch or worse, the death cults in the middle east.

        Can we have a more positive affect on marginalized minorities. Probably. Can we expect that there will always be some "monsters" amoung us? Yes. It's too bad, but it's true.

    •  it's also exciting (8+ / 0-)

      you are young, you get to run around, shoot guns,

      Me i prefer to spend a saturday with the cats.

    •  Religious extremism is the main factor but (6+ / 0-)

      even with our bloody violent history....immigrants, after being treated with hate and disrespect (as a member of whatever newest groups to come here they belong to) become Americans.
       We have a way of "putting our arms around" immigrants and bringing them in.  Our laws that protect our rights as Americans plays a big part but a more important factor, I think, is Birthright citizenship.  
      We are unique from other countries.  Our immigrants have children who are born here are American citizens at birth.
      The right wants to do away with Birthright citizenship another stupid and disastrous fear mongering idea..bad for our society.  

      We are not powerless!! "Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet."– Alice Walker

      by nocynicism on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:46:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think this is partially right (7+ / 0-)

      Many who join ISIS are people who are vulnerable to membership in a cult - and ISIS is definitely a cult. Those who join may be quite acculturated and integrated into society but still be vulnerable due to insecurity, innate zealotry, any of the other factors that cause people to join cults.

      I think the general goal of integration is fine, but it's not going to prevent many from joining up. Their parents are often integrated - many parents in the UK at distraught at their children joining this cult. And for some unknown reason, some young men who are not immigrants and who convert to Islam as adults join up. I have seen ISIS videos of a German and a French citizen, neither from immigrant families, who have joined.

      Unfortunately the prognosis is not good. I cannot feel much for them - joining ISIS will probably lead to their deaths, and honestly, I'm OK with that.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 06:23:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are factors we're not considering (0+ / 0-)

      our culture, our government, is built of diversity, of a secular rule of law that protects all faiths equally.

      We just need to be good Americans and let that work, and let Muslims be muslims, etc.

      We have to expect them to understand and live by the same rule of law.

      There is an imminent threat that religious groups necessarily feel in the modern world.

      That is that religion is becoming more and more abstract. It's like the Cheshire Cat.

      There was a time when people thought a volcano eruption was a God, or an act of God, and that was an effective explanation of the phenomenon.

      The world was obviously flat, and people believed in the power of their tribal god and that their godliness would allow them to simply push other tribes off the edge of the earth, etc.

      The physical world could seemingly be manipulated and commanded by special speech, (prayer, "magic words and phrases" etc.).

      Now we know better. We start a car by turning the key, not by praying. Materialism pervades life. Our perception of god and religion as a literal force is slipping away, becoming more and more dependent on a "metaphorical" understanding.

      So these groups of the religious that insist on holding onto a "supernatural" power of their particular faith while extending the daylight of skepticism and doubt to others are going to feel more and more under siege with each passing year.

      Islam, for various reasons, some of which are geo-political and have nothing to do with religion, has undeniably been more violent in its reaction to modernism than others, but the same dynamic is at work in all of them.

      Esp. with the rise of the internet, there are people making money and gaining power by exploiting and inflaming these tendencies.

      Global "austerity" is another factor that is creating an artificial environment for the growth of these conditions. Young men do not have jobs and a peaceful purpose raising and caring for families, etc.

      Black markets and institutionalized corruption also feed radicalization.
      Ultimately the world cannot remain peaceful and civilized when there are exploitive or authoritarian forces that are hijacking religious zeal for their purpose.

      All of these functions are part of a larger "machine" or factory that is producing these radicals with whom civilized people cannot live.

      To have a strategy of simply eradicating the product of this machine without dismantling or retooling the parts of the machine itself will just ensure the perpetuity of the status quo.

      Eventually governments and societies must be ruled by secular law that protects individuals and minorities that hold diverse religious beliefs.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 07:31:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Leaders from the Muslim community are likely (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greenfinches, Ian Reifowitz

    to be far more effective in reducing this problem than government led efforts.  

    Respected members of the US Muslim community are far more likely to be persuasive to Muslims alienated from the US government, than the US Government.  The people who need to be persuaded don't trust the US government, while trust is needed to persuade peacefully.

    The US government's ability to be effective in some matters is far less than we would like.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 04:52:15 PM PDT

    •  To some extent, however how about a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivorybill, Ian Reifowitz

      government led effort to stop government abuse of process, of stereotyping and rousting and harassing them for no reason?

      How about a government led effort to stop government from indulging in provocateurism and incessant efforts at entrapment?

      Their own leaders can't get our governments (fed, state & local) to quit engaging in wrongful behavior, only our governments can do that.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 06:39:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A good start might be the US stopping the blank (8+ / 0-)

    check to Israel.

    •  You just knew someone would be blaming the Jews (5+ / 0-)

      sooner or later

      •  Silence is golden (10+ / 0-)

        But my eyes still see. As long as the US policy is to continue dumping billions of dollars on Israel in the form of weapons and armaments while Israel continues appropriating land that should have gone to Palestinians for a two state solution, and while Israeli tea baggers continue to advocate ethnic cleansing of the West Bank and Gaza, Muslims the world over will continue seeing the US as part of the problem and not part of the solution.

        Knowledge is Power. Ignorance is not bliss, it is suffering. If you like hypocrite Obama, you'll love hypocrite Hillary.

        by harris stein on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 06:01:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Look (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, OCLefty, BYw

        Uncritical US support for Israel and the flat out reality that Israel will never agree to a two state solution damages our foreign policy and our standing in the Arab and Muslim world. No question about it.

        It's more complicated than a direct one to one relationship between ISIS recruitment and our insane policy of supporting Israel no matter what they do. But you should not underestimate how corrosive the I/P conflict is, or how much long-term damage it causes. So you can joke around about "blaming the Jews" but I would say the real issue is our seeming inability to recognize the Palestinians as human, and our acceptance of Israeli myths that fail to accept reality - that Palestinians were - and continue to be - forced from a land to which they have every bit as legitimate a claim.

        The grotesquely one-sided US policy is certainly not solely responsible for ISIS, but it doesn't help.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 08:13:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well we Joos did pull off (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mosesfreeman, Ian Reifowitz

        both the French and Bolshevik revolutions.

      •  PP, I am sorry if You took offense to (0+ / 0-)

        my comment. I am not anti-Semitic by a long stretch. I just believe that if the US is going to supply aid, there is a moral requirement that it be used to help, not harm. If I ran things the KSA would have to follow the same, clearly none are at this point.

        Peace, may all that seek it be Blessed.  

    •  I don't know about that (5+ / 0-)

      I think stopping the blank check is a good idea in general, and it certainly hurts perceptions of US foreign policy in the Muslim world.

      But ISIS is not at war with Israel, except perhaps in the nominal sense of creating a global caliphate and therefore being at war with everyone from Spain to Indonesia.  They're fighting the Syrian and Iraqi governments, not signing up with Hamas.

    •  Israel (5+ / 0-)

      Sunnis and Shiites aren't killing each other because of Israel.  Not supporting Israel isn't going to convince someone not to join ISIL.

      Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

      by Sky Net on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 07:40:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So it seems you just think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ian Reifowitz

      Muslim extremism = Israel's faults.

      That's some gross stereotyping.

      Because honestly, who do you think ISIS is at war with right now?

      http://www.thedreammapnovel.com

      by DAISHI on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 12:14:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would hazard a guess... (12+ / 0-)

    that there is something seriously wrong with the individuals concerned.

    I don't know about you, but I have absolutely no interest in beheading someone just because they don't believe in whatever I believe (if I do believe, which I don't, most of the time).

    Serious psychopathy seems to be key.

    Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England as shall never be put out.

    by Bollox Ref on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 04:57:22 PM PDT

    •  USians don't behead (6+ / 0-)

      They use drone strikes directed from distant pilots in Nevada.

      The effects are the same.  Decapitation and terror.

      But in the early days of America, good old fashioned medieval beheading was still de rigeur.  So was propping the heads up on palisades.

      Of course it's psychopathy.  It's was 25 years of war does to people.  Or is it 60 years of war.  Intense radicalized PTSD.  The curse of all collapsing empires.

      But spending a trillion dollars a year on weapons and intelligence for "national security" is an OCD kind of psychopathy, don't you think?

      50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

      by TarheelDem on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:12:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, we're talking about (10+ / 0-)

        various individuals toddling off, from various Western countries, to indulge in whatever fantasies their heads contain.

        They've hardly being suffering from the effects of war.

        Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England as shall never be put out.

        by Bollox Ref on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:20:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You think not (0+ / 0-)

          You think that creating imaginally a permanent state of war in the US for over a decade and acting it out with stop-and-frisk and other harassment of profiled populations doesn't eventually create a form of PTSD?

          You think that Algerians and Tunisians and Libyans, discriminated against in France don't feel as if the colonial war of independence didn't end in the 1960s?

          Or Pakistanis and Afghans in the UK?

          Or that fantasies of vengeance are the sole property of youth who are toddling off to fight with ISIS?  You need to check out what some of the white kids who toddled off with the US military in 2003 to Iraq and Afghanistan did.  And some are still doing.

          50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

          by TarheelDem on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:35:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  what about Afghans and the UK? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ivorybill, Ian Reifowitz

            hey we lost a couple of wars against them in the C19th and then let them be until 2000..... they have been very independent, thank you.

            Pakistan and India have been independent since 1947, and seem to find each other as enemies more satisfying than us.

            So what is your point?

            •  Pakistani and Afghan (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ian Reifowitz

              ...citizens and other Muslims in the UK are profiled as part of the UK's homeland security effort.

              The UK still has troops in Afghanistan, thanks to NATO.  And being the US's poodle makes the UK share the collective enmity of those who oppose those policies.

              Some young men might object to this sort of treatment.  Others might find it egregious enough to go join ISIS.  After all, the UK has its share of neo-Nazis although they are still fringe.

              And there are similar culture clashes in the UK for ex-pat Muslims from a variety of countries that are similar, although not as intense, as similar clashes in France.  Similar enough to cause ex-pats to retreat into conservative Islam.

              Some have remarked from the ISIS's beheader's accent that he seems to have spent some time in the UK.

              50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

              by TarheelDem on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 06:31:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  very few Afghans in the UK (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TarheelDem, ivorybill, Ian Reifowitz

                we have enough scope to make errors with the Pakistanis and Indians thanks!

                For some reason there don't seem any issues with Bangladeshis.  Are they less sensitive, more assimilated, or just busier (they are, as I understand it, running most of our Indian restaurants...)

                expat Muslims are not a major problem I think, more the locals ie 2nd etc generation, British born. A subset of disaffected youth?

                any Afghans in the west are newly arrived, as it were, and likely surely not to be lovers of the Taliban from whom they have fled, and not anti NATO.

                So, what was your point again?

                •  The parents often came to the UK (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ian Reifowitz

                  at least in part to escape violence. Many if not most want two things: the ability to live free of fear and want, and a decent education for their kids. I think you are right - it's the disaffected youth, and a culture of self-identification as the other - that causes second generation kids to run off and join ISIS, perhaps as a rejection of their parents as much as the British (or American) dominant culture. I read somewhere that many of these jihadis purchased "Islam for Dummies" through Amazon as they were that clueless about the religion they were supposedly fighting for.

                  That said, it's complicated. Some immigrants are radicals or vulnerable to radicalization. And some simply become more devout once they arrive in a foreign culture. A good friend of mine, a Kurd, moved to the UK and became a much more devout Muslim to the surprise of his friends and family. Now, he's not a risk to anyone - he is a physician who cannot stand the sight or smell of blood so much that he also became a vegetarian, and his experiences in Iraq have made him more opposed to political violence, not less. He hates ISIS. But he apparently feels separate or somehow feels the need to connect more strongly to his culture now that he's in the UK. He might be an outlier however, as several other Middle Eastern immigrants in the UK with whom I am friends (mostly Arabs and Kurds) have becomes more secular, not less - and definitely see themselves over time as British. They are definitely assets to the UK.

                  “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

                  by ivorybill on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:48:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  You're right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ian Reifowitz

            I think not.

            Old violence doesn't justify new violence.

            Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England as shall never be put out.

            by Bollox Ref on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 06:49:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Some people (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ian Reifowitz, David54

              ...can't tell the difference between explanation and justification.  Explanation allows one to have more creative strategies in dealing with the issue.  Stopping old violence can prevent new violence.  Better said, better US policy deals with issues instead of inflaming them.  The history of US policy in the Middle East for the past 25 years has been one of inflaming issues in the name of "toughness".  It has not made us safer.

              Maybe we should start acting smarter instead of tougher.

              50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

              by TarheelDem on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 05:13:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  What you say is true but for two points (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ian Reifowitz

            PTSD is usually used as shorthand for resentment and powerlessness, when it is a specific psychiatric diagnosis. The kids you refer to, by and large, do not suffer from PTSD, which causes avoidance, depression, social withdrawal and isolation, and a host of symptoms of anxiety when triggered by violence. It also requires a specific and severe traumatic event(s) in which one is overwhelmed with fear of the sort one experiences when one thinks s/he will die. It's not resentful kids playing video games who experienced tear gas or some police profiling. PTSD is what one gets when they join ISIS, not what drives a person to join them.

            Which gets me to my second point. US soldiers have certainly succumbed to a culture of death in which they have done things like hunt Afghans for trophies, and torture was part of the techniques used in US facilities. But the management of terror - routine beheadings and torture - are integral to ISIS' development and training of individual fighters and to its overall strategy. The comparison is not entirely accurate, even if one strongly condemns US abuses.

            There is certainly some truth in the resentment of Muslim youth for the whole colonial and post-colonial era. But that cuts both ways. Several Syrians I know are getting more and more disaffected at the lack of US action in Syria!

            “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

            by ivorybill on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 05:02:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Management of terror (0+ / 0-)

              Eventually, if the Senate Select Intelligence Committee releases its report on CIA torture, we will see that torture at Guantanamo and black CIA sites was a policy from the President of the United States to manage terror.

              Shock and awe saturation bombing is a way of managing terror.

              Drone strikes on wedding parties and first responders are ways of managing terror.

              We have become numb to the inhumanity of our clinical ("surgical") language, pictures of massively destroyed infrastructure, and hidden human damage as the expression of our propaganda of terror.

              A scimitar and a cell phone are the poor man's shock and awe.  And it keeps happening because it triggers US hysteria.  Undertanding the tactic lowers the propensity to hysteria and makes the tactic less effective in the US.

              Strategic bombing, night raids, Guantanamo, and drone strikes are still integral to US development and training of individual fighters.  And Christian Dominionism still sways too many in the US officer corps.  Both in Iraq and Afghanistan, that caused troops to forget who they were liberating as symbolized by the too frequent epithets of "sand niggers" and "ragheads".  That sort of dehumanization was part of US policy too, as the phrase "kill 'em all and let Allah sort them out" shows.

              War, in fact, is the politics of managing terror.  In the interwar period of the 20th Century a few nations drafted some rules of what is permissable activity under these circumstance and what is not.  The US has squandered its authority to defend these rules by its own actions and the impunity it has accorded the leaders who ordered those actions.  It's authority to de-legitimize ISIS lacks international support as a result.  Not to mention its authority to delegitimize Bashir Assad.

              Some manage terror with billion-dollar machines and ordnance.  Some manage terror with execution scimitars and cheap video cameras.  The low-budget guys are the ones being delegimized for falling back on medieval technology and cheap theatrics.  Meanwhile their sponsors in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are being ignored.

              I understand the frustration of Syrian ex-pats.  But the Free Syrian Army is not likely their friends either.

              IMO, ISIS will be beaten by the locals who consider it an occupying army.  Any US intervention immediately casts ISIS as opposing US intervention and the US as the occupier.  The US made a huge mistake in forward positioning US weapons in places like Mosul in hopes of reoccupying iraq.  The proper US role is to systematically destroy this equipment as ISIS brings it into battle.  That's it.  There are enough weapons in the area, despite all the poormouthing, for Iraq. the Kurdish militias, the Iraqi Armed Forces, Shi'a militia, Iranian Quds units, and the Lebanese Army to destroy ISIS and liberate the territory it has occupied.  When that happens the ISIS foreign fighters likely will flee to another unstable area.

              The proper US strategy is to reduce, not increase, the number of those unstable areas.  That happens through improvements in the global economy and reconstruction of infrastructure, not through further destruction of infrastructure.

              Most of all that happens by taking away the critical organizing tool of Islamic radicalism--the Israeli occupation of Palestine and its systematic theft of Palestinian land and destruction of Palestinian infrastructure.

              The US Navy breaking the Gaza blockad would do more to reduce Islamic terrorist politics than any amount of armaments supplied to Syria.

              Finally, the US must find a temporary accommodation with Assad in order to restabilize Syria sufficiently for political change to occur.  And the US must recognize the Iranian Revolution and provide normal diplomatic relations there to coordinate dealing with ISIS.  And the US must enable Putin to strengthen Assad temporarily despite Vicki Nuland's scuttling of this approach to Middle East stability through the US-NATO adventure in Ukraine.

              My comments were not about all Muslim youth but about the ones most susceptible to seeking out ISIS or other jihadist military in the region.

              And they were specifically aimed at how US Islamophobia undercuts US security.

              But Republicans want President Obama to fail on providing national security too.  And goad him into failed Republican and neo-conservative policies.  Not that neoliberal imperialism doesn't also argue for senseless intervention.

              50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

              by TarheelDem on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 08:22:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I don't believe, ISIS for beheading, US against. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        Or ISIS for cheap old fashioned beheading, US for expensive high tech weapons systems as a method of killing either.

        We can be in favor of beheaders, when we want. We just prefer to keep that stuff as quiet and unexamined as possible.

  •  That's a tall order Ian (17+ / 0-)

    Immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries will integrate, like every group does, eventually. In the meantime, while this isn't PC, I would prosecute every person who has left to fight for Da'esh to the full extent of the law, and I would even consider prosecuting/deporting their families, if they have supported that effort.

    I say that as an American Muslim.

    … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

    by mosesfreeman on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:02:49 PM PDT

  •  I will defer to the words of Bill Maher here. (16+ / 0-)

    I know some don't like Bill Maher for being to caustic and lacking tact, but I generally agree with him (except for his anti-vax views, but that's another story).

    On these matters:

    "I'm a bad guy because I'm against the people cutting off your arms for not praying."
    And here's a tweet Maher made after the murder of James Foley:

    There are plenty of people who feel alienated in America, and they are not compelled one bit to join a terrorist organization that does scorched earth beheading campaigns.

    You write: "What I am writing about is this: people leaving Western countries to join ISIS means that there is something wrong in those societies"

    Sorry, not buying it.  Certainly not as the most prominent reason for people joining ISIS by any stretch.

    "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

    by mconvente on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:03:14 PM PDT

    •  Also, I don't agree w/ Mark Sumner at all, either (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rich in PA, sandbox, sfcouple

      His flippant attitude toward ISIS was pretty alarming.  I don't want boots on the ground, but for him to infer that ISIS is pretty much not that big a deal, since they are (allegedly) much more disjointed than Al Qaeda is, is shortsighted.

      I would not describe his comments as "astute" by any measure.

      "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

      by mconvente on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:06:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't be ridiculous (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KJG52, anshmishra, mightymouse

      2 Kings Chapter 23

      Massacre of Verden

      And of course... nobody expects the SPANISH INQUISITION!!

      I could go on & provide examples of killings & beheadings in the name of Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism, etc., etc.

      But suffice it to say Bill Maher is just plain ignorant here. Beheadings by ISIS don't actually make it clear Islam is just like other religions. But it sure as hell (heh) doesn't make Islam different.

      Nor do the actions of ISIS really have anything to do with mainstream Islam, but that's a whole 'nother topic.

      •  The thing is, they do (9+ / 0-)

        Watch the entire clip.  We're talking 21st century, not the Crusades which happened 800-1000 years ago...

        Bill mentions a poll where "80-90% of Egyptians believe death is the proper punishment for leaving the religion."  And talks more broadly how liberals need to stand up for liberalism and support full equality for women, free speech - things that don't exist in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, etc.  I mean, in Saudi Arabia women can't even freaking drive...  If I see a woman wearing a full Burqa here in Philly, I can't help but think how sexist and unequal that is.

        Christian fundie leaders and politicians talk all the time about how women should be subservient to their husbands, and we bash that (rightly so) all the time.  But we can't bash that exact same belief set just because it comes from Islam?

        I'm just as hard on other religions, like the Christian fundie obsession with abortion and treating women as subservient.  But that's not what this diary is about, so that's why I'm focusing on Maher's comments.  But check my comment history, it's a universal distrust of religion overall.  To quote Maher once again, "all religion is the problem, but especially this one" - referring to Islam.

        If the Catholic Church mandated 1/10th the stuff women are forced to bear in the Middle East (genital mutilation, rape, honor killings, forced "marriage" at 10 years old etc.), we'd be all over it.  And rightly so.  So why is decrying those acts carried out in the name of Islam out of bounds?

        In America, you're right, these issues are decidedly not the mainstream.  But is America really a leading Muslim country? Last time I checked, the annual pilgrimage is to Saudi Arabia, not America.

        "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

        by mconvente on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:35:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We dare not criticize Islam (10+ / 0-)

          because as Achmed the Dead Terrorist would say "Shut up or I kill you!"

          To me personally, all religion is poison. Some are currently at least, more toxic than others. Even evangelical Christian's haven't flown any jetliners into buildings lately.

        •  History matters. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ian Reifowitz

          The Crusades were a long time ago. Inquisitions were death was the proper punishment for leaving a religion were a LOT more recent than most people think. Both are an element of Christianity, even if modern Christians would like to believe that was a different religion.

          Christians performed those acts, sanctioned by the church. Many Christians today urge persecution on those that believe differently, often including death. Don't get me started on missionaries in Africa dealing with opposition to their teachings.

          And that was my point above. Singling out Islam, as Maher does, simply doesn't make sense. More, it pretends most types of Islam support the actions of ISIS when overwhelming evidence proves otherwise.

          '"all religion is the problem, but especially this one" - referring to Islam'

          I get the sentiment. But all promoting that sort of idea is going to do is encourage religions that aren't Islam to start increasing the amount of religious violence targeting Islam. And now the world gets a bit worse.

          "Christian fundie leaders and politicians talk all the time about how women should be subservient to their husbands, and we bash that (rightly so) all the time.  But we can't bash that exact same belief set just because it comes from Islam?"

          Yes, we can. And I do. What's your point? That religions are a lot more similar than different? There are probably more sects of Islam that permit female imams than sects of Christianity that permit female priests. I'm still going to call both Islam and Christianity misogynistic.

          I'd also suggest sanctions & other foreign policy efforts to isolate and shame countries that don't support feminist policies. But that has nothing to do with your earlier comment.

          "If the Catholic Church mandated 1/10th the stuff women are forced to bear in the Middle East (genital mutilation, rape, honor killings, forced "marriage" at 10 years old etc.), we'd be all over it.  And rightly so.  So why is decrying those acts carried out in the name of Islam out of bounds?"

          Because you're not decrying those acts. You're assigning blame for those acts to all Muslims, not those who perpetrated them. Not to mention honor killings, genital mutilation, rape, and forced marriage at a young age are all cultural flaws, not religious flaws. But never mind that now. Look at it this way. Let's take your example and say the Catholic Church mandated all those things. What you're doing is pointing your finger at Quakers, Mormons, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, and every form of Christianity and saying "all of these people promote evil."

          And for the record, the leading Muslim countries in the world are Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Iran, and Turkey. Saudi Arabia is 16th. Now most of these places have their 'issues,' many of which stem from the common adoption of Islam. But on the other hand, Turkey (overwhelmingly Muslim) and parts of many of the other countries are fairly nice places to live by world standards.

          P.S. As for the poll in Egypt. The news is bad. But Bill Maher can't do math. The actual real data: http://www.pewforum.org/...

          •  Um, page 55 of that report... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rich in PA

            Among Muslims who believe Sharia Law should be the law of the land, 86% of Egyptian respondents "who favor the death penalty for converts."

            On page 15, the data show that 74% of Egyptian respondents "favor making Sharia the official law in their country".

            Doing some basic arithmetic to calculate the weighted percentage, we get 0.86 * 0.74 = 0.6364, or 63.6% Egyptians believe that death penalty should occur for people leaving Islam.

            That's almost two-thirds.  Yeah, soooooo much better than the "80-90%" misquoted by Maher...

            And please, like religion is separated from culture in hardline Islamic countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia.  Iran's official name is "The Islamic Republic of Iran".  These nations derive much of their culture from Islam.

            Turkey is an interesting case, because yes, it is overwhelmingly Muslim (I've traveled to Istanbul, first time I ever experienced the daily calls to prayer, was interesting).  But, it's by far the most Westernized modern Muslim country, derives much of its modern culture from Kemalism, which includes a secular government and strong tenets of equality.  Also, it has a reasonably democratic government, though Erdoğan is looking pretty authoritarian the last few years.

            So really, Turkey is a welcomed outlier in a region filled with restricted, unequal societies.

            "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

            by mconvente on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 08:03:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Iran has its flaws. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ian Reifowitz

              "Genital mutilation, rape, honor killings, forced "marriage" at 10 years old" are quite rare in Iran. The difference being it is known to happen among Baluchis, Kurds, and other small minorities along the border. But not Persians.

              So. Two groups: Baluchi, Persian. They share a religion: Islam. Different cultures.

              So I think that proves my point.

              And the Egyptian math matters too. Not only in that there's a difference between most and all Muslims in Egypt sharing certain religious beliefs with the medieval Catholic church. Once again, page 55 has my point.

              Most Egyptians agree with most Popes that apostasy should be punished by death. But only 8.6% of Kyrgyz Muslims agree. Again, the common denominator is not religion, its respect for the right of people to leave a faith.

              •  Actually, I don't know about rape being rare (0+ / 0-)

                in Iran.

                Given the misogynistic culture, I'd actually expect it to be fairly common. But I'm ignorant there. Point holds for the other things though.

              •  Who gives a fuck about the medieval Catholic (0+ / 0-)

                church?  That's been my point the entire time.  In the year 2014, acts of violence in the name of religion have been overwhelmingly linked to Islam.  And my point is that the line is much blurred between radical Islam and whatever people here consider "mainstream" Islam.

                Again, you want to play semantic games with "most" or "all".  If even 20% of Catholics said that death should be the punishment for leaving the church, we'd be all over that.  And 20% is considered fringe, if you insist on being a stickler for diction.

                So when 66% of Egyptians (calculated above as a weighted average of respondents) say that death is appropriate for leaving Islam, that's pretty fucked up.  And reflective of a mainstream problem, not merely a radical problem.

                Our Christian radicals, while having some power in state legislatures and the Tea Party, are largely marginalized as a whole.  Islams radicals run fucking governments and militaries for a whole host of nations.  Not to mention ISIS and all the stateless wannabes.

                Are we in medieval times?  No.  So then who gives a shit about whatever the Catholic church did 800-1000 years ago?  I'm talking about the present, and currently no Catholic is beheading people and flying planes into buildings.

                "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

                by mconvente on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 10:45:04 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  If we were living during the Spanish Inquisition (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sandbox, Ian Reifowitz, mconvente

        then Radical Catholicism would be the biggest threat. Right now it isn't.

        But suffice it to say Bill Maher is just plain ignorant here. Beheadings by ISIS don't actually make it clear Islam is just like other religions. But it sure as hell (heh) doesn't make Islam different.
        Where are the Tibetan Buddhist suicide bombers?

        When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

        by PhillyJeff on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 03:40:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well that's a good argrument (0+ / 0-)

          For rejecting the concept of a creator God, like the Buddhists.

          But for any religion that believes in the concept of a creator God, I can find ya some suicide attackers.

          So apparently belief in God, particularly the Jewish/Christian/Muslim God, is the problem.

          •  I don't believe in a creator god so it's not my (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mconvente

            problem.

            So apparently belief in God, particularly the Jewish/Christian/Muslim God, is the problem.
            At this point in time there are few (if any) Christian or Jewish suicide bombers. Why is that?

            There are Palestinian Christians. There are also Christians in Lebanon. You don't reliably see them blowing themselves up along with noncombatants.

            If we were living in Spain in the Middle Ages would you really be saying that it's not the Inquisition that's the problem, but the Jews (many of whom were being killed or converted) and maybe the pagans and the Muslims who are equally bad?

            There's a big difference between criticizing Christianity and Islam as belief systems and ideologies and criticizing Muslims as people.

            When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

            by PhillyJeff on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 08:18:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well that's easy. (0+ / 0-)

              "If we were living in Spain in the Middle Ages would you really be saying that it's not the Inquisition that's the problem"

              Of course I would be saying the Inquisition is horrible and immoral. But I wouldn't be saying the fault is every Catholic. That's really the case here. Given a Christian action you disagree with, you criticize the action (Inquisition bad = Inquisition bad). Given a Muslim action you disagree with, you criticize Islam (Governments making women wear veils = Islam bad). Logically inconsistent.

              As to the lack of Christian & Jewish suicide bombers... that's easy:

              The IDF is militarily superior to its enemies. So suicide attacks would be a tremendously stupid tactic.

              Similarly Christians in Lebanon have their own militias.

              Suicide bombing is a relic of technology. It's far, far easier to construct a powerful bomb than a reliable delivery system. Hence suicide bombing by organizations with committed individuals that can create powerful bombs but cannot effectively deliver the ordinance without suicide attackers.

              Does the concept of martyrdom help reassure Muslim suicide bombers? No doubt. But there are 1.5+ BILLION Muslims. Obviously being Muslim does not make it very likely one will become a suicide bomber. Just as obviously, other ideologies (not just religion!) have served as comfort for suicide bombers. Why is this so controversial?

              •  Where did I say EVERY Muslim? (0+ / 0-)
                Of course I would be saying the Inquisition is horrible and immoral. But I wouldn't be saying the fault is every Catholic.
                Republican economic theory is wrong. It's wrong as an ideology and it leads to bad outcomes. Does that statement in any way imply that EVERYONE who believes in Republican economic theory is an evil asshole?
                Does the concept of martyrdom help reassure Muslim suicide bombers? No doubt.
                Which is what I said. There are specific problems with certain doctrines of Islam as practiced at the current point in time.
                Obviously being Muslim does not make it very likely one will become a suicide bomber. Just as obviously, other ideologies (not just religion!) have served as comfort for suicide bombers. Why is this so controversial?
                Why is it that we can criticize any of those ideologies but suddenly when it comes to religion in general and Islam in particular we have to pretend reality doesn't exist.

                When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

                by PhillyJeff on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 01:05:31 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  OK, now you've entered silly season (0+ / 0-)
            But for any religion that believes in the concept of a creator God, I can find ya some suicide attackers.
            Yeah, a few wacko Christian fundie abortion clinic bombers vs. literally thousands of Islamic suicide bombers.  Totally equivalent...

            "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

            by mconvente on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 10:17:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  At this point in time. (0+ / 0-)

              People forget about when Muslim empires were the large, well-ruled powers with impressive religious diversity and Christian kingdoms were the dirty, poor, politically unstable states built on annual war and violence and the persecution of any competing religious group, particularly heretics.

              Now it's the reverse.

              If every Muslim in the Middle East suddenly converted to Christianity today, the region would look about the same.

              •  People forget because that was 1000+ years ago (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mattc129

                I replied to another of your comments before, but I will reiterate here.

                Who cares about stuff that happened 1000+ years ago?  Bill Maher made that point in the clip I linked.  If this were the Crusades, then we would rightly describe Christians as the fanatic and violent religious group.

                But it's the 21st century, and almost all radical violent events today are caused by people of Muslim faith.  That's a fact, and it's really annoying to have people here deny that, as if we're supposed to have blinders on to reality just because we're liberal.

                Beyond the radical acts of beheadings, suicide bombings, etc., I extend my criticism of Islam to include circumstances that can be defined as exclusively mainstream: full body burqas, lack of women's rights, terrorism of LGBT folks, etc.  I criticize any religion that subscribes to that belief set.

                And those things are definitely happening in America.

                We attack (rightly so) Christianity for being anti-gay, anti-women, anti-reproductive rights, etc.  So why is Islam off limits from those attacks?  Maybe people are afraid of speaking their mind and getting HR'd for criticizing Islam as it pertains to being anti-women and anti-LGBT, because maybe they think people will consider them racist or whatever, but I don't have a problem speaking my mind on this matter.  Because I defend equality for women and LGBT communities, and if that is incompatible with even mainstream Islam, then I will point that out, as Bill Maher does.

                "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

                by mconvente on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 11:08:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The problems: (0+ / 0-)

                  1)The implication in statements like Bill Maher's is that there's something particularly unacceptable about Islam - any kind of Islam. But not other religions.

                  It just makes no sense.

                  2)And then the follow-up of that is to suspect any Muslim of having a tendency to violence. Which is not borne out by the numbers. So that's a source of foolishness.

                  3)A second implication of #1 is foolish statements like this:

                  "almost all radical violent events today are caused by people of Muslim faith."

                  That's just plain not true. Even someone limited to American media should realize this! Did you support Bush's invasion of Iraq? (pretty radical kleptocracy, if you ask me) Do you not know about Russia's invasion of Ukraine? (radical nationalism) I suppose you're familiar with now-ended civil war in Sri Lanka?

                  Yes, lots and lots of radical violent events today are caused by people of Muslim faith. But it's just INCORRECT to say almost all. And that kind of inaccuracy bugs me.

                  4) And when we say dumb things like almost all, we ignore the many other sources of the problems we oppose. Like, say Christian terrorism of LGBT folks in the U.S. Personally, I prefer to oppose ALL terrorism of LGBT folks.

                  Lastly:

                  "I defend equality for women and LGBT communities, and if that is incompatible with even mainstream Islam, then I will point that out"

                  ...Good. I expect the same effort in opposing American mainstream Christianity or Israeli mainstream Judaism.

    •  Bill Maher is a glibertarian asshole (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      charliehall2

      and Ann Coulter's boyfriend. Who cares what comes out of his mouth-hole?

      This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

      by Karl Rover on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 06:10:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't want to contradict your purpose (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA, KJG52, shigeru, Ian Reifowitz

    which I generally agree with.

    However, I don't think further integration efforts will lead to a sudden lack of Americans (or Europeans) fighting for ISIS. Nor do I think we should rush to the conclusion there's "is something wrong in those societies—both in the mainstream and the Muslim communities" (not for this reason, anyway.

    The ideologies that exist, secular and religious, exist because at some level they are attractive to people. And there will always be people who take that to the extreme.

    There always have been, and always will be a few extremists willing to fight for their cause - whether that cause be world socialism, ISIS, anarchists in Spain, or what-have-you. That a few Western citizens fight for ISIS means no more than millions upon millions of Western citizens have heard of ISIS.

    You advocate integration. Good. But it is foolish to suggest that integration has been unsuccessful simply because an American or twenty is fighting for ISIS.

    (Has America been successful at integrating certain religious/ethnic minorities? Heh... a question that in my opinion cannot be answered on a national level.)

    •  i could not agree more. particularly since many of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lucy2009, Ian Reifowitz

      those who subscribe to these views will not want to be integrated. some may have come here to seek others to recruit ala Boston.

      so the question is really what to do? integrated little league teams probably won't  cut it with those to whom every aspect of US culture is apostasy.

      mainstreaming some major Muslim holidays might help but we have holiday fatigue as it is. and really I would also like to see Buddhist festivals added. so far Buddhists haven't tried to blackmail us into anything either. We also have a fair few Hindi and Sikh people who probably have integration problems.

      personally I would like to see some give and take on this and maybe have all the US Muslim community state that such things as ISIS and Muslim Brotherhood are pretty evil and vile. also if one joins one, one loses his US passport or visa.

      Ecrasez l´infame (crush the infamy) Voltaire.

      by shigeru on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:29:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What to do? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian Reifowitz

        Actually, the answer here is nothing. This is an area where government policy won't help. Have Americans be less reflexively anti-Muslim, well that will help. But again, not an area government policy can do much good.

        The U.S. is pretty good in recent decades on freedom of religion from a legal standpoint.

        What to do in my opinion, is pretty much just realize that as there will be home-grown Americans who join white supremacist Christian militias there will be home-grown Americans who join ISIS. Neither is a problem of integration.

        In the case of ISIS the plan is pretty simple: if Americans commit war crimes abroad, prosecute 'em. (It would help if we were part of international courts...)

        Other small actions would be national figures recognizing Imams and other religious leaders that have moderate positions. But there are many political problems with that (not just losing votes).

      •  Oh, also. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian Reifowitz

        "so far Buddhists haven't tried to blackmail us into anything either"

        Wait until the Sri Lankans/Burmese have a beef with us. Buddhists are more than capable of declaring stupid religious wars.

        "personally I would like to see some give and take on this and maybe have all the US Muslim community state that such things as ISIS and Muslim Brotherhood are pretty evil and vile"

        Nothing's stopping you. This has been done over and over and over and over and over again. The only people who think Muslims in basically every country that has Muslims aren't openly and vocally opposing ISIS are people who aren't listening.

        The Muslim Brotherhood is a much more complicated matter. They're more like the American Family Association except with bigger membership. Toxic, but they rarely get called out for it.

        •  When they start declaring those wars against us (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ian Reifowitz, mconvente

          then we'll have to deal with it.

          You'd think there would be a lot more Tibetan Buddhist suicide bombers if all religions and belief systems are alike.

          Have Americans be less reflexively anti-Muslim, well that will help.
          Is American being "anti-Muslim" really the root cause of Sunni/Shiite/Other Muslim Sect violence?

          When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

          by PhillyJeff on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:18:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ?? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ian Reifowitz, shigeru

            Is American being "anti-Muslim" really the root cause of Sunni/Shiite/Other Muslim Sect violence?

            No. I was referring to how to better 'integrate' Muslims into American society. Even if you disagree with Islam, that's no reason to treat individual Muslims like crap.

            Or Sikhs, which I saw a lot of after 2001.

            As for Tibetan Buddhist suicide bombers, it amuses me that's probably the only 'religion' that doesn't have a very long history of suicide assaults.

            •  People are constantly conflating our treatment (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shigeru, mconvente, MisterFred, mattc129

              of Muslims with ISIS and its struggle, and that's wrong.

              We do need to better integrate Muslims but integration takes time as we've seen with other waves of immigration.

              As far as ISIS goes they are an example of how the greatest threat to Muslims (particularly women) in the Muslim world is not the US or Europe or even Israel but other Muslims.

              Even if you disagree with Islam, that's no reason to treat individual Muslims like crap.
              Just like how we can disagree with Israel without being anti-Semitic or hating Jews, we can disagree with some of the doctrines of current-day Islam without hating individual Muslims.

              If we're not allowed to criticize things like compulsory veiling  and honor killing for fear of being "racist" we're actually standing by and allowing "individual Muslims" to be hurt.

              When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

              by PhillyJeff on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 08:26:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i had the chance to live and work in (0+ / 0-)

                Malaysia a ´moderate´ Muslim state for two years and it was eye opening both good and bad.

                The non-Muslim folks do not really integrate but particularly with the Muslim majority. The laws put in place to ensure Muslim dominance pretty much guarantee that.

                The good is that it is a relatively peaceful place aside from the periodic bombing of churches, and Ramadan is an amazing observance which IMHO ties the whole Muslim world into one village. And the evening meals are.great.

                But it is still a benign police state designed to perpetuate the remnants of a feudal ultimate an  to occasionally export it to southern Thailand.

                Ecrasez l´infame (crush the infamy) Voltaire.

                by shigeru on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 09:06:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I've also been to Malaysia and it's great (0+ / 0-)

                  But I assume you know about the racism and conflict between the Malay, Chinese and Indian communities in Malaysia. Non-Muslims absolutely face sporadic discrimination in Malaysia.

                  The issue is can we criticize certain schools of Islam (Wahhabism for instance), certain tribal cultures in the Muslim world (i.e. female genital mutilation) etc without being "racist" or "Islamophobic?"

                  You see this to some degree with Israel/Palestine arguments (ironically) where any criticism of Israel is labeled anti-Semitic.

                  When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

                  by PhillyJeff on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 01:13:43 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Anarchists in Spain, dear sir (5+ / 0-)

      were not extremists, but rather the people responsible for initiating the fight against the fascists when the Spanish State stood by paralyzed, when Franco commandeered the Spanish army to his own ends.

      If not for the anarchists, it would have been over in a few weeks, rather than a few years.

      Interesting how you characterize socialism as extreme, while you capitalists are doing your level best to destroy the ecosystem with anthropogenic global warming.

      "Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." - Michael Bakunin (Economic Left/Right: -10.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -9.79)

      by ZhenRen on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 08:07:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not using extreme as a morally-negative word. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian Reifowitz

        I used the example because a number of Americans chose to volunteer and fight in Spain.

        As a matter of fact, as a socialist, I don't consider socialism to be extreme.

        That said, American volunteers in the Spanish Civil War is still an example of extremists being willing to fight for an ideology they believe in. Whereas non-extreme support for the same ideology can still exist.

        And extremist support of an ideology that benefits the world can be a good thing.

  •  The PKK: What's a "Terrorist"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, tardis10, Ian Reifowitz

    Two articles best read in juxtaposition:

    https://firstlook.org/...

    http://www.globalpost.com/...

    “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” —Aldous Huxley

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:05:01 PM PDT

  •  Americans living their stated principles (5+ / 0-)

    ...has been effective diplomacy every time it has been tried.

    The complicating issue for a lot of people is the fact that Black Muslims are now just Muslims.  And the racial baggage of 400 years gets fed into the religious discrimination.   The racial aspect of conservative Islamophobia winds US foreign policy around the axle so that it can't move.

    But, truth be told, European Islamophobia is as much or more of a problem, and there is a hideous colonial history lurking in European attitudes that never gets surfaced.  And the neo-colonialism of current policy affects the former European colonies.

    To fight ISIS, the US must destroy the advantage that ISIS got from capturing US forward positioned weapons.  And then butt out so that the locals can deal with the situation without the complication of rebellions against foreign (US) troops on the ground or killing civilians in air strikes.  Then ISIS becomes the foreign troops that the locals are evicting.

    But your basic point is correct.  The conservative bullies who strut their hatreds of everyone and wrap it in the flag of Americanism will in time create a  rebellion against that treatment.  For those whose identities are moving in the same direction as ISIS, the thrill of striking back might become greate enough for them to become the next Douglas MacArthur McCain. (Did central casting create that name?)

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:06:24 PM PDT

  •  So, KKK (9+ / 0-)

    ...are alienated white youth?

  •  Strip citizenship... (7+ / 0-)

    From anyone who fights for ISIS, strip their citizenship.

  •  Teach more humanities in school (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    The profiles of radicalized youth is typically engineering or technically educated.

  •  No one is leaving any Western Nation... (6+ / 0-)

    ...to join ISIL/ISIS in order to find some alternative path to personal financial gain. I have yet to hear a story that didn't include heavy doses of alienation and sense of not belonging.

    As has been pointed out in by now hundreds of diaries here and as many articles and papers in the broader Reality community, programs like the CCC and WPA did more than put millions of people to work: they made them feel like they were part of something worthwhile.

    We minimize that very powerful need at our peril.

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:13:18 PM PDT

  •  Why are British Sikhs more integrated than Muslims (8+ / 0-)

    People grow angry when faced with an intractable dilemma; they lash out. Whenever I have described in print the cruelties my young Muslim patients endure, I receive angry replies: I am either denounced outright as a liar, or the writer acknowledges that such cruelties take place but are attributable to a local culture, in this case Punjabi, not to Islam, and that I am ignorant not to know it.

    But Punjabi Sikhs also arrange marriages: they do not, however, force consanguineous marriages of the kind that take place from Madras to Morocco. Moreover—and not, I believe, coincidentally—Sikh immigrants from the Punjab, of no higher original social status than their Muslim confrères from the same provinces, integrate far better into the local society once they have immigrated. Precisely because their religion is a more modest one, with fewer universalist pretensions, they find the duality of their new identity more easily navigable. On the 50th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, for example, the Sikh temples were festooned with perfectly genuine protestations of congratulations and loyalty. No such protestations on the part of Muslims would be thinkable.

    But the anger of Muslims, their demand that their sensibilities should be accorded a more than normal respect, is a sign not of the strength but of the weakness—or rather, the brittleness—of Islam in the modern world, the desperation its adherents feel that it could so easily fall to pieces. The control that Islam has over its populations in an era of globalization reminds me of the hold that the Ceausescus appeared to have over the Rumanians: an absolute hold, until Ceausescu appeared one day on the balcony and was jeered by the crowd that had lost its fear. The game was over, as far as Ceausescu was concerned, even if there had been no preexisting conspiracy to oust him.

    One sign of the increasing weakness of Islam’s hold over its nominal adherents in Britain—of which militancy is itself but another sign—is the throng of young Muslim men in prison. They will soon overtake the young men of Jamaican origin in their numbers and in the extent of their criminality. By contrast, young Sikhs and Hindus are almost completely absent from prison, so racism is not the explanation for such Muslim overrepresentation.

    ---- the above is from an essay from Theodore Dalrymple.

    •  And answer this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sandbox

      http://www.forbes.com/...

      "
      Why Did British Police Ignore Pakistani Muslim Gangs Abusing 1,400 Rotherham Children? Political Correctness
      "

    •  I agree with you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mconvente, Arun, Ian Reifowitz

      The more fundamentalist varieties of Sunni Islam are very brittle in the UK or US social context. There are versions of Islam that are more adaptable than others, as well as individuals that are more adaptable.

      But I think residence or citizenship in the US or UK requires some degree of acceptance of the Enlightenment: For example, a willingness to allow a separation of government and religion, which is anathema to many but not most Muslims, and which is especially difficult for the hardline Wahhabi style cults. I think the UK has made a major mistake in allowing binding Sharia' courts for civil and family law for some in the UK, including for inheritance.

      The problem with Islam and modernity, which is different from the Sikhs or other groups, is that Islam is meant to also be a system of governance. As a system of governance, there are irreconcilable differences with universal human rights and the whole project of the Enlightenment... And in my opinion, it is Islam that must adapt. I would say the same about Christian fundamentalists too.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 08:50:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tolerance of Multiculturalism is Key (5+ / 0-)

        And frankly - many Middle Eastern countries (and especially Sunni Muslim societies) are not very tolerant of non-Muslims (or even Shiite Muslims).

        We need to impose a citizenship/residency requirement similar to what has been attempted in the Netherlands.  If you want to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you need to be tested on your tolerance of other ethnic and religious groups.

        There's just no place in America for fundamentalist values.

  •  Is there a real commitment to creating the ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare

    pluralistic, egalitarian, accepting culture that is imagined as a solution to the type of religious and cultural fanaticism exhibited by any extremist group of people willing to kill and die for their group identity?

    I don't think there is even a willingness to accept and care for people inculcated into Western culture, as it is primarily a mimetic culture of exclusion, heirarchy and violent scapegoating as a method of relieving social anxiety.

    We have been playing cultural Russian roulette since the founding of Western Christendom, switching scapegoats as we change social structures, polities and economic systems. Killing Pagans, Jews, religious nonconformists of every stripe, serfs, slaves etc... to create "social stability."

    The significant steps of our evolving societies seem to be delineated by who it is deemed righteous to kill in order to eliminate societal anxiety. This seems to be Western culture's gift to the world, the idea that everything will be all right if you can just finally determine who's in and who's out, and keep everyone in their respective places.

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:18:00 PM PDT

  •  i'm not sure it's a social failure. (4+ / 0-)

    Some Americans went to fight for the Nazi's.

    look up books like Nebraska Doppleganger.

    Some Americans ended up in the japanese military
    http://www.cnn.com/...

  •  I disagree. Fundamentalists alienate themselves. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, Ian Reifowitz, mattc129

    We must counteract the draws of fundamentalism: certainty, purpose, and an excuse to manipulate people to gain power. Anybody see that hot watch al-Baghdadi was sporting a few months ago? No better than the late Jerry Falwell in terms if hypocrisy.

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:35:21 PM PDT

  •  How to alinate Muslims. From todays LATimes ... (0+ / 0-)

    a traditional media source.

    Israel appropriated a swath of 990 acres in the West Bank on Sunday and declared the Palestinian area south of Bethlehem to be Israeli "state lands," local media reported.
    http://www.latimes.com/...
    The announcement reflects Israel’s intent to “wipe out any Palestinian presence on the land” and impose a “de-facto one-state solution,” senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi told foreign media.
    Why does the US of A continue to back Benjamin Netanyahu? Backing him doesn't win us any friends in the Muslim community!
    •  While I have condemned this action (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ian Reifowitz, mosesfreeman

      multiple times, IS isn't fighting Israel.

      •  ISIS is fighting the USA. We are dropping bombs. (0+ / 0-)

        And every time Israel does something like this it creates more enemies for the US.

        Backing Benjamin Netanyahu doesn't win us any friends in the Muslim community! And it adds more enemies.

        •  Backing Netanyahu against Hamas (0+ / 0-)

          probably raises false hopes among Palestinians that Hamas might finally be put out of business. But Netanyahu isn't interested in a full scale war, which is what would be required to do that.

          The US is opposing the planned land seizure.

    •  So the Sunni/Shiite violence in Iraq (4+ / 0-)

      And Sunni/Yazidi violence is because of Israel?

      I condemn Israel's actions but they really have little to do with the ISIS crisis.

      Oppressive Arab and Muslim regimes and oppressive terrorist groups use Israel as a crutch to explain away why they oppress their citizens.

      Do you think Saudi Arabia would suddenly allow women equal rights if the Israel/Palestinian crisis was over?

      Would Boko Haram stop kidnapping and selling women if there was a 2 state solution?

      When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

      by PhillyJeff on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:21:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Muslims are relative newcomers to the U.S"? (0+ / 0-)

    What of Thomas Jefferson's Quaran?

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:49:59 PM PDT

  •  Integration was not the word I heard in school (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    when the history of the immigrants in the late 1800's and early 1900's was taught.  Assimilation was the word.  Would like to see one smarter than me write a diary on the difference and it's impact.  Maybe integration is the better word, I don't know.  I can imagine St. Patrick's day was once an exclusive celebration of the Irish.  Now everyone is Irish for a day.  The ghettos in New York were exclusive to Italian or German for example but now everyone lives in those areas for the most part.  No one in my family speaks German and the children of my great grandparents made their children speak English.  Yet some of the culture of all those immigrants became part of the "American" culture.  What I wonder about is the polarization of cultures by those cultures by not being absorbed into the "American" culture. Does that mean I think English should be the official language of the United States?  No!  But a business that is limited to only certain language populations are going to only be limited to that language population.  And when you have polarization I don't think it's good. We took in the huddled masses and became a big mass with parts of all cultures.  Now what we and Europe to a greater extent are having are culture clashes.  More than just religious clashes.  

    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubt." Bertrand Russell I'm very certain that is true. 10−122

    by thestructureguy on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:50:09 PM PDT

  •  Despite the lofty language in the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    Declaration of Independence and the Constitution regarding freedom and equality, the US has had a rocky relationship with any minority that is not white European and Christian. Obviously that rocky relationship continues to this day.

    So the great melting pot is a myth propogated by those who would exploit minorities instead of welcoming them. In fact the original inhabitants of North America who first came here about 15 thousand years ago toward the end of the last ice age were treated genocidally by the first white European Christians and the US society generally. Indigenous Americans are still lumped in with Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics by tea bagger republicans as less than human.

    Minorities will only be truely integrated in white European society when the tea bagger republicans take up less and less of US society and European society. The main challenge as I see it is that as long as there are republicans pandering to the tea bagger party, we will never be able to integrate minorities in US as well as we could be able to integrate them.

    Knowledge is Power. Ignorance is not bliss, it is suffering. If you like hypocrite Obama, you'll love hypocrite Hillary.

    by harris stein on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:52:48 PM PDT

  •  How do you suggest we integrate these people (6+ / 0-)

    into our society when their religious beliefs often violate our civil sense of what is just, fair or appropriate?   How do you integrate someone whose religion justifies beheading for blasphemy?   Why have we not integrated Hasidic Jews into our society...or why have they avoided integration?

    By and large, I think organized religion is a curse on humanity and has been for thousands of years.  I'm reminded of this:

    Evil never succeeds quite so successfully as when it is done in the name of religion.
    Blaise Pascal. French philosopher/scientist.

    ISIS is evil.  

    The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. - Dante Alighieri

    by Persiflage on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:53:04 PM PDT

    •  The Hebrew Old Testament (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shenderson, Ian Reifowitz

      says adulterers and blasphemers must be stoned to death. Excuse me, but I do believe that many white European Christian fundamentalists follow that dictum. Some of us call them tea baggers.

      Knowledge is Power. Ignorance is not bliss, it is suffering. If you like hypocrite Obama, you'll love hypocrite Hillary.

      by harris stein on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 06:10:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wait... what? (4+ / 0-)

        Maybe I've missed the snark, but are "many white European Christian fundamentalists" currently stoning adulterers and blasphemers to death?  

      •  I'm aware of the many absurdities found in (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian Reifowitz

        the bible....that some people here "believe" those absurdities....and that some religious "leaders" here would in fact incite their followers to perform these crimes against humanity...if they could get away with it.

        By luck, they were born here.  They have prospered selling their snake oil.  One day, we'll wake up and tar and feather them...or something.  :)

        The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. - Dante Alighieri

        by Persiflage on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 06:28:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Hebrew Old Testament contains some of the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian Reifowitz

        worst books ever written.

        However Jews (and most Christians) have gotten around this by either claiming the stories are not to be taken literally, are bad, or are accounts of history and thus certain laws only applied at that time.

        We need Islam to get there as well. It's just tougher to discard the bad verses in Islam right now.

        When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

        by PhillyJeff on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:26:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Charlemagne gave Pagans a choice of Baptism (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Persiflage, Ian Reifowitz

      or death and promptly beheaded 4,500 Pagans.  

      "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubt." Bertrand Russell I'm very certain that is true. 10−122

      by thestructureguy on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 06:24:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think it's a bit different from the diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    People who immigrate to a new country, and their descendants, do need to integrate the new country, whilst also preserving their linkage to the old. The linkages can be linguistic, culinary, religious, artistic, literary, whatever. It's important for human beings to feel connected both to their present and to their (possibly multiple) ancestral pasts.

    The problem is that people to whom many immigrants are linked in the “old country” are being treated very badly. Because of the linkage, this hurts the immigrants/descendants, and if they feel that their current country, to which they also are strongly linked, is responsible to some degree for the bad treatment, well, that not only hurts but feels like a betrayal.

    And it certainly doesn't help if they are actually discriminated against in their current country (even if they would also be discriminated against in the old one). And it also doesn't help if there is a global system of Saudi-funded schools that encourage world Muslims to engage in jihad against the so-called enemies of their faith.

    Put this all together, and yes, dozens and even hundreds of (mostly) young people may act in order to try to help their fellows in the old country.

    This is an echo of our past: remember the Abraham Lincoln Brigade? I think that such efforts had a similar dynamic.

  •  Considering the Shia-Sunni conflict (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    (and various radicalizations (my word)) has existed since the 7th century, I seriously doubt a quick and easy solution will be found.

    Just look at some of the Islamic radicals from Saudi Arabia - raised in the lap of luxury and they still become terrorists ...

  •  I actually think Western society is great (8+ / 0-)

    The best society in the world. Can't really agree with any of this, sorry.

  •  I'll take all the help we can get at this point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    I don't think we have the luxury of being picky.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 06:13:12 PM PDT

  •  In Europe, conservatism isn't about low taxes, ... (4+ / 0-)

    In Europe, conservatism isn't about low taxes, marriage, or jobs. Euro-conservatism is all about "national purity". Wealthy Euros don't object to tax rates over 50 percent, but they are concerned about keeping Germany German, France French, etc. That's why integration is such a tough nut to crack over there.

  •  I'm sorry you think cosmopolitan humanism is bl... (4+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry you think cosmopolitan humanism is bland, thin gruel. I'm too annoyed to say anything else.

  •  Tolerance & integration? Sorry, that ship h... (0+ / 0-)

    Tolerance & integration? Sorry, that ship has sailed - I don't think it was even allowed to dock here.

  •  Exagerating a minor problem (0+ / 0-)

    Firstly I do not how credible is Ed Husain. He belongs to something called the 'Tony Blair' institute of peace and understanding or some such. The day that institute was established was probably also the day that irony was burnt to the ground and its ashes scattered to the winds.

    Secondly the number of Muslims living in the West who are joining ISIS are a minuscule number . Of these quite a few seem to be native born losers who are interested in making some eyeball grabbing splash more than anything else and nothing is more eyeball grabbing today than radical Islam. If it was not this they would have found something else.

    Finally it is not easy for even the most integrated Muslim not to alienated at Western hypocrisy in offering blanket support for Israel's brutalization of the Palestinians. For example support for Israel's actions passed 100-0 in the US Senate, a body which otherwise seems barely functional.

  •  One of the failures of Randian economic dystopi... (3+ / 0-)

    One of the failures of Randian economic dystopias is that the whole philosophy is premised on there being no interdependence, no community. To attempt to govern a nation of 317 million people based on the idea that nobody owes anything to anyone or has any responsibility for anyone is suicidal insanity

  •  Because I know diddly about how American Islamic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    youth think or feel, I really don't have a single thing to offer from their perspective. On this point, I would prefer to read from American Islamic experience on the matter.

    I would add, however, that living in a country that doesn't demand adherence to a particular religious affiliation may be a per se disconnect from a religion that is currently tied to everything in one's life elsewhere, historically.

    While religious extremism in the US is palpable, it certainly is nothing compared to a literal religious state. If one believes that religion is directly tied to absolutely everything in life, including justice, then one may feel completely out of step in a society that simultaneously sells sex and gives blame to the exact same things, for instance.

    There will always be people who get a rise out of brutality and control regardless of religion, geography or politics. I don't know that we have the means to stop that anymore than we have the means to control their upbringing or predisposition for this. So I'd have to say that on just about everything, there are people on the fringe and this is where I would put these folks on a graph.

    What should we do? I don't know. Right now, I would say nothing.
       

    The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers. My birding blogs: http://thisskysings.wordpress.com/ and canyonbirds.net

    by cany on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 07:19:48 PM PDT

  •  I must politely disagree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    First, "to fight Isis" these moves you suggest aren't necessary, as ISIL/ISIS is anathema, in a somewhat literal sense, to all Shiia already, and it is the monster no one will embrace and none can chain for pretty much all of the Sunni states. We here probably need to be on guard for an administration/Village tendency to inflate ISIL into a diabolis ex machina that will justify greater losses of liberties or greater overseas involvements.

    Daily Kos was roundly and universally against air strikes in Syria. Well, this inflation of ISIL is the same currency, more or less. (I couldn't be universally opposed then, and I can't be unambiguously in favor now, because I mistrust these sudden moods in information sites as much as anything else.)

    More to the point, the study you cited was 2005. It's absolutely true that the U.S. has been dreadful at Muslim integration. President Obama's Justice and Homeland departments have not been sufficiently different from the profiling and alienating Bush departments to have healed the damage the latter did, to say the least. However, EU nations have been working very hard -- very hard indeed -- at outreach. The UK, Germany, and France have "anti-radicalization" programs in force as well as integration with moderate (which is to say, "most") imams.

    The ISIL/ISIS ex-pat crisis is partly a problem of the plight of Syria. For whatever reason, it was in our interests to allow an outreach for volunteers to help the Free Syrian Army, and that meant people going and turning up in the various other militant organizations and the militating atmosphere of Syria. Either we needed to downplay Assad's war on his own people -- which was always tinged with Allowite vs. Sunni -- or provide a channel for that which would have taken the volunteers away.

    "for all the murders, rapes, and thefts,/ Committed in the horrid lust of war,/ He that unjustly caus'd it first proceed,/ Shall find it in his grave and in his seed." -- Webster, "The White Devil," IV i 8-12.

    by The Geogre on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 07:29:01 PM PDT

  •  I would like to see & hear more from the is... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sandbox, mconvente

    I would like to see & hear more from the islamic religious leadership rejecting outright the destructive pseudo islamic groups like ISIS, Boko Haram, Salafists, al qaeda, etc as not islamic.

  •  Funny we don't find other (4+ / 0-)

    groups needing special efforts at "Integration" (previously known as assimilation). Nor the need for proxies of Islamic extremism.

  •  america talks about (0+ / 0-)

    the democratic way of life but treats others with less than a democratic attitude, we are our own worst enemy.

  •  Islam needs liberals. Religious conservatism is... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    Islam needs liberals. Religious conservatism is the problem and always will be everywhere.

  •  Actually I see lots of Muslims integrating (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Ian Reifowitz

    quite nicely into American society here in the Bronx. That isn't to say that there won't be a few terrorists here and there, but you don't see American Christian society blamed for Eric Rudolph or American Jewish society blamed for Baruch Goldstein.

  •  It's more than that, Ian (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, Ahianne, zinxeb

    The problem is that our policy is incoherent.  A friend sent the following:

    Just in case you are confused by what is going on in the Middle East, I have obtained this simple explanation of the UK Government's apparent position:


    We support the Iraqi government in the fight against ISIS. We don’t like ISIS, but ISIS is supported by Saudi Arabia whom we do like.

    We don’t like Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but ISIS is also fighting against him.We don’t like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIS.

    So some of our friends support our enemies, some enemies are now our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting against our other enemies, whom we want to lose, but we don’t want our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win.

    If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they could be replaced by people we like even less.

    And all this was started by Blair siding with Bush and invading a country to drive out terrorists who were not actually there until after we went in to drive them out.

    The West is engaged in so much hypocrisy that it doesn't even know the difference between the truth and a lie anymore. We have lost both the moral high ground and our moral compass. People don't believe us any more.
  •  All this talk about Isis, and no one mentions... (0+ / 0-)

    "Woe unto ye beetles of South America." -- Charles Darwin, about to sail on The Beagle, 1831

    by Katakana on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 12:15:46 AM PDT

  •  Islam Immigrants (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ang, mconvente, mattc129

    You cannot integrate people whose core belief system dictates that they force you to adopt their beliefs or be killed.

  •  Maybe something is inherently wrong with Islam (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sandbox, mconvente, zinxeb, mattc129

    and not the western societies that Muslims are leaving from to join ISIL.

    Seems to me that just about every western country in the world has Muslims leaving their homes to join ISIL. Some of those countries such as the UK have bent over backwards in an attempt to make Muslims feel at home.

    Stop blaming the victims, and start taking responsibility for the text of Islam, which tends toward radicalism. Start by taking a good look at what is being taught and encouraged in some mosques.

    Westerners are not the root cause of extremism & terrorism!It goes much deeper than that!

    There are endless immigrants in western counties around the world managing to get by without declaring Caliphate, or running around cutting peoples heads off. Wake up, and stop making excuses for the inexcusable!

  •  Head coverings incompatible with integration (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ang, Ian Reifowitz, mconvente, zinxeb, mattc129

    Want to know what's all-American?  The back to school pool party. Which is where my son's birthday falls, and we'll be having pool parties when he's school age.

    Explain to me how the future little Muslim girl in his class who is covered head to toe attends a pool party. How does she integrate into our culture?

    Those who mark themselves as separate will remain separate.

    •  You're missing the point, apparently. (0+ / 0-)

      We should stop having pool parties, and perhaps we should impose rigid segregation of the genders, so that Muslims can feel more integrated.

      It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

      by Rich in PA on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 12:34:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Several disagreements: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz, mconvente, mattc129

    - I see no connection established in your diary or IRL between US immigration behaviors and jihadism.

    - I have direct experience in bringing hundreds of Muslim tech people from the Middle East (other groups from Southest Asia and Great Britain) and their families to the US, hundreds. The immigration, acclimation, and integration into my company, local Muslim communities and their overall SoCal towns went very well despite spanning before, during, and after September 11, 2001. I still get notes form these people and their families, just to let me know about how their lives are going which is generally very good. Very few, a couple out of hundreds of people, returned to the Middle East and they had  issues unrelated to their immigration.  

    Not all but most Americans are overall welcoming. It was a lot of work but the people involved were naturally collaborative. Sure, much forethought and planning was involved, plans had to be developed to reconcile men and women from a rigid sexist paternalistic culture with our diverse workplace.  Muslim Egyptian men had to adapt to suddenly report to an out lesbian manager or a Jewish New Yorker who happened to be going through menopause. Life happens in the trenches, eh?

    The few, Americans who had race/religion/nationalism/etc. issues during this large influx of "foreigners" numbed only 2 out of hundreds - both white men - both moved on and left us. That was the right thing.

    So, I guess I have to fundamentally disagree with this one.

    Thanks Ian.

  •  There's a little more to all of this... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    What makes an immigrant fit into the culture of the new land he is living in is opportunity...to get a good job, save money and climb up the social ladder...same things that natives of the country want.

    Most people make friends in the place where they work...or in the interests and hobbies that they can afford to pay for when they have a good job.  A new language is much easier to learn when there's the incentive of making good money if an immigrant learns it, and once the new language is learned, the opportunities of their new country open up for them if the job market is strong.

    Young people are very susceptible to being alienated and falling into bad company when they have nothing better to do but sit at home and listen to their parents complain about the society they live in, whether it's foreign or American parents doing the complaining.  It's the old folks that shape young minds, especially when they have also been denied the opportunity of being gainfully employed themselves.

    Native Americans also have been denied the opportunity of good jobs, which has led to the chronic problems that exist on reservations.  No amount of pride in cultural heritage is gonna help if they can't find jobs and raise their social status and bank accounts.

    When poor economic policies cause the labor market to collapse and the economy to tank, there are a lot of people with time on their hands left to use it in unproductive and harmful ways.  Politicians better heed the warning or it will be more than just discontented minorities who will be involved is social unrest.

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