[Paleopsych] NYT Op-Ed: Why Do They Hate Us? (with a meme from me)

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Fri Jul 22 19:08:23 UTC 2005

Why Do They Hate Us? Not Because of Iraq
New York Times Op-Ed, 5.7.22

[I append the meme I sent little more than a month after the 9/11 attacks on 
Scruppies (scripture-pounding yuppies). I see little reason to revise what I 
wrote then. Envy remains a powerful force in the world.]


    WHILE yesterday's explosions on London's subway and bus lines were
    thankfully far less serious than those of two weeks ago, they will
    lead many to raise a troubling question: has Britain (and Spain as
    well) been "punished" by Al Qaeda for participating in the
    American-led military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan? While
    this is a reasonable line of thinking, it presupposes the answer to a
    broader and more pertinent question: Are the roots of Islamic
    terrorism in the Middle Eastern conflicts?

    If the answer is yes, the solution is simple to formulate, although
    not to achieve: leave Afghanistan and Iraq, solve the Israel-Palestine
    conflict. But if the answer is no, as I suspect it is, we should look
    deeper into the radicalization of young, Westernized Muslims.

    Conflicts in the Middle East have a tremendous impact on Muslim public
    opinion worldwide. In justifying its terrorist attacks by referring to
    Iraq, Al Qaeda is looking for popularity or at least legitimacy among
    Muslims. But many of the terrorist group's statements, actions and
    non-actions indicate that this is largely propaganda, and that Iraq,
    Afghanistan and Palestine are hardly the motivating factors behind its
    global jihad.

    First, let's consider the chronology. The Americans went to Iraq and
    Afghanistan after 9/11, not before. Mohamed Atta and the other pilots
    were not driven by Iraq or Afghanistan. Were they then driven by the
    plight of the Palestinians? It seems unlikely. After all, the attack
    was plotted well before the second intifada began in September 2000,
    at a time of relative optimism in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

    Another motivating factor, we are told, was the presence of "infidel"
    troops in Islam's holy lands. Yes, Osama Bin Laden was reported to be
    upset when the Saudi royal family allowed Western troops into the
    kingdom before the Persian Gulf war. But Mr. bin Laden was by that
    time a veteran fighter committed to global jihad.

    He and the other members of the first generation of Al Qaeda left the
    Middle East to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980's.
    Except for the smallish Egyptian faction led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, now
    Mr. bin Laden's chief deputy, these militants were not involved in
    Middle Eastern politics. Abdullah Azzam, Mr. bin Laden's mentor, gave
    up supporting the Palestinian Liberation Organization long before his
    death in 1989 because he felt that to fight for a localized political
    cause was to forsake the real jihad, which he felt should be
    international and religious in character.

    From the beginning, Al Qaeda's fighters were global jihadists, and
    their favored battlegrounds have been outside the Middle East:
    Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya and Kashmir. For them, every conflict is
    simply a part of the Western encroachment on the Muslim ummah, the
    worldwide community of believers.

    Second, if the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine are at the
    core of the radicalization, why are there virtually no Afghans, Iraqis
    or Palestinians among the terrorists? Rather, the bombers are mostly
    from the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, Egypt and Pakistan - or they
    are Western-born converts to Islam. Why would a Pakistani or a
    Spaniard be more angry than an Afghan about American troops in
    Afghanistan? It is precisely because they do not care about
    Afghanistan as such, but see the United States involvement there as
    part of a global phenomenon of cultural domination.

    What was true for the first generation of Al Qaeda is also relevant
    for the present generation: even if these young men are from Middle
    Eastern or South Asian families, they are for the most part
    Westernized Muslims living or even born in Europe who turn to radical
    Islam. Moreover, converts are to be found in almost every Qaeda cell:
    they did not turn fundamentalist because of Iraq, but because they
    felt excluded from Western society (this is especially true of the
    many converts from the Caribbean islands, both in Britain and France).
    "Born again" or converts, they are rebels looking for a cause. They
    find it in the dream of a virtual, universal ummah, the same way the
    ultraleftists of the 1970's (the Baader-Meinhof Gang, the Italian Red
    Brigades) cast their terrorist actions in the name of the "world
    proletariat" and "Revolution" without really caring about what would
    happen after.

    It is also interesting to note that none of the Islamic terrorists
    captured so far had been active in any legitimate antiwar movements or
    even in organized political support for the people they claim to be
    fighting for. They don't distribute leaflets or collect money for
    hospitals and schools. They do not have a rational strategy to push
    for the interests of the Iraqi or Palestinian people.

    Even their calls for the withdrawal of the European troops from Iraq
    ring false. After all, the Spanish police have foiled terrorist
    attempts in Madrid even since the government withdrew its forces.
    Western-based radicals strike where they are living, not where they
    are instructed to or where it will have the greatest political effect
    on behalf of their nominal causes.

    The Western-based Islamic terrorists are not the militant vanguard of
    the Muslim community; they are a lost generation, unmoored from
    traditional societies and cultures, frustrated by a Western society
    that does not meet their expectations. And their vision of a global
    ummah is both a mirror of and a form of revenge against the
    globalization that has made them what they are.

    Olivier Roy, a professor at the School for Advanced Studies in the
    Social Sciences, is the author of "Globalized Islam."


Meme 019: SCRUPPIES: Scripture-Pounding Yuppies

Fundamentalism is characteristic, not of aging
conservatives so much as young, urbanizing populations
undergoing great change. Fundamentalism eases their road
to modernization. What they do is find a high-price faith
that demands strict adherence and commitment and then go
through their scripture and carefully select passages
that emphasize clean living, strict obedience, and
*making money*. They then insist on taking these passages
infallibly and literally (and ignoring the rest).

They are scripture-pounding Yuppies, and I call the
Scruppies. This is described, in the case of the Moslems,
in Samuel Huntington's _Clash of Civilizations_, where he
notes that fundamentalist beliefs are highest in medical
and professional schools. Scruppies are also
characteristic of Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam
(http://www.finalcall.com), and it was true of the first
Protestant Ethic described by Max Weber in 1904/5.

The terrorists are *failed* Scruppies. Get too many
failed males of the high testosterone years, fill *them*
up with fundamentalism and they emphasize, not the money-
making elements but the strict adherence. Huntington
shows how the fine correlation between peak of 15-24 year
old youth bulge in Moslem countries and fundamentalist

[I am sending forth these memes, not because I agree wholeheartedly with all of 
them, but to impregnate females of both sexes. Ponder them and
spread them.]

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