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Fighting Islamic State by military means is one thing, but how do you fight their ideology?

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Not sure there is a way to fight this. This is a war on idealiligy. The same as with the U.S. War in Vietnam. Islamic extremism is nothing new, only the name. Today it's ISIL, yesterday Al Quida, teeny years ago, Hesbolah, and Hamas, forty years ago, the PLO.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Their ideology is based on Jihad, which comes directly from the Koran. So you promote secularism in Muslim-majority parts of the world, like Iraq, Saudi Arabia and south Yorkshire. In foreign policy, you support the secular leaders and destroy the religious ones. Saddam and Assad were brutal dictators, but hey, the region was still in much better shape when they were around than now.

The West also needs a strategy to undercut Sharia law, including in their own countries. Britain allowing 75 Sharia courts to replace British family courts was a move basically aimed at aiding homegrown terrorism and a host of other human-rights abuses.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

There is nothing 'infidels' as part of a 'satanic coalition' can do to fight the ideology of people using barking mad language like this. It will just add further to their nutty fantasy that they are involved in a grand struggle between the forces of good and evil. The optimists have told us the onus is on the people of this part of the world to as best they can domesticate their religion and cage it with a secular government, as has worked with reasonable success in civilised countries. I don't see the appetite for this and brave people who would try to do this would run a very high risk of being butchered. It's not difficult to understand why the west was prepared to tolerate despots in this part of the world.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It may be unpopular to say this but if we're going to try the only thing that has worked in the past, unfortunately we probably need a strongman dictator with a cult of personality. Hussein, Qadaffi, Mubarak and the Assads were all very successful at keeping islamic extremism under control for decades.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Education.

Islam has a rich history and every time any Muslim kills another human, Islam is degraded.

The more educated someone is, the more likely they will actually READ THE KORAN and not simply trust what someone else claims it says. Illiteracy is one of the ways extremist Muslims are controlled.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Build a huge wall around the middle east. Politically, economically, and physically. Come back and see what is in there after 100 years.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

We fight the ideology by military means. It's the only way.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sadly I don't think education is going to work, M3. Documents such as te Koran are subject to interpretation. And this is where the power of clerics to tell people what those old words mean. It is no different than a Christian who reads the bible or a Jewish person reading the Torah. Five people, five different interpetations. Say with radical Islam growing, the clerics just gain more influence. (PS sorry for any typos, my old eyes can see this little iphone screen so well anymore, and the app isn't so great either).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I had some additional ideas: make praising ISIS a deport-able offense, put Muhammad on the $1 bill, and have free pork and alcohol on Fridays. The last three are designed to show the absolute contempt the civilized societies have for radical Islam.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What frightens ISIS and Taliban-esque fundamentalist Moslems most? 1. 12-year-old girls who can read and 2. Adult women who can think for themselves. Therefore, to combat their ideology other nations and people need to educate females. In a generation or two either all the women will be dead or fundamentalism will be. Either way fundamentalists will be gone.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Apparently ISIS's ideology includes burying women and children alive and decapitation of innocent people. It's up to Islam to first decide what to do with Gangsters and psychopaths parading in prophet's robes. How is it this cancer is called ideology?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You fight this by holding true to your values, supporting social justice, alleviating poverty, increasing education, building stronger societies.

Basically everything that's NOT being done right now. These guys thrive in the void caused by violence, injustice, bigotry, and ignorance. Reduce those things and they (and their ideology) have nowhere to hide.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

White supremacy was an ideology, Male dominance was an ideology, divine right of kings and the pope were an ideology. Not one had withstand against education. That is the only way to go.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"The more educated someone is, the more likely they will actually READ THE KORAN and not simply trust what someone else claims it says. Illiteracy is one of the ways extremist Muslims are controlled.

@The Fu. People who read the Quran will come across this phrase in Quran (8:12), "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike of their heads and strike off every fingertip of them."

I agree that education is a good step along with the empowering of girls and women but there is something sinister in Islam that must be confronted.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@scipantheist

I had some additional ideas: make praising ISIS a deport-able offense, put Muhammad on the $1 bill, and have free pork and alcohol on Fridays. The last three are designed to show the absolute contempt the civilized societies have for radical Islam.

This shows absolute comtempt for an entire culture not just a radical subset. Drawing a line between us and Islam only empowers the radicals who build their case to other muslims around the argument that the West seeks to destroy Islam.

@samwatters

People who read the Quran will come across this phrase in Quran (8:12), "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike of their heads and strike off every fingertip of them." I agree that education is a good step along with the empowering of girls and women but there is something sinister in Islam that must be confronted.

I agree with you up to the point where you might be implying that something in Islam will necessarily prevent muslims from living in peace with non-muslims. Christianity once waged holy wars, but I don't think anyone can genuinely accuse modern Christianity of being a violent religion. You say something must be confronted in Islam, and I agree, but by whom? I think it will have to be from within the religion. The best way we can facilitate that change of perspective from within is to make efforts to support the development of those communities. If we build a much needed water well, for example, in a muslim community, that community would not easily be convinced to wage holy war against us. The West needs to be visible agents of prosperity and stability, not people solely interested in extracting the region's natural resources. But I think the actual change in radical Islam can only come from people within the faith.

That's roughly what I think about how to deal with radical ideologies, but how to deal with IS is another matter. I'm honestly not sure if it's safe or even morally permissable to wait for a change within their ranks to occur on its own.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@spbpb

This shows absolute comtempt for an entire culture not just a radical subset. Drawing a line between us and Islam only empowers the radicals who build their case to other muslims around the argument that the West seeks to destroy Islam.

Not quite. It makes the assertion that a non-radical Muslim must be one who accepts that they can't control other people's drawings, food, or alchohol. I think that is a necessary statement.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Unfortunately, with all religions, indoctrination begins at a young age. There is no choice. With that being the case, The extremists need to be shown "who's boss" and beaten io aubmission. They live in archaic times so let's send them back there! "Moderates" have done nothing but "pray" for change - funny it's YOUR GOD that got us into this mess in the first place. The next leader I have to endure that says "this is not Islam"...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"I agree with you up to the point where you might be implying that something in Islam will necessarily prevent muslims from living in peace with non-muslims."

Fair point. I am not an expert in the Quran (nor the Bible as I am an atheist) but there does appear to be a direct call for violence against non-believers that goes beyond simply not living together peacefully. I would also like to see a more proactive approach by so called "true muslims" to reign in the "not real Muslims" that comprise Islamic State, etc. I think doing so would improve the image of Islam while refusing to do so would reveal Islam's true intentions.

"But I think the actual change in radical Islam can only come from people within the faith."

I couldn't agree with you more. We (non-Muslims) cannot impose our beliefs on them. On the other hand, countries that are beginning to rethink their immigration policies due to Muslims wanting to impose their beliefs on us have a legitimate reason to consider doing so.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Education may help but that won't address the core problem. Mainstream Islam teaches that this book is the perfect word of a god. As long as this idea is in place, it's very dangerous. You cannot dismiss the violent verses no matter how 'educated' and literate you are and many extremists are literate people who can see for themselves what this book says. It's there on the page.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

scipantheist

It makes the assertion that a non-radical Muslim must be one who accepts that they can't control other people's drawings, food, or alchohol.

Every country has liquor laws, food protection laws, prohibited foods, things that are prohibited to be displayed.

Every single one. To ignore that is rather pointless.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What frightens ISIS and Taliban-esque fundamentalist Moslems most? 1. 12-year-old girls who can read and 2. Adult women who can think for themselves.

Seems to hinge on the idea that the west or Japan are near half controlled by powerful free thinking women. I don't think so. You can educate women as much as you want, they still don't usually want the reins. Even in the west, stalwart anti-war, anti-violence women groups like Code Pink are a rarity with limited membership and don't have much power. From Vietnam to Iraq and so many little actions in between, it seems to me that violence loving war hawks keep getting their way. The only difference between the western militaries and the militant groups is big time and small time and I don't think women have a hand in that distinction either.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Pandabelle

The sane ones do not ban alcohol completely, food is usually restricted only for health reasons, not religious, and only pornographic images are prohibited to be displayed in the US. Oh sure, some hate symbols might result in an unpleasant reaction from the crowd, but I think if Muhammad has to be classified as a hate symbol than that should give Muslims pause...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Education for the masses, and bombs for the asses

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Fighting Islamic State by military means is one thing, but how do you fight their ideology?

I would have suggested holding their ideology up to ridicule, laughing at their ranting leader... but sadly that would only attract some of their rats to emerge from the sewers and attack the source, a-la Charlie Ebdo.

Capture al Baghdadi or whatever his name is and shave his beard off, chuck custard pies at him and have him chased around by girls in bikinis with Benny Hill music playing. Then again that might also annoy his brain dead followers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Education is off the mark. The worst of the worst among ISIS are the most educated. The most savage terrorists come from good families with all the advantages.

These are people who have seen the west, and who were raised in the Europe and America. And they opted for chopping off heads in the desert.

I am not a religious person, but I understand that when people feel spiritually lost they seek answers. Western lifestyle offers no answers in that sense. You just make your own way spiritually. The attraction of an organized group with all the answers is obvious. To me Aum Shinrikyo and other cults are similar to ISIS. If you want to address either you have to address the malaise of western society. Education generally does not address spiritual questions.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Education doesn't mean people are smart, or intelligent, and it doesn't mean they will do the right thing, but it gives them the tools and can help them make the right choices if they choose to.

I think THE right education is key to going some way in reducing the number of these meat heads, religion is not the answer here as they warped and crooked will twist it to suit their own means.

Education and a big stick is about the only option. Help, aid money, hugs, and all that other feel good stuff doesn't work.

The training the US gave to the Iraq army is what got the isis the ability to wage war, while the US trained these guys once the uS left they turned their training around and now use it for their benefit.

The US gave the Iraq army weapons , vehicles and the training to use them, if they had of included science and morales in the teaching so these people could see the reality instead of believing the Koran is the truth some of these people might have not found these criminals who recruited them.

Science not religion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Their ideology is based on Jihad, which comes directly from the Koran. So you promote secularism in Muslim-majority parts of the world, like Iraq, Saudi Arabia and south Yorkshire.

It is in practice impossible to promote secularism in England on any official basis, because there is a state religion. To change that would require significant reforms of state institutions, including the monarchy, and at the moment there are no signs of any moves towards that, or (unfortunately) of much pressure from the public for such reforms.

In any case, the signs are mainly of movement in the opposite direction. Already, one-third of state-funded schools are classed as "faith schools", predominantly Church of England or Catholic.

South Yorkshire, by the way, is ethnically 95 percent white, and 2.6 percent South Asian. It is obviously not majority Muslim: does a few percent bother you that much?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Drop that freedom-of-religion thing. Take over the Middle East oil states and make them UN protectorates. Give the oil to the poor of the world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Designate "Radical Islamic terrorists" as "hate groups"?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

First, stop calling it "Islamic state" as it gives these monsters some sort of credibility. They are not a state, government or any such thing. They are a band of violent mauraders. Psychopaths.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

scipantheist

The sane ones do not ban alcohol completely

Its rarely banned completely in the Muslim world. Saudi, Iran, maybe that's it? I can point you to lots of areas in the US where alcohol sales are banned completely, and it's not Islamic fundamentalist influence doing it.

food is usually restricted only for health reasons, not religious

Really? Didn't realize you could buy cat, dog, horse meat in the US. Nothing "unhealthy" with those meats but raising those animals for human consumption is generally prohibited.

only pornographic images are prohibited to be displayed in the US

Everybody's got their own ideas on what can and cannot be restricted, don't they? Others laugh at American puritanism when it comes to nudity. Who is right?

The truth is everybody defends their own standards for these things, and thinks being less permissive is just wrong. No, it's different for different cultures. You need to recognize that.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A few thoughts:

One aspect of ISIS is that the movement transcends the phenomenon of the nation-state. In some senses, it is not possible to deal with them on the same basis as, say, bi-lateral negotiations between countries. Their rules are different; their assumptions are different.

ISIS also resembles crusades from western Europe from the 11th to the 14th or 15th centuries. Frequently they were quite, what we could call nowadays, multinational, though the French were pretty numerous among them. ISIS would have certain ethnicities and nationalities prevailing. That 'Jihadi John', who sounds like he comes from SE England, may be of non-British ethnicity, but he may have less in common with, say, some more local guys traumatized by what the Syrian government did to their family. I would say that 'Jihadi John' is kept on as long as he is useful, as people like him get knocked on the head regularly enough by their erstwhile comrades, and internal ethnicity-based tribalism can be a contributing cause.

However, this does not mean that nationality and ethnology are irrelevant - fractures along those lines materialise easily enough. Yet, lots of people in an organization like ISIS will never hesitate to use the trump card which is 'the will of God'. Adherence to divine entity transcends ideology.

A further aspect is the extent to which ISIS targets Shia Islam - for instance lots of the suicide bombings are in Shia centers. The Sunni-Shia divide in Islam may be the strongest point on which to focus in dealing with ISIS, especially if one was interested in driving a wedge in there.

Unfortunately though, harmlessly grovelling before people who are in the nasty attention-seeking behaviour of cutting non-ISIS people's heads off slowly on the internet, is next to useless. Regardless of the strong emotive stresses produced, that is one way NOT to deal with ISIS.

One posting above mentioned education of females, which is one good way to affect cutlural change. However, I fear that quite a few females being educated are going to be massacred before such a longer-term strategy has desired effects.

In a Japanese historical perspective, does anyone know how Sengoku-era warlords dealt with militant Buddhist institutions? I am not advocating that, rather just noting that that pathway is there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

1

@samwatters

"The more educated someone is, the more likely they will actually READ THE KORAN and not simply trust what someone else claims it says. Illiteracy is one of the ways extremist Muslims are controlled.

@The Fu. People who read the Quran will come across this phrase in Quran (8:12), "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike of their heads and strike off every fingertip of them."

I agree that education is a good step along with the empowering of girls and women but there is something sinister in Islam that must be confronted

That you'd single out one phrase to make the claim that there is something sinister in Islam... clearly you are a good example of what TheFu says. An extremist of the non-muslim kind.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"That you'd single out one phrase to make the claim that there is something sinister in Islam... clearly you are a good example of what TheFu says. An extremist of the non-muslim kind."

There you have it ladies and gentlemen; the reason why we can't have any intelligent discussion regarding Islam.

@kikai. What am I? A racist? A bigot? An Islamophobe? A combination of all three? Why is any criticism---and can my post really be called "criticsim"?---met with name calling?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There you have it ladies and gentlemen; the reason why we can't have any intelligent discussion regarding Islam.

@kikai. What am I? A racist? A bigot? An Islamophobe? A combination of all three? Why is any criticism---and can my post really be called "criticsim"?---met with name calling?

Let me repeat what you just said, for effect: There you have it ladies and gentlemen; the reason why we can't have any intelligent discussion regarding Islam. I agree with you on this. When one mentions a single phrase - ignoring all the many other phrases that can be found in that book, and then makes a claim... nope. I see no way how intelligent discussion can be had like this.

As for what you are - racist, bigot, islamophobe - I don't know. That you chose to single out such a phrase, though, when you could have approached the subject in a fairer, more balanced way - as I said above, an extremist of the non muslim kind. That, or one not really capable of intelligent discussion (on this topic at least). Am I wrong? Sorry then. Please move on.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"We" (non Muslims) can't do much to change Islam's problems with interpretation, historical relevance and extremism. Just like Muslims weren't responsible for converting Christianity's murderous ways to more benign ones, non-Muslims can't be expected to change Muslims' minds all on our own.

Christians changed Christianity, from inside, through education, reformation, reinterpretation and actually splitting away from the radicals and condemning their mindset. It's up to the Muslims who aren't interested in violent, Koran and Hadith-based Jihad to stand up and say "I'm NOT supporting your goals, your interpretations, you CANNOT kill or even coerce people based on religious doctrine or because you don't like their personal freedom to choose for themselves! All people MUST have the right to move freely between religions, to live in societies where one religion isn't totalitarian in nature and discriminatory towards non-believers! And EVERYONE should be able to reinterpret their religion more peacefully in light of modern civil society, but if people don't want our Muslim law imposed on them from outside, they shouldn't be subjected to it!"

Unfortunately, for now mainstream Muslims are too silent. I don't hear such calls, because unlike in Christianity, Islam's precepts explicitly forbid reformation away from the original texts and explicitly maintains that the brutal, conquering stories of its founder to be the epitome of what it means to be a "good Muslim." So they stay silent. And silence on the issue of violent Jihad means more death and destruction, mostly for Muslims themselves!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Pandabelle

You need to realize some cultures are objectively worse than others. Like the one with the child rapists in charge (Syria) is objectively worse than the US.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Kikai. You got it half right. I cited the phrase the most often used by those who claim to be Muslims to justify their violence. I didn't write the phrase and I certainly am not violent (despite your claim that I am a radical). I just think this phrase needs to be considered because when other posters are saying becoming literate will solve a lot of the violence I think an examination of what passes for Islamic scripture needs to be examined is fair. That a post as mild as mine can bring you to refer to me as a radical is the point I was trying to make; people like me are supposed to be silent and not question anything about Islam. If we do we are called names, etc. This is why we cannot have an intelligent discussion about Islam.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mainstream Islam teaches that this book is the perfect word of a god.

Bring your Bible to war, and you can leave your conscience at home:

Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’” 28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. 29 Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.”

Exodus 32:27-29

1 ( +1 / -0 )

scipantheist

You need to realize some cultures are objectively worse than others.

No I don't, because it's not true.

Like the one with the child rapists in charge (Syria) is objectively worse than the US.

You are confusing government and culture. Of course the Syrian government is much worse than the US. Absolutely nobody would disagree with that statement. But the culture? I wouldn't go comparing cultures anywhere, you may not like the results.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

'Christians changed Christianity, from inside, through education, reformation, reinterpretation and actually splitting away from the radicals and condemning their mindset.'

Don't forget the pressure exerted on Christianity by secular thought and science as well as Christians. Many 'radicals' were executed by the church for heresy, not disowned. The Christian churches certainly didn't hand away power freely and your idea that all of this change came from within after considered reflection by the churches is very misleading. Changes in the Catholic case of Jewish Decide or Mormonism's case of foul racism came about from moral horror in the first case and a change in the law for second. Christianity in general still lags behind the moral zeitgeist and in some cases still needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. The Catholic Church's ban on condoms will eventually fold under pressure and the Evangelicals will be completely defeated in the US over gay marriage by people with a better source of morality.

I can't see the same pressure being exerted on Islam in the Middle East and as with any elite with power, religious or otherwise, the Mullahs, Imams, Ayatollahs, Kings and despots of this area are not going to give up their power and influence without a fight.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@samwatters. Extremist does not necessarily imply violent. If you choose to interpret it that way... Yet another reason why we (meaning you and I, or any other for that matter) cannot have an intelligent discussion about Islam. However. I'll apologize for using that word, if you insist on it implying violent. Lets move on.

There are lots of phrases in the Quran that have to be considered. Some good, some like the one you chose to pluck out. You are absolutely right in saying that what "passes for Islamic scripture" needs to be examined. Heck, some parts are downright odd, contradictory even. Maybe, just maybe, a thorough examination of the book and the conclusions that follow might be shocking to the average Muslim. Maybe.

But you can't have intelligent discussion about Islam if you're going to start by plucking one - ONE - phrase and then claiming that there is something sinister about the religion. That is MY point. Heck, we cannot have an intelligent discussion about pretty much anything at all if that is your approach to having an 'intelligent' discussion.

I've had what I believe anyone would consider to be intelligent discussions on Islam with many. In all cases we were, at worst, able to agree to disagree. None of them started out the way you did. NONE.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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