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Old 08-31-2015, 07:09 AM
 
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Well, I had a good weekend off - and now back to work:

Juju and Continuum, I think both of you are on a track that is not consistent with where I was going with GoCardinals and Woodrow Li, and it isn't helpful. When people start generalizing the Hamas and Hamas-like videos of children being indoctrinated against the Jews to the entire Islamic faith, we've left rational conversation. That is a very specific activity by a very specific group being carried out in a very specific location and, while it would be of interest to policymakers in, say Israel, it isn't really relevant to policymakers world-wide.

Same goes when we start cherry picking sentences which can be construed as promoting evil from a collection of thousands and thousands of passages and condemn an entire faith with it. (After all, look at Deuteronomy Chapter 20. That could be used to make Christians and Jews look very violent.) Such talk doesn't add to discussion, rather it starts tangents that quickly devolve into (or promote) conflict. Don't need it. Thanks for playing, but please take it to another thread. This isn't what we're talking about.

GoCardinals: When a criminologist raises a question about 'we,' as in "Are 'we' doing x,y or z about..." he (or she) is using the societal 'we' - kinda' like the 'royal we.' When we talk about crime rates in inner city neighborhoods, we talk about what we (society) can do to decrease those rates, even though no criminologist I know actually lives in an inner city neighborhood.

Same with this discussion. The 'we' is society - and you are part of it; I am part of it (and I'm not a Muslim); everyone is. Sometimes societies innocently do things that have unintended bad consequences. Doesn't mean that when bad things happen, that everyone in the society supported the bad end. For example a society, in the US we smoked like chimneys until the 1980s or so. (Heck - I was still getting cigarettes in my C-rations into the late 1970s.) Then we figured out that the rise in lung cancer was related to that, so society gradually reduced its tolerance for smoking.

Another way to have phrased the question might have been, "Is society raising young Muslims in a way where they are given only partial insight into the religious texts that will guide them through life, which might make them vulnerable to exploitation by predators?" It was a thought that I came up with as I read Woodrow's posting from last Thursday. If I recall correctly, I understood him to say that children raised in a Muslim household are taught by rote memory some or all of the Quran, but a deeper understanding of the Quran and its interpretations is not generally provided until adulthood. That fit with a book I read a couple weeks earlier about Iranian youths being raised in the 1940s and 1950s - they learned 30 (I forgot the word - verses? passages?) from the Quran - but most did not learn the other thirty. And understanding of all of them was not explored until later in life - if at all.

So now look at the conversation about the madrassa. The stories that cross my desk are about a few from Pakistan (mostly) which have been hijacked by militants with agendas, often with lethal outcomes in one way or another. I don't, however, generalize what happens in those few schools to the entire faith - that would be silly. Most of the fatalities that arise from events revolving around or arising from these few schools are actually suffered by Muslims.

When I lived in Asia in the 1980s, I knew many, many children who were sold into indentured servitude either for money or because their family could not afford to raise them. Most went to city businesses or rural farms, but some were sold into the sex industry and from there the exploitation became their way of life. Flash forward to today - In about a half dozen cases of madrassas in my research, I found similar stories where families gave their children to the school because the school could feed and clothe them when the family could not. Unfortunately, in the few schools that came to my attention, the schoolmasters exploited the youngsters and then gave them to one of about a half dozen terrorist organizations, which then used them as bomb carriers. Now, in these cases, was the fact that the children might have only been learning part of the Quran the reason they were exploitable? Probably not. Take any twelve year old, place him in a school run by a bad guy, expose him to a non-stop curriculum of hate, oppression and victimhood, and you can pretty much turn that 12 year-old into anything you want.

So what did I do about it? Well, calling the authorities isn't really needed because by the time they crossed my desk, the cops have already raided them. (The stories of children being chained in the basement of one of them is heartbreaking.) In fact, that is often what caused the fatalities - the cops showed up and the people inside opened fire on the cops.

What I am doing is writing a book that can be used by policy makers about a very specific type of crime used by terrorist groups worldwide based on a database of 4,530 specific events. Some of these events were launched by terrorist/militant groups that are Islamist; some are simply populated by more Muslims than not; some are populated by more Christians than not and some are populated by completely non-religious people. In the section of the book that discusses the onset of offending (which is what criminologists call it when a young person begins to commit crimes or is recruited to commit crime), I look at what makes kids vulnerable to exploitation by bad guys. The thought that jumped into my head when Woodrow spoke about learning religion first by memory but not with a deeper understanding made me think "Aha! Is this something that may be of interest to policy makers at the societal level?"

Which is the question I still want to get back to, but alas, it is late in the morning and I have a ton of office work to do. But I did want to put a halt to the distractions and get the focus back on the project. GoCardinals- thanks for the opportunity to clarify, and I would like to visit Woodrow's last thoughts from last week - and yours - maybe later this afternoon.

Thanks, R-3
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Not-a-Theist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rescue3 View Post
Well, I had a good weekend off - and now back to work:

Juju and Continuum, I think both of you are on a track that is not consistent with where I was going with GoCardinals and Woodrow Li, and it isn't helpful. When people start generalizing the Hamas and Hamas-like videos of children being indoctrinated against the Jews to the entire Islamic faith, we've left rational conversation. That is a very specific activity by a very specific group being carried out in a very specific location and, while it would be of interest to policymakers in, say Israel, it isn't really relevant to policymakers world-wide.

Same goes when we start cherry picking sentences which can be construed as promoting evil from a collection of thousands and thousands of passages and condemn an entire faith with it. (After all, look at Deuteronomy Chapter 20. That could be used to make Christians and Jews look very violent.) Such talk doesn't add to discussion, rather it starts tangents that quickly devolve into (or promote) conflict. Don't need it. Thanks for playing, but please take it to another thread. This isn't what we're talking about.
Thanks, R-3
You mentioned you have a criminologist background.
One of my forte [career background] is in problem solving techniques.
As a criminologist your sense of problem-solving techniques as it seem so far is very shallow.

You raised the topic of 'Explaining Martyrdom' and being my forte I have applied the various effective problem solving technique and necessary efforts [only partial since limited within forum] to the issue, i.e. tracing to the proximate root causes.

Btw, I have spent >8 months on a full time researching on the Quran itself.
Have you even read the Quran deeply & fully plus its associated texts?

Re this topic, in passing I was just expressing my views from my perspectives.
If you think I am not on the right track, just let it pass [I had] and do not make so much fuss about it.

If you are relying on Muslims to give you objective opinions [if such is ever possible] on Islam & Martyrdom note this;
http://www.city-data.com/forum/41036520-post14.html
As a criminologist it will enhance your competence if you are aware of these limitations.

Last edited by Continuum; 08-31-2015 at 10:57 PM..
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:16 AM
 
Location: Secure, Undisclosed
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Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
Family teaching is the primary method of learning Islam in most places...

All young people between the ages of 12-18 are highly susceptible to religious manipulation. It is the age frame within which a person first becomes aware of having a bicarmal brain. It is a sensory experience that borders upon a religious revelation and along with raging hormones makes a person in that age range very susceptible to "Religious Experiences"
And now back to the focus of the discussion - the susceptibility of children to manipulation in Woodrow's Post #39 and GoCardinal's experiences in Post #40. I'll take them one at a time because I'm not smart enough to be able to quote from both...

Woodrow, I think you're on to something there about 12 - 18 year-old kids. They are all vulnerable to exploitation. As I sit and think about how Islam is taught in the home by trusted parents and elders, it would take a very skilled predator to intervene - or a twisted parent or elder, to take the child down a wrong path. Conversely, it must take a very attentive family to hover over a growing kid to keep them from meeting predators - just when the kid is supposed to be out exploring new boundaries and new identities.

Hmmm. The method of teaching Islam may not be a cultural built-in vulnerability after all. That the child is a Muslim makes him more susceptible to exploitation by Islamist predators, just the way a Boy Scout is exploitable by a scout leader who is a sexual predator.

You are right about the Vietnamese who would use a baby to carry a grenade into an American patrol - tough to fathom. But that was one war before my time - I caught the next one. The North Korean spies used to blow themselves up to avoid capture in the south, too. But that was just plain suicide for the regime, not religiously inspired. (Though if you look at the Kim regime, you could call that a religious cult...)

Oh well, back to the drawing board.
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Secure, Undisclosed
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Originally Posted by GoCardinals View Post
My experience has been the opposite.

A friend of mine met a Palestinian who had a very critical view of Israeli occupied forces, and during the conversation, he asked the Palestinian that why would you guys blow yourself up in Israel? Islam does not allow suicide!

The Palestinian's face got red, and he replied in anger. He said,

"Do NOT talk to me about Islam, Quran, Hadeeth".
All I know is, My mother was killed by the Israel Army, my father was killed by the Israeli Army, My brother was killed by the Israeli Army, My wife and my kids were killed by the Israeli Army, my home was erased by the Israeli Army.

All I know now is to take revenge, even if I have to lose my life over it".



"This is what usually goes into the head of a suicide bomber".

You don't wake up in the morning and feel that you have become a suicide bomber. It takes sever atrocities against your loved ones that break the barrier of Islamic prohibition of suicide bomber.

You can't teach anyone to blow himself up and he will become a martyr. If you don't trust me, try it and show it to me that you can talk someone into killing himself to become a martyr.

Then you talked about Madrasas, I have been to a few. NEVER seen anyone teaching anyone to take fanatical steps against anyone else.

I have been to a lot of mosques all over the world... NEVER EVER heard a single sermon where an Imam is preaching to become suicide bombers.

Do any such "madrasas" exist that you talked about, I don't know. I have not seen one, and even if they do, even a blind man knows what they preach is against Islam.

The bigger question you should ask is WHO are the preachers in such Madrasas and where are they getting their support from?

If you are familiar with the Northern Area of Pakistan and Afghanistan, you may have noticed that some of the locals in those areas are blondes (blue eyes, blonde hair) - A few years ago, Pakistani forces arrested an Englishman (A British agent, born, raised and trained in UK) who was the imam of a local masjid/madrassa for 13 years.

Read Qudrut ullah Shahab's book called "Shahab Nama" where he exposed a training camp in UK where fake imams are trained in twisting the quranic versus and hadeeth, and they are then sent to Islamic countries to astray Muslims and create unrest.

Look at these giants, the so called ISIS Islamic terrorists hidden in black clads, and ask yourself, how many such tall monsters have you seen in the Mediterranean/Arab general public? Where do these come from? And not one, an entire army of them! Have you EVER seen such tall men in the Arab/Afghan/Iran Population?
Good Morning, GoCardials - you raise some interesting points. I like the thought about 'breaking the Islamic barrier against suicide.' I have to think about that for awhile.

The Palestinians are a tough subject because they are all over the map - literally and figuratively. The fellow you cited isn't going to kill himself (if he was, he'd be dead by now), he's just angry. He isn't seeking martyrdom, either. He's just seeking revenge. Nothing religious there, and that is common among many Palestinians. I have known many, many Palestinians; most not as pious as many like to think. The one thing that binds Palestinians wherever they are is nationalism. They lost their country in the nak'bah, which is an international relations issue, not a criminology issue. (Though they became a criminological issue when they jumped on the terrorism bandwagon in the 1980s.)

I already discussed madrassas. For them to cross my desk, they have to be a very bad place, and most certainly are not. My focus is on the very few bad ones (that have already been broken up) because they were integral to the events in my database.

There is some pretty compelling data that suggests some people can be convinced that if they blow themselves up they will be martyrs. It arises primarily from the Shia sect post-1979, but even some Sunnis have adopted the thought. To be sure, these are a distinct minority, not the majority, of either sect. Anat Berko and Ariel Merari have done significant work in this field - both are well published.

You raise a great point about the migration of foreigners into Middle East and Asian conflict areas. The intelligence community calls them 'foreign fighters.' Believe it or not, the most recent reports suggest Belgium is the leading source (per capita) with Germany and England not far behind.

I knew many tall Arabs when I lived there, but not many tall Iranians or Pakistanis. (Osama bin Laden was 6'5", but he was an outlier.) "Jihadi John," the ISIS beheader who gives speeches, has been identified as a British subject from London.

The commonality among those who go to fight with ISIS seems to be sociopathy with religion as their neutralization technique. In other words, these are people who are messed up in the head to begin with, and they think that if they show up at ISIS' door, they will ISIS will allow them to go do all the killing that they want simply because they are Islamist. (Neutralization is a criminological theory that explains why people can do something they know is wrong - they 'neutralize' the wrongness of the actions in their mind ahead of time by replacing it with some more powerful principle. Kinda' like rationalization, except that happens after the event.) There is rich evidence for this in the al-Qaeda employment applications captured in Iraq.

I'll leave you with this twisted irony (because I have to go to work now)... the current conflict inside ISIS is that the foreign fighters are all mad because the Saudis are getting all the suicide bomber jobs (which they call 'martyrdom missions'). They are claiming discrimination...
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