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Mini Me

Well, if we want the moderate muslims to rise up and overpower the radical ones, the cartoons did not help the cause. It seems as though the cartoons somewhat united the radicals with the less, moderate muslims. But this makes sense, as the cartoons weren't just an attack on the radical muslims, but on all muslims, as it portrayed the prophet Muhammad, something that is against the religion. I wonder how we can empower the moderate muslims so that they won't want to passively support the radicals but rather eliminate them.

Solid Surfer

I don't think the cartoons necessarily allied the moderates with the radicals; rather, by creating a situation where Muslims essentially had to choose sides in their reactions to the piece (such as whether to peacefully protest or violently protest), it showed the rest of the world which Muslims *truly* are moderates and which ones were actually radicals all along no matter how "moderate" they may have previously seemed.

Also, I still the answer to empowering Muslims is by giving them freedom and democracy. Look at this article, where it says the one Middle East country where Muslims did *not* violently riot is Iraq: http://www.anncoulter.org/cgi-local/printer_friendly.cgi?article=99

verdant

I don't believe the problem is Islam or Radical Islam. The problem is fascism.

As you allude to in a portion of your article, much of Islam currently exists in a fear society. In a fear society, physical strength, as opposed to democratic values, is ascendant. Physical strength, through intimidation, prevails, and is eventually idolized and worshiped, initially by younger idealstic generations but eventually be a majority of the population. This worship ostensibly takes the form of extreme nationalism, racism, religiousness, etc. but it is fundamentally bottomed by a powerful group oriented narcissistic fervor that produces an overwhelming feeling of superiority coupled with anger in the affected group. This feeling of superiority overwhelms what often were previous feelings of inferiority felt by members of the group caused by actual physical events, and is perceived as a catharsis or transformation in the identity of the previously downtrodden group. The problem is that most members of the group, even apostates, at least secretly badly wish for and want the emotional release and identity reversal, even if those members rationally know their ostensible cause is immoral.

Islam is therefore not the problem in my opinion. Radical Islam is simply a form of fascism. Like Nazism, which a form of facism based on the narcissistic ideals of racist nationalism which dehumanizes members of other races, Radical Islam is based on the narcissistic ideals of religious nationalism which dehumanizes members of other religions. The problem is that stopping fascism requires destroying it. And destroying fascism requires inflicting sufficient pain upon it adherents that they become disabused of the notion that they are superior. Once fascism has reached a level of infection within the populace, its destruction can only be accomplished by force. Iran is becoming close to that level of infection and may have indeed reached it.

To summarize...any religion or philosophy can be twisted to accomodate fascism. Islam is simply the current superficial carrier of the fascist disease. The secret is to recognize the disease and not confuse it with its current manifestation.

Mini Me

I agree Verdant, I don't think the problem is Islam but the fascist twist that the radical islamics have established. Once that aspect is eliminated than peace with Muslims can exist.

suwana

I am afraid Islam is the problem. The religion directs violence on non- muslims. http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images/view?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Dashoura%26ei%3DUTF-8%26x%3Dwrt&w=440&h=284&imgurl=hicham.ali.tripod.com%2Fhussein%2Fn21.jpe&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fhicham.ali.tripod.com%2Fhussein%2Fashourastory.htm&size=35.1kB&name=n21.jpe&p=ashoura&type=jpeg&no=1&tt=215&ei=UTF-8e

Ed

The Soviets fell because moderates were encouraged by the West? That's not true. They fell because they failed economically and they had lost the fear and respect of their own peoples because of the obvious economic failure and the military failure in Afganistan and in the arms race.

The Mullahs and other repressive regimes in the Islamic world will not fail until their populations no longer fear and respect them. Military defeats help, as does economic failure, both of which can be arranged if Western Chistiandom gains some willpower.

SolidSurfer

Ed,
I never said the Soviet Union fell directly because the West encouraged moderates; all I pointed out was that the moderates began to speak up way more once the West (particularly Ronald Reagan) encouraged them. Certainly the USSR's economic and military failures hurt them greatly, but Western pressure did play a large role too: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1296922/posts

That said, I agree that the Mullahs will fall once enough of their people no longer fear them. The number of Iranians who despise them is high, and all I think we need is more Western pressure to push it over the tipping point.

Benny

On Moderate Islam:

We need to take a closer look at the Islam practiced in European countries. From my experience, the European Muslims I saw were anything but moderate. People need to pay more attention to the fact that 70% of British Muslims said they wanted to live under Sharia law.

verdant

Hi Benny,

70%? I think the many group psychology studies that relate to fascism would be applicable to such a result. What persons would never do or ask of others they do or ask when part of a large group dominated by a dynamic and intrepid leader. Unfortunately some of those leaders are evil and narcissistic autocrats.

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