There’s nothing I can say that would be of any worth. I can only link to the one comment that sits alongside my own feelings. It’s on Tauriq Moosa’s The Indelible Stamp Freethought Blog:
Harmless people are dead. Gunned down in one of the most prosperous cities, in one of the most stable countries in the world. What we know is that the gunmen are scum and thugs, that Paris is on lockdown, that people are dead.
We know basically nothing else.
Here’s what I don’t want to discuss:
- How evil Islam is
I am an apostate. An ex-Muslim who, for many, deserves death for abandoning Islam. I know very well what Islam is, firsthand. I don’t want to talk about how evil you say Islam is, how terrible you think Muslims are, how dumb you think religion is. Talk among yourselves, but don’t expect me to be alongside when I’m interested in conveying solidarity and waiting for more information.
Nope. Despite people wanting to draw me in. Nope.
- Charlie Hebdo were asking for it, by being provocative.
I’m sure we’ll see plenty blame Charlie Hebdo for the attacks because of their decisions in publication: I’ll take that as seriously as blaming women’s clothes for their assault or Salman Rushdie for the fatwa against him.
Nope. Extremists and thugs, by definition, don’t need “a reason” – just as sexists, rapists, etc., don’t need “a reason”. This is easily undermined by the many who are dead by such hands who did nothing “provocative”.
Look: I’d rather we focus on standing against the murderers, supporting loved ones and friends and colleagues in media. A good way to fight terror is to show strength against this fear; a good way to fight terror is to support one another and show unity, not pointless debates and bickering, which only means we operate on the poison ground extremists want.
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7 thoughts on “People have been murdered in Paris: This is what I don’t want to discuss…”
From the NewYork Times:
“Week after week, the small, struggling paper amused and horrified, taking pride in offending one and all and carrying on a venerable European tradition dating to the days of the French Revolution, when satire was used to pillory Marie Antoinette, and later to challenge politicians, the police, bankers and religions of all kinds.
“This week’s issue was no exception. It featured a mock debate about whether Jesus exists … “
The general practice of Islam is obviously not evil. Thankfully many have spiritualized the Jihad. Those who are not faithful to the text can do this. It requires a certain appostasy of sorts. Anyway, it’s hard to account for the multitude of “thugs” who continue to perpetuate things like Nigeria’s Boko Haran where 10 year old girls are made into suicide bombers and where Jihad is against those who oppose fundamentalist law and democratic elections (11245 deaths in 2014 and many more just this week).
A question that comes to my mind is why we are hearing about these sorts of events now? They were not part of the landscape when I was growing up. What has led to their emergence now? But the daily media rarely gives us the insights of those whose serious research we really need for understanding: the anthropologists, political scientists, sociologists, historians.
It seems likely that one reason we are hearing about these events now is because of blow-back to Western military actions. I don’t like Alex Jones, but at this link he interviews Kurt Haskell on some things starting at 1:36:22. If you take it to the end of the interrupted interview, Haskell makes a cogent case for viewing the Paris incidents as related to patsies groomed by other powers; not Islamic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOfeZitwxdg#t=7649
Glenn Greenwald also does an interesting analysis on patsy grooming here: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/01/16/latest-fbi-boast-disrupting-terror-u-s-plot-deserves-scrutiny-skepticism/
In the 20th century Christian world –at least at Princeton Univ. in the U.S.– a liberalization there fomented a fundamentalist backlash (with Westminster and other fundamentalist groups experiencing growth). Does the same thing explain some fundamentalist growth for Islam? The backlash seems intrinsic to faithfulness for both Christianity and to the Muslim religion. I don’t know how this speaks to some more liberalized places like Turkey. Did Turkey experience fundamentalist backlash as it became more liberal? Does something in today’s world give more power to those resisting modernization?
Of course getting back to fundamentals always means getting back to conservative views. Here Jonathan MS Pearce does a noteworthy analysis: http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2015/02/true-islam-and-violent-extremism.html
My own suspicion is that “liberal” Muslims are widely associated with accommodation to Western interests and Western interests have not been the same as those of the majority populations of the states of the Middle East. It’s not very different from the old Cold War days. The propaganda that we regularly heard was that all liberation movements were inspired by the red ideology which had its goal of world domination. It was about communism and world conquest; to suggest the struggles had more localized causes and were essentially national liberation movements despite all the rhetoric was considered naive. After the Cold War the war on drugs stepped into the void at first but then came the war on “terror” to maintain the economic and political momentum.