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Excellent article on Muslim extremists - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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December 7th, 2009

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02:30 pm - Excellent article on Muslim extremists
autopope posted an excellent link to an article on Muslim extremists who have renounced that path and are willing to talk about their experiences. I've read a few accounts by ex-fundie Christians and am struck both by the differences and the similarities. The differences are very striking, because all of the ex-fundies were white people living in the US, and all of the ex-Muslim extremists interviewed were people of color living in Britain, who in large part came too Muslim extremism because of racial prejudice. However, the similarities are also striking. Both sorts of people talk about feeling lost, of not finding a place in their society, and then having the offer of a very simple and powerful path presented to them. In one case, from the very well funded and organized fundy Churches, and in the other case through organized Wahhabism, based in Saudi Arabia and funded by the Saudi government and economic elite. Without these well-funded and organized presences, the result would in both cases be very different. Also, the way out of these rigid mindsets seems to be a combination of seeing first-hand that the movement is hypocritical and clearly doesn't deliver on its promises of producing and earthly paradise, and also when they begin to see their opponents as people, either because they feel some sympathy with them, or when their opponents stand up for the civil rights of the fanatics who oppose them or otherwise attempt to provide concrete help to them. The second is clearly something we can all do.
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful

(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:December 8th, 2009 12:59 am (UTC)
That article is beautiful! I'm stealing and reposting the link and giving you credit for finding the link.
[User Picture]
Date:December 8th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)
What comes to me now, after reading the article through other sources a few days ago, is that this is part of why it's essential that we all understand how religion works in the sociological sense, regardless of our beliefs. Evangelical religions have some nasty habits - and one of the most toxic ones they can have is preying on people who are vulnerable. That's what I see happening, in both the US-Dominionist and Saudi-sponsored Wahhabist examples.
[User Picture]
Date:December 8th, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)
Excellent article! Thanks for passing it on.
[User Picture]
Date:December 8th, 2009 10:16 am (UTC)
Thank you for the link. I found this bit especially fascinating:

Yet they felt equally shut out of British or democratic identity. From the right, there was the brutal nativist cry of "Go back where you came from!" But from the left, there was its mirror-image: a gooey multicultural sense that immigrants didn't want liberal democratic values and should be exempted from them. Again and again, they described how at school they were treated as "the funny foreign child", and told to "explain their customs" to the class. It patronised them into alienation.

"Nobody ever said – you're equal to us, you're one of us, and we'll hold you to the same standards," says Husain.
[User Picture]
Date:December 9th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
"Nobody ever said – you're equal to us, you're one of us, and we'll hold you to the same standards," says Husain.

Absolutely, I think that this lies at the heart of many of the problems with race in both the UK and the US.

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