Islamic terrorism-Modernity, not the West, is the enemy

Mrbsct

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
2,617
USA
#1
All around the world we see a rise of Islamic terrorism. From Southeast Asia, to the Middle East, to Africa, we see a rise of this type of militiant activity, mostly Sunni Wahhabi/Salafi type.

The common debate among Western circles post 9/11 was "they hate our way of life" vs "anti-Western imperialism". However, neither these theories seem to be true. Most Islamic terror attacks are against native peoples of their host nations. Why do they do this. It is due to the rise of globalization and anti-modernity. Secular circles who wish to Westernize are scrutinized. Boko Haram literally means "Western education is forbidden". Why do they do this?

The reason is obvious. Less advanced areas tend to be more conservative. Although globalization and democracy might benefit them economically, their spirit as sovereign peoples are destroyed. Education takes time, even among richer nations who don't have a culture around education(remember Saudi Arabia is rich but it is not a well educated society). They feel like their leaders are "selling out" to the West for better economical goals. As women are more liberated under Western values, men's prospects are effected.

The trend of Islamic terrorism will occur, I have no optimism the next 10 years unless:
-Improvement of living conditions in some of these nations
-An educated society(MbS, as much he is a bad guy, might help)
-Getting rid of corruption(adopting liberal democracy might not be an answer)
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,980
Lisbon, Portugal
#3
Islamic terrorism has mostly targeted other Muslims, or religious minorities living in majority Muslim countries, rather than the West.
This is more of a civilizational crisis in the Muslim world, rather than a clash of civilizations.

This is a wider conflict that stems from a debate of how to rule Muslim countries - some want to secularize and adopt western forms of government, while the other side wants to turn into a more pure form of their religion. One is modern (mostly socialist and somewhat authoritarian) while the other is a violent neo-reactionary movement.

This is an over-generalization, but that's the wider trend we are witnessing in the Muslim world, especially in MENA and South Asia region.
 
Oct 2012
3,305
Des Moines, Iowa
#4
-An educated society(MbS, as much he is a bad guy, might help))
It is quite amusing that liberals believe, almost unanimously, that "education" is the panacea of all the world's ills. Of course, hidden behind this belief is a great naivete as well as a great arrogance; they believe that "education" will automatically lead all people to liberalism. The thought that there can be such a thing as an "educated fundamentalist" or an "educated ultraconservative" or even an "educated terrorist" has seemingly never occurred to them.

I suggest you look up the educational backgrounds of such people as Ayman al-Zawahiri, Muhammad Atta, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, and Anwar al-Awlaki, among others. They were not some random, uneducated country bumpkins who were angry at "modernity" because they had never used the Internet before. In fact, many fundamentalists (including the high-profile terrorists) have college degrees in the hard sciences, and IQs that are probably well above the average for their population group. Given these facts, you might want to think a bit harder about the causes of fundamentalist reaction, as well as proposed "remedies" of it.
 

Mrbsct

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
2,617
USA
#5
It is quite amusing that liberals believe, almost unanimously, that "education" is the panacea of all the world's ills. Of course, hidden behind this belief is a great naivete as well as a great arrogance; they believe that "education" will automatically lead all people to liberalism. The thought that there can be such a thing as an "educated fundamentalist" or an "educated ultraconservative" or even an "educated terrorist" has seemingly never occurred to them.

I suggest you look up the educational backgrounds of such people as Ayman al-Zawahiri, Muhammad Atta, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, and Anwar al-Awlaki, among others. They were not some random, uneducated country bumpkins who were angry at "modernity" because they had never used the Internet before. In fact, many fundamentalists (including the high-profile terrorists) have college degrees in the hard sciences, and IQs that are probably well above the average for their population group. Given these facts, you might want to think a bit harder about the causes of fundamentalist reaction, as well as proposed "remedies" of it.
The terrorist leaders are educated. The populace are certainly not. Besides oil, there isn't much of a tech or financial sector in these rich nations.
 
Apr 2019
162
India
#6
It is quite amusing that liberals believe, almost unanimously, that "education" is the panacea of all the world's ills. Of course, hidden behind this belief is a great naivete as well as a great arrogance; they believe that "education" will automatically lead all people to liberalism. The thought that there can be such a thing as an "educated fundamentalist" or an "educated ultraconservative" or even an "educated terrorist" has seemingly never occurred to them.

I suggest you look up the educational backgrounds of such people as Ayman al-Zawahiri, Muhammad Atta, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, and Anwar al-Awlaki, among others. They were not some random, uneducated country bumpkins who were angry at "modernity" because they had never used the Internet before. In fact, many fundamentalists (including the high-profile terrorists) have college degrees in the hard sciences, and IQs that are probably well above the average for their population group. Given these facts, you might want to think a bit harder about the causes of fundamentalist reaction, as well as proposed "remedies" of it.
It's beacuse current education system is inefficient. It doesn't teach kids how to be a wholesome person. I think the school curriculum should also include religions and humanism as subjects. The kids need to know that there is nothing special about their religion. World was doing fine when one- man one-book religions did not exist. They also need to know all of superstitions and pseudosciences associated with major religions. They also need to know about the tricks which are used by clerics to brainwash people.
They should be shown examples of countries which are doing very very well without any religion. Overall the kids should be able to laugh on the stupidity of their own religions when they grow up.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
32,481
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#7
The terrorist leaders are educated. The populace are certainly not. Besides oil, there isn't much of a tech or financial sector in these rich nations.
Pardon? There isn't much of a financial sector?

Or a tech sector? You mean like how Saudi Arabia is considered one of the countries that could develop a nuclear capability very rapidly, which puts it on a par with Japan, or how the UAE is developing carbon neutral technology and flying taxis for their cities?

As for your claim that Saudi Arabia is "not a well educated country", well, that is an utterly ludicrous claim.
Education in Saudi Arabia - Wikipedia

You're basing your hypothesis on either a view of the Arab world that hasn't been true for over 30 years, or else just sheer ignorance.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,531
#8
There is an ongoing debate in the Muslim world about why Islamic society seems to have fallen behind. Implicit in the aspect of being faithful to Allah is that Muslims will have primacy among the various peoples. The most common idea from the religious conservatives is of course a lack of faith- just as Christian society blamed Viking invasions, plagues, and liberalism, and many other aspects of modernity on a lack of faith and as punishment from God there is the idea that only be returning to the 'pure' faith of the first generations of Islam can Muslims gain their promised favoured place in the world.

The main problem is there is no agreement even among Islamic theologians on what the 'pure' faith of early Islam was like as quite clearly it was corrupted over time by mixing heavily with Arab tribal practices, state authority, and the accretion over time of usul al-fiqh in the various Islamic traditions. Basically considering both the Quron and Hadith with usul al-fiqh there are so many contradictions it becomes purely a power struggle with no legitimate authority in the Islamic world which is a big problem because the state is not supposed to rule without sanction of religious authority and there is no legitimate widely accepted source of religious authority in the Muslim world. So each Muslim society has elements trying to purge itself of the dissenters and be the first to return to the supposed purity of early Islam. Then the notion is being so obviously pure the rest of the Islamic world will fall into line behind and form an unstoppable power bloc.

Of course the vast majority of people in the Muslim world just want to move on and have adapted many aspects of Western culture but there is still a nativist reactionary feeling even as they use the technology of the west that it is somehow corrupting their society but is a necessary evil to maintain relevance in the world. The good news is the Muslim world is mostly young and not so caught up in what the world 'was' like as they only know what is IS like now. The bad news is many of these young people see no chance of attaining the lifestyles they see on the media and it is easy to be tempted into blaming the reason they can't live this way on purposeful conspiracies by the West, Israel, Sunnis, Shias, etc.

The terrorists striking out at the West are mostly doing so out of the belief that the West is meddling in Islamic regions to purposely keep them divided and living in an impure society. Personally, I think it comes down to pride on the part of many intellectuals who have joined or led terrorist organizations. Confronted with the idea that some aspects of Western society might simply be more adapted to modern digital society there is a feeling of inferiority and the choice to either adapt western cultural norms and thus give up on their own culture or reject the West and seek the deepest tribal identity within their own culture ethos which happens to be a patriarchal warrior mythos that touts being brave and faithful leading to overcome all obstacles. It is quite hard to defeat this idea because the easy retort is the failure is only due to a lack of faith in the rest of Muslim society or conspiracies organized by the enemies of Islam.
 
Last edited:
Jan 2017
1,184
Durham
#9
It is quite amusing that liberals believe, almost unanimously, that "education" is the panacea of all the world's ills. Of course, hidden behind this belief is a great naivete as well as a great arrogance; they believe that "education" will automatically lead all people to liberalism. The thought that there can be such a thing as an "educated fundamentalist" or an "educated ultraconservative" or even an "educated terrorist" has seemingly never occurred to them.

I suggest you look up the educational backgrounds of such people as Ayman al-Zawahiri, Muhammad Atta, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, and Anwar al-Awlaki, among others. They were not some random, uneducated country bumpkins who were angry at "modernity" because they had never used the Internet before. In fact, many fundamentalists (including the high-profile terrorists) have college degrees in the hard sciences, and IQs that are probably well above the average for their population group. Given these facts, you might want to think a bit harder about the causes of fundamentalist reaction, as well as proposed "remedies" of it.
Good post.
 

Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
4,315
India
#10
Islamic terrorism has mostly targeted other Muslims, or religious minorities living in majority Muslim countries, rather than the West.
This is more of a civilizational crisis in the Muslim world, rather than a clash of civilizations.

This is a wider conflict that stems from a debate of how to rule Muslim countries - some want to secularize and adopt western forms of government, while the other side wants to turn into a more pure form of their religion. One is modern (mostly socialist and somewhat authoritarian) while the other is a violent neo-reactionary movement.

This is an over-generalization, but that's the wider trend we are witnessing in the Muslim world, especially in MENA and South Asia region.
There is because they want to grab power by any mean and differences within Muslims itself, they see democracy as Christian-Jewish conspiracy. Even within Sunnis, the Wahabbis are against Sufism and see Sufism as a kind of grave worshiping. Similarly there is Shia-Sunni angle, the violence Iraq is because of that, as the minority Sunnis want to recapture power from the Shia Arabs.

Beside this people from the middle East don't believe in the concept of minority rights, there is institutionalized discrimination against minorities and they find it difficult to adjust when they move to Western countries.
 

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