[lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience

  • From: "Simon Ward" <sedward@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2006 13:07:51 +0100

Eric, let's think about it from the point of view of Ahmed Kahn, (fictional) member of the Pakistani community in Leeds, England.

He's got a fairly normal life: he works in his Dad's shop at weekends, he goes to sixth form studying maths and economics, he's got a white girlfriend. But every night he sees the bombs in Iraq, he sees the US soldiers abusing prisoners, he hears about Guantanamo and the secret camps in Afghanistan, he sees all this and knows that it's wrong. Then one day somebody tells him that he can do something about it, that he should go to the local Allah. Three months later, visiting relatives in Pakistan, he attends a mosque and visits a training school. Two months later he's on the train to London and he can't stop fidgeting with his rucksack...

Now nobody's saying that there isn't ideology, but surely you can accept that these extremists weren't deaf and blind, they weren't walking along the road in the pitch black when suddenly they fell down a hole labelled fundamentalist islam. When you hear angry muslims on the news, they aren't talking about Allah, they're talking about Iraq, they're not talking about Jihad, they're talking about Afghanistan. You have to accept that perceptions count.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Eric Yost" <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2006 3:23 AM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience

Simon: Interesting then that just as documents are leaked in the US point towards Iraq as a 'recruiting sergeant' for muslim extremism . . .

What else is there but ideology?

Think about it from the terrorist recruit's point of view. You wake up and knuckle the grit from your eyes. It's a few days after your 19th birthday.

What shall you do today?


Your mom makes it no secret that she admires shaheeds. When she's cranky, she says, "Why can't my son be a martyr like the Haluf's eldest son? There's a young man who earned his virgins! Not like my good for nothing." You cringe every time she does that.

Then there's the old insane desert blood-lust religion stuck like a fly in your ear. Its scripture is the only book you've ever read, and you know it by heart. The madrassa teacher who's been caning you since you were seven has read Qutb, and he helps you interpret this sacred book.

What shall you do today?

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