[lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 14:05:20 -0700

My mind hasn't changed about any of this as far as I know.  I'm afraid I
haven't your fervid interest in this quibble.  I haven't reread Qutb.  My
opinion about the pervasiveness of Qutb's writings hasn't changed.  


As to the moderates, I discussed them most with Omar, as I recall.   I said
that I had almost no evidence of them in the Middle East -- at least not
from nations besides Afghanistan and Iraq.  I challenged him to produce one
Moderate writing from within the Middle East (aside from people living in
Iraq and Afghanistan).  He could not, at least he did not.  So how do we
account for this, I asked him?  Are moderates just timid, afraid to face the
Islamists who are ready to kill them?  Or do these so-called Moderates agree
with the Islamists, and have they perhaps agreed with them all along,
meaning do Moderates really exist?  Of course none of us can know these
things with certainty for no one takes polls and no one speaks freely to
reporters, and no one writes about his thoughts with candor.


As to what the West does having an effect on the Islamists (or moderates who
sympathize with the Islamists), they have always been good at propaganda.
Osama bin Laden pointed to Iraq and bemoaned the sanctions placed on the
poor Iraqis, on the starving children, but he was especially outraged that
the US was in Saudi Arabia (having planes there to over-fly Iraq to keep
Saddam from destroying the Kurds and Shiites).  All of those things were
used by Osama and other Islamists for propaganda purposes.  Some historians
have argued that we need to do nothing more than exist as the most
successful nation to have Islamists hate us.  Would you have us cease to
exist to placate the Islamists?







From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Simon Ward
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 1:47 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience


No, Lawrence, your typical response has been to deny that whatever the west
does in it's war against Islamic terrorism could or would have an effect on
those who are moderates. In a recent post, for the first time, you appeared
to concede that muslims might react to events and now, you further concede
that 'it isn't just ideology'.  


So have your views changed Lawrence, or were you merely arguing a position
you didn't really agree with.



----- Original Message ----- 

From: Lawrence <mailto:lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>  Helm 

To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 

Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 9:34 PM

Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience


Surely I've responded to all these things.  It isn't merely ideology, but on
the other hand it could not exist without ideology.  As it happens it is
this particular ideology, the ideology of Sayyid Qutb, that most of the
Islamists have embraced.  Since you haven't read Sayyid Qutb you couldn't
know, apparently, that if one embraces Qutb, then one embraces his "response
to experiences and perceptions in the real world" as he understood them.  





From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Simon Ward
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 1:23 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Ideology vs Experience


Recently, Lawrence sidestepped this issue, so I thought I'd try again.


The issue: Is Islamic Terrorism merely a question of ideology, or is it also
a response to experiences and perceptions in the real world?


To place the question within the context of our recent discussions, the
issue resolves around whether war on Iraq has led to less or more Islamic
terrorism. Lawrence argues for less. Others, including myself, argue for


Whilst there is further evidence to bring to the discussion, I'd like to ask
Lawrence to state clearly that he agrees with the outline of the issue as it
is laid out. If not, what exactly he believes the issue to be.





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