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(Text as at 22/08/2007 00:15:50)

(For earlier versions of this Note, see the table at the end)

When I think about radical Islam, I’m again reminded that it’s particularly attractive to its adherents because they generally have no other options or economic consolation prizes; they need something to believe in so they can answer the question: “What’s my life all about?”

I’ve underlined “radical” in the above quotation, as non-militant Islamists don’t seem to fall under this heading. To be honest, I know little about Islam (I’ve not even read the Koran from top to toe), and have hardly discussed the subject with the adherents of that religion known to me, but then they are hardly radical (as far as I know). They certainly have other options.

I suspect that history has a lot to do with this matter. The Western / Middle- and Near- Eastern Islamic states were once part of a world-leading culture, and now “the West” doesn’t take them seriously, or make any attempt to understand them. There is a lot of anger and frustration, and their governments tend to take advantage of the populace’s disgruntlement and manipulate them to direct their anger elsewhere. But much of western culture is offensive to pious Muslims (and to pious persons of any religion), and there hasn’t been such a segregation between mosque and state as there has between church and state (though I speak mostly from ignorance and am open to correction), so political action comes more naturally to Muslims than to Christians, it may be.

I’m probably agreeing with you, except that prosperity is not a solution but a distraction that the radical manage to shake off. As has often been pointed out, the dangerous radicals are the educated not the peasants. But then the educated are always more dangerous, because they have more options – including taking their religion seriously - which is why dictators are suspicious of education (properly so-called: indoctrination with state or religious dogma isn’t education).

I had something brief to say on the subject of Islam in another blog1, point 8.

Table of the Previous 2 Versions of this Note:

Date Length Title
21/08/2007 09:44:38 1969 Islam
16/08/2007 14:44:10 24 Islam

Note last updated Reference for this Topic Parent Topic
22/08/2007 00:15:50 533 (Islam) Simon - T1S1

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Aeon Papers - Summary Document: 2017-2018 Islam 2 Simon - T1S1    

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