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Switch to Forum Live View Newspeak: Abusing language to squelch debate about terror in the name of Islam
2 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 11:15PM #1
JAstor
Posts: 3,957
Let me state clearly that I believe Islam has some positive elements and that there are people who are better people because they following the teachings of Islam. 

However, it is clear that Islam also has many followers committing the worst atrocities and doing so in the name of Islam, even believing they are getting heaven because they go into a square crowded with civilians and blow them up. This happens almost every day in the Muslim-dominated Middle East. (It happens elsewhere, like the recent terror mass murder by Mohammed Merah in France, but on this board we will limit it to the Middle East.)

There are two basic ways to deal with this fact. One is to acknowledge that it exists and work to defang the violent, autocratic, repressive impulses of the religion similar to the way the Enlightenment defanged the power of the church.  

The other way is to deny it exists. To say, for e.g., that Osama bin Laden was not a Muslim. Or that a person yelling Allahu Akhbar as he blows himself up in a crowded square is not a Muslim. Or that people who believe in and quote the Quran, Islamic teachings and fatwas of their immams to justify their violent, oppressive and terrorist acts are not Muslims.

This latter is exactly what George Orwell wrote about in 1984 and dubbed, "Newspeak." Here is the official definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

new•speak ('nü-"spEk, 'nyü-), noun, Usage: often capitalized. : propagandistic language marked by euphemism, circumlocution, and the inversion of customary meanings. Etymology: Newspeak, a language "designed to diminish the range of thought," in the novel 1984 (1949) by George Orwell. Date: 1950

Let me highlight a couple of things: "inversion of customary meanings" for the purpose of diminishing "the range of thought."

In Orwellian Newspeak, the Ministry of Truth was the place they churned out propaganda. The Ministry of Peace was where they planned war. The Ministry of Love was where they tortured dissidents. The Ministry of Plenty was where they revised economic numbers to report how well the economy was doing when everyone was starving. 

Let me be specific a moment. In the Middle East we have the Hamas Charter basing its terror-condoning, anti-peace, jihadist crusade against the infidel on Quranic teachings. We have the Islamic Republic of Iran, and its proxies, prominent among them Hezbollah, exporting terrorism as well as employing it in their own country. We have the Whabbaism of Saudi Arabia. And so forth. The Arab-Muslim Middle East is infested with terrorism (mostly against other Muslims), oppression of the masses, totalitarian governments using terror and intimidation to squash dissent, intolerance for others, mistreatment of women, etc. all done in the name of Islam. 

Yet, in Orwellian Newspeak they are not Muslims somehow. 

Orwellian Newspeak is a vocabulary that not only changes words into something different, but actually contradictory of what they are. This attempt to shift the sands of language is not only empty sophistry -- but much worse: detrimental to progress.
The 
worst thing that could happen to them is for someone tell them what wonderful clothes the emperor is wearing. They need someone -- other brave Muslims -- to say, "The emperor has no clothes." Employing a modern form of Newspeak will only allow them to stay as they are. And that's bad not only for us but for them. 

Isn't it time we/they throw out the politically correct Newspeak and start dealing with the problems of Middle Eastern Islamist culture and ideology soberly?
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 4:35AM #2
habesor
Posts: 5,612

Jastor,


I have no doubt that the reluctance to use the term Islamic terrorist (or in some cases just to use the word terrorist) is the modern day version of Orwell's Newspeak. I also think that the attempt to discover something about Islam on the basis of Islamic terrorism is about as valid as asserting some truth about Second Temple era Judaism based on the terrorism of the Sicarii.


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicarii 


The simple fact of the matter is that Islam has elements that encourage terrorism and condemn terrorism, just as Christianity has elements of hatred for Jews and love for Jews. I'm sure that Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir based their murderous acts on elements within Judaism just as a founder of Gush Emunim Rabbi Froman supports peace with the Palestinians based on his Jewish beliefs.


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menachem_Froman 


The point is not the belief system but how and what people select from it to justify their acts. 


Look, when I go to the supermaket on Tuesday, I buy milk and veges and on Thursday I buy chicken. On neither day do I buy beer unless it is during the summer months. You cannot explain why I buy the things I buy on the basis that the supermarket offers them. And if I can't find what I want at that supermarket, I go to another. Terrorists take from the belief systems what they need to justify their acts. The belief systems don't cause their acts.


Habesor


Habesor
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 9:39AM #3
JAstor
Posts: 3,957

Mar 28, 2012 -- 4:35AM, habesor wrote:


Jastor,


I have no doubt that the reluctance to use the term Islamic terrorist (or in some cases just to use the word terrorist) is the modern day version of Orwell's Newspeak. I also think that the attempt to discover something about Islam on the basis of Islamic terrorism is about as valid as asserting some truth about Second Temple era Judaism based on the terrorism of the Sicarii.


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicarii 


The simple fact of the matter is that Islam has elements that encourage terrorism and condemn terrorism, just as Christianity has elements of hatred for Jews and love for Jews. I'm sure that Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir based their murderous acts on elements within Judaism just as a founder of Gush Emunim Rabbi Froman supports peace with the Palestinians based on his Jewish beliefs.


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menachem_Froman 


The point is not the belief system but how and what people select from it to justify their acts. 


Look, when I go to the supermaket on Tuesday, I buy milk and veges and on Thursday I buy chicken. On neither day do I buy beer unless it is during the summer months. You cannot explain why I buy the things I buy on the basis that the supermarket offers them. And if I can't find what I want at that supermarket, I go to another. Terrorists take from the belief systems what they need to justify their acts. The belief systems don't cause their acts.


Habesor



Habesor, 


If your belief system included, "Thou shalt not buy beer on any day," then you would not buy beer (or be less inclined, arguably, to do so). 


The point is that everybody works off their belief system. Sometimes they don't live up to what they believe, but a belief system is at the root of most of a person's actions. 


As I understand it, your point is that the actions of some cannot tell us what is and what is not the belief system behind it. 


If so, I would say to that, that there is no guarantee that we can identify the belief system behind certain acts. However, I am not willing to concede to you that we cannot identify anything.


I would say that when there is a confluence of evidence -- meaning all sorts of facts coming from different angles suggesting the same thing -- then we have a pretty good basis to make an assumption that is probably accurate.


I agree, as I mentioned to Chari on another thread, that ideology is not the only factor behind acts of terror committed in the name of Islam. However, I believe the confluence of evidence strongly suggests that it is a major factor, if not the major factor in these acts. 


I can't believe that you would disagree that the Hamas Charter proves that when they fire missiles from Gaza into Israeli civilian areas it is not a random act like your shopping for beer. It is very much a direct result of their ideology that the Jewish state must be destroyed at all costs and that Jewish lives mean nothing in the face of their understanding of Islamic ideology. 


If so, isn't it clear that ideology drives them?


Moderated by Miraj on Mar 30, 2012 - 11:09AM
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2012 - 7:46AM #4
Dostojevsky
Posts: 7,162

I can easily reword the title of the thread and it would be befitting:


"Abusing language to squelch debate about terror in the name of Democracy"


I think some politicians and their parrots eat mind controlling substances in their food. Face expressions are perfect, the body language faultless.. If we all ate parrot food we'd even believe things they say.


Terror in Libya at the moment in the name of Democracy brought by US and NATO.


Terror in Syria at the moment and according to opposition who alone tell truth on which UN relies it is Assad killing its citizens. Opposition is too busy feeding parrot food to the Democratic western world. Bush ---oh, no, Assad, should be charged for human rights violations.


 Democracy is opium of the masses.


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2 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2012 - 9:13AM #5
JAstor
Posts: 3,957

Mar 29, 2012 -- 7:46AM, Dostojevsky wrote:


I can easily reword the title of the thread and it would be befitting:


"Abusing language to squelch debate about terror in the name of Democracy"


I think some politicians and their parrots eat mind controlling substances in their food. Face expressions are perfect, the body language faultless.. If we all ate parrot food we'd even believe things they say.


Terror in Libya at the moment in the name of Democracy brought by US and NATO.


Terror in Syria at the moment and according to opposition who alone tell truth on which UN relies it is Assad killing its citizens. Opposition is too busy feeding parrot food to the Democratic western world. Bush ---oh, no, Assad, should be charged for human rights violations.


 Democracy is opium of the masses.




So then you are a totalitarian? 

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2012 - 1:06AM #6
habesor
Posts: 5,612

Jastor,


I am operating under a time constraint so I will limit my response to two things. First, me buying beer is never a random act, but I can't say as much about some people's impulse buying.


Second, you wrote:


"I can't believe that you would disagree that the Hamas Charter proves that when they fire missiles from Gaza into Israeli civilian areas it is not a random act like your shopping for beer. It is very much a direct result of their ideology that the Jewish state must be destroyed at all costs and that Jewish lives mean nothing in the face of their understanding of Islamic ideology. 


If so, isn't it clear that ideology drives them?"  



Ironically it was reading the Hamas charter that started me questioning the role of Islam as a motivating element of Hamas terrorism. The pattern of the Hamas charter is to quote some element of Islamic writing, such as a Hadith or the Koran and then explain it in a way that justifies their politics. However, they had a problem in that they wanted to make the war against the Jews take on universal importance by making the Jews the source of all evil in the world. There was nothing (apparently) in Islamic sources which could justify this idea so they went out shopping in other belief systems and found the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a nice Christian European source and quoted that in their Charter.


Now contemplate that for a moment, Jastor. A supposedly fundamentalist Islamic movement, which rejects everything modern and Western, basing a fundamental truth on a Christian European ideological source. If the Hamas are driven by Islam, why do they need to go to a Christian European source for motivation and justification. Could it be that Islam does not offer such a justification and that is why these Islamic fundamentalists, who want to purify Islam from all Western pollution dipped so deeply  into this particular European sewer to justify themselves. And if so, how can we argue that it is Islam which motivates them.


Habesor     

Moderated by Miraj on Mar 30, 2012 - 11:11AM
Habesor
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2012 - 1:40AM #7
Dostojevsky
Posts: 7,162

Quote:


'There was nothing (apparently) in Islamic sources which could justify this idea so they went out shopping in other belief systems and found the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a nice Christian European source and quoted that in their Charter.'


Habesor, I heard it right here on B/net so it must be true, that the Protocols originated in Russia and that it is a forgery. I suppose forgery bit wouldn't bother anyone if they want to make a point. That brings in the "Christian' bit. You use it the same way JAstor is using Islam. Same way Ahmadinejad's words are (ab)used in order to distort what exactly he did say about Israel off the map.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2012 - 9:46AM #8
JAstor
Posts: 3,957

Mar 30, 2012 -- 1:06AM, habesor wrote:


Jastor,


I am operating under a time constraint so I will limit my response to two things. First, me buying beer is never a random act, but I can't say as much about some people's impulse buying.


Second, you wrote:


"I can't believe that you would disagree that the Hamas Charter proves that when they fire missiles from Gaza into Israeli civilian areas it is not a random act like your shopping for beer. It is very much a direct result of their ideology that the Jewish state must be destroyed at all costs and that Jewish lives mean nothing in the face of their understanding of Islamic ideology. 


If so, isn't it clear that ideology drives them?"  



Ironically it was reading the Hamas charter that started me questioning the role of Islam as a motivating element of Hamas terrorism. The pattern of the Hamas charter is to quote some element of Islamic writing, such as a Hadith or the Koran and then explain it in a way that justifies their politics. However, they had a problem in that they wanted to make the war against the Jews take on universal importance by making the Jews the source of all evil in the world. There was nothing (apparently) in Islamic sources which could justify this idea so they went out shopping in other belief systems and found the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a nice Christian European source and quoted that in their Charter.


Now contemplate that for a moment, Jastor. A supposedly fundamentalist Islamic movement, which rejects everything modern and Western, basing a fundamental truth on a Christian European ideological source. If the Hamas are driven by Islam, why do they need to go to a Christian European source for motivation and justification. Could it be that Islam does not offer such a justification and that is why these Islamic fundamentalists, who want to purify Islam from all Western pollution dipped so deeply  into this particular European sewer to justify themselves. And if so, how can we argue that it is Islam which motivates them.


Habesor     




First, I don't think they cited the Protocols to find a justification they did not have on their own, but to show that -- hey, look even the Christian world thinks these Jews are seeking world domination. 


There are many other things in the Hamas Charter, based entirely on Islamic teachings that they use to justify their actions. E.g. it says that after the Muslims conquered the Middle East after the last of the crusades the land became "sanctified" as Muslim land. Therefore, any non-Muslims who try to settle there independent of Islamic rule are valid targets of jihad. And by jihad they mean the Islamic equivalent of crusade, which has a long histsory and includes violence of all sorts, no long term peace treaties, only hudnas to regain strength to carry on the crusade/jihad, etc. Hamas and the current day Islamists did not make up these ideas. Maimonides himself was a victim of them in the form of the Almohads. 


In short, even if you eliminate from the Hamas Charter the reliance upon the Protocols you have many other Islamic writings and traditions that they rely on to justify violence, oppression, conquest and all the other lovely things the world has come to equate with their brand of Islamism. 

Moderated by Miraj on Mar 30, 2012 - 11:13AM
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2012 - 2:55PM #9
Miraj
Posts: 5,020

Mar 30, 2012 -- 9:46AM, JAstor wrote:


There are many other things in the Hamas Charter, based entirely on Islamic teachings that they use to justify their actions. E.g. it says that after the Muslims conquered the Middle East after the last of the crusades the land became "sanctified" as Muslim land. Therefore, any non-Muslims who try to settle there independent of Islamic rule are valid targets of jihad. And by jihad they mean the Islamic equivalent of crusade, which has a long histsory and includes violence of all sorts, no long term peace treaties, only hudnas to regain strength to carry on the crusade/jihad, etc. Hamas and the current day Islamists did not make up these ideas. Maimonides himself was a victim of them in the form of the Almohads. 


In short, even if you eliminate from the Hamas Charter the reliance upon the Protocols you have many other Islamic writings and traditions that they rely on to justify violence, oppression, conquest and all the other lovely things the world has come to equate with their brand of Islamism. 




Please supply cites from Islamic texts to show us that any of what you've said above is true.  I'm curious to know where you got this from.

Disclaimer: The opinions of this member are not primarily informed by western ethnocentric paradigms, stereotypes rooted in anti-Muslim/Islam hysteria, "Israel can do no wrong" intransigence, or the perceived need to protect the Judeo-Christian world from invading foreign religions and legal concepts.  By expressing such views, no inherent attempt is being made to derail or hijack threads, but that may be the result.  The result is not the responsibility of this member.


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2 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2012 - 11:32PM #10
JAstor
Posts: 3,957

The Charter of Allah: The Platform of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas)


“In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate You are the best community that has been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and ye believe in Allah. And if the People of the Scripture had believed, it had been better for them. Some of them are believers; but most of them are evil-doers. They will not harm you save a trifling hurt, and if they fight against you they will turn and flee. And afterward they will not be helped. Ignominy shall be their portion wheresoever they are found save [where they grasp] a rope from Allah and a rope from man. They have incurred anger from their Lord, and wretchedness is laid upon them. That is because they used to disbelieve the revelations of Allah, and slew the Prophets wrongfully. That is because they were rebellious and used to transgress.” Surat Al-Imran (III), verses 109-111


Articles of the Hamas Charter


Article One: 
The Islamic Resistance Movement draws its guidelines from Islam; derives from it its thinking, interpretations and views about existence, life and humanity; refers back to it for its conduct; and is inspired by it in whatever step it takes.

Article Two: 
The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a world organization, the largest Islamic Movement in the modern era. It is characterized by a profound understanding, by precise notions and by a complete comprehensiveness of all concepts of Islam in all domains of life: views and beliefs, politics and economics, education and society, jurisprudence and rule, indoctrination and teaching, the arts and publications, the hidden and the evident, and all the other domains of life.


Article Five: 
As the Movement adopts Islam as its way of life, its time dimension extends back as far as the birth of the Islamic Message and of the Righteous Ancestor. Its ultimate goal is Islam, the Prophet its model, the Qur’an its Constitution. Its special dimension extends wherever on earth there are Muslims, who adopt Islam as their way of life; thus, it penetrates to the deepest reaches of the land and to the highest spheres of Heavens.


Article Six: 
The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinct Palestinian Movement which owes its loyalty to Allah, derives from Islam its way of life and strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine. Only under the shadow of Islam could the members of all regions coexist in safety and security for their lives, properties and rights. [i.e. dhimmitude or death]


Article Seven:


Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree (cited by Bukhari and Muslim).


Article Eight: 
Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Qur’an its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the case of Allah its most sublime belief.


Article Eleven
The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it. No Arab country nor the aggregate of all Arab countries, and no Arab King or President nor all of them in the aggregate, have that right, nor has that right any organization or the aggregate of all organizations, be they Palestinian or Arab, because Palestine is an Islamic Waqf throughout all generations and to the Day of Resurrection. Who can presume to speak for all Islamic Generations to the Day of Resurrection? This is the status [of the land] in Islamic Shari’a, and it is similar to all lands conquered by Islam by force, and made thereby Waqf lands upon their conquest, for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection. 


Article Fifteen: 
When our enemies usurp some Islamic lands, Jihad becomes a duty binding on all Muslims. In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews, we have no escape from raising the banner of Jihad. This would require the propagation of Islamic consciousness among the masses on all local, Arab and Islamic levels. We must spread the spirit of Jihad among the [Islamic] Umma, clash with the enemies and join the ranks of the Jihad fighters. 
The ‘ulama as well as educators and teachers, publicity and media men as well as the masses of the educated, and especially the youth and the elders of the Islamic Movements, must participate in this raising of consciousness.


Article Eighteen
The women in the house and the family of Jihad fighters, whether they are mothers or sisters, carry out the most important duty of caring for the home and raising the children upon the moral concepts and values which derive from Islam; and of educating their sons to observe the religious injunctions in preparation for the duty of Jihad awaiting them



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