Radical Islam : What is the fundamental motivation?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Vexen, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. Vexen Registered Member

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    2014 was a bad year for Islam. It saw radical Islamic groups including ISIS, Hamas, Boko Haram, taliban, al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab commit unthinkable crimes. What is the connection between the Islamic faith and these groups? Have these groups hijacked a peaceful religion?

    This is what Sam Harris said about the link between the Muslim community and radical ideology:
    "It is time we recognized—and obliged the Muslim world to recognize—that “Muslim extremism” is not extreme among Muslims. Mainstream Islam itself represents an extremist rejection of intellectual honesty, gender equality, secular politics and genuine pluralism. The truth about Islam is as politically incorrect as it is terrifying: Islam is all fringe and no center. In Islam, we confront a civilization with an arrested history. It is as though a portal in time has opened, and the Christians of the 14th century are pouring into our world."

    Others say the may motivation is politics:

    "The Suicide Terrorism Database at Flinders University in Australia, which documents all suicide bombings committed in the Middle East between 1981 and 2006, demonstrates that it is politics, not religious fanaticism that leads terrorists to blow themselves up. This is supported by research conducted at the University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Terrorism, which was partly funded by the Defense Department’s Threat Reduction Agency. The authors, Robert A. Pape and James K. Feldman, examined more than 2,200 suicide attacks across the world from 1980 to present. Their research reveals that more than 90 percent of suicide attacks are directed at an occupying force."
    "When the U.S. removed Saddam and put 1 million Sunnis on the unemployment line, the 20th-century Western-manufactured country of Iraq disappeared, and Iraqis reached back for older identities: Sunni, Shiite and Kurd." - CJ WERLEMAN, ALTERNET


    I know there are many causes but what mainly motivates radical Muslims? What is the fundamental motivation of radical Islamic groups?
    Could it be:
    Western foreign policy
    Interpretations of the Qur'an and Hadith
    Culture
    Economics
    Ideology
     
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  3. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    motivation is to spread Islam all over the world.

    It is the delayed reverse action due to the Crusades.
     
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  5. Vexen Registered Member

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    I understand what you saying that the vast majority of Muslims are as shocked and saddened as non-Muslims are by radical behaviour. But, the question is not concerning the prevalence of radical muslims, which would be a good debate, rather I want to discuss the motivation of this minority group of radicals.

    I cannot get myself to believe that there is not a central motivation for all these radicals. All the terrorist attacks I've followed over many years seem to be committed by people with similar ideology. This cannot be a coincidence.
     
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  7. Jake Arave Icthyologist/Ethologist Registered Senior Member

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    It's a belief of mine that all religion is capable of extremist regime at their core. There are even religions that encourage it, or individuals who interpret it as encouragement. I think that the radicalism of Islam is, at it's core, inevitable. The vagueness of a religion leaves much to the interpretation of mankind - and when a society has been so conquered and deprives as those in the Middle East, and Africa it is only natural that violent backlash occurs (or at least it seems to be). When a group of people can look upon righteous pardon when committing horrible atrocities, it's the sole bargain of commiting them. The angst of underdeveloped or undernourished societies is easily quenched by bloodlust it seems, and when religious interpretation allows for the commitment of genocide for perceived spiritual advancement. - people will commit it.
     
  8. andy1033 Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    Well it may have something to do with western elites radicalising them for western benefit. But today its out of control.

    There certainly is that in the equation, so all your answers have to also have that variable. The muslims were used to change society by factors beyond there control.
     
  9. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    The radicals existed long before Western elites did - unless Mohammed beheading hundreds of Quayraish was the result of the meddling of the accursed Steve Forbes.

    What has happened is that no reform has happened. The reactionary, capitalist elitism of the theocratic Islamic system has been let alone and it has prospered in the minds of the elites and the proletariat. That free-form, laissez-faire theocratic capitalism is suddenly being confronted by the faintest hints of social progressionism - and has recoiled, and lashed out, in an attempt to protect its holdings or expand them, hoping that the latter will contract. But the latter will not contract, unless there are more cowards than heroes. I admit, there are certainly enough cowards for anyone's liking.
     
  10. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

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    They want their virgins. They can be extremely violent, as we see now, as they are a violent people.
     
  11. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    "A violent people" is too far. There are theocratic inputs that have the effect of antisociality in Islamic societies.
     
  12. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    5,364
    The first step would probably be to define what 'radical Islamic groups' means and includes. 'Radical' in what sense?

    Must a radical Islamic group commit violent politically motivated acts in order to qualify? If so, a conclusion that Islamic radicalism is essentially politically motivated would seem to be circular.

    Would espousing ideas that 'progressive' Westerners find abhorrent qualify? If so, then the majority of Muslims in some (not all) Muslim countries would seem to qualify, since they seem to approve of killing adulterers, apostates and blasphemers.

    Or should we define 'radical Islamic groups' from an orthodox Islamic perspective, applying it to groups which deviate significantly from traditional rightly-guided interpretations of Quran, Sunna and Shariah? If so, then it would seem to be groups like Bashir Assad's Alawites and the spacier Sufis that would get the nod.

    My own views?

    I think that there's a great deal in traditional interpretations of Islam that's fundamentally inconsistent with the modern Western consensus. The well-intentioned Western faith that the vast majority of Muslims are really 'just like us' and share the same 'enlightened' cultural presuppositions that we do is probably naive (and ethnocentric).

    It's true that a great deal of Muslim radicalism has a political edge. In recent years much of it has been directed against governments at home (Assad, Qaddhafi, Mubarak...) that are perceived as too secular and Westernized. Too brutal and dictatorial too. And that's just it, in many Muslims' minds good government is identified with good religious values and with the social-order that Islam has always represented (ideally if not in fact) since its inception
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
    James R likes this.
  13. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

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    Are you saying that you sympathize with these extremists?
     
  14. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Nope.

    What I'm saying is that there is a more precise way to express the problem such that there is no implication - deliberate or accidental - that all Muslims share such sentiments. There is a plurality or even majority of conservative, fascistic religious thought in Islamic countries, but it is not have mathematical identity with being Muslim.
     
  15. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

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    Read my first post to get an idea of what I think of normal Muslims.
     
  16. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    The one about the virgins? That's too broad a brush.
     
  17. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

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    Fundamentalist Muslims DO believe they'll get 72 virgins or something... maybe 21 not sure, not sure why they have to be virgins either.
     
  18. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Ok, but not all Muslims believe that. Neither are all Muslims conservative. There's a big plurality that are, but not all.
     
  19. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

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  20. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    Ive herd that its 1 virgin 72 years old.!!!
     
  21. milkweed Valued Senior Member

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    I think this sums it up quite well. I dont think most muslims are repulsed by the actions of the extremists other than how it will impact them personally (make islam and themselves look bad via association). Over and over when elections are held, the extremists are voted in or maintained.

    I dont think you can separate these three things (when dealing with islamic countries):
    Interpretations of the Qur'an and Hadith
    Culture
    Ideology

    Interpretations of the Qur'an are reflected in both culture and ideology. Islam is the law. And for me in the usa, the only thing separating me from our home grown religious extremists is the law. So what I am saying is until they separate islam from the law of the land, Islamic law is the only law and justifies rejection of
    intellectual honesty
    equality (on all levels)
    secular politics
    genuine pluralism.
     
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    34,471
    I'll venture that the common element is a desire for power. Radical Muslims feel disempowered, whether it be due to western policies in relation to "Muslim" nations, western cultural imperialism, western economic domination, western technological superiority and so on. One "solution" to these problems is to attack the oppressor in various ways, thus weakening him. Another is to take his land, his people or his possessions, by force if no other means is available. Yet another is to attempt to expand the influence of one's own ideology by changing hearts and minds of the "infidels".

    The grab for power is rationalised as a righteous crusade to correct past wrongs, to impose righteous ways on those who have strayed (or never been part of the righteous in the first place), and to improve the lot of those who are in the "in group". And if power comes at the expense of others, this is justified in similar ways.

    This kind of thinking is in no way restricted to radical Muslims, however. There are plenty of radical Christians around, too. If the radical Christians in the United States had their way, American government would look quite different to how it looks today. The United States would, ideally, be a Christian theocracy rather than a republic.

    To a large extent, the violent struggles of radical Christianity have already played themselves out over the course of history. Many Christians live in societies where violent struggle today would likely result in a net decrease in their standard of living. Moreover, radical Christians already wield a fair amount of power in places like the United States, and de facto in other western nations. The same cannot be said for radical Muslims.

    When it comes to violence, I think it is fair to say that it is usually dominated by one demographic group: young men. Front-line fighters for radical Islam tend to be young men with no children, from low socio-economic backgrounds. They see violence as a means to power, and they probably feel like they have little to lose and a lot to gain by engaging in it.
     
  23. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

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    4,883
    What a load of crap. Anti - Christian running throughout it, sympathizing with a bunch of psychos that to this day, decapitate and crucify innocent human beings.

    Nonsense.
     

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