Avoiding Slothful Induction: take a bow, Tanveer Ahmed (updated 16/x/2014)

Happily, the climate of slothful induction regarding islamic terrorism is not universal. Tanveer Ahmed wrote an intelligent piece in Wednesday’s Oz about the relationship between islamic doctrine and terrorism: 

THOSE Muslims who cry Islamophobia repeatedly when asked about terrorism and Islam do themselves a disservice by not ­engaging with the ideas inherent in Islam that might lend themselves to actions of violent ­confrontation.

Islamophobia is becoming its own industry with university departments and experts, an extension of the leftist view that an underbelly of racism is the root cause of everything from terrorism to our border protection policies.

The almost universal action of religious Muslims is to assert that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism, as if the actions of ­Islamic State, the Taliban, al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, just to name some of the best-known but tiny proportion of modern Islamists, arose out of thin air.

The undercurrent of this is centuries of subjugation and failure within the Arab world, something for which many Muslims blame only the West and its interventions, conveniently avoiding the sclerotic decay inherent in the countries and region.

Islam is primarily a religion of conquest. The fact the vast majority of Muslims are peace loving and committed to Australia is not because of Islam but despite it. They have too much to lose to interpret Islam too literally. But that does not mean there are not thousands of Muslims from around the world, including Australia, who may not take such a liberal view.

Thankyou Tanveer!  Well done!

Tanveer has written before about the anthropological, sociological and psychological factors encouraging young muslims to practice terrorism – this from the August 14 edition of the Oz:

As a psychiatrist who visits jails, I see a lot of overlap between locals who are lured towards terror and many clients from Middle Eastern backgrounds I see in the legal ­system…

There remains a marked difference in the way males are raised within some Lebanese groups which predisposes them to greater acts of anti-social behaviour. It is a fairly specific segment of the Lebanese community and a result of the migration of poorer farmers and lower-class Lebanese Muslims after the civil war in 1975…

There is a rampant anti-social character to some youths from this segment which stems in part from unsuccessful child rearing. The horrific moves towards terror acts can be seen as an ideological extension of a propensity towards bad behaviour, combined with an unshakable victim mentality.

There are clear trends in the ­clients I see from Arab groups in jails. They come from large families. The fathers were often absent while they worked unskilled jobs trying to provide. The mothers lacked the extended family support they may have had in their ancestral lands… The men were placed on a pedestal with few behavioural limits. The relatively absent fathers, who might have disciplined the sons, compounded the problems.

I see further key psychological differences among these groups, particularly the Lebanese or the children of refugees from Iraqi or Afghan … While expressions of anger and threats are a quick way to lose face in polite Western society, it is more acceptable within Arab groups. At its worst, calm, measured responses to conflict may be seen as weak.

This is outlined by Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennell’s groundbreaking work visiting Muslim criminals in jail, where he makes reference to the Arab notion of “holy anger”, which is completely foreign to English.

Another key difference is the psychological idea of “locus of control”… Western thinking teaches that we have some control of our destinies… Arab cultures have… a God that decides their life’s course. “Inshallah” follows every statement about future plans: if God wills it to occur…

In societies shaped under Islamic influences there is little emphasis on guilt and a greater likelihood to demand that society adapt to one’s own wishes…

Other Arab Australians from Egypt, Jordan or Iran do not have the same problems. If you meet them, they will be quick to point out that their community’s migration was from a more skilled base. They had smaller families, focused on their children’s education and integrated more easily.

The first step to solving a problem is understanding its causes. Kidding ourselves about the nature of islamic terrorism is terribly short-sighted and will ultimately be counter-productive.

Update, October 16, 2014: The Weekend Australian for October 11-12 contained another good article by Tanveer on this topic. It was accompanied by similarly good articles discussing the issue by David Pryce-Jones, Chris Kenny and Cassandra Wilkinson. These writers’ ability to look at the issue squarely, and discuss it calmly and rationally but also forcefully, poses a challenge to those who would rather retreat into comforting but questionable assertions about the nature of the dangers that we face.

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About Stebbing Heuer

A person interested in exploring human perception, reasoning, judgement and deciding, and in promoting clear, effective thinking and the making of good decisions.
This entry was posted in Formal fallacies in reasoning and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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