[FoRK] Imagine a world without religion... (stunningly succinct visual argument)

Jeff Bone < jbone at place.org > on > Mon Dec 4 12:26:27 PST 2006

On Dec 4, 2006, at 1:00 PM, Dan Brickley wrote:

> Religion is a factor, sure... but an easily exagerrated one. For eg  
> see Robert Pape, http://www.amconmag.com/2005_07_18/article.html
> """*RP:* The central fact is that overwhelmingly suicide-terrorist  
> attacks are not driven by religion as much as they are by a clear  
> strategic objective: to compel modern democracies to withdraw  
> military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as  
> their homeland. From Lebanon to Sri Lanka to Chechnya to Kashmir to  
> the West Bank, every major suicide-terrorist campaign—over 95  
> percent of all the incidents—has had as its central objective to  
> compel a democratic state to withdraw."""

That's not what suicide bombers themselves usually say --- either  
when they fail or via their recorded words pre-attack.  While that  
may be the strategic objective of the planners, by FAR the primary  
stated reason of the suicide bombers themselves --- at least the  
Muslim ones --- is the beauty and rewards martyrdom.  Some have gone  
so far as to say that they had no particular political or cultural  
hatred or beef --- they just wanted martyrdom for the cause of  
Islam.  (IIRC, this was the case with the tube bombers in London last  
year...  they'd been promised SUCH a bill of goods that, well, it was  
an offer they could not refuse.)

The planners may indeed be cynically manipulating religion in order  
to achieve their ends.  But it remains that religious devotion is the  
hook through which such manipulation is accomplished.  And conversely  
--- a very small percentage of all suicide attacks are *not*  
religiously-motivated.

jb



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