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Source: (consider it) Thread: The origin of Islamic extremism
Freddy
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# 365

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I looked for a thread about this but didn’t find one. So apologies if someone else has brought this up.

The coming fifteenth anniversary of September 11, 2001, brings a new round of people talking about the evils of Islamic extremism.

I am fully on board with the overall sentiment. Terrorism is wrong. There is no excuse for it.

What always surprises me, however, is the West’s mystified hand-wringing, as if this is all due to unreasoning hatred, misplaced revenge for the creation of Israel, or some other equally incomprehensible motivation.

Isn’t it obvious that Western culture, whether Christian or secular, represents a potent threat to Islam?

Not that Islam can’t survive in the West. It does well in many Western countries. But almost every aspect of Western culture is an affront to the values and attitudes of the Islamic world.

It is not just that they see us as immoral and atheistic, but that this immorality and secularism is aggressively and continually exported into every country that does business with the West. Everything from fashion to cinema to alcohol and social media are almost unstoppable agents of a lifestyle that is anathema to faithful Muslims.

And that is without even mentioning the political and military interventions that have plagued them for hundreds of years.

Nor is their sense of threat an imaginary one. Islam relies on attitudes to authority, an unquestioning loyalty to Islamic teachings, and lifestyle restrictions, which are unlikely to survive long term exposure to Western ideas.

It is not that I am sympathetic to Islam. While it has some admirable features and produces many very fine people, I think that it is a fatally flawed belief system with some very harmful features.

So I think that the simple formula is that Islam is seriously threatened with extinction in the long run. The recognition of this threat has led to extreme reactionary forms of Islam, as is typical of threatened cultures and belief systems. Reactionary groups attack what they see as the source of the threat, whether internal or external. That is the situation that we observe.

This doesn’t justify any of it. But how can we effectively respond to things that we do not understand?

That is my view of the situation, but I may be in left field. Do others see it this way?

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
Nor is their sense of threat an imaginary one. Islam relies on attitudes to authority, an unquestioning loyalty to Islamic teachings, and lifestyle restrictions, which are unlikely to survive long term exposure to Western ideas.

The same could have been said of Christianity prior to the development of those ideas. And while it's true that the Church is no longer the ultimate power in society that it once was, it still exists. The same will be true of Islam. What we are seeing is the dying pains of Islam as the ultimate power in middle eastern societies.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
And while it's true that the Church is no longer the ultimate power in society that it once was, it still exists. The same will be true of Islam. What we are seeing is the dying pains of Islam as the ultimate power in middle eastern societies.

Yes. Nicely put.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
What we are seeing is the dying pains of Islam as the ultimate power in middle eastern societies.

What do you mean by this? There are secular governments of various stripes in various Muslim-majority countries. This may anger some extremist groups, but AFAIK there's little sign that Islam is declining as the dominant belief system in the Middle East in the way that Christianity is doing in the West.

Islam is currently the fastest growing religion in the world and will most likely overtake Christianity before the end of the century. This is largely to do with population growth. The projections don't seem to involve very large numbers of Middle Eastern Muslims leaving the religion.

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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Islam is currently the fastest growing religion in the world and will most likely overtake Christianity before the end of the century. This is largely to do with population growth. The projections don't seem to involve very large numbers of Middle Eastern Muslims leaving the religion.

I don't argue with this.

Does this necessarily conflict with the idea that Western culture challenges Islam and that reactionary Islamic elements feel threatened?

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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SvitlanaV2
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Freddy

I suppose it depends on what you mean by 'Islamic extremism'. For some individuals it may be a deliberate rejection of Westernisation (and that too could be defined in different ways. In most cases it's not a rejection of everything modern.)

However, most of the world's Muslim 'extremists' have no particular connection with the West. Most Muslim 'terrorism' is aimed at other Muslims, many of whom are probably not very Westernised by our standards, although they may have a different theology or lifestyle from their attackers.

The other problem with seeing Islamic extremism or terrorism as a sign of change in the Middle East is that, as we know, there's been warfare among Muslims, and between Muslims and others, for centuries. It's not a sign of anything new in the world.

[ 10. September 2016, 01:55: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Freddy
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All good points. Thank you.
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
For some individuals it may be a deliberate rejection of Westernisation (and that too could be defined in different ways. In most cases it's not a rejection of everything modern.)

I'm not so much thinking of it as a rejection of Westernization as a feeling of being threatened by the West in any number of ways. Certainly many extremists embrace much about the West.
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Most Muslim 'terrorism' is aimed at other Muslims, many of whom are probably not very Westernised by our standards, although they may have a different theology or lifestyle from their attackers.

This is an important point. Why would this be?

As you note, there is a long tradition of this kind of struggle.

But I think that another point is that fellow Muslims who are seen as somehow complicit with the Western threat are the most important and common targets.
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
The other problem with seeing Islamic extremism or terrorism as a sign of change in the Middle East is that, as we know, there's been warfare among Muslims, and between Muslims and others, for centuries. It's not a sign of anything new in the world.

Yes, it's nothing new. But there has always been warfare among Christians as well, and that seems to have subsided somewhat. Of course if Trump is elected that may change... [Disappointed] [Disappointed] [Disappointed]

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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The national states in the Islamic world, save perhaps Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan (?others) are not really functioning countries. Those that once did, like Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Nigeria we have gone about deliberately destabilizing with foolish ideas that we can transplant our societal structures without any social and political development within the populations of these countries. In Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan they have degenerated into warlord fiefdoms where extortion, kidnappings, selling people as slaves and other forms of corrupt gaining of wealth dominate (for the young fighters it sounds like rape-marriages is a motivation). So the people hate their nonfunctional governments, see the external forces of western countries as facilitating "rent seeking" where their resources are exported and the average person doesn't benefit, while the controlling elite do.

So we end up with countries where the populace is alienated from the weak structures of the state (if it even exists any more, like in Iraq and Syria), which operate to serve the powerful elite which is in power. Then along comes a religious ideology which offers a clean-up and something that looks better than what there is. And gives some hope for a better world. Life must really be shit in some of these places if ISIL looks like a better world. And apparently we did it to them.

The blame is pointed at both the west and at the home countries. And more are killed and exploited in the home countries than are in the west. We compound the thing by bombing and starving and sanctioning, which further tells these countries and peoples that we are enemy and we lie when we talk of democracy, fairness and freedom.

A good read about how this works is Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy (Francis Fukuyama), which I finally got through over the summer (was an Xmas present). I found myself persuaded that we haven't understood how we have contributed to the decay and destruction of nascent rule of law, beginnings of democracy, and principles of public good in many of these countries. We also haven't done ourselves any favours by allying with demagoguery like the Saudis.

The alienation that some young people feel in our countries - the home grown terrorists - how is it that they can be so alienated to want to destroy and kill when they are presumably benefitting here? I expect that something like lack of hope and feeling they can never make it underlies it. But there must be other factors.

It started long before September 11 attacks. We've been on this trail for a long time. A Canadian professor, Sunera Thobani said this on October 1st 2001, from her feminist perspective, and I think it probably is an example of the sort of ideas that underlie terrorism against us.

quote:
Today, [our foreign policy] is one of the most dangerous and the most powerful global forces that is unleashing prolific levels of violence all over the world...All of us have seen and felt the dramatic pain of watching the September 11th attacks... But do we feel any pain for the victims of [our] aggression? Two hundred thousand people were killed in the initial war on Iraq. That bombing of Iraq has continued for 10 years now.... [our] foreign policy is soaked in blood.
(edits are mine, I don't think it is fair to name a single country, see link for the original)

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mousethief

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no prophet's explanation seems the most plausible by far.

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hatless

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Yes, no prophet's thoughts impress me, too, but I think there is also a more cultural and ideological struggle going on. Western culture is undermining patriarchy, and that is a problem for the cultures most religions come from, certainly for Islam.

The shorthand for this, and I love crude over simplifications, is that feminism is the biggest thing to have happened in our life times. Its implications lie behind every controversial subject on Ship of Fools, every argument convulsing the church, most of the issues governments are grappling with today (Brexit, Trump, grammar schools, immigration ... corporate taxation, economic stagnation, Internet surveillance and freedom maybe not so much), and are the icon, and perhaps the motive force behind the attack on patriarchy which has so bewildered the Church and is such a threat to Islamic culture.

I'm not aware of any coherent theological debate going on in Islam. I'm not sure it has the resources to respond to this.

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Arethosemyfeet
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I think what's missing from this discussion is any reference to the deliberate promotion of radical Wahhabism by the House of Saud. Saudi funded Mosques and Imams are everywhere, propped up by oil wealth flowing from Saudi Arabia. There has been a deliberate strategy to promote this extreme, radically conservative form of Islam. Whether that's out of devotion on the part of the House of Saud or realpolitik thinking that it's a means to extend the soft power of Saudi Arabia in preparation for a post-oil future is a moot point.

It's as if, say, the Free Presbyterians suddenly found themselves with billions of pounds and used it to promote metrical psalms, Catholic hating and strict Sabbatarianism by funding churches and ministers throughout the Christian world. Would any of us think that the resulting success was a reaction to an external threat, or would we simply recognise the impact of money even in the realms of faith?

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
Yes, no prophet's thoughts impress me, too, but I think there is also a more cultural and ideological struggle going on.

I agree. I think that no prophet has given a great description of how that ideological struggle plays out on the ground.
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
The shorthand for this, and I love crude over simplifications, is that feminism is the biggest thing to have happened in our life times. Its implications lie behind every controversial subject on Ship of Fools, every argument convulsing the church, most of the issues governments are grappling with today...

That is a fascinating insight.

Are you sure that feminism is the best way to describe it? How about sexual revolution?
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
I'm not aware of any coherent theological debate going on in Islam. I'm not sure it has the resources to respond to this.

The lack of coherent intellectual resources to respond is exactly what I am talking about. The most important response is therefore reactionary hostility.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
I think what's missing from this discussion is any reference to the deliberate promotion of radical Wahhabism by the House of Saud.

Isn't this deliberate promotion a reactionary response to perceived threats to Islam?
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
Would any of us think that the resulting success was a reaction to an external threat, or would we simply recognise the impact of money even in the realms of faith?

The money would not be there if those who are providing it did not see it as a great cause.

I don't want to rule out purely selfish motivations, but it seems as though similar movements in the USA attract wealthy donors through descriptions of threats to the lifeblood of American society.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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hatless

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Freddy said
quote:
Are you sure that feminism is the best way to describe it? How about sexual revolution?

I'm not sure what the best description is. The sexual revolution, reproductive rights, equality between the sexes and more generally, a challenge to authority as traditionally wielded by men, what right wingers used to call "cultural Marxism" .. There is an entangled collection of ideas and movements, and an entangled mass of resistance to them. Power and sex and gender and authority and challenge.

I don't think it's an irrelevant side issue that Chelsea Manning whose data leak revealed things about military power that some wanted to keep dark is herself a male to female transgender person, and that her campaign, five years into a thirty five year sentence, is now about how long she may grow her hair.

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My crazy theology in novel form

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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
I'm not sure what the best description is. The sexual revolution, reproductive rights, equality between the sexes and more generally, a challenge to authority as traditionally wielded by men, what right wingers used to call "cultural Marxism" .. There is an entangled collection of ideas and movements, and an entangled mass of resistance to them. Power and sex and gender and authority and challenge.

Agreed. "Entangled collection" is a good way to put it.
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
I don't think it's an irrelevant side issue that Chelsea Manning...

Umm. OK. [Paranoid] [Paranoid] [Paranoid]

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
There has always been warfare among Christians as well [as Muslims], and that seems to have subsided somewhat. Of course if Trump is elected that may change... [Disappointed] [Disappointed] [Disappointed]

True, but so-called Christian involvement hasn't ended. Even without Trump running things the 'Christian world' has done a good job of physically destabilising a range of Muslim countries up to the present time, as no prophet's flag has indicated!

quote:


I think there is also a more cultural and ideological struggle going on. Western culture is undermining patriarchy, and that is a problem for the cultures most religions come from, certainly for Islam.

The shorthand for this, and I love crude over simplifications, is that feminism is the biggest thing to have happened in our life times.

This is an interesting idea. I don't remembering hearing accounts of terrorists using this as an explanation for their actions - and the young Muslim women who've unwisely travelled from Europe to Syria to participate in the struggle with ISIS presumably haven't considered the possibility at all.

The issues of women's liberation, including family planning and education, must be of significant importance in Muslim countries. There is probably a range of 'extremist' responses, which will also be influenced by class and local culture.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
Isn’t it obvious that Western culture, whether Christian or secular, represents a potent threat to Islam?

To the extent that Western culture appears to involve believing in an entitlement to own the entire world, rather than just the bit you currently live in, yes.

But then that represents a potent threat to everything else, not just Islam.

It's arguable that much of the history of "Western culture" over the last several centuries has consisted of surprise that the rest of the world keeps objecting to erasure, and incomprehension as to why other people might not want to fully Westernise.

[ 10. September 2016, 12:28: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
Isn’t it obvious that Western culture, whether Christian or secular, represents a potent threat to Islam?

To the extent that Western culture appears to involve believing in an entitlement to own the entire world, rather than just the bit you currently live in, yes.
Well said.
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
But then that represents a potent threat to everything else, not just Islam.

You would think. I'm sure that's true.

Yet much of the world seems to be fine with most of it. In any case no other part of the world has reacted as strongly as the Islamic world. Unless of course we count China walling itself off for so many years.
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
It's arguable that much of the history of "Western culture" over the last several centuries has consisted of surprise that the rest of the world keeps objecting to erasure, and incomprehension as to why other people might not want to fully Westernise.

Thanks. That's exactly what I am trying to get at in the OP. Why the incomprehension? [Confused] [Confused] [Confused]

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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orfeo

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The incomprehension is because Westerners think it self-evident that being Western is wonderful. After all, look at all the shiny things that Westerners have.

And the freedom! Don't forget the freedom.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
The incomprehension is because Westerners think it self-evident that being Western is wonderful. After all, look at all the shiny things that Westerners have.

And the freedom! Don't forget the freedom.

Yes, yes. The freedom.

Which is not to say that I am sympathetic to Islamic extremists. But how can we combat them without showing any kind of comprehension of where they are coming from?

Sometimes I think that the best way to counter the threat of these reactionary forces would be to remove every kind of military presence near those countries and instead to do everything possible to bolster their economies.

Our military threat only serves to energize their recruiting efforts. The changing mindset that inevitably comes with economic prosperity, however, is the thing that will most effectively remove the teeth from Islamic fundamentalism.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Moo

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There is one thing that has struck me about those who commit acts of terrorism in the name of Islam. Namely, that they frequently do not live according to the tenets of Islam.

In the weeks leading up to 9/11 one of the hijackers frequented a bar and went to strip shows. Islam holds both of these activities to be wrong.

Moo

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Martin60
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Islam is becoming the dominant religious belief system in the old West too. There's no sign of it's decline in Europe anywhere and it will be far more effective at proselytizing than Christianity. You can only marry in. The availability of alcohol, female nudity, gambling, tobacco, dogs, representational art in Leicester doesn't affect The Ahmeds At Number 7 for 3 generations at all in their devotions.

What's to understand?

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Love wins

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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
Sometimes I think that the best way to counter the threat of these reactionary forces would be to remove every kind of military presence near those countries and instead to do everything possible to bolster their economies.

There is a direct correlation between a military presence and suicide bombing, as shown by the work of Professor Robert Pape.

I don't think there's quite the correlation with terrorism more generally. But there is probably some relationship.

Perhaps this is best illustrated by where terrorists don't tend to come from. For example, Iran. A theocratic state. If it was all about being extremely religious West-haters, you would think Iran would be an excellent source of Islamic terrorists.

But, while Iran is generally believed to have provided sponsorship of some groups at various times, you don't find many Iranian terrorists.

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Sober Preacher's Kid

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Islam is becoming the dominant religious belief system in the old West too. There's no sign of it's decline in Europe anywhere and it will be far more effective at proselytizing than Christianity. You can only marry in. The availability of alcohol, female nudity, gambling, tobacco, dogs, representational art in Leicester doesn't affect The Ahmeds At Number 7 for 3 generations at all in their devotions.

What's to understand?

Nonsense.

Junior Ahmed's cousin in Toronto is off to the Dawn Foundation in Toronto, which the the Toronto School of Theology's effort to create an imam program. (It is a public university after all).

The Dawn Foundation runs a nice, middle of the road Canadian-sensitive and aware program, it is NOT those koran thumpers from Saudi Arabia.

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
Sometimes I think that the best way to counter the threat of these reactionary forces would be to remove every kind of military presence near those countries and instead to do everything possible to bolster their economies.

There is a direct correlation between a military presence and suicide bombing, as shown by the work of Professor Robert Pape.

I don't think there's quite the correlation with terrorism more generally. But there is probably some relationship.

Perhaps this is best illustrated by where terrorists don't tend to come from. For example, Iran. A theocratic state. If it was all about being extremely religious West-haters, you would think Iran would be an excellent source of Islamic terrorists.

But, while Iran is generally believed to have provided sponsorship of some groups at various times, you don't find many Iranian terrorists.

This is an excellent point. I think describing jihadism as 'Islamic extremism' is incorrect, since jihadism is as much political as religious.

I wonder if this hampers deradicalization programmes in the West, which seem to focus on the religious aspects?

Other points above are correct, e.g. the reaction to Western intrusion, the role of Saudi Wahhabism, and their rivalry with Iran. Another factor is the role of Arab secularism, which dominated for many years in some countries; thus secularism has been discredited.

Another factor is the ways in which Sunni tribes feel displaced in Iraq and Syria, and have therefore allied both with Al Qaeda and IS.

It's incredibly complex, and not just about 'extreme Islam'.

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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Sober Preacher's Kid

In the UK there's an attempt to create formal training courses for imams, particularly to help them tackle the risk of extremism among some of the impressionable young people in their care. And many young Muslims study Islam as part of Religious Studies at school, and even continue their theological studies at university.

But in general, it's probably the case that British Islam is less middle class and intellectual than its Canadian counterpart. Many Muslim immigrants in the UK come from rural communities in places like Pakistan, Bengal, Bangladesh and now Somalia, and don't arrive with a high level of education. Many will move to parts of Britain where Muslims are already a significant presence, due to earlier waves of immigration. And until quite recently, Pakistani parents would often marry their children to cousins, often relatives from back home.

These practices make 'integration' more challenging, although the picture is very mixed.

[ 10. September 2016, 15:36: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Islam is becoming the dominant religious belief system in the old West too. There's no sign of it's decline in Europe anywhere and it will be far more effective at proselytizing than Christianity. You can only marry in. The availability of alcohol, female nudity, gambling, tobacco, dogs, representational art in Leicester doesn't affect The Ahmeds At Number 7 for 3 generations at all in their devotions.

What's to understand?

Nonsense.

Junior Ahmed's cousin in Toronto is off to the Dawn Foundation in Toronto, which the the Toronto School of Theology's effort to create an imam program. (It is a public university after all).

The Dawn Foundation runs a nice, middle of the road Canadian-sensitive and aware program, it is NOT those koran thumpers from Saudi Arabia.

That's nice dear. New West. Doesn't happen here.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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it's !!! IT'S !!! The horror of it all.

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Love wins

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Wesley J

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Pardon?

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Be it as it may: Wesley J will stay. --- Euthanasia, that sounds good. An alpine neutral neighbourhood. Then back to Britain, all dressed in wood. Things were gonna get worse. (John Cooper Clarke)

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
There is one thing that has struck me about those who commit acts of terrorism in the name of Islam. Namely, that they frequently do not live according to the tenets of Islam.

While that was clearly true in the case you mention, I can't believe it is true of the majority. I don't know; but one anecdote doesn't make an argument.

[ 10. September 2016, 16:10: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Sober Preacher's Kid

Presbymethegationalist
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British Universities can't sprout madrassahs?

The University of Toronto saw it as enlightened self-interest. Some of those newer Canadians will surely have a mid-life crisis and wish to enroll in some religious courses. And a public university ought to support them in that.

And if it helps keep the costs down for Christian programmes by sharing the infrastructure costs more widely, everybody wins. (This is why the Catholics are now sharing space with a rabbinical seminary.)

You know, last year somebody torched the mosque here in Peterborough, Ontario. On purpose.

Within hours, the congregation received emergency accommodation in a United Church auditorium. The next day, they made temporary arrangements to hold services at the local synagogue. I know the synagogue president, he would give you the shirt off his back.

Within the week, there were sufficient community funds donated to restore the mosque completely and the imam had to request publicly that no further donations be sent.

Perhaps the problem is not with the muslims but with everyone else.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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The book I referenced is the foundation of my understanding.

The missing part of my understanding is how someone, a young person, sits in front of a computer a western country, goes to a mosque, and then gets murderous ideas, either travelling off and joining these terror groups, or getting a weapon, bomb, or vehicle and kills people where he\ she lives. The thought processes and rage necessary are beyond my ken. Is it delusion? How do they get to this?

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
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Callan
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# 525

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Islam is becoming the dominant religious belief system in the old West too. There's no sign of it's decline in Europe anywhere and it will be far more effective at proselytizing than Christianity. You can only marry in. The availability of alcohol, female nudity, gambling, tobacco, dogs, representational art in Leicester doesn't affect The Ahmeds At Number 7 for 3 generations at all in their devotions.

What's to understand?

Nonsense.

Junior Ahmed's cousin in Toronto is off to the Dawn Foundation in Toronto, which the the Toronto School of Theology's effort to create an imam program. (It is a public university after all).

The Dawn Foundation runs a nice, middle of the road Canadian-sensitive and aware program, it is NOT those koran thumpers from Saudi Arabia.

That's nice dear. New West. Doesn't happen here.
Yeah. I mean, you'd struggle to think of a major cosmopolitan English city which recently elected a Muslim mayor who had voted for gay marriage when he was an MP. That would never happen.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
The book I referenced is the foundation of my understanding.

The missing part of my understanding is how someone, a young person, sits in front of a computer a western country, goes to a mosque, and then gets murderous ideas, either travelling off and joining these terror groups, or getting a weapon, bomb, or vehicle and kills people where he\ she lives. The thought processes and rage necessary are beyond my ken. Is it delusion? How do they get to this?

I don't find it that baffling. There are plenty of alienated young people, in many countries. Add in racial discrimination (as in France against Muslims), and a family ancestry in N. Africa, and an animosity against Western incursions in the ME.

The West kills plenty of people, and then expresses surprise/dismay when people strike back.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
There are plenty of alienated young people, in many countries. Add in racial discrimination (as in France against Muslims), and a family ancestry in N. Africa, and an animosity against Western incursions in the ME.

Alienation, yes. Young men who feel they have no stake in society, nothing to lose.

I often wonder if simply giving them a stake in society - something to lose - would dramatically reduce the number who are willing to blow themselves up or kill as many of us as possible before getting gunned down. You very rarely hear of a rich suicide bomber. Rich terrorist leaders, yes, but not foot soldiers.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Young men who feel they have no stake in society, nothing to lose.

I often wonder if simply giving them a stake in society - something to lose - would dramatically reduce the number who are willing to blow themselves up or kill as many of us as possible before getting gunned down.

I have been thinking this very thing ever since the Nice attacks.

It's quite counter-intuitive, because it would mean the answer to radicalisation is giving people responsibility. Unfortunately I think this idea is unlikely to gain traction.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Islam is becoming the dominant religious belief system in the old West too. There's no sign of it's decline in Europe anywhere and it will be far more effective at proselytizing than Christianity. You can only marry in. The availability of alcohol, female nudity, gambling, tobacco, dogs, representational art in Leicester doesn't affect The Ahmeds At Number 7 for 3 generations at all in their devotions.

What's to understand?

Nonsense.

Junior Ahmed's cousin in Toronto is off to the Dawn Foundation in Toronto, which the the Toronto School of Theology's effort to create an imam program. (It is a public university after all).

The Dawn Foundation runs a nice, middle of the road Canadian-sensitive and aware program, it is NOT those koran thumpers from Saudi Arabia.

That's nice dear. New West. Doesn't happen here.
Yeah. I mean, you'd struggle to think of a major cosmopolitan English city which recently elected a Muslim mayor who had voted for gay marriage when he was an MP. That would never happen.
Apples and chalk mate.

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Love wins

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
Isn’t it obvious that Western culture, whether Christian or secular, represents a potent threat to Islam?

Not that Islam can’t survive in the West. It does well in many Western countries. But almost every aspect of Western culture is an affront to the values and attitudes of the Islamic world.

It is not just that they see us as immoral and atheistic, but that this immorality and secularism is aggressively and continually exported into every country that does business with the West. Everything from fashion to cinema to alcohol and social media are almost unstoppable agents of a lifestyle that is anathema to faithful Muslims.

And that is without even mentioning the political and military interventions that have plagued them for hundreds of years.

Nor is their sense of threat an imaginary one. Islam relies on attitudes to authority, an unquestioning loyalty to Islamic teachings, and lifestyle restrictions, which are unlikely to survive long term exposure to Western ideas.

I think the main problem with this assessment is that it's essentially an argumentum ad Scotsman, defining your case into existence rather than demonstrating it. For example, you seem to be arguing that Keith Ellison and Sadiq Khan aren't really Muslims because they participate in representative democracy (so they miss the "authoritarian" check box), use social media and they usually wear Western fashions.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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quetzalcoatl
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Yes, it's saying that militant Islamism just is Islam. Well, IS would agree with that!

That's why I object to the term 'Islamic extremism'. You have to distinguish Islam, Islamism, militant Islamism, and violent militant Islamism, and then distinguish all the other varieties of Islam, e.g. Sufism.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
I think the main problem with this assessment is that it's essentially an argumentum ad Scotsman, defining your case into existence rather than demonstrating it. For example, you seem to be arguing that Keith Ellison and Sadiq Khan aren't really Muslims because they participate in representative democracy (so they miss the "authoritarian" check box), use social media and they usually wear Western fashions.

Fair point.

I had never heard of "Argument ad Scotsman." Good one!

Still, just because many things about Western culture are widely seen as an affront to Islamic values, this does not necessarily mean that they will be taken that way by all Muslims, or that those who don't take it that way are not true Muslims.

The question I am trying to answer is the mystified response of Westerners who seem to have no idea why so many in the Islamic world seem to have a negative view of us.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
I think the main problem with this assessment is that it's essentially an argumentum ad Scotsman, defining your case into existence rather than demonstrating it. For example, you seem to be arguing that Keith Ellison and Sadiq Khan aren't really Muslims because they participate in representative democracy (so they miss the "authoritarian" check box), use social media and they usually wear Western fashions.

Fair point.

I had never heard of "Argument ad Scotsman." Good one!

Still, just because many things about Western culture are widely seen as an affront to Islamic values, this does not necessarily mean that they will be taken that way by all Muslims, or that those who don't take it that way are not true Muslims.

The question I am trying to answer is the mystified response of Westerners who seem to have no idea why so many in the Islamic world seem to have a negative view of us.

Once again, the answer to that would seem to rest on how you define "the Islamic world". Are Keith Ellison and Sadiq Khan part of "the Islamic world"? Neither of them seems to have a notably negative view of "us". How about the late Muhammad Ali? Ali was pretty clear on why he had a negative view of "us".

What's interesting here is the way "Muslim" and "Westerner" are seen as mutually exclusive categories, so that no one who is a Muslim will ever be considered a Westerner.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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quetzalcoatl
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My best friend was a Sufi, so I suppose he was part of the 'Islamic world'. This is just lazy thinking.

I am mystified why anyone would be puzzled that some people in the Middle East are hostile to the West. They must have missed out history and politics in their education.

[ 10. September 2016, 19:54: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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We had a Canadian lad early 20s, normal Canadian family. No connection to the terror people until he pursued it. This is the stuff I don't get.

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
What's interesting here is the way "Muslim" and "Westerner" are seen as mutually exclusive categories, so that no one who is a Muslim will ever be considered a Westerner.

I fully admit that it is completely wrong, maybe even immoral, to reduce society to these kinds of categories. I'm sure everyone knows that this kind of oversimplification results in just those kinds of absurdities.

Clearly we do it anyway, and I apologize.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
My best friend was a Sufi, so I suppose he was part of the 'Islamic world'. This is just lazy thinking.

Yes it is.

I think that the rule is that no individuals that we actually know are part of any "world", nor do any of our lazy and careless generalizations apply to them.

This includes us. I know that I myself do not identify with any of these categories.
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I am mystified why anyone would be puzzled that some people in the Middle East are hostile to the West. They must have missed out history and politics in their education.

Yes, I find myself frequently shouting at the idiots on the news.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
There are plenty of alienated young people, in many countries. Add in racial discrimination (as in France against Muslims), and a family ancestry in N. Africa, and an animosity against Western incursions in the ME.

Alienation, yes. Young men who feel they have no stake in society, nothing to lose.

I often wonder if simply giving them a stake in society - something to lose - would dramatically reduce the number who are willing to blow themselves up or kill as many of us as possible before getting gunned down. You very rarely hear of a rich suicide bomber. Rich terrorist leaders, yes, but not foot soldiers.

Look up the "Aarhus model" (named after the 2nd-largest city in Denmark where this is happening) and you will find a place that is giving people a stake in society for exactly this reason.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Sober Preacher's Kid:
British Universities can't sprout madrassahs?

The University of Toronto saw it as enlightened self-interest. [...]

And if it helps keep the costs down for Christian programmes by sharing the infrastructure costs more widely, everybody wins. (This is why the Catholics are now sharing space with a rabbinical seminary.)
[...]

I believe there is university training for Muslim clerics in some cities. (That's what I meant when I referred to official training.) But it's not compulsory.

A lot of imams in the UK are recent immigrants, and they may not have sufficient English or academic skills to do a typical university course. As I say, though, there have been attempts to address these problems.

With regard to Muslims borrowing churches in an emergency, there are some occasions where that's happened. But, TBH with you, in a number of British cities Muslim groups don't need to borrow churches; they buy them.

There are some interfaith engagements. A few weeks ago I went to a church concert which involved live Islamic music as well as a church choir. This sort of thing creates connections, but I don't know if it reduces 'extremism' as such.

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Ricardus
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People are talking as though 'Islamic extremism' was one thing. To my mind, there's a difference between 'Let's blow up the West' extremism and 'Lock up your women' extremism, although any individual extremist may participate in both.

E.g. in the film Four Lions, Omar's brother refuses to debate with or be in the same room as a woman, but he also tries to dissuade Omar from blowing stuff up. The positive take is that ultra-strict Muslims aren't terrorists. OTOH, if Omar didn't exist I don't think we would see his brother as the good guy.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I believe there is university training for Muslim clerics in some cities. (That's what I meant when I referred to official training.) But it's not compulsory.

Some universities also offer courses for Christian ministers, but they're also not compulsory. A lot of Christian ministers have little, or no, formal training. So, it's not just a mark of Islamic extremism.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Re formal training of clergy:

For a while, many years ago, I attended a little charismatic church. Very informal. Maybe 30-40 people, on a good day, in a borrowed/rented space.

Lay pastor, and he was very good. I don't know if he had any formal training; but he could lead the group; discuss God, the Bible, and life; and was a joy to be around.

I sometimes miss that church.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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