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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What is the Attraction of ISIS and Radical Islam?

For quite awhile now, the news has been full of stories about otherwise normal, even educated and affluent people who have joined ISIS and radical Islam.

Foley beheading 
The British were horrified to hear a man with a London accent announcing the beheading of James Foley last year.
British authorities launched a hunt on Wednesday for a man with an English accent who appeared in an Islamic State (IS) video purporting to show what Prime Minister David Cameron called the "barbaric and brutal" beheading of an American journalist.
A masked IS jihadist, dressed in black, who stood next to a kneeling James Foley in the video released online spoke with what sounded like a London accent.

In Israel it has been revealed that Arab teachers, not unemployed or poverty-stricken manual laborers, promoted ISIS.
Israel's Shin Bet undercover internal security agency and police said on Monday they had arrested and charged six Arab citizens, including four school teachers, with supporting and spreading the ideology of Islamic State.
The six, residents of the Bedouin Negev desert town of Hura in southern Israel, were charged with various offences and three were alleged to have planned joining Islamic State militants in Syria, a statement from Shin Bet said.
"The investigation uncovered that the suspects met secretly to discuss and promote Islamic State's ideology," Shin Bet said.
"The hard core among the activists are employed at schools in the Negev. Some took advantage of their position and attempted to plead the case for ISIS among pupils and teachers on school premises," it added. (Reuters)

A recent front page story in the International New York Times was about a young American woman who had been recruited into a radical Islamic group via the internet.
Alex, a 23-year-old Sunday school teacher and babysitter, was trembling with excitement the day she told her Twitter followers that she had converted to Islam.
For months, she had been growing closer to a new group of friends online — the most attentive she had ever had — who were teaching her what it meant to be a Muslim. Increasingly, they were telling her about the Islamic State and how the group was building a homeland in Syria and Iraq where the holy could live according to God’s law.
One in particular, Faisal, had become her nearly constant companion, spending hours each day with her on Twitter, Skype and email, painstakingly guiding her through the fundamentals of the faith. But when she excitedly told him that she had found a mosque just five miles from the home she shared with her grandparents in rural Washington State, he suddenly became cold.
The only Muslims she knew were those she had met online, and he encouraged her to keep it that way, arguing that Muslims are persecuted in the United States. She could be labeled a terrorist, he warned, and for now it was best for her to keep her conversion secret, even from her family. So on his guidance, Alex began leading a double life. She kept teaching at her church, but her truck’s radio was no longer tuned to the Christian hits on K-LOVE. Instead, she hummed along with the ISIS anthems blasting out of her turquoise iPhone, and began daydreaming about what life with the militants might be like...
I can go on and on with examples. But the question is why anyone could be attracted to such a life. In a sense it brings me back to the days of the late 1960's in the United States with the rise of the extreme radical Leftist "weathermen" group of terrorists. They did not come from the lower classes at all.
For the bombing of the United States Capitol on March 1, 1971, they issued a communiqué saying that it was "in protest of the U.S. invasion of Laos". For the bombing of the Pentagon on May 19, 1972, they stated that it was "in retaliation for the U.S. bombing raid in Hanoi". For the January 29, 1975 bombing of the United States Department of State building, they stated that it was "in response to the escalation in Vietnam".[4]
The Weathermen grew out of the Revolutionary Youth Movement (RYM) faction of SDS. It took its name from Bob Dylan's lyric, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows", from the song "Subterranean Homesick Blues" (1965). "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows", was the title of a position paper that they distributed at an SDS convention in Chicago on June 18, 1969. This founding document called for a "white fighting force" to be allied with the "Black Liberation Movement" and other radical movements[6] to achieve "the destruction of U.S. imperialism and achieve a classless world: world communism".[7] (Wikipedia)
Here I am dancing down 5th Avenue
Salute to Israel Parade, 1968
At the same time as they were turning extreme Left and then to terror, I was discovering genuine Torah Judaism through NCSY and YU Seminars. The 1960s was a time when many people searched for a truth and purity to enrich our lives. I couldn't understand those who had been attracted to violence and hate then, and I can't figure them out now. My fellow classmates in high school, Great Neck North, went to civil rights demonstrations, while the civil rights I demonstrated for were that of Soviet Jews.

It's clear that there is something missing in the lives of many that attract them to the focus and discipline of extreme Islam. It's very much the opposite of the prevailing, "no truth" and no absolute value system in modern life. Many people want the certainty of definite right and wrong, even when some of the principles go against the normative western morality.

I think that the world as we've known it the past seventy years or so, since the end of World War Two is about to make a radical change.

Your opinion.... comment and share, thanks.


Yitzchak said...

Please read the following article, which gives a proper perspective on what is "radical" Islam.


And don't forget, Iran is ISIS in a Shi'ite version. They also call themselves the Islamic State.

Batya said...

Thanks for the link. They represent the attempt to end the world as we know it.

Batya said...

Thanks for the link. They represent the attempt to end the world as we know it.