Bewildered by what fanatic Muslims do, some conclude that Muslims are brainwashed. Otherwise, how can their totally illogical belief system and barbaric behavior be explained? But the notion of “brainwashing” that is bandied about is the stuff of science fiction and Hollywood movies such as the Manchurian Candidate.

The human person arrives in this world with his brains already washed in the sense of being what John Locke called tabula rasa, blank slate—ready for experience to imprint its script on it. John Locke was only partly correct. The brain also arrives with numerous predispositions already in place. It is a combination of life’s influences and a person’s own decisions that determine which of these dispositions develop and which ones fail. It is through this process that a unique human being is formed. Many animals come with already in-place programs that automatically run much of their lives. Birds’ migration, mating courtship and thousands of other complex behaviors are instances of this type of specific programming. A catchword for this type of behavior is “instinct.” As a general rule, the higher the organism the less is its rigid pre-programs and the greater its latitude to exercise choices. Making choices depends on what there is to choose from and to what extent a given choice appeals to the person. And the human newborn enters the arena of life without the means of being other than a passive recipient of “things” already chosen for him. It is like the old joke by Henry Ford who reportedly told his customers that they could have the choice of color for their car as long as it was black. Things are almost as bleak for the new arrival. He didn’t have a say in choosing his parents, his socio-economic condition, his environment of birth and much more. All are already in place and he is to start in life from the context of his birth. The development of a newborn in any family is importantly influenced by many factors, among them how hands-on the parents are; how religious they are, how severely they micromanage him in an attempt to make him not only a good person but also a person  better-one than they themselves. Parents tend to live vicariously through their children by programming them, the best they can, so that the children become or achieve much of what they themselves had failed to become or to accomplish. This attitude covers all areas of life such as giving the child the education they didn’t have, helping him with fame and fortune, nurturing him to become a topnotch athlete and so forth. It is a fact that early influences play a cardinal role in shaping the person. For this reason, for instance, the overwhelming majority of Muslims have born into Muslim families, Catholics into Catholic families, Hindus into Hindu families and so on. It is also a fact that the degree of religiosity ranges from mild to strong, with most people falling somewhere between the two extremes. Interestingly, two siblings raised by the same set of parents under the same influences may end up at the opposite extremes in their religious views and practices. It is here that the human dynamic of freedom of choice comes into play and steers one to one extreme and the other to the other extreme. Occasional extreme deviations notwithstanding, the great majority of siblings of a given family end up with various degrees of that family’s overall religious and other values. The same general principle of subscribing to a set of common values exists in all human groupings, in some cases with a broad flexibility and inclusiveness while in others with rigidity and exclusivity. In order to enjoy the privileges of belonging to a group, the person must also pay his dues of membership. The very young human faces, beginning with the minute he can make some sense of the world, a bewildering array of mysteries, challenges, and enticements. There are questions at every step, fears, and hopes entangled with the need to survive and possibly thrive. Who am I? What is this world all about? What’s the purpose? What am I supposed to do and how? Where am I headed? People die. Where do they go? And on and on and on. The information booths available to him in the fairground of life provide him with answers that may help relieve his innate existentialistic anxiety. And it is here that religion plays its critical role and holds a great appeal. Religion provides a surefire answer to those who are willing to take it on faith. And Islam is a powerful magnet for the masses that are unable to deal with the uncertainties of life and death on their own. It is from this population, many already thoroughly indoctrinated from birth, that the majority of diehard jihadists emerge. It is the bargain the jihadist makes. He surrenders totally to the religion of surrender in exchange for blanket security. Islam gives him all the answers he really seeks for dealing with this world and promises him a most lush and eternal paradise of Allah once he leaves it. And leaving this world in perfect submission as the foot-soldier of the paradise’s creator gives the faithful unimaginably glorious sensual eternal reward in his next life. It’s a bargain that some buy in whole, some in part, some refuse and seek other means of dealing with their questions and the unrelenting existentialistic anxiety. The great majority of jihadists emanate from the ranks of those born into the religion of Islam, simply because they are the ones who are most thoroughly indoctrinated and influenced by the Islamic dogma in their most receptive early years. Yet, there are others who embrace Islam in adulthood, on their own, and enlist themselves as devoted jihadists for the same rewards that Islam offers them. Islam has a great advantage of the first call on the new arrival. It is an omnipresent system with masses of believers, mosques and madresehs, and a host of other social and economic organizations that overpower the person and steer him into the same fold; it is a sea of people who seem to know what they are all about, what life and death are all about, and what one must also do. Within this sea of surging humanity composed of some 1.5 billion Muslims, each individual believer—a drop—through a combination of choice and forces beyond his control, ends up in one of its many waves. It is the jihadist wave that is highly attractive to the deeply-indoctrinated and poorly-adjusted in dealing rationally and independently with life. Here, he finds the iron-clad perfect solution to his anxieties and perplexities.

To a jihadist, death is nothing more than casting off a shell of the worthless earthly existence and donning the suit for winging joyously to the life of bliss promised by none-other than Allah’s beloved final emissary, Muhammad. Eradication of jihadism is a daunting task, since Islam is truly a virulent persistent pandemic disease. Massive education efforts, combined with resolute confrontation of all sources and people that support and promote this deadly philosophy, hold the best promise of dealing effectively with this affliction of humanity. In addition to the family, places such as mosques and madresehs, Islamic associations and charitable organizations, prisons, and the like are incubators of jihadists. Massive efforts are required, on the one hand, to drain the breeding swamps of the Islamic virus, while on the other hand helping Muslims adopt an alternative perspective of life that addresses their perplexities and offers a degree of comfort that religions dispense without pitting one segment of humanity against another. In the monumental task of dealing with jihadism, every individual, group and government must combine their resources and energies to prevail. The destiny of the civilized life hangs in the balance. It is an unpardonable act of shirking responsibility for anyone to adopt the attitude of “let George do it.” George is you. George is I. George is every enlightened human being and organization that values human liberty and dignity. 

2009-12-08 19:34:36
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AdinaF:
Good succinct message. How proponents of 'Allah' can say with a straight face that Godliness involves the Rape of Virgins is beyond me. Sounds like some of the 'enlightenment' heard from the Haight-Ashbury hippies in San Francisco in the '60s.
I'm glad that Adina and ruckweiler brought up these references.

Don't these young men SEE that when a person dies, all of his body parts, and I mean ALL body parts remain with the dead body? They do not go with that person to heaven or wherever his spirit is going.

So what's this ridiculous idea about the 70 virgins about?
In nature there is a concept known as a tipping point, whether it is how high you pile a certain substance (angle of repose) or population density that can not be carried. In all cases, exceed the tipping point and the whole works starts to come down until a new equalibium is reached.

At some point the Moslems are going to exceed their pucker factor and the West will act accordingly, or we shall perish. We are not very good on the perishing part, so it is my belief that the West will destroy the threat in whatever manner and/or means necessary, end of this particular 'Ring Cycle.'

That begs the question as to what is the tipping point. Several commentators above have mentioned the possibility of the population turtle soup approach (the turtle does not react to gradually increasing heat until it is too late to react). Thankfully for the West, Islamists will not take this approach and will do something within their traditional vile, violent, aggressive, we are humans you are not manner.

I hope the tipping point is reached before Israel is destroyed, or we wake up one morning to find all our entire civilization reverted to the 1850s via one or more EMP pulses (thank God for Deployed, harded Carrier Battle Groups with which to begin the long road back, the basis for a novel I am currently working on). It is my guess that that it will be one of these two. At that point I suspect that any 'progressive' who argues for tolerances and forgiveness will be torn apart.

'Once more dear friends into the breech.......'
I have read and thought much on jihad since 9-11. A large stack of books, growing, including everything Robert Spencer and Raymond Ibrahim have written and am working on Bat Ye'or (wow). Even felt sufficiently called to return to the Army this year, after a 15-year hiatus, to participate in the crusade (yes, I said it, don't faint, leftists) to rescue the Afghans from themselves.

I struggle over writings I agree with such as Jeanne T.'s above and in contrast, Ralph Peters' essay from around 2004, 'When Devils Walk the Earth,' (Google this title) where he offers at the end of this piece, (25) 'Do's and Don'ts for a Superpower.' Two stick in my mind: #1, 'Be Feared' and # 3, 'Do not be afraid to be powerful...Our responses to terrorism should make the world gasp.' I agree equally with his other 23 suggestions and wish this Nation had the fortitude (dare I say 'nads') to follow all 25.

This morning, in contrast, I read a piece from my latest 'Command' magazine published by the Officer Christian Fellowship--Christian warriors--in which an author pondered the same themes, as have other Christian thinkers over the past two millenia. In this case the author discusses the religious rights of those in uniform. (Briefly) he offered a similar solution to jihadism in that 'In these uncertain times, we must stand strong for the Lord, but we also need to pray earnestly that those who oppose us today will someday come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. He went on to say that, '...when we stand before the Lord to account for our lives, He will rejoice...that we prayed earnestly for those who oppose us (the Muslims/jihadists, the DNC); for their salvation and that we shared with them the Bread of Life and that we spoke to them in the Truth, in Love.' So, I ponder daily, how I can pray for those who want to destroy us? My Savior says I must. Being weak, I often think the best response is a variation of 'Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.'

If we are to remain a free nation, we must foster some remedy to the jihadists that deals with their unrelenting hatred, inculcated from birth. This could happen if the Umma somehow underwent a spontaneous reformation similar to the Protestant Reformation, and tossed out all the 'bad' suras and Haditha. Or, as one author above said in so many words, 'Smoke em' all.' The latter would be the model used by mankind throughout history. I don't know what the answer is. I continue to read. Thanks for the good postings.

Still pondering and praying.

WCM
Zac said, 'As for me, I totally reject this line of logic on the grounds that Islam is waging a global at war on all unbelievers where as Christians, Jews, and Hindus & Buddhist are not.'

In any military force, a relative few fight at the front lines. Some say only a few among Muslims are crazed killers. Well, how many are in support, one way or another? How is this religion of peace any different from a Napoleonic quest to rule? It is not. Is Islam a militant and worldwide secular movement, or is it something to be protected with religious rights?

Why are our leaders keeping us dependent on these people, in fungible effect, making us trade in oil produced from the Middle East and Venezuela, while requiring us to neglect developing our own energy sources? The answer is rotten -- purely rotten.
The concept of Jihad is totally alien to most Westerners who have grown up since WWII. They have been slowly losing their morals, self respect and loyalty to western civilization. This is because Leftists have been systematically taking over the institutions that were designed to promote and perpetuate our civilization. This includes schools, science, universities, churches and government. The only institution that was resisting is now on the verge of a takeover as well. I am speaking of the military.

Look no further than Fort Hood and Major Hasan for proof of this. He was educated and promoted by the system, and was left to fester and explode even though many were aware of his Jihadist mindset. This was followed by the insane concern by General Casey that this might result in a loss of diversity in the military. The Leftists are now well aware that the military can be made ineffectual by recruiting even more Muslims under the guise of diversity and needing more Arab speakers. What will stop the barbarians at the gates once the military is neutered?
WCM said, 'If we are to remain a free nation, we must foster some remedy to the jihadists that deals with their unrelenting hatred, inculcated from birth.'

You can't fix stupid and corrupt, mired in concrete. You can only defeat or reduce it by outlasting or quarantining it.
'America must come to terms with the reality that orthodox Islam requires unceasing jihad. Eradication of jihadism is a daunting task. Massive education efforts, combined with resolute confrontation of all sources and people that support and promote this deadly philosophy, hold the best promise of dealing effectively with this affliction of humanity.

In the monumental task of dealing with jihadism, every individual, group and government must combine their resources and energies to prevail. The destiny of the civilized life hangs in the balance. '

Hear! Hear!

The western elites are doing their damndest to conceal from the populations they pretend to lead, the facts of jihad and the jihaddi imperialist enemy.

What is worse is the the crap which is fed to young westerners by the myriad of government and semi-government run schools makes it nearly impossible for the young to perceive what faces them or to think about it rationally.

Everything the academics encounter is jammed into the misshapen cookie cutter of western guilt, western colonialism, economic determinism (money decides everything), crime caused by poverty, cultural relativism, blah, blah, blah ... Even an encounter with the resurgence of a powerful ancient imperialism intent on world conquest.

The western academics and cultural/political elites, for all their advertising about 'multi-culturalism' and internationalism, are in actual point of fact quite incapable of appreciating any view of life truly alien from their own, or what those views might mean or lead to in action -- so settled are their convictions of superiority. The idea that a religion might exist that promotes murder and conquest is literally unthinkable for them ... beyond the reach of their feeble hot-house-flower minds. The idea of a normal day-to-day respectability and social prestige which embraces barbarism and bloodshed must be literally ungraspable for them.

There are signs of hope here and there -- far outside of the establishments, of course. But the issue is far from decided. It is not clear that the western publics will fully appreciate what they are up against in time to do anything about it.

And the inherent authoritarianism, indeed totalitarianism, of mohammedanism is highly attractive to the western political elites who simply want to be part of the ruling clique. It is a wet dream for people consumed by power lust.

It takes only a casual survey of the mohammedan cultures to see that wherever mohammedanism rises to power, cultural desertification, poverty, stagnation and passive misery follow as night follows day.

Mr. Imani has it dead right that 'The destiny of the civilized life hangs in the balance.'
Wasn't it George W. Bush's hope that standing up a democracy in Iraq in the middle of the Mideast would begin to create momentum in the other direction? That increased political and economic participation would lead to a move away from radical Islam? A bold notion of course, but perhaps worth a try under the dire circumstances? I'd be interested in comments from those with real knowledge of Islam (which I lack).
Dlanor:

You might agree with me that one of the remedies available in an existential struggle is to '...smoke em' all.' After all, the jihadists feel no compunctions against our extermination (after being offered the conversion and dhimmi options). It is precisely what their Koran tells them to do. Mein Kampf.

If the opposition who remain rational (see Ralph Peters essay), defined as 'Muslims who love life' more than the %10 or so (...if it's only %.01 we're still in trouble) who claim they 'love death,' there's a chance for a Muslim Reformation. Given the nature of the Koran/Hadith/other doctrinal Muslim writings, I wouldn't bet on this as Plan A.

Dunno. However, history shows that keeping our Armed Forces the '800 Pound Gorilla' remains the sanest and best proven option.

Regards,

WCM