Saturday, January 17, 2015

What's In A Name?

Well, good for President Obama.  Fox Noise and some Republicans are having a carefully-staged cow (Are the microphones on, Mr. DeMille?) over his using the term "radical terrorists," "violent extremists," etc. rather than "Islamic terrorists." I say the guy's just being more precise. 

Wahabism, one of the most powerful drivers of all kinds of mischief, is a minor sect of fundamentalists who follow the 18th century prophet, Muhammad ibn Wahab.  Like all  fundamentalists, they're thirsting for some mostly made up "purism" and are hell bent in taking their followers back to the 9th century.  They are a very small minority of Muslims.  They have had a powerful and too often negative effect for their numbers because they're supported, funded and helped to flourish with pots of nice Saudi oil money.  Oil money that finances madrassas world-wide that catch poor young kids at an early age and teach them all sorts of rubbish. To describe Wahabism as "Islamic" is really an insult to Islam. 

I mean, if there was a small break-away sect of Minnesota Lutheran fundamentalists who put their women back into corsets, long dresses and bonnets, forbade them from voting, or holding jobs outside the home, started teaching their children that "outsiders" who disagreed with their particular beliefs were Devils who God commanded them to kill, and then started flogging bloggers, chopping hands off all journalists, shooting Unitarians, beheading Rotarians, and dynamiting Baptist churches, would we refer to them as "Christian terrorists?"

I think not.  "Christians" wouldn't want to have anything to do with these nuts.  Even the Lutherans would be horrified and declare loudly that blowing up Baptists is NOT a Lutheran thing.

So, good for Obama.  Maybe more precise words will lead us to more precise thinking.  Like not being blinded to the fact that "religion" has little to do with so much of what's going on in the Middle East. For Isis, The Prophet is simply a convenient cover for sociopathic murderers.  Under the fake, blinding veneer of "Islam" are the real issues of greed,  power, politics, economic disparities, displaced people, and whole countries and cultures struggling to get out from under the dire legacies of colonialism, despotism and oil politics that's mired them in the past, trapped them in the present, and stolen their future. 

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