If you had to choose a theocracy to live in which would you prefer? Personally, Islam would always be my least desirable option.

I understand that none of us would prefer to be forced to live under and submit to the ideology chosen by another person; we want that "none of the above" option. This question isn't about that though. This question is intended to force you to consider which religion is the most dangerous, the most detrimental.

American atheists seem to be generally ignorant about Islam and it's increasing threat, not only to freedom from religion, but to freedom of any kind. This is evident by the relative lack of discussion about Islam on the Atheist Nexus. If you are ignorant (which is no bad thing unless it is intentional) then I urge you to research the Islamization of Europe and the state of affairs in Islamic countries in Africa, the Middle East, and around the world. Below are a few resources which will hopefully inspire/incense you into doing this.

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy: Inside a school for suicide bombers

Pat Condell on Islam

Pat Condell on the ground zero Mosque

I don't necessarily argue that we should be using the cold-war era tactic of buttressing the position of the church in the home and in the government. I do strongly argue that we should identify the greatest threat to our freedom and we should not simply speak up about it but act, with hostility if necessary, against any threats to our freedom. Islam respects nothing but force and if we continue to allow it to make inroads in positions of power and culturally then we will be left with absolutely no recourse but violence. Act now if you prefer a non-violent solution because there may come a day when that option no longer exists.

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And the British will tell you it began in the 1740's in the north west Indian frontier. Others will claim over 900 years ago with Hassan-i Sabbah.
I assume Danny's 'as we know it' means 'in our lifetime', or at least implies a continuous history up to the present times.
"As we know it" was only due to lack of suicide belts, not intent. To be fair, if there were airplanes a 1000 years ago, I would expect there would also have been xtians flying them into Mecca.
Sure. You can always find volunteers for martyrdom, at any point in history. But it's the ideologues and organizers who shape terrorism, and the history of active terrorism has its highs and lows. It's neither continuous nor homogeneous. The brand of Islamic terrorism we have seen for the last 30 years is specific enough to warrant special scrutiny (Qutb et al. notwithstanding.)

By the way, I remember yourself categorized it as crypto-marxist, but I doubt you'd assign this label to the Deobandi or Alamut assassins.
The original Wahhabists would have been crypto-Marxists were that comparison available. And no, the brand of islamist terror from 300 years ago is not all that different from today's - the only major difference is the available technology. One of the many mistakes the west makes is assuming Al Qaeda is something new - it isn't. This failure to understand is the biggest problem we have.
Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab can lay claim to being the original islamist nutjob. He predates Qutb and everyone else you may want to name and he is almost certainly someone supremely admired in those circles.

Who his descendents hated at any particular time was dependent entirely on circumstance - the nearest available, non-clan member target would do. They in fact justify an addition to the english language - xenocide, the extermination of anything that does not rigidly adhere and subordinate to their ideology.

These are the people that trashed both Mecca and Medena twice each, desecrated Fatimas tomb and what was allegedly Mohammed's tomb (idolatry, dontcha know?). As I said, their more recent hatred of Soviets and Americans are only due to circumstance. If they weren't available, they would have found someone else. They simply hate all life on this earth and will continue doing so. All they want is to exterminate everyone that fails the rigid criteria and is therefore a heretic, innovator or kafir, and subordinate the rest into a culture that creates nothing, thinks nothing and does nothing other than mindlessly repeat quotations from the qur'an and the suras.

They're quite charming apart from that though I'm told.
Danny: Yeah, but most Muslims think the Wahhabis are nuts. Had it not been for the deal they brokered with the House of Saud, they'd be a footnote today.

Yes. This is the great tragedy. In fact up until mid-last century, "wahhabi" was a term of derision and a curse word amongst the greater muslim populace.

What is indisputable though is that virtually all of the terror networks out there are wahhabist/salafist in origin (notable exception is Hezbollah). It is Wahhabi money that pays for it all, and Wahhabi madrassas that do the soul crushing of the recruits.

Wahhabist terror began around 1740. They have always hated somebody. As much as the Americans would like to lay claim to being the special focus of their hatred, they're not. They're just the latest.

Wahhabism is also what is spreading not only through Africa and Asia, but is what is poisoning and subverting islamic organisations in the west and taking hold in the prison systems. It is ideal for any loser with an axe to grind. And the pockets of their Saudi benefactors are bottomless.

It will be interesting to see this years promised Pew report on the rate of growth of islam on a per sect basis. I know who's going to be on the winners podium.
uɐƃoɹƃ ɥɔןǝɟ: The original Wahhabists would have been crypto-Marxists were that comparison available.

I can agree to an extent here, but you'd have to at least admit it sort of defeats the point that Marxism was a major influence on fundamental Islam (I can't locate it now, and I may be mistaken here, but I believe you circulated a document making that point a few months back.) At most, it'd become an a posteriori justification.

the brand of islamist terror from 300 years ago is not all that different from today's

It depends on what you put behind this 'all that different'. And I didn't write it was fundamentally different, only that it was 'specific enough'.

This failure to understand is the biggest problem we have.

Pardon me, but whether the above is true or not, I can't see why it has to be our 'biggest' problem. As long as analysts (who certainly know their history) have a decent grasp of the present situation at hand, its historical roots become a secondary concern. In any case, more than the perennial part of its nature (which is known), it's the part of terrorism that has evolved we have to focus on.
Marxism was just a neat fit for Qutb and subsequent theorists to advance their islamist caliphate fantasies on.

As for failure to understand, it is a huge problem. The west keeps insisting on viewing it as a mililtary problem to be solved by military means. It's not. They are dealing with a Manson gang on steroids who have an ideology that is far easier to sell. This will never get solved by a purely military attitude.
I agree. With a nuance on this point:

The west keeps insisting on viewing it as a mililtary problem to be solved by military means.

It's not that the executive (not even public opinion) is completely oblivious to the fact they can't solve the problem with big guns. But what else can they do, other than retire and assume a low profile, like China does? One of the reasons China just does that is the US is already in charge of securing the Gulf and the oil trade route. Which requires a firm presence in the oil-rich Middle East, and at the moment that means being good friends with the Saudi family. If it's not the US, it will be China. Or someone else. I'm afraid that even if the West retires, Saudi-funded Wahhabism will still thrive.

Bar that, I'm short of ideas. Severing ties with the Saudi family, provided that other powers do the same? Ludicrous. Staging a coup to topple them? Even more so. Bribing Muslim countries so they dismantle their religious madrasas? Yuck. What's left? You tell me.

(Maybe we should just thank God the peak oil is near.)
Danny, that would be great, but free secular education is not a one-time investment: it requires constant funding. I doubt a democratically elected president would stay in office for long if it funded education on a permanent basis in a foreign country the size of Pakistan.

The problem I see is public opinion always asks for tangible results. A decrease in terrorist activity will probably be met with cheers the first year, but if it remains stable hereafter, they'll probably think: "No progress done - the government might as well cut on these subsidies."
Meddlesome: The Russians (Soviets) invaded afghanistan because the locals were firing rockets over the border ! Guess which government was responsible for supplying them!

All of them. Now run along and look up which government armed and trained the Taliban.




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