I'd prefer you to be part of the solution, Russell. It may seem as if some local leaders condemning islam-produced massacres is sufficient, but what of those who don't? True, islam lacks an overall moral authority in person on the global stage, because it defers to that of the prophet who issued the instruction to kill unbelievers in the Koran.
Denial and suppression can't be part of our solution. That just allows the problem to continue to fester. We all need to get behind a solution. That means identifying the problem accurately, so we have a sound basis upon which to proceed.
These people in the online community the shooter bonded with form a sub-culture with belief system and ideology. Ideologies persevere. Worse, they replicate in human minds via contagion & like-mindedness. If you read that Vox essay I linked you to, you'll see that the group has assimilated mimetics and is using it for strategy and tactics. Fronting as simple-minded bigots is a deliberate ruse to minimise our perception of their threat. We need to stop kidding ourselves that Arendt's banality of evil explains them: our opponent is clever, not just lethal.
We can disempower them by eliminating the causal basis of their motivation. Solving the problem seems possible on a dual basis: reducing immigration to a level that no longer operates as a threat, and rendering the prophet's instruction non-lethal by means of global conference of clerics.
I'd like us to agree to recommend this solution to our political leaders, so that representative democracy can process it. If parliament agrees, then our foreign minister has a consensual mandate to call for a global conference of Islamic leaders, and conduct diplomacy to encourage it. I'd like to see him suggest that they form a consensus in favour of peaceful coexistence for the Islamic faithful. That would enhance the moral authority of those Islamic leaders who already advocate a non-violent Islamic ethic. The conference could issue an interpretation that the prophet's directive applied only to that time and place, not everywhere forever.
Straw men aside, an interesting new angle has emerged: mimetic theory, applied as masking to manipulate the media: "journalists often need to stop and talk about what does and doesn’t matter, in order to keep from perpetuating even more harm. But in an age where ironic memetic rhetoric frequently distorts reality in ways that then become reality, that’s extremely hard to do." https://www.vox.com/culture/2019/3/16/18266930/christchurch-shooter-manifesto-memes-subscribe-to-pewdiepie
Some of those cited did seem to be religious authorities (rather than scholars or political leaders) but I notice none address the key point: the instruction in the Koran from the prophet to his followers that they must kill unbelievers.
I cannot see how any sane person in the west would tolerate islam when they know the followers have been instructed to kill them by the top religious authority in Islam.
We know moslems believe the Koran is divine instruction. We know they believe they must act in accord with the specific directives within. I applaud that many disobey, and have adopted the path of peaceful co-existence. The threat comes from the obedient. As long as that threat persists, a culture of opposition will continue to emerge in response in western countries. Human nature will ensure that.
I'll just add a bit: "some Muslims take the view that the satire of Islam, of religious representatives, and above all of Islamic prophets is blasphemy in Islam punishable by death." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Hebdo_shooting
Is concerted criticism of islam more of a threat to it than random satire? Seems obviously so. And this: "On 9 January, AQAP claimed responsibility for the attack in a speech from AQAP's top Shariah cleric Harith bin Ghazi al-Nadhari, citing the motive as "revenge for the honour" of Muhammad." So we have a top theologian owning the massacre, seeming to explain that lethal revenge for satire is Islamic justice. Not only that, endorsing enforcement in western countries where sharia law does not apply. Understandable that this official mandate would strike fear into some westerners, eh? And macho males would respond accordingly. We all got indoctrinated with the hero archetype as kids...
Just exposing their lack of credibility, Ian, as presumably Murdoch is too (although I don't read his stuff). I agree that islam would not be a problem if its authorities renounced violence and told the world they had decided to do peaceful co-existence instead. That would be wonderful.
So we await this outcome. The longer they take, the more it looks like they are digging in for the duration. This crusader ideology drivel would get no traction in western society without the causal basis the other nutters provide. Ask yourself: did they issue a condemnation of those who did the Charlie Hebdo massacre? I didn't notice any such. If there was none, why let them off the moral hook?
The baffling thing is why the Islamic authorities haven't issued a fatwa against Murdoch. Poor old Salman Rushdie got one issued against him, merely for writing the Satanic Verses. How many people actually read it? A miniscule amount!
Compared to the zillions who read Murdoch media and those 2891 anti-islam stories. Islamic authorities need to develop a sense of proportion. Punishment ought to be effective, everyone knows that. Murdoch would hate being forced into hiding for the rest of his life. They seem to be not thinking clearly...
I haven't read Sapiens but I think his point about fictions seems valid. Strikes me as effective on the same basis as Don Juan's advocacy of the `controlled folly', which Castenada popularised long ago. I been using it on & off since 1970 and can testify that it enables us to finesse the confining effect of unsuitable social conditions.
Then there's the more general relevance of the creative imagination, promoted by zillions of others so I need not go into that. Remember the aborigines in Oz describe the dreamtime as the world they live in; not a separate realm. We'd be kidding ourselves to think we westerners don't have our collective equivalent...
Primitive belief systems are indeed the problem. Israeli writer Y.N. Harari illustrates this in his 2018 book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century in discussing Judaism.
"Nowadays ultra-orthodox jews ban images of women from the public sphere. Billboards and advertising aimed at ultra-orthodox jews usually depict only men and boys - never women and girls."
"In 2011, a scandal erupted when the ultra-orthodox Brooklyn paper Di Tzeitung published a photo of American officials watching the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, but digitally-erased all women from the photo, including Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. The paper explained that it was forced to do so by jewish `laws of modesty'."
"A similar scandal erupted when HaMevaser paper expunged Angela Merkel from a photo of a demonstration against the Charlie Hebdo massacre, lest her image arouse any lustful thoughts". "The publisher of a third ultra-orthodox newspaper, Hamodia, defended this policy by explaining that `We are backed by thousands of years of jewish tradition.'
Bullshit! As Harari proves: "when archaeologists excavated ancient synagogues from the time of the Mishnah and Talmud, they found no sign of gender segregation, and instead uncovered beautiful floor mosaics and wall paintings depicting women, some scantily dressed". The rabbis who wrote those texts would have studied and prayed there, says Harari, "but present-day orthodox jews would consider them blasphemous desecrations of ancient traditions".
Fundamentalists deliberately create false histories to con people. Ideologues get off on that behaviour. True believers conform accordingly. Doesn't take long for mass psychology to produce mass psychosis. That's the lesson from the recent massacre, and all previous massacres and genocides produced by ideology.
I do appreciate your attempt to present sharia in a positive light, Felix. Worth a try. The problem really is that it is likely to be seen as an artifact of tradition, rather than a code which can evolve to become a guide to good behaviour.
And, to the extent that it derives from the instructions of the prophet, it is probably an inherently flawed prescription. If any islamic cleric is on record as advocating deletion from the Koran of his instruction that followers of the faith must kill unbelievers, we would have a rational basis upon which progress could be made.
I have seen no evidence of any such development. Consequently there appears to be no valid basis for including sharia in our multicultural context.
My take on your story of Arafat implying a tolerance of women not wearing headscarf: he was being coy, to avoid elimination by a fundamentalist zealot.
Does sharia have a rule that enforces the dress code on women? If so, why would we tolerate such discrimination on the basis of sex? If not, why the hell do muslim men keep enforcing it? Women here have equal rights now. That includes the right to reject any traditional rules that relegate them to second-class citizen status. Muslims who come here ought to respect our ethos and act accordingly.
I can see the time coming when any muslim man who tries to impose the patriarchy here will have to be sent back to country of origin. It's our moral duty to protect our civil rights. So we will!