The description of this blog includes a reference to terrorism analysis. I do know something about terrorism as it happens. Just part of my unrepeatable history in the Middle-East and in Central America and in Rome, Italy, and in Columbus, Ohio, and in Chicago, Illinois, et al. We don’t all have to have direct contact with terrorists to understand terrorism, however. Pope Francis opines about this:
“We all hope that ways may be found, as soon as possible, to effectively identify and contrast the causes of such terrible and absurd violence which so deeply upsets the desire for peace of the American people and of the whole of humanity.” (Pope Francis on Islamic Terrorism orchestrated by ISIS at the Pulse gay nightclub 12 June 2016.)
The “ways” are always staring us in the face
The biggest mistake one can make in reckoning how it is that someone does something is to figure THEM out. Ain’t gonna work, not now, not ever. Don’t walk in someone else’s shoes, having the pretense to see what you would be like IF you were them. No. That’s just a bit too self-congratulatory, condescending, blinding one to the reality before you. You just end up projecting your own idiocy onto others and totally miss who they have become. Instead, just go ahead and understand yourself as the perpetrator of the horror.
“Oh no! I could never do that! I grew up in a good family. In fact, I was checked out with background checks to prove that I was good and would never do bad stuff!” (Perpetrator of ISIS terrorism at the Pulse gay nightclub 12 June 2016 even while contracting for years with the Department of Homeland Security.)
Here’s the deal: We all start out without unrepeatable histories, which then develop. But we’re all the same at the beginning, all a bit susceptible to circumstances if we have no solid identity developed amidst all the changing unrepeatable circumstances. It is only in having that identity that one loses the nervousness about actually understanding oneself as being ultimately capable of doing the worst of terrorist or other criminal acts. While not losing one’s identity for a second, one can actually let oneself become the terrorist, as it were, not just walking in his shoes, or flip-flops as the case may be. So a bit of humility is needed, and also honesty and integrity even in the face of political correctness and the danger of losing one’s popularity.
To “identify and contrast” is impossible if one seeks favor
If one insists that Islam is “the religion of peace” so as to seek favor with popular opinion, one will not be able to identify anything except one’s own political correctness. To do this is simply to seek more violence. “Contrast”? “Contrast” with what? A mistaken ISIS type of Islam with the Islam one imagines to be “the religion of peace”? To do this is simply to seek more violence.
There is no such thing as “radical” Islam. It is what it is. Islam is a political religion of pure conquest also on the political side of things, obliterating any possibility of a religious side of things. See Pope Benedict’s Regensburg address. If one is true to Islam, one will follow up with what we call terroristic incidents, which are to Islam merely the proper exercise of their so-called religion.
If we don’t want to see that truth, then we only want to project our own cowardice onto the situation; we only want to see more violence. Take people where they are at, not where we are at. Get rid of cowardice and fear.
About the whole “interreligious” thing
Solidly knowing our identity of who we are before the Creator and Sustainer of all things is necessary. Only before Him is it possible to have no fear of knowing that we ourselves are capable of absolutely any crime. Without being in reverence before God we simply will not be honest about it. This is because we have an analogy of reason between creature and Creator, He who gives us pardon if we desire this in His grace.
The problem with Islam is that an analogy of reason between creature and Creator is denied and forbidden under pain of death, as it is a blasphemy, for this would be perceived as questioning Allah. Not to be done. One merely congratulates oneself for being submissive to whatever death Allah demands in whatever situation.
The difficulty with the self-congratulatory West is that we live in a culture which rejects reason in favor of irrational running after that which is immoral to call it moral. Will we have the humility to see that we murder our children in sacrifice to our self-referential gods of self (with abortion and infanticide) just like Islam sacrifices its children with suicide bomb vests to the sadistic Allah?
But I’ll tell you this: no humility, no understanding of terrorism. Can’t be done.