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ChristianKl 10 July 2015 12:39 PM
64%

Also, the meanings of “true” Islam and Christianity would continuously change over time.
Why is that a problem?

What do you want to achieve by distinguishing "true Muslims" from "false Muslims", other than motivating people you label "false Muslims" but who want to be "true Muslims" to follow the criteria you lay out for "true Muslims"?
I don't think I can recall previous cases where aggressors were defeated not on the battlefield but in the hearts and minds.
Why doesn't the IRA bomb British targets anymore?
It has nothing to do with British military victories but a lot to do with winning hearts and minds.

It's no coincidence that this is said by the British premier and not a Swedish one.
The British intelligence community is the strongest in regard of being conscious about language use.

The only way to win against against guerilla warfare is to make the guerrilla groups lose local support. The years the US spend in Iraq didn't allow it to destroy the predecessor of Daesh because they didn't win the population's hearts and minds.

The Soviet Union didn't fall by the sword. India didn't gain independence by the sword.

It is the western public who will be misled by the incorrect labelling.
For practical purposes the Western public has to understand what being a Muslim means for those Muslims who live in the West. It doesn't help at all to focus on radicals if you want to understand the Muslim next door and integrate him.

There nothing misleading at all about calling ISIS Daesh. It just a decision to disallow Daesh to spread it's propaganda that not dissimilar to Twitter blocking Daesh's accounts.

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melian 11 July 2015 06:28 AM
70%

What do you want to achieve by distinguishing "true Muslims" from "false Muslims"

Actually, I wrote in the article that I consider such differentiation meaningless.
Why doesn't the IRA bomb British targets anymore?

Let me clarify my question. By aggressor, I meant an aggressive state (including a de-facto state like ISIS). Obviously a clandestine criminal or terrorist group that never fights on the battlefield won’t be defeated on the battlefield.
The only way to win against against guerilla warfare is to make the guerrilla groups lose local support.

From the top of my head - the USSR crushed the guerilla forces in the Western Ukraine and the Baltic republics without making them lose local support (they are still considered heroes there). It took a long time though.
The Soviet Union didn't fall by the sword.

Do you think it fell because the US won over the hearts and minds of its citizens? In my opinion, it fell mainly because its economy could no longer properly function (in a large part because of the military arms race with the US).
India didn't gain independence by the sword.

India gained independence because after the WWII Britain largely lost interest in keeping their colonial empire. Other British colonies gained independence around the same time, even though some of them definitely did not win British hearts and mind (e.g., Palestine).
It doesn't help at all to focus on radicals if you want to understand the Muslim next door and integrate him.

In your opinion, does integration of Muslims in Europe proceed successfully (for instance, compared to the integration of non-Muslim immigrant communities)?


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ChristianKl 12 July 2015 02:57 AM
57%

By aggressor, I meant an aggressive state (including a de-facto state like ISIS)


ISIS does work as a state in some regard, but not in all regards. ISIS doesn't have clear borders.
It doesn't have centralized lawmaking that goes beyond saying: "Obey the sharia." There no parliament that you can attack. You also can't simply kill all the local Imman's that interpret the sharia because that would anger the population and strengthen ISIS.

ISIS structures grew in an Iraq with US occupation. They aren't easily attacked the way you can attack most states.

Part of Sayyid Qutb thinking that underlies the Sunni groups like ISIS is that a local Imman can do a lot of the government functions like blessing marriages and resolving civil disagreement, so that you don't read a real state for doing so.
In your opinion, does integration of Muslims in Europe proceed successfully
There are Muslims who are well integrated and there are other who aren't. A lot of mistakes got made. The fact that we speak in Germany about fighting "Islamismus" certainly doesn't help. I think the UK way of fighting "violent extremism" is the better strategy. But even that strategy is not pursued with the strength that it could be.

In my opinion, it fell mainly because its economy could no longer properly function


If you look at a country like North Korea, it's economy doesn't function properly but the state still runs.
North Korea forbids it's citizens from learning about the world outside North Korea because that would make it collapse.

East Germans understood that switching the system would be beneficial to them and there was no political will to stop them.

India gained independence because after the WWII Britain largely lost interest in keeping their colonial empire.


That's because minds in Britain shifted and the British didn't ... read more


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melian 13 July 2015 01:11 PM
70%

That's because minds in Britain shifted and the British didn't desire to have colonies anymore.

But the minds in Britain shifted because the society itself has fundamentally changed. In XVIII or XIX century, Gandhi’s attempts to win over British hearts and mind would have been a total failure.
They aren't easily attacked the way you can attack most states.

In the XIX century, European powers turned most of the Muslim regions into their colonies without being overly focused on “winning hearts and minds”. Do you think if a movement like ISIS existed back then, the Europeans would not have been able to deal with it?
I think the UK way of fighting "violent extremism" is the better strategy.

What makes you think so? On socioeconomic parameters (crime, income etc.), the UK Muslims perform way worse than non-Muslim immigrants.


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ChristianKl 16 July 2015 05:30 PM
64%

I haven't said anything about Ghandi.
I don't think that Ghandi was a significant figure when it comes to change British public opinion. The US on the other hand did influence the British.

The Europeans did manage to take over the Ottoman Empire. The British didn't manage to win in Afghanistan in the 19th century.

It easier to get UK Muslims to agree that violent extremism is bad than it is to get them to agree that fundamentalist Islam is bad.
Speaking a language of criminality makes more sense then framing it as a fight over religion.

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melian 17 July 2015 09:57 AM
70%

The British didn't manage to win in Afghanistan in the 19th century.

The British didn't conquer Afghanistan in the 19th century mainly because they had no reason for doing it. The country was economically useless, so the main British objectives there were to prevent Afghanis from plundering the British India and keep them as a buffer against the Russian Empire. They were largely successful at this. Their only real big failure in Afghanistan happened when they were commanded by William Elphinstone who, like his later countrymen, was focused on “winning the hearts and minds” of the Afghanis, instead of winning the actual battles.

It easier to get UK Muslims to agree that violent extremism is bad than it is to get them to agree that fundamentalist Islam is bad.

The British certainly seem willing to go very far in order not to offend the local Muslims. But is there actual evidence that their strategy is working?


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Alice 17 July 2015 05:10 PM
64%

... on the other hand, if you put your head in the sand and refuse to honestly understand and spell out what motivates states like ISIS, domestic terrorists, etc, how can you possibly fight them? What happened to "know your enemy"?

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ChristianKl 18 July 2015 07:35 AM
60%

There a difference between "know your enemy" and "believe in your enemies propaganda and decide to spread it".

If you actually want to understand motivations, it's worth noting that Iraq is ruled by Shia and Sunni's don't feel represented by that government.

The decision for individual Sunni groups to switch towards the side of the government in Patraeus Surge had little do to with Islam.

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Alice 20 July 2015 05:53 AM
69%

The question is this: do you believe that ISIS are motivated by (some interpretation of) Islam? And if so, isn't recognizing and acknowledging this important in order to be able to defeat them?

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ChristianKl 20 July 2015 07:01 AM
63%

Let's say there young British Muslim who thinks about joining Daesh.
He is a strong believer. Obviously part of his motivation for joining Daesh is Islam.
Nobody is denying that or not acknowledging it.

Making your money by kidnapping people isn't an action that motivated by the young Muslim might think is according to the values of his religion.
Giving him more awareness that it's an essential part of how Daesh operates can decrease his willingness to sign up with Daesh.
Acknowledging the criminality of Daesh isn't denying it's nature.

Daesh profits if it's seen as fighting a holy war and succeeds in framing it's public image that way. If it succeeds to do so the youth in Saudi Africa find it cool. If the youth in Saudi Arabia rather see Daesh as a band of kidnappers they consider it less cool.

Daesh is name it's Arab enemies use. People we prefer to win against it.

When it comes to understanding the nature of terrorist organisation it's also very worth to read Gwern's article Terrorism is not about terror.

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Alice 20 July 2015 09:48 AM
69%

Yes - but I suspect that such young Muslims get most of their information directly from radical sources. They are much less likely to believe to what the BBC says. My worry is that the Westerners whose countries are fighting this must understand the threat as it is. If you are calling Nidal Hasan's massacre "workplace violence", you completely misunderstand and misrepresent the nature of the threat, and I can't believe that you can fight it efficiently.

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ChristianKl 20 July 2015 04:04 PM
60%

I think you underrate the strength of Western mass media. Of course the BBC alone won't do it. On the other hand if the mass media in generally frames Daesh in terms of kidnapping instead of in terms of religion that's beneficial.
Not every Imam in the UK wants that members of his congregation go to fight for Daesh. There are quite a few voices in that community that don't want to support Daesh but who do want to practice true Islam.

The main lesson you can draw from the fact that recruits are driven to Daesh by religious reasons is that it's not good to treat Daesh as being mainly about religion but instead highlite the nonreligious elements of the conflict.

To the extend that it's about religion it's also vital to understand that it's Sunni Islam. When Saudi Arabia and Israel complain about the fact that without sanctions stronger Shia Iran will be stronger, it vital to keep that in mind.

Seeing Daesh as Muslim doesn't help you understand how the deal with Iran helps against Daesh.
It also doesn't drive people to advocate to help Bashar al-Assad retake control over all of Syria, which would be the action to take if fighting off Daesh is the top priority.

The bombing of the IRA didn't end through framing the conflicts as being Catholics against the English Church. It ended partly through victims of attacks suing perpetrators in courts and the perpetrators losing their social support. All the focus on religion in that conflicts didn't help with the solution.

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VoiceOfRa 12 July 2015 06:07 PM
65%


It doesn't have centralized lawmaking that goes beyond saying: "Obey the sharia." There no parliament that you can attack.


Throughout history most states didn't have parliaments.


Part of Sayyid Qutb thinking that underlies the Sunni groups like ISIS is that a local Imman can do a lot of the government functions like blessing marriages and resolving civil disagreement, so that you don't read a real state for doing so.


Until the French Revolution blessing marriages was the responsibility of the local priests. In a lot of non-Western countries it still is. Also many historical countries had a lot more local autonomy then modern states.


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ChristianKl 17 July 2015 09:54 AM
60%

The point is that ISIS is very far from being a nation state.

Priests did bless marriages in the Middle Ages in Europe but there role was still a lot smaller than the role of an Immam. The existence of the Sharia makes Islam substantially different from Christianity.

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Fwiffo 17 July 2015 08:25 AM
56%

On the fall of the Soviet union the hearts of the US are pretty meaningless. What counted was that the soviet union didn't win soviet hearts (anymore).

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