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ninjacolin's avatar

What is being done to change the opinions of radical islamists?

Asked by ninjacolin (13822 points ) December 30th, 2009

Radical Islamists are convinced that they’re doing something useful for themselves, for the rest of the world, and for god by attacking other people.

What, if anything, is being done to persuade their opinion? What more could be done?

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47 Answers

naivete's avatar

How do you tell someone that what they believe in is wrong?
You can’t.

Especially if they have no belief in anything else.

UScitizen's avatar

Well, Israel is using the weapons that you and I have purchased (as U.S. taxpayers) and given to them (Israel) to kill anyone in Sinai or Gaza. We should be so proud of ourselves.

ninjacolin's avatar

If you believe that, @naivete, I’ll be the first to tell you that what you believe is wrong. :) wasn’t too difficult.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

The US army is trying to beat their opinions out of them !!

philosopher's avatar

There is nothing we can do to change the attitudes of such sick and hateful people. They are barbaric and immoral.

naivete's avatar

@ninjacolin Yes, you can say it (like you’ve said to me) but they’re not going to change their beliefs, right?

Jeruba's avatar

“Coerce”? [ definition ] I think that’s the attitude that got us where we are.

Blondesjon's avatar

Can’t this question be asked about any belief, religious or otherwise, that is willing to take the life of any living organism?

I bet if everyone here really took a look at some of the things they believe in, they would find a few broken eggs on the way to that omelet.

cinddmel's avatar

Anything someone can talk you into, someone else can talk you out of.
Any radical believers need to find other beliefs for themselves by questioning their faith and coming to a conclusion about it – trying to coerce them or talking them into something else will not work on the long run.

ninjacolin's avatar

okay, jeruba I changed the word from “coerce” to “persuade” because your objection and provision of that definition coerced me to. ;)

laureth's avatar

Radical _____ are convinced that they’re doing something useful for themselves, for the rest of the world, and for god by attacking other people. What, if anything, is being done to coerce their opinion? What more could be done?

(Fill in the blank with any of several branches of religion.)

I doubt my religious friends on Fluther and beyond would care to have their religion changed or coerced out of them in the name of someone else’s agenda. I think the problem is not the faith, but the violence inside the person.

If that didn’t make you feel any better, many feel that terrorists are not real Muslims.

ninjacolin's avatar

@laureth said: if that doesn’t make you feel better
well, avoiding the question doesn’t help anything. ;)

Some of you seem to be neglecting the fact that to Coerce or to Persuade an opinion means that it has literally been changed. Hence, regardless of whether or not it is your will to have your convictions switched, you now believe something else is true and there’s nothing you can do about that. (for example, perhaps you were persuaded that being peaceable is the best policy)

JLeslie's avatar

My father several months ago mentioned that in some countries they are effectively turning around some of these radical islamists, similar to how people are taken away from cults. I wish I remembered more details, hopefully someone else in the collective will know something.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

@Blondesjon Yes, but the Islamic fundamentalists are trying to kill us. We must nuke them 1st!

ETpro's avatar

It is probably not possible to redeem many of the people who have already bought into the ideology of hate. But increasing opportunities and education for the poor in Muslim countries will help limit the radical’s ability to recruit. Enlisting respected Muslim Clerics and leaders to tell their people that radicalism is the way of hate and death, that it is against the teachings of the religion, these things will help.

Civic_Cat's avatar

Agreed.
The fight is an ideological one.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

You can’t worry about other people’s opinions. All you can hope to change is their actions, and if their actions include trying to kill you, then the best thing you can do short of killing them first is to “prevent” them from doing that.

Ailia's avatar

I think what Greg Mortenson is trying to do is a great way to prevent islam extremism.

ninjacolin's avatar

@CyanoticWasp the only reason someone would take the action of attempting your murder is if they believeyour murder is a good idea. They won’t try to kill you otherwise.

Judging by this, it seems people’s beliefs can change and when they do, their actions change to reflect those beliefs. So, aggressively (but intelligently) attempting to convert these radical minds seems like an important but often neglected defensive tactic for saving lives.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@ninjacolin, I don’t disagree with you that the idea precedes the event, but I really don’t care about the idea, and I don’t need to change that. I’m sure there are lots and lots of people with that idea. All I care about is that it’s not acted upon.

JLeslie's avatar

@Ailia great article.

ninjacolin's avatar

@CyonaticWasp myself i find it difficult not to care about the idea itself is what makes them want to harm me. i’m very interested in their not having a “reason” to harm me. if they do have a reason, i would like to know what it is. maybe i could be persuaded to kill myself on their behalf if the reason is good enough. ;) otherwise, if there reason isn’t any good, then why should they waste their time having it? especially since the idea itself is a threat to my life.

Excalibur's avatar

If they are caught, they go through a reconditioning process. Together with this, former extremists who have been reconditioned or realized their error, talk to radicals to dissuade them from continuing on the same path. Islamic scholars are also advising radicals on the correct path to follow. If they are not caught, however, there is nothing much anyone can do except hope that the intelligence services have a tab on them.

Janka's avatar

I am not sure how to change the opinions of someone who already is a fanatic, but I think it is true that poverty, injustice, and oppression help breed fanaticism. By lessening those we make the world safer for all.

Excalibur's avatar

@Janka Agreed. But what is interesting is that most of the fanatics are well-educated and come from middle class backgrounds.

ETpro's avatar

@Excalibur The leaders you hear about are educated. The vast majority, the mules who actually carry out the bulk of the suicide mission, are not so. THey are from abject poverty and hopelessness. Feeling powerless tends to make one an easy target of extremist ideology.

Excalibur's avatar

Actually, large families is one of the criteria, with 6–12 years of education and the families are poor or middle class. It varies from country to country as well, for example, Afghan suicide bombers may well have a different social status to those in Iraq which are usually recruited from Saudi and Algerian families.

Janka's avatar

I do not think you have to be personally poor, uneducated, or oppressed for the poverty etc around you leading you to desperate thoughts.

CaptainHarley's avatar

“What is being done to change the opinions of radical islamists?”

We shoot their asses.

ETpro's avatar

@Excalibur Certainly in Afghanistan suicide bombers are not from middle class families and well educated. Those requirements would exclude almost the entire population. The illiteracy rate is 95%. Not a sign of a nation with a large pool of well educated young men. I do not know where the Iraqi suicide bombers are coming from or how well off they are. That currently appears to be more about a political struggle within Iraq.

philosopher's avatar

@CaptainHarley
Do you mean to tell me people like Mayor Mike Blomberg and Obama are wrong? We shouldn’t placate their evil and hope they will play nice.
I think only morons placate evil people.
They attempted to placate Hitler too.
Maybe the problem is too many people don’t learn from history.
Today many people don’t seem to know history.
Some people seem to think America’s role is to be fair to those who hate us. At the expense of working Middle Class American’s.
Why is it wrong to put our nation first as all other nations do? I don’t think it is.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Message to PC-People, liberals and other appeasers: You are the modern equivalent of Neville Chamberlian, who gave Europe to Hitler peacemeal, all the while saying “peace in our time! Hitler will be satisfied with Austria! No… now he will be satisfied with Checzoslovakia! No… now he will be statisfied with The Sudatenland!” Where does it end? On your frakking DOORSTEP???

ETpro's avatar

@CaptainHarley We are not at war with Islam. If they really ever do decide they want a war, they have about 1.2 billion of a population of 7 billion. So we (everybody else) outnumber Islam by 4.8 to one. Much of the Arab world is quite primitive with obsolete or nonexistent military technology. The West, Russia and China are armed to the teeth. Islamic nations have something like 70–90 nuclear warheads. We (everyone else) has nearly 30,000. Who do you think might win that war?

If you are going to accuse me, others here and all liberals of being Neville Chamberlain appeasers because we are not ready to declare war on all of Islam today, I am going to counter that only a coward afraid of his own shadow would think that Islam today poses the same threat to the USA that Nazi Germany posed to England in 1939.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Never mind. I give up.

ETpro's avatar

@CaptainHarley Actually, my wife has been pounding on me all day about your exact point. See, she’s much more persuaasive than you. :-)

Her point was that there comes a time when we have to draw a line in the sand and not be pushed around by threats of violence. I wouldn’t draw that line over some pastor’s idea to burn books. But the Cartoon incident and particularly the death sentence on Salman Rushdie for writing The Satanic Verses get close to the limit where we need to say we have a right to speak our mind, and if some religion has a problem with that then they had better learn to adjust, because we aren’t going to shut up, and we will fight for that right.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@ETpro

I agree. It’s the same thing as rewarding terrorists for kidnapping some of your countrymen: yes, you may get them back, but it will only encourage the terrorists to capture some more people to hold for ransom. Pity none of the current mob in DC seems to have any backbone at all. : ((

Civic_Cat's avatar

This liberal has little truck or trade with the jihadists, unlike Bush and his Saudi pals. Chamberlain was a Conservative; and why were we Americans and Canadians concerned about a civil war in Europe? If the Taliban want Afghanistan and most Afghanis are for it, let ‘em. Ditto Iraq and Iran. Anybody who goes there should be prepared for a kidnapping.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

“A man is out to kill you…

There’s only one way to defend yourself…

That’s kill him first…”

“Impossible mission” by Alien Sex Fiend.

ETpro's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 If that’s your philosophy, you have a lot of work in front of you. You are going to need to commit hundreds of millions of murders all around the Earth, mostly taking out people that may hate you, but have no real way to ever threaten you.

Good luck, and if you survive, let us know you’re still alive.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

@ETpro Not an Alien Sex Fiend fan eh?

ETpro's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 The ones I’ve seen depicted by the ancient alien theorists are about as hot as dry ice. But bring on one anything like Jeri Lynn RyanOJEO40d2Jyk/TaSLrz_6eKI/AAAAAAAAFeo/h6hyHhmPoWw/s1600/seven.jpg and I’m up for a little inter-species breeding any time. :)

Crashsequence2012's avatar

@CaptainHarley Thanks for trying.

Many consider us to not be at war with them.

But they are certainly at war with us.

Live and let live only works if everyone is on the same page.

ETpro's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 Does the above analysis of their odds give any comfort, or are you determined to launch the next crusade regardless?

Crashsequence2012's avatar

You directed me to an analysis that was part of a response to a user that appears to no longer be with us.

I’m not really sure what to say.

ETpro's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 Good at changing the subject, hey? What does the current presence of the person addressed in the response have to do with the validity of the response’s assertions?

ninjacolin's avatar

Well, at least there’s this finally: http://mashable.com/2014/09/22/notinmyname-muslims-anti-isis-social-media-campaign/#:eyJzIjoiZiIsImkiOiJfdGY3dWM2Mzdtc2JjdTdhMyJ9

I’ve always thought Muslims ought to defend their beliefs more loudly by condemning those who are using it for “wrong” purposes.

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