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Indonesian Islam Is Getting Modern, Not "Conservative"
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relig One of the first things I wrote on the internet related to Indonesian Islam, and what we could expect in the future. This was before Gene Expression, and I don’t have archives of that blog. There are many issues where my views have changed over the past fifteen years, but that is a piece of writing whose contents I think hold up rather well, if I recall it correctly! (when I go back and reread things I wrote 15 years ago I often wince at my naivete)

Yesterday I noticed that The Wall Street Journal had a piece up, Hard-Liners’ Show of Force Poses Thorny Challenge for Indonesia’s President, and an accompanying sidebar: Examples of Indonesia’s Turn to Conservative Islam. The details are not super important. Basically, the Christian and ethnic Chinese governor of Jakarta has gotten himself into some blasphemy trouble. Some of this critics are probably sincere, while some of his critics are probably being opportunistic. The political elite of the country must make a pretense toward neutrality, and genuflect toward religious sensibilities, since Indonesia is famously a 90% Muslim nation. Most people on some level know it’s bullshit, but at minimum you have to go through the motions. Religion aside this is a great chance to make sure that an assertive ethnic Chinese and Christian politician doesn’t get too uppity.

More interesting than what is happening is why this is occurring now. Not only is “Indonesia” famously the world’s most populous Muslim “nation,” it is also “tolerant” and “syncretic”, though recently “conservative” religious movements have become prominent, changing the nature of “Indonesian” Islam. Normally the usage of quotation marks in this manner is asinine, but I was conscious in what I was trying to “problematize.”

Indonesia is not truly a nation. Or at most it is a nation like India, a nation which encompasses a civilization with several related nationalities. Second, the tolerance of illiterate peasant cultivators for religious heterodoxy is different from the tolerance which 51T9NDF7GPL emerged (for example) in England on matters of religious belief and practice in the 18th century. And the syncretism of Indonesians is not like the syncretism you see in the development of the Sikh religion, which is a genuinely novel positive religious vision from a Dharmic base engaging questions and presuppositions derived from Islam. And Indonesian Islam which is called conservative is not conservative if conservatism harks to the customary, traditional, and organically evolved religious folkways of the populace. Rather, the “hard-line” Islam comes up from the aspirant middle classes and is connected with a broader movement of world-wide Islamic reformism and revivalism across the Ummah, and is consciously marginalizing the traditional Islamic religious establishment of rural regions.

What I’m getting at here is a general phenomenon, not limited to Islam. Eric Kaufmann alludes to it in Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth. Dianne Purkiss in The English Civil War points to it too. What is that phenomenon? The terminal state of postmaterialist modernity is not attained in a linear and unidirectional fashion. In fact, it may not be a terminal and stationary state at all!

When engaging many progressive friends and acquaintances who have little interest in international relations it is often asserted that material deprivation is the root of Islamic terrorism and Islamism writ large. This is demonstrably false empirically. Marc Sageman in Understanding Terror Networks did an extensive ethnography of the Salafist terror international of the 2000s, and there was an extreme overrepresentation of the highly educated, affluent, and technical professionals. Scott Atran has also done ethnographic research, and converged on the same result: it is not economic deprivation that fuels these violent explosions, because the participants and principles are not economically deprived.

51r6r4q8HiL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Even a superficial analysis of Islamist movements, the necessary parent movement for violent terrorism, show that they are often driven by the middle class and prosperous, just as most radical movements are. This reminds me of a particular religious movement: Reform Protestantism. In the Anglo-American case this is most starkly illustrated by the Puritans, who were attempting to complete the Reformation within the English Church (purging all “Popish” rituals and institutions, as well as removing theological diversity, such as Arminianism). The Puritans were often from the industrious and prosperous classes of London and eastern England. The New England colonies were arguably the world’s first universal literacy societies.

I have stated before that whenever I read about the Reformation and English Civil War I undergo some cognitive dissonance. My consciousness as an American was formed in a region of upstate New York which was heavily Dutch, but later became demographically dominated by the great migration out of New England. Either way, a particular Anglo-Protestant, even Puritan, vision of history was what was taught to me. And yet the Protestants in the Reformation were often the heralds of intolerance, violence, and iconoclasm. Just as they were the heralds of toleration and liberality (in addition to the Netherlands, see Reform Transylvania and to some extent Poland). Protestantism unleashed many different tendencies sublimated within the Western Christian Church up until the 16th century (the exceptions of the Hussites and John Wycliff aside). And some of those forces and tendencies were not ones which postmaterialist liberals in the broad sense would have much sympathy with. It gave rise to both the pluralism of the Pennsylvania project and the tolerance of Rhode Island, as well as the demands toward public conformity and private uniformity which were the Puritan Congregationalist colonies.

In Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State Andrew Gelman points out that ideological polarization is maximized at the upper income brackets. Values are to some extent luxuries, consumption goods for those beyond the subsistence level. What Kaufmann analyzes this on a sociocultural level, Gelman does so on an individual scale. And it explains why so little international Islamic terrorism comes out of the poorest Muslim countries in relation to their populations. The battle between the Taliban and the government in Afghanistan is between an Islamist movement and elements which are more diverse, but ultimately it recapitulates divides between country and city, and Pashtun and non-Pashtun, which give it local valence. The international aspect of Islamic terror is Afghanistan, or Yemen, or Somalia, comes from forces and threads which are international. Osama bin Laden was of Yemeni ancestry, but raised wealthy in Saudi Arabia. The influence of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State in poor Muslim countries has clear connections with migration from wealthier nations and Diasporas. Poverty may be fertile ground, but it is almost never the seed.

Going back to Indonesia, let’s bring together these strands and try and understand what’s going on. First, Indonesia is a collection of various nationalities with long histories of contact but distinction. The tolerant folk Islam that is often assumed to be the sine qua non of Indonesian Islam is really the culture of central and Borobudur_Templeeastern Java, that of the Javanese. At 40% of the Indonesian population the Javanese loom large, but they are not the totality of Indonesian culture and society. The people of Aceh came under Islamic influence centuries before Java, and they have traditionally had closer connection to the Middle East, and practice a more Middle East normative form of Islam. Second, many of the outlying islands have Muslim populations without the civilizational overhang of pre-Islamic greatness which characterizes Java. To this day a small minority of Javanese remain Hindus, while conversion to Hinduism from nominal Islam is not unheard of. This history though is truly the history of Java, and to a lesser extent the region around the Malacca strait. Hindu-Buddhist civilization’s impact on most of the Indonesian archipelago was much more diffuse and marginal (Sanksrit loan words as far as the Philippines and Madagascar are signs of this civilization’s contact with groups outside of Java and Sumatra). Outside of the areas of most intense Hindu-Buddhist domination history begins with Islam and the Dutch. They do not have much of a Hindu-Buddhist identity to synthesize with Islam in the first place.

Additionally, identity is not much of an issue in a village folk context. This is why syncretistic and tolerant Islam is common in many parts of the world characterized by subsistence farming. Individual lives are delimited by the custom and tradition of the village, which self-regulates. Rather than looking toward textual scripture, or religious professionals, long established folkways guide lives in a seamless fashion. Though these people may be tolerant when it comes to poorly understood or practiced religious orthodoxy and orthopraxy, they are also often very superstitious, and liable to murder the local “witch.” There are more tolerances than those of religious orthodoxy alone!

The major “problem” though occurs when you urbanize peasants. In an urban context village spirits are irrelevant, and the folk cultural currency which smoothes relationships no longer apply. If you are very wealthy this may not be relevant, as social networks of the elite have long had purchase in urban centers, and old connections can be leveraged at the commanding heights of industry and government. For the lower classes within slums the day to day may be a matter of survival and subsistence. A new identity is secondary to making to the next day. Where the need for identity likely comes to the fore is in the urban middle class. These the classes not connected to the levers of power in the social heights, but still have resources and leisure to ponder their place in the world, and how their nation should be ordered. In a village context these may have been prosperous farmers and gentry, already more closely connected to religious professionals than the more marginal peasant. Translated to the urban milieu their rural accumulated social capital accounts for little, with the inchoate Javanese mysticism and syncretism dissipating in the new environment for which it was never adapted in the first place.

This is where reformist and international Islam comes into play. This is a religion that is portable, and culturally neutral (ostensibly). Different local sub-elites transplanted into an urban milieu can meet and communicate with the lexicon of a religion which was defined from its beginning by urbanity. Not only does Islam allow for connections between people between different regions, but it also integrates oneself into an international network, previously only accessible to those with financial resources to travel extensively. Common belief in a transnational religion allows for immediate rapport with those from other nations, without the need for prior extensive personal interactions. Subscription to various forms of Islam allow for immediate inclusion into an international brotherhood.

The United States is perhaps the best example of what mobility and lack of solidity do to religious institutions. American religion is exceedingly confessional and decentralized. The Roman Catholic Churches attempt to create a corporate pillar on the model of the European society in the 19th century failed. Rather, operationally American Catholicism has become confessional at the level of the believers, if not the exterior institutions. Similarly, American Judaism took a very different trajectory from that of European Judaism. While European Reform Judaism was marginalized between the two poles of Orthodoxy and secularism, in the United States Reform Judaism was arguably the dominant form of Judaism for most of the nation’s history.

American religions are characterized by a wide range of levels of tension with the surrounding society, and are generally confessional, rather than communities of birth (though Judaism is arguably a hybrid, as Reform Judaism has again embraced the ethnic dimension of the religion). Some groups, which are often termed “conservative”, are at high tension with society. The reality is that they are not necessarily conservative, as much as they exhibit strong ingroup dynamics, and marginalize outgroups, and are marginalized by outgroups. Consider Mormonism, a religion which is conservative in its mores, but whose theology is highly exotic, and arguably radical. The key toward understanding Mormonism is its high internal cohesion. But this results in a side effect of tension with the surrounding society.

41cpg1ESArL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Indonesia is a nation of 250 million. The rise of “conservative” Islam is natural. As Indonesia urbanizes, its folk Islamic subculture s are dissolving. They evolved organically over thousands of years, and they are adapted to local conditions, utilizing local lexicon. Their strength was their deep local roots. They are not transplantable. It is natural that many urban dwellers would find that a culturally stripped down form of Islam based on textual sources, though extending from them, would be amenable to their needs. This form of Islam allows for strong ingroup ties that are not contingent on local histories or ethnic identities. But, it also throws up walls toward those who it considers outsiders and competitors. That is, non-Muslims. Other Indonesian urbanites are not becoming “conservative” Muslims. Rather, they are probably subscribing to what one might term “liberal international,” the transnational globalist class which is united by their affluence and postmaterialism, and a form of individualism well characterized by Jonathan Haidt.

Indonesian Muslims are arguably more “liberal” and more “conservative.” But this increased variation and solidity of large bloc social units is salient in a form which is more threatening. To readers of The Wall Street journal the transnational Muslims identifying with the Islamic Reformist international bloc are threatening, and a danger, due to their hostility toward outgroups. In contrast, the liberal globalists take a more relaxed attitude toward group identity, though they too have their own redlines and normative preferences.

The details may be local, but the dynamics are global.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy, History • Tags: Indonesia, Religion 
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  1. Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Among the Converted Peoples by V.S. Naipaul

    https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Belief-Excursions-Converted-International-ebook/dp/B008NW6PAQ

    “Fourteen years after the publication of his landmark travel narrative Among the Believers, V. S. Naipaul returned to the four non-Arab Islamic countries he reported on so vividly at the time of Ayatollah Khomeini’s triumph in Iran. Beyond Belief is the result of his five-month journey in 1995 through Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia–lands where descendants of Muslim converts live at odds with indigenous traditions, and where dreams of Islamic purity clash with economic and political realities.

    “In extended conversations with a vast number of people–a rare survivor of the martyr brigades of the Iran-Iraq war, a young intellectual training as a Marxist guerilla in Baluchistan, an impoverished elderly couple in Teheran whose dusty Baccarat chandeliers preserve the memory of vanished wealth, and countless others–V. S. Naipaul deliberately effaces himself to let the voices of his subjects come through. Yet the result is a collection of stories that has the author’s unmistakable stamp. With its incisive observation and brilliant cultural analysis, Beyond Belief is a startling and revelatory addition to the Naipaul canon.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V._S._Naipaul:

    “In awarding Naipaul the 2001 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy praised his work “for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories.” The Committee added, “Naipaul is a modern philosophe carrying on the tradition that started originally with Lettres persanes and Candide. In a vigilant style, which has been deservedly admired, he transforms rage into precision and allows events to speak with their own inherent irony.” The Committee also noted Naipaul’s affinity with the novelist Joseph Conrad: Naipaul is Conrad’s heir as the annalist of the destinies of empires in the moral sense: what they do to human beings. His authority as a narrator is grounded in the memory of what others have forgotten, the history of the vanquished.

    “His fiction and especially his travel writing have been criticised for their allegedly unsympathetic portrayal of the Third World. The novelist Robert Harris has called his portrayal of Africa racist and “repulsive,” reminiscent of Oswald Mosley’s fascism. Edward Said argues that Naipaul “allowed himself quite consciously to be turned into a witness for the Western prosecution”, promoting what Said classifies as “colonial mythologies about wogs and darkies”. ”

    “Naipaul has been accused of misogyny, and of committing acts of “chronic physical abuse” against his mistress of 25 years, Margaret Murray, who wrote in a letter to the New York Review of Books: “Vidia says I didn’t mind the abuse. I certainly did mind.””

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    it's an OK book. but not really with any scholarly heft. it should be an introduction to the questions, not the answer.
    , @Marcus
    Funny that Said, who did more than anyone else to institutionalize hardline anti-Western political correctness in humanities, was an Episcopalian.
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  2. @Walter Sobchak
    Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Among the Converted Peoples by V.S. Naipaul
    https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Belief-Excursions-Converted-International-ebook/dp/B008NW6PAQ

    "Fourteen years after the publication of his landmark travel narrative Among the Believers, V. S. Naipaul returned to the four non-Arab Islamic countries he reported on so vividly at the time of Ayatollah Khomeini's triumph in Iran. Beyond Belief is the result of his five-month journey in 1995 through Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia--lands where descendants of Muslim converts live at odds with indigenous traditions, and where dreams of Islamic purity clash with economic and political realities.

    "In extended conversations with a vast number of people--a rare survivor of the martyr brigades of the Iran-Iraq war, a young intellectual training as a Marxist guerilla in Baluchistan, an impoverished elderly couple in Teheran whose dusty Baccarat chandeliers preserve the memory of vanished wealth, and countless others--V. S. Naipaul deliberately effaces himself to let the voices of his subjects come through. Yet the result is a collection of stories that has the author's unmistakable stamp. With its incisive observation and brilliant cultural analysis, Beyond Belief is a startling and revelatory addition to the Naipaul canon."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V._S._Naipaul:

    "In awarding Naipaul the 2001 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy praised his work "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories." The Committee added, "Naipaul is a modern philosophe carrying on the tradition that started originally with Lettres persanes and Candide. In a vigilant style, which has been deservedly admired, he transforms rage into precision and allows events to speak with their own inherent irony." The Committee also noted Naipaul's affinity with the novelist Joseph Conrad: Naipaul is Conrad's heir as the annalist of the destinies of empires in the moral sense: what they do to human beings. His authority as a narrator is grounded in the memory of what others have forgotten, the history of the vanquished.

    "His fiction and especially his travel writing have been criticised for their allegedly unsympathetic portrayal of the Third World. The novelist Robert Harris has called his portrayal of Africa racist and "repulsive," reminiscent of Oswald Mosley's fascism. Edward Said argues that Naipaul "allowed himself quite consciously to be turned into a witness for the Western prosecution", promoting what Said classifies as "colonial mythologies about wogs and darkies". "

    "Naipaul has been accused of misogyny, and of committing acts of "chronic physical abuse" against his mistress of 25 years, Margaret Murray, who wrote in a letter to the New York Review of Books: "Vidia says I didn’t mind the abuse. I certainly did mind.""

    it’s an OK book. but not really with any scholarly heft. it should be an introduction to the questions, not the answer.

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    • Replies: @Walter Sobchak
    I enjoyed it, Naipaul is a very fine writer. It was a travelog, not a work of sociology.
  3. What do you mean by “confessional”? Confession was always important in Catholicism so I was a bit confused by:

    operationally American Catholicism has become confessional at the level of the believers, if not the exterior institutions

    Preislamic beliefs were integrated in local islamic syncretic traditions by sufists and now are being purged by the puritans (salafists, wahhabists, takfiris) together with the remaining non-sunni religious minorities.
    How violent will be the process in Indonesia remains to be seen. A weird aspect was that Aceh rebels wanted a larger share of resources and the end of javanese colonisation but when they made peace with the government after the Boxing Day Tsunami they were given Sharia courts that they didn’t really asked for.

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    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    What do you mean by “confessional”? Confession was always important in Catholicism so I was a bit confused by:

    i mean that people pick a religion from among many religions as a matter of course.

    in pre-protestant europe the society was saved. yes, people had to believe the right things, but the reality is that the monks were doing a lot for the rest of society, which was fallen. similarly, in a place like sweden, you are (were) lutheran by virtue of being swedish. in the USA religion became an individual choice on a widespread level across your life, which was previously a marginal position adhered to by radical protestants. this is one reason that the irish american catholic hierarchy's attempt to negotiate in a corporate sense with the american government failed; american religion was not corporatized, and american catholics often began to emulate their protestant neighbors (i think 'americanism' made this inevitable).

    also, sufism is a pretty generic and useless term.

  4. @Pseudonymic Handle
    What do you mean by "confessional"? Confession was always important in Catholicism so I was a bit confused by:

    operationally American Catholicism has become confessional at the level of the believers, if not the exterior institutions
     
    Preislamic beliefs were integrated in local islamic syncretic traditions by sufists and now are being purged by the puritans (salafists, wahhabists, takfiris) together with the remaining non-sunni religious minorities.
    How violent will be the process in Indonesia remains to be seen. A weird aspect was that Aceh rebels wanted a larger share of resources and the end of javanese colonisation but when they made peace with the government after the Boxing Day Tsunami they were given Sharia courts that they didn't really asked for.

    What do you mean by “confessional”? Confession was always important in Catholicism so I was a bit confused by:

    i mean that people pick a religion from among many religions as a matter of course.

    in pre-protestant europe the society was saved. yes, people had to believe the right things, but the reality is that the monks were doing a lot for the rest of society, which was fallen. similarly, in a place like sweden, you are (were) lutheran by virtue of being swedish. in the USA religion became an individual choice on a widespread level across your life, which was previously a marginal position adhered to by radical protestants. this is one reason that the irish american catholic hierarchy’s attempt to negotiate in a corporate sense with the american government failed; american religion was not corporatized, and american catholics often began to emulate their protestant neighbors (i think ‘americanism’ made this inevitable).

    also, sufism is a pretty generic and useless term.

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  5. @Razib Khan
    it's an OK book. but not really with any scholarly heft. it should be an introduction to the questions, not the answer.

    I enjoyed it, Naipaul is a very fine writer. It was a travelog, not a work of sociology.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
    I haven't read Beyond Belief, but I did read and enjoy Amongst the Believers.

    I think Naipaul's premise is flawed and Razib is closer to the mark.

    Naipaul argues that Persian and South Asian Muslims are more given to hysteria than Arabs. And he ascribes this to the psychological effect of the destruction of pre-Islamic high culture. There is a deeply burried shame or alienation that surfaces as hysteria.

    Well, that was a thesis of its times - the aftermath of Khomenei and Zia ul Huq. It doesn't really stand up post 9/11.

  6. Great article. Hard to read anything intelligent written by a journalist about Islam these days. You both know what you are talking about, and I don’t feel like you are trying to sell me anything.

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  7. “Marc Sageman in Understanding Terror Networks did an extensive ethnography of the Salafist terror international of the 2000s, and there was an extreme overrepresentation of the highly educated, affluent, and technical professionals.”

    ” the necessary parent movement for violent terrorism, show that they are often driven by the middle class and prosperous”

    There is some mismatch here; the prosperous, those who can go abroad for studies and work, often seem to lead and are first participants. “The middle class” (in Indonesia, as in India, are a combination of salariat, small business men, teachers, and others) are followers. They arrive at the movement at a later stage. If you follow the celebrators of Qadri in Pakistan and the Bangladeshi hackers, the next round is from lower middle class and then the proles.

    Syed Qutb was a rich man; the brotherhood was largely made of unemployed and little employed youth. A small number of rich educated affluent professionals open the floodgates for a number of poor an lower middle class followers soon. This is not to argue with what you are saying, but the real breakthrough point is when a large number of poorer youth take up the call.

    It is not clear where we go from here. You have identified the Indonesian progression as “natural” but what next for Indonesia? Iran? Turkey? Egypt?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    This is not to argue with what you are saying, but the real breakthrough point is when a large number of poorer youth take up the call.

    i don't know if it's the real part. basically i think the masses are at play, and will follow a faction. a lot of conflict in an ideological/religious sense are just elites or sub-elites jostling for power, influence, and status.

    It is not clear where we go from here. You have identified the Indonesian progression as “natural” but what next for Indonesia? Iran? Turkey? Egypt?


    there are differences. the arab nations, and to some extent turkey, don't really have a non-islamic identity they can fall back on or draw from. so they can only go post-islamic. iran to some extent has an identity apart from islam, and before it. similarly, a difference between bangladesh and pakistan is that bangladesh explicitly acknowledges its non-islamic identity in an ethnic sense, while pakistan, as an ethnically diverse nation uses islam to bind itself.

    one option is secularization. that's what happened to the puritans, and that's what happened to quebec. but it doesn't happen quickly, and it doesn't happen in a gradual fashion. quebec was highly catholic and traditional...and then it collapsed in half a generation.
  8. @Vijay
    "Marc Sageman in Understanding Terror Networks did an extensive ethnography of the Salafist terror international of the 2000s, and there was an extreme overrepresentation of the highly educated, affluent, and technical professionals."

    " the necessary parent movement for violent terrorism, show that they are often driven by the middle class and prosperous"

    There is some mismatch here; the prosperous, those who can go abroad for studies and work, often seem to lead and are first participants. "The middle class" (in Indonesia, as in India, are a combination of salariat, small business men, teachers, and others) are followers. They arrive at the movement at a later stage. If you follow the celebrators of Qadri in Pakistan and the Bangladeshi hackers, the next round is from lower middle class and then the proles.

    Syed Qutb was a rich man; the brotherhood was largely made of unemployed and little employed youth. A small number of rich educated affluent professionals open the floodgates for a number of poor an lower middle class followers soon. This is not to argue with what you are saying, but the real breakthrough point is when a large number of poorer youth take up the call.

    It is not clear where we go from here. You have identified the Indonesian progression as "natural" but what next for Indonesia? Iran? Turkey? Egypt?

    This is not to argue with what you are saying, but the real breakthrough point is when a large number of poorer youth take up the call.

    i don’t know if it’s the real part. basically i think the masses are at play, and will follow a faction. a lot of conflict in an ideological/religious sense are just elites or sub-elites jostling for power, influence, and status.

    It is not clear where we go from here. You have identified the Indonesian progression as “natural” but what next for Indonesia? Iran? Turkey? Egypt?

    there are differences. the arab nations, and to some extent turkey, don’t really have a non-islamic identity they can fall back on or draw from. so they can only go post-islamic. iran to some extent has an identity apart from islam, and before it. similarly, a difference between bangladesh and pakistan is that bangladesh explicitly acknowledges its non-islamic identity in an ethnic sense, while pakistan, as an ethnically diverse nation uses islam to bind itself.

    one option is secularization. that’s what happened to the puritans, and that’s what happened to quebec. but it doesn’t happen quickly, and it doesn’t happen in a gradual fashion. quebec was highly catholic and traditional…and then it collapsed in half a generation.

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    • Replies: @Tulip
    It is not clear that Islam is amenable to secularization. All the regimes like Turkey and Iran under Shah imposed secularism with the sword. Further, looking at Turkey and Iran today, they appear to be reverting away from secularism. Modernization without Westernization seems increasingly like the future.

    If religion is a source of authority (in the sense of deciding who lives and dies), and the secular nation-state takes over and claims a monopoly on that authority, then religion falls a notch. If religion is a group strategy for keeping fertility over replacement rates, then modernism in the sense of birth control, rejection of traditional gender roles, and acceptance of homosexuality pretty much ends that function. Nor are people, even high IQ people, very big on exogamy taboos these days which a religion might foster.

    A lot of post-Christian secularism is based on the fact that "liberal" religion no longer serves a useful social purpose. But Islam has never disavowed killing authority, nor is it particularly inclined to embrace modernism. Further, with often weak or failed Nation-States in Muslim lands, there is in many places no functional state to even attempt to impose a monopoly on force. (Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc.)

  9. I spent some time in Indonesia last decade. This is an excellent post, Mr. Khan – one whose main points I share. The comparison to Protestantism is quite apt.

    Though these people may be tolerant when it comes to poorly understood or practiced religious orthodoxy and orthopraxy, they are also often very superstitious, and liable to murder the local “witch.”

    When I was in Indonesia, my local counterpart had to reassure the locals in the rural areas we passed through – pre-emptively – that I was not a “Ninja,” even though the locals were generally quite friendly. Apparently, some rural Javanese villagers were occasionally prone to murdering “witches” or “Ninjas” for unrelated mishaps.

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  10. @Walter Sobchak
    I enjoyed it, Naipaul is a very fine writer. It was a travelog, not a work of sociology.

    I haven’t read Beyond Belief, but I did read and enjoy Amongst the Believers.

    I think Naipaul’s premise is flawed and Razib is closer to the mark.

    Naipaul argues that Persian and South Asian Muslims are more given to hysteria than Arabs. And he ascribes this to the psychological effect of the destruction of pre-Islamic high culture. There is a deeply burried shame or alienation that surfaces as hysteria.

    Well, that was a thesis of its times – the aftermath of Khomenei and Zia ul Huq. It doesn’t really stand up post 9/11.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    a lot of this sort of stuff smells of freudianism. but 1) it was really popular for much of the 20th century 2) it's an easy toolkit to make recourse to.
  11. @jimmyriddle
    I haven't read Beyond Belief, but I did read and enjoy Amongst the Believers.

    I think Naipaul's premise is flawed and Razib is closer to the mark.

    Naipaul argues that Persian and South Asian Muslims are more given to hysteria than Arabs. And he ascribes this to the psychological effect of the destruction of pre-Islamic high culture. There is a deeply burried shame or alienation that surfaces as hysteria.

    Well, that was a thesis of its times - the aftermath of Khomenei and Zia ul Huq. It doesn't really stand up post 9/11.

    a lot of this sort of stuff smells of freudianism. but 1) it was really popular for much of the 20th century 2) it’s an easy toolkit to make recourse to.

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  12. But isn’t this basically a matter of semantics?

    I’m pretty sure the WSJ means “conservative” in the basic American sense: People becoming less tolerant of out-groups, a rise in asserting religious identity (even defined in the “urban” sense) instead of secularism. If Christians were to do the same under the banner of a global Christian identity, I think most would still see such a movement as “conservative”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    rectification of names isn't always trivial. e.g., conservative => backward => less money. ergo, more money => less backward => less conservative. as i note above it doesn't work that way. perhaps your friends/acquaintances take a different lesson. good for you. i have plenty of experience about what i'm talking about.

    (it's like how the MSM uses the word "sufi" and unintentionally misleads the public)
  13. @Jason Liu
    But isn't this basically a matter of semantics?

    I'm pretty sure the WSJ means "conservative" in the basic American sense: People becoming less tolerant of out-groups, a rise in asserting religious identity (even defined in the "urban" sense) instead of secularism. If Christians were to do the same under the banner of a global Christian identity, I think most would still see such a movement as "conservative".

    rectification of names isn’t always trivial. e.g., conservative => backward => less money. ergo, more money => less backward => less conservative. as i note above it doesn’t work that way. perhaps your friends/acquaintances take a different lesson. good for you. i have plenty of experience about what i’m talking about.

    (it’s like how the MSM uses the word “sufi” and unintentionally misleads the public)

    Read More
  14. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Indonesia is not truly a nation. Or at most it is a nation like India, a nation which encompasses a civilization with several related nationalities.

    The first part is true , Indonesia is not really a nation .The second part is false .Indonesia is not a nation with several related nationalities. For example Indonesia has illegally occupied Papua since 1963 and subjugated the native Christian population. Indonesia and Papua are certainly not related nationalities. They are not even the same race as Indonesians are Asian and Papuans are Melanesians. Timor Leste province are also Melanesian and Maluccu are a mix of Melanesian and Asian but Mulaccu people certainly don’t associate themselves as Indonesian and would prefer independence.

    I lived in Indonesia for a while and can say that in my experience there were 3 different type of Islam there .The type you describe from places like Aceh and Madura and the people they influenced elsewere in the archipelago will be considered to be typical Islam of the middle east .

    The second type is the people who practice Islam with continuing their cultural traditions also ,you can list Sundanese here as an example with their practice of Sunda Wiwitan , also the Javanese who also revere the pleasure palace at Rotu Boko and still observe the rituals there .

    The third is people who just accept Islam for apperearances only . The majority of the population is Muslim and getting promotions at work ,especially at government work will be greatly increased by being Muslim .Life will just be a bit easier that way.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    .The second part is false .Indonesia is not a nation with several related nationalities. For example Indonesia has illegally occupied Papua since 1963 and subjugated the native Christian population. Indonesia and Papua are certainly not related nationalities.

    no, i'm right and you're wrong. the two are equivalent. india has buddhist tibeto-burmans and various christians in the NE who are liminal (or in the latter case totally alien to) dharmic civilization. like new guinea and far eastern indonesia their inclusion into india is a random artifact of lines drawn during the colonial period. these are equivalent to the melanesians and papuans. well over 90% of indonesians, like well over 90% indians, emerge out of the core civilization (in india's caste it is dharmic and islamicate).

  15. @anon

    Indonesia is not truly a nation. Or at most it is a nation like India, a nation which encompasses a civilization with several related nationalities.
     
    The first part is true , Indonesia is not really a nation .The second part is false .Indonesia is not a nation with several related nationalities. For example Indonesia has illegally occupied Papua since 1963 and subjugated the native Christian population. Indonesia and Papua are certainly not related nationalities. They are not even the same race as Indonesians are Asian and Papuans are Melanesians. Timor Leste province are also Melanesian and Maluccu are a mix of Melanesian and Asian but Mulaccu people certainly don't associate themselves as Indonesian and would prefer independence.

    I lived in Indonesia for a while and can say that in my experience there were 3 different type of Islam there .The type you describe from places like Aceh and Madura and the people they influenced elsewere in the archipelago will be considered to be typical Islam of the middle east .

    The second type is the people who practice Islam with continuing their cultural traditions also ,you can list Sundanese here as an example with their practice of Sunda Wiwitan , also the Javanese who also revere the pleasure palace at Rotu Boko and still observe the rituals there .

    The third is people who just accept Islam for apperearances only . The majority of the population is Muslim and getting promotions at work ,especially at government work will be greatly increased by being Muslim .Life will just be a bit easier that way.

    .The second part is false .Indonesia is not a nation with several related nationalities. For example Indonesia has illegally occupied Papua since 1963 and subjugated the native Christian population. Indonesia and Papua are certainly not related nationalities.

    no, i’m right and you’re wrong. the two are equivalent. india has buddhist tibeto-burmans and various christians in the NE who are liminal (or in the latter case totally alien to) dharmic civilization. like new guinea and far eastern indonesia their inclusion into india is a random artifact of lines drawn during the colonial period. these are equivalent to the melanesians and papuans. well over 90% of indonesians, like well over 90% indians, emerge out of the core civilization (in india’s caste it is dharmic and islamicate).

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon

    well over 90% of indonesians, like well over 90% indians, emerge out of the core civilization
     
    Well over 90% ?? This is completely wrong .Chinese represent 5%+ of the Indonesian population . Melanesian represents 3% of the Indonesian population . A few others that a good argument is made that they are not coming from the core ( Javanese/Sundanese) population but have no definitive consensus are : Batak , Dayak ,Baduyi , and many of the tribes of Sulawesi are descended from Philippino peoples and not Indonesian .

    Batak Peoples are the most obvious , which are native to Sumatra but are found to be spread out all over Indonesia as a merchant class. Considered to be outsiders by the Javanese majority and subjected to similar hate that the Chinese get . Batak have a distinctive look and were easy for me to recognize all over Indonesia. More common to be English speakers than the rest of the population . 3% of Indonesian population .
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Well said Humpty Dumpty! Only one person - and a real good egg he is and must be acknowledged to be - should have free definitional rights on your blog. If H D says that Tibeto-- Burmans were incorporated in India by the British Empire and are a related nationality and that Papuan Melanesians colonised by Javanese under Soekarno from 1962 are equally a related nationality let us have no more stupid quibbles but reflect facts on the ground. Fact on ground: H D has the big bazooka.
  16. @Walter Sobchak
    Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Among the Converted Peoples by V.S. Naipaul
    https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Belief-Excursions-Converted-International-ebook/dp/B008NW6PAQ

    "Fourteen years after the publication of his landmark travel narrative Among the Believers, V. S. Naipaul returned to the four non-Arab Islamic countries he reported on so vividly at the time of Ayatollah Khomeini's triumph in Iran. Beyond Belief is the result of his five-month journey in 1995 through Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia--lands where descendants of Muslim converts live at odds with indigenous traditions, and where dreams of Islamic purity clash with economic and political realities.

    "In extended conversations with a vast number of people--a rare survivor of the martyr brigades of the Iran-Iraq war, a young intellectual training as a Marxist guerilla in Baluchistan, an impoverished elderly couple in Teheran whose dusty Baccarat chandeliers preserve the memory of vanished wealth, and countless others--V. S. Naipaul deliberately effaces himself to let the voices of his subjects come through. Yet the result is a collection of stories that has the author's unmistakable stamp. With its incisive observation and brilliant cultural analysis, Beyond Belief is a startling and revelatory addition to the Naipaul canon."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V._S._Naipaul:

    "In awarding Naipaul the 2001 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy praised his work "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories." The Committee added, "Naipaul is a modern philosophe carrying on the tradition that started originally with Lettres persanes and Candide. In a vigilant style, which has been deservedly admired, he transforms rage into precision and allows events to speak with their own inherent irony." The Committee also noted Naipaul's affinity with the novelist Joseph Conrad: Naipaul is Conrad's heir as the annalist of the destinies of empires in the moral sense: what they do to human beings. His authority as a narrator is grounded in the memory of what others have forgotten, the history of the vanquished.

    "His fiction and especially his travel writing have been criticised for their allegedly unsympathetic portrayal of the Third World. The novelist Robert Harris has called his portrayal of Africa racist and "repulsive," reminiscent of Oswald Mosley's fascism. Edward Said argues that Naipaul "allowed himself quite consciously to be turned into a witness for the Western prosecution", promoting what Said classifies as "colonial mythologies about wogs and darkies". "

    "Naipaul has been accused of misogyny, and of committing acts of "chronic physical abuse" against his mistress of 25 years, Margaret Murray, who wrote in a letter to the New York Review of Books: "Vidia says I didn’t mind the abuse. I certainly did mind.""

    Funny that Said, who did more than anyone else to institutionalize hardline anti-Western political correctness in humanities, was an Episcopalian.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tulip
    Said was an Arab Nationalist. He did what he thought was best for Arabs. Arab Nationalists were always friendly with Moscow, and hostile to Israel. Establishment America was the opposite.
    , @syonredux

    Funny that Said, who did more than anyone else to institutionalize hardline anti-Western political correctness in humanities, was an Episcopalian.
     
    Well, Said seemed to feel that he was more Muslim than Christian:

    I was raised, as were many people I know, Christian as well as Muslim, in the notion that even though I belonged to a Christian minority, my culture is Islamic.
     
  17. @Marcus
    Funny that Said, who did more than anyone else to institutionalize hardline anti-Western political correctness in humanities, was an Episcopalian.

    Said was an Arab Nationalist. He did what he thought was best for Arabs. Arab Nationalists were always friendly with Moscow, and hostile to Israel. Establishment America was the opposite.

    Read More
  18. @Marcus
    Funny that Said, who did more than anyone else to institutionalize hardline anti-Western political correctness in humanities, was an Episcopalian.

    Funny that Said, who did more than anyone else to institutionalize hardline anti-Western political correctness in humanities, was an Episcopalian.

    Well, Said seemed to feel that he was more Muslim than Christian:

    I was raised, as were many people I know, Christian as well as Muslim, in the notion that even though I belonged to a Christian minority, my culture is Islamic.

    Read More
  19. Excellent post Razib! Great explication on the historic tension between the normative Islam of urban centers and that of the rural areas. This trend is also generally found almost anywhere in the Muslim world – villages in remote areas of Pakistan and even rural areas of Syria and Egypt.

    There are of course exceptions; Shaykh Murabit al-Hajj (db) is one of the foremost scholars of the Maliki school – a literal walking university – and lives nowhere near urban dwellings (on purpose). You can take a look at the mosque of his village to see how remote we are talking (they still memorize the Qur’an there without printed copies):

    http://abdika.weebly.com/blog/sidi-muhammad-syaikh-murabit-al-hajj-guru-syaikh-hamza-yusuf-of-usa

    This is where reformist and international Islam…into an international brotherhood.

    Very succinct and accurate. Right now, there are two major competing versions of that international Islam – so we’ll see which one pans out. For instance you’ve got the Indonesians that go with the Salafi approach and others go the more traditional (Shafi’i/Ash’ari) approach and are usually connected to places like al-Azhar, Hadramaut, etc. not sure about Damascus currently. This is a very powerful force; you can take a religiously literate man leading Friday sermons in Mali and in 5-10 minutes teach him the adjustments he needs to lead them in Jakarta. You can also see this in the writings of Malcolm X (ra) on his Hajj experience.

    What’s happening with the Christian governor reminds me of something historic that took place in Egypt under the Mamelukes. The Copts had been very highly placed in society in administration and there was a massive backlash – lot of mob violence, etc. from the lower classes which led to both waves of conversion and implementation of legal social restrictions for Copts in general.

    Indonesia really is a tough one to analyze due to it not being contiguous and the various ethnicities which comprise the majorities on each of the islands – so you had your work cut out for you – much easier to do Malaysia.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Disagree: Che Guava
    • Replies: @Vijay
    Much of this comment is incorrect. Basuki (Ahok) is from East Belitung an island 350 miles from Singapore. He is a double minority, both, Chinese and Christian, that has been used by the opponents to provide a double dose of targets for Islamic Defenders Front (FPI). The FPI has opposed him since 2012 attempting to reduce his powers based on him being not from Islam. The Copt comparison is not even close, because Basuki has been responsible for most of his successes, including raising wages, healthcare, etc. The FPI was established in 1998, and has support among police and the army. I would not be surprised if he is tossed into jail for a few months, based on fictitious insults to Kuran.

    The insult to Koran or insult to Islam is thrown in at any time by Islamicists at any place. The sad part of the whole thing is this is a new avenue for Indonesia; 30 years ago, Javans would have laughed this out (to be honest, they would have insulted or killed Chinese based on ethnic quarrels). But today, there is a double dose, both, Islamic and Chinese are used as targets.

    Indonesia has been much more amenable to multi-ethnic and multi-religious milieu. It is the Malaysian Islam that has been very unforgiving:- being a Shia, Ahmedi or Ismaili is punishable in Malaysia. Indonesia permits animists, and atheists. The reason why Malaysia works is that Chinese and Tamils form some 45% of the population.

    I think you are mistaken on the whole Salafi vs. Shafi as the reason for more conservative, Any of the schools can quickly transform itself to embrace more and purer version of Islam. I am just sad that this is happening in Indonesia, which is much more liberal than India.
  20. a region of upstate New York which was heavily Dutch, but later became demographically dominated by the great migration out of New England

    Is that the burned-over district or a different region? Reminds me of Bottum’s “Erie Canal Thesis”:

    * http://everythingthatrises.com/post/87225935110/the-erie-canal-main-stream-of-american
    * http://thefederalist.com/2015/03/13/how-bad-religion-has-bequeathed-us-an-anxious-age/
    * https://eppc.org/publications/puritans-among-us/

    And as Steve posted:

    * http://www.unz.com/isteve/chautauqua-the-most-post-protestant-place-in-the-world/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    the dutch areas did not go much beyond the hudson valley. the burned over district was so yankee in large part because it was not settled much by whites (it was iroquois, etc.) to a great extent before the migrants arrived.
  21. @benjaminl

    a region of upstate New York which was heavily Dutch, but later became demographically dominated by the great migration out of New England
     
    Is that the burned-over district or a different region? Reminds me of Bottum's "Erie Canal Thesis":

    * http://everythingthatrises.com/post/87225935110/the-erie-canal-main-stream-of-american
    * http://thefederalist.com/2015/03/13/how-bad-religion-has-bequeathed-us-an-anxious-age/
    * https://eppc.org/publications/puritans-among-us/

    And as Steve posted:

    * http://www.unz.com/isteve/chautauqua-the-most-post-protestant-place-in-the-world/

    the dutch areas did not go much beyond the hudson valley. the burned over district was so yankee in large part because it was not settled much by whites (it was iroquois, etc.) to a great extent before the migrants arrived.

    Read More
  22. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Razib Khan
    .The second part is false .Indonesia is not a nation with several related nationalities. For example Indonesia has illegally occupied Papua since 1963 and subjugated the native Christian population. Indonesia and Papua are certainly not related nationalities.

    no, i'm right and you're wrong. the two are equivalent. india has buddhist tibeto-burmans and various christians in the NE who are liminal (or in the latter case totally alien to) dharmic civilization. like new guinea and far eastern indonesia their inclusion into india is a random artifact of lines drawn during the colonial period. these are equivalent to the melanesians and papuans. well over 90% of indonesians, like well over 90% indians, emerge out of the core civilization (in india's caste it is dharmic and islamicate).

    well over 90% of indonesians, like well over 90% indians, emerge out of the core civilization

    Well over 90% ?? This is completely wrong .Chinese represent 5%+ of the Indonesian population . Melanesian represents 3% of the Indonesian population . A few others that a good argument is made that they are not coming from the core ( Javanese/Sundanese) population but have no definitive consensus are : Batak , Dayak ,Baduyi , and many of the tribes of Sulawesi are descended from Philippino peoples and not Indonesian .

    Batak Peoples are the most obvious , which are native to Sumatra but are found to be spread out all over Indonesia as a merchant class. Considered to be outsiders by the Javanese majority and subjected to similar hate that the Chinese get . Batak have a distinctive look and were easy for me to recognize all over Indonesia. More common to be English speakers than the rest of the population . 3% of Indonesian population .

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    my dumbshit readers think they know more ethnography than i do! OMG. well, dumbshit, there's a reason you read me, and i don't read you: i know more than you.

    e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Indonesians#Demographics

    "Indonesia's 2000 census reported 2,411,503 citizens (1.20 percent of the total population) as ethnic Chinese"

    i understand that the estimates are flexible and likely low bounds, but they go up if you include peranakan, who are for all practical purposes indonesian at this point.

    i don't count the austronesians of sumatra and borneo as outside of the mainstream.

    no more dumbshit comments please.
    , @Miguel Madeira

    many of the tribes of Sulawesi are descended from Philippino peoples and not Indonesian .
     
    There is any real difference between Indonesian, Malay, Bruneian and Philippino, besides the side of the frontier?
  23. @Talha
    Excellent post Razib! Great explication on the historic tension between the normative Islam of urban centers and that of the rural areas. This trend is also generally found almost anywhere in the Muslim world - villages in remote areas of Pakistan and even rural areas of Syria and Egypt.

    There are of course exceptions; Shaykh Murabit al-Hajj (db) is one of the foremost scholars of the Maliki school - a literal walking university - and lives nowhere near urban dwellings (on purpose). You can take a look at the mosque of his village to see how remote we are talking (they still memorize the Qur'an there without printed copies):
    http://abdika.weebly.com/blog/sidi-muhammad-syaikh-murabit-al-hajj-guru-syaikh-hamza-yusuf-of-usa

    This is where reformist and international Islam...into an international brotherhood.
     
    Very succinct and accurate. Right now, there are two major competing versions of that international Islam - so we'll see which one pans out. For instance you've got the Indonesians that go with the Salafi approach and others go the more traditional (Shafi'i/Ash'ari) approach and are usually connected to places like al-Azhar, Hadramaut, etc. not sure about Damascus currently. This is a very powerful force; you can take a religiously literate man leading Friday sermons in Mali and in 5-10 minutes teach him the adjustments he needs to lead them in Jakarta. You can also see this in the writings of Malcolm X (ra) on his Hajj experience.

    What's happening with the Christian governor reminds me of something historic that took place in Egypt under the Mamelukes. The Copts had been very highly placed in society in administration and there was a massive backlash - lot of mob violence, etc. from the lower classes which led to both waves of conversion and implementation of legal social restrictions for Copts in general.

    Indonesia really is a tough one to analyze due to it not being contiguous and the various ethnicities which comprise the majorities on each of the islands - so you had your work cut out for you - much easier to do Malaysia.

    Peace.

    Much of this comment is incorrect. Basuki (Ahok) is from East Belitung an island 350 miles from Singapore. He is a double minority, both, Chinese and Christian, that has been used by the opponents to provide a double dose of targets for Islamic Defenders Front (FPI). The FPI has opposed him since 2012 attempting to reduce his powers based on him being not from Islam. The Copt comparison is not even close, because Basuki has been responsible for most of his successes, including raising wages, healthcare, etc. The FPI was established in 1998, and has support among police and the army. I would not be surprised if he is tossed into jail for a few months, based on fictitious insults to Kuran.

    The insult to Koran or insult to Islam is thrown in at any time by Islamicists at any place. The sad part of the whole thing is this is a new avenue for Indonesia; 30 years ago, Javans would have laughed this out (to be honest, they would have insulted or killed Chinese based on ethnic quarrels). But today, there is a double dose, both, Islamic and Chinese are used as targets.

    Indonesia has been much more amenable to multi-ethnic and multi-religious milieu. It is the Malaysian Islam that has been very unforgiving:- being a Shia, Ahmedi or Ismaili is punishable in Malaysia. Indonesia permits animists, and atheists. The reason why Malaysia works is that Chinese and Tamils form some 45% of the population.

    I think you are mistaken on the whole Salafi vs. Shafi as the reason for more conservative, Any of the schools can quickly transform itself to embrace more and purer version of Islam. I am just sad that this is happening in Indonesia, which is much more liberal than India.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Vijay,

    That's the reason I said it reminds me - simply because there are some parallels. Copts were dhimmis, this guy is legally obviously not - so there are a ton of discrepancies.

    It is the Malaysian Islam that has been very unforgiving:- being a Shia, Ahmedi or Ismaili is punishable in Malaysia.
     
    Being Shia as punishable certainly shocked me - wow!
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304173704579259473076713800

    But, from what I've read Malaysia and ethnic Malay identity are linked to Islam:
    "The first case underlines the fact that all Malays are deemed to be Muslims. It gives them no choice in the matter, despite the constitution's guarantee of freedom of religion and worship."
    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/04/opinion/malays-and-muslims-to-be-modern-malaysia-needs-to-be-secular.html

    So, like I mentioned to Razib, much easier to analyze Malaysia.

    Criminalizing the spread of Ahmedi teachings doesn't surprise me - par for the course actually, since that would be considered proselytizing to Muslims. This has been historically outlawed in Muslim lands - it's simply either enforced by the authorities or ignored depending on time and place.

    Indonesia permits animists, and atheists.
     
    As it should. Most countries (whether or not traditionally Hanafi) abide by Hanafi rules in this regard especially to keep up with international commitments.

    Any of the schools can quickly transform itself to embrace more and purer version of Islam.
     
    Sure, that's not in question - it's usually a question of education (including religious) - as Razib points out is a side-effect of urbanization. The question is how that gets implemented - there is quite a bit of difference in how Turkey or Morocco run things versus Saudi. As Razib pointed out - normative Islam has always had some leeway for adoption of local practice ('urf) while erecting barriers for other practices.

    Peace.
    , @Talha
    Also fictitious and malicious underhanded attempts to use blasphemy laws to harm non-Muslim minorities are deplorable. Those laws are there to be used in instances of true public blasphemy and not to score political points otherwise they will be seen as a joke and not the serious charge that they are.

    Peace.
  24. @Razib Khan
    This is not to argue with what you are saying, but the real breakthrough point is when a large number of poorer youth take up the call.

    i don't know if it's the real part. basically i think the masses are at play, and will follow a faction. a lot of conflict in an ideological/religious sense are just elites or sub-elites jostling for power, influence, and status.

    It is not clear where we go from here. You have identified the Indonesian progression as “natural” but what next for Indonesia? Iran? Turkey? Egypt?


    there are differences. the arab nations, and to some extent turkey, don't really have a non-islamic identity they can fall back on or draw from. so they can only go post-islamic. iran to some extent has an identity apart from islam, and before it. similarly, a difference between bangladesh and pakistan is that bangladesh explicitly acknowledges its non-islamic identity in an ethnic sense, while pakistan, as an ethnically diverse nation uses islam to bind itself.

    one option is secularization. that's what happened to the puritans, and that's what happened to quebec. but it doesn't happen quickly, and it doesn't happen in a gradual fashion. quebec was highly catholic and traditional...and then it collapsed in half a generation.

    It is not clear that Islam is amenable to secularization. All the regimes like Turkey and Iran under Shah imposed secularism with the sword. Further, looking at Turkey and Iran today, they appear to be reverting away from secularism. Modernization without Westernization seems increasingly like the future.

    If religion is a source of authority (in the sense of deciding who lives and dies), and the secular nation-state takes over and claims a monopoly on that authority, then religion falls a notch. If religion is a group strategy for keeping fertility over replacement rates, then modernism in the sense of birth control, rejection of traditional gender roles, and acceptance of homosexuality pretty much ends that function. Nor are people, even high IQ people, very big on exogamy taboos these days which a religion might foster.

    A lot of post-Christian secularism is based on the fact that “liberal” religion no longer serves a useful social purpose. But Islam has never disavowed killing authority, nor is it particularly inclined to embrace modernism. Further, with often weak or failed Nation-States in Muslim lands, there is in many places no functional state to even attempt to impose a monopoly on force. (Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    All very excellent points to think about since you are looking at the issue from a few different angles.

    Peace.
    , @Razib Khan
    It is not clear that Islam is amenable to secularization.

    i find this as persuasive as weber's assessment that confucianism would stymie capitalism in china.

    (the assertion about iran is simply false; iranian secularism in the 1970s was surely like that of afghanistan, that of the middle class minority)
  25. @anon

    well over 90% of indonesians, like well over 90% indians, emerge out of the core civilization
     
    Well over 90% ?? This is completely wrong .Chinese represent 5%+ of the Indonesian population . Melanesian represents 3% of the Indonesian population . A few others that a good argument is made that they are not coming from the core ( Javanese/Sundanese) population but have no definitive consensus are : Batak , Dayak ,Baduyi , and many of the tribes of Sulawesi are descended from Philippino peoples and not Indonesian .

    Batak Peoples are the most obvious , which are native to Sumatra but are found to be spread out all over Indonesia as a merchant class. Considered to be outsiders by the Javanese majority and subjected to similar hate that the Chinese get . Batak have a distinctive look and were easy for me to recognize all over Indonesia. More common to be English speakers than the rest of the population . 3% of Indonesian population .

    my dumbshit readers think they know more ethnography than i do! OMG. well, dumbshit, there’s a reason you read me, and i don’t read you: i know more than you.

    e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Indonesians#Demographics

    “Indonesia’s 2000 census reported 2,411,503 citizens (1.20 percent of the total population) as ethnic Chinese”

    i understand that the estimates are flexible and likely low bounds, but they go up if you include peranakan, who are for all practical purposes indonesian at this point.

    i don’t count the austronesians of sumatra and borneo as outside of the mainstream.

    no more dumbshit comments please.

    Read More
  26. @Vijay
    Much of this comment is incorrect. Basuki (Ahok) is from East Belitung an island 350 miles from Singapore. He is a double minority, both, Chinese and Christian, that has been used by the opponents to provide a double dose of targets for Islamic Defenders Front (FPI). The FPI has opposed him since 2012 attempting to reduce his powers based on him being not from Islam. The Copt comparison is not even close, because Basuki has been responsible for most of his successes, including raising wages, healthcare, etc. The FPI was established in 1998, and has support among police and the army. I would not be surprised if he is tossed into jail for a few months, based on fictitious insults to Kuran.

    The insult to Koran or insult to Islam is thrown in at any time by Islamicists at any place. The sad part of the whole thing is this is a new avenue for Indonesia; 30 years ago, Javans would have laughed this out (to be honest, they would have insulted or killed Chinese based on ethnic quarrels). But today, there is a double dose, both, Islamic and Chinese are used as targets.

    Indonesia has been much more amenable to multi-ethnic and multi-religious milieu. It is the Malaysian Islam that has been very unforgiving:- being a Shia, Ahmedi or Ismaili is punishable in Malaysia. Indonesia permits animists, and atheists. The reason why Malaysia works is that Chinese and Tamils form some 45% of the population.

    I think you are mistaken on the whole Salafi vs. Shafi as the reason for more conservative, Any of the schools can quickly transform itself to embrace more and purer version of Islam. I am just sad that this is happening in Indonesia, which is much more liberal than India.

    Hey Vijay,

    That’s the reason I said it reminds me – simply because there are some parallels. Copts were dhimmis, this guy is legally obviously not – so there are a ton of discrepancies.

    It is the Malaysian Islam that has been very unforgiving:- being a Shia, Ahmedi or Ismaili is punishable in Malaysia.

    Being Shia as punishable certainly shocked me – wow!

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304173704579259473076713800

    But, from what I’ve read Malaysia and ethnic Malay identity are linked to Islam:
    “The first case underlines the fact that all Malays are deemed to be Muslims. It gives them no choice in the matter, despite the constitution’s guarantee of freedom of religion and worship.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/04/opinion/malays-and-muslims-to-be-modern-malaysia-needs-to-be-secular.html

    So, like I mentioned to Razib, much easier to analyze Malaysia.

    Criminalizing the spread of Ahmedi teachings doesn’t surprise me – par for the course actually, since that would be considered proselytizing to Muslims. This has been historically outlawed in Muslim lands – it’s simply either enforced by the authorities or ignored depending on time and place.

    Indonesia permits animists, and atheists.

    As it should. Most countries (whether or not traditionally Hanafi) abide by Hanafi rules in this regard especially to keep up with international commitments.

    Any of the schools can quickly transform itself to embrace more and purer version of Islam.

    Sure, that’s not in question – it’s usually a question of education (including religious) – as Razib points out is a side-effect of urbanization. The question is how that gets implemented – there is quite a bit of difference in how Turkey or Morocco run things versus Saudi. As Razib pointed out – normative Islam has always had some leeway for adoption of local practice (‘urf) while erecting barriers for other practices.

    Peace.

    Read More
  27. @Vijay
    Much of this comment is incorrect. Basuki (Ahok) is from East Belitung an island 350 miles from Singapore. He is a double minority, both, Chinese and Christian, that has been used by the opponents to provide a double dose of targets for Islamic Defenders Front (FPI). The FPI has opposed him since 2012 attempting to reduce his powers based on him being not from Islam. The Copt comparison is not even close, because Basuki has been responsible for most of his successes, including raising wages, healthcare, etc. The FPI was established in 1998, and has support among police and the army. I would not be surprised if he is tossed into jail for a few months, based on fictitious insults to Kuran.

    The insult to Koran or insult to Islam is thrown in at any time by Islamicists at any place. The sad part of the whole thing is this is a new avenue for Indonesia; 30 years ago, Javans would have laughed this out (to be honest, they would have insulted or killed Chinese based on ethnic quarrels). But today, there is a double dose, both, Islamic and Chinese are used as targets.

    Indonesia has been much more amenable to multi-ethnic and multi-religious milieu. It is the Malaysian Islam that has been very unforgiving:- being a Shia, Ahmedi or Ismaili is punishable in Malaysia. Indonesia permits animists, and atheists. The reason why Malaysia works is that Chinese and Tamils form some 45% of the population.

    I think you are mistaken on the whole Salafi vs. Shafi as the reason for more conservative, Any of the schools can quickly transform itself to embrace more and purer version of Islam. I am just sad that this is happening in Indonesia, which is much more liberal than India.

    Also fictitious and malicious underhanded attempts to use blasphemy laws to harm non-Muslim minorities are deplorable. Those laws are there to be used in instances of true public blasphemy and not to score political points otherwise they will be seen as a joke and not the serious charge that they are.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    otherwise they will be seen as a joke

    It is probably not viewed as a joke by the people who get their heads chopped off.
    , @omarali50
    "Those laws are there to be used in instances of true public blasphemy and not to score political points otherwise they will be seen as a joke and not the serious charge that they are."

    LOL
    Seriously, you are mixing up your academic ideals and what happens (and has always happened) in real violence among real people. I do not doubt that a few extremely educated Islamist intellectuals do believe your version to be the ideal. But any claim that this ideal was also the practice (in the past or today) is, I am sorry to say, laughable.
    See more here http://brownpundits.blogspot.com/2015/01/blasphemy-in-pakistan.html?spref=tw
  28. @anon

    well over 90% of indonesians, like well over 90% indians, emerge out of the core civilization
     
    Well over 90% ?? This is completely wrong .Chinese represent 5%+ of the Indonesian population . Melanesian represents 3% of the Indonesian population . A few others that a good argument is made that they are not coming from the core ( Javanese/Sundanese) population but have no definitive consensus are : Batak , Dayak ,Baduyi , and many of the tribes of Sulawesi are descended from Philippino peoples and not Indonesian .

    Batak Peoples are the most obvious , which are native to Sumatra but are found to be spread out all over Indonesia as a merchant class. Considered to be outsiders by the Javanese majority and subjected to similar hate that the Chinese get . Batak have a distinctive look and were easy for me to recognize all over Indonesia. More common to be English speakers than the rest of the population . 3% of Indonesian population .

    many of the tribes of Sulawesi are descended from Philippino peoples and not Indonesian .

    There is any real difference between Indonesian, Malay, Bruneian and Philippino, besides the side of the frontier?

    Read More
  29. However, perhaps because I am Portuguese (my generation grew up seeing Indonesia as The Enemy), I indeed had the idea that there was much more separatist movements (including armed separatists) in Indonesia than in India, and that Indonesian was a kind of Java-Madura empire over the other islands.

    Read More
  30. @Tulip
    It is not clear that Islam is amenable to secularization. All the regimes like Turkey and Iran under Shah imposed secularism with the sword. Further, looking at Turkey and Iran today, they appear to be reverting away from secularism. Modernization without Westernization seems increasingly like the future.

    If religion is a source of authority (in the sense of deciding who lives and dies), and the secular nation-state takes over and claims a monopoly on that authority, then religion falls a notch. If religion is a group strategy for keeping fertility over replacement rates, then modernism in the sense of birth control, rejection of traditional gender roles, and acceptance of homosexuality pretty much ends that function. Nor are people, even high IQ people, very big on exogamy taboos these days which a religion might foster.

    A lot of post-Christian secularism is based on the fact that "liberal" religion no longer serves a useful social purpose. But Islam has never disavowed killing authority, nor is it particularly inclined to embrace modernism. Further, with often weak or failed Nation-States in Muslim lands, there is in many places no functional state to even attempt to impose a monopoly on force. (Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc.)

    All very excellent points to think about since you are looking at the issue from a few different angles.

    Peace.

    Read More
  31. @Talha
    Also fictitious and malicious underhanded attempts to use blasphemy laws to harm non-Muslim minorities are deplorable. Those laws are there to be used in instances of true public blasphemy and not to score political points otherwise they will be seen as a joke and not the serious charge that they are.

    Peace.

    otherwise they will be seen as a joke

    It is probably not viewed as a joke by the people who get their heads chopped off.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    Likely so. Two points:
    1) The punishment for blasphemy by a non-Muslim is (like most things in Islamic law) flexible. Certain schools definitely deem it a capital offence, some say exile. The Hanafi school itself has differences within it. Historically there are two positions; a) there is no punishment whatsoever* and b) discretionary punishment (like flogging) up to and including death - it all depends on what is defined for the rights and obligations in the citizen contract.
    2) My concern was for those who have a semblance of faith in the system. If one finds their neck outstretched on a chopping block for (the legitimate charge of) blasphemy, likely one had scant faith in the system to begin with.

    Peace.

    *These scholars opined that a person's right to practice their own religion presumes the right to commit acts considered blasphemous by Muslims even against our symbols of religions. Imam Jassas (ra) mentions this in his commentary on the Mukhtasar of Imam Tahawi (ra) using the proof that some Jews passed by the Prophet (pbuh) and stated 'Death be upon you' - and he did nothing to them other than say 'And upon you.'
    https://archive.org/stream/SharhTahawi/SharhTahawi6#page/n139/mode/2up
  32. @Tulip
    It is not clear that Islam is amenable to secularization. All the regimes like Turkey and Iran under Shah imposed secularism with the sword. Further, looking at Turkey and Iran today, they appear to be reverting away from secularism. Modernization without Westernization seems increasingly like the future.

    If religion is a source of authority (in the sense of deciding who lives and dies), and the secular nation-state takes over and claims a monopoly on that authority, then religion falls a notch. If religion is a group strategy for keeping fertility over replacement rates, then modernism in the sense of birth control, rejection of traditional gender roles, and acceptance of homosexuality pretty much ends that function. Nor are people, even high IQ people, very big on exogamy taboos these days which a religion might foster.

    A lot of post-Christian secularism is based on the fact that "liberal" religion no longer serves a useful social purpose. But Islam has never disavowed killing authority, nor is it particularly inclined to embrace modernism. Further, with often weak or failed Nation-States in Muslim lands, there is in many places no functional state to even attempt to impose a monopoly on force. (Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc.)

    It is not clear that Islam is amenable to secularization.

    i find this as persuasive as weber’s assessment that confucianism would stymie capitalism in china.

    (the assertion about iran is simply false; iranian secularism in the 1970s was surely like that of afghanistan, that of the middle class minority)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tulip
    Let's throw another piece into the mix.

    Brooks Adams claimed that political centralization was a result of offensive force being more powerful than defensive force. Well, defensive force just got a lot more powerful post-1945, even if the means are expensive and technologically advanced.

    The reality is that sovereign is he who controls the direction of a nuclear weapon, and rather than moving into an integrated world, I suspect centrifugal forces will prove unstoppable in the absence of technological advances changing the offensive/defensive balance.

    I suspect this new world will not be conducive to the same trends that gave rise to what we are seeing historically in the West, and will break toward ethnonationalism and religious fundamentalism, as these are the centrifugal force in human societies.

  33. Debates over a word like conservative are pretty useless. It has several different, though related, meanings.

    Conservative can mean something like resistant to change or unthinkingly adopting of a traditional way. However, if Jonathan Haidt’s way of thinking is adopted, then conservative can also mean having a moral stance that includes purity, respect for authority, and loyalty to your ingroup. Let’s call the first of these conservative1, and the second one conservative2.

    So, we can say that Islam in Indonesia is becoming less conservative1, but is definitely still conservative2.

    Furthermore, we can also say that conservative1 people are always conservative2, though not always in the way that internationalized versions of conservative2 religion are. There are, as you note, different ways of being conservative2.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    Debates over a word like conservative are pretty useless. It has several different, though related, meanings.



    no they're not. i made it pretty clear why they are not useless. people think it means certain things, and those things lead to false inferences. as you indicate in your follow up!

    However, if Jonathan Haidt’s way of thinking is adopted, then conservative can also mean having a moral stance that includes purity, respect for authority, and loyalty to your ingroup.

    i think jon haidt is onto something deep. but the more i think about this framework, the more skeptical i get. SJWs seem to have purity, respect for authority, and loyalty to their ingroup down.
  34. @Thursday
    Debates over a word like conservative are pretty useless. It has several different, though related, meanings.

    Conservative can mean something like resistant to change or unthinkingly adopting of a traditional way. However, if Jonathan Haidt's way of thinking is adopted, then conservative can also mean having a moral stance that includes purity, respect for authority, and loyalty to your ingroup. Let's call the first of these conservative1, and the second one conservative2.

    So, we can say that Islam in Indonesia is becoming less conservative1, but is definitely still conservative2.

    Furthermore, we can also say that conservative1 people are always conservative2, though not always in the way that internationalized versions of conservative2 religion are. There are, as you note, different ways of being conservative2.

    Debates over a word like conservative are pretty useless. It has several different, though related, meanings.

    no they’re not. i made it pretty clear why they are not useless. people think it means certain things, and those things lead to false inferences. as you indicate in your follow up!

    However, if Jonathan Haidt’s way of thinking is adopted, then conservative can also mean having a moral stance that includes purity, respect for authority, and loyalty to your ingroup.

    i think jon haidt is onto something deep. but the more i think about this framework, the more skeptical i get. SJWs seem to have purity, respect for authority, and loyalty to their ingroup down.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thursday
    SJWs seem to have purity, respect for authority, and loyalty to their ingroup down.

    Jordan Peterson and his team at UofT Psych apparently have some work in the pipe on PC culture, which they discuss in an interview here.

    Apparently, political correctness requires two types of people: PC authoritarians and PC egalitarians. The former tends to be correlated with high disgust sensitivity, low verbal cognitive ability, high agreeableness, diagnosed anxiety disorders in themselves or close family members. These are the SJWs proper. The latter are more ordinary left liberals. They also high in agreeableness, but have high verbal cognitive ability and high openness. They find it difficult not to go along with what the PC authoritarians want and often verbally rationalize PC authoritarian claims.

    Basically, SJWs are a (presumably small) set of left liberals with a high disgust sensitivity who are also particularly adept at pushing the compassion buttons of ordinary left liberals. SJWs share high agreeableness with ordinary left liberals. However, in other respects, SJWs are not necessarily representative of left liberal personality traits.

    I personally have always found the idea of widely distributed liberal purity rather fishy. The standard examples related to food and the environment never struck me as terribly compelling, as most liberals I know do not actually buy organic food or spend much time purifying their body of "toxins" and such.* In my experience, most left liberals are a bit messy and disorganized, a bit lax sexually (though not necessarily promiscuous), and aren't terribly bothered by ingestion of drugs for recreational purposes. Not a lot of purity there.

    One will have to read the research if and when Peterson et al. publish, but the idea that left liberals in general are awash in purity seems to me unlikely.

    *I know a few of these people, so they're real enough. But they're not the majority of the liberals I know by a long shot.

    no they’re not.

    Indonesian Islam is indubitably conservative in one perfectly normal sense of the word. One can be misleading by switching to a different sense, but that just requires people to clarify what sense they are using. Given that, saying that Indonesian Islam is not conservative is as misleading as anything.

    people think it means certain things, and those things lead to false inferences.

    Often it does mean those things. The problem is that the word also means other things. The false inferences come from carelessly switching between meanings, not from getting the meaning wrong in the first place.

    , @Roger Sweeny
    SJWs seem to have purity, respect for authority, and loyalty to their ingroup down.

    Amen to that.

    As the linked comic indicates, among the respectable it is zealotry to want to keep out foreign people but a good thing to keep out foreign species. Purity of Ecosystem is a real feeling.

    Biologists make a distinction between exotic and invasive species. An exotic species is any species that is not native to an ecosystem. (Though the idea of "native" is problematic: go back in time and species are always moving. Go back far enough and most present species aren't native to anywhere because they don't even exist. Much environmentalism is more Platonic than Darwinian.) An invasive species is an exotic that when introduced to an ecosystem, changes it in ways the biologist doesn't like.

    Yet many environmentalists will use the word invasive for any foreign species, and they want to keep all invasives out--and, to the extent possible, to get rid of the invasives that are already here. They are the equivalent of white nationalists, but there is nothing alt- about them.

    http://rhymeswithorange.com/comics/june-15-1997/
  35. @Talha
    Also fictitious and malicious underhanded attempts to use blasphemy laws to harm non-Muslim minorities are deplorable. Those laws are there to be used in instances of true public blasphemy and not to score political points otherwise they will be seen as a joke and not the serious charge that they are.

    Peace.

    “Those laws are there to be used in instances of true public blasphemy and not to score political points otherwise they will be seen as a joke and not the serious charge that they are.”

    LOL
    Seriously, you are mixing up your academic ideals and what happens (and has always happened) in real violence among real people. I do not doubt that a few extremely educated Islamist intellectuals do believe your version to be the ideal. But any claim that this ideal was also the practice (in the past or today) is, I am sorry to say, laughable.
    See more here http://brownpundits.blogspot.com/2015/01/blasphemy-in-pakistan.html?spref=tw

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey OA50,

    I share many of your same concerns about the sanguinary mentality of modern-day Muslims and Islamists.

    (and has always happened) (in the past or today)
     
    This seems a bit absolutist. 'Islamist' is a fairly contemporary or recent historical phenomenon. If you are referring to their historical record then I would largely agree. Oliver Roy has already written many searing jabs at its contradictions and other issues:
    http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674291416&content=reviews

    However to project the systemic failures or ignorant mob mentality, endemic in post-colonial Pakistan, to Muslims and Islam throughout history - um - lacks nuance and historical backing.

    Peace.
  36. @Razib Khan
    Debates over a word like conservative are pretty useless. It has several different, though related, meanings.



    no they're not. i made it pretty clear why they are not useless. people think it means certain things, and those things lead to false inferences. as you indicate in your follow up!

    However, if Jonathan Haidt’s way of thinking is adopted, then conservative can also mean having a moral stance that includes purity, respect for authority, and loyalty to your ingroup.

    i think jon haidt is onto something deep. but the more i think about this framework, the more skeptical i get. SJWs seem to have purity, respect for authority, and loyalty to their ingroup down.

    SJWs seem to have purity, respect for authority, and loyalty to their ingroup down.

    Jordan Peterson and his team at UofT Psych apparently have some work in the pipe on PC culture, which they discuss in an interview here.

    Apparently, political correctness requires two types of people: PC authoritarians and PC egalitarians. The former tends to be correlated with high disgust sensitivity, low verbal cognitive ability, high agreeableness, diagnosed anxiety disorders in themselves or close family members. These are the SJWs proper. The latter are more ordinary left liberals. They also high in agreeableness, but have high verbal cognitive ability and high openness. They find it difficult not to go along with what the PC authoritarians want and often verbally rationalize PC authoritarian claims.

    Basically, SJWs are a (presumably small) set of left liberals with a high disgust sensitivity who are also particularly adept at pushing the compassion buttons of ordinary left liberals. SJWs share high agreeableness with ordinary left liberals. However, in other respects, SJWs are not necessarily representative of left liberal personality traits.

    I personally have always found the idea of widely distributed liberal purity rather fishy. The standard examples related to food and the environment never struck me as terribly compelling, as most liberals I know do not actually buy organic food or spend much time purifying their body of “toxins” and such.* In my experience, most left liberals are a bit messy and disorganized, a bit lax sexually (though not necessarily promiscuous), and aren’t terribly bothered by ingestion of drugs for recreational purposes. Not a lot of purity there.

    One will have to read the research if and when Peterson et al. publish, but the idea that left liberals in general are awash in purity seems to me unlikely.

    *I know a few of these people, so they’re real enough. But they’re not the majority of the liberals I know by a long shot.

    no they’re not.

    Indonesian Islam is indubitably conservative in one perfectly normal sense of the word. One can be misleading by switching to a different sense, but that just requires people to clarify what sense they are using. Given that, saying that Indonesian Islam is not conservative is as misleading as anything.

    people think it means certain things, and those things lead to false inferences.

    Often it does mean those things. The problem is that the word also means other things. The false inferences come from carelessly switching between meanings, not from getting the meaning wrong in the first place.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Miguel Madeira

    I personally have always found the idea of widely distributed liberal purity rather fishy. The standard examples related to food and the environment never struck me as terribly compelling, as most liberals I know do not actually buy organic food or spend much time purifying their body of “toxins” and such.* In my experience, most left liberals are a bit messy and disorganized, a bit lax sexually (though not necessarily promiscuous), and aren’t terribly bothered by ingestion of drugs for recreational purposes. Not a lot of purity there.
     
    Even the "purity" and the "loyality to the ingroup" of PC/SJW is a bit ambigous, because is, in many ways, a "purity against purity" and an "ingroup of outgroups" - the point is largely to defend every group that they see has being attacked by mainstream society (forgetting that, in many ways, they are now the mainstream); not much different than the teenagers who join a clique to be "rebels", or the hipsters who only like unpopular music or films. Two implications are permanent increasing radicalism (because a tendency to deliberately chose causes that they think they will shock the established values, meaning that any "victory" simply means that you will search another cause) and constant infighting (radical feminists vs. transgender, "prostitution as patriarchal domination" vs. "anti-whorephobia", etc.).
  37. People with unusual combinations of personality traits can have an outsized visibility and impact on the world. For example, great artists need to be innovative and open to all sorts of new experiences and ideas (liberal), but also need an appreciation for tradition and a strong sense of form (conservative). It’s interesting, for example, that the two best novelists in Europe, Knausgaard and Houellebecq, tend towards political conservatism. Their personalities are likely not representative of people in the arts generally.

    Read More
  38. The American press wants to describe an undesirable process as “conservative”, because conservatives are the domestic enemy and they want blame, or at least associate everything bad on them.

    Razib is calling them out on their crap by pointing out how the WSJ is playing with words, and the process going on in the Muslim world has little to do with the kind of old traditionalism that Americans associate with conservatism.

    As for Haidt; surely the theory that evolution produced separate and discrete “moral modules” to address different social needs doesn’t make much sense. But the theory is elegant and Haidt obviously has his heart on the right place; I don’t like to be hard. It’s kinda like Julian Jaynes; it’s pretty obviously false, but it’s such a compelling story.

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  39. @Thursday
    SJWs seem to have purity, respect for authority, and loyalty to their ingroup down.

    Jordan Peterson and his team at UofT Psych apparently have some work in the pipe on PC culture, which they discuss in an interview here.

    Apparently, political correctness requires two types of people: PC authoritarians and PC egalitarians. The former tends to be correlated with high disgust sensitivity, low verbal cognitive ability, high agreeableness, diagnosed anxiety disorders in themselves or close family members. These are the SJWs proper. The latter are more ordinary left liberals. They also high in agreeableness, but have high verbal cognitive ability and high openness. They find it difficult not to go along with what the PC authoritarians want and often verbally rationalize PC authoritarian claims.

    Basically, SJWs are a (presumably small) set of left liberals with a high disgust sensitivity who are also particularly adept at pushing the compassion buttons of ordinary left liberals. SJWs share high agreeableness with ordinary left liberals. However, in other respects, SJWs are not necessarily representative of left liberal personality traits.

    I personally have always found the idea of widely distributed liberal purity rather fishy. The standard examples related to food and the environment never struck me as terribly compelling, as most liberals I know do not actually buy organic food or spend much time purifying their body of "toxins" and such.* In my experience, most left liberals are a bit messy and disorganized, a bit lax sexually (though not necessarily promiscuous), and aren't terribly bothered by ingestion of drugs for recreational purposes. Not a lot of purity there.

    One will have to read the research if and when Peterson et al. publish, but the idea that left liberals in general are awash in purity seems to me unlikely.

    *I know a few of these people, so they're real enough. But they're not the majority of the liberals I know by a long shot.

    no they’re not.

    Indonesian Islam is indubitably conservative in one perfectly normal sense of the word. One can be misleading by switching to a different sense, but that just requires people to clarify what sense they are using. Given that, saying that Indonesian Islam is not conservative is as misleading as anything.

    people think it means certain things, and those things lead to false inferences.

    Often it does mean those things. The problem is that the word also means other things. The false inferences come from carelessly switching between meanings, not from getting the meaning wrong in the first place.

    I personally have always found the idea of widely distributed liberal purity rather fishy. The standard examples related to food and the environment never struck me as terribly compelling, as most liberals I know do not actually buy organic food or spend much time purifying their body of “toxins” and such.* In my experience, most left liberals are a bit messy and disorganized, a bit lax sexually (though not necessarily promiscuous), and aren’t terribly bothered by ingestion of drugs for recreational purposes. Not a lot of purity there.

    Even the “purity” and the “loyality to the ingroup” of PC/SJW is a bit ambigous, because is, in many ways, a “purity against purity” and an “ingroup of outgroups” – the point is largely to defend every group that they see has being attacked by mainstream society (forgetting that, in many ways, they are now the mainstream); not much different than the teenagers who join a clique to be “rebels”, or the hipsters who only like unpopular music or films. Two implications are permanent increasing radicalism (because a tendency to deliberately chose causes that they think they will shock the established values, meaning that any “victory” simply means that you will search another cause) and constant infighting (radical feminists vs. transgender, “prostitution as patriarchal domination” vs. “anti-whorephobia”, etc.).

    Read More
  40. @iffen
    otherwise they will be seen as a joke

    It is probably not viewed as a joke by the people who get their heads chopped off.

    Hey iffen,

    Likely so. Two points:
    1) The punishment for blasphemy by a non-Muslim is (like most things in Islamic law) flexible. Certain schools definitely deem it a capital offence, some say exile. The Hanafi school itself has differences within it. Historically there are two positions; a) there is no punishment whatsoever* and b) discretionary punishment (like flogging) up to and including death – it all depends on what is defined for the rights and obligations in the citizen contract.
    2) My concern was for those who have a semblance of faith in the system. If one finds their neck outstretched on a chopping block for (the legitimate charge of) blasphemy, likely one had scant faith in the system to begin with.

    Peace.

    *These scholars opined that a person’s right to practice their own religion presumes the right to commit acts considered blasphemous by Muslims even against our symbols of religions. Imam Jassas (ra) mentions this in his commentary on the Mukhtasar of Imam Tahawi (ra) using the proof that some Jews passed by the Prophet (pbuh) and stated ‘Death be upon you’ – and he did nothing to them other than say ‘And upon you.’

    https://archive.org/stream/SharhTahawi/SharhTahawi6#page/n139/mode/2up

    Read More
  41. @Razib Khan
    Debates over a word like conservative are pretty useless. It has several different, though related, meanings.



    no they're not. i made it pretty clear why they are not useless. people think it means certain things, and those things lead to false inferences. as you indicate in your follow up!

    However, if Jonathan Haidt’s way of thinking is adopted, then conservative can also mean having a moral stance that includes purity, respect for authority, and loyalty to your ingroup.

    i think jon haidt is onto something deep. but the more i think about this framework, the more skeptical i get. SJWs seem to have purity, respect for authority, and loyalty to their ingroup down.

    SJWs seem to have purity, respect for authority, and loyalty to their ingroup down.

    Amen to that.

    As the linked comic indicates, among the respectable it is zealotry to want to keep out foreign people but a good thing to keep out foreign species. Purity of Ecosystem is a real feeling.

    Biologists make a distinction between exotic and invasive species. An exotic species is any species that is not native to an ecosystem. (Though the idea of “native” is problematic: go back in time and species are always moving. Go back far enough and most present species aren’t native to anywhere because they don’t even exist. Much environmentalism is more Platonic than Darwinian.) An invasive species is an exotic that when introduced to an ecosystem, changes it in ways the biologist doesn’t like.

    Yet many environmentalists will use the word invasive for any foreign species, and they want to keep all invasives out–and, to the extent possible, to get rid of the invasives that are already here. They are the equivalent of white nationalists, but there is nothing alt- about them.

    http://rhymeswithorange.com/comics/june-15-1997/

    Read More
  42. @Razib Khan
    It is not clear that Islam is amenable to secularization.

    i find this as persuasive as weber's assessment that confucianism would stymie capitalism in china.

    (the assertion about iran is simply false; iranian secularism in the 1970s was surely like that of afghanistan, that of the middle class minority)

    Let’s throw another piece into the mix.

    Brooks Adams claimed that political centralization was a result of offensive force being more powerful than defensive force. Well, defensive force just got a lot more powerful post-1945, even if the means are expensive and technologically advanced.

    The reality is that sovereign is he who controls the direction of a nuclear weapon, and rather than moving into an integrated world, I suspect centrifugal forces will prove unstoppable in the absence of technological advances changing the offensive/defensive balance.

    I suspect this new world will not be conducive to the same trends that gave rise to what we are seeing historically in the West, and will break toward ethnonationalism and religious fundamentalism, as these are the centrifugal force in human societies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean

    Brooks Adams claimed that political centralization was a result of offensive force being more powerful than defensive force. Well, defensive force just got a lot more powerful post-1945, even if the means are expensive and technologically advanced.The reality is that sovereign is he who controls the direction of a nuclear weapon, and rather than moving into an integrated world, I suspect centrifugal forces will prove unstoppable in the absence of technological advances changing the offensive/defensive balance.
     
    Everything is a result of external considerations (unless you think Sparta could have had the internal arrangements of Athens). Indonesia doesn't have a land border with India.

    . Well, defensive force just got a lot more powerful post-1945, even if the means are expensive and technologically advanced.
     
    That explains why the Soviets had all those tanks, and almost 10: 1 in tube artillery.
  43. @omarali50
    "Those laws are there to be used in instances of true public blasphemy and not to score political points otherwise they will be seen as a joke and not the serious charge that they are."

    LOL
    Seriously, you are mixing up your academic ideals and what happens (and has always happened) in real violence among real people. I do not doubt that a few extremely educated Islamist intellectuals do believe your version to be the ideal. But any claim that this ideal was also the practice (in the past or today) is, I am sorry to say, laughable.
    See more here http://brownpundits.blogspot.com/2015/01/blasphemy-in-pakistan.html?spref=tw

    Hey OA50,

    I share many of your same concerns about the sanguinary mentality of modern-day Muslims and Islamists.

    (and has always happened) (in the past or today)

    This seems a bit absolutist. ‘Islamist’ is a fairly contemporary or recent historical phenomenon. If you are referring to their historical record then I would largely agree. Oliver Roy has already written many searing jabs at its contradictions and other issues:

    http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674291416&content=reviews

    However to project the systemic failures or ignorant mob mentality, endemic in post-colonial Pakistan, to Muslims and Islam throughout history – um – lacks nuance and historical backing.

    Peace.

    Read More
  44. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    f you are very wealthy this may not be relevant, as social networks of the elite have long had purchase in urban centers, and old connections can be leveraged at the commanding heights of industry and government. For the lower classes within slums the day to day may be a matter of survival and subsistence. A new identity is secondary to making to the next day. Where the need for identity likely comes to the fore is in the urban middle class. These the classes not connected to the levers of power in the social heights, but still have resources and leisure to ponder their place in the world, and how their nation should be ordered.

    I bet when writing this you were thinking of the USA today, and not only Indonesia.

    Read More
  45. Indonesia is ruled by Pancasila doctrine (word driven from Hindu mythology), which is based on pagan Hindu culture of the Natives. Islamic education, mosques, Zakah and Fitra, and Hajj under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which has been governed by ‘official ulemas’ (mostly belonging to Nahdatul Ulema Party), who believe that the Pancasila ideology is not against Islamic principles.

    According to the Western standards, all western poodles ruling Muslim countries follow ‘moderate Islam’ – such as King of Jordan, King of Saudi Arabia, King of Morocco, presidents of Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Algeria, Tunisia, Pakistan, Somalia, Nigeria, etc.

    “Change and progress are endemic to human society, and essential part of Islamic experience. The task of Islamic scholars is not go back to some past ideal, but to implement the principles and values of Islam in the contemporary world,” – Dr. Kalim Siddiqui

    What Dr. Kalim Siddiqui, a Pakistan-born British Islamic scholar and author of several book, meant that Muslims, like the early generations, should apply ‘Ijtehad (progress)’, based on basic Islamic principles – and not ‘Taqleed (blindly following all the centuries-old Muslim traditions)’…..

    https://rehmat1.com/2009/02/21/indonesia-de-islamization-of-muslim-majority/

    Read More
  46. Razib,

    I’m coming late to the party, but this piece was very helpful — thanks much!

    One insight you had that helped me a lot was this:

    “It is natural that many urban dwellers would find that a culturally stripped down form of Islam based on textual sources, though extending from them, would be amenable to their needs. This form of Islam allows for strong ingroup ties that are not contingent on local histories or ethnic identities. But, it also throws up walls toward those who it considers outsiders and competitors. That is, non-Muslims. Other Indonesian urbanites are not becoming “conservative” Muslims. Rather, they are probably subscribing to what one might term “liberal international,” the transnational globalist class which is united by their affluence and postmaterialism, and a form of individualism well characterized by Jonathan Haidt.”

    I’ve been reading about Indonesian Islam for awhile and I always wondered how both charismatic ‘habibs’ could gain a foothold in the big cities:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10000872396390443635404578038541261622144

    at the same time that the Islamic Defenders Front (and groups like them) could do well. Your blog post provides a nice framework to explain the phenomenon.

    Well done.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rehmat
    LOL..... you could have picked up ADL a much better source on Islam to laugh than WSJ .....

    WSJ: ‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews into gas…’

    https://rehmat1.com/2014/07/12/wsj-hamas-hamas-jews-into-gas/
  47. @Razib Khan
    .The second part is false .Indonesia is not a nation with several related nationalities. For example Indonesia has illegally occupied Papua since 1963 and subjugated the native Christian population. Indonesia and Papua are certainly not related nationalities.

    no, i'm right and you're wrong. the two are equivalent. india has buddhist tibeto-burmans and various christians in the NE who are liminal (or in the latter case totally alien to) dharmic civilization. like new guinea and far eastern indonesia their inclusion into india is a random artifact of lines drawn during the colonial period. these are equivalent to the melanesians and papuans. well over 90% of indonesians, like well over 90% indians, emerge out of the core civilization (in india's caste it is dharmic and islamicate).

    Well said Humpty Dumpty! Only one person – and a real good egg he is and must be acknowledged to be – should have free definitional rights on your blog. If H D says that Tibeto– Burmans were incorporated in India by the British Empire and are a related nationality and that Papuan Melanesians colonised by Javanese under Soekarno from 1962 are equally a related nationality let us have no more stupid quibbles but reflect facts on the ground. Fact on ground: H D has the big bazooka.

    Read More
  48. @Tulip
    Let's throw another piece into the mix.

    Brooks Adams claimed that political centralization was a result of offensive force being more powerful than defensive force. Well, defensive force just got a lot more powerful post-1945, even if the means are expensive and technologically advanced.

    The reality is that sovereign is he who controls the direction of a nuclear weapon, and rather than moving into an integrated world, I suspect centrifugal forces will prove unstoppable in the absence of technological advances changing the offensive/defensive balance.

    I suspect this new world will not be conducive to the same trends that gave rise to what we are seeing historically in the West, and will break toward ethnonationalism and religious fundamentalism, as these are the centrifugal force in human societies.

    Brooks Adams claimed that political centralization was a result of offensive force being more powerful than defensive force. Well, defensive force just got a lot more powerful post-1945, even if the means are expensive and technologically advanced.The reality is that sovereign is he who controls the direction of a nuclear weapon, and rather than moving into an integrated world, I suspect centrifugal forces will prove unstoppable in the absence of technological advances changing the offensive/defensive balance.

    Everything is a result of external considerations (unless you think Sparta could have had the internal arrangements of Athens). Indonesia doesn’t have a land border with India.

    . Well, defensive force just got a lot more powerful post-1945, even if the means are expensive and technologically advanced.

    That explains why the Soviets had all those tanks, and almost 10: 1 in tube artillery.

    Read More
  49. Just so you know, Breitbart’s articles claim you as Alt-Right (like Unz.com). The group that wants all Muslims banned from the United States. And claims you believe in “biodiversity” (the white supremacist version of genetic genealogy).

    Read More
  50. @Jeffrey S.
    Razib,

    I'm coming late to the party, but this piece was very helpful -- thanks much!

    One insight you had that helped me a lot was this:

    "It is natural that many urban dwellers would find that a culturally stripped down form of Islam based on textual sources, though extending from them, would be amenable to their needs. This form of Islam allows for strong ingroup ties that are not contingent on local histories or ethnic identities. But, it also throws up walls toward those who it considers outsiders and competitors. That is, non-Muslims. Other Indonesian urbanites are not becoming “conservative” Muslims. Rather, they are probably subscribing to what one might term “liberal international,” the transnational globalist class which is united by their affluence and postmaterialism, and a form of individualism well characterized by Jonathan Haidt."

    I've been reading about Indonesian Islam for awhile and I always wondered how both charismatic 'habibs' could gain a foothold in the big cities:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10000872396390443635404578038541261622144

    at the same time that the Islamic Defenders Front (and groups like them) could do well. Your blog post provides a nice framework to explain the phenomenon.

    Well done.

    LOL….. you could have picked up ADL a much better source on Islam to laugh than WSJ …..

    WSJ: ‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews into gas…’

    https://rehmat1.com/2014/07/12/wsj-hamas-hamas-jews-into-gas/

    Read More
  51. I’m pleased that my mother, Najwa Ghanem, who was my father’s first cousin, was his first wife. The position of the first wife is prestigious in my culture, and that prestige is tripled when the first wife is a first cousin and mother of a first son. Rarely does a Muslim man divorce a wife who is a cousin and the mother of the firstborn son. My parents were bound by blood, marriage, and parenthood.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2009/10/omar-bin-laden-200910

    it is not economic deprivation that fuels these violent explosions, because the participants and principles are not economically deprived. [...] Osama bin Laden was of Yemeni ancestry, but raised wealthy in Saudi Arabia. The influence of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State in poor Muslim countries has clear connections with migration from wealthier nations and Diasporas. Poverty may be fertile ground, but it is almost never the seed.

    I have a hypothesis that the combination of Petro-Islam wealth (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petro-Islam) + cousin marriage is the true cause of Islamic terrorism. In the following excerpts below it will explain how affluence has led to a higher frequency of cousin marriages in the Arabic world, which in turn increases the risk of certain mental disorders that are prevalent among (Islamic) terrorists.

    This is not necessary for many Gulf Arabs, who have a guaranteed a minimum income because of resource revenue. Not only has this allowed them to preserve a relatively archaic set of social norms, but I believe it’s also allowed for the baroque elaboration of their customary traditions. I don’t find the second explanation persuasive for most Muslim nations though, as they aren’t as reliant on resource driven revenue, and have had to make more accommodations with the exigencies of the modern world.

    http://www.unz.com/gnxp/the-individual-social-risks-of-cousin-marriage/

    [Consanguinity] is also increasing across the Gulf. Dr Teebi links the trend to tribal tradition and the region’s expanding economies. “Rich families tend to marry rich families, and from their own – and the rich like to protect their wealth,” he said. “So it’s partly economic, and it’s also partly cultural.” Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health aims to change that culture, with an outreach campaign that includes workshops, online information, university lectures and the distribution of educational CDs and brochures.

    http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/qatar-starts-premarital-genetic-screening-for-all

    Conclusion The substantial risk observed in the present study reveals that consanguinity is an important risk factor for schizophrenia in Qatar. In addition, the study confirms that the higher familial risks provide strong genetic epidemiological evidence for the overall heritable effects in the aetiology of schizophrenia.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3721918/


    Mental Health Disorders and the Terrorist: A Research Note Probing Selection Effects and Disorder Prevalence

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1057610X.2015.1120099

    The descriptive statistics highlight inherent differences in the types of mental disorders suffered by terrorists—particularly lone-actors—as compared to a general population. There are only three disorders that have a substantially higher prevalence in the lone-actor population (see Figure 2), the most noteworthy being schizophrenia. Schizophrenia has long been accepted as having a prevalence of 1 percent (upper end) in general populations, and has a contentious link to violent behavior. Delusional disorders also hold a litigious link with violence. Those with delusional disorders hold stringent beliefs, seen by others as inconceivable. Parallel to this, lone-actors show high preponderance of single-issue ideologies; highly personal grievances linked to political aims. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) also show a higher than expected prevalence in the lone-actor sample. Although individuals with ASD are not linked to violent behaviors, social interaction deficits impair an individual’s ability to maintain functional relationships. However, these individuals often foster intense online relationships, a trait noted in lone-actors with ASD.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FKA Max
    I just discovered, that Omar bin Laden was actually treated for schizophrenia:

    Genes, Stress May Have Led to Omar Bin Laden's Schizophrenia

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/omar-bin-laden-mental-illness-caused-genes-stress/story?id=11624890

    So does Omar bin Laden's condition suggest anything about his father's mental health? Without a mental evaluation, it's impossible to tell whether Osama bin Laden suffers from schizophrenia or some other mental illness. But doctors say schizophrenia tends to run in families.
     
    Indonesia has one of the lower cousin marriage rates among Islamic countries (http://www.consang.net/images/c/cb/Asia.pdf), plus its economy is relatively diversified and not almost solely dependent on hydrocarbons/commodities when compared to many ''conservative'' Gulf States; both factors should work in its favor and should ensure and fasten the pace of its continued modernization.

    Decline of cousin marriage in a rural Indonesian society: A case of sexual conflict?

    http://www.anu.edu.au/events/decline-of-cousin-marriage-in-a-rural-indonesian-society-a-case-of-sexual-conflict

    The Karo of North Sumatra, Indonesia, have a stated preference for marriages between matrilateral cross-cousins, referred to as impal in Karo society. Despite this, “true” impal marriages are rarer than they were in the past. My research, which includes both archival work with church records and quantitative ethnographic work in over 50 Karo villages, suggests that this change has been driven by a conflict of interest between the genders, the result of “sexually antagonistic co-evolution.” Further, the notion that their decline has been driven by Westermarckian negative imprinting—i.e., that they grow up in close proximity and this leads to sexual disinterest—is refuted.
     
    For details: Karo Batak Cousin Marriage, Cosocialization, and the Westermarck Hypothesis http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/anthro/faculty/fessler/pubs/Kuschnick%20&%20Fessler%20CA%20(in%20press).pdf
  52. @FKA Max

    I’m pleased that my mother, Najwa Ghanem, who was my father’s first cousin, was his first wife. The position of the first wife is prestigious in my culture, and that prestige is tripled when the first wife is a first cousin and mother of a first son. Rarely does a Muslim man divorce a wife who is a cousin and the mother of the firstborn son. My parents were bound by blood, marriage, and parenthood.
     
    - http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2009/10/omar-bin-laden-200910

    it is not economic deprivation that fuels these violent explosions, because the participants and principles are not economically deprived. [...] Osama bin Laden was of Yemeni ancestry, but raised wealthy in Saudi Arabia. The influence of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State in poor Muslim countries has clear connections with migration from wealthier nations and Diasporas. Poverty may be fertile ground, but it is almost never the seed.
     
    I have a hypothesis that the combination of Petro-Islam wealth (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petro-Islam) + cousin marriage is the true cause of Islamic terrorism. In the following excerpts below it will explain how affluence has led to a higher frequency of cousin marriages in the Arabic world, which in turn increases the risk of certain mental disorders that are prevalent among (Islamic) terrorists.

    This is not necessary for many Gulf Arabs, who have a guaranteed a minimum income because of resource revenue. Not only has this allowed them to preserve a relatively archaic set of social norms, but I believe it’s also allowed for the baroque elaboration of their customary traditions. I don’t find the second explanation persuasive for most Muslim nations though, as they aren’t as reliant on resource driven revenue, and have had to make more accommodations with the exigencies of the modern world.
     
    - http://www.unz.com/gnxp/the-individual-social-risks-of-cousin-marriage/

    [Consanguinity] is also increasing across the Gulf. Dr Teebi links the trend to tribal tradition and the region's expanding economies. "Rich families tend to marry rich families, and from their own - and the rich like to protect their wealth," he said. "So it's partly economic, and it's also partly cultural." Qatar's Supreme Council of Health aims to change that culture, with an outreach campaign that includes workshops, online information, university lectures and the distribution of educational CDs and brochures.
     
    - http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/qatar-starts-premarital-genetic-screening-for-all

    Conclusion The substantial risk observed in the present study reveals that consanguinity is an important risk factor for schizophrenia in Qatar. In addition, the study confirms that the higher familial risks provide strong genetic epidemiological evidence for the overall heritable effects in the aetiology of schizophrenia.
     
    - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3721918/


    Mental Health Disorders and the Terrorist: A Research Note Probing Selection Effects and Disorder Prevalence

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1057610X.2015.1120099


    The descriptive statistics highlight inherent differences in the types of mental disorders suffered by terrorists—particularly lone-actors—as compared to a general population. There are only three disorders that have a substantially higher prevalence in the lone-actor population (see Figure 2), the most noteworthy being schizophrenia. Schizophrenia has long been accepted as having a prevalence of 1 percent (upper end) in general populations, and has a contentious link to violent behavior. Delusional disorders also hold a litigious link with violence. Those with delusional disorders hold stringent beliefs, seen by others as inconceivable. Parallel to this, lone-actors show high preponderance of single-issue ideologies; highly personal grievances linked to political aims. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) also show a higher than expected prevalence in the lone-actor sample. Although individuals with ASD are not linked to violent behaviors, social interaction deficits impair an individual's ability to maintain functional relationships. However, these individuals often foster intense online relationships, a trait noted in lone-actors with ASD.
     

    I just discovered, that Omar bin Laden was actually treated for schizophrenia:

    Genes, Stress May Have Led to Omar Bin Laden’s Schizophrenia

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/omar-bin-laden-mental-illness-caused-genes-stress/story?id=11624890

    So does Omar bin Laden’s condition suggest anything about his father’s mental health? Without a mental evaluation, it’s impossible to tell whether Osama bin Laden suffers from schizophrenia or some other mental illness. But doctors say schizophrenia tends to run in families.

    Indonesia has one of the lower cousin marriage rates among Islamic countries (http://www.consang.net/images/c/cb/Asia.pdf), plus its economy is relatively diversified and not almost solely dependent on hydrocarbons/commodities when compared to many ”conservative” Gulf States; both factors should work in its favor and should ensure and fasten the pace of its continued modernization.

    Decline of cousin marriage in a rural Indonesian society: A case of sexual conflict?

    http://www.anu.edu.au/events/decline-of-cousin-marriage-in-a-rural-indonesian-society-a-case-of-sexual-conflict

    The Karo of North Sumatra, Indonesia, have a stated preference for marriages between matrilateral cross-cousins, referred to as impal in Karo society. Despite this, “true” impal marriages are rarer than they were in the past. My research, which includes both archival work with church records and quantitative ethnographic work in over 50 Karo villages, suggests that this change has been driven by a conflict of interest between the genders, the result of “sexually antagonistic co-evolution.” Further, the notion that their decline has been driven by Westermarckian negative imprinting—i.e., that they grow up in close proximity and this leads to sexual disinterest—is refuted.

    For details: Karo Batak Cousin Marriage, Cosocialization, and the Westermarck Hypothesis http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/anthro/faculty/fessler/pubs/Kuschnick%20&%20Fessler%20CA%20(in%20press).pdf

    Read More
  53. it is often asserted that material deprivation is the root of Islamic terrorism and Islamism writ large. This is demonstrably false empirically.

    I don’t know a single person who ever believed that nonsense. We all made fun of it, especially Bush telling us we needed to buy things to defeat terrorism. It was always psychobabble. Even my children, who were young at the time, thought it was stupid.

    What isn’t psychobabble is the fact that the Saudis are the ones seeding islamic terrorism around the world by funding wahabism, and it was Saudis who attacked us in 9/11.

    Read More
  54. Keen observation Mr. Khan. Affluence is key to a great deal of misunderstood behavior. Indeed. It appears animals also exhibit similar problems. You are probably familiar with those experiments on grapes vs cucumbers. Although the researchers like to fantasize that a salary and a treat are identical things, the experiments reveal something altogether different, that is, in the absence of need, creatures willingly and needlessly become seriously distraught, angry and violent.

    Read More
  55. Not mentioned the Saudi funding problem. Western support of Saudis enables this.
    http://www.nybooks.com/ articles/2016/10/27/indonesia- the-saudis-are-coming/

    Indonesia: The Saudis Are Coming

    http://www.spiegel.de/ international/world/indonesia- has-found-success-in- moderation-a-1047018.html
    Indonesia’s Secret: In the Kingdom of Gentle Islam

    http://www.giga-hamburg.de/en/ publication/saudi-arabia- exporting-salafi-education- and-radicalizing-indonesia%E2% 80%99s-muslims

    Saudi Arabia Exporting Salafi Education and Radicalizing Indonesia’s Muslims
    GIGA Focus International Edition English, 07/2014

    Frankly I do not know why people willing to follow the thinking of stupid people. Just see how Saudi’s are cratering. Tying US economy (petrodollar) to Saudi has been the greatest foreign policy blunder in US history.

    http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2016/10/kingdom-coming-undone/132775/

    Saudi Arabia: A Kingdom Coming Undone

    Read More
  56. By the way, I found this incredible and accurate assessment of the current tension between the modernist movements in Islam and the ‘old guard’ traditional ulema and the rival claims of legitimacy:

    http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/Archives/English/MilitaryReview_20161031_art011.pdf

    I cannot believe that it was; 1) written by a non-Muslim (as it bespeaks of a profound understanding of the history and the terms involved and the actually major players) and 2) commissioned by the US military.

    It means that some people actually get it – I mean, really understand the problem at a fundamental and detailed level. This is also extremely damning if such voices are being ignored in lieu of inept Neocon voices.

    I may not agree with minutiae – especially the idea that the US should be involved at any level in this tension in the Muslim world – but it is well worth the read.

    Peace.

    Read More
  57. Talha: It was written by a chaplain so their familiarity with how religions work usually translates into other religions too. Otherwise plenty of people get exposed to the information but don’t have the right frame of reference to fully process it.

    Read More

Comments are closed.

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