Monday, January 12, 2015

Sharpening the Contradictions

Not that anyone is interested in what I am reading as news posted on this aging technology called a "weblog", but this commentary by Juan Cole is the best summary of the strategic motivations and larger political context of the attacks in Paris that I have read, and I would like to archive it for discussion and later reference. The article was posted on the day of the shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo.

Al-Qaeda wants to mentally colonize French Muslims, but faces a wall of disinterest. But if it can get non-Muslim French to be beastly to ethnic Muslims on the grounds that they are Muslims, it can start creating a common political identity around grievance against discrimination.
“Sharpening the contradictions” is the strategy of sociopaths and totalitarians, aimed at unmooring people from their ordinary insouciance and preying on them, mobilizing their energies and wealth for the perverted purposes of a self-styled great leader.
The only effective response to this manipulative strategy (as Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani tried to tell the Iraqi Shiites a decade ago) is to resist the impulse to blame an entire group for the actions of a few and to refuse to carry out identity-politics reprisals.

via Hullaballoo

1 comment:

Pete said...

I'm still here and still value the weblog. I've just been too weak minded / lazy to post for the past.. year? Jesus. A lot that has been going on in the news has been very grim, to be fair. And it's hard to get a sense of what is actually going on. I plan on posting soon.

The article is spot on, and the western politicians and electorate are playing into the extremists hands, to be sure. I was as gob-smacked as anyone by David Cameron's proposal to outlaw end-to-end encryption.