Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hanging a Child: "Militants" Touching the Hearts and Minds of Afghanistan

This is - sad, putting it mildly. I'm a father with four surviving children: and grieve with the Afghan police officer.
"Militants hang 8-year-old boy in southern Afghanistan"
David Ariosto, CNN (July 24, 2011)

"An 8 year-old boy was hanged by militants in Afghanistan's Helmand province after the boy's father -- a police officer in the southern city of Gereshk -- refused to comply with militants' demands to provide them with a police vehicle, officials said.

"Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the hanging, saying 'this action is not permitted in any culture or any religions,' according to a statement Sunday, which provided details of the incident...."
I suppose I'm nitpicking - but President Karzai's statement that "this action is not permitted in any culture or any religions" may not be quite true. Between honor killings, and beheaded a man because he wore trousers, it's hard to shake the impression that at least some subcultures in the Islamic world have - interesting? - laws and customs.

Still, assuming that President Karzai meant 'cultures similar to those of post-18th-century Europe and America,' I think he's fairly accurate. Not that cross-burnings are completely unknown, even now.

Points I've made before:
  • Some folks in the Islamic world were yanked from a culture that hadn't changed for millennia into the Information Age
    • In one or two generations
    • No wonder some of them went a bit nuts
  • The "Islamic world" isn't a big, monolithic block of nearly-identical cultures
    • Examples:
      • Saudi Arabia
      • Sudan
      • Indonesia
I think Information Age technology and social structures have forced some Muslims to take a hard look at what they actually believe - and want to believe.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.