Being one of those blue eyed Midwestern guys, what you touched on here Formless is what baffles me the most. And I will admit until having this discussion with you I was well on the way to having a nasty hatred of all things Islam despite my best efforts to reason. As you touched on it is kind of to be expected after something like 9/11 though that does not justify it.
Having said all of that the heart of my point is that I look at things like 9/11 and wonder how to hell Bin Laden thought that would turn out well? How do these extremists feel that by acts of murder the world will see them as a prophet or what have you? Or going beyond 9/11 other acts of great violence by other extremists and then they seem shocked that it does not work out. For a long time I subscribed such a well for lack of a better description odd mind set to either the religion or culture. But now after talking with you I am thinking that reasoning is flawed.
So I was wondering if in your opinion Formless is it some quirk of Islam that makes what seems like something that would be ultimately counter productive like 9/11 appeal to the extremists? Or is it something outside of religion and they are just choosing to use Islam as a cover? Because honestly when I look at a Bin Laden or the fellow who leads al Qaeda now (I will not butcher his name in my poor attempt at spelling) I see intelligent men. They could not have done what they have if they were not smart, but how on earth can someone think acts of terrorism and violence is ultimately going to champion their cause in a good light? It just defies rational thought to me and for years I have unfairly so attributed it to Islam. I feel like just calling them insane is dumbing down the whole discussion, but I just look at this and wonder why when it ultimately harms their cause.
My opinion on the matter? Maybe Bin Laden was intelligent in a military sense. Politically? Not so much.
I don't think anyone can really know what was he thinking when he did what he did ( Conspiracy theory aside , as I never even put any thought into these ). He says he's a Muslim , alright , but how does killing the innocent is an Islam virtue? If
Bin Laden chose a Military target only with the 9/11 strike , he may have earned some more support from an extremist party. However , doing what he did by taking down a non military building filled with innocent people , he never even followed the religion he preaches about , let alone serves it.
And even after the 9/11 strike , he spent his whole life in hiding. Throwing threats and never even following them through. To me he looked like some misguided war monger who lost all cause and realized he was up against the world , and not a mere country or an adversary.
He could've been fooled. He could've thought that when they deliver the strike and said his speech after the incident that everyone will answer his ' call to arms'. But it all failed. Its not a war when you're hiding. Its not a war when you kill civilians and can't even shoot a single bullet at the opposing army.
He could've thought he can offer Islam , the respect he think its deserves.
That Islam was being taunted and disrespected. But all he did was channel the world's entire hatred towards it. I mean how am I supposed to explain to someone who lost a dear family rememberi n the strike that I am a Muslim and I hold no ill will towards them , when someone hiding in a cave blatantly said that this is the way of Muslims.
Quite frankly , Bin Laden was an idiot in his ways. He can be thrown into a battlefield maybe , but to lead the people? Never. And I wouldn't even bother trying to understand him. He was hiding in his caves and houses , while we , the real Muslims suffered the consequences of what he did. We never asked for his war. We were satisfied with out peaceful relationships with the whole world. We were happy with the way things were.