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34 comments

I pretty much agree with the article (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 7 years ago | (#16687007)

Aaaargh! I'm turning into a extreme-right adherend! ;-)

But there is nothing we can do about it. I cannot afford children for the moment, and even then a maximum of 2 it will be. In the long run the Muslims will win. Such is life.

Re:I pretty much agree with the article (1)

eglamkowski (631706) | more than 7 years ago | (#16688277)

Oh, we COULD do something about it alright, but the western nations normally refuse to descend to that level of barbarity.
At least for now.

Re:I pretty much agree with the article (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 7 years ago | (#16688511)

Mark my words: We'll need the Americans again. We have no militaries worth speaking of.

Re:I pretty much agree with the article (1)

eglamkowski (631706) | more than 7 years ago | (#16688877)

The only way militaries will help is if they are used RIGHT NOW. 50 or 100 years from now it will be entirely too late to use militaries to deal with the discrepencies in population growth rates. And like I said, right now the west is unwilling to do what it would take to prevent this fate from befalling us. So basically, we're doomed.

Re:I pretty much agree with the article (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 7 years ago | (#16689559)

The problem is that genocide has gotten a bit of a stigma 60 years ago. Racism has gotten a similar stigma, even tough it stayed around a bit longer. The problem is political correctness. One cannot call an "asshole" and "asshole" anymore because it is a "socially less friendly person" instead.

Good luck selling genocide and racism to people these days... You'll be banned off-air as soon as you open your mouth. No, it's not censorship, it is "political correctness".

Yes, we are doomed... At least you US guys have few more decennia you can hold out. We'll be Muslim within my generation. My granddaughters will go to school with head scarves. *if* they go to school at all.

only immigration can save us (1)

Mantorp (142371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16688325)

preferably lots of condom fearing catholics, wonder where where we can find any of those around these parts?

Re:only immigration can save us (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16691011)

If you haven't noticed, even the condom-fearing Catholics long ago discovered Natural Family Planning- they're aging too (I made this remark at the last Men's Breakfast at my parish- that at 34, I was the youngest guy there, and still would be past my 35th birthday in a couple of weeks). Catholics who are the same age as many of the Islamic suicide bombers- are in the midst of their questioning years and don't even want to go to Sunday Mass let alone fight for their heritage.

Blah blah blah (1)

leoPetr (926753) | more than 7 years ago | (#16688375)

So, how many armoured battalions has "Islam" got? How many heavy industries to churn out weapons of war? Are these scary youths supposed to mass together and attack en horde in some sort of a latter day People's Crusade? They may have AK-47s, but you can't win an offensive war with those against a foe that has tanks, destroyers, choppers, and machine gun emplacements. You can only charge in bravely and die.

Egypt's not attacking anyone as long as the Aswan dam exists upstream of Cairo. Iran can't attack Russia and they won't attack Turkey, so WTF do we care about Iran? Pakistan has India to war against, but no one's accusing India of courting population collapse. Indonesia isn't a threat to anyone. Which Islamic country is supposed to wage war on the world again? None of the bigshots qualify.

Kids that spent their youths toting AK-47s instead of learning their arses some chemistry and calculus are useless as adults. They make good grunts, but you need lieutenants and generals for world conquest. A nation of grunts isn't going to be a superpower 20 years down the road.

Another thing that the article isn't mentioning is that the fertility of immigrants to Europe, Muslim or not, is also falling like a rock. It's above replacement, but it's not going to stay there for long. They are assimilating, but many in France have skin colour issues that they'll get around to resolving sooner or later.

I realize that the point of this fear-mongering is to motivate historical Westerners into reproducing. Bah. Demographics, shmemographics.

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16689091)

I'm not sure we read the same article Leo. Let me summarize radically and see if you understand why military is irrelevant to his argument (regardless of whether his argument is correct).

Demographically, the Muslim world is expanding and has been for some time. Demographically, the European/Western world is shrinking, and has been for some time. At some point, there will be an overwhelming enough number of Muslims versus the older groups in Europe/the West that "the people" will be able and willing to vote in Sharia as the law of the land, and this demographic shift makes military positions of both sides moot, non sequitur even.

I see other flaws in his logic, and I am not quite so pessimistic that it will come to that here in the US, but I'd be surprised if we don't see some attempt at this somewhere. After all, we see the same tactic being employed by fundies here.

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

leoPetr (926753) | more than 7 years ago | (#16690447)

Alright, consider France:
- 62% Roman Catholic
- 26% no religion
- 6% Muslim
- 2% Protestant
- 2% Other
- 1% Jewish

Let's imagine that the non-Muslim population halves:
- 58% Roman Catholic
- 25% no religion
- 11% Muslim
- 2% Protestant
- 2% Other
- 1% Jewish

And then halves again:
- 52% Roman Catholic
- 23% no religion
- 20% Muslim
- 2% Protestant
- 2% Other
- 1% Jewish

And then halves for a third time:
- 43% Roman Catholic
- 19% no religion
- 33% Muslim

That's three generations down the line, Muslims still can't vote themselves rulers of France, and it assumes that current cultural trends continue indefinitely. My money is on gradual assimilation and a re-embracing of reproduction simply due to cultural drift.

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16690561)

You are completely ignoring the effect of immigration.

Honestly Leo, you started out arguing against a point the article wasn't even making, I'm not sure how much credibility that leaves you here.

Add in the fact that I'd swear I've seen you making similar arguments about the demographics of fundamentalist Christians versus atheist intellectuals, and I really am confused at your knee jerk rejection.

I think he gets some key points wrong (personally, I think cultural assimilation is a better defense than he does, with his dismissive comments about French "youth"), but generally it is a reasoned argument rather than a flat out "The Muslims are Coming, we must shut them out" one.

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 7 years ago | (#16691001)

My point about this article - and a good, sobering article it is - was going to be yours here - I think cultural assimilation is a better defense than he does

I was musing about what happens when a Muslim hard-line comes to the Socialistic countries of Europe. It won't happen in a generation, and by that time, the "youth" will be used to their comforts. "I do not like that comfortable chair!" says the grandfather. "But it sure is comfortable..." says the grandson.

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16698611)

I think that cultural assimilation for hard line Islamics as a strategy is a good idea- but a really bad strategy as it will never work until somebody is able to show them that democracy creates *better* justice than Shiarah.

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16699455)

We no more need assimilation of "hard line Islamics" than we need to require assimilation of Unabomber types. It's the not so hard line "Islamics" that provide a petri dish for the hard liners that need to be assimilated; the more assimilated they are, the harder it will be for the hard liners to blend in.

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704195)

The real problem is- Justice and freedom seem to be mutually exclusive from some points of view. The more freedom we have, the less justice is possible.

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704689)

I'm curious what points of view they don't conflict in? Seriously, I think the fact that so many get away with so much that is clearly unethical *at the least* in our society in the USA does underscore the problem trying to find a balance.

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16705321)

I'm curious what points of view they don't conflict in?

I don't have time to look up the reference right now- but St. Paul had a very nice essay on this in the New Testament. Justice doesn't conflict with freedom when you choose to use your freedom to create justice was the basic concept. Being free to do the right thing was very important in his mind- and that's what Christ bought him.

Seriously, I think the fact that so many get away with so much that is clearly unethical *at the least* in our society in the USA does underscore the problem trying to find a balance.

And it makes me really wonder about anybody who would want *more* freedom than the USA offers currently.

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

Ethelred Unraed (32954) | more than 7 years ago | (#16691515)

You are completely ignoring the effect of immigration.

Actually, he isn't. France's non-Muslim population won't be halving that fast -- France in particular actually has a fairly good birthrate (relatively speaking), and Europe in general is becoming increasingly allergic to immigration -- even the new EU members can't immigrate freely within the EU like the old ones can, and if Turkey ever does become a member, it will only happen with severe restrictions on their freedom of movement.

What the article also ignores is integration, which doesn't always work (which is why the banlieus occasionally go blooey), but by far most Muslims are actually quite well integrated, and integration is long-term the only sane and practical solution (the other option is either all-out genocide or at least a total ban on immigration, when immigration is just what Europe needs to save its cherished social nets). Integration already works pretty well in Germany: These days the Turks going down the street 'round these parts are hard to tell apart from Germans (many could easily pass for a Bavarian in their physical appearance -- southern Germans tend to be darker, and many Turks are quite fair-skinned). Only when you hear their names do you realize they're a Turk.

Take this person [www.ekin.de] or this person [oezdemir.de] , both members of Germany's parliament who are of Muslim and Turkish extraction (the latter even speaks with a Swabian accent). The author of the article would no doubt see "Muslim" and "Member of Parliament" and wig out. Except that both have forcefully spoken out against the use of headscarves, as one example, and both have spoken out in favor of integration and assimilation of immigrants, such as mandatory German classes.

I also think it's odd that America crosses the 300 million mark, and people panic about America being upwards of 500 million people by 2050, yet we're supposed to be worried about Muslims overwhelming us. Europe's population overall is forecast to stay stable for the time being and probably will go up again once the various governments get their brain-dead policies straightened out. "Das Boot ist voll" rhetoric just misses the point as well.

The article's just being alarmist. If we listen too much to people like that, we'll end up making even worse mistakes than we are now. Don't compound the error by throwing away our humanity.

Cheers,

Ethelred

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

Ethelred Unraed (32954) | more than 7 years ago | (#16691653)

Aaargh -- Cem Özdemir isn't a member of the German parliament anymore -- he's a member of the EU Parliament now. Anyway, the point stands.

For grins and giggles, though, Wikipedia has a list of prominent Turkish Germans [wikipedia.org] . If you don't believe a Turk can look German, try this on for size [wikipedia.org] or this [wikipedia.org] or this [wikipedia.org] or this [wikipedia.org] .

Cheers,

Ethelred

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

leoPetr (926753) | more than 7 years ago | (#16693191)

Okay, I probably was a bit kneejerk and overly dismissive. I'll try to explain my reasoning. The article asserts that the future belongs to Islam. It then mentions 9/11, which is an external rather than an internal attack -- demographics don't come into that. It is mentioned that the median age in Palestine is 15.1 years -- which is certainly an interesting point, but an outlier that's not relevant to a discussion of demographics in Europe. Palestinians are reproducing a lot because there are no jobs and little electricity. That means that there's a lot of shagging. Unlike actual Muslim countries, Palestine is a bit of a war zone and it's hard to disseminate birth control information. That means there's a lot of reproduction. It's a bit of a pickle for Israel, which is in a no-win situation, but it's not a good analogy for other places. The article states that no human society has ever survived a fertility rate as low as Greece's or Italy's -- but we don't have any actual parallels. Even if the population falls to a sixteenth of what it is now, it is still two or three degrees of magnitude above the size of a minimal breeding population. And it won't fall that far. Culture and siblings and childhood and extended families are part of the same gestalt, part of the same feedback cycle. The next generation is going to reproduce more than this one did, and it's culture won't be very different from ours. (Canada, incidentally, isn't running out of babies. The article is mistaken. We are above replacement.) There's also a whole bunch of social welfare bashing without even a polite veneer statistics -- Hezbollah provides free healthcare, education, and garbage collection -- that sets me on edge, and leaves me in no particular mood to consider the assertion that countries are obsolete. That's what the Taliban fought against the Soviets for -- to rule the country of Afghanistan. That's what the Islamic militias that defeated the warlords are fighting the Western puppet for -- to become Somalia. If we compare them to older revolutionaries, then there may be Trotskies and Napoleons among them, ones who consider the idea of Islam in one country foolish -- but they won't be followed by their troops. Somalians are fighting for peace and order, however harsh, in Somalia. That's all they are fighting for. The Russia-China relationship is very good right now -- they have formed a defensive alliance in the form of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, among other things. Also, China has no great love for Islam. They've been pretty harsh on the Muslims in the west of the country. They are quite happy with realpolitik, subsidizing genocide in Sudan in exchange for oil, but they will land very hard on anyone who messes with them. The Bush Administration started calling it "the Long War" because they want to spin their moronic invasion of Iraq as inevitable and not their fault at all. It's not a secret admission -- it's intentional spin. The stuff about robots in Japan makes sense. The stuff about clones does not -- clones are still exactly like all other fertilized eggs. But I am sure that there is a lot of research being done on gestation and artificial wombs. Go Japan! :) Finally, as you've said, the article underestimates cultural assimilation. It also underestimates cultural drift. The number of tweaks our culture needs to start reproducing like crazy is very reasonable, and probable to be triggered on its own by population decrease.

Good formatting (1)

leoPetr (926753) | more than 7 years ago | (#16693347)

Okay, I probably was a bit kneejerk and overly dismissive. I'll try to explain my reasoning.

The article asserts that the future belongs to Islam. It then mentions 9/11, which is an external rather than an internal attack -- demographics don't come into that.

It is mentioned that the median age in Palestine is 15.1 years -- which is certainly an interesting point, but an outlier that's not relevant to a discussion of demographics in Europe. Palestinians are reproducing a lot because there are no jobs and little electricity. That means that there's a lot of shagging. Unlike actual Muslim countries, Palestine is a bit of a war zone and it's hard to disseminate birth control information. That means there's a lot of reproduction. It's a bit of a pickle for Israel, which is in a no-win situation, but it's not a good analogy for other places.

The article states that no human society has ever survived a fertility rate as low as Greece's or Italy's -- but we don't have any actual parallels. Even if the population falls to a sixteenth of what it is now, it is still two or three degrees of magnitude above the size of a minimal breeding population. And it won't fall that far. Culture and siblings and childhood and extended families are part of the same gestalt, part of the same feedback cycle. The next generation is going to reproduce more than this one did, and it's culture won't be very different from ours. (Canada, incidentally, isn't running out of babies. The article is mistaken. We are above replacement.)

There's also a whole bunch of social welfare bashing without even a polite veneer statistics -- Hezbollah provides free healthcare, education, and garbage collection -- that sets me on edge, and leaves me in no particular mood to consider the assertion that countries are obsolete. That's what the Taliban fought against the Soviets for -- to rule the country of Afghanistan. That's what the Islamic militias that defeated the warlords are fighting the Western puppet for -- to become Somalia. If we compare them to older revolutionaries, then there may be Trotskies and Napoleons among them, ones who consider the idea of Islam in one country foolish -- but they won't be followed by their troops. Somalians are fighting for peace and order, however harsh, in Somalia. That's all they are fighting for.

The Russia-China relationship is very good right now -- they have formed a defensive alliance in the form of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, among other things. Also, China has no great love for Islam. They've been pretty harsh on the Muslims in the west of the country. They are quite happy with realpolitik, subsidizing genocide in Sudan in exchange for oil, but they will land very hard on anyone who messes with them.

The Bush Administration started calling it "the Long War" because they want to spin their moronic invasion of Iraq as inevitable and not their fault at all. It's not a secret admission -- it's intentional spin.

The stuff about robots in Japan makes sense. The stuff about clones does not -- clones are still exactly like all other fertilized eggs. But I am sure that there is a lot of research being done on gestation and artificial wombs. Go Japan! :)

Finally, as you've said, the article underestimates cultural assimilation. It also underestimates cultural drift. The number of tweaks our culture needs to start reproducing like crazy is very reasonable, and probable to be triggered on its own by population decrease.

Re:Blah blah blah (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16691051)

So, how many armoured battalions has "Islam" got? How many heavy industries to churn out weapons of war? Are these scary youths supposed to mass together and attack en horde in some sort of a latter day People's Crusade? They may have AK-47s, but you can't win an offensive war with those against a foe that has tanks, destroyers, choppers, and machine gun emplacements. You can only charge in bravely and die.

As Ghandi proved- none of those machines work if they are clogged with the dead bodies of their enemies. If you have enough people, you can afford a 1:1000 kill ratio- and since they've got 10 million vs our 500,000 strong army....the US doesn't stand a chance.

Not to worry ... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16688517)

All religions decline and die. This time its christianity that's being shuffled off to the trash heap, thanks to better education and communications.

There is nothing to prevent that from happening with any other religion ... until only the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster [venganza.org] is left.

Seriously, this process has happened over and over throughout history. Cultures change, and abandon their roots.

Re:Not to worry ... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16691111)

This time its christianity that's being shuffled off to the trash heap, thanks to better education and communications.

Islam != Atheism. And if you had RTFAd- you'd see that those with better education and communications are the very ones who are demographically doomed to be forced at gunpoint into the mosques 5 times a day.

Re:Not to worry ... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16697131)

Islam != Atheism

Never said it was. What I said is "This time its christianity that's being shuffled off to the trash heap, thanks to better education and communications."

This has happened plenty of times in human history. We don't see too much worship of Ra the Sun God or Mithras or Thor or Diana or a number of dead religions. People grow out of them, and replace them with the "next big thing", or with nothing.

And if you had RTFAd- you'd see that those with better education and communications are the very ones who are demographically doomed to be forced at gunpoint into the mosques 5 times a day.

If you'd put down your cultural blinders, you'd realize that Islam is no worse than Christianity. Or did you miss your history class on the Crusades, or the whole "The Jews killed Jesus and they eat babies" thing used by christians to incite hatred against jews? That last one is alive and kicking among the Klansmen in your country.

On a related topic, look at how many are still spouting "The jews control hollywood" "the jews control the banks" and other rubbish.

Re:Not to worry ... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16697253)

Never said it was. What I said is "This time its christianity that's being shuffled off to the trash heap, thanks to better education and communications."

This has happened plenty of times in human history. We don't see too much worship of Ra the Sun God or Mithras or Thor or Diana or a number of dead religions. People grow out of them, and replace them with the "next big thing", or with nothing.


Ah, except for by all rights, Islam's Allah Worshipers have nothing to do with better education and communications- and what is likely to be wiped away in the end will be atheistic science, because it brings us bad things like computers, tv sets, and radios.

If you'd put down your cultural blinders, you'd realize that Islam is no worse than Christianity.

No, I've already admited that one- it's EXACTLY THE SAME, and seems to be following the same path. Remember what Queen Elizabeth's Protestants did to the Roman Catholic Priests? Think that with C-4 and AK-47s; and it's the liberal atheistic society that has the most to fear this time around.

Or did you miss your history class on the Crusades, or the whole "The Jews killed Jesus and they eat babies" thing used by christians to incite hatred against jews? That last one is alive and kicking among the Klansmen in your country.

I'm well aware of it, but a much better parallel is the wars of the Reformation; only this time the fundamentalists seem to have a very large upper hand.

On a related topic, look at how many are still spouting "The jews control hollywood" "the jews control the banks" and other rubbish.

Well, look at the credits on the next movie you watch- or for that matter, the strange economy of the United States which is basically designed to support LA and New York City and be damned with the rest. Even racism has a core of truth to it.

Re:Not to worry ... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16699839)

You seem to forget that the arabs gave us quite a lot of culture. Including such concepts as the number zero. They're not all wide-eyed religious zealots bent on destroying the world, no matter now much comfort^Wprofit BushCheneyHalliburton can draw from that position.

On a related topic, look at how many are still spouting "The jews control hollywood" "the jews control the banks" and other rubbish.
Well, look at the credits on the next movie you watch- or for that matter, the strange economy of the United States which is basically designed to support LA and New York City and be damned with the rest. Even racism has a core of truth to it.

I won't even bother dignifying that with an answer. Excuse me while I go wash my hands.

Re:Not to worry ... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704353)

You seem to forget that the arabs gave us quite a lot of culture. Including such concepts as the number zero.

Not since *before* the Reformation. 7th Century Catholicism gave us the Gregorian Chant as well. My argument is that something in Islam recently snapped- changing certain sects from rational religions to irrational ones. Gee- a lot like the Christian Reformation. And in support of my lifecycles of religions theory- right on time too (about 1400 years since Mohammed walked the planet- just as the Christian Reformation happened about 1500 years after Christ).

They're not all wide-eyed religious zealots bent on destroying the world, no matter now much comfort^Wprofit BushCheneyHalliburton can draw from that position.

That's the wrong trinity to be listening to when it comes to Islamic Zealotism- a bunch of Christian Zealots. No, who you really should be listening to are Imam Mahdi, Imam Zaid Shakir, and one that should really scare you (since you're Canadian and his purpose is to convert Canada: Imam Abu Hanifah.

I won't even bother dignifying that with an answer. Excuse me while I go wash my hands.

See my JE on the subject of liberal blind spots sometime.

I've been saying this for YEARS (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16690257)

That the real choice is about how our children will worship and what kind of theocracy their government will be. Fortunately- world dominion Islam is easy to attack becasue they have based their whole identity on a prophecy that is tied to a single city. Unfortuneately, we refuse to attack that city- and thus we will lose. READ THE KORAN people- it's all laid out there for those who are willing to see.

Spain needs pregnancies? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 7 years ago | (#16690357)

I'll do what we can. Send me in, coach. I've been resting for almost three months. I'm ready.

Imperial soft landing? (1)

peacefinder (469349) | more than 7 years ago | (#16690407)

Islam may or may not be the demographic that topples the [ christian | european + north american | NATO ] nations from global dominance, but it is inevitable that someone will. Nothing lasts forever.

The US's lead in technlogy and resources that saw us rise to dominance in the last century will fade away. Globalization of industrialization and information means that any region has the potential to come together in a bid for power. The time will come when we will not be able to contest such a bid. (The time might already be at hand. Imagine that North Korea is under China's control. Imagine that NK attacks the south while we're still deeply involved in Iraq. Once we're deeply involved there too, imagine that China dumps its dollar holdings to induce a hard crash in the US economy. Military power tied down, economic power crippled... what's left, and Hu fills the void?)

The only certainty is change, and we'd best be ready to adapt.

Offtopic musing:

The PNAC plan [newamericancentury.org] was, I thnk, a plan to use our current dominance to achieve an extended and nakedly imperial dominance. It's a hard idea, and not necessarily a bad one. It would buy us another fifty years of dominance, at the cost of greatly amplifying resentment of the US around the world. But I think it ignored the inevitability of the decline of our dominance, and the backlash that would follow the end of such aggressive dominance.

I think it would be wiser for us to use our strength to build lasting goodwill in the world. When the time comes that the US is weak, I want the world to remember us for our ideals and for the Marshall Plan, instead of for an unprovoked invasion halfway around the planet. We can manage the decline, mitigate the backlash, and make a soft landing for our empire... or we can fall hard and suffer greatly.

Re:Imperial soft landing? (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16690633)

The PNAC plan [newamericancentury.org] was, I thnk, a plan to use our current dominance to achieve an extended and nakedly imperial dominance. It's a hard idea, and not necessarily a bad one.

I think Rome has already shown that this is only burning passengers for fuel to stay aloft.

I love my weird metaphors :)

If we had raped a Catholic Middle East (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16693227)

For their oil, the result would be the same.

Ideology is not the basis of conflict - it is a rationalizing and rallying force.

The movie Syriana is flawed, in the complete omission of Israel and international finance, but it makes pretty clear the political causes of 'conflict'.

Re:If we had raped a Catholic Middle East (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16697349)

For their oil, the result would be the same.

I doubt it. Do you know what happens to young Catholic men with no prospects sexually or financially? They become monks.

Ideology is not the basis of conflict - it is a rationalizing and rallying force.

Prior to about 1990, I would have agreed with you. The theology of Individual Jihad changed that.

The movie Syriana is flawed, in the complete omission of Israel and international finance, but it makes pretty clear the political causes of 'conflict'.

But in the 1990s, the political gave way to the theological- the *individualized* search for One Justice, One World, One City, One God. This makes al Qaeda a double edged sword- as likely to end up killing bin Laden as following him.
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