Saturday, September 8, 2007

Why many Americans may support Osama bin Laden

Followup to something that I said in response to Extreme Mortman, who himself responded to a comment from richarda.

You don't have to be Annie to welcome a return to the past. Many people (such as John Kobylt) criticize Islam as being backward, but to some people "backward" might be a good thing.

In the video...bin Laden attacked capitalism, multinational corporations and globalization.

"This is why I tell you: as you liberated yourselves before from the slavery of monks, kings and feudalism, you should liberate yourselves from the deception, shackles and attrition of the capitalist system," he said....

And bin Laden refers to:

...the reeling of many of you under the burden of interest-related debts, insane taxes and real estate mortgages; global warming and its woes....

Think about the appeal of the bin Laden alternative to the disenfranchised and dispossed in the United States:

  • Are you weighed down by high interest payments? What about a system in which the charging of interest is not only illegal, but immoral?

  • If the technological changes that result in global warming upset you, why not return to the earlier simplicity of treadle pumps?

  • And if you're disgusted by pornography, have we got a solution for you!
And if this sounds silly, think about where the Black Muslims got their initial support. (The same thing is happening in South Africa.) And remember that John Walker Lindh was somehow inspired to forsake his American lifestyle for something that he thought was far better.

In fact it's quite possible that the old "Moral Majority" crowd, who was always more interest in morality than in God the Father/Son/Holy Spirit, may end up being Osama's biggest supporters.

Interestingly enough, Jihad Watch has concluded that Christiane Amanpour's TV series "God's Warriors" lumps Al Qaeda, the Moral Majority, BattleCry, and homeschooling parents in the same category. And while Jihad Watch retorts that the Moral Majority didn't carry AK-47s, don't forget that many Muslims refer to Christians as "Crusaders."

While I don't see the Moral Majority and Al Qaeda themselves finding common ground, it's quite possible that kinder, gentler versions of these organizations could join together in some type of "Muslims and Christians Against Materialism" (MACAM). Although I doubt that's a palindrome in Arabic.

Of course, people would turn to Jesus rather than Osama if we truly followed the word of God. Remember these words from Deuteronomy (among many others in the Old Testament and New):

Deuteronomy 15:1-11 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

1 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. 2 This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel the loan he has made to his fellow Israelite. He shall not require payment from his fellow Israelite or brother, because the LORD's time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. 3 You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your brother owes you. 4 However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, 5 if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. 6 For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.

7 If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. 8 Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. 9 Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: "The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near," so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10 Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.

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mlankton said...

I'll take interest-laden debts and capitalist-imperialist oppression over living in dust. I need cable internet and health insurance.