Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Scientific Observation: People Who Jumped from the WTC Rather Than Burn to Death Were Not Suicidal

Like many of us have, Chapomatic calls attention to the power of language in a religious war. He quotes a comment by JIM GUIRARD — TrueSpeak Institute 703-768-0957 Alexandria, Va.:

Imagine, please, how much more difficult it will be for bin Laden and his murderous ilk to inspire and to sustain the suicidal zealotry of young Muslims — or the approval of any truly devout and faithful Muslims whatever — once these genocidal irhabis (terrorists) come to be viewed by the Umma (the Muslim World) as mufsidoon (evildoers) engaged in Hirabah (unholy war, forbidden “war against society”) and in murtadd (apostasy) against Allah and, therefore, on their way to Jahannam (Eternal Hellfire), instead. Truth in language and truth in Islam are the solutions.

JIM GUIRARD has come to the correct conclusion. Islam must mature. A new "Reform" branch of the religion must emerge to face modern realities. It would be best if Muslims accomplish this rejuvenation on their on volition. If not, it will certainly be accomplished by default.

Their suicide bombers are certainly familiar with the concept of default, according to Scientific American.

According to Florida State University psychologist Thomas Joiner, in his scientific treatise Why People Die by Suicide (Harvard University Press, 2006): "People desire death when two fundamental needs are frustrated to the point of extinction; namely, the need to belong with or connect to others, and the need to feel effective with or to influence others."

According to Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a study of 400 Al Qaeda members found 75% of his sample came from the upper or middle class. the vast majority--90 percent--came from caring, intact families. Sixty-three percent had gone to college, as compared with the 5-6 percent that's usual for the third world. These are the best and brightest of their societies in many ways." They are engineers, architects and civil engineers, mostly scientists. Very few humanities are represented, and quite surprisingly very few had any background in religion."

What gives, then?

In 65 percent of the cases, preexisting friendship bonds played an important role in this process." Those personal connections help to override the natural inclination to avoid self-immolation. "The suicide bombers in Spain are another perfect example. Seven terrorists sharing an apartment and one saying, 'Tonight we're all going to go, guys.' You can't betray your friends, and so you go along. Individually, they probably would not have done it."

In an analysis of State Department data on terrorism, Princeton University economist Alan B. Krueger discovered that "countries like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which have spawned relatively many terrorists, are economically well off yet lacking in civil liberties. Poor countries with a tradition of protecting civil liberties are unlikely to spawn suicide terrorists. Freedom of assembly and peaceful protest without government interference provides an alternative to terrorism."

For Scientific American, reporting a conservative theory like this had to be diificult. Congratulations to Scientific American for some bipartisan objectivity, at last. [Dr. Michael Shermer is editor-in-chief of Skeptic Magazine and director of the Skeptics Society and a monthly columnist for Scientific American]


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