Wednesday, 4 February 2015

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ISIS kills gays: A history of violence
Mark Boothroyd posted this yesterday. Apart from the revealing photos, the article argues that we shouldn't view ISIS as being against gays but against what it sees as deviant behaviour.
I'm doubtful about this. Firstly, it seems like the recontextualisation that some of the more academic writers on the left engage in to present an issue as what they want to talk about, and to attack others for simplification. The only point at which I thought this had any justification was when the gay writer mentioned blamed radical Islam for ISIS' attitude to gays. But I think Scott Long makes a similar mistake in elevating ISIS' understanding of Islam as the basis for their actions. It is politics, rather than religion, that seems to me the primary explanation of those jihadists who have taken up arms against the West and Arab rulers. ISIS consists of those who haven't gone to Syria to fight injustice, but to set up a caliphate on the rubble. Thus it fits with a cartoonish version of Islam, as it represents submission to those with no intention of fighting injustice of any kind. Thus the women taken as sex-slaves, and the other elements of a pre-modern nightmare. I think this points to ISIS as a temporary phenomenon, only in existence because of the deliberate weakening of the Syrian people, unable to survive as a real state over an extended period. And it matters little to those thrown off buildings if it is because they are gay, or because they engage in homosexual activity.

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