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of the roots of middle eastern terrorism. I think you have demonstrated that those roots are not necessarily religious, much less Islamic in nature, and are in fact the fruits of oppression by despotic regimes in the region which nowadays are mostly religiously inspired by Salafism or Zionism. In some sense, they are therefore a revolt against one's own religion as corrupted by others, or against a rival religion. The methods used, however, owe little to Islamic Tradition, even the Islamic tradition of martyrdom, and more to the tactical exigencies that terrorists face:  They have no other effective means.

I am therefore interested in your conclusion in your seed comment: DoDo:

In my mind, tradition is a greater and deeper evil than religion

Surely tradition is no more than a routinisation of things as they have been done in the past with their current function being to maintain order, stability, and the status quo in a tribe.  Traditions can be both good and bad - continuing practices which had a positive function in the past - e.g. burial rituals as a means of dealing with grief. It is only when they become politicised as a means of oppressing one group by another that they become evil in your sense.

In the neutral, sociological sense, tradition is merely a means of passing on the learnings of one generation to the next.  It is when those traditions become ossified, impervious to changed circumstances or greater learning, that they need to be replaced by updated traditions, and that can be a difficult process because many vested interests are tied in with the older tradition.

But traditions, in themselves will always be part of any society. The question is whether, at any one point in time, they are predominantly for the good, or evil. The question we must ask is what function they are serving at any one point in time, and whether that function is in need of change.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jun 5th, 2016 at 01:13:28 PM EST

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