Reza Aslan on the ‘Sudden Jihad Syndrome’

Good take down of  the rhetoric:

Indeed, there’s even a term for this idea: Sudden Jihad Syndrome — an imaginary contagion invented by the neo-conservative commentator Daniel Pipes to describe how any normal-seeming Muslim can suddenly snap for no reason at all and go on a murderous rampage thus proving Pipes point that “all Muslims must be considered potential terrorists”.

Strangely, this causal connection between belief and behavior seems not to be as aggressively applied if the criminal in question claims a different religion than Islam. Take the example of the Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik, who slaughtered 77 people, the majority of them children, in 2011. Breivik explicitly defined himself as a Christian warrior fighting what he called an “existential conflict” with Islam.

Nevertheless, a great deal of the media coverage surrounding his actions seemed to take for granted that his crime had nothing to do with his Christian identity — that it was based instead on his right-wing ideology, or his anti-immigrant views, or his neglectful upbringing, or even, as Ayan Hirshi Ali famously argued, because his view that “Europe will be overrun by Islam” was being censored by a politically correct media, leaving him “no other choice but to use violence.”

All of the above explanations for Breiviks behavior, including his religious beliefs, are pertinent in understanding the motivations for his behavior. But to argue that Breiviks or Bibeaus actions were motivated solely by their religious beliefs — or that their religious beliefs necessarily dictated their actions — is simply irrational.

How strong a tie between faith and terror? | News – Home.

Citizen of Convenience: An Example

A wonderful example of the instrumental approach to citizenship:

In 2009, my elder two daughters both had plans to move to western Europe, so they asked me to apply for Polish citizenship. This would allow them in turn to derive citizenship through me and acquire a European Union passport that allows them freely to live and work in 28 countries.

Poland does not have a first generation limit on passing on citizenship, likely reflecting their wish to maintain strong links with their diasporas as an immigrant sending country. Canada, as an immigrant-receiving country, decided to have a first generation limit to limit access to benefits of citizenship when little or no attachment. Countries a with strong sense of ethnic identity may be more inclined to be encourage citizenship in their diasporas than countries with more civic than ethnic identities.

So Daniel Pipes, a controversial academic and commentator, became Polish as did his children. While obtaining Polish citizenship has an emotional and sentimental connection for him (his parents were Polish), clear that the value of Polish citizenship was the right to live and work freely in the EU.

Not being critical as most of us would likely do the same for our kids if we could.

National Review Online | Print.

PIPES: Islam and its infidels – Washington Times

Daniel Pipes on the distinction between Islam as a religion, and Islamism, as a political/religious ideology.

PIPES: Islam and its infidels – Washington Times.