A new explanation of Islamic extremism: hot weather and stress

Paul K. writes:

One of the ongoing features at VFR has been your compilation of Non-Islam Theories of Jihad, meaning explanations of jihad that have nothing to do with Islam. I wonder if you heard that Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. military officer in Afghanistan, has said that the “stress, hunger and dehydration associated with Ramadan fasting” and the “harsh summer weather” may have been partially responsible for the most recent killing of American troops by their Afghan trainees. [LA replies: Of course Ramadan is just one month of the year; while these insider killings have been going on continually.]

“I think that the holy month of Ramadan demands great sacrifice of Muslims who observe it,” Marine Gen. John Allen told reporters via video feed from Kabul. “The idea that they will fast during the day places great strain on them.”

Even with a reduced operational tempo and an emphasis on planning missions in the morning or evening hours when the temperature was cooler, Allen said, it was still very hot and the operations were “very aggressive.”

“We take that as a potential reason, not the reason for an upswing,” Allen said.

According to the article in Stars and Stripes, the official army newspaper, “In the 73 attacks by Afghan security troops targeting coalition forces since 2007, 110 coalition troops have been killed. This year, 40 NATO troops have been killed in 32 attacks. However, General Allen offers hope:

When a unit is attacked, it creates “a moment of crisis, but that crisis can be overcome and is usually overcome by the application of the great leadership that is the hallmark of our forces today,” Allen said. [LA replies: Allen’s statement should read: “but that crisis can be overcome and is usually overcome by the application of the Orwellian brainwashing that is the hallmark of the U.S. military today.”]

Leadership is the key to making sure troops don’t turn to retribution, Allen said, and instead recognize the value of continuing to work together. [LA replies: Change that to: “Orwellian brainwashing is the key to making sure troops don’t turn to retribution, and instead recognize the value of continuing to work together.”]

In one case, “one of our battalion commanders publicly and openly hugged his Afghan battalion counterpart,” he said. “And that solved the problem right on the spot.”

Hugs—that’s the answer! As a commenter said earlier, it’s hard to see how the Onion can compete.

LA replies:

Thanks for this. As I was reading Gen. Allen’s statement, I was making noises of astonishment and disbelief that cannot be rendered into the Latin alphabet.

Gen. Allen’s theory will of course be added to my catalogue of Non-Islam Theories of Islamic Extremism. It will be entitled: “Summer heat and Ramadan fasting cause Afghans to murder their American trainers.”

- end of initial entry -

Beth M. writes:

So now that the military has discovered a link between Ramadan fasting and jihad, they will, of course, be discontinuing joint training exercises during Ramadan?

Even if Ramadan fasting DOES contribute to people losing their tempers, etc., the things that Muslims SAY and DO when they lose their tempers just shows what was in their hearts in the first place. And in their hearts, they hate us.

Leonard K. writes:

The title of the linked article is “Allen blames some insider attacks on stress of Ramadan fasting.” My first reaction was: “Did Allen realize that he was insulting Muslims?” After all, how can you BLAME anything on Ramadan? However, after a short afterthought, I decided that he was actually complimenting Muslims. For them, Ramadan has inspired and urged them to do the RIGHT thing! The infidel has just confirmed that!

Allan Wall writes:

This raises all sorts of possibilities. Since Ramadan does not have a fixed date in our calendar, and is based on a lunar calendar, it moves backwards through the year, meaning it is not always in the summer. Ramadan takes a turn at being celebrated during every month of the year of our calendar. We could do a study, comparing terrorist attacks during a July Ramadan in one year with a December Ramadan in another year.

Plus, climate differences could be studied. Terrorist attacks by Muslims in hot weather climes could be contrasted with those of cold weather climes.

A chart could be drawn up with a series of formulas to calculate probability of Islamic attacks based on Ramadan and the climate. Then our soldiers could download all this information in the field, in order to plan their operations!

Of course the chart would contain no references whatsoever to such irrelevant concepts as jihad and sharia.

LA replies:

It could be marketed as a smartphone app. Based on the time of year, the temperature, and whether it’s Ramadan or not, as well as other Sudden Jihad Syndrome-inducing factors yet to be determined, the app would tell you whether it’s safe to meet with a Muslim on that particular day and at that particular time.

Lisa F. writes:

Daily fasts during Ramadan begin at dawn and end at sunset. This is a real sacrifice indeed. For doing this all of their past sins are forgiven.

Lisa F. writes:

I just now read the additional post by you and Mr. Wall. Very funny. Since the Ramadan fast is during the daylight, y’all will need to calculate the variation in daylight hours as the seasons change. The optimum time for Gen. Allen will be in the winter with the cooler temperatures and the bonus of shorter days.

Terry Morris writes:

I suggest that you include in your summation of this new “non-Islam” theory that Muslims fast during Ramadan because that is what their religion teaches them to do. So any connection to be made between Muslim fasting during Ramadan and infidel killing during Ramadan is at least indirectly caused by Islam.

LA replies:

According to the theory, it’s purely an accidental result of Islam, not a result of Islam commanding certain behaviors.

Allan Wall replies:

You wrote “According to the theory, it’s purely an accidental result of Islam, not a result of Islam commanding certain behaviors.”

But, after all, didn’t Mitt Romney himself declare that jihad has nothing to do with Islam?

LA replies:

Indeed he did, and I realize I have not yet included Romney’s idea in my list of Non-Islam Theories of Islamic Extremism. Most of the other theories simply deny the existence of jihadism, the commands to wage Holy War etc. They say that when Muslims commit what we consider jihadist acts, they are really being driven by cultural alienation, or by anger at being “Left Behind” by the West, or by resentment at Western Islamophobia, or by sexual frustration, or by hot weather, etc. But Romney does something altogether different from these other non-Islam theorists. He admits the existence of jihadism, but says that this jihadism is an entirely separate entity from Islam.

His theory is somewhat similar to the neocon theory of Islamic extremism, which is that jihadism exists, but that it’s the result of a modern totalitarian ideology being grafted on to Islam. But the neocons do not say—as Romney says—that jihadism is an entirely separate entity from Islam.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 04, 2012 09:34 AM | Send

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