Monday, February 1, 2016

Terrorist, Zealot

I was watching The Blacklist last week. A character said something about a criminal they had caught being a Zealot.

A bell went off in my head.

I, we, many of us, have been talking about religious fundamentalists, Muslim terrorists. But I've seen normal citizen Muslim Fundamentalists talking in interviews about how they are the real fundamentalists and how terrorists aren't and have hijacked their Islam and fundamentalism. Terrorists have subverted the citizen's, the true believers, not these charlatan's benign fundamentalism which is not so much a literal interpretation of Islam but a search for the purity that can be found within it.

See, that's what religion is actually about. Finding the spirit of it, the purity within it, the benign and the beautiful. Once you turn religion into something ugly like Daesh has, well, it's an ugly faux religion. Mohammed becomes The Great Satan. You, and others like you Daesh, have done that.

Choosing to select out the most violent and damaging elements in a religion is, as in any religious choosing, just that, a personal choice. A choice to be destructive. Because for a certain selection of individuals it hits the pleasure centers of their brain, configured in such a way through information received and then doted upon, as well as the physical brain structure.

Throughout those many the individuals in these groups, such as Daesh (ISIL, ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, etc.), the balance sways from one side to the other whether it is their learnings or the way they are hardwired as to why they are how they are. And within those elements, the intensity of their purpose sways along with it.

So what are these terrorists, other than merely criminals?

There is an historical record of Zealots in the bible and through the historian Josephus.

So why is nobody calling them Zealots? Too much historical theistic baggage associated with them? Because these were originally Christians and not Muslim as are these modern terrorists and so would be seen as offensive? Or does Zealot not fit since Islam didn't even exist back when Zealots did, in Islam being a newer religion, but still one of the major three major harsh, anachronistic desert or Abrahamic religions.

Much as using terms like The Crusade isn't very useful in referring to Islamic references, calling Islamic terrorists Zealots, may very well be incorrect. However in the same vein as George Bush referring to terms like "making a crusade" in trying to irritate terrorists (or in calling Saddam Hussein, "Soddom" or "SaDamn"), so would calling them Zealots be considered offensive to them.

But also and more importantly to the rest of the Muslim world (as we really don't care much if terrorists are offended or not) and I really don't see a need to offend the majority of the Muslim world, most of whom really aren't doing anything wrong.

"According to the Jewish historian Josephus, three main Jewish groups existed at the time of Christ—the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essenes. He also mentions a fourth group called the Zealots who were founded by Judas of Galilee and Zadok the Pharisee. Josephus notes that the Zealots “agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty, and say that God is to be their only Ruler and Lord" (Antiquities 18.1.6)." -

These types of shall we call them, nutcases(?), have been around for a long, damn time.

So, what does it matter? It matters because it tells us much about them that has long been documented. These modern Muslim terrorists aren't some new phenomenon like some of us believe. Using suicide vests is. But it's not a new tradition, sacrificing themselves for their beliefs. It's an old tactic using a new technology. Explosives.

"Of importance in New Testament history, the Zealots led a rebellion when Rome introduced imperial cult worship. The Great Jewish Revolt began in A.D. 66. The Zealots successfully overtook Jerusalem, but their revolt was ultimately unsuccessful. In A.D. 70, the Romans destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the temple. A remnant of the Zealots then took refuge in Masada." -

So, the "Masada people", known by that moniker for that terrestrial land formation where the Siege of Masada in 74A.D. occurred. Surrounded by Roman troops it led to the mass suicide of 960 Jewish family residents of Masada as well as the Sicarii rebels and families, at the end of the First Roman\Jewish War.

The Masada victims have  been praised and thought very highly of all through history since it happened, for standing by beliefs to the bitter end. In fact mentioning Masada has become shorthand for a positive consideration of sticking with your beliefs to the end, regardless. 

People don't usually mean to take it to you and your family's death.

"Because of their often-violent tactics, the Zealots have been called some of the world’s first terrorists. Though the label is only partially true (not all Zealots were violent), the reputation of Zealots as forceful, aggressive agitators carries a significant lesson for us. Jesus chose Simon the Zealot, a man who likely desired to forcibly remove the Roman government, and He also chose Matthew, a tax collector working for the Roman government. Both Simon and Matthew, though natural enemies, were part of the Twelve. What a beautiful illustration of the peace Jesus brings! Today, God still brings healing and changes lives. Those with a violent past or extremist tendencies can be transformed as God uses them to spread the good news of Christ’s love for all people." -

"Good news of Christ's love". Unless those zealots are Muslim, an offshoot of Christianity, which is an offshoot of Judaism and Buddhism. 

Overall this tells us a lot about our current terrorists... zealots, the world's Muslim oriented infestation. 

Who were the Sacari?

"In 66 CE, at the beginning of the Great Jewish Revolt against the Roman Empire, a group of Jewish extremists called the Sicarii overcame the Roman garrison of Masada and settled there. The Sicarii were commanded by Eleazar ben Ya'ir,[3] and in 70 CE they were joined by additional Sicarii and their families expelled from Jerusalem by the Jewish population with whom the Sicarii were in conflict. Shortly thereafter, following the Roman siege of Jerusalem and subsequent destruction of the Second Temple, additional members of the Sicarii and many Jewish families fled Jerusalem and settled on the mountaintop, with the Sicarii using it as a refuge and base for raiding the surrounding countryside.[7][8] The works of Josephus are the sole record of the events that took place during the siege. According to modern interpretations of Josephus, the Sicarii were an extremist splinter group of the Zealots and were equally antagonistic to both Romans and other Jewish groups.[9] It was the Zealots, in contrast to the Sicarii, who carried the main burden of the rebellion, which opposed Roman rule of Judea (as the Roman province of Iudaea, its Latinized name).
According to Josephus, on Passover, the Sicarii raided Ein-Gedi, a nearby Jewish settlement, and killed 700 of its inhabitants.[10][11][12]" - Wikipedia

Kind of an annoying people by anyone's standard. Unless I suppose, you were one of them but even then I bet some of them thought they were annoying.

The point of all this is that it tells us what our modern day version of the zealot is like, who they are internally and, the extent to which they will go for their cause. However ridiculous and unrealistic it may be. That makes them dangerous and frequently, unreasonable. Not crazy as some claim. But focused. When you focus on something unreal, unrealistic, that really creates a problem. For yourself and everyone you come into contact with. 

A problem we have seen and continue to see in American conservative and religious groups.

They do things that are counter productive for others and for themselves, and they break things. The current Republican party is a prime example of political dysfunctional function and something they have broken.

Some great strides in recent decades have come about in things like hostage negotiation and negotiating through difficult and dire circumstances. However look how things have gone in the Middle East in that vein. Now consider zealots, coming from those people in that region. Our own defective conservatives and their issues in America are weak by comparison. So using many of these new techniques is questionable at best. We have taken here in America basically to containing them until they fizzle out, then collect them. It's better than situations like Ruby Ridge, or Waco, Texas. When it came be done.

Finally what this history of dysfunction, of destructive fundamentalism, of zealotry tells us is just as I'd suspected and as many others do. Ultimately they are doomed to failure.

It may take special weapons and tactics and I do not mean what you see in movies. Not what you might be thinking of, visualizing. But perhaps something we haven't even thought of yet. What beats people like this is choking them off until they can see their beliefs die, until others see those beliefs die, or in converting them.

Which is typically most easily done with lead moving at high velocities or in very fast burning substances rated at over 7,000 feet per second. That is to say, explosives, think drone attacks in the Middle East, drones which I must say, I am against probably about 90% of the times they are used as collateral damage in killing civilians for me, is unacceptable.

All this effort by terrorists, all this destruction, the killing of so many innocents and so many of their own soldiers, of their own Muslim believers, all for them merely to fail in the end, or sooner.

We can see it. They can even see it. The point is that none of that matters because they will still do it.

What that means to us is that we have to finish them off. Because they cannot find a sane conclusion on their own. In their seeking their most sane conclusion, to the rest of us it simply appears, insane.

Thanks for that religion, youth, greed, disparate in economic status, and so on. Because much of what terrorists are after and what has ignited their anger, bitterness and actions, are not necessarily what it seems, or what they claim. In the end they are just as stupid and deluded as many of the rest of us.

We just don't usually go around killing people becuase we're pissed off, or blame it on religion. We need to see them accurately, understand their motivations. Their actual motivations. And for that we can see back over time how this can come to be and how we can wipe this mind worm (implanted idea that grows, evolves and cannot easily be rid of) religious infection that overflows out onto other areas in the Human Experience.

But initially it all begins in one fundemental thought. When that thought is not a good one, or even if it is a good one, it can lead to some very negative and most of the time, unnecessary consequences. 


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