I really don’t like to delve into politics and world affairs on my art blog, but at this point I’m compelled to:
The recent destruction of ancient statues by ISIS makes one thing clear:
THE JIHADIST-EXTRMIST MINDSET HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH POVERTY OR “LACK OF OPPORTUNITY”.
This should have been easy to see in the 1990s when the Taliban destroyed ancient Buddhist statues in Afghanistan, and was briefly recognized as true in the few weeks following 9/11, when it was found that nearly all of those suicide-hijacker-mass-muderers were from wealthy (or at least comfortable) circumstances.
“What’d those statues ever do to you? What threat did they constitute?” Had they been destroyed by a stray bomb, undirected explosion, it would have been tragic. The truth is that they were specifically targeted and seemingly gleefully destroyed (and painstakingly documented) by individuals.
The destruction of a nation’s history has happened before, from Mao’s “cultural Revolution” to America’s “urban renewal”. Various xenophobic movements and governments with their book burnings have popped up throughout history.But even the Nazis knew the cultural (and archaeological) value of pre-Christian polytheistic Greek and Roman art. The Soviets cherished Scythian artifacts.
Where will ISIS stop? If they ever realize their fantasy of obliterating Western culture and history, they’ll move on to Chinese culture and beliefs, finalize their takeover of the continent of Africa (an attempt which was only thwarted by European colonization, which, while miserable, was a far more preferable state of affairs for the Africans in question, I suggest), and then all those little Pacific islands. Then they’ll create some other “evil” to “cleanse”, and on and on. Rich or poor, that’s how they work. Their twisted joy seems to be the violent pursuit of a goal, not having it achieved.
Anti-Western angst, based on what “has been done to them” or “repression” has very little to do with what they’re all about (except as a recruiting and propaganda tool). Given money and resources, they’ll keep doing what they’re doing.
They torture and attack due to their mindset, not their circumstances.