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Good points, but I disagree with your conclusion

Reader comment on item: Denying Islam's Role in Terror: Explaining the Denial
in response to reader comment: Can we reassert the right to scientific and scholarly criticism of ANY religion?

Submitted by sara (United States), Mar 15, 2013 at 21:10

Mr. Katchen,

I read with interest your detailed historical description of brainwashing definition and how it was shaped by various religious groups. I thought you might find this piece interesting as well:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2002/01/the_brainwashed_defense.html

That said, while there may be some merit in some cases where a stigmatized or bullied person is attracted to Islam with the idea of retribution, that concept in itself speaks to the nature of Islamists and their ideology. Many criminals turn to Islam in prison for other reasons. One is that there is an advantage to having special food (halal dietary requirements), other special benefits such as are given to a religious group etc. There is likely a targeting of such recruits by the many prison imams and there have been instances of jihadism following prison conversions. If one can be in a gang that has a religious blessing, that is an attractive proposition.

This brings up the interesting discussion of whether jihadists are actually brainwashed, and indeed many in trials plead insanity or brainwashing (see Are Jihadists Crazy for some examples).

As for discomfiting " many conservative Christians", I would argue that they are no longer relevant in comparison to the 'many conservative Muslims'.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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