Once more unto the breach, dear friends we go…
I hope everyone enjoyed Mr. Ortel yesterday…:) I knew there was some information he would be sharing on Wednesday that would be of particular import so I thought it was a great opportunity to launch this series. I hit on the dangers of “Contempt Prior to Investigation” yesterday, somewhat tongue-in-cheek – and I’ll now freely admit it was a set-up for some of the other folks in this series. I better add it as a “Category”…lol
I’m talking about myself again more than talking about Ms. Qudosi…oops. I definitely have to lay some foundation here, because the things she has to say make her a
target, not only of folks within her faith, but certainly within a lot of other faiths as well. I struggled quite a bit finishing what I was writing as an introduction today…and ended up flushing it. Twice. Then again. I took a quick nap and thankfully when I woke up, there were ample distractions (hi, Guccifer Two!) that required analysis and vetting. Then I tweeted something Game of Throes-related to Mr. Garry Kasparov and he unexpectedly retweeted it immediately and of course that meant my twitter notifications spun like a slot machine for a little while rendering me somewhat useless as a conversationalist. So, I did what any normal person would do in that situation (ha!) – I went and made some Chili con Queso.
I did some analysis, hung out with my lovely wife, did some more analysis, cut some grass, took a shower, sat back down in the command center…and I was still baffled. How can I introduce my audience to a Muslim reformer?
Wait, did he just say Muslim Reformer?
OK, I’ll admit it. I really didn’t think that kind of counter-intuitive craziness existed for much of my life. I was pre-conditioned to say stuff like “radioactive glass is the solution to all of the Middle East’s problems” and other humorous (to reactionaries) stuff that was really helping nobody. I could diffuse some tension here and there by getting a laugh, and every once in a while the hate would die down long enough for someone to open their ears and eyes and think “hmmm…maybe there’s a better way,” but inevitably some other event would happen and there we’d all be again. We can watch a bunch of folks in Tehran chanting “Death to America” and let that be the end of our educational experience here on this planet, and honestly, it could and perhaps would end there.
Unfortunately some of our leaders here in America during my life have had other ideas. We intervene in places (with the purest of intentions), we allow our media to enflame us or make us weak (depending on what channel we’re watching that week), we listen to religious messages that maybe are slightly distorted by the messenger (if we’re religious at all). And then we had the crew that’s been running the executive branch for the last few years – we’re not even going to go there; this is a positive post on a blog that’s also trying to be positive.
Enter Ms. Shireen Qudosi
I’m pretty active on the Twitter gizmo thingy these days. I build and curate Twitter lists, and then I watch those lists in an app called Tweetdeck. There’s my secret for whoever asked the other day…lol Since I just dived back into the fray recently on there, I’m of course having to restock my Twitter lists. I’m building up leadership lists, National Security (NATSEC) lists, counterterrorism (CT) lists, Media lists, etc. This is what fascinates me currently, so it’s what my attention is focused on. Our world is in a tumultuous state of upheaval. I’m also playing a little bit of Civilization V here and there, where you get to “found religions” and then of course pick what goes in them. I like trolling myself sometimes so I’ll play as Germany and found Judiasm…stuff like that lets me laugh at myself later in the game every time I see the Star of David flying over Berlin. If you go down a certain path in the game, you get a “reformation bonus” and it adds more bonuses to your religion.
Reformation Bonus. Hmmm….
So there is Sid Meier planting seeds in my head when I’m playing a game again…haha. Like I said, I’m following some very brilliant people in the CT community and we exchange cat pictures and snark here and there while I make my self-led journey from the freshman squad to the JV team (one of them is coming soon to this series – our friend from when this blog was political years ago, @20committee…lol). Sometimes we screw up some snark and make each other think.
I was retweeting some stuff from a site I frequently interact with called CounterJihad.com…and I noticed there was this one woman that retweeted a lot of their stuff. No burqa, no preconceived notions. Onto a list she went.
A couple days later there was some sort of _____ attack (truck, axe, knife, gun…idk. It’s all blending together at this point). There I was retweeting Ms. Qudosi again.
So I was like…ok dude, it’s time to check the bio.
Being the skeptic that I am conditioned to be, this caused me to rethink a few paradigms that have been drilled into my head over the years. And then I remembered that whole “reformation bonus” thingy. Whoa.
So, what if…what if it was actually possible? What if the issue with radical Islamic terrorism (as many want to refer to “the jihad issue”) is totally and wholly a problem of context? What if – when this text was authored, it just reflected the situation the author found himself within. OK, I’ll admit I’m ignorant at the foundation level of much of this stuff. I’ve perused the Qur’an here and there when attempting to make a point.
Honestly, all of the degrees I have accumulated during my 46 years here on this delightful ball of granite are found on thermometers.
I was much more fascinated by the Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti (KGB) because I read a lot of Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy growing up…so my base of knowledge is much more focused on “the Threat” that we worried about back in the 1980s and 1990s. Today’s threat is different, and so I’m evolving with the times. I know a lot less about the Russian Navy than I used to (I could once give you the performance characteristics of all current SSMs and SAMs, not to mention weapons configuration of every major surface combatant in the Fleet since I played so much Harpoon and always played “the bad guys”) – but today I’m learning a lot more about CI and CT.
So, thankfully my mind and my eyes were both open. This was last Friday or Saturday I think…everything’s somewhat blending together a little this week…lol Wham-o. Then I see this.
— SHIREEN QUDOSI (@ShireenQudosi) July 26, 2016
I normally like to play progressive house or hard trance music in the background when I’m playing around on Twitter. Sometimes I get in a foul mood, I return to my roots, and the metal comes out. I said (and I quote) “WTF? Today, I’ll do something different and I can give it a try.”
Three Hours? You’ve Gotta be Shitting me.
I chuckled to myself…figuring “yeah, this will be cool for a half hour or so then I can get back to some Pantera, Slayer, or some other quality ‘first thing in the morning’ music.”
Three minutes in, I admit I was a little bit hooked. Thirteen minutes in I was laughing and re-tweeting.
An hour or so later, my whole frigging perspective on this stuff was being allowed to change. I can’t tell you why or how (the answers materialize after you hit play) – again, I am not here to change minds, just introduce some of my friends to some of my other friends. All I can do is pass along what I’ve learned as I’m playing “bull in a china shop” on Twitter or some other social media program. So here we are.
Two of my favorite quotes are “you’re the world’s leading expert on what you know” and “I’m an analyst, so yes, people do pay me for my opinion”. Someday I’ll let you know who said those two gems (per my lovely wife) – but please ponder them for a few seconds and then hit play. See if you can make it to the 3:00 mark – or better yet the 13:00 mark. Under this will be some links to where you can follow some of Ms. Qudosi’s work. I’m going to have a follow-up post to this one later in the week as well (maybe that’s when my big “who said that quote” reveal will take place…haha)
But for now…may I proudly present the July 23, 2016 “The People’s Show featuring Toni Bugle” on Restoration Radio International, affiliated with “Our Eye On Islam (OEOI) Dot Com”
I had to pause it a couple of times due to that whole “real life” thingy, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t catch most of it. It made such an impression that I felt it necessary to pass it along at my earliest convenience.
If you’re as intrigued as I was – and for a fraction of a second you actually think “hmmmm…maybe there is something to this”, please continue your journey and accumulate some more knowledge. You may find it to be the most refreshing thing you do this week…:)
You can get to know Ms. Qudosi a little better here: