Who is Right vs. What is Right: Finding Solutions Instead of Being Part of the Problem
I actually see a sea change happening in the West regarding Islamic aggressions. It will most certainly still be a long and twisted road but, I do think that it is inevitable that the Western ways will prevail.
The total flip-flop of governmental concerns regarding potential violence from Islam and Christianity in the eyes of the law is utterly insane. It only makes sense to formulate an objective, constitutionally sound, policy/strategy for identifying and dealing with all ideologically driven extremist groups that might pose a threat to anyone’s life, limb or property.
Unless we wish to dispose of the First Amendment we must always forbid to the government the ability to say “This is a real religion but, that one is false” or we will quickly find that one denomination/trend in theology has become dominant. I for one would rather keep my freedoms, even if it is a harder road.
The best test I have ever seen for identifying worrisome religious groups is
‘THE Advanced ISAAC BONEWITS’ CULT DANGER EVALUATION FRAME’
I have edited it a bit for space and clarity…
In order to utilize the frame, assign each item a value from 1 to 10 points, with 1 being “Low” and 10 being “High“. Religions with total scores towards the high end of the scale are more than likely un-healthy groups for anyone.
1. Internal Control:
Amount of internal political and social power exercised by leader(s) over members; lack of clearly defined organizational rights for members.
2. External Control:
Amount of external political and social influence desired or obtained; emphasis on directing members’ external political and social behavior.
3. Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s):
Amount of infallibility declared or implied about decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations;…
4. Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members:
Amount of trust in decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations made by leader(s); amount of hostility by members towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts.
Rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility or “fundamentalism;” …
Emphasis put on attracting new members; amount of proselytizing; requirement for all members to bring in new ones.
7. Front Groups:
Number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of main group, especially when connections are hidden.
Amount of money and/or property desired or obtained by group; emphasis on members’ donations; economic lifestyle of leader(s) compared to ordinary members.
9. Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s):
Amount of control exercised over sexuality of members in terms of sexual orientation, behavior, and/or choice of partners.
10. Sexual Favoritism:
Advancement or preferential treatment dependent upon sexual activity with the leader(s).
Amount of control over members’ access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s).
Amount of effort to keep members from communicating with non-members, including family, friends and lovers.
13. Dropout Control:
Intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts.
Amount of approval when used by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s).
Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories.
Amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).
17. Surrender of Will:
Amount of emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions; degree of individual disempowerment created by the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).
amount of approval for actions which the group officially considers immoral or unethical, when done by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s); willingness to violate the group’s declared principles for political, psychological, social, economic, military, or other gain.
From the Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame (or ABCDEF) v2.6 © 1979, 2001 by Isaac Bonewits
As near as I can tell, with the most generous of judgment possible, normative Islam. scores 140!
With an objective test such as this it is possible for law enforcement to merely point to a high score when asked about why a certain religious community is being monitored for actual criminal activity; it worked it Ireland, the key is to enforce it strictly and enforce it strictly across the board!
Ideas instead of Ideologies!