News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Those Sea of David "Jihadists"!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Those Sea of David "Jihadists"!

Juan Cole on the Seas of David cult that Ubu-Bush et al. are calling "militant Muslim" jihadists. When will Bush, Gonzales, Cheney, etc. get their heads out of their ethnocentric asses and realize that not everyone who disagrees with their hegemonic putsch can be lumped in with "jihadism"?

Cole writes:

This Seas of David group primarily seems to have been studying the Bible. The mother of one insisted that he is a Catholic. Then there is all that Jewish symbology and terminology, even in their names. Islam was nothing more for them but a set of symbols they could pull into their syncretic local culture. The group drew on poor Haitian immigrants and local indigent African-American youth. If this were the 1960s, they'd have been Black Panthers or Communists.

American folk religion, pursued in small groups with charismatic leaders, is replete with such groups, from Father Divine to Jim Jones of the People's Temple to David Koreish.

The group never got past the stage of talking big, and violently. They talked dangerously, and some sort of intervention was warranted. Since they begged the FBI informant for "shoes," they weren't exactly a well-heeled group that seems very dangerous in actual practice. And, to what extent did the FBI informant press an al-Qaeda connection on these otherwise clueless but imaginative zealots?
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