10-07-05

"Didn't I Blow your Mind this Time"

Symbiosis is a generic term for a close ecological relationship between two or more species. Two extreme forms of symbiosis are parasitism, where one species benefits and the other is harmed, and mutualism, where both species benefit.

One example of mutualism is between the fig and the fig wasp. The fig benefits from being pollinated, and in turn, the fig is used by the fig wasp as a hatchery for its eggs.

As for parasitism, there's not much that can beat the gruesomeness of the reproductive cycle of the Ichneumonidae, who use other insects, usually larvae and pupae of Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, and Lepidoptera (if you're not insect people, that's beetles, bees/wasps/ants, and butterflies/moths), as incubator for their eggs without even the decency of killing them first. The technical term for a species behaving like this, is the rather euphemistic "internal parasitoid".

One thing to keep in mind is that "benefit" or "harm" in a symbiotic relationship is always judged at the species level, never at the individual level.

All this brings us to the rather actual problem of the relation between the poplulations of, what we may call for lack of better terms, "Islamic Terrorists" and "Moderate Muslims".

The usual claim goes that Moderate Muslims are harmed by the actions of Islamic Terrorists, because it makes them less competitive, i.e. discrimination against muslims will increase, while Islamic Terrorists benefit from the Moderate Muslim population to hide amongst. In our terms, the relation is one of parasitism.

Things, however, become different if we allow for the fact that the goal of Islamic Terrorism is Muslim Ascendancy. If we factor this in, the case can be made that the relation between Moderate Muslims and Islamic Terrorism is one of mutualism, on the condition that the chance of Islamic Terrorism resulting in Muslim Ascendancy is non-zero.

Which one, then, is correct? In the first case, parasitism, we would expect Moderate Muslims to cooperate to the fullest extent with law enforcement agencies to detect and apprehend Islamic Terrorists, while in the latter case, we would only observe enough action to prevent or mitigate discrimination against muslims, but no effective action against Islamic Terrorists. The reader may observe and judge for himself.

Common wisdom has it that discrimination breeds extremism. The reverse, however, is also worth pointing out: if Moderate Muslims are not inconvenienced by the acts of Islamic Terrorism, or at least not to a greater extent than the whole population at large, (lest we forget that the preferred modus operandi of the Islamic Terrorist is indiscriminate bombing), there is also not much incentive for them to cooperate with law enforcement. While they may not approve the methods used by Islamic Terrorists, it is a bit farfetched to expect them to refuse Muslim Ascendancy on the grounds that it was attained by improper means.

So, unless we want to be counter-productive, any assurances given to Moderate Muslims that they will in no way be held accountable for the behaviour of their naughty coreligionists must by necessity be accompanied by a 100% credible "assurance" that Muslim Ascendancy will never be attained. For obvious reasons, the actual phraseology of this "assurance" must be left as an exercise to the reader.

image: The coronation of Baldwin I, Histoire d'Outremer, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

12:39 Gepost door GMT +1/+2 (c) 2006 The dog --- WHAT'S YOUR OPINION? / WAT IS UW GEDACHT? | Permalink | Commentaren (3) |  Facebook |

Commentaren

huh? Did you write this yourself? Come on, don't blush. It's good.

Well... your text reminds me of the news about AQ recruiting Internet savvy and technically experienced young Muslims on British schools. Don't tell me that not many of the students knew about the recruitment going on. You know how it is at high schools and universities. Rumours and news spread very fast. So, many young Muslims who otherwise declined, or would decline, when asked to cooperate, must have known about the recruiting. It is a chilling realization.

Gepost door: The Outlaw Michael Cosyns | 11-07-05

. "Things, however, become different if we allow for the fact that the goal of Islamic Terrorism is Muslim Ascendancy. If we factor this in, the case can be made that the relation between Moderate Muslims and Islamic Terrorism is one of mutualism, on the condition that the chance of Islamic Terrorism resulting in Muslim Ascendancy is non-zero."

The case can be made, but it would be a rather unconvincing one. You would have to assume that "Muslim Ascendency" is also a/the goal for Moderate Muslims (otherwise, wherein would the mutualism lie?).

It's a nice analogy, and certainly a thoughtful, nicely written piece, but I'm not sure what you're driving at here. If there is a point, it's very well hidden.

Could be me, though.

Gepost door: D | 12-07-05

hum For there to be mutualism, "Muslim Ascendancy"need not necessarily be a goal for moderate muslims, they just have to benefit from it.

By analogy: you may not need or want a new computer, but were you to receive one for free, you would benefit.

Gepost door: dof | 12-07-05

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