unforgiven

edit: see also this type of response (shame/embarassment) from japan – Some Japanese See Slain Hostages, Abe as Troublemakers. h/t frau katze for that one!
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make no mistake about it, there is noooo talk about forgiveness in jordan in the case of jordanian pilot lt. muath al-kaseasbeh who was killed by members of isis:

“Hostage pilot’s murder: Jordan promises Islamic State an ‘earth-shaking’ revenge”
“By: Reuters | Amman | Posted: February 3, 2015 10:38 pm | Updated: February 4, 2015 9:14 am

“Islamic State militants released a video on Tuesday appearing to show a captured Jordanian pilot being burnt alive in a cage, a killing that shocked the world and prompted Jordan to promise an ‘earth-shaking’ response.

“A Jordanian official said the authorities would swiftly execute several militants in retaliation, including an Iraqi woman whom Amman had sought to swap for the pilot taken captive after his plane crashed in Syria in December….

“‘The revenge will be as big as the calamity that has hit Jordan,’ army spokesman Colonel Mamdouh al Ameri said in a televised statement confirming the death of the pilot, who was seized by Islamic State in December.

The fate of Kasaesbeh, a member of a large tribe that forms the backbone of support for the country’s Hashemite monarchy, has gripped Jordan for weeks and some Jordanians have criticised King Abdullah for embroiling them in the U.S.-led war that they say will provoke a backlash by militants….

“DEMAND FOR REVENGE

“In the pilot’s hometown of Karak in southern Jordan, people demanded:

“‘I want to see Sajida’s body burnt and all the other terrorists in Jordanian prisons … Only then will my thirst for revenge be satisfied,’ said Abdullah al-Majali, a government employee among dozens of demonstrators in the centre of Karak.

“Relatives of the pilot also gathered in Karak and urged calm after anti-government protests broke out in the town. They said it was up to the government to take revenge for them….”

this is quite a different sort of reaction than the kind often seen in western nations where the families of victims often forgive — in public — whoever killed their family member(s). for example, it’s quite a different sort of reaction than the one we saw from the surviving charlie hebdo cartoonists and staff:

“Charlie Hebdo cartoonist says new cover is call for forgiveness”
“By Bob Fredericks January 13, 2015 | 12:41pm

“A French cartoonist who cheated death in last week’s massacre at Charlie Hebdo broke down in tears Tuesday as he described drawing a weeping Prophet Mohammed for this week’s cover — calling it a genuine plea to forgive the terrorists who ​murdered his colleagues in cold blood.

“The cover ​— depicting the Prophet holding an ‘I am Charlie’ sign under the headline in French​ ‘All is Forgiven’ — was drawn by Renald Luzier, known as Luz, who only survived the massacre because he overslept and showed up late for work.

“‘I drew Mohammed. I looked at him and he was crying. Above him I wrote, “All is forgiven” and then I cried, too,’ he said, according to The Times of London….

“In a Paris news conference, staffers said the cover was a call for forgiveness for the killers — and that they never had any doubt about what the front-page illustration should be….

“‘The terrorists were once kids, they drew like us, like all kids, then one day they perhaps lost their sense of humor, perhaps their child soul able to see the world from a bit of a distance,’ he said….”

different people — and peoples — are different.

see also: Tribal Loyalties Drive Jordan’s Effort to Free Pilot

(note: comments do not require an email. muhammad’s revenges.)

24 Comments

  1. Just noticed yet a third reaction type, this from Japan: they (the beheaded hostages) were trouble-makers

    TOKYO — In Japan, where conformity takes precedence over individuality, one of the most important values is to avoid “meiwaku” — causing trouble for others. And sympathy aside, the two Japanese purportedly slain by the Islamic State group are now widely viewed as troublemakers.

    So is Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Many Japanese feel that if the hostages had not ignored warnings against travel to Syria, or if Abe had not showcased Tokyo’s support for the multinational coalition against the Islamic State militants, Japan wouldn’t have been exposed to this new sense of insecurity and unwelcomed attention from Islamic extremists.

    “To be honest, they caused tremendous trouble to the Japanese government and to the Japanese people. In the old days, their parents would have had to commit hara-kiri (ritual suicide) to apologize,” said Taeko Sakamoto, a 64-year-old part-time worker, after first expressing sympathy over the deaths of Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa.

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/02/05/world/asia/ap-as-japan-islamic-state-troublemakers-.html?_r=0

    Reply

  2. If someone kills your friends and family, they deserve the exact opposite of forgiveness.

    These French and Japanese are weak and pathetic.

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  3. I think the Jordanians should burn all the ISIS prisoners to death. I guess that makes me more Arab than WASP.

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  4. I agree that people are different, sometimes very much so….But in this cause I suspect it is a (very small) part of the explanation, and that, for once, the main effect will be found in environment, mostly social/media expectations.
    I think that a large number of core western people will emotionally react almost exactly like jordanians, at least if a close friend or family member was the murdered one. But our current society expect (and reward, by showing greater respect) forgiveness, and (that is probably the main difference) some core western people can get abstract enough to say they forgive, even for murderer of their close ones.
    I also strongly suspect that media bias is even more responsible: the people that do not abstract (or do not comply with maintream morality du jour) and shout bloody revenge simply do not get any airtime.

    I got this impression speak with friends: appart the few in a relativist trip (and I suspect in this case it is posturing to keep belonging to the “tribe”), everybody would kill the murderer of their close ones, if given the opportunity. Most agree this is not a good societal policy and oppose death penalty (europe here), but there is a difference between the best general policy and the best for you.

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  5. Keep in mind that forgiveness was an important and, as far as I know, unique virtue in Christianity. It probably had value in getting us past the sort of barbarism we see in the Middle East today, at least I think so maybe. As did non-resistance to evil, not that I would advocate anything of the kind today.

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  6. I read that ”Isis” is fake, like ”Sandy hook event”. Like ”news in Oceania, 1984”, many news are fake.

    i agree about middle eastern marriage patterns as fundamental cause of behavioral predispositions of ”muslims”. But, most of modern conflicts happen in Middle East are caused by israelian politics, i.e, broken the national cohesion of every country which are around Israel as long term strategy to increase the territory. Not-so-smart…

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  7. I like the Jordanian reaction better. I remember as a child or teenager growing up in Ulster, after the Enniskillen IRA bombing in the 1980s a father publicly forgave the IRA killers of his daughter. I remember how shocked I was by this behaviour of his.
    At the time that seemed weird, but I agree with kai that there is now significant media pressure to display public forgiveness as a mark of moral superiority.

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  8. “Keep in mind that forgiveness was an important and, as far as I know, unique virtue in Christianity.” When did Roman Catholics stop burning heretics? And why? Did they decide they’d been wrong all along? Was there just a time that barbarism fatigue set in? Did an unusually enlightened Pope put a stop to it? Did secular authorities? Did a Pope decide that it created more enemies than it destroyed?

    Why did Protestants carry on with the Roman Catholic habit of burning witches? When did Catholics and Protestants stop doing that? And why? Come to that, when did it start, and why?

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  9. @Frau Katze:

    “Just noticed yet a third reaction type, this from Japan: they (the beheaded hostages) were trouble-makers”

    That’s not the first time I’ve seen that reaction from the Japanese.

    Reply

  10. @kai:

    “I agree that people are different, sometimes very much so….But in this cause I suspect it is a (very small) part of the explanation, and that, for once, the main effect will be found in environment, mostly social/media expectations.”

    “I got this impression speak with friends: appart the few in a relativist trip (and I suspect in this case it is posturing to keep belonging to the “tribe”), everybody would kill the murderer of their close ones, if given the opportunity.”

    Welcome to the difference between what people say and what people do. But both are heritable.

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  11. @Luke Lea:

    “Keep in mind that forgiveness was an important and, as far as I know, unique virtue in Christianity.”

    Or an outgrowth of the gene-culture co-evolution NW Euros experienced. ;)

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  12. After WWII, the French beat and abused French women who had consorted with German men during the war. They shaved their heads and shamed them. There are reports of Frenchmen murdering such women and gunning them down in the streets.

    I imagine the difference between such reactions and the reactions mentioned in the OP above aren’t due to genetic evolution since WWII. The French right after WWII and the French today are probably genetically more or less identical. So something else likely explains this big difference in reactions. Real world events aren’t controlled experiments, but uncontrolled events with confounding variables, so they’re limited in telling us much scientifically.

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  13. NYT did a reasonably good job of explaining how tribes of Jordan impacted the case (article that you linked to above).

    The King really had no choices here.

    AMMAN, Jordan — It is often said that in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan all politics is tribal.

    That goes a long way toward explaining the country’s reaction to the hostage crisis involving a Royal Jordanian Air Force pilot and a Japanese journalist, including Jordan’s offer to free an extremist on death row and willingness to look the other way when protesters disparaged the king in the presence of his powerful intelligence service.

    It is not just that First Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh is a handsome young F-16 fighter pilot with a prominent social media presence, and the first member of the international coalition bombing the Islamic State to be captured by the extremists. He is also a member of a politically influential tribe, part of a crucial base of tribal support for the king.

    “The social structure of Jordan is tribal more than institutional,” Lieutenant Kasasbeh’s father, Safi Youssef al-Kasasbeh, said as he sat in a diwan, or social hall, in Amman on Saturday waiting for word of his son’s fate, surrounded by a shifting crowd of well-wishers sometimes numbering in the hundreds. “The cohesiveness is very strong, and now we feel that every tribal member is supported by every tribe in Jordan.”

    […]

    Protests began springing up, especially among members of the pilot’s Bararsheh tribe, and at one point last week they even demonstrated outside King Abdullah’s Royal Palace in Amman. It is a measure of the sensitivity with which tribes are treated that even though the protesters were chanting slogans calling the king a coward bought by American dollars, Jordan’s usually proactive intelligence services and riot police refrained from intervening.

    Instead, King Abdullah defused the situation by inviting the pilot’s father, mother and wife into the palace.

    “You always have to pay attention to the tribes; you can’t neglect them,” said the retired Maj. Gen. Ali Shukri, who ran the private office of King Hussein, King Abdullah’s father.

    […]

    Tribal loyalty trumps even strongly held political views…. It is unclear what calculations the militants may be making and whether they may also factor in Jordan’s powerful tribes, especially if they want to maintain a base of support there….

    The Islamic State’s cause had already won some sympathy in Jordan, where some back its goal of establishing an Islamic empire and chafe at the continuing autocracy of their own Western-allied government. Jordan is believed to be, after Saudi Arabia, the second-biggest outside contributor of Islamic State fighters.

    Two comments:

    1) Groups like Islamic State are a wild card. They will try to get entire tribes if they can (some success here in Iraq where the Sunnis were most unhappy with the Shiite government). But they will also take individuals from, as we see from reading the news, from absolutely anywhere.

    The recruits vary. At bone extreme, there are converts from the West who have zero experience with tribes/clans.

    In other cases, a kid will depart secretively from his family and clan. I really don’t know how it works when they mix. For obvious reasons, no one is studying them at first hand.

    But they have plenty of sympathizers who never go as far as joining, as the NYT article notes.

    2) NYT (and everywhere else in the media) failed to explain how the tribes actually work and how intensely they are bonded. The mainstream media avoids topics like kin marriage—there’s a taboo there.

    Thus most people don’t get it. One of their own columnists wrote a piece called “Conflict and Ego” from an entirely Western p.o.v. He even mentioned “Love your enemy.”

    The natural but worst way to respond is to enter into the logic of this status contest. If he puffs himself up, you puff yourself up. But if you do this you put yourself and your own status at center stage. You enter a cycle of keyboard vengeance. You end up with a painfully distended ego, forever in danger, needing to assert itself, and sensitive to slights.

    Clearly, the best way to respond is to step out of the game. It’s to get out of the status competition. Enmity is a nasty frame of mind. Pride is painful. The person who can quiet the self can see the world clearly, can learn the subject and master the situation.

    He doesn’t get it. I skimmed the comments (over 500) and the readers don’t get it either.

    In the West, people are permitted different opinions. Some would forgive the killer (suspect most of these are fundamentalist Christians). Others would be prepared to kill the guilty party themselves.

    The members of a tribe do not have that option. This crucial part is simply not understood well in the West. And the media are not about to educate them.

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  14. @brian – “I imagine the difference between such reactions and the reactions mentioned in the OP above aren’t due to genetic evolution since WWII. The French right after WWII and the French today are probably genetically more or less identical.”

    bien sûr! but the french are something of a mixed bag, i think — the “core” to the northeast have the longest history of outbreeding/manorialism, while peripheral regions have less of both of those, and so are more clannish. i think.

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  15. “In the West, people are permitted different opinions. Some would forgive the killer (suspect most of these are fundamentalist Christians). Others would be prepared to kill the guilty party themselves.”

    My impression is that since ca 1980 the left-media have adopted the “Individual MUST forgive his enemies (the killers of his kin)” as a meme from fundamentalist Christianity. The Enniskillen father I mentioned above was a devout Christian, but now cultural Marxists like the Charlie Hebdo survivor have adopted it and expect every individual to display this attitude.

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    1. @SimoninLondon Yes, you definitely have a point there. Plus, the survivor of the attack who decided to forgive was merely a co-worker of victims. Definitely he was trying to appear as he should in his group (leftists). I wonder how he would have felt it had been his son (as in the case of the Jordanian father). Still, he might have lied about it.

      I also read about some Amish who forgave a killer (but again, they are biblical literals).

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  16. Forgiveness has indeed always been a part of Christian teaching. It didn’t just arise centuries later after people evolved to be more forgiving. What you could say, perhaps, is that despite Christian teaching on forgiveness, people continued to be clannish, violent and vindictive for a long time, since that was simply their nature. But the cultural effect of conversion to Christianity was strong enough that more forgiving people had a reproductive advantage.

    While culture can affect biology, it’s always important to keep the two distinct, and to remember that, biological constraints notwithstanding, culture does have its own independent effects on behavior, because humans are also biologically programmed to be receptive to cultural norms and influences.

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  17. @hbdchick: OK, the French are a mixed bag, but how does that relate to brian’s point? Are you saying that the bulk of reprisals against collaborators occurred in areas of France where manorialism was historically weak?

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  18. dearieme, don’t confuse the inadequate record of Christian forgiveness with the absolute absence of it everywhere else. There are many persecutions in the history of the Christian Churches. You happen to know about them because the west keeps good records, and the worst of it is deeply tied to the nascent national states. The strongest factor in all the persecutions was tribal rather than religious, however. (Unless you think Belfast is divided over transubstantiation rather than consubstantiation.) There hasn’t been much in the way of religious war since the Treaty of Westphalia. Since then, it has been secular beliefs functioning as religions which have been the death-bringers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_and_anthropogenic_disasters_by_death_toll

    As for witches, the number of those killed is larger in imagination, and were much more common in the less-religious (or pagan) areas of Europe.

    http://assistantvillageidiot.blogspot.com/2006/01/big-bad-three.html

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  19. What about this American reaction? Where does it fit in?

    “American Hostage’s Mother: U.S. Failed Our Children”

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/american-hostages-mother-us-failed-children/story?id=28803264&singlePage=true

    The mother of an American journalist who was the first hostage beheaded by ISIS last August lashed out at the Obama administration on Saturday, saying the alleged death of Kayla Mueller on Friday was a reminder that “nothing was done” to save those in captivity.

    Diane Foley, whose son James Foley was shown in an Aug. 19 ISIS video being killed by the group’s spokesman “Jihad John,” has spoken out before — but Mueller’s possible fate renewed her ire over what she feels was the government’s inattention to the crisis.

    “Kayla, along with our son and others were held for nearly two years and there were many opportunities along the way: several times when the captors reached out, several times when returning hostages brought sensitive information. And yet nothing was done to save our young Americans. So that’s the part that deeply concerns me,” Foley told ABC News in an interview, parts of which aired on “World News Tonight.”

    Reply

  20. I rather think that having foreign men walk into your country as conquerors, and then to be further humiliated by your own women consorting with them, is a little different than the Charlie Hebdo killings.

    Reply

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