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Suicide Bomber – right or wrong?

Dave Lowe

As the country reels from the London bombings, I received this thought-provoking message from Dave Lowe, a graphics artist and trainee counsellor in Hull. Dave wants it put up for public discussion. So here goes…

I listened to Bush on the news and yet again he said “We will find the perpetrators of these terrible acts.” Does that guy have any idea that it’s not about 10, 100, 1,000 guys with olive skin trying to blow up some folks on a bus?! Bush sees only goodies & baddies in his singular ORANGE view.

There are very different thought and value structures in different parts of the planet. All Bush sees is the free individual acting for his/her rights, being attacked.( ORANGE in the US, orange/GREEN in Europe). He sees the attackers as the same as him, just with darker skin.

How wrong he and Blair have been has been recently shown when they have tried to present the people of Iraq with the freedom to choose a multi-party democracy (just like the one at home) – and they didn’t want it. Offering GREEN values to a BLUE society that is in RED turmoil !

Bush does not see that the Arab and Muslim world is based on a PURPLE tribal view, with a strong BLUE functioning state , complete with intermarriage and huge extended family. As fast as the world is becoming connected by ORANGE technology – offering GREEN connectedness – it remains more disconnected than ever by culture, belief, values and the technology makes it all happen faster than ever.

Our Western values have got horribly stuck in self, individual ambition. The focus is always inward. Even Maslow, Rogers has some part to play in this! (and what might be an alternative be to ‘inward focusing self-actualisation’ – which is supposed to turn us into social and spiritual beings by separating our consciousness from everything else on the planet, and focus on ourselves as individuals, our internal feelings, desires etc. Does that really add up ??)

Until we change (in the Western world) – to be prepared to adopt a world integrated view, to understand that different people, countries are passing through different time zones – different consciousnesses – we have no chance of understanding the mindset of the suicide bomber on the bus, train , plane.

His intentions are for the good and survival of his culture. How can he be seen as the baddie when we have bombed, torn his country apart and tried to offer our own brand of brainless culture in exchange for his history & tribal values?




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4 Responses

  1. keitherice says

    Unfortunately, Carol, the thing I see to gain from Muslim clerics speaking out against the bombings is that they will reassure their constituencies that bombing strategies *are* against the Q’ran and help stabilise them. I doubt they will have little effect on the bombers, Al Qaeda and their constituencies.

    Peak BLUE will respond only to the authorised representatives of what it has identified as the One True Way. No matter how close they claim to be in Beliefs & Values, if there is a variance from the One True Way, they are highly unlikely be accepted. There is an apocryphal tale told of a counsellor who realised he was getting nowhere with a Jewish young man of the Orthodox persuasion. The counsellor got a Reformed rabbi in to tell the young man exactly what the counsellor had been saying about how to solve his problems. The young man ignored him. Out of desperation, the counsellor tried both a Protestant and a Catholic Christian minister. Both were politely ignored. Eventually, the counsellor was able to get hold of an Orthodox rabbi who agreed to deliver the counsellor’s strategy to the young man. The young man was highly deferential to the Orthodox rabbi and agreed to do exactly as the rabbi told him.

    With BLUE, detail counts – hence the Little Detail Meta-Programme! Getting Muslim clerics to condemn the bombing is vital to stabilsing the Islamic communities at a time when they will almost certainly suffer white/Christian backlash. Stabilisation will limit the number of potential recruits for Al Qaeda from such communities.


  2. Carol Thornton says

    Hi guys, I’ve been wondering about this over the weekend.

    I think I probably go along with what you are saying, but the reason I was thinking about it was wondering how anyone could change the mindset of these people and explain the other side to them – get them to discuss rather than hit back in anger. If you are right, then perhaps the first steps have been taken. Muslim clerics and ordinary muslims in several countries have been reported as saying that suicide bombing is contrary to the Koran.

    Not having read the Koran, I can’t say who is right, but everything I have read about Islam, Christianity and Judaism says that they stem from the same source, which is what Christianity calls the Old Testament, and in which God says that to kill another human is wrong. I hope it works, is all I can say.


  3. Dave Lowe says

    Great analysis Keith !

    I found an article from Time magazine ‘Inside the mind of a suicide bomber’ (7/4/2005 – I have the full article if anyone would like to read it). Narrated by a trainee bomber; “It doesn’t matter whether people know what I did,” he says. “The only person who matters is Allah–and the only question he will ask me is ‘How many infidels did you kill?’ Marwan says he doesn’t think about his legacy or how others might regard him when he is gone. Unlike their Palestinian counterparts, Iraq’s self-immolating terrorists are not celebrated and memorialized by family and friends He expects his final weeks to be a period of euphoria rather than penance. “My friend was happier than I had ever seen him,” ” (The friend, he says, blew himself up two months ago at a checkpoint manned by Iraqi soldiers near Ramadi, capital of the turbulent Anbar province, and six were killed. “We made a pact that we would meet in heaven,” Marwan says.) He says, he fights first for Islam, second to become a “martyr” and win acceptance into heaven, and only third for control of his country. “The first step is to remove the Americans from Iraq,” he says. “After we have achieved that, we can work out the other details

    It reminds me of the phobia cure (Nlp) technique of projecting an experience, only this time he has become what he sees in the projection – and left ‘what he was’ behind. There is a strong sense (and a real one) of leaving. He is not operating from red, the bomber is entirely blue (?). He has left purple behind, moved through an anger red into a blue that can confirm his status and justify his beliefs.

    I agree with what you have said Keith, martyrdom is perhaps based in orange & pleasure seeking red, rather than religious values blue. The article went on to describe the preparation for the act, including the bomber giving up his one vice –smoking!


  4. keitherice says

    Hi, Dave

    Very interesting points – which, doubtless, some will find highly contentious!!

    Personally, I’ve tended to see Bush as dominated by RED thinking. The guy doesn’t seem to appreciate consequences. If he did, he’d have had a plan for what-we-do-with-Iraq-once-we’ve-got-rid-of-Saddam. It struck me when the troops first went in 27 months ago that there was a vMEMETIC mismatch. The ‘Allies’ were tooled up for winning a great victory in a conventional army vs army war. But the Iraqi army effectively disintegrated – BLUE collapsing? – and the Allies found themselves being attacked with much greater gusto by tribal militias. PURPLE was fighting for its land – and in the Sunni triangle it still is – though there are obviously much more complex factors of BLUE Islam and RED warlords like Zaqawi involved.

    I have to confess I very much agree with your analysis of how Bush & Co just don’t get it – and can’t appreciate the values gap between the Allies and the Arabs. Not sure I agree with your proposition that Bush sees Arabs as being like Americans with darker skins, though. I suspect there’s a nasty little PURPLE-BLUE dehumanisation sub-agenda of those who are not-of-our-tribe going on too. The Americans count American and European lives lost. They don’t count Iraqi lives lost. Inferior species not worth counting? Maybe… Easy to Meta-State erroneously on sub-agendas. It really could be just a lack of efficent BLUE mechanisms to count the Iraqi dead. Maybe….

    I’d be a little careful of mindreading the mindset of the suicide bomber, though. It may be he – or, sometimes, she – gives his (her) life for the survival of their culture. (PURPLE/BLUE). It could be he wants the 47 virgins a warrior slain in battle for Allah is given in some versions of Islam. (BEIGE/RED). (Have to confess I don’t know what the reward is – if any! – for females slain in battle for Allah….)

    To me, the first step in understanding a suicide bomber is the NLP presupposition that people always take the perceived best choice available to them at the time. So, accepting that different vMEMES will respond to different motivators, just how do these folks get into the position that blowing oneself apart to take other lives really seems the best choice?


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