Tribes under the cover of a world religion vs. states with central authority and individual responsibility & rights?
As US based & other western based filmmakers, story-tellers, and people who observe, reflect & analyze human behavior & as people who know that (well, at least we should if we remember high school history lessons :) tribal, ethnic, & religious discord have been overcome in the past in the west to create strong nations were each citizen or resident or visitor has value and a voice (generally) - some of us could end up playing a valuable role in the global discussion that may lead to people choosing individuality and doing the right thing in a comprehensive human sense (vs. the right thing as determined by one tribe or clan) and creating governments that represents the interests of all in a nation - not just of those related to the people in government offices. Tribe (or clan, or race, etc.) vs. underdeveloped government is quite possibly the biggest problem facing many countries in Africa, Middle East, Asia & some parts of Europe. This matters to us because these are the same places where many wars break out & where many recruits to terrorist organizations originate from. So, unless the War on Terror is accompanied by other tools of persuasion (maybe film?) in favor of stability and individual rights, liberties, access to means of making a living - we might be in for a long, long time of wars in many developing countries - specially the ones with Islamic culture and tribal living (although, not exclusively in those places - the war in Sri Lanka (a predominately Buddhist country) - between the LTTE & the government - is now over 20 years old, and there were 2 other incredibly bloody insurrections there - in 1971 & 1988-89, JVP vs. the government - caused partially by citizens being unhappy with the government's perceived lack of interest in aiding with the improving of the quality of the citizens lives).
Anyway, back to the article that got me thinking again about all this (i was thinking some about this subject a few days ago while thinking about the threat western artists such as Salman Rushdie & the ones who drew the Mohammad cartoons face from Islamic death threats); check it out here.
Here is a little bit from the article:
"Nearly a century after Ishi's surrender, the United States finds itself locked in a struggle with fierce jihadi warriors shaped by the pervasively tribal culture of the Islamic Near East. Whether hidden in the mountain sanctuaries of Waziristan or in the fastness of the Iraqi desert, the heart of the jihadi rebellion is tribal. The classic tribal themes of honor and solidarity inspire and draw recruits to the cause--from among lowland peasants and educated urbanites as well. Yet tribalism has been vastly overshadowed by Islam in our attempts to understand the jihadist challenge."
And, much later:
"Since 9/11, we've understood Islam as the fundamental source of the cultural challenge coming from the Middle East. That has given rise to a strategy of direct assault--an almost Voltairean attempt to deflate religious pretensions in hopes of forcing a change. Islam itself may be a complex extension of tribal culture, yet technically, Islam is defined as something different from, and sometimes antagonistic to, pure tribalism. When Muslim immigrants in Europe debate amongst themselves female seclusion, cousin marriage, and honor killings, reformers argue that these are "cultural" rather than strictly "Islamic" practices. There is truth here and also an opening."
The rest here.