(Please see the diagram of the label & labeling process at the end of this blog; the darkened-in central box is the label box and could arbitrarily be labeled one thing or another; the other boxes surrounding the label-box contain questions that a person could ask about the label of “Radicalized Islamists” and several other kinds of questions; make up your own, and see if the label “Radicalized Islamists” is flawed or functioning well). This is a two-part blog.
After last weekend’s massacre & horrible mass killing in Orlando, Florida, Donald Trump accused President Obama of acting weak, because Obama doesn’t think it’s a very good idea to use the term “Radical (ized) Islam (ist)” for terrorists. Republicans in the House & Senate want (as usual almost demanding in their self-righteousness) President Obama to use this label for Islamic terrorists, and, of course, led on by their presumptive nominee for the Presidency-The Donald Trump-I guess the Religious Rightists, Tea Baggers, and other Fundamentalists, feel this label will somehow put the ‘fear of God’ in ISIS or other, Islamic, spin-off cells and terrorist group, so that they’ll ‘cease & desist’ because this special, magical label or cliché is used. Do they think it’s some kind of new ammunition?
First, let me take a few brief moments to explain the concept of a label. The notion of labels or labeling is a word that’s been noted by communication professionals, writers, & social researchers. Also, labels can fit under the rubric of General Semantics (GS), and linguistics.
A label is a language symbol that capsulizes general components of certain categories—what we’re here concerned with is political labels. The benefits of labels are that it’s easier & more efficient to collect things in labels, rather than having to explain all the categories found in individuals within groups.
The obfuscation of labels is that there are personality behaviors codified into the labels whose attributes get fixed & rigid. We reify the label, and the person gets lost. The boundaries of the “boxes called labels” aren’t moveable unless that becomes a goal of a group, i.e., to review labels and seek to reframe them another way.
When anyone hears a label explained as consisting of some immoveable traits, for example, what might be expressed by Fundamentalism, let’s say on the subject of abortion & free choice-finding this incomprehensible, confusing, and very difficult to understand, these humans have entered the zone of Cognitive Dissonance. This dynamic occurs when people aren’t open to look at newer, alternative meanings of issues in life-they respond by “flight or fight” reactions. Flight usually comes in the form of denial, and the fight using comes in opposition, resistance & conflict. A more effective way to receive new or unfamiliar material is to view it as a process rather than a “knee jerk” reaction-event.
People that seem “to get it” are open to new information, open to the use of metaphorical or metaphysical language or images; they keep learning, and give a new method of understanding the space to grow, and finally giving oneself the flexibility to allow new information to settle in, match up with their beliefs, or challenge them, as well as allowing transformative & integrated learning can be the place to blend into the mix of their sum of experiences in life.
Remember our label is “Radicalized Islamist.” I apologize due to my technical grapic sklls that I can’t produce the diagram I designed; Following are some questions you may consider in digging deeper into the label itself.
How would the term “Islamist” be transliterated into English? Is the term Radicalized Islamist the same thing as “Muslim?” What does the term “radicalization” mean to you?
Social Conditioning Stimuli: media, social media websites, education, religion, peer relationships, inaccurate info & knowledge about the dynamics of racism & other “isms,” mentors, role models, so what would be the main conditioning factors in becoming a Radicalized Islamist?
If one is uses the term of Radicalized Islamist, does this automatically make a person more anti-Muslim than others? If you were to use the term “Radicalized Islamist” are you anti-Muslim—more than someone who doesn’t use the term?
What information do you think is missing? What else would you like to know and to ask about.