Confronting the Culture of Violence in Saudi Arabia (BBC News - Saleh)
"In the US, politicians and commentators have accused Saudi Arabia's mixture of autocratic rule and puritanical Wahabi Islam of providing a fertile breeding ground for fanaticism and violence."
"Rising violence and intolerance anger liberals and moderates. Within the country, the attacks have spurred liberals and moderate Islamists to openly express their dismay at what they consider an expanding 'culture of violence' promoted by religious radicals." 1-06
Group Conformity and "Doing Wrong" (SocialPC.com)
"Ash designed an experiment where there could be absolutely no doubt about whether subjects would be conforming or not and it was absolutely clear what they were conforming to. He wanted to be able to put an individual under various amounts of group pressure that he could control and manipulate and measure their willingness to conform to the groups response to something that was clearly wrong. Ash conducted what are now described as classic experiments in conformity."
"Each naive therefore had 7 opportunities to conform to something they could see to be wrong. One third of the naives conformed on all 7 occasions. About three quarters of them conformed on at least one occasion. Only about one fifth refused to conform at all. Just to be certain that the result was due to the influence of the confederates responses and not to the difficulty of the task Ash used a control group. Each control subject was asked to make a judgement individually - there were no pressures at all. Over 90% gave correct responses." 01-06
Ibn Sa'ud, Founder of Saudi Arabia (Britannica Online)
Provides a biography of the first ruler of Saudia Arabia. "Ibn Sa'ud decided, in the years before World War I, to revive his dynasty's support for Wahhabism, an extremist Muslim puritan revival." Editor's Note - the Wahhabism form of Muslim is the official religion of Saudi Arabia today. Visitors sometimes misspell as Saud and Wahabism. 01-06
Limits of Conformity and Obedience (BBC News - Saleh)
" 'The results raise the possibility that ... American democratic society cannot be counted on to insulate its citizens from brutality and inhumane treatment at the direction of malevolent authority. A substantial proportion of people do what they are told to do, irrespective of the content of the act and without limitations of [sic] http://www.lermanet2.com/cos/motivate.html so long as they perceive that the command comes from a legitimate authority. If in this study an anonymous experimenter could substantially command adults to subdue a fifty-year-old man, and force on him painful [and potentially lethal] electric shocks against his protests, one can only wonder what government, with its vastly greater authority and prestige, can command of its subjects.' " 01-06
Profile of the Terrorist (PBS.org - Frontline)
"Since 9/11 [Dr. Marc] Sageman has assembled data on hundreds of jihadi terrorists around the world and reported these findings in his book Understanding Terror Networks (2004). In it, Sageman examines the underlying psychological makeup of these jihadis. He says many do not go through formal training, and refutes the idea that they are recruited. In Sageman's view, they are volunteers -- a perspective that challenges the prevailing myths of who joins the jihad and why."
"But according to Sageman, despite their intellectual acuity, his subjects were ultimately ill-prepared for life in the West. He traced their transition to radicalism back to a universal human motivation -- loneliness. 'When they became homesick, they did what anyone would and tried to congregate with people like themselves, whom they would find at mosques,' he explains. 'They drifted towards the mosque, not because they were religious, but because they were seeking friends.' "
"Sageman suggests another part of the terrorists' background is misunderstood: their countries of origin. 'It turns out [of those we collected data on] 60 percent are from Egypt,' he says, which shows the terrorist social movement is very much an Egyptian story."
"Sageman argues the way to fight this [growth of terrorism] is to switch strategies and now engage in a war of ideas." 01-06