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India's Supreme Court rules Hindus can build on holy site. ISIS established a horrifying standard of brutality, re-establishing slavery, practicing what amounted to genocide against the Yazidis , carrying out mass executions and beheadings -- all caught on camera -- and demolishing religious sites and antiquities. ISIS, however, is far from finished. That, in addition to as many as 18, fighters still on the loose between Syria and Iraq, according to a report issued by the Pentagon's Inspector General in August.

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There is no reason to conclude that the threat from ISIS' far-flung network of affiliates and sympathizers has disappeared with the passing of Baghdadi. He may have excelled in his evil mission, but he was at the top of a pyramid of power and others will come forward to claim his mantle of leadership and perhaps learn from his demise. He appeared only once in public, in July , when he delivered a sermon in Mosul's Grand Mosque.

Then, earlier this year, another video resurfaced apparently showing Baghdadi sitting in casual clothes on the floor. He declared the " battle for Baghouz is over. The diehards, the ones who still remained loyal to the ideology of ISIS, stressed their allegiance to ad-Dawla al-Islamiya -- the Islamic State, not to its leader. Hear artillery fire as ISIS battles for last territory Baghdadi never had a cult of personality. Let us try for an instant to identify with all those people, not militant, that look at our world with a gaze full of that desire that, perhaps because the dream is unattainable, often turns into envy.

Admitting that the latter hypothesis is sustainable, we that are inside the west, we that know the truth, know that in our world at the moment there is little to envy. The exponential increase of antidepressant and tranquillizing drugs, of divorces, of scandals, of widespread corruption, of drifts of every sort and the significant decrease in economic resources pro capita are a clear expression of a culture in profound crisis; Isis seems to be aware of these frailties, much more than us, and the continual media stimulation of our fears, our weakness, our anguishes, are an evident confirmation of this.


In the Shadow of Isis

Everything western that moves around them, be it a woman dressed fashionably or of a migrant with the Christian faith, becomes the object of violence to show to the west. Unfortunately, the human being hates in an even stronger way if at the basis of his or her feeling there are also, even unconsciously, feelings of exclusion, of having been rejected or of very profound failure.

We westerners cannot here resolve the problems that are being manifested in the Middle East and in Africa, but we have the obligation to reflect on ourselves, on our way of living and on the reason why so many people hate our way of living. In this perspective, Isis can be conceived as a form of autoimmune aggression of our very own system. Moreover, as the laws of compensation teach us, alongside a modus vivendi that is de-signified and de-signifying, devoid of any form of authentic collective spirituality, there is appearing another that balances through an archaic radicalism whose foundations, not by chance, are All religion , All force , All violence.

Even before fighting Isis on the military plane, even before seeing in the other the hatred that we fail to recognize in ourselves, we have to try to shake up our consciences, we have to become aware of the tiredness of mind that grips the west, we have to go back to questioning ourselves on our essence if we want to try to slow the growth and expansion of the Isis monster. However, for this to happen, the first step is to face our fears, to shed light on the shadow that is inside us. Every time people speak of Isis, horror and terror are the feelings that primarily impose themselves; we believe not only that these feelings have been clearly perceived by Islamic radicalism, but also that it is precisely on them that Isis is making advances on western ground that seem uncontrollable at the moment.

There is also another issue connected to the previous one: Arab malcontent in Europe, also due to lack of representation in national governments, is another issue that absolutely must be addressed.

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From this perspective the terrorists are nothing but the visible points of an enormous iceberg of increasing malcontent. To this there are added the continual injections of migratory flows, future pockets of marginalization and dissatisfaction that within a few decades will take on forms that at the moment it is difficult to imagine. Everything that I have said so far may seem difficult to demonstrate, but from our point of professional observation it is more and more evident that many people oftener and oftener dream of natural disasters like floods, seaquakes, tsunamis that flood cities, all unconscious images of a danger that comes from the sea, a symbol of the unconscious, and invades our territory, involving the whole community.

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  6. In the deliriums of psychotic patients too Islamic terrorism is gaining more and more ground. Isis continually tries to frighten us and it does so in all possible ways, from divulgation of the most atrocious executions to other extreme form of violence like the destruction of those archaeological sites that, although they are in their territories, are nothing but a representation of the origins of our culture. Isis is undermining our historical sense of identity, with consequences that it is still too soon to appraise. Unfortunately, it was the west itself that perpetrated the same very doleful actions in other places, in other historical epochs.

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    The many people that keep on repeating that migrants must be helped in their own countries should be reminded that Africa, before the colonial experience, was a world that lived in equilibrium with nature and in self-sufficiency; perhaps we could even define it an archaic world, but it was surely one able to handle its own maintenance without any need for external helps and to live with an acceptable quality of life.

    The experience of poverty, in the sense that we in the west give it, namely lacking the money required to buy material goods, is a concept that we have exported to the black continent. And now we are paying for the consequences. We therefore have a profound need to reckon with history, to look at ourselves in the mirror and to recognize to the full who we are and who we have been, from both the historical-cultural and collective points of view.

    Jung found in Nazism not the expression of the madness of a criminal leader that Germany was unable to rebel against but rather a collective process of identification with a principle of supremacy of a whole people over all others Hitler was nothing but the interpreter and the spokesman of this process Jung , Likewise today we find ourselves faced with a collective phenomenon that we cannot attribute to a few villains but to a crowd of individuals that everywhere cry out their hatred and their thirst for retaliation and revenge.

    Moving towards a conclusion, we want to entrust to an American historian and psychiatrist the words, expressed in times that were above suspicion, in order to understand the Isis phenomenon and which way we have to go in the near future. He says that in the ancient Middle East, from which our western traditions derive, royal divinity was represented by the warlike god of the storm, who possessed the most important qualities of the self: thirst for dominion, greed for prestige, assertiveness and aggressiveness as stimuli to combat, ambition to extend dominion and build empires, capacity to obtain and accumulate wealth, and a flair for the technical innovations that were to produce the Bronze Age.

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    He adds that awareness of the incessant changes in historical progress found here its uncontrolled beginning and that exercise of these characteristics started a merciless process of aggressions and freed up immense destructive force, which not only brought devastation to the people attacked but also shattered their social structures. This uncontrolled expansion in Egypt led to decadence and in China to feudalism. The kingdoms of Mesopotamia were continually fought with chequered vicissitudes until Assyria bled dry in internecine struggles.

    This situation led to crises and rapid cultural changes. Destruction of the archaeological sites mentioned may also represent a testimony in this sense or a destructive return to the origins in the sense that Eliade has taught us. Identification with Islam by Isis is not a form of spirituality experienced in an orthodox way but an uncritical identification with a religious credo in which one does not in the least perceive the symbolic value of the scriptures, the symbol thus becoming a sign. However, this also happens in Catholicism: St. Ambrose urged people to read the sacred texts in their allegorical form, but this seems to have been totally forgotten, thus leaving the way open in the west too to superficial forms of literalized interpretation.

    But then, accepting that the west may have had an important role in having brought back to life the ancient archaic divinities that Isis is embodying, and convinced as we are that it is not in the deep sense of spirituality that Islam represents that the roots of the actions that Isis is performing are to be found, what can the west do in this destabilized international scenario? We again entrust Perry with the task of answering these questions.

    He says that in distant historical epochs the psyche showed that it possessed all the necessary resources to safeguard communities against madness. He expresses the hope that it will still be possible to understand this message before our predatory interest — our quest for commodities, for luxury, for profit and for property — provokes disasters.

    He says we have realized our need to live in it in a spirit of collaboration. He adds that from his incursions into the histories of different cultures he has reached the conclusion that the psyche and society are organisms able to heal themselves in situations of difficulty and to organize themselves during the evolutionary process. Perry, We cannot fail to share with Perry the basic trust not in the single individual but in that collective Psyche, in a Platonic sense, of which man is nothing but the ephemeral embodied expression.

    We in the west have the arduous task of giving a meaning to everything that is happening, on this side and the other of the Mediterranean Sea, and to fight evil without fear inside and outside us. Eliade M.