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Frank Herbert's "Dune" and the War on Terroism

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posted on Sep, 10 2007 @ 12:37 AM
I recently decided to become re-aquiated with some classic Sci-Fi books and last week started re-reading Dune by Frank Herbert.

Its been at least a decade since I read the book and I was struck by the parrallels in the book to the post 911 world as well as the Islamic symolism contained within.

The book makes several references to Jihad and much like the followers of radical Islam they view it as a violent armed strugle. Not the classical meaning of the term.

The primary aim of jihad is not the conversion of non-Muslims to Islam by force, but rather the expansion and defense of the Islamic state. In the classical manuals of Islamic jurisprudence, the rules associated with armed warfare are covered at great length.[3] Such rules include not killing women, children and non-combatants, as well as not damaging cultivated or residential areas.

There also is reference to the Islamic religious practice of Ramadan. However, the reference is brief and the book does not go into great detail.

I may be a bit crazy but lets break the principals of the book down with the current players in the WOT

The Padishah Emperor Shaddam the IV
Saddam H. is simply much to easy but it seems this role is played by George W. Bush

Padishah, Padshah, Padeshah, Badishah or Badshah (Persian پادشاه Pādishāh) is a very prestigious title, which is composed from the Persian words Pati 'master' and the better-known title Shāh "King", which was adopted by several Islamic monarchies claiming the highest rank, roughly equivalent to Christian Emperors or the Ancient notion of Great King.

The Shahanshah of Iran (King of Kings of Persia), also recognized by Shia Muslims as the rightful Caliph (a claim of universal rule, as their Zoroastrian Sassanid predecessors did often express by inserting in their title 'of Iran and Aniran (i.e. the rest of the world)').
The Great Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, also claiming the title of Caliph (the highest religious authority, as successor to the Prophet Mohammed), recognized by most Sunni Muslims; his Persian arch-rival was Shiite).

Muad'dib.: When spelled mu'addib it means 'teacher" in Arabic. In Dune the charecter Muad'dib is thought of as a prophet. One of Osama Bin Ladens nicknames is Iman Mahdi.

In Islamic eschatology the Mahdi (مهدي transliteration: Mahdī, also Mehdi; "Guided One") is the prophesied redeemer of Islam. The advent of Mahdi is not a universally accepted concept in Islam,[citation needed] and among those that accept the Mahdi there are basic differences among different sects of Muslims about the timing and nature of his advent and guidance. Most Muslims believe that the Mahdi will change the world into a perfect and just Islamic society alongside Jesus before Yaum al-Qiyamah (literally "Day of the Resurrection" or "Day of the Standing"). The "hdi" of "Mahdi" refers to the Arabic root "هدی" which means "to guide". "Mahdi" is also an Arabic name.

The Fremen: the native inhabitants fo the desert planet Dune, are decendant from Zensunni Wanderers. Zensunni is a religion combining Zen Buddhism and Sunni Islam
Sunni's are the prime followers of Osama Bin laden who himself is of the Sunni sect.

The Spacing Guild: The Spacing Guild has a monopoly on banking and interstellar travel. The require the use of spice to achieve this monopoly. In our world the Spacing guild is clearly the Oil Companies

The guild is apolitical (with exceptions, noted below), since their monopoly allows them to dictate terms to all parties that preserves the economy that supports them. As the only party able to transport goods in an interstellar economy, the Guild's highest concern is that commerce continue; for commerce to continue, the Guild must continue; for the Guild to continue, melange must be available. Ultimately, the Guild's only concern is that melange continue to be mined on Arrakis. This concern is embodied in the recurring line "The spice must flow!".

Thus, the Guild holds de facto veto power over all wars and political maneuvering. Military action is permitted, as long as the Guild is paid high rates to transport the troops, but major upsets in the political order of the universe must be approved by the Guild.

global political power?, monopoly? If thats not the oil companies then......

The Bene Gesserit. The other guild in Dune. This group are the political manipulators within the universe. Always plotting etc.

In Brian Herbert's biography of his father, Brian speculates that the name "Gesserit" is supposed to suggest to the reader the word Jesuit, thus evoking undertones of a religious order. Like the Jesuits they have also been accused of using casuistry to obtain justifications for the unjustifiable.

Justifiing the unjustifiable? plotting? This is the Neocons hands down.

The Bene Gesserit have a concept called Missionaria Protectiva

The Bene Gesserit practice "religious engineering" through a faction called the Missionaria Protectiva, which spreads contrived myths, prophecies and superstition (collectively known as Panoplia Prophetica) among the populations of the Empire. A Bene Gesserit may then later take advantage of the prophecies, casting herself as a guide, protector, or some other figure in fulfillment of the prophecy, in order to manipulate the religious subjects for protection or other purposes. These myths also exploit religion as a powerful force in human society; by controlling the particulars of religion, the Bene Gesserit have a manipulative lever on society in general.

Sounds familiar? Take out the religious context and you have the use of patriotism post 911 in speeches, the possible mythology evoked when discussing the heroics of the passangers on United Airlines Flight 93 which may have been shot down. You have the blatant use of Pat Tillmans death for propaganda purposes etc.

posted on Sep, 10 2007 @ 12:45 AM
This topic has come up several times before.

Herbert definitely had oil (and the Arab culture where oil is found on Earth) in mind when he wrote these books. He said so himself during his life.

But I don't think he was a clairvoyant nor do I think that any attempted matches between characters in the book and real life people hold any water.

posted on Sep, 10 2007 @ 12:53 AM

Originally posted by djohnsto77
hold any water.

Are you making a Fremen joke?

"Empires do not suffer emptiness of purpose at the time of their creation. It is when they have become established that aims are lost and replaced by vague ritual."
From Dune Messiah

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