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Fabrizio
June 10th, 2010, 07:59 AM
Dutch Voters Split, and Right Surges
By STEPHEN CASTLE and STEVEN ERLANGER
Published: June 10, 2010


THE HAGUE — After the first election in a euro-zone country since the European economic crisis, Dutch voters found themselves divided politically on Thursday and surprised by the surge in popularity of an anti-immigrant party.

With no party winning a majority in the 150-seat Parliament, the result of Wednesday’s voting is likely to mean a long and difficult negotiation over a new governing coalition that could contain three or more parties.

The pro-business Dutch Liberal Party had 31 seats and the center-left Labor Party 30, with 98 percent of the votes counted. But the far-right Freedom Party led by Geert Wilders demanded a share of government after it came in third with 24 seats, more than doubling its representation in the 150-member Parliament.

“We want to be part of the new government,” declared Mr. Wilders, whose party wants to end immigration from Muslim countries and ban new mosques.

“The impossible has happened,” he told a party gathering. “The Netherlands chose more security, less crime, less immigration and less Islam.”

The front-page headline Thursday in the NRC Next newspaper declared “A divided Netherlands.”

“Never has the voters’ message been so mixed,” NRC Next said in an editorial. “A stable governing coalition with three parties does not seem possible.”

The Christian Democrats, who led the last four coalitions, were punished by voters, winning only 21 seats, down from 41. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, 54, announced that he was quitting as the leader of the party and as a legislator.

Among the other parties, the Socialist Party got 15 seats, down from 25, the Green GroenLinks and centrist D66 made gains to get 10 each, and the Christian Union will be holding five seats, having lost one.

Official results will be released on Tuesday.

While Labor made a late surge behind the former mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, the general mood of the voters was toward economic austerity and nationalism.

The strong showing of the populist Mr. Wilders, who combines far-right nationalism with leftist economic ideas, may lead to his party’s being asked to join a governing coalition for the first time.

Mr. Wilders, 46, says that Islam is the biggest threat facing his country. He faces criminal prosecution, accused of inciting hatred after he equated radical Islam with Nazism in a film and called for pages to be ripped out of the Koran. He also favors banning the Koran, new mosques and the wearing of full facial veils by Muslim women.

Once a model of staid stability, Dutch political life has been volatile for years. The country was convulsed by the assassination of the anti-immigration campaigner Pim Fortuyn in 2002 and then two years later by the murder of Theo van Gogh, who had made a documentary critical of Islam.

A campaign that many thought would focus on immigration and Afghanistan instead seemed to turn on economic issues, with voters apparently embracing the Liberal Party’s message of austerity and spending cuts — but no tax increases — to reduce the expanding budget deficit.

But reaction to immigration was never far below the surface, with even the Liberals taking pages out of Mr. Wilders’ policies and vowing to keep immigrants from getting social benefits for 10 years.

Politicians agree that any new administration will have to make significant budget cuts to curb a projected deficit of 6.6 percent of gross domestic product this year. So far, the Netherlands has not unveiled a big austerity package, but large-scale reductions in public spending are expected next year.

The election was called in February when the Labor Party withdrew from the government, refusing to approve plans to keep Dutch troops in Afghanistan. The Labor Party, which nominated Mr. Cohen, 62, renowned for his tolerant running of Amsterdam, did well in early campaigning.

But the economic crisis prompted the Dutch, who share many of the same economic instincts as the Germans, to move toward the Liberals and their leader, Mr. Rutte, 43. For a time, it looked as if the Liberals might lead a government for the first time with a reasonable plurality.

But Mr. Cohen had a good final televised debate, and the race tightened again.

“The economy was by far the main issue we have had in the campaign,” said Maurice de Hond, a prominent Dutch pollster, who predicted a race too close to call between the Liberals and Labor.

Charlotte Brand, a political researcher at Radboud University in Nijmegen, said Mr. Wilders’s popularity was understated by the opinion polls because voters here, as in France, are less likely to admit to anti-immigrant prejudice.

“The campaign was only about the economy, but on the streets the election was also about immigration,” she said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/11/world/europe/11dutch.html?ref=global-home

Ninjahedge
June 10th, 2010, 08:16 AM
It's nice to see that the US is not the only Xenephobic racist people in the world.... :crosseyed:

Fabrizio
June 10th, 2010, 08:18 AM
I would not call the Dutch a Xenephobic racist people. I think the results of the election are more complicated than that.

I hope our Dutch members would comment here.

Ninjahedge
June 10th, 2010, 09:24 AM
I will have to ask, but I don't think my member is Dutch.




In all seriousness though, to simply label it as a limitation not of a particular country due to a large immigration, but a RELIGION is a little scary Fab.

I know the problem, when a country is TOO accepting of the things around it, it will eventually start allowing a bunch of people that are NOT accepting of those same things start to come into power in that country. So the very freedoms they have are the ones that steal them of their freedoms.

It is also odd that when a people or culture moves OUT of an area because they do not like what they are provided in their own country, yet they bring along a lot of their own culture with them when they do. So the very people who do not like the lack of freedoms/jobs/equality their own country does not provide, feel uncomfortable embracing the customs of the country they come to, and in effect make a watered down version of their own country in another rather than integrating into the mainstream....

How can you encourage enough dispersion so that immigration becomes the garlic in the pot, not a pot full of garlic.

212
June 10th, 2010, 01:22 PM
The anti-immigration Freedom Party, after its stunning gains, still has only 24 seats in a parliament of 150.

Will the center-right parties partner with it in a government? Up till now they haven't ...

Fabrizio
June 10th, 2010, 01:50 PM
The pro-business Dutch Liberal Party had 31 seats and the center-left Labor Party 30, with 98 percent of the votes counted. But the far-right Freedom Party led by Geert Wilders demanded a share of government after it came in third with 24 seats, more than doubling its representation in the 150-member Parliament.

You have to consider that this was a fringe party just a short while ago.

(and please note that despite it's name, the Dutch Liberal Party is center-right )

WizardOfOss
June 12th, 2010, 10:18 PM
I would not call the Dutch a Xenephobic racist people. I think the results of the election are more complicated than that.

I hope our Dutch members would comment here.
At the moment I'm quite a bit ashamed (http://www.facebook.com/#%21/group.php?gid=120636547978249) to be Dutch, so I might as well give it a try :)
(I'm not used to talk about politics in English, so I just hope everything is more or less understandable...)

The problem with the PVV (or Wilders as it is basically a one-man show) is that because of his extreme anti-Islam policy you're either with him, or you're totally against him, for most people there's absolutely nothing in between. That's also the hard part now during formation of a coalition, many voters and even high-ranking members of both VVD and CDA definitely don't want to have anything to do with the PVV. This was already an issue the weeks before the elections, everyone wanted to know if the other parties would consider working together with the PVV. The VVD and CDA where the only ones to keep all options open, which might have cost them some votes. I for myself, I did vote VVD, but I did for sure realise that with my vote I also might have helped Wilders into the government, which to me is about the worst nightmare I can imagine.

But also on the less controversial issues it will be though to form a coalition, since on many economical issues, the PVV is (or at least tries to appear) quite left-wing. On the other hand, for months the PVV said they had only one non-debatable issue (raising retirement age from 65 to 67 years), but only hours after the elections, before the formation of the coalition even started, they dropped that issue just to be part of the formation.

I think within the PVV-voters there are two main groups: the ones that vote for him for his anti-Islam policies, and the ones just sick of the traditional parties. The last government was widely considered the worst we ever had, both by media, the opposition and the people. And there's one thing Wilders is absolutely brilliant at: manipulating the public opinion by media. According to him basically all Muslims are fundamentalist terrorists, all immigrants are criminals, all other politicians are liars (well, that might be true, but he's not a bit better than the others...), and about the whole worldwide economical crisis was caused by the last Dutch government (yeah, right). Basically, we are country on the verge of a total collapse, at least that's what he wants us to believe. Everything was of course caused by left-wing politics (meaning everything less right-wing than the PVV). And of course, he is the Saviour of the ordinary, hard working Dutch people, personified as Henk & Ingrid, his equivalent to Joe the Plumber.

I live in Oss, a small city (about 70.000 people), however with a lot of industry and some of the largest logistics companies in Europe. Although the city has a bad name (people from Oss are known as "messentrekkers", knife fighters, because of some brutal violence at the end of the 19th century), the actual crime rates are pretty low. Only about 10% of the population consists of Muslims, hardly any Moroccans (which cause most of the problems in other cities), most of them are originally from Turkey and hardly cause any problems at all. And there's only one mosque, which actually doesn't even look like a mosque, since it's inside an old water tower. So not any reason at all for a strong anti-Islam policy one would think. Oss was the birthplace of the Socialist Party in the '70s (their founder even stole my nickname...), and has always been a socialist stronghold ever since. Sometimes they even got a majority, which is highly unusual in our elections with numerous parties. However, during these elections the the SP and PVV both got 19% of the votes, a huge shift to the right. And as such, here in Oss, despite the lack of Islam-related problems, the PVV scored even higher than the national average.

And it's the same thing all over the country. Sure, the PVV did well almost everywhere. But in the cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht, which both supposedly have huge problems with (mostly Moroccan) immigrants, the PVV only got 9 and 10%, way below the national average. They got huge amounts of votes in small communities that hardly have any Muslims or immigrants at all. For example, in Volendam, a small fishing village with only a handful of immigrants, they got one-third of the votes. This makes me feel their support is more based on fear than on actual problems.

Sure, the PVV has more than just anti-Islam issues, but for those are several alternatives, most notably the before mentioned Socialist Party. Both promised lower taxes for the ordinary man, more safety, better health care, the usual populist stuff. Apart from the anti-Islam issues, there's hardly any reason to pick the PVV above the other parties. And if you read through the populist BS, many of his policies are definetely not in favor of Henk & Ingrid.

So what did PVV-voters actually vote for? Just some of the more controversial or just plain weird things the PVV wants, directly from their program:
(which, in compliance with their cultural policy, is only available in Dutch)

Safety


harsher prison sentences for all sorts of crimes, no more alternative sentences, no more involuntary commitment, no more parole for good behavior.
police officers get the right to search anyone, anytime, even without any specific suspicion (Tarantino might have to rewrite a bit of Pulp Fiction...).
registration of ethnicity of anyone (not just criminals), including people from the Dutch Antilles (hasn't there been some Austrian guy who did the same thing in Germany some 75 years ago?)

withdrawing Dutch nationality of criminals with dual passports (Moroccans, even when born abroad, can't turn in their Moroccan nationality, so all of them have dual nationalities. Most of the problems are with minors. So basically, Wilders wants to send Dutch-born and raised kids back "home")
Lowering the age of legal majority from 18 to 16.

Immigration


First and foremost: Closing the borders for ALL immigrants from Islamic countries.
Islam is a political ideology so it can't have the privileges religions have.
No more mosques, closure of all Islamic schools
a total ban on head scarfs in all public/government buildings and any organization subsidized by the government.
Total ban on the burqa, a tax on head scarfs (called "kopvoddentaks", literally head rag tax)
closing the Commissie Gelijke Behandeling (Equal Treatment Commission, a government organization against any form of discrimination)
If Turkey enters the EU, we leave.
Total ban on dual nationality.
A maximum of 1.000 foreign refugees per year.
Our own immigration policy, no longer following the EU. This also means closing the borders for eastern European workers (so basically get rid of the Schengen Agreement).

Immigrants can get Dutch nationality (and access to social security) only after 10 years of work, without any criminal records.

Politics:


Less government: parliament from 150 to 100 seats, no senate, no longer any political role for the queen.
Less Europe, including getting rid of the European Parliament.
No political or other important official functions for people with dual nationality.

Culture:


New first item in the constitution: the Jewish-Christian and humanist roots of the Netherlands must remain the dominant culture.
Only one language in the government (word and print) and schools: Dutch (well, maybe Frisian. But no English or any immigrant language)
Public television (or as Wilders calls it, "State Television") back from three to one channel, no more multi-cultural "propaganda".
No more subsidies for art.


Business:


No longer any smoking ban in bars and restaurants.
No European regulations for farmers and fishery.

Foreign policy:


Fight against Islam must be the core of our foreign policy.
United Nations is dominated by the OIC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organisation_of_the_Islamic_Conference), so should be mostly ignored.
No more development aid, only emergency aid.
Support countries at war with the Islam, or under a Jihad, like Denmark and Switzerland.
An international tribunal against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of inciting to commit genocide and the destruction of Israel.
stop all subsidies to anti-Israel industies, like ICCO and OxfamNovib.
since 1946 there's an independent Palestinian state, so the Dutch government should call "Jordan" now "Palestina" :confused:

Better environment:


separate "environmental policy" and "climate policy". We can influence the environment, but we can't change the climate.
No "climate policy"

more nuclear power plants
no more climate-related subsidies
The newest type of coal-powered power plants are clean, economical and reliable.

Transportation:


more roads, more lanes
Safe and reliable public transportation (but not a word about the funding...)
Safe taxi's with polite drivers :D

Stimulate growth of Schiphol (our only main airport) by lowering regulations for pollution and noise.
No CO2-related taxes.

Animal rights:


Emergency telephone number for animals
Animal rights should be part of the constitution
Ban on ritual slaughter

Of course this is just a small part of it, the rest of it (60 pages) is mostly populist BS. And this is what they call "the agenda of hope and optimism" :confused:

Fabrizio
June 13th, 2010, 03:39 AM
Uh.... wow.

WizardOfOss
June 13th, 2010, 07:28 AM
Seems like I made a small mistake:

On the other hand, for months the PVV said they had only one non-debatable issue (raising retirement age from 65 to 67 years), but only hours after the elections, before the formation of the coalition even started, they dropped that issue just to be part of the formation.
Of course (as they are a populist party), the PVV was against raising the retirement age, it should remain at 65 years at all cost. Well, at least until 11 hours after the elections...

It's like Obama would have dropped his health care plans the day after the elections...

lofter1
June 13th, 2010, 12:02 PM
Animal rights:

Emergency telephone number for animals

Does the PVV give the critters their very own phone, too?

WizardOfOss
June 13th, 2010, 12:25 PM
Why not? Everyone living creature has the right to have a cellphone, don't they? But of course, to protect our Dutch culture, the person on the other end of the line will only speak Dutch. Those dumb animals will have to adapt, otherwise they are pretty much doomed...

It's probably not what they meant, but it actually is the literal translation. The PVV, always good for a laugh...

Ninjahedge
June 14th, 2010, 10:54 AM
What's that Lassie? Beyndijn's caught down the well?

lofter1
June 14th, 2010, 12:17 PM
From YouTube, Gert Wilders speaks (September 2009) ...

Geert Wilders Warning to America Part 1 of 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQOCcx5V9RI&)

Geert Wilders Warning to America Part 2 of 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdX1qpCtlh8)

Fabrizio
June 14th, 2010, 01:13 PM
Consider Germany and the Church of Scientology:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology_in_Germany

ablarc
June 14th, 2010, 04:06 PM
From YouTube, Gert Wilders speaks (September 2009) ...

Geert Wilders Warning to America Part 1 of 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQOCcx5V9RI&)

Geert Wilders Warning to America Part 2 of 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdX1qpCtlh8)
Gert Wilders makes sense to me.

Why is there any doubt about Islam's intent? Read the Koran (I have).

His most telling claim: there may be moderate Muslims, but Islam is not moderate.

So could we say: we should encourage the bad Muslims --the ones who are moderate?

They have to be a minority in the Muslim faith. What religion encourages its apostates?

What hope is there in this ueber-liberal approach?

Will its elaborate Western goodwill be reciprocated? What do you think?



This man will be killed.

Fabrizio
June 14th, 2010, 05:01 PM
^ Interesting you mention that quote: "there may be moderate Muslims, but Islam is not moderate."

I also took notice of it.

WizardOfOss
June 14th, 2010, 05:33 PM
Sure, he might have a point there, although you can question if there's anything like a moderate religion at all. There are some quite 'nice' parts in the bible too. It's all about interpretation.

Thing is: what does it solve? It's clear that for the PVV, any Muslim is a second-rate individual and will be treated that way. To me that seems the perfect way to stimulate fundamentalism rather than prevent it. And of course, a couple of idiots will prove the PVV was right. So let's turn our country into a second Israel...

Fabrizio
June 14th, 2010, 05:38 PM
If in the second clip if you take away the scary background music and actually listen to his proposals, some of them are not so far fetched. He needs to reword things and work on his delivery. The platinum dye-job does not help matters either.

ablarc
June 14th, 2010, 06:21 PM
Also resonant: "All cultures are not equal."

Who wants to step up to the plate and explain how Nazism and Stalinism --both cultures-- are equal to what we have, however poor that may be?

WizardOfOss
June 14th, 2010, 07:20 PM
If in the second clip if you take away the scary background music and actually listen to his proposals, some of them are not so far fetched. He needs to reword things and work on his delivery. The platinum dye-job does not help matters either.
Sure, he might have some good points. Problem is he exaggerates everything into extremes. Have you seen his "movie", Fitna? Apart from incomplete quotes, a picture of a rapper disguised as Theo van Gogh's murderer instead of the actual person and some complete nonsense (a lot of the things he shows are all about culture, not religion, and as such not mentioned in the Koran), in the second half of it he shows "The Netherlands" as it according to him is today. Mosques at every streetcorner, women in burqa everywhere, Arab signs all over the place. Fact is, I've never seen any woman in burqa here, not in my own town, not in the big cities (and I in fact do believe it should remain like that, a ban on burqa's is fine to me, a ban on head scarfs however is a different thing). And in most Dutch cities, you'll have a tough time to find a mosque at all (450 in total, on average about one per municipality, against many thousands of churches).

If there are problems in certain areas (which for sure exist), politicians should address those problems. Wilders however is showing a colossal problem that simply doesn't exist. What's smart: go against the small number of people actually creating any problems, or presenting 4% of the country (all of the Muslims) as the problem?


Also resonant: "All cultures are not equal."

Who wants to step up to the plate and explain how Nazism and Stalinism --both cultures-- are equal to what we have, however poor that may be?
Not all cultures are equal, but who's to judge? Fact is, those cultures do exist, so you have to deal with it. I just don't think the frontal assault isn't the most constructive way to solve any problem.

Culture will definitely be influenced by religion, but isn't defined by it. For example, the cruel habit of stoning people might be part of Arab culture, but as you should know, isn't part of the Koran. Millions of Muslims fit in perfectly in a Western culture. And of course they''ll add some of their own culture. As long as this doesn't conflict with our Western culture, what's the problem? Just keep out the parts that do conflict, the fundamentalists. Sure, this all sounds easier than it actually is, I do realize. But otherwise our culture is not any bit better than theirs.

ablarc
June 14th, 2010, 07:56 PM
Not all cultures are equal, but who's to judge?
We are to judge. Otherwise we are like the good Germans of 1934.

ablarc
June 14th, 2010, 08:02 PM
Sure, he might have a point there, although you can question if there's anything like a moderate religion at all. There are some quite 'nice' parts in the bible too. It's all about interpretation.
No, it's not; you're lumping the New Testament with the Old. I ask you to find a single, solitary exhortation to violence in the New Testament.

Mohammed's mission: restore the Old Testament of violence and bloodshed. Jesus Christ was simply an inconvenient detour on that road.

Fabrizio
June 15th, 2010, 03:40 AM
Wizard: our societies are superior to Islamic societies. Period.

Why have we worked years and years for human rights if not to create something that we believe is better?

ZippyTheChimp
June 15th, 2010, 09:12 AM
Why is there any doubt about Islam's intent? Read the Koran (I have).

His most telling claim: there may be moderate Muslims, but Islam is not moderate.We get back to the same question: What does it mean to be religious. or affiliated with a religion?

When some people who haven't seen the inside of a church in decades are asked about their religion, they grope for an answer. You sometimes get "non observant Catholic" or "I was raised a Catholic." Why is it so difficult to just admit that they don't have a religion?

Because like so many things in life, it's something we carry along with us - maybe because our parents or grandparents were devout, or rituals like marriages and baptisms. I have been non-religious since high school, but when my wife and I visited the church in my boyhood neighborhood that we were married at, the experience was very emotional. It had nothing to do with the Bible or Jesus. I remember my grandfather, also non-religious, would once a year go to this same church parish, with me as his assistant, and do any carpentry work they might need, free of charge. It wasn't just charity; he could have sent one of his workers. Why would a man who never went to Mass do this?

Attack the Vatican or some dogma of Catholicism, and many non-religious Catholics become defensive. It's no different with Jews or Muslims. What is rationalized as an attack on a religion invariably morphs into an attack on ethnicity.


Hermann Goering and Herbert von Karajan were both card-carrying members of a fraternal group with an agenda.


We are to judge. Otherwise we are like the good Germans of 1934.You often cite Nazi Germany, but what have you learned from it?

Jews began to return to Germany in the Middle Ages to escape the pogroms in the East. A period of German Jewish Enlightenment began with the arrival of Moses Mendelssohn in the 18th century. The Torah was translated into German, and Jews became more secularized and entered the mainstream. They became the core of German intellectualism. More Jews by percentage fought in WWI than any other ethnic group in Germany.

Many couldn't believe what was happening to them in the 1930s. In the end, they were persecuted, not for their religion, but their ethnicity. Didn't matter what they believed; they were Jews by birth.

Many of the 1933 civil service laws in Germany were regarded as innocuous, a passing phase, or a necessary step in light of harsh economic times. But once you target a group, you can justify anything.

That's what's under assault today - not just Islam, but a characterization of Muslims, a Middle East person. Doesn't matter what you believe. You could have a Koran in your home that, like the Family Bible, never gets read. You wear strange clothes or have a strange name. You can't escape it; you're a target.


Gert Wilders makes sense to me.So did Herr Hitler before 1933. Ironic that Wlders begins his speech with a reference to the "collapse" of the Euro. That's it, hit them in the pocketbook, scare them. A familiar ring.


Thing is: what does it solve? It's clear that for the PVV, any Muslim is a second-rate individual and will be treated that way. To me that seems the perfect way to stimulate fundamentalism rather than prevent it. And of course, a couple of idiots will prove the PVV was right. So let's turn our country into a second Israel...It's refreshing to see a European not make excuses for racism.

Fabrizio
June 15th, 2010, 10:29 AM
This morning I read an interesting statistic in today's LaRepubblica: since the year 2000 ten Imams have been expelled from Italy because of ties to terrorism. This includes the Imam of Cremona, the Imam of the Grand Mosque of Rome (biggest in Europe, built on land that was a gift from the Italians), the Imam of the Mosque of Turin, the ex-Imam of Perugia, the Imam of the Viale Jenner Mosque in Milan...

I could go on here but as you know Italians are racist.

I'm sure these "religious leaders" were unfairly targeted. And we have nothing to worry about.

http://www.corriere.it/cronache/08_dicembre_13/cremona_espulso_imam_67e3e1a4-c949-11dd-ae8d-00144f02aabc.shtml

http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2003/giugno/14/Sospeso_imam_Roma_Invito_fedeli_co_0_030614090.sht ml

http://www.repubblica.it/2007/12/sezioni/cronaca/imam-condannato/imam-anno-zero/imam-anno-zero.html

http://www.repubblica.it/2009/10/sezioni/cronaca/imam-perugia/imam-perugia/imam-perugia.html

http://www.repubblica.it/2007/05/sezioni/cronaca/prosciolto-imam/prosciolto-imam/prosciolto-imam.html

ablarc
June 15th, 2010, 10:43 AM
I'm sure these "religious leaders" were unfairly targeted. And we have nothing to worry about.
It's precisely because they are religious leaders that they're both dangerous and targeted.

If they conformed to Zippy's excellent prescription for slack religiosity, they'd still be happily presiding over covered-dish shindigs.

WizardOfOss
June 15th, 2010, 07:01 PM
Wizard: our societies are superior to Islamic societies. Period. That's your opinion. And don't be afraid, mine also. And most people in the Western world think the same, including 99% of the Muslims living here. Problem is, there are a couple of billion people that think otherwise, both inside and outside the Western world. If we want to or not, we have to deal with them. Sure, we could build a huge wall around our 'superior' part of the world. We can call their culture fascist and retarded (as Wilders literally did many times). And we can kick anyone that might think otherwise (according to Wilders, every single Muslim) out of our world. Would that solve anything or just feed the hostility?


I'm sure these "religious leaders" were unfairly targeted. And we have nothing to worry about.Sounds like exactly the ones we need to keep out, no matter how difficult that might be. But i'm living in a neighborhood with hundreds of moderate Muslims, many of them even born here and adapted quite well to our culture. Why should they deserve the same treatment?

Spreading hatred is forbidden by Dutch law, although this does sometimes conflict with freedom of speech or freedom of religion. In a couple of months, a judge will decide whether Wilders crossed that thin line. But any Imam telling his audience to throw homosexuals from a building will be put on the first plane back home, he won't be the first. And rightfully so.

Let me make one thing clear, I'm not defending the Islam as a religion. As an atheist, to me every religion seems quite retarded, Islam no more ore less than Christianity, Judaism or any other religion. But anyone should be free to believe whatever they want. Just don't annoy anyone else with it.

But back to the politics. The main problem in The Netherlands is that as a result of the extreme ideas of Wilders, most other parties are totally opposed to his plans. The PvdA is most infamous for this, as Wilders would say, Job Cohen (their leader, Jewish origins but non-religious) tries to solve every problem "with a cup of tea". The A in their name is for 'Arbeid' (labour), but for many nowadays it should mean "Allochtonen" (foreigners). And most left-wing parties are mostly the same, just to be as far from Wilders as possible. As a result, their policies are too soft. The VVD (liberals) are in my opinion (although this wasn't the main reason for me to give them my vote) much more realistic: anyone able to make his own living and willing to adapt to our culture (and not the other way around) is welcome, no matter what origins or religion. To me, that sounds more like a real-world solution than just close the border for anyone (regardless of religion) from an Islamic country.

I definitely agree with Zippy about the situation in Germany in the 30's. It all ended with horror. But it started with democracy. Now we have a similar situation. Take the election program of the PVV, replace any occurrence of "Islam" with "Judaism" and "Muslim" with "Jew". Wouldn't that look very familiar?

You might have missed it in the long list of items in my first post, but one of the things the PVV wants (but the first time it was mentioned on national television was the day after the elections) is registration of ethnicity. Not just for criminals, but for everyone in the Netherlands and the Dutch Antilles. Where did I hear something like that before?


I could go on here but as you know Italians are racist.And the Dutch smoke weed all day long ;)

infoshare
June 15th, 2010, 08:00 PM
Good subject: Here (http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.5905/pub_detail.asp)is an article I dug-up. Admittedly a Gert Wilders point-of-veiw: basically because he also "makes sense to me (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23780&p=328126&viewfull=1#post328126)"

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.5905/pub_detail.asp

lofter1
June 15th, 2010, 09:14 PM
The incarceration rate of Muslims in Denmark ^ as a guide to their inner psyche?

An interesting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States#Race) way to view a situation.

infoshare
June 16th, 2010, 09:00 AM
That's your opinion. And don't be afraid, mine also. And most people in the Western world think the same, including 99% of the Muslims living here.

Well that is a good start. But, to bring about any change in your attitude on the subject would take a great deal of proselytizing on my part: so rather than get into a protracted (and probably fruitless) debate here I will continue to post a few random links (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism) that may in some way persuade or otherwise enlighten you on the subject (http://www.americanhumanist.org/who_we_are/about_humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_I).

Cheers, I look forward to reading your posts.

Fabrizio
June 16th, 2010, 03:14 PM
From the Sunday Times of London:

A third of Muslim students back killings
Radicalism and support for sharia is strong in British universities

Excerpts:

"ALMOST a third of British Muslim students believe killing in the name of Islam can be justified, according to a poll."

"The study also found that two in five Muslims at university support the incorporation of Islamic sharia codes into British law."

"In the report, 40% of Muslim students said it was unacceptable for Muslim men and women to associate freely. Homophobia was rife, with 25% saying they had little or no respect for gays. The figure was higher (32%) for male Muslim students. Among nonMuslims, the figure was only 4%."

"The research found that a third of Muslim students supported the creation of a world-wide caliphate or Islamic state."

"In addition to its poll of 1,400 Muslim and nonMuslim students, the centre visited more than 20 universities to interview students and listen to guest speakers. It found that extremist preachers regularly gave speeches that were inflammatory, homophobic or bordering on antisemitic."

"Some of the findings amplify previous research. A report by Policy Exchange last year found that 37% of all Muslims aged 16-24 would prefer to live under a sharia system."


Full article: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article4407115.ece

lofter1
June 16th, 2010, 03:53 PM
Perhaps Mother Earth needs a humongous earthquake (or three), resulting in a few un-crossable physical rifts dividing the planet.

Seems we're not wired to live together in peace or harmony.

ablarc
June 16th, 2010, 08:20 PM
^ It's mainly not our fault.

lofter1
June 16th, 2010, 11:28 PM
OK ... not this time, anyway.

212
June 18th, 2010, 12:26 AM
Dutch party rules out Wilders talks

By Michael Steen
Published: June 18 2010 03:00 | Last updated: June 18 2010 03:00
The chances of Geert Wilders , the controversial anti-Islam politician, becoming a minister in the next Dutch government receded yesterday after the Christian Democrat party declined to enter talks with either Mr Wilders or the Liberal party that won last week's general election.

Mark Rutte, leader of the Liberals, was seeking to form a rightwing coalition of his party, Mr Wilders' Freedom party, the PVV, and the Christian Democrats, CDA, in order to command a 76-seat parliamentary majority.

"It's very disappointing, the CDA is pulling the plug on this," Mr Wilders, who wants to end immigration from Muslim countries, told reporters.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/812b390c-7a71-11df-9cd7-00144feabdc0.html

212
June 18th, 2010, 02:23 AM
^ To me this sounds like the Netherlands is likely to get a centrist ruling coalition that includes Labor, the second-biggest vote-getter, along with the Christian Democrats, the winning Liberals, and others. Would you agree, WizardOfOss?

Labor has the most support among Muslims. It's led by the secular Jewish mayor of Amsterdam. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job_Cohen)

WizardOfOss
June 20th, 2010, 05:03 PM
Sorry for this slow reply, have been a bit busy the last days.

Labor (PvdA) indeed is the most popular party among muslims, but still only a small part of this group actually votes at all, way below the average. During local elections earlier this year, there was even a Muslim Party (don't worry, no sharia or other scary stuff, they basically wanted the same rights the Christians already have for years), but they didn't get any seat in any city at all.

Wilders indeed now blames the Christian Democrats for pulling the plug, while in fact he's the only one not wanting to continue the negotiations. Sure, he has a point, the Christian Democrats should be at the table, but since they (the largest party in the previous elections) lost almost half of their seats, they are not the ones to have demands. The VVD and PVV are miles apart on their social and economical policies (with the CDA somewehere in between), they should come to an agreement on the major issues first before getting a third party around the table. Since all of the other parties refuse to work together with the PVV, they're out of the picture for now.

By the way, this isn't anything new, earlier this year we had local elections, the PVV became the largest party in Almere and the second-largest in The Hague. However, they made the total ban of head scarfs in all public buildings a non-negotiable issue (while they already knew this would be absolutely unacceptable for any other political party), and now are in both cities still in the opposition. Convenient for them, they can't be held accountable for any policies, and can now just keep on complaining how horrible everything is.

Now there are basically two other options left. As you already mentioned, a coalition of VVD (liberals), PvdA (labor) and CDA (Christian democrats). Although this is what the VVD prefers, it will be tough. Together with a small Christian party, CDA and PvdA where in the previous coalition, and to say this didn't really work out is an understatement, there's less fighting in the average boxing match. Besides that, the VVD has been extremely critical about that coalition, so it would be kind of weird to let those two parties have a vast majority within the new coalition. But still, this seems to be the most realistic, and to me, also the best option.

The other option would be the VVD and PvdA together with GL (social-green) and D66 (social-liberals). But Rutte (leader of the VVD) already said he wouldn't prefer this, as it would be a right wing party leading a mostly left wing coalition. Sounds logical to me.

Theoretically there might be other options for a center-left coalition, without the VVD and the PVV, but this would still include both CDA and PvdA and at least two other parties. Again those two together and leaving the two biggest winners of the elections out, I just don't see that happen.

Just before the elections, Rutte already told he wanted to have a new government before the first of July. Well, that might have been a bit optimistic...

212
July 11th, 2010, 03:40 AM
^ WizardOfOss, you were spot-on.

Few Dutch Expect New Government Soon


The latest round of talks involves the VVD, the PvdA as well as two other parties: the social liberal Democrats 66 (D66) and the environmentalist Green Left (GL). On Jul. 5, Queen Beatrix urged leaders of the VVD and the PvdA to quickly forge their four-party alliance.

http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/35741/few_dutch_expect_new_government_soon/

Still looks like the far right will be shut out. The Dutch tradition of tolerance wins.

ablarc
July 11th, 2010, 10:02 AM
The Dutch tradition of tolerance wins.
Very Christian of it.

MidtownGuy
July 11th, 2010, 12:25 PM
What Christianity are you talking about? Because it's clearly not the same one described by history.
"I am the only way" suggests the opposite of tolerance.

lofter1
July 11th, 2010, 01:45 PM
Geert Wilders is a BFF of Pamela Geller (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23759&page=3) (of anti-mosque fame), and lavishes praise on her latest manifesto:

The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America (http://www.amazon.com/Post-American-Presidency-Obama-Administrations-America/dp/1439189307)

“This book is a chilling analysis of how the policy of President Barack Obama is chipping away at the very foundation of America's leading role in the world. It exposes his philosophy of near universal 'moral equivalency': a philosophy that is a dead ringer for the cultural relativism that has been poisoning Europe for the past decades. America is the last man standing and it is vital that the people of Europe adopt the attitude of proud American citizens and learn that it is not shameful to be proud of one's heritage. This book is incredibly fascinating and at the same time holds a deeply disturbing message we should all take to heart.”

-- Geert Wilders, Dutch MP

Fabrizio
July 11th, 2010, 06:00 PM
What Christianity are you talking about? Because it's clearly not the same one described by history.




I doubt that Ablarc is talking about the Middle-Ages.

In Europe 2010, where the overwhelming majority of citizens declare themselves Christian, where various countries have Christianity as the State Religion ( Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland, England) human rights and the tradition of tolerance do indeed prevail.

Now tell us about the Muslim countries.

Fabrizio
July 11th, 2010, 06:13 PM
“This book is a chilling analysis of how the policy of President Barack Obama is chipping away at the very foundation of America's leading role in the world. It exposes his philosophy of near universal 'moral equivalency': a philosophy that is a dead ringer for the cultural relativism that has been poisoning Europe for the past decades.


^I don't know about that... but I do believe that societies that have worked for decades for the equality of men and women, gay rights, abolition of the death penalty, accountable justice systems, workers rights, universal health care, free college education, etc and etc.... are indeed societies superior to those without.

WizardOfOss
July 11th, 2010, 06:42 PM
In Europe 2010, where the overwhelming majority of citizens declare themselves ChristianMaybe that's the case in Italy, but if you would ask here, most people would say they are not religious at all.

But indeed, nowadays most Christians here are quite tolerant to other religions. Most, but not all. Wilders has the support of one other party, the SGP. An orthodox protestant party with just two seats, but that could be enough to give a center-right coalition a more comforting majority. This party is also a bit controversial. Not only are they against equal rights for other religions, they are also against equal rights for women. Even more specific: they are against women in politics, so they simply can't join the party. Women should stay at home and raise kids, that's it. And very important, they should not be allowed to wear trousers. Sounds familiar from another religion. Nice guys, those Christians. And those by far outnumber the orthodox Muslims here.


Now tell us about the Muslim countries.Why should we lower us to their levels?

At the moment it is unclear what the status of the negotiations for the new coalition is. There were more important things going on in the world. Damn those Spanish...

Fabrizio
July 11th, 2010, 06:56 PM
"...but if you would ask here, most people would say they are not religious at all."

Reread what I wrote.

----

SPG: a fringe Christian group as nutty as Islam.

Nutty... but maybe, all things considered, not quite as nutty as Islam.

----

"Why should we lower us to their levels?"

We certainly should not.

(BTW, "lower us to their levels" would indicate that you believe they are inferior.)

ablarc
July 11th, 2010, 07:00 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Spencer_%28author%29

212
July 11th, 2010, 07:40 PM
The Dutch tradition of tolerance wins.


Very Christian of it.

Yes! In all the best ways.

WizardOfOss
July 11th, 2010, 07:41 PM
"...but if you would ask here, most people would say they are not religious at all."

Reread what I wrote.
Probably something is lost in my translation?


SPG: a fringe Christian group as nutty as Islam.

Nutty... but maybe, all things considered, not quite as nutty as Islam.
What makes them not as nutty as the average Muslim? Otherwise go and have a look in our Dutch bible belt. In that region they are about as tolerant as the average Islamic country. Better don't go there on a Sunday, even their website is off-line then.


"Why should we lower us to their levels?"

We certainly should not.
Well, the PVV thinks otherwise. At least, I consider basically banning the Islam quite a move in that direction.


(BTW, "lower us to their levels" would indicate that you believe they are inferior.)
That wasn't really how I meant it, but in some aspects, they are, no doubt about it. More specifically, we are way more tolerant to other cultures and religions. Importing other cultures also means importing culture-related problems. We have become what we are now by handling those problems, not by keeping the cultures outside, not by banning those cultures.

Fabrizio
July 11th, 2010, 07:49 PM
Did you see about the latest Catholic Church scandals in Belgium. Did you read the Churches reaction to the Belgium athourities?

If right now folks in Belgium wanted a moratorium on new Catholic Seminaries or Churches I would understand. And I'm Catholic.

Here in Italy with so many Imams of the Mosques of major cities expelled for hate talk and calls for jihad... I can understand wanting a moratorium on new mosques. (It is funny because the Imam of my town is now in jail with a 10 year sentance for beating his wife. He was turned in by her.)



-----

For the record: although IMHO this Geert fellow has some things right, he obviously has a lot wrong.

Clobber me but...let me put out this idea: perhaps it is better to give these far-right groups representation. The real workings of government and politics I think moderates them. If he is getting nearly 25 percent of the vote he must be dealt with...otherwise it will be much higher next time. Our Northern Leauge has representation but has only about 10 percent of the vote. Less than in most of Europe. I think having them in the government changes them.Look at Fini... now considered moderate and actually liberal on many issues.He is certainly mainstream now.

212
July 11th, 2010, 10:40 PM
^ Counterexample: In Israel, right-wing groups inside the governing coalition cause all sorts of mischief and chaos. Best not to let them in.

I suspect that the anti-immigration parties are gaining mostly because the shaky economy has people feeling resentful. Will things simmer down once the economy improves? I'd bet on it.

MidtownGuy
July 11th, 2010, 11:40 PM
"...but if you would ask here, most people would say they are not religious at all."Thank You. Fabrizio and ablarc prefer to apply a sliding scale.

Fabrizio said
Nutty... but maybe, all things considered, not quite as nutty as Islam."

Talk about weasel words.

And P.S. we've had a similar discussion before and that went in circles too.

ZippyTheChimp
July 12th, 2010, 01:15 AM
What Christianity are you talking about? Because it's clearly not the same one described by history.So I guess you're not talking about the Christianity of the Middle Ages. So many Christians seem to think that the 'bad times' ended with the Inquisition.

How about a few more recent examples.

We won't bother with Adolf, but there was a Catholic counterpart movement in Croatia called the Ustase. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ustase). Their leader during WWII was a particularly unpleasant fellow called Ante Pavelic. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ante_Paveli%C4%87), who stated, "we shall convert one third, we shall kill one third and one third will leave willingly or unwillingly."

Quote from Wiki:
Pavelić's regime was not officially recognized by the Vatican, but the Church never condemned the genocide and forced conversions to Catholicism perpetrated by the Ustaše.[22] Soon after coming to power in April 1941, Pavelić was given a private audience in Rome by Pope Pius XII, an act for which the Pope was widely criticized.

In May 1945, Pavelić fled from advancing Yugoslav Partisans, via Bleiburg, to Austria. After a few months, Pavelić moved to Rome, where he was hidden by members of the Roman Catholic Church (according to de-classified US Intelligence documents.)

Then there's South Vietnam. Many aren't aware of it, but South Vietnam was governed by a 'devout' Catholic despot from 1955 to 1963, Ngo Dinh Diem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngo_Dinh_Diem).

See Roman Catholicism in Vietnam (1954-1975) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholicism_in_Vietnam). Despite being the dominant religious group (80% of the population), Buddhists were second class citizens in their own country. The largest landowner in South Vietnam was the Catholic Church.

More on the Vatican and Vietnam (http://www.reformation.org/vietnam.html)

And of course, there's Northern Ireland, where Christian groups couldn't even get ecumenical among themselves.

All the above, and more, happened not in the distant past.

Does this prove that Christians are bad? Of course not, and that's the point. Countries (that is, their governments and laws) shouldn't be Christian or Muslim. The Netherlands works because it is secular.

Fabrizio
July 12th, 2010, 02:48 AM
^
Ante Pavelic?, Ngo Dinh Diem?, Northern Ireland?

Interesting examples, but 70 years ago, was Christianity defined and represented by the likes of an Ante Pavelic? I don't think so.

Was it defined by a Ngo Dinh Diem?

In the 60's and 70's, was Christianity defined by what was happening in Northern Ireland?

But look at the countries that declare themselves to be Muslim... look at their human rights and tolerance ....what do they say about Islam in 2010?:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ea/World_Muslim_Population_Pew_Forum.png


-------------------------------------


Countries (that is, their governments and laws) shouldn't be Christian or Muslim. The Netherlands works because it is secular.

Exactly. In Islam, religion and law are the same.

--------

re: Pavelić and the Pope:

Pope Pius XII's history and legacy in context and in full:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pius_XII

-----------

Vietnam and Catholics today:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/22/AR2005062202182.html

-

Fabrizio
July 12th, 2010, 04:09 AM
^ Counterexample: In Israel, right-wing groups inside the governing coalition cause all sorts of mischief and chaos. Best not to let them in.

I suspect that the anti-immigration parties are gaining mostly because the shaky economy has people feeling resentful. Will things simmer down once the economy improves? I'd bet on it.

I don't know, but I think Isreal is a particular case that doesn't really apply here. I just wonder if keeping these parties marginalized only makes them more radical and attractive. And I think it's more than the economy. I think there are also real concerns about immigration policies that were seen as too liberal and lax. See the case in Arizona... an extreme reaction but with roots in real concern.

Re: people feeling resentful.

I do not have to worry about job competition from recent immigrants. No professionals do. But talk to people with simple minimum wage-jobs...I don't think it's fair to trivialize their concerns as we often do.

Fabrizio
July 12th, 2010, 08:35 AM
In Europe 2010, where the overwhelming majority of citizens declare themselves Christian, where various countries have Christianity as the State Religion ( Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland, England) human rights and the tradition of tolerance do indeed prevail.


Maybe that's the case in Italy, but if you would ask here, most people would say they are not religious at all.

I believe most would define themselves as Christian. I am Catholic. I celebrate Christmas. Easter. We baptise the kids. Funerals. Weddings. But religous? Of course not. As you say, we are not religous at all. But we define ourselves as Christian all the same.

Ninjahedge
July 12th, 2010, 09:08 AM
Is there a new term for that?

It is not Agnostic, and not Athiest. Maybe it can be described as Christian Heritage, not profession. :confused:

(I am similar, and my wife's family is completely Secular Christian, celebrating the holidays with no real connection to the religion they came from).

Sorry for the aside, but I think that it is always important to remember and honor the origins of many holidays, but to also take them in context and understanding. The thnig I see to mucj is both a splitting and a cycling of religious expression. You do not get many moderates coming forth, but believers and non believers. You get people cycling from fervent religious doctrine to "who cares".

Do humans find it that diofficult to hold something without fighting over it, for it or against it?

ablarc
July 12th, 2010, 09:13 AM
I believe most would define themselves as Christian. I am Catholic. I celebrate Christmas. Easter. We baptise the kids. Funerals. Weddings. But religous? Of course not. As you say, we are not religous at all. But we define ourselves as Christian all the same.
^ The way it is. Most of Christianity is subsiding into a peripheral collection of social customs --the exact opposite of Islam, which gathers militancy daily from the intransigence of its fundamental core.

MidtownGuy
July 12th, 2010, 02:31 PM
Then it's debatable whether it's even Christianity anymore (in the sense of following the teachings of the Bible), or simply a collection of social customs (as you have said). And the same can be true for the version of Islam practiced by hundreds of millions of "Muslims".

People define themselves however they choose, Muslims included.

I think before this debate can continue productively (instead of going in circles as it did on the other thread while the bigots among us parse every word and lose sight of the real questions) we need to agree on a definition of "Christian" and "Muslim" as they will be applied in this discussion, and apply the same standards to both. It's clear Christians are being characterized here using the most benign terms such as those who baptize and eat Easter eggs, while Muslims are being characterized by the most extreme examples we can find.

It should be noted that most people understand the problem with that...there are really just two members here that constantly beat the anti-Islam drum. More proof that being intelligent and being a hardened bigot are not mutually exclusive.

Fabrizio
July 12th, 2010, 03:04 PM
Midtown... you are changing the tone of the thread by immediately going for the personal and characterizing others as "bigots". And coyly wrapping it in words like "just two members".

No I am not a bigot...."hardened bigot" no less,... the term is offensive and not grounded in any reality.

If I am I bigot, I am as much as those Muslims concerned about their religion....and wishing to inform others about their religion.... that I have quoted from many times.

Furthermore... while you are busy explaining me to the forum, another member here praised me for the material on the subject of Islam I posted (the Cordoba thread).

ZippyTheChimp
July 12th, 2010, 03:35 PM
People define themselves however they choose, Muslims included.I'm glad someone understands the difference between Islam and Islamism, or in the case of all religions, the difference between a theocracy and people practicing their religion in a secular society.

That Pavelic and Diem did not represent Christianity in general both misses the point, and is the point. They were Christian theocracies in modern times. They were brutal, and supported by the Vatican. That a "representative of God on earth" had an audience with a mass murderer cannot be minimized. A Nazi sympathizer in my view.


^ The way it is. Most of Christianity is subsiding into a peripheral collection of social customs --the exact opposite of Islam, which gathers militancy daily from the intransigence of its fundamental core.You continually confuse a religion with a political movement that uses religion for political control. [see above]. If Islam is fundamentally militant, why did Iranians revolt against a government that fits your description to a T?


It's clear Christians are being characterized here using the most benign terms such as those who baptize and eat Easter eggs, while Muslims are being characterized by the most extreme examples we can find.

Ablarc, have you ever sat down and had beers with any Muslims?

Fabrizio
July 12th, 2010, 03:42 PM
Ablarc, have you ever sat down and had beers with any Muslims?


^ If I may answer that: I do regularly.

------

Furthermore re: Midtown's "the-two-bigots-here-post"

For the record:

While you are trying charcterize my viewpoints as those of a hardened bigot and somehow different from others here....one of "just two members here", please note the following:

Read what I've said about Geert Wilder (although I say that "some of his proposals are not so far-fetched", I add that he's: "obviously wrong about many things") yet read what fellow member infoshare says about him: "he makes sense to me".

Note too infoshare's post #30.

----
----

I post the following: "Wizard: our societies are superior to Islamic societies. Period."

Wizard posts: "That's your opinion. And don't be afraid, mine also."

-----
-----

212 posts: "The Dutch tradition of tolerance wins."

Ablarc responds "Very Christian of it."

212 says: "Yes! In all the best ways."

----
----

I post to wizard: ""lower us to their levels" would indicate that you believe they are inferior"

Wizard responds: "That wasn't really how I meant it, but in some aspects, they are, no doubt about it. "

---
---

It's a civil discussion with many viewpoints....there are things we agree on and things we don't. But it's adult and civil.

And then you enter in.

Fabrizio
July 12th, 2010, 03:58 PM
I am rushing and will get back to your post later but could you clarify what, in this case "an audience" with Pavelić means? Was it a meeting...do we know what the Pope spoke to him about? Any details?



That a "representative of God on earth" had an audience with a mass murderer cannot be minimized. A Nazi sympathizer in my view.

ablarc
July 12th, 2010, 05:01 PM
Everything is the same as everything else.


And of course, we live in the past; the present doesn't matter.

MidtownGuy
July 12th, 2010, 05:29 PM
Until it isn't.

And until it does.

MidtownGuy
July 12th, 2010, 05:31 PM
First this...

Furthermore... while you are busy explaining me to the forum...then this...


"It's a civil discussion with many viewpoints....there are things we agree on and things we don't. But it's adult and civil. And then you enter in."Uh huh...'splain it all to us.

lofter1
July 12th, 2010, 05:37 PM
I am rushing and will get back to your post later but could you clarify what, in this case "an audience" with Pavelić means? Was it a meeting...do we know what the Pope spoke to him about? Any details?

If I may ...

Reassessing Pope Pius XII's Attitudes toward the Holocaust

Interview with Robert S. Wistrich (http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=3&DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=610&PID=0&IID=3108&TTL=Reassessing_Pope_Pius_XII's_Attitudes_toward_t he_Holocaust)

[...]

Croatia

"A second important issue in assessing Pius XII concerns his attitude toward Croatia. The Catholic Croatian fascist state that existed from 1941 to 1945 carried out its own genocide. After the German invasion of Yugoslavia, that country was dismantled. Out of its ruins an enlarged Croatia was created. Its leader Ante Pavelić was a pious Catholic who never missed a Mass. Under him the legislation of Croatia was transformed into that of a fundamentalist Catholic state ruled by the brutal Ustaša, who were Nazi collaborators into the bargain.

"The Croats embarked on genocide, the largest number of victims being Orthodox Christian Serbs. An estimated 350,000 were massacred in a truly horrific manner by the Ustaša (a word that means insurrection in Serbo-Croat.) Those who wanted to avoid being murdered had to convert to Catholicism, which, in the Croat view, was the only true religion.

"An estimated thirty thousand Croatian Jews were also murdered. The most notorious death camp was Jasenovac, where the murdered included Serbs, Jews, as well as Gypsies and communists. Pavelić was received in 1941 in a private audience by Pope Pius XII. The pope did not grant him full-blown recognition nor did he send an official nuncio to Croatia, as there were no official diplomatic relations. Instead he sent Giuseppe Marcone, a Benedictine abbot as his apostolic visitor, though in fact the latter acted like a nuncio. Hence the feeling of Pavelić and others that the Holy See had de facto recognized the new Croatian state.

"Both Marcone and the Archbishop of Zagreb, Alojzije Stepinac (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloysius_Stepinac) - who was beatified in 1999 - kept the pope well informed. Pius XII knew about the atrocities and about the Nuremberg-style race laws applied to Jews almost immediately in Croatia once Pavelić came to power.

"Stepinac was a courageous personality in a difficult position. Initially he praised and fully supported the Croatian Catholic regime. After all, it was strongly anticommunist, bolstered Catholic influence in Southeastern Europe, and had put an end to the much-resented cultural-religious pluralism of post-1918 Yugoslavia.

"Archbishop Stepinac was one of the very few Croat leaders who deplored the genocidal aspect of Pavelić's rule.[11] Stepinac could not ignore the Ustaša terror against Serbs and Jews, though there were other Croat bishops who sought to justify it. In the summer of 1941, Stepinac was indeed protesting to the regime about its draconian racial laws against the Jews, though with little success. He was especially shocked by the fact that Franciscan priests were actively involved in murder. He deplored the fact that Jews who had converted to Catholicism were not spared. The Vatican, however, advocated discretion and ‘loyal cooperation' with the civil authorities."

Helping War Criminals Escape

"Vatican indulgence toward the criminal Ustaša leadership did not end in 1945. There is compelling evidence that the Vatican was instrumental in permitting Pavelić to escape from Italy to Argentina in 1947 along with other members of his entourage. It appears that he was hidden on Vatican-controlled properties in or outside Rome after 1945. The Ustaša fascists were given false papers, visas, and passports for South America.

"The Vatican unquestionably was involved in helping these mass murderers escape. It has long been known that individuals like the Austrian pro-Nazi Bishop Hudal, who was close to the Vatican, assisted mass murderers like Eichmann and Franz Stangl to get away. Did Pius XII know about this and did he even care? That remains an open question. What is not open to dispute is that the Vatican sought clemency for convicted Nazi criminals, hid fugitives from justice like the Ustaša on its properties, and was generally uncooperative on the issue of war crimes. Nor did Pius XII make any statement against genocidal anti-Semitism after 1945."

*

Professor Robert Solomon Wistrich has held the Neuberger Chair for Modern European and Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem since 1989. He is the author and editor of more than twenty books. His forthcoming study to be published by Random House in January 2010 is titled A Lethal Obsession: Antisemitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad. Wistrich has headed the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at the Hebrew University since 2002. He was the only Israeli on the Vatican-appointed International Catholic-Jewish Historical Commission of six scholars examining the record of Pope Pius XII during the Shoah.

lofter1
July 12th, 2010, 05:44 PM
(At the risk of sidetracking the thread)

More related info here (http://libcom.org/library/role-catholic-church-yugoslavias-holocaust-se-n-mac-math-na-1941-1945) ...

The role of the Catholic Church in Yugoslavia's holocaust - 1941-1945

By Seán Mac Mathúna

[...]

One leading member of the Catholic church in Croatia was the Nazi collaborator Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac. When he met Pavelic on April 16th 1941, he later noted that he had promised that he would "not show tolerance" to the Orthodox Serbian church - which gave Stepinac the impression that Pavelic "was a sincere Catholic". By June 1941, when German army units were reporting that the "Ustashe have gone raging mad" killing Serbs, Jews and Roma, Catholic priests, notably Franciscans took a leading part in the massacres, as pointed out by Cornwell:

"Priests, invariably Franciscans, took a leading part in the massacres. Many, went around routinely armed and performed their murderous acts with zeal. A Father Bozidar Bralow, known for the machine gun that was his constant companion, was accused of performing a dance around the bodies of 180 massacred Serbs at Alipasin-Most. Individual Franciscans killed, set fire to homes, sacked villages, and laid waste the Bosnian countryside at the head of Ustashe bands. In September of 1941, an Italian reporter wrote of a Franciscan he had witnessed south of Banja Luka urging on a band of Ustashe with his crucifix." (p 254).

It is clear now, that other members of the Catholic Cardinals in Europe also knew about the massacres. On March 6th 1942, a French Cardinal Eugčne Tisserant, a close confident of the Pope to the Croatian representative to the Vatican:

"I know for a fact, that it is the Franciscans themselves, as for example Father Simic of Knin, who have taken part in attacks against the Orthodox populations so as to destroy, the Orthodox Church. In the same way, you destroyed the Orthodox Church in Banja Luka. I know for sure that the Franciscans in Bosnia and Herzegovina have acted abominably, and this pains me. Such acts should not be committed by educated, cultured, civilized people, let alone by priests". (p 259)

The Catholic Church took full advantage of Yugoslavia's defeat in 1941 to increase the power and outreach of Catholicism in the Balkans - Stepinac had shown contempt for religious freedom in way that even Cornwell says was "tantamount to complicity with the violence" against Yugoslavia's Jews, Serbs and Roma. For his part, the Pope "was never but benevolent" to the leaders and representatives of fascist Croatia - in July 1941 he greeted a hundred members of the Croatian police force headed by the Zagreb chief of police; in February 1942, he gave gave an audience for Ustashe youth group visiting Rome, and he also greeted another representation of Ustashe youth in December of that year. The Pope showed his true colours when in 1943 he told a Croatian papal representative that he was:

"Disappointed that, in spite of everything, no one wants to acknowledge the one, real and principal enemy of Europe; no true, communal military crusade against Bolshevism has been initiated" (p 260)

Stepinac for one, appears to have been a full supporter of forced conversions - along with many of his bishops, one of whom described the advent of fascist Croatia as "a good occasion for us to help Croatia save the countless souls" - i.e., Yugoslavia's non-Catholic majority. Throughout the war, Croatian bishops not only endorsed forced conversions, they never, at any point, dissociated themselves from Pavelic's regime, let alone denounce it or threaten to excommunicate him or any other senior member of the regime. In fact, before Yugoslavia was invaded, Stepinac had told Regent Prince Paul of Yugoslavia in April 1940:

"The most ideal thing would be for the Serbs to return to the faith of their fathers, that is, to bow the head before Christ's representative (the Pope). Then we could at last breathe in this part of Europe, for Byzantinism has played a frightful role in the history this part of the world" (p 265).

The Pope was better informed of the situation inside Yugoslavia than he was about any other area of Europe. His apostolic delegate, Marcone, was a regular visitor to Croatia, travelling on military planes between Rome and Zagreb. Cornwell describes Marcone - who was the Popes personal representative in Croatia - as "an amateur who appeared to sleepwalk through the entire bloodthirsty era" (p 257).

The Vatican would also have been aware of frequent BBC broadcasts on Croatia, of which the following (which were monitored by the Vatican State), on February 16th 1942, was typical:

"The worst atrocities are being committed in the environs of the archbishop of Zagreb [Stepinac]. The blood of brothers is flowing in (the) streams. The Orthodox are being forcibly converted to Catholicism and we do not hear the archbishop's voice preaching revolt. Instead it is reported that he is taking part in Nazi and Fascist parades" (p 256).

And, according to to Dedijer:

Throughout the whole war in more than 150 newspapers and magazines, the church justified the fascist state under Pavelic as the work of God.

Fabrizio
July 12th, 2010, 06:14 PM
Lofter thanks for that.

---

What Catholics can teach Muslims in a time of moral crisis for both

Irshad Manji - Apr 18, 2010


Now that Pope Benedict is making public amends for the long-percolating sex abuse scandal inside his worldwide Church, all sorts of commentators are weighing in. As they should. Wisdom requires a multiplicity of perspectives.

What I find interesting is that when it comes to eviscerating the Vatican, nobody tells Jews, Protestants, Hindus, atheists, humanists, or Muslims that “you can’t comment because you don’t represent.”

But that’s a choice slogan hurled at non-Muslims who want to participate in public conversations about the troubles within Islam today. Usually laced with anger and meant to induce fear, the slogan tends to succeed in silencing non-Muslims.

Non-Catholics, on the other hand, feel utterly permitted to comment about Catholicism’s travails. There’s the Harvard law professor and proud Jew, Alan Dershowitz. There’s Nicholas Kristof, who strikes me as a religion-tolerant humanist. There’s the secular Hindu Tunku Varadarajan. There’s the strident atheist Christopher Hitchens, who has also testified against the miracle-workings of Mother Teresa — at the invitation of the Vatican.

I, myself, have been openly critiquing the Vatican for years. As the host of a Canadian TV show called Big Ideas, I’d deliver an editorial in every episode. From time to time, it would involve what I viewed as crimes committed by the Church’s top honchos.

In a 2003 editorial, I blasted “the Church’s complicity in the Rwandan genocide, in which ethnic Hutu extremists killed 800,000 minority Tutsis and Hutu moderates. Today, four clergymen are facing genocide charges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and a couple of years ago in Belgium, two Rwandan nun were convicted of murder. They assisted the massacre of 7,000 Tutsis who sought protection at a Benedictine convent. In fact, human rights groups have documented several cases in which Christian clerics let Tutsis take shelter in their churches, then turned the Tutsis over to death squads. Some Hutu priests even encouraged their congregations to kill Tutsis.“

For all the emails I received about that editorial, not one told me, “You can’t comment because you don’t represent.” Not even a mention of the sort. Nor did anybody accuse me of being anti-Catholic. Could you imagine a non-Muslim issuing an unsparing indictment of mullahs without being branded an Islamophobe?

Another of my editorials started with respect for Pope John Paul’s denunciation of the “culture of death” — from suicide bombings to capital punishment to abortion. But, I pointed out, the Pope’s refusal to endorse stem cell research “strikes me as perpetuating the culture of death for people in developing countries. Ninety percent of what the world spends on health research is directed to alleviating diseases that affect only ten percent of the world’s population. If the Vatican supported the use of discarded embryos strictly to treat the neglected diseases of the Third World, wouldn’t this be more righteous than sinful? And if it’s deemed strictly sinful, then how does the Vatican reconcile that position with Catholicism’s cardinal principle that unnecessary human suffering is evil?“

Again, plenty of public feedback without a single soul assailing me as anti-Catholic. Not one accusation that my Muslim mouth has no business running on about another religion’s affairs. Muslims ought to salute Catholics for recognizing that what happens to people — any people — in the name of a universal God is everybody’s affair.

That’s what ordinary Muslims can learn from everyday Catholics in this moment of moral crisis for both of our religions. The lesson is simple. You can — you must — comment even if you don’t represent.

Which brings me to a final thought. In his column, “A Church Mary Can Love,” Kristof writes that “the old boys’ club in the Vatican became as self-absorbed as other old boys’ clubs, like Lehman Brothers, with similar results. And that is the reason the Vatican is floundering today.”

Clearly, Kristof sees that leaving the reform of institutional culture — whether Wall Street’s or the Vatican’s — to insiders alone is a non-starter. To do the right thing, insiders usually need outside pressure.

When will we all understand the same about Islam — that reform won’t happen exclusively from the inside? Questions form the outside will be key to advancing change inside the world of Islam. In my next book, I’ll explain the crucial role that non-Muslims have to play.

http://www.irshadmanji.com/im-what-catholics-teach-muslims-in-a-time-of-moral-crisis-for-both

ablarc
July 13th, 2010, 07:58 AM
^ Some thoughtful, though obvious, truths.

He's a good person, the kind of moderate Muslim we all seek, and by the standards of the Koran he is a traitor.

Fabrizio
July 13th, 2010, 08:10 AM
Just like Catholicism.... just like every other Christian faith today.... aren't they really just all the same? :

Islam the problem
The irrational response to Salman Rushdie's knighthood is sadly typical

Irshad Manji - June 21, 2007


GROWING up in Vancouver, I attended an Islamic school every Saturday. There, I learned that Jews can't be trusted because they worship "moolah, not Allah", meaning money, not God. According to my teacher, every last Jew is consumed with business. But looking around my neighbourhood, I noticed that most of the new business signs featured Asian languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Punjabi and plenty of Urdu. Not Hebrew, Urdu, which is spoken throughout Pakistan.

That reality check made me ask: What if my religious school isn't educating me? What if it's indoctrinating me?

I'm reminded of this question thanks to the news that Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses and 10 other works of fiction, will be knighted by the Queen. On Monday, Pakistan's religious affairs minister said that because Rushdie had blasphemed Islam with provocative literature, it was understandable that angry Muslims would commit suicide bombings over his knighthood. Members of parliament, as well as the Pakistani Government, amplified the condemnation of Britain, feeding cries of offence to Muslim sensibilities from Europe to Asia.

As a Muslim, you better believe I'm offended - by these absurd reactions.

I'm offended that it is not the first time honours from the West have met with vitriol and violence. In 1979, Pakistani physicist Abdus Salam became the first Muslim to win the Nobel Prize in science. He began his acceptance speech with a verse from the Koran. Salam's country ought to have celebrated him. Instead, rioters tried to prevent him from re-entering the country. Parliament even declared him a non-Muslim because he belonged to a religious minority. His name continues to be controversial, invoked by state authorities in hushed tones.

I'm offended that every year, there are more women killed in Pakistan for allegedly violating their family's honour than there are detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Muslims have rightly denounced the mistreatment of Gitmo prisoners. But where's our outrage over the murder of many more Muslims at the hands of our own?

I'm offended that in April, mullahs at an extreme mosque in Pakistan issued a fatwa against hugging. The country's female tourism minister had embraced - or, depending on the account you follow, accepted a congratulatory pat from - her skydiving instructor after she successfully jumped in a French fundraiser for the victims of the 2005 Pakistan earthquake. Clerics announced her act of touching another man to be "a great sin" and demanded she be fired.

I'm offended by their fatwa proclaiming that women should stay at home and remain covered at all times. I'm offended that they've bullied music store owners and video vendors into closing up shop. I'm offended that the Government tiptoes around their craziness because these clerics threaten suicide attacks if confronted. I'm offended that on Sunday, at least 35 Muslims in Kabul were blown to bits by other Muslims and on Tuesday, 80 more in Baghdad by Islamic "insurgents", with no official statement from Pakistan to deplore these assaults on fellow believers. I'm offended that amid the internecine carnage, a professed atheist named Salman Rushdie tops the to-do list.

Above all, I'm offended that so many other Muslims are not offended enough to demonstrate widely against God's self-appointed ambassadors. We complain to the world that Islam is being exploited by fundamentalists, yet when reckoning with the opportunity to resist their clamour en masse, we fall curiously silent.

In a battle between flaming fundamentalists and mute moderates, who do you think is going to win?

I'm not saying that standing up to intimidation is easy. This past spring, the Muslim world made it that much more difficult. A 56-member council of Islamic countries pushed the UN Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution against the "defamation of religion". Pakistan led the charge. Focused on Islam rather than on faith in general, the resolution allows repressive regimes to squelch freedom of conscience further - and to do so in the guise of international law. On occasion, though, the people of Pakistan show that they don't have to be muzzled by clerics and politicians.

Last year, civil society groups vocally challenged a set of anti-female laws, three decades old and supposedly based on the Koran. Their religiously respectful approach prompted even mullahs to hint that these laws are man-made, not God-given. This month, too, Pakistanis forced their Government to lift restrictions on the press. No wonder my own book, translated into Urdu and posted on my website, is being downloaded in droves. Religious authorities won't let it be sold in the markets. But they can't stop Pakistanis - or other Muslims - from satiating a genuine hunger for ideas.

In that spirit, it's high time to ban hypocrisy under the banner of Islam. Rushdie is not the problem. Muslims are. After all, the very first bounty on Rushdie's head was worth $US2 million. It rose to $US 2.5 million. Then came higher reward numbers. The chief benefactor, Iran's government, claimed that the money had been profitably invested. Looks like Jews are not the only people handy at business.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/irshad-manji-islam-the-problem/story-e6frg6zo-1111113790716

MidtownGuy
July 13th, 2010, 09:22 AM
^ Some thoughtful, though obvious, truths.

He's a good person, the kind of moderate Muslim we all seek, and by the standards of the Koran he is a traitor.

^It's a woman. I've seen her in interviews.
---
I suspect all this talk of traitors comes from your "reading the Koran"? (Or was it the Hadith?)

Since you mention so often that you have read the Qur'an, and seem to fancy yourself an authority, may I ask which translated version of the Qur'an it was?

I strongly suspect it was a Saudi translated version- probably the Al-Hilali and Khan translation that I have in my possession for many years now (calligraphy reference in my art library). Mass printings of it are funded by Saudi Arabia and distributed around the world.

I'm not saying that all objectionable material in the Qur'an is the result of creative translation...far from it...but I am saying that there are marked differences in the various English versions, and the Saudi Arabian state-printed versions are said to be the most objectionable.

Some writing on translation, perhaps you should have a look at:
http://www.meforum.org/717/assessing-english-translations-of-the-quran

Note this portion of the conclusion:

"Even for native Arabic speakers, the Qur'an is a difficult document. Its archaic language and verse structure are difficult hurdles to cross. Translation only accentuates the complexity. The fact that translators and theologians have, over time, lost much of the Judeo-Christian cultural references rife in the Qur'an is just one more impediment.

Medieval Muslim scholars sought to abandon consideration of the Jewish and Christian testaments as sources of understanding the Qur'an; they largely succeeded. Most religious authorities in Islamic countries, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Iran, oppose any attempt to reinterpret the Qur'an without relying on medieval scholarship. For most Muslims unaware of the evolution of Islamic scholarship, the Qur'an is immutable and uncreated, even though the Qur'an never makes such a proclamation, and theologians reached such a conclusion only after much debate.

Immutability means that the seventh century values of some Qur'anic verses, rather than being placed in their seventh century Arabian context, are portrayed as the eternal divine mandate, giving rise, for example, to an argument that females must inherit half as much as males. The failure of Muslim scholars to place the Qur'an into historical or spatial context has lead to generalizations that have harmed Islam, a trend accentuated by the fact that most Quranic translators are now Muslims. Such a failure facilitates the use of the Qur'an by governments that support chauvinism and incite hate and by terrorists such as those who brought down the World Trade Centers.

In order to make itself acceptable to a world torn by Islamist terrorism, Islam faces more than just the hurdle of a proper English translation of its main document. Until Muslims learn to question the reliability of the Muslim oral traditions, or divorce themselves from medieval exegetical constructs, they will be living in a world much apart from the Judeo-Christian entity that has known reformation and enlightenment. Perhaps this is the reason why, for most academics, the translation of choice still seems to be that of Arthur Arberry."

---

I plan to pick up an Arberry version and see how it compares to the Saudi endorsed version that I already own.

ablarc
July 13th, 2010, 01:35 PM
Since you mention so often that you have read the Qur'an, and seem to fancy yourself an authority, may I ask which translated version of the Qur'an it was?
Abdullah Yusuf Ali.

I'm no more an authority than any casual reader --as you could claim to be, with a little more humility.

But like you, perhaps, I can recognize hate literature.

Would you care to mount a spirited defense of Mein Kampf on the grounds that its meaning depends on the translation?

MidtownGuy
July 13th, 2010, 05:26 PM
If Mein Kampf was written a millenium and a half ago in an archaic tongue like Syriac we might be able to start entertaining that analogy.

And surprise surprise...the Abdullah Yusuf Ali version...if that's the case you should really stop bragging that you've read the Koran. You haven't read the Koran, you've read an embellished polemic against Jews. It is a Saudi Arabian endorsed version and written by a guy who was not even an Islamic scholar. Calling it hate literature is partially right since many of the references to Jews are not in the original.

"Among those Qur'an translations which found Saudi favor and, therefore, wide distribution, was the Abdullah Yusuf 'Ali (1872-1952) rendition[38] that, from its first appearance in 1934 until very recently, was the most popular English version among Muslims. While not an Islamic scholar in any formal sense, Yusuf 'Ali, an Indian civil servant, had studied classics at Cambridge University, graduated as a lawyer from Lincoln's Inn in London, and was gifted with an eloquent, vivid writing style. He sought to convey the music and richness of the Arabic with poetic English versification. While his rendering of the text is not bad, there are serious problems in his copious footnotes; in many cases, he reproduces the exegetical material from medieval texts without making any effort at contextualization. Writing at a time both of growing Arab animosity toward Zionism and in a milieu that condoned anti-Semitism, Yusuf 'Ali constructed his oeuvre as a polemic against Jews. Several Muslim scholars have built upon the Yusuf 'Ali translation.[39] In 1989, Saudi Arabia's Ar-Rajhi banking company financed the U.S.-based Amana Corporation's project to revise the translation to reflect an interpretation more in conjunction with the line of Islamic thought followed in Saudi Arabia. Ar-Rahji offered the resulting version for free to mosques, schools, and libraries throughout the world. The footnoted commentary about Jews remained so egregious that, in April 2002, the Los Angeles school district banned its use at local schools.[40] While the Yusuf 'Ali translation still remains in publication, it has lost influence because of its dated language and the appearance of more recent works whose publication and distribution the Saudi government has also sought to subsidize." http://www.meforum.org/717/assessing-english-translations-of-the-quran

---

So yes, there is a real difference among interpretations and it is not just in minor phrases. Arabic words can change meaning completely with the moving or omission of a few dots. Something about virgins can actually become something about bunches of grapes. Are you familiar with the manuscripts found near Sanaa? I guess not. And they wouldn't fit in with your anti-Islamic world view.

This information is not offered with any claim by me to be any type of expert at all...humility my arse...a lot of this stuff is covered in fairly routine documentaries such as "The Koran" by National Geographic. That's one documentary I recommend that you see as soon as possible.

Maybe it'll put a little more humility and a little less hate speech in your own writing.

lofter1
July 13th, 2010, 05:32 PM
I wonder if the Dutch Right is as rabid as some of our own Christianist Right, many of whom showed up today at the LPC hearing for 45-47 Park Place and tried to present themselves as reasonable -- but as soon a speaker identified themselves as Muslim (whether for or against Landmarking of the property) a whole team of this righteous crowd raised their voices and interrupted the speaker(s). Invectives started to fly, Muslim-American citizens were shouted at to go back to some other land and hatred laced with fear filled the auditorium. Even those with the most heart-wrenching stories of loss and pain inevitably ended up at the same point: America should not allow a mosque to be built anywhere near the WTC site (one did offer that someplace north of 14th Street and east of Fifth Avenue might be an acceptable distance). And all the while they made claims of having friends who were Muslim and that they were speaking in favor of the freedoms laid down in our Constitution.

It was a sad and telling display.

ablarc
July 13th, 2010, 06:28 PM
...written a millenium and a half ago in an archaic tongue like Syriac[/B] we might be able to start entertaining that analogy.

So, basically, no one really knows what the Koran says, since it was written in a now inscrutable language ... Right?

Fabrizio
July 13th, 2010, 06:34 PM
"Mass printings of it are funded by Saudi Arabia and distributed around the world."

"....the Saudi Arabian state-printed versions are said to be the most objectionable."

"Until Muslims learn to question the reliability of the Muslim oral traditions, or divorce themselves from medieval exegetical constructs, they will be living in a world much apart from the Judeo-Christian entity that has known reformation and enlightenment. "

^ So the religious guide.... the holy book.... followed and believed by millions of Musilms around the world is in fact objectionable. ( "Calling it hate literature is partially right")

Besides the mass printings of this version of the Koran, the Saudi's are the ones who fund the majority of the mosques, at least here in Europe.

What is being taught in those mosques?

---------------------------------------------

And doesn't the following phrase mean that Islam is, as it is believed and practised at present, not compatable with the modern world ? :

"Until Muslims learn to question the reliability of the Muslim oral traditions, or divorce themselves from medieval exegetical constructs, they will be living in a world much apart from the Judeo-Christian entity that has known reformation and enlightenment. "

MidtownGuy
July 13th, 2010, 11:40 PM
So, basically, no one really knows what the Koran says, since it was written in a now inscrutable language ... Right?

that's a straw man and you know it.

212
July 14th, 2010, 12:21 AM
Re: people feeling resentful.

I do not have to worry about job competition from recent immigrants. No professionals do. But talk to people with simple minimum wage-jobs...I don't think it's fair to trivialize their concerns as we often do.


Nobody here was trivializing the concerns of those with "simple minimum-wage jobs," as you put it.

Anyway, immigrants' strongest foes earn far above the minimum wage, and have their own reasons (economic and otherwise) to resent and harass the new arrivals.

That recessions drive anti-immigrant sentiment is not in dispute (http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/3512).

I raised the point because some on this forum argue that anti-immigrant forces are on the rise in Europe and should be appeased.

In a healthier economy, support for the right-wing parties may just as easily slip away.

MidtownGuy
July 14th, 2010, 12:26 AM
^ So the religious guide.... the holy book.... followed and believed by millions of Musilms around the world is in fact objectionable. ( "Calling it hate literature is partially right")Of course. And yet don't forget there are more than a billion Muslims. That's why the generalizations should stop if people want to sound nuanced instead of idiotic.

Unfortunately the radical form of Islam has been gaining more traction with more people for a few decades now.

For example, it has been a real struggle in Egypt for people who grew up under a much more moderate Islam to see their country fall under the influence of wahabbi islam imported from Saudi Arabia. The Egyptian government for it's own selfish reasons has spent a lot of energy battling the recent rise of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood as more objectionable forms have gained traction with more Egyptians, especially among the desperate uneducated people of Egypt's poorest slums and rural villages.
The hijab was virtually unknown in Egypt in the 70's.
I re-watched the documentary that I previously recommended, "The Koran", by National Geographic. There is a part where an Egyptian woman tells the camera:

"When I walk through the streets of Cairo unveiled, I do feel a certain pressure. I don't look like everyone else. It attracts attention and some of it is negative. Three decades ago, the hijab did not exist in Egypt. Up until 1974, I had not seen a single veiled woman. Look at the Nasser funeral in September 1970. Seven million Egyptian men and women were on the streets of Cairo and you will not spot one veiled woman."

In 1999 when I spent a month in Egypt I saw very few veiled women.

The Nat Geo documentary goes on to introduce a young Egyptian woman who suddenly came down to breakfast one morning and told her mother (who never wore a hijab) that she was going to start wearing it. The mother was startled. It's really interesting to observe the generational shift as the family is interviewed at the dinner table.

So most people understand that Islam is at a crucial point in its evolvement. A lot of this is geopolitical in cause. The Saudis are flush with cash and build mosques, including in Europe... yes. In the developing Muslim world they fund charitable organizations that send money into areas neglected by local governments. Unfortunate, because indoctrination and violent interpretations go along with every delivery of aid. Wahabbi thinking is dangerous and incompatible with the modern world. Either Islam will be coopted by tyrants and slip into a new dark age or it will undergo a renaissance. Things aren't looking so good right now. Stir in a few wars of empire and prospects get really gloomy.

One way to ensure Islam continues to devolve instead of evolve is for Westerners to sit around grinding axes and throwing insults at the wrong people. It works to alienate the younger Muslims and radicalize them more, by carelessly using language that insults and denounces all of Islam instead of carefully directing the criticism toward specific practices and sects... the ones that need to be made irrelevant through social and economic development. Not idiotic generalizations about Islam being a hate religion or a violent religion and spewing typical Christian attitudes of "Me good, Them bad" (see ablarc, see fabrizio). It does the opposite of what we need. So spare us the hatin' routine and the Irshad Manji blog posts. Don't people get enough of her on Fox News?

Fabrizio
July 14th, 2010, 03:12 AM
Midtown: oh boy.... now you are trying to peg me as a "hater"? Please.


So spare us the hatin' routine and the Irshad Manji blog posts. Don't people get enough of her on Fox News?

Spare "us" the Irshad Manji posts?

Instead, why don't you talk about the arguments she makes in those two articles, that you feel are incorrect?

Irshad Manji & Foxnews? Well? What's your point? I know her from the NYTimes, the Huffingtonpost and PBS.

But again: exactly what has she said in those two articles that you find objectionable or hateful?

"We" are all ears.

---

I write:


^ So the religious guide.... the holy book.... followed and believed by millions of Musilms around the world is in fact objectionable. ( "Calling it hate literature is partially right")

You respond:

Of course. And yet don't forget there are more than a billion Muslims. That's why the generalizations should stop if people want to sound nuanced instead of idiotic.

Let's see.... you describe the most widely distributed Koran in the world akin to hate literature.... but I'm the one making generalizations.

And let me ask you: those billion Muslims....if the Saudi version of the Koran is the most widely distributed... what version are the majority of those billion Muslims following?


------------------

You write: "Unfortunately the radical form of Islam has been gaining more traction with more people for a few decades now. "

Exactly.

------------------

You write: "... spewing typical Christian attitudes of "Me good, Them bad" (see ablarc, see fabrizio). "

^ And yet YOU are the one who posted the following "Me good, Them bad" opinion:

""Until Muslims learn to question the reliability of the Muslim oral traditions, or divorce themselves from medieval exegetical constructs, they will be living in a world much apart from the Judeo-Christian entity that has known reformation and enlightenment. "

^ It is saying that Muslims currently are living in a world apart from the Judeo-Christian one of reformation and enlightenment. They are living under "medieval exegetical constructs".

It amazes me that you can post this, but if I say the exact same thing... it's a generalization... it's hate. It's "me good, them bad".

And isn't it ironic: you claim that I make generalizations about Muslims... but you have no problem saying things like: "typical Christian attitudes...."

----------------

You also say:



So most people understand that Islam is at a crucial point in its evolvement. A lot of this is geopolitical in cause. The Saudis are flush with cash and build mosques, including in Europe... yes. In the developing Muslim world they fund charitable organizations that send money into areas neglected by local governments. Unfortunate, because indoctrination and violent interpretations go along with every delivery of aid. Wahabbi thinking is dangerous and incompatible with the modern world. Either Islam will be coopted by tyrants and slip into a new dark age or it will undergo a renaissance. Things aren't looking so good right now. Stir in a few wars of empire and prospects get really gloomy.


While you claim that: "most people understand that Islam is at a crucial point in its evolvement. " "Either Islam will be coopted by tyrants and slip into a new dark age or it will undergo a renaissance. "

I'll make the following claim: "most people understand that Islam has been coopted by tyrants."

Let's look at the following from the Wiki entry on Wahabbi, which you describe as "dangerous and incompatible with the modern world. ":


"According to Western observers like Gilles Kepel, Wahhabism gained considerable influence in the Islamic world following a tripling in the price of oil in the mid-1970s. Having the world's largest reserves of oil but a relatively small population, Saudi Arabia began to spend tens of billions of dollars throughout the Islamic world promoting Wahhabism, which was sometimes referred to as "petro-Islam". According to the documentary called The Qur'an aired in the UK, presenter Antony Thomas suggests the figure may be "upward of $100 billion".

Its largess funded an estimated "90% of the expenses of the entire faith", throughout the Muslim world, according to journalist Dawood al-Shirian. It extended to young and old, from children's madrasas to high-level scholarship.[46] "Books, scholarships, fellowships, mosques" (for example, "more than 1500 mosques were built from Saudi public funds over the last 50 years") were paid for. It rewarded journalists and academics, who followed it; built satellite campuses around Egypt for Al Azhar, the oldest and most influential Islamic university.

The financial power of Wahhabist advocates, according to observers like Dawood al-Shirian and Lee Kuan Yew, has done much to overwhelm less strict local interpretations of Islam and has caused the Saudi interpretation to be perceived as the "gold standard" of religion in many Muslims' minds.

The Saudis have spent at least $87 billion propagating Wahhabism abroad during the past two decades, and the scale of financing is believed to have increased in the past two years, as oil prices have skyrocketed. The bulk of this funding goes towards the construction and operating expenses of mosques, madrassas, and other religious institutions that preach Wahhabism. It also supports the training of imams; domination of mass media and publishing outlets; distribution of Wahhabi textbooks and other literature; and endowments to universities (in exchange for influence over the appointment of Islamic scholars). Some of the hundreds of thousands of South Asians expats living in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf have been influenced by Wahhabism and preach Wahhabism in their home country upon their return. Agencies controlled by the Ministry of Islamic, Endowments, Call (Dawah) and Guidance Affairs of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are responsible for propagation to the non Muslim expats and are converting hundreds of non-Muslims into Islam every year.


Read that figure again: ""90% of the expenses of the entire faith".

Coopted by tyrants indeed.

MidtownGuy
July 14th, 2010, 11:03 AM
If you look past your posturing and actually read what I've said, you understand we agree on some of this stuff. Where we disagree are your clumsy generalizations and lack of nuance. Ablarc too. This tone of "Me Good, Them Bad" regarding Christianity and Islam is ignorant, hateful and ignores both history and current events. So yes, if the shoe fits, wear it. We've seen enough of your parsing and derogatory posts regarding Muslims and immigrants to know where you're coming from.

As for Manji, you won't pull me off on that tangent. She has a few reasonable points but mostly silly generalizations that play well to the FOX News crowd. She's a regular guest there. On PBS, not so much. Anyway, it's no wonder she resonates with you.

When I read her, I see where you've gotten some of your kooky ideas, like the dumb stuff about a lack of questioning by Muslims. We've been there before... me and you...no need to re-argue that nonsense so I'll decline your invitation. Go back and read my answers to you on the other thread if you'd like to revisit that topic. Or you can keep posting her polemic blogs and highlighting the idiotic parts that you think justify the things you've said about Islam vs. Christianity.

MidtownGuy
July 14th, 2010, 11:29 AM
Let's see.... you describe the most widely distributed Koran in the world akin to hate literature.... but I'm the one making generalizations.Oh, and this is just beyond confused. It all flew RIGHT over your head.

MidtownGuy
July 14th, 2010, 11:33 AM
I hope WizardofOss comes back to the discussion. He had some of the most intelligent things to say of anyone here, and much more patient with the haters than I can ever be.

Fabrizio
July 14th, 2010, 11:51 AM
All I can do is flag the above post #81 to the moderators.

My posts are here for the forum to examine if the above characterizations are valid or not ....and the forumers can judge if the above comments and name calling have anything to do with the discussion at hand.

I think it would have been much more productive to stay on topic and address the issues and questions I brought up in my post (#80) one by one.

MidtownGuy
July 14th, 2010, 12:11 PM
blah blah blah.

Nobody is interested in going "one by one" with you anymore precisely because it is NOT productive. The things you picked out have already been discussed ad nauseum...and led to nowhere. You just have an anti-Islam thing and it's obvious to most people here, I'm sure. The fact that you don't see it is the amazing thing.

ablarc
July 14th, 2010, 01:11 PM
Midtown, your posts have become boorish.

No longer merit a reply.



I'm sure that can be improved --like everything else.

lofter1
July 14th, 2010, 01:18 PM
The "No Reply" Reply ^ ;)

Fabrizio
July 14th, 2010, 01:40 PM
Yes, when it comes to constant off-the-wall character assination, the best is the no reply-reply and a notification to the moderators.

----

212: I did want to get to this:



Anyway, immigrants' strongest foes earn far above the minimum wage, and have their own reasons (economic and otherwise) to resent and harass the new arrivals.

In my own experience in dealing with people, it is the working class that has the most problems with newly arrived immigrants. People have a problem with immigration when they feel they have something to lose.

The upper classes want and use that cheap immigrant labour for their workers, for their factories and homes ....for their nannies and gardners.

The upper classes live in neighborhoods that are so expensive that they don't have to worry about an "undesirable" moving next door. And it sure won't happen when you live in a million dollar condo.

The upper classes don't use public transportation. They have less chance to rub elbows with people who are different than they are. And if they don't like their changing surroundings, they can get up and leave.

The working class competes with them for jobs...especially simple minimum wage jobs ...cleaning lady...house painter....etc.

The wealthy can send their kids to private schools if they don't like the racial make-up of their kid's classes.

I could go on here, but I think you get my point. IMHO, It's the working classes that feel they have the most lose.

Again:this is what I see in my own experience with people.

Mileage may vary.

Will things calm down as the economy improves? Probably.... but will the economy improve enough to absorb these new people? We shall see.

----

My comment about having the far-right represented it is as prevention. We are in democracies.... 25 percent of the vote is an awful lot.

MidtownGuy
July 14th, 2010, 02:09 PM
Midtown, your posts have become boorish.

Your posts have become bigoted and no longer merit a reply. Feel free to continue your Muslim hate fest. It reeks. But praise Jesus.

MidtownGuy
July 14th, 2010, 02:12 PM
Yes, when it comes to constant off-the-wall character assination, the best is the no reply-reply and a notification to the moderators.
Constantly denigrating the intelligence and understanding of other members here, and then running to the teacher when someone gives it back.

ZippyTheChimp
July 14th, 2010, 02:19 PM
So, basically, no one really knows what the Koran says, since it was written in a now inscrutable language The more relevant question is, "Who cares?"

How many of the world's Muslim population don't follow the Koran verbatim, or even read it; ditto for Christians and the Bible?

You've constructed an argument where:
There are passages in the Koran that are evil.
Therefore, Islam is evil.
All who call themselves Muslim are evil.

We get examples of oppressive regimes; the implication that all its citizens are enthusiastic with the situation. Maybe geopolitics in the Middle East for the last century is more a contributor to the current state of affairs than religious differences. You ignored my question about the revolt in Iran. Maybe you should look into BP, not their presence in the Gulf of Mexico today, but their beginnings as APOC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Persian_Oil_Company), and how the UK and the US overthrew (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat) the Iranian government.

The Middle East has been used as a pawn over:
Oil
Imperialism
Land issues that go back to WWI and the Ottoman Empire.
Israel-Palestine
Communism vs the West

And now they're required to compare favorably with modern Western Europe. Maybe a comparison with 1910-1945 Europe would be more valid.

And the irony is that these policies that you endorse play right into the hands of the Middle East despots.

You also ignored my question as to whether you've sat down and had a beer with a Muslim. Don't know if you caught the irony, but Muslims drink alcohol, and like Christians and atheists, some have a dependency problem. Yes, it's forbidden by the Koran. But if, as you imply, the literal Koran is so central to all Muslims in how they behave, why were Mohammed Atta and other 09/11 terrorists tracked to bars and strip clubs before 09/11. If a thoughtful reading of the holy book led him to the conclusion that he must crash a plane into the WTC, why would he transgress such a basic law? Or maybe he just fits the more general profile that includes Timothy McVeigh. Losers, full of hate over the inadequacy of their lives.

------------------------------------------------------------

I wonder what you want the end-game to be. These measures you endorse invariable lead to more. Should Islam be outlawed, and what happens to those who refuse to renounce it?

MidtownGuy
July 14th, 2010, 02:26 PM
You're right. Each time the revolt in Iran has been mentioned, it is conveniently ignored. I tried mentioning this on the other thread as well. Ditto the rest of the geopolitical mess that has put things where they are. We don't get a response, just more polemic nonsense. And that's what the extremists want. It swells their ranks.

Fabrizio
July 14th, 2010, 03:03 PM
You also ignored my question.... I guess one could answer "you ignored my question" with something like this:

"blah blah blah. Nobody is interested in going "one by one" with you anymore precisely because it is NOT productive. The things you picked out have already been discussed ad nauseum...and led to nowhere."

And then add a dose of name calling and character descriptions (as if the forum is interested in that).

I also have questions in post #76 & #80 that were ignored ...that I hope we can get to.

Fabrizio
July 14th, 2010, 03:13 PM
You also ignored my question as to whether you've sat down and had a beer with a Muslim. Don't know if you caught the irony, but Muslims drink alcohol, and like Christians and atheists, some have a dependency problem. Yes, it's forbidden by the Koran. But if, as you imply, the literal Koran is so central to all Muslims in how they behave, why were Mohammed Atta and other 09/11 terrorists tracked to bars and strip clubs before 09/11. If a thoughtful reading of the holy book led him to the conclusion that he must crash a plane into the WTC, why would he transgress such a basic law? Or maybe he just fits the more general profile that includes Timothy McVeigh. Losers, full of hate over the inadequacy of their lives.

I don't think it's the Koran's teachings about alcohol that these fellows took to heart.

Info about Mohammad Atta and the Hamburg Cell

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Atta

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hamburg_Cell

ZippyTheChimp
July 14th, 2010, 03:39 PM
^
The question wasn't directed at you precisely because you continually miss (or deliberately distort) the point. It was meant for Ablarc in light of what he has been saying throughout many threads.

It's a complex set of circumstances in one's life that leads them to fly a plane into as building. I doubt any ordinary Muslim would get such a great idea just from reading the Koran. But I suspect you already know that, so why the hell am I wasting my time.

I don't ignore your questions; I generally ignore you on principle. If you want to start a convoluted argument, try someone else.

ablarc
July 14th, 2010, 04:46 PM
A welcome respite.

MidtownGuy
July 14th, 2010, 04:49 PM
Well then feel free to post all the anti Muslim bigotry you want in my absence.

Fabrizio
July 14th, 2010, 04:56 PM
^
The question wasn't directed at you precisely because you continually miss (or deliberately distort) the point. It was meant for Ablarc in light of what he has been saying throughout many threads.

It's a complex set of circumstances in one's life that leads them to fly a plane into as building. I doubt any ordinary Muslim would get such a great idea just from reading the Koran. But I suspect you already know that, so why the hell am I wasting my time.

I don't ignore your questions; I generally ignore you on principle. If you want to start a convoluted argument, try someone else.

A welcome respite indeed.

ZippyTheChimp
July 14th, 2010, 05:24 PM
The first time I posed the question to Ablarc, I got this unsolicited reply (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23780&p=330598&viewfull=1#post330598).

I'm wondering, was I conducting a poll on how many people here have had beers with Muslims? Then the rider attached under the dotted line, about "the two bigots here" made it clear.

How presumptuous [and off base] to conclude that my question had anything to do with bigotry. for the record, I haven't called anyone a bigot, except maybe a dead Pope. I ignore it, and it comes back.

@Fabrizio: I couldn't care less what you think of me, but I have a good idea from your PMs For my part, I've made it clear some time ago that I dislike you. I've avoided you in this thread. Why you persist in quoting me is beyond me, unless it is another pathetic excuse to send off a PM to the moderators titled "Zippy and Midtown Strike Again."

Keep your arguments with others between you and them. I want nothing to do with you.

Fabrizio
July 14th, 2010, 05:33 PM
First of all you asked Ablarc a question....if he has had beers with a muslim.

I politely replied with:

"If I may answer that: I do regularly."

Note use of the phrase "If I may..."

(In case you haven't noticed, in this forum we often answer questions directed at others. Please make a note of it.)

And note that "If I may answer that: I do regularly." had a line under it with the words:

"Furthermore re: Midtown's "the-two-bigots-here-post""

Clearly I was moving on to Midtown's post.... with a line dividing it no less.

Where's the problem? Who in the world is accusing you of calling me a bigot?

(moderators: see what I mean?)


----

----

Could I have made this any clearer? Next time I'll use a bright yellow magic-marker.





Ablarc, have you ever sat down and had beers with any Muslims?


^ If I may answer that: I do regularly.

------

Furthermore re: Midtown's "the-two-bigots-here-post"

For the record:

While you are trying charcterize my viewpoints as those of a hardened bigot and somehow different from others here....one of "just two members here", please note the following:

ZippyTheChimp
July 14th, 2010, 05:54 PM
^
The moderators are already aware that we don't get along, and that I want nothing to do with you. I assume they've clued you in.

I could ask, "Why would I care about your drinking habits," or "What follow up question were you expecting," given I hardly interact with you at all; but I choose not to get involved in the tedious parsing of your posts (now we have another in #101).

It's simple enough. Not liking you and ignoring you isn't hostility. I wouldn't regard it as such if you did the same.

--------------------------------------------

I know this should be in a PM, but I felt the need to say it on the forum.

Fabrizio
July 14th, 2010, 06:08 PM
We post here for the entire forum to read, therefore "If I may answer that: I do regularly" is directed .....at you, at the forum, .....at the entire universe.

---------------------

And this: "but I choose not to get involved in the tedious parsing of your posts (now we have another in #101)."

Note that I avoid commenting to the forum what I think of your posts and your logic... I feel that the readers here are intellegent enough and sophisticated enough to come to their own conclusions about your posts.

Let's put it this way, it's just not something I need to do..... but hey, be my guest.

lofter1
July 14th, 2010, 06:17 PM
And we wonder why folks can't get along in Amsterdam?

ZippyTheChimp
July 14th, 2010, 06:30 PM
We post here for the entire forum to read, therefore "If I may answer that: I do regularly" is directed .....at you, at the forum, .....at the entire universe.I think people know the difference, when a direct question to a person is quoted by a third party and responded to, and a general statement someone makes that's referenced.

Aren't you clear that we don't have a cordial online relationship? I've avoided your questions here, like about Pius XII, letting others respond.

Isn't Fabrizio-MTG enough for you?

212
July 14th, 2010, 07:21 PM
In my own experience in dealing with people, it is the working class that has the most problems with newly arrived immigrants. People have a problem with immigration when they feel they have something to lose.

I don't doubt your personal experiences. But here's what a 2002 study (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6W64-42YDMJ0-1&_user=10&_coverDate=04/01/2001&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1400727755&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=0149d50bef037294db67bb7c973d8e9a) found on our side of the Atlantic:

"College education and perceived cultural threats, especially to the English language, have the most impact upon immigration views. Other variables having some effect are political ideology, economic outlook, age, and sex. Effects of race, income, and fear of crime appear to be negligible."


My comment about having the far-right represented it is as prevention. We are in democracies.... 25 percent of the vote is an awful lot.

37 percent of Americans believe in haunted houses (http://savannahnow.com/node/167008). Should the U.S. government hire the Ghostbusters?

18 percent think the sun revolves around the Earth (http://www.gallup.com/poll/3742/new-poll-gauges-americans-general-knowledge-levels.aspx).



(I would cite Dutch polls, but most don't get translated into English.)

Fabrizio
July 14th, 2010, 07:58 PM
I won't put you on ignore because... uh.... although your posts aren't visible ....the smell comes through all the same.

(geeeeesh)

------

212:

Yes. When Gostbusting is put to a vote... we are going to have to deal with it. That's just the way it is.

ablarc
July 14th, 2010, 08:37 PM
Ablarc, have you ever sat down and had beers with any Muslims?


The first time I posed the question to Ablarc, I got this unsolicited reply (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23780&p=330598&viewfull=1#post330598).

I'm wondering, was I conducting a poll on how many people here have had beers with Muslims?


I think people know the difference, when a direct question to a person is quoted by a third party and responded to, and a general statement someone makes that's referenced.

Since Zippy seems to attach enough importance to the original question to refer to it several times, I guess I owe an answer, and for what little it's worth, I apologize to Fabrizio for putting him in the line of fire by my silence. At first, I thought the question was rhetorical and meant mostly to put down a clueless rube like me, but I guess repetition makes a question serious; so here’s a serious, partial and factual answer (though the names have been changed).

Decades ago, I worked for a largish state university system as a teacher. It was a period of great bonhomie between our government and some in The Middle East. Consequently, a third of my charges were from Saudi Arabia or Iran; the Islamist Ayatollah was just coming into power with his audio-cassettes, overthrowing the Westernized tyrant and American stooge, Shah Reza Pahlavi.

These students divided themselves neatly into two categories: impecunious but serious idealists, and spoiled rich kids. One of the rich kids actually had enough money to bring along, as a kind of student/valet/bodyguard, a single member of a third category: common criminal. To be fair, this fellow had reputedly served out his time for robbery and assault, though I have no idea what he did to get into the university; imprisonment had not changed his character, he carried himself as an enforcer and flunked nearly every course.

At each semester’s start I led a field trip to New York or Boston. Evenings, these trips invariably dissolved into dipsomaniacal carousing. Though they attended the class bar-hops, the impecunious but serious idealists ordered sodas.

Not so, the rich kids. To the amusement of their classmates, they vanished nightly around 9pm, after inquiries were made about where to get laid. Evidently they cared little about The Prophet’s opinions on such matters. I guess you could call them the kinds of Muslims we’d like to see in the West; they clearly weren’t true believers.

One semester, Abdullah was so busy carousing that he did no work at all. Jury time was a week away, and he had absolutely nothing, despite frequent warnings. Not only that, but he had studiously avoided the skills that a motivated person could have used to pull his bacon out of the fire with a week of all-nighters.

And yet, on jury day he had a project; and all his classmates could name the recent graduate he had paid to produce it (short grapevine). The Starchitect on the jury was sufficiently taken in so he showed neither outrage, nor enthusiasm. And I gave Abdullah an F for the same reason that should have disqualified Ted Kennedy from his Bar exam.

The time had come for Abdullah and me to have another beer, and he picked the time and place.

He informed me –tangentially, but comprehensibly—that I could expect to be killed that very night by his bodyguard unless I changed his grade. I refused, and spent the night in a distant motel. The following morning I found out that the Dean had changed Abdullah's grade after conferring with his dad. My bacon was now out of the fire.

The Iranian connection was an important source of revenue, since they paid out-of-state tuition and provided generous contributions; and after all, there was no positive proof. And indeed there wasn’t.




Zippy, I have other beery anecdotes, but no desire to bore you or anyone else with them. Is this enough?

I know it’s anecdotal, and I know you can’t generalize from stories. But after all you did ask an anecdotal question, and those can only be answered in kind.

ZippyTheChimp
July 14th, 2010, 08:46 PM
MTG and Fabrizio: Have you read the PM. This is the 4th batch of posts I've deleted.

Move on to something else.

Fabrizio
July 14th, 2010, 09:10 PM
re: beer with Muslims.

If I may: There's a music festival in town. Earlier I was out in one of my town's piazze having a beer at one of the stands.

This one is manned by Rashid (along with some Italian friends).

Rashid was, many years ago, my house keeper for one summer.

A wonderful guy.... as kind and gentle as can be.

He keeps his wife at home, covered in full Muslim drag.

Maybe she's fine with it, but if he were Italian he would have been reported by now.... and there would be social workers knocking at the door.

----


I have other beery anecdotes...

Does wine count?

I have a lot of those...

ZippyTheChimp
July 14th, 2010, 09:23 PM
At first, I thought the question was rhetorical and meant mostly to put down a clueless rube like me, but I guess repetition makes a question serious; so here’s a serious, partial and factual answer (though the names have been changed).


Zippy, I have other beery anecdotes, but no desire to bore you or anyone else with them. Is this enough?

I know it’s anecdotal, and I know you can’t generalize from stories. But after all you did ask an anecdotal question, and those can only be answered in kind.I expected an anecdotal response; not something I could generalize.I always sensed a disconnect between the tone of your other posts and those on the subject of Muslims.

I'm sure it was difficult to relate such a traumatic experience, and I appreciate your openness.

I think the things we drag around with us through life can't be summed up with words like bigot.

lofter1
July 14th, 2010, 09:33 PM
... The time had come for Abdullah and me to have another beer, and he picked the time and place.

He informed me –tangentially, but comprehensibly—that I could expect to be killed that very night by his bodyguard unless I changed his grade. I refused, and spent the night in a distant motel. The following morning I found out that the Dean had changed Abdullah's grade after conferring with his dad.


An old schoolmate recently returned from Saudi Arabia where he was teaching English, mainly to very rich young fellows. Don't know that he was ever threatened to this degree, but he did say that the distinct impression given by the surlier students was that they neither had to study or perform well because they'd be graded according to their station in life. Luckily for my friend there were some students who were actually curious and eager to learn, so it wasn't a totally lost cause. But he was more than glad when the term came to an end and he has no desire to teach there ever again. This summer he's teaching in the far east.

ablarc
July 14th, 2010, 09:46 PM
I always sensed a disconnect between the tone of your other posts and those on the subject of Muslims.
Thank you, but I think there's not much disconnect. I try to be a consistent guy.

212
July 15th, 2010, 02:13 AM
We are in democracies.... 25 percent of the vote is an awful lot.

Quick note here. Wilders' anti-immigrant party won 15.5% (http://www.nlverkiezingen.com/TK2010.html) of the popular vote in the Netherlands election.

15.5%.

Compare: 20 percent of people worldwide (and 8 percent in the Netherlands) think that space aliens walk among us, disguised as humans (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6374B220100408).

Fabrizio
July 15th, 2010, 03:50 AM
Oooops...sorry about that....it was 24 parlimentary seats... not percent.

lofter1
July 16th, 2010, 12:15 AM
Pamela Geller's BFF is on the march (http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/07/geert-wilders-to-launch-global-counter-jihad-organization.html) ...

GEERT WILDERS TO LAUNCH GLOBAL COUNTER JIHAD ORGANIZATION

The AP story is so full of its own narrative (check out the adjectives), but the message is the same. We are on the offense, baby.

He distinguishes between us and those who on the fringe, like the BNP. His position mirrors mine on this. This is very exciting. They'll want to lock him up for sure, now.

APNewsBreak: Dutch lawmaker forms anti-Islam group AP (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i7sed5PlYN1M5veXBQGEeINc13LQD9GVIQQG0)

By MIKE CORDER (AP)
July 15, 2010

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — An anti-Islam lawmaker in the Netherlands is forming an international alliance to spread his message across the West in a bid to ban immigration from Islamic countries, among other goals.

Geert Wilders told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday he will launch the movement late this year, initially in five countries: the U.S., Canada, Britain, France and Germany.

"The message, 'stop Islam, defend freedom,' is a message that's not only important for the Netherlands but for the whole free Western world," Wilders said at the Dutch parliament.

Among the group's aims will be outlawing immigration from Islamic countries to the West and a ban on Islamic Sharia law. Starting as a grass-roots movement, he hopes it eventually will produce its own lawmakers or influence other legislators.

He said he hopes to position the alliance between traditional conservative parties and far-right wing groups, saying that in Britain there is "an enormous gap" between the ruling Conservative Party and the far-right British National Party.

"The BNP is a party that, whatever you think of it, it's not my party — I think it's a racist party," Wilders said.

Wilders, who calls Islam a "fascist" religion, has seen his support in the Netherlands soar in recent years, even while he has been subjected to round-the-clock protection because of death threats.

His Freedom Party won the biggest gains in a national election last month, coming third with 24 seats in the 150-seat Parliament, up from the nine before the election.

[...]

But he is unrepentant and said he now wants to take his message outside the Netherlands.

"The fight for freedom and (against) Islamization as I see it is a worldwide phenomenon and problem to be solved," he said.

Wilders declined to name any of the other founders of the organization he is calling the Geert Wilders International Freedom Alliance. He said he would hold speeches in the five countries where the alliance will first launch in coming months to drum up support.

Fabrizio
July 16th, 2010, 02:52 AM
What a shame. If he would make the effort against political Islam it could be very productive. A ban on Sharia Law is right. A moratorium on new mosques would be understandable (or at least a scupulous investigation of funding and teachings). Wanting to put limits on immigration is reasonable, but putting a ban on immigration from Islamic countries? That's absurd.

Wilders calls Islam a fascist religion... certainly talk that inflames. Here is a BBC report on Sharia law.... explained by Muslims. Is Sharia at odds with Western social values? How important is it to being a good Muslim? How important is it to Muslims in the west? Is the BBC report truthful?:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/beliefs/sharia_1.shtml

A UK poll of Muslims regarding Sharia:
http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/146

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 07:53 AM
13% said it was right “to exercise violence against those who are deemed by religious leaders to have insulted them”. --
http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/146

Some folks need religious leaders to tell them when they've been insulted? Well, at least it's not 100%. The consequent "right to exercise violence" is what's disturbing.

Ninjahedge
July 16th, 2010, 08:04 AM
ABL, one thing to always keep in mind is that the people surveyed rarely choose the question.

That phrasing seems a bit off. Literally you are correct, but I think that most of the 13% that said "yes" to it read it as "If you are insulted, religiously, by someone, it is OK to use Violence if your religious leaders agree/say so".

IOW,
"Mommy he insulted me".
"Well then, go beat him up!".
"K!"

:confused:

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 08:18 AM
As you say, your version has a different meaning. It's not the question that was asked.

ZippyTheChimp
July 16th, 2010, 08:32 AM
By MIKE CORDER (AP)
July 15, 2010

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — An anti-Islam lawmaker in the Netherlands is forming an international alliance to spread his message across the West in a bid to ban immigration from Islamic countries, among other goals.Typical.

First you gather some political clout with inflamed rhetoric; some people will support the general principle, and dismiss the rest as over-the-top (he wouldn't really do that).

With that accomplished, you are emboldened to reveal a little more of yourself. Geert Wilders is a racist.

It's foolish to believe that you can filter out the good from the bad. These 'movements' have a life of their own.

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 08:38 AM
Islam is a race?

lofter1
July 16th, 2010, 10:49 AM
Let's ban immigration for all engineers, architects, mathematicians and scientists. All operate by specific belief systems. It should be easy to separate them out by their degrees and examples of their work.

Fabrizio
July 16th, 2010, 11:06 AM
re: specific belief systems....engineers, architects, mathematicians and scientists.

Well, hey....speaking of scientists, look at Germany and Scientology:

"The German government does not recognize Scientology as a religion. It views it as an abusive business masquerading as a religion and believes that it pursues political goals that conflict with the values enshrined in the German constitution. "

"Scientologists in Germany face specific political and economic restrictions. They are barred from membership in major political parties and employers use so-called "sect filters" to expose a job applicant's association with the organization. German federal and state interior ministers started a process aimed at banning Scientology in late 2007, but abandoned the initiative a year later, finding insufficient legal grounds. Despite this, polls suggest that most Germans favour banning Scientology altogether."

"Given the history of Nazism's rise to power in Germany in the 1930s, the present German state has committed itself to taking active steps to prevent the rise of any ideology that threatens the values enshrined in the German constitution."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology_in_Germany

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 11:29 AM
Let's ban immigration for all engineers, architects, mathematicians and scientists. All operate by specific belief systems.
Architects, to some extent. The others deal mostly in facts.

A better choice for your argument might be banning adherents to political movements; those really are belief systems. You could ban Communists, Fascists, Centrists, Socialists, Liberals, Conservatives, Islamists, members of Geert's party, Greens, Tea Party ...

ZippyTheChimp
July 16th, 2010, 11:32 AM
Islam is a race?The Nazi rhetoric inflamed long standing religious hatred among Christians for Jews as a religious group, but the laws enacted were racially based. You couldn't escape being a Jew, no matter what you believed.

Islam to Wilders means Arabic people. A racist.

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 11:34 AM
He exempts Indonesians and Nigerians?

ZippyTheChimp
July 16th, 2010, 11:46 AM
Don't know; doesn't matter to me. I'm sure he'll reveal more of himself as time goes by.

Racial prejudice isn't an exact science. The apartheid government of South Africa had some problems officially categorizing black and white.

Are you making some sort of point here, trying to show that Wilders is somewhat less than a racist?

lofter1
July 16th, 2010, 11:49 AM
Who is to say that only politically-minded folks should be banned? Once you glom any group together without individual consideration then the list of those poised for exemption can easily grow and grow and grow.

Just like back in the day when Benjamin Franklin (supposedly among the wisest of our fore-fathers) argued (http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/documents/documents_p2.cfm?doc=233) to keep from our shores the non-English speaking (and swarthy) Germans:


And since Detachments of English from Britain sent to America, will have their Places at Home so soon supply'd and increase so largely here; why should the Palatine Boors [Germans] be suffered to swarm into our Settlements, and by herding together establish their Language and Manners to the Exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion.

Which leads me to add one Remark: That the Number of purely white People in the World is proportionably very small. All Africa is black or tawny. Asia chiefly tawny. America (exclusive of the new Comers) wholly so. And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth. I could wish their Numbers were increased. And while we are, as I may call it, Scouring our Planet, by clearing America of Woods, and so making this Side of our Globe reflect a brighter Light to the Eyes of Inhabitants in mars or Venus, why should we in the Sight of Superior Beings, darken its People? why increase the Sons of Africa, by Planting them in America, where we have so fair an Opportunity, by excluding all Blacks and Tawneys, of increasing the lovely White and Red? But perhaps I am partial to the complexion of my Country, for such Kind of Partiality is natural to Mankind.

MidtownGuy
July 16th, 2010, 11:50 AM
In his perspective (and polemic style) they're part of the Islamic monolith. Making exemptions would imply nuance.

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 11:53 AM
Are you making some sort of point here, trying to show that Wilders is somewhat less than a racist?
Exactly. You can oppose political movements without being a racist. Roosevelt opposed the Japanese for reasons that weren't racist.

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 11:56 AM
Who is to say that only politically-minded folks should be banned?
Not me. I was just following up on your thought by offering a better list of belief systems.

lofter1
July 16th, 2010, 11:56 AM
The internment of each and every American citizen of Japanese descent was not racist?

lofter1
July 16th, 2010, 11:59 AM
Not me. I was just following up on your thought by offering a better list of belief systems.

Geert has his list, Pol Pot had his, as did Andrew Jackson.

ZippyTheChimp
July 16th, 2010, 12:04 PM
@ Ablarc:

General populations hardly ever make such distinctions, and racists count on that.

Right after 09/11, a co-worker of mine remarked, "Those guys on the train [the #7] better stop wearing turbans." I told him they're Sikhs; there's a large community in Flushing.

As for FDR, his attitude toward Japanese led to policies of racial discrimination against Japanese-Americans, upheld by the Supreme Court.

No such steps were taken against German or Italian-Americans.

The Japanese-Americans were...different.

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 12:16 PM
The internment of each and every American citizen of Japanese descent was not racist?
We're doing that race-blind at Guantanamo and its diaspora; there are North Americans converts in there. Whatever their race, they're mostly Islamists; and if they're released, some of them will come back with exploding underwear.

lofter1
July 16th, 2010, 12:18 PM
Around WW1 the KKK and others did a pretty good scare job on German Americans as a whole. So much so that my GGGrandfather saw fit to change his name from Schmidt to Smith and never again mention his ancestry. US Government types did their fair share of discrimination (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-German_sentiment#United_States) ...


In the United States between 1917–18, German-American schools and newspapers by the thousands were forced to permanently close. In cities and towns across the nation, libraries burned their German-language books in public burnings. The officials of German-named towns that had been founded by German-Americans were intimidated by county, state, and federal government officials into anglicizing their names, and into destroying all traces of their German heritage. In cities across the United States, German-sounding street names were banned. Many families with a German-sounding last name changed their surname. The vast majority of German-Americans, however, were loyal to their adopted country and thousands of them served in the United States military. [citation needed]

Newspapers in New York and other places published lists of inhabitants names and addresses, labeled as Enemy Aliens, thereby inviting neighbors to hostile actions.

As the public atmosphere became increasingly hysterical, vigilantes burned "pro-German" books, spied on neighbors, and attacked and murdered immigrants and radicals.[13] Anti-German tension culminated on April 4, 1918, in the brutal lynching of German immigrant Robert Prager, a coal miner living in Collinsville, Illinois, who was accused of making "disloyal remarks".[14][15]

Anti-German sentiment may have been stoked by the 1916 bombing of Black Tom island prior to the US's entry into the war, which had been directed and financed by German intelligence officers under diplomatic cover.[16]

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 12:22 PM
Geert has his list, Pol Pot had his, as did Andrew Jackson.
I meant the list tongue-in-cheek to help you with your argument, which was lamed by a faulty list of "belief systems."



(Don't tell your cardiologist that he's operating under a belief system.)

lofter1
July 16th, 2010, 12:32 PM
Ok, you must be right, what's to worry: Of course those faulty lists of belief systems have never been used as an excuse by leaders anywhere on earth to dispose of a large section of the populace that were deemed to be in the way of the leader's chosen course.

Let's just make sure our latest list is comprehensive enough to keep out anything that might ever threaten our oh-so-fragile system.

Fabrizio
July 16th, 2010, 12:36 PM
We should certainly learn from the past: Nazism and all it wrought as well as the effort to defeat it.

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 12:42 PM
Anti-German sentiment may have been stoked by the 1916 bombing of Black Tom island prior to the US's entry into the war, which had been directed and financed by German intelligence officers under diplomatic cover.[16][/INDENT]
More on Black Tom:

Two of the watchmen who had lit smudge pots to keep away mosquitoes on their watch were immediately arrested. It soon became clear that the fires of the smudge pots had not caused the fire, and that the blast had not been an accident. It was traced to a Slovak immigrant named Michael Kristoff, who had served in the U.S. Army, but admitted to carrying suitcases for the Germans before America entered World War I. According to him, two of the guards were German agents. It is likely that the bombing involved some of the techniques developed by a group of German agents surrounding German ambassador Count Johann Heinrich von Bernstorff, probably using the pencil bombs developed by Captain Franz von Rintelen.[6] Although suspicion at the time fell solely on German agents, later investigations in the aftermath of the Annie Larsen affair unearthed links between the Ghadar conspiracy and the Black Tom explosion. Franz von Papen is known to have also been involved in both. Later investigations by the Directorate of Naval Intelligence are known to have found links to the Irish movement, the Indian Movement, as well as Communist elements.[7][8] --Wiki

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 12:53 PM
Right after 09/11, a co-worker of mine remarked, "Those guys on the train [the #7] better stop wearing turbans." I told him they're Sikhs;
Doesn't matter to some. They're not into detail.

But the meticulously detail-oriented?:


Don't know; doesn't matter to me.

;) Sorry, Zippy, couldn't resist. :)

212
July 16th, 2010, 01:07 PM
Ablarc cites a poll of British Muslims:

13% said it was right “to exercise violence against those who are deemed by religious leaders to have insulted them”. --
http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/146


Funny thing about most polls on favoring religious violence: They only ask Muslims.

You have to wonder, what if they asked everyone? Would Muslims stand out as more or less violent?

Well, it turns out that back in 2007, the Pew survey did a parallel poll of attitudes in the United States and Iran. Here's one of the questions they asked.

Attacks on Civilians
Some people think that bombing and other types of attacks intentionally aimed at civilians are sometimes justified while others think that this kind of violence is never justified. Do you personally feel that such attacks are…justified?

IRANIANS
80% never
5% rarely
11% sometimes
3% often

AMERICANS
46% never
27% rarely
19% sometimes
5% often

Yes, more Americans than Iranians supported attacks on civilians. A lot more.

Here's a link (https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/jan07/Iran_Jan07_rpt.pdf) to the survey. It's a PDF, this question is on Page 12.

So what do we think? Should other countries cut off immigration from America, and ban display of the American flag? Did the beliefs of our nation's Founders (slavery, written into our Constitution; the Monroe Doctrine; Manifest Destiny) fate us to be a violent people and a danger to other civilizations?*


* I ask this facetiously, to parody arguments against Muslims on other Wired New York threads. In reality, I oppose limits on my own freedom in other countries. :)

ZippyTheChimp
July 16th, 2010, 01:20 PM
;) Sorry, Zippy, couldn't resist. :)Touché

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 01:22 PM
So what do we think? Should other countries cut off immigration from America, and ban display of the American flag? Did the beliefs of our nation's Founders (slavery, written into our Constitution; the Monroe Doctrine; Manifest Destiny) fate us to be a violent people and a danger to other civilizations?
Fair enough. Should we adopt the Iranian system? Might make us more peaceful.

Are all Iranians who favor violence in the Revolutionary Guard?

212
July 16th, 2010, 01:40 PM
^ Ablarc, Obviously my questions were facetious.

They parallel the arguments that some (such as yourself) have made on other threads on Wired New York, in which by a very literal reading, some Koranic verses seem to endorse violence today -- and that when you also consider some poll questions in which a small minority of Muslims advocate violence (much as the American public does), you reach the conclusion that the world's 1 billion Mulsims are suspect as a group.

My point is that if the tables were turned, and you were a Muslim in a Muslim land, and true to your previous arguments, you might now have all the evidence you need to single out Americans for harsher treatment.

Fabrizio
July 16th, 2010, 01:41 PM
Moving right along:

Nazis were against the Jews.

The Saudi endorsed version of the Koran (the most widely distributed version in the world) is a polemic against the Jews.

Therefore?

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 01:49 PM
^ Ablarc, Obviously my questions were facetious.
Thanks, so were my answers. :)

Facetious is good. Lets us engage in a civil dialogue.

So glad no one's yelling.

212
July 16th, 2010, 01:51 PM
^ Of course. I just wanted to clarify for people who are new to the conversation. Assuming they haven't been scared off by the yelling. :)

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 01:52 PM
Yes, more Americans than Iranians supported attacks on civilians. A lot more.


My point is that if the tables were turned, and you were a Muslim in a Muslim land, and true to your previous arguments, you might now have all the evidence you need to single out Americans for harsher treatment.
Goes to show that Americans are full of hot air. Where are our suicide bombers? ;)

212
July 16th, 2010, 01:57 PM
^ We Americans have other methods. But the last thing I want to do is compile some lame laundry list of American misdeeds. Let's just say that all people deserve a fair shake, regardless of background, and leave it at that. That's the American way!

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 02:13 PM
all people deserve a fair shake
Amen.



Questions I don't know the answer to: how does our government decide whom to let in as an immigrant? Are there different criteria for Mexico, Korea, India and Iran? How does there get to be an illegal immigrant, anyway? Is it just folks not going through the process? Are there quotas? Is any healthy non-criminal ever turned down? If so, why? Does almost everyone get a fair shake?

Ninjahedge
July 16th, 2010, 02:37 PM
As you say, your version has a different meaning. It's not the question that was asked.

You think they asked it verbatim?

In English? ;)

212
July 16th, 2010, 02:41 PM
Amen.

Thanks :)


Questions I don't know the answer to:

Ablarc, you love the big questions. I'm going to take a short break as others consider the best ways to be fair to immigrants in a Western welfare state.

Ninjahedge
July 16th, 2010, 02:44 PM
Goes to show that Americans are full of hot air. Where are our suicide bombers? ;)

You give up suicide bombing when you get a flat screen or an SUV.

It is part of the contract.

Ninjahedge
July 16th, 2010, 02:51 PM
Abl, as a partial answer to your question. We should never forbid immigration, but we do need to control it. The US is not as vacant as it used to be (and we handled the original "tenants" so well, didn't we?). We need to limit the flow to enable an integration of individuals rather than a flooding, and overly dynamic demographic that would hinder administration and assimilation.

IOW, we open the flood gates and you will have a bunch of people that need to be given licenses, working papers, housing, food, jobs, schooling, etc etc. And they will not just spread out and evenly disperse, they will group together in areas where they feel comfortable and further resist integration.

An example/comparison would be the difference between Chinese and japanese immigration (at least in the present situation). A japanese family will move in and go just about anywhere. We had several in my mostly white suburban town when I was in elementary school. It just did not seem "weird".

Chinese? They have been coming in in large groups (legal and illegal) and seem to have been settling in the same areas. Areas in Queens and Manhattan and some in NJ, but I have yet to see that many coming to the 'Burbs. Even my in-laws choose to move to an area close to family and what they are comfortable with than to move out to an area that would be able to give them more and, counter to what you might believe, actually more convenient for their current job and life situation.

But that is another thing.


You slowly stir in the cocoa, you get a nice treat, you plop it in and all you are left with is a lump at the bottom.

Fabrizio
July 16th, 2010, 02:52 PM
Amen.



Questions I don't know the answer to: how does our government decide whom to let in as an immigrant? Are there different criteria for Mexico, Korea, India and Iran? How does there get to be an illegal immigrant, anyway? Is it just folks not going through the process? Are there quotas? Is any healthy non-criminal ever turned down? If so, why? Does almost everyone get a fair shake?


^ Isn't it interesting that of the 36 or so countries on the US's visa waiver program only one is an Islamic country.

I wonder why?

And that country BTW is Brunei, a minisule and very wealthy country of about 350,000 people.

And that's it.

http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1990.html#vwp

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 03:44 PM
You think they asked it verbatim?
Yes. It's the only way to do a poll.



In English? ;)
Most British Muslims speak English.

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 04:01 PM
You give up suicide bombing when you get a flat screen or an SUV.
I bet plenty of suicide bombers have both. You expect them to live on the moon? ;)

MidtownGuy
July 16th, 2010, 05:59 PM
Flat screens plugged into a bombed out shell and SUV's parked in front of the checkpoint I suppose.

212, good point about us having other methods. Who needs suicide bombers when you have the biggest military on the planet. Explosive belts are for sissies...real bombers carry white phosphorous and fly drones.

MidtownGuy
July 16th, 2010, 06:17 PM
In the last 50 years, or even the last 10, how many Muslims have died at the hands of ostensibly peaceful Christians...and would it be more or less than the number of Christians killed at the hands of those violent Muslims we keep hearing about?

ZippyTheChimp
July 16th, 2010, 06:24 PM
That's collateral damage. It doesn't count.

MidtownGuy
July 16th, 2010, 06:31 PM
LOL. What was I thinking?

Fabrizio
July 16th, 2010, 06:37 PM
The US should do us all a favor and stay home.

And the rest of the West should not enable it by helping out....even if it's peace missions.

After all... Muslims do an excellent job of killing one another:

Killing Muslims
America needs to publicize al Qaeda's main 'achievement'

Ralph Peters - NYPost - January 23, 2010


AL Qaeda does one thing extremely well: killing Muslims.

Between 2006 and 2008, only 2 percent of the terror multinational's victims were Westerners. The rest were citizens of Muslim countries. Even as al Qaeda claims to be their defender.

I've long complained that we fail to capitalize on al Qaeda's blood thirst in our information operations. Al Qaeda (as well as the Taliban and other insurgent groups) slaughters Muslims -- yet we let the media flip the blame to us. Last weekend, a Pentagon insider passed me a no-nonsense study recently released by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. "Deadly Vanguards: A Study of al Qaeda's Violence Against Muslims" is exactly the kind of work our analysts should produce -- but rarely do.

Bin Laden: 98 percent of those slaughtered by his group are citizens of Muslim nations.

Using exclusively Arabic-language media reports and including only those incidents for which al Qaeda proudly claimed responsibility, this scrupulously documented study explodes the myth of al Qaeda as a champion of Muslims:

* Between 2004 and 2008, only 15 percent of al Qaeda's victims were Westerners, and that number skewed upward because of the Madrid and London attacks.

* Between 2006 and 2008, a non-Westerner was 54 times likelier to die in an al Qaeda attack than a Westerner.

* "Outside of the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, 99 percent of al Qaeda's victims were non-Western in 2007 and 96 percent were non-Western in 2008."

Bravo to Scott Helfstein, Nassir Abdullah and Muhammad al-Obaidi for producing this supremely useful report. Now the question is: Will we use it? The propaganda skills of our enemies eclipse our timid, lawyer-ridden information operations. In the Muslim world, we get blamed even for al Qaeda's proudest massacres of Muslims -- while Pakistanis blame us for Taliban suicide bombings.

As this report documents, we possess facts that could be wielded as weapons. But we're no more willing to fight an aggressive information war than we are to wage a serious ground war against our enemies.

Personally, I was astonished -- and delighted -- that this hard-headed report came out of West Point, the most politically correct major institution in the US Army, now dedicated to the proposition that killing our nation's enemies is so yesterday. Is there new hope for the stumbling Long Gray Line?

Back to al Qaeda: Our porcine intelligence system doesn't bother to ask the basic question of why al Qaeda kills Muslims so avidly. (Even conservative Muslim scholars are questioning al Qaeda's practices.) The answer's as clear as a sunny day in the desert: Al Qaeda fully reflects its Saudi parentage. Neither the Saudis nor al Qaeda cares a whit about individual Muslims. They only care about Islam.

I've seen, in country after country, how the Saudis sacrifice the well-being and human potential of countless Muslims in order to prevent them from integrating into local societies and to promote the dour Wahhabi cult that has deformed Islam so horribly: purity matters, people don't.

Likewise, al Qaeda is happy to sacrifice any number of Muslims to promote its neo-Wahhabi death cult. The al Qaeda serpent may have turned on the Saudi royals, but their differences are a matter of degree. Meanwhile, we imagine that our passivity and "tolerance" are virtues. We fail to capitalize on al Qaeda's horrendous record, while our government protects the Saudi-funded extremists who poison American mosques.

(Our leaders blather about "freedom of religion," ignoring the fact that there's no freedom of religion in Saudi Arabia. Can't we prohibit religious funding from states that don't themselves exercise tolerance? We're being idiotic, not virtuous.)

We continue to hear endless nonsense from Washington about how "soft power" is so much more effective than military force. OK, show us. Three good men at West Point have given us a powerful information weapon against al Qaeda.
Will our leaders have the sense to use it?


http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/killing_muslims_F654zSShSZlA5LnLIFkJKL

About the author of the article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Peters

MidtownGuy
July 16th, 2010, 06:47 PM
Funny thing about most polls on favoring religious violence...

There's a book "Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think" that arrives at interesting conclusions based on empirical polling data. I haven't read it yet, but I saw a debate with one of the writers and she made some good points based on work at Gallup.

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 07:41 PM
That's collateral damage. It doesn't count.
Collateral, maybe, but not intentional. I don't think it's policy to set out and kill civilians.

Zippy, you seem to have mentioned you were in some war. Vietnam? Korea? Did any of your commanders ever order you to go out and kill civilians?

lofter1
July 16th, 2010, 08:38 PM
The US should do us all a favor and stay home.


I'm all for that. US troops and bases out of Germany, Italy, Japan, etc. You want to defense? Pay for it out of the home country's coffers.

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 08:59 PM
Things may be different now, but we tried that in 1914 and again in 1939. Didn't keep us out of war, but it did make us the greatest country, because all our allies got flattened before we got in there. Maybe it's a good policy, or maybe ...

It's called isolationism.

Fabrizio
July 16th, 2010, 09:17 PM
You want to defense? Pay for it out of the home country's coffers.


I'm trying to keep up here. We were hearing about all the Muslims killed by Christians.

So it is defense? The war in Iraq and Afganistan? Well, Ok fine.

Defense against what? Defense against who?

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 09:45 PM
So it is defense? The war in Iraq and Afganistan?
Afghanistan, yes; Iraq, no. There were two wars, and the second was a Bush family vendetta against a tinpot, non-Islamist dictator, who could do us not much harm.


Defense against what? Defense against who?
Afghanistan: al Qaeda.

Iraq: no one, no threat. Big waste of money and lives, and we laid waste to a country that had progressive elements by the area's standards. If not for us, Saddam would still be ruling it with an iron secular hand. He knew how to keep Islamists under control. In fact, we should have hired him as a consultant.

If we had to invade a country, it should have been Pakistan; that's where the boys are hiding, and where they may eventually go atomic.

And Iran? No one seems to know what to do, but definitely a threat once they get the bomb.

lofter1
July 16th, 2010, 10:28 PM
It's called isolationism.

So there's no other option besides that or being the world's police force?


Defense against what? Defense against who?

Troops in Europe and Japan are there to defend against the USSR. Never mind that they went out of business 20 years ago.

Maybe citizens of those countries where the US spends a fortune on bases & troops & weapons should ask the folks at home, "Defense against what? Defense against who?" ('cuz we can't afford all that no more).

ablarc
July 16th, 2010, 10:34 PM
Troops in Europe and Japan are there to defend against the USSR. Never mind that they went out of business 20 years ago.
They're sort of back again ... as Russia.

lofter1
July 16th, 2010, 10:39 PM
So ... Russia is going to cross over the Ukraine and Bulgaria and Hungary and Croatia and Slovenia (and all that other former Soviet territory) and invade Venice?

I guess if the US pulled out of Caserma Ederle they just might.

btw: When is the EU going to get an army to defend itself?

Fabrizio
July 17th, 2010, 05:39 AM
Forget Venice, the Russians are invading Forte dei Marmi.

---



My questions were meant to provoke. If I hear this:


In the last 50 years, or even the last 10, how many Muslims have died at the hands of ostensibly peaceful Christians...and would it be more or less than the number of Christians killed at the hands of those violent Muslims we keep hearing about?

But also hear this about defense :



Afghanistan, yes


If we had to invade a country, it should have been Pakistan

And Iran? No one seems to know what to do, but definitely a threat once they get the bomb.

Then maybe it was/is justified, the "many Muslims that have died at the hands of ostensibly peaceful Christians"

I don't know: you guys tell me.

MidtownGuy
July 17th, 2010, 07:38 AM
Some words for thought:

White Phosphorous
Daisy Cutters
Depleted Uranium
Thermobaric bombs
Clusterbombs

MidtownGuy
July 17th, 2010, 08:41 AM
Zippy, you seem to have mentioned you were in some war. Vietnam? Korea? Did any of your commanders ever order you to go out and kill civilians?
Was Zippy at My Lai?

Fabrizio
July 17th, 2010, 11:19 AM
Some words for thought:

White Phosphorous
Daisy Cutters
Depleted Uranium
Thermobaric bombs
Clusterbombs


^More reason as to why the US should stay home.

It's ironic though: the Danes have none of that war machinery and don't kill Muslims, yet in the Muslim world, they're the most dispised country after the US.

How did they do it?

Cartoons

MidtownGuy
July 17th, 2010, 12:30 PM
How enlightening and relevant to the quoted material! Brilliant.

Next up...another article, list, or anecdote to help prove how baaaaaad Islam is (and maybe if we're lucky how Christians can teach 'em right!) LOL. We can hardly wait.

Fabrizio
July 17th, 2010, 12:53 PM
Note to Midtownguy: go over the last couple of pages and see how conversation is conducted.

Furthermore, everything that I've posted, articles, lists, anecdotes are part of the conversation. If you have a problem with them, I suggest you do the following: discuss and dispute the elements contained with-in, ignore them, or notify the moderators for inappropriate, off-topic material.

Understand too that the forum is not about you and your opinions of others posting.

re:
LOL. We can hardly wait.

Funny that despite your personal opinions, and use of the word "We", another active poster on this thread (no not ablarc or Lofter) recently sent me a PM, out of the blue, with the following comment:

"Your posts are just about always a damn good read (and often a good laugh), and you're tough as hell to debate."

Alonzo-ny
July 17th, 2010, 02:59 PM
I'm all for that. US troops and bases out of Germany, Italy, Japan, etc. You want to defense? Pay for it out of the home country's coffers.

Lol, you think Europe needs those US bases? We can defend ourselves just fine thank you. In case you didn't know there are still British troops 'defending' Germany as well. There are murmurs of pulling them out because there is no need for them to be there. US troops getting out of Europe and Japan would be fantastic.

212
July 17th, 2010, 03:51 PM
There's a book "Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think" that arrives at interesting conclusions based on empirical polling data. I haven't read it yet, but I saw a debate with one of the writers and she made some good points based on work at Gallup.

Thanks, MidtownGuy. I haven't read that book, but here are some excerpts from a review on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Who-Speaks-Islam-Billion-Muslims/dp/1595620176) that address our recent conversations here:



On a poll of Muslim countries about Sharia law:
"Most respondents think that an ideal legal system is based in part but not exclusively on Sharia. Ironically, a 2006 survey revealed that a full 46% of Americans think the Bible should a "a source," and 9% think it should be the "only" source, of legislation. 42% of Americans think religious leaders should be directly involved in writing laws, and 55% think the idea is awful--almost exactly the same figures about Muslim religious leaders and the law that come out of Iran (pp. 48-49)."

About the Mohammed cartoons:
"Another common assumption is that Muslims dislike free speech, and the worldwide protests against the now infamous Danish cartoons of Mohammed are frequently cited as evidence. But vast numbers of polled Muslims insist that they admire many Western civil liberties. Their resentment against the U.S. isn't its freedoms so much as what they perceive as "the West's hatred and denigration of Islam; the Western belief that Arabs and Muslims are inferior; and their fear of Western intervention, domination, or occupation" (p. 141). So what drove the protests against the Danish cartoons for most Muslims wasn't a hatred of freedom of speech, but shock at what was perceived as disrespect of a religious figure venerated by Muslims. Interestingly, many non-Muslims agree that freedom of speech should be limited when it comes to ridiculing religious figures or using racist slurs. 57% of (non-Muslim) British and 45% of (non-Muslim) French thought the Danish cartoons shouldn't be protected by freedom of speech. Similarly, more than 75% of both populations would forbid cartoons making light of the Holocaust, and 86% of both would disallow racist cartoons (pp. 142-145). Once again, things just aren't as simple as the one-liner "Muslims are against freedom of speech" makes them out to be."

[Quotes by Kerry Walters]



One more time for emphasis: "Their resentment against the U.S. isn't its freedoms so much as what they perceive as 'the West's hatred and denigration of Islam; the Western belief that Arabs and Muslims are inferior; and their fear of Western intervention, domination, or occupation.' "

Fabrizio
July 17th, 2010, 04:11 PM
Again polls and interpreting statistics...always a slippery matter:

"Most respondents think that an ideal legal system is based in part but not exclusively on Sharia." Is that really comparible to, "Ironically, a 2006 survey revealed that a full 46% of Americans think the Bible should be a "a source" and 9% think it should be the "only" source,...of legislation"

I don't think so.

And I would never think to mention a "2006 survey". A survey by whom? Are we talking about a Gallup Poll or Parade Magazine.

Also, considering that the US is a democracy, those majority of Americans ( 46% + 9% = 55% according to that "survey") have done a pretty good job of establishing a society were human rights are valued...even if they would like to see the Bible as a source for legislation.

And I detect gobbledygook:

"But vast numbers of polled Muslims insist that they admire many Western civil liberties. "

^ that's kind of saying nothing.

-------

And personally for me, disrespectful images of Jesus, the Pope, The Madonna are also disturbing.... but I think we are talking about matters of degree.

------------


A question with regard to this:

"Their resentment against the U.S. isn't its freedoms so much as what they perceive as 'the West's hatred and denigration of Islam; the Western belief that Arabs and Muslims are inferior; and their fear of Western intervention, domination, or occupation.' "

Were these Muslims polled responding from the West or within Muslim countries?

ablarc
July 17th, 2010, 04:40 PM
Statistics are often fishy, and the ones you cite especially so, 212. Here, another review from the same Amazon website you referenced is an explanation as to why that might be:

Well, it's not the "SILENCED majority" who speaks, is it?

By Skylar H. Burris.

Imagine you begin to see the Nazis gaining influence in Germany. Imagine they have already killed several thousand Jews and are talking of killing more. Imagine the German people are doing nothing to stop them, and are afraid to speak out against them. Then imagine somebody writes a book saying, "What are you worried about? Nine in ten Germans are moderate. Only one in ten Germans think the concentration camps are COMPLETELY justified. So stop saying there's a problem with Germany. If you keep saying there's a problem with Germany, you're nothing but a paranoid Germaphobe." Imagine that, and you'd have something like "Who Speaks for Islam?"

Espositio and Mogahed reassure Westerners that Muslims are just like Westerners, but caution them that Muslims are totally different and therefore Westerners have to be careful not to offend them. (I know, it's confusing.) To prove their point, they use a set of Gallup Poll data that is not available to the public for examination. (That's OK. They'll be happy to interpret the data for you.) The ultimate message of this book is: stop being such and Islamaphobic bigot. Stop suggesting that terrorism has something to do with Muslims. Stop saying that Islam is oppresive to women. Stop suggesting that fanaticism is a greater problem in modern Islam than it is in modern Judaism or Christianity.

The book has its virtues. It provides a helpful overview of Muslim denominations and the history of western/Islamic relations. It reminds the western reader that Islam is not a monolith and dispels the neo-conservative and liberal myths that inside every Muslim is an American just dying to get out. It cautions westerners that if they hope to improve the lives of Muslims, reform should be promoted within an Islamic framework, since Muslim pride will resist any changes that seem to imply Western cultural superiority. And it reminds liberals who are concerned abut how we Americans appear to Muslims that the number one thing Muslims dislike about us is our sexual liberalism.

Now for my difficulties. The authors refuse to consider the possibility that there is anything in Islam that might make it difficult for progress, freedom, equality, and religious tolerance to occur in Muslim countries. They dispel Western concerns about Islam by calling them "myths," rather than by actually marshalling a great deal of evidence to the contrary. For instance, it's a "myth" that Muslims are the "culprits" in terrorism. To explain how this is only a myth, the authors offer several paragraphs condemning the bigotry and Islamaphobia of westerners. They don't actually suggest who it was who flew those airplanes into the World Trade Center or blew up the buses in England or the trains in Spain, if not Muslims. Perhaps they were Baptists. But no matter if they were Muslims, because what we really need to understand, the authors tell us, is that Muslim reactions are the result of a Western lack of respect for Islam, and Muslim actions have to be "understood in context."

When, for instance, the Pope makes a negative statement about Islam, and Muslims react by beating Christians and setting their churches on fire, those beatings and burnings are the fault of the Pope's insensitivity, and not any reflection whatsoever on the influence of Islam as a religion. When a cartoonist ridicules the Prophet, and Muslims react by setting cars on fire and damaging property, we have to understand that the vandalism and destruction is the fault of western rudeness, and not any reflection whatsoever on the influence of Islam as a religion. (It's interesting to note, however, that Jews did not react to Pope Benedict's reinstament of The Prayer for the Jews by burning churches and beating Christians; nor did the Catholics react to the "Dung Virgin Mary" by setting cars on fire.)

In the event that you are an Islamaphobic bigot who believes Islam has a problem restraining its radical fringe, you can rest assured that, according to Esposito and Mogahed's analysis of the Gallup Poll data, nine in ten Muslims are moderate. They don't mention this, but, if you do the math, that means there are a mere ONE HUNDRED MILLION "radicalized" Muslims in the world. So, if you were an American killed today by a terrorist while you sat peacefully at your computer at work, the Muslims who would delight in your death number only one-third the entire population of the United States. Be comforted.

Of course, there is also the question of how the authors are defining "moderate" when they say that nine in ten Muslims are "moderate." The authors don't actually say what, specifically, they mean by "moderate," but it's clear from piecing together the scattered information that a "moderate" can include any of the following: a Muslim who wants to see the imposition of sharia law; a Muslim who believes women should not have equal legal rights as men; a Muslim who believes suicide bombings of civilians is justified, or a Muslim who believes the 9/11 attacks were "partially justified." Indeed, it seems that the only thing that excludes a Muslim from being counted as "moderate" in the authors' analysis is if he or she answers that the 9/11 attacks were "completely justified." So be comforted. Only 100 million Muslims think the 9/11 attacks were "COMPLETELY justified."

How do the authors attempt to re-inform the misguided westerner, who so prejudicially believes that Muslims are, _on average_, somewhat more likely to want to punish apostasy, repress women, drive the Jews into the sea, and riot in response to religious slights than are, say, Methodists? First, they are certain to quote primarily the verses from the Koran enjoining peace and tolerance, and they are prudent to omit all but one verse enjoining violence and exclusion. Then they make careful use of vocabulary, beginning with their frequently repeated claim that Islam means "a strong commitment to God." (In what language? Literally translated, it means "submission," but I suppose that's too rough for western ears.) They speak of the empire the Muslims "created," of course, and not of the empire they "conquered." The language is all very warm and inviting and non-threatening.

Next, the authors level assumptions about Islamic terrorism by making some surprising claims about Christians, such as this remarkable accusation: "The vast majority of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil have been perpetrated by Christian terrorist groups in the past 15 years." Oh, really? Could you name two or three of these "Christian terrorist groups" please? No. No group names will be given. Not one. Just a blanket statement. In fact, the only name they mention at all is Timothy McVeigh, whom they classify as a "Christian terrorist," despite the fact that he never committed his acts in the name of Christ, never screamed "Praise Jesus!", never claimed to be motivated by religion, and described himself as an "agnostic," telling his friends, "Science is my religion."

For a book on polls, "Who Speaks for Islam?" contains a surprisingly limited number of raw statistics. The most frequently used word in the book is the vague "many." Sometimes the authors will make a statement and then support it not by reference to the Gallup poll, but by reference to a single anecdote. When the data is contradictory, they don't notice or comment. Finally, the authors do not seem willing to consider the obvious possibility that very different cultures might interpret the same questions very differently, so even if their answers are similar, they may not mean the same thing.

This book seems to be one more entry in the litany of suggestions that, really, all fundamentalists of all religions are EQUALLY dangerous, and, really, all religions and scriptures are EQUALLY conducive to peace, economic prosperity, freedom, gender equality, and religious tolerance. If the state of the world's predominantly Muslim nations doesn't seem to substantiate the fact that Islam is perfectly compatible with democracy, religious freedom, and gender equality, then the reason can't possibly have anything at all to do with Islam. How then does one explain the relative prevalence of oppression in the Muslim world, if one cannot cite Islam as even a single factor? I'm not sure, but from reading this book, I think it has something to do with the fact that Americans are all a bunch of arrogant, smug, small-minded meddlers, and if we would just stop criticizing Islam and instead start miraculously fixing the economic infrastructures of all Muslim countries without, at the same time, interfering in the internal affairs of Islamic states, we wouldn't have to worry about airplanes flying into office buildings.

I am more than willing to believe that women-oppressing, terrorist-supporting Muslims represent a radical fringe in Islam, but when a fringe numbers 100 million people, that fringe ought to be a subject of genuine concern. And even if 9 in 10 Muslims are moderate (as they probably are, if you're using a very broad definition of "moderate"), that still leaves us with the question as to why mainstream Islam fails to repress its radical fringe in the same way mainstream Christianity represses and contains and (when necessary) punishes its radical fringe. Why does Islam's radical fringe have such influence and such free reign, such power to silence Islam's moderates? The book speaks of the "silenced" moderate majority, but if the moderates are "silenced," they aren't "speaking" for Islam, are they? And so really the book has answered its own title question, and the answer is not encouraging.

ZippyTheChimp
July 17th, 2010, 10:29 PM
Collateral, maybe, but not intentional. I don't think it's policy to set out and kill civilians.So if the target is house #1 and it is destroyed, but inadvertently so are 2 and 3, you're OK with it that your family was in #3, as long as it was not intentional.


Zippy, you seem to have mentioned you were in some war. Vietnam? Korea?I spent an eventful year in Vietnam.



Did any of your commanders ever order you to go out and kill civilians?LOL. Very naive of the combat landscape, especially where a powerful military is involved.

I was in a good unit; we didn't call the civilians gooks. Soldiers generally followed the code, and of course orders weren't handed out across a desk to kill civilians.

It might start with an urgent radio request from the field: "Bring smoke," if a position was in danger of being overrun. CAS (close air support) arrived, and the firepower was incredible. Helicopter gunships and converted transports fitted with gatling guns spitting out 4000 rounds per minute.We called them Red Tornadoes because of the glowing tracer trails. The VC called the converted transports Red Dragons; black humor morphed that into Puff the Magic Dragon. Air delivered napalm wasn't particularly accurate.

Large swaths of the country were lush forest [forgot Agent Orange, more collateral damage], so pinpoint targeting was impossible. A lot of non-combatants were killed. Millions.



When the first Gulf War began, a reporter in a Baghdad hotel observed that from the window he saw a missile [cruise missile] that seemed to be following the path of a major road to its target. He was amazed. Tomahawks launched from a ship or sub a thousand miles away. Stealth fighters and bombers. Warfare at arms length.

ablarc
July 17th, 2010, 11:39 PM
So if the target is house #1 and it is destroyed, but inadvertently so are 2 and 3, you're OK with it that your family was in #3, as long as it was not intentional.
Who could be OK with that? Can you avoid it in modern warfare?

You could prevent it by refusing to fight altogether --come what may-- like Jehovah's Witnesses or Quakers. And if we got attacked and invaded, so be it; at least we didn't kill anybody.

How was it in World War II? Were Dresden and Hiroshima necessary? Should we have shrugged off Pearl Harbor because we knew we'd have to kill a lot of people, including oodles of civilians?

Trouble is the guys with explosive belts will go on targeting markets, mosques, city squares, airplanes, and other crowded facilities. The actual goal there is civilian body counts --just like Hiroshima or Dresden.

We could just shrug it off and go about our business. We could just concentrate on keeping SUVs from exploding in Times Square and leave it at that. Will our adversaries reciprocate in kind, do you think?

212
July 18th, 2010, 01:15 AM
Fabrizio takes issue with this quote, which cites support in the Muslim world for sharia law, compared with American public support for Biblical law:

"Most respondents think that an ideal legal system is based in part but not exclusively on Sharia. Ironically, a 2006 survey revealed that a full 46% of Americans think the Bible should a "a source," and 9% think it should be the "only" source, of legislation."


A survey by whom? Are we talking about a Gallup Poll or Parade Magazine.

Gallup World Poll (http://books.google.com/books?id=HWsfJAQALT8C&pg=PA431&lpg=PA431&dq=46%25+of+Americans+think+the+Bible+should+be+a+ %22a+source%22&source=bl&ots=fKBwKNSOHm&sig=HPrkz2uBunnyA4V6cRkrpNr-_mo&hl=en&ei=koxCTMLPGsP98Ab2tdHaAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=46%25%20of%20Americans%20think%20the%20Bible%20s hould%20be%20a%20%22a%20source%22&f=false)... link courtesy of Google Books!



Is that really comparible

Yes and no. In most countries, Muslim support for Koranic law was significantly higher than American support for Biblical law. In Turkey, the poll respondents were slightly more secular than the Americans; in Indonesia, slightly less secular.



A question with regard to this:

"Their resentment against the U.S. isn't its freedoms so much as what they perceive as 'the West's hatred and denigration of Islam; the Western belief that Arabs and Muslims are inferior; and their fear of Western intervention, domination, or occupation.' "

Were these Muslims polled responding from the West or within Muslim countries?


The book blurb (http://www.amazon.com/Who-Speaks-Islam-Billion-Muslims/dp/1595620176) for "Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think" makes clear that the polling is mostly within Muslim countries, and is an attempt at a representative sample of all Muslims. I'm sure that the results on any given question differed from country to country. I'm now reserving the book at the library, so I hope to be more specific in further answers.

From the book blurb:

"The book is the product of a mammoth six-year study in which the Gallup Organization conducted tens of thousands of hour-long, face-to-face interviews with residents of more than 35 predominantly Muslim nations — urban and rural, young and old, men and women, educated and illiterate."

... "six years of research and more than 50,000 interviews representing 1.3 billion Muslims who reside in more than 35 nations that are predominantly Muslim or have sizable Muslim populations. Representing more than 90% of the world's Muslim community, it makes this poll the largest, most comprehensive study of its kind."



Statistics are often fishy, and the ones you cite especially so, 212.

C'mon. The review you posted doesn't question the statistics at all. It takes strong issue with some of the authors' conclusions, and says the book needs, if anything, more statistics from the survey. How does that make the statistics "fishy"?

ZippyTheChimp
July 18th, 2010, 01:26 AM
Who could be OK with that? Can you avoid it in modern warfare?You can't avoid it, and of course no one could be OK with it. The families of victims of collateral damage grieve for them just as earnestly as the families of 09/11 victims.


How was it in World War II? Were Dresden and Hiroshima necessary? Should we have shrugged off Pearl Harbor because we knew we'd have to kill a lot of people, including oodles of civilians?Without going into too much detail: In Western Europe alone, the Allies fielded over 5.5 million troops; the peak for the Axis was about 3.3 million. Industry in the combatant states was switched to military production, along with the civilian workforce. The opposing forces were of relatively equal strength, although Germany and Japan were not prepared for a protracted war.

Is this the situation in the Middle East? In that case, we should just bomb the hell out of them, and demand unconditional surrender.


The actual goal there is civilian body counts --just like Hiroshima or Dresden.Ignoring the politics involved with the USSR and the postwar map, the goal of Hiroshima and Dresden was to end the war. What's the goal of these terrorist body counts? Are Western nations just going to surrender?


Will our adversaries reciprocate in kind, do you think?Exactly who are our adversaries? Good strategic military planning involves an assessment of the enemy's strength.

Fabrizio
July 18th, 2010, 05:41 AM
212 writes, "Fabrizio takes issue with this quote, which cites support in the Muslim world for sharia law, compared with American public support for Biblical law"

212: there is no mass support for "Biblical Law" in the US. None. Let's not get ridiculous. Does any one here even know what Biblical Law is? Could you explain it for us?

Furthermore....for the sake of argument: if the majority of Americans want "Biblical Law" in the US... and the US is so supportive of human rights.... then I can only conclude that Biblical Law is a good thing....or at least rather benign....or er...something like that.

Along those lines, I think the best quote of that review is the following:




Now for my difficulties. The authors refuse to consider the possibility that there is anything in Islam that might make it difficult for progress, freedom, equality, and religious tolerance to occur in Muslim countries.

Even the fact that Muslims....with-in their countries.... according to these polls want and support Sharia law is very telling about them, don't you think? Look at the human rights just for women and gays in those countries.....look at issues of tolerance and legal protection for the diverse.

Also, look at the difference... the way the polls were conducted: Muslims supporting Sharia are living in a Sharia society.... yet Americans supporting Biblical law are living in a modern secular society: won't perceptions among the two be very different?

212
July 18th, 2010, 09:41 AM
Even the fact that Muslims....with-in their countries.... according to these polls want and support Sharia law is very telling.

It's obvious (http://books.google.com/books?id=HWsfJAQALT8C&pg=PA431&lpg=PA431&dq=46%25+of+Americans+think+the+Bible+should+be+a+ %22a+source%22&source=bl&ots=fKBwKNSOHm&sig=HPrkz2uBunnyA4V6cRkrpNr-_mo&hl=en&ei=koxCTMLPGsP98Ab2tdHaAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=46%25%20of%20Americans%20think%20the%20Bible%20s hould%20be%20a%20%22a%20source%22&f=false) from the poll numbers that Muslim views on this differed strongly from country to country.



Also, look at the difference... the way the polls were conducted: Muslims supporting Sharia are living in a Sharia society.... yet Americans supporting Biblical law are living in a modern secular society: won't perceptions among the two be very different?

Maybe.

In the poll, Iranians, who live in a clerical dictatorship, seemed to want a smaller role for sharia.

Egyptians, who live in a largely secular dictatorship where some sharia law has been introduced, wanted a larger role for sharia.

We'll know better when we have a full copy of the survey. I'll especially look for questions about women's rights and gay rights.

Fabrizio
July 18th, 2010, 09:48 AM
212: that you can answer "maybe" to this:

"Also, look at the difference... the way the polls were conducted: Muslims supporting Sharia are living in a Sharia society.... yet Americans supporting Biblical law are living in a modern secular society: won't perceptions among the two be very different?"

Your "maybe" means that we will have to agree to disagree.

---

BTW: I'd love to know how a Gallup Poll is conducted in Iran of all places:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,672567,00.html

----

Here's a Gallop poll conducted among British Muslims:

Muslims in Britain have zero tolerance of homosexuality, says poll

"The most dramatic contrast was found in attitudes towards homosexuality. None of the 500 British Muslims interviewed believed that homosexual acts were morally acceptable. 1,001 non-Muslim Britons were interviewed."

None.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/may/07/muslims-britain-france-germany-homosexuality

^ Is such a poll reliable? I don't know. (Note btw, that the poll was not singling out fundamentalist Muslims...)

ablarc
July 18th, 2010, 11:20 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_Islamic_Republic_of_Iran

^ A comprehensive recitation of sharia law in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Read it and boil.

No member of a free society could regard these laws as anything but outrageous and barbaric: the denial of all progress in society and human awareness, a return to the Dark Ages in which they were conceived and preserved in amber. If 46% want this, then 46% are radical reactionaries.

And who could claim these laws are coincidental and unrelated to the true tenets of Islam?

"Who ... us? Our government and laws just seem vicious, benighted and cruel.”

“And we're also Fundamentalist Muslims who speak and act for God.”

“And anyway, there's no relationship whatever between those two facts!" chorus the propagandists, Esposito and Mogahed.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” –JG

lofter1
July 18th, 2010, 11:46 AM
During Rachel Maddow's recent trip to Afghanistan she interviewed a representative of the American military, General Ben Hodges (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/38286584#38286596), and they discussed the future of the legal system and "dispute resolution" in Afghanistan. One problem at issue is the bureaucracy that has now been put into place, whereby resolution of disputes between Afghanis can drag on forever, with disputes often remaining unresolved -- or those that are resolved weigh towards those with more power and money, leaving many average Afghanis frustrated and unsure that the new order is any good -- or that they are better off than they were before the Taliban were driven out. One goal of the Amercian and coalition presence is to get a civil bureaucracy in order that will deal with societal problems in a "swift" way.

The concern is that if an effective legal structure is not put into place then, after the Americans leave, Afghanis will come to the conclusion that the new system is corrupt, ineffective and unworkable -- and opt instead for the Taliban and Sharia Law, which if nothing else would be swift and decisive.

As Maddow puts it, in regard to the Taliban and use of Sharia Law: "They're not corrupt, but they're brutal."

The end of the interview, where Maddow and Hodges discuss the non-existent "Plan B" for the American plan in Afghanistan, is sobering.

Fabrizio
July 18th, 2010, 12:03 PM
The Taliban is not corrupt. Glad to hear it.

ablarc
July 18th, 2010, 06:20 PM
So they've been saddled with a bum rap about the heroin trade?

212
July 18th, 2010, 06:44 PM
Here's a Gallop poll conducted among British Muslims:

Yes, here is the full survey, in PDF form (http://www.muslimwestfacts.com/mwf/File/118267/Gallup-Coexist-Index-2009.aspx). It's by the same people who wrote the book we've been talking about. On Page 31 you can see the question about homosexuality.


"Next, I'm going to read you a list, for each item on the list,
please tell me whether you PERSONALLY BELIEVE that it is
MORALLY acceptable or MORALLY wrong? Homosexual acts:"
% who say "morally acceptable"

France
Muslims: 35%
General public: 78%

Germany
Muslims: 19%
General public: 68%

Britain
Muslims: 0%
General public: 58%

United States (different Gallup link (http://www.gallup.com/poll/135764/Americans-Acceptance-Gay-Relations-Crosses-Threshold.aspx), but wording of the question appears to be the same)
General public, 2010: 52%
Protestants, 2010: 42%
Republicans, 2010: 35%
General public, 2001: 40%

So yes, in Britain, Germany and France, Muslims' views on homosexuality being morally acceptable lag the general public numbers by about 50 percentage points. (Polling on heterosexual sex outside marriage shows a similar gap between Muslims and non-Muslims.)

It's interesting that support for homosexuality is up to 35% among French Muslims -- same as U.S. Republicans. I think this suggests that the attitudes of the general public can influence the views of Muslims who live in the West.

lofter1
July 18th, 2010, 08:05 PM
The Taliban is not corrupt. Glad to hear it.

Yeah, Rachel was being a bit naive -- she probably should have said the Taliban is a little less corrupt (although [probably] more brutal) than, say, the brother of the President of Afghanistan (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/05/world/asia/05afghan.html) and his connected and protected cronies. But when trunks holding billions in US dollars can be secreted out of Afghanistan (http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,704665,00.html) then why would anyone be surprised that the same could be done with tons of opium?



US Cuts Aid After Millions Siphoned Off to Dubai

Der Spiegel
07/05/2010

... much more money is making its way out of Afghanistan through Kabul's airport than is being officially declared and logged. For example, important politicians and businesspeople can often board planes from the airport's special VIP area without being searched. And if customs officials do conduct a search and find a suitcase stuffed with millions of dollars in cash, people with powerful connections often step in to make sure that the luggage makes it out of the country with its owner -- no questions asked. "A couple phone calls are made," General Jabarkhel says with frustration in his voice, "and the person can carry on."

Opium production and the heroin trade in Afghanistan have sky-rocketed in the years since the American invasion, and the cash gained is in large part what pays for those we're fighting against:



Afghan heroin funds growing insurgency

The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/afghan-heroin-funds-growing-insurgency/story-e6frg6nf-1225869371894)
May 21. 2010

UN figures show opium production has exploded in the decade since US-led forces invaded Afghanistan, with curbing the heroin trade a key objective. In 2001, poppy fields covered 7,600 hectares and produced 185 tonnes of opium, last year they covered 131,000 hectares and produced 6900 tonnes ...

Only 5,840 hectares of poppy fields were cleared in 2008, compared with 19,047 hectares the previous year.

The area under cultivation was cut by 22 per cent last year, according to the US State Department, but higher yields meant opium production fell by only 10 per cent.

The US State Department report says the connection between the narcotics trade, corruption and the insurgency is growing. "A symbiotic relationship exists between the insurgency and narcotics traffickers," the report says.

"The Taliban taxes poppy farmers to fund the insurgency. Traffickers provide weapons, funding and other material support to the insurgents in exchange for the protection of drug routes, poppy fields, laboratories and members of their organisation."


It used to be that the raw opium harvested from Afghani poppies was the big export. But that's changing (and now everybody is getting in on the game) ...



Traffickers Step Up Import of Heroin-Making Chemicals

ipsnews.net (http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=50529)
By Sananda Sahoo

WASHINGTON, Mar 3, 2010 (IPS) - Drug traffickers are increasing imports of precursor chemicals used for processing opium poppy into heroin and morphine, according to a new State Department report released here Monday.

They are channeling the chemicals through new routes and diverting them from legal commerce and gray markets, said the State Department's International Narcotics Control Strategy Report for 2009.

West Asia and Africa are the new key transshipment points to smuggle and divert chemicals.

"Trafficking throughout Afghanistan continues to be a big challenge," David Johnson, assistant secretary at the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, told reporters here.

According to the survey of global counter-narcotics efforts, Afghanistan remains the world's top producer of opium despite a 22-percent decline in the area under poppy cultivation there during 2009.

Historically, the raw opium produced in Afghanistan has been exported by traffickers to other countries for processing into heroin and other opiates. In recent years, however, the country has emerged as one of the biggest producers of these refined products, as well ...

Too bad we lost our way back in the beginning and didn't complete the mission at hand: To capture or kill OBL -- and then get the hell out of the cess pool.

Fabrizio
July 19th, 2010, 03:49 AM
212:

I personally believe that abortion is morally wrong.

But I also believe in a woman's right to choose. Her choice is none of my business.

I come from a cultural/religious background that places importance on reflection, forgiveness and compassion. So my "morally wrong" might be very different than the "morally wrong" of a recent Muslim immigrant from Syria.

That's why these polls of such different cultures, must be seen in context and taken with a grain of salt.

------

212 writes: "It's interesting that support for homosexuality is up to 35% among French Muslims -- same as U.S. Republicans. I think this suggests that the attitudes of the general public can influence the views of Muslims who live in the West."

Agreed. And isn't interesting that it is France that takes the hardest line with Muslims?

Note the recent MP vote banning the veil. And the French have no problem discussing their national identity and desire that immigrants conform to their values. Perhaps there is something to learn there as well.

------

This is also why the voice of an Irshad Manji is so important for all of us: a modern Muslim...a lesbian Muslim working for reform.

How she can be dismissed as the stuff of Foxnews is beyond me.

212
July 19th, 2010, 04:15 AM
^ If the French ban on the veil ever becomes law, it may well be struck down in French and European courts. Otherwise, I can't find (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_France) other examples where France has outdone its neighbors in "taking the hardest line with Muslims" by law. Can you?*

And Fabrizio, if you haven't read through it already, I'd recommend a look through the full PDF (http://www.muslimwestfacts.com/mwf/File/118267/Gallup-Coexist-Index-2009.aspx) of the survey. As you know, Muslim communities are quite different from country to country, and there's a whole number of factors at work here ...

* Closest I can find of the "hardest line": In 2003, the French banned "conspicuous displays" of religion in schools. It was aimed at hijab, but ended up also banning the wearing of large crosses.

Fabrizio
July 19th, 2010, 04:20 AM
^ If the French ban on the veil ever becomes law, it may well be struck down in French and European courts. Otherwise, I can't find (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_France) other examples where France has outdone its neighbors in "taking the hardest line with Muslims" by law. Can you?*


^ Whether the ban can legally go into effect is not my point: the nearly unanimous MP vote on the veil and the fact that this and the headscarf ban are of such debate in France is what is significant here.

Re:headscarves: The majority of the French favour the ban and all major political supported the law.

Re:face veil: gets 82% popular support in the country, according to Pew Research .

Add this: http://www.debatidentitenationale.fr/

= a harder line with Muslims compared to European neighbors (although I guess we could add Switzerland with it's minaret ban... ).


It's interesting that support for homosexuality is up to 35% among French Muslims -- same as U.S. Republicans. I think this suggests that the attitudes of the general public can influence the views of Muslims who live in the West.

^ agreed. And perhaps those attitutes mentioned above are having an influence... note I am not claiming there is a correlation but I think it's certainly an interesting observation and something to consider.

---------------

( BTW: Spain is now considering a ban as well. From today's Huff Post:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/18/spain-burqa-ban-parliament_n_650394.html)

Ninjahedge
July 19th, 2010, 08:09 AM
Yes. It's the only way to do a poll.


Most British Muslims speak English.

And the British Muslims represent the World Population of Muslims... Whatever. (I thought the survey was actually polling people from outside Britain....)


I bet plenty of suicide bombers have both. You expect them to live on the moon? ;)

I bet they don't. Most people that HAVE things do not want to LOSE them.

If you have a comfortable lifestyle you are MUCH less likely to give it up. Most people willing to do so are either promised thnigs (such as rewards in the afterlife) or are mentally unstable in the first place.

I remember reading stories about bombers families being paid for their relative's actions. Something that is also a great incentive for those that have little.

Ninjahedge
July 19th, 2010, 08:36 AM
Finally, the authors do not seem willing to consider the obvious possibility that very different cultures might interpret the same questions very differently, so even if their answers are similar, they may not mean the same thing.

I wonder where I have heard that before.......


Aside from that, one thing to be careful about is to not tie cultural attitudes to one question or another.

1st. "Based on". What is wrong with basing some of our law on the teachings in the New Testament. Many are pro-societal doctrines that serve to benefit mankind. Using the bible as a possible source is different than using it as THE source for law.

"Thou shalt not kill" and others may be something we should start following again...

2nd. Homosexuality. This is a difficult one, but all one has to do is look back at our own society 40 or so years ago. Ask the same question and you will see the same daunting lack of acceptance as is evidenced by the curent modern Muslim culture (in general). Does this mean that they are evil? Not really, but that they definitely are more attached to older, and more set, laws of society and culture.

Is this right? No. But trying to force a few milennia of almost constant doctrine to change in a less than century is not an easy thing. Does that mean the pressure and criticism should stop?

No.

But it does mean that care should be taken not to apply hate to someone who may be willing to change, but just finds it difficult to accept something he, his family, and his society has deemed an abomination for so long.

Or you can just hate him and kill him.

That would solve everything, right?

Fabrizio
July 19th, 2010, 09:13 AM
Or you can just hate him and kill him.

That would solve everything, right?

Yeah....everyone here hating and suggesting they should be killed, better listen up.

Ninjahedge
July 19th, 2010, 10:08 AM
You mean that everyone in the world thinks exactly as we do?

I didn't know that Fab!

>wark<

lofter1
August 8th, 2010, 12:04 PM
Geert Wilders is coming to NYC on September 11 to speak and offer his views (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23759&p=333336&viewfull=1#post333336) regarding the Cordoba mosque / community center plan.

WizardOfOss
August 8th, 2010, 12:19 PM
Please, keep him there. We don't need him here.

lofter1
August 8th, 2010, 12:45 PM
Maybe he'll stay on as a roomie with Pamela Geller. A match made in ...

ZippyTheChimp
August 8th, 2010, 01:02 PM
You could have sent us a few crates of tulip bulbs instead.

Fabrizio
August 9th, 2010, 04:05 AM
I have a hard time figuring out who is nuttier, Gert Wilder or Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.