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November 11th, 2008, 10:22
Originally Posted by V7 View Post
Hence the jingoistic nationalism
Yeah, but that have more to do with psychology than ideology. Nationalism isn't tied to a specific idea or book, but rather something naturally produced by the human psyche in relation with ideas like nation, nationalistic symbols and cultural icons within that geographical area. Islam is tied to the Qur'an even if the interpretions of the book is different there's a limit to how far you can remove yourself from it. It becomes "the religion of peace" only due to people identifying themselves as muslims who do not actually read the book even if the religion suggest that they should. That's also how Christianity can be "the religions of love", despite the Bible. The Qur'an compared to Nationalism cannot renew itself, it wont reform based on new ideas and insights, it suggests absolutes and it's radical to it's core.

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November 11th, 2008, 13:44
Originally Posted by shadow_hk View Post
I'm writing it for the third time and I hope for the final time. I don't have anything againsts (ordinary) muslims as people (I criticise - and I don't know even if "criticise" is a right word) only islam as religion, institution, rules of conduct and islamic fundamentalists - terrorists).
The problem is just that — you're conflating Islam and terrorism. That's as wrong as it is to conflate Christianity and abortion-clinic bombers, Judaism and militant Meir Kahane-style Zionism, or Segolene Royal and Joe Stalin. What's more, by doing that you're doing exactly the same thing Osama bin Laden and his neo-Kharijites are doing by regarding "the West" as a monolithic "enemy of Islam." You have more in common with Al Qaeda than you have with the European values you claim to support!

The imporant issue which eludes you, I think, is that multicultarility (when the systems are incompatible or conflicting) is possible or with the hope to endure (to last) in the long term only in a small measure - and that's the case of your personal experience. But in the larger measures, there's either freedom (of speech etc…. - for example to discuss freely on these boards) or sharia at the end. Nothing in between. You choose. So it is not about some kind of nationalism ar perhaps "crypto-fascism" but about self-preservation.
That's a false dichotomy: freedom of speech is relative, not absolute. For example, in most countries freedom of speech does not include the freedom to slander; in many countries it does not include the freedom to incite to violence. In yet others, it includes prohibitions on blasphemy, desecration of national symbols, and so on. It's very much a continuum, and our job is to figure out where on that continuum we want to be.

So maybe I am too critical, too fearful about islam (as system)
As your idol, that titan of intellect, Sarah Palin would say, "you betcha."

but maybe it is *you* who is too idealistic.
That's not an accusation I get very often, but I'll allow it's a possibility.

In fine: I really think it's not necessary to insult each other for different opinions or one would say, for different worldviews, rather get used to it.
The freedom of speech includes the freedom to insult — and be insulted. I find your opinions highly offensive. The whole point of freedom of speech is that I have the possibility to express that revulsion in strong enough terms. If you find it insulting, deal with it.
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November 11th, 2008, 14:54
Would you not agree that their agressive isolationist approach (infidels, to the point where some nutjob religious authorities have gone so far as to say "proper" muslims can't even live outside the Middle East) makes it far easier for the culture as a whole to be misunderstood? As we've discussed before, the culture does little to educate outsiders and it's been pointed out that the culture is generally more complex than ours, with its myriad interlaced factions. It should come as little surprise that the wackos get the publicity and become the public face of the broader group.

Lacking an alternative image, it should practically be expected that the extremist public face would become the only face for folks like shadow_hk.

One could draw a parallel—since Dubya is a belligerent dipshit, all Americans can be assumed to be the same since he's the public face of the nation.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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November 11th, 2008, 15:10
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Would you not agree that their agressive isolationist approach (infidels, to the point where some nutjob religious authorities have gone so far as to say "proper" muslims can't even live outside the Middle East) makes it far easier for the culture as a whole to be misunderstood?
You're assuming the conclusion — that Muslims are aggressive and isolationist.

Of course the aggressive isolationists are a problem, but most Muslims aren't, and there's nothing inherent in Islam that makes it any more aggressive or isolationist than Christianity or Judaism.

As we've discussed before, the culture does little to educate outsiders and it's been pointed out that the culture is generally more complex than ours, with its myriad interlaced factions. It should come as little surprise that the wackos get the publicity and become the public face of the broader group.

Lacking an alternative image, it should practically be expected that the extremist public face would become the only face for folks like shadow_hk.

One could draw a parallel—since Dubya is a belligerent dipshit, all Americans can be assumed to be the same since he's the public face of the nation.
All very true, but doesn't change the basic misunderstanding — about Muslims or Americans.
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November 11th, 2008, 15:58
So, I still have some strenght and time left to react .

Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
The problem is just that — you're conflating Islam and terrorism.
That's simply not true..

Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
That's a false dichotomy: freedom of speech is relative, not absolute. For example, in most countries freedom of speech does not include the freedom to slander; in many countries it does not include the freedom to incite to violence. In yet others, it includes prohibitions on blasphemy, desecration of national symbols, and so on. It's very much a continuum, and our job is to figure out where on that continuum we want to be.
Freedom of speech was just an example. But let's stick to it. Yes I agree, freedom of speech is relative and you see, there's total difference between traditional muslim society and our's. So point is that these systems are so incompatible to each other they can't coexist in the long term within one society (in a large measure). Islam doesn't tolerate any crititicism or doubts as we are free or even used to express.


Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
The freedom of speech includes the freedom to insult — and be insulted.
In absolute terms, yes. But as you pointed out, freedom of speech is not absolute. You know, I will deal with it - one way or another - but I thought we could discuss like civilised men even if you may consider some of my opinions highly offensive. I didn't mean to offend you and I apologize to you if you feel that way.

Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
there's nothing inherent in Islam that makes it any more aggressive
That's something I simply don't agree. And that's fundamental difference between us, all the rest unwinds.
Last edited by shadow_hk; November 11th, 2008 at 16:35.
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November 11th, 2008, 16:23
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
You're assuming the conclusion — that Muslims are aggressive and isolationist.

Of course the aggressive isolationists are a problem, but most Muslims aren't, and there's nothing inherent in Islam that makes it any more aggressive or isolationist than Christianity or Judaism.
Aggressive modifies "isolationist" rather than "muslim". That might be a non-native English kinda confusion, or maybe not. Anyhoo….

It seems to me that the whole "infidel" thing goes beyond the western equivalent, "unbeliever". I'm not a religious scholar by any stretch, but I believe the general instructions (as well as current interpretations) are to convert the unbeliever and to kill the infidel. If so, that dictates a slightly different approach to the outside world. The end result can be the same (gotta love those end-of-the-bayonet conversions), but there's certainly a difference of tone that can't be ignored.

Regardless, it comes down to education. Just as we simply had to elect Saint Barack to convince the world we're not belligerent dipshits, the broader muslim world needs to step up to convince the world that Osama and Yemen aren't the face of Islam.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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November 11th, 2008, 18:10
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
It seems to me that the whole "infidel" thing goes beyond the western equivalent, "unbeliever". I'm not a religious scholar by any stretch, but I believe the general instructions (as well as current interpretations) are to convert the unbeliever and to kill the infidel. If so, that dictates a slightly different approach to the outside world. The end result can be the same (gotta love those end-of-the-bayonet conversions), but there's certainly a difference of tone that can't be ignored.
It's rather more complex than that, actually. Islam distinguishes between several groups of non-believers, with different rules governing each of them. "Infidel" would map best to the concept of "kafir," or "apostate," and traditional Islamic law does indeed prescribe death as punishment for apostasy. (It actually works like this in a few benighted corners of the world, such as those parts of Afghanistan that are under Taliban control.)

However, Christians and Jews (and by extension Westerners in general) don't fall under this definition — we're considered "Ahl al-Kitab," or "People of the Book." The shari'a rules about treating us are quite different; in an Islamic country we'd be treated as dhimmis or "protected minorities" — not unlike the way Western countries treat non-citizens with permanent residency permits, such as Green Card holders in the US. They're also very explicit about not forcing conversions; much more so than Christianity with its categorical evangelization imperative — "Go forth and make all peoples my disciples" and all that commotion.

Christians living in (stable) Muslim countries (like Turkey, Egypt, or Malaysia) are subject to quite a few restrictions, but there's generally very little pressure on them to convert. Of course, if the shit hits the fan, the minorities are likely to suffer, just like everywhere else: the pogroms against and exodus of Assyrian Christians from Iraq just these past few weeks and months is a recent and tragic example.

Historically, Christian law has been a good deal stricter about searching out and punishing heretics and unbelievers.

Regardless, it comes down to education. Just as we simply had to elect Saint Barack to convince the world we're not belligerent dipshits, the broader muslim world needs to step up to convince the world that Osama and Yemen aren't the face of Islam.
Didn't we have this conversation too, a while back? IIRC I pointed you towards any number of Muslim organizations that are trying to do just that. Somehow, they just don't seem to get much media exposure.
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November 11th, 2008, 18:23
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
However, Christians and Jews (and by extension Westerners in general) don't fall under this definition — we're considered "Ahl al-Kitab," or "People of the Book." The shari'a rules about treating us are quite different; in an Islamic country we'd be treated as dhimmis or "protected minorities"
First you write "Christians and Jews", then you follow with "we".

I had assumed you were neither Christian or a jew. Are you generalizing that all westerners are either Christian or Jew or that there are "Christian nations"?

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November 11th, 2008, 18:29
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
First you write "Christians and Jews", then you follow with "we".

I had assumed you were neither Christian or a jew. Are you generalizing that all westerners are either Christian or Jew or that there are "Christian nations"?
I think that if you'll read what I wrote again (especially the parentheses), you'll find your question answered. Muslims tend to conflate Western and Christian identity, and treat Westerners as if they were Christians. Not unlike Westerners tend to conflate, for example, Arab and Muslim identity, and treat Arabs as if they were Muslims, and vice versa.
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November 11th, 2008, 18:30
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
I think that if you'll read what I wrote again (especially the parentheses), you'll find your question answered. Muslims tend to conflate Western and Christian identity, and treat Westerners as if they were Christians. Not unlike Westerners tend to conflate, for example, Arab and Muslim identity, and treat Arabs as if they were Muslims, and Muslims as if they were Arabs.
I know that far. That's why I loose a testicle everytime I hear a westerner generalize the same way.

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An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
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November 11th, 2008, 19:40
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
However, Christians and Jews (and by extension Westerners in general) don't fall under this definition — we're considered "Ahl al-Kitab," or "People of the Book."
Wait a minute… what about non-believers, I mean real atheists who don't believe and who have never believed in any "God". They are also westerners and there's majority of them nowadays (in general). In your opinion do they have right to live according to islam or don't they ? Yes, I know, there's not definitive answer to that. It depends on interpretation of Qur'an (like so many other things like jihad). But I think atheists would suffer the same fate as real apostates from islam (if islam ruled the world). Really no great expectations. And there lies a danger of islam - in various interpretation and ambiguity of verses of Qur'an and their practical realization. Your interpretation of peaceful islam is only one of many.
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November 11th, 2008, 20:05
Originally Posted by shadow_hk View Post
And there lies a danger of islam - in various interpretation and ambiguity of verses of Qur'an and their practical realization.
Unfortunately, Christian interpretation of the bible is no less ambiguous. Non-Eastern religions in general parade about with "peace and love" while providing lots of reasons for sharpened sticks. Islam really doesn't stand out significantly on that front. Looking at "as delivered" versus "as advertised", there appears to be wider variation, but that has little to do with the book and more to do with the people reading it. I'm largely on your side on this one, but you'll have to dig deeper than that.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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November 11th, 2008, 20:19
Originally Posted by shadow_hk View Post
Wait a minute… what about non-believers, I mean real atheists who don't believe and who have never believed in any "God". They are also westerners and there's majority of them nowadays (in general). In your opinion do they have right to live according to islam or don't they ? Yes, I know, there's not definitive answer to that. It depends on interpretation of Qur'an (like so many other things like jihad). But I think atheists would suffer the same fate as real apostates from islam (if islam ruled the world). Really no great expectations. And there lies a danger of islam - in various interpretation and ambiguity of verses of Qur'an and their practical realization. Your interpretation of peaceful islam is only one of many.
True — but it's the dominant one. You will certainly find Muslim scholars who want to apply shari'a in its harshest forms, but you'll also find that the vast majority of Muslim scholars don't. If you're interested in what mainstream Muslim authorities have to say, check out the Amman Message. You might be surprised at who the signatories are.

I certainly wouldn't want Islam to rule the world — but I don't see any real reason to believe that's about to happen. European Muslims are, generally speaking, integrating just fine — second- and third-generation Muslim Europeans are doing just as well as any other group of second- and third-generation immigrants. See here for a pretty good discussion of this topic (with references).
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November 11th, 2008, 21:35
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Unfortunately, Christian interpretation of the bible is no less ambiguous
I see your point. I will think about it.

Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
True — but it's the dominant one. You will certainly find Muslim scholars who want to apply shari'a in its harshest forms, but you'll also find that the vast majority of Muslim scholars don't. If you're interested in what mainstream Muslim authorities have to say, check out the Amman Message. You might be surprised at who the signatories are.
Problem is that these moderate scholars have a very tough job to express their thoughts openly. And similarly it is not entirely safe for ordinary muslims to support them. At least in some regions. Perhaps your interpretation of islam is really a dominant one - among a general muslim public - but certainly not the loudest one (at least here "on the west") - to the detriment of muslim cause and all of us.

You know maybe you won't believe it, but years ago I had similar opinions on this matter like you have, but my opinions on this matter have changed in time. You may be right that my attitude may not be far away from fundamentalism, or at least it may look like that way to you, but it's maybe simply a defensive reaction to current events which you can see in the middle-east or in Madrid's metro and yes I have realised that I like freedom very much. I consider freedom maybe a greatest value for me and I simply see it endangered by today's islam (by its worsest and strickest and - unfortunatelly - by its loudest forms which unfortunatelly happen to be also the mightiest ones because they are usually reckless and conscienceless; and I can generalise on basis of this assumption I admit that) and by second and third generation of Muslim European who have born already in Europe. Just look at riots in France. So i don't agree with you regarding this matter of (non)problematic integration but I will return to this topic later.

I will have a look at your links..
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November 11th, 2008, 23:33
Originally Posted by shadow_hk View Post
Problem is that these moderate scholars have a very tough job to express their thoughts openly. And similarly it is not entirely safe for ordinary muslims to support them.
Utter hooey.

At least in some regions.
OK, I'll give you South Waziristan.

Perhaps your interpretation of islam is really a dominant one - among a general muslim public - but certainly not the loudest one (at least here "on the west") - to the detriment of muslim cause and all of us.
And why is that, do you think? Because the Muslims aren't talking, or because the only Muslims who get media time in the West are the crazy ones?

Check out Al Jazeera, for kicks — they have a really good English website. That'll give you a pretty good idea of the range of opinion in the Islamic world.

You know maybe you won't believe it, but years ago I had similar opinions on this matter like you have, but my opinions on this matter have changed in time. You may be right that my attitude may not be far away from fundamentalism, or at least it may look like that way to you, but it's maybe simply a defensive reaction to current events which you can see in the middle-east or in Madrid's metro and yes I have realised that I like freedom very much.
Oh, I believe you. It's just that your knee-jerk reaction is exactly what those fucks who blew up those trains want. They're playing you for a sucker, and you're buying it lock, stock, and barrel.

I consider freedom maybe a greatest value for me and I simply see it endangered by today's islam (by its worsest and strickest and - unfortunatelly - by its loudest forms which unfortunatelly happen to be also the mightiest ones because they are usually reckless and conscienceless; and I can generalise on basis of this assumption I admit that) and by second and third generation of Muslim European who have born already in Europe. Just look at riots in France.
I have. I travel in France a quite a lot. Those riots? They're social, not religious. The morons burning the cars don't wear beards and turbans and shout Allahu Akbar; they wear jeans and T-shirts and smoke weed and listen to gangsta rap. Islam has nothing to do with it; impoverished gangland suburbs have everything to do with it.
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November 12th, 2008, 00:28
This topic has gone WAY off track, but it certainly is worthwhile. Would you like me to split it?

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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November 12th, 2008, 03:51
Seeing as we went CTB about post 8, the topic is more off-topic than the thread. Besides, Obama's a muslim, right? It would probably be easiest just to delete all the posts that aren't mine, since all the rest pales against my blinding intellect and stunning eloquence anyway.

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November 12th, 2008, 06:30
Yeah, and the Cowboys will win the Super Bowl!!

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November 12th, 2008, 10:40
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
I have. I travel in France a quite a lot. Those riots? They're social, not religious. The morons burning the cars don't wear beards and turbans and shout Allahu Akbar; they wear jeans and T-shirts and smoke weed and listen to gangsta rap. Islam has nothing to do with it; impoverished gangland suburbs have everything to do with it.
Yes, they're social and impoverished gangland suburbs have a lot in common with that but it is a bit more complex than that. T-shirts, gangsta rap, perhaps, but at the same time watching satellite arabian or palestian TVs full of hatred against the west (instead of finding a decent job). Do you really believe that by listening the gangsta rap they really accepted our values and really integrated into our society? I don't think so.
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November 12th, 2008, 11:20
Originally Posted by shadow_hk View Post
Yes, they're social and impoverished gangland suburbs have a lot in common with that but it is a bit more complex than that. T-shirts, gangsta rap, perhaps, but at the same time watching satellite arabian or palestian TVs full of hatred against the west (instead of finding a decent job). Do you really believe that by listening the gangsta rap they really accepted our values and really integrated into our society? I don't think so.
First off, most Arab satellite TV is not "full of hatred against the West." In fact, I can only think of two such channels off the bat — Hezbollah's Al-Manar and Hamas's Al-Aqsa. However, like most propaganda channels, they're pretty boring and therefore don't get all that big a viewership. Most Arabs watch Al-Arabiyya or Al-Jazeera, which are considerably less hostile towards the West than most Western news channels are towards Arabs. Even the American-run Al-Hurra channel has been surprisingly successful among Arabs.

Second: obviously gangland suburbs mean that something's gone wrong with them. However, that "something" has nothing to do with Islam per se — it's exactly the kind of thing that often goes wrong with any wave of immigrants. You have more or less the same situation in Estonia with Russians, and in California with Hispanics. Sweden had the same problem with Finns in the 1960's, although at a smaller scale.

Third: if you look at Arab immigrants to France as a group, and follow their assimilation into French society over three generations or so, you'll find that they're following exactly the same curve as any immigrant group. They start out at the bottom of the ladder and make their way up. By the third generation, they have more or less adopted the mores and language of the majority, and, for example, intermarry.
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