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November 12th, 2008, 12:52
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
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.
Yes, I believe you're right about that but I think (I might be wrong) that these radical TV stations your mentioned (and such I had in my mind) are the most popular (or at least the most influencing) right in these radical sububrs.

Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Second: obviously gangland suburbs mean that something's gone wrong with them. However, that "something" has nothing to do with Islam per se — ….
I woudn't be so sure about that. Maybe it doesn't have anything directly with Islam itself but I really wouldn't exclude various psychological and behavioral factors like muslim mentality. I don't want do wrong to muslims but just compare tfor example with Vietnamese immigrants in Europe.

Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
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.
"More or less". That's the key question here. A lot of islamic immigrants in Europe still stick to traditionalistic and authoritarian values of their original societies. There's no big problem if they are still only a minority but it becomes a problem when such minority transforms into majority and that's what I'm talking about.
Last edited by shadow_hk; November 12th, 2008 at 13:10.
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November 12th, 2008, 13:44
I take back "a muslim mentality". It is a rubbish - at least in this case. Neither social causes nor mentality, but identity crisis was the main cause here in my opinion.
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November 12th, 2008, 14:21
Originally Posted by shadow_hk View Post
Yes, I believe you're right about that but I think (I might be wrong) that these radical TV stations your mentioned (and such I had in my mind) are the most popular (or at least the most influencing) right in these radical sububrs.
Why do you believe that?

There's a little test you might want to apply when talking about stuff like this.

Whenever you're saying something about an ethnic or religious group, substitute "Jew" for whatever group you're talking about. If the resulting sentence makes you sound like a stark, staring Sturmbannführer, the odds are that you're talking racist bullshit.

Here are a few examples of what you recently said. How do they sound to you?

I woudn't be so sure about that. Maybe it doesn't have anything directly with Judaism itself but I really wouldn't exclude various psychological and behavioral factors like Jewish mentality. I don't want do wrong to Jews but just compare tfor example with Vietnamese immigrants in Europe.
Look at Jews in Europe. I don't have anything against Jews as people but the fact is that their values are totally different than ours, they don't usually blend into society where they come, they don't become its part and instead they live in their closed communities and if time comes, they won't stand on our side.
Yes, they are people like us and I don't have anything against them as people but their religion driven society and rules of behaviour are something so incompatible with our way of life that Jews are a threat. Always was and always will be. Especially militant and orthodox one.
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November 12th, 2008, 14:51
Ethnic or cultural generalization is not neccesary racism.

Comparisions with jews are also rather weak since "jew" both refers to a culture, to a people, to a religion and to a "race". There are also no "jewish countries" like there are "arab countries" or "muslim countries".

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November 12th, 2008, 15:34
Of course it isn't. That's why the Jew test works so well in distinguishing innocuous generalizations from racist ones. For historical reasons, we're extremely sensitive to expressions of anti-Semitism. Doing that substitution test lets us test for prejudice against other groups very effectively.

(Israel isn't a Jewish country? That's news to me, and, I would suspect, most Israelis.)
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November 12th, 2008, 15:46
There are also no "jewish countries" like there are "arab countries" or "muslim countries".
Yeah there are. Israel. My close jewish friend tried to sign up for their military during the recent problems, I have no doubt that, if it came to a war between SA and Israel, she'd be on the other side. Same with most other jews in SA.

This whole "if the time comes they won't side with us!" thing is a nutty philosophy. A lot of Irish Americans might have problems if the US decided to bomb Ireland into the stone age, too. There might be angry Irish riots.

Using the fact that muslims are upset when there have been two recent, bullsh*t wars in the middle east and a major increase in western anti-muslim racism as "proof" that they are just crazy folk who can't live peacefully with normal, clear-thinking westerners is proof that you shouldn't be included in the count of "clear thinking westerners".

Seriously. There are plenty of muslims in SA, they're totally non-threatening. Coincidentally, there is no noticeable African aggression towards the middle-east. Maybe that has something to do with it, more than religion?

Nah, can't be, they're just nutjobs right?

It's amazing to me how many people want to "defend" freedom with tyranny and equality with racism.

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November 12th, 2008, 15:52
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Of course it isn't. That's why the Jew test works so well in distinguishing innocuous generalizations from racist ones. For historical reasons, we're extremely sensitive to expressions of anti-Semitism. Doing that substitution test lets us test for prejudice against other groups very effectively.
True.

Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
(Israel isn't a Jewish country? That's news to me, and, I would suspect, most Israelis.)
I do not know what Israel is supposed to be.

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An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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November 12th, 2008, 15:59
Originally Posted by Naked Ninja View Post
Every single label you used in this post refered to an ethnic group or a nationalistic group, except one single one: "muslim".

"Muslim" is permanently tied to scripture and that scripture contains absolute suggestions on how mankind must live, what's right and what's wrong. Sure, you can have different interpretions of the scripture but you can never separate "muslim" from scripture.

Muslim is not like "jew", a word which might suggest an ethnic minority or race, no, muslim is equal to a religion and the core manifesto of that religion contains a heavy dose of political agenda which happen to be both antidemocratic, antisemitic and impossible to reform since it's based on a belief in the eternal words of God.

The only reason a muslim can adapt to a secular society is because they do not read the book, kinda like Christianity.

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An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
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November 12th, 2008, 16:29
The only reason a muslim can adapt to a secular society is because they do not read the book, kinda like Christianity.
You know, I'm Christian and I don't believe that these books have that kind of magical brainwashing power, no more than any other book of philosophy.

So what you're saying is, if someone reads either book, they will transform into an unthinking bigot, forgetting any and all human empathy, upbringing, social context, etc etc?

That is an extremely naive point of view; more than that it gives no credit whatsoever to your fellow man. Either they believe as you do, or they're a hopeless degenerate? I think not.

Jemy, I've said this before, you need to be careful lest you become what you profess to hate.

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November 12th, 2008, 17:17
Originally Posted by Naked Ninja View Post
So what you're saying is, if someone reads either book, they will transform into an unthinking bigot, forgetting any and all human empathy, upbringing, social context, etc etc?
If they read the book and take it seriously. I am happy when people prefer empathy, social context etc. instead.

Originally Posted by Naked Ninja View Post
That is an extremely naive point of view; more than that it gives no credit whatsoever to your fellow man. Either they believe as you do, or they're a hopeless degenerate? I think not.
You have already promoted empathy, social context etc above scripture, so that makes two of us.

Originally Posted by Naked Ninja View Post
Jemy, I've said this before, you need to be careful lest you become what you profess to hate.
In the case of religion; I dislike the sin, not the sinner.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
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November 12th, 2008, 17:28
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
In the case of religion; I dislike the sin, not the sinner.
"Muslim" is permanently tied to scripture and that scripture contains absolute suggestions on how mankind must live, what's right and what's wrong. Sure, you can have different interpretions of the scripture but you can never separate "muslim" from scripture.
You don't think that lack of separation means that (albeit unintentionally) you often end up angry at the "sinner" because you're just so mad about the "sin" that you've stopped thinking all that rationally?

No problem with muslims adapting to a secular society. A crazy ape bonkers interpretation of islam is going to have problems adapting, but anyone whose crazy ape bonkers about anything has problems adapting to societies that aren't similarly crazy ape bonkers.
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November 12th, 2008, 17:42
Originally Posted by Benedict View Post
You don't think that lack of separation means that (albeit unintentionally) you often end up angry at the "sinner" because you're just so mad about the "sin" that you've stopped thinking all that rationally?
No. What I have learned is that the great majority of people who assign themselves to a label have no clue what that label means, wether it's "muslim", "christian" or even "socialist".

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November 12th, 2008, 17:45
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
No. What I have learned is that the great majority of people who assign themselves to a label have no clue what that label means, wether it's "muslim", "christian" or even "socialist".
Have you ever considered that someone who disagrees with your definition of a concept may not automatically be wrong?

Your definitions of "Christian" and "Muslim," for example, appear to exclude a great many people who consider themselves Christians or Muslims. Does that mean that they're wrong, or that your definition is not a very useful one?

Have you reflected on this question and the No True Scotsman fallacy?
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November 12th, 2008, 17:47
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
No. What I have learned is that the great majority of people who assign themselves to a label have no clue what that label means, wether it's "muslim", "christian" or even "socialist".
No clue what that label means to you
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November 12th, 2008, 17:56
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Have you ever considered that someone who disagrees with your definition of a concept may not automatically be wrong?
That completely depends on their arguments.

Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Your definitions of "Christian" and "Muslim," for example, appear to exclude a great many people who consider themselves Christians or Muslims. Does that mean that they're wrong, or that your definition is not a very useful one?
Most of them are wrong. It's not too surprising really because the great majority of them aren't scholars, they just assign a label to themselves based on culture and geographical bias.

Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Have you reflected on this question and the No True Scotsman fallacy?
No, because I do not need to. "No True Scotsman" is based on deciding what perspective is the true one. One who do not even try to ponder on what they believe, in relation to whatever label they have chosen, do not even try.

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November 12th, 2008, 19:29
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
That completely depends on their arguments.
Fair enough.

Most of them are wrong. It's not too surprising really because the great majority of them aren't scholars, they just assign a label to themselves based on culture and geographical bias.
Why is it wrong to assign yourself a label based on culture, geography, and social identity?

No, because I do not need to. "No True Scotsman" is based on deciding what perspective is the true one. One who do not even try to ponder on what they believe, in relation to whatever label they have chosen, do not even try.
You're not deciding a priori which perspective is the true one? You seemed pretty categorical one paragraph up.
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November 12th, 2008, 20:06
This is a great topic for discussion, and I suppose I’ll add my two cents. I’m not actually able to read many of the posts (including the original one), so I’m sorry if any of my comments seem behind or confused in any way.

I expect Obama’s immediate challenge will be to successfully transition from being the hope of his party to that of its leader. Since the Democrats control Congress, he needs their cooperation. Obviously, he’s in a much better position than he would otherwise be, if another party were in control. But his role as President casts him in a kind of opposition with Congress.

Next, he will need to keep the American public contented as the smoke clears. Campaigns tend to include amounts of self-serving nonsense, and while his was noticeably short on that kind of blather, it was no exception. The American public will need to accept the difference between the promises he made and promises he keeps.

Then he needs to end the war, somehow. Over the course of his campaign he went from being willing to accept defeat to being determined to achieving a correct and swift victory. I honestly have no idea what to expect from him in terms of the fighting.

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November 12th, 2008, 20:46
Prime Junta: I'm sorry but this comparison of yours ("Jewish test") is very cheap and wrong. 1. You can't mix pears with apples. 2. When I consider something to be (potentially) threatening it doesn't mean automatically that I will go out there and destroy it. Believe me or not but I'm convinced that world would be much poorer without an islamic culture which we historically owe so much… But at the same time I'm realist and I will not say things only because thay may sound politically incorrect (by the way: I took a word "mentality" back, i.e. revoked it).

edit: You know I will rather end this because when you start to blame others from racism or crypto-fascism and so on only because they allow themselves to be critical (asi it seems to me..) about your uncritically beloved islam, because of (at least potential) threat they - I - see in this religion, there's really no need for me to discuss any further. Just continue to live in your idealism and I will live in my "racism" and both of us will be satisfied..

Eventually the objective truth will be somewhere in between, as usually..
Last edited by shadow_hk; November 12th, 2008 at 21:44.
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November 12th, 2008, 21:57
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Why is it wrong to assign yourself a label based on culture, geography, and social identity?
Maybe checking up what that label really means can be a good idea. For instance, based on a poll a few years ago many Swedes believe a "communist" is someone who care for their community, someone who promotes soliditarity and democracy.

Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
You're not deciding a priori which perspective is the true one? You seemed pretty categorical one paragraph up.
I assume that Islam and muslim is related to the Qur'an and the Hadith. I believe I am closer in that description than one "muslim" I talked to who said "to be a muslim means that you are a good person", else I will be forced to call myself muslim. And communist depending on the description above.

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November 12th, 2008, 22:04
Originally Posted by shadow_hk View Post
Prime Junta: I'm sorry but this comparison of yours ("Jewish test") is very cheap and wrong. 1. You can't mix pears with apples. 2. When I consider something to be (potentially) threatening it doesn't mean automatically that I will go out there and destroy it. Believe me or not but I'm convinced that world would be much poorer without an islamic culture which we historically owe so much… But at the same time I'm realist and I will not say things only because thay may sound politically incorrect (by the way: I took a word "mentality" back, i.e. revoked it).
Very few anti-semites wanted to destroy Jews either. That's why the Nazis kept the extermination camps a secret.

edit: You know I will rather end this because when you start to blame others from racism or crypto-fascism and so on only because they allow themselves to be critical (asi it seems to me..) about your uncritically beloved islam, because of (at least potential) threat they - I - see in this religion, there's really no need for me to discuss any further. Just continue to live in your idealism and I will live in my "racism" and both of us will be satisfied..
Trouble is, you've admitted yourself that you don't know any Muslims, and you've demonstrated that you know very little about them, or Islam. That means that you're speaking out ignorance. That means that the odds are that you're wrong — it's not a given, of course, since sometimes even a wild guess is right, but it's a fairly good general rule.

Finally, I'm by no means in love with Islam — if I were, I'd be a Muslim, and I have no intention whatsoever to convert. I just know enough about it, and about Muslims, to understand that neither it nor they are a threat to us, whatever these things may mean.

Eventually the objective truth will be somewhere in between, as usually..
The truth does not usually lie in the exact midpoint between two extreme positions — and my position is moderate, not extreme.
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