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Author Topic: London Beheadings
AI Wessex
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"Al the victim of this killing was not random."

By "random stranger" I meant that they didn't know him, only that he fit a certain profile.

Were they crazy?

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:


If a liberal icon like Bill Maher is calling this response as liberal bull_____ he's probably right.

First of all, Maher doesn't get to be the spokesman of the left, unless I get to choose a spokesman for you (so many to choose from... [Smile] ).

In any case, Maher is not saying what you are. He's definitely not making the case that Christianity is better/less violent/more tolerant than Islam. His argument is strictly about culture; he essentially says that our culture has evolved to the point where we ignore the stupid, violent parts of our religion. While pointing out that Christianity used to pull this kind of stuff all the time.

Its very valid to say that Islamic culture is relatively violent and unstable right now, (though a disappointingly large number of people don't seem to grasp that that still translates out to a tiny fraction of the muslim population). Its ridiculous to say that its an inherent part of "Islam" in a way thats not true for Christianity, for the simple reason that Christian culture has demonstrated worse. Far worse, in various ways, for centuries. Again, things are a lot better, and thats great, but its still the same religion, and I think its fair to say that there isn't any degree of atrocity that's incompatible with it. The "holier-than-thou" I was referring to is the blanket condemnation of Islam as inherently violent, as evidenced by these sensational acts, by people who have (apparently) never picked up a history book.

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
"Al the victim of this killing was not random."

By "random stranger" I meant that they didn't know him, only that he fit a certain profile.

Were they crazy?

That profile was that he was a soldier. I don't know if they were crazy, but killing an enemy soldier isn't usually regarded as crazy.
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Viking_Longship
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quote:
He's definitely not making the case that Christianity is better/less violent/more tolerant than Islam.
He very specifically made exactly that point. Watch the interview with Cooper. He points out exactly that he can make a joke about the Pope without worrying about violent reprisal.

"Used to" doesn't matter. He VERY specifically rebutted that as well.

quote:
Its ridiculous to say that its an inherent part of "Islam" in a way thats not true for Christianity, for the simple reason that Christian culture has demonstrated worse. Far worse, in various ways, for centuries.
Islam was spread by force of arms, brutally repressed any non-Abrahamic religion, treated Jews and Christians as legal inferiors, traded in slaves aggressively (and some of them continued to own slaves within living memory), and conducted campaigns of extermination against enemies. On what grounds are you saying Christianity was way worse?

Anyway my point isn't that Christianity is historically better, it's that there is a political / religious movement occuring within Islam that liberals need to admit exists. "Yeah, well what about all the bad stuff those Christians did" doesn't change that.

Rounding up the usual suspects of conservative Christian WASPS is not a rebuttal.

[ May 24, 2013, 08:51 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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AI Wessex
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"That profile was that he was a soldier. I don't know if they were crazy, but killing an enemy soldier isn't usually regarded as crazy."

Enemy of whom? Adebolajo is English of Nigerian descent, was raised as a Christian through his teens, and was protesting British soldiers killing Muslims in Afghanistan. He never fought as a soldier either for Britain or his ancestral Nigeria, so I don't see how a fellow British citizen who was a soldier fighting on behalf of his country was his enemy.

He converted to Islam about 10 years ago and became increasingly and rapidly radicalized. He was seen protesting in 2006 with a group calling for the beheading of people who insult Islam. Other reports say he was recently becoming increasingly extreme and advocating violence against nonbelievers. I'm going with crazy.

If a tiny fraction of members of a religion are extreme enough to be as violent as he is, why doesn't that qualify as a fringe of whatever community he identifies with who are mentally ill. Not all people on the fringe of their religion are violent. Some of them speak in tongues or denounce soldiers at their funerals to warn people of God's anger. Some are violent and kill abortion doctors or people who belong to the Sikh religion.

Some nutty preachers are among the most popular on TV and have amassed huge personal fortunes spreading weird and wacky messages that God passes along to them. Is Pat Robertson crazy? Is a Governor crazy if he vetoes disaster aid for citizens in his state because the disaster was an act of God?

You don't have to be an ordained leader of Islam or Christianity to use the banner of your religion to attack others. What famous secular Christian said this:
quote:
Now, up until today, most Americans have never heard of the combat Lord’s Resistance Army. And here we are at war with them. Have you ever heard of Lord’s Resistance Army, Dawn? How about you, Brian? Snerdley, have you? You never heard of Lord’s Resistance Army? Well, proves my contention, most Americans have never heard of it, and here we are at war with them. Lord’s Resistance Army are Christians. It means God. I was only kidding. Lord’s Resistance Army are Christians. They are fighting the Muslims in Sudan. And Obama has sent troops, United States troops to remove them from the battlefield, which means kill them. That’s what the lingo means, “to help regional forces remove from the battlefield,” meaning capture or kill.

So that’s a new war, a hundred troops to wipe out Christians in Sudan, Uganda,...

Definitely crazy.
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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
quote:
He's definitely not making the case that Christianity is better/less violent/more tolerant than Islam.
He very specifically made exactly that point. Watch the interview with Cooper. He points out exactly that he can make a joke about the Pope without worrying about violent reprisal.

"Used to" doesn't matter. He VERY specifically rebutted that as well.


I watched the video. He doesn't attribute this development to Christianity at all; indeed, his point was that we are more civilized to the degree that we have come to ignore the nastier aspects of Christianity. See the example about stoning the neighbor to death on sunday. He's giving the credit to secular culture, but very much *not* elevating one religion above another.

quote:
Islam was spread by force of arms, brutally repressed any non-Abrahamic religion, treated Jews and Christians as legal inferiors, traded in slaves aggressively (and some of them continued to own slaves within living memory), and conducted campaigns of extermination against enemies. On what grounds are you saying Christianity was way worse?
My "way worse" was comparing the present terror fetish to Christian history, since its the present events that are cited as "proof" that Islam is inherently violent. Historically, I'm not sure its important to determine which religion is worse, though I think the scope of Christian crimes has significantly more reach. What was done in (and to) the Americas is a staggering, centuries long genocide that doesn't really have any parallels in *any* history that I'm aware of.

quote:


Anyway my point isn't that Christianity is historically better, it's that there is a political / religious movement occuring within Islam that liberals need to admit exists.

I'm pretty sure I said this explicitly:

"Its very valid to say that Islamic culture is relatively violent and unstable right now"

quote:
"Yeah, well what about all the bad stuff those Christians did" doesn't change that.
No, it doesn't. Its not even relevant to that point. It is, however, very relevant to the rider that keeps getting added on, about how every act of terror demonstrates the superiority of Christianity to Islam. Christians *should be* in the position of saying "hey, we went through this, and you don't want these sins on your conscience, or this stain on your history." Instead, I hear an awful lot of "why can't they be peaceful and enlightened like us," as though the Enlightenment didn't just recently (historically speaking) put a stop to the very same thing in Christian culture. Its the revisionism I'm objecting to, not the rather uncontroversial observation that crazy and brutal jihadis actually exist.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
I keep asking how you can claim to understand people who do crazy things, and the argument goes back and forth about their supposed rationalizations.

Hypothetical 1: If I shoot a random stranger or several on the street and don't give a supposed justification, am I crazy or rational?

Hypothetical 2: If I shoot a random stranger or several on the street and wave a book and point to it for justification, am I crazy or rational?

2A: What if the book is the New Testament?
2B: What if the book is the Doctrine of Cthulhu?
2C: What if the book is the Koran?

why?Because we have talked to them spend some time trying to understand what they're saying.

as for your hypotheticals, you should probably do a little more listening and that gathering before you decide that it at please read them or whether it was religiously motivated or whether a person is insane. you are all praying with two few facts and suffering from a severe case of premature evaluation.

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Greg Davidson
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Bud's basic premise is invalid:

quote:
Christians have mainly grown out of that violent stage across the world and the incidents of violence are ever decreasing over time, while Muslim atrocities have grown exponentially since the 1960's and are being exported to countries around the world.
By far, the greatest number of human beings killed since 9/11 have been at the hands of men who are Christian not Muslim (it's in the Congo, and the death toll is 2-4 million).

starLisa makes the argument that you need to take note of what the murderers are shouting when they are killing in order to assign responsibility to a religion for killing:

quote:
Tom, are they rioting in the name of Christianity? Are they shouting Crusader slogans as they commit their violence? If they are, you have an excellent parallel there. If they aren't, then there's no comparison at all to hordes of Muslims rioting as they scream Allahu Akbar
Those committing the murders in the Congo included Laurent Nkunda, a self-proclaimed Pentecostal Pastor leading his "Rebels for Christ" - presumed responsible for 200,000 deaths.

I believe that many murderers use religion in part as a justification for their killing; there is not a convincing trend in the data that people from one religion are more likely to kill others than people from other religions (or atheists). Attempts to assert Muslims are more likely to kill than others are based on cherry picking data; such a bogus methodology could also make the cause that Hitler was motivated by Christianity if, for example, we put a lot of weight on this speech:

quote:
My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people."
If we believe it is valid to trace guilt by association from what a killer says is his motivation back to others, we could take the case of Norweigan mass killer Anders Breivik who spouted Christian-related anti-Islamic rhetoric before killing 76 people, primarily teenagers in 2011.

But I do not believe that this sort of guilt-by-association is valid. Particularly the way it is argued by anecdote, and by reference to cases we are familiar with. Those committing the London beheadings are evil, as are the Boston bombers. There are many evil murderers in the world, and they should be condemned for their actions. However, the data does not support the assertion that a Muslim is likelier to be an evil murderer than a Christian, Hindu, atheist, or whatever.

I had posted some of my research on Ornery 9/6/2011 (for citations) but cannot pull the story up the same material posted on another source can be found here: My posting addressing anti-Muslim arguments

[ May 25, 2013, 02:56 AM: Message edited by: Greg Davidson ]

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AI Wessex
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"as for your hypotheticals, you should probably do a little more listening and that gathering before you decide that it at please read them or whether it was religiously motivated or whether a person is insane. you are all praying with two few facts and suffering from a severe case of premature evaluation."

But at least I can type [Smile] . Are you saying that I'm reacting to this event and trying to put in perspective more than others, or just in a way that you don't agree with? The murderers acted in a very public way and at least one of them has an available personal history and public track record. We can start to rationalize what motivated them by looking at things that go beyond what took place on the London street.

I think our "western" sensibilities are soaked in Christian self-awareness. That allows people to overlook the many strangenesses and excesses of Christians' behavior, but makes us especially sensitive to strange and excessive behavior by people of other religions and cultures.

Even though Pat Robertson is rich, has a TV show and hundreds of thousands of attentive followers, is he crazy? How about this:
quote:
"Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history."
Is a supposedly smart, wildly popular, tart-tongued radio host with millions of daily listeners crazy when he says things like I cited above, or this?
quote:
"What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country . . . he knows that . . . the Democrat party is attempting to find anybody but him to blame. He knows if he plays his cards right, he's just a victim. . . . This guy clearly understands he’s getting all the attention and he understands he's got a political party doing everything it can, plus a local sheriff doing everything that they can to make sure he's not convicted of murder –- but something lesser."


[ May 25, 2013, 06:51 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Aris Katsaris
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Okay, Greg -- if you think that Islam is in its current state isn't more likely to produce murderers than Christianity in its current state, can you visualize and describe to me a counterfactual world where Islam *was* more violent?

I have little patience for the bozos who think that Christians *never* riot, *never* mass-murder, *never* genocide. I have already provided examples of Christian rioting in Greece, of Christian genociders in Bosnians. You yourself have properly mentioned Congo. The LRA is another good example of Christian barbarism.

Some people will predictably ignore and poo-poo away all that. "Bud Martin" pissed me off with his self-satisfied ignorance when he scoffed at the idea of a Christian riot. I've found many American conservatives likely to be similarly self-satisfied in their ignorance of Christianity's behavior.

But that frankly is making a rebuttal towards the stupid morons who want to exonerate Christianity of absolutely *everything*, because they're deliberately blind towards the crimes of Christianity.

What about the people who don't want to do *that*, but still consider Islam more violent than Christianity?

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Aris Katsaris
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Al, "crazy" isn't a medical term. There are corners of the internet that it would be considered a mere ableist slur with no actual content.

Though I'm not very fanatical against "ableism", I would still agree that "crazy" has no actual content.

It's just a label that some people find convenient in order to *dismiss* events one way or another.

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AI Wessex
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I'm not dismissing anything. The label "crazy" is no less meaningful than "Muslim". If we look at this kind of event from the perspective of behavioral norms would you prefer to call it "deviant"?

As for the other non-violent people I referenced, they spout notions that are as far from "normal" as many people of other religions/cultures that they are more than willing to label as unacceptable and threatening toward them.

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
No, it doesn't. Its not even relevant to that point. It is, however, very relevant to the rider that keeps getting added on, about how every act of terror demonstrates the superiority of Christianity to Islam.
That's not what happens, not here and not nationaly.

When people are critical of Islam the counter argument gets made that we somehow need to look at all the sins of Christianity to put it in context. You're deliberalty leading people down this road.


So no I agree with what Maher said to Glen Greenwald. Liberals make this argument to feel good about themselves. I'll go one further, liberals make this argument so they don't have to talk about Islam.

I am not interested in arguing that Christianity has a better record historically than Islam does. That is not, and has not been my point.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
The label "crazy" is no less meaningful than "Muslim".
Really? Really? Look, I can define "Muslim" as anyone who thinks that Muhammed was the prophet of God. I can also define "Muslim" as anyone who views Qu'ran as a divinely inspired text.

Since the above two groupings very closely coincide, that's a concrete and specific terminology. It only gets fuzzy and meaningless when you're talking to moron conservatives who'd be willing to call Obama a "radical atheist muslim." Or to those radical muslims who think that every baby is born Muslim, even if it doesn't know it yet. I'm not either of the above.

But I do *not* know what you mean by "crazy". Do you mean "suffering from schizophrenia"? Do you mean "suffering from persecution anxiety"? Do you mean "suffering from audio-visual hallucinations"? Do you mean "suffering from the delusional belief in the existence of a superpowerful being called God"?

So, what the hell do you mean?

[ May 25, 2013, 07:20 AM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]

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seagull
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Viking, Unfortunately, when terror tactics are used even 0.1% is enough to terrorize a whole population and destroy their culture.

Fortunately for my people, Jewish culture has evolved over millennia to survive as a minority even in the face of terror tactics.

If you do not want to lose this war you have to understand that the two killers here (as well as the two in Boston and the DC snipers from more than a decade ago) are not your enemy and that the suicide bombers are not my enemy. They are a weapon used by an intelligent enemy.

When parents leave a loaded gun in the playroom and come back to find that their kids shot each other - whose fault is it? Are the children the enemy?

When our culture leaves mentally unstable people without diagnosis and treatment, who can we blame them for what they eventually do. It is both stupid and unfair to blame our enemy for using our mistakes as weapons to achieve their stated goal.

quote:
the killers here don't come from the Islamic civilization
Please note that I never said that "Islamic civilization" is our enemy, what I said was that
our enemies "happen to use Islam as a weapon".

I believe that Islam can be a more effective weapon for those who want to use terror tactics, but the weapon is not our enemy. It is the people who use that weapon to hurt us and destroy our culture from within that we need to worry about.

If we look at human history, Islam was NOT the culture that invented mass murder weapons like chemical weapons, carpet bombing, the atomic bomb and the gas chambers. Islamic warfare and use of force to control a hostile population is very economical and tends to waste fewer enemy lives than modern western warfare.

From their perspective, a show of force - killing a few hundred people to pacify crowds and scare them into submission is preferable to the kind of mass murder that western civilization has unleashed on this world in the last century.

If we want to survive the attacks by this intelligent enemy who has learned to use our weaknesses to hurt us, we need to understand them. Calling them names and hoping that "one day they will join us" is a recipe for failure.

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Viking_Longship
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Al he said he wanted to start a war. Far right groups in Britain have already attacked muslims and the British police. If this starts a series of attacks and reprisals in a 3 way war between Brtish ultra-nationalists, the muslim community in general, and the British police he'll have accomplished his goal.

That's not crazy.

Oh and a person can come from the same background as a soldier and still regard him as an enemy. That's a primary feature of civil wars.

[ May 25, 2013, 07:25 AM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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Viking_Longship
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seagull

This really is not a moral issue for me. I'm not getting into one more debate with one more person who wants me to see it as one.

These are grown men and they're responsible for their actions.

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seagull
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Viking:
I agree with you. While there are moral overtones to the discussion, the morality is secondary to the practical "self-interest" issues at stake.

The grown men whether they are soldiers, right wing murderers, or murders motivated by Islam (which is also right wing) are all grown men responsible for their actions. That has nothing to do with what I was saying. Soldiers are grown men who are trained and conditioned to follow orders. Jihadist, Nazis and KKK members are also conditioned to follow orders.

People can be grown men and still be used as tools by the leaders who give them orders.


I think that statistically there are fewer murders that use left-wing ideology to justify their actions. People who are willing to kill others and/or give orders to do so are usually identified with the right wing of whatever society they belong to.

But the bottom line is that: War is no about who is right, it is about who is left

People and cultures that who do not understand that are at the risk of "not being left". The survival of a culture ultimately depends on those within it that do understand and who act accordingly.

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KidTokyo
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VL,

quote:
Kid

Sorry but I think that's more a liberal dogma than a realistic take on the situation.

Do you remember The Last Temptaion of Christ? Unless you're looking at it as seperate from any religious message it's incredibly blasphemous to Christianity. Chritians protested it, but they didn't riot, Martin Scorcese is still walking around. Theo Van Gogh isn't.

Penn Jillette went after the Bible and Creationism on "Bull****". He says openly that they wouldn't go after Islam because they love their families.

South Park made fun of Jesus for 10 years and it wasn't a big deal. They hit Mormons and Scientoligists and nobody cared. Once they went after Islam the S hit the fan.

There is a difference between the two faiths.

Aris mentioned "Corpus Cristi" in Greece. Similar problems came up when the show was produced in NYC. In fact, I used to work in the same building as the theater company that produced it there. There were bomb threats. We had security guards and swipe cards installed to enter the office, all because some folks weren't happy about gay Jesus.

Hannibal,

The fact that some Muslims speak doesn't mean they speak for all muslims.

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KidTokyo
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Bud,

quote:
I just don't see the danger of any militant Christians in the US and find the idea preposterous that there is any organized sect of Christians in America plotting religious massacres in the name of God.

The Klan, and every neo-nazi organization in the world, are examples of such organizations. Like Al-q and other radical Islamic groups, they mix religion with political ideology.
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Pete at Home
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I don't think that you are I can't say whether it's a tiny fraction Adam.

what I can say is this: very large proportion of Governments with a Muslim majority population, behave oppressively and irrationally. and the degree of irrationality seems to be proportionate, to the power of parties with names referring to Sharia Islam or Muslim.

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KidTokyo
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Some societies are less developed than others because they lacked the opportunity to develop as quickly. Religious texts can provide a justification for any thing if read literally. This is just human nature, observed with striking consistency across history, nations, religions.

Just what on earth is supposed to be so particularly noxious about Islam, and how does the line of reasoning that Islam is an unusually violent belief system in any way point to a pragmatic solution? I see none. The perpetrators of these violents acts are disillusioned young men, subject to the same psychological vulnerabilities to which that demographic has always been subject to. There is always an evil guru with a book in hand ready for them. It could be any book. It doesn't matter.

Also, Bill Maher is an ass. Just putting that out there.

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Pete at Home
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Kid, Muslims found the Last Temptation of Christ blasphemous against Issa. in New York City I believe that's where any threats would have come from. ( are there actually any Christians in New York City to speak English?) the show was less blasphemous than painful, like the Demi Moore version of the Scarlet Letter. I was offended as a fan of the Bible story, and of good film in good literature in general. as a believing Christian, I felt nothing but embarassed pity for the people who had made it. well meaning fanfiction produced by a retarded mind.

I agree that Bill Maher is an ass and he doesn't speak for most liberals. but a broken clock is right twice a day. you asked what the point would be a saying that Islam is responsible. I might also ask what's the point of denying reflexively that Islam is responsible, as Adam does, or of making ugly innuendos about anybody that even approach the subject, as Wessex does. would have been an earth really come to an end if we had an honest discussion on the question?

[ May 25, 2013, 12:01 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Bud Martin
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Seagull and Viking,

That was some very interesting and thought provoking posts. I really enjoyed reading both positions very much. Seagull, your statement regarding "who is left" is particular pertinent to the situation in the Congo and might show the mind set that many African have towards life after witnessing the horrors of the Congo conflicts over the last twenty years since the Rwanda massacres and even before that to the start of the Rwandan civil war and the abuses of previous African despots like Uganda’s Idi Amin. There are also many other conflicts in Africa of a very similar nature but are too numerous to mention.

For the other not so interesting posts about the Congo, I would have to say that you need to become better acquainted with the situation.

The multiple wars in the Congo have and still are an ethnic war between Hutu and Tutsi tribes. Both sides have committed atrocities and engaged in genocidal activities against the other and in some cases their own people that tried to be moderates. Seven or more other African nations have also interfered with politics in the Congo and have armed rebels or used their own military in that country for their own agenda. That conflict is also known as the African World War and the rape capital of the world and it is understandable that it is very hard to promote Christian values in that environment.

For you to try and blame “Christianity” as the cause of Laurent Nkunda’s actions or any other atrocity in that nation is completely preposterous. Those 2-4 million killed over the last twenty years are certainly not done in the name of Christianity. Even as one of those "who is left", Laurent Nkunda is a misguided survivor that is lashing out at those that have murdered and terrorized his people. He is wrong and is a criminal, but don't confuse his actions as a moral equivalent with those heinous actions of an organized religion (Jihadis, Wahabis, Salafis and whatever other Muslim groups in the Sunni and Shia sects that also prescribe to killing infidels and apostates) engaged in a genocidal Jihad campaign against the Jews, spread over multiple countries; whose policies are accepted and tolerated OR virtually ignored by Muslims around the world. I realize there are many Muslims out there who DO actively protest the atrocities of their fellow radical elements, but they are a very small voice in that community.

At the same time the Christian sect that Nkunda claims allegiance to, is adamantly denying he is acting on their behalf, denounces his actions completely and each year organize a conference in the capital of Kinshasa to promote Christian values, healing and understanding. There are no Christian religious scholars or leaders backing him and praising his strength to smite the infidel. For you to try and make that comparison between Christian values and radical Muslim values is completely warped, inaccurate and then the numbers of atrocities attributable to either case are still are so geometrically different between the two religions, so as to make it a statistical impossibility that they might have equivalent moral positions or are comparable.

KidTokyo,

I agree with what you said about the Klan and other neo-nazi groups in the US combining religion with their radical beliefs and that point was also made by seagull too, but what massacres have they commited... recently and are they organizing suicidal attacks on other countries or people? They are not supported by any religious order or scholars or backed by an organized religion either, so how can you compare them with the enormity that is radical Islam that is responsible for so many atrocities spread across dozens of countries around the world. I just don't think it is a fair comparison.

[ May 25, 2013, 12:25 PM: Message edited by: Bud Martin ]

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Greg Davidson
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Response to the charge from Aris

quote:
if you think that Islam is in its current state isn't more likely to produce murderers than Christianity in its current state, can you visualize and describe to me a counterfactual world where Islam *was* more violent?
In that counter-factual world, you could count the number of killings committed by Muslims and those by Christians, divide by the number of Muslims in the world and the number of Christians, and get a higher result for the first number than the second. But until the math works out that way, the assertion that Islam is more likely to produce murderers than Christianity is false.
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Greg Davidson
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Bud,

You can't tell what is going on in the minds of people who are committing murders. Neither can I. We look look at what they say and what they write, but if we take that at face value, you can make the case that all sorts of murdering was based on religion. I don't believe that many of these killings are in fact motivated by religion, I think that extremists and murderers often use religion or other rhetoric to justify their murders. Here are some examples - can you tell me a fair decision rule that applies to all of these cases that determines the true motivation of the killers?

(1) George W Bush asserted with regard to Iraq that"Biblical prophesies are being fulfilled" and that the war was "willed by God". Some number of innocent Iraqi Muslims (100,000 is a lower estimate) are killed as the result of the war. Are those who survive wrong is seeing Christianity as motivating the war that led to their relatives being killed?


(2) Here's another Hitler example, starting from a quote from from Mein Kampf:

quote:
Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord
Hitler grew up in a German Christian culture that had a severely anti-Jewish strain; he twice attended the Passion Play that gets very pointed about blaming Jews for Deicide. And this strain of anti-Semetism is not without foundation in Christian scripture - see John 8:37 concerning the founders of Rabbinical Judaism:

quote:
“I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father. They answered him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did. ... You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.
(3) Here's a case where killings were committed by someone expressing anti-Islamic opinions from the perspective of a twisted version of Mideival Christianity - Breiveik in Norway

quote:
“An Islamic Jihad against non-Muslims and Europe has been going on for the last 1400 year and most historical details of the Islamic atrocities have been removed or falsified by the academia by instruction of Western Europe’s cultural relativist elites”

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Viking_Longship
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Kid

You got some bomb threats but nobody died. "The Innocence of Muslims" a 15 minute video on you tube resulted in 50 deaths, the sacking of multiple diplomatic missions, Pakistan's minster of railways putting a price on the directors head and the Irainian bounty on Salman Rushdie (who wasn't involved in the film at all) raised by another 500,000.

The reason we need to be willing to admit that there is something happening within Islam that is very dangerous is at that point we can discuss what that is.

No one's doing mainstream Muslims any favors by not talking about it.

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Bud Martin
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Greg,

First off, I can't stand George Bush or shrub and find their ties to the Saudis as an indicator of their real nature and belief system. They are certainly not religious scholars and never promised anyone that they would go to heaven and have 72 virgins if they murdered a Muslim.

Second off, Hitler was a WWII despot that was part of history from 65 years ago. Everyone knows he was a mentally unstable, but charismatic man "who was left" after WWI. His personal beliefs included magic and the occult and he tried (as seagull also pointed out) to use religion as a weapon to attack his perceived enemies, which included the atheist communists (which many Jews ascribed to in that day) which were based on the writings of Karl Marx, a Jew. As far as I know, no religious group or religious scholars assured him that he would go to heaven for trying to kill all of the Jews.

Lastly, you don’t seem to understand Seagull’s excellent point that individuals use religion as an excuse and as a tool to promote their own agenda and that doesn’t put the blame on that religion. The difference with Islamic radicals is that they are organized, supported and given religious backing by the religious scholars within the various sects that are committing these atrocities and therefore murdering the infidel and apostates becomes a tenant of their religion. They idolize and memorialize their Martyrs that commit these atrocities also, in some cases even providing monetary support to their families.

Moderate Muslims do protest these radicals and their interpretations of the Koran, but they are also intimidated and fearful of these fanatics because they know how violent and extreme they can be. Their voices are small compared to the Muslim masses across the Middle East that continues to scream for the destruction of Israel and death to the western societies.

I am not a religious person and haven't gone to a church of any kind in many years, but I can see the decency and goodness in Christian values, though I know that some people misuse Christianity as a tool for their own advantage.

quote:
Bud, I am a Jewish American voter who strongly believes that President Obama has been better for Israel
Are you a practicing Jew, Greg?

[ May 25, 2013, 01:56 PM: Message edited by: Bud Martin ]

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Pete at Home
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Greg, Breivik describe himself as an atheist in terms of his beliefs, and openly praises Al Qaeda as the inspiration for the movement that he's trying to start.
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Pete at Home
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Also, Greg, the SADUCEES were NOT the prgwnotors of Modern Judaism. the New Testament is unambiguously clear that it was the Saducees, led by Annas and Caiaphas that conspired to turn Christ over to the Romans to be killed. the book of John was published after 70 AD, and Johns whole purpose in focusing on certain things that were said, was to show that curae was fulfilled with the extermination of the saducees in 70 AD. and I don't know anyone in modern Judaism that sheds a tear for them.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
In that counter-factual world, you could count the number of killings committed by Muslims and those by Christians, divide by the number of Muslims in the world and the number of Christians, and get a higher result for the first number than the second. But until the math works out that way, the assertion that Islam is more likely to produce murderers than Christianity is false.
I applaud the principle you're going for, but assuming we go by the calculation you have in your link, where you argue that the murder rate for Muslims is smaller -- does that mean you're arguing that *lack of Islam* is more likely to produce murderers?

If not, then I think you recognize that merely comparing murder rates globalwide between Muslim and non-Muslim populations is not sufficient in order to argue that one particular religion is more violent...

(Btw, I think the calculation you did in your link is highly flawed as it kinda ignores a couple HUGE WARS that are (or were recently) occurring in Muslim countries - e.g. Syria, Libya, so forth. Don't those count as killings done by Muslims?)

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
Are you a practicing Jew, Greg?
I believe that there are many ways to practice Judaism. Mine is as follows: we just got back from Shabbat services (which we attend on a weekly basis). We walked home, because we do not drive on Shabbat. Our house is kosher, with two sets of dishes, etc. On the other hand, we use electricity on Shabbat, or I could not be writing now. In the judgment of most people, I would qualify as a practicing Jew.
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Greg Davidson
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Bud, I do believe that there are evil Islamic radicals who use their faith to justify their killing, and they find a subset of religious leaders who endorse their approach to violence. But there are people from every religion who could make that claim. Yigal Amir, the Jewish extremist who murdered Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, said that "If not for a Halakhic ruling of din rodef, made against Rabin by a few rabbis I knew about, it would have been very difficult for me to murder." And certainly there are examples from Christian history of religious officials providing legitimization for killing on a large scale.

I don't believe that Hitler's killing is best described as being due to Christianity, but my point is that if we cherry pick quotes, we can build a case that it is.

If we look at the greatest amount of killing by Muslims in my lifetime, it came during the Iraq-Iran Wars of the 1980's where estimates of the death toll range from 500,000 to 2,000,000. However, it is highly relevant that the wars were at the instigation of the largely secular regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq rather than the more theocratic regime in Iran. Can you make a compelling case that Hussein was more motivated by Islam than Hitler was of Christianity? Remember, what Hussein actually wrote and said has to provide an even stronger link to religion as a motivation than what Hitler wrote and said. I do not see how you can read into the minds of those responsible for most of the killing and determine whether they are motivated by power, tribal politics, revenge for previous conflicts, religion, or by mental illness.

I think we can agree that there is a threat from Islamic extremists. But if there were something intrinsic to Islam that promoted killing more than what is intrinsic to Christianity or any other religion, then we should see evidence of that in terms of the rate at which Muslims commit murder as compared to the rate at which non-Muslims commit murder. We have almost 1500 years of experience since the founding of Islam that can be used to test your hypothesis that Islam disproportionately encourages violence, and the clear conclusion of all of that history is that your assertion is false.

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Bud Martin
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Greg,

Thank you, but I was just looking for a yes or no. I wasn't trying to pry, just better understand where you are coming from and you gave me more than I was expecting, so again thanks. I will put the rest of this post back on the Feiglin thread where it is more relevant.

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Greg Davidson
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Aris,

I did most of my research 1.5 years ago, so it is somewhat out of date, but the recent violence in Syria and Libya would not change the conclusions
(70,000 dead in Syria is horrific, but still a tiny fraction of the 3.8 - 5.4 million killed in the Second Congo War).

I looked at the top 25 wars of all time in terms of fatalities. Trying to use a fair standard, I place Muslims as instigators in 2-3 conflicts: World War I (Turks as members of the Axis), Iraq-Iran, and maybe the Second Sudanese Civil War from 1983-2005 (root cause is unclear whether it was Muslim or Christian tribal groups).

I also looked at 25 top mass killings in history (defined as actions taken by one government with the knowledge/intention that it would produce mass civilian casualties). Depending on whether you separate or combine the killings (I count the Ottoman killings of Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks as three of the 25), Muslims account for 7 of the 25 mass killings, but only 5% of the fatalities.

Finally, I looked at UN data on murder rates from across the world ~2004-2008


I do not believe that we should go farther and say that Islam makes people less likely to commit murders. I think there is a stronger level of proof required in order to make claims that one population is different than there is required to refute such an assertion. If I am being empirically scrupulous, even with all of this data, I can not say for certain that Bud's assertion is wrong - merely that there is no substantiation for it in multiple valid data sets.

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seagull
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Greg's analysis gives us an important and interesting perspective on the conflict between militant Islam and Western cultures. I agree with Aris' critique and think that there are several other premises where a similar critique could be applied. But concentrating on those issues shifts the focus away from a critical distinction between modern Islam and other modern religions that are dominant in western culture.

Islam as practiced today has more effective tools that can be abused by power seekers who want to use terror tactics to advance their cause.

I am not criticizing Islam for this observation. If anything I am noting that it is more effective which should be a good thing as long as that effectiveness is channeled in positive ways. If we want to avoid being hurt by those who would channel Islam's effectiveness to kill us, we must cooperate with those within Islam that can channel it to other directions.

Trying to compete with Islam at something that it does better than us will not be easy. Trying to emulate it could cause us to lose our own identity and does not guarantee that we will be able to match their effectiveness because they have had many centuries to refine their system.

Cooperating with those that do not want to hurt us seems like the right way to go. But I suspect we are more likely to find these people in countries like Bosnia and Jordan than we are in Saudi Arabia. I also suspect that abandoning our allies in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia to be decimated by the more ruthless factions (regardless of whether they are Muslim or Christian) is not going to encourage them to cooperate.

[ May 25, 2013, 07:02 PM: Message edited by: seagull ]

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Bud Martin
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Greg,

Could you explain what a “Halakhic ruling of din rodef” is? Can it be compared to a Fatwa from a Mufti? Were the Rabbis that made this pronouncement regarding Rabin ever charged with anything? What if anything happened to them?

I was personally grieved by Rabin’s death as I believed him to be an exceptionally brave soldier and brilliant leader/General. He always impressed me as a man with integrity. I do believe that history has shown that he might have made some hasty decisions in accepting the Oslo accords, but I feel that he made his decision with the right intentions and in an honorable fashion and didn’t deserve such a death.

To me, the important issue is whether or not a religion actively supports the murder of another human being. I know that radical Muslims and their clerics that are promoting Jihad are sanctioning murder, massacres, and actions that cause the death of many innocent “infidels” and other Muslims.

I have never heard of Jewish Rabbis making a death warrant for the justification of murdering another human being, so I’m very interested in hearing about this “Halakhic ruling of din rodef” these Rabbis made regarding Rabin.

If there are examples of a Christian scholar or leader sanctioning a massacre, assassination or an action that deliberately caused the death of anyone in the last 50 years, I’d like to find out about it and learn what happened as a result. I dispute that there is any such incident in modern times where a Christian religious official provided any legitimacy for killing of any kind without being dismissed, incarcerated or excommunicated: or all of the above.

I can assure you that no Christian, especially in the US, could make such a pronouncement for the death of another human being without risking immediate incarceration, loss of their Christian title/position and possible pariah status for the rest of his life, as well as eternal damnation from God.

You’re idea of how these radical organizations work is backwards. It’s the Radical clerics that organize, legitimize and operate radical groups, though they often work with a facilitator as the titular head of their snake. They are the leaders of these groups; they aren’t picked, they do the picking and make the Fatwas based on hadiths that promise religious backing to carry out the atrocities and guarantee their sycophants that they will have everlasting life:
quote:
These hadiths that give the Muftis authority are traditional Islamic schools of jurisprudence and one of the six largest and most influential hadiths state that every male admitted into Paradise will be given eternal erections and wed to 72 wives, all with libidinous sex organs. Similarly in another of these hadiths, with multiple narrators that has been graded hasan (good), it states that the martyr (shahid) will be married to seventy-two of al-hoor al-‘iyn or houris.
This is all from Wiki Islam: http://wikiislam.net/wiki/72_Virgins

quote:
There are several descriptions related to houri that are found in various Islamic references. Some include:

Physical Attributes:
Wide and beautiful/lovely eyes
Like pearls
Hairless except the eye brows and the head
Beautiful
White skinned
60 cubits [27.5 meters] tall
7 cubits [3.2 meters] in width
Transparent to the marrow of their bones
Eternally young
Companions of equal age

Sexual Attributes:
Untouched / with hym*n unbroken by sexual intercourse
Virgins
Voluptuous/full-breasted
With large, round breasts which are not inclined to hang
Appetizing vag#nas

Personality Attributes:
Chaste
Restraining their glances
Modest gaze

Other Attributes:
Splendid
Pure
Non-menstruating / non-urinating/ non-defecating and childfree
Never dissatisfied
Will sing praise

In addition to Quranic translations of 78:33 specifying the virgins will be voluptuous, Sahih International translates it as "full-breasted [companions] of equal age". Tafsir al-Jalalayn says "and buxom maidens (kawā‘ib is the plural of kā‘ib) of equal age (atrāb is the plural of tirb)". Several Islamic scholars explain that they will have "large, round breasts which are not inclined to hang".

To a religious fanatic, there is nothing more valuable than everlasting life and then to be exalted in paradise, with all of these worldly pleasures granted to a Martyr. Is it no wonder that these misguided radicals are willing to commit suicide and murder to reach this paradise?

Saddam was a Baathist. The Baath party (that Assad is also a member of) is a socialist nationalist organization loosely modeled after the Nazi party. It’s no wonder he killed so many people since he openly admired Hitler and tried to emulate his successes. Saddam only turned to religion near the end of his reign when he desperately needed anything that would bolster support. Muslims only supported him because he was considered the Bad boy of the Middle East and they had pride in his daring masculinity and of the promise that he would destroy Israel.

I’m not trying to cherry pick quotes because I’m only interested in the religion itself and not any individual that someone professes to be a member of a religion, so that’s why I’m emphasizing the religious scholars and leaders and their reception by the religious community as a whole.

In my past, I personally felt that preachers who threatened eternal damnation on people if they didn’t accept Jesus Christ into their heart were radicals. I stopped going to church as an adult because I was tired of all the hypocritical holy rollers that were leading far too many churches. Don’t get me wrong, I met and know many unbelievably decent and righteous Christians that I deeply admire and I still live by what I believe are Christian morals.

I’m not interested in comparing or evaluating 1500 years of killing by anyone. I’m interested in what the current situation is and whether or not I should consider radical Islam a threat to my country. Actually, I already have done that and DO consider them a threat, but what I can’t understand is when decent intelligent people like yourself try to excuse these Muslim fanatics and blame circumstances and compare them to other religions as if to mitigate their acts of barbarism: as in the case of these two Nigerians that beheaded that man in London. You completely baffle me on your support for the Muslim cause.

Seagull,

I like the way you think. Have you ever been in the military?

[ May 25, 2013, 10:22 PM: Message edited by: Bud Martin ]

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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Islamic preachers telling their congregations that murdering for God is good and will be rewarded is the problem. There are many Moslems who do not believe this. Why do we ignore the latter and only look at the former when evaluating Islam? And why do we only look at the latter and ignore the former when a Christian performs a violent act?

There are many violent Islamists, but they are not the only Islamists out there. Why do we act like there are only the violent ones?

Asked and answered.
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Greg Davidson
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Bud,

A halakhic ruling of din rodef is where there is a legal determination that someone is about to commit a very evil act, such as a murder, and under such circumstances, it is permitted by Jewish Law to kill them to stop the murder. In the case of Yigal Amir, some Rabbis in Brooklyn published their determination that these circumstances applied to Rabin because the Rabbis disapproved of Rabin's role in the peace process.

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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Bud Martin:
Could you explain what a “Halakhic ruling of din rodef” is? Can it be compared to a Fatwa from a Mufti? Were the Rabbis that made this pronouncement regarding Rabin ever charged with anything? What if anything happened to them?

Rabin was a rodef. He was a rotzei'ach as well (a murderer).

quote:
Originally posted by Bud Martin:
I was personally grieved by Rabin’s death as I believed him to be an exceptionally brave soldier and brilliant leader/General. He always impressed me as a man with integrity.

Integrity? "I do not think that word means what you think it means."

quote:
Originally posted by Bud Martin:
I do believe that history has shown that he might have made some hasty decisions in accepting the Oslo accords, but I feel that he made his decision with the right intentions and in an honorable fashion and didn’t deserve such a death.

When people complained that his policies were the direct cause of murders of Jews, his first reaction was to call those who were murdered "sacrifices for peace", and to call those who complained "crybabies". Assassination is not a good way to handle political disputes, even against an evil man like Yitzchak Rabin, but to say he didn't deserve such a death is silly. He deserved worse.

quote:
Originally posted by Bud Martin:
I have never heard of Jewish Rabbis making a death warrant for the justification of murdering another human being, so I’m very interested in hearing about this “Halakhic ruling of din rodef” these Rabbis made regarding Rabin.

Okay, here's the straight answer. Words are used in different ways. The actual din rodef (law of a pursuer) is that if someone is immediately chasing after you or another Jew, you should kill them before their attack succeeds.

Now, let's say someone is out to ruin you. Destroy your reputation and bankrupt you. A person like that could be referred to as a rodef, but not in a literal sense. Killing that person before they can succeed is plain murder.

When it comes to a ruler, things get murky. In the book of Judges, Eglon, the king of Moab was oppressing the Jews. Ehud ben Gera assassinated him. Was Eglon in the process of trying to kill someone? No. But this can be seen as war. It's different.

So maybe take Amon, king of Judah. He was a horrible, vile king, worse even than his father Menashe. He was assassinated. And the assassins themselves were executed for it, despite the fact that everyone was relieved to have Amon gone. Because you don't do that.

I think taxation is theft. That doesn't mean I report the IRS to the police every April 15. It's the same thing in principle, but not in specific action. Rabin as rodef is analogous to that.

There aren't a lot of ways to say, "This sonovabitch is putting us in harm's way. He's a clear and present danger to us" In Hebrew, the way you say that is, "He's a rodef".

The fuss was because of the *implication* that because he's a rodef, he should be killed. Fatwas don't imply things. They say straight out: this guy should be killed. Killing him is a good thing. No one ever said that about Rabin. Not before the assassination, and not after. Hell, after the assassination, 99%+ of the Jews in Israel, to say nothing of the world, went bat**** insane with horror and grief. It was like the McCarthy period in Israel. They arrested and jailed people who were heard expressing relief that Rabin was gone. I'm not kidding.

Every single public figure, every single newspaper, every single everyone who didn't want to be shunned or jailed, condemned the assassination 100%.

You know how people say that the average Palestinian can't object to the terror out of fear of being targetted themselves? It was like the mirror image of that. It takes a huge amount of cojones to openly say in the Jewish community what I've said here about Rabin. I generally stay away from the subject because of that. Granted, they won't kill me for it, but then, we aren't as big into murdering those we disagree with as Muslims are.

quote:
Originally posted by Bud Martin:
If there are examples of a Christian scholar or leader sanctioning a massacre, assassination or an action that deliberately caused the death of anyone in the last 50 years, I’d like to find out about it and learn what happened as a result.

I assume you're not including Fred Phelps. Which is fair.
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