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Author Topic: London Beheadings
Greg Davidson
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Bud and seagull,

I really agree strongly with the emphasis on the disbanding of the Iraqi Army - that was an error of cataclysmic proportions, and it was obvious to anyone with a background in history at the time it occurred.

seagull, I also agree strongly with your comments about American Muslims post 9/11. My research on this topic came in response to the bigoted propaganda of the "Ground Zero Mosque" controversy, which offended me because it was holding the American Muslims of Lower Manhattan responsible for terrorism when their only role in 9/11 was as victims. That's one reason why I push back hard at broad anti-Islam generalizations, or focusing on minutia about Islamic doctrine in a way that we don't focus on Christian or other religious texts.

I would argue at the present time the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world are on a spectrum that runs from loyal soldiers in the US military all the way to extremist terrorists (with some very large populations in the middle in Bangledesh or Indonesia who probably do not spend too much time thinking about Israel). The most effective approach to engagement with the Islamic world is to jetison the Islamophobia and instead try to nudge the Muslim world towards dealing with its own internal problems rather than letting the US or Israel be used as a distraction that only empowers the extremists.

I also agree that my language is a little sloppy around innocent civilians, and there will always be civilian casualties in war. Not only because military actions are imprecise, but also a certain small percentage of any population will include individuals with mental conditions that under stress will result in them taking actions that are unjustifiable (bipolar, schizophrenic, etc.)

I am not sure what level of responsibility should accrue to people do to their votes for Hamas (or to Bush/Gore/Kerry/Obama/McCain/Romney). I believe the votes for Hamas in Gaza in 2006 not only included support for a more extremist line on Israel, but also a rejection of the corruption of the other part, and a vote for better social services (it doesn't matter if the voters were misled, we are tracking their moral culpability for what they thought that they were voting for). If all someone has done is vote for Hamas in one election, and they were killed in the Gaza attack, then in my judgment they still counts as an innocent civilian casualty.

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KidTokyo
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VL,

quote:
Religion IS the biggest defining difference between NYC and Pakistan.
And the vast differences in economic wealth and geography are irrelevant?

quote:
Without Islam there would not even be a Pakistan. Islam is the foundation of the culture and is a full system for the culture.

The same is not true for Christianity and America?

quote:
Religion in United States isn't the foundation of our culture, it's not what binds us together.
You, like me, live in the Northeast. I don't think you'll find the rest of the country agrees with this.

quote:
In the United States for most people religion is something you do one a week to twice a year, but it really doesn't define you any more than your favorite brand of soda does.
Leaving aside for a moment that this is an indefensible generality that runs roughshod over the huge differences between different sections of the US...you are now in fact asserting that the problem with Islam is that it causes people to be deeply religious, i.e., that religious behavior is problematic. Are you not? Is that really what you mean to say? That Christianity isn't such a problem because people don't take it that seriously?

Ah, well then, you are practically making my argument for me.

quote:
Between Jylland Posten, the response to Terry Jones and the Innocence of Muslims contorversy 300 people have died. that's just in the past decade.
There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. This is nearly a quarter of the population. How many full-scale wars and invasions have been launched in the modern era by Muslim countries as opposed to Christendom? We had a born-again president leading an invasion of an Islamic country in search of WMD's and then going "whoops!" After several hundred thousand unnecessary deaths, you complain about these 300? Are not Muslims justified in arguing that the Christian world wants to destroy them?

quote:
A play getting some bomb threats but no bombs is not evidence that Christians are just as bad as Muslims and there's not something unique about Islam at this point in history.
So what's unique about it, aside from the degree of fervor of extreme cases in isolated communities? Seriously, you've practically talked yourself into a corner here. You keep wanting to say that "Islam" is "worse." What do you think is different about it? At this point in history, alienated young people become radicalized by people with political aims, who happen to claim Islam as their religion. What does that have to do with Islam as a whole?

Neither you nor anyone can get past square one. What's the point of your line of argument? What kind of solution does it point to?

Seagull

quote:
But in spite of the fact that Israel is facing an existential threat, we hold ourselves up to a higher standard.
Israel is not facing an existential threat.

Let me ask you something -- if the Palestinians built a big arsenal of weapons away from any civilian population, right out in the middle of a field, what would Israel do?

quote:
I know that some people retroactively disagree with the bombing of Dresden and Nagasaki. I do not think it is fair to second guess the commanders who had to make those difficult choices.
People also proactively disagreed with it.

If we don't judge the decisions of the past as right or wrong, what the hell is the point of studying history? Fer chrissakes, that's all anyone does in military history --- they analyze every tactical and strategic move right down to the finest detail, and decide what was right and what was a mistake. That's how improvements are made. Apparently, we civilians are not supposed to do this when it comes to evaluating Our Great Leaders.

quote:
If you want to focus on people actually killed, how about comparing the percentage of attacks that killed ONLY innocent civilians and no legitimate targets.

Oh, I take that back, that kind of comparison would be unfair to Hamas, the PLO and Hezbullah because they do not have the advanced technology that makes it possible for Israel to hit it's targets more accurately. So no matter how good Israel comes out in that comparison, it would mean nothing until these Arabs have the resources to develop similar technology.

But wait a minute, they outnumber Israel more than 100 to one, and they have all that Oil money (which Israel does not). Why is it that they do not have similar or even better technology?

Could it be that their priorities are different from Israel's? Could it be that their actions show that they don't really want to use their resources to minimize civilian casualties? Could it be that their actions in choosing how to use their resources actually reflect their beliefs?

You have just stated that because the priorities of these societies are not gearing towards developing more advanced weapons they are somehow less humane, even though the obvious consequence of having the more advanced technology is the ability to kill more, which is what Israel repeatedly demonstrates.

Many Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran and other "oil money" countries -- whom you absurdly conflate with the Palestinians -- have highly advanced technology similar to Israel's. Palestinians do not have such technology because they are blockaded, and can barely plug in a toaster much less develop an advanced science program. Perhaps Israel could share some technology with them?

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seagull
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quote:
if the Palestinians built a big arsenal of weapons away from any civilian population, right out in the middle of a field, what would Israel do?
If al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hizbullah, the PLO or even the IRA deployed Nuclear weapons in Cuba or North Korea, I am sure that Israel would not intervene and let the US deal with the problem.

When it comes to weapons that can reach Israeli population centers and are in the control of governments who openly state that they want to destroy us (as part of their charter) we'll do everything we can to neutralize the threat. Anybody within a blast radius of these weapons is risking their life.

If they want to live, they should stay away. If they want to commit suicide, I wish they would find ways to do it that do not involve attacking our soldiers or population centers.

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starLisa
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We'd bomb the crap out of the weapons. Duh. And be very happy that we could do so without risking potentially innocent lives.
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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
quote:
But in spite of the fact that Israel is facing an existential threat, we hold ourselves up to a higher standard.
Israel is not facing an existential threat.
What an odd thing to say. Every Arab war launched against Israel has been with the express purpose of wiping Israel off the map. Ahmedinijad has stated this as a goal numerous times. The Fatah flag shows a map of "Palestine" that includes all of Israel, pre and post 1967. The Palestinians consistently refer to places like Haifa as occupied Palestinian land.

How in God's name is this not an existential threat? Do you know what that word means? It means that this is a threat to Israel's very existence. That their goal is for Israel to not exist.

quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
Let me ask you something -- if the Palestinians built a big arsenal of weapons away from any civilian population, right out in the middle of a field, what would Israel do?

Wait a second. Are you asking that as a way of justifying them transporting arms in ambulances and firing from heavily populated areas, schools, hospitals, etc.? No one denies that these tactics are effective. The issue is that they are violations of international law. Completely unambiguous, as opposed to the often-claimed "violations of international law" that building Jewish homes in Judea supposedly are.

quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
You have just stated that because the priorities of these societies are not gearing towards developing more advanced weapons they are somehow less humane, even though the obvious consequence of having the more advanced technology is the ability to kill more, which is what Israel repeatedly demonstrates.

Israel's ability to kill more is actually Israel's ability to end the fighting sooner. That's the civilized goal. If someone attacks you, it's far more civilized to smash them in response, and end the fighting, than to turn it into some sort of barbaric war where the fighting goes on forever.

We don't want the fighting to continue. They do. When they don't have us to fight with, they pick fights with others. Or fight among themselves.

The issue is, we fire from tanks, because we don't want to get hurt. They fire from hospitals because they don't give a damn if people get hurt. It's a cultural difference. We value human life. We regret the necessity of taking it. They don't. They raise their children in an atmosphere that says killing and dying is something to aspire to. That's bestial.

quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
Many Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran and other "oil money" countries -- whom you absurdly conflate with the Palestinians -- have highly advanced technology similar to Israel's. Palestinians do not have such technology because they are blockaded, and can barely plug in a toaster much less develop an advanced science program. Perhaps Israel could share some technology with them?

We do. We supply power to them. We supply food and other necessities to them. We only blockade things that can be used for war. "Barely plug in a toaster"? Are you freaking kidding me? Go and visit Gaza. Do they have slums? Sure. So do we. Do they have luxury hotels and sports centers with Olympic sized swimming pools? Yep. Do they have malls? Yep. Do they have villas and new cars? Yes, they damned well do. Do you have any idea how much money streams into Gaza?

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/rise-middle-class-gaza-fuels-resentment

LUXURY and WEALTH abound in Gaza and the Palestinian terrotories

Israel gives Gaza financial aid and 10 *tons* of food every week.

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3308/gaza-millionaires (from mainstream Arab sources)

Egyptian Journalist Describes 'Absolute Prosperity' in Gaza

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starLisa
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Fun and wealth in Gaza
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starLisa
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http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/how-to-graduate-in-the-palestinian-authority/2013/05/28/

The Palestinian Authority is offering its younger citizens an easier path to High School graduation, according to a source in the IDF.

Any High School student who gets arrested by the IDF automatically passes 10 of their their matriculation (Bagrut) exams.

Is it any wonder that terrorist attacks are up?

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TomDavidson
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I'm a bit skeptical.
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Viking_Longship
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Kid

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Religion IS the biggest defining difference between NYC and Pakistan.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And the vast differences in economic wealth and geography are irrelevant?


The two matter as they affect culture. The great tnesion in Pakistan is between the tribe as culture and religion as culture. Without Islam Pakistan would be a polyglot region of India or a collection of smaller nations.

The United States has a kind of faith in God as part of its common culture, but it's just not as important to us.


The Christian world you're referring to really doesn't exist any more. Catholics in Venezuala aren't up in arms about pogroms against Egyptian Copts. Four-Square Pentacostals aren't trying to get to Congo to fight alongside their Pentacostal brothers. There is a sense of Unity amongst Muslims, particularly Sunni Muslims, that Christians just don't have any more.

If we can't admit that then we can't talk about blowback from Afganistan and Iraq coming from non-Afgans and non-Iraqis.

quote:
what's unique about it, aside from the degree of fervor of extreme cases in isolated communities? Seriously, you've practically talked yourself into a corner here. You keep wanting to say that "Islam" is "worse." What do you think is different about it? At this point in history, alienated young people become radicalized by people with political aims, who happen to claim Islam as their religion. What does that have to do with Islam as a whole?

Neither you nor anyone can get past square one. What's the point of your line of argument? What kind of solution does it point to?

What's unique about Islam is that while Christianity is either dying or embracing the culture of the west, thanks to the Salafist movement Sunni Islam in the middle of a revival.

We're not talking about isolated enclaves with the riots either.

The only reason we're doing this comparative religion game is because any time anyone says anything critical about Islam somebody goes trying to conjure of the spirit of Richard the III and Salahadin.

You can talk about additional factors which are related, poverty, corruption, etc, but it's insame to say we just have to leave Islam out of the discussion because we don't want to stereotype all muslims.

Again, you're really not doing non-fundamentalist Muslims any favors by not admitting there may be something wrong happening within Islam. The Wahabbis are well funded and in their way very well educated, much better educated about the Koran than the mainstream Muslims. If we keep pretending that Islam isn't in the middle of an internal struggle then the Saudis can keep playing this double game they've been playing and our moderate muslim friend gets to either have no place to pray or submit.

You can keep your head in the sand lest you commit the sin of un-PCness, but you're really not helping anybody that way.

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Many Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran and other "oil money" countries -- whom you absurdly conflate with the Palestinians -- have highly advanced technology similar to Israel's. Palestinians do not have such technology because they are blockaded, and can barely plug in a toaster much less develop an advanced science program. Perhaps Israel could share some technology with them?
I'm not particularly fond of Israel but saying they don't face an existential threat is absurd.
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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I'm a bit skeptical.

Of what? Of the fact that the media has been lying to you about the poor, poverty stricken Pallies in Gaza?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Of what? Of the fact that the media has been lying to you about the poor, poverty stricken Pallies in Gaza?
No, silly. Of the idea that an anonymous source in the IDF is a good source of data about the educational policies of the Palestinian Authority.
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Greg Davidson
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quote:
The only reason we're doing this comparative religion game is because any time anyone says anything critical about Islam somebody goes trying to conjure of the spirit of Richard the III and Salahadin.

You can talk about additional factors which are related, poverty, corruption, etc, but it's insame to say we just have to leave Islam out of the discussion because we don't want to stereotype all muslims.

Again, you're really not doing non-fundamentalist Muslims any favors by not admitting there may be something wrong happening within Islam.

We don't have to go to the crusades. As discussed earlier in this thread, even more murders have been committed by Christian hands since the day before 9/11 than by Muslim hands. If your assertion about Islam were correct, can you explain why this group of people that you assert have a proclivity to murder are not actually committing a differentially higher level of such evil acts?

This is not being politically correct - it is being about being empirically correct. And the grim data of body counts provides me far more confidence in my take on this issue than unsubstantiated assertions that seem to drive your viewpoint, such as:

quote:
There is a sense of Unity amongst Muslims, particularly Sunni Muslims, that Christians just don't have any more.
If your assertion is inconsistent with the data, it's time to revise your assertions.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
, even more murders have been committed by Christian hands since the day before 9/11 than by Muslim hands
Generally in such discussions people tend to talk about *religiously*-motivated murders, not murders in general.
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Greg Davidson
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We can't independently determine the motivation of all the murderers.

If we want to accurately analyze the motivation of murderers based on what they write and what they say, we have to apply the same standards to all murderers. As I showed earlier in this thread, Hitler used explicit references to Christianity in both writing and speech to make the case that Jews were the enemy. Congo warlord Laurent Nkunda asserted that he was a Pentacostal Pastor, and his troops referred to themselves as "Rebels for Christ". Were they religiously motivated? Or was their killing about power, tribalism, economics, mental illness? I believe that it is not possible to make a valid determination. Any of us trying to guess at the motivation for all of the Muslims (or Christians or whoever) who have committed murderers will be doing so based on second-hand stories about people who we (thankfully) have never met.

A broad set of data (including data going back 1500 years) does not show that any particular belief system is more strongly correlated with producing murderers than any other. Current data indicates that people who come from traditionally Muslim countries are no more likely to commit murder than people who come from traditionally Christian countries. That's a huge data set involving many billions of people. I find that provides far more compelling insight into the likelihood that Islam produces a differential level of murderers than people's non-measurement based opinions that they believe that Muslims who kill are doing it for religious-based reasons while Christians who kill are doing it for non-religious-based reasons.

[ May 28, 2013, 03:53 PM: Message edited by: Greg Davidson ]

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AI Wessex
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Finally! Somebody who is willing to look at horrific events with a little distance and perspective!

"Generally in such discussions people tend to talk about *religiously*-motivated murders, not murders in general."

But if millions of Christians are murdered by other Christians, why would it be wrong to infer that Christianity condones murder? We are implying that same standard to Islam.

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
quote:
We don't have to go to the crusades. As discussed earlier in this thread, even more murders have been committed by Christian hands since the day before 9/11 than by Muslim hands.
My point is NOT to show that Muslims are random killers more prone to nonsensical violence than Chrisitans. I'll thank you to stop asserting that it is.


"Generally in such discussions people tend to talk about *religiously*-motivated murders, not murders in general."

But if millions of Christians are murdered by other Christians, why would it be wrong to infer that Christianity condones murder? We are implying that same standard to Islam.

We are not doing anything of the sort.

The argument is not "Muslims do more killing in general."

The point I'm making is that there's a violent political/Religious movement present in Islam right now and we need to start looking at ways to counteract it.

I'll say the same thing to you I just said to Greg. Stop trying to put an argument in my mouth I'm not making. That pisses me off to no end.

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There is a sense of Unity amongst Muslims, particularly Sunni Muslims, that Christians just don't have any more.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If your assertion is inconsistent with the data, it's time to revise your assertions.

My assertion here is correct. Mexican Catholics didn't run off to Ireland to fight the British along side their fellow Catholics. Alabama Pentacostals didn't go to the Congo to fight alngside Kony. (Kony's religion was half animist, but that's a moot point.) There is no current equivelent to a Mujahideen.

We have Saudis fighting in Afganistan, Chechens fighting in Syria, and Turks fighting in Chechnya. There just is no sense of Christendem to match the idea of Dar Al Islam.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
But if millions of Christians are murdered by other Christians, why would it be wrong to infer that Christianity condones murder? We are implying that same standard to Islam.
No, I'm not sure "we" are applying that standard. Perhaps some are. But was Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait largely blamed on Islam for example? I doubt it was the majority view that Islam was to blame.

quote:
But if millions of Christians are murdered by other Christians, why would it be wrong to infer that Christianity condones murder?
Given things like the slaughter of Hypatia and the sanctification of Theodosius, I certainly believe that Christianity *has* condoned murder.

Currently western christendom does not exist as such (sacred beliefs in the West are things like democracy, liberty, equality, not Jesus Christ), and eastern christendom is still condoning murder, yes.

quote:
As I showed earlier in this thread, Hitler used explicit references to Christianity in both writing and speech to make the case that Jews were the enemy. Congo warlord Laurent Nkunda asserted that he was a Pentacostal Pastor, and his troops referred to themselves as "Rebels for Christ". Were they religiously motivated?
Maybe. I can certainly believe that Hitler was influence by Christian antisemetism, even if not much of a devout Christian himself.
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Viking_Longship
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I want to make this very clear to this thread. I am using bold because I've said this several times and some of you seem to be missing it. My point is not to argue the virtues of Christianity over Islam. My point is that trying to make a moral equivalence between Christianity and Islam is not a realistic approach to the issue. All that does is leave everybody especially mainstream Muslims, vulnerable.

[ May 28, 2013, 04:43 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Congo warlord Laurent Nkunda asserted that he was a Pentacostal Pastor, and his troops referred to themselves as "Rebels for Christ". Were they religiously motivated? Or was their killing about power, tribalism, economics, mental illness?
BTW this is not an either or proposition. I have no problem admitting that Christian militias exist in Africa and that they're at least partially religously motivated.
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Bud Martin
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I've tried to make this point several times, but I guess I’m going to give it another attempt. There is a distinct difference in blaming a person for a murder and a religion for a murder and you shouldn’t confuse the two.

Case I.

It’s hard to place blame on a religion when an individual kill’s one or more people and then spouts religious reasoning because you’re not sure if it is to:

A. Make a person feel better about the fact that they are going to whatever Hel| their religion believes in.
B. Try and justify those actions to others.
C. Get others to join in a murderous sick venture and make those individual’s forget about going to hel|.
D. Show they're just plain insane.

You’d have to find some proof that the religion sanctified, encouraged or sent out its leaders or followers to accomplish that crime; so unless we have that proof, we can’t really use those examples as they might be attributable to an individual with a twisted or unstable personality (like Hitler or Saddam).

Therefore, IMHO these cases shouldn’t be used in comparing a religion’s propensity to cause murder.

Case II.

It’s not hard to place blame on a religion for the Murder of others when it justifies, and rewards the murder of innocents, infidels, family members or apostates by putting out written documents stating their support, approval and sanctioning of these crimes.

How many different sects of the radical Muslim faith believe in Jihad and killing apostates? How Many Mullahs, Mufti, Clerics - of how many different Sunni, Shia and other sects have issued religious edicts or Fatwas to murder someone (or murder many in the case of declaring a Jihad)? How many honor killings are there in the radical Muslim world (which are justified and sanctioned by radical Muslim leaders or Sharia Courts)?

Apparently there’s a lot and it goes on in dozens of countries around the world on a regular basis and has been increasing in the last 20 years as radical Muslims spread their terror and murderous intent to other countries. I don’t have access to all of those documents, but I did see the Charter for Hamas that was written by a cleric and it calls for Jihad against Israel and the murder of Jews. I’m not sure, but I think some Sharia courts can and do pronounce death sentences in some countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Afghanistan.

I don’t think we can ever quantitatively discern the numbers of murders that fall into this category, but even one is too many for me. Any religion that behaves in such a manner IMHO, doesn’t deserve the right to exist and we should take measures to stamp it out. I know that this causes problems for the Muslim world because many nations in the Middle East are based on religion and are in fact theocracies, like Iran that allow these practices to legitimately operate as part of the government, or a Monarchy like Saudi Arabia where their authority to reign over the people is based in the religion, so they let Sharia law become part of the governing laws for that country

Christianity today does not allow its leaders to make such sanctions for the murder of others and even though Judaism has some Rabbis that can justify on some scriptural basis, the killing of a person (as in the case that was mentioned earlier - the killing of Rabin), they don't wage war against innocent life or murder apostates. Christianity shuns murderers for any reason, while radical Islam glorifies their sanctioned murderers and promises them eternal life with 72 Houri, see my post on page 3 near the bottom of the page in this same thread:

http://www.ornery.org/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi/topic/6/16010/3.html

You can't compare a religion’s propensity to cause the death of a human being by comparing wars between nations when they are secular states. You can’t rationalize the actions of everyone that has ever been a member of that faith and use them as a statistical basis over a 1500 year period to get a logical equivalent, nor can you compare the moral values of today to the moral values of the crusades or any other era, because these kinds of comparisons don't give credence to the issue at hand: does a religion have the right to use it's followers to murder others.

You have to compare the teachings and leaders of that religion NOW and in this day and age. You also have to look at the actions that the specific religions sanctified as holy according to their religious interpretations and laws. What equivalents in Christianity are there to Jihad and killing apostates? Please remember to look ONLY at the modern age, and for arguments sake, maybe the last 50 years, just to keep this topic somewhat less expansive than it is already getting.

I’d like to point out that I’m not a very religious person and find many religious people to be hypocritical, so I find it odd that I’m defending religion, but I find it totally absurd that anyone would defend radical Muslim policies and actions that are nothing more than religious terrorism and compare them as moral equivalents to Christianity or any other major religion in any way, shape, form or fashion. I'd have to totally agree with Star Lisa and just say that radical Muslims have a very different value system for human life than most if not all other major religions.

I would also like to point out I used the word “RADICAL” in front of Muslim and that it in no way should reflect a comparison to those Muslims that don’t believe in Jihad or killing apostates or honor killing.

Maybe someone better acquainted with the Muslim faith could educate me as to the number of Muslims that are in sects that do not believe in Jihad, honor killing or killing of apostates as compared to the number of Muslims that are in sects that don't believe in those practices.

Please don't confuse this issue with the justification or blame for WAR crimes such as those in the Congo or collateral deaths in combat, as those issues are an entirely different subject and are either related to self defense or as the result of protracted retributions in an ethnic conflict and not related to religion. I would also NOTE that no organized religous leaders sanctioned those actions and actually condemned them.

Later if you want to continue this type of discussion, we can further compare the treatment of all women and homosexuals by the radical Muslims as compared to other major religions' treatment of this huge number of people (over half of all humanity).

[ May 28, 2013, 07:04 PM: Message edited by: Bud Martin ]

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Bud Martin
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I messed up one question:

quote:
Maybe someone better acquainted with the Muslim faith could educate me as to the number of Muslims that are in sects that do not believe in Jihad, honor killing or killing of apostates as compared to the number of Muslims that are in sects that don't believe in those practices.

That should read:

quote:
Maybe someone better acquainted with the Muslim faith could educate me as to the number of Muslims that are in sects that believe in Jihad, honor killing or killing of apostates as compared to the number of Muslims that are in sects that don't believe in those practices.


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AI Wessex
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"Perhaps some are. But was Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait largely blamed on Islam for example? I doubt it was the majority view that Islam was to blame."

Perhaps not, but minority views can be loud enough to drown out the more reasonable voices. We make a lot of mistakes by listening the the loudest instead of the calmest. A reporter recently said that Congress is effectively incompetent. He said for instance that there are fewer than 25 Senators who have sufficient subject matter expertise to understand the laws their staff or other Senators' staff write, let alone vote intelligently on them.

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
The argument is not "Muslims do more killing in general."

The point I'm making is that there's a violent political/Religious movement present in Islam right now and we need to start looking at ways to counteract it.

If we focus on this point, I am in complete agreement. There is a threat from a subset of Muslims who can be defined as Islamic extremists or radical Muslims. Bias will make our analysis of this threat inaccurate, and thus increase our risk. And based on the substantial knowledge we have about Islam as a whole, any assertion that Islam produces more murderers is false. Therefore, we can and should target Islamic extremists, but if we attribute their behavior to Islam as a whole, we are introducing our own bias tto the situation, inserting factually inaccurate opinion in the way of clear focused examination of the true nature of our enemy.
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Bud Martin
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Yes Greg that is exactly the point I'm trying to make: "There is a threat from a subset of Muslims who can be defined as Islamic extremists or radical Muslims."

NOW...

How would you separate out that subset of Muslims to identify those who are dangerous radicalized elements? Do you think that we should ask the moderate Muslim leadership and get them to identify the radical clerics or individuals that are dangerous or would that be a conflict of interest - you know their interest to stay alive maybe?

How about we start identifying the specific tenets of each sect in the Muslim world that we feel radicalizes their followers and hold the clerics to a standard of acceptability that is apposite to international law concerning human rights. Lets just have 1 or 2 of them... like Jihad and killing apostates outside of any Muslim country (let them decide by majority vote in each nation if their country is to be considered Muslim by definition, so if they wanted to kill muslims in their own country, it's their choice).

Could we come up with a single rule of LAW that applies to those 2 tenets. Let's use something very simple and reasonable; a standard by modern societies that we could apply to all religions too.
quote:
That being: Religions WOULD NOT BE allowed to sanction or commit a murder for any religious reason.
This is a pretty simple and straightforward standard. Herein lies the difference between what exists now and what would exist after this: It would be added to the existing International Laws and criminalize any religious sanctioning or murder outside of a Muslim nation and place the guilt at the foot of the guilty - the religious leaders so that they could never hide their culpability again. I think that's fair; don't you?

This would also apply to those Rabbis in Brooklyn that called for the killing of Rabin as mentioned previously. There might yet be other applications of this simple standard that could be applied to other religions also, but I'm not aware of it at this time.

We could even set the punishment level depending on each specific violation and codify it like the criminal codes are done now.

If we did that one thing and began to target the murderous intent of any religious leaders, we could prevent them from giving assurances of acceptance into heaven to their communities or solace to those that they want to murder others. Once they document their sanctioned murder or make it known they authorized a murder by any means, they could be incarcerated and their religious community would have to prove that they were not murderers by openly admiting by vote that this individual was wrong to try and commit this crime.

Otherwise, if they don't, the Community resources where that leader resided, such as property, buildings, assets, bank accounts and all valuables would be forfeit and sold off to compensate the families of the victims and the religious community would lose all tax free status and cease to exist as an entity in the eyes of the law.

It’s not much different from current hate crime laws (they used a similar law to go after KKK assets), but I’m talking about an international law passed at the UN and overnight, calls for Jihad would be criminalized! Any religious leader or group that called for it would no longer be able to earn money overseas or preach their hate, or be tax exempt and create enclaves of radical Muslims inside the western world. We could use this law to go after the finances of those rich Sheiks that pay bounty for suicide bombers.

I know, it sounds ridiculous doesn’t it because that would mean we would have to get international support and get all the security council to hop aboard that proposal…. FAT CHANCE RIGHT! OH yeah, the Muslim countries would scream that it interferes with their internal affairs, so lets tell them we would ask for extradition of one of your clerics, but you certainly have the right to refuse on religious grounds and then we treat that individual like an international criminal. He can’t travel to other countries and members of his community could be branded as terrorist on the no fly list.

How does that sound??

[ May 28, 2013, 11:43 PM: Message edited by: Bud Martin ]

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Bud Martin
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Let me clarify something, these paragraphs would be applied only to the US:

quote:
If we did that one thing and began to target the murderous intent of any religious leaders, we could prevent them from giving assurances of acceptance into heaven to their communities or solace to those that they want to murder others. Once they document their sanctioned murder or make it known they authorized a murder by any means, they could be incarcerated and their religious community would have to prove that they were not murderers by openly admiting by vote that this individual was wrong to try and commit this crime.

Otherwise, if they don't, the Community resources where that leader resided, such as property, buildings, assets, bank accounts and all valuables would be forfeit and sold off to compensate the families of the victims and the religious community would lose all tax free status and cease to exist as an entity in the eyes of the law.


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Greg Davidson
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If the root cause isn't in Islam, the the solution is not in doctrinal issues. Coming up with doctrinal pledges that we are somehow going to try to force on extremists just supports their efforts to paint this as a religious conflict with the US that wants to impose Western values.

I think that the leading root cause is that extremists have been nurtured and are funded by wealthy and powerful elements in the Islamic world because they serve political purposes. Saudi funding of extremism distracts attention from the wealth imbalance in the Arab world; to counter this, encourage domecratization of Arab regimes, and welcome elements like the Muslim Brotherhood being forced into the real world of having to deal with bread prices and government policy. In Iran, don't take actions that make it easy for the extremists to distract the population from urgent domestic issues and instead focus on the perceived aggressiveness of the US and Israel. In Pakistan, recognize that support for the Taliban is a government funded effort to generate support from irregulars who may be useful in conflict with India, and work towards improving relations between India and Pakistan. All boring and slow diplomacy rather than exciting but ultimately counter-productive sab34 rattling.

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Bud Martin
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I don't understand Greg; you won't even make the concession that we should make sanctioning murder for religious reasons a crime?

BTW, this would be applied to ALL religions, even though it would mainly help with combating Jihad. Are you for Jihad?

You said: "There is a threat from a subset of Muslims who can be defined as Islamic extremists or radical Muslims." Those Muslims practice Jihad right, so why not take this step? They can't complain since it targets all religions.

I'm taking that evaluation for the extremist Islamic threat you mentioned one step further than you and trying to find a general rule of law to combat that threat and criminalize the actions of those radical Islamic extremists that sanction religious murder (by any other name, it's still a hate crime).

I agree, we both are talking about targeting the funds of such radical groups, but my way is more direct and less philosophical and the results of using it were almost immediately effective in destroying the KKK in the Southern US a decade or so ago as it was making a resurgence with the bigots. I've seen the KKK hate mongrels get their lands and assets taken away from them and then they lost the ability to organize and carry out operations against people.

They had to go underground and isn't that what we want to happen with the Islamic extremists? Force them to meet in secret and make them feel like criminals when they plot to murder others, not flaunt it in the middle of the street as they did in London knowing they were going to heaven.

If all of Islam believes in Jihad, then hel| yes it is the root cause, but I keep hearing that only a small fraction of Muslims believe in such violence and murder. If that's the case then only a small fraction of the Muslims would find that concept unfair, right!

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KidTokyo
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Star Lisa & Seagull,

My point about the weapons depot hypothetical is this: every nation on earth that exists does so only because and to the extent that it has the firepower to defend itself. Obviously, if they kept their weapons where Israel could obliterate them, they would have nothing, and they would cease to exist altogether.

They have no choice but to hide them in civilians centers. Oh, I know...how unethical!

Your moral outrage is a luxury, achieved by the vast imbalance of firepower between Israel and Palestinians. If the roles were reversed, Israelis would do exactly the same thing with whatever weapons they could find. They would have to, if they want to survive it all. Can you seriously argue that Israelis would take the "moral high ground" against a Palestine with 100 times the firepower? or would they do everything they could to continue to exist? The question answers itself.

quote:
What an odd thing to say. Every Arab war launched against Israel has been with the express purpose of wiping Israel off the map. Ahmedinijad has stated this as a goal numerous times. The Fatah flag shows a map of "Palestine" that includes all of Israel, pre and post 1967. The Palestinians consistently refer to places like Haifa as occupied Palestinian land.

How in God's name is this not an existential threat? Do you know what that word means? It means that this is a threat to Israel's very existence. That their goal is for Israel to not exist.

I might have the intention of of destroying the Statue of Liberty with a box of firecrackers, and may attempt it hundreds of times, but in no way does it follow that my intentions, my maps, or my flags create an "existential threat" to the Statue of Liberty. To do that, I would have to have a lot more than a box of firecrackers.

I note also that you conflate all "Arabs" again, and even worse conflate "Iran" with "Arabs." Iranians are not Arabs. Oh...what the hell, they're all the same, they all look alike with their big noses and shifty evil eyes! [Roll Eyes]

quote:
Are you asking that as a way of justifying them transporting arms in ambulances and firing from heavily populated areas, schools, hospitals, etc.?
You know what? Yes. Yes I am. At some point it is preposterous to cry "international law" when you won't even recognize the right of a nation to exist. You talk of international law...Israel violates it routinely.

There isn't a nation on Earth I can think of that didn't terrorize its way into existence. Israel most definitely included. Enough with the double standard already!

quote:
Israel's ability to kill more is actually Israel's ability to end the fighting sooner.
How's that working out for you?

quote:
The issue is, we fire from tanks, because we don't want to get hurt. They fire from hospitals because they don't give a damn if people get hurt. It's a cultural difference. We value human life. We regret the necessity of taking it. They don't. They raise their children in an atmosphere that says killing and dying is something to aspire to. That's bestial.
Self-aggrandizing nonsense. Zionists performed acts of terrorism prior to Israel's founding. They felt it was justified. If Israel was choked off from the world and could only get crap weapons on the black market, through tunnels, they would do it. And they would hide the weapons anywhere they could. They would do anything to survive. The only difference between you and a Palestinian is circumstance. You are not a superior being.

quote:
We do. We supply power to them. We supply food and other necessities to them. We only blockade things that can be used for war. "Barely plug in a toaster"? Are you freaking kidding me? Go and visit Gaza. Do they have slums? Sure. So do we. Do they have luxury hotels and sports centers with Olympic sized swimming pools? Yep. Do they have malls? Yep. Do they have villas and new cars? Yes, they damned well do. Do you have any idea how much money streams into Gaza?
Do you really think you can convince me with this cherry-picking?

The Israel:Palestine per capita GDP is 20:1.

VL,

quote:

If we can't admit that then we can't talk about blowback from Afganistan and Iraq coming from non-Afgans and non-Iraqis.

My point is it has nothing to do with "Islam" qua Islam, and everything to to with Islam qua economics and history.

quote:
You can talk about additional factors which are related, poverty, corruption, etc, but it's insame to say we just have to leave Islam out of the discussion because we don't want to stereotype all muslims.

Again, you're really not doing non-fundamentalist Muslims any favors by not admitting there may be something wrong happening within Islam. The Wahabbis are well funded and in their way very well educated, much better educated about the Koran than the mainstream Muslims. If we keep pretending that Islam isn't in the middle of an internal struggle then the Saudis can keep playing this double game they've been playing and our moderate muslim friend gets to either have no place to pray or submit.

You can keep your head in the sand lest you commit the sin of un-PCness, but you're really not helping anybody that way.

Nothing to do with un-PC ness. I just haven't seen an explanation for what is wrong with Islam that is unique to Islam except for the word "something."

Now, of course, I agree that "something wrong" is happening "within Islam." I do not agree that it is an "Islamic" thing, nor that it is confined to Islam. Can you grok the diff? Islam becomes a red herring to a common, universal human condition and psychology.

quote:
I'm not particularly fond of Israel but saying they don't face an existential threat is absurd.
It's absurd to say they do. What can happen to Israel that would end its existence? What threat can they not defend themselves against?

[ May 29, 2013, 01:23 AM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
don't understand Greg; you won't even make the concession that we should make sanctioning murder for religious reasons a crime?
I am completely against murdering for religious reasons, and it is a crime. I am a little less convinced that we should make speech advocating murder for religious reasons a crime (that is - just the speech, independent of whether someone actually commits a crime), and also I have difficulty with the phrase "make a crime". Does that just mean that we want to make a statement against it, or are you considering that the United States actually try to take legal action against those in other countries who "sanction murder for religious reasons". I find that impractical across national borders; it would be a difficult Constitutional and practical issue in the US (would we have to have Courts make judgments about various shades of fanatical speech, and determine while one extremist group is sanctioning murder for religious reasons and is thus committing a crime, this other extremist group is sanctioning murder for racist reasons and thus it is okay). But my biggest problem with this focus is that it is a distraction from the root cause of the problem. If we care about addressing the risks of extremists, we should select strategies not based on how satisfying they feel to us, but rather on the likelihood that they will address the root cause of the problem.
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Greg Davidson
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quote:
I agree, we both are talking about targeting the funds of such radical groups, but my way is more direct and less philosophical and the results of using it were almost immediately effective in destroying the KKK in the Southern US a decade or so ago as it was making a resurgence with the bigots. I've seen the KKK hate mongrels get their lands and assets taken away from them and then they lost the ability to organize and carry out operations against people.
I am not an expert on the demise of the KKK, but I remember reading the case made somewhere (perhaps it was in Freakonomics) that the most effective approach against the KKK was mockery in public media (I think the article talked about how radio and television shows such as the Lone Ranger introduced storylines not where the KKK were horrific villains, but rather where they were pathetic losers). The later legal efforts against the KKK and other groups were not focusing on criminalizing their speech, I believe it was on other issues
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Bud Martin
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Greg, I live in the South in the heart of KKK country. My family moved here from Illinois just before I was born and lived in Memphis, Tenn. for a while, where I was born and then moved to Alabama. Ten to fifteen years ago, I could drive out in the county and still see KKK signs out in the stix. The KKK lost all of its property, land and assets as payment to a law suite for hate crimes. I think the last one was in 2008 and it was a 2.5 million dollar award, but there were several more before that by other people harmed by the KKK also. It was all in the papers how the hate crime laws had bankrupted the Klan.

Your references about the lone ranger program are from the 1950s-1960s Greg, not the 1990s. Remember, I said after a resurgence of the Klan, well that resurgence happened in 1988-1992. Their Grand Wizard, David Duke tried running for the Presidential nomination of the Democratic Party in 1988 and then for the Republican Party in 1992. He modernized the Klan and started to incorporate them and set up compounds around the South where they could meet and train.

The hate crimes law suits completely bankrupted them and drove them out of business, so to speak. They're still around, but they no longer have 300 acre estates with training facilities to plan their activities and hang out and we never see them or their signs or those stupid hooded fools anymore.

Found it:

quote:
The verdict is expected to shut down the Imperial Klans of America (IKA), which has 16 chapters in eight states. “We intend to collect every dime we can on the judgment and do everything within our power to put the Imperial Klans out of business,” said Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen at a press conference after the verdict announcement.

http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2008/11/15/trial-day-3-update-splc-wins-25-million-verdict-against-klan-group/
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Bud Martin
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quote:
I am completely against murdering for religious reasons, and it is a crime. I am a little less convinced that we should make speech advocating murder for religious reasons a crime (that is - just the speech, independent of whether someone actually commits a crime), and also I have difficulty with the phrase "make a crime". Does that just mean that we want to make a statement against it, or are you considering that the United States actually try to take legal action against those in other countries who "sanction murder for religious reasons". I find that impractical across national borders; it would be a difficult Constitutional and practical issue in the US (would we have to have Courts make judgments about various shades of fanatical speech, and determine while one extremist group is sanctioning murder for religious reasons and is thus committing a crime, this other extremist group is sanctioning murder for racist reasons and thus it is okay). But my biggest problem with this focus is that it is a distraction from the root cause of the problem. If we care about addressing the risks of extremists, we should select strategies not based on how satisfying they feel to us, but rather on the likelihood that they will address the root cause of the problem.
BTW, Hate crimes are already the law in the US Greg; it is a crime to incite to violence already and to incite to murder is just as complicit as being the murderer. How do you think they punished the Blind Cleric from Egypt that was involved in the first World Trade Center bombing?

In that one KKK trial that I referred to, they won their verdict because:

quote:
The jury found that Edwards (the KKK leader) had failed to properly supervise the Klansmen who attacked the teenager and that he had encouraged their violence.
Ok, just forget that international approach then, how about we use the laws on the books already like they were intended. It seems to me that a radical Muslim that committed murder in the US (actually according to those laws it would also include assault or threats that causes mental or physical injury) and was guided and given authorization through a Fatwa to murder or become a martyr, could be found guilty of the same hate crime as the Klansmen were. Then the Mosque where the Cleric and any assets that the Mosque owned (in the case of a sect that had the same beliefs, then all their assets for all of their Mosques in the US could be targeted as the Klansmen around the South were) could be awarded to the victim’s family in a civil lawsuit based on that decision.

In the case of a Jihad, let’s say a Saudi Cleric put out a Fatwa to make Jihad on Jews in the US. A Saudi citizen that was a radicalized Muslim comes from that Mosque in Saudi Arabia; one day he walks into a synagogue in NYC and guns down 10 Jews with an AK47. The families of the men attacked and the Synagogue together could ask the Federal authorities to investigate that as a hate crime.

If the Feds convicted the Muslim that did the shooting or just ruled that it was a hate crime in the case that he was killed, then the relatives, survivors and the Synagogue could sue that sect in Saudi Arabia in absentia and try to put leans on any Mosques in the US that are connected to that Saudi Wahabi sect. I know they have Madras’s in the US, so they could put those out of business real quick.

I think I remember families of the Lockerby bombing of the 747 did that same thing to Libya’s assets in international banks. How about we start there and eliminate their financial assets here in the US first, then we can deal with their international assets.

I’m finding you’re arguments too ethereal Greg. You need to look at the possibilities and your concerns have already been resolved in the Federal courts, hate crimes ARE against the law. Been there Done that years ago. There's no need to talk about shades or borders or the constitution when it's already a LAW.

BTW, the last law suite based on hate crimes that I know of, was in 2008. Didn’t Holder take over in 2009? I’d like to know if the Justice Department has investigated hate crimes by Muslims since Obama has been in office. Yes, they called the attack at FT Hood - workplace violence and still haven't called it terrorism. Oh wait, he tried to charge Sherrif Joe Arpaio with hate crimes and when that didn't work they got him for caging/targeting hispanics as a civil rights violation. He shoulda never tried to look into Obama's birth certificate. [LOL]

Couldn’t the Boston bombing be such a hate crime, if they linked one of the brothers to training camps run by Salafis in Dagastan? Hmmmm!

[ May 29, 2013, 05:01 AM: Message edited by: Bud Martin ]

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Nothing to do with un-PC ness. I just haven't seen an explanation for what is wrong with Islam that is unique to Islam except for the word "something."

Now, of course, I agree that "something wrong" is happening "within Islam." I do not agree that it is an "Islamic" thing, nor that it is confined to Islam. Can you grok the diff? Islam becomes a red herring to a common, universal human condition and psychology.


You've been provided with plenty of evidence to the contrary. At this point I really think you're just sticking by your dogmas for their own sake.


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm not particularly fond of Israel but saying they don't face an existential threat is absurd.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's absurd to say they do. What can happen to Israel that would end its existence? What threat can they not defend themselves against?

The IDF depends on quality but they lack quantity. Egypt alone could put three times as many soldiers in the field as Isreal if both countries called in their reserves.

The palestinains aren't an existential threat themselves, but they're hardly the only threat Israel faces.

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
If the root cause isn't in Islam, the the solution is not in doctrinal issues. Coming up with doctrinal pledges that we are somehow going to try to force on extremists just supports their efforts to paint this as a religious conflict with the US that wants to impose Western values.

I think that the leading root cause is that extremists have been nurtured and are funded by wealthy and powerful elements in the Islamic world because they serve political purposes. Saudi funding of extremism distracts attention from the wealth imbalance in the Arab world; to counter this, encourage domecratization of Arab regimes, and welcome elements like the Muslim Brotherhood being forced into the real world of having to deal with bread prices and government policy. In Iran, don't take actions that make it easy for the extremists to distract the population from urgent domestic issues and instead focus on the perceived aggressiveness of the US and Israel. In Pakistan, recognize that support for the Taliban is a government funded effort to generate support from irregulars who may be useful in conflict with India, and work towards improving relations between India and Pakistan. All boring and slow diplomacy rather than exciting but ultimately counter-productive sab34 rattling.

And what if the root cause is Islam? Think your program will still work? Think maybe we should look into that before we presume that the real American religion, democracy, can cure what ails them?

You have no business talking about what will work in the Middle East if you won't deal with your own taboos first.

[ May 29, 2013, 07:43 AM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
And based on the substantial knowledge we have about Islam as a whole, any assertion that Islam produces more murderers is false. Therefore, we can and should target Islamic extremists, but if we attribute their behavior to Islam as a whole, we are introducing our own bias tto the situation, inserting factually inaccurate opinion in the way of clear focused examination of the true nature of our enemy.
The point that Islam doesn't produce more violence overall doesn't mean that Jihadism isn't rooted in a certain interpretation of Islam. Understanding what those areguments are isn't inserting our bias, it's eliminating a bias.

[ May 29, 2013, 08:04 AM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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AI Wessex
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Anything people have a passionate connection with can lead to emotional excesses. In some people it's extreme piety, in others extreme violence. It's not just religion or fringe groups. In the US some passionate conservatives are almost cult-like in their absolutism. The trick in all cases is to filter from their minds anything that diminishes the intensity of what they are feeling. I imagine that some of the most extreme people are essentially emotional junkies who have found their particular source of inspiration. The calmness the two London attackers seemed to possess just a moment after they committed a horrific murder of a complete stranger on a city street suggests that it gave them that kind of release or gratification.

So blaming Islam for what they did is misplaced. They, like so many others, did it to satisfy an intrinsic need. I don't believe that any murderer who professes a "cause" is really telling the truth. That's why I stick them with the "crazy" label.

[ May 29, 2013, 10:08 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
I don't believe that any murderer who professes a "cause" is really telling the truth.
Then you've willingly accepted a dogma that's going to keep you from having a clear understanding of the world.

Perhaps there's another topic you could explore, because you can't understand terrorism if you think it's crazy.

Terrorism was not invented as a tactic by muslims. Were we talking a little over a hundred years ago the word that would come to mind if I say "terrorist" is anarchist.

To understand Jihadism one has to understand that it is one way to take a religion and make it a political theory.

[ May 29, 2013, 10:19 AM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
And what if the root cause is Islam? Think your program will still work? Think maybe we should look into that before we presume that the real American religion, democracy, can cure what ails them?
If the root cause were Islam, I would agree 100% with responses that attacked the root cause. But there is a huge amount of data that disproves the assertion that Islam is the cause of murders to a greater degree than Christianity or other religions.
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Greg Davidson
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Bud,

I agree with applying hate crime laws against those in the US who are subject to these laws, including Muslims. The only reason why that might have been unclear in my earlier comments is that I made the caveat that there had to be an action involved, it's not just speech in isolation.

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