French Gov't Warns Citizens About Shifty Folks Who Don't Eat Delicious French Baguettes

from the freedom-bread dept

If you've been following along with our coverage on how the French are using the Charlie Hebdo attacks as cover to completely lose their minds, you probably thought it couldn't get any worse than declaring war on the internet and news agencies. It's gotten worse. So, so much worse.

On Wednesday the French government launched a website to counter terrorism in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Its message of national unity, aimed at young people who could be radicalised as well as the general public, quickly made a splash on the internet. The site was liked 17,000 times on Facebook; its official Twitter hashtag (#StopDJihadisme) was used 12,000 times; and a slick video meant to counter jihadist recruiters got over half a million hits. But it didn't take long for sarcasm to emerge. And it was the government's infographic about radicalisation that seemed to catch the internet's attention most of all.
Here's the infographic in all of its glory.
See that image in the upper right-hand corner? You know, the one that looks like a baguette that has been crossed out? Well, it's part of the larger government-inspired fear propaganda that lists out all of the supposedly tell-tale signs that a person you thought was cool has, like, totally gone all Jihad, dude. Those signs include people who have dropped old friendships, withdrawn from their sports teams, or have recently changed the way they dress. You know, teenagers.

But that baguette thing. Boy, that really got the snark rolling.
"The government invites you to be wary of those who do not eat baguettes," said one user, in a theme that was echoed by many others.

Jonathan Russell, Political Liaison Officer at the London-based counter-extremism Quilliam Foundation, told BBC Trending that sarcasm is to be expected when it comes to government-run campaigns. "The general response is that people don't like to be told how to think," he said. "This doesn't mean that those doing the mocking are supportive of extremism. It's more that because it is a centrally run campaign it lacks an element of credibility".
It's more dire than that, actually. People, for all of their failings, recognize government BS when they see it. Much like when older Americans were taught to sit underneath their desks in case of a nuclear strike by those pesky commies, a government that informs its citizens to be on the watch for people who change their dietary habits is equal parts laughable and fully-expected. Because when government tries to do this kind of catch-all "be on the lookout," it almost always does it poorly. Those that can't grasp how silly this kind of thing is, on the other hand, fall victim to the fear-based hysteria.


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  • icon
    Geno0wl (profile), 2 Feb 2015 @ 12:34pm

    Doesn't eat Burgers

    I bet Bob down the street who doesn't eat burgers, HE is one of them...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2015 @ 12:34pm

    Atkin's Diet = Terrorism. I always suspected that.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2015 @ 12:49pm

    The actual translation is just as silly

    It basically says to watch out for those who suddenly change their eating habits.
    (Every New Years Day, millions of American begin to act suspicious.)

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 3 Feb 2015 @ 12:41am

      Re: The actual translation is just as silly

      I stopped going to the cinema so I must be a terrorist!

      The French Government is out of control.

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    • icon
      Sheogorath (profile), 3 Feb 2015 @ 1:29am

      Re: The actual translation is just as silly

      On Thanksgiving and at Christmas, the number of Americans who look suspicious number in the billions.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2015 @ 7:00am

      Re: The actual translation is just as silly

      While I agree that the wording is absolutely ridiculous, I think that the message would be that if you see your buddy who likes shrimp covered bacon cheeseburgers suddenly start eating roasted goat and turning down all bacony goodness then you can be suspicious. I'd be suspicious. Actually, if I ever stop eating things with bacon on them, even for just a few days, someone needs to just kill me. Don't report me, shoot me. That means I've decided to Jihad.

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      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 4 Feb 2015 @ 5:41am

        Re: Re: The actual translation is just as silly

        Next on Techdirt:

        TSAs 'Bacon Sammich Test' In US Airports

        from the terrorist-finder-general dept

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  • identicon
    McDoogle, 2 Feb 2015 @ 12:50pm

    "...because it is a centrally run campaign it lacks an element of credibility".
    No. It lacks credibility because it is an irrational hate campaign.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2015 @ 1:21pm

      Re:

      it is an irrational hate campaign

      No - it lacks credibility because it is aimed at the wrong target.

      It is aimed at the wrong target because it is too scared for spurious "political correctness reasons" to attack the real target - which the teaching revealed in a certain book. If you don't believe me I suggest you go read said book and see what you find there. You could look at ch 9 v 111.

      We are lucky that most of the followers are good people who do not actually read and obey the book.

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      • identicon
        McDoogle, 2 Feb 2015 @ 11:08pm

        Re: Re:

        I don't care for religious nonsense either. But I think the illegal wars of aggression being financed by your tax dollars might have a bit more to do with it than "a certain book".

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2015 @ 2:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If so - why did we never see Serbian Orthodox Terorism in the west?

          We bombed them too remember, and yet it is the people we were supposedly supporting who are attacking us now.

          The excuse of western aggression is a phony one.

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      • identicon
        Just Another Anonymous Troll, 3 Feb 2015 @ 5:02am

        Re: Re:

        I'm guessing you're referring to the Quran. That makes you an asshole. I'm pretty sure that there's some part of the Bible that could be interpreted to say something like "kill all infidels" or something. Feel free to start shooting your mouth off about how Christians are evil or need to be banned or whatnot. Please return to the Yahoo News comment section where you can rejoin your primitive tribe of Muslim-bashers.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2015 @ 7:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm guessing you're referring to the Quran. That makes you an asshole.
          No it doesn't - but in any case I note youor not offering any arguments to support your baseless assertion - and you haven't even tried to see if there are any.

          I'm pretty sure that there's some part of the Bible that could be interpreted to say something like "kill all infidels" or something.

          You would have more credibility here if you actually quoted one.

          Actually there aren't any in the New Testament and insofar as they exist in the Old Testament the New Testament supercedes them.

          The New Testament says "Love your Enemies". I challenge you to find anything equivalent in the Quran.

          The violent verses inthe Quran are not just capable of "being interpreted" they are really hard to interpret any other way. Also, in general, they were revealed after the more peaceful verses and therefore represent the final word on the subject.

          your primitive tribe of Muslim-bashers

          I'm not bashing Muslims I'm pointing out the problems in the Quran. Muslims are the biggest victims of the Quran. If anything I'm trying to rescue them - where as you are happy for them to continue to be oppressed - especially the women.

          If you stud the subject properly you will find that I am right.

          Here is a piece you should read:

          http://www.faithfreedom.org/?p=2694

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          • identicon
            Just Another Anonymous Troll, 3 Feb 2015 @ 4:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No it doesn't - but in any case I note youor not offering any arguments to support your baseless assertion - and you haven't even tried to see if there are any.
            You're an asshole because you're more or less saying that the Quran is evil. Most people agree that much of the Christian bible is outdated and don't follow its practices, such as stoning to death for adultery. No one would consider the Bible evil, but it does have much of the same stuff.
            You would have more credibility here if you actually quoted one.
            Exodus 20:22. You're welcome.
            The violent verses inthe Quran are not just capable of "being interpreted" they are really hard to interpret any other way. Also, in general, they were revealed after the more peaceful verses and therefore represent the final word on the subject.
            If it doesn't flat-out say "kill all infidels" it's open to interpretation. That's why we have so many lawyers. Also, why exactly does printing something later in the book make it somehow supercede everything else?
            I'm not bashing Muslims I'm pointing out the problems in the Quran. Muslims are the biggest victims of the Quran. If anything I'm trying to rescue them - where as you are happy for them to continue to be oppressed - especially the women.
            Lo and behold, a strawman. I never said that I agreed with all the practices of the Quran, and I'm pretty sure there's some sexist passages in the Bible too. Please explain how insulting their holy book on the Internet is rescuing them.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 3:33am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You're an asshole because you're more or less saying that the Quran is evil
              That is a statement of fact - true or false.

              I may be right or wrong. If I am right then I cannot be an asshole.

              If I am an Asshole then so was Arthur Schopenhauer

              Consider the Koran, for example; this wretched book was sufficient to start a world-religion, to satisfy the metaphysical need of countless millions for twelve hundred years, to become the basis of their morality and of a remarkable contempt for death, and also to inspire them to bloody wars and the most extensive conquests. In this book we find the saddest and poorest form of theism. Much may be lost in translation, but I have not been able to discover in it one single idea of value

              and a lot of other famous people

              http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Quotations_on_Islam_from_Notable_Non-Muslims

              If it doesn't flat-out say "kill all infidels"

              Problem is - it does!

              Also, why exactly does printing something later in the book make it somehow supercede everything else?

              Because that is what the Koran itself says!

              and I'm pretty sure there's some sexist passages in the Bible too.

              But I can't be bothered to look and actually find one.

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              • identicon
                Just Another Anonymous Troll, 4 Feb 2015 @ 6:37am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                That is a statement of fact - true or false.
                A holy text cannot be inherently evil unless it blatantly advocates for inherently evil acts. Due to the relativity of evil, this is difficult to prove. You made the statement, outright or implied, that the Quran is evil, and therefore the burden of proof is on you.
                If I am an Asshole then so was Arthur Schopenhauer
                That just makes you a pair of assholes. Just because famous people agree with you doesn't make them, or you, right.
                Problem is - it does!
                [citation needed]
                Because that is what the Koran itself says!
                [more citations needed]
                But I can't be bothered to look and actually find one.
                1 Timothy 2:12, in which the saint says: "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, she must be silent." There you go. You'll get no more citations from me until you reciprocate in kind.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 11:39am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  A holy text cannot be inherently evil unless it blatantly advocates for inherently evil acts. Due to the relativity of evil, this is difficult to prove. You made the statement, outright or implied, that the Quran is evil, and therefore the burden of proof is on you.

                  Quran 8:12
                  Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them."
                  9:5But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
                  9:29 29 Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

                  Re Abrogation
                  2:6 None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?

                  and 16:101
                  When We substitute one revelation for another, and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages), they say, "Thou art but a forger": but most of them understand not.
                  RE your verse from 1 Timothy - this may reflect social norms of the era - but does not reflect any underlying disrespect for women - see Romans 16:1
                  I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:

                  2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.

                  Compare that with the list of islamic material on the subject to be found here

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2015 @ 8:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Let's take the date back to 1934 and see how your comment might have looked then.

          I'm guessing you're referring to Mein Kmapf. That makes you an asshole. I'm pretty sure that there's some part of the Bible that could be interpreted to say something like "kill all Jews" or something. Feel free to start shooting your mouth off about how Christians are evil or need to be banned or whatnot. Please return to the Daily Chronical Letter pages where you can rejoin your primitive tribe of German-bashers.

          Godwin Rules!

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          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Feb 2015 @ 8:53am

            No-one ever actually READ Mein Kampf

            Since Goebbels essentially jotted it down from Hitler's ramblings as he paced his prison cell, it's not exactly the most structured work, and is certainly not easy reading.

            Taking another example the bible is full of terrible passages that call for violence or advocate slavery or suggest that certain kinds of people or activities are verboten for arbitrary reasons. And people practice terror (that is, killing people or blowing up shit) citing the bible as inspiration with relative frequency as well.

            Once we filter down the issue on the basis of a small number of the population is just that crazy and will seize on an opportunity to rampage out, it comes down to real-world political and human issues. The recruitment side of terror is fueled by the misery they're in, which is, in turn, fueled by the fact that the West (the US and friends) likes to bomb the fuck out of them.

            Historically, left alone, or inundated with Western culture, they're just as happy to eat their bread and watch their circuses as the rest of us. But so long as we equivocate national interests with corporate interests (typically big oil), they're going to have a long of young horny men eager to believe in a heaven of houri if they could just die for a worthy cause.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2015 @ 1:11pm

              Re: No-one ever actually READ Mein Kampf

              No-one ever actually READ Mein Kampf

              Just like the Quran then!
              Since it is in (old) Arabic and translation is discouraged many Muslims (from the more populous islamic countries like Malaysia) just recite the verses without understanding what they are saying.

              Since Goebbels essentially jotted it down from Hitler's ramblings as he paced his prison cell, it's not exactly the most structured work, and is certainly not easy reading.

              Swap Uthman for Goebbels and you've pretty much got the Quran too there. Likewise it is not an easy read. It is not presented in anything like the order it was written in and contains much repetition.

              Taking another example the bible is full of terrible passages that call for violence or advocate slavery or suggest that certain kinds of people or activities are verboten for arbitrary reasons.

              A gross exaggeration of reality that seems to be a kneejerk "tu quoque" response whenever this issue is raised. There is none of that in the New Testament. Even in the Old Testament most of the violent passages are descriptions of events rather than calls to action.

              Also, from a Christian point of view the Old Testament must be interpreted in the light of the words of Christ. In particular we have Matthew 7:12
              "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."

              And people practice terror (that is, killing people or blowing up shit) citing the bible as inspiration with relative frequency as well.


              I really have to call you out on that one "Citation Needed".

              Also anyone doing that would be in blatant violation of the injunction from Matthew 5

              "43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

              44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"

              The recruitment side of terror is fueled by the misery they're in, which is, in turn, fueled by the fact that the West (the US and friends) likes to bomb the fuck out of them.

              We "bombed the fuck" out of the Serbs as well - so where are the Serbian terrorists?

              The 9/11 hijackers were wealthy Saudi Arabians - what did we do to make the Saudis miserable?

              Historically, left alone, or inundated with Western culture, they're just as happy to eat their bread and watch their circuses as the rest of us.

              Historically left alone they blazed a trail of conquest across the middle east, north Africa and much of Asia, pretty much wiped out the (relatively peaceful) Zoroastrian religion, reduced Eastern Christianity to servitude and took over formerly Buddhist and Hindu areas by force.

              It did look for a while as if the attraction of western culture would undermine them - and I still hope it will - but recent events are making that look less likely.

              BTW do not get me wrong here. It is only the ideology that is a problem - the people are like people everywhere. If they can be detached from the ideology then they will be just as happy to eat their bread and watch their circuses as the rest of us. Most of them historically belonged to another tradition anyway - but islam is very determined to wipe out other cultures whenever it can (witness the taliban blowing up the ancient, irreplaceable, Buddhas)

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              • icon
                Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Feb 2015 @ 2:45pm

                Re: Re: No-one ever actually READ Mein Kampf

                I'm not perfectly up on my biblical passages, but world history is rife with people taking a page from the old testament when they need to justify one of their own atrocities. Even the US institution of slavery was argued during the rise of abolitionism as being biblically sanctioned. In more recent times Bush was advised from his own pastors that Operation Iraqi Freedom was a just war, though I don't know which passages they were citing. And, indeed many other advisors from many walks disagreed with that assertion. In the meantime, the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in 1996, the actions of the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda, the Troubles in Northern Ireland, The Sabra and Shatila massacre of 1982 and so on. I'm willing to give benefit of the doubt that most Christians are peaceful. But some aren't. It's the same way with Muslims.

                But if we look at how Christian scripture has been interpreted historically, Christians have often found justification for their belligerence or expansionism or crimes against humanity based in the good book(s). Much like Randian Objectivism or Social Darwinism, there's danger in trusting ideology blind without rational consideration.

                My point wasn't necessarily to say that Christians are violent as well, but that any religious text has to be parsed and interpreted and the cherries pitted. And violent passages in the Koran don't necessarily lead to violent practice of the faith. It really depends on the group and their intent. The general ideology they choose will bend.

                The 9/11 attacks were organized by one rich Saudi and even he acknowledged that the attacks were far more successful than he expected. Even then, they were much more like the Doolittle Raid than the Hiroshima Bombing that we tend to regard it as. His mujahideen were from various walks.

                "Western Culture" also blazed its trails across much of the globe, both before and after the Ottoman Empire. (And then there's Atilla and Alexander.) And the Church was eager to take the torch to artistic works that were hethen in nature, or bury it in its own vaults.

                You seem a) in a fightin' mood, and b) eager to believe only what you want to believe, so I'm going to leave the research up to you...or not, and live in ignorance if you wish. If you can't bother to look up the history yourself, no links from me, even to Wikipedia, are going to sway you.

                In the meantime, there are more liberal versions of Islam gaining in popularity and all we have to do is not send NATO in on some interventionist objective. The young people just want their XBoxes and MTV and have since the 90s. There were many more -- the true enemy against which the Taliban rose, not us -- but many of them fell to American bombing raids.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2015 @ 4:09pm

                  Re: Re: Re: No-one ever actually READ Mein Kampf

                  My point wasn't necessarily to say that Christians are violent as well, but that any religious text has to be parsed and interpreted and the cherries pitted. And violent passages in the Koran don't necessarily lead to violent practice of the faith. It really depends on the group and their intent. The general ideology they choose will bend.


                  Yes people will try to adapt their religion to justify their own actions or beliefs held for other reasons. So "Christians" will pretend that Christianity can justify violence - when the life of Christ and the first 300 or so years of Christianity clearly show otherwise and Moslems will claim that their religion is peaceful when the life of their prophet and the first 300 years of his religion clearly shows that it isn't.

                  The Pope has apologised for the crusades, Western governments have apologised for colonial excesses but islam has never apologised for the conquest of the Persian and Byzantine empires or its other possessions - which it still holds on to.

                  You work very hard to prove that the situation is somehow symmetrical between the two faiths but it clearly isn't.

                  Universally in islamic countries you risk your life if you openly abandon your religion - and this comes directly from the Koran. The Koran contains many unmistakeable direct injunctions to violence - to construct a peaceful or "liberal" islam you would have to get rid of most of the Koran and all of Mohammed. What would you be left with?

                  Anone who succeeds in constructing such a version will be persecuted violently by mainstream islam. Just ask the Bahais in Iran or the Ahmadis in Pakistan (both attempts to create a peaceful Islam).

                  People who hold the opinions you have just ptofessed are regarded by the islamists as "useful idiots" (a phrase invented by Lenin) because you provide a degree of intellectual cover for their activities.

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                  • icon
                    Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Feb 2015 @ 6:00pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: No-one ever actually READ Mein Kampf

                    I don't think the first 300 years of Christianity was as peaceful as you imagine it to be. And the pope can apologize all he wants for the past attrocities of the Church, but policies at the pulpit continue to modernize at a glacial pace.

                    I may serve as a "useful idiot" for Islam in this case, but that is because I believe freedom to practice religion should extend to all faiths, no matter how odious they might be to someone else. Be it Islam, satanism, Mormonism, neo-paganism, new-agism or whatever. Here in the US, the more outspoken self-acclaimed representatives of Christendom take easy offense at other practices, so I am practiced at being wary when someone decries someone else's right to self-expression.

                    To be fair, based on observed behavior of Christians whether online, or in media, or at the polls, I find them as odious a population (at least!) as you find that of Islam. I take offense when people inflict on others any religious-based policy, whether shariah, mosaic or biblical.

                    Fortunately for the faithful, they are not subject to the fury of my outrage. And as repulsive as parishoners might be to me, I still think they should be allowed to practice as they wish.

                    So for my purposes, the situation is symmetrical enough. The minute you say that one religion (or really, one ideology) is AOK but another must be banished, you are advocating a social inequality I would find indefensible.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 4:05am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No-one ever actually READ Mein Kampf

                      I don't think the first 300 years of Christianity was as peaceful as you imagine it to be.

                      Once again I think evidence is required here.

                      I believe freedom to practice religion should extend to all faiths

                      Unfortunately Islam does not believe that - and that is the problem. Try taking a Bible to Saudi Arabia.

                      o I am practiced at being wary when someone decries someone else's right to self-expression.


                      I'm not denying anyone's right to dself expression. I'm just expressing my opinions. The problem here is that where islam has political power those opinions would put me in danger. cf the recent jailing of the Saudi blogger.

                      To be fair, based on observed behavior of Christians whether online, or in media, or at the polls, I find them as odious a population (at least!) as you find that of Islam. I take offense when people inflict on others any religious-based policy, whether shariah, mosaic or biblical.

                      Tell me what you find odious then. Where is the Christian equivalent of IS, or Boko Haram or the Somali pirates or Al qaeda or the Iranian mullahs or the Barbary Pirates or the Dhimmi status of Eastern Christians under islam? How many people did Jesus kill compared to Mohammed?

                      The minute you say that one religion (or really, one ideology) is AOK but another must be banished,

                      I never said banished - I said challenged to open and public debate as opposed to being flattered whilst denigrating our own traditions.

                      So for my purposes, the situation is symmetrical enough.

                      When that is the premise from which you begin and no evidence can stand in the way.

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                      • icon
                        Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 11:32am

                        The ongoing and increasingly banal religious debate

                        Again, do your own research. If I listed incidents, I expect you to ignore them as you did last time.

                        In the meantime, try practicing neo-paganism in Kentucky. In a nation that allegedly promises freedom of religion you'd find the community inhospitable there, possibly your kids seized and likely your family run out of town. The jailing of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in Oregon, essentially for leading a Buddhist "cult" demonstrates that our own tolerance for alien faiths has been less than we suppose. Many of our representatives like to interpret the first amendment to say you have the right to practice whatever version of Christianity you want (so long as they regard it as a version of Christianity, excluding for instance, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses,

                        You can't say what Islam believes. You can't say what Islam would do given political power. You can say what a given Muslim believes or would do in office. Christianity, when the behaviors of specific representatives is generalized to represent the faith, does not hold a very good record either. And many US representatives, if they had their way, would decriminalize attacks on non-Christians who expressed their opinions.

                        You don't seem to want to challenge Islam to public debate. You seem to want to judge the entire faith based on the position of a given set of extremists, and to preclude them from participation in society on the premise that they might like to invoke privilege for fellow Muslims over non-Muslims. I'm saying that whatever regulations that we use to curb them should apply to all religious faiths, or none.

                        Christians have long, long overreached the privilege of their faith, secularism is fought at every step. They wouldn't defang Muslim ambition if it meant losing their own political teeth as well.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 12:36pm

                          Re: The ongoing and increasingly banal religious debate

                          In the meantime,...excluding for instance, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses,

                          I don't feel the need to answer for every single excess of American Protestantism (or Roman Catholicism for that matter) - but I can say that nothing in the new testament justifies that.

                          You can't say what Islam believes. You can't say what Islam would do given political power.

                          I can talk about what it actually does where it has political power and what its followers announce that they believe.

                          You need to look at what happens in the middle east, Pakistan and Malaysia.

                          Christians have long, long overreached the privilege of their faith, secularism is fought at every step. They wouldn't defang Muslim ambition if it meant losing their own political teeth as well.

                          Personally I am happy not to have any formal political status for Christianity - although I think it would be sad to lose our cultural heritage - which is partly pagan anyway.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 1:17pm

                          Re: The ongoing and increasingly banal religious debate

                          In the meantime, try practicing neo-paganism in Kentucky. In a nation that allegedly promises freedom of religion you'd find the community inhospitable there, possibly your kids seized and likely your family run out of town. The jailing of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in Oregon, essentially for leading a Buddhist "cult"
                          I can't find any evidence about the Kentucky situation - however I note that the Oregon one was precipitated by a planning dispute and involved attempts to corrupt officials and more than one instance of attempted murder - so hardly a persecution of the religion itself.

                          You don't seem to want to challenge Islam to public debate. You seem to want to judge the entire faith based on the position of a given set of extremists, and to preclude them from participation in society on the premise that they might like to invoke privilege for fellow Muslims over non-Muslims.

                          No I do want to have a debate. The problem in the west is that so many people assume that "Islam must be just the same as Christianity/Buddhism/etc" (whether that is good or bad) without bothering to actually check. I used to think that way. As a Christian I had a bit of a look at other religions (eg Buddhism) and found things that chimed as consistent with Christianity or general humanism (in the original sense). I used to assume that islam was basically similar. Like many people I thought that the bad bits one might observewere just "cultural". When I looked and found what was actually there I was shocked.

                          The only person I would judge the faith by is Mohammed.

                          I'm saying that whatever regulations that we use to curb them should apply to all religious faiths, or none.

                          and I would absolutely agree with you. The only war I would fight with islam would be a holy war - by which I mean a war fought only with holy weapons of peaceful persuasion and truth. The problem these days is that our politicians are too sensitive to use those weapons but not sensitive enough to avoid using the other sort.

                          I am all in favour of open debate between all religions and none - with no holds barred. I don't want blasphemy laws for anyone. I believe that Christianity will survive that debate. I believe that Islam cannot. I think that those in power in islamic countries tacitly understand that - otherwise they would not ban the Bible or imprison bloggers.

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                            Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 1:44pm

                            Re: Re: The ongoing and increasingly banal religious debate

                            The problem in the west is that so many people assume that "Islam must be just the same as Christianity/Buddhism/etc"

                            Correction, we (or at least I, and Jefferson) would regard Islam the same way we regard Christianity or Buddhism or any other religion, perhaps as a guideline by which to conduct ourselves, but by no means cause to dictate how others should behave.

                            Incidentally, George W. Bush could have shaken the pillars of history and wowed the world with the power of Christian virtue by forgiving Bin Laden and the Taliban in the name of Christ for the 9/11 attacks. It might have been unpopular in the US at the time, but it would have been truer to his faith that he allegedly considered when seeking to attack Iraq. Rare is the incident in which religion has influence politics for the better. Generally, it seems scripture of any sort is a justification to separate us from them and justify violence.

                            So the way I see it, it really doesn't matter what an ideology might suggest is the correct course of action, we as a species are skilled to a fault to seek out and utilize ideologies to further selfish or instinctual ends at the expense of commons and progress. Whether they consult the Koran to justify their ill-behavior, or Atlas Shrugged, or the Communist Manifesto, to me they're just being willfully stupid and ill-behaved.

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                              Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2015 @ 7:08am

                              Re: Re: Re: The ongoing and increasingly banal religious debate

                              Correction, we (or at least I, and Jefferson) would regard Islam the same way we regard Christianity or Buddhism or any other religion, perhaps as a guideline by which to conduct ourselves, but by no means cause to dictate how others should behave.

                              And here you have the problem: Muslims don't think that way, as Jefferson found out when he encountered Islam. This is what happened:
                              In reference to the Islamic slave trade of Americans and Europeans by the Barbary states, Jefferson asked Tripoli's envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman, by what right he extorted money and took slaves in this way. He answered:

                              The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.

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                                Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2015 @ 7:12am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: The ongoing and increasingly banal religious debate

                                It's all very well regarding all religions as personal rules of life but when one of them won't play ball with that, as a matter of fundamental doctrine, then you have a problem.

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                                  Uriel-238 (profile), 5 Feb 2015 @ 12:12pm

                                  When others won't play ball...

                                  We've always had this problem. Islam is not an exception, they just haven't yet gotten the memo.

                                  And nor have many sects of Christianity within the United States.

                                  The way that Muslim interests are going to change their tune is the same way that the Church changed its tune, or that the waring Catholics and Anglicans in England changed their tune: when it becomes more beneficial for a group to tolerate the wierdos, either via the benefit of trade or the threat of war, they invariably do.

                                  The generational trend of Islamic societies to modernize and liberalize (exactly what spurned the Taliban response) indicates that Muslims are as adaptable as Catholics (regardless of whether Islam is as immovable as the Church). It's a conflict that they are sorting out.

                                  Of course it's not in a vacuum. Trade with the west becomes a bitter pill if our moguls are trying to cheat them the way they're trying to cheat the west via the TPP. I suspect ushering the middle east's society into the twenty-first century would be easier if companies weren't busy trying to establish monopolies in their communities so that they can fleece them of all their wealth (they way do to us here in the US).

                                  Put more plainly, if we didn't have so many western influences behaving like fucktards, and Muslim interests still refused to deal fairly with western trade because we're the infidels, then I'd reconsider that maybe the Koran is intrinsically dangerous (or more dangerous than other texts regarded as sacred scripture, such as the bible). But there are enough pedestrian reasons for them to hate the west, that we don't need to blame it on their holy book: They hate us because we're jerks, not because we're infidels.

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                                    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2015 @ 6:20am

                                    Re: When others won't play ball...

                                    The generational trend of Islamic societies to modernize and liberalize (exactly what spurned the Taliban response) indicates that Muslims are as adaptable as Catholics (regardless of whether Islam is as immovable as the Church). It's a conflict that they are sorting out.

                                    A large part of what enabled Christianity to liberalise was going back to the sources and clearing away the structures that had been built to enhance the power of church leaders.

                                    If you do the same with Islam then you end up with Mohammed. Unfortunately he was a genocidal warlord - so if you go back to him you get ISIS. How can you have Islam without believing that he was divinely inspired?

                                    What the moderate muslim world has done is to wallpaper over these inconvenient facts and pretend they aren't true. When you do that you always run the risk of somebody stripping away the wallpaper. This is what ISIS has done.

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                            Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 2:30pm

                            Banning the bible and imprisoning bloggers

                            Such deeds have been typical in states with established religions. We've only in the modern era figured out that we want a freer nation than that.

                            But Christian nations are notorious for banning scripture they don't agree with, or those who speak about denominations that do not conform to the official platform.

                            It was discussed in a previous TD article how the US once had the moral high ground. We may never have been the shining city on the hill but during the cold war it was clear we were trying to be. And when the torture and surveillance revelations surfaced, we lost all of that.

                            Whether we're talking Pakistan, Syria or Saudi Arabia, yes, agreed, they're savage nations with savage laws and do savage things. But now, so are we. And that we once aspired to be less savage is lost, so all our numerous wars between Catholics and Lutherans, between Catholics and Anglicans, are there to haunt us, and remind us that we are no different.

                            It's not our place to throw the first stone.

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                              Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2015 @ 7:44am

                              Re: Banning the bible and imprisoning bloggers

                              Such deeds have been typical in states with established religions. We've only in the modern era figured out that we want a freer nation than that.

                              Yes but we HAVE figured it out.

                              It was discussed in a previous TD article how the US once had the moral high ground. We may never have been the shining city on the hill but during the cold war it was clear we were trying to be. And when the torture and surveillance revelations surfaced, we lost all of that.

                              I think even "trying" is a bit strong. "Pretending" would be nearer the mark. Remember Joe McCarthy.

                              In all of history rulers and governments, even the better ones have failed the moral test over and over again. From a Christian perspective they have failed miserably to live up to the example and teachings of Jesus (as we all have).

                              My problem with Islam is that they have done all the same things - and yet in their perspective they have succeeded brilliantly at living up to the example of their prophet.

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                                Uriel-238 (profile), 5 Feb 2015 @ 12:42pm

                                "Living up to the example of their prophet."

                                Man does not live on living up to the example of his prophet alone. The fact that Islamic nations have to suppress free speech indicates that there is discontent that cannot be directed at the alleged enemies of Islam.

                                It took us centuries to figure out freedom of religion, and we still haven't done so entirely, which is why we have US representatives who still argue that this is a Christian nation, and not a secular one.

                                (We still have some public schools that mandate prayer and religious testing, against national law. And we have some schools who will punish a child for bringing his own bible to school, on grounds that it's religious text. We're kinda stupid that way.)

                                Regarding the Red Scare, or even Japanese Internment, there was a point during the 70s and 80s that the people were hoping these were mistakes we could learn from and not repeat. In retrospect from the Bush era, we've realized that no, despite all our efforts to learn and civilize we're still the savage ape, roaring and red-handed. But we've even gone to the point of trying to justify our savagery.

                                It's one thing for some officers running a prison camp to start a torture program. It's another thing for it to be continued and expanded once it is discovered by superiors. It's another thing still for citizens and representatives to now decide that torture is justified because 9/11 and terrorism.

                                Considering the failed morality of this nation, I can't see how we're in a place to judge the morality of another one, whether defined by territory or religious identity. Adversaries, maybe. Inferiors? Laughably no.

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                                  Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2015 @ 6:05am

                                  Re: "Living up to the example of their prophet."

                                  Considering the failed morality of this nation, I can't see how we're in a place to judge the morality of another one, whether defined by territory or religious identity. Adversaries, maybe. Inferiors? Laughably no.

                                  Well I'm not from your nation but:

                                  Can we judge the behaviour of others? Of course not - in fact the Bible says "Judge not" (lest you yourself be judged)

                                  Can we critique the published rules by which they claim to conduct themselves. Well yes otherwise there could be no moral progress in the world. I would (for example) say that the continuing use of the death penalty in America is wrong - and inferior to the rules that prevail in Europe on that issue. Is it politically incorrect or intolerant to say that?

                                  That does not of course mean that the practice of European couintries always lives up to the ideal - it doesn't. There are cases where people have been deported back to countries where they risked execution. However one must be able to make judgements about the rules.

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                                    Uriel-238 (profile), 6 Feb 2015 @ 11:55am

                                    Living up to any example.

                                    Right now, neither the US nor Europe are living up to any ideal. All the nations are eagerly riding the surveillance train. France completely doesn't understand the point of freedom of speech, and Intellectual Property issues are a terrible Gordian knot. The US is actively torturing and monitoring civilians without probable cause, which puts us deep into dystopia territory and have failed at being an example to follow. I can't speak for your nation.

                                    Critique all you want, but no-one has to listen to you. And no-one will if you fail to admit the problems in your own backyard. Or without recognizing that the path from how things are to how things should be is a long, windy, convoluted process.

                                    Human civilization has problems. Islam and its propensity for radicalism and terror is a symptom, and not even a symptom unique to Islam. And the last message we need to hear right now is the same old us vs. them bullshit on which so many commenters rely. If you like the internet and smartphones and fresh fruit year around and air travel then you forgo the privilege of a small society. We're all on the same team -- even those people you despise the most -- we win or lose together.

                                    Muslims have the right to practice that everyone else does. It's their duty and responsibility to parse and cull their own bullshit out of their behavior, specifically in those cases where the society's values of reciprocity, care and protection prevail. If they fail to do so, this doesn't make them bad for being Muslim, it makes them bad for criminally transgressing on the rights of others. e.g. A guy who forces his wife to wear a burqa (when she doesn't want to) isn't wrong for being a Muslim, he's wrong for inflicting his will on his wife, his justification for it notwithstanding. It's his job to reconcile his own belief system with the laws of the community and the liberties guaranteed by it.

                                    At least that would be the case in an ideal state that actually practices freedom of religion. Given that the US doesn't (and again, I can't speak for your country), we may ban speech and even thought before this is done, and torture crimethinkers just because. As a cynic, I'm pretty sure that there's little tie left between what should happen and what will happen.

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                                      Anonymous Coward, 8 Feb 2015 @ 2:44pm

                                      Re: Living up to any example.

                                      Right now, neither the US nor Europe are living up to any ideal. All the nations are eagerly riding the surveillance train. France completely doesn't understand the point of freedom of speech, and Intellectual Property issues are a terrible Gordian knot. The US is actively torturing and monitoring civilians without probable cause, which puts us deep into dystopia territory and have failed at being an example to follow. I can't speak for your nation.

                                      Yes I would agree with you on all of that - and add some comments about my own country too.

                                      Critique all you want, but no-one has to listen to you. And no-one will if you fail to admit the problems in your own backyard.
                                      Admitting your own problems is of course central to Christian doctrines. (1 Timothy 1:15).

                                      Or without recognizing that the path from how things are to how things should be is a long, windy, convoluted process.

                                      Unlikely that we can get there - our own responsibility is just to do what we can in our own lives - and try to avoid being a negative!


                                      If you like the internet and smartphones and fresh fruit year around and air travel then you forgo the privilege of a small society. We're all on the same team -- even those people you despise the most -- we win or lose together.

                                      Who said anything about despising people? I certainly didn't. This is not about people - it is about ideas.

                                      Muslims have the right to practice that everyone else does. It's their duty and responsibility to parse and cull their own bullshit out of their behavior, specifically in those cases where the society's values of reciprocity, care and protection prevail. If they fail to do so, this doesn't make them bad for being Muslim, it makes them bad for criminally transgressing on the rights of others. e.g. A guy who forces his wife to wear a burqa (when she doesn't want to) isn't wrong for being a Muslim, he's wrong for inflicting his will on his wife, his justification for it notwithstanding. It's his job to reconcile his own belief system with the laws of the community and the liberties guaranteed by it.

                                      All very fair - but here is the problem. I agree with you but Muslims (who follow their faith) don't. Even in a so called "moderate" country like Malaysia a government minister said
                                      "This (Insulting Islam) is the result of a string of views that perceive Islam in a liberal, plural sense and the teachings which see religion as an individual’s right which has no relation to other parties."


                                      The problem is that you are playing a game with a set of rules that ultimately goes back to the new testament (with perhaps so Greco-Roman philosophy mixed in). Islam does not play by those rules. Unfortunately most prominent politicians insist on pretending that it does. See the problem? Now most Muslims are nominal and don't study their faith. They also believe the official version that is taught in moderate mosques. In the present situation the only people who find out what is really in there are those who become extremists. This state of affairs results in a steady increase in the number of extremists.

                                      All I want is for the truth to be more widely known. If that happens then most moderates will be revulsed and leave. In simple terms Mohammed IS Islam. Look at his life story as recounted in the official texts (not modern sugar coated apologies) an compare it with IS.

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                                        Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Feb 2015 @ 4:04pm

                                        It's older than Rome. It's older than Mesopotamia. It's older than humankind.

                                        I would have to disagree with you: Creating a better society is not about ideas but about people. Following the trains of thought that James Madison and Robert Howard, we are not self-governing angels, but beasts who occasionally have moments of grace, of rationality. And it was our failure to recognize that people cannot help but spite that is partly the failure of the alleged melting pot that is the United States.

                                        The ethic of reciprocity is far, far older than the new testament, or the old one, or any known religious text. Reciprocity is the backbone of society and goes as far to include all social mammals and many fish and fowl and countless other creatures. Islam recognizes reciprocity, but like the Hebrew faith (and like middle-ages and modern Christianity) it is limited only to their own kind. Reciprocity applied to an entire nation comes from the dawn of nations, when we changed from affiliating with our liege lord to affiliating with our flag and nation. (We still see the dregs of feudalism in the bible, such as Hebrews 13:17. Still think we should trust our leaders and submit to their authority?)

                                        It should matter whether or not a Muslim agrees with the laws of the state, just so long as he follows them. Again, a murderer who kills in the name of his faith is no better, and should be treated no better than a murderer who kills for his own gain. This may mean that like Muslims in the US, those that remain identify more as Americans than as Muslims. All the kids are entitled to think whatever thoughts they want. But they all must still play nice at recess. In a working state, the radicals cull themselves out by engaging in radical behavior. (In a failing state we have no means to determine what is radical behavior -- which is why we avoid letting our states fail). And to be fair, Muslims aren't the only kids thinking radical thoughts.

                                        You say that you want the truth to be widely known. Truth comes down to the facts: events that take place that are observed and recorded. Beyond that, we have hypotheses as to why certain events look similar. Myself, I don't see much difference between terrorism by Muslims, or terrorism by Irish Catholics or terrorism by Anti-abortionists, or terrorism by Anti-government militiamen.

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                                          Anonymous Coward, 9 Feb 2015 @ 2:47am

                                          Re: It's older than Rome. It's older than Mesopotamia. It's older than humankind.

                                          . Myself, I don't see much difference between terrorism by Muslims, or terrorism by Irish Catholics or terrorism by Anti-abortionists, or terrorism by Anti-government militiamen.

                                          That seems true on the surface - but then you might not see the differnce between fire in a pile of paper, fire in a pool of petrol, fire in an electical transformer and fire in a lump of titanium that is being machined. However it is vital to use the correct extinguisher in each case - otherwise you have a bigger b problem than what you started with.

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                                            Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Feb 2015 @ 12:35pm

                                            A metaphor isn't going to help in this case.

                                            Firstly, all circumstances in which terrorism nucleates are complicated. Secondly, the situation is aggravated by our respective governments declaring terrorism specifically to suit their advantages. If a population center is bombed killing dozens of civilians, why would it be terror if the bomb was hand delivered by suicide bomber, but not terror if it was delivered by an air-dropped, laser-guided delivery system? Were those casualties better informed or treated kinder by the airplane delivery?

                                            Your fire analogy is, in this case, inappropriate. Especially since all belligerents on alleged non-terror sides are eager to fuel the fire.

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                                          Anonymous Coward, 9 Feb 2015 @ 2:55am

                                          Re: It's older than Rome. It's older than Mesopotamia. It's older than humankind.

                                          The ethic of reciprocity is far, far older than the new testament, or the old one, or any known religious text.

                                          and that is acknowledged in those texts - however the teaching of Jesus goes beyond reciprocity.


                                          Truth comes down to the facts: events that take place that are observed and recorded.

                                          Exactly the same truths that I want to be made known. The history of the middle east from 600-1700 for example. Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.

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                  Richard (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 12:21pm

                  Re: Re: Re: No-one ever actually READ Mein Kampf

                  Even the US institution of slavery was argued during the rise of abolitionism as being biblically sanctioned.

                  But the motivation for abolition came from Christianity (Newton, Wilberforce etc).
                  Islam on the other hand officially approves slavery and the religious leaders protested when western pressure forced abolition inthe 19th century.

                  "Western Culture" also blazed its trails across much of the globe, both before and after the Ottoman Empire.

                  Western culture is not Christianity. Christianity includes all the eastern churches from Russia down through the middle east to Ethiopia and across to Kerala in India. Sadly these churches have themselves often suffered from "Western Culture" and continue to suffer today from the fallout of western adventurism.

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                    Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 2:47pm

                    "Western culture is not Christianity."

                    Christianity includes roughly forty thousand denominations, before you get to "non-denominational" churches that have their own specific statements of faith.

                    One could easily search for parishes until they found one that fit the point they were trying to make, whether that Christianity is peaceful and civilized or barbaric and warlike. Even Rome only affirmed the notion that our culture is superior to theirs and that others will (or should be) thankful that we conquered them. On the other hand, running water, paved roads and widespread literacy are strong arguing points.

                    And to be fair, every corner of the world has its expansionist bits. Attila was Mongol. Alexander was Hellenic. Despite Saint Augustine or the great commission, Christianity hardly invented the notion of conquest, whether by military or cultural means.

                    My point was not that Christians are bastards, but that we're all bastards, whether Christian, Muslim, heathen or even secularist (Look at social-Darwinism and Randian objectivism for secular ideologies that run afoul). It's not that I trust Islam, quite the contrary, I don't trust anyone.

                    But if I'm expected by my society to respect others' Christian faith, I find it hypocritical of them to refuse to respect the faith of Muslims. And moral watchdogs long since lost their credibility about dangerous culture when they started looking for back-masked satanic messages in Led Zeppelin.

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                      Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 2:49pm

                      Re: "Western culture is not Christianity."

                      Gaaahh editing without coffee.

                      One could easily search for parishes until they found one that fit the point they were trying to make, whether that Christianity is peaceful and civilized or barbaric and warlike. [Paragraph Ends]

                      And to be fair, every corner of the world has its expansionist bits. Attila was Mongol. Alexander was Hellenic. Despite Saint Augustine or the great commission, Christianity hardly invented the notion of conquest, whether by military or cultural means.

                      [Even Rome only affirmed the notion that our culture is superior to theirs and that others will (or should be) thankful that we conquered them. On the other hand, running water, paved roads and widespread literacy are strong arguing points.]

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                      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2015 @ 6:58am

                      Re: "Western culture is not Christianity."

                      My point was not that Christians are bastards, but that we're all bastards, whether Christian, Muslim, heathen or even secularist (Look at social-Darwinism and Randian objectivism for secular ideologies that run afoul). It's not that I trust Islam, quite the contrary, I don't trust anyone.

                      I would agree with you.

                      But if I'm expected by my society to respect others' Christian faith, I find it hypocritical of them to refuse to respect the faith of Muslims.

                      But respecting doesn't mean swallowing uncritically the things they say. I don't expect anyone to respect Christianity in that way. If someone says to me that the Earth is flat, the sun sets into a muddy pond or the world was created in 4004BC I'm not going to respect that.

                      Similarly I rexserve the right to pass judgement on moral doctrines (although NOT on their adherents) when they fall below the standard of the "Golden Rule".

                      Here is Sam Harris on the subject:
                      "Anyone familiar with my work knows that I am extremely critical of all religious faiths. I have argued elsewhere that the ascendancy of Christian conservatism in American politics should terrify and embarrass us. And yet, there are gradations to the evil that is done in name of God, and these gradations must be honestly observed. So let us now make sense of the impossible by acknowledging the obvious: there is a direct link between the doctrine of Islam and Muslim terrorism. Acknowledging this link remains especially taboo among political liberals."

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                        Uriel-238 (profile), 5 Feb 2015 @ 11:45am

                        Re: Re: "Western culture is not Christianity."

                        If someone says to me that the Earth is flat, the sun sets into a muddy pond or the world was created in 4004BC I'm not going to respect that.

                        And yet a considerable portion of the US is embroiled in a legal conflict about whether evolution should be taught in schools.

                        I agree with you there. But we don't get to say Muslims are especially guilty when our own Christian society has its own activist fronts to push its values on the rest of us.

                        Regarding Muslim terrorism, I think that extremist forms of Islam present a tool by which to create suicide units through indoctrination. But I don't think contemporary-era terrorist attacks are motivated by Islam. I think they're motivated by more basic human needs: hunger, vengeance, destitution.

                        Feed and clothe a Muslim, give him a safe home and a family to love, and he'll have no lust for blood. Terrorists of Islam are much like what I expect the revolutionaries of the US will look like: people with nothing left to lose.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2015 @ 5:40am

                          Re: Re: Re: "Western culture is not Christianity."

                          But we don't get to say Muslims are especially guilty

                          I don't say muslims are especially guilty - I don't even need to say that the doctrines in the Quran are wrong. In fact all I need is for the real content of the Quran and the associated texts that describe the life of Mohammed (plus the truth about Islamic history) to be widely and accurately known, in place of the sugar coated version that is often sold in the west. If that happens then Islam will wither on the vine very quickely. What it won't do is transform itself into a nicer version the structure of the faith won't allow that because there isn't a nicer version in there.


                          I don't agree with the right wing fundamentalists either, and I'm quite happy to criticise their interpretation. What I'm not prepared to do is give any opinion or doctrine a free pass on the grounds of multiculturalism or political correctness.

                          . But I don't think contemporary-era terrorist attacks are motivated by Islam. I think they're motivated by more basic human needs: hunger, vengeance, destitution.

                          If that were true then all other conflicts would spill over into terrorism in the same way. Mostly they don't. We didn't have a wave of Serb terror after we bombed them for example.

                          Look at Palestine/Israel. Many of the Palestinians are Christian and they get just the same treatment from Israel - but they don't show up in the terrorist statistics.

                          Feed and clothe a Muslim, give him a safe home and a family to love, and he'll have no lust for blood.
                          Didn't work for Bin-Laden or the 9/11 terrorists.

                          Consider the folowing wexcerpt from an article in the Guardian

                          Professor Kamaldeep Bhui, professor of cultural psychology and epidemiology at Queen Mary University, said that gender did not play a significant role in the risk of radicalisation: “Women are no less likely in our analysis to have sympathies” with terrorism, Bhui said. If anything, they were more likely to show such sympathy, but “not significantly so” he said. “There is an increasing epidemic of girls” he added.

                          Academics said as many as 60 British females have fled to Syria to join Islamic State (Isis), mainly between the ages of 16 and 24. They include Aqsa Mahmood, 20, a woman from Glasgow who fled to Syria in November last year. Twin sisters Zahra and Salma Halane, 16, left their home in Chorlton, Manchester, in July without their parents’ knowledge to follow their brother to Syria. And in August, Amal El-Wahabi, 27, a mother of two from north London, and wife of a fighter, became the first Briton to be convicted under terror laws of funding jihadi fighters in Syria. Her friend, Nawal Msaad, 27, who tried to smuggle £15,000 in rolled-up banknotes in her underwear, on a flight to Turkey form Heathrow, was cleared of the same offence.

                          At a briefing organised by the Science Media Centre, at the Wellcome Collection in London, Bhui said that parents worried about their children should look out for signs of depression or disaffection and warned that those who indulged in fantasy worlds or alternative identities were more at risk.

                          He interviewed 600 Muslims aged 18-45 from the Bangladeshi and Pakistani community in Bradford and London and asked detailed questions about their lives and their views on terrorism, in order to find out what drives Britons to go abroad to fight. He calculated their risk of radicalisation according to a score of sympathy or condemnation of a series of protests against injustice, from non-violent to terrorism and suicide bombing.

                          “The group who sympathised were younger, in full-time education and generally wealthy,” he said. “They were more likely to be depressed and socially isolated.”

                          He found that those who expressed sympathy with terrorist ideologies were more likely to be middle class, with a household income of £75,000, and likely to be disaffected or depressed, with a smaller social network than those who condemned terrorist acts, he said.

                          Bhui said that these individuals, when they come into contact with “unorthodox thinking, connect with it”. He said that mosques could act as a “protective factor”. Those in the Bangladeshi community were more likely to condemn terrorism, in the group he surveyed, he said.

                          Interestingly, Bhui said that migrants were less likely to become radicalised because they are poorer, busier with the need to earn money and they remembered the problems of their homeland. “Those who are having a hard life, who are migrants, are too busy to have fantastic thoughts about attacks,” he said.

                          The numbers of those who had sympathy with terrorism were small, he said, with 2.5% showing sympathy and 1.5% having sympathy for the most extreme acts of violence and terrorism.

                          He described government moves to strip Britons who travel Iraq or Syria to join Isis of their citizenship as a disaster. He said: “My personal view is that it would be a disaster, because you are criminalising them. Some of those kids are 15 to 18, young and probably inexperienced and police in Wales took a different stance. They didn’t want to criminalise. I would be happy to work with them.”

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                            Uriel-238 (profile), 6 Feb 2015 @ 10:44am

                            Nicer versions of old religions.

                            There was no nicer version of Christianity either. In some places, Christianity's nicer structures are due to reworkings of the original cloth in order to better control apostasy in a society that precludes crimes of religion. Remember that at the time that we decided to try this freedom-of-religion stuff, Europe was a bloodbath of conflict between Catholics and non-Catholics. Araby hasn't yet tired of such conflicts staying heated. (And that doesn't stop US radicals from occasionally engaging in murder or arson in the name of their faith.) Do all Muslims in your nation isolate themselves into Shariah-enforced communes and work nights to assemble suicide-bomber paraphernalia? In my neighborhood, the visible Arabic-Muslims run a chain of liquor stores that grossly overcharge for a carton of milk. (Bastards!)

                            I haven't studied the Bosnian / Serbian conflict as thoroughly as much as I have the modern rise of terrorism (what is, essentially, an asymmetrical campaign against foreign imperialism) but even under Hitler's occupation they were far more eager to destroy each other than attack alien forces. Oppressed populations get creative when considering strategies against their dominating adversaries. But not all attacks of terror -- that is attacks on civilian population such as bombings and rampage killings -- are associated with Islam. I take you've studied your history of social uprisings: when conflicts based on want or social dissent spill over, if it's not through civilian massacre, how is it, then? Do most revolutionary forces lean more towards clean, low-casualty sabotage?

                            Here in the US with a history that includes the Unibomber, the Oklahoma City Bombing and Numerous attacks on abortion providers, attacks by Muslims don't seem a singular delineatable source of violence the way they might in your country. We also have organized crime and race-relations issues that your nation might not, and are a hotbed of civil unrest. Granted, we have a lot of people, and our journalists make sure that every crazy that pops off shines so very brightly before burning out, so we Americans are somewhat used to the notion that people occasionally run amok, whether with religious motivations or otherwise.

                            Your quote regarding Professor Bhui suggests Islam and the struggles of oppression in the Middle East draw the same disenfranchised-yet-unacknowledged crowds from the west that are typical for cults and oppression anywhere, but six-hundred individuals isn't a great sampling. Sixty British females is hardly a blip in the population. I would expect we larger numbers going AWOL from our peace corps -- a xeno-sympathetic, but not-so-disenfranchised sector, just because occasionally radicals have a valid point. And there's no comparison to, say, the numbers of people who join dangerous cults such as the Branch Davidians or Church of Scientology.

                            Does Bhui know how many western-national recruits become indoctrinated so completely as to become suicide bombers or even front-line revolutionaries? Or are they integrated into part of the infrastructure?

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                              Anonymous Coward, 8 Feb 2015 @ 1:36pm

                              Re: Nicer versions of old religions.

                              There was no nicer version of Christianity either. In some places, Christianity's nicer structures are due to reworkings of the original cloth in order to better control apostasy in a society that precludes crimes of religion.

                              No I can't understand where you got that idea from,

                              The nicer things are in the Gospel:

                              Love your enemies, turn the other cheek etc etc - they are right in there at the core of the faith.

                              Remember that at the time that we decided to try this freedom-of-religion stuff, Europe was a bloodbath of conflict between Catholics and non-Catholics.

                              But the freedom of religion stuff is right there from the very beginning - again it is in the gospel (parable of the good samaritan) and the 17th-18th centuries was far from the first time it had been tried. Christianity lived its first 300 years as a minority faith - periodically persecuted. That is what it is still adapted to. In the orthodox liturgy there is still a command to shut the doors before reading the creed on the grounds that the authorities are to be feared. Most of Eastern Christianity has had to live most of the past 1400 years as a persecuted minority - usually by islam but more recently by Atheistic Communism.

                              Similarly if you look at the core of Islam - the Koran - especially the last revealed verses plus the life of Mohammed you will find the core of that faith - which is based on violent Jihad and forcible conversion. Take that away from Islamic history and Islam would not exist. The nice version of Islam that most western politicians believe in is a fabrication (that probably dates from the 1920s).

                              It has no foundation in the official texts.

                              Please note - when you claim that Christianity is violent my rebuttal comes from the new testament. When apologists for Islam attempt to rebut the claim that Islam is violent they don't tend to quote from the Koran very much - and when they do they quote verses that have been abrogated by later verses.
                              Here in the US with a history that includes the Unibomber, the Oklahoma City Bombing and Numerous attacks on abortion providers,
                              Well we have had a variety too - the leftist terror groups of the 60s and 70s and also the IRA. But the IRA never used Catholicism as a motivation.

                              Also note that at present the Muslim population of the US is much smaller than in Europe - about 1/5 to 1/10.

                              Do all Muslims in your nation isolate themselves into Shariah-enforced communes and work nights to assemble suicide-bomber paraphernalia? In my neighborhood, the visible Arabic-Muslims run a chain of liquor stores that grossly overcharge for a carton of milk. (Bastards!)

                              Hmm - well we have had major Pakistani immigration in the UK since the 1950s - and the numbers of new arrivals had tailed off by the 1970s. Anecdotally I would note that visible observance of Islamic practices (mostly the dress of the women - but increasingly that of the men also) has increased more recently even though the number of people has not. Suicide bomber parapheranalia will always be a minority interest but attempts to import aspects of Sharia seems to be approved by worryingly large numbers.

                              Your quote regarding Professor Bhui suggests Islam ...

                              Sorry - I don't have more information than what I quoted at this time - I'll try and find out more.

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                                Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Feb 2015 @ 3:12pm

                                Human Behavior vs. Scripture / Apes vs. Angels

                                I think the problem here is you keep pointing to scripture, and I keep pointing to history. Since Constantine the punishment for apostasy was excommunication and death. Even the colonies in the Americas were founded largely by unpopular religious sects escaping persecution in the old world. Indeed the actions of the churches and the world leaders who expose Christianity speak louder than any scripture of what Christianity is about.

                                Find me a representative or a statesman who believes in the beatifications and bases policy on them. In the US Christianity is touted as cause to go to war, to ban abortion to restrict contraceptives, to disenfranchise gays (in other nations to massacre gays), to increase the privilege of Christian culture over other cultures in what is supposed to be a plurality. Find me one statesman, one judge, one television preacher, one Christian-identified pundit, one major church leader who believes in turning the other cheek. (Good luck finding fifty righteous people.)

                                This is Christianity as it is practiced today regardless of what your gospels say. Specific example: The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is still being investicated by the CDF because they were prioritizing the war on poverty over the Church's preclusions of contraception, abortion and gay sex. The LCWR is considering separating itself from the Catholic nation, even at risk of excommunication, in order to retain their priorities. The Vatican is still threatening to excommunicate them.

                                This is Christianity in the twenty first century, no matter what your gospels say.

                                You can talk about the gospels all day, and I'm telling you that active Christian leadership, especially those that specifically tout that their faith as central to their policy-making do not care. Charity, mercy, humility and compassion are no-where to be seen in their policies. This is the case in the US, Russia, the UK and the freaking Vatican. I know less of other specific nations.

                                And I'm also saying that if Christianity can be full of shining, happy passages and still become a religion whose public front is a bunch of fat white male hypocritical xenophobic talking heads, that Islam could, (with concerted effort) change its public image away from violent angry unmerciful bearded males and oppressed uneducated shrouded women sometimes getting shot in the face. I doubt they will, but what is clear is that the alleged content of their holy book doesn't make a snowflake's worth of difference. Both currently set examples for religion generally being a horrible influence on people. But I think the benefit of the individual right to think for themselves is worth the side effect of people engaging in shitty behavior and blaming their faith for it.

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                                  Anonymous Coward, 9 Feb 2015 @ 3:12am

                                  Re: Human Behavior vs. Scripture / Apes vs. Angels

                                  Since Constantine the punishment for apostasy was excommunication and death.

                                  No that is wrong. Constantine only tolerated Christianity - it did not become the official religion until later.

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                                    Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Feb 2015 @ 12:48pm

                                    We're talking Saint Constantine, yes?

                                    Constantine I or Constantine the Great, who revised the bible for the Church of Constantinople and campaigned to wipe out all who did not adhere to the orthodoxy, including the destruction of heretics and apostates. By the end of his reign he was pillaging the Roman temples and routing out and massacring heathens.

                                    That Constantine. The one who wrote all remaining versions of the NT to conform to his Apollonian ideas.

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                        Uriel-238 (profile), 5 Feb 2015 @ 11:52am

                        The golden rule

                        All cultures have the ethic of reciprocity. What amazes me is how easy it is that people alter it.

                        Even your New Testament excludes women and non-Christians as non-equals.

                        Take the most despicable, revolting person. When we can respect that his or her rights are equal and symmetrical to ours, that he is as deserving of liberty, safety and prosperity as we are, then we understand reciprocity. Much like the way freedom of speech is tested, The enforcement and preservation of his rights ensures that ours are also preserved.

                        But to the contrary, people are disinclined to reciprocity except to their top hundred friends on Facebook, if them.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2015 @ 5:51am

                          Re: The golden rule

                          Even your New Testament excludes women and non-Christians as non-equals.

                          No - it really doesn't as far as women are concerned there are one or two versus that seem to want restrict women's behaviour in church - but nothing that devalues them as people in the wider world (not like the "one man's testimony is worth two women" in the Quran).

                          For non-Christians there is the parable of the Good Samaritan and St Paul's approval of those who are "a law unto themselves".

                          But to the contrary, people are disinclined to reciprocity except to their top hundred friends on Facebook, if them.

                          Whereas in the Sermon on the Mount it says:
                          Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

                          44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

                          45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

                          46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

                          47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

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                            Uriel-238 (profile), 6 Feb 2015 @ 10:57am

                            The Merchant of Venice

                            Individual passages don't make a damn bit of difference. In our own congress we've seen our Representatives favor If he doesn't work then nor shall he eat over all of Jesus' teachings about charity. A single mentioning of lions and swords has often sent nations to war, despite all Jesus less cryptic teachings of peace. Your nicer version of Christianity is, in the twenty-first century, about who is licensed to have sex with whom, even sending agents into Africa to encourage states there to make homosexual relationships a capital crime.

                            The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. Christians cite scripture to their purpose so much as to render the entire book irrelevant.

                            Again, clean up your own backyard before pointing fingers at Islam, or anyone else.

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                              Anonymous Coward, 8 Feb 2015 @ 1:58pm

                              Re: The Merchant of Venice

                              Individual passages don't make a damn bit of difference. In our own congress we've seen our Representatives favor If he doesn't work then nor shall he eat over all of Jesus' teachings about charity. A single mentioning of lions and swords has often sent nations to war, despite all Jesus less cryptic teachings of peace.

                              These are not "individual passages" - they are the whole thrust of the new testament.

                              Your nicer version of Christianity is, in the twenty-first century, about who is licensed to have sex with whom, even sending agents into Africa to encourage states there to make homosexual relationships a capital crime.

                              Well it IS regarded thus in Islam - and the case you quote when investigated properly turned out not to be was you claim it is.

                              The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

                              which is itself a piece of scripture...



                              Again, clean up your own backyard before pointing fingers at Islam, or anyone else.


                              Odd how once again it is the new testament that you paraphrase (take the beam out of you own eye etc etc).

                              Like it or not is shows that your own values have been shaped by Christianity. You cannot escape that. You have some complaint about the behaviour of leaders (both political and religious) and I would agree with most of it. It is nothing new. In the 4th century John Chrysostom said that the road to hell is lined with the skulls of Priests and paved with the skulls of Bishops.


                              However Islam is not a person - and that is the core of my point. I could go into detail and complain individually about every objectionable doctrine and I think you would have difficulty disagreeing with me on any particular point.

                              Islam is a political/ideological movement bent on world conquest. That is not just my opinion it is the inevitable conclusion to be drawn from the texts and the history. Most Muslims are good people - but that is in spite of Islam, not because of it.

                              You seem to want to claim that Christianity is "as bad as" Islam - but you should note that such notorious critics of Christianity as Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, who have studied both from an objective and critical viewpoint, don't agree with you on that point

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                                Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Feb 2015 @ 4:29pm

                                Re: Re: The Merchant of Venice

                                The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. is a line from The Merchant of Venice, not from the bible. But then again, I'm an eclectic sort and will take quotes from anywhere as they suit me.

                                Clean up your own back yard [before criticizing those of others] also comes from Affix your own oxygen mask before helping others such as children or handicapped passengers. These are not complicated concepts that had to be handed to us from the alleged divine. We've derived them ourselves.

                                Of course my values have been shaped by Christianity, having grown up in a society that was conquered and shaped via a number of Christian values. Though the values that were handed down to me weren't necessarily good values, or the teachings of Jesus. For instance, "My worth to society is directly proportional to my bank account balance" was a core value that was taught to me in church. I'd only discover as an adult that Jesus didn't necessarily agree with that.

                                So yes, I have values some of which are identical to the values that some denominations of Christianity would call their own. But having had the sorts of identity crises in my life that have required me to challenge each of my mores and values, I've chosen an eclectic set very carefully.

                                From what I've read of Dawkins the focus of his position seems to be about the merits of reason and the devices that religion uses that exploit human cognitive biases. He's fought more against Islam apologists than Christian ones, but I haven't seem him assess the two faiths to say one is a greater threat to reason than the other. Of course, I have not read very much of Dawkins, so I can't say he hasn't made such an assessment.

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                                  Anonymous Coward, 9 Feb 2015 @ 2:33am

                                  Re: Re: Re: The Merchant of Venice

                                  I haven't seem him assess the two faiths to say one is a greater threat to reason than the other.

                                  Here is a quotation on that very point:


                                  I'm reasonably optimistic in America and Europe. I'm pessimistic about the Islamic world. I regard Islam as one of the great evils in the world, and I fear that we have a very difficult struggle there.

                                  [Why is it more problematic than Christianity, for instance?]

                                  There's a belief that every word of the Quran is literally true, and there's a kind of close-mindedness there, which is, I think, less present in the former Christendom. Perhaps because we've had long- I don't know quite why, but there's more of a historical tradition of questioning.
                                  There are people in the Islamic world who simply say: "Islam is right!","We are going to impose our will" and there's an asymmetry. I think in a way we are being too nice. I think that it's possible to be naively over optimistic - and if you reach out to people who have absolutely no intention of reaching back to you, then you may be disillusioned.[93]

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                                    Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Feb 2015 @ 12:28pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: The Merchant of Venice

                                    There are people in Christendom, past and present, who say "Christianity is right." "We are going to impose our will." In the past there were a lot of throats cut and convicts burned to death to the tune of this sentiment. If we are going to condemn all of Islam by these extremists, why do we not condemn all of Christianity by their extremists, to whom you can tune in on the telly every damn day?

                                    Dawkins saying Islam is bad isn't Dawkins saying Christianity is less bad. And Islam may be worse today (I don't know for certain) but I know Christianity is pretty bad today. Gays are assaulted and murdered, adolescent girls sexually exploited, children lied to and non-believers disenfranchised all in the name of Jesus Christ. The difference is that when IS beheads a man, it makes international news. When Ty Underwood gets murdered in Tyler, Texas we don't hear about it in California.

                                    Incidentally, according to Dawkins' 2003 speech, his fervor against religion was triggered into a driven to activism because of the 9/11 attacks, so he may have a certain passion against Islam, but he's showed no mercy towards those who insist on Christian driven falsehood, or any of the numerous enemies of reason that he's explored.

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                                  Anonymous Coward, 9 Feb 2015 @ 2:40am

                                  Re: Re: Re: The Merchant of Venice

                                  The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. is a line from The Merchant of Venice, not from the bible. But then again, I'm an eclectic sort and will take quotes from anywhere as they suit me.

                                  Whoops - however there are similar verses in the Bible - eg

                                  (2 Peter Ch 3)

                                  "And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

                                  16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."

                                  Of course my values have been shaped by Christianity, having grown up in a society that was conquered and shaped via a number of Christian values. Though the values that were handed down to me weren't necessarily good values, or the teachings of Jesus. For instance, "My worth to society is directly proportional to my bank account balance" was a core value that was taught to me in church. I'd only discover as an adult that Jesus didn't necessarily agree with that.

                                  and that is exactly my point. When you go back to the gospels honestly and take the major thrust of what is said rather than cherry picking verses to suit you do get a religion of peace. When you do the same with Islam you get IS.

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                                    Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Feb 2015 @ 12:12pm

                                    Jesus preached tolerance. Christendom hates gays and nonbelievers.

                                    I'm not sure that's the case, and I'm not sure that matters since it seems to comes down to identity vs. concepts. Every church cherry-picks, which is why an anti-gay sentiment prevails throughout the majority of a religion that is allegedly about tolerance.

                                    The Jews openly cherry-pick the Torah (sometimes to comedic effect) but in doing so have been able to modernize away from an aggressive, xenophobic, isolationist literal interpretation into a people that can function in contemporary society. It's prejudicial against the people of Islam to say they cannot do the same thing. (It might be more accurate to say they wouldn't want to, or are not being afforded the opportunity to do so.)

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                            Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Feb 2015 @ 3:20pm

                            One contrary scripture

                            As I said, it only takes one contrary scripture and Christians believe their hatreds are justified. Jesus did condemn war, encourage charity and generosity and preach tolerance.

                            I do not see Christians act on this. I see them push the great commission. I see them refuse food to the starving. I see them threatening non-conformists with guns and hellfire.

                            If we were to judge Christianity on those who actually followed the teachings of Jesus I would say Christianity has failed, having become (with a tiny minority of exceptions -- some Unitarians, for instance) a perversion of its original intent. Christianity is a success only if you go by those who proclaim themselves to be Christian, disregarding their actual behavior.

                            Most Christians are actually Paulinians, preferring the suppositions of Paul rather than the decrees of the Christ.

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                              Richard (profile), 9 Feb 2015 @ 2:25am

                              Re: One contrary scripture

                              As I said, it only takes one contrary scripture and Christians believe their hatreds are justified.

                              A gross oversimplification:

                              Here is John Quincy Adams on this subject:
                              This appeal to the natural hatred of the Mussulmen towards the infidels, is in just accordance with the precepts of the Koran. The document does not attempt to disguise it, nor even pretend that the enmity of those whom it styles the infidels, is any other than the ne­cessary consequence of the hatred borne by the Mussulmen to them—the paragraph itself, is a forcible example of the contrasted character of the two religions. The funda­mental doctrine of the christian religion, is the extirpation of hatred from the human heart. It forbids the exercise of it, even towards enemies. There is no denomina­tion of christians, which denies or misunderstands this doctrine. All understand it alike—all acknow­ledge its obligations ; and however imperfectly, in the purposes of Divine Providence, its efficacy has been shown in the practice of christians, it has not been wholly inoperative upon them. Its effect has been upon the manners of nations. It has mitigated the horrors of war – it has softened the features of slavery – it has humanized the intercourse of social life. The unqualified acknowledgement of a duty does not, indeed, suffice to insure its performance. Hatred is yet a passion, but too powerful upon the hearts of christians. Yet they cannot indulge it, except by the sacrifice of their principles, and the conscious violation of their duties. No state paper from a Christian hand, could, without trampling the precepts of its Lord and Master, have commenced by an open proclamation of hatred to any portion of the human race. The Ottoman lays it down as the foundation of his discourse.

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                                Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Feb 2015 @ 12:00pm

                                Identity, not concepts.

                                As I said, it only takes one contrary scripture and Christians believe their hatreds are justified.

                                A gross oversimplification

                                A gross dismissal. I watch the late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century examples of Christians as presented in media, in politics and online and I see that people use it as they use any general ideology, an engine to justify their antisocial behavior.

                                Look at today's Christianity touting representatives in the UK and the US. Am I wrong? Are there even exceptions? Is there a militant amongst our Christian right who even acknowledges the beatifications?

                                Quotes are grand when it comes to discussing whether concepts within an ideology are good or right. And I'm all for examining those concepts. But we're not talking Christian concepts or Islamic concepts, we're talking about Christian identity and Islamic identity, and both have yielded terrorists, specifically in belligerent circumstances where terror is available and more effective than pitched warfare.

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                                  Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2015 @ 7:59am

                                  Re: Identity, not concepts.

                                  watch the late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century examples of Christians as presented in media, in politics and online and I see that people use it as they use any general ideology, an engine to justify their antisocial behavior.

                                  But all that is beside the point.

                                  Because

                                  But we're not talking Christian concepts or Islamic concepts,

                                  No we are. At least I am.

                                  and both have yielded terrorists, specifically in belligerent circumstances where terror is available and more effective than pitched warfare.

                                  Not to the same degree - You haven't provided any examples of Christian terrorism as opposed to nationalist terrorism by people who happen to be culturally Christians.

                                  Find a Christian equivalent to this case:

                                  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31305813

                                  Or this report From Oriana Fallaci:

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                                  • identicon
                                    Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2015 @ 8:00am

                                    Re: Re: Identity, not concepts.

                                    Sorry missed th blockquote

                                    Here is the quote:
                                    To make you cry I’ll tell you about the twelve young impure men I saw executed at Dacca at the end of the Bangladesh war. They executed them on the field of Dacca stadium, with bayonet blows to the torso or abdomen, in the presence of twenty thousand faithful who applauded in the name of God from the bleachers. They thundered "Allah akbar, Allah akbar." Yes, I know: the ancient Romans, those ancient Romans of whom my culture is so proud, entertained themselves in the Coliseum by watching the deaths of Christians fed to the lions. I know, I know: in every country of Europe the Christians, those Christians whose contribution to the History of Thought I recognize despite my atheism, entertained themselves by watching the burning of heretics. But a lot of time has passed since then, we have become a little more civilized, and even the sons of Allah ought to have figured out by now that certain things are just not done. After the twelve impure young men they killed a little boy who had thrown himself at the executioners to save his brother who had been condemned to death. They smashed his head with their combat boots. And if you don’t believe it, well, reread my report or the reports of the French and German journalists who, horrified as I was, were there with me. Or better: look at the photographs that one of them took. Anyway this isn’t even what I want to underline. It’s that, at the conclusion of the slaughter, the twenty thousand faithful (many of whom were women) left the bleachers and went down on the field. Not as a disorganized mob, no. In an orderly manner, with solemnity. They slowly formed a line and, again in the name of God, walked over the cadavers. All the while thundering Allah–akbar, Allah–akbar. They destroyed them like the Twin Towers of New York. They reduced them to a bleeding carpet of smashed bones.[89]

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                                    Uriel-238 (profile), 10 Feb 2015 @ 12:07pm

                                    Not beside the point. It is the point.

                                    And there it is. I disregard religious concepts because no-one actually adheres to them in order to retain religious identity. You say it's beside the point.

                                    To Hell with that. It is the problem. A religion's concepts are meaningless in a world where people identify with a religion and give preferential treatment to their fellow parishioners when they don't adhere to or even acknowledge the concepts. Religion is justified xenophobia. You choose not to see it, because it's more comfortable for you to hate on some them (in this case, Muslims) and imagine it's just a simple case of delineated sides, rather than realizing we're all bastards and we too, would resort to heinous action out of despair. (Considering the United States' torture program, we do.)

                                    If that's what it takes to let you sleep at night, fine. But in that case, accept that you have chosen ignorance to serve your own ends. Those who follow your choice to blame another religious identity, than honestly examining the socioeconomic causes of terrorist activity are not going to bring us any closer to ending it, any more than a creationist's notions are going to bring us any closer to treating XDR-TB.

                                    Do your own research, or don't. Either way, there is nothing left for me to say.

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                                      Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 3:09am

                                      Re: Not beside the point. It is the point.

                                      To Hell with that. It is the problem. A religion's concepts are meaningless in a world where people identify with a religion and give preferential treatment to their fellow parishioners when they don't adhere to or even acknowledge the concepts.

                                      But that is simply not true - a religion's concepts do affect the way people behave and it is not just a matter of tribal loyalty. There are big differences in concepts and they have big effects. Mohammed says "slay the unbelievers wherever you find them" and surprise surprise IS and Boko Haram do just that.

                                      Jesus says forgive your enemies and Nelson Mandela sets up the truth and reconciliation commission. Likewise the Northern Irish problem was resolved largely by forgiveness - that is releasing prisoners and not prosecuting some suspects - and it was accepted because forgiveness was part of the religious concept on both sides.

                                      The British involvement in the American slave trade was ended by religious campaigners (William Wilberforce and John Newton) whereas slavery in the Islamic world was only ended by threat of force from the European powers.

                                      You choose not to see it, because it's more comfortable for you to hate on some them (in this case, Muslims


                                      I don't hate any person or people I only hate ideologies that propagate violence and demand submission at the point of a sword or the barrel of a gun. Muslims are Islam's victims. All of them had some other culture/ religion before Islam entered their space and wiped it out. Most of the middle east was christian, Persia was Zorastrian, Afghanistan was Buddhist India was a mixture of Buddhist, Hindu and some Christian I could go on. I love these people and my dearest wish is that they could return to their true historical culture. It can be done. Germany threw off Nazism after ww2. Russia threw off communism and Christianity is resurgent there now.

                                      Now the west's response to islam has been mostly terrible, from the Crusades where the west committed atrocites against the very people it was supposed to be helping, right through to the present.

                                      Our response to 9/11 was terrible - we largely went after the wrong target - not that I think violence is ever a solution to anything.

                                      Yes we are all bastards - but it is better to be a bastard whose ideology tells him that being a bastard is bad than to be one whose ideology pats him on the back for it.

                                      Those who follow your choice to blame another religious identity, than honestly examining the socioeconomic causes of terrorist activity are not going to bring us any closer to ending it,

                                      Those who ignore the ideological background to terrorist activity and blame only socio-economic factors are not going to get anywhere either. Both issues are in play and it is stupid and ignorant to ignore either of them.

                                      Some aspects of terrorism are of socioeconomic origin - but not all!

                                      Also you ignore the possibility that the socio-economic problems could be caused by ideology.

                                      The regions of the middle east now occupied by Islam used to be amongst the wealthiest and most developed in the world. Nowadays there is no islamic nation that is rich except by the bounty of natural resources. Malaysia is the closest - but that is a relatively weakly islamic country.

                                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                                      • icon
                                        Uriel-238 (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:47pm

                                        Scapegoating is scapegoating.

                                        But that is simply not true - a religion's concepts do affect the way people behave and it is not just a matter of tribal loyalty.

                                        Our current leaders and religious figures all seem to behave contrary to your hypothesis. If you judge Islam by its radicals, it's intellectually dishonest to not judge Christianity by its radicals as well.

                                        And Christianity doesn't get credit for resolving conflicts that were started in the name of Christianity. The Troubles were no less than a holy war between Catholicism and Anglicanism. Where's Jesus' message of tolerance in the great widows and orphans campaign. Certainly not in that finally ended.

                                        As I've mentioned before, George Bush had an amazing opportunity to demonstrate the Christian virtue of forgiveness with 9/11. He did not.

                                        Two thousand years of Christian history that is almost consistently at war. One would think that if Christianity were a) a religion of peace, and b) actually divinely inspired, that the Church in power might have slowed that down a bit. Not even.

                                        I don't hate any person or people I only hate ideologies that propagate violence...

                                        But you continue to hate. You continue to regard someone else as lesser to you, rather than considering that circumstances (and yes, culture, and yes religious influence) shaped them to be what they are. The failure is not amongst radicals to change their tune. The failure is amongst the world leaders who actually have power to instigate change to discourage radicalism. And yet, when we look even more locally, such as at Ferguson, we see that those in power are susceptable to the same human biases. We really are idiot apes. I'd like to give us credit that we sometimes show grace or rational inspiration, but it is so rare, and its results are so fleeting that they're inconsequential. Thanks to religions justifying our attrocities and our terrible treatment of each other, I can expect our species is going to die on this rock and the universe won't even notice. And all of our alleged gods and heroes will be forgotten forever.

                                        Germany didn't "throw off" Nazism. Germany had all sense of identity stripped from them until it was reunited in the 90s, and still, the fundamental notions behind National Socialism, that the German people are a superior, chosen sectg above the rest of us untermenchen still has a following. In the aughts it was around 65% according to surveys. I can't say what it is now.

                                        Russia "threw off" Soviet communism (not to be confused with soviet communism) by going bankrupt in a cold war of military escalation with the United States, because we had better credit than they did. If you look at Putin's regime, you'll see the same kind of authoritarianism that was there before, only it's backed by the orthodox churches. Ergo the criminalization of homosexuality and gay culture. A criminalization that is endorsed by those allegedly Christian representatives over here in the US, mind you.

                                        No, you can preach about how Christianity is all nicey-nicey, and even cite some few examples (that I don't entirely trust without looking them up), but the majority of human behavior is just as violent, just as foul regardless of Christian influence (And statistically, most of the west are Christians and still spiteful wretches). Given the Church's history, I would even suspect that the notion that Christianity was allegedly a faith of peace and forgiveness allowed them to behave even worse, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that they were pretty much the same lowlifes as everyone else and not more.

                                        And that said, I don't expect Muslims to be any more or less bastards either.

                                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                                        • identicon
                                          Anonymous Coward, 12 Feb 2015 @ 3:47am

                                          Re: Scapegoating is scapegoating.

                                          Our current leaders and religious figures all seem to behave contrary to your hypothesis. If you judge Islam by its radicals, it's intellectually dishonest to not judge Christianity by its radicals as well.

                                          Straw man.

                                          I judge both by their founders.

                                          And Christianity doesn't get credit for resolving conflicts that were started in the name of Christianity.

                                          Started locally by tribalism and originally by power struggles between rulers not by Christianity.
                                          As I've mentioned before, George Bush had an amazing opportunity to demonstrate the Christian virtue of forgiveness with 9/11. He did not.

                                          That is human failing some do - some don't. Mandela did, Bush didn't but Bush should have known he was doing wrong.

                                          But you continue to hate. You continue to regard someone else as lesser to you, rather than considering that circumstances (and yes, culture, and yes religious influence) shaped them to be what they are.

                                          No - I don't regard them as lesser than me. I have opinions about a set of ideological beliefs that they may hold. That is not the same thing.
                                          . The failure is amongst the world leaders who actually have power to instigate change to discourage radicalism.

                                          I agree - and one thing they could stop doing is to pretend that the radicalism has noting to do with the texts that support it.

                                          Thanks to religions justifying our attrocities and our terrible treatment of each other,

                                          Non-religious (allegedly) ideologies are just as bad. It seems our race psychologically needs a God. Remove one and another will take its place even if it pretends to go by another name.

                                          Germany didn't "throw off" Nazism.
                                          The people certainly did. My father in law was German and he certainly did exactly that.

                                          If you look at Putin's regime, you'll see the same kind of authoritarianism that was there before, only it's backed by the orthodox churches. Ergo the criminalization of homosexuality and gay culture.

                                          Russia has a lot of catching up to do. Similar laws existed in Britain as recently as 1990. It is certainly a better place now than it was 20 years ago.

                                          And that said, I don't expect Muslims to be any more or less bastards either.

                                          Actaully, based on their cultural background I would expect them to be better. Before Mohammed Mecca was a melting pot of religious tolerance - there were hundred of different cults and some Jews, Christians, Hanafists etc mixed in. Everyone got along and there was no violence. Mohammed destroyed that tolerance.

                                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 2 Feb 2015 @ 1:33pm

      Re:

      A people living under the perpetual menace of war and invasion is very easy to govern. It demands no social reforms. It does not haggle over expenditures on armaments and military equipment. It pays without discussion, it ruins itself, and that is an excellent thing for the syndicates of financiers and manufacturers for whom patriotic terrors are an abundant source of gain.
      - Anatole France

      /darmok

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 2 Feb 2015 @ 12:55pm

    As a French-language illiterate I find myself translating according to the graphics:

    ~ A guy who isn't forward with the ladies may be a terrorist.
    ~ Mothers and children without a male accompaniment may be terrorists.
    ~ You must be carrying a batard of bread or be identified as a terrorist.
    ~ Alleged teachers without their chalkboards are terrorists.
    ~ People in public without headphones are likely terrorist.
    ~ Your own smart-television array may be a terrorist.
    ~ Non-swimmers are terrorists
    ~ People without clothes definitely a terrorist.
    ~ People who like guns on the internet probably terrorist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      aldestrawk (profile), 2 Feb 2015 @ 1:41pm

      Re: As a French-language illiterate I find myself translating according to the graphics:

      I see your humor, but as partially literate in French,I will offer this translation:

      -They are suspicious of old friends they now consider as unclean (impure).

      -They reject members of their family.

      -They abruptly change their dietary habits.

      -They quit school or vocational training because the education provided is part of the [anti-Islamic?] conspiracy. [not totally sure about the last part]

      -They stop listening to music because it distracts them from their mission.

      -They no longer watch television or movies because one can see forbidden images.

      -They stop doing sports where the sexes are mixed.

      -They change their style of fashion, especially for the girls who dress to conceal their bodies.

      -They frequent websites and social networks that are radical and extremist.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Abara, 2 Feb 2015 @ 5:06pm

        Re: Re: As a French-language illiterate I find myself translating according to the graphics:

        Your interpretation for the "quit school" one seems about right, Im a swiss litterate in french and it's not even clear to me.
        The one that shocks me is the one about changing style to conceal their bodies, especially for girls.
        My gf is wearing a lot more concealing clothes compared to the summer. Is she becoming a terrorist or is it just the winter?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2015 @ 2:31pm

      Re: As a French-language illiterate I find myself translating according to the graphics:

      ~ A guy who isn't forward with the ladies may be a terrorist. Yes, I'm terrified of the ladies!
      ~ Mothers and children without a male accompaniment may be terrorists. The children are already terrors; nothing new here.
      ~ You must be carrying a batard of bread or be identified as a terrorist. I'm out every day earning my bread, so...
      ~ Alleged teachers without their chalkboards are terrorists. Several schools in my area are going to whiteboards; should I be concerned?
      ~ People in public without headphones are likely terrorist. If I can hear their music even though they are wearing headphones they are terrorists!
      ~ Your own smart-television array may be a terrorist. Yes I can't program one and that terrifies me!
      ~ Non-swimmers are terrorists (Oh shit, I can't swim!)
      ~ People without clothes definitely a terrorist. I'm certainly terrified to hang around them; then again I'm terrified to go out in public without any clothes!
      ~ People who like guns on the internet probably terrorist. I like real guns; guess that makes me safe!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Sheogorath (profile), 3 Feb 2015 @ 1:58am

        Re: Re: As a French-language illiterate I find myself translating according to the graphics:

        ~ Alleged teachers without their chalkboards are terrorists.
        Several schools in my area are going to whiteboards; should I be concerned?

        As blackboard is a racist term against black people (hence the term 'chalkboard'), so whiteboard is a racist term against white people. You should instead use penboard or eboard depending on which type is used. ;)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2015 @ 2:54pm

      Re: As a French-language illiterate I find myself translating according to the graphics:

      You must be carrying a batard of bread or be identified as a terrorist.

      Some think I'm crazy, but people who go gluten-free are definitely up to SOMETHING.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Pragmatic, 4 Feb 2015 @ 5:45am

      Re: As a French-language illiterate I find myself translating according to the graphics:

      Of course you realise the terrorists have only to wear stripy shirts, black berets, and a string of onions round their necks to avoid detection by the authorities, right?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2015 @ 12:59pm

    My wife bought Pita bread this weekend, should I be concerned?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 2 Feb 2015 @ 1:04pm

    Pita Bread

    YES!

    (Assuming you're in France. If you're elsewhere then she's fine.)

    If you're in the US the answer is YES! regardless of her tastes in bread.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anonymous Dutch coward, 2 Feb 2015 @ 1:11pm

    3000

    Apparently there are 3.000 French citizens on the watch list, because they have jihadist ties. Think about that for a minute. So Churchill says to Anthony Eden: there is a division of the SS Totenkopf stationed in Manchester, but don't worry we have them under surveillance!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 2 Feb 2015 @ 1:15pm

    make anything and everything illegal and suddenly you have a legal way of arresting those you do not like. making sure they are no longer able to keep doing what you dislike. be it dissent or just a lifestyle

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2015 @ 1:24pm

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2015 @ 1:28pm

    Politicians will use any excuse to try and drive a wedge between people so that they do not become organized and threaten their power.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2015 @ 1:36pm

    Who doesnt like them? Baguette and croissant and great, only idiots hate them, those who are dumb enough to think they can achieve anything good by killing random people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    aldestrawk (profile), 2 Feb 2015 @ 1:48pm

    I think that effort by the French deserves snark as it is equivalent to the US "see something, say something" paranoia program. It deserves better snark though. That loaf of bread that is pictured isn't even a baquette and the pictorial is only meant to represent diet in general. That sort of snark deserves snark itself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 2 Feb 2015 @ 2:05pm

    Nice to see a foreign government as dumb as ours.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    mattshow (profile), 2 Feb 2015 @ 2:16pm

    Personally, I've always harbored a fundamental distrust of people with celiac disease. Nice to finally see a government with the cajones to back me up on this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2015 @ 2:17pm

    why do i get the feeling that if ghandi was still around, he would have fallen under their definition of "terrorist"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2015 @ 2:24pm

    So, broad definitions of behaviour that ANYBODY may do classifies you as a suspect they can then use the super duper terrorist authority they given themselves to bypass the rights their suppose to uphold

    Yeah, sure, why not.........bunch of CRIMINALS

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    aldestrawk (profile), 2 Feb 2015 @ 2:44pm

    defense of duck and cover

    In case of nuclear holocaust, watch this video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0K_LZDXp0I

    I don't remember practicing the duck and cover drill, I am not THAT old. However, I think it made some sense at the time it was made (1951). Nuclear weapons were a lot more limited back then. No ICBMs, only airplanes could deliver them. They were a lot smaller than now. The hydrogen bomb had just been invented at that time. So, a 20 kiloton weapon could obliterate the center of a city but on the outskirts, or the suburbs, duck and cover would give you some protection. By the way, it is not sitting under a desk you must be on your knees, head down on the ground with hands around your neck and praying or kissing your ass goodbye, whichever fits in with your religion.
    The damage from radiation was not well understood at the time as well. It was not until the 60's that ICBMs meant attack with little warning and weapons in the megaton range. As the public learned more about radiation and the cold war escalated the number of weapons into the thousands on each side, that is when "duck and cover" became a joke. Around 1980 scientists learned of the potential for a nuclear winter when a threshold of only a 100 weapons were detonated. At that point, duck and cover was a sick joke from the past.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 2 Feb 2015 @ 2:55pm

    In the seventies, we were STILL practicing duck-and-cover.

    Mind you, it made us feel safer, and there's really nothing to be done once the birds were flying.

    Thankfully, MAD worked and worked really well. In fact, it worked almost too well, but that's another story.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2015 @ 3:52pm

    the frightening thing is that all these self-righteous governments are doing is the exact thing that the terrorists would do, remove freedom and privacy from citizens and inflict martial law everywhere on everyone. none of these governments seem to be able to see or are conveniently ignoring what they are doing, just so as to be able to track every citizen, everywhere and listen to their every conversation, read every mail and message and follow their every journey! is spying on everyone and everything they are doing so important that everything, every resemblance of sense, is thrown out the window, under the banner of 'protection against terrorism' that each government becomes even worse than the terrorists we are being protected from? how bloody ridiculous can you get?? there has to be a starting point for all this and it seems to me to sit squarely on the shoulders of the USA! they became so paranoid that no one was safe from being surveilled, no one was safe from being arrested, nothing was sacred any more and the 'freedom and privacy' was completely decimated! 9/11 was the most heinous of acts and those responsible deserved the most fitting of punishments, but to turn the country, then the world into the very thing that was fought against and millions died trying to protect, the very things the USA was built on, freedom and privacy, by becoming worse than the ones you're fighting against cannot be right by any stretch of the imagination! this will end badly and yet again, it will be the ordinary people who suffer while the fuckers who have caused it sit at home with their feet up, wondering when the next cuppa coffee will be served!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2015 @ 4:01pm

    Don't diss baguettes

    Remember that the LHC was damaged by a baguette dropped by a time-traveling bird. Baguettes are serious business!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2015 @ 5:14pm

    Now look what you've done!

    I have to go out in a storm and find some baguettes. Thanks. Thanks a LOT!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2015 @ 5:17pm

    Gluten Free terrorist collective.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Sheogorath (profile), 3 Feb 2015 @ 1:22am

    I never eat baguettes because I have non-coeliac gluten intolerance. OMG, MY DIETARY DISABILITY MAKES ME A TERRORIST!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2015 @ 2:09am

    Unless this is intended to be one of those "look, aren't foreigners funny, using words we don't understand?" stories, I would have thought that a little old fashioned research (journalism even) might have been in order.
    If you look at the site, and I know it's in a funny foreign language, you will see that it has nothing to do with tracking terrorists or with law enforcement. The 3000 people being tracked are quite different - they are individuals known or believed to have fought in Syria or Iraq, or to be involved in recruiting and transporting them
    This is an initiative which at year ago, and is intended to provide help to individuals who might be tempted to move in radical directions, and give advice to them, their families and schools. There are telephone numbers you can ring and experts you can speak to. The purpose is not to criminalize people but quite the reverse - to make contact with them and prevent them from doing anything criminal. The best part of a thousand cases have been dealt with so far and, again, nobody is going to be arrested or followed (much of the activity is anonymous).
    The poster is nothing to do with eating baguettes. It's a visual reminder of the advice that has been given to parents, schools etc for some time, about typical behavior changes demonstrated by radical religious conversion. It refers, for example, to "sudden changes of diet", such as refusing to eat pork, or demanding only halal food. Bearing in mind that around half of those who have contacted the site, or been contacted, don't come from Muslim families anyway, and are new and often very sudden converts, the rest of the panels offer advice on what to do if someone you know:

    - refuses to take part in mixed sports
    - drops out of school or leaves work
    - claims that radio, TV etc are sinful and stops watching them
    - spends all their time on jihadist sites.

    and so on. These, to repeat, are behavior changes which tend to precede involvement with extremist groups. They don't automatically produce this involvement, nor does such involvement automatically lead to violence, but, again, this is a social service not a law enforcement tool.
    Clear now?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2015 @ 2:59pm

      Re:

      Call me crazy, I thought the article was about a clumsily crafted, government sponsored "public service" website with an easily satirized design, and the social media reaction to said design.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Major, 3 Feb 2015 @ 4:17am

    Doubt about a friend

    I'm in france and a muslim friend just started drinking alcool and eating pork, she also got thrown out by her muslim parent... Should i report her ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2015 @ 7:15am

    What are they going to do when the gluten-free fad hits France?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dan G Difino, 3 Feb 2015 @ 9:05am

    A Far side event

    Even governments foreign to our own have their far right and far left. Turn them loose on a project, and expect a far side event to happen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    toyotabedzrock (profile), 3 Feb 2015 @ 8:19pm

    This is freedom of speech by the government so chill out. And yes teens that show these signs might not be terrorists but might also have other issues.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2015 @ 10:00pm

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2015 @ 12:24pm

    Terrorism is killing the movie industry! THEY GO TO THE CINEMAS!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Feb 2015 @ 6:53am

    Bad ideologies

    Thanks to religions justifying our attrocities and our terrible treatment of each other,

    Just to amplify the point here. I agree with what you say about people being bad and not living up to their professed beliefs. However I think it is wrong to attempt to identify some ideologies as religions and treat them differently as a result. You seem to want to label all "religions" as equally bad without bothering to examine their content, ion the basis of bad things their followers have done. However if you do that then should you not treat all secular ideologies, including your own in the same way. Some while back you gave some hint of a regard for Jefferson - yet he was a slave owner, and by some accounts a racist.

    The fact is that (as you said) people do bad things in spite of their beliefs - but that does not mean that they should abandon them - rather they should start at least trying to live up to them. Sometimes people do good things in spite of their professed beliefs too- but again one can't rely on that continuing for ever. Additionally a good proportion of believers don't actually know much about what they believe. In Islam - as in Roman Catholicism until quite recently - the texts are routinely read in a language that no one understands. The daily prayers that muslims are required to say include some verses that are insulting to Jews and Christians - but they are in (old) Arabic and so most will not realise what they are saying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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