Iranian Cleric Suggests The West Ban And Criminalize Negative Portrayals Of Muslims To Prevent Radicalization

from the how-about-no dept

As the nuclear talks between America and Iran continue, perhaps one inevitability is going to be cross-cultural diffusion of a kind. After all, should the deal lead to improved relations, one would expect influence to be peddled by both sides. Since there are very real issues our two nations have to discuss, this should be an overall good thing. But there are some cultural changes that just aren't going to happen.

Take the suggestion from Iranian cleric Ayatollah Salman Safavi, for instance, that Americans combat Islamic extremism by making sure our movies and video games include only favorable representations of his religion lest they cause the very radicalization at the root of the "constantly" negative current portrayals of Muslims and Islam.

"In the Western media be it in films, games or news, Muslims and Islam are constantly associated with terrorism, violence and backwardness, they are constantly portrayed as the "other" to the white European or American and in constant conflict with it," Dr. Safavi tells the Telegraph. "This causes alienation and isolation particularly for young people, who dream of having success in life and being contributing members of society but see their way of life, their beliefs, and what they hold sacred being constantly attacked and degraded. Islamophobia in media be it films or games or news should be considered as promoting and aiding terrorism and also being [a] hate crime."
You can see the cultural differences clashing against each other here. Self-censorship isn't how America does things, after all. Which isn't to say that misrepresentation of the larger Muslim public isn't a real thing, or that action shouldn't be taken by those in the know to combat that portrayal. But those actions must operate within the framework of free and open speech. Take the work of Aasif Mandvi, for instance. The correspondent from The Daily Show has put out a new series called Halal in the Family. The show dissects and highlights anti-Muslim portrayals, using comedy as a vehicle for the discussion. That's how bad or unfair speech is combatted in America, with other, better speech. Asking us to self-censor is a non-starter.

And through real, honest, and open speech, progress can be made. If the Islamic world is being unfairly portrayed, its denizens should feel welcome, if not obligated, to step into the ring of speech and ideas, and put up a fight. They get the same rights as everyone else, after all. Engaging in that way will push the discussion onto a higher platform. It's not like the media keeps its boogeymen around forever. Just ask the Communists. These things have a shelf-life.

The ideal of free speech, on the other hand, does not.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 1:21pm

    Free speech? Try saying something bad about Israel...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 1:23pm

      Re:

      you must have missed the mountain of shit said bad about Israel.

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    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 1:44pm

      Re:

      Israeli policy is at best skirting the line of genocide and at worst a policy of racism that the idea for which they seem to have gotten from their own history less than a century ago. Their overreaction to the threats they do actually face only exacerbates those threats and their complicit work with the United States to continuously veto important UN resolutions that inch Palestine closer to statehood mark them as duplicitous as they are petty.

      There, I did what you asked. And I was free to do it. Anything else?

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      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 2:20pm

        Re: Re:

        Israeli policy is at best skirting the line of genocide and at worst a policy of racism that the idea for which they seem to have gotten from their own history less than a century ago.

        Just out of curiosity, what would you consider the appropriate response to being invaded and having your land colonized by people who do not recognize your entire cultural/racial/religious right to exist, at all, and have been trying to wipe your people off the face of the earth for centuries?

        This is the position Israel is in with the "Palestinians," and when you keep this in mind, their response to it all shows remarkable restraint!

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        • icon
          Dark Helmet (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 2:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Just out of curiosity, what would you consider the appropriate response to being invaded and having your land colonized by people who do not recognize your entire cultural/racial/religious right to exist, at all, and have been trying to wipe your people off the face of the earth for centuries?"

          This could have been written for the people in the Middle East that the US decided to plop a new country on top of....

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 3:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Well initially the deal was for Palestinians and Zoinists 'emigrating' from Europe to work together in forming a single nation...But then the Israeli-Palestinian conflict erupted.

            Ever since then, Israel's government has been 'annexing' land from the Palestinians in hopes of squeezing them out of existence. I mean today, Gaza has become the most populated city on the planet and it's not because of over-population...

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 3:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "But then the Israeli-Palestinian conflict erupted."

              And notice how it was chiefly along religious lines?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 3:29pm

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

                Almost everyone who was alive during WW2 is almost dead so at some point soon...The 'jew-card' will no longer hold any weight and thus will, hopefully, become an international effort to bring this conflict to an end regardless of religion.

                But maybe that's just wishful thinking?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 3:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            This could have been written for the people in the Middle East that the US decided to plop a new country on top of....

            Something of an over-simplification here.

            Jewish re-colonisation of the region began after WW1 long before any siginificant US involvement in the region. In fact even as late 1956 the US supported Egypt against Israel Britian and France.

            Before that the region had been subject to centuries of the "Islamic ratchet" gradually squeezing out Jews and Christians. Before the time of Mohammed Jews were a major part of the population of what is now Saudi Arabia. Islam drove them out. Christians were the majority in Egypt, Palestine and Syria. Jews were a significant minority. Centuries of apostasy laws, coercion and financial incentives have gradually reduced their numbers. The flip side of the creation of Israel has been the elimination of Jews from the surrounding countries such as Egypt.

            Also ALL of the countries in the middle east are "new countries". They were all created by western fiat out of the ruins of the Ottoman empire. There is nothing special about Israel in this respect.

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            • icon
              Dark Helmet (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 5:32am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Before that the region had been subject to centuries of the "Islamic ratchet" gradually squeezing out Jews and Christians. Before the time of Mohammed Jews were a major part of the population of what is now Saudi Arabia. Islam drove them out."

              This is true of SOME Arab areas, but not of Islamic areas generally. The Persians, for instance, would have to be considered massively more tolerant to their Jewish population than their European counterparts.

              "Christians were the majority in Egypt, Palestine and Syria. Jews were a significant minority. Centuries of apostasy laws, coercion and financial incentives have gradually reduced their numbers. The flip side of the creation of Israel has been the elimination of Jews from the surrounding countries such as Egypt."

              You can't have that both ways. Either Islam pushed the Jews out, or the creation of Israel caused them to leave. It's one or the other, not both. Frankly, the latter is the one that is true.

              "Also ALL of the countries in the middle east are "new countries". They were all created by western fiat out of the ruins of the Ottoman empire. There is nothing special about Israel in this respect."

              Now you're just being silly. While it's true that European colonialism did redraw the borders to create countries (Britain-Iraq, Britain/France-Iran, etc.), those borders never actually dealt with massive displacement of existing populations. They were drawn for economic reasons, chiefly to do with oil resources and colonial expansion. The creation of Israel and the act of dropping a non-native population in its midst, and then allowing that nation to run contrary to the NPT America signed (Israel refused to sign it and pretends it doesn't have nuclear weapons), supporting its annexation of neighboring lands, and refusing to award the Palestinians a state of their own when EVERYONE KNOWS that's the solution to the conflict is beyond cruel....

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 6:22am

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

                The Persians, for instance, would have to be considered massively more tolerant to their Jewish population

                Yo get a scale of how tolerant Persian Islam was of other faiths - consider the fate of Zoroastrianism - before Islam it was the dominant faith in the Persian Empire - now it is virtually extinct.

                European intolerance of the Jews was a curious side effect of the original Islamic Jihad and the (rather belated) response of the Crusades. Europeans only really started seeing the Jews as an enemy after they had been subjected to the rather crude propaganda that accompanied the start of the Crusades. Since there were no Muslims in Northern Europe at that time the popular mob latched onto the Jews instead.
                Of course there were exceptions to this - such as Venice which knew the difference at first hand.

                You can't have that both ways. Either Islam pushed the Jews out, or the creation of Israel caused them to leave. It's one or the other, not both. Frankly, the latter is the one that is true.

                Actually I can. The Jews were slowly squeezed by Islam over the centuries (650 - 1947). Then the remaining Jews were forced out more directly as a result of Muslim reaction to the creation of Israel.

                The creation of Israel and the act of dropping a non-native population in its midst,

                The Jews were in large part ALREADY THERE when Israel was founded. The non-native population only really arrived later - and of course many of the Jews came from nearby (EG Egypt) not from elsewhere in the world.

                Personally I don't defend the creation of states with a religion-driven constitution or raison d'etre. However there is only one such Jewish state. There are many Islamic ones (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Brunei...) Even supposedly secular countries like Malaysia have the religion written into their constitution.

                In terms of suffering and population displacement Pakistan is a far bigger tragedy than Israel/Palestine.

                I don't think a two state solution has a snowball in hell's chance of succeeding - even if implemented. One, firmly secular, state with religion firmly excluded from its civic life is probably the only thing that could stick.

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              • icon
                lfroen (profile), 2 May 2015 @ 1:25am

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

                It's _YOU_ being silly.

                >> The creation of Israel and the act of dropping a non-native population in its midst, and then allowing that nation to run contrary to the NPT
                Allowing? Who do you think was "allowing" it? World-police? US? God? Here's a hint for you: nobody "grants" or "awards" you a state. One must build its own.
                It's match simpler to demolish trains than run them on time. It's match simpler to fire rockets on the neighbor's house then build your own (house).

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            • icon
              Mason Wheeler (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 6:44am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Jewish re-colonisation of the region began after WW1 long before any siginificant US involvement in the region.

              It began long before that. I've read contemporary accounts of the Zionist/re-colonization movement from the mid-19th century. By the time of WW1, there was a rather significant Jewish population again in their ancestral homeland, but outside of Jerusalem, which holds religious significance to Islam, Muslim/Arab occupancy was almost nonexistent, because the land was a hostile, barren desert even by Middle Eastern standards, and no one wanted to live there.

              Today's so-called "Palestinians" are Jordanian invaders who moved in after the people of Israel had done a bunch of hard work to make it liveable, and they have zero legitimacy.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 2:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Genocide with remarkable restraint. Great slogan!

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          • icon
            Mason Wheeler (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 8:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

            Genocide: the systematic murder of an entire race/ethnic group. Keep in mind that most Arabs live in Muslim countries in the Middle East, and not in Israel. For Israel to even attempt such a thing, they would by definition have to invade all of their neighbors, and then quite a bit beyond that!

            They've shown remarkable restraint in dealing with the mother of all illegal immigrant problems, probably far more than most countries would, faced with an equivalent scenario.

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            • icon
              Dark Helmet (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 10:09am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Genocide does NOT mean you try to kill off the entire race. Look up the definition of the word.

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              • icon
                Mason Wheeler (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 10:28am

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

                I just did, and that's what I found: "The deliberate destruction of an entire race." The earliest known use of the term dates back to World War II, to describe the Nazis' attempted extermination of the Jews. (And look at how big of a war they had to set off to even unsuccessfully attempt it! Israel has never done anything even close to anything that could be considered genocidal, unless there's been a major Middle Eastern war of conquest and extermination that I'm somehow completely unaware of.)

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                • icon
                  Dark Helmet (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 11:57am

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

                  Try again, brah: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=genocide+de finition

                  Genocide means to kill a large group of people (read: substantial portion of peoples) because of their religion, ethnicity, or national politics.

                  Hence, Hitler committed genocide even though the Jewish people still exist. Saddam Hussein committed genocide even though the Kurds still exist.

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                  • icon
                    Mason Wheeler (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 6:42pm

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

                    I'm not quite sure where Google is getting that convenient summary definition in the big box at the top from, but when you look at the actual links it comes up with, they all say "the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group" or very similar.

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                    • icon
                      Dark Helmet (profile), 4 May 2015 @ 5:42am

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

                      Actually, the google summary is correct. Which, again, is the reason Saddam Hussein committed genocide, as did Hitler, despite their killings not being "complete"....

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 5:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "what would you consider the appropriate response to being invaded and having your land colonized by people who do not recognize your entire cultural/racial/religious right to exist, at all"

          This could be said of many cases where sovereign society was invaded. Certainly you can think of a few ... this is the case in every invasion - right?

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      • icon
        tqk (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 3:23pm

        Re: Re:

        I don't disagree with what you say, but that's the shallow view of it. What you write is the Israeli hardliner attitude and policies. I don't believe for a second that average moderate Israelis nor Jews outside Israel believe in that. The squeaky wheel gets the grease though, so the hardliners in the Knesset and Mossad drive Israeli policy, just as the minority Neocons in the US get away with driving US policy.

        I fail at handling this dichotomy often myself blaming those who can't be bothered to fix this crap with apathy. They're not really apathetic though. They just prefer to get on with their lives and can't see any real point in banging their heads on a wall that shows no inclination to fall over any time soon.

        It would be very nice if the moderates everywhere would at least stop shoveling money towards the hardliners, at least. However, that would require them to take the time to question the hardliners' propagandistic fear-mongering, when they'd prefer to focus on the Kardashians.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 3:33pm

        Re: Re:

        I think the problem is on both sides. Arafat didn't do much to help early on and then Netanyahu seems to be aggravating the issue with everyone. I was surprised to see him get office again. I also think the problem is with the extremism in the Gaza strip. When Israel left the strip, they supplied them with a bunch of stuff to help them be independent. Once Hamas took power, they killed any political opposition, destroyed a lot of the supplies Israel left since it was made by the enemy and started terrorist attacks. Get rid of Hamas and Netanyahu as political leaders and the problem might have a chance of being solved.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 3:43pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Once Hamas took power, they killed any political opposition,"

          You're referring to the Fatah-Hamas conflict correct? Your information is outdated by about a decade since the two of them have unified.

          "destroyed supplies"

          It was in protest over them annexing land, shrinking their fishing zones (in which they killed numerous fishermen), and the endless amounts of embargoes on trade with other nations.

          "and started terrorist attacks."

          It's not a terrorist attack if you're trying to regain control of land that was annexed.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 4:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Not to mention attacks by Hama's are akin to flies hitting the windshield of a Mac truck. Almost 99.9% of their missile attacks have resulted in no causalities...They are so incredibly underpowered it's almost sad.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 4:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I have never understood why that is even an argument. It isn't the rockets destruction potential that is the problem, it is the fear that it causes to the civilians in the area. Also, what other nation would allow rocket fire to rain down near their city without massive retaliation? The US invaded other countries just for the potential of firing on the US.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 4:55pm

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

                "Also, what other nation would allow rocket fire to rain down near their city without massive retaliation? "

                You mean like the IDF and their recent airstrikes that took out entire city blocks full civilian escapees?

                Apologists...

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 4:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So killing you political rivals is OK since it was 10 years ago? Doesn't matter that they unified, that was a violent cue that started the problem after Israel left Gaza. I am not say what it is right or wrong but the way it is. Israel is not going to give the land back with Hamas in power and it will keep taking land as long as the conflict continues. The UN is not going to come and and help the Palestinians. And the US won't dissolve it's allyship with Israel because it is an excellent staging point in the middle east. What is happening is that both sides are always going to struggle with conflict and before it will ever be peaceful, both Hamas and Netanyahu need to leave. They are both symptoms of extremism and the only cure is either to stop the extremism or destroy one or the other nations. When peace comes in the middle east, no one will be happy with the terms.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 6:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "So killing you political rivals is OK since it was 10 years ago? "

              No, but it was a civil war.

              "Doesn't matter that they unified, that was a violent cue that started the problem after Israel left Gaza. "

              After Israel left Gaza? Do you even know what you're talking about...They're still have military installations within the Gaza Strip.

              "I am not say what it is right or wrong but the way it is."

              No, you're not...you're acting like an apologist/denialist.

              "Israel is not going to give the land back with Hamas in power and it will keep taking land as long as the conflict continues."

              Wow...Fuckin' wow.

              You just summed it up, Israel is a vicious and manipulative/genocidal regime no different than ISIS.

              You said it, not me.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 7:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Here's a thought, give all of the land back and honor your agreement from 50 years ago before the conflict started.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 7:54pm

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

                ...and work towards the mulch-cultural nation that you initially implied before you stabbed the 'natives' in the back after emigrating from Eruope.

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            • icon
              lfroen (profile), 2 May 2015 @ 1:29am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              >> So killing you political rivals is OK
              Since when Palestinians became "political" rivals?! "Political" means "participating in politics", which usually apply to citizens. Armed struggle makes it OK to kill opponents.

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          • icon
            nasch (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 9:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It's not a terrorist attack if you're trying to regain control of land that was annexed.

            That is a pretty unique definition of terrorism.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 4:08pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Unfortunately, it's not unique at all, just incorrect. The "real IRA" would make the same argument about northern Ireland. Most people, it seems, have somehow convinced themselves that terrorism is about motives, not means. Actually, any politically-loaded word tends to get misused by most people, regardless of their political philosophy.

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              • icon
                Uriel-238 (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 5:55pm

                Terror

                A terror attack was an attack that struck at civilians in order to stir the feelings of terror. Some definitions required political or ideological intent.

                Now, terror is any attack by the bad guys. It's convenient for US press that they use more traditional terrorist delivery systems (suicide bombers, bomb trucks, etc.) though if the bombs were delivered by air or mortar or planted limpets, they'd still be called acts of terror

                Where our drone strikes, which also bag a high civilian count and dubious persons-of-interest are justified in our eyes as less terrible somehow.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 7:20am

        Re: Re:

        I think your helmet is screwed on too tight. You've done nothing here but mindlessly repeat the ignorant claims of racists and terrorist apologists. I count 9 demonstrable factual errors in two sentences, which may be a new record for you (though I doubt it).

        You of course are free to say what you want. But this reminds me of the famous quote by Lincoln: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

        You have effectively and efficiently removed all doubt.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 7:24am

        Re: Re:

        Can't say I agree with the prioritisation of "at best genocidal, at worst racist", but whatever works for ya...

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      • icon
        lfroen (profile), 2 May 2015 @ 1:18am

        Re: Re:

        The only reasonable reply to load of such BS is "go fsck yourself, pretentious prick".

        Genocide? Overreaction? "Important US resolutions"? That's why nobody takes you seriously.

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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 1:25pm

    This is typical of Middle Eastern Muslim culture; it's another expression of the exact same moral paradigm that leads to covering women head-to-toe in black cloth: "If our people (read: men) are exposed to [insert stimulus here], it will cause them to [insert sin here], therefore they should not be exposed to [stimulus], and if they are, and they fall, the sin is upon the head of [the one who provided the stimulus]."

    This statement logically reduces to "our men have no self-control, and therefore should not be held accountable for their own choices," and it takes a special kind of blindness and complete lack of introspection to say something like this and then, in the same breath, condemn "Islamophobia". Wouldn't any reasonable person be afraid of a moral system founded on that basic paradigm?!?

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 1:58pm

      Re:

      When you think about it, I just cannot see why any of them would use that argument in favor of women being forced to cover their whole bodies, as it's seems to be horribly demeaning and humiliating... for the men.

      That's basically admitting that the men over there have less self-control than children in other countries, who seem to be able to restrain themselves just fine. That just does not seem to be something you'd want to admit to, and yet there there are, doing just that, claiming that large numbers of men in their areas lack an ability that children elsewhere manage just fine.

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      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 5 May 2015 @ 6:15am

        Re: Re:

        Funnily enough, we have people over here using the self-same arguments; women need to be careful since men have zero self-control, kind of thing.

        But it's not about women per se, it's about self-control. I say if you can't control yourself you have no right to attempt to exert control over anyone else.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 1:26pm

    hm,

    "Baptist Minister Suggests Iran Ban And Criminalize Death to America Rallies To Prevent Anti-American Sentiment."

    NAHHHH!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 1:38pm

    Honestly, I don't give two hoots about their outdated religion that has never caught up with the advances of the civilized world. I'm not of the religion and never will be.

    What is asked is far too much for what is given in return.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 3:22pm

      Re:

      Well, it's our job as humanity (which includes everyone including those you disagree with) in guiding one another towards prosperity as our very existence may depend on it.

      We can't give up on one another.

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      • icon
        tqk (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 3:50pm

        Re: Re:

        Well, it's our job as humanity (which includes everyone including those you disagree with) in guiding one another towards prosperity as our very existence may depend on it.

        Oh look, Victoria Newland's here (see ConsortiumNews). "Responsibility to protect" ("R2P") is one of the latest tools of the Neocons to justify involving ourselves in others' business, whether they want us to or not.

        No. Leave them alone. Help and support the escapees and refugees and worry about expansionists who rise up and threaten us, but it's not our job to drag anyone into the 21st Century unwilling. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink, and the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 4:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's definitely not what I meant. In fact, it's the exact opposite. What I mean is to encourage and support groups of people who seek fairness and civility rather than bombing the hell out of those who don't.

          Prime example: The Civil Rights Movement.

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        • identicon
          Pragmatic, 5 May 2015 @ 6:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ah, but since Neocons are into that trickle-down nonsense, the idea is to PRETEND to guide people towards prosperity. What they tend to achieve is the exact opposite.

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    • identicon
      Stephen, 30 Apr 2015 @ 8:22pm

      Re:

      Honestly, I don't give two hoots about their outdated religion...
      Most religions are arguably "outdated". Yet that has not stopped laws (or just plain old-fashioned extra-legal moral pressure) in some countries tromping on those who use anti-semitic speech or show anti-semitic videos or print anti-semitic articles. If tromping on those is acceptable, then why can't anti-Islamic speech, videos, or articles be tromped on as well? (Or for that matter anti-Christian or anti-scientology ones?)

      At least that is the argument I can see being voiced.
      I'm not of the religion and never will be.
      Most people are not given a choice. They are born into a particular religion, be it Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or whatever The problem comes when you then try to leave. This used to be a problem in Christianity. (And apparently still is in some sects like Scientology.) It is, though, with other religions. Like Islam.

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 9:20am

        Re: Re:

        This used to be a problem in Christianity. (And apparently still is in some sects like Scientology.)

        I hope you're not implying that Scientology is a sect of Christianity. Your wording makes me unsure.

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  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 1:57pm

    How about portraying

    In Chimamanda Adichie's 2009 TED talk, she highlights her discovery (as a child) of prejudice and stereotypes, not against her but against the hired help that assisted her family.

    Her recipe to avoid stereotypes is one with which I agree, which is to represent your groups in different places. One woman who sucks at math may lead to the conclusion that women suck at math (XKCD: How it works) but having many women in your story, some who suck at math, some who are great at math and some who at least successfully balance their bank statements helps to dispel the notion that women fit into a single mold (at least in your fiction).

    The Bechdel test, is not necessarily a good test of how much Hollywood has moved forward in portraying women, but its low standard demonstrates how rarely women are still portrayed in Hollywood productions.

    During the 90s and 2000s we had plenty of Arabic terrorists in our movies (of few characteristics than angry) which became even more defined into a stereotype in the 2000s. If we portray Arabs and Muslims to be of different walks, some radical, some angry, some thoughtful, some who just want to sell their mangos and design their bridges. Some who hate America, some who like America but hate France, some who don't concern themselves with politics...and so on...we'll be able to move away from the angry radical Arab Muslim.

    And to be fair, angry radicals come from all walks and make a lot of noise. And some are justifiably angry, given they and their people are miserable due to circumstances controlled by other people. We get that a lot.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 1:58pm

      Re: How about portraying

      Title should be How about portraying many of the target demographic as different?

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    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 2:04pm

      Re: How about portraying

      It's worth noting that the criteria laid out by the Bechdel Test are strangely self-serving considering that Bechdel, who invented the test, was (is?) the author of a comic strip about lesbians.

      Just saying...

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    • icon
      tqk (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 3:58pm

      Re: How about portraying the target demographic as different?

      Add in the fact that a lot of what goes on in Hollywood is thinly concealed propaganda in collusion with The Establishment. "Argo" and "The Kingdom" were both partnerships involving Hollywood and the CIA. I really enjoyed TK, but it's pretty annoying to discover what was really going on.

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  • identicon
    Jake, 30 Apr 2015 @ 1:57pm

    All that being said, it would probably help if we could do something to discourage this sort of thing.

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  • icon
    Oblate (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 2:11pm

    Clever, very clever...

    Is this just an attempt to have Western media stop covering Iranian clerics? After all, if we can't say anything negative about them (even if true) there's not much left to report on.

    If they want more positive representation in the media they should try not reinforcing the negative images by living up to them. Stop funding terrorists, stop encouraging radicalization, and then the media will no longer portray you as supporting terrorists and radicalization.

    Lastly, there is a tiny bit of truth in his statement (much as I hate to admit it). He is correct when he points out that there are not many positive portrayals of Muslims in Western media, although he is far from the first to say this. But trying to suppress negative images won't magically create positive ones.

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    • icon
      tqk (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 4:31pm

      Re: Clever, very clever...

      Stop funding terrorists, stop encouraging radicalization, and then the media will no longer portray you as supporting terrorists and radicalization.

      I agree, but at the same time perhaps we could stop electing leaders who see Saddam Hussein allied with al Quaida, smelling WMDs in Iraq ginning up wars of liberation, yada, yada.

      There's a lot of "Which came first, chicken or egg?" stuff going on here, we have to admit.

      As for positive portrayals of Muslims in movies, Robin Hood's Muslim sidekick came off pretty well, even if the movie was almost universally panned.

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  • identicon
    bob, 30 Apr 2015 @ 2:14pm

    speech is not a hate crime

    you know what's a hate crime?
    cutting someone's head off for drawing cartoons.
    or stoning them to death for a belief they have.

    if this is the muslim leadership, the people who help guide and direct the thinking of the heavily religious muslims, then the violence problem that we believe to exist is not due to 'a very few individuals' but is instead representative of a power so great that it runs a country and directs its people in how to think. A way of thinking that is evidently accepting of what I outlined as examples of hate crimes at the beginning of this post.

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    • icon
      tqk (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 4:46pm

      Re: speech is not a hate crime

      you know what's a hate crime? cutting someone's head off for drawing cartoons.

      I was thinking about that the other day when I looked at a photograph of two Muslim women in full head to toe black dress, both holding up pics of their fearless leader. I've seen the same sort of thing in demonstrations in Pakistan where men were showing placards to the camera containg pics of their clerics.

      I thought Islam thought pictures of people were proscribed by Mohammad. What gives? Is this inconsistency, a difference between Shia and Sunni, or is modernity sneaking in despite the Koran & etc?

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  • identicon
    Rekrul, 30 Apr 2015 @ 2:17pm

    I've said it before; "Tolerance" when applied to Islam means that non-Muslims have to respect Islam and all its traditions, but Muslims don't have to respect anything they don't like.

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    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 2:23pm

      Re:

      Yeah, them and just about everyone else who love to paint themselves as victims of intolerance. It's a pretty common tactic because it works so well. (Just think about how many other groups you could replace the words "Islam" and "Muslims" with in that sentence and have it still be equally true.)

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  • icon
    SolkeshNaranek (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 2:29pm

    self censorship

    Asking us to self-censor


    in a pigs eye...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 2:33pm

    In the Western media be it in films, games or news, Muslims and Islam are constantly associated with terrorism, violence and backwardness

    Actually there is a lot of misinformation in the other direction.
    The so called "islamic golden age" the supposed peaceful co-existence in Spain, the mythical "Islamic Scientific advances" (in reality the work of Jews, Christians and atheists living under islamic rule) etc etc.

    The association between Islam and terrorism, violence and backwardness is justifiable because it represents the truth as documented in Islamic scripture and the history of the Islamic world. Muslims (especially in the West) however are quite another matter. Most of them are simply giving allegiance to "their tribe". They don't read their holy books (at least not in a language that they understand) and they get most of their moral values from elsewhere.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 2:41pm

    Wait... so the reason they want to do bad things are because we talk about those bad things? Ignore the group until they go away theory eh? I wonder what started all the bad associations in the first place?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 2:54pm

    As long as they treat everyone even handedly it shouldn't matter. I haven't seen anything here that vilinaizes a particular religion over another religion in fiction.

    The propaganda video made by that american that got him charged with treason is certainly punished, but not banned.

    I think we should be able to see the line just to learn what WAY over the line in America looks like to avoid it. They charged some people for treason in WW2 because of propagandist media too.

    Not copying similar things in fiction is probably a good idea but is sticky around political parody issues.

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  • icon
    limbodog (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 2:54pm

    Did he say this before or after "Death to the USA! Death to Israel!"?

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  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 3:07pm

    This viewpoint made some progress back in 2001.

    Tom Clancy's book "The Sum of All Fears" dealt with Arab nationalists trying to start a nuclear war between the US and Russia. For the movie the villains were changed to modern-day Nazis. The Arnold Schwarzenegger movie "Collateral Damage" had the villains changed from Arab terrorists to Columbian drug lords. (Stereotyping Germans and Columbians is acceptable.)

    Both movies were in post-production on 9/11.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 3:26pm

    Conversion

    Just a first little step to conversion to Islam. Come on, try it! It's not that hard. You'll see!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 3:34pm

    Why our Media?

    Why is it that their own clerics that are preaching for the destruction of not only everyone who isn't muslim, but everyone who is the wrong kind of muslim must be the ones silenced. This is blaming the victim and I am not having it. When Iran launches their first nuke on Isreal, I hope that we finally see the light and erase their scourge of a country from the globe.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 4:05pm

    When they start bombing Isis...

    Maybe then we can talk about this.

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    • icon
      tqk (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 5:08pm

      Re: When they start bombing Isis...

      Maybe then we can talk about this.

      Iran is bombing IS. Iran is Shia and Syria's predominantly Shia.

      Meanwhile, Saudis are bombing the rebels in Yemen. Saudis are Sunni and Yemen is predominantly Sunni.

      Extremists in both camps murder and hate Kurds, Yazidis, ...

      Also remember the Bolsheviks hated the Mencheviks, Catholics hated Protestants, the Nazi SS wiped out the Nazi SD, ... Why anyone wants to play this silly game's beyond me, but it doesn't appear to be slowing down appreciably.

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      • identicon
        DigDug, 30 Apr 2015 @ 10:41pm

        Re: Re: When they start bombing Isis...

        That's because nobody's played to win this game before.

        Insert famous quote from Alien film franchise, 'nuff said.

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 12:20am

        The Merry Minuet (from memory)

        They're rioting in Africa
        They're starving in Spain
        There's a hurricane in Florida
        And Texas needs rain.


        The whole world is festering
        With unhappy souls.
        The French hate the Germans
        The Germans hate the Poles.
        Italians hate Yugoslavs
        South Africans hate the Dutch
        And I don't like anybody very much.


        But we can be thankful
        And tranquil and proud
        For man's been endowed
        With the mushroom-shaped cloud.


        And we can be certain
        That one happy day,
        Someone will set the spark off
        And we will all be blown away.


        They're rioting in Africa.
        There's strife in Iran
        What nature doesn't do to us
        Will be done by our fellow man.


        -- The Kington Trio

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  • identicon
    AnonCow, 30 Apr 2015 @ 4:52pm

    You stop beheading our citizens, stoning your own women to death, and throwing gays off the rooftops and we'll stop the shit talking...

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  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 30 Apr 2015 @ 5:12pm

    if the radicals of every religion had their way there would be at best a few hundred people left alive on earth since everyone else would be dead in their perfect world.

    I mean every religion in the world. This one in particular is just as laughable as Christian zealots thinking everyone needs to do what they say or die.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 12:49am

      The preference for a tiny population is not particular to radicals.

      Human beings want to be part of a tiny society. A tribe or band where they know everyone personally, and well enough to know what to expect from that person. It's a defense mechanism against germs and infectious diseases. It was our only defense prior to germ theory and centralized disease control.

      Radicals more vocal than the rest of us, and may believe in radical notions, such as a large homogenous non-pluralistic society, or a small society in which they still sustain the infrastructure that has been gained from big ones. They're fantasies that stem from a simplistic interpretation of the real world.

      But as we see in incidents like Ferguson and Baltimore, or in places like /b/, people don't make that connection between internet, clean water and electricity and large pluralist societies. They cannot rationalize long enough to recognize that their us vs. everyone-else paradigm is delusional. The belief that they can single out the bad (lazy, non-mainstream, criminal, whatever) people and annihilate them and then their society will be perfect.

      They'll always find fault in those people who are outside their top 100 Facebook friends. They'll always ultimately decide that those guys, too, need to be culled from the herd.

      It's not a matter of religion or ideology. These just give the notion some sense of authority. Everyone is looking identify and purge the other people.

      The trick is to figure out how to govern these people in a large civilization despite their desperate instinct to separate out. We've hacked it so far. I expect the society that can unite the most will ultimately win out over the others, whether by economic development, culture or sheer conquest.

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      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 5 May 2015 @ 6:32am

        Re: The preference for a tiny population is not particular to radicals.

        What a thoughtful post! I've spotted a flaw in your logic, however: the desire to create a near-homogenous society despite our natural tendency to fracture.

        What we COULD be doing instead is to create bridges to link the cultural islands together, the idea being to celebrate and encourage pluralism in a tolerant environment. You see, it's not so much about "Kill the infidel because he's different!", it's about "Kill the infidel because I feel threatened by his being different!"

        Can you see what I'm getting at, here? The more you try to homogenize, the more fracturing you'll get. Let people be people, however weird or different they are to the rest of us, and encourage others to be tolerant.

        Sometimes this means tolerating a lot; since I'm basically conservative I spend a lot of time gritting my teeth at things I think are downright strange, but then I think, "What do these guys think of me?" At which point I let it go and remember that it's none of my beeswax what other people get up to if it's not affecting me directly.

        I'm not really sure if any of that makes sense but I'll tell you now, our tendency to differentiate will frustrate any effort made to homogenize anything. Or anyone.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 5 May 2015 @ 6:00pm

          Sesame Street, savior of the future!

          I'm pretty sure we are of a like mind here. Yeah, as a population grows, then a group will fracture into subgroups. Human instincts are such as to keep the band with which I identify small.

          I certainly think that those of us who are mentally capable of practicing tolerance should do so. But I also hypothesize that most people are unable to make that step, and are compelled by their instinct to distrust and dehumanize strangers. And when I talk about governing these people, I don't mean controlling them, but being able to sustain a society in which equality is sustained even when groups are pushing for privilege. Even when they have money or tradition behind them (e.g. It is much easier in the US for an NPO to get 501(c) tax-exempt status if it's a Christian church than if it's a non-Christian religious group or a non-religious group altogether)

          And yes, is certainly a tool by which we can teach or promote tolerance of a pluralistic society. Sesame Street still shows bits that encourage intercultural awareness. One of my favorite more recent bits of theirs is Pigeons and Cookies and Trash* which presents the notion that one's neighborhood is going to be peopled with eccentric adults that have their own individualities. I like it because it doesn't focus on the distinctions that we try to address (race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, etc.) but just conveys the message people are different. (And yes, this paragraph was totally an excuse to post Sesame Street links.)

          We use a lot of cultural tricks to hack our brains into accepting a larger society. That's part of why we invented nations and flags (before which we were loyal to kings and families). It's easier to unify under a decree that this land is ours.

          But yeah, I think a pluralist culture is going to serve humanity even better than a pastiche culture or a universally appealing one, given that different perspectives also generate a more diverse range of innovation.

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  • identicon
    I love your hate, 30 Apr 2015 @ 5:58pm

    Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

    G. Bush both jr. and Sr. fall into the same place as the murderous bastard they funded the Taliban, ISIS, Komaini pretty much all of the extremist religious people in the last half century, It is indeed a project for a new american century, violence murder and also murder is what they have created.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 2:02am

      Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

      Christians are as bad

      I'll accept that there are some bad Christians - but that is exactly what they are - bad Christians, not following their Lord.

      The problem is that the violent Muslims are GOOD Muslims - following their prohet's words and actions faithfully.

      This kind of "tu quoque" argument is used very often in this context and I'm not going to let you get away with it.

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      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 6:28am

        Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

        The problem is that the violent Muslims are GOOD Muslims - following their prohet's words and actions faithfully.

        The same can be said of Christians. You'll find much the same attitudes and commands towards other religions in both the Bible and the Koran.

        150 years ago Biblical teachings were commonly used to justify slavery and racism. 50 years ago, they were commonly used to support racism and deny civil rights. 100 ago it was perfectly normal for Christian countries to invade and occupy the rest of the world - and yes, "spreading Christianity" was a major justification.

        150 years ago Pope Pius IX fully supported and assisted kidnapping Jewish children so that they could be raised as Christians. In fact even the modern church still supports Pius IX's decision.

        In the last century the Christian world had WWI, WWII, the holocaust and the nuking of two cities - with clerics and padres on BOTH the German and Allied sides assuring their respective troops that God thought it was peachy-keen.

        Anti-Semitic Romanian Orthodox fascist movements in Romania, such as the Iron Guard and Lancieri, were responsible for involvement in the Holocaust, Bucharest pogrom, and political murders during the 1930s

        In Europe there were pogroms by Christians against the Jews even *after* WWII. Meanwhile the British government bombed five ships and attacked another as part of a campaign to discourage post-war Jewish refugees from sailing to then British-controlled Palestine.

        Nothing in the Islamic world compares to the holocaust - the deliberate targeting of one religion by a great many Christians from France to the Ukraine.

        And yes, there's Christians in the middle-east too: The Sabra and Shatila refugee camp massacre by Christian Lebanese forces happened a couple decades ago.

        In Uganda the Lord's Resistance Army, a guerrilla army engaged in an armed rebellion against the Ugandan government, has been accused of using child soldiers and committing numerous crimes against humanity; including massacres, abductions, mutilation, torture, rape, porters and sex slaves. It's led by Joseph Kony, who proclaims himself the spokesperson of God and a spirit medium, primarily of the Christian Holy Spirit. LRA fighters wear rosary beads and recite passages from the Bible before battle.

        The two sides in Northern Ireland were divided largely on religious lines. Yes, politics and past wrongs were a major cause rather than religion, but the same goes in the Islamic world.

        The most you can say is that the Islamic world is a few decades behind the west. And even then, without much accuracy:

        Christian Science Monitor: The myth of Muslim support for terror. Polls show that Americans are more approving of "bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians than any major Muslim country except for Nigeria.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 9:57am

          Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

          The same can be said of Christians. You'll find much the same attitudes and commands towards other religions in both the Bible and the Koran.

          No you can't!

          The fact that you say this tells me you haven't looked much at either book.

          The Christians you mentioneed are not following Christ's command to "Love your Enemies".

          You won't find a command to love your enemies in the Koran.

          If you want to know the ground truth of the two religions look at the first 300 years of their histories.
          Christians were peaceful and spread their message by persuasion.
          Islam on the other hand was spread almost exclusively at the point of the sword.

          Nothing in the Islamic world compares to the holocaust

          Look up the Armenian Genocide. It served as a model for the holocaust. And by the way Hitler is on record as saying that it would have been better if germans had been muslim rather than Christian - it suited Nazi ideology better. The Nazis were not Christian - (except as a public front when iit suited their politics). Real Christians like Dietrich Bonhoeffer were persecuted by the Nazis

          Islam has killed an estimated 270 million people in its history s starting with the approximately 900 Jews killed by the prophet himself in one day. Hitler tried to elminate Jews from Germany - Mohammed succeeded in eliminating them from what is now Saudi Arabia.

          As for your other examples of supposed Christian violence - I repeat - they are not obeying their religion. The don't kill people whilst shouting Christian slogans at the top of theiir voices.

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          • identicon
            Pragmatic, 5 May 2015 @ 6:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2015 @ 10:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

              Exactly Rais Bhulyan was not following Islam. He was following a modified version of the faith - probably akin to the Ahmadi Muslims - who are persecuted for their beliefs in Islamic countries.

              The verse he quotes from the Koran in your link is itself actually plagiarised from Jewish texts, and as adapted for the Koran it is traditionaly NOT applied to the killing of non-muslims - only the killing of Muslims.

              See this page for an explanation.

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              • icon
                Uriel-238 (profile), 8 May 2015 @ 11:22pm

                "Rais Bhulyan was not following Islam"

                Not a true Scotsman?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2015 @ 3:23am

                  Re: "Rais Bhulyan was not following Islam"

                  You don't understand the "No true Scotsman" concept.

                  In particular I said that Rais was not following Islam. To refute that you need to find an Islamic text that supports his actions and attitudes.

                  Let's see an analogy. Suppose a policeman (not in uniform) stops you in the UK and fails to show his warrant card.

                  To say he is not following police guidelines is true - and cannot be attacked by the "No true policeman" argument.

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                  • icon
                    Uriel-238 (profile), 9 May 2015 @ 10:47am

                    Untrue Scottsmen

                    In particular I said that Rais was not following Islam.

                    The implication was that Rais was not behaving as a true Muslim would and therefore should be disregarded as an example.

                    You could similarly argue that when the Patriarch Kirill stands by Putin regarding the persecution of gays and of those who speak for gay rights in Russia that he is not following Christianity. I'm pretty sure he believes he's being a good Christian when he's pushing that position.

                    And I think Rais believes he's being a good Muslim when he forgives a man who tried to murder him.

                    Who are you to tell them otherwise?

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2015 @ 12:02pm

                      Re: Untrue Scottsmen

                      The implication was that Rais was not behaving as a true Muslim

                      Being a Muslim is defined by the texts of the Koran, Hadith etc.

                      If he was not following them then he is not being a good Muslim - what he believes is irrelevant.

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                      • icon
                        Uriel-238 (profile), 11 May 2015 @ 12:58pm

                        No True Muslim

                        Uriel 238: I recognize there are plenty of good Christians and good Muslims, and what drives someone to, say, terrorism or heeding misogynistic tradition is going to stem from a more complex background than merely Islam.

                        Richard: Good Christians are people who obey Christ's commandments and emulate his life. Good Muslims are people who obey Mohammed's commandments and emulate his life. Muslims who in fact obey Christian commandments cannot be good Muslims.

                        ~-~-~ ~-~-~ ~-~-~

                        Uriel 238: The implication was that Rais was not behaving as a true Muslim

                        Anonymous Coward: Being a Muslim is defined by the texts of the Koran, Hadith etc. If he was not following them then he is not being a good Muslim - what he believes is irrelevant.

                        Both of you, Richard and Anonymous Coward are making the same presumptions, so my reply to both of you is the same:

                        -~- Who says? What gives you (or anyone else) the authority to decide what makes a good Christian or a good Muslim?

                        -~- Which passages are relevant and which are not? Which passages are literal and which are not? If you demand a absolute obedience to a literalist interpretation to both then there are neither good Christians nor good Muslims at all.

                        -~- To what degree? You can't expect human beings to be perfect in their efforts to obey, so what is the maximum failure rate accepted to still be good?

                        -~- What is the importance of intent? Is it possible to be an accidentally good Christian or an accidentally good Muslim? To what degree must they will to follow the Islamic / Christian path? Can a well-behaved idiot who cannot even keep straight who Jesus is still be a good Christian?

                        Such parameters are endless.

                        This is very much a True Scotsmen situation. You're defining for yourselves what you think makes a good Christian or a good Muslim. No-one, not even the Pope has the capacity, let alone the authority to make that adjudication.

                        At the most rigid acceptable definition, good Christians and good Muslims are those that think they are, even if their behavior runs contrary to the most relevant scripture, regardless of if they are paragons of society or the most despicable dastards. Regardless of how well they actually adhere to their respective doctrines. Identity belongs to the individual.

                        Both of you: Stop judging Islam and stop judging Muslims as a people! Assess individuals on their own merits and their own behaviors and not based on stupid identity politics. Trying to categorize people like this invariably breaks down to sheer bigotry.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 10:05am

          Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

          150 years ago Biblical teachings were commonly used to justify slavery and racism.

          But it was abolished because of the tireles work of John Newton and William Wilberforce - both motivated by their Christian religion. Islam - on the other hand - which had been trading in African slaves since its beginning - including the so called prophet himself - was only persuaded to stop by force of arms. No movement for the abolition of slavery has ever originated from within Islam.

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          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 1:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

            John Newton was a captain of slave ships even after finding God, not becoming an abolitionist until 34 years after retiring from that job. For both men you're talking about people in the 1700s. Their work ended slavery in Britain, but Britain remained the largest player in the Atlantic slave trade. Slavery didn't end in America until 1865 and elsewhere in the Christian world until 1888.

            Both the Old and New Testaments are full of directives in favor of slavery. Christianity is a few decades ahead of the Islamic world in getting rid of it, but only a few decades.

            As for racism, consider that when Mitt Romney was preaching in France, his church still taught that blacks were cursed and damned.

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            • icon
              Mason Wheeler (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 2:02pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

              Both the Old and New Testaments are full of directives in favor of slavery.

              That's the problem with natural languages: they're very imprecise. We tend to combine things that are superficially similar into the same word (calling American bison "buffalo" even though they're biologically quite distinct from actual buffalo, for example) and most of the time it's a useful trick to reduce cognitive load. But sometimes you get cases like this.

              The terms translated as "slave," "slavery," etc. in the Old Testament referred to indentured servitude to work off a debt, and almost every relevant passage in the Law was about defining the rights of indentured servants and limiting the abusive things that their "master" could potentially do to them. It was an economic choice that could and frequently did benefit the servant just as much as the master, and the consideration in the law for a servant who has worked off his debt choosing to voluntarily remain in the master's service afterwards was something that really did happen.

              All of the abominations of slavery in the American South--treating people as inherently property for life, beatings and other physical abuse, sexual abuse, breaking up families by selling one slave to another master but not their family members--were strictly forbidden and condemned by Biblical law. American slavery literally bore zero resemblance to Biblical indentured servitude.

              As for racism, consider that when Mitt Romney was preaching in France, his church still taught that blacks were cursed and damned.

              Unsurprisingly, your ignorance of Mormon doctrine is very much on par with your ignorance of Biblical doctrine. Please, stick to subjects you actually know about, rather then just regurgitating random stuff you saw on some attack site. It just makes you look bad when someone who's actually studied this stuff sees what you wrote.

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              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 2 May 2015 @ 5:41pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

                American slavery literally bore zero resemblance to Biblical indentured servitude.

                Yeah, no, it was absolutely slavery, you were very much allowed to split families up and use them as 'hostages' in order to force a man to choose between slavery with his family and freedom without them, and the book only said you weren't allowed to beat them to death, you could absolutely beat them as long as they died later from your actions.

                The trick I see attempted often is that the bible mentions two types of slavery, the enslavement of Hebrews, which get the 'nice' treatment(but are still property), and the enslavement of non-Hebrews, which are absolutely considered property, and can be dealt with as such.

                Exodus 21:2-6
                21:2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.
                21:3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.
                21:4 If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.
                21:5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:
                21:6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.

                (Want to stay with your wife and kids? No problem, all it will cost is your freedom for the rest of your life)

                Exodus 21:20-21
                And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.

                (You can beat your property, as long as they don't die immediately from it. If they last a week and then die, you're fine.)

                Leviticus 25:44-46
                Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever.

                (As long as the people you enslave are from another tribe, if they're living in your area, they're fair game, whether adult of child. And once enslaved, they are to be treated as just another piece of property, and can be passed down to your children or sold as such.)

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 2:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

              John Newton was a captain of slave ships even after finding God, not becoming an abolitionist until 34 years after retiring from that job.

              Actually "Not announcing that he had become an abolitionist" is closer to the mark.

              Also it does not undermione the original point - that his religion was instrumental in changing his attitude. The length of time that it took is irrelevant.

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                Uriel-238 (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 2:50pm

                Not seeing it.

                I can't find any clear association of John Newton's religious epiphany with his abolitionism anywhere in his Wikipedia article. He seems to be apologetic in retrospect, but there's no indication at all that his conversion was what drove him from the trade and towards abolitionism.

                In fact, it points out he stayed in the slave trade until a stroke forced him out, at which point he continued to invest in slave trading.

                Doesn't sound like someone who found God and recanted the sin of slavery, especially since he did recant gambling, drinking and profanity fairly quickly.

                So maybe he didn't regard the slave trade as wrong or sinful until he reflected upon it in his later years.

                Feel free to cite sources that suggest otherwise, of course.

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                • icon
                  Richard (profile), 2 May 2015 @ 3:08pm

                  Re: Not seeing it.

                  These paragraphs from the Wikipedia article seems to imply it to me:

                  " He apologized for "a confession, which ... comes too late ... It will always be a subject of humiliating reflection to me, that I was once an active instrument in a business at which my heart now shudders." "

                  "Newton later came to believe that, during the first five of his nine years as a slave trader, he had not been a Christian in the full sense of the term: "I was greatly deficient in many respects ... I cannot consider myself to have been a believer in the full sense of the word, until a considerable time later."

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                  • icon
                    Uriel-238 (profile), 2 May 2015 @ 7:35pm

                    Definitely a corellation-but-not-necessarily-causation situation.

                    To me it looks like both segments are reflections on the folly of youth. In the case of slavery, desperation for a reasonable livelihood that shrouded the issues of morality. It's a lot easier for one to see in retrospect the immorality of his work with the after knowledge that he survived that period, or failed to see other options available at the time.

                    And his deficiency of faith does not correlate chronologically with his giving up the slave trade. The implication here is that he was a Christian in the full sense while he was still trading slaves and later while he was investing his own capital into slavers.

                    I would expect, if there was a clear tie between the two he'd state it outright, that he could not be fully Christian while he advocated for and profited from the African slave trade.

                    He doesn't say that as far as I know. He never states implicitly that slavery, whether generally or as it's practiced in the US was un-Christian.

                    So no. I'd have to say they were in Newton's head separate matters.

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                      Richard (profile), 3 May 2015 @ 12:43pm

                      Re: Definitely a corellation-but-not-necessarily-causation situation.

                      I think that you analysis is incompatible with this phrase.

                      " It will always be a subject of humiliating reflection to me, that I was once an active instrument in a business at which my heart now shudders."

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                        Uriel-238 (profile), 3 May 2015 @ 3:16pm

                        "your analysis is incompatible with this phrase."

                        I'm not seeing what you're seeing. Please elaborate.

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                        • icon
                          Richard (profile), 8 May 2015 @ 2:40pm

                          Re: "your analysis is incompatible with this phrase."

                          So no. I'd have to say they were in Newton's head separate matters.

                          Given his commitment to the faith it seems unlikely to me that anything "in his head" was separate from his faith.

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                            Uriel-238 (profile), 8 May 2015 @ 9:29pm

                            Speculation

                            Given his commitment to the faith it seems unlikely to me that anything "in his head" was separate from his faith.

                            Deriving from the known facts a causal relationship is an amazing, perhaps miraculous logical leap.

                            But feel free to try to make your case. It's not in the material present.

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                              Richard (profile), 9 May 2015 @ 3:13am

                              Re: Speculation

                              You seem to be happy to make the connection between bad things and people's faith without evidence - sauce for the goose?

                              You said In the last century the Christian world had WWI, WWII, the holocaust and the nuking of two cities - with clerics and padres on BOTH the German and Allied sides assuring their respective troops that God thought it was peachy-keen.

                              Well I would say, using your own argument, that in their heads Christianity was a separate matter from the war.

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                                Uriel-238 (profile), 9 May 2015 @ 10:37am

                                Re: Re: Speculation

                                I was pointing out that if we decide that faith in Islam connects with the antisocial behaviors they exhibit and the antisocial beliefs they hold, we would have to apply the same logic to people with other faiths, such as Christianity.

                                I recognize there are plenty of good Christians and good Muslims, and what drives someone to, say, terrorism or heeding misogynistic tradition is going to stem from a more complex background than merely Islam.

                                I would similarly argue that John Newton's life deserves a more sophisticated analysis than he was born again and all his virtuous steps are because of his new relationship with Jesus.

                                Do I let my outrage of hypocritical religious figureheads seep into my arguments? Undoubtedly. If the politics of the United States would allow for the irreligious (not even atheist -- just those for whom Sunday school isn't a big deal) to also rise to power and show their hypocrisy, I might not so eagerly associate it with Christianity.

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                                • icon
                                  Richard (profile), 10 May 2015 @ 11:49am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Speculation

                                  I was pointing out that if we decide that faith in Islam connects with the antisocial behaviors they exhibit and the antisocial beliefs they hold, we would have to apply the same logic to people with other faiths, such as Christianity.


                                  But it is naive to do this without examining the core beliefs of the ideology in question.

                                  The antisocial behaviour can be connected to the ideology IF AND ONLY IF you can make a direct connection between the core content of the ideology and the behaviours isn question.

                                  If you do otherwise then you are guilty of confusing correlation with causation. If you can construct a theory that explains the causal mechanism then the empirical evidence can be regarded as endorsing that theory.

                                  I recognize there are plenty of good Christians and good Muslims, and what drives someone to, say, terrorism or heeding misogynistic tradition is going to stem from a more complex background than merely Islam.

                                  Good Christians are people who obey Christ's commandments and emulate his life.

                                  Good Muslims are people who obey Mohammed's commandments and emulate his life. Muslims who in fact obey Christian commandments cannot be good muslims.

                                  Read the lives of the two founders and you will understand.

                                  I would similarly argue that John Newton's life deserves a more sophisticated analysis than he was born again and all his virtuous steps are because of his new relationship with Jesus.


                                  Because otherwise it contradicts your position.

                                  If the politics of the United States would allow for the irreligious (not even atheist -- just those for whom Sunday school isn't a big deal) to also rise to power and show their hypocrisy, I might not so eagerly associate it with Christianity.

                                  How parochial!

                                  Is not the example of Soviet Russia good enough for you?

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                                  • icon
                                    Uriel-238 (profile), 11 May 2015 @ 1:12pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Speculation

                                    Uriel238: I recognize there are plenty of good Christians and good Muslims...

                                    Richard: Good Christians are people who...Good Muslims are people who...

                                    I respond to this here. Again, I suspect you, Richard and Anonymous Coward are the same person considering how similar your replies are.

                                    Uriel238: [However we connect Islam with antisocial behavior] we would have to apply the same logic to people with other faiths, such as Christianity.

                                    Richard: But it is naive to do this without examining the core beliefs of the ideology in question.

                                    It is naive to presume that the core beliefs are consistent from person to person, let alone from congregation to congregation (or denomination to denomination). It's folly to presume which beliefs are core or not and which are subject to interpretation or context.

                                    See my prior points regarding the beatitudes.

                                    Richard: The antisocial behavior can be connected to the ideology IF AND ONLY IF you can make a direct connection between the core content of the ideology and the behaviors in question.

                                    That's only the case if I'm trying to define a causal relationship (which I wasn't). Causality cannot be established at all between either Christians or Muslims and behavior.

                                    I'm only saying that whatever logic you can apply to one should be applied equally to the other. And if you find a specific argument unpalatable when applied to your favored religion or identity group, maybe you shouldn't apply it to others.

                                    In the meantime this raises second conspicuous similarity that you share with Anonymous Coward in that you restated my position (I assume erroneously) as if I overextended a logical step, and then defended against that -- a form of straw-man argument, I suppose --. AC did the same thing here. Are you two sure you're not the same person?

                                    Uriel238: I would... argue that John Newton's life deserves a more sophisticated analysis...

                                    Richard: Because otherwise it contradicts your position.

                                    The implication being not only that I'm letting my own attitude polarization get in the way of a fair logical examination, to which I respond: show, don't tell.

                                    Another implication being that simplicity is truer. Here's an example of simplicity that you might not agree with:

                                    a. John Newton was a slaver.

                                    b. John Newton was a born again Christian at the same time he was a Slaver

                                    c. ergo: John Newton believed Christianity and slaving (or slave-owning) were compatible.

                                    Simple, therefore true, yes?

                                    In the future, try arguing the subject rather than the motivations of your rivals (which are irrelevant). That way, you see, you will look less a fool and a cur.

                                    Richard: Is not the example of Soviet Russia [as a hotbed of hypocritical irreligious politicians] good enough for you?

                                    Um, no.

                                    Firstly, I don't know Soviet internal politics at the detail level that hypocrisy would be visible.

                                    Secondly, the regime was entirely different to the US paradigm in which candidates sell themselves as potential representatives to the people, and then later sell to press the justifications for their actions in contradiction to their prior promises.

                                    Thirdly, I recognize that politicians in the US national theater are compelled often by circumstances to protect themselves in ways that make them behave hypocritically. My bitterness about the exclusion of secularists aside, we have plenty of examples of how Christian morals are not an adequate obstacle to political dishonesty. I would say that no ideology or ethical code would prove to be sufficient. Politics is served well by pragmatism and utilitarianism.

                                    If we wanted more honesty in US government, we'd have to reform it drastically to make it beneficial to our representatives to be so. Maybe subject them to electric shocks whenever they are caught in a lie or telling a false fact or something.

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        • icon
          Richard (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 10:07am

          Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

          LRA fighters wear rosary beads and recite passages from the Bible before battle.

          I think you need a citation on that one.

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          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 12:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

            Certainly. I was going by stories in the papers like this one.
            "Commanders were telling us that we were fighting in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, but they were not behaving like Christians," said Richard Okello, 19. "They were putting on rosaries and praying whenever they were planning a battle."

            Still, while looking up the quote I found that the LRA leadership has been using a mix of Christianity, Islam and other religion. So I concede that the one point isn't entirely accurate.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 10:16am

          Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

          Nothing in the Islamic world compares to the holocaust

          The Armeniian Genocide - the difference is that Germany has repented and apologised for (and made it a crime to deny) the holocaust but Turkey itself denies the Armenian genocide (the word was invented to describe it - by a Jew!)

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          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 1:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

            Except that it wasn't just Germany, was it? They had plenty of collaboration everywhere from France to Romania and the Ukraine.

            Historian Gwynne Dyer recently wrote had an excellent overview of why the Armenian genocide "was genocide through panic, incompetence and deliberate neglect, but it cannot be compared to what happened to the European Jews.

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            • icon
              Richard (profile), 10 May 2015 @ 11:58am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

              Historian Gwynne Dyer recently wrote had an excellent overview of why the Armenian genocide "was genocide through panic, incompetence and deliberate neglect, but it cannot be compared to what happened to the European Jews.

              She considered only a small part of said genocide - which in fact started in the 19th century long before the first world war and continued after it.

              The first person to compare the two was Hitler - when he said "who now remembers the Armenians" when he was advocating the the Nazi policy.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 10:56am

          Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

          And yes, there's Christians in the middle-east too: The Sabra and Shatila refugee camp massacre by Christian Lebanese forces happened a couple decades ago.

          Interesting how you have to scrape the barrel to find these examples.

          Whereas more recently the Christians in the moddle east are being systematically wiped out.

          It is maybe not surprising if people lash out when they are under threat - but it is not at the instigation of the Bible.

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          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 1:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

            Interesting how you have to scrape the barrel to find these examples.

            Interesting how there's so many examples.

            Whereas more recently the Christians in the moddle east are being systematically wiped out.

            Yes, and that is terrible. Just like it was terrible in [when it was happening to Muslims in the Balkans](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslav_Wars#War_rape) a few years ago.

            > but it is not at the instigation of the Bible.

            The same thing can be said for the Koran. The Bible has much the same directives ordering followers to kill those in other religions. Do you want me to list a few?

            Likewise, there's no shortage even in the last century of atrocities with the Bible cited as justification.

            Yes, there are often other reasons for those atrocities - political power, past wrongs, etc. But it's no different in the Islamic world.

            The Christian West is gotten more mature about that sort of thing lately, but its at most only a few decades ahead of the Islamic world.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 2:04pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

              The Bible has much the same directives ordering followers to kill those in other religions.

              No it does not - the texts you are referring to are old testament - and so cannot be directly associated with Christianity. They are also historical and have no direct meaning today the religions/tribes mentioned no longer exist. Also they are superseded by the new testament command, repeated in several places, to love your enemies.

              The texts in the Koran are open ended commands that still apply.

              Likewise, there's no shortage even in the last century of atrocities with the Bible cited as justification.

              Of course people can twist the bible to their own purpose - particularly if they pick up on the old testament and ignore the new.


              Yes, there are often other reasons for those atrocities - political power, past wrongs, etc. But it's no different in the Islamic world.

              It is different because Islam was invented for the purpose of obtaining political power for Mohammed. (If you believe he even existed.) Consequently its entire structure revolves around a mixture of political intrigue and military tactics.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 2:07pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

              Yes, and that is terrible. Just like it was terrible in [when it was happening to Muslims in the Balkans](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslav_Wars#War_rape) a few years ago.

              Yes - and the West supported the Muslims and bombed Serbia.

              On the thesis that it is attacks from the West that have provoked islamic terrorism then there should also have been Serbian terrorism against the west - but there was none.

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            tqk (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 2:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

            It is maybe not surprising if people lash out when they are under threat - but it is not at the instigation of the Bible.

            You're not even trying. That's just the first hit in ixquick for "genocide bible". Hit #2:
            And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain.
            -- Deuteronomy 2:34

            The first hit has a nice discussion as to why it's crap to think "Ah, that's just the Old Testament."

            Enjoy.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2015 @ 2:53pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

              Consider the following words of Jesus from St Matthew 22:

              Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

              38 This is the first and great commandment.

              39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

              40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


              Now try the other link - the one about what the Koran says about...

              You will find it is FAR worse.

              Bear in mind that the Koran is all meant to be the literal words of Allah.

              The Old Testament - whilst Christians believe that it is inspired by God is largely a historical record containing things which are instructive. If you wish to compare the Koran to the Bible then you can only really compare it to the literal words of Jesus in the Gospels - if you want to include the rest of the Bible then you will need to add the Hadiths and Sira to the Koran. Again they are way worse.

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              • icon
                Uriel-238 (profile), 2 May 2015 @ 7:44pm

                Looks like you're trying to cherry pick scripture again.

                Consider how few Christians regard their neighbors as they would themselves, and considering how little uproar there is for it, I'd submit that loving your neighbor as you would yourself is no longer even a Christian ethic.

                Considering that the GOP pushes the hardest for [Christian] values voters, and then looks to cut welfare programs, assistance to the impoverished, or efforts towards equal treatment of marginalized minorities (case in point the recent Indiana Freedom of Religious Expression bill), I'd say that no, in the US Christianity is about total disregard of one's neighbor.

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                  Richard (profile), 3 May 2015 @ 1:04pm

                  Re: Looks like you're trying to cherry pick scripture again.

                  Consider how few Christians regard their neighbors as they would themselves, and considering how little uproar there is for it, I'd submit that loving your neighbor as you would yourself is no longer even a Christian ethic.

                  I think Jesus got there before you on this one:
                  "21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

                  22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

                  23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

                  Matthew Ch 7

                  Also what is it with your American so called Christians?
                  From where I'm sitting it looks like being American is the problem rather than being Christian!
                  This is reinforced by the manner in which some of your so called marginalized minorities themselves behave.

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                    Uriel-238 (profile), 3 May 2015 @ 3:40pm

                    Scripture is useless when no-one considers it.

                    Richard, are you the same as this guy? You seem to share the same notion that the alleged content of religious scripture is more important than how it's interpreted or how it is heeded by its followers. You might want to see my responses to him, as I see that the behavior of Christians more defines the Christian faith and the community than does those messages that Jesus attempted (and evidently failed) to teach.

                    Contemporary Christian churches don't behave well on either side of the pond, and I see it unfitting to apply one standard to one religious group (Islam) and another standard to a different one (Christendom). My statement still stands: It's more important to Christian churches worldwide to increase the marginalization of gays and women. That sounds contrary to any love your neighbor message.

                    This isn't to say that Islam is any better, but as an outside observer, both religions speak poorly for the notions of religious faith or revealed scripture. Both serve as examples of cultures that have become obsolete in comparison to contemporary morality (e.g. the United Nations Charter regarding human rights or the Geneva Convention's dicta regarding the treatment of displaced refugees.)

                    Also what is it with your American so called Christians?
                    From where I'm sitting it looks like being American is the problem rather than being Christian!
                    This is reinforced by the manner in which some of your so called marginalized minorities themselves behave.


                    You're going to have to be more specific than that, namely which so called marginalized minorities to which you refer and their behaviors. I'm pretty sure intolerance is a worldwide issue.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 4 May 2015 @ 12:58pm

                      Re: Scripture is useless when no-one considers it.

                      Contemporary Christian churches don't behave well on either side of the pond, and I see it unfitting to apply one standard to one religious group (Islam) and another standard to a different one (Christendom). My statement still stands: It's more important to Christian churches worldwide to increase the marginalization of gays and women. That sounds contrary to any love your neighbor message.

                      Well my attitude on this is simple. Firstly I am not personally going to pass judgement on anyone in regard to sexuality. Secondly if a religious group has some opinion about the matter then they should be entitled to hold onto it so long as it remains within their own religious context. So no they don't have to ordain gays or women if their doctrine forbids it - but then why would gays or women want to be officials in such an organisation? If you don't agree with the doctrine then don't join the club, no one is forcing you to!

                      Where I would object is when it spills over into the civic sphere. In several Islamic countries homosexuality carries the death penalty. This is because Islam is not just a religion - it is also a political system that wants to impose its will on everyone not just its own followers.

                      You're going to have to be more specific than that, namely which so called marginalized minorities to which you refer and their behaviors.

                      Marginalised minorities was your term so I thought you knew what it meant - however what I was referring to was cases where the minorities seem to be going out of their own way to provoke an issue.

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                      • icon
                        Uriel-238 (profile), 5 May 2015 @ 2:21am

                        "Cases where the minorities seem to be going out of their own way to provoke an issue."

                        This is where you're going to have to get specific.

                        marginalized minorities was my term, but you are the one who called them so-called, so you're going to have to explain which minorities the marginalization of which you find skeptical.

                        What minorities do you think are provoking issues, and what issues? Women? Gays? Blacks? Atheists?

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                      Richard (profile), 4 May 2015 @ 1:10pm

                      Re: Scripture is useless when no-one considers it.

                      It's more important to Christian churches worldwide to increase the marginalization of gays and women. That sounds contrary to any love your neighbor message.

                      This isn't to say that Islam is any better,


                      I think that the facts speak for themselves.

                      Here is a link to a map of the world by religion:
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_in_Islam#/media/File:Prevailing_world_religions_map.png

                      an d here are the countries supporting/opposing/neutral/ on the UN charter on LGBT rights
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_in_Islam#/media/File:LGBT_rights_at_the_UN.svg

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                      • icon
                        Uriel-238 (profile), 5 May 2015 @ 2:14am

                        Re: Re: Scripture is useless when no-one considers it.

                        Considering the sweeping variance of the tolerance of gays in the US, I'd say that your maps generalize way too much.

                        Your facts are oversimplifications.

                        However the position of the Vatican is clear.

                        I'm pretty sure that if we took the positions-of-faith of the top ten most popular Christian denominations worldwide we'd get see a consistent anti-gay position. (Liberal tolerance-minded faiths such as Unitarians tend fall at the low end of the parishioner count)

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                        • icon
                          Richard (profile), 8 May 2015 @ 8:34am

                          Re: Re: Re: Scripture is useless when no-one considers it.

                          Not My maps - wikipedia's maps.

                          Also there is a big difference between even the most extreme Christian position on this subject and a typical Islamic position.

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                          • icon
                            Uriel-238 (profile), 8 May 2015 @ 10:05am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Scripture is useless when no-one considers it.

                            Sourcing the maps doesn't magically make them more specific, or more accurate, though I'll grant that Wikimedia does generally have a high rate of scientific accuracy. Still, as I illustrate below, there's a wide variance of opinion in the United States and that map doesn't show or change that.

                            Also there is a big difference between even the most extreme Christian position on this subject and a typical Islamic position.

                            Okay, let us challenge this. Here in the US, several churches including the majority of the evangelist movement (representing ~23% of the United States population) supported (and in several cases strongly pushed for the creation of) the 2014 Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act which makes not only sodomy but evidence of homosexuality -- which could be determined by simply having enough witnesses saying a suspect is kinda swishy or overly affectionate with a same-sex friend -- a capital crime. That is, the act calls for the death penalty for seeming too gay.

                            That is a clear indication of they would if they could, that a large chunk of Christendom would seek to execute gays if they could get the rest of society to stomach it.

                            So let us give you the benefit of the doubt and say that that (and not the actions of the WBC who are a tiny radical group) qualifies as the most extreme Christian position on this subject. A fairly common position in the US, which is downright terrifying to me.

                            So what's the typical Islamic position, and who defines what is the typical Islamic position? (Hint: don't just quote or refer to the Koran. The bible has its anti-gay clobber passages too.)

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2015 @ 10:53am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Scripture is useless when no-one considers it.

                              That is a clear indication of they would if they could, that a large chunk of Christendom would seek to execute gays if they could get the rest of society to stomach it.

                              But the rest of society is also heir to Christian values and so the would if they could is null and void.

                              In the Islamic world however they can and they do:

                              From Wikiislam.org:
                              Exact figures are hard to determine, due to the political turmoil in many of the Islamic states, but as of 2009 homosexual relationships, acts or behavior are forbidden in approximately thirty-six Islamic countries including Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen, with punishments including anything from a fine up to life imprisonment.[18][19] Ten of those countries out of the thirty-six impose the death penalty for homosexuals. They are Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi-Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and some states in Malaysia.[20]

                              Even Muslims in the West are not in sync with typical western values:

                              For example, a Gallup survey carried out in early 2009 found that British Muslims have zero tolerance for Homosexuality. Not even a single British Muslim interviewed believed that homosexual acts were morally acceptable.[10][11] Also according to a Zogby International poll of American Muslims taken in November and December of 2001, a massive 71 percent opposed "allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally."[12] Another worrying statistic to be found among Muslims in the UK, is that although they comprise just 2% of the total British population, they commit 25% of all anti-Homosexual crimes.[13]

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                              • icon
                                Uriel-238 (profile), 8 May 2015 @ 11:19pm

                                "The rest of society is heir to Christian Values"

                                What values are those?

                                Some of us (not the entire rest of society) are trying to extend social equality to all factions including those with disfavored disabilities and those of misunderstood countercultures.

                                That effort is conspicuously absent from the mainstream conformity-promoting Christian center.

                                And considering that hard-line faiths are pushing for suspected gays to be executed in Uganda, I think they would if they could is fully valid, considering they are when they can.

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  • identicon
    I love your hate, 30 Apr 2015 @ 6:04pm

    I meant to say murder twice

    It's not enough times for these people but I will say it again

    Murderers, jr, sr, Rumsfeld, chenny, and many many others not to go all godwin but these people are actually worse than hitler.

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    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 3:59am

      Re: I meant to say murder twice

      If it is any comfort. Obama, Bush and Clinton were charged with war crimes by the international court regarding deliberate targeting of civilians with military attacks.

      Sadly to be arrested they would have to visit a country that respects the international court system. they are avoiding those

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 9:55am

        Re: Re: I meant to say murder twice

        If it is any comfort. Obama, Bush and Clinton were charged with war crimes by the international court regarding deliberate targeting of civilians with military attacks.

        Can you please provide a reference for that claim? I've seen it several times and nobody has ever backed it up. And yes, I've looked, and found nothing.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 6:18pm

    I'm not hearing much in all this about the "Death to America" chants, nor about the ceasing of funding of terrorists groups, nor any effort to bring the Islamic community into the modern era. I'm not hearing anything about changing how it is ok to lie to the non-believer, I'm not hearing anything about changing Shira laws into some modern version where honor killings of your own daughters would be considered illegal.

    That's a damn lot to ask for nothing in return. My answer would be Screw You to such a request with nothing else offered.

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  • identicon
    DigDug, 30 Apr 2015 @ 10:38pm

    I know, let's just help them on their rush to meet Allah

    Just find the places where the most radical extremists, like ISIS live and nuke them out of existence.

    Tell those locations to turn over the Extremists, or kill them themselves before we just turn the places where they congregate into molten slag.

    After the first few annihilations, there won't be a government on the planet that will put up with their garbage, and the problem will be solved, permanently.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 1:14am

      Nuking the enemy.

      Let me get this straight: you want to target the cities in which we suspect there to be ISIL cells -- cities that have populations that number in the hundreds of thousands or even millions, in which less than 1% of them are militants and...

      Kill them all with a thermonuclear blast? Because Fuck them all?

      What is scary is that our current policies are about as bad (the stat I heard was fifty civilians for every one person-of-interest -- that is suspected terrorist, not convicted -- is the average for our CIA drone strike program. Our policy is already to not give two shits for civilians caught in the wake.

      Also, that major attacks -- probably not nukes because those are ridiculous overkill, but fuel-air bombs used to siege their cities -- are probably still on the table in case ISIL strikes too close to home, or embarrasses Dick Cheney.

      Secondly, you've just retroactively justified the 9/11 attacks and any other no-rules strikes they might choose to implement in the future. To be fair, you're not the first. But it's been demonstrated time and again that despite our best efforts to be the good guy, the US has proven to be just as wicked, just as ruthless, just as unscrupulous as the worst brigands in Africa, let alone Bin Laden's Mujahedin, who actually had a code.

      But we've already given up our notions of a free country or a state in which everyone is treated as equals. We've even given up the notion that no-one is above the law.

      And now you've demonstrated you're willing to nuke the other guy as if they're vermin or some infectious germ, and not human beings in their own right.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 2:55am

        Re: Nuking the enemy.

        And now you've demonstrated you're willing to nuke the other guy as if they're vermin or some infectious germ, and not human beings in their own right.

        Actually they are humans infected by a germ (Islam).

        We know how to treat people with infectious diseases compassionately and it doesn't include being violent towards them.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 9:59am

          Re: Re: Nuking the enemy.

          At the point that you decide that Islam is dangerous and infectious, you have to accept that all other religions are as well. To be fair, you have to accept the case for any ideology, from Randian Objectivism to American Exceptionalism to Capitalism.

          Up to that point, I agree with you.

          But at the point that you decide that all people who follow a given faith are bad for accepting the faith, this logic fails.

          There are dangerous radicals for every belief system. People willing to sacrifice themselves and to kill innocents in the name of their ideology. Islam is not unusual in that regard. Nor is Islam unusual for having extremist passages in its scripture, a factor that is certainly shared with the whole Judeo-Christian narrative.

          And granted, we hear a lot about Islamic terrorism, but the circumstances from which such attacks spawn have far more factors than Islam itself, so suggesting that Islam itself is the problem (or that by ridding the world of Islam would solve it) is going to be a tough sell.

          And incidentally, no. Considering how we treated people with AIDS in the 70s and 80s. Considering we can't treat STIs without slut shaming those who are infected and considering how we are freaked out about Ebola and happy to deprive people we remotely suspect might have it, we here in the US suck at treating our infection patients with compassion.

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      • icon
        Padpaw (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 4:00am

        Re: Nuking the enemy.

        America fuck yeah seems to be the sentiment he is showing

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 2:06am

      Re: I know, let's just help them on their rush to meet Allah

      I know, let's just help them on their rush to meet Allah

      No No No No NO.

      Just widely publicise the truth about Islam and it will evaporate of its own accord.

      But whatever you do don't allow them to use laws to protect their lies.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2015 @ 11:04pm

    "Islamophobia in media be it films or games or news should be considered as promoting and aiding terrorism and also being [a] hate crime."

    Islamophobia - a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons.

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  • identicon
    x, 1 May 2015 @ 5:09am

    Islam needs to come into the 21st-century.

    That is the answer.

    Instead of being a bunch of ignorant crybabies who throw a temper tantrum because someone insults their fictitious "god", or draws a cartoon of an alcoholic wife-beating pedophile who started all this bullshit.

    They are still stuck in the 7th-century.

    Grow the fuck up, already. The only idiots who are causing this bullshit (terrism, mistreatment of women, violent protest against education, etc.) are followers of Islam who think it best to remain child-like ignorant idiots.

    They can blame no one but themselves.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 10:06am

      The same thing can be said of Catholicisim and Southern Baptism

      ...both who seem to be focused more on licensing who gets to have sex (e.g. not gays, only married couples for reproductive purposes) than they are on combating poverty and hunger.

      Considering that Iraqi Freedom was a holy war in which Evangelist Methodist Bush sought religious justification (and only from his own church while the others called US Interventionism in Iraq unjust.), I'm pretty sure the hardliner Christians are stacking a bigger body count than the Muslims, but because we have nice uniforms and prefer to blow shit up with air strikes rather than suicide bombers, we don't call it terrorism.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 10:11am

        Re: The same thing can be said of Catholicisim and Southern Baptism

        The same thing can be said of Catholicisim and Southern Baptism

        The mullahs just love it when you say that - though it isn't true.

        Tu Quoque anyone?

        The fact is that none of these so called Christians is actually following Christian teaching when they say that.

        Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery but drove the money changers out of the temple with a whip.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 10:32am

          The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

          Tu Quoque applies to ad hominem attacks. I'm saying that the behavior of radical Christians has similarities to the behavior of radical Muslims, and those that speak to scripture are happy to cherry pick those that serve their purpose, whether it is to enshroud women in burqad or slut shame them for having a libido. In Bush's cases it was to launch a major military campaign in Iraq on false pretenses.

          Ideology is a flexible thing. Ambiguous scripture doubly so, and Christianity is full of it as well as Islam. So maybe it's not about Islam per se.

          It doesn't matter what Jesus did or said. I don't hear the beatifications much these days, nor Jesus proscriptions towards charity and tolerance. No, it's about marginalizing (and when possible, killing) women and the gays.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 11:18am

            Re: The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

            I'm saying that the behavior of radical Christians has similarities to the behavior of radical Muslims,

            This is also tu quoque because you are trying to take the heat off Islam by claiming that another faith has similar problems.

            Ideology is a flexible thing. Ambiguous scripture doubly so, and Christianity is full of it as well as Islam. So maybe it's not about Islam per se.

            Simply not true. You are just repeating stuff you have been told.

            Try actually reading the New Testament and the Koran and you will find that out. It is pointless for me to quote individual verses because you will just resort to the same tactic of claiming that it is out of context.

            However there are many exhortations to love your enemies in the new testament. You won't find anything similar in the Koran.

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            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 1:06pm

              We've had this conversation before.

              And you were still an Anonymous Coward then but I recognize your train of thought.

              I believe that what Jesus said and what is written in the New Testament is not as important as how Christians behave today. You believe otherwise.

              Okay. I certainly don't think the NT is as pure as you do. I think people are eager to interpret passages they don't like or in your case regarding the Old Testament, discredit them it old news. That doesn't stop other Christian talking heads from yanking out OT scripture when they want. I see a lot more efforts to get the ten commandments into public halls of justice than the beatifications.

              In the meantime Christianity has failed continuously as a faith of tolerance, charity and peace for centuries. And the silence from people discontent with their brethren doing terrible things in Jesus name or as good Christians is conspicuous. And you don't care.

              And yes, while a Tu quoque argument does not vindicate the behavior of those Muslims that behave poorly, it raises to question the validity of someone who would hold Muslims to a different standard than they would hold their preferred people, as you have done.

              My own opinion centers around that this: It's really popular for humans to decide that their own circle of friends is the preferred, elite group and that everyone else (starting with that despicable group over there) should be shunned or exiled or eradicated. It's also really popular for people to hold themselves to a gentler standard than they hold everyone else, even in a society in which justice is supposed to be equal for all. We see it in the US with law enforcement. We see it in every religious group regarding every other religious group, or with any non-religious group.

              In short, I'm not anti-religion. I'm anti-superiority-complex. I'm anti-double-standard.

              And you seem to really like hating the Muslims. So whatever, dude.

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              • icon
                nasch (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 1:43pm

                Re: We've had this conversation before.

                I see a lot more efforts to get the ten commandments into public halls of justice than the beatifications.

                Just a minor point, it's beatitudes.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 4 May 2015 @ 12:25pm

                Re: We've had this conversation before.

                In the meantime Christianity has failed continuously as a faith of tolerance, charity and peace for centuries.

                I would take issue with that rather strongly. It is of course true that many Christians and Christian institutions have not lived up to the commandments of the New Testament. That is no surprise - since it was already predicted in the New Testament.

                However to make your case stand up you need to show that the world would have been better without Christianity.

                You would need to show that the Christianised Roman/Byzantine Empire was not better than the old pagan Rome that preceded it. You would need to show that the Christians who acted badly would have acted better if they had not been Christians.

                In short you would need to show that Christ's teaching was a bad influence not just an ineffective one.

                And the silence from people discontent with their brethren doing terrible things in Jesus name or as good Christians is conspicuous. And you don't care.

                Actually I do care and so do a lot of others I am not a Roman Catholic but I note the apologies made by John Paul 2
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apologies_made_by_Pope_John_Paul_II
                it raises to question the validity of someone who would hold Muslims to a different standard than they would hold their preferred people, as you have done.

                I never did that. I never hold Muslims to any standard. My criticism is of the ideology only not the people.

                You seem to want to make everything personal.

                In short, I'm not anti-religion. I'm anti-superiority-complex. I'm anti-double-standard.

                Well in that case you are anti-Islam. Islam takes that natural predjudice that you describe and burns into into the actual doctrine of the faith and into the Sharia legal system. There are different rules for Muslims and non-muslims under Sharia.

                And you seem to really like hating the Muslims. So whatever, dude.

                Not the people only the ideology - let me be very clear about that. If anything the people are victims of the ideology.

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                • icon
                  Uriel-238 (profile), 5 May 2015 @ 2:55am

                  What I said is not what you think I said.

                  Had I said something like The world would have been better off without Christianity then maybe I might need to present instances of alternative histories that would support that. Frankly, that is wisdom I don't have, and I'm pretty sure you don't either. I expect that without Christianity the world would have remained as it is with little change. (Perhaps we'd have fewer sexual hang-ups) I know of no notion, no ethic, no precept that is specifically singular to Christianity. In alternative timelines when the gospels were not written some other faith is in its place, and the temples of this alternative ediface are like typical large institutions focused on their own perpetuity, and not on the highest good of their congregation.

                  But what I said was Christianity has failed continuously as a faith of tolerance, charity and peace for centuries.. And the history of western civilization, rife with religious war instigated by the Church, corruption and greed within the Church and religious persecution is pretty plain. I don't need to prove that the failure was because Jesus said the wrong thing. I suspect he made the same error that the US's constitutional framers did, and underestimated the bestial nature of humankind. Within three hundred years of Christ, these messages were lost, and his commission to spread the word (that you don't need churches to have spirituality) was turned into a commission of expansionism.

                  Maybe Jesus' intention was to create a self-serving global institution. But I doubt it. And the Church didn't lead by example, and the virtues of tolerance, charity and peace are still poorly demonstrated by churches to this day.

                  Maybe your standards of what makes a successful religion are lower than mine, e.g. if the name of the god is reasonably consistent after two millennia, though then I'd say that the Hellenism is still doing pretty well, and they even have shoes, planets and space missions named after them.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2015 @ 11:44am

                    Re: What I said is not what you think I said.

                    Christianity has failed continuously as a faith of tolerance, charity and peace for centuries.. And the history of western civilization, rife with religious war instigated by the Church, corruption and greed within the Church and religious persecution is pretty plain.

                    I think that what you can conclude from that is that if Christianity has failed - it is because of human failings.

                    We have not lived up to the message that Jesus sent - that is true and I don't think you'll find many Christians who would disagree.

                    Although Christians in power have often behaved poorly there have always been the irritants who keep reminding them of what they should be doing. People like John Chrysostom, Thomas More and Basil of Moscow

                    Maybe your standards of what makes a successful religion are lower than mine,

                    I don't think "successful" is quite the word we ought to be using here.

                    I think Jesus's success lies in the fact that his words are still widely known today - and no I don't accept that the peaceful messages were lost after 300 years - after all you still seem to know them!

                    My analysis was that when Christianity was injected into the body politic it took a while for the better messages to really work their way in. The US constitution is one part of that outworking. The general rejection of the death penalty worlwide (pioneered in Kievan Russia a thousand years ago) is another. Only the Islamic world and the US seem to be resistant to this.

                    I would also comment that your attitude seems to be very Western, and in particular US centred. You really seem to hate those US evangelicals ;)

                    However you should remember that Christianity travelled East as well as West and reached India and China duriing the first millenium.

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                    • icon
                      Uriel-238 (profile), 8 May 2015 @ 1:35pm

                      Re: Re: What I said is not what you think I said.

                      I think that what you can conclude from that is that if Christianity has failed - it is because of human failings.

                      Have you considered addressing the problem to the manufacturer? You watch over the sheep you have, not the sheep you wish you had.

                      Perhaps you believe Christianity is a religion for angels, and not for the human ape. I'm pretty sure that every ideologue has fretted that their apostles don't listen, don't comprehend and rather just get stoned.

                      Contemporary Christians in power don't seem too irritated by folks like Archbishop Chrysostom, St. More and St. Basil. I suppose having oodles of money doesn't hurt.

                      I don't think "successful" is quite the word we ought to be using here.

                      Yet failure is. I think Jesus' messages of peace are as well received today as they would have been if he never made them. It's still a controversy and a subject of debate as to whether the Church has done more harm than good.

                      I think Jesus' success lies in the fact that his words are still widely known today

                      To be fair, Mark's and Constantin's words of what Jesus allegedly said are widely known today.

                      And if you think that Jesus is successful then you must also believe that the Hellenic narrative is equally successful, as well as the Wotanic narrative. Beware of wooden horses and duck down.

                      Shakespeare's words are used colloquially in everyday speech, without our even knowing it originated from him.

                      Speaking of ancient traditions, until the late (late) twentieth century sailing women were forbidden on the grounds that Neptune still held a grudge against Minerva and would send his monsters to capsize any vessel crewed with women (despite the fact that we have many stories of factual female pirates who not once encountered a Kraken or Leviathan in their careers). Only recently has the US Navy allowed women to serve on ships. Not sure if they're yet allowed on submarines, though.

                      It's possible for us to know about ancient traditions and still not follow them. And contemporary Christians, at least as I've seen them in the US and UK are pretty hot for war, even when there are plenty of other perfectly secular reasons to not go to war.

                      US and UK Christians are also pretty hot to kill gays, or at least marginalize them based on religious expression. You don't see the same fervor coming from us secularists.

                      The US constitution is one part of [Christian] outworking

                      Do tell. In what specific parts of the US Constitution does Christianity figure? If I recall my new testament correctly it is pretty big on feudalism, heretical monarchy and the divine right of kings.

                      And if I recall my Constitution correctly there's not much in the way of God or divinity.

                      The general rejection of the death penalty...

                      Was moved forward by Islam sooner than Christianity, hence the common expression of Allah the merciful -- that's not ironic. The Vatican conceded against the death penalty after secular efforts towards penal reform after the Bloody Code in which almost everything was punished by hanging.

                      And everyone still treats prisoners like shit, even though most of our convicts (in the US) are either dubiously convicted (under presumption of guilt) or convicted for victimless crimes, mostly smoking pot. I haven't heard much from any religious sect regarding prison reform.

                      You really seem to hate those US evangelicals

                      I'm not very fond of UK conservative Christians either, and both of them have wended their way into the political system to then abuse their privilege and to enshrine into law favoritism of their own versus the other people.

                      Granted, I also don't like very many of the Islamic sects that I've encountered, who dress their women up in burqas and hide them away, marry nine-year-old little girls to grown men (and then demand of them marital duties) and execute gays, apostates and those who speak questionably of Muhammad, the Koran or Islam. Muslims are not without their own crimes against humanity, but to say it's a problem with Islam alone is to fail to recognize the deeper roots of the problem.

                      I also don't like Buddhists who believe that our hardships in this life are thanks to sins in prior lives, as they often to use this to justify ill treatment of the poor. Even the Dali Lama disparaged victims of natural disaster based on this supposition.

                      I'm also not very fond of the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox both of whom have shown their hatred for women and gays is greater than their hatred for poverty and famine.

                      I do like the Leadership Conference of Women Religious since they seem to have their priorities more in line, but that may change once the Holy Inquisition is done with them (that is the CDF. They don't call themselves the Inquisition anymore for obvious reasons).

                      I also like those Unitarians that I've encountered, and those Quakers that congregate near here. They seem to have a more modernized way to view scripture and how it should be utilized in the twenty-first century. Also, they're not much liked by the big churches such as the SBC and RCC.

                      I also find there are independent Scientologists who've used Hubbard's work to find their own center. Also neopagans and new-agers who seem to have found a working balance of spirit and materialism.

                      As I said elsewhere, it's not religion or Christianity that I don't like, it's bigotry. And while I understand that bigotry is to some degree unavoidable -- that the human ape is often compelled to separate society into us and them -- that it is ultimately wrong for us to enshrine such feelings into law or policy. We've tried systems of government which allow for gross inequality. They have always resulted in terrible atrocity.

                      And no I don't have the solution. But I know that Jesus didn't either, which lends a hefty amount of doubt to the question of whether he was a savior, infallible or divine (given someone who was any of these things would supposedly know better the nature of the flock they were shepherding). And it lends a hefty amount of doubt that Islam is the problem, but a symptom of the problem. It's justification for bad behavior, not the cause.

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                      • icon
                        nasch (profile), 8 May 2015 @ 1:52pm

                        Re: Re: Re: What I said is not what you think I said.

                        Speaking of ancient traditions, until the late (late) twentieth century sailing women were forbidden on the grounds that Neptune still held a grudge against Minerva and would send his monsters to capsize any vessel crewed with women

                        Citation needed - what 20th century maritime regulations referred to Neptune as a reason to forbid female crew?

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                        • icon
                          Uriel-238 (profile), 8 May 2015 @ 11:09pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: What I said is not what you think I said.

                          Citation needed - what 20th century maritime regulations referred to Neptune as a reason to forbid female crew?

                          They didn't. Women were precluded from crew in the 20th century based on maritime tradition and common practice.

                          In the 17th and 18th century it was still understood amongst the sailing sector that female sailors were cursed and could incur the oceans wrath. It wasn't exactly clear why female crew were a problem (the obvious notion that they'd get fought-over or raped by the male crew was conspicuously absent from the dialogue), but the notion was that female crew would attract storms, scurvy and sea monsters.

                          Scholars harkened to the Hellenic tradition of the Homer's Odyssey in which the Olympians were split up over the Trojan war. Athena was on the side of the Greeks where Poseidon was was on the side of Troy. That business with Odysseus killing the cyclops didn't help matters.

                          But the notion of women as crew cursing a voyage was known into the twentieth century. Typically such explanations don't end up in military regulations.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2015 @ 3:03pm

                        Re: Re: Re: What I said is not what you think I said.

                        Have you considered addressing the problem to the manufacturer? You watch over the sheep you have, not the sheep you wish you had.

                        Yep and I have an answer but in order to give that answer we would have to establish some theological/metaphysical common ground. Your question is logically equivalent to the standard "Problem of Pain".

                        I don't expect you to accept what follows so we are probably talking at cross purposes but here goes:

                        The key ingredients are:

                        1. We don't want to live in sugar coated Disneyland.

                        2. There is another world (to come) which is more important than this one.

                        3. When that other world is factored into the equation then ultimately evil damages the perpetrator but not the victim.

                        4. Whilst we reamin in this world everything remains retrievable.

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

                        • icon
                          Uriel-238 (profile), 8 May 2015 @ 10:56pm

                          The problem of evil

                          That doesn't address the problem at all.

                          As I said, we work with who we have -- that is the human animal -- and not who we wish we had.

                          And were Jesus divine and had advance knowledge of his message you'd think he'd also have advance knowledge of his audience.

                          So either you have to believe that Jesus wanted the outcome that he got -- specifically that he was nailed to a tree, and then his religion got big and then the message got ignored in favor of Kill all the heathens and heretics and infidels that don't convert. PS: Kill the witches too.

                          Or you have to believe that his divinity wasn't absolute, that he was fallable and (as the story seems to suggest) getting nailed to a tree was plan B... or even Plan C where he just worked with what came up.

                          In the real world, pain serves a function that helps the individual survive. Suffering is incidental. In nature wasps are atrociously horrible to the caterpillars they victimize, but without them caterpillars would overrun the vegetation.

                          Once you pass the injustices of nature to an allegedly just God, the nature of the universe rapidly breaks down. The Catholic out was simply to say only the human ape counts, and neither dogs nor caterpillars nor even second twins have souls.

                          (Not that we've ever detected a soul, and these days we detect pretty much everything, but that's a different issue.)

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2015 @ 3:33am

                            Re: The problem of evil

                            That doesn't address the problem at all.


                            Well I didn't expect you to understand it - so I'm not surprised that you say that.

                            If you are a total materialist (as you seem to be) then all metaphysical argument will look like folly to you - that is only to be expected.
                            Not that we've ever detected a soul, and these days we detect pretty much everything, but that's a different issue.
                            I wouldn't expect it to be detectable - if it WAS then it would simply be another natural phenomenon and not particularly interesting.

                            If you were in a virtual world you wouldn't be able to detect things from the real world either.

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

                            • icon
                              Uriel-238 (profile), 9 May 2015 @ 10:27am

                              "Well I didn't expect you to understand it"

                              An argument from super-naturalism isn't very good at describing the natural world, is it?

                              I'd argue that yes, we don't know we're in a simulated world, but the mechanics of Christianity (Heaven, Hell, souls, etc.) pretty much demand that the world be virtual.

                              Is that what you are saying? That you think we live in a simulated reality?

                              If not, do you think that souls are, say, an artifact of our electromagnetic fields then? (Doesn't speak well of the destinies of those of us who perish during lightning storms...or in cities for that matter. But just because more souls would get eradicated by background noise than would make it to their final destination -- and such a thought is horrifying -- is not fair cause to dismiss the notion.)

                              I assume that you respect that more likely than the Christian pronunciations of afterlife there are other non-Christian narratives which are older and equally divinely inspired. For example that Anubis will weigh your heart against the Feather of Ma'at and ask you forty or so questions looking for signs of sin or falsehood, and should your heart be heavier, your soul will be feasted upon by Ammit the Devourer (who happens to live in a lake of fire, from which the Abrahamists derived the same landmark).

                              Yes?

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

                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2015 @ 12:40pm

                                Re: "Well I didn't expect you to understand it"

                                An argument from super-naturalism isn't very good at describing the natural world, is it?

                                What do you actually mean by that?

                                Is that what you are saying? That you think we live in a simulated reality?
                                Not exactly - but rather that the concept of a virtual world can help us to understand that realtionship.

                                I assume that you respect that more likely than the Christian pronunciations of afterlife there are other non-Christian narratives which are older and equally divinely inspired.

                                No because they lack the key central narratives of Christianity. They offer no value!

                                CS Lewis was an expert on the non-Christian mythlogies - and admitted to liking some of them better than Christianity - when viewed as literature. However he said that there was a key difference between Christianity and these mythologies - Christianity was to him unique in its historical groundedness.

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

                                • icon
                                  Uriel-238 (profile), 11 May 2015 @ 1:40pm

                                  Super-naturalism

                                  Uriel238: An argument from super-naturalism isn't very good at describing the natural world, is it?

                                  Anonymous Coward: What do you actually mean by that?

                                  Meaning that we live in a post Newtonian world where we accept that the patterns of nature are a product of forces that interact with extreme consistency, so much so that we toss human passengers from one corner of the world to the other on an hourly basis with little concern for mishap. We've even tossed men to the moon and back (alive!). We also rely on centralized disease control to detect, treat and cure infections because that works better than our natural defense of just avoiding each other.

                                  We can focus our worries on our astronauts being baked by CMEs and not concern ourselves with them getting attacked by space sharks, because we've been able to detect with confidence an absence of space sharks. Things that affect this world, even minutiae and ephemera, leave detectable traces. Things that are part of this world can't help but interact with other parts of this world.

                                  And we've found no trace of the human soul not for want of looking.

                                  If the human soul somehow continues to hide in the narrow gap our scopes have left for it, this leads to some unfortunate implications, given that things in our universe have a very hard time not interacting. It means that natural phenomena are a far, far greater factor guiding the destinies of our wayward human souls than behavior or belief systems that occurred while the soul was part of a living thing.

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

                                • icon
                                  Uriel-238 (profile), 11 May 2015 @ 1:44pm

                                  Key Central Narratives of Value

                                  Uriel238: I assume that you respect that more likely than the Christian pronunciations of afterlife there are other non-Christian narratives which are older and equally divinely inspired.

                                  Anonymous Coward: No because they lack the key central narratives of Christianity. They offer no value!

                                  Please specify! What key central narratives are these that give the Christian afterlife mythology value that is not found in other narratives of the afterlife? And what is this value?

                                  CS Lewis was a brilliant storyteller but a desperate apologist and a cultural product of his time. He justifed Christianity as do many, with a proverbial gun to his head. Regardless, it is a known phenomenon that human intelligence does not include a perfect capacity for reason, or an immunity to cognitive dissonance. There are plenty of scientists and brilliant philosophers who can argue logic with precision except when it comes to their own imprinted belief system. Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man. and all that.

                                  Lewis' endorsement of Christianity doesn't have merit here.

                                  Perhaps you can explain this historical groundedness that you believe the Hellenic narrative lacks. (And the Egyptian narrative. And the Wotanic narrative. And... and... and...)

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

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2015 @ 3:30pm

                        Re: Re: Re: What I said is not what you think I said.

                        If I recall my new testament correctly it is pretty big on feudalism, heretical monarchy and the divine right of kings.


                        I think you mean hereditary monarchy!
                        However there is nothing much in the Bible to support it.
                        The kings of the old testament were instituted as a concession to human weakness - a step back from an earlier ideal in which they were supposed to rule themselves only by following the law.

                        The Christians of the new testament lived under roman rule (which often persecuted them). Paul's injunction to obey the authorities in Romans 13 could carry no implication that the system or the people in charge were good - but merely that God had allowed them (Jesus said something similar to Pilate).

                        What Jesus did say on the subject was
                        "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

                        But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

                        And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:"

                        Christianity does not prescribe a system of government because it does not expect to be in charge.

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

                        • icon
                          Uriel-238 (profile), 8 May 2015 @ 10:42pm

                          Christianity is feudal.

                          Ecclesiastes 8:2 much?

                          Obedience to command without call to critical reason seems to be a big deal throughout Christian history, and through all the big churches.

                          Granted, part of this is due to the fact that republics and parliaments were rare, but given that Rome served as an example at the time it was written, one would think at least Paul would have had an opinion on government by a congregation rather than a dictator.

                          I'm pretty sure the opinion was that Yahweh was dictatorial (and military, happy to firebomb or use biowarfare to serve His ends) and therefore a totalitarian hierarchy is the ideal model of government.

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

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2015 @ 4:07am

                            Re: Christianity is feudal.

                            Obedience to command without call to critical reason seems to be a big deal throughout Christian history, and through all the big churches.
                            Granted, part of this is due to the fact that republics and parliaments were rare,


                            here is a counter example from Acts
                            "Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

                            3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

                            4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

                            5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

                            but given that Rome served as an example at the time it was written, one would think at least Paul would have had an opinion on government by a congregation rather than a dictator.


                            By the time of Paul the Roman republic was passing out of living memory. The Emperor ruled and the senate had little power.

                            Historically Bishops were elected within the church and today this remains true (in a sense) for the Pope and for some of the Patriarchs within the Orthodox Church.

                            Where it doesn't happen this is generally a legacy of the church being taken over by the state (as in Henry VIII).

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

                            • icon
                              Uriel-238 (profile), 9 May 2015 @ 10:54am

                              Re: Re: Christianity is feudal.

                              One use of a parliamentary procedure in conclave is not an endorsement of parliament. It's a concession when there is no living hierarchy to dictate absolute rule.

                              Everywhere else in the Church orders are handed down unilaterally.

                              Many protestant schisms occurred due to congregations wanting to add more committee input into Church affairs.

                              Try finding somewhere in scripture something that endorses general use of debate and consideration over obedience. Otherwise you might as well say the New Testament endorses killing fig trees that don't bear fruit off season.

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

                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2015 @ 12:17pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Christianity is feudal.

                                Everywhere else in the Church orders are handed down unilaterally.

                                Citation needed! That is a really sweeping statement and it isn't true. As someone not involved in any church how come you think you know?

                                Many protestant schisms occurred due to congregations wanting to add more committee input into Church affairs.

                                No - not true they come from people who want to appoint themselves as despots. (eg Henry VIII).

                                Try finding somewhere in scripture something that endorses general use of debate and consideration over obedience.
                                Did you not read the example I gave you?

                                However you could also read Acts CH 15

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

                                • icon
                                  Uriel-238 (profile), 11 May 2015 @ 1:50pm

                                  Church Hierarchy

                                  Uriel238: Everywhere else in the Church orders are handed down unilaterally.

                                  Anonymous Coward: Citation needed! That is a really sweeping statement and it isn't true. As someone not involved in any church how come you think you know?

                                  Because I can read and do research.

                                  Anonymous Coward: [Protestant schisms] come from people who want to appoint themselves as despots. (eg Henry VIII).

                                  All forty-thousand denominations (less the Catholics and Orthodoxies) are despotic cultists to the last? Including Martin Luther?

                                  Back at you, my friend. [Citation Needed]

                                  Uriel238: Try finding somewhere in scripture something that endorses general use of debate and consideration over obedience.

                                  Anonymous Coward: Did you not read the example I gave you? However you could also read Acts CH 15

                                  An example of representation of the people, or a committee among the shareholders seemed absent in the first example so I thought you were mistaken or might be trolling me. In neither example did I find the apostles saying decide among yourselves what is right! To the contrary, revelation was handed downward to the laity. Unilaterally.

                                  Maybe you are interpreting it in a way that I cannot.

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

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2015 @ 4:03pm

                        Re: Re: Re: What I said is not what you think I said.

                        As I said elsewhere, it's not religion or Christianity that I don't like, it's bigotry. And while I understand that bigotry is to some degree unavoidable

                        Bigotry will exist alongside every system of thought - theistic or atheistic. The recent history of the communist world demonstrates that.

                        And it lends a hefty amount of doubt that Islam is the problem, but a symptom of the problem. It's justification for bad behavior, not the cause.

                        One could make the same argument about Nazism - given the appalling way Germany was treated after world war 1. However that doesn't mean one should not oppose the ideology that is being used as an excuse.

                        The difference between Islam and other religions is that it is inevitably a political system. It was designed from the ground up as a means of obtaining power and wealth for Mohammed. No other major religion works that way - although several modern cults do.



                        What you have to remember is that the vast majority of modern muslims do not know what is in the Koran or the other Muslim scriptures. Generally they recite them in a language that they do not understand (even the Arabs don't speak the language of the Koran these days). When rendered in translation it is very heavy going and repetitive - which means that few will read it for themselves.

                        They rely on sanitised versions that are given to them by their Imams. Usually these present western friendly values based on the small number of verses that actually give a positive moral message. However you will generally find that the more Islamic a country is the less sanitised the version of Islam will be and the more intolerant of other religions and (even more so) of secularists and atheists.

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

                        • icon
                          Uriel-238 (profile), 8 May 2015 @ 10:09pm

                          "The difference between Islam and other religions is that it is inevitably a political system."

                          That's not a difference.

                          The Church has been a political entity for a millennium and a half. If you're going to blame Islam for being political, then you must also accept that Christianity has been political and military for most of its existence, including present times.

                          Stop trying to say Islam is an exception. It's not.

                          Also, assuming that by the several modern cults you mean to include the Church of Scientology, LDS and the The Unification Church, they don't appreciate being called cults. And the Vatican and the SBC work exactly the same way.

                          Remember that before King James, Priests were Sanitizing the Latin scripture as it was passed to the laity. Little has been done in the name of Islam that hasn't before been done in the name of Christianity. And the Vatican still rules hard and fast those nations that are still Catholic. You only have to look as far as South America to see that.

                          Stop trying to say Christianity is an exception. It's not.

                          You will find that hatred is justified by most ideologies. I'd be glad to have our society teach children to regard ideologies critically. (Buddha would mess with his students to make sure they weren't taking his word for granted just because he was Buddha) But we humans very much love to follow authority to blindly march off a pier, or dutifully pack trains to Auschwitz full of human cargo.

                          You're right in that there are plenty of secular ideologies that promote bigotry (German National Socialism, Social Darwinism, Randian Objectivist Revivalism, to name a couple). Reason does not.

                          Most of the ethics that govern human society can be broken down to the Ethic of Reciprocity (i.e. the Golden Rule) including all of Jesus' teachings, but the ethic, and extended considerations of it, have existed long before Joshua bin Joseph.

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

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2015 @ 12:31pm

                            Re: "The difference between Islam and other religions is that it is inevitably a political system."

                            The Church has been a political entity for a millennium and a half. If you're going to blame Islam for being political, then you must also accept that Christianity has been political and military for most of its existence, including present times.

                            Christianity has been hijacked by political entities for a lot of that time - however it is false to say that it has uniformly been a political/military entity for that time. For a start half the church has been under Islamic rule for most of that time!

                            In some parts of the world (eg Cyprus) the political status of the church is a consequence of Islamic rule.

                            So you could say that the political status of Christianity is itself a consequence of Islam!

                            Stop trying to say Islam is an exception. It's not.

                            Sorry - it is- and the people who say it loudest are former Muslims and others from Islamic parts of the world who know what they are talking about.

                            Remember that before King James, Priests were Sanitizing the Latin scripture

                            Where did you get that one from? Firstly it could only apply in western Europe - in the east the bible was presented in the local languages.


                            You're right in that there are plenty of secular ideologies that promote bigotry (German National Socialism, Social Darwinism, Randian Objectivist Revivalism, to name a couple). Reason does not.

                            So what? Pure reason has no actual content.

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

                            • icon
                              Uriel-238 (profile), 11 May 2015 @ 1:19pm

                              Christianity has been hijacked?

                              CHRISTIANITY HAS BEEN HIJACKED
                              Anonymous Coward: Christianity has been hijacked by political entities for a lot of [the last 1500 years in which it has been a major political power]...For a start half the church has been under Islamic rule for most of that time!...So you could say that the political status of Christianity is itself a consequence of Islam!

                              Oh my. [Citation very much needed]

                              Uriel238: Stop trying to say Islam is an exception. It's not.

                              Anonymous Coward: Sorry - it is- and the people who say it--

                              Have no authority here. You're going to specify on your own how Islam is somehow different or a more threatening ideology than the others.

                              Or accept that there are plenty of ideologies out there that are violent and discriminatory and / or interpreted to suit the interests of a given charismatic preacher. We get a lot of that.

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

                            • icon
                              Uriel-238 (profile), 11 May 2015 @ 1:21pm

                              Obfuscation of scripture by clergy

                              Uriel238: Remember that before King James, Priests were sanitizing the Latin scripture

                              Anonymous Coward: Where did you get that one from? Firstly it could only apply in western Europe - in the east the bible was presented in the local languages.

                              Fair enough. I haven't studied the Orthodoxies. Do tell at what point in each case was the OT translated to the native language. And at what point was the Greek laity literate enough to read from the NT (and allowed freely to do so by the church)?

                              The impression I have is that the Orthodoxies were even more tight-fisted with scripture than the Catholics.

                              Perhaps I should have specified the Tyndale Bible a precursor to the KJV. The Tyndale Bible was translated to English and published (by printing press) specifically so that the laity (granted, the phonetically literate laity) could read the passages for themselves, because the Roman Clergy felt it beneath them to share their lord's texts and had already declared English translations heresy.

                              Better?

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

                            • icon
                              Uriel-238 (profile), 11 May 2015 @ 1:26pm

                              Pure Reason

                              Anonymous Coward: Pure reason has no actual content.

                              It doesn't take much to get reason going. Take for instance the notion that all things being equal between two hostile factions, the one that is an organized team will tend to beat out the disorganized mob. (Tactics and cooperation are force multiplier.) This is the basic foundation of what drives animals to gather in groups and cooperate. And that in turn justifies the ethic of reciprocity.

                              It's also why reciprocity is not specifically a human directive, but guides behaviors all along the zoological spectrum.

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

            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 1:08pm

              Re: Re: The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

              "Simply not true. You are just repeating stuff you have been told.

              Try actually reading the New Testament and the Koran and you will find that out."

              I have read both, and his assertion seems true to me.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 4 May 2015 @ 4:20am

                Re: Re: Re: The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.


                I have read both, and his assertion seems true to me.


                I find it difficult to believe that you have actually read much of the Koran.

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

            • icon
              tqk (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 2:26pm

              Re: Re: The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

              However there are many exhortations to love your enemies in the new testament. You won't find anything similar in the Koran.

              "Love", I don't know, however the Koran does say it's evil to kill women, children, and the elderly, and even an enemy soldier who's laid down his arms. I've been told later interpretations (Hadith?) have over-ridden this admonishment, but I never bothered to go further into it to understand the details.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 4 May 2015 @ 4:18am

                Re: Re: Re: The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

                the Koran does say it's evil to kill women, children, and the elderly, and even an enemy soldier who's laid down his arms.
                Not a very remarkable moral assertion - and one that does not seem to have been followed by Mohammed himself. I seem to remeber seeing that on one occasion he sanctioned the killing od women and children on the basis that "they are of them".

                I've been told later interpretations (Hadith?) have over-ridden this admonishment, but I never bothered to go further into it to understand the details.

                I suggest that you do so.

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

  • identicon
    Jasmine Charter, 1 May 2015 @ 5:28am

    Not really...

    "If it is any comfort. Obama, Bush and Clinton were charged with war crimes by the international court regarding deliberate targeting of civilians with military attacks."

    Not really. The ICC is a joke. It's a political tool of the UN. If it were a REAL court, it would be trying leaders in China, Iraq and North Korea for atrocities commited by the governments against their own people. Or investigate human rights violations in ANY muslim country.

    No, it's a mostly toothless political organization used mostly by countries who themselves want to avoid scrutiny.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 8:53am

    It's no longer Dane-geld...

    it's Mohammed-geld.

    We can also prevent Muslim extremism by converting to their religion.

    We can also prevent Muslim extremism by converting to their social mores (mandatory beards and burkas).

    The cartoons are an excuse, not a reason.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2015 @ 9:44am

    Happy Happy Joy Joy

    "They get the same rights as everyone else, after all."

    You lost me at "everyone."

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 1 May 2015 @ 2:08pm

    Regarding the Holocaust, some pedatic points

    ~=~ The holocaust was never religiously motivated. Die Endlösung der Judenfrage was the end result of a National Socialist ideology pushing Scientific Racism (a pseudoscience) in order to support the plebianization of untermenchen and the exile or ultimately, the eradication of Lebensunwertes Lebe including Jews, Romani, Slaves, gays, disabled and crazies. The closest its justification gets to religious backing is it's support in Thulean notions of Aesiran lineage within the Aryan ancestry.

    ~=~ As an aside, Hitler was raised Catholic but was politically a secularist, even going as far as wanting to replace common religious holidays and icons with nationalist ones. Included in his ambition was the replacement of Santa Claus with himself. No, this isn't to say that secularism is evil, only that secularist government isn't necessarily a defense against all kinds of tyranny.

    ~=~ Antisemitism was pandemic, world wide. Everybody hated the Jews. The religious justification (that Jews killed Jesus) was only a religious excuse for the fervor. Other than being a perpetually marginalized outsider (much like the wandering Romanis), Jews were resented as moneylenders which they became when medieval Christian values precluded lending to each other (a good Christian is supposed to freely give what is needed without concern for his own wellbeing. The recipient is then supposed to pay it forward. This plan didn't work out so well.) The animosity of the Jews in the early 20th century doesn't seem adequately accounted for due to mere usury. I've personally never found an adequate answer why the Jews were so hated, but that they were utterly despised is unquestioned.

    ~=~ Racism, and false sciences that backed the notions of racism -- phrenology, scientific racism and social Darwinism -- were rampant and used as justification to segregate societies and treat each other like crap. But this wasn't specific to Germany or National Socialism. Eugenics programs (selective breeding, often used on livestock or horticulture, only now applied to human beings) were gaining popularity throughout the western world. Germany just got very proactive about it sooner than did anyone else.

    ~=~ The final solution is happening here in the US. We already already have a multi-tiered caste system. We've already delineated who are the untermenchen, and a system to justify putting them into arbeitslager. There's already expressions of designated Lebensunwertes Lebe. It is only a matter of time before we see expedited eradication program is revealed to the public by a whistleblower.

    ...by which it will have been in service for some time already.

    Given our lack of government transparency, the US could be systematically murdering its own people right now.

    inB4 paranoid hippy

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2015 @ 4:16am

    Tim, what you describe as "self-censorship" is actually "censorship". It would involve government action against individual speakers. The collection of persons and institutions present in the United States do not become a "self" even when viewed from far away.

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


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