Charlie Hebdo Bows To Assassins' Veto, Hecklers' Veto; Will No Longer Mock Mohammed

from the everyone-else-loses dept

For years, Charlie Hebdo waged a brutal, often ugly war on good taste, restraint and self-righteousness. The satirical magazine took on every major religion, along with anything else it could satirize. It only had problems with one particular target: Islam. Rather, it only had problems with followers of Islam who believed brutal acts of violence were a perfectly acceptable way of resolving religious differences.

After years of publication that were marked with multiple attacks (some political, some physical), the worst case scenario finally happened. Two Islamist gunmen entered Charlie Hebdo's offices and killed twelve employees.

This was met with outrage by journalists, satirists and cartoonists around the world. For weeks, people who felt free speech -- no matter how offensive -- should never be punishable by death, expressed their solidarity using the phrase "Je Suis Charlie."

This attack was also met with outrage by government officials, who expressed their concern in the usual way: by calling for more surveillance and restrictive laws. To these figures, the attack had very little to do with free speech and everything to do with terrorism. It was just another nail and governments had plenty of unused legislative hammers just dying to be deployed. That their proposals were the antithesis of free and open societies -- the sort of thing espoused indirectly by Charlie Hebdo's satirical War on Everybody -- was completely lost on them. It was an opportunity to seize more control, provided by some very helpful terrorists.

The solidarity expressed in the immediate aftermath of the attacks soon fell apart, however. Charlie Hebdo, still mourning its dead, was attacked by its own colleagues -- journalists and artists from around the world. The PEN American Center chose to bestow its annual "Freedom of Expression Courage" award on Charlie Hebdo, a move that was met with protests from other PEN members including Teju Cole, Joyce Carol Oates and Eric Bogosian. To them, the award did nothing more than award "racists" for "punching down" and adding to anti-Islamic sentiment.

Not only was the protest completely tone-deaf in the wake of the massacre, it was a willful and very selective misreading of Charlie Hebdo's body of work. While Charlie Hebdo was famous for its caricatures of Muhammad, it also attacked other major religions. The only difference was that no other religion's acolytes did anything more than fire off angry letters. That these writers and artists would basically side with those who killed Charlie Hebdo's staffers -- even inadvertently -- is sickening.

Even if these artists felt Charlie Hebdo's work was reprehensible, there were -- and continue to be -- much greater issues at stake. Hundreds of journalists, satirists and artists around the world have been imprisoned by governments in order to silence them. By siding against Charlie Hebdo, these artists sided with not only extremists who feel killing is an appropriate reaction to being mocked indirectly, but these governments who feel creative efforts targeting certain individuals or ideas should be punishable by imprisonment or death. What happened to Charlie Hebdo could happen to anyone. All it takes is angering the wrong people. But the 145 artists and writers who signed the protest letter felt this abandonment of their colleagues was the high moral ground.

Fortunately, PEN didn't see it this way. It offered a succinctly brilliant response to the misguided protest:

PEN, in a statement posted on its website earlier this week, reiterated its position that the intent of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons “was not to ostracize or insult Muslims but rather to reject forcefully the efforts of a small minority of radical extremists to place broad categories of speech off limits.”
But now, a few months later, the terrorists have won. And they had help.
Last week, in an interview with German newsweekly Stern, Charlie Hebdo editor-in-chief Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau waved a white flag, stained with the blood of 12 murdered colleagues and comrades, when announcing that he would no longer draw cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. It was clear that Charlie Hebdo — of which Riss owns 40 percent — was also done with Muhammad mockery. This comes just a few months after cartoonist Renald “Luz” Luzier said that drawing Muhammad “no longer interested” him. He quit Charlie Hebdo not long after. The editor of Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten was more forthcoming about why he too was done with the prophet. As the newspaper that kicked off the “Muhammad cartoon crisis” in 2005, Jyllands-Posten would not be republishing anything from Charlie Hebdo, he stated bluntly, because the staff feared a repeat of the the massacre in Paris.
This is why terrorists do what they do. These are the results they want. And as much as it is disheartening to see this decision being made, it's also a completely understandable reaction. Dying for your art may be a romantic ideal, but it's hardly the sort of thing any person should honestly expect themselves or others to do. We may be disappointed that Charlie Hebdo no longer has the strength of its convictions that saw it weather previous attacks, but when 12 people are gunned down for making fun of one religious figure, those who wish to avoid the same fate know exactly what to remove from the equation.

But it's not just the threat of attacks. The lack of support from its peers and their accusations of racism have also contributed to this decision. Not only is it literally dangerous to "attack" one particular religious figure, it's also unpopular.
The relentless campaign against Charlie Hebdo by those accusing it of “racism” or “punching down” has had an effect. Because once deployed, as the surviving staff of Charlie Hebdo discovered, the racism charge sticks to the accused’s skin like napalm. And no one is immune — even murdered cartoonists — because there are no penalties for filing a false report. So if they expected unmitigated solidarité after their staff was machine gunned (while planning their participation, it should be noted, in an anti-racism event), they were surely disappointed when non-Francophone writers who hadn’t previously heard of Charlie exploded with denunciations of its racist intent.
It's one thing to work while keeping an eye out for gunmen in the hall. It's even harder to do when other beneficiaries of free speech protections decide your speech isn't worthy of similar respect. Charlie Hebdo didn't lose its courage. It lost its comrades.
So one can't begrudge Riss and Luz and all the other survivors at Charlie Hebdo the decision to go soft on those who most demand mockery and derision. But we should begrudge those in media who shrugged at the assassin’s veto, claiming they couldn’t publish satirical cartoons out of respect for religion, for whom Je Suis Charlie was merely social media signaling.
Those who went soft were those whose convictions couldn't even hold up to an attack that happened to someone else. Then there were plenty who never held these convictions at all, but Je Suis Charlie'd right up to the PEN Award nominations before deciding the few people shouting "racist!" were the voice of reason. And they sold out Charlie Hebdo -- along with every persecuted artist and journalist in the world -- by decrying its offerings as being unworthy of their consideration, respect and support.

I'm sure the terrorists feel they have won. We should ask Teju Cole, Joyce Carol Oates and the other 200+ signers of the anti-Charlie Hebdo petition if they feel they've achieved a victory as well.


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 4:05pm

    Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

    Any individual or group that responds to mockery, criticism, or 'blasphemy' with threats and/or violence deserves criticism and mockery, constantly and without end.

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    • identicon
      Plu, 20 Jul 2015 @ 4:13pm

      Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

      Wild unprovable claims about invisible people should be considered retarded by default -- and deserving of a zero respect.

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      • icon
        Agonistes (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 7:32pm

        Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

        I'll bet you take for granted the existence of extraterrestrial life and the possible validity of something as esoteric as string theory doesn't make you bat an eye however, faith and proof are very relative concepts.

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        • icon
          tqk (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 8:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

          I wish all you religious nutcases would just head off to Armaggedon and have it out together, hopefully killing all of yourselves in the process. That's what you want isn't it, to sit by your king or prophet's side in the hereafter? Why are you still inflicting the world with this Dark Ages smut?

          Giordano Bruno's still waiting to hear your apologies. Galileo spits on you for his.

          Go on, have your war, and leave the rest of us to carry on with what's left of the Age of Enlightenment. I'm tired of *still* having to share a planet with the likes of all of you. This crap should have been consigned to the dustbin of history centuries ago. I'm sad for each and every one of you that you don't even want to get over it.

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          • icon
            Agonistes (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 10:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

            Lol, excuse me...the thought of someone accusing me of being a religious nutcase amuses the hell out of me.

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            • icon
              tqk (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 11:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

              Anyone who defends that garbage in the 21st Century: nutcase.

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              • icon
                Agonistes (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 11:34pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

                Think of it more as impugning your views on said garbage than defending that garbage's views.

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          • icon
            Cdaragorn (profile), 21 Jul 2015 @ 7:39am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

            You claim to be a member of an Age of Enlightenment, and yet in the same breath spend your time insulting and throwing derision at those you disagree with.

            I find your position and actions to be pure hypocrisy of the worst possible form. If you cannot accept that it's ok for others to believe in things you do not, and respect them in their beliefs, you are the one stuck in the Dark Ages. That's exactly the kind of thinking the Dark Ages was guilty of.

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            • icon
              tqk (profile), 21 Jul 2015 @ 10:29am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

              You claim to be a member of an Age of Enlightenment, and yet in the same breath spend your time insulting and throwing derision at those you disagree with.

              You defend a system that preys on the poor and ignorant, selling them fairy tales of pie in the sky everlasting life, based on adherence to that system's self-definition of morality and ethics, and for what? For their cash to enrich the system's temples and soothsayers. I despise predators like that. My fellows deserve much better than to be robbed by their ignorant adherence to that system's fatuous lies.

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            • identicon
              GEMont, 21 Jul 2015 @ 6:59pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

              "...If you cannot accept that it's ok for others to believe in things you do not, and respect them in their beliefs..."

              Nobody here is talking about not allowing the crazies to hang onto their childhood fantasies of galaxy-sized Bearded Ghosts who see and hear all and promise eternal life in return for life-long obedience and 70% of their income.

              Religion; like any business, must expand or dissipate, and it is this very indoctrinated proselytizing that brings about ALL of the real dangers of these cash and control scams, based on reverse education belief systems.

              As long as the true believers kept to themselves and only destroyed their own children with these anti-life concepts, nobody would complain about it much.

              It is only when the true believers convince themselves that their actions - regardless of how heinous they might be - are done with the blessings of their chosen deity, and that non-believers and true believers of competitor dogma must bend to the will of their particular belief system, or be exterminated, that we have a very real problem with religions in general.

              In every case, the actions of true believers, are done for rewards, promised to them by the rich robed leaders of their particular cult, or by the "written word" that forms their belief system. Their is no real altruism in religion. The Soldier who dies "For His God", believes his efforts will be rewarded after his death, through some form of extra benefits as described to him by his religious leaders.

              The reward of more/younger virgins in the after-life, is not all that much different from the reward of returning to life as a wealthier person, achieving cosmic consciousness, or becoming one with the long dead grandfathers.

              Because religion is a business model that must expand or die, all religions teach their adherents to interfere in the lives of others in order to sell their dogma and to recruit new customers by any and all means possible.

              It is called proselytizing.

              It is just plain marketing.

              They especially prey on the young because the young still hold to make believe and have little real-world knowledge to counter the claims of deity-offered rewards.

              I read once that of the thousands of wars throughout human history, only a handful were caused by anything other than religion.

              Religion is identical in every facet to the selling of a bridge in Brooklyn.

              It is a con game, the oldest and most lucrative con game ever devised.

              It preys upon the fear of death; a nearly universal human condition, and offers nothing but false solace and the promise of cheating death by some form of extended or repeated here-after.

              A promise only redeemable after you are dead and no longer able to tell others that you were ripped off. The Perfect Con.

              Religion is the primary thing that keeps us from out-growing the need for government and prevents our growing up and becoming sane as a species.

              Your feeble attempt to make the complaint against religion appear to be a bigoted stance purely based on people not letting certain others believe in things they themselves do not believe in, is pretty lame as such things go, but thanks for the podium.

              It always feels good to get that crap off my chest.

              Now, if only I could get it off my world, I might actually turn into an optimist! :)

              ---

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        • identicon
          Just Another Anonymous Troll, 20 Jul 2015 @ 9:38pm

          Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

          Religious Logic 101:
          A viewpoint held by multiple scientists who have found some evidence to back up their claims, but have yet to acquire conclusive proof: Faith.
          The big book says so: Truth.

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          • icon
            Agonistes (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 10:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

            Please direct me toward the scientific evidence for life on other worlds, I'd very much be interested.

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            • icon
              Blackfiredragon13 (profile), 21 Jul 2015 @ 2:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

              Probability, by which I mean even if the chance for life on a world occurring is 0.000000000000000000000000000000001% Then because of sheer numbers it has to be on at least one other planet.

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              • icon
                JMT (profile), 21 Jul 2015 @ 4:46am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

                There is no evidence, and no one has claimed there is. That's why we're looking. What's your point?

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              • identicon
                Baron von Robber, 21 Jul 2015 @ 8:01am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

                So basically you're saying there is a very good chance of life being out there.

                Because even with your number...there are 1,000,000,000 galaxies out there. And each galaxy has around 1,000,000,000 stars. So far it seems that there around at least 5 plants per star..So a billion x billion x 5.

                That's some pretty good odds.

                Check out the Drake Equation sometime.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 8:42pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

                Its interesting you make this claim and are posturing about how it makes you SO smart and yet you do not know that the fact that what you said is obvioisly true yet has not been proven is actually called the Fermi Paradox.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 5:22am

          Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

          Gravity is only a theory and has not been "proven", do you believe in it? If not, here is an article you may find irresistible.

          Intelligent Falling
          http://www.theonion.com/article/evangelical-scientists-refute-gravity-with-new-int-1778

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 6:11am

          Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

          It is interesting that atheists blame religion for all the worlds woes. Yet you look at how many people have been killed by atheists in the last 100+ years and you could draw the conclusion that atheists are a dangerous people.

          So you think the world would be better off without God? Most people have done away with God and this the world you get when you do. There is nothing off limits to an atheists. There is no right or wrong, no morals, no human rights. Only what you can get away with and what you can convince others to do. Maybe you can convince them that slavery is ok. Maybe you can convince them sex trafficking is ok. Maybe you can convince them genocide of some race or another is ok. Maybe you can convince them killing unborn children is ok. Sure, why not, there are no eternal consequences, right? Just one happy biological accident.

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2091670/Hitler-Stalin-The-murderous-regimes -world.html

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          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 21 Jul 2015 @ 2:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

            'Killed by atheist' and 'Killed in the name of [INSERT RELIGION HERE]' are two very different categories. I'm pretty sure most secular and even non-secular killers had facial hair, shall we blame that too? Or perhaps admit that terrible people are terrible people, whether they believe in a god/gods or not?

            Maybe you can convince them that slavery is ok.

            Exodus 21:2, Exodus 22:3, Leviticus 25:44-46

            Maybe you can convince them sex trafficking is ok.

            Exodus 21:7, Numbers 31:15-18

            Maybe you can convince them genocide of some race or another is ok.

            Deuteronomy 2:34, Deuteronomy 3:6, Deuteronomy 7:2, Deuteronomy 7:16, Deuteronomy 20:16-17, Joshua 6:21, Joshua 10:40, 1 Samuel 15:2-3

            Maybe you can convince them killing unborn children is ok.

            1 Samuel 15:2-3, Numbers 5:21-21, 27-28, Genesis 38:24, Hosea 13:16

            But hey, clearly only these things could be done without a god, right?

            Sure, why not, there are no eternal consequences, right?

            Funny thing about those 'consequences', they exist in a non-religious form, but they do not when it comes to religions, at least the judeo-christian ones.

            Say you do all of those things you listed above in your comment, being an absolutely horrible person through life, but in the last year of your life, perhaps on death row or just in prison, you 'repent' and get 'saved'. What 'consequence' will you face once you die? None at all.

            Conversely, if someone is a terrible person, practicing murder, slavery, stuff like that, the secular consequence is very much in evidence: You get locked up, with no chance to 'pray' your way out of it.

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          • identicon
            tracyanne, 21 Jul 2015 @ 2:41pm

            So you think the world would be better off without God?

            The world has always been without god, because there is no such person, creature or thing.

            There has only ever been those who believe and those who don't. By and large those who believe have always tried to force their beliefs on those who don't, and those who don't believe the same, or kill them if they refuse.

            It's only quite recently, that some believers have been forced to become more genteel in how they attempt to promote their beliefs. When comparing themselves with those who are no so genteel they make a virtue of what they have been forced to do.

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          • identicon
            GEMont, 21 Jul 2015 @ 7:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

            "...look at how many people have been killed by atheists in the last 100+ years and you could draw the conclusion that atheists are a dangerous people..."

            You forgot to mention the little fact that most of those killed by atheists, were religious nuts from an adjoining country whose god told them to take away the lands, ladies and gold of the infidels/heretics/etc. next door.

            But hey, 100 points for turning a shitty fact that normally hurts you, into something you could throw at your enemies.

            ----

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2015 @ 2:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

              ou forgot to mention the little fact that most of those killed by atheists, were religious nuts from an adjoining country whose god told them to take away the lands, ladies and gold of the infidels/heretics/etc. next door.

              That so called fact is not actually true. Most of those killed by atheists were killed by the Soviet Union in the 20s and 30s and they were all local people and generally peaceful.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2015 @ 4:06am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

                Don't forget Hitler trying to engineer the perfect race to help evolution along. Or Mao Tse-tung who is responsible for killing 70 million. Or Stalin, whom you mention, or any of the many others. When atheists start killing they don't stop. But sure, they love to blame religion which makes them all the more dangerous because they usually go after religious people. But hey, they are great people and the world would be better off without religion, right?

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                • icon
                  tracyanne (profile), 22 Jul 2015 @ 4:53am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

                  Except Hitler wasn't an Atheist, he was a Catholic, and many of his Nazi followers were followers of various Germanic/Norse Pagan beliefs. Except for the fact that there was no god as chistians understand it, Communism was much the same as any god based religion, with it's adherents killing non believers in exactly the same fashion, and for much the same reasons.

                  That's the problem with religiously held beliefs, they are irrational. Atheists are no less capable of irrational belief systems than Theists. It's the fact that the belief is based on faith that makes it dangerous, not the inclusion or exclusion of a god.

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                  • identicon
                    GEMont, 25 Jul 2015 @ 9:36am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

                    Last word. :)

                    Religious idiocy is not really based on faith - that's just a better PR word than the truth - which is that its based on promised rewards.

                    True believers don't actually have faith in their Lord of choice. They have hopes of payoffs and rewards like going to heaven, or reincarnating.

                    They think they will gain a reward - as described by their leaders and recruiters, for the things they are directed to do "for" their God/Religion.

                    Example: The self-exploding middle eastern morons are selected from the poor, and are offered a cash and favors pay-off for their surviving family members, in return for their one last act of murderous stupidity.

                    Like Romance, Faith is more Hollywood than Reality and in the same way that Romance sounds better than Lust, Faith sounds way better than Payoff, or Reward.

                    ---

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              • identicon
                GEMont, 22 Jul 2015 @ 11:42am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

                "...Most of those killed by atheists were killed by the Soviet Union in the 20s and 30s..."

                Whoa!

                So the lion's share of your "...how many people have been killed by atheists in the last 100+ years...", you're now claiming was actually done by one regime over a single generation.

                Methinks your second face is showing.

                If you're planning to shit people, the least you can do is attempt to be consistent. Shooting your own foot makes you look rather .... child-like, or childish. :)

                Perhaps you might want to do a short study on how many humans your God - (I assume from your apparent simplicity and ignorance that you're a card carrying Christian) - killed or caused to be killed, over the period of time covered by your Bible. I believe the number ranges around 1 - 2 million people.

                ---

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                • icon
                  tqk (profile), 22 Jul 2015 @ 12:55pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

                  I think it's important too to point out how they were killed. Killed in battle by a similarly armed foe is one thing. Being "put to the question", then burned at the stake (garotted first if you were lucky) after you confess your sins is a whole other level of depravity. Lavrenti Beria's bullet in the back of the skull is gentle in comparison.

                  Christianity has very little history to be proud of, and a lot to be ashamed of.

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                  • identicon
                    GEMont, 23 Jul 2015 @ 2:40pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

                    "Christianity has very little history to be proud of, and a lot to be ashamed of."

                    I have yet to determine any single act or result of Christianity for which I could imagine any human being actually taking pride.

                    However, I was only including those killed In biblical times, as recorded by the christian bible itself, as a direct result of some Godly edict, or action, or through actions undertaken by the human emissaries God employed.

                    To include the myriad millions of souls destroyed by that cult and its competitors throughout history and prehistory seemed over-kill when compared to a mere 100+ years of claimed atheist antagonism.

                    ---

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                    • icon
                      tqk (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 7:21pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

                      I have yet to determine any single act or result of Christianity for which I could imagine any human being actually taking pride.

                      Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, Pieta, and David. It (Xtianity) did inspire much great art. It also delivered the coup de grace to the Roman Empire which by that time was not worth keeping around any longer. I'm not suggesting they were an improvement on the Romans, mind.

                      I actually like Jesus. He was quite the "Man of the People" revolutionary (assuming what we know of him isn't all Xtian PR). Too bad the marketroids managed to hijack his message. I despise what they managed to do to Judas, and women.

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                      • identicon
                        GEMont, 24 Jul 2015 @ 1:39am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

                        I probably should not pop your bubble here, as it is not really a good forum for this sort of dialogue, but Jesus was way cooler than your popular storybook version claims.

                        To begin with, he was a rebel, a terrorist if you will, using the current vernacular for rebel, and royalty. He really was exactly as he claimed, the heir apparent to the Jewish Throne, and he was the Roman Occupation's worst nightmare.

                        He was so good at screwing the Romans over that they did not even have a god mug shot of the man, and had to offer silver for "any information leading to the arrest of...".

                        Seeing the writing on the wall - that eventually someone would point him out to the Romans for cash - Jesus and his merry men decided that it was time to exit stage right, and Simon volunteered to take the fall for Jesus, so the leader could escape to Ireland. Simon was way cool too.

                        Judas, not a traitor, chose to be the one who turned Simon, posing as Jesus, in to the Romans, by pointing him out among the crowd. Judas was also a pretty amazing dude.

                        Simon died on the cross - not on Calvary Hill where thieves were hung, but on a tree, on a Jewish estate confiscated by P. Pilate, and apparently the vinegar on a rag that was normally used to revive the victim from unconsciousness, so the pain of his torture could resume, was something else altogether and ended his misery instead. The spear under the rib cage was apparently only used to test if he was dead or not.

                        Jesus's resurrection was of course nothing more than the old switcheroo - once the wash wishing "ladies" got rid of the body of Simon - designed to give his followers a permanent mythology for history sake and to give his enemies one last kick in the head.

                        Apparently he lived a long and fertile life there after.

                        The "storybook" version is 100% pure cloth, but BS sells way better than fact when milking a world population who are deathly afraid of death.

                        ---

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 6:25am

      Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

      "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." -Asimov

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      • icon
        Richard (profile), 22 Jul 2015 @ 4:23am

        Re: Re: Resorting to threats and/or violence = Admission that your position can't be defended with words

        Actually resorting to violence doesn't necessarily imply either that your position can't be defended otherwise or that you are incompetent. It merely implies that you couldn't be bothered to use another approach.

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        • icon
          tracyanne (profile), 22 Jul 2015 @ 8:55pm

          It merely implies that you couldn't be bothered to use another approach.

          Or that the other side has left you with no other choice. Of course any faith based belief system is going to find itself in that position, by the very nature of faith based belief systems.

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          • icon
            Richard (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 7:43am

            Re: It merely implies that you couldn't be bothered to use another approach.

            any faith based belief system is going to find itself in that position, by the very nature of faith based belief systems.

            Actually this is not true (and you are hoist by your own petard!) - because according to Godel's theorems there are an infinite number of true but unprovable statements.

            Any system that was based on one or more of those would remain faith based (since the statements can't be proven) but could never be in the position you describe -since the statements are true.

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  • icon
    Udom (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 4:31pm

    Censorship

    Charlie Hebdo was not attacked by Muslims, it was attacked by extremists who happened to be Muslims. Timothy McVeigh was an American, but his terror attack didn't render all americans guilty.

    In some western countries it is illegal to deny the Holocaust. In Germany it is illegal to give the Nazi salute. Beyond the rule of law, there are examples such as the reaction to the feeble joke about women made by Professor Tim Hunt, who had to resign due to mobbing. So where is this free speech?

    There's also the issue of seeking to forcefully impose a mono culture on the world, where all other cultures must conform to western standards. Hard to think of a better way to make enemies.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2015 @ 4:34pm

      Re: Censorship

      Charlie Hebdo was not attacked by Muslims, it was attacked by extremists who happened to be Muslims.

      That’s a distinction without a difference.

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      • icon
        flyinginn (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 4:51pm

        Re: Re: Censorship

        There is, in fact, an objective and clearly defined distinction and difference. Studies by Rand and a detailed analysis by Duke University and UNC at Chapel Hill instead conclude that:

        "There is no profile of the type of person who becomes a terrorist; indeed, the process by which a person embraces violence is fluid, making it nearly impossible to predict who will move from espousing “radical” views to committing violent acts; and although the view that Islam requires attacks on Western targets (frequently described as jihadism) may provide an organizing principle or worldview that supports terrorism, Islam itself does not drive terrorism. In fact, the most recent research suggests that a well-developed Muslim identity actually counteracts jihadism."

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        • icon
          lfroen (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 8:50pm

          Re: Re: Re: Censorship

          >>> here is no profile of the type of person who becomes a terrorist
          Yea, keep telling this. You seems to be confusing "terrorism" and "burglary". Not every criminal-with-a-gun is a terrorist. Not every gang is terrorist organization.

          And yes, modern day Islam drive terrorism. All those calls for jihad doesn't happen in vacuum. And all those "Death to America" marches and speeches are not harmless. Maybe "well-developed Muslim identity" indeed counteract, but this "identity" is rare as snow dragon.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 5:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Censorship

            You can't talk down stupid so stop trying.

            Rand acts like there is no infrastructure in place where leaders call for Jihad and scream death to Israel/America. They intentionally ignore these things.

            They also seem to ignore that everywhere Muslims go they try to institute Sharia Law, slap women into burkas and sew their vagina's up.

            Liberals hate, and I mean HATE the right so much that they will say or do anything to let illegals and Muslims into this country just to defeat the right. The problem is that their efforts will be in vain because once they finish teaming up on and destroying the right, they will then fall to the terrorists and illegals. The enemy of my enemy is my friend complex.

            They are letting their destruction in by the front door and giving them jobs and money to boot. But that is just how blind their hate is, and how hungry their leaders are for power. The left continues to sponge and then discard their own, chatting up class warfare while being super rich themselves as their sheeple drink their words with unquenched thirst.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 6:17am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Censorship

              Your statement about the left's leadership is spot on. All you have to do is look at their actions. Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio (and all the rest) jet around in greenhouse gas producing jets, live in large mansions consuming tons of power and resources, preach about $5/gallon gasoline while driving gas guzzlers. Yet they tell the masses to give up their cars, cut back their resources; all the while they grab everything they can. I don't know how anyone with a mind and a job could vote for the left, yet they do. The right will let you have your guns, your SUVs, your money and your freedom. The left will take all of this away while telling you how worthless you are.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 11:23am

          Re: Re: Re: Censorship

          In fact, the most recent research suggests that a well-developed Muslim identity actually counteracts jihadism."

          Obviously the "prophet" Mohammed can't have had a well developed Muslim identity then - because he was the biggest Jihadist of the lot.

          Funny that!

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    • icon
      jilocasin (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 5:17pm

      Re: Censorship

      In many cases I would agree with your distinction, unfortunately these particular extremists used Islam to justify their violence.

      If they attacked Charlie because they hated cartoons, or perhaps just French cartoonists, they might have been terrorists who just happened to be Muslims.

      They killed people because of (admittedly their not completely unique interpretation) the tenets of Islam. That makes them Islamic terrorists.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 9:30pm

      Re: Censorship

      Charlie Hebdo was not attacked by Muslims, it was attacked by extremists who happened to be Muslims.

      Perhaps you meant to phrase it some other way, but logically extremists who are Muslims are, obviously, Muslims. Therefore Charlie Hebdo was attacked by Muslims.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2015 @ 10:29pm

      Re: Censorship

      There's also the issue of seeking to forcefully impose a mono culture on the world, where all other cultures must conform to western standards.

      As opposed to Muslims who don't try to force they worldview on people whenever they become a big enough part of a population?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 9:07am

      Re: Censorship

      not buying that BS!

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    • identicon
      GEMont, 21 Jul 2015 @ 7:16pm

      Re: Censorship

      "Charlie Hebdo was not attacked by Muslims, it was attacked by extremists who happened to be Muslims. Timothy McVeigh was an American, but his terror attack didn't render all americans guilty."

      A shot over the bow for effect?

      Not to be picking nits here but America is a country in which about a dozen or more religions exist.

      Muslim is a singular religion, which; by the way, also exists in America.

      There is a very large difference between a country and a religion, but you already knew that didn't you. :)

      ---

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2015 @ 6:35pm

    Magazine Name Change

    I suggest Vichy Charlie Hebdo.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2015 @ 6:37pm

    We've been using the wrong strategy

    Clearly my fellow believers and I have been going about it all wrong. Our problem has been our unwillingness to engage in murderous violence against those who don't properly respect our agenda.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2015 @ 6:38pm

      Re: We've been using the wrong strategy

      Kill enough people, you get what you want.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 6:44pm

        Re: Re: We've been using the wrong strategy

        Only if your target group is composed of cowards willing to give in. Such tactics against someone with an actual spine, who's willing to risk harm if that's what it takes to stand up for their beliefs, will be much less effective.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2015 @ 7:14pm

        Re: Re: We've been using the wrong strategy

        If what you want is war, then yeah.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2015 @ 8:05pm

    Would we call them heroes if they hadn't died?

    Make no mistake.
    They have the right to free speech, including offensive speech.
    And they have the right to not get shot for that free speech.

    But cartoonists are not valiant defenders of free speech. They're opportunistic folks who publish what will sell. Satirizing Islam isn't exactly speaking truth to power to begin with. It's not a heroic endeavor. It's what their audience was willing to buy.

    Yes, they shouldn't have died for it. And maybe the terrorists have won. But they've won against low-brow satirical magazines. And frankly, now that they've won, maybe there will be slightly less people who decide to express how offended they are at the barrel of a gun. It's those Islamaphobic reactions that breed more terrorists, more outcasts.

    Killing Charlie Hebdo was wrong. Shutting down the Muhammed mockery is little more than pragmatic cowardice. But that doesn't mean that Charlie Hebdo was right.

    We have the right to be jerks, but that doesn't mean it's right to be a jerk.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2015 @ 8:09pm

      Re: Would we call them heroes if they hadn't died?

      As an aside, I'm not saying Charlie Hebdo was terrible. Plenty of people make a living being offensive and satirical, and that's alright. It's just not especially heroic to die for being offensive.

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      • icon
        tqk (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 8:45pm

        Re: Re: Would we call them heroes if they hadn't died?

        It's just not especially heroic to die for being offensive.

        Defending the right to freedom of speech is heroic, and I think your point of view is offensive. The proper response to speech you disagree with is more speech, not violence or censorship even if self-imposed.

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    • identicon
      Rekrul, 20 Jul 2015 @ 8:45pm

      Re: Would we call them heroes if they hadn't died?

      Killing Charlie Hebdo was wrong. Shutting down the Muhammed mockery is little more than pragmatic cowardice. But that doesn't mean that Charlie Hebdo was right.

      We have the right to be jerks, but that doesn't mean it's right to be a jerk.

      I find your ideas offensive, so therefore you should stop posting them out of respect to me. Don't be a jerk!

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 9:32pm

      Re: Would we call them heroes if they hadn't died?

      And frankly, now that they've won, maybe there will be slightly less people who decide to express how offended they are at the barrel of a gun.

      Now that they've seen how effective this kind of violence can be, maybe they'll do less of it? How does that make sense?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2015 @ 10:39pm

      Re: Would we call them heroes if they hadn't died?

      And frankly, now that they've won, maybe there will be slightly less people who decide to express how offended they are at the barrel of a gun.

      Yeah, I'm sure this win will have made lots of people aware and fond of the religion of peace.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 4:57pm

      Re: Would we call them heroes if they hadn't died?

      "It's those Islamaphobic reactions that breed more terrorists, more outcasts."

      Yes, it's possible to have an irrational reaction (terrorism) to a legitimate grievance (bigotry). This also means it's possible to have an irrational reaction (Islamophobia) to a legitimate grievance (terrorism). This logic works both ways. Invert the statement and see how you feel about: It's these terrorist attacks that breed more Islamophobes, more bigots.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2015 @ 8:16pm

    Je ne suis pas charlie.
    - Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau & Renald “Luz” Luzier

    Much good may their denunciations do them. Charlie Hebdo made headlines in the USA not because of their satire, but because of the attack against them.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2015 @ 8:17pm

    This is what terrorists winning looks like, not our Internet traffic being encrypted, etc.

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  • icon
    Toestubber (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 8:19pm

    English-only protest

    The PEN signatories to that protest should be ashamed of themselves. Stripping away all political and social context of "selected" Hebdo cartoons, they made reckless accusations of racism based on their own ignorance of the French language.

    http://www.understandingcharliehebdo.com

    If only the dead cartoonists had had the courtesy to explain their jokes to obtuse American intellectual scolds, I'm certain all of this unpleasantness could have been avoided.

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    • icon
      tqk (profile), 20 Jul 2015 @ 9:32pm

      Re: English-only protest

      On the bright side, we've now outed two hundred and four authors (published authors!) who've either never heard of Voltaire, or who disagree with him:
      "I disagree with what you say, but I'll defend with my life your right to say it."

      Not these 204 appeasers, or is it collaborators? Good to know.

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  • identicon
    Rekrul, 20 Jul 2015 @ 8:49pm

    It only had problems with one particular target: Islam. Rather, it only had problems with followers of Islam who believed brutal acts of violence were a perfectly acceptable way of resolving religious differences.

    GASP! Don't you know that it's racist to tell people what religion the terrorists were? You have to look at them as completely isolated individuals with no connections whatsoever to any religion or group of people! Islam is unquestionably good!!! Praise Allah!!!

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  • identicon
    DigDug, 20 Jul 2015 @ 9:36pm

    The real crux is that the fanatics' actions stain Islamic faith

    For the extremists to feel that they have to physically attack people if their religion is mocked, or made the butt of a joke, tells us that their religion is weak, that their faith is questionable. It tells us that Islam is without the structure to stand on its' own merits, to be capable of surviving jokes, ridicule, questions of faith, etc...

    In other words, the radicals' own actions weaken their religion. The true believer of Islam has no need to use force to prove they are believers, they don't need to kill anyone that shows the slightest disrespect to their religion as proof of what they believe.

    It is these radicals that are the ones that are weakening Islam, they kill off pieces of it every time they attack someone over the slightest inferred insult whether intended or not.

    These radicals will be the end of the religion known as Islam.

    Why you ask?

    Because eventually the rest of us on this planet will say "Enough is enough!". At that point it's going to be bye bye Islam.

    Their final reckoning will be here, and they'll all get to see their prophet and god as quickly and violently as humanly and humanely possible.

    Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

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    • identicon
      Rekrul, 21 Jul 2015 @ 5:15pm

      Re: The real crux is that the fanatics' actions stain Islamic faith

      These radicals will be the end of the religion known as Islam.

      Why you ask?

      Because eventually the rest of us on this planet will say "Enough is enough!". At that point it's going to be bye bye Islam.

      That's never going to happen. Political correctness won't let it. Already you're considered a racist if you so much as criticize Islam. Political figures and lawmakers are bending over backwards to carve out special exemptions in the laws for Muslims and to give them special privileges, all in the name of "tolerance".

      I always ask; Why is it that everyone else has to tolerate Islamic beliefs and practices while Muslims don't have to tolerate anyone else's beliefs or practices?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2015 @ 10:26pm

    I'm not sure if terrorism has actually anything to do with belonging to a religion or an ideology.

    I'd say that this has to do more with having your home bombed, your countries impoverished and your loved ones killed.

    That, rather than the religion they belong to, has more to do with them being radical terrorists that would kill anything resembling european or from the USA, than them praying 5 times a day to some cardinal point.

    It's hard to believe in freedom, justice, democracy and equality when the guys touting those words have just bombed your kids with some unmanned drone (or with a cruise missile). Or when those guys just have started a proxy war in your country (arming "rebels" or whatever) because they want to get the oil reserves that are there.


    You know, it's easier to convince someone to kill another one in the name of whatever when that guy has nothing to eat, nowhere to live and his kids are having a hard time.

    Poverty is what creates fanaticism, not religion. The religion is just the tool that is being used to channel that fanaticism, but it could be anything.


    Oh, and in case someone talks about terrorists that come from First World Countries. True, those aren't poor, but they see very clearly what western countries are doing to theirs, what excuses they are giving to justify wars that in reality, are only after money and resources.

    And they also got families and friends there. Plus that nobody likes to see the country they were born in bombed/invaded/impoverished/used as a rag.


    I'm not sure but maybe, maybe if we stopped getting them into wars, bombing them, invading them and doing other shit that we have done for decades there... maybe that would do more to stop terrorism than any other measure.

    At least, we would get every right to call them "terrorists", something that I don't feel that we currently have.


    And btw, a final note regarding terrorism:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirates_and_Emperors

    You should remember that the only difference between War and Terrorism is the money you have.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2015 @ 10:42pm

      Re:

      I'd say that this has to do more with having your home bombed, your countries impoverished and your loved ones killed.

      Right, so what did the cartoonists bomb where in France exactly?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 3:23am

        Re: Re:

        Nothing. At least, not in action. One could argue that they (I mean, the people, not only the cartoonists) let that happen by doing nothing (or even voting the leaders that favour the war into power), or by benefitting from it (that's one of the ways we secure the oil we use).

        But you think that someone that has lost their family and home really cares?

        He justs wants to pay in blood the blood that was given to him.


        Again, this has nothing to do with them being Muslims or not. Anyone would go crazy if he saw his kids being killed by bombs, by disease because your country is poor or another war created in their country by people that were armed by other countries.

        Their only sin was to be there, and to have something other countries wanted.

        Religion is just the way that hate is channeled, not the cause. It's the easiest to use because it's the easiest to understand, particularly by uneducated people.



        Btw, this also has something to do with Geneva Conventions. Those state clearly that civilians shouldn't be harmed, don't they?

        Now, let's see, another country, either directly or by proxy, is killing your civilians. International courts do nothing (I have yet to see anyone in the US or in the EU labelled as a war criminal, and I'd say there have been quite a few cases that would grant at least an investigation and a trial).

        Now, let's see:

        "You don't kill my civilians, I don't kill your civilians."

        That the basis of one of the articles in the Geneva Convention, isn't it?

        Now...

        "You kill my civilians..."


        Remember, they fucking hate us. And the worst part is that I can't say it's unjustified...

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        • icon
          lfroen (profile), 21 Jul 2015 @ 4:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          >> Religion is just the way that hate is channeled, not the cause
          Oh, look - isn't ignorance cute? Religion is not the "cause", it's justification. You have no idea what the "cause" really is, unless you claim to have gift of prophecy and\or telepathy.

          >> Now, let's see, another country, either directly or by proxy, is killing your civilians. International courts do nothing
          Courts? Who do you think should put to trial US government? UN that itself exists on US money? Europe that benefit from NATO protection? Almighty God?
          If you happens to be in country that US bombing, maybe you should join army there?

          >> ... articles in the Geneva Convention
          Did any jihadist gang signed it?

          >> Remember, they fucking hate us. And the worst part is that I can't say it's unjustified...
          So? This matters because ... ?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 6:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            >>Oh, look - isn't ignorance cute? Religion is not the "cause", it's justification. You have no idea what the "cause" really is, unless you claim to have gift of prophecy and\or telepathy.

            Someone should learn to read.

            What I said is precisely what you're saying here too. That religion isn't the cause, but the justification ("the way the hate is channeled" means that).

            The cause? The real cause? It's just my guess, but I'd say that people are less likely to turn into fanatics if there aren't bombs raining over their heads and their families are alive, just saying. Not having their country in the middle of a war orchestated by foreign powers helps a lot too.

            That won't end terrorism, but at least it will get less supporters.

            There are a lot of causes for terrorism, including economic ones. There are people profiting from terrorism, while others justify their jobs or use it as means to pass laws that would make it easier to control the population.

            Terrorism is a very useful tool for that, it's the modern version of the "2 Minutes of Hate". And we are falling straight into that.


            >> Courts? Who do you think should put to trial US government? UN that itself exists on US money? Europe that benefit from NATO protection? Almighty God?
            If you happens to be in country that US bombing, maybe you should join army there?

            >> Did any jihadist gang signed it?


            First, the whole world (or almost) has signed them, including the First World countries, that are breaking them, when those countries should be the first to respect them.

            So? Nobody will put the US government to trial and you expect them to do nothing? Precisely what you said (and sadly, it's true) is another of the causes of terrorism.

            We drop the Geneva Convention, they got every right to do the same. Our countries kill their civilians, that means that our civilians are fair target too.


            >> So? This matters because ... ?

            Because if we are complaining about them killing our civilians, like the Charlie Hebdo employees, then we should stop killing theirs. That simple.

            When I say that it might be justified I mean that we have lost the moral ground to call them terrorists, because our countries are engaging in terrorism too.

            And that way, they are giving fuel to the terrorist cause.



            I'll be clear: I don't like terrorism, I don't like fanatics (I don't even like religions, sigh) and I don't like the fact that 12 people were killed for publishing a satirical cartoon of the prophet of some religion.

            But I don't consider myself innocent in all that shit. They are terrorists, they are fanatics, they got nothing but their religion because we, the "civilized" countries, have had a hand (not the only one, but we got part of the blame) in all that situation.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 11:54am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So? Nobody will put the US government to trial and you expect them to do nothing? Precisely what you said (and sadly, it's true) is another of the causes of terrorism.

              We drop the Geneva Convention, they got every right to do the same. Our countries kill their civilians, that means that our civilians are fair target too.


              We bombed Serbian civilians too. Where are the Serbian terrorists?

              The difference IS religion in this case.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 2:56pm

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

                Bosnia, next to them, was ravaged by that same war and is mainly Muslim. You don't hear about Bosnian terrorism (even towards Serbians, and they got plenty of reasons to do so) either.

                No, the difference is in the type of country.

                Serbia and Bosnia, are more or less modern countries. Their education, standards of living and such, more or less, compare and are getting closer to what the EU countries got.

                Now, the difference between Serbia and Bosnia and, for example, how Palestinians or Iraqis live is pretty different, isn't it?


                Oh, and btw, Serbian terrorists? What Serbians and Croatians did (like ethnic cleansing, genocyde, mass rapes) in Bosnia pretty much amounts as terrorism to me.

                Remember the last paragraph of my first post: the only difference between War and Terrorism (or a Emperor and a Pirate) is how much money you got.

                And at least, some of those criminals are on trial, they have faced public condemnation and now the countries are able to grow, even if it's slowly. At least nobody is bombing them now. And they aren't the bad guys in most of the movies either.

                Pretty different when compared to what has happened in Iraq and other Middle East countries, eh?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 3:56pm

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

                  Bosnia, next to them, was ravaged by that same war and is mainly Muslim. You don't hear about Bosnian terrorism (even towards Serbians, and they got plenty of reasons to do so) either.

                  The Bosnians were not attacked by the west - in fact we were helping them.

                  And yet - contrary to your assertion Bosnia now exports terrorists.

                  http://news.yahoo.com/once-magnet-foreign-mujahedeen-bosnia-now-exports-them-143013257.ht ml

                  and the Bosnians we once helped are now attacking us whilst the Serbs that we attacked are not! Read my link and you will find some examples of such attacks.

                  Oh, and btw, Serbian terrorists? What Serbians and Croatians did (like ethnic cleansing, genocyde, mass rapes) in Bosnia pretty much amounts as terrorism to me.
                  No - it was war with some war crimes but not terrorism and in any case we are discussing terrorism against the west in response to western attack here.

                  remember the last paragraph of my first post: the only difference between War and Terrorism (or a Emperor and a Pirate) is how much money you got.

                  You were wtong then and you are wrong now.

                  War is violence directed at the achievement of a direct goal such as control of territory.

                  Terrorism is violence intended to provoke a response disproportionate to its physical impact by exploiting its psychological impact.

                  As such it is true that terrorism is usually perpetrated by weaker parties where stronger parties are able to use war but that is not the difference between them.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 6:24pm

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

                    Well, we were helping them, or that's what we say. Maybe it should be checked too if we didn't actually do something there to cause that war, just saying.

                    You know, kindle old hates, goad one side and the other... I think that it's in the Intelligence service manual, yeah.

                    It has happened before.


                    But well, putting that aside, see that the number of hardliners is pretty low (3,000 in roughly 1,500,000 and from those, roughly 150 were recruited, according to your link), that's less than 1 in 500 hardliners and 1 in 10,000 terrorists. I'd like to see the statistics on fanatics/terrorists if we talk about a country that is being bombed. The numbers will probably be higher.

                    As people were saying, there are fanatics brewing in every ideology, either political, religious or even what football team you decide to cheer for.

                    Again, fanaticism is easier to brew in the poor or less educated strata. We, the western and civilized countries, got our fair share of fanatics among our lines because there are also poor and/or uneducated elements among us.

                    See that nationalism is another way of justifying terrorism. Is everyone belonging to a country (think of Ireland when the IRA was there) a terrorist? Or most don't care and the thing is that there are a few fanatics/opportunists among their lines?


                    Again, death, poverty and lack of education aren't the only causes for terrorism, but they are one of the pillars.

                    As I've said, there are also terrorists that profit from this, oppportunistic ones and even those that have been trained and supplied by foreign countries.

                    Remember that those "valiant mujahideens" in Afghanistan were supplied and trained by the US to fight the Soviet Union. And there are rumours that the US has been supplying military hardware to the ISIL too, that they are trying to deny them very hard.


                    I'm not sure if those had their families ruined or not. I'm guessing they probably were, and their country is (and was) impoverished, and that made them prime targets for being recruited as "soldiers" by the US government in their war agains the Soviet Union. Of course, by different reasons (I would get very pissed of if I knew I was used by a foreign government to further their goals at my expense), they turned their teeth on their former masters.


                    Oh, and btw, regarding terrorism and war.

                    >> War is violence directed at the achievement of a direct goal such as control of territory.

                    Terrorism is violence intended to provoke a response disproportionate to its physical impact by exploiting its psychological impact.


                    For starters, I'd say that there are no rights or wrongs in the definition of terrorism, because everyone applies what it's more convenient to them:

                    https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/terrorism

                    https://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/Terrorism

                    Quoting:

                    "The concept of terrorism may be controversial as it is often used by state authorities (and individuals with access to state support) to delegitimize political or other opponents,[12] and potentially legitimize the state's own use of armed force against opponents (such use of force may be described as "terror" by opponents of the state)"

                    I've seen this one happening, like calling protestors in a pacific demonstration (and they were millions, btw, not a minority) terrorists because they were protesting against government corruption.


                    The only aim of terrorism is violence to coerce someone, not only a government, to do what you want.

                    It's strange, if a country does it, we call it a War (when you bomb someone it sounds to me like pretty much a coercion); but if someone not affiliated to a country does it, is Terrorism.

                    Yes, the same as that Alexander The Great's story about Pirates and Emperors.


                    The purpose of sending a stealth bomber to drop a few ones on a city or using a car-bomb in a restaurant is the same: terror. To coerce, to scare, to terrorize the population and make them do what you want, like surrendering or other political advantages.

                    See if we look for convenience that, if for example, someone shot down one of the prime ministers/presidents in a First World country we would call that a terrorist attack. But then, if someone shot down, let's say, Kim Jong-Un (or however is written that name) or the leader from Iran (don't know his name and don't care), we would consider that an act of heroism.

                    Maybe our politicians would "cry" for the show, but the population would support the act and nobody would be tried for spreading "hate crimes" and for inciting and abetting terrorism. Something that would happen if anyone got happy that X prime minister of Y First World Country got sniped.


                    I don't care much about the formal definition. I care about the acts. Bombing civilians is terrorism, no matter if you do it from a tactical bomber or if you're using a car with a bomb inside.

                    Technically it should be a war crime, but then, it should apply to both sides. The definition of "terrorism" is a very convenient one, because you don't have to abide by international standards regarding the prisoners.

                    It's also convenient because if a terrorist attacks your military (a legitimate target by Geneva Conventions), you can still treat them as "terrorists" and not as "prisoners of war".


                    You're right in that there should be some sort of separation between war and terrorism. The thing is that the concept is muddled, because different governments (and I mean from all the world and ages) have mixed up warfare and terrorism for their convenience.

                    For example, what French Resistance did in the WWII I bet that was treated as terrorism by the nazi (or pro-nazi) government back then, not as an act of warfare (and subject to all the proper regulations).


                    And our governments are copying that too: what our enemies or opponents do is terrorism, what we do is warfare.


                    Btw, you're mistaken in one point, the purpose of war isn't only taking territory as you claim. Sometimes you wage a war because you want to remind other countries who is the boss there. Because it's cheaper to wage war on a poor country than on a rich one that you also want to keep it whole.

                    Other times wars are made with the purpose of spending ammo and warfare material, so that you have an excuse to make new ones, and thus, the arm dealers get their business rolling (and you get a nice and fat bribe out of it).


                    Wars got more uses than just taking territory or resources: political ones, like terrorism has, are very common. And economical ones, apart from just taking the resources, too. You know,



                    And to finish up this post, let me remind you that I'm not saying that poverty and bombings are the only cause and sources of terrorism.

                    What I'm saying is that what we are doing in their countries takes away the high moral ground from us to be able to call them "terrorists" and "fanatics".

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 8:02am

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

                      As I've said, there are also terrorists that profit from this, oppportunistic ones and even those that have been trained and supplied by foreign countries.

                      Remember that those "valiant mujahideens" in Afghanistan were supplied and trained by the US to fight the Soviet Union. And there are rumours that the US has been supplying military hardware to the ISIL too, that they are trying to deny them very hard.


                      Yes there are lots of people involved with different motivations and I am sure that many of the more powerful people in terrorist organisations have exactly the same motivations as powerful people everywhere and are merely following the route that works for them in their situation.

                      BUT the content of the religion does make a difference. Mohammed himself was one of those power brokers and he invented the religion as a mechanism for his own personal gain. Hence it has been, over the centuries, an ideal tool for despots everywhere (Hitler is on record as saying that he wished that the Germans had been Muslims - Nazism would have worked better!)

                      Mustafa Kamal (himself an atheist) once remarked that it was handy that the turkish soldiers believed that they would get the 72 virgins if they were killed in action - because it made them fight harder than their (mostly Christian) opponents.

                      The point about Islam is precisely that is an ideal tool for bad and powerful men to inspire the poor, weak and ignorant into acts of barbaric self sacrifice. No other religion does this so effectively because just about all the others were started by peaceful men and only later corrupted by bad leaders.

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            nasch (profile), 21 Jul 2015 @ 7:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            >> ... articles in the Geneva Convention
            Did any jihadist gang signed it?


            Signatories are bound by the Conventions regardless of whether the other side has signed (IIRC).

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 7:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          But you think that someone that has lost their family and home really cares?

          So, the terrorists that attacked Charlie Hebo had lost their family and home while being brought up in France?

          Religion is just the way that hate is channeled, not the cause.

          So when the Quran tells them to hate jews, it's no cause?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 2:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            >> So, the terrorists that attacked Charlie Hebo had lost their family and home while being brought up in France?

            No, those are either other kind of terrorists:

            - People who were brought here, but have families/friends in those countries, talked about them too if you bothered to read. Also, people from Islamic countries and not EU people in France aren't particularly living in a rosy life: they are being discriminated and other things.
            - Professional terrorists, and I mean, those who profit from this. Unlikely, as those types are the last to get arrested and wouldn't be in a kamikaze (I mean, kill and get arrested/killed afterwards) attack.
            - It's a false flag: it isn't the first time that governments have perpetrated/goaded terrorist attacks on others in order to further their own goals.

            Btw, do you guys realize that we only got the governments word about Charlie Hebdo terrorists? Just saying. Because, you know, our governments have never lied and kept the truth away from us, have they?

            >>So when the Quran tells them to hate jews, it's no cause?

            It's strange, the Bible says something similar in the Old Testament and I bet that the Torah (or Talmud or whatever is the name of the book for the jews) too. Yup, that's how our forefathers justified the Inquisition (you know, burn the heretic) and other massacres in the name of religion.


            How come that nowadays we don't follow what the Bible says up to that point while our (at least for some) religion is Christian or Catholic or whatever?

            Because we got education and we are living in a comfortable life. We have learned to coexist because we got our rights somewhat protected too.

            Again, talk about coexistence to people who are bombed, either them, their families or their countries.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 4:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It's strange, the Bible says something similar in the Old Testament and I bet that the Torah (or Talmud or whatever is the name of the book for the jews) too. Yup, that's how our forefathers justified the Inquisition (you know, burn the heretic) and other massacres in the name of religion.

              What you say here is incorrect. The bible does not say anything of the sort. The passages that you are (probably) thinking of describe particular historical events whilst the passages in the Koran are a standing order valid for all time.

              Also bear in mind that whilst the bible is the writing of humans that is claimed to be inspired by God, the Koran is supposed to be the direct immutable words of God and hence leaves little room for interpretation.

              Because we got education and we are living in a comfortable life. We have learned to coexist because we got our rights somewhat protected too.

              They live a pretty comfortable life in the rich arab oil states too but Bin Laden and the 9/11 terrorists came from there and not from poor countries or ones that we have bombed.

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                Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 7:20pm

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

                Yeah, well, about "rich arab oil states" and life:

                http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/01/saudi-arabia-riyadh-poverty-inequality

                And it isn't the first report I read about that. Those arab countries got a strata that is very rich, another one that fares quite well and a big chunk of population that lives in complete poverty, that they are trying to hide.

                Remember that they had their share of protests during that "arab spring" (that I'm not sure how many of those were provoked or goaded by foreign powers), that were in part fuelled by the poverty in those countries.


                So yeah, while we haven't bombed them (remember they can be and/or factors), for sure they got plenty of people living in poverty (while western companies are enriching themselves there) and yeah, you got a good brewing pool of hatred for us.

                Mix that with someone giving them a chance and taking away their qualms about killing other humans with religion and bam, terrorist get daze!


                And regarding the Bible, well, you know about Deuteronomy, it's their book of law?

                http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0513.htm

                It sure is an interesting reading:

                - It tells you that if a prophet, or one of your family members, tries to goad you into believing other gods, you should kill him (by stoning).
                - And if in a city that you GOD has told you to live in it (that term can be pretty broad, you know), someone tries to do the same, you're supposed to kill all those unbelievers and burn the city, not ever rebuilding it again.

                Sure the Quran says that about Jihad and such. But you see, the Deuteronomy is pretty interesting too, eh? Plus all those stories about putting the unbelievers to the sword.

                It might not be as clear regarding unbelievers, but broad interpretations are that, they can be properly used when they suit your needs.


                In fact, Christianity has had a long story about genocydes and massacres all in the name of religion. The crusades are a prime example, but not the only ones.

                And while it's human writing and open to interpretation, you just need someone willing to take it by the letter, as it has happened before in our History plenty of times.

                And what all those cases have in common?

                - Oppresed population? Check.
                - Ignorant population? Check.
                - Impoverished population? Check.
                - Death and violence all around you? Check, if it wasn't war, it was disease or whatever was the cause.


                So yeah, I still think that fanaticism has more to do with the environment of a person, not only the physical, but the emotional and intellectual one too, than with the religion he believes.

                Btw, we all talk about Muslims that are fanatics. But then, if the Quran is so strict, why there are a lot of bona-fide Muslims that follow all their rules but haven't engaged in holy war?



                Make no mistake. I don't think that religions are good, but as I've said before, they aren't the cause of fanaticism, but the justification, the same as (extreme) nationalism.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2015 @ 3:17am

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

                  So yeah, while we haven't bombed them (remember they can be and/or factors), for sure they got plenty of people living in poverty (while western companies are enriching themselves there) and yeah, you got a good brewing pool of hatred for us.

                  But the terrorists don't come from that stratum of society- they come from the richer groups.

                  And regarding the Bible, well, you know about Deuteronomy, it's their book of law?

                  However it says several times in the new testament that the law can be summarised by the simple statement

                  "Love God and love your neighbour as yourself" (and by the way it also says that the test for loving God is loving your neighbour.)

                  So there is apparently a contradiction here and the important point is how it is resolved.

                  General Christian interpretation has been that the New Testament trumps the old and hence the verses you quote are irrelevant to Christianity.

                  You might believe that the existence of this contradiction means that Christianity is less likely to be true but the assertion that orthodox Christianity supports morally evil actions is not sustainable.

                  In fact, Christianity has had a long story about genocydes and massacres all in the name of religion. he crusades are a prime example, but not the only ones.

                  Actually that is a gross exaggeration of reality. The crusades were a somewhat belated response to the preceding 400 years of Islamic Jihad. If you look at the actual number of crusader attacks and compare it with the Islamic Jihad that preceded it you will see it is a pinprick by comparison.

                  The first 300 years of Christianity were devoid of such aberrations whilst the first 300 years of Islam are chock full of violent conquest.


                  Oppresed population? Check.
                  - Ignorant population? Check.
                  - Impoverished population? Check.
                  - Death and violence all around you? Check, i


                  So how do you explain the many places around the world that satisfy all of those yet only the Islamic ones seem to result in violence on a daily basis.

                  Btw, we all talk about Muslims that are fanatics. But then, if the Quran is so strict, why there are a lot of bona-fide Muslims that follow all their rules but haven't engaged in holy war?

                  Because they rarely read the Koran in a language that they understand and so they are mostly ignorant of what it says.

                  Also most people don't like following strict religous injunctions much - which is why most Christians don't live up to the standard set in the Sermon on the Mount.

                  As the Koran itself says "fighting is distasteful to you - but nonetheless it is prescribed for you".

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2015 @ 7:57am

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

                    >> But the terrorists don't come from that stratum of society- they come from the richer groups.

                    Yes for the high profile cases particularly for those that look to target our countries, because they look for people that won't be suspicious (someone that only speaks arab and that looks that he just came from a war zone would look pretty suspicious in the US), plus sometimes they need specialized people (like people who pilot planes).

                    But then, two things:

                    - They aren't the only terrorists, they got multiple cells and a support apparatus that covers for them in specific countries. I'd say that most of their low profile recruits, plus all the network in specific countries come from the lower strata of the population.
                    - Religion is still a justification for what they do. To be honest, it baffles me why they would throw their lives away to blow up some yankees or whatever they want to blow up.

                    It baffles me in the same way as why someone would join the army voluntarily to fight in wars that aren't in their country, and not as a job but because of some cause (the way some people joined the army in WWII without being drafted). Or the same way some would let themselves get killed over a flag.

                    There is a logical justification for it, though: empathy (even if it sounds strange coming from them). They see other people suffering, whom with they share something in common (either it's a nation, a language or a religion) and they think that they should do something about it, because they are able to. It's a concept similar to noblesse obligue.

                    But well, it isn't the first time that something like that has happened. Remember that the French Revolution wasn't started by the lower strata, but by educated people that were sick of seeing their countrymen oppressed and such (or so they claim).

                    Remember one thing: that one side's terrorist is the other side's hero. And in their own eyes, they don't see themselves as terrorists, but as heroes that fight to free their people from the oppression from the western countries.


                    You know, it's pretty easy to come up with such an idea if you hear day after day about people being bombed in your country.

                    Religion is nice and all (like extreme nationalism), but it alone isn't usually enough to turn people into someone willing to blow themselves up for the cause. Usually, there are exceptions, as always.

                    Still, religion is the best way to justify the hatred of the people. It's easier to tell them that the cause you're poor or your family was killed by a bomb is because the infidels hate you; than trying to explain them that you're part of a delicate geopolitic game that is trying to fatten the wallets of a few bastards up there.

                    Religion was designed to be a simple thing. Truth is always complicated.


                    Now, a few points:

                    - You're right in that the terrorists that have targeted here are from higher strata. Of course, they are the only ones able to do that without raising suspicions.
                    - Those people see themselves as heroes fighting against oppression. They may mix up some religious thoughts there too, to justify them killing people.
                    - That oppression exists, and we are fuelling it by every bomb we drop or every war we make into their countries.
                    - Religion (and other ideologies) are just means to channel that hatred. They are simple, and that's why they are useful.
                    - The poverty and situation of those countries make for perfect breeding pits of further terrorism, particularly by the fact that they get a network of supporters that will hide and help them.

                    Take away that support they get from the different countries and you will deal them a lot of damage.



                    You know about ETA in Spain? It was an extreme nationalist terrorist group born in the Basque Country. Their origins date back to Franco's dictatorship, where people were oppressed by him (you couldn't speak basque, you couldn't have basque names, you might go to the jail for just being socialist... people weren't poor, but they sure lived in fear).

                    It was such that Frech government helped to hide ETA members from Spanish retribution.

                    Ok, once democracy came, ETA lost one of their reasons to keep up, but part of it still kept killing people. The other part joined politics, and some old members are MPs and politicians in Spain, and not only in nationalist parties.

                    Thing is that, at first, the Basque society still supported them, they targeted mainly military or police members (that were seen as oppressive) and the hatred was still there, but 20 years later, people started to get fed up of them (they started to turn a bit indiscriminate too, tho they still tried to avoid massive killings and targeting civilians - most of the time).

                    Apart from the police intervention, France stopped giving them the support (or at least, ignoring Spanish requests for extradition) and the Basque society was started to get tired of all that shit.

                    ETA has officially been disbanded. Part of the merit goes to the police and other forces, but another part of it comes from the loss of support from the Basque society.

                    You know why that society stopped supporting terrorism? Because the perception of oppression wasn't there anymore: people could speak basque, and use basque names. You wouldn't be taken to the jail at night and be shot down for your ideology, for example.


                    I'd say that if Franco's regime would have remained in Spain, ETA would still exist and people would still be supporting them. And prolly, multiple EU governments would support them, even if subtly (like not extraditing them and such).

                    It's something similar, take away the reasons of why people are supporting terrorism and at least, they will lose a lot of support, making it easier for you to hunt them down.

                    Btw, as a footnote: the US supported Franco's dictatorship because they were focused on the Soviet Union. It's strange how they fought Hitler because he was a bad guy (or so they claim) and then they support one of his allies. Spanish people were hoping that the Allied forces would turn their fangs on Franco's regime due to similarities with Hitler, but it seems they weren't willing to.


                    >> However it says several times in the new testament that the law can be summarised by the simple statement

                    "Love God and love your neighbour as yourself" (and by the way it also says that the test for loving God is loving your neighbour.)

                    So there is apparently a contradiction here and the important point is how it is resolved.

                    General Christian interpretation has been that the New Testament trumps the old and hence the verses you quote are irrelevant to Christianity.

                    You might believe that the existence of this contradiction means that Christianity is less likely to be true but the assertion that orthodox Christianity supports morally evil actions is not sustainable.

                    >>

                    I'm not sure about Orthodox Christianity, because that's not the one I know nor the one I was grown with.

                    I know about Catholics, you know those? They are pretty much spread all around the world.

                    Catholics are supposed to follow the New Testament and all that.

                    Yes, you see, in Spain, we have had a nice story with Catholics and their excesses. Even nowadays we do, with bishops and other Church representatives calling gays "sick people" or even disrespecting women (things like saying they should be in the kitchen and such). That's, of course, when they aren't molesting a kid or something like that.

                    Or see, in Franco's dictatorship, it was nice to see the priests collaborating with Franco to round up and kill dissidents. Yup, that was for sure a message of love and peace brought in the NT, eh?

                    Btw, our politicians (at least the current party in the government) has yet to condemn all the human rights violations committed during the dictatorship. Same as Islamic leaders with terrorism, yeah.


                    I'm not sure if you heard the cases with stolen kids. Better if I wikipedia it:

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_children_of_Francoism

                    The case was, roughly, that people from the Church took away the kids of single mothers and such (or from Republicans), telling them that they were dead or something like that; and were given to "proper parents", for a fee, of course.


                    Going a bit further, when the Inquisition applied flames to heretics, witches and gays, you'd say that they applied the NT too? The message of love and peace?

                    Exodus 22:18 "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live"

                    That was the basic of their tenets to get witches to get burned, like in Zugarramurdi and other places.


                    Remember too the European wars in the 17th century. Catholicism vs. Protestantism. I bet that the people in the Netherlands had a lot of fun back them, in the middle of a war with their cities being sieged and sacked. It had multiple reasons, but religion was the official explanation for it.


                    Yeah, the previous examples sound me pretty much OT-ish, rather than NT-ish.

                    In fact, if the Church followed the NT as they should, they would be the greatest hippies in the world, lol. Pity that they don't: Jesus might have been a nice guy. The same can't be said about most bishops and cardinals.


                    Remember that also, the rules of the Catholic religion don't come only from the Bible.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_infallibility

                    That means that if the Pope says that the snow is black, the snow is black until he says other thing.



                    Btw, forced conversion sure was plenty in Christianity too, even before the Islam came in:

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_conversion

                    Also, no wonder that early Chistianity has no History about that, you're cheating a bit there: they were a persecuted religion up to the year 313. How could they convert by the sword when they were the ones being (de)converted by the sword?

                    But see, it didn't take them 79 years (in 392) until some Roman Emperor (Theodosius I) decreed that pagans should be put to the sword.

                    So yeah, Christianity got as bad as any other religion as soon as they got into the power.

                    I'm not sure what the Orthodox Christians have done or stop doing, because I don't know their History. But I know the Catholic one and that one is washed in blood in the name of God.

                    And yeah, we also had the "kill infidels and you'll go to the heaven too". It was pretty common that if you fought for 40 days in a Crusade, and not only the Islamic ones (there was also the Albigensian Crusade, for example, where for sure they slaughtered whole cities).

                    Remember also that Crusades weren't the only cases of forced conversion. Read the wikipedia link too, but History is full of those in some or other escale.

                    So yeah, Christianism has been as bad as Islam in those cases. Again, I got no idea about Orthodox Christianism and their circumstances, but I'd say most religions share that sin.

                    Man, even atheism!! Lol.


                    >> So how do you explain the many places around the world that satisfy all of those yet only the Islamic ones seem to result in violence on a daily basis.

                    Because most places have switched religion for extreme nationalism or the plain ol' racism. That covers people from 2 strata, mainly:

                    - Rich people with interest in furthering extreme nationalistic agenda, those are the opportunistic type and let me tell you, the dangerous ones.
                    - Poor or desperate people that find relief in what that ideology tells them. They tend to be quite uneducated (minimal education).

                    Due to the change of paradigm in our society, we've found that religious ideas have less sway upon the population than nationalism; so people have changed their ways of approach.

                    They are still fanatics, though.

                    You might want to check the statistics about vandalism from neo-nazi or fascist groups and others; tho I can't say if they are too reliable: they got the support from the police and government in some places.

                    You should also check vandalism done in football matches, or to football related issues (what you call soccer), because it's usually related. And it's not the first case where people have been killed.

                    Again, violence has more to do with the social strata you belong to than to the religion or whatever you practice. See that Muslims tend to belong to the lower strata in most countries except theirs.


                    Btw, the site you supplied sure looks as reliable as the Signal magazine, man.

                    I know about their statement, bothered to read it, but it sounds to me like one of those "we aren't extremists but X is bad, but we don't hate it, but is veeeerry veeerrrryyy bad".

                    The tone, the way they present their site and other things hint me that their aims aren't as innocent as they claim. Or so it looks to me.

                    For example, they give statistics about deaths by Islam, other religions and anti-Islam.

                    But then, they are mixing a lot of things there. First, it doesn't come number of deaths by countries (it seems that the statistics include the whole world). Second, it doesn't specify the incidents. Someone blowing 20 catholics in the name of religion is a death due to the Islamic religion, sure. But then, 2 islamic sects carnaging each other over whose prophet got the longest beard are also deaths due to Islamic religion. But yet, the nature of those fights is different (but still bad enough, I agree).

                    And then, 0 deaths for all the other religions? Ah, true, when a neo-nazi kills a jew in a First World country it isn't over religion, but racism. True. It doesn't hide the fact that we have switched religion for race or nation, though.

                    Moreover, where those incidents happened is important too. Of course there are few anti-muslim deaths in First World countries: because you go to the jail when you kill another person. People hate muslims, but they won't mess up their whole lives over them, usually.

                    Then, deaths due to Islamic religion may happen in countries that even lack proper authorities (and life is cheaper), or where it's the authorities the ones doing the killing.


                    The way they aggregate the deaths and they mix up numbers there sounds strange at least. They are as reliable as the OECD statistics about yearly hours of work per countries, that the OECD itself admits that they shouldn't be used to compare between countries due to the differences in obtaining them, plus all the aggregation.

                    I don't have the link now, but there was this story in TechDirt about how someone could do magic with statistics, and roughly, proved whatever they wanted to prove.

                    And no, I don't believe those 0's. I do agree that there are less deaths due to other religions when compared to Islam, but there are plenty of other factors than just the way the Quran or the Bible are written.


                    >> Because they rarely read the Koran in a language that they understand and so they are mostly ignorant of what it says.

                    Mind ellaborating this one? It's hard to read something in a language that you don't understand, just saying.

                    But well, I'd say the translations don't leave things out, do they? See that most of Christianity doesn't read the Bible in the original language (that, btw, wasn't latin, but either greek or aramaic), and that hasn't stopped us from ignoring it.

                    Most probably the cause is the 2nd one:

                    >> Also most people don't like following strict religous injunctions much - which is why most Christians don't live up to the standard set in the Sermon on the Mount.

                    Christianity (and other religions) have a lot to lose in a word with a lot of commodities like daily food, porn and the internet, I'd say (I'm exaggerating, but you get my drift).

                    It's easy to fast when you got nothing to eat. It gets a bit harder when you got a lobster waiting for you in the fridge.


                    Btw, want to know something? It's a bit funny, lol. You know that in Fridays, it used to be a day of fasting in Christian religion, don't you? I'm not feeling like translating the specifics but well, on Fridays for 40 days you are forbidden of eating meat.

                    People usually ate fish or something like that on those days.

                    The thing is that nowadays, fish is more expensive than meat, and more like a luxury food. So it's fun to see that you aren't allowed to eat a burguer, but then, you're able to eat a lobster that would pay 20 or 30 of those burguers, lol.


                    So yeah, going back to the issue: it's easier than someone poor will follow the tenets of a religion strictly than someone rich. Mix that with the fact that religion might be their only relief from their shitty life and you got a nice breeding pool for a fanatic.

                    Again, you can change "religion" for "extreme nationalism" any time, eh? Both apply.

                    The advantage of "extreme nationalism" or "racism" in lieu of religion is obvious: they, usually, don't forbid you from fucking all you like.


                    Btw, want to know something about the Islam nowadays? That it's just following the steps that Christianity (or at least Catholicism) did a few centuries ago.

                    As simple as that.

                    All the things that we complain nowadays about Islam are things that, if you turn back your clock 300 or 400 years (less for some things, more for others), you could find them in Christianity; including mistreating women, fanaticism, burning people, killing scholars, waging wars, not allowing criticism and such. You might need to dig out a bit, but all is there.

                    Remember that "Insha'Allah" and "Deus vult" mean something similar. In fact, "Deus vult" is more aggressive as it means "it's the will of God", while the other means "if God wills it" (it seems that Spanish ojalá word comes from it, and it means "I hope (this happens)).


                    The difference is that our society has advanced (now we kill each other over football teams instead of religions) while theirs hasn't.


                    And of course, I find it very hard for it to advance if we keep bombing them and taking their resources and riches away from them, just saying.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 5:58am

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

                      I'm not sure about Orthodox Christianity, because that's not the one I know nor the one I was grown with.


                      Hmm - that's a huge gaping hole in your knowledge then - since

                      1. The Christians currently being wiped out in the middle east are mostly Orthodox.

                      2. Pretty much all of the things that you complain about vis a vis Catholics and Protestants are also compalined about by the Orthodox.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 5:59am

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

                      Btw, want to know something about the Islam nowadays? That it's just following the steps that Christianity (or at least Catholicism) did a few centuries ago.


                      Nope it isn't - it is currently reversing the small amount of progress that it made during the years 1850-1970.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 6:02am

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

                      Mind ellaborating this one? It's hard to read something in a language that you don't understand, just saying.

                      It is standard practice in Islam to learn by heart and recite the Koran in Arabic without understanding it.

                      But then I would have thought that you knew that already from the amount of knowledge you claim to have.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 7:35am

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

                      Btw, want to know something? It's a bit funny, lol. You know that in Fridays, it used to be a day of fasting in Christian religion, don't you? I'm not feeling like translating the specifics but well, on Fridays for 40 days you are forbidden of eating meat.

                      People usually ate fish or something like that on those days.

                      The thing is that nowadays, fish is more expensive than meat, and more like a luxury food. So it's fun to see that you aren't allowed to eat a burguer, but then, you're able to eat a lobster that would pay 20 or 30 of those burguers, lol.


                      The general idea is that on those day you eat only vegetables which is cheaper and healthier. Shellfish was allowed as a concession to fishing communities where adequate protein from vegetables might not be available (and it turns out that shellfish like mussels are about the most ecologically sound and healthy form of animal protein!). Fish was allowed on few special days as a celebration with the fast. Over time wealthier people gravitated towards misusing these exceptions and extended the fish concession to every fast day - but actually the fasting rules mostly promoted what is today recognised as a healthy, ecologically sound and economical diet.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2015 @ 1:56am

    Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

    George Orwell

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

  • icon
    Sheogorath (profile), 21 Jul 2015 @ 6:33am

    Charlie Hebdo Bows To Assassins' Veto, Hecklers' Veto; Will No Longer Mock Mohammed
    Bloody finally! While I naturally don't agree with the action that forced this decision, you do have to admit that the decisions made at Charlie Hebdo did cause its staff members' deaths. If the magazine had mocked all religious figureheads equally rather than only Mohammed, it would have had more of a leg to stand on. As it is, I have zero sympathy for Charlie Hebdo, choosing instead to reserve it for the murdered staff and their family members.

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

    • identicon
      Rekrul, 21 Jul 2015 @ 5:10pm

      Re:

      Bloody finally! While I naturally don't agree with the action that forced this decision, you do have to admit that the decisions made at Charlie Hebdo did cause its staff members' deaths. If the magazine had mocked all religious figureheads equally rather than only Mohammed, it would have had more of a leg to stand on.

      They did. You just didn't hear about any of the other mocking because those other religions don't breed psychotic fanatics.

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

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 21 Jul 2015 @ 6:23pm

        Re: Re:

        ... those other religions don't breed psychotic fanatics.

        Oh, yes they do, or they have in other times. The Zionists in early Israel were thought fairly poorly of by the British occupiers. Shinto is Animist, ordinarily a pretty peaceful religion, until Japan felt backed into a corner. Christians have been doing horrible things everywhere it went for the past two millenia. Atheists (Mao Tse Tung, Joe Stalin, Hitler) are right up there with them (assuming, as many Xtians do, that Atheism is just another religion). Buddists - Samurai. The Inca, Mayans, and Aztecs invented the same thing independently with no help from us.

        We can't blame all of our messes on religion, but it's always been pretty high up in the list of bad actors. Haters gotta hate, and often religion is just a handy excuse. Islamic extremism is just the current example of a very old phenomenon. They didn't invent Jihad. That's just the Muslim word for it.

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

      • icon
        Sheogorath (profile), 22 Jul 2015 @ 3:24pm

        Re: Re:

        Not that I ever saw them print.

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

      • icon
        tracyanne (profile), 22 Jul 2015 @ 9:04pm

        Re: You just didn't hear about any of the other mocking because those other religions don't breed psychotic fanatics.

        1/ That's not only not entirely true. Christianity is more genteel these days because of secular social change in Western countries (not so much in some 3rd world countries, though). Christianity does however have a long history of psychotic fanatics, with out whom South America and Mexico would probably not be Christian, with those who would not convert, having been put to the sword.

        2/ I still haven't found much if anything in the way of satirising religions other than Islam, by Charlie Hebdo, so if anyone can point me to anything that supports the assertion that Charlie Hebdo, in fact, satarised other religions as mercilessly as they did Islam, I'd like to see some links.

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

  • icon
    Ed (profile), 21 Jul 2015 @ 7:50am

    So now we have a convenient list of spineless idiots who we no longer need to show any respect. These PEN writers who have signed this "protest" are craven cowards who mock the very idea of freedom of speech and are now actively patting the backs of the very terrorists who would murder masses of others because of their words.

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

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 21 Jul 2015 @ 10:36am

      Re:

      ... and are now actively patting the backs of the very terrorists who would murder masses of others because of their words.

      Worse than that. They're apologizing for having offended the terrorists' tender egos. How dare anyone question their right to remain blissfully ignorant?!? Bastards!

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

  • identicon
    AJ, 21 Jul 2015 @ 8:21am

    It is extremely difficult for me to accept a religion as a "Religion of Peace", when the only two options when confronted with a person that does not believe as they do is, convert or die. People keep saying that these are just the "Fanatics".. but I don't hear of any public condemnation from the religions leaders of this faith when people are being murdered by the hundreds/thousands.

    All religions that I've ever personally encountered have had the same 3 things in common. 1. Believe as they do or you will go somewhere terrible when you die. 2. You must give a portion of what you make to the religion. 3. You must spread your beliefs.

    Scientifically speaking; Organized religion (not to be confused with individual spirituality) has quite a few of the same characteristics of a virus. Scary....

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2015 @ 4:40am

      Re:

      All religions that I've ever personally encountered have had the same 3 things in common. 1. Believe as they do or you will go somewhere terrible when you die. 2. You must give a portion of what you make to the religion. 3. You must spread your beliefs.

      On point 1.
      Actually Christianity doesn't say that - despite the fact that some preachers do. What it actually says is that if you believe then you have a better chance of being able to live a good life that will lead you to heaven but that good life is not exclusive to believers. See Matthew 25:31-46 and Romans 2:13-15.

      On point 2.
      Every political party, pressure group charity or educational institution that I have ever encountered also does that!

      On point 3.
      Everyone who posts a comment on Techdirt is doing that!

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

      • identicon
        AJ, 22 Jul 2015 @ 8:19am

        Re: Re:

        Again, I said: "All religions that I've ever personally encountered" your counterpoints don't really disagree with me, if anything, they support what I said.

        When it comes to religion, you will always be able to find scripture or some writings somewhere that supports one side or the other... I don't consider that. Just like I treat politicians; I consider what they are doing, not what they are saying, that is where you will find the truth.

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

  • identicon
    FM Hilton, 21 Jul 2015 @ 10:30am

    Subjugation

    When we willingly accept the loss of freedom to speak freely, to write as we want, and to stand up for our own intellectual freedom, we have just given up our essential human rights for the fear of someone's religious belief.

    It's called moral and intellectual cowardice.

    Or what was it that Benjamin Franklin said?

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    He would be ashamed of everyone who caves in to a group of people because they might offend someone.

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

  • identicon
    GEMont, 21 Jul 2015 @ 1:26pm

    A world without religion, is like... actual evolution!

    "...those who wish to avoid the same fate know exactly what to remove from the equation."

    Yeah - remove more Freedom from the equation. As always.

    But that's only because the thing that really should be removed from the equation cannot be removed, due to billions of so-called adults who will destroy anything that interferes with their "right" to remain children and play make-believe because they're afraid of the finality of death.

    As long as religion exists on earth, humanity will continue to take two steps back, for each step forward. Eventually we will back right over the cliff.

    Having forgotten the Dark Ages, we are guaranteed to repeat them, until this childishness is outgrown, or until one of the many hordes of immature cowards once again makes one of their religions the "ultimate" law and takes us back to darkness, one final time.

    ---

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

  • identicon
    GEMont, 24 Jul 2015 @ 2:09am

    Just Riding the Big News Pony

    "We should ask Teju Cole, Joyce Carol Oates and the other 200+ signers of the anti-Charlie Hebdo petition if they feel they've achieved a victory as well."

    It is very likely that the sort of people who would responded in this fashion without thinking through what they were actually doing, will also have no problems pretending they did the right thing going forward, and will have forgotten the whole thing in weeks, if it brings them no cash or fame.

    ---

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2015 @ 1:37am

    Is it mocking Mohammed to point out that he was a child raping bandit who ripped off Judaism and Christianity because he thought religion was a really good racket to get into, and did so in a manner which puts L. Ron Hubbard to shame?

    Just wondered, because I certainly don't want to mock him, or his sun stroke deranged killer bee adherents. Color me respectful, and help me to walk the path of truth and fairness.

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

    • identicon
      GEMont, 28 Jul 2015 @ 2:40am

      Re:

      While I admit your choice of words was indeed quite colorful and entertaining, ye mighta simply said that religion is a business model, where the proprietor sells shit as shinola to people who think shinola will prevent them from dying permanently.

      But in all truth and fairness, it looks like you don't need any help at all, to walk the path of truth and fairness. :)

      ---

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


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