Tuesday, February 07, 2006
It has been said that the pen is mightier then the sword, and it appears radical Islamists are putting this theory to the test. In protest of European newspapers that published cartoons portraying Mohammed as a terrorist, zealous mobs
desecrated flags, attacked Christians, threw stones and firebombed embassies. Witnesses of the attack on the Danish embassy in Beirut said they saw people jumping out of windows to escape the flames.
If the aim was to disprove the point of the cartoons - that extremists have hijacked Islam - the protesters did a heck of a job getting their message across. After watching the riots on television, the first thing that popped into my mind was - wow, Islam is a really peaceful religion.
Before we explore this further, let's emphasize that millions of Muslims are peaceful and abhor violence. As a society, we must judge people as individuals, avoid stereotyping and avoid the pernicious sting of discrimination. Muslims who stand for individual liberty, moderation and equal rights are allies. Any attempt to lump all Muslims in the same category is despicable, unconscionable and anathema to the very free, pluralistic society we are trying to promote.
However, it is also time to admit that we have a serious problem
that isn't going away. A significant number of Muslims subscribe to a brand of the religion that is nihilistic, destructive, barbaric, backwards, anti-democratic and brutal. There is no point in negotiating or reasoning with these fanatics. They will either self-moderate out of self-interest, or come into direct confrontation with the West.The reaction
to the comics that ran in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and other newspapers is not normal or civilized. It can only come from an extremist culture that glorifies hatred and violence.
The Islamic Army in Iraq, a Sunni Arab insurgent group, issued an Internet statement calling for attacks on Danish companies and nationals. The group urged followers to "catch some Danish people and cut them into pieces."
"We will not accept less than severing the heads of those responsible," Reuters
reported a preacher saying at Al Omari mosque in Gaza. The New York Times
reports other demonstrators calling for amputating the hands of the cartoonists who drew the pictures.
What is most striking about the repugnant rhetoric is how it is considered normal discourse in much of the Arab world. As new technology brings the planet closer together, we are increasingly clashing with a culture that is stuck in the 6th Century. It is totally incompatible with modern society and rules that govern basic human rights.
Here are three reasons why greater confrontation is on the horizon:1)
Force may be the only way to resolve the conflict
between a culture that believes in freedom of the press and one that believes you dismember those who speak their minds.2)
A culture that is rapidly moving towards allowing gay couples to marry is not going to peacefully coexist with one that beheads gay people simply for existing
Women who are emancipated and educated are not going to live side-by-side with submissive women who are treated like pets.
You know, it is simply unacceptable that women are forbidden to drive in Saudi Arabia and forced to wear oppressive garments that comedian Bill Maher says look like beekeeper suits. If this offends the Muslim extremists, too damn bad. Speaking of which, I'm getting a little offended by how easily they are offended.
In the United States, there are times when our fundamentalists have felt insulted. But they didn't rampage through towns and burn down movie theaters that showed "The Last Temptation of Christ." They didn't fan out in the Wyoming countryside looking to behead gay cowboys after Brokeback Mountain was nominated for eight Oscars. (Maybe, I shouldn't be giving them ideas)
It is also curious that the Islamists are claiming that religion is beyond reproach for editorial cartoonists, considering the Arab press is unquestionably the world's single most prolific offender
of denigrating religion. But, I guess habitually mocking Judaism with crude and crass stereotypes doesn't count. The hypocritical
double standard by the Islamists is so convoluted and incoherent, it is almost incomprehensible.
Commentator Neal Boortz
sums up my feelings on the laughable "outrage" of Muslim radicals:
** Muslims fly commercial airliners into buildings in New York City. No Muslim outrage.
** Muslims slaughter hundreds of children and teachers in Beslan, Russia. Muslims shoot children in the back. No Muslim outrage.
** Newspapers in Denmark and Norway publish cartoons depicting Mohammed. Muslims are outraged.
Fair-minded people, especially moderate Muslims who are also victims of this extremism, must stand up to the insanity. For this violent behavior isn't Islam - it is fascism disguised as religion and has no place in the modern world.
Not sure if I understand the argument. Try as we might, we can't get Moderate Repubs to stand up against the Neo-Cons. Or a sizeable Moderate Christian sect to stand up against the Fundamentalists who have the ear of Prez Bush.
Yet we know they are out there (Moderates in Repubs and Christianity that is!)
On the other hand many Muslims have organized and come out against terrorism, Clerics have come out against it, and American Muslim groups have also made their voice known on the issue.
I love you Wayne, but I totally disagree with you on this one. Freedom of speech is a basic American right and protected by our Bill of Rights, but you cannot yell FIRE in a crowded theatre.
Some of the Cartoons were funny, others were lame, and some where just stupid, and a few were downright offensive.
Were these cartoons even printed in the United States? It's my understanding that some leaders of Islam wanted to meet with the Dutch Media and Government to raise their concerns on the issue, they should have allowed them to say their peace, and pursue a diplomatic aveue for airing their grievance. But the Danes refused to meet. When the Ambasadors were recalled the Dutch should have seen the writing on the wall.
Honestly, what did they think would happen? I will not stand with Danish right-leaning/right-wing publications that started this uproar, and have hoaxed lib/progressives in this country to act as apologist for Culture Warriors in another country.
posted by Rob7534, at
2/07/2006 1:34 AM
While I share the outrage at these acts of violence, I don't believe that "force may be the only way to resolve the conflict", as this column suggests. Hasn't our use of military force in Iraq to "resolve conflicts" only resulted in greater violence and more terrorist "insurgents" that hate the US? The protests against the Danish cartoons are happening in Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, Turkey, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Egypt and even Austria. Do we intervene with force in all of these countries? Are we ready for World War III? The Bush neocons engaged in a lot of pre-war fantasizing about a quick victory in Iraq that would bring about a democratic pro-Western secular state. Oops. Let's not be fooled again.
posted by , at
2/07/2006 2:00 AM
The Islamic "selective outrage" is only understood when you consider that they are dealing with infidels... little more than animals.(see anti-Semitic cartoons) For them, human consideration and fairness is wasted outside the Muslim community.
posted by Malott, at
2/07/2006 5:15 AM
Free Speech is not just a Right that we here in America enjoy but it is a right that all Free People should respect and defend. The right to public discourse and the exchange of ideas should not be limited nor impinged when it comes to certain *topics or ideas*. Once society begins to accept that certain ideas and topics are verboten and therefore should never be questioned, discussed or cannot be impuned or lampooned - then where does it end?
I take issue with anyone who criticizes the Danish government for having the audacity to *allow* a *free press* to operate in a free society. How dare you criticize one of the core principles that our Founding Father's instilled in our own country - an astounding concept in the 18th Century that has been a beacon for people around the world for over 200 years. Have we have strayed so far from our own blueprint for democracy and freedom that American's now call for limitations on Free Speech and call for government censorship of the Press ... all in the name of a little security to appease madmen?
I propose that Gay-American's should especially be cautious of embracing the idea that speech that is critical of religion should be subject to limits and restrictions. One doesn't have to go to far to find religious zealots that find the frank and open dialogue of Gay Rights to be offensive to their *god* or *spiritual leader*. Could we eventually find ourselves unable to criticize those that would seek to curtail our rights and abridge our freedoms because they cloak themselves in religiousity?
There is a clash of civilizations taking place here at the beginning of the 21st Century between the East and the West -- but it will not be solved by proposing limitations and restrictions on Free Speech and a Free Press. We cannot give in and we must stand up and defend this concept at all costs.
Paul in Houston
posted by , at
2/07/2006 7:02 AM
Re: "it is fascism disguised as religion and has no place in the modern world"
And yet the well-funded military-industrial corporatocracy that is running things is moving us unerringly in that very direction. Radical Muslim fascism is only a view of what is further down the road for the West if the MIC have their way.
The Danish paper threw a Molotov cocktail at Muslims. What else could you expect?
The MIC *wants* to crash the West against the 100+ million radicalized Muslims. This furor is only a step in their methodology.
I feel we are all being manipulated by the MIC to achieve their own ends.
posted by , at
2/07/2006 7:39 AM
I would prefer you use "religious outrage" etc, and go on to specify the details, rather than refer to "Muslims" or "Islamic".
Or any other religion.
This particular issue involves some Muslims. Most other issues that influence the lives of gay men and women in our societies involve equally dedicated Christians.
I'm hoping we can bring this back to where it should be -- an exposure of religious fanatics, rather than banging on about religion itself.
posted by grantdale, at
2/07/2006 8:48 AM
Writer: I'm hoping we can bring this back to where it should be -- an exposure of religious fanatics, rather than banging on about religion itself.
Wayne: Get real, this specific violence is caused radical sects of Muslims that far surpass what any other group is doing. In the name of false balance you have missed the more important point of accuracy, and in doing so, have helped exacerbate the problem.
Unless you deal with this honestly and truthfully, we can't solve this.
It is not Jews, Christians or any other group causing such world turmoil. It is Muslims who belong to specific violent sects. These are the hard facts. Political correctness does not change this reality.
posted by , at
2/07/2006 8:59 AM
Rob7534: Freedom of speech is a basic American right and protected by our Bill of Rights, but you cannot yell FIRE in a crowded theatre.
Wayne: The fact that beleive printing political cartoons is yelling FIRE, means you have completely surrendered Free Speech. If free speech is not absolute, than religion isn't, and the preaching of radical Islamic Sects can be banned, becasue their sermons are yelling FIRE.
See where we are going with this? You have simply reduced free specch and freedom of religion to a matter of personal tastes and selective political/religious viewpoits. Who gets to decide what is "fire" and what is legit?
By the way, political speech is all about yelling FIRE as loud as you can. In free sodities we turn the other cheek. In barbaric, non-free socities we threaten to behead people.
posted by Wayne Besen, at
2/07/2006 9:05 AM
This article by Knight-Ridder journalist Trudy Rubin pretty much sums it all up!
BY TRUDY RUBINKnight Ridder NewspapersThe uproar in the Islamic world over Danish cartoons lampooning the prophet Muhammad reminds us that much of that world misunderstands what democracy means.
A Danish paper published the 12 cartoons in September. One showed the Prophet with a turban made of explosives; in another, he greets a line of suicide bombers in heaven with the words "Stop, stop, we have run out of virgins." The drawings have inspired protests from Muslim presidents, Arab boycotts of Danish goods, Pakistani demonstrations that torched the Danish flag, and calls by Gaza imams to sever the hands of the artists.
In the Muslim world, where physical depictions of the Prophet are blasphemous, the drawings were viewed as a Western attack on Islam. But elsewhere in Europe newspapers have reprinted the cartoons in defense of freedom of speech.
The whole episode is a classic case of cultural collision. Yes, these images are insensitive and heighten tensions between the West and Islamic countries. It might have been better had they never surfaced.
But the assumption by many ordinary Muslims - and even Muslim leaders - that Western governments should censor such drawings is a nonstarter. As the newspaper France Soir, which reprinted the cartoons, wrote: "We had no desire to add oil to the fires as some may think. A fundamental principle of democracy and secularism is being threatened." This is a principle many Muslims apparently don't understand.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, perhaps reflecting the sentiment of angry constituents at home, reportedly called for a limit on press freedom. Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai said that "an act like this must never be allowed to be repeated." And, according to the Financial Times, Saudi Arabia's Interior Minister Prince Nayef suggested the Vatican should intervene to stop the spread of the cartoons. Apparently, the prince thinks the Pope can dictate personal behavior in the manner of the late Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini, who issued a fatwa condemning novelist Salman Rushdie for blasphemy.
Sorry, Prince Nayef. Sharia does not apply in the West, where freedom of speech is a right protected by law and constitutions. The exercise of that right aggravates Western leaders, including President Bush. And Western media are more likely to insult their own religious icons than they are those of Islam.
Remember Martin Scorsese's "Last Temptation of Christ"? Or the infamous New York exhibition that included Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ," a photo of a cross dipped in urine? Both were widely condemned by America's religious leaders.
Such protest is totally legitimate, and part of Western tradition. If Muslims want to picket newspapers that publish the cartoons, more power to them. What's not legitimate in democratic society is death threats against artists or demands to curb free speech.
This point must be emphasized over and over, as Europe struggles to better integrate its 15 million Muslim citizens. European leaders can soothe hurt Muslim feelings but shouldn't apologize for free speech.
Many Muslims view Western freedoms as license. But those freedoms offer Muslims the opportunity to practice their religion freely in Europe, despite the growing social tensions between them and the non-Muslim majority. In Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, Christians aren't permitted to worship openly or carry a bible in public. And one sees no outrage in Muslim countries when cartoons defame Jews, or newspapers quote the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a notorious forgery claiming Jews want to take over the world.
Respect for another faith's core religious values can't be a one-way street.
Nor is it sufficient to explain the flare-up as a reflection of deeper Muslim grievances against the West. "This (protest) reflects a collective frustration building up about the way Muslims feel they have been treated," says New York's Imam Faisal Abdul Raouf, a noted interfaith activist. "There is a perception on the street that the war on terror is a war on Islam."
True, but Western leaders have gone out of the way to debunk that canard. Surely the way to bury it is not to threaten Western cartoonists with violence, or stay silent when fundamentalists do so. Challenge the cartoons, yes, point out the Prophet never condoned suicide, decry the misuse of Islamic rhetoric by terrorists. Use Western freedoms to make these points, but don't blow the episode into a war of civilizations.
As one gutsy Jordanian newspaper editor named Jihad Momani asked: "What brings more prejudice against Islam, these caricatures or pictures of a hostage-taker slashing the throat of his victim in front of the cameras or a suicide bomber. ... ?" Momani was fired by his editors for daring to challenge conventional wisdom. But his question rings true.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Trudy Rubin is a columnist and editorial-board member for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Readers may write to her at: Philadelphia Inquirer, P.O. Box 8263, Philadelphia, Pa. 19101, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
posted by , at
2/07/2006 9:47 AM
I had not originally intended to post a comment, but after seeing some of the comments here -- I feel I must.
Firstly, to rob7534: there are huge organizations of moderate and liberal Christians who stand up against the fundamentalist Right Wing of the Church. Don't confuse the parties and their struggle with the struggle within Christian religions. Those struggles are NOT the same, though the branches of Christianity will use the parties and political process if they can. Read the UCC doctrine on things like gay rights -- compare it to the SB doctrine -- look at the Morelight Presbyterians, and other progressive groups -- look at many dioceses in the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the United Methodist Church -- etc. There are large organized groups (even not counting the Interfaith Alliance, of which I am a member) that are openly opposing the extremists. We may lose, but we do exist and the fight is not only real -- if it weren't for decisions to buy broadcast media made by the fundamentalist groups in the very early 80s -- it would be an almost even 50%/50% split in the Church, even as it is it is about 60%/40% -- and the conservatives are losing bodies slowly.
Secondly: My partner and I have many arabic (historically Moslem) friends, many of them younger. Some in the midwest, some still in the mideast, and one of whom we are particularly fond, now in college in the US with no intention of returning to his homeland. I once shared the view on Islam that I have seen expressed here -- just another religion, hijacked by extremists, etc. From friends whom I love and trust I have heard the following:
(On September 11th, when I called to make certain that our dear midwestern arabic friends were safe from backlash) "We came here to get away from these people, and they've followed us "(the mother saying this, in tears) -- "You've no idea, people here must fight, otherwise..."
(When talking to a friend still in Pakistan a few months ago) "There is a conference of Imams here in my city this week. The best thing I could do for my friends and family is to strap bombs to myself and blow myself up in the middle of the hotel -- Our faith is destroying us because of the Imams, maybe that would wake people up."
(when talking to our dear friend who is now a freshman in college) "You have no idea about the religious police, they hurt you if you don't obey. I will never go back. I am spiritual not religious -- all Islam has become is old men reading old outdated scrolls and then trying to force everyone else to live by their interpretations. I'm afraid of them, for me, for my mother -- for my brother. I hate them."
(From a 15 year old (at the time, now he's 19) who ran his parent's food stand where we often bought things until he went to college and we moved. "If you convert, and admit it, they kill you -- even here I wouldn't dare. I hate them and I fear them, so I will say what they want -- but I know there is no god -- there couldn't be -- their god is a monster. There is nothing wrong with you (referring to the fact that he knows we are a couple)-- but they would say you should be stoned."
There have been other comments some more graphic and direct. Now the arabs and Pakistanis we know are some of the finest, most loving, wonderful people that I've ever met -- and I trust their word over the noddling of westerners who like us, have never really experienced that world from whence they came. Most of these (except our friend in college - who is gay) are straight people. The world they describe and hate is not one where they can fight back, unless they want to die -- but we certainly must not be cowed by it or its extermists, and we should take those extremists as the precursor to our own. The Christian Right, given the power -- would be no different, no different at all -- and if you doubt that I suggest two books "Eternal Hostility: The struggle between theocracy and democracy" by Clarkson; and "Principles of Divine Law" by Rushdoony. Read them and think about what they say.
In closing, I would not normally post anonymously -- to anything. I have said much more inflammatory things that these with my name and city at the bottom -- however, not when it involves friends who might, even though I did not name them, be somehow identified and made vulnerable -- particularly those that are still in places like Karachi, and therefore might end up hurt -- or dead.
posted by , at
2/07/2006 10:28 AM
It is about religion. Every brand of religion from Western Christianity to the most ancient you can find, has a charge of hate speach that have prevented civilization to fully flourish.
Look at Jerry falwell and other motts like him. Their right to free speac is granted and used to promote misunderstanding and hate.
The german pope of the roman catholics has -for many years now- promoted an agenda that resembles very much their German nazy heritage.
The list go on and on, but the difference is how the outrage is expressed.
Francisco franco (in Spain) killed in cold blod inocent intelectuals, as hitler did, in some cases with the silent approval of the vatican and several bishops.
The times are changing, but different from the glorious sixties, we don't have leaders like Kennedy, Ghandi and martin Luther King (The sons of Coreta and Martin Luther are scumbag conservatives, and they should be ashamed of it)so we need to start thinking about what is cooking in the world, because the principles of peace and reconciliation that we learned after the WWII, the liberation of India and the anti apartaid movement in south africa are not something we can use to fight the evils of extremist religions (e.g. extremist muslims, extremist roman catholics, pentecostals, mormons and so on)
posted by , at
2/07/2006 10:36 AM
I found this online... are this people any better than the extremist muslims when it comes to use religion to promote a distorted Christian agenda? I don't think so....
NBC Abandons Plan to Attack Christians With Spears
Network Drops Plot to Air 'Will and Grace' Segment Mocking the Crucifixion
By Jenni Parker
February 6, 2006
(AgapePress) - Responding to pressure, NBC has decided to strike a particularly offensive segment from an upcoming episode of the sitcom, "Will and Grace," featuring a guest appearance by pop music star Britney Spears. The American Family Association (AFA) reports that the network cancelled plans to include a reference in the show's April 13 episode that would have offended Christians, both by its timing and its content.
According to AFA, a Tupelo, Mississippi-based pro-family group, NBC had previously announced its intention to air an episode the night before Good Friday, featuring pop music performer Britney Spears as a guest star. In her appearance, Spears was to portray a Christian conservative sidekick to homosexual character Jack McFarland (actor Sean Hayes), who has his own talk show on the fictional "Out TV" cable channel.
posted by , at
2/07/2006 10:55 AM
Okay I have to disagree with the people disagree with this article. People who asked "What did you expect?" re: the cartoon... that is ridiculous.. What did I expect? Not some radical islamic extremists from all around the globe to KILL people, BURN Buildings and flags, calls to cut off peoples hands etc... No one can argue that Islam is a FAILED RELIGION and it only exists to repress a certain sect of society namely women, homosexuals, or anyone who does not agree in the extreme principals of the relgion. Even "peaceful" muslims still repress their women, sometimes kill daughters for having sex before they are married, completley control the lives of others... I am not saying ALL of them but the majority of the hardcore muslims in other countries are not what you might find with the muslims in America who perhaps want democracy and free speach and therefore are here.
It is bullshit and enough of playing it nice. The same islamic extremists that hate us after the Iraq war hated us before the war... You can't compare stupid christian right wing to extremists muslims... When is the last time a group of Christians got together and burned emabassies and called for the beheading of someone? Stop trying to be so damn politically correct and call a spade a spade... ISLAM SUCKS....
It is barbaric, uncivilized and completley out of control.
posted by , at
2/07/2006 11:05 AM
When the AFA detonates a nuclear weapon in the midst of a Pride celebration in NYC or SF, then I'll believe you.
Until then, apples and oranges...
(did you see Focus on the family, AFA or other organizations torching that station buildings of NBC affiliates who carried "The book of Daniel?" Did you hear any stories of them setting off bombs in lobbies or parking lots, or crashing private aircraft into same?)
Some of you'd like to believe that Falwell, Wildmon, etc. are the same as, say, Iran's leaders, but in reality we're all incredibly blessed that they're quite different. All imperfect, but quite different...
posted by , at
2/07/2006 11:08 AM
Upcoming...a "Holocaust cartoon contest"...?
posted by , at
2/07/2006 11:10 AM
'evil prevails when good people do nothing'.
Moderate Muslims are doing nothing.
So their more violent and ill tempered brethren are doing whatever all over the world.
Our Western tolerance for Muslims may have to be tempered.
Wherever Islamic communities have integrated into Western countries, they most often refuse to assimilate.
If this makes them unwilling to become compatible, then maybe they shouldn't BE integrated where they don't want to be.
This mad hostility and hypocrisy and lack of understanding what freedom means, is sad and tragic for the world.
posted by Regan, at
2/07/2006 11:22 AM
You are so, so right.
posted by , at
2/07/2006 11:28 AM
Taking offense is fine. And there are plenty of outlets, civilized reasonable outlets to vent one's opinion.
Jailing someone. Threatening someone with death, over printed material is just plain anathema to the function of a good civilization.
To be sure, those who engage in THREATENING speech can be taken to reasonable task for it.
Those whose speech results in the destruction of someone's innocence, freedom or physical and mental health, MUST be brought to heel for it.
Mohammed, and his image are abstractions because he is not alive to suffer.
However, women and homosexuals or non Muslims the world over suffer horrible violations to their human rights and physical safety because of the libel and slander that religious texts make other humans beings think they have license to just because they read those books.
And as pointed out many times. There is very little rage for the violence in the world that makes every Muslim and Islam suspect.
But plenty of murderous rage for people engaged in print media.
The pen is indeed mightier than the sword?
posted by Regan, at
2/07/2006 11:33 AM
I can't believe I'm posting on this again.
I did not note the Christian extremists in order to be politically correct -- I noted them because I understand them, it isn't an intellectual exercise to me, I was in one of their cults for several years when I was a teenager. I understand that where Islam stands now we could easily stand in 100 years -- which doesn't change anything else I said.
I agree we must deal with the Islamic terrorism and extremism that is -- but I also think that we need to recognize our own danger.
You don't know of anyone Christian who called for killing anyone? That is because the media here tries hard to keep us from noticing -- but even so its easy to find
Try reading the book from Rushdoony I suggested (the actual name is: R. J. Rushdoony's, Institutes of Biblical Law (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1982).). The Christian reconstructionists want millions killed -- all gays, apostates (those that leave the faith), heretics, etc -- and they put it in print, not just Rushdoony, but others as well. Gary North calls for only "right Christian males" to be able to vote -- tell me the difference? Other than the fact that his segment of Christians haven't "won" the whole faith yet. North also claims that not all reconstructionists want all "sinners" killed and that he thinks that there shoudl be varieties of punishment, some should only be tortured, imprisoned, denied the right to live in society, etc.
Let's see besides the media clowns like Fred Phelps, let's think about Michael Marcavage, the director of the evangelical Christian organization "Repent America," who said in an interview for a cover story in the "Philadelphia City Paper's" February 3, 2005 that "Homosexuals are to be put to death. The wages of sin is death. But I want to make it clear that I'm not advocating the independent killing of homosexuals . . . I'm saying that the Government's duty is to uphold God's law." Sounds a lot different from fundamentalist moslems forcing the governments of their nations to enforce their version of religious law, doesn't it -- and to kill the same type of people of course? er -- actually no it doesn't sound different.
Nor are these few alone. If you want an interesting view from a man who has considerable respect, then try the colum of Joe Bageant who is a senior editor at the Primedia History Group. http://www.dissidentvoice.org/May2004/Bageant0518.htm
As for people actually killing others in today's society -- let's see -- well, we have Oklahoma City bombing -- caused by a man who was a member of a Christian sub-cult. You have the man who shot abortion doctors in Florida, the one who shot an abortion doctor in Buffalo NY, the bombing of the gay bar in, I believe it was Atlanta -- all of the perps were evangelical Christians. Others advocate "extreme" resistence, often under "lesser magistrates" but do we have the level of violence that you see among Islamics? No, not yet, because the mainstream hasn't been driven down completely yet. You want to keep it that way? Help the liberal elements to keep fighting back INSIDE the church as well as outside. Otherwise, the number of incidences will gradually increase, and one day, the level will be the same.
So, believe as you choose -- but think -- and at least read the other side instead of repeating yourself and presuming that because you haven't noticed something, it isn't there.
Many people who are "Christians" follow these belief subsets -- if they gain the power in Christianity that their counterparts have in Islam -- we will see nothing different.
We need to stop the Islamic fundamentalists now, AND we need to stop our own. The cost doesn't really matter all that much -- otherwise our children and grandchildren may as well never be born.
posted by , at
2/07/2006 12:17 PM
ok, so in one part of the world thre is hanging and torching and so on (yes it is bad!) but: is is better or less harmful to use the name of Jesus to "educate" youth in order to make them HATE their fellow LGBT human beings? I think not.
Terrorism take different forms, the barbaric and the more "civilized" but at the end, always aims to promote hate, or who, speking truth, truly believe that the extremist religious Christiand really "hate the sin but love the sinner"? There is not such thing! the difference is the phisical Vs. the intelectual violence, but at the end, it is equally violence.
Waiting for physical violence in -let's say- a gay pride celebration to call it violence does not help. In fact, it happened in jerusalem, in Poland and in other places where gay bars have been bombarded, it happen when a planed parenthood is violented, it happen when a pastor tell a kid that homosexuals go to hell... it is all the same thing, why is it so difficult to see?
posted by , at
2/07/2006 12:38 PM
The bombing of the gay bar in Atlanta? You mean the one perpetrated by Eric Robert Rudolph? Whoever he is, he's not a fundamentalist evangelical Christian. (That would be tantamount to saying that Christian hymn taught to kids should be rewritten: "This little light of mine...I'm gonna kill you then hide away in the woods...")
Seriously, that's how much sense it makes.
And NO one at FOTF or any such organization has ever condoned bombing abortion clinics. In fact, they will say that's a very thing evangelical Christians SHOULDN'T do.
posted by , at
2/07/2006 12:44 PM
Anonymous 9:38, you can believe as you like, but I've seen the testimony of Dennis Jernigan, formerly gay, now married and with nine kids.
No matter how much hatred you have of Christians and ex-gays, it won't change what I (and hundreds of other people) saw and heard.
Which was: Mr. Jernigan admonishing all Christians in the audience, no matter what their stripe (Baptist, methodist, pentecostal, etc.) NOT to even say hurtful things about gay people.
You could have heard a pin drop in the huge auditorium I was in when he talked of how as a young boy (inside, very unsure about his sexuality and his longings to be held by other males), playing on the steps with other boys outside his church, his heart was broken when he talked of the hurtful, hateful things other "men" in his church were saying about gay people.
Again, no matter what you feel about ex-gays, this ex-gay was gently scolding and warning his fellow Christians not to do what had been done to him.
I hope that muslim counterparts of his from Surinam to Indonesia have such freedom...
posted by , at
2/07/2006 12:54 PM
This is not a forum for dialogs, but would like to pint out a couple of things:
1) Where in the examples mentioned is Atlanta? Is it close enough to Poland and Jerusalem?
2) The Fact that ONE so called "ex gay" have seen the light ( more or less) doesn't mean that the so called Christian churches (granted, not all of them) are poluted with fundamentalists and homophobes, they are the beast that the book of revelation talk about.
3) I am a Christian, so, How can I hate Christians... and who mentioned "ex-gays" I feel sorry for them but I don't hate them...
4) AS A CHRISTIAN, MY DUTY IS TO SPEAK OUT ABOUT THE ERROR AND THE FALSE DOCTRINE THAT SOUTHERN BAPTIST AND OTHER CONSERVATIVES PREACH, BECAUSE THE HIJACKING OFCHRISTIANITY PERPETRATED BY THESE PEOPLE IS A GRAVE SIN!
yes, I will think what I see is right, God is my judge, no one else.
posted by , at
2/07/2006 1:09 PM
Re: Regan's "To be sure, those who engage in THREATENING speech can be taken to reasonable task for it."
Of course you are NOT referring to the very reverend Pat Robertson, whose first advocacy for the assasination of Hugo Chavez was met by FEMA's listing his charity among the short list of three to give to.
Nor to his second advocacy only a few days ago. I'm just waiting now to see how BushCo will reward him a 2nd time.
posted by , at
2/07/2006 5:13 PM
You know, I finally agree with a liberal. I am also sick of them A-rabs. And they can start wearing some perfume too. They have B.O.
Hobart in Mississippi
posted by , at
2/07/2006 5:31 PM
When the Islamic public is loudly and clearly outraged of the murderous and animalistic (yes, it is animalistic to murder in this way) activities of their own, they can be taken more seriously. When they understand that freedom of speech does not give the right to murder, they can be taken more seriously. I know many wonderful Muslims. Many. However the silence of the majority of the Muslim community supports the radicals in their behavior. It pretty much says that many of the quiet ones are living vicariously while pretending to be peace-loving. When they have Imams who preach murder, there is nothing sacred or spiritual about those Imams and little if anything spiritual about those who listen.
What's a real shame is that the US had to wait until the Towers were hit to start to gain some consciousness and Europe has to wait for something like this cartoon incident. You'd think the world would have joined in at a higher level to speak out against the cowardice barbarism of the Islamic Arabs when it was more confined to what the Palestinians were doing to the Jews. No one but the Jews really spoke out when the Christian Arabs were being mass murdered by the Muslim Arabs in Lebanon. Where were the voices. Thank goodness for something now, be it very, very late and rather costly.
I'm sure that many Arabs may miss the beauty in the following, though only if they choose to keep their eyes, ears and minds closed, and focus on punishing people for cartoons they may not like while ignoring the horrible cartooning that's accepted on somewhat daily basis in the Arab press against the Jews. The rest of you will discover or rediscover the beauty in these quotes by Golda Meir. They are so very, very true and so many more in the world are now allowing themselves to recognize it, helped unintentionally of course by Islamic extremists as well as by the silent Muslim world in the face of the extremism, for until the political leaders and the religious leaders in a predominantly Muslim country can rise to a level of consciousness and responsibility to actually tell their people to stop murdering others, and until parents there start to behave as parents and tell their children to stay home and start to instill some real values in them, this will continue. Please enjoy and pass along the following:
"I have given instructions that I be informed every time one of our soldiers is killed, even if it is in the middle of the night. When President Nasser leaves instructions that he is to be awakened in the middle of the night if an Egyptian soldier is killed, there will be peace." -Golda Meir
"Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us." -Golda Meir
"When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons." -Golda Meir
And so I ask, when will they (yes, I used the "they" word) learn to love their children more than they enjoy living in hatred of others? And will we ever be able to forgive them for what they're forcing us to become if we want to remain alive and protect our families?
posted by , at
2/07/2006 11:17 PM
You know, I was watching the news, and those people over there in the desert are not very attractive. No wonder why they are so angry. They are ugly and all have stupid beards.
Let's face it, Isalm is a repressive piece of dung for ugly people with hang-ups. Fuck'em all.
Joey -- Detroit
posted by , at
2/08/2006 12:35 AM
Having read through some of these comments, there's some really interesting thinking here along with some fascinating convolution leading to, of course, misconclusions, should such a word exist. And should it not, it fits here anyway.
My first piece of amusement came up when reading the person who said "I would prefer you use "religious outrage" etc, and go on to specify the details, rather than refer to "Muslims" or "Islamic"."
This IS about Islamic fundamentalism. It simply IS. Now if you'd like to comment on fundamentalism in general, feel free, but please don't smokescreen. And in case you're still confused, refer to the title at the top of the page. I'm sure you might be able to find some people discussing fundamentalism in general and try that approach with them. Fortunately someone else noted that "It is not Jews, Christians or any other group causing such world turmoil. It is Muslims who belong to specific violent sects. These are the hard facts. Political correctness does not change this reality." To this I will add that any time you put a modifier in front of the word correct, you've MODIFIED correct. It's either corrrect or it isn't.
Now here's a good one: "On the other hand many Muslims have organized and come out against terrorism, Clerics have come out against it, and American Muslim groups have also made their voice known on the issue." The author of this statement goes on to say "I love you Wayne, but I totally disagree with you on this one. Freedom of speech is a basic American right and protected by our Bill of Rights, but you cannot yell FIRE in a crowded theatre. Some of the Cartoons were funny, others were lame, and some where just stupid, and a few were downright offensive." This one's easy to take apart. First of all, it's nice that you love Wayne, but let's not feel that saying so - and in such a condescending way, I might add - makes your viewpoint any more or less legitimate. In this case, you're off. "Many" Muslim groups and clerics (Imams) have NOT organized or come out against terrorism. As a matter of indisputable fact, the huge MAJORITY of them have not, and those that have are whispering. Now let me infuse this with some facts that many people don't realize. When feeling enough pressure for many of them to finally make a statement against "terrorism," very few journalists pushed them to define terrorism or to state specifically that the attack on the Towers was terrorism. Let me now explain WHY. Because they don't consider that to be terrorism! There is a long explanation I could give you for this but right now suffice it to say that they do not consider non-Muslim victims of indiscrimate attacks such as what they did when attacking the Towers as innocent. Can you believe that? You probably can't. That, of course, doesn't change it from being the truth. If you want to find out for certain, ask some of them. Backed into a corner conversationally, most will admit it. And, you will then find out that they did not consider that terrorism. Yes, many will come out and say that they're against terrorism, however they know that you don't know what they consider terrorism to be. This is how they rationalize telling a lie (because they know what we are thinking when they use the word "terrorism") and telling themselves that they aren't lie. And they like it that way. This will anger some people. Some because they just found out. Others because they don't want to believe it. If you're in the second group, don't waste your time arguing with me. If your concern is truly being knowledgeable on this issue, ask some Muslims whom you trust to tell you the truth. And make sure you get a clear, accurate "yes" or "no" answer from them, not a vague evasion or non-response. Then you can talk to me if you want.
No one yelled "fire" in a "crowded theatre." The author of the comic simply took the same, although more restrained, approach that these very same people who are claiming outrage accept in their own publications. The preponderance of evidence is incontrovertible and, by the way, currently all over the internet. Thank goodness the rest of the world is finally glimpsing what the Arabs have kept to themselves about their inflammatory lies they tell in their press. Next, "funny...lame...stupid...downright offensive?" And your point? It's political satire. Give me a break. If you're going to write to make a point, it's best if you actually have one.
Moving further through these emails, the next statement that caught my eye was "While I share the outrage at these acts of violence, I don't believe that "force may be the only way to resolve the conflict", as this column suggests. Hasn't our use of military force in Iraq to "resolve conflicts" only resulted in greater violence and more terrorist "insurgents..."?
I agree. Force may not be the only way to resolve the conflict. But don't confuse "force" with "intelligent force." Intelligent force would probably have done a far superior job.
And then there's the person who said "The Danish paper threw a Molotov cocktail at Muslims. What else could you expect?" Again, it was no more - and far less - of a Molotov cocktail than what is accepted in the Arab/Muslim/Islamic publications. That's why they have no right to be indignant. And as far as your asking "what else can you expect?" Civilized decorum for one. Intelligent conversational exchange for two. I'll leave it to you to appropriately add to the list.
In completing my discourse of clarity in this picture, I'd like to respond to the person who finished by saying "In closing, I would not normally post anonymously -- to anything. I have said much more inflammatory things that these with my name and city at the bottom -- however, not when it involves friends who might, even though I did not name them, be somehow identified and made vulnerable -- particularly those that are still in places like Karachi, and therefore might end up hurt -- or dead." Well, I'm also posting anonymously. You may have said "much more inflammatory things" with your name and city, but Darlin', you probably said them to people who have a least a semblance of restraint and don't believe that if they kill you they'll be given 72 virgins, especially now that we've found out that they ran out up there is Islamic fundamentalist heaven. In other words, you didn't make your "much more inflammatory" statements in print with your name and address to Islamic extremists. You probably don't want to have to live like Salman Rushdie. (Google him up if you don't know what I mean. It's a real eye-opener.) More than that, you probably simply didn't want to be murdered. And if you were to ask your potential murderer and their friends and probably their family, too, believe it or not, it wouldn't have been murder. And it wouldn't have been terrorism. And they wouldn't have lost out on any more virgins.
Anonymous? You bet.
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