Violence and Political Islam

“Nobody prevents Muslims practising their faith in Palestine or Kashmir, let alone Iraq. These disputes are about territory, borders, statehood, form of government, not about faith,” reads a really good article from the Times of London, “We don’t do God, we do Palestine and Iraq”.

Talking about the UK (and he could say the same about the U.S.) a pro-Hamas Muslim scholar admits, "We have no religious grievances in this country. Here we can practise our religion with more freedom than in any Muslim-ruled country. It is therefore natural that we should focus on political rather than religious issues."

In other words Muslims in the West have become political as a response to freedom.

Everybody has a right to engage in politics as long as everyone recognizes the game we are playing. When you enter the political field, you can't expect to get a free pass whenever you put on on your religious. We obviously no longer accord this kind of respect to Christianity and we should not give it to Islam.

I am interested in a real discussion on this subject and I hope that we get some comments from Europeans or Muslims. Those of you who want to say it is all Bush's fault will please do so in a different thread. There are a variety of venues to spew vitriol. Those of you who want to blame to Christianity will see that the author addresses the problem of Christian past tangentially. We can, of course, discuss the problem of political Christianity and please include your link to recent riots and deaths causes by the publication of pictures or texts offensive to Christians.

We should respect others and demand respect from them. Religion can and should inform people's values in a political debate, but let's not speak for God. The creator of heaven and earth probably doesn't need your help as much as you think. Or maybe just render onto Caesar that which is Caesar's.

Posted by Jack at February 15, 2006 11:59 AM
Comments
Comment #125435

Hey Jack,

Can you clarify a little what you’re asking us to discuss? I agree that when you base your politics on your religion you give up a lot of the deference that I, personally, feel is due to one’s private beliefs - is that what you want to talk about?

Posted by: Arr-squared at February 15, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #125445

I think what Jack is suggesting and is covered in the referenced article, is how muslims living in the free west, turn there attention to politics under religion. But more importantly because the muslims are free to practice their particular sect of Muslim without hinderance they are free to deal with the political. As for example, Iraq. Under Sadam the majority muslim sect was not free to practice their religion free from government oppression.

To some degree Jack, I believe is asking us is it good that Muslims can turn their religion to the political because of western freedoms.

Bud

Posted by: Bud at February 15, 2006 12:38 PM
Comment #125452

The reason why Islam is in Politics in the Middle East is really simple…

When the Dictators like Nazer, Hussien, Saud Family and the rest formed their Government, the first thing they did was destroy or marginalize any Opposition Party that could standup to them. The ONLY thing they could not touch was the Mosque and Imans. As a result, when a citizen puts the name “Allah” in any kind of criticism of the State, he could defend himself by claiming he was practicing his religion. Islam, in case you don’t know, allows its Leaders to be part of politics. Any who disagree with the Dictatorship would naturally flock to those Imans who are against said Dictatorship.

See? Simple.

Posted by: Aldous at February 15, 2006 12:49 PM
Comment #125454

Both radical Christians and radical Muslims claim to speak for their god. The difference is in what their god is telling them. The Christian god says turn the other cheek and give the man your cloak also. The Muslim god says kill anyone who is not a Muslim. What is there beyond that simple premise?

Posted by: Bill M. at February 15, 2006 12:53 PM
Comment #125460

Jack,
Good article. But why not rely upon Britain’s best newspapers, like the Guardian?
That’s the great thing about London, though; three top notch newspapers representing all sides of the spectrum.

It’s worth noting the protests and riots involve small numbers of people. We’re talking in the hundreds, up to 1,000 for the largest ones, such as the one in the headlines in Pakistan.

Posted by: phx8 at February 15, 2006 12:59 PM
Comment #125467

Bill M

The Koran says to “kill the infidel” oor non-believer i.e., one who denies the existence of Allah or a Supreme. Does this, in any way, contradict some portions of the Old Testament, in which people were instructed to do the same to the “blasphemers”?

One of the major problems is that Islam has been practiced in countries where there has been relatively no influence of other practicing religions. The idea that all people are free to practice (or not practice) their own beliefs is foreign to them.

The riots, as they are called by the US press, is more about the lack of having the right and freedom to express opinion than a damnation of Islamic tenets.

Posted by: DyedintheWoolDem at February 15, 2006 1:10 PM
Comment #125471

Bill’s

comments on the difference between a christian god and a muslim god is succient,bold and stupid. It clearly demonstrates a total lack of understanding of Islam. Just by way of reference Bill the Quran contains the old and new testaments. Your Dullards view of the world is the kind of stuff that causes the world some of its problems

Posted by: Bud at February 15, 2006 1:15 PM
Comment #125472

Jack
Would it be fair to say that Muslims are using their “western freedoms” in a political sense now, with a desired outcome to eliminate those very freedoms?

Our worlds are very different. Is it that they wish to live with us or for us to live as them?

Thanks for the topic. I admit to limited knowledge about this and hope this thread turns out as you have asked.

Posted by: kctim at February 15, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #125473

KCtim,
“Our worlds are very different. Is it that they wish to live with us or for us to live as them?”

The West has invaded and currently occupies two Muslim countries. The west has drawn the borders of their countries, placed authoritarian leaders in charge of their countries, overthrown their democratically elected governments (such as the Iranian government, in 1953), and makes it clear further invasions are an option.

9/11 was extraordinary because, for the first time in modern history, Muslims struck the continental US. 3,000 innocent civilians died. Since then, the US has killed thousands in Afghanistan, and tens of thousands in Iraq, including huge numbers of innocent civilians.

Care to rephrase your question?

Posted by: phx8 at February 15, 2006 1:26 PM
Comment #125481

Sure phx
“In other words Muslims in the West have become political as a response to freedom”

To be honest, I dont care about the middle east at all. It seemed to me that Jack was talking about Muslim political activities in the west and I was just thinking how weird it seemed (to me) that they could be using “western freedoms” to get rid of “western freedoms” in the west and replace them with “their” freedoms.

Do they desire a Muslim west or would they be content with nobody caring if they were Muslim or not?

Posted by: kctim at February 15, 2006 1:35 PM
Comment #125488

Jack,

I think we need an additional clarification here. We’re not just talking about the merger of religion and politics — we’re talking about the merger of religion, politics, and VIOLENCE (terrorism, extremism, or whatever buzzword you want to use). Religion and politics merge every day, in nearly every country. Consider the following quote from the article:

For example, no Sunni Muslims could ever agree with a Qaderi or a Jaafari Muslim on key theological issues. But all three hate gay marriages and can unite in a march against Israel.

Doesn’t this sound like Christianity in the U.S.? Catholics, Baptists, Pentacostals, Mormons, etc. can’t agree on fundamental theological issues, but can unite against abortions or gay marriages. The “Religious Right” is very active politically. So, Christians can merge religion and politics, too.

What makes the Muslims stand out right right now is the level of violence that accompanies this combination — beheadings, bombings, riots, etc. You don’t see this coming out of the the Judeo-Christian West right now. It doesn’t mean that we haven’t done similar things in the past (see Spanish Inquisition as a prime example), but our CULTURE has grown past that. Middle Eastern culture hasn’t — at least not to the level that Western culture has.

As for your mention of the riots and violence over political cartoons, these need to be taken in context. The people rioting over this already saw the West as a political enemy. The cartoons were just an excuse to vent already-existing emotions. You see the same things (with less violence, thankfully) in the U.S. all the time. Somebody accidentally shot someone on a hunting trip. Usually it wouldn’t even make the news, but since it was Dick Cheney (a guy the Democrats already hate), the Dems are jumping all over it. Likewise, some guy cheats on his wife… happens every day. But since it was Bill Clinton (who the Republicans already hate), the GOP is up in arms about it. Obviously these aren’t all examples of the same magnitude, but the sentiment is the same. These riots aren’t really about a Danish cartoon — the cartoon is just the match lighting a previously-existing powder-keg.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 15, 2006 1:47 PM
Comment #125490

Sit down and talk to an Islamic believer. Pry for the answers, not PC responses. The Islamic believers that I have sat and talked to, which is just short of 300, to a man said they only exist to kill the Jew. How can anybody negotiate, or expect concilliation from somebody who lives to kill a group of people?

Posted by: tomh at February 15, 2006 1:52 PM
Comment #125494

Well said! First generation immigrants often have trouble adapting to a new culture. This can spill over into following generations if a concerted effort isn’t made to integrate. I’ve always been a proponent of the ‘melting pot’ theory, as opposed to making diversity into a primary virtue.

When John Lennon said the Beatles were ‘bigger than Christ,’ protests broke out across the US; non-violent, bt, except for burning records. One hundred years ago, Irish Catholic immigrants battled with Protestants in Chicago over religion in schools.

There’s a good reason we value the separation of church and state. Maybe events in Europe will give Muslims a new-found respect for the concept.

Posted by: phx8 at February 15, 2006 2:01 PM
Comment #125499

kctim,

To be honest, I dont care about the middle east at all.

But the Muslims in the West DO care about the Middle East. They share not only religious ties, but cultural ties to the people in their homelands.

I find it easiest to understand the cultural impact of the Middle East (and Muslim immigrants to the West) by comparing it to the
Americas about 200-300 years ago. The idea of religious freedom was around, but certain things were still taboo. Mobs and lynchings were still commonplace. People were driven out of town, tarred & feathered, or even murdered for blasphemous behavior. And all in a “Christian” nation — because it didn’t come from religion; it came from culture.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 15, 2006 2:11 PM
Comment #125505

Rob,
“What makes the Muslims stand out right right now is the level of violence that accompanies this combination — beheadings, bombings, riots, etc. You don’t see this coming out of the the Judeo-Christian West right now.”

Personally, I think the Judeo-Christian culture is remarkably violent. The US spends more on “Defense” than the rest of the world combined, and is involved in conflicts on a regular basis, including the ‘pre-emptive’ invasion of Iraq.

The problem is that Middle Eastern religions and many cultures around the world approve of violence.

Here is an example of violence which is widely accepted in the US. Cheney and friends hunt farm-raised birds so they can enjoy the thrill of the kill, the violent pleasure of slaughtering living creatures for sport. The eight of them reportedly killed over 400 before the accident.

No, it’s not the same as beheadings, or bombings, or other violent acts. But it certainly is despicable, and gives us a good example of just how acceptable violence is in US culture.

Posted by: phx8 at February 15, 2006 2:41 PM
Comment #125509

Violent as in chopping up children and pulling them from the womb?

Posted by: pige at February 15, 2006 2:54 PM
Comment #125531

phx8 / pige,

Obviously, what is considered “acceptable violence” differs widely by culture. Even “western” definitions have changed dramatically in the last 500 years — which is one reason I think we need to be careful about condemning an entire society for having a different definition than we have.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 15, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #125533

Here’s the problem: Muslims don’t have a “New Testament”.

Even as a Catholic, I have to admit that the Old Testament has numerous examples of brutality and extremism. But the New Testament puts the “love of God” in a more proper/personal perspective.

Muslims have the Quran. But modern Muslims forgot to write a “New Quran”. Without one, the world is doomed, in my opinion, to resolve this issue through violence. When the world didn’t have the 24 hour Mach 3 communications we have now … we could co-exist via isolationism. Now that their reading (of all things) Danish newspapers … I can’t help but feel that Muslims will continue to force their “Old Testament” radicalism on the world. And it will be their demise if they do.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 15, 2006 3:48 PM
Comment #125538

Ken Cooper:

Now that their reading (of all things) Danish newspapers … I can’t help but feel that Muslims will continue to force their “Old Testament” radicalism on the world. And it will be their demise if they do.

That’s an interesting perspective. Do you see or expect the same behavior from the world’s Jewish population? They don’t have a “New Testament”, either.

Then again, Christianity has one, and that didn’t prevent centuries of violence on our part….

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 15, 2006 3:55 PM
Comment #125541

This is now about year 1400 and something of a very long war. Charles Martel repelled the invading muslims at the battle of Tours in the eighth century. Many historians think that this battle stopped europe and the west from being overrun by Islam then. Where would we be now, without this outcome?

Posted by: nikkolai at February 15, 2006 4:03 PM
Comment #125545

“kctim,

To be honest, I dont care about the middle east at all.
“But the Muslims in the West DO care about the Middle East. They share not only religious ties, but cultural ties to the people in their homelands.”“

How many of them are going back to help democratize their home nations?
The only way they ‘care’ is from another nation by trying to influence their ‘new’ homeland’s politics?
By getting the rest of us to be understanding & sympathetic of Islam?

It still doesn’t matter what we do if the middle east doesn’t realize THEY have a problem.


Posted by: bugcrazy at February 15, 2006 4:14 PM
Comment #125546

This arguement about it being either a question of religion and politics—well with the main three religions, it HAS always been intermingled that they are equal parts of the two. Christians have a political mainstay as does Islam.

So this is to say they want it to be political—Okay then quit the Mohammad was depicted in cartoons nonsense then. Show some venom against terrorism and the beheadings and kidnappings. Why don’t they? Because they want to justify this and make themselves look like they are just poor little innocent victims in all of this in the face of the west’s needed intervention (albeit by Bush who I don’t trust to do it).

What do they want? To scare us? To make us cower? Make us attack them? To make us submit all based on some misguided bit of PC academia kumbiya? What do they get? Separateness ultimately and that serves the very isolationism that make them the backwards savages we have to deal with now.

They want to be able to do what ever they want because of our western fear of stepping over the line on political correctness. Read the Q’ran sometime this is the most horrible bloody religion on the globe and we, including Bush dismisses it as a “Noble” spirituality. there is nothing noble about Mohammad with the exception that if you didn’t consider Mohammad noble you were violently executed for it.

The problem with Islam is still Islam and we can’t face the fact out of our misguided political correctness that this is a horribly primative dark-age faith that should not exist in the modern day.

Posted by: Translator at February 15, 2006 4:15 PM
Comment #125549

Thus since it is a backward religion as you stated we must therefore destoy it? I am afraid that the above are just buying into the same old prejudices that existed during the Inquisition.

Posted by: bud at February 15, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #125557

We have to break it down but ultimately we must get that theocracy out of power. Not religion—religious law ruling nations. Do you see religion and politics intermingled again? Hatred bonds them together like no other religion in world history. They see themseves as freedom fighters despite what the reallity of the history tells us. What do they want freedom of? Theocratic rule, that’s all they want and domination over the jews and possibly, or most definitely the west.

Posted by: Translator at February 15, 2006 4:34 PM
Comment #125566

Jack,

I agree with your sentiments as well as those of the linked article. I think Muslims lose the shield of religious belief when they use their religious views to demand behavior from non-Muslims.

More importantly, to the core of the Muslim question, I don’t know of a time when the Muslim world was trying to evangelize with the Word instead of the sword - do you? Does anyone?

Try this:

Think for a moment about core religious beliefs - what comes to mind first when we think of different world religions -

Christianity - do unto others, love thy neighbor
Judaism - the ten commandents
Buddhism - meditation, non-violence

Islam - death to the infidel

I hear the “Islam is a religion of peace” stuff, but I don’t know anything about Islam from the public message that is not ‘death to the infidel’

Part of the insanity, of course, is that according to the Koran, Christians and Jews were not infidels, because they share the same God with Muslims.

I don’t know how to interact with Islam other than as a religion that wants to spread its tenets at gunpoint.

Sadly, I look at Israel and I see the West in a generation or two - forcibly removing Muslims to prevent their overthrow by majority at the ballot box.

Islam cannot coexist with the West because it doesn’t want to. It has no room for the less faithful or the infidel.

I agree with another poster here - Muslims seem to want to impose 17th century solutions in 2006 (although, given our behaviour, they may be 21st century solutions as well). By definition, we must be opposed - tolerance can neither abide nor survive oppression.

The greater challenge is how?

Posted by: CPAdams at February 15, 2006 4:54 PM
Comment #125585

CPAdams

A correction

Allah and GOD, the God of Christianity are not the same. Many say they are, but it is impossible for that to be.

Posted by: tomh at February 15, 2006 5:39 PM
Comment #125612

The thing people have to realize about the religion “problem” is the relative infancy of the Islamic religion. Judeo-Christian relgions have had time to look deep within their teachings and throw out archaic rules, like the one color thread, and not being allowed to touch dead pigs skin, both in Leviticus. But even this introspection has allowed for atrocities to be committed. The crusades, the inqusition, more people have died in the name of the Prince of Peace than any other human. Ironic isn’t it? Three hundred years ago there was a civilization much like the Middle East now, no we didn’t have AK-47s but America was a theocracy, we tried and hanged people for blasphemy and witchcraft, and we waged war on non-protestant peoples. I am in no way condoning or agreeing with these monsters. Something must be done to defend our nations, but we must not be so quick to condemn an entire religion because they are centuries behind us. What we are experiancing now is the Islamic version of the crusades. Unfortuanately this time the fighting won’t be confined one city. And the view of Islam being a religion of hate is extremely ignorant. Islam is built on the same principles as Christianity but just as we have seen in our own history the words of the religious teachings have been twisted and used as recruiting propaganda by AlQueda and other terrorist organizations.

Posted by: Cullen at February 15, 2006 7:17 PM
Comment #125614

tomh:

Ignorant about your Religions, eh?

The God of Muslims and Christians are indeed the same. FYI… the Muslims consider Jesus Christ a prophet. That’s why there are no Arab Cartoons making fun of Jesus anywhere.

I suggest you read your Abraham.

Posted by: Aldous at February 15, 2006 7:20 PM
Comment #125616

Tomh

I highly doubt my idea of god is the same as yours, nor is yours the same as anyone in your church/synagogue. Don’t be so close minded as to hate anyone who doesn’t share your exact description as something as exostential as God.

Posted by: Cullen at February 15, 2006 7:21 PM
Comment #125621

There are countless nonviolent muslims in the world. Most are in the west. They may secretly believe in “death to the infidel” but do not act upon it. Why? Because for the most part, they have money. They would never want to screw up the lives they lead by acting upon the darker verses in the Koran. Palestinians become instruments of death mostly because they have nothing to live for.
Religious zealots exist in all religions. Most find ways to persecute what they call nonbelievers. They call followers to them and have them carry out the dirty work.
The Christian world became rich and disinterested(and in poorer areas of the christian world, violence still abounds), the muslim world did not. Since the breakup of the ottoman empire and subsequent redistricting and governance, poverty has been dictated there. When you mix zealotry with oil-rich autocrat, you get power. Throw in a muslim populace with little to live for and our situation is apparent.
Give the desolate muslim cannon fodder something to live for! It is happening now in Iraq. The Iranian mullahs, the Syrian dictators, and other oil-rich(save the arguments about who is making them rich) zealots are getting nervous and throwing a last-ditch assault at our efforts. Thus the insurgent “gathering” in Iraq. Cue the scripted riots over the cartoons(granted this stone has been rolling for a while and many have caught on to the anti-west fervor on their own).
Once Iraq is an established and working capitalistic democracy(which will take many more years) you will see islamic politics as you do in the west, or in Turkey(kinda west) for that matter.
Thus the much maligned mantra… “Stay the Course”
Now bring on the anti-Bush venom.

Posted by: Doherty at February 15, 2006 7:33 PM
Comment #125636

Since when is disagreement the same as hate?
I don’t hate anybody. I probably know more people on a first name basis with a wide deverse background than anybody on the blog. That is not bragging that is just the way it is. I have a good relationship with diverse religious groups as well as life styles. No hate in this body.

Posted by: tomh at February 15, 2006 8:04 PM
Comment #125642

If any are interested further in the subject I would suggest that you read “What Went Wrong: The clash between Islan and mocernity in the Middle East” by Bernard Lewis Some the less then enlighten might actually learn something.

Posted by: Bud at February 15, 2006 8:15 PM
Comment #125657

“Those of you who want to say it is all Bush’s fault will please do so in a different thread. There are a variety of venues to spew vitriol.”


I just like how people on this thread had to ask Jack what “exactly” what he meant by a political debate. Once Jack said “not to blame Bush”, people were so confused. Ha! Ha! You mean, a debate is not blaming Bush?! That can’t be possible! Oh man, classic.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 15, 2006 9:34 PM
Comment #125709

Whoah.

They sound just like the Christian right.

Posted by: Max at February 16, 2006 12:07 AM
Comment #125724

I still find it interseting how the left is still defending the Muslims roiting. Even if it is a small number. If Christians ever riot I expext the left to defend them too. Otherwise and they’d be letting their hypocricy show.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 16, 2006 12:41 AM
Comment #125801

All

The Koran does not say “Kill the Infidel”.

That term was first coined by the Christian crusaders and referred to non-Christians…they(non-Christians) were the infidels.

The last 7 centuries the term has been flipped…but it isn’t in the Koran.

Plus,we as Westerners group all “Muslims” in one category,which is incorrect.

Since the Prophet died in the 10th century,untold millions have died trying to decide who in fact the rightful legacy of the Phrophet should pass to…..the lineal decendents of the Prophet..Ali,his cousin…now the Shia…or one of his “companions”…the rough equivalent of an apostle of Jesus….the Sunni.

PLUS,the Prophet did not write down a copy of what was said to him word for word by Allah.Instead,as was the custom in those days,he orally told to his followers what Allah said to him,and over time it was written down by them and now is subject to intepretion by followers of any number os Islamic sects.

Same as the Bible….Does anyone have the original copy of Moses’ 10 commandments?

Only scraps written on bone and hide exist exist today from the 10th century.

Man,not the Prophet,screwed this up…..just like Christianity.

If we ever followed what either Jesus or the Prophet truly said(or Budda or Hinduism or the Dhali Lhama for that matter),the world would be at peace.

For centuries.

Man screwed this up….not the Prophet…not Jesus…man.

Imperfect man.

And the Democrats,of course.(Sorry,couldn’t resist Aldous!)

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 16, 2006 5:26 AM
Comment #125825

“The Koran does not say “Kill the Infidel””

SE,

Try convincing the millions of Muslims who are made to ‘memorize’ that book when they don’t even have the ability to read.

Posted by: bugcrazy at February 16, 2006 8:04 AM
Comment #125840

Did you ever notice that the media always says the “Prophet” Mohammed; yet, they never (ever) say “the Lord” Jesus Christ? Why is that?! Why are we giving so much respect to the muslim religion and not any other religion? These muslims (most of them) are not respecting any other religions; it’s their way or the highway.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 16, 2006 8:49 AM
Comment #125845

CPAdams,

Think for a moment about core religious beliefs - what comes to mind first when we think of different world religions -

Christianity - do unto others, love thy neighbor
Judaism - the ten commandents
Buddhism - meditation, non-violence

Islam - death to the infidel

Based upon a western upbringing, those may very well be your first impressions. But that doesn’t mean they’re right. I’m a Mormon. Most people’s first thought when they think of Mormons is multiple wives, even though the practice has been banned by the Church for over 100 years. First impressions don’t replace the need for education.

For the record, though, my first impressions are:

Christianity - forgiveness
Judaism - don’t eat bacon
Islam - face Mecca when you pray

I just asked a Muslim friend about this, and he said:

Christianity - convert the heathens
Judaism - drive the Gentiles out of the Holy Land
Islam - pray… A LOT

Based upon what he learned in school about Judaism, the goal of Israel is to rule the Holy Land “river to river” (Nile to Euphrates). I don’t remember learning about that when I was in school, but then again, he doesn’t remember ever being taught to “kill the infidel”.

It’s amazing what different cultures believe about each other.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 16, 2006 9:12 AM
Comment #125846

Because everything is the fault of the west.
The trade routes no longer went through their countries because they moved to the seas and we left them behind and never helped them to progress as the rest of us did.
The fact that they didn’t ‘step up’ and come along is our fault because we put their leaders in place and kept them suppressed.
Now we have to feel sorry for them and kiss their asses to show them how wonderful we really are.
We will continue to show 3 year old pictures of Abu Grab(because they haven’t been shown)- even tho they insight violence like the cartoons-and say how horrible we were for the acts.
(If the press even gives a little shit about peace in our world they would stop with the pictures. They just make it THAT MUCH harder to reach the goal of peace. I thought the liberals wanted peace? How do they plan to achieve it if they continue to fight for the release of these controversial photos and videos??)
We will continue to ‘show’ how horrible the west is to Muslims while at the same time bending over to show how we understand and we want to ‘work with’ the Muslims towards a peaceful planet.
It isn’t going to work!

Posted by: bugcrazy at February 16, 2006 9:15 AM
Comment #125849

rahdigly,

Did you ever notice that the media always says the “Prophet” Mohammed; yet, they never (ever) say “the Lord” Jesus Christ? Why is that?!

The media caters to the lowest common denominator. Most people in the U.S. know who Jesus Christ is… you don’t have to explain it to them. When you mention “Mohammed”, though, most think you’re talking about either an Al Queda member or a former heavyweight boxer. You have to add the title to differentiate. Much in the way that people will refer to “President Reagan”, but rarely to “President Roosevelt”.

But if you want to get technical, Christ is a title, too. Jesus of Nazareth (the westernized translation of his name) proved to be the promised Christ (messiah, savior, God-in-the-flesh, etc.). So referring to “Jesus Christ” is lexically equivalent to referring to “Prophet Mohammed”. (Jesus was “the Christ”; Mohammed was “the Prophet”.) Both show equal respect for religious figures.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 16, 2006 9:22 AM
Comment #125852

bugcrazy,

Because everything is the fault of the west.

No, we’re not to blame for everything. But we don’t have clean hands, either. As always, the answer’s somewhere in the middle.

The problems in the region stem from Middle Eastern culture — they are not our fault. Nor are they the fault of the religion Islam, as both Christianity and Judaism showed the same propensity for violence before growing beyond that culture. The CULTURE is to blame.

But the West is not entirely without fault. In failing to understand the cultural difference in the Middle East, we’ve only made the problem worse. By attempting to pin the blame for violence on Islam, we indict millions of peaceful believers simply because they share a religion with a few violent ones.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 16, 2006 9:33 AM
Comment #125854

Rob, so you’re saying this is a marketing issue; name recognition for Jesus, buddha and so forth already are established. Yet, poor, little muslims might confuse mohammed with OBL. Yeah, I weap for them. Maybe it’s b/c OBL and his murderers use Mohammed’s name to justify their cause. That’s more of a reality issue, rather than a marketing issue.


You’d think after 9/11, we would stop defending and apologizing for the chaos in the middle east.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 16, 2006 9:38 AM
Comment #125856

‘No, we’re not to blame for everything. But we don’t have clean hands, either. As always, the answer’s somewhere in the middle.’

This I agree with.
The reason I wrote what I did was to get people to realize that sometimes things are better off ‘left in the past’.
Continuing to bring up ALL the horrible things each side has done to the other does nothing but fuel the fire.
At some point people have to let go and move on.
The culture you speak of - what is their true fear? That they might become ‘like us’?
They don’t have to become like us but they do need to learn to tolerate us if they continue to expect us to tolerate them.
No one is telling them that their women have to start wearing bikini’s to the beach.
No one is telling them that they have to make abortion legal in their countries.
That is what we cannot get through to them because too many (on both sides)cannot get past the hate that stems from the past.
WE have no right to tell them their women have to wear bikini’s anymore than they can tell us ours can’t.

Posted by: bugcrazy at February 16, 2006 9:46 AM
Comment #125859

Rob,

I agree that there are many points of view and first impressions about a religion will vary from person to person. My post was about the BELIEFS that were central to the religion and that in the west, first impressions about the beliefs were as I stated.

It’s interesting that your impression of Christianity is about a core belief but mere behaviors for Judaism and Islam, not values nor moral codes.

My impression from your posts is that you do not think about Islam and Judaism as religions, but as political groups.

As a Catholic I learned all sorts of derogatory sound bites about the other religions, including Mormons. Fortunately for me, I had the benefit of a handful of priests and lay people who questioned the party line enough to make me appreciative of other religious traditions.

It is amazing how all religions preach their exclusive or superior understanding of the truth of the universe.

Returning to my original point, I hear clerics defending Islam as a religion of peace, but what overwhelms my experience is Islam as a religion of retribution, enforced restraint, and the supremacy of pride.

I read of an intolerance of differing points of view going back to within decades of Mohammed’s revelation. WIthin the Q’uran I read of prohibitions against acts against believers, but no similar rules for unbelievers.

Islam may well be a religion of peace, but with a caveat - peace for Muslims.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 16, 2006 10:11 AM
Comment #125861

rahdigly,

Rob, so you’re saying this is a marketing issue; name recognition for Jesus, buddha and so forth already are established. Yet, poor, little muslims might confuse mohammed with OBL.

No, poor little AMERICANS might confuse them. The news you’re watching (be it CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, or what have you) wasn’t marketed to the Muslims in the Middle East — it’s marketed to the Americans in apartments, suburbs, trailer parks, condos, and mansions of America. That’s why they’ll spend more time covering a hunting accident in Texas than an earthquake in Pakistan — it’s what the people will watch.

You’d think after 9/11, we would stop defending and apologizing for the chaos in the middle east.

I’m not defending OR apologizing for it. I’m just taking the time to UNDERSTAND it. We can’t change Middle Eastern culture overnight (and maybe not at all)… but we can take the time to review our interactions with it, to make sure we’re not making the problem worse.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 16, 2006 10:15 AM
Comment #125863

Rob,

all religious texts may be equal at some level, but lets not diminish them by saying they are similar.

I’ve read the Book of Mormon, New Testament, Torah, Talmud, Q’uran, Upanishads and many others. They are not the same nor will following the tenets of any necessarily result in similar core beliefs.

More than any other text above, the Q’uran focuses on the behavior of believers combined with powerful admonitions against non-believers and the pain and chastisement that awaits them. I think the outward focus present in many of the readings motivates much of what we see in the middle east today.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 16, 2006 10:23 AM
Comment #125866

CPAdams,

Islam may well be a religion of peace, but with a caveat - peace for Muslims.

Find me a religion that has NOT, at one point or another, had followers put the lives of their own ranks above the lives of the non-believer. Catholics have burned witches, Protestants have murdered Catholics, even my own Mormons had the Mountain Meadows massacre. I’ve yet to find a religious group with clean hands.

This isn’t an indictment of religion, mind you. If anything, it’s an indictment of humanity. I never cease to be amazed that men can use the words of a loving God as an excuse to kill each other.

Yes, the major part of Islam today is violently intolerant of “infidels”. In the past, Christianity was violently intolerant of “heretics”. Judaism was violently intolerant of “gentiles”. It’s been relatively recently that we’ve grown past that. Doesn’t it make sense to assume that Muslims can, too?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 16, 2006 10:37 AM
Comment #125867

‘Doesn’t it make sense to assume that Muslims can, too?’

Yes. But we cannot leave them alone and expect it to happen anytime soon.
Everybody’s worlds have got to stop colliding to the point of violence.
Starting with the Middle East seems to be a good choice at this point in our history.

Posted by: bugcrazy at February 16, 2006 10:42 AM
Comment #125870

Rob Cottrell,

You’re right that the Judaism does not have A New Testament and there are some Zionists who still believe in the occasional brutal letter of the law of the Old Testament. But the reason your thinking (or at least the intent of your response) is flawed is because you ignore raw numbers. Would you argue that there are NOT hundreds of millions more radical Muslims than radical Zionists? That wouldn’t be an intelligent argument.

So! While theoretical arguments about comparing extremists from one religion to another are really neat in a college classroom … and make atheists so delighted they could pee themselves . . let’s focus on the reality of “hundreds of millions more”.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 16, 2006 10:56 AM
Comment #125872

CPAdams,

all religious texts may be equal at some level, but lets not diminish them by saying they are similar.

They’re most certainly NOT all equal (except in the fact that they’re all printed on paper). The bottom line is that some were divinely inspired, and some weren’t. I’ll leave it to you to decide which you believe is which…. :-)

My point is that the current CULTURE in the Middle East produces violence. The CULTURE is definitely influenced by the RELIGION, but they are not the same. Christianity, when put in a violent CULTURE, has produced violence, and when put in a peaceful culture, has produced peace. Judaism, when put in a violent CULTURE, has produced violence, and when put in a peaceful culture, has produced peace. Likewise, Islam has produced violence in a violent culture. In the West, it has peacefully coexisted with other religions. Sure there are exceptions, but there are exceptions for Christianity and Judaism, too. But, as a rule, Western CULTURE has grown more peaceful, regardless of the religions of the populace.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 16, 2006 11:01 AM
Comment #125877

Ken Cooper,

Would you argue that there are NOT hundreds of millions more radical Muslims than radical Zionists?

No, I wouldn’t argue that. But I would argue the following:

In the Middle East, there are greater percentages of radical Muslims than in Western society. Likewise, there is a greater percentage of radical Zionists in Israel than in other parts of the world. The RELIGIONS don’t produce the radical elements as frequently when they exist within a modern democratic CULTURE.

Stamping out Islam won’t solve the problems of the Middle East. Converting them all to Christianity won’t do it, either. They need fundamental changes in CULTURE, which take generations to occur.

I find it ironic that the tools best used to accomplish this change have been in the Republican arsenal for years, but have been rejected in favor of military force. Tools like capitalism… free trade… multinational corporations that encourage open borders and intermingling of societies. In the long run, these things tear down cultural barriers. Cultural changes don’t happen by building embassies or churches — they happen by building factories, restaurants, call centers, and packing plants. Bringing WORK creates a demand for EDUCATION, and EDUCATION creates a desire for TOLERANCE.

bugcrazy,

Yes. But we cannot leave them alone and expect it to happen anytime soon. Everybody’s worlds have got to stop colliding to the point of violence. Starting with the Middle East seems to be a good choice at this point in our history.

Again, it doesn’t happen overnight. People generally believe what they were raised to believe, and it takes generations to change that. In the U.S., we ended slavery in the 1860s, but blacks didn’t get equal treatment until the 1960s, because people were slow to give up their prejudices. If you reject the change because it is too slow, you’ll never see it come to pass.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 16, 2006 11:25 AM
Comment #125882

Rob,

I understand your argument, I am not certain I can agree with your points. There have been atrocities committed by Catholic leaders and in the name of Christianity, but you cannot find a justification in a plain reading of the TEXT - if you do, please cite it to me.

I am not sure I understand what you are referring to in Judaism’s violent intolerance of gentiles. I know alot of Jewish history, and I cannot recall one instance of Jews on the delivering end of a pogrom. I know of quite a few rebellions, the one against the Romans that resulted in the invention of Palestine, but none of Jews systematically persecuting Gentiles.

Jewish religious texts absolutely preach eye for an eye justice, but they also preach keeping their laws and staying separate. The texts do not speak about proselytizing nor working to spread Judaism.

Within the Q’uran itself, a dissinterested reader can readily find extensive justifications and excuses for violent action against nonbelievers as well as sinful believers. Could Arab culture have influenced the writing? Absolutely, though certainty of the divine nature of the Q’uran would lead Muslims to disagree. Could the repeated teaching of the text over a millenium and a half have instilled this violence within Middle Eastern culture? Of course.

I think it is a chicken-egg question and informed scholars can disagree. Regardless, I hold to my point, that peaceful coexistence is not central to Muslim thought.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 16, 2006 11:28 AM
Comment #125884

Ken Cooper,

“While theoretical arguments about comparing extremists from one religion to another are really neat in a college classroom … and make atheists so delighted they could pee themselves . . let’s focus on the reality of “hundreds of millions more”.”

Can we recognize that these “hundreds of millions” you speculate on live in some of the most grinding poverty on the planet?

Western countries where Christianity has florished are some of the most affluent, yes, there are some relitively “poor” folks (but only compared to the rest of the population) in this country that adhere to various offshoots of the Christian dogmas, but nothing like in Indonesia, or Pakistan, for instance.

Can we agree that, when you have nothing but your religion to depend on, very often you have nothing else to lose?

Posted by: Rocky at February 16, 2006 11:36 AM
Comment #125885

Rob,

I do not expect it to happen overnight BUT there are plenty of people who believe the whole ‘fight’ is not winnable and there is no point in waging it to begin with.
Bringing the situation to a head is going to get results faster than sitting back and hoping they will catch on.
Taking the fight TO THEM will do more than trying to be kind and understanding alone.
Giving them a shot at some sort of democracy and a voice concerning their OWN lives and families will do more than asking their governments to stop the suppression.
Many of the people in the mountainous tribal regions of those nations know nothing about us and have been fed information that is completely untrue.
Getting to those people will take decades.
We have to win the propaganda war too BUT there are some in our nation who think we shouldn’t use propaganda BUT have NO problem printing or showing ALL the bad things we have done.

When you talk about ‘somewhere in the middle’ that includes those in OUR OWN nation coming together on how to solve this problem.
It’s too bad so many of the big mouths in this country also have to be so immature.

Posted by: bugcrazy at February 16, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #125890

bugcrazy,

“Giving them a shot at some sort of democracy and a voice concerning their OWN lives and families will do more than asking their governments to stop the suppression.”

Do we want to help those that are interested in fighting for Democracy themselves, or are we going to march in and hand it to them?

I am all for the former, and vehemently against the latter.

Posted by: Rocky at February 16, 2006 11:52 AM
Comment #125894

Rocky,

I believe that alleviating poverty should be a priority for all nations. But I also want to remind you that the masterminds of the jihads are not poor - they come from the elite of the Middle Eastern world.

Yes, they fill their ranks from the impoverished masses, and economic progress could alleviate the tension between our worlds.

But we have starving people in non-Muslim nations as well that are not waiting to take up arms against us. With the poverty in India, why isn’t there rampant anti-Americanism?

Posted by: CPAdams at February 16, 2006 11:56 AM
Comment #125896

CPAdams,

I understand your argument, I am not certain I can agree with your points.

I don’t expect you to agree, but I am very glad to know that you at least understand. Around here, I consider that a victory in and of itself.

There have been atrocities committed by Catholic leaders and in the name of Christianity, but you cannot find a justification in a plain reading of the TEXT - if you do, please cite it to me.

First one that comes to mind is Exodus 22:18 — “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 16, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #125897

CPAdams,

“With the poverty in India, why isn’t there rampant anti-Americanism?”

There are Muslums in India as well.

Why are there no demonstrations there?

Posted by: Rocky at February 16, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #125898

‘Do we want to help those that are interested in fighting for Democracy themselves, or are we going to march in and hand it to them?’

I would prefer that also but AS HISTORY shows it doesn’t always work that way.

How long do you think it would have been for the Afghans to fight for democracy and call for our help?
How many more years do you think Saddam, and then his boys(if they didn’t kill each other), would have lived to rule?
How about Iran? How many more years before the uprising against the mullahs?
How about N.Korea? Think that within the next decade the people of that nation will overthrow their government? Do the majority of them even know what a democracy is??

Posted by: bugcrazy at February 16, 2006 12:04 PM
Comment #125900

CPAdams,

I believe that alleviating poverty should be a priority for all nations. But I also want to remind you that the masterminds of the jihads are not poor - they come from the elite of the Middle Eastern world.

The masterminds of the Inquisition weren’t poor either. The grand manipulators rarely are.

Yes, they fill their ranks from the impoverished masses, and economic progress could alleviate the tension between our worlds.

As I always like to point out, how many times has OBL strapped a bomb to himself and blown up a bus? He’s unwilling to do so himself — he relies upon the desperate masses to do it for him.

But we have starving people in non-Muslim nations as well that are not waiting to take up arms against us. With the poverty in India, why isn’t there rampant anti-Americanism?

It’s worth noting that India has the world’s second-largest Muslim population, too. And yet those 144 million Muslims in India aren’t taking up arms against us like the 65 million in Iran, 20 million in Iraq, and 1.5 million on the West Bank are…

Again, it’s CULTURAL….

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 16, 2006 12:08 PM
Comment #125908

CPAdams,

“It’s interesting that your impression of Christianity is about a core belief but mere behaviors for Judaism and Islam…”

I don’t know about Islam, but I’ve been fascinated by orthodox Judaism for a while now, and a few years ago I had a long discussion with an othodox friend of mine about exactly this. I’m paraphrasing, albeit quite closely as I recall. He had this to day:

“Christianity is about what you believe. Orthodox Judaism is about what you _do_.”

I’m still mulling that over, it continues to strike me as a profound difference.

Posted by: Arr-squared at February 16, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #125911

Rob,

I think we are pretty close on most points. I do not deny cultural influence, but I insist religion begets culture, especially in theo-centric Middle East.

Your citation of one line in Exodus supports my point on two fronts - first, I was asking for a New Testament citation for systematic Christian violence; secondly, the Jewish people, for whom Exodus is a primary source for morality, do not have a history of burning witches.

Again, my point was that while leaders can intentionally abuse religious texts to justify violence, plain readings of Christian and Jewish texts do not justify what we see in the Middle East, while many passages in the Q’uran seem to.

And one point about India - I believe the Muslim population there is a little busy with Kashmir to focus on us. The non-Muslim poor in India, the ones I was using as an example, are not systematically anti-American.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 16, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #125915

Arr-squared,

While your friend is partially correct, that difference is relatively recent in our histories and is not wholly accepted. The concept of faith alone as the key to salvation was born of Martin Luther and Protestantism.

For the first 1500 years, good works were key. Unless I am wrong, Catholics are still responsible for what they do as well.

It is quite difficult to find someone on either side of the Judeo-Christian divide who has a solid knowledge of both faiths from each’s point of view. (myself included)

I’ve spoken with condescending rabbis as well as similar ministers and priests. None approaches their studies from the possibility that the other religion could be as true as their own.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 16, 2006 12:38 PM
Comment #125919

CPAdams,

“The non-Muslim poor in India, the ones I was using as an example, are not systematically anti-American.”

How many are anti-British?

I don’t remember any American incursions into India. Not one where we sought to exploit the resources, or the people of India.

If you can point one out I am all ears.

bugcrazy,

“How long do you think it would have been for the Afghans to fight for democracy and call for our help?”

The Afghanis actually fought alongside the “coalition” in taking back their country.

Can we say the same for Iraq?
Will the North Koreans fight with us or against us?

Do we “force” Democracy on all countries?

“How about Iran? How many more years before the uprising against the mullahs?”
Are we in a hurry to do this?
Iran has it’s own issues, and we figure pretty prominently in most of them.

America will either work within the world community or against it. I would submit that we will have much better luck fighting these “problems”, if the rest of the world is on our side.

Then again, we could always bankrupt ourselves tilting after windmills.

Posted by: Rocky at February 16, 2006 12:45 PM
Comment #125920

For whatever reason it is going to draw down to,the united states will not allow another independent sovereign country which happens to be Islamic that has a leader who wants to wipe Israel off the face of the map have the ability to produce nuclear weapons…Religion stopped at this door…cross this threshold and its fascist dictator vers rest of world for themselves.Just my opinion of how i see it.

Posted by: tim at February 16, 2006 12:47 PM
Comment #125934
Did you ever notice that the media always says the “Prophet” Mohammed; yet, they never (ever) say “the Lord” Jesus Christ? Why is that?!

Um. That’s because many people don’t know who Mohammed is and most know who Christ is. Besides “prophet” is a bit generic suggesting perhaps a prophet only to some while “lord” suggests the one and only valid for all. Reading too much into this is why folks think of the Christian right as paranoid, defensive, and easily offended.

The Republican’s in this thread that are claiming that many Democrats are defending Arab’s violence toward others because of this cartoon is ridiculous and not what’s good for this country. Say it like it is - No one thinks someone should be killed or hurt over a cartoon, but anyone should be able to peaceably demonstrate to their heart’s content. This is exactly the kind of issue that could serve to unite, not divide, us and proof positive, in these threads at least, that Republicans generally bend over backwards, even to the point of doing what’s bad for this country, attempting to paint Democrats negatively.

Posted by: Max at February 16, 2006 1:10 PM
Comment #125943

Some democrats appear to paint their own selves negatively in my view. Kennedy, Shumer, Pelosi, Reid and a certain DNC head guy who’s name conveniently escapes me. I believe the democrats coined “politics of corruption”. I mean, that has been the catch word of the last few weeks or so. They need to check their own house out before casting stones.

Posted by: JD Arnold at February 16, 2006 1:29 PM
Comment #125944

Max,

I am liberal and a minority so I have no patience for religious violence nor bigotry. I think we were crazy to go into Iraq and lose small or lose big are our only options there.

I am also not an apologist for Arab anti-American fervor. I am a long student of history and know that the Battle of Tours took place three centuries before the first crusade. Muslim aggression against the west preceded our actions - but it was cultural, not religious.

As for the cartoon, that it took four months for religious outrage to develop, certainly suggests the specific intent by some in the Arab world to create an issue that should have faded away. The absolute incompetency of all European parties involved helped keep it alive too.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 16, 2006 1:33 PM
Comment #125947

CPA,

Sorry, I guess I wasn’t as clear as I could have been.

I understand the differences in the faith/works issues. I was more interested in my orthodox friend’s interpretation of orthodox Judaism, not Christianity.

What I was trying to say is that, to him at least, as an orthodox Jew, his religious practice is tied up almost entirely in behavior - keeping the sabbath and the laws, reciting the prayers, wearing the attire, etc.

At least from his perspective, identifying Judaism with behaviors wouldn’t be problematic.

Posted by: Arr-squared at February 16, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #125954


“No, poor little AMERICANS might confuse them. The news you’re watching (be it CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, or what have you) wasn’t marketed to the Muslims in the Middle East — it’s marketed to the Americans in apartments, suburbs, trailer parks, condos, and mansions of America.”


So why aren’t they covering the Danish Cartoons?! Don’t we Americans need to know about the “religion of peace”? Yet, we can’t get enough of Abu Ghrab; even when it’s the British military are involved.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 16, 2006 1:53 PM
Comment #125957

Got it, Arr-squared. Thanks for the clarification.

rahdigly,

the pictures surfaced in Australia, not US media. regardless, I do not understand your post.

I have nothing more to add on this topic. For myself, I am declaring this thread complete.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 16, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #125959

‘So why aren’t they covering the Danish Cartoons?! Don’t we Americans need to know about the “religion of peace”? Yet, we can’t get enough of Abu Ghrab; even when it’s the British military are involved. ‘

Posted by: rahdigly at February 16, 2006 01:53 PM

Because the Jews aren’t really in charge of hollywood and the media. Those that are part of our own ‘culture’ that are trying to destroy us from within and are fueling the fire of Anti-American hatred are now the rulers of our media.
Freedom of the Press - to influence public opinion towards their own agenda!
That’s why they are afraid of FOXNews!
That is another way the LEFT is using the ‘Politics of Fear’. People are switching channels and finding out that there is ANOTHER side to the story.
The same reps of the Dems that have had their voices heard on FOX are now making comments that make it sound like they were never allowed to say what they thought before. It seems to be the ‘new thing’ - bash FOXNews while you are being interviewed on a FOX program.

Posted by: bugcrazy at February 16, 2006 2:05 PM
Comment #126014

rahdigly,

So why aren’t they covering the Danish Cartoons?! Don’t we Americans need to know about the “religion of peace”? Yet, we can’t get enough of Abu Ghrab; even when it’s the British military are involved.

If you haven’t had enough coverage of the Danish Cartoon Riots, you’ll have to ask the media about that one… they don’t work for me. Personally, I’ve seen more than enough coverage of what some sick Dane thought was a good joke. I’ve seen enough about Abu Ghraib, too. There are more important things to spend my time on.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 16, 2006 4:17 PM
Comment #126018

Rob C.,

First, I agree 100% with what you said in the first half of your response to me. (I hope that’s okay.) I disagree with this part though:

“I find it ironic that the tools best used to accomplish this change have been in the Republican arsenal for years, but have been rejected in favor of military force. Tools like capitalism, free trade, multinational corporations that encourage open borders and intermingling of societies.”

What does the mid-east have to sell? Answer: Oil. Who is the number one purchaser of their oil? Answer: The USA (unless China recently took the lead). No one EVER talks about this but I think it incredibly odd. Imagine owning a business and hating to death your #1 customer. Craziness! Heck, Venezuela’s in the same boat. So, I don’t know how much more business we can give them already beyond the BILLIONS we give them for oil every year.

As for Free Trade: Pros and Cons. But Bush is for it. What else do we need to do than have our own President in favor of this?

As for intermingling: We are the last people they want to intermingle with. Dems keep talking about, oh, they’re so poor, that’s why they’re upset. Nonsense! They would hate us if they were rich, they would hate us if we doubled business with them. First they want to kill the folks who worship on Saturday, then they want to kill the folks who worship on Sunday. What else can you expect from a religion whose leaders get upset if they read anything more than their Koran?

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 16, 2006 4:26 PM
Comment #126019

As an aside, I have to add this one for the record. A few thread ago, I mentioned that Muslims might start calling danishes “freedom pastries”. It turns out that they chose “Roses of Muhammad” instead:

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060216/D8FQD2FOB.html

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 16, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #126021

Rocky,

“Can we agree that, when you have nothing but your religion to depend on, very often you have nothing else to lose?

Well, many Vietnam POWs relied on Christianity and Judaism for many years and did so without radicalizing. MLK based his call for non-violent protests on his religious beliefs and most would argue that he made some constructive headway. Indeed, he was a Christian minister!

In addition, being poor doesn’t help the situation, but a wave of the magic wand creating affluence all over the mid-east will not solve anything either. There are plenty of well-to-do Muslims preaching as much if not more hate towards Israel and the West as anyone. Hell, look at Osama. He could’ve sipped Mai Tais on the beach all his life, after getting a daily massage of course … and he is as Islamofascist as anyone.

Saying the mid-east is poor and that’s why they act crazy is an excuse matrix that just doesn’t rhyme with the facts.


Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 16, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #126037

Ken Cooper,

First, I agree 100% with what you said in the first half of your response to me. (I hope that’s okay.)

Wow! There’s hope for us yet!

What does the mid-east have to sell? Answer: Oil…. Imagine owning a business and hating to death your #1 customer. Craziness!

It’s a common misconception that the people who own the oil are the ones who hate us. Most of these countries have (at least) three tiers of people. First, you have the wealthy oil barons, who are usually propped up by western powers. Second, you have the dirt-poor commoners that the oil barons walk on, who never see a penny of the oil money. Third, you have the terrorist warlords, who blame the problems of the commonfolk on the West.

Look at Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and (for many years) Iraq. They all had wealthy oil barons in charge, fully supported by the U.S. and other western powers. Heck, Saddam Hussein was our buddy until we had to kick him out of Kuwait. And the terrorists (OBL in particular) listed all of them as regimes that needed to be overthrown for the good of the people.

But back to the question at hand. What does the Middle East have to sell? The answer is — LABOR! If it can work for China and India, why not Iraq or Saudi Arabia?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 16, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #126040

Max,
“Say it like it is - No one thinks someone should be killed or hurt over a cartoon, but anyone should be able to peaceably demonstrate to their heart’s content. This is exactly the kind of issue that could serve to unite, not divide, us and proof positive, in these threads at least, that Republicans generally bend over backwards, even to the point of doing what’s bad for this country, attempting to paint Democrats negatively.”

That’s the point, the muslims weren’t demonstrating in “peace”; they were trashing embassies, looting and killing people. Just look what happened in Pakistan. And, our media should’ve focused more on the cartoons from a freedom of speech stand point, instead of worrying about ticking off muslims. This is what democracy is all about, let them learn to protest and boycott, rather than terrorize and blow themselves up.


And, the Republicans are not the ones doing bad for this country; the dems are the ones invested in defeat. They are the ones with the military body counts, talking negatively on the economy (hoping the monthly jobs report will be low), paint doom and gloom about everything, never offering solutions, and focus on Iraq and the WMD’s instead of Iran (with their Hitler) and their quest for WMD’s.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 16, 2006 5:06 PM
Comment #126046

rahdigly,

“And, the Republicans are not the ones doing bad for this country; the dems are the ones invested in defeat. They are the ones with the military body counts, talking negatively on the economy (hoping the monthly jobs report will be low), paint doom and gloom about everything, never offering solutions, and focus on Iraq and the WMD’s instead of Iran (with their Hitler) and their quest for WMD’s.”

Is there any real point to this mantra of yours?

I personally know lots of liberals, as the business I am in is rife with them, and not one of them belive as you suggest.

You keep repeating this dis-information in virtualy every post you make, as if repeating it will smoehow make it true.

Posted by: Rocky at February 16, 2006 5:17 PM
Comment #126068

You know the real issue as to the debates between D’s and R’s is the loss of agreement on war time issues. There was a time when it came to national security the only issue of debate was what do we need. Thanks to things like the Church Commission, apparently those days are gone gone. It is a shame

Posted by: bud at February 16, 2006 6:17 PM
Comment #126070

But then I guess there would not be such a need for these blogs.

Posted by: Bud at February 16, 2006 6:18 PM
Comment #126095

This is truly a clash of civilizations. Do we have the freedom to express our views or don’t we? As a Christian, I most certainly have been offended of some depictions of Jesus. My response is to write a letter and pray for the person who negatively portrayed him. The Muslim response, at least in Muslim countries, has been to destroy and kill. Our civilization does not hold the same morals outlook or world view that theirs does. The sooner we get this, the sooner we can deal with it.

Posted by: mickey at February 16, 2006 7:43 PM
Comment #126123

I don’t understand why they won’t release all the Abu Ghraib Pictures and Video. If we live in a Free Society where pictures of Mohammed are ok, then a few hundred pictures of Iraqis undergoing Fraternity Initiations sould also be allowed.

Posted by: Aldous at February 16, 2006 8:30 PM
Comment #126131

Rocky, just b/c you know some libs, doesn’t mean that they speak for the rest of the libs that are messing things up in this country. Don’t get me wrong, the Repubs are weak in certain areas and they have their problems; however, the anti-war, anti-military, anti-religion, anti-police, anti-family (etc, etc.) belongs to the liberals. They own (and earned) those monikers. And, it’s a shame, b/c, Bud is right, there was a time when both dems and repubs weren’t that much different. You would never have the dems out of touch with the churches and War/National Security (NEVER!). And, Bud, it wasn’t the church commission, it was liberalism.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 16, 2006 8:44 PM
Comment #126179

Rahdigly-
Your logic is that you are so FOR these things, that our more moderate approach must be being AGAINST these things.

What if we’re not anti-family, just more relaxed about people’s private lives, and more tolerant of families that don’t fit society’s conventional picture of one?

What if we’re not anti-cop, just not willing to give them a blank check on how they operate? Do we fear crime so much that we feel we need a Robocop on every street, and a Dirty Harry in every precinct?

I could go on, but really, what we have here is a convenient way for you to say “this is us, and this is you” Repeat it often enough, and it becomes fact.

I guess the real question here is how different we really are. Probably less so than we’d want to admit.

The question is, who’s willing to take the risks necessary to restore folk’s confidence in our government. Those who can do that may be the prominent political force for the next decade.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 16, 2006 10:56 PM
Comment #126184

Rob C.,

Again, I agree with what you said. I hope that doesn’t make you feel violated. Ha! (By the way, I usually vote republican but I’m also pro choice, just not for minors or late termers. I’m also very pro-environment. I also strongly support affirmative action …at least for now and the near future. But I’m also for a very strong military, small gov’t, and fiscal conservatism … the latter of which is my main beef with GWB.) One of my favorite politicians ever was Sam Nunn (D).

Anyway! I still don’t understand. I understand the oil going into the barons’ hands … but the money’s with them, not us. We’re sending it over there in droves. They might have a beef but I don’t understand why it’s with us!

Now, I know the baron’s will say, “USA, you need us in power . . you need us with our thumb on the radicals or you get the radicals ruling the country and thus an unstable region where a major portion of your energy supply originates.”

And that leads us back to why the populous is radical and that, in my mind, leads us back to Islam.

I mean, imagine if all of the sudden the population took control, and over threw the barons. This is how I imagine our first meeting:

Populous Radicals (PR): “Welcome to Saudi Arabia.”

US delegates: “Thank you. Congratulation on your revolutionary victory. Despite all of the chaos with your war we’d like to announce relations with you and continue our trade, namely our oil trade with your new nation. Do you think we can do business?”

PR: “If your President swears allegiance to Allah we can do business.”

US: “Umm, our President is Christian and we support the freedom of religion in the USA. We can’t accomodate that request.”

PR: “Well, then we must tell you at this time that we cannot do business with you and we wish for the rapid death of all Americans.”

I honestly don’t think it’s that far fetched. They must modernize and pacify Muslim religious zealots. And it’s not because other religions don’t have zealots, but the pervasiveness of it in the Muslim religion requires an aggressive anti-zealot campaign which I just don’t see coming. (Sorry for the length of the post.)

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 16, 2006 11:25 PM
Comment #126298

Ken Cooper,

…and that is why the diehard western liberals should go live amongst the masses in the Middle East. They can show them that the western ways are not that bad and teach them how be tolerant of all the different ways that people choose to live… just like they have done to majority of the zealots in our own nation.
Sounds like a plan!

Posted by: bugcrazy at February 17, 2006 7:09 AM
Comment #126323

stephen,
“What if we’re not anti-family, just more relaxed about people’s private lives, and more tolerant of families that don’t fit society’s conventional picture of one?”

The problem is that those families, that are “unconventional”, are not tolerant to conventional societal norms; they feel the need to constantly change that. They are the ones imposing their “private” lives on the traditional families; “Suzie has two mommies”; child pornography, no parental consent for abortions, or reducing the age for abortions.

“What if we’re not anti-cop, just not willing to give them a blank check on how they operate? Do we fear crime so much that we feel we need a Robocop on every street, and a Dirty Harry in every precinct?”

The libs are anti-police. Most cops do their job b/c they want to give to society and help society fight the criminals that are preying on our citizens. They don’t get a blank check or unchecked power. There’s definitely a need to watch law enforcement to make sure they don’t abuse power (you can say that for any profession); yet, not to the extent that they can’t do their own job (which is SAVINGS lives and protecting citizens from criminals). The libs favorite police force is the ACLU; they will actually defend the same criminals that the cops put away.


So, Stephen, don’t get so defensive when the liberals are called out; they’ve been showing us who they really are for decades. Nobody has to keep repeating it to make it true; liberalism is the one that’s “outing” itself.


Posted by: rahdigly at February 17, 2006 8:32 AM
Comment #126324

bugcrazy,

…and that is why the diehard western liberals should go live amongst the masses in the Middle East. They can show them that the western ways are not that bad and teach them how be tolerant of all the different ways that people choose to live… just like they have done to majority of the zealots in our own nation. Sounds like a plan!

Sounds good to me. But, just to be sure, let’s send the far-right, too… after all, they have personal experience with zealotry.

And, with both elements gone from OUR country, the moderates can get back to the business of solving America’s problems.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 17, 2006 8:34 AM
Comment #126329

Rob,

The people on the right are already there - they have the guns.


Really…we can only hope:)

Posted by: bugcrazy at February 17, 2006 8:59 AM
Comment #126339

Ken Cooper,

Again, I agree with what you said. I hope that doesn’t make you feel violated.

Not at all! It’s a pleasure to debate someone who will actually listen to opposing arguments — unlike some others on this board (**cough**rahdigly**aldous**cough).

As for your political stance on the issues, the only one I’d disagree with you on would be military. I usually vote third party, mainly because neither main party has shown an ability to fix one problem without breaking another.

I honestly don’t think it’s that far fetched. They must modernize and pacify Muslim religious zealots. And it’s not because other religions don’t have zealots, but the pervasiveness of it in the Muslim religion requires an aggressive anti-zealot campaign which I just don’t see coming.

There are several generations worth of distrust/hatred of the West bred into their culture. No solution — diplomatic, military, economic, or religious — will change that overnight. It’ll take generations to remove it. The seeds of change have already been planted — the trick is not to kill them before they grow.

Consider Egypt for example. Things aren’t perfect there by any means, but they’re much more progressive than in, say, Iran. Egypt has actually gone so far as to recognize the nation of Israel, which is a big step for anyone in that region. But current anti-American sentiment (brought on by the war in Iraq) is threatening to change that. Radical elements are on the rise again in Egypt.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 17, 2006 9:29 AM
Comment #126354

rahdigly,

“So, Stephen, don’t get so defensive when the liberals are called out; they’ve been showing us who they really are for decades. Nobody has to keep repeating it to make it true; liberalism is the one that’s “outing” itself.”

Once again you throw out accusations that don’t seem to have any basis in fact, and if they were facts, you could give us proof to back it up.

“The libs favorite police force is the ACLU; they will actually defend the same criminals that the cops put away.”

So what you are saying is that we should bypass the court system all together and just execute people for parking tickets?
“Criminals” in this country are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the trial process, though flawed, is part of the Bill of Rights, and is what we have to work with.

Here is a sample of spin;

http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/03/09/19_oreilly.html

“5) Label everyone who doesn’t agree with you a “liberal”, and use as many colorful adjectives as possible when describing the left wing. Label everyone and everything—you can never label people enough”

You see, you just can’t play fast and loose with the facts.

Anything else is just rahdigulous.

Posted by: Rocky at February 17, 2006 10:12 AM
Comment #126388

Rocky, you always seem to butt-in and tell me that I’m throwing around accustions, all while responding in the form of an accusation and an insult, yourself. Not that I care, it really doesn’t bother me; I’m pointing out that you contradict yourself when you do that.


As far as my points, I was very clear and I listed examples. Don’t blame me for what the public has seen for the past 40 years. Modern liberalism has debunked itself and they are to blame. Though, you can continue to blame and insult me if that makes you feel better…

Posted by: rahdigly at February 17, 2006 11:56 AM
Comment #126395

Digly,

I’m liberal.

I’m a recent veteran. Please explain how I’m anti-military.

I’m a married guy who hopes to have children. Please explain how I’m anti-family.

I hate crime and enjoy the things I worked hard for, and believe in the rule of law. Please explain how I’m anti-police.

Posted by: Arr-squared at February 17, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #126443

rahdigly,

“Don’t blame me for what the public has seen for the past 40 years. Modern liberalism has debunked itself and they are to blame.”

So far your message is;

All Muslums are islamofacists.

All liberals are;
for child porn,
for late term abortions,
for children getting abortions,
anti-family,
anti-police,
anti-military,
anti-war,
anti-religion,
anti-church,
anti-security,
anti-government,
and are supporters of terrorism.

Anybody that disagrees with the President is a Bush hater.

Does that pretty much wrap it up?

Posted by: Rocky at February 17, 2006 1:35 PM
Comment #126489

Rocky,

If someone has an opinion like you stated, and can actually name all those things you just did, they must have come to their decision based on something.
It couldn’t really have come out of thin air.
There must be at least a little something to it.

If you are pro-abortion with no standards then so be it. If rahdigly is anti-abortion then so be it.

The way I see it most people are too busy trying to tell others how to think and feel that they forget how to tolerate differences of opinion. That goes for wingnuts on BOTH sides.
No wonder very little can ever be settled in OUR country.

Posted by: bugcrazy at February 17, 2006 2:47 PM
Comment #126503

bugcrazy,

Hypotheticly;
You and can have a discussion in which there is give and take. Each of us lays out our points, and provides information that validates our opinion.
Other people join into the discussion and some take sides either way, each providing their own perspectives and information, and further proofs (if you will).

Can we agree with the possibility that there will be a few that are only interested with their own opinion, and aren’t really interested in what the other opinions are?

I agree that everyone is entitled to their respective opinion. I refuse to belive that anyone is right 100% of the time and everyone else is wrong.

Posted by: Rocky at February 17, 2006 3:01 PM
Comment #126505

R2, if the shoe doesn’t fit then don’t worry about it. I was making a point about “modern liberalism”; that’s how it is viewed and those are the sides they took for the past 40 years. Now, if you have actual facts about “modern liberalism” supporting family, military, police, etc. then you let me know. Otherwise, you are not directly targeted with that viewpoint. Geez!

Posted by: rahdigly at February 17, 2006 3:03 PM
Comment #126516

rahdigly,

The problem *I* have (as a non-liberal) with your definition of “modern liberalism” is that I don’t know ANY liberals who fit that mold. And, believe me, I know a LOT of liberals!

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 17, 2006 3:22 PM
Comment #126532

rahdigly,

You seem to have gotten your definition of “Modern Liberalism” from Mark Oaks and Samuel E. Waldron.
If that is the case I don’t know anybody like that either.

Posted by: Rocky at February 17, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #126629

Just back up the facts here, if you’re arguing that what I described as “modern liberalism” is not, then tell me what you would describe as “modern liberalism”. It’s funny that all the liberals have rebutted with “I’m not like that” or “liberal friends of mine” are not like that at all. Oh, ok. Back it up, yo! Be specific.


The original point that this was used was to describe the difference between the dems of old (FDR, Truman, JFK) versus the new democratic “socialist” party (Ted Kennedy, Kerry, Hillary, Schumer, Pelosi, Boxer, Reed, etc.). I made the point that the old dems didn’t have a problem with being associated as the anti-police, anti-family, anti-religion, anti-family, etc. Today’s dems do have to worry about that.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 17, 2006 7:05 PM
Comment #126635

rahdigly,

The extremes in this country seem content to define what the other is, in the most generalized terms.
Neither is right in its asssessment of the other, and that is the rub.

Posted by: Rocky at February 17, 2006 7:12 PM
Comment #126680

ROB C,STATED THAT INDIAS 144 MILLION MUSLIMS WERE NOT LIKE THE IRAQ OR IRAN OR PLO. MUSLIMS, IS A SAD COMPARISON,INDIA IS A COUNTRY OF OVER 1.5 BILLION HINDUS, YOU DO THE MATH, BESIDES INDIAS MOST VIOLENT OR EXTREME MUSLIMS WENT TO FORM PAKISTAN, REMEMBER!AND WE ALL KNOW HOW THEY GET ALONG! CHARLES MARTEL,REPRESED IN INVADING MUSLIM HORDE, ALSO THE CRUSADERS,TRIED TO KICK THE MUSLIMS OUT OF THE HOLY LANDS,IS HISTORY COMING BACK! FOURTEEN HUNDRED YEARS LATER! ROD BROWN.

Posted by: R BROWN at February 17, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #126723

FIRST TO ROCKY, YOU GO ON TO SAY THE EXTREMES ARE CONTENT DO DEFINE EACH OTHER,AND THERE BOTH WRONG.WELL I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER, THAT YOU HAVE DEFINED THEM, WERE IS THAT BONG AT!FDR WAS THE RIGHT MAN IN THE 1930S,TRUMAN WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER IF HE WAS IN THERE IN 1939.ONE OF HILLARYS FAVORATE PRESIDENTS WAS WILSON BY THE WAY WILSONS FAVORATE FILM OF ALL TIME, BIRTH OF A NATION! KERRY? TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH HIS WIFE! BOXER WHO CARES! REED WHO CARES! SCHUMER WHO CARES! PELOSI THE ROPE IS RUNNING OUT!TEDDY, LIVER SPOTS!

Posted by: R,BROWN at February 17, 2006 11:10 PM
Comment #126848

R.Brown,

“BY THE WAY WILSONS FAVORATE FILM OF ALL TIME, BIRTH OF A NATION!”

Gee, that wouldn’t be because there weren’t that many films to choose from, would it?

BTW, why are you yelling?

Posted by: Rocky at February 18, 2006 4:49 AM
Comment #126978

rahdigly,

I do find it interesting that for your old guard Democrats you picked Presidents and all of your new “socialists” are in Congress.
I do think that, of your examples, Hillary is probably more toward the middle.
Boxer and Pelosi are from California. What more needs to be said.
Kennedy is most likely on his way out.
Harry Reid, a Mormon, who could also be considered more of a moderate, and has only been in a leadership role for a couple of years.
That only leaves Kerry and Schumer, both who might have real issues.

Posted by: Rocky at February 18, 2006 11:43 AM
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