Senate Revolution in the Muslim World

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Lowbacca_1977, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Lowbacca_1977 and Condition2SQ like this.
  2. Condition2SQ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2012
    star 4
    Got me again. If only I had been the very first person in the thread to post these pictures and comment on how endearing I found them, I could have inoculated myself against the argument that I am somehow unaware of these wonderful photos.

    Oh, wait.

    In any case, why are riot apologists brandishing these photos at me? Here you have Muslims who surely do not live in economic comfort who were so appalled by this destructive behavior that they took the time to consult English dictionaries and create hand-made signs stating so, and yet the chief executives of Egypt and Afghanistan simply could not bring themselves to do so. You guys are collectively biting my head off for being on the same side of the debate as the people depicted in the photos. It's also interesting that I am charged with "generalizing" Muslims based on the behavior of the rioters, and yet these photos of several hundred Muslims are deployed as if they are the ultimate rejoinder to my arguments.

    You could if I had suggested such a thing. The Protocols were written by the Russian secret police to squelch populist uprising in Tsarist Russia by implying the uprising was actually part of an insidious Jewish plot to take over the world. Hitler was quite the fan and once he allied himself with the Palestinian regime, it, along with the rest of the Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda, was disseminated en masse throughout Palestine. It's rather hilarious that you charge that I am "fixated" on them, when they have been directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of Jews worldwide. Why have you never heard of the Protocols? Because despite their vile and hateful nature, Jews do not riot bookstores or governments that disseminate and promulgate them. In contrast, probably 9 out of 10 Americans are now at least passingly familiar with the "Innocence of Muslims". Why? Because Muslims worldwide took such offense to it, even though it was not responsible for the death of a single Muslim--except, of course, the fellow co-religionists who were trampled or otherwise killed in the carnage.

    Perhaps I do overstate their significance though. How can the fact that they are used as a foundational text in Saudi Arabian grade school education and the fact that a 30-part "documentary" based on them was produced and aired on Egyptian TV possibly stand up to your anecdote about the Muslims you know in your personal life?

    How could there be? Explosives had yet to be invented. There are, however, incessant injunctions of violence against "infidels" as well as numerous promises of paradise to those who die "in the way of Allah". Suicide bombings seem a useful way to facilitate both of these tasks in one fell swoop.

    Then how do you explain demonstrations expressing solidarity with the riots in the U.K and Australia? How do you explain that all of the 7/7 bombers were U.K natives and lived decidedly middle class lives? How do you explain Osama Bin Laden himself, who was of course spectacularly wealthy. These facts alone--and I could document many, many more--are dispositive of the "economic despair" hypothesis.
    Last edited by Condition2SQ, Sep 20, 2012
  3. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    Your point was that we Westerners deplore the actions of rioters and murderers and find their actions contemptible, which also bore the implication that the Muslim population does not do the same for their own. We’re “brandishing” these photos to drive home the point that this is not the case. There are Muslims who do in fact scorn violence and find it contemptible.

    The point that I am trying to make in “brandishing” these photos is in keeping with the post by LoH, which is that the unfortunate tendency to riot & kill is not uniquely a “Muslim thing,” nor is speaking out against violence uniquely a “Western thing.”

    If you’re on the same side as those depicted in the photos, please consider doing so in such a fashion that avoids condescension. It makes such support sound like sarcasm.
  4. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Now there are reports that there weren't any riots or protests in Benghazi. It was all a coordinated attack by terrorists.

    So, the "mass" riots originally reported in the media might not be accurate at all.
    Last edited by ShaneP, Sep 20, 2012
  5. Condition2SQ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2012
    star 4
    Ah ha. Then I guess I should have also been careful to explicitly note that rioting is not uniquely a "Muslim thing" and reserved the bulk of my criticism for President Morsi--acting as both a diplomat of the faith and the chief executive of Egypt in the first big moment on the world stage in this new era of USA/Egypt relations--for all but tacitly approving of the rioting by reserving the entirety of his indignation for the film and none for the riots.

    You know what's coming

    Try again.
    Last edited by Condition2SQ, Sep 20, 2012
  6. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    In what sense is Morsi a "diplomat of the faith?" Why is he suddenly responsible for the entire reputation of a major world religion? Was proud evangelical George Bush acting as a "diplomat of the faith" when he approved of water-boarding? Who are you to so arbitrarily condemn the faith of millions?

    Also, you keep wanting to talk about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. I'm not really certain why. It was document authored by an adherent of the Russian Orthodox Church, and subsequently read widely in Christian Europe. Its popularity in the Middle East, such as it is, can be explained a few ways. First, as you point, in several countries it is promoted by the government. This happens even when those governments are secular. In the absence of a a truly functional free press in most of the region, and the comparatively limited access to higher education, it is difficult for people to recognize how this information is wrong. One might also note that until a few months ago, the conspiratorial model laid out in the tome is actually somewhat similar to the way regional governments actually worked. Certainly, in Tunisia, Syria, Egypt and Libya whole countries were run by small cabals that twisted the entire national infrastructure to enrich themselves. Thirdly, it may to some extent reflect their geopolitical frustration that Israel seems to consistently outmaneuver them on the international stage. None of these reasons justify embracing such a bigoted text. But, importantly, all of these reasons are far more influential than your preferred explanation, which is that they happen to believe that the last prophet of the one true God was a fellow named Mohammad.

    EDIT: To swing back to our earlier discussion, you really don't understand the interview with the CAIR fellow at all. You tried to make some distinction between his discussion of the RAND paper and his discussion of moderate Islam. It doesn't exist. The speaker was condemning the idea of moderate Islam as it appears in the aforementioned RAND paper. That's not the same thing as deriding the concept of moderation in the abstract. In the same way, Republicans who condemn the term "compassionate conservatism" aren't condemning the idea of having compassion. They are condemning one specific set of policy ideas that bears that particular name.
    Last edited by Jabba-wocky, Sep 20, 2012
  7. aPPmaSTer Force Ghost

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    Dec 23, 2004
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    @Condition2SQ
    The only way I can address this is, well, telling you that you probably have been hallucinating. Sorry. I hadn't even heard of this until you brought it up, and I've lived in a Muslim country for over a decade, and went to mosques almost daily. Surely someone would have brought it up if it was that important.

    As is rooting for the wrong soccer team. The way I see it, religion ultimately strives to eliminate this type of trivial extremism in life by promoting a balance between work, rest, family, worship, entertainment, etc. and in my opinion those who are true believers in the messages of their respective religions, will be those who practice patience and restraint in these types of difficult situations because patience is ordained in all religions. But every society, every culture, every group of friends, has hotheads who tend to overreact to certain levels of provocation, but in my opinion religion is there to quell that passion an replace it with patience, and it would be a lot more successful if these principles and values are properly instilled in individuals.
  8. Condition2SQ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2012
    star 4
    Were we not incessantly assured during the Arab Spring that these new Islamic regimes, because they were legitimately seated by the consent of the Muslim constituency, were going to show us the "true", more benign brand of Islam than the stereotype usually portrays? Well, we got the democratically elected regime, we got the same outrageous, juvenile anger and violence at a perceived slight of their beloved "prophet", and we got....no condemnation whatsoever from the regime. You can't argue that the optics of this don't matter--the direction the U.S/Egypt relationship was going to take has been the matter of intense speculation for several months. President Morsi drew his line in the sand, and unless you can point me to some evidence that most Egyptians are outraged that he didn't display more indignation at the riots or make more of a serious effort to stop them, I don't know how you can berate me for "arbitrarily" condemning the apparently dominant strand of Islam in Egypt, as if I just imagined the riots and murdered diplomats.

    So, to extend your first paragraph into this and to paraphrase your argument:

    "It's unfair to hold Islamist regimes responsible for what their constituents believe and how they behave...but, actually, the only reason those Muslims read and believe the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is because the Islamist regimes actively promote or do nothing to refute them"

    A very cogent argument.

    I agree that there is no inherent connection between promoting the Protocols as history and the Islamic scriptures. The Islamic attitude towards Jews as "People of the Book" is fairly ambivalent. The Protocols first gained currency in the Islamic world during World War II because of the alliance between Grand Mufti al-Husseini and the Nazis. The problem is that the virulently anti-Semitic attitudes that took root in the region as a result of this alliance have never really been subject to any intense scrutiny and have yet to be expunged from the region, and have really only gone on to gain greater currency. A populist Muslim leader owning up to this alliance and the need to extirpate the these vestiges would be a huge step towards decoupling the concepts of "anti-Semitism" and "anti-Zionism". The problem is that such a figure has yet to emerge, and I'm sure in that even in calling for one you're going to label me presumptuous in "arbitrarily telling millions of Muslims how they should scrutinize the historical influence of Nazi ideology on much of the region".




    That seems far from obvious to me, but even if I concede that, unless the RAND report contains grotesque suggestions of what a "moderate" Islam would entail, I don't see how that makes his point any less salient to the discussion at hand.
    Last edited by Condition2SQ, Sep 20, 2012
  9. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5

    You seem to be drawing inferences from the fact that Jewish people are not demonstrating and rioting in the streets because of the publication of propaganda such asThe Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other anti-semitic works. I guess my only response to that is to say that the Jewish people (including the militant Zionists) carried out the ultimate riot and protest in response to rampant anti-semitism back in the decades preceding and leading up to 1948 when they created the state of Israel (by force I might add). You may recall that during the British Mandate period militant Jews formed a number of terrorist organizations and bombed the hell out of the British and the Arabs. Look up "Irgun" and "the Stern Gang". All of this was done in the name of Zionism and militant Judaism. Jewish extremist violence has hardly abated since the creation of Israel. This is not the place for it, but I'm happy to have a discussion with you about Israeli terrorism.

    You need to consider why people protest and riot in the first place. I think it is fair to say that people protest and riot because they are pissed off about something. In this regard, I'm note sure you are fair to compare the absence of protesting by Jews in response to the Protocols and the protesting by Muslims in response to the youtube video. The Protocols were published over a 100 years ago and clearly the Jewish people have had to endure a more serious crisis in the last 100 years of persecution. Moreover, Zionism is merely the political/nationalist extension of Jewish aspirations of statehood. In contrast, the youtube video is contemporary and insults the cornerstone of their religious faith, namely the Prophet. I guess many Muslims are now starting to see the kind of persecution and vilification that the Jews have already endured for over a hundred years. Perhaps in time, Muslim leaders will establish the Islamic version of the "Anti-Defamation League" and pursue protesting through legal channels rather than via angry mobs on the streets.

    But the point is that if ‘violence against infidels’ and suicide bombing was in fact an accepted religious activity in Islam then you would expect to see it as a common religious right in Muslim countries around the world. The fact is that you do not see this at all. The country with the largest population of Muslims in the world, Indonesia, has little or no violence against non-Muslims and suicide bombing is very rare and perpetrated by the extremists. Violence against ‘infidels’ and suicide bombing is politically motivated and not driven by religious imperatives.

    You seem to be confusing the recent Muslim riots with terrorism in general. Just to be clear, I am discussing the recent Muslim riots in response to the youtube video. The Bin Ladens and the London bombers et al relate to an entirely different discussion on terrorism. I don't recall positing an "economic despair" hypothesis, I am merely making the point that where people have little more than their religious faith, they are more inclined to angry protest when their religion is mocked than a well to do adherent because the poor and downtrodden feel more victimised. That is how many of those Muslims feel, like victims. Hence the anger and frustration. There is nothing unique in that.
    Last edited by LostOnHoth, Sep 20, 2012
  10. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    We will see that in the policies these new governments ultimately do or do not author, as compared to what it was threatened they might do should they ever gain power. The argument was never that popular sentiments about social issues would swing wildly depending upon who was in office.

    Because maybe Morsi's response wasn't primarily about the fact that he was a Muslim, as you explicitly claimed it was? Maybe because it's a reflection of the fact that he's an elected official, and its very difficult to admonish one's base when it is angry, even in their excesses, which is why Republicans largely refrained from saying anything about Tea Party members who felt the need to spit on black members of Congress? Or why Israeli politicians rarely charge against the ultra-right wing settler organizations? There is certainly a level of complicity in this behavior, and you're fine to point this out. But it is stupid and presumptuous to assume the source of said complicity is religion, as opposed to the many other political pressures that provide just as valid (and often better) explanations for what's happening.

    Wrong. I said it is unfair to hold the religion of Islam as a whole responsible for what is promoted by some governments in the Middle East, both Islamic (eg Hamas), and secular (Mubarak's Egypt) in nature. Those who hold power have their own motives for doing things, I hope you realize. Not all of them can or should be traced back to the government's announced religious affiliation. That is the sort of lazy argumentation that gets called bigoted.

    Do you recognize the difference between this and pretty much every other argument you've made in this thread? Here, you simply identify that the region has a problem. You advance a possible explanation for its existence, but don't do so with complete certitude. You support your proposal with actual reasoning. Whereas everywhere else, you never get beyond "A Muslim did something the bad, therefore all Muslims are bad."

    Have you read the RAND paper in question? Because the interviewee made quite clear that he saw the whole of the RAND paper as trying to design a Middle East that was subservient to the United States. He seemed to see their proposed brand of Islam as part of that effort. Unless you can show where it specifically wasn't, and is a severable proposal, you don't have much of a point here. And even if it were valid as an independent proposal, that still doesn't mean it would be unreasonable for him to reject it in the broader context of the RAND white paper, which is in fact what he did. If you are so confident that no moderation exists within the religion of Islam, certainly you should be able to find more direct evidence than this.
  11. Condition2SQ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2012
    star 4
    Right, and one of the policies he is now trying to author is an anti-blasphemy law. Let's deconstruct this; this is an Islamist President calling for a law against offending Muslims that would be binding on non-Muslims. This is manifestly an Islamic supremacist law. I don't see how you can construe that as auguring for anything but an explicitly Islamist regime.

    I understand what you're saying here, but it's ridiculous to claim that President Morsi isn't wearing his Muslim hat, as it were, when he's commenting on matters pertaining to what can or cannot be said about Muhammed. And not to belittle the Tea Partiers spitting on black members of Congress at the RNC, because that is disgusting behavior(not to mention birtherism and secret Muslim nonsense), but the riots of last week sparked a veritable international crisis during which diplomats were killed, embassies were raided, and fellow countrymen were being seriously injured or even killed. I don't think it's unfair to say that it is incumbent upon the leaders of the countries in which they are taking place to assume a leadership role in speaking out against the violence. If this would entail political suicide for him, as you seem to imply, then that just drives home the fact that these ferociously anti-free speech attitudes and juvenile propensity for violence when the "prophet" is insulted are by no means a marginal phenomenon. Why am I supposed to feel good about that?

    I've been debating several people in this thread and making different points to different users(though there is considerable overlap between them), so I can see why you interpreted my argument this way. But I originally brought up the Protocols in response to your argument that it was perfectly okay for President Morsi to be concerned with "religious freedom"(as if a video posted on Google could possibly infringe upon religious freedom, but anyway) in response to the video. This is quite obviously nonsense. He's not concerned with religious freedom as an ideal or for its own sake; that's just the lexicon he's chosen to couch his anti-blasphemy sentiment in to make it more palatable to Western audiences.

    It ought to be completely obvious that the sum of my argument was never the juvenile formulation that "A Muslim did something bad, therefore all Muslims are bad". I have stated numerous times my enthusiastic support for Muslims like Irshad Manji and Zuhdi Jasser. My argument, rather, has been that the egregious behavior exhibited by Muslims last week was by no means an obvious "distortion" of the Islamic faith. Based on the Qu'ran, it's a very plausible manifestation of it. My chief problem with your arguments in particular are that you declare by fiat that Islam is not, no, cannot, be responsible for this behavior, and that is must be attributable to epiphenomenon and geopolitics. But there's absolutely no rational basis for such a claim, other than the desire not to offend "religious faith", as if dressing up veneration of a 7th century pedophile polygamist as an "excellent standard of human conduct" whose dignity must be defended at all costs in theological trappings somehow makes it any less unsavory. No, Islam is not the sum of the problems and tension endemic to the region, but a perfectly plausible version of Islam that is practiced by a clearly not insignificant percentage of the Arab world, is a significant factor. And since religious beliefs are beliefs about the fundamental nature of reality, through which our interpretations of real world events are refracted, I would argue it's the most significant factor.

    LostOnHoth, I'll respond to your post in detail later on, but for now I'll just say that your account of the formation of the State of Israel is seriously flawed.
    Last edited by Condition2SQ, Sep 21, 2012
  12. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
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    No worries, but perhaps we should direct such a discussion to the "Isrealistine" thread which should be around somewhere, as this thread is not really the place for it. I think you will find that anything I have to say on the formation of Israel has been said in that thread.
    Last edited by LostOnHoth, Sep 21, 2012
  13. Ghost Chosen One

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    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    BREAKING NEWS

    [IMG]

    Ten days after four Americans were killed in their Libyan city, hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators marched in Benghazi and overtook the headquarters of a radical Islamist group tied to the attack.

    The protesters took to the street Friday, loudly declaring that they -- and not those behind last week's deadly attack -- represent the real sentiments of the Libyan people.

    As militia members fled, the protesters torched a vehicle and took over the headquarters of Ansar al-Sharia without firing a single shot. They also claimed to have freed at least 20 captives held in the building.
    Last edited by Darth-Ghost, Sep 21, 2012
  14. Ghost Chosen One

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    It appears that 30,000 Libyans marched in support of the United States, and against the Islamist militants, earlier in the day too

    (computer glitches won't let me edit the above post)

    [IMG]

  15. GenAntilles Force Ghost

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    Now that's what I like to see. If more Muslims stood up to the nut jobs like these people here have done Islam would not have the reputation it has now. Islam was once a religion of tolerance, science, trade, and discovery, I pray I may live to see the day when it is seen that way again.
    Darth-Ghost and PointGiven like this.
  16. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

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    I'm so extremely pleased to see this going on in Libya. The transition going on in these countries in the middle east is not a smooth one... but it wasn't a smooth transition to democracy for the UK, France, or the US, either. However, if more people in these countries start to decide that their work wasn't done when they removed the old leadership, but they need to now work to put into place a new and better structure, then things may keep improving in the middle east.
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  17. Darth Guy Chosen One

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    They do. You just don't hear about it as much because they aren't responding to the death of a high-profile American diplomat in the midst of a row over an American-made Islamophobic film. For example, after September 11th the media played up images of Middle Easterners "dancing in the streets," but there were at least as many people paying tribute to the victims-- including thousands in Tehran.
  18. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    star 8
    Are you kidding me? Do you think the US and Europe supported openly autocratic, repressive regimes for decades on end because they were afraid of an anti-blasphemy law? The concerns were and are about far more radical moves, like re-igniting war with Israel, totally marginalizing or defunding women's education, and legal codifying comprehensive de jure discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities. An anti-blasphemy law isn't really any of those things, and is again a feature of the legal code even in secular US allies like Pakistan. By itself, this is insignificant.

    Why? Do you really think politicians make a habit of sharing their personal, most private and deeply held religious convictions when they are on TV in front of an audience of millions?

    It needn't be "suicidal." Just mildly more politically inconvenient than the fallout from the violence itself. Which, again, is why Netenyahu doesn't say much about the radical settlers who bomb mosques and attack the Israeli Army. It's not that his hesitance to do so implies some huge majority (or even specific minority) of Israelis are virulent racists who want to attack and kill Palestinians. It's that politics is a difficult, and in some ways bizarre reality that doesn't always let you draw lines directly between the lack of condemnatory statements about something and public sentiment on the issue. Another, less geopolitically fraught example is the complete silence on gun reform in the US after both the Giffords shooting and the recent theater shootings. It is obviously not the case (and public polling supports this notion empirically) that people are so enthusiastic for the lack of background checks for mental illness before getting assault weapons and extended clips. But because, for whatever reason, politicians still don't believe it's a very beneficial issue to bring up, no one says anything about trying to change a status quo that pretty obviously contributes to the problem in the first place. It's unfair for you to make the kind of argument you are based on the slim "evidence" you are using.

    You said religious freedom. No one else ever did. Take a look at the actual exchange.

    [/quote]

    A couple things here. There have been popular interfaith protests in Egypt in response to high profile attacks against the Copts. A central feature of the recent revolution was stressing the cooperation of Muslim and Coptic protestors. It is therefore inappropriate for you to say that there is no concern about sectarian tension. More importantly, though, look at what you did here. We were discussing the political press release of one specific official, Hamad Karzai of Afghanistan. You responded by dismissing his remarks because of a generalized, blanket statement you made about all "Muslims" without any exception. Look at what you actually said. "Muslims" don't "actually value religious freedom." None of the practitioners of the religion do. Period. That's why I called it a bigoted statement. Because it was.

    Having noted that, we can turn to Protocols for a third time. People's motivations are multi-faceted. As I explained before (and you even contributed yourself in some later posts) the popularity of the book owes to a lot of factors. One that hasn't come up in defensible fashion yet is the notion that Muslims are just inherently bigoted and believe that non-Muslims are not deserving of any rights. In light of that, it doesn't make sense for you to raise the popularity of the book as rebuttal to the notion that they might want to limit religious strife. Instead, it largely speaks to a tension between two different goals that the people of Egypt seem to have at the moment. You were quite willing to offer this defense to any contradiction between American ideals and practice, so it's a bit strange that it should be forever off limits to Muslims.

    I've not said it cannot be. I simply have noted that you've made no convincing argument that it is. You lurch back and forth wildly. When a government makes an official statement that is disappointing, it is evidence for you that the religion of Islam as a whole is at fault. Then, later, when a government does something positive, you say that we can't take a government as representative, and we instead must look at street action and protests. You complain about the lack of condemnation of terrorism from high-ranking religious authorities. When provided with them, you say it is pointless to look for them because those people are just lying, even though there statements are being made to believers and not to non-Muslim audiences. An act of violence perpetrated by a Muslim is always, for you, evidence of the "true" nature of their religion based on its practice in centuries prior, but protest it is deeply unfair to judge any other religion by its older practices. You have yet to show us any scenario wherein Islam is not at fault for everything that can possibly be criticized.
  19. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/city-of-imams/story-e6frezz0-1226479395793

    The link above is a very interesting newspaper article which I think highlights some of the discussion points in this thread, particularly the manner in which ethnic and national norms provide a specific lense for the interpretation of religious text. The article also highlights an issue in Islam which you don't see as much in other religions, namely the absence of a rigid hierarchical structure, which opens the door for "garage" mosques and phony backyard imams. I would recommend the article to anyone who wishes to gain a better understanding of how ethnic and national/cultural norms play a part in the different schools of Islamic thought/action.

    I'd cut and paste quotes from the article but I'm on an iPad so am technically challenged.
    Last edited by LostOnHoth, Sep 22, 2012
  20. Condition2SQ Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 5, 2012
    star 4
    What? The point I was clearly making was that this sentiment from Morsi augurs that the regime will be explicitly Islamist. We were constantly assured during the Revolution that the new government would represent a "merger of Islamic character with Western-style democratic principles" or however you wish to formulate it. Well, there ended up being an explosive conflict between these two systems, and Morsi was emphatic that it was free speech that had to yield to respect for the prophet. What's coming next? And though I'm admittedly not (yet) too familiar with the history and geopolitics of Pakistan, calling them "secular" seems a bit of a stretch to me. What underwrites anti-blasphemy laws besides religious sentiment and attitudes? particularly the institutionalized persecution of Ahmadis for their perceived heretical doctrines.

    You're implying that there's some clearly delineated, principled line here between Islam and governance. But Islam itself makes explicit claims about governance and what is and is not acceptable in an Islamic polity. And this is manifestly not an instance of spuriously grafting Islam on to an issue that might be chiefly directed by geopolitics or any other concern; the issue is inextricably tied to Islam: "Should you be able to depict and criticize the prophet, or not?".

    I could perhaps buy this if Morsi had simply not said anything and simply let the violence run its course, but that's not the sum of what he did. After the violence had abated, he proactively said that the prophet cannot be insulted and asked for Obama to bring those behind the video to justice. This seems a pretty emphatic statement from Morsi that when there's tension between Islamic doctrine and Western criticism of Islam, even if it results in widespread property destruction and people being killed, the more pressing issue stemming therefrom is the disparagement of Islam. The stakes could not really be much higher; lives lost on one side, and what is essentially a thoughtcrime on the other, and Morsi proactively drew his line in the sand. Which is his prerogative, of course. I don't think he "should" have to take his cue from the United States(as I've said numerous times, I think it is rather ethnocentric to assume that Western-style liberal democracy is an inevitability in the Muslim world), but I don't why pointing out that Egypt is veering away from being an ally or that there's obviously tension between their most fundamental notions of governance and ours. Note, I don't believe that values have any objective ontological status, so I don't think ours are "better" than theirs, but they are mutually exclusive, and as I've said numerous times, I think all cultures have a right to facilitate their security and continued fecundity. And yes, I am aware of the disturbing nature of my using terms such as "we" and "they", as if this were a simple binary conflict vs. The Other. But the matter here truly is zero-sum; Do you think people ought to have a right to insult the prophet, or not?

    I understand your concern here and I apologize for making such a blatant statement, which is indeed, as constructed, bigoted. But what nomenclature would you have me use? To use a ridiculously oversimplified and no doubt inaccurate example, let's say that 1/3rd of Egyptian Muslims think there should be a global anti-blasphemy law, and 2/3rds think there shouldn't. The 1/3rd may be a minority, but given the size of the population, 1/3rd is still a highly, highly significant figure. When I deployed the word "Muslim" here, I meant Muslims that subscribe to the particular attitudes I was addressing.

    I think the confusion here is stemming from the fact that there aren't two words, as with Christianity, to distinguish between "Islam, as prescribed in the Qu'ran", and "Islam, as is practiced by a significant portion of the Arab world". (i.e "Christianity" and "Christendom".) I've been addressing both, and in regards to the Protocols, I mean the latter sense. Again, it was often claimed that the ouster of Mubarak would usher in the election of a leader who would dramatically recalibrate the state of the discourse in the Islamic world. Morsi has given very little indication he will be such a figure, hence my criticizing him. This doesn't mean I don't also have much critical to say about the former sense, in which there are concerns about misogyny and anti-Semitism, among other things(note I said that the virulent, genocidal anti-Semitism seen in some parts of the Arab world can't be traced to the Qu'ran, but that doesn't mean the Qu'ran is a paean to tolerance either. The prescribed role of Jews in a Muslim society is essentially similar to pre-Civil Rights institutionalized practices before the Civil Rights Movement)

    LoH, a separate Israelistine thread is definitely a good idea, as that discussion would send this one careening off the rails.
  21. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

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    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    Hey, Obama gave a moralizing speech today. Happy now?
    Last edited by ViolentVioletMenace, Sep 25, 2012
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  22. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Turkey bombs Syria, after Syrian attack kills a Turkish woman and 4 Turkish children:


    [IMG]

    Turkey's military struck targets inside Syria on Wednesday in response to a mortar bomb fired from Syrian territory that killed five Turkish civilians, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's office said in a statement.

    "Our armed forces at the border region responded to this atrocious attack with artillery fire on points in Syria that were detected with radar, in line with the rules of engagement," the Turkish statement said.

    "Turkey, acting within the rules of engagement and international laws, will never leave unreciprocated such provocations by the Syrian regime against our national security," it said.

    Turkey's NTV television said Turkish radar pinpointed the positions from where the shells were fired on the southeastern Turkish town of Akcakale, and that those positions were hit.

    "Turkey is a sovereign country. There was an attack on its territory. There must certainly be a response in international law. ... I hope this is Syria's last craziness. Syria will be called into account," said Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc.

    The mortar bomb fired from Syria landed in a residential district of Akcakale on Wednesday, killing a woman and four children from the same family and wounding at least eight other people.

    Last edited by Darth-Ghost, Oct 3, 2012
  23. GenAntilles Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2007
    star 4
    It was only a matter of time to be honest. That said Turkey flexing it's muscle may be good for the region, at least as a counter to Israel and Iran.
  24. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Turkey is also a member of NATO, an attack on one is considered an attack on all... if Turkey wishes to invoke that. It seems (so far) that they don't want to do that.
    Last edited by Darth-Ghost, Oct 3, 2012
  25. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Do they actually know who fired the mortar, and is this the first time this has happened? This does seem to me like a bit of a knee jerk reaction on Turkey's part.