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Yet More News from Our Friends and Allies...

post #1 of 125
Thread Starter 
Maybe I post too much on this topic. I know that. I am cutting down. But this I think is something that needs bringing attention to and is shocking/disgraceful regardless of the Context.

So bear with me one last time. This needs to be discussed. It is something that simply should not happen in the 21st century and it should not be tolerated by Western nations. Period.

Subject: The Sauds.

Issue:

Quote:
An appeal court in Saudi Arabia has doubled the number of lashes and added a jail sentence as punishment for a woman who was gang-raped.

The victim was initially punished for violating laws on segregation of the sexes - she was in an unrelated man's car at the time of the attack.

When she appealed, the judges said she had been attempting to use the media to influence them.

According to the Arab News newspaper, the 19-year-old woman, who is from Saudi Arabia's Shia minority, was gang-raped 14 times in an attack in the eastern province a year-and-a-half ago.

The victim's lawyer was suspended from the case, has had his licence to work confiscated, and faces a disciplinary session.

How is it possible that such Governments are not only 'allies' but close friends?

How is it possible that any Western Government - regardless of whether they claim to stand for 'Democracy and Freedom' - does not speak out against it and push for punitive measures?

Why????

BBC News

What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #2 of 125
I'm curious: Is this based on Sharia? It sounds like it.
post #3 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

I'm curious: Is this based on Sharia? It sounds like it.

It is the Saudi version of shariah which is based on Salafi/Wahabi interpretations.

There is another short BBC article about this on the News site which is the subject of a World Service Programme.

I don't think though that issues like this come down to religious (or other) justification. Quite simply there is nothing spiritual or uplifting in such incidents or laws and as such they cannot be of a religious nature (imo).

More importantly though, whatever they are, we should be working to eradicate THIS - it is far more urgent and necessary than chasing phantoms that may or may not be a threat in Iraq or Iran.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #4 of 125
The sentences of the rapers were also doubled in this appeal-decision.

The reason why the victim's sentencing was also doubled and a prison-time added was that she used the media to influence the decision of the appeal-court.

The reason for the first court's decision to punish also the victim, was that she voluntarily travelled in a car with strangers, which is a crime in itself in Saudi-Arabia.

That there is an appeal-court at all is definitively an improvement.

By the way I have not made up my mind if the whole case was treated with justice or not, I need to further read up on the details, but I wanted to make sure that at least the facts get reported straight, as it looked from segovious' op as if the victim was punished but the rapers let off.

Nightcrawler
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
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I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
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post #5 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightcrawler View Post

By the way I have not made up my mind if the whole case was treated with justice or not, I need to further read up on the details, but I wanted to make sure that at least the facts get reported straight, as it looked from segovious' op as if the victim was punished but the rapers let off.

Not so. I couldn't give a flying toss about the rapist's sentences being increased.

My comments are solely about the judgement(s) passed on the woman.

I find your statement "I have not made up my mind if the whole case was treated with justice or not" to be highly disturbing.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #6 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Not so. I couldn't give a flying toss about the rapist's sentences being increased.

Well, I think it's good that they were increased.

Quote:

My comments are solely about the judgement(s) passed on the woman.

I find your statement "I have not made up my mind if the whole case was treated with justice or not" to be highly disturbing.

I agree. Clearly their system is extraordinarily oppressive, particularly to women. It's disgusting. This is a clear case of Western values being, well, correct and their values being wrong. There is no other way to say it.

However, you posting this topic raises another: Should foreign policy be based on the human rights situation in a particular country? And, should we make judgements about other cultures practices or not? I ask this because you seem adamant that we do the first but not the second.
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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post #7 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

However, you posting this topic raises another: Should foreign policy be based on the human rights situation in a particular country? And, should we make judgements about other cultures practices or not? I ask this because you seem adamant that we do the first but not the second.

I would say yes to both.

That may surprise you but my issue has always been the nature of the judgements currents Western Governments arrive at rather than the fact they do it.

For example; I agree with Bush when he says the Middle East should have 'Freedom' (he doesn't say it so much now though) but disagree about the nature of the Freedom and the way to achieve it.

Re judging cultures: I think we can judge but I also think it is more a question of judging behaviour rather than the culture itself. The differences in all cultures should be celebrated and preserved...but oppressing women or anyone else is not 'cultured' behaviour imo.

It fails to meet the benchmark of what a civilized society should be. And civilized societies can be of any colour, size or shape - they just cannot include practices such as those of the Sauds. And of course - as you will doubtless point out - Iran also fails to meet these benchmarks. But then so do the US and UK currently because imposing chaos and 'regime change' as an answer to such problems is failing to meet the benchmark also.

Certainly it is a lot nearer to the benchmark than the Saud's behaviour but failure is failure.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #8 of 125
Regardless of what kind of standards a government operates by, if it isn't ready to discuss them in public, explain how taken and proposed actions follow from the standards, and apply the standards evenly to everyone, then it's corrupted. And that is not acceptable.

I think this is something everyone should be able to agree on regardless of what kind of standards they advocate. If you don't have transparency, how would you even know your preferred standards are really being followed?
post #9 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

I would say yes to both.

That may surprise you but my issue has always been the nature of the judgements currents Western Governments arrive at rather than the fact they do it.

For example; I agree with Bush when he says the Middle East should have 'Freedom' (he doesn't say it so much now though) but disagree about the nature of the Freedom and the way to achieve it.

Re judging cultures: I think we can judge but I also think it is more a question of judging behaviour rather than the culture itself. The differences in all cultures should be celebrated and preserved...but oppressing women or anyone else is not 'cultured' behaviour imo.

It fails to meet the benchmark of what a civilized society should be. And civilized societies can be of any colour, size or shape - they just cannot include practices such as those of the Sauds. And of course - as you will doubtless point out - Iran also fails to meet these benchmarks. But then so do the US and UK currently because imposing chaos and 'regime change' as an answer to such problems is failing to meet the benchmark also.

Certainly it is a lot nearer to the benchmark than the Saud's behavior but failure is failure.

I'm with you until the bold faced part. The US and UK do not fail at being civilized because of their actions in the Iraq war. It does not indict our system of government or culture in general. Comparing our culture in terms of human rights with the Saudis...or Iran's is just inappropriate. It's apples and oranges...or more like apples and chocolate bars. You can disagree with US and UK actions, be against the war, our leaders, whatever. But we're not even close on the human rights situation.
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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post #10 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I'm with you until the bold faced part. The US and UK do not fail at being civilized because of their actions in the Iraq war. It does not indict our system of government or culture in general. Comparing our culture in terms of human rights with the Saudis...or Iran's is just inappropriate. It's apples and oranges...or more like apples and chocolate bars. You can disagree with US and UK actions, be against the war, our leaders, whatever. But we're not even close on the human rights situation.

I agree. Nut you are arguing against a position that is not what I originally said.

Saudis can be oranges and the US/UK can be chocolate bars, that's fine. My point is that if the benchmark is an orange flavoured ice cream sundae with chocolate source oozing from the top then they both fail. You can argue whether one degree of failure is somehow more 'moral' than the other and I would agree the US/UK probably shade it (though their tacit support and approval of the Sauds does seem to betoken some sort of equivalence) but they still both don't make the grade.

But really, I think here we have one of the major problems in the current world situation. Everyone - except fascist repressive governments and their 'allies and friends' perhaps - wants Freedom, upholds the ideal of Freedom, is prepared to work for Freedom.

Everyone - with the exceptions given above - wants this.

So, the question is: how do we go about getting it?

Just like with any freedoms that have been won - freedom from slavery, apartheid, partition, women's rights - we need to oppose the tyranny and not support it. Imo, the silence of the West equals support.

They need to speak out.

Right now they are supporting tyranny and holding back change. The US and UK could hit Saudi where it hurts and start that change right now.

But they don't.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #11 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Maybe I post too much on this topic. I know that. I am cutting down. But this I think is something that needs bringing attention to and is shocking/disgraceful regardless of the Context.

So bear with me one last time. This needs to be discussed. It is something that simply should not happen in the 21st century and it should not be tolerated by Western nations. Period.

Subject: The Sauds.

Issue:



How is it possible that such Governments are not only 'allies' but close friends?

How is it possible that any Western Government - regardless of whether they claim to stand for 'Democracy and Freedom' - does not speak out against it and push for punitive measures?

Why????

BBC News



How is it possible? You could ask the reverse as well couldn't you? How can Saudi Arabia be friends with a country that gives so many privileges (they don't consider them rights I am sure) to women and allows such desegregation of the sexes which causes so many problems and bad country songs.

It appears how such factors are not considered when governments becomes "friends" is the clear answer.

You know Seg, I find your position impossibly maddening. You want western governments to "fix" the Middle East. All attempts to "fix" the region in the past have been terrible. So why call for new attempts? Perhaps they will create an Israel 2.0 as part of their western solution and allow folks from various Middle Eastern countries to come there and live under western laws provided they admit Israel has the right to exist. Then that country can war with everyone on all sides forever who resent the land being taken and declare them incompatible with "true" Islam.

Western governments should give up attempts to control the world. Instead they should work for independence within their various alliances that all share common values. However that would toss China, Saudi Arabia, and several other countries right out of the picture.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #12 of 125
I'll echo that by saying -- in light of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan -- do we really have any options? The Bush doctrine is too expensive as well as presuppositionally challenged, and the elite in the ME rejected what the West has to offer a long time ago. Hold them at arms' length and cruise missile them when they misbehave?

It's hopeless.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #13 of 125
Thread Starter 
You see these last two posts by DMZ and Trumpt unfortunately illustrate the paucity of thinking on this issue and why it remains unsolved.

The fact is there are sides. You can side with one side or the other. They are opposing and one of them will win.

To lump the problem into 'the Middle East' is basically working on the assumption that the sides are west and east or -even - that there are no sides, just one homogenous mass.

Neither views is correct. There are two sides: one oppressing (Sauds, Taleban, Musharaf, Saddam etc) and one wanting freedom (the people who are being oppressed and killed).

The US has traditionally supported the oppressors (see list above - though it could be expanded by a factor of 10) and it continues to do so.

All the time lying about bringing 'freedom'.

All they have to do is switch sides and REALLY start supporting people in their struggle for freedom. And stop supporting and arming the oppressors.

Problem solved.

It really is that simple.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #14 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

All they have to do is switch sides and REALLY start supporting people in their struggle for freedom. And stop supporting and arming the oppressors.

Problem solved.

It really is that simple.

But in the case of Saudi, how could we "support people in their struggle?" If the US walked away from SA, they'd just go make friends with the Chinese, and be doubly insulated from any changes we wanted.

I'm not advocating the status quo, but there really is nothing we can do with countries that have rejected what we have to offer. Clinton realized that.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #15 of 125
Well there's this too...

http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid50446.asp

and this kid was barely saved...

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-6061.html

I hate to give the enemy aid and comfort, but the laws of both Saudi and Iran need to be brought into the modern era.
post #16 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Well there's this too...

http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid50446.asp

and this kid was barely saved...

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-6061.html

I hate to give the enemy aid and comfort, but the laws of both Saudi and Iran need to be brought into the modern era.

I absolutely agree. These things need to change.

And that is precisely why we need to oppose Bush and his cronies' plans for the region. It is not giving them aid or comfort at all.

When have gay or women's rights ever been an issue when Bush and co talk of regime change?

When have they ever been mentioned - someone just find me one quote. I won't hold my breath because they are not there.

You can find lies about WMD and nuclear weapons by the barrel-load. Babies on floors, missiles in 45 mins, plastic people shredders - all false, all with saturation coverage.

Israel wiped off maps and Holocaust denying - you bet your @ss (sorry for the pun) - all good reasons for anything from outright nuking to funding terror cells to kill and maim civilians but you will never find these issues as a reason.

Why?

Because they are pretty much the same belief-structures as the right-wing fascists who want to invade the Middle East and 'bring it to Jesus' or whatever bs they are spouting.

Really there is not so much difference in the actual beliefs regarding women and gays. The Saudis and Iranian clerics take it to a final conclusion but there are probably millions of fundie xians who are slightly jealous of that- it may well be the only stance of 'Islam' of which they approve. It is pretty much Biblical after all and they claim to believe the Bible literally....
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #17 of 125
Governments of all persuasions have used the "human rights promotion" variety of emotional blackmail to win over the hearts of the people, especially during times of warfare. The Thatcher government in the UK made those noises to justify the Falklands/Malvinas war against the Argentinian fascist junta in 1982, as if they were bothered about the fate of the islanders under Argentinian rule; (ha!)... similarly with the current Iraq war, or any other significant conflict in history.

Is there a single conflict where human rights has been a genuine and tangible, rather than propagandized, factor? Probably not. Next time that kind of crap emanates from officials oozing crocodile tears about "human rights", "democracy", "freedom", "self determination" etc etc... be very very skeptical; the world does not work like that.

From the tone of some of the posts, it appears that while the Middle East is still locked into the mediæval oppression of hardline religious conservatism, the West is all wine and roses. For rape victims all over the world, no matter what system of government of religion, the stigma of shame and societal alienation is a huge factor. The majority of rape victims here in the US do not report the attacks because of this and other factors. Furthermore, when the justice system (sic) is loaded with people straight out of the ol' boy network whose advice for the rape victim is more of a "if you're gonna be raped, you might as well just lay back and enjoy it" attitude, well... 'nuff said.

"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #18 of 125
Why isn't working through the UN acceptable -- hypothetically speaking? Surely all the nations currently on the Human Rights Council are interested in helping.

Edit: Nevermind -- Saudi Arabia is on the council until 2009.

http://www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/...groups0708.htm


Can't we just be multicultural? Can't we just evaluate other cultures and learn? Isn't our diversity our strength?

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #19 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

How is it possible? You could ask the reverse as well couldn't you? How can Saudi Arabia be friends with a country that gives so many privileges (they don't consider them rights I am sure) to women and allows such desegregation of the sexes which causes so many problems and bad country songs.

An excellent point. But finally confusing.

I remember going on demonstrations against Apartheid in South Africa when I was growing up, but perhaps... the South African government had it right?

I mean, looking at it in the light of this revelation, what have we gained by allowing the races to mix? By allowing negroes privileges like the vote, and driving licences, and whatnot?

Perhaps we were too harsh to judge South Africa?
post #20 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Why isn't working through the UN acceptable -- hypothetically speaking? Surely all the nations currently on the Human Rights Council are interested in helping.

Edit: Nevermind -- Saudi Arabia is on the council until 2009.

Look at it this way: the US and UK spend billions upon billions to prep the sh.....er...portray a certain view of the situation re the Middle East and 'terrorists', Islam etc.

Essentially there is in operation a massive propaganda machine which conditions the majority of people's world view.

This is actually the main reason why our more right-leaning winged friends here and in the real world think the way they do. They certainly did not arrive at their positions by an in-depth study and years of contemplation and objective analysis based on a thorough knowledge of the subject matter.

Now think if this propaganda machine and its billions of dollars were to - wait for it - be pressed into service to (gasp) tell the truth of the situation as it is. Starting with the Sauds.

You'd soon see events start to turn.

Now you may say that this is impossible (for our 'leaders' to tell the truth) and I am naive for suggesting it. That this is 'how it is'.

Maybe so.

All the more reason to kick these jokers out and replace them with men of integrity. We need some form of Revolution and, imo, one is in the post.

No-one would have believed Communism could fall even a few months before it did. We got rid of one bunch of tossers fattening themselves in the name of an ideology they did not believe in - now it is time for the next heads on the chopping block.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #21 of 125
The problem, as so common nowadays, is Islam itself.
proud resident of a failed state
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proud resident of a failed state
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post #22 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

The problem, as so common nowadays, is Islam itself.

Well, I would say that the problem is people like you buying into the Bush/rightist propaganda, but hey...whatever floats your boat.

It's a shame because most people who swallow the party-line are morons who can't think so they aren't too much of a loss. Your case is different and sadder.

I'd prefer someone like you on our side but we all have free choice.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #23 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

You'd soon see events start to turn.

I dunno.

Regardless, we are back to UN sanctions, no-fly zones, and cruise missile foreign policy. I think the East-coast wonks have learned their lesson.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #24 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

I dunno.

Regardless, we are back to UN sanctions, no-fly zones, and cruise missile foreign policy. I think the East-coast wonks have learned their lesson.

I don't think the UN really is the solution.

For a while the US was considering bolstering Islamic Sufi groups and supporting them through the Middle East but nothing came of the plan. Which was a mistake.

NIxon Centre Report on Sufism and US Foreign Policy.

Nothing came of the plan because of Saudi opposition. Wahabis hate Sufism - primarily because it holds that all religions or none are legitimate paths to knowledge but also because they are too 'liberal' - and are engaged in persecuting them wherever they can find them.

Another case where the US kow-towed to their Saudi masters and missed a golden opportunity to actually make a change.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #25 of 125
Thread Starter 
There is a good article on the Sufi potential for changing the Middle East here for anyone interested.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #26 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

The problem, as so common nowadays, is Islam itself.

No, the nut-job Islamists.

Citizens of countries, mine and yours, know the laws, and if not, it's no excuse.
Same for Islamic countries.
Much as I hate to say it, she knew the law.

Change has to come from within if desired, outsiders forcing it only creates resentment, see Iraq.

Religious Laws are always viewed as harsh when viewed from a modern Christian background.

Take honor killing,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing

Barbaric to westerners, it still happens, especially in Pakistan, and is tolerated regardless of western influence.

What happened to those that stoned a young Kurdish woman to death in Northern Iraq last spring.
Nothing.
And yet the Kurds in northern Iraq are held up as a shining example of success.

Accepting peoples religious beliefs, and laws stemming from them, in their country, is the only way to bring about change.

Force only antagonizes.

Look to yourself and what you may do if forced to change your beliefs.
post #27 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

You see these last two posts by DMZ and Trumpt unfortunately illustrate the paucity of thinking on this issue and why it remains unsolved.

The fact is there are sides. You can side with one side or the other. They are opposing and one of them will win.

Can I declare your thinking limited because I believe there are more than two sides?

See I believe there are many more sides to than this issue than two. As such I declare your unwillingness to recognize this fact as a paucity of thinking on the issue and the key to why it remains unsolved.

Don't we all feel better now?

Quote:
To lump the problem into 'the Middle East' is basically working on the assumption that the sides are west and east or -even - that there are no sides, just one homogenous mass.

Neither views is correct. There are two sides: one oppressing (Sauds, Taleban, Musharaf, Saddam etc) and one wanting freedom (the people who are being oppressed and killed).

The US has traditionally supported the oppressors (see list above - though it could be expanded by a factor of 10) and it continues to do so.

I didn't lump every group into the Middle East in terms of their "sides." I simply stated that you are asking that the U.S. side with the right groups, support the right causes, and in the end find the right solution to bring the region into the modern age and with all groups having appropriate rights as measured by the standard of western governments.

I noted, as you noted, that the U.S. has always gotten the sides wrong, ended up supporting the wrong groups, and in attempting to force solutions has ended up causing as much harm as good.

My point is we should ask why are they obligated at all to solve the problems of the Middle East no matter what number of sides. The view of Pax Americana, is what enables the U.S. to believe that the problems of the world are theirs to solve and deal with as they see fit. You seem unable to resolve the two. We screw up everything we touch, so let's ask them to touch some more. Maybe the solution is to ask them not to touch at all.

Quote:
All the time lying about bringing 'freedom'.

If they cannot be trusted, then why trust them to come into the region and fix the problems?

Quote:
All they have to do is switch sides and REALLY start supporting people in their struggle for freedom. And stop supporting and arming the oppressors.

All they have to do is something they have never gotten right in the past by your view. The actions flow from some sort of beliefs or core values. You question the actions and hope that they will change, but never examine the core values. Perhaps there is something wrong in the view that you can solve the problems of another country, group, tribe, side... what have you. Perhaps the view itself is authoritarian and leads, consciously or unconsciously, to support of authoritarian regimes and solutions.

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Problem solved.

It really is that simple.

Yeah it is about as simple as saying, all these groups have to do is just value you women and treat them as they do men. Problem solved, simple.

Not so simple.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #28 of 125
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Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Can I declare your thinking limited because I believe there are more than two sides?

See I believe there are many more sides to than this issue than two. As such I declare your unwillingness to recognize this fact as a paucity of thinking on the issue and the key to why it remains unsolved.

Don't we all feel better now?

I'm sorry - I always do this; assume that people will understand the implicit arguments and their implied underlying structure. I'm not sure why I do it but even though I am aware of it I just can't seem to structure my arguments in a simplistic reductionist manner that panders to the lowest common denominator.

I'm sorry, it's entirely my fault. I shall try to be clearer:

There are two opposing sides - let's call these 'supporters of freedom' and 'supporters of lack of freedom'.

Within these two broad categories there are myriad competing sub-groups that are in conflict on many levels but which ultimately are merely sub-sets of these two over-riding groupings.

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I didn't lump every group into the Middle East in terms of their "sides." I simply stated that you are asking that the U.S. side with the right groups, support the right causes, and in the end find the right solution to bring the region into the modern age and with all groups having appropriate rights as measured by the standard of western governments.

Yes, that is a fair summation of what I am asking. And of course, by definition, to stop supporting the 'wrong' ones.

Put like that, it really doesn't sound that bad an idea does it?

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I noted, as you noted, that the U.S. has always gotten the sides wrong, ended up supporting the wrong groups, and in attempting to force solutions has ended up causing as much harm as good.

yes, I noted that.

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My point is we should ask why are they obligated at all to solve the problems of the Middle East no matter what number of sides. The view of Pax Americana, is what enables the U.S. to believe that the problems of the world are theirs to solve and deal with as they see fit. You seem unable to resolve the two. We screw up everything we touch, so let's ask them to touch some more. Maybe the solution is to ask them not to touch at all.

Not at all.

In this argument - and in life itself - I see all cultures (the US included) as being rightfully part of a greater human community which transcends race, religion and Statehood. Or should do.

On a personal level, I was out in the street a few days back and some old man had fallen over and was rolling about in the road unable to get up. Many people appeared to be ignoring this and in fact only myself and another guy who was passing actually helped the old geezer to his feet. He seemed a bit confused. Maybe was ill, not sure.

Anyway, the point is that when such a thing happens, it is not so much a duty (imo) to help but rather a sign that something is very wrong in someone who doesn't.

So it is on the world stage - those who come up with excuses 'not to help' (or even, to continue the analogy, reasons why one should kick the old guy's head in) need help themselves.

It is not about the US's duty or whether it should be a policeman - it is more 'why is this nation behaving like Jack the Ripper and what can we do about it?'

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If they cannot be trusted, then why trust them to come into the region and fix the problems?

I don't.

You will never hear me say that I do trust Bush and the rest of the dancing bears to solve anything or do anything other than cause more havoc and chaos.

I do not take Bush as a benchmark of the American identity though so I am quite happy to believe that there might be some American somewhere who could rise to power and use it for constructive good and harmony.

Quote:
All they have to do is something they have never gotten right in the past by your view. The actions flow from some sort of beliefs or core values. You question the actions and hope that they will change, but never examine the core values. Perhaps there is something wrong in the view that you can solve the problems of another country, group, tribe, side... what have you. Perhaps the view itself is authoritarian and leads, consciously or unconsciously, to support of authoritarian regimes and solutions.

Well the problems under consideration are actually caused by the people we are talking about. I guess the analogy would be ok if it were not for that.

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Yeah it is about as simple as saying, all these groups have to do is just value you women and treat them as they do men. Problem solved, simple.

Not so simple.

Nick

Well, as I did not say that I can't really comment.

Still, the solution is a simple one; stop pissing people off and they won't get pissed off.

Seems pretty straightforward.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #29 of 125
segovius:

I think a defense of this abominable faith will have to consist of more than personal attacks against me. You will find a stunning lack of room for slavery and punishing rape victims and honor killings in my ideology, and you will also find no desire to apologize for my comparative wealth of human kindness.


screener:

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No, the nut-job Islamists.

Islam itself embraces them warmly. Why do we care so much to stroke the ego of religious faith?

It is a cancer. Not just Islam; it is worth special ridicule today because it is flaring up, as it were.
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post #30 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

I'm sorry - I always do this; assume that people will understand the implicit arguments and their implied underlying structure. I'm not sure why I do it but even though I am aware of it I just can't seem to structure my arguments in a simplistic reductionist manner that panders to the lowest common denominator.

I'm sorry, it's entirely my fault. I shall try to be clearer:

There are two opposing sides - let's call these 'supporters of freedom' and 'supporters of lack of freedom'.

Within these two broad categories there are myriad competing sub-groups that are in conflict on many levels but which ultimately are merely sub-sets of these two over-riding groupings.

Yes and of course everyone, everywhere totally agrees with your two overriding groupings. This is why everyone has always been able to do the correct thing with regard to the Middle East historically.

Or perhaps you are full of nonsense. Binary thinking such as yours is exactly the problem. You dismiss this by declaring that it is the wrong people doing the thinking instead of examining the framing of the problem.

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Yes, that is a fair summation of what I am asking. And of course, by definition, to stop supporting the 'wrong' ones.

Put like that, it really doesn't sound that bad an idea does it?

Considering they have never figured out the 'right ones' correctly and also considering that in other areas of the world even when we have figured out the 'right ones' we seldom have helped them, then yes it sounds like a very bad idea.

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yes, I noted that.

You note the conclusion, but fail to realize anything that leads to it. Then you ask for the actions to be tried AGAIN hoping for a different conclusion.

Isn't that the definition of insanity?

This is why I have specifically noted that any Democrat who declares they will simply run a better, more efficient, whatever have you war than Bush is just as bad.

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Not at all.

In this argument - and in life itself - I see all cultures (the US included) as being rightfully part of a greater human community which transcends race, religion and Statehood. Or should do.

Transcend and force to live the 'correct' way are not the same thing. Also those who do not believe this are not going to just let you enforce your worldview to the detriment of their own. You also paradoxically argue for things like using statehood to enforce a transcendent human community. Is such a paradox even able to be resolved? Can a lower order form be used to achieve a higher state?

Isn't the belief that we can just have paradise, even if we have to bring it about using bullets and a gun, the problem?

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On a personal level, I was out in the street a few days back and some old man had fallen over and was rolling about in the road unable to get up. Many people appeared to be ignoring this and in fact only myself and another guy who was passing actually helped the old geezer to his feet. He seemed a bit confused. Maybe was ill, not sure.

Anyway, the point is that when such a thing happens, it is not so much a duty (imo) to help but rather a sign that something is very wrong in someone who doesn't.

So since you are 'right' you can enforce what you desire via the state, via the army of that state, via force. You can point a gun at those bystanders and say, since there is something very wrong with you in not helping that old man, my gun will insure that you do what is 'right' since I am on the 'right' side of this issue.

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So it is on the world stage - those who come up with excuses 'not to help' (or even, to continue the analogy, reasons why one should kick the old guy's head in) need help themselves.

It is not about the US's duty or whether it should be a policeman - it is more 'why is this nation behaving like Jack the Ripper and what can we do about it?'

So those who need help themselves should do the helping. The U.S. cannot pick the right side. It cannot realize why what it is doing is wrong so by your definition it needs help. Instead of getting help, you demand it begin helping even when it has not proven it can do so correctly, before it can help itself.

Also as for the 'Jack the Ripper' nations... we do what to stop them from raping and killing others... reason with them until they stop? Refuse to do business with them until they stop? Harm and kill them until the stop? Which is too much and too little?

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I don't.

You will never hear me say that I do trust Bush and the rest of the dancing bears to solve anything or do anything other than cause more havoc and chaos.

I do not take Bush as a benchmark of the American identity though so I am quite happy to believe that there might be some American somewhere who could rise to power and use it for constructive good and harmony.

You don't take Bush as a benchmark of American identity. Why don't you find for me the military interventions that the U.S. has engaged in historically where you felt they always did the right thing and the people they intervened against were helped on the 'right' side while not supporting or harming the 'wrong' side. We know you don't like Bush so name who you do like. Kennedy and Johnson in Vietnam more to your liking? Clinton in Bosnia?

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Well the problems under consideration are actually caused by the people we are talking about. I guess the analogy would be ok if it were not for that.

It works but not in this instance where your binary thinking allows you to label one person bad and another good to dismiss it. The principle itself stands and has led the same result whether Bush was in office or not. The policies that reflect the beliefs of containment, preemption, domino effects, etc. were here long before Bush. I have not seen any thinking on the left within this country that reflects any change from this. There is simply the belief they will "do better" using the same principles.

That is insane.

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Still, the solution is a simple one; stop pissing people off and they won't get pissed off.

Seems pretty straightforward.

Aren't the people who want to oppress women going to get a little 'pissed off' when you stop them from dong this? How straight forward is it to believe they will just be 'pissed' and not act on it?

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #31 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

segovius:

I think a defense of this abominable faith will have to consist of more than personal attacks against me. You will find a stunning lack of room for slavery and punishing rape victims and honor killings in my ideology, and you will also find no desire to apologize for my comparative wealth of human kindness

Well, in my view the cancer is fundamentalism not religion. It exists in Islam for sure. It exists anywhere - you yourself are a sufferer and you are not religious.

So it is not really a personal attack against you - it's just that you are, like Falwell, Omar Bakri or Hitchens someone who adequately displays the symptoms and is therefore an appropriate case-study to be used for purposes of illustration.

But let's list the symptoms of the Fundamentalist disease. they are the same whether occurring in Islam, Christianity, politics or atheism so examples are easy to find:

1) Dogmatism: mainly characterised by a belief that one 'knows the truth'. Often this is coupled to a Messianic fervour to 'spread the truth' and convert. Where this fails anger and demonization may occur.

2) Antipathy or hatred: this manifests as a kind of mania. 'Abominable faith' rather than 'erroneous', say, or 'disgusting fags' as opposed to 'someone who happens to be gay'. 'Filthy Jew' and so on.

3) Ignorance of the issues: Fundies are ALWAYS ignorant of the issues they oppose. In fact, that is why they oppose them.

I have read many anti-Islam tracts by Fundie Xians (all expressing basically the same foundations of assumptions as you do) for example but have never read any publication that would pass muster in an academic setting.

Similarly, I have yet to find a scientifically valid critique of evolution by a fundie.

Fundies deal in prejudiuce not in research or facts.

4) Extrapolation: following on from the above, Fundies have a marked tendency to find some (more or less verifiable) occurrence in the target group and to extrapolate and label the whole target group with this and adduce it as 'evidence'.

A classic example would be the Fundie Xian view of gay sexuality. They point to a promiscuous gay and use it as proof that 'gays are promiscuous'. from there of course they can proceed to such things as Aids being God's judgement and so on.

Which brings us to:

5) Dehumanization of the 'enemy': the Fundie believes themselves to be superior to the target-group - either in terms of being 'saved' (in which case the TG are 'sinners'), the 'Chosen People' (if the Fundie disease is of the racist variety) or 'Intellectually superior (other not sharing the approved view being 'stupid' or 'morons').

Of course this dehumanization is a necessary component of Fundie-ism at any satage as the Fundie needs to separate themselves from the group they despise. they can in no way accept the possibilty of equality so the TG MUST be dehumanized.

6) Holy Texts: the thinking capacity of the Fundie has been surrendered to an ideal that does not exist.

Ordinarily in such a case the personality would struggle for 'meaning' and to equilibriate itself. It would normally do this by reason but this is an avenue closed to the Fundie (as it would lead to, say, the knowledge that one cannot label a whole group with the characteristics of a small minority for example) and so - to keep it closed (ie to stop thought) reference is made to a 'Higher Law'.

Examples would be: the Qur'an, the Bible, The God Delusion etc....

Of course, non-Fundies can see how there may be truth in any or all these texts. Whilst still decrying the Fundie mindset.

I suppose the acid test of a Fundie is whether they can do that for sources other than the ones they invest with 'Ultimate Meaning' but then again, the fact that they do such investing all but writes them off as any form of rational being anyway.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #32 of 125
Seg, I believe this whole post can be boiled down to one question: Why are we friends with the Saudis? That question has a one answer:



Now, let's drill ANWR on in The Gulf, and get ourselves off the crack pipe. Problem solved. The Saudis can go pound sound. Literally.
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post #33 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Seg, I believe this whole post can be boiled down to one question: Why are we friends with the Saudis? That question has a one answer:



Now, let's drill ANWR on in The Gulf, and get ourselves off the crack pipe. Problem solved. The Saudis can go pound sound. Literally.

SDW: I agree, but my point was not so much about why they are friends - you don't need to be a rocket-scientist for that - but more that I find such abuses as this woman suffered (both at the hands of the attackers and the Saudi justice system) so shocking that I can't imagine why no-one would speak out.

It transcends political and religious perspectives for me.

Sure, get off the crack-pipe I agree but when the Sauds and fascists like them are relegated to the dustbin of history then horrors like this will still be happening.

Even now they are happening in many places - Darfur for example.

Something needs to be done.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #34 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

SDW: I agree, but my point was not so much about why they are friends - you don't need to be a rocket-scientist for that - but more that I find such abuses as this woman suffered (both at the hands of the attackers and the Saudi justice system) so shocking that I can't imagine why no-one would speak out.

It transcends political and religious perspectives for me.

Sure, get off the crack-pipe I agree but when the Sauds and fascists like them are relegated to the dustbin of history then horrors like this will still be happening.

Even now they are happening in many places - Darfur for example.

Something needs to be done.

Let me ask though...what do we say? What do we do? If we don't cut all ties and tell them to go F@$% themselves, do we condemn her punishment publicly?
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post #35 of 125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Let me ask though...what do we say? What do we do? If we don't cut all ties and tell them to go F@$% themselves, do we condemn her punishment publicly?

To be honest I don't know what to say or do - but that's kind of the point; we've got so locked into this one way of acting that we can't seem to think outside of it.

I guess I'm saying that I believe in words as a far more effective means of change than force and especially in the Middle East where Islamic Societies are based (originally) on the concept of dialogue - Muhammad himself said "the ink of the scholar is holier than the blood of the martyr" - and inter-tribal deals.

Leaders of all political persuasions have lost integrity. They have no real leadership qualities. Or moral compass.

I'm not saying 'don't deal with the Saudis' - pragmatism is essential. But when setting out the stall I think we in the West could really be of a much higher standard and say "this is our moral position - we will not move from it".

Then everyone will know what America and Britain (say) stand for - and they will trust them. Because those values ARE American values. Torture and condoning injustice are not - not in the final analysis.

And guess what? Despite the opinions of non-thinking Islamophobes who are now having their day in the sun (again - a departure from true Western values and directly related to this current admin's propagandizing) these are Islam's values too.

Do you really think that Muslims in countries like Saudi and Iran WANT to live under threat of such oppression?

Do you think that they believe that this IS what Islam is?

Does any Muslim (other than the fundie extremists) in Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Morocco REALLY want to change to live like that?

No. They want to move to 'Western' ways.

Does this mean they want to renounce Islam? No. They just know that these things are not Islam just like a Christian knows Fred Phelps and the Westboro Church are not Christianity.

Unfortunately, there are many people - at Government level as well as nearer the bottom of the food chain - who have a vested interest in pushing the view that these things are the same.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #36 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

To be honest I don't know what to say or do - but that's kind of the point; we've got so locked into this one way of acting that we can't seem to think outside of it.

Pardon me, but It's always this way. No solutions, just criticism. "BushCo and other Conservatives have fucked things up so badly that there's no way out now. That's how bad it is." I see.

Quote:

I guess I'm saying that I believe in words as a far more effective means of change than force and especially in the Middle East where Islamic Societies are based (originally) on the concept of dialogue - Muhammad himself said "the ink of the scholar is holier than the blood of the martyr" - and inter-tribal deals.

Well Seg, that sounds very nice. But I thought the problem was that we DO talk to the Saudis and DON'T demand they change?

Quote:

Leaders of all political persuasions have lost integrity. They have no real leadership qualities. Or moral compass.

Many have, many have not. Then there are those that have to deal with what's there. The United States needs the Saudis right now for oil. It's an easy thing to criticize, but without the black gooey goodness, our world collapses. My point is that if one is going to criticize our relationship with them, one needs to support policies that will help us get off the aforementioned crack pipe. Speaking of political leaders, we have a political party here that won't support ANWR drilling, GoM drilling, new refineries or nuclear power. But hey, both parties seem to be getting good at making so much Ethanol (a less efficient fuel than gasoline, btw) that the price of tortillas makes people do a double take. How's that for lack of integrity?

Quote:

I'm not saying 'don't deal with the Saudis' - pragmatism is essential. But when setting out the stall I think we in the West could really be of a much higher standard and say "this is our moral position - we will not move from it".

Then everyone will know what America and Britain (say) stand for - and they will trust them. Because those values ARE American values. Torture and condoning injustice are not - not in the final analysis.

That's inconsistent. If we won't budge, we need to back that statement up with something. We already tell them we don't like their ways, though perhaps we could do so more publicly. But the problem is they have us by the short hairs. Check this out:

http://www.thebusiness.co.uk/news-an...collapse.thtml

Quote:

And guess what? Despite the opinions of non-thinking Islamophobes who are now having their day in the sun (again - a departure from true Western values and directly related to this current admin's propagandizing) these are Islam's values too.

Yes, seg...I know. Everyone with whom you disagree on this issue is an "Islamophobe." I see. Tell me...who do you include in this category, and why exactly are they "having their day in the sun?"

Quote:

Do you really think that Muslims in countries like Saudi and Iran WANT to live under threat of such oppression?

Actually I think some agree with the policies. But in general no. The real question is what we do about it, if anything.

Quote:

Do you think that they believe that this IS what Islam is?

Some do, yes...absolutely.

Quote:

Does any Muslim (other than the fundie extremists) in Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Morocco REALLY want to change to live like that?

That depends. I think some do. I think millions do, and millions don't.

Quote:

No. They want to move to 'Western' ways.

OK. That's a good thing.

Quote:

Does this mean they want to renounce Islam? No. They just know that these things are not Islam just like a Christian knows Fred Phelps and the Westboro Church are not Christianity.

Unfortunately, there are many people - at Government level as well as nearer the bottom of the food chain - who have a vested interest in pushing the view that these things are the same.

I disagree, especially for practicing muslims. I think that the religion itself does lend itself more to the possibility of perversion by extremists and violence against non-believers. I'm not saying Christianity hasn't caused one HELL of a lot of violence in the word, because it has. In other words, for practicing muslims I think one could make the case that their beliefs/doctrine are at least somewhat inconsistent with Western values. Of course, they can do what many Christians do...ignore the parts they don't like. What I'm saying is that there seems to be fewer liberal interpretations of their holy book than we have in Christianity. Any gay mullahs out there? How about women? Christianity has all of those in various branches, and Fundies™ (used under license from sego) to go along with them. In the end, I still think Islam lends itself more to the Fundies'™ interpretation.
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post #37 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Pardon me, but It's always this way. No solutions, just criticism. "BushCo and other Conservatives have fucked things up so badly that there's no way out now. That's how bad it is." I see.

Yes, I'm afraid so. It is so messed up beyond recognition that God Himself would have problems resurrecting it.

Bush is a genius in his own way. kind of an idiot savant. It's just a shame he got the job he did instead of in the Demolition industry. he would have been a very successful terrorist too I think - maximum carnage with minimum effort and no possibility of any of it being repaired.

Maybe he could have got a job at Microsoft.

Quote:
Well Seg, that sounds very nice. But I thought the problem was that we DO talk to the Saudis and DON'T demand they change?

You may have thought that but it is not the problem as I see it. I think I explained this bit quite clearly.

Quote:
Many have, many have not. Then there are those that have to deal with what's there. The United States needs the Saudis right now for oil. It's an easy thing to criticize, but without the black gooey goodness, our world collapses. My point is that if one is going to criticize our relationship with them, one needs to support policies that will help us get off the aforementioned crack pipe. Speaking of political leaders, we have a political party here that won't support ANWR drilling, GoM drilling, new refineries or nuclear power. But hey, both parties seem to be getting good at making so much Ethanol (a less efficient fuel than gasoline, btw) that the price of tortillas makes people do a double take. How's that for lack of integrity?

Well, maybe that's where we differ irreconcilably; I do not care if 'your world collapses; in fact (depending on what form it takes and the extent of what you mean by 'world') part of me, a large part, would be unable to resist the urge to crack open the Dom Perignon and go dancing in the street.

Quote:
That's inconsistent. If we won't budge, we need to back that statement up with something. We already tell them we don't like their ways, though perhaps we could do so more publicly. But the problem is they have us by the short hairs. Check this out:

http://www.thebusiness.co.uk/news-an...collapse.thtml

But you are not telling them that. In fact, I strongly supect that their ways are actually your ways. Except you have to brand yourself as 'decent' for the sheep but under the mask it's still the same.

Certainly people who the US send to Saudi to get tortured to save the US image wouldn't be so quick to draw a distinction.

Quote:
Yes, seg...I know. Everyone with whom you disagree on this issue is an "Islamophobe." I see. Tell me...who do you include in this category, and why exactly are they "having their day in the sun?"

Not at all. Please withdraw that remark. These Islamophobes exist - you are not one of them if that is your question and there aren't that many on these boards either to be honest.

But they are out there. There's quite a few in your Government.

Quote:
Actually I think some agree with the policies. But in general no. The real question is what we do about it, if anything.

Well, you are wrong if you mean anyone other than the Wahabis/Salafis/Deobandis, some Shi'i and assorted extremists.

This is really not very many people compared to the total amount of Muslims on the planet.

Quote:
Some do, yes...absolutely.

Again - see above. Another example of why you are wrong here: do you know that there is a very large feminist movement in Saudi?

It is part of a much wider and growing women's movement throughout Islam. it started when a female Muslim became an Imam - as is her right though culturally there is much opposition - and then rose to leading the prayers in Canada.

This caused a tidal wave which is basically a massive reform movement sweeping the Islamic world and references authentic traditions and the Qur'an.

Several points are relevant here:

1) Who is right (theologically)? These women or the controlling men? The women can reference the Qur'an and actions of the Prophet - the Wahabis rely on a sharia invented in the 18th century.

2) Do these women agree with the extremists? Of course not.

3) Is it 'western' to have this aspiration? Yes of course in one sense - in another it is merely 'human'.

Though one should note that Western culture owes a very large part of its origin to Islamic Spain which defined the West. At the time it WAS the west.

4) Why is this never publicized? Why are these women not supported? Anser: because the Sauds would not like it.

At some point silence on issues becomes enablement and support. This is a trap the US often falls into.


Quote:
That depends. I think some do. I think millions do, and millions don't.

Then you are wrong.

There has never existed 'millions' of people who wish to throw away freedom. Even Bush does not believe that. he has often said that people everywhere aspire to freedom and for once, I agree with him.

It seems you do not. Curious.

Quote:
OK. That's a good thing.

But perhaps in the way you understand it or hope it will turn out to be, it is a 'very bad thing'.

I meant something quite specific and it does not include Fox News and McDonald's drive-thrus at sites where once stood 10th century mosques.

Quote:
I disagree, especially for practicing muslims. I think that the religion itself does lend itself more to the possibility of perversion by extremists and violence against non-believers. I'm not saying Christianity hasn't caused one HELL of a lot of violence in the word, because it has. In other words, for practicing muslims I think one could make the case that their beliefs/doctrine are at least somewhat inconsistent with Western values. Of course, they can do what many Christians do...ignore the parts they don't like. What I'm saying is that there seems to be fewer liberal interpretations of their holy book than we have in Christianity. Any gay mullahs out there? How about women? Christianity has all of those in various branches, and Fundies (used under license from sego) to go along with them. In the end, I still think Islam lends itself more to the Fundies' interpretation.

Ok, several points you make here - they are valid ones.

First I would say that Islam being 500 years younger than Christianity is at the stage Christianity was 500 years ago.

I actually believe that ideas and movements have 'lifespans' and can be predicted. Soon there will be an opportunity for reform - perhaps it will eb born out of the current chaos. Perhaps not.

Second, I do not accept that Islam or Christianity is more prone to extremism. In fact, I would argue that extremism stems from a limited human mindset present in certain individuals who then have to be literalists and dogmatists.

These people exist everywhere. Politics, religion, science. It is just playing with a bigger dice for their neuroses in religious matters. Of course in politics you could get a Hitler. Same thing.

Thirdly, there certainly ARE gay Mullahs but they cannot be open about it. You might argue that this is because of Islam itself but I think one could not sustain that argument.

In fact, gay sex has long been accepted throughout the Islamic world for long periods of time. Even recently Tangiers was (is) a Mecca (haha) for people like Joe Orton and other bohemians in search of hedonistic delights.

Read the 1001 Nights if you want a real shocker...

Do you know who the best-selling poet in the US is?

I shall tell you. The thirteenth century Muslim poet Rumi

His subject matter? Well here is a taste - it is a poem written to a man, Shams, from whom he was inseparable.

And one more thing, if you think that Rumi was not a Muslim or was an apostate think again. For 700 years he has been regarded as the paragon of Sainthood (he is a Muslim saint in fact) and orthodoxy and his works are even called 'The Qur'an in Persian':


Quote:
If anyone asks you
how the perfect satisfaction
of all our sexual wanting
will look, lift your face
and say,

Like this.

When someone mentions the gracefulness
of the nightsky, climb up on the roof
and dance and say,

Like this.

If anyone wants to know what "spirit" is,
or what "Gods fragrance" means,
lean your head toward him or her.
Keep your face there close.

Like this.

When someone quotes the old poetic image
about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,
slowly loosen knot by knot the strings
of your robe.

Like this.

If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,
dont try to explain the miracle.
Kiss me on the lips.

Like this. Like this.

When someone asks what it means
to "die for love," point
here.

If someone asks how tall I am, frown
and measure with your fingers the space
between the creases on your forehead.

This tall.

The soul sometimes leaves the body, the returns.
When someone doesnt believe that,
walk back into my house.

Like this.

When lovers moan,
theyre telling our story.

Like this.

I am a sky where spirits live.
Stare into this deepening blue,
while the breeze says a secret.

Like this.

When someone asks what there is to do,
light the candle in his hand.

Like this.

How did Josephs scent come to Jacob?

Huuuuu.

How did Jacobs sight return?

Huuuu.

A little wind cleans the eyes.

Like this.

When Shams comes back from Tabriz,
hell put just his head around the edge
of the door to surprise us

Like this.

One last thing, Rumi also outlined a theory of human evolution. 600 years before Darwin. He is also regarded as one of the best poets that ever lived - not just in the Islamic world.

Such a man is surely far from your view of what it means to be an orthodox Muslim and yet.....
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #38 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Yes, I'm afraid so. It is so messed up beyond recognition that God Himself would have problems resurrecting it.

Bush is a genius in his own way. kind of an idiot savant. It's just a shame he got the job he did instead of in the Demolition industry. he would have been a very successful terrorist too I think - maximum carnage with minimum effort and no possibility of any of it being repaired.

Maybe he could have got a job at Microsoft.

That's just silliness. You're blaming George Bush for the problems in the Middle East, most of which have been going on for decades and centuries. I know, I know..."Iraq enflamed Arab sentiment....Bush squandered the world's goodwill" and so on. But to suggest that he's done no good whatsoever is not true. Saddam is gone. The Taliban no longer run Afghanistan. Sure, there have been many mistakes and there are many problems to contend with. One can even make the argument that the administration has failed. But irreparably failed? I disagree.

Quote:

You may have thought that but it is not the problem as I see it. I think I explained this bit quite clearly.


Well, maybe that's where we differ irreconcilably; I do not care if 'your world collapses; in fact (depending on what form it takes and the extent of what you mean by 'world') part of me, a large part, would be unable to resist the urge to crack open the Dom Perignon and go dancing in the street.

I don't think that would be very smart. If the US economy collapses, so does the world economy. And regardless of your wishes, I'm still asking what should be done...you know pretending that you did care about the outcome here.

Quote:


But you are not telling them that. In fact, I strongly supect that their ways are actually your ways. Except you have to brand yourself as 'decent' for the sheep but under the mask it's still the same.

Certainly people who the US send to Saudi to get tortured to save the US image wouldn't be so quick to draw a distinction.

OK, how do we tell them then? You're dodging the question. Do we just use words, or back it up with action? If so, what action?

Quote:

Not at all. Please withdraw that remark. These Islamophobes exist - you are not one of them if that is your question and there aren't that many on these boards either to be honest.

But they are out there. There's quite a few in your Government.

I'm sure they exist, but I want to know who you think they are. We're talking about people that push for policies based purely on their fear and loathing of Islam itself. I'm curious as to who fits that bill.

Quote:

Well, you are wrong if you mean anyone other than the Wahabis/Salafis/Deobandis, some Shi'i and assorted extremists.

This is really not very many people compared to the total amount of Muslims on the planet.

I think there is a lot of sympathy for these movements, if not tacit approval by large swaths of people.

Quote:


Again - see above. Another example of why you are wrong here: do you know that there is a very large feminist movement in Saudi?

Yes, I do. But define "very large."

Quote:

It is part of a much wider and growing women's movement throughout Islam. it started when a female Muslim became an Imam - as is her right though culturally there is much opposition - and then rose to leading the prayers in Canada.

This caused a tidal wave which is basically a massive reform movement sweeping the Islamic world and references authentic traditions and the Qur'an.

Several points are relevant here:

1) Who is right (theologically)? These women or the controlling men? The women can reference the Qur'an and actions of the Prophet - the Wahabis rely on a sharia invented in the 18th century.

2) Do these women agree with the extremists? Of course not.

3) Is it 'western' to have this aspiration? Yes of course in one sense - in another it is merely 'human'.

Though one should note that Western culture owes a very large part of its origin to Islamic Spain which defined the West. At the time it WAS the west.

4) Why is this never publicized? Why are these women not supported? Anser: because the Sauds would not like it.

At some point silence on issues becomes enablement and support. This is a trap the US often falls into.

Well, I'm not really interested in debating the history of the feminist movement within Islam. I am interested, again, in what and how we should tell the "controlling men" what we think.

Quote:

Then you are wrong.

There has never existed 'millions' of people who wish to throw away freedom. Even Bush does not believe that. he has often said that people everywhere aspire to freedom and for once, I agree with him.

It seems you do not. Curious.

I think they want it...I also think some don't know what it is. Oppression has become a part of the culture and it is been accepted to a degree. No?

Quote:



But perhaps in the way you understand it or hope it will turn out to be, it is a 'very bad thing'.

I meant something quite specific and it does not include Fox News and McDonald's drive-thrus at sites where once stood 10th century mosques.

I think it could include those things if the people wanted them. More importantly, they'd have democratic governments and economic/religious freedom.

Quote:


Ok, several points you make here - they are valid ones.

First I would say that Islam being 500 years younger than Christianity is at the stage Christianity was 500 years ago.

I actually believe that ideas and movements have 'lifespans' and can be predicted. Soon there will be an opportunity for reform - perhaps it will eb born out of the current chaos. Perhaps not.

That's an interesting idea. I'm not sure I agree with it. I might.

Quote:

Second, I do not accept that Islam or Christianity is more prone to extremism. In fact, I would argue that extremism stems from a limited human mindset present in certain individuals who then have to be literalists and dogmatists.

These people exist everywhere. Politics, religion, science. It is just playing with a bigger dice for their neuroses in religious matters. Of course in politics you could get a Hitler. Same thing.

I agree that human mindsets are responsible, but I still think Islam lends itself to extremism more easily. I could post some specific quotes from the Koran if you like. Somehow I think that won't be necessary though, and would just start a pissing contest in all likelihood.

Quote:

Thirdly, there certainly ARE gay Mullahs but they cannot be open about it. You might argue that this is because of Islam itself but I think one could not sustain that argument.

In fact, gay sex has long been accepted throughout the Islamic world for long periods of time. Even recently Tangiers was (is) a Mecca (haha) for people like Joe Orton and other bohemians in search of hedonistic delights.


So your position is that only the oppressive governments are the cause of these mullahs not being open about their orientation? It has nothing to do with their religion and one can't make a case that Isalm is the cause? Funny how a simple Google search supports my position, eh?
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post #39 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I agree that human mindsets are responsible, but I still think Islam lends itself to extremism more easily. I could post some specific quotes from the Koran if you like. Somehow I think that won't be necessary though, and would just start a pissing contest in all likelihood.

Probably not. If you know your Qur'an and the background of the life and times of the Prophet and his milieu there should be no problem.

If you are going to cut and paste from sites which are from very limited sources (with an agenda) then there might be problems in reaching an understanding....

Quote:
So your position is that only the oppressive governments are the cause of these mullahs not being open about their orientation? It has nothing to do with their religion and one can't make a case that Isalm is the cause? Funny how a simple Google search supports my position, eh?

Pretty much.

Re Google searching; surely it depends on the search terms no?

And then, one would have to evaluate the sources.

I would suggest discounting all Islamic sources as biased and all right-wing/fundie/Israeli/other 'phobe sources for the same reason.

Incidentally, that approach will leave you with very, very little material so it should be easy to assimilate - essentially you will be limited to scholarly articles and academic research.

And that is as it should be. I also think you'll find that this area will confirm (more or less) my contention.

I'll give you another reason why Islam cannot be the cause; because Islam does not actually exist a priori. In an academic sense (and in reality) it is a Christian sect.

Very, very few scholars (as opposed to 'people of faith') do not proceed from this view.

Islam has the following characteristics:

1) It claims to be a re-statement of the Old Testament.

2) It believes in Christ and his second coming and accepts the virgin birth.

3) It claims that Christians and Muslims are equal and both receiving the same Revelation from God.

Now you can argue from a theological standpoint that this is not true, but we are here concerned with how Islam defines itself and I assure you this is the case.

Therefore, it is seen academically as a Christian sect. the only sticking point would be the denial of Christ's divinity. But many other Christian sects deny this also.

Therefore this anti-gay animus - if it exists and if it has a religious origin - cannot be Islamic as Islam is essentially a variant of Christianity., It must therefore be Christian.

By the way; you did not comment on our homoerotic Muslim poet - how disappointing. I take it you are not one of the millions of Americans who constitute his fan base?
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #40 of 125
Quote:
Therefore, it is seen academically as a Christian sect. the only sticking point would be the denial of Christ's divinity. But many other Christian sects deny this also.

This is the key word to your entire post, I think. Whatever it calls itself academically, in reality it's no more a Christian sect than the FSM. OK, perhaps little more. If it really is a Christian sect, why do we have entire countries that all but outlaw Christianity? (and in some cases, actually outlaw it?) Let me guess...it's just those pesky government Fundies™ again, isn't it? No, you can't just ignore the influence of Isalm itself on these people. You can't pretend that their religion has nothing to do with it.

Let me put it this way: We have Fundies™ in the US as you've pointed out many times. The US is overwhelmingly Christian. So, why have we not outlawed Islam and beaten those who preach it, as they do to Christians in many Muslim countries? Why have we not burned every mosque to the ground? A lot of it is our system of government, but it's also because Christianity doesn't preach these actions as part of its doctrine. If you think I'm saying that Islam is inherently more violent, you'd be right. That doesn't mean all or most Muslims subscribe to those ideals, of course. But I can't accept that there is no theological difference between the two faiths in this regard.

I don't know the Koran that well, but these passages seem pretty clear:

Quote:
3:28 Let not the Believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers: If any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: Except by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (to remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah.

Quote:
4:150-151 Those who deny Allah and His apostles, and (those who) wish to separate Allah from His apostles, saying: "We believe in some but reject others": And (those who) wish to take a course midway, — They are in truth (equally) Unbelievers; and We have prepared for Unbelievers a humiliating punishment.

Quote:
8:12 Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: Give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: Smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingertips off them."

Quote:
9:73 O Prophet! [Jihad] Strive hard against the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell, —an evil refuge indeed.

Out of context, seg?
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