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silenus
10-05-2006, 11:41 AM
Link (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1541776,00.html) to the latest outrage.

I'm really beginning to think that Islam and Civilization cannot peacefully co-exist. The battle will be a bloody one, and make the Crusades look like a slap-fight between children. Is this feeling I'm getting just because the extremists get all the press, or am I right? What are the chances we can defuse this and modernize and moderate the extremists? If Iran gets nukes, the game takes a whole different aspect. Can we maintain democracy in the face of Islamic invasion? France and the rest of Europe are on the edge right now. How much longer before Canada falls?

Or am I just over-reacting to an isolated incident?

Bridget Burke
10-05-2006, 11:52 AM
What do you mean by "Western Civilization"? Don't you mean "Christian Or Post Christian Euro-American Whites"?

Islam & That Other Group have been confronting each other since Islam began. Sometimes bloodily, sometimes peacefully. In some of those centuries, Islamic Civilization was a considerably more "civilized" than the Dark Age Europeans.

Why don't we stop invading Islamic countries & see what works out?

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
10-05-2006, 11:57 AM
What do you mean by "Western Civilization"? Don't you mean "Christian Or Post Christian Euro-American Whites"?

Islam & That Other Group have been confronting each other since Islam began. Sometimes bloodily, sometimes peacefully. In some of those centuries, Islamic Civilization was a considerably more "civilized" than the Dark Age Europeans.

Why don't we stop invading Islamic countries & see what works out?

Bridget Burke--you obviously didn't read the linked article.

The teacher being threaten by Radical Islamics is living in France. And France isn't invading anybody.

The radicals' actions are utterly unjustified. Murder in response to criticism?

Kimstu
10-05-2006, 11:57 AM
Can we maintain democracy in the face of Islamic invasion? France and the rest of Europe are on the edge right now. How much longer before Canada falls?

Or am I just over-reacting to an isolated incident?

The latter, IMO. Mind you, it's true that there are a lot of radical and aggressive Muslims in the world who are encouraging and perpetrating violence and oppression. The incident you refer to is indeed just one incident, but there have been a lot of incidents like it. We don't want to ignore or underestimate this problem.

But "this problem" is not the same thing as "Islam", and we don't want to over-react or overestimate it either. For one thing, I have no idea what you mean by "France and the rest of Europe are on the edge right now".

Yes, France and Western Europe in general are having some problems with violent radical Muslims, exacerbated by their history of greater cultural/ethnic homogeneity and some of their clumsy former attempts to deal with problems of immigration, guest-worker status, and assimilation. But not even France, with one of the largest and most disaffected Muslim populations in Western Europe, is anywhere close to becoming a theocratic Islamic state.

I just spent two years in the Netherlands, and while they are seriously upset (and with reason) about things like the van Gogh murder and various problems involving Dutch Muslims, they aren't becoming a theocratic Islamic state either. "Western Civilization" is not on the verge of imminent collapse. Take a deep breath and look at the situation a little more calmly

Oakminster
10-05-2006, 12:07 PM
This has nothing to do with invading countries. The linked article is about a teacher forced into hiding by death threats because he dared to criticize Islam in a local newspaper. The teacher is in France.

And yeah, Silenus, things look kinda grim. When you have a significant number of people willing to kill for any perceived insult to their religion, you have a problem. It's one thing to run your own country that way. I would not choose to live under a Taliban-like regime, but some people might. Good for them. I would say "have fun" but that's probably forbidden in that country. In a more secular state, there's a huge clash between freedom of expression and fundamentalist dogma. The fundie crowd seems to want to mandate everyone abide by the dictates of their flavor of religion...arguably, such a conflict was anticipated by prophets years ago.

sqweels
10-05-2006, 12:09 PM
It's difficult to imagine large numbers of Muslims invading and siezing control of large parts of Europe, let alone North America. It's much easier to imagine an endless series of terrorist attacks and Western responses. A major battle over Israel is also within the realm of possibility, as is 1 or 2 nuke attacks on Western cities.

The trick is to find a way to shame Muslims for being so violent without provoking more violence. It's a good idea not to mention Mohammed or the Koran but rather point to "elements within Islamic culture".

I think the US could have played it's hand after 9/11 in such as way as to reduce tensions. Instead we aggrevated them.

Here's a brief essay on what I think we should have done instead:
http://www.squeakywheelsblog.com/meast/monday.html

XT
10-05-2006, 12:17 PM
Why don't we stop invading Islamic countries & see what works out?

Which Islamic countries had we recently invaded before some wack jobs flew planes full of innocent civilians into buildings full of other innocent civilians? I'm drawing a blank here...maybe you could help out?


I think that there is definitely a confrontation between Islam and The West(tm) brewing, but it need not necessarily be a violent or bloody one. I DO think that violent acts or aggressive protests/speeches etc DO tend to get more press both here and in Europe, so one has a some what distorted view of Islam as being more radically violent than it in fact is. That said, there does seem to be a higher percentage of violent nutballs in the nebulous grouping we think of as 'Islam' than in most other (modern) groups. Lots of nutballs in the nebulous grouping we call 'Christian', but doesn't seem to be quite as MANY (these days) anyway.

-XT

ultrafilter
10-05-2006, 12:26 PM
Are we talking Islam here, or the Arab world? The two aren't the same, and you can't treat them as such.

XT
10-05-2006, 12:36 PM
Are we talking Islam here, or the Arab world? The two aren't the same, and you can't treat them as such.

I'm assuming that we are treating them like some kind of amorphous blob all bunched together. A lot of folks think 'Islam', 'Muslim' and 'Arab' are basically the same thing. You are right of course, that its much more complex than that...but most people don't see it that way.

-XT

Kimstu
10-05-2006, 12:36 PM
I'm really beginning to think that Islam and Civilization cannot peacefully co-exist. The battle will be a bloody one, and make the Crusades look like a slap-fight between children. Is this feeling I'm getting just because the extremists get all the press, or am I right?

Mostly, it's because the extremists get all the press. Yes, there are a lot of Muslim extremists out there, especially among the Salafi/Wahhabi "fundamentalists", many of whom are doing or promoting indefensible things. But let's step back and look at the numbers for a minute:

- There are over 100 million Muslims in each of the countries Bangladesh, China, and India, and over 60 million in Turkey. None of these countries is run by shari'a law, and their combined Muslim population is more than double the entire Muslim populations of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and all of Western Europe combined. Global Islam is emphatically not a monolithic movement with unanimous political aims or goals.

- The variety among different Muslim sects and doctrines is huge. Note that the number of Nizari Isma'ilis alone, a small humanistic and philanthropic sect who accept the Aga Khan as their Imam (and who include the SDMB's own Angua, whose username I unfortunately can never remember how to spell so I hope that's right), is about three million. That by itself is more than the entire Muslim population of Lebanon.

- And I haven't even mentioned the world's largest Muslim country, Indonesia, with nearly two hundred million Muslims, which is also much more secular than hard-core Middle-East Salafism, and which has repeatedly rejected efforts by its more conservative Muslim citizens to establish it as an Islamic state.

As I said, we certainly do need to fight against widespread violence and oppression in radical aggressive forms of Islam. But IMO, the first step in that fight is to refrain from playing into our opponents' hands by lazily or ignorantly accepting the identification of radical aggressive forms of Islam with Islam per se and in toto.

Der Trihs
10-05-2006, 12:37 PM
Which Islamic countries had we recently invaded before some wack jobs flew planes full of innocent civilians into buildings full of other innocent civilians? I'm drawing a blank here...maybe you could help out?And in retaliation, we invade Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with it, and wreck it. By doing so, we made the "America is the Great Satan" people look like they had a point.

Lots of nutballs in the nebulous grouping we call 'Christian', but doesn't seem to be quite as MANY (these days) anyway.No, just better armed. Why fly a plane into a building when you have cruise missles and bombers ?

XT
10-05-2006, 12:43 PM
And in retaliation, we invade Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with it, and wreck it. By doing so, we made the "America is the Great Satan" people look like they had a point.

Ah...its all clear now. They had a time machine! They could peer into the future to get all worked up about stuff that hadn't happened yet! :smack:

No, just better armed. Why fly a plane into a building when you have cruise missles and bombers ?

Um...righto mate.

-XT

silenus
10-05-2006, 12:43 PM
I try not to confuse the two. What I am most concerned about in Europe, besides the obvious threat by extremists (as noted in the article), is what is going to happen when you get a significant Islamic voting bloc somewhere. Is France willing to let it's heritage be taken over by immigrants? They aren't the US. We are a nation of immigrants. France isn't.

- There are over 100 million Muslims in each of the countries Bangladesh, China, and India, and over 60 million in Turkey. None of these countries is run by shari'a law, and their combined Muslim population is more than double the entire Muslim populations of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and all of Western Europe combined. Global Islam is emphatically not a monolithic movement with unanimous political aims or goals.

This is true, and makes me feel a bit more confident in the future.

chowder
10-05-2006, 12:43 PM
As was expected Der Trihs pops in, makes no reference to the OPs questions but yet again comes out on the side of the nutters.

Jesus wept

Kimstu
10-05-2006, 12:53 PM
Okay, just one more point and I'll shut up for a bit.

I really think it's worth emphasizing this point about "playing into our opponents' hands" by, as xtisme said, treating all these categories of Muslims/Arabs/etc. "like some kind of amorphous blob all bunched together". That is exactly what the violent Islamic-extremists want you to do.

Violent and radical Islamic-extremists are not the anointed spokespeople for global Islam or Muslims in general. But when Western media and leaders treat them as though they are, by speaking about "Islam" as though it's something defined by its most violent and radical elements, it boosts their credibility.

It is lousy strategy to increase your adversary's dignity and status by making him out to be more important or more representative than he is.* When we lazily or ignorantly accept the claims of violent extremists that they somehow stand for Islam as a whole, or the "essential nature" of Islam, we are giving them a huge PR advantage that does us no good at all and is a libel on the facts.

Don't help our violent, anti-democratic, repressive adversaries by buying into this inaccurate "amorphous-blob" equating of their views with Islam as a whole. These people need to be disparaged and marginalized, not stupidly elevated to the entirely undeserved status of Official Voice of Islam.




*This is one of the reasons that I always complain about the term "war on terror". War is something carried out by warriors, fighters, enemy combatants---all terms with connotations of legitimacy and dignity that terrorists do not deserve. Terrorists are criminals and murderers, not warriors.

ultrafilter
10-05-2006, 12:57 PM
I try not to confuse the two. What I am most concerned about in Europe, besides the obvious threat by extremists (as noted in the article), is what is going to happen when you get a significant Islamic voting bloc somewhere. Is France willing to let it's heritage be taken over by immigrants? They aren't the US. We are a nation of immigrants. France isn't.

The problem that European countries are having with Arab immigrants isn't really cultural so much as economic. France and Germany in particular have very stratified economies, and if you're in the bottom tier, it's almost impossible to move up.

Take a look at Britain, which has a much better track record of giving out stable employment to immigrants. They've got some concerns, but things are nowhere near as volatile as they are on the continent.

I'm assuming that we are treating them like some kind of amorphous blob all bunched together. A lot of folks think 'Islam', 'Muslim' and 'Arab' are basically the same thing. You are right of course, that its much more complex than that...but most people don't see it that way.

If we start the discussion by confusing large, distinct groups, is there any hope for clarity?

tomndebb
10-05-2006, 01:07 PM
As was expected Der Trihs pops in, makes no reference to the OPs questions but yet again comes out on the side of the nutters.Should I now make the observation that "as expected, chowder pops in, makes no reference to the OP's questions, but yet, again, makes off-topic comments about other posters"? Or are you going to refrain from doing this again?

[ /Moderating ]

Der Trihs
10-05-2006, 01:17 PM
Ah...its all clear now. They had a time machine! They could peer into the future to get all worked up about stuff that hadn't happened yet! :smack: No, but invading Iraq made them stronger. Our constantly offering proaganda victories to the terrorists is not going to decrease the conflict between the West and radical Islam. We have in fact done an excellent job of silencing the moderates.

As was expected Der Trihs pops in, makes no reference to the OPs questions but yet again comes out on the side of the nutters.

Jesus weptNo, just pointing out that we are just as bad; we are just better armed. They destroy a building and kill thousands; we wreck a country and kill tens of thousands ( so far ).

*This is one of the reasons that I always complain about the term "war on terror". War is something carried out by warriors, fighters, enemy combatants---all terms with connotations of legitimacy and dignity that terrorists do not deserve. Terrorists are criminals and murderers, not warriors.Killing is killing. "Terrorist is what the big army calls the little army"; I see no difference between a soldier killing innocent people or a terrorist doing so, except that the soldier tends to kill more of them, due to being better armed, better organized, and more numerous.

Bippy the Beardless
10-05-2006, 01:18 PM
It does seem to me ellements within Islam are trying to stir up some sort of war between the Western Civilization and some parts of the Arabic Civilization. It is difficult to see why on a political level, since there isn't any chance of the Arabic party coming off particularly well in such a confrontation.
Is it some attempt between Sunnis and Shiites to get the west to seriously damage the other. Is there some kind of end-of-times fanatisism that makes the possibility of an almosy unwinnable war seem justified/necessary. Is it somehow thought of as a way to get rid of Israel, or fix the Palastinian problems. Or something else intirely? This Islamic extremism has been prevalent long before the Iraqii wars, I'm not sure if it predates Israels formation or not, but it is a movement towards millitant interpretation of the Al'Quarran (sp? sorry) that has been building up for some time.

chowder
10-05-2006, 01:19 PM
Should I now make the observation that "as expected, chowder pops in, makes no reference to the OP's questions, but yet, again, makes off-topic comments about other posters"? Or are you going to refrain from doing this again?

[ /Moderating ]

Oh C'mon now all I did was point out the obvious.

However if it means that I run the risk of a ban then yes I'll refrain

Dob
10-05-2006, 01:49 PM
No, but invading Iraq made them stronger...

Made who stronger? Have they done something they couldn't previously do? Has the anger over Iraq allowed a new muslim state to emerge? how are "they" stronger exactly?

And thanks Kimstu for shining the light on a murky subject. Your posts were excellent.

tomndebb
10-05-2006, 01:50 PM
Oh C'mon now all I did was point out the obvious.

However if it means that I run the risk of a ban then yes I'll refrainYou are hardly under threat of banishment; I did not even issue a Warning.

However, if it is "obvious" then it did not need to be said
and if it is personal, it is laible to derail the thread--and we have not even reached page three where I generally expect the debate to turn into personal jibes and mudslinging.

I would just like this thread (actually, all the threads) to display an actual discussion on the issues for a while before I have to come in and settle down the sandbox squabbling.

LonesomePolecat
10-05-2006, 02:01 PM
We are a nation of immigrants.
Hogwash. The last of my immigrant ancestors came over before the Civil War. How long would my family have to be here before you'd concede we're no longer immigrants? That isn't a valid point. That's just vacuous, noble-sounding rhetoric.

ralph124c
10-05-2006, 02:14 PM
The issue seems more to be: will muslim immigrants to the West assimilate?
I would say, in most cases yes. What we are seeing in muslim lands is the death throes of traditional Islam. As modern comminications become widspread, the reactionary component of islam is trying to assert itself. The reactionary side of islam thrives in areas with low literacy, limited eductaion, suppression of women, etc. Simply put: does anybody REALLY want to life life in the 13th century? I think not.

tomndebb
10-05-2006, 02:22 PM
Hogwash. The last of my immigrant ancestors came over before the Civil War. How long would my family have to be here before you'd concede we're no longer immigrants? That isn't a valid point. That's just vacuous, noble-sounding rhetoric.Actually, in context, silenus pointed out an extremely important distinction. The U.S., Canada, and Australia, (with similar, if somewhat less pronounced, examples in New Zealand, Argentina, and, perhaps, South Africa) were all built as immigrant nations and, while several of those states have resorted to xenophobic responses to specific immigrant waves, all of them have absorbed immigrants--with attendant changes to local culture--within living memory. The last Vandals shuffled out of France around 1500 years ago, the Vikings pretty well settled down around 1100 years ago and the only serious cultural "invasions" were those of the Moors in Spain (ended over 500 years ago), the Turks in the Balkans (still suffering shocks), and the various Germanic emigrations to Russia.

Europe is going through something for which they have no memory or tradition. (I find it ironic to watch much of the upheaval in Europe, today, after reading any number of contemptuous observations from Europeans during the civil rights movement and racial conflicts of the 1960s.)

Your knee-jerk reaction to his use of the phrase seems to have caused you to miss his actual point.

ultrafilter
10-05-2006, 02:26 PM
Hogwash. The last of my immigrant ancestors came over before the Civil War. How long would my family have to be here before you'd concede we're no longer immigrants? That isn't a valid point. That's just vacuous, noble-sounding rhetoric.

No, there's some value to the observation. The US is not a nation of immigrants in the sense that any significant portion of its population has been first- or second-generation immigrants throughout history, but in the sense that it has a very good record of assimilating immigrants, both culturally and economically. Compare that to Germany, which has a very poor record on both fronts, and can't reasonably be called a nation of immigrants.

Der Trihs
10-05-2006, 02:26 PM
Made who stronger? Have they done something they couldn't previously do? Has the anger over Iraq allowed a new muslim state to emerge? how are "they" stronger exactly?Our actions have justified them, partially or completely in the eyes of many; discredited and weakened us, their enemies; greatly weakened moderates/reformers within Islam; and provided them with more recruits than they can likely handle.

The Hamster King
10-05-2006, 02:44 PM
Or am I just over-reacting to an isolated incident?You're over-reacting. The Islamic world doesn't have the industrial base or the manpower to project real power into the rest of the world. The best their nutters can do is stage occasional terrorist attacks. And as the British demonstrated with the IRA, civil society can still continue to function perfectly well even in the midst of fairly high levels of terrorism. After a while people learn to live with the threat. Life goes on.

The only reason that Islamic fundamentalism is a global issue at all is because of oil. And, as we see with Iran, even if the fundamentalists get control of an oil-producing nation they keep pumping. Because that's where they get their money from. So there's not even a real danger of them cutting off our energy. They need our dollars as much as we need their oil.

No, the real long-term threat to the United States and Europe is China. They've got a billion people, their economy is booming, and they have a massive industrial base. And they're competing with us for the same shrinking pool of natural resources. That's where the next big "clash of civilizations" is going to be.

Sam Stone
10-05-2006, 02:54 PM
Frankly, I believe multiculturalism has been a big part of the problem. The U.S. has been spared much of the trouble Europe has because the U.S. has traditionally been a melting pot - If you emigrated to the U.S., you were expected to become an American first. That meant learning English, it meant your first loyalty was to the American constitution and its principles. You could still retain your ethnicity - the Italians, Chinese, Germans, and other ethnic groups still have a strong ethnic presence in areas of the U.S. But first and foremost, you were American, and accepted all that America stood for.

Multiculturalism has turned countries into cultural mosaics. Move to Canada, and we'll teach you in your native language, accomodate your cultural artifacts, and maybe even allow things like Sharia law. We've been taught that no culture is superior to another, that we must all be allowed to keep our cultural identity in all things.

The result has been Balkanization and confrontation between opposing ethnic groups. France has a problem with Muslims because France allows them to immigrate, but doesn't require them to assimilate. And because they don't assimilate, they wind up at a competitive disadvantage, and over time you wind up with a group of people who cannot find work, who are disaffected, who do not care about France and its customs and traditions, and essentially become a thorn in France's side. It's not just that they are Muslim - it's that they are militant muslims because they are poor and disenfranchised and care very little about France itself.

The Danes face the same problem. Their liberalism has been their undoing. Welcoming vast numbers of muslim immigrants who come there not because they love the Danish way of life, but because they found the country easy to move to and easy to maintain their own little enclave of culture inside it, while enjoying all the benefits of citizenship. And now they are large in number and asserting themselves.

We aren't making the problem go away by accomodating extremists. We'll begin to win this clash of civilizations when we start acting like our civilization is worth defending, instead being constantly on the defensive and prone to knee-jerk apologies for being who we are.

When the Danish cartoon writers were threatened, the west should have stood up en masse and defended them. Those cartoons should have been published in every major newspaper. When a 'moderate' muslim cleric speaks out in favor of terrorism or speaks in defense of a man who murdered Theo Van Gogh, he should be forcefully opposed in rhetoric. Our leaders should be giving speeches saying things like, "Our values involve free speech, and that includes the freedom to publish pictures of Mohammed. If you don't like it, you don't have to read it. If you can't stand living in a country where this happens, pack up and leave. This is one of our core values, and you will not threaten us into giving it up."

One of the problems we have is that the militant muslims see the west as unprincipled, weak, and believing in nothing. We're simply decadent hedonists. They have contempt for us. To the extent that we enable that belief by continually apologizing for who we are and offering to give up our core principles for the sake of accomodation, we'll simply make them stronger.

Damuri Ajashi
10-05-2006, 03:19 PM
Link (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1541776,00.html) to the latest outrage.

I'm really beginning to think that Islam and Civilization cannot peacefully co-exist. The battle will be a bloody one, and make the Crusades look like a slap-fight between children. Is this feeling I'm getting just because the extremists get all the press, or am I right? What are the chances we can defuse this and modernize and moderate the extremists? If Iran gets nukes, the game takes a whole different aspect. Can we maintain democracy in the face of Islamic invasion? France and the rest of Europe are on the edge right now. How much longer before Canada falls?

Or am I just over-reacting to an isolated incident?

The Israeli conflict is the wellspring of almost all the problems the west has had with the middle east. Of course at this point the agitators have too much power to just give it up even if we can somehow solve the Israeli issue but it'll never come to war between the Middle East and the rest of the world. Extremists will have power and support as long as people think they make a good point, their good points right now are Israel and Iraq.

If we could have stopped Pakistan from getting the nuke we would have, they are not significantly more stable or democratic than Iran and yet they do not nuke India. We'll stop Iran from getting the nuke if we can help it and even if they do get the nuke, they are not likely to use it against us. Remember, just about EVERYONE condemned massive scale terrorist actions like 9/11 and al Queda is the only organization of any sort that exhorts terrorist actions that result in such massive amounts of death. As a matter of fact, many diplomats thought that the U.S. could have used 9/11 to negotiate peace in the middle east (now THAT would have been a great tribute to the victims of 9/11, instead we have Iraq).

Kimstu
10-05-2006, 03:44 PM
I see no difference between a soldier killing innocent people or a terrorist doing so

That's reasonable. However, I do see a big difference between soldiers killing other soldiers in a mutually recognized military conflict between two national entities, and a terrorist (or a soldier) murdering innocent civilians in an unprovoked attack.

I don't like war, but I recognize an ethical difference between war (even guerrilla war) and murder, and terrorism is murder.

The U.S. has been spared much of the trouble Europe has because the U.S. has traditionally been a melting pot - If you emigrated to the U.S., you were expected to become an American first. That meant learning English,

Gotta call out this one. As we've discussed on these boards before, lots of first-generation immigrants to the US in previous eras didn't learn English any faster than immigrants today. Second- and third-generation immigrants are where the real linguistic assimilation takes place, and second- and third-generation Muslim immigrants to Europe show that pattern too.

We'll begin to win this clash of civilizations when we start acting like our civilization is worth defending, instead being constantly on the defensive and prone to knee-jerk apologies for being who we are. [...]

To the extent that we enable that belief by continually apologizing for who we are and offering to give up our core principles for the sake of accomodation, we'll simply make them stronger.

This one too, which seems to be little more than an anti-liberal straw man. Where are the liberals who are "apologizing for who we are"? Liberals are overwhelmingly the ones who support civil-liberties organizations such as the ACLU, the ones who stand up for women's rights and gay rights and sexual freedom and governmental secularism and all the other things that radical-conservative Islamic extremists think are so horrible.

Egalitarianism, tolerance, and religious/societal freedom: brought to you mostly by liberals. What we need in the fight against violent and repressive Islamic extremism is more liberalism, not less.

When the Danish cartoon writers were threatened, the west should have stood up en masse and defended them. Those cartoons should have been published in every major newspaper. When a 'moderate' muslim cleric speaks out in favor of terrorism or speaks in defense of a man who murdered Theo Van Gogh, he should be forcefully opposed in rhetoric.

This sounds as though you just haven't been paying attention. Islamic-extremist calls for terrorism and violence are forcefully opposed in rhetoric. I really don't think there's any dearth of opinion media sources willing to come right out and say "terrorism is bad".

Not everybody was equally supportive of the anti-Muhammad cartoons, but that was largely because most of the cartoons were disgustingly smelly. (Similarly, I might be in favor of a free press and the right to sexual freedom without demanding the publication of graphic porn in "every major newspaper".) However, even the liberals who were most revolted by the anti-Muhammad cartoons, AFAICT, were unanimous that it was wrong for outraged Muslims to threaten or carry out violent acts in response to them. So, no "offering to give up our core principles" there either.

Sam Stone
10-05-2006, 03:46 PM
The Israeli conflict is the wellspring of almost all the problems the west has had with the middle east.

Israel is the excuse. Do you believe that if Israel was gone, the Middle East would suddenly turn into a bastion of peace and stability?

Of course at this point the agitators have too much power to just give it up even if we can somehow solve the Israeli issue but it'll never come to war between the Middle East and the rest of the world. Extremists will have power and support as long as people think they make a good point, their good points right now are Israel and Iraq.

Israel is a 'good point'?

al Queda is the only organization of any sort that exhorts terrorist actions that result in such massive amounts of death.

Well, aside from Hezbollah, Iran, Hamas, the Chechen terrorists, the Libyans who blew up a 747, the muslims who are terrorizing the population in Darfur... And everyone didn't condemn 9/11. The Palestinians were partying in the streets. Saddam was laughing his head off. The Taliban helped pull it off.

As a matter of fact, many diplomats thought that the U.S. could have used 9/11 to negotiate peace in the middle east (now THAT would have been a great tribute to the victims of 9/11, instead we have Iraq).

Yeah. Because negotiating for peace in the face of aggression has always worked so well. That's why we think so highly of Neville Chamberlain today. Imagine what might have happened if Churchill had risen to power.

tomndebb
10-05-2006, 04:21 PM
As a matter of fact, many diplomats thought that the U.S. could have used 9/11 to negotiate peace in the middle east (now THAT would have been a great tribute to the victims of 9/11, instead we have Iraq). Yeah. Because negotiating for peace in the face of aggression has always worked so well. That's why we think so highly of Neville Chamberlain today. Imagine what might have happened if Churchill had risen to power.Done right, it would not have been a Chamberlain variety appeasemant (which did have the good result of giving Britain time to begin rebuilding its military for 11 months that might not have been possible with a war that began in 1938).

Rather, had the U.S. encouraged the West to go into Afghanistan to oust the defenders of al Qaida, then (instead of Bush's idiotic and hypocritical claim that we were not there for "nation building"), we had provided the resources to allow Afghanistan to rebuild itself free from both the Taliban and the warlords, demonstating a nation that could govern itself without the extremists, we could have used that example to negotiate with Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, Oman, perhaps even Saudi Arabia, to consider adapting more democratic institutions, thus marginalizing the extremists.

Instead, we threw that away with a proxy war in Afghanistan followed by a useless and illegal invasion of Iraq (at which point Bush hypocritically claimed that we were interested in nation building), that has been the largest recruiting tool ever seen by any Wahabbist in the middle East.

Der Trihs
10-05-2006, 04:42 PM
That's reasonable. However, I do see a big difference between soldiers killing other soldiers in a mutually recognized military conflict between two national entities, and a terrorist (or a soldier) murdering innocent civilians in an unprovoked attack. Well, I don't see any difference in killing soldiers or civilians in an unprovoked war.

msmith537
10-05-2006, 05:04 PM
And in retaliation, we invade Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with it, and wreck it. By doing so, we made the "America is the Great Satan" people look like they had a point.



Not to mention that Iraq was secular under Saddam, not Muslim.


We are already involved in a conflict between Western (defined as modern post industrial AmeroEuro) civilization and Islamic fundamentalism. This conflict will only get worse as the Arab world begins to modernize. If and when that happens you will most likely see fundamentalism pushed into African nations where the problems will be ten times worse.

Sam Stone
10-05-2006, 05:05 PM
Originally Posted by Sam Stone
The U.S. has been spared much of the trouble Europe has because the U.S. has traditionally been a melting pot - If you emigrated to the U.S., you were expected to become an American first. That meant learning English,

Gotta call out this one. As we've discussed on these boards before, lots of first-generation immigrants to the US in previous eras didn't learn English any faster than immigrants today. Second- and third-generation immigrants are where the real linguistic assimilation takes place, and second- and third-generation Muslim immigrants to Europe show that pattern too.


I'm specifically talking about countries that are not the US, where accomodations are made such as allowing Sharia law in some form, providing government services in the immigrant's language, changing laws to accomodate other cultures such as changing police uniform rules to allow the wearing of turbans or other religious artifacts, etc. If a Christian cannot wear a crucifix on a police uniform, a Sikh should not be allowed to wear a turban.


Originally Posted by Sam Stone
We'll begin to win this clash of civilizations when we start acting like our civilization is worth defending, instead being constantly on the defensive and prone to knee-jerk apologies for being who we are. [...]

To the extent that we enable that belief by continually apologizing for who we are and offering to give up our core principles for the sake of accomodation, we'll simply make them stronger.

This one too, which seems to be little more than an anti-liberal straw man. Where are the liberals who are "apologizing for who we are"? Liberals are overwhelmingly the ones who support civil-liberties organizations such as the ACLU, the ones who stand up for women's rights and gay rights and sexual freedom and governmental secularism and all the other things that radical-conservative Islamic extremists think are so horrible.


Which is why it's so sad that so many of them reflexively make common cause with the very people who are totally antithetical to everything they believe in. Look at the love-fest George Galloway gets from some members of the left. The man's a thug who supports the other side. Or the roses thrown at Hugo Chavez, despite the fact that he's allied himself with freaking theocratic Iran against the best interests of the United States, Canada, and other western countries.

The 'it's all our fault' crowd is loud and well established. There are lots of people in our society who, when attacked, immediately and reflexively look at what we might have done to warrant the attack. And there are lots of people who, when confronted with a barbaric attack by the other side, reflexively seek a moral equivalence by bringing up things we might have done in the past that were even remotely similar. There are also plenty of moral relativists who are completely unwilling to say that our culture is better than any other.

One of the reasons so many on the left get tarred as being anti-semitic is that some confuse anti-semitism for this general desire to see fault within ourselves rather than in our enemies. Israel is a western nation, and therefore has committed original sin in the eyes of many. Any every barbaric attack on Israeli citizens is met with comments along the lines of, "Well, if Israel hadn't done X, this wouldn't have happened. And the Palestinians don't have tanks, so this the only weapon they've got. So it's understandable. Regrettable, but understandable." In the meantime, if an Israeli bulldozer attempting to close a tunnel used to smuggle bomb equipment accidentally kills a young woman attempting to stop it illegally, and who can't be seen behind the giant blade, there are marches in the streets of the west against Israel, and the event is spun into a condemnation of the entire country. Claims about a massacre in Jenin are accepted at face value and even exaggerated, while claims of horrors done on the other side are ignored, downplayed, or disbelieved. When Israel tried to show that the house they bulldozed when Rachel Corrie was killed was actually a critical military target, liberals all over the place put their fingers in their ears and went, "lalalalala".

If you haven't been seeing that kind of behaviour, you haven't been paying much attention. In fact, Rachel Corrie herself is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. She was supposedly a modern liberal activist, yet she was the champion of people who supported Hitler, the Soviet Union, Saddam, and who were ruled by a series of thugs. The people who cheered in the streets on 9/11. She died trying to protect one of the tunnels they used to smuggle suicide bombs into Israel to blow up kids at discos.

Here's a picture of her in her element Rachel Corrie screaming and burning an American Flag in the Gaza Strip (http://www.honestreporting.com/graphics/articles/corrie.jpg).

She's not alone. She's part of a large group of Americans and other westerners who reflexively take the side of the enemy. They did the same thing during the Cold War. God knows why.

Sam Stone
10-05-2006, 05:14 PM
Rather, had the U.S. encouraged the West to go into Afghanistan to oust the defenders of al Qaida, then (instead of Bush's idiotic and hypocritical claim that we were not there for "nation building"), we had provided the resources to allow Afghanistan to rebuild itself free from both the Taliban and the warlords, demonstating a nation that could govern itself without the extremists, we could have used that example to negotiate with Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, Oman, perhaps even Saudi Arabia, to consider adapting more democratic institutions, thus marginalizing the extremists.

Nice idea, but it should be clear by now that 'the west' IS the United States, along with a handful of much smaller players. I think everyone is still on board with the goal of help Afghanistan get on its feet - how's NATO recruiting working out for that? Canada is there in decent numbers, but only because we elected a Conservative. The Liberals and NDP are already calling for us to pull out. Other countries who have been called on to help have ignored it, or contributed only a fraction of what they originally promised.

Instead, we threw that away with a proxy war in Afghanistan followed by a useless and illegal invasion of Iraq (at which point Bush hypocritically claimed that we were interested in nation building), that has been the largest recruiting tool ever seen by any Wahabbist in the middle East.

See, you have the advantage here of A) using hindsight, and B) not having to confront the possible ways your alternate scenario might have gone. For example, had the U.S. stood down against Saddam, it's entirely possible that he would have been emboldened and started smuggling WMD to terrorists (WMD that he had every intention of building once the heat was off him). Or that he would have been a lightning rod and energized the militants in the middle east to stand up to the U.S. and we would have had the same terrorist problem we have today, except this time with heavy state sponsorship from Libya, Iraq, and other countries rallied around Saddam.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. For example, I remember a time after the Afghanistan war that everyone was using it as the perfect example of how to do this kind of thing: Instead of invading en-masse, you arm and support native insurgencies, have them overthrow the government, then work with them. Having an indigenous force due the heavy lifting prevents an insurgency against foreign occupiers. Most everyone, including those on the left, thought it was brilliant, and it was one thing the U.S. military and Bush administration got high marks for.

Now it's going through a rocky period, and you get to claim that obviously the way the war was carried out was wrong, and that it should have been done differently.

Larry Borgia
10-05-2006, 05:15 PM
ISTM that there is a clash of something brewing, but I don't see it as a clash between Islam and the West, I see it as a clash between fundamentalism and modernity.

On the one hand you have a tradition of science, democracy and individual rights dating from the enlightenment. On the other you have a view rooted in religion that feels increasingly threatened by secular modernity. This fear and feeling of marginalization leads to increasingly strict readings of religious texts and a militant hostile view towards the secular west. Islamic radicals and Christian fundamentalists are two sides of the same coin. For that matter if you read some things the more radical Jewish west bank settlers are saying, they're indistinguishable from Christian and Islamic fundamentalism. Ditto--from what little I've read--for the Hindu fundamentalists that are gaining power in India.

I don't understand why denouncing Christian fundamentalism is regarded as a "liberal" position and denouncing Islamic fundamentalism is regarded as a conservative" position. They're basically the same thing! In America the Christian Fundamentalists are far more dangerous than Islamic militants to any tattered remnants of the Enlightenment philosophy espoused in our Constitution, although the atttacks of Islamic terrorists are more frightening.

Frankly my money's on the fundies. They're more passionate, more violent, reproduce more, and they're not afraid of dying.

Marley23
10-05-2006, 05:22 PM
It does seem to me ellements within Islam are trying to stir up some sort of war between the Western Civilization and some parts of the Arabic Civilization.
Some terrorists definitely have that goal. Others have more limited (although still enormous) goals like getting the West to cease all involvement with the Middle East.

The OP assumes that Islam is separate from Western Civilization, and I disagree with that point. There are American Muslims, at the rate of Muslim immigration to America is the highest it has been in decades. (You have to be a New York Times Select member to read the article, which I'm not, but I read it when it was new.) (http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F1081FFB3F550C738DDDA00894DE404482&showabstract=1) Muslims have successfully integrated into some parts of the West, others not so much, but I think that has more to do with the countries in question and not so much to do with Islam.

tomndebb
10-05-2006, 06:28 PM
See, you have the advantage here of A) using hindsight, and B) not having to confront the possible ways your alternate scenario might have gone. For example, had the U.S. stood down against Saddam, it's entirely possible that he would have been emboldened and started smuggling WMD to terrorists (WMD that he had every intention of building once the heat was off him). Or that he would have been a lightning rod and energized the militants in the middle east to stand up to the U.S. and we would have had the same terrorist problem we have today, except this time with heavy state sponsorship from Libya, Iraq, and other countries rallied around Saddam.The only thing that hindsight might give me is the opportunity to say "I told you so."

The use of the Northern Alliance was the correct way to overthrow the Taliban so that they could not rally other Afghanis with a claim that the U.S. was invading as the U.S.S.R. had done. Once Omar and his boys had capitulated and fled, however, the appropriate action was to saturate the country with peacekeeping troops to help disarm the warlords so that the nation of Afghanistan could determine its own government without armed pressure groups corrupting the process. Instead, the U.S. pulled out numbers of troops (including intelligence units) to go play in Iraq while letting the Afghanis play "turn in your neighbor so you can steal his cow" whle we locked up hundreds of innocents in Guantanamo. It was not until we had ignored Afghanistan for three years (letting the conditions that had led to the rise of the Taliban begin to fester again) that we finally went to NATO and asked for sufficient troops to handle the mess. There is no surprise that NATO nations are now leery of sending troops into a hot zone at this late date when they might have prevented the zone from going hot had sufficent troops been sought in the summer of 2002. We did not blow the war, only the rest of the task.

As to Hussein supplying terrorists with weapons: by the time we lurched into Iraq with our inadequately staffed forces, the UN inspectors had spent nearly five months reporting that it appeared that Hussein actually did not have any weapons to distribute to Islamic Fundamentalists (most of whom hated Hussein nearly as much as they hated the U.S.) and it was pretty clerar that most of our (OSP generated) claims were lies. The pressures we had placed on Hussein through the UN were sufficient to keep him disarmed and contained--and everyone not led astray by the lies of the Office of Special Projects could see that before the war was begun.

If we're going to play "what if" games, then we have to ask "what if" a bunch of the Saudi princes who continue to fund al Qaida had decided to stage a coup and cut off petroleum to the West until we met their demands to abandon Afghanistan? "What if" Musharraf had decided that he did not enjoy being leaned on by the U.S. and had decided to distribute his nuclear weapons (ones that actually exist, unlike those of Iraq) to the Islamists (who are warm, close personal friends of most of the senior officers of Pakistan's military). "What if" Bush had not made his stupid "Axis of Evil" speech so that the theocrats in Iran had not been scared into shutting down the moderate opposition under a threat from the U.S. and their (unsilenced) opposition (who had control of much of the government before they were ousted from above) was now working to rein in the Iranian support for Hamas? There are a lot of "what if" games that we may play, but the reality is that we blew it in Afghanistan (in ways that were predicted when the decisions were made) and we blew it in Iraq (in ways that were predicted when the decisions were made).

Kimstu
10-05-2006, 06:37 PM
I'm specifically talking about countries that are not the US, where accomodations are made such as allowing Sharia law in some form, providing government services in the immigrant's language, changing laws to accomodate other cultures [...]

Yes, and my point is that you're wrong in assuming that the US did not make many similar accomodations for immigrants in earlier eras. Take the case of
bilingual education in American public schools (http://www.pdkintl.org/kappan/krot9805.htm):

Bilingual education, though sometimes controversial, was found nationwide. [...]

In 1866, succumbing to pressure from politically powerful German immigrants, the Chicago Board of Education decided to establish a German-language school in each area of the city where 150 parents asked for it. By 1892 the board had hired 242 German-language teachers to teach 35,000 German-speaking children, one-fourth of Chicago's total public school enrollment. In 1870, a public school established in Denver, Colorado, was taught entirely in German. An 1872 Oregon law permitted German-language public schools to be established in Portland whenever 100 voters petitioned for such a school. Maryland, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Minnesota also had bilingual education laws, either statewide or applying only to cities with large immigrant populations. In Nebraska, enabling legislation for bilingual education was enacted for the benefit of German immigrant children as late as 1913.

Or take the widespread "Bible Law" (http://www.tolerance.org/teach/activities/activity.jsp?ar=526)---the standard practice of daily readings from Protestant Bible versions in American public schools---which was discontinued in many cases due to protests from Catholic immigrants, and provoked tremendous amounts of controversy and even violence:

Alderman Hugh Clark introduced before the [Philadelphia] city legislature a resolution to ban Bible reading in the public schools. Again, the nativists united to defend the old state law.

Their victory so angered Clark that he walked into Kensington School one morning during devotional, grabbed the Protestant Bible from the teacher's hands and proceeded to tear it page from page.

Hoooooo-EEE! How's that for attempts at multicultural "accomodation"? Started the 1844 Bible Riots, that did.

Heck, English-language competency wasn't even a requirement for US citizenship until 1906 (http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/aboutus/history/mar1790.htm).

No, dude, you're kidding yourself if you imagine that the current controversies over "making accomodations" and "changing laws to accomodate other cultures" are somehow new or exclusive to non-US societies.


Which is why it's so sad that so many of them [liberals] reflexively make common cause with the very people who are totally antithetical to everything they believe in. Look at the love-fest George Galloway gets from some members of the left. The man's a thug who supports the other side. Or the roses thrown at Hugo Chavez, despite the fact that he's allied himself with freaking theocratic Iran against the best interests of the United States, Canada, and other western countries.

More strawmen and unsupported vague assertions. "So many of them"? How many? Where? Who?

And if you're claiming that any liberal who praises Chavez' share-the-wealth policies* is thereby supporting Iranian theocracy, you're really pissing into the wind. By that logic, you have to conclude that Bush supporters are also aligning themselves with Islamic theocracy because the Administration regards "freaking theocratic" Saudi Arabia as a close ally.

The 'it's all our fault' crowd is loud and well established. There are lots of people in our society who, when attacked, immediately and reflexively look at what we might have done to warrant the attack. And there are lots of people who, when confronted with a barbaric attack by the other side, reflexively seek a moral equivalence by bringing up things we might have done in the past that were even remotely similar. There are also plenty of moral relativists who are completely unwilling to say that our culture is better than any other. [...]

Just more generalized zeitgeist-moaning that doesn't provide any actual evidence that "liberalism" is really a significant contributing factor to problems with violent Islamic extremism. Okay as a rant, inadequate in a debate.

In fact, Rachel Corrie herself is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. She was supposedly a modern liberal activist, yet she was the champion of people who supported Hitler, the Soviet Union, Saddam, and who were ruled by a series of thugs.

Like I said above, that line of reasoning is a two-edged sword; plenty of conservatives have also made common cause with groups that were involved in various ways with thuggery and despotism. How about the conservatives that supported Saddam against Iran, or the ones who supported the fundamentalist Afghan mujahideen that gave rise to the Taliban?

There's enough tar on your broad brush for people of all ideological stripes.



*A category of liberals that would not include me, btw. I like antipoverty measures and economic democracy as much as the next lib, but I do not trust Chavez.

Themenin
10-05-2006, 07:28 PM
all of them have absorbed immigrants--with attendant changes to local culture--within living memory. The last Vandals shuffled out of France around 1500 years ago...
...Europe is going through something for which they have no memory or tradition. (I find it ironic to watch much of the upheaval in Europe, today, after reading any number of contemptuous observations from Europeans during the civil rights movement and racial conflicts of the 1960s.) Although a country like France's national identity isn't tied up with immigration in the same way that the US's is, I'm not sure I agree with this.
France has had a first generation immigrant population of 5 to 10% for more than a 100 years. The main recognized waves were Belgian (XIX century), Italians (early XX) followed by Portuguese, and most recently Algerian and Morrocan. As regards the difficulties, there have always been conflicts during large waves of immigration, but the early 1960s may have been the most violent period, France and Algeria at war, extensive rioting, terrorist bombings (by both sides, in both countries, FLN and OAS), assasinations etc.

Frankly, I believe multiculturalism has been a big part of the problem. The U.S. has been spared much of the trouble Europe has because the U.S. has traditionally been a melting pot - If you emigrated to the U.S., you were expected to become an American first. That meant learning English, it meant your first loyalty was to the American constitution and its principles. You could still retain your ethnicity - the Italians, Chinese, Germans, and other ethnic groups still have a strong ethnic presence in areas of the U.S. But first and foremost, you were American, and accepted all that America stood for. I don't know that the US has had more success integrating immigrant populations than other countries. I've found that 'ghetto-ization' is more extensive in the US than in western Europe. In fact France is probably more strict than the US about assimilation (remember the ban on headscarves in state schools). Currently the only truly non-assimilated immigrant group in France is the Chinese, who are the most recent arrivals. Until recently Switzerland was the country I would have cited for successfully absorbing massive immigration (on their own scale), but recent events seem to show that the Swiss would disagree.
Getting back to the 'clash of civilizations' - Although there's clearly a cultural conflict between Islam and liberal western societies, I haven't seen any strong proof that Islamist terrorism has established a serious foothold amongst European Muslims, and I have seen no indication that any of the Middle Eastern nations want to see large scale conflict with the US or Europe. Even in the worst-case scenario where the US extends the ground war to Iraq's neighbors in the Middle East, I see no reason to believe that Pakistan, Indonesia, or Europe's Muslim populations would rise up and join in the fray.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
10-05-2006, 08:04 PM
The issue seems more to be: will muslim immigrants to the West assimilate?
I would say, in most cases yes. What we are seeing in muslim lands is the death throes of traditional Islam. As modern comminications become widspread, the reactionary component of islam is trying to assert itself. The reactionary side of islam thrives in areas with low literacy, limited eductaion, suppression of women, etc. Simply put: does anybody REALLY want to life life in the 13th century? I think not.

I hope you're right.

Did you read where the editorial talked about imposing new modesty restrictions on women's bathing suits, and setting up female-only bathing periods, during this summer's Paris beach party? I tend to draw the line here, and truly believe that if you want to emigrate to another country, you should adapt yourself to the host country rather than having the host country change to suit you.

It seems to me it's an act of appeasement, as was the Berlin opera cancellation.

tomndebb
10-05-2006, 09:06 PM
France has had a first generation immigrant population of 5 to 10% for more than a 100 years. The main recognized waves were Belgian (XIX century), Italians (early XX) followed by Portuguese, and most recently Algerian and Morrocan.Well, the Belgian immigrants were French, being mostly the population of Wallony that had been carved away from France and given to the Netherlands, (then breaking free to create the artifical nation of Belgium), following the unpleasantness with Napoleon. Then the Italians and Portuguese were very much part of the same basic culture--Catholic traditions, Romance languages, etc. And when we do find immigrants coming from North Africa, they initially came from areas in which France had a serious colonial presence (and many of the initial immigrants were originally "returning" French colonists' grandchildren). It is only when the later immigration waves began to include more people who had much less cultural connection that serious problems began.
Now, it is also true that France has had a pretty long tradition of being nearly the most cosmopolitan of nations and that it did absorb more immigrants (generally from its colonies) than much of Europe, (although the Dutch and British can make good claims to those attitudes, as well). However, most French immigration appeaers to have been limited to Paris and a few coastal cities. I do not recall stories of xenophobic outbreaks in Aquitaine, Brittany, or the Loire (particularly prior to the early 1970s).

tagos
10-06-2006, 05:21 AM
The latter, IMO.

The trouble is that these are 'isolated incidents' not because only a few people have those opinions. It is because everyone else won't take the risk. It is the chilling effect of the threat of Islamic fundie violence on free speech.

After Rushide and after Van Gogh it takes a brave artist to write a book or make a film that is anything other than craven towards Islam. As this story proves.

Themenin
10-06-2006, 06:22 AM
Responding to Tomndebb Obviously it's a big part of the ongoing political debate over here - the extreme right tend to define past immigration out of existence by citing cultural similarities (such as the Italian immigrants shared religion, or the Wallon's possibly shared language) in order to bolster their position that the current immigration wave is unprecedented and threatening.

Fact is that the previous waves also led to social upheaval and conflicts - the Wallon's arrival in the mining areas was met with rioting and ghetto-ization, similarly with the Italian arrival in the industrial regions. The cultural similarities argument is something of an anachronism - in 1900, an Italian peasant probably had less in common with his new French neighbors than a present day Chinese immigrant to the US has to his new neighbors - distances and cultural differences were considerably more marked a hundred years ago.

I'm not sure what your point is regarding the geographical distribution of immigration, but it is fairly even, though primarily urban (as in the US) - I think you're overlooking Lyon and Marseille (and historically the northern mining regions around Lille, and industrial centers like Clermont-Ferrandand St Etienne).

I think some of the confusion regarding Eoro-immigration vs US immigration is due to the role that immigration plays in the US 'identity-myth', and the huge absolute numbers of immigrants that the US welcomed around the turn of the last century (can we still use that expression ?). In terms of numbers, Germany, France and UK all have a larger percentage of foreign born in their populations than the US (Canada is probably at the front of the pack).

For over a hundred years (and probably back to pre-historic times...) there has always been a segment of the native population who fear immigrants, and believe that they are monolithic and are going to somehow swamp the culture - so far this hasn't happened. While it's true that the most recent wave of immigrants are overwhelmingly Muslim, this may be changing now, as immigration from China and from Eastern Europe (Poland in particular) is growing exponentially. Immigrants are not monolithic,and for the most part conflicts between immigrants and natives have nothing to do with religion.

It is because everyone else won't take the risk. While this may be true of the mainstream press (although I should point out that Figaro did publish this piece, even though they chickened afterwards) there are any number of smaller publications, artists etc who are prepared to stand up against the intimidation attempts. The French weekly Charlie Hebdo (http://unecharlie.canalblog.com/) boosted their circulation from an average of ~100,000 to a record ~400,000 for the issue where they published the infamous 'caricatures'. There's an upcoming court battle about this early next year.

tagos
10-06-2006, 06:26 AM
While this may be true of the mainstream press (although I should point out that Figaro did publish this piece, even though they chickened afterwards) there are any number of smaller publications, artists etc who are prepared to stand up against the intimidation attempts. The French weekly Charlie Hebdo (http://unecharlie.canalblog.com/) boosted their circulation from an average of ~100,000 to a record ~400,000 for the issue where they published the infamous 'caricatures'. There's an upcoming court battle about this early next year.

Thanks for the info. Kudos to them for their courage. Of course the act of publishing cartoons or creating works of art should not be one of courage in the first place.

Bridget Burke
10-06-2006, 08:23 AM
Bridget Burke--you obviously didn't read the linked article.

The teacher being threaten by Radical Islamics is living in France. And France isn't invading anybody.

The radicals' actions are utterly unjustified. Murder in response to criticism?

Sorry for this late response. Yes, I read the article. The high school philosophy teacher got the reaction he wanted. He wasn't just criticizing "Radical Islamics"--he's totally against the religion. {"Islamics"?)

But Redeker expanded his critique from these examples to a broadside against Islam as a religion. He acknowledged that violence was commonly committed in the name of Christianity, but claimed that "it is always possible to turn back to evangelical values, to the mild personage of Jesus, from the excesses of the Church." Muhammad, he claimed, offered no such recourse: "Jesus is a master of love, Muhammad is a master of hate."

I hear that Michelle Malkin is also outraged.

Not that I agree with the reaction to his screed--but it's short-sighted to claim that Islam & Christianity might have a confrontation. Read a history book. Or two.

Rune
10-06-2006, 08:38 AM
The high school philosophy teacher got the reaction he wanted.So you think he wanted the death threats against himself, his wife and children and to be hounded from his job and home? And even, should we believe for a second that that is exactly what he wanted, why should we ever agree to oblige him? Even when someone is clearly taunting extremists for a response, we should never accept or make weak apologies for the extremists response.

He wasn't just criticizing "Radical Islamics"--he's totally against the religion.Perhaps. And what of it? Is that bad or good and why should we even care. Nothing wrong with being against a religion or religion in general.

Read a history book. Or two. :rolleyes:

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
10-06-2006, 08:41 AM
Sorry for this late response. Yes, I read the article. The high school philosophy teacher got the reaction he wanted. He wasn't just criticizing "Radical Islamics"--he's totally against the religion. {"Islamics"?)



I hear that Michelle Malkin is also outraged.

Not that I agree with the reaction to his screed--but it's short-sighted to claim that Islam & Christianity might have a confrontation. Read a history book. Or two.
But what the heck does this response have to do with your first post?

How does "invading countries" fit in? :confused: The French are invading anything! They are merely appeasers to extremists, as usual.

Bridget Burke
10-06-2006, 09:33 AM
But what the heck does this response have to do with your first post?

How does "invading countries" fit in? :confused: The French are invading anything! They are merely appeasers to extremists, as usual.

Don't most of France's Muslms have roots in Algeria or Morroco? France ruled Algeria once & had great "influence" over parts of Morocco. Imperialsim sucks--even for the descendants of the imperialists. It's justn NOT FAIR!

Again--invasions have been going on a long time. In both directions, of course.

Having Freedom Fries with your burger today?

Themenin
10-06-2006, 10:20 AM
But what the heck does this response have to do with your first post?

How does "invading countries" fit in? :confused: The French are invading anything! They are merely appeasers to extremists, as usual.I agree with your basic point that we should defend this school teacher's (and anybody else's) right to his opinion, and freedom from death threats. The people making these threats are criminals, end of story.

However - how do you get to the French being "appeasers to extremists" ? You are aware that France backed the Algerian military against the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria, and was subjected to a bombing campaign in the mid 1990s as a result - do you think the French government backed down ? Do you think the French government "appeased" the GIA terrorists ? You are aware that Algeria, in avoiding an Islamist takeover was plunged into a civil war which claimed over 100,000 lives ? It could be claimed that the Algerian government has gone over to the "appeasers" side now, as they have since adopted a policy of reconciliation, and have extended an amnesty for civil war killings. They may, of course have simply made the best choice for national unity and peace...

At the time I wasn't sure I agreed with the initial choice of the French government to support the Algerian military dictatorship, as the FIS had won the popular election, but it's safe to say that France has made a major contribution to stemming the rise of Islamist terrorism, at great cost to French citizens. Paris was eerily deserted for a short time in the mid 90s, you could go to a movie theater or a restaurant and be practically alone - I guess people got tired of looking under their seats for suspicious packages. Although we suddenly had soldiers with machine-guns patrolling the city (I found this more un-nerving than the bomb threat) and a ban on garbage cans, we got through the whole thing with no suspension of civil liberties. Although security was substantially increased, there was no change in legal procedures, and the handful of police officers who stepped out of bounds in interrogation techniques were prosecuted for it. The terrorists were pursued and prosecuted as criminals.

You might also want to take a look at the hi-jacking of Flight 8969 which GIA terrorists had planned to crash on Paris, but was ultimately taken back by the GIGN with minimum loss of life - all of the hi-jackers were killed, and no passengers or Gendarmes died in the assault, although the hi-jackers had previously killed some of the passengers in order to be cleared for take-off. (Oliver Stone should make a movie about this)

What France is trying to do, is negotiate the complicated terrain of cracking down hard on terrorists, while maintaining civil liberties and freedom of worship, and not falling into the trap of racism and right-wing extremism -

In many ways (though we don't always admit it) I believe the rest of the 'free-world' counts on the US to be an anchor in keeping our values alive, and to see many of you behaving in such a fearful and ignorant manner is making a lot of people pretty nervous.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
10-06-2006, 10:51 AM
Don't most of France's Muslms have roots in Algeria or Morroco? France ruled Algeria once & had great "influence" over parts of Morocco. Imperialsim sucks--even for the descendants of the imperialists. It's justn NOT FAIR!

Again--invasions have been going on a long time. In both directions, of course.

Having Freedom Fries with your burger today?

Well then, as an Oppressed American I am well within my right to throw bricks at passing Englishment, because more than 200 years ago, we were a colony of the British Empire.

And the British have a right to throw bricks at passing Swedes, because 1000+ years ago, the Vikings invaded England.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Grow up.

LonesomePolecat
10-06-2006, 11:43 AM
In many ways (though we don't always admit it) I believe the rest of the 'free-world' counts on the US to be an anchor in keeping our values alive, and to see many of you behaving in such a fearful and ignorant manner is making a lot of people pretty nervous.
Well, maybe if they took up more of the burden of keeping our values alive,we wouldn't be so stressed out. As for our "fearful and ignorant" manner, they should remember that many of us consider their manner cowardly and two-faced.

Bridget Burke
10-06-2006, 12:18 PM
Well then, as an Oppressed American I am well within my right to throw bricks at passing Englishment, because more than 200 years ago, we were a colony of the British Empire.

And the British have a right to throw bricks at passing Swedes, because 1000+ years ago, the Vikings invaded England.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Grow up.

France was kicked out of Algeria in 1962--hardly ancient history. More recent than the events that inspired your "appeasement" canard. (You got that from Michelle Malkin, too, didn't you?) I'm not saying anybody has a right to hold grudges--but they do. (Unless they're Amish.)

I'm mostly appalled by this "oh, look, there's Ay-rabs!" hysteria. The "confrontation" has been going on a long time.

But thanks for your admonition to "grow up." Makes me feel young.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
10-06-2006, 02:13 PM
France was kicked out of Algeria in 1962--hardly ancient history. More recent than the events that inspired your "appeasement" canard. (You got that from Michelle Malkin, too, didn't you?) I'm not saying anybody has a right to hold grudges--but they do. (Unless they're Amish.)

I'm mostly appalled by this "oh, look, there's Ay-rabs!" hysteria. The "confrontation" has been going on a long time.

But thanks for your admonition to "grow up." Makes me feel young.



I am not familiar with Ms. Malkin.
France was kicked out of Algerian before I was born.
Your use of the term "ay-rab" seems to be implying something. Care to expand on that?
If they, the "ay-rabs", do not have the right to hold grudges--but they do, then their grudges are wrong. And if this is a culturally-encouraged response, rather than a few louts with grudges, then we can expect more violence on a regular basis. Hence the "confrontation" concept.
The admonition "grow up" was indeed misplaced. Perhaps "get a clue" might be closer to the mark.

rjung
10-06-2006, 03:13 PM
I am not familiar with Ms. Malkin.
She's the Ann Coulter wanna-be who doesn't look like a transvestite.

Bridget Burke
10-06-2006, 04:56 PM
France was kicked out of Algerian before I was born.

Your use of the term "ay-rab" seems to be implying something. Care to expand on that?


"Ay-rab" is the pronunciation often used by the more ignorant of my fellow Texans. Not that there aren't ignorant folks all over.

The French high school teacher was a fool. Those who responded with threats are worse fools. Please expand on this story--although little hard news is available.

Perhaps you ought to read up on things that happened before you were born. We've been "confronting" Islam for a long time. This is not Late Breaking News.

tomndebb
10-06-2006, 07:12 PM
TWEEEET!

Everyone back off. Neither the personal attacks (or innuendo) against other posters nor the stupid broad brush claims against peoples based on culture or nationality are carrying forward this discussion.

If you folks can't bring this around to a debate instead of a volley of bumper sticker claims, I'm shutting it down.

[ /Moderator ]

chowder
10-07-2006, 04:14 AM
Well then, as an Oppressed American I am well within my right to throw bricks at passing Englishment, because more than 200 years ago, we were a colony of the British Empire.

And the British have a right to throw bricks at passing Swedes, because 1000+ years ago, the Vikings invaded England.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Grow up.
...and the Danes, don't forget the Danes :) oh and some Norwegians.

Right I'm off to throw bricks at some French 'cos they invaded us in 1066 :D

The Flying Dutchman
10-07-2006, 10:24 AM
Link (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1541776,00.html) to the latest outrage.

I'm really beginning to think that Islam and Civilization cannot peacefully co-exist.
I think it is obvious right now that western civilization and Islam cannot peacefully co=exist.

The battle will be a bloody one, and make the Crusades look like a slap-fight between children. Is this feeling I'm getting just because the extremists get all the press, or am I right?
Aside from the specific confrontations in Iraq and Afghanistan instigated by western civilization, I doubt we'll see any more pitched battles. Americans are growing weary with failure to accomplish victory. They will leave Iraq and Afghanistan defeated.

What are the chances we can defuse this and modernize and moderate the extremists?
Assuming your goal is a peacefull world there is a saying, "If you can't beat them join them". For example, we could start by proclaiming laws protecting Islamic sensibilities and prosecuting those who insult Islam. We could also stop supporting Israel and get the troops out of Islamic countries.

If Iran gets nukes, the game takes a whole different aspect. Can we maintain democracy in the face of Islamic invasion?
Iran is not stupid.

What our western civilization has experienced over the past 5 years is what we will be faced with as long as there is an abundance of oil in the middle east.

To be clear, a majority of Muslims are peaceful. But the extemists are operating under the umbrella of a powerfully large religion, which is easy to insult. The extremists can take refuge and recruit under that umbrella because it must be difficult to side with infidels against extremist Muslims who claim they are fighting for Allah. Democracy is no match against a powerful religion. Manny American dopers know that. They are constantly keeping an eye on their own in house politically active fundies.

silenus
10-07-2006, 11:49 AM
Assuming your goal is a peacefull world there is a saying, "If you can't beat them join them". For example, we could start by proclaiming laws protecting Islamic sensibilities and prosecuting those who insult Islam. We could also stop supporting Israel and get the troops out of Islamic countries.

There's the rub. Why should we? Islamic sensibilities are no more important than anyone else's. They should get zero special treatment from any country. Either accept the laws of their adopted country or leave. Freedom of speech means I can say anything about Islam I want, without fear of being silenced by religious nut-jobs. Threaten me? Then you are the one prosecuted and jailed. The death threats just prove to me that until Islam moves out of the 13th Century and starts becoming tolerant, it will never be able to peacefully co-exist in Western Society. Yes, there are millions of peaceful, tolerant Muslims in the West, but I'm not hearing any of them condemning the threats. Where are the marches in protest of radicals who issue fatwahs against authors? All we hear is silence.

Get troops out of Islamic countries? Probably, but not because it annoys Muslims. Stop supporting Israel? Not bloody likely, and if Islamic nations think that's a problem, tough.

The Flying Dutchman
10-07-2006, 12:18 PM
There's the rub. Why should we? Islamic sensibilities are no more important than anyone else's. They should get zero special treatment from any country. Either accept the laws of their adopted country or leave.
silenus There's the rub. Do you want peace or do you want your brand of justice? Islamic countries have been relatively peaceful historically where we haven't interfered. They thrive on strong governments which support Islamic principles. Christians in those countries have nothing to fear as long as they respect Islam. Even Saddam's foreign minister was a Christian.

Justice appears to be a bigger deal than peace in the world. We can all find common ground on the desire for peace . Unfortunately Islamic justice bears little resemblence to western justice and if we aren't prepared to accomadate them, why should they accomadate us ?

clairobscur
10-07-2006, 01:43 PM
Can we maintain democracy in the face of Islamic invasion? France and the rest of Europe are on the edge right now. How much longer before Canada falls?



On the edge of what? What's going to happen in France according to you? What's happening now that it's terrifying you?

I just came back from the muslim-owned bakery and the muslim-owned grocery. Both said me hello with a smile and both accepted to sell me their stuff. There were plenty of arab-looking, presumably muslims people in the street. Nobody assaulted me, nobody spat on me, nobody was busy burning down the nearby synagogue, or the newspaper stand selling pornography, nobody shouted "Allah Akbar".

Before coming back, I also had a drink at the cafe right besides my place who's owned by, you guessed it, a muslim (my newspaper I got from a chinese man, for a change). Though he would most probably have agreed to serve me beer, I don't like it, so I had a coffee instead. He didn't throw it at my face. Instead of talking about the depravity of the western world, he talked about his visitation rights, because his 4 y.o. was present. Said 4 y.o. , named Belkassem, hence presumably rather muslim, must have been poorly educated because instead of mentioning his future as a djihadist, he raved about penguins. I also briefly saw his muslim girlfriend, who, who would have guessed it, was not veiled and even *talked* to me, a male, a stranger and an infidel.

So, I've seen a sample of muslims in France today. Like yesterday and the day before. And the previous week. And so on.... What's the problem with muslims and France, again? What are the warning signs of the imminent collapse? I guess it is that french bread is baked by arabs....

clairobscur
10-07-2006, 02:00 PM
Take a look at Britain, which has a much better track record of giving out stable employment to immigrants. They've got some concerns, but things are nowhere near as volatile as they are on the continent.
?


Regarding muslims, you're completely wrong. I wish I could find a link to it, but a month ago or so, a poll made in various european countries by an american organization (or newspaper?? I can't remember) showed that french muslims had (amongst other similar things) the highest rate of identification with the country they lived in of all polled countries. If I'm not mistakn, the worst answers were to be found, precisely, in the UK.

clairobscur
10-07-2006, 02:07 PM
I wish I could find a link to it, .


Searching for it, I found a link refering to another poll that tok place 2 weeks ago, here (http://www.expatica.com/actual/article.asp?subchannel_id=25&story_id=33213) :


PARIS, Sept 19, 2006 (AFP) - A large majority of French Muslims support sexual equality, free choice in religion and the separation of church and state, flying in the face of some Western cliches on Islam, a new poll reveals.

Of the Muslims questioned, 91 percent said they supported male-female equality, while 69 percent would accept a Muslim woman marrying a non-Muslim, according to the CSA poll to be published Thursday by the Roman Catholic weekly La Vie.

Some 73 percent also said they agreed with the French separation of church and state -- an issue spotlighted two years ago by a contentious ban on religious signs including Muslim headscarves in state schools.


Honestly, I suspect that many people ranting about muslims in france have absolutely no clue what the average french muslim is like....

Actually, I shouldn't be as polite re some hateful comments made in this thread.

tomndebb
10-07-2006, 02:11 PM
Actually, I shouldn't be as polite re some hateful comments made in this thread.Stick to polite; it demonstrates your moral superiority.

clairobscur
10-07-2006, 02:34 PM
I wish I could find a link to it.


I found it on this page (http://pewresearch.org/obdeck/?ObDeckID=50)
Though this atcle is speciically an anlysis of the result concerning France by comparison with other countries, Im sure that if someone is interested, he'll eaily find other articles more specifically discussing other countries.

Some abstracts from the article :



French Muslims do share many opinions with their co-religionists in neighboring countries. Primary among them is concern about joblessness.

Like Muslims elsewhere in Europe, the French also worry more generally about the future of Muslims in their country -- though, in this case, Muslims in France are significantly less worried than those in Great Britain.

But while 58% of French Muslims view relations with Westerners as bad, far more (41%) view these relations as good than do British or German Muslims.

And, like Muslims elsewhere in Europe only a tiny minority of French Muslims (16%) say that suicide bombings and other violence against civilian targets in defense of Islam can often or sometimes be justified.

And while the majority of Muslims in all four European countries surveyed say they have little or no confidence in Osama bin Laden, French Muslims are virtually unanimous (93%) in their disdain. (By comparison, 68% of British Muslims submit a vote of no confidence in the Al Qaeda leader.)

French Muslims even top the general publics in the United States and France in favorable ratings of Christians (91% of French Muslims vs. 88% of Americans and 87% of the French take that view).

Fully 71% of French Muslims express a positive view of people of the Jewish faith, compared with only 38% of German Muslims, 32% of British Muslims, 28% of Spanish Muslims .

Surveys suggest that Muslims are generally more conservative for example on issues such as sexuality and marriage... the fraction of Muslims actively practicing their religion in France is only 10 percent, which is very similar to that of practicing Catholics.

This perception of welcome persists despite the fact that French Muslims are somewhat more likely than those in other European countries to report that they have had a bad experience attributable to their race, ethnicity or religion.

[b] But what most distinguishes French Muslims among others in Europe are their self-perceptions. Few Muslims living in France see a natural conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society. Seven-in-ten French Muslims (72%) perceive no such conflict, a view shared by a virtually identical 74%-share of the French general public. In Great Britain, however, Muslims split evenly (47% see a conflict, 49% do not)

Moreover, when asked whether they consider themselves as a national citizen first or as a Muslim first, French Muslims split relatively evenly (42% vs. 46%) on the issue. Not only is this remarkably different from Muslims elsewhere in Europe (fully 81% of British Muslims self-identify with their religion rather than their nationality, for example) but it is remarkably close to the responses given by Americans when asked whether they identify first as national citizens or as Christians (48% vs. 42%).



So, you couldn't be more wrong about french muslims, especially when stating that the UK, of all countries, would be somehow more able to handle the "issue".




For the mods : I hope the quotes weren't too extensive, but the article is quite long.

clairobscur
10-07-2006, 02:41 PM
l should have bolded too the part about french muslims "[reporting] that they have had a bad experience attributable to their race, ethnicity or religion".


As an exercice for the reader : do you guess from what kind of public statements and what kind of perceptions these "bad experiences" arise?

clairobscur
10-07-2006, 02:57 PM
Well, the Belgian immigrants were French, being mostly the population of Wallony that had been carved away from France and given to the Netherlands, (then breaking free to create the artifical nation of Belgium), following the unpleasantness with Napoleon.

It hasn't been carved away from France (or more exactly, it wasn't french teritory before the 1789 revolution and the following conquests, and had not been since the middle ages). Wallony was part of the duchy of Flanders, then of the Spanish low countries, etc...

Sam Stone
10-07-2006, 03:13 PM
Assuming your goal is a peacefull world there is a saying, "If you can't beat them join them". For example, we could start by proclaiming laws protecting Islamic sensibilities and prosecuting those who insult Islam. We could also stop supporting Israel and get the troops out of Islamic countries.


I can't decide if you are serious or not. If you are, that's just sad. Is our culture so weak that we would give up a cherished right like freedom of speech in the face of a few threats of violence?

Frankly, the notion that we would solve this by passing laws that enable religious police to prosecute people for 'insulting Islam' gives me the willies. Over my dead body.

And stopping support for Israel means abandoning our allies to religious fanatics because we don't have the stomach to stand with them as they defend their own western, enlightened values. This also gives me the willies.


What our western civilization has experienced over the past 5 years is what we will be faced with as long as there is an abundance of oil in the middle east.


That's a nice sound bite, but is it true? How much oil revenue did the Taliban have? Bin Laden's money comes from construction. I assume you mean that if there's no oil in the middle east we can leave, and once we leave they'll be happy. Frankly, that's nonsense. Pandora's box is now open. The problem is that the world is now too small. Satellite communications and the Internet have put us all in each other's neighborhoods. Muslims are being exposed to western culture in a myriad of ways, and the radicals and fundamentalists among them don't like it.

If anything, having the middle east run out of oil could make things worse, because it will economically depress the region, cause more internal stress and perhaps further radicalizing the population.

To be clear, a majority of Muslims are peaceful. But the extemists are operating under the umbrella of a powerfully large religion, which is easy to insult. The extremists can take refuge and recruit under that umbrella because it must be difficult to side with infidels against extremist Muslims who claim they are fighting for Allah. Democracy is no match against a powerful religion. Manny American dopers know that. They are constantly keeping an eye on their own in house politically active fundies.

This is ridiculous. Democracy has coexisted with religious fundamentalism for hundreds of years. Christians like democracy. They may want to tinker with it on the fringes, but very, very few modern Christians want to live in a theocracy.

This isn't 'religion against Democracy', or even 'fundamentalism against democracy'. It's a specific religion which, when taken to extremes, mandates behaviour that is incompatible with free choice. I know it's fashionable to lump all religions into a big basket here so we don't have to do the politically incorrect thing and single out Islam, but pesky facts get in the way. Christians by and large have not been attacking modernity with bombs and blowing up people by the thousands because they are infidels. Nor are Christians stabbing filmmakers, threatening cartoonists and writers, or rioting in the streets and burning American flags because, say, the ten commandments was removed from a courthouse.

silenus There's the rub. Do you want peace or do you want your brand of justice?

Justice? How about freedom? And frankly, we've been fighting and dying to protect our freedom for hundreds of years. It's always easy to submit to the latest thug with a gun and a plan for your life. Luckily, we've been the kind of people that, when freedom itself is on the line, choose to do the hard thing. I hope we still have that spirit within us as a society.

Islamic countries have been relatively peaceful historically where we haven't interfered.

Really? That's funny, because when I look around the world today, Muslims are involved in all sorts of conflicts. Darfur, for example. Then of course there was the Iran/Iraq war in recent memory, and the conflicts between India and Pakistan, and the Taliban overthrowing the government of Afghanistan, and several Arab/Israeli wars, and recently a rocket attack on Israel from Hezbollah.

They thrive on strong governments which support Islamic principles. Christians in those countries have nothing to fear as long as they respect Islam.

Charming. Keep your mouth shut, don't defend your own religion, be happy you're a second class citizen, and we won't kill you.

Justice appears to be a bigger deal than peace in the world. We can all find common ground on the desire for peace . Unfortunately Islamic justice bears little resemblence to western justice and if we aren't prepared to accomadate them, why should they accomadate us ?

Wow, what an attempt at moral equivalence. Let's be clear - the 'accomodation' we are looking for is to be left in peace to live our own lives. The 'accomodation' they are looking for is that we have to change the way we live or be put to the sword. There is nothing even remotely similar about these two desires.

We're not talking about 'justice'. We're talking about saving our culture - a culture shared by western nations for 900 years. Democracy, freedom of speech, equal rights for men and women, and the ultimate right of the individual to live his or her own life free from coercion. The 'accomodation' we're being asked for is to revert back to a theocratic, authoritarian existence where we are all subjugated to the demands of religion and ruled over by theologians.

No thanks. I'll gladly trade some peace to prevent that. I'll fight to the death to keep my daughter from having to wear a burkha or be a second class citizen in the new religious order. I'm saddened that anyone in the west would feel differently.

clairobscur
10-07-2006, 03:34 PM
The death threats just prove to me that until Islam moves out of the 13th Century and starts becoming tolerant, it will never be able to peacefully co-exist in Western Society.


Do all death threats sent following a co-ed piece prove to you the same thing about the writers' persuasion and/or religious beliefs?

Because if it's the case, we're in for a long list of people with whom we can't peacefully co-exist, some of whom have been amongst us for quite a long time. Out of my head, and still in France, you could kick out to begin with Jews (there has been a similar issue some months ago, statements critical of Israel's policy followed by an organized campaign against the equally Jewish signatories and death threats. The story incidentally was published by the same french newspaper, but strangely enough didn't make its way into GD) and christians (especially since they didn't stop at threats but firebombed the cinema where the movie they happened to dislike was shown. I remember it quite well since I intended to go to this cinema, it was the last one in Paris that hadn't caved in). I'm not sure about hindus (in France at least, in India, we would have no trouble finding much more than mere threats) but I'm convinced that we would find some death threats senders amongst them if we searched hard enough.

But since I somehow suspect that it's only with the muslims that you believe we can't coexist peacefully, I'm pretty sure these death threats don't prove to you anything you weren't already fully convinced of.

Sam Stone
10-07-2006, 07:24 PM
You know, that's a disingenuous argument. Yes, there are always death threats from wackos. You can find lone nutbars of every religion or lack thereof. The difference with radical Islam is that the death threats are acted upon, and that they often come from high-ranking members within the community and are supported by million of people.

This is not a distinction you can just hand-wave away by showing that some nutbar in Idaho once threatened a radio station, or even if some lone nutcase actually acts on a threat and kills somebody. We are talking about a worldwide religious phenomenon in which high ranking clerics issue death threats and the rank-and-file carry them out. Fatwas are issued calling for the death of some westerner for a supposed insult, and thousands demonstrate in the streets in support of it.

The problem is serious enough that it is already having a chilling effect on western culture. Operas are cancelled, newspaper stories pulled, TV networks alter their programming, and God only knows how many creative ideas never even make it to air because some writer or editor or studio head said, "That's not something I want my head cut off for."

The scale and scope of this problem is dramatic, and attempts to equate it with the odd extremist wacko in other religions are just pathetic.

I'll accept your equivalence with Jewish radicals when I start seeing comedians cut Jewish jokes out of their routines for fear of being stabbed on their way home, and when Comedy Central pulls a South Park episiode making fun of Jews for fear of having their offices bombed or their executives hunted down and killed by Jewish radicals egged on by Rabbis in Israel.

clairobscur
10-07-2006, 08:54 PM
You know, that's a disingenuous argument.

Sorry, but Silenus argument was disingenuous as well. He didn't speak about the mullah, or refer to 9/11 or anything but stated that the death threats made him think that we couldn't live in peace with muslims. If it were true, then he would think the same about pretty much everybody else, because death threats are commonplace (*). So, it's not true.


I'm fully convinced he already thought so much, and he's merely using here this example in support of his preconceived opinions, as in "look how evil these muslims are. Here's another proof. Discuss".


I'm not going to debate seriously about the negative aspects of Islam (and it's not like I'm a great fan of Islam, or even of religions in general) with someone who is so obviously prejudiced as he is. Actually, I'm not going to discuss the negative aspects of Islam at all, because currently there's no need to do so, no need to fuel the fire of a hate that many seem to find acceptable to express. There are widely enough people around doing so, including in this stronghold of knowledge that the Straigh Dope purports to be. On the other hand, there's a real need to fight in the best case the ignorance and stupidity, but often the lies, the prejudices, the rampant racism that is becoming so commonplace regarding muslims and "arabs".





(*)and acting on them too. I've seen here a number of threads using a violent attack or a murder commited by muslims in Europe as an OP, but not even once an OP about violence and murder targetting arabs and muslims, and it's not like there aren't any. Do you think it's just an happenstance ?

Sam Stone
10-07-2006, 09:15 PM
Sorry, but Silenus argument was disingenuous as well. He didn't speak about the mullah, or refer to 9/11 or anything but stated that the death threats made him think that we couldn't live in peace with muslims. If it were true, then he would think the same about pretty much everybody else, because death threats are commonplace (*). So, it's not true.


I'm fully convinced he already thought so much, and he's merely using here this example in support of his preconceived opinions, as in "look how evil these muslims are. Here's another proof. Discuss".


I'm not going to debate seriously about the negative aspects of Islam (and it's not like I'm a great fan of Islam, or even of religions in general) with someone who is so obviously prejudiced as he is. Actually, I'm not going to discuss the negative aspects of Islam at all, because currently there's no need to do so, no need to fuel the fire of a hate that many seem to find acceptable to express. There are widely enough people around doing so, including in this stronghold of knowledge that the Straigh Dope purports to be. On the other hand, there's a real need to fight in the best case the ignorance and stupidity, but often the lies, the prejudices, the rampant racism that is becoming so commonplace regarding muslims and "arabs".



I'm just not seeing this widespread hatred and and 'racism' against Arabs and Muslims that you seem to be seeing. In fact, every time I see the issue discussed I see people being very careful to single out 'radical Islam' or 'Islamism' as being a very different thing than mainstream Muslim belief. But it sure is handy to toss around the racism card against your opponents.

(*)and acting on them too. I've seen here a number of threads using a violent attack or a murder commited by muslims in Europe as an OP, but not even once an OP about violence and murder targetting arabs and muslims, and it's not like there aren't any. Do you think it's just an happenstance ?

And just how much violence and murder is there targeted against Muslims? How does it compare to the violence and murder coming from the other side? Why must you always go for some moral equivalence?

Here's an analogy that fits what you're trying to say:

"We need to crack down on mob violence. We need a special task force because the mob is getting out of control and killing people!"

"Oh yeah? Well, I read an article the other day about a grandma who killed someone in Des Moines! You gonna set up a special task force to crack down on grandmothers?"

One side is organized, widespread, violent, and promises more violence. They number in the millions. The other side has the occasional whacko, crackpot, or disturbed loner.

You can draw an equivalence between Islamic violence and violence targeting Muslims when you can point to a large, organized group of people taking orders from religious leaders to hunt down and kill any Muslim who steps out of line. In the meantime, your claims of widespread racism and violence against Muslims are just so much hot air. Yes, there have been isolated cases of enraged people going after individual muslims. A very, very small number, especially since a large bloc of Muslims has pretty much declared open war on us.

That the amount of violence against Muslims is as small as it is, is a testament to the essential tolerance and goodness of our society, yet you seem to want to paint us as something much darker.

The Flying Dutchman
10-07-2006, 09:43 PM
On the edge of what? What's going to happen in France according to you? What's happening now that it's terrifying you?

I just came back from the muslim-owned bakery and the muslim-owned grocery. Both said me hello with a smile and both accepted to sell me their stuff. There were plenty of arab-looking, presumably muslims people in the street. Nobody assaulted me, nobody spat on me, nobody was busy burning down the nearby synagogue, or the newspaper stand selling pornography, nobody shouted "Allah Akbar".

Before coming back, I also had a drink at the cafe right besides my place who's owned by, you guessed it, a muslim (my newspaper I got from a chinese man, for a change). Though he would most probably have agreed to serve me beer, I don't like it, so I had a coffee instead. He didn't throw it at my face. Instead of talking about the depravity of the western world, he talked about his visitation rights, because his 4 y.o. was present. Said 4 y.o. , named Belkassem, hence presumably rather muslim, must have been poorly educated because instead of mentioning his future as a djihadist, he raved about penguins. I also briefly saw his muslim girlfriend, who, who would have guessed it, was not veiled and even *talked* to me, a male, a stranger and an infidel.

So, I've seen a sample of muslims in France today. Like yesterday and the day before. And the previous week. And so on.... What's the problem with muslims and France, again? What are the warning signs of the imminent collapse? I guess it is that french bread is baked by arabs....




Just out of curiosity, are you a Frenchman or an American ex-patriate?
I seem have developed a sense over the years that Frenchman are very sensitive to the preservation of their language and culture particularly wrt to American cultural influence. It would seem to me that the French would be wary of Islamic influence as well as I presume that there are a lot more Muslims in France than Americans.

I understand your post, because as a Canadian I couldn't quite understand the negativity, indeed hatred for Fundies displayed on this message board when I first joined. Every now and then a fundie newbie appears and before too long he/she is drummed out. We have Fundies here in Canada too and I have had many pleasant experiences with them. Since then I've learned that many Americans fear their growing political power to change their culture. I think they are over reacting but I understand these dopers now.


It is not individuals that are to be feared. It is the movement. Most Americans were treated quite hospitably in Germany prior to 1939.

tomndebb
10-07-2006, 10:56 PM
Islamic countries have been relatively peaceful historically where we haven't interfered. Really? That's funny, because when I look around the world today, Muslims are involved in all sorts of conflicts. Darfur, for example. Then of course there was the Iran/Iraq war in recent memory, and the conflicts between India and Pakistan, and the Taliban overthrowing the government of Afghanistan, and several Arab/Israeli wars, and recently a rocket attack on Israel from Hezbollah. Darfur is the only one of those examples in which violence occurred outside the context of Western/European conflicts.

Iran/Iraq was an attempt to "renegotiate" European imposed borders following the disruption of Iran by U.S. interference in their self-government. (It was certainly an opportunistic land grab by Hussein, but the antecedents included a lot of Western interference.)

India and Pakistan became separate nations and then went to war on several occasions as a hangover from the British occupation of the subcontinent and artificial adminstrative lines. This is not to say that the subcontinent would be a model of peace had Great Britain never wandered in, but then Europe has only been peaceful for the last sixty years--a pretty short period in world history.

The Taliban took over Afghanistan as one ethinic group asserting dominance over other ethnic groups after receiving arms and training from the U.S. in a proxy war against the U.S.S.R. that was continuing the "Great Game" of 19th century European hegemony over that region.

Israel was established and supported by the United Nations which was, pretty much, a European/North American playground during the first two Arab-Israeli wars and had not yet undergone any third world dominance by the time of the third Arab-Israeli War. (And a certain amount of Arab rhetoric is little more than a distraction used by the winners among the groups that got the power after Europe divvied up the Turkish Empire without regard to ethnic boundaires in the early 20th century.) Again, there is ample Arab hatred to fuel the situation, but a claim that the conflicts do not have roots in Western interference is simply to ignore history.

The Flying Dutchman
10-07-2006, 11:41 PM
I can't decide if you are serious or not. If you are, that's just sad. Is our culture so weak that we would give up a cherished right like freedom of speech in the face of a few threats of violence?
I am very serious, but I am not advocating surrender. What I am suggesting is that there just is no prospect for peace in the future with Islam.


Frankly, the notion that we would solve this by passing laws that enable religious police to prosecute people for 'insulting Islam' gives me the willies. Over my dead body.
I would suggest that 99.99 % of us westerners would agree with you. to the death as you say. I would also suggest that no Muslim would turn in a killer of a Muslim apostate or a killer of someone who insulted the prophet. Nor would a Muslim hesitate to vote for the banning of Islamic insults.


And stopping support for Israel means abandoning our allies to religious fanatics because we don't have the stomach to stand with them as they defend their own western, enlightened values. This also gives me the willies.

Once again I'm not advocating that position, but our world would be a lot more peaceful if the Americans would stop supporting them.


That's a nice sound bite, but is it true? How much oil revenue did the Taliban have? Bin Laden's money comes from construction.
Oh please. You've demonstrated an excellent grasp of how economies work in the past. What fueled all those construction projects on the Arabian peninsula? Dates? And what about those immediate disbursements of units of 12,000 USD cash that Hezbollah doled in the immediate aftermath of the war in Lebanon?


I assume you mean that if there's no oil in the middle east we can leave, and once we leave they'll be happy.
It will help

Pandora's box is now open. The problem is that the world is now too small. Satellite communications and the Internet have put us all in each other's neighborhoods. Muslims are being exposed to western culture in a myriad of ways, and the radicals and fundamentalists among them don't like it.

On that point I completely agree. Furthermore modern communications will magnify every perceived insult of Islamic values.

If anything, having the middle east run out of oil could make things worse, because it will economically depress the region, cause more internal stress and perhaps further radicalizing the population.

That might be true but without money the Islamists will have less ability to project their hatred on the world at large.



This is ridiculous. Democracy has coexisted with religious fundamentalism for hundreds of years. Christians like democracy. They may want to tinker with it on the fringes, but very, very few modern Christians want to live in a theocracy.
Its a matter of degree and where you are coming from. If you are pro choice, homosexual or an atheist American you might think differently.


This isn't 'religion against Democracy', or even 'fundamentalism against democracy'. It's a specific religion which, when taken to extremes, mandates behaviour that is incompatible with free choice. I know it's fashionable to lump all religions into a big basket here so we don't have to do the politically incorrect thing and single out Islam, but pesky facts get in the way. Christians by and large have not been attacking modernity with bombs and blowing up people by the thousands because they are infidels. Nor are Christians stabbing filmmakers, threatening cartoonists and writers, or rioting in the streets and burning American flags because, say, the ten commandments was removed from a courthouse.

I can't disagree with you. The point I wanted to bring across is that the root of the problem with Islam isn't individual Muslims, it is the religion Islam which provides the media that cultures violence around the world. Dopers have no fear of individual Fundies, but they do fear (although to a much lesser degree) Fundamentalism.

Justice? How about freedom? And frankly, we've been fighting and dying to protect our freedom for hundreds of years. It's always easy to submit to the latest thug with a gun and a plan for your life. Luckily, we've been the kind of people that, when freedom itself is on the line, choose to do the hard thing. I hope we still have that spirit within us as a society.

Well I would agree to a point. But if doing the hard thing which America is doing in Iraq and Afghanistan is futile, we are only magnifying the injury to ourselves.
There is no majic bullet here, but my case is for pulling the troops out, and halting all further Islamic immigration and visitation(especially clerics). Nobody dies. Everyone wins.



Really? That's funny, because when I look around the world today, Muslims are involved in all sorts of conflicts. Darfur, for example. Then of course there was the Iran/Iraq war in recent memory, and the conflicts between India and Pakistan, and the Taliban overthrowing the government of Afghanistan, and several Arab/Israeli wars, and recently a rocket attack on Israel from Hezbollah.

Where we haven't interfered I said. All these regions were under British control at one time. The point is definitely arguable so I really don't wish to debate it.





Charming. Keep your mouth shut, don't defend your own religion, be happy you're a second class citizen, and we won't kill you.
That is how a Christian can live in peace in an Islamic country. It works. Lets make sure there is no chance that our great grandchildren in Canada are faced with this choice.


To summarize, I believe we can't fight Islamic extremism so we shouldn't try. I believe most Muslims are peace loving, but extremism is entrenched in Islam and growing. Thus we need to isolate ourselves from further foreign Muslim influence.
The survival of Amish culture is a good example.

clairobscur
10-08-2006, 05:25 AM
I'm just not seeing this widespread hatred and and 'racism' against Arabs and Muslims that you seem to be seeing.

Yes, sure. The OP is about the western civilization being on the verge of collapse due to hateful immigrants (note : immigrants, not muslims) stuck in the 7th century and threatening our "heritage". The ennemy is at the gates. I know quite well this kind of discourse. It's the discourse spread by the european extreme-right parties.


And just how much violence and murder is there targeted against Muslims? How does it compare to the violence and murder coming from the other side?

Fortunately, there aren't that many murders motivated by racism. Only one from time to time. A random Belgian immigrant is killed in the street, a building housing german immigrants is burnt down, a frenchman is thrown in the Seine river, that sort of things. But how many religiously motivated murders are taking place? Theo van Gogh in Netherlands? Even fewer. But you can count on some of our distinguished european members (the ones worried about our "heritage") to write an OP every time such a thing happens anywhere in Europe.

As for racially motivated violence : it's widespread. Common. Uglily ordinary. Way, way more common than the other way around. There's even a word in french for "let's go and beat the crap out of arabs" : ratonades. Not that it's only a french phenomenon. Neo-nazis in eastern Germany have made it a form of art, I'm told.

And I'm not even talking about discrimination (employment, housing, clubs, whatever..). This is essentially a given, a fact of life for your average muslim immigrant.


Why must you always go for some moral equivalence?

I will until idiotic and ignorant statements against muslims and arabs won't be tolerated anymore than they are for other minorities.

Here's an analogy that fits what you're trying to say:
[....]

For your analogy to hold, acts of violence commited by grandmothers would have to be actually widespread. I don't have to search high and low for an isolated instance of racially motivated violence against arabs (turks, whatever...) to contrast with the last "see how hateful these immigrants are" OP. Its a pervasive issue.

One side is organized, widespread, violent, and promises more violence. They number in the millions. The other side has the occasional whacko, crackpot, or disturbed loner.

Nope. You're confusing two issues. On one hand things like terrorism networks, and on the other hand the ocasional whacko or crackpot who send a death threat or murder a dutch filmaker, the later being the topic of the OP and having perfect equivalents amongst Jews, christians, etc... Note that none of these issues is particularily relevant when talking about the ordinary muslim immigrant. The ordinary muslim immigrant don't belong to Al Qaida and don't send death threats. He's too busy baking my bread.

And on "the other side" we're not talking about the occasional whacko. We're talking about the extreme-right gaining ground in every election in France, in Belgium, in Netherlands, in Denmark, in Germany, in Austria, etc... on the basis of their anti-immigrant, "arabs are going to destroy our civilization" stance. We're are talking about widespread ordinary racism and discrimination, we're are talking about commonplace racially motivated violence.



That the amount of violence against Muslims is as small as it is, is a testament to the essential tolerance and goodness of our society, yet you seem to want to paint us as something much darker.


The amount *isn't* small. I googled for some recent french figures, but for some reason, the first hit were old (1992) german official figures : 9 murders, 195 arsons during this year. At least it shows that it's not merely a recent phenomenon.

Next hit : 201 "acts of racist violence" in french public schools in two months. Note that this would include violence against blacks too, there's no seperate figure. But you can assume that the majority is against "arabs" (antisemite attacks are counted separately).

Third one : in 2005, in France, 18 arsons and 4 bombings targeted buildings housing north-african immigrants.

What makes you think that violence against muslims is so rare in Europe? How comes you're aware about violence commited by muslims but not about violence targeting muslims? Could it be because the former is so widely discussed and reported, in particular here, and the latter is not? Could it be because the statements of the european extreme-right are sneakily making their way to north-america and somehow are taken there at face value, as an objective view of the situation in Europe re. muslims? You should be warry of that, because it's what appears to be happening to me.

clairobscur
10-08-2006, 05:38 AM
Just out of curiosity, are you a Frenchman or an American ex-patriate?

.


I'm a frenchman.

clairobscur
10-08-2006, 06:00 AM
What I am suggesting is that there just is no prospect for peace in the future with Islam.
[....]

I would also suggest that no Muslim would turn in a killer of a Muslim apostate or a killer of someone who insulted the prophet.

[...]

Thus we need to isolate ourselves from further foreign Muslim influence.
The survival of Amish culture is a good example.


Let's replace "muslims" by the name of another minority :

There's no prospect for peace with the natives.

No Jew would turn in a fellow jewish murderer.

For our survival, we need to isolate ourselves from the blacks.



Rings some bells?



Sam Stone , see what I mean about rampant racism? Or is this what you'd call " people being very careful in their statements"? You should recognize the beast when it looks upon you.

The Flying Dutchman
10-08-2006, 03:00 PM
Let's replace "muslims" by the name of another minority :

There's no prospect for peace with the natives.

No Jew would turn in a fellow jewish murderer.

For our survival, we need to isolate ourselves from the blacks.



Rings some bells?

Not at all. but it is clear what you are attempting. I prefer to anologize my call for isolation from foreign Islam to way the Amish in America have successfully and peacefully preserved their way of life and values. As a Frenchman, you probably don't know what I'm talking about. You might want to read up on them.



Sam Stone , see what I mean about rampant racism? Or is this what you'd call " people being very careful in their statements"? You should recognize the beast when it looks upon you.

Beast? So whose the Anti-Christ ? I'm getting very uncomfortable with the fanaticism you just displayed. There is nothing racist about my comments. Opposition to a religion is not any more racist than opposition to fascism or communism or Christian fundamentalism. But, I know it plays well when you're having difficulty in responding to an argument . I would very much appreciate if you would drop the spin and respond honestly.

clairobscur
10-09-2006, 07:33 AM
A related piece of news. I catched moments ago part of a report about the local elections in Brussels. The Vlaams Belang party got a large number of votes, and it was apparently considered a success that it didn't won the election against the current socialist mayor of Brussels.

The Vlaams Belang, a party supporting Flemish independance is precisely running on the platform advocated in this thread : "let's kick the immigrant out lest they'll destroy our civilization". Apart from its anti-islamism and support for a white Europe, it also federates the homophobes, the crypto (or not so crypto) antisemites, the neo-nazis and all others similarily nice people. Of course, I'm not saying that every person voting for the Vlaams Belang is a racist homophobe antisemite, but for whom the racist homophobe antisemites vote is quite clear. And the appeal their racist stance has for a significant part of the electorate is quite obvious. The Vlaams Belang doesn't exactly hide its agenda.

On related news, the german neo-nazi NPD got seats during the election in one of the eastern german landers some weeks ago. Neo-nazis. In Germany of all places.

Don't be mistaken. It's the arguments and talking points of those extremist european parties that are relayed here. It's their perception of the current situation in Europe re muslims (islam is antithetic with western values, muslims are unable to behave themselves, our civilization is about to crumble in face of the muslim invasion, they reproduce like rabbits, are going to overrun us and your daughters will have to wear a veil, etc....Basically : the barbarians are at the gates) that is discussed. It's their statements that are apparently accepted at face value in north America. Be warry.

Themenin
10-09-2006, 10:35 AM
And just how much violence and murder is there targeted against Muslims? How does it compare to the violence and murder coming from the other side? Why must you always go for some moral equivalence?
[...]

One side is organized, widespread, violent, and promises more violence. They number in the millions. The other side has the occasional whacko, crackpot, or disturbed loner.
Who are these millions ? Is this a rhetorical flourish, or are you suggesting that there are millions of Muslim extremists who commit acts of terrorism in an attempt to achieve world domination ? Are you suggesting that these terrorists share a common goal, a common leadership, that they are working together ?

A lot of the rhetoric coming out of the US these days (and also the European extreme-right, as noted by Clairobscur) is disturbingly reminiscent of the anti-semitism of the first half of the XX century. Demonization of a large group of outsiders in our midst, diversely described as ethnic or religious. The attibution of a collective nefarious motive based solely on their religion or ethnicity etc. Hey, and a lot of them are semitic too !

aegypt
10-09-2006, 11:31 AM
Antimuslimism is the antisemitism of our century, and makes about as much sense.

"They" all hate "us" and would kill "us" all if only "they" could.

Like last time, no proof of this statement is necessary, and indeed questioning it only shows that you are on their side.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
10-09-2006, 12:08 PM
Antimuslimism is the antisemitism of our century, and makes about as much sense.

"They" all hate "us" and would kill "us" all if only "they" could.

Like last time, no proof of this statement is necessary, and indeed questioning it only shows that you are on their side.

There are 2 large holes in the earth that say your argument is also fulla holes.

tomndebb
10-09-2006, 01:37 PM
There are 2 large holes in the earth that say your argument is also fulla holes.No. The references of the last few posts referred to "millions" and to "they all." The WTC/Pentagon attacks required the efforts of just 19 persons with (perhaps) another hundred support personnel. That does not translate to "millions" or "all" so your rebuttal is the argument that is full of holes.

Sam Stone
10-09-2006, 01:58 PM
There are millions of Muslims who support the actions of the extremists. From the Pew Global Attitudes Project (http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=248):

In Morocco, just 26% of the public now say they have a lot or some confidence in bin Laden, down sharply from 49% in May 2003. In Indonesia, the public is now about evenly split, with 35% saying they place at least some confidence in bin Laden and 37% saying they have little or none; that represents a major shift since 2003, when 58% expressed confidence in bin Laden.

In Pakistan, however, a narrow majority (51%) places some measure of confidence in bin Laden, a slight increase from 45% in 2003. And in Jordan, support for the Al Qaeda leader has risen over the last two years from 55% to a current 60%, including 25% who say they have a lot of confidence in him. Unsurprisingly, support for bin Laden in non-Muslim countries is measured in the small single digits.

I was being conservative when I said 'millions'. It's more like tens of millions.

Here's a later Pew Project (http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?PageID=814) that specifically asks about support of 'terrorism in defense of Islam'. The numbers:

Terrorist violence against civilians is often or sometimes justified to defend Islam:

Lebanon: 39%
Morocco: 13%
Pakistan: 25%
Indonesia: 15%
Turkey: 14%
Jordan: 57%

Millions.

The Flying Dutchman
10-09-2006, 03:03 PM
I was being conservative when I said 'millions'. It's more like tens of millions.


You are still being conservative. Extending those percentages on the population of the countries you cited, I get 98 million. Of course that doesn't include muslims in other countries who support the actions of the extremists.

Shodan
10-09-2006, 03:11 PM
Assuming your goal is a peacefull world there is a saying, "If you can't beat them join them". For example, we could start by proclaiming laws protecting Islamic sensibilities and prosecuting those who insult Islam. We could also stop supporting Israel and get the troops out of Islamic countries.I'd rather die.

Regards,
Shodan

tomndebb
10-09-2006, 03:20 PM
And according to a recent poll highlighted in this Forum, 21% of people in the U.S. (roughly 62 millions), thought it would be fine to launch a military strike on Iran just for attempting to gain nuclear power. That's millions.

The number of people who respond to various polls (especially where the questions may have widely different meanings to those questioned and still different meanings to utside observers) do not necessarily indicate the number of people who are actively supporting violent actions.

The Flying Dutchman
10-09-2006, 03:26 PM
I'd rather die.

Regards,
Shodan

God, that brings me back to the days of the warcry, " I'd Rather Be Dead Than Red"

The Flying Dutchman
10-09-2006, 03:42 PM
And according to a recent poll highlighted in this Forum, 21% of people in the U.S. (roughly 62 millions), thought it would be fine to launch a military strike on Iran just for attempting to gain nuclear power. That's millions.

And that is despicable. Fortunately for Iran and the rest of the world Americans won't retaliate unless a majority of Americans support a government that will do that. Oh wait ! Given the current situation in Iraq that's not exactly true. If we can't trust the Americans with their renegade government, why should we trust the Muslims and with their renegade militants.

Kimstu
10-09-2006, 04:59 PM
I'm just not seeing this widespread hatred and and 'racism' against Arabs and Muslims that you seem to be seeing. In fact, every time I see the issue discussed I see people being very careful to single out 'radical Islam' or 'Islamism' as being a very different thing than mainstream Muslim belief.

"Every time"? Uh, Sam, did you read the title or OP of the very thread you're currently posting in? Where the OP says "I'm really beginning to think that Islam and Civilization cannot peacefully co-exist"? Not "radical Islam", not "Islamism", but "Islam" per se?

Maybe you just meant "in every discussion of this issue there are some people who are careful to single out 'radical Islam' as opposed to mainstream Islam". Plenty of others, however, don't bother to make the distinction, and don't hesitate to condemn Islam itself as a fundamentally evil or malignant religion (including the French schoolteacher who inspired this whole thread, btw).


One side is organized, widespread, violent, and promises more violence. They number in the millions.

You're trying to have it both ways here. Your "millions" figure comes from surveys of Muslim opinion concerning the legitimacy of terrorist violence. There is no evidence that most of those millions are part of any "organized" setup for committing or supporting violent acts.

The Islamist extremists who actually are "organized" and "violent" are far fewer in number than your "millions" figure attempts to suggest.

furt
10-09-2006, 05:34 PM
God, that brings me back to the days of the warcry, " I'd Rather Be Dead Than Red"Given the horrors attendant with every full-blown communist regime the world has ever known, that seems a not-unreasonable position.

"Give me liberty or give me death?" "Live free or die?"

Believe it or not, some folks actually do feel that way.

Kimstu
10-09-2006, 05:47 PM
Believe it or not, some folks actually do feel that way.

Of course, and with reason. But I think Dutch's point was that most of the folks proclaiming that heroic sentiment back in the Red-Scare days were not really in any danger of actually having to make such a choice.

And the same probably holds true for most of the Westerners today who feel, however sincerely, that they'd rather die than live under Islamic theocratic rule. Violent Islamic extremism poses a number of genuine dangers, but it is not a serious competitor for the role of dominant social/political influence in most contemporary Western societies.

The Flying Dutchman
10-09-2006, 07:04 PM
Of course, and with reason. But I think Dutch's point was that most of the folks proclaiming that heroic sentiment back in the Red-Scare days were not really in any danger of actually having to make such a choice.

True. Vietnam was such a waste of life for everyone involved.

And the same probably holds true for most of the Westerners today who feel, however sincerely, that they'd rather die than live under Islamic theocratic rule.
You don't even have to go that far. America has come along way to address the concerns of black Americans to restore a significant racial peace(without war). But that was accomplished by legislation and education that primarily reflected inherent values by both people. It was doable. In the case of Islam, there are many values that conflict. Primarily

1. Discrimination between Muslims and non-Muslims.
2. Discrimination between men and women
3. Free Speech
Thats fine I guess, as long as we ignore the first two. But point #3 is the hallmark of democracy and totally irreconcilable when challenging Islamic values within earshot of the media. This problem is here to stay, and people will die as a result.


Violent Islamic extremism poses a number of genuine dangers, but it is not a serious competitor for the role of dominant social/political influence in most contemporary Western societies.
Perhaps. But I'm reminded of the few boatloads of "nice " white European settlers accepting the hospitality of native Americans. Nice people can get mean real quick.


At the moment, violent Islamist extremism is no danger to me at all. I live way out in the boonies of Canada and while we have a great deal of ethnic diversity on northern Vancouver Island there are no mosques around here and we live a relatively peaceful life.

And that is the crux of my point. There are two major incompatible forces in the world. Western democracy and Islam. Both movements are much larger than the individual and seek to influence and spread their values globally. Each is a threat to the other. It may be time for Western civilization to stop exploiting Muslim countries and Muslim workers and put an end to commerce and immigration.

I'm not advocating deportation. Just a wall. If America can put up a wall against Canadians, why not against Islam. Canadians aren't any threat at all.

Shodan
10-09-2006, 08:16 PM
But I think Dutch's point was that most of the folks proclaiming that heroic sentiment back in the Red-Scare days were not really in any danger of actually having to make such a choice. Once the Soviets got the Bomb, I think everyone had to make that choice on some level.
And the same probably holds true for most of the Westerners today who feel, however sincerely, that they'd rather die than live under Islamic theocratic rule. Violent Islamic extremism poses a number of genuine dangers, but it is not a serious competitor for the role of dominant social/political influence in most contemporary Western societies.
Depends on the number of appeasers in a given society, don't you agree? Radical Islam is not exactly dominant in Spain, yet al-Queda got them to flee Iraq. If we do what several Dopers have recommended over the years - cut and run from Iraq, abandon Israel - that makes violent Islamic extremism influential enough to ruin a lot of lives. The Islamist extremists who actually are "organized" and "violent" are far fewer in number than your "millions" figure attempts to suggest.I probably don't need to speak for Sam, who can express himself well enough, but what he said was:There are millions of Muslims who support the actions of the extremists.

Regards,
Shodan

Kimstu
10-09-2006, 09:16 PM
I probably don't need to speak for Sam, who can express himself well enough, but what he said was:

There are millions of Muslims who support the actions of the extremists.


What he said in post #75---which I already quoted in post #94---was:

One side is organized, widespread, violent, and promises more violence. They number in the millions.

Which is what I was responding to.

Radical Islam is not exactly dominant in Spain, yet al-Queda got them to flee Iraq.

I don't think so. The Iraq invasion was never supported by more than a small minority of the Spanish people, and it's not clear that Spain would have stayed in the coalition even if 3/11 had never happened. The Madrid bombing didn't substantially change the minds of Spanish voters about Iraq; it just made them even more disgusted with the Aznar government's opportunistic toadying of the Bush Administration while not even being able to protect its own citizens.

If we do what several Dopers have recommended over the years - cut and run from Iraq, abandon Israel - that makes violent Islamic extremism influential enough to ruin a lot of lives.

True, but that doesn't contradict what I said, which was that "violent Islamic extremism is not a serious competitor for the role of dominant social/political influence in most contemporary Western societies". Even if Iraq were completely isolated and left to self-destruct in civil war, and even if Israel were completely deprived of foreign support and left to sink or swim entirely on its own among its hostile neighbor states and quasi-colonial dependents---neither of which I think would be a good thing, btw---violent Islamic extremism would still not be a serious competitor for the role of dominant social/political influence in most contemporary Western societies.

We have to take the dangers of violent Islamic extremism seriously, but it's counterproductive to make them out to be orders of magnitude more threatening or far-reaching than they actually are.

And speaking of unhelpful exaggerations, I've got to correct this one:

We're talking about saving our culture - a culture shared by western nations for 900 years. Democracy, freedom of speech, equal rights for men and women, and the ultimate right of the individual to live his or her own life free from coercion.

Dude, your "900" figure has to be a typo. Western nations have not shared a culture based on democracy or freedom of speech [/b]or[/b] gender equality or individual rights for nine hundred years, or anything like it. Two or three hundred years, tops.

Yes, it's important to save modern post-Enlightenment civilization from the threats posed by radical extremism, even if they aren't seriously endangering its very existence. However, you don't strengthen your case by claiming that modern civilization has deeper roots than it actually does. Many Christian societies within the past 900 years would have made most of today's Islamic theocracies look humane and enlightened by comparison, so tone down the "West-against-the-rest" rhetoric to a more realistic level, 'kay?

Shodan
10-10-2006, 08:51 AM
What he said in post #75---which I already quoted in post #94---was:

Which is what I was responding to.He corrected it in the post I quoted. Feel free to respond to the earlier statement, since you have no chance to refute the corrected statement.
I don't think so. The Iraq invasion was never supported by more than a small minority of the Spanish people, and it's not clear that Spain would have stayed in the coalition even if 3/11 had never happened. The Madrid bombing didn't substantially change the minds of Spanish voters about Iraq; it just made them even more disgusted with the Aznar government's opportunistic toadying of the Bush Administration while not even being able to protect its own citizens.
I assume you can prove that the bombings had no effect on the elections.

True, but that doesn't contradict what I said, which was that "violent Islamic extremism is not a serious competitor for the role of dominant social/political influence in most contemporary Western societies".
And what I said was that VIE doesn't have to be the dominant social/political influence in order to ruin lives. That is, more or less, the fallacy of the excluded midlle. They just have to scare enough people into appeasement.

:shrugs:

Shodan's rule of thumb - if they didn't read it the first time, they won't read it the second either.

Regards,
Shodan

Kimstu
10-10-2006, 12:27 PM
He corrected it in the post I quoted.

Not as far as I could tell. Sam started out saying that "One side is organized, widespread, violent, and promises more violence. They number in the millions." Then he backpedaled to "There are millions of Muslims who support the actions of the extremists", which he later expanded to "tens of millions", based on opinion polls about general statements on the legitimacy of violent actions.

Nowhere, ISTM, did he explicitly "correct" his first statement or acknowledge that it's misleading.

I assume you can prove that the bombings had no effect on the elections.

I don't think it's possible to prove definitively either that "al-Qaeda got [Spain] to flee Iraq", which is what you said (without any proof, btw), or that "the bombings had no effect on the elections", which is not exactly what I said.

I said that I don't think the 3/11 al-Qaeda bombings caused Spain to "flee" Iraq. But if you can prove your assertion that they did, then feel free to show us your proof.

And what I said was that VIE doesn't have to be the dominant social/political influence in order to ruin lives.

Which is true, as I already acknowledged, so I'm not sure why you're repeating it.

Spoke
10-10-2006, 01:16 PM
It bothers me that I sense a barely-contained glee among the people proclaiming an imminent clash of civilizations. As if they can hardly wait.

tomndebb
10-10-2006, 03:21 PM
I assume you can prove that the bombings had no effect on the elections.I don't think it's possible to prove definitively either that "al-Qaeda got [Spain] to flee Iraq", which is what you said (without any proof, btw), or that "the bombings had no effect on the elections", which is not exactly what I said. Polls throughout the period Autumn 2002 through the election showed that the Spanish populace was overwhelmingly opposed to an invasion of Iraq. (Some opposition figures were as high as 90%) Nevertheless, in the week before the bombing, the ruling party was showing a lead of between 3% and 6% in the polls (which was generally indicated as within the margin of error). A poll that had been scheduled to be published on the morning of the bombings showed the race as a dead heat between the ruling party and their primary opponents.

When the bombings took place, three days before the election, the ruling party declared that it was the work of the Basque Separatist ETA, even before any evidence had been discovered and despite the statement by the ETA (who generally takes responsibility for their attacks) that they had nothing to do with it.

As evidence did emerge, it became clear that the ETA was not responsible and the Islamist terrorists probably were.

The reaction by the Spanish populace was overwhelmingly to condemn the ruling party and give them the boot.

Spaniards have dealt with ETA terror attacks for over thirty years without either surrendering to the terrorists or throwing away their democratic principles.

In context, it would seem that the Spanish people were already seriously considering rejecting the Iraq invasion, but that it was the blatant lies of the government (rather than fear of Islamist attacks) that caused them to change governments.

Here is one analysis of the election. (http://mediamatters.org/items/200407150007) Here is a different one. (http://www.reason.com/links/links031704.shtml) A timeline noting the anti-government anger against the lies, not the war in Iraq. (http://gospain.about.com/od/spanishlife/a/madridbombtime_2.htm)

Shodan
10-10-2006, 03:38 PM
That seems predicated on the belief that, if the Spanish government had been completely upfront that the Madrid bombings were al-Queda, then they would have been re-elected.

Which I doubt, but is unprovable.

Regards,
Shodan

tomndebb
10-10-2006, 04:04 PM
That seems predicated on the belief that, if the Spanish government had been completely upfront that the Madrid bombings were al-Queda, then they would have been re-elected.

Which I doubt, but is unprovable.The polls were running 43% - 38% between the PP and the Socialists right up until the election. The Socialists took the election with a reverse of those numbers, so we're only talking about a 4-5% swing ether way with the PP never holding a majority of the citizenry. Clearly, the PP held on to most of their base and there was no overwhelming, massive surge to vote some fear of terrorism, (given that even among the PP the voters, most were against the war in Iraq, all along, and only favored the PP for economic issues even before the attack).

Sam Stone
10-10-2006, 09:46 PM
Not as far as I could tell. Sam started out saying that "One side is organized, widespread, violent, and promises more violence. They number in the millions." Then he backpedaled to "There are millions of Muslims who support the actions of the extremists", which he later expanded to "tens of millions", based on opinion polls about general statements on the legitimacy of violent actions.

Nowhere, ISTM, did he explicitly "correct" his first statement or acknowledge that it's misleading.

I don't think it's possible to prove definitively either that "al-Qaeda got [Spain] to flee Iraq", which is what you said (without any proof, btw), or that "the bombings had no effect on the elections", which is not exactly what I said.

I said that I don't think the 3/11 al-Qaeda bombings caused Spain to "flee" Iraq. But if you can prove your assertion that they did, then feel free to show us your proof.

Which is true, as I already acknowledged, so I'm not sure why you're repeating it.

I'm not sure what the criteria should be then. When I said, "They number in the millions", I meant supporters of radical Islam, or Islamists. People who hope Bin Laden and his ilk succeed. How many of them are actively involved in the fight? Who knows? But when you count financiers, people who harbor terrorists, and the terrorists themselves, it could easily number in the millions. You'd have to include in that group the military wing of Hezbollah, large swaths of the people in Hamas, the Taliban, many, many people in the tribal regions of Pakistan, the insurgents in Iraq, terrorists in Indonesia, Chechnya, and other smaller pockets of terrorists and supporters throughout the world.

A much larger group is openly sympathetic to their goals, at least in the abstract. Whether they would change into actual supporters or even join the ranks of terrorists is hard to determine.

In any event, the larger point I was making is that we're facing a much bigger problem than '19 guys in planes', or even 'a bunch of bad apples that can be brought to justice through law enforcement'.

Damuri Ajashi
10-11-2006, 11:01 AM
Israel is the excuse. Do you believe that if Israel was gone, the Middle East would suddenly turn into a bastion of peace and stability?

Nope but they might not be on a collission course with western civilization as the OP fears.

Israel is a 'good point'?

Its the wellspring from which all this anti-western sentiment flows, sure other reasons have developed and been manufactured but if there wasn't this initial factor htings might be different today.

gonzomax
10-11-2006, 12:28 PM
I live near the largest Arabic population outside the middle east. It has been so a long time. When they first started moving here thet brought some customs that conflicted with our legal system. In most cases the arabic neighborhoods were under internal conflict with the westernizing of their communities. It is clear that our culture was winnig and they were getting more and more Americanized.This attack against Iraq has galvanized the people who saw us as bigoted haters of them. Their strident speeches became more persuasive to many of them. There are more Burkhas now than before in my estimation.I see in this case at least that it made them see themselves as Arabs first.
Previously they would talk about the other Arab countries with some disdain. The Lebonese didnt like the Syrians who didnt like the Iraqis who didnt like the Iranis.They had histories that separated them. We have succeeded in bringing them together.
Still the militants are talking to very few. Many have businesses and are part of the system. The overwhelming majority is still just trying to get by just like we are.