Sabenaboy
Topic Author
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Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:53 pm

Do you want to know what I find really offensive:

A bunch of Islamic extremists cutting off the head of a westerner while shouting "Allah is the greatest" (I saw the full Nick Berg video)

Did the Islamic "silent majority" feel offended by that? I don't remember many Muslims condemning that "incident".

Why is the Islamic world not offended by all these Islamic terrorists that kill thousands of people in Allah's name and while shouting Allah's name?

It's getting harder every day to differentiate between Muslim fundamentalist terrorists and the silent majority of good, friendly Muslims when you see the Arabic world's reaction to a few stupid cartoons in contrast to their silence when their own terrorists abuse Allah's name.

Where is this going to end? I don't know, but I am fearing that WW III is getting closer and if that happens it's not going to be pretty!

How can people get so brainwashed with religion that they are willing to kill others and themselves for a god that they cannot prove exists. Religion is just that: something people BELIEVE but cannot prove.

By the way: it's not only the fundamentalist Muslims that scare the hell out of me. A lot of religious Americans are getting very close to being fundamentalist themselves. That's just as dangerous, even if they don't realize it themselves.

I am an atheist myself, but I will respect any religious person that is looking for peace.

IF ONLY PEOPLE WOULD THINK MORE AND LISTEN TO THEIR OWN CONSCIENCE INSTEAD OF BLINDLY DOING THAT WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN TOLD THEIR GOD WANTS FROM THEM, the world would be better off!
 
DIJKKIJK
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:03 pm

Quoting Sabenaboy (Thread starter):
It's getting harder every day to differentiate between Muslim fundamentalist terrorists and the silent majority of good, friendly Muslims when you see the Arabic world's reaction to a few stupid cartoons in contrast to their silence when their own terrorists abuse Allah's name.

You hit it on the head. While there is fundamentalism amongst a minority in every religion, the moderate majority tends to keep it under check and prevents it from getting out of control. Sadly, this doesn't seem to be happening in Islam. The mad mullah types carry out the most unpardonable atrocities while the moderates don't say a thing.
Never argue with idiots. They will bring you down to their level, and beat you with experience.
 
UAL747
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:03 pm

Quoting Sabenaboy (Thread starter):
By the way: it's not only the fundamentalist Muslims that scare the hell out of me. A lot of religious Americans are getting very close to being fundamentalist themselves. That's just as dangerous, even if they don't realize it themselves.

The US is not becoming any more fundamentalist. Here's the deal with the US. The majority of people that vote are old retirees, and as you move down the age bracket, the less individuals are voting. Old people = conservative religious WASPs. Politicians cater to that conservativism.

I live in Oklahoma, one of the most conservative states in the US. There is a HUGE difference in young people vs. old people here.

In other words, we are becoming more liberal, just give it time. The religious fundies aren't going to rule for much longer.

UAL
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
Banco
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:12 pm

Quoting Sabenaboy (Thread starter):
Did the Islamic "silent majority" feel offended by that? I don't remember many Muslims condemning that "incident".

Then you weren't paying attention. Each of the executions has been met by a wave of revulsion and condemnation around the Muslim world. More to the point, time and again many Muslim clerics have headed off to Iraq from Britain, the US and other countries to try to plead with the kidnappers for the lives of the victims - "doing something about it" as you would no doubt put it. It's all in the news if you look for it. Sadly, it seems that many do not want to hear.
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killjoy
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:39 pm

This is slightly off topic, but sometimes it seems like the whole region is full of stupid sheep looking for trouble. You're probably all aware of the ferry that sank a few days ago. Here are a few quotes from CNN:

"The rioters took a large photo of one of the company's ferries and burned it in the middle of the road. They also tore down the company's signboard from the front of the building and set it on fire."

"protesters shouted angrily at police and criticized Egypt's president for not providing more information. On Saturday, similar demonstrations turned violent as family members threw stones at police."

I'm also currently watching BBC World and noticed that relatives tried to invade a hospital the injured were being treated in.

Can't anything happen over there without mass riots? Who in their right mind thinks that trying to enter an overloaded hospital by force just to see a relative is smart? Why do differences of opinion always involve burning stuff?? In short: What the fuck?
 
himmat01
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:26 pm

I am surprised why moderate muslims are so quite on this issue. I do not here any voice of dissent from the liberal sections of muslims. Those poor souls are afraid to speak out because they fear for their lives in fanatic, autocratic and dictatorial regimes.
An airplane might disappoint any pilot but it'll never surprise a good one.
 
7LBAC111
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:31 pm

Quoting Banco (Reply 5):
Each of the executions has been met by a wave of revulsion and condemnation around the Muslim world

Perhaps so. But little in the way of preventative action - unless there is something to be gained for the moderate Muslim. Sending Muslim leaders on 'missions' to save hostages is not enough. THe 'moderate' Muslim world we are constantly referred to need to take action against the extremism among their own people.

Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.
 
frequentflyer
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:44 pm

Quoting Banco (Reply 5):
Each of the executions has been met by a wave of revulsion and condemnation around the Muslim world

That was surprisingly subdued given the horror and hate of these crimes though.

I will not accept double standards of tolerance for different religions. Caricature is part of human creation, and should be tolerated by all. Period.
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Sabenaboy
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:44 pm

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 4):
I live in Oklahoma, one of the most conservative states in the US. There is a HUGE difference in young people vs. old people here.

In other words, we are becoming more liberal, just give it time. The religious fundies aren't going to rule for much longer.

I hope you're right.

Quoting Banco (Reply 5):
Then you weren't paying attention. Each of the executions has been met by a wave of revulsion and condemnation around the Muslim world. More to the point, time and again many Muslim clerics have headed off to Iraq from Britain, the US and other countries to try to plead with the kidnappers for the lives of the victims - "doing something about it" as you would no doubt put it. It's all in the news if you look for it. Sadly, it seems that many do not want to hear.

I DO want to hear, Banco! I'd be interested to read some news articles about that. Could you provide some links to this news, because I couldn't find any!

I did find links about fatwahs being issued by religious Muslim leaders. Can you begin to imagine that a pope, a cardinal or priest would issue some kind of death sentence in the name of God? The idea alone is ridiculous, but it's happening all the time in the Muslim world.

Can Muslims be amazed if the west is getting more and more prejudiced about the Muslims and their religion?

Should people respect other religions? OF COURSE, but when violence is preached by the extremists it is high time that the moderate stand up and strongly condemn such words.
 
Himmelstormer
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:50 pm

To be fair, there are several initiatives being made by moderate muslims here in Denmark to combat some of the treacherous anti-Danish imams who went around the Middle East with their rhetorical matches, igniting the flames of ignorance and hatred.

We must also support our fellow muslim Danes who are loyal to our country and appalled by this whole mess, and wants nothing more than to live a normal life.
 
halls120
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:52 pm

Quoting Himmat01 (Reply 7):
I am surprised why moderate muslims are so quite on this issue. I do not here any voice of dissent from the liberal sections of muslims. Those poor souls are afraid to speak out because they fear for their lives in fanatic, autocratic and dictatorial regimes.

Liberal and moderate muslims keep quiet probably because they realize that if they speak out, they will also be attacked.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
Banco
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:01 pm

Quoting Sabenaboy (Reply 10):
I DO want to hear, Banco! I'd be interested to read some news articles about that. Could you provide some links to this news, because I couldn't find any!

Just to take one example of someone who was murdered, have a look at the Google search below. You'll find half a dozen examples on page one alone.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en...-1&q=%22ken+bigley%22+muslim&meta=
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sebolino
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:46 pm

Quoting Sabenaboy (Thread starter):
It's getting harder every day to differentiate between Muslim fundamentalist terrorists and the silent majority of good, friendly Muslims

That's sad but I tend to agree.

I feel ashamed for the "moderate" muslims who don't support the freedom of speech and the right to be different than them.
The time of a religious/cultural conflict between the western world and the muslim world is getting nearer it seems.

We should NEVER let them say what we should do. Especially when it comes from inside.
Contrary to satiric cartoons, incitation to murder is not legal (at least in France) and those who dared in GB to threaten violently the EU should be prosecuted immediately and endure a severe sentence of jail.

No mercy with the extremists !!!
 
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sebolino
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:51 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 2):
So what? The USA kill thousands of people in God's name. What's the difference?

It's true that Bush has "God" in his mouth for every military aggression. He also talked about "crusades".
He is partly responsible of the growing tension between Muslims and Westerners.

But the difference stands in the means. Americans, whilst very brutal in Irak, try not to kill blindly, and they have the "excuse" of the shock of the 11 September.
Muslims in general have no excuse as it's not a country.
 
Sabenaboy
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:05 am

Quoting Sebolino (Reply 19):
It's true that Bush has "God" in his mouth for every military aggression. He also talked about "crusades".
He is partly responsible of the growing tension between Muslims and Westerners.

I agree with that. Politics does not mix well with religion. It is vital that states stay secular.

Quoting Sebolino (Reply 19):
they have the "excuse" of the shock of the 11 September.

That cannot be used as excuse! 9/11 was a terrorist act by a group of extremists. You can't punish a country or a group of people for the acts of terrorist. Every human, Muslims in the first place, should condemn violence and fundamentalism.

Quoting Sebolino (Reply 19):
Muslims in general have no excuse as it's not a country.

Muslimhood unites people of different countries. It's understandable that they defend their interest as a group. Defense should never turn into terrorism though.
 
pbottenb
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:04 am

Quoting Sabenaboy (Thread starter):
By the way: it's not only the fundamentalist Muslims that scare the hell out of me. A lot of religious Americans are getting very close to being fundamentalist themselves. That's just as dangerous, even if they don't realize it themselves.

WTF?????? Why to you Euros always have to bring every problem back to America? I dont see how this issue relate to America at all.

We didnt publish a bunch of unnecessary and insulting cartoons that serve no purpose other than to piss off 1 BILLION fellow earthlings......Any idiot with a DSL connection could have seen where that would lead...so dont try to connect us with your stupid fight.

Perhaps some introspection on your part is needed here.
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:13 am

Quoting Pbottenb (Reply 21):
...so dont try to connect us with your stupid fight.

I guess it takes one to know what stupid fight looks like - look no further than Iraq.
 
flyboy36y
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:23 am

Quoting Killjoy (Reply 6):
Can't anything happen over there without mass riots? Who in their right mind thinks that trying to enter an overloaded hospital by force just to see a relative is smart? Why do differences of opinion always involve burning stuff?? In short: What the fuck?

That is how they live. People allways look to the outrage in the muslim world and say "oh, it is because Israel is so oppressive that they act like animals..." or "oh, it is because the U.S. bombed Iraq or sent troops to Saudi Arabia that they act like this..." the truth is that they just act like this.

Why are there violent protests all the time in the Arab world regardless of the issue (even against their own)
Why is there a stampede that kills hundreds every year in Mecca?

Why? Because this is how they are. It is part of the culture and we need to either accept that or do something about it. What that something is, I have no idea but "invading their countries, killing their leaders and converting them to christianity" does not seem like the answer to me.
 
WellHung
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:42 am

Quoting Sabenaboy (Thread starter):
Do you want to know what I find really offensive:

Oh, I thought you were going to say the myriad forum-clogging threads the conflict has birthed.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:47 am

Dear Pbottenb, you are absolutely right.

It is sickening to see just every problem on planet earth turned into a US problem when it is not.

The US government has treated this issue exactly as they should.

(Just for the record, since yesterday there are a lot of Danish flags here on a.net (thanks for that). My Danish flag is 6 years old on this forum. I'm in the middle of it all, I know it all. All way, also the events pre 30 September last year).

The US and Denmark stand shoulder to shoulder in several issues, Afghanistan, Iraq, and also this one. The US has the ownership to the Afghanistan and Iraq events (non-US assistance appreciated), but this one is ours (non-Danish assistance appreciated).

It is not reported in the world press, but Mrs. Condolesa Rise has been a terrific partner for our foreign minister Mr. Per Stig Moller.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
slider
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:51 am

Quoting Flyboy36y (Reply 23):
that they act like animals

Just a point of advice Flybot- the last time I used the word "animalistic" in comparing it to a certain demographic group, I had a temporary vacation on Anet. Just an FYI. Big grin

Good points, BTW.
 
TheSorcerer
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 5:16 am

What offends me is assholes burning my country's flag and then demanding an apology. The only thing they'll get from me is a punch square in the face.
Dominic
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halls120
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 5:38 am

Quoting Sabenaboy (Reply 20):
I agree with that. Politics does not mix well with religion. It is vital that states stay secular.

The problem is, of course, that many states are secular in name only.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
PIA777
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:55 am

Quoting Sabenaboy (Thread starter):
Did the Islamic "silent majority" feel offended by that? I don't remember many Muslims condemning that "incident".

You would be wrong there. THose people who did that should
be prosecuted in an American court.

PIA777
GO CUBS!!
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:02 am

Quoting PIA777 (Reply 30):
You would be wrong there. THose people who did that should
be prosecuted in an American court.

I dont see the connection between the few terrorists you are mentioning and the muslim population in general. What I think Sabenaboy was saying is that noone with a muslim background protested against these actions, which must mean that they are fine with what happened. You cannot prosecute all of them as you suggest as there are millions of them. lol
 
jaysit
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:34 am

Quoting Sabenaboy (Thread starter):
Did the Islamic "silent majority" feel offended by that? I don't remember many Muslims condemning that "incident".

How many Muslims did you ask?

Which Muslim newspapers did you read? Can you read Arabic? Urdu? Farsi?

As far as the Muslim press goes, much of it is state controlled. Many of these states aren't exactly bastions of virtue (Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, etc). And lets face it, while the BBC provides an excellent analysis of world views, American networks are pure trash. Each and every one of them. I can't speak for the press in your country.

However, if you bothered to read some of the relatively free newspapers in the Muslim world, like the Karachi Dawn (an English language publication), you will find very articulate analyses about, condemnations against, and proposals to tackle Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
frequentflyer
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:03 pm

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 12):
Liberal and moderate muslims keep quiet probably because they realize that if they speak out, they will also be attacked.

That speaks volumes about the nature of that religion...

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 33):
relatively free newspapers in the Muslim world

Why are all aspects of individual freedoms always by default downgraded for people in predominantly muslim countries? Those folks are entitled to as much Freedom as we have. Should we be glad that they have a "relatively" free press? Or "relative" freedoms? I mean, down with the BS.

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 33):
American networks are pure trash

I am from Europe originally, and if you think al US networks are trash, I can tell you that much of the European press is biased.
Got it?
Thanks for making the debate interesting with overeaching generalizations.
Take off and live
 
7LBAC111
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:15 pm

This is quite possibly the most offensive picture I have seen. In London yesterday I believe, this protestor, a convicted drug dealer, released on license, dressed as a Suicde Bomber.



This is totally unacceptable. Pure incitement. Evil beyond words.



7L
Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.
 
Sabenaboy
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:29 pm

I normally disapprove of all violence, but not, of course, in cases where imminent danger is obvious and violence is strictly for self-defense. How could one know if this a real suicide bomber or not.

If he had been shot immediately, I would have agreed with that.

Apart from that, everyone should start realizing that using violence can only escalate.

STOP ALL VIOLENT ACTS. NO MORE KILLING! NO MORE BURNING HOUSES DOWN!

(Yeah, I know it's a naive appeal, but it's better then shutting up)
 
B707321C
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:11 pm

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 4):
The US is not becoming any more fundamentalist. Here's the deal with the US. The majority of people that vote are old retirees, and as you move down the age bracket, the less individuals are voting. Old people = conservative religious WASPs. Politicians cater to that conservativism.

I live in Oklahoma, one of the most conservative states in the US. There is a HUGE difference in young people vs. old people here.

In other words, we are becoming more liberal, just give it time. The religious fundies aren't going to rule for much longer.

Probably a correct argument, the problem however is that the biggest fundamentalist in the US is elected President. God Bless America
 
7LBAC111
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:31 pm

Quoting 7LBAC111 (Reply 35):

Seems this devout 'Muslim' (as if!) as got his just reward. Now, I wonder will any NF activists inside stumble across him?

From BBC News

Quote:
A demonstrator who imitated a suicide bomber in a Muslim protest over cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad has been recalled to prison.
Omar Khayam, 22, of Bedford, is a convicted drug dealer who was jailed in 2002 and released on licence last year after serving half his sentence.

He was arrested and recalled to prison for breaching the terms of his licence.


7L

Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.
 
airworlda320
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:03 pm

Here in the UK we have a law (inciting racial hatred) well people walking round London carrying placards saying "Behead those who mock Islam", "Kill all non believers" amongst others, well if that is n't inciting racial hatred I do n't know what is?, What do the Police do - stand by and say it is free speech (b*****ks). Take it the other way round, A spell in one of Her Majesty's Prisons would be the next stop for me, Im no racist but come on we should be on a level playing field. RANT OVER.
Pull off kid, it ill go.
 
7LBAC111
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:15 pm

Quoting AirworldA320 (Reply 39):
Take it the other way round, A spell in one of Her Majesty's Prisons would be the next stop for me, Im no racist but come on we should be on a level playing field

Exactly! In Britain we have become so obsessed in not offending Muslims, that we are losing site of the fact that we are not a Muslim nation, and can be equally as insulted as these who claim to be.

Imagine you are I went to Riyadh and carried placards saying 'Muslims Go Home" - we'd be beheaded in a matter of days.
Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:38 pm

Quoting 7LBAC111 (Reply 40):
Imagine you are I went to Riyadh and carried placards saying 'Muslims Go Home" - we'd be beheaded in a matter of days.

if not stabbed to death or shot in the head.
 
AGM100
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:56 pm

Quoting:Sebolino It's true that Bush has "God" in his mouth for every military aggression. He also talked about "crusades".
He is partly responsible of the growing tension between Muslims and Westerners.

That is because he recognizes that this is a ...ready...ready... A religious war and they want you dead!!. You dont believe in Alla so you must die. Osma has declared war on the Crusadors and Jews long before Bush ever did. We say if they want a war than lets bring it to them. !!
You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
 
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sebolino
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:02 am

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 42):
We say if they want a war than lets bring it to them. !!

Actually, if you want to avoid a catastrophic ending, you don't enter in the game of the sick guys.
 
AGM100
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:15 am

Actually, if you want to avoid a catastrophic ending, you don't enter in the game of the sick guys.

I wish you were right, but letting them get away with punching you in the face will only make it happen again. sorry
You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
 
clipperhawaii
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:19 am

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 33):
Karachi Dawn (an English language publication), you will find very articulate analyses about, condemnations against, and proposals to tackle Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.

Karachi Dawn????? LOL That's the problem. When condemnation occurs, it's published in some unknown rag and probably then only in the English language edition.

They silent majority no doubt has some discomfort over these cartoons, but their discomfort over rioting, setting buildings on fire, and calling for death is practically non-existent. You want offensive? That's offensive.

A good portion of the world needs to take a long hard look at itself.
"You Can't Beat The Experience"
 
Klaus
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Wed Feb 08, 2006 1:50 am

Religious fanatics are almost completely interchangeable between the various religions - that is the ironic thing about fanaticism...! Big grin

None of what we see today is new to someone who has more than a passing knowledge of european (christian) history - political instrumentation of religious beliefs inclusive.

Islam is just as much (or just as little) benevolent and peaceful as christianity or any other major religion. It's always up to the societal and individual circumstances how it turns out in practice.

Especially in Lebanon there seems to be a growing identification with a shared society which unites people across the different faiths, especially among the younger citizens. I think that is very encouraging, and it is not surprising that there have been reports of syrian "import fanatics" being spotted among the embassy-torching hooligans.

This is much more a power play than an actual religious dissent as far as I can see.
 
frequentflyer
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Wed Feb 08, 2006 2:47 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 51):
Islam is just as much (or just as little) benevolent and peaceful as christianity or any other major religion. It's always up to the societal and individual circumstances how it turns out in practice.

I see your point Klaus and your argumentation is well constructed.

I however disagree, as your analysis omits to mention the time factor.

In other words, how come a Millennia-old religion still fares worse in terms of social evolution than other ones, like Christianity?

Why are they -the "flock"- still under the rule, and bending backwards towards the future?

Quoting Klaus (Reply 51):
a shared society which unites people across the different faiths, especially among the younger citizens. I think that is very encouraging

Agreed: but then it looks like Islam needs other religion pressure to move forward?

(interesting debate)
Take off and live
 
Klaus
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Wed Feb 08, 2006 5:32 am

Quoting Frequentflyer (Reply 52):
I however disagree, as your analysis omits to mention the time factor.

In other words, how come a Millennia-old religion still fares worse in terms of social evolution than other ones, like Christianity?

Islam is actually the youngest of the three siblings judaism, christianity and islam (in that order). It was founded around the year 600.

And when you're looking at the substantial social differences between the three (to limit the scope of this consideration), those haven't been a direct result of the respective religions but rather of the economic and environmental circumstances they encountered.

Our modern western societies (again a simplification) have their roots more in ancient greek and roman philosophy and state theory than in christianity. Beginning with the renaissance, local rulers and - increasingly - rich merchants began to contest the power monopoly of the church, which had thus far held the ultimate (if not absolute) political power on the european scene.

Up to that point, the church relentlessly persecuted any deviation from their official talking points and rules of thought to protect their power position wherever they were able to.

Developing agriculture, industry and trade combined with the intricacies of the rivalries between kings, emperors and the clergy led to a rise of urban societies. Free thinkers and scientists were able to find (at least temporarily) protected spaces to develop and exchange their ideas.

And the ultimate turning point was Gutenberg's invention of the printing press. That was more or less the "big bang" of our civilization: Ideas could now be distributed widely within mere days, where copying a book had always before been an arduous and time-consuming affair. Not entirely dissimilar to the internet we're using here.

Among the first ideas to be spread like wildfire was Martin Luther's reformation - originating as a mere criticism of the corruption of the catholic church and quickly turning into a schismatic religious movement which threw the continent into the thirty-years-war.

Explosive and revolutionary thought spread through books and newspapers has never since ceased to be a threat to the status quo, and the supreme power of the catholic church was broken forever.

On the coattails of these developments, the free exchange of ideas gave a boost to education and scientific progress, further reducing religious domination and progressively replacing it with secular philosophy (although much of the fundamental ideas were indeed inspired by the christian heritage as well as classic greek and roman philosophy).


All these developments could have occurred as well in the countries dominated by islam, but the conditions there had been much less conducive to similar events for several reasons which have little to do with the actual religion and a lot with socio-economic factors.

The aforementioned "big bang" was possible in part because of the relatively high population density in Europe and the beginning industrialization, coupled with specific political and societal circumstances. Christianity had very little part in it, although some specifics helped. Not to underestimate is further the small but intense influence of jewish scientists, merchants and philosophers who made essential contributions to the unique "incubator" atmosphere (not that they received a lot of gratitude for it!  Angry).


If it had just been a question of timing, it would certainly not have been Europe, but possibly Egypt, India or most likely China who would have reached a truly modern society a lot earlier than we ultimately did. Chinese culture, science and technology have preceded and eclipsed their western counterparts by a wide margin - but their static and rigid society has led to a millenia-spanning stagnation which precluded further development and which has put them at a disadvantage they're only now trying to overcome again, but on the basis of imported knowledge and technology.

Which is a good illustration of the fact that societal development has no real straight rules - it is often accidental and erratic, and it may or may not succeed in the end...

Quoting Frequentflyer (Reply 52):
Agreed: but then it looks like Islam needs other religion pressure to move forward?

No. Religion is not the point here - emancipation from religion is the essential step to be taken. It means more than just leaving religion behind, however. You'll still need an ethical foundation in any case; And religions do have something to offer in that respect, even if their rules should be considered with at least as much openmindedness as reverence.

"The islamic world" (gross simplification again) will only come to terms with the modern world and with itself(!) if it embraces a self-assured and open exchange of ideas instead of the medieval narrowmindedness and fear it so often presents with its most fanatical representatives.

What's happening right now is most probably a power struggle where fanatics are attempting to overthrow the respective rulers in favour of an Iran-style theocracy. Not surprising that the organisations behind the rioters all appear to have an iranian connection of some kind.

Iran has always tried to expand their influence throughout the islamic nations, and president Ahmadinedjad seems to use populism as a replacement for actual political and economical success in his day job. We'll see if the iranian people will actually bite. And I'm not talking of the relatively small bands of claqueurs who are always yelling and jumping up and down in front of every TV camera...

I think "the west" is not really the target - it is just supposed to serve as a unifying enemy to allow the fanatics to take over. The real target are the secular or moderate muslims and their tendency towards western ideas and patterns of thought. In a sense the medieval thinking makes a last stand to hold back the forces of modernization. A sentiment shared - ironically - by american conservatives at the same time, just in somewhat different ways. Remember the movie The Last Temptation of Christ? Radical "christians" even torched some of the cinemas showing it when it came out in 1988 because they didn't like the way Jesus was portrayed in it - quite a similar mindset to the one exploited right now in the "cartoon crisis". We in "the west" should be careful condemning others - there is very little evil we don't have in our own collective history as well...  mischievous 

Quoting Slider (Reply 53):
However, to your first excerpted point above, Christians didn't have a "kill or convert" approach, as their missions would illustrate.

Not in all cases, of course - the christian ideals and the earlier implementations were worlds apart - and at all times some people presented the former and some the latter. But the history of the christian church(es) is dark, bloody and cruel in many places. Not the first nor the last time that a message of love has been spread with intimidation, torture and murder. It doesn't necessarily soil the message, but certainly the reputation of the organisation perpetrating those crimes.

Quoting Slider (Reply 53):
I think the POLITICAL fanatacism of religious beliefs is consistent, but wouldn't go quite so far as to say interchangeable. But your core point is valid.

We may not want to be reminded of it, but christianity during the crusades was remarkably similar in its attitudes to the more radical forms of islam today (which heaps a whole new level of irony on president Bush's ramblings about a "crusade" to be waged).

The question is if the radicals can successfully silence the majority of muslims or if the majority will finally be able to come up with the strength to tell the extremists to go away. Which is not as simple as it is for us - most muslims live in countries where civil disobedience of any kind is perceived as highly suspect and can have dire consequences for the individual.

I think we should not do the fanatics the favour of accepting them as representative - which they are not.


Hm. This got kind of lengthy again. Sorry, sermon is over...! Big grin
 
11Bravo
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Wed Feb 08, 2006 5:54 am

Here's an interesting take on this from Newsweek.

Islam and Power by Fareed Zakaria

Excerpt:

There is a tension in the Islamic world between the desire for democracy and a respect for liberty. (It is a tension that once raged in the West and still exists in pockets today.) This is most apparent in the ongoing fury over the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a small Danish newspaper. The cartoons were offensive and needlessly provocative. Had the paper published racist caricatures of other peoples or religions, it would also have been roundly condemned and perhaps boycotted. But the cartoonist and editors would not have feared for their lives. It is the violence of the response in some parts of the Muslim world that suggests a rejection of the ideas of tolerance and freedom of expression that are at the heart of modern Western societies.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11182278/site/newsweek/

This is actually a pretty good article considering Newsweek's usual pedestrian and superficial treatment of complex topics.
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GRZ-AIR
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:16 am

Contrary to the "pure" islam, the catholic church was removed from "total power" a few centuries ago by the enlightenment. The islamic community (at least the ones we see burning things down on a day to day basis) is still centuries behind (in religious aspects), this also involving the "follow and obey everything a mullah says" kind of stuff which used to be around hundreds of years ago in catholic regions, when the church was still the number one in terms of power.

This does off course not excuse the burning of flags (they burned ours too), but it does explain things... or why on earth would somebody freak out over some stupid cartoon..

On a side note, the largest iranian newspaper has started a contest on "holocaust" cartoons.. In my opinion, this is where the "fun" ends..


I would be interested if there are members of islam here on A.net and if they could say how they feel about those comics and how in their opinion these should have been dealt with!?
When I joined A.net it was still free, haha ;).
 
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STT757
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:28 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 5):
Each of the executions has been met by a wave of revulsion and condemnation around the Muslim world.

A wave of revulsion? more like a ripple. Al Jazeera can't play enough of these propaganda videos.
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TK787
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:30 am

Quoting Flyboy36y (Reply 23):
That is how they live. People always look to the outrage in the Muslim world and say "oh, it is because Israel is so oppressive that they act like animals..." or "oh, it is because the U.S. bombed Iraq or sent troops to Saudi Arabia that they act like this..." the truth is that they just act like this.

Why are there violent protests all the time in the Arab world regardless of the issue (even against their own)
Why is there a stampede that kills hundreds every year in Mecca?

Why? Because this is how they are. It is part of the culture and we need to either accept that or do something about it.

I can't believe this is coming from Brooklyn.
I was in South Africa two weeks ago, and when we asked the question: "How come all the blacks live in these townships, shanty towns?" The answer was: "It is their choice, they like to live like that."
No one would like to live like that. At the same token, who can accuse the Palestinians to be agitated while living under occupation for 30+ years. I suggest to go see the wall, or visit a checkpoint before answering.
I mean you can say it is the part of their culture for the Japanese to do Kamikaze runs, but look at them, after being a-bombed twice they sell a lot of Honda's here. Don't be surprised to take Ryanair to your vacation property in Basra, or Isfahan in the future

Klaus, thanks for your sermon.

Also all this will pass I believe, I mean these bad muslims had to wait their turn behind the Nazis, Japanese, Communists and others. Until China, India or who knows Canada becomes the bad guy of the world, enjoy the muslims.
Every generation deserves a good "bad guy".
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:38 am

Quoting TK787 (Reply 59):
At the same token, who can accuse the Palestinians to be agitated while living under occupation for 30+ years. I suggest to go see the wall, or visit a checkpoint before answering.

Hmmm, I suggest to find out more about the reason why the wall was built in the first place.
 
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TK787
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:41 am

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 60):
why the wall was built in the first place.

The going joke amongst friends in Israel is that they might be starting on the ceiling next. Baby blue. At least they have a sense of humor.
 
AA777
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Wed Feb 08, 2006 7:35 am

Quoting Sabenaboy (Thread starter):
By the way: it's not only the fundamentalist Muslims that scare the hell out of me. A lot of religious Americans are getting very close to being fundamentalist themselves. That's just as dangerous, even if they don't realize it themselves.

 checkmark 


In general everyone is getting a little psycho with this. I personally think it was a foolish move on the part of the Danish press to go ahead and print the cartoons twice. They are just throwing fuel on the fire, INCITING things just because they can. Its not ONLY about free speech, its not ONLY about publishing very offensive material. It SHOULD be about respect. There is no respect.

-AA777
 
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Wed Feb 08, 2006 7:37 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 54):
substantial social differences between the three (to limit the scope of this consideration), those haven't been a direct result of the respective religions but rather of the economic and environmental circumstances they encountered.

I see all your points but still disagree. At the same time, am trying to keep it short. I maintain the nature of the Religin itself is part of the equation, as well as economic, environment and opportunity. The time factor still matters. That does not mean "the older, the most modern". Take it as a variable in the equation.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 54):
No. Religion is not the point here - emancipation from religion is the essential step to be taken

Interesting. Try to imagine whether and how Religions may contain seeds of emancipation. Some more, some less so. I think for my part that some Religion encourage emancipation, implicitly or not. And others? Not at all.
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RE: Danish "problem": What Really Offends Me!

Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:14 am

Quoting Flyboy36y (Reply 23):
violent protests all the time in the Arab world

"all the time" ? hardly. You wildly exaggerate.

Quoting Flyboy36y (Reply 23):
how they are. It is part of the culture

No, it is NOT part of Arab culture

Quoting 7LBAC111 (Reply 35):
In London yesterday I believe, this protestor, a convicted drug dealer, released on license, dressed as a Suicde Bomber.

well, he in the meantime apologized for his "idea"

Quoting 7LBAC111 (Reply 38):
A demonstrator who imitated a suicide bomber in a Muslim protest over cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad has been recalled to prison.
Omar Khayam, 22, of Bedford, is a convicted drug dealer who was jailed in 2002 and released on licence last year after serving half his sentence.

He was arrested and recalled to prison for breaching the terms of his licence.

3 years in prison for one afternoon of gross nonsense is quite serious. May teach him ....

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