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Religion of peace

I don't think I've commented on the "cartoon jihad" against the Danes yet, and really I don't need to, because Brit Hume says it all right here.
"What is striking about this is what offends these Muslims who are protesting and these imams. Does the slaughter of innocent people in many parts of the world in the name of Allah offend them? Is that a sacrilege worthy of protest? No, not in the least. No, cartoons published five months ago in a -what- for people who live in Gaza and Damascus is an unknown and unheard-of newspaper--that's what's offending them. Not to mention, of course, the kinds of slurs against Christians and against the Jewish faith that are regularly spread abroad in the Arab world by the mass media and by these imams.

"This is really a disgrace. And it is a disgrace not least because of the obvious, howling double standard involved here. The really great sins are ignored. And this trivia is protested."
  • Current Music: the Megan Slankard band - It's All My Fault (But I'm Not Sorry)
In this rare instance ;)

I agree wholeheartedly. This whole thing has gone so completely far out of control. Why can't they just be like the rest of the world - write a strongly worded letter to the editor.
"Why can't they just be like the rest of the world - write a strongly worded letter to the editor."

All religions spawn fanatics. Aren't there members of the Christian Right who bomb abortion clinics and shoot doctors in the name of Jesus Christ?

Muslims don't have a monopoly on violent protest.
Yes...but those people are few and far between - it's not like the entire state of Utah and Idaho decided to get together and call for the deaths of any doctor who dares to perform an abortion.

No, Muslims don't hold the monopoly on violent protest - but their political leaders manage to stir them into a frenzy fairly easily. They just seem more willing to commit violence, IMO.
It's still a tiny minority. The vast majority of Muslims around the world abhor violence as much as anyone else. Nevertheless, there is certainly a hatred of the west among many young Muslim men, and a feeling that their culture is victimised and derided in the west.

If we don't alter that perception, and deal with the roots of that anger, then we will all suffer.
No, we will all suffer as long as violent and destructive reactions like we're seeing now are shrugged off, excused, or accepted as legitimate and justified ways of responding to something like offensive satire. The problem is not with being upset, the problem is in the response.

Violence and the threat of violence to get what you want is not a justified or acceptable response.

It's fascism.
No matter who or what religion is doing it.
I didn't say it was justified, nor a reasonable response to satire. Self-evidently it is not a reasonable response, which is exactly the issue.

But the fact is it IS the response and there is a reason for that which can't be ignored.

I live in the UK, in London, and grew up with the IRA bombing campaign on my doorstep. I sat at home as a child, in tears because a bomb had exploded close to where my mum worked and I didn't know if she was okay, so I know very well that the threat of violence is not an acceptable way to 'get what you want'.

However decades of fighting a 'war' against the IRA achieved nothing. The only thing that stopped the violece here was talking and attempting to redress the grievances on both sides.

Yes it is difficult, yes it is almost impossible for the families of terrorist victims, but it is the only way.

Violence begets violence; the road to peace is through dialogue.

I live in the UK, in London, and grew up with the IRA bombing campaign on my doorstep. I sat at home as a child, in tears because a bomb had exploded close to where my mum worked and I didn't know if she was okay, so I know very well that the threat of violence is not an acceptable way to 'get what you want'.

I think at this point, we've all had to live with terrorist matter where we live. I live in DC...every now and again there are guys with m16's patroling the metro, armoured cars on the side of the road near the pentagon. In San Diego we had national guard on the Coronado bridge.

No, violence is not an acceptable way to get anything, but I have a question and since you seem like you know what you are talking about on this one ;) What is it that muslims want or are trying to achieve through the use of violence? At least with the IRA they had an objective - were they effective in achieving that objective? Not really, although I suppose you could argue it brought both sides to the table in order to talk...was it senseless violence?...yes.

But what is the Muslim world trying to "get?"

Is it tolerance? Understanding from the west? All I've ever heard from the extremists is "death to america" (or other such country/target).

When has violence ever made someone more tolerant? Exactly what playbook is the Muslim world using to achieve their ends?
Well I know you didn't ask me, but it's my lj so I'm jumping in anyway ;)

But what is the Muslim world trying to "get?"

I don't know about the Muslim world in large, but the fundementalist interpretation of the Koran by these extremist imams is "death to all unbelievers".
LOL - sorry for hijacking your LJ :)

So in other words, they're like the Ori?

(ok, I know it's a serious topic, but I so couldn't resist)
LOL - sorry for hijacking your LJ :)

No prob, it's an interesting topic, and I'm glad it's actually something we kind of agree on ;)

So in other words, they're like the Ori?

(ok, I know it's a serious topic, but I so couldn't resist)

Hey, who's to say that's not where tptb got the idea?
"But what is the Muslim world trying to "get?""

I'm no expert, by any means! But from what I've read and heard on the news it seems like there are three main issues.

The most important of these is Palestine. I've heard many Muslims say that they identify on a personal level with the plight of the Palestinians. What they want is an internationally recognised Palestinian state.

Israel is also an issue, because they are the only nuclear power (so far) in the Middle East and the unconditional support of the US for Israel is considered to be anti-Muslim. (Israel has been in violation of a UN resolution since their invasion of the West Bank and Gaza, but the West have taken no action against them).

Also there are many corrupt and oppressive regimes in the Middle East that were installed by the British and US governments, and are still propped up by them. (The Saudi and Kuwaiti governments, for example). Radical Muslims want the West out of these countries - specifically, in the case of Saudi, they want US troops out of what is considered to be land sacred to Muslims. How would we feel if there were, for example, Iraqi troops based in our countries propping up a government that kept its people in poverty while they lived in luxury?

The thing is, people don't shout "Death to America" because they're evil, or brainwashed, or members of a bizarre cult. They do it because they are angry, and they are angry for reasons that need to be understood.

That doesn't make them right, in my view nothing justifies violence. But dismissing these people as 'enemies of freedom' or claiming that they just want to 'destroy unbelievers' is ignorant and dangerous.

We can't capitulate to the tactics of terror, but to insist that there are no valid, deep held and solvable reasons behind this crisis is a philosophy of despair.

This problem can not be solved by force, we can not win this 'war' on terror. It simply won't happen. In the UK we had over 70 years of bloodshed (much more, of course, from an Irish perspective) before we started to talk.

I just wish people would learn from that.

Wow...great and detailed answer, thanks.

There has to be a compromise somewhere in there though - because the things they seem to want are probably not going to happen.

The Palestine issue - I don't know enough about it to understand why giving them an internationally recognized state is a problem.

Israel - I don't see the US abandoning our support of them anytime soon, nor should we, IMO. (Although I may be a little biased - my aunt is Israeli)

Saudi, etc...As I recall - the Saudi's and Kuwaiti's asked us to be there before the first Iraq war, so I don't see us leaving unless their governments ask us to leave completely and permanently. Also, I'm not so sure about the whole luxury thing - I'm sure there are a couple of people involved in something like that - our government agencies almost always have *somebody* who is corrupt enough to pull that - but my father spent some time there as a soldier and the pictures he brought back...well...they weren't living in luxury by any means.

I guess what I'm saying is - if their governments can't even agree on what it is they want - how are we supposed to understand and solve their problems from the outside?

They apparently have a great deal of internal strife and I don't think it is really a problem we can solve, nor do I think they want us to solve it for them. They just don't seem that interested in dialogue...the IRA was at least willing to come to the table. These extremists just seem to want us dead. How do you negotiate peace with someone like that? It just sounds like an extraordinarily difficult problem and unless *both* sides are willing to compromise, all the talking in the world won't fix it.

And I agree with you in that our government tries to simplify the issue with slogans like "enemies of freedom" and "win the war on terror" but the american people have a very short attention span, sadly, and most of us don't understand the issues and a lot aren't willing to learn. Not necessarily because they are ignorant, but they have enough problems of their own to deal with.

This is interesting...thanks!
It is just so complex. But one of the problems I see is that the oppressive regimes supported by the West do not represent the people. Just because the governments of Saudi and Kuwait want US troops there, it doesn't mean that the people do. The radical anti-western Muslims want us out of their countries, for good. But, of course, we won’t leave because we want to ensure that the regime in charge will sell us oil, and if we let the will of the people prevail we might get a regime that will cut off our supply. On the one hand we preach democracy, on the other we support undemocratic regimes. Not surprising we appear so hypocritical.

There are no innocent parties in any of this.

I agree that until both sides are willing to talk it will be difficult to make progress, but I believe that we in the West have a moral obligation to try and defuse this 'clash of civilizations'. Hating 'them' because they hate 'us' only makes things worse. We have to understand the roots of this anger before we can attempt to neutralize it.

And one thing's for sure, the more guns and bombs we use the more hatred we generate. It's a vicious circle that has to be broken, and if no one else is willing then I believe we in the West should step up and try.

If we want peace and democracy in the world then let's lead by example. At the moment it's more a case of 'do as we say’, rather than ‘do as we do'.
I'm not sure about it being a tiny minority - maybe in terms of statistics, but we're still talking thousands of normally reasonable (hopefully) people who took up torches and called for the death of artists and publishers.

And while I completely agree that there needs to be more tolerance between Islam and basically the rest of the world, this sort of thing doesn't come anywhere near helping and in fact, cements the violent perceptions that many (including myself) see as being prevalent in Islam.

I think there are issues on both sides - not only Muslim people who have that feeling of derision...western culture - not even just religion - is derided daily. They call for the deaths of anyone who seems to disagree with the way they live their lives, and are constantly speaking of western culture as "less than" with a completely intolerant manner.

Maybe if the reaction hadn't been so violent, it would have paved a way for dialogue, but because it is - I don't see how that is possible.

I don't know that much about the roots of the hatred both sides seem to have for each other - but it takes both sides to practice a bit more tolerance to get anywhere near an understanding.
Well, I sort of look at it this way. You've got the clash of two very different cultures here, or, if you want to be less PC, civilization vs something... not. Many western democracies and republics may be influenced by Christian roots, but they are in essence secular. Then you have the large Muslim countries that are in essence theocracies, where religion trumps the rule of law.

Lee over at Right-Thinking had some interesting comments about this matter along the same lines:
Essentially I said that there is no real difference between devout religious fundamentalists, be they Muslim or Jew or Christian. Each thinks they are working with God’s Seal of Approval™ right there on their ass, and since religious dictate is of greater import to a fundamentalist than secular law, they feel the need to act in accordance with what they see as divine right.

The difference between the Muslim world and everything else is that everywhere outside the Muslim world we have a rule of law. If a Christian is upset over something like Victoria’s Secret catalogs or abortion or sex on TV or rock music with dirty lyrics, they don’t go out and riot or destroy property. They might start a boycott or take some other action, but their action is constrained by the laws of the society in which they live. Take, for instance, the controversy last year over the removal of the Ten Commandments from some courthouse buildings. I remember seeing a group of fundamentalist Christians outside the courthouse in Alabama going ABSOLUTELY APESHIT over the removal of the tablets. They were frothing and foaming and ranting and screaming with red faces and veins bulging from necks. But, ultimately, there was no riot or destruction on their part. Why? Because they live in a society which does not condone that sort of behavior, where religion does not trump the rule of law.

Conversely, the Islamic world has no such constraint. There is no law outside of Islamic law and the dictates of whatever thug happens to be running whatever country. In the Western world we understand that it is not in our best interest to have people engaged in violent protest, no matter what the cause. In Syria, for example, it is most definitely in their best political interest to see this happening. Same with Saudi Arabia. The Muslim world is a seething cauldron of anger and resentment, and the Arab governments understand this. The time is ripe for revolution in many of the Arab states, and thus they need a distraction, an external outlet for all of this displaced rage and hatred. Thus the cartoons.
It's bad, but all I can think about all this is
'wow I want to see this comic!'

1) to see whats so bad that people have to die over it
2) cus dude comics are cool! ;)

Don't feel bad...I'm totally curious too. I've been following this for the last couple of weeks and wondered why it hadn't had more coverage.

Honestly, I think people are scared to talk about it.
I sort of wonder if the major news outlets are worried about making themselves targets, or at least their foreign correspondants. That rings "more true" than "well, we don't want to offend anybody".

And here's the link I gave Jahncie, to the "forbidden cartoons".
That's exactly what I meant by people being to scared to talk about it.

Every time they say they don't want to publish it so as not to offend anyone, I have the same reaction - they won't show them because they are afraid of being the next target of extremists.

I can see, though, after seeing the cartoons - why some people would be offended by them. I don't understand the violent reaction, but I can understand why there would be offense taken...

Thank you for the link.
The virgin one is a bit clever...the rest are eh, except for the one with the scared cartoonist - that one is just disturbing to me. Not in an offensive way...but a scary way.

controve- no i can't even fake it, wtf is so bad about them??

If I had any sympathy for their jihad I would have lost it over this *spits*