Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Is the Muslim World at war with the west?

Yes
1
14%
No
6
86%
 
Total votes : 7

Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Doc » Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:03 pm

I am beginning to see a phase shift of opinion in the West towards the idea that the Muslim World is at war with the west. So I thought it maybe interesting to take a poll here. Probably should have made a poll years ago.

Sorry about the black and white answers. I tried to come up with alternate answers but they all seemed to convoluted. So if anyone can think of alternative answers please post them and I will try to add them to the list.

Thanks
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Endovelico » Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:00 pm

I yesterday saw on television an item of news concerning a "Christmas time" lunch, obviously not a commemoration of Christmas but an act of solidarity, offered by the Lisbon Great Mosque and the Muslim community to poor people of Lisbon, all of whom are presumably Christian. I wonder how many other Muslim communities around Europe would dare taking such an initiative, which shows how relations between Muslims and non-Muslims could develop, with a bit of imagination. No wonder there are no tensions in Portugal around the Muslim community, no terrorism fears, no threats of expulsion. Portuguese Muslims are simply Portuguese people like any other, and non-Portuguese Muslims are also very well integrated. This lunch initiative was both a sign of intelligence and of solidarity, and the imam of the Great Mosque should be warmly congratulated on the initiative. I can't help being a bit proud of living in a country where such things are possible.

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Christmas lunch for needed people at the Lisbon mosque

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The Imam Sheik David Munir
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Parodite » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:02 pm

It is good to know there are places in the world as in Portugal where a diversity of people manage to get along. The best chance for that to happen is when people live in church-state separated modern democracies and people are exposed to diversity and experience the benefits of that.
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Doc » Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:52 pm

Endo I have a question for you. In Portugal do people give to charity much?
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Endovelico » Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:55 pm

Doc wrote:Endo I have a question for you. In Portugal do people give to charity much?


In spite of the crisis, yes I believe we do. We have for instance a food bank which assists nearly 400,000 people out of donations collected mostly in supermarkets throughout the country (2,325 metric tons in one single week-end). In a more informal manner also many needed people only survive through the help of friends and family, but I believe there are no statistics on this type of help (which we ourselves wouldn't call charity).
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Doc » Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:44 am

Endovelico wrote:
Doc wrote:Endo I have a question for you. In Portugal do people give to charity much?


In spite of the crisis, yes I believe we do. We have for instance a food bank which assists nearly 400,000 people out of donations collected mostly in supermarkets throughout the country (2,325 metric tons in one single week-end). In a more informal manner also many needed people only survive through the help of friends and family, but I believe there are no statistics on this type of help (which we ourselves wouldn't call charity).



Something Portugal has in common with the US and the Muslim world. Maybe that means something...
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Endovelico » Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:38 pm

In addition to what I wrote here about the assistance given by the Lisbon Great Mosque to poor people of all religions close to Christmas, I read now that in December, on the Friday prayers, the Imam has taken time to speak to the faithful of Isa and his mother Maryam, based on Jesus being a prophet for Islam. I would be very much surprised if ever there are conflicts with Muslims in Portugal. Could this happen elsewhere in the world?
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Doc » Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:59 pm

Endovelico wrote:In addition to what I wrote here about the assistance given by the Lisbon Great Mosque to poor people of all religions close to Christmas, I read now that in December, on the Friday prayers, the Imam has taken time to speak to the faithful of Isa and his mother Maryam, based on Jesus being a prophet for Islam. I would be very much surprised if ever there are conflicts with Muslims in Portugal. Could this happen elsewhere in the world?


It has happened in the US often enough.
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Endovelico » Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:33 pm

Doc wrote:
Endovelico wrote:In addition to what I wrote here about the assistance given by the Lisbon Great Mosque to poor people of all religions close to Christmas, I read now that in December, on the Friday prayers, the Imam has taken time to speak to the faithful of Isa and his mother Maryam, based on Jesus being a prophet for Islam. I would be very much surprised if ever there are conflicts with Muslims in Portugal. Could this happen elsewhere in the world?


It has happened in the US often enough.


It is very heartening if that is so. Let's hope it wasn't only within a very small minority of US mosques.
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Doc » Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:45 pm

Endovelico wrote:
Doc wrote:
Endovelico wrote:In addition to what I wrote here about the assistance given by the Lisbon Great Mosque to poor people of all religions close to Christmas, I read now that in December, on the Friday prayers, the Imam has taken time to speak to the faithful of Isa and his mother Maryam, based on Jesus being a prophet for Islam. I would be very much surprised if ever there are conflicts with Muslims in Portugal. Could this happen elsewhere in the world?


It has happened in the US often enough.


It is very heartening if that is so. Let's hope it wasn't only within a very small minority of US mosques.


There was even Jewish Palestinian rapprochement after the first gulf war. They even went to food manufactures together to ask for kosher food to be produced for both groups. If it was left up to American Jews and Muslims there would have been a lasting peace in the Middle East.
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A Voice From Chechnia

Postby Endovelico » Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:40 pm

Chechen leader blasts Europe over double standards on terrorism
A statement by Ramzan Kadyrov

The head of the Chechen Republic explained his position through his longtime medium of choice – the Instagram photo sharing service. In an extensive post accompanying a picture of himself Kadyrov said that he welcomed the “single-hearted” denouncing of terrorism by world leaders as well as the millions of people taking part in demonstrations in Paris. He also condemned the killing of unarmed people by terrorists and considered the fight against terrorism the most important task in his life.

At the same time Kadyrov posed a question. Was the denouncing aimed at terrorism only in France or were the public figures and people targeting the evil all over the World?


“Why the presidents, kings and prime ministers have never led marches of protest against the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Afghans, Syrians, Egyptians, Libyans, Yemenis, and Iraqis? Why did they remain silent when terrorists exploded a bomb in the Chechen government HQ or when they blew up the Grozny stadium killing Chechen President Akhmad-Haji Kadyrov [Ramzan Kadyrov’s father] and his aides? Why did they not react to the raid on the school in Beslan and the hostage taking at Moscow’s Dubrovka Theater? Why keep silent when in December last year terrorists captured the House of Press and a school in Grozny, killing and injuring over 50 people?” Kadyrov writes in his latest address.

“It is impossible to secure Paris, London, Madrid and other European capitals if the whole society fails to condemn those who raise and sponsor terrorists all over the world masking it as support for opposition movements,” Kadyrov stated.

The Chechen strongman wrote that he suspected some powerful forces of preparing the whole scenario in order to incite an anti-Islamic mood in Europe or to distract public attention from some brewing global problem.

A fervent believer in Islam, Kadyrov also wrote that he and his allies would not allow anyone to insult the Prophet, even if this would cost them their lives. “If we are still silent this does not mean that we cannot get millions of people onto the streets all over the world protesting against those who connive at the insults to Muslims’ religious feelings. Is this what you want?” he stated, apparently addressing the political leaders of the Western world.

The head of the Chechen republic also suggested the mass media had “allowed themselves to get involved in the scandal,” and should apologize to Muslims to end the controversy. “Peace and stability are more important for all peoples than the right of a handful of journalists to disrespect the Prophet,” he wrote.


One should pay some attention to what he says. Freedom of speech has its limits. Would we consider that shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theatre should be protected by the right to free speech? If not, why allow Charlie Hebdo to do very much the same thing through its cartoons? Which of course doesn't mean that one can condone the killing of those cartoonists or of any other persons. I'm careful to state this, in order to avoid anyone feeling like deleting this post for being "sympathetic to terrorism"!...
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby noddy » Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:23 am

interesting analogy, a group of muslims is like a burning theatre.
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Endovelico » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:28 am

noddy wrote:interesting analogy, a group of muslims is like a burning theatre.


You very well understood what the analogy is. If your actions are likely to cause serious harm you are not at liberty to do it. Whether shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theatre or systematically drawing cartoons you know are deeply offensive to some people. Both actions are likely to cause the death of innocent people. In such cases freedom of speech may legitimately be curtailed.
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby noddy » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:32 am

yes, because a group of upset muslims is as dangerous as a burning theatre, its a perfectly obvious analogy.

in western culture you are allowed to upset religions and politicians and the onus is on them to ignore it, we have a bad track record of the powerful and corrupt abusing laws that curtail such things, the price you pay for speaking truth to power is idiots having stupid opinions, its a small price to pay.

those that dont like it can live in a sheltered enclave of like minded conservatives, if they try and change my country they will get a backlash from angry westerners, its all fair.

i think most muslisms actually do understand this line in the sand and appreciate it - the minority that dont should be rounded up and taken out of society like any other rabid animal.
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Endovelico » Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:40 pm

noddy wrote:yes, because a group of upset muslims is as dangerous as a burning theatre, its a perfectly obvious analogy.

in western culture you are allowed to upset religions and politicians and the onus is on them to ignore it, we have a bad track record of the powerful and corrupt abusing laws that curtail such things, the price you pay for speaking truth to power is idiots having stupid opinions, its a small price to pay.

those that dont like it can live in a sheltered enclave of like minded conservatives, if they try and change my country they will get a backlash from angry westerners, its all fair.

i think most muslisms actually do understand this line in the sand and appreciate it - the minority that dont should be rounded up and taken out of society like any other rabid animal.


When hearing someone shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theatre, intelligent people should know it is a false alarm and stay calmly sitting down. It's not the fault of the one shouting a false alarm that people are stupid... Those stupid enough to get into a panic and causing the dead of others should be expelled from the country...

Now I understand it!...
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby noddy » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:16 pm

its your stupid analogy, you can take it anywhere you like.

me personally, i will always vote for those that protect freedom of speech and have zero interest in those that want it taken away, nothing todo with muslims and everything to do with westerners
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Endovelico » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:06 pm

As a Muslim, I’m fed up with the hypocrisy of the free speech fundamentalists
by Mehdi Hasan Published 13 January, 2015 - 13:49

Dear liberal pundit,

You and I didn’t like George W Bush. Remember his puerile declaration after 9/11 that “either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”? Yet now, in the wake of another horrific terrorist attack, you appear to have updated Dubbya’s slogan: either you are with free speech . . . or you are against it. Either vous êtes Charlie Hebdo . . . or you’re a freedom-hating fanatic.

I’m writing to you to make a simple request: please stop. You think you’re defying the terrorists when, in reality, you’re playing into their bloodstained hands by dividing and demonising. Us and them. The enlightened and liberal west v the backward, barbaric Muslims. The massacre in Paris on 7 January was, you keep telling us, an attack on free speech. The conservative former French president Nicolas Sarkozy agrees, calling it “a war declared on civilisation”. So, too, does the liberal-left pin-up Jon Snow, who crassly tweeted about a “clash of civilisations” and referred to “Europe’s belief in freedom of expression”.

In the midst of all the post-Paris grief, hypocrisy and hyperbole abounds. Yes, the attack was an act of unquantifiable evil; an inexcusable and merciless murder of innocents. But was it really a “bid to assassinate” free speech (ITV’s Mark Austin), to “desecrate” our ideas of “free thought” (Stephen Fry)? It was a crime – not an act of war – perpetrated by disaffected young men; radicalised not by drawings of the Prophet in Europe in 2006 or 2011, as it turns out, but by images of US torture in Iraq in 2004.

Please get a grip. None of us believes in an untrammelled right to free speech. We all agree there are always going to be lines that, for the purposes of law and order, cannot be crossed; or for the purposes of taste and decency, should not be crossed. We differ only on where those lines should be drawn.

Has your publication, for example, run cartoons mocking the Holocaust? No? How about caricatures of the 9/11 victims falling from the twin towers? I didn’t think so (and I am glad it hasn’t). Consider also the “thought experiment” offered by the Oxford philosopher Brian Klug. Imagine, he writes, if a man had joined the “unity rally” in Paris on 11 January “wearing a badge that said ‘Je suis Chérif’” – the first name of one of the Charlie Hebdo gunmen. Suppose, Klug adds, he carried a placard with a cartoon mocking the murdered journalists. “How would the crowd have reacted? . . . Would they have seen this lone individual as a hero, standing up for liberty and freedom of speech? Or would they have been profoundly offended?” Do you disagree with Klug’s conclusion that the man “would have been lucky to get away with his life”?

Let’s be clear: I agree there is no justification whatsoever for gunning down journalists or cartoonists. I disagree with your seeming view that the right to offend comes with no corresponding responsibility; and I do not believe that a right to offend automatically translates into a duty to offend.

When you say “Je suis Charlie”, is that an endorsement of Charlie Hebdo’s depiction of the French justice minister, Christiane Taubira, who is black, drawn as a monkey? Of crude caricatures of bulbous-nosed Arabs that must make Edward Said turn in his grave?

Lampooning racism by reproducing brazenly racist imagery is a pretty dubious satirical tactic. Also, as the former Charlie Hebdo journalist Olivier Cyran argued in 2013, an “Islamophobic neurosis gradually took over” the magazine after 9/11, which then effectively endorsed attacks on "members of a minority religion with no influence in the corridors of power".

It's for these reasons that I can't "be", don’t want to “be", Charlie – if anything, we should want to be Ahmed, the Muslim policeman who was killed while protecting the magazine’s right to exist. As the novelist Teju Cole has observed, “It is possible to defend the right to obscene . . . speech without promoting or sponsoring the content of that speech.”

And why have you been so silent on the glaring double standards? Did you not know that Charlie Hebdo sacked the veteran French cartoonist Maurice Sinet in 2008 for making an allegedly anti-Semitic remark? Were you not aware that Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that published caricatures of the Prophet in 2005, reportedly rejected cartoons mocking Christ because they would “provoke an outcry” and proudly declared it would “in no circumstances . . . publish Holocaust cartoons”?

Muslims, I guess, are expected to have thicker skins than their Christian and Jewish brethren. Context matters, too. You ask us to laugh at a cartoon of the Prophet while ignoring the vilification of Islam across the continent (have you visited Germany lately?) and the widespread discrimination against Muslims in education, employment and public life – especially in France. You ask Muslims to denounce a handful of extremists as an existential threat to free speech while turning a blind eye to the much bigger threat to it posed by our elected leaders.

Does it not bother you to see Barack Obama – who demanded that Yemen keep the anti-drone journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye behind bars, after he was convicted on “terrorism-related charges” in a kangaroo court – jump on the free speech ban wagon? Weren’t you sickened to see Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of a country that was responsible for the killing of seven journalists in Gaza in 2014, attend the “unity rally” in Paris? Bibi was joined by Angela Merkel, chancellor of a country where Holocaust denial is punishable by up to five years in prison, and David Cameron, who wants to ban non-violent “extremists” committed to the “overthrow of democracy” from appearing on television.

Then there are your readers. Will you have a word with them, please? According to a 2011 YouGov poll, 82 per cent of voters backed the prosecution of protesters who set fire to poppies.

Apparently, it isn’t just Muslims who get offended.

Yours faithfully,

Mehdi.

http://www.newstatesman.com/mehdi-hasan/2015/01/muslim-i-m-fed-hypocrisy-free-speech-fundamentalists


I apologize for this text not having been published by The Economist, the only truthful source known to Man...
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Parodite » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:03 am

Confused man this Mehdi Hasan. "Je suis Charlie" is about the right not to be killed for drawing cartoons. He agrees with that; there is no excuse. Case closed.

Then he raves on about offending and being offended which is irrelevant. People get offended for all kinds of reasons all the time. Some people offend on purpose, others just don't think it's funny and start to foam around the mouth already. But also here: being offended by words or pictures is never an excuse to kill the offender. Again, case closed.

He claims there are double standards and I think he is right. But there are more than just two standards; it's a mulitude of standards that operate in and among societies. In diverse and open societies different people are necessarily offended by different things because they have different standards. Such societies can only keep a modicum of coherence however, for as long people don't kill each other for it. That is what the freedom of speech and expression is all about! The right to have double stndards, opinions and tastes of what is funny or not. You can go to a court and file a complaint if you feel you need to.. when you are so offended that it really is hard to bear any longer. "Je suis Charlie" defends that right of the offended to go to court, as well as the right to say or draw things that can be offensive without being killed. Case closed.

Since there are no points to score here for Mehdi Hasan, he desperately tries to point finger at other evil-dohars or suspects, and thusly create a sense of guilt by association via diversion. Don't governments of Western free-speech countries go to war using double standards that kill thousands of innocent Muslims?? And what about the Israeli Netanyahu gvt.. hu?? Sure those can be critised (of course.. he forgets to mention Hamas) but they can't be used as an excuse either to commit horrendous crimes... or can they? Two wrongs never make one right. If mister Mehdi Hassan hates double standards, hypocrisy, excuses.. he better applies it universaly and not step in that trap himself. But he did.


Mom: "Don't do that Johnny, its wrong... you are not allowed to do that it must stop immediately!"

Johnny: "Yes but Bobby did the same yesterday... he started it, he did it first!"

Bobby: "That's a lie and you know it! Last week you called me a faggot while I said that if you'd do that again you would ceeeertainly pay the price! You simply asked for it duuude... grow up and own it!"

Johnny: "See mom, I told you this little fag is full if sad excuses he can't even take a joke or little insult.. what a looser! When I get really bitten I bite back and even harder, sorry!"

Bobby: "Such a lame excuse you produce there. You have been provoking me on purpose long enough.. till I snapped which is exactly what you wanted to happen to further humiliate me and turn me into the perpetrator instead. People know your dirty tricks long enough now."

Johnny: "The trick is that I never use physical violence, at least not untill somebody else uses it against me. When I use violence in response to violence it is either as self-defence.. or as a retaliation so that the attacker will be deterred next time he feels the urge. The trick is that something has to deter or block you from doing it again. I'm only helping you to control or own violent urges and get some thicker skin as a bonus.. you will need it later in life when you are a grown up!"

Bobby: "Blablablaaaa.. intellectual sophistry. It is obvious that you just can't control your urge of being mean to others. You are a sadist and very good in creating good sounding excuses that's all. I'm helping you to own that fact and change it."

Johnny: "It doesn't matter what I say or you say. Fact is you started using physical violence... which is a real and much more serious crime than me just throwing some whatever words in your direction. You are just too sensitive and easily offended. Touphen up man! Don't be such a sissy.. If you ever wondered or doubted why I call you fagg all the time.. now you know."

Bobby: "Yea... as if physical pain is the only type of pain people can experience. I suppose that when people mourn and cry because a loved one died... it doesn't count either in your book. Maybe you are not a mean hypocrite... just very stupid!"

Johnny: "Of course there are many forms of pain.. its just that I have the right to say things that may or may not hurt you emotionally. You have the right to take me to court for it and who knows.. the judge rules in a way that makes you very happy. But you never have the right to bite my ear off, no excuse will be good enough for that! Keep it simple please."

Bobby: "Life isn't as simple as Law me-boy... and you know it! You have a responsability too and can't hide behind lawyers and judges who give you cover for the mean tricks you are playing... I despise you!!" :x

Johnny: "That's ok, please despise me.. just keep your hands off me and your teeth indoors, thank you!!" :twisted:

Mom thinking... with a nostalgic-ironic smile around her lips after hearing this conversation: "Kids... they grow up so fast, don't they... "
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby noddy » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:34 am

https://news.vice.com/article/mayor-of- ... o-fuck-off

After the terror attacks last week in Paris, the Muslim mayor of Rotterdam took a harsh tone with Islamic hardliners in the Netherlands, essentially saying that people who take issue with certain Western ideals and satirical newspapers can "genuflect off."

Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, who was born in Morocco and immigrated to the Netherlands when he was 15, made the remark during an appearance on Nieuwsuur, a national television program. Specifically, he said Muslim immigrants who are unable to accept "humorists" creating content for a newspaper could "genuflect off" — or "rot toch op"in Dutch. He also relayed the message that if any Dutch Muslims are against freedom, then "for heaven's sake pack your bags and leave."
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Endovelico » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:44 am

noddy wrote:https://news.vice.com/article/mayor-of-rotterdam-tells-muslim-extremists-in-the-netherlands-to-fuck-off

After the terror attacks last week in Paris, the Muslim mayor of Rotterdam took a harsh tone with Islamic hardliners in the Netherlands, essentially saying that people who take issue with certain Western ideals and satirical newspapers can "genuflect off."

Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, who was born in Morocco and immigrated to the Netherlands when he was 15, made the remark during an appearance on Nieuwsuur, a national television program. Specifically, he said Muslim immigrants who are unable to accept "humorists" creating content for a newspaper could "genuflect off" — or "rot toch op"in Dutch. He also relayed the message that if any Dutch Muslims are against freedom, then "for heaven's sake pack your bags and leave."


Very good. That's what I would expect from a Dutch person, Muslim or non-Muslim.
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Parodite » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:03 pm

Endovelico wrote:
noddy wrote:https://news.vice.com/article/mayor-of-rotterdam-tells-muslim-extremists-in-the-netherlands-to-fuck-off

After the terror attacks last week in Paris, the Muslim mayor of Rotterdam took a harsh tone with Islamic hardliners in the Netherlands, essentially saying that people who take issue with certain Western ideals and satirical newspapers can "genuflect off."

Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, who was born in Morocco and immigrated to the Netherlands when he was 15, made the remark during an appearance on Nieuwsuur, a national television program. Specifically, he said Muslim immigrants who are unable to accept "humorists" creating content for a newspaper could "genuflect off" — or "rot toch op"in Dutch. He also relayed the message that if any Dutch Muslims are against freedom, then "for heaven's sake pack your bags and leave."


Very good. That's what I would expect from a Dutch person, Muslim or non-Muslim.


I liked his speech. He called a spade a spade and expressed in the quoted part the feelings of most people in normal language. He also iterated that the event should not split society, antagonize communities since this is what the perpetrators want.

I doubt antagonizer Geert Wilders will benefit from this. Shortly after the attack he was interviewed and in a very good and animated mood of course, but it might be that a considerable amount of people that voted for him will now vote mainstream again since mainstream is now on the alert and being critical of Islam no longer politically incorrect and perceived as racist.
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Re: Muslim vs the rest of the world.

Postby Parodite » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:44 pm

Highly recommended:

From Teenage Angst to Jihad

The Anger of Europe’s Young Marginalized Muslims

By ABDELKADER BENALIJAN. 13, 2015

AMSTERDAM — Something snapped. I was 13 years old, dreaming of books and girls and nothing else — a healthy Dutch kid with a Moroccan background who freewheeled through life. Then something happened that made me feel different from the pack. One day in history class, the fatwa against Salman Rushdie became the subject. Our teacher talked about freedom of expression; I talked about insulting the Prophet. There was an awkward silence. What was that Abdelkader guy talking about? Fatwhat?

But our teacher, Mr. Fok, understood me. He claimed the fatwa didn’t make sense. How could somebody be offended by fiction? How could using one’s imagination lead to the death sentence?

I remember standing up, my voice rising as I struggled to make an argument about the holiness of the Prophet to me and my community. And the more Mr. Fok responded with cold and rational analysis the angrier I got. Didn’t he get that this was about more than reason and common sense? Didn’t he get that mocking the Prophet was a moral crime?

My classmates looked at me like a madman. By then I was standing and shouting. I’d never felt such anger before. This wasn’t about a novel, this was about me. About us. I wanted revenge. Mr. Fok just looked at me, amazed by my temper and a bit annoyed, and dismissed me from class.

For the first time in my life I felt what it meant to be Muslim. I didn’t want to feel that way. I wanted to blend in, to look normal like the other kids in my class. After the frustration and anger ebbed, I felt shame — for letting my religion down, letting my family down, letting myself down. Shame for an anger I didn’t understand.

I grew up in a relatively traditional Moroccan family. We observed Ramadan but my father rarely went to the mosque. There were two books in our house, the Quran and the phone book. We never looked at either of them.

We didn’t talk much about the fatwa but it was impossible to ignore. Muslims were marching through the streets of Rotterdam. It was the first time we felt seen as part of a community that had questions to answer: Which side are you on? Why are you offended? Where does this anger come from? Can Islam coexist with Western values?

The world didn’t stop reminding me I was a Muslim. My name, my background, my skin, my family and the events unfolding in the world all led to more self-questioning.

Islam told me God is One and the Prophet is his messenger. Adhere to the five pillars and all will be well. But we were living in a non-Muslim country. But I wasn’t Dutch, nor was I secular. I had to find a way to reconcile my religious background with a secular world. I felt orphaned.

And resolving that dilemma is much harder in a secular society that seems to have stopped struggling with these big questions altogether.

In the end, I didn’t find the answers in holy texts. I found them in literature.

I read Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” and Camus’ “The Plague.” I thought back on my younger days lashing out against “The Satanic Verses.” I remembered sneaking into a bookshop and seeing the book piled up ready to be read but my English was insufficient to understand it. The book turned me away; the curiosity stayed.

When I was 17, I found “The Satanic Verses” tucked away in a school library. I grabbed it, started reading and was mesmerized. Here was a young man struggling with his faith in a faithless world — an immigrant son from a deeply religious home thrown into a world where everything is embraced and nothing is sacred. It confirmed what I had felt deep inside: a free and open society is a threat to religious people. Their religion will be mocked — sometimes even suppressed — and this will provoke anger.

And now it’s happening again. The rise of extremists who lure young Muslims in the West with visions of Islamic utopia is creating nausea among European Muslims. Boys and girls are leaving their families and being converted into killing machines. They are leaving not from Baghdad but from Brussels and The Hague. We insist that this can’t be our Islam and if this is Islam we don’t want it. But I know from my own experience that the lure of extremism can be very powerful when you grow up in a world where the media and everyone around you seems to mock and insult your culture.

And European governments are not helping fight extremism by giving in to Islamophobia cooked up by right-wing populists. What I see is a lack of courage to embrace the Muslims of Europe as genuinely European — as citizens like everyone else.

One of the first people the terrorists in Paris killed was one of us: Mustapha Ourrad, an Algerian-born copy editor at Charlie Hebdo. Then they killed another Muslim: the police officer, Ahmed Merabet. The killers didn’t take mercy on them. In the name of Islam they killed Muslims. And every time a European Muslim sees that image of Mr. Merabet’s last moments, he sees himself lying there on the cold pavement. Helpless. And the next question will be: What will I say tomorrow at work or at school?

What happened last week is not about lack of humor, or a failure to understand caricature. Nor is it about hatred of the West. It’s about anger taking a wrong turn.

What makes us human and creative is our doubt. But doubt on its own can turn into anger and fundamentalism.

As the French writer Michel Houellebecq said in an interview: “People cannot live without God. Life becomes unbearable.” The terrorists found their God in a godless society. Charlie Hebdo mocked their God by declaring him nothing more than a cartoon. They came back to rescue their God and left 12 dead behind. They fell prey to a powerful delusion.

It was the same delusion I felt as a teenager: that by attacking the messenger your anger will disappear and you will be victorious. But the only way to conquer your anger is to understand where its roots lie. For me the freedom to doubt, to not choose sides and to feel empathy for characters and people with whom I disagree was liberating. Today I still embrace my Islamic background, but without the dogma, repression and strict adherence to ritual.

Since 9/11, so many European Muslims have also doubted their belonging. Do they belong to the Paris of Voltaire or the Mecca of Muhammad? It’s the wrong question.

Muslims are every bit as European as the Roma, gays, intellectuals, farmers and factory workers. We have been in Europe for centuries and politicians and the press must stop acting is if we arrived yesterday. We are here to stay.

Abdelkader Benali, a novelist, is the author of “Wedding by the Sea.”
Outside, away from the noise, grows a flower.
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On blow back

Postby Parodite » Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:01 pm

A lot of commentators point at blow back that should also explain the Charlie Hebdo crime. Blow back from the West, the US especially, meddling around cycloptically. Some go as far is even claiming it is the root cause, theorizing that had the West simply left the Meddle East to its own devices these things wouldn't have happened. Or go a bit further and into some specifics, claiming US support for Israel is at the root of it all. To the point of conspirational fevers where "AngloZionism" is the root cause... with at the very end of that spectrum people like HP, and he is not an isolated case, who claim that all roads to Hell originate from Zionism which is "bad for humanity" (HPs words).

Others will claim that the behaviors of the West and the US in particular- as ineffective, over-ambitious, ill-informed, miscalculating and inspired by megalomanic hubris it may be - is a blow back from having to deal with countries and cultures that still live in the dark ages with very cruel ethno-religious dictatorships and an Islam that is very effective in keeping those cultures immune to change. These cultures are all under the threat of modernity, of open societies in the West and their values, their secularism. Under the general threat and pressure of modernity, such environments are by nature in a defensive position. On top of the pressure each ethno-religious group exists while under the boot of the ruling dictatorship of a different ethno-religious origin. Blow back is all over the place and the default within the ME and what created it. The moment you interact with any of the parties there... beit just doing business with a ruling dictatorship who controls oil.. or supporting opposing groups who want to get rid of a dictatorship under the assumption that the new rulers are a better ruling class which may open the doors to modernity and democracy aqa less evil.. will always suck you into these local storms where the winds of blow back rage in all and ever changing directions, and everybody gets always bitten ... and more than once.

Blow back is a new buzz word for the reality of action-reaction. Of cause and effect. There is blow back from things you do or that just happen, and of things you not do.. because then other causes will yield new effects and so on. Only if you are in no way part of that causal web, without any interaction, you can stay out of the fray and claim: well.. whatever happens.. it is not because of me. If that is the goal.. living on another planet is advised.

The idea that a certain blow back has a "root cause" is just propaganda and adds to the paranoia. Political cheerleading. The most gifted writer in this field of I find Pepe Escobar. The smartest dumbf*uck. In his latest on Asia Times Online he wants us to ask ourselves re the Charlie Hebdo event: Who benefits? It is only Pepe I'm afraid... :P

Best answer perhaps on blow back:

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Re: On blow back

Postby Endovelico » Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:16 pm

Parodite wrote:Others will claim that the behaviors of the West and the US in particular- as ineffective, over-ambitious, ill-informed, miscalculating and inspired by megalomanic hubris it may be - is a blow back from having to deal with countries and cultures that still live in the dark ages with very cruel ethno-religious dictatorships and an Islam that is very effective in keeping those cultures immune to change. These cultures are all under the threat of modernity, of open societies in the West and their values, their secularism. Under the general threat and pressure of modernity, such environments are by nature in a defensive position. On top of the pressure each ethno-religious group exists while under the boot of the ruling dictatorship of a different ethno-religious origin. Blow back is all over the place and the default within the ME and what created it. The moment you interact with any of the parties there... beit just doing business with a ruling dictatorship who controls oil.. or supporting opposing groups who want to get rid of a dictatorship under the assumption that the new rulers are a better ruling class which may open the doors to modernity and democracy aqa less evil.. will always suck you into these local storms where the winds of blow back rage in all and ever changing directions, and everybody gets always bitten ... and more than once.


If I understand well what you wrote, we would be the target of jihadism even if we did nothing directly in the ME, because our very existence is threatening to them. The funny thing is that we have done our utmost to destroy those regimes which were successful in controlling religious fundamentalism - Iraq, Syria and Libya, and came close to succeeding in Egypt - while doing nothing in respect of the fundamentalists backers, like Saudi Arabia. So, it is not that we would have been targets in any case, we created the conditions for such attacks.
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Re: On blow back

Postby Parodite » Sat Jan 17, 2015 3:34 pm

Endovelico wrote:If I understand well what you wrote, we would be the target of jihadism even if we did nothing directly in the ME, because our very existence is threatening to them.


Uncertain, which is my point. Because it is uncertain.. so it is idiotic to claim that behavior of the West in the ME is "the root cause". Just a logical fallacy. We can make best-guesses and change our behavior accordingly of course. But then it is a more modest approach where we can just try doing things differently and see what happens. We cannot undo the past.. just try to do better in the future. But every future is different from the past so you can never make blind decisions based on past experiences alone.

The funny thing is that we have done our utmost to destroy those regimes which were successful in controlling religious fundamentalism - Iraq, Syria and Libya, and came close to succeeding in Egypt - while doing nothing in respect of the fundamentalists backers, like Saudi Arabia. So, it is not that we would have been targets in any case, we created the conditions for such attacks.


It seems to me the biggest lesson learned is: you cannot by violent force, with a lot of collateral lavender, convince people they should live like us and be more happy. And you better never choose sides between locals that are in a deadly game for power.

But, which is my point, you can choose the sides of people who just end up in the cross fire, notably children. If thousands are raped, killed...not all can be saved. But maybe 50, 200, 2500? When is it worthwhile in your opinion to move in with an international military force and go save them? If a tsunami certain will kill 40.000+ people.. going into the disater area and help out people in serious need who would otherwise perish too is never worth it I suppose.
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