Forum:Innocence of Muslims

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In case you missed the film that caused the protests at the American embassy's that lead to the death of the American ambassador to Libya: Innocence of Muslims (kinda NSFW, depicts sex act). This really reminds me of the Python movie "Life of Brian" which is an obvious mockumentary of Jesus. When that film came out were there any violent protests? Not trying to say Christianity is any different than Islam, I just was not alive during the time so I do not know how the world reacted to it when it was released. Certainly there is not a fundamental difference between the two types of religious zealots (Christian/Islam), but there is obviously a difference in tolerance in the societies that house them. It is times like these I am very glad the whole enlightenment thing happened or I would have been stoned for blasphemy long ago. TheCheatI run on alcohol 13:32, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Conflating Life Of Brian with The Innocence Of Muslims doesn't work. Life of Brian is an attack on religion in general and, when it briefly touches on Christ, it does so with respect. (Blessed are the cheesemakers). It certainly does not call Jesus a buffoon. I think a far more fitting parallel is between the rioters and the nutter who took out a bunch of Sikhs thinking they were Muslims. In both cases you have extremists using flimsy and misunderstood excuses to further an agenda of hatred. Bad Faith (talk) 14:06, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, the Pythons never explicitly called Christianity "a cancer." Does that justify the embassy attacks? Fuck no. Osaka Sun (talk) 14:09, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh I did not mean to lower Monty Python to the same level as this dumb movie, but frankly I always thought 'life of Brian' was directed at Christianity especially and while extremely hilarious and witty it still would be considered blasphemy by fanatics. Not being alive at the time I do not know how it was received upon release. TheCheatI run on alcohol 14:29, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
LoB was widely banned and there were widespread protests but, obviously, not attacks on embassies. But I think this misses the point. I would compare the embassy attacks with, for example, abortion clinic bombings, or those who go on the rampage in Sikh temples. In a highly charged and violent society like Syria it doesn't need much of an excuse to set off the fanatics but they certainly don't have a monopoly on them. Bad Faith (talk) 14:36, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
So is it theoretically possible for a movie to be so blasphemous to Christians that it would create the the same kind of violence? If so, what is the threshold and why? If not, how is one society simply more 'violent' than another? TheCheatI run on alcohol 14:58, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Life of Brian was never about Jesus. In fact, you can tell because if you bother to watch it you can see Jesus appear in the opening scene. But Christian pro-life groups have bombed abortion clinics and shot doctors in the head. It's far more complicated than just stating one religion "is" or "is not" more violent than the other. Scarlet A.pngmoralModerator 16:13, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
What people seem to miss, and Christians and atheist choose to ignore, is that the violence has nothign to do with this film, or even Islam. It has everything to do with poverty, power, money, control, freedom, and a base of angry pepole who are being used by their political and religious leaders as tools. No, this would not have happened in the US, or UK, or France, but because it's "islam" and we are "christian", but because we do not have the kind of poverty and lack of access to social systems, health care, political freedome, right to speech, etc that you find in most middle eastern and northern african countries. This is the same ol' thing that it has always been about. Who can control the masses, and when will they say "fuck off" -- and when they do say fuck off, who will they lash out at? Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 17:06, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh please, lots of people are poor and you don't see them go on killing sprees.Religionisforidiots (talk) 01:23, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
What's "NTSF"? -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:33, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

What the movies are actually about isn't the issue. It's not like most Christians protesting LoB back in the day actually saw the movie, they just thought it was anti-Jesus. The rioters and bombers in the Middle East obviously haven't seen the movie in question either. They just heard there was an anti-Mohammad movie somewhere in America and went apeshit. But its true that Christians don't react violently to anti-Christian things, while some Muslims do react that way to anti-Muslim things. Some of it has to do with Christians being used to freedom of speech and are accustomed to having their beliefs mocked, whereas Muslims in the Middle East have been coddled when it comes to their religion. We probably need a lot more films/books/etc, critical of Islam so they eventually grow accustomed to it. You can't riot every day. It wears you out. DickTurpis (talk) 16:21, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

What a fucking stupid idea this Innocence of Muslims was. What did they have to gain by making this film? What could they possibly have accomplished? Also, Life of Brian was not anti-religion, the creators said so themselves--"Shut up, Brx." 16:32, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Talking about the response to LoB, this clip from 1979 is just that; the Pythons defending Life of Brian from butthurt Anglican officials. Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 1013 points 04:48, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
I think an important difference between LoB and IoM is that LoB was created by western , if not judeo-christian then rooted in judeo-christian values film makers, satirising their own beliefs, as it were. IoM is created by western judeo-christian film makers demonizing the faith of a group of people who as Godot says has very little freedom expression, very little freedom in general, and whose oppressors deflect any and all criticism of them to towards western judeo-christian powers who in many cases are complicit in maintaining and supporting that oppression. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:38, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Plus if you are living in abject poverty, constantly oppressed, and everything in this world seems to exist to fuck you over, religious faith is often all you have, all that keeps you going. People can be a tad touchy in such circumstances. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:46, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, yessss. But it's not like all Christians live in rich democratic countries which allow freedom of speech. A lot of Africans are Christians and all of South America is Christian.--Weirdstuff (talk) 18:02, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
And Africa has such a non-violent past, with the massive slaughters of peoples in the Congo, the lovely situation of literally 80% of all women being raped as a matter of life in rural South Africa; the endless uprisings against whomever in Zimbabwe. I think reality shows Gay's and my point, more than "but xians don't do that".Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 18:15, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
I have no more love for Christianity than I do for Islam. My point was the previous posts seemed to me to be written from the point of view that Muslim = south and poor; Christian = north and rich. It's obviously not that simple.--Weirdstuff (talk) 18:39, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

The quote below is over simplistic.

This is a new post to a two year old forum, but one thing I cannot abide is an idiot peddling the sort of bullshit that AMassiveGay wrote, regardless of when he wrote it. The movie "The Innocence of Muslims" was produced and directed by a Coptic Christian. The director of this movie most certainly understands oppression better than AMassiveGay does, even if AMassiveGay's username is a description of his sexual orientation. Alsto003 (talk) 17:01, 8 August 2014 (UTC) Alex
maybe you could explain to me why my two year old post was idiotic, and perhaps be less of a prick about it. AMassiveGay (talk) 22:45, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately I am sort of using you as a lightning rod. I take exception to this last quote of yours that represents a personal pet peeve of mine, it was also never corrected, IoM is created by western judeo-christian film makers demonizing the faith of a group of people who as Godot says has very little freedom expression, very little freedom in general, and whose oppressors deflect any and all criticism of them to towards western judeo-christian powers who in many cases are complicit in maintaining and supporting that oppression. LoM was produced and directed by a Coptic Christian, not exactly a member of an empowered social group. My point is similar to Weirdstuff. You seem to have immediately assumed that this film was created by a “western judeo-christian” filmmaker when in reality it was made by someone who was a member of marginalized ethnic group. However the reason for this assumption is clear enough and gets to what Weirdstuff said, there is general trend in academia, or at least the academics who I have known, to view the world in a “Muslim = south and poor; Christian = north and rich”. The side affect of that characterization is that the plight of marginalized groups in Muslim societies while superficially acknowledged, are in practice completely ignored. That is what right wing Israelis are referring to when they complain about there being a “double standard” applied to Israel. For instance, Palestinians must have the right of return but Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks from Turkey don’t have the right of return. To right wing populists (who almost certainly have ulterior motives) and to a couple leftists (who often are associated with the old left), the reason for the discrepancy between the advocacy for Palestinian human rights, and the rights of non-Muslim or non-Arab minorities in the Middle East is because the new left (or more accurately its ideological descendants), in a quest for ideological purity rather than truth, discards narratives that don’t fit in the “Muslim = south and poor (and therefore oppressed); Christian = north and rich (and therefore privileged)” model. The “Muslim = south and poor” narrative itself is the reason why hard left political organizations like SWP, RESPECT, and Unite Against Fascism in Europe ally with Islamist organizations, this attitude is best exemplified in a quote from a book by a Mr. James Toth who justifies Sayyid Qutb's Occidentalist worldview by declaring it to be a form of resistance because of and I quote "the power imbalance between the West and Egypt." Not surprisingly I find that worldview to be idiotic and I think most people on Rationalwiki would agree. Where does that leave you? As I said before, I have used you as a lightning rod, but simply put I feel that your immediate assumption that the producer of this film was a westerner is emblematic of a general tenancy among hard leftists to pretend as though Islamic radicalism is solely the product of colonial western oppression and is therefore a legitimate form of resistance against said oppression. I may be mistaken in my characterization of your opinions, admittedly I tend to over-react when I see a factual error that was not corrected especially when I perceive that the person who made said error is an opponent of some sort. Alsto003 (talk) 01:51, 13 August 2014 (UTC) Alex
at the time of my original post, the chap behind IOM was had been living in the US for around 20years and claimed to be an Israeli Jew, and IOM was produced in the US. That makes it a western, specifically US, production. That the producer, a liar and convicted fraudster, was actually Coptic christian doesn't change my point that a film (iom) critical of Muslims by non muslim judeo Christians is not the same as a film (LOB) critical of judeo Christians by judeo christians. I didn't mention other marginalised groups because the we were discussing Muslims specifically. Your wrong assumption based on nothing about my supposed 'ideological purity' or that I don't care about other marginalised groups is insulting bullshit not supported by anything I have said. The fact that you resurrected a two year old post and singled me out, the only reason I am responding, leads me to make the assumption that you are a prick. And unlike your assumptions, mine is supported by what you have said. AMassiveGay (talk) 21:06, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Point taken, I singled you out unfairly. I do not necessarily agree with you entirely but after rereading the entire talk page I have realized that most of the points I was going to make were already stated below mostly by Proxima Centauri and DickTurpis (mostly in response to Godot). Hence there was nothing for me really contribute here. I will try to better control myself on the forums. Alsto003 (talk) 01:55, 14 August 2014 (UTC) Alex

edit break 1 (Proxima Centauri time)[edit]

What people seem to miss, and Christians and atheist choose to ignore, is that the violence has nothign to do with this film, or even Islam. It has everything to do with poverty, power, money, control, freedom, and a base of angry pepole who are being used by their political and religious leaders as tools. No, this would not have happened in the US, or UK, or France, but because it's "islam" and we are "christian", but because we do not have the kind of poverty and lack of access to social systems, health care, political freedome, right to speech, etc that you find in most middle eastern and northern african countries. [1]

Yes, the violence was partly to do with poverty and lack of access to social systems, health care, political freedome, right to speech, etc but it was also to do with intolerant Memeplexes connected to Islam. If Godot thinks it’s all due to poverty and the like she should explain why Asian Buddhists suffering similar poverty don’t get similarly violent. Below is a quote about how Muslims worldwide including in the UK reacted to Salman Rushdie round 1990.

By lawfully exercising his right to freedom of expression, Mr. Rushdie is committing no crime. However during the last twelve months, there have been at least a dozen attacks on bookshops. Booksellers in the United Kingdom have reported numerous death threats. Similar threats have been made to Mr. Rushdie’s publishers and supporters throughout the world. [2]

Muslims who weren’t suffering Third World poverty got violent or planned violence during the Danish cartoon affair. [3]

Why does all this matter?? It matters because we see yet again the double standard followed by many Christians and atheist Accommodationists.

  1. Defenders of religion are allowed to oversimplify in order to whitewash religion.
  2. Oversimplification by atheists is pounced on and humiliatingly labelled unscientific as in the case of some atheist who allegedly wrote, “I have read all (emphasis mine) of the sophisticated theology and none of it makes any sense”. [4] Christians and atheist Accommodationists don’t even have to give any links to prove any atheist actually wrote the comment about sophisticated theology. They just need to claim that it happened and other atheists are expected to hang their heads in shame and stop/cut down criticism of religion.

Let’s fight (metaphorically) to end this unjust Memeplex that holds opponents of religion to higher standards than supporters of religion. Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:06, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Seriously, is this "I have read all the sophisticated theology" thing still a big deal for you? Doh.gif What the hell does it have to do with the price of fish? ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:07, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
You mention asian buddhists not getting violent, so i gues the anti muslim rioting in burma doesn't count. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:17, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Violence by Buddhists if far less common, (edited to include) Buddhist violence happened in Burma and Sri Lanka that I know of, but it's far from the norm in Asia. Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:23, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
And yet it exists and is far too common in Burma. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:34, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Your blood vendetta against Godot is hilarious. Also, [5] ТyILAB 18:29, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
While obviously things like poverty and oppression are factors, to pretend this has nothing to do with religion strikes me as wishful thinking. DickTurpis (talk) 18:37, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif
Religion is a tool used by those in power, who want to retain power. it is not the problem. Take it away, and you find something like "icky Capitalists from America!" and "AMerican headonists". People who are not desperate, aren't generally violent at this level. It's why groups like Occupy, with legitimate grudges, will not make any real changes. no one is THAT threatened in the west. As long as our focus is on the "icky muslims", we will never address the very real issues of economic power, political power and freedoms that are common place in muslim africa, southern "christian" africa, and the middle east, and we will continue to court violence. Notice however, when these same muslims attacke their own leader, no one was saying it was because they were "muslim", they were saying it was liberation! but the roots? the violence. the lack of a voice which makes someone need to attack - those are exactly the same in both cases. PS. look at LA riots. no religion needed there, but the spark is the same. something people find unacceptable, but cannot challenge via the system. Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 18:43, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
(EC)I'm not sure any one is saying religion isn't a factor nor that it isn't a major one. But poverty, oppression, and centuries of near constant warfare between muslim and christian nations are just as major factors. And that warfare, real or cultural, has been very onesided for quite some time. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:46, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

edit break 2 (Proxima Centauri redux)[edit]

What people seem to miss, and Christians and atheist choose to ignore, is that the violence has nothign to do with this film, or even Islam. It has everything to do with poverty, power, money, control, freedom, and a base of angry pepole who are being used by their political and religious leaders as tools. No, this would not have happened in the US, or UK, or France, but because it's "islam" and we are "christian", but because we do not have the kind of poverty and lack of access to social systems, health care, political freedome, right to speech, etc that you find in most middle eastern and northern african countries. [6]

The emphasis is mine. Poverty and other problems were certainly a factor, violence by western Muslims over Rushdie and the Danish Cartoons was in the main less extreme than violence in poorer Muslim countries.

  1. We shouldn't simplify the problem down to, "It's all the fault of Islam".
  2. We shouldn't simplify the problem down to, "It's all to do with poverty powerlessness and the like" either. Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:55, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
[EC} A good portion of this argument seems to be that religion isn't a factor in violence in many other places, so it isn't in this case either. I expect we have an argument on that fallacy somewhere here. Of course there are other factors, and of course poverty and oppression are significant, but there is a pretty pronounced religious factor here too. Think back to the Danish cartoons a few years ago. Can anyone think of an example of a significant number of members of another religion turning to violence because someone on the opposite side of the planet made fun of their faith? A substantial number of Muslims worldwide have this idea that their religion is not subject to mockery, or even any meaningful criticism. They have to get over that notion, fast. DickTurpis (talk) 19:00, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Course, it turns out that the violence had nothign to do with the protests. that was just an excuse. [7] Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 19:13, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
That may well the the case for the assassination of the Libyan ambassador, but what about the other instances? The Danish cartoons, for example? DickTurpis (talk) 19:26, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
I still think it's part of the same situation. You are told how to think, in a seriously oppressive enviroment, and the only outlet you have is "they are mocking you", so you take it. I think it's very much like modern christian right saying "you are out to destroy my Christianity" when a woman says she wants birth control (just at a much lower level of control). You react cause you are told to. Again, the religion is not at fault, the people who USE IT TO CONTROL THE MASSES are at fault. Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 19:37, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
So we agree that religion itself, which is an abstract concept, is not to blame. Very well, but you do agree that there is a significant religious element, whether it includes the masses or just the leaders. The very fact that you can get people to say "you insulted my religion and must die for it" is a problem, even if they are cajoled into it by their betters. Does this happen with any other religion? At least when Christians get bent out of shape over stupid shit no one dies for it (we'll put the occasional abortion clinic related violence aside for now, as it's rare, usually condemned, and about a much bigger issue than mere disrespect), at least not that I can think of, and there are poor and oppressed Christians in the world. Islam appears to be unique in its widespread militant intolerance of criticism or mockery. I don't exactly know why that is; some of it no doubt comes from leaders using it to unite their people against another enemy other than themselves, but the fact they get away with it is disturbing. Additionally, it isn't only the poor and oppressed who engage in such violence. The 9/11 hijackers were largely middle class. Mohamed Atta was living in the free societies of Germany and the US for a decade previously, so he was not terribly poor or oppressed. There was a time when simply insulting Jesus could get you killed, but we're well past that. The Islamic world needs to catch up. DickTurpis (talk) 20:44, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
"At least when Christians get bent out of shape over stupid shit no one dies for it..." Uh, ever heard of Rwanda? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:02, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
That wasn't a response to some guy saying "Jesus is teh stoopid!" No one's saying Christians don't kill people, obviously, they just don't kill people over religious insults anymore. DickTurpis (talk) 21:25, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

I rarely support Godot but she made many valid points as well as oversimplifying here. We need to take action against the plutocrats who are destroying our planet. What can we do?? I don't know if Huffington is right or wrong but overall:-

  1. There's too much of a problem with Muslims expecting their religion to be above criticism.
  2. There's too much of a problem with Plutocrats messing up our planet.

Let's not oversimplify and blame just the one or just the other. Especially academics following the Scientific method shouldn't do such things. Proxima Centauri (talk) 19:25, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, there is something fishy about this -- as CNN reported, it's unknown whether the protest was instigated as cover for the attack or the killers were simply using it as cover. At the same time, Sufi religious sites are being vandalized or demolished, so the conflict is as much internal to Islam as it is external. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:55, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Cynical people manipulating desperately poor people is certainly part of the problem but so is the Islamic tradition of Jihad. Many Muslims include violent struggle against those who oppose Islam as part of Jihad, see What is Jihad? for more. Proxima Centauri (talk) 21:04, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/inflammatory-anti-muslim-movie-may-not-be-a-real - so there's suggestions this isn't even a real flim, and was intentionally created to make a scene that could be "faught" against? this might get very strange indeed. the date suddenly becomes intersting.Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 21:14, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Goddamn, did someone really just use "memeplexes" without irony?
Shorter WaitingforGodot: "This is about human beings with complex, interconnected problems."
Shorter Proxima: "It's about intolerance memeplexes!"
Was there ever a more patently meaningless science buzzword? Godot's analysis, while perhaps incomplete, also implicitly offers solutions to the issue. "Strive to improve X, Y, and Z and things will get better." Whereas Proxima might as well be using Freudian psychoanalysis to claim all Muslims want to have sex with their mother for all the good it'll do. If a science about people can't be used to inform public health and safety, what the fuck good is it? Jesus weeps, Proxima. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:42, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Lulz, memes. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:10, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
relevant]. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 00:10, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Strive to improve X, Y, and Z and things won't get better.
  1. Power hungry rulers will keep the bulk of the revenue from economic development for themselves. They kept oil revenue for themselves and there's no reason why they should change.
  2. The people will remain powerless, angry and ready to demonstrate or riot over any small pretext.
  3. Power hungry rulers will have more revenue to do such things as finance a large army. Proxima Centauri (talk) 16:12, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

edit break 3 (AD arrives)[edit]

Innocence of Muslims is a bizarre operation. I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but it bears repeating if so: the cast and crew have denounced the film, because the trailer has been dubbed and re-pieced together from separate parts. The lead actress, for example, thought she was in a movie called Desert Warriors about Egypt. The producer is using a fake name and posing as an Israeli Jew, but probably also does not exist and is actually an American Christian. And last but not least, there is no reason to think that there is a full movie at all, beyond this trailer.[8] The movie appears to have been custom-made by one bigot to try to purposefully enrage Muslims, even down to lies about how it was funded by $5m from "Israeli donors."

When thinking about this, the best parallel I can think of is with race relations. I imagine a film produced by a white supremacist, cobbled together and over-dubbed from disparate fake film projects made by actors who were being lied to about the intentions, released under the name and alias of an upper-class Republican of the southern U.S., and purposefully rumored to have been funded by Mitch McConnell and Mitt Romney. In the high-information atmosphere of America, it's hard to imagine this lie not being uncovered before anything bad happened, but in an America that has poorer communication and not many trusted media outlets, I can easily see race riots springing up in Cincinnati and Atlanta. And I don't think I would blame black people as a group for such rage-fueled and ignorant actions, or think that black people were more prone to violence because there are fewer white race riots.--ADtalkModerator 00:28, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

STOP INTERRUPTING OUR NARRATIVE EVERYONE KNOWS RELIGION IS THE PRIME MOVER OF VIOLENCE. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 01:51, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
The insinuations that religion - and in particular Islam - is not to blame for violence like this is patently absurd. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 10:27, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Religion may take part of the blame but it's wildly simplistic to put too much of the blame on Islam. It's like saying the Catholic church is to blame for the Northern Ireland Troubles. Hand waving away the very real problems with "look how awful the rag head nutters are" is burying your head in the sand. Bad Faith (talk) 11:06, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Religion is not the only thing to blame, but this shit would not have happened without it. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 11:13, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Just the whole religion? I mean, Bangladeshi aren't rioting. Indonesians aren't rioting. To my knowledge, there's no uproar over this matter in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Morocco, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Iran, Tajikistan, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Turkmenistan, Mali, Qatar, or Kuwait.
There is violence in Syria and the Sudan, of course. Is that violence due to Islam? No, probably not.
Hm, I don't know. It seems pretty hard to make a case that Islam or even religion overall are to "blame" for any specific incident of violence. There are a hell of a lot of factors involved. For example, until recently Libya was ruled by a dictator called Qaddafi, who kept an iron grip on much of the country, restricting freedoms in order to maintain his power. Bengahzi specifically was a hotbed of dissent and rebellion in the country, notorious for its uprisings, and in fact it was that city to which Qaddafi was rolling his tanks in a vow to exterminate the rebels - that was the action that brought US President Obama to a decision to intervene: Benghazi's rebellion and the threat of the city's extinction. Yet even though that might lead us to believe they should be grateful, it's a hugely different culture, not very liberalized, and it's riven by dissent and factions now as it tries to work its way to a stable government. There are Muslims standing near the embassy right now with signs apologizing - did Islam and their "profit" (as their badly-spelled signs have it) make them do that, as they say? Or does Islam only drive people to hurt people, and when Muslims charge forward and scoop up a shrouded body, to carry it to safety - well, that doesn't count?
I'm pretty sure that Islam is wrong and complete nonsense. It's so full of holes that I could use a Qu'ran to strain spaghetti. Most individuals, and certainly the world, would benefit if everyone stopped believing it - and this is probably true about most religions. But thinking someone is wrong is very different from believing that a certain belief is not just wrong, but dangerous. And to point at any specific incident and declare: "Islam did that!"... well, that's a damn hard call to make.--ADtalkModerator 11:16, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Blame was the incorrect word, fair enough. But - as I have said - this shit wouldn't have happened without religion. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 11:23, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Ah, you mean this shit wouldn't have happened without deeply held beliefs. Don't we all have those? It wouldn't have happened if the US didn't have an almost religious belief in the sanctity of free speech. Incidentally, such a film would be illegal in the UK. It's all too convenient and misses too may important points to wave it all away as the fault of those crazy rag heads - which may not be what you're saying but it's what you're saying sounds like. Bad Faith (talk) 11:43, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry but that is just a really stupid comparison. DickTurpis (talk) 11:48, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
It's not just "deeply held beliefs". We're talking about irrational, closed-minded beliefs that the majority of people would not hold if they were taught critical thinking skills and educated well enough from the start. Religion is not the only way to instill these beliefs in every new generation, but it sure is the most convenient. Q0 (talk) 14:37, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

edit break 4[edit]

An interesting discussion which real-life prevents me from getting too involved with. However, I'd just like to comment on the point that most of the violence seems to be from the poor and uneducated but the 9/11 hijackers were middle-class. Middle-class violence seems to be ideological and more considered and planned in its application, and confined to a small group, whereas the mob tend to react emotionally en masse to a stimulus. So even in the West we have the likes of the Unabomber, Baader Meinhof, or the SLA. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 16:51, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Improving economic conditions may lead to different trouble rather than less trouble. Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:16, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Yes indeed. How do you improve economic conditions if they blow up infrastructure projects such as water supply or oil pipelines? nobsCorporations are people, too 19:02, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
There is a school of thought (is it Marx? I can never remember, it's political theory, therefore I generally don't give a crap) to the effect that you need the middle-class to incite revolution. There's only so much the proles can do on their own. So this may gel that idea somewhat. You incite not the poorest to do the dirty work, but those in the middle to effect a revolution. Scarlet A.pngtheistModerator 19:56, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
It's an interesting theory that deserves consideration certainly. The American Revolution would be a good example example, anyway. Perhaps not so much for the militant Islamists though? It was the Middle class doing the dirty work on 9/11. DickTurpis (talk) 20:37, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
But students did the "dirty" work in revolutions and attempted revolutions of yore. Half of Les Miserables is based around one. Scarlet A.pnggnosticModerator 21:04, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Just think of OWS: No proles allowed in our revolution! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:09, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
If Assad in Syria were to be sacked, what government entity can insure the safety and security of US embassy personal there? or the ancient Christian communities there? or will we have a replay of the same chaos under another weak, Western puppet regime as in Libya and Afghanistan, in dealing with the violent elements and the widespread anti-American sentiment fostered under the current administration in the Islamic world? nobsCorporations are people, too 00:08, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Considering how the Syrian resistance is heavily balkanized along a great many conflicted lines, I doubt that any serious independent authority will immediately arise. From recent coverage in The New Yorker, it seems fairly clear that a confused and dangerous turf war will arise as various groups try to maneuver behind straw men.
Unfortunately, there aren't really any good options for America when it comes to this. Hopefully, at least, Obama will be in office. I am not much of an interventionist, but Libya was about the best-possible scenario, and handled in an astoundingly competent manner - as contrasted with your other example, Afghanistan.
What would your preferred course of action be, assuming you weren't just asking for information? There is no united conservative view on foreign policy these days, except that whatever Obama does will be wrong: do you advocate supporting Assad, despite his monstrousness? Do you advocate removing him with assassination and letting someone else from his regime take over? Do you advocate forcible regime change, and if so, which faction would you install? Do you advocate long-term bombing of Assad's forces? Do you advocate a temporary and forceful strike on the regime forces, as Obama did in Libya? Do you advocate a simple no-fly zone, though it would be an empty gesture? Do you advocate doing nothing?
Just curious: what do you think should be done in Syria?--ADtalkModerator 00:35, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
No short answer to this, but personally I think removing Khadaffi was a mistake for reason I could expound elsewhere. If Assad goes, it is open season on the ancient Christian pocket communities which have existed for 2000 years. But there is another aspect that must be weighed, Syria is one of the few remaining client states for Soviet arms exports. International arms export trade is a lengthy discussion in itself. Suffice it to say, in the real world, there are basically two types of nation-states, arms producers for export (of which there are only about 9), and arms consumers and importers, of which there are potentially 170+. Russia will never give up its status as an arms exporter and competitor with the US, Great Britain, France, China, etc. And most of the world respects this fact after the experiences of WWII. The US and NATO have backed Russia up to the wall, stealing it's arms client states of Poland, Hungary, and other former Soviet satellites. The issues run much, much deeper than just the humanitarian crisis and slaughterfest underway.
BTW, has anyone seen this? nobsCorporations are people, too 00:35, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Interesting... so you would not have intervened, and would have let Qaddafi roll into Benghazi and murder his political opponents? I'm not condemning your decision, but I am very surprised.
You didn't answer my question, except to say that there's no short answer. But since you appear to be sure that Obama is doing the wrong thing, you must have some idea of the right thing. You don't have to write an essay, but just tell me in broad strokes what you want.
Actually, I guess I know what you want. You can't possibly believe that we should have left Libya alone, yet also believe that we should intervene in Syria. And since you appear to be condemning Obama's policy of generic ideological support for the rebels but overall non-intervention, you must actually believe we should aid Assad. Is that accurate?--ADtalkModerator 00:45, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Let's start with the narrative. The Arab Spring is both the object and outgrowth of neo-conservative foreign policy -- bring democracy to the Arab middle east with Iraq as the model. I think the events of the last several days prove that the Arab Spring was not inspired by the election of an ethnic minority US president. Removing Khaddaffi was a mistake because Khadaffi had fully complied with all the demands of the West to be re-addmitted to the community of nations as a member in good standing. He paid reparations to the families of the Lockerbie incident. He renounced international terrorism, did not provide funding or safe harbor for international terrorists. He opened facilities to WMD inspectors, and turned over materials that could be used in WMD production. Sure, he was perhaps motivated by the prospect of $3 billion per year in crude exports to Italy & the UC, but unlike Saddam he was not going to use oil revenues to pursue a WMD program (which Saddam had every intention of doing, and legally could do so, once sanctions were lifted). Khadaffi, in his old age, appeared to want to assume the role of benevolent dictator who had the interests of his people at heart and to extricate himself from a legacy of a repressive and murderous dictator. (Nikita Khrushchev, one of Stalin's murderous lieutenants, likewise is remembered as such after his 1956 secret speech). What sort of example is set now, as a precedent, if a figure such as Kim-Jong Il Jr., Ahmadinejad, Mugabe, or some future despot in his old age has a change of heart? No matter what hoops the West demands to jump though, nothing is good enough, and the US, France, GB, etc. cannot be trusted. And violence is always necessary, with an unstable and uncertain outcome.
And it is further obvious by now the Libyan action was not motivated by humanitarian concerns. Libya had oil. China was gaining a strategic vital interest inside the Mediterranean. US & EU oil producers were excluded. Syria has no oil, so fuck 'em, even if 5000 people are being slaughtered every moth for the past year and half. nobsCorporations are people, too 02:42, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Ok, yes, I already knew you would have left Qaddafi alone - that part of your previous response was unambiguous. It would have been a shame to the people of Benghazi and other rebel towns, who wanted franchise and freedom, but stability is also something to value, I guess.
But that wasn't what I was asking about, was it? What about Assad? What do you want Obama to do, given that you are presently unhappy with his actions?
If you can't answer the question, that's fine. But it does tend to make it seem more partisanship than actual judgment.--ADtalkModerator 05:48, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
In the post-Cold War world, Syria is in the Russian province (sphere, or whatever term you like). There is very little that could be done that does not foster post-revolution chaos and instability. Unlike Libya or Iraq, there is no reason for US involvement (meaning no oil). The US's bigger problem (much bigger) is Bahrain, which clearly is in the US sphere; and the Bahrain puppet stooges cannot even defend themselves from riotous mobs. Saudi Arabia intervened (pgs. 12-13 pdf). Strange how the pro-democracy Arab Spring occurred among all these non-US allies, yet the Granddaddy of the unholy relationship between the US and corrupt Arab rulers -- monarchical Saudi Arabia -- had no problem. And it was this unholy alliance between the US & the Saudi ruling klan that sparked and motivated the 9/11 attacks. Now that same repressive regime props up the Bahrain princes who host the US fleet. This is a much more serious, longterm problem for Obama or the US State Department or whoever addresses the crisis next January. nobsCorporations are people, too 15:41, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
So what are we to conclude from this? (A) those who were critical of neo-conservative foreign policy objectives are inconsistent and hypocritical in applauding the Arab Spring; and (B) the historical record now shows what the sense of "justice" is, meted out by the "government" Obama helped install in the name of "humanitarianism" (using Obama's own language). nobsCorporations are people, too 19:21, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
So you actually agree with Obama, then, and feel that the US should condemn the violence but not intervene? Why did you make a big fuss as though you were criticizing Obama, if really you support his favored course of action?--ADtalkModerator 06:14, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
We've learned from the Iraq, Afghani, and Libyan intervention about not having a plan in place to deal with instability after regime change. And I firmly believe Khadaffi would not have allowed the sacking of the US Embassy, and would have dealt swiftly and harshly with conspirators (which of course, is why rebels hated him so much). A policy of non-intervention in Syria is correct or best, despite Hillary Clinton's rhetoric and the two attempts to test Syrian defenses should a No-Fly Zone be established (without UN "authorization", which is not necessary anyway). nobsCorporations are people, too 19:12, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Then why did you make a big fuss as though you were criticizing Obama, if you agree with the administration's stance on this matter?--ADtalkModerator 22:08, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
You and I will probably agree what is "correct or best" is not always good. And Hillary was either (a) talking out of her arse-hole about hitting the reset button in US-Russian relations, or (b) Hillary needs to publicly admit her failure, in the interests of transparency. nobsCorporations are people, too 22:50, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I'm sure that another topic, like Russia, would be fascinating. But why did you make a big fuss as if you disagreed with the Obama administration's stance on Syria, when actually you agree with it? What did that comment about "correct or best" mean? Was it English?--ADtalkModerator 08:25, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Here is more evidence of the failure of Obama foreign policy. No way was an operation that destroyed 6 Harrier Jump Jets (at a cost of $35 million each) possible without outside help. The finger would incline toward Iran, however the knowledge of how to locate and penetrate NATO defenses still would point toward Russia. Khadaffi, in keeping with agreements to restore diplomatic relations with the US, would have defended the Embassy. The establishment of a No-Fly Zone, along with surveillance help on Khadaffi ground troop movements, made the Libyan uprising a ground war. The only thing keeping Assad in power are Russian-built helicopters firing on rebels. The situation would turn dramatically with the establishment of a No-Fly Zone and exchange of satellite information from NATO sources, to rebels, on the location of Assad's ground forces. There has now been two attempts by NATO aircraft to test Syrian air defenses in the event a No-Fly Zone is established. Russia has a veto on the UN Security Council to nix a Resolution, but such resolution is not necessary for NATO to establish a No-Fly Zone. And like Libya, only the United States has the technical ability to establish a No-Fly Zone, as our NATO partners France & Great Britain do not.

So, despite the humanitarian crisis in Syria, it should be fairly obvious to everyone now that George W. Bush and Condolezza Rice were correct in their assessments of Russia and and its intentions. That the Obama/Hillary policy of "Resetting" US-Russian relations has failed. That even Obama & Hillary have converted to the Bush policy. That unless Obama and Hillary are serious about establishing an "unauthorized" No-Fly Zone, forcing regime change in Syria, imperiling the lives of US Embassy personal, staff, and US business interests like Kentucky Fried Chicken shacks, the Bush policy was correct, or best. In politics and diplomacy the decision leaders take may be the correct decision, or the best decision. But it may not be a good decision, such as damning the humanitarian crisis in Syria while reaping the rewards of cheap oil in Libya. George Bush, being the idiot he was, knew this; Obama, if he's for real, only learned this after Steven's murder. It remains to be seen if he's now serious about quitting the idea of establishing a No-Fly Zone in Syria. nobsCorporations are people, too 18:17, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Your answer seems to be evolving. Again, not interested in your desperate attempt at a derail, but you're now saying that you think that the right thing to do would be to institute a no-fly zone, but the practical and best option is to do nothing, as now?
I just want to get this clear. I know it's tempting to try to post a variety of wild claims about different topics, in the hopes that I'll lose focus and permit you to slink away, but seriously.--ADtalkModerator 22:54, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm saying the Libyan intervention (No-Fly Zone) was the wrong decision. I'm saying the hints at establi8shing a Syrian No-Fly Zone is the wrong decision. More importantly, I'm saying Hillary's highly profile, public encouragement, of Syrian resisters is needlessly responsible for more deaths over the past year than any of the riots in recent days. Both Hillary and Obama should have by now recognized Russia and its arms dealers are no longer supporting US efforts in the war on terror. In fact, Russian arms and advice is assisting the destruction of US and NATO lives and material. nobsCorporations are people, too 23:06, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Ok, so you agree on the actual actions of the administration, though you (unsurprisingly) still manage to find fault with their condemnation of Assad's butchery and moral support for the rebels. It must really bother you that Romney is promising to strongly step up aid to the rebels, huh?
That's all I wanted, thanks. I had thought this would be a really simple and obvious task to get you to admit, but it really took a while.--ADtalkModerator 23:50, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Romney is not in charge of foreign policy. There is a huge difference between a candidate's statements, and an incumbent's record. Encouraging people to fight, holding out the illusion of aid, and leaving them high and dry has cost tens of thousands of lives already. Hillary Clinton's words have carried much more weight the past several years, then a candidate seeking donors or votes. There is no comparison, especially where the weight of responsibility falls for a failed policy and needless deaths. nobsCorporations are people, too 02:48, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Columnist Richard Cohen of the Washington Post, hardly a conservative, expresses identical sentiments today:
...Assad remains in power because the United States will not impose a no-fly zone — and really no one else can do so. This cautious policy has resulted in many civilian deaths, a huge refugee crisis and the comfy feeling in the White House that we have ducked another quagmire. The situation may now be beyond remedy, and the chirpy forecasts that Assad is a goner are way past their pull date. Every president gets his foreign policy regret. Syria will be Obama’s....beyond the very Obamaness of Obama himself — the quality that made him a Nobel Peace Prize winner in the pupal stage of his presidency — lurks a foreign policy that has been more sentiment and aspiration than hard reasoning...
The hard reasoning spelled out in this thread should not be considered as partisanship. nobsCorporations are people, too 21:17, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
More evidence Russia not only changed sides in the war on terror, but the Cold War is back on: USAID workers declared personae non gratae. nobsCorporations are people, too 19:11, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
In anticipation of the presidential foreign policy debate tomorrow night, and given Romney's pledge to support Syrian rebels, for the sake of consistency let me insert my position. Reading above it's clear I do not back aid to Syrian rebels at this time. Romney, I suspect, driven by support from U.S. Defense contractors (General Dynamics, Martin Marietta, General Electric, etc) could very likely in the early days of a Romney administration deliver an updated "evil empire" speech (Reagan did so in the first ten days of his administration, I believe). Some may consider this the acknowledgement of a Second Cold War. Given the foregoing discussion of international arms trafficking in regional hotspots, and the difficulties anticipated in gaining a concerted effort from U.S. allies if articulated clearly, the prospect of Cold War II is a distinct reality. If Syria becomes the frontline in a Second Cold War, with a concerted strategy articulated, I may revise my opinions.
It should be interesting to see criticism and defense of the Libyan fiasco tomorrow night, coupled with the prospect of arming more al-Qaeda veterans in Syria to counter the Russian-backed Assad regime. nobsCorporations are people, too 20:43, 21 October 2012 (UTC)


I'll take Sam Harris's position. Beliefs are operative. Basically only Muslims become suicide bombers. There are no other confounding factors that might explain this difference. Sure, there are a lot of other factors that you also need in order to get a well adjusted Muslim to blow himself up, like poverty, lack of education, oppression, etc., but you need that Muslim part too. It is silly to say that if the people were Jains in a similar situation they would also be rioting as such. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:18, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

You're conflating one culture's enactment of a religion with the whole religion. And you're doing it in a grossly inaccurate way. A very short list, entirely off the top of my head:
WW2 featured kamikaze pilots, the so-called "divine wind" pilots who flew their planes into ships as living bombs in order to destroy their opponents. Islam had virtually no representation in Japan at the time.
In Vietnam, there were numerous suicide bombings, and it was so famous on that score that Graham Greene wrote a book about it. There were very few Muslim Vietnamese.
The anarchist movements of the long nineteenth century were famous for their suicide bombings, and in fact one of the Russian czars was killed by an anarchist's suicide bomb.
These three examples were widespread movements of suicide bombers, all from one segment of a population. Now, the Japanese reverence for authority was necessary for kamikaze bombers - do you condemn such values, as well? And do you condemn philosophical anarchists, because so many anarchists were suicide bombers? Clearly not. Because it would be remarkably simplistic and frankly a little silly to try to lay a particular tactic at the feet of any particular broad ideology.--ADtalkModerator 00:47, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

I'd condemn the 2nd Word War Japanese system for brainwashing its people into being over respectful or authority and see suicide bombing as part of this.
I'd condemn the Vietnamese Communist system for brainwashing its people into believing the faith based Marxist system and see suicide bombing as part of this.
I don't know enough about 19th Century anarchists to write about that.
Suicide bombing is one of many problems with Islam. Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:32, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

I stand corrected. This is also misunderstanding of the main thrust of my argument, that religions beliefs are operative, just like any other cultural belief. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:57, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Also, I see an annoying aspect here - a sort of "No True Scotsman" by those trying to deflect blame away from religion. Different cultures and places have differing versions of their religion. These people are equating one Muslim to another Muslim, or one Buddhist to another Buddhist. The Buddhism of Tibet is (probably?) very different than the Buddhism of Burma. It's culture + religion. It's very hard to separate the two. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:18, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Finally, there is a definite disparity between the frequency and amount of violence from the western Christian abortion clinic bombers and the Muslims who will apparently at the drop of a hat demand the death of blasphemers, form mobs to that effect, demand the death of innocent 11 year old girls, kill in cold blood legislators who try to change the blasphemy laws, and so on. It is simply true that some cultures are more violent and less tolerant than others, and it is true (near definitionally) that this is because of the differing cultural values. And the religious values are part of the cultural values, and it's fair to say that the values of the cultures in question that make them so violent are often highly associated with their religion. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:18, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

"Basically only Muslims become suicide bombers." Fail. I wouldn't take Harris' position on Middle Eastern politics, or much else, too seriously, unless you enjoy being wrong about many things. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:30, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
I referenced Sam Harris's particular argument in this case as a means of short-hand, rather than copy-paste wholesale. I do not take all of his opinions and belief as fact, contrary to your claim. Finally, there was the implicit argument that because Sam Harris wrong about X, he must also be wrong about Y; of course that's just silly. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:38, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Also, yes, I admit fault. Apparently Tamil Tigers did as well. This does nothing to help further your cause, nor detract from mine. You have not argued against the obviousness of certain beliefs being operative. You just showed that other beliefs besides Islam can lead to suicide bombings. I agree. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:40, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
See actual scholarship on suicide bombing. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:43, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
So, you completely discount all possible correlations between cultural beliefs and susceptibility to suicide bombing? LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:55, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
I strongly suggest you read the linked paper, rather than trying to straw-man Neb into a statement that in no way resembles his actual words.--ADtalkModerator 01:07, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
"So, you completely discount all possible correlations between cultural beliefs and susceptibility to suicide bombing?" Nope. But now we've moved from "All suicide bombers are Muslims" to "there is some possible correlation between cultural belief and susceptibility to suicide bombing." Notice the difference? Also, the problem is that there is a negative correlation in this case. Suicide bombing is negatively correlated to religious education. See Atran's Talking to the Enemy. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:15, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes yes, sorry, I fully admit fault there. I was dead wrong. I spoke out of turn and out of ignorance. The suicide bomber thing is a side issue to me. I am curious whether you disagree with the main thrust of my argument that we can talk meaningfully about certain cultures and certain religions as being more prone to violence and intolerance, when compared to other cultures and religions. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 01:17, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
That does seem to probably be true. In the antebellum American South, for example, a tradition of dueling for honor - blamed by Mark Twain on the works of Sir Walter Scott - helped create a culture where violence among affluent young men was much more common than it otherwise would have been.--ADtalkModerator 01:20, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
I definitely don't buy the kind of historical hyper-materialism that discounts the role of ideas in history. At the same time, I think talk of "culture" and "religion" is prone to falling into reification and circular reasoning. Much of the hand-wringing over "Islam" really centers around what has been called the "Arabization" of Islam and the exportation of Qutbism, a blatantly politicized theology. Note my post above referring to the militants' demolition of Sufi sites. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:46, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
ETA: I should also note that this also obviously applies to other cultures and religions. Critics of Christian fundamentalism in the US (and I'd say both theists and atheists are prone to this) often ignore the "Southernization" of Christianity. A Falwell has little in common with a Rauschenbusch. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:10, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

edit break 5[edit]

So, in sum, we have come to the conclusion that strongly held beliefs can cause people to committ seemingly outrageous acts of violence. True enough, but even knowing this I would say that I would still kill others or die for some of my strongly held beliefs; presumably others would too. So the issue in my mind is not the religion, nor the deeply held convictions but the process that derives the convictions, the quality of those convictions and the morality of killing others to stop them transgressing those convictions. If you can convince or correct any of these steps then you can, perhaps, start to solve the problem. Tielec01 (talk) 07:06, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

I just want to say I think this pretty much sums up what I've been arguing. DickTurpis (talk) 09:38, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
But that leaves the question as to whether those who murder because of offence to Islam are doing so because they're Muslims or because they would do so anyway and offence to Islam is the excuse. I'm no fan of religion but I tend to go with the latter. Bad Faith (talk) 10:53, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
What does that even mean, "would do so anyway"? Are you suggesting they wake up in the morning thinking "really wanna kill people today, but dammit, I don't have a reason. Fuck!" Obviously there are other circumstances in which they would kill people, but that isn't the issue. Were there people years ago thinking "I fucking hated 'Midnight's Children' so much! I wish I could kill the author, but you really can't kill people for writing bad books. If only there were another reason...oh look, this new book seems slightly critical of Islam. Let's go with that! Kill!" Even if your view is correct (and I'm not entirely sure what it is) the fact that offense to Islam can be used as an excuse people readily latch onto is very disturbing. DickTurpis (talk) 14:32, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
To Bad Faith: I'm with DickTurpis here. What are you even trying to say? What do you mean they would murder someone regardless if they weren't Muslim? I can read between the lines and see a legitimate point in there somewhere: that if we partition "Muslim beliefs" from "Other cultural beliefs" that we might find that the propensity to violence is part of "other cultural beliefs". Let's just run with this idea for a second. I am ignorant of the issue, but can you think of some other instance where in this particular culture where mobs spontaneously gathered to threaten little innocent girls, where legislators are summarily killed, where embassies are sacked (maybe not the recent one, but the Danish cartoon incident yes), and so on, which didn't have to do with blaspheming Islam? Perhaps, but I think that blaspheming Islam is a particular trigger for these people (or a sizeable subset thereof), well out of balance with other possible triggers. That is, their propensity towards violence against blasphemers and anyone associated with the blasphemers is quite apparent, and it is quite out of step with the rest of the world. We're talking about people (or some subset thereof) who, on the mere accusation of someone burning a book on the other side of the planet, will murder people only tenuously related to the accused. And not just any book burning - it has to be a very specific book. I think it's patently silly to say this has nothing to do with religious beliefs when the trigger is specifically blasphemy. I think it's patently silly to say the idea that "you should kill the blasphemer" is not a religious belief. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 22:04, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Quoting Tielec01: "True enough, but even knowing this I would say that I would still kill others or die for some of my strongly held beliefs; presumably others would too." False equivocation. You would fight for your rights, but your "rights" do not include the right to kill a person of the same nation as a dude who burned a book on the other side of the planet or who drew offensive cartoons. The right of free speech and the right to blaspheme is a better value than the "right" to kill blasphemers. The right to free speech and the right to blaspheme is a better value than the "right" to kill embassy staff if someone of that nation on the other side of the planet happens to burn a book or draw some offensive cartoons. The right of free speech and the right to blaspheme is better than the "right" to kill your own legislator who wants to amend and weaken the blasphemy laws. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 22:11, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
You know, I might be willing to give you more ground, that maybe these religious beliefs are only those of a small minority, but I thought about it more, and remembered that the laws of a good many Muslim countries are death to blasphemers, death to apostates, etc. It upsets me greatly that it's so easy to whip up apparently just average, normal people, into a frenzy on an unsubstantiated claim that a little 11 or 14 year old Christian girl in the neighborhood may have defaced a Koran. From what I heard on NPR - I think - that little girl took refuge in a bathroom and would have died had the bathroom door not been sturdy. I doubt the "terrorists" fly people in for something like this. This is not the fundamentalist fanatics who suicide bomb. This is made up of the average people in the neighborhood. This is horribly wrong. It is also undeniably religious. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 23:54, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
"...the laws of a good many Muslim countries are death to blasphemers, death to apostates, etc." Not true for the vast majority. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:33, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
The fact that death is ever a legal punishment for such things, and the fact that it is illegal at all in many or most, is still quite disturbing. Though I will also admit that it isn't only Muslims who have laws prohibiting certain forms of blasphemy, as we recently saw with what's-his-name in India. DickTurpis (talk) 13:29, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Edit break 6 (Neb posts Grauniad links)[edit]

Relevant. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:40, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Also relevant. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 07:02, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
essential reading - thanks Neb. Bad Faith (talk) 18:09, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Monty Python[edit]

"Yeah, the Pythons never explicitly called Christianity "a cancer."" Actually, I do recall seeing an interview with John Cleese and Michael Palin a couple bishops or something, and John Cleese was surprisingly anti-religion. (Surprising for me, anyway.) Friday Night, Saturday Morning - Monty Python's Life of Brian. Posting this as a slight correction / clarification. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 23:03, 23 October 2012 (UTC)