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Nigerian Blood Friday

By Pac in News
Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 01:39:27 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Miss World, that decadent celebration of last century ideal woman, has just been taught a harsh joint lesson on Globalisation and Cultural Relativism. Too bad more than one hundred Nigerians had to die to teach it, as reported all over the world.


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For some sound marketing reasons, first among then the current Miss World, Agbani Daregbo, being a Nigerian, the Miss World Organisation decided the 2002 Pageant would be held in Nigeria, a Muslim country. The marketing creatures who found it a good idea should probably be immortalised in a "Marketing Bloopers" video.

Today's bloodbath hasn't came without many warnings of a major cultural clash during the past months.

First, the grand finale had to be delayed until after the end of Ramadan, the most important Muslim religious holiday. Setting the initial date for the Ramadan shows unforgivable ignorance, something akin to trying to hold the AVN Awards Show at December 25th in Rome (or in some non-evolving Kansas city).

Then there was the small problem of the stonings . Although Nigerian central government declares itself against the death by stoning for women found guilty of adultery, it is still common for the Sharia courts to dispense this sentence. On these grounds, at least five contestants decided to boycott the contest, despite of the heavy pressure the organisers applied to the matter, ranging from the political to the borderline obscene.

Then many Muslim groups warned the government and contest organisers that protests were being planned. No one appears to have taken notice.

With the gun already loaded, someone would eventually pull the trigger. This time the honour and the consequent brief period of world fame fell to one Isioma Daniel, journalist of the ThisDay newspaper in Kaduna who wrote an article criticising the Muslim groups that have condemned the Miss World pageant. And in that article, the catch phrase that would kill tens of young Nigerians and burn many temples, "What would Muhammad think? In all honesty, he would probably have chosen a wife from among them [the contestants]". The newspaper apologies are still online, although some of their offices have already burned.

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o Miss World
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Nigerian Blood Friday | 247 comments (228 topical, 19 editorial, 2 hidden)
CNN reporting that Miss World moving to London. (5.00 / 6) (#8)
by graal on Fri Nov 22, 2002 at 10:26:08 PM EST

...as a result of the riots.

Intro:
KADUNA, Nigeria (CNN) -- Miss World organizers announced Friday they will move the pageant from the capital Abuja, to London after violent protests in northern Nigeria left more than 100 people dead.

In a faxed statement, Miss World CEO Julia Morley did not mention the protests at all. Instead, she thanked organizers and the Nigerian government, and said she regretted having to make the decision to move the event. The pageant will be held on the same date, December 7.

Authorities in Kaduna, site of the worst rioting, said the situation had calmed somewhat but tensions were still high in pockets of the city.

[...]
Full text here.


--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)

Maybe I should include it (none / 0) (#11)
by Pac on Fri Nov 22, 2002 at 10:57:03 PM EST

As it is still in edit mode, I include both the information and the link at the end of the text. What do you think?

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
Western 'diversity' vs the rest of the world (2.87 / 16) (#12)
by NaCh0 on Fri Nov 22, 2002 at 11:10:05 PM EST

It just goes to show that some overly polically correct pinhead who thought it would be a good idea to put the pageant in Africa was grossly wrong. For some reason, I doubt that person has learned their lesson. Leftists can't seem to comprehend that everyone doesn't love their neighbor.

Next time they should choose a country where a newspaper article won't cause idiots to go murder 100s of random people in the street.
--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.

Love, Left and Nice Conceptual Jumpings (4.57 / 7) (#15)
by Pac on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 12:40:22 AM EST

It was really amusing the way you construed the link between "overly politically correct pinhead" and "left", but I think you are being a bit paranoid in your attack to the unknown leftist.

Last year's contest was in South Africa, and as the text says, the winner was Miss Nigeria. Some press-releases in the MissWorld.org site (linked above) imply a large political support from Nigerian government and other newspaper articles explain the government was hoping the exposure such an event generates would help the tourism industry. One wonders how a government can interpret the feelings of its own people so poorly. As it is, the Nigerian tourism industry may well close its doors for some time now.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
nigeria is divided (4.00 / 4) (#16)
by aphrael on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 12:44:14 AM EST

this is a vast oversimplification, but the story is basically that there are christians in the south and muslims in the north. the president comes from the south. draw your own conclusions.

[ Parent ]
Obasanjo (3.66 / 3) (#17)
by Pac on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 12:54:04 AM EST

The Nigerian president said "The beauty queens should not feel that they are the cause of the violence. It could happen at any time irresponsible journalism is committed against Islam."

Obasanjo may have come from the south, but up to now he was keeping peace between the two camps (two and and them some - half of the country is Muslim, as you said, the other half is composed by Christians and African religions followers).

Even after this Miss World incident, he may still be Nigerian best chance for a long-lasting civil peace.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
allow me to translate (4.55 / 9) (#23)
by Lode Runner on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 04:13:04 AM EST

Obasanjo: "It could happen at any time irresponsible journalism is committed against Islam."

Translation: it could happen at any time to anyone is vocally critical of Islam's tenets or mocks that final prophet dude. Rushdie's "Mahound" character earned him a fatwa...

I realize Obasanjo is trying to be diplomatic and is elegantly using this incident as a pretext to clamp down on free speech in order to quell criticism that will naturally follow such a disaster, but the onus of guilt for the riot deaths lies not on the provacative journalist but on those who are preaching that it is appropriate for these Nigerian Muslims to run amok when Islam is belittled.

[ Parent ]

allow me to dig deeper (4.33 / 3) (#52)
by Pac on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 01:33:50 PM EST

I believe Obasanjo is saying what needs to be said right now to calm down the situation. He probably realises that accusing the Muslim radicals leaders at this point would be the equivalent of throwing his country in a civil war.

As for the free speech issue, I am really guilty of being rather unclear in my text. There deeper issues to be dealt with here.

First, I really believe in free speech, but I do not believe that this kind of irresponsible free speech should be showed as a role model for journalism students. This is the exact type of journalism that makes free speech be seem as a right journalists feel they must have in order to cover their ignorance and their hubris.

And then there is a cultural issue to be dealt with. "Free Speech" is only treated as an absolute moral value in the United States of America. European democracies, for instance, all have some restraints. You can't say Germany is not a democracy, yet publishing Nazist material is a crime there. England is also a democracy, yet the government, specially the security and intelligence branches, have a lot to say about things that should not be published. Are they wrong? Can you prove it?

I am not American and I (or my country) have no obligation whatsoever to agree with everything that Americans take for granted. We can agree in a lot of issues, but we certainly won't agree that democracy as implemented in the United States is the sole right way to do it. Either you take this somewhat mild cultural relativism into account or you will be offended every other week by those savages in Europe, South America and Asia doing and saying things you consider anathema.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
A universal human right (5.00 / 3) (#64)
by Edgy Loner on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 03:26:31 PM EST

That's what the free and unrestricted exchange of information is. It has nothing to do with the United States. The US is as guilty as Germany and England in suppressing ideas that are inconvienent or upsetting to certain persons. That doesn't diminish the principle.
Just because not everybody lives up to certain standard, doesn't make the standard invalid.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
[ Parent ]
Implementation (5.00 / 2) (#65)
by Pac on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 03:40:09 PM EST

Absolutes, as nice as they sound on paper, hardly ever see the light of the day unchanged. While I agree completely with the idea of free speech and press freedom to inform, I think we should not fail to recognise that these freedoms are not discrete quantities.

There is no practical value in treating these freedoms as binary quantities that either exist or they don't, and then denounce every country in the world for the lack (because in every country you can point to implementation issues and special cases). It is fairly more useful to admit there are degrees of freedom and then use some scale to measure these degrees. This way we can see that the freedom of speech in Germany, England and United States is far greater than it is in China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
Implementation details (none / 0) (#69)
by Edgy Loner on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 04:26:08 PM EST

The bane of existance.
True enough, everything is a spectrum. The absolute is the ideal. You may not acheive the ideal, in fact you probably won't, but you should still strive for it.
There has to be some room to say 'You need be doing better.' to outfits like the PRC, SSaudi Arabia and the like.
As for the US, Germany etc, doing well is not an excuse for not improving.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
[ Parent ]
But look at the statement. (4.50 / 2) (#70)
by sonovel on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 04:30:07 PM EST

Is the statement so provocative and hateful towards Islam? By what definition is is hate speech? What other speech is banned in _some_ western democracies? I would say the _response_ to a rather innocuous press report is a far far worse statement about Islam than just about anything else around. Straight reporting of the facts of this story is far more damaging to Islam than statements by wackos like Falwell. What's next? Deciding that reporting on stuff like this is hateful so we need to supress real news? Perhaps the original statement is insensitive, but so what? You're acting as an apologist to the worst elements of Islam by saying that Islam deserves far "nicer" treatment than any other religion. You are also treating Muslims (of a certain type) as infants. Suppressing speech for them is saying they are not capable of handling criticism or even a hint of disagreement to their insular and radical version of Islam. These are human beings who deserve the same rights as everyone else. They also should have the same responsibilities. One human right is that of free speech. One human responsibility is to not murder people for, well, no reason at all. Did the over a hundred dead have _anything_ to do with the statement?

[ Parent ]
Absolutes won't work here (none / 0) (#76)
by Pac on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 05:20:49 PM EST

I don't think I am treating anyone as an infant by stating that each people has the right to decide how they deal with the Human Rights. As I stated elsewhere, all Human Rights treaties and documents are specifications, not implementations. They serve as a scale that help us judge each country degree of freedom, not as binary flags for us to separate countries into free and not free.

Nigerians are free to decide that mocking the Muslim Prophet is a crime, the same way Germany decided Nazi apology is a crime. Does it make their press less free? Yes, absolutely. If this is the sole exception, does it make them into a dictatorship? Obviously not. One shouldn't make absolute moral judgements here. The road of using one cultural standard to judge another has already been travelled and I do not think we want to make that sad trip again.

And I don't think discussing the question can be construed into a defence of Muslim fanaticism or murder apology. At least not without malice. I leave to you the burden of pointing in any of my comments here or elsewhere a defence of religious violence from any religion whatsoever.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
Not even close to free speech issue. (5.00 / 2) (#90)
by sonovel on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 06:50:10 PM EST

These people decided that a controversial statement gave them the right to kill others based on the others religion. If you think the answer to such a situation is to outlaw controversial statements, you are lowering these rioters to below the level of responsible human beings, ie. treating them as infants. _Even if_ I were to agree that this was mocking Islam, and _even if_ I agreed that such a thing should be a crime, these people didn't just call the police on the offenders. They took justice into their own hands and decided to kill _unrelated people_. No sane implementation of human rights could possibly find that acceptable. Your argument keeps trying to ignore that fact. This isn't a crime issue, or a hate speech issue. But even if the statement was hate speech, such a response would be considered unacceptable in every civilized place. But do you really think this statement should be outlawed in any sane implementation of the human right of free speech? Do _you_ consider such a restriction appropriate for _you_? If not, why do other human beings deserve less freedom than you do? Is it their race or religion that means they deserve less rights?

[ Parent ]
Intellectual vacuum (none / 0) (#211)
by RiotNrrd on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 04:15:16 AM EST

May I just point out that the 50+ possibly-Christian Nigerian bystanders who were killed in the riots, to say nothing of the 200+ injured, probably would have decided rather differently about how their human rights should have been dealt with?

I personally claim my right to mock all prophets, Muslim, Jewish or whatever (I'm not aware off the top of my head of other prophet-spawning religion), and to be an apologist for whatever I want. I do not want to oblige anyone to *listen* to me exercising those rights, which puts us into a somewhat gray area, as the offending item was published in a newspaper. On the other hand, the reaction by the Muslim fanatics (emphasis on fanatics) was so completely out of proportion as to undermine their position entirely. This seems to be a characteristic of Muslim fanatics elsewhere. Again, emphasis on fanatics - and plenty of non-Muslim fanatics are also guilty of this. It simply seems to me that the Muslim ones are more likely as a class to over-react in this and other similar ways.

To summarise: I do not judge their beliefs, I judge their actions. Their actions are reprehensible in the extreme. About their beliefs I care not a whit. Are we clear?


-- There is a rational explanation for everything. Unfortunately there is also an irrational one.
[ Parent ]

Again (none / 0) (#222)
by Pac on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 03:05:17 PM EST

Just to be polite, as I already stated it elsewhere in this threat many times, I have never defended the rioters right to kill and destroy. Never. I think their action were abominable and they and their leaders should be punished as the Nigerian laws allow.

You mixed the "Right" being discussed. My main point is that each people has some freedom to decide how a Human Right such as Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press (and those were the rights being discussed, not the Right for Life) shall be implemented in their country. The Germans, for instance, consider Nazi apology speech a crime. It is up to each country to decide if quoting the Muslim prophet in a disrespectful way (whatever that means at the local level) is or is not a crime.

A secondary point was that the Human Rights as implemented in the United States are not some sort of "model" all nations should strive to follow, just the American solution to the problem.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
My point exactly (none / 0) (#229)
by RiotNrrd on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 03:36:30 AM EST

If there had been a demand for retraction, court case, etc. etc., I would bemoan the lamentable lack of freedom in Nigeria, but I would not be nearly as pissed off as I am now. The way I understand it, there is no existing law in Nigeria which prohibits anti-Muslim speech (shari'a (sp?) has no legal standing). I am assuming for a moment that suggesting that the Prophet would choose a wife among the winners of a beauty contest is in some way anti-Muslim. What happened is that a mob tried to impose their value judgments on other people by force alone. Their judgment is by that fact alone shown to be horse-faeces, IMO.

To take your much-abused example of Germany outlawing pro-Nazi speech: while the Germans have all sorts of excellent reasons to put that law in place, I still think it is wrong. The reason is that stifling all dissenting speech has the effect of severely weakening the capacity for rational analysis of such arguments. If someone attacks a fondly held belief of mine, the correct response is NOT to bash their skull in; it is to argue my side. In this way at the very least I will achieve a better understanding of my own position, and in the best case we will both come to a position which is common ground and fits our value systems without anybody getting their skulls bashed in.


-- There is a rational explanation for everything. Unfortunately there is also an irrational one.
[ Parent ]

What's that phrase? (3.70 / 10) (#13)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Nov 22, 2002 at 11:47:56 PM EST

Pearls before swine? Nope.

Booty before the Imam? Nah, that's not it either.

Ah, yes! Now I remember:


Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye the finest titties before turbans, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Yep. That's the one!

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


it wasn't random people (3.81 / 22) (#14)
by ogre on Fri Nov 22, 2002 at 11:58:41 PM EST

The muslims were going around torturing and murdering random christians. You didn't see that in any of the stories yesterday. In fact I couldn't find a single line in one story that actualy said the rioters were muslims. You could get that information from careful reading, but there was no sentence of the form "Muslim rioters did X". The only mention of christians was a paragraph about how christians make up a sizeable minority and there have been "clashes" in the past.

Today things are entirely different. The christians retaliated so now the reporters are finally telling the truth. As long as it makes christians look as bad as muslims they are willing to be fair about it. Kind of. Of course if the riots had been started by christians every article would have said so, and there would have been constant reminders that the muslims were only retailating against the awful bloodbath of the day before. You would see interviews with the families of murdered muslims from the first day saying how sad they are and how they are only defending themselves against those evil christians.

How can these people look at themselves in the mirror?

Everybody relax, I'm here.

..its ok.. (2.75 / 4) (#29)
by johwsun on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 07:55:43 AM EST

..for the muslims, or any other religion to kill christians. (if this is what their religion says, I dont know for sure, maybe a muslim guy could explain better this subject)

But I think, it is tottaly inacceptable to say that christians are killing anyone. This is not what the christian religion is teaching, so the killers are NOT christians for sure.

So please dont you ever mention this: "Evil Christians are killing someone". It is obvious that they are NOT christians, and obvious too that you are lying!

[ Parent ]

How convieeeeeenent (5.00 / 1) (#60)
by Edgy Loner on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 03:10:13 PM EST

</ChurchLady>
That's a really bitchin excuse. So basically Christians can't do anything bad, cause Christianity says don't do bad things, so anybody doing bad things can't be Christian.
Circular logic is so cool.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
[ Parent ]
Actually, it's not circular, its definitional (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by ogre on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 05:59:29 PM EST

There is nothing circular or inconsistent with that. Suppose someone joins PETA and claims to be an animal-rights believer, but he wears a fur coat, eats meat and beats up his dog for amusement. You would be perfectly correct to say that he is clearly not an animal-rights believer, but he still is a member of PETA. The difference is that membership in PETA is constituted by having your name on a list somewhere. Membership in the group of animal-rights believers is constituted by a set of beliefs and ethical positions, and you can judge a person's beliefs and ethical positions by the way they behave.

The poster you are replying to is simply claiming that "being a christian" is like "being an animal-rights believer" rather than like "being a member of PETA". And this is probably more true than not.

Everybody relax, I'm here.
[ Parent ]

In which case... (4.00 / 2) (#67)
by Dallan on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 03:55:24 PM EST

....it is equally unacceptable to say that Muslims are killing anyone for exactly the same reason.

While both Christianity and Islam preach peace and tolerance (Islam tolerably more so, in fact) both religions have their fundamentalists, their different interpretations, and their flat-out jackasses.

And, your opinions aside, whether or not these are "true" examples of their religion is only relevant to whatever particular God they serve. He (or she) would be the only one to know for sure, anyway.

What's more relevant to us is that they both believe themselves to be, and are believed by enough others of their professed faith to be, true examples...and so, for all intents and purposes, they are.

After all, who is to say one interpretation is any more correct than another, lacking as we do any manifest deities to make the issue clear?
--
Dallan
As far from God as heaven is wide
As far from God as angels can fly.
-Garbage, "As Heaven is Wide"
[ Parent ]

do you actually know what you are talking about? (none / 0) (#87)
by ogre on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 06:35:19 PM EST

While both Christianity and Islam preach peace and tolerance (Islam tolerably more so, in fact) both religions have their fundamentalists, their different interpretations, and their flat-out jackasses.
There are hundreds of thousands of christians who are complete pacifists, believing that all forms of violence are sinful. Are there any such muslims?

The large majority of christians actively speak out against all religious violence by any group against any other, and are no more kind to christian murders than muslim murders. The large majority of muslims are at least on the fence about the issue. They don't want violence, but damn it, those christians/jews/others probably/certainly had it coming.

There are no countries with an overwelming majority of christians where muslims have to fear religious persecution. There are many countries with an overwelming majority of muslims where all non-muslims face constant persecution.

Christians teach that all people are loved by God regardless of their religion. Muslims teach that muslims are the good guys and non-muslims are the bad guys. Sure, they may not all say that muslims should go out and kill the bad guys, but neither do they proactively teach love and understanding the way christians do.

There have been many cases of muslim religious leaders promoting religious violence and they are widely tolerated, even honored, in the muslim world. Any christian religious leader who did such a thing would be ostracized overnight.

Christian leaders clearly feel a tension between speaking the truth (as they see it) about muslims and not inflaming hatred. Several of them have said things and then apologized for going over the line. Muslim leaders clearly feel no need to speak carefully and regularly go way over the line of acceptible rhetoric. And when they do, they never apologize. But when christians do, muslims are quick to demand apologies.

Anyone who claims that muslims teach peace and tolerance as much as christians, is just not paying attention, or is so wrapped up in his personal prejudices that he just can't see the truth.

Everybody relax, I'm here.
[ Parent ]

Your mistake is... (4.00 / 1) (#103)
by Dallan on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:01:20 PM EST


Anyone who claims that muslims teach peace and tolerance as much as christians, is just not paying attention, or is so wrapped up in his personal prejudices that he just can't see the truth.

Your mistake is that you are judging the two by their followers instead of their teachings, something I specifically avoided because, frankly, humanity has an infinite capacity to misinterpret and screw things up.

Hell, even if you go back to first principles, the Bible (sticking to the "kinder, gentler" New Testament, mind) and the Koran, you find gems like Acts 3:22-3,

"For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people."

or Surat al-Baqara:191,
"Kill them whenever you confront them and drive them out from where they drove you out. (For though killing is sinful) wrongful persecution is even worse than killing. Do not fight against them near the Holy Mosque unless they fight against you; but if they fight against you kill them, for that is the reward of such unbelievers."

right alongside "Love thy neighbor as thyself", or Mohammed's famous pronouncement to the monks of St. Catherine, which begins "This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them."

So what am I saying? I'm saying that there's ample evidence for tolerance and pacifism in the teachings of both religions...but there's as much evidence for intolerance and hatred in both religions.

Humans being what we are, we will quote what supports whatever view we hold. But at least I'm not making sweeping generalizations about a religion with a billion worshippers without sufficient evidence. Pacifist Muslims? These guys pacifist enough for you?

Now who is being wrapped up by their own prejudices?
--
Dallan
As far from God as heaven is wide
As far from God as angels can fly.
-Garbage, "As Heaven is Wide"
[ Parent ]

prejudices (none / 0) (#111)
by ogre on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 02:13:08 AM EST

Allow me to point out that the quote I was responding to was was about what muslims and christians teach, not about what their holy books say. Since you didn't disagree with my argument about that I have to assume you agree that in the modern world christians are much more peaceful than muslims in general.

As to two quotes, they would have to be in context to be meaningful. The christian quote says, for example, that God is going to destroy people, not that christians should. And it is not a direct statement but a quote of a quote. This can't possibly have any meaning unless you know who was making the quote and what his point was. I could quote something nasty Hitler said in the course of a polemic against Hitler and you could take it out of context to try to "prove" I said the opposite of what I did say.

The muslim quote seems to be a command for muslims to defend themselves against persecution. That doesn't necessarily prove islam is a violent religion (it does prove islam is not a pacifist religion if that is a directive from Mohamed) since self defense is right and a duty of every person. Again, to make that quote show that islam is violent, it would have to appear in a context where the "persecution" is really not something to justify violence.

Finally, the web site you gave is not to a pacifist organization, just an organization dedicated to peace. The difference is that pacifists never think violence of any kind is acceptable. I saw no evidence of that on the site. In any case, my point was that the teachings of christianity are compatible with pacifism, while the teachings of islam are not. I never claimed that there are no muslims who are for peace.

As to being wrapped up in my own prejudices, I have them, like anyone else, but if you can give me any evidence that I'm wrong, I am happy to listen. My response to you was provoked by a statement of yours which was given with no evidence, and flies in the face of all the facts as I know them. As you haven't presented any opposing facts, I'm not inclined to alter my view.

Everybody relax, I'm here.
[ Parent ]

The big difference. (4.00 / 2) (#113)
by Anonymous Hiro on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 04:07:14 AM EST

Bias: I'm a christian in a peaceful moderate muslim country.

Here's the difference:

Christians believe they are going to heaven, but it is at best undetermined what happens to nonchristians (at worst they go to hell). Christians are told by Jesus to turn the other cheek, and to love their enemies, and Jesus himself set the ultimate example. And christians are to leave ultimate judgement to God.

In fact since we are supposed to love our enemies we are not supposed to want them to end up in hell. And so cold logic would dictate, in event of a conflict it is typically preferable for a christian to die than a nonchristian to die (unless it is certain that more nonchristians will be saved if the christian doesn't die).

In contrast Muslims have few guarantees they are going to heaven - they do enough good works, be a good muslim, fulfil the Five requirements, and hopefully they get there. It seems there are certain cases where they are guaranteed heaven e.g. if they die in pilgrimage, or in many interpretations if they die fighting holy war. And they are told to defend themselves if need be.

So how can a muslim is unsure of his salvation guarantee it? Or what happens if a muslim believes he has done enough bad things to almost guarantee a place in hell?

Quotes: [2:190] You may fight in the cause of GOD against those who attack you, but do not aggress. GOD does not love the aggressors.

[4:74-75] Those who readily fight in the cause of GOD are those who forsake this world in favor of the Hereafter. Whoever fights in the cause of GOD, then gets killed, or attains victory, we will surely grant him a great recompense. Why should you not fight in the cause of GOD when weak men, women, and children are imploring: "Our Lord, deliver us from this community whose people are oppressive, and be You our Lord and Master."

[47:4] If you encounter (in war) those who disbelieve, you may strike the necks. If you take them as captives you may set them free or ransom them, until the war ends. Had GOD willed, He could have granted you victory, without war. But He thus tests you by one another. As for those who get killed in the cause of GOD, He will never put their sacrifice to waste.

See the structural differences?

I'm not saying christians always practice what they preach (loving your enemy isn't easy after all). But the difference is the direction of the "pull". The direction should be towards love and not hate.

If you find a christian filled with hate, ask him/her how he/she rationalizes it in the context of Christianity. Sure they can probably drag a few verses here and there, but it won't hold up against the undebatable stuff their Lord, Jesus, says. It seems far easier for muslims to rationalise their hate and hateful actions.

This is not academic. Over here we have an opposition muslim leader who says "God is a thug". So far he's still around, still a leader, and still defiant. Guess what would happen if a non-muslim had said that. I'm not sure what it means since he seems to be practically getting away with it despite threats of action. Muslims are supposed to submit to God. They can't believe God is a thug (samseng) right? Go do a google search: "God is a thug".


[ Parent ]

..its ok... (none / 0) (#114)
by johwsun on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 06:12:07 AM EST

..for the muslims and for any other religion to steal goods from the cristians.

But I think it is tottaly inacceptable to say that christians are stealing goods from others, and tottaly inacceptable to say that a christian own two coats, while his brother muslim does not own any.

So please dont you ever mention this:
"Evil Christians are stealing food and goods from someone". It is obvious that they are NOT christians, and obvious too that you are lying.

The Christians own only one thing. Their soul-vote. This is their only property.

[ Parent ]

Well then.. that makes it OK I guess. (none / 0) (#71)
by ROBOKATZ on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 04:32:27 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Freedom of speech (4.52 / 21) (#18)
by frankcrist on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 01:08:17 AM EST

No offense, but I expect to be able to say anything and not have people kill me... "Mohammed would marry her", or even, "I saw Mohammed fucking a goat."  It wasn't the pen that killed those poor people--it was the backwardness and intolerance of the groups who decided to resort to violence in protest.

--x--x--x--x--x--
Get your war on!
You don't seem to understand the concept (2.06 / 15) (#20)
by simonfish on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 01:29:10 AM EST

First of all, nigerians may or may not have free speach, but in this case, whether or not free speach is a right in this country, there is a foot note to every 'natural right'(most especialy freespeech infact) that mentions that if the comment is derogatory or otherwise insitefull of violence, the comment is responsible for the violence, regardless of the right of freespeech. Killing them is a little extreme, but not only was this a predictable response(honestly, you hafto be extremly stupid not to see it coming), but it's an insult to the deepest values of the muslims involved. They feel that the writers deserved to die for this. That is what matters.

[ Parent ]
Say what? (4.50 / 14) (#21)
by inadeepsleep on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 02:28:30 AM EST

Yes, there are responsibilities that go along with the rights in a civilized society, but you think that the "comment is responsible for the violence"?  I think it is You who doesn't "seem to understand the concept" of free speech.


[ Parent ]
Pardon? (5.00 / 4) (#55)
by fluxrad on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 02:32:09 PM EST

They feel that the writers deserved to die for this. That is what matters

First off, I won't get in to your heinous misspelling of the word "speech" but rather focus on the above quote.

Are you arguing that we should be "culturally sensitive" (if that really means anything anymore) towards a people living with the belief that, if you say something that offends them, you deserve the harm that comes to you, or that they are justified in harming you? Regardless of what is said, you cannot advocate this sort of might makes right mentality. I would have thought that the past 2000 years would have taught us at least this one lesson.

Who decides when someone has been sufficiently offended to make a call to arms? The Koran? The people? Their leaders? At what point does the subjective realm of "insult" begin to demand physical retaliation? No one has yelled "fire" in a crowded theater. That foot-note you speak of only underscores the fact that you cannot deliberitely use language to prey on a person's basic survival instincts. It has never been taken to advocate the incarceration or murder of those who would question your "honor" or "pride."

The rioters some uber-leftists would claim we are simply intolerant of are nothing more than a pack of fundamentalist zealots and opportunistic sociopaths. The Miss World pageant wasn't a cause, it was simply an excuse.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
opinions are free speech (5.00 / 4) (#58)
by Captain Trips on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 02:44:36 PM EST

What the columnist said was tasteless and stupid, probably monumentally so. But it shouldn't be illegal, and it doesn't put him at fault for the violence. If someone had written a column calling on the Muslim faithful to torch the Miss America pageant, that would be restricted speech, because there's an intent to incite violence. But just stating on opinion, no matter how offensive to some, should always be protected speech. Should civil rights leaders be responsible if their demands for freedom cause rioting? Isn't this an effective way for a violent faction or majority to suppress dissenters?

--
The fact that cigarette advertising works, makes me feel like maybe, just maybe, Santa Claus is real.—Sloppy
[ Parent ]
how is it insulting? (none / 0) (#127)
by surlybird on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:47:38 PM EST

They said Mohammed liked pretty women and probably would have liked to marry one of these pretty women. What is wrong with that? Mohammed had four wives--he wasn't celibate.

[ Parent ]
Your comment angers me. (4.78 / 14) (#61)
by bjlhct on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 03:12:13 PM EST

I therefore must kill you. It's not my fault, you should have seem this coming.
*

kur0(or)5hin - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

thank you (none / 0) (#124)
by ethereal on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 11:09:33 AM EST

I think that was about the only response to the parent which might have had a chance of making the opposing viewpoint clear.

Remember: if God wants you to return intolerance with intolerance, maybe your conception of God is a little off :)

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Oh, can I do it too? (none / 0) (#231)
by Zathrus on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 04:40:58 AM EST

"I am insulted by what you just wrote. I feel that you deserve to die."

umm, no. That didn't sound right coming from me. I don't think I have what it takes to be fundimentalist... Maybe in another life.


"like a Mazda commercial with that creepy "zoom zoom" kid that goes on too long." - Filthy Critic
[ Parent ]

decadent.... (3.35 / 14) (#22)
by kimpton on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 03:17:43 AM EST

You mock Miss world for being:

Miss World, that decadent celebration of last century ideal woman

yet Muslims treat woman as if the last (western) century had not existed. From one perspective it's embarrassingly old fashioned, from the other it's dangerously radical.

And what's with the rioters being teenage boys? What hopelessly fucked up religious teachings could possibly make young lads riot against a parade of beautiful women?

Hopefully... (3.50 / 8) (#25)
by Korimyr the Rat on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 04:55:36 AM EST

... this will make it clear to people who still refuse to see what is before them: there is a cultural war here, a war between Western Civilization and the largest parts of Africa and the Middle East.

 This is not a war against Islam, as there are many good and decent souls of the Muslim faith-- some "Muslim countries", in fact, are not just our temporary allies, but are decent, civilized nations full of decent, civilized human beings. There are many Muslims (not all) in Western countries who abide by Western laws, belong to Western culture, and are otherwise civilized, moral people.

 But we should stop letting telling ourselves pretty lies about the nature of this conflict, around the world-- this is not about religion, this is not about oil, and it's not about terror. It is about irreconcilable conflict between two cultures, one of which is inhuman and barbaric-- a throwback to the state of the world a millenia ago.

--
"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]

Bullshit. (4.57 / 7) (#28)
by StrontiumDog on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 07:14:49 AM EST

It is about irreconcilable conflict between two cultures, one of which is inhuman and barbaric-- a throwback to the state of the world a millenia ago.

In which moronic school were you educated about the "irreconcilable conflict" between "two cultures" apparently taking place in a country with 250 different ethnic groups who have a solid history of ethnic bloodshed going back three hundred years? And which one of them is the "inhuman and barbaric" one?

[ Parent ]

Pretty smart... (none / 0) (#73)
by Sesquipundalian on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 05:01:17 PM EST

is that insight you're own?

.
Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]

All these ethnic groups... (none / 0) (#78)
by Korimyr the Rat on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 05:35:22 PM EST

... and yet, they all share the same hateful and destructive values that force them into this, yes, irreconcilable conflict with the West, and those parts of the East that are looking forwards, and everything in between.

 There are people in these parts of the world who are trying to move forward, to advance into progress and civilization, and these people should be nurtured to the best of our ability-- but that won't happen while they're restrained by savages who want nothing more than to tear down the acheivments of the rest of the civilized world.

--
"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]

I know (5.00 / 2) (#56)
by davidduncanscott on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 02:32:52 PM EST

one of which is inhuman and barbaric-- a throwback to the state of the world a millenia ago.
but we're trying to improve here in the States, honest!

[ Parent ]
America-bashing. (none / 0) (#184)
by Korimyr the Rat on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 12:17:47 AM EST

 I'm sure it's a pretty popular sport in most of the world, and I'll agree, we Americans are backwards in some areas-- particularly our hideously botched judicial system-- but it's one hell of an exaggeration to say we're a millenium behind.

 Then again, the nations that most often refer to us as "backwards" still have monarchies and/or state churches. Makes you wonder how exactly we're supposed to progress.

--
"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#195)
by davidduncanscott on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 02:08:22 PM EST

I was kidding, really.

[ Parent ]
Sure, sure. :-P (n/t) (none / 0) (#197)
by Korimyr the Rat on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 02:42:23 PM EST



--
"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]
The war (none / 0) (#84)
by bayankaran on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 06:20:32 PM EST

This is not a war against Islam, as there are many good and decent souls of the Muslim faith-- some "Muslim countries", in fact, are not just our temporary allies, but are decent, civilized nations full of decent, civilized human beings. There are many Muslims (not all) in Western countries who abide by Western laws, belong to Western culture, and are otherwise civilized, moral people.

This is war the West itself started. And it is not between decent, civilized human beings and barbarians. It is a war between equally corrupt sides. A war which is inevitable...due to lopsided policies for temporary gains.

How can the West associate with Saudi Arabia and go to war with Iraq?

[ Parent ]
Saudi Arabia (none / 0) (#102)
by Korimyr the Rat on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 09:14:30 PM EST

We associate with Saudi Arabia because our leadership is corrupt, as you've said.

Every encounter with Saudi has showed us that they belong firmly on the other side. Their values are counter-productive and stand against everything the West believes in.

Sadly, the American leadership is counter-productive and stands against everything the West believes in, too. One look at the backers of the Republican party says it all-- corrupt oligarchs and zealous religious leaders. Our opposition party is spineless and fuzzy "do-gooders" who try to pretend that all cultures are equal.

You know, this would be funny, if it weren't for the high stakes involved.

--
"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]

Had those rioters had more contact with women (5.00 / 1) (#104)
by Lord of Caustic Soda on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:06:18 PM EST

Hell, don't bother with the real kind, paper or pixelated versions would do just tine, and I bet they'd be much less likely to go about rampaging.

Having a religion that keeps those testosterone levels up by decreeing against sex before marriage might have been advantageous back in the days when you need to raise a peasant army to invade your neighbours every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, granted now it might help in reducing the population increase, except they breed like crazy once they get married, so really there is no real gain there.

[ Parent ]

In defense of Nigerian muslims... (4.72 / 11) (#26)
by ogre on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 05:53:28 AM EST

This was probably was not a popular uprising where all the muslims decided to go out and murder christians. Not enough christians were killed. Most of the muslims were hiding behind shuttered windows just like most of the christians, and all of them were praying their loved ones wouldn't get killed in the riots or the inevitable backlash.

Investigations of these kinds of things almost always show that they were planned and that many of the "random" targets weren't so random. You can just about guarantee that some muslim businesses run by rioters have one less competitor today than they did two days ago. Of course the retaliation will be similarly directed.

Anyway, this almost certainly was premeditated murder by some Islamist group. Someone organized things to get a critical mass of young hot-blooded muslim men together in an area where they would so dominate the Christian minority that they could rampage unopposed and do the most possible violence.

As to the silly comments that "any could have seen this coming" of course they couldn't.

Everybody relax, I'm here.

Having read some of the comments below (4.75 / 41) (#27)
by StrontiumDog on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 07:01:40 AM EST

I'm going to comment as one who has lived nearly two decades in the very region the rioting is occurring.

The main thing that gets my goat is the characterization of the riots as being Muslim versus Christian or Muslim versus Western Civilisation. Since September 11 2001, the West has apparently decided that Islam is to become the new bogeyman, since Communism no longer fulfils that role. It is as un-PC to be Muslim these days as being Communist used to be.

In the 18 odd years I lived in the region, there was not a single year without violence. This year's riots are by no means the worst; there have been years in which tens of thousands died in civil violence. It has only made Western headlines this year because of the Miss World pageant; it is certainly not unusual. Violence is also by no means confined to the Northern part of the country; equally savage outbursts occur in other parts of Nigeria for various reasons.

Prior to September 11 2001, the Western press reported these conflicts (if at all) on page 17 under the general header "ethnic tensions". The regions surrounding the cities Kaduna, Zaria, and Abuja are a melting pot of various ethnicities, probably the most diverse in the entire country. From ethnically homogeneous rural areas 40 years ago they have become the focus of recent waves of migration and urbanisation. The autochtones are generally Muslim and the newcomers are both Muslim and Christians. Nigeria is a country with extremely high under- and unemployment (90% in some areas), low educational levels, a very high percentage of youths (75% of the population is younger than 25 years), a thoroughly corrupt government, and a vast chasm between the poor masses and the rich elite.

This is a recipe for social disaster.

Burning matches are tossed into this gunpowder keg every year. This year's match was the Miss World pageant. Other matches have been student riots, government crackdowns, official misdemeanour, oil company policies, gasoline price hikes, election results, hyperinflation, social scandals, football game outcomes, religious hysteria, and general boredom. There were riots in Kaduna last year. There will be riots next year.

The rest of the country is just as bad. When politician Moshood Abiola died in prison in 1998 there were massive riots and killings in the Yoruba West of Nigeria. There were bloody riots in the southern oilfields of Nigeria after the execution of Ken Saro Wiwa (and practically every year after). There is trouble in the south eastern part of the country where the Bakassi peninsula has vowed to secede should Nigeria adhere to the World Court ruling and hand the territory to Cameroun. There is always trouble in the whole damn country. It is part of the Nigerian fabric of existence.

Nigeria is a complex country. The Balkans are simple and rustically homogeneous in comparison. I find the readiness with which the chattering classes and armchair political experts wish to make this latest conflict a poster child for their stupid postmodern political East-West schism downright nauseating. For fucksakes get a life! If you can't stand Islam (I can't either) that's fine, but this hysterical Islam-as-the-postmodern-bogeyman shit sweeping the West is awesomely idiotic.

The rest of the world didn't suddenly spring into existence after September 11, even if that was the first time certain hysterical fuckwits first became aware that there was an outside world.

yes yes yes (4.33 / 6) (#31)
by fhotg on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 07:57:00 AM EST

Why don't you extend this to an Op-Ed ? It's bitterly needed. Throw in some eductaion about ethnocentrism and why everybody complaining for example about the lack of US-style free speech in Nigeria is culturally challenged.
~~~
Gitarren fr die Mdchen -- Champagner fr die Jungs

[ Parent ]
U.S.-style free speech? (3.50 / 6) (#53)
by tkatchev on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 01:59:33 PM EST

Indeed.

God spare us all from U.S.-style "free" speech.

P.S. This reminds me of an old joke from the Soviet Union. It goes something like this: "We all know that the Soviet Union is a staunch supporter of personal rights. And, what's more, we even know the exact name of this person!"

Sad that this joke now applies to the U.S. as well.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Whatever, dude (none / 0) (#83)
by John Miles on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 06:08:45 PM EST

You can define freedom of speech any way you want, I guess. At least we don't slaughter each other over the suggestion that Jesus was an inveterate poonhunter.

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]
Please explain to me... (5.00 / 1) (#119)
by tkatchev on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 08:26:45 AM EST

...how freedom of expression and religious violence are related?

Just because the U.S. lacks violent incidients doesn't mean that the U.S. has freedom of expression.

The Soviet Union also used to be a pretty laid-back and open-minded place. Except when sombody tried to mess with the political and industrial oligarchy.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

So ... (5.00 / 1) (#123)
by sonovel on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 10:21:06 AM EST

Whose speech is being suppresed in the U.S.?

Even Chomsky thinks the U.S. is one of the freest nation with respect to speech.

[ Parent ]

Let me guess. (4.25 / 4) (#133)
by tkatchev on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 02:42:24 PM EST

Anybody's who isn't part of the media monopoly that owns every single radio, TV and print outlet in the country?

Welcome to Soviet-style autocracy, dude. Back in our day we called it "socialism with a human face". For your case, I guess, you'll need to replace the word "socialism" with the word "capitalism".

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Sure. (4.00 / 2) (#137)
by sonovel on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 07:17:35 PM EST

Who is keeping you from publishing anything you want? Are these media companies keeping you from saying things? If you say the wrong thing these media companies will do exactly what to you? In the Soviet Union saying the wrong thing got people killed or thrown in concentration camps. You sound absurd by comparing that to the existence of large media companies.

[ Parent ]
Clue: (5.00 / 2) (#145)
by tkatchev on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 03:39:35 AM EST

People weren't killed in the Soviet Union for speaking out. (Well, at least after the war they weren't.)

They were simply ostrcized and ignored.

Remember, I've lived both in the Soviet Union and in the U.S., so unlike you I can compare.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

I guess ... (3.00 / 1) (#152)
by sonovel on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 10:07:40 AM EST

Stalin just isn't really part of the history of the USSR then? And are you saying people weren't imprisoned for speech? Being put in a "mental hospital" and being tortured with electroshock and other barbaric practices is "being ignored"? These types of practices continued well after the war. Does December 5th, 1965 ring any bells?

[ Parent ]
Sigh. (4.50 / 2) (#160)
by tkatchev on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 12:34:02 PM EST

You're hopeless. I've lived there and I know what I'm talking about, whereas you're just quoting stuff you've vaguely heard on TV.

Two points: one, like I said, I am only talking about the Soviet Union after the war. Obviously, when there is a ruthless war going on on your own territory, rules tend to change a bit.

Two: people weren't put in mental institutions for "speaking out", there were put there for acting "antisocial". (Ring any bells here?) If they had buckled down and didn't try to fight against the ostrachism they were recieving, they would have lived a perfectly normal and content middle-class life.

Solzhenistyn, for example, even recieved a Lenin prize for his prose, (the Soviet equivalent of the Pulitzer) but then he put on airs and tried to influence the political life of the country.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

antisocial (3.00 / 1) (#170)
by sonovel on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 03:41:27 PM EST

Are you denying that mental hospitals were used to punish dissedents at least up to the 1970s? When you define antisocial as antistate then paracticing free speech is certainly antistate and therefor antisocial. So define away the punishments metted out to dissedents if you wish, but what exactly did the dissedents get punished for? Also, how many years after the war did Stalin die? And how many years _before_ WWII did his policies go into effect. Whitewashing Stalin by blaming WWII is silly. Obviously the Soviet Union changed greatly after Stalin. But freedom didn't monotonically increase until the empire fell apart. And no, being antisocial doesn't ring a bell. To what are you refering?

[ Parent ]
Sigh. (3.33 / 3) (#174)
by tkatchev on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 04:53:24 PM EST

Here we go around the damn bush again:

Writing stuff -------> OK.
Trying to make a political point trough writing stuff --------> Big OUCH.

You feel the difference?

The dissidents got punished for trying to argue with the government, not for speaking out. There is a difference, and only somebody whose reasoning is hopelessly clouded by The Man running the U.S. oligarchy could fail to see it.

Also, I'm like the last person in the world to whitewash Stalin. I'm just pointing out to you that in wartime the rules change. The U.S. also has very strict censorship rules when it goes to war.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Speaking against government (3.00 / 1) (#177)
by sonovel on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 05:43:02 PM EST

You can't have free speech without the ability to speak against the government. So the dissidents didn't have free speech if they couldn't critisize the state without being thrown in prison or mental hospitals.

You define down speech to garbage if you believe free speech could possibly exist without the ability to criticize the government.

And on the other hand you seem to feel free speech means free printing presses and radio stations for all.

Strange. I don't know if it is communications difficulty or what, but your concept of free speech doesn't seem meaningful or realistic to me.

[ Parent ]

You wouldn't understand (5.00 / 1) (#175)
by Pac on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 05:26:29 PM EST

I think the average American information about what really happened in the Soviet Union from 1917 up to the fall and dissolution of the country is so full of holes and so distorted with the ideological propaganda fed daily to you since you were born (actually since your grandparents were born) that even trying to explain (as t. was) is hopeless.

You clearly do not have the necessary tools even to recognise the supreme irony in the words you use to describe the Soviet use of mental institutions. I would suggest you start by reading Focault's Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason (you may try Discipline and Punish too). Then visit some Western mental hospitals and read about the use of drugs to control "problem" children in schools. That may give you a hint about the real function the sciences of brain have in the general scheme of things.

Your fixation in Stalin is also telling of your lack of historical data and specially of your lack of cultural background on Russia (I mean, mostly Russia but also Ukraine and Georgia). Yes, he did some insane things, he ordered the execution of a lot of people. But he is also the hero who saved their country from Hitler and won the Second World War. He also sat in the same imaginary throne Ivan, Peter, Catherina and Lenin had occupied before him, the legendary leader who takes his people down the road to Paradise.

As I said, Americans are mostly hopeless when it comes to foreign History. When it comes to the History of an enemy, your immense propaganda machine spins the truth so much that in the end you get only empty discourse without any context larger than "See how bad they were". I wouldn't even try to introduce you to the whole (Communist/Marxist) theory that justified and animated much of the ruling class life in Soviet Union (and a large part of the world, for that matter) during all those years, but that theory had a lot of influence in the good and bad things that happened there. Trying to understand the Soviet Union without understanding Marxism and Communism is like trying to understand Biology without Evolution or Quantum Physics without Mathematics.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
At least ... (2.00 / 1) (#178)
by sonovel on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 05:47:56 PM EST

I can make a point.

Stalin did good things? So what. What point are you making? I bet lots of bad people have done good things, but so what?

Was there free speech in the Soviet Union?

Did speaking against the government get people thrown in prison and mental hospitals, right up until the 1970s at least?

Even Chomsky admits that free speech is not really the issue in the U.S.


[ Parent ]

Free speech (5.00 / 2) (#180)
by Pac on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 06:11:52 PM EST

As much as it may enrage you or make you feel I am trying to be unnecessarily difficult, the answer for your questions about free speech and political dissent in Soviet Union is not simple.

The short answer is, obviously, no and yes (no, there was no free speech and yes, some people - far less than you would believe - ended up in mental hospitals for political reasons).

But the deeper answer is far less amusing (to you, at least). I don't believe the very concept of free speech, as expressed in the West, can be successfully applied to Communist countries. You must understand these countries functioned under a far more explicit theoretical basis than any Western democracy ever did (hence our vast bibliography on the "hidden" agendas and the tools of control used by our upper classes). And the theory prescribed moments where the speech was free and ways to analyse reality and guide this speech.

A second point to notice is that the Soviet Union had no obligation (quite the contrary, actually) whatsoever to tolerate American financed media campaigns against itself - because that is usually the root cause for American defence of free speech elsewhere (see Nicaragua during Reagan, Venezuela during Bush II, Cuba ever since Castro threw the American mob in the water). It was always clear that the Soviet Union was always far poorer than the United States and they were fighting a war they couldn't win. There was no real reason to allow American agents to spread propaganda against their government.

Finally, the mental hospital problem fall under the same umbrella. If I may be a little ironical, in an Utopia (or even in an Utopia in the making) only the insane can be against the very people who keep the Utopia working- by definition. I am being simplistic, but that was really part of the reason for sending people to mental hospitals (instead of executing them for treason, for instance).

I won't defend Stalin. I don't even like the guy. I was just pointing to you that different beholders will see him under very different eyes.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
ideological propaganda (2.00 / 1) (#206)
by CENGEL3 on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 05:38:48 PM EST


"But he is also the hero who saved their country from Hitler and won the Second World War."

Your nicely sanitized version of history seems to overlook the fact that Stalin, along with Hitler was responsible for starting WWII in the first place. I guess the words "Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact" don't appear in your history book do they?

I also suppose the fact that Russia invaded Poland exactly 2 weeks after the Nazis did doesn't appear there either. Nor what the Soviets actualy did to alot of the Poles they captured. You must have never heard of the "Katyn Forrest"?

I had family that lived behind the Iron Curtain under Stalin. Some of them didn't get out until after the Berlin Wall fell.

I know very well what went on under the Soviet Regieme and it's not the nicely sanitized picture you're trying to paint here.

[ Parent ]

Stalin (5.00 / 1) (#210)
by Pac on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 11:09:59 PM EST

I was not trying to defend Stalin of any of his multiple crimes, I was just pointing out that while he is viewed only as a mass murderer in some Western circles, reality is far more complex. I believe I have not denied anything you said. I was not even discussing this problem, just the media tendency to blur some facts and enlighten others, specially when dealing with a former American enemy.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
good point (none / 0) (#226)
by adequate nathan on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 07:03:11 PM EST

Peter the Great caused the deaths of thousands of serfs in the construction of St Petersburg. Was this justified policy? Well, was his westernization of Russia? Is he, finally, a hero (for modernizaing his country) or a bum (for killing so many people?) And if so (or if not so) what about Mao?

V S Naipaul was spot on when he pointed out the harm that sloganeering does the the level of debate and the value of one's conclusions. Almost all political analogies are false, or at least uninformative.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Another example (none / 0) (#217)
by RiotNrrd on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 10:26:28 AM EST

Just to get out of the Soviet rut that this discussion seems to have fallen into:

I am from Italy. In Italy, the good works of Mussolini are evident almost anywhere you look (drained swamps, public buildings, you name it). Mussolini is almost universally reviled, and even the party whose roots go back to the Fascist party dare not mention his name in public.

And Mussolini was pretty benign, in the totalitarian-Axis-member-dictator stakes - certainly nowhere near Stalin's score, which is neck and neck with Hitler's IMHO. Do you see where the "fixation" comes from?

When evaluating the above statement, remember that I was educated under an openly Communist government, with text-books that later triggered a scandal due to their leftist bias.


-- There is a rational explanation for everything. Unfortunately there is also an irrational one.
[ Parent ]

Communism in Italy? (none / 0) (#220)
by Pac on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 11:51:58 AM EST

I though the PCI had never won an election and even when it almost won it couldn't form a government (because the Socialists, for instance, would join the Christian Democrats in a "union government" to face the red menace). Or were you educated somewhere else?

And yes, this is exactly what I was discussing. In the real word you can't put people in a nice pigeonhole and ignore all else. Media simplifications are useless in a serious History analysis.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
Sorry Dude (2.00 / 1) (#204)
by CENGEL3 on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 05:07:19 PM EST

I had family who lived behind the Iron Curtin under Stalin after the war. People DEFINATELY dissapeared in the middle of the night for having the "wrong" political views... it happaned... it was real.... no amount of revisionist b.s. is going to make it go away.

My family personaly knew people it happened to... so don't try to tell me that it didn't happen.

Heck my father even served in the Soviet millitary during the war. Ask him about the NKVD sometime.

He and my mother were lucky enough to make it to the West after the war.... they were lucky enough to get out, but they left people behind. Some of those people never got out.

I don't know what you're trying to sell but I'm not buying..... and neither should anyone else.

[ Parent ]

Sir, (4.00 / 1) (#214)
by tkatchev on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 05:29:02 AM EST

The NKVD ceased to exist as such in 1946. It was split into the KGB and into the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

I have no idea what exactly you are trying to prove; seems more like you are simply stuck in anti-Soviet zombie more and are acting on a unconscious pavlovian relfex.

Look, I wasn't whitewashing the USSR. I was simply pointing out that the government structure of the modern USA is a mirror image of the government structure of the old post-war USSR.

This may not be obvious to people living inside the USA (to people living inside the USSR it also wasn't obvious what was going on) but people outside the USA are definitely noticing and pointing fingers.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

What I am trying to prove (none / 0) (#245)
by CENGEL3 on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 03:23:08 PM EST

Your Initial Statement:

"You're hopeless. I've lived there and I know what I'm talking about, whereas you're just quoting stuff you've vaguely heard on TV. "

My Counter:

"I had family who lived behind the Iron Curtin under Stalin after the war. People DEFINATELY dissapeared in the middle of the night for having the "wrong" political views... it happaned... it was real.... no amount of revisionist b.s. is going to make it go away.

My family personaly knew people it happened to... so don't try to tell me that it didn't happen."

I think what I am trying to prove is abundantly clear. You were saying that the fact that people in the Soviet Bloc were not persecuted for thier political opinions that it was just TV propoganda.
I am saying that people in my family were first hand witness to it happening... it was NOT propaganda.
That is the point I am trying to make.

Second point.....

My Statement:

"Heck my father even served in the Soviet millitary during the war. Ask him about the NKVD sometime"

Your Reply:

"The NKVD ceased to exist as such in 1946. It was split into the KGB and into the Ministry of Internal Affairs"

Exactly what portion of that contradicts my statement?

[ Parent ]

I have a nit to pick (none / 0) (#216)
by RiotNrrd on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 10:20:38 AM EST

Trying to change the political situation is equivalent to putting on airs in your value system?

I find it telling that you quote Solzhenistyn as an example. None of the people in the US who are doing things comparably or indeed more anti-establishment than he ever did have experienced anything like the consequences that he did. If the situations are so similar, why is it exactly that we are not seeing vast emigration of dissidents from the US to e.g. Iraq, "Palestine" and other poster-children locales of the Movement?


-- There is a rational explanation for everything. Unfortunately there is also an irrational one.
[ Parent ]

You are quite correct. (none / 0) (#228)
by tkatchev on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 03:01:41 AM EST

The reason that the U.S. government is acting relatively benign is that there isn't, unlike in the Soviet Union, a clear definition of what exactly is "anti-American" and "antisocial" behaviour.

The Soviet Union had a very clear, obvious, and judicially sound definition of what exactly constituted "Soviet values". In America, "American values" are bandied about but are nowhere explicitly defined.

But the point is that in the U.S., virtually all of the repressive machinery is in place. It's not really being used much today, but I still have to wonder why it was instituted in the first place[1].

[1] Remember that the U.S., as we know it today, was created virtually from scratch in the 1920's and 1930's. In that sense, it is a child of the 20th century much like the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Communist China.

(Before the 20th century, the United States was just that -- a loosely federated collection of *states*, i.e. countries.)

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

yes (none / 0) (#120)
by fhotg on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 08:54:33 AM EST

I personally very much like the US-style free-speech ideal and regard it as a very valuable goal to strife for, in our northern/western industrialized societies.

Only if you believe this would be good, beneficial, adapted or even possible for _any society, your horizon needs expansion.
~~~
Gitarren fr die Mdchen -- Champagner fr die Jungs

[ Parent ]

These are all important factors, but .. (4.53 / 13) (#38)
by Eloquence on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:19:25 AM EST

Saudi Arabia certainly has no big poverty problems. Its government is relatively stable. Yet it is one of the most barbaric nations in the world today, with extreme restrictions on individual behavior, capital punishment for minimal sexual offenses, public flogging, sharply enforced dress codes for women etc. - see Amnesty's Saudi Arabia page.

Don't you think that religious fundamentalism might have something to do with the extreme violence we're dealing with? Are people chanting "Down with beauty" because they are poor? Then why don't people chant that in Cuba? Why did the exact same behavioral patterns, on the other hand, appear in Afghanistan when the Taliban took power? How do you think they would have reacted to a beauty contest?

Religious fundamentalism obviously thrives where there is little education and much social injustice. But where fundamentalism is the effect of these circumstances, it is also a cause of more violence, more social problems, less reforms. Yet it is often tolerated especially by corrupt governments, exactly because religious fundamentalism works so well together with centralized power and social injustice that benefits a select few. A highly corrupt and brutal government that fights religious fundamentalism also fights the ignorance that allows it to exist.

There is certainly a cultural hypocrisy in making fundamentalist Islam, mostly a modern creation, the bogeyman and declaring fundamentalist Christianity, which already has produced one Dark Age, the alternative. But cultural relativism is not the answer. Instead, religious fundamentalism in all its variants has to be recognized as the danger which it truly is.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

No (4.33 / 3) (#146)
by StrontiumDog on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 04:31:28 AM EST

500,000 people were brutally massacred in Christian Rwanda (where priests have actually been indicted for inciting genocide), and the civil wars in Christian Congo, Sierra Leone and Liberia continue to claim tens of thousands of lives each year.

The clich is trite, but true. Religion does not kill. People do. The question is, for a given conflict, why? The answers are vastly more complex than one liners about fundamentalism or Saudi influence.

Fundamentalist Islam is a mighty unpleasant religion, but only a fool would believe that Nigeria would become peaceful and prosperous by converting all Muslims to Christians.

[ Parent ]

you missed his point (4.00 / 1) (#186)
by millman on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 02:10:54 AM EST

He was saying religious fundamentalism is bad in any flavor.  He is not proposing conversion of Muslims to Christians.

The reasons for killing are many and complex like you said, but I don't think you're going to find anyone who doesn't think that fundamentalism plays a very, very large and negative role.

Your parent comment is very good, however.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

In a world full of thieves, the only crime is getting caught.
[ Parent ]

No I didn't. (3.50 / 2) (#187)
by StrontiumDog on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 08:33:30 AM EST

Fundamentalism is a symptom, not a cause.

[ Parent ]
Wrong (3.50 / 2) (#191)
by Eloquence on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 11:03:33 AM EST

It's both.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]
Wrong (none / 0) (#219)
by nusuth on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 11:49:02 AM EST

It is a cause.

[ Parent ]
No. (none / 0) (#221)
by StrontiumDog on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 01:34:24 PM EST

Fundamentalism is not a thing. It's a set of beliefs. The clich "guns don't kill, people do" is trite, but even more apt when you consider that guns are tangible and fundamentalism isn't.

What is fundamentalism, and why does it "cause" some people to stone adulterers and others not?

[ Parent ]

It's all in the brain (none / 0) (#225)
by Eloquence on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 04:28:52 PM EST

Sorry, but that's a fairly shallow argument. "People stone adulterers", sure, but why? What makes a person make such decisions? We know from laboratory studies and cross-cultural comparisons that a certain brain development is necessary for these effects -- see here for details. How the brain develops depends a lot on child rearing practices, which are in turn influenced by cultural factors, esp. religious vs. secular. But whether a society is religious or secular is, again, influenced by many different factors, such as distribution of wealth, population density, stability of government, laws, etc.

That's why religion and religious fundamentalism in particular is both cause and effect of social problems.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

What is an autochtone? (4.00 / 1) (#46)
by RyoCokey on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 11:44:59 AM EST

Couldn't find that in my dictionary, or on dictionary.com



"There is no reason why we should not have peaceful relations with the rest of the world if we cease playing the role of Meddlesome Mattie." - Sen. Art
[ Parent ]
French (5.00 / 3) (#51)
by levesque on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 01:17:58 PM EST

autochtone adj. et n.:
Se dit des populations originaires des pays qu'elles habitent. Syn. aborigne, indigne. || Subst. Les autochtones du Canada.

indigenous adj. and N.:
Says populations originating in the countries which they live. Indigenous Syn., Native || Subst. Autochtones of Canada.

[ Parent ]

It's Greek (5.00 / 1) (#112)
by V P on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 03:12:31 AM EST

From the roots "autos" (self, think automobile = an object that moves itself, and autonomous = independent, setting one's own laws), and "cthon" (the land, the earth), literally meaning "risen from the land", i.e. indigenous.

Several greek cities, particularly Athens, had myths to support their being "autocthonous", magically risen from the land.

[ Parent ]

Hang Some Imams (4.41 / 12) (#30)
by Bad Harmony on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 07:56:59 AM EST

The Nigerian government should arrest, try and execute any so-called community leaders who incited the rioting and murder. In too many countries, religious leaders incite the masses to murder and genocide without having to answer for the results of their rhetoric.

5440' or Fight!

Since Nigeria's judiciary is dysfunctional ... (5.00 / 2) (#32)
by StrontiumDog on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 08:14:04 AM EST

... how do you plan to detect, arrest, try, and execute the "imams" who "incited" the riots?

In Nigeria, thieves are caught by citizens and vigilantes, and justice is meted out by pouring gasoline on the suspect and igniting him. Is this foolproof method expected to be extended to catching community leaders without repercussions?

[ Parent ]

Justice System (none / 0) (#35)
by Bad Harmony on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 09:02:25 AM EST

You have to have a functioning and impartial justice system, including the police.

If things have really gone to hell, declare martial law, impose a curfew, and start shooting looters, arsonists and anyone on the street engaged in acts of violence.

Vigilante justice must also be suppressed. The problem is that this is only possible when the public trusts the government's ability to try and punish criminals.

I can't think of anything that can destroy a society faster than unchecked mob violence. The government must ruthlessly suppress anyone inciting or involved in such activities or risk a descent into chaos and anarchy.

5440' or Fight!
[ Parent ]

Considering that ... (none / 0) (#37)
by StrontiumDog on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 09:55:39 AM EST

... Nigeria has been under martial law for most of its existence, and considering that martial rule hasn't helped one fuck, what other ideas do you have?

[ Parent ]
Martial Law (none / 0) (#39)
by Bad Harmony on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:38:28 AM EST

Declaring martial law is not sufficient. The police and the military must restore public order by taking aggressive action against anyone who commits acts of violence or incites others to do so. If the government is incapable or unwilling to do this, it must be replaced.

5440' or Fight!
[ Parent ]

Who's going to have the will? (none / 0) (#40)
by sonovel on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:58:18 AM EST

A deeply split nation. Religious differences fueling mass violence. Legecy of a history including lots of war. Deep poverty. Reunited with an iron fist. Order restored by the ruling group. Nigeria? Nah, _Afghanistan_.

[ Parent ]
OOps. HTML format. (none / 0) (#42)
by sonovel on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:59:53 AM EST

And I probably oversold the parallels, just pointing out that violence to restore order doesn't always leave the best people in charge.

[ Parent ]
Where's the UN? (3.33 / 3) (#45)
by RyoCokey on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 11:40:47 AM EST

In between attempts to block action against Iraq, aren't they still suppose to be conducting humanitarian peacekeeping missions? Isn't the embryonic civil war in Nigeria worth their attention?



"There is no reason why we should not have peaceful relations with the rest of the world if we cease playing the role of Meddlesome Mattie." - Sen. Art
[ Parent ]
Not really. (3.75 / 4) (#47)
by sonovel on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 12:19:07 PM EST

It isn't about Israel, -1.
It isn't about the U.S., -1.
It might show Islam in a bad light, -1.
It might show Africa in a bad light, -1.

(K5 approach to deciding on U.N. action.(

Cynical?

Nah. I bet one could look at most U.N. debate and actions and it would show that trend.

(

[ Parent ]

psst - ")))" (5.00 / 1) (#74)
by Sesquipundalian on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 05:03:40 PM EST

.sorry.
Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
My comment ... (none / 0) (#92)
by sonovel on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 07:08:25 PM EST

My comment wouldn't even compile without errors without the ")))".

[ Parent ]
Considering that ... (none / 0) (#147)
by StrontiumDog on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 04:38:08 AM EST

... a large percentage of the Northern Muslim ethnic groups have decided to replace the present incapable, unwilling government with Sharia law, and considering that it's not working too well either, do you have any other suggestions?

[ Parent ]
On the barel head justice issue, (5.00 / 1) (#72)
by Sesquipundalian on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 04:51:39 PM EST

.

Judging by what old dude was crying about the army coming in to drag off the sons, and the number one son being found face down later in the afternoon...

Supply the assumption that the number one son was an instigator, and that sounds like exactly what's happening. I guess the number two son will turn up later.

In my opinion, this just goes to show that entire groups of people( and it's wouldn't you know it, religious dudes. They're at it again. Damn! )can turn out to be; just too crazy, or "nuts in the old noodle" to be worth bothering to interact with... it is best to avoid them altogether, I think( note; some religious types are okay, I'd just avoid the violent ones, as religion and violence are not a good mix in my opinion!

I'm sure glad that crazy assh*les like that, don't live near me!( Canadian )

What do you guys think? I'd never advocate systematic violence as a solution to a political problem( I think that prohibiting the changing of border definitions in response to political stimuli would be a consistent patch to shore this little moral worldview up against current economic realities; ie it works with this small crutch... so it's actually pretty close to what's currently going on ), but does anyone out there know more that they'd like to share about humane but effective ways to avoid having the religious crazies screwing up your life on you? Maybe someone out there is making some motivational tapes on the subject, maybe there's an atheists lobby group that we could contribute to or we could all get together and develop a martial art called the "the way of intercepting dogma" that worked particularly effectively on religious crazies( it could perhaps include things like; knowing which religious icons to desecrate in emergencies or something...You could demonstrate it to multilevel marketing companies by using a little Mexican dude that chops bibles in half with his bare hands..for just $39.95 or something. Our yuppies could lease it to each other, in volume! they'd be so _HAPPY_ )..

..whatever. I bet there's lot's of stuff so <*/LINK_aHzGe*> would be most appreciated!

Do you think that if we all just refused to interact with them on religious terms, that they'd just go away? Sort of like the anti-60's!

.

Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]

What, are you living under a rock? (none / 0) (#101)
by Stoutlimb on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 09:07:48 PM EST

"I'm sure glad that crazy assh*les like that, don't live near me!( Canadian )"

They *DO* live here in Canda, thanks to our wonderful refugee system.  I have Muslim neighbours who celebrated when the 2 towers fell.  I had one aquaintance who, given the opportunity, would explain to anyone how the Koran dictates how all Jews are to be slaughtered.  She was serious too.  There's a lot of them here in Edmonton at least.  They just mouth the words that they deplore all this terrorism, then they just go back to their ways.

Considering the people I've met, I think it's only time that we have a major terrorist incident here in Canada.

Bork!

[ Parent ]

Its the matter of time part... (none / 0) (#138)
by Sesquipundalian on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 11:08:51 PM EST

See, here in Canada, some time in the future, we _MAY_ have some act of terrorism or other happen because we dare to have a mosaic culture. Notice, however that your slightly deranged sounding "buddies" are only talking about killing. Lots of people talk about lots of stuff, and that's okay. Talking is just thinking out loud, and it takes some people a while to work through some stuff. Sometimes they seem to sound a little weird, or eccentric at times as well.

I have a friend who, while a teenager, "tried to kill himself", by cutting his wrist with a broken bottle in the parking lot beside a local convenience store. The cut wasn't very deep or anything and he just cried and acted depressed about it afterwards. Not for one moment did I ever seriously consider the notion that _OBLIVION_ was his actual intent. He _WAS_ however working through some fairly complex issues that _DID_ have a lot to do with morality, death and his station in life. He was also eighteen or so, and your production and auto regulation of mood altering chemicals is not what you'd call five nines.

I think he did fairly well considering that he was also susceptible enough to propaganda, to develop penis size related personality quirks, in his early twenties. Snicker!

I don't think your "buddies" are much to worry about. They will each go home( notice that they have homes, and places in the local community that they have managed to fit in to ), and they will socialize with people who, in all likelihood, sympathize with them( notice that these people have also, _GASP_ each managed to find a place in their local community ). While you find their ideas distasteful( I do too, for what it's worth ), other people do not.

That is why Canadians like the cultural mosaic system. It lets many different people with many different agendas interact in ways that are peaceful, rewarding, and sustainable. Even the nut bars can all live happily after. It's not utopia, and we do indeed have our share of racial tension, it's not nearly as bad as it is in _SOME_ parts of the world. No one is getting tossed into wells or anything.

It seems to be working too. After all, _YOU_ think it's only a matter of time. Others disagree, and you have to admit, there does seem to be rather a lot of time to sit around pecking keys about it.

So, while I'll grant you that we may have more than our fair share of dangerous criminals because of lax immigration policy( I too feel that this is the case ), I think our system, for all of it's glaring flaws, is actually so stable that I think it has a very positive effect on these people's lives that should not be  discounted. What if these guys were back where they came from with CIA bought automatic weapons in their hands. I bet that would be a _LOT_ worse... nope, given the alternative, I don't mind doing a little baby sitting. You shouldn't mind doing a little either, you _DO_ live in, like; the worlds best country to live in.

.

Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]

Coming to London (4.00 / 3) (#36)
by caek on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 09:52:36 AM EST

The BBC is covering the increasingly testy atmosphere surrounding the pageant's arrival in the UK here.

It's interesting that in a "Liberal/Leftist" European state the criticisms are coming from what is often portrayed as two extremes: Islamic groups and Leftist Feminists. Perhaps the real problem lies with the men in the middle patronising and objectifying women.

But the UK's Islamic Liberation party has condemned the contest as offensive to people of any religion.

Spokesman Sajjad Khan told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The idea of having a beauty contest anywhere would be against many forward-thinking people, whatever faith and whatever ideology."

He added: "A beauty contest is anathema, more akin to the dark ages than having a contest in the 21st century.

A rather confused article, but an interesting topic nevertheless. +1 FP.

Why, Sajjad? (none / 0) (#149)
by synaesthesia on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 06:16:24 AM EST

"A beauty contest is anathema, more akin to the dark ages than having a contest in the 21st century."

Why do people feel this way? What is better about, say, a sporting contest, than a beauty contest? Both require natural ability coupled with time and effort.


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

Missing information, clarifications (4.00 / 8) (#54)
by Pac on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 02:16:34 PM EST

First, I should have taken the time to explain it that Miss World is not Miss Universe. The later, probably the most famous beauty contest in the World, is organised today by The Miss Universe Organization, a partnership between Donald J. Trump and NBC Inc. Evolving from a Californian Swinsuit contest, the first Miss Universe was chosen in 1952. Miss World was started in 1951 by one Englishman called Eric Morley, to attract visitors from the British Festival to the Lyceum Ballroom (just across the Thames from the place where the Festival was being held). Today the Miss World participant is the girl who gets the second place in each country contest. The winner goes to the Miss Universe contest.

Second, as noticed in another comment, Miss World organisers decided to withdraw from Nigeria and hold the finals in London.

Finally, I would like to clarify that my objective was not to report the news as they are (since the Google link in the introduction does this much better than I could) but to point to another major case of avoidable cultural clash, not only between the West and the Islam but also between media and religion and also between north and south Nigeria. For instance, I found the minor point of the contest organiser using a woman condemned to death by stoning to convince the girls to participate disgusting in many ways. Nut you mileage may vary.

There are some other fine points, like the freedom of speech problem. As I pointed elsewhere, while Americans tend to see it as a dogmatic point, not even the major Western democracies agree about it. So I wouldn't be so quick to take all blame from a journalist who couldn't refrain from insulting millions of people by insulting their prophet. I don't say that as an apology to the real killers, only as something that should also be noticed.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


culture clash? (5.00 / 2) (#68)
by mveloso on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 04:07:56 PM EST

That's weird, the way I read it was the event was cancelled due to sectarian violence between christians and muslims (a la indonesia), not because of some kind of culture clash between the show and whatever values are held in the host country (if any).

The show organizers may have been a bit shortsighted in thinking that some international exposure and tourism would be welcomed by Nigeria, but I'm sure they meant well.

[ Parent ]

The riots (none / 0) (#77)
by delmoi on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 05:23:37 PM EST

Were triggered by a comment from a reporter saying that Muhammad would have chosen a wife from among the contestants.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
funny thing is though (5.00 / 2) (#105)
by nanobug on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:45:16 PM EST

if you read about mohammed's life, he probbably would have.

[ Parent ]
I always wondered (1.42 / 7) (#57)
by fluxrad on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 02:40:02 PM EST

Who would win in a grudge match between Mohammed and Jesus?

Odds?

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
Jesus, He can shoot nails out of his wrists (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 06:06:16 PM EST

I wrote a diary on this very subject.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
lol (5.00 / 4) (#88)
by fluxrad on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 06:36:02 PM EST

good. but instead, you should call the game Moral Kombat.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Mohammed considers Jesus a holy prophet (none / 0) (#98)
by Berkana on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 08:43:56 PM EST

Mohammed considered Jesus ("Isa") a prophet of God, sinless (Mohammed admittedly wasn't sinless), born of a virgin (just like the phrophecies said), and that he was taken into heaven, and will return again. However, Mohammed also taught that Jesus wasn't crucified, which is historically incorrect. Mohammed didn't come about until the 600's, but there are records (besides the Bible) that talk about Jesus' crucifixion. Jesus, meanwhile, would consider Mohammed a false prophet, for teaching doctrines that contradict the Bible, which the Koran claims to be the basis of it's veracity. Mohammed would probably not fight Jesus in grudge match.

[ Parent ]
and buddhists call them both enlightened (none / 0) (#108)
by El Hober on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:28:13 AM EST

because buddhists are cool, and don't pick on other religions.
---
"Painting is an infinitely minute part of my personality."
-Salvadore Dali
[ Parent ]
Uh yes. (2.66 / 6) (#118)
by tkatchev on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 08:23:24 AM EST

Except when they want to make a bloody human sacrifice to the evil demonic beings they worship.

Sad the most people's opinions of Buddhism comes from namby-pamby western hippy wannabes. Call me back when you have actually talked with a real ethnic Buddhist.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Santa Claus - no contest. (nt) (5.00 / 1) (#125)
by ethereal on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 11:23:17 AM EST


--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

since miss world is so decadant (3.00 / 9) (#59)
by Mizuno Ami on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 02:57:37 PM EST

Why not go see the Miss Shemale World Pagent. Don't worry -- those aren't women; they're men. Of course, no one wants to go see that since no one wants girly boys. Everyone wants tomboyish girls, though. I suppose that it's never occured to anyone that the people participating in Miss World might have actually wanted to.

At any rate, while you're busy supporting the non-traditional women, don't forget about the non-traditional men. (Not just shemales.)



Man, I hope that hold that one in Iran (none / 0) (#86)
by Demiurge on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 06:26:28 PM EST

That would make for some interesting news coverage.

[ Parent ]
Islam, Religion of peace (2.40 / 22) (#62)
by scatbubba on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 03:14:24 PM EST

my ass.

Hooray for open-mindedness! (n/t) (2.00 / 2) (#99)
by DeepOmega on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 09:01:52 PM EST


Peace and much love...
[ Parent ]

What's so good about open-mindedness? (3.20 / 5) (#116)
by tkatchev on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 08:19:22 AM EST

I find it very hard to respect people who's only "opinions" come from parroting the liberalist commentator they saw on the idiot box.

I may (or may not) respect the opinions person you replied to; but at the very least he has an honest opinion, which is more than I can say about you.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Hooray! (2.33 / 3) (#121)
by DeepOmega on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 09:38:16 AM EST

Why thank you. I always love getting my opinions judged by people who don't even know what they are. You've brightened my day considerably. Indeed, you are a ray of sunshine, shining into my dark and dreary life. Oh, and I can honestly say that my opinions rarely mesh well with those of "liberalist commentators"... Peace and much love...

Peace and much love...
[ Parent ]

Uh. (3.00 / 2) (#132)
by tkatchev on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 02:38:56 PM EST

Of course your opinions don't really mesh with anybody's -- you're too busy keeping your mind "open" to waste time thinking.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

My bad... (1.00 / 1) (#136)
by DeepOmega on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 06:57:17 PM EST

I'll try to be egocentric and only consider my own perspective next time.

Thanks for the advice.

Peace and much love...


Peace and much love...
[ Parent ]

Good for you. (1.00 / 1) (#144)
by tkatchev on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 03:37:36 AM EST

There really isn't any other perspective except your own.

Almost everything else is just a figment of your imagination.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Sweet! Time to kill babies and rob old women! (nt) (1.00 / 1) (#171)
by DeepOmega on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 04:09:52 PM EST


Peace and much love...
[ Parent ]

Try it. (1.00 / 1) (#173)
by tkatchev on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 04:46:02 PM EST

I doubt you'd like it, though.

Ethics matter because they affect us personally in a deep way.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Ethics, eh? (1.00 / 1) (#179)
by DeepOmega on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 05:53:38 PM EST

Belief in equality is an ethic, seor. As is belief that other people matter as much as myself. Peace and much love...

Peace and much love...
[ Parent ]

Whatever. (none / 0) (#203)
by tkatchev on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 05:04:37 PM EST

I'm talking about direct, empirical, hands-on experice here, not about philosophy.

You do bad things, you'll get slapped down, simple as that. Even little children know this fact of life.

(Note: "Doing bad stuff" also includes "doing bad stuff to yourself". People often ask questions along the lines of "why shouldn't I have group sex if I enjoy it?" The answer is that you'll hurt yourself in the end if you do. It's a simple cause-and-effect relationship.)

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

christianity, a religon of...... peace.?(nt) (3.00 / 2) (#110)
by auraslip on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 01:24:45 AM EST

m
124
[ Parent ]
Dude, (2.33 / 3) (#117)
by tkatchev on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 08:20:50 AM EST

please call me back when a Christian community stones somebody for heretical behaviour.

Oh, I forget -- now is the time for you to parrot some tripe about the Inquisition that you fathfully memorized from your atheist handbook.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Who needs the Spanish Inquisition? (5.00 / 1) (#122)
by Pac on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 09:40:10 AM EST

Who needs the Inquisition when you have the whole of Northern Ireland, the Balkans ethic cleansers example, even your good old abortion clinic bombers? All these people use weapons far more sophisticated than stones to kill, but this is either irrelevant or even worse than using stones. The easy way out is to declare these people not-Christians, since their behaviour goes against the very core of the religion (at least it goes against the core of Jesus preachings - the Old Testament is another matter entirely and probably contains most of the justification this people use). But then the same line of defence should be offered to the immense majority of peaceful Muslims all around the world.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
Kind of missing the point here. (5.00 / 1) (#130)
by tkatchev on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 02:36:36 PM EST

I was talking about Christian communities here, not about any single wacky Christian.

Look, there are respected imams out there that teach that any Muslim should go out and kill every non-believer they meet. The are lost and alots of mosques out there where you will be told to fight enemies of Allah with deadly weapons.

This is what I'm talking about, not about the fact that any single given Muslim may do bad things.

Show me a Christian church or priest that teaches that abortion clinics should be bombed, and I'll concede that you are right.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Kind of missing the point here. (4.50 / 2) (#131)
by tkatchev on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 02:37:19 PM EST

I was talking about Christian communities here, not about any single wacky Christian.

Look, there are respected imams out there that teach that any Muslim should go out and kill every non-believer they meet. There are lots and lots of mosques out there where you will be told to fight enemies of Allah with deadly weapons.

This is what I'm talking about, not about the fact that any single given Muslim may do bad things.

Show me a Christian church or priest that teaches that abortion clinics should be bombed, and I'll concede that you are right.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Minor examples... (4.00 / 1) (#161)
by Rectal Prolapse on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 12:47:55 PM EST

  • The Japanese Christian rebellion during or just after the Shogun wars...incited by the Christians.
  • The Christian Phalangists group/community in Lebanon, implicated (but never proved) in the bombing of the US marine compound that killed a few hundred marines.
  • the Crusades <-- this is a biggy
Nobody's perfect. :)


[ Parent ]
! " a Muslim country" (4.55 / 9) (#63)
by arthfuldodger on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 03:17:52 PM EST

Nigeria is not a Muslim country, the parts of the country where the riots occurred may be populated by Muslims. It's really funny how the media makes it seem as though Nigeria is one Islamic republic, Nigeria is almost evenly divided between Islam and Christianity. And sharia was just recently introduced in some parts of the north where the riots occurred. Nigeria is not particularly a very religious country, corrupt yes but not religious. I think the only solution for peace is for the northerners(Muslims) to have their own state and the Christians theirs. From a Nigerian Muslim living in New York

how is that going to lead to peace? (none / 0) (#135)
by ogre on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 04:24:05 PM EST

You fork off the north part of the country for the islamists so they can murder and persecute other religions with impunity. Meanwhile they continue the campaign in the southern part that is supposed to be christian, until they have enough muslims there to stage violent bloody riots that frighten people into giving them more land.

Look, this is a terrorist campaign. Planned, premeditated mass-murder as part of a campaign to convert Nigeria (and eventually the world) to islam. You don't reward these terrorists by giving them another base to support their campaign.

Everybody relax, I'm here.
[ Parent ]

Partition could be a disaster (none / 0) (#196)
by jbuck on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 02:37:47 PM EST

Partitioning Nigeria could have the same effect as the India-Pakistan partition: war over the boundaries and bloody expulsion of people finding themselves living on the wrong side of the line. What happens to a landowner who is a religious minority in his region? Does he lose it? What happens to followers a religion who are not considered sufficiently religious by the zealots? What's to protect them from being persecuted by the religious police?

[ Parent ]

Islamic takeover (2.14 / 21) (#66)
by Peaker on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 03:53:35 PM EST

They are immigrating into all western countries.

They are having over 10 children per-family. This means that its only a matter of time before Islamic minorities because majorities.

They are naming Islam a religion of peace, when it advocates murder and destruction in many ways.

Their religion has an extremely strong hold on their view - and any defiance of Islam (and of Allah) is a crime punishable by death.

Assuming that an Islamic cultural and religious takeover is a bad thing, and I see it as one, what is the solution to this problem?

Well (none / 0) (#79)
by DominantParadigm on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 05:56:55 PM EST

They are immigrating into all western countries.

And I hope more emigrate to my western country. The Muslims I've known have been absurdly civilized ; one had two degrees, her mother has a servant, a sister who was a Doctor, and a cousin who had a Harvard MBA. (And a brother who had a Masters and was a Taxi Driver. You've never seen a Taxi Drivers who wasn't a Muslim, and all Taxi Drivers are uneducated, so all Muslims are uneducated, no?)

Another's father had a Ph.D. and worked for a research government organization. Another had a husband who was an academic and was headed on the same path... Another worked as a Database Administrator (Come to think of it, she had the least classy job of all. Maybe her hubbie had a better job. But she still had fashion sense - she looked absolutely drop dead gorgeous every single day. Come to think of it, they all did.).

You can only dream of having what they take for granted, Peaker.

This isn't an exception ; Immigrants into Western countries are very likely to be educated and able to find a good job - Unless they're refugees, their applications are rejected. And if you have any humanity at all, Peaker, you can see the appeal of allowing refugees into a Western country.



Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
Misinterpretation (5.00 / 2) (#91)
by Peaker on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 06:54:22 PM EST

You have misinterpreted my message.

My message is about a cultural takeover that may take place.

Secular, civilised, educated muslims are great.

The problem is with poorer, uneducated, and otherwise religious muslims - who actually act by the Quran - which I find evil.

As the Quran says, the servant of Allah shall not cease to fight until his last drop of blood, or until everyone accepts Allah as their god.

[ Parent ]

These weren't secular Muslims (none / 0) (#93)
by DominantParadigm on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 07:15:51 PM EST

Secular, civilised, educated muslims are great.

While they were the most civilized and educated people I've ever known (I felt like they were blessing me with their friendship, lol), 'secular' isn't a word I'd use to describe them.

One expressed distaste at a Campus newspapers lewd end-of-school-year edition. She clucked in disapproval, then said "They shouldn't have this." Since she was my friend, I laughed at her ;)

Another time, she jokingly said that we should get married. The joke being that that's the only way she would have sex with me, and getting married wasn't likely to happen, so sex wasn't either.



Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
The downfall of Western Civilization. (5.00 / 1) (#115)
by tkatchev on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 08:16:12 AM EST

I find it sad that in the so-called "Western" countries, the only examples of a chaste and balanced personality come from Muslim communities.

500 years ago it was quite the opposite.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Most taxidrivers are not Muslim, but Sikh (none / 0) (#97)
by Berkana on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 08:37:17 PM EST

At least in the Bay Area of California, most of the taxidrivers are Sikh. Too many people mistake them for Muslims: Sikh men wear turbans and beards, and because so many of the militant Muslim leadership shown on TV wear turbans and beards, people jump to wrong conclusions. An unfortunate consequence of this is that Sikhs have been victims of hate crimes by ignorant folks who intended to hurt Muslims. Muslim men are usually not to distinctive in their outfits. Some wear skull-cap like things, or "pill-box hats". Muslim women (at least the orthodox, pious ones) tend to wear head coverings. In contrast, Sikh men have very distinctive turbans and beards, but their women are not particulary distinctive in their outfits.

[ Parent ]
I'm not worried (5.00 / 1) (#139)
by br284 on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 11:38:00 PM EST

So, they come over and have ten children. Those ten children go to a western school and meet lots of non Muslims. They realize that Islam is not the only thing in one's life and chafe against their parent's "outdated" ideas on modern life. They grow up and perhaps keep the Islam faith. However, due to their western upbringing, they are not anywhere close to being the same types of muslims as their parents.

Say what you will about western culture, but its things like this that reaffirm my belief that it is indeed a good thing.

-Chris

[ Parent ]

Nigera is not a muslim country (5.00 / 5) (#75)
by delmoi on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 05:08:22 PM EST

It is about evenly split between christians (mostly catholic) and muslims, the current leadership is christian.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
The current president is a Baptist, not Catholic (none / 0) (#96)
by Berkana on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 08:30:00 PM EST

Nigeria is not really a Muslim country: Islam has been spreading rapidly from the north, and as an act of opposition to Obassanjo (the current president of Nigeria, a Christian) and for the imposition of Islam on Nigeria, the northern states have been instituting Sharia (muslim law). This is why there have been stonings and other such sharia-based penalties.

[ Parent ]
Don't blame the speech, blame the actions. (4.27 / 11) (#81)
by quasipalm on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 06:02:54 PM EST

the catch phrase that would kill tens of young Nigerians and burn many temples

The "catch phrase" didn't kill anyone. Neither the persons that wrote that article (nor the pageant organizers) are not responsible for those riots, the rioters are.

News stories like this reaffirm my belief that after religious zealots have all killed each other, the secular shall inherit the Earth.

(hi)
hear hear! (4.00 / 1) (#89)
by tiamat on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 06:38:44 PM EST

to the bit about it NOT being the newspaper's fault.

I heard a radio quote, someone saying they "commited journalism" against Islam.

I can't even begin to describe how little I think of the person who voiced that idea.

[ Parent ]
YES! (5.00 / 3) (#107)
by El Hober on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:25:24 AM EST

There are in fact intelligent people left on the planet! Just when I was about to give up on the human race, quasipalm showed up and posted this wonderful comment. That opinion that the journalist saying "What would muhammed think?" was wrong because of what other people did goes against so many of my beliefs it hurts to read it.
---
"Painting is an infinitely minute part of my personality."
-Salvadore Dali
[ Parent ]
perhaps you are forgetting (3.50 / 2) (#134)
by ogre on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 04:17:46 PM EST

... that the huge majority of cruelty and murder perpetrated in the 20th century was by anti-religious people such as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. It is simply naive to blame religion for political violence. Political violence has political causes and religion (or socialism) is only the background in which it occurs.

Everybody relax, I'm here.
[ Parent ]

Hitler and Stalin anti-religious? (5.00 / 2) (#150)
by Viliam Bur on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 07:00:26 AM EST

Read the "Mein Kampf" - Hitler was NOT anti-religious. Stalin studied theology.

I do not think religious people are any better or worse than the others, but religious power joined by political power can do bad things. The basic advantage of democracy is that you can vote against the politician you do not like. But would you dare to vote against someone who is told to represent your God? This may be the cause of troubles with Islam.

[ Parent ]

Right. Stalin studied to be a priest. (4.00 / 1) (#157)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 11:44:43 AM EST

Then he dropped it and became the tyrannical leader of a ruthlessly athiestic society. How exactly is that religion's fault?


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

please... (4.00 / 2) (#162)
by ogre on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 12:58:07 PM EST

Hitler had some strange pseudo-scientifc cult, but he was not religious in the traditional sense. Likewise, regardless of Stalin's youth, when he ruled Russia he was an athiest. In fact, Hitler and the Marxists had in common that they appealed to science rather than religion to justify their cause.
I do not think religious people are any better or worse than the others, but religious power joined by political power can do bad things. The basic advantage of democracy is that you can vote against the politician you do not like. But would you dare to vote against someone who is told to represent your God?
This is exactly the naive view I was referring to. If you think someone is right, you vote for him, otherwise you don't. It's the same regardless of wether or not he claims to represent your God. And in any case voting is not a common way for despots to get into power.

History gives abundant evidence that religious ferver is neither necessary not sufficient to get people to do cruel and inhumane things to other people. Islamists go around killing christians, socialists go around killing capitalists, communists go around killing anyone with an important job or an education, nationalists go around killing foreigners. And in all of these cases there are religious people trying to stop it because their religion teaches peace. I'm sorry, but blaming religion in general for political cruelty is just missing the point.

Everybody relax, I'm here.
[ Parent ]

That's all fine an dandy but... (none / 0) (#193)
by quasipalm on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 01:23:44 PM EST

Political violence has political causes and religion is only the background in which it occurs.

Returning to the point (and the story)...

We're talking about people rioting and killing others because someone said something slightly negative about a "prophet." How is this political violence? Religion is not "the background" to those riots by any stretch of the imagination, they are the direct cause and justification.


(hi)
[ Parent ]
I guess you didn't see my other comments (4.00 / 1) (#207)
by ogre on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 05:46:35 PM EST

We're talking about people rioting and killing others because someone said something slightly negative about a "prophet."
This is the point that I dispute. I think the rioting is part of a deliberate, ongoing campaign by one group to gain political power over another. This isn't a case of random religious muslims being so offended that they take to the streets to slaughter christians, but a planned terrorists event where they used the pageant as a pretext to riot. If they hadn't had the pageant they would have found another pretext. The benefits they get from this:

1. People become frightened of the muslims and make concessions to placate them. For example the president might make it illegal to say anything negative about muslims after this.

2. The next time the muslims demand something unreasonable (like cancelling the pageant) the government will be inclined to give it from fear of riots.

3. They get the christians to fight back so they can get propaganda mileage by saying the muslims are being murdered by christians.

4. People on both sides get murdered, leading to the relatives of those people becoming more extremist, creating hatred, bringing everything closer to a civil war. Once there as an on-going civil war, the islamists get the power in the muslim region by simply taking over with guns. The peaceful muslims won't have the ability to stop them.

And once things work up to full-scale civil war, the US and the west will forget who started it, will happily treat the brutal islamists as the legitimate leaders of the muslim side, and will try to make peace by giving the muslims their own half of the country.

That's why it's political, not relgious. Because it is part of an ongoing plot to gain political control. If they didn't have islam as a pretext, they would use socialism, nationalism, or whatever else they could think of. In fact, I'll bet the islamist leaders have read the marxist books on how to stage revolutions and are following it.

Everybody relax, I'm here.
[ Parent ]

They made me do it. (none / 0) (#246)
by lithmonkey on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 09:59:40 PM EST

Who is this mysterious "they" you are talking about? If this is how "they" are planning to take over the world, then they're more cracked than you are. I'd like to sit in on the board meeting next time "they" are plotting and kick some sense into them because that's the most ridiculous thing i've ever heard.

[ Parent ]
Nigeria... (3.00 / 9) (#85)
by seebs on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 06:26:04 PM EST

Nigeria is a country whose primary industry is fraud ("THIS LETTER IS EXTREMELY URGENT, REGARDING THE TRANSFER OF $19.5 MILLION INTO YOUR ACCOUNT").

Seriously; this has nothing to do with religion, it has to do with a massively corrupt and bloodthirsty nation.


part ot the problem (3.00 / 1) (#94)
by kstop on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 07:27:07 PM EST

No it doesn't, it has to do with cultural arrogance and wilful ignorance.

And their main export is most likely oil.

[ Parent ]

Nonsense... (5.00 / 7) (#95)
by seebs on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 07:32:08 PM EST

It's not "cultural arrogance" to expect people not to brutally kill other people because they're offended.


[ Parent ]
corrupt? (none / 0) (#151)
by z84976 on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 10:02:59 AM EST

I think "massively corrupt and bloodthirsty" could also be a term used to accurately describe ALL the abrahamic religions over the ages...

[ Parent ]
Why put the all of the blame on the Westerners? (4.62 / 8) (#100)
by khym on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 09:06:30 PM EST

The article, and some of the comments, seem to say that most or all of the blame for this is on the Westerners who organized the Miss World pagent, that they should have forseen that something like this could have happened. But if that's so, then shouldn't the Nigerians who were helping set it up and the Nigerian government have forseen this even more easily? After all, they understand the local situation better than any outsiders, Western or otherwise. They could have warned the organizers, and the Nigerian government could even have stopped them before anything happened; it's not like the Miss World Pagent is some unstoppable force of nature the government could have done nothing about.

--
Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
That's kinda missing the point. (none / 0) (#106)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 11:17:43 PM EST

Maybe some blame should be laid at the feet of the Wahabi Muslim groups and the Saudi "royalty" that bankrolls them.

Is it simply coincidence that where the religous representatives of the Saudis arrive in town, violence and civil war soon follow? Croatia, the Sudan, Somalia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Malaysia are great examples.

The Western and Far Eastern nations who spill billions of dollars into Arab oil states are funding a kind of Muslim Crusade that will ultimately result in much bloodshed in the future.

[ Parent ]

Whose point? [EOM] (none / 0) (#126)
by NFW on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:45:22 PM EST




--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

Why blame the west? Racism. (4.00 / 2) (#182)
by harik on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 09:05:12 PM EST

Listen carefully to what is being said. "Blame the US for their foreign policy. Blame Miss World because they should have stopped it."

Now, read between the lines. Obviously, the rest of the world is just children and animals (Children, like isreal, we support. Animals, like Muslims or Afganis, we 'put down') All the arguments I've seen (from both sides) contain this subtle racism. ONLY the Western people could have forseen these riots, because obviously Nigerians arn't able to rule themselves.

People arn't any more stupid outside the US/Western Europe. They may be more ignorant (less educated) and their social status may suck (90% unemployment rate?) but they're no less human then you or I. Think about your opinions and see if you're stuck in the subtle-racist rut.



[ Parent ]

While you're right about the sublte racism... (none / 0) (#242)
by DavidTC on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 06:36:49 PM EST

because obviously Nigerians arn't able to rule themselves.

Well, at this point...I don't think it's fair to call that 'racist'. What government are they on now? Number five? Six?

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Stupid to blame the contest organisers (4.66 / 3) (#109)
by The Timelord on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 01:05:46 AM EST

You can't go and blame the Miss World people for the deaths and violence caused by the rioting. I agree that it was a stupid idea to have it in a place like Nigeria but that doesn't excuse blame from the rioters who caused the deaths of 100 people.



I'm starting to doubt . . . (4.54 / 11) (#128)
by Dphitz on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:54:21 PM EST

 . . . all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace.  Heck, it's just as bad as Chrisitanity.


God, please save me . . . from your followers

When was the last time (1.00 / 1) (#153)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 10:59:02 AM EST

Christians had a riot and killed a hundred people?


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

let me clarify (none / 0) (#158)
by Dphitz on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 12:20:42 PM EST

I should have started that second sentence with "historically speaking . . ."

Really though, I think you had a general idea of the point I was making.  


God, please save me . . . from your followers

[ Parent ]

Less than ten years ago... (5.00 / 2) (#159)
by linca on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 12:32:17 PM EST

Some christians in Rwanda had a riot and killed a few hundred thousand people.

And a quick web search shows that in Nigeria, deadly "riots" between muslims and christians are common, and that it is not really easy to put the blame on one community or another.

[ Parent ]

You have got to be the only person (1.00 / 1) (#190)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 10:46:10 AM EST

I've ever heard blame the tribal violence in Zimbabwe on western religion.


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

Zimbabwe? (5.00 / 1) (#192)
by linca on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 12:18:06 PM EST

As for the tribal violence in Rwanda, priests took active part in the genocide. I wasn't blaming it on the christian religion, but simply answering your question. In the same way, what happens in Nigeria is ethnic strife, flamed by religious differences, as in Ireland or Israel.

As for mass murder partially caused by christianism, though it was not in riots, see Ex-Yugoslavia.

[ Parent ]

Kernel Panic. Press any key to reboot. (3.00 / 1) (#194)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 01:33:00 PM EST

Zimbabwe, Rwanda, they're all the same, right? No, of course not. Sorry.

Still, I don't think religion is a major influence in Rwanda, Yugoslavia or Northern Ireland. In each case, ethnicity is a much bigger factor than religion.

As for Israel, they are hardly christian, are they?


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

My meaning (4.50 / 2) (#212)
by linca on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 04:45:05 AM EST

Be it Israel, N.I., Rwanda, Nigeria, Pakistan/India, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia or whatever, no conflicts can be attributed primarily to religion. The religious undertone can easily be applied to a few of these, but when Islam is on the offending side, we tend to attribute the reason for strife to the religion. I tend to think that's a pretty biased view. Taliban are as much Pashtuns as they are fundamentalists.

[ Parent ]
True, but there's a reason for that (none / 0) (#215)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 09:37:43 AM EST

Islam is the only religion that has powerful religious authorities pushing for theocratic governments and endorsing violent overthrow of non-islamic governments. I don't think you can find any christian country run that way - even Ireland has stopped toe'ing the papal line.


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

And then... (5.00 / 1) (#218)
by linca on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 11:18:26 AM EST

And then there is Bhuddism pushing for a theocratic Tibet.

And then there is an Hindu party in India that doesn't seem so peaceful.

And then, if you look throughout the Muslim world, many of the Islamist parties (with the exception of Iran) have won democratic elections, only to be violently put out of power by "laical" military forces (see Algeria or Turkey). Repression makes one an extremist, Solidarinosc was a strongly catholic party for example.

And religious parties are still prominent in many western countries, including the US.

Even Iran isn't toeing to the Ayatollah's line so closely anymore...

[ Parent ]

The only valid point you have (none / 0) (#227)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 09:46:38 PM EST

Is the militant hindus in India. Beyond that, none of these groups organizes around the idea of killing groups of people who don't believe as they do.


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

Do you listen? (5.00 / 1) (#230)
by linca on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 04:22:09 AM EST

Apart from the catholics and protestants in Ireland, too.

And the "laical" military in northern Africa do kill too.

Islam is hardly unique in being used as an excuse in ethnic violence.

 

[ Parent ]

I did listen, You're still wrong. (none / 0) (#234)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 10:02:46 AM EST

There are no ministers or priests in NI preaching the slaughter of their enemies. Nor are the N African military being goaded into violence by fanatical prelates.


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

At this rate... (5.00 / 1) (#235)
by linca on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 10:14:38 AM EST

there were priests preaching slaughter in Rwanda.

There are priests preaching slaughter in the US, indeed, though not on the same scale.

There are jewish rabbis preaching slaughter in Israel, mirroring the preaching of Imams. They even had another jew killed.

In lebanon christians were far from being pacifists.

The bible and the kuran do preach slaughter. Happily, they are mostly not listened to anymore.

[ Parent ]

I don't know... (5.00 / 2) (#167)
by broken77 on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 03:02:22 PM EST

When was the last time the Protestants and Catholics got into it in Ireland?

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Or, when was the last time (5.00 / 3) (#168)
by broken77 on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 03:05:34 PM EST

...an abortion clinic was bombed or its practitioners threatened. Or the last time a group got together and protested gay rights with signs saying "Matthew Shepard is in hell". Yup. There's no intolerance and violence in that religion!

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Who killed who? (5.00 / 6) (#129)
by NFW on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 01:15:18 PM EST

If have an easier time believing this article's position if there was some evidence out there that the people doing the killing were deeply religious Muslims, and the people being killed had demonstrably committed some sort of grievous offense.

But I don't believe that deeply religious people of any faith endorse rioting, nor do I believe that rioters are really all that judicious in their distribution of punishment.

200 people didn't die because Miss World offended someone. 200 people died because a bunch of murderers went rioting. It's not about how much Nigerians value Islam, it's about how little these rioters value the lives of their neighbors.


--
Got birds?


Aha (1.40 / 5) (#141)
by Luminion on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 02:34:41 AM EST

And there is no islamic fundamentalists either. There's no terrorists. No ship sank lately. No people were killed in a homicide bomber blast. No planes hit no towers.
Earth is flat. Film at 11.
---------
<spanisman> you are really a dork and I'm going to complaint against you in the undernet society for you to get lost the op status
[ Parent ]
Dude ... (4.00 / 1) (#148)
by StrontiumDog on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 05:26:21 AM EST

you're getting tiresome. This is exactly the kind of shit I personally hate. Homicide bombers and plane-flying Muslim terrorists kill a few thousand people, homicidal Christian Rwandans egged on by priests kill half a million people, and all you people can do is spout the same old tired one-liners about radical Islam versus "civilisation".

[ Parent ]
It is. (4.50 / 2) (#163)
by Luminion on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 01:02:14 PM EST

Fundamentalist Islam -is- versus civilization, in case you didn't notice.
---------
<spanisman> you are really a dork and I'm going to complaint against you in the undernet society for you to get lost the op status
[ Parent ]
It is, but not only (5.00 / 1) (#189)
by Dvesto7 on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 09:28:48 AM EST

Fundamentalist anything is versus civilization.

[ Parent ]
The follies of religious fundamentalism (3.66 / 3) (#142)
by nsgnfcnt1 on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 02:57:54 AM EST

Being agnostic all my life it's been fairly easy to sit back and poke fun at religion in general. But, in my older age I've come to just accept the fact that some people have faith in their lives and some people don't; and that's what makes us all different and that's what makes for interesting times. I don't find flaw in having faith in a religion. I just don't have any personally. But then there are the fundamentalists...

In religious fundamentalism I see an extremely dangerous perspective on the world, whether it be Christianity, Islam, Judaism, whatever (except, perhaps, Buddhism?). Religious fundamentalism combined with poverty and poor education leads to racism, xenophobia and intolerance. In this modern day, following religious doctrine to the letter as laid out in thousand year-old scripture is simply ignorant. Not that I have a particular problem with Sharia law. Perhaps it provides a pragmatic and reasonable framework for a legal system. I don't know so I can't speak to it specifically. But what I can have an opinion on are things like punishments of death for adultery (not that I necessarily find fault in capital punishment; but let the punishment be within relative severity of the crime). Or laws banning women from education or showing their faces in public (yes, I've watched too many CNN specials). Absurdity.

These riots, while not uncommon in Nigeria, were ultimately the product of religious fundamentalism. Sure, it may have been piss poor judgment to have the Miss World competition there in the first place. But, was the mention of Muhammad taking one of the contestants for a wife worth rioting and killing over 100 of your own people? Miss World is blameless. Does blame lie with the Nigerian government for agreeing to host the event in the face of what appeared to be obvious mass objection. Or does it lie with the fundamentalists that propagate ideals incompatible with a "modern world".

Culture, societies, economies and religion will continue to evolve. It's unstoppable. And scenes like this appear to be inevitable until fundamentalism dies out, which I also believe is inevitable. I would just assume help the process of fundamentalist extinction by silencing those that lead it. That includes the likes of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Louis Farrakhan and the boogeyman himself, Osama. You can add your own names to the list, be they Christian, Jewish or Islamic. They're all bad. They all inject inherent evils into what may otherwise be a tolerant world.

Or maybe the real demon is poverty and fundamentalism is just an outlet for those frustrations. You decide. Discuss.

You're redundant. (2.00 / 2) (#143)
by tkatchev on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 03:34:27 AM EST

Why bother posting this? Hundreds and hundreds of kurobots have already posted an almost verbatim copy of your article.

Amazing how much groupthink there is in the atheist "community".

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

The atheist community (none / 0) (#166)
by broken77 on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 02:53:10 PM EST

Well, I rather enjoyed his comment, and agree with it almost completely. But I'm not atheist. Go figure.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

uh (2.00 / 2) (#172)
by tkatchev on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 04:43:20 PM EST

You're "agnostic".

Which really means you're atheist.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Hehehe (none / 0) (#176)
by broken77 on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 05:30:45 PM EST

Nor am I agnostic. :-) I definitely believe in God.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

even worse (3.00 / 2) (#183)
by adequate nathan on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 10:57:22 PM EST

What does that make you? A deist?

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Even worse? (none / 0) (#198)
by broken77 on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 03:21:32 PM EST

Oh, pardon me. I forgot that your religion (whichever one of the hundreds that is) is the one true religion. And I forgot that [insert religion here] has a monopoly on truth. And that all of your inane, arbitrary practices will get you into heaven while I'm writhing in agony for eternity in hell. Frankly, I don't even want to dignify your question with an answer. Nah, forget it. My God can kick your God's ass any day of the week. Wanna bet?

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Inane practices. (none / 0) (#201)
by tkatchev on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 04:55:56 PM EST

Not really inane.

Our ancestors were smarter than we are today; they needed it to survive.

Your patronizing tone just makes you look short-sighted.

P.S. Am I correct that you belive in some sort of esoterical sect? Something like "theosophy"? Or "believing in your heart"? Christian canon considers these practises a mild and less harmful version of demon-worship.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

My tone (none / 0) (#205)
by broken77 on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 05:17:30 PM EST

Your patronizing tone just makes you look short-sighted.
As does yours :-) That was my point. But maybe I was just trying to flatter you. They say mockery is the best form of flattery.

I really don't want to get into a philosophical, theological or otherwise discussion with you... Let's just say I find the concept of an anthropomorphic deity that's constantly sticking his nose in my business to be absurd.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Absurd? (none / 0) (#213)
by tkatchev on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 05:14:56 AM EST

Why?

An anthropomorphic amorphous "force of nature" is even more ridiculous.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

your absurd caricature (none / 0) (#209)
by adequate nathan on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 10:11:54 PM EST

Doesn't even come close to addressing the long-recognized weaknesses in deism; and I'm speaking philosophically, not religiously. It doesn't hold water. Hume, in particular, gutted deism ca 1770.

If you persist in characterizing Christianity in terms unfit for debate, don't be surprised if people patronize you. Cretin.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Cretin? (none / 0) (#244)
by broken77 on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 03:07:38 PM EST

Wow. I'm a cretin because I don't believe what you believe regarding religion. That sure does make sense. And I suppose it really illuminates the different levels we're on. Oh well. Eventually the fundies will die off and the world will be a better place. But until then, breathe in, breathe out... Ohhhmmmm...

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Wanna bet? (none / 0) (#239)
by runlevel0 on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 04:44:32 PM EST

Heeeyyy, great idea !!!
We can organize some kind of Divine Pro-Wrestling league ;)

[ Parent ]
Settle this... (none / 0) (#241)
by pwhysall on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 02:19:08 AM EST

...Here
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Good point ! (none / 0) (#240)
by runlevel0 on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 04:48:00 PM EST

> Amazing how much groupthink there is in the atheist
> "community".

Perhaps this is our strength: nobody thinks for us.

If somebody intends to name Stalin or other commy / nazi leaders: for me communism, nazism and all this kind of weird one-way prefab thoughts are also religions.

[ Parent ]

uh...try again (4.00 / 1) (#181)
by mmuskratt on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 07:15:12 PM EST

agnostic does not mean atheist, sorry. http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=agnostic

[ Parent ]
You try again. (none / 0) (#202)
by tkatchev on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 04:57:17 PM EST

To believe != to acknowledge existence of.

Belief is more like "to have faith in".

Do you see the difference?

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

hmmm (none / 0) (#238)
by runlevel0 on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 04:41:03 PM EST

> Or maybe the real demon is poverty and fundamentalism is
> just an outlet for those frustrations.

AFAIK Ossama /bin/laden and many of his disciples are everything but poor.
Being poor implies being a braindead idiot ?
Look at Southamerica. NO southamerican /bin/ladens, no religious riots (Hope they won't revindicate Huizlipochtly or Cuatlique, LOL), and they are stone poor.
What did Mexican Mayas do ? A religious revolt ? Nope, they revolted and got what they needed: food, freedom and a piece of land. Now they are still far from being rich or wealthy, but they can survive in a honorable way, without blaming others for their own faults or trying to genocide all non Mayas in Chiapas.

 

[ Parent ]

Computer Error Blamed (5.00 / 1) (#154)
by SEWilco on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 11:11:38 AM EST

I heard a report on NPR that said the editor of the newspaper claimed he deleted that bad phrase from the article, but they have an "advanced network", and somehow the unchanged version got to the printer. The editor did not read the print version until the next day. Google only finds one news report which mentions the "computer error"

Religion? Politics? (3.00 / 1) (#155)
by William Surgeon Perth on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 11:27:35 AM EST

There are people of all religions who manage not to do things like this.

There are non-religious people who do things like this.

There are poorer and richer people who do and do not do things like this.

There are no excuses. There are no reasons.

A N I M A L S.

Re: Religion? Politics? (none / 0) (#164)
by ivancruz on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 02:02:07 PM EST

There are non-religious people who do things like this.

A big no no here. I never heard about atheists groups burning Christians, Muslims, Buddhists or people from any other religion. Atheists does not join in groups. Our belief (atheism is a form of belief, I believe), unlike other religions does not need support from a group.

By other side, ties between religion and violence are as old as humanity history.

----------------------


Eu vou, eu vou vender a minha v, Eu vou vender a minha v, A minha v filosofia. (Zeca Baleiro)
[ Parent ]
Stalin? (4.00 / 1) (#185)
by influx on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 12:21:12 AM EST

Ever heard of Joe Stalin and the Soviet Union? Read up on the state religion. Read up on how many people were killed by the state. What exactly was your point again?

---
The more you know, the less you understand.
[ Parent ]
Violence is passion. (none / 0) (#200)
by ivancruz on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 04:09:01 PM EST

The article was talking about riots, grass-roots violence, not institutionalized violence. My post was in the same spirit. I was talking about violence caried by common people that suddenly explode here and there. Of course religion is not the origin of all violence. I was just observing that you will never see an atheist group rioting. Anywhere!

State sponsored killings is not exactly violence. It is something diferent. Something far worst.

I don't know about Stalin oh Hitler past, but probably they never killed by themselves. They sent somebody.

I also believe Reagan never killed someone (except in movies, maybe). He sent Saddam.

-------------
Eu vou, eu vou vender a minha v, Eu vou vender a minha v, A minha v filosofia. (Zeca Baleiro)
[ Parent ]

It doesn't matter who (none / 0) (#237)
by runlevel0 on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 04:30:27 PM EST

Stalin, Muslims, integrist Christians...
It really doesn't matters ...
BTW, stalinist communism was indeed a sort of religion.
Or even Mao Tsedong or worst, Pol Pot:
There was a "corpus" of thoughts which could not be rationally discussed, there also where  "holy" books (Mao's Red Book, f.e.)...

Hitler indeed tryed intentionally to substitute catholic religion with his own brand.
Even buddhists are not all innocent, remember Myanmar.

Intolerance is the key. Blaming others for the own faults is quite an easy way to go and if you kill these others you can achieve two things: half of the population won't question you for fear, and the other half would be dead and thus unable to question you.

[ Parent ]

YOUR HELP NEEDED (3.84 / 13) (#156)
by SEWilco on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 11:44:28 AM EST

I WOULD LIKE YOUR HELP WITH AN URGENT PROBLEM. MY BROTHER WAS IN CHARGE OF THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT PROMOTION PROGRAM WHICH TRIED TO BOOST TOURISM AND BUSINESS DURING THE MISS WORLD PAGEANT. YOU MAY HAVE HEARD OF MISS WORLD. THERE WERE SOME UNFORTUNATE ACTIVITIES RECENTLY WHICH CAUSED THE COLLAPSE OF THE PROGRAM. AS THE GOVERNMENT ONLY HAD A WAY TO PROVIDE MONEY TO THE PROGRAM BUT NO LAWS WHICH REQUIRE RETURN OF THE UNUSED MONIES, MY BROTHER WAS TRAPPED WITH THESE FUNDS IN DANGEROUS CIRCUMSTANCES. HE WAS ABLE TO SECURE THE FUNDS IN THE VAULT OF AN INTERNATIONAL AGENCY, AND WHEN THE MOBS FOUND HE HAD NO MORE MONEY HE WAS SAFE. HE NOW HAS TO RETRIEVE THESE FUNDS FROM THE VAULT, BUT HE IS BEING WATCHED. WE CAN GET THE AGENCY TO MOVE THE 84 MILLION DOLLARS BACK TO THEIR HEADQUARTERS IN THE NETHERLANDS, SO WE CAN BRIBE AUTHORITIES TO LET MY BROTHER TO SAFETY IN EUROPE. WE WILL DONATE THE REMAINING FUNDS TO CHARITIES TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS IN MY HOME COUNTRY. WE WANT TO PAY YOU TEN PERCENT OF THE AMOUNT FOR YOUR SERVICES AND ALSO WILL REPAY YOUR EXPENSES. WE NEED ASSISTANCE IN PAYING THE AIR FREIGHT CHARGES, BRIBES TO CUSTOMS STAFF, AND BUY THE MASS SPECTROMETERS WHICH THE AGENCY BELIEVES IS IN THE SHIPMENT. WE NEED YOUR REPLY IMMEDIATELY, AS THERE IS LITTLE TIME TO SAVE MY BROTHER. THIS MUST BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL, AS BY BROTHER WILL BE IMMEDIATELY IN DANGER IF CORRUPT WORKERS IN THE GOVERNMENT LEARN OF THE MONEY AND TRY TO STEAL IT.

Funny (3.00 / 1) (#165)
by Scott Marlowe on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 02:03:22 PM EST

now that's funny.  Thanks for lightening up this subject a bit.

[ Parent ]
Hey, I already saw this as spam (none / 0) (#236)
by runlevel0 on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 04:19:13 PM EST

This is  a new version of the infamous "African Spam"...
Hilarious.
Either there are a big bunch of really braindead spammers  in Africa (if they really comes from there) or someone is laughing himself ill ...

[ Parent ]
Nigerian "leaders" (5.00 / 4) (#169)
by bobpence on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 03:28:22 PM EST

According to the current top story, the Minister of Information and National Orientation is blaming an internation press conspiracy for Nigeria's loss of the Miss World pageant.

"There's an international conspiracy just to show that an African country like Nigeria cannot host this thing. I think Nigerians should be really angry with the international press," he said.

He continued: "I salute the courage of the contestants. They came all the way here despite the conspiracy of the international press... particularly the British press."

Here's a clue, dipshit: They left because two hundred of your people were dead on the street, killed by vicious animals posing as citizens.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the ThisDay newspaper, as press reports have indicated, it is reported that the writer "is pleading for forgiveness," and has voluntarily offered her resignation.

How much in the forgiving and merciful "spirit of Ramadan" is the ThisDay chairman? Further in the same paragraph, he writes "We find her action inexcusable and therefore have accepted her resignation."

Don't get me wrong; she should have resigned and her resignation should have been accepted -- with regrets -- because of the tragedy that resulted. It should not be because she "inexcusably" failed to foresee the beastly actions of some readers (if indeed the killers are literate).

Frankly, since I first heard her conjecture that Islam's founding prophet might have chosen to make a Miss World contestant Mrs. Mohammed, I have never understood why this is so upsetting. Tacky, I can see, but not blasphemous. She didn't even mention that he already had ten wives -- four more than Islam allows -- and their personal virtue has never been much discussed.

What is so wrong with a beauty queen? If she had been a slave of Sarah's and offered as a concubine, Moses would have done her. If he hadn't been so busy figuring out how many generations of his family had to be virgins to make the Catholics happy, Jesus might have taken another shot at the water-to-wine thing at his own wedding.

But if blaming the press instead of murdering thugs for driving the pageant away, as the Minister of Information did, and asking forgiveness and mercy during Ramadam while calling a tacky writer "inexcusable," as the ThisDay chairman did, is what passes for leadership in Nigeria, no wonder the son of the dead government official keeps emailing me about moving some money out of there.


"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender

Knee-jerkers everywhere: this is for you. (1.00 / 1) (#188)
by NMRobertson on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 08:57:55 AM EST

Wake up to reality. Murder and death were around before religion. They are still around after religion. People will kill each other for ANY reason if they want to. I can't believe otherwise intelligent people believe them when they say their religion "made them do it". Even the most basic knowledge Christianity will tell you that killing people is not part of Christ's teachings. If I were to say I went on a riot because someone wrote an article saying that Quantum Mechanics was rubbish, what would you think of me? Certainly you wouldn't think I was much of a scientist.

not quite it (none / 0) (#224)
by func on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 04:12:39 PM EST

It's not about what's in who's holey moley book, it's about what people actually do.  Christians and Muslims were duking it out over a very small provocation; in the end they both look like religious idiots.  

Now the Muslims have taken it a step further down into idiocy; the Muslim spiritual "leaders" are calling for the murder of the witty journalist.  They claim her murder is A-OK, because their holey moley book claims that anyone who insults Mohammed should be killed.  How's that logic for you?

I think I'll write my own holey book that tells me all these religious nuts are tards and should be eradicated immediatly.  Maybe I'll call it Scientology...  Nah, that name's got a bad rap already.

[ Parent ]

Double Standards (5.00 / 10) (#199)
by CENGEL3 on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 03:43:16 PM EST

        When a bunch of redneck morons burn a cross on some-ones lawn and march around in white hoods.... the first thing out of everyones lips are "evil intolerant americans, that is typical of thier world attitude"

        Nigerians stage a riot where a couple hundred people are murdered because one of thier OWN reporters writes an article that mentions Muhammad in the same breath as a beauty contest.
What's the first words out of everyones lips?... "Evil intolerant westerners they should have known better then to stage a contest that would offend Muslim senseblties"

       The U.S. government condones capital punishment for seriel killers, bleeding heart liberals all over the world cry out "inhuman savage americans they are barbaric"

       The Nigerian Government condones "stoning" to death women who are guilty of adultury... what is the reaction by those same bleeding heart liberals.... overwhelming silence (Yes, I know there have been a few half hearted protests... but lets compare the volume of criticism shall we?)

Anyone detecting a pattern here?

Why is it that cultural diversity and tolerance are only talked about in the context of Western societies need to be tolerant of other cultures and never the other way around?

Why is it that a lack of respect for basic human rights is only criticized when it's a western government that is at fault?

Why is it that the word bigot is only bandied about when it's an upper middle class white male who is the offender?

Let's face it... the current state of affairs in Nigeria is as wrong as the worst days of aparthied in South Africa.... yet what is the worlds collective response to this situation?.....
"Bad, Bad  Miss World Pageant "

I say bull!

Correction (none / 0) (#208)
by strlen on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 07:46:33 PM EST

I agree with the overall sentiment, but you made a factual error, when reading the story:

The Nigerian Government condones "stoning" to death women who are guilty of adultury... what is the reaction by those same bleeding heart liberals.... overwhelming silence (Yes, I know there have been a few half hearted protests... but lets compare the volume of criticism shall we?)

The official government test is that they don't condone it, and that's what the story think. I'm afraid the government, however, is too afraid of fundamentalists to take any action against the fundies (as they should!).



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Delicate situation (none / 0) (#232)
by ScudEast on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 07:36:01 AM EST

The government won't take action against the fundies cos if they did blood would flow, the like of which would make the Miss World riots look like a teddy bears picnic. The fundies are spoiling for a fight.

[ Parent ]
feminism, female sexuality, and fundamentalism??? (5.00 / 3) (#223)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 03:32:12 PM EST

so what happens when the radical feminist agenda and the islamic fundamentalist agenda overlap?

nevermind, we can see already what happens.

seriously though, isn't it strange and revealing that so much of this problem revolves around a bad understanding of a woman's role in society? or more exactly, this problem, and a whole other range of other problems around the world, especially the islamic world, center upon the religious fundamentalist's inability to address a woman's role in society without hobbling her. how can such a proud, passionate and beautiful religion like islam be married to such a blockheaded view of womankind? or more accurately, why do the fundamentalists have such a stranglehold on islamic society. because certainly, christian fundamentalists have just as blockheaded a view of womanhood, but at least they are held in check in the west by more enlightened forces. unfortunately, for us all, but mostly unfortunately for the women living in the islamic world, there is no such strong enlightened social understanding of womankind in the islamic world. a shame. a terrible shame that will hurt us all.

no society can reach its full potential without an equal reckoning of man and woman as equal participants in the bedrock of society. however, a feminist agenda seeks to redefine the definition of womankind without any real reckoning of female sexuality and how it plays out in real life. by saying this about feminisim, this is not an attempt by me to subversively and slyly approve of common male sexual brutishness and unwanted advances as acceptable. no. meanness is still meanness. cruelty is still cruelty. but the radical feminist agenda is a foundation not built on synchronicity between the sexes, but the elevation of womankind above malekind to the same awful, but opposite, effect that the typical boorish male selfishness attempts when it reduces womankind to sexual objects and no more.

the fundamentalist agenda equally seeks to remove womankind from her sexual identity. in the case of islamic fundamentalism, however, it says she should not be educated, she should never travel alone, and she should never be seen outside in public except in swaddling cloths. this is just as ridiculous, but in the opposite direction.

the ideal of course, is equality between man and women. how much evil around the world springs up when society strays from this path. but i posit something many of you might take objection to: that the swimsuit competition is a good thing for equality between the sexes.

the middle road, always the best road, recognizes the realities of female sexuality. women have sex. they parade around in bathing suits and give men erections. this is the nature of the male and female beast. shake your fist at mother nature all you want, because there you have it. this is the way sex works.

in a way, you can say that the swimsuit pageant is not an anachronism, but in a way, a modern advancement for some societies. some western societies have left the swimsuit competition behind as too campy. but because these societies have made that advance does not mean all societies have. the advance?! some of you in the west say, what kind of advance is the swimsuit competition for a woman!?

the advance is that a woman can be glorified, objectified, honored for her physical beauty, and it can be left at that. it doesn't define a woman completely. it is merely a portion of female existence as old as time itself, but not the defining end-all complete description of female existence. that is, you can compete in a swimsuit, and then get in a business suit the next day, none worse for wear. only in an open society that reflects this do women freely don a bathing suit without coercion. look at the beaches of western societies. these are not societies that are uncomfortable with female sexuality. only in immature societies that are unfomfortable with female sexuality are women wrapped up and hidden from view. female sexuality is not to be feared. sounds dumbfoundingly obvious. but think of all of the daily suffering that goes on around in the world, in male and female minds, because they fail to this truth.

so the swimsuit is not a denigration of women, it is a symbol of the harmlessness, fearlessness, celebration of female sexuality. only with coercion in a world that says she is no more would a woman defy the bathing suit competition. so in a world where women gladly do these competitions and are celebrated for it, you can call that an advance over a society that does not value a woman beyond how she simply fills out a bathing suit. a society where a woman is a sexual object and no more is not a society where women comfortably don bathing suits, knowing they will be no more.

can an argument be made that a woman is glorified for her body, that she always was and always will be. but you see, the typical male gaze does NOT nullify the non-physical positive contributions a woman can make to society. a feminist agenda would remove the male gaze. but you ban no more remove the male gaze from a man than you cut the breast off a woman. it is in our biology to covet a woman's body. old as time itself.

BUT, but... a woman's sexuality merely exists in a different plane of existence, a sexual existence, separate from the work-related and intellectually-oriented contributions she can make. confusing the objectification of woman's bodies with their denigration is not an automatic conclusion. see?

it is, in a way, an honoration. men are sexual objects too, for crying out loud. no need to dwell on the subject of female sexual objectification, get over it. for those men who are too brutish to move beyond a woman's sexuality, and don't get me wrong, they do exist, lot's of them... well, let their actions be their own fate. women have, will, and always will have to weed such men out of their lives. no feminist agenda will divorce women from this unfortunate task, the removal of unwelcome, unworthy men in their lives. so women will be choosy, are the feminists telling us they promise us a world where a woman can turn off her mind because they will reshape male minds to be perfectly "respectful" all the time? i think not.

feminists should not disavow the vast majority of males who can enjoy a woman's body and respect her cerebral contributions at the same time- contemporaneously, and without conflict or confusion or even any remarkable mental dissonance. and religious fundamentalists should just fucking grow up, excuse my language. respect your mothers, islamic fundamentalist dogs. a woman is your equal, and your societies are doomed to never fulfull their full potential as long as you lock your women in a mental prison of forced redefinition of womanhood simply because you are such a little boy you are afraid of female sexuality. stupid and shameful fundamentalists.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Religion is a red herring in this case (none / 0) (#233)
by ScudEast on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 07:50:14 AM EST

I think, much as in Northern Ireland, religion is not the main cause of the trouble. The main causes of the trouble are sectarian and tribal tensions which have built up centuries worth of hate. Religion is a focus for this but not the cause. I found this history of Nigeria useful to understand the situation. I am growing increasingly disturbed by all this anti-muslim stuff I read.

Nigerian Blood Friday | 247 comments (228 topical, 19 editorial, 2 hidden)
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