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NEWS FLASH: Garland, Texas USA (filed under Faith & Religion)

NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru SundaysSouth Carolina, USA Veteran
edited May 2015 in Faith & Religion

Firstoff, an imaginary scenario in the headlines:

Gunfire and Fists Fly in Hamlet, Tx, as Marchers Wearing "Death to America" T-shirts Demonstrate

What would you think? Would you like to see the whole story? How long could you wait to see some of the story and then instantly condemn one party or the other? Who do you think would be the bad guys? You can bet that the Press would point out the demonstrators with their "ignoble, trouble-causing" motivations.

Politics and religion go hand-in-hand, depending on the religion.

Fortunately for "The One True Holy People," today's story is:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/05/us/garland-texas-shooting-muhammad-cartoons.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

Growing up we were all taught that freedom of speech does not entitle you to cry out "FIRE!" in a crowded theater. No, some restraint is expected. Along with freedom comes the responsibility to be a grown-up who realizes that he's not always gonna have his bread buttered as he would like. That Citizen, to be a Citizen truly, must have a generous heart and must not let it get clouded in some high-and-mighty ideology or principle.

I must say that RESPECT for the sensibilities of other peoples is Imperative if we are to be a truly civilized society. I call the Danish cartoons and their spin-offs HATE speech, not Freedom of the Press. Freedom of Speech and of the Press is all about the Right of people to speak Truth from their hearts. That truth is about justice, that human enterprise par excellence; that truth is about seeking amends when wrongs have been done and about getting for people what is rightfully theirs. That Truth is always beneficial to the lower strata of society. Truth doth never extol or condone intolerance of the sincere beliefs of others. And those who love Truth know that it is something which they can only see, but never possess. Those who know the truth want to see the truth incarnated in Freedom for All, with malice not permitted to reach out towards the Stranger among us. Those who love the truth do verily worship it with the Esteem they have for all their brethren and sisters.

Here is a thread from some few months back with varying stances: http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/22306/respect-as-the-highest-form-of-love-and-how-that-is-relevant-to-the-situation-in-france/p1

nmarie3
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Comments

  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    edited May 2015

    I filed this under Faith and religion rather than under General Banter in the hope that we could engage in a dialogue about interfaith harmony and understanding (hope for the higher ground?). The American Freedom Defense Initiative notwithstanding, I believe that most people are people of good will.

    In other words, I only want to engage with people on this subject who are willing to set aside vacuous principles such as Freedom of Expression for the sake of Freedom of Expression, ad nauseam. I will do my utmost not to respond in any way to those intent on setting their own terms, even if the words they use are writ large on some historical document. By golly, some people will even insist on setting their own definitions of "God." What the heck!

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    That Truth is always beneficial to the lower strata of society. Truth doth never extol or condone intolerance of the sincere beliefs of others.

    @Nirvana -- With respect, please take three deep breaths and adjust your meds.

  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    edited May 2015

    That Truth is always beneficial to the lower strata of society. Truth never extols or condones intolerance of the sincere beliefs of others.

    What Jesus taught. He taught it, it's true, and I believe it.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    @Nirvana -- I never realized that Jesus taught segregation/distinction between various strata in society. But I'll take your word for it.

    As a footnote and because this is a Buddhist bulletin board, you might want to factor in A. that Buddhists do not rely on the teaching of others (perhaps you have heard the saying attributed to Gautama: "Better your own truth/dharma , however weak, than the truth/dharma of another, however noble") and B. that what teachings Buddhists do choose to believe are teachings they often likewise agree to investigate ... right down to the ground.

    yagranataman
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ^ ^ ^ ^
    Yes, indeed.
    What he said.

    Jeesh, what the heck brought this up, exactly...?

    I filed this under Faith and religion rather than under General Banter in the hope that we could engage in a dialogue about interfaith harmony and understanding.

    Nope. Basically, the majority here are intent on following the Buddhist path. So 'interfaith' isn't likely, unless you're figuring to batting that corner on your own.
    Harmony and Understanding is YOUR job. We're already harmonious and we understand pretty well, too. Been there, done that, see....? ;)

    When you figure out exactly what the focus of your discussion actually is, be sure to let me know.
    Otherwise, it seems an aimless rant about.... well, I'm not sure what, exactly.

    Once you can be more precise, succinct and you can provide a summary or synopsis, I'll re-open.

    Thanks, Nirvy.... :)

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    What you had in Texas, IMHO, are 2 groups of people who want to keep picking the scab. The more they pick, the more they and others hurt. The more infected the scab becomes.

    Zenshin
  • @Nirvana said:> In other words, I only want to engage with people on this subject who are willing to set aside vacuous principles such as Freedom of Expression for the sake of Freedom of Expression, ad nauseam.

    Good luck with that. Maybe we could also discuss vacuous principles like Freedom to Kill when Your Religion is Insulted?

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    Freedom of expression doesn't seem to always equate with intelligence of expression, or the need for some people to realize that freedom expression includes the freedom not to say anything.

    But, it's nice to have the revelation that the Neanderthalensis are still with us and not extinct.

  • It's complicated, but on balance I think freedom of expression is a principle worth defending. I certainly don't think that religious fascists should get away with murdering people who push the envelope.

    bushinoki
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @karasti said:> Nothing in the cartoons mocking Mohammed seems to be Right Speech to me.

    A lot of satire probably isn't Right Speech, but then I don't see that we should be trying to impose a Buddhist value on the secular world. Somebody could insult the Buddha all day long, I might get a bit irritated but I wouldn't dream of murdering anyone over it, it just seems like an extreme over-reaction, extreme over-sensitivity. Ridiculous. And then the apologists come along and start blaming the victims, like they had it coming, it's their own fault really.

    In my view Islam needs to grow up a bit, mature, be more enlightened, learn to laugh at itself, not take itself so seriously, drop the mediaeval attitudes, drop the violence, elitism, sexism and homophobia, and join the 21st century.

    lobsterbushinoki
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    @SpinyNorman;

    While I do tend to agree with your sentiment, it wouldn't exist if we didn't push our values.

    There are no winners when we disrespect what others hold dear. I have seen this from both sides and am thinking the animosity goes back far enough that nobody knows who threw the first stone.

    Sure there should be the ability to poke fun at what we see as nonsense but there should also be the ability to respectfully explain how dogma simply will not rule the day any longer.
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    No, I wasn't saying that we should put Buddhist values onto others. But what amounts to as Right Speech is a constant topic in the US with discussions about how our freedom of speech works and what it really means and doesn't mean. Like I said, I'm not blaming the victims and not condoning what the terrorists did and continue to do. I'm just saying a little mutual respect and sensitivity goes a long ways. My oldest son (the autistic one) has very intense personal space needs. His younger brother enjoys taunting him to no end, putting his bare feet just inside what he knows his brother's limits are and so on. The solution comes from both sides. But my son who taunts his brother by poking his feet at him when he KNOWS how uncomfortable it makes him has some responsibility as well.

    nmarie3
  • I don't see why secularists should appease religious fascists.

    Hamsaka
  • robotrobot Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    I don't see why secularists should appease religious fascists.

    Self preservation if nothing else.
    Those fools in Texas are full of hate. They used themselves as bait. It worked, and the crazies they attracted were killed, so they were successful.
    Next time, perhaps the extremists will be better prepared and a roomful of bigots will die instead.
    And maybe some innocents as well.

    vinlynRowan1980
  • So for the sake of self-preservation we're willing to sacrifice free speech? We let the terrorists win, we live in fear of religious fascism? And anyone who dares to criticise Islam must be full of hate and a bigot? And you hope the terrorists will be more successful next time and kill a lot of these people? The mind boggles.

  • robotrobot Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    So for the sake of self-preservation we're willing to sacrifice free speech? We let the terrorists win, we live in fear of religious fascism? And anyone who dares to criticise Islam must be full of hate and a bigot? And you hope the terrorists will be more successful next time and kill a lot of these people? The mind boggles.

    Maybe you didn't follow the story. You sure didn't get my point.

  • I did follow the story and no, I didn't get your point.

  • robotrobot Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    I did follow the story and no, I didn't get your point.

    You might be taking sides in a fight between two extremist groups.
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/garland-shooting-inside-group-hosting-draw-prophet-event/story?id=30779738
    It's that where you want to be?

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Interesting, thanks for posting @robot. I hadn't seen that they were classified by a hate group by the SPLC.

    Is there a point where society gets to be desensitized by such things like we are with movies and music? We might not murder someone over inappropriate representations of Buddha...but is it good that we simply don't do anything? That we accept it is a valid means of expression even if it's intent is to insult someone else and tell them to get over it? Is our "freedom of speech" supposed to come with no limits? We place limits that we accept on our freedoms, and we accept that people shouldn't be able to just be mean and bully others. So why do we find it ok as a society to bully Mulsims?

    vinlynZenshinrobotnmarie3
  • robotrobot Veteran
    edited May 2015

    Those people in Texas are starting a war in their own country, their own town. Now some jihadists have died.
    If they propose to start a fight with Islam, it would be in their best interest to bone up on how Jihad works, and how jihadists respond to being attacked these days. They are inspired by it.
    Do those people want suicide bombings in their home?

    vinlyn
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    So for the sake of self-preservation we're willing to sacrifice free speech? We let the terrorists win, we live in fear of religious fascism? And anyone who dares to criticise Islam must be full of hate and a bigot? And you hope the terrorists will be more successful next time and kill a lot of these people? The mind boggles.

    I'm with you Spiny. And @Robot is exactly right as well, I see two people saying two different things and no wonder you two are disagreeing. Wait wait . . . I'm not claiming to be 'right' about anything, just framing out my particular view.

    Provoking Muslims is effing pathetic. This is deliberate provocation, not 'free speech'. When the first infidel drew the first pic of Mo and got the death threats, that 'ended' the pure free speech element of drawing pictures of Mohammed.

    Sacrificing free speech for the sake of self-preservation is bullcrap and would never be skillful as a rule, but could be in individual situations (like to avoid being attacked). Criticizing Islam is fine, and frankly, we have been way too faux-'tolerant' (ie, politically correct) about speaking out against religion in general. I don't see what these morons in Texas are doing as exercising 'free speech' at all, so your argument, Spiny, doesn't apply to THEM as far as I'm concerned. In general? You betcha.

    Zenshin
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @vinlyn said:> Robot is completely right. This time worst of the 2 terrorist groups lost, partly because it was an intentional set up. Next time it might be the other way around.

    So let's see some evidence that the AFDI is a "terrorist group". Have they murdered anyone?

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @karasti said:So why do we find it ok as a society to bully Mulsims?

    Islam bullies women and gays and anyone who doesn't follow the Quran. Is that OK too? What's wrong with criticising Islam? What's wrong with criticising Christian evangelicals? Whoever? Nothing that I can see.

  • @Hamsaka said:When the first infidel drew the first pic of Mo and got the death threats, that 'ended' the pure free speech element of drawing pictures of Mohammed.

    Free speech is just free speech, I don't see what "pure" has to do with it. The problem is that we will end up with free speech being suppressed by religious fascists, and history shows that appeasing fascists doesn't work.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:
    So let's see some evidence that the AFDI is a "terrorist group". Have they murdered anyone?

    I'm not going to go back and forth with you on this. I'll state my view, and that's it.

    1. They are defined as a "hate group" by the highly respected Southern Poverty Law Center, of which I was long a member.

    2. Calling them a "terrorist group" was an exaggeration, but not by much. The official legal definition of a terrorist group is: "the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives". I bolded the section of the definition that I feel apply.

    They knew that holding such an event was could very likely to lead to violence.
    They wish to intimidate the American Muslim civilian population.
    They have specific political and social objectives to do so.

    You are welcome to have a different viewpoint.

    On a related matter, there is a difference between valid criticism and creating intentional offense. The latter is, IMHO, a violation of right speech.

    lobsterHamsakanmarie3
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited May 2015

    Bringing it down to a one-on-one level, if a Muslim hits my sister, and I strike him back once, that can be legitimately construed as justified self-defence.
    If I then later ,at a completely different place and time - poke this guy in the chest, call him names and provoke him by condemning his views and ridiculing his principles, then on the face of it, I become the aggressor, and would be guilty of provocation and incitement.
    It's a form of entrapment on a big scale and frankly, distasteful.

    And that's all I'm going to say about that.

    vinlynbushinoki
  • howhow Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:

    Islam bullies women and gays and anyone who doesn't follow the Quran. Is that OK too? What's wrong with criticising Islam? What's wrong with criticising Christian evangelicals? Whoever? ** Nothing that I can see.**

    @SpinyNorman

    Reminds me of watching a man giving a public talk about why he stayed for as long as he did within a particularly brutal organization when someone in the audience shouted out "coward!".
    The speaker immediately asked for the person who shouted that out to identify themselves.
    Silence was the response.
    He then whispered into the mike, "Yes.........that is why."

    Your "Nothing I can see" reminds me of this story when criticizing Islam from behind the anonymity of an avatar mask.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Nirvana said : I only want to engage with people on this subject who are willing to set aside vacuous principles such as Freedom of Expression for the sake of Freedom of Expression, ad nauseam.

    So far, @Nirvana, you haven't actually engaged with anyone.
    Care to actually bring something to the table and comment?
    (Although given your conditional statement above, and its frankly futile entreaty, that may not be forthcoming....)

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    edited May 2015

    Yes, it is interesting, @How. I notice, for example, how toned down many of the anti-Islam comments are on Facebook, where everything is attached to a name and face, as compared to other sites where people are identified only by an avatar and screen name.

    I'm reminded of the number of times I had teachers come into my office and ask me to fire a particular teacher. I'd say, "Here's a legal pad. Write me out a brief, formal complaint, and then I can work on this." "Oh no, you can't expect me to say anything negative."

    It's always easy behind the back.

    Rowan1980Hamsaka
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Sadly though, the reverse seems also true: There have been highly vocal extremist and radical Islamists who have been very public and open in their opinions. People are frightened of arguing back because of fear of reprisal, because (and I am generalising now) whereas some see The Right to Bear Arms as a justified reason for self-defence, Violence against the infidel is both encouraged and recommended in the Qu'ran. It's a heightened form of "If you're not with us, you're against us" thinking. We feel legitimately entitled to use force in defence. They feel religiously and culturally entitled to use force as attack.

    Which is where the fear factor kicks in....

  • howhow Veteran
    edited May 2015

    Is this actually about religon or about those who simply embrace whatever evangelism can best be co opted to hide their own love of evil.

    Rowan1980Hamsaka
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    In my view Islam needs to grow up a bit, mature, be more enlightened, learn to laugh at itself, not take itself so seriously, drop the mediaeval attitudes, drop the violence, elitism, sexism and homophobia, and join the 21st century.

    Indeed.

    This is what happened in Tibet, involuntarily by the Chinese occupation. The LA-LA land of Shangri-la Land Dharma never existed ...
    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/493105.html

    The skilful critiques of Islam do exist. Normally in societies with a heavy Western or secular influence.

    As Dharmaists of mixed parentage we can support, facilitate and join that debate if we wish ... Personally I always watch the demonic fight it out as it keeps them off the picnic tables ... :p

    The problem is one of options. Bigots and fascists whether religious or secular want the imposition of their 'right view'. Just as the communist invasion of Tibet decided it was time that people updated to Islam fascism Hinayana orthodoxy communism

    and now back to Right View viewing the rights ...

    vinlyn
  • @how said:>> Your "Nothing I can see" reminds me of this story when criticizing Islam from behind the anonymity of an avatar mask.

    The problem is that people who criticise Islam publicly tend to get murdered.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ^^ That was, put more succinctly, my point exactly. ^^

  • Rowan1980Rowan1980 Keeper of the Zoo Asheville, NC Veteran
    edited May 2015
    Except there are plenty of Muslim feminists, peace activists, etc. that are being ignored despite their calls to end extremism and violence among SOME segments of Islam. Buddhism isn't immune to sexism, elitism, and medieval mentalities. Goodness knows there are enough sexists and elitists and anti-LGBTQ folks within Western secular groups. The painting with a huge brush is pretty damn old.

    Pam Geller and her organization have gone out of their way to make inflammatory remarks about Islam under the heading of Freedom of Speech for quite some time now. Their placing anti-Islam posters on the sides of NYC buses comes to mind. Sure, they're free to do it, but it's still a d**k move and expecting that people would be cool with it is silly a and short-cited. Sorry, but I'm not jumping on the anti-Islam train.
    vinlynnmarie3
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Rowan1980 said:
    Except there are plenty of Muslim feminists, peace activists, etc. that are being ignored despite their calls to end extremism and violence among SOME segments of Islam. Buddhism isn't immune to sexism, elitism, and medieval mentalities. Goodness knows there are enough sexists and elitists and anti-LGBTQ folks within Western secular groups. The painting with a huge brush is pretty damn old.

    Yes, but the difference is that Western Secular Groups don't treat their women in the same way Islam does. Islam puts them to death.

    Pam Geller and her organization have gone out of their way to make inflammatory remarks about Islam under the heading of Freedom of Speech for quite some time now. Their placing anti-Islam posters on the sides of NYC buses comes to mind. Sure, they're free to do it, but it's still a d**k move and expecting that people would be cool with it is silly a and short-cited. Sorry, but I'm not jumping on the anti-Islam train.

    I'm on the 'Anti-extremist-militant-Fundamentalist-Islam' train.

    There's a difference.

    vinlyn
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    edited May 2015

    @Federica you cannot say you are anti-extremist and at the same time make claims like "Islam puts them to death." Islam does no such thing. Extremists do. Not Islam. Not Muslims.

    I think there is nothing wrong with criticizing those who do hurtful things in the name of their religion. In some cases, the way entire countries are managed do fall into that. But not every Muslim-majority country falls into that. There was this awesome video I saw a couple months ago with some news people going back and forth with a professor and the main point was "No, that is NOT Islam." You are confusing Islam the religion with the behavior of a few. It is not Islam that bullies people. It is the people who hold those views who behave that way. When the monks in Myanmar attack and burn down Muslim shops and businesses, do we criticize Buddhism or do we say "Hey, that's not Buddhism. That's those people and they don't have it right?" Why is Islam any different?

    What about all the Muslim countries that don't do those things? Are you so sure it happens in all of Islam? Islam isn't a person. It cannot be blamed for the way people misinterpret it and apply it.

    Finally found the video. Here it is. It's about 6 minutes and is worth the watch.

    Criticize those who treat people poorly. But don't criticize Muslims as a whole, or Islam as a religion because it ignores all the countries who do not practice Sharia and who respect their women, and it ignores the millions of Muslims who do not hold those views.

    Rowan1980Vastmindlobsteryagr
  • Rowan1980Rowan1980 Keeper of the Zoo Asheville, NC Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @federica - There is indeed a difference between extremist fundamentalists who practice Islam and your average Muslim. Unfortunately, there's the tendency to conflate the two. Hence my frustration and admittedly strong response. At least in the U.S., we don't generally expect mainline Christians, Jews, etc. to openly decry violence committed by extremists who claim to be Jewish or Christian. That expectation is levied on Muslims specifically, and it's a crappy expectation. As soon as some extremist who claims to be waging jihad does something reprehensible, people start screaming, "Where are all the moderate Muslims?!" As they, of course, ignore Muslims who are calling it out.

    Edited because I tagged @karasti in error.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    When I speak out against islamaphobia or whatever we call it, some peg me as a sympathizer of Islam which is pretty far off the mark.

    I find it an irresponsible belief system but no worse really than others of its kind.
    lobsteryagr
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Where do you form your views from though? Do you know Muslims? Do you talk to them? Or does all your information come from the media? Because the media is pretty much entirely made up of a bunch of asshats. I can read the Quran and come to my own conclusions about what the religion teaches (and I have read parts of it but not the entire thing...I struggle with religious writing of all sorts, they are like reading poetry which is incredibly painful for me, lol.) But I learned the most about Islam and Muslim families by befriending some of them and talking to them. They are beautiful people with a strong faith that I might not share but can appreciate. They are horrified by what has come of their religion in the name of the radical people who distort it. But they believe their best offering to their faith is to live it. To be honest but not in-your-face, because if there is anything westerners tend to dislike it's having any different type of belief "shoved down their throat."

    But as @Rowan1980 I think pointed out,why do we require of them to get a megaphone and denounce the extremists? Where are the moderate Republicans being asked to do so in the US? Where are the reasonable Christians when we as what is happening to Christianity? They are all out there. I know them personally. But they quietly live their lives, doing their work and living their beliefs. Confrontation isn't always the best way to solve a problem of skewed perception. If you (whoever you is) are going to demand they stand up and answer for the extremist among them, what is your part in that? Why isn't it on you to approach them and befriend them? Most of them are open and willing to discuss their faith and its issues. But they aren't going to confront you with it. That's not the best way to have those conversations.

    Rowan1980Vastmind
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Karasti said: @Federica you cannot say you are anti-extremist and at the same time make claims like "Islam puts them to death." Islam does no such thing. Extremists do. Not Islam. Not Muslims.

    I had actually typed a seven-paragraph response to this, but you know what?

    It's leading me towards Wrong View, Intention, Speech, Action and Concentration, so I'm just going to leave it there....

    :)

    lobsteryagr
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    @federica It just didn't make sense to me to blame an inanimate religion for the actions of its followers but then make a disclaimer that you meant only the extremists/fundamentalists. If we blame a religion for the problem, then how do we, as humans, begin to help solve the problem? We can't interact with a religion. We can only interact with the people who follow it. And I can tell you it makes Muslims very sad to hear people say things like "Islam kills women" and that is exactly why they don't approach people and stand up for their religion. Because combating those kinds of beliefs is very frightening and very difficult.

    Rowan1980
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    :silenced:

    lobsteryagr
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Free speech is just free speech, I don't see what "pure" has to do with it. The problem is that we will end up with free speech being suppressed by religious fascists, and history shows that appeasing fascists doesn't work.

    I couldn't agree more!!

    And, I would never agree (if such a thing were to be put to vote) that there should be a law amending 'free speech'.

    What I said is that there is a line in the sand, past which one's right to speak freely has negative consequences.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    edited May 2015

    Why do so many people who rant about free speech only do so on a forum where they are unidentifiable?

    (And, btw, I've never seen you rant @Hamsaka, so my comment has nothing to do about you). o:)

  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @karasti said:
    federica It just didn't make sense to me to blame an inanimate religion for the actions of its followers but then make a disclaimer that you meant only the extremists/fundamentalists. If we blame a religion for the problem, then how do we, as humans, begin to help solve the problem? We can't interact with a religion. We can only interact with the people who follow it. And I can tell you it makes Muslims very sad to hear people say things like "Islam kills women" and that is exactly why they don't approach people and stand up for their religion. Because combating those kinds of beliefs is very frightening and very difficult.

    The way my current mind-set puts it all together . . . is to hold all Muslims responsible for their own religion.

    I can see your point that Islam itself is not the Muslims, the people and believers, but I think making that distinction does more harm than good. I'll try to explain why.

    Correct, we cannot interact with Islam. But Muslims can. And by gum, they need to get on it!

    You and I may have Muslim friends and acquaintances, and holding THEM somehow responsible for the actions of the jihadists is wrong at the gut level, it feels wrong. But stuff like this always feels wrong in the presence of a PERSON. It's different being in the presence of a person, and 'being in the presence' of Islam's atrocious treatment of women. NO ONE can 'talk' to Islam . . . except the Muslims. Our friends the Muslims, the people who are believers, progressive or conservative, whatever. These persons are in possession of Islam; Islam is not an actual THING floating around out there, it comes from the Muslims, our friends as well as the fundamentalists.

    How often are folks like us on this forum going to end up face to face with an actual radical jihadist? Does anyone on this forum know, personally, a jihadist?

    I see Reza Aslan's approach as making the mistake of placing a boundary that does not exist between "Islam" and it's believers.

    How we conceptualize problems makes all the difference in the world in how we approach problems to solve them. The way Aslan sets up the 'problem of Islam', there is nothing to do but throw your hands up in the air (or just wring your hands in frustration and worry).

    Muslims need to be held accountable and responsible for their own. Just like Christians and their fundamentalists. This is the opposite of excusing them by allowing "Oh, but that's not really Christianity/Islam!"

    If not, what the hell is? See the problem? It's just a fancy way to blame shift and then NO ONE takes responsibility.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    I agree with you Hamsaka.

    The majority of Muslims are, at best, silent about Islamic fundamentalism. Or, maybe they make comments behind closed doors. But most say nothing publicly about the misdeeds that are being done, which is, really, being complicit in those deeds.

    Now, I'm not the bravest person on the planet, and there have been times I have been complicit in the same way about things that were just wrong. And there have been other times I have spoken up against certain situations. My record is uneven. But I will tell you that those times that I was silent bother my conscience to this day, and some of those events were, literally, decades ago.

    Hamsaka
  • yagryagr Veteran
    edited May 2015

    This is the beginning of an essay I wrote back when my wife was incarcerated. It does speak to the subject at hand though and my opinion hasn't changed so I thought 'd add it. Plus, it is easier to cut and paste than it is to type these days. :) Though apparently the quote option doesn't like paragraphs so I'm making it cooperate. Anywho, I may have been able to cut a little less, wasn't sure and so...

    Every manner in which society considers the inmate dehumanizes them. They are not David or Michelle Jones any longer; they become Inmate Jones. In a single broad stroke the term ‘inmate’ removes from them both their sex and their given or personal name. They immediately become sterile and generic. Society refers to them in depersonalized terms like delinquents and deadbeats, thieves and murderers.

    It’s easy to hate a callous, calculating, cold-blooded specter of evil; it’s quite another to hate a human being. Before we get self-righteous if we’re like most people – and we’re old enough, we’ve probably hated the Japanese, the Germans, the blacks, the whites, the Russians, the Muslims, terrorists, the DOC and a host of others. It’s easy to hate some depersonalized, dehumanized description. There is no human being present in the idea of ‘them’.

    When we fall in love with ‘them’ it becomes personal for those who love us. Our love and acceptance of ‘them’ challenges our friends and loved ones worldview. Typically, they have a huge investment in that belief system. In most cases, and in the United States alone, they have dismissed over two million people – and if you are right, if these are actually people who must be judged on their merits as individuals and members of the human race… well, life just got a lot more complicated.

    In some ways though, I understand their confusion. By way of example, I’ve never been one to go for Barbie. Her apparent pretentiousness and obsessions with social status and designer tags seem to leave little depth for exploration. Unless her self-development is clandestine and her saccharine personality a cover, then I am confident that I haven’t squandered a single opportunity to find true love and companionship by passing ‘them’ by.

    Hamsaka
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