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Old 14th May 2019, 12:58 PM   #201
Thor 2
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
But what would that accomplish? Would Iran stop development of nuclear weapons? Would the USA and other Western countries stop interfering in oil-rich countries?

Seeing this in terms of religion-only is naive. If a Muslim country invaded Australia, I would not be surprised to see resistance here in terms of terrorism and suicide bombings, some even expressed in terms of defending Christianity. Simply moving the Australian population away from Christianity wouldn't be the solution, though.

Typical negativity from you GDon.

If you agree that the religion of Islam is a problem because of the continued fanatical, suicidal, attacks, (and who can deny this), then tell me what you think may be a strategy to meet the problem.

I have not said the problem is "religion only" inspired, it's hard to deny that the religion is a major component, when you look at the reasons given by Jihadists. The reasons why they hate us as so clearly expressed in Dabiq.

I think your vision of Australians suicide bombing somewhat far fetched.
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Old 14th May 2019, 01:13 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
If you insist on weaning them off of Islam, then you have to first prepare an equivalent substitute. Religion obviously supplies a mental need for those people. How did Marx put it? Opium. You must trade one addiction for another.
What a load of crap. The majority of people in some parts of Europe do quite well with no religion.


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You gotta admit, the Nazis achieved some initial success with their Positive Christianity. In Mein Kampf, Mr. Adolf literally singled out the Protestants for proselytizing and he imbued his early speeches with references to Christianity up until the 1930s, securing the trust and complacency of a Protestant majority.
Thomas Jefferson pointed out in one letter how a reform of Judaism could only be effected after reading up on the commentaries (Talmud, Kabalah). You can't wean people off of a religion until you first understand their mentality. They will never allow an outsider to interpret their faith, you must familiarize yourself with it to be acknowledged.
Yes I think that Cosmic Yak has the word for it "Irrelevant" and I would add "tosh" as well.

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People kick out Jesus, Paul, even relegate the Old Testament to a marginal and irrelevant position, but always come back to these in times of desperation for "inspiration". Of course the Christians and right-wingers are the last to practice what they teach while the liberals and lefties adhere to Jesus' ethics and even confront Christians with these ethics.
And still more of the same.


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Read up on what Nietzsche said about pity. He even called out Schopenhauer on this. Speaking of Schopenhauer, he showed up Kantian ethics for what it was, based on it's treatment of animals as "things".
I'll pass on this.


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They could introduce polygamy as a privilege for the best performing soldiers. The Muslims owed their historical successes to a rapid build-up of numbers.
You are joking right?
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Old 14th May 2019, 09:54 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
If you agree that the religion of Islam is a problem because of the continued fanatical, suicidal, attacks, (and who can deny this), then tell me what you think may be a strategy to meet the problem.
Since more than 99% of Islam believers don't commit continual fanatical, suicidal attacks (do you accept that?), then describing the problem as 'the religion of Islam' seems to give an unnecessarily weight to the contribution of 'the religion of Islam', especially if you think there are other causes to the problem than just the religion.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I have not said the problem is "religion only" inspired, it's hard to deny that the religion is a major component, when you look at the reasons given by Jihadists. The reasons why they hate us as so clearly expressed in Dabiq.
If the problem isn't "religion only", IYO what are some of the other factors contributing to the problem? And what are your proposals to address those other problems?

Last edited by GDon; 14th May 2019 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 15th May 2019, 03:47 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I agree, mostly, but it isn't really necessary to tell anybody that religion is bad and derivative. Learning about different religions is in itself secularizing as long as it is fairly objective, i.e. not our religion, the correct one, versus their religions, the false ones.
The problem is that it requires a certain level of secularization before something like this can even be suggested, but Australia seems to have arrived there. Congratulations.

I don't think there is too much that divides us on this issue. I wouldn't suggest trying to push the notion of the badness of religion to kids. I think this becomes self evident when the detail is known. If the facts are taught about this religion or that, and what is part of their faith, and where they are historically in relation to each other, then the handing down or borrowing from one to the other, becomes glaringly obvious also.

Ignorance plays into the hands of the preacher - the ignorance of those with their bums on pews.
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Old 15th May 2019, 03:59 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Since more than 99% of Islam believers don't commit continual fanatical, suicidal attacks (do you accept that?), then describing the problem as 'the religion of Islam' seems to give an unnecessarily weight to the contribution of 'the religion of Islam', especially if you think there are other causes to the problem than just the religion.


If the problem isn't "religion only", IYO what are some of the other factors contributing to the problem? And what are your proposals to address those other problems?
Back on the theme that most Muslims are nice people then are we? You missed the bit about how so many of the extremists came from these nice families. Doesn't take a lot of them to kill large numbers of folk.

The fact that many cry out "Allahu Akbar" as they fly planes into buildings, or detonate the bombs they are wearing, doesn't indicate anything to you either about motive?
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Old 15th May 2019, 08:33 PM   #206
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Thor 2, if as you say, the problem isn't "religion only", IYO what are some of the other factors contributing to the problem?
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Old 16th May 2019, 02:16 AM   #207
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This discussion reminds me of the case of terrorism in the Basque Country, which I know quite well, and know many people with beliefs across a wide spectrum, for, against and in the middle. It´s similar to the case of Islam, in that we have a population with a certain ideology (another similarity is that islamism is related to nationalism) that seems to produce a small percentage of extremists, who become terrorists. For me the defense of Islam that says "but the majority of muslims are peaceful" misses the point. I´ve lived in the Basque Country in the years of active terrorism and yes, the terrorists were just a small minority of people, but there were hundreds of thousands of people who applauded them, defended or justified them. And the ideology that they all followed, basque nationalism was to blame lo a large degree. Islam is not to blame for terrorists? How can those islamist preachers manage to radicalise young people from good families if not because the ideological breeding ground is already there? Just like I´ve seen basque terrorists arise from families where nationalism and hatred of Spain was unquestioned.

(I haven´t lived in a Muslim country but several muslims I´ve met have shown signs of having a "muslim supremacist" quasi-nationalist ideology. I think that type of thinking is more widespread that we could think, if we simply look at the number of actual terrorists)
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Old 16th May 2019, 03:27 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by Abooga View Post
Islam is not to blame for terrorists? How can those islamist preachers manage to radicalise young people from good families if not because the ideological breeding ground is already there?
How do those Islamist preachers radicalise young people? Do they do it only by teaching about Islam? Or do they do it by teaching about grievances committed against Muslim communities?

It is not "Islam is not to blame at all", nor is it "Islam is solely to blame". Obviously raising grievances raised within a Muslim community involves invoking their Muslim identity. But to solve the problem of terrorism, we need to understand what is driving it. What are the factors that radicalize? Are there factors beyond Islam driving the Islamic terrorists?
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Old 16th May 2019, 03:43 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
How do those Islamist preachers radicalise young people? Do they do it only by teaching about Islam? Or do they do it by teaching about grievances committed against Muslim communities?

It is not "Islam is not to blame at all", nor is it "Islam is solely to blame". Obviously raising grievances raised within a Muslim community involves invoking their Muslim identity. But to solve the problem of terrorism, we need to understand what is driving it. What are the factors that radicalize? Are there factors beyond Islam driving the Islamic terrorists?
I can´t help but think of this phenomenon as nationalism taken to the extreme, which is more or less what fascism is. Islamism is related to fascism, some of its ideologues consciously took ideas from fascism after all. And stretching the analogy: Were there factors beyond Nazism driving Germans to commit atrocities? Do we need to understand (beyond purely academically) those atrocities because of the the sanctions that Germany suffered after WWI and any other possible grievances?
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Old 16th May 2019, 04:32 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by Abooga View Post
Do we need to understand (beyond purely academically) those atrocities because of the the sanctions that Germany suffered after WWI and any other possible grievances?
If we want to ask what do we do about such a situation (as per the OP), then yes of course, if the sanctions contributed to the atrocities.

Osama Bin Laden laid out his reasons for the 9/11 attack in his "Letter to America" in 2002:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...24/theobserver
(Q1) Why are we fighting and opposing you?
Q2)What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?

As for the first question: Why are we fighting and opposing you? The answer is very simple:

(1) Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.

a) You attacked us in Palestine:...

(b) You attacked us in Somalia; you supported the Russian atrocities against us in Chechnya, the Indian oppression against us in Kashmir, and the Jewish aggression against us in Lebanon.

(c) Under your supervision, consent and orders, the governments of our countries which act as your agents, attack us on a daily basis...

(d) You steal our wealth and oil at paltry prices because of you international influence and military threats. This theft is indeed the biggest theft ever witnessed by mankind in the history of the world.

(e) Your forces occupy our countries; you spread your military bases throughout them; you corrupt our lands, and you besiege our sanctities, to protect the security of the Jews and to ensure the continuity of your pillage of our treasures.

(f) You have starved the Muslims of Iraq, where children die every day. It is a wonder that more than 1.5 million Iraqi children have died as a result of your sanctions, and you did not show concern. Yet when 3000 of your people died, the entire world rises and has not yet sat down.

(g) You have supported the Jews in their idea that Jerusalem is their eternal capital, and agreed to move your embassy there. With your help and under your protection, the Israelis are planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque. Under the protection of your weapons, Sharon entered the Al-Aqsa mosque, to pollute it as a preparation to capture and destroy it.

(2) These tragedies and calamities are only a few examples of your oppression and aggression against us. It is commanded by our religion and intellect that the oppressed have a right to return the aggression. Do not await anything from us but Jihad, resistance and revenge. Is it in any way rational to expect that after America has attacked us for more than half a century, that we will then leave her to live in security and peace?!!
Again, I'm not saying that Islam plays no part in this at all (Bin Laden writes that "The first thing that we are calling you [Americans] to is Islam"). But to understand what to do about Islamic terrorism, we need to recognise what is driving it.

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Old 16th May 2019, 08:12 AM   #211
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I don´t know... why downplay the effect of Islam? Why were Nazis so evil, were the sanctions justification for what they did or was it the ideology? Why don´t other countries that have been treated like dirt by the US (most of South America to begin with) fall into supremacist ideologies and terrorist tactics?
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Old 16th May 2019, 10:11 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
But what would that accomplish? Would Iran stop development of nuclear weapons? Would the USA and other Western countries stop interfering in oil-rich countries?

Seeing this in terms of religion-only is naive. If a Muslim country invaded Australia, I would not be surprised to see resistance here in terms of terrorism and suicide bombings, some even expressed in terms of defending Christianity. Simply moving the Australian population away from Christianity wouldn't be the solution, though.

I think you are making a typical "apologetics excuse" for religion.

If you take any subject at all, you can always find a multitude of different factors that anyone can claim as playing some role. But in the case of Islamic terrorism from groups like Al-Q and IS, they have published many explanations giving their reasons for why they are attacking and killing people, and they have made very clear that the main factor is their religious belief that Allah commands them from the Koran and the Hadiths to wage a physical Jihad, i.e. a terrorist war, with the aim of creating a world run by hard-line religious fundamentalism ...

... the problem here is extreme religious belief, not something else. And the fundamentalists themselves have stressed that many times. The aim is entirely religious. And the justification is also almost entirely religious.

I don't mind what excuse, or explanation or justification you or anyone wants to give to say that blame lays with western democracies as much as with the Islamic fundamentalists. You can say whatever it is you believe about any of that. But I don't think the world will ever solve problems like this until religious sympathisers (inc. many atheists, surprisingly) start to be more honest with themselves about why religious fundamentalists such as Al-Q and IS and all the many thousands of Muslims around the world who support those groups, or who fund them, or who actively join them in their Jihad, or who make their own bomb attacks in Europe & elsewhere are waging their wars of terror. And that "honest" answer is that the fundamentalists themselves have repeatedly explained and insisted that it is in fact their extreme religious belief that is by far their main & overwhelming motivation. If you say differently, then you are in profound and complete disagreement with the terrorists ("freedom fighters"?) themselves … and that's just not a credible or honest position for any of us to hold.

Last edited by IanS; 16th May 2019 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 16th May 2019, 10:12 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by Abooga View Post
I don´t know... why downplay the effect of Islam? Why were Nazis so evil, were the sanctions justification for what they did or was it the ideology? Why don´t other countries that have been treated like dirt by the US (most of South America to begin with) fall into supremacist ideologies and terrorist tactics?
I strongly advise against analogies, but consider this: Other fascist regimes were not as evil as the Nazis. A critique of Mussolini cannot be based on an appeal to Hitler.

In fact, were it not for the excesses of the Hitlerite perversion, I think fascism would probably be as tolerated today as communism is.

Consider also Atheism+. I think Thor 2 would be the first to tell you that you shouldn't judge his atheism by their behavior.
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Old 16th May 2019, 01:25 PM   #214
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Originally Posted by Abooga View Post
This discussion reminds me of the case of terrorism in the Basque Country...

You had some very early news, or are psychic. Best segue ever:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ined-in-france
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Old 16th May 2019, 01:46 PM   #215
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Thor 2, if as you say, the problem isn't "religion only", IYO what are some of the other factors contributing to the problem?

You and others here are giving us other reasons for the "problem", reasons I don't dispute, I have not stated that Islam stands alone as the only reason for conflict and dissent, only that it is one significant reason. You however, seek to
absolve Islam from any responsibility whatsoever. If we don't recognise Islam as a problem we cannot hope to deal with it.
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Old 16th May 2019, 03:48 PM   #216
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Mate, have you been following the thread?

Scroll back up from here and see how many times you encounter the "islam problem". Note, it's not the "islamic terrorist problem" or the "islamofascist problem".
I addressed this in my metaphor. You either misunderstand, or you're pulling a "you're just sorry Hillary lost" defense and wilfully giving us attitudes we don't have instead of actually replying to what we say.

If I say I worry about North Korea's nukes, when I say "North Korea" I obviously mean the NK state, not the average NK citizen. When that English bloke from earlier raises his worries with Germany, he doesn't mean he thinks every German is a Nazi.

When we raise worries with Islam, we don't -- and I shouldn't have to point this out -- mean every Muslim is a frothing-at-the-mouth suicide bomber.

While the specific wording "islam problem" is unfortunate, as it easily reminds one of Hitler's "Jewish problem", I've still yet to see people in this thread accusing the common Muslim of anything. Nor, I think, have you.

Quote:
Hard to figure what your point was, actually.
I don't believe you.

Quote:
I think I could make a Nazi analogy work, but you'd need to have a Germany that was stolen off Germans by the Jews and their allies first.
No, you wouldn't. Metaphors, analogies, and idioms merely need to convey the intended points. They don't need to be accurate in every respect.

Either way, I addressed the above point, too. Germany did suffer significant injustices, both during and after World War I. Oh, and not that it matters, but they did in fact have to cede territories to the Allies.
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Old 16th May 2019, 03:49 PM   #217
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Originally Posted by Abooga View Post
I don´t know... why downplay the effect of Islam? Why were Nazis so evil, were the sanctions justification for what they did or was it the ideology? Why don´t other countries that have been treated like dirt by the US (most of South America to begin with) fall into supremacist ideologies and terrorist tactics?
I have yet to hear a good answer to this from the apologists.
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Old 16th May 2019, 05:05 PM   #218
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Originally Posted by Abooga View Post
I don´t know... why downplay the effect of Islam? Why were Nazis so evil, were the sanctions justification for what they did or was it the ideology? Why don´t other countries that have been treated like dirt by the US (most of South America to begin with) fall into supremacist ideologies and terrorist tactics?
On what Earth does South America not have supremacist ideologies and terrorist tactics?
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Old 16th May 2019, 05:07 PM   #219
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Again, I'm not saying that Islam plays no part in this at all (Bin Laden writes that "The first thing that we are calling you [Americans] to is Islam"). But to understand what to do about Islamic terrorism, we need to recognise what is driving it.
Yes, European colonialism and shenanigans by, among others, Americans in later decades certainly plays a part in pissing the terrorists off.

Strictly speaking, though, none of his reasons explain what drives Islamist terrorism. See my bullied child metaphor above, where a child is so badly tormented by his school bully that he finally snaps and... beats up the bully's little sister with a baseball bat. 'Cause, see, both the bully and his little sister are
they're family, so he's just defending himself.

Understand that the reason why he chooses to take his anger out on an innocent person is a different question entirely than why he is angry. What makes Islamists dislike us, specifically, is, at least partly, explained by things Westerners have done to Muslims.

What drives terrorism, though, is a cultural and sociological question.
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Old 16th May 2019, 05:55 PM   #220
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
And nor can the US’s use of those nukes, back in WW2, be defended on any grounds other than on a might-is-right basis. Like I’d said to Thor2 a while back in this thread, whether someone causes huge devastation by setting off nukes through cold rational calculation and self-interest, or whether they do it for religious reasons that appear crazy to us, is probably simply a largely (if not quite entirely) irrelevant detail. And as far as cold rational calculation of self-interest : Why, after all, is Iran to be denied the capability to pursue its self-interest by possessing nukes, that the US possesses in heaps and has actually utilized in the past?

I repeat : I don’t for a moment support Iran having nukes. But even as I say this, I realize that what I’m saying is unfair, and I’m clear that I’m saying this despite knowing very well that this is unfair. The US gets to keep its murderous toys, that it has actually toyed with murderously in the past, and Iran doesn’t get to acquire similar toys of its own, because the US is stronger, and it can get the others to gang up on Iran, and because it will pull Iran up by the collar and break its nose after school hours if Iran doesn’t fall in line, as indeed it has already done with other kids in the past. What is this approach if not “bullying”?
Way too shallow. There's major differences between the USA and Iran, especially when it comes to their motivation for having nuclear weapons. The US used them to end a world war, perhaps sparing millions of lives. They then went on to use them to deter themselves, and another superpower of comparable strength, from starting World War III. You know just as well as me that Iran's reasons for wanting nukes are nowhere near as justifiable.

The US trying to keep nukes out of Iran's hands while owning them itself is more like a SWAT team besieging a militiaman's house because he is building a bomb in his basement and has threatened to blow up city hall. That's not the police department being oh so unfair to this poor barricaded suspect, given SWAT has an abundance of weapons and explosives and actually uses them on occasion, while this poor man has never hurt anyone. There's likewise nothing unfair about the significant difference in manpower and firepower -- this poor redneck can't do anything but impotently try to fight a whole SWAT team.
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Old 16th May 2019, 08:59 PM   #221
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
You and others here are giving us other reasons for the "problem", reasons I don't dispute, I have not stated that Islam stands alone as the only reason for conflict and dissent, only that it is one significant reason. You however, seek to absolve Islam from any responsibility whatsoever. If we don't recognise Islam as a problem we cannot hope to deal with it.
If 99.9% of people following Islam are not terrorists, and a very small number of people following Islam are terrorists, then when it comes to Islamic terrorism, I'd say that is strong evidence that Islam itself ISN'T the significant problem.

What would you do with the 99% of Muslims who are not terrorists? Remember, according to you "Islam is a problem"!
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Old 16th May 2019, 09:59 PM   #222
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
You and others here are giving us other reasons for the "problem", reasons I don't dispute, I have not stated that Islam stands alone as the only reason for conflict and dissent, only that it is one significant reason. You however, seek to
absolve Islam from any responsibility whatsoever. If we don't recognise Islam as a problem we cannot hope to deal with it.
I at least am not 'absolving Islam from any responsibility', my claim is that Islam as a religion is not inherently more violent or repressive than any of the other major religions.
My claim is that due to a series of social, economic and historical factors the people who mostly follow Islam are currently slightly more vulnerable to extremists using selective parts of the religion to express their discontent.
While reprehensible and wrong and those that take up and perpetrate these acts, I feel it is also wrong to punish and stigmatize the non-violent majority of followers of the religion, both on moral grounds and because such actions are part of the feeding ground for terrorists due to the persecution excuse.

I therefore feel that addressing the current socio-economic reasons and attempting to at least acknowledge that maybe in recent history mistakes were made is the far more efficient way to stop terrorism
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Old 17th May 2019, 02:17 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post

(snipped for brevity)

But it was the unbelievably short-sighted post-9/11 misadventure, fueled by the false WMD claims, that led ulimately to the dismantling of Saddam's far from benign but nevertheless stable regime, the resultant chaos, the rise of the ISIS , and the current spate of terrorism.

But my larger point isn't this "analysis". There are others here far better informed about these minutiae.

My larger point is this: The situation there is deeply unfair. The West has acted like the school bully, flattening weaker opposition on little real justification other than its might.

How can that not generate resentment? And what long-term solution can we possibly have that does not include (but isn't, of course, limited to) addressing that resentmentment by correcting, in some measure, that unfairness?
Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post

(even more snipping for brevity)

You know, I agree, although not for the reasons you put forward here. Like I’ve been saying to IanS just now, I’m afraid I’ve been arguing my point rather single-mindedly, which is kind of (but not entirely) ridiculous, given how wholly inconsequential this discussion (between us) ultimately is, and indeed all discussions on here ultimately are. So yes, my argument was (intentionally, and perhaps unnecessarily) blinkered, focused, single-pointed. But not wrong, for all that, not per my lights.





IanS has said to me that he isn’t arguing the particular issue I bring up, but only generally discussing this issue. If that is what you also are doing, then sure, that’s informative, all of that you say here. But since you preface this paragraph by saying you don’t agree with me and that you think I’m “missing some blindingly obvious things”, that does not seem to be the case. So that I have to point out, here at this point, that you may have misunderstood my argument.

I’m not claiming for a minute that it is Western “bullying” that is the architect of the whole terrorist thing going back way into the dim past. I was focusing specifically on the post-9/11 flattening of Saddam’ regime in Iraq by the West : that is what I believe and have said is “deeply unfair”, and based ultimately on little more than disproportionate might on one side (and therefore akin to “bullying”).

(still more snipping for brevity)





(good lord: endless snipping)


I’m saying the post-9/11 Iraq misadventure was akin to “bullying”. If what I say is correct, then it remains correct and remains bullying even if there is zero other instance of similar bullying. And if what I say is incorrect, then it remains not correct and “not bullying” even if I can present twenty other instances which are legitimately described as “bullying”. The question isn’t whether the West habitually or repeatedly “bullies” the Muslim world, but only whether it has “bullied” that specific portion of the Muslim world in that specific instance.

(and the snipping goes on and on)
My apologies, Chanakya: I was labouring under the misapprehension that you were attempting to make an insightful and useful point here. Clearly I was mistaken.
Do correct me if I'm wrong, but all you have done here is to take a very, very long time, and an awful lot of words, to say that the post 9/11 invasion of Iraq was wrong, and it has caused some resentment.
That you should expend all this effort to state something so trivially obvious is quite baffling to me, and is the root of my confusion. I assumed that your posts about "the larger picture" were aimed at discussing a larger picture, rather than one specific instance. Again, I apologise for this mistaken assumption.
On a positive note, I agree with you: it was a Bad Thing.
I can't imagine there's really much more to say on this, is there?
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Old 17th May 2019, 06:14 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
Way too shallow. There's major differences between the USA and Iran, especially when it comes to their motivation for having nuclear weapons. The US used them to end a world war, perhaps sparing millions of lives. They then went on to use them to deter themselves, and another superpower of comparable strength, from starting World War III.

Ah, but firstly, the US used it to end the world war in its favor. If you're willing to use nukes to hasten the end of a war that's in any case going your way, it is difficult to imagine that you wouldn't use them to change the course of a war that's more evenly matched or one that's going against you. (Generic "you", no personalization intended!) That's why anyone ever uses WMDs, or any kind of weapons: to bring about a result favorable to themselves by inflicting harm on others.

And secondly, the US can be thought of as having saved lives only by projecting the total lives that a protracted war would have cost, and subtracting from that number the number of Japanese lives lost. Do you think the US would have been willing to countenance some case where similar numbers of lives might have been saved by -- in some hypothetical -- killing a similar number of American/Allied lives?

Sorry, Safe-Keeper, that justification does not seem to stand up to scrutiny.


Quote:
You know just as well as me that Iran's reasons for wanting nukes are nowhere near as justifiable.

I don't think Iran's wanting nukes is "justifiable". But I don't think the US holding on to its nukes -- or having developed them in the first place -- is justifiable either. If you find reasons to justify the one, you cannot then not justify, by the same token, the right of the other to follow suit. That would be special pleading, plain and simple.


But this much I will grant you, absolutely: I personally do believe that, had the balance of overwhelming superiority in terms of weaponry been on the side of Iran (or any of those Muslim theocracies over there), then they'd probably have been far more ruthless and "bullying" as far as the use of that might.

But in making evaluations of this kind, and especially in deciding who is 'worthy' of possessing nukes and who not, the decision usually depends on who it is that is making the evaluation. Who best evaluates a thing like this, me, or you, or the US government, or the Iran government, or who? It is difficult to favor one country over another without running into special pleading and favoritism and, I have to say with no personalization or offense intended, hypocrisy.


Quote:
The US trying to keep nukes out of Iran's hands while owning them itself is more like a SWAT team besieging a militiaman's house because he is building a bomb in his basement and has threatened to blow up city hall. That's not the police department being oh so unfair to this poor barricaded suspect, given SWAT has an abundance of weapons and explosives and actually uses them on occasion, while this poor man has never hurt anyone. There's likewise nothing unfair about the significant difference in manpower and firepower -- this poor redneck can't do anything but impotently try to fight a whole SWAT team.

But who appointed the US policeman of the world?

Replace "police department" and "SWAT team" with 'self-appointed vigilante' in your analogy, quoted above, and the situation will probably better reflect the actual situation. And you'll find, then, that the nature of the argument-by-analogy changes entirely.

Last edited by Chanakya; 17th May 2019 at 06:34 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 17th May 2019, 06:31 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
My apologies, Chanakya: I was labouring under the misapprehension that you were attempting to make an insightful and useful point here. Clearly I was mistaken.

I am sorry you think that. If my attempt at humor did not appeal to you, if it is that that put you off, then my apologies.


Quote:
Do correct me if I'm wrong, but all you have done here is to take a very, very long time, and an awful lot of words, to say that the post 9/11 invasion of Iraq was wrong, and it has caused some resentment.

I did write a longish post, yes. Your exclamations within the snips, as well as as what you say right here, make amply clear that that length seems to have tested your patience; and also that you are not averse to personalizations.

Since you ask, yes, I do think I raised a number of points in my post. I may not have done that as adroitly, linguistically speaking, as you may have liked, but raised them I did. And I note that you make no effort to address those points, but resort to personalization instead.


Quote:
That you should expend all this effort to state something so trivially obvious is quite baffling to me, and is the root of my confusion. I assumed that your posts about "the larger picture" were aimed at discussing a larger picture, rather than one specific instance. Again, I apologise for this mistaken assumption.

On a positive note, I agree with you: it was a Bad Thing.

Had you said as much earlier, much unnecessary discussion could have been avoided. I was only responding to your own post, and what you had yourself said in your own post.

I'm happy you concede my point, but I don't see why you must do that with such poor grace.


Quote:
I can't imagine there's really much more to say on this, is there?

Given your tone -- and given your unwillingness to engage with the actual points raised, including at least one discussion point that had nothing, directly, to do with Iraq, and that you had yourself raised/initiated -- probably not.

No issues. Let's brush this off, and hope that we're able to better engage with each other in other discussions than we seem to have done this time.



ETA:
I cannot resist adding here: Since you do agree that the Iraq misadventure was, as you say, A Bad Thing, where do you suggest we go from here? I have made one suggestion, and discussed my reasons for making that suggestion. Do you agree with what I suggest?

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Old 17th May 2019, 07:22 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post

And secondly, the US can be thought of as having saved lives only by projecting the total lives that a protracted war would have cost, and subtracting from that number the number of Japanese lives lost. Do you think the US would have been willing to countenance some case where similar numbers of lives might have been saved by -- in some hypothetical -- killing a similar number of American/Allied lives?
It's not hypothetical. You're literally talking about warfare. Where do you think all those dead American soldiers came from, in WW2? They came from the US being willing to sacrifice American lives to win the war.
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Old 17th May 2019, 07:49 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It's not hypothetical. You're literally talking about warfare. Where do you think all those dead American soldiers came from, in WW2? They came from the US being willing to sacrifice American lives to win the war.

I'm referring specifically to the two atom bombs dropped.

The argument was : The US dropping those two bombs was justified, because it spared x lives.

The argument implied : Dropping the bombs cost y lives. Not dropping them would have prolonged the war and cost z more lives. Therefore, y-z = x lives were spared.

My objection is : All of those y lives lost were Japanese lives. Would the equation still have held -- in some hypothetical situation that I cannot now begin to contrive plausibly -- and had the bomb still been dropped, had all of those y lives been American lives?

In other words, if the US was in a position, at that point, of sacrificing y American lives (instead of y Japanese lives), and by so doing effectively saving a total of x lives, then would it still have done it?

If it wouldn't -- and I really don't think it would (do you?) -- then I'm afraid the argument offered, that justification, simply does not hold.




ETA : Sure, it was warfare. That's what people do in wars, kill enemies. No big deal, right? But this came up specifically in context of the US doing its darnedest best, from sanctions to threats to just possibly actual war, to stop Iran from developing nukes. Does this act qualify as "bullying"? That was the question. I'd say yes, it does, because it relies ultimately on one and only one justification: that might is right.

But I agree, that's warfare, that's life, crap happens. Nothing unexpected there. Except, when crap gets thrown up, bits of it sometimes fall back around where it was thrown. That also is life, that also happens. So, if we want to sit down and mull over what to do to stop this crapfest that's happening, then one point to consider might be to stop throwing crap, and to take responsibility for at least the more egregious instances of crap thrown in the past.

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Old 17th May 2019, 12:40 PM   #228
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post

I did write a longish post, yes. Your exclamations within the snips, as well as as what you say right here, make amply clear that that length seems to have tested your patience; and also that you are not averse to personalizations.
Nope. Addressing your point, not you personally. Your point was trivially obvious and could have been made in half the words, if it needed to be made at all.
Which it didn't.


Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Since you ask, yes, I do think I raised a number of points in my post. I may not have done that as adroitly, linguistically speaking, as you may have liked, but raised them I did. And I note that you make no effort to address those points, but resort to personalization instead.
You only made one point, and I addressed it. Would you like me to do it again?

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Had you said as much earlier, much unnecessary discussion could have been avoided. I was only responding to your own post, and what you had yourself said in your own post.
As I said, I was labouring under the misapprehension that you were making a general point about Muslim hatred of the West, not a banal obersvation that unprovoked invasions are wrong.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I'm happy you concede my point, but I don't see why you must do that with such poor grace.
Please don't puff yourself up ( and, yes, this is personalisation). I have yet to see anyone anywhere, on or off this forum, support the Iraq invasion. Nothing you have said so far has had any effect on my conclusion here: I was against it from the beginning.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post

Given your tone -- and given your unwillingness to engage with the actual points raised, including at least one discussion point that had nothing, directly, to do with Iraq, and that you had yourself raised/initiated -- probably not.
You spent a long, long time telling me that you were only talking about the Iraq invasion. Are you now saying there was another point buried in there somewhere? If so, could you please state it again? I would be happy to address it.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
No issues. Let's brush this off, and hope that we're able to better engage with each other in other discussions than we seem to have done this time.
Gladly. As soon as you make your mind up what it is that you wish to discuss.


Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
ETA:
I cannot resist adding here: Since you do agree that the Iraq misadventure was, as you say, A Bad Thing, where do you suggest we go from here? I have made one suggestion, and discussed my reasons for making that suggestion. Do you agree with what I suggest?
Again, I seem to have missed your suggestion. What did you suggest?
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Old 17th May 2019, 01:30 PM   #229
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Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
I at least am not 'absolving Islam from any responsibility', my claim is that Islam as a religion is not inherently more violent or repressive than any of the other major religions.
Well there we differ Lukraad, and I think the extreme number of islam inspired terrorist attacks is evidence, that Islam is more violence inspiring than the others now. As I mentioned earlier Sam Harris makes a good case for this, by quoting excerpts from Dabiq. I note that the late Christopher Hitchens, described Islam as the most toxic of todays religions also.*

Quote:
My claim is that due to a series of social, economic and historical factors the people who mostly follow Islam are currently slightly more vulnerable to extremists using selective parts of the religion to express their discontent.
While reprehensible and wrong and those that take up and perpetrate these acts, I feel it is also wrong to punish and stigmatize the non-violent majority of followers of the religion, both on moral grounds and because such actions are part of the feeding ground for terrorists due to the persecution excuse.
I am not targeting Muslims, I am targeting the religion of Islam.

Quote:
I therefore feel that addressing the current socio-economic reasons and attempting to at least acknowledge that maybe in recent history mistakes were made is the far more efficient way to stop terrorism
I do not discount the mistakes that have been made, or suggest other things cannot be done to ease the problem. I am just suggesting that Islam itself is a problem and suggesting, as well as asking for input, about how to tackle it.




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Old 17th May 2019, 01:33 PM   #230
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
If 99.9% of people following Islam are not terrorists, and a very small number of people following Islam are terrorists, then when it comes to Islamic terrorism, I'd say that is strong evidence that Islam itself ISN'T the significant problem.

What would you do with the 99% of Muslims who are not terrorists? Remember, according to you "Islam is a problem"!

You just don't see how tiresome this is becoming do you?
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Old 17th May 2019, 10:33 PM   #231
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In fact, we are coping with Islam, and we are even 'winning'

After all, for each western civilian killed by a Muslim terrorist, the west has killed upwards of 100 Muslims throughout the Middle East in retaliation.
Even given the slightly higher birth rate there, that is eventually unsustainable.

Not only that, but a suicide terrorist can only be used once, whereas we use pilots and drone operators who do not die each time they kill.

And the most successful terrorist attacks were one off things. 9-11 cannot be repeated, and the attacks on large crowds with trucks are also being prevented now. Whereas, again, we can strike Muslim villages and cities with airstrikes as often as we want.

Clearly this is just and righteous, and in no way the cause for more terrorism in retaliation, no that can be squarely blamed on a religion.
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Old 18th May 2019, 12:46 AM   #232
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
You just don't see how tiresome this is becoming do you?
I think EVERYONE sees how tiresome this is becoming. Except for the Tommy Robinsons and Sam Harrises of the world of course.
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Old 18th May 2019, 12:48 AM   #233
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Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
In fact, we are coping with Islam, and we are even 'winning'

After all, for each western civilian killed by a Muslim terrorist, the west has killed upwards of 100 Muslims throughout the Middle East in retaliation.
Even given the slightly higher birth rate there, that is eventually unsustainable.

Not only that, but a suicide terrorist can only be used once, whereas we use pilots and drone operators who do not die each time they kill.

And the most successful terrorist attacks were one off things. 9-11 cannot be repeated, and the attacks on large crowds with trucks are also being prevented now. Whereas, again, we can strike Muslim villages and cities with airstrikes as often as we want.

Clearly this is just and righteous, and in no way the cause for more terrorism in retaliation, no that can be squarely blamed on a religion.
Indeed, if Islam is a religion that promotes violence, murder and terrorism it is incredibly ineffective at doing so. Capitalism seems a much better tool for the job. As does right-wing populism. Listening to Sam Harris. And, well, just generally being American it would appear.
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Old 18th May 2019, 02:00 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
On what Earth does South America not have supremacist ideologies and terrorist tactics?

You might remember that the UK quite recently fought a war with Argentina (I thought that was a mistake by the UK, by the way). Whilst it lasted it was as brutal and as horrible as any other war (it was not just a minor skirmish). During those weeks and months of the fighting, and ever since then, we had (and still do have) a lot of Argentinian people living in the UK (we also have a lot of Argentine footballers and football managers as well ... and a lot from other South American countries, all very much in the public eye), and all throughout that time (and ever since) there has been virtually zero animosity either from those people or towards those people in the UK ...

... the Argentines living in the UK did not engage in bomb plots to blow people to pieces on the London Tube system, they did not ram cars and trucks into crowds of people (inc. French school children on an educational exchange trip to London) on Westminster Bridge etc. And there was no no significant backlash or animosity from British people towards Argentine neighbours. Any bad feeling either way was negligible and kept well in check.

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Old 18th May 2019, 02:03 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
In fact, we are coping with Islam, and we are even 'winning'

After all, for each western civilian killed by a Muslim terrorist, the west has killed upwards of 100 Muslims throughout the Middle East in retaliation.
Even given the slightly higher birth rate there, that is eventually unsustainable.
Citation needed.


Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
Whereas, again, we can strike Muslim villages and cities with airstrikes as often as we want.
Again, this is sorely in need of detailed explanation. Your post could be read as claiming that the West is deliberately bombing Muslim civilian targets as revenge for terrorist attacks. This is, of course, untrue, so perhaps you could clarify this?

Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
Clearly this is just and righteous, and in no way the cause for more terrorism in retaliation, no that can be squarely blamed on a religion.
Ignores entirely the vigorous and widespread debates going on all over the western world, and at all levels, about what kind of military intervention is justified, and what is not, so as to construct a facile strawman.
Ignores the historical roots of modern jihadism.
Ignores the requests by the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan for aid in combatting terrorism.
Ignores the brutal interventions by Russia and Iran, and also those by the Sunni states in Yemen. I accept that this is in part aided by the west, but that support is waning- Congress voted against it, but was overturned by Trump, for example.
Other than that, great post.

Can you name the countries in which the West is bombing cities and villages in retaliation for terrorist attacks?
Perhaps you could add them to the list of Muslim theocracies you claim the West supports, which you have so far omitted to post?
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Old 18th May 2019, 03:53 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Citation needed.



Again, this is sorely in need of detailed explanation. Your post could be read as claiming that the West is deliberately bombing Muslim civilian targets as revenge for terrorist attacks. This is, of course, untrue, so perhaps you could clarify this?



Ignores entirely the vigorous and widespread debates going on all over the western world, and at all levels, about what kind of military intervention is justified, and what is not, so as to construct a facile strawman.
Ignores the historical roots of modern jihadism.
Ignores the requests by the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan for aid in combatting terrorism.
Ignores the brutal interventions by Russia and Iran, and also those by the Sunni states in Yemen. I accept that this is in part aided by the west, but that support is waning- Congress voted against it, but was overturned by Trump, for example.
Other than that, great post.

Can you name the countries in which the West is bombing cities and villages in retaliation for terrorist attacks?
Perhaps you could add them to the list of Muslim theocracies you claim the West supports, which you have so far omitted to post?
I've taken the countries where we are waging a 'war on terror' as that would seem to be indicative of the west retaliating against terrorism.
So that would be Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and a bit in Lybia.

Taking the lowest estimates of civilians killed by direct actions of the western coalition (so not the local governments, not Russia and not the civil wars caused by the interventions of the western governments or the resulting famines), google got me about 99000 deaths.
On the western side, 9/11 with 3000 deaths is the big one of course, with added terrorism since then about 2000 extra (rounding up a bit).
You are right, the direct body count ratio is not 100 to 1, but only 20 to 1 in that case.

As for western supported Muslim theocracies, maybe you have heard of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States? You know, the countries funding most of the hateful terrorism and extremist Islam?
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Old 18th May 2019, 04:37 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Your post could be read as claiming that the West is deliberately bombing Muslim civilian targets as revenge for terrorist attacks.
Of course they ***** are!!!

They are going to bomb freedom into them whether they want it or not.
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Old 18th May 2019, 04:13 PM   #238
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Of course they ***** are!!!
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Old 18th May 2019, 04:16 PM   #239
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
If 99.9% of people following Islam are not terrorists, and a very small number of people following Islam are terrorists, then when it comes to Islamic terrorism, I'd say that is strong evidence that Islam itself ISN'T the significant problem.

What would you do with the 99% of Muslims who are not terrorists? Remember, according to you "Islam is a problem"!
...aaaaand we're back to square one. Do I get to collect 200 bucks from somewhere?

ETA:
Originally Posted by Abooga View Post
This discussion reminds me of the case of terrorism in the Basque Country, which I know quite well, and know many people with beliefs across a wide spectrum, for, against and in the middle. It´s similar to the case of Islam, in that we have a population with a certain ideology (another similarity is that islamism is related to nationalism) that seems to produce a small percentage of extremists, who become terrorists. For me the defense of Islam that says "but the majority of muslims are peaceful" misses the point. I´ve lived in the Basque Country in the years of active terrorism and yes, the terrorists were just a small minority of people, but there were hundreds of thousands of people who applauded them, defended or justified them. And the ideology that they all followed, basque nationalism was to blame lo a large degree. Islam is not to blame for terrorists? How can those islamist preachers manage to radicalise young people from good families if not because the ideological breeding ground is already there? Just like I´ve seen basque terrorists arise from families where nationalism and hatred of Spain was unquestioned.

(I haven´t lived in a Muslim country but several muslims I´ve met have shown signs of having a "muslim supremacist" quasi-nationalist ideology. I think that type of thinking is more widespread that we could think, if we simply look at the number of actual terrorists)
So. Much. This.
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Old 18th May 2019, 11:03 PM   #240
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Let's reverse this for a moment then.

I am a teacher.
And a number of my students are Muslim, as are two of my colleagues and my current intern.
Now, I do not see Islam as a problem, so I've been treating them the same as all the others.
Some of my students are good, some are bad, some actually follow their religion, some just perform lip-service for their (grand)parents.
My colleagues have master degrees in their respective subjects, and my intern is working on that. They also choose to wear headscarves. Now my attitude has been to interact with them as with all my other non-muslim colleagues and look at their competency in their respective fields and whether or not they can explain those to students.

Now, clearly according to some posters here I am doing this wrong. After all they are Muslim, who follow Islam, so clearly they are a problem.
What should I be doing with them then?
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