New Mohammed Shooting in Texas

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Yazata, May 4, 2015.

  1. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Well put. I think you've hit the nail on the head here: it's the implicit feeling of absolute right that's most dangerous is religion. What the absolute and certain God wants, He gets.
     
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  3. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Biblical 'Old Testament' Judaism was very similar to Islam. In part, that's because both of them arose from Semitic-speaking recently-nomadic peoples who shared similar cultural practices and worldviews. And partly it's because Mohammed based his 'revelation' on Judaism and its mythology. Islam is basically a restatement of early Judaism, re-making it the way Mohammed wanted it to be. (Muslims would insist that it's the way God wanted it to be. Mohammed just channeled the eternal heavenly Quran, he didn't compose it himself.)

    Islamic Shariah is very similar, point by point, with the Jewish law found in the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus, found in every Christian Bible.

    But Judaism and Islam experienced very different histories subsequent to their early tribal legalistic stages. The Jews didn't typically try to conquer their neighbors. They held themselves aloof from and superior to everyone else, imagining themselves as the world's race of priests, intercessors with the One God, called to maintain a special ritual purity. They spent their time trying as hard as they could to keep their tiny states from being overwhelmed by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Persians, Greeks and Romans surrounding them for a thousand years. But if somebody today could look inside Israel and Judea during Old Testament times, what they would see is something not dissimilar to the what Islamists dream of for Islam today. A theocratic state governed in principle if not practice by a crudely conceived divine law.

    The collision with the Romans resulted in two devastating wars, in roughly 70 CE and 130 CE. The Jewish state was totally destroyed, and the Jews were exiled from Judea and Jerusalem. Their Temple and its priestly hierarchy disappeared.

    So a new pattern evolved in Judaism, one that lasted for 2,000 years down to the present. Jews were religious minorities in other people's countries, scattered around the world's cities in Medieval and Modern times, living in small communities grouped around their Rabbis and their local congregations. Far from being able to enforce their Law on others, they were subject to discriminatory laws that others directed against them. So necessity forced Judaism to become a personal and private religion, instead of a legalistic system of theocratic organization for societies as a whole.

    Islam's trajectory was entirely different. In just a few years after the death of Mohammed, the Arabs, fired by the excitement of being on God's invincible side, surged out of Arabia and conquered the entire Sassanid Persian empire and half of the East Roman/Byzantine empire. Within a single generation, their rule, and their Law, extended from the Atlantic coast of Morocco to the Indus valley in India.

    That initial success, to theunprecedented in all of human history, has shaped Islamic sensibilities ever since. It's what drives Islamist Jihadism today. The tribal Arab bedouins who surged out of Arabia during those years were culturally far more backward than the much more sophisticated peoples upon which they imposed Islamic rule. The one thing that the first Muslims had going for them, the thing that made them invincible, so today's Islamist historiography goes, is their single-minded loyalty to the revealed Will of God.

    But inevitably Muslim rulers appeared, who faced with the challenges of administering a real life state, started compromising, learning from those they had conquered and established secular administrations. Soon there were kings and royal courts and wars conducted to further the interests of those kings, not the interests of God. Regionalism appeared in the Islamic Ummah, as ambitious local officials established themselves as kings, and the Unity of the early God-favored Caliphate fragmented into the plethora of ostensibly Islamic nations that we see today. They fell prey to theological disputes such as the Sunni-Shia divide and to the skeptical corrosive influence of Greek philosophy.

    And as the unity and single-minded enthusiasm of the earliest Muslims faltered, the tide of invincible Jihad ceased. The Islamic world found itself on the defensive, against the devastating attacks of the Mongols, the less important Crusades, and most overwhelmingly, against the obvious superiority of the modern West, powered by science and the industrial revolution.

    Islam is a proud culture, as convinced as the West is of its own superiority and its inherent destiny to transform the planet in its own image. Islam's inferiority to the West with its science, engineering and rationalism was hard to take. So Muslims searched desperately for ways to make things right, for ways to restore Islam to its rightful place.

    Islamist historiography insists that Islamic history itself reveals the answer. The word 'Islam' means 'submission' (to God's will). As long as the early Muslims were totally devoted to God's will, God was alongside them and nothing could stand before them, however advanced and sophisticated it might be. But as soon as people started thinking for themselves, as soon as they started putting their own ideas, goals and purposes in the place of God's, everything started to fall apart.

    The social-change prescription is obvious. We see it most clearly exemplified by ISIS. The restoration of the 'Caliphate' and the call for all Muslims to acknowledge it. ('Caliph' was the title of the leader of the unified Islamic community after the death of Mohammed.) The savage punishments. (Their loyalty is to God's Islamic law, not to human ideas of ethics.) The initial rush of success last year, when they took Mosul and 1/3 of Iraq, with almost no resistance.

    They are consciously trying to return life and human sensibility to the way they imagine it was in the 7th century, Islam's moment of glory.

    I think that less extreme versions of the same Islamist impulse are visible today throughout Islam. Women are far more likely to wear hijab-scarves (symbolizing that they are observant of tradition) than Muslim women were a generation ago, when more seemingly wanted to show off their modernity. Islamic jurisprudence (and the Law upon which it is based) has a correspondingly higher status today than it did when it was viewed as a vestige of an outmoded past. Muslims everywhere seemingly believe that Islam needs to be strengthened, and that the way to do that is to grasp ever tighter onto what are supposed to be the fundamentals of their tradition. They imagine that individual Muslims and Muslim society will be much better off when that happens.

    Islamism can perhaps be interpreted as the rebellion of a medieval world sensibility against the historical changes wrought by the rise of the modern world.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    You all realize that if these people who wanted to have cartoons drawn of the prophet would not have started that type of thing we wouldn't have known about all that happened there with the radical Muslims before they got there. This type of tit for tat isn't very smart for you are just allowing the radical Muslims to get more headlines and media coverage. It actually works against what they wanted to accomplish by giving all the free publicity to this kind of activity. Just leave the radicals alone and without any free media coverage they won't be known.
     
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  7. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Well, if we leave the radicals alone we might wake up one day and find that the 'radicals' are in the majority, as in Egypt, Pakistan, and other places. (Salt Lake City, anyone?) It might be possible for the conservative majority at that point to simply do away with their minorities, as is being done in those places, unless the implicit grip of superiority is not damaged, and the connection between religion and law not severed. Act now.
     
  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I'm curious, what makes you think that "radicals are in the majority" in Salt Lake City and that they are "doing away with their minorities"?

    I'm not Christian, let alone LDS. Nevertheless, I've never encountered any hostility from anyone in Salt Lake City. It was 19th century hostility against the first Mormons that drove them to Utah in the first place, and they are often rather careful not to repeat it themselves.

    While the majority of area residents are Mormons, there's quite a bit of religious diversity in Salt Lake. Pretty much any religious group you can imagine has a congregation happily meeting there.

    There's a prominent Roman Catholic cathedral, Catholic parish churches, along with Catholic high-schools, medical facilities and similar things. My impression is that the Catholic population in Salt Lake is experiencing modest growth as Catholics move to the area.

    http://www.utcotm.org/

    A whole variety of active Buddhist groups meet in Salt Lake and surrounding communities. There are Japanese Buddhists (Zen and BCA/Jodo Shinshu), Tibetan Buddhists, and the Theravadins include Western Mindfulness practitioners, along with more ethnic Thai, Cambodian and Lao wats/temples.

    http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/province.php?province_id=65

    There are even Muslims in Salt Lake

    http://www.utislamiccenter.org/
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
  9. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

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  10. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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  11. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    I guess heaven has a few more openings for virgins, a 144 to be more exact.
     
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    All religion sickens me. It's a vestige of the Bronze Age, when there was only modest scholarship and almost no science. The technology of written language had just been invented, so everything was new.

    You'd think we would have moved on by now.

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    Last edited: May 6, 2015
  13. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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  14. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry: I had to give one of the other religions some play there, and the Mormon majority of the past century seemed like a reasonable item to comment on. At one time, it could be a chancy thing, being a 'Gentile' thereabouts. I certainly don't believe they would be in the business of driving out their minorities in this day and age and you're quite right: it was unfair to lump them in with modern-day Pakistan or Egypt. Perhaps areas controlled by Christian militias in Lebanon would be a reasonable comparison, or the area menaced by the 'Lord's Army' in Africa. Mea culpa.
     
  15. Bells Staff Member

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    I think just about every religion or classification of religion has its fanatical parts. I would classify ultra right christians, or some of them, to fall into the category of fanatical. And I say this about some members of my own family who are into some scary crazy shit that I tell them to leave at the door if they are to set foot in my house. By scary crazy shit, I mean the type that could cost people their lives. But there are some within the Christian banner who, for example, would allow their small children to die of preventable diseases because they believe even patting a choking child on the back is interfering with God's plan. I also see Christians who turn out with their guns to protect their grazing rights under flag, guns and country to be fanatical. And I have seen Christians who bomb health care clinics and Olympic games and government buildings, not to mention shoot doctors and staff at those clinics. Do I think there is a fanatical majority in Salt Lake City? I don't think so. I think there is a fanatical minority there, as there is everywhere.

    I also see people like Geller to be a fanatic. In this instance, it was like one fanatic group attacking the other.

    She got the response she was waiting for in that shooting. Plus, it has put her back in the news after she was laughed down for her continued rants about "this usurper".

    For all of her bleating about free speech, she is very supportive of her supporters and friends who issue death threats and threats of violence against anyone who happens to disagree with her point of view. This shooting in Texas was a case of like vs like. She got what she wanted and she got her 15 minutes of fame back. Hopefully this satisfies her thirst for blood and she slinks back to whatever rock she sleeps under.
     
  16. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

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    I'd gathered the notion from somewhere that slut shaming and victim blaming were two of the in-topics at Sciforums in recent months.

    Perhaps I was wrong. Or perhaps, more likely, that the idea is only applicable when one might use it to support a certain point of view.
     
  17. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

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    So... forcibly reminding them that their views were not welcome worked, then?
     
  18. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

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    I don't necessarily agree. While religion might be one of the most easily identifiable "dangerous" beliefs, there are several others slightly more amorphous which give it a run for its money.

    One should never cling to an ideal to the point of insanity.

    "...But since it is my object to write what shall be useful to whosoever understands it, it seems to me better to follow the real truth of things than an imaginary view of them. For many Republics and Princedoms have been imagined that were never seen or known to exist in reality. And the manner in which we live, and that in which we ought to live, are things so wide asunder, that he who quits the one to betake himself to the other is more likely to destroy than to save himself; since any one who would act up to a perfect standard of goodness in everything, must be ruined among so many who are not good.It is essential therefore for a prince to have learnt how to be other than good and to use, or not to use, his goodness as necessity requires."

    Machiavelli - The Prince
     
  19. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

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    And lastly, I wonder if you have considered a wider view, here.
    This is a fairly classical chicken or egg scenario, you know. Ask yourself if Gellar would ever have gained any recognition or made the news at all, had not Islam begun to take itself so very seriously.

    Personally, I'd draw a cartoon of the prophet right now, had I the talent. Not because I wanted to, or that I had ever thought of doing so before... but simply to stick it up someone's self-righteous arse.
    It is important to note here, as per my posts above, that the self-righteous are not limited to the religious.
     
  20. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Actually I said that it was that feeling of rightness in religion was the most dangerous thing about religion. I don't disagree with your comment though. Any philosophy could produce the same results in the right circumstances.
     
  21. Bells Staff Member

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    What does slut shaming have to do with this subject?

    I don't think she is a victim. I think she is a willing hypocrite. Because she is all for free speech when it supports her ideology. But she had no issues with her friends and supporters threatening to kill and behead people for disagreeing with her, in their attempts to shut opposition down. She wasn't defending free speech or freedom of expression. Such as her demands that Islam allows gay marriage, when her own religion and other religions forbid it, but she won't comment on those. Because her fanaticism when it comes to being against one particular religion blocks reality out of her blinkered eyes.

    I don't think she should have been shot at. No one deserves to be shot at, certainly not for a cartoon.

    That's the great thing about free speech and freedom of expression. You apparently have to suck it up, whether you like it or not. After all, wasn't that the whole point of Geller's performance?

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    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  22. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Not true, these guys were well known for their radical activities on twitter.
     
  23. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    That's probably true. The same thing can be said of any sort of strong belief, even when it isn't religious.

    But we probably need to recognize that identifying what is and isn't 'fanaticism' is culturally relative. Killing a blasphemer is certainly fanatical from the Western point of view, but not necessarily from the point of view of a Muslim who is Shariah observant, since Islamic Law demands that Muslims do exactly that.

    Sometimes there are incompatibilities between cultures and cultural presumptions collide.

    I don't believe that all religions, cultures and ideologies represent equally deadly dangers to everyone that fails to suitably defer to them or somehow disrespects their cultural icons.

    I'm sure you do. For reasons of your own, you passionately dislike this woman, so therefore the rest of us should conclude... what? That the Garland shooters were less culpable? That radical Muslims were somehow justified in targeting that event?

    Right. The Charlie Hebdo editors parodied the Prophet, knowing full well that's a deadly offense to Islamic Law. Yet they chose to do it anyway. They brought their death sentence down upon themselves and share equal responsibility for it.

    Fanatics vs fanatics. Moral equivalence.

    The problem with that line of thinking is that it implicitly advocates making the boundaries of acceptable opinion and expression in open Western societies hostage to death-threats issued by the most intolerant and violence-prone elements within those societies.

    Sometimes those threats, and the people issuing them, need to be challenged.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
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