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"Coexist" Bumper Stickers

#151 User is offline   ike123 

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 03:38 AM

Oh cool, give the gov't power, so they can control us. At least with corporations, I can choose not to give money to them.


If I don't pay taxes, I go to jail :(
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#152 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:59 AM

View Postike123, on Jun 16 2010, 01:18 AM, said:

Ah, but we aren't talking about magnets are we? We're talking about people, and we aren't as black and white.


Which is why there are people you agree with on some things, disagree with on others. And why there are people you like, people you get along with, people you ignore, people you dislike, etc.


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Why can't ideologies coexist? Because they don't want to. Can a terrorist stop hating the US? Sure he can, if he wants to. There is no such thing as "impossible" when it comes to human interactions.


While technically true, past performance is the best prediction of future action (with the exception of some pretty extreme changes made along the way)

Why can't ideologies coexist? Because some (I'll let you dig around and decide which) teach and believe they cannot. When they teach and believe differently, then true coexistence is possible.

At present, some ideologies can coexist with varying degrees of success, and others cannot. Beyond that, individuals have the choice to coexist regardless of any official ideology.

So while not physically "impossible," it remains highly unlikely for the time being.

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But I do know that sitting around, stamping my foot and refusing to at least try and get along with others because "thats the way the world works" isn't going to accomplish that goal.


I'm not seeing this as refusing to get along with others. More like seeing the world for the current state it is in, and saying it's not going to happen any time in our lives. Which is the way the world works. Perhaps some day (I personally doubt it, but who knows), but not today.


View PostTommy Towne, on Jun 16 2010, 03:30 AM, said:

What do you blame our economic crisis on currently? Obama and Carter making banks lend to poor people? That's what Rush Limbaugh keeps saying. I was wondering if you blame deregulation at all.


Well, let's see here...

I'm going to have to start with Franklin D. Roosevelt, for outlawing the private ownership of gold in 1933 and ending the true gold standard. FDR also shot up deficits. Truman kept it going a little, and let it die down.

National Debt as a % of GDP

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You may wish to note that 2010's spending or committed spending is not on the graph, but the amount we have committed to spend is going to beat even FDR's/Truman's record for % of GDP.

Then I'll add Richard Nixon to the pile, for ending the (was legalized again) sale of US gold at a fixed rate of dollars, putting the final nail in the gold standard's coffin.

Then let's move to Clinton, who began encouraging (if not outright requiring) banks to give out the bad loans.

W. Bush also takes some heat, for not putting an end to the practice Clinton started and for building out the largest government bureaucracy of all time, the Department of Homeland Security. He also went for the first bailout.

Obama gets a lot of blame as well, for prolonging the time we're down. Once the housing bubble burst, prices would end up leveling out and things would eventually improve... except for we keep pumping out taxpayer funding into private establishments that are "too big to fail." Obama has taken Bush's bailout, and gone and done a far larger, more expansive one.

And it didn't work. Now they're talking about considering another one. Meanwhile, we can expect taxes to go up in 2011 as he let's the Bush cuts expire (which translates to a tax increase, even if it's not a new tax). And now we have a freeze on any offshore drilling, which will make us more dependent on the outside world and the volatile oil market.

So I'm seeing a progressive "bad to worse" here.

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I actually agree with half of the American Libertarian Parties platform. I agree with legalizing drugs, pulling imperialist foreign bases home, and others I can't think of now but I don't agree with Laissez-faire free market capitalism, no public schools, no public health care, no welfare, etc.


Legalize drugs, but offer stiffer penalties for those who damage others property or lives while under their influence.

I don't see them as Imperialist, but I do think we need to devote more forces to border control and less to overseas bases where nothing is happening.

On the other hand, I'm an advocate of the private sector and of Laissez-fair economics. The system is simple - if you don't like how one organization does things, then do business with someone else. When competition can exist, others will attempt to do things better/differently, and you ultimately get more choices.

If we go with a completely public education, for example, then I'm stuck with only one solution and if I don't like it, too bad. (Yes, I realize that in the US private schools and/or homeschooling are still legal options. Which is why I said "completely public.") For healthcare, with public healthcare, there is only one plan, and if I don't like how they do things, too bad.

Private sector solutions, on the other hand, gives us choice.

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I see Laissez-faire capitalism as a wet dream for Mega multi-national corporations to control us even further. Who's job is it to keep these monsters in check if it's not the governments?


Competition.

And MNCs don't control me, because at the end of the day, I can tell them "no" and refuse to by their products. In a free market, there are always alternatives. And if I don't like any of the available solutions, I can do it myself.

Though if by "in check" you meant "keep them from defrauding you entirely," I direct you to Minarchism. There's a limited role for government. But I maintain it's extremely limited.

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I am successful also in my career. I have devoted many years of hard work to get where I am. I am very well respected in my trade. I am not privileged and no anarchist or socialist would say I do not deserve my success. I guess I missed your last point besides you claiming to know what I think.


Okay.

So let's expand on this little study. Does the CEO of Microsoft deserve his success?

Because socialism ultimately says "no." You may argue that it does not, but what would you say if I took his money to pay for little Billy's operation ("free" public healthcare after all). In essence, the governing authority is telling him that he doesn't deserve it, or at least, Billy deserves his money more than he does.

What was my point? Socialists want to decide who gets to keep what, and thus decide who deserves what. And my point was that socialists want my money to pay for other people's healthcare (public healthcare) / unwillingness to work (welfare) / education (public education, and nevermind the fact that I had to spend a considerable amount of my own money to cover myself) / etc.

So, at the end of the day, people like you want the money that belongs to people like me to fund your social experiment.
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#153 User is offline   Ashrak 

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 07:51 PM

@ MDK

Bear with me bud. I've not forgotten, I'm just really slammed right now.
Alea iacta est ~ The board is set, the pieces are moving.
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Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown, That host on the morrow lay withered and strown. ~ Destruction of Sennacherib

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#154 User is offline   MurderDeathKill 

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 08:43 PM

No worries dude, I know how it goes.
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#155 User is offline   Ashrak 

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 09:32 AM

Still alive, not forgotten my commitment here. I actually have probably half of what I want to say typed up, and hope to get the other half typed up and posted real soon.
Alea iacta est ~ The board is set, the pieces are moving.
~ Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green, That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown, That host on the morrow lay withered and strown. ~ Destruction of Sennacherib

~ Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the American states a man who more cordially loves a union with his country than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the United States Congress proposes; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America. ~ Thomas Jefferson (modernized)
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#156 User is offline   Ashrak 

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 07:47 PM

@ MDK

I have finished, after finally getting some time on my hands. I apologize for the long delay. Due to the amount of time that went by, I considered not posting this, but I generally don’t like walking away from unresolved issues. I am going to try and go back and match my responses as best I can with the proper quote blocks:


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See, but it's almost like you're *deliberately* twist words there. The actions of ________ don't necessarily indicate the true and correct version of _______. That's not scriptural verbage, that's logic, and it applies to Muslims just as much as it does to Christians and Atheists.


You’re more than a little incorrect in this assertion. I have never – not once – argued that the actions of say, jihadists and only those actions, in and of themselves, constitutes the true and correct version of Islam. Rather, I have been arguing that the actions of jihadists are in very close accordance with Islam, scripturally, and by the example of the Prophet Muhammad. It is important to understand that Islamic Law is based upon the actions of Muhammad himself, because he is after all the Prophet of Allah. If it is admitted that anything Muhammad did was incorrect, then the entire monotheistic and ultimate belief in Islam falls apart. Basically, if the prophet is wrong on one issue, then it casts the entire system in doubt. It isn’t that I’m looking at the actions of jihadists and ignoring Muslim religious law and Islamic theology and saying, “See! Osama bin Laden says (x) about Islam, and therefore that is the truth.” Unfortunately, as I have explained even to my cousin on occasion, Osama bin Laden is simply more correct about Islam than many are comfortable with.

I observe the actions, rhetoric, and justifications of jihadists. I cross check their claims about Islam and with scripture and find a very high accuracy rating. Sure, there remains some fudging about whether or not women can drive, but the scriptural mandates about jihad are crystal clear, as I have actually quoted scripture to try and prove. In the media, the typical response of the Muslim clerical establishments (and one of the central theological debates that Al-Qaeda has been drawn into regarding fatwas) is whether or not Osama bin Laden and Co. have the religious authority to declare jihad or pronounce Muslims who collaborate with apostate regimes or infidels as apostates themselves. This is called takfir, if I remember correctly. Basically, it absolved Muslim jihadists from guilt for butchering Muslim non-combatants. The clerical establishment, to my knowledge, continues to shy away from theological discussion regarding whether or not Osama and Co. are correct in their assertions about Islam.

If anyone has been arguing that the actions of Party X (in this case, moderate Muslims) indicate the true and correct version of Islam, it has been you, not me.

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And as much as I value the input of Christian american forum-goers, I'll still defer to the expertise of the 1.2 billion muslims NOT blowing themselves up for Allah.


So, do the actions of Party X indicate the true and correct version of Ideology A – yes or no?

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So Mohammad was a warrior -- Jesus was a carpenter and you don't see every Christian walking around with a hammer and nails. Jihad is written in Islam -- speaking in tongues and casting out demons is written in the Christian bible. Spiritual leaders today use Islam to condone war.... spiritual leaders a few centuries ago used Christianity to the same end. Christianity today is not violent, and there's no reason to believe that Islam tomorrow will be incapable of making the same shift. None. As evidence of this, i present you -- again -- with the increasingly repetitive example of hundreds of millions of civilized muslim people the world over. You mean to tell me that the insanely-vast majority are wrong, and the extremists (and casual outside observers) are the only ones practicing true religion? Frankly you're going to need more than a handful of passages to convince me of that -- you're basically going to need a graduate degree in theology to have any sort of reliable opinion on that. Which, even as I'm saying it, sounds unfair -- you've read ten times as much Quran as I have. But I'm not going to get into a verse-quoting war with you. I'll tell you what I will do, though. I've come upon some unexpected free time with a somewhat-lighter training schedule for the next couple of weeks, and I've got a Quran app on my iPhone. Pick a book.


The difference between the Christianity of the Middle Ages and the Christianity of today is one of scriptural understandings changing. Jesus spoke to His flock in parables, yes? His ever constant message was one of love, mercy, forgiveness, and charity. Not once did he exhort his followers to rise up and destroy the Roman Empire, or the Jewish Sanhedrin. According to Scripture, Jesus didn’t even ask God to utterly vaporize Pontius Pilate. Instead, he asked God to forgive His persecutors, for “they know not what they do.” Furthermore, taking a look at the Christianity of the Middle Ages and the exhortations “To War!” so heard from the Papacy, monarchs, and the clerical establishment we have to examine their scriptural basis for saying “God wants you to destroy the infidel.”

Where’s the proof? Ancient Judaism from the Old Testament? Isn’t that akin to Easy Company following decade old orders intended for Able Company, in a completely different set of circumstances? During their court martial, would the commanders of Easy Company really be able to mount any viable defense using such an excuse? I think not. It would be farcical. The abuses, for instance, from the Papacy, clerical establishments and monarchs descended, in my opinion, from a very simple line of reasoning (assuming their intentions were pure, which, knowing man, is a very foolish assumption):

“It is our duty to protect the people from sin. Therefore, we must protect them from occasions of sin. Therefore, we must be autocratic rulers for the benefit of the people.”

Liberals today use the Commerce Clause as the justification for the individual mandate recently passed in the health care bill. Tomorrow, I’m sure I could use the justification that homie Timmy looked at me wrong, and that’s why I “capped his bitch ass.” We all have our justifications and interpretations. The question is whether or not they are sound justifications and interpretations. Relating to the Commerce Clause and individual mandate, I will assert most confidently and stridently that the libs have got it wrong – very wrong, and so wrong as to make me believe that they’re engaging in outright self delusion or blatant dishonesty. I point to Madison’s writing on the Commerce Clause, I point to the framework supposed to keep the power of our government limited, I point to the tradition of individual freedom, and I question the wisdom of allowing a government to force its people to buy a certain product.

And all I get in return is “We have the power, we’re using the power, now get with the program or face punishment.”

With religion, say, Christianity, it isn’t difficult to see the idiocy of people claiming that the Prince of Peace condoned unending war against all of God’s children, when said Prince of Peace came specifically to bring the Gospel to the gentile.

With Islam, the scriptural rules, examples of the Prophet, and commandments from Allah all favor the argument of the jihadist. Muhammad was a warlord, he served as the mouth piece of Allah, and the Qur’an was written based on those commands! Christianity was able to reclaim itself because our ancestors got it very wrong, quite quickly. You’ll notice that Christianity didn’t become a dominant political force until Constantine ended the official and barbarous persecution of its adherents. Until that point, and even after it, Christianity was an outlaw, always on the run, always in hiding, and never able to fight for itself. Islam, from the beginning practically, was just the opposite. Every land that has come to Islam – Arabia, Andalusia, the Balkans, the Holy Land, India, Northern Africa, etc. – has all been conquered under the banner of jihad. Yes, the Islam of Tomorrow may change and Daniel Pipes may be correct that Moderate Islam is the solution, but....such a solution will only come if every Muslim in every country ignores Shari’a and ignores the example of Muhammad, and most important, ignores the commandments of Allah. Is it possible? Sure, but it is a remote possibility because any individual not interested in self delusion who really examines the scriptures of Islam will find out the truth for himself. That’s how I came to believe what I believe today. I attended no seminars, made no donations, watched no dvds, and read no chain emails. It was really very simple: Party A had one interpretation, and Party B had another. Rather than listen to them bitch incessantly I went to the source and there was the answer.

And while I do lack a graduate degree in theology (and I don’t blame you for thinking of it as a qualification - it certainly is) I encourage you to do as I did and go to the source. Read about Muhammad, read about the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence (all of which are highly regarded, though some more regarded than others) read all you can about Islam and make an informed decision. I highly recommend “The Al-Qaeda Reader” as well.

As for the Qur’an, reading it can be quite tricky. Essentially, the Qur’an is a record of revelations delivered from Allah to Muhammad, and they are divided into different books. However, these books are not arranged chronologically; they are arranged longest to shortest. Islam, in my opinion, should be read from the first revelation to the last revelation to better grasp and understand its evolution. Additionally, the revelations in the Qur’an are presented without context as to what was occurring Muhammad’s life at the time of the revelation. For that information, you must turn to the hadith and sira. Shahih Bukhari is regarded in the Muslim world as the most accurate and reliable biographer of Muhammad.

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People of all walks of life and all religious beliefs are capable of believing something enough to fight for it. Some are simply better equipped than others.


No doubt, since human nature is universal. But...

Find me in the New Testament where Christ orders his followers to execute sinners. Go on, try. Yes, all people, from all walks of life are capable of great and enduring evil. But, does the ideology they give their loyalty to condone and encourage such evil?
Nazism certainly does.

Fascism certainly does.

Communism certainly does.

The religions of Mesoamerica certainly did.

Does Islam? Yes it does, scripturally speaking. Jihad, honor killings, slavery, female genital mutilation, rape, child sex slavery, vicious anti-Semitism, theft – all were practiced by Muhammad, the “Ideal Man” and mouthpiece of Allah. Who knew more about the religion of Islam – the man who founded it or uneducated followers who lived thousands of years later? Who was more connected to Allah, the shepherd or the sheep? True, FGM existed before Islam came to the Arabian peninsula, but Muhammad codified it into Islamic law, as was honor killing, rape, and child sex slavery.

And as I directly quoted Muhammad:

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 25; Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle was asked, "What is the best deed?" He replied, "To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad). The questioner then asked, "What is the next (in goodness)?" He replied, "To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah's Cause."

Muhammad states that jihad supercedes in importance all pillars but that of belief in Allah and His Prophet. Or are you saying that the founder of Islam didn’t know anything about his own religion?

Now, for this part, I’m going to quote you, earlier:

“The actions of ______ don’t necessarily indicate the true and correct version of _____. That’s not scriptural verbage, that’s logic...”

And it is a two way street. Your primary evidence in this debate isn’t Islamic scripture (which, understandably, you don’t know much of *and I don’t mean that as a putdown, only to mean that studying Scripture of any religion, quite frankly, can be more than a bit boring*) but the actions of the masses meaning more, relative to the true meaning of Islam, than Scriptural verbage. Now, does that same standard apply to a court of law?

I act as if the speed limit is 75 mph, and therefore it is?

I think the sky is green, and not blue, and therefore the sky is green?

Beyond all of our interpretations on law, religion, and philosophy there is an ironclad objective truth. Individuals cannot mold reality to fit their own world view forever – successfully.

Now, getting back to the question of knowledge, I am quite well read on Middle Eastern affairs, including those of Pakistan. With as much regularity as I can muster I read:

The Economist
The Washington Post
Reports from The Jamestown Foundation

To say nothing of other news articles online or books. Now, have I read a truly “comprehensive” book on the complete and unabridged history of Pakistan? No, I haven’t. But in this modern and refined era we live in, the basic storyline is something like this:

Party A in Pakistan calls America the Great Satan.

Party B in Pakistan calls America the Great Satan.

Whichever Party wins the elections (granted those are recent developments) secretly agrees to be a troublesome and unreliable ally – provided the spigot from Washington never gets turned off and the money keeps rolling in. The fools in Washington, thinking that they can buy the loyalty of the people who despise them (for whatever reason, legitimate or not) keeps sending more money, with precious few results to show for it.

US AID builds a school for girls – it gets burned down by the Pakistani Taliban.

US AID sends food and medicine to poor Pakistanis, gratis.

A car bomb goes off. Pakistani citizens tell the New York Time that the Jews and Blackwater (now Xe Services) are responsible, and that America is to blame.

The U.S. sends more money. A Sufi shrine is bombed by the Pakistani Taliban, but the majority of Pakistan and the security apparatus doesn’t care because Sufi Islam is seen as heresy, as it violates Islamic scripture. Incidentally, Sufism doesn’t talk about violent Jihad. Of course, as it deviates from the Prophet Muhammad’s admonitions and the rulings of established jurisprudence (all four schools of Islam state that jihad is the duty of every Muslim), Sufism is heretical.

And did I mention the fact that Pakistanis still think 9/11 was pulled off by the Jews?

“Hey hey – ho ho! Those Jews have just got to go!” :rolleyes:

And, we have the Pakistani ISI’s long time and uninterrupted support for the Afghan Taliban and spy games with American intelligence (such as it is.) This support is so well document that its ridiculous. Here is a nice compilation:

http://www.bloomberg...JRI&refer=india
http://www.nytimes.c...ribal.html?_r=2
http://www.telegraph...ay-Afghans.html
http://articles.lati...-afghan-spies22
http://www.nytimes.c...asia/26isi.html
http://abcnews.go.co...ory?id=11250487
http://www.nytimes.c...960400&emc=eta1

It is true that the Pakistani military has launched operations against the Pakistani Taliban, but seeing as the Pakistani Taliban were stupid enough to challenge the rule of the ISI and government elite, that isn’t surprising. The TTP pose an existential threat to the power of the ISI and the military, whereas the Afghan Taliban (safely ensconced in Afghanistan) really don’t. Indeed, “conventional wisdom” coming from all corners of the political spectrum states that the ISI and Pakistani military regard the Afghan Taliban as a military asset against India, should the Taliban be returned to power in Kabul. To this day, Pakistan’s finest and most qualified military divisions are on the border with India, rather than in Waziristan or the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

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The Afghan “citizenry” does not fight hard enough against the Taliban to attain victory.

They give very limited support to the Coalition forces in Afghanistan.

If their support for the Coalition was so overwhelming, then why the emphasis on a “hearts and minds” campaign and winning the Afghan people to the cause of freedom and democracy?

Every time a suicide bomber detonates his vest and kills scores of Afghan civilians, why is there public marches where the protestors shout “Death to the Taliban!” ?

They certainly don’t hold back their ire from criticizing the U.S. air strikes which kill civilians, or even U.S. air strikes which might, possibly, somehow, have killed civilians. Proportionally, the U.S. is causing much fewer civilian casualties than it was a year ago, and yet we have gained no ground in public support for the mission. The Taliban butcher Afghans daily – douse children with acid, sever limbs, hang seven year old spies, and detonate car bombs – and there is no outrage. According to the U.N., the Taliban is responsible for 70% of civilian casualties in Afghanistan. Indeed, in some provinces the government is even more reviled than the Taliban. Why? I can’t fathom it.

A “sophisticated” Westerner such as myself gets angry enough to kill just thinking about living a place like Baltimore or Chicago where the streets run red with the blood of citizens and gangsters alike. Our people join the military, become paramedics, become police officers to try and stop this barbarism – and by all accounts Americans are far more peaceable than our Afghan counterparts.

And yet in Afghanistan, the “graveyard of Empires” and “land of the indomitable warrior” they can’t form effective militias (with their easy availability of true military grade firearms) and eradicate the Taliban from their midst, like the Sunni Tribes of Anbar did to Al Qaead in Iraq? It doesn’t make logical sense.

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And here, I think, you strike at the crux of the matter. Faith is a stronger bond than money can buy. One of the ultimate sins in Islam is to take the life of a Muslim brother. Jihadis have an easy way around this, and is by and large (in my opinion) scripturally sound. The penalty for apostasy in Islam is death, therefore any Muslim who collaborates with the infidel, or who fails to follows the laws of Islam is an apostate and can be killed – no sin incurred. Currently, the ulema doesn’t like this very much because it makes them a target, and they view it as the jihadis usurping power that is rightfully theirs. crap for them, however, because while in Muhammad’s time political and religious power stemmed from the blade of the scimitar, today it is flows from the barrel of a Kalashnikov. A “moderate Muslim” has no Scriptural protection, however, because the jihadis aren’t even apostates! For a Muslim to raise his hand and strike down another believing Muslim would terminate his contract with Allah. Why would they risk eternal damnation for the sake of schools?

http://www.philly.co...cism__loss.html

Now, as we say with the Tribes of Anbar, when the tribes are bled enough they revolt against the jihadi persecutor. We haven’t seen that wide scale in Afghanistan though.

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A more robust defense of my criticisms of our allies in name only:

A: The idea of two religions coexisting is dumb.
B: No it isn’t. Look, we’ve got lots of Muslim allies.
C: That is true, but they’re chronically unreliable. A large part of these allies being unreliable is divergent interests and world views, which, among other factors, hinges on the different faiths of the Christian/Jewish/Secular West and Muslim world.
D: Yeah...and they’re allies. The State Department said so.

First of all, let us examine Saudi Arabia. The biggest bond of friendship between the House of Saud and America is not one of shared values, but that of money. We consume oil, and the Saudis sell oil, and will continue to sell oil to America. Because of the nature of the economic relationship, we’re dependent on Saudi oil and the Saudi’s know this, and leverage their influence accordingly, like any nation state would. Saudi petro dollars have long found their way into the coffers of jihadists across the globe, whether through private donations from rich Saudi royalty or through government funded faith based programs to spread Wahabbism (a close relative of Salafism) throughout the world. For example, during the Bosnian-Serbian wars of the early and middle 1990s, the Saudis were a tremendous financier of jihadist fighters in Bosnia. Additionally, the Saudis began buying established mosques and converting them (architecturally and ideologically) to represent the Saudi view of Islam (which, again, is fairly literal). This is not the only case, but simply the first which comes to mind. There is also the fact that the Taliban is bankrolled in large part by “rich Arab donors from the Middle East” which would include the Saudis.

It is the equivalent of being allied with Italy in World War II, but not investigating when Italian funds passed into the hands of the Germans, who then used it to fund military conquest in Russia and France.

Turkey is another unreliable ally ever since the AKP party was elected a few years ago. The Economist, hardly a font of raging hatred for Islam, dubs the AKP and Erdogan as “mildly Islamist.” The AKP has been very sympathetic to Hamas, Iran, and Syria – all groups which denounce Israel’s right to exist, and all hostile to the United States. It is very true that our allies are not states, and for that reason we do not have to tolerate their eccentric and troubling choice of relations. Jordan, by far, is probably the most reliable Muslim ally the United States has, but that relationship is fraught with much falling out and backstabbing going back decades. You will recall that during Operation Cast Lead, the “moderate” Arab Muslim leaders that the U.S. is allied with denounced Israel (as usual) for fear of incurring the wrath of the “moderate” Muslim world, which similarly denounced Israel. How different is this from the Age of Nasser, when privately Nasser assured America that he wanted peace with Israel, whereas in public he denounced the right of Israel to be on the map? The relationship with the Muslim world has always been schizophrenic at best, plagued by acting one way and saying another. Indonesia is another country I don’t trust, specifically because of its double talk and influential Islamist political parties which agitate for Shari’a Law. Religious minorties are regularly persecuted in Indonesia. Almost daily, I see new stories on the persecutions of Christians there, reported by the Asian media. Morocco and Algeria are also unreliable as they clamp down on jihadists at home (as they threaten the power of the ruling class) but shoo them abroad to battle the infidel in the “approved” jihad. Additionally, they persecute religious minorities.

And don’t even get me started on Egypt. Their persecution of Coptic Christians has been utterly relentless throughout the generations since Islam came to the Nile. These days, at the mere rumor of a Coptic man making advances on a Muslim woman, lynch mobs form and torch churches, burn Christian alive, and smash Christian stores. Very Nazi-esque, don’t you think? Or maybe reminiscent of a certain case in the Deep South, perhaps?

But, hey, the State Department said Egypt was a trusted ally so I guess I have to throw empirical evidence out the window.

The Muslim despots and governments we call allies do not have our interests at heart, and neither do their subjects. This is evidenced by their words and actions.

We invaded Iraq and topped Saddam. Did the Muslim world celebrate? No – we were condemned.

We invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban. Did the Muslim world celebrate? No – we were condemned.

And then they up and blame the Jews for 9/11. :rolleyes:

The bottom line is that America is being asked to be – if not demanded – that we be the starry eyed idealist of the world.

No, our allies would never stab us in the back.

Why, everyone in the world just wants a coke!

All religions and all cultures are equal and the same!

Education breeds moderation. Phooey. How do the idealists account for people like me? I’m educated (some days of the week), I’m urbane (when I feel like it), and yet I hold views that would rarely, if ever, be considered “moderate” or liberal.

The world and our ways of doing things hasn’t changed much since the beginning. Sure, we travel in airplanes, use automatic weapons, and wear $5,000 dollar suits when the occasion requires it, but our tribal ways remain intact. The modern nation state is simply a tribe on steroids. We seek to leverage influence and get what we want, when we want it, by extorting it from our erstwhile friends better than anyone else.

That is, anyway, when there are no deeper ties (such as shared values, shared faith, and shared heritage) than money.

Anything else would simply be poor business practice.

Now, bring two divergent world views about faith into the mix, and it isn’t hard to see why coexistence is so difficult. If Tom lives in Freedonia and worships the Almighty Chair as a god, and Bill also lives in Freedonia but thinks that the Almighty Chair makes an awfully comfy seat, then do really think that coexistence is going to be possible? Eventually, there will be conflict.
Alea iacta est ~ The board is set, the pieces are moving.
~ Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green, That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown, That host on the morrow lay withered and strown. ~ Destruction of Sennacherib

~ Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the American states a man who more cordially loves a union with his country than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the United States Congress proposes; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America. ~ Thomas Jefferson (modernized)
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#157 User is offline   Ashrak 

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 08:21 PM

Our 'friend' Pakistan:


Ali Sina: Pakistan and Legalized Religious Persecution

Pakistan and Legalized Religious Persecution
by Ali Sina

Imagine one evening you hear a knock on the door. When you open it, a group of armed men with police uniforms enter your house, beat you and handcuff you. Your wife and children are terrorized, but they are told to shut up or they too will be beaten.

Thoughts rush to your mind. You try to figure out what did you do to deserve this treatment. You have been an upright citizen all your life. In fact you have been a human rights activist and have received an award for your services. You have been a respected speaker. Could all this be a mistake?

You ask the officers about the charges. Their response sends chill down your spine. You are being accused of blasphemy. You are a non-Muslim living in a Muslim majority country and all it takes for you to lose your freedom, job, friends, social standing and even life is for someone to report to authorities that you have spoken opprobriously of Muhammad and hence have injured the religious sensitivity of Muslims.

This is the nightmare that minorities in Islamic countries face. The charge does not have to be true. It could be that someone owes you money and he wants to get rid of you. It could be that someone offered to buy your land, which you refused to sell at the price he was offering. Or maybe someone does not like you because you are a human rights activist fighting for the rights of the oppressed minorities.

Abuses such as this happen on daily basis in Pakistan. More than two years ago, it was the turn of Hector Aleem. Aleem was taken to custody. He was brutally beaten by the police and thrown in a prison cell.

In Pakistan, if you are accused of blasphemy you are guilty until proven otherwise. But to prove your innocence it takes years and thousands of dollars. The lawyers' fee is exorbitant, whereas the wages in Pakistan are extremely low.

Aleem's family has spent all its wealth in legal fees to prove the innocence of their father. Hector's wife earns the meager salary of a nurse. The two elder daughters work but there are five mouths to feed and the legal fee is eating up everything they earn.

More than a year ago, when the case went to the court for the first time, the prosecutor, himself a mullah, did not find enough evidence against Aleem to support his charges. However, he warned the judge that should he release Aleem, the angry mob huddled inside and outside the court may kill him and the judge also may not fare better. This is exactly what happened on July 19 of this year to two Christian brothers, who were gunned down by Muslim militants when they left the court under police custody after a trial hearing in Faisalabad city, Punjab province.

So, Aleem was sent back to jail to face more beating in the hands of his jail keepers. They even told him that they would kill him before setting him free. Aleem's family appealed the court's ruling and a second hearing was arranged. This is where we are at now. The new lawyer is confident, but of course he has to be paid first and his fees are beyond what this impoverished family can afford.

A kind man from Australia has offered to sponsor Hector Aleem and provide him with a working visa. But first Aleem must be released. More than $7000 dollars are needed just for the legal fees. This is a large sum for a nurse with four children. Mehwish, Aleem's older daughter, has set up a paypal account for those who want to help. Here is the account: http://tinyurl.com/hectoraleem. Please click on it and pay generously. This is Mehwish's email address: Mehwishaleem@gmail.com.

The blasphemy law is an affront to human rights. It is devised to legally persecute the minorities. Even if you are not guilty you'll be annihilated before you prove your innocence. The objective of the blasphemy law is to get rid of the minorities by incriminating them one by one.

Isn't it time for the governments of the free world to demand Pakistan to put an end to legalized religious persecution? Pakistan is recipient of large sums of aids from the western countries and particularly from USA. But its only contributions are to persecute the minorities and to produce terrorists.

Please contact your member of parliament, your congressman and the senators in your country and ask them to demand the release of Hector Aleem and to raise the issue of human rights abuses in Pakistan. It is time for the European Parliament, the US congress and the Parliaments in Canada and Australia to condemn the blasphemy law and demand its immediate repeal.

It is a shame that the same governments that swiftly pass laws to protect Muslims against criticism of Islam, find no courage to stand up for the human rights of minorities in Islamic countries. Aren't human rights more important than beliefs? Where is the outcry of the parliamentarians, presidents and prime ministers of the free world vis-à-vis these human rights abuses?

Please spread the world about the plight of Hector Aleem. Here is his support page on Facebook.

Also, please contact the Pakistani embassy in your country as well as the following Pakistani authorities, by phone or by email and express your concern about the dismal human rights in that country. Demand the immediate release of Hector Aleem and the repeal of the blasphemy law. God does not need humans to defend him. The blasphemy law is legalization of persecution. It has no place in any civilized society and no civilized country should tolerate it anywhere. Your government has no right to send your tax money to a pariah country like Pakistan that has a law to persecute minorities.

Below is the list of the authorities to contact.

1.ppp@comsats.net.pk

2.Supreme Court of Pakistan
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad
Telephone: 051-9220581-9220600
Fax: 051-9213452

3. secretarygeneral@president.gov.pk

4.chairman@ppp.org.pk

5. Mr. Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani
Prime minister of Pakistan
Prime Minister House, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: + 92 51 9221596
E-mail: webmaster@infopak.gov.pk

6. Federal Minister of Law
Justice and Human Rights
S Block, Pakistan Secretariat, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 920 2628
E-mail: minister@molaw.gov.pk

7. Mr. Rehman Malik
Advisor for Ministry of Interior
Room No. 404, 4th Floor, R Block,
Pak Secretariat
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 920 2624
Tel: +92 51 921 2026
E-mail: minister@interior.gov.pk

8. Mr. Mian Shahbaz Sharif
Chief Minister of Punjab
H-180 Model Town, Lahore
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 42 5881383

9. Minister of Law
Government of Punjab
Punjab Secretariat
Ravi Road
Lahore
PAKISTAN
E-mail: law@punjab.gov.pk

10. Chief Secretary of Government of Punjab
Punjab Secretariat
Lahore
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 42 7324489
E-mail: chiefsecy@punjab.gov.pk

11. Dr. Faqir Hussain
Registrar
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: + 92 51 9213452
E-mail: mail@supremecourt.gov.pk

12. Mr. Syed Hamid Saeed Kazmi
Minister for Religious Affairs
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Tel: +92 51 9214856 / 9206982
Fax: +92 51 9213593
E-mail: mra.hajj@gmail.com

Ali Sina is the author of Understanding Muhammad: A Psychobiography of Allah's Prophet and the founder of Faithfreedom.org, a site created to help Muslims leave Islam.

This post has been edited by Ashrak: 08 August 2010 - 08:21 PM

Alea iacta est ~ The board is set, the pieces are moving.
~ Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green, That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown, That host on the morrow lay withered and strown. ~ Destruction of Sennacherib

~ Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the American states a man who more cordially loves a union with his country than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the United States Congress proposes; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America. ~ Thomas Jefferson (modernized)
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#158 User is offline   PistolWhipped 

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 08:32 PM

It's been a while since I've seen the old "Holy Mary mother of Jesus, What the FRAG is that?!" wall-o-text. Good to have ya back Ash. :D
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#159 User is offline   MurderDeathKill 

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 03:59 PM

Frankly, there's not much there I can argue with. Well said, and worth the wait. For the sake of debate (note: due to the wall-o-text nature of the above posts, I'm not block-quoting but summarizing areas of interest)


Actions vs Truth -- there's a phrase that says actions speak louder than words, but if I understand your argument, you're saying that's not really the case with Islam. Which is totally possible -- the only reason I keep bringing up the peaceful billion is that I frankly don't know what the words all are, so all I have to go on is what you say, and what Muslims do. Based on actions, I've built up a rather noble picture of Islam in my mind, which doesn't really jive with what you're saying the Quran says. That's where this part of our debate is stale-mating, but I believe you just knocked enough common sense into me to break the stalemate. That said, I'd still appreciate it if you'd honor my request to pick out a book of the Quran for me to read in its entirety to back up your arguments. I'm open to the idea of being proven wrong, but I can't rightly call it "proof" if all I get is hearsay.

Christianity Isn't Violent -- Well, no, certainly anyone who understands the actual scripture can tell you that it isn't. Today. I imagine that the muslims who fell victim to the Crusades felt decidedly different about the true meaning of Christianity -- that's a product of poor perspective. I have poor perspective, too -- I've chosen to give Islam and Muslims the benefit of the doubt, even though they bombed my city and kill my friends. I'd like to believe that by doing so, I've made it easier to make peace in the future. But maybe it's true what you say, and peace with Islam is a futile notion because the religion is fundamentally discordant with our way of life. That's possible -- I just don't want to write it off that easily.

Quotes from the Quran -- Look, I know you've got dozens, and if you've got dozens then that alone indicates something. But really, I don't want to look at just the red parts of the picture, I want to look at the whole picture, or as big a slice as I can get. Don't worry about boring me, really, I can handle dry. Just gimme the best book of the Quran to drive your point home, and I'll read it. Pinkie swear.

Pakistani Politics -- I think it's the political scientist in me that's taking issue with you here. The situation in Pakistan is infinitely more complex than any politic you've ever had to deal with. Really, I hesitate to even itemize everything they have to deal with -- foremost being an ongoing coup attempt by Taliban insurgents, followed closely by a nuclear game involving Taliban, India, Iran, USA, Russia, and China, just to name a few of the players. And if all that wasn't enough, the country's main regions are so autonomous that it's complete and utter turmoil on a daily basis, on every issue. And if that wasn't enough, they've been on the precipice of straight-up nuclear war with India since they got their toys. Despite all that, they're still giving military support to the United States-led War on Terror (or is it "man-made disasters" now? I forget). So, OK, some of their politicians call us a Great Satan from time to time. It's easy to criticize them for that.... but really, that country puts its ass on the line, and I respect the hell out of that.... we have some very good friends there.

Religion Cures Tribalism, or feeds it -- Valid viewpoint.... almost. America has proven that religions can co-exist within a single nation. Who's to say they can't coexist on an international scale? Protestant and Catholic nations get along. Protestant and Buddhist nations get along. Catholic and Hindu nations get along..... I guess we're back to Islam again. I can't tell if you're arguing that we'll fight because we believe in different gods, or we'll fight because Islamic god is violent. If it's the former, well, I think you might be just a little bit jaded, because the world has demonstrated massive progress on the "tolerance" front, if you just step back and get a little perspective. If it's the latter, well, I can't really tell you you're wrong, can I? I don't know any better. So, hard to say.... I guess I agree that at a time, religion was little more than a pacifier for violent neighbors, or a spark plug for passive subjects. But the concept has grown a lot, and so have we all.
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#160 User is offline   Ashrak 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 07:23 PM

Larger response in progress.

My Qur'an: http://www.amazon.co...ref=pd_sim_b_34

'The Cow' is the first book of the Qur'an, chronologically speaking. You can start there. It is important to remember, Islamic history wise, that these early revelations of Muhammad are geared toward reprimanding pagan Arab and Jewish Arab tribes, in times of who Muhammad is addressing.

The context of the revelations (who, what, where,) are located in hadith, which are numerous and lengthy. I haven't really scratched the sheer magnitude of the hadith, to be honest. Finding the time, willpower, etc. is difficult.

This won't necessarily be exciting. It could (and probably will be) confusing. If want to take the time to read the entire Qur'an, I recommend you do. I don't know if you'll buy a version, or use the iPhone app, but I can help guide you through the proper chronology of books if your app doesn't list them that way.

Cheers!

EDIT:

I have to make some corrections here, but I will leave the original text untouched.

"The Cow" is, technically speaking, Surah II, or the second chapter of the Qur'an. It is preceded by a very short surah which takes up about a page.

Also, I forgot to mention (and recent reading refreshed my memory), that the verses of the Qur'an are not organized in true chronological order, per their time of revelation. Basically, verses in Sura 10 may actually have been revealed before verses listed in Sura II.

Go figure.

This post has been edited by Ashrak: 26 August 2010 - 09:01 AM

Alea iacta est ~ The board is set, the pieces are moving.
~ Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green, That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown, That host on the morrow lay withered and strown. ~ Destruction of Sennacherib

~ Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the American states a man who more cordially loves a union with his country than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the United States Congress proposes; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America. ~ Thomas Jefferson (modernized)
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#161 User is offline   Ka1iBuR 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 03:36 PM

View PostPistolWhipped, on 26 May 2010 - 01:31 AM, said:

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:o This is the most amazing thing I've ever seen... :o
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#162 User is offline   Pirate 

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 12:17 AM

Holy Necroposts Batman!
While I agree with you, make sure you're checking dates on threads man. I know the forums are slow and all.

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