Burning the Qoran on 9/11

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Raistlin Majere
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#51 Post by Raistlin Majere » 10 Sep 2010 09:48

The Qoran is not just a book. For muslims it's a symbol and ideology.
People have the freedom of will to select their religion and everyone should respect that.
I think it's too provocative and for no reason.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#52 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 10 Sep 2010 09:52

Joost wrote:There is no 'Muslim ideology' imo. Wahhabist fundamentalists probably have about as much in common with Sufi mystics as I have in common with Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church. I really don't see how they can be said to follow the same ideology in any sense of the word 'ideology'. The Qur'an itself contains as much ambiguity and internal contradictions as the Bible: you cannot just get one single ideology out of a book like that. (And don't even start about the Hadith/Sharia/etc. To start with, the two main factions in Islam -- Shia and Sunni Muslims -- disagree quite strongly about e.g. which texts constitute the Hadith.)
I know that, that's why I choose my word very carefully and wrote about "a minority following the muslim ideaology". :wink:
The Qoran is not just a book. For muslims it's a symbol and ideology.
People have the freedom of will to select their religion and everyone should respect that.
I think it's too provocative and for no reason.
To some it's a symbol, to some it's charchoal. You cannot expect everybody to agree on this subject. Live and let live, I'd say.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#53 Post by Joost » 10 Sep 2010 09:53

I don't see how 'religious books' should be subject to different rules than non-religious books. It's too easy to abuse: you can always assume immunity by disguising your most subversive thoughts as a religion.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#54 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 10 Sep 2010 10:16

So actually what you're saying is that it's the thought that's the problem, with the book merely being used as an excuse to act on said thought?
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#55 Post by Joost » 10 Sep 2010 10:34

No, what I'm saying is perhaps best illustrated by the following hypothetical situation:

Assume I were a white supremacist, with a not-quite-entirely-hidden agenda of killing all black people. I can't just go out and say this, because anti-discrimination laws would prevent me from doing so. So what do I do? I found an organisation with a name such as the Northern Odinist Suncross Front or something similar, say it's an Ásatrú group, write my racist thoughts down in books, claim they're religious books, and then am free to publish those books because for some reason the fact that a text is 'religiously motivated' gives me special protection.

Of course, it would be ridiculous if naming your organization Northern Odinist Suncross Front, and disguising it as Ásatrú, would give it certain protections that simply naming it 'White Pride Front' wouldn't. Hence, my point of view that no special protections should be offered to anyone or anything on the ground that it is 'religious'. It's just too easy to abuse.

When an imam (for example) says that gay people should be thrown off high buildings, the law should treat him in just the same way as when a regular white guy down the street says the same thing for non-religious reasons. Furthermore, criticizing the Bible or the Qur'an, or criticizing relgious practices of Christians, Muslims, or any other group, should not be any more of a problem than criticizing any other book. And if someone is so illiterate that his best way of criticizing a book is burning it: let him go ahead, but I still stand by my remark about 15th century practices.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#56 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 10 Sep 2010 12:12

@ Joost: I agree.

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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#57 Post by End Of An Era » 10 Sep 2010 13:17

Joost wrote:No, what I'm saying is perhaps best illustrated by the following hypothetical situation:

Assume I were a white supremacist, with a not-quite-entirely-hidden agenda of killing all black people. I can't just go out and say this, because anti-discrimination laws would prevent me from doing so. So what do I do? I found an organisation with a name such as the Northern Odinist Suncross Front or something similar, say it's an Ásatrú group, write my racist thoughts down in books, claim they're religious books, and then am free to publish those books because for some reason the fact that a text is 'religiously motivated' gives me special protection.

Of course, it would be ridiculous if naming your organization Northern Odinist Suncross Front, and disguising it as Ásatrú, would give it certain protections that simply naming it 'White Pride Front' wouldn't. Hence, my point of view that no special protections should be offered to anyone or anything on the ground that it is 'religious'. It's just too easy to abuse.

When an imam (for example) says that gay people should be thrown off high buildings, the law should treat him in just the same way as when a regular white guy down the street says the same thing for non-religious reasons. Furthermore, criticizing the Bible or the Qur'an, or criticizing relgious practices of Christians, Muslims, or any other group, should not be any more of a problem than criticizing any other book. And if someone is so illiterate that his best way of criticizing a book is burning it: let him go ahead, but I still stand by my remark about 15th century practices.
well.. i couldn't agree more :)

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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#58 Post by Belgarion » 10 Sep 2010 13:28

Yeah, totally agreed.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#59 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 10 Sep 2010 18:02

Somehow I have a bad feeling about the next 36 hours. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm feeling that a lot of negativity will happen.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#60 Post by West Virginia Mule » 12 Sep 2010 06:17

In America, you can smear Christianity all you want; Obama himself has mocked the Christian Bible. You can burn a stack of Bibles every day if you want to, you can destroy crosses and desecrate Christian symbolism, you can burn American flags...but if you, a single private citizen, just SAY you are going to burn a Koran, the president calls to threaten you and the FBI shows up on your doorstep.

Islam is being championed by the U.S. president and the 20% of liberal America who hates this country as it was founded. It's being crammed down our throats by a minority and most of us think it tastes like shit. I, for one, have lost all tolerance and see the current "soft" invasion by Muslims as nothing less than an act of war.

Burning Korans, good idea or bad idea? Don't care. Either you have the freedom to burn anything or you don't. That's what I care about. And Obama has made it clear that destroying Christian Bibles and American flags is okay, but the trappings of Islam are off limits. Freedom go to hell.

And I'm sure there are militant Muslims out there hating and killing Americans who are suddenly going to love us if one man in Florida doesn't burn a pile of Korans. Just like all the terrorists in the Muslim world will instantly love the U.S. if we close Club Gitmo.

The fuck is wrong with people? America is hanging by a thread and we're supposed to obsess over placating our enemies? I don't care who they are or what their "religion of peace" is about. Everything I ever needed to know about Islam I learned on 9/11.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#61 Post by Baby_Kürsch » 12 Sep 2010 07:21

Muslims have been around in or involved with the Unites Sates of America since the birth of the fucking country.

In 1776, John Adams published "Thoughts on Government," in which he praises the Islamic prophet Mahomet (Mohammed) as a "sober inquirer after truth" alongside Confucius, Zoroaster, Socrates, and other "pagan and Christian" thinkers.

In 1785, George Washington stated a willingness to hire "Mahometans," as well as people of any nation or religion, to work on his private estate at Mount Vernon if they were "good workmen."

In 1790, the South Carolina legislative body granted special legal status to a community of Moroccans, twelve years after the Sultan of Morocco became the first foreign head of state to formally recognize the United States. In 1796, then president John Adams signed a treaty declaring the United States had no "character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen".

In his autobiography, published in 1791, Benjamin Franklin stated that he "did not disapprove" of a meeting place in Pennsylvania that was designed to accommodate preachers of all religions. Franklin wrote that "even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service."

Thomas Jefferson defended religious freedom in America including those of Muslims. Jefferson explicitly mentioned Muslims when writing about the movement for religious freedom in Virginia. In his autobiography Jefferson wrote "[When] the [Virginia] bill for establishing religious freedom... was finally passed,... a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word 'Jesus Christ,' so that it should read 'a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.' The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination." While President, Jefferson also participated in an iftar with the Ambassador of Tunisia in 1809.

http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/0205/tolerance.html

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5431.htm

http://www.earlyamerica.com/lives/franklin/chapt10/

http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quo ... ff1650.htm

http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/09/129232.htm


Also 9/11 wasn't real. :wink:
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#62 Post by sharpened_graphite » 12 Sep 2010 07:29

West Virginia Mule wrote:In America, you can smear Christianity all you want; Obama himself has mocked the Christian Bible. You can burn a stack of Bibles every day if you want to, you can destroy crosses and desecrate Christian symbolism, you can burn American flags...but if you, a single private citizen, just SAY you are going to burn a Koran, the president calls to threaten you and the FBI shows up on your doorstep.

Islam is being championed by the U.S. president and the 20% of liberal America who hates this country as it was founded. It's being crammed down our throats by a minority and most of us think it tastes like shit. I, for one, have lost all tolerance and see the current "soft" invasion by Muslims as nothing less than an act of war.
Perhaps because Christianity doesn't have extremist groups that need the least provocation to cut people's heads off and then post the recording on the internet or suicide bomb a bus.

And was Islam champion'd by Obama, and 20% of liberal America, that person would have received much more than a polite request not to proceed.
West Virginia Mule wrote: Burning Korans, good idea or bad idea? Don't care. Either you have the freedom to burn anything or you don't. That's what I care about. And Obama has made it clear that destroying Christian Bibles and American flags is okay, but the trappings of Islam are off limits. Freedom go to hell.
Oh, you have all the freedom to do that, as long as it is in private. It's not that destroying Bibles (the US, by the way, was founded as a secular nation, please read more about the composition of the constitution) or American Flags is OK, it that it won't endanger lives the way destroying a Koran will. And exuse me, but I care little for "freedom" that would allow you an act because of which many people half the world away are likely to die.
West Virginia Mule wrote: And I'm sure there are militant Muslims out there hating and killing Americans who are suddenly going to love us if one man in Florida doesn't burn a pile of Korans. Just like all the terrorists in the Muslim world will instantly love the U.S. if we close Club Gitmo.
No, but as I said above, people will die because one bigoted idiot HAD to have a temper tantrum of the most unhelpful and childish kind. And why would anyone who exacerbates a conflict (and out of puerile spite for that!) deserve sympathy and approbation?
West Virginia Mule wrote: The fuck is wrong with people? America is hanging by a thread and we're supposed to obsess over placating our enemies? I don't care who they are or what their "religion of peace" is about. Everything I ever needed to know about Islam I learned on 9/11.
That's a bit like a Muslim saying "I learned everything I needed about Christianity back during the Crusades". You do realize that this kind of attitude turns you into the very mirror image of the Muslim Extremist whom you profess to hate?

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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#63 Post by Baby_Kürsch » 12 Sep 2010 08:05

sharpened_graphite wrote:Oh, you have all the freedom to do that, as long as it is in private. It's not that destroying Bibles (the US, by the way, was founded as a secular nation, please read more about the composition of the constitution) or American Flags is OK, it that it won't endanger lives the way destroying a Koran will. And exuse me, but I care little for "freedom" that would allow you an act because of which many people half the world away are likely to die.
Many many people have forgotten that and it makes me sad. The United States of America needs to be freed from Christian oppression!!!
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#64 Post by Belgarion » 12 Sep 2010 13:18

West Virginia Mule wrote:Everything I ever needed to know about Islam I learned on 9/11.
Everything I ever needed to know about you I learned now.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#65 Post by Orodaran » 12 Sep 2010 22:21

West Virginia Mule wrote:Everything I ever needed to know about Islam I learned on 9/11.
Every religion of the world can be used (instead of the Bush trademark, "fighting for freedom") as a tool to justify war, violence and hatred - and it HAS been used.

In the middle ages there were the crusades, now people smartened up and nobody would follow a Pope into another crusade because "God wants it".

When the arab world will have its renaissance, no one will be able to use Islam to brainwash people into killing themselves as kamikaze terrorists anymore.


But then again, knowing you, why am I telling you this :P
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#66 Post by sharpened_graphite » 12 Sep 2010 22:26

It's all pretty ironic, because if anything, we have more in common with medieaval muslims which were generally rather more urbane, progressive and tolerant than their European neighbours. It really is all a matter of economics and quality of life (crummy conditions allow crummy governments to easily snatch power).

I'd rather see Omar Khayam than Ahmedinijad as the quintessential Iranian.

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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#67 Post by t.a.j. » 12 Sep 2010 23:29

If anyone is inclined to listen to my advice: Do not think in terms of necessary progress. There is no reason to assume that the Arab world of today will experience a "renaissance" as Christendom has. Of course, the renaissance was not anti Christianity at all and it lead to the reformation, which resulted in protestantism, a movement which in general took their religion much more serious than Catholicism did. And if you look around now, the worst of the bunch are protestants. It took until the enlightenment, that is until the 18th century, that a small but growing literate elite moved away from established religion and even among those, many looked elsewhere for religious experience and ideas: India, esoterics, magic,...
So, if anything, you should predict an Arabian enlightenment.And even that, you shouldn't.
It was specific social developments that lead to the European Enlightenment: the risen middling orders: urban tradesmen and merchants that served as an audience to the thoughts of philosophers and essay writers. The long and brutal wars of religion. The rise of nation states searching for identities of their own, no longer content with a religious identity or being subject to a ruler and of course, the scientific revolution of the 17th century, which opened up new vista of possibilities.
None of these events can reproduced and there is not reason to assume that the enlightenment and modern secularization would have happened anyway, without those contingent factors, out of some kind of historical necessity.
Instead of thinking that the Arab world is just a backwards version of ours, we should look to the future and the unique social and political factors that shape today's Dar al-Islam - the House of Islam and wonder how a general movement towards making religion less important and secular life more important could arise.
I believe that there is something the West could do to further this development: Support and embrace a Western or European Islam.
Let me explain. Today, most of the Muslims living in Europe lead mostly European lives, wear European clothes, work European jobs, watch European television,... but the cultural-religious discourse of Islam, the preachings and theology, does not happen in Europe. It happens in the Arabian World. And accordingly, the European Muslims suffering under a tension between the constraints, requirements and temptations of European life on the one hand, and a set of religious norms being interpreted and presented by people who do not understand this European life and have no interest at all in trying to reconcile Islam and Western Modernity. Their theology and religious understanding originates in places, where life is different then in Europe, where different social and cultural factors produce different constraints, requirements and temptations. And their theology and religious understanding, their interpretation of scripture reflects life in these places.
If there was a strong European Islam, made by European Muslims who understand European life and have an interest in interpreting scripture and tradition in ways that fit with the European life that they themselves are experiencing, there would be less tension on the European Muslims. But more than that, there is some reason to assume that like European Christianity, European Islam would take a second place to the secular life of its adherents. And maybe those European Muftis and Imams would take their version of Islam back into the Arab world and maybe enrich the discourse there in ways conductive to a religious peace.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#68 Post by Joost » 13 Sep 2010 10:08

t.a.j. wrote:I believe that there is something the West could do to further this development: Support and embrace a Western or European Islam.
I'm not sure if this would even be relevant. The more I think of it, the more I become convinced that the future does not, or does to only a significantly smaller extent, belong to the West. We have become so used to the hegemonic position of the West (which, of course, went hand in hand with centuries of colonialism and repression of other cultures), that we have acquired a certain arrogance: we are more powerful, morally better, and have learned from our past mistakes in such a way that we replaced our previous habit of destroying other cultures by a more subtle process of merely rendering them harmless. (After all, it's all hip and dandy to be multicultural: who doesn't love Native American clothing, Arabic belly-dancing, African drumming or Asian food?)

Also, I don't think Islam is the problem, per se. The core tenet of the movement of which we perceive Islamic fundamentalism as the prime exponent is not simply religious fundamentalism, it is more than that: it is a rebellion against the hegemony of the West. It's a phenomenon that does not just occur in Islamic countries, but also in all of the other countries the West has labelled the 'Axis of Evil' -- Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea -- as well as a few countries so powerful that we do not even dare to openly label them as 'Evil' -- Russia and China. Those countries scare us. And with (from a Western perspective) good reasons: I do think, for example, that the fact that Ahmadinejad is forming an alliance with Hugo Chavéz tells us that there is quite a bit more going on in Iran sociopolitically than simple 'Islamic fundamentalism'.

Of course, we still should wonder to ourselves: is the future ours? Should the future be ours? Perhaps the future isn't so simple that, as a last and final act of Western colonialism, our liberal and secular values will be exported to the rest of the world. A 'secular and European' Islam would, of course, be very nice for us, and fit neatly in our hegemonic view of our own values, but this is also exactly why such a type of Islam would hardly appeal to any of the legions of people who feel some need to rebel against the West.

In the meanwhile, the Islamic Renaissance is happening, and it is bringing us exactly the kind of stuff we do not want: Wahhabism and the likes. And I'm not sure how to deal with it. Non-Western countries are becoming powerful enough to make it very dangerous to maintain our hegemonic arrogance of old -- so approaching this issue with an 'us vs. them'-attitude can have some very ugly consequences.
Let me explain. Today, most of the Muslims living in Europe lead mostly European lives, wear European clothes, work European jobs, watch European television,...
Yet, at the same time, a good deal of them has a rather negative view of the Western World. They are a part of it, but still outsiders within it. I can't blame them for their need to seek some kind of rebellion: although most of them have -- by world-wide standards -- fairly wealthy lives with a decent amount of luxury, they still tend to be significantly less wealthy than the autochthonous populaton, creating a strong feeling of dissatisfaction. All of this has, by itself, very little to do with religion, but religion (and more so its subtypes that are seen as particularly subversive and scary) has a strong potential to become a strong identifying factor. This is witnessed by the fact that (to name a well-known example) many of the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks grew up in Western countries, and had a solid education in these countries.

In another possible world, I'm sure, the roles of Christianity and Islam could have been exactly the reverse compared to their roles in our world.
but the cultural-religious discourse of Islam, the preachings and theology, does not happen in Europe. It happens in the Arabian World.
I think it's not that simple: while the cultural-religious discourse is definitely centered around Arabia (and, in the case of Shia Islam, around Iran), a lot of it, these days, seems to happen in Europe as well.
And accordingly, the European Muslims suffering under a tension between the constraints, requirements and temptations of European life on the one hand, and a set of religious norms being interpreted and presented by people who do not understand this European life and have no interest at all in trying to reconcile Islam and Western Modernity. Their theology and religious understanding originates in places, where life is different then in Europe, where different social and cultural factors produce different constraints, requirements and temptations. And their theology and religious understanding, their interpretation of scripture reflects life in these places.
This explanation does not seem to be very consistent with the fact that the children of immigrants from Muslim countries to Europe often tend to be more religious than the immigrants themselves. A good deal of Islamic theology (of the more scary type) actually seems to reflect the life of Muslims living in Europe quite well, but that thought is scary enough for most of us to simply want to ignore it.
If there was a strong European Islam, made by European Muslims who understand European life and have an interest in interpreting scripture and tradition in ways that fit with the European life that they themselves are experiencing, there would be less tension on the European Muslims. But more than that, there is some reason to assume that like European Christianity, European Islam would take a second place to the secular life of its adherents. And maybe those European Muftis and Imams would take their version of Islam back into the Arab world and maybe enrich the discourse there in ways conductive to a religious peace.
This sounds all nice and fluffy, but the sad truth is: real life ain't Star Trek.

Of course, the view painted here is quite bleak, moreover as I do not pretend to have any solution whatsoever to any of the issues raised here. But I do think that we should try to reflect on the issue at hand (the tension between the (vaguely defined) concept of Western values and the (equally vaguely defined) concept of Islamic values) on a level that goes deeper than simply saying 'If Islamic culture became more like our culture, the problem will be solved, so that's what we'll aim for'.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#69 Post by t.a.j. » 13 Sep 2010 13:22

Of course, the view painted here is quite bleak, moreover as I do not pretend to have any solution whatsoever to any of the issues raised here. But I do think that we should try to reflect on the issue at hand (the tension between the (vaguely defined) concept of Western values and the (equally vaguely defined) concept of Islamic values) on a level that goes deeper than simply saying 'If Islamic culture became more like our culture, the problem will be solved, so that's what we'll aim for'.
That is not what I am saying. I defend the notion that a European Islam, constructed and argued by European Muslim intellectuals, would be a positive influence for coexistence.
It would be good for integration. I have argued before that integration is not something a host society can just demand of its immigrants, once they are more than a handful of loners. Instead, one must engage with them, offer pull factors instead or in addition to sanctions, one must welcome them, despite their perceived alieness.
If we have Muslims here, who feel that they are European, a welcome and accepted part of the West, then those Muslims will have interest and motivation to interpret Islam in such a way as to be more accommodating to their mixed identity and way of life.
Maybe it would not work, maybe the feelings of resentment are so deeply embedded, that no approach what so ever would not greeted with hostility. And then, most likely the western political establishment will not be persuaded to try such an open approach.
Furthermore, I believe that an in-depth analysis of the differences you have mentioned, practiced by western intellectuals, philosophers and social scientists is going on. There is a lot a research into different life situations and biographies, into religiousness and conflicts with western law and social norms. You have mentioned that third generation immigrants are much more likely to be much more seriously religious than their parents or grandparents. It has also been shown that youth delinquency, in particular violence, is positively correlated with self-presentation as more religious with Muslim youth, while it the correlation is negative among professed Christian youth.
And that's just one most recent study that I happen to have read. Similarly, there has been and still is discussion on clash of cultures and irreconcilable differences.
But there remains a problem of perception. Inevitably, those western researchers and philosophers see the Muslims from a western point of view. We ask for example: why are Turkish youngsters more violent than German youngsters?
Now, what would be gained by a European Islamic intellectual tradition, is a voice from those people who have tried to integrate Islamic and Western values and ways of seeing the world, a voice from those who for their own lives, have succeeded. And there are many, many Muslims who have found success and happiness in the West without giving up the identity as Muslims.

But I'm starting to drift off again.

I wanted to reply to some of your objections in detail.
I'm not sure if this would even be relevant. The more I think of it, the more I become convinced that the future does not, or does to only a significantly smaller extent, belong to the West. We have become so used to the hegemonic position of the West (which, of course, went hand in hand with centuries of colonialism and repression of other cultures), that we have acquired a certain arrogance: we are more powerful, morally better, and have learned from our past mistakes in such a way that we replaced our previous habit of destroying other cultures by a more subtle process of merely rendering them harmless. (After all, it's all hip and dandy to be multicultural: who doesn't love Native American clothing, Arabic belly-dancing, African drumming or Asian food?)
The history of civilization is a seemingly endless sequence of conquest and liberation, of empires rising and falling, of genocides and oppression of one group being replace by the genocide and oppression of another. Every before have empires claimed their bounty as if they had a natural right to it.
In all of history, that speck of humanity we call the West (and more precisely, western Europe) is the only case where an empire, even a group of empires has in some, admittedly vague sense seen its mistakes, called its success and domination into question, judged to be immoral and... stopped.
Those values of nationalism, liberalism & socialism that so many former colonies and subjugated peoples have fielded against their oppressors during the last hundred years originate from their oppressors. It was the West's own political and philosophical ideas and ideals that has dissolved its empires.
And this, however limited ability to see beyond the political logic of domination and conquest, to the point of actually relinquishing power, is a rare and precious thing and if there is nothing else worthwhile that western European civilization has brought into the world, this is worthy of being preserved. And of course the way to preserve it is not to undo the lessons learned and bring down force upon others. Not that Europe, after all those years of peace would be able to conquer anyone anymore.
And yes, it is hip and dandy to be multicultural, but how much better is this to it being hip and dandy to be nationalistic and militaristic? And yes, those belly dancing housewives cannot comprehend the meaning of that tradition in northern Africa, but is that important? They make it a part of their culture, their way of life.
And yes, traditional cultures are changing. But they always have been ever since humans traded amongst each other. What modernity, with its mass media, franchising and information superhighway has done is quicken the pace to the point where we can actually see things change. And sharpen our eyes and intellect for the changes that occur. European Ethnology, tracking cultural changes through time and space is a rather new development.
Maybe, I'm more than willing to admit this possibility, the change has become to fast to comprehend and adapt to. Maybe it has outstripped our ability to form larger groups of cultural identity, such as nations.
And yes, there are many problems for those living in the West. I'll be the first to tell you, that modern capitalism with its demand for flexibility and its insistence on "no long term" is threatening the possibility of any long term commitments and that abundant precarious work situations combined with insufficient social security and a culture that values nothing as highly as paid work and financial success is bringing nothing be insurmountable stress and constant unhappiness to many millions.
And yes, in giving up its empires, the West has weakened itself militarily and economically and in embracing international venture capitalism, it has freed its most destructive forces short of atomic weapons from political control. And now, other places are rising or returning to economical and military dominance. First the USA and USSR, then China, India, Korea, Thailand, Eastern Europe, who knows who next.
And yes, the 21st century will not be dominated by Europe the way the long 19th century was, neither will it be the icy battleground of two superpowers, the way the second half of the 20th century was.
But look at those new powers: They are all informed by western ideas of nationalism, liberalism and socialism. Europe might not be needed to carry on this legacy.

But the question: What should we do and how should we treat those, who we find disagreeing with these values? remains relevant, even in a world not dominated by Europe, it remains relevant for Europe as well as for its neighbors, but it remains most relevant for the people living in Europe, who would not wish to have their three generations of peace followed by again by a last generation at war.
Yet, at the same time, a good deal of them has a rather negative view of the Western World. They are a part of it, but still outsiders within it. I can't blame them for their need to seek some kind of rebellion: although most of them have -- by world-wide standards -- fairly wealthy lives with a decent amount of luxury, they still tend to be significantly less wealthy than the autochthonous populaton, creating a strong feeling of dissatisfaction. All of this has, by itself, very little to do with religion, but religion (and more so its subtypes that are seen as particularly subversive and scary) has a strong potential to become a strong identifying factor. This is witnessed by the fact that (to name a well-known example) many of the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks grew up in Western countries, and had a solid education in these countries.
This is insightful and true. But again, if they would have an identifying factor that was more accommodating to the tensions in their lives, instead of furthering them, that seems to me a good thing. But yes, the basic anomie shackling the lives of many young immigrants, as they have become such a large portion of the lowest strata of society, is big problem. And it would require a big solution.
I think it's not that simple: while the cultural-religious discourse is definitely centered around Arabia (and, in the case of Shia Islam, around Iran), a lot of it, these days, seems to happen in Europe as well.
I know of no Imam or Mufti who both is from the West and has been taught and trained in the West.
This explanation does not seem to be very consistent with the fact that the children of immigrants from Muslim countries to Europe often tend to be more religious than the immigrants themselves. A good deal of Islamic theology (of the more scary type) actually seems to reflect the life of Muslims living in Europe quite well, but that thought is scary enough for most of us to simply want to ignore it.
It supports the sense of anomie, by justifying rebellion against our system of goals and means to reach those goals. By offering a rhetoric that focuses on the evils of the West, it alleviates feelings of failure to achieve the materialistic and status goals presented to them by western discourse. It is a bit like Hesiod's fox. This of course is a positive experience for those youths.
And they are not wrong, we give them little chance, leaving them hedged in an ever growing stratum of poverty.
But the appeal is similar to the appeal of communism or anarchy for the extreme left: by subscribing to an authority which condemns that for which one harbors resentment, one can safely distance oneself from the resented believes and practices because one is now not alone in that.
This is of course not what I meant.
This sounds all nice and fluffy, but the sad truth is: real life ain't Star Trek.
That's uncharacteristically snarky for you. In particular since I wasn't all that star treky.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#70 Post by sharpened_graphite » 13 Sep 2010 21:25

I agree with t.a.j. I would also say that an awareness of what Islam could be compared to what it is, is a very important one. I do think that a constand reminder of what muslim and moorish cultures were back in the middle ages and what they are now is one that deserves more general renown. The simple notion that muslim countries could have a prosperous and enlightened culture and separate cultural identity from the US and Europe while still sharing fundamental notions of morality and conduct is one worth upholding.

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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#71 Post by West Virginia Mule » 24 Sep 2010 01:41

I don't care about philosophical bullshit and learning what Islam is or is not, now or centuries ago. Waste of time. They're marching in the streets chanting death to America and burning our flags; they tell us on a regular basis they're going to wipe America off the face of the planet. That's what I see; that's all I need to know. It's clear there can be no coexistence. You don't think the madmen in Iran will launch missles at America the minute they're able to? Hell, to them, annihilating the United States will bring the coming of Muslim Jesus or whatever the fuck. Fuck them. And if you are a Muslim, fuck you. No tolorance. No surrender. I want Muslims just as dead as they want me.

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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#72 Post by Bender B. Rodriguez » 24 Sep 2010 04:57

you're full of hate :cry:
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#73 Post by Metal Fan » 24 Sep 2010 05:23

West Virginia Mule wrote:I don't care about philosophical bullshit and learning what Islam is or is not, now or centuries ago. Waste of time. They're marching in the streets chanting death to America and burning our flags; they tell us on a regular basis they're going to wipe America off the face of the planet. That's what I see; that's all I need to know. It's clear there can be no coexistence. You don't think the madmen in Iran will launch missles at America the minute they're able to? Hell, to them, annihilating the United States will bring the coming of Muslim Jesus or whatever the fuck. Fuck them. And if you are a Muslim, fuck you. No tolorance. No surrender. I want Muslims just as dead as they want me.

Liberalism is bleeding out. The people are awake now, and Conservatism is ascending. We're taking our fucking country back.
I heard that if, I think it was Iraq, was to bomb us we would have a half an hour to find out if it came from them, then nukes would be dropped on their major cities. I can't find it now.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#74 Post by Bender B. Rodriguez » 24 Sep 2010 05:29

not gonna happen.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#75 Post by Metal Fan » 24 Sep 2010 05:33

⋨The Dagor Dagorath, the great final battle at which the forces of the brothers Manwë and Melkor will face one another, and Arda will be unmade.⋩
Is in with Bender on his plan
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#76 Post by Joost » 24 Sep 2010 08:38

West Virginia Mule wrote:I want Muslims just as dead as they want me.
Wow...
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#77 Post by Joost » 24 Sep 2010 08:39

The MAD principle originated during the Cold War already. Wasn't the concept invented by mathematician/game theorist John von Neumann?
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#78 Post by Baby_Kürsch » 24 Sep 2010 08:50

Joost wrote:
West Virginia Mule wrote:I want Muslims just as dead as they want me.
Wow...
Are we really shocked by what WVM says?
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#79 Post by Raistlin Majere » 24 Sep 2010 09:44

@Virginia Mule: Here in Greece, we burn American flags in every protest. In our protests, we start walking from the Parliament and we always finish our protest outside the american embassy. We are not muslims. We don't burn the flags because we want to kill americans, but we don't like the politics that USA apply.
You have been brainwashed by your governments in the same way that muslims are brainwashed by their imames.
Your goverments always found it very easy to identify "enemies" and scare their civilians (communists, muslims, etc.)
Stop being afraid of what is not like you and start criticize things according to your experience and not according to what you have been told.
Since you've been socked about 9/11, you should also consider "why was USA attacked on 9/11? Was it something that they did?". And here's a hint: They didn't hit you because they were muslims and you are christians.
USA created its own enemies. Bin Laden was working for the USA for many years before he became their enemy (actually USA turned against him and not the other way around)
Baby_Kürsch wrote:
Joost wrote:
West Virginia Mule wrote:I want Muslims just as dead as they want me.
Wow...
Are we really shocked by what WVM says?
No we are not. We know his opinion from other topics.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#80 Post by ThePKH » 24 Sep 2010 10:58

Can't we all just get along? -A phrase that should be repeated much more often than it is these days.
I've worked with a few muslims and the only true difference between us was that they didn't want to eat pig. That makes them actually one step less dangerous than for example christians, at least to the glorius race of pigs.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#81 Post by Raistlin Majere » 24 Sep 2010 11:56

peace! :D
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#82 Post by Bender B. Rodriguez » 24 Sep 2010 14:20

i wonder what his views are on all the CIA sponsored coups,along with all the death and torture that took place between the 70's and 80's in south and central america.but of course,the hot topic these days(by these days,i mean the last 10 years)are muslims.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#83 Post by Led Guardian » 24 Sep 2010 21:35

Bender B. Rodriguez wrote:i wonder what his views are on all the CIA sponsored coups,along with all the death and torture that took place between the 70's and 80's in south and central america.but of course,the hot topic these days(by these days,i mean the last 10 years)are muslims.
Thumbs up. They weren't American, so they deserved it.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#84 Post by Bender B. Rodriguez » 24 Sep 2010 21:46

Led Guardian wrote:
Bender B. Rodriguez wrote:i wonder what his views are on all the CIA sponsored coups,along with all the death and torture that took place between the 70's and 80's in south and central america.but of course,the hot topic these days(by these days,i mean the last 10 years)are muslims.
Thumbs up. They weren't American, so they deserved it.
hey heeeeeyyy,write stuff in a way that a retardo like me can understand..so please,come again,i'm not good on forum sarcasm :mrgreen:

but,i insist
i'm just wondering what he thinks,as the extremist right wing republican that he is(not that i'm against him),about those mentioned things,wich by the way have repercussion in our society to this very day.
BTW,here's a name for you,if you dig cold war state terrorism: Michael Townley.
if you don't...whatever
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#85 Post by Led Guardian » 24 Sep 2010 21:54

Bender B. Rodriguez wrote:
Led Guardian wrote:
Bender B. Rodriguez wrote:i wonder what his views are on all the CIA sponsored coups,along with all the death and torture that took place between the 70's and 80's in south and central america.but of course,the hot topic these days(by these days,i mean the last 10 years)are muslims.
Thumbs up. They weren't American, so they deserved it.
hey heeeeeyyy,write stuff in a way that a retardo like me can understand..so please,come again,i'm not good on forum sarcasm :mrgreen:
It seems you did just fine recognizing it there. :)
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#86 Post by Desert_Storm » 26 Sep 2010 23:06

t.a.j. wrote: And if you look around now, the worst of the bunch are protestants.
Cold you please explain this a little further? The images that come to my mind when thinking of negative aspects of the church nowadays are mostly catholic.
Take for example the rehabilitation of the Pius X order anti-semites by the present pope, the preachings in Africa that condoms are evil (that kind of ruined what development workers have tried to entrench there for years now) by the pope before him, the massive amounts of child abuses through clergymen that were only recently discovered, and so on. So how are the protestants the worst?
It took until the enlightenment, that is until the 18th century, that a small but growing literate elite moved away from established religion and even among those, many looked elsewhere for religious experience and ideas: India, esoterics, magic,...
Most of the enlighteners were actually christians, as I recall.
I believe that there is something the West could do to further this development: Support and embrace a Western or European Islam.
Let me explain. Today, most of the Muslims living in Europe lead mostly European lives, wear European clothes, work European jobs, watch European television,... but the cultural-religious discourse of Islam, the preachings and theology, does not happen in Europe.
I'm not sure that you can generalise that. Many of those Muslims that adopted the European lifestyle also do adopt the European secularism. Not that they would stop believing in their god in one way or another, but more like the largest part of European Christians. I mean I only know quite a few Christians who really read the bible regularly, go to church each sunday, pray daily and try to live according to the Christian doctrines, but very many who are Christians by birth, go to church on Easter and Christmas, maybe send some quick prayers up to heaven every once in a while when they slept too long and hope not to miss their bus to work, but other than that don't really care about religion and what it asks of the believer. Most assimilated Muslims I know show a similar behavior towards their religion. Maybe their "faith" is "stronger" and they don't eat pig (that's the most common expression of their faith), but they don't study the Qur'an, don't go to the mosque, and don't pray five times a day. I really think the typical mosque attendants who "live" their faith aren't the ones who behave like Europeans otherwise, but more the unadjusted and un-integrated people who live in Europe physically, but whose minds haven't really adjusted to their environment. They don't feel at home here, and they have often very strong aversions towards the European lifestyle. All the pious Muslims I know are more or less like that, not that they're unfriendly or anti-social, but that they can't understand the way people behave in countless cases in Europe, regarding e.g. family matters or religion, and they prefer to stay among themselves and talk their own language in their free time. Those people I know are invariably very nice and will explain any component of their religion to anyone who asks, but they won't tolerate any critique. Of course, they are forced to learn our language and have contact with Europeans in their jobs in Switzerland (you don't have much other choices), but I can imagine that this mindset I described above can come out quite dangerous in places like Berlin, were people can be born and die and live their whole lives there without ever learning German (in certain areas). I don't think that such people would like a "western" Islam more than any other western ideology, and that they would call it a wrong or a watered down interpretation of their religion. We do have the intellectuals with Muslim background who concur to some kind of moderate Islam (like Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Necla Kelek), and I think (like) that it would be a great achievement, but I just don't see it happen in any near future. Traditional Islam defines itself (up to a certain extent) through the isolation and refusal of the western values and lifestyle, and thus won't accept any new theologian currents coming from there.
The history of civilization is a seemingly endless sequence of conquest and liberation, of empires rising and falling, of genocides and oppression of one group being replace by the genocide and oppression of another. Every before have empires claimed their bounty as if they had a natural right to it.
In all of history, that speck of humanity we call the West (and more precisely, western Europe) is the only case where an empire, even a group of empires has in some, admittedly vague sense seen its mistakes, called its success and domination into question, judged to be immoral and... stopped.
Yes, we stopped. But stopping is far from being good enough. We leave whole nations lying in the very dirt we pushed them into a few years back. People suffer from totally wicked systems that western colonisers established and then just walked away from when the times changed. And people are still exploited by the western civilization, just that it isn't called slavery anymore but "economy". And people here still close their eyes to that. See Jean Ziegler's most recent book for countless examples.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#87 Post by Led Guardian » 26 Sep 2010 23:11

Desert_Storm wrote:
t.a.j. wrote: And if you look around now, the worst of the bunch are protestants.
Cold you please explain this a little further? The images that come to my mind when thinking of negative aspects of the church nowadays are mostly catholic.
Take for example the rehabilitation of the Pius X order anti-semites by the present pope, the preachings in Africa that condoms are evil (that kind of ruined what development workers have tried to entrench there for years now) by the pope before him, the massive amounts of child abuses through clergymen that were only recently discovered, and so on. So how are the protestants the worst?
Didn't read anything else, but for one, the Catholic Church accepts scientific theories such as evolution.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#88 Post by Desert_Storm » 27 Sep 2010 00:06

So do the protestants in Europe, at least the "official" ones. Of course you have different currents that vary from church to church, or maybe more precisely from vicar to vicar, and you will always find some who don't follow the consensus. Anyway, If someone doesn't believe in macro biology and dead matter spontaniously come to life, it doesn't really troubles me as much as, say, child abuse and racism, whether it comes from a conservative christian with not much of a biological education, or an atheist biologist PhD who weights the strengths and weaknesses of the theory differently than the mainstream and therefor considers macro evolution unlikely or not backed up enough. Yes, those people exist, too.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#89 Post by Insanity » 27 Sep 2010 11:33

"Where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people also."
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#90 Post by West Virginia Mule » 17 Oct 2010 00:44

This just in from the news desk: Germans hate Muslims too. :lol:

"Germany's attempt to create a multicultural society has utterly failed," Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, adding fuel to a debate over immigration and Islam. "Anyone who does not immediately speak German is not welcome."
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#91 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 17 Oct 2010 09:17

Mind you, this is the same Merkel who attacked Geert Wilders for his stance on the Islam only two weeks ago.

My guess? I think Merkel realized the danger of René Stadtkewitz becoming more popular than the CDU and decided to adopt his viewpoint instead of attacking him. After all, there are 16 million immigrants in Germany alone, most of them from Arab countries, so there's a fairly big chance Die Freiheit could gain a foothold in the Bundestag.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#92 Post by t.a.j. » 17 Oct 2010 10:33

West Virginia Mule wrote:This just in from the news desk: Germans hate Muslims too. :lol:
Some certainly do.
"Germany's attempt to create a multicultural society has utterly failed," Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, adding fuel to a debate over immigration and Islam. "Anyone who does not immediately speak German is not welcome."
This is just a lie. She never said that. Still, it is true that multiculturalism didn't turn out the way the old German left hoped it would. The main problem here is a socioeconomic one. Germany has created a culturally homogeneous underclass of poor and uneducated people, unable to succeed in a world that values only success and yet faced with the symbols of that success. And this culturally homogeneous group has Islam as a way to create indetity and support.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#93 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 17 Oct 2010 11:26

It's funny you should attribute this to Germany exclusively, as I am under the impression this is a pan-European problem.

Also, interesting that you say that Merkel didn't said these words attributed to her. If she didn't say them, then what did she say?
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#94 Post by spamel » 17 Oct 2010 17:59

The way I see it is thus; If you move to another country, you should adopt their way of life. Your religious beliefs are your own and they should be respected by others, but the moment you start pouring hate on the people whose country you have chosen to settle in then you shouldn't complain when you are fired, strapped to a rocket, into the sun. Any person burning a flag of the country they are living in should immediately be packed off to their country of origin after having DNA samples taken, finger printed and retina scanned to ensure they cannot get back into the country. If they are found back in the country, through illegally border hopping or whatever, then it is game over time. They are not coming back to the country they said they hated to take some pictures and see where they used to live for posterity!

We have got way too soft, and it puts me in mind of a piece of info I was given as a soldier. Basically, it was how many soldiers cooperated when captured during World War 2 and top ones were Americans, followed by the Brits. At the bottom was Turks; they came from a background where they had little and when locked up had better kit then back home so were content. The Americans and Brits had it worse though, so did what they were told to save from having their privileges taken away. Crazy eh?
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#95 Post by West Virginia Mule » 18 Oct 2010 07:02

t.a.j wrote:This is just a lie.
Nu-uh. If you look at the Drudge Report--right now, 'cause it changes a lot, ya know--there's a picture of Merky on the top left column with those words under her. More or less. I'm just a copy and paster, dude. Ain't no fact checker.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#96 Post by Joost » 18 Oct 2010 12:12

@WVM and Ferdi, about the 'lie or not' discussion:
West Virginia Mule wrote:"Germany's attempt to create a multicultural society has utterly failed," Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, adding fuel to a debate over immigration and Islam. "Anyone who does not immediately speak German is not welcome."
The last sentence is, well, quite misrepresentation of her actual words:
Mrs Merkel said: "We should not be a country either which gives the impression to the outside world that those who don't speak German immediately or who were not raised speaking German are not welcome here."
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11559451
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We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#97 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 18 Oct 2010 18:26

Indeedy-doody. If the BBC is trustworthy on this subject (as I believe it is), her words in the last sentence Mule quoted is quite the opposite.

Although in all honesty there's little wrong with the supposed idea of 'learn the language or get out', but I guess that she's allowing René Stadtkewitz the honor.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#98 Post by West Virginia Mule » 18 Oct 2010 18:42

Meh. It's Germany. Who really cares what they say or do? Heh. :P

We all know the world loves Muslims and all want to be Muslims anyway, ' cause Muslims rock, baby. Political correctness dictates that we hate ourselves and embrace everyone and everything else.

Hell's stinkin' bells, I might even love me some holy Islam (allahoha akubarbar!) if they'd stop trying to kill me for a week or two. I mean, 'cause, ya know, they rock.

I hate religions. Yeah, yeah, all of 'em. Don't tell my fellow conservatives I said that, 'cause then they'll shun me. In the name of Christ and stuff.
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#99 Post by Bender B. Rodriguez » 18 Oct 2010 23:16

Obama is on my tv,how do i make him go away :|
i tell 'ya,i'm kinda getting tired of seeing this "bro'",really,i couldn't care less to what "wing" he belongs to...i just want him OFF MY NEWS!
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Re: Burning the Qoran on 9/11

#100 Post by West Virginia Mule » 19 Oct 2010 05:08

Bender B. Rodriguez wrote:Obama is on my tv,how do i make him go away :|
i tell 'ya,i'm kinda getting tired of seeing this "bro'",really,i couldn't care less to what "wing" he belongs to...i just want him OFF MY NEWS!
News people down there must think you ought to care about American politics. Me, I think you ought to care about Chilean and South American politics. And also mosquitos. I bet you grow some big-assed mosquitos down there, huh? And spiders. Don't get me started. That's why I like Finland. Too cold for bugs. Heh.
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