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Sun Oct 5, 2014, 02:34 PM

Ben Affleck vs. Bill Maher on Islam: Bill's right.

On HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Ben Affleck (who I have great respect for on most occasions) sparred with Bill Maher (who I also respect) on the topic of the meaning of Islamophobia, and to what extent criticism of Islam as a set of ideas can be distinguished from bigotry against Muslims. Here is the discussion:



Affleck appears to take the position either that criticizing Islam is indistinguishable from bigotry against Muslims, or that it's a much higher priority to combat the latter than to stand up for the former - and thus implying that criticizing Islam is antagonistic to standing up for Muslims. I find this position shockingly illiberal and irrational.

Maher, however, appears to assert that fighting theocracy is an inextricable responsibility of liberalism, and that liberals can and must acknowledge how widespread theocratic opinions are in Islam. He makes the point that doing so is standing up for Muslims, since they are overwhelmingly the victims when the opinions of their communities lead to theocratic laws that punish them for either leaving or attempting to change their religion in some way.

I have to say that Maher is simply correct. There is no ethical option for a liberal to tolerate intolerance under the aegis of "cultural differences," or to pretend that an objective fact isn't true because it makes the job of fighting bigotry more complicated. Simply by the numbers, the political opinions of Muslims worldwide (though this might be different in the US) veer sharply toward legally imposing the core tenets of their religion - e.g., punishing blasphemy, punishing apostasy, etc. Maher noted one poll that found British Muslims overwhelmingly thought that criticism of Islam should be legally punished.

Another poll, reported by the Washington Post, which is far more disturbing, found that 78% of Afghans, 64% of Egyptians and Pakistanis, 59% of Palestinians, 58% of Jordanians, and 53% of Malaysians...supported the death penalty for leaving Islam. In other words, majorities in these countries were found to support killing other Muslims who decide not to be Muslims anymore.

Now, it's not a monolithic picture of worldwide Islam, because "merely" large minorities (38% and 36%) favored killing apostates in Iraq and Bangladesh, and it is actually good news that only 13% were on board with that in Indonesia (the most populous single Muslim country) and only 2% in Turkey. But it still means that in huge swaths of Islam, this is considered a legitimate or even mainstream political position to take, and the numbers are likely far more staggering if you were merely to ask about lighter punishments like imprisonment or fines.

I haven't seen the numbers for other religions, but I'm willing to bet substantial money that they're not comparable in their respective countries. So...this problem has to be acknowledged and dealt with, and the fact that bigots will exploit it doesn't change that. The current cultural state of Islam worldwide is radically conservative and authoritarian, and the only way to change that is to confront it - not be morally relativistic.

Bigots will always exploit the truth to undermine it. They exploited the atrocities of the Japanese Imperial Army in WW2 to terrify the American people into putting Japanese-Americans in internment camps, but no one would argue that that insanity meant we shouldn't have fought Japan. They exploited the horrors of the Stalin regime to wage authoritarian campaigns against the peaceful American left, but no one would argue that the madness of Joe McCarthy meant the US should not have stood firm in Europe against the Soviet empire. And today they exploit the Dark Age that Islam is currently experiencing to attack Muslims. But it would be ass-backwards to let that dictate how we respond to a very real and destructive social problem.

Liberals should be leading the charge against Islamic theocracy, not because it's Islamic, but because it's theocracy! We should be angrily telling those people who think their religion gives them the right to kill or imprison apostates or "blasphemers" that they do not have that right - that freedom of and from religion is an absolute, fundamental aspect of basic human dignity, and violating it is despicable and evil. When a Muslim somewhere decides not to be a Muslim anymore, and that leads to their being murdered; when a woman somewhere is stoned to death because she was raped; when mobs chant "death to (insert country)" because someone in that country criticized Islam; when a "blasphemer" is imprisoned...this should boil our blood. It does no service to the world, to liberal values, or to persecuted minority groups in any country to offer up these people as sacrifices on the altar of political correctness.

We can morally excuse some individuals involved in this madness because they grew up in an environment that told them this was acceptable, but we cannot excuse the vile ideas themselves, and certainly not people who grew up in Western countries and somehow still cling to gruesomely authoritarian ideological modes. At that point they are not naive people of a country with no liberal history - they are just radical right-wing conservatives exactly like the ones waving the cross in the name of hate, and should be fought with passion and contempt on behalf of all decent people of all backgrounds and religious beliefs.

Moreover, as noted in the discussion clip, it's not just jihadis that are the problem - not just people blowing stuff up and shooting people. The main problem is the sphere of political opinion that breeds such radicalism, even if it rhetorically condemns it. If it is acceptable to impose your religion on others, then the dispute between "mainstream" conservative Muslims and jihadis is merely one of degree - one believes they should immediately seek to impose Islam by just killing as many of its "enemies" as possible through terrorism, and the other that an orderly governmental process should be instituted to imprison and/or execute apostates and blasphemers. The dispute is mainly one of style and tactics - like the difference between white supremacists and white separatists, it's mostly rhetorical.

So...let's be liberals and stand up for human beings, not be the nihilistic PC priesthood the right paints us being. Say it without hesitation and without mealy-mouthed language: The current state of Islam is repugnant to liberal values. Stand up for the Muslims (or former Muslims) who say that and face brutal consequences to make life better for their people, rather than for the vile conservative degenerates in their communities who try to silence them.

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Reply Ben Affleck vs. Bill Maher on Islam: Bill's right. (Original post)
True Blue Door Oct 2014 OP
cali Oct 2014 #1
True Blue Door Oct 2014 #20
cali Oct 2014 #25
True Blue Door Oct 2014 #36
cheapdate Oct 2014 #60
arthritisR_US Oct 2014 #154
joeglow3 Oct 2014 #177
cheapdate Oct 2014 #183
arthritisR_US Oct 2014 #187
Marr Oct 2014 #119
hifiguy Oct 2014 #169
demosincebirth Oct 2014 #203
Turborama Oct 2014 #107
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mr_liberal Oct 2014 #135
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valerief Oct 2014 #2
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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 02:43 PM

1. I think you make some good points but you detract from your own argument

 

when you state that "The current state of Islam is repugnant to liberal values". Broad brush. What's the current state of Islam in Indonesia, for instance? Largely, with the exception of Aceh Province, quite different form Saudi Arabia. What about Turkey? Tunisia?

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Response to cali (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:42 PM

20. The current state of Islam in the most liberal Muslim-majority country (Turkey)

is conservative by the standards of liberal democracy, so it's not a broad brush at all. And the "moderate" Islam consists of countries where apostasy and blasphemy merely lead to jail rather than execution, which would obviously be a radically right-wing position in any liberal democracy.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #20)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:51 PM

25. oh please. First of all, you're wrong. secondly, did you know that Tunisia, for instance,

 

has a large number of women legislators? You seem to want to impress YOUR standards, uniformly and immediately, on cultures you clearly are clueless about.

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Response to cali (Reply #25)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:16 PM

36. Iran also has parliamentary gender quotas.

I don't think anyone would argue that makes it a liberal country.

You can nitpick anecdotes until the cows come home, it won't change the fact that blasphemy and apostasy are illegal in most of the Muslim world, deadly in much of it, and the people of those countries tend to be on board with that state of affairs.

What exactly do you think you're standing up for when you act like the people who suffer under that oppression aren't real?

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #36)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:03 PM

60. +1

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #60)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 04:31 AM

154. -1. nt

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Response to arthritisR_US (Reply #154)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 02:29 PM

177. +1 more. nt

 

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Response to arthritisR_US (Reply #154)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 04:15 PM

183. "There is no ethical option

for a liberal to tolerate intolerance under the aegis of "cultural differences," or to pretend that an objective fact isn't true because it makes the job of fighting bigotry more complicated."

Raising questions about religion is fair game. It doesn't make one a racist or an "Islamophobe" to question the tenets of that religion. The fact that it "sounds like" the hatred of Pam Geller and her ilk doesn't require us to suspend critical challenges to any religion.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #183)

Tue Oct 7, 2014, 12:43 PM

187. Your absolutely right. My knee jerk reaction was

scream 'religious bigotry' but that's not what going on here. I'm an atheist so I guard myself against stereotyping the religious but they certainly share in the intolerance pie

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #36)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:15 PM

119. Great point.

 

This is difficult argument to make, but I have to say I agree with you.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #36)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 12:24 PM

169. Anyplace where phony crimes like "blasphemy" and "apostasy" exist

 

in what rther amusingly passes for a "legal code" has a very tenuous claim on being civilized in any modern sense of the word. And religion deserves no more respect than does any other irrational belief, particularly when it is used as a justification for murder, torture, oppression and barbarism.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #36)

Fri Oct 17, 2014, 12:41 AM

203. +10

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Response to cali (Reply #25)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 08:56 PM

107. And conveniently ignored your question about Indonesia. n/t

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Response to Turborama (Reply #107)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:17 PM

121. The question was an attempt to change the subject.

It was argument-by-anecdote, and a blatant ploy to bury the discussion in infinite detail. If I were to show Indonesia were a bastion of religious oppression (I don't know either way), the next tactic would be to simply move on to another "moderate" Islamic country and demand that I write a treatise about it; if that one proved my point, then another; and another.

And if I showed that every single Islamic country were brutally oppressive (they're not, of course - not all of them, anyway), then the tactic would be to bring up individual Muslims in those countries who had said something liberal once and weren't instantly murdered for it, thus "proving" that Pakistan is actually just like Canada, and only a raging Islamophobe would think otherwise.

Without even addressing the facts I presented in the OP, they would demand an infinite regression of additional details while conceding nothing and doing no work themselves to justify their own position.

The tactics of dishonesty are a well-mapped path. Don't waste my time.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #121)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:59 PM

137. No, it was a question about the largest Muslim majority country in the world.

Therefore, very relevant. A country you admit you have no knowledge of. Here's a little primer for you...

In Southeast Asia, Indonesia Is an Unlikely Role Model for Democracy
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/05/world/asia/in-southeast-asia-indonesia-becomes-a-role-model-for-democracy.html?_r=0



Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Indonesia

However, your intolerance for intolerance has been noted and I'll not bother wasting any more of my time.

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Response to Turborama (Reply #137)

Tue Oct 7, 2014, 12:56 PM

195. ***THREAD DEAD?*** These +++FACTS+++ go against Mahers point IMHO

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #121)

Tue Oct 7, 2014, 12:57 PM

197. You introduce a strawman (moving to another "moderate" Islam country) to the issues of moderat Islam

...countries is noted.

Doesn't India have a large Islam community too?

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Response to Turborama (Reply #107)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:46 PM

135. Sharia law is spreading in Indonesia. In one province it

 

makes being gay, drinking alcohol, gambling, sex outside of marriage... illegal and punished by caning. Adultery is punished by stoning. In the rest of the country there are Sharia Courts . And even without Sharia Indonesia is only average for civil liberties.

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Response to mr_liberal (Reply #135)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 11:14 PM

139. No, it isn't. There is no stoning in Indonesia. There are no Sharia courts outside Aceh

Ο have lived in Indonesia for nearly a decade and can empirically say the "civil liberties" are much better in Indonesia than some western countries I have lived in.

Really, you should inform yourself otherwise you might come across as uninformed and bigoted.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Indonesia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_religion_in_Indonesia

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/aceh-government-removes-stoning-sentence-from-draft-bylaw/579227/

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Response to Turborama (Reply #139)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 11:48 PM

140. Youre being defensive.

 

If not then youre ignorant.

You can google it. https://www.google.com/#q=indonesia+sharia+law There's sharia law in a large part of Indonesia. And there are sharia courts elsewhere.

Also FreedomHouse.org rates countries for how free they are and Indonesia rates as partly free. Maybe that would beat a few western countries, I doubt it, but Id have to check.

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Response to mr_liberal (Reply #140)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 12:30 AM

141. Can you read? I said there are no Sharia courts outside Aceh, which is a tiny part of Indonesia.

Last edited Mon Oct 6, 2014, 01:43 AM - Edit history (1)



I even provided links to help you out, which you must have ignored.

Also, if someone would prfer to choose a Washington think tank trying to quantify from a distance over empiracle personal evidence from someone who has lived in a country for nearly 10 years, who's the one being 'ignorant'?

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Response to Turborama (Reply #141)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 01:02 AM

143. There are 5 million people in Aceh

 

And there are religious courts elsewhere. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_of_sharia_law_by_country#Regional_variations

Yes they got rid of the stoning, but they kept the caning and recently added that Sharia Law applies to everybody, not just muslims.

Stop being so defensive and in denial and admit that thats wrong. Along with having sharia law in a large part of the country, and religious courts elsewhere, Indonesia is only rated partly free. That is a pretty bad record. If thats the best muslim countries are, then that just helps to prove Maher right.

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Response to cali (Reply #25)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:40 PM

133. Women can be theocratic too. eom

 

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 02:51 PM

2. Well said. Affleck is a smart, terrific liberal, but Maher was right this time.

Maher doesn't fall into the politically correct trap (hence, the name of his old Comedy Central series). I fear the U.S. could someday turn into a true theocracy with oppressive laws for all of the 99% nationally instead of just state-specific. We have all the makings in the House and SCOTUS now. Certain states now require "In God We Trust" on public buildings. It taints our currency and our national pledge.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=5624238
Are we headed for a dominionist America?

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Response to valerief (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:45 PM

22. Indeed, the Hobby Lobby ruling smells like a harbinger.

Christian fundamentalists - and they alone - now claim to have a legal precedent exempting them from any federal labor law they don't feel like obeying.

But it's chilling to realize that religious dominionism is the normal state of affairs in the Islamic world.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 02:55 PM

3. Mayer wants religion abolished. He is just as extreme as religious extremists.

Fear breeds fear. Hate breeds hate. Bigotry breeds bigotry. Violence breeds violence. Love breeds love. I chose to breed love.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:06 PM

4. Did Mayer say he wanted religion abolished?

And by abolished, did he mean through law, or did he mean people just giving it up. Do you feel The Beatles wanted religion abolished?

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:13 PM

6. I watched Religulous. He makes it pretty clear he wants religion abolished, and I do not think

Bill Mayer and the Beatles had the same philosophy on religion. Their later music actually reflected a lot of eastern religion, Hinduism particularly. They wanted to spread love. I don't see Mayer spreading a whole lot of love.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #6)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:19 PM

7. Been a while since I saw that movie,

but that is not the message I got out of it. Seemed to me Mayer was saying religion is silly and should be mocked, and the end of the movie was a critique of theocracies.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #7)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:24 PM

14. I watched with my daughter because she is atheist. She thinks he goes too far as well.

My daughter believes that everyone should be treated with respect whether religious or non religious.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #14)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:30 PM

16. So there isn't any real evidence Mayer wants religion abolished,

and is as bad as the fundamentalists he mocks?

My daughter believes that everyone should be treated with respect whether religious or non religious.


Obviously, stand-up comedians and those who enjoy stand-up comedians feel otherwise.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #16)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:07 PM

63. I got the same take-away from Religulous as you.

Also, at no time did Maher appear to me to be disrespectful toward the subjects he interviewed. He gave his opinion. They gave theirs.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #14)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:21 PM

124. Of course-- but that doesn't mean you have to respect their beliefs.

 

You can respect someone as a human being and tell them flatly that you consider their religion stone age stupidity. You don't have to pretend that silly claims are reasonable just because the claimant is passionate about them.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #7)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:24 PM

128. Maher. nt

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #6)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 07:03 PM

77. Just an fyi, it's "Maher" not "Mayer".

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #6)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:24 PM

127. Maher. nt

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:23 PM

126. Maher. nt

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #126)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:26 PM

129. Oops. :) nt

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:08 PM

5. Lies breed ...

false equivalence.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:19 PM

8. "He is just as extreme as religious extremists."

No, he isn't.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:31 PM

17. Has Bill Maher killed anyone, raped anyone, or denied someone rights for his lack of religion?

No. Then its absurd to say he is "just as extreme as religious extremists". To be fair, there are atheists who are as extreme as religious extremists. For example, Joseph Stalin. However, Bill Maher is nowhere close to that.

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Response to Shoulders of Giants (Reply #17)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:03 PM

59. +1

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Response to Shoulders of Giants (Reply #17)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:15 PM

66. But, unlike the religious zealots who slaughter in the name of their own particular brand

 

of superstition, Stalin's murderous policies were not committed in the name of atheism.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:47 PM

23. I've never heard him say anything of the sort.

I've only heard him condemn laws imposing religion.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 05:30 PM

51. Abolished? Really?

There's a big, BIG difference between not liking religion, even wishing it would fade away with people voluntarily giving it up, and wanting to ABOLISH religion, which means using the force of law to prevent and PUNISH participation in religion.

Maher has never come anywhere NEAR proposing the abolition of religion.

People make crazy overstatements like yours for dramatic effect, then forget quickly that they were being hyperbolic and go on arguing as if the hyperbole were the literal truth they're fighting against.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:22 PM

125. Maher. nt

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:50 PM

136. He doesnt want religion abolished.

 

He just believes strongly in separation of church and state, and thinks that's a problem especially with muslims.

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Response to mr_liberal (Reply #136)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 04:12 PM

206. +2!

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 16, 2014, 09:41 PM

200. Does Maher advocates the murder of people

 

who go against his point of view? Muslims (not even extremists) advocate death for apostasy and for drawing cartoons of Mohammed. For drawing fucking CARTOONS! The extremists are the ones who fly planes into buildings and kill thousands

To say that Maher is anything like that is truly the height of ignorance and moral bankruptcy.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:20 PM

9. Which Liberals is Maher talking about?

 

I'm not sure they even exist.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #9)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:49 PM

24. What are you referring to?

If you're asking which liberals appear to prioritize political correctness over standing up for liberal values, then you just saw an example of it in the clip with Ben Affleck's position.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #24)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:54 PM

26. But no liberals condone the extremist ideology or actions.

 

Ben's pc seems more about Bill's broadbrush statements.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #26)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:31 PM

39. Theocracy is not an extremist opinion in the Islamic world.

It's a mainstream viewpoint, as demonstrated by the poll. But rather than acknowledge that and work to change it, some of us react with moral relativism by moving the definition of "extremism" to absurd distances.

So the 64% of Egyptians and Pakistanis who want their government to kill people who leave Islam are no longer extremists worthy of criticism, but rather "moderates" who deserve praise for simply not supporting al Qaeda. That's insane.

And it should be noted that the people available to respond to polls in these countries are the urbane, cosmopolitan city-dwellers, not the exceptionally religious folks out in the countryside.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #39)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 07:16 PM

83. There's no "Islamic world"

 

There are a number of countries whose populations are majority-Muslim, and another list of countries whose populations aren't. This broad-brushing is part of the problem.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #83)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 07:30 PM

87. Islam believes in the Islamic world. It has a specific Koranic term for it.

And please stop hiding behind the "broad-brushing" talisman. I cited actual statistics about attitudes in Muslim countries, and noted the brighter points. Deal with that or don't even bother.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:21 PM

10. Strongly agree with Affleck on this point and disagree with You, Maher, Sam Harris

 

Just to make clear, I'm not an Atheist, more in the Agnostic genre of "beliefs".. (where there's a force, there's a source) In fact, I believe all state sponsored/sanctified religions ought to be abolished legally, and severely marginalized socially.

that said, I really, really disagree with Harris and Maher on this and disagree with your point that it's about PC. Christian Extremists hold office here. They strongly promote Capital Punishment, and hide their extremist blood thirsty positions behind the cloak of States Rights "the law of the land" like Capital Punishment, etc., they would have all women barefoot and pregnant, walking 10 paces behind them, speak only only when spoken to, etc, etc. if only they could. Christian fundamentalist extremist are more "civilized", thus socially acceptable here.

The distinctions may seem a world of difference, true enough but when you strip away tactics, their goals/objectives are essentially the same.





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Response to 2banon (Reply #10)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:29 PM

15. And yet our extemeists are not allowed to do the things you say they would do. Other people

 

prevent them from executing gay people or making women be silent. That's really the main and central point Bill was making, the elements that prevent our nuts from having sway here are not functioning in countries where they are actually putting gays to death and keeping women as property. That's why the 'it is only some extremists' does not really hold water. It takes a culture and society to uphold such gross injustices.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #15)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:05 PM

32. And yet those extremists had little influence

in Iraq, Libya and Syria until our intervention.

We need to dig a little deeper and try to find out what has unleashed this fundamentalism at home and abroad in the last decade.

Just remember how the Repubs were pre-9/11.

Bush ran as a "compassionate conservative" and had moderates like Colin Powell and Condi Rice in his cabinet.

"The Handmaid's Tale" was just a sci-fi novel.

Then 9/11 happened, Cheney "took off the gloves" and went to the "dark side".

Since then the GOP has become progressively more and more religiously extreme until now we could almost say that "The Handmaid's Tale" is their instruction manual.

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #32)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:39 PM

41. You have a point about Iraq, but our intervention in Libya

consisted of stopping Moammar Gaddafi from massacring his people from the air - and our intervention in Syria just began, years after it had started falling victim to ISIS. Your take on history is profoundly ideological and not based on the facts.

It's not rational to start from the premise that is America is always wrong and Islam can't be criticized, and then deduce your facts from those articles of faith.

If you were a Muslim in a Muslim country and criticized Islam the way we criticize the Christian right in this country, you would be taking your life in your hands. Your false equivalencies are a mockery of the countless people who are murdered, tortured, or imprisoned every year because of this state of affairs.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #41)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:45 PM

44. How did Syria fall victim to ISIS?

I'm not blaming America. We have lots of allies who are involved in these policies, some of them beyond our control.

But we need to take responsibility for our part in supporting theocratic regimes and helping topple secular regimes.

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #44)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 05:09 PM

49. We failed to support the rebels earlier, so they had to turn to uglier elements.

As the jihadis had the strongest clandestine network and supplies, rebels increasingly had to reach accommodations with them or eventually join them. Over time they became ideologically radicalized through long association and mutual support. In other words, Syria is one instance where inaction on our part was the problem.

And it's not like we didn't have justification to support the rebels, given that Putin was supporting Assad with advanced weaponry - the rules of balance permitted us to arm the rebels, but we were so terrified of creating ISIS that our timidity actually made it happen anyway. Foreign policy is not simple.

But more importantly, the point of this discussion here isn't about forms of government, it's about the attitudes of the people. The only reason that toppling a despot would bring about such internecine religious chaos and violence is that the current state of Islam is profoundly authoritarian and intolerant, and you would have to drastically move the goalposts of morality in order to claim that that's not the case.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #49)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 05:39 PM

53. That didn't work in Libya

or Iraq the first time. Toppling the secular leader just unleashed chaos and religious fundamentslism. There's no reason to believe it would work in Syria.

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #53)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 05:42 PM

54. Again, all we did in Libya was stop Gaddafi from massacring his people from the air.

What happened afterward was purely a reflection of the social state.

And although I might rhetorically try to claim it's an example of the state of Islam, I actually don't think that: Libya has always been pretty socially chaotic, going back to ancient times.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #54)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 05:51 PM

55. That was the cover story.

Gadaffi claimed that Al Qaeda was there and it turns out he was correct. Our allies used Al Qaeda groups in Libya. They also used them in Syria from the beginning.

I don't support neocon policies. They don't work, they just cause more chaos. Iraq, Libya and Syria were much better places for Christians and non religious people before our interventions and the overall standard of living was better.

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #55)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 05:59 PM

57. That's a nonsensical conspiracy theory straight out of a Tea Party conference.

The people of Libya were peacefully protesting against Gaddafi via the Arab Spring, and Gaddafi responded by sending in aircraft to swiss-cheese them with heavy machine guns. We stopped him from doing that, and the Libyan people took care of the rest. The neocons were against American intervention because there was no economic strategem behind it - Gaddafi had already given oil deals to the US through the support of the Bush regime.

In the instability that followed, there was al Qaeda activity, as they are an opportunistic bunch, but it was never very significant and still isn't. The al Qaeda-affiliated mob that attacked the US embassy was subsequently massacred by Libyans infuriated by their actions. Most of the violence and chaos in Libya today is between rival private militias.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #57)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:07 PM

64. Which groups did our allies support in Syria?

Is Joe Biden a conspiracy theorist?

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #64)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 08:22 PM

96. What are you talking about?

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #96)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 06:19 AM

159. Look up Biden's speech at Harvard the other day.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #57)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 09:30 PM

112. Nonsense, we took part in regime change. I suppose you ould claim that in order to

 

protect the protestors we had to change the regime, but we did help Libyan rebels effect regime change.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #41)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:13 PM

65. Fundamentalism is almost always a response to rapid change

and modernity. The rise of fundamentalism in parts of the Islamic world in the 20th century are no exception. Of course now it's intertwined with raw criminalism brought about in large part by the chaos of the Iraq War.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #65)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:33 PM

70. Reactions aren't multi-generational, so I doubt that applies here.

When people react against change, it's mostly older people - and usually a minority. And if the reaction doesn't end with their generation, it certainly ends with their grandchildren.

But Islam has been in intimate contact with modernity since the Victorian era, and yet it has gradually moved backwards from even the superficial changes that that contact produced in the 19th and early 20th centuries. That's not a reaction - that's a sloughing off of a veneer of development that had failed to take root.

When one generation after another is more conservative and more violent than the one before it, that's not a reaction, that's a Dark Age.

The psychological soil of Islam as it currently exists is inhospitable to modern liberal values.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #70)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:46 PM

74. Changes to the social order in the Gulf States have been recent,

rapid, and dramatic. Changes in Pakistan were more gradual and more historically distant, but the reaction has been kept alive by madrassas, which have been going strong for probably 80 years or so.

The Muslim world has very recently been under assault (metaphorically) by Western secular values through media, communication, and entertainment.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #74)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 08:37 PM

100. I agree that the jihadis are a reaction, but conservative Islam is mainstream.

And pretty much always has been except where dictators brutally suppressed it. The people who want their government to enforce blasphemy laws, kill apostates, strictly impose Islamic laws, and keep a lid on women are mainstream. That's not a recent innovation - we just didn't notice it because it wasn't being brought to our attention by global terrorists before. Western media and entertainment don't appear to have made more than superficial changes. I know they sell Looney Tunes t-shirts and US sports team gear all over the Islamic world, but it doesn't seem to mean anything deeper to the people. Espousing Western values remains exceedingly dangerous.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #100)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 04:17 AM

153. precisely; the entire curve is shifted toward extremism in the islamic world. that is what i

 

i presume "well meaning" progressives on this website either aren't aware of or are in willful denial of. IMO, it really isn't about the religion per se, it is about the culture, and in most majority muslim cultures, there is nothing resembling western human rights, and this is the way the people there want it. sure, there are a few muslims, particularly those raised in or living in the west who support a modern, western standard of human rights, but they are in the minority.

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Response to 2banon (Reply #10)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:57 PM

28. The key word in your statement is "here."

Yes, Christian fundamentalists cause more political problems here than Islamic fundamentalists - notwithstanding 9/11 - but liberals are not parochialists. We believe in common human rights, and the horrors we merely fear the Christian right in this country might some day perpetrate are the normal state of affairs in many Muslim countries, and (as the poll I cited notes) supported by a strong majority of the people in many of them.

We mock and oppose religion constantly in this country, and are supported in our right to do so by our own passion and the strength of laws. But if you simply replaced the word "Christian" with "Muslim" and said the same things in most Muslim countries, the best thing that would happen to a citizen of those countries is imprisonment.

You need to stand up for right of others to the liberty you yourself exercise, because it's not a privilege of our culture - it's a fundamental human right.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #28)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:25 PM

37. I've just re-read your OP, I didn't read it carefully the first time, my apology

 


I think this sums what I do agree with...

Liberals should be leading the charge against Islamic theocracy, not because it's Islamic, but because it's theocracy! We should be angrily telling those people who think their religion gives them the right to kill or imprison apostates or "blasphemers" that they do not have that right - that freedom of and from religion is an absolute, fundamental aspect of basic human dignity, and violating it is despicable and evil. When a Muslim somewhere decides not to be a Muslim anymore, and that leads to their being murdered; when a woman somewhere is stoned to death because she was raped; when mobs chant "death to (insert country)" because someone in that country criticized Islam; when a "blasphemer" is imprisoned...this should boil our blood. It does no service to the world, to liberal values, or to persecuted minor


But I think the point could be expanded to also include all Theocratic Laws and Governance structures globally including Christian Extremism The current extreme Islamic theocracy provides a very serious illustration of why it must be condemned/abolished globally. Sam Harris attempted to downplay the seriousness of Christian fundamentalism here, referenced a shooting in 1984 as if no instances could be pointed to currently.

But I understand and agree that IS is far more dangerous/insane/radical and must be stopped.

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Response to 2banon (Reply #37)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:41 PM

42. Yes, I think we basically agree.

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Response to 2banon (Reply #10)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 03:21 AM

146. So

 

can you link me to the American news stories where Christians in political power in Florida or Mississippi used the power of the state to hang homosexuals?

Can you link me to the news stories that show Baptists in Louisiana using the power of the state to stone women to death for adultery?

And can you also link me to the stories that show Mormons in Utah enacting a legal code that shows a woman has to have three witnesses in a court room for every witness a man has?

Yeah....that would be great.

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Response to 2banon (Reply #10)

Tue Oct 7, 2014, 12:46 PM

188. AMEN AND AMEN!!!

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Response to 2banon (Reply #10)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 04:32 PM

207. Two wrongs don't make it right

Christian fundamentalists should be ostracized just as Muslim fundamentalists and Zionists (Jewish nationalists). Religion is a PERSONAL belief that in no way is deserving of its own country or state protections or sanctions under the law. Israel is just as invalid a "nation" as Palestine or any of the other wannabe Caliphates. I don't even think the Vatican should be recognized as a valid city-state. We don't give official recognition to Buddhist Tibet, and we sure don't allow Mormons to declare Utah a "sovereign nation" or Scientology to declare California their own sovereign space pad, so why should we give official recognition or protections to any of the other religious nationalists?

Christianity is bullshit just like Judaism is bullshit and Islam is bullshit. I have no sympathy or tolerance for any of these belief systems and think "believers" deserve the same punishments for crimes as anyone else. An Amish guy who sabotages cars in the name of his interpretation of the Bible, and gets people killed on the highways, should go to prison regardless of what his holy book says. We shouldn't be giving tax dollars to Israel. We shouldn't allow pedophile priests to hide in Rome. I also don't think we should be allowing people to wear veils in driver's license photos either. Affleck and other PC liberals rightly condemn Westboro and Netanyahu while feeling boo-hoo for Hamas. Maher and Harris are saying that it's hypocrisy in the worst to give Muslims a pass or a slap on the wrist. He's not saying don't pick on Christians who pick on gays. He's saying put the Muslims' feet to the fire too and condemn the very notion that religion of any sort be given a seat at the legislating table.

If we could convince the APA that religion is a delusional mental disorder, we might have some hope of getting Shirley Phelps, AIPAC leaders and the Gitmo inmates sectioned on a 5150, but until then we as civilized Westerners have to remain vigilant in our criticism of ALL of them. Affleck is naive and doesn't know what he's talking about. He's just parroting PC talking points.

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Response to Ampersand Unicode (Reply #207)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 05:06 PM

209. Wow...

 

That's the most confusing post I've ever read.

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Response to Rhinodawg (Reply #209)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 05:42 PM

212. Let me clarify

The post called out Christian fundamentalists as doing wrong. What I meant to say was that two wrongs don't make either of them right, i.e. it's hypocrisy to call out Christianity for its wrongdoing and give a slap on the wrist to Muslims because "they're oppressed" or "colonialism" or "the Crusades" or some other PC thing. You pick on Christians because of Westboro for the same reason you pick on Muslims because of Bin Laden. Far as I'm concerned, you can pick on Jews for AIPAC too. If they say "Who's AIPAC, is he related to Tupac?" or "I don't give a shit about Israel, in fact I wish they'd shut up and go away because they're making us look bad" you know they're just a regular Jew and not a Zionist. You can still make fun of their holidays and beliefs just like you can make fun of Scientology for believing Tom Cruise was born in a volcano or whatever shit they come up with.

I kind of ranted because this is a subject I feel strongly about. Islam is just as wrongheaded as Christianity and it's wrong to go easier on one than the other because of some historical reason or another. That's what Affleck is doing, that's what a lot of other PC Hollywood liberals are doing, and it seems that's what a lot of other posters are doing here too.

You mock people for believing in Santa Claus just like you mock them for believing in anything supernatural; whether it's called religion or not doesn't matter. You don't "respect their beliefs" but challenge them because they are so ridiculous as to be childish. You especially mock them if "their belief system" has a recent association with flying planes into buildings and killing 3,500 people. Right now the only ones flying planes into buildings and slitting people's throats are Muslims. So, you make fun of Muslims because not only are their beliefs wrongheaded and stupid, but the actions that people who believe in those tenets are taking in the name of them are barbaric and inhumane. And you express disgust with people who continue to remain members of a club that would have murderers as proud and honored members.

What some people are doing here in giving Christianity a slap on the wrist is what Affleck is doing with Islam. You make fun of them for believing in stupid nonsense and for acting on it. You don't stop making fun of Islam or Muslims because it's not, shall we say, kosher. Mocking a person's foolish beliefs and actions is not the same as mocking their skin color or sexual orientation. Calling Muslims, Christians or any other "true believers" ignorant is not the same as calling someone the N-word or the F-word (rhymes with maggot). You're prodding them for what they think and do and not who they are.

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Response to Ampersand Unicode (Reply #207)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 11:41 PM

219. Excellent Post

 

You said:

Christian fundamentalists should be ostracized just as Muslim fundamentalists and Zionists (Jewish nationalists). Religion is a PERSONAL belief that in no way is deserving of its own country or state protections or sanctions under the law. Israel is just as invalid a "nation" as Palestine or any of the other wannabe Caliphates. I don't even think the Vatican should be recognized as a valid city-state. We don't give official recognition to Buddhist Tibet, and we sure don't allow Mormons to declare Utah a "sovereign nation" or Scientology to declare California their own sovereign space pad, so why should we give official recognition or protections to any of the other religious nationalists?

Christianity is bullshit just like Judaism is bullshit and Islam is bullshit. I have no sympathy or tolerance for any of these belief systems and think "believers" deserve the same punishments for crimes as anyone else. An Amish guy who sabotages cars in the name of his interpretation of the Bible, and gets people killed on the highways, should go to prison regardless of what his holy book says. We shouldn't be giving tax dollars to Israel. We shouldn't allow pedophile priests to hide in Rome. I also don't think we should be allowing people to wear veils in driver's license photos either.


Well Said!

I AGREE with every single word here. In fact, I So MUCH agree with every single word, every single sentence, every single point made so succinctly, I'd LOVE to see it plastered on Road Signs, Bill-Board signs, hell I'd like to see it FRAMED and hung on every courthouse wall in the nation.

You have convinced me to recognize that my initial reaction to the clip in discussion was just that: reactionary.

However I do take issue with the notion that Affleck was parroting "PC" talking points.

First of all, I do not agree that it was "politically correct" in this context, because taking sides with the Palestinians has always been politically INCORRECT at least in this culture.

Secondly, from my point of view, that term almost always seems to me to be a throw away meme intended to discount or diminish humanistic fairness in general, or to excuse "hatred of the other" .

I do appreciate your input, it has made me reconsider my own reactions to Maher and Harris in this regard.




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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:23 PM

11. this is correct nt

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:24 PM

12. Agree with you and Maher

nt

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:24 PM

13. Ben is an international film star whose massive income depends on investment from and box office

 

returns in the Middle East. He dragged gay people into it for no reason at all.
Ben is worth about 75 million dollars. So he has reason to protect his nut.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #13)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:40 PM

19. Bull...

 

Maher is definitely a homophobic asshole as well...Ben knows what he's talking about.

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #19)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:01 PM

30. What I said is absolutely factual. International film is all about pleasing internatinal viewers.

 

What did I say that was 'bull'? Be specific.

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #19)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 05:05 AM

155. Maher is homophobic?

 

Could you point to some evidence of that? I've been watching him for years and I've seen ZERO evidence for calling him a homophobe.

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #19)

Tue Oct 7, 2014, 12:57 PM

196. oh please, the religion you are sticking up for is what is homophobic.

the fucking irony here is too much.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #13)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:00 PM

29. That might explain it if he were timidly PC just to avoid controversy

but he clearly believes what he is saying, and sees inter-group social harmony as a higher priority than fundamental human rights.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:40 PM

18. Get a clue...blanket condemnation of any religion is bigotry...

 

Unrec.

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #18)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:32 PM

40. No it's not. Religions are based upon fairy tails.

Rich ruling classes have used religion to control the masses for centuries. It's the "it's OK if you are poor on this earth because you will get your reward in heaven thing." Down with all religions.

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #18)

Tue Oct 7, 2014, 12:47 PM

189. +1

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:44 PM

21. I agree

If the state of Islamic thinking and practice were like they are in Turkey, I doubt we'd be having this discussion.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 03:56 PM

27. If all Muslims are bad how did the world produce Rumi?

In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest, where no one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that light becomes this art. ~Rumi, as interpreted by Coleman Barks

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #27)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:02 PM

31. You need to work on reading comprehension.

And respond to the OP as written, not to straw men pulled out of thin air that are the exact opposite of the thoughts being offered.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #31)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:11 PM

35. Actually that was more of a response to the many responses in this thread that imply that

the entire religion of Islam is bad and should be abolished. I don't know why I am even responding at all. Clearly and I have seen this many times before on DU, there are many on DU that just hate all religion all together and would love nothing more to see it all disappear off the face of the earth. So I will just say namaste and wish you a good day. I have better things to do than to listen to the hate being spewed here today.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #35)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:45 PM

43. Many of us want to see religion disappear from the free and voluntary decision of individuals

to abandon it in favor of science and moral philosophy, but your implication that anyone here is supporting some kind of inverse-theocracy along Soviet lines is simply dishonest. Stopping religion from imposing itself on people is not "abolishing religion."

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #43)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 11:26 AM

168. That includes Judaism, right?

And the state of Israel would no longer need to exist. Maybe you're right.

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Response to whatchamacallit (Reply #168)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 05:22 PM

211. It would, because anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism

It simply means that a religion does not deserve its own country. A religion is nothing more than a set of philosophies and rituals with a supernatural element added to them. It is a personal belief system that needs to remain personal, private, and out of public view as well as public policy.

Some people once feared that the guy in my avatar would allow his religion to interfere with his policy-making, and "subvert America to Vatican control." He didn't, and neither did any of his brothers. Heck, if Bobby was AG during the pedo-priest scandal, I wouldn't doubt that he'd go after those bastards with a vengeance. The law is the law and you don't allow a corrupt organization to "police itself internally." That's like asking the mob to play nice and be on the honor system. Pedophiles are incurable and the ones who covered them up should have gone to prison. I have no doubt that the Kennedys would have punished Bernard Law for being so damn lawless. If that isn't a rebuke of papism I don't know what is.

Point blank, Israel should not be recognized as a country if it calls itself a "Jewish state." Likewise, the Vatican should not be a recognized international entity because it is the HQ of the Catholic church. The so-called caliphate should not be recognized as a country if it calls itself an "Islamic state." Because it's a church and not a state. Separation of church and state means that these are two distinct entities. The law can't tell you that you can't do this and that in your rituals as long as they don't violate state laws. It also means that if you're going to call yourself a church or a religious entity, you should not be allowed to accept taxpayer dollars from a secular society. Support for Israel on our dime is just as unconstitutional as giving legal protections to pedophile priests.*

*NB: It should also be considered unconstitutional to allow the orthodox rabbis to continue the barbaric practice of sucking circumcised infants' penises because that's part of the "ritual." The practice should be abolished by law and its practitioners prosecuted as common sex offenders. Period.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #27)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:08 PM

33. Nobody said all Muslims were bad. Not even close.

 

So the rest of your point is moot.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #27)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 03:25 AM

147. Even a broken clock is right twice a day

 

That's how.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:11 PM

34. "the only way to change that is to confront it - not be morally relativistic."

 

That's not the way the "New Democrats" are.

They say you should fight fire with water and all those other stupid sayings that are designed to put you to sleep.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #34)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:47 PM

45. Timid people exist, and always will.

They have their uses, but moral leadership isn't one of them.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #45)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 07:26 PM

86. But they claim that is where they are at their finest....

 

Thus you see Bill Clinton asking, "Am I the only one here who likes George W. Bush and John Kerry?"

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #86)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 08:39 PM

102. Liberal parties are always bound to attract more than our fair share of squishy people.

We protect them from the monsters they excuse.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #102)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 09:33 PM

113. These type of Dems DON'T though. They try to claim the attacks are all in your mind.

 

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #113)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:04 PM

117. Some of them live in a perpetual state of Stockholm Syndrome because of their weakness.

I know the type. They think Republicans are jolly good fellows with some mildly different opinions, everything's just a pleasant little game, nothing to get worked up about, etc. etc. And they have the same attitude toward global politics.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #117)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 11:10 PM

138. Those types also are satisfied with losing.

 

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:28 PM

38. Bill Mahr needs to lay off the WEED,

 

because it is clearly causing some confusion.
I like his show but he does get way out of line when it
comes to Muslims.

But hey, ALL religion is bad for the world !

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Response to penndragon69 (Reply #38)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:47 PM

46. How is he "out of line" here?

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:49 PM

47. So we as liberals easily point out the beheadings in Saudi Arabia.

As a way to say that an ally is no better than IS. I've seen here it, and in other liberal sites.

So I ask why is it then okay to criticize what Saudi Arabia does. They are a majority muslim country. But then when someone attacks Islam or other Islamic countries we get upset.

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Response to Lobo27 (Reply #47)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 05:17 PM

50. Saudi Arabia is a stain on the Earth.

Its natural environment is somehow a perfect reflection of what it represents: Desolation, and addictive poison under its sands.

Did you know that crucifixion is one of their approved methods of execution? Not the most common, but it happens.

The world can't get off oil fast enough.

If I were dictating American foreign policy, I'd cut off all ties with that nightmare shithole. But of course, too much economic and security webbing between us and its hellish monarchy.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 04:59 PM

48. If nothing else Bill Maher has brought up an important discussion-

Is Islam fundamentally flawed? Or is it the establishment of a theocracy, or our continual intervention. This is a very complicated issue. There is an old saying "don't throw out the baby with the bath water" meaning there are probably a lot of good Muslims. they are reasonable, educated people, but when war breaks out they have enough sense to leave. I think that about the church going people, they were good people before they went to church. We need to reach out to them and not disenfranchise them. That is probably the only way we can weaken the support of people who want a theocracy. A house divided can not stand.

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Response to KrazyinKS (Reply #48)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 05:34 PM

52. I think Islam has some basic structural flaws in its moral framework.

It seems to make good people want to be passive, and bad people want to be extremely energetic. The default result is that bad people have an advantage of passion.

Its core doctrines are also rigid in a way that basic Buddhist, Hindu, or Christian doctrines aren't, which make it much harder to innovate without the accusation of apostasy. It regulates minute details of everyday life, explicitly, while leaving higher-minded philosophy mostly to later commentary, inculcating an authoritarian attitude of strict regulation and obedience.

The closest parallel would be Hasidic Judaism, only with a much more aggressive and politically dominionist viewpoint.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #52)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:48 PM

75. I teach a lot of students from overseas

many of them from the various countries we're talking about.

They're all different, they're all individuals. They're all nice people. They're not robots programmed with the Koran as an operating system. They are teachers, doctors, biologists etc. etc. And they are liberal, conservative, moderate etc. etc.

So, much as I disagree with the actions of various governments (including our own) I would never say a bad word against my students. They are good people going about their lives.

So I think it's unhelpful to make mass generalizations about a billion plus people whether they're Christian, Muslim, Jewish or Pastafarian.


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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #75)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 07:10 PM

81. So if 60% of your students voted to kill one of your other students for abandoning Islam...

You wouldn't call that 60% despicable?

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #52)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 08:47 PM

105. Brilliant Stuff - TBD

 

You highly descriptive, insightful commentary really gets to the core of the problems and contradictions within Islam.

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Response to Joe Turner (Reply #105)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:02 PM

116. Only if you admire flagrant bigotry and disinformation

TBD knows nothing about Islam but is posting tons of flat-out bullshit.

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Response to CrawlingChaos (Reply #116)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:36 PM

130. What, precisely, was flat-out bullshit? /nt

 

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Response to Marr (Reply #130)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 06:25 AM

160. Are you kidding me? The whole thread reads like Pamela Gellar Lite!

All the usual stereotypes, distortions, misinformation...

How, for instance, do you account for the huge numbers of ex-Muslims walking around very much alive, if this thread does, indeed, paint an accurate picture?

Post #52 above is beyond the pale. TBD reduces human beings to grotesque caricatures -- Muslims are either passive, feckless drones, or they're frothing, lunatic barbarians whose evil is somehow turbo-charged because, well, they're Muslims! Their faith is inherently amoral! Be afraid!

It's disgusting. Truly disgusting.

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Response to CrawlingChaos (Reply #160)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 07:10 AM

163. I completely agree with this analysis. n/t

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Response to CrawlingChaos (Reply #160)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 10:58 AM

164. I notice you didn't actually cite anything.

 

You said the OP was posting disinformation. You should either cite something specific, or admit that you just don't like the point they're making.

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Response to CrawlingChaos (Reply #116)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 03:28 AM

148. Yes by all means

 

where was the bullshit.

I am previously (but not currently) a Middle Eastern Analyst for the U.S. military, if I didn't know any better I would think TBD had been through the same cultural immersion training I received. His/her assessments are spot on.

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #148)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 03:30 PM

179. I have no formal training outside of physical sciences, I just like to read and think.

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Response to CrawlingChaos (Reply #116)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 05:10 AM

156. Care to back up your argument?

 

Calling it bullshit without backing it up does zero for your argument. The poster is dealing with REAL poll results, stuff we've seen before (and often ignore because it makes us feel icky) but it's not bullshit.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)


Response to Post removed (Reply #56)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:06 PM

62. Damn you really got Maher

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:01 PM

58. +1. Good arguments.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:03 PM

61. Maher begins with the fucked-up belief...


that Muslims are, at its core, radicals out to kill those who don't believe. And with that, the moderates are "on the fringe". That's islamophobic.

If that were the case, we'd have hundreds of millions of Muslims waging war against us right now and its certainly not the case.

The only reason why Islam has some of these horrific people at its fringe is because they don't have enough secular firewalls around it (unaffiliated police forces, court system, functioning democracies). And the main reason they don't is that we've (U.S.) made it a policy to overthrow said democracies and prop up fundamentalist dictators.

If you put any religious in that scenario, you'd get the same result.

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Response to Darkhawk32 (Reply #61)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:21 PM

68. He challenges the tenets of Islam. Its a fair challenge.

he makes no claim whatsoever about all Muslims being "radicals out to kill those who don't believe".

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #68)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:23 PM

69. Really listen to what they said...

the core of Islam is radical and the fringe of Islam is moderate too scare to say anything.

Sorry, but that's just fundamentally wrong.

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Response to Darkhawk32 (Reply #69)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:35 PM

71. Did you read the poll I described in the OP?

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #71)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:41 PM

72. Yes, but even if all of that were true....

Not all, or even a majority of them, want to kill others of any other faith.

Plus, my goodness, look at the most "radical" countries. It's the exact same ones (or most of them) we've fucked with over the last few decades.

And let's just say everything you're wanting to say is true (which it isn't), what would you like to do about it? Go to war with all of Islam? If that's the case, there's a political party that loves war more than anything else. I hope that's not what you're wanting and I don't think it is, but it order to appease right-wing loonies, liberals shouldn't forget its own core principles.

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Response to Darkhawk32 (Reply #72)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 07:21 PM

84. LOL! So your defense of Islamic theocracy is that the oppression is limited to other Muslims?

Human beings are not the property of a religion. What's wrong with you?

It's the exact same ones (or most of them) we've fucked with over the last few decades.

We've interfered with pretty much every country on Earth at one time or another. The only ones who turned into medieval time machines are Islamic.

what would you like to do about it? Go to war with all of Islam?

Engage assertively with Muslim countries and Muslims who hold illiberal viewpoints. State unequivocally that it's a violation of basic human rights and dignity to impose their religious beliefs through force of law. And tell them to get the hell over it when their religion is criticized, when someone leaves it for another religion, or when someone tries to start a new branch of it with different viewpoints, because people are entitled to express their opinions.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #84)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 07:23 PM

85. No, but the tenet of Maher's argument is that they all want to fucking kill us.

And I'm addressing that tenet.

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Response to Darkhawk32 (Reply #85)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 07:33 PM

89. That's your straw man, not his position.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #89)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 07:38 PM

90. The words came out of his mouth.

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Response to Darkhawk32 (Reply #90)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 08:25 PM

97. When?

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Response to Darkhawk32 (Reply #69)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 01:26 PM

174. what happened when elections were held in Egypt again?

 

recent history...having some trouble remembering....fundies maybe?

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #68)

Tue Oct 7, 2014, 12:49 PM

191. ...as an expert of Islam? NO!! by some shit he heard on TV

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Response to Darkhawk32 (Reply #61)

Tue Oct 7, 2014, 12:49 PM

190. +1, same can be said about any religion...

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:17 PM

67. I agree that criticizing a belief system is not the same as criticizing a group of people

 

from a geographic area.

One thing that is overlooked is that while there are indeed many zealot Muslims, it's not like orthodox Judaism doesn't have its own gang of religious nutbags (as does Christianity). A pox on all religious extremism, no matter what stripe it is.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #67)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:44 PM

73. Yes, but it's a question of scale and relevance.

The difference is so massive it amounts to a false equivalence.

It's like one of those farcical FBI reports that strain so hard to come up with equivalent left-wing terrorist groups for their list of right-wing militias and Neo-Nazi gangs that they resort to listing people who graffiti animal research labs with people who murder abortion doctors and blow up synagogues.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #73)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 06:51 PM

76. I'm wondering how many Muslims you've met.

Is this an abstract theory or derived from experience?

As I mentioned in a post above, I'm a teacher and my experience is different from what you describe.

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #76)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 07:03 PM

78. I certainly haven't met as many as responded to the Washington Post poll.

How about you?

And those I have met were largely Americans, so I don't know how representative they would be of Muslims globally.

Moreover, I do recall hearing a lot more Jew jokes from them than from others. Since you seem to think anecdotal experiences matter more than statistics, what should I deduce from that?

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #76)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 03:33 AM

150. Hundreds and hundreds

 

Over a decade spent living in Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar and UAE. I have met and interfaced on a daily basis over that 10 year period. The fringe is afraid. Again, I am still waiting for someone, anyone to show me the gigantic worldwide Muslim protests in Muslim countries protesting the harsh treatment of women, the harsh treatment of homosexuals, and the harsh treatment of ethnic and religious minorities..........

My experiences are very different than yours, I am not Islamophobic, I would say I am Islamoeducated.

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #150)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 06:33 AM

161. Fair enough. But I find it interesting that the GOP is modeling itself

more and more on the theocratic ideas found in the ME.

The promotion of "God-given" laws above man-made laws, the promotion of anti-gay bigotry and repression of women.



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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #73)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 07:53 PM

92. I live in an area that has a fairly significant Hassidic Jewish population.

 

Not far away is neighborhood with a large Muslim community. Many of the women there wear full burqas, but the Hassidic Jewish women that I see daily are also subjugated and controlled by a bullshit paternalistic religious system which affects almost every aspect of their daily lives, including dress and what they are "allowed" to do outside the house (which isn't much).

Both mythology sects keep their women stomped down and both are extreme, in my eyes. I feel the same way about nuns in a convent. The extreme anti-woman practices and misogyny as expressed in the more zealous ends of the three major desert-originated paternalistic monotheisms are sickening to me as a woman.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #92)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 08:27 PM

98. The lifestyle is similar, but Hasidic Judaism's attitude toward apostasy

is more like the Amish than conservative Islam: The main deterrent is being shunned from your family and community, not being murdered.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #92)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 05:15 AM

157. Neither Chasidic Jews

 

or nuns face beatings, hangings or stonings for turning away from their religion (neither do Muslims in this country but that's besides the point). Far, far too many Muslims believe apostasy should be punishable by death. YOu can ignore that as much as you want but that doesn't make it not true.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 07:04 PM

79. The trouble is, it's far too easy to slip into the "All Muslims" line of thinking

 

Which is in turn often used to justify our own abuse of Muslims - is there any other religion whose adherents we kill by the thousands without even blinking an eye? Why are we so eager to support brutal, mass-murdering despots in the Muslim world, but so quick to condemn and vilify them everywhere else? How is it we support and cheer the likes of Morocco and Israel in their ongoing crushing of Muslim communities, but are so terribly outraged about Russia's actions in Ukraine and China eyeballing its version of the Falklan islands?

Well, as one DU poster has put it, "muslims need to be controlled." As several others have opined, "they only understand violence." And so on and so forth.

The argument that "I'm not talking about Muslims! I'm only talking about islamic theocracy" ends up being nothing but a cover, an excuse. Sort of like how talking about "black on black crime" is a dog whistle for claiming an inhernet pathology in African-Americans.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #79)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 07:42 PM

91. Bingo! Read my reply in this thread. I think we're on the same page here. n/t

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #79)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 08:18 PM

93. Hence the distinction between Islam and Muslims.

Which is in turn often used to justify our own abuse of Muslims

Bigotry doesn't wait for excuses, and its abuse of the truth doesn't make the truth a lie.

is there any other religion whose adherents we kill by the thousands without even blinking an eye?

The premise is a bigoted lie. America doesn't fight radical Islamic groups because they're Muslim - and the fact that Muslims appear to generally believe we do is part and parcel of the unreasoning chauvinism and bigotry that the decent people in those communities need to correct, and they can't do that if they're murdered by their own people for trying.

Why are we so eager to support brutal, mass-murdering despots in the Muslim world, but so quick to condemn and vilify them everywhere else?

We're not. You're stating another false premise based only on bigotry. And moreover, in the instances where we've actively helped topple those despots, we're then blamed for the chaos that followed. We're blamed for all things at all times, and it's not possible to please bigots, so we don't try...and are then blamed for that too. That's part of the degenerate insanity of that part of the world, and I'm not even sure it has anything to do with Islam.

How is it we support and cheer the likes of Morocco and Israel in their ongoing crushing of Muslim communities, but are so terribly outraged about Russia's actions in Ukraine and China eyeballing its version of the Falklan islands?

Your post is an orgasm of ludicrous false equivalencies.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #93)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 09:02 PM

108. What distinction?

 

It's like those right-wingers who offer the platitude that they don't hate gay people, they just hate homosexuality. Except of course, that when you know nothing else about a person except one quality they have, that's the quality you define them by. These right-wingers hate homosexuality, and define gay people by homosexuality. Someone else hates Islam, and defines Muslims by their practice of Islam.

Ergo, by the fact the hated quality is being used as the sole definer of the person, it is in fact the person who is being hated.

The premise is a bigoted lie. America doesn't fight radical Islamic groups because they're Muslim - and the fact that Muslims appear to generally believe we do is part and parcel of the unreasoning chauvinism and bigotry that the decent people in those communities need to correct, and they can't do that if they're murdered by their own people for trying.


Really, it's the job of "decent" muslims to propagandize for the united States? Funny; they actually make up the majority of the people getting killed in our exercises. I'm amazed that i've had to explain this to so many people on DU, but our bombs kill more than just the "bad guys" of the moment. They kill whoever's in the blast radius, and so far that has been mostly civilians in the places we have been waging war. To speak nothing of the long-term suffering and privation of those who live through it all.

You blithely dismiss the reality of thousands and thousands of people being killed, and suffering, and you accuse these same people of chauvinism and bigotry. i find that somewhat amazing.

We're not. You're stating another false premise based only on bigotry. And moreover, in the instances where we've actively helped topple those despots, we're then blamed for the chaos that followed. We're blamed for all things at all times, and it's not possible to please bigots, so we don't try...and are then blamed for that too. That's part of the degenerate insanity of that part of the world, and I'm not even sure it has anything to do with Islam.


Based on reality. I suggest you learn about our history with regard to the saudis, the Gulf states, and egypt. have a look at our support in Western Asia; we funded and armed the Taliban after they secured power, because the idea of opium scared us more than what the Taliban was doing to people in Afghanistan. Can you imagine us supporting something like those guys in, I dunno, Finland? Hell no, we'd be staunchly opposed ot any such wild-eyed nutballs, because the good, white, christian people of Finland are people Americans can empathize with, while hte brown, Muslim, Persian-speaking afghans are a;lien and vaguely sinister in our cultural perceptions.

Your post is an orgasm of ludicrous false equivalencies.


Occupation and oppression is occupation and oppression. We support it when the victims are Muslims and condemn it when the victims aren't.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 07:06 PM

80. his problem is that he paints all Muslims with the same brush.

 

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 07:12 PM

82. Oh great, another Islam-bashing thread

 

Is this the new thing here?

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #82)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 08:20 PM

94. Oh great, another "tl;dr but here's my opinion anyway" comment.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #82)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 09:05 PM

109. Well, it IS DU, after all.

 

And it's not talking about a group that any of the Admin belong to, so it gets to stay.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #82)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 09:18 PM

111. No, it's not new. It's been going on for a while and got worse since DU3's "no rules" policy came in

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #82)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 03:34 AM

151. Well

 

I think we are taking a break from Christian-bashing, Texas-bashing and the two minute hate directed at anyone who criticizes PBO.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 07:32 PM

88. When Bill Mahar and Rush Limbaugh share a talking point...

I tend to get turned off.

Sorry, but when both Bill and Rush say all Muslims are terrorists, it's like saying all Christians are KKK and all Jews are Zionists insisting on rounding up Palestinians and moving them all to camps in the desert.

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Response to bobclark86 (Reply #88)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 08:22 PM

95. Don't post lies in my thread.

Sorry, but when both Bill and Rush say all Muslims are terrorists

Bill has never said anything of the sort. Don't post lies in my thread.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #95)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 08:33 PM

99. ooh, soo sorry...

Mistaken on the terrorist part... Both believe all Muslims are women-stoning, genital-mutilating barbarians who want to kill everyone not Muslim (or is Muslim and wants to leave, same thing pretty much).

Big difference. I apologize... Bill Maher is so cosmopolitan and we should all bow down to his wondrous knowledge of all things religious.

So, Mr. "My Thread," what's your "solution" to Bill "gotten fired from everywhere" Maher's big "Muslim problem?" Bomb the shit out of them, I take it?

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Response to bobclark86 (Reply #99)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 08:42 PM

103. Grow up.

The people who die in these countries for expressing their opinion or honestly choosing their own religion are not figments of someone's imagination. You're welcome to not give a shit, but don't be self-righteous in your depraved indifference.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #103)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 08:49 PM

106. How about you learn...

To not judge an entire group of people based on the actions of some power-hungry jackasses? You know, a grown-up thing to do?

"You're welcome to not give a shit, but don't be self-righteous in your depraved indifference."

Delightful personal attack. Because my postings totally say I don't care. Good job. Because I apparently don't care what happens to people when I refuse to lump them all into a group together, making it easier to dehumanize them -- and, as anyone who has served in combat knows, easier to kill. I think that is far more dangerous. That sort of thinking (or lack thereof) tends to lead to bad things.

Oh, and you didn't answer my question.

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Response to bobclark86 (Reply #99)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 12:41 AM

142. LOL!

I am grateful for "his thread" though, as I'm not on MIRT anymore I'm going to reinstate my 'zero tolerance for bigots' policy and this has been like fly paper for my ignore list.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #95)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:39 PM

132. Right, he's just said a majority of Muslims are fanatical extremists

 

That's SO much better.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #132)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 03:36 AM

152. Well

 

we do have some statistical data that seems to definitely point to the extremist position..........but hey opinions always trump statistics, right?

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #152)

Tue Oct 7, 2014, 12:52 PM

193. Yeap, our western polls taken in their countries about their religion say they hate us... ok...

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Response to bobclark86 (Reply #88)

Tue Oct 7, 2014, 12:51 PM

192. +1

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 08:39 PM

101. I'd buy Maher's point

 

if he didn't have a gigantic fucking blind spot for Israel.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #101)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 09:12 PM

110. The only reason Israel is important is that Muslims obsess on it.

Israelis and Palestinians together are two-thousandths (0.2%) of the world's population, and the land they occupy would be virtually worthless if the land that surrounds it in most directions weren't even more worthless.

Not many people in the Islamic world would care about the struggles there if the Israelis and Palestinians were both Islamic peoples, or if their relative power ratio were reversed. The oppression of religious minorities in Muslim countries is a footnote in the Western media, and nonexistent in the strictly controlled media of Muslim countries, where such mentions might be deemed blasphemous.

But because it's Jews dominating Muslims, that's driven a froth of unhinged rage for decades, and it's an example of the problem with the state of Islam. So while the blood of a million Congolese might disappear into the soil with some half-hearted international aid programs and below-the-fold news articles for a few days, the convulsions of Israel and Palestine across a few neighborhoods and streets command global attention.

It's just one of the many insane, irrational consequences of Islam.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #110)

Wed Oct 15, 2014, 11:09 AM

198. As do many Americans, no?

 

BTW, this isn't an attack on you, I applaud you for the OP and your reasoned defence of it in the face of unreasoned/unreasonable abuse.

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Response to mr blur (Reply #198)

Wed Oct 15, 2014, 12:42 PM

199. Sure, in reaction. But the source of the obsession is within the ME itself.

If Muslims stopped caring about I/P, I think pretty much everyone else would stop caring pretty quickly too. It would get about as much attention as the Sri Lanka conflict.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #101)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 05:18 AM

158. So because he has a blind spot

 

you want to ignore his whole argument and pretend it's bullshit? That's your excuse?

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #158)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 11:00 AM

165. No. I'd actually take him seriously if he applied his standards equally.

 

Christianity and Islam are fine targets, but Israel is off the table.

That's bullshit.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #165)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 11:16 AM

167. Let me get this straight

 

You want him to bash Christianity and Islam (religions) but only if he bashes Israel (a country). Do I have that right?

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #167)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 12:39 PM

172. No, but thanks for trying.

 

If one's going to be critical of Islam and Christianity as religions of violence and intolerance, then it's only consistent to judge the religious bullshit partly driving Israel's policy towards its neighbors.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #172)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 01:17 PM

173. Except it's not religion

 

that drives Israeli policy. Unless, of course, you're one of those who equates rockets with bon bons.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #173)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 01:54 PM

175. And Hamas firing rockets into Israel

 

is absolutely not the byproduct in any way of Israel taking land that isn't theirs because their holy book says it was theirs thousands of years ago.

Just like how American support for Israel has absolutely nothing to do with the Christian millennialist nonsense about rebuilding the Temple (which Maher does condemn without any sense of irony).

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #175)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 02:13 PM

176. Yawn

 

They didn't "take" the land because G-d told them it was theirs (some in Israel believe that, the vast majority do not). They were very happy with the land the UN gave them and only took the rest because they kept getting attacked. They have proved over and over they would trade land for peace and they have no partners for that at all. They left Gaza and you see what they got in response. You can blame Israel all you want for that but it simply denying reality. The Israeli's I know all consider the religious right that would be the first ones to condemn them into the fiery pits of hell for not accepting Jesus to be nothing but useful idiots.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #176)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 03:39 PM

182. oh bullshit!! Israel has done nothing but expand and expand and expand its settlements

in the West Bank and East Jerusalem making a viable Palestinian state all but impossible - while cutting off the Gaza from the rest of the world without even sea access.

We all know that without the removal of the vast majority of settlements - a contiguous and viable Palestinian state is a physical impossibility - There is not a shred of evidence that the State of Israel ever viewed " the peace process" as anything other than scam to buy time while making a Palestinians state impossible. And they have succeeded.


There are 534,224 settlers in the West Bank including East Jerusalem as of 2010**. According to B'tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights, " the built-up area of the settlements in the West Bank covers 1.7 percent of the West Bank, the settlements control 41.9 percent of the entire West Bank" .*

**http://www.fmep.org/settlement_info/settlement-info-and-tables/stats-data/comprehensive-settlement-population-1972-2006

http://www.btselem.org/English/Maps/Index.asp

full PDF map:

http://www.btselem.org/Download/Settlements_Map_Eng.pdf




http://www.ft.com/cms/s/728a69d4-12b1-11dc-a475-000b5df10621,Authorised=false.html?_i_location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcms%2Fs%2F0%2F728a69d4-12b1-11dc-a475-000b5df10621.html%3Fnclick_check%3D1&_i_referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.democraticunderground.com%2Fdiscuss%2Fdu#axzz2ZoDLB6il



“there is no Palestinian state, even though the Israelis speak of one.” Instead, he said, “there will be a settler state and a Palestinian built-up area, divided into three sectors, cut by fingers of Israeli settlement and connected only by narrow roads."


Israel has never slowed down its relentless settlement expansion - EVER!



Comprehensive Settlement Population 1972-2008
— filed under: general-stats, stats


Year West Bank Gaza Strip East Jerusalem Golan Heights Total
1972 1,182 700 8,649 77 10,608
1983 22,800 900 76,095 6,800 106,595
1985 44,100 1,900 103,900* 8,700 158,700
1989 69,800 3,000 117,100 10,000 199,900
1990 78,600 3,300 135,000 10,600 227,500
1991 90,300 3,800 137,300 11,600 243,000
1992 101,100 4,300 141,000 12,000 258,400
1993 111,600 4,800 152,800 12,600 281,800
1995 133,200 5,300 157,300 13,400 309,200
1996 142,700 5,600 160,400 13,800 322,500
1997 154,400 5,700 161,416 14,300 335,816
1998 163,300 6,100 165,967 14,900 350,267
1999 177,411 6,337 170,123 15,313 369,184
2000 192,976 6,678 172,250 15,955 387,859
2002 214,722 7,277 175,617 16,503 414,119
2003 224,669 7,556 178,601 16,791 427,617
2004 234,487 7,826 181,587 17,265 441,828
2005 258,988 0 184,057 17,793 460,838
2006 268,400 0 186,857 18,105
473,362
2007 276,462 0 189,708 18,692 484,862
2008 295,380 0 n/a 19,083 n/a
2009 299,440 0 191,960 19,248 510,648
2010 314,132 0 198,629 19,797 534,224


*1986 data

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1992-2008 and List of Localities, the Populations, and Symbols, 1995-2008. Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem, Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 1991-2010.

http://www.fmep.org/settlement_info/settlement-info-and-tables/stats-data/comprehensive-settlement-population-1972-2006

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #182)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 04:45 PM

184. Your cut and paste job

 

doesn't impress me in the slightest. Your continuing to behave like Israel actually has a partner for peace in hamas is laughable and hamas has nobody to blame but themselves for being cut off from the world. That's what rocket attacks get you.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #184)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 04:52 PM

185. I'm not claiming anything nice about Hamas

There is a reality of Israel's record

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #101)

Thu Oct 16, 2014, 10:01 PM

201. +INFINITY! (nt)

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 08:46 PM

104. How do you propose we confront it?

Because while Maher might be right that Islam is destructive as a political force, the fact of the matter is that the only way the west has ever confronted it is with the barrel of a gun and a white man's burden attitude.

So maybe, just maybe, liberals are hesitant to criticize Islam for fear that it will do nothing other than gin up the kind of sentiment that leads the west into bombing more brown people? Just a thought...

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Response to Hippo_Tron (Reply #104)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 09:57 PM

115. We (as in we right here) can confront it by acknowledging it and not shying away from the subject

in discussions, and by ignoring the people in our circles who value superficial amity between groups over standing up for fundamental human rights. People like that have nothing to offer in a moral discussion, because their views are purely aesthetic: They just don't want to be bothered with the uncertainties of having to make independent moral choices, so they just try to silence reason and appease madness.

As far as the military angles are concerned, I think we would have far greater moral standing to restrain large-scale policy if we were seen as fearless advocates for human rights than we would if we let the self-hating, dogmatically PC element speak for us. The liberals of the 20th century who loudly condemned the Soviet Union had the credibility to push economic and social reform in America, while those who acted like Stalin and Mao were just leaders with different opinions than ours deserved the contempt they got. People might not intellectually understand it, but they can see moral strength and it persuades them.

There are nihilists on our side of the spectrum who see morality of any kind as inherently hypocritical and unjust, and they can't add anything to the world, only fritter it away in a futile quest to fill the infinite abyss inside the conservative heart. And the conservative heart, unfortunately, has dominated Islam for a very, very long time. The only thing that can change that is to kindle the liberal heart, and confront Muslims who hold theocratic opinions with the fact of their injustice.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 09:51 PM

114. The only two theocracies in the world are Iran and Vatican City.

No Islamic countries aside from Iran are theocracies. You misuse the term.

Theocracy is a form of government in which a deity is officially recognized as the civil Ruler and official policy is governed by officials regarded as divinely guided, or is pursuant to the doctrine of a particular religion or religious group.[1][2][3]


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Response to kwassa (Reply #114)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:07 PM

118. Thank you, I was getting short on my pedantry quota.

But I will continue to refer to a state where blasphemy or apostasy are punished with death as a theocracy, because that's just common sense. And I will refer to opinions supporting the imposition of such laws as theocratic viewpoints.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #118)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:15 PM

120. It isn't common sense, it is bullshit. You don't get to make up your own definitions.

You create a strawman through your misuse of the word.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #120)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:20 PM

122. What term would you use for states that murder people for criticizing religion?

A "Happy Happy Joy-Joy Funtime Republic"?

And perhaps the institutions that carry out these sentences should be called the Ministry of Tolerance?

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #122)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:36 PM

131. Intolerant. Murderous.

Good words, both of them.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #131)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 03:36 PM

181. Those are adjectives.

I'm asking for a noun for a state that executes people for violating the tenets of a specific, explicitly established religion.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:20 PM

123. Maher and Ben both

 

Have good points, but Maher gets the nod in this one

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:45 PM

134. "nihilistic PC priesthood"?

 

Of course, that must be it.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 01:34 AM

144. IMO, Religion at times brings the worst in people.

Even here on DU. Since I joined DU during the last presidential election I have seen it. There was a wrath against Catholicism. Which I did not enjoy. I was brought up catholic, even though I have not been to a church in years.

I feel most times a religious debate happens. When one religion is getting criticized, the first action is to bring another religion into the fray. I don't know it is done to justify or simply out of spite.

An example, a week or so I was watching TyT and they were covering the elevation of hate towards Islam. Cenk then proceeded to mention the bad things Christians have done. Example he used was the attack on the Sheikh temple. Which is fine a christian did commit the heinous act. But I think when you do what Cenk did, you lose the people in the middle that may have been understanding to the criticized religion.

You don't have to bash a religion to defend another imo.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 03:30 AM

149. Bill is a hypocrite

 

America is a "Christian" Country.

We discriminate against women.
We discriminate against gays.
We drop bombs on people we don't agree with.

The Age of Discovery was wholesale slaughter in the name of Christianity
The Jews were murdered by Christian Nazis

The list of atrocity in the name of the christian religion is endless...

But Bill wants to focus on Islam.

Bill, when you drive alone, you drive with Bin Laden.

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Response to Hari Seldon (Reply #149)

Tue Oct 7, 2014, 12:54 PM

194. +1, cause Christian crap don't stink to some... Also, he's giving Chrisitians a time limit as if

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 06:40 AM

162. "because it's theocracy"

 

'Nuff said.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 11:01 AM

166. I agree with TBD and Bill Maher.

Affleck is wrong comparing the belief in a religion as equivalent to race, gender, and sexual orientation. None of us has a choice in race, gender, and sexual orientation and all the historic discrimination related.

Religion is a choice. Most religions do have issues regarding basic human rights and freedoms wholeheartedly supported by progressive liberals. If all religion is 'bad' Islam is particularly intolerant.

No pictures, caricatures, depictions of 'you know who.' No jokes. No fictional stories, no reimagining.

Is it respect or fear? I'd say fear, Ben Affleck made a movie called 'Dogma' lambasting Christianity. Where is the Islamic version? Not on your life!

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 12:25 PM

170. Apostasy

Apostasy in Islam is commonly defined as the conscious abandonment of Islam by a Muslim in word or through deed.It includes the act of converting to another religion (such as Christianity) by a person who was born in a Muslim family or who had previously accepted Islam

Twenty-three Muslim-majority countries, as of 2013, cover apostasy in Islam through their criminal laws.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Islam

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Response to EX500rider (Reply #170)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 02:39 PM

178. Ugh. I hate that fact...

 



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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 12:34 PM

171. Maher has the better of the argument.

 

And by a significant margin. For all the reasons Sam Harris has set forth.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 03:33 PM

180. I think the 1st mistake is assuming all religions are equal..

.....I hope we can all agree for example that the old Aztec/Mayan/Inca religions with their use of human sacrifice were horrible.

Also I am NOT saying Islam is that bad but I do have serious issues with ANY religion that makes leaving or converting (apostasy) a crime as it is in 23 Islamic countries. Punishable by death in some of those countries.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 05:00 PM

186. I completely agree with Maher. nt

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Thu Oct 16, 2014, 11:01 PM

202. I was not gonna rec this due to Bill's Blinders when it come to Isreal

Last edited Fri Oct 17, 2014, 04:06 AM - Edit history (1)

But after seeing that a Hit article against Maher that outright LIES about what he said got 75recs I changed my mind.

K&R!

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Fri Oct 17, 2014, 12:56 AM

204. I seen the show and I, totally, agree with Maher. I can't understand why some, here

on DU, can regularly criticize other religions, but when it comes to Islam it's like the "golden calf." All the atrocities that Issis and others of their ilk commit it's our (U.S.) fault.

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #204)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 06:20 PM

215. +infinity

A lot of liberals can't reconcile the idea that it's possible to criticize Islam without becoming an "ally of Christianity" -- and therefore the historical enemy of so many minority and indigenous people. It probably has to do with the historical atrocities of colonialism and the fear of being seen as racist. Guilt by association, too, i.e. if Fox News wants profiling of Muslims, we can't allow ourselves to be in agreement with Fox News. Yet they're OK "standing with Rand" when he criticizes the NSA, even though he believes that private businesses should have the right to discriminate against black people because the "free market" needs protection from government, but not with anyone who wants a travel embargo to and from Muslim countries and a complete cutoff of all U.S. involvement with them?

Some guy was quoted in The Week as saying that if Affleck was to come around to the idea that the Islamic world is a barbaric and primitive universe, or that Islam is a backwards ideology, it would mean abandoning the dogma of multiculturalism that liberals hold sacrosanct in and of itself, and realizing that maybe spreading Western values (or acknowledging their superiority) isn't such a bad idea after all. That doesn't necessarily mean Christian values. It means Enlightement secularism as our Founding fathers intended. The problem is that a lot of liberals nitpick and throw the baby out with the bath water, i.e. how can you say Jefferson was right about X if he owned slaves, and how can you say Founding "Fathers," it's sexist language, and how can you support anything the Founders said or did when this country was founded on the genocide of Native Americans...

Um, I don't just give up on buying a Ford because old man Henry was a Jew-hater. I still listen to my iPod even though Steve Jobs was a dick. I separate the product from the person. The product, in this case, is Western democratic values (not necessarily capitalism either). Jefferson may have been an asshole but that doesn't mean Westernism sucks and let's leave poor Islam alone because of how the Muslims are targeted for this or that reason. To me it's the action and the belief that matters, not the person who proposed X or even the race or color. If Germans all of a sudden started killing Jews again in hopes of getting 72 maidens at Valhalla, I'd be shitting on their foolishness too.

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Response to Ampersand Unicode (Reply #215)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 09:25 PM

217. Nice articulate post. I agree with all you said, but many ultra-liberals here will read the

first four five or six lines and shut you off as being bigoted of Islam. I say, call a duck a duck if it has feathers and quacks


Stick around, we need more like you here.

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #204)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 07:40 PM

216. I feel the same way as you do. eom

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Fri Oct 17, 2014, 02:50 AM

205. I'm with LostOne4Ever on this.

Wtf is wrong with some people?

Instead of expressing outrage over Islamic religious atrocities they prefer to spread lies about Maher and personally attack True Blue Door for posting FACTS.

Do you really think you're doing the victims a favor by protecting Islam from its critics, many of whom are muslim?


I thought it was too late to rec a thread this old but I'm doing it anyway.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #205)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 04:41 PM

208. But there is no single "Islam".

Does Maher or ISIS have the right to tell the Kurds that they are not muslim?

Or the sufis, or the shias or the liberals, or the moderates?

IMO fundamentalist religion is the problem to those of us who are liberal or moderate.

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #208)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 05:50 PM

213. Maher has the "right" to tell anyone anything.

It's called freedom of speech and critical thinking, things that the Muslim world doesn't believe in. He makes fun of people who believe in supernatural fairy tales, especially those who kill people because they don't ascribe to the same fictional myths. He has the right to call the Kurds ignorant children just as he has the right to call Christians simpletons or people who believe in psychics, astrology, Ouija boards, past-life regression, chakras, or anything else that Oprah has talked about on her woo-woo spiritual nonsense channel.

Maher has the right to say "the Kurds are not Muslims" if, as a whole, the people of the Kurdish region all of a sudden decided that Islam is caveman bullshit and they were abandoning it. That would be a fact, not an opinion, just like if the people of Alabama all of a sudden said "OK, fuck this whole Jesus thing, this is a load of crap" he could say, honestly, "the Alabamans are not Christians."

Until all these groups abandon their primitive nonsense entirely, Maher has the right to call them whatever he wants. Anything else related to interpretation of bogus dogmas is just semantics and a No True Scotsman fallacy.

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Response to Ampersand Unicode (Reply #213)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 05:58 PM

214. Good point. But it reinforces my point that it's just opinion. There is no single definition.

The Kurds have a different interpretation of Islam than Maher or ISIS.

Who is right?

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 05:17 PM

210. Ah...no

 

Sorry.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 09:32 PM

218. Bill IS right. I've studied this formally and informally for at least twenty years. One doesn't have

to be a theologian or Quranic scholar to know that what he sees will continue to be true long after our lifetimes. Kind and good as most of Islam's supporters are, they are not its leaders.

I'm an atheist and have no belief system to promote. I just know a potentially clever, rich, organized and dangerous ideological machine when I see one.

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Response to ancianita (Reply #218)

Mon Oct 27, 2014, 09:02 AM

220. Indeed. I'm an atheist too, and I see the same thing you do.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Mon Oct 27, 2014, 09:39 AM

221. Bill is a bigot, a religious bigot, he's also funny most of the time but

he's about the last person I'd pay attention to for significant insight into any religion. Now if I am looking for funny quips about religion he's my go-to guy.

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Response to mulsh (Reply #221)

Mon Oct 27, 2014, 10:25 AM

222. That's despicable, lying slander.

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