I agree fully with K’s status message: “Let me be one of the people living in the Islamic world who officially condemns the violent and idiotic actions of the Afghans who took part in such a disgusting crime. I hope more people in the middle east realize that their silence in the matter only serves to justify those whom would claim our lack of accountability as a sign of approval.”
What do you think of the idea of downloading the Koran then deleting it?
While certainly not as dramatic as publicaly burning a physical copy, I see nothing wrong with it.
Sends the same message without the ‘hate”, standing up to our right to free speech that we will not be intimidated by their tactics.
To be honest, I wouldn’t of had a problem with the pastor’s actions if his intentions weren’t laden with ignorance and hypocrisy. Listening to the man speak, he made Fox seem logical.
I agree the only value his actions brought was to identify that there is an octopus in the room, thats it. Pretty sad that it takes an ignorant idiot to bring this to a public discussion.
I think that this is the icing on the cake. This issue has been building momentum over the years with the entire drawing/depicting Mohammad fiasco ranging from the Swedish comic artist to a South Park episode to students drawing stick figures on campus to US soliders flushing Qurans down toilets in an Iraqi detention center.
I wonder what the reaction of the religious right would be if a Muslim person was to wander into a Christian church, wrestle the Crucifix off the wall and pee all over it. I just wonder what they would do? I remember that several years ago… the right broke loose because of an art exhibit that was deemed to be blasphemous. Let me also point out the obvious—while there have been at least one instance of Koran burning, and numerous instances of threats–there have been no contemporary Cross burnings, (at least my Muslims.) This sort of reaction should not surprise anyone.
Sorry, my bad–should be by Muslims, not my Muslims.
J, reminds me of the outrage over some artist depicting the Virgin Mary as a whore.
Maybe that should be done too J, download and delete some bibles too.
There is a difference between Christianity and Islam here though, it’s the octopus that no one wants to talk about, Christianity is more like the jellyfish
It’s not the act that matters, it’s the motivation. In this case, I believe the koran burnings were intended to cause a violent reaction so they could then condemn them for their response and feel superior in their own morality. It’s not mu…ch different than when my brother needles and pesters someone until they react, then criticizes them for their anger and says he’ll pray for them. Same mentality.
I did download the koran once, to read, then I found a better version I didn’t have to download, so I deleted it. It didn’t feel wrong.
It is a little sad it usually takes the actions of an idiot to bring something to our attention, but I’m getting used to it.
I don’t think that anyone (even the book burner) will ever know why he did it. But as I say–the reaction should not have surprised anyone who knows what time of day it is.
I wish i could hear a side of the argument that would try to defend it. Many people i know from the first time around this happened argued that “The western media was guilty for shinning a spotlight on the pastor in the first place” now pro…ven false. Since time there was no coverage leading up to the event. Leaving them no other cards to play but a deafening silence from our so called moderates. And I think the west should realize that this amount of cultural clash has always been inevitable. You should give up pretending like there is a politically correct way of easing the Islamic people into a state of mutual understanding. If they truly believe they are Holy warriors in a Holy war, then they should start to realize that childish passion plays no part in winning any war. Superpowers have had many proclaimed rivals in the past, but none of them cried like children because someone didn’t respect their feelings. Trust me we will get over it.
Just like how people got over the Mohammad stick figure “incident”. They are indeed like children and the fact is is that most religious people are that way when it comes to their beliefs. One example is a thread that Thread Starter made some time ago dealing with spiritual teachers. Eventhough this wasn’t a discussion on religion in particular, one man got extremely angry and insulted us because he felt that we were threatening his belief system. Sometimes I sit and ponder why do people feel so threatened and have such a dramatic reaction to such events? This is a phenomena that lies outside out culture (though the somewhat smarter Muslim uses the culture gap to their advantage and the Quran burning was really nothing more than cultural ignorance as you stated) and more within the realm of human behavior. I remember watching a video once about how people feel that religion is a close tie to how they see reality and that any attack on it threatens their reality and existence basically. I don’t quite buy that theory.
Why do people feel that it is appropriate to harm or insult another when they feel that their belief system is being questioned or criticized?
I would agree that any religion has its extremists who would misrepresent the faith by getting obsessively and even violently offended by blasphemous actions. But comparing Christianities outrages to that of Islamic ones is significantly ou…t of place. All other forms of religious zealots have their equally strong counter arguments. With Islamic culture though we have a tendancy to say nothing at all if the issues is too inflammatory. However i have seen entire debates on the current state of Israel from Jews defending and arguing against with the nearly solid 50-50 vote for both sides. This also takes into consideration how sensitive it is to argue against the state of Israel as a jew. The day i see that level of discord i will concede my earlier point.
So what does one do about the octopus?
I do not feel that it is out of place to compare the Christian zealots with the Islamic ones. Given Christianity’s past, I would say that it is on equal footing. While it may be true that you don’t see Christians killing UN officials over… a burnt Bible, you do hear of homosexual persecution and killings. You do hear of death threats and hate mail sent to those that oppose their world view. You do have demonstrations and riots. The fact that there is an opposing team in the Western world means little to nothing to these people and their ilk. I do agree that the Muslim world needs some strong opposition at home base though.
We kill it, Thread Starter.
That is the difference isn’t it Sarah? I mean really I know most atheist love to take pot shots at Christians but leave Islam alone for the most part
Or as K pointed out, I see many people here in the West who take up the Palestine “plight”, seeing it as a one way street of oppressive Jews / West over Islam
Then use that as a poster statement of how oppressive the West is towards Islamic ideologies
But for every sympathetic cowering asshole, I see one who does not cower. Most of the time it’s Atheists and free thinkers who were once Muslims themselves.
True enough, I do not know many ex muslims, but know plenty of ex christians
Are you familiar with this site and the man that runs it? http://friendlyatheist.com/ He is a good example of what I am talking about. Ben is another example although he is not an ex-muslim, he is an ex-jew.
Well for the most part i believe our biggest problem lies in that our free thinkers tend to leave. An enlightment doesnt happen when the majority of those willing to stand their ground up and leave for greener pastures. This is something i know am painting a broad brush stroke with but i think those like myself get tempted or either taunted out of leaving to live somewhere else. I know one thing, i didnt have someone to be that opposing voice when i was growing up, so if i and others leave we condemn others to have no path to follow.
Agreed. You would be doing your people a great injustice if you left. I know that few like you are left in Muslim countries and that life isn’t particularly easy for them there.
I like that link Sarah, I do not believe we should ever have to apologize for something we did not do directly. We should although point out the actions for what they are though, that goes far further then a blanket ‘I’m sorry” to which one can walk away and continue ignoring the octopus.
If the question was with regards what the west should do? Learn all you can about Islam law and doctrine. Being able to combat someone toe to toe by knowing the Islamic faith and tradition annoys them to no avail. They will constantly try to convince you that you as an outsider cannot fathom the true meaning of the teachings, and you know why that is? Because it is a firm belief that if you did truly understand it in its purest form you would be a believer.
haha, K that sounds like the same line I get from any religious or spiritual teaching 😛
While I agree with the straight-forward concept of non-overlap with regard to religion Vs. religion sacredness (even though I am secular), I think having the discussion without including the occupations in the Middle East and the political …realities of implied assimilation (to western norms) actually let strategic failures “off the hook” in these isolated events…a “pass” that western leaders must truly appreciate. I liked the treatment in Slate last week in this article “http://www.slate.com/id/2290597/.” Issues should be expected to some extent when we are trying to nation-build from a place we do not understand culturally or politically. The fact that the generals complained about Koran-burning risking lives (they grab at any reason to make that claim because it helps them justify our ongoing occupier-related deaths), and certain congresspeople responded with suggestions of further undermining liberties at home in response, shows what a lack of strategy and/or resolve we actually have. Net for me:::I prefer to frame this incident to include the larger picture of occupation, nation building, the nature of extended non-declared war, Vietnamesque dynamics, the fact that the “enemy” is a set of concepts and beliefs not well understood, and a needed yet non-existent “statement of expectations” as part of risk analysis that might offer strength during the fog of war. It’s messy.
Yes, they will give you vague examples and stories of scientists that made discoveries which coincide with some verse or other from the Quran, who then converted for that reason. That is supposed to demonstrate how we as simple humans can not possibly fathom all the “wisdom” and “truth” that is held within their religion.
Yes Thread Starter but our side adds that little pinch of fatalism to sell you the pie.
That’s a spicy pie
@ G, i do agree American foreign policy was never designed from a diplomatic approach or a militaristic function to address the issues of religious tensions. It is simply something modern military leaders seem to deal with on a case by …case basis, and this is reflected with foreign policy in the region in general. It tends to go into Auto-pilot if there is no crises to address. Therefore it only resolves short term clashes but non of the major ones. I would again state that it is within the Wests best interest to emulate a level of understanding about Islamic culture that rivaled that of the west during the crusades. And i mean only the level of knowledge and exchange of culture that existed between Christianity and Islam. Contrary to popular belief the crusades had much less animosity between both cultures than what exists today. We live in a region of the world that is still emulating the distrust of colonialism and a further belief that the west is too far disconnected and depraved to understand Islamic culture for its true message. Thus by displaying a full understanding and yet firmly standing tall goes a long way. So Hillary Clinton was right when she said you need a Muslim “Cosby” show.
We have one in Canada =P
So now America is falling behind on its tv to Canada? Whats left? Is everyone in Hollywood moving to Vancouver? Is Collin Mochery going to host the price is right?
Canada beats the US in many ways with TV. Forever Knight comes to mind and Avatar got aired uncensored there when Diseny took it over…
Hey I wasn’t trying to toot our horn here, it’s actually a crappy show … too politically correct for 4 seasons, they should tackle subjects like this.
I don’t believe there is a causal link between burning a book and someone’s belief system being murderously psychopathic. Burning books is a waste of resources, but if someone uses it as an excuse to kill then we need to look at the operator headspace, not the excuse.
What do we do about the octopus S?
I feel the spirit of this action ends up destructive in the end (however enlightening it might be in context) because it functions on a presumption that the ability to provoke violence proves the violence. It does, but it also co-creates it… in a dangerous way.
There are far more skillful ways we can bring attention to what’s oppressive, violent or otherwise harmful in a particular way of believing and practicing, than to provoke the very attitude you feel compelled to criticize, in this case, an irrationally protective violence.
I mean, it’s great we all know there’s a giant squid in the room, but what next? And remember, we only have our own focus, and commitment we can control. So what’s most skillful for us, right now? And what inspires others along as skillful lines. That’s what I think is important at times like these.
How would you approach the octopus KW?
Just as I am now. Through engaging people on whatever level they can engage and with as collaborative intent as possible.
If you want persuade someone you really have first understand them or at least appreciate their world, so to speak. So,… while there are certain fights I won’t go looking for, in real life practice as in my communications with others, I would encourage rationality. But would also, encourage the freedom to explore the structure of one’s experience in other than rational ways as well, like aesthetically.
I would try and foster trust, the kind that doesn’t need to know ABOUT what my opposing “other” believes, but that over time allows us to both develop a growing certainty, through experience, that we want the same things, or at least similar things, and that deep down, there is a way we can align our sympathies and efforts to help each other, or at least co-exist peacefully.
That’s where I would start I guess. But it’s a moment to moment thing. And when we forget this, and think we have to sort it all out in our heads, we start forgetting what we’re really after, and get lost being right again. And communication becomes a debate, and we use the other as a way of defending ourselves, which diminishes us both.
That’s been my experience, and what I observe in conflict in general. We get what we need, which is usually a way of provoking in others what we need to face in ourselves.
Here is my issue with that, we can be all warm and fuzzy about whatever commonness we have in humanity. But is does nothing in dealing with what we are ignoring or do not want to confront within ourselves (the octopus)
I mean really, if it were that easy might you be able to go to a bbq with Stephen Harper?
I wish there was a simple solution. L.E. Modesitt Jr’s sci-fi novel “The Parafaith War” was the tidiest solution I’ve ever seen, but it involved a highly technological society diffusing a religious one through the actions of a “messiah” so …i think it might be beyond the scope of our discussion. The ibrahimic traditions seem to be holding the entire planet hostage with their pathological memes.
I think a good place to start is education based around teaching humans the natural biases of our brains, the fundamentals of bayesian theory, heuristics, decision theory, logic, epistemology, neuroscience, evolution, and the scientific method. Unfortunately, all of these things are anathema to the status quo, and i strongly suspect that our education system works exactly how it was designed. I am aware that many control doctrines call for your target to defeat himself as an expedient to constant control by outside force (which is immensely expensive and counter productive.)
Most of the constructs and schema that have evolved in the feedback loop of oppression/revolution seem to be prepared for most contingencies. I don’t want to be a nihilist, but i think we might have to burn down the entire aquarium to get to the octopus.
As hypothetical an opportunity it would be fore me to even imagine having the audience of one who screens his audiences so carefully –and heck! Just a moment ago I called him an idiot in context here on facebook– but if I were to have a m…oment with him, I would hope I could find it in myself to appeal to his deepest fears and hopes in such a way that it would make him consider a little more openly, some what he is doing.
I admit, however, that I sometimes fantasize about humiliating him for the slimy things his government is doing with the arrogant assumption that Canadians don’t see or care. But the higher ground would to present an offer of humility and let fate serve it up as humiliation if required.
Muslims are not averse to desecrating the symbols of other religions. In fact they have quite a record of desecrating others sacred sites.
Thread Starter, There is no solution to the octopus other then killing it or waiting for it to gain enlightenment and become domesticated. Moderate Muslims seem to be to few and far between to offer any resistance to the psychotic behavior of wh…at ‘seems’ to be a majority. The moderates that there are have to be concerned with keeping their own lives safe than to offer any realy counter message. Because of this I feel domesticating the octopus is highly unlikely.
I know this may make some of you angry, but personally I would care less if thunderfoot actually did burn a half million copies of the Qu’ran. He should throw in a half million bibles and a half million Torahs, and a half million Books of Mormon. NO ONE is responsible for how we feel but ourselves.
The Change should come from within the Islamic world- I can assure you we are more problem with the Islamic World as it tries to finds it position in the modern world other religious entities and also among its various faction.
Yes, the change should come from within and what all this is really about is a civil war within Islam between traditionalists trying to resist change. They attack moderate and progressive Muslims with the same violence as they do infidels.
I think there are people who need the ceremony of religion to express their spirituality. There are others who see themselves mainly as defenders of the faith. To be a defender of the faith you must always have an enemy. The defenders of faith reside in all religions. The more oppressed and afraid they feel, the more violent their defense. We don’t have many western countries occupied by Islamic armies and Middle Eastern agendas so it is difficult to compare what the reaction would be here under similar circumstances.
RL, Islamic armies used to occupy large parts of Europe and India. WE only need to look to history…
That’s true, but we’ve come to believe we’ve somehow risen above that. We haven’t, but we’ve come to believe it.
Coming a bit late on this very interesting debate here, looking at the possible directions solutions could take, I feel like I need to go back to the basics.
In the US is a so called pastor of a sect of a sect with a very small congregation… of 70 or so who, in the full knowledge of the noise it will cause, actually counting on that as on propaganda for his cause/sectarian belief, burns the Koran (how many copies? don’t know).
In Afghanistan a mob forms, most likely guided by some kind of fundamentalist hoodlum, horribly kills a couple of “Christians” (and don’t even know if they were, but assme the mob thought so) as a ‘retaliation’ and message to Christians and ‘the world’.
This, and so many incidents in the past that have already been covered here, fuels a general Muslim-Infidel war that is going on. Other than the maker of the movie I think the ‘octopus in the room’ is this war and not the Muslim strategy in this war.
In every war the side that learns most from its opponent, given that there is an equality oif sorts in weapons, wins the war. We, the infidels, do generally not have the will to win this, we’re too busy with other, ‘more important’ stuff, and most of all we’re basically too ‘liberal’ to be even regarding this as a war. Basically we try to talk ourselves out of it, without much success, actually non.
We need to win this war if we want to keep our liberties in the long run. One of the ways we’re pursuing now is ‘divide and conquer’, siding with the Muslim moderates against the Muslim extremists; thereby actually weaking the moderates’ simply by declaring ourselves as infidels to be their allies.
And the war is also with fundamentalists on the Christian side that kill abortion-docs or whomever. But, the feeling would make that clear, that is a war on our homeground, and easier to fight. The Muslim-Infidel war isn’t. One side, the Muslim one, actually kills ‘innocent people’ en masse, whereas ‘our’ side only draws or writes blasphemies and burns books.
To win this war we must not be drawn onto the battle-ground that the other side has created, that would be simply stupid. It would be walking into a trap, which is what the ‘hawks’ on our side continually want us all to walk into. We ourselves must decide and consequently fight on a battle-field of our own choosing. And it seems that we may be getting there by learning that Islam is, for instance, not a religion of peace but one of war from it’s very beginning. Jihad IS (spiritual) war, and we better name it thus. If we can draw them onto the battleground which basically is on the territory, “Muslims are acting as violent teenagers that are easily insulted by anything they don’t (yet) understand.” We MUST insist that the way they fight is violently childish and that it is the basic Muslim obligation to ‘grow-up’.
The Muslim-Infidel war is, in the end, a war between grown-ups and insolent teenagers and must be fought accordingly.
Harris India is a different story- True Islamic armies invaded India but except for one or two cases they settled in India and got domesticated.India is a peculiar situation- It has the 2nd Largest Muslim Population but they enjoy a minorit…y status and coexist with Hindu,Christian, Zorothrustian( ancient Iranian), Jain, Buddhist etc. The Subcontinent trying to accomodate got split in India Pakistan Bangladesh, Afganistan. So many times in last 2 thousand years political Contour of the states within the subcontinent has changed frequently. 60 years since Independence 3 countries are experimenting with Identities -Bangladesh & Pakistan Muslim Identity, India tolerant secular-spiritual democratic Identity.Only Indian emocracy succeeded. see next 100 years there will be splits and mergers again
Muslims do not co-exist peacefully in those countries. Have we forgotten so easily the Hindu vs Muslim conflicts that occured some years ago in Nepal, India, Pakistan and the surrounding countries?
Sarah problems at core here are of different nature than in West Asia or Western world.True there were some Hindu Muslim conflict but a large number of them are due to vested political and business and personal interest and lesser religion…. Religious intolernace are fanned by these groups to make a riotous situation. True Muslims did torch a train containing Hindu supporters- Backlash the riot in Gujrat where 2000 people died in a few districts in the provine of Gujrat. But you check there was no backlash in all the other 21 provinces of India which if it did take place would be similar to 2nd World War if you see the geographical area and the population involved in India. The clerics wants to stick to power . Power over what ? Population segment- communalise them – ask them to think as you interprete not as in the scripture or even as your own experience about the world. To some extent this is true with all religion. Modern Democracy tends to protects individual . This is in conflict with clerics interests in general. This conflict is utilised by the Corrupt Politician, Businessmen, and administrators to divide and rule . In Mideast among Moslem Communities. In India among Religion.There was ethnic cleansing of Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan over last 60 years. It is an experiment Moslem leadership tried. But it did not bring better governance in those countries. Now the Indian Moslems in gerneral are aware that they have more freedomin India so they will not go over to Pakistan. The Indian Experiment of Multi ethnic, Multi religious coexistence has succeeded. But still in experimental stage.