Thursday, December 06, 2007

A tour of the Islamic world

In light of the flurry of important news coming from the Muslim world, I'm putting short shots of the more important ones.

We'll start with Sudan, and this absolutely ridiculous reaction to a British Teacher, living in the country to teach children. Gillian Gibbons is a mother of two children. While in Sudan, her class gave her a teddy bear, and the popular vote for the name was Mohammed. In a civilized society, this wouldn't be an issue, yet in the stone age mentality of Sudan, this was blasphemy of the first order.

Moving on, I'll jump to an older story from Saudi Arabia. It is hard to conceive of a news story that greater exemplifies the abject lack of respect for women, and the effect of an Islamic judicial system.
A girl had sent a picture of herself to a teenage boy when they were both 16, three years ago. Earlier this year, she was married, and in order to protect the 'honor' of her family, she sought out the guy and asked for the picture back. When she went to get it, 7 other men took them both away into a different area of the town. The men proceeded to sexual assault them both for several hours, and returned the woman to her house the next morning. Her husband was outraged, but had to complain to the police 4 times before anything was done.
The verdict was reached in what does not deserve to be called a trial, with among other things, the husband being barred from the court proceedings. The final verdict was 1-5 years for each of the assailants, and 80-1000 lashes. Hardly appropriate for the crime, but what followed is even more disturbing.
""He [judge] said: 'You get 90 lashes. You should thank God you're not in prison.'
"I asked him why and he said: "You know why. Because mingling begets evil.' ""
So she complained to Human rights watch and the media, only to be sentenced to 6 months in prison and 200 lashes. The gang's sentenced was bumped up to a minimum of 2 years, which is still a far cry from what justice demands.

After 'our friends the Saudis' actions, there is, on the surface at least, good news regarding Iran.
According to a recent NIE report, Iran stopped its nuclear program back in 2003. (When did we invade Iraq, again?) While my gut tells me there is nothing true to this report, the Neo-Hitler said "
"a declaration of victory for the Iranian nation against the world powers over the nuclear issue."""
Also involving Iran, is an issue that was covered on this blog some time ago, when Iran was discover providing IEDs to Shiite terrorists in Iraq. In recent weeks, Iran has been discovered providing even more aid.


Concerning Iraq, however, we do have positive news, coming even from the liberal outlets.
So, how 'bout that surge, huh?

Iraqi citizens that fled the country when the war began are returning from neighboring nations, most notably Syria. Not only is this an indication of results, but results that have been around long enough for people to feel confident and move back in.
Looks like Iraq will not be the forefront issue this election cycle, at least not in the same light as in the 2006 elections.

Victor David Hansen, a historian who's works I have enjoyed, sums up the middle east well with this thought.
"Remember that the fanatic waving his age-old sword in the Khartoum street over a teddy bear shows the same dangerous derangement as the nut in Tehran who may one day want his hand on the Bomb."

30 comments:

Gino said...

we should bomb them, and teach them about democracy.
oh, wait...'
that may not be working out so well.

how bout just minding our damn business, and let those who are not like us continue being unlike us?

Jeana said...

All muslims are slime-bags. Your post shows this only to vividly. Yet even with this universal fact in mind I agree with Gino. For Pete sake, spend US tax dollars, and time, and effort strengthening THIS country, not policing all the nations of the world. Let them take care of their own crooks.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jeana, all Muslims are slime-bags?

My Muslim neighbours next door seem like very nice people to me.

We live in a globalised world.

It is not always easy to mind our own business.

If countries like Pakistan contain training schools for terrorists who are intending to kill civilians in the west, it is natural that we should want to work to make sure that the Pakistani government does something about those training schools.

We cannot ignore what is going in on in other countries.

God Bless

Matthew

SolaMeanie said...

I will try to chime in on some of the other ideas that came to mind when I read this, but let me ask a question to start. For grins. I'd love to ask this of a Mohammedan.

How can one blaspheme someone who is not a god?

Palm boy said...

Gino, this is who we are fighting. They've come onto our soil and killed US citizens, and these are the societies that encourage such behavior. It is a VERY large part of our world, and courtesy petroleum, and rather powerful part of the world.

Jeana, I don't think all muslims are slime-bags, that is a very hasty generalization. The societies run in areas of high muslim concentration, and the nations run by the old islamic laws certainally are despicable.

Matt, thanks for chiming in.

Sola, did you come up with that question yourself?

under_the_mercy said...

The few islamic extremists who are willing to go to another country and blow themselves would not waste themselves on another country that did/is not hurting them. They are here for a reason, consider their point of view, their motives, and THEN we can understand how to fix the problem.

Simply labeling them as islamic terrorists who want to kill everyone who thinks differently shows naivety.

Gino said...

i called a devout muslim this morning at 430am, for an emergency ride to work. not only was his car not laden with explosives, he also bought a me starbucks drink.

terror is war by another means, palm boy. we are too involved in their business, and too strong to fight on the traditional battlefield, so they show their displeasure the best way they can (similar to the jews in palestine before they got what they wanted).

"Simply labeling them as islamic terrorists who want to kill everyone who thinks differently shows naivety."
notice how they arent blowing up those hedonistic,bastard-making, gay loving,porn producing, socially permissive swedes?

Jeana said...

Matthew, I should have said that muslims living on the principles of their "religion" are all active slime-bags. Many do not live by their book, but even these are by default slime-bags. Their religion makes them slime-bags. I'm not a bigot, I don't call Arabas slime-bags unless they prove themselves to be so, BUT the cult of Islam requires its followers to be slime-bags. Islam is not a "religion of peace", the word 'islam' means submission by force. Muslim who don't seem to follow this command either don't understand their own religion or don't really believe it, but are to scared of what fanatics will to them to actually protest OR are just biding their time. I adhear to my moto "The only good muslim is a dead muslim."

Having said that, Palm Boy, I must now say that I agree with you. But as you must notice I said nothing about fighting a WAR. I said "policing", which actually what we're doing. We are fighting a "War against Terror". What kind of nonesense is that? The basic definition of terror is: a state of intense fear. So...we are fight a war on fear; the thought is beautiful, but this world will not be rid of fear until Christ comes as conquering King. There are terrorist in Bagdad, Iraq; there are terrorist in Houston, Texas; there are terrorist in Tampa, Florida. And none of them are called muslims, they are all sinners. How would Americans feel if Mexicans started filing across the border (not that they aren't already :D) to help America get in shape, get rid of crime, set up a working law, etc.? We'd tell them to see how fast they could get home. Since this is precisely what we are doing in Iraq and Afganastan, among other countries, I say "Let see how fast we can get home."

Now back to the WAR. I would be thrilled if Congress would declare war and we totaly oblitrated every country that supported the attack on the US. Or if Congress would declare war and we absolutely discredit Islam by nucking Meca and turning it into an eternal pig-sty, and just generally telling the muslim world that America is stronger than their 'god', because their 'god' doesn't even exist. But we aren't doing this; we are fighting a "kinder, gentler war", and it makes me see red to think of all the US treasure our government is flushing down this rat hole to give these 'good' people a Democracy, and it breaks my heart to remember the many American men--dead American men--who lost their lives following orders to be kind to the enemy. They are the ENEMY after all, but our PC politicians don't know that word. Neither have they study history, or they wouldn't run down the same path that we did in Vietnam.

I could go on and on about this, but I think I've made my point.

Gino said...

""The only good muslim is a dead muslim."

spoken like a true christian.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jeana, you should come and spend some time in the UK and find out how Muslims can live happily side by side with people of other faiths.

Yes, we have problems in the UK.

Some among the younger generation of Muslims are attracted to extremism.

There are cultureal problems such as forced marriage.

However, moderate Muslims are opposed to these things and work with our government to educate Muslims away from them.

The UK is a great place thanks to our culture of tolerance and diversity.

God Bless

Matthew

Jeana said...

Thank you very much, Gino! :D

Matthew, I would love to travel to the UK and other places, but not to see "how Muslims can live happily side by side with people of other faiths." I have muslim neighbors of my own and all in all we have no troble with them, even if they have painted their house a hideous orange. I'm not for slaughtering my neighbors wholesale. However, I am for removing muslims from this county. Just out of curiosity, how far would you let a "culture of tolerance and diversity" take you? You must remember that we were attacked, as was the UK. And from the inside. The "ideal" of a globalised world cannot be realised with even a handful of agressive world conquerors. For a muslim to be 'nice' they would have to say "Well, I disagree with all the basic doctrines of my religion, and I think that all the moral "standards" are vile; but a muslim I am and a muslim I will stay." If you ever hear one say that I'd love to know about it.

I would like to ask you, from your own study of the Bible, when did idol worship ever turn out to be a good thing? Or the idol worshipers be anything but vile? I am assuming that you are not a Zoasterian, although your "people of other faiths" makes you sound as if you might have caught W. Bush's 'different faiths, same God' disease.

Have you ever read the Koran? I haven't, yet. But I firmly believe that to understand a people one should read their work, something from their point of view. So I have read "The Iranian Christian" by Nasser Lotfi. You might consider reading it to really get a handle on what Islam is all about.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jeana
I have read the Quran. I studied Islam when I was at university.

"However, I am for removing muslims from this county."

I think such an action would be rather disproportionate.

The European Court of Human Rights has a principle of proportionality.

Thus, human rights can be breached if it is in the interests of national security. But any action of this nature must be proportionate.

I very much doubt that the benefit to national security you would gain from such an action would be proportionate to the human misery involved.

If your idea of removing Muslims is every implemented, I do hope you will not complain if Muslim countried do the same to Christians.

"The "ideal" of a globalised world cannot be realised with even a handful of agressive world conquerors."

Do you really think all Muslims are 'world conquerors'? Maybe some of them are just ordinary people who follow a different religion to you; people who may have slightly different customs, but who respect the laws of the land and want to earn a decent living for their families?

"For a muslim to be 'nice' they would have to say "Well, I disagree with all the basic doctrines of my religion, and I think that all the moral "standards" are vile; but a muslim I am and a muslim I will stay.""

You won't hear many Muslims saying that.

You will hear a lot of Muslims condemining terrorism. You will hear Muslim women who lament attitudes to women in some Islamuic societies.

There is a moderate wing within Islam, even if that voice is drowned out by a conservative majority.

But even that conservative majority is diverse. There are different conservative interpretations of Islamic law and different attitudes to relations with the west.

I am not an apologist for Islam.

Islam is a wicked religion.

There are major problems involved in relations between Islam and other religions.

There are a lot of things which are wrong with the Islamic community in Britain. While mainstream Muslim organisations would condemn many of the things you object to, sometimes I would like to hear them speak out with a louder voice.

"I would like to ask you, from your own study of the Bible, when did idol worship ever turn out to be a good thing?"

Idol worship is always a bad thing.

But we have no instructions in the NT to use persecution against Muslims.

I would also note that the apostle Paul was knowledgeable about pagan culture. He was able to quote a pagan Greek poem.

"So I have read "The Iranian Christian" by Nasser Lotfi. You might consider reading it to really get a handle on what Islam is all about."

I am sure that is a very informative book. I have not read it.

The persecution of Christians by Islam is a terrible reality.

But this is one issue among many in how the west relates to Islam.

Jeana, I dont want to make assumptyions about you, but I find it hard to avoid the suspicion that you do not know very much about Islam and have little experience of talking to Muslims.

You seem to have a very simple, slightly caricatured view of them.

You seem to react with bitterness and anger towards them. I really think that you need to re-examine your attitude to Muslims. They are people who deserve compassion and understanding as much as anger towards the misdeeds of their religion.

God Bless

Matthew

SolaMeanie said...

PB,

Yep, I came up with that question meself. I got to thinking about it in connection with our own prophets within Judeo-Christianity. One never blasphemes a prophet. You blaspheme a deity. So, are Muslims deifying Muhammed?

Matt,

This issue conjures up a whole lot of tensions for obvious reasons. I too have studied Islam, and I don't like to put the politically correct spin on it that most politicians and pundits do. While what you say is true about a good number of Muslims, historically it is a religion of the sword. And while Christians and Jews are not deported out of Muslim-controlled nations, they are considered dhimmi class and have far fewer rights. It ain't fun.

I also would think more in Europe would wake up to what changing demographics are doing to the cultural landscape. Look at Britain and France today. Can you honestly say that if Muslims somehow become the majority or in control of both countries, that things will continue as they are in a political/freedom sense?

In one sense, assimilation would be the preferred outcome as happened here for many years in America. We became a melting pot where American values were upheld regardless of the ethnic or religious background. Now, thanks to liberal political correctness, assimilation is a no no. Those who advocate it are equated with genocidal maniacs (overheated rhetoric, of course). This same mindset accuses Christian missionaries of genocide because they took Christ into a foreign or native culture.

I could make this case in a more coherent fashion, but I am in a bit of a rush today.

Jeana said...

Matthew, the joke is definitely on me. I would like to call a time out on any part of Islam technicality until I read the Koran. :D

I really have no idea what you're talking about with the “The European Court of Human Rights has a principle of proportionality.” But when it comes to Islamies kicking Christians out, I must point out that they already persecute them. Be that as it may, I am willing to change the “removing [all] muslims from this county.” to remove all muslims who reside here illegally. I believe in that policy for all illegal aliens, and it hardly would be out of bounds for a sovereign nation.

You said that muslims are “people who may have slightly different customs, but who respect the laws of the land and want to earn a decent living for their families”. People have been telling me this ever since I became interested in studying Islam. You also said that “Islam is a wicked religion.” I have also heard this before. What I can't reconcile is this: muslims are followers of Islam, Islam is evil, yet muslims can be good. How can this happen?

You've said “that [I] do not know very much about Islam and have little experience of talking to Muslims.” I will admit to both. However, I have observed muslims closely whenever I am around them. I am never favorably impressed with what I see.

“You seem to react with bitterness and anger towards them...They are people who deserve compassion and understanding” To this also I will admit. Lies, self-promoting-agendas, and stupidity hurt me and I tend to be angry at what hurts me. But I pray daily that God will let me hate the sin and love the sinner.

I now see that you have been thinking of my relationships directly with people, while I was thinking about how the government should deal with these people. For example, I believe—as a nation—that Mexicans here illegally should be sent back to Mexico. However, I know—personally—a beautiful, Christian lady who came to America illegally, I had a wonderful relationship with her until my family moved. Did my friendship with Mrs. M. change my thoughts of how the government should handle illegal aliens? Not at all. Did I feel that I had to be rude and unloving toward Mrs. M. because what she did was wrong? Not in the least. I do not believe, as a Christian that I may hate anyone. I try to treat all people as made in God's image, no matter what they do or what they believe.

“But we have no instructions in the NT to use persecution against Muslims.” I do not believe in persecuting people. When I talk about sending muslim away and blowing up Mecca, I am speaking of a sovereign nation waging war on the people who attacked them. War is ugly, and painful, and I hate it, but it is not persecution.

“I would also note that the apostle Paul was knowledgeable about pagan culture. He was able to quote a pagan Greek poem.” I have no problem studying pagan cultures. I don't happen to be very versed in Greek, but classical Latin poems and writings are quite fascinating.

The book "The Iranian Christian" is really about a muslim boy who became a Christian. To me the main attraction was the comparison (or rather the contrasting) in the back of the book between Christianity and Islamic beliefs and all the information it had about the way muslims (at least in Iran) live.

One note, I would just like to thank you for disagreeing with me and taking the time to talk about it. Sounds odd doesn't it? But I'm really enjoying arguing with you.

Mercy Now said...

Strange that the liberals here have no problem taking God and Jesus' name in vain but would not dare to do the same w/ Islam. The real reason is they know they'll cause reaction from around the world and may even put their lives in jeopardy which then only reconfirm that Islam is a dangerous religion, both perceived and real yet we are still too politically correct to do anything about it.

Jeana said...

Indeed, MN, it is very interesting.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mercy, here in Britain the climate is changing with regards to Islam.

A lot of the liberals are becoming less apologetic towards Islam and are increasingly challenging the Muslims to mend their ways.

God Bless

Matthew

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jeana, you mean you areonly talking about removing illegal Muslim immigrants?

I do not think you made that clear in the last post.

So you are not advocating the removal of Muslims who have US citizenship?

All you said was:

"However, I am for removing muslims from this county."

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Solameanie

"Can you honestly say that if Muslims somehow become the majority or in control of both countries, that things will continue as they are in a political/freedom sense?"

Muslims are never, ever going to be the majoprity in Britain and probably not anywhere else in Europe either, except in Albania and Bosnia, where they are already the majority.

Don't believe scare stories about Muslims overrrunning Britain.

Muslims make up about 3% of the population.

They population of Britain is primarily white and from a Christian background.

The Muslims do have an higher birthrate, however the pattern is for immigrants' birthrates to change in line with the host country.

Furthermore, the largest influx of immigrants are from Poland.

We are getting more and more Catholics coming to the country from Eastern Europe.

Not to mention minority Christian immigrants from Asian countries.

The UK is never going to be an Islamic country in a thousand years.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matt

Palm boy said...

Wow... I leave for 2 days, and there is a great conversation going on here.

I'll just chime on the last few posts.

Joel:
The growing power of islamic peoples in France is, I believe, over rated. The riots last year were not caused by a politically powerful base in control of the country's destiny. Rather, a small, yet violent, minority that currently and historically has lacked power.
Likewise, I believe the string of terrorist attacks that have recently hit the UK have done nothing to benifit the cause of Muslim immigrants.

Jeana, most muslims are not devout followers of their beliefs. As with Christians, many lay claim to a certain creed without understanding the basic tenets of their faith, and live without following the 'rules' of their chosen religion. This is particularly apt to occur in a western society, where it is acceptable, and in the case of Islam, even fashionable, to have a religion. At the same time however, it is very difficult to shun the distractions of freedom and live solely by the creed of Muhammad.

I don't believe blowing up Mecca would benifit the United States in the least.
A. Saudi Arabia, while a vile and despicable nation under a relgious rule, is an ally of convience for the US. Blowing the tar out of their most precious possession is sheer reactionary thinking.
B. While there is no apt analogy for protestant Christianity, blowing up the Vatican or Jerusalem would be similar for Catholicism or Judaism. The result would be only grief, anger and a lasting bitterness, not the abolishment of a religion.

Mercy, You have returned!!! Yay!!

Matt, your comments have been wonderful to read. I couldn't have posted them better if I had been here the last two days.
I didn't realize the muslim population of the UK was still only 3%, I think reports of the influx of muslim immigrants has been somewhat exaggerated in the US.

SolaMeanie said...

Matt and Robert..

I didn't meant to sound inflammatory, and hope you didn't take my comments that way.

I do read quite a bit of news from Europe, and I think that you have to take a longer view of this. We do have a bit of a parallel here in the U.S. Demographically, if one segment of the population is breeding like rabbits while the heretofore majority population is having fewer and fewer children, it's only a matter of time before the majority becomes the minority. Granted, it might not happen overnight, but it is inevitable unless the overall demographic pattern is reversed.

I wish I had more time to get into this. It's hard to make sense in "sound bites," LOL.

The one good thing about this subject is that instead of Christians going away to the mission field, the mission field is coming to us!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Solameanie,

There are some big problems in your thesis:

1. Assuming that the minority's birthrate continued at the present rate, being a minority it would take a very long time to catch up wit the rest of the population.

2. Immigrants tend to be influenced by the lifestyle of the host country.

Muslims in Europe have less children than those in Muslim countries. More and more Muslim immigrants to Europe are likely to follow the pattern of European families and have two or three children.

3. The birthrate in the UK and in other north European countries is increasing.

In the enormous length of time that it would take for a minority to become a majority, the birthrate of tha native population would probably have changed considerably.

4. In most countries there is more than one minority.

The fastest growing minority in the UK is Poles, who also have an high birth rate. The increase in Roman Catholic Poles counterbalances the increase in Muslims.


We need to be more optimistic about the future.

There are a lot of difficulties involved in the West's relation to Islam and we have to deal with terrorism, but we do not need to be fearful of Islam.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matt

SolaMeanie said...

That's not the case here in the United States, I am afraid. Look into the "La Raza" movement and you'll see what I mean. Rather than assimilation, we have Balkanization. American Caucasians are aborting their children or having only one child per family, while Hispanics -- legal and illegal -- are breeding like rabbits. It is interesting to see that there are many Hispanic citizens who are worried about this trend, having been assimilated into American culture. They do not want to see America become Mexico, and they are angry at fellow Hispanics who do not want to assimilate. The ones who legally immigrated are annoyed at those here illegally. People try to make this out to be a racist issue and it isn't.

I think you are also being a bit too rosy in regards to Islam. They overran Europe until Charles Martel stopped them. As to Muslims adopting Western attitudes, there might well be a contingent who do, but certainly not the majority. The conservative element believes that any land once under the Crescent Moon must be retaken, no matter how long it takes. Again, it's the LONG view of history.

I am optimistic . . . about the Lord's return. Things will go steadily downhill in this world until He does.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Solameanie, I am sure that eventually the Hispanic minority in the USA will assimilate to some extent.

In any case, birthrates can potentially change. The birthrate in Spain is remarkably low.

I believe the white American birthrate is not that low, in any case.

"I think you are also being a bit too rosy in regards to Islam. They overran Europe until Charles Martel stopped them."

I dont see any Arab armies about to invade.

And the Muslim taxi drivers in Worcester seem pretty peaceful to me.

"As to Muslims adopting Western attitudes, there might well be a contingent who do, but certainly not the majority."

This is a big assertion.

Are you really confident in your knowledge of Islam to say what the majority of Muslims think?

Recent surveys in Britain have shown that the majority of Muslim young people are very positive in their attitude to the United Kingdom.

"The conservative element believes that any land once under the Crescent Moon must be retaken, no matter how long it takes. Again, it's the LONG view of history."

Europe is not under the crescent.

And it never will be.

I gave you four reasons why the demographics are'nt going to turn Europe green.

Do you think Muslims are going to invade Europe militarily?

I am afraid to say that your 'long view of history' is pure fantasy.

There is as much likelihood of Europe turning Islamic as there is the French reviving their monarchy or Canada going to war with the United States.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matt

SolaMeanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SolaMeanie said...

I deleted my last post. I am afraid I came across too snarky, and it's late now.

I'll try again tomorrow after I rest a bit. A very long, aggravating day.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Take a good rest, Sola.

God bless you and everybody else here.

SolaMeanie said...

Matt and all,

I am going to wait a bit before making the comments I was going to make. For now, I am posting a link to this story. Read it, think about it, and then I will post further comments later.

Again, if I seemed short fused at all, I didn't intend to be. I've got a lot going on.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Solameanie, I was not a little sarcastic myself.

I love the Foreign Affairs Journal. I love reading it when I am travelling on the train.

Islamic extremism is a real problem that we need to deal with.

However, the Islamists will generally be in a minority and can only cause problems through acts of destruction.

They will never win many hearts and minds, even among their own people.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matt