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Why Muslims should be treated with more respect

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posted on Apr, 4 2008 @ 05:15 PM
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People claiming to represent Christianity or Western civilization have perpetrated unbelievable heinous crimes against Muslim nations throughout history. It should never have happened, and the legacy is a deeply divided world.

The 'Crusades' (I cringe to even use the word) were sold as a virtuous conquest of the Holy Land. I believe words such as 'conquest', 'victory' and 'glory' in relation to warfare are grotesque. Whether by sword or missile slaughter of other people should turn the stomache of any civilized human being.

I know most people will agree with all this but I am not simply moralizing. I believe we need to go beyond the realm of intellectual ascent and vent some anger in writing.

Personally I wish I could explain to Muslim people that the 'Crusades' were perpetrated by soldiers and knights who were held in ignorance of what the Bible teaches (as the Catholic church did not teach the Bible, but rather wrote-learned catechism, ceremony and submission to the priesthood). Armies consisting of such men were sent like cattle to do the bidding of the Pope, who, being the successor of the Roman Emperors in wielding power over the (so-called) 'Holy' Roman Empire, was and remains above all a political figure. Most Christians who love the Bible don't want anything to do with the Pope or the Catholic Church... (Although I do accept as a fellow Christian any Catholic who is a true believer!)

Jesus taught: "My kingdom is not of this world... if my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight..." (John 18:36) Real Christians abhor war.

I am not generally interested in politics, so I'll leave it largely to others to say what they think of Western powers, who Muslims often perceive as Christian, invading Muslim lands today. My take on it is that those in authority look down on Muslim lands as fair game, as their military might makes them arrogant.

How long did the decision-makers think about how the 'collateral damage' - civilian casualties - would cause untold suffering, physical and psychological, now, and for generations to come? Would they ever dream of all-out warfare on a nation that looked and dressed like us?

I fear they suffer from the same foolish delusion that has always been used to motivate soldiers - the people over there talk funny, look different and have strange customs. And their economies aren't even high tech, either. Hello - would these things matter, even if they were true? But they're not quite as precious as hamburger-eating, sophisticated English speakers. Look at our national news: a child is injured or killed at home. Big .line. How many kids have been maimed overseas as a result of invasion? Today? Last week? In recent years? - Headlines? Where?

I have travelled extensively and have found that non-Western cultures have many things to teach us. Respect for elders. Family bonds. Extraordinary hospitality to guests, to name but a few.

What I find most surprising is that many Muslim nations were actually developing an openness to learning about and understanding Western society before the current mess. Dare I say it, there was a mutual respect? Even in Iran, among the younger generation, from documentaries I saw.

Until our leaders learn that we are not superior and show by their actions that a Muslim or Arab life is as precious as a Westerner's, who can blame these peoples for feeling oppressed? Do our leaders ever sit down and mull over how we as individuals and as nations would feel if we had Muslim/Arab armies on our soil for years?

My particular pain comes from the impression given that 'Christian' nations have been, and still are oppressive. But surely whether the Christian faith is a part of our lives or not we can unite in saying that the West should treat its Eastern neighbours with the same respect accorded to Western peoples, both on a national and individual level. As a serious Christian I say this should be so, even if their faith is different. Will you join me?




posted on Apr, 4 2008 @ 05:24 PM
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Personally I wish I could explain to Muslim people that the 'Crusades' were perpetrated by soldiers and knights who were held in ignorance of what the Bible teaches


Isn't this exactly what the Islamic Fundies are doing today, holding the world hostage and attempting to start "crusades" of their own?



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 02:02 AM
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reply to post by Alxandro
 



Isn't this exactly what the Islamic Fundies are doing today, holding the world hostage and attempting to start "crusades" of their own?


Yes, I agree. But until recent years they only enjoyed pockets of support in the Muslim world. The masses were just getting on with their everyday lives - studying, working, cooking the next meal, bringing up children.

Bin Laden was no more the representative of the masses than Castro is ours. He was just a revolutionary who wanted to overthrow the Saudi government and had the money (from building roads in Africa, etc.) to obtain the weapons needed to start a terrorist campaign. Let's not get into how the CIA funded his activities in Afghanistan which developed his power base...

The point is that by using overwhelming military force (a euphamism for bombing a country and its people into submission) against the masses of ordinary Muslims the outcome is that those people perceive Western civilization as oppressive and warmongering.

Just put yourself in their shoes. Relatives dead or maimed for life. Tens, hundreds of thousands in this boat. People who had absolutely nothing to do with terrorism in their entire lives.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 02:57 AM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 

Your title is somewhat confusing in how it seems to imply that 'Muslims should be treated with more respect (than others)' as opposed to 'Muslims should be treated with more respect (than they are being treated with now)'. The first could lead to very troublesome consequences a few decades/centuries down the line.

But yeah, I agree. Everyone should be treated with equal respect. The problem here is that all the cultures has been divided into different spheres or civilisations, and one almost can't help but think of them in a 'us' and 'them' sort of way. This is most evident when we support one of 'us' against one of 'them' even when the guy we are supporting may be in the wrong. Right now much of the middle-east perceives (rightly or wrongly) there to be a bias against them from the western world, and many radicals use this bias to fuel their followers with hatred.

The problem is, as a country, one must think of oneself before one thinks of others. As a democracy, one must think of what everyone (most people) wants rather than what is right.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 03:45 AM
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reply to post by babloyi
 


A thoughtful response. Thankyou.


Your title is somewhat confusing in how it seems to imply that 'Muslims should be treated with more respect (than others)' as opposed to 'Muslims should be treated with more respect (than they are being treated with now)'.


OK - you've caught me out. It was a deliberately provocative title. But I'm encouraged that you got my drift perfectly. Thanks for stating it clearly.


The problem here is that all the cultures has been divided into different spheres or civilisations, and one almost can't help but think of them in a 'us' and 'them' sort of way.


Friend, your analytical mind has got down to the heart of the matter! I am suggesting that part of the solution is to stop thinking of 'them' as a group, a 'civilization' and get our .s round the fact that 'they' are men, women and children: family members just like you and me. Are bombs dropped on them more 'moral' than terrorist bombs? Well yes, in the sense that civilians are killed accidentally. But the consequences are no different for the individuals and families themselves, and my heart goes out to them. The bullets fly in my name and they have done me no harm. For me it is something to chat about on the 'net. For them it is lifelong tragedy.


The problem is, as a country, one must think of oneself before one thinks of others. As a democracy, one must think of what everyone (most people) wants rather than what is right.


Boy, there are so many issues that could be discussed there! As I say I am actually not generally interested in politics. I just keep myself informed of what's going on. It's just that in this case I've come to believe that a) the damage to civilian life has not been collateral, but catastrophic and b) the people out there are understandably embittered against me, my country and even my religion because of a false deduction that I don't care about, or that I even support the devastation of their country. In reality I am enraged by what they have gone through.

If what you say about democracy is true, Martin Luther King should have kept his big mouth shut. So should William Wilberforce...





[edit on 5/4/08 by pause4thought]



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 04:12 AM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 


Originally posted by pause4thought
I am suggesting that part of the solution is to stop thinking of 'them' as a group, a 'civilization' and get our .s round the fact that 'they' are men, women and children: family members just like you and me.

But how? Mandatory travelling to another country at least once in your life? Requirement of learning at least 1 other language than your mother tongue?

See, the reason for the division is that it really IS a completely different culture, sometimes at the most basic level. One side uses the hug as a greeting, the other side thinks that excessive hugging is 'gay'. One side thinks arranged marriages are something to be abhorred, the other side thinks 'hey, we got to get our kids married somehow!', etc, etc.
Most people are too lazy to even bother getting a superficial understanding of the other side. We've been taught this, so obviously it is right, so by necessity, the other side is wrong.



Originally posted by pause4thought
If what you say about democracy is true, Martin Luther King should have kept his big mouth shut. So should William Wilberforce...

Heh...don't get me wrong, democracy is currently probably the best system we have, but it still has it's problems. Taking the example of loss of civilian life from your previous post, I'd mention the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. If a poll had been taken of the American people at that time, a majority would probably have agreed to it.

Even today, the majority of Americans I've spoken to support the bombing on the grounds that 'So many more lives would have been lost if we didn't do it'. As far as it goes for me, the bombings caused the deaths (I don't know the exact number, but I can't seem to find a consensus anywhere. Whatever the numbers, it doesn't make it right) of some half a million civilians, and the bombing was done with this intent (to shock and scare and batter the Japanese spirit into submission), making it unequivocally and immorally wrong.

[edit on 5-4-2008 by babloyi]



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 05:23 AM
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reply to post by babloyi
 



But how? Mandatory travelling to another country at least once in your life? Requirement of learning at least 1 other language than your mother tongue?


You are posing difficult questions. I suppose I was hoping to achieve this end to some degree by discussing the issue, and proposing that thinking about real people in their homes instead of 'Iraqis', 'Afghans', etc. which doesn't conjure up an image - its often just a vague notion of funny-looking people.

I confess I was privileged to receive a good education which included learning other languages. I can't begin to tell you, for example, what a revelation it was to go and live with a family in Germany on a school exchange programme when I was about 15. Having grown up with all the classic 2nd WW films and having heard stories from my parents about the horrors of German bombs raining down on your town at night for years, I wasn't quite sure how the 'Krauts' would receive me. Suffice it to say they made me feel like a member of the family from the first day, and I discovered the preconceived fears were groundless...

Totting it up I've been privileged to spend over two years of my life in total living in other countries and embibing their cultures, and I'm sure it has greatly influenced the way I view the world. So languages and travel are indeed a door to better understanding - after a while foreign countries no longer even seem 'foreign', and you can even begin to see the eccentricities of your own way of life! Obviously compulsion wouldn't go down well, but encouragement is probably more important than I'd even realised myself, now that I've discussed it with you.

You gave some classic examples of cultural differences, then said:


We've been taught this, so obviously it is right, so by necessity, the other side is wrong.


I hear the irony in your voice, and agree. In fact, if truth be told, our way of life is now so artificial - take away the supports such as supermarkets and utilities, leave us to fend for ourselves, and en masse we wouldn't have a clue. Many other cultures (beyond the West) that we regard as 'backward', that live nearer the land, so to speak, consist of people who are far more resourceful than we are, and I have learned to look up to them. If my car breaks down, I take it to the garage and spend a small fortune. If a car breaks down over there, they roll up their sleeves, no matter what the problem. I exaggerate not. And boy, do I love open-air bazaars, where you can argue the price...

Again I appreciate your thoughtful comments about Hiroshima. Some honest soul-searching on your part.

Perhaps one of the biggest problems with democracy is that by letting us vote every four or five years they give us the illusion that we're in control. 'I've cast my vote, so now I can sit back. Whatever they do is no longer my responsibility!' I wonder how would they behave if we held elections every six months?..

(Sorry, I'll be busy for the rest of the day. Maybe others can take up the theme. Maybe I should have called the thread 'How can we restore mutual respect between East and West?')



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 07:11 AM
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Why Muslims should be treated with more respect:

reason #1: they're human
reason #2: their religion doesn't change #1
reason #3: there are many religions, we shouldn't choose how we treat people based on which one they adhere to



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by pause4thought

Just put yourself in their shoes. Relatives dead or maimed for life. Tens, hundreds of thousands in this boat. People who had absolutely nothing to do with terrorism in their entire lives.


I've tried many times to put myself in their shoes and I for one can't understand why they would prefer to raise their children to wage Jihad against the infidel which, if unless you are Muslim, includes you. I would never teach my kids to strap on explosives to kill anyone, even anyone I would consider my enemy.


[edit on 5-4-2008 by Alxandro]



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 01:36 PM
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reply to post by Alxandro
 


no one can truely put them selves in their shoes
whats the chances that your child will be shot? if you have a child
whats the chances that your house will be Flattend
whats the chances that your entire family will be killed.

people that do this do this because they have nothing to live for.
you say you wouldnt teach your kids Jihad or to blow them selfs up against infideals as you kindly put it.

but what happens when its your family that has been Killed
or you have been killed.

what would you do?
and what would your family do?

one doesnt have to raise their kids with Hate
its the enviroment a child is brought up in that effects them and how they see things.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 02:02 PM
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reply to post by Alxandro
 


Good to hear back from you.

Before the current mess the only Muslim parents bringing their children up like that were those connected with A.Q. - a tiny, miniscule community, and small extremist factions in the Middle East. The only reason A.Q. became significant is that in their deranged hatred they are prepared to kill and maim for publicity.

Other than that they were not at all representative of the hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world, and my point is: even now they are not. The ones who seriously consider strapping bombs on are still confined to very small minorities in a few places like the Palestinian territories and remote parts of Afghanistan. I am totally outraged by the actions of these people too, and so was the man in the street across the Muslim world, until the current mess...

Vast numbers of Muslims do distrust the West, and what they think it represents - a different way of life, "Christian society" (although Western society is now largely secular, and based far more on the worship of the economy than Christ). My point is that if they as human beings have as much right to live in peace as we do, then it is wrong for us to trample on them in any sense.

Should they stand up and protest loudly against terrorism? Yes, the same as us. But if some of them perceive that we are against them, and the terrorists are against us too, the liklihood is that some of them won't protest so loudly.

I'm not pretending to have the answers. I'm just saying lets not tar the masses with the same brush as the terrorists. Lets act with mutual respect. Then it will become clearer that they really are mostly totally civilized people, not murderers.

Or do you actually believe that the masses are intent on wiping us out?



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 03:07 PM
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Bodrul, I can honestly say you make valid points but innocent Muslims have also been killed because AQ and the likes choose to strategically place their .quarters, including weapons & ammo warehouses in highly populated areas.
Hospitals and baby formula factories should be off limits.

I don't know if that's you in your avatar but I don't understand why you choose to defend a culture that would not waste any time in calling your avatar extremely offensive and pornographic?






[edit on 5-4-2008 by Alxandro]



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 03:59 PM
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reply to post by Alxandro
 




problem with that is
during the Israeli Lobonean war supprisingly Israel did the same thing
they placed things near Arab areas in the north so when Hazbuulah attacked
they would have Cuvilians in their way aswell.

but then again seeing the size of Israel and palestinian areas is it supprising that they have arms depots near populated areas?

AQ are terrorists and they would kill anyone that doesnt think their way.
if anyone reads the Quran it even says Cuvilian areas are off limits, dont fight in sacred places and so on.

they claim to fight for Muslims but if they were they would follow the guidelines of WAR as put in the Quran.

if you like i can show you what the Quran says about war and how one should fight?

also on my avatar

i am a Muslim, and not Really.
the avatar isnt all that and i am a quiet a FAN of Tomb Raider Games.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 



Originally posted by pause4thought
reply to post by Alxandro
 

Other than that they were not at all representative of the hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world, and my point is: even now they are not.
.....
Should they stand up and protest loudly against terrorism? Yes, the same as us.
.....
I'm not pretending to have the answers. I'm just saying lets not tar the masses with the same brush as the terrorists. Lets act with mutual respect. Then it will become clearer that they really are mostly totally civilized people, not murderers.

Or do you actually believe that the masses are intent on wiping us out?


There in lies the problem.
I know not all Muslims support AQ but at the same time they also don't denounce AQ either.
Why is that?
Because denouncing a Muslim brother would be like denouncing the religion itself, which in turn they would then be labeled "an infidel".

I'd like to think that the bigger haters are in the areas of the world you mention, BUT remember those people that were singing and dancing on 9-11?
Some of these folks were also in the states.

It is because of this that I repeat what I've stated many times here on ATS:
I don't hate Muslims, I just can't trust them.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 04:14 PM
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Originally posted by Alxandro
There in lies the problem.

I know not all Muslims support AQ but at the same time they also don't denounce AQ either.

Why is that?
Because denouncing a Muslim brother would be like denouncing the religion itself, which in turn they would then be labeled "an infidel".

I'd like to think that the bigger haters are in the areas of the world you mention, BUT remember those people that were singing and dancing on 9-11?
Some of these folks were also in the states.

It is because of this that I repeat what I've stated many times here on ATS:
I don't hate Muslims, I just can't trust them.


would just like to point out that world wide Muslims have denounced terrorists
and a quick google search will bring up loads of sites aswell with articles on protests by muslims against Terrorists.

denouncing a terrorist doesnt make one an infadel since a terrorist doesnt follow islam as put forth.

also after 9/11 if you looked in some Muslim Countries people held candle light Vigals even in Iran before the Axis of evil speach was given.

even so in some countries they were glad but then again i think that was more of something out of anger and has ties to whats happening in the middle east.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 04:18 PM
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reply to post by Alxandro
 


Herein lies the problem: lack of trust. It prolonged the conflict in northern Ireland on and on and on...

Your revulsion at people dancing in the street at other people's suffering is completely just. All I will say in their favour is that they probably suffer from the same ignorance that can infect us: when the people suffering are so far away, and different to us, it all seems to happen at the level of the TV screen. I'm not convinced many people would have danced if they'd been in the towers watching the horrific suffering.

The main thing I want to say in reply is: is it really right to judge entire nations by the actions of a small number of crazed zealots?

The issue of trust remains a big one. That's why I think it's worth talking things through to see if our mistrust is based on an overreaction. And sometimes, if possible, it's good to step out and just express goodwill, if only in a chatroom, to start rebuilding trust.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 04:20 PM
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reply to post by bodrul
 


bodrul: could you provide some of the links you recommend? I'm quite intrigued. They could be really helpful.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 04:49 PM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 


google

google

there are Loads of Sites^


one out of many
www.bestirantravel.com...



Ironic thing about the image is that it holds truth after 9/11
things have got worse

[edit on 5-4-2008 by bodrul]



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 05:55 PM
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reply to post by bodrul
 


Thanks.

That bestinirantravel site backs up what I said about Iranians not all being anti-Western, as the media would portray it.

I'm encouraged the way the discussion is going.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 07:37 PM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 


yeah, i had a thread about the vigils in the streets of Tehran a while back (not a very popular one, as you'll sadly see with a lot of threads pointing out that not all muslims are extremists)

i may still have a few more threads with similar subject matter up, if you'd want to take the time to go through the 160 or so threads i've posted to look at yourself. but if you don't want to take the time, don't worry, i was planning on posting material from them in here tomorrow, when it's not 2:30am and i can be bothered to do so.



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