Cultural differences between the muslim world and the western world : where does freedom really end?

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posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 09:48 AM
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Foreword/Disclaimer
I am fully aware that I am here speaking of a very sensitive subject, that is on top of it being heated at the moment with events that we all know of.

My aim is not to troll (as it is thus called) or create an unnecessary polemical debate.

I really wish to express a feeling and a personal opinion, that I will fully assume. I would like to have answers in the same good manners: it is obvious that some will agree, some will disagree, perhaps strongly. But the purpose is not to flame the other, rather I would like that people express sincerely their own opinion, disregarding what others could have said that is totally against themselves.

Background
Unnecessary to name it, a very amateurish film was released that is clearly mocking, and probably insulting, muslims. But it is not the real object of my thread. I have not seen that film, and I do not plan to view it. I will therefore not speak about it.

The real problem that I can see arose just after this film was made popular. The French satirical paper "Charlie Hebdo" has published another set of caricatures representing muslim prophet Muhammad.

This newspaper is accustomed to publish caricatures, sometimes very daring ones. They have been shooting at all and every target, and they certainly are not anti-muslim, they have been anti-everything at some point in time anyway.

My position
Even if I admit that the moment is not particularly the most appropriate, if there is such a moment, to publish those drawings, I still defend strongly the fact that they are merely using their freedom to express their opinions. Caricature is humour, and even if it is sometimes quite "caustic" humour, well that is still humour to me.

I believe that we all have the right to mock things. We have the right to mock everything. Fact is, everything in the world, every population, every religion, etc. has been mocked, and will be again. There are jokes about anything one can think of.

But this being said, we still must agree that there are limits. I will not tell a very crude joke in a professional meeting with high ranked bosses for instance. Nor when the 7-year-old kids are there. I will not joke about the nazi camps in a holocaust rememberance ceremony. I will probably not joke about drunk driving at the burial of a friend who was killed by a drunk driver. Well, you get it.

When one person speak their mind, however shocking it could be for some audience, we must accept that it is not right to do it in the presence of that said audience.

But a newspaper is something that's just out there for sale to everyone. This means that all the concerned people are also potential audience. And this is where, in my position, something is not right. Why would all the muslims in the world, and in France, react this badly about this publication?

I know that islam does not accept representation of their prophet Muhammad. That's indeed a representation of their prophet, and therefore, it is not acceptable. Granted. But, this drawing was not issued by muslims, it was not used in muslim places, like in a mosque or other, it was particularly not intended for muslims. To me, it is like the muslims around the world would fight to forbid the sale of pork meat all around the earth. They do not have the right to restrain the freedom of that newspaper, or any other for the fact, just because what they publish is not in agreement with their religion. I would accept it if that newspaper was a muslim newspaper: in that case, the publisher would be wrong in the first place. But not in this case.

There are jokes about everything in the world. They are jokes, not insults or prejudices. For instance, jews are money grabbers, scots are stingy, corsicans are lazy, americans are just cow-boys, belgians are idiotic or naive, italians are machos, catholic priests are pedophiles, mexicans are lazy (them too??), arabs can't drive, blacks can't swim, white can't dance, etc. etc. etc. Think of anything, an ethnic group, a religion, etc., they have been mocked and joked about. Everyone.

If all the "mocked ones" in the world would react as violently as the muslim world is today reacting to those drawings (and consequently to that movie, but again I've not seen it) then the entire planet would be in ruins...
edit on 20-9-2012 by SpookyVince because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 09:48 AM
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The debate
How come that the muslim world is feeling so much like a victim, when the rest of the world would simply overlook any provocative mockery about them?

Is there really, in the islamic ideology, something that prevents the rest of the world, the non muslim world, to act in the way they want to, even if that includes mocking the muslims?

And if so, how can the world deal with such a situation where different cultures, different civilisations, cannot be mixed because of uncurable incompatibility of ideas?

Is there any way that the general population in muslim countries could be brought to a state of mind where they can simply accept that others might mock them, without feeling insulted?

 

WARNING
This portion of text is a personal thought. I am not trying to insult anyone, rather I am trying to understand why some things are the way they are, and how it could be possible to accomodate to differences, instead of using those differences as a source for trouble. This is not denigration.

Please refrain from using anger or insult. If you disagree with me, tell it like it is and I will read, and we will discuss. We can agree that we disagree, but I do not want to create a "war of opinions". We have the right to have different opinions.
 


I have the feeling that, in its current stage at least, the muslim world and the non muslim world are so incompatible that they simply should better not mix.

Indeed, our said western civilisation is now largely based on a very important part of freedom. Freedom of religion, freedom of sexual orientation for the most part, freedom of ideas, freedom of speach (within certain limits again), we have the freedom to drive our lives more or less the way we want, while remaining within laws.

However, the Coran and the different hadiths seem to cover practically every aspect of life, from the general laws of how the entire society should be to extremely intimate aspects of the private life. Everything is ruled, everything is enforced or forbidden, accepted or discouraged, and there is so to say very very limited place for actual freedom. The people can't actually be really different to their neighbours, they all have the exact same ruling of their very life.

It seems that anything anywhere in the world that is not like the Koran says it should be is automatically dismissed as being evil.

This would not be a real problem as long as those two different ways of encompassing life did never mix. But now we are facing a problem.

To the muslims, it seems that the rest of the world, or at least the "western world", is against them, is corrupt, is trying to fight them. They are the enemy of the muslims. And to the "western world", it seems that the muslims are trying to conquer us, that they are trying to enforce their rules over ours.

Can't they be sufficiently satisfied if they simply say "That's wrong but I don't care about it. Let them do as they please."? That's how every other mocked one has been reacting so far, practically speaking.

In our world, we have the right to publish such drawings.

In their world, they don't.

So, where does freedom really ends?

Is it actually still freedom if, in order to satisfy a part of the world, we cannot use a form of humour that we have used before?

Is it actually still freedom if, we have to accept rules that don't really belong to our civilisation?

Is it actually still freedom if, a religion, which is ultimately a personal choice, dominates what our cultural heritage has brought us?

Wouldn't it be more freedom if, they would allow themselves to laugh at it with us, together?

Wouldn't it be more freedom if, in the end, all the people in the world would stop using their religion as an argument to be against the others?

Wouldn't it be, in the end, a better world if every person on (and around) the planet could accept that maybe, they could be the one who's wrong, that actually maybe it's the others that are right ?

Your own freedom ends where your neighbour's start. Accepting the differences, it is about accepting that sometimes, we simply have to aknowledge that others have their own right, would it be wrong to us.

I am actually starting to wonder if, in islam, there is a place for accepting a mockery that's targetted at them. If there is not, then clearly, freedom has ended there.

To conclude
Please discuss this wisely, intelligently. Please do not flame or troll.

In particular I would like to have as many muslims, from all countries, react to this. It would be good to have a real exchange of opinions, of ideas, instead of all the flaming that occurs everywhere else.

ATS is a place that's filled with excellent posters, great minds, very much respect for others. Keep it this way. I will request deletion of this thread if people start reacting in a disrespectful way.

Thanks for reading.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 10:10 AM
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reply to post by SpookyVince
 


Sorry but an Americans freedom in his own country does not bow to foreign demands.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 10:15 AM
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Originally posted by SpookyVince
Foreword/Disclaimer

If all the "mocked ones" in the world would react as violently as the muslim world is today reacting to those drawings (and consequently to that movie, but again I've not seen it) then the entire planet would be in ruins...
edit on 20-9-2012 by SpookyVince because: (no reason given)


let me rephrase that

If all the 'muslims' in the world would react to this film then the entire world would be in ruins

truth is, what you are seeing is just a dozen thousand angry muslims, not the 1.4billion

deny ignorance



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by SpookyVince
 

I personally think its naive to believe that the Middle East is just reacting to a movie.

I would say that this was a spark but the real outrage is towards the relentless attack on the Middle East by the West and its allies.

The US began its assault on the Middle East back in 1953 with the overthrow of Iran's democratically elected government simply because the new leader, Mossadegh, said that he was nationalizing their oil industry.

No more profits for Big Oil.

Since then its been non stop. The excuse now is fighting "terrorism" (which unfortunately people have bought into) but its really over nothing more than greed.

And of-course there are cultural differences, as there are between all cultures. Normally we wouldnt be bothered with these differences but again, Western governments, run by corporations and banks, are obsessed with that part of the world.

edit on 20-9-2012 by gladtobehere because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 11:04 AM
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reply to post by gladtobehere
 



Since then its been non stop. The excuse now is fighting "terrorism" (which unfortunately people have bought into) but its really over nothing more than greed.


By destroying nations and people for world hegemony, the west has totally destroyed itself. The irony is that Islam will survive, the US and its allies may well not.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 11:26 AM
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Freedom or freedom of Speech ends when someone gets violent over simple words. The person who spoke or made a funny picture isn't at fault, the person who decided to get violent over it is at fault. The speaker or artist can continue to spread his opinions. Even if it causes people to be so stupid that they kill other people over it, that artist has no cause to stop expressing himself in what ever manner he chooses. The violent people because they actually unlike words or pictures, are causing the hurt and killing must take responsibility for their actions and not harm others.

We cannot allow anyone to take away these freedoms. if we do, they will take more until there are no freedoms. the line is drawn in the sand and the freedom loving peoples of the world are not going to budge. It would be silly for anyone to expect us to unless your some terrorist that wants us to go back to the dark ages.
edit on 20-9-2012 by JohnPhoenix because: sp



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 11:28 AM
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Your OP is about the most sound minded, logical and reasonable reflection of this issue I have read.

Thank you for this PoV.

God Bless,



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 03:49 PM
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Originally posted by gladtobehere
reply to post by SpookyVince
The US began its assault on the Middle East back in 1953 with the overthrow of Iran's democratically elected government simply because the new leader, Mossadegh, said that he was nationalizing their oil industry.


I knew that inevitably, someone was going to bring this forward, but if you read me correctly that's not my point.

If I had to summarize my real point in a few words (and I really hope that I don't bring any flaming there, litterally or not), it would be close to this:
how come that you can joke about the holocaust (which, in many countries, is close to or is illegal) and end up safe, while at the same time having a mocking look at another religion ends up getting the whole world to burn in flames? (remember that people have died for it, innocent people)



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 04:10 PM
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All this talk of "rights", and it seems to get forgotten that rights are relevant to culture.
Each culture decides what rights their members have.
Some love to claim that their version of fundamental rights are God given (universal), but well, you have to be religious and take things on faith instead of fact to accept that.

So we get culture clashes over rights.

One of the cultural differences we run into here is that in the Muslim religion, their scripture does not encourage passivity as a virtue- it is not best to "turn the other cheek." It encourages them to fight for and defend the honor of their faith. Much like earlier Christians read in the old Testament, and took up swords and went to conquer lands in the name of the Lord.

We can feel as superior as we want and claim that ignoring mockery is the "mature" and intelligent thing to do, but the fact remains-
It is this kind of attitude that tends to win out in the world of matter. The aggressive hostile and reactive ones take over things.
The teachings of Christ led us towards a spiritual peace and freedom, an inner power, and the promise of glory after leaving the physical world.
The same sorts of concepts, as taught by other disciplines and philosophies, allow one ot free their mind and spirit, despite and beyond whatever suffering and oppression the physical body might face here.

But it never promised to keep you free and powerful in the material world. That is what they are going for and IMO, they will be successful.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 04:19 PM
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But, this drawing was not issued by muslims, it was not used in muslim places, like in a mosque or other, it was particularly not intended for muslims


This is the essential point - and it's a democratic point. We accept "other" people. It's apart of our conception of things.

However, from a Muslims perspective, it is not liberal democracy that is the reference point, but Islam and Shari'a. People seem to forget that Muslims the world over from Mauritania to Indonesia have never had a separation of religion and state. Again, that was a development which naturally proceeded from Christianities separation. But Islam has not. They have had Caliphates, the latest collapsed just 90 years ago, to the horror of pious Muslims.

Thus, when they tell you don't insult Islam, it's said less with the democratic suggestion of "it's rude to insult someone else religion" but rather "you are not permitted to speak negatively about Islam". It's a cultural clash. Islam is not at home with living with 'democrats' who support free speech and human rights etc, when Islam and shari'a and the entire corpus of Islamic law works from a certain metaphysical and theological framework towards how people should organize and live.

That's the deeper fact. This confrontation is not going to go away. There are 1 billion plus Muslims, living in non-democratic societies.

Of course, most Arabs/Muslims would prefer democratic freedoms, as we see everyday with the Muslims we interact with in the west (US, Canada, Europe). I know many Muslims - particularly woman - who would despise living under the thumb of shari'a. One girl I know, Sogol, loves Iran but hates that when she wants to go out she has to wear a head scarf, can't leave the house after 9pm without a man with her, and other restrictions incompatible with democratic rights.

We need to recognize this, and, most of all, understand the metaphysical and theological foundations for why Muslims think this way.
edit on 20-9-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 04:23 PM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 





It is this kind of attitude that tends to win out in the world of matter. The aggressive hostile and reactive ones take over things.


So we should become passive?? If it's in the nature of the hostile party to be hostile and unforgiving, than why would anyone assume a passive posture? What good would that serve us? It assumes that that would be their final demand; that the last concession to their will won't serve to them as a precedence in which they can milk more compliance and submission to Muslim demands.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 04:50 PM
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Originally posted by dontreally
reply to post by Bluesma
 





It is this kind of attitude that tends to win out in the world of matter. The aggressive hostile and reactive ones take over things.


So we should become passive?? If it's in the nature of the hostile party to be hostile and unforgiving, than why would anyone assume a passive posture? What good would that serve us? It assumes that that would be their final demand; that the last concession to their will won't serve to them as a precedence in which they can milk more compliance and submission to Muslim demands.


"Should"? I have no idea what you or anyone else "should" do. I make an observation. One that has been made again and again through time by many- sometimes inner peace isn't simultaneous with outer peace; individual power doesn't always go hand in hand with power over others; spiritual richness isn't necessarily worldy riches; and detachment from the material world often leaves it to those who delve into it.

It's a choice, for each one of us. But I am not so sure they are superior or inferior choices- that seems to me to be a relative call. Like some people like apples and others oranges. And when it comes to a nation of peoples, the majority will determine the general focus of the collective.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 05:33 PM
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Originally posted by JohnPhoenix
We cannot allow anyone to take away these freedoms. if we do, they will take more until there are no freedoms. the line is drawn in the sand and the freedom loving peoples of the world are not going to budge. It would be silly for anyone to expect us to unless your some terrorist that wants us to go back to the dark ages.
edit on 20-9-2012 by JohnPhoenix because: sp


I'm sure people from ME dont share the same opinion about freedom as you do. Freedom is relative as anything in this world.

And who is trying to take away your freedom ? I dont see anyone trying taking your freedom of speech away in the USA. You are against the religious zealots who try to push their agenda down your troat, yet you do exactly the same. You cant force your view of freedom on everyone else, it doesnet work that way.
I dont care about First Amendment, that part of the constitution ends at US borders.

And for the record, you dont have freedom of speech ,as you do in the USA, in the rest of the world. People have been fined and imprisoned in Europe for expressing their scepticsm about the Holocaust.

Freedom of speech/freedom in general is relative- it varies from country to country, culture to culture.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 10:40 PM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 



"Should"? I have no idea what you or anyone else "should" do. I make an observation. One that has been made again and again through time by many- sometimes inner peace isn't simultaneous with outer peace;


Generally, when it comes to something as important as personal safety, you should respond seriously, which would mean you understand the dire consequences for your self and for your way of living if you don't stand up to defend them.

Even if it was just an "observation", for what purpose? The gravity of this demands an equal response: a calm awareness of the nature of the problem at hand. I hate to be anal, but a flippant attitude towards this isn't rational.

If some people think inner peace doesn't necessarily match out peace, they should go off into the mountains and leave the world to those who care about it. There may be two lives, but the inner should never abandon it's responsibility to itself and others in the outer.




It's a choice, for each one of us. But I am not so sure they are superior or inferior choices- that seems to me to be a relative call. Like some people like apples and others oranges. And when it comes to a nation of peoples, the majority will determine the general focus of the collective.


I don't think it's reasonable to be thinking so existentially when the consequences are so serious. Yes, you're a moral relativist, you don't abide by any 'objective moral' - anyone can have their own views. Even you yourself have your own view, which means, it should be YOUR view. For yourself, wouldn't you want to defend the freedoms you enjoy as a free American? A woman with the right to speak her mind and challenge any opinion she doesn't agree with? Well that right you enjoy which makes life so flexible and pleasant is fundamentally better from your vantage point. You would have to be crazy to prefer being a Saudi Woman who gets beaten by her husband. Who can't even enjoy a swim in 100 degree weather without being covered from head to toe (or at the very least, a head scarf a one piece bathing suit). From your vantage point, you would be pretty lost in the world of existentialist ratiocination if you couldn't see how much better it is to be you than a Muslim woman

Therefore, I have argued from your position how much better it is that you care and act. Otherwise, you are lazy and indolent, and rather egotistical for not quieting your ego when it's leading you to think something patently untrue and irrational.
edit on 20-9-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 10:59 PM
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Originally posted by ArtooDetoo

Originally posted by JohnPhoenix
We cannot allow anyone to take away these freedoms. if we do, they will take more until there are no freedoms. the line is drawn in the sand and the freedom loving peoples of the world are not going to budge. It would be silly for anyone to expect us to unless your some terrorist that wants us to go back to the dark ages.
edit on 20-9-2012 by JohnPhoenix because: sp


I'm sure people from ME dont share the same opinion about freedom as you do. Freedom is relative as anything in this world.

And who is trying to take away your freedom ? I dont see anyone trying taking your freedom of speech away in the USA. You are against the religious zealots who try to push their agenda down your troat, yet you do exactly the same. You cant force your view of freedom on everyone else, it doesnet work that way.
I dont care about First Amendment, that part of the constitution ends at US borders.

And for the record, you dont have freedom of speech ,as you do in the USA, in the rest of the world. People have been fined and imprisoned in Europe for expressing their scepticsm about the Holocaust.

Freedom of speech/freedom in general is relative- it varies from country to country, culture to culture.


Who is trying to take away our freedoms in the USA? Many people for their own agenda. They call it security. This United States has changed radically since 911. You have to have lived here and through it to see all the changes. They start by restricting freedoms, not taking away outright then once that's accepted, it gets worse from there. Study what the Patriot Act has done to us, and the powers of Homeland Security.

I'm not trying to push our or my views down the throats of Muslims. I said we can have the right to express ourselves, and they in return can respond in kind but not to the point of violence. Do you think they have the freedom to respond by violence? Is my view of them not responding with violence me pushing my view on them? If you think it is, you would be part of the problem.

Yes, Our definition of freedom of speech stops at the U.S. Border. So why then did someone take the film and translate it to Arabic languages and cause an incitement of hate? The film was in English targeted at western audiences.

I'm sorry you in Europe don't have freedom of speech as we do in the USA. You'll never know the joy that comes with totally being free in this manner. It seems you in Europe are still in imprisoned under a dictator if you cannot express your feelings without fear on being jailed.



posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 11:36 PM
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reply to post by SpookyVince
 


Ahh very refreshing to see a good breakdown on the situation. History has shown that Islam has been at odds with the west for a real loong time! Mind you at the times I refer to we had such things as the Ottoman empire. We could argue that the Middle East was at the peek of it's culture then as well. We have been at war with the Middle East for much of recorded history. Now is no different in terms of that. It's just now that large parts of the ME is lagging in advancement, more content to live simply and in smaller settlements. In those types of environments extremists are easier to create. Those in the more urban areas or well off seem to get into extreme ideology, not much different as in the west.{hmm}


Now in the west we do have this issue with not understanding other people are not going to see the world our way. Not all people view human life with the same value. As a nation the US also has the unique ability to screw over today's allies tomorrow. That has created quite a bit of hard feelings across the globe. So teaming up with the US short term may be good but long term well caveat emptor.

Our freedom of speech in the west is just not how things are done in most ME countries. You go into a western owned and run web site like youtube and well you might not like what you see, but it does not give any right to riot. Not to mention it makes ya look like a total savage when you do
The ME needs to learn to deal with the world and not dictate to it.



posted on Sep, 21 2012 @ 01:42 AM
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Originally posted by dontreally

Generally, when it comes to something as important as personal safety, you should respond seriously, which would mean you understand the dire consequences for your self and for your way of living if you don't stand up to defend them.

Even if it was just an "observation", for what purpose? The gravity of this demands an equal response: a calm awareness of the nature of the problem at hand. I hate to be anal, but a flippant attitude towards this isn't rational.

If some people think inner peace doesn't necessarily match out peace, they should go off into the mountains and leave the world to those who care about it. There may be two lives, but the inner should never abandon it's responsibility to itself and others in the outer.


What purpose my observation?
To provoke thought in readers.

I brought this into the discussion because of the references (here and in other threads) to it being "better" to ignore provocation such as mockery by others. (and questions as to WHY they react )

Sometimes considering what our goals are is a better starting point for choices then just by the ideas and values we were conditioned with - like that one thing is inherently better than another- period.
WHY is a good question to ask!



I don't think it's reasonable to be thinking so existentially when the consequences are so serious. Yes, you're a moral relativist, you don't abide by any 'objective moral' - anyone can have their own views. Even you yourself have your own view, which means, it should be YOUR view.


This is my view of the overall picture, of course. But if you are interested in knowing my smaller, closer, ego view, I will share it-

I am in a country where my personal preference was not the same as that of the majority around me.

After having my house bombed twice and vandalized repeatedly, my children beat up, my husband and I harrassed and having stones thrown at us...... and having the police say they were sorry but they could not do anything to help us because the perpetrators live in the arab neighborhood, which is a no-go zone- too dangerous for them to enter......

We decided to leave that area, find a three hundred year old guard post with three foot thick stone walls on the top of a mountain, overlooking a mountain pass so as to see anyone coming from any direction hours before they arrive, with it's own natural springs, barns and land, stone bread oven, fruit trees and gardens. We bought lots of weapons and ammo. We stocked up with all kinds of food, seeds, tools, a horse with a buggy and a plow, some chickens, rabbits and goats.

I vote, but the majority here is very concerned about being morally superior, and appeasing the muslims, so the Socialists took the presidency.
Now they're giving those immigrants the right to vote, without needing to integrate and gain citizenship.
They have made their choice, and I'll sit atop my look out with my gun in hand. ( I do support deomcracy).

(I also gained in spiritual peace and vision, which wasn't my original desire, but ended up being something I appreciate, so it taught me that even if you don't get the outcome you prefer, you might discover other types of benefits as part of the minority. The subconscious might play a hand in our "losses"- we might not get what we want because it is not what we "need"
).

But- from what I have observed,
getting any of the people around me to consider changing their mind isn't effectively done by demanding aggressively that they do it. That is how you dominate outer matters- opinion is of the inner world.

Part of my choices and opinions stem from my values on individual soveriegnty, and so, as part of that, I believe in making as much information as possible available to individuals, and allowing them to make their own informed choices and opinions!
That is why I shared some information, some food for thought, instead of an insulting and aggressive attempt to pressure them them to adopt the same stance as me. I don't need to provoke emotion in them to cloud their rational thought.
edit on 21-9-2012 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)
edit on 21-9-2012 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2012 @ 02:33 AM
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Originally posted by JohnPhoenix
I'm sorry you in Europe don't have freedom of speech as we do in the USA. You'll never know the joy that comes with totally being free in this manner. It seems you in Europe are still in imprisoned under a dictator if you cannot express your feelings without fear on being jailed.


I have to react to this. I suppose you've never come to Europe.

We do have real freedom of speech and freedom. From what we see from here, much more than in the US actually.
edit on 21-9-2012 by SpookyVince because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2012 @ 02:36 AM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 





I only pointed out that it is "better" to do so if you want to have an inner peace and not feel emotional ups and downs,


That advice applies in some contexts, but not something of such geopolitical significance as the cultural and ideological clash between the west and Islam.

There is no other choice but to confront and make clear what our position is. If we back down once, we only show a complete lack of knowledge of the enemy, or, a complete disregard of the obvious future dangers an isolated capitulation to their demands would create.

As noted before, apart of a knowledge of Islam includes understanding how Muslims understand God. According to Ibn Hanbal, Al Ashari and later on Al Ghazali, Allah is conceptualized as Pure Will. This creates a framework consonant with what many mystics experience as the unity or non-duality of all things. In Islam, this conception reigns supreme in all categories. An early issue with this conception was raise by Al Kindi, who said Allah in order to be just had to be identified with reason - at least in his association with men - in order to avoid the implication that could Allah could act unjustly. The mainstream theologians argued just that; Allah was not bound by reason or man's conception of right and wrong; the tale in the Quran about Al khidr and Moses establishes this Islamic perception.

Anyways, apart of accepting and embracing Islam includes recognizing the metaphysics which underlie it's core theology: God as pure Will; and everything else as non-existent relative to that reality. This - God as He is in Himself - also includes the Quran, which Al Ghazali claimed was co-eternal with him, and so, uncreated. A non-created Quran means that what is in the Quran is not subject to the terms and dictum of created reality; it rather transcends the world similar to how the faculty of reason transcends the sense of sight.

This is essentially why mainstream Sunni Islam is imperialistic in it's essence, and so, in it's furthest dimensions. Implied in submitting to a non-Muslims demands is a recognition of a 'power' outside the Islamic world (dar al Islam); to recognize such a power means that you deny that Allah's omnipotence, which means a rejection of Al Ghazali's theology (Al Ghazali is considered the second biggest figure in Islam behind Mohammad), which is heresy.

Hence, the Islamic doctrine of Taqiyya, where a Muslim is required by the faith to lie. This is a natural extension of Islams idea of God as 'Pure Will', and of mans inability to comprehend by reason alone Allah's mysterious commands in the Quran. If a situation arises in which Islam cannot exercise the natural power Allah invested in the Umma, then that means Islam must seek power through the negative vantage of Allah as pure will: in deception. Through deception, the followers of Mohammad bring the power back into Islam, and so, perform Allah's will.

This is apart of Islams moral relativism. It follows a "moral' but the moral is not an objective principle decided through reason, but in the indisputable will of Allah in the Quran interpreted in line with the metaphysical idea of Allah as Power/Will.




I don't want to provoke emotion in them to cloud their rational thought.


Is that a recognition that you are responding irrationally because you were provoked emotionally by my post??

I just thought the original kernel of your thought made no sense. Of course, Now I see that you had clearly good intentions, but the end result of that intention was not in 'provoking critical thought' but in leading people to a useless position in which they ignore the imminent threat at hand.

I hope I have made clear what Islam, at least the mainstream of it, is about. In light of that knowledge, people should act appropriately. The only appropriate and rational response - barring you aren't a radical socialist or Islamist - is to promulgate the problem to make know why Islam is incompatible with democratic values, and how Islam itself needs to change if there will ever develop a mutually constructive dialogue between itself and the world around it.





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