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Since you asked, I'll tell you what I found 'off' in your statements:

Firstly, the difference in wealth between European states and North African states does not go back only 50 years and is not only a product of imperial control of energy resources. African companies can buy energy on the free market the same way as Western companies which buy energy the same way as Chinese companies - which today are the world's largest consumers of energy. Do the Chinese have imperial control of energy resources? No. I'm digressig...

The difference between European and African wealth goes back hundreds (if not thousands) of years and is a product of the quality of land, labour and capital use, the level of development of trade & commerce and the nature of the social order (laws, governance, infrastructure, ...). Just check out your history books.

Regarding the cultural differences and scary Muslims (as you refer to them)... It seems that as soon as one is not praising Muslims, one is a right wing Nazi bigot. It's like being branded a "homophobe" just because you're heterosexual.

You can ask the Armenians, the Greeks, the Copts, the Serbs in Bosnia and Kosovo, the Christians in Lebanon, the Jews in Iran or the Belgians in Molenbeek whether they fear Muslims and many will tell you that they do. Does that make them Nazis? In your books, it would seem so.

And finally, coming back to the real issue here, which is the nonsense of propagating the merits of EU-N.African union... I'll just say one thing: it would be absolute folly giving North Africa's + Turkey's 280M people almost equal voting rights in EU institutions on issues pertaining to our way of life (retirement, investments, taxes, resource allocation, social orientation) given that our cultures are so different and that the priorities of our two societies are so different. If it's'a LONG term project, then wake me up in 500 years when it's on the agenda (if we're still around). It's such a no brainer really.

by vladimir on Mon Aug 30th, 2010 at 02:51:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Firstly, the difference in wealth between European states and North African states does not go back only 50 years

The observant reader will note that what I actually wrote was:

(a) until about two centuries ago, there was no really noteworthy difference, (b) the differences only reached their present order of magnitude about fifty years ago.

Emphasis added for, well, emphasis.

and is not only a product of imperial control of energy resources.

The raw materials footprints of the countries involved say otherwise.

African companies can buy energy on the free market the same way as Western companies

Indeed, African companies are able to buy energy on markets set up by Euro-American powers, that follow Euro-American rules and that clear transactions in Euro-American currencies...

The law is equal for every man: The rich man is as prohibited as the poor man from sleeping under bridges and begging for bread.

But even if we accept, for the sake of the argument, that the markets are not tilted in favour of WesternTM former and present colonial powers today, that still leaves a gap of a hundred, maybe a hundred and fifty years where WesternTM countries had monopoly access to the most concentrated and easily accessible energy reserves. Exponential growth being what it is, a constant head start translates into an exponentially increasing gap in absolute terms.

Chinese companies - which today are the world's largest consumers of energy. Do the Chinese have imperial control of energy resources? No. I'm digressig...

Actually, they do, by proxy. China operates within the American colonial order. It collects and processes tribute for the US, and keeps some of the proceeds for itself. Obviously, however, this is only an option available to a moderately powerful country - you can only proxy for the colonial overlord if you are not yourself a colony.

The difference between European and African wealth goes back hundreds (if not thousands) of years

Well, no. As late as the early Renaissance, North Africa was at least as wealthy as all but the most powerful city-states on the Northern shore of the Mediterranean. It really is only with the voyages of discovery (and attendant colonial acquisitions) that the Northern side of the Med began to pull ahead.

and is a product of the quality of land,

The soil and climate of the Southern shore of the Med is comparable to the Northern shore in most places, and superior in some.

labour and capital use,

Which is restricted by capital and raw material availability, which again brings us back to the advantage Europe accrued from raping the Americas, India and Sub-Saharan Africa...

the level of development of trade & commerce

Which, again, is not noticeably different between the two shores of the Med until trade with the colonies opened up.

and the nature of the social order (laws, governance, infrastructure, ...).

Comparable until the late Renaissance.

Just check out your history books.

See, there's this thing with history books: They normally gloss over such little details as the displacement of the North American population and the scramble for Africa...

Regarding the cultural differences and scary Muslims (as you refer to them)... It seems that as soon as one is not praising Muslims, one is a right wing Nazi bigot.

Yawn. While straw men are vaguely amusing the first time around, this one really is sort of old.

it would be absolute folly giving North Africa's + Turkey's 280M people almost equal voting rights in EU institutions on issues pertaining to our way of life (retirement, investments, taxes, resource allocation, social orientation) given that our cultures are so different

Eh. You still haven't pointed out any cultural differences at all, apart from the fact that the countries in question have a majority Muslim population. Which really doesn't count for much of anything.

and that the priorities of our two societies are so different. If it's'a LONG term project, then wake me up in 500 years when it's on the agenda

Poland was a third-world country in the fifties and sixties (and culturally still is in many respects). Now, I happen to think that Poland was admitted too soon, but certainly not by an order of magnitude...

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Aug 30th, 2010 at 03:39:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I said, there are three fundamental reasons why North Africa and Turkey should not be considered for EU membership:
  1. Economic: the financial burden on the EU would be enormous, resulting in a decreased standard of living for many, many decades, while investments are poured in to these regions in order to modernise their industrial base and infrastructure.
  2. Cultural: Islam is a vector of intolerance towards non Muslims (which most citizens of the EU happen to be). It has been in the past. It is today. It's written in the Koran and preached in mosques. Sharia is officially used as the source of criminal and civil law in most of these countries... which is of course, incompatible with our Western European traditions.
  3. Political: governments in North Africa and Turkey are authoritarian in their spirit and their practice. In short, they are light years away from European democratic models and are anything but supportive of freedoms of thought and expression.
by vladimir on Tue Aug 31st, 2010 at 02:39:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Economic: the financial burden on the EU would be enormous, resulting in a decreased standard of living for many, many decades,

North Africa has the second-largest untapped energy resource on the planet. In this century, energy is going to be a crucial constraint on industrial production. You either neglect this fact in your economic analysis, or you assume that Europe will be able to secure unrestricted access to said energy without any substantial progress towards economic equality between the Northern and Southern shore of the Mediterranean.

Or, to put it a little more bluntly, you are either in denial of the energy constraint on European industrial production, or you are proposing classic colonial expropriation of North Africa's energy resources.

Cultural: Islam is a vector of intolerance towards non Muslims

If Islam were an important causative factor in promoting intolerance, then we should see similar hostility in Muslims who live in Europe. We don't, so it isn't.

Sharia is officially used as the source of criminal and civil law in most of these countries...

The civil and criminal law of an EU member must be in compliance with European federal law. And I really don't see a "Sharia opt-out" to have a snowball's chance in a blast furnace.

which is of course, incompatible with our Western European traditions.

I assume that you do not count Poland as a "Western" country, then? Or is Catholic Sharia OK?

Political: governments in North Africa and Turkey are authoritarian in their spirit and their practice. In short, they are light years away from European democratic models and are anything but supportive of freedoms of thought and expression.

Again, the civil and criminal law of an EU member state must be in compliance with the EU treaties. Similarly, corruption and police impunity must be brought down to tolerable levels prior to entry. And the EU is unlikely to repeat the mistake (made during the accession negotiations for Eastern Europe) of granting points for effort rather than results.

It may be that one or more North African states will decide that these requirements are too onerous, in which case they are free to pursue their interests elsewhere, including in a looser cooperative framework with the EU and/or other interested parties. It may be that those who seek membership despite these hurdles will take five hundred years to reach compliance with the membership criteria. It may be that they will take fifty years to do so. The only thing that is certain in this matter is that the more the EU has to offer, the greater our influence in the region.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 31st, 2010 at 09:47:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Catholic Sharia? You can't be serious. Besides abortion being banned in Poland under the pressure of the Church, to my knowledge, the two situations are anything but comparable. First, the Polish Constitution does not put Canon Law of the Vatican above National Law! Second, the Polish government doesn't fund Canon Law courts to arbitrate civil and/or criminal cases. What are you talking about?

So, North Africa is rich in natural resources and the EU needs to integrate this region so that we can avoid colonial expropriation of their natural resources. How noble! I have a simpler idea: the EU can enact a law which levies a 100% tax on all energy imports from North Africa and finance development projects. Then everyone will vote for you because we'll all be paying 3 Euros a litre of gas instead of 1,50.

If I understand correctly, you're suggesting that the legal, political and religious system in these countries will have to adapt to EU norms before they can be admitted to the Union. In other words: we're gonna tell them how to organise their governments and run their societies. That's a neo-colonial idea if ever there was one. I have a simpler idea: focus on putting your own house in order before telling your neighbours where to pee.

by vladimir on Tue Aug 31st, 2010 at 01:42:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Catholic Sharia? You can't be serious. Besides abortion being banned in Poland under the pressure of the Church, to my knowledge, the two situations are anything but comparable.

You're right, they're not comparable. Poland has considerably more pronounced theocratic tendencies than, say, Egypt (which is better compared to a Latin American banana republic than to Mideastern theocracies).

So, North Africa is rich in natural resources and the EU needs to integrate this region so that we can avoid colonial expropriation of their natural resources. How noble!

So you're in favour of colonial expropriation of other people's resources? That's the sort of attitude that makes white people unpopular, y'know.

I have a simpler idea: the EU can enact a law which levies a 100% tax on all energy imports from North Africa and finance development projects.

It is possible that there are more moronic ways to encourage economic development in North Africa, but off the top of my head I cannot think of any.

Then everyone will vote for you because we'll all be paying 3 Euros a litre of gas instead of 1,50.

You believe that internal combustion engines will remain an economically viable option for the majority of our transportation needs?

That's cute. In the real world, however, internal combustion engines are between a half and a full order of magnitude less efficient per ton- or passenger-kilometre than electric vehicles, so internal combustion is only really justified in airplanes and heavy, independently operating machinery like agricultural combines and heavy earth-moving machinery. It is not a serious item on any retail budget in a sustainable political economy. (Not to mention the fact that said internal combustion engines will run on ammonia rather than gasoline, and I really don't want amateurs dicking around with an ammonia power engine...)

If I understand correctly, you're suggesting that the legal, political and religious system in these countries will have to adapt to EU norms before they can be admitted to the Union.

To an extent.

In other words: we're gonna tell them how to organise their governments and run their societies.

No, I'm telling them that if they do this, then they are welcome in the European Union. If they do not wish to do this, but wish to remain in a trade and economic development framework, then they are welcome in that sort of integration with the European Union. And if all they want is a mutual defence pact, then the EU should be open to that.

How far they wish to pursue integration is up to them. I'm just confident that the EU can offer the best deal on the table. But if they disagree, well, they're sovereign states.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 31st, 2010 at 03:40:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I'm not in favour of colonial expropriation or slavery of any kind. And the point of my comment had nothing to do with combustion machines (which I see you have a mastery of). It was simply to say that the impact of the policy you recommend would be to increase energy prices. That's all.

Imposing a levy or tax on energy imports is from being a dumb policy. This is regular coffee policy in any government: Tax A to finance B through fund C. Plus, it's much much simpler than working on integrating 280M people and their government infrastructure into the EU. Really.

by vladimir on Wed Sep 1st, 2010 at 03:59:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Should read: Imposing a levy or tax on energy imports is FAR from being a dumb policy.
by vladimir on Wed Sep 1st, 2010 at 05:22:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was simply to say that the impact of the policy you recommend would be to increase energy prices. That's all.

My policy will not cause energy prices to rise. Energy prices will rise when energy becomes a scarce resource. The only way you can prevent energy prices from rising is by making energy a non-scarce resource, and the only way to make energy a non-scarce resource is to suppress third-world demand. Which is one of the essential points of a colonial relationship.

Imposing a levy or tax on energy imports is from being a dumb policy.

I did not say that it was dumb policy, only that it was dumb policy if the objective is to industrialise North Africa.

Plus, it's much much simpler than working on integrating 280M people and their government infrastructure into the EU.

It would also have been much, much simpler to not integrate Eastern Europe into the EU. And it would have been even simpler to never expand it beyond the original coal and steel communities, since France and Germany would then not have to support underdeveloped countries like Spain and Great Britain. In fact, it would have been much, much simpler to never start the EU in the first place and just de-industrialise Germany along the lines proposed in the Morgenthau Plan. Of course, in that case we would probably be having another major European shooting war right about now, but at least we would have been spared the mental anguish of redefining what it means to be European...

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Sep 1st, 2010 at 06:58:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The only way you can prevent energy prices from rising is by making energy a non-scarce resource

I see you believe that supply and demand make the world go 'round. Viva free market economics! Are you denying that governments can have an impact on market prices of goods and services?

I did not say that it was dumb policy, only that it was dumb policy if the objective is to industrialise North Africa.

Are you suggesting that International Development Banks have had no impact on the economies of underdeveloped countries? EBRD, ADB, IFC, WB, etc. - not to mention all the bilateral funds that exist. They have, regardless of the fact that they're also used as political leverage by the West.

we would probably be having another major European shooting war right about now

Talk about a strawman... here it is.

by vladimir on Thu Sep 2nd, 2010 at 02:32:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The only way you can prevent energy prices from rising is by making energy a non-scarce resource

I see you believe that supply and demand make the world go 'round. Viva free market economics!

No, I just believe that the laws of physics are not negotiable, and that economic rent follows the constraining factor of production.

Of course, another way to make energy a non-scarce resource is to artificially constrain the availability of another resource - typically money - in order to induce a general industrial depression. But somehow, I don't think that's what you were getting at.

Are you denying that governments can have an impact on market prices of goods and services?

Of course they can. But only within the limits set by physical reality - and physical reality imposes a lower limit on the real cost of the constraining factor of production.

I did not say that it was dumb policy, only that it was dumb policy if the objective is to industrialise North Africa.

Are you suggesting that International Development Banks have had no impact on the economies of underdeveloped countries?

No, I'm saying that punitive tariffs on the imports of underdeveloped countries do more harm to their industrial production than comparable development credits can compensate for. An economic policy proposal must be evaluated in full, and the net impact of the full policy you proposed is negative.

we would probably be having another major European shooting war right about now

Talk about a strawman... here it is.

At the moment, the US Navy controls Suez and Gibraltar. At some point in the not so far future, the US Navy will cease to be a reliable guarantor of European interests in the Mediterranean region, either because the US Navy ceases to be reliable due to a generalised economic collapse of the US, or because American and European interests diverge too greatly for the transatlantic alliance to remain viable.

The EU can secure Gibraltar, and there's not much anybody can do about it. But Suez can easily spark a shooting war.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Sep 2nd, 2010 at 03:32:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But Suez can easily spark a shooting war.
Nah. Most ships are too big for Suez nowadays, and instead go by way of Cape Town.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Sep 4th, 2010 at 12:18:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Islam were an important causative factor in promoting intolerance, then we should see similar hostility in Muslims who live in Europe. We don't, so it isn't.

We DO see hostility of Muslims in Europe, even though they're just a minority. We hear it in violent North African rap, see it in urban anarchy, and most telling of all, we witness it in many European mosques which are infiltrated by Wahhabists financed by Saudi Arabia. Why do you think the French government is getting involved in building "official" mosques? So that it can pick, choose and approve the Imams who preach in them. So that it can put an end to calls for Jihad in France.

If Islam were so tolerant as you seem to imply, how do you explain that Asia Minor, which was populated by 80%-90% Christians up until the 14th century is now 99,8% Muslim. How do you explain the genocides against the Greeks and the Armenians? How do you explain Ataturk's famous comment that "Now that we are all Turkish, now that we are all Muslims, we must be secular"? How do you explain the concept of Dhimmi in the Koran which relegates non Muslims to second rate status... a concept which was instituted into Turkish law until the 20th century... and is still an integral component of Sharia. How do you explain that the Koran openly calls for combating all non believers? How do you explain that there are NO churches, NO synagogues and NO places of worship to any God other than Allah in Saudi Arabia? How do you explain that Lebanon's Christian population is dwindling? Or Iraq's? Or Iran's?

I'd really be interested in reading a diary explaining how and where the tolerant side of Islam expresses itself? It's just beyond me, but I'd really like to understand.

by Lynch on Tue Aug 31st, 2010 at 03:16:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We DO see hostility of Muslims in Europe, even though they're just a minority. We hear it in violent North African rap,

As opposed to the entirely pacifist (Christian) American rap culture?

see it in urban anarchy,

Where? I am aware of no case of urban anarchy in Europe that are not fully explained by class conflict.

and most telling of all, we witness it in many European mosques which are infiltrated by Wahhabists financed by Saudi Arabia.

Ah, so now we've narrowed it down to a claim that a certain Muslim sect is overtly hostile to European civilisation, and that said Muslim sect is funded and supported by a specific foreign country. This is, of course, correct. It is also altogether different in scope and peril to a generalised Muslim hostility.

Incidentally, most North African governments view Wahhabism as a form of sedition.

(By the way, I'm happy to see that you've realised that Iran is not, in fact, funding Wahhabist mosques, on account of Wahhabism being a Sunni sect and Iran being run by Shias...)

Why do you think the French government is getting involved in building "official" mosques? So that it can pick, choose and approve the Imams who preach in them.

This is an excellent idea. They should do that with Christian churches too.

If Islam were so tolerant as you seem to imply, how do you explain that Asia Minor, which was populated by 80%-90% Christians up until the 14th century is now 99,8% Muslim.

By noting that the Ottoman Empire was violently intolerant of Christianity in the 15th century. There were various reasons for this, of course, but I don't doubt that Islam as then practised was one such reason.

Incidentally, during the 16th century, Christianity was violently intolerant not only of pagan beliefs in the colonies but even of other versions of Christianity (see, e.g., the counter-reformation). So if you are going to claim that Ottoman Turk repression in the 15th century has modern relevance, well...

How do you explain the genocides against the Greeks and the Armenians?

As a nationalist project. Genocides were quite popular among nationalist movements at the time, although they usually had the good sense to practise such predilections abroad rather than at home.

How do you explain Ataturk's famous comment that "Now that we are all Turkish, now that we are all Muslims, we must be secular"?

See above. Violent nationalist movements were not uncommon in Europe at the time.

How do you explain the concept of Dhimmi in the Koran which relegates non Muslims to second rate status...

If by "explain" you mean "make excuses for" then I don't. I simply note that dogma says a lot of things, and religious groups are usually rather selective in their citation practise. Whether this is hypocritical or simply a genre convention of religious exegesis is a question that I will refer to theologians.

a concept which was instituted into Turkish law until the 20th century...

You really don't want to compare Turkey in the 19th century to Europe in the 19th century vis-a-vis general respect for human rights in general and the concept of second-class citizens in particular. That would be an own goal.

and is still an integral component of Sharia.

Sharia, however, is not an integral component of the main strands of North African jurisprudence, and has not been since Nasser.

How do you explain that the Koran openly calls for combating all non believers?

How do you explain Article 1, Section 2 of the Augsburg Confession? To take just one major Christian document of modern theological relevance.

How do you explain that there are NO churches, NO synagogues and NO places of worship to any God other than Allah in Saudi Arabia?

By noting that Saudi Arabia operates on Medieval Savings Time - when it's 12 noon in London, it's 1,000 AD in Riyadh.

By the way, since we're discussing North Africa, at what point did Saudi Arabia acquire a Mediterranean deep water port, again?

How do you explain that Lebanon's Christian population is dwindling?

Several major Christian sects sided with the Phalangists during the civil war. That was a bad pick, in more ways than one. I don't know whether it's a dominant causative factor, but it is a confounder that you will have to correct for if you wish to claim a significant trend.

Or Iraq's?

Iraq does not exist as a coherent political entity at the moment. The territory formerly occupied by the Iraqi state has undergone a series of ethnic cleansings following the erasure of the Iraqi state from the world by an American colonial expeditionary corps. (You may have heard these ethnic cleansings referred to as "secterian violence," although this is a somewhat misleading label.) And while Iraq still existed, it was run by a less than perfectly functioning government, shall we say.

Incidentally, when did Iraq obtain a Mediterranean deep water port?

Or Iran's?

In the first part, I do not have the liveliest of confidence in the accuracy of statistics on the religious demographics of Iran, or any other state in which "apostasy" is a criminal offence.

In the second part, Christianity is actively persecuted, alongside Sunni Islam, members of unauthorised Shia denominations and assorted other religious groups.

Iran, you will note, also does not have any Mediterranean deep water ports.

I'd really be interested in reading a diary explaining how and where the tolerant side of Islam expresses itself?

Broadly the same way the tolerant side of Christianity expresses itself: By not sticking its nose in the running of government or the conduct of people's private lives.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 31st, 2010 at 04:56:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm happy to see that you've realized that Iran is not, in fact, funding Wahhabist mosques

I never said that Iran was funding Wahhabist mosques.

a certain Muslim sect

I would definitely not refer to Wahhabists as being a "certain Muslim sect". The fact is that it's quite mainstream on the Arabian Peninsula and Afghanistan. Furthermore, its influence has been rising fast in other parts of the world thanks to the aggressive, expansionistic vision of its cash drenched financiers.

they should do that with Christian churches too

Your blunt insinuation that Christian churches promote the same kind of zeal against Muslims as do Wahhabist Mosques against non Muslims is a mix of the grotesque and the ludicrous. It's quite evident that you don't attend Sunday Mass - and that's of course, your prerogative. But I'd like to know whether you have EVER in your life attended a celebration of Mass. And if you have, what kind of anti Muslim preaching did you hear? And if you did, what kind of Mass did you attend, dear Sir? Perhaps you are referring to hear-say you caught wind of on Al Jazeera?

Whatever the roots of your beliefs, this type of comment can only be borne out of genuine ignorance or total bad faith.

Ottoman Turk repression in the 15th century

15th century? Are your talking about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938)? Mr. Sierra, the latest and Final mass expulsion of Christian Greeks from Turkey took place in the 20th century. More precisely, it was between 1915 and 1925, that some 500 000 Greeks were murdered or died under the Turkish sword. Frightening killing fields, mass executions and torching of Greek cities are documented in chilling detail, should you care to research the subject. This European genocide of non Muslims took place only 85 years ago... with absolutely no repentance from Turkey's leadership, which till this very day considers that it was justifiable policy implemented in the interests of the Turkish nation. In fact, in 1998, the Turkish Parliament passed a resolution stating that "there was no historical basis to accuse Turkey of perpetrating genocide against the Greeks" and asked the Greeks "to apologize for the large-scale destruction and massacres that Greece perpetrated in Anatolia". Bring them into Europe Mr. Sierra!

You believe that it is precisely because the Turks are Muslim that they should be in the EU. For, as the logic goes, once in the EU, we shall be better able to project our policies to the rest of North Africa and the Middle East. Yet, that logic is flawed, as your apologetic stance regarding Turkey's recent past proves. Instead of luring Turkey to Europe's flute, you are pushing Europe to Turkey's fiddle.

Sharia, however, is not an integral component of the main strands of North African jurisprudence

Yes it is. In Egypt (since you mentioned Nasser) Sharia is inscribed in the Constitution as being THE supreme source of the law.

Augsburg Confession

This is a Lutheran interpretation of the Bible which is rejected by the Catholic (and Orthodox) Church. By comparison, the Koran (in other words, the equivalent of the Bible and not some sect's interpretation of it) explicitly calls for the elimination of the infidels ad nauseam. It's a root cause, as opposed to a peripheral extrapolation.

we're discussing North Africa

We're also discussing Islam as a religion which is intolerant of non Muslims. If my understanding is correct, Muslims do live in Saudi Arabia. Do they not?

by Lynch on Wed Sep 1st, 2010 at 12:13:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I never said that Iran was funding Wahhabist mosques.

No, you just implied it:

The problem is that these people (Fahd & Co, the Iranians, ...) are financing the building of mosques throughout the Western world... and financing fanatic Imams who preach hatred and Jihad against the people and governments of the countries they live in.

I would definitely not refer to Wahhabists as being a "certain Muslim sect". The fact is that it's quite mainstream on the Arabian Peninsula and Afghanistan.

[Citation Needed]

Oh, and when did "mainstream on the Arabian Peninsula and Afghanistan" become coterminous with "Muslim?"

Furthermore, its influence has been rising fast in other parts of the world thanks to the aggressive, expansionistic vision of its cash drenched financiers.

[Citation Needed]

Your blunt insinuation that Christian churches promote the same kind of zeal against Muslims as do Wahhabist Mosques

I don't insinuate that. I simply note that smothering Christian churches is also a good idea.

But I realise that to some people, bigotry is an irregular verb: I'm a traditionalist, you're orthodox, he's a bigot.

But I'd like to know whether you have EVER in your life attended a celebration of Mass.

That would happen to be none of your business. But I am familiar with the liturgy of the Scandinavian Evangelical-Lutheran tradition. Less so the Catholic tradition, which is what is relevant to discussions of France. But on the other hand, the Catholic Church has a somewhat higher political profile - and it's a homophobic, sexist and HIV/AIDS denialist organisation. Hence my desire to bring its teachings into line with the policies of the secular state.

Ottoman Turk repression in the 15th century

15th century? Are your talking about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938)? Mr. Sierra, the latest and Final mass expulsion of Christian Greeks from Turkey took place in the 20th century. More precisely, it was between 1915 and 1925, that some 500 000 Greeks were murdered or died under the Turkish sword.

While I realise that the post that you respond to is on the long side, if you had but stayed your quill until the very next paragraph, you would have seen the following discussion of the Armenian genocide, which is also applicable to the ethnic cleansing of the Turkish Greeks:

As a nationalist project. Genocides were quite popular among nationalist movements at the time, although they usually had the good sense to practise such predilections abroad rather than at home.

This European genocide of non Muslims took place only 85 years ago... with absolutely no repentance from Turkey's leadership, which till this very day considers that it was justifiable policy implemented in the interests of the Turkish nation. [...] Bring them into Europe

You seem to be rather selective in your selection of early 20th century genocides. You might want to read up on Belgian and British activities in the Congo River basin in the same period. Something about throwing rocks and living in glass houses comes to mind...

You believe that it is precisely because the Turks are Muslim that they should be in the EU.

You will have to provide a quote by me to that effect. I believe that Turkey should be offered EU membership, if and when they fulfil the membership criteria, because Turkey is in the European sphere of interest (it's also in the Russian and Persian/Arabic sphere of influence, but I happen to be a European, not an Iranian or Russian).

Yet, that logic is flawed, as your apologetic stance regarding Turkey's recent past proves.

I am not engaged in apologetics for genocide here. I am simply noting that as long as Europe remains in denial of genocides that are orders of magnitude greater, then presenting Turkish historical revisionism as an insurmountable obstacle to successful European integration is... less than perfectly convincing, shall we say.

Sharia, however, is not an integral component of the main strands of North African jurisprudence

Yes it is. In Egypt (since you mentioned Nasser) Sharia is inscribed in the Constitution as being THE supreme source of the law.

The Egyptian constitution says a lot of things. It also stipulates that the multi-party system is the political system of the republic. Of one hundred and twenty-six articles of the Egyptian constitution, Islam is mentioned precisely three times, in a total of two articles.

By comparison, the Danish constitution stipulates that executive power resides with the king, and that the king has veto powers over any legislation. It also mentions the king more times than I could be bothered to count.

From this exercise in comparative constitutional exegesis, one would get the impression that the Danish king wields greater power over Danish society than Islam does over Egyptian society. If one were inclined to believe that the wording of the constitution is more important than the actually existing institutional power relationships, that is.

Augsburg Confession

This is a Lutheran interpretation of the Bible which is rejected by the Catholic (and Orthodox) Church. By comparison, the Koran (in other words, the equivalent of the Bible and not some sect's interpretation of it) explicitly calls for the elimination of the infidels ad nauseam.

So? Have you ever read that trippy story in the back of the Bible about the whore of Babylon and all that jazz? Oh, and while we're on the subject of comparative theology, the New Testament is peppered with references to the continuing validity of Old Testament canon law - which is about as full of barbaric practises and calls for genocide as any text you'd care to mention.

we're discussing North Africa

We're also discussing Islam as a religion which is intolerant of non Muslims. If my understanding is correct, Muslims do live in Saudi Arabia. Do they not?

If my understanding is correct, Christians do live in Utah. Do they not?

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Sep 1st, 2010 at 02:04:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Follow-up to discussion with Jake Sierra (see above)

You just implied [that the Iranians were financing Wahhabist Imams]

No I didn't. What I said was that the Saudis and the Iranians were both financing radical Imams and the building of new mosques throughout Western Europe and the United States. While the Saudis are promoting Wahhabism, the Iranians are financing Shiite Islam - which is characterized by an equally intolerant and Jihadist strain.

[it's influence has been rising fast in other parts of the world] Citation needed

You really need a citation that this firebrand form of Islam is the fastest growing in Europe and the US? While I don't have updated statistics on the numbers of Imams, the flows in their bank accounts or the content of their preaching (our governments and media go out of their way to avoid compiling and publishing statistics of this genre) I do follow (albeit, superficially) who has been financing Islamic expansion in the Balkans, Europe and the US over the past decade.

For example: just take a look at the controversy regarding the NY Ground Zero Mosque. Indications are that the Saudis are financing the 100M$ needed to build Cordoba Centre. When questioned on the source of funds, Imam Rauf has remained surprisingly mute. Now, if the Saudis aren't financing it and considering the political controversy created by this issue, why don't the sponsors just come out clean and publicize who really is behind this mosque?

I don't insinuate that. I simply note that smothering Christian Churches is also a good idea

This is really the crux of the matter. In Europe and the US, you won't be treated as a second rate citizen because you're an atheist, a Muslim or a Jew. On the other hand, if you live in Turkey, in Saudi Arabia or in North Africa, your individual freedoms will be significantly reduced if you're NOT Muslim. In fact, they'll also be reduced if you ARE Muslim, compared to the freedoms you enjoy in Europe.

But regardless of the individual choice that you have in Europe to live completely free of the Church's dogma, you Mr. Sierra, nevertheless want to smother Christian Churches. And what about Muslim mosques? Would you want to smother them too? Or would you prefer to encourage their propagation, in the name of tolerance and freedom?

Whatever your views are, they're certainly not what one would refer to as "liberal", nor do they promote the ideal of individual freedoms. In short, they are characteristic of plain vanilla authoritarianism. If you don't cherish (read: value and protect) your freedoms Mr. Sierra, they might very well disappear.

The Catholic church [in France] has a somewhat higher political profile

How interesting. Perhaps you would care to explain?

[the Catholic church is] a homophobic, sexist and HIV/AIDS denialist organization

First of all, you can be an In The Closet Gay or Out Of The Closet Gay and still receive the Sacraments. Second, the Catholic Church has absolutely no leverage over your private life. If you want to be a flaming drag queen, what's the Catholic Church going to do? Burn you at the stake? Just do it sweetie. Who cares?

On the other hand, I'll wager you a hundred bucks that you'd end up in jail - if not dead - in less than 60 minutes if you were to attempt going to a restaurant dressed as a she-male in Rabat, Tripoli, Cairo, Mecca or Teheran. But hey, I don't want to confuse you with the facts... let's just smother the Church and bring Mecca to Europe instead. That'll definitely contribute to a more open and tolerant European society. Won't it Mr. Sierra?

Now tell me, just how is the Catholic Church a sexist and HIV/AIDS denialist organization?

hence my desire to bring its teachings into line with the policies of the secular state

Is this the definition of megalomania... or is it just a contradiction in terms?

Turkey should be offered membership, if and when they fulfill the membership criteria

And that's not going to be any time soon. So it's really quite futile discussing Turkish and North African integration into the EU while it's only a pipe dream of a handful of Globalist Illuminati.

...presenting Turkish historical revisionism as an insurmountable obstacle to successful European integration

It's not only about historical revisionism. It's about human rights and individual freedoms. Something you don't seem to value that much, given you desire to "smother" people's freedom of religious expression.

... in the Egyptian constitution, Islam is mentioned precisely three times

I haven't counted, and I sincerely doubt that you have. Regardless... it could have been mentioned only once. What's important is when and where it was mentioned. In this case, it was to reaffirm the supremacy of Sharia in the interpretation of civil and penal law.

the Danish King wields greater power over Danish society than Islam does over Egyptian society

Well, that just comforts my thesis that political and economic union between Europe and North Africa is just a far off pipe dream that exists only in Lala Land.

... the story about the whore of Babylon and all that jazz

I don't know the Whore personally, nor have I yet heard the jazz that you claim will accompany her coming. I do, however, know her metaphorically; she is an allegory of greed and vice. Most often, the Whore refers to Rome's brutality and evil during the 1st century AD. When Calvinists speak of the Whore, they usually refer to the Roman Catholic Church. Still others refer to Jerusalem...

Exactly why is it that you are bringing this Whore and her seven headed beast to the discussion?

Old Testament canon law - which is about as full of barbaric practices and calls for genocide as any text you'd care to mention

Now I'd really be interested in learning more about that. Perhaps you would care to educate me?

For your information, the notion of Canon Law was formulated in the 1st Century AD by the Apostles.
The Old Testament didn't have Canon Law. Maybe you are referring to the 10 commandments?

Christians do live in Utah. Do they not?

And precisely what has Utah's government been doing to promote its radical, firebrand Christian beliefs in other countries around the world?

by Lynch on Thu Sep 2nd, 2010 at 02:15:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the Saudis and the Iranians were both financing radical Imams [Citation Needed] and the building of new mosques throughout Western Europe [Citation Needed] and the United States. While the Saudis are promoting Wahhabism, the Iranians are financing Shiite Islam [Citation Needed] - which is characterized by an equally intolerant and Jihadist strain [Citation Needed].

Seeing as most European Muslims are from parts of the world where the majority religion is Sunni Islam, and that those who are from Iran are usually here because they have a... strained relationship, shall we say, with the current management in Tehran, I find that hard to believe without references that are a little more substantial than your say-so.

You really need a citation that this firebrand form of Islam is the fastest growing in Europe and the US?

Yes. Yes I do. Because I have yet to see any actual numbers on that, only a lot of agit-prop from more or less overtly racist groups.

For example: just take a look at the controversy regarding the NY Ground Zero Mosque.

Which is not actually a mosque and is not actually located next to the former WTC complex... So what sort of sources, precisely, have you been relying on while "following (albeit, superficially) who has been financing Islamic expansion in the Balkans, Europe and the US over the past decade?"

Indications [Citation Needed] are that the Saudis are financing the 100M$ needed to build Cordoba Centre. When questioned on the source of funds, Imam Rauf has remained surprisingly mute. Now, if the Saudis aren't financing it and considering the political controversy created by this issue, why don't the sponsors just come out clean [sic] and publicize who really is behind this mosque?

Which is still not a mosque. And it might be because they don't consider agit-prop from birfers, teabaggers and Faux "News" to qualify as "controversy." Biologists do not, as a rule, waste their time on debunking every Creationist manufactroversy either. Does this make biology somehow suspicious?

In Europe and the US, you won't be treated as a second rate citizen because you're an atheist, a Muslim or a Jew.

Riiight...

And this is just Europe. Head over to Dispatches from the Culture Wars and poke around their archives for just a little bit if you want American examples.

On the other hand, if you live in Turkey [Citation Needed], in Saudi Arabia or in North Africa [Citation Needed], your individual freedoms will be significantly reduced if you're NOT Muslim.

You keep confusing Turkey, North Africa (which is actually five different countries...) and Saudi Arabia. This is broadly similar to confusing Russia, Alabama and the Visegrad Group.

But regardless of the individual choice that you have in Europe to live completely free of the Church's dogma, you Mr. Sierra, nevertheless want to smother Christian Churches.

Yes. The American experience in not doing so indicates that failure to smother the political aspirations and social role of the dominant religious groups compromises people's ability to live completely free of their dogma.

And what about Muslim mosques? Would you want to smother them too?

Which part of

Why do you think the French government is getting involved in building "official" mosques? So that it can pick, choose and approve the Imams who preach in them.

This is an excellent idea. They should do that with Christian churches too.

did you find it hard to understand?

Whatever your views are, they're certainly not what one would refer to as "liberal", nor do they promote the ideal of individual freedoms. In short, they are characteristic of plain vanilla authoritarianism.

You got all that just from my desire to see religious movements removed from the political scene?

The Catholic church [in France] has a somewhat higher political profile

You're funny. The Catholic Church has a higher political profile, full stop. If for no other reason, then because it has a coherent transnational organisation, something no other religion can boast (unless you consider the Moonies, Scientology et al to be religions - for myself, I view them more as sophisticated Ponzi scams).

First of all, you can be an In The Closet Gay or Out Of The Closet Gay and still receive the Sacraments.

I wasn't discussing theology. I was discussing politics. And in its political lobbying, the Catholic Church is consistently homophobic and sexist.

Second, the Catholic Church has absolutely no leverage over your private life.

Except, of course, if I live in Poland, the Baltic rim or Central Europe, where it practises hate speech from the pulpits. Or do you believe that hate speech does not lead to hate crime?

But hey, I don't want to confuse you with the facts... let's just smother the Church and bring Mecca to Europe instead.

Again, which part of

Why do you think the French government is getting involved in building "official" mosques? So that it can pick, choose and approve the Imams who preach in them.

This is an excellent idea. They should do that with Christian churches too.

did you find it hard to understand?

Now tell me, just how is the Catholic Church a sexist and HIV/AIDS denialist organization?

Google is your friend.

Turkey should be offered membership, if and when they fulfill the membership criteria

And that's not going to be any time soon.

How long ago would you have said the same thing about Croatia? 1993? I fully expect to be alive in 2030.

...presenting Turkish historical revisionism as an insurmountable obstacle to successful European integration

It's not only about historical revisionism.

But that was the argument addressed in that paragraph. I am sorry that not every paragraph can engage with the totality of your argument... such as it is and what there is of it.

It's about human rights and individual freedoms. Something you don't seem to value that much, given you desire to "smother" people's freedom of religious expression.

Where did I say that I wanted to smother people's religious expression? That's a futile and counterproductive thing to try to do.

I just want to smother any chance of political organisation around that religious expression. You are making the classic Enlightenment mistake of assuming that the individual is sovereign - social context matters in whether religious practise is a harmless pastime, as is the case in most of Europe, or a serious threat to the public welfare, as is the case in most of Africa.

... in the Egyptian constitution, Islam is mentioned precisely three times

I haven't counted, and I sincerely doubt that you have.

You would be wrong.

See, modern internet browsers have this fancy free text search function that can highlight matches to a specific text string. In this case "Islam". Go try it out.

Regardless... it could have been mentioned only once. What's important is when and where it was mentioned. In this case, it was to reaffirm the supremacy of Sharia in the interpretation of civil and penal law.

Article 2, in total:

  • Islam is the religion of the state and Arabic its official language.

  • Islamic jurisprudence is the principal source of legislation.

(the single other mention is a genuflection to Art. 2).

The makeups of the executive and judicial systems are detailed in Part Three, which is actually surprisingly good, for a police state.

Exactly why is it that you are bringing this Whore and her seven headed beast to the discussion?

Because it's the part of the New Testament where the American Taliban find scriptural support for most of their more retarded ideas.

Old Testament canon law - which is about as full of barbaric practices and calls for genocide as any text you'd care to mention

Now I'd really be interested in learning more about that. Perhaps you would care to educate me?

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/

For your information, the notion of Canon Law was formulated in the 1st Century AD by the Apostles.
The Old Testament didn't have Canon Law. Maybe you are referring to the 10 commandments?

Please forgive the inadequacy of my familiarity with theological terms of art. I was thinking about Judges, Leviticus and a couple of the other places that fundagelicals like to cite. But the whole book is full of barbarisms, as one would expect from something that's about as old as the Iliad, and from a considerably more backwards culture.

Christians do live in Utah. Do they not?

And precisely what has Utah's government been doing to promote its radical, firebrand Christian beliefs in other countries around the world?

That whooshing sound was the sound of a point sailing waaay over your head.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Sep 2nd, 2010 at 04:02:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]

I find that hard to believe without references that are a little more substantial than your say-so.

You need references? They're all over the web! For a start, go to Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosque
Saudi influence
See also: Wahhabism
"Although the Saudi involvement in mosques around the world can be traced back to the 1960s, it was not until later in the twentieth century that the government of Saudi Arabia became a large influence in foreign mosques... An estimated US$45 billion has been spent by the Saudi Arabian government financing mosques and Islamic schools in foreign countries...building as many as 1,500 mosques and 2,000 other Islamic centers..."

And this is only official government financing, which doesn't take private donors into account.

Yes. Yes I do. Because I have yet to see any actual numbers on that, only a lot of agit-prop from more or less overtly racist groups.

While there are some far right, racist groups that are vocal opponents of Islam's spread in Europe, I note that a majority of Europeans from France to Switzerland to Germany to Denmark are concerned with the growing number of insular, intolerant, Sharia practising communities which live outside of the legal and social frameworks established by our governments. 65%+ of Europe racist? No. These people just don't want to turn the clock back 1000 years in their own countries and see their civil liberties reduced to shit.

Which is not actually a mosque

Cordoba House is not a mosque? Oh yes, I heard that it was a multi confessional edifice to peace and mutual friendship. Next thing you know, Cordoba house will become a Church. Tell me, who is financing this Muslim center of religious teaching (which, of course, is NOT a mosque)?

And this is just Europe. Head over to Dispatches from the Culture Wars and poke around their archives for just a little bit if you want American examples.

These are not authoritative references, nor do they come even close to proving that there is some sort of underlying mass racist movement in Europe or the US. And, by the way, Gipsies are mainly Christian.

You keep confusing Turkey, North Africa (which is actually five different countries...) and Saudi Arabia.

Cheap shot. Kindergarten level at best (and I'm flattering you).

Yes (I want to smother the Church). The American experience in not doing so indicates that failure to smother the political aspirations and social role of the dominant religious groups compromises people's ability to live completely free of their dogma.

I have an idea for you. Why don't you focus on smothering Islam?

Which part of (putting Churches under government control) did you find hard to understand?

The part that explains why. You haven't provided any citations of hate speech in the French Catholic Church... or any Christian Church for that matter.

You're funny. The Catholic Church has a higher political profile, full stop. If for no other reason, then because it has a coherent transnational organisation, something no other religion can boast

No, you're funny. You're confusing social profile with political profile, the latter being in the domain of the legislative and executive branches of the state's apparatus, where the Catholic Church in France is officially and effectively absent.

I wasn't discussing theology. I was discussing politics. And in its political lobbying, the Catholic Church is consistently homophobic and sexist.

More homophobic and sexist than Islam?
Or less homophobic and sexist than Islam?

if I live in Poland, the Baltic rim or Central Europe, where it practises hate speech from the pulpits.

Citation needed.

How long ago would you have said the same thing about Croatia? 1993? I fully expect to be alive in 2030.

Croatia? I would have said that immediately following German reunification. But maybe I'm just visionary. Turkey in 2030? If that wet dream of yours materializes, it will be the end of Europe. I, for one, will fight it with all I've got - and I'm not alone - judging from recent discussions I've had with some French Parliamentarians and Senators.

But tell me, public opinion is largely against integrating Turkey. So what's the plan? A major propaganda operation to brainwash the dumb European public into thinking that integrating Turkey into the EU is good for them? It sounds like: "Screw the people. We, the self proclaimed Brussels Elite know what is best for the dumb masses!"

(I don't want to smother the Church...) I just want to smother any chance of political organisation around that religious expression.

What started off with a burning desire to smother the Church has morphed into a benign desire to eliminate its influence from political life. You will concede that there is more than a simple nuance that separates those two concepts. When one engages in rhetoric, it's important to have clarity of thought and expression.

(Religion is) a serious threat to the public welfare, as is the case in most of Africa.

Good! So it would appear that you DO understand the underlying reasons why I'm hostile to bringing North Africa (or Turkey) into the EU.

(On the Egyptian Constitution) The makeups of the executive and judicial systems are detailed in Part Three, which is actually surprisingly good, for a police state.

You may find the Egyptian constitution fantastic for all I care. The fact of the matter is that Sharia (the site where you did your search refers to "Islamic Law" what in fact is Sharia in Arabic) is THE ultimate source of legislative interpretation and is administered through Islamic courts which are financed by the state. What was that you said about wanting to smother... (or was it eliminate) religion from the political sphere? Why don't you write a diary about the influence of Islam in the Egyptian political sphere?

(Referring to the Whore of Babylon) Because it's the part of the New Testament where the American Taliban find scriptural support for most of their more retarded ideas.

Now that is the funniest, most ridiculous sentence I've read in a long time.

That whooshing sound was the sound of a point sailing waaay over your head.

Back to kindergarten you go Mr. Sierra.

by Lynch on Sat Sep 4th, 2010 at 08:07:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You need references? They're all over the web! For a start, go to Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosque
Saudi influence
See also: Wahhabism

Which part of

the Saudis and the Iranians were both financing radical Imams [Citation Needed]

did you find it hard to parse?

While there are some far right, racist groups that are vocal opponents of Islam's spread in Europe, I note that a majority of Europeans from France to Switzerland to Germany to Denmark are concerned with the growing number of insular, intolerant, Sharia practising communities which live outside of the legal and social frameworks established by our governments.

A growing number of Americans believe that Iran is going to nuke Tel Aviv first chance it gets. Ain't it amazing what a concerted, unopposed campaign of malign slander can do to a population? I find it rather fascinating, although it has obviously troubling implications for the viability of Really Existing Democracy...

Cordoba House is not a mosque?

That's right. It's not a mosque. What wingnut hate-site told you that it was?

Tell me, who is financing this Muslim center of religious teaching

The centre is under no obligation to disclose its funding under American law.

If you want a law stating that all charitable contributions from foreign sources must be declared, then I'm all with you. But until and unless all non-profits have to declare funding sources, singling out a community centre on the sole basis that it is run by Muslims is simple harassment.

And as it happens, I Googled a couple of the names on the Cordoba House website, and turns out that the founder is an imam of the Sufi school. He actually seems like a pretty reasonable guy. Anyway, I did a little more digging to figure out what kind of fish a Sufi is. Turns out that it's exceedingly unlikely that there's Wahhabi or Saudi money in that project, since the Saudis and the Wahhabi are violently opposed [.pdf] to Sufism.

You keep confusing Turkey, North Africa (which is actually five different countries...) and Saudi Arabia.

Cheap shot.

Uh, no. You keep making bold claims about Egypt and backing them up with references to practises in Iran, making even bolder claims about Iran and backing them up with references to practises in Saudi Arabia.

Yes (I want to smother the Church). The American experience in not doing so indicates that failure to smother the political aspirations and social role of the dominant religious groups compromises people's ability to live completely free of their dogma.

I have an idea for you. Why don't you focus on smothering Islam?

The two are not mutually exclusive, and extremist Christianity is a greater force for evil in the part of the world I happen to live in.

Which part of (putting Churches under government control) did you find hard to understand?

The part that explains why. You haven't provided any citations of hate speech in the French Catholic Church... or any Christian Church for that matter.

Five seconds of Google.

No, you're funny. You're confusing social profile with political profile,

That distinction is another Enlightenment fallacy - that the State is the sole entity with the capacity to exercise power.

More homophobic and sexist than Islam?
Or less homophobic and sexist than Islam?

More homophobic and sexist than the state churches of Western Europe. Which is the appropriate baseline. "They do it too" is an argument that is normally abandoned sometime around the third grade.

if I live in Poland, the Baltic rim or Central Europe, where it practises hate speech from the pulpits.

Citation needed.

Polish Woman Denied Abortion Awaits EU Judgment

Money quote:

Tysiac's case against her gynecologist drew national press coverage as well as public censure. After 60 Catholic women's groups in Poland launched street protests and a media campaign against her, Tysiac said her children started being harassed in school.

More generally, the far-right parties League of Polish Families and the PiS are heavily intertwined with the Catholic Church, and the League, at least, sports a youth organisation (All Polish Youth) that apparently finds it perfectly justified to commit violence against civil rights demonstrations.

How long ago would you have said the same thing about Croatia? 1993? I fully expect to be alive in 2030.

Croatia? I would have said that immediately following German reunification. But maybe I'm just visionary.

Ah, of course. Being Mooslim is so much worse than participating in a brutal ethnic cleansing...

But tell me, public opinion is largely against integrating Turkey.

shrug Public opinion used to be against gay marriage and legal abortions too. Public opinion changes, and the integration of North Africa has economic and strategic reality on its side.

So what's the plan? A major propaganda operation to brainwash the dumb European public into thinking that integrating Turkey into the EU is good for them?

The plan is to start by not further propagandising against Turkey. More generally, the plan is to split away support from ugly parties and their panderers by rolling back the neoliberal disaster policies that create insecurity and fear for the future. At the same time, the plan is to deepen commercial, infrastructural and diplomatic links with Turkey. When visiting and doing business with Turkey is as natural and commonplace as visiting and doing business with Greece or Romania, much of the fear and hostility will abate.

What started off with a burning desire to smother the Church has morphed into a benign desire to eliminate its influence from political life.

Where did you get the "burning desire" part from? You proposed an excellent way to combat the infiltration of extremist Islamic organisations operating out of a hostile, anti-democratic dictatorship. I just noted that we have an extremist Christian organisation operating out of a hostile, anti-democratic dictatorship, and suggested that we apply the same instrument to that problem.

(Religion is) a serious threat to the public welfare, as is the case in most of Africa.

Good! So it would appear that you DO understand the underlying reasons why I'm hostile to bringing North Africa (or Turkey) into the EU.

Well, in my mental geography Africa starts at the Sahara and Asia at the Urals. Your mileage may vary. But yes, the countries of North Africa would need to develop a relationship with their religious groups - the dominant as well as the minority ones - that is compatible with modern European civilisation.

You may find the Egyptian constitution fantastic for all I care. The fact of the matter is that Sharia (the site where you did your search refers to "Islamic Law" what in fact is Sharia in Arabic) is THE ultimate source of legislative interpretation and is administered through Islamic courts which are financed by the state.

Actually, the Islamic courts are lower courts with limited jurisdiction, whose decisions can be appealed to real courts, operating under ordinary secular law.

The problem with Egypt is not, as far as I can tell, in its constitutional law. Rather, it is in the fact that the government appears to regard constitutional law in much the same way most Europeans regard traffic regulations.

What was that you said about wanting to smother... (or was it eliminate) religion from the political sphere? Why don't you write a diary about the influence of Islam in the Egyptian political sphere?

You mean beyond the fact that my area of expertise is in economics and natural science, not comparative law? Really, the only reason I'm schooling you here is that you are making such basic mistakes as would embarrass any half-way informed European citizen.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 4th, 2010 at 10:58:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mr. Sierra.  Denigrating others obviously gives you a hard-on. I find that kind of interaction primitive. So I will not engage. Just get this: you educated nobody with your flat claptrap.
by Lynch on Sat Sep 4th, 2010 at 04:25:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  • You've claimed that Iran funds extremist Imams in Europe and the US. You have never produced a shred of evidence, or even informed speculation, that supports this.

  • You've claimed that as long as the Cordoba House community centre does not disclose its funding sources, it is reasonably to suspect that they are being funded by Saudi Arabia and Iran, despite the staggeringly monumental improbability that a Sufi of Sunni parentage would be funded by either of the two, let alone both.

  • You've claimed that Egypt is a theocracy that places Islam above secular law, despite being shown - repeatedly - that Egypt in fact places civil law above Islamic law (to the extent that Egypt operates according to the rule of law at all, which is somewhat questionable).

  • You've claimed that Turkey is an Islamic country despite the fact that Turkey is an explicitly, even militantly, secular country.

  • You've claimed that the Roman Catholic Church is not an HIV/AIDS denialist organisation, and that it does not promote hate speech in Eastern Europe.

Yeah, I can see why you'd prefer to not engage...

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 4th, 2010 at 05:43:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And you claim that the Bible calls for genocide.
You claim that the Americans call for fighting the Whore of Babylon when they go to Afghanistan
You claim that the Catholic Church had a political profile in France
You claim that the Canon Law originated with the Old testament
You are ignorant of Wahhabist overseas expansion (you needed a citation)
You claim that Sharia is not an integral component of jurisprudence in North Africa - even though it's inscribed in Egypt's constitution (I'll gladly research the others just as soon as I have some time)
You claim that Ottoman rule was intolerant of Christianity in the 15th Century - and that this intolerance has NO RELEVANCE to modern times (like 85 years ago is ancient history)
You claim that propaganda is behind American people's belief that Iran will nuke Israel as soon as it has the bomb... when all you need to do is listen to Ahmedi Nejad's ranting about the destruction of Israel.
And I can go on.

Yes Mr. Sierra. Claptrap. You couldn't educate a kindergarten.

by Lynch on Sun Sep 5th, 2010 at 03:33:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And you claim that the Bible calls for genocide.

Where did I claim that?

Not that it doesn't. In fact, pretty much the whole of Exodus is about murdering more or less innocent civilians and stealing their land.

You claim that the Americans call for fighting the Whore of Babylon when they go to Afghanistan

You ever been to FreeRepublic?

You claim that the Catholic Church had a political profile in France

I claimed that the RCC had a political profile in Europe. France has been reasonably successful in suppressing it. But the RCC is a transnational organisation, so if the suppression effort stops it'll just infest France again.

You claim that the Canon Law originated with the Old testament

No, I claimed that the Old Testament contained religious laws that the New Testament acknowledges. Which is true.

I accepted your correction of the relevant theological terminology - a correction that is irrelevant to the substance.

You are ignorant of Wahhabist overseas expansion (you needed a citation)

You lie. I demanded a citation for Iranian overseas expansion. Which you have still not provided.

You claim that Sharia is not an integral component of jurisprudence in North Africa - even though it's inscribed in Egypt's constitution

It isn't an integral part of jurisprudence in Egypt, outside certain limited areas such as family law (where religious jurisprudence is not uncommon even in nominally democratic countries - see, e.g., California's Prop H8).

You claim that Ottoman rule was intolerant of Christianity in the 15th Century - and that this intolerance has NO RELEVANCE to modern times (like 85 years ago is ancient history)

You claimed that the genocides of 85 years ago were Islamic genocides against Christians, when in fact they were nationalist genocides against what was perceived as foreign nationals. You also studiously ignore the fact that core members of the European Union committed genocides orders of magnitude worse at the same time, and are still in flat denial of this fact.

You claim that propaganda is behind American people's belief that Iran will nuke Israel as soon as it has the bomb... when all you need to do is listen to Ahmedi Nejad's ranting about the destruction of Israel.

Actually, Ahmedinejad has never called for the destruction of Israel, as anybody who follows Middle East politics even casually knows perfectly well. Unless, of course, they're relying on the American propaganda press for their information.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 5th, 2010 at 06:44:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You ever been to FreeRepublic?

So what? You ever been to www.jihadwatch.org?

by Lynch on Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 02:22:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact, pretty much the whole of Exodus is about murdering more or less innocent civilians and stealing their land.

What? Exodus is what backs your claim that the Bible calls for genocide? The Exodus of the Jews from Egypt is a simple historical recital in the Old Testament... a romanced version, or a legend if you prefer. Who is calling for genocide here?

Plus, given that it's the Old Testament, it has considerably less theological value to Christians than the New Testament.

by Lynch on Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 02:36:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, how about the plagues and Pharaoh and his army getting swallowed up in the Red Sea? I don't know if it qualifies for genocide, but it was pretty radical.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 03:14:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well Pharoah & Co did sort of have it coming... I mean they WERE screwing around with God's Chosen People and all ;o)

Jokes aside, you're right: it's pretty radical. But while God was punishing the Egyptians (which God being God can do) He wasn't calling on man to take other man's life. Don't forget that the 6th Commandment is: You shall not murder.

by Lynch on Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 03:41:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, God being God can do things like the Flood or the fire and brimstone on Sodom. But there are again and again stories among the legends of the Chosen People in which the main point is to go out and smite the uncircumcised. Even with the jawbone of an ass, like Samson, who slew a thousand men with it...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 03:57:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well Pharoah & Co did sort of have it coming...

The pharaoh was a tyrant, not an elected leader of all those whose sons were supposedly killed in the last strike; and even if the fathers had been guilty, not the sons themselves; and anyway by that time, the Bible describes God as a psychopath making up an excuse for himself by hardening the pharaoh's soul (free will what was that) who would have relented otherwise already. So you will have a hard time justifying the "& co".

He wasn't calling on man to take other man's life.

Not in that passage. Alas, in the passages on the demise of the Canaanites...

Genocide call #1 and genocide #1:

Numbers 21
Arad destroyed
..."If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy [a] their cities." 3 The LORD listened to Israel's plea and gave the Canaanites over to them. They completely destroyed them and their towns

Genocide #2:

Deuteronomy 2
Defeat of Sihon King of Heshbon
...32 When Sihon and all his army came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz, 33 the LORD our God delivered him over to us and we struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army. 34 At that time we took all his towns and completely destroyed [c] them--men, women and children. We left no survivors.

Genocide #3:

Deuteronomy 3
Defeat of Og King of Bashan
...There was not one of the sixty cities that we did not take from them--the whole region of Argob, Og's kingdom in Bashan. 5 All these cities were fortified with high walls and with gates and bars, and there were also a great many unwalled villages. 6 We completely destroyed [a] them, as we had done with Sihon king of Heshbon, destroying [b] every city--men, women and children.

Genocide call #2:

Deuteronomy 7
Driving Out the Nations
1 When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations--the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you- 2 and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. [a] Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.

Genocide call #3 -- this time against infidels:

Deuteronomy 13
Worshiping Other Gods
...15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, [a] both its people and its livestock.

Genocide call #4 -- this one is rather explicit that women, children and even livestock is to be exterminated:

Deuteronomy 20
Going to War
...10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.
 16 However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy [a] them--the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites--as the LORD your God has commanded you.

Genocide #4:

Joshua 6

1 Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
...21 They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it--men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.

Genocide #5:

Joshua 8
Ai Destroyed
...24 When Israel had finished killing all the men of Ai in the fields and in the desert where they had chased them, and when every one of them had been put to the sword, all the Israelites returned to Ai and killed those who were in it. 25 Twelve thousand men and women fell that day--all the people of Ai. 26 For Joshua did not draw back the hand that held out his javelin until he had destroyed [a] all who lived in Ai.

Genocide #6:

Joshua 10
Five Amorite Kings Killed
28 That day Joshua took Makkedah. He put the city and its king to the sword and totally destroyed everyone in it. He left no survivors. And he did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho. Southern Cities Conquered  29 Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Makkedah to Libnah and attacked it. 30 The LORD also gave that city and its king into Israel's hand. The city and everyone in it Joshua put to the sword. He left no survivors there. And he did to its king as he had done to the king of Jericho.

 31 Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Libnah to Lachish; he took up positions against it and attacked it. 32 The LORD handed Lachish over to Israel, and Joshua took it on the second day. The city and everyone in it he put to the sword, just as he had done to Libnah...

 34 Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Lachish to Eglon; they took up positions against it and attacked it. 35 They captured it that same day and put it to the sword and totally destroyed everyone in it, just as they had done to Lachish.

 36 Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron and attacked it. 37 They took the city and put it to the sword, together with its king, its villages and everyone in it. They left no survivors. Just as at Eglon, they totally destroyed it and everyone in it.

 38 Then Joshua and all Israel with him turned around and attacked Debir. 39 They took the city, its king and its villages, and put them to the sword. Everyone in it they totally destroyed. They left no survivors. They did to Debir and its king as they had done to Libnah and its king and to Hebron.

 40 So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded.

Genocides #7 and #8:

Joshua 11
Northern Kings Defeated
...11 Everyone in it they put to the sword. They totally destroyed [b] them, not sparing anything that breathed, and he burned up Hazor itself.

... 14 The Israelites carried off for themselves all the plunder and livestock of these cities, but all the people they put to the sword until they completely destroyed them, not sparing anyone that breathed.

...21 At that time Joshua went and destroyed the Anakites from the hill country: from Hebron, Debir and Anab, from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua totally destroyed them and their towns. 22 No Anakites were left in Israelite territory; only in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod did any survive. 23

...oh, and the psychopath God was making up excuses again:

20 For it was the LORD himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the LORD had commanded Moses.

Genocides #9, #10, #11:

Judges 1
Israel Fights the Remaining Canaanites
...8 The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem also and took it. They put the city to the sword and set it on fire.

...17 Then the men of Judah went with the Simeonites their brothers and attacked the Canaanites living in Zephath, and they totally destroyed [c] the city.
... 23 When they sent men to spy out Bethel (formerly called Luz), 24 the spies saw a man coming out of the city and they said to him, "Show us how to get into the city and we will see that you are treated well." 25 So he showed them, and they put the city to the sword but spared the man and his whole family.

Genocide #12 -- this time not at the command but due to a trick of God:

Judges 9
Abimelech
...42 The next day the people of Shechem went out to the fields, and this was reported to Abimelech. 43 So he took his men, divided them into three companies and set an ambush in the fields. When he saw the people coming out of the city, he rose to attack them. 44 Abimelech and the companies with him rushed forward to a position at the entrance to the city gate. Then two companies rushed upon those in the fields and struck them down. 45 All that day Abimelech pressed his attack against the city until he had captured it and killed its people. Then he destroyed the city and scattered salt over it.

 46 On hearing this, the citizens in the tower of Shechem went into the stronghold of the temple of El-Berith. 47 When Abimelech heard that they had assembled there, 48 he and all his men went up Mount Zalmon. He took an ax and cut off some branches, which he lifted to his shoulders. He ordered the men with him, "Quick! Do what you have seen me do!" 49 So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelech. They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire over the people inside. So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died.

Genocide call #5 -- the most explicit:

1 Samuel 15
The LORD Rejects Saul as King
2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy [a] everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.' "

This is then followed by Genocide #13 -- which, well, was not completely complete, the very reason Saul was rejected by God:

7 Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, to the east of Egypt. 8 He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. 9 But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves [b] and lambs--everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.

 10 Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel: 11 "I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions." Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the LORD all that night.

Agag was then slaughtered by Samuel.

Genocide #14:

1 Samuel 27
David Among the Philistines
...8 Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites. (From ancient times these peoples had lived in the land extending to Shur and Egypt.) 9 Whenever David attacked an area, he did not leave a man or woman alive

Genocide #15 and #16:

1 Chronicles 4
Other Clans of Judah
...41 The men whose names were listed came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. They attacked the Hamites in their dwellings and also the Meunites who were there and completely destroyed [h] them, as is evident to this day. Then they settled in their place, because there was pasture for their flocks. 42 And five hundred of these Simeonites, led by Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi, invaded the hill country of Seir. 43 They killed the remaining Amalekites who had escaped, and they have lived there to this day.

In conclusion: the OT is a horrific, barbaric, genocide-advocating ancient text. Just like the Koran or the Bhagavad-Ghita.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Sep 10th, 2010 at 07:19:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. God calls for the destruction of the 7 Canaanite nations (on moral grounds) in the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 20, paragraph 7 which states: "but thou shalt utterly destroy them: the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee". To the Jews, this command is the source of Mitzvot 596.
by Lynch on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 02:38:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In other words, you finally admit that the Bible advocates genocide (based on a twisted "moral" of collective guilt that involves even newborn children and livestock). It appears that you have no problem with it, and I guess you are okay with slavery for non-Canaanites, too.

Next, you can deal with the fact that it's not just Canaanite nations under the genocide threat -- e.g. the Old Testament's own Jihad call in Deuteronomy 13. Or point to the New testament passage that invalidates any of this for Christians.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 09:28:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're putting me in the dock are you? I have no problem with what? A text that's 3500 years old?
by Lynch on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 10:34:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lack of reply on Deuteronomy 13 and its continued validity noted -- you put yourself in the dock without any help from me.

I don't understand the relevance of the age of the text to your approval of genocide and slavery on "moral grounds", unless you think genocide was right back then but not now.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 11:47:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the OT is a horrific, barbaric, genocide-advocating ancient text. Just like the Koran or the Bhagavad-Ghita.

And there are only about 2000 years which separate the writing of the Old Testament (13th century BC) and the Koran (7th century AD).

by Lynch on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 02:41:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, the texts you refer to are the oldest of the Old Testament, dating back to the 17th or 18th century BC.
by Lynch on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 06:20:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope.

Dating the Bible - Wikipedia

The Bible is a compilation of various texts or "books" of different ages. The dates of many of the texts of the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament) are difficult to establish. Textual criticism places all of them within the 1st millennium BC, although there is considerable uncertainty as to the century in some cases.

...There are currently four broad approaches to the question the date and method of composition of the Torah. All place it within the 1st millennium BC, with the final text reached by the 5th or 4th century BC, but the dates for its oldest portions vary as much as between the 10th and the 4th centuries BC.

Deuteronomist - Wikipedia

The Deuteronomist (D) is one of the sources of the Torah postulated by the Documentary Hypothesis (DH). Martin Noth argued that there was an underlying unity in language and cultural content of the books from Deuteronomy to 2 Kings (Noth 1943). He presented the persona of "The Deuteronomist" as a single author who was using pre-Exilic material but was editing and writing in the age of Babylonian exile, the mid-sixth century BCE. Others suggest that "the Deuteronomist" is a close-knit group of Temple scholars rather than a sole individual. Some[1] suggest that the same source may also have written the account of Jeremiah. Since Noth's work, some scholars attribute two separate stages to the text, a first (referred to as Dtr1) and second (referred to as Dtr2) edition of the text, although most still consider that both editions were the result of the same author.

...According to the narratives of 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles, in 622/621 BCE, Josiah's high priest Hilkiah found part of the Torah in the Temple, a mainly spartan and empty building. In reaction to the text, King Josiah again centralised the religion, and destroyed places and objects of worship which were neither the Jerusalem Temple nor specified to be housed in it. Since before the 5th century scholars (such as Jerome) have insisted that the text found by Hilkiah was the law code of Deuteronomy. Scholars allege that the text was written at Josiah's instigation and "found" to justify his actions.

According to the documentary hypothesis, the priests of Shiloh wrote the law code to support their views. The code was written to support the king, a centralised religion, Levites generally rather than just Aaronids, and a balance on the king's power (for example by supporting a militia rather than an organised army) due to the way in which kings had previously treated them.

D then created, according to the hypothesis, a history of rulers, judging them by their actions according to the code, culminating in Josiah. D inserted the law code at the start, framed as Moses' last words since D was not trying to change the pre-existing JE account.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 09:09:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope.

Dating the Bible - Wikipedia

the youngest book included in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) is the Book of Daniel, dated to the 2nd century BC.

There are only about 900 years between the writing of the two texts. Not that the age of the texts changes anything about the horrific, barbaric, genocide-advocating and ancient nature of these texts still approved by living religions today...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 09:16:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not according to Baruch Spinoza and Richard Simon. Neither according to André Chouraqui. Apparently, Wikipedia isn't all that scientific in the texts it offers its readers.

According to Chouraqui (whom I would trust more than Wikipedia): "The War of the Kings (Gn14) was written in Akkadian (or Canaanean) and translated to Hebrew at a later date; estimated between the 20th and the 16th century BC."

by Lynch on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 10:29:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well how can that be right? according to Rabbinical teaching, the first books were written down after the revelation of the commandments to Moses. and those were written in 1312 BCE

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 10:41:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL, what a spectacular non-sequitur! Whether you just don't understand your own sources or spin on purpose, this was on par with the work of creationists:
  1. You cite the very two 17th-century scholars who started the text analysis that led to the Documentary Hypothesis (which I quoted from Wikipedia).
  2. You quote Chouraqui regarding a passage in Genesis, whereas the discussion was about passages written by the Deuteronomist.
  3. You apply a sentence about a single chapter of Genesis, plagiarised by a late Bible author, to the entirety of the Old Testament...
  4. You present Chouraqui as an analyst of the origin of the OT, whereas in truth he is a translator who only summarized the research of others in a preface, and even indicated that while he acknowledges the fragmentary origin of the text, he concerns himself with the text itself...

Entête
   C'est alors que Baruch Spinoza et Richard Simon ouvrent la voie à un courant de pensée qui aboutira à la théorie documentaire, adoptée aujourd'hui par la quasi-unanimité des exégètes: le Pentateuque n'est pas l'oeuvre d'un seul homme, Moshè; c'est une collection d'écrits rédigés, au cours des siècles, par de nombreux écrivains. Les exégètes fondent leurs conclusions sur des anachronismes, sur l'alternance dans le texte de noms différents pour désigner Dieu, sur la diversité du vocabulaire, du style, et même de l'inspiration. Auprès d'un premier document dit yahwiste (J), il existerait une source élohiste (E), un document sacerdotal (P), et enfin une tradition deutéronomiste (D), tout entière contenue dans le dernier livre du Pentateuque.
     Si le morcellement de l'ouvrage semble indéniable quant à son origine, le texte, cependant, résiste à ce traitement de la critique. Il garde une incontestable unité et ne cesse de s'imposer à nous, tant par son contenu que par son style et sa composition.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 11:41:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<BLOCLQUOTE>2.You quote Chouraqui regarding a passage in Genesis, whereas the discussion was about passages written by the Deuteronomist.</BLOCLQUOTE>

I stand corrected.

<BLOCLQUOTE>3.You apply a sentence about a single chapter of Genesis, plagiarised by a late Bible author, to the entirety of the Old Testament...<BLOCLQUOTE>

LOL. No, I don't.

<BLOCLQUOTE>4.You present Chouraqui as an analyst of the origin of the OT, whereas in truth he is a translator who only summarized the research of others in a preface, and even indicated that while he acknowledges the fragmentary origin of the text, he concerns himself with the text itself...<BLOCLQUOTE>

LOL. I quote Chouraqui as opposed to Wikipedia. If you read the book Entête, you must have also read the "commentary" which relates to the language and substance of the text. Chouraqui goes way into the domain of interpreting.

by Lynch on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 12:54:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL. No, I don't.

LOL, everyone can see for themselves.

I quote Chouraqui as opposed to Wikipedia.

And dig your own grave doing so. Wikipedia summarizes research on the matter at hand with references, Chouraqui's unreferenced preface from over 60 years ago is not a summary of any research of his own and is irrelevant to the matter at hand.

Chouraqui goes way into the domain of interpreting.

Which is irrelevant to the subject of the age of the text, but thanks for playing. It is now completely clear that you are out of your depth on all the subjects touched (the Koran, Egypt, Turkey, the Bible, etc.), and regularly confuse matters (Wahhabis and Iran, Turks and Muslims, Genesis and Deuteronomy and so on) but just can't admit it and learn.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 01:15:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, research moved on since Chouraqui's time, and even the plagiarised old Accadian text version was challenged:

Abraham in History and Tradition - Wikipedia

Abraham in History and Tradition (Yale University Press, ISBN 0300040407, 1975) is a book by biblical scholar John Van Seters.

The book was a landmark in Near Eastern Studies and Biblical archaeology, since it challenged the dominant view, popularised by William Foxwell Albright, that the patriarchal narratives of Genesis can be identified on archaeological grounds with the Mesopotamian world of 2nd millennium BC. Van Seters noted that many of Albright's parallels were vague, and fit other regions than Mesopotamia and other times than 2nd millennium. Specially devastating was his analysis of Genesis 14, where he pointed out that the political situation described in Genesis 14 - a Near East dominated by a coalition led by Elam and including Hatti, Assyria and Babylonia - is not confirmed by any monuments, king lists, or other historical and archaeological sources. Van Seters also pointed out that the ten kings mentioned in Genesis 14 cannot be found in any ancient documents outside the Bible.

The book was also a criticism of the school of Tradition history advanced most notably by Hermann Gunkel and Martin Noth: Van Seters "argues that Noth's (1948) idea of a "pentateuchal oral tradition" is flawed both historically (with respect to the history of Israel) and analogically (given Noth's comparisons with the development of Icelandic saga) [and] contends that traces of folkloric structure do not make it inevitable 'that the tradition as a whole, or even [certain] parts of it, derive from a pre-literate period'". [1] Van Seters instead proposed that Genesis was an essentially literary work, but one based on a process of supplementation by successive authors rather on a redactorial process (i.e., on the combination of separate documents by an editor or editors). This in turn amounted to a major challenge to the Documentary Hypothesis, the dominant theory concerning the origins of the Pentateuch.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 01:32:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now isn't this a much more appropriate (and civilised) way to engage in dialogue? Thank you for this pointer. You are clearly initiated in biblical studies... and as you know, one can spend an entire lifetime studying only Genesis... so there's no need to be arrogant with people who know less than you on a given subject.
by Lynch on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 01:55:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, I was thinking about the second half. The one where they arrive in the promised land, brutally murder all male inhabitants, rape the female inhabitants and steal the land.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 09:37:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brutally murder? What, as opposed to 'gently murder'?
Rape the female inhabitants? No. There was no rape.

After the Exodus, God instructs the Jews to destroy the Canaanites because the land of Israel (which is sacred land) 'vomits' pagan, idolatric and incestuous practices.

About a hundred years later, this same sacred land 'vomits' the Jews (under God's command) for comparable offences.

by Lynch on Tue Sep 7th, 2010 at 03:39:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rape the female inhabitants? No. There was no rape.

You're right. It was a different genocide where they took the conquered population's women as their wives. The Canaanites were simply massacred down to the last child.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Sep 8th, 2010 at 09:40:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, this is your "proof" that the Christian (and Jewish) God calls for genocide. Tell me, as a Christian or a Jew living in the 1st, 10th or 21st century... who is it that God is calling me to "brutally murder"?
by Lynch on Thu Sep 9th, 2010 at 02:41:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lynch:
Tell me, as a Christian or a Jew living in the 1st, 10th or 21st century... who is it that God is calling me to "brutally murder"?

Well, maybe not God, but his representatives on Earth did organise quite a number of massacres. Do you want a list?  

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char

by Melanchthon on Thu Sep 9th, 2010 at 03:41:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No...
This thread got started when I stated that "the Koran explicitly calls for the elimination of the infidels ad nauseam"... and you responded by stating (first implicitly, then explicitly) that the Bible too calls for Genocide.

Hence my question that you didn't answer: who is the Bible calling on me to "brutally murder"?

by Lynch on Fri Sep 10th, 2010 at 01:18:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Infidels who don't voluntarily submit to slavery. See passages quoted upthread.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 09:30:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, since he's imaginary, he's probably not calling for you to murder anyone. There is rather a history of people imagining that he told them to kill other people though.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 9th, 2010 at 06:22:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, this is your "proof" that the Christian (and Jewish) God calls for genocide.

No, it is an example. Anybody with the google-fu of a three-years-old can find others in a heartbeat.

Tell me, as a Christian or a Jew living in the 1st, 10th or 21st century... who is it that God is calling me to "brutally murder"?

Palestinians, homosexuals and medical doctors, to take just three that the American Taliban seem to be able to find scriptural support for murdering with dreary regularity.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Sep 10th, 2010 at 05:05:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... since you mentioned the Wahhabi, let's take a look at their American equivalents: The Reconstructionists. These nice guys believe that God calls for stoning of adulterers, overthrow of democratic government and its replacement with rule by divine right and assorted other funny things.

Oh, and did I mention that some of the more prominent madmen in that sect (Rushdoony [late, unlamented] and Ahmanson [at large] in particular) have their money all over the American Christian Right - from the Teabaggers to the Creationists? Saying that they own the American right is obviously misguided, but they are a comparable influence to - say - Mr. Scaife, and about as malign.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Sep 10th, 2010 at 05:12:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Palestinians, homosexuals and medical doctors...

Oh really? Where? Proscribing homosexuality is not the same as calling on His followers to exterminate homosexuals (and medical doctors??). WTF?

seem to be able to find scriptural support for murdering with dreary regularity

Yeah. SEEM to be able to find. But DON'T.

by Lynch on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 02:50:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh really? Where? Proscribing homosexuality is not the same as calling on His followers to exterminate homosexuals

That's a theological argument that you should be having with your Reconstructionist brothers in the faith, not with me. You wanted to tar all of Islam with the Wahhabi just a couple of posts ago. Well, turnabout is fair play.

(and medical doctors??). WTF?

A recent example of Christian political murder. A less recent example.

Yeah. SEEM to be able to find. But DON'T.

Says you. There's plenty of Islamic scholars who are equally insistent that the Wahhabi and their kindred spirits to be theologically misguided. But apparently Islam is responsible for every extremist sect, while Christians are permitted to simply disavow the theology of their bomb-throwers and move on. Perhaps you would care to enlighten me as to why this is not a case of blatant special pleading?

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 09:19:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. I'll tell you what I have a real problem with. People like you who spew hate against Christians, while systematically turning a blind eye to Muslim extremism - whether it's in Europe or elsewhere. I certainly denounce any and all forms of Christian fundamentalism, but I don't feel threatened by it for two reasons:
  • First, because the social orders we live in are clearly and unambiguously secular
  • Second, because when I go to Church (and I've done it all: Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox... European, Russian, American) I don't hear hate coming out of the preacher's mouth. That doesn't mean it never happens - but it's rare.

On the other hand, the separation between the state and Islam is anything but clear in predominantly Muslim states - including Turkey. In fact, it's anything but clear in Muslim dominated communities in Europe. Islam's presence in state affairs results in reduced rights for both non Muslims and Muslims (compared to the rights we have in Europe or the US). Hate speech against Western Civilization, Jews and Christians is common in mosques. Even political leaders such as Erdogan preach against the integration of Muslims into European societies (see his speech in Cologne in 2008 to a group of 20000 Muslims).

But you, for some reason, go out of your way to defend Islam point blank - and refuse to see any threat whatsoever that Islam may pose to the freedoms that we have (and that we should cherish) in Europe. That's what I have a problem with.

by Lynch on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 11:02:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The victims of the Belgian - and other - sexual Catholic abuse scandals will be touched by your concern.

So will Tony Blair, whose dedication to the separation of church and state forced him to hide his religious crankiness from the public while it also led him into supporting a psychotic war after 'praying to god for guidance'.

As for 'Islamic fundamentalism' - that didn't actually exist as a viable or influential political movement until the CIA decided it would be a useful stick with which to whack the Soviet pinata until it disgorged those useful oil territories in the 'Stans.

Cue cash and weapons in return for drugs.

And here we are.

Is there anyone here who isn't familiar with Mossadeq's secular but oh-so dangerously left-leaning Iran?

Are you really so ignorant and naive that you don't realise these idiocies aren't fundamentally about religion?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 11:31:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Erdogan preach against the integration of Muslims into European societies (see his speech in Cologne in 2008 to a group of 20000 Muslims)

Do you have a single claim that has anything to do with reality (rather than distortions at hate sites like Jihadwatch)? Erdogan's full speech can be read in German here. He didn't speak about Muslims, he spoke about Turks. And he spoke out against forced assimilation -- in particular, the right to use Turkish as mother language. This passage of contention was in the middle of a longer talk on integration in host countries, complete with learning the local language, going to schools, serving the local economy, and taking part in social life including getting elected in local elections.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 12:00:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact, the one single religious reference in the entire long text is when Erdogan lauds the "Alliance of Civilisations" initiative he started with Spain's Zapatero...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 12:03:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,534519,00.html

The prime minister goes on to address the integration of Turks in Germany. "I understand that you are sensitive about the issue of assimilation," Erdogan says. "No one can demand that from you." Assimilation -- in other words, conforming to German culture -- is a catchword that Turkish immigrants associate with their fear of losing their national identity. Erdogan does not repeat the controversial demand he made to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, when he called for the founding of Turkish-language educational institutions in Germany. Today, he only says: "It is your natural right to teach your children their mother tongue."

During his long speech, Erdogan plays the integration card as he sees fit. He makes conciliatory noises, but he stops short of making a plea for assimilation. Although much remains vague, at times he takes a pragmatic tone. "Take advantage of Germany's educational institutions," he says. "It's a disadvantage if you don't speak the language of the country." Nevertheless, his speech, in which the phrases "we Turks" and "the Germans" appear again and again, does deliver a clear message: You may live in Germany, but you are Turks -- and I am your prime minister.

The original text in German also quotes Erdogan as adding:

"I understand very well the sensitive point of assimilation. No one can expect you to tolerate assimilation. No one can expect that you submit to assimilation. Because assimilation is a crime against humanity. You should be aware of that."

by Lynch on Sun Sep 12th, 2010 at 04:25:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I really don't understand why you insist on using secondary sources when there is a perfectly fine link to the primary source in a post that I know you've read, because you replied to it.

But here we go again:

I understand the sensitivity you show towards assimilation very well. Nobody can expect you to tolerate assimilation. No one can expect from you that you submit to an assimilation. Because assimilation is a crime against humanity, you should be aware. But we must also take note of the following: you can in today's Germany, in Europe today, in today's world, no longer be regarded as "the Other", as one who is only here temporarily. Consider The Turkish community has spent fully 47 years for this country. Not only in Germany, many European countries is approaching the number of our citizens, almost five million. It is noteworthy that despite this huge operation, despite the numerical strength, certain basic problems in these countries are still not on the agenda. Of course, our children will learn Turkish. This is to share your native language and it is their natural right, your mother your children.

However, if you learn the language of the country where you live, or even a few more languages, you would benefit from it in every way. Look, many of our children here learning at an early age no foreign languages. These children are confronted with German only when they start school. And that means that these children have in comparison to the other students the school career with a handicap of one who begins from scratch. But it would be for you and your children in any way be beneficial if you exploit the opportunities offered by the local school system.

In the Germanic language group, there is a distinction between integration - conforming to the laws and etiquette of society - and assimilation - wholesale replacement of language, mannerisms, cuisine and so on. The line is somewhat fuzzy, and on many individual issues reasonable people can disagree on what is a matter of personal taste and what is a breach of etiquette.

I personally find that framing somewhat contrived, but that's the context he speaks into.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 12th, 2010 at 06:44:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This assimilation-integration thing must be embedded in a Germany context. The fall-back position of German conservatives after the abandonment of the guest worker fantasy was that immigrants indeed have to choose between identities: be a German, or be a Turk. In their view, there is no such thing as having both; someone claiming a German identity while not ready to let loose of the Turkish one is a 100% Turk in disguise to get the benefits of German citizenship. Or, at least, that's the ideology behind their categorical rejection of double citizenship a few years earlier, and later expressed views on education and 'leading culture' followed from that. This is what Erdogan reacted to.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 12th, 2010 at 06:02:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
People like you who spew hate against Christians,

Hate? That's an interesting claim. Perchance you'd want to quote me on some of that?

I certainly denounce any and all forms of Christian fundamentalism,

So you denounce and reject the Vatican's meddling in the electoral politics of Ireland, Spain and Poland? Or do they not qualify as "fundamentalist?"

but I don't feel threatened by it for two reasons:
First, because the social orders we live in are clearly and unambiguously secular

Of course it is. Just as clearly and unambiguously secular as Turkey or Egypt.

Second, because when I go to Church (and I've done it all: Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox... European, Russian, American) I don't hear hate coming out of the preacher's mouth. That doesn't mean it never happens - but it's rare.

And I suppose that you have also been to mosques and heard Islamic sermons? Or are you basing your double standard purely on your greater familiarity with Christian liturgy?

On the other hand, the separation between the state and Islam is anything but clear in predominantly Muslim states - including Turkey.

[Citation needed]

In fact, it's anything but clear in Muslim dominated communities in Europe.

As opposed to those Catholic dominated communities where secular law is held in the highest possible regard, and priests are remanded into the custody of secular authorities at the first suspicion of criminality?

Islam's presence in state affairs results in reduced rights for both non Muslims and Muslims (compared to the rights we have in Europe or the US).

Yes. The meddling of religious groups in the affairs of secular civilisation usually results in reduced liberty for the citizens. This, however, is common to all religious groups, and the EU has thus far been able to deal with even the aggressive religious imperialism of the Vatican. In terms of funding, organisation and access to influential political operatives, the political Islam lobby is light-years behind the Vatican, so it is not easy to believe that it will be an insurmountable problem.

Hate speech against Western Civilization, Jews and Christians is common in mosques.

[Citation needed]

Even political leaders such as Erdogan preach against the integration of Muslims into European societies (see his speech in Cologne in 2008 to a group of 20000 Muslims).

I don't know where you get your information, but I would suggest allowing your subscription to lapse. Because you are severely misinformed. Die Welt has the speech to which you refer. This is the pertinent couple of paragraphs, courtesy of GoogleTranslate:

I understand the sensitivity you show towards assimilation very well. Nobody can expect you to tolerate assimilation. No one can expect from you that you submit to an assimilation. Because assimilation is a crime against humanity, you should be aware. But we must also take note of the following: you can in today's Germany, in Europe today, in today's world, no longer be regarded as "the Other", as one who is only here temporarily. Consider The Turkish community has spent fully 47 years for this country. Not only in Germany, many European countries is approaching the number of our citizens, almost five million. It is noteworthy that despite this huge operation, despite the numerical strength, certain basic problems in these countries are still not on the agenda. Of course, our children will learn Turkish. This is to share your native language and it is their natural right, your mother your children.

However, if you learn the language of the country where you live, or even a few more languages, you would benefit from it in every way. Look, many of our children here learning at an early age no foreign languages. These children are confronted with German only when they start school. And that means that these children have in comparison to the other students the school career with a handicap of one who begins from scratch. But it would be for you and your children in any way be beneficial if you exploit the opportunities offered by the local school system.

I'm not sure what, precisely, you find objectionable here?

But you, for some reason, go out of your way to defend Islam point blank

Eh, no. Better luck next time.

You entered into a discussion on the viability of the integration of North Africa with the European Union with a series of claims based on the presumption that most of North Africa is populated by extremist regimes pandering to a barbaric culture of hateful fundamentalists. This is simply not the case. You further insinuated that the New York Cordoba House project had Iranian and/or Saudi funding, despite the fact that anybody with ten minutes to look them up on Google and even a superficial understanding of the political picture in the Middle East will realise the staggering, monumental improbability of this proposition. And you trotted out the oft-debunked Ahmedinejad speech gambit. Then you tried to insinuate that Erdogan has been fomenting a Muslim fifth column to resist integration into European society. When in fact he explicitly advocated integration into European society.

Have you considered that perhaps what you construe as apologetics for Islamic fundamentalism is merely an attempt to disabuse you of silly, factually inaccurate and paranoid propaganda?

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 12:44:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And I suppose that you have also been to mosques and heard Islamic sermons?

In fact, I would have been interested in witnessing prayer in a Mosque. But, last time I was in Morocco, I was forbidden to go into a Mosque because I was obviously not Muslim. So much for tolerance.

You need a citation for hate speach? You yourself agreed that it was a good idea for the French state to finance Mosque building so that it could impose hand picked Imams and do away with calls to Jihad. But now, you need a citation. A short memory won't get you far.

Even in Syria, the government has recently started installing cameras in the country's mosques so as to monitor extremist groups (BBC source - last week).

And when was the last time YOU participated in Mosque prayers?

by Lynch on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 01:04:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You need a citation for hate speach?

No, I need a citation for hate speech being more common in mosques than in churches. Which is a stronger claim than the simple occurrence of hate speech.

You yourself agreed that it was a good idea for the French state to finance Mosque building so that it could impose hand picked Imams and do away with calls to Jihad.

Well, no. I agreed that it would be a good idea for the French state to finance mosque building so that it could impose hand picked imams and do away with calls for political activism and reactionary bullshit from the pulpit. Political activism and reactionary bullshit are somewhat broader categories than calls for jihad. Although calls for jihad are, of course, a subset of political activism and reactionary bullshit.

Even in Syria, the government has recently started installing cameras in the country's mosques so as to monitor extremist groups (BBC source - last week).

"Even" Syria installed cameras in mosques? Last time I checked, Syria was a military dictatorship. I didn't realise that it was unexpected for military dictatorships to bug religious gatherings...

And when was the last time YOU participated in Mosque prayers?

That would be precisely as much your business as when I last attended a Christian church: None whatsoever. I am not the one peddling anecdotes pertaining to the relative abundance of gore in the liturgy of Islam as compared to Christianity.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 04:06:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me tell you about propaganda. My (pretty, young) nice finished medical school last year and landed a job in Molenbeek. Was so harassed (jeered, stared down at and otherwise bullied) by the local community that she ended up wearing a hidjab - just to be left alone. Couldn't handle it anymore after 6 months. Resigned and is looking for a job elsewhere. But of course, this is just propaganda, isn't it? It's just so politically correct to shut up and smile.
by Lynch on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 01:11:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What has that to do with any of your blatantly false claims about Iran, Ahmedinejad, the 'Ground Zero Mosque', the Koran, Egypt, Turkey, Erdogan, and so on in this thread? And based on your record of gross distortions in this thread, we should believe that this anecdote is a precise account of events and is evidence for anything because?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 01:22:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What does it have to do with the rest?
Absolutely nothing. We were talking about the North Pole and Cheddar cheese.
by Lynch on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 01:30:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, you admit that you fell for erroneous propaganda on that rather long list you call "the rest".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 01:35:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you telling us that a young (christian, supposedly) woman is forced to wear a hidjeb in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean (Brussels)?

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 02:57:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No. Where did you read that she was 'forced'?
She decided of her own free will, so as to be left in peace.
by Lynch on Sun Sep 12th, 2010 at 03:57:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All the Abrahamic religions have an atrocious attitude towards women. And certainly misogyny and homophobia is more blatant (and probably more widespread) in the Arabic cultural sphere.

And if you had made the case from the outset that North Africa had a severe problem with gender equality, democratic accountability and human rights in general, nobody would have gainsaid that. Those are concerns that the EU tackled poorly in the Eastwards expansion. It's perfectly reasonable to demand safeguards against repeating the Polish mistake of granting admission to a country whose political culture is severely lacking.

But that is not what you were arguing. You were arguing that there is an essential character flaw in Islam that is not present in Christianity and which makes North Africa impossible to integrate into the EU. Not just today, or tomorrow or this decade or while they adapt their legal and political systems to European norms. But permanently and insurmountably. And that's the core of my disagreement with you: I do not see a difference in kind between Russia, Egypt and Poland - only a difference in degree.

Of course, it does not help your credibility that you elected to repeatedly bring utter garbage to the table, in the form of baseless slanders against Erdogan, paranoid and delusional insinuations against the Cordoba House, long-debunked urban legends about Ahmadinejad and flat untruths about Egypt.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 03:53:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad_and_Israel

Check Ahmedinejad's "World Without Zionism" speach.
In fact, just type "Ahedinejad Israel" in Google and learn. You've really got nerve defending this guy.

Paranoid and delusional. LOL.

by Lynch on Sun Sep 12th, 2010 at 05:12:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now you're lying again.

I do not and did not defend Ahmadinejad. I disabused you of a couple of urban legends and exaggerations about him. There are plenty of valid criticisms of both him and the Iranian government. But you're not presenting any of them, because you insist on couching the discussion in terms of the abiding malice of Islam, rather than the specific, tangible political conflicts that occasion objectionable behaviour.

That being said, the only really damning quotes you've linked to are a few from late 2005 and early '06 in support of holocaust denial. These have a very specific origin as a response to the cartoon jihad. And while using holocaust denial to make a cheap (and misguided) political point about European hypocrisy vis-a-vis freedom of speech is outrageous, it is somewhat less outrageous than holocaust denial just for the sake of it.

Oh, and it seems like he's a 9/11 troofer. Which is of course ridiculous, but fairly harmless.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 12th, 2010 at 06:30:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now you're lying again.

No, Mr. Sierra, I can't accept. It would appear that the one who is lying again is you.

Just a couple of comments above, you wrote:

Actually, Ahmedinejad has never called for the destruction of Israel, as anybody who follows Middle East politics even casually knows perfectly well. Unless, of course, they're relying on the American propaganda press for their information.
- Jake

Ahmedinejad explicitly called for Israel's destruction in 2005, and this call has been relayed by the international press - not just the American press.

Here's an RFI link in French:
http://www.rfi.fr/actufr/articles/070/article_39445.asp

And this ranting didn't stop in 2005 - as you seem to imply, but continues to this very day.

Here's a Belgian link of one of his speeches in February 2010 where he says that "Israel has no reason to exist".

http://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/po/pour-m-ahmadinejad-israel-na-plus-de-raison-detre-192386

Just you keep finding excuses for Mr. Ahmedinejad & all will be well.

by Lynch on Sun Sep 12th, 2010 at 02:12:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Im sure we've covered on more than one occasion that this was originally from a mistranslation, taken out of context. The fact that reporters translate from english to their native languages rathet than arabic is hardly surprising in the current economic climate in the media world.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Sep 12th, 2010 at 02:34:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ahmedinejad explicitly called for Israel's destruction in 2005

You insist on repeating this urban legend as if it were true. It's not. Note that Juan Cole, unlike Wolf Blitzer, actually understands Farsi...

Here's a Belgian link of one of his speeches in February 2010 where he says that "Israel has no reason to exist".

Did the DDR have any reason to exist? More to the point, would it be honest to construe a call for the DDR to cease to exist (in, say, 1987) as a call for the extermination of a third of the German people?

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 12th, 2010 at 02:43:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus, given that it's the Old Testament, it has considerably less theological value to Christians than the New Testament.

Like that bit about homosexuals, or that bit about abortion?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 9th, 2010 at 06:04:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And which religion have you heard of lately which advocates homosexuality and encourages abortion?
by Lynch on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 02:53:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And why is the existence or lack thereof of such a religion at all relevant to anything other than the satisfaction of our curiosity as to the arcana of comparative theology?

The applicable standard is respect for human rights and human dignity - not "but everybody else does it too."

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 11th, 2010 at 09:26:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The second word of the first sentence of the Moroccan Constitution is ISLAMIC.
An Islamic and fully sovereign state whose official language is Arabic, the Kingdom of Morocco constitutes a part of the Great Arab Maghreb.
Maybe you would like to give us an interpretation of that?

Source: http://www.al-bab.com/maroc/gov/con96.htm

In December 2007, the Moroccan court of justice sentenced six men to jail terms of between two and ten months for the crime of homosexuality. In Morocco as in most Muslim countries, homosexuality is technically a crime. Morocco isn't like Egypt where the police actively hunt gay men by luring them with internet ads and arresting them when they turn up for a meeting. Imams and other religious figures likely insisted that the men in the video be punished to remind Moroccans not to get too cocky in flouting the religious stipulations which form a large part of Moroccan law. Legally, Morocco is a conservative Muslim country with a penal code rooted in Sharia law.

Source : http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/globalisation/the_gaze_of_strangers_morocco_male_love_and_moder nity

by Lynch on Sun Sep 5th, 2010 at 05:43:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, Morocco and Libya practise Sharia.

When was this in dispute? You were bullshitting about Egypt. Egypt, as you may recall, is a sovereign country located in the Southeastern Mediterranean.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 5th, 2010 at 06:47:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.france24.com/en/20100823-pope-france-roma-deportations-ump-clergy-sarkozy-church

The Pope has joined the growing chorus of French clergymen who have rebuked Nicolas Sarkozy's government over its policy of sending Roma people back to their home countries.

by Lynch on Sun Sep 5th, 2010 at 06:20:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A red herring. Supporting human rights for one group does not excuse hate speech against another group. Supporting human rights is the default position that should be expected of all conduct. The fact that the Catholic Church wants to advertise its commitment to the human rights of the Roma while spreading malicious hate and inciting violence against homosexuals and doctors who provide reproductive care does not make it virtuous. It makes it hypocritical.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 5th, 2010 at 06:51:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I see you have actual access to the Vatican's Top Secret Plan to eliminate all Roma from Western European Civilisation.
by Lynch on Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 02:20:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...not to mention that the Catholic Church around here is not 100% Roma-friendly...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 10th, 2010 at 07:23:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you ever heard of the Rat Lines run by the Vatican to smuggle Catholic Nazi collaborators out of Eastern Europe after WWII?
by vladimir on Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 07:02:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As a matter of fact I know of the Rat Lines. It was one of the darker and more shameful periods of the Catholic Church. That said, what happened should be analysed in context: many of those who were saved through the Rat Lines deserved to face justice. But many others, who were innocent, would have been slaughtered by Stalin's Communists or Tito's Partisans, simply because they were Catholic and regardless of their actual roles during the War.
by Lynch on Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 02:18:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
integration of North Africa has economic and strategic reality on its side.

Maybe, maybe not.
But what it doesn't have on its side is the fast growth of hard line Islamic movements, from Erdogan's Justice and Development Party in Turkey to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
by vladimir on Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 06:49:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Whether you'd call Erdogan a hard-liner is a matter of judgement, I suppose. Personally, I don't think he has much of his original ideology left at this point - few politicians of his seniority have. But whatever the case, there are light-years between Erdogan and the Muslim Brotherhood.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 10:14:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lynch:
genocides against the Greeks

What genocide against the Greeks?

Could it be the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey that is referenced?

The convention affected the populations as follows: almost all Greek Orthodox Christians (Greek- or Turkish-speaking) of Asia Minor including a Turkish-speaking Greek Orthodox population from middle Anatolia (Karamanlides), the Ionia region (e.g. Smyrna, Aivali), the Pontus region (e.g. Trapezunda, Sampsunta), Prusa (Bursa), the Bithynia region (e.g., Nicomedia (İzmit), Chalcedon (Kadıköy), East Thrace, and other regions were either expelled or formally denaturalized from Turkish territory. These numbered about half a million and were added to the over one million Greeks already cleansed by the Turkish army before the treaty was signed. About 500,000 people were expelled from Greece, predominantly Turks, and others including Greek Muslims, Muslim Roma, Pomaks, Cham Albanians, and Megleno-Romanians.

Yes, it was horrible, but to pin in on islam 1) ignores nationalism as a causative factor and 2) ignores that at the time it was Greece that was invading Turkey, not the other way around.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Sep 1st, 2010 at 04:09:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe he's thinking of the massacre of tens of thousands at the capture of Tripolitsa in 1821? No, that was Turks and Jews being massacred by Greeks. I guess that isn't what he had in mind.
by gk (gk) on Wed Sep 1st, 2010 at 04:26:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just look up the Greek genocide in Wikipedia, and you'll discover something that you are apparently totally unfamiliar with. It might even be useful.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_genocide
by Lynch on Wed Sep 1st, 2010 at 12:16:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was aware of this. Now you could you explain why this has anything to do with Islam, and if it has, why Tripolitsa is not about Orthodox Christianity, or the WW2 massacres of Serbs are not about the Catholic Church and the Franciscan order. To the extent that it is about religion, I don't see much to chose between the religions, with the exception of the Jews who haven't had the power to  do such things until recently. But they are making up for lost time...

by gk (gk) on Wed Sep 1st, 2010 at 02:39:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of the panoply of belief systems commonly lumped together as "pagan" have also been out of power for a long time.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Sep 1st, 2010 at 03:01:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it was Greece that was invading Turkey, not the other way around

Indeed, just like the Allies invaded France in 1945.
I suppose the Greeks were also invading when they fought the Turks in Constantinople in 1452.

by Lynch on Wed Sep 1st, 2010 at 12:15:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can ask the Armenians, the Greeks, the Copts, the Serbs in Bosnia and Kosovo, the Christians in Lebanon, the Jews in Iran or the Belgians in Molenbeek whether they fear Muslims

You forgot: the Croatians, Macedonians, Bulgarians, Romanians and all the others who lived through 500+ years of Muslim Turk domination in the region. Once you've finished talking to these people, you can interview Philippine Christians, Hindus, Buddhist monks in Thailand, Timorese Christians, Nigeria's Christians, ...

by Lynch on Tue Aug 31st, 2010 at 02:41:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Croatians? They were the ones joined with the Muslims in murdering Serbs in Pavelic's Croatia.
by gk (gk) on Tue Aug 31st, 2010 at 02:55:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure were. They were also the ones who destroyed Mostar fighting against the Muslims.
by Lynch on Tue Aug 31st, 2010 at 03:17:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your point is?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 31st, 2010 at 06:36:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That people generally do stupid things whenever given the chance...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Sep 1st, 2010 at 04:40:13 AM EST
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I can tell you that the situation in Bosnia is very tense, both between Croats and Muslims and between Serbs and Muslims. Islam has made great gains in Bosniak society and is supported by Imams and newly built mosques finance not only by Saudi Arabia but also by Turkey and Iran. From the Bosniak Muslim political leadership, there is mostly talk of war, revenge and the vision of Muslim pure Bosnia and Herzegovina. Talk from Serb leadership in RS is for a referendum on independence (as was granted under Dayton provisions). Croats are keeping quiet while de facto and de jure integrating Croat regions of Bosnia into the Holy Catholic Motherland.

Sandzak is another interesting stretch of land in Serbia inhabited by non Albanian Muslims, where the Turkish government is investing hard cash (why there? one might ask, if Turkey is secular). A couple of weeks ago there was a visit to Sandzak by Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs, hosted by Tadic. What was bizarre was that at the summit, there were ONLY Turkish flags. Exit Serbian flags. If you follow the region's politics, you'll notice that Tadic and Jeremic (Minister of Foreign Affairs) are in bilateral summits with the Turks like twice a month! Now, what could be going on here?

by vladimir on Wed Sep 1st, 2010 at 03:48:44 AM EST
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