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Feeble Democratic Secularism

by ormondotvos Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 05:02:05 PM EST

I come to EUROTRIB to glean current views on the future of democratic secularism. I read much here about trains, parties, wind power, political intrigue and such, but I don't recall much about the ascendancy of political Islam, and the future of laicite.

What gives? Is Charlie Hebdo all alone? Are the intellectuals blind to the grassroots of self-segregation?


My view is essentially that we progressives tend to be so polite that we're susceptible, like a drunk driver in a Mercedes in a bad part of town, to losing our life to those less polite.

Is liberalism too Pollyanna in the face of poverty-driven fanaticism? Will politicians and those who comment on their foibles once again miss the rise of rigid states like Nazi Germany and Russian Socialism? Are we fiddling, while the barbarians of religion storm the gates?

Display:
Are we fiddling, while the barbarians of religion storm the gates?

This sounds not the least bit racist.......

Is liberalism too Pollyanna in the face of poverty-driven fanaticism?

I doubt that many here would label themselves as liberals.  There's a socialist or at least social democratic (of the unreconstructed variety) strain to the debate here.

Which brings me to a simple question.  If poverty is the root of fanaticism, isn't it better to combat poverty than get sucked into the meaningless fight that is the culture wars?


And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 03:46:38 AM EST
I find that yours are the most relevant to Ormond's theses. Maybe I should have stopped here.

Culture wars - bah.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 10:17:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent comments by MfM and paul.

ormondotvos seems to have succeeded, with this stupid provocation, in setting off a stupid fight.

Caveat lector.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 02:22:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is Charlie Hebdo all alone?

No, Pamela Geller, Gates of Vienna and many more are still there. In fact, the number of sites and media attempting to humiliate Muslims is even growing.

Are the intellectuals blind to the grassroots of self-segregation?

No. Scaremongering about the Muslim hordes invading Europe grabbing the generous gifts that the welfare state has on offer is well developed or what else can you mean? Self-segregation? Define!

by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 04:02:15 AM EST
Katrin, if you want a debate in good faith and mutual respect, you've made a very poor start.

Your attempt to bracket Charlie Hebdo with a hate site like Gates of Vienna is transparently absurd and does you no credit at all.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 06:12:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Point out the difference if you can, Eurogreen. The start of this debate was O's post about the barbarians of religion storming the gates, which somehow seems to be the same as nazism, although he doesn't explain how. "Islamofascism" here we come. Do you really expect a respectful debate if you support depicting a personality that people revere as a yellow alien with crazy eyes? Why this obsession with the religion of brown-skinned immigrants who are struggling with prejudice and poverty anyway? Can't Charlie Hebdo for once attack the rich and powerful and risk retaliation? Needless provocation indeed.
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 06:31:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The start of this debate was O's post about the barbarians of religion storming the gates

Then I'll leave you to debate that subject with him. It's not my thesis, nor is it Charlie Hebdo's.

Why this obsession with the religion of brown-skinned immigrants who are struggling with prejudice and poverty anyway?

Why this obsession with skin colour? The implied "people who criticize Islam are racist" non-sequitur does not pass muster as an argument here.

Can't Charlie Hebdo for once attack the rich and powerful and risk retaliation?

They do it every week. Why do you pretend not to know that? The implied argument that they have attacked the poor and powerless is, of course, nonsense (or would at least require that you provide some evidence to back it up).

Here's a starting point for your research : the page of Charlie's special editions, which doesn't yet include the new one dedicated to Mahomet.

If you think there's some sort of sinister racism in the fact that Mahomet has yellow skin, here's this week's front-page drawing by the same caricaturist :



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 07:29:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why this obsession with skin colour? The implied "people who criticize Islam are racist" non-sequitur does not pass muster as an argument here

Oh yes. You can't separate this anti-Muslim stuff from the fact that almost all European Muslims are immigrants or the children and grandchildren of immigrants. They are darker than the rest of us and that's how we can easily recognise them. They are The Other and that makes them a target.

by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 07:46:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is certainly the case that the idiosyncrasies of oppressed minority religions should be treated with greater forbearance than the idiosyncrasies of oppressive majority religions. But willingness to excuse any barbarism in the name of such forbearance is a disservice both to secular civilization (but I repeat myself) and to progressive members of the religion in question.

In particular, a blanket demand that secular society observes or enforces your taboos is just flat up unacceptable. In a democracy, priests do not get to write the law.

If you want to take a particular violation of a religious taboo to task for being racist, then take it to task on its merits. But being a violation of a taboo of an oppressed minority is not itself sufficient to make that case.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:20:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But willingness to excuse any barbarism in the name of such forbearance is a disservice both to secular civilization (but I repeat myself) and to progressive members of the religion in question.

???

Which barbarism? (And which secular civilization while you are at it?) Who is excusing any barbarism? There is no reaction from the persecuted minority in question that I am aware of. Does ignoring the racist provocations of a magazine that obviously wants to sell more copies by appealing to fears of "political Islam" already count as barbarism?

When Muslims protested against denigrations of their religion, these protests were condemned as barbarianism. When they don't react and consequently the sales of that rubbish magazine don't rise, it's barbarianism too. Is there anything Muslims can do that would find your approval, apart from giving up their religion?

by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:40:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The imposition of religious taboos on the rest of society is barbarism. Some forbearance is merited when the religion in question is a disenfranchised minority religion. But such forbearance is a privilege, not a right, and it should not be unlimited.

When they don't react and consequently the sales of that rubbish magazine don't rise,

I guess arson does not count as a reaction. Oh, well.

Is there anything Muslims can do that would find your approval, apart from giving up their religion?

The same thing all religious people can do: Keep it to themselves. I'm not obligated to respect your religion. I might respect it on my own initiative if I happen to find it respectable, but the odds of that diminish sharply every time one of its adherents throws an infantile temper tantrum.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:57:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which arson? Did I miss some reaction to the current issue of the racist magazine?
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:06:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and by the way: I am aware that I hurt some feelings when I say "the racist magazine". A few people here hold it dear and don't want it denigrated. Tough. Just now I am not in a respectful mood.
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:08:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
because you're whistling in the dark. You claim to believe that CH is racist. You're factually wrong. Get back to me when you've read a couple of issues.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:14:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hurt feelings are not the issue. Calling it a racist magazine when this is demonstrably not true is (a) dishonest, (b) arguably libelous.

Dishonesty is a real problem. Offensiveness is a purely subjective one.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:14:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And depicting Mohammed as a crazy alien is just fine, because it is anti-religion. QED
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:24:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which part of
If you want to take a particular violation of a religious taboo to task for being racist, then take it to task on its merits.

did you have difficulty understanding?

You need to prove that the depiction was of "Mohammed as a crazy alien" before you get to make that argument. With, you know, actual reference to the actual publication in question.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 02:30:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 02:54:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How does that picture look, eh?
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 02:54:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(see the other one higher up the thread).

And your point is?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 07:50:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A yellow alien with crazy eyes.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 08:11:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
or my Prime Minister you're talking about?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 08:30:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For a moment I toyed with responding by denigrating and dehumanising a personality you admire until you feel the pain. I am sure that I could find one. It is not what I would do and what I would enjoy, though. I don't understand this wish to make Muslims (or anyone else) suffer. How you can support that is beyond me.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 03:19:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
to the point of making me suffer. Mockery is good. The more powerful the person (or the symbol), the better it is to mock them. There are no exceptions that I can think of. Nothing is sacred.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:24:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Male white Anglo-Saxons probably have little experience with it, but being mocked for one's identity hurts like hell.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 06:56:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Name someone who is being mocked for their identity in the context of this discussion.

None of my Muslim friends are being mocked for their identity if I mock Mohammed. None of my Christian friends are being mocked if I mock Jesus. And if you mock Elvis and I love Elvis, I'm not being mocked for my identity. If I get upset about it, then I should lighten up. I have noted that some people on this site tend to get nasty and personal if their political heroes get mocked. This may sometimes be amusing but usually it's tiresome.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 07:11:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My Muslim friends tend to take attacks on their religion (where mocking Mohammed really isn't encouraged, to put it mildly) as attacks on themselves. Being a member of the majority religion I am very relaxed, but if I lived somewhere where Christians are a persecuted minority, I would probably be rather thin-skinned and see attacks of my religion as attacks on my identity too.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 08:00:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And we have had at least one ET contributor leave the blog because he perceived an attack on the Pope's political positions as a personal attack on him (the contributor).

At some level you have to accept that if you believe a topic is fair game in political discussion and somebody else is personally offended, the problem is not with the political discussion. At least that appears to be a ground rule of this here forum: no subject matters are out of order (there are exceptions: we have on occasion banned openly antisemitic content and anything that could lead to legal liability for the blog itself, such as libel or copyright violation).

Personally, I find that a lot of the Mohammed cartoon issue involves people in a politically dominant group gratuitously offending people in a minority group. I fail to see what above-board political argument is advanced by publishing a slew of cartoons that the publishers know will cause offence, and with the deliberate aim of causing offence.

It's a bit like the joke about political freedom in the USSR:

American: "The proof that we have freedom of speech in the USA is that we can march in front of the White House to protest US policy"
Russian: "We have freedom of speech in the USSR as well, the proof is that we can march in front of the American Embassy to protest US policy"

Similarly, the Danish cartoonists enjoy press freedom: the proof is that they can mock the religion of foreigners.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 03:20:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:

At some level you have to accept that if you believe a topic is fair game in political discussion and somebody else is personally offended, the problem is not with the political discussion. At least that appears to be a ground rule of this here forum: no subject matters are out of order (there are exceptions: we have on occasion banned openly antisemitic content and anything that could lead to legal liability for the blog itself, such as libel or copyright violation).

Personally, I find that a lot of the Mohammed cartoon issue involves people in a politically dominant group gratuitously offending people in a minority group. I fail to see what above-board political argument is advanced by publishing a slew of cartoons that the publishers know will cause offence, and with the deliberate aim of causing offence.

word-perfectly put.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 08:20:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OTOH is it not legitimate to take an 'acted position' in order to provoke a discussion, or question an audience? In a long line since Lenny Bruce, comedians have questioned the accepted opinions of audiences of all types.  These are 'acted positions' (Frank Boyle, Al Murray et al of today, as examples). These positions are aimed at a specific audience, not at the people who suffer the intolerance and bigotry.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 10:16:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i think it's valid, in fact it's very tempting to do so, though it's risky as many readers may not be clued in to what you are doing, and thus why.

irony has a similar problem as tools go.

as persuasive tool, it works on the half-convinced, and can backfire. one man's snark is another's canon.

maybe leg-pulling can embarrass people into dropping old attitudes, and it's fun, so... on we toil.

maybe there is a yet higher way, so unequivocal as not even need humour.

very few get there. john cleese doing 'upper class twit' probably persuaded some of the UCTs to dial back some of the more obnoxious of their affectations! once it's established your intention is mostly to get a laugh, you can enjoy more freedom to play those edges.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 11:54:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Fool is Lear's Fool (and one could argue, an extension of Lear's psyche). He is authorised to mock Lear. If another character were to mock Lear in the same way, Lear's reaction would be very different.

Other modern "fools" are questioning their audience and its accepted opinions. This is an invaluable exercise, imo. But its effectiveness stems from the fact that they question the culture from within. This is part of a process by which a culture can lose its prejudices and become broader and more tolerant.

Charlie Hebdo, as fools go (and I've been reading it on and off for forty years), has mostly carried out that function of questioning and mocking from within, and imo to sometimes devastating effect. In terms of religion, that means mostly attacking the authoritarian and reactionary positions of the Catholic clergy and, in particular, the Pope. To applause from me.

On the other hand, I don't support their choosing to mock and question the accepted beliefs of Muslims, however authoritarian and reactionary I think those beliefs may be. Such mockery from the outside is not much likely to be effective in bringing about fresh thinking in the Muslim world -- quite apart from the kneejerk tribal defence effect it is sure to have, change in Islamic culture can imo only come about through the effect of challenges from within. This is something I believe will happen (unless the planet kicks us off it before then). But it's the business of Muslims and those brought up in that culture. The "West" doesn't have lessons to hand out to them.

Yet, whether it be Jyllands Posten or Charlie Hebdo that publishes the material, it can only be perceived in the Islamic world as an emanation of the "West". Neither paper is ignorant of this. So the intention seems to me to be other than mocking in order to question and bring about a positive dynamic in the culture. It looks more like defiance, hostile acts born from a civilisation-clash worldview. And that, I dislike as much as I dislike the trolly language of ormondotvos' diary.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 12:25:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
So the intention seems to me to be other than mocking in order to question and bring about a positive dynamic in the culture.

so very encouraging to see reasonable attitudes free of prejudice or arrogance. it's up to us to try and mend the scars of centuries, and try to rebring about the peaceful, (and amazingly productive) co-existence that has on occasion occurred between our cultures.

it's happening in music, with our strains melding beautifully with theirs. (someone will probably post something appropriate!).

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 04:11:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm surprised that you, afew, in particular, should characterise the current CH publication as being addressed by Occidentals to international Islam.

The comic of the life of the Prophet was written by French people, Muslim and non-Muslim, for French people, Muslim and non-Muslim.

We (including you and me, afew) live in a society in which a large number of people, French by birth, are of Muslim heritage, whether actively Muslim or not. They are friends, neighbours, colleagues, part of the fabric of society (probably a bit thin on the ground out your way). Islam is not a foreign religion in France. And it is the religion of an underprivileged minority with which CH has always manifested solidarity, to the extent that I'm quite sure that, in their own heads at least, CH do not see themselves satirising Islam from the outside, but as an aspect of a society in which they (and we) are fully part.

I was pretty ambivalent when Charlie Hebdo reprinted the Jyllands Posten drawings (however I have approved of CH's own drawings of Mahomet published on that occasion, and since). That was certainly an edgy editorial decision; and I think the editor, Charb, is right in saying that they put the cart before the horse (there is an element of implicit self-criticism in that).

But, again, I really don't much evidence of geopolitics in any of the editorial decisions of CH. To the extent that they are concerned with reactions outside France, it is with French-speaking North Africa. They have been fervent supporters of the Arab Spring, and highly critical of the rise of political Islam, in Tunisia in particular. Those who organised anti-CH demonstrations are of the Salafist tendency, i.e. the extreme right of the political spectrum of the Arab world (I hope nobody is shocked by that characterisation!)

CH in a fight with the extreme right : it's hardly a novelty.

The impact within France deserves more consideration. Later.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 04:57:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
eurogreen:
characterise the current CH publication as being addressed by Occidentals to international Islam.

I didn't. I said it would necessarily be perceived in the Islamic world as an emanation of the West.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 05:06:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OTOH is it not legitimate to take an 'acted position' in order to provoke a discussion, or question an audience?

It's one thing to speak truth to power, and quite another to bully.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 07:02:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree - but at what point does one become the other?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 02:40:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought of the two of us I was the socially inept one...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 02:50:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can't bully the powerful.

On the other hand, maybe you can. I am instantly reminded of Michael Moore's interview of Charlton Heston in Bowling for Columbine. Since my first viewing of that movie, it felt to me like harassment. Sort of like a happy-slappy video.

Then again, as Galbraith said,

In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 02:57:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Presumably a labour strike cannot therefore be seen as bullying?

My point is that there is no clear line between 'truth to power' and 'bullying' without understanding the audience that 'freedom of speech' addresses. I agree that in many, perhaps most, cases it is easy to see which is which (usually because the law is clear). But there are also cases in which the messaging can only be defined by the supposed intent.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 06:52:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My point is that there is no clear line between 'truth to power' and 'bullying' without understanding the audience that 'freedom of speech' addresses.

What? There's no clarity in who has power over whom in most situations?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:25:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember 9-11 Truther talk being disapproved of here, long time ago.
by stevesim on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 11:03:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm. Do you mean it shouldn't have been?

I'm not sure what you remember, though: I don't think I debated Truthers on ET after its first year or two, well before you arrived here (ET was founded in 2005); Truthism went into decline like Birthism is now.

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

by DoDo on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 06:06:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But it wasn't banned outright, it was discouraged and DoDo did a lot of debunking of it.

I remember one particular instance where I insisted that just because it had originated with 9-11 truth theories there was no reason to ban a discussion of airplane engines.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 06:18:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given the extremely heated, improductive debate the topic tended to produce, diaries advocating such CT were declared off-limits in the Editorial Guidelines. In other words, such diaries will be deleted.

There have been no occurrences regarding 9/11. OTOH, a couple of diaries advocating Holocaust Denial have iirc been deleted (blatant falsification of historical facts).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 02:47:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, re-visiting ET history, feels like pre-history :-)

If I searched and remember right, the last debate with Truthers I participated in was the comments of this diary from June 2007 (almost precisely two years after ET's founding). I don't remember anymore exactly when that line was added to the guidelines and with what consequence it was enforced regarding Truther diaries, but there was no talk of banning in that particular diary. At any rate, the dustup involving aircraft engines Migeru must be referring to is this (continued here and here), nine moths earlier, apparently prior to the creation of any guideline.

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

by DoDo on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 04:39:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, I read that exchange and it turned me off ET for a long time.
by stevesim on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 02:48:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ET got very turned off one of the participants to the extent that that person's accounts were later closed. One of the few people who've been banned in nearly eight years of this forum. So it really isn't a pleasant memory.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 04:51:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - ET Editorial Guidelines
The European Tribune is a left-of-centre community that is devoted primarily but not exclusively to discussions of current events, underlying causes and new ideas in economics, politics, science and society. Users are free to write diaries on any subject they want, as long as these are not

  • personally offensive,
  • defamatory,
  • do not blatantly falsify scientific or historical facts or
  • advocate theories involving pervasive high-level conspiracies
and to comment on contributions by other users. All views published on this site, without exception, are subject to debate, challenge and criticism by any user (as long as the proprieties of civility and ETiquette are observed). No "authority" - whether secular or religious, contemporary or historical - is considered above critical scrutiny. It is not the task of the editorial team to ensure any "balance" of views.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 11:45:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Since at least the Iraq War, we could invert the USSR joke...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 05:43:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and actually my question was which arson?
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:30:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clicky.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 02:34:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I suspected: an arson that happened before this publication. To my When they don't react and consequently the sales of that rubbish magazine don't rise, you answered:

JakeS:

I guess arson does not count as a reaction. Oh, well.

Proof for the perpetual barbarism of the Muslims in their reactions to "anticlerical" publications is an arson that was committed BEFORE the publication. So whatever Muslims do, it's wrong. There had been protests at earlier publications, and there had been violence at yet other times, during the period of endless publications of humiliations. Now there is no reaction at all and that still isn't good enough for you

by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 02:48:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Uh, yeah, if crackpots tossed a Molotov cocktail into your office last time you published something, that is reason enough to publish it again.

I didn't think that was a terribly controversial point.

You seem to want publishers to predict the future and not publish when they foresee that there will not be a reaction that retroactively justifies publication. I disagree with that requirement.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 02:54:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You complain that you can't offend Muslims without them getting violent, but when they don't get violent, you still complain about their violence.

Don't you notice that there is no violence in answer to CH's despicable campaign? There is silence. CH is free to publish what rubbish they want in order to vilify Islam. Nobody keeps them from it. What more do you want? You want a reason to complain that [insert terms for religious HUMAN BEINGS that you would never accept if used on you] kept you from speaking up. If it isn't there, you invent it.

by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 07:02:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I want names.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 07:49:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I addressed that post to Jake. That's a name.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 08:03:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're becoming increasingly incoherent.

The last time Charlie Hebdo published idolatry pictures, it was firebombed. That itself is justification enough to publish idolatry pictures again. There is nothing despicable about that - despicable would be allowing religious thugs to impose their parochial taboos on other people.

You seem to be assuming that the absence of religious thuggery against the paper retroactively invalidates that reasoning. It doesn't - the paper could not know at the time of publication that there would be no religious thuggery in response. Unless you want to demand that papers hire psychic mediums to predict which of their articles will generate a reaction that justifies them.

Finally, I have no obligation to note and praise every instance where no religious thugs performed religious thuggery in response to an offense against their parochial taboos.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 07:57:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You called a violent reaction barbarianism and the absence of violence barbarianism too. Now you introduce the term "religious thuggery". How am I to interpret that? "Religious thuggery" bad, anti-religious thuggery good? Please enlighten me.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 08:07:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I call any attempt to claim special privileges not accorded to vegetarians, cat lovers or chess players barbarism. Violent or not.

Replacing [adherent to the religion du jour] with "a collector of horse porn" is a good litmus test for whether a demand of deference is reasonable or not. "Being a collector of horse porn is not sufficient grounds for the political police to investigate you" is a very reasonable proposition. "Newspapers may not mock horse porn" is not. "Periodicals may not print images of horse porn" is certainly not.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 08:48:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is disgusting.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 03:12:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You find horse porn disgusting. Some people presumably hold it as a major point of their sexual identity.

That you find it disgusting is, in fact, the reason it makes a good test for whether you are arguing for a generally applicable human right, or merely a privilege to be extended and withdrawn arbitrarily. It is altogether too cheap to argue that the things you happen to find sacred and wholesome must be protected from jeers and sarcasm. If you're sincere about protection from ridicule being an actual human right, then it must also apply to (otherwise legal) activities that you find repulsive.

Otherwise, you're just serving up sectarian special pleading.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 12:32:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
You find horse porn disgusting.

That's not what I said, and I am not sure it would trigger off any reaction in me. I find your post disgusting.

JakeS:

It is altogether too cheap to argue that the things you happen to find sacred and wholesome must be protected from jeers and sarcasm.

The thing I hold sacred and absolutely supreme is human dignity. It implies respect for a person's identity.

by Katrin on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 03:20:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's one of those terms that everyone is expected to nod assent to.

I don't, unless you can be more specific. Your demand, your proof.

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 09:20:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think Katrin called for a ban on the publication of mocking. You, too, seem to be conflating the issue of what one should not be allowed to do and what is not a good thing to do.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 05:15:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not arguing that it's terribly productive, or even particularly smart, tasteful or funny. Nor am I arguing that there are no reasonable arguments against publishing.

What I am arguing is that religious privilege is not a reasonable argument. Because religious privilege is not a valid argument for anything, ever.

Now, if the debate we were having were about how to most effectively get religious people in France to stop demanding special treatment for their religious symbols, then I'd be completely on board with the argument that it's (a) not a high priority problem and (b) not well served by white, middle-class people doing the mocking.

But before we can get to that, we have to firmly establish that demanding such special treatment for religious symbols is not legitimate. And we're obviously not there yet.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:41:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What I am arguing is that religious privilege is not a reasonable argument.

Is Katrin (or anyone else in this diary) arguing for religious privilege? I missed a large part of the religion debates over the past year, so I can't be sure; but in this diary, her argument seems to be focused on the majority vs. minority angle, not the religious vs. secular/other religious angle.

if the debate we were having were about how to most effectively get religious people in France to stop demanding special treatment for their religious symbols

Why would we have such a debate? First, I don't see a pressing need in December 2012 to push back against such demands. Second, as far as I'm concerned, people can demand it all they like as long as (1) they don't have the tools of coercion, (2) no official institution grants the demands, and (3) I can voice disagreement publicly.

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

by DoDo on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 04:52:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
I'm not arguing that it's terribly productive, or even particularly smart, tasteful or funny.

But nevertheless you found it the right stuff in order to shut up a woman who defends the human rights of a persecuted minority.

JakeS:

What I am arguing is that religious privilege is not a reasonable argument. Because religious privilege is not a valid argument for anything, ever

Nobody is arguing "religious privilege". You are inventing that. I am arguing (and consistently arguing so there is no possibility to misunderstand me) that there is a minority that is consistently persecuted and harrassed. The minority is kept in poverty. Laws force the women among them to go naked according to their perception, or else they won't be allowed even to learn. The US get have right to snatch as many Muslims from the streets as they like and desappear them. The populace throws rocks at their houses or businesses. Persons are assaulted, murdered. Mosques and cemeteries get vandalised and torched.

Now Charlie Hebdo is burdening this minority with more humiliation: they deliberately make fun of their religion, for no other purpose: just further humiliation of a minority. And this despicable act has your and Eurogreen's applause.

by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 05:23:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But nevertheless you found it the right stuff in order to shut up a woman who defends the human rights of a persecuted minority.

There is no human right to not have your religion mocked.

But good try.

Nobody is arguing "religious privilege". You are inventing that. I am arguing (and consistently arguing so there is no possibility to misunderstand me) that there is a minority that is consistently persecuted and harrassed.

The corollary to that position is that dipping a crucifix in shit in public would be perfectly fine with you, since Christianity is not a persecuted minority religion. If that is in fact what you are arguing, then your position has more merit than I gave you credit for.

But that's not the impression I got.

I also think you're granting far too much weight to what the shrillest fundamentalist preachers are preaching (I don't accept that shrill fundamentalist preachers can speak for their laity, for the same reason I don't accept that the Pope can speak for Catholics). But I will grant that my perception of this discrepancy is based on the chronology of the Danish cartoon dustup, rather than reliable polling.

(The Danish cartoons were met with a Gaelic shrug by the overwhelming majority of Danish Muslims. They only became an issue when a handful of fundamentalist imams -who are even less representative of Danish Muslims than the Pope is of Catholics- went on a propaganda tour to a number of Arab countries with a doctored portfolio. That doctored portfolio included pictures they had found elsewhere, and a number of those pictures were actually offensive even to me. Cue major international incident.)

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 06:53:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm clipping that for my quotations collection.

(If only Voltaire's famous statement had made oblique references to Catherine the Great.)

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 09:39:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The last time Charlie Hebdo published idolatry pictures, it was firebombed. That itself is justification enough to publish idolatry pictures again.

That's a strange logic. Charlie Hebdo needlessly but deliberately offended millions of people, including a few thousand nutcases, among whom predictably one or two did a violent act. So a full year later, Charlie Hebdo again needlessly but deliberately offended millions of people. How does that make sense as a reaction? They could have mocked the teachings a Salafi cleric motivating the attackers.

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

by DoDo on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 05:23:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I get the logic. Their right to publish was challenged, including an arson. That is good reason to assert that right again and again until it is no longer challenged.

Not very subtle but quite understandable.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 06:11:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When you wade into the anti-Muslim debate you're swimming in waters full of raw sewage.

Life is hard.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 07:58:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's exactly the framing which I strongly dispute. I don't particularly like O's framing, but I am trying to point out, over and over, that Charlie Hebdo is not anti-Muslim. It had a couple of decades of credentials as an anti-clerical (i.e. in the French context, anti-Catholic) rag before the question of Islam in France even became fashionable. Since its foundation in the 1960s, it has always been anarcho-leftist, more recently with strong ecologist tendencies. It doesn't have a well-defined political position, it depends on the contributors.

If you and Katrin want to have an anti-Muslim debate, please don't do it in response to my posts. I will not be shouted down by presumed (and entirely imaginary) association with racists, fascists or whatever.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 09:24:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just like other users will not be shouted down by you, 'K?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:52:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
have made posts which are borderline Godwin : Katrin attempted to conflate Charlie Hebdo with anti-Muslim hate sites; Colman implied that this is an anti-Muslim debate. Typically these are tactics designed to close down a debate. I will not be shamed into silence because I have nothing to be ashamed of. I will respond to both if they make substantive points.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 03:59:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A large section of this debate, globally*, is anti-muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-darkie. Look at the people involved in it for crap's sake. How many of them would you want to be allied with?  How many of them are truly anti-clerical when the clerics are wearing dog collars? Unless you're very careful indeed you simply end up bolstering forces we really don't want to support. It doesn't seem that Charlie Hebdo was careful enough if it's being used in the way this diary used it. That's what I meant.

Also, Godwin, Godwin, GODWIN!

[* I'm sure that all the French voices involved are organically certified anti-clericists without the slightest whiff of racism or anti-immigrant dog whistling. France is like that, apparently.]

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 05:29:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is "there are reactionary forces who don't like darkies and don't like Muslims. Therefore, anything which can be construed as critical of Islam should be self-censored by progressives". I can understand that argument, but I can't respect it.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 07:01:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You do not understand the argument if you are conflating the granting of the right for expression and approval. Charlie Hebdo has every right to publish offending bullshit. But what is their point? Why does it feel the need to be critical of Islam, why now, and why in this form? Don't tell me that a picture book designed to be taken as blasphemous is just "anything which can be construed as critical of Islam".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 04:35:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You find nothing wrong in offending Muslims in order to make a point against some Muslims, but you cry Godwin when I put your revered Charlie Hebdo into the same box as Islamophobian hate sites. Funny that.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 06:56:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No one has attempted to close down a debate, nor to "shame you into silence". Give it a rest.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 12:36:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One of the many reasons I like blogs is that no one can be shouted down. Bored to death, maybe, by bad argument, but not shouted down.

My intent was to speak of larger sociological issues, chief among them the overdone propensity of "liberals" to be so open-minded that their brains fall out.

At some point, humanity needs to think about its own survival. Instincts run amok in changed ecological/evolutionary niches.

Religion is one of those dangerous instincts. Xenophobia another.

Muslims are not a minority religion, nor do they lack instruments of force. They certainly tend toward extirpation of other religious adherents, more so when challenged. Not a good trend.

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 09:32:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
actually, any hotly contentious debate, not just religion, football, politics.

one could always stick to non-contentious issues i suppose.

anyone see the dorito's commercial where the christian priest gives cheetos instead of the holy host?

don't bother...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 11:22:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have a friend in cheeses.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 09:43:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I will re-post what I replied to Helen on the other thread, with respect to Muslims taking umbrage at depictions of the prophet. I think it may help to frame the debate. (For the rest, and the coming epic slanging match with dear Katrin in particular, we must wait, because I really must do some work today).

It depends which Islam you are talking about. One of the primary difficulties of being a Muslim today is that one is subject to intellectual terrorism by extremists who attempt to dictate what it is to be a Muslim. In my experience, the Salafists who are the worst offenders, are about as representative as Muslims in general as Fred Phelps of Westboro is representative of American Christians.

Certain segments or tendencies of Islam have a big issue with portrayals of Mohamed. This has always been the case, and there has always been great diversity on this issue among Muslims.  Bad taste to quote Wikipedia, but the article is pretty well-referenced :

Depictions of Muhammad - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The permissibility of depictions of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, has long been a concern in the religion's history. Oral and written descriptions are readily accepted by all traditions of Islam, but there is disagreement about visual depictions.[1][2] The Quran does not explicitly forbid images of Muhammad, but there are a few hadith (supplemental teachings) which have explicitly prohibited Muslims from creating visual depictions of figures.

Most Sunni Muslims believe that visual depictions of all the prophets of Islam should be prohibited[3] and are particularly averse to visual representations of Muhammad.[4] The key concern is that the use of images can encourage idolatry.[5] In Shia Islam, however, images of Muhammad are quite common nowadays, even though Shia scholars historically were against such depictions.[4][6] Still, many Muslims who take a stricter view of the supplemental traditions will sometimes challenge any depiction of Muhammad, including those created and published by non-Muslims.[7]

The Arabian tradition tended to forbid all portrayal of living things. This seems to have broken down a bit in the TV age. The Turkish pictorial tradition is of course the counter-example.

But the more important thing to bear in mind is that any historical tradition or sacred law forbidding portrayal of Mohammed or anyone else could only apply, by definition, within territories governed by a Muslim political power. Postulating an obligation to accede to demands of non-depiction based on a notion of religious freedom is completely fallacious and baseless. The demand is explicitly political, conceived as such by those making it and claiming to speak for all Muslims, and it is our duty to resist it.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 05:25:07 AM EST
Seems to me that wiki is saying that depictions of Mohammed are forbidden within the Sunni tradition. Now, yes, you can argue that depictions are permitted within certain strains of Shi'ite tradition, but that would be a minority within a minority.

In short, well over 95% of muslims (all sunni plus, say, half of shi'ia) think such depictions are blasphemy. And you have to remember that most Sunnis think the Shi'ia are heretics and idolaters anyway, so what they think about those who want to show pictures of Mohammed is gonna be off the scale.

Also, I should point out that it doesn't matter what wiki says, if these people generally believe it is blasphemy to create an image of their Prophet, then it is blasphemous. And we are not in a position to argue, it's their religion so it's their rules.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 10:22:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
as the fundies would have us believe. All religious and cultural traditions evolve; popular practices diverge from official doctrine (portrayal of the prophet is widespread in Iran for example).  For leftie commentators to pontificate from a position of ignorance (95% of muslims think it's blasphemous) is just a wee bit presumptuous and patronising.

Whether any particular act or opinion is blasphemous or not, with respect to any particular religion or belief, is up to the believers to decide, obviously. But by definition, that definition can only concern believers. I can not blaspheme against Islam, because I am not a Muslim.

I respect religious beliefs and religious freedoms. They concern the private domain. I will refrain from farting in church, if the church deems that blasphemous; likewise, I promise not to draw pictures of Mahomet in a mosque.

It's not for European governments to decide what is permitted or forbidden within any given religion, obviously. And for European governments to start enforcing religiously-based bans, so soon after having escaped Christian censorship, would not be a good look.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 10:59:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sunnis represent 90% of the ummah. All of them believe that images of Mohammed are blasphemous. That sentiment may not drive many of them to murderous frenzy, but they all agree it's wrong.

The shi'ia schism is as divided as x-tianity with loads of different sub-groups who all believe in the same thing slightly differently. Some do agree with pictures of Mohammed. Most don't. So, 95% is an under-estimate, not a wild number plucked from the air.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:13:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the population of Ireland is, what, 90% Catholic? France, 80% Catholic? And all of them believe that contraception is a sin. Smirk.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:31:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The topic of this publication is not the attitude of a strong current in Islam towards contraception or any other societal issue. The topic here is an unfriendly depiction of Islam's most important personality, as a continuation of denigrations and persecutions in western countries.  
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:46:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Weak tea.

You don't get to demand condemnation of a text on the sole grounds that it is unfriendly to a religion practiced by a persecuted minority. Your complaint needs to have some actual, you know, substance.

If the depiction is racist, then the fact that it is directed at an oppressed minority is an aggravating circumstance. But you have to demonstrate that it actually is racist before you can begin invoking aggravating circumstances.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:02:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I call the obsession with Islam racist. You seem to agree that the theory of "political Islam" somehow being so powerful to take over Europe is bullshit. This publication is unthinkable except in that context though.
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:13:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In which fictional alternative universe is anticlericalism legitimate only when there is a clear and present danger of a theocratic coup? When theocrats have become a clear and present danger, it's quite a bit too late to start with the anticlericalism.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:18:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Er, we are talking about an unknown percentage of a minority that is about 1% of the European population. That's not even a vague and hypothetical danger.

This publication has nothing to do with preventing theocracy and all that. It is just another harassment.

by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:36:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anticlericalism is not about preventing theocracy, it's about pushing religious influence out of the secular state and the secular public space. Theocracy is only the most pernicious form of religious influence in the public space, not the only one.

If you don't agree with pushing religious influence out of the public sphere, then that's alright. What's not alright is pretending that pushing religion out of the public sphere is a race issue just because the religion du jour is a minority religion.

(As an aside, 1 % is lowballing the figure, at least for EU-15.)

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 02:21:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
When theocrats have become a clear and present danger, it's quite a bit too late to start with the anticlericalism.

2 hours 3 minutes later:
JakeS:
Anticlericalism is not about preventing theocracy,

How very odd.

JakeS:

What's not alright is pretending that pushing religion out of the public sphere is a race issue just because the religion du jour is a minority religion.

Now you are arguing that there is something like "political Islam". That there were attempts of Muslims to do something in the political sphere, which must be prevented, and that the Islamophobian rag had reacted to this project/conspiracy/attempt. You will have to point out what this is, if you want to convince me.

by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 02:34:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I detest quote mining, Katrin. Your second quote goes, in full:
Anticlericalism is not about preventing theocracy, it's about pushing religious influence out of the secular state and the secular public space. Theocracy is only the most pernicious form of religious influence in the public space, not the only one.

-------
Now you are arguing that there is something like "political Islam".

Of course there is. It's not a serious problem in Europe (except as useful idiots for Christian crackpots who want to establish a precedent of treating religious apologetics as permissible political arguments).

But that doesn't mean it's not there and it doesn't mean it's not a problem at all. There is a number of perfectly habitable halfway houses between "exist only in the fevered imagination of Pentecostal fundamentalists" and "is an existential threat to European Civilization.TM"

One of those halfway houses is "I don't ordinarily pay attention to it, but if someone starts making apologetics then I'll debunk those apologetics."

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 02:49:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL. So you believe in "political Islam" and although it is not a serious problem in Europe, it is a problem for you. Hahaha. But you don't believe in Muslims under your bed, I hope.

And what do you say is the aim of this, er, political movement or whatever you call it? And with what power would it try to achieve its aim?

by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 03:07:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course I have a problem with political religion, and of course there are Islamic preachers preaching politics from the pulpit.

You're the one who is advancing the notion that partisan religious politicking must represent a cohesive, almost conspiratorical, political movement. It's not, nor does it have to in order to be a problem (for the same reason that Ponzi scammers and snake oil salesmen do not need to be organized in a cohesive lobby to be a problem).

Politicizing the pulpit is an authoritarian persuasion strategy that uses appeals to in-group identity to advance whatever garbage the preacher cannot advance by honest means. Nothing more, nothing less. And like all such authoritarian in-group identity based persuasion strategies, it is corrosive of democracy and public participation in the governing of society.

Most of the garbage being peddled also happens to be reactionary garbage. But that's a predictable consequence of the authoritarian in-group persuasion strategy, not an indication of a unified conspiracy.

Tl;dr: Identity politics is an authoritarian cul-de-sac. Islamic identity politics is no worse, but it certainly isn't any better either.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 05:14:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
Of course I have a problem with political religion,

I gathered that you have, but I don't know why ("of course" is no explanation).

JakeS:

You're the one who is advancing the notion that partisan religious politicking must represent a cohesive, almost conspiratorical, political movement.

No, but if you argue that there is a coherent thing as "political Islam", then you must prove that there is a coherent movement. Especially (but not only) because you are not in a political vacuum, but surrounded by voices that talk of "political Islam", "Eurabia" and the like. You want to say something else than they do? Then make that clear.

Even then you are wrong: there are attempts to use religion (in this case Islamic religion) arguing different political points. It is lazy to claim all these points were the same and it is lazy not to argue the political points but the religious angle advancing them.

JakeS:

Politicizing the pulpit is an authoritarian persuasion strategy that uses appeals to in-group identity to advance whatever garbage the preacher cannot advance by honest means.

Such as the following I assume. "People often speak of God being even-handed. God is not even-handed. God is biased in favour of the weak, of the despised."

There are of course many ways to make above point, not only the theological one, but I don't think any of these ways is dishonest. Are you sure that you object to politicising the pulpit in general, or is it certain political aims you object to?

JakeS:

Most of the garbage being peddled also happens to be reactionary garbage.

Possibly. No idea. Have you no arguments to argue against reactionary garbage then, only against the channel used to transport it??

So far I have treated the points where you are only wrong, but nothing worse.

Additionally there are two other issues. All these anti-Muslim campaigns target a community that is discriminated, poorer, less educated, without equal chances on job market, market for flats and so on. It is spied upon, its members are targeted by "security" services as collectively suspect. At the same time this group is victim of hate crimes, murders, arson of mosques and so on. And you find it perfectly okay to take their religion on top of that and ridicule it, humiliating the people who believe in it. I resent this inhumanity in its own right AND because it is another de-solidarisation. There is nothing leftist in supporting an alienation of these people.

by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 06:42:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even then you are wrong: there are attempts to use religion (in this case Islamic religion) arguing different political points. It is lazy to claim all these points were the same and it is lazy not to argue the political points but the religious angle advancing them.

I spend most of my time here and elsewhere arguing the political points.

But when you insist that "because my faith says so" is a valid argument, I'll point out that you are peddling authoritarian identity politics. Attempting to hitch progressive policies to authoritarian identity politics has a distinctly mixed track record.

There are of course many ways to make above point, not only the theological one, but I don't think any of these ways is dishonest. Are you sure that you object to politicising the pulpit in general, or is it certain political aims you object to?

I object to politicizing the pulpit in general, for the same reason I object to tame journalists and fake research: They all depend for their effect on mechanisms which are anathema to informed democratic debate.

Of course, like tame journalists and fake research, I'm not going to go out of my way to criticize people who use them to advance policies I agree with. That should not be construed as approval in principle, merely a cynical cost-benefit analysis.

[snip a long paean to the virtues of identity politics]

Identity politics is bullshit. It never has worked and it never will work.

Where racism is a problem, fight for emancipation. When you have an unemployed underclass on the labor market, fight for full employment. When you have an overbearing political police, fight for democratic accountability. When you have a hate crime problem, fight against discrimination.

But don't pretend that promoting the customs, class markers and idiosyncrasies of the victims of discrimination into a "separate but equal" minority culture does jack shit for any of that. Separate but equal never is.

And in particular, don't pretend that promoting unmerited respect for religious bullshit does jack shit to promote social and political emancipation. If you want people to accord respect to beliefs that have done nothing to deserve respect, then that's your prerogative. But don't pretend that you're fighting some sort of class war - at least not as anything but a useful idiot for the bad guys.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 08:17:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
Where racism is a problem, fight for emancipation. When you have an unemployed underclass on the labor market, fight for full employment. When you have an overbearing political police, fight for democratic accountability. When you have a hate crime problem, fight against discrimination.

I am doing that, and it's why I object to Charlie Hebdo's continuation of the cartoon campaign vilifying Islam. And don't pretend you can treat their cartoons without the context of previous cartoon campaigns and in fact the whole campaign against Muslims.

JakeS:

But don't pretend that promoting the customs, class markers and idiosyncrasies of the victims of discrimination into a "separate but equal" minority culture does jack shit for any of that. Separate but equal never is

That's a disingenuous way to put it. You are prescribing a majority culture when you rant against minority culture. Prescriptive culture ALWAYS is narrow and authoritarian, but you try to tell us that the defence of cultural diversity was authoritarian.

By the way, it's no longer class markers. As long as it was, there was no problem.

JakeS:

If you want people to accord respect to beliefs that have done nothing to deserve respect, then that's your prerogative.

No, no, that's not my intention. That's why I am so freely attacking all those anti-religious rants that use the disguise of anticlericalism, cultural wars, and so.

JakeS:

I spend most of my time here and elsewhere arguing the political points.

Did you get my point at all, I wonder? You are attacking persons who could be your allies. You prefer the attack on religion and the religious to a broad movement. That's how leftists have shot themselves in the foot over and over again.

by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 06:54:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are attacking persons who could be your allies. You prefer the attack on religion and the religious to a broad movement.

Eh, no.

I'm responding to people who are demanding special deference and recognition for their religion, above and beyond what is given to vegetarians, cat lovers, Dungeons&Dragons players, or any other practitioners of private eccentricities.

If your vision of a progressive coalition is one that throws everyone who doesn't pay at least lip service to some officially sanctioned religious movement gets thrown under the bus, then yeah, I'm not going to help you build your dream coalition.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 08:37:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
False. My vision of a progressive coalition respects every human being and their human dignity and not only the atheist ones. Apparently I won't find it here.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 03:12:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you decide to stick around you'll find most of us do have respect for human beings and their human dignity.  You'll also find it can get ... h'mmmm ... "forthright" very quickly, sometimes.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:16:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Forthright" isn't what I mind, but that people enjoy the harassment of a minority... And these poor people are now under observation: if they react violently to these mindless provocations it just shows that more harsh measures must be taken against them. If they protest, they are self-segregating and don't integrate and more harsh measures must be taken. If they don't do anything, it shows that the harsh measures of the past are functioning, and more of them just make sure... How can anyone support this? I don't get it. I am horrified.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 06:52:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I completely agree with you on the harassment of a minority angle being the main issue, but I think it didn't help your cause and set the tone of the debate that you made some less nuanced categorisations. In particular, when pushing the line that Charlie Hebdo is a racist magazine: anyone familiar with France will know that CH is not some French equivalent of Sarrazin and does in fact repeatedly risk retaliation by regularly attacking the rich and powerful, and these readers will react with that in mind. I think it would have been a different debate if, instead of assuming a non-existent editorial policy, you'd kept focus on how this particular campaign is part of and cannot be viewed isolated from a broader obsession with Islam that can be considered at least implicitly racist (a point you made here and later Migeru here).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 05:21:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not the first time Charlie Hebdo does that. No accident then: they are consistently making fun of humans of a persecuted minority. It reeks of an editorial policy, doesn't it?
by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 05:45:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm responding to people who are demanding special deference and recognition for their religion

Who, specifically? Surely not anyone here in this debate.

above and beyond what is given to vegetarians, cat lovers, Dungeons&Dragons players, or any other practitioners of private eccentricities.

All of those combined don't receive the amount of deliberate provocation in public which Muslims do in France. Surely you won't blame Muslims for that. Or, let's look at another country: where is the witch-hunt against animal rights activists in the Netherlands since the Fortuyn murder that matches the one against Muslims since the Theo van Gogh murder?

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

by DoDo on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 05:01:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Katrin:
All these anti-Muslim campaigns target a community that is discriminated, poorer, less educated, without equal chances on job market, market for flats and so on. It is spied upon, its members are targeted by "security" services as collectively suspect. At the same time this group is victim of hate crimes, murders, arson of mosques and so on. And you find it perfectly okay to take their religion on top of that and ridicule it, humiliating the people who believe in it. I resent this inhumanity in its own right AND because it is another de-solidarisation.

this...

making common cause with thevalues we do agree with in aby religion fosters mutual trust.

there is much that is admirable in religions, it just has to separated from its sinister siblings, like bigotry, hate, and pre- and post-hoc justifications for immorality.

secular states are to be heartily encouraged because they help wean humanity off superstition and absolutist certainties by leveling the playing field for democratic discussion about social justice, you know that stuff religions talk about, when they're not dressing up in sancti-drag and giving pomp a new bad name.

mostly just talk... but it beats recycling the crusades, for fun and profit, not.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 08:25:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I do.

I had just now on my ballot a party calling themselves party of scripture loyal christians.

Political christianity in action.

fundamental christians - check

political action - running in state election should count - check

So there is political christianity.

And so there is political islam. And in Japan there is a influential party formed around a buddhist sect.

Is is not helpful to deny this.

There is still the question what to do. "driving them out of the public space" - should we ban the party I mentioned.  

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 06:29:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That party has about 3800 members (out of a population of 80 million). In the last Bundestag elections they got 40 K votes, which amounts to a staggering 0.1%.
by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 06:45:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't say.

But it is political christianity. Do you want to deny that?

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 06:48:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
But that doesn't mean it's not there and it doesn't mean it's not a problem at all.

Pffft

by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 06:52:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this now supposed to be some kind of argument?
by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:04:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They would probably get 10 times as many votes after a campaign to humiliate all Christians by cartoons and other methods.
by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 06:49:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No they wouldn't. There is satirical treatment of christianity in Germany all the time. You just have to read the last few editions of Titanic.
by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:03:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And since Christianity is the majority religion in Germany, and there is no persecution, the satire can function as a criticism of certain currents in Christianity. Charlie Hebdo's continuation of anti-Muslim cartoon campaigns during a period of persecution of Muslims is an attempt to beat that minority into submission.
by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:29:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you define : "No longer firebomb us" as submission, you have moved the goalposts.

And even a minority religion can be the target of satire or do you want to make all jewish comedians unemployed?

And no, I reserve the right to critisize the political ideology of islamism. Even if islam the religion is a minority somewhere. That still makes e. g. Mursi a islamist and your misguided denialism doesn't changes that.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:39:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IM:
If you define : "No longer firebomb us" as submission, you have moved the goalposts

"Us"? There is no "us", I am not a racist. I don't want to be included in that "us". There is absolutely nothing I have in common with the issuers of that stuff.

And no, that's not the definition anyone here uses.

eurogreen:

Nothing from French Islamists so far, nor from any "official" French Muslim source

There. "Nothing". That's total submission.

IM:

And even a minority religion can be the target of satire or do you want to make all jewish comedians unemployed?

These cartoons aren't made by Muslim comedians. They are made by non-Muslims who are issuing a message to Muslims. The equivalent of antisemitic jokes.

IM:

And no, I reserve the right to critisize the political ideology of islamism.

Islamism would be a completely different topic. These aren't Mursi cartoons, they are Mohammed cartoons. The message is "Look what a crazy asshole they revere" and "they" clearly is Muslims, not Islamists. Misguided denialism yourself.

by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:08:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you want to imply that I am a racist? Nuts.

But nice that you defend the right of islamists to firebomb others. But that is okay: After all you just quite forcefully othered publishers of satirical magazines and other undesirables.

I think the publishers and writers of this magazine, even if you have for some idiotic and clueless reason decided to declare them heretics, have a right to be not firebombed. That is quite reasonable demand.

If you can't even see that, you have a problem.

And then you are indeed no longer any part of "us", that is of a left dedicated to   Enlightenment values.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:24:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IM:
But nice that you defend the right of islamists to firebomb others.

Do I? Can you point to the post where I did? Are you so desperately out of arguments that you take to misrepresentations?

IM:

But that is okay: After all you just quite forcefully othered publishers of satirical magazines and other undesirables.

The publishers of satirical magazines must be held accountable for the dissemination of hate speech like anyone else.

IM:

you have for some idiotic and clueless reason decided to declare them heretics

Again: I challenge you to point to the post where I did. You can't. You have invented this claim.

by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:48:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have just called them racists. Earlier you have called them xenophobes. Accusations, I may add, that you have invented out of thin air.

"The publishers of satirical magazines must be held accountable for the dissemination of hate speech like anyone else."

A picture of Mohammed isn't hate speech. And vigilante justice like firebombing isn't the right way to hold someone accountable.

If you really think for some unscrutable reason that they are engaging in hate speech, sue them. That is the proper way to deal with it. Perhaps you could transmit this way of procedure to your new allies on the islamic right?

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:55:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IM:
You have just called them racists. Earlier you have called them xenophobes.

Accusations that I have argued. And where did I call them heretics? Where?  If I was arguing heresy or the like, the debate would be completely different. So why the fuck are you claiming that?

IM:

A picture of Mohammed isn't hate speech

That depends on the message the picture transports. If pictures can't be hate speech, a cartoon of a banker with hooked nose and vile smirk wouldn't be either. Are you arguing that?

IM:

And vigilante justice like firebombing isn't the right way to hold someone accountable.

My own prehistoric activities in front of the Axel-Springer-House don't belong to the wisest things I ever did, but they were a way to hold that media concern accountable. Anyway, all firebombing in reaction to the publication we are discussing here has been invented by you and Jake. When will you get that there was no firebombing?

IM:

If you really think for some unscrutable reason that they are engaging in hate speech, sue them. That is the proper way to deal with it.

With what right are you telling me to shut up? Where is your defence of free speech? If I decide it is the proper way to argue against this hate speech, how come you have the last word on it?

IM:

Perhaps you could transmit this way of procedure to your new allies on the islamic right?

And now you have not only run out of arguments, you have come completely unglued.

by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 09:25:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Accusations that I have argued. And where did I call them heretics? Where?  If I was arguing heresy or the like, the debate would be completely different. So why the fuck are you claiming that?"

that is called a metaphor. Racists and xenophobes are surely heretics to the left.

"That depends on the message the picture transports. If pictures can't be hate speech, a cartoon of a banker with hooked nose and vile smirk wouldn't be either. Are you arguing that?"

No. Do you argue that every depiction of a banker is hate speech?

Furthermore:

>Controversy arose over the publication's February 9, 2006 edition. Under the title "Mahomet débordé par les intégristes" ("Muhammad overwhelmed by fundamentalists"), the front page showed a cartoon of a weeping Prophet Muhammad saying "C'est dur d'être aimé par des cons" ("it's hard being loved by jerks").<

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Hebdo#1992.E2.80.932010

That is not hate speech but rather defending Mohammed against his islamist fans.

"My own prehistoric activities in front of the Axel-Springer-House don't belong to the wisest things I ever did, but they were a way to hold that media concern accountable. Anyway, all firebombing in reaction to the publication we are discussing here has been invented by you and Jake. When will you get that there was no firebombing?"

In the early hours of November 2, 2011, the newspaper's office in the 20th arrondissement[8] was fire-bombed and its website hacked.

And regrading Springer - do you really compare the most powerful german media comglomerate and a small satiric paper?  bY the way, how did your protest work out?

"With what right are you telling me to shut up? Where is your defence of free speech? If I decide it is the proper way to argue against this hate speech, how come you have the last word on it?"

I have not told you to shut up. I just think you are wrong. That is called having an argument.

"And now you have not only run out of arguments, you have come completely unglued."

You have just argued that a fire-bomb is sometimes a valid way of protest, so I am not so sure who is unglued here.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 09:40:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To clarify:

"These cartoons aren't made by Muslim comedians."

So this paper has just to find a muslim cartoonist? A little affirmative action and everything is fine?

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:27:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you forgetting so quickly what you have just written? I was rejecting your "And even a minority religion can be the target of satire or do you want to make all jewish comedians unemployed?"

You compare the anti-Muslim campaign to the work of Jewish comedians instead of comparing them to antisemitic jokes, which would be the appropriate parallel.

by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:51:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"what anti-muslim campaign? "

I just see a satiric magazine standing up for freedom of speech. Attacked by islamists, who you defend for some reason.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:58:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And yes it is totally legitimate to satirise minority religion.

South park e. g. made fun of mormons and scientologists. That was funny legitimate and not oppressive or persecution. And South Park is probably a lot more influential then Charlie Hebdo.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 09:00:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Islamism would be a completely different topic."

Not at all. Charlie Hebdo are defending themselves against attacks from islamists - some violent.

And that being also a defense of free speech should be supported.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:37:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IM:
Not at all. Charlie Hebdo are defending themselves against attacks from islamists - some violent.

They aren't defending themselves at all. They aren't attacked. They are disseminating standard mainstream anti-Muslim racism, and Muslims have no voice.

IM:

And that being also a defense of free speech should be supported

There is no freedom for hate speech. And even though this is not hate speech in the legal sense, it functions as hate speech, which is why I criticise Charlie Hebdo's despicable publication. I note that you categorise my speech as an attack on free speech: apparently only anti-Muslim speech is free.

by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 09:00:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course they were attacked. In words of course too but there was also the fire-bomb. If that isn't a attack, what do you need?

"Muslims have no voice" - I am sure that the muslim media in France has a lot higher circulation numbers then the circulation of Charlie Hebdo. Not the count all the muslim ministers, parliamentarians, mayors civil servants journalist etc. in France. And the official representation of muslim organizations.

"There is no freedom for hate speech."

Define hate speech. Freedom of speech has to include undesirable speech or it isn't much of a freedom.

"And even though this is not hate speech in the legal sense, "

well, in this case where is the problem?

"it functions as hate speech,"

That assertion you should perhaps prove at some time

"which is why I criticise Charlie Hebdo's despicable publication."

You see an despicable publication, I see a rather mild satire and an attempt to assert their right of free speech.

That is at worst ill-advised. Not despicable.

"I note that you categorise my speech as an attack on free speech: apparently only anti-Muslim speech is free."

What anti-muslim speech? And categorizing an satirical publication as hate speech is an attack on free speech. I on the other hand haven't tried to suppress your speech or demanded suppression or whatever.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 09:21:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™]

We've had enough of this repetitive bickering in this thread.

You don't seem to have noticed this comment below.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 09:41:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And even a minority religion can be the target of satire or do you want to make all jewish comedians unemployed?

Jewish comedians satirise Judaism from the inside.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 11:48:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But all comedians satirize from the inside...That's what they do. That's their audience. To the extent that other cultures impinge on the inside, they satirize that too.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 01:13:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
<citation needed>
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 02:23:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As you very well know, there are no citations in the perceptual world ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:15:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bullshit.

When you say

But all comedians satirize from the inside...That's what they do. That's their audience. To the extent that other cultures impinge on the inside, they satirize that too.

you're making statements of fact. Unless we're suppose to interpret everything you say as "I just pulled this out of my ass right now".

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:23:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can do what you like with it. It's art - remember?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:31:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm going to ignore it as worthless.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 04:51:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's a question: can you see why the song If you could see her through my eyes from Cabaret would have been morally wrong satire if it had historically been sung in a German cabaret in the early 1930s? Or do you think that kind of satire is okay?

(to be sure, I think it is okay for the musical to actually contain the song as a way to illustrate the state of opinion in pre-Nazi Germany, though apparently when the stage musical came out it provoked protests from Jewish groups in the US)

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:15:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You answered it yourself.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:19:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't avoid the question.

Interpret the song (by itself, within the musical, and in the fictional universe of the musical) for me.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:22:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't be bothered.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:32:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I keep forgetting you don't write in English but in Triloqvistian and you never mean what you say.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:35:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the wonderful world of ET On Ice, where genius meets obstinacy, about the only thing I have to offer is my ability to skate on the thin ice of semantics.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:43:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Redefining meaning when it suits you is not skating on the thin ise of semantics, it's shattering the ice with a sledgehammer.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 04:49:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not as smart as you, but I am funnier.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:46:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You think you're funny, but being funnier than me is not saying much.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 04:50:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Salam Rushdie did write about Islam from the inside.

That didn't help him very much.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 02:39:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the nexus of Salman Rushdie to our debate is what exactly?
by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 02:45:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He wasn't satirising or criticising.

But in any case, what I-m trying to argue is that precisely because it's done from the inside it would be worthy of defence even if its intent were to provoke, which as far as I know it wasn't.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:19:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rushdie was deliberately provocative because he was describing his own cultural experience - in a sense his own commentary - on the Qur'an. He knew it was a sensitive subject since most of the world's religions protect their 'Words' very carefully, even if the bulk of their rituals are derived from regulated commentary on the 'Words', not the words themselves.

Like the Second Amendment.

But of course provocation was not his primary motive, if a motive at all. His motive was to explain how he came to be, what he had experienced. His sin was to be W*st*rn.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:30:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
His sin was to be W*st*rn.

Yeah, because he was Indian-born of Kashmiri descent.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:32:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Inside!
by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:39:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He was criticising a culture he was part of. That has nothing to do with CH teaching the values of the Republic to the natives.
by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:50:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
careful here. Now you are arguing that muslims are not a part of France.

Anyway, to Islamists it doesn't matters a whit if the critique is from the inside or outside. They are enraged anyway.

Ant you are more and more sliding into a "outside agitator" argument.

by IM on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 03:44:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I am arguing that Charlie Hebdo is not a part of Islam. And I say Islam, not Islamism. These cartoons  offend Muslims, not just Islamists. The latter profit by the outrage, though.
by Katrin on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 06:33:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You should probably prove that sometime.

With polls.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 07:14:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"He wasn't satirising or criticising."

If that is true that rather strengthens my argument.

I don't think critique, even provocative critique - and some people are provoked by everything don't need to be from the inside - whatever inside is - to be legitimate.

You probably know the term "outside agitator". Has a lot to do with the definition who inside or outside.  

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:36:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What specific clerical danger do you think Charlie Hebdo is reacting to? I don't see any. And Charlie Hebdo having been firebombed earlier doesn't change the fact that their earlier cartoons publication was an equally pointless act.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 04:52:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In short : salafism. A clear and present danger in parts of my town, and most major French cities. Young dudes with wooly beards and long white robes, recently indoctrinated with tribal customs from the Arabian peninsula which bear little relation to their own cultural heritage, and who generally have very little understanding of the actual teachings of Mahomet.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 05:00:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And do you really find it likely that salafists will lose influence if Muslims are angered by disrespectful (note the diplomatic wording) cartoons?
by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 05:08:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In a word : yes. It's already happening.

I think the arson incident was a watershed : French Muslims asked themselves whether they had more in common with the arsonists or with CH. To caricature a bit, the split is between those who can take a joke and those who prefer civil war.

I probably give too much importance to this incident, bearing in mind the political transformations in North Africa going on at the same time. Most French Muslims still have family ties with North Africa. Everyone was against the old regimes (this was undoubtedly a watershed moment for many French non-Muslims, who found themselves in tune with the hopes and aspirations of those of Muslim heritage), and now the great majority find themselves in favour of liberal democracy and its associated freedoms as opposed to theocracy. This helps to put things in perspective.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 03:37:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How odd that you focus so much on that magazine and the arson. What about the day when the "burqa" ban came into force and there was the hunt on women with headscarves? I'll never forget the horror of my twitter timeline of that day. But then, it was only women who got attacked, not a building.
by Katrin on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 06:51:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
has poured ridicule on the wearing of burqas, (and a feminist columnist described the burqa as "social death for women")

But they didn't advocat a ban on burqas, as far as I can remember. That was legislated by Sarkozy's government.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 07:40:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How odd that you focus so much on that magazine

Well, after all, "that magazine" is the subject of this thread. How odd that you should keep trying to assimilate it with right-wing governmental provocations against Muslims.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 08:04:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You seem to have missed the point of my response to Helen, which is satirical in nature.

  • Most Islamic scholars consider the depiction of the Prophet to be blasphemy. Therefore 95% of those who identify as Muslims think it is blasphemy.
  • The Pope declares that contraception is a sin. Therefore 100% of people who identify as Catholic think contraception is a sin.

So I guess we should ban advertising of contraception eh?  

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:09:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think that picturing the prophet as such is the core of the problem here. Just another unfriendly publication making fun of Islam seems to be a more accurate description of the problem. And if this was an isolated incident, it would probably not be a problem at all. It isn't, though. It is one incident in a long row of persecutions and humiliations.
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:19:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, it is not established that the depiction of the prophet is unfriendly. I intend to report on that tomorrow, if I can find a copy.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:10:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm glad you claim to respect religion and religious freedom, but you sound as if you do it on your own terms, without regard to their point of view.

Their view is; if you respect our religion, don't show pictures of Mohammed.

So : You can show pictures of Mohammed (or at least agree to them being shown)
OR
you can respect their religion.

Me ? I don't respect religion. At all. But I don't go around starting fights for no reason at all either. And this is a fight without cause

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:18:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember when Rushdie's Satanic Verses came out and I was talking to some Muslims in an airport somewhere.  They asked me how I would feel if someone insulted Jesus Christ in a book.  I told them I wouldn't care.  They couldn't believe that I would feel that way.

There's some cultural way of looking at things involved here.  

by stevesim on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:31:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you have people who take their religion seriously enough to start fires at newspapers, then I think that's a rather good reason to pick a fight.

Whether it's a smart fight to pick if your objective is to push back against religious nuts and/or drive religion back into the purely private sphere... that's less obvious. On one hand, it worked against the Catholic Church. On the other hand, the political context vis-a-vis Islam is different.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:36:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess you would be shocked if you knew of what I have done in front of the Axel Springer house at some time...
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 03:53:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
Whether it's a smart fight to pick if your objective is to push back against religious nuts and/or drive religion back into the purely private sphere... that's less obvious. On one hand, it worked against the Catholic Church. On the other hand, the political context vis-a-vis Islam is different.

that is a good point. what worked for us in europe was satire, derision, mockery, but it was our religious preceptors we were mocking, on the front lines in a culture civil war, during which the evil rule of a bunch of delusional powerfreaks had their hold on the public's faith was justly wrested from them, after centuries of abuse and murder and the same tool may not work the same way twice.

if a muslim charlie hebdo opened up an office in kabul and published there it may be a better equivalent.

this is their affair to sort out, one of many schisms in islam we have little or no control over. they can pray here like they want, but they are not allowed to import any and all aspects of their culture willy-nilly, and it's not racist to want it that way, imo, though many will surely howl that it is. it can be patiently explained that they are guests here and have to respect that, no matter how alien they perceive our ways to be.

what we can control is how far we let religion into our own politics, any religion...

i'll believe we've done that when the house of lords in england stops giving seats to clergy, and the vatican has to pay property tax in italy, to pull two examples i know about.

meanwhile we'd be better off abstaining adding fuel to any fires we don't want burning.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:26:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they are not allowed to import any and all aspects of their culture willy-nilly, and it's not racist to want it that way, imo, though many will surely howl that it is.

The re-islamisation of French citizens of maghrebo-islamic origin is not a matter of re-importing North African customs into France, but largely a matter of importing stylised versions of 9th-century Arabian Peninsula customs. The niqab, for example, is not a North African custom, and its recent introduction into North Africa is the subject of a great deal of social conflict (see Tunisian universities, for example). The Christian equivalent might be for Roman Catholics to start dressing like Romans. Wearing a niqab in public is inherently ridiculous in Europe, and it is neither racist nor religious persecution to ridicule it.

it can be patiently explained that they are guests here and have to respect that

No they are not guests : in their vast majority they are French by birth, and are completely free out of republican principle to practice their inherited or chosen religion as they see fit. What they have to respectis French law and secular custom (laïcité). In practice, there are many obstacles : it's exceedingly difficult to get a permit to create a mosque in France, and I deplore that. (There is, to my mind, a large surplus of Catholic places of worship with respect to effective demand, but every time I suggest that some should become mosques, I get funny looks.)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 03:51:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"The re-islamisation of French citizens of maghrebo-islamic origin is not a matter of re-importing North African customs into France, but largely a matter of importing stylised versions of 9th-century Arabian Peninsula customs."

They are not allowed to import dress styles, only first class citizens are allowed that. Muslims have to adapt to the culture that is prescribed to them. On top of that their identity is mocked and ridiculed by caricatures of their religion.

by Katrin on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 06:28:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Religions evolve. Nothing says we have to genuflect before the most reactionary traditions of a religion merely because we do not ourselves belong to it.

The official political position of the Catholic Church is one of blatant sexism. The fact that civilized society is explicitly non-Catholic (on account of being secular) does not mean that it must encourage and cannot condemn and discourage such barbarism.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 10:59:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't accept theocracy as a legitimate concept, and therefore I reject all the syllogisms based on it.

Religion is by definition unsuited to democracy, and in my opinion, to good government. Private opinions are not a good basis for telling others what to do.

Religions, as opposed to singular opinions on the nature of the universe, are universally political tools for the evil type of politician.

I hope the internet is increasing understanding of this truism.

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 09:41:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The predominant culture in europe is Christian, irrespective of the level of observance. Meanwhile, muslims and those of Islamic culture, for all the frothing of both the right wing and centrist press, represent less than 1% of europe's population.

The barbarians at the gates are far more likely to be those who bend a knee to a cross than those who bow to Mecca. Fred Phelps and his band of miserabilists may be extreme but there is no discontinuity between them and their fellow x-tians, they are simply at one end of a grey scale. They are all united in their belief in the Man Who Isn't There and that the voice in their head or that of their leaders is far more real than that of any actual tangible individual.

We only have to look at the USA to see where the anti-knowledge, anti-rationality crowd can take us. They are well funded and have made frightening inroads into the UK conservative party and the British education system.

Terrorists who claim christian religious justification have been loose in N Ireland for decades.

All in all, I don't think muslims are a problem. In the UK the biggest problem is the genuflection our elites pay to x-tians.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 10:36:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All in all, I don't think muslims are a problem.

Nor do I! Muslims are not a problem at all. (who do you think you are arguing against?)

Even Islam, as such, cannot be a problem unless we let the extremist activists redefine the public space. Then it will be a problem we have created.

In order to have freedom of religion, you need to create and defend a public space where people can be free from religion. The extremist Muslim activists wish to re-Islamise and ghettoise their target populations, separating them from mainstream society. If you think I'm exaggerating, you haven't been around.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:06:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
eurogreen:

Even Islam, as such, cannot be a problem unless we let the extremist activists redefine the public space. Then it will be a problem we have created.

But we already have. We have let extremist activist conservative newspaper owners define publishing pictures of Muhammed as free speach and opposition to publishing pictures of Muhammed as support of violent oppression of free speach. They did so by creating a controversy in Denmark, and then ignoring to report on non-violent protests against that controversy. When economic measures won fare and square, they used their power to over-rule the outcome by republishing in so many newspapers that the protesters economic measures could not win. Then they defined the conflict as violent by giving ample room to any threat or physical violence used.

Before 2006, depictions of Muhammed was in general not used in history books and such. There was not and is no particular need to create a picture of a man if no one knows what he looks like and the people who think he is important thinks it is wrong to depict him. This was ratehr uncontroversial and if mentioned at all used as a way to introduce the reader to religions, icons and iconoclasm.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:46:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
implicit here. I know nothing of the history of Islam in Denmark, but I have the impression that it's largely a matter of first-generation immigrants, who come from countries where Islam is the established religion, and can not be publicly criticised. It is therefore unsurprising that they are surprised and shocked at public satire. The Danish papers know this, and it is no accident that it was a right-wing paper that published the original cartoons.

Publishing the same cartoons in France, though provocative, does not have the same context. Most adults in France who are of Muslim heritage are grandchildren of immigrants from Muslim-majority countries. They know the rules (which are different from those in Denmark, which as far as I know has a less anti-clerical culture). Practising (as opposed to nominal or cultural) Muslims are undoubtedly hurt by caricatures of Mahomed, just as the small minority of practising Christians are hurt by caricatures of Jesus. But they understand that they are a legitimate part of public discourse. Those who have tried, and failed, to remove it from public discourse are a well-identified evangelical fringe.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 04:05:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know nothing of the history of Islam in Denmark, but I have the impression that it's largely a matter of first-generation immigrants, who come from countries where Islam is the established religion, and can not be publicly criticised. It is therefore unsurprising that they are surprised and shocked at public satire.

That is an unkind characterization of the reaction.

Danish Muslims overwhelmingly did not react to the cartoons. They did react when they were later subjected to book burnings and other racist attacks "justified" by the boycott that a handful of fundamentalist nutcases had ginned up with a doctored portfolio of cartoons (including, amusingly, an image of a Breton wearing a plastic pig nose at a pig faire).

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 07:10:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't pass on the concept that a country where expression of disbelief in ANY religion is banned is an acceptable, respectable, good thing.

Banning of so-called blasphemy is like coughing blood. Always a bad thing.

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 09:47:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny.

I would make that precise argument re: book-burning.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 08:50:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Meanwhile, muslims and those of Islamic culture, for all the frothing of both the right wing and centrist press, represent less than 1% of europe's population."

Muslims in France alone represent 1% of the entire EU population.
Muslims are actually 8% of the EU population, and 7% of Europe's (of which 5.7 million are in the European part of Turkey, and 25 million in Russia).

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_en_Europe

Hard to say how many more you'd get by adding "those of Islamic culture", especially since this kind of categorisation always adds up to more than 100% -they lead to non-exclusive categories.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 08:56:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Muslims in France alone represent 1% of the entire EU population.

You can't actually know this, of course, because France doesn't do statistics on religion. It would be interesting to know how many inhabitants of France would declare themselves Muslim, if the question was asked in the census (which it isn't), and how that would compare with the number of "those of Islamic culture", which I suppose approximates to those descended from north African ancestry.

And you're right about non-exclusive categories. I arrived in France as an atheist Protestant. By assimilation, I'm now pretty much also an atheist Catholic; and most likely I'll end up an atheist Muslim.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 09:18:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France doesn't do statistics on religion

France doesn't do censuses, but it does do surveys.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 09:27:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.
Indeed, that would be the reason why the figure for France is given as an interval, while it's given a specific value for other countries.

Whichever way you look at it, 1% is not remotely close to the truth.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 10:08:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"a specific value for other countries"

Nope. There are no exact figures. For Germany there are several specific values. In other words no reliable data, because we don't know how the question of the survey was framed. 3% "feel" they are Muslims. How many members of Muslim communities is that? And what do people mean when they say they are religious? I remember a poll of immigrants who had just arrived (and which I can no longer find). Almost all Poles and Iranians answered they were "very religious". Additional questions and their answers showed that the "very religious" Poles don't necessarily attend a Mass every year, let alone several times, while the "very religious" Iranians didn't necessarily have a prejudice against eating pork.

The only thing we know is that Muslims are a tiny minority in Europe (even if your 5% are accurate, which we can't know).

by Katrin on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 10:37:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Islam en France - Wikipédia Islam in France - Wikipedia
En 2012, Michèle Tribalat a estimé, à partir de l'enquête Trajectoires et origines réalisée par l'INED et l'INSEE en 2008, à 4 millions le nombre de musulmans déclarés (soit 6,8 % de la population de France métropolitaine) et à 4,8 millions le nombre de personnes dont au moins un parent est musulman, soit respectivement 34 % et 41 % de l'ensemble de la population d'origine étrangère (sur deux générations uniquement). Quant aux naissances, toujours d'après l'enquête Trajectoires et origines, pour les enfants nés en 2006-2008, un peu moins de 20 % d'entre eux auraient au moins un parent musulman[93].In 2012, Michele Tribalat was estimated from the survey Trajectories and origins conducted by INED and INSEE in 2008, 4 million the number of Muslims reported (6.8% of the population of metropolitan France ) and 4.8 million the number of people with at least one parent is a Muslim, or 34% and 41% of the total foreign-born population (over two generations only). As for births, still according to the survey Trajectories and origins, a little less than 20% of children born in 2006-2008 have at least one Muslim parent [ 93] .
Les musulmans sont en moyenne plus jeunes et environ la moitié des musulmans de France ont moins de 24 ans. Selon Justin Vaïsse, à Paris, les musulmans représentent un tiers des jeunes de moins de 24 ans. Les villes françaises ou vivent le plus grand nombre de musulmans sont Roubaix, dans la banlieue de Lille (50 % de la population), Marseille (25 %), Besançon (13 %)[94], Paris (10 à 15 %) et Lyon (8 à 12 %)[95]. Ces jeunes d'ascendance musulmane se déclaraient en 1992, à 30 % sans religion (si les deux parents étaient Algériens), voire à 60 % (si un parent seulement était Algérien)[96].Muslims are on average younger and about half of Muslims in France are less than 24 years. According Justin Vaïsse , in Paris, Muslims represent a third of young people under 24 years old. French cities which are home to the largest number of Muslims are Roubaix, in the suburbs of Lille (50% of the population), Marseille (25%), Besançon (13%) [ 94] , Paris (10 to 15%) and Lyon (8 to 12%) [ 95 ] . Young people of Muslim ancestry reported themselves in 1992, 30% no religion (if both parents were Algerians) or 60% (if only one parent was Algerian) [ 96] .

If your point is that the number of Muslims in France, or in Europe, is negligible, that's clearly not the case. They are a significant group, and a growing one, because of differential demographics. That's not a bad thing, but it's a fact. Depending on where one lives, their presence may be invisible, or not. The idea of a separate-but-equal social status, which seems to be the thrust of your argument, hasn't worked out well anywhere, as far as I know. We need to sort out common standards for living together.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 10:50:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
eurogreen:
They are a significant group, and a growing one, because of differential demographics.

They are definitely a significant group. Definitely not a group with a lot of influence or power though. This means that Muslims are not the danger that Islamophobes claim they are. They are not even able to defend themselves against the many harassments the majority invents.

Conclusions from demographics, not socioeconomics, to religious membership are bullshit. It is possible that the proportion of Muslims in the population grows, but by no means sure.  

by Katrin on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 11:20:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And here is what was meant to be the first part of my post:

eurogreen:

The idea of a separate-but-equal social status, which seems to be the thrust of your argument

It is not my argument, not even remotely! Have you read my posts at all?

by Katrin on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 11:22:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
eurogreen:
We need to sort out common standards for living together

Yes. Agree completely. That's why I am arguing against a one-sided diktat that bans all personal freedom that is somehow related to the exercise of religion.

by Katrin on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 11:36:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have said :Katrin:
Laws force the women among them to go naked according to their perception, or else they won't be allowed even to learn.

The law in France forbids religious dress in public schools (this is also the case in Turkey and in Indonesia). Dress codes in school are different in various countries; many impose uniforms; the right to impose a dress code is not generally disputed. Completely covering one's hair is apparently sanctioned by the Koran (just as wearing a veil is prescribed for Christian women by the Bible) but is applied in various interpretations, or not at all, by Muslim women in various parts of the world, in accordance with the laws and customs of the countries they live in.

Should children of Muslim families be allowed to choose whether or not to respect French law or custom on this point? Is the notion of choice actually operative here? Is it indeed a matter of personal freedom? In individual cases, that's possible. But sociologically, it's clear that the desire of Muslim families to send their daughters to school with distinctive dress is a question of marking them out as inaccessible, in order to favour endogamy within a community of Muslims (cf the work of demographer Emmanuel Todd on this subject).

I don't think that a cultural tendency towards endogamy actually favours personal freedom.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 12:04:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The law in France, as in all European countries, shows real creativity in finding new ways to discriminate against Muslims. Giving the prevention of endogamy as a justification for a ban on the headscarf is hilarious (and perfidious). I note that your theory only speaks of the intentions of parents, not of the freedom of the girls.

I don't believe we can hash out the headscarf debate in less than 300 posts, Eurogreen. Do we start or not?

by Katrin on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 12:23:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not in this thread, please.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 12:39:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL
by Katrin on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 12:53:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The initial misstep is Eurogreen's, since whether to wear a headscarf is rarely the woman's, but patriarch's choice.

Peculiar to hear katrin advocating patriarchal values, but since she's taken a losing position, any port in a storm.

The immigrant minority always faces a choice of getting along or not.

This particular one seems to want self-segregation without adopting any values of the welcoming society. Seems like a misreading of human nature. And I'm not talking about France, or Europe, or the West at all, but the idea of religious freedom, including especially the freedom FROM religions that limit choice.

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 10:02:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The point about self-reported "religiosity" is well taken.

The USA tends to show "higher than real" levels of religiosity on this question because "religious" is interpreted as "a good person."
Likely the same holds for more "conservative" parts of the population (which should be mostly anyone immigrating to Central/Western Europe.)

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 11:45:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Either:

Or:

(from)

by Nomad on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 12:21:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ormondo : There have been some epic debates on ET on these issues in the past year, in particular those about Charlie Hebdo and about Pussy Riot spring to mind.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 05:29:18 AM EST
Add the Mohammed Merah shootings in Toulouse.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 05:38:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aiieeee! The Barbarians! The gates will not hold! White Europe is doomed! Uh, I mean Christian Europe! No, I mean secular Europe what is covertly Christian! Heeeelllllllppppppp!

Really? It's not the Muslims I'd worry about. Christian fundamentalism seems a much more current threat.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 07:56:08 AM EST
It's not the Muslims I'd worry about. Christian fundamentalism seems a much more current threat.

Whatever do you mean by that?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 09:16:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Posted this in teh Salon

A swedish kind of death:

I have no problem supporting muslems who wants to exercise their right to portray their profet. But that is not generally what happens, what generally happens is that westerners brought up in Christianity finds easy targets in another culture and thereby feeds the fundamentalists sense of a culture war against another culture.

Lets also remember that pictures of Muhammed - and republishing those pictures - became a big deal in February 2006 when non-violent protests, boycotts and symbolic destruction (flags, an empty embassy in Syria) in the Muslem world had got Aftenposten to apologise for offense they caused (30th of January 2005). Yes, it is a pitty for comic writers that gets caught up in a culture war they did not ask for, but it is not like this is the only taboo out there. Just by following the news, I have after January 2006 noticed that comics of the royalty in the nude is forbidden in Spain, as well as depicting cops as pigs is forbidden in France.

I can add that the right to depict other cultures prophets are not a very important right. In my book it is about as important as using particular garments in other religions holy buildings.

Secularism in traditionally Christain countries is not under assault from Islam. If it is under assault from Christianity, then fundie Cristians uses Islam to conjure up an enemy that demands supporting our own fundies lest the other fundies get us.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 08:00:02 AM EST
what generally happens is that westerners brought up in Christianity finds easy targets in another culture and thereby feeds the fundamentalists sense of a culture war against another culture.

Doesn't bear much resemblance to the case in discussion (Charlie Hebdo's special "life of the prophet" issue). It's an anti-clerical paper, always has been. The issue is whether the fundamentalists get to censor them or not. I say not. The jurisprudence (i.e. numerous attempts by the Catholic church to censor them) is in Charlie's favour.

depicting cops as pigs is forbidden in France.

News to me. Do you have a reference?

I can add that the right to depict other cultures prophets are not a very important right. In my book it is about as important as using particular garments in other religions holy buildings.

That's not it (the implication in your analogy is that all of France is a holy place for Islam). The right to depict anyone or anything is the issue. Granting special exceptions demanded by particular groups for arbitrary reasons is a slippery slope. Obviously, there are exceptions to free expression; if you are inciting violence, or racial or religious hatred, then you may well be banned after the event, and condemned by courts. That's what happens in France. I find it likely that complaints will be laid, and will be thrown out by the courts. This may raise the question : are the courts biased against Islam? On balance, whatever the personal opinions or prejudices of individual judges, they judge these matters carefully according to the law. In the past, judgements which were biased by religious opinions (in particular, in favour of the Catholic church) have been challenged and overturned.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 09:46:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a pitty that Charlie Hebdo's actions are interpreted in the light of an ongoing cultural war with regards to cartoons featuring Muhammed. But it is not strange or surprising, indeed it is expected.

I can't find the article about the french cops cartoon. I remember reading about it here on ET and might have written a snarkish comment, but my Google-fu is to weak to find it. France, police and cartoons feature commonly in the news threads. Maybe someone else remembers it. Probably in 2006 or 2007.

I had better luck with the Spanish royals.

ceebs:

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Spain royal sex cartoonists fined
Two Spanish cartoonists have been found guilty of offending the royal family and fined 3,000 euros (£2,100) each.

Their cartoon, on the front page of the weekly satirical magazine El Jueves in July, depicted Crown Prince Felipe and his wife Letizia having sex.

The edition was pulled from newsstands across the country by police.



eurogreen:

Granting special exceptions demanded by particular groups for arbitrary reasons is a slippery slope.

Oh, are you arguing law? I have no issue with French law allowing for depictions of the prophet. Is there any serious reason to expect drawing such cartoons to be outlawed in France?

I am arguing morals, I see not the pressing need for drawing pictures of a prophet in a religion that does not like it, hence I think it is wrong to do what is sure to be interpreted in the light of the danish cartoon controversy and its aftermath.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:24:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps you might widen the discussion, as I hoped would happen, to the rights of the polity to dampen the enthusiasm of the religious nut.

 Isn't figuring out governance hard enough without having to joust with every fevered imagination? It might even be impossible, which is my contention, based on historical data.

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 10:16:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but I don't recall much about the ascendancy of political Islam

That's because most of us do not write fiction. "Political Islam" is not a serious problem in Europe, and therefore does not lay claim to the attention of reality-based people interested in European affairs.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:17:19 AM EST
If Islam was a political force, it wouldn't be a problem. The riots are not my idea of politics.

Align culture with our nature.
by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 10:17:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I might have appended similar comments to several of your other, eh, contributions to this thread. But as I foresee no productive exchange with you, I shan't further clutter the recent comment list.

Should you decide to make a productive contribution, you may take it as read that a like clause has been appended to all your fact claims in the thread.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 09:00:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No debate about religion can be solved, because it is all based on axioms asserted from a basis of tradition, prejudice, greed, thirst for power, hatred, fear, etc. You simply cannot make headway in a religious argument, because logic does not apply. That is the great discovery of the Enlightenment, which has been sadly forgotten in many quarters--or never experienced in others.

So all these fall into one big category called "people who take religion seriously":

  • Radical Islamists.
  • Semi-secular Moslems.
  • The Pope.
  • Secular Europeans who pay taxes to support churches.
  • Fundamentalist Americans who stand on street corners and shout about Bible passages.
  • Radio preachers.
  • NASCAR fans and rodeo cowboys.
  • Atheists who think about their atheism.
  • Cosmologists.

It is a waste of time to talk with any of them.
by asdf on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:48:10 AM EST
The ideologues, which is the general term, who will not submit to evidential testing of their ideology, are my target.

Governments, to be stable, must be based on force, or the consent of the governed.

You disagree?

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 10:19:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Roughly 3% of any population has serious, but functional, mental illness: sociopathy, psychopathy, psychoses, or schizophrenia.  Trying to conduct a rational argument with these people is pointless.  By definition they can't have one.  Persistent, long-term, violation of these people's cognitive (sic) space, or what they perceive as such, is highly likely to drive some individuals to violence such as the Anna Lindh murder, the Malmö shootings, and the Anders Breivik mass murder in Norway.

Just the way things are.

When a Muslim Three-Percenter commits an act of violence the media do not, generally, broadcast "A Mentally Ill Person" did such-and-such.  What is generally broadcast is "A Muslim" did such-and-such.  Lots of reasons for this.  99.99% of them bad.  

But what this does is shift the Public Discourse from, "How do we treat the mentally ill" to "OMG!!!!!  How do we save ->Western Civilization<- from these Mooselems in our midst?"  (At least that's how it works in the US.)  Lot's of reasons for this.  99.99% of them are bad.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 01:52:13 PM EST
When we arrive at a consensus that the religious are mentally ill, then your thesis might hold. Obviously, that isn't yet the case.

Mentally ill defined sociologically, of course.

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 10:22:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's crazy how repetitive these scripts are.

if moslems anywhere started publishing provocative pix of jesus doing obscene things (i know we already have artists in 'xtian' countries doing this already, so se beat them to it, lol!), would we think it was great for free speech, if our xtian fundies got hot'n'bothered and started firebombing their newspapers?

it's so fucking juvenile a. to let your own faith be so high and mighty in your own mind that it begs to be lampooned, and b. give a rat's posterior if it is.

it is not moslem countries who have been bombing our homelands, it is not moslems who are making shit up to justify wars for others' resources, mostly they want to attract others to their religion by example rather than the xtian insufferable coercion-through-fear'n'guilt 'our' side has burdened the planet with for centuries, in the name of a prophet who explicitly did not.

these ancient monotheisms have been encrusted with obsolescence since the day when they started forgetting their humble roots, gold lacquering their temple spires and insinuating their wiles into politics.

if we really want to keep our right to free(ish) speech, we should use it responsibly, not like a red rag in a bullpen, not only because it's stupid for the bulls, but because it's stupid for us too, it's being arrogant.

not because of their poor little tender feelings their widdle avatar might theoretically feel so vulnerable to, 500+ years after his death but because it's beneath us to go push teh stupid button just because we can, big whoop, watch them jump up'n'down and set fire to things. hardy har... ain't they cute? aren't we the masters?

when i was a young teenager i used to visit my godparents in sussex. they had one of those mountain shepherd horns, the really long ones.

i used to like to take it out on the balcony overlooking the next door farms and give it a good blow till i got the embouchure right and pow, the sound was really great! the funnest part was watching the cows scatter and run around almost a mile away!

i grew out of it, and respectfully would ask if we could grow up as a culture when it comes to getting along with our neighbours. being callow is not hip or avant-guarde or cutting edge or kewl, it's just dumb, and considering the long train of insults they have had to put up with from the rumsfelds et al to their nations and pride, it's colossally, head-bangingly stupid, and makes us look like we're in high school.

it's not the silly cartoons per se, but the cock-a-snook sniper aspect that is especially galling, if we are sincere about inviting them to a better form of politics than the muslim brotherhood is capable of, this has to be one of the clumsiest ways of making that effort.

epic fail... to the point that i really have to wonder if there isn't a psyops side to it all. it's that dumb, like giving land to air missiles to the mujahaddin was.

religion is not the real problem here, fanaticism is, and i hear it in those defending the right to free speech, no matter what, and damn the consequences. we can nip religious extremism in the bud without winding up the loons.


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 06:27:19 PM EST
Sure there is a psyops side to it. When Sarrazin rants about Muslims being attracted to Germany by the welfare state and then "producing one headscarf-girl after the other", he isn't against Muslims, girls, or headscarves. He wants to use the resentment for the demolition of the welfare state.
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 06:49:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Strangely enough, you actually got my point. And you disagree with it.

No, being polite to the ideologues isn't working, and Islam is VERY much a brainwashing method, from youth to age, for men, women and children, and as such, is more to be feared than Catholicism.

I know no other religion that prescribes death for apostasy. Do you?

Is that serious enough? Mobs are often composed of the ideologically neutral who are afraid of the mob itself, but the groundwork for steering the mob is the religion itself, which lays down the axioms for the mob syllogisms.

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 10:29:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
mostly repetitive of course, but mostly beside the issue, which is : what Charlie Hebdo published, the socio-political context into which they published it, and why they published it.

I need time to frame this correctly (as I have said, I don't like ormondotvos's framing), but the important issues, to my mind, are specifically French on the one hand, and pan-islamic on the other. It is no surprise that the voices calling for death and destruction, legal measures, or street demonstrations against Charlie Hebdo are the very same politico-religious movements which are the most reactionary forces in, for example, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Their aims are antithetical to ours. To my mind, CH are fighting the good fight with respect to "self-segregation" which is a real issue in certain sections of the French underclass. It's about constructing alternative narratives, and opening doors to enable vulnerable young people to resist the easy out which is identity politics.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:22:28 AM EST
How does the publication of these cartoons help the fight against self-segregation" in certain sections of the French underclass? And how does it work against externally imposed segregation of wider sections of French society? What alternative narratives do you speak about? All I see is posturing from someone in the upper middle class, with a false sense of defiance (real defiance would be to face blasphemy laws in Pakistan for example), and in denial of the predictalbe use of this empty act by xenophobes (like the diarist).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 05:35:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To your point, it's one world on the internet, and CH is the shining example of busting the imam's chops, or the Communist Party's chops, or the military-prison-industrial complex's chops.

CH is the bad example, the extreme leader for personal freedom.

And I wish they published in English. Although we do have the Onion, and Andy Borowitz, and driftglass and Charlie Pierce.

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 10:32:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Figaro - Flash Actu : Charlie Hebdo publie une BD ''halal'' Le Figaro - News Flash: Charlie Hebdo publishes a "halal" comic book
Charlie Hebdo va publier mercredi un hors-série intitulé La Vie de Mahomet, une bande dessinée biographique "parfaitement halal", concoctée à partir de textes de chroniqueurs musulmans, a annoncé le directeur de l'hebdomadaire Charb, qui l'a mise en images. Il ne s'agit là ni d'une caricature, ni d'une satire, mais d'un récit basé sur une bibliographie, assure dans un avant-propos Zineb, une jeune femme présentée comme sociologue franco-marocaine des religions et coauteure de l'ouvrage. Charlie Hebdo Wednesday will publish a special issue entitled The Life of Mohammed , a comic-strip biography "perfectly halal", concocted from texts by Muslim chroniclers, announced Charb, the director of the weekly, who drew the strip. It is not a caricature or a satire, but a story based on a bibliography, according to the foreword by Zineb, a young woman described as a French-Moroccan sociologist of religions who is co-author of the book.
"C'est une biographie autorisée par l'islam puisqu'elle a été rédigée par des musulmans. C'est une compilation de ce qui a été écrit sur la vie de Mahomet par des chroniqueurs musulmans et on l'a simplement mise en images", renchérit Charb, qui se défend de verser dans la provocation."This is a biography authorized by Islam since it was written by Muslims. It is a compilation of what has been written about the life of Muhammad by Muslim chroniclers and we simply added images "added Charb, which denies any provocation.
"Je ne pense pas que le plus savant des musulmans pourra reprocher quoi que ce soit sur le fond", ajoute Charb, dont l'hebdomadaire a provoqué à plusieurs reprises des remous en publiant des caricatures de Mahomet. "L'idée de ce livre, j'y pense depuis 2006, au moment des caricatures de Mahomet au Danemark. Je crois qu'au départ on avait pris le sujet un peu à l'envers, on a mis en scène un personnage dont on ne connaissait pas la vie, moi le premier", reconnaît-il. "Avant de pouvoir rigoler d'un personnage, il vaut mieux le connaître. Autant on connaît la vie de Jésus, autant on connaît rien de Mahomet"."I do not think that the most learned Muslims will find anything blameworthy in the material," says Charb, whose weekly paper repeatedly caused a stir by publishing cartoons of Mohammed. "I've been thinking about the idea of ​​this book since 2006, when the Mohammed cartoons came out in Denmark. I believe that at the beginning we had taken the matter a little backwards, we portrayed a character whose life we do not know, me in particular, "he admits. "Before you can make fun of a character, it is better to know them. We know the life of Jesus, we know nothing of Mohammed."
Quant aux critiques sur la représentation du Prophète, "c'est juste une tradition, c'est absolument pas inscrit dans le Coran, plaide le dessinateur. A partir du moment où ce n'est pas pour ridiculiser Mahomet, je ne vois pas pourquoi on ne pourrait pas lire ce livre comme on lit au catéchisme des histoires de la vie de Jésus".As for the criticism of the depiction of the Prophet, "it's just a tradition, it is absolutely not written in the Qur'an" claims the cartoonist. "Since the intent is not to ridicule Muhammad, I do not see why one could not read this book as you read the catechism stories of the life of Jesus. "
"Pas fait pour choquer" "Not done to offend"
"Autant le fond est parfaitement halal, autant l'image, c'est mon dessin. J'ai dessiné Mahomet comme je dessine habituellement mes personnages, Mahomet était un homme, j'ai dessiné un homme", fait valoir Charb."The material is perfectly halal, but the pictures are in my own style. I drew Muhammad as I usually draw my characters, Muhammad was a man, I drew a man," argues Charb.
En novembre 2011, après la publication d'un numéro spécial baptisé Charia Hebdo contenant des caricatures de Mahomet, les locaux du journal satirique avaient été incendiés, son site internet piraté et Charb menacé de mort. Ce dernier vit depuis sous protection policière. Plus récemment, de nouvelles caricatures publiées par le journal avaient attiré à Charlie Hebdo des critiques virulentes dans de très nombreux pays musulmans, allant jusqu'à faire réagir le gouvernement français.In November 2011, after the publication of a special issue called Sharia Hebdo containing caricatures of Muhammad, the premises of the satirical newspaper were burned, its website hacked, and Charb received death threats. He lives under police protection. More recently, new cartoons published by the newspaper Charlie Hebdo had attracted strong criticism in many Muslim countries, causing the French government to react.
Même si cette fois la démarche est bien différente, Charb s'attend à ne pas plaire à tout le monde. "Si des gens veulent être choqués, ils seront choqués, mais ce n'est pas fait pour choquer. Les musulmans sont aussi prêts a rire d'eux-mêmes, si on se met à les considérer comme des handicapés du rire, on ne fait pas le jeu d'un islam apaisé, on fait le jeux des extrémistes. Il faut arrêter d'avoir peur, plus on a peur de l'islam, plus l'islam fera peur", commente-t-il.Although this time the approach is quite different Charb expects it will not please everyone. "If people want to be shocked, they will be shocked, but it is not done for shock value. Muslims are also ready to laugh at themselves. If we begin to think of them as humour-impaired, we are not helping a peaceful Islam, we are playing into the hands of extremists. We should stop being afraid. The more you fear Islam, the more scary Islam will be, "he says.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 08:03:45 AM EST
I have to say that Charb is being ironic when he claims that the intent is not to ridicule Mohammed.

When the scholarly texts affirm that he was born circumcised and with his eyes outlined with kohl, and this is illustrated by a Charb cartoon, it's hard not to smile.

This is the unsubtle intent : to treat Islam as a normal religion. Those who run around saying that sacred texts are the word of God and must be applied literally in the modern world, are opening themselves to ridicule at best, and to political opposition, in particular if they attempt to impose that on others. This is illustrated by the debate on marriage for all, currently ongoing in France : the big demo in a couple of weeks will illustrate the loss of cultural hegemony by the Catholic church. It was sporting of them to try.

Holding the sacred texts up to scrutiny may well be considered blasphemy. After all, it was heretical to translate the Bible from Latin into the vulgate. But it enables an informed dialogue. People can make individual choices after that. Once they are no longer handicapped by the notion that the sacred text is literally true, they can formulate their own, non-intermediated understanding of their faith. For each and every religion, this is an indispensable step in a secular society.

The only people who stand in the way of this process are the fundamentalists. Whether we hold religious beliefs or not, we can all agree that they are not our friends.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 08:28:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the only reaction that I can find to the publication is the above press release, in various papers; a prudent "no comment" from the government spokesperson (she doesn't want to judge it because she hasn't seen it yet! I like her); disapproval from the foreign minister (oil on the fire) because he's negotiating with islamic partisans holding French hostages in Africa.
One opinion piece in l'Express (centre right) calling for Charlie Hebdo to be banned. A bit more reaction from North African web sites (a key "market" for the culture war, and for CH), rather mixed and moderate.

Nothing from French Islamists so far, nor from any "official" French Muslim source.

"Vos avis" sur BD de Charlie Hebo sur Mahomet : pourquoi les musulmans s'agacent - BFMTV.com "Your opinion" on BD Charlie Hebo about Muhammad: Why Muslims are annoyed - BFMTV.com
Mais certains s'agacent de "provocations" à répétition. "Cela va être perçu comme une provocation par les musulmans de France", avance Samir Amghar, auteur de l'essai Le salafisme aujourd'hui.But some are annoyed by repeated "provocations". "It will be seen as a provocation by Muslims of France," suggests Samir Amghar, author of the essay Salafism today .
Toutefois, ajoute-t-il, "ils ont intériorisé la culture politique de la société française qui incite à respecter l'opinion de l'autre. Ils ne vont donc pas se mobiliser." C'est d'ailleurs l'avis de Younès Chabchoub : "S'ils veulent faire des dessins, je ne vais pas, en tant que musulman, le leur interdire !"However, he adds, "they have internalized the political culture of French society that encourages respect the opinions of others. They will not mobilize on this issue." This is also the opinion of Younis Chabchoub: "If they want to make drawings, as a Muslim, I'm not going to forbid them!"

Provisional conclusion : This publication is a victory in the culture war; a positive step in the normalisation of Islam.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 09:35:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
eurogreen:
Provisional conclusion : This publication is a victory in the culture war; a positive step in the normalisation of Islam

How many women assaulted and their headscarves torn off their heads? How many mosques torched? Does that even interest you or are you only interested in the victims being silent?

by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 10:25:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Publication of a comic book on the life of Mohamed.

Consequences :

How many women assaulted and their headscarves torn off their heads?

Zero. (so far)

How many mosques torched?

Zero. (so far)

are you only interested in the victims being silent?

No, I'm interested in the victims of this "outrage" speaking up. I'm listening. I'm not hearing them. That's interesting. Maybe it's not an outrage?

I may have misused the phrase "culture war". You seem to see it as meaning "war on immigrants", "war on the visibly different", "religious oppression", or something of that sort. I'm talking about conflicting views of religious culture, and how far you're entitled to impinge on other people's freedom. Publishing a comic book (which contains no racism, no insults) creates zero victims. If it should inspire pogroms, as you seem to fear, I will be very surprised indeed, and will undoubtedly change my views.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 10:55:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be the first time that the number of anti-Muslim incidents didn't shoot up during such campaigns. Are you sure you looked for reports, and not only in media that wouldn't report anti-Muslim violence anyway?  
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 11:39:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be the first time that the number of anti-Muslim incidents didn't shoot up during such campaigns

I suppose you have a reference for that?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 12:12:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 12:23:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What, you want me to do the work for you, and search for correlations between Charlie Hebdo publications of cartoons of Mohamed and spikes in islamophobic incidents?

I'm not very good at statistics. Try asking Jake.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 05:01:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I couldn't know that reading the table of contents and going to the relevant page is too difficult a statistical task for you. I see. The diagramme on page 13 and the paragraph of text under it show the nexus between Islamophobian propaganda campaigns and attacks on Muslim individuals and institutions. You are probably able to find page 13, aren't you?
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 06:57:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The trimester March to May 2011 saw more than 100 acts (40% of the total). These "over-­‐ active" periods of islamophobia tend to follow periods when islamophobic themes have been particularly present in public debate and in the national media. Notably, the National Education Minister, Luc Chatel, gave a speech on the 2nd March 2011 validating the acts of a Mrs. Palacio, the Headteacher of Joséphine Baker school who refused to allow veiled mothers to accompany their children on school trips. We also note the "debate on Islam and secularism" launched by the UMP in April. Further, on 11 April 2011 the law of 11 October 2010 forbidding the covering of the face in public came into effect, commonly known as the law against the burqa. There were also certains slip-­‐ups made by the Interior Minister, Claude Guéant, in April 2011 - he spoke on LCI TV about "the growing number of practising Muslims", with "a certain number of behaviours which pose a problem". The "Quick Halal" affair also contributed to the reinforcement of this islamophobic dynamic.

When you talk about "such campaigns", I assumed naïvely that it was on the topic of our discussion, i.e. publications concerning Mohamed in Charlie Hebdo. I see now that you somehow thought I was defending the islamophobic provocations of Sarkozy's government. That must have been very distressing to you, but I really don't see how you got that idea.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 07:29:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, that explains it. You are right: it was really naïve to assume I would treat Islamophobian campaigns differently because the perpetrators are different entities.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 07:59:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. Since your very first intervention in this thread was a spurious attempt to assimilate Charlie Hebdo with right-wing Islamophobic hate sites, it's hardly surprising that, at the other end of the thread, you are doing your faux-naïve routine again, equating Charlie Hebdo with a right-wing islamophobic government.

It's disappointing though.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 09:07:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I was reading along (in Katrin's link) and came to this:

"A worshipped secularism
The idea of "secularism" - a word which is being gradually corrupted - is changing in the collective imagination into a "sacred value", an immutable dogma around which is being built a dialogue of worship. Secularism is perfect, beautiful, the founder of French identity, a universal value - it is not to be touched. And yet, it was in order to "perfect", "reaffirm" and "reinforce" secularism that anti-­‐Islamic laws were passed in 2004 and 2010, and why in 2012 there is a proposal to review the Constitution in order to modify its definition of secularism. Rather than being a value which allows all religions to be expressed and to coexist side by side, secularism has conditioned "coexistence" to signify the censoring of any religious expression. There is now an ever-growing divergence between historical secularism which was open and inclusive, and today's political secularism, which is closed and exclusive."

and so I stopped reading.

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 10:59:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
72 hours, 100+ comments of heated debate by people who're rehashing old unreslved arguments, and not one comment from the diarist even though there have been comments directly addressing you...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 03:22:31 AM EST
Yes.

This has been another edition of "simple answers to simple questions."

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 12:20:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's not feed the troll, then. Also not in each other.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 06:20:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another quotable. Thanks.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 10:10:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That and the subject matter is why I have avoided this diary. Images of the Prophet is a meme that can just go on and on, doing nothing but throwing off heat. At times there have been attempts at laws governing the utterance of 'fighting words' in certain situations, but the whole subject is fraught. If nothing good can come from such activity why keep doing it?

Opprobrium to the diarist.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 12:49:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If only we could harness it for fuel somehow.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 10:10:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, I was taking care of sick neighbors and running errands.

EUROTRIB  is not the only thing I do.

Not trolling, although that's an easy way to avoid thinking.

I appreciate the discourse. I've commented ad libitum.

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 11:02:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ormondotvos:
Sorry, I was taking care of sick neighbors and running errands.

EUROTRIB  is not the only thing I do.

Same is true of everyone else here. We all have lives.

Glad you've finished the errands and hope your neighbours are better.

ormondotvos:

Not trolling, although that's an easy way to avoid thinking.

A good many users here think you were trolling, which hasn't apparently stopped anyone from thinking.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 04:05:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
.
Cannot find myself in the diary entry of ormondotvos, especiaaly using the remark "barbarians of religion storm the gates"

If the point driven is about awareness of the developments in the Arab revolts and the sectarian violence, that would be a worthy discussion. Just to posit a theorem without providing arguments will not suffice.

by Oui on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 05:58:24 PM EST
[ET Moderation Technology™]

There has been enough pointless catfighting in this thread.

If it flares up again (as it seems to promise to), comments in this thread will be closed.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:34:08 AM EST
(having read the comic book over the weekend, and discussed it with friends) to provide a bit of a review and commentary on it.

But I doubt it would be of any interest. Everyone here already has their own opinion of it.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 10:04:21 AM EST
You have made your opinion known before you have read it, too. Has it changed?
by Katrin on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 10:22:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I learn things, I think about them, I listen to other people.

This site is a major part of this for me. But I've come to realise that I'm in a minority in that respect.

About the comic : Most of the contributors to this thread (none of whom have read it, as far as I know) seemed pretty sure that it will worsen things for Muslims in France. Many appear to think that it is a deliberate attempt to denigrate Muslims. At least one (not naming names) is quite convinced that the authors are racist.

I have expressed my opinion that the intentions of the authors are progressive, and that previous publications by that paper on the same theme have had an overall positive effect.

The only thing I expressed on the content of the book, which I wrote before I had got past the first few pages :

I have to say that Charb is being ironic when he claims that the intent is not to ridicule Mohammed.

I have in fact changed my mind on.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 10:53:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, from reading the diary and the first 200 comments I had no idea we were talking about the Charlie Hebdo comic book, until you mentioned it in the top-level comment.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 10:56:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, ormondotvos posted the diary in reaction to this news item in last Wednesday's Salon.  It was a quick and dirty diary, he should have provided more context. It's possible he's been misunderstood, but it's his own fault.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 11:07:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ormondotvos never makes more than quick and dirty contributions.

Do you seriously want to defend this one?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 11:31:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would have been interesting, in my view, to have a wide-ranging discussion on the ascendancy of political Islam. As I have already mentioned numerous times, I don't like the way he framed the debate, but there are interesting things to debate, and I would have been interested in his contribution. Oh well.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 11:46:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think he's interested in making a contribution in a positive sense.

One point is that it is quite untrue that there is or never has been discussion here of different aspects of political Islam, Islamism, etc., and the "West". Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, so-called "Muslim" rioting in France, the London Tube bombing, the Danish cartoons, the Toulouse shootings, are some topics that come to mind. I suppose an index of past debates (often copious) needs compiling, but I haven't got time right now.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 12:16:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
@afew, I resent your quick and dirty remark.

I was asking a question about feeble secularism.

I also resent your presumption of trolling.

You might want to think it over.

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 11:06:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ormondotvos:
your quick and dirty remark

If anything was "quick and dirty", it was your diary. A few provocative lines on a highly-charged topic is not the kind of contribution that gives you the moral right to judge others' contributions.

ormondotvos:

I also resent your presumption of trolling.

The diary is not only pitifully lacking in development of your ideas, your past record on ET is one of leaving provocative one-line comments and not returning for any further discussion. In the case of this diary, you weren't here either for the discussion. Concluding that you were not interested in making a positive contribution seemed evident to a number of users, not just me.

The presumption of ormondotvos trolling is also shared among a number of users here, as has been the case, as you know, in other places on the internet. So resent away.

In fact, it takes chutzpah to set off a shitstorm on a forum, then come back later and whine.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 04:22:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The presumption of ormondotvos trolling is also shared among a number of users here

An unkind judgment of our user base. An opinion formed on the basis of evidence is a conclusion, not a presumption.

/PN

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 08:48:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Katrin:
You have made your opinion known before you have read it, too. Has it changed?
Huh?

eurogreen

I'll buy it and review it here.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 11:11:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and now I am asking if he has changed his opinion by reading it, or if he is still of the opinion he had when he only expected what was in the book. I wasn't aware that my simple question could be misunderstood so easily.
by Katrin on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 11:33:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps a separate diary?
by IM on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 10:25:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
second that
by Katrin on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 11:30:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So Charlie Hedbo published a cartoon life of Mohammed. Well done!

Interestingly, the life of Mohammed has been filmed:

In accordance with Muslim beliefs regarding depictions of Muhammad, he was not depicted on-screen nor was his voice heard. At the beginning of the film, a statement is displayed, "The makers of this film honour the Islamic tradition which holds that the impersonation of the Prophet offends against the spirituality of his message. Therefore, the person of Mohammad will not be shown."
This rule extended to his wives, his daughters, his sons-in-law, and the first caliphs (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali). This left Muhammad's uncle Hamza (Anthony Quinn) and his adopted son Zayd (Damien Thomas) as the central characters. During the battles of Badr and Uhud depicted in the movie, Hamza was in nominal command, even though the actual fighting was led by Muhammad.
Whenever Muhammad was present or very close by, his presence was indicated by light organ music. His words, as he spoke them, were repeated by someone else such as Hamza, Zayd and Bilal. When a scene called for him to be present, the action was filmed from his point of view. Others in the scene nodded to the unheard dialogue.
The closest the film comes to a depiction of Muhammad or his immediate family are the view of Ali's famous two-pronged sword Zulfiqar during the battle scenes, a glimpse of a staff in the scenes at the Kaaba or in Medina, and Muhammad's camel, Qaswa.
However, that is not good enough for some
In 1977 a group of Islamic radicals took over a number of buildings in Washington, DC in protest against the film, demanding its destruction.
Question: does the CH life of Mohammed contain stuff like this?
And here is the image that will probably get the offices of Charlie Hebdo firebombed, a spoof of Mohammed as Brigitte Bardot with the caption "The film that embraces the Muslim world:"

("And my buttocks? Do you like my buttocks?")

Gotta love tasteful political humour...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 10:32:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
tasteful political humour is not what CH is famous for.

(And it's not "The film that embraces the Muslim world:"
it's "The film that sets the Muslim world on fire")

The "fesses" line is of course a reference to Brigitte Bardot in J-L Godard's film Le Mépris

(about 3 minutes in, if you're impatient)

I find the reference funny on a couple of levels.

A number of CH articles on the theme of religion are available on line.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 10:51:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's also a fart joke: Mohammed, a star is born.

I seriously don't understand what purpose is advanced by rallying in defence of titty and ass and fart jokes about Mohamed (or anyone).

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 11:04:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no, the comic book does not contain stuff like that. It's a straightforward illustrated biography. Once you get over Charb's rather ugly style (his characters all look much the same, except when he's drawing political figures who have to be recognizable), the usual comic-book mechanisms come into play, you like the hero, you learn about his life and formative influences, it's difficult to read through it and not come out with a positive opinion of Mohamed the man (it covers his early life, before he declared himself the Prophet).

The comic effects come mostly from the miraculous folklore which is recounted and illustrated (Mo's parents were perpetually bathed in a luminous glow; when Mo crossed the desert on his camel, he was always accompanied by a cloud which protected him from the sun; and so on). But in modern times, probably only the mentally-retarded actually literally believe that sort of stuff, so I see no harm, from a religious point of view, in making fun of it.

Whether the reader concludes that the comic is hostile towards Islam or towards Muslims is entirely subjective, of course (objectively, that would be hard to demonstrate, since it covers Mo's pre-Islamic period). I think not.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 11:23:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
especially knowing that the people who don't like that are a persecuted minority, yes.
If someone made those jokes about the shareholders of Northrop Grumman reacting to the news of children in Pakistan, I'd forget my humanitarian scruples for a moment. But bey, I guess targeting that lot isn't progressive enough.  
by Katrin on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 11:28:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You rally to the defense of free speech, not crudity. Polite speech, of course, needs no defense. It might be kinda subtle, this point.

See the ACLU.org page for arguments.

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 11:09:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Polite speech, of course, needs no defense.

And in that you're wrong. Censorship censors ideas. If you express your ideas crudely you allow the censors the easy wae out of censoring you for obscenity or lack of decorum.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 05:11:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 02:20:33 PM EST
I am not angry, Eurogreen. I hope you aren't either.  It's just: you are so utterly wrong. I don't understand your missionary zeal when you are confronted with religion, that makes you hurt people (Jake is a worse offender there, though). I think you are causing a lot of political damage this way, too.
by Katrin on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 02:38:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a phrase I heard, "the professionally offended" that comes to mind. I think it was Charles Pierce. No, it's common. from a google:

http://fetchingjen.blogspot.com/2006/12/professionally-offended.html

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 11:13:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Troll-rated for extreme insensitivity (if not deliberate provocation).

Two users reach a degree of personal reconciliation after a long and acrimonious debate (that you set off), and you append this stink-bomb?

How about ormondotvos, "professionally trollish"?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 04:33:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What a weird idea to turn up at this point after the thread had turned quiet, Ormondotvos.

I should make something clear to you: I have a lot of respect for my two (main) opponents of this thread. From other threads I know them as people who roughly share my views of what a better world would be, and who possess an astonishing amount of knowledge to argue their point. That's why I am playing them so hard on this occasion, when they are supporting policies that in my view constitute an enormous injustice and inhumanity.

Now to you. You dropped a number of comments last night saying that you are opposed to religion as such, that you find Islam "dangerous" (and more so than other religions), that you consider the religious as mentally ill (followed by a disclaimer that does no succeed in making that comment tolerable). I see. There is no reason to engage you in debate then, because you and I are on different sides of the fence anyway.

by Katrin on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 06:18:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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