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the Saudis and the Iranians were both financing radical Imams [Citation Needed] and the building of new mosques throughout Western Europe [Citation Needed] and the United States. While the Saudis are promoting Wahhabism, the Iranians are financing Shiite Islam [Citation Needed] - which is characterized by an equally intolerant and Jihadist strain [Citation Needed].

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Riiight...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which part of

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

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

did you find it hard to understand?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Again, which part of

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

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

did you find it hard to understand?

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

Google is your friend.

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

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

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

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

It's not only about historical revisionism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

You would be wrong.

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

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

Article 2, in total:

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

  • Islamic jurisprudence is the principal source of legislation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/

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

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

Christians do live in Utah. Do they not?

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

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

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

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