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Monday, March 13, 2017

Question, on its Knees, Begging to be Asked

The NYT presents us with another thumb sucker about Islam:

ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands — Like many Muslims, Ahmed Aboutaleb has been disturbed by the angry tenor of the Dutch election campaign. Far-right candidates have disparaged Islam, often depicting Muslims as outsiders unwilling to integrate into Dutch culture.

It is especially jarring for Mr. Aboutaleb, given that he is the mayor of Rotterdam, a fluent Dutch speaker and one of the country’s most popular politicians. Nor is he alone: The speaker of the Dutch Parliament is Muslim. The Netherlands also has Muslim social workers, journalists, comedians, entrepreneurs and bankers.

“There’s a feeling that if there are too many cultural influences from other parts of the world, then what does that mean for our Dutch traditions and culture?” said Mr. Aboutaleb, whose city, the Netherland’s second largest, is 15 percent to 20 percent Muslim and home to immigrants from 174 countries.

Or, perhaps, there is is feeling that Dutch traditions and culture are centered upon the Judeo-Christian Enlightenment and, as such, are completely antagonistic to the aspirations, by definition, of pious Muslims. After all, one might think, and be terribly disappointed if having once entertained the thought, that an article in the Newspaper Of Record, would spend even a syllable upon that seemingly intractable problem.

Nope. Its all down to those damn deplorables.

103 comments:

erp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hey Skipper said...

Thanks, erp. Fixed.

Clovis e Adri said...

Actually, someone writing "Judeo-Christian Enlightenment" clearly does not understand any of the words he wrote.

Bret said...

Clovis, yeah, that seemed pretty odd or quite a stretch to me too.

erp said...

Slightly o/t, but light-years worse than what I saw in my granddaughter's AP World History book five years ago.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Actually, someone writing "Judeo-Christian Enlightenment" clearly does not understand any of the words he wrote.

Really?

(Pro-tip: don't be a Harry. If you have a point to make, then make it.)

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

I did make a very clear point. You did not understand it for the same reason you used those words together in the first place.

I could reference to you any of the many books on the history of the Enlightenment, but it suffices to display this (a bit in error, but close enough of the original) quote of Denis Diderot, one of Enlightenment's notables:

"Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."

Quite a Judeo-Christian thought, isn't it?

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] "Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."

Quite a Judeo-Christian thought, isn't it?


There are many reasons why the Enlightenment happened in Europe rather than, say, China. And a great many more why the Islamic world -- all of it -- is moribund.

Athens and Jerusalem. Read any of those links.

Learn about St. Augustine's approach to natural knowledge and Biblical interpretation.

Remember that Christianity explicitly provided separation between the sacred and the profane: Give unto God that which is God's, and unto Caesar's.

That Christian - Judeo concepts ended up providing the rope that hung them is ironic, but as your quote should demonstrate, beside the point.

Harry Eagar said...

'Remember that Christianity explicitly provided separation between the sacred and the profane'

Did it?

The Dutch Enlightenment did but that was in opposition to Christianity.

As for the Judeo part, Dutch Jews have to explain their condemnation of Spinoza.

Which was more enlightened, Toledo in 1200 or Paris in 1700? Explain why

Hey Skipper said...

[Hey Skipper:] 'Remember that Christianity explicitly provided separation between the sacred and the profane'

[Harry:] Did it?


Yes.

As usual, Harry, you are at the train station wondering why you've missed the boat.

Let me reiterate: The Enlightenment was a world-unique period that occurred only in a culture that had nearly exclusively Christian-Judeo antecedents.

Which is more enlightened, Islam in 1200, or Islam in 2017?

erp said...

Skipper, not a fair question especially for a brainwashed -- sorry to be redundant -- lefty. Islam was never enlightened, nor is it likely to be enlightened in the future.

Harry Eagar said...

No, it didn't. David Bromwich summarizes what happened (London Review of Books, 22 Sept 2016):

"As far back as one can trace the vicissitudes of public speech and its suppression, the case for censorship seems to have begun in the need for strictures against blasphemy. The introductory chapter of Blasphemy, by the great American legal scholar Leonard Levy, covers ‘the Jewish trial of Jesus’; it is followed in close succession, in Levy’s account, by the Christian invention of the concept of heresy and the persecution of the Socinian and Arminian heretics and later of the Ranters, Antinomians and early Quakers. After an uncertain interval of state prosecutions and compromises in the 19th century, Levy’s history closes at the threshold of a second Enlightenment in the mid-20th: the endorsement by the North Atlantic democracies of a regime of almost unrestricted freedom of speech and expression."

The Enlightenment was a reaction against Christianity. That's why it emerged in a Christian society: Christianity was the least tolerant of all societies.

erp said...

Harry, it happens that I agree with you that Christianity is intolerant and worse than that, it asks believers to look to the next world for relief and to meekly accept their lot in this one. I find that unacceptable, but that said, there are no longer witch trials and people aren't put to death for their views on heliocentric orbits.

You can't really think that there was never a society less tolerant that the Christian one and BTW - to which Christian society are you referring?

Harry Eagar said...

Specifically, the Christian society that existed during te perid when the Enlightenment developed.

The only reason there are no longer witch trials is that the US is a secular society; there would certainly be witch trials again if the hgristians again obtained civil power.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] The Enlightenment was a reaction against Christianity. That's why it emerged in a Christian society: Christianity was the least tolerant of all societies.

Bollocks. Pure bollocks. Islam is the least tolerant of all religions. You live in an intellectual fun house of distorted mirrors.

Somehow, in your world, the Enlightenment arises in the least tolerant of religions, while Islam, apparently so much more tolerant, culturally ground to a halt around 1200. I can't help but notice you dodged this: Which is more enlightened, Islam in 1200, or Islam in 2017?

I'm not making claims for Christian European tolerance, but rather that all other religions, and societies, were even less open to tolerating any ideas that strayed ever so slightly from accepted shibboleths. China certainly invented things sooner. None of which went anywhere. Islam was certainly ascendant through 1200.

Unasked by Harry, due to his complete lack of curiosity, is how it can possibly be that such a supposedly intolerant religion could tolerate more than another so much more tolerant. The cognitive dissonance must drive you nuts.

erp said...

Harry, that's why our FF made separation of church and state an integral part of our Constitution. They knew that: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

Harry Eagar said...

Christianity never tolerated any other religion, except judaism, which it persecuted mercilessly. Proof: every Muslim community in Europe was exterminated, while Christian communities thrived within Islam.

erp said...

Where to start?

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,


----
[Harry:] The Enlightenment was a reaction against Christianity. That's why it emerged in a Christian society: Christianity was the least tolerant of all societies.
[Skipper] Bollocks. Pure bollocks. Islam is the least tolerant of all religions. You live in an intellectual fun house of distorted mirrors.
----
I suggest you pay attention to the verb, Skipper. Harry used the past, you came to the present.

The major religions all took turns into the dispute of which could be more intolerant.

There was a time when math and science (in the ancient form previous to the industrial revolution) thrived under Islam, while it died in Christian societies all over Europe. There is a reason you call algebra by such name.


---
Remember that Christianity explicitly provided separation between the sacred and the profane: Give unto God that which is God's, and unto Caesar's.
---
You do have a point, though it is still a far stretch, in my opinion, to coin a phrase such as "Judeo-Christian Enlightenment".

And I think you will be in serious difficulty to explain China's lack of Enlightenment in thix context, since you invoked them up above. If anything, religion was far less of a counstraint for them then it was to Europeans or Islamic people.

erp said...

Clovis, ... math and science (in the ancient form previous to the industrial revolution) thrived under Islam because of Jews living the middle east, many of whom converted during that period. Islam has no history of scholarship before or after that period. At one time, we were also told by pundits that algebra was invented by African tribesmen, the earth was flat and the sun orbited the earth among other similar fallacies.

China was enlightened well before the west.

Clovis e Adri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
math and science (in the ancient form previous to the industrial revolution) thrived under Islam because of Jews living the middle east, many of whom converted during that period.
---

No, it was way better than that: they thrived because of Jews, Christians, Hindu, and other people whose religious background was no reason for their contributions not to be valued. And many of them *did not* convert, it was not necessary. Back then, Islam was a bit more enlightened than Europe. Didn't last forever though.

erp said...

Clovis, not exactly right, but closer than I expected. I'll take it.

Bret said...

That's my understanding of that bit of history as well, more-or-less.

That Islamic world was well ahead of Europe, but it looks to me like they had a really, really hard few centuries with plagues of Mongols and plagues of black death starting after 1200 from which they basically never recovered.

erp said...

Bret, well-ahead is relative.

You may remember the Islamic aka Arab conquest of Spain and the Sicilies (my husband's ancestors) and their siege of the gates of Vienna and then there's the Ottoman Empire that enslaved my Albanian ancestors for over 600 years -- and we ain't got no reparations. They also spread Islam onto the African continent when they converted the tribes that captured slaves for them to bring to the slave markets in England. Obama's tribe, the Luo, were among those who captured their fellow Africans and sold them to Arab traders. They also spread into Asia ...

Harry Eagar said...

'Islam has no history of scholarship before or after that period.'

'Edmond Halley learned Arabic just so that he could reconstruct the lost eighth book of Appollonius's "Conics." '

-- Dmitry Levitin reviewing David Wootton's "The Invention of Science."

The ebb and revival of science and technology does not not speak well for Christianity. As Charles Singer points out ("History of Technology"), southwest Asia-northeast Africa was the source of most technological innovation up to about the time of Alexander's destruction of Persia. Then nothing for a thousand years, until the coming of Islam.

There was then about 600 years of revived innovation in tht area. This came to an end in 1368 with a decision of the ulema. (This last sentence is not based on Singer.)

The scientific revolution began in 1440 when Valla destroyed the authority of the Church.





Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Christianity never tolerated any other religion, except judaism, which it persecuted mercilessly. Proof: every Muslim community in Europe was exterminated, while Christian communities thrived within Islam.

For someone who berates people for their lack of historical knowledge, your combination of certainty and ignorance is something to behold. Perhaps this will help:

The Reconquista was a process not only of war and conquest, but also of repopulation. Christian kings moved their own people to locations abandoned by Muslims in order to have a population capable of defending the borders. The main repopulation areas were the Douro Basin (the northern plateau), the high Ebro valley (La Rioja) and central Catalonia. The repopulation of the Douro Basin took place in two distinct phases. North of the river, between the 9th and 10th centuries, the "pressure" (or presura) system was employed. South of the Douro, in the 10th and 11th centuries, the presura led to the "charters" (forais or fueros). Fueros were used even south of the Central Range.

The presura referred to a group of peasants who crossed the mountains and settled in the abandoned lands of the Douro Basin.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] The Enlightenment was a reaction against Christianity. That's why it emerged in a Christian society: Christianity was the least tolerant of all societies.

[Skipper] Bollocks. Pure bollocks. Islam is the least tolerant of all religions. You live in an intellectual fun house of distorted mirrors.

[Clovis:] I suggest you pay attention to the verb, Skipper. Harry used the past, you came to the present.

The major religions all took turns into the dispute of which could be more intolerant.


The core of Christianity is the Bible, primarily the New Testament. The core of Islam is the Quran. Compare the claims of Christianity vice those of Islam. Christianity is — in the sense that means "always has been, and remains" — inherently more tolerant than Islam. That doesn't mean that Christianity has always been more tolerant (although it is noteworthy how little Christianity has relied upon conquest for conversion), only that intolerance is not written into scripture.

Undoubtedly, in comparison to the Middle Ages in Europe, under Islam math and science thrived. The question, though, is why Islam became intellectually moribund.

To anyone familiar with this Golden Age, roughly spanning the eighth through the thirteenth centuries a.d., the disparity between the intellectual achievements of the Middle East then and now — particularly relative to the rest of the world — is staggering indeed. In his 2002 book What Went Wrong?, historian Bernard Lewis notes that “for many centuries the world of Islam was in the forefront of human civilization and achievement.” “Nothing in Europe,” notes Jamil Ragep, a professor of the history of science at the University of Oklahoma, “could hold a candle to what was going on in the Islamic world until about 1600.” Algebra, algorithm, alchemy, alcohol, alkali, nadir, zenith, coffee, and lemon: these words all derive from Arabic, reflecting Islam’s contribution to the West.

Today, however, the spirit of science in the Muslim world is as dry as the desert. Pakistani physicist Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy laid out the grim statistics in a 2007 Physics Today article: Muslim countries have nine scientists, engineers, and technicians per thousand people, compared with a world average of forty-one. In these nations, there are approximately 1,800 universities, but only 312 of those universities have scholars who have published journal articles. Of the fifty most-published of these universities, twenty-six are in Turkey, nine are in Iran, three each are in Malaysia and Egypt, Pakistan has two, and Uganda, the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Jordan, and Azerbaijan each have one.



Given that Arabic science was the most advanced in the world up until about the thirteenth century, it is tempting to ask what went wrong — why it is that modern science did not arise from Baghdad or Cairo or Córdoba. We will turn to this question later, but it is important to keep in mind that the decline of scientific activity is the rule, not the exception, of civilizations. While it is commonplace to assume that the scientific revolution and the progress of technology were inevitable, in fact the West is the single sustained success story out of many civilizations with periods of scientific flourishing. Like the Muslims, the ancient Chinese and Indian civilizations, both of which were at one time far more advanced than the West, did not produce the scientific revolution.

Hey Skipper said...


Read the rest of it. "The theological-political predispositions of Islam" are the root of Arabic science's demise.

As a way of articulating questions that lie deeper than the Ash’arism-Mu’tazilism debate, it is helpful to briefly compare Islam with Christianity. Christianity acknowledges a private-public distinction and (theoretically, at least) allows adherents the liberty to decide much about their social and political lives. Islam, on the other hand, denies any private-public distinction and includes laws regulating the most minute details of private life. Put another way, Islam does not acknowledge any difference between religious and political ends: it is a religion that specifies political rules for the community.



[ ] Far from accepting anything close to the occasionalism and legal positivism of the Sunnis, European scholars argued explicitly that when the Bible contradicts the natural world, the holy book should not be taken literally. Influential philosophers like Augustine held that knowledge and reason precede Christianity; he approached the subject of scientific inquiry with cautious encouragement, exhorting Christians to use the classical sciences as a handmaiden of Christian thought.


That is why there was a Judeo-Christian (its normal phrasing; no idea why I flipped it) Enlightenment, and the Islamic world was inherently hostile to such a thing.

Of course the Church resisted scientific encroachments; obviously, its resistance delayed progress significantly compared to what it could have been. Of course a pre-modern mindset will resist radically different explanations. The difference is that the Judeo-Christian theology was not explicitly antagonistic to such a thing.

Which is what Harry, in his reflexive hatred of Christianity, completely fails to take on board.

erp said...

Skipper, ...what went wrong is that Jews stopped converting to Islam and/or moved away from Islamic held areas. That a raft of words during this period have Arabic/Aramaic origins doesn't say anything about the scientists who coined them.

Modern scientists use Latin and/or Greek for scientific nomenclature and communication, but I don't think it's because those working in the field are Ancient Romans or Greeks.

Jews have won 20% of all Nobel prizes despite being 0.19% (for the arithmetically handicapped, that's less than 20% of one percent) of the population and the ADL posits 26% of people have negative attitudes toward Jews, so the prizes weren't given for politically correct purposes and probably some Jews didn't receive a prize they deserved because of anti-Semitism.

Harry, have you noticed that no one is defending Christianity as it evolved as a model of tolerance; Judaism might be called tolerant -- certainly in the modern era, while Islam has a handbook of horrible violence against non-believers written into its holy book.

Hey Skipper said...

The NYT couldn't ask, despite its pitiful pleading, National Review managed to address:

The courts were never going to grapple with the four corners of the executive orders — the undeniable, unambiguous, sweeping legislative authority vested in the president to restrict alien entry into the U.S.; the fact that non-immigrant aliens outside the U.S. do not have constitutional rights; the fact that our system makes border security against foreign threats the responsibility of the accountable political branches, not the unaccountable judiciary.

...

The goal is to achieve a screening system that vets for Islamic radicalism. How do you ever get there if you disavow a purpose to subject alien Muslims to heightened scrutiny? That’s great . . . if what you’re trying to achieve is a temporary step followed by . . . nothing. The goal here, though, is to achieve a screening system that vets for Islamic radicalism. How do you ever get there if, to try to justify a temporary step that provides no material security improvements, you disavow a purpose to subject alien Muslims to heightened scrutiny?

If that is not what President Trump’s “extreme vetting” is about, then what’s the point? Why bother with any of this?

Here is the blunt, inescapable fact: The United States is in a defensive war against what is imprecisely called “radical Islam.” The war proceeds on two tracks: the kinetic militancy of jihadists, and the cultural challenge of anti-Western, anti-constitutional Islamic law and mores. The ideology that catalyzes both tracks is sharia supremacism — the implementation and spreading of sharia, classical Islam’s societal structure and legal code, is the rationale for all jihadist terror and of all the Islamist cultural aggression that slipstreams behind it.

The dividing line is sharia supremacism. On one side of it we find patriotic, pro-American Muslims who are spiritually devout but reject the imposition of sharia on civil and political life; on the other, the Islamists — the sharia supremacists. The challenge posed by the latter is not merely that some percentage of them are jihadists; it is that as a population — or as enclaves that take hold in the West — they are assimilation-resistant, and their ideological havens will breed the jihadists of the future while stifling the Constitution in the here and now.

...

This is the vetting that the Left and the courts are determined to prevent. They would have you believe that the Constitution is a suicide pact: that alien Muslims somehow have a First Amendment establishment-clause right against enhanced inspection; that an immigration system that has always vetted against totalitarian political ideologies cannot vet against this one, sharia supremacism, because it shrouds itself in religion. So forget the executive orders.

This is the ground on which the Left has to be defeated. We will never get there by denying that Islam is the heart of the matter.

Hey Skipper said...

The question the NYT couldn't ask, ...

erp said...

Skipper, is there a link in your last comment?

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

You give quite long quotes for someone who is basically in agreement with my point about the past of Islam.

Inspired by your Judeo-Christian Englihtenment, I will from now on refer to the Capistalist Communism of Marx. And to the Democratic Nazism of Hitler. They will all make us much sense, and everybody will sure think I am a pretty good at communicating my points.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Inspired by your Judeo-Christian Enlightenment ...

I would have thought that the links I provided demonstrate the concept isn't mine.

They will all make us much sense, and everybody will sure think I am a pretty good at communicating my points.

If you have a problem with the concept, then by all means, instead of being a twit, make the damn argument. Point out to me what is wrong in the articles I cited, why they have their historical facts wrong, or omitted important facts, or committed crimes against logic.

But, for the love of God, knock it off with this snotty, level 0 trollery.

Between you and Harry, I've had it.

Harry Eagar said...

I was not talking about the extermination of Muslim community in Iberia but in Italy.

Although the expulsion of the Muslims and Jews from Iberia, followed by the savage persecution of conversos there, does nothing to counter my original statement.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Although the expulsion of the Muslims and Jews from Iberia, followed by the savage persecution of conversos there, does nothing to counter my original statement.

You have yet to respond to this:

Somehow, in your world, the Enlightenment arises in the least tolerant of religions, while Islam, apparently so much more tolerant, culturally ground to a halt around 1200. I can't help but notice you dodged this: Which is more enlightened, Islam in 1200, or Islam in 2017?

And it would help a great deal if you could provide some justification for your pronunciamentos.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

Are you serious?

Islam in 2017 is clearly more enlightened than in 1200.

In 1200, following the Quran, Jews and Christians had to pay some extra fee to stay around. Nowadays, that's not the norm. You may argue many of those societies are sill partying like it is the XIX century - but it would be quite a stretch to say they are worse than XIII century.

erp said...

Clovis, you do know there isn't a baker's dozen of Jews or Christians in the ME and those few pockets that remain aren't being asked to pay a fee to stay around, they are being rounded up and slaughtered.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

What if I told you the number of Christians living under Muslim majorities is not so different from the number of Muslims living under Christian majorities?

erp said...

... actually the only place that comes to mind is Albania.

Hey Skipper said...

Malaysia may tip the balance.

Regardless, Muslims in Christian countries are allowed to go about their lives. The other way around? Not nearly so much.

erp said...

Skipper, I thought the discussion was about countries in the ME and surrounds.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,


To the extent personal freedom is allowed in Muslim societies, most Christians under them have basically the same freedoms as muslims.

The difference being that civil liberties are often more robust in Christian majority societies than the other way around.

But it is still way better than 1200.

Hey Skipper said...

To the extent personal freedom is allowed in Muslim societies, most Christians under them have basically the same freedoms as muslims.

Not if that Christian happens to be an ex-Muslim.

However, Muslims are prevented from converting to other religions by law,[5] despite article 11 of the constitution declaring freedom of religion. Restrictions on religious freedom exist, especially for Muslims who are not allowed to legally convert to other religions, and are often forced into rehabilitation camps if they attempt to.

Spot "basically" the same freedoms:

As Islam is the state religion, the government provides financial support to Islamic establishments and enforces the Sunni form of Islam. State governments can impose Islamic law on Muslims, and the government will offer grants to private Muslim schools that allow a government-approved curriculum and supervision. The government also indirectly funds non-Islamic communities, although to a much smaller degree. The government generally does not interfere with the religious practices of non-Muslim communities. Public schools offer an Islamic religious instruction course which is compulsory for Muslim students, and non-Muslim students take a morals and ethics course.

...

Islamic courts have unanimously ruled that all ethnic Malays must remain Muslims. Even non-Malays who have converted to Islam are not allowed to leave Islam, and children born to Muslim parents are considered to be Muslims.[20] A non-Muslim who wishes to marry a Muslim must first convert to Islam.

...

It is illegal to disseminate any non-Islamic religious material to Muslims.

...

It is forbidden for non-Muslims to try to convert Muslims, although Muslims are allowed to convert others.

...

Christianity has become restricted as Malaysia has become more Islamic. Restrictions have been placed on the construction of new churches, although existing ones are allowed to operate. The city of Shah Alam has not allowed any churches to be built. Christians are not allowed to attempt the conversion of Muslims and their literature must have a note saying it is for non-Muslims only.


Many Muslims in some places, may be more accepting of other religions than in 1200, but there are a great many who aren't. Islam itself hasn't changed one iota.

The problem with asserting that Islam is somehow better than it was in 1200 is the enduring intellectual, political, and economic stagnation that predominates throughout majority-Muslim countries.

[erp:] Skipper, I thought the discussion was about countries in the ME and surrounds.

It was.

However, Clovis is correct that there are Muslim countries where the situation for other religionists isn't nearly as dire as in the ME. I think it a safe bet that there is a direct correlation between how high the percentage of Muslims is in a country, and how dire things are for everyone else.

In very strong contrast to Western countries.

erp said...

Skipper, from what I've read Moslem countries outside the ME, i.e. black Africa and SE Asia aren't as stringent in following the Koran. In fact, when Obama's mother and step-father took him to Indonesia, he went to a Christian school before transferring to a Moslem one. Also, neither he nor his mother converted to Islam as is required per your comment above.

Harry Eagar said...

'provide some justification for your pronunciamentos.'

Since I am merely citing events, I do not have to explain how they came to be. There are several possible explanations. Among the most persuasive, to me, are the fractured polities of Christendom, contrasted with the centralized governments in the heartland of Islam, in India or (in a non-Muslim context) China.

(There is an interesting study about smuggling of religious texts in Europe in the 18th c. The Protestant Dutch smuggled Catholic texts and the Catholics from the Jura smuggled Protestant texts. A good argument, perhaps, for free markets.)

The relative tolerance within Islam may derive from Persian practices (most unwelcome to the fundamentalist Arabic-speaking Muslims in the early centuries), and the relative intolerance of Christianity to the OT. In any case, wherever Christians held civil power there was no tolerance. This remains true in 2017.

I had an English professor (trained as a Baptist theologian) who suggested that secular government arose in Europe after 1648 because, as he put it, 'people decided it wasn't worth killing people over religious ideas any more.'



Hey Skipper said...

[erp:] Skipper, from what I've read Moslem countries outside the ME, i.e. black Africa and SE Asia aren't as stringent in following the Koran.

That is true. It is also true that Muslims aren't as predominant in those areas as in, say, the ME.

In fact, when Obama's mother and step-father took him to Indonesia, he went to a Christian school before transferring to a Moslem one. Also, neither he nor his mother converted to Islam as is required per your comment above.

Per the quote, converting to Islam is simple. Converting from Islam is severely punished.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Since I am merely citing events, I do not have to explain how they came to be.

Actually, you do. Cherry picking events to prove a pre-ordained conclusion is a mugs game. The point you are actively missing is that Christianity wasn't inherently and inextricably hostile to the Enlightenment; indeed, some elements of Christianity (St. Augustine and the metaphorical/allegorical nature of the Bible are two) provided significant openings to the Enlightenment.

In contrast, Islamic rigidity and murderous intolerance means Islam is scarcely removed from the 13th century.

There are certainly other reasons that the Enlightenment happened in Europe, but it is noteworthy that nothing remotely resembling it happened anywhere in the Islamic world.

In any case, wherever Christians held civil power there was no tolerance. This remains true in 2017.

You say a great many unjustifiable things: this has just raised the bar. Clearly, among other things, you are completely ignorant of increasing tolerance for other beliefs in Britain for hundreds of years.

Just one example.

(And, it must be noted, that among religious beliefs, none is more oppressive, or intolerant, than progressivism.)

erp said...

Skipper, your comment above states ... children born to Muslim parents are considered to be Muslims.[20] A non-Muslim who wishes to marry a Muslim must first convert to Islam. I've read that's true as well. Do you think that Obama's mother converted to Islam making Obama Moslem as well?

Indonesia is 88% Moslem; the percentage of Moslems in Africa varies.

Harry Eagar said...

'ignorant of increasing tolerance for other beliefs in Britain for hundreds of years. '

Well, hundreds of years takes us back to 1817. The degree of religious tolerance in ngland in 1817 was minimal.


erp said...

Harry, ... wherever Christians held civil power there was no tolerance. This remains true in 2017.

Please list the countries where, in your opinion, Christians* hold civil power in 2017?

*Remembering that in the christer world, Catholics are not considered Christians.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Well, hundreds of years takes us back to 1817. The degree of religious tolerance in England in 1817 was minimal.

When was the last time someone was killed on account of their religion in Great Britain? (Except, that is, for Muslims killing kafirs.)

For someone who is so scathingly critical of other's historical knowledge, you sure come up short sometimes.

[erp:] Skipper, your comment above states ... children born to Muslim parents are considered to be Muslims. A non-Muslim who wishes to marry a Muslim must first convert to Islam. I've read that's true as well. Do you think that Obama's mother converted to Islam making Obama Moslem as well?

My quote refers to the current state of Islamic "tolerance"; I have no idea what it was like when Obama was a kid. Further, a person's religion is what they say it is. Even if Obama was in some sense a Muslim once, I don't think that has any bearing on what he is now.

erp said...

Skipper, not to be contentious, but your quote above correctly states that it is darn difficult, if not impossible, to stop being a Moslem and IMO that explains a lot about Obama.

Harry Eagar said...

'Please list the countries where, in your opinion, Christians* hold civil power in 2017?'

Tonga

'When was the last time someone was killed on account of their religion in Great Britain?'

1972, 1973, 1998

Hey Skipper said...

Links, Harry. Otherwise, you are giving the impression you are making stuff up.

[erp:] Skipper, not to be contentious, but your quote above correctly states that it is darn difficult, if not impossible, to stop being a Moslem and IMO that explains a lot about Obama.

I disagree. I think it is just as easy to ignore, or disbelieve, Islam in whole or in part, as any other religion. However, wherever Islam holds sway admitting it is very dangerous.

Harry Eagar said...

Did you read the papers back then? It wasn't so long ago.

If I recall right, you were in England for some years. The discussion of the murders was unending.

Hey Skipper said...

Links, please, Harry. I wasn't in England in 1972, 1973, or 1998. I have no idea if those incidents -- if they even happened -- was due to a totally intolerant Christian ruled country, or isolated whack jobs.

Since you have already wasted more time with your whinging than it would have taken to provide links, that makes it very likely you are making stuff up. It wouldn't be the first time.

Harry Eagar said...

But you were in England. As I said, the murderswere the topic of endless comment. Still are.

' I have no idea if those incidents -- if they even happened -- was due to a totally intolerant Christian ruled country, or isolated whack jobs.'

Official government policy, still in effect.

erp said...

Comrade Google comes up with nada.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] But you were in England. As I said, the murders were the topic of endless comment. Still are.

I was in England. Seven years. Didn't hear of them once.

So knock it off with your whinging -- your search terms couldn't possibly be more than a half dozen words. You've wasted ten times that many avoiding the point.

I think you are lying.

erp said...

Skipper, remember Harry's list of Christian controlled countries was Tonga.

Harry Eagar said...

Be careful. I might change my mind.

Hey Skipper said...

So knock it off with your whinging -- your search terms couldn't possibly be more than a half dozen words. You've wasted ten times that many avoiding the point.

I think you are lying.

erp said...

Harry, about?

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

----
[Clovis] To the extent personal freedom is allowed in Muslim societies, most Christians under them have basically the same freedoms as muslims.

[Skipper] Not if that Christian happens to be an ex-Muslim.
----
I wrote my phrase carefully. If you think it over, you'll see the fact that Islam gets preferential treatment by the State ends up being more of a restriction over Muslims than it is over Christians, as your examples readily show.

In authoritatian societies, the least govt directs attention to you, the better.

---
The problem with asserting that Islam is somehow better than it was in 1200 is the enduring intellectual, political, and economic stagnation that predominates throughout majority-Muslim countries.
---
That's not a problem at all if such stagnation happens after you achieve better conditions than in 1200.

---
Christianity has become restricted as Malaysia has become more Islamic. Restrictions have been placed on the construction of new churches, although existing ones are allowed to operate. The city of Shah Alam has not allowed any churches to be built.
---
Considering you do live in Europe today, I wonder if you are aware of the irony of this citation. It is not hard to find a few cities (and countries) placing restrictions on building mosques and minarets, not very far from you at all.

Hey Skipper said...

If you think it over, you'll see the fact that Islam gets preferential treatment by the State ends up being more of a restriction over Muslims than it is over Christians, as your examples readily show.

Re-read and rethink. You are facing a problem you don't see. Let's say a person becomes disenchanted with Islam, and finds faith in Christianity. Is that person a Muslim, or a Christian?

The person will tell you the latter. The government insists upon the former. Unless you are willing to bow down to Islam, then it seems tough to conclude that the restriction is upon Muslims. It isn't.

That's not a problem at all if such stagnation happens after you achieve better conditions than in 1200.

Note that I have distinguished between Islam and Muslims. Islamic countries, on their own, have been moribund for the last 800 years. Unless, of course, I am missing all the many inventions and discoveries emanating from Islamic countries over that period.

Considering you do live in Europe today, I wonder if you are aware of the irony of this citation. It is not hard to find a few cities (and countries) placing restrictions on building mosques and minarets, not very far from you at all.

You are engaging in moral relativism, in the first degree.

In Islamic countries, it is practically impossible to freely practice other religions.

In the US and Europe, there are occasional inconveniences.

Not the same. Not even close.

Harry Eagar said...

'It is not hard to find a few cities (and countries) placing restrictions on building mosques and minarets, not very far from you at all.'

In Franco Spain, it was forbidden to build Protestant churches.

'In Islamic countries, it is practically impossible to freely practice other religions.'

Is Nigeria an Islamic country? Egypt? Jordan?

erp said...

Harry, a more interesting question is how and why Nigeria is an Islamic country?

Jews in Jordan:

FTA

... Unlike most countries in the Middle East, Jordan has diplomatic relations with Israel and allows Israeli citizens to enter its borders. Jordanian law, however, prohibits Jews from becoming citizens or owning property. A handful of Jewish students and aid workers do currently live there, but they keep their Jewishness secret.

Religious freedom in Egypt.

Hey Skipper said...

In Islamic countries, it is practically impossible to freely practice other religions.'

[Harry:] Is Nigeria an Islamic country? Egypt? Jordan?


Harry, do you ever look before you type? Egyptian religious freedom is in name only. Malaysia is is no better. As for Nigeria, let's have a shout out to Boko Haram!

Boko Haram (roughly translated as “Western education is forbidden”) is a serious threat to religious freedom in Nigeria, conducting bombings, raids, and other violent attacks against Christians as well as fellow Muslims.[12] The Boko Haram declared an Islamic “Caliphate” in areas it controlled. On March 8th, 2015 the Boko Haram pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Suicide bombings continue to take place daily despite efforts by the African Union. Boko Haram has also destroyed school property, attacked teachers, and abducted children. 275 girls from Chibok are still missing to date.[13]

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Let's say a person becomes disenchanted with Islam, and finds faith in Christianity. Is that person a Muslim, or a Christian?
The person will tell you the latter.
Unless you are willing to bow down to Islam, then it seems tough to conclude that the restriction is upon Muslims. It isn't.
---
Why should we restrict ourselves to a particular point in time, i.e. right when that person wants conversion?

He - and most other Muslims in such naitons - are born with their religious freedom highly constrained. In many cases they are allowed to change religion when turning 18 (or a similar passing to adult age), not before, and never afterwards.

A Christian living in such place, though, is allowed to change no another non-Muslim religion at any time. If he converts to Islam though, then he is now as captive as the other citizens at this aspect.

It is quite clear that the subset of citizens with less degrees of freedom is the Islamic one in such a society.

---
Unless, of course, I am missing all the many inventions and discoveries emanating from Islamic countries over that period.
---
Well, there are Islamic nations with Nobel prizes and nuclear bombs. Compared to 1200 - which was your initial assertion - it does look like a bit of improvement, I would say.


---
You are engaging in moral relativism, in the first degree.
---
No, I am not, I only gave you a simple fact. I did not infer any moral aspect from that - if you think otherwise, give me the quote. Actually, you are taking that point in order to build a metric, and not being honest enough wiith your own game.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Unless you are willing to bow down to Islam, then it seems tough to conclude that the restriction is upon Muslims. It isn't.

It is easy to conclude the restriction is upon Christians: the law punishes anyone who was ever even tenuously Muslim if they choose to decide otherwise. Muslims are completely free to remain Muslims; they are forbidden from being Christian: that is by definition a restriction upon Christians.

But wait, there's more:

Judaism is not a recognized religion in Malaysia and movements such as Modern Orthodox Judaism which incorporate Zionism or any Jewish prayer book that may contain a prayer for the state of Israel are outrightly illegal. … Even Jewish prayer items such as a Torah scroll may be confiscated by customs, thus the practice of Judaism be it Zionistic or not is impossible. In a sermon prepared by the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department (JAWI), Jews are to be regarded as the main enemy of Muslims.

A non Muslim who wishes to marry a Muslim must convert. Christian proselytising of Muslims is prohibited, but Muslims may proselytise Christians.. Christians are prohibited from using the word "Allah" the name for God that Malaysian Christians had used for centuries.

The US State Dept is much less impressed with religious freedom in Malaysia than you are.

According to the Economist,

But Malaysian Islam is gradually growing sterner, and its promotion by the state more aggressive.

[Clovis:] Well, there are Islamic nations with Nobel prizes and nuclear bombs. Compared to 1200 - which was your initial assertion - it does look like a bit of improvement, I would say.

Muslims make up 23% of the world's population. To date, three Muslims have been awarded Nobels in the sciences.

Jews, on the other hand, despite being only 0.2% of the world's population, have 197 Nobel laureates.

[Clovis:] No, I am not, I only gave you a simple fact. I did not infer any moral aspect from that - if you think otherwise, give me the quote.


Okay, here you go:

Considering you do live in Europe today, I wonder if you are aware of the irony of this citation. It is not hard to find a few cities (and countries) placing restrictions on building mosques and minarets, not very far from you at all.

The charge of moral relativism comes from equating things which are entirely different in kind and degree. The restrictions on Muslims in the West are very nearly non-existent; the restrictions on other religions in Islamic countries ranges from significant to severe.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
The US State Dept is much less impressed with religious freedom in Malaysia than you are.
---
The choice of Malaysia was only yours. My general assertion to Erp was quite different: "What if I told you the number of Christians living under Muslim majorities is not so different from the number of Muslims living under Christian majorities"

I then made the point that, though life in those places is far from any western ideal of freedom, to the extent they have any freedom, Christians are left alone in the majority of cases. In 1200, in the best case scenarios they had to pay extra taxes to be left alone, plus many other hassles that wouldmake the finer poins of present day conversion restrictions to look like almost enlightened.

You will easily find countries and places in Islam where life is hell for non-Muslims, but that only shows you are not reading what I write.


---
Muslims make up 23% of the world's population. To date, three Muslims have been awarded Nobels in the sciences.
Jews, on the other hand, despite being only 0.2% of the world's population, have 197 Nobel laureates.
---
Do you see the pattern here? You make some obviously wrong argument - like the Muslim world being no better now than in 1200 - and, upon being corrected, tries to bring shades to your story.

How about thinking twice before phrasing your pronunciamentos the way you do?


---
The charge of moral relativism comes from equating things which are entirely different in kind and degree.
---
No, it comes from you being unable to gauge your own words and my response to them. Take the above quote to its origins, which was you saying:

"Christianity has become restricted as Malaysia has become more Islamic. Restrictions have been placed on the construction of new churches, although existing ones are allowed to operate. The city of Shah Alam has not allowed any churches to be built. Christians are not allowed to attempt the conversion of Muslims and their literature must have a note saying it is for non-Muslims only."


Restriction of new churches in a country (and then in a city) is your example. There are a few countries - and cities - placing restrictions on mosques/minarets in Europe too - was my response. Exact same kind and degree of the topic at hand -- not a larger topic of which *you* (not me) are taking any other moral stances into consideration.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] The choice of Malaysia was only yours. My general assertion to Erp was quite different: "What if I told you the number of Christians living under Muslim majorities is not so different from the number of Muslims living under Christian majorities"

Indeed it was. A far better response would have been to ask what your point was. After all, impositions have nothing to do with numbers. (Well, to be more precise, the greater the number of Muslims in a country, the greater the impositions on other religions.)

I leapt on Malaysia because it is, as countries with significant numbers of Muslims go, relatively tolerant. But it still, despite your denial, makes much greater impositions on believers in other religions.

In Indonesia, The Christian governor of Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, lost a bitterly contested race on Wednesday that was widely seen as a test of religious and ethnic tolerance in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.

This might have had something to do with it:

At one point last year, Mr. Basuki held a double-digit lead in the polls, but his candidacy was hobbled by a criminal trial in which he was accused of blasphemy against Islam. He and his supporters say the court case — prompted by large demonstrations in the capital by hard-line Islamic groups demanding that he be prosecuted, or publicly lynched — was orchestrated by his political opponents to sabotage his campaign.

Analysts said Mr. Basuki could not recover from the damage of Islamic groups using religion as a political weapon, despite a decades-old government regulation banning such tactics.



Some local mosques posted banners saying it was forbidden for Muslims to vote for a non-Muslim candidate.



That sort of thing isn't confined to Indonesia:

Is it true that Islam is uniquely unreceptive to religious freedom? Comparative political science can offer some helpful perspective. An aggregate, satellite view does indeed show a dearth of religious freedom in Islam. A comparison between the world’s 47 or so Muslim-majority countries and the rest of the world – derived from measurements developed by sociologists Brian Grim and Roger Finke and undergirding the Pew Forum’s rankings on religious freedom – shows that Islam clearly has considerably lower levels of religious freedom than the rest of the world and Christian-majority countries. In their 2011 book published on the same data – “The Price of Religious Freedom Denied: Religious Persecution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century” – Grim and Finke show that 78 percent of Muslim-majority countries have high levels of government restrictions on religious freedom, compared with 43 percent of all other countries and 10 percent of Christian countries.

Hey Skipper said...

From above:

[Hey Skipper:] Which is more enlightened, Islam in 1200, or Islam in 2017?

[Clovis:] Islam in 2017 is clearly more enlightened than in 1200.

In 1200, following the Quran, Jews and Christians had to pay some extra fee to stay around. Nowadays, that's not the norm. You may argue many of those societies are sill partying like it is the XIX century - but it would be quite a stretch to say they are worse than XIII century.


I used the term Islam on purpose. Islam is no more tolerant now than it was in the 13th century — by definition. That many Muslims are far more tolerant now says nothing about the religion itself.

Unfortunately, reality keeps intruding. Remember the Danish Mohammed cartoons? The frenzy that arose from them made one thing clear: a great many Muslims feel they are entitled to impose the diktats of their religion upon non-believers.

Restriction of new churches in a country (and then in a city) is your example. There are a few countries - and cities - placing restrictions on mosques/minarets in Europe too - was my response. Exact same kind and degree of the topic at hand -- not a larger topic of which *you* (not me) are taking any other moral stances into consideration.

No, it isn't nearly the same in kind or degree. The only restriction on mosques I know of is Switzerland prohibiting minarets — that is scarcely the same as prohibiting churches. Muslims in Europe or the US face virtually no constraints; indeed, if you were to pile up all the constraints Muslims face in Christian countries, I doubt they would amount to the constraints Christians face in one majority Muslim country.

Never mind Jews.

Finally, it is also worth noting that Muslims have created no-go zones in Europe. Are believers in any other religion anywhere doing anything even remotely like that?

erp said...

... Again using logic doesn't apply with lefties.

Hey Skipper said...

erp:

I spent a lot of time being mystified about the phrase "immanentizing the eschaton".

Dunno why, it isn't that difficult a concept.

Why this is pertinent here is that Christianity does not immanentize the eschaton. The distinction between Christianity and Christians is just as important here as that between Islam and Muslims. There is no doubting that, centuries past, Christians immamentized the eschaton. However, there is nothing in the New Testament requiring this.

Which means that Christians could find a textually based argument away from that, whereas the Quran absolutely precludes that option -- there are plenty of imprecations in the here and now to wreak divine vengeance.

Thankfully, the Bible practically begs to be taken metaphorically. In the few cases where that is inconvenient, they are almost all in the Old Testament, which Christianity mostly relegates to the sidelines. That means Christianity -- made of the same kind of humans as any other religion -- has escape clauses aplenty.

But not totally. The Old Testament proscription against homosexuality is unusually direct, and therefore provides little wiggle room. Having some first hand experience with this -- my brother is gay -- I am certain that the Old Testament is speaking bollocks in this regard.

This presents problems for Jews and Christians.

Taking the verses as read, then there is no quarter to be given. However, reality is difficult to overcome. On account of reasons that would take hours to fully describe, it is extremely difficult to conclude that, if God is real, God willed homosexuals to be born that way. And if God isn't real, then Katy bar the door.

This poses a significant problem to believers, which is why gay [fill in the blank] is such an issue with believers.

Now, multiply that problem by a thousand. That gets close to Islam's existential reaction. Their theological structure is so rigid that acknowledging one crack means the flood.



erp said...

Skipper, one of my main problems with Christianity is the emphasis on the next life where the faithful will sit at the right hand of god, not this one -- oh and confession and absolution, but that's next week's lesson.

In this it is similar to Islam.

Everything else is just details.

I'm no expert in the Bible, but I think there are plenty of exhortations to convert the heathens, but perhaps the methods aren't as graphically described as in the Koran.

IMO, one of the FF's most brilliant moves was to separate church and state completely.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
In Indonesia, The Christian governor of Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, lost a bitterly contested race on Wednesday that was widely seen as a test of religious and ethnic tolerance in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.
---
Well, thanks for making my point for me.

So in Jakarta they had a bitter election with highly polarizing identity politics leading one candidate, Mr. Basuki, to lose the election.

By contrast, in 1200 Mr. Basuki would be happy, very happy, if he was allowed to be paying his taxes in order to be left alone. And to run for Mayor of an Islamic city would be impossible, both because there weren't elections, and they would never pacifically contemplate the idea of allowing Mr. Basuki to rule over them anyway. Actually, Mr. Basuki would not only lose such an election, but his life.


---
That sort of thing isn't confined to Indonesia:
Is it true that Islam is uniquely unreceptive to religious freedom?
---
That's a very nice article you quote, thank you. I suppose you could very well draw lessons from it too:

"Do these aggregate scores prove that Islam is indeed generally inhospitable to religious freedom, then? No. Zooming in from a satellite view to a more fine-grained view reveals far greater diversity. First, it shows that 12 out of 47 Muslim-majority states fall into the category of “low restrictions on religious freedom,” meaning that they are essentially religiously free. Even among the other 35 Muslim-majority states, which have moderate, high or very high levels of restriction, there are significantly different patterns of repression, which yield different conclusions about Islam. There are two patterns in particular, namely “Islamist,” which represent 21 of these countries, and “secular repressive,” which represent 14 of these countries."

And further:

"While Islam may suffer a dearth of religious freedom in the aggregate, Islam is not necessarily the reason behind this dearth. Secular repressive governments are a widespread source of repression in the Muslim world. Even Islamist regimes often have their origin in historical circumstances that belie an easy linkage of Islamic teachings with religious repression. The Iranian Revolution of 1979, for instance, cannot be understood apart from the severe secular repression of Shah Reza Pahlavi’s secular repressive regime of the mid-twentieth century. This, combined with the presence of religiously free countries in Islam, points to the possibility that religious freedom in the Muslim world might expand."



Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
I used the term Islam on purpose. Islam is no more tolerant now than it was in the 13th century — by definition. That many Muslims are far more tolerant now says nothing about the religion itself.
---
That's a distinction without difference, so I disagree. A religion is what its practitioners make of it.

---
The only restriction on mosques I know of is Switzerland prohibiting minarets — that is scarcely the same as prohibiting churches.
---
Then you are very bad at Google-fu.

---
Finally, it is also worth noting that Muslims have created no-go zones in Europe. Are believers in any other religion anywhere doing anything even remotely like that?
---
Oh yes, there are.

All the no-go zones of Europe are idyllic playgrounds in comparison to the far greater no-go zones of Brazil, the largest Catholic country on Earth.

Sometimes it looks like you traveled too much, but learned too little of the World, dear Skipper.

erp said...

The Shah correctly repressed the Islamic crazies and brought Iran into the modern world for an alas brief moment.

I'm not so sure that a comparison of the no-go zones in Brazil with those in European Moslem refugee areas is fair. In Brazil, the no-go zones are, as I've been led to believe, due to acute poverty and lawlessness allowed to fester. Those in Europe are cultural with the refugees coming into the country with lots of money in their pockets and a sense of empowerment and entitlement in their attitudes.

Clovis e Adri said...

I guess there are few bloody dictators you will fail to show respect to, right Erp?

You definitely were born in the wrong country.

erp said...

Bloody dictators are in the eye of the beholder.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Well, thanks for making my point for me.

Then I have completely lost track of what your point is. The judicial system, such as it is, chose to impose Islamic concepts, such as they are, of blasphemy on to a Christian. Now, if your point was that Muslim countries systemically step on the religious beliefs of non-Muslims, then I did, indeed, make your point.

But since that has been my point all along, I suspect you are confused. As the succeeding para makes clear. One question is whether, in the here and now, Muslims are much less tolerant of other religions, than other religions are of Islam. The other is whether Islam itself is more tolerant.

They aren't, and it isn't.

Do these aggregate scores prove that Islam is indeed generally inhospitable to religious freedom, then?

Did you read the comments? I suspect not, because they pointed out the PC tripe included in the article. While Islam may suffer a dearth of religious freedom in the aggregate … says it all. Here are some examples of Muslim tolerance. And another. But wait, there's more.

[Clovis:] That's a distinction without difference, so I disagree. A religion is what its practitioners make of it.

That means you have a unitary answer for what Islam is, because all its practitioners make the same thing out of it.

Islam makes specific claims for itself — look it up. Among others, the Quran is the perfect book, handed down to Mohammed by Allah. Islam is

Then you are very bad at Google-fu.

Hey, I have an idea. Stack up all the religious impositions on Muslims in Christian countries, then do the reverse.

I'm betting the latter stack is much larger, and far more odious.

(And that is before you get to the foul stench of anti-Judaism that permeates Islam. Look it up.

Oh yes, there are.

All the no-go zones of Europe are idyllic playgrounds in comparison to the far greater no-go zones of Brazil, the largest Catholic country on Earth.


There you go again, channeling Harry. That which you provide without substantiation, the rest of us can completely ignore.

[erp I,] guess there are few bloody dictators you will fail to show respect to, right Erp?

That's foul, Clovis.

erp said...

Thanks Skipper, but don't blame the boy. He is unschooled in the truth. The "bloody dictators" to whom he refers are Franco, Pinochet, the Shah -- don't remember any others. Their legacy is: a free Spain peaceably returned to the legal ruler, King Juan Carlos; Chile, the only country south of our border that's free and prosperous and Iran, bloody hell since Carter deposed the shah and a bloody hell for the foreseeable future.

Clovis e Adri said...

I think you should put your actions where your mouth is, Erp.

Move to some country with a good US-approved Dictator and enjoy life there, if that's as good as you say it is.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Then I have completely lost track of what your point is.
---
That's established for some time now.

---
The judicial system, such as it is, chose to impose Islamic concepts, such as they are, of blasphemy on to a Christian.
---
I give you an idea.

Come over to Brazil and kick and break the statue of a saint in public. Yes, one that yourself bought, if you wish. See what happens.


---
There you go again, channeling Harry. That which you provide without substantiation, the rest of us can completely ignore.
---
I am under no obligation to make up for your ignorance of places afar your reality. Or, and that's sure more difficult, to make up for the blind points of your ideological worldview.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
In Brazil, the no-go zones are, as I've been led to believe, due to acute poverty and lawlessness allowed to fester. Those in Europe are cultural with the refugees coming into the country with lots of money in their pockets and a sense of empowerment and entitlement in their attitudes.
---

You are more right about Brazil than Europe (your ideia of them having 'lots of money in their pockets' is nuts).

Most no-go zones of Europe are places of poverty too, even if far less poor than their Brazilians counterparts.

What both share is a detachment of the culture that surrounds them. Our first Favelas started as places for the ex-slaves, people absolutely destitute who were denied jobs and to share space with their superiors -- and education in everything, including the 'dominant' culture.

The Muslim no-go zones are also naturally detached from their surrounding culture, by a mix of rejection by both parts (themselves and the local culture).


But in the end of the day, what matters is how much of a no-go zones they are. I can guarantee that Catholic Brazil could produce no-go zones that are second to none, including war torn countries such as Iraq.

erp said...

Always follow the money. Why do you think all these countries want refugees -- ditto sanctuary cities.

erp said...

Clovis, As your arguments become more and more tenuous, you are unfortunately using the only tactic left -- ad hominem attack.

Either come up with a reasoned defense or stop and re-think your positions. You have been sold a bill of goods all your life. Sorry but that is the case and that you still come here for more "abuse," I think you are worth saving. People like Harry probably not. He's drunk so much koolaid, it's the only thing coursing through his veins.

I said nothing about a US approved dictator. If only I did speak for the US, the world would be a far different and nicer place, but alas I only speak for myself.

The people whom I cited and you call bloody dictators did what needed to be done and that is wipe out the enemies of the people like commies in Chile and Spain and Islamic nutcases in Iran.

You can't argue that Spain isn't in a a far better place than than it would have been as part of the USSR and that Chile, even though moving left again (there's always a new generation to be hoodwinked into thinking that socialism works) isn't the best place to be in LA? As for Iran, only one Dante's lower levels of hell could be a worse place.

Clovis e Adri said...

Sorry Erp, but an ad hominem attack was necessary: it is far too easy to defend dictatorships when you never had to live under them. That needs to be brought to personal level so you can understand the hypocrisy of your position.

Spain and Chile are far better places for not being commies. But then it is easy to count only the points in favor of your argument. Saddan Hussein was once your guy too, remember?

IMHO Brazil had never been under communist threat - not one that asked for a dictatorship at least. Yet there was the USA, supporting the overthrow of our democracy. Can you count that one too?



erp said...

Alas our government is not a monolith which stands firm with the FF's now and in the past, but changes across the left/right spectrum with the left predominant, but none of that applies to my views.

Did you miss where I said I don't speak for the US, but only for myself?

PS: Ad hominems only show a lack of reasoned response. As in the playground shouting "your mother wears army boots" doesn't win fair maiden or the debate.

Citizens of Spain and Chile are much better off whatever they may have suffered under Franco and Pinochet. It was far less than the alternative and promised a happy ending -- the outcome without them not so much.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

And the citizens of Iraq, how far better they are for all their years of Saddam and everything that followed from it?

Your remarks about ad hominens apply both ways.

erp said...

Iraq?

My remarks about your schooling are not ad hominem attacks. They are statements of facts. The left wing propaganda you were served at school only serves to move the narrative along and bears little connection with actual events and facts, but don't fret, pretty soon whatever comrade google serves up, WILL be the facts, so you'll be fine.

Oh, those old reference books???? They were written by John Birchers, the Koch brothers ... Let's just burn them and get them out-of-the-way.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

Yes, Iraq.


I understand you think you are being just realist - "yes, all those dictators, they were the least worst option, kid".

But what I really read form your support for them is: "Liberty for me, but not for thee".

What really moved the US on its support for dictators worldwide was not a benign consideration of the least worst option for the populations under their boots. It was, simply, what was the best option for America.

And there is nothing wrong with that as long as it is pretty clear for all involved. The talk about that being for the best of those who suffered those autocracies is, many times, hypocritical self-justification so you can feel good.

In some cases, it was indeed the least worst option *and* the best option for America. In other cases, not so much.

erp said...

The only thing I said about Iraq is that they entered into our consciousness when the Soviets brought them into the balance of power in the ME and IIRC what I said and what I still believe to be the best policy is we not interfere with the ages old Islamic custom of internecine slaughter.

If I said something about supporting one leader over another (other than the Shah), I don't remember doing so and would deem it a favor if you would bring it to my attention.

Again, a reminder I don't speak for either the US government (God forbid) or any others among We, the People.

Hey Skipper said...

[Hey Skipper:] Now, if your point was that Muslim countries systemically step on the religious beliefs of non-Muslims, then I did, indeed, make your point.

But since that has been my point all along, I suspect you are confused. As the succeeding para makes clear. One question is whether, in the here and now, Muslims are much less tolerant of other religions, than other religions are of Islam. The other is whether Islam itself is more tolerant.

They aren't, and it isn't.


The answer is simple. Stack up a list of all the religious impositions upon Muslims in the Judeo-Christian world, and all those against Jews and Christians (never mind other religions) in the predominantly Islamic world.

[Hey Skipper:] Come over to Brazil and kick and break the statue of a saint in public. Yes, one that yourself bought, if you wish. See what happens.


I am under no obligation to make up for your ignorance of places afar your reality. Or, and that's sure more difficult, to make up for the blind points of your ideological worldview.

Actually, you are. Otherwise, because of the complete lack of context, I can't judge whether it is my ignorance, or your ideological blinkers, that are at fault; nor whether your blind spots are creating evidence where none exists.

[erp:] In Brazil, the no-go zones are, as I've been led to believe, due to acute poverty and lawlessness allowed to fester. Those in Europe are cultural with the refugees coming into the country with lots of money in their pockets and a sense of empowerment and entitlement in their attitudes.

Clovis's asserting "'lot's of money in their pockets' is nuts" is, itself, nuts. Take Britain, for instance. Muslims there are far better off in nearly every regard (having to put up with others' beliefs being an exception) than the countries they came from. Similarly for almost all of Europe: welfare and immigration policies ensure that the people who make it to places like Germany, Norway, et al, have far more money, and are far better off than the places they left.

Then there is another quandary left completely unaddressed. Britain has many immigrant communities. Sikhs, for instance. They come from the same part of the world as Muslim immigrants, yet Sikhs are conspicuously absent from supremacist impositions and murderous atrocities.

That means relative poverty is an empty excuse. Same goes for immigrants from India at large. Or from the British West Indies.

[Clovis:] But in the end of the day, what matters is how much of a no-go zones they are. I can guarantee that Catholic Brazil could produce no-go zones that are second to none, including war torn countries such as Iraq.

There you go with the moral relativism again. "No-go" (i.e. High crime) areas due to all manner of societal deficiencies are not the same as "no-go" areas due to supremacist claims. After all, it is easy to assume a magic wand that fixes the favelas, and the fixed favelas being not the least bit hostile to anyone, just as it is easy to assume that a magic wand eliminating the legacy of centuries of systemic racism would make southwest Chicago as amenable as Beverly Hills.

What would it take to stop Islamists from attempting to impose their supremacist claims?

Hey Skipper said...

Sorry Erp, but an ad hominem attack was necessary: it is far too easy to defend dictatorships when you never had to live under them. That needs to be brought to personal level so you can understand the hypocrisy of your position.

Ad hominem attack is never necessary, and it is always the sure sign of a bankrupt argument.

As Harry repeatedly proves, there is no understanding mid-Century Europe without the action-reaction cycle between communism and fascism. I have no idea why the ex-colonies of Spain and Portugal turned out so differently from those of England. But they did. That they did made them far more susceptible to Marxism than anyplace in the Anglosphere. And because Marxism is so inherently murderous, that provoked murderous reaction.

Given the universal nature of Marxist insurgencies, how could any government based upon liberal principles survive?

There is no such thing as uncaused effects.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] And the citizens of Iraq, how far better they are for all their years of Saddam and everything that followed from it?

You are asking a question of one set of people — actual Iraqis, that you can't ask of another set of people: imaginary Iraqis. You are arguing reality against a null.

Cheap, easy, and worthless.

But what I really read form your support for them is: "Liberty for me, but not for thee".

What you should read from erp's comments is only the cards that have been dealt can be played. And as I suggested above, if the cards that you would have wanted dealt had been set on fire by the other player, then what? Or, for that matter, these lovely people?

What liberty is possible when faced with adherents to murderous ideologies?

erp said...

Skipper: I have no idea why the ex-colonies of Spain and Portugal turned out so differently from those of England.

The difference is Jesuit Catholicism.

Hey Skipper said...

erp, that would have been my first guess, but I just don't know enough about it.

erp said...

You’re lucky.

Short version: Don't fret about things temporal. Suffer and endure in this life for a chance to sit at the right hand of God in the next.

If you fall off the path of righteousness, confess, be absolved -- rinse and repeat.

erp said...

To avoid Lehrer's little snark, go to 1:14 to hear just the song.