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Is Judeo-christian Violence The Same Thing As Islamic Violence?


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http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/ibrahim040607.html

 

April 6, 2007

Fighting Faith

Is Judeo-Christian violence the same thing as Islamic violence?

by Raymond Ibrahim

Private Papers

 

Since the terrorist strikes of 9/11, Islam has often been accused of being intrinsically violent. In response, a number of apologetics have been offered in defense of the religion. The fundamental premise of almost all of these is that Islam’s purported violence — as found in Islamic scriptures and history — is no different than the violence committed by other religious groups throughout history and as recorded in their scriptures, especially Jews and Christians. The argument, in short, is that it is not Islam per se but rather human nature that is prone to violence.

 

So whenever the argument is made that the Koran as well as the historical words and deeds of Islam’s prophet Muhammad and his companions evince violence and intolerance, the counter-argument is immediately made: What about the historical atrocities committed by the Hebrews in years gone by and as recorded in their scriptures (i.e. the Old Testament)? What about the brutal cycle of violence Christians have committed in the name of their faith against both fellow Christians and non-Christians?

 

Thereafter two examples — one biblical, the other historic — are often cited as paradigmatic of the religious violence inherent to both Judaism and Christianity.

 

The first is the genocide-like conquest of the land of Canaan by the Hebrews (c. 1200 BC).Yahweh told Moses:

 

But of the cities of these peoples which Yahweh your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them — the Hittite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite — just as Yahweh your God has commanded you, lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against Yahweh your God (Deuteronomy 20: 16-18).

 

So Joshua [Moses’ successor] conquered all the land: the mountain country and the South and the lowland and the wilderness slopes, and all their kings; he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as Yahweh God of Israel had commanded (Joshua 10:40).

 

The second example revolves around the Crusader wars waged by European Christians between the 11th-13th centuries. To be sure, the Crusades were a “counter-attack” on Islam — not an unprovoked assault as is often depicted by revisionist history. A united Christendom sought to annex the Holy Land of Jerusalem, which, prior to its conquest by Islam in the 7th century, was an integral part of Christendom for some 400 years.

 

Nonetheless, these Crusades were violent and bloody and countless atrocities were committed — all in the name of Christianity and under the banner of the cross. Perhaps the most infamous act of villainy perpetrated by these “fighters-for-Christ” is the 1204 sack of Constantinople, wherein Christian slew Christian in a violent bloodbath.

 

Old Testament Violence

 

In light of the above — one a prime example of violence from the Bible, the other from Christian history — why should Islam be the one religion always characterized as intrinsically violent, simply because its holy book and its history also contain violence? Why should non-Muslims always point to the Koran and ancient history as evidence of Islam’s violence while never looking to their own scriptures and history?

 

While such questions are popular, they reveal a great deal of confusion between history and theology, between the temporal actions of men and the immutable words of God. The fundamental error being that Judeo-Christian history — which is violent — is being conflated with Islamic theology — which commands violence. Of course all religions have had their fair share of violence and intolerance towards the “other.” Whether this violence is ordained by God or whether warlike man merely wished it thus is the all-important question.

 

Old Testament violence is an interesting case in point. Yahweh clearly ordered the Hebrews to annihilate the Canaanites and surrounding peoples. Such violence is therefore an expression of God’s will, for good or ill. Regardless, all the historic violence committed by the Hebrews and recorded in the Old Testament is just that — history. It happened; God commanded it. But it revolved around a specific time and place and was directed against a specific people. At no time did such violence go on to become standardized or codified into Jewish law (i.e. the Halakha).

 

This is where Islamic violence is unique. Though similar to the violence of the Old Testament — commanded by God and manifested in history — certain aspects of Islamic violence have become standardized in Islamic law (i.e. the Sharia) and apply at all times. Thus while the violence found in the Koran is in fact historical, its ultimate significance is theological. Consider the following Koranic verses:

 

Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the pagans wherever you find them — take them [captive], besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due [i.e. submit to Islam], then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (9:5).

 

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger [i.e. Islamic law], nor acknowledge the religion of Truth [i.e. Islam], from the people of the book [i.e. Jews and Christians], until they pay tribute with willing submission, and feel themselves utterly subdued (9:29).

 

Sword-Verses

 

As with Old Testament verses where Yahweh commanded the Hebrews to attack and slay their neighbors, these Koranic verses also have a historical context. Allah (through Muhammad) first issued these commandments after the Arab tribes had finally unified under the banner of Islam and were preparing to invade their Christian and pagan neighbors. But unlike the bellicose verses and anecdotes of the Old Testament, these so-called “sword-verses” subsequently became fundamental to Islam’s relationship to both the “people of the book” (i.e. Christians and Jews) and the “pagans” (i.e. Hindus, Buddhists, animists, etc).

 

In fact, based on the sword-verses (as well as countless other Koranic verses and oral traditions attributed to Muhammad), Islam’s scholars, sheikhs, muftis, imams, and qadis throughout the ages have all reached the consensus — binding on the entire Muslim community — that Islam is to be at perpetual war with the non-Muslim world, until the former subsumes the latter. (It is widely held that the sword-verses alone have abrogated some 200 of the Koran’s more tolerant verses.) Famous Muslim scholar and “father of modern history” Ibn Khaldun articulates the dichotomy between jihad and defensive warfare thus:

 

In the Muslim community, the holy war [i.e. jihad] is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force... The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense... They are merely required to establish their religion among their own people. That is why the Israeilites after Moses and Joshua remained unconcerned with royal authority [e.g. a “caliphate”]. Their only concern was to establish their religion [not to spread it to the nations]… But Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations (The Muqudimmah, vol. 1 pg. 473, emphasis added).

 

Even when juxtaposed to their Old Testament counterparts, the sword-verses are distinctive for using language that transcends time and space, inciting believers to attack and slay non-believers today no less than yesterday. Yahweh commanded the Hebrews to kill Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites — all specific peoples rooted to a specific time and place. At no time did Yahweh give an open-ended command for the Hebrews, and by extension their descendants the Jews, to fight and kill gentiles.

 

On the other hand, though Islam’s original enemies were, like Judaism’s, historical (e.g. Christian Byzantines and pagan Persians), the Koran rarely singles them out by their proper names. Instead, Muslims were (and are) commanded to fight the people of the book — “until they pay tribute with willing submission and feel themselves utterly subdued” (9:29) and to “slay the pagans wherever you find them” (9:5). The two conjunctions “until” and “wherever” demonstrate the perpetual nature of these commandments: there are still “people of the book” who have yet to be “utterly subdued” (especially in the Americas, Europe, and Israel) and “pagans” to be slain “wherever” one looks (especially Asia and sub-Saharan Africa).

 

The Prophet's Life as Model

 

Aside from the divine words of the Koran, Muhammad’s pattern of behavior — his “Sunna” or “example” — is an extremely important source of legislation in Islam. Muslims are exhorted to emulate Muhammad in all walks of life: “You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern [of conduct]” (33:21). And Muhammad’s pattern of conduct vis-à-vis non-Muslims is quite explicit. Sarcastically arguing against the concept of “moderate” Islam, terrorist Osama bin Laden, who enjoys half the Arab-Islamic world’s support per a recent al-Jazeera poll, portrays the prophet’s Sunna thus:

 

“Moderation” is demonstrated by our prophet who did not remain more than three months in Medina without raiding or sending a raiding party into the lands of the infidels to beat down their strongholds and seize their possessions, their lives, and their women” (from The Al-Qaeda Reader).

 

In fact, based on both the Koran and Muhammad’s Sunna, pillaging and plundering infidels, enslaving their children, and placing their women in concubinage is well founded (e.g. 4:24, 4:92, 8:69, 24:33, 33:50, etc.).

 

While law-centric and legalistic, Judaism has no such equivalent to the Sunna; the words and deeds of the patriarchs, though recorded in the Old Testament, never went on to be part of Jewish law. Neither Abraham’s “white-lies,” nor Jacob’s perfidy, nor Moses’ short-fuse, nor David’s adultery, nor Solomon’s philandering ever went on to instruct Jews or Christians. They were merely understood to be historical actions perpetrated by fallible men who were often punished by God for their less than ideal behavior.

 

As for Christianity, much of the Old Testament law was abrogated by Jesus. “Eye for an eye” gave way to “turn the other cheek.” Totally loving God and one’s neighbor became supreme law (Matt 22:38-40). Furthermore, Jesus’ “Sunna” — as in “What would Jesus do?” — is characterized by passivity and altruism.

 

And it is from here that one can best appreciate the Crusades. However one interprets these wars — as offensive or defensive, just or unjust — it is plainly evident that they were not based on the teachings of the New Testament or the example of Jesus who exhorted his followers to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matt 5:44). It would seem that if anyone, it is the Crusaders — not the jihadists — who have contradicted their religion.

 

In fact, far from suggesting anything intrinsic to Christianity, the Crusades ironically help better explain Islam. For what the Crusades demonstrated once and for all is that irrespective of religious teachings — indeed, in the case of these so-called “Christian” Crusades, despite them — man is in fact predisposed to violence and intolerance. But this begs the question: If this is how Christians behaved — who are commanded to love, bless, and do good to their enemies who hate, curse, and persecute them — how much more can be expected of Muslims who, while sharing the same violent tendencies, are further commanded by the Deity to attack, kill, and plunder non-believers?

-----

Raymond Ibrahim is a research librarian at the Library of Congress. His new book, The Al Qaeda Reader, which translates Osama bin Laden's communiqués, will be available in April 2007.

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In fact, based on the sword-verses (as well as countless other Koranic verses and oral traditions attributed to Muhammad), Islam's scholars, sheikhs, muftis, imams, and qadis throughout the ages have all reached the consensus — binding on the entire Muslim community — that Islam is to be at perpetual war with the non-Muslim world, until the former subsumes the latter.

 

This is pattently false. Not all of the Muslims have preached this. A few years ago I encountered a group of Muslims who did not believe in violence of any sort. It was some sort of public workshop at my school. They were out to prove that war and violence was not part of their religion and that their religion does not promote violence. They told me that no Muslims have ever committed violence.

 

That is obviously not exactly true. I was totally confused by that. I talked with a prof who knew what I was talking about. Apparently there are different denominations (or the Muslim equivilent) and this one does not believe in violence.

 

Why do they say no Muslims commit violence when this is so obviously not true? I can think of an example from Christianity. Some Christians deny other Christians the right to the name. For example, I've seen people differentiate between Catholic and Christian. From a Buddhist perspective all of them are Christian.

 

What can we learn from this? That there may well be a group of Muslims who deny other Muslims the name. Thus, they can deny that certain acts of violence were committed by Muslims.

 

Okay, so what? Here is what: the above quote does not include all Muslims because a group exists that does not commit violence. They gave me a whole batch of literature, which I have not yet had time to read. But the fact is that this is evidence that non-violent teachings exist among at least one group of Muslims and therefore the above quote is false.

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Another thing. Raymond Ibrahim claims that Jesus negated the law of violence. But that is not true. It depends what part of the New Testament one wants to look at. Jesus was pretty violent when he cleansed the Temple. He went after folk with a whip and turned over the tables with money and records. If a mad-man entered the local farmer's market and did that or disrupted the Christian Ladies' Fundraiser Bakesale, he would be arrested on the spot. But when Jesus does it, somehow it's not violent?

 

Depending how one picks cherries in the New Testament it promotes violence alright. Taken from Jesus' own teachings we get conflicting messages around violence. Mennonites have liked to claim that they are the only pacifists. This means there are a lot of Christians who believe in committing violence via war.

 

Even though I now know that this is not true (many other Christians are pacifists, too), this has made me ask what exists in the New Testament that allows Christians to go to war. I read some RC literature and looked up the references in the Bible and the command to war was certainly right there in the NT. Thus, Ibrahim picked the cherries that make Christians out to be this group of pacifists when it is so obviously only part of the truth.

 

A man who tells only part of the truth about Christians would probably not find it all that difficult to tell only part of the truth about Islam, esp. if it allows him to justify killing Muslims, which is what he wants to do anyway.

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Nivek, thanks for sharing this. It's scary that Muslims are the fastest growing religion in the world, and already the largest one. It seems to me, they just stand still in time... nothing progressive... except maybe in luxuries gained by the recent windfall afforded by being gifted as major oil producers. They have not made any contributions recognized worldwide. Perhaps they need a new testament to their Koran? :wicked:

 

Nature determines one's propensity to violence? IMO, beliefs determine one's nature, as beliefs form opinions, opinions form attitudes, and attitudes form our nature. It seems fundamentalists see things as either good or bad, black or white with no shades of gray in between... and somehow they each deem themselves as the one to judge everyone else, and what is appropriate for all. :rolleyes:

 

Sad.. so sad. :(

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Is-lame, christianutty... the jebus death cult or the mohamed death cult... both their books-of-lies contain verses that condone killing and verses that condemn killing. Pick verses a-c and you must keep peace. Pick verses v-z and thou shaltst slaughter all who disagree. Regardless of time, place, and situation.

 

Same shit, different arsehole. :repuke:

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If xians were truly pacifist, then they should be not only forgiving those who wrong them but handing over their goods to them as well. They should be doing all this and more. They don't...not by a long shot...and they make no attempt to feel guilty or repent for not doing so. They make excuses that jesus didn't really mean what is obviously written so clearly by pointing to the contradictory verses. But, as has been the case so many times before, "god" and "jesus" both get a "do as I say and not as I do" application of the rules and so the fact that jesus behaved "badly" doesn't mean it's okay for his followers to also behave badly or stick up for themselves in any way when he explicitly tells them not to do so.

 

mwc

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I wonder why the focus is always on Islamic violence when xian nations like the UK and US have been even more violent in recent history. I'm not defending Islam. It seems to me that people consider suicide bombings and gorilla warfare as somehow more dastardly than those who use tanks and laser guided missiles.

 

The real difference is whose shoes you are wearing when examining the violence. From the perspective of those in the ME, we must seem every bit the monsters that we perceive they are.

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If xians were truly pacifist, then they should be not only forgiving those who wrong them but handing over their goods to them as well. They should be doing all this and more. They don't...not by a long shot...and they make no attempt to feel guilty or repent for not doing so.

MWC, I'm NOT challenging you... just curious if tactics used by Ghandi or Martin Luther King would be considered pacifists?

 

I wonder why the focus is always on Islamic violence when xian nations like the UK and US have been even more violent in recent history. I'm not defending Islam. It seems to me that people consider suicide bombings and gorilla warfare as somehow more dastardly than those who use tanks and laser guided missiles.

 

The real difference is whose shoes you are wearing when examining the violence. From the perspective of those in the ME, we must seem every bit the monsters that we perceive they are.

Vigile Del Fuocco 1, considering everything I've read, including the Satanic Bible, only the OT condones some atrocities. I've not read the Koran, but it seems similar. Islam and Judeo/Christian religions do seem to be the most consistently violently aggressive throughout history. Is it something at the roots of these particular belief systems? Do religions in the far east have similar backgrounds too?

 

I can see where we are seen as the infidels by such an extremely conservative perspective as Islam. They probably reference our "hedonistic" lifestyle, videos of Madonna, Aguileura (sp?), and such, and are aghast compared to their culture. They probably feel totally validated in their attack on us, the devil. However, I will tell you that Hollywood is NOT indicative of the average American!

 

I'm curious as to your opinion, and those outside of the US, as to when is it appropriate to intervene aggressively towards a foreign government? Should a country let a guy like Hitler go unchallenged, as long as he isn't bothering them? I'm only asking out of curiosity of impressions of those of other cultures. :thanks:

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They probably reference our "hedonistic" lifestyle, videos of Madonna, Aguileura (sp?),

 

Only the ultra religious nuts, which probably make up as small a percentage of the population as they do in the west. The rest of them view us as infidels because we occupy their land and drop bombs on them. Think of how we used to stereotype the Japanese and the Germans and that's probably something close to how they see us.

 

Should a country let a guy like Hitler go unchallenged, as long as he isn't bothering them?

 

I can't answer for those around me, but my opinion? We absolutely should let a guy like Hitler go unchallenged as long as he is not invading us. In fact we do it all the time. We even have a long history of supporting this guy. His name is Mobutu, Pinochet, etc..., etc... We even supported Sadam until we didn't. The chemicals he used on the Kurds. Where do you think he got them? With the terror the US has either supported or participated in in countries like Nicaragua, Argentina, Chile, Honduras, Congo, and on and on and on, a excellent case could be made by the third world that we are the biggest threat to global stability.

 

What exactly gives us the right to intervene in another country's affairs when they don't threaten us?

 

How do we choose which countries affairs to involve ourselves in and which to ignore? The number of people threatened? If that were true we would be all over Africa, not to mention N Korea and the big one, Myanmar.

 

But the last time I checked our military is refered to as defense. I wonder why so many think it is ok to use it as offense.

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If xians were truly pacifist, then they should be not only forgiving those who wrong them but handing over their goods to them as well. They should be doing all this and more. They don't...not by a long shot...and they make no attempt to feel guilty or repent for not doing so. They make excuses that jesus didn't really mean what is obviously written so clearly by pointing to the contradictory verses. But, as has been the case so many times before, "god" and "jesus" both get a "do as I say and not as I do" application of the rules and so the fact that jesus behaved "badly" doesn't mean it's okay for his followers to also behave badly or stick up for themselves in any way when he explicitly tells them not to do so.

 

mwc

 

This seems an overreach to me. How do you know that all Christians make no attempt to do these things you write of? Believe me, there are Christians I'd rather not be around. But surely there is one good, wholesome, loving, kind, wonderful Christian somewhere on Earth. Right? Isn't it unwise to categorize all members of any group (ethnic, racial or creedal) as robotically the same? Seems to me doing so is untenable.

 

BTW, this Christian has been a declared conscientious objector since age 21 when I sent my letter stating such to the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors. Many Christians reject violence!

 

-CC

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Only the ultra religious nuts, which probably make up as small a percentage of the population as they do in the west. The rest of them view us as infidels because we occupy their land and drop bombs on them. Think of how we used to stereotype the Japanese and the Germans and that's probably something close to how they see us.

Vigile Del Fucco 1, so you're an American! I assumed you were Indian... since you live in India. Aren't there a lot of Hindus and Buddhists there, or is it overwhelmingly Islamic?

 

There is a program here on CNN called the Glen Beck show. I usually never watch it, however one time he had a broadcast showing the attitudes of the ME, much of what is printed in the topic of this thread, and how it was their duty to kill us. It seems the overall population approved of this mission and promoted it openly by propaganda against us.

 

Of course there are some wonderful Islamic people, just like there are some wonderful Christians too... but considering the pervasiveness of stongly inclined fundamentalists... :( And the ME countries seem to do nothing about it, and often encourages it!

 

I can't answer for those around me, but my opinion? We absolutely should let a guy like Hitler go unchallenged as long as he is not invading us. In fact we do it all the time. We even have a long history of supporting this guy. His name is Mobutu, Pinochet, etc..., etc... We even supported Sadam until we didn't. The chemicals he used on the Kurds. Where do you think he got them? With the terror the US has either supported or participated in in countries like Nicaragua, Argentina, Chile, Honduras, Congo, and on and on and on, a excellent case could be made by the third world that we are the biggest threat to global stability.

 

What exactly gives us the right to intervene in another country's affairs when they don't threaten us?

 

How do we choose which countries affairs to involve ourselves in and which to ignore? The number of people threatened? If that were true we would be all over Africa, not to mention N Korea and the big one, Myanmar.

 

But the last time I checked our military is refered to as defense. I wonder why so many think it is ok to use it as offense.

Current events is not a passion to me, unless the event seems close and involves me directly. I think Saddam was initially considered a good guy, even though he took the country by force. Wasn't Iraq 90% illiterate, which under his rule it became 90% literate, and increased the economy three folds in a comparatively short time? It does seem that absolute power corrupts the leader, absolutely. Embarassingly, I admit I don't know the other guys.

 

What constitutes a threat to a country? It seems congress can never agree on much, however, most Republicans and Democrats alike are recorded saying at one time or another that Saddam was a major threat to the USA. The propaganda and attitudes reflected in the Glen "Beck program looked like red flags in the ME to me. Yet we may get as much propaganda as they do.

 

I do know that 9/11 happened, amongst many other incidents, and that these perpetrators were all Islamic and came from the ME. Should we just approach our strategy for defense as being corrective, or just be complacent about it, or do we take a proactive approach? Diplomacy is of course the first choice of a line of defense, yet if someone is determined that we all become Islamic or die... what do we do then? Become Islamic? :HaHa:

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You don't have to go to the Middle East or India to find people who hate the Americans. I had a classmate who did not want anyone to know she was American. I take that as indication of how strong anti-Americanism is right here just across the border from the USA. That fits right in with history. A lot of the Americans fled north during the war for independence because they did not want to be American. They wanted to be loyal to the British crown. Does this even show up in your history texts? If it does, I would guess it makes the Loyalists out to be nasty turn-coats and deserters.

 

if someone is determined that we all become Islamic or die... what do we do then? Become Islamic? :HaHa:

 

No. Just go on living. You don't have to invade their country and kill them. Only cowards do that. Be content with guarding your own borders and keeping law and order in your own land. If the US is such a wonderful place to be then there won't be enough malcontents to stir up trouble inside the country. Everyone will be loyal to the USA and the outsiders can't accomplish a thing. BUT...

 

People who invade a country and drop bombs on it will be seen as a very serious threat and they will be treated as such. If you want to know what nonAmericans think just listen to this:

 

Instead of fighting back, Americans should stop and ask themselves why it is that people hate them.

 

That was a common thing said around here right after 9/11. But we all know that Americans are too arrogant to listen to mere Canadians so we don't even bother anymore. Thus Americans will go on terrorizing the rest of the world, manipulating economically, and being just plain nasty. And asking why nobody likes them. Go figure!

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so you're an American! I assumed you were Indian... since you live in India. Aren't there a lot of Hindus and Buddhists there, or is it overwhelmingly Islamic?

 

Yes, I'm a red blooded American. I've only been in India for a month. Prior to that I have lived in Russia for almost three years.

 

Here in Goa there are Hindus, Muslims, protestants and Catholics. About 50% are Catholic due to the history of the region, as it was once colonized by the Portugese.

 

I've not had the opportunity to have a conversation with any Muslims here, so have no idea what they think about current world events.

 

What constitutes a threat to a country? It seems congress can never agree on much, however, most Republicans and Democrats alike are recorded saying at one time or another that Saddam was a major threat to the USA.

 

And now we can plainly see that they lied to us. Blatently. He could not have been a threat, he had no weapons with which to threaten us. Likewise, there is zero link between Iraq and 9/11.

 

I do know that 9/11 happened, amongst many other incidents, and that these perpetrators were all Islamic and came from the ME. .

 

And they were primarily from Saudi Arabia, yet we went after Afghanistan and Iraq. That's like going after Australia because the attackers happened to be English speakers. Can you see how something is just not right about this situation? How you may have been lied to, misled?

 

Should we be proactive? I'm not comfortable with that word. The US has a policy of being proactive against threats via the CIA and more overt military action. We are a people who create threats in our own minds and spend our tax dollars and leave trails of destruction across the globe. Do you imagine that 9/11 happened in a vacuum? That the US is an angel that no one has a reason to be pissed off at? Do you imagine that the US has only the best of intentions behind her actions?

 

Do a google movie search for "Secret Goverment" and watch the 20-minute by Bill Moyers. I'd look up the link for you, but my internet connection is really iffy today. I believe you will find this documentary, which aired on PBS, to be quite eye opening. And it's all based on open facts. Nothing is left to conjecture.

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You don't have to go to the Middle East or India to find people who hate the Americans.

 

I can't tell how many of us here may hate Americans in general, but if you're searching for people hating shrubbenführer, you probably. won't be searching for long in goo' ol' Germany. :fdevil:

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You don't have to go to the Middle East or India to find people who hate the Americans. I had a classmate who did not want anyone to know she was American. I take that as indication of how strong anti-Americanism is right here just across the border from the USA. That fits right in with history. A lot of the Americans fled north during the war for independence because they did not want to be American. They wanted to be loyal to the British crown. Does this even show up in your history texts? If it does, I would guess it makes the Loyalists out to be nasty turn-coats and deserters.

Canada is a great place! Ontario is too. I love the CN tower, Ontario Place, and The Group of Seven are amongst my very favorite artists (only to be seen in Canada). Toronto and Vancouver are probably your areas reflecting your greatest immigration.

 

I live in Florida, and there is no comparison! Immigration here is rampant! So a lot of people hate Americans? Well, where I live, it can be difficult in many areas to even find someone born in the US!!! My friend, let me tell you... we have too many people trying to come here, IMO. Give us a break... as it is difficult to assimilate so many foreigners so fast!

 

If they don't like us, why are such an incredible amount of foriegners trying to come here? My state is virtually bi-lingual... at least. "Little Vietnam" is so close to where I live, I could ride my bike there easily. Spanish and Indian (India) grocery stores are all around me! As far as people returning to the 'redcoats'.... :HaHa: We have an agreement with England that we won't allow but a certain amount of British to immigrate here, or allow many with a visa to stay too long, because all there doctors and such were coming here by the droves.

 

I've traveled extensively around the world, and I've never seen any country anywhere treat foriegners as well as the US... except maybe Scandanavia. :scratch:

 

No. Just go on living. You don't have to invade their country and kill them. Only cowards do that. Be content with guarding your own borders and keeping law and order in your own land. If the US is such a wonderful place to be then there won't be enough malcontents to stir up trouble inside the country. Everyone will be loyal to the USA and the outsiders can't accomplish a thing. BUT...

 

You obviously have no idea what you're talking about here. We didn't drop the bomb on our own twin towers, stirring up discontent. We took a lot before we said... enough is enough. BTW, your country may not support us or care what happens to us, but if this happened to your country... we'd still be right there to help ya'. :wink:

 

People who invade a country and drop bombs on it will be seen as a very serious threat and they will be treated as such. If you want to know what nonAmericans think just listen to this:

 

Instead of fighting back, Americans should stop and ask themselves why it is that people hate them.

Hmmm... we tried diplomacy with the United Nations... and Saddam wouldn't cooperate... for over a year! Oh... so lets just twittle our thumbs forever at the sake of national security? Drop bombs? How about the bombs on us? When we drop a bomb, first we drop flyers in their own language, put messages on their own radios in their own language that we are going to bomb a military installation at a certain address, at a certain time... at least a 24 hour notice.. and strategically deliver the bomb with surgical precision... however, its okay for others to deliver a surprise bomb on our civilian building full of innocent people from around the world? :scratch:

 

And, once we took over the county of Iraq, the Iraqians come out and practically kiss us... the people of that country came out to tear down every statute, poster, whatever of their former leader! Did you know that once Saddam was on trial by his own people, in his own country, who determined he would receive death for his actions as a leader... there were mountains of their own people begging to be the one to pull the lever that would implement his death?

 

I don't think everyone hates us... I think you do though... yet, I still like you and Canadians. :)

 

That was a common thing said around here right after 9/11. But we all know that Americans are too arrogant to listen to mere Canadians so we don't even bother anymore. Thus Americans will go on terrorizing the rest of the world, manipulating economically, and being just plain nasty. And asking why nobody likes them. Go figure!

 

I guess any American that wants to enjoy the rights and priviledges of a free country without having to fight for it in the face of those who want to aggressively assert their oppression, will always go to Canada. Like I've said... I like Canada, been to Canada, worked accross Canada for an American company, and I still live in Florida amongst a very, very culturally diverse community.

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You don't have to go to the Middle East or India to find people who hate the Americans.

 

I can't tell how many of us here may hate Americans in general, but if you're searching for people hating shrubbenführer, you probably. won't be searching for long in goo' ol' Germany. :fdevil:

Thurisaz, my grandfather immigrated from Germany and I have always kept my very German last name, even when I was married. I've never been to Germany, but I've always enjoyed my relatives from that German decent. However, there is a lot more meshed into my genes than German.

 

Speaking of hating Americans... I'm curious to know if people realize there are no "pure line of Americans"? We are only part of each and every one of ALL the other countries.

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Speaking of hating Americans... I'm curious to know if people realize there are no "pure line of Americans"? We are only part of each and every one of ALL the other countries.

 

Of course people realize that (at least those who care to use their brains... :scratch: )... but then, humans tend to looooove their preconceptions, don't they? :mellow:

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You obviously have no idea what you're talking about here. We didn't drop the bomb on our own twin towers, stirring up discontent. We took a lot before we said... enough is enough. BTW, your country may not support us or care what happens to us, but if this happened to your country... we'd still be right there to help ya'.

 

Sorry Amanda, but it is actually you who don't know what you are talking about. A group of Saudis supposedly fly into the Trade Center and Pentagon and we attack Iraq, a country with no connection to the attacks.

 

You are obviously one of those Americans who have bought into the Bush regime's propaganda. Even Bush has had to admit that there was zero connection between Iraq and the attacks on 911. RS made a valid point, but you choose not to see it. Unfortunately this is the reason that there is so much backlash against Americans. First the American military and CIA run around the globe dropping bombs and supporting harsh dictatorships (even those who perform acts of genocide) and then American citizens themselves, who are virtually the one ones with the power to stand up to their own government don't do so because they are either oblivious or they are stirred up by jingoisms about immigration and foreign threats.

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They have not made any contributions recognized worldwide.

 

Let's see...

 

1) Algebra

2) Alchemy (chemistry)

3) Preservation of classical greek and latin texts

4) Coffee

5) Modern Chess

6) Distillation by heat

7) The pointed arch

8) Innoculation/vaccination

9) The fountain pen

10) The characters I'm using to itemise this list.

11) Carpeting of floors with woven textile mats

12) Military application of a chemically improved gunpowder

13) Bankers Cheques

14) Dissolving sutures

15) Anaesthetics

16) Quilting

 

 

 

 

Nope... nothing there recognised worldwide there...

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Sorry Amanda, but it is actually you who don't know what you are talking about. A group of Saudis supposedly fly into the Trade Center and Pentagon and we attack Iraq, a country with no connection to the attacks. [...]

 

Sadly, I have to agree to pretty much every single point of Vigile.

 

You're a nice one Amanda, but in this case I'm afraid you don't base your opinion on valid evidence. Afghanistan was kind of justified... after all, they did host bin laden for quite some time... but Iraq, no. Nada. Niente. Niemals.

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Nope... nothing there recognised worldwide there...

 

And just as a sidenote, some mathematicians recently were very surprised about the patterns they found in the stained-glass windows of a centuries-old mosque (or some other building erected by muslims) somewhere in Asia if memory serves. The complex patterns those ancient mohamed cultists used in there had only recently been "discovered/invented" in the west, with the help of a significant amount of computing power.

 

Not exactly an earth-shattering thing, but it fits in Grandpa's list quite nicely, no? ;)

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Sorry Amanda, but it is actually you who don't know what you are talking about. A group of Saudis supposedly fly into the Trade Center and Pentagon and we attack Iraq, a country with no connection to the attacks.

 

You are obviously one of those Americans who have bought into the Bush regime's propaganda. Even Bush has had to admit that there was zero connection between Iraq and the attacks on 911.

I'm certainly not priviledged to all the information given to our government, yet I know that most of them, republicans and democrats, have stated at one time or another... Iraq was a significant threat to US security. Even Bill and Hillary have said this. Heck, the UN agreed that we had significant cause to check out their country for threats! Maybe the average foreign citizen is more informed than the UN and our government officials? :shrug:

 

RS made a valid point, but you choose not to see it. Unfortunately this is the reason that there is so much backlash against Americans. First the American military and CIA run around the globe dropping bombs and supporting harsh dictatorships (even those who perform acts of genocide) and then American citizens themselves, who are virtually the one ones with the power to stand up to their own government don't do so because they are either oblivious or they are stirred up by jingoisms about immigration and foreign threats.

I don't think the first concern of our government is the current popularity contest. Sure, it's better to have friends than enemies, yet a very famous saying is that only a fool is loved by everyone.

 

Immigration? The only problem some have about immigration, other than security risks, is that it is happening too much too fast. Hey, we're not forcing them to come, that's for sure! As for myself, my exhusband, still wonderful friend, father of my two children, was born in Cairo, his father was from Iraq, his mother from Syria. I liked him so much, I married him. They moved here because they felt it was a better place to live, and we let them all become US citizens, which they have always appreciated. Immigrants are wonderful... that's how we all got here.

 

I mean this in a friendly way, I'm curious as to what country's citizenship you would like to pursue?

 

I was reading something concerning their contributions. Since you seem so well informed, I was curious if they have won any international awards, like the nobel prizes or such? The university I attended had lots of Muslims, of which many I befriended. I remember most of them being from Iran, and impressive learners. My exhusband's family was from the ME. They are extremely brilliant, however not Muslims.

 

If there are Muslims who have won significant international awards, I admit my suspicions in that area must have been wrong. I have nothing against Muslims, and take each one at their individual value, just like everyone else. I suppose we are speaking generally here, like we do about Christians. I certainly don't hold it against them if they have not won any international awards... neither have I.

 

Thuisaz, although you don't agree with me, your diplomatic style makes me proud to claim I am also of German decent. :thanks:

 

I hope that no one on this thread holds that against you. There is no guilt by association or being nice to someone unpopular in the US.

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I do love the hideous condescension and faux disingenuous style of your posts, Amanda dear... It would seem that my late father had a point when he said there's "now't noisier than an empty head"...

 

After the Western sponsorship of the rise of Wahabist movements, the remains of the Ottoman Empire reverted to a darker age than there was in the 1400s. Engineered by Britain, France, Germany and US in the late 19th C, it was to allow the West to secure Arabian Oil. It's pretty well why the map of the Middle East is such a nighmare.

 

There again, the British supported (to a degree, expanded), the Afghan Opium fields - It was to supply the UK and US navies during the Opium War in China... If the monster our ancestors created doesn't please, I'm afraid there is very little I, or anyone else of this earth, can do... but to try and pretend it's wholly Islam's fault is a combination of facile and ignorant. If the Eastern Church hadn't screwed up, Islam would have never existed... but that is a tale for another time...

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Nivek, thanks for sharing this. It's scary that Muslims are the fastest growing religion in the world, and already the largest one. It seems to me, they just stand still in time... nothing progressive... except maybe in luxuries gained by the recent windfall afforded by being gifted as major oil producers. They have not made any contributions recognized worldwide. Perhaps they need a new testament to their Koran? :wicked:

 

Nature determines one's propensity to violence? IMO, beliefs determine one's nature, as beliefs form opinions, opinions form attitudes, and attitudes form our nature. It seems fundamentalists see things as either good or bad, black or white with no shades of gray in between... and somehow they each deem themselves as the one to judge everyone else, and what is appropriate for all. :rolleyes:

 

Sad.. so sad. :(

 

 

Not exactly true. There are two major contributions that Arabia gave the world that without them our modern society couldn't exsist. They are non-religous: Algebra and Arabic Numerals. Just imagine trying to do long division using roman numerals.

 

I've often said christian terrorists are just like islamic terrorist only they don't use bombs, yet. No piece on religion written by a human can be without bias. All major faiths lie, it's called PR.

 

-edit-

I do admit cursing the arab that gave us algebra when I was in HS. But I think just makes me normal. :)

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All major faiths lie, it's called PR.

 

I thought it was called 'evangelism' :HaHa:

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